A back-of-fagpacket case against intervention in Syria

1) We don’t have the money for such an adventure. Throwing our hands up and wailing ‘won’t somebody think of those poor Syrian children’ will not magic up the money, however worthy a cause it is. Our country and our economy are in the crapper. That is the fault of successive policies enacted by Labour and the coalition. There is a reality that we must face – we have no money as a nation, and that means we can no-longer afford to swagger around the international stage as if we’ve got balls the size of China and America. We cannot magic up hundreds of millions of pounds for an adventure. All we can do is put hundreds of millions on the state IOU that bears the names of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What about THOSE children?

2) The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Such were those guiding our ’interventions’ in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back then, we were railroaded into a timetable set out by the Americans, which is exactly what would have happened again without last night’s government defeat. A by-product of this sort of predetermined timetable is that it drives policy-based evidence making. Quite apart from the absence of any evidence ever emerging about Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction, it has since been admitted all round that those events of 10-12 years ago were ill-considered and no viable medium to long term plans were considered before rushing to war. When Saddam fell, chaos ensued because no-one had a scooby what they should do next. In Afghanistan, where we are still fighting and dying 10 years on, it’s been admitted that we should have approached things differently and should have brought the Taliban into peace negotiations a long time ago, because they are – as many of us knew a long time ago – indefatigable. The only politicians who appear to have learned any of the lessons from last decade are the ones who voted against intervention last night.

3) By setting its face against the Assad regime, the west is getting into bed with Islamists who, as we know, are always rational and honourable chaps. These are the chaps who are likely to be backed by Saudi, Pakistani and Yemeni Islamists. Perhaps Hezbollah too. The west is also setting its face against the resourceful and benevolent (to Assad) Russians and Chinese. It has “backfire in your face”, “massive escalation courtesy of Putin & Beijing supplying weapons etc to Assad” and “will still be there in 2023” written all over it.

4) Feel free to correct me on any of the above, but while you’re doing so, please educate me about the last successful middle-eastern intervention we staged, because I’m not aware that there have been any.



4 thoughts on “A back-of-fagpacket case against intervention in Syria

  1. All very good points. Im wondering why, in the wake of lynch mob justice in Libya and Iraq we think we have any moral credibility left in the World. Without it we will just look like Assad. Bosnia was not exactly a raving success but at least it was seen as a truly international peace keeping effort, and we were able to present the archetect of the slaughter to an international tribunal to account for his actions. We managed to keep the moral high ground in doing this.

  2. I don’t dispute any of your assertions… they’re all valid.

    But I do feel there was a case, a duty even, to have made it clear to Assad that there is a cost to be paid for the use of chemical weapons. I don’t much care about the American ambition in this theatre or the various geopolitical side shows. I’m astonished we’re not able to follow our own lead and use the tools we have to deliver a rebuke to the Syrian regime. Otherwise what’s the point of us sitting at the top table? Why maintain a first class military capability?

    Today, everyone seems to be patting themselves on the back. Perhaps tomorrow those same folk will explain to the families of the gassed and those living in refuge camps why the UK appears not to believe Assad has done anything wrong?

  3. We don’t know for certain that he has done anything wrong. The evidence for guilt is lacking. And, besides, it is none of our concern. Killing more Syrians won’t solve anything. It is a civil war. They must sort it out, not us. It is not our place to deliver rebukes to anyone, anywhere. None of our business and we should keep it that way. And does it matter to the dead that they died by gas rather than bullet or bomb? They are still dead.

  4. Also it may not have been chemical weaponry, possibly a thermobaric type weapon, equally as nasty, which leaves similar wounds on its victims if it doesn’t detonate and just spreads the chemicals around. The people who will suffer in Syria are the Christians and any other religious minority.

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