So here we are again, at war, engaged in military action. Britain as a nation, indeed humanity itself, is inherently better at war than it is at peace – we understand war, we have historically spent more years at war than at peace. It is our boys going over there fighting for our country, for our freedom and honour: but we seem to lack the reasoning to see that violence is not always the right answer. It is perhaps the easier, go to, option. The option that makes it clear that we are doing something – but not always the right one.
Last night the House of Commons voted 397 to 223 to extend airstrikes into Syria, after a 10-hour debate – despite numerous polls claiming that the majority of the British public did not support such action. Just hours after the result, RAF Tornado’s were Syria-bound from their Cyprus airbase, armed and ready.
Airstrikes will have limited impact, if any at all: and civilian casualties are inevitable, that is the nature of the beast. Our last bout of airstrikes, in Libya, left the country destabilised, parts of the country are to this day practically ungovernable and a civil war still rages on.
David Cameron, in his typical deludedly bullish fashion, claimed yesterday that there had been no reports of Iraqi civilian casualties during British airstrikes in Iraq. Rather disingenuous and devious of Cameron to suggest such, as he is unlikely to have gone looking, and would likely turn a blind eye if evidence was given to him suggesting or proving such casualties.
civilian casualties are inevitable, that is the nature of the beast
Mr Cameron also claimed in October 2015, that Russian airstrikes would lead to further radicalisation. How quickly he has changed his tune. The Prime Minister doesn’t even have a coherent military strategy, nevermind an exit strategy or ideas for a political settlement in Syria. He has the air of a man that believes this is all just one big game: most worrying.
We are not attacking military targets like we were during WWII, we’re fighting a completely different opponent. The militants will simply disperse, hide among civilians. And ISIS/ISIL aren’t just based in Iraq and Syria, they have recruited people in our own countries. You may bomb a training camp here and there, but they will pop up again around the globe.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
There will be attacks on the streets of Britain, like those in Paris, that is a near certainty. The Paris attacks were in retaliation to airstrikes, and we will suffer the same fate – our MP’s have delivered that eventuality. British civilians will die, and we will mourn – but it will be nothing compared to the number of civilian fatalities caused by our airstrikes.
Our action will also create more refugees trying to get into Europe – to which our media will then cry out ‘Migrant Crisis Worsens’ and try to have them sent back to the bombed-out remains of their country that we helped to destroy.
We should be trying to cut off ISIS/ISIL’s supplies, finding our who is supplying them with arms and buying their oil. We could have been the nation to pave the way for peace, to break the cycle hatred for the west and violence in the Middle East. But instead we are sleepwalking into repeating the mistakes of the past, spreading the hatred that ISIS/ISIL need to recruit others and grow.
What kind of nation do we live in that cannot afford to help the poor and vulnerable in our own country, that makes heavy cuts to public services, yet seems to have an open cheque book as far as war is concerned? One RAF mission costs around £508,000 per aircraft. Imagine all the good that could do?
And what is it all for? You can’t bomb an ideology. You can’t fight fire with fire and expect the blaze to be extinguished. You can’t combat terror and civilian casualties with more of the same. Violence leads to further violence – and our action will drive the hatred that feeds groups like ISIS/ISIL, and will play to their narrative of the western world as a big horrible aggressor.
As we drop bombs on questionable targets, a civil war still rages in Syria. Every day as many lives are lost as were lost in the Paris attacks, and our destabilisation of the Middle East is an major factor.
Our MP’s had the choice last night of whether or not further Syrian’s should die at our hands. They decided on our behalf, with little to no consultation. To those poor innocent Syrian lives that will be destroyed and lost, I say this – We are sorry, this is not what the majority of our nation wanted.
A life lost in Paris because of a terrorist attack, or a life lost in Syria because of an airstrike – where is the distinction? How can one be viewed as a tragedy, yet the other cheered on? Who are we to decide that a European life is somehow worth more than a Syrian or an Iraqi life?
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi
We have not made our country, or the world, a safer place: we have filled it with yet further violence, fear and hatred – and we must again live with what we have created, as history repeats itself.