To war we march once again. Its becoming an all too common occurrence in recent years. The British Government has tonight voted to send Britain to war in Syria, supposedly against the Daesh terrorist organisation. MPs from various parties voted for the air strikes by a large majority, despite numerous polls suggesting many British citizens were against such actions in Syria.
Since the year of my birth in 1994, there has only been one year – ONE YEAR – that British forces were not engaged in combat – be it ground, air or naval – against a foe in one form or another. 1997 was that year. The British population are seemingly in agreement that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent 4 year war – during which the ideas for Daesh took hold – was a big mistake and was indeed illegal. Yet somehow, many people – particularly MPs – seem to have forgotten about that and the chaos that ensued and are blindly following the media driven line of ‘We Must Defeat ISIS By Force’. I’d love to know how they think these bombing strikes will help, because I see no clear strategy, no clear thinking and no clear solution to this at all.
When the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, Western governments instantly started backing any anti-Assad rebels in the region. Millions of pounds worth of arms were sent out to them in order to remove what we were all told was another ‘evil dictatorship’ from the Middle East – now where have we heard that before? Yet the Western governments seem to have totally ignored the lessons from history. Look at the countries where Western governments have armed rebels before; Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. Do those names sound familiar? Within a decade or less of arming these rebels – in those cases, Viet Cong, Muhjahideen/Taliban, Daesh – the West has then gone to war against organisations that they have armed. So it was hardly a surprise when these anti-Assad rebels suddenly told the world they hated the West too and declared war on anyone not on their side.
The thing that worries me most about these actions is that we are playing completely into the hands of Daesh with these air strikes. Where do you think their support comes from? Certainly doesn’t come from love and acceptance within Western societies. It comes from violence, segregation and hatred. Sympathy for the group will sky rocket with every single passing air strike and recruits will flock to Daesh, eager to avenge the death of their children in a UN air strike. Daesh NEED the bombing to happen, otherwise they will peter out. They cannot keep fighting forever, their supply of numbers will dwindle until it is gone if they are given no grounds for support. However, that now won’t happen. They will grow in numbers, they will grow in efficiency and their attacks on the West will increase, so don’t be surprised the next time a bomb goes in London, you’ll know the cause behind it. The only way to beat Daesh convincingly, is to strangle them from their supplies. Stop the Turks buying their oil, stop Saudi Arabia selling them weapons and supplies, stop giving young men reason to join them. Without that crucial support, no militant organisation can sustain combat efficiency.
Another worry is what ramifications getting involved in Syria could have. With the Russians, Chinese and US all sending forces to the region, it becomes increasingly likely that this conflict will quickly escalate to something much worse. Every major war starts with a small scale conflict in a fiery region. The First World War is a prime example, escalating after tensions in the Balkans and culminating with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sarajevo. That sparked the First World War, so what will Syria spark? We know that Russia and China back Assad, we know that the West backs anti-Assad rebels – as long as they’re not Daesh – and we know that everyone is against Daesh, apart from Turkey and Saudi Arabia who seem quietly supportive. Its a relatively small region for such a large conflict with so many ‘players’ so ‘friendly’ fire incidents and worsening tensions are bound to happen. The consequences of this are something that doesn’t bear thinking about. Are we heading down a much worse path than it seems. Most of those supporting these barbaric strikes are comfortable with doing so largely because the danger doesn’t effect them, they don’t have to worry about bombs hitting their homes and killing their families, but if this escalates, what some may call ‘poetic justice’ – I personally wouldn’t call it that – may occur. Those people supportive of the bombing are also the ones that seem most outwardly concerned about the lives and well being of British service men and women, which everyone should be really, its their bravery that keeps us safe at night. However, these people don’t seem to realise that they are sending ‘our troops’ into danger by doing this, if a British Typhoon goes down then it will be mourned nationwide, without the realisation that it wouldn’t have happened without the bombing raids. Even wider, if this conflict escalates, normal people will get dragged into this; for example, me, my brother and all of my friends are well within conscription age should this conflict escalate. I don’t mind putting my life on the line to protect Britain and everyone I love – I had two great-great Uncles killed in the First World War, to fight is in my blood – but if its as a result of this ridiculous, pathetic and illegal war (Assad has not invited UN support into Syria so this is technically an illegal war) then I will be more than cheesed off about being blown up by a Russian mortar whilst trying to protect the outskirts of Munich.
As a side note, I should point out that I hope the bombs do smash straight into Daesh targets and somehow totally avoid civilian areas – obviously won’t happen but what can we do if we don’t hope? Daesh are vile, fascist murderers and deserve the die a slow painful death, but this bombing campaign will not bring that eventuality about, history has proved that time and time again. 340,000 people have already died in this conflict. Three hundred and forty thousand. Let that number sink in. Trying to claim these attacks are justifiable due to the murder of Alan Henning or the attacks in Paris doesn’t work, logic doesn’t allow it. Bombing campaigns like this will just cause more of these horrific events to happen.
I’m currently fuming with anger about tonight’s happenings, and I can only hope and pray that the innocent civilians caught up in these raids can forgive this country and those of us that are powerless to help, we are not worthy of our place on this planet. It won’t be Daesh that suffer from these attacks, it will be Syrian civilians, who are sick and tired of warfare and just want to live their lives. Its Syrian blood we’ll have on our hands.
May you stand strong, comrades. It appears there may be dark days ahead.