Syria: Shock as Parliament makes correct decision

There seem to be quite a few armchair generals demanding that we get militarily involved in Syria. They seem to be a bit short on some quite important details, though.

Not least of all: How? Sending in troops to yet another decade-long tribal squabble in the Middle East? I don’t think so, I have too much respect for our troops for that. Piling in cruise missiles to take out Assad’s military? Then what? Most of the rebel factions are al-Qaeda so we’d be replacing Assad with al-Qaeda. Not sure the Syrian people are better off under their tender, loving rule. A no-fly zone? Have those ever actually achieved anything?

What’s the end-point? What’s the timetable? How do we stop al-Qaeda moving in afterwards? What about reconstruction? All these and many more equally vital questions remain unanswered, not least of all the results of the UN inspectors visit. Rushing in now like some sort of half-arsed Rambo is pretty much guaranteed to make a bad situation a lot worse.

We have to stop rampaging all over the world like we own it and start to grow up a bit. Otherwise we end up behaving as badly as we did in Iraq (where, for the memory-impaired, Saddam gassed many thousands of his own people and we did sweet eff-all). Seven hundred thousand Iraqis lost their lives in that little adventure and the place is still little more than the Middle Ages with electricity. We achieved nothing there, and we won’t here either.

I would consider it tantamount to abuse of our military people. A frivolous, pointless piece of political posturing that leaves our people once again directly in harm’s way for absolutely no real benefit, trying to fix a problem that poses no threat to us.

It really is time we started letting some of these places sort their own problems out. Where’s the incentive to, if we keep riding over the horizon with our shiny, destructive toys every time there’s a squabble? We’re not the world’s policemen, even if our politicians’ egos won’t let them admit that.

Yes, it’s bad for the people caught in the middle. But they’re the people who should be sorting it out. Egypt has shown an effective model for doing that – get the military on the people’s side and get them to clear out the bad guys.

The trouble with Syria is that who the bad guys are is, as yet, unclear.

The risks to, and from, Israel have also not been properly analysed. That particular elephant in the room has been largely forgotten so far.

No. There are far too many unknowns to be throwing our people’s lives away yet. Parliament made the right decision tonight.

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About Paul Harper
These posts represent the collected thought of Paul Harper. Usually rants, occasionally lucid, always easily ignored. Read, don't read, your call!

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