The British government joined America’s military action against Syria. So, we were hurling Cruise Missiles on Syria. It is no surprise. Theresa May has no control over domestic affairs and a nation divided by Brexit. And Donald Trump is faring little better under Mueller’s investigation into Russian links and more allegations of sexual impropriety. So, the oldest trick in the book is to galvanise the people with a good old fashion war. May and Trump said they would take military action because they believe that President Assad of Syria used chemical weapons. And they have justified their action on humanitarian grounds. Trump says he is ‘moved‘ by the suffering of the children. But their justification for war is inconsistent with their foreign policy. And what they seek to do by taking military action is unclear.
It is difficult to reconcile Trump or May’s current ‘humanitarian’ position. Their policies toward Syrians have been callous. Trump had no problem with ‘Looking Syrian children in the face’ and telling them to go home. Nor in blowing them up in his 2017 missile attack. May shut down the Dubs Scheme. An agreement Britain made to house Syrian refugee children. Moreover, it seems that it was Britain that sold the chemicals used in Syrian chemical attacks.
But the humanitarian duo appears oblivious to the Israelis brutal killing of Palestinians or Saudi Arabia killing civilians in Yemen. And it is Britain and America that sell Saudi Arabia the arms they use to kill people in Yemen. The countries are close allies and arms deals with Saudi Arabia are worth billions. So, Britain and America overlook Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses.
Lack Of Evidence
Currently, there is no reliable source or independent evidence that there was a chemical attack in Douma. Jaish al Islam, an anti-Assad faction, made the allegation but they also stand accused of using chemical weapons. And anti-Assad factions are a very dubious source.
Nor have the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons started work in the area. So, the claim of chemical warfare is an unprovable allegation. Yet May and Trump find that an acceptable level of proof to bomb Syria. I thought Britain respected the rule of law.
The rush to war frightens me because war has no boundaries. Even Trump’s “new ‘Smart’ and shiny bombs” will kill Syrian civilians. They might also kill Russian soldiers. Russian machismo would demand that Russia retaliate. And as the murder of Archduke Ferdinand in Bosnia led to World War One, so the killing of a Russian could lead to world war three.
So, with the best will in the world, even a targeted attack on Syria could have a catastrophic effect.
When America bombed Syria in 2017, Trump said ‘It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread of chemical weapons’. But, if it is true that Assad has used chemical weapons since 2017, bombing is certainly not a deterrent!
But let’s not overlook that when Trump bombed Syria it was an illegal act. Syria was not attacking America. Nor did the United Nations sanction America’s action.
There are far too many inconsistencies for any of us to be comfortable with bombing Syria. What is clear is that Syria is in a protracted civil war. The ruling Alawites Muslims (Iranian backed) are a minority in a Sunni Muslim (Saudi backed) dominated country. So, Western intervention will not stop Syria’s long-running tribal war between Islāmic factions. It will, however, prolong it.
The only thing I see the bombing of Syria achieving is more dead Syrians and the West’s favour increasing in the eyes of Saudi Arabia.
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