An explanation of why what happens in Syria really ought to stay in Syria; and the disastrous consequences which could result from Western intervention.
By Kieran Winterburn
Tension is rapidly mounting between the western nations and Syria, with the former facing pressure from the public and the media to launch some form of response to the alleged chemical attacks used by al-Assad’s regime four days ago now. It is suggested by videos appearing regularly online via sites such as YouTube as well as testimonials from victims at the site of the suspected attacks in Damascus that the regime employed the use of poisonous gases in missile form to wipe out huge numbers of people. Suspicion was further mounted when they refused UN inspectors (already in the country to inspect alleged attacks on a different occasion) immediate entry to the area with the idea being that they were procrastinating and buying time in order to allow the evidence of any attack to dissolve itself and be corrupted by the on-going shelling’s and non-chemical combat.
Whilst it is a perfectly acceptable and humane response to want to provide immediate intervention when we see images of young children suffering torturous and brutal deaths, the images of their young bodies convulsing or otherwise lying still and lifeless, this is not necessarily the best way to handle the disgraceful and sickening treatment of innocent civilians. Below I’ve provided ten reasons that explain why intervention doesn’t equal prevention and the disastrous consequences that may result from any attack.
- Firstly, and I have listed this one first not because I believe it most important, in fact of all it is the least important, but it is still a factor nonetheless; war costs money, money which comes from the tax payer and it is not exactly an investment. It is the use of British funds to aid and abet the slaughter of thousands of people. Whilst it is easy to suggest we intervene when the deaths which result may involve vague faceless beings we’ve neither met ourselves nor will ever even hear of, that does not make the crime any more forgivable, ultimately murder is murder no matter how it is packaged. It makes sense in a sick and perverted way to invade countries such as Iraq whom have assets which we can then claim after successfully overthrowing a nations regime and this is why politicians do not hesitate in doing so, don’t fall yourselves into believing they’re bothered about the deaths of anybody without the power to elect them. Syria, however, has no such assets and an invasion or otherwise attack of their nation is financially redundant.
- Two wrongs don’t make a right. If anyone can explain to me indisputably why the murder of more (often innocent) people will result in a desirable outcome I hasten them to do so in the comments section below. Truly this infuriates and astounds me every single time a government suggests war as the solution; of course I accept sometimes there is no alternative, WW2 for example, yet this does not mean it is the answer to every dispute. In Britain corporal punishment is not employed, when someone breaks the law they face a fair trial and after being found guilty (which must be proved, otherwise they are presumed innocent; a trend which seems to have suffocated under an overwhelming desire to assume everybody is guilty in every instance, with the alleged chemical attacks being a prime example) and should they be found guilty they then face a punishment fitting of the crime, e.g. a fine, community service, or imprisonment. Never would we use violent means as a way to deliver this punishment, so why is this same approach not applied to international occurrences? Why is Syria not facing a trial of some kind, legal ramifications? Instead of the threat of bombs dropping on their nation. Of course, the UN attempted to investigate, which is precisely the problem – attempted.
- Al-Qaeda. The simple fact is that nobody wants to see Syria fall to the hands of al-Qaeda, not even those fighting al-Assad – the rebellion group Farouq Brigades have stated if al-Qaeda gained control a second rebellion would form against them. if that were the case it would simply be a shift of evil murderous ruling over to slightly more evil murderous ruling, and I certainly do not wish to be part of a nation which assists in that process. There should be no circumstance in which Britain, America, China, Russia or any other country for that matter ever considers working alongside al-Qaeda, I said earlier war is rarely the solution and I stand by that but in this instance – the war on terror – there is a deeper and much more profound ideology embedded in the notion, it is not a war on the people of al-Qaeda, the Taliban or other Islamic extremists, it is a war on terror itself, the idea of being afraid. Never should anyone feel scared to live in their country, to go to the shops or to ride the tube or plane and allowing al-Qaeda the power to rule a nation is physically inconceivable, it simply cannot be allowed to happen and therefore the US and Britain should not be considering acts that will provide them with the means to snatch authority from under the feet of the lesser of two evils.
- Russia, Iran and China are allies of the regime, attacking Syria will be seen as an attack on these three nations as well; potentially, although most likely not, providing the fuel for a World War Three. Any risk of such inflammation is not a worthwhile one.
- It’s not been long at all since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq; our militaries need and deserve a break, violent and unnecessary conflict is not the way to provide this. Ultimately the West has no place being involved in this dispute, it is a civil war and escalating it by throwing our weight around is only going to worsen the situation.
- There is no evidence to suggest that it was definitely Assad’s regime that was responsible for the chemical attacks, in fact when you consider the circumstances it seems extremely unlikely. At the time of the alleged slaughter UN officials were entering the country to inspect crimes of a similar nature; surely the government wouldn’t be so stupid as to repeat the attacks on a greater scale in the blatant vicinity of the very people assigned to investigating them. And why now when they have gained the upper hand, they seemed to be establishing a confident lead over the rebellion, why risk that by involving western intervention? Does it not seem more likely that al-Qaeda, who have proven what they are capable of countless times over, would be willing to wield the hand of murder once again in order to produce negative propaganda and finally trigger the attacks from the US that they so desperately crave? Yet it must also be said that it is unlikely the organisation has the necessary tools and forces to carry out such an attack.
- The power to end the war doesn’t lie with us, so why cause more unnecessary suffering in pursuit of something which is, at least for now, unobtainable. We only have to look at the constant fighting still happening in Iraq and Afghanistan to see that blowing people up isn’t the solution, sending aid to neighbouring countries who can then help the people escaping the conflict is a far more efficient and deserved use of money. Spend funds on saving lives, not taking them.
- The opposition does not control any sufficient areas of the population to make air strikes a viable solution. Whereas in Libya the rebel organisations were occupying huge areas and simply needed assistance to cut off the stranglehold Qaddafi had on them. Allowing them breathing space and a chance to take advantage of the progress they had made. Syria is not like this. All of its opposition is divided and being crushed under the loyal army of Assad and any airstrike will not provide the necessary assistance for the rebellion to get the kind of foothold it desperately needs.
- Much of the remaining opposition have no interest in democracy, those who were fighting for democracy have fled to surrounding countries and now generally those that remain are the Islamic extremists.
- The nation is vastly sectarian with a makeup of many different groups: Sunni Muslim 74 per cent, other Muslim (including Alawite, Druze) 16 per cent, and Christian (various denominations) 10 per cent, this means any attempt to arm the rebels may result in sectarian conflict as seen in Iraq, with various groups beginning to fight for ethnic cleansing resulting in what could potentially be a far higher death toll.
It is essential that any response must be level headed and in the best interests of all nations involved. Of course the response seen so far has been understandable; we’ve seen children suffering a fate that nobody should ever suffer. But as I’ve said many times throughout this article, more murder is in no way the solution. There is no easy solution and no quick fix. Throwing money and bombs at the people suffering doesn’t make the problem go away and in many ways only serves to escalate.
If you disagree with anything I’ve said or have thoughts of your own to share I welcome all contributions in the comment section below and would urge you to speak out.
Follow Kieran on WordPress to read more on similar issues.
- Russia warns West over ‘illegal’ Syria intervention (telegraph.co.uk)
- 15 Signs That Obama Has Already Made The Decision To Go To War With Syria (stateofglobe.com)
- Comment – Bombing Syria is about analysing pros and cons of intervention and weighing up alternative options; something that no government is seemingly taking the time to do (kieranwinterburn.wordpress.com)