Hello again readers, I come to you today from the land of regret, as nice as Guinness is, in large quantities it is not a good idea. As I was out last night, it meant that I didn’t have the time to put much up, but I’m sporadic enough as it is that I am sure you’re all used to it. As you may have discerned from the title of this post, I am wanting to talk a little bit about Syria today, more specifically the prospect of Western involvement in Syria.
Yesterday morning, the UK Parliament was recalled from its summer recess to debate the UK’s involvement in the Syrian civil war following the suspected use of chemical weapons by government forces. Talking to the media, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that the world “could not stand idly by” and that the government was considering military options to intervene in the situation. Mr. Cameron also added that any force used must be “proportionate and legal”. The US government has also been looking into the possibility of military operations in Syria, but are “not considering regime change”.
To me, this all sounds stunningly familiar, the US having talks with the UK about intervening in a country thousands of miles from their shores, the insisting that everything will be “legal”, even the recalling of parliament from its summer recess, this is exactly what started Iraq off. Never mind the fact that the size of Britain’s army has dropped from 140’000 to 85’000 in the past five years. Never mind the fact that we have more horses than tanks. Never mind that the people of this country do not want another excuse to send their sons to die thousands of miles from home. Britain clearly has interests greater than its people over there.
Many people I have spoken too remain optimistic; “Ach well, they’ll never pass it through parliament.” “After Iraq, the people won’t let them do it.” Sadly however, the people don’t get a say in this, Labour leader, Ed Milliband has said that his party will support the government on this one. One can only hope that it is a free vote and enough MPs have a spine to say “no” to intervention. And of course the people don’t matter either, before the invasion of Iraq, one million people marched down Whitehall to protest the war, it was the largest single demonstration in British history, and it was ignored. So, it looks like the UK and the US are going to end up in Syria, despite anything their people say, but what about the rest of the world?
Well lets start with the middle east itself and with one of the more influential middle eastern states, shall we? Iran has warned the US of a “conflict that would engulf the region.” The grim warning came from Tehran following the US saying that it could not ignore the “undeniable evidence” of the use of chemical weapons. A spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that the Iranian government was resolved to defending Assad’s regime. He added; “We want to strongly warn against any military attack in Syria. There will definitely be perilous consequences for the region,” … “These complications and consequences will not be restricted to Syria. It will engulf the whole region.”
With the political collapse of Egypt over the past number of weeks, Iran is now one of the middle east’s most powerful and influential states, and where it goes, many of the other nations are likely to follow. Except, however, Saudi Arabia, a nation still firmly cemented to Islamism and in support of the Islamic fundamentalist Syrian rebels. Saudi Arabia, who claim to have control over the Chechen terrorist sects in Russia said that if Russia pulled away from Syria and withdrew support for Assad, they could “guarantee the safety of the Winter Olympics”. With tensions between Russia and the West already stretched precariously tight, the threats from Saudi Arabia are hardly likely to help – Russia has never been very good with threats.
This, of course, brings us hurtling into the realms of Russia, a country whose government has backed Assad’s regime with considerable weight for some time now. The Russian government, whilst not going so far as to openly say that they would attack the US, have been making their voice heard on the issue too, calling for the UN weapons inspectors to be given more time and claiming that it makes more sense that the Rebels would make use of the chemical weapons in order to derail peace talks.
The Russian government have also said that any involvement without the consent of the security council would be “a grave violation of international law”, and that the way the west were playing with the middle east is akin to “a monkey with a grenade.” Whilst there has always been some sabre rattling on both sides, things do seem to be getting slightly hotter with China and Russia stepping up their warning levels considerably.
In fact, the European Union Times ran with the headline “Putin Orders Massive Strike Against Saudi Arabia if West Attacks Syria”. Now whilst the EUTimes is hardly the most reliable of sources and this story sounds insane, it does stand up. Saudi Arabia have threatened Russia, as mentioned above, but the Saudis do a lot of oil business with the west too, an attack on Saudi Arabia would make strategic sense to shake the west.
The thing here that shakes me the most of the sheer scale of this issue and what it has turned into. We have a civil war in a country thousands miles away that really is none of our business, and yet we are getting involved, and because we are getting involved other countries are piling in too. I hate to sound so cynical about the whole thing, but it really isn’t our problem; civil wars are wars between two opposing groups in one country, not an international affair, they are essentially internal politics.
With our biased coverage from the BBC, no one really understands the Syrian conflict, the government have likely found some shiny things in there that they want, but they probably don’t understand fully the situation either. It simply is not our place to get involved, and it is quite simply wrong for our government to ask our soldiers to go and fight a war that is none of our business.
The West has already fucked up the middle east enough, the US and the UK have funded terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to further their own interests in the region, then when things got a bit too messy, they went in again and fucked the places up further, disposing of the groups they funded beforehand to put a new government of their choosing in place. The US says it’s against regime change, but so far the west has instigated regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and, most recently, Libya.
I know, I’m ranting here, but I cannot convey to you how angry I am at this whole affair in the words I have at my disposal. It seems utterly stupid, it seems wrong on so many levels, and yet it seems that we are going through with it. The world has turned the molehill of Syria into a mountain that now dominates the political skyline, but the more we add to this mountain, the more unstable it’s going to get until it collapses and buries us all under a massive pile of shite.
I sincerely hope that when the commons goes to vote on this issue tomorrow, that enough of the MPs have a spine to stand up and say “no” to this ludicrous affair being taken any further.
So yes, rant over, I suppose. As usual do feel free to leave your comments below, thanks for reading.