The use of chemical weapons in Syria has shocked and appalled the world, well, some parts of the world. America and Europe blame the Syrian regime, probably correctly. Something must be done! But what?
Military action seems to be the preferred option now. We are heading for war. Not ‘boots on the ground‘, you understand. We will not be putting our soldiers at risk. Just as we were not putting soldiers at risk in Iraq and Afghanistan. This will be limited. This will teach Assad a lesson. He will learn from this.
It’s a pity we never learn. There is talk of bombing, using cruise missiles from ships in the Med, keeping things at arms length. Then what? A quick burst of bombing has never solved any situation. The sad thing is that when you bomb people they rarely just sit back and wail. They usually have the timerity to shoot back.
When they shoot back there will be casualties, captured airmen, dead heroes. Once blood has been spilt there is no going back. A blood sacrafice has been made and we can not dishonour the dead by walking away and making their sacrifice all for nothing.
Remember Afghanistan? Why not just bring our troops home? Because the sacrifice of the dead would be for nothing. So what will be the point of the dead and maimed? What will we achieve? What will be the limit of our involvement?
What about the men, women and children who will be killed and maimed by our actions? Remember Iraq? Remember the ‘surgical bombing’ that cut out civilian casualties? Don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraquis killed there.
And, while on the subject of Iraq, look at the state of things there now, chaos. We caused it and we left it there.
Make no mistake, the politicians find it very difficult to walk away. Syria is well armed and will not be a sitting duck. Once you go to war it takes on a life of its own. You become a prisoner of the war. Try as you might, it is very difficult to get away.
Where are we to find the resources for this action? We have cut back on the airforce – no Harriers. We have scrapped the last of our carriers and literally smashed up the almost finished Nimrods. Who do we think we are kidding?
Threatening war when we are cutting back our forces, making soldiers redundant is just a joke. Nobody is going to tremble at our threats. Better not to make them.
Time to wake up and recognise that we can not and should not go to war. That does not mean we should stand by and do nothing. We complain that we can not bring diplomatic pressure to bear because of Russia and China. Why not bring some pressure to bear on them?
China’s economy is booming because we buy the goods. We could easily stop that. Perhaps we could even make them ourselves. If we want to take action then we must see there is no easy course. Face up to the hard reality and face up to Russia and China.