There should be no doubt that the situation in Syria is beyond dreadful. The country is torn apart by an escalating civil war in which chemical weapons have been used on an innocent populace. It has yet to be established which of the warring factions employed these weapons – it is presumed by many that it was government forces.
There is no doubt that they were used. So who sold them? Why are chemical weapons allowed to be manufactured and sold – especially to unstable countries? When you sell a cooker – you know its going to be used for cooking – when you sell a boat you know it is going to be used for sailing – when you sell a chemical weapon you now it is going to be used to attack, kill, maim and poison people.
It will not help those people who died in Syria last week – but I propose the United Nations grow a set of B*LLS and ban the manufacture and sale of Chemical weapons and their constituent parts.
The British people spoke loud and clear last week when the government motion to join with the USA in attacking Syria was defeated in the House of Commons.
David Cameron and his ego badly miscalculated and mismanaged the vote on the motion and the opposition Amendment. If he had voted on his motion first and it failed there was still a chance that the opposition amendment would have passed – although that is also in doubt. For once I am glad he is inept. A government has never been defeated in a Commons vote on a military intervention in modern times.
He also miscalculated on several other factors.
He thought he could get away with the “dodgy dossier” trick – sorry that was a one trick pony and it belonged to Tony Blair and George Bush. The British public were not going to swallow that one again. Now Mrs Thatcher has passed away Mr Blair has probably taken up the mantle of being the most hated ex Prime Minister still living for his part in the Iraq war.
The sheer number of daily emails flooding into MP’s mail boxes – all with the same message – not in our name. We do not want to go to war. We cannot afford to go to war. We are in a recession, you are cutting all our services – we want our services not another war.
Which leads me onto my next point and one that deserves making. Mr Cameron and his government have stripped away the UK’s welfare system – they have stripped it to the bone. The sick and the poor are being demonized and in doing so they have stripped the British populace of compassion. They no longer have compassion for the most vulnerable people in society – the sick and disabled, those who are unable to find work and the old and the dying. This of course meant he was not able to use the compassion card either. His governments fostering of the “I am alright Jack” attitude has come back to sting him in the tail.
I know that I and a huge number of my countrymen all of a sudden found a reason to be proud of being British when that motion was defeated.
The way forward is not easy – on one side you have a government accused of using chemical weapons – on the other you have rebels who are radical Muslims who hold very extreme views about their future society.
A friend of mine rather flippantly summed the situation up as follows…
“Britannia and Uncle Sam outside a Syrian Bar in which there is a fight. Britannia is hanging onto Uncle Sam’s arms as he struggles to go back inside. The caption reads “Leave ‘im Wayne, ‘e ain’t worth it.” whilst the Frenchman offered to hold Uncle Sam’s coat.”
I hope that the vote in the US congress will go the same way.
The US voting no is the next step but still leaves a horrible situation that needs humanitarian action to help those people affected by the civil war.
Back to the UN – it needs to step into its role to protect the citizens of Syria approximately eight million of them – one and a half million of whom have already fled the country and are languishing in refugee camps in neighboring countries – most of who have economic difficulties of their own and who are under severe pressure already.
The UN should be creating safe corridors through which they can escape – and eventually to achieve a ceasefire in the civil war and be providing shelter, food and humanitarian supplies to the refugee camps. Once those route to safety has been established – then and only then should they try and start the peace process. Their focus must be on providing a safe exit for the men women and children of Syria.