All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

(234 Posts)
difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 22:47:07

AIBU to think that is what has happened in the House of Commons this evening?

Having listened to the debate today I am truly shocked and saddened by the outcome.

YABU. The intent of the House is not to do nothing. It's to do the right thing. Knee jerk violence won't help.

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 22:55:02

No, it is to do nothing. The plan was to revert to the HoC again prior to any action being taken. The outcome of tonight's vote means that second vote won't happen.

daisychain01 Thu 29-Aug-13 22:58:27

Totally agree, northern and if we 'wade in' there like we did with Iraq, we wouldnt be learning the lessons from (recent) past. That would really hack people off!

thebody Thu 29-Aug-13 22:59:19

my gut feel is that we do not want to be in the position, again, of a western power interfering in a Middle East country. we bomb them and there will be further casualties.

other Middle East countries need to be in board and supporting this, The Arab League etc.

the use of chemical weapons is dreadful and God knows where this will end.

mumofthemonsters808 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:02:11

Well I'm exceedingly pleased that time is being taken to decide the right course of action. We must learn lesson from the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain can not police the world.

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 29-Aug-13 23:03:18

Thank god lessons have been learned at last. I'm just disappointed the majority was so small. I can't see how anybody could stomach our forces and civilians still being killed in 5 or 10 years just to leave the place in a possibly worse state than it was.

Orianne Thu 29-Aug-13 23:04:31

I agree with thebody.

ArgyMargy Thu 29-Aug-13 23:05:10

Mumofthemonsters has it spot on. Who decided we were the police? This is an issue for the UN, not the UK.

SubliminalMassaging Thu 29-Aug-13 23:07:09

No good can come of us invading/bombing yet another muslim country at this stage. What is happening is awful, but if it needs intervention let someone else do it for once. It doesn't have to be Britain, it doesn't have to be America, crikey, anyone would think there are only two nations outside of the Middle East. There are plenty of other countries out there with armed forces watching, and feeling equally appalled. Let them sort it out. No-one will thank us in the long run. It will just lead to more blame, and more crapola.

ShellyBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 23:08:15

It's a very poor situation. It's the fault of Labour that we are now going to stand idly by and watch a brutal dictator kill babies with chemical weapons.

No balls Miliband pandering to whatever he thinks people want to hear, rather than supporting the right course of action.

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:09:24

There was never an intention to 'wade in'. This was part of a process. This vote would not have meant military action. It would only have meant Britain being part of a number of countries to take action. That action would only have happened after a second vote. Because of the outcome of tonight's vote that second vote will not happen.

I'm ashamed to be British tonight.

PrincessFlirtyPants Thu 29-Aug-13 23:09:26


I think the greatest evil we can do is go to again and kill more innocent people. It breaks my heart to think of the devastation we have caused in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lets learn our lessons. It's a UN matter.

poppingin1 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:09:40

We don't even have clarification on who is actually using the chemical weapons so how would we be able to construct a viable entry plan when we don't know what or whom we we would be fighting and why?

Knee jerk action, as stated above, is not the way to go.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:10:12

I take it you'll be off to Syria, then, OP ? hmm

KissMeHardy Thu 29-Aug-13 23:10:25

How long would you hesitate to take action if this were happening in your neighbour's house? If your neighbour had slaughtered one of his children, would you debate and debate about stopping him slaughtering his other children?

It takes on a completely different tone if you imagine it happening in your own street.

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:10:52

Britain can not police the world.

Indeed we cannot. But if we take no action and do not participate in calling for a UN resolution then Edmund Burke's quote stands.

scaevola Thu 29-Aug-13 23:11:35

UK is a permanent member of UNSC. This vote will have an impact on what the UN is able to do. Even though it does not mean UK must veto UN military planning, the decision of non-participation in a legal UN backed intervention (which is what the vote boils own to) will make it harder to persuade other waiverers (such as China, who are considering veto) and Russia. And takes one major potential troop contributor out of UN planning.

ShellyBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 23:12:54

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last"

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:12:54

"This vote would not have meant military action. It would only have meant Britain being part of a number of countries to take action."

Hmmmmmmm. confused

What sort of "action" did you think was going to happen?

zatyaballerina Thu 29-Aug-13 23:12:58

yabu, dumping bombs on peoples heads, funding jihadists and fueling more war, more violence, more death is not better than doing nothing, 'good men' wouldn't even consider responding in that way. There are positive things that can be done to help the situation but the West has no interest because their concerns are regional hegemony, not peace.

nancy75 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:13:38

Is there any real chance that Russia would ever vote yes to UN intervention?

bunchoffives Thu 29-Aug-13 23:13:58

What would have happened if the HoC had voted for action?

They would have bombed 'strategic targets', like in Iraq, I suspect. Even with precision weapons many civilians were killed in Iraq.

Plus the politics of Syria is so complex and confused (and no one can know for certain who actually deployed the chemical weapons) that I'm not sure it would even be clear what the targets should be.

Personally I'm so relieved. I think military action could escalate the whole ME geo-political crisis.

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:14:19

Syria is no different to here. The people are no different. They are just like you and me albeit trying to make a life in a country run by a dictator. You would recognise their day to day lives as they were. I find it shocking that it is acceptable to not consider doing something.

scaevola Thu 29-Aug-13 23:15:18

What are the "more positive" options?

Impeding western hegemony sounds like typical rhetoric from the Chinese, but have they put forward other options?

PrincessFlirtyPants Thu 29-Aug-13 23:15:20

Yes, but kissmehardy the most likely outcome of us taking action against the neighbour in this scenario would be us killing more of his children to save some?!

Orianne Thu 29-Aug-13 23:15:23

Nancy75 - none whatsoever

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:15:30

As I keep saying but no one seems to read, this vote wasn't to take immediate military action.

And no there is no chance whatsoever of Russia ever voting to support UN intervention.

TSSDNCOP Thu 29-Aug-13 23:17:53

What I don't understand is when the UN are expected to return their verdict, and as I understand it that verdict is only likely to be whether WMD were deployed rather than who deployed them.

Why couldn't the motion and vote waited until that happened, surely by jumping the gun Cameron gave Millband the political reason to scupper the vote.

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:18:06

The outcome of this vote means it doesn't matter if there is clear unrefutable proof that the Syrian government has been gassing its own population, Britain will do nothing to support any action against this.

ShellyBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 23:18:13

Yes, but kissmehardy the most likely outcome of us taking action against the neighbour in this scenario would be us killing more of his children to save some?!

As opposed to just standing watching as the neighbour killed them all.

nancy75 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:18:35

Can someone explain, this vote was only that we could do something if backed by the un? The un need everyone ( including Russia) to agree, but Russia won't agree? So even with a yes from our government we wouldn't have been taking action anyway?

KissMeHardy Thu 29-Aug-13 23:19:22

So Princess - do we sit back and watch him systematically kill all of them then? Or, at least, kill all the ones he thinks don't agree with him?

poppingin1 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:19:50

Yes of course if a neighbour was killing his children you would step in. But in this situation we don't know who is killing these children, so would you knock on every neighbours door and take action against them without finding out first?

its a silly analogy and comparison.

Bisjo - we know what the vote was for. We also know that the ordinary people are just like us. What we don't know and nether do you is who did what in Syria last week. Nor do we know how many civilians could be harmed if you start dropping bombs on their cities.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:20:22

"This vote would not have meant military action. "

You seem to have discovered an "immediate" somewhere, OP....grin

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:20:37

I think that Cameron, minded of the legacy of Blair, wanted to appear transparent and above criticism, hence the two stage process. It has backfired spectacularly and I don't think Cameron or his advisors foresaw this outcome at all. Millband didn't scupper the vote, he lost his amendment.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 29-Aug-13 23:22:04

The situation in Syria is not like Iraq or Afghanistan.

It pains me that some people think all situations in Arab/Muslim countries are the same. It's dehumanising to those involved.

O.P, I have loved ones in Syria and ones who have escaped Syria too. They would be touched by your concern, they cannot believe what is happening to them and no one seems able to stop it.

All they wanted was exactly what the British parliament was able to do tonight - have the country lead by a democracy, to be able to discuss politics freely.

If you haven't been to Syria, it's hard to imagine how repressive the regime is. Assad's face was displayed everywhere, even if you were at home, if you wanted to discuss politics, you shut the windows first, these are just small examples.

You cannot imagine the bravery of the Syrian people in standing up and asking for change.

LatinForTelly Thu 29-Aug-13 23:22:55

I'm completely split on this. I agree that all the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan suggest that we should leave well alone. Our presence can only inflame. And yet, and yet . . . the suffering those people are enduring . . . can it really be right not to intervene?

softlysoftly Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:12

YANBU that we can't sit by and do nothing. This is absolutely not the same as Iraq and Afghanistan, there was no full scale slaughter there of their own people. Tony Bastard Blair and the US grab for oil in those countries have ruined people's palate now for action that does need to be taken. I never wanted Iraq, I absolutely want action in Syria.

Having said that YABU because going chucking bombs about doesn't seem to be a solution, who would you aim at? Who do you want in or out of power? There seems to be no supportable side. Its all such a mess where and how would intervention help??

FoundAChopinLizt Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:17

We are already doing nothing about children starving, dying from malaria, dysentery and other preventable diseases in large parts of the world. In general, there is a lack if awareness of all suffering, whether purposely inflicted or caused by lack of resources in a world where many have too much, which causes misery in itself.

<<disclaimer-have drunk a bottle of wine>>winewine

zatyaballerina Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:52

This week Russia's deputy prime minister tweeted that "the West is playing with the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade". That's the best description I've heard yet. Inflaming the entire region and risking World War Three is moronic to say the least.

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:24:13

Things I don't understand your point? There wouldn't have been military action after this vote. Sorry if my comment wasn't clear to you. If this vote had been passed there would have been another vote once the position was clearer (I assume once the UN inspectors reported) and at that stage that second vote would have been for the purpose of considering military action. Now Britain can't even participate in the discussion.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:25:39

Cameron, mindful of the legacy of Blair, knew that if the Govt tried any sleight of hand,dodgy dossier stuff, he would be slung out of office on his ear.

poppingin1 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:26:08

Yes of course if a neighbour was killing his children you would step in. But in this situation we don't know who is killing these children, so would you knock on every neighbours door and take action against them without finding out first?

its a silly analogy and comparison.

YokoUhOh Thu 29-Aug-13 23:27:01

Shelly and what of Syria's neighbours? Where are they in all of this? The answer is that they're propping up Assad's regime (along with Russia, who are flogging weapons to Assad's troops).

difficultpickle Thu 29-Aug-13 23:27:32

When military action does happen, which it will, it will simply be a shot across the bows of Assad. Senior US military have already made it clear that they see no US interest in doing anything in Syria to fundamentally change what is happening there as they won't support the FSA.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:27:41

The UNSC will never vote for intervention. This vote was about establishing a fig leaf of legality, WHEN military action starts.

LatinForTelly Thu 29-Aug-13 23:28:18

Very true, ChopinLizt

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:29:20

And what, exactly, is the FSA, OP? And why should the US support them?

Pilgit Thu 29-Aug-13 23:31:11

I agree OP. They have not just said no to sending troops in to support the US but also said no after evidence from the UN of chemical weapon use and the UN sanctions action.

ShellyBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 23:32:53


What's your point?

Is it that because you don't see others trying to help (which isn't true, by the way) we should just watch, too?

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 29-Aug-13 23:33:00

The FSA, or Free Syrian Army is a force composed of Syrians from across Syria. They are fighting to depose the Assad dictatorship and install a multiparty democracy.

<wonders if I am still writing in invisible ink>

BMW6 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:34:49

No-one can just go in and sort it all out. There is a terrible truth to be faced - each country has to evolve itself, over many generations, just as the West has (and continues to).
Thousands of innocent lives will be lost. Tragic and horribly inevitable.

The USA, GB, France et al are NOT the workd's police, nor can we impose our authority on any other country.

Sorry, but we MUST keep out of it.

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 23:36:51

YABU. Us trying to be world police hasn't worked out that well has it?

What's happening there might be horrific but it is nothing compared to the casualties that could occur if attacks on surrounding countries like Israel, Turkey or Cyprus happened. And heaven forbid we ended up in a war with Russia or China.

Incidentally the UN was set up for a reason and we shouldn't go against the UN, we wouldn't like it if Russia or China went after a country we tried to protect with the veto.

We have to get away from this idea that western countries can solve the problems of the world by going in and bombing the fuck out of everybody we disagree with.

BMW6 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:36:55

OMG I've just realised that basically it's the Non Intervention Directive from Star Trek.

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 23:39:42

Nancy75 the government believes it has a legal argument which proves that it can act without approval from the UN within international law. But it's one of those situations where they could probably argue that the sea was red and the sky was green if it suited their ends.

nancy75 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:42:49

Seasicksal, thank you for the explanation.

ShellyBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 23:44:22

I'm surprised at the number of people cluelessly posting about the UN (presuming they mean the UNSC), seemingly oblivious to its make up and purpose.


ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:45:23

"The FSA, or Free Syrian Army is a force composed of Syrians from across Syria. They are fighting to depose the Assad dictatorship and install a multiparty democracy."

Nope, definitely not writing in invisible ink, GoshAnne.

We wont mention the "Shock troops " of the FSA, eh ?

You know, the lads that want the restoration of the Caliphate, and Sharia Law..........

penguin73 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:46:42

People are incredibly naive if they honestly believe that there will be no UK military involvement in some form. One marginally defeated vote in the House of Commons will not prevent this when it is what the Government and its most powerful allies want, it will just be spun in a different way or will happen covertly.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 29-Aug-13 23:47:32

It's interesting the way everyone mentions Iraq and Afghanistan and not Kosovo or Sierra Leone or Libya.

scaevola Thu 29-Aug-13 23:49:07

This is the text of the motion that was voted down.

As you will see, it included both a commitment to return to the House for a second vote before any UK troops could participate, and was concerned only with legal, UN backed military intervention anyhow.

Lazyjaney Thu 29-Aug-13 23:49:09

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya.....

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 29-Aug-13 23:50:03

Things - the Islamist groups are JAN, ISIS and others. Not the FSA.
I know all Muslim types are probably the same to you, but there are differences.

Did you also see my comment up thread about life in Syria and exactly why the uprising took place?

edam Thu 29-Aug-13 23:50:38

I'm torn on this. It's probably too late now. If we had gone in to help the rebels far earlier, perhaps there wouldn't have been room for terrorist/extremist groups to enter.

It feels like we stood back and watched some time ago, and now I doubt whether there's much good we can do either going in or staying out. I just wish someone far wiser than me had the answer - something that could be done to help the victims of Assad's evil regime.

YokoUhOh Thu 29-Aug-13 23:51:03

Shelly my point is that you discussed a 'neighbours' analogy when we all know full well that the Syrian people have been abandoned by their neighbours.

I found this article by Hans Blix in The Guardian to be very informative and balanced:

I'm also appalled at the behaviour of the Tory front bench during the Syria debate: sniggering, really?

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 29-Aug-13 23:51:49

Holdme- that is because they are not very bright. Also because they think of Arabs and/or Muslims as indistinguishable untermenschen.

Elements of the FSA have been linked to brutal action though. There's nobody involved who has no blood on their hands.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 29-Aug-13 23:53:03

it is appalling that we are not doing anything how the fuck can we sit back after what we have seen on the news this week

though happy to barge into Libya and save our oil

i was so disappointed with Obama's speech last week, he himself looked ashamed

Lazyjaney Thu 29-Aug-13 23:53:09

The FSA, or Free Syrian Army is a force composed of Syrians from across Syria. They are fighting to depose the Assad dictatorship and install a multiparty democracy


HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 29-Aug-13 23:54:06

I think long wars that caused great loss of life stick in the mind more than quick bombing campaigns that saved vulnerable countries from crimes against humanity.

But it's weird that apparently nobody remembers them.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:54:27

How very patronising, GoshAnne.

It is very well documented that the Islamist groups are fighting alongside the FSA, and have been praised by FSA commanders for their bravery.

The FSA, as you will be very well aware, also stand accused of horrendous war crimes.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 29-Aug-13 23:54:54

Yoko - where do you think the Syrian refugees have gone? To their neighbours. Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Turkey, Saudi and Qatar have been supplying small arms to rebels, bigger shipments haven't been permitted.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:58:13

So it wasn't Muslims,amongst others, we were trying to protect in Kosovo, then, GoshAnne confused

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 29-Aug-13 23:59:08

Anything the FSA have done pales into comparison to what the regime has inflicted, this is the regime which fired on peaceful protesters - remember? The regime which has massacred whole villages, fires scud missiles on civilian populations, repeated airborne attacks and of course gassing. It is regime violence that people are fleeing, not the FSA.

No the FSA and Islamist forces are not indistinguishable either.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 00:01:35

Lazyjaney - Yes. Egypt is not Syria. Can you imagine how tedious it would be if every time you wanted to discuss the UK, someone talked about Spain instead, insisting that they were interchangeable Western European countries?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 30-Aug-13 00:02:43

Assad is insane: nothing will stop him using chemical weapons again if he can. It's doubtful he could be stopped from behaving like a maniac unless removed from power. Are we willing to do that And in the meanwhile, under western attack, the cruelty deepens?

It is wise to wait for the UN report. The Arab League could do more. The Arab League should take a mroe significant role if the United Nations fails.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Fri 30-Aug-13 00:03:21

I'm sure the postal workers that your wonderful FSA threw off the roof of their offices to their deaths would agree with you.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Fri 30-Aug-13 00:08:31

Things - protecting Muslims was only a side effect of getting involved in Kosovo, if it had been only Muslims it would likely be like what's now going on in Serbia with Roma being walled off and killed.

BMW6 - No country has "evolved" without outside intervention, least of all the Middle East whose current form was invented and carved up by France and Britain for their own gains which they still reap and still intervene when their ability to reap is questioned (see Iran). So many dictators are where they are by Western hands, the West allows their power because it supports the West's power. It's a bit late now to say we need to stay out of things.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 30-Aug-13 00:12:04

It doesn't make any difference re: Islamist militants. After Libya, thanks very much but we're going to bomb the American embassy anyway.

Lazyjaney Fri 30-Aug-13 00:14:26

Lazyjaney - Yes. Egypt is not Syria

Outcome will be the same - talk and dream of multi party democracy, reality of fundamentalist Muslim government.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Fri 30-Aug-13 00:16:40

Exactly, Crumbled.

No matter what the UK does, or does not do, somewhere down the line British people WILL die because of it. On holiday abroad, or on a bus at home. Bank on it.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 00:17:56

Things - Google doesn't bring any evidence from a credible source for that (rt doesn't count). Tell, me, what would you have the Syrian people do? Live under an increasingly inept dictatorship forever?

All opposition movement s in the country have been crushed for 40 years - this is where looking up Hama 1982 and Tadmor prison massacre help. This wasn't intended to be a violent revolution, but a peaceful uprising, the regime began the violence. What has formed in response has been via necessity rather then the luxury of advanced planning, I am sure there are many in the FSA who never imagined the situation they would be in.

I am sure there are some bad people in the FSA, as there are in all armies - does Robert Bales ring any Bales? But I support the aims of the FSA and I hope the depose the regime.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 00:18:45

Lazy - have you not been watching the news about Egypt?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 30-Aug-13 00:25:55

"No matter what the UK does, or does not do, somewhere down the line British people WILL die because of it. On holiday abroad, or on a bus at home. Bank on it."

True. Though when the Arab League could step up, and Saudi Arabia, goodness knows why we get the blame. Because they're mad as mad can be, probably.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 30-Aug-13 00:27:43

At least one opposition group has declared its affiliation to al Qaeda. Of any weapons sent by the west - some will be used by al-Qaeda. There is no doubt of it. Even army uniforms supplied by the west in Iraq-Afghan were used to kill allied soldiers. Russian weapons will be in alQaeda hands already.

GobbySadcase Fri 30-Aug-13 00:33:11

We've been 'sitting back' for years now. Why is everyone so fired up now?

Murder of innocents via other forms has gone on for years.

Couldn't have anything to do with oil?

I believe sitting back is the best course of action or the moment. We could easily start WW3 given the position of Russia and China.

I'm hoping we can be part of a solution that isn't military based - its not our fight.

mummymeister Fri 30-Aug-13 00:38:09

"act in haste, repent at leisure" two wrongs don't make a right or what about equal treatment eh. why is one bonkers dictator who is suspected of killing his own people so much worse than all the others out there that we need to wade in. sure its chemical weapons but whatever is used they still end up dead. the west goes in, sorts everything out apparently yet when they leave it is more of a mess than when they started.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 00:40:55

We could easily start WW3 given the position of Russia and China

Not a chance. None whatsoever.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 00:47:00

sure its chemical weapons but whatever is used they still end up dead.

Oh well, when you put it like that we might as well just let Assad crack on with his slaughter.


Have you seen that they're now using napalm?

Children being left screaming in agony with their skin peeled off.

hagle Fri 30-Aug-13 00:47:17

By the time we um and ah and vote (twice!), millions of people could be dead. The UN is a shambles, not fit for purpose. You need one person to say "we go in", or "we don't go in", and the results have to be on their shoulders. Committees just slow things down internably and allow any one person to shrug their shoulders and say "it wasn't my fault".

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Fri 30-Aug-13 00:51:34

GoshAnne - Robert Bales - life in prison, no parole.

NOT a place in the new regime.

Google "fsa postal workers roof "

Looks at least as credible as the YouTube footage of the gas attack victims.

I think, given Assads track record, that hopes for a "peaceful uprising" were at best hopelessly optimistic.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 00:52:40

The UN is a shambles, not fit for purpose

I could not agree more, hagle.

There are only 5 permanent members and since 2 of those are Russia and China there is not a hope in hell of a UNSC resolution.

MorphyBrown Fri 30-Aug-13 00:56:32

Who do you think sold them the weapons? Russia and China.

fabergeegg Fri 30-Aug-13 01:10:31

Can someone tell me what is a reputable charity to send aid to Syria? I feel we all should, really.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 01:23:35

Things - you could have said the same about Ceausescu's Romania. After all your huffing and puffing, all you have to say is that the Syrian people have no right to ask for democracy? Ridiculous.

Yes, Bales was tried and convicted, but then he is a soldier of a sovereign state, with the facilities to do so, Syria is in the midst of a civil war. My point about there being bad soldiers in all armies still stands.

Also you miss the point about YouTube footage, in the case of the postal workers it is not about what's happening, but about who has done it. Random videos only hosted by dodgy websites, aren't going to answer those questions.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 30-Aug-13 01:25:29

The man who ate the heart doesn't deny it.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 01:40:46

Carla del Ponte a UN human rights investigator back in may said

there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas by the rebels.

No one was interested in intervening then. This is a war with no good guys and bad guys. Just degrees of bad.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 01:40:58

Yes and the actions of that one man were widely condemned by the rebels. One act of cannibalism does not outweigh the evils done by the regime (I haven't even mentioned the shabiha yet), nor does it deny the right of the Syrian people to fight against dictatorship.

Seriously Crumbled, is that all you have?

I'll ask you, what you think the Syrian people should have done?

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 30-Aug-13 01:43:53

Although I hate to say it we cannot get involved in Arab conficts anymore.
The middle east have to start their own peace negotiations, there is fuck all we can do any more, nor do they want us too.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 01:45:57

cantspel - there has never been any proof aside from that one statement from her. Not that interested in debating with you anyway, all you have is Google and all you care about are your taxes.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 01:52:39

No one has said that they Syrian people dont have a right to fight against a dictatorship.

The question is do we have a right to interfere in another countries civil war.

And the answer is a resounding NO.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 01:57:42

But then there is the question of stopping genocide - which is what's happening in Syria.

Or does Never Again only apply in hindsight?

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 01:57:49

Gosh there will be no proof of who committed last weeks attacks either.

Yes i can about my taxes being used to interfere in something that is none of our business. Any help we should give should be limited to humanitarian aid only.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 01:59:26

Gosh i haven't seen you posting in support of strikes against north korea and they have been committing genocide against their own for longer than i care to remember.

Or is that ok as you dont have family there?

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 02:10:34

cantspel - that is incredibly low to try and bait me with my own family - you have proven why I didn't want to debate with you.

However to answer your question:

There is currently no active opposition movement in North Korea, there may however be opposition movements in exile. These movement s should be consulted with and any way of funding/increasing opposition movements within NK should be investigated.

Then methods of weakening NK regime in it's current state should be investigated. So nonviolent methods of supporting opposition are what is currently needed (and is almost certainly happening).

North Korea does not even bear the slightest demographic or historical resemblence to Syria, so I would not predict what would happen once an opposition movement becomes more powerful. Many Koreans North and South would like the countries to be reunited, that would have a huge factor in what occurs.

Mimishimi Fri 30-Aug-13 02:12:58

"The intent of the House is not to do nothing. It's to do the right thing."

Hahahaha!!! Someone is selling Assad, and the other side, those arms. Why would they want the conflict to stop? Same situation with Israel.

MistressDeeCee Fri 30-Aug-13 02:16:46

I agree Britain should not bomb Syria. But it breaks my heart that people are suffering and dying horribly there; why would bombing be the only option? There are other ways of helping. I feel UK & USA have no right to be the 'world police' anyway. On the other hand, it looks as if other middle eastern countries are happy enough to sit back watch atrocities happen and (apparently) not to get involved, then UK and USA take all the flack as ' western intruders '. Why cant the UN get more involved? Is there any point to that organisation, at all? They appear to unite nothing, and no-one. I just feel really sorry for the Syrian people.

MistressDeeCee Fri 30-Aug-13 04:15:56

I've just warched BBC (very graphic)news report on Syria. Sickening footage of innocent men women & children in hospital screaming, crying,shaking uncontrollaby, burns and swellings all over their bodies,rolling around on floor in fear and pain. Some with 50% burns, in agony waiting to die. & a tearful British doctor saying nobody cares about the victims. The world will sit & watch.

TheFallenNinja Fri 30-Aug-13 05:35:39

My worry is that we have just handed the Middle East to America. We now have no say whatsoever.

daisychain01 Fri 30-Aug-13 05:46:27

Bisjo, you are taking Burke's quote out of context! We are not standing there with our arms folded, we are not turning a blind eye, we are not absolving our responsibilities.

We are taking a correct, circumspect and measured approach by allowing UN to do the job that is their remit, not jumping the gun like we did with Iraq.

Too many times, we start a military action when we should not. We are still sending a powerful global message that the UK as a nation is intolerant of using chemical warfare on civilians. That intolerance does not necessarily have to be demonstrated by going in and dropping bombs or actual military action. Diplomacy is invariably (in the majority of cases) the most sustainable solution

It is your choice to feel ashamed to be British, but it is misguided shame!

AuntieStella Fri 30-Aug-13 05:51:35

I think that we've just made it impossible for UNSC to reach any form of consensus.

And with no need to consider UK (eg timelines for a second Parliamentary vote) the military planning for a US-led (limited? Punitive?) action becomes simpler.

daisychain01 Fri 30-Aug-13 05:53:57

Lazyjaney let's not write off the possibility of democracy in the long term for countries like Egypt. The road to democracy may be a series of faltering steps but it may still happen.

A country that has lived for centuries without it may require one or even two generations to adopt the principles of free votes but it may get there in the end. A country like Egypt is not as far away from democracy as we might think.

mignonette Fri 30-Aug-13 05:56:53

All those deeply troubled by this situation need to donate every penny they can afford to humanitarian relief.

I am troubled by the argument that humanitarian relief will merely bolster the Assad government and allow it to continue w/ its brutality but i cannot in all conscience sit back and just wait for change. I just do not know what to think about this situation. I do wonder whether our government and opposition are voting w/ one eye on impending British General Election though which would be morally repugnant.

I hope that any Syrian people domiciled overseas or w/ relatives there know that there are plenty of people like me, unable to sleep properly because we are so troubled by this who want to help.

Donate here.

Lazyjaney Fri 30-Aug-13 06:06:44

Lazy - have you not been watching the news about Egypt?

Very carefully - you seem unable to draw the clear lessons, and too able to swallow the feel good codswallop churned out for fluffy Westerners to believe. "Multiparty democracy" is a pipe dream.

I've also been watching the news about Syria - the evidence about their Government doing the gassing looks more like a Dodgy Dossier than a compelling case.

I completely agree OP. It makes me so angry - I want to bash people on the head. How can we possibly do nothing?

Upthread someone said this is not our fight......that makes me so sad.

Mimishimi Fri 30-Aug-13 06:25:59

The 'never again' slogan gets a bit old when it's our blood that is expected to shed over and over again in conflicts abroad which don't look likely to have any resolution. The atmosphere is becoming such that it could very well happen again due to people's frustrations with being expected to hand over their sons/husbands/fathers to the geographic and economic ambitions of those in whom we now have no trust whatsoever.

AuntieStella Fri 30-Aug-13 06:27:01

" How can we possibly do nothing? "

What do you think is the right and best thing to do?

Sirzy Fri 30-Aug-13 06:33:06

It's a horrible situation but I struggle to see how wading in with military action will achieve anything other than more innocent deaths - or is that acceptable if it is in the name of "peace"?

AuntieStella - I wish I had the answer. In theory, the UN should be the vehicle for any action, but the reality is that the UN is not effective.

I don't know....I have lived in the region, been to Syria many times, and studied the area at length....and I still have no idea...but I still want to bash people on the head.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 30-Aug-13 06:55:33

Is that all I have? Whatever do you mean GOSG?

You will simply have to understand that many people have seen their troops and their own people in their own country damaged and murdered by Islamist fanatics too many times for them to now want to hand them weapons and power.

It's as simple as that. Perhaps we have finally learned our lesson. You can read that as saying many people don't care about the suffering of children if you like. It won't be true. There are Islamist militants in the rebel groupings, many of them. Many of them have travelled to join the cause - a Islamist cause, not a free Syria cause. Would it alleviate the suffering of chlldren if we gave them weapons and power? Probably not. Would the weapons and power be turned against us in the end? Yes.

CaptChaos Fri 30-Aug-13 06:58:22

Until we know for sure who has done what (and let's face it, neither side comes out of this smelling of roses, do they?) who would you like to bomb? Which targets do you want to go for? Be sure now.

Lovely to know that everyone who wants military action will be banging on recruitment office doors this morning, clamouring to be allowed to go and put your ideals into action.


Then you are BVU.

MrsHoarder Fri 30-Aug-13 07:11:17

I would love to do "something" but beyond humanitarian support (disaster emergency committee) there is little that won't make things worse in the long run.

Its not like a neighbour because we can't call the police and have opposing factions put into jail. Its the fault of the western countries who created countries with no regard for who the residents would like to share a county with, but its not a wrong that we can right.

East Europe was easier: we had the carrot of EU membership as well as the stick of military action. What do you suggest we offer the middle

LtEveDallas Fri 30-Aug-13 07:23:44

This is probaby the very best outcome for Cameron and the Conservative Party. Cameron gets to act strong, caring and supportive of President Obama and the next time video appears on the news at ten with lines of dead kids, Cameron gets to say 'well, we wanted to take action to stop Assad doing this again, but her Majesties loyal opposition failed to support us in our efforts to do so'

For me it's less about what the Government says/wants, and less about what the British public says/wants. I listen to what my military leaders have to say, listen to their views and whether they believe this is an action we can/should take.

Current military leaders cannot be quoted, but look at the likes of Lord Dannet, Parry et al; soldiers and sailors who until recently were the head of the Army and Navy. They know 'our' abilities and their opinions come from the very people that would be doing the 'fighting'. In general terms they have said "wait out" "wait and see". I think that is a prudent course.

Lazyjaney Fri 30-Aug-13 07:24:27

Lovely to know that everyone who wants military action will be banging on recruitment office doors this morning, clamouring to be allowed to go and put your ideals into action

Don't be ridiculous smile

Everyone knows that the "we" in " we should do something" means "other people's sons"

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 07:27:27

BMW6 The Prime Directive worked, in fiction, because they were talking about other planets. They could just fly on by. This is happening not quite so far away and country borders aren't backed up, usually, by walls beyond a fence.

You can't live on a planet and have a 'non interference' policy. That way leads to nuclear winter.

The UK has just lost (most likely) allies, credibility and any sign of a strong government. I expect Cameron will step down before too long. He can no longer lead effectively, if he ever did.

Stinkyminkymoo Fri 30-Aug-13 07:32:24

I'm sorry, but YABU. What is happening in Syria is heartbreakingly awful, and I think something will be done, just not rashly this time.

There is also a chance, though minuscule, that it may not have been Assad and it could have been rebels to push other nations into war. You just don't know and therefore as a PP has said, we need to do the right thing.

Mixxy Fri 30-Aug-13 07:32:51

See this is the downside to continued Western policy of making the UN a toothless debating society. Because if ever there was a situation the UN was created for, it was this.

Great men already made the ultimate sacrifice so the UN could exist. But western powers, in particular the US have benefited from having it become a wimpy political tool rather its founding principles.

And AGAIN the powerless of the world pay for the power games of the rich.

SolomanDaisy Fri 30-Aug-13 07:33:16

I think it is probably the right decision for now and evidence that parliamentary democracy can still function properly. I suspect it also reflects the views of the British people too, including the closeness of the vote.

It is very difficult because the natural instinct is to help the Syrian people, who are clearly suffering terribly. It's just not clear that we know how to do that, particularly as the rebels are not always behaving well.

Sirzy Fri 30-Aug-13 07:37:54

I think it takes a stronger government to say "no, I don't think that's the right course of action at the moment" than it does to just follow others blindly.

(I realise I have just almost praised the government? What's wrong with me?)

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 07:42:22

Except that the government really made that decision before it should have been even called for a vote. They should have waited for the UN inspectors to finish, for one thing.

The truth is, no matter what Obama is saying, no one knows who 'threw' the chemical weapons. We know it happened. We know it's illegal. We have no idea who to punish.

So the US etc are going for the Syrian government, who are denying all knowledge, as they are an 'easy' target.

Cameron should have waited for the inspectors to finish before calling the vote.

He made another in a long line of bad decisions.

And I don't care what Obama is saying about 'we'll always love the UK as our allies' I'd bet a peanut butter sandwich that in the Oval Office? They are going "No fucking way you weak asshole."

AuntieStella Fri 30-Aug-13 07:47:13

The UN was nowhere near having a workable plan for military intervention.

But UK representatives at UN (and British diplomats in general) are now left stuck with a decision that, whatever plan the UN come up with, UK cannot contribute troops. And there is less chance of being taken seriously, on this or indeed on any other international issue, at UN or in any other forum, as it will no longer be clear that negotiating positions can be delivered.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 07:52:29

And still people say things like:

We should stand back and let someone else get involved for a change.

The UK and USA need to stop trying to be the world's policemen.

We should wait for the UN to decide what to do.

It's not the UN who have to do something, it's the UNSC. The UNSC has 5 permanent members. Just 5.

We are one of the 5. We've now ruled ourselves out of involvement.

Out of the remaining 4, two are Russia and China. Therefore the USA and France are now the only members trying to protect the Syrian people.

Do people really not understand that the reason it's 'always' us and the US getting involved is because we are all that people in need of protection gave got?

There is NOT going to be a resolution from the UN calling for action to protect the Syrian people. That is a fact.

Mixxy Fri 30-Aug-13 07:58:50

My point Auntystella, is that governments have succeeded in making the UN a worthless debate team, unable to respond to these types of situations.

AuntieStella Fri 30-Aug-13 08:01:38

There are 5 permanent members (with veto).

But a further 10 members on rotation, and decisions are made by the full 15. The other members at present are: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan,
Guatemala, Luxembourg, Morocco, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Rwanda and Togo.

Diplomatic efforts would have been made to secure support from all those non-permanent members. I doubt UK be a terribly persuasive interlocutor now.

PrincessFlirtyPants Fri 30-Aug-13 08:05:56

Lovely to know that everyone who wants military action will be banging on recruitment office doors this morning, clamouring to be allowed to go and put your ideals into action

Don't be ridiculous

Everyone knows that the "we" in " we should do something" means "other people's sons"

^^ this. This is exactly it.

AuntieStella Fri 30-Aug-13 08:06:32

One of the fastest ways of making UN toothless is to refuse to contribute the teeth (ie troops when UN calls for them). It was one of the big problems with UNPROFOR. UK cannot now participate in a UN force, if one were created for a mission to Syria (explicit in Government motion was that military action would be only if UN-backed).

Mixxy Fri 30-Aug-13 08:09:49

Oh I agree AuntStella. But here in the US, we would never send our troops in under a blue flag. Sad.

ResNullius Fri 30-Aug-13 08:11:16

Sadly, there is no 'acceptable' way for the UK to move forward on this issue. We were damned if we did, and damned if we didn't.

Of course there is moral outrage at events in the region - God help us if people ever become immune to such atrocities. As a nation, the British have prided themselves on being at the forefront of international politics, and of taking a lead. While accusations of playing lapdog to the US are understandable, the special relationship which has existed is rooted in two nations with very similar ideology and there can be little surprise that there is frequent agreement.
There remains "agreement" - at least by the peoples. The US populace show very little support for action in Syria, and US intervention has become a far more difficult course for Obama in light of the UK decision.

Historically, we have demonstrated a clear lead. Other nations have followed - for better or worse. We have withstood condemnation for some of those choices, and enjoyed accolade for others. The electorate has taken pride in its armed forces, and of the British role on the world stage, even when they have not approved of some actions.

Sadly, while current leadership may not yet have accepted the reality of the 21st century, the swell of public opinion seems to indicate that the populace are firmly realistic.

The UK is moving to become a bit player. The UK no longer has the resources to support action in multiple arenas, or to follow pre-emptive action with sustained presence.
We cut our armed forces massively.
We have an economy which is only now showing tentative signs of recovery, and still has the potential to tip into financial disaster if mishandled.
We cannot afford sustained overseas action.
We reap the result of previous actions in the Muslim world on a daily basis, and would be hard pushed to cope with any serious retaliative escalation caused by involvement.

In short, as someone who is about as proud to be British as one can be, last nights decision was the correct move for a country which is rapidly beginning to understand that we are no longer proud and defiant 'leaders' on the world stage - because we cannot afford to be.
No-one jumps up and down because Greece, or Ireland are not involving themselves as a spearhead response. They understand that where strong countries lead, others may be able to offer a limited following of support.

It is terribly sad, but the UK is one, small, overloaded, over-stretched, under-funded island which continues to trade with the big boys because of our history and determined presence. We no longer have the capacity or funds to start games in the wider arena, or dictate terms.

SubliminalMassaging Fri 30-Aug-13 08:15:48

I completely agree with everything you've said Res.

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 08:18:34

I have also been meaning to point out that the OP's title of the thread assumes the UK Parliament is made up of good men (and women).

I'm not always sure that's the case.

Yes Shelly - great post.

I still don't know which solution I am advocating, but I do have an issue with all the 'other people's sons' - I know that my DB and many many many of his friends are 'good men' who would not do nothing.

I don't think it's fair to impugn the members of the H of C. They had a debate, they listened and clearly people voted with their hearts, not on party lines. I haven't seen the breakdown yet but on newsnight they were suggesting that som Labour MPs had abstained and some Tories voted against the givernment. If that's true it shows a number of MPs viting on principle not party. That's commendable.

I don't want to see British bombs killing Syrian children. I don't want to see the UK government trying to pick a side - because whatever Gosh says I wouldn't put my worst enemy in the hands of the FSA. I don't want to see British servicepeople come home in coffins leaving behind them a fractured and fragile state that continues to implode. How are things in Afghanistan now? And how many incredibly brave British troops have died there?

thegreylady Fri 30-Aug-13 08:35:33

For those who want military intervention in Syria , or indeed anywhere else , do you have husbands,sons or brothers in the armed forces. If you do then fair enough but if not would you send your 19 year old to war in a country where the conflict is internal? There is no defense element in going to war in the Middle East. Our forces are already much reduced by cuts do we want more of our young men killed in someone else's war? We should help the Syrian people by political, diplomatic means. We should join in condemnation of the use of chemical weapons and send aid in the form on food, medicine and volunteers. More killing by those who feel they have God on their side" is not the answer-ever.

mignonette Fri 30-Aug-13 08:37:52

Plenty of women in the armed forces too. I do object to the 'good men' bit.

Please can people donate to aid appeals and encourage others to do likewise.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 30-Aug-13 08:42:14

We could easily start WW3 given the position of Russia and China

Not a chance. None whatsoever

Well ShellyBoobs, Russia has said that if we bomb Syria they will bomb Saudi Arabia. Syria and Iran will bomb Israel who will retaliate and what happens if one of the Russian missiles hits an American base?

There's something that puzzles me; we can't afford to feed our poor but we can afford to send the sons and daughters of our poor to kill and be killed in another useless war.

filee777 Fri 30-Aug-13 08:42:51

Proud to be British today for one of the first times in my life.

The government even SAID the vote was for military action so why people are trying to suggest it is anything different is beyond me.

We are not going to bomb Syria = good. Lots of people are bombing Syria = bad.

Us getting involved did not improve lives in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya because bombing people does not help them.

We do not have the power to help people currently, we are too blood hungry and too keen to bomb.

mercibucket Fri 30-Aug-13 08:59:28

we should all ask ourselves why syria is in the news day after day after day, and then reflect on what that means

it cant be in the news because children are being killed. sorry, but it cant. thats happening right now in a lot of horrible countries that we are not talking about bombing

i am glad milliband at least has learnt something from the last 20 years of invading places with oil or gas pipes running through them

hackmum Fri 30-Aug-13 08:59:51

With any military intervention, you have to be pretty sure a) that you know what constitutes a desirable outcome and b) that your intervention will achieve that desirable outcome.

Or to put it another way, you want to be certain that you're going to make the situation better rather than worse. Could we be certain of that in Syria?

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:00:52

Russia is sabre rattling. They aren't stupid enough to attack anyone as they know the US will destroy them.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 30-Aug-13 09:33:10

If the US use nukes against Russia then it will be mutually assured destruction, which is why, as Ahmoud Afterdinnerjacket said, nukes are stupid. There are no winners in a nuclear war.

difficultpickle Fri 30-Aug-13 09:34:48

I have also been meaning to point out that the OP's title of the thread assumes the UK Parliament is made up of good men (and women).

No, not at all. They are representatives of us. I would like to think that I would take action in the face of evil. I am sure that my MP (cabinet minister) voted in favour and saddened that others (MPs) have chosen to make this all about politics and Cameron's leadership.

angelos02 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:37:34

We are a tiny little country, not some super-power. Other countries must laugh at our pathetic posturing.

difficultpickle Fri 30-Aug-13 09:40:46

If the vote had gone in the government's favour last night it would not have led to immediate military action (rather sick of saying that on this thread). The vote was to suppot military action in principle if a large number of criteria were fulfilled, the leading one being a UN resolution in favour. If that resolution was made then only at that stage would there have been another vote in the HoC as to whether that proposed military action would be supported by Britain.

All the vote last night has done is completely exclude us from the debate. We can't even go to the UN and say we support action and encourage others to do so, which makes a UN resolution even more remote than it was this time yesterday (and that was very remoted indeed). As Mixxy pointed out the US will never allow its military forces to be under the control of the UN so all this has done is mean the US will take unilateral action without UN support. I can't see how that helps anything here.

miemohrs Fri 30-Aug-13 10:19:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 30-Aug-13 10:47:00

Tiny little country?

The UK has the fifth most powerful military in the world.

A military which has intervened successfully in numerous conflicts to protect weaker countries from crimes against humanity.

That doesn't mean they should do so now but it is frankly weird the way people are suggesting they are incapable of doing so.

Mimishimi Fri 30-Aug-13 10:49:23

Don't have the demographics in our favour, HoldMe. This is true of Europe generally though.

'saddened that others (MPs) have chosen to make this all about politics and Cameron's leadership

I don't think that's a fair conclusion to draw at all. The debate yesterday was NOT about politics. It was about what can be done, what is known and what results may be expected.

hackmum put it very well - you need to be sure you can get a result when you make a high stakes play. Not only are we not sure - we don't even know what basis we would be making the play on.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 11:36:39

We are a tiny little country, not some super-power. Other countries must laugh at our pathetic posturing.

Luckily that's rubbish.

We are still a hugely powerful country, militarily.

I'm proud that so many times throughout recent history the UK and it's armed forces have gone to the aid of persecuted people around the world, often in the face of adversity and altruistically.

Politicking (a la Miliband) while people burn is not something to be proud of.

It smacks of a lack of courage to do the right thing, while instead pandering to popular opinion.

That didn't make our nation what it is.

(For those talking about sending our sons to die. My OH is a former Royal Marines officer, (as I'm sure I've mentioned before on here in case anyone wants to imply that it's very convenient for my point) and saw active service in various conflicts, some if which have been mentioned in this thread. His opinion is that we would be a much lesser nation if we didn't have so many young men and women prepared to go to the aid of the persecuted. It's what the majority of people enlist to do. It's exactly why he did it).

filee777 Fri 30-Aug-13 11:43:35

How is bombing a country already being bombed 'the right thing'? We've not done 'the right thing' in any of our recent conflicts, we have not improved human rights we have simply left countries in tatters and given half the world reason to hate us. My children are more in danger because of the pompous and 'gung ho' actions of our forces and they would be in more danger if we raced into another middle eastern conflict all guns a blazing.

Like I said, the first time I have been proud to be British, finally we have learnt to say 'no'.

EsTutMirLeid Fri 30-Aug-13 11:48:14

I'm with the OP and ashamed that our parliament have decided against military action.

EsTutMirLeid Fri 30-Aug-13 11:52:34

And had my MP voted against I'd be asking him why and informing in that he wasn't going to get my vote again because he was not representing me in this matter. He didn't, he voted for action and for that reason I am glad I voted for him.

PoppyAmex Fri 30-Aug-13 11:52:50

"No one has said that they Syrian people don't have a right to fight against a dictatorship. The question is do we have a right to interfere in another countries civil war. And the answer is a resounding NO."

I agree.

The UK certainly didn't consider intervention when East Timor was illegally invaded by Indonesia and suffered 30 years of sustained genocide.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 30-Aug-13 11:58:07

It is a very tough call, not clearcut at all. I agree with RES when I read that post. But then I think of the holocaust and agree with the OP.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 12:01:26

...we have simply left countries in tatters and given half the world reason to hate us. My children are more in danger because of the pompous and 'gung ho' actions of our forces...

What you're proposing then is the appeasement of murderous dictatorships: carry on persecuting and murdering women and children, so long as you leave us alone.

Again I'll quote Churchill: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

filee777 Fri 30-Aug-13 12:06:14

shelley your point would hold weight if our interventions resulted in an improvement of human rights for anyone involved. They don't. My child's safety is a big reason why I dislike the military but given that nobody else's children are 'saved' by them it is a lost cause.

I don't think we should appease anyone, I think we should start regulating the arms trade much more stringently and publicaly.

That has a far better result than just 'freeing the shit' out of everyone.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 30-Aug-13 12:09:59

I don't pretend to understand the intricacies of what's going on with Syria at the moment, but surely there are more than two choices to decide between here.

I would be strongly opposed to the UK going into Syria with bombs, but why can't we give the other countries that are dealing with a huge influx of refugees some help? I think we would be better off helping neighbouring countries to deal with the problems that have been forced upon them, helping them to remain stable and helping them to deal with terrorists now in their country.

Personally, I am thankful that for once, our Prime Minister appears to be listening.

badtime Fri 30-Aug-13 12:23:06

" mercibucket Fri 30-Aug-13 08:59:28
we should all ask ourselves why syria is in the news day after day after day, and then reflect on what that means

it cant be in the news because children are being killed. sorry, but it cant. thats happening right now in a lot of horrible countries that we are not talking about bombing"

I could not agree more.

Terrible things happpen all over the world every day. It is very obvious when a government has intentions of doing something. An event which would have been mentioned in passing or actively downplayed previously is suddenly important.

People who have been saying that the situation is not like Iraq are entirely correct. When Saddam was gassing Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians in the 1980s, that was largely ignored because he was our guy, a nominal secularist fighting Islamists. In fact, the US tried to blame Iran for the Halabja massacre, even though they knew Iraq did it. hmm Just saying.

It was only when he pushed it too far and fucked with the oil supply that the West responded.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 12:28:29

I am very proud today to live in a genuine democracy.
We like to criticise our MPs and complain about some of their activities, but yesterday was an excellent debate on this very complex and painful subject. There were good speeches on all sides, and at the end they voted in a way that I believe represented what their constituents wanted.
I am sure we can help in better ways than going in with missiles and adding to the death toll.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 12:39:29

Again I'll quote Churchill: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Indeed. But how is that relevant here?
There is a bloodthirsty dictatorship fighting bloodthirsty rebels. Both are doing terrible things to their own people. Whichever side we supported, we'd be 'appeasing' the other.

Mimishimi Fri 30-Aug-13 13:01:44

Problem being that we fed the crocodile for many, many years anyway (as with Saddam) because installing and supporting tinpot dictators was (and still is) seen as far preferable than the dangers of nationalism/socialism/Islamism ... The Assads have been supported by US/UK and even, to some extent, Israel for many years now.

As far as I know, Assad does not have sweeping plans to invade neighbouring countries. The comparisons with the attempted appeasement of Hitler are not justified except that both were supported and funded by powerful banking interests.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 13:14:53

the Syrian government are vile, they have always been vile.

what do the rebels want? a democracy? one vote per WOMAN? an Islamic state? who knows.

often in the Middle East the dictators are vile and unfortunately the opposers are vile too, apologists for the second class treatment of women and girls.

where are the voices of other Muslim/ middle eastern countries here? Dubai? Saudi? Kuwait? the Arab league?

we wade in and we bomb, that leads to cry of western intervention and bombs in our streets.

why is it always is that wades in to sort this out.

over the Muslim world they are killing each other over being Sunni and Shiaa ? the internal hate here is shocking.

I desperately sorry for the innocent children here, the adults not so much.

badtime Fri 30-Aug-13 13:42:30

The other thing that is bothering me is that if I was a Syrian who had just lost a relative, I really don't think I would give a shit how they had been killed: bombs or bullets or gas, they would be just as dead.

However, once someone has used gas the situation is suddenly bad enough for the west to take notice and leap into action.

This shows that the international outcry isn't about Syria. It isn't about people dying or suffering. If it was, the thing that caused the death and suffering would be a minor detail.

I think the situation is so complex and entrenched that a kneejerk reaction to a particular incident would be the worst possible course of action. It would look like we didn't care about the people dying, we just cared about how they were dying, and if they had stuck to conventional weapons everything would be fine. I'm not sure that isn't a fairly accurate view of how the western governments feel.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 13:43:59

the Syrian government are vile, they have always been vile.

what do the rebels want? a democracy? one vote per WOMAN? an Islamic state? who knows.

Ask Iran. They are the major supporter of the rebels.
Their treatment of women is well known (under the control of men).
Their treatment of gays is also well known (slow hanging).

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 30-Aug-13 13:46:47

Whilst I'm totally against our action on many counts, I do wonder how this would be perceived if Blair hadn't done what he did. And profited. And is not now in The Hague facing charges.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Aug-13 13:48:47

I think this is in large part Cameron's failure to state a convincing case to Parliament that intervention would be effective to stop the regime using chemical weapons against civilians and that overall, intervention was better for the situation in Syria (and the wider Middle East) than doing nothing.

Military action in these circumstances is only the moral thing to do if it works to protect civilians. Cameron did not manage to persuade people that it would.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 13:48:55

SallyingForth, exactly.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 13:49:18

Blair is now holidaying on a luxury yacht in the Med, after flying there on a private jet. It's a hard life being a war criminal UN Peace Envoy.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 30-Aug-13 13:50:33

A multi millionaire war criminal sallying.

miemohrs Fri 30-Aug-13 13:57:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 14:01:26

Military action in these circumstances is only the moral thing to do if it works to protect civilians. Cameron did not manage to persuade people that it would.
Yes Eldritch. If Assad is responsible for war crimes then the only way to stop him is to kill/remove him. But Cameron specifically said it was not about regime change. So what's the point of us sending in yet more death and destruction?

froubylou Fri 30-Aug-13 14:03:15

There are many evil dictators in this world. Both now and historically. The uk and America can not solve the world's problems so instead concentrate on those that have oil or can somehow affect supply and distribution.

How do you differentiate between the children of Syria and the children of African nations who have endured many generations of murder, cruelty and torture.?

The problems in the far east will never be solved. Only damped down every few years by a few nations ensuring that their economy's are not affected and their power remains.

The bloodshed will continue as it has done for many thousands of years. You can not change how mankind treats its children and innocents. It is either power or religion that causes the most harm and both are a part of human nature. Sending more guns and bombs will only speed up the loss of life and misery. At best disperse it elsewhere.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 30-Aug-13 14:03:40

miemohrs sadly I think death is death. I would love to see him face his horrific crimes in this world. Maybe it would also make others think.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 14:06:55

I have this dream of Blair arriving in hell to find Saddam waiting for him with an evil grin. Spending eternity together would suit them nicely.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 14:07:28

The Syrian rebels are not just made up of one group all fighting for the same vision of Syria. They are made up of several different groups from those who want a democratic state to those who want sharia and to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate.

So even if Assad went tomorrow fighting would not stop as the likes of al-Nusra are not going to give up the areas they have won in the North and east of Syria and who ever wins control of the rest of the country is not going to give over the North as that is the area rich in oil and gas.

So if the west takes out Assad then what happens?

SilverApples Fri 30-Aug-13 14:15:19

I've noticed a lack of interest now, regarding the number of car bombs injuring civilians in various ME countries, and confusion as to which faction is killing the supporters of which other faction.
I don't think intervention will do anything but draw out the chaos, confusion and deaths over a much longer period.
What would have happened in Ireland if the British troops had not intervened?
What would Ireland be like now?

littlefishexpat Fri 30-Aug-13 14:17:49

Whether you agree with the politicians or not, we all have the chance to be good men and women.

Hand in Hand for Syria is a UK based charity that are able to get relief and supplies directly to the Syrian people. Tomorrow they are doing a country wide fundraiser and donation collection.

We've dealt with this charity for the last year, fundraising for them and even visiting refugee camps in Turkey and Syria with them. They are honourable, compassionate and intelligent. They are apolitical and do their best to help anyone that they can.

Feel free to pm me or ask here if you have any questions.

HRHLadyG Fri 30-Aug-13 14:20:53

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 14:21:38

So if the west takes out Assad then what happens?

The same as what happened in Iraq when Saddam was taken out...

1. US manufacturers make a fortune from replacing their forces' used weapon stocks.

2. US manufacturers make another fortune replacing destroyed infrastructure.

3. Law and order continues to be broken down, with bombings and killings of racial/religious minorities.

HRHLadyG Fri 30-Aug-13 14:22:28

Good men ought to stand up for what they believe, but does that have to be violence? Aren't we evolved enough to start to try alternative approaches to conflict? X

SilverApples Fri 30-Aug-13 14:26:08

That would be nice HRH.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 14:26:42

Sally you left off the list the increased risk of islamist terror attacks on our own soil.

Your country cannot afford to get embroiled in another costly, ghastly mess. For financial reasons, it's a no.

You do not need to part of yet another installation of yet another al-Qaeda-backed Islamic fundamentalist regime... you know, the sort who like to train up people to bomb your family and friends as they are going about their business on English soil. For security reasons, it's a no.

You want more of the blood on your hands you have after taking part in the NATO airstrikes in Serbia? After helping bomb Red Crescent hospitals in Iraq? After the huge fucking cock-up that is Afghanistan? For moral reasons, it's a no.

People like you are so cavalier about these things, you take my fucking breath away. Where are these amazing bombs they have that only magically kill the wrong 'uns, and don't end up wiping out the ordinary people whom you so patronisingly claim to be just like?

A few crossposts. I had to go back and take out a lot of expletives. "People like you" was obviously aimed not at any recent posters.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 14:36:59

Sorry cantspel, feel free to add to the list.

I should also have included the inevitable rise in the cost of oil.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Aug-13 14:40:40

I'm always very wary of any argument prefaced by the words 'People like you...'

droppedscones Fri 30-Aug-13 14:42:22

Very interesting article in the guardian which I wish I knew how to link by Simon Jenkins 'it takes courage to say there is nothing outsiders can do'. If I am understanding correctly what was proposed was limited air action directed at where they believe the chemical weapons to be and seems to be about posturing and 'appearing' not to be 'the good men standing idly by'. I don't think linking action with a pat on the back for 'doing something' is very helpful as that is more about ones own ego and feelings of helplessness. I am certainly not in favour of the 'appeasement' of violent dictators but have we really exhausted every diplomatic and humanitarian avenue and I just haven't heard about it? Or is it too expensive and more complicated than a quick bit of posturing?

PaperSeagull Fri 30-Aug-13 14:51:22

I am heartened by the vote in Parliament. As an American, I have the same sick feeling of inevitability that I did prior to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as though the gears are already in motion and we can do nothing but sit back and watch helplessly. Unfortunately, I think that the U.S. will take military action, but perhaps this vote will help slow that action, perhaps even modify it. Without the full backing of the U.K., the U.S. may be less likely to become embroiled in yet another costly, brutal, useless war. Or perhaps that is merely wishful thinking.

difficultpickle Fri 30-Aug-13 14:52:01

Northern I would hope that you are right but it seems that some of the Conservative MPs were voting for regime change in their own party.

penguin73 Fri 30-Aug-13 15:29:42

Those people wanting us to go in with airstrikes what do you actually envisage happening or want to achieve? You can't hit stockpiles of chemical weapons with bombs without releasing the nerve agent inside killing and injuring anybody within the vicinity (and obviously the size of the stockpile will influence just how much human and environmental damage is caused).

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 15:30:37

I can tell you what none of these Middle East factions be they dictators or rebels will care a flying fuck for and that's women's rights and equal rights.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 15:44:07

Sallingforth- Iran are backing the regime, not the rebels. This is a very basic fact.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 16:02:44

Gosh you are correct.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 16:03:28

Sally you left off the list the increased risk of islamist terror attacks on our own soil.

And here we are now with the terrorist apologists' argument.

"It's the UK's fault that terrorists attacked it; it shouldn't have gone out wearing a short skirt."

The only people to blame for acts of terrorism are terrorists.

Lazyjaney Fri 30-Aug-13 16:19:46

this is bollocks on so many levels

MistressDeeCee Fri 30-Aug-13 16:59:11

People are dying in agony in Syria. Whole generations of families. ffs I dont give a shit re. the merits of whether UK bombs Syria or not. I just want to know whether diplomatic condemnation, or aid, or on the table here. Ive emailed my MP about this.

I dont feel I can do much..but to sit here poring over the merits of bombing and then have a sinking feeling lets keep our noses out is the general consensus (well so it seems from work colleagues) just feels sordid, and immoral. Yes the bombers are to blame..bad people are to blame for many things..does that mean we just sit by with an oh well, nothing to do with me attitude?

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 17:08:21

...does that mean we just sit by with an oh well, nothing to do with me attitude?


So many people just want to look the other way, or at best do some hand wringing.

What if was us and our children being slaughtered by our government as the world looked on?

filee777 Fri 30-Aug-13 17:16:42

If my children were being bombed by our government, I would be happier without the rest of the world joining in for a 'piece of the pie'

throwing MORE bombs will not stop the original bombs.

It is not an answer.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Aug-13 17:48:19

Full steam ahead tracing and confiscating regime assets, to get hold of all the money the al-Assads and their cronies have stashed abroad, agreement with every country possible not to allow them entry (though Mrs. al-Assad can't be kept out of the UK as she is British) and I'm sure there will be more measures that can be taken-full sanctions, etc.

But ultimately, all the power-brokers will have to talk, and that means the Security Council plus Israel, Lebanon, Saudi, Iran etc. But the factions in teh civil war will not stop killing each other unless someone makes them, which brings us full circle to who is prepared to back their political demands militarily?

CoteDAzur Fri 30-Aug-13 18:10:30

What Sallying said re what would happen if Assad were taken out.

difficultpickle Fri 30-Aug-13 18:15:19

426 children killed from chemical weapons in Syria last week. As we all know that was the 14th time Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people over the last two years. Listening to John Kerry speak this afternoon and talking about the agreement not to use chemical weapons which dated back to WW1.

CoteDAzur Fri 30-Aug-13 18:44:46

We all know no such thing.

If you have any proof that Assad gassed those people, share it with the US & your government. They would love to have it, I'm sure.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 30-Aug-13 19:04:51

bisjo you certainly don't speak for me when you say 'as we all know'. What a ridiculously stupid, presumptuous thing to say.

filee777 Fri 30-Aug-13 19:07:03

Almost as stupid and presumptuous as thinking you can alter the course of a country for the better by dropping bombs on them.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 30-Aug-13 19:13:44

Well added, filee

CaptChaos Fri 30-Aug-13 19:19:03

We know nothing of the sort, bisjo

This is not appeasement, there is no one suggesting that what is happening in Syria on both sides is acceptable. So stop with the crocodile quotes, it's a red herring.

The UNSC is fairly toothless because Blair and Bush made it so by steamrollering it in 2001 and again in 2003. The only way to give it it's teeth back is by letting it do what it was set up to do.

I have no doubt those of you who want to send my son, his friends and our friends off to be killed and maimed in your name will get your wish soon enough, but I for one am glad that our HofC stood up to the US's war mongering that one time.

Hissy Fri 30-Aug-13 19:38:24

If my government were bombing. The shit out of my country, gassing and napalming my neighbours, friends, family Wtf would I want someone else's government to come bomb my country too?

Military action shrieks to me of intellectual and diplomatic inferiority. I'm disappointed that this is all the civilised west seems to have.

Are we no better than Assad? Are we on the same level of shoot 'em up Americans? God forbid!

FFS, is that what we've sunk to?

All this talk about our place at the table..

What bollocks! Who wants to sit at a table full of halfwits whose only response is to send a missile.

Where TF are thé Arab league? Why are they sat on their useless arses doing FA to pressure Assad, or to pour their easy come money into relief and support for all those countries that are receiving syrians?

What is needed here is not the usual shit that shit men pull, and certainly not the mysogenistic and self obsessed thinking so perfected by the desert twats.

What's needed here is the Arab League to man up, the UN to issue sanctions banning any official arming of the Syrian Govt and ideally issuing an international warrant for Assad and the heads of the military to come and explain themselves/be tried for crimes against humanity.

Yes it won't be overnight, but this has been going on for 2 years, eventually he'll run out of bullets.

Lobbing a missile in is an idiots way of dealing with this, gives assad and Iran an excuse to hit back, and won't serve the people of syria.

twistyfeet Fri 30-Aug-13 19:54:11

What do the Syrian people want? That seems equally confusing. Syrians like GothAnne saying the West should intervene. Other Syrians objecting and saying how dare westerners with their colonial mindset stick their oars in.
Which is it?

droppedscones Fri 30-Aug-13 20:15:31

Thankyou hissy that is exactly what I wish I'd had the words to write.

ResNullius Fri 30-Aug-13 20:16:38

Holdmecloser Shelley

I did not say we were not a powerful military force. I actually said ^The UK no longer has the resources to support action in multiple arenas, or to follow pre-emptive action with sustained presence.
We cut our armed forces massively^
Comments made by Gen Houghton (CDS) reflect this view. Specifically that "Britain must lower its “expectation” of the military power the Armed Forces will be able to deploy in future conflicts"
I assume the man knows what he is talking about?

I also said that
We have an economy which is only now showing tentative signs of recovery, and still has the potential to tip into financial disaster if mishandled. We cannot afford sustained overseas action
The use of the word sustained was not random, but intended to mean that the total cost of action cannot be afforded. Not that we could not afford a bomb or three. It means that we can't afford to spend the money required to support the action!! Frank Ledwidge (former civilian adviser to the British government in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan) estimates Britain will have spent at least £40 billion on the Afghan campaign – a sum equivalent to hiring 5,000 new police officers or nurses and paying for their entire careers, Again, one assumes the man knows his facts.

I note the family links to HMForces Shelly, and am sure your husband was as much shocked by the cuts to our defence capability as the serving officers in my own family have been.

ResNullius Fri 30-Aug-13 20:37:05

As a complete aside, the quote used as the thread title is usually attributed to Burke (although this is much debated - see Keyes research)
It is used frequently, where arguments of this kind arise.
Another of his quotes is worthy of reflection, although much more rarely trotted out:
Neither the few nor the many have a right to act merely by their will, in any matter connected with duty, trust, engagement, or obligation.

ShellyBoobs Fri 30-Aug-13 22:14:44

It would seem likely that the US and France will attack the Syrian regime on Sunday.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 08:46:57

Why the west, the west, the west?

The Arab world will not support western intervention. The arab world is washing its hands of those Syrian children and people like GoshAnneG should think about that.

SubliminalMassaging Sat 31-Aug-13 10:05:51

Cumbled - exactly. Qatar and Saudi have money coming out of their ears - let them sort it. It's nothing to do with us.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 11:12:03

Yes, Saudi is scared of damaging relations with Iran, Jordan is weak and afraid of retaliation, there are many self-interested reasons why ARab countries and the Arab League are ignoring what is happening. They won't even support western intervention unequivocally with words. They won't join it and they won't back it and they'll no doubt condemn it when it all goes tits up.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 11:14:19

And where's that overpaid useless Baroness Ashton and the Eu and their foreign that we're all apparently signing up to? Faffing about giving the odd press conference and keeping out of sight. Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy? Once again the people who are supposed to be the hated infidels are supposed to ride to the rescue, the sons of the hated infidels are expected to die without question.

complexnumber Sat 31-Aug-13 11:35:23

The silence from Syria's Arab neighbours is deafening.

(I live in one of them)

ShellyBoobs Sat 31-Aug-13 11:56:05

It's nothing to do with us.

Yes, we should cross to the other side of the road and look away as we walk past.


Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 12:06:21

The Arab world is doing this. What do you think of that Shellyboobs?

SubliminalMassaging Sat 31-Aug-13 12:19:51

But it's clearly ok for everybody except us to look away? hmm

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 12:24:57

Perhaps there's some subliminal culturalism or racism going on here. Perhaps "we" should know better, and we can't expect others to know better. I really, really hope that's not happening - but it's worth examining the process to see if this is at the heart of pro-interventionism.

difficultpickle Sat 31-Aug-13 15:12:29

Sorry, I should of course have asid 'as very widely reported in media outlets' rather than 'as we all know'. It has been very widely reported but of course if you haven't read it then of course you wouldn't know.

difficultpickle Sat 31-Aug-13 15:13:48

I wonder if the silence of neighbours is akin to the silence of African nations in respect of Zimbabwe. They don't want to get involved in case they are next.

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