aibu to wonder why we are doing nothing about syria(280 Posts)
why are we doing nothing?
labour clearly sitting on the fence because of iraq as are the rest of the jittery gvt....
ive heard all the "its not our busniness" arguments - the same was said in WW2 until it was too late.
i cannot comprehend why we would advocate doing nothing - rwanda all over again.
m sickened tbh that people feel so able to wash their hands when people - children - are being napalmed and gassed.
what about what is morally right? forget politics - are we really just going to do nothing??
because its not us?
im not advocating another iraq war - but surely we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch this without doing anything?
Isn't it because they know that more babies and innocent people will be killed and we can't afford it either? Not that I think money should come into it...but they do. I think they don't like what the US are planning...missile strikes.
I was wondering earlier, does the vote mean we wont be involved no matter what is found out? Or is it just putting off diving in right away?
Wondering if it'll go to the vote again once the UN announce their findings on Saturday?
What do you suggest we do?
i think the only thing we should be doing is giving lots and lots of aid to the people who need it.
They're waiting for NATO and the UN to finalise their enquiries/decisions first. Labour aren't making up for Iraq by their current stance, its a completely different situation and without a doubt the UK will be involved in military action.
i think it is naive to think that governments will get involved in anything that benifits the people on the ground. IMO the only ONLY reason why cameron wanted to get involved in the first place was becuase he is bestest buddies with the arms manufacturers that fund his party - pretty hard to resist the people who fund your existance
i dont want us to intervene
there is no right, easy solution, it is one big horrible mess, but a lot more aid to refugees would be good
i think the politician are too scared to get us involved in military action - they are more worried about their voting stats to care about it. the vote last night means we wont be involved - we have effectively washed our hands of this.
its not the same as iraq - we dont have to get drawn into a conflict - but to sit and do nothing is criminal.
I'm not sure how I feel tbh. I think at heart I feel the same as you. But I'm not military action is the way necessarily. what would it achieve? I ask that honestly, not rhetorically.
Honestly, I think we should be pumping aid, and opening our doors whole heartedly to the refugees.
I agree that we can't sit back and do nothing.
What can we do? If they had a big warehouse marked 'chemical weapons store' then sure, blitz it.
But topple the regime? I'm not sure the alternative is any better.
And any intervention risks Israel getting it in the neck in retaliation.
politics should really not enter into this - whats morally right should.
i cant help but imagine how i would feel if it were my children being gassed and burnt.
as human being, if this were happening in front of me i would want to help. i read the accounts of what happened i rwanda, and the former cheq republic - i feel that if we just sit back and pretend its not our problem we are culpable.
is that not what happened at first in WW2? hitler got away literally with murder because no one challenged him.
it seems that when oil and money are involved we act. when people are just losing their lives we sit on our hands and talk about anything else.
the climate now is of fear - of losing votes. should that even be a consideration?
I agree Vicar but as NEO says, would military action not mean more people would be killed not less? Is there not a third way which would mean we were able to assist without contributing to the violence and destruction?
It's not just about an emotional response to what's happening though, or even money, making a move on Syria could destabilize the whole area (more than it is already).
I might be wrong, but wasn't last nights vote really only about giving the weapons inspectors more time to analyze their results, and if anything else developed then another vote could be held?
So it's not a one vote and one vote only decider.
After all this time I don't see the point in steaming in, but then the UN seems so ineffective. I'm expecting to hear they've written a strongly worded letter to Syria any moment.
What do they actually do?
vicainatutu. i dont know why we are doing nothing. i share ashdown's shame. this isn't iraq to which i was vehemently opposed with its politics, oil, egomania. this is repeated poisonous gas attacks against innocent children and families by a regime with a dictator who has either lost control or is a war criminal. remember this has happened before WW2. we cant ignore it this time. we just cant.
It makes me wonder wtf are we part of the EU? UN? if we were in trouble as a country, we'd be demanding help from other countries, why is it acceptable for the uk to stand bk and do nothing when its someone else in trouble? we have a duty to help.
what make me is that irac/afgan was invaded on the "suspicion" of WMD and yet here we have fkin proof of what is happening- why mps etc are still saying its unclear, its not been proven etc I just cant get my head round...the videos, the pictures, the medical experts opinions, men women and kids fitting and rolling their eyes and chocking.......how much dammed proof/evidence do they fkin need!??? just another excuse to delay imo.
It also makes me chuckle how mps are said to be representative of the british population-really!?! And how we british are not in favour of getting involved - 285-272 vote is hardly a massive majority!!
And I second others embarrassment, I think the current stance is very bloody shameful
I don't think we can do anything - what are we going to do? who would we take action against? we cant afford to keep pumping aid into other countries - there is enough poverty here before we start to pump more money into other countries. people here are already going hungry, people dying of dehydration and no doubt lots more will freeze during the winter this year because they cannot afford to pay their bills - lets concentrate on our own before others.
IMO this is a situation that requires the entire international community to act as one force to eliminate the perpetrators, if we stand back and watch, we are basically showing assad we are too chicken to get involved and he will carry on using CW as he pleases as there will be little or no consequences.
oh well as long as were alright eh peggy !!........speechless
We are not the world's police . We cannot afford to get into wars with lads of other countries. Let someone else sort it. Was there a great result when we got involved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait????
It's not embarrassing or shameful to let democratically elected MP's decide what to do.
nothing here compares to what is going on there. we are al humankind, and with that comes the responsibility to protect those who need it. everywhere. that moral responsibility does not have a national barrier that stops at passport control. these are real people, real children, real pain. this is not economic, if it is, vote out the proposed 50 billion HS2 to Birmingham. For goodness sake, this is unbearable.
what is required is a signal that this is considered unacceptable by civilised society. unfortunately that same society is wrapped up by its badly judged historical mistakes, economic arguments, self interest, its personal worries. it still doesn't change what is happening and it doesn't let the world off the hook.
Peggy. Concentrate on 'our own'?!
We are human beings above all else.
Those human beings being maimed and killed are 'our own'. a country is nothing but a border.
I agree with what peggy said, they can't shave even more money off people already on the breadline in one act, and then start dabbling in other countries (not even local to us) politics in the next one.
Some of it is look to your own giveme, there are some pretty shitty things going on in the world, are you saying we should act as though we're big enough to start throwing our weight around with them too?
Even the biggies like Russia, China and America think more than twice about getting involved.
Speechless right back at ya
X post with Glamping.
you said it better than me.
and 'let someone else sort it?' What?!
It's all so horrendous.
From what I understand, (fully prepared to be educated otherwise), there are too many rebel fractions. So us going in and toppling the head will lead to even more (if possible) fighting for the top spot unless we actually govern long term.
This blog seemed to sum up my understanding
more articulately and explain the chemical weapon punishment issue.
I don't want to intervene. The attacks at the moment are horrendous. But if we get dragged in and it turns into a decades long war like Iraq and Afghanistan the people who have been hurt in these attacks will be small fry against the list of casualties.
I cannot understand people who think that the US and UK wading in will solve everything. I think they must be either deluded idealists or ignorant of British foreign policy for the last 15 years.
Can I join this conversation?
I am not from UK ( EU country) but I am living here with my DH and two DDs and working for the past 15 years.
UK government and people in general are very very soft towards other nations. You help, give and care. You accept so many refugees and asylum seekers that is beyond believe but when it comes to problems here you don't receive same quality of help.
There are many Arab countries around Syria- rich countries and they should deal wit it. I feel every day sorry for any
soldier who gets killed, specialy from here.
Yes, peace has to be kept and yes, UK is very powerful but look how soldiers and people are being killed here( just few months ago)... In the middle of the street. Where is human right of British people?!
Uk shouldn't get involve.... My humble opinion and apologies if I offended anybody.
I am really conflicted about this, and don't feel that I know enough about our options to make a valid judgement either way. On the one hand, I'm appalled at what is going on in Syria and at the recent chemical attacks, and I too would feel a deep sense of shame if the UK were to stand back and watch it happen. Attitudes like peggy's repulse me.
Having said that, I have real doubts about what missile strikes would actually achieve, and I can't help but wonder if western intervention of this nature might just make things worse for the poor Syrian people. And the cynical part of me thinks that Cameron probably has other motives for wanting to get involved that have nothing to do with the humanitarian crisis.
I don't know what we should do tbh.
You've absorbed the war propaganda and now think that dumping bombs on peoples heads will save them and helping the 30000 foreign jihadist mercenaries plus the local ones, take over the country so they can genocide all the minorities and oppress everybody else necessary to make you feel better for 'doing something' by deluding yourself that it's for the babies (doing something, anything!!!!no matter how stupid, dangerous and ignorant, it's all about being seen pretending to give a shit).
The US and anybody stupid enough to join them will find themselves in confrontation with Russia and Iran, this is going to lead to a wider war, far worse than the violence in Iraq which is contained in Iraq (or at least has been, it's one giant training ground for terrorists who are now in Syria and coming to a country near you soon). This will spread, at best there will be revenge terrorist attacks here (blowback), at worst war can snowball, ww1 was started by far less.
We're all going to suffer as a result of a traitorous political class who are desperate to parade themselves as important on a world stage, a lazy, deceitful media who promote the propaganda of their sponsors, the arms industry, energy interests and everybody else who is set to make a fortune on yet another idiotic war, the religious nuts who believe it their duty to bring about Armageddon.......
More war won't help anybody, if the politicians gave a flying fuck about the Syrians they would lobby the Saudi and Qatar governments to stop funding arms and jihadist mercenaries in the region. There is no hope for a peaceful outcome with them there. Peace is only a possibility when outsiders stop funding violence, flaming tensions and stirring war. Take that away and Russia would be willing to ensure Assad engage in peace talks with the opposition, which he claims he's prepared to do but can't until the opposition are ready for a peaceful solution.
Why do we ALWAYS have to get involved?
Australia, Germany, Canada, Italy want nothing to do with it. What can we really do? The cost of money which our country doesn't have, the loss of yet more lives.
I'm not suggesting turning our back on Syria, I am in full agreement about providing aid.
But I really hope we do not get involved in another war.
which side should we join ? the rebels against the dictatorship ? or the rightful leader against the Al Quaida terrorists ?
FlutteringButterflie! Well said.
you dont need to understand it. no one said it would solve everything. the situation is incredibly complex. i am not deluded. i did not agree with the invasion of iraq and blairs motivation. but that is no excuse for inaction. really- are you suggesting that we no longer involve ourselves in any persecution of a people ever, because our foreign policy is always flawed. really? you are never prepared to consider that your view may need to modify? that inaction is the higher moral ground?
well not in my view. persuade me of alternative courses of action (not inaction), but just don't tell me that the best course of action is to turn our backs. i simply don't buy it.
It's a case of the West thinking it can sort out the troubles of the world, 'If only they were more like us, it'd all be happy and we'd be friends'.
Naive, unrealistic and manipulated by the media.
Of course we're all humans and I have compassion for them, of course using chemical weapons is appalling, but there are so many more serious situations it's just not feasible to tackle them all.
Look on your own doorstep and you'll see children being tortured, starved to death and murdered, you don't have to look all the way over to Syria.
How about getting outraged on their behalf? (I know you can do both!)
glampinggaloshes, I would love to see you painting your head blue, grabbing a rifle and standing in the trenches.
or would you prefer to see someone else risking everything so that you can sit on that very high horse
response was to seasicksal.
We are not turning our backs as we can offer humanitarian aid to Syria without the need to bomb anyone.
there is no discussion of troops
They should deal with it themselves with countries around them. Why no Arab country wants to help them?
The best thing the politicians have done in a long time, voting no to the proposal to get involved in Syria. Hooray for the MPs (something I never say)
Syria is awful, a dreadful situation, but it's not going to be made better by a few cruise missiles...
there was a discussion of troops in Parliament yesterday. It was ruled out.
I wonder what other action might be considered appropriate.
Aid ? well I send aid to a cattery to make sure the cats are well fed.
(sending money is easy)
Outrage ? mmm go ahead
make loud noises ? - mmm go ahead
oldmac. yeah its a high horse. all ears to hear alternative approaches for resolving this crisis from this lofty height of mine but i favour action not inaction. i cant ignore it and don't want my elected government to either.
we live in a democracy with a parliament that listens - aren't we lucky! so lets see .
glampinggaloshes so if you don't expect it to solve everything what do you expect it to solve?
What exactly do you think air strikes will achieve? Are you too young to remember that we used to regularly air strike Baghdad between the gulf wars and it led to the sum total of fuck all good? It didn't stop Saddam using nerve agents.
I think we should involve ourselves in foreign conflicts when we have a UN mandate to do so.
'which side should we join ? the rebels against the dictatorship ? or the rightful leader against the Al Quaida terrorists ?'
That did make me think for a while, but it has to be whoever's using the chemical weapons on civilians.
Both sides have claimed the other's used them, but Obama coming out saying it looks like the government did do it this time, that must mean something.
Wasn't there a lack of evidence before? The news was showing footage claimed to be the govt bombing the area they'd used the weapons to get rid of the evidence.
Some conflicts can't be resolved glamping, and go on and on and on for hundreds, even thousands of years.
Thinking intervention is always the way to go would be the end of us.
Galumping, I dont have any solutions.
In my honest opinion, the UK ruled itself out of the game yesterday, with that vote in Parliament. There will be no UK military intervention in Syria.
If private individuals , or even organisations wish to aid the refugees, thats fine. But I cannot see much more happening
FWIW I am still not convinced that chemical weapons were used. I am old enough to remember being lied to about WMD in IRAQ
and I do not want to be taken for a fool again
You weren't a fool OldMac, they lied.
This UN report. they are saying that the dictator fired nerve gas on Damascus, several times.
They live in Damascus. Who would fire nerve gas on their own doorstep, when they know that if the wind changes their own kids might kop it ?
It just does not make sense to me. I watched the news tonight , and I thought no. This stuff is to be fired at people hundreds of miles away. NOT in the next street
Oldmac-how exactly do you think those people died then? if chemical weapons weren't used, why have many got nervous system symptoms and burns all over their bodies? what else could have caused what has happened?
If they're shit enough to use them in the first place OldMac, they're shit enough to risk it going on their own people?
Around 100,000 people had died in Syria before the attacks. Go and look on the Save the Children website about the torture and the bombings and the needless deaths of thousands of civilians and children before the chemical gas attacks. Why were we not outraged before? Why were all of those deaths OK?
So what do we do. Bomb places? If we do that we are likely to kill even more civilians. Topple the regime? And replace with who? The various rebel groups don't all agree with each other, there's no succession and intervention is likely to create even more jihadists ready to kill due to 'western' intervention.
This is a 'Damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation.
When you ask "Why aren't we doing something". You need to stop and ask "what the fuck can we do that won't make this worse".
If you come up with the answer to that question then let the international community know as they haven't a fucking clue what they can do that won't make it worse, as at the moment there isn't anything.
Isnt that obvious? the dictatorship would have moved their families out and well away from Damascus before the attack
give me a boost
I dont know. I dont know where the pictures were taken, or when.
If they are genuine, and if chemical weapons were used, then I will change my opinion. I can not say fairer than that, can I.
Oldmac, i think you are probably correct on your first point. We were all lied to re IRAQ but I dont think the mistakes of our past should pollute our future decisions. I dont want to be a fool either.
Assad has lost control of his army, there are multiple factions and his at the very least is as lawless as the others. any intervention proposed has always been directed to be CW focused. not side focused. in reality, maybe this is hard/impossible to achieve. but i still argue that our societies are built on societal conventions, namely that you dont direct your military efforts at your most vulnerable (in this situation by using UN banned CW). And that that is a code that society needs to agree must prevail.
"Around 100,000 people had died in Syria before the attacks...Why were we not outraged before? Why were all of those deaths OK?"
Because it's being brought to our attention by the media now.
Which is being
manipulated by the Illuminati used as an effective mouthpiece by America those who benefit most from getting involved.
You could ask yourself why would Assad use chemical weapons now when he has the upper hand in the civil war with the knowledge that chemical attacks could well bring intervention by the US?
Both sides has chemical weapons and no one is going to be able to say with 100% accuracy who is responsible for each attack.
why cant they do what there were talks of- remotely targeting their airbases?
baby those deaths weren't ok, but presumely guns, CW is HUGE and has far reaching conseqeunces, hence the panic/outrage
Assad has not lost control of the army. he has close family members in charge of the armoured divisions and the Republican guard.
why do you say he has lost control ??
"Because its being brought to our attention by the media now"
Have you been living under a rock for the last 12 months? Syria has regularly been in the news as a standing item, even on the BBC in all of that time. There's been special reports, Newsnight items, in-depth reports on Sky - all mainstream media - as well as lots of less mainstream channels as well.
The only thing new is the chemical weapons. Reporting about war and the deaths of civilians and attacks and atrocities in Aleppo, for example have been ongoing for ages.
Why were chemical weapons the final straw when the bombing and executions that have been going on all the time haven't? Its not that they've been reported, its just that folk haven't given that much of a shit.
cantspell - its unlikely the rebel groups have the technology to get the chemical agents into a reliable weapon format that could do that amount of damage. This is why they are sure it was the government forces.
It would exacerbate world confict if they go in.
Do you want your dc's if you have any over there fighting in that war, or would you yourself? No, and I don't want me or mine or anyone else's.
We are talking 'the big guns'. There's so much conflict within that area they can't even work out who did the chemical attack.
Well, they have all been on their jolly hollies haven't they?
baby the UN back in May were investigating chemical attacks which they believe were committed by the rebels. So yes they do have the chemicals and the knowledge of how to use them.
I will ask again- why Arab countries dont get involved?
givemeaboost asks why we cant bomb the airfields remotely.
Well the UK cant, we voted ourselves out, but what about the rest,
the USA and France ?
my question would be, how long shall we bomb them for ? Obama says a few days. But Obama said that about Libya, and we ended up bombing them for 26 weeks
Oldmac. i based it simply on the intercepted telephone calls re direction & confusion over the use of the CW. but i am giving him the benefit of the doubt. at the least he has lost control. if not, it is much worse.
interestingly, his uk educated wife ran a programme for the youth of syria to integrate all parties, for a number of years. in the light of his behaviour, she was she naive? stupid?
burstingBabboon - even more pertinant
why doesnt Putin pick up the phone and say 'Assad- enough'
And maybe choosing to use chemical weapons in such an obvious way giveme, shows they've moved on to a different level?
They've let themselves be seen to be out of control, and therefore capable of anything.
Gets any more out of control and Israel's (and Iran) going to be looking to protecting itself (and they've got nuclear capabilities).
The posters saying we should get steaming in there and save the people, who are we to go steaming into that hot bed of politics and hatred? We've been involved diplomatically since the year dot, but it's really not our fight
that's with France.
Did they find out who the snipers belonged to who were firing on the weapons inspectors. I saw a clip of the vehicles they were in, and they weren't half shifting! It was deliberate whoever was doing it.
Uk shouldn't involve themselves... You already send aid but. war side of it it's not worth it.
glamping galoshes. He is a dictator.
Dictators can be very pleasant and accomodating, so long as you are doing exactly what they want, and kiss their ring now and then.
Do something they dont like, and you are a rebel
OldMac. That's correct...
Who created all dictators- Hussein, Mugabe, Assad??????
They thought Iraq had them (weapons of mass destruction). They were wrong. And look at happened there while they were finding out.
They know Syria has them, because they've just used them. But they don't know exactly who did it and who to target.
A very dirty war would ensue.
I wish I had babyheave, I meant it's been more peripheral in the media and not been thrust in our faces as it is now.
It's at the top of the news agenda because someone's decided it should be.
I have looked everywhere on the web for a uk based new article on Dale Gavlak an associated press correspondent who writes for the BBC so we will assume he is legit. Who claims the Syrian rebels have admitted to him they set off the chemical attack in error from weapons supplied to them by saudi.
Why is there no UK press story on this and yet other nations are reporting it. And surely it needs investigating further before Obama drops his bombs on Syria
I don't want to see people slaughtered. I hate it, but if you were facing the prospect of your husband/ child going there, you'd think differently. I hate that politicians make decisions about these things knowing full well that other people's lives will be shaped around those decisions, it becomes part of our lives, like the war in Afghanistan. We know we won't be bringing any politician's children home in a box, yet they feel they are they are qualified to make these decisions on our behalf. I hate what is happening there, there's a charity called'arms around Syria' you can donate nappies and perishable packeted food if you feel you need to do something but when you think 'why aren't we getting involved' think of the men who are far younger and braver than any politician, laying their lives down and ask if that's 'fair'
"we" are doing nothing because as a democracy we have voted not to, owing to the facts being insufficiently clear to know who did it, where to bomb, and the past lessons that it has never helped - the opposite in fact.
The list of sensible Western countries NOT lining up to bomb Syria far outnumbers the few who are.
The thing that bothers me is the thread of arrogance that runs through this discussion - as if the UK is the moral compass of the world and we decide when and where to intervene in other countries.
We have been interfering in the politics of the Arab nations for generations and it has never, ever done anything except make things worse.
The idea that if we hit Assad with a little air strike it will make matters better is just bizarre to me.
We should stop posturing and put more effort into working with the UN to persuade Russia and China to sort Assad out.
I can't believe that given our history of fucking up and making ordinary Arabs hate us over and over again we still think we are the right people to intervene.
Totally agree with that Pagwatch.
didn't the Egyptian fella who had been democratically elected lose control of his army and people though too glomping?
they got rid of him and the situation got worse!
I personally don't think we should act at all so long as words as 'likely' 'whould have' 'could have' 'uncertain' etc are being used by the UN and our leaders who are pushing for action.
I am very weary
The problem with the Egyptian fella was that he got in by a relative small margin and then acted as if he had a total mandate.
He had no intention of representing the nation rather than just the people who voted for him. He pushed through numerous powers that had fuck all to do with his actual mandate.
I read on the BBC that if the US bombs Syria, Iran may instruct Hezbollah who are based in Lebanon to attack Israel.
I bet if it said 'if the UK bombs Syria then Iran may instruct Hezbollah who are based in the Isle of Wight to attack the UK' then people here would be far less trigger happy.
It's so easy to say we should send in the bombs when there are no obvious repercussions for our immediate safety. But there are Israelis now currently queuing up at centres trying to get gas masks for themselves and their children. Imagine if you were now queuing up for a gas mask for your baby, hoping that some country far away decided not to bomb a neighbouring country to you because it would be your babies being put in the way of the retaliation.
burstingballoon, no need to apologise at all and I agree with you. I am British and I do not live in the UK. I catch up on the UK news daily and I was listening to my own local news (where I live now) and I heard 4 stories about local issues of health, building more houses for local people, eradicating poverty and a piece on improving education. Only then did the news mention Syria and that was about how the UK parliament had rejected military action. Where I live now is about the same distance to Syria as the UK. The locals and government here do not give two shiny shits about Syria, believe me. They go about their daily routine worrying about themselves. I am not saying that this is right, my point is that everyone else sits on their arses because they know that the good old UK and USA will pay for military action, send their sons to the front line and do the job without any inconvenience to anyone else. I don't have to worry about abandoned bags here. I don't have to avoid crowded places here for fear of terrorism acts because this government has not dropped any well intentioned bombs on anyone.
I AM SICK OF IT.
I am sick of British people paying for wars that concern the rest of the world too. I am sick and tired of seeing our soldiers come back in boxes. I am sick and tired of seeing people attacked in our streets for being Christian or for being Muslim and yes I am concerned because one day soon I will be moving back to the UK.
Britain is like the man who goes to the aid of his neighbour whilst his own house is burning down with his children inside. Really, if you live outside the UK this is clear as the nose on your face.
Finally, yes I would like to see something done to bring the atrocities to an end in Syria. What I would like to see is the UK and the USA (it doesn't look like Obama's too keen to go in either) tell other countries in the world to get off their arses and sort this one out because we are sick and tired of paying for these interventions with our money and our blood. It is not the UK who sit on their hands, it is everyone else. We have had enough of war.
And yes, I am weary too.
Those poor people caught in the middle of a world wide pissing contest.
Ubud, that is exactly how I feel but you wrote it so much better.
I wish UK government and people become more selfish. This thread is so close to my heart. My friend lost her boy in Afgamistan- sorry but for what? He became soldier to honour, serve and protect his own country UK not someone else. Uk should be more selfish not always good samaritan!! How much aid do you send to other countries??? India, Nigeria etc and at this very moment thousands of people in England eather don't have shelter , food, clothes or place in the hospital. I am sooo happy Cameron got sense- it doesn't matter was it through parlament vote or any other way. Keep the young soldiers away and streets of England safe. How many suicade bombers are waiting for oportunity to harm western people ? It was saying in the news more then 8000.Even if it is false info we know that that they play dirty game. I will never forget young soul being slothered on the street on London for being soldier.
Hats off to George Galloway who explains very well why the vote went the right way.
Cameron didn't - some of his MPs and the Lanour MP's blocked Cameron's vote
I knew that I just said Cameron because he is the PM and represent UK.If it was him he would go and helped USA
Exactly noblegiraffe. I'm in Israel right now and people here are very worried. Although it should be said that all citizens have been entitled to gas masks since the first gulf war - but of course everyone forgets to check they have until something like this happens!
Luckily Israeli (and Turkish) citizens have strong armies protecting them and assad is well aware of the implications of attacking them. There will be no soul searching about regime change if he does.
StElmo I hate that politicians make decisions about these things......they feel qualified to make these decisions on our behalf.
Well of course they do . We live in a democracy, thank God. We get to use our vote to elect the people into parliament that best reflect our own views. They represent, roughly, the feelings of the people who live in our country. For five years anyway, then the electorate get to chose again who represents them.
I don't understand the issue you have with the fact that of course it is the politicians who will decide the courses of action.
What Pagwatch says.
It is also very easy to talk of "doing something".
What? What exactly should be done? By who? How? When? Where? How will it be paid for? Who is paying? Why are they?
It is also easy to talk about going to war, what about if the war you start over there comes home to you?
I have sons. I don't want a world war. I hope Oz keeps out.
I care about those babies, really I do. It is awful. But sending mine to die won't help them.
No idea what the answer is but I am pretty sure it doesn't involve 'collateral damage' which is what will happen.
Fantastic piece here on why there is nothing that can be done (apelrt from record for history, and send aid)
Its fecking depressing but there genuinely is nothing that can be done, maybe if an intervention had come far earlier, but now it just needs to run its course.
Thanks for the link IAGTBF - The Onion never fails to deliver!
I for one really hope we don't 'go in.' Help all we can from the sidelines by all means, send aid/medical help, help with political mediation etc, but please God no more air strikes or ground troops. We cannot afford either financially or on any other level to get ourselves too embroiled in this sorry mess. Let someone else do it for a change.
Completely agree with Pagwatch.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I just watched the speech of George Galloway. So a general in the Syrian rebel army cut open a dead soldier and ate his heart and liver and uploaded it onto Youtube for us all to admire. In addition the rebels have been sawing off the heads of Christian Bishops and Priests with bread knives.
And you want to go and liberate Syria and hand it over to them? Have you really thought that one through?
This is the problem with civil war isn' it? It can be hard to tell where the bad guy stops and the good guy starts. That's why there is little to be gained in going in. Even if we managed to depose Assad we'd be kidding ourselves if that made everything rosy. He isn't doing this alone.
Ubud. I really agree with everything you say. Why more people don't think in the same way. They are animals.... Let them deal with it. They hate west. Point blank. Any given oportunity they will kill western soldiers or rape western women/ journalists.
Honestly does Britain need another involvement? No!!!!!!
Considering that George Galloway was a friend of Saddam Hussein and is a supporter of Hamas (who have done pretty bad things to Christians as well but that doesn't bother him in the slightest), I'd take anything he says or supports with a HUGE pinch of salt. In fact, if George Galloway is against UK involvement in Syria then maybe it's not such a terrible idea.
If Syrian rebels are prone to eating the body parts of their enemies then I don't think it matters if it is George Galloway pointing out it might not be a good idea to support them. Even if it were Assad himself saying it, it doesn't make it a point to be ignored.
It's not so much what Galloway said (Assad is mad and bad, rebels are too) but the motivation behind it.
There are far more intelligent and neutral analysts of the situation who are aware that it is much more nuanced than Galloway is trying to paint it. COnsidering that Galloway is a friend of Iran and Hezbollah, I wouldn't be surprised that he'd try and make out that the rebels are as bad as Assad as if he's mates with Iran and Hezbollah, he probably has a soft spot for Assad as well.
I think Galloway's point was that neither side is 'good'.
Anyway, I for one am glad that Parliament at least considered the issues, and didn't just leap in, all guns blazing.
People have been dying for a couple of years (I believe it is estimated that about 100,000 people have been killed), and frankly I don't think it matters to them or their families whether they have been killed by bullets, machetes or gas. The idea that that the use of chemical weapons suddenly changes everything for the Syrian people is nonsense. It mainly changes things for people who are not involved, for whom the deaths are abstract.
The people who are ashamed that we are not doing anything - I hope you are also ashamed of yourselves for not giving a shit for the previous two years, until the media told you that you should. The war has not been a secret.
I don't know what the best course of action is, but I do know that it is not to launch some sort of military campaign without even taking time to consider the options.
The fact is though that the Assad regime caused this situation and you can't expect that the other side are going to act like angels in the face of such horrific brutality. It's not 'both sides are as bad as each other'. Not that I'm pushing for western involvement, but that's more because I think it'll make the situation even more dangerous for th whole region rather than some moral 'they're as bad as each other'
Again, I don't think the argument is that 'they're as bad as each other', rather that if Assad was removed from power, who would take his place? I don't think that is the issue either.
I agree that the real problem with going in is that there is no apparent military option which wouldn't make things worse.
No, not as bad as each other, but the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. Isn't there a link between the rebels and al Qaeda? Just because they are against Assad doesn't mean they hold the same values as us.
The group we would be supporting are the group we would normally be against. . If the rebels took power they would slaughter all the Christians.
Tis a shit situation all round but us intervening would achieve no good in the long run. IMO.
Probably covered but its not "our" job nor the Americans job to "sort it out" - It is the job of the UN.
Yes there is noblegiraffe, one group is outright affiliated. I've just posted a Bloomberg analysis of Syrian rebels and radical sunni islamism on another thread. 1200 groups - some of them fighting each other.
OP so what would you like to be done in Syria?
Whatever happens they will blame west. Do you think another mother, brother, sister in UK want to receive body . Their lives are NOT more important then lives of people from here.
Let them deal with their own problems. Yes, it's bad but UK can't risk own soldiers or peace here. When they were throwing themselves in the undergrounds, busses or killing people here in UK did their governments do anything?!? No, they don't care.
Even here, look Tower Hamlets, you cant walk through there of you are not respecting their law- sorry, this is England not sharia law country.
Enough is enough.
I think you might be confusing to very distinct issues bursting. We cannot refuse to intervene in Syria just because of a relative handful of gobby Muslims in UK ghettoes.
Having said that, I do think we should refuse to intervene in Syria - but just not for tenuous, tit for tat reasons like that.
i dont understand the argument for giving aid but nothing else, especially when we have people saying "look after our own" first......
so we should allow children to be nepalmed and gassed because we will give them money afterwards to help??
i AM NOT advocating sending in troops - but to disable their ability to use CW on their own people could be done by remotely striking with missiles. I saw those images of those people following the chemical weapons attacks - how anyone can watch that and fail to be moved to act is beyond me.
what do people think is going to happen if we do nothing but give aid? seriously - is this not what happened during WW2? we sat and did nothing until we were at war.
hitler could have been so easily stopped before he became a genocidal maniac - the year before poland was invaded he "tested the water" by moving troops into Rhineland which was demilitarized to see if he got any resistance - he didnt.
since the genocide in Germany we have had Rwanda and Czechoslovakia - are we REALLY just going to let it happen again?
I think someone should intervene too Vicar. I just do not think it should be us. It's a big world out there - they have much closer neighbours who understand far better than us the psyche and the modus operandi of the of various factions involved, and who have far more money to spare on direct action than we do. We've done enough meddling for one decade don't you think? And Iraq and Afghanistan are still pretty much the two of the most dangerous and god-forsaken places in the world.
Vicar - Where was everyone when US used white phosphorous on school children in Falujah not too long ago?
The rest of the world kept quiet and minded their own business. US is known for doing nothing more than causing more mess than good, anyone remember Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya? I don't think any of them are too happy at the state we have left their countries in.
US does not give a rats A$$ about the Syrian people and for that reason, I'm out. Besides we are all broke and as the Tories keep reminding us, we need to tighten our belts. So I don't want my tax going to the weapons industry. I'd rather feed the family round the corner who are forced to go to Food Banks.
DH is researching this for me - he doesnt think we can air strike the CW bases as they are housed in populated cities. The arab nations do not want Assad in power.
so why dont we cut energy supplies to Syria and the countries who are dependent on Syria for trade - that is China, Russia and Iran.
The free syrian army are already being supplied with weapons - where do people actually think these are coming from??
if people DONT WANT millitary action then cut trade with Syria - cut them off. That will affect China, Russia and Iran - This would isolate Syria.
but i think doing nothing is totally wrong. We should do something. Im dismayed that so many want to look the other way.
But why Syria and not North Korea?
It's very hard to separate heart from brain subliminalMassaging, but I am not talking about handful of people . Tower Hamlets was just example , you should see ather areas in London , but somehow it's always them being victims.
It's not the only reason tit for tat, it's much bigger issue- enough of dead British soldiers, enough of making everyone's life better then lives of ul citizens. Who is getting housing, benefits, NHS priority???? Not the people of this country.
I am paying tax for what? Someone who comes with 7 kids because their religion doesn't aloud contraception. And the same person who is helping the in whichever sence has a DS or DD giving life for their country. Why their man can't go back and defend their country? Becouse it's their Human right to come to UK to get EVERYTHING! No, they should deal with their own problems. Pls re- read all my posts in this thread and you will understand why I feel the way I feel.
Sorry for bad typing- I am on this phone and didn't check.
Ubud and others agreeing with this view. It must be great for you to see Syrians as 'animals'; as some kind of less human beings that you and I are.
It is quite something that you don't understand the UK intervenes in other countries because they have interests on it. The situation in the Middle East, all of it, has been largely caused by the former colonial ambitions and present neo-colonial ones. The UK, France and the US have been interfering with who was or not in power for many years. I don't know where you live Ubud, but probably not in a country with the ambitions to dominate the others.
I don't want a military intervention in Syria because I don't see the point of it. Only if British/Americans/French, where happy to accept that the Syrians would be able to hit back in London/Paris/New York, this would make some sense. To attack a regime/country with the security they won't hit you back home means you are making decisions in total uneven ground.
The UK provides money and aid to many countries. But it is not for free.
There are already trade restrictions on Syria
'But why Syria and not North Korea?'
North Korea's "only" starving their people, chemical weapons can be used against Syria's neighbours.
World politics can't be assessed along the same line as local politics, totally different kettle of fish.
There is quite strong evidence pointing to the use of deplated uranium by allies in Iraq. This is also a war crime. Many Iraqis also wonder why nobody did anything when chemical weapons were used against them; or when they have been tortured, etc.
Why Syria and not North Korea? Because this is about politics, not about law. It depends on national interest, not the general good.
In many ways the countries who want to attack Syria don't have Syria as main target, but Iran. they want to send a serious warning to Iran.
Because France, the US and UK cannot allow other countries to get the nuclear weapons that they have got. Not allowing others to have the same makes them safer and they don't want to lose that.
Very few ask themselves the question of why should Iran not have nuclear weapons? Why shall it be punished for that?
Assad is killing its own people as it happens in any civil war. Lincoln was killing his own people too, wasn't he? I believe we should try to protect civilians of the horrors of war and the ambitions of the rulers of the world. But there is not a clear solution.
As far as I know, the Syrians are not asking the UK to come over either
The Arab world is protecting its own interests by not speaking out.
Oh good grief.
Saying that the UK should not be leading military strikes upon Syria is absoloutely not the same as saying i don't give a shit about children being killed.
What a crappy non argument.
I believe that running ahead of the UN would, at this moment, make things even worse. That does not mean I am indifferent to children suffering.
Syrians are not asking UK to go over there so why UK was even contemplating any interference?
They can deal with it. Yes, what is happening is teribble but as well in other parts of the world including here things are happening. I know it's bad I don't dispute that at all but I know as well how they are and why put this country in danger ? For what?
Don't worry, it's a silent thing but everyone knows what they think about west. Look what they are doing to tourist when they go there or when they take kids and mothers in UK have to go to extreme to get them back. They were cutting people in Bosnia- same Arabs .....
They are who they are and they should solve it within.
Protecting children YES but through aid and medical professionals not through military involvement.
I'm not convinced that us dabbling in other countries ever improves things- we seem to make more of a mess of everything we get involved in
Burstingbaboon. With all due respect, I really doubt you know 'how they are'. Some people hate Western countries; others as you seem to hate others. Hate seem quite easy to spread in general. A big difference is that other countries do normally know something about the US and the UK, which is not true the other way round.
I don't hate no one , I don't have time for that.
I was just trying to put across that they should deal with their own problems, they are NOT bigger then anyone's else problem. There is not even one person from Arab world that are ready to do anything about it , why would UK?
Dont go around Camaleon accusing people of hate, it's not necessary.
Sorry for that burstingbaboon. You may no hate no one but you seem to have a very low opinion of Syrians from what you let see in your posts.
There are many human beings suffering incredibly in that country at the moment, most of them have done nothing to deserve it. Most of them are where they are now. Assad was about to be proposed for a British Knighthood by Tony Blair in 2000. The UK has happily taken the money and the power that makes it central to everything that happens in the world.
If British don't want to be involved in every big game, they can as well leave the Security Council, give up their nuclear powers and look at their own issues. Somehow I doubt it is going to happen.
That great amount of power should come with some responsibility. I don't believe in bombing for peace ever. But I believe that the countries accumulating power and weapons over others should show some degree of responsibility and solidarity when other human beings are going through what Syrians are going. Otherwise we should have allowed Holocaust to continue, or the Serbs to kill anybody they pleased.
That's ok camaleon. We all have our opinion. It's not about Syria it's just every week we get news another British soldier is dead, someone is killed here... Etc so why arab countries don't get involve? Thats the part that I don't understand?
If they get involved, how it's going to help civilians there or here ? I think it will lead to much bigger problems.
They I am referring to UK
I would need to go country by country to attempt any guess on why different Arab countries are not intervening. To start, they know the size of the Syrian army, the biggest remaining in the region, along with Iran.
Second, they ARE doing something. They are dealing with over 1 million refugees which is causing huge issues in territories such as Jordan and Northern Iraq.
Third, Assad has been an allied and, in principle, he is fighting extremists groups such Al-Qaeda. To fight Assad is supporting, indirectly, groups that are meant to be terrorists.
The UK wants to send a message to punish Assad and to warn Iran. It is not clear what the other Arab countries would get from this. And the Palestinian issue/Israel makes any Arab movement incredibly sensitive (remember Israel has nuclear weapons too)
*Look what they are doing to tourist when they go there or when they take kids and mothers in UK have to go to extreme to get them back. They were cutting people in Bosnia- same Arabs .....
They are who they are and they should solve it within.*
bursting i have no idea what you are talking about now, but Bosnians are not Arabs, and you seem to think that Arabs and Muslims are the same thing.
Look what who is doing to tourists when the go where exactly? I'm sorry to say you are in danger of sounding as though you are on an ignorant anti-muslim, anti-immigration rant now. God knowa I have some concerns of my own about the way this country has been affected by mass immigration in recent years, but I don't think it has anything AT ALL to do with what is happening in Syria now.
burstingbaboon - do you mind me asking where you orginate from? you said earlier you are not from the UK but live here now - (hope i got that right as memory is fuzzy after 6 pages...)
vicarinatutu - another reason why you can't bomb a chemical weapons depot here.
Sorry bursting I have just seen your first post, so I understand your perspective a bit more now, and it's nice that you think we in the UK give so much of ourselves and get so little in return in respect of helping and welcoming immigrants, but with respect I still feel that your anger at people you think are taking advantage of our hospitality should colour the way we think about Syria - just because both sets of people in question are muslim. It is perhaps a natural emotional response to feel like that sometimes but it is also the wrong emotional response and we must not succumb to it. I hope we are better than that.
should NOT colour the way you think - sorry!
the borders of these countries were drawn up and set by colonials in the 1920s.
there is a good piece in the washington post about what will happen if nothing is done.
but to disable their ability to use CW on their own people could be done by remotely striking with missiles
Were I living anywhere near a CW plant/stockpile, not sure I'd find the concept of it being blown up conforting.
How do you make sure you don't bascially release all the toxic stuff and spread it far and wide ?
Don't know how true it is, but Sky was saying the government is moving prisoners into military installations.
Which is why the US wanted to get a move on, before they moved too many.
I know Bosnians are not Arabs and I know not all Muslims are Arabs. What I meant to say , when war was in Bosnia , terrible war , Arab countries were sending MujAhideens who were killing everyone who was not muslim/ Arab!
They didn't care for no one else .
Now when they are fighting among them west has to jump on.
At any point I don't agree with what is happening I was just trying put across that UK is Samaritan who ends up losing on every side.
I am from EU country but living here 15 yrs. I have seen UK and people are taken many times for gratent. As a nation you are too good. Through my posts - if you read them all- I was trying to put that across.
Uk will be used, then again extremist will decide to make attack in some form. Thanks God for inteligence you have here so they prevented things from happening few times.
Maybe I come across as someone who doesn't care , I do but why more soldiers put at risk , why? You have given so much to so many countries and to so many people?!
Still I think strongly they should deal with a things themselves or with a help od Arab/ Muslim neighbours.
Of course Assad is preparing for retaliation. This is not Iraq. Everything seems to indicate that he has weapons of mass destruction (as so does the UK) which means he can hit back to some level.
And of course it is better to attack by surprise. However, Obama and Cameron have to answer to their voters and tax payers so cannot just go into a war of these dimensions without any debate at Congress/Parliament level (at least the UK has explained its position; the US and France have not)
Bursting, I admire your incredibly nice image of the UK. The UK has not become the incredibly powerful nation it is by being the Samaritan of the world. A big part of the fights among Middle Eastern countries has been orchestrated by the UK and its interests in the region.
They are not losing anywhere..
I feel a bit ashamed to be British to be honest. Doing nothing is the same as turning a blind eye to a child being attacked outside your house. We can't say "it's nothing to do with me" when innocent people are relying on us to help them. Intervention probably wouldn't have involved our troops being on the ground, especially as chemical weapons could be used on us. What would have happened if we had turned a blind eye to Hitler? He wasn't attacking our civilians to start with - he was killing his own but he didn't stop there did he? We have a duty to stand against a regime that attacks its own people because if we don't, what's to stop him attacking us or our allies with the same chemical weapons - or worse?
the "it's nothing to do with me" isn't the main argument for not attacking right now though. Nor does not attacking mean that nobody cares about innocent victims. It's the problem of whether or not military intervention now would just make things a whole lots worse, with problems spreading throughout the region, increasing hatred of the west, having all kinds of other consequences. There will be loads more victims whatever is done, sadly. It doesn't mean people don't care, even if they're not sure that intervention at the moment is the right plan.
Anyone who says that those objecting to military intervention are using 'it's nothing to do with me' as their reason, hasn't bothered their arse to read the thread.
It's like saying 'pick a side in the Iran-Iraq war and support them'. It's not likely to end well, and piling in more military force into a volatile area could well make things worse, not just for Syria, but for the neighbouring countries.
I haven't read the whole thread (sorry) but my opinion is that the UK is not the world's policeman. What is happening in Syria is horrendous but can we wade in? We have the UN and they need to declare intervention as warranted and until then I think the UK can only offer aid and support to the victims.
There are far more powerful countries than us; Russia, China and Germany to name a few. They have bigger armies and more resources and only if there was a whole UN response to Syria would it make sense for us to step in. I think then this atrocity could be stopped.
It's a shameful situation and makes me think of Rwanda, Kosovo, Iraq etc - not because we aren't stepping in this time but because humanity has learned nothing and can still commit such awful acts.
Pagwatch well said agree with everything you wrote
But how, even with bigger armies and more resources, would these atrocities be stopped? Who would you strike at? Who would you arm? What would be the end goal? Which of the many factions do you support and how would you do that without destabiliting everything else?
I don't think it's just a matter of armies and resources. It's that nobody really has a clue how to stop it.
what do people think is going to happen if we do nothing but give aid? seriously - is this not what happened during WW2? we sat and did nothing until we were at war
This is more like World War 1, with tripwires everywhere. What do people think will happen if we do bomb Syria? That they and their backers will apologise and buy everyone cupcakes?
Personally it's a relief in a way that we are not supporting the US in a military strike on Syria (sorry) yes i know innocent people and children are being killed it's awful but the fact that China and Russia have made it clear how they feel if we go in is more of a concern (We do not want a WW3) after all they are very close allies like we are with the US And if we go in i honestly feel it would be the breaking point. Even though the military strike is just on Syria's weapons and military bases and not on civilians it's just to much of a risk. However i do think we will end up going it at some point regardless
It would be bonkers and irresponsible to launch in with bombings before the government has even had sight of the report from the UN inspectors. That is why the vote
thank fuck was lost. I would like to think the government learnt something from Iraq about jumping in with both feet before taking your shoes off. I suspect matters will change in due course though which I fully support.
The issue is not as clear cut as some would like to make out.
and to be honest, I don't understand it very well either But there are a couple of points that make me glad we are erring on the side of caution.
1. Nobody actually knows who is using the chemical weapons. It could be the Syrian government but it could also be the rebels, they are fighting within factions amongst themselves and have reportedly used chemical weapons too. So until we have clarification, storming in attacking the government to find out it's the other side would be lunacy. It's a civil war within a civil war and because we haven't experienced it here we can't imagine the complexities.
2. They aren't playing 'fair'. Prisoners and casualties have been moved to military bases in Syria already. They've had plenty of time to plan as they know the public disgust to the use of gas. Where would you then suggest we attack?
3. Aside from physical civilian casualties if / when we become involved, war will damage the economy of Syria further which is also no good for the innocent people who have to live there during this.
Watching the news reports makes me cry and I wish it was a case of 'bomb the bastard who did it to make it stop' but it's not.
Whatever the next step is has to be so carefully thought out to avoid more hardship for the people of Syria.
But we should definitely we providing more humanitarian and medical aid, perhaps try and broker an agreement with a neighbouring country for extra aid and refuge for those who wish to flee...I don't know, there is no magic answer, it is desperately
Absolutely agree with Giddystars - you've summed it up beautifully.
The trick will be providing enough humanitarian aid to ensure a whole population doesn't starve through winter, but not to much to ensure that factions can continue fighting.
The only "expertise" we could offer is hosting and nurturing diplomatic channels, bearing witness to events, and possibly funding neighboring countries to negotiate safe zones for refuges. That and dangling a big fat carrot of trade deals and infrastructure rebuilding for a peacetime Syria.
The work that is needed will take decades to bear fruit, but that is the type of intervention I would support.
How can we fund anything if, as Cam and Osbourne continually tell us, our pot is empty? We're broke.
I've lost faith in Britain and feel quite ashamed to be British. How anyone can say they 'feel' for the Syrian people and it 'breaks their hearts to see children suffering' YET vote to do absolutely nothing because 'it's nothing to do with us' cannot really or truly be feeling anyone's pain or be sickened by what is going on.
If the shoe was on the other foot we'd be screaming for other countries to intervene.
Would you really walk on by after seeing someone being attacked? Afterall, another person is just that - the same as Syrians, other people - and taking the stance that Syria has nothing to do with us and 'let others get involved' is saying to a victim of a street attack that 'they' have nothing to do with anyone and someone else should help.
Britain is now full with self obsessed people whose only importance is money rather than the welfare of fellow human beings.
The British media may as well stop reporting on such news stories because quite clearly the British people are so hard faced, unsympathetic, uncaring and selfish to give a damned.
We've lost the 'Great' in Britain and British people and Labour have made damned sure that we are seen as running ducks in times of conflict.
The word COWARD springs to mind.
And bombing Syria and killing some more Syrians would help, how?
Junkfoodaddict and others who advocate our involvement
I am waiting for one of you to respond to the questions raised on here -
Who do we attack
Where do we attack
What should we attack with (men, bombs, etc)
How do we ensure we only kill the "right" people
How do we ensure no children are harmed in our attack
It's all very well for you to bleat on and on that we must do something, but none of you are suggesting WHAT we should do.
(For those who say it's like walking past someone being attacked and doing nothing, it's not like one person being attacked by another - more like a mass brawl. If you saw a throng of, say, 20 men all fighting each other how would you, on your own, stop them?)
All these people saying you're ashamed to be British and that we are just walking on by and doing nothing - have you even read the thread? People have explained over and over again that there isn't anything that can easily be done - there is no one person to bomb, one side to support, one faction to arm, none of that. It's a messy, civil war where nobody is in the right, and many of the rebel factions that could be helped by intervention are not actually who you'd want in power either. The whole thing could well spread and have far worse consequences for the region, and for the west.
Nobody knows how to make it stop. It's not as simple as saying we can't be bothered or we haven't the money or we're cowards.
What would bombing them DO? Who do you want us to bomb? How do you think this would stop it?
Seasicksal on p2 said it all for me.
I think the situation is horrendous but I can't see how US or UK intervention will learn to anything but more bloodshed, instability and animosity leading to terrorism. It's too volatile. I don't want action against Assad to appear to be action for Al Qaeda. I don't support any of what is happening or has happened but I don't see any way out, I think the West is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Given this, I would prefer no action to action with unintended deleterious consequences.
noblegiraffe said "it's like saying 'pick a side in the Iran-Iraq war and support them'". Well, we picked up a side at the time. We very much supported Iraq and this was one of the milestone moments when the West got involved without thinking much of the consequences.
Sadam used chemical weapons against its population several times. Nobody did anything and it was very clear who was the attacker and the victims. You can google 'Fallujah white phosphorus' for instance. Depleted uranium was used too by the US-UK coalition in Iraq.
After all, the chemical weapons issue is not as evident as they want us to believe. The difference between blowing up people and poisoning them is not that important for most of us. Evidence of war crimes being committed existed before the Chemical Weapons reports. All indicated that the US wants to intervene and was looking for an excuse.
I am not British, but I feel proud that the Parliament stopped something that seems too messy and driven for the wrong reasons.
I agree with timeforabuiscuit. Let's put the incredibly high amount of money and resources a military intervention means into helping refugees out of the country. Let's help the neighbouring countries taking the burden. Find a way to leave only those who want to fight each other inside the territory.
Missile attacks. The estimated death from the chemical weapons is 1,400. I wonder what the 'collateral' death rate from missiles will be?
I don't know if there is even a 'right' thing to do. However, I hate those remote control killing devices. It's like a video game for the guys operating them. Good business for the armaments industry though. And the countries that manufacture them. And the governments that get funding from their buds in those industries. Yep, it's completely about the moral thing to do.
Will their conscience force them to act on North Korea and China soon?
I don't feel ashamed to be British, I am just sad that the world does not work in the simple way we think it does - my dh is from the middle east, and his political opinions, along with all his friends from similar countries, are that no matter what happens, the US is to blame. He somehow manages to blame the US for absolutely everything that happens out there. And he blames the UK if they're involved too. Believe me, if we 'strike' Syria, it won't have the outcome we hope - it will all turn around on us and become unbelievably ugly, with the middle eastern press publishing pictures of babies which 'the West' have supposedly killed in their 'strikes' etc etc.
We can't win - I am sorry that that's the case, but it is far, far better that we effectively wash our hands of it, because we simply do not know what we are dealing with. These people have been brought up entirely differently from those in 'the West' and their political opinions are frighteningly aggressive towards the US and the UK.
I hope you have some understanding about why former colonies have a pretty bad image of the UK. And looking at what the US has done around the world, it also explains a lot of aggression.
Many of us have been brought up with a bad image of the Middle East, the muslims, their link to terrorism and extremism, etc. Most of us have not set a foot in the Middle East.
Many people have never been in Syria, seen its incredible beauty the warmth of their people. For most of the West all Middle Eastern countries (and African) are the same. I know many persons who would have never understood the difference between Syria and Iran, lets say 5 years ago
The people in the Middle East have some understanding of the West, watch Western news, Western films, etc. They are not totally ignorant either.
No doubt they show pictures of death kids as excuse for their own purposes. As it happens here.
I am glad that (for once) the politicians aren't just going with, "we have to do something so let's do anything". Because the track record so far, in so many areas, is that they rush in too fast with no real thought for consequences.
And the situation in Syria needs way more than a kneejerk reaction.
Syria has not asked the WEst to come with the bombs. Is it that strange to think they will not be grateful and rather suspicious of the Western intentions with their intervention?
I have been in Iraq a few times in the past 3 years. Most business, politicians, oil platforms are run by US-UK firms and personalities. It generates a lot of problems and the only truth is that there is no clear solution for this.
According to some news here (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/britain-sold-nerve-gas-chemicals-2242520) Britain sold never gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after the war began. No clean sides to look at.
I was saying to my husband that when chemical weapons are used, the people who manufactured and supplied them should be are responsible too. The purpose of chemical weapons is to kill/poison people.
Yes, the world certainly does not work in the simple way we think it does. Certainly if Britain and other supply chemical weapons and them turns around and deplores their intended use, i.e. poisoning people. There is absolutely no 'clean' purpose to chemical weapons. Same as land mines.
claw I think they get around that by supplying the ingredients and then denying that they knew they'd be used in that way. Which is a little unlikely, but can't be proved.
Do you really think that it was the Syrian government who used the chemical weapons on its own people?
Who gains from War ?
What country has started the most wars ?
What countries are dependent on oil from that region ?
Who makes and supplies the weapons?
That's the problem as I mentioned earlier on. If or when west gets involved they will be blamed and if they don't get involved they will still be blamed.
I feel sorry for people who are saying that they are ashemed of being British. Why?
GB is giving lots of help to lots of countries- a lot. Look at London- everyone is here and everyone is given everything.
GB is a beautiful country with very compassionate people. Not every time GB needs to sacrifice soldiers. I am very happy that Cameron stepped back. I will say again, muslim and Arab countries should help, not wait for the west and whichever way it goes, As I said West Will be blamed---- as usual.
Lots of evidence suggest it was the government of Syria using chemical weapons on their own people. The supply of weapons works on many directions. Not a single side to look at; nobody acts thinking they are doing the wrong thing.
Assad is convinced of doing the right thing, as Obama and Cameron are. They all have a point. They are all ambitious narcissists personalities with thirst for power. This is why they got there in the first place.
Sorry I feel klike a proper downer today
As for the use of chemical weapons, if you are interested in the technical side of it, this is a good blog following the conflict http://brown-moses.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1
This is a decent summary of the situation in Syria www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/29/9-questions-about-syria-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/
Strikes by the US, and others, would only be effective if the true aim is to move troops in to take over south-western Syria. I'm guessing the true long term intention is a land grab - that part of Syria has been coveted for many years by a neighbour due to it's water supply. Chemical weapons of unknown provenance and no clarity with regards to who is using them? ... casus belli.
Sorry... Just realised someone else had posted that link earlier
So if the US and France were to strike and go in with Al Qadir then what are people thinking the outcome will be? What you get rid of Assad and then what? Who is going to being power then>
cam I missed it earlier, so thanks for posting it again. I didn't know all of that.
The UK government have been and are "doing nothing" - not involving our military - in a lot of things. North Korea has had labour camps for years, Burma's Buddist-majority-military machine are still killing off the Muslim minority, Israel used phosphorus, the list goes on...the military industry is quite thriving without our intervention. The idea that we ALWAYS get involved ignores a lot of what goes on in the world and ignores that we are one of 5 permanent members of the UN security council, which means we always have a voice - and have to give a voice - on the UN military actions.
The UK is a major cause of why that region is as it is. The UK carved it up with France after the fall of the Ottoman, which many say that UK and France were a major cause, and has involved itself in the politics of the region ever since - not just Iraq, but it's involvement in the Iran's coup to maintain cheaper oil supplies (Iran was going to nationalise their oil) is well known, the entire Palestine/Israel issue roots in Britain promising the same thing to a bunch of groups and then just leaving them to it. We're already 'involved' and it has a lot to do with the UK.
However, it's still wiser to avoid military intervention. We have no clear plan of action, and the public are not given real understanding - both American and UK media have been caught using inaccurate images to try to sway the public - images from the war in Iraq have been repeatedly used to prove the devastation in Syria. Some more involved have tried to give more open information and it's quite clear that there is no military invention would work well.
And really, bringing in the military shouldn't be our first thought. We need more thought on what governments - national and international - and the public can do, change can be brought without bombs falling from the sky. More dead won't make anything better.
crosspost camaleon, my second link has the same info as yours.
The media unfortunately are a bit shit about using correct images to illustrate stories. I mean using images from games has happened more than once.
Why do you pick and choose like this Mumsnet?
Ages ago I linked to a petition to Assad's wife that people all around the world were signing...and I mean months and months ago.Mumsnet would not let it stand....
Petitions aren't allowed AFAIK dooby
....related to the Syrian appeal which has suddenly appeared on Mumsnet
Yes Goths...you are right...but some seem to be,though cannot remember off top of my head so might be wrong.Just think that maybe there could be a petitions section that people could choose to read or avoid.
camaleon - i posted that link before.
i agree there is no easy answer, but i cant help feeling that if this were my children being burned and gassed i would hope someone would step in and help.
assad needs to go. one way or another.
there must be something that we can do other than watch it happen and give aid after the event?
Vicar - some of the images being used to get public uproar against Syria are actually from Israel on Palestians - tw graphic images.
There is a reason the media are promoting this, and it has very little to do with children being burned and gassed. If it was, we would be talking intervention in a lot of other places first (and questioning the intervention of the US and the UK is some countries where they've caused the bringing in of more oppressive regimes).
and of course everyone feels that if their children were being burned and gassed someone would step in and help.
But what kind of help do you mean?? What is actually going to help? That's the problem. Not that people want to sit and do nothing, but that there isn't anything helpful to do, other than help the other countries that are taking in refugees to provide the most humanitarian aid possible. That is also doing something, and it may be all that's possible at the moment.
Replacing one hideous power without another equally hideous, and further destabilising the region, and creating hatred of the west, and promoting the rise of terrorist groups, and all of those extra consequences - how will that help?
People say we should help, but when asked have no clear idea what, specifically, we should do that would help anyone.
Do you really think that it was the Syrian government who used the chemical weapons on its own people?
I think this is the million dollar question. What I cannot explain or think of a plausible explanation for, is why would Assad use chemical weapons on his own people when:
1) UN inspectors are in the area
2) By all accounts he's actually winning at the moment.
He's a tyrant, not stupid. He gains absolutely nothing from attacking his own people. Yet the rebels do. They absolutely gain from gassing some innocent civilians. If they are indeed losing, drawing US airpower into the fight would be a pivotal moment for them.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that Assad seems to lack credible motive. He seems to have much more to lose and practically nothing to gain.
Although I know it's a manipulated 'story' of what's happening, the way the media portrayed the Iranian leaders going to see Assad yesterday, and the US flexing it's muscles in a Turkish Airbase, is a bit scary.
That it's nothing to do with chemical weapons or Syria, it's about Us and Them, and both sides are setting themselves up for what could happen.
Lots of people dampening lots of sparks in that tinderbox, I wouldn't like the consequences if one took hold.
Vicar, would you still want Assad to go if you knew Saddam Hussein were waiting in the wings to take over?
There is nothing to say that Assad going would make things any better. Intervention could well make things worse.
Is your insistence that Assad should be overthrown by military intervention from us blind to that possibility? Or do you just not actually care about the long term consequences of action and just want to be seen to be doing something?
yes noble - of course thats my rational. i dont care about long term consequences at all.
but i do think that iraq is still so fresh in everyones mind that its making governments run scared. This is not the same.
i am not advocating military intervention as in troops on the ground. Assad is getting the message loud and clear im sure, that no one is going to do anything so he can carry on as he wishes.
if peoples consciences can be assuaged by throwing aid after the event then i despair.
so when the UN actually does come out and state that yes, Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people - what then? more nothing? more "lets look the other way because its nothing to do with us?"
lets allow genocide to happen because its not happening here and doesnt affect us?
the most harrowing thing i ever read was in the guardian magazine - accounts from people in the UN who watched the massacre in Rwanda, and who were forbidden to help, because their role was as observers only.
so thats us then - casual observers of genocide but who will do nothing because its not us it affects.
seems to me that no lessons have been learnt from other wars. i never thought that after genocide during WW2 that it could ever happen again - and yet it did - in the 1990s.
And if it was not the government but the rebels who used the gas?
What then? What if the West walks in, overthrows the government, installs the rebels and it comes out that they did it?
It isn't 'doesn't effect me' that should make us stop and think, but 'what is going on here?'.
What exactly do you propose?
Bombing chemical weapons plants whether they are in populated areas or not is quite possibly one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard.
Just how much collateral damage does there need to be so we can feel like we are 'doing something'? How many children is it OK for us to kill to avenge those who have already died? Do you have numbers? Do you have a plan?
What is this 'something' that everyone wants to happen?
One country which has used chemical weapons against civilians recently is the US - look up white phosphorus and the bombing of Fallujah. Israel was also accused, recently, of using it in certain Palestinian areas.
If there is an attack on Syria it is not out of concern for the citizens. I am appalled by their brazen use of photographs from other conflicts as propaganda for this. The rot runs straight to the highest echelons of U.S foreign policy and particularly those who tout themselves as the U.S' biggest ally in the region. That they invoke the Holocaust as reasoning for their war crimes make me feel like vomiting, particularly since the families of not a few are known to have collaborated in that (reasoned correctly it would shock Europe into establishing Israel with battered, impoverished and traumatised survivors as the new population).
Sorry, that should read families of not a few of the policy gurus from some of the leading thinktanks.
Agree with TheSpork and Mimi.
The idea that US & UK are interested in saving poor little Syrians is as absurd as their attempt to free the Iraqis. In the past the UK & US got away with carrying out atrocities and this time it appears that if they attempt to dip their fat fingers in the pie yet again. The consequences will be dire for the rest of us.
Vicar - what exactly do you want the US and the UK to do?
Vicar, so if you want Assad to go, then you want the Islamist rebels with links to al-Qaeda in power instead? Is that what you are proposing as a solution?
You can't say that you care about the long term consequences then embark on a bombing campaign and enforce regime change without a roadmap of what you want to happen afterwards.
so when the UN actually does come out and state that yes, Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people - what then? more nothing
The word is if, not when. The time and place was way too convenient IMO.
And if it is true, you reconsider, that's the rational course. Innocent until proven guilty is a very sound concept. Deciding someone is guilty, meting out punishment and then finding out they are innocent is a pretty medieval stance.
But the fundamental issue remains - this is a religious/civil war, those are always vicious and brutal, with atrocities on both sides. Apart from improving humanitarian aid, what can you do that doesn't make the situation worse?
They can't say for sure it was Assad, probably. They were there to ascertain that chemical weapons were used, and how they were delivered. From the "delivery system" it may be possible to draw conclusions about who used them.
lets allow genocide to happen because its not happening here and doesnt affect us
But what will happen to the minority religion/culture groups when a mixed bag of rebels with differing motivations fill a power vaccum post Assad ?
From what I have read there are a number of minorities at risk of being murdered in large numbers should the other side(s) no longer be otherwise occupied with fighting the government.
How do you police that by firing missiles from the Med ?
I don't see how you can avoid genocide by helping to create circumtances that is likely to offer the opportunity to commit more genocide.
It would be easier if it were a stright up and down good guys v the bad guy, let's help the good guys and everything will get better, but that's not the case. It could be a case of frying pan to other frying pan, or it could end up with frying pan to fire for an awful lot the ordinary Syrians of various religions/cultures who have to live with the co sequences of our choices. All we can do is say "opps!" They get to die, be maimed and truamatised by any unforseen outcome of what our nations do.
It might make some people living in other nations feel better, like "something was done!" if we intervene. But if the outcome risks making things just as bad if not worse, isn't that prioritising our feelings as bystanders over the far greater need of the people at the sharp end not to be at risk of sacrifice in order to make westerners feel better ?
I fear if we intervene in Syria without the backing of the UN we will be viewed by other muslim states and some muslims in this country as an arrogant-post imperial power going in to sort out the natives. The backlash from previous UK interventions was seen in the 7/7 bombings and the beheading of Lee Rigby. If we had intervened in Eygpt, as the Eyptipian opposition had wanted at that time, we would now have been blamed for the Morsi government's failings and prehaps have been subject to reprisals. As others have pointed out it rather telling the Arab states deathly silence on the subject of Syria. They know its a dirty war which will not end well.
7/7 is highly unlikely to have been backlash..
so when the UN actually does come out and state that yes, Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people - what then? more nothing? more "lets look the other way because its nothing to do with us?"
lets allow genocide to happen because its not happening here and doesnt affect us? ^
are you even reading what people are saying?
People are not refusing to help because "it's nothing to do with us". They are not "looking the other way and letting genocide happen". They don't know how to stop it!
What do you think we should do? You say not troops on the ground. So what, air strikes? Against whom? How? you want to remove Assad, but replace him with what? You want to do all this and increase the chances of other terrorist factions increasing in power, without knowing if it will make things better or worse in the long run?
I wish to God there were things we could do that would help. But jumping in just to be seen to be doing 'something' so that we're not 'turning a blind eye' is not the way. You don't seem to be going any further in thinking that bad things are happening so we must do something, even though there is nothing clear that would help. Everyone wants to help if there were a way. Nobody is insensible to the suffering. But nobody wants to make things much, much worse, either.
Humanitarian aid after the fact is not just way of 'appeasing our consciences that we did nothing' - that implies that there was something we could/should have done, but didn't. there isn't, not at this point. Providing resources to countries who have to cope with refugees, providing whatever aid we can to the people there, that is doing something.
And keep reviewing the options, continually, and seeing if there ever is a time when intervention might seem like a better solution than it does at the moment.
If you have a situation with various complicated options, you can't just keep looking at it and saying 'I don't want any of those, I want it to be like this, a situation where we can help'. We all want there to be something we can do to help, but you have to face the reality of this situation, not just imagining something else and arguing on the basis of that.
For the love of God, have people been on here saying 'it's nothing to do with us?"
There are many reaons why intervention is incredibly difficult and likely to make matters worse.
It is probably great to wring your hands and run around saying 'oh but the children! ' and think that helps. Go ahead, it is probably cathartic.
But will you stop suggesting that anyone who is trying to be open about the hideousness of this mess and the impotence of anyone to help those caught in the midst of this slaughter doesn't care.
I care as much as you do. I am just not busily pretending that I have some moral superiority because I m pointlessly wailing on the Internet.
Yes we should be 'doing something' but the reality is that nothing we do short of sending in a massive coalition of troops is likely to stop the bloodshed.
And I don't think i've read any posts supporting another large scale invasion the size of Iraq/Afghanistan.
It's not that I don't support intervention. It's just that I'd like to understand the 'evidence' supporting this, the plan and most importantly THE GOAL.
So far the only thing talked about is air strikes. So what? I'd be absolutely amazed if Assad hasn't moved all his stockpiles of chemical weapons by now into residential areas, schools, hospitals. He's a tyrant, not stupid.
And as mentioned on the thread in the news section. Isn't it really coincidental that he'd use chemical weapons to attack his own people whilst UN inspectors were in Syria? That possibly seems like the most stupid thing to do doesn't it? Logic dictates that he is the last person to benefit from such action.
Like Carpevinum says, there's no straight good guys vs bad guys here. If we help the rebels win, we'll soon find out that actually they're no better than the guys we just got rid of. In fact the rebels only have one thing in common and that's their united hatred of Assad. Take that away and they'll probably continue to squabble amongst themselves and anarchy is likely to continue.
"I'd be absolutely amazed if Assad hasn't moved all his stockpiles of chemical weapons by now into residential areas, schools, hospitals. He's a tyrant, not stupid."
You aren't going to be amazed niceguy. Yes, he's a very brainy maniac, and the people around him are maniacs too.
Mimishimi speech from 7/7 bombers:
Two of the bombers made videotapes describing their reasons for becoming what they called "soldiers". In a videotape broadcast by Al Jazeera on 1 September 2005, Mohammad Sidique Khan, described his motivation. The tape had been edited and also featured al-Qaeda member and future leader Ayman al-Zawahiri:
I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn't come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger. Your democratically-elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters. Until we feel security you will be our targets and until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.
A second part of the tape continues
...I myself, I myself, I make dua (pray) to Allah... to raise me amongst those whom I love like the prophets, the messengers, the martyrs and today's heroes like our beloved Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, Dr Ayman al-Zawahri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and all the other brothers and sisters that are fighting in the... of this cause.
On 6 July 2006, a videotaped statement by Shehzad Tanweer was broadcast by Al-Jazeera. In the video, which may have been edited to include remarks by al-Zawahiri who appeared in Khan's video, Tanweer said:
What have you witnessed now is only the beginning of a string of attacks that will continue and become stronger until you pull your forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq. And until you stop your financial and military support to America and Israel.
I'm looking for the link I found early this morning on the BBC website that gave brief clips from ME papers and news sites with opinions on what should happen.
It's proving elusive.
Why do we need to intervene in "genocide" in the middle east, but not in Africa?
Who will we try to make the leader of Syria in Assad's place?
If we blow up civilians (children included) to get rid of the chemical weapons, does our good intention make children dying matter less?
Why should individual countries be deciding on any action independently? - the UN was formed in order to police this sort of thing with due reference to the legality and the consequences of any action.
To answer your question VicarInaTutu "why are we doing nothing?"
I believe 'we' are doing nothing, because mostly we don't know what to do.
Obama is right when he says people are war weary.
I am, I am tired of the west telling everyone else how to live or else, I am tired of wearing the blame for the children we kill in their beds in our efforts to 'help'.
It is just too bloody complicated for me to be calling on my government for action.
What do you propose? You must have better intel than me because I have no bloody idea what would make this better rather than worse.
I agree that a full investigation should be the priority, not air strikes that could kill more innocent people. Going in all guns blazing may make casual observers feel great that the 'baddies' are getting their comeuppance, but we don't actually know who the baddies are.
I am also interested in what VicarInaTutu thinks we should be doing instead of nothing.
If we help the rebels win, we'll soon find out that actually they're no better than the guys we just got rid of. In fact the rebels only have one thing in common and that's their united hatred of Assad. Take that away and they'll probably continue to squabble amongst themselves and anarchy is likely to continue.
This. To depose one leader, you need to ensure there's a credible alternative, otherwise you just get years and years of civil war. People in the west think democracy is always the best thing for a country and perhaps it is as an ultimate aim, but that doesnt mean that every country is capable of transitioning to democracy in an orderly way right now.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We should bloody well stay out of it. Any politician crying "THE CHILDREN!" needs a bloody good hiding themselves. Only the very very very naive think that the average Western politician gives a ding dang dong about any children anywhere. They use "THE CHILDREN!" as an excuse to get support from the aid industry and those that support the aid industry. It is obvious that none of the politicians care about the children in the countries that they represent ( only using them as political pawns). I have to harden my heart and try and analyse what they are trying to hide. Politicians rely (especially in Britain) on the general public's naivety, passion, vanity (wanting to be seen to be on the right side of history) and sense of escapism (from our belt tightened reality?).
How many children are dying in wars and contention all over the world? What is so special about Syria? What have we got to gain from entering that civil war? Why would we want to side with Al Quaeda in a civil war, but war against them in the War on Terror?
Sometimes (as some of us have wisely done with our own kids or partner), when you see a bunch of people in a room who are apparently "friends", but something doesn't sit right with you, hasn't anybody asked themselves "what could they possibly have in common?". You know something is amiss when a left leaning French leader is acting like Rambo the Second and Call me Dave calls a vote on military action with all the organisation skills of a toddler.
Cheap sentimentality has always pissed me off. Even cheaper is to use "THE CHILDREN!" as an excuse for killing even more children in order to maintain some semblance of Empire. Time to leave The U.S to their own devices. For that Britain can give herself a pat on the back. She taught her son all the dirtiest tricks in the book and he learned them well. As with all good teachers they must run the risk of the pupil passing the mentor. As a good mother, Britain must let the son leave the frock tails and cling to another "woman". Let France be the abused wife.
Seems pretty obvious that there is more to this than meets the eye. Every day thousands, and millions of innocent people are killed either purposefully or as 'collateral damage', but all of a sudden the world stops because of this case.
We all know they have been after this Asaad guy for weeks now, and that the rebels had used gas before, and that the US threatened war if gas was used. How stupid do they think we are?
The vote wont change a thing, sooner or later we will be carpet bombing this place like everywhere else in the middle east, without the slightest care for the death toll of innocent kids, that will make the current lot insignificant.
Its like the sharks have smelt one drop of blood and now can legitimately start a feeding frenzy.
the most harrowing thing i ever read was in the guardian magazine - accounts from people in the UN who watched the massacre in Rwanda, and who were forbidden to help, because their role was as observers only
The first time I went into Bosnia it was wearing a UN beret. It was harrowing. It was frustrating, depressing, sickening and all the other adjectives used to describe something awful. We were completely powerless, unless we were fired on. We had to stand by helpless watching men and women being dragged into the back of Pantec Vans, supposedly being taken to 'detention centres' but knowing in reality it was the last time those people would see their families again.
The UN is toothless. If anything is going to happen it has to be NATO led. And that is looking unlikely.
All we can do at the moment is support the refugees and send aid, or open our borders.
7/7 is highly unlikely to have been backlash..
Minimishi, so what was is then?
I think the way the commons vote went is just what dave wanted. He can be seen by the world at large to be wanting to do this unknown something but then blocked by the house of commons.
Win Win for him as he now looks to care about dying children but doesn't have to start bombing anyone.
I only hope that congress is as sensible as our house of commons and they put the leash on Obama too.
If a western force intervenes it can and will provide more resentment from Muslim countries around the middle east and create even more bad feeling for us.
What is needed is maybe a nearby country with a credible armed forces and that doesn't have a long logistical tail with airfields close by.
Impartiality is the key however and any Christian/Western force will end up being attacked by all sides.
Therefore the only country that fulfils all the criteria for intervention would be Israel.
If Israel intervened, Iran (which supports Assad) would be in there like a shot. Iran has nuclear weapons too.
Israel has it's own problems. ZA
That would go down well then
ZA was baby typing, sorry!
Well said Peggy upsets me to see poor children dying 
This is the classic situation of being damned if you do and damned if you don't.
The rebels/freedom fighters (depends on which side you are on) are backed in some areas by Al Quaeda so what do we do, support the terrorists who killed 4000 on 9/11?
Missile strikes in areas controlled by government forces and kill more civilians?
Upset further a Middle East which is already teetering on meltdown?
We supported rebels/freedom fighters in Egypt and they elected the Muslim Brotherhood who were clamping down on individual freedoms. Now there is conflict again there.
Don't even go there with Iran and Afghanistan! No UN mandale, no WMD, no Al Quaeda. All left to fend for themselves and will no doubt descend into civil war and chaos with the Taliban in Afghanistan regaining control.
To go in with missiles would be a disaster.
Assad knows all this, the people of this country and America know this, even president Obama knows this and is using the vote in congress to do a Herod act! Cameron is set on doing a Blair. The sentiment is right but the thinking isn't there.
Rwanda was not the same. Stopping genocide would have been justified. The region was not the powder keg the middle east is.
Of course it is horrifying and a war crime to gas innocent civilians but would missile strikes make their lives any better?
I think those who are demanding that we take action should be given a gun and shipped to Syria. It's easy to demand action from the safety of your armchair.
Our country does not need any more war. We don't need to send any more of our men and women to there deaths.
My younger brother fought in Iraq. He came back a broken man. He lost friends and other friends came back minus limbs. Now he can't find work after being medically discharged. Is this what you lot want? A generation of fucked up men and women who have been sent to help countries who despise us?
I have other family members in the army and i don't want to see them die in another war. We are not the worlds police. I hope to god that we pull out of every country we are in. The army should be at home, controlling our borders, keeping our people safe.
We cannot afford it either.
Sorry if you think i am being horrible. I sat with my brother when he had internal bleeding.
We should not get involved.
Cooe. In an ideal world, a country's well trained army and it's cache of weapons would be there to act as a deterrent and to defend a country, just like the set up in Singapore, which incidentally came about after the British abandoned ship and left them to the mercy of the Japanese during WW2.
However camaleon is right in what she says about the UK and how they have caused/ influenced the set up in the Middle East and other countries. Camaleon does me an injustice though when she says that I see Syrian's as animals. I just view Generals who eat soldier's hearts as animals. As a British person, I am not above, nor below anyone. My country and culture is not morally superior to anyone else's in the world. I no longer want my country to go round trying to influence others into being like us. I saw a map of the world the other day and it showed the countries that the UK had colonised. There were very few places we haven't. I agree, a lot of the conflict we see today is what we caused. However, when will the time come where we no longer feel obliged to compensate for the doings of our past generations? Now that I have lived abroad for a while the scales have fallen from my eyes and I can see that our government is utterly corrupt minus the violence (at home). The UK has the award of being the country with the most wars. Did you know that?
I would like to see the UK back off and for these conflicts to be dealt with in the future by some central organisation, organised by a group of countries. Oh hang on a minute, isn't that the UN? If I remember rightly, this was the original intention and it was heading that way, until their authority was undermined some years ago. It looks like that may come back to bite us and the USA .
Finally, Obama. For the first time I have a smidgen of respect for the man. I actually think the man has a conscience. I'm not sure if that is the right qualification for President of the USA. However I respect the man for finding this decision very hard. As for Cameron. I've been reading the UK newspapers every day and they sure do seem to be in a tizz over our image being tarnished. If you hop over to the US news they do not mention us once which just goes to show that they are losing no sleep over our non involvement, whatsoever. We sure are a proud nation who does not like to lose face! Cameron I believe is still moving helicopters to Cyprus and offering strategic assistance, so really when he said that the British people have spoken and he is listening, he was talking BS.
I have respect for Obama because he is taking it to Congress to vote on as he is supposed to do, according to the constitution, before declaring war. Certain 'advisors', like those associated with the Project for a New American Century ( their 'manifesto' published in September 2000 is worth a read), are frothing at the mouth and demanding he take immediate action without putting it to a vote (eg Vali Nasr).
What the chickenhawks don't seem to accept is that we really don't have the men to lose due to demographic changes (mostly brought about by the after effects of previous wars). Those men that we do have are understandably not too keen to forfeit their lives for those whose long term policy only seems to benefit them and their small group of cronies and leaves everyone else injured and impoverished. My brothers know very well if they joined up, they'd come back to nothing (job, education, housing) with probable injuries to boot.
I'm sure this is a double bluff from cameron. If he goes into Syria he will lose the next general election
I agree Mumzy. When I saw him on the telly saying "the British people have spoken and I am listening" I thought what a pile of bollocks! It's true though. If he does go in, he has lost the election. I don't live in the UK, but from what I read it seems that the attitude of the British people has changed quite a lot. It's not that they now lack empathy, it's that they feel a bit worn down by lots of things (the economy, benefits cuts etc) and are no longer prepared to put up with bullshit from anyone and no longer trust politicians.
Seems the Israelis and US have just carried out a missile test in the Med.
11.28am BST Israel confirms missile test
This is basically a Shia-Sunni conflict, going on for centuries. Assad belongs to the Alawite sect ( a minority in Syria), a subsect of Shias and hence supported by Iran who are majority Shia. The rebels are the majority sunni in Syria, hence supported by Sunni Saudi and others. But the christians and other minorities support Assad as they feel more secure with him rather than an ultra conservative saudi style regime. There are no easy answers. I also find it weird that assad would choose to use chemical weapons when the UN inspectors are about to visit Syria. That is shooting oneself in the foot! Personally think it is more the work of terrorist organisations. In the light of this, I find it unjustified to send our young men and women into this mess, to die , to get maimed and destroy their families. The only solution is dialogue between these different sects conducted under the UN offices to find a suitable and workable solution for all involved.
I would personally be in favour in channelling some of the (preposterous amounts) of aid we sent to places such as India and some of the African nations and refocussing that on helping the millions of refugees and displaced people in Syria, they will need medical supplies, food, clothing and shelter. That is something that urgently needs addressing.
I do not think wading in with our military will help, unles they can neutralise their cache and production of chemical weapons, which is probably nigh on impossible to do.
OP - There were many genocides between WW2 and Rwanda, wiki only has some of them in this list.
If we really want to say 'never again', maybe we should look at the genocides-in-waiting currently going on in Europe that the media and governments are choosing to ignore. We have Roma communities being walled up right now, in EU countries, what do you think is going to happen to them?
The media only talks about conflicts that have a benefit to someone. No one is ignoring Syria because it isn't about us, we're saying military conflict is wrong because conflict shouldn't benefit us and we need to learn that war should not be the means of peace. We can make change without war, we need to make change without war.
Goldenhandshake - Those countries give far far more to us than we ever give in aid to them and there is already aid pointed towards Syria, it's getting it in that's a bigger problem.
Thespork as awful as those statistics are (and I agree the rules need changing drastically) I still feel little sympathy when the aid we do give has no audit trail and despot leaders are purchasing jets, overseas properties and expensive cars, rather than helping the people the money is intended for, we know how corrupt many of these countries are, yet still blindly hand over millions of pounds.
I realise aid is allocated to Syria, but it's unlikely to be anywehere near enough, when there are now millions of displaced people. The aid we do have should be going through via the red cross or similar organisations in the form of food, water, medical supplies etc.
As an example, between 2013 and 2014, over £200 million pounds is earmarked for Nigeria, Dfid insists the money is to be used for specific projects, however it lists that 30% of this money is earmarked for 'other' projects that are not clearly explained, the cynic in me suggests they don't really have a clue how that 30% is being spent. I cannot get my head around why we are giving away this amount of money to a country with it's own space programme, when so many of the population live below the poverty line. We are far too soft, until these countries can prove they are doing everything they can for their people, we should not be subsidising them to such a great extent.
Do we? Which ones and how much are they already in our pockets? Pretty much all aid these days is tied to particular projects with long audit trails, not handed over wholesale to particular governments as you describe - that is usually bribes given by corporations in exchange for access to resources. That's two separate issues. Nobody is blindly handing over millions for nothing - it's all with a reason, usually for our own benefit. That's why it is so hard to establish equal trade and tax enforcement laws, they wouldn't benefit us, we'd rather import grain from poor countries, keep them dependent on income, then send lesser aid in later to combat the starvation we're causing. It's why it's so hard to get the government or media to discuss that other EU countries are in the early stages of genocide or most of the ones going on around the world. The one is Syria likely will lead to resources for us as did the Iranian one (which the UK was actively involved with and still gets dividends from).
There are several projects that could be donated to to aid Syrian refugees, the UK government may already be involved, but we could bring a lot more to the table if the government put in more effort, if it could beyond military intervention.
TheSpork yes we do, without outing myself totally, I work for a company that has attemtpted to establish business in many of these countries, however, as we have a stirct anti corruption policy, we have been forced to pull out of many locations as you cannot get anywhere without bribing officials every step of the way, corruption is inherent in most of these places, and we have had issues with staff not being able to leave these countries on occasion because they have refused to pay a bribe, so their paperwork is deemed 'inefficient' etc.
Yes, some aid is tied to specific projects, however too much of it is not, as with the 30% in Nigeria simply attributed to 'Other'. That is a lot of money, and as I said, if they can afford to fund a space program but not vaccinate, educate or feed their people, something needs to change, and other countries bailing them out is not a practical long term solution.
It is very complicated so there is no easy answer.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Vicarina you are right usa have already started drilling for oil in the golan heights. ... what does that say? Obama cares for the innocent people in syria? Yeah right... last year many innocent people were killed in palestine by israel and the u.s and obama declared the victims as "collateral damage" so we know if the u.s enter syria thousands of people will die and what will obamas excuse be???? I wonder
Kungfutea george galloway is a great man he speaks out for palestine not like most of the mps in uk who support u know who
Why don't you tell us how many people were killed in Israel and Palestine over the last couple of years? It's not hard to find out. Then compare to Syria.
I don't see what the problem is with developing the Golan heights. It's not going anywhere in the near future. Who is Israel going to give it back to exactly? The Syrian druze inhabitants certainly are very glad negotiations failed 10 years ago!
It's a mad day when Vladimir Putin seems to be the only person talking sense of the day. He is now saying show us the evidence and if it is clearcut that the Syrian government used CM then he would consider action via the UN. Sounds like a reasonable request that everyone could live with.
This is all about Assad threatening earlier this year to take back the Golan Heights which Israel captured after the 1967 waPr
well at the heart of this there are people who are suffering indescribably - i freely admit i dont give a rats arse about politics, nor do i particularly understand it.
i dont mind getting slated.
i dont feel im "whining about it on the internet" (thanks for that btw) - i feel we are discussing an issue that should be discussed. I dont see anyone with a gun to the head of anyone who doesnt want to discuss it. I was amazed that during the pictures that were appearing on the news that no one was asking any questions on here.
i am perfectly willing to be educated on why we should be doing nothing about chemical weapons being used.
its just that so far, ive not seen one decent argument as to why we should do diddly squat.
i see the US have given the green light to limited action.
Im not saying this is not complex. im not saying we should deploy troups. but i cant see how we can simply do nothing. I believe we are doing nothing because of past conflicts that bit politicians on the arse - and i think that is the only reason.
i do not think we should be doing what we did in iraq by any stretch of the imagination - but it feels like the world is scared to condemn Assads actions because of the previous political fall out and for no other reason than that.
the thing with living in the UK is that we have the luxury of free speech, so i am big enough and ugly enough to have started this thread with knowledge that not everyone would agree - but i am also entitled to an opinion.
so i will continue to "whine on the internet" which to my mind means "discuss the issue" .
We are not doing nothing. What we have done is rule aout milatry intervention at this time.
We are still pushing for a diplomatic solution and a proper road map to peace. Peace will only come via proper discussion and a diplomatic solution no peace ever comes via a cruise misile.
This conflict is not new. Over 100 000 have died in the last 2.5 years which is a 100 times the number who died in the one chemical attack of last week. But suddenly we are expected to "do" somthing. No one gave a shit a month ago but the 100 000 already dead are just as dead as the 1500 of last week.
What was the point of that article?
You do realize it's all bluster - along the lines of Assad running for president in 2014. Yep, that's definitely going to happen
oh righto then.
i, (and my opinions) will bow out.
But Vicar what do you want us to do?
If you believe there is enough evidence for doing 'something' what exactly is that something?
You can't just say we shouldn't do nothing without suggesting a viable alternative to nothing.
The politicians were bit on the arse as you say because what we did was wrong, better to do nothing than the wrong thing is the current thinking.
I'd also be grateful if you could explain what you meant by this comment:
" That they invoke the Holocaust as reasoning for their war crimes make me feel like vomiting, particularly since the families of not a few are known to have collaborated in that (reasoned correctly it would shock Europe into establishing Israel with battered, impoverished and traumatised survivors as the new population)."
Who is they? Who is invoking the holocaust as reasoning for their war crimes? Who reasoned that what would shock Europe into establishing Israel (BTW, Europe didn't 'establish' Israel, the UN voted for partition of Palestine, Israel established itself). You sound very confused to be honest.
The Balfour Declaration by the British government in 1917, enshrined in a League of Nations mandate in 1920, had said that a "national home for the Jewish people" would be founded in Palestine long before the second world war. It took until 29 November 1947 when the United Nations General Assembly voted (resolution 181) to partition Palestine between a Jewish and an Arab state, with Jerusalem under an international regime. The Jews agreed but the Arabs did not. And so it started.
There was also the Zionist movement which developed in the 19th century and meant that in 1948 there was also a state in waiting when the British withdrew.
Look up the Judenrat and evidence of their collaboration. Prominent Zionists, like Ze'ev Jabotinsky, were predicting a catastrophe in Europe months before Kristallnacht occurred and before anyone knew anything of the gas chamber plans (if they had actually been drawn up at that stage) and he made this statement in August 1938
"^and what else I would like to say to you in this day on Tisha B'Av: whoever of you will escape from the catastrophe, he or she will live to see the exalted moment of a great Jewish wedding: the rebirth and the rise of a Jewish state. I don't know if I will be privileged to see it; my son will. I believe in this as I am sure that tomorrow morning the sun will rise.^"
It is true that the U.N voted on the establishment of Israel because of the great shock of what happened to Europe. Not that this has anything to do with the current situation with Syria except that preventing another Holocaust is nearly always referred to when making justifications for the past decade ofpre-emptive military actions in surrounding countries (for which German military officials were correctly tried for war crimes because ^it is^) which have later been found to have dubious or outright falsified claims about the threat (eg Saddam's weapons of mass destruction). People in the West are being taken for and regarded as mugs and if enough people get pissed off about that, it is dangerous for Israel, not beneficiaPr
A few more palestinians were killed compared to israelis.... you know thats true.... and thats down to an oppressive regime that the u.s supports...
The UK is not doing nothing, the amount of aid given to Syria so far is the largest we have ever given to a single country / conflict. More details here.
But Parliament has ruled out direct UK involvement in a military intervention, mostly because insufficient MPs (reflecting the views of their constituents) were convinced that the case had been made to intervene.
vicar I am glad you started this thread as I have found it very illuminating.
No one has the answer but talking is always good.
Omg! Mimishi - are you trying to suggest that Jewish zionists were complicit in the holocaust? I had a feeling that's what you were saying but its something I'd expect to see on stormfront not mumsnet!
You really are scarily bonkers.
Trying to compare the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Syria belittles the suffering of the Syrian people.
Mimi the persection of jews started long before Kristallnacht so it wouldn't take a cystal ball to know that things were going to get a lot worse.
Hilter didn't come up with his final solution until 1941 until then he had all sorts of mad plans to annex them somewhere in africa. At one time he favoured using madagasca but as britian would have had to agree you can see why that option was dropped.
Your take on history is truely worrying.
Not at all I'm actually stating that the u.s kill many innocent people so its two faced
TBH I don't think getting involved is going to cost the public - Defence budgets are set and already paid from our taxes. I do think that MP's are being a bit spineless and covering their backs after the Iraq WMD debacle. I don't think their vote does actually cover the opinion of the public though - 600 people voting on behalf of what 70+ million people?
The UN is no more use than the league of nations was pre WW2. As long as countries have a Veto it's quite an impotent organization.Russia even Veto a statement for gods sake.
Of course we could also find out that it was one of the rebel groups who used it in an attempt to force the US into taking sides. One thing for sure is someone has a lot of blood on their hands for using these weapons and I hope they die a very slow and painful death.
I think the opinion polls show that two-thirds of so of the British public do not want to get involved in armed conflict in Syria.
Thankfully there are not yet 70m of us, or we'd be falling off Beachy Head.
Slightly less- 58%:
'Seventy-seven per cent of people . . . believed intervention in the war-torn country would encourage attacks against the UK.
The Ipsos MORI poll found 58 per cent regarded the two-year conflict as none of our business but a near-majority was nevertheless dissatisfied with the handling of last weeks Commons vote on the issue by David Cameron (64 per cent) and Ed Miliband (61 per cent).'
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