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Is Syria to become the next foreign adventure for the UK?


Flak999

Likes # 0

With the news from the US that President Obama has decided to arm the Syrian rebels, on the basis that government forces have (allegedly) used chemical weapons against them, are we now on the path to being drawn in to yet another foreign adventure?

Why is it that we in the west never seem to learn from our past mistakes? We started the war in Iraq on the totally false premiss of Saddams weapons of mass destruction, only to find that this was an outright lie! We expend vast amounts of blood and treasure overthrowing one despot only to have the country descend into anarchic civil war.

We then move on to Afghanistan, a tribal feudal country whose citizens still live as if in the middle ages. We depose the Taliban and install the hideously corrupt government of Hamid Karzai, we expend more amounts of blood and treasure attempting to turn a country which still stones women to death and thinks paedophilia is a normal lifestyle choice into a modern western democracy!!

As an interlude between all out war, we assist in the deposing of Gaddafi, expend more treasure, (thankfully no blood) and what do we get in return for our aid? The assassination of the American ambassador and the burning of the american embassy by a mob that drags his lifeless body through the streets chanting some religious mumbo jumbo.

So what next? Syria! Following the unrest of the Arab spring Bashar al-Assads population looks around and thinks "we can have some of this despot bashing action" and so the Syrian civil war begins. The usual mix of lunatic fanatics from the sunni and shia islamic factions go all out to out slaughter each other with the Alawits having a go at both of the others.

Now perhaps I'm being naive? How is this anything to do with us? Why are we going to involve ourselves in another foreign adventure, expand vast amounts of blood and treasure (again!) to do what? Provide arms and probably in the end troops to install another fanatical Al-Qaeda backed government who are implacably hostile to the west and who will have access to all the shiny new weapons we have so thoughtfully provided them with!

What is the matter with the Americans, are they so blind that they cannot see that this is what they did in Afghanistan? They armed the Taliban to fight against the Russians and then had to fight the Taliban themselves with the weapons that they had provided them with!!

I know the saying that "those who fail to learn the lessons from history are doomed to repeat them" is a bit of a cliché, but really!

Are we really going to follow the Americans into another un-winnable war again?

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Chronos the 2nd

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Even arming anyone in Syria is possible the most stupid thing we could do as Libya is now being likened to 'Tesco' of the world's illegal arms trade. It has been reported that 3,000 surface to air missiles have 'gone missing' and could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda groups.

We hear the Americans telling us that there is credible evidence of the Assad regime using chemical weapons yet fails to mention that these weapons have probably also been used by the opposition. And what of the atrocities committed by the various factions within the opposition. Why are Syria's neighbours not getting involved because it suits their interests that the West does the dirty work with any revenge attacks focused away from the Middle Eastern countries.

We made terrible mistakes with both Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya was not thought through and now Barack Obama and Cameron with one or two other European leaders want to get involved in another un-winnable conflict.

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rickf

Likes # 1

Our politicians need a thorough education, if NOT a complete immersion, in tribal/cultural issues. When two tribes are filled with nothing but hate for each other outside active intervention is only seen as taking sides. A basic principle that western politicians do not understand. You end up aiming an enemy of the other. Tribal cultures have always been ruled by authoritarian regimes. These societies are paternal in origin whereas the West is moving more towards a maternal structure. Americans are only involved because of Hezbollah's participation and with Israel's interests in the background.

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spuds

Likes # 0

rickf

Your post rings true to form and I agree with it entirely, I have made similar comments on previous posts regarding Middle East conflicts, and have been rubbished for doing so.

My major concern, having lived, travelled and worked in the areas mentioned, and still have a number of old friends in those regions, is how the other 'Arab' states are seeing all this, and how they will eventually react 'as a combined force', either by religion or other alternatives?.

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bumpkin

Likes # 0

Sums it up well flak including the never learn bit.

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Flak999

Likes # 0

Interesting piece from Boris Johnson in the Telegraph today, regarding the Syrian civil war and the absolute folly of arming the rebels.

His final paragraph sums things up precisely:

"This is not the moment to send more arms. This is the moment for a total ceasefire, an end to the madness. It is time for the US, Russia, the EU, Turkey, Iran, Saudi and all the players to convene an intergovernmental conference to try to halt the carnage. We can’t use Syria as an arena for geopolitical point-scoring or muscle-flexing, and we won’t get a ceasefire by pressing weapons into the hands of maniacs."

If you can't view the Telegraph because of the pay wall, open the site in incognito or privacy mode (depending on your browser) this gets round the problem.

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john bunyan

Likes # 0

I thought Putin did well in the head to head with Cameron on Syria - pointing out horrific acts by some sections of the opposition. We all seem to agree on the folly of sending arms or intervening; why is the government not listening? Maybe FM is at the G8 as an advisor and can pass on our views!

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Bing.alau

Likes # 0

We the public, certainly seem to have a different opinion on arming the rebels than our government does. Is this when we should all be lobbying our MP's?

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Chronos the 2nd

Likes # 0

Is this when we should all be lobbying our MP's?

Unless you have a bucket full of money to chuck at them it is doubtful your MP will listen.

Anyway did not a million people protest against the war in Iraq and were they not ignored?

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Quickbeam

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When it goes (as it inevitably will) all pear shaped, we again will be labeled as the interfering and imperialistic aggressors that destabilised the Middle East yet again.

But we should be used to that...

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Forum Editor

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rickf

"A basic principle" (tribalism) "that western politicians do not understand."

I think there are plenty of people in the Foreign Office who understand it very well. The Foreign Office has on its staff people who are real experts when it comes to understanding the intricacies of the various tribal cultures existing in other countries - it's a basic necessity for any government to have such advisers in their Foreign services. You're being very naive if you think otherwise.

As for your comment that "Tribal cultures have always been ruled by authoritarian regimes. These societies are paternal in origin whereas the West is moving more towards a maternal structure." What on earth does all that mean?

A Matriarchy is a society in which women play the central role - one on which matters of descendancy follow the female line, rather than the male. A Patriarchy is the exact opposite.

You'll need to explain what you meant by paternal and maternal tribal societies, because I hardly think Western nations are moving towards a society that is led by women. Paternalism is certainly an aspect of many tribal societies, but you don't need to be an expert to understand that.

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