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Is Syria to become the next foreign adventure for the UK?
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Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:03PM
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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Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:05PM
I see the Americans have started direct talks with the Taliban. On page 14 of the paper to which I referred it said " If we can resist the siren call of negotiation with the Taliban". I can see the argument in favour but if I were an Afghan, I would be worried - as is their current President.
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Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:21AM
I know this is off the originator's Syria subject, but would you trust a bloke with a blanket, sandal's, woollen hat and a widow maker?.
I was asked a similar question to that once!.
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Posted June 20, 2013 at 7:43AM
With apologies to Flak999 for the digression!
History is littered wit examples of talks with "the enemy" to try to find a political solution to a conflict (eg EOKA, IRA, ANC etc), so in principal I have no objection to talks if the folk to whom one is talking are likely to be an important element of government (remember Gerry Adams and the Armalite and ballot box issue?)
However in the case of the Taliban, members of whom shot a young girl in Pakistan for espousing education, have forcibly closed schools in "their" areas want Sharia law and to reverse all the gains on human rights and in particular women's education, the situation is quite different. The paper mentioned goes into the reasons in a comprehensive way. Apart from defeating Al Qaeda we also went to Afghanistan to remove the Taliban government and are still targeting high ranking Taliban with drones etc. What has been the point of all our efforts if we contemplate a Taliban government again- they will not be content with a minor role even if they accept one at first? Pakistan will control Afghanistan and it will start all over again.
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Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:07AM
And there lies a major problem Pakistan, the friend of the Western World?.
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Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:35PM
I have to say it is my opinion also that Pakistan is no friend of the west. If their security and intelligence organ the ISI are funding, sheltering and directing the Taliban, why are we not taking a far more robust approach towards them?
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Posted June 20, 2013 at 7:17PM
"why are we not taking a far more robust approach towards them?" Could it be that there are over 1.2 million from that diaspora living here?
I am sure that the average Pakistani is pretty relaxed towards the west - I found them very friendly when I have been there . Also the military folk I have met are occasionally more British than the British.
The problem is there is undercurrent of extreme Islam in parts of the country, and a strong Pakistani Taliban movement with few signs of the Government taking them on. Some of the most beautiful regions , like the (former kingdom) of Swat are now no go areas.
The Tribal areas in the North ( Waziristan etc) are outwith the governments control and the schools there are Madrasas , only teaching religious issues. The Pakistan Taliban are in control, and the ISI connive with them in the hope of exerting some control, and they hope to eventually control Afghanistan using the Taliban as proxies. I am unsure how high up the control of the ISI is and whether the Army and top politicians fully approve.
I was told by a very good source in SF circles that they regard Pakistan as a greater threat than Afghanistan unless the Government get a grip of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan.
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