Well. Did I speak to soon or has the House of Commons voting against action in Syria come as a genuine surprise? I think the latter but either way, it’s a great disappointment. If you were happy with this outcome know that such humanitarian luminaries as Vladimir Putin, and Bashar al Assad for that matter, support your position. It would be imprudent to get to carried away with what the UK’s lack of a role in whatever action does now take place would mean, as any interventionist campaign was going to limited in the first place, but I still believe this was the wrong decision.
Labour, under the worthless guidance of their leader Ed Miliband voted en masse against the military option. Perhaps I have a set of hate-tinted glasses on for this man by now but discussions with folk about his role in this passage have concluded very unfavourably for him. While it’s parliament’s job to reflect the will of the people, and opinion was not weighing in favourably on this issue, I would argue that on Syria broader public opinion is lamentably misaligned. As Philip Hammond phrased it, Iraq has poisoned the well.
There were and are lessons to be taken away from the last ten years of the UK’s military activity, primarily that we shouldn’t get into the wrong conflicts in the wrong manner. What we shouldn’t have told ourselves was that we should avoid all conflict because we can only get into the wrong conflicts in the wrong manner. To throw some platitudes at you, conflict can’t always be avoided and sometimes force does need to be met with force. Clearly Ed, Labour and a handful of Tories and Lib Dems disagree.
Painfully short-sighted, and although that’s an accusation easily levelled against someone of my position who wants intervention, I think my accusation carries more weight. As mentioned in the previous article, the Syrian crisis has been raging for over two years, utterly unchecked by diplomacy or any hint of concern for the well-being of the Syrian people. As things are going, this is a fight that won’t end until Assad kills everyone he needs to kill and likely many thousands more. His father taught him well.
Despite the brewing talk of intervention in the last week, there cannot possibly be a legitimate argument to say the West is warmongering or hasty. Our lack of action to this point is proof of that, as much as so many Syrians enduring prolonged, inhuman suffering. Before this conflict ends it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see parliament brought back to the question of intervention, with the added weight of more needless dead and the guilt of not having acted emphatically sooner. Whatever the US and France do at this point is likely only round one.
As mentioned, the lack of UK involvement won’t shake the very foundations of hope for the average Syrian and I doubt Assad is cracking open the champagne but it’s a sad indictment of the political cynicism in this country that we couldn’t get behind a limited campaign in pursuit of a worthy aim. Too good an opportunity for Miliband to ignore, as indeed Cameron has suffered an embarrassment after more than a little bold rhetoric. To quote No.10 and Foreign Office sources, “Miliband is a fucking cunt and a copper-bottomed shit.”
After leading the charge against Cameron’s intent, the man even had the gall to remind the government that it had a duty not to wash its hands of Syria. In case you’ve already forgotten that quote, “Miliband is a fucking cunt and a copper-bottomed shit.” Certain individuals like Simon Jenkins have indicated their belief that the suggested form of intervention, limited air strikes, serves only to massage the egos of the politicians who order them. They aren’t effective apparently. A hideous and reductive perspective.
Right now Assad continues his war against his own people, while essentially the world does precisely f@*k all and I’m sick to death of it. Something is better than nothing, looking at what nothing achieves, and if something starts with limited air strikes then the massaged ego of a few politicians is absolutely acceptable collateral. With regards to war, we’re simply making a cowardly value judgement in favour of the collateral of inaction.