This blog has deliberately avoided any focus on the civil war in Syria. But that blind eye to the conflict cannot be kept closed any longer because of the likelihood of some kind of formal western involvement in the war.
After weeks of ‘Concrete Willy’ Hague yapping at the door of the White House like a deranged Pomeranian, begging the Americans to support the ‘Free Syrian Army’ with materiel support, the US government has now decided that its ‘red line gamechanger’ on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime has been crossed and that it will directly aid the rebels.
There is no way this ends pretty. It is clear that the west has failed to learn a damn thing from previous ill-judged interventions and the needless fighting of proxy wars.
It’s bad enough there is a desire to provide arms, training and assistance to the Free Syrian Army (short of sending battalions to actually engage the Syrian forces and their allies). The rebel side is badly fragmented with ineffective command and control and finds itself in bed with the very worst Sunni Islamist extremist elements, who hate the west with a passion and want to turn Syria into another Yemen before constructing a hardline Islamic state that would make what is quietly happening in Libya and Egypt look like amateur hour. Weaponry sent to Bashar al-Assad’s opponents will inevitably fall into the hands of those who will gleefully turn them on the west, or Israel, at the first opportunity.
But making it that much worse is the small matter of US, British and French involvement inviting a violent response by Iranian backed Shi’ite terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, which support Assad and are currently pushing the rebels back out of areas previously captured from Assad’s military. It also sets us on collision course to a proxy war with Putin’s Russia, which is keen to re-assert itself as a major world power and sees proxies as the route to redeveloping its global influence in lieu of a re-strengthened military machine.
It won’t be the politicians who suffer the known consequences and known unknowns of involvement in a conflict that does not directly threaten us, but ordinary people who comprise the soft targets these terrorists prefer to target.
We don’t have any skin in this game and there is no need for us, the French or the Americans to get insert ourselves into the Syrian conflict. It is insanity to hand over weapons to people who are already motivated to turn them on us, and it is insanity to provoke a possible hornet’s nest of terrorist activity directed against us and our interests by groups that currently leave us alone.
When the matter comes before the House of Commons, MPs must vote down the government’s request for permission to arm the rebels at the expense of British taxpayers, some of whom could end up victims of retaliation for our involvement. We have no place in Syria’s conflict and should stay the hell out.