So the parliament has, to everyone’s shock, voted against military adventures in Syria.
That’s a relief.
As to “intelligence reports” that they keep waving us saying that they prove whatever? I don’t care.
I don’t care because I am unable to believe them. They could be true. They could be false. They could be created from sheer ineptitude. They could be deliberately falsified to deceive us. The “intelligence services” have no credibility
We went to war in Iraq – an utter debacle – because of the peddled words of the “intelligence services.” In the aftermath no-one has faced any public consequences for the lying or (if I’m giving them vast benefit of the doubt) extreme incompetence. Without that I cannot assume any significant change has taken place – so the words of the intelligence services become meaningless. There is no point in listening to a liar – and it is an act of utter foolishness to trust one.
But surely I cannot doubt chemical weapons have been used?
True, I don’t. But nor do I think that the US & UK swooping in dropping bombs on people is actually going to make that better. I desperately want chemical weapons not to exist, I desperately want the war to end and I do wish we could intervene – but I do not trust us to do so!
Through ineptitude, malice, selfishness or a complete inability to examine the world through any other lenses than our own, our “intervention” is hardly the benevolent force we seem to think. I do not think we are CAPABLE of making things better. I also doubt very much whether our leaders WANT to make things better – at least for the people of Syria. We use words like “democracy”, “freedom” and “human rights” a lot and leave bodies, dictators and torture in our wake.
As to this somehow doing terribad damage to Britain’s “reputation” or making us look “weak”.
On reputation – our military adventurism (both on our own and, in latter decades, in the US shadow) has left nations in ruins, slaughtered more people than I can imagine and left untold destruction as we continually think in the short term and see all sides in highly monochrome good vs evil (where “good” means “is willing to do what we want”). When we leave – if we leave – it’s usually with a pro-us puppet with precious little claim to legitimacy leading the country which will, inevitably, then become unstable, cause a backlash rise in extremism or lead said puppet to become more and more repressive Or, BONUS! – ALL OF THE ABOVE!
The idea that our reputation is damaged by us deciding not to do this YET AGAIN is laughable.
As to this being a sign of weakness – are you kidding me?
How much “strength” does it take to carpet bomb a country already ravaged by civil war?
If you want to talk “weakness”, let’s talk about the weakness of our democracy that can so easily be trampled by jingoistic talk of war that opposition parties nearly always feel the need to support any conflict, no matter how dubious. Let us talk about how our democracy has been amazingly strengthened with this no vote – that for once the war drums didn’t drown out any opposition.
Let’s talk about the “weakness” caused by the “special relationship” which means virtually every time the US blows their dog whistle we come yapping to whatever military disaster they’re trying to drag us into. Let us talk how, before this vote, the American government and officials were talking as if Britain had already agreed to join them in military action. Now tell me this vote hasn’t strengthened our democracy.
And this is before we go into issues that are being very glossed over – like the disparate rebel factions and the decent possibility that we may be looking at a Soviets vs Afghanistan “why yes Bin Laden, of course we’ll give you big guns and money to fight the evil USSR, this could never come back to bite us on the arse” situation.