I have to write this. It may not be coherent, but I just need to write it anyway.
People are already bombing Syria, and not just IS.
So far it has resulted in IS getting on with being IS and thousands of Syrian refugees who have no homes and livelihoods and who live in pretty much constant terror, fleeing Syria.
Now we are adding our fire power to that.
You do not need to be Carol Vordeman to figure out what will happen next.
It is my belief, and I may be wrong, that quite a few people who believe we should bomb IS, are also against helping refugees, because they think that refugees are terrorists.
Refugees are not terrorists. Refugees are running away from terrorists. There is no evidence whatsoever to prove that refugees are terrorists. I refer you, in case you were going to argue about Paris, to the fact that all remains that have been identified were of French and Belgian nationals. The Syrian passport they found was fake.
By bombing Syria, we are adding to the refugee crisis. The crisis many of you don’t want to help with.
You will turn away refugees from our shores because you are afraid they will bomb you, but it will be us that has turned them out of their homes and countries by participating in bombing them.
By bombing Syria we are destroying the remains of any infrastructure there is, and worsening the Syrian crisis, meaning that we are making it almost impossible to rebuild the country, or help its people.
By bombing Syria we are also opening ourselves up to being bombed ourselves, to other acts of terrorism and we are legitimising everything that IS say about us. We are strengthening their cause with every step we take along this road, not weakening it.
There is absolutely NO evidence that bombing strikes work against terrorism. I refer you to the Blitz and ask you to keep moving forward in military history until today.
There is however, evidence that the UK is one of the three largest arms dealers in the world, and that we receive an obscene amount of revenue from selling weapons. There is also evidence that those weapons are not sold only to nice, kind allies and grannies who keep them in the garage and only ever use them to go to church on Sundays.
I put it to you that our tanked economy may be, in large part, a reason for our government’s enthusiastic embracing of weapons as the answer to everything from global warming to resolving plot lines in Coronation Street. The indiscriminate use of weaponry ( I use the word advisedly) makes us money.
I would ask you to think about the fact that George Osborne is relentlessly cutting all support structures that help our society to function because we have no money, yet he has managed to find the money for airstrikes.
I want you to think about what that means about what we value in this country.
I want you to think about the fact that the Northern Ireland peace process came about because people sat around a table and talked, and figured out how to do politically what decades of terrorism did not achieve. This is not the only evidence we have for the fact that a coherent, inclusive peace process can work where terror fails.
Why are we ignoring this?
I put it to you that there is no such thing as a ‘smart’ bomb.
I also put it to you that IS like other terrorist groups before them are not stupid enough to congregate in large numbers in handily marked bunkers in wide open spaces. I put it to you that like other successful terrorist groups before them, they cluster in small, mobile groups and if they are going to congregate at all, will undoubtedly do so in dense, built up areas rich in civilians. They will meet in places like hospitals and orphanages (this has happened. Read your history), so that they stand less chance of being slaughtered, but there will be huge civilian casualties from the ‘goodies’ smart and targeted bombs. They can then use this as propaganda to enlist people who have just had their families blown to shit for no good reason.
As an aside:
Do not tell me that the vote in parliament yesterday was democratic.
If you look at the definition of democracy, we do not, and never have lived in one anyway, so your argument is spurious. Our voting system and our parliamentary system is not set up for democracy. It is a term that is bandied about, often to get people to shut up about things that other people don’t want to hear. Things like the fact that we don’t live in a true democracy for example.
If you tell me that the MP’s voted fairly I would ask you to consider how many of them took into consideration the feelings and opinions of their constituents and how many of them were influenced by the Whips to vote with the party line, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about you need to read up on parliamentary process before you start shouting at me.
Do not tell me that what went on in the House of Commons yesterday was a debate. It was not a debate. Like democracy, you need to refer to what a debate is. For that you can look to the ancient Greeks for both. What happened yesterday was an absolute farce that made a mockery of anything our democratic process is supposed to stand for.
Do not quote Hilary Benn’s speech at me. It was a thing of glory, I agree, but it was a point of view, not ‘the facts’.
Benn says that IS are holding our democracy in contempt. I say we must look closer to home for that. Our politicians are doing it for us.
For me, this is underlined by the fact that pretty much as soon as the vote was over, we were already dropping bombs on the Syrians. It was to all intents and purposes a done deal. That is not democracy. That is theatre. That is a sop to the public and by buying into it we are allowing the people who are supposed to represent us to insult our intelligence and coerce us into fear based, knee jerk reactions to something we think is to do with patriotism and is, in fact, to do with economics.
For all of you who have voted in favour of this, I presume you think that this will restore peace, and will make us safe.
What you have done is taken us one step closer to war, and made us more vulnerable. Cameron indeed openly disapproved of the Russians bombing Syria. He said it would, and I quote, ‘lead to further radicalisation and increased terrorism.’
But it won’t when we do it?
The fact that you feel safe is neither here nor there. Neither the facts nor history bear you out in this.
Do not start quoting WWII at me unless you think that the only way we’re going to achieve peace is by entering into another world war and that is really what you want. If you do, I despair of you.
I despair anyway.