Is Syria to become the next foreign adventure for the UK?

  Flak999 17:03 15 Jun 2013

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?

  rickf 17:38 15 Jun 2013

I hope not if this government has any sense. Have we not learnt anything from our recent history. What the West fails to understand is that this is tribal and we should not interfere. Sad of course about the loss of lives but what's new about it? Increasingly it is developing into Shia vs Sunnis. Whichever side we support in arms is wrong. I can't help there is a wider agenda at play. That being to suck the West into this possibly indeterminate mire and to slowly weaken the West. Call that a conspiracy theory if you want but there it is.

  Quickbeam 18:03 15 Jun 2013

"Are we really going to follow the Americans into another un-winnable war again?"

Probably, we still like to think our foreign secretary is the most powerful person on earth and thus keep sticking our empire oar in where it's not appreciated.

  Bing.alau 18:47 15 Jun 2013

I think the British public will get a bit indignant if there is any move to join in. If the USA want to do so then it is up to them. But it must be obvious to everybody that it is none of our bloody business. Let them slaughter each other. A hundred years ago we wouldn't even have known it was happening. So let them get on with it and sort each other out.

  Quickbeam 19:05 15 Jun 2013

Ideally we need a United Nations that's independent from the current superpowers with the power of self interest vetos. But that won't happen.

A hundred years ago we decided to leave Serbia and Austro/Hungary to it with their minor dispute... So we need someone to butt in with these uncivilised countries!

  Nontek 19:06 15 Jun 2013

we still like to think our foreign secretary is the most powerful person on earth

I think this should be amended to ...

'our foreign secretary likes to think our foreign secretary is the most powerful person on earth.'

  Quickbeam 19:12 15 Jun 2013

Consider it so amended Nontek.

  john bunyan 20:20 15 Jun 2013

I broadly agree with Flak999 and rickf on Syria. In the case of Saddam Hussein, I think he had to go - the huge mistake made by the Americans was to disband the Iraqi army. Yes, weed out the extreme generals, but the bulk of the army would have provided a stabilising force, whereas by disbanding it and not paying the soldiers, a resentful, trained, group of dissidents was created.

In Afghanistan a "first among equals" of the tribal leaders could have been a popular alternative to the US obsession with democracy in a totally tribal country. The UK has no vital interests in Syria. I suspect, as well, that if Assad were to call for a UN supervised election, he would stand a good chance of winning it. Sad as the bloodshed is, we will never solve the Sunni versus Shi'ite tensions. We have no history of espousing democracy in Arab countries, as our support for Saudi Arabia and Jordan demonstrates, so let them get on with it, and do not send weapons which may fall into the wrong hands. If the likes of Saudi etc want to intervene then let them - it is not a West Europe problem.

  Nontek 20:20 15 Jun 2013

Thank you kind Sir - I hope FE doesn't tell you off for muscling in on his turf!

  john bunyan 21:11 15 Jun 2013

I wonder what FM's viws are? The UK seems to be back-pedalling from earlier views.

  Flak999 23:28 15 Jun 2013

john bunyan

I wonder what FM's viws are?

He is either on holiday or having a break from the forum, it has been noticeably quieter here since he has been away!

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