Stay out of SyriaJuly 4th, 2012 by Paul Hensby
Three more British servicemen have been killed by rogue Afghanistan policemen they were ‘training’ as part of our strategy to make the Afghan forces and police loyal to the Government and professional in the way they carry out their duties. We are told this justifies our intervention in Afghanistan in 2001.
I hope the politicians who involved the UK in Afghanistan, those that continued with this flawed foreign policy and the senior military men, either active or recently retired, who announce to the media that our strategy is paying off, sleep well at night.
I’m not sure how they can as they have sacrificed over 400 brave young lives in an excise they knew was doomed. History alone should have taught them to stay out of Afghanistan, though if they had analysed the situation in the country in 2000 the only sensible decision would have been to leave the country to sort out its own divisions and problems. The argument that by confronting the Taliban in Helmand province the streets of our cities would be made safe from Islamic terrorists is palpable nonsense.
Let’s hope that the abject defeat suffered in Iraq, the unsuccessful campaign against the Taliban (a collective noun for warlords, Islamists, bandits and nationalists) in Afghanistan and the failed and dangerous state that Libya now is – all reports show a descent into anarchy and lawless revenge killings – will stop any thought of intervention in Syria.
The situation there is desperate…it is beyond comprehension how Syrians can kill and torture fellow Syrians, how President Assad can turn his troops on his own people, how doctors turn in patients to the authorities if they have been injured while demonstrating.
But as the Russians and Chinese have argued, to use force in Syria in an attempt to bring peace will make the situation worse. Russia in particular knows first hand how the various factions are being supported by Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose enmity makes every dispute in the Middle East a war by proxy. Israel is, of course, happy to see a hostile neighbour at war with itself and will do nothing to help resolve the situation.
Add to that the febrile atmosphere of sectarian hatred: Christian against Muslim, Shia against Sunni, and the previously persecuted Alawis who now control the army and security forces determined to hang on to power at any cost. The President’s family is from the Alawite community and was from a poor background until his father rose in the military and took power in a coup in 1970.
You have only to read about the Hama massacre to know what Assad has inherited from his father and other family members.
Syria is now gripped by a civil war and the international community is unable to impose a peaceful outcome. We will look on hopeless, horrified, depressed and desperate to alleviate the suffering. But we will also be helpless…we cannot help and to try will only make matters worse.