The Bombing of Syria
No witty title. No jovial segue. No joy in writing this. Just some words that need to be said.
After my last post, which I felt to be a touch sombre at the time of writing, I was quite looking forward to talking about societal boxes and how we can all break free of them, love, spirit, camaraderie etc. Then I glance the news and discover that we are now actively engaged in bombing Syria.
We were bombing them back in 2015 to allegedly halt the spread of ISIS... (Worked a charm, clearly). People weren't happy with the use of lethal force on what turned out to be quite a lot of innocent civilians back then, but at least our MP's voted as such. Parliament was called to vote, and as representatives of the British people, they chose to engage.
3 years on though, and seemingly 3 steps back. Parliament was not called to session. Only the "war cabinet" was consulted. MP's weren't asked to weigh in on whether or not it is a good idea to fly over a foreign nation raining £6.32 million worth of destruction from above.
That's right. £6.32 million. 8 'storm shadow' missiles costing £790,000 each, for a total of £6.32 million. £6,320,000.
Theresa May tells us that we have no money for the NHS, for schools, for social welfare, but we can conveniently be counted on to come running to America's beck and call like the faithful little lap dog that we are at the expense of £6.32 MILLION(!!!) at the drop of a hat. (I realise that is a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things. But that is for just 8 lowly missiles. That obviously isn't including the costs of logistics and the like. That could pay the yearly salary of 274 nurses. 8 times the number of munitions which genreally create a death toll, could instead have been used to aid in helping, caring for, and healing the stricken).
All this was to allegedly prevent chemical warfare. To put a halt to Bashar al-Assad's atrocities on his own people. The thing is, how can our government use the rhetoric of "we're doing it because we care" when we don't care enough about Syrians to not have bitch and a moan when they risk life and death getting to our borders searching for refuge. The whole premise of Brexit basically sailed along on the breeze of "taking back control of our borders" from these 'filthy foreigners' who want nothing more than to escape the brutality of their everyday lives. I mean these 'people'. The audacity.
And do we have any proof? There was no investigation. Seemingly no rational contemplation of our own potential ignorance. Just "Bomb? Where? Syria? OKAY!" You would think that we would have learned something from the consequences of Iraq. Perhaps heeded what was discovered in the Chilcot report about what constitutes a war crime.
But fear not! Theresa May thoughtfully reassured us, the British public, that the attacks carried out were in fact "limited and targeted". Oh! Well what was I so worried about?! Silly me! I guess that put all of our troubles at ease. Except for maybe one follow up question I would have for her, which is 'how exactly does one "limit" the rampant destructive inferno of a 1.3 tonne warhead?' - Sorry, eight 1.3 tonne warheads*.
Everything above this line was written a couple of days ago in the immediately reactive and inflamed emotional response to the news. Everything written below was written in a calmer, more rational way after an overload induced interlude. Hence the change in tone.
Oh! She is now also requesting an emergency debate in parliament so that everyone can have their say... AFTER we have already bombed them. This logic is simply flawless.
It makes me sick. But I think what makes me sicker is how truly disconnected to the reality of the situation that everyone is. Now I, as I'm sure most of us are, am not well versed in the intricacies of global politics, or strategic acts of military intervention. But nonetheless most of us have something to say about what is happening. We can all give a social commentary, declaring our outrage at, or agreement with the events that have just unfolded. But the debate is ridiculous. We are privileged first world dwelling people, whose biggest worries are usually tied up in finances, personal relationships, or personal disdain. How can any of us possibly comprehend what it is like to live in a country like Syria? To live a life in which you could have radical extremists storm your village and behead you at any moment. To be constantly aware that at any moment a bomb could detonate on the side of the road, or come plummeting down on your head. And we have the audacity to give credence to the very act of debating it... Wrapped up in our western world bubble. It staggers me.
To the people who disagree with the events that have unfolded I would say don't even authenticate the argument by participating.
To the people who agree with the events that have unfolded I would ask if you would be uttering the same thing, justifying with the same substance lacking excuses if it was we, the UK, who was the poverty stricken, war torn country who was being bombed for 'maybe' producing chemical weapons. If you were an innocent civilian, seen not as the human being that you are, but merely as collateral. If it was your children who could potentially be killed by a foreign governments intervention and warheads?
Now I don't know if a single person was killed in these strikes. I don't care to listen to any more about it. But even if, by some miracle, not a single human soul was killed in these attacks, there is still zero justification. Because they very well could have been. We have to collectively come to the understanding that fellow human beings, regardless of colour, creed, or nationality, cannot simply become a statistic in the name of "the greater good". And the earth on which we cohabitate cannot continue to be the explosive playground on which the powers that be fight in order to gain political and economic leverage.
"War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it."
- George Orwell