It is a bitter irony that no lessons have been learnt from the dubious and misguided decision to declare illegal war against Iraq. Whilst it was Tony Blair’s Labour Party led Government that joined George W Bush’s Republicans back in 2003, it is now David Cameron’s Conservatives being more than willing accomplices to join with Barack Obama’s Democrats in bombing Syria.
There were similarities too unfortunately in winning December’s Parliamentary vote, relying on twisted morality and scaremongering, not to mention dubious intelligence again. If you were not a supposed patriot you were a ‘terrorist sympathiser,’ as Cameron so crudely put it. The result was a clear 174-vote majority, including 66 Labour rebels exploiting the free vote allowed by Jeremy Corbyn.
Rather mischievously the case was falsely presented as an extension of bombing Daesh [IS] positions in Iraq which they are being carried out with the approval of the Baghdad Government. In Syria, the British Government’s previously wanted to overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s Government – a goal that has exacerbated the civil war and helped the rise of Daesh. The Government wishes to use the rag-tag coalition of 70,000 forces on the ground. These rebels are more interested in overthrowing al-Assad and taking as much land as possible rather than fighting against Daesh.
The vote points to yet another ill-judged and misguided adventure in a Muslim country with likely unwelcome and disastrous consequences. It is not to say that nothing should be done against such a monstrosity as Daesh. But military action, particularly just aerial bombing, is never going to be the answer as every political leader is aware. But when is the West going to learn any lessons from the past?