Our military should only ever be used after a referendum.
"I ain't got no quarrel with the Vietcong... no Vietcong ever called me 'Nigger'"
Catholics and Protestants still continue to fight each other in Ireland, divisons sewn by religion are driven with a supernatural force which many cannot understand. Alike to this conflict is the dissagreement between the two major factions within Islam, Shia and Sunni. In Syria they are fighting each other and, for reasons even my old LBC collegue 'Conservative Blogger' Iain Dale is at a loss to fathom, it looks like our Prime Minister David Cameron wants to draw us into it. Plans to support the rebels fighting against the current administration would effectively place us on the side of Sunni Muslims fighting and killing Shia.
It looks like we're following Obama's lead. Earlier this week the US announced it was to get involved on the side of the rebels. From The Telegraph, "the White House announced on Thursday .. America would provide 'military support' for the Supreme Military Council (SMC) after tests confirmed that Bashar al-Assad's regime had killed up to 150 people with sarin, the lethal chemical weapon.".
Without question this situation is worse than Iraq or Afganistan because, as well as apparently taking sides in an argument which stretches back for the best part of 1,500 years, we're also lining up against Russia, who support the current Syrian President. Vladmir Putin is not mincing his words on the matter:
“One does not need to support people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Is it them you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years."
Oh, yeah, and Iran is sending 4,000 troops to line up with the Shia in support of Assad and therefore against the US and, if we do get involved, the UK. In other words, this could well be the start of the long-anticipated war with Iran.
There is a theory that both the UK and the US's economy and Government have become dependent upon war. Building weapons and paying military staff is a workable solution to mass unemployment and to a certain extent can help the economy if damage to our territories and property is limited. The term Military Industrial Complex comes into play here. As far as I can see that really is the driving force behind our war mongering so-called leaders.
However, war is not popular and as we become more able to see its consequences online it's likely to become even less so. That's why I want to see the following idea become part of the political debate: our Governments should not be able to declare war without a referendum*. It's with that point in mind that I write this piece. I implore you to pass on this meme with every fiber of your being. It's totally logical and offers a spanner we can chuck right into the heart of the filthy war machine we're all trapped in by birth, blood and geography.
This stupid cycle of death and destruction has to stop. I can't be the only one who is sick of being represented by a Government which wants to spend our money on bullets and bombs addressed to the families of people who live in nations I've never heard of and can't even place on a map. I hate the fact they add tax to the cups of coffee I drink in a cafe with my Mum, nail another few bob off me to cover the petrol we used on the way there and then try to grasp even more cash from the paycheque I earn when I go in to work that day. It makes me sick to think that this system you and I allow to exist then goes on to load people who wanted to defend it into boats and planes bound for foreign lands only for them to come back with missing limbs and crippling mental health issues.
It's not good enough to just shrug your shoulders and say, "well, that's what they signed up for". They're supposed to be there to defend us, it's time for us to return the favour. If we advocated this one idea, that it needs a referendum and not the consent of lying thieving politicians to wage war, the whole rotten deal would have to change. The people of the UK are not cowards, we have a long history of fighting and bloodshed behind us. Such an idea would not mean we'd never defend outselves, it just means in instances like Iraq, Afganistan and now possibly Syria and perhaps Iran, they'd have to make the case to us first.
The internet is a global communications system. You have the power to spread this one idea, by hook or by crook. You can tweet it, copy this article and re-write it in your own words, Facebook it, send it out. Copy and paste these words, change them a bit, repost them, whatever you want. Just nail that message into every corner of the net. The US and UK military should require the consent of the people. It should require a referendum.
NOTE: Comments VERY welcome.
Here's a couple of blogs which disagree with my current point of view:
LEFT FOOT FORWARD: Three left wing arguments against intervention in Syria, and why they are wrong:
"you wouldn’t walk by calmly if you saw a person being beaten to a pulp on a British street, nor should you turn away when people are being mowed into trenches by machine guns. The fact that the victims are foreigners should not come into it if you are an internationalist."
The most inane of the arguments is reprinted above. If anyone comes at you with this direct them to the World Health Organisation's list of causes of death by rate. If you really care about helping people crack on with dealing with any of the top ten causes. Violence is in at number 14. Total deaths caused by war is even further down the list.
Advocates of the above point of view are locked into the sort of militaristic paradigm you might get if the Military Industrial Complex theory is true. Food for thought eh?
From Conservative Home: On Syria Cameron should be the heir to Blair:
Mr Cameron and Mr Blair should share a platform and make the case together for the liberation of Syria.
I kid you not, that is genuinely how this article ends. I read it while a little tired and for a while considered it might even be a parody.
*Annoyingly I can't source this idea. I was under the impression it came from "The Raelian Movement", a brilliantly eccentric French UFO religion. However on further inspection it appears that's not the case. Did I invent it? I'm not sure, I'm sure someone said it to me once and I stored it in my little brain... comments section, come to my aid!