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Syria
April 13, 2018

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Syria

April 13, 2018

Despite the chemical attack by Russian backed Assad, do we really want to get directly involved militarily again in Middle Eastern conflicts ? Have we learned nothing from the Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts, both of which were more peaceful countries BEFORE the involvement (interference ?) of the USA & UK forces ? In addition, our Armed Forces are so under manned these days, token gestures only would be possible, making our involvement meaningful only by "association". I'm certainly NOT of the "Corbyn wimp mentality", and DO think we should impose serious sanctions on Assad, but to go to war purely to avenge the alleged chemical attacks and to rid Syria of Assad (the main aim, surely ?), is possibly too costly in many ways. It's time those august bodies, the UN & NATO, stood up and be counted - they seem toothless and incapable of doing their job, which after all, is to "police" such situations and act accordingly. They seem content to let the USA & others take the lead whilst "mouthing" platitudes. John (JKW)

April 14, 2018

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Syria

April 14, 2018

My thoughts;  for what they are worth. 1. Assad is a despicable despot, he is being punished for murdering civilians “the wrong way.” What do I mean the wrong way? Well the US have murdered countless civilians during military ops. Think Vietnam and Napalm, whole villages and small towns obliterated. Remember the picture of the 8 year old girl running across the bridge naked with shreds of skin hanging off her. The US have ‘accidently’ bombed civilian targets in both Iraq and Afghanistan also. The French committed some despicable atrocities on civilians during their time in Vietnam and in Indo China. We have done our fair share also. No we haven’t used gas and most civilian deaths were accidents of war or “collateral damage” but we haven’t a 100% clear conscience either. 2. Assad had to be taken to task. For us it was a dual response,  to Assad for the gassing and Putin for Salisbury. TM needed to make a gesture at least. Trump is still being investigated for his pre election ties with Russia so he needed to dispel any doubts he was in any way close to them. Macron needed a gesture of strength as a relatively new PM and as a diversion to the strikes and unrest his reforms in France are causing. 3. Will the attacks stop the gassing or intimidate Assad? Well unless the attacks have seriously diminished his apparent large stockpiles of gas agents I doubt the attacks will prevent him from repeating this atrocity in the future. He certainly won’t be intimidated. 4. I firmly believe Russia privately accepted the retaliation as a quid  pro quo response. I believe they tacitly agreed to move any and all of their own troops or equipment from the intended target areas before the bombing began to avoid losing face and being forced to retaliate as they threatened. 5. My conclusion. Nothing has been achieved to deter Assad. NATO and the UN are toothless institutions, where was Germany in all of this for instance? Trump has shown he isn’t averse to standing up to Russia as many people thought he was. His previous mocking of Obama for telling Assad and Russia he intended to bomb Syrian targets came back to bite him via his own recent tweets on this latest retaliation. TM like I said had to show she had the strength of character to lead when she felt she needed to. Her decision to participate in the attacks without prior Parliamentary approval was legal and was a calculated decision to kill two birds with one stone. Putin for Salisbury and Assad for the gassing. Macron also needed to show his hand as a leader. The thing that sticks in my mind is the futility of it all. A few bombs and missiles on a couple of military targets that were actually agreed with Putin beforehand will do nothing to stop Assad. It’s time to re-evaluate the whole Syrian crisis. I would advocate doing a deal with Russia to topple Assad, he has too many war crimes to answer for to stay in power, but supporting the ruling political group he leads. That way the Jihadists fighting Syrian Government forces don’t win, a despot is removed, Putin saves face and his sea ports in Syria and everyone’s a winner. Except Assad!

April 14, 2018

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Syria

April 14, 2018

Good plan ! Let's hope the leaders of the UK,USA, France & Russia read our Forum ! I'm now of the (changed)  opinion that TM was right to order the RAF to attack pre selected targets that directly involve chemical agents, along with France & the USA - as you say, David, TM was basically asserting much needed authority by  letting both Putin & Assad know they were being punished for their chemical attacks . Corbyn is naturally against such decisive action - can anyone imagine him as Leader of our country ? I see all the other Parties are queuing up with protestations over the attacks - whatever happened to unity in times of conflict ? TM must now continue the movement, and ensure ALL our Armed Forces get the resources needed to defend our nation - austerity should be shelved to get the balance right. John (JKW)


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