“I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong… no Vietcong ever called me ‘Nigger'” – Muhammed Ali
Catholics and Protestants still continue to fight in Ireland, divisons sewn by religion are driven with a supernatural force many cannot understand. Alike to this conflict is the dissagreement between the two major factions within Islam, the Shia and Sunni Muslims. In Syria the most extreme forms are fighting each other and, for reasons even my old LBC (a London talk-radio station) collegue Iain Dale is at a loss to fathom, it looks like the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron wants to follow Obama’s lead and draw us into it. Earlier last week the US announced it was to get involved on the side of the rebels.
“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.”
These plans to support rebels fighting against the current administration would effectively place us on the side of Sunni Muslims fighting and killing Shia. Generally ‘the West’ has avoided ‘taking sides’ in such an overt manner.
Without question the developing situation is worse than Iraq or Afganistan because, as well as apparently picking a favourite corner 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, Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Vladmir Putin is not mincing his words:
“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 UK. In other words, this could well be the start of a long-anticipated war with Iran.
“they will not talk of the waging of war (which implies a will), but of the outbreak of war – as if it were a sort of boil.”
– GK Chesterton
There is a theory that both the UK and the US’s economies and Governments have become dependent upon war. Building weapons and paying millitary staff is a workable solution to mass unemployment and, to a certain extent, can help an economy if damage to its own 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.
It looks like it could be another massive fuck up, coming down the tube, so what’s new?
Well, the difference is that nowadays we live in an age where we the people have access to the internet, a place where ideas can spread like a wild fire in a dry forrest. I’ve written this piece with one in mind, I’m asking you to help spread it: democratic Governments should not be able to declare war without a referendum. As one human being to another, I implore you to pass on this meme with every fiber of your being. It’s totally logical, easily understood and offers a spanner we can throw 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 Governments which want to spend our money on bullets and bombs addressed to the families of people who live in nations I know little about 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 coins off me to cover the petrol I 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 and US are not cowards, we have a long history of fighting and bloodshed behind us. Such an idea wouldn’t 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.
I honestly believe we are in the middle of a huge global awakening thanks, in part, to the internet. You have a worldwide communications system right at your fingertips. You have the power to help spread this one idea, by hook or by crook. You can tweet it, copy this article, re-write it in your own words, improve it, Facebook it, send it out, repost it, whatever you want. Just nail that idea into the four corners of the net and maybe by the time you and I die it’ll be on the political agenda and in the minds of those who come after us.
Use of the US and UK’s military should always require the consent of the people. It should always require a referendum.
Nick Margerrison (my twitter is here)
NOTE: Comments VERY welcome. It’s kind of obvious I think we should keep out of Syria,these blogs provide counter arguments to 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 live longer happier live why not crack on with dealing with any one of the top ten causes of death? Violence is in at number 14. The total number of deaths caused by war is even further down the list. The quickest way to get it even further down, is to stop funding it.
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.
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.
*It’s also proving very difficult for me to source this idea. I initially thought I’d picked it up 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!