Here We Go Again?

Syria Uses Sarin?Reports of the use of chemical weapons in Syria have raised the possibility of Western intervention in the on-going civil war. However, much like Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, the evidence of the use of such weapons is flimsy to say the least, with US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel using phrases such as ‘some degree of varying confidence’ that they have been deployed.

Images in the morning press, purporting to be of victims of a sarin gas attack, look like people with shaving foam spread around their mouths and with people treating them apparently wearing no protection whatsoever. All very emotive, but rather unconvincing.

There is even a great deal of confusion regarding who used the weapon, with each side accusing the other of the atrocity. Suggestions are, that a single shell has been fired, by persons unknown, at a very innocuous target, begging the question why? It has also been suggested that it may have been done in error. All less than convincing evidence in so many ways.

If, and it is a big if, this is a Western ploy to gain a UN mandate to allow us to go into Syria, it is not only a desperately cynical act, but also may involve us in yet another Middle-Eastern conflict, with all the repercussions, costs and lost lives that will incur.

Whilst there is clearly a need for humanitarian intervention in the situation in Syria, let us please take a step back from getting involved in yet another half baked military exercise. Surely two sorties into Iraq, followed by a continuing campaign in Afghanistan have shown that we, the West, are not qualified to go around solving other countries issues.

Let the United Nations gather what little there seems to be, and then, and only then, if there is overwhelming evidence to show that chemical weapons have been used, take appropriate action as an organisation. Whatever is done, it must be in the name of Peace and not in the name of another futile War.

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