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A War Weary Public

A War Weary Public

David Cameron’s push for British involvement in war in Iraq, and eventually Syria, is symptomatic of our leaders determination to make a lasting mark.

Blair’s administration will always be remembered for his Iraq war, supported by a dossier that no one believed in. Cameron often states intelligence as the reason for inclusion in the American lead bombing campaign to stop ISIS. Can anyone, truly, trust intelligence reports after Blair? Most think not.

The British gung-ho attitude to foreign wars, whether believed to be just or foolhardy exploits with dodgy aims, has to be considered. In a world where our influence will wain in the face of growing regional powers such as China, India or Brazil for example, a valued seat next to the US cannot be guaranteed or sought for much longer. Currying favour by putting our armed forces in the way of foreign marauders may not be the way forward.

We seem to want to throw our pilots, seafarers and soldiers into battle at the slightest hint of gunfire abroad. Our Prime Ministers appear to show their mettle, and leadership qualities, much more when they can stand atop a tank declaring freedom for our fellow man; a pose much derided if its KimJong-il of North Korea. But is that really what we want from them?

In times of austerity, do we really want to spend vast amounts of money on missiles when we cannot feed our own people here at home? Over 1million people regularly use food banks in Britain today. Zero-hour contracts guarantee instability in employment. Local services are being cut without thought. The NHS is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

And yet we can still buy bombs, build war planes, manufacture aircraft carriers and maintain nuclear capability; and throw our young men and woman into the cauldron of war.

Did we learn anything from previous wars? Certainly our leaders haven’t.

The UN needs to pass mandates regarding ISIS, the integrity or reinstatement of state borders, the urgent need to maintain stability in the region, humanitarian needs, and ensure the convictions of relevant people involved in the barbaric acts that are being perpetrated in Iraq and Syria.

Then, and only then, should Britain be involved in some way in acts of humanitarian aid. How this aid is co-ordinated should be discussed and organised at UN level.

At what point Britain should intervene militarily should also be determined at UN level and co-ordinated with careful thought. We need to ask some vital questions first. For instance: Do we really need to be involved? At what point do we become involved? How deep is our involvement going to be? How long is our military commitment going to last? These are just a few questions that are vital. The powers that be must find the answers to yet more.

Be in no doubt, I’m not saying we should never be involved in providing aid to country’s suffering war, terror or humanitarian disaster. I’m just saying lets be more careful, and consider our options in more detail before committing to wars that turn into a way of life for our military and our country. Because at the moment, we seem to be in perpetual war mode and the country is weary.

 

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