Airstrikes in Syria are wrong

Imagine you’re a teenage Syrian. You’ve been displaced from where you used to live, separated from your friends, and uncertain about what the future holds. Life in a refugee camp can barely be called a life. News arrives that the bodies of your parents have been found; they were “collateral damage” in what was an airstrike conducted by the west.

How would you feel?

Are you going to shrug it off, considerate of the fact that the west are nobly trying to exterminate terrorists, or will you harbour resentment, angry at how little they value the cost of human life having used bombs, fully aware of how indiscriminate they are in killing people?

Currently, the UK government is debating whether or not to launch strikes in Syria. The incumbent Conservative majority has proposed the motion, and some members of the Labour party also seem partial to the idea despite their leader opposing such action. This means the UK will most likely end up launching airstrikes in Syria. People may not consciously be thinking about it but another burden we must face if we are go down this path is more refugees. How can you be of the opinion that we should airstrike Syria, and then deny displaced refugees fleeing asylum?

Putting aside my personal opposition to the motion proposed by the government, I’d like to pose a few questions not only to them but to anyone who thinks that bombing is a solution to the unrest we’ve been seeing.

How is bombing Syria going to make us safer? When you recognise that ISIS operates outside of Raqqa too, then surely you realise that concentrated strikes there will do little to avert the overarching threat ISIS poses to us? Multiple perpetrators of the attacks on Paris were in fact Belgian and French nationals, and if anyone it is people being radicalised on our own soil that pose a greater threat to us.

How much easier is it going to be for ISIS to portray the west as murderers? Innocents are already being used unashamedly as human shields and so it would be wishful thinking to believe we would not be responsible for innocents dying. Now, any kind of action we take will inevitably result in the loss of civilian life, but airstrikes that put the Syrian people at risk while we ourselves face no immediate casualties seems less acceptable and more unfair.

How are we going to the explain the inevitable civilian casualties that will follow if we go ahead and initiate airstrikes? If history is anything to go by, not only will this makes incensed the very same people we are trying to help but it will drive some of these people into actively stopping our involvement, perhaps even violently. Airstrikes will breed further terror, it won’t contain it.

Just think about this: has the Middle East valued our intervention in the past, and will they do so this time? On both an ethical and practical level it is ineffective and plain wrong to launch airstrikes in Syria. If we’re to intervene it should certainly not be like this.

Agree, disagree? Drop a comment below!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Opher says:

    In principle I think you are right. I am a pacifist. I think violence breeds hatred. But I also think that the disgusting, sadistic and savage agenda of ISIS with its systematic rape, enslaving and mass torture with gruesome execution is of such proportion that it cannot be ignored. I think they are too much of a menace to ignore. We are bombing them in Iraq. We need to destroy them utterly. That means extending into Syria. My proviso is that the Arab States (like Saudi) meed to get involved more with feet on the ground to create stability. The Kurds and Iraqis and moderate Syrians need supporting. But ISIS are evil. We are not safe here while they exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Saudis certainly must get more involved, that I can certainly agree with you on. ISIS are clearly repugnant and should be stopped at all costs, but I am skeptical that bombing is a viable long-term solution to the problem.

      Like

  2. violetwisp says:

    I agree completely. I just can’t believe we’re here again – another illogical reason to bomb people with no resolution to aim for. Why does the public keep buying it? How can politicians keep going there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adi says:

      I wish I knew the answer myself.

      Like

  3. Don Royster says:

    I would hate to be the ones in power who have to make these decisions. Whatever we do, it looks like a lose-lose situation. It seems to me that what we have in the Middle East is a Sunni-Shiite civil war and many are getting caught in the middle. It’s being fought between Saudi Arabia and Iran by proxy Thus far, it looks like the United States and its allies (and this includes the Russians) are taking the side of the Shiites. Until the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria feel they have something to gain, they are going to go over to continue to support ISIS. When the United States invaded Iraq, Joe Biden offered a solution to what we should have done in Iraq. Partition the country into a Sunni, a Shiite and a Kurdish Iraq with their own leaders and governments. When Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army and got rid of the Baathist (Sunni) bureaucracy and Sunni officers, we should have seen this coming. We created an enemy because the Sunnis didn’t have anything to gain by supporting the Iraqi government we put in place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Adi says:

      Interesting analysis, I didn’t know much of what you just said, thanks for letting me know!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HB says:

    I’m a bit in the middle.

    It’s worrying that he wants to go ahead being so clueless about our own safety. The plan is a like a car without the steering wheel, because you never know where it’s going to go – edge of a cliff I’d say.

    IS have got into their heads, and IS are craving for a reaction. They are monsters and do not care for any lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. davidprosser says:

    These are arguments I’ve been using for a while. We send ISIS recruits every time we have an airstrike because of the innocents who are killed in error. We’re far too indiscriminate. Committing to going in as ground troops doesn’t help wither as ISIS don’t oblige by wearing uniforms and badges.
    Maybe we should arm the Kurds to the same standard as their killers as they seem to be the only ones able to hold them .
    If the Middle East don’t want the style of Government that ISIS bring maybe they’d better commit to clearing the region themselves instead of having the West interfere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adi says:

      I hope it doesn’t come down to more direct western intervention, that is the least ideal option.

      Like

  6. Helen Walker says:

    Air Strikes in Syria is very wrong As is bombing any country ,it does more harm than good

    Liked by 1 person

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