This post will likely be a needle in the haystack of posts on this issue, but I just want to throw some words up.
I am thankful for UK non-intervention in Syria. While Assad is not quite as his appearance suggests, there are numerous problems for going to war.
The first thing – although I heard today that John Kerry said “we know” that CWs were fired from the regime to opposition areas – is that we’re really not sure who launched them. A smoking gun is only useful when you have a red hand to go with it, and we don’t. For that reason, it is at least premature to attack Assad, in the same way going to war with Iraq over WMDs was.
Furthermore, I don’t think intervention, which the US and at least France are participating in, is going to be all that helpful. While it’s not a nice sight to see people being chemically burned, throwing some foreign bombs over the top of that is going to bring more casualties; it might even create independent Syrian terrorists hostile to the US and its intervening allies. Plus, what if a limited strike is dragged into regime change; you have Assad replaced with people who seem to enjoy eating human organs.
The vote for non-intervention was close but I’m glad Cameron graciously accepted the result – this is democracy after all! – even though some others didn’t. Miliband might have been motivated by distancing himself from Blair, but I do feel that he’s in tune with the public in that we have to try diplomacy. I think, though seen as soft and maybe ineffective, it’s perhaps a good start.
There’s talk that Cameron might’ve been influenced by lobbyists into wanting a strike, and that’s pretty interesting.
I also don’t understand how non-intervention in Syria is harmful to the US/UK. Did Assad ever present a threat to us? I think, as said, being there will actually invite a real threat. I don’t think we should wash our hands of Syria. But hey, Israel used white phosphorous on Gaza and Lebanon, and the US just brokers peace talks – why a different attitude to Syria?
While we shouldn’t be scared of intervention because of past failures, America’s history since ‘nam – as Assad pointed out – has been poor because they either have poorly thought-out good intentions or ones that appear seemingly beneficial only for itself.