My personal stance: I believe Bashar Al-Assad to be a brutal, heartless man, or else he would have conceded power a long time ago rather than see innocents slaughtered in such a manner. But that does not excuse the hypocrisy of the West and I am suspicious that certain powers in the West and Israel may have interfered to bring about an increase in conflict to take down the Syrian regime in order to achieve political and particularly economical objectives. That is my personal opinion that I feel I should be clear about.
Regardless of what you think about Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian regime and Western involvement, I believe people worldwide are united in their desire for peace and justice and the saving of innocent lives. Below I outline 10 arguments why I believe that the West attacking Syria is not the best way to bring this about and will in fact worsen the situation. I hope you might use some of these to contact your member of parliament to encourage them to speak out against such an military action (which we all should be doing if we truly want to stop this course of action).
1. Lack of Evidence Regarding Who Carried Out AttackThere is no conclusive evidence that the Syria regime launched the chemical weapons attack. It simply does not make sense, with UN chemical weapons inspectors stopping just a short drive away. Contrary to main stream media reports, there is actually evidence that rebels had both means and motive.
' Chemical warfare in Syria: who and why?'
'UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin'
'Evidence: Syria Gas Attack Work of US Allies'
'Syria asks UN to immediately investigate 3 new ‘chemical attacks’ by rebels'
2. Evidence to Suggest America Had Previous Plans to Attack SyriaThere is evidence to suggest that America have had plans to attack Syria for some time - thus casting serious doubt on the given motive of humanitarianism as a response to the chemical weapons attack for going to war. Worse still it leads us to raise the question as to whether Western powers were in some way involved in staging such an event to trigger the desired war in order to carry out premeditated plans (maybe not directly, but perhaps as support for a rebel group that may have carried out such an attack).
'Wesley Clark ( US 4 Star General ) US will attack 7 countries in 5 years'
'INSIGHT - military intervention in Syria, post withdrawal status of forces'
'Military Intervention In Syria. US Training "Rebels" Since 2011 And The Complete Grand Plan - The March 2012 Leak'
'Wag The Dog: Syria Edition'
'Hysteria around chemical attack suits those who want military intervention in Syria - Lavrov'
3. Weak and Even Dishonest IntelligenceWe are all aware of the dodgy intelligence on which the West went to war with Iraq. It appears that the exact same mistakes of our recent past are now being repeated. The argument that Syria is unlike Iraq because they didn't actually have chemical weapons, but in this case chemical weapons have already been used, just isn't sufficient. In both the case of Iraq and Syria, the argument of chemical weapons is being used to instigate war, overruling and dismissing the ongoing work of the UN. The invasion of Iraq is now reported to have resulted in over 1 million deaths and the violence continues to this day. An attack on Syria may prove to be more costly in human lives. The West has proved its intelligence gathering is not to be trusted through its past recent mistakes. In addition, it appears that intelligence on which the West is basing its arguments has been passed from Israel, a known enemy of Syria, which should therefore be considered with suspicion as they clearly have motive for the West to attack.
'Iraq conflict has killed a million Iraqis: survey'
'WMD Quotes Before & After The Invasion'
'Israeli intelligence intercepted Syrian regime talk about chemical attack'
4. Western ReputationThe USA, UK and France are already viewed worldwide as imperialistic meddlers carving up the world in order to gain control of resources. Instances of western powers invading other countries to take control and also acts of interference to block natural progressions towards democracy to ensure continued Western influence (despite declaring support for democracy) are numerous. This further attack would be viewed internationally as further invasion of foreign countries with imperialistic objectives, which would result in greater anti-Western sentiment worldwide, that would have a negative effect in all foreign affairs.
5. HypocrisyThe UK and USA have been turning a blind eye to other crimes against humanity and worse still at times supporting those regimes who commit such atrocities. So all this talk of having to take a stand against a violation of international law is clearly hypocrisy driven with ulterior motives.
A few examples where the West has not 'intervened' or has continued to support the regime:
Burma Crimes Against Humanity (Rohingya)
White Phosphorus Used by Israel
Depleted Uranium Used in Iraq
Tear Gas as a Weapon in Bahrain
Brutal Attack on Protesters in Egypt
Sri Lanka Suspected Use of Chemical Weapons
6. The UK and USA is Not the Worldwide PoliceInternational law should be respected. Both the UK and USA have overruled international law with the strike against Iraq based on false evidence of chemical weapons. The USA is overruling international law with their use of drones to kill people they don't like the look of, without trial. We are not international policemen. An attack on Syria would likely be another instance of breaking international law. The work and rulings of the UN should be respected by all; to not do so is making a mockery of international cooperation and giving the green light for all countries to act as they please .
' Hans Blix: Whether Obama in Syria or Bush in Iraq, The US Is Not the World Police'
7. War is Very ExpensiveWe are still in a time of global economical uncertainty. Money would be much better spent elsewhere. If we want to spend our resources on humanitarian actions and saving lives there are far more cost effective ways to do so other than dropping bombs.
Cost of War
'Syria and the Price of Oil'
8. Attacking Would Make the Matter WorseRegardless of right or wrong, legalities, accuracy of evidence, surely we all want to save lives, particularly the lives of innocent children? Whatever anyone's outrage at the atrocities taking place in Syria, evidence points to the fact, time and again, that joining a war results in escalation of violence and many more lives being lost as a result. Politicians are quick to point out success in intervention to save lives in Kosovo, and the lack of intervention that could have saved lives in Rwanda, but the circumstances in this instance are not similar (other than the large number of deaths). What is happening now in Syria is civil war with deep divisions and many players, with already a huge number of weapons widely distributed to all sides. Syria is badly in need of diffusion, de-escalation of conflict and peace delegations, not further weapons that threaten to spread this war beyond the borders of Syria. Many people feel that an escalation of conflict in an already deeply divided war could bring about World War III with catastrophic consequences. The seriousness of such must be carefully considered in the risk analysis of military action.
See also :
'An attack on Syria will only spread the war and killing'
'A Brief Argument Against War in Syria'
'The War After the War in Syria'
9. Vote LoserWhether you support your ruling political party or not, you might point out to your political leader that public opinion is greatly opposing military intervention - and for sure as the death toll mounts, which it inevitably will, this will result in the further loss of votes at the next election.
10. There are AlternativesDoing nothing is actually a better alternative to attacking Syria. It is not always the case that doing something is better than doing nothing, that simply is not logical. But if our governments want to save lives and bring about justice, there is a lot that could be done to try and achieve this which would surely have a greater affect than dropping bombs. Some examples that can be pushed for through political negotiations are:
- A widening of the UN mandate + program for the elimination of chemical weapons through arms inspections and political negotiations.
- Stopping the flow of weapons into Syria to all sides - through political negotiation with all parties (yes this could be achieved if there is the will, a deal is always to be found for those that try hard enough).
- Peace delegations and peace negotiations to bring about a cease fire and political settlement.
- Justice to be sought for war crimes and crimes against humanity through international law, independent investigations and action via the ICC.
- An increase in humanitarian aid and funding for peaceful initiatives in the area.
'The Case for Doing Nothing in Syria'
'Syria Debate: why I voted against military intervention'