Strange, isn’t it, that the BBC and its clones amongst the left leaning punditry consistently beat a negative drum over Britain’s involvement in the Falklands and the first Gulf War while our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has created a mini industry of reports. exposures and dramatic reconstructions that serve to underline the “futility” and social costs of these campaigns. But, with Syria you get the feeling that the mood music is quite different. Months of BBC reporting, highlighting the activities and sufferings of the anti Assad rebels has built up the pressure for that most seductive of all messages – “something must be done”….
And now it appears that David Cameron is taking up the challenge
Last week, the Prime Minister visited a UN-run compound on the border with Jordan and saw the conditions being endured by tens of thousands of fleeing Syrians.
He said he was determined to do “more” and would be working with newly re-elected US president Barack Obama to up the pressure on Bashar Assad’s regime.
Doing more almost certainly means some form of military intervention – no fly zones, providing the rebels with weapons, sending troops to the Syrian borders to give humanitarian assistance
Wonderful words, Mr Cameron – and it’s true that the Assad regime is brutal, bloodthirsty and autocratic and some of the rebels want to replace it with a liberal democracy. However many of the others have a different agenda – and we all know what happened in Egypt.
However General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff has a dash of cold water for Cameron’s dream.
Our political masters are quite happy to reduce the size of the Armed Forces, but their appetite to exercise influence on the world stage is, quite understandably, the same as it has always been.
“Often politicians say to me, ‘Can you go and do this?’ I say to them, ‘With what?’
Exactly – we have been “intervening” for over a decade and at considerable cost for uncertain effect. It’s time to retrench and regroup and resist the temptation to grandstand on the world’s stage merely to satisfy David Cameron’s need to feel warm inside.
Let’s give Syria a miss and concentrate on sorting out our own problems…..