Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Questions ahead of reckless action

So, it looks like we're going for a vote on taking military action in Syria tomorrow which means that the government is confident of getting a majority in favour. It saddens me that yet again our country is doing the easy thing - joining with a braying multitude in taking ineffectual action - rather than the right thing.

Queueing up behind a range of airforces already pummelling Syrian cities enables us to say that we are joining the war on terror at a new level. But it doesn't really solve anything. Cutting off Isil's funds would severely dent their ability to run their fiefdom. A couple of weeks ago I was talking to friends who work near the region who were lamenting the fact that because of the downturn in the Russian economy, many of their neighbours sons were returning home only to be recruited as drivers and construction workers, general labourers nad yes, fighters by Isil. They pay better wages than the local economy can afford, money that does come home from those taking Isil's shilling.

So I have three questions about the situation that I'm I'm pretty sure I've not heard answers to.

The first is, why are we still buying oil from Syria and Northern Iraq when we know that the money on those oil sales is going into Isil's bank account? Oil embargoes are difficult but can and have been effective. The second is why are we selling weapons to countries in the Gulf region when we know that many of those weapons are being sold on to Isil by their sympathisers? And the third is why are the banks that handle Isil's millions not being stripped of their banking licences since they are in flagrant breach of international treaties governing money laundering and handling of funds from illegal activities?

All we will do as we embark on this proposed course of action is create more refugees, more helpless and hopeless people travelling out of the region into Europe in search of sanctuary. As a result of MPs voting with the government tomorrow, the jungle in Calais will swell by hundreds if not thousands of desperate people, people we are unwilling to acknowledge as a country, let alone help. These people will be part of the collateral damage of our rush to war; they'll be knocking on our door, seeking escape from the hell we will have helped to create.

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