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Wrong move by Britain

Wrong move by Britain

IT seems David Cameron hasn’t learnt any lessons from the past, especially from the flawed policies of one of his predecessors, Tony Blair, who was prime minister during the crucial 1997-2007 decade.

While winning the vote on Syria bombing was easy because his Conservatives have a majority; what was shocking was Mr Cameron’s speech before the Commons voted 397 to 223 to give him the go-ahead.

In a speech which Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn said “demean[ed]” the office of the prime minister, Mr Cameron claimed that those opposed to the bombing were “terrorist sympathisers” — a remark that harkens back to George Bush junior’s assertion after 9/11 that those who were not with him in his ‘war on terror’ were with the enemy. That 9/11 was a horrendous crime, as was 7/7, goes without saying.

Take a look: Britain launches airstrikes against IS in Syria

Men evil to the core perpetrated those crimes and aroused the world’s conscience. If, therefore, Mr Bush chose to attack Taliban-ruled Afghanistan the world could understand the wound America had suffered.

But the way he perpetrated his ‘war on terror’ and the consequences this philosophy produced did everything except to kill the monster of global terrorism.

Mr Cameron, too, seems blind to the grey and sees what he calls an “incredibly complex” situation in black and white, forgetting that those whom he labelled “terrorist sympathisers” seem now to have become wiser under Mr Corbyn’s leadership and have seen the consequences of their blind support for American policies.

Mr Blair was Mr Bush’s sidekick in invading an Iraq which, the UN confirmed, never had weapons of mass destruction. And yet the two launched a war whose consequences have produced the kingdom of evil that is the militant Islamic State group.

Who is the target of RAF bombing now? Do all interested powers have a commonality of goals? For Russia, it is the anti-Assad forces that need to be destroyed; the Turkish priority is regime change in Damascus; oil powers Iran and Saudi Arabia are working at cross purposes, and a mysterious lull characterises the ground war, because American and French strikes have not had much effect on the IS’s fighting capability nor led to a shrinkage of the territory the militant group controls.

Unless all powers first agree on the target, merely pouring fire from the skies will mean not only misery for the Syrian people, nearly 300,000 of whom are already dead, but also the birth of more IS-like hordes of butchers elsewhere in the world.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2015

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