I was about 22 then, not sure about Chris (RIP) anyway Ive grown older and wiser since then.
So what do wars achieve? The Falklands war kept Margret Thatcher in power for another 5 years and that's what it was really about. She couldn't give a toss for the Falklander's but we were too naive to see it back then. She wasn't interested in looking after troops when they came back missing various limbs and faces burnt off either.
The Iraq war, got rid of Saddam but planted the seeds for IS. Wars actually don't get us anywhere. Bombing Syria wont get us anywhere. You cant kill an ideology especially when its foundations are a religion. Yes you can take out planners, master minds, leaders, making it more difficult for the minions to act, but when I hear people saying lets go over there and just wipe them out .... Its such a ridiculous statement. Who are you going to wipe out? how will thousands of civilians avoid the bloodshed. How will you stop thousands of others, willing to die for the cause?
Its time for another strategy.
War is the reason we have millions of refugees streaming to Europe to get away from IS a radical Islamic group born out of the void left when US and UK troops had left Iraq. Most of Europe was against military action but we went ahead, oh we are so f*cking clever.
Germany even said "that going to war would precipitate a "terrorist backlash." Scharioth stressed that it was important "to win over the hearts and minds of the Muslim elite and youths," and that this was "not to be achieved" by going to war.
He also added that doing so would greatly increase the danger of prompting an "influx to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism."
Unfortunately as a country if you make stupid decisions you have to take the fall out. Germany warned against it and are taking hundreds of thousands of refugees. We started it and we are saying, not our problem, how ridiculous do we look as a country for both of those decisions.
Of course there is no simple way out and lots of things to consider.
- We have IS threatening to flood Europe with IS fighters.
- We have IS taking over towns in southern Syria.
- We have thousands trying to get away from IS.
- We have President Assad using chemical weapons on his own people.
- The Russians are in Syria backing Assad.
- Make one mistake with a drone and all sorts could kick of with the Russian's involved.
Hunting down the backers of IS, cutting its supply lines, strangling it, would appear to be the best strategy. It would take years, but then it took years to be created and lets not forget its basically the UK's and the US's military action in Iraq which caused it to spawn.
Of course the reason for invading Iraq was Oil not WMD, we all should know that by now. But if anyone is in any doubt, here is a list of companies now operating in Iraq's oil fields. More on that in another blog.
- China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)
- China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
- Dragon Oil
- Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (Japex)
- Kogas (Korea Gas Corporation)
- Kuwait Energy (KEC)
- Occidental Petroleum
- Pakistan Petroleum
- Premier Oil
- Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO)
So whats the solution? I have no idea ..... But war isnt.
What I do know though is that war or military action is normally used to bolster Politicians, Prime Minister's, Presidents or Dictators popularity. Certainly worked with me back in 1982, I'm afraid i was right behind Marget Thatcher then.
Luckily I've grown older and wiser now. Just wish a few others would see past the propaganda.