Matthew Steeples suggests George Osborne was entirely right to criticise the West’s failure to act over Aleppo
Yesterday, George Osborne rightly blamed the West for the horror of what is happening in Aleppo. He condemned MPs refusal to intervene there in 2013 and suggested Parliament’s failure to defend Syrian civilians has resulted in a “terrible tragedy”.
Speaking from the backbenches for the first time since he was there in the debate over the Iraq war, the former Chancellor commented:
“We have come to a point where it is impossible to intervene anywhere, that we lack the political will as the West to intervene”.
“I have some hope out of this terrible tragedy in Syria: We are beginning to learn the price of not intervening”.
“We did not intervene in Syria. Tens of thousands of people have been killed as a result. Millions of refugees have been sent from their homes”.
“We have allowed a terrorist state to emerge in the form of ISIS. Russia, for the first time since Henry Kissinger kicked them out of the Middle East in the 1970s, is back as the decisive player in that region. That is the price of not intervening”.
In his words, George Osborne was sadly spot on. We live in worrying times and we must now act on the words of Edmund Burke. He once reminded us that: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. It is time we intervened.
I have thought all along that Britain and the US should have tried to prevent the eruption of civil war in Syria.
Check my post about this on FB, pointing out that we have allowed Putin to succeed in Georgia, terrify Lithuania, start a war in E Ukraine, seize the Crimea and intervene with disastrous consequences in Syria. Fantasists still believe that there’s a diplomatic solution to this – not with this guy. It has to be planes in the, boots on the ground.
You cannot imagine the hate mail I got for this post…
Well written Matthew. Standing back and doing nothing allows the evil to grow and continue, wiping out the good.
I would be in favour of action if it actually did some good. But I am afraid I have little confidence in British intervention benefiting anyone.
The problem with Syria is that there are no ‘good guys’ on either side. So who should you align yourself with?
Mr Osborne CH is being a bit selective with history. If I’m not mistaken, back in 2013, the government voted on whether to take action against Assad’s forces.
Now, of course, it’s not just Assad who is regarded as the problem. We have various rebel groups who have been trying to bring Assad down. And ISIS/Da’esh in the mix as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I loathe ISIS/Da’esh. But remember how our MPs voted to bomb Syria last year? It doesn’t seem to have done a fat lot of good. Just like how our troops were in Iraq for several years and it didn’t help matters. I recall how Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan were kidnapped and murdered in a manner very similar to ISIS executions. The killers of Mrs Hassan were never even identified, let alone caught.
What makes the situation all the more dangerous is that other countries have begun to take sides. Assad is backed by Russia, while some have suggested that Turkey and Saudi Arabia (supposedly our allies) are funding ISIS.
This has the potential to trigger WW3 if we’re not careful. There are more than a few parallels with the series of alliances that pulled the major powers, domino-effect into the First World War. If WW3 erupts, it will make everything that has gone on thus far look like playground dispute.
With reluctance, therefore, I have come to the conclusion that it is best that we do not send in military forces. Perhaps, however, we could send aid to the people in need. I’d have thought it must be cheaper to drop food packages than it is to drop bombs.