10 reasons not to bomb Syria

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10 reasons not to bomb Syria


After bombs in Homs, Syria, in 2012. (Freedom House under a Creative Commons Licence)

British politicians will decide this week if they are going to bomb Syria. Vanessa Baird explains why they should vote ‘no’.

1 Civilians will suffer most. So-called Islamic State(IS) isn’t stupid – they hide in areas with a lot of people. It is impossible to only bomb IS.

2 There is no plan for rebuilding Syria after the bombing. It will be chaos. Just like it was in Iraq and Libya.

3 Most military experts don’t think bombing will work – especially if they don’t have military on the ground. French bombing has not been very successful. So if David Cameron really wants to fight, he should ask permission to send thousands of British troops to fight in Syria.

4 David Cameron said there are 70,000 ‘moderate’ opposition fighters in Syria, ready to fight on the ground. But experts have said this is not true. The opposition is at least 100 different groups. Each group wants different things. And they are not all against IS.

5 This decision for Britain to join France in bombing IS in Syria is because of the Paris attacks. We can understand it emotionally. President Hollande is now very popular in France because he decided to bomb Syria. But this is not a good rational or moral reason to bomb.

6 IS was losing control of land in Syria and Iraq before the Paris attacks. Now it looks like Western bombing of IS in the region will make Europe less safe, not more safe. Probably there will be more supporters of violent Islamic extremism trying to bomb the West.

7 IS wants the West to join a war that will not end and that the West cannot win; this will be bad for what people think of the West and use up all their money.

8 Bashar al-Assad will be happy if everyone thinks that IS is ‘enemy number one’. His regime has killed many more people than IS. But people now say he is not so bad.

9 If the West bombs Syria, this will take away attention from what we really need to do to beat IS. We need to cut off its money, oil and support. We need to investigate the Western allies eg. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

10 The Syrian civil war is a very complex problem in the region. The solution needs to be regional. Western military action will probably not help. The West’s biggest ally in the region is Saudi Arabia. And this is where most of IS’s foreign fighters come from. Saudi Arabia says it is against IS, but they have only engaged in a little military action against IS in Syria. But Saudi Arabia is destroying its neighbour Yemen with bombs. Is that another story?

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/blog/2015/12/01/10-reasons-not-to-bomb-syria/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).