Supplying arms to rebels in Syria will prolong the war and kill more people

Sadly, there are growing indications that, as foreseen in Prof Bush’s article of June 12th, the inane, liberal moralists in Washington and London are preparing to intervene, or at least send arms to the Syrian rebels. Their ‘excuse’ is that there is possible evidence of the limited use of poisonous gas by the Syrian regime and/or by the rebels. Forgive our scepticism, but haven’t we heard this sort of story before, in the matter of Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction – none of which were ever found in the event? Why should anyone accept this ‘evidence’ of poison gas use as being conclusive from a war zone in a country to which Western observers have even less access than was the case in Saddam’s Iraq?

Furthermore, even if some of this evidence should be substantiated, does it really justify giving arms to a movement which includes fighters who slit open the corpses of their opponents and eat their lungs; or who murder young boys for swearing oaths invoking the Prophet?  Western liberals say that arms will only be supplied to ‘moderate’ rebels. If, however, those moderates cannot prevent the jihadists in their ranks from committing such atrocities, there can be no guarantee that they will prevent Western-supplied arms from falling into jihadist hands either.  The ‘moderates’ you see on Western TV are what the Arabs on the ground refer to as “hotel fighters” because hotel lobbies are as close to the action as most of them get.  In any eventual settlement they will be simply swept aside.

Cameron’s moralism will lead to more destruction

Let us look at where a policy of supplying arms will lead. If Assad wins anyway, the only result will be to have prolonged the civil war and increase the fatalities (currently estimated at 93,000) and to have inflicted greater destruction than if Assad is allowed to win from now. If the arms turn the tide against Assad, the rebels will have to retake the towns recently lost to the regime, and then proceed into areas held by the government including central Damascus and the Alawite heartland. Given the sectarian nature of the conflict, that could easily double the total of fatalities and finally destroy whatever is left of Syria. If the non-Hezbollah rebels choose to settle accounts with Hezbollah by spreading the conflict into Lebanon, that might well bring about the collapse of that unlucky little country for the second time in a generation. Nor would that necessarily end the violence.

Following our opposition to Britain’s involvement in Libya (see “Libya: And Deeper Yet”, 24 April 2011), we note two years on that, sadly, the democratic Libyan government has so little control over arms in its country that it is widely known as the “Tesco arms store”.  When Gadhafi was in control in Libya, it was at least possible to persuade him with a combination of stick and carrot after the US air raids on Libya to stop supplying arms to the IRA.

Last year, a ‘moderate’ rebel commander stated that following Assad’s overthrow it would be necessary for the moderates to take action against the extreme jihadists linked to Al Qaeda in Syria.   That would generate yet another civil war, this time directly threatening our security if the jihadists gained the upper hand and possibly de-stabilising Iraq as well as Lebanon.   Do Obama, Cameron and Hollande (of France) really wish to stain their hands with so much blood, and set in motion a train of events over which they can have no control but which could have such potentially dangerous consequences for the West?

British Practicalism, not Cameron’s Moralism, can really help the Syrian refugees

President Putin has repeatedly stated his opposition (reiterated in public at the G8 meeting in Enniskillen) to the policy of supplying arms to the rebels, yet Cameron with his bumbling Blair-like moralism persists in trying to push water up hill.  How long is the UK Conservative Party going to support this man as Prime Minister, who is leading them to electoral defeat in 2015?  If Britain must involve itself, why not use its considerable military resources in nearby Cyprus to bring large scale practical help to the hundreds of thousands in the Jordan refugee camps, as proposed in Stephen Bush’s article of 12th June?
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One Response to “Supplying arms to rebels in Syria will prolong the war and kill more people”

  1. Ageing Albion says:

    There is now mounting speculation in the press that the wet Cameroon moralists intend to involve Britain in some sort of attack on the Assad régime. If successful, they may degrade the régime’s fighting power slightly and compel it to use conventional weapons only, ie kill its citizens with other types of indiscriminate weapons instead such as long range artillery. Assad will likely still prevail, just over a longer period of time, and if anything with greater casualties.

    If unsuccessful, Assad will continue to use chemical weapons, the Russians and Iranians will openly assist him, and the scale of the possible disaster will range from a few more Syrians killed by Assad’s newly assisted troops, all the way to Iran openly attacking Western interests and maybe even starting a war with Israel.

    In other words, the best case scenario makes almost no difference to the present, and the worst is a total catastrophe. Will that deter Cameron and his sixth form debating colleague Hague?

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