DUNSTABLE, Bedfordshire, England – For the past couple of weeks or so, one country has dominated international headlines – Syria.
Though the plight and suffering of the civilians of the Middle Eastern country have been under scrutiny for almost two years, it’s recently become clear that foreign aid is essential.
The United Kingdom has been asked, harangued, even bullied, at times, into voting yes into joining our old Allies. Except this time, we’ve said no.
Don’t get us wrong – we care.
You could say it’s because of this concern that we’ve decided not to bomb the place to kingdom come.
Why does all aid seem to involve heavy-handed force? This isn’t a time of shelling, canons and guns. The potential implications are things like nuclear war, and mutually assured destruction.
So Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, if he is behind the recent chemical attacks, is not a man to be trifled with. Now, military intervention seems to be a one-way street. There’s no retreat or, “Sorry, we didn’t mean to, we’ll back off now.”
What’s wrong with informing the regime we’ll be sending in medical supplies and volunteers? After all, it’s the victims we care most about, the innocent people caught up in this bloody conflict, is it not?
The diplomatic and humanitarian routes seem the best options for now, to ensure these people are protected from any more disgusting attacks.
Hopefully President Barack Obama’s speech tonight will clarify the current position for everyone.
The intended speech will have undoubtedly changed dynamic during the last 48 hours, with Russian President Vladimir Putin putting forward the idea of Syria’s surrender of any chemical weapons, and a fairly positive reception from Syria. So there is a possibility the situation may yet be diffused.
But Britain has to be careful – we’ve been here before with Iraq. Though the situation is different, the consequences of that 2001 war have lingered on to this day.
We’ve been criticized and mocked because of our decision to decline this time. We’ve been made out to be unreliable and uncaring. None of it’s true.
In these modern times, any act of war has to be carefully thought out.
You have to be sure the person you’re attacking is the real culprit.
You have to be sure you can defend yourself. The alternative is something that, quite frankly, doesn’t bear thinking about.
Myah Guild is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.