A photo in the Spectator just caught my eye. It was of a Stop the War demonstration with people carrying placards reading ‘Don’t Bomb Syria’, interspersed with peace balloons.
This immediately put me in mind of the Stop the War movement 12 years ago when Iraq rather than Syria was the country in question. Those earlier demonstrators also seemed to believe that if only horribly white western countries could restrain themselves from bombing a poor, defenseless Muslim country full of beautiful dark-skinned people then everything in the world would be fine. Then Iraq could continue to be a peaceful country led by a reasonable man who neither killed and tortured his own people nor threatened neighbouring countries and minorities with war and genocide.
Half a generation on, people of the same ilk still seem to believe that if only greedy white westerners could resist the temptation to bomb soulful brown Muslims back to the Dark Ages then peace would prevail.
I too would rather we didn’t bomb Syria, not because I think this makes peace in the region more likely but because any action we undertake in God-forsaken holes is always construed by some as a cynical ploy for rich white westerners to plunder the resources of put-upon Muslim populations who merely want to be left in peace. The bias in the Middle Eastern media sees to it that this narrative becomes widespread in their own countries while the Guardian, the New York Times and the BBC do the same job here in the West.
This being the case I would rather see the whole region reduced to rubble and ashes than have us intervene and face the inevitable years, decades or even centuries of apologising and paying for things that didn’t go according to plan, as they rarely do with military interventions.
Another example of blaming the West is the way some people, both black and white, still attribute present day black dysfunction to the legacy of slavery 150 years after slavery ended! Will black people never recover from it? Do they have no agency of their own? And if slavery were really to blame for the out-of-control black crime rate and out-of-wedlock births, why weren’t these pathologies more prevalent immediately after the slave era ended? Why did they take 100 years to kick in?
Similarly, I have no desire to be held forever responsible for the destruction of Syria. As long as our own countries are filled with Muslim grievance mongers and progressive leftists I’d rather the West didn’t get involved in the Middle East. It’s just too dangerous. Of course, some Muslims and leftists will probably blame us for not getting involved, so we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Still, like penalties not given, sins of omission fade from memory more quickly than sins of commission.
So let’s secure our borders, stop taking in Muslim and African migrants and hunker down while the Middle East and Africa descend into madness and mayhem, their specialities.