Sunday, 2 February 2014

Hand wringing on Syria

One of the more absurd accusations levelled at former Prime Minister Tony Blair this last week was to blame him for the lack of intervention in Syria. The argument runs that the reason for the West holding back from intervention is the legacy of Iraq. What is somewhat hypocritical is that many of those now adopting this position would have been against intervention at any cost. It is as if the lessons of intervention in Iraq should not be learned: regime change rarely works and it leaves a bloody mess.

But this isn't a criticism of Tony Blair. It is a lesson learned. So we sit back unable to act when hundreds of thousands of Syrians suffer. We wring our hands and cry foul, yet we have no idea what to do. I can't help feeling that Blair and Bush would more likely than not have intervened long before now. I was against intervention. What I no longer know is what is best. Perhaps I should rephrase that: I no longer know which is worse, the bloody cost of not intervening, or the bloody consequences of military intervention and regime change. The truth is we don't know.

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