by Rab Bruce’s Spider

After leaping to accuse Russia of the Salisbury nerve agent attack with apparently no real evidence, Theresa May is now itching to declare war on Syria with apparently very little actual evidence to support her. There are certainly some very distressing videos going around, but their provenance and authenticity has been questioned.

As with so many things of this nature, with both Russia and the UK / USA making claims and counter-claims, it is impossible for ordinary citizens of the UK to be absolutely certain of the truth.

What we can be absolutely certain of is that the UK is always ready to declare war on Middle Eastern countries who do not play ball with us in trade terms. Picking on Syria is, however, a dangerous game given their close alliance with Russia. It is no exaggeration to say that World War 3 could be triggered if either side does anything reckless.

As for the justification for this belligerence, a chemical attack is a horrible thing. Yet, as some respected commentators with international diplomatic experience have pointed out, this chemical attack bears a remarkable resemblance to the one carried out when Barak Obama was President. In both cases, with President Assad’s forces on the brink of winning an important victory, and with the USA making noises about pulling out of the conflict, Syrian forces apparently launched a chemical strike which was not necessary militarily and which only served to encourage the USA to become more involved in the conflict. Assad may well be that stupid, but it does seem an odd strategy.

As for the UK’s response, though, it is worth bearing in mind that any claim that involvement is necessary on humanitarian grounds is mere spin. If humanitarian reasons drove the UK’s military actions, then we would be declaring war on Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of whom are carrying out murderous attacks on unarmed civilians. Of course, these two countries are our allies, so we turn a blind eye to what they are doing and, in the case of Saudi Arabia, actively assist them in their attacks on Yemen.

So, while there may well be justifications for declaring war on Syria, humanitarian concerns should not be considered high on that list where the UK is concerned. After all, the UK Government shows no concerns for the millions of its own citizens living in poverty, dying homeless because of Benefit sanctions, or depending on food banks to survive. Indeed, as has been pointed out by so many people, these things are part of an ideological choice on the part of the UK Government. The call for war provides further evidence that the need for Austerity is an invention, since the cost of a single air strike is sufficient to provide employment for several doctors, police officers or firefighters. The magic money tree always has enough branches to pay for military actions, yet rarely bears fruit when social issues are being discussed or even when ex-Service personnel need help once the armed forces have dispensed with their services.

It is not as if further military involvement is likely to solve the problem. If anything, all it will cause is another wave of Syrian refugees who will attempt to reach Europe. Of course, they might as well forget about coming to the UK in search of sanctuary because the UK Government, so concerned about humanitarian issues, won’t let them in.

What is happening in Syria is awful. A nation has been devastated, thousands of innocent lives have been lost, yet our only solution is to drop more bombs. Whatever the rights and wrongs, whatever you think of President Assad, escalating the war is not a solution. And if there genuinely is no other course of action, then justifying it on humanitarian grounds is hypocritical in the extreme. Regime change is what the West wants, but with Russia backing Assad, that seems unlikely to happen.

It is also worth mentioning that, of all the neighbouring countries, Syria is the only major oil producer in the vicinity. That, of course, must be pure coincidence.