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Killing for Peace?

Stormtrooper painting out part of Star Wars text to read Stop Wars

Stop Wars

Today the UK Parliament will vote on whether to bomb IS targets in Syria, a story which is the headline on domestic news sources such as the BBC. Not surprisingly, this is creating numerous comment on the blogosphere and a few things have caught my eye this morning, like Ian’s posting of a Banksy image (click it to visit his site).

There are lots of thought provoking items like Charles’s application of his creative reasoning to exploring what might be root causes of the current situation. Perhaps some of this comes from Turkey messing around with the water supply for Syria before the crisis kicked off? Certainly several imperialistic tigers, including the UK as well as Russia and France, are responding to having their tails pulled – have we considered that this goading might mean IS wants a fight? There are also important questions like those Simon raises, particularly around things we are involved in like buying oil from and selling weapons to regimes in the region.

I’m pretty sure that dropping more bombs is not going to help. Firstly, IS has been convincingly profiled as an apocalyptic cult. Rain down fire and brimstone and it perfectly fits and reinforces their distorted worldview. Secondly, every innocent victim killed or maimed seeds a new crop of those with reasons to hate and little to lose. In the face of an overpowering external assault committed by powers that choose to stay at arms length, even the very concept of innocence and guilt is easily transposed to become us and them so even hitting a nest of IS sympathisers won’t necessarily seem like justice to those left on the ground. Thirdly, how does this strategy cope with the fact we know such nests exist in our cities? Are we going follow militaristic logic and start bombing Brussels because it is known to host terrorists?

I have to confess that I will be quite surprised if the result isn’t a decision to send more bombs across but I fear it won’t take long before that becomes another obvious mistake.

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