UK SEEKS TO REMOVE ARMS EMBARGO TO ALLOW BRITISH ARMAMENT OF SYRIAN REBELS – Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has just spent the entire Bank Holiday weekend in Brussels trying to convince other EU member states to lift the ban on supplying arms to Syria so that the UK can arm the Syrian rebel troops.
Full Story: daily mail
Point of View: Max Hastings
Should we help arm Syrian Rebels? Should a coalition force be formed to remove Bashar al-Assad? Have your say… leave your comments below.
Long has been the view that the UK, along with Europe and the U.S, should unite in over-throwing Syrian’s leader Bashar al-Assad.
Bashar al-Assad – Syrian Leader
It may be surprising to some of my readers why I haven’t written more on this subject before. The truth is it is a never ending story and there is not a day that goes by where Bashar al-Assad isn’t reported to have yet again violated war crimes against his people.
Let’s be honest; if Bashar al-Assad is not bombing innocent civilians then he’s using, according to the latest news, chemical weapons. It does make you wonder what this madman would do if he had access to a nuclear arsenal.
Today however is a different day because for a long time national newspapers, such as The Financial Times and The Economist have been calling upon the British Government to do the moral thing… step in and help the Syrian rebels to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.
Of all of the EU member states only France has joined the UK in supporting military intervention and the lifting of the arms ban.
David Cameron has on a number of occasions tried to persuade President Barack Obama to help lead the way into Syria in order to bring an end to the conflict and bloodbath. It is, as Cameron and Hague feel, our moral responsibility, just as it was with Libya, to help overthrow a dictator and a war criminal.
The knight in shining armour routine appears all very gallant and chivalrous but would it not be far more productive to keep our noses out of a conflict that has nothing to do with us and stop our incessant interfering in other countries policies; even if that involves internal conflict?
What can be achieved by arming the rebels? Simply replace Bashar al-Assad with yet another dictator? How do we really know that Syria will be a more reasonable country under the rule of a rebel government? How much development has been achieved in Libya since Colonel Gaddafi was removed from power by a brutal public execution?
What are the motives here for wanting to help the rebels by allowing them arms? Is it simply a moral crusade by Cameron and Hague or it merely the fact that they want to sell arms to the Syrian rebels?
The Government has already laid out terms and conditions for the sale of arms to Syrian rebels and one of these is an assurance that the arms will not end up in the hands of Al Qaeda. I wonder what measure the Government will then take if there is such an occurrence.
One part here that William Hague did point out that if the lifting of the arms ban were initiated it could force Bashar al-Assad to attend next month’s peace talks in Geneva; something he has continuously refused to consider.
The reality here is that the civil war in Syria has nothing to do with the UK. There is also the reality that Syria has strong ties to Al Qaeda and openly supports Islamic terrorists across the globe and yet Cameron and Hague want to arm them.
The only benefit here is that the UK would, if the ban is lifted, be able to supply arms but at what cost to the on-going safety of British citizens.
While it is disturbing to see images on the news of men, women and children being murdered by a dictator the reality is that helping could in fact be detrimental to the UK’s interests in the medium and long term. I doubt very much that Al Qaeda will lay down its arms due to the fact we helped and strongly suspect the weapons we supply will end up in the hands of Islamic terrorists.
The UK needs to learn to keep its snout firmly out of this trough because as with Libya the conflict will continue long after Bashar al-Assad is finally taken out; as with Osama Bin Ladin, who will simply be replaced with yet another dictator.