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‘Bombs don’t kill people, pacifists do’; The ignorance of history.

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Today, we seem to have a cyclical form of foreign policy. A constant loop of intervention, terror and reaction. We call this ‘the war on terror’ but it is failing. In the eyes of Middle Eastern civilians caught up in the carnage, it makes our country part of the ‘warmongering West’ and simply perpetuates the entire cycle of violence.

Jeremy Corbyn is opposing the intervention in Syria, just as he did with Iraq. In 2003 he voted against Tony Blair, saying that war would not achieve anything but death and destruction.

Corbyn was right.

We are often told by other Labour and Conservative MPs that Corbyn’s foreign policy is “outdated” and “idealistic”, but this is simply spin. His opposition to the Iraq war was wholly justified. Look at Iraq now. Is there any stability? No. We left Iraq in a much worse state than it was before. The only thing we have to show for our campaign were the dead bodies of those 179 soldiers who risked their life for nothing. The mistakes of Iraq are a shame on this country, and we are in danger of shaming ourselves even more in the coming days. A shame cast from the willful ignorance of past failures.

ISIS has a major presence in Iraq because we left a vacuum of power in the country – a vacuum that has allowed the rise of extremism and highlights the failures of this cyclical foreign policy. Why are we now about to repeat the mistakes we made only twelve years ago? Mistakes that are only escalating the situation.

The bombing in Syria by powers such as the USA, France and Russia is failing and it will always ultimately fail. So why then do we think that there is something different about British bombs. Our bombs don’t ask people for ID before they explode. Air strikes are indiscriminate. Innocent lives are always lost.

If some of the world’s biggest superpowers are not able to destroy ISIS after 4 years of consistent bombing, then why would we be able to do any better? It seems that Britain’s agenda for joining in is simply to be part of the in-crowd. Following the leader..

We are simply kidding ourselves if we think that Britain is still a superpower. We are an insignificant part of the world that buddies up with the likes of the USA in order to look significant. Get a grip! Let’s not do America’s dirty work again! Let’s not condemn innocent people to a life of terror, bombs and destruction.

We need a foreign policy that does not overestimate the influence we have in the world, we need a foreign policy that does not jump to war in every circumstance. A foreign policy that works, one that is usable and sustainable. The one we have today merely pokes at the hornet’s nest. It is inexcusable and ignorant in its reactionist nature, .

Are we ready to get involved in a campaign that will inadvertently slaughter innocents lives again? We are not going to be fighting ISIS, but rather fuelling it. ISIS and the civilians of cities such as Raqqa are indistinguishable from the air; you can not separate them.. So when our Government comes to us and says this is a bombing campaign on ISIS, not Syria, they are lying.

In the Observer, citizens from the Syrian city have said directly that they “can’t hide from your [Britain’s] bombs” should we not listen to them? Should we not realise the pain and suffering we are going to bring to these people? Innocents who we are willing to kill, who are guilty of nothing other than being occupied by terrorists. Most in the West are oblivious to the nature of war.

Whatever happens, as with Iraq, it seems there is again no post-bomb strategy in Syria. The 70,000 forces we say are ready to help us battle are also fighting Assad and even fighting each other. They are also miles and miles away from ISIS and they can not help us on the ground. Our long term plan is reliant on these ‘moderate’ forces to get rid of ISIS, but the problem is they are not reliable, many are extremists themselves and most are the Free Syrian Army, an army that is more inclined to go against Assad.

Let’s not kid ourselves, ISIS may be a threat to us, but is it really as big a threat to our country as we are told? Statistically you are more likely to die falling out of bed than through a terrorist atrocity in this country. Where’s the war on bed-fall-deaths? No education programme. No information leaflets. Surely any life lost is a tragedy, but combating bed fall deaths won’t increase our image on the world stage.

Who are the real people threatened in these situations? Is it us, who live in a free and incomparably safer environment? Or is it the people who go to sleep every night not knowing if they will wake up tomorrow? And if they do wake up alive, not knowing which of their friends and family will have been killed. Aren’t these people, the innocents in Syria, who we should be thinking about? Not ourselves.

We are willfully advocating their deaths and displacement. Problems which, once again, will come back to haunt us in the future. We cannot go on perpetuating this cycle of violence. We need another way. Maybe we should listen to Corbyn, for once.

We have already prayed for the innocent lives lost in Paris, and now maybe it is time to pray for the innocent lives we are about to take in Syria.

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Jess Miller

Co-Founder, Contributing Editor

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