Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Syria: Why Syria Concerns Britain

The Internet is full of voices that say 'Syria is none of our business'. If only that were true, Britain would not have been ramping up the aggressive rhetoric for the past two years about Assad 'going' nor trying to avoid engaging in diplomacy with Iran and even with Russia over Syria's future.

Syria does concern Britain as the Middle East has to because its central to the global economy upon which Britain depends for investment, especially from Saudi Arabia and Qatar which back 'the rebels'.There is no point in trying to pretend that these interests are not interconnected with our way of life here.

Syria will concern us even more when Britain gets dragged in to a potential new Afghanistan situation should military intervention cause the civil war to intensify or spread into Lebanon or drag Iran further in and be responded to by Saudi Arabia.

In the short term, the best thing to do is to stay out but in the longer term Britain needs to take energy self sufficiency as a matter of urgency and not be drawn in by gas rich states such as Qatar to take sides in potentially lethal sectarian conflicts.

The long term challenges are huge, the inertia and complacency vast and the short term prospects of being drawn in to an epoch of intractable resource wars a terrifying reality. What happens if the conflict spreads ? If Saudi Arabia is threatened with blowback ?

There is every reason to be filled with foreboding at the outcome of any military strike by the US and Britain. I have no confidence in the ability of Cameron or Hague to know what they are doing. Lots of military experts and diplomats are aghast at what is being proposed.

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