My father RAF retired age 95 takes the view that we should bomb the regime because of their use of chemical gas against their own population. On discussing the point further and this was before the historic votes in Parliament on Thursday his view was that if the Syrian regime gets away with their appalling gas bombing with its indiscriminate disastrous effects on innocent children women and men, nuclear weapons would be next.
Usually I agree with dad's views but not on this occasion. As it happens I recall well friends from Baghdad expressing support at the time for Western retaliation to the dreadful regime there. Of course we now know that we were misled by Tony Blair and others but those Iraqi Christian friends now British Subjects described the discrimination suffered by religious minorities in Iraq in addition to the other evils being perpetrated there at the time.
Those same friends along with most people here now feel that those incursions were wrong not least as Western retaliation has years later resolved nothing. For example the Christian population in Iraq is by all accounts smaller than ever through emigration caused by fear not to mention death.
The Syrian leadership is currently appalling and has been so for years. The North Korean seems even worse. The opposition in Syria is splintered and mostly unattractive and I have no idea if there is even any opposition in North Korea. However we are not proposing to bomb North Korea. That country even has nuclear weapons which the West USA included does no more than use angry words about. If the North attacked South Korea however then the West would I am sure come to the latters aid.
As for Syria, the dreadful regime is attacking its own citizens. If that occurred in say France we as its neighbour would surely become involved as indeed occurred during WWII when the attacks on other European countries precipitated UK involvement. But we are not geographical neighbours of Syria. Furthermore some other Arabian states have for years substantially restricted religious freedoms and far worse have relegated the female half of the human race to second class citizens yet the West continues not only to trade with such countries supplying them with weapons of mass destruction worth £billions but to fawn at their leaders whose actions in our eyes appear virtually despotic.
Making right decisions and ensuring that our own people have jobs food and housing are not easy tasks hence doubtless the blind eye being cast at some dreadful regimes. However history has shown that we should only become involved in war as a very last resort when our own safety is imperiled or that of our friends who ask for our aid.. Another reason for war might be that of the mass subjugation of women as in Afghanistan or the threat of nuclear bombing which thank fully so far has been limited post WWII to the now hopefully finished cold war.
The expected decision of the American president who is presumably also the USA Democratic party leader, to bomb Syria would be at best disappointing, wrong and imho counter productive.
The UK parliament has acted with dignity and come to the right decision which took maturity and good statesmanship for the Prime Minister to accept so promptly.