British troops have been on stand by for use in Syria for months now. As the West continues to procrastinate and try to keep a hold on trigger happy fingers in government people in Syria are dying. By whose hands is an important point. Reporting from Syria is restricted and intermittent. Yesterday there was the tragic killing of around 90 people at a bakery. There are the usual claims and counter claims. The regime blames terrorists and the rebels blame the regime. In the middle are the long suffering civilians.
With such reports being hard to verify there are claims that old film and images have been used in the past to represent supposedly fresh attacks. Again though it is the people who suffer.
Yesterday a former head of the British Army warned the British government about going into Syria too soon. Yes in case you had not realised, it is a done deal that sooner or later western forces will enter Syria. We have procrastinated for many reasons.
Professor Sir Paul Newton, who served in conflicts in Kosovo and Iraq has said what most of us already know. If foreign forces enter Syria "too soon", as he put it, we run the risk of creating a power vacuum, making the situation so much worse, allowing unknown forces to have access to chemical weapons and more and destabilising Syria and the whole region.
Most people think that entering at any time could be too soon.
The West has interfered in countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and probably other countries. There are people being killed and abused in so many countries so why our obsession with the Middle East? A cunning plan to cause chaos or what? It certainly seems that way.
In truth we have barely improved the lot of many civilians in these lands. We have lost troops and the people have experienced loss of lives, families and livelihoods. For what we wonder? So that we could impose our "perfect" way of government on them? To curb terrorism? To stop the spread of Islam? To support Israel? You tell me.
Whilst some in the Middle East may have a better life now the future is uncertain. Forces are at work which will attack human and women's rights. New leaders appear to be the old guard in disguise. A new perhaps more terrible regime in the making.
The West though cares not one iota about the Middle East. It never has, has it? If it did why was the State of Israel given to the Jewish people after the War without due consideration to the people already occupying those lands? To ask such a question will be deemed anti Semitic by those who want to interpret it that way but it is merely a question many have asked. Was no thought given to the long term peace of the region? The answer would appear to be no.
The guilt the West felt at what Jewish people had experienced at the hands of the Nazis was the overriding factor. There were others of course. There were also many who felt some responsibility having ignored the signs from Germany.
Whilst it is pointless raking up old history somewhere along the line we must surely have learned some lessons? Are we never going to consider the long haul.
Yes we agree with Professor Sir Paul Newton up to a point. We draw the line at more military intervention in a cherry picked country. That may sound harsh given the brutality that Syrians are experiencing right now but what about the rest of the world? Is it that we feel we owe this region something after years of abuse?
The people of the UK will balk at further military intervention. The country is broke, as far as money goes, or so we are constantly told. The War Chest is full to overflowing it would seem. As the UK government cut the number of British troops and hope to rely on reservists you have wonder about the common sense of our leaders. That is if they have any.