Saturday, 28 November 2015

War or Peace?

I write this as the UK goes through another debate about whether to the UK military should bomb targets in Syria. The prime minster, David Cameron, this week delivered a speech supposedly providing justifiable cause for the bombing. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, despite protests from members of his shadow cabinet, is saying the justification wasn't there. So who is right? Has David Cameron provided reasoned justification for bombing and I suspect what will be or is World War III.

My reading of the reports leaves me confused about the size of the ISIL forces but clear that ISIL is growing in wealth and in access to willing volunteers and military equipment. Despite their central base being in Syria and not having large armies on battle fronts in other nations, the seem to cause havoc in Europe and Africa almost at will. What evidence that I can obtain from reports suggest that the current bombing campaigns are helping strengthen ISIL and not destroy it.

This makes me wonder whether we are attacking the symptom and not treating the cause.

When I read the reports, it seems to me that the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have left political vacuums and unstable government rather than bringing stabilisation. The support of the opposition to Assad in Syria has simply lead to another unstable environment in which the less moderate group, ISIL, can thrive.

With Russia treating any opposition to the Assad government as terrorists and the Western alliance backing the removal of the Assad regime, it seems that we have a receipt for disaster. The 70,000 fighters on the ground backed by the Western alliance are equally likely to be destroyed by Russia and the Assad forces as they are by ISIL. I am not convinced that the Western alliance really knows what it is really trying to achieve.

This isn't a war in Syria, it is a war being fought on an international stage. Yes, most of the destruction is in Syria and Iraq but ISIL is able to cause destruction almost anywhere in the world and the nations that are being drawn in to the conflict are coming from all corners of the globe. We have World War III and all I can see is that another set of war planes bombing in Syria are going to extend the field of war. However, this claim possibly has as much validity based on data as David Cameron's appeal to support bombing in Syria.

If we really want to resolve international conflict then we need to look at the causes of why some people are disenfranchised and do not have access to the apparent wealth of the the western nations. We need to understand how people feel excluded and why they feel a need to “catch up”. Western nations have to stop pandering after their own wealth acquisition and energy requirements and find ways of balancing access to wealth and progress that do not rely on poorer countries becoming indebted to the wealthier nations or the banking system.

If we really want peace, and I am not convinced that our leaders do, then we need to look at ways of transforming our economic thinking. This is both on a local level and a global level. “Hard working families” simply means those who are prepared to enslave themselves to get richer while having no hope of doing so. It means conforming to the modern systems of slavery to work for minimal return while the coffers of the 1%, primarily financiers, grow bigger. It means increasing inequality, greater dissatisfaction by those left behind, and more opportunities to encourage more radical or violent solutions. ISIL and groups like it survive and thrive because we are unwilling to ensure that all have access to what they need to survive and we are prepared to waste huge amounts of resource to fuel an economic machine that has no understanding of sustainability and sharing of resources.

Humanity is supposedly the intelligent species but its individualistic rush to getting ahead of others simply fuels destruction of the planet, hatred, and ultimately destruction. It also encourages an education system that is focussed on passing through conforming rather than learning, innovating, and understanding others.

Humanity is not an intelligent species. Humanity is a destructive species that implements programmes such as mutual assured destruction (MAD) and self-assured destruction (SAD) as defence strategies or strategies for peace, that sees destruction of the other as advancement, that sees continued growth and expansion consuming limited resources as a round to prosperity, and that sees enslavement of the masses as fulfilment in life.

Humanity doesn't need the hand of god to bring judgement and destruction to this planet. Humanity is doing that quite well for itself.

I am sorry, David Cameron and other political leaders who support increased bombing and destruction in Syria, who seek the removal of Assad through force as a condition of peace, who focus on deficit reduction rather than need or equality, who …, I cannot accept your line of argument as soundly reasoned. It sounds more like the adhesion to a framing story that has no validity but that fulfils a dream of self-assured destruction (SAD).

War is not a solution. It is a symptom of a failing of a framing story that favours the few and the expense of the masses. Changing the underlying story of western civilisation is required if we are to see any resolving of the problems of this world and any concept of peace.