Syria: Too many bombs spoil the broth

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By the time you are reading this the die would of already been cast, parliament will of already decided to extend its war into another country, or it will have not, but one thing is for certain there is no end in sight for the war on terror.

Ask yourself do you believe the world is a safer place?

A safer place after Iraq, after Afghanistan and after Libya?

After Mali and all the other skirmishes against the war on terror. Have all the bombs, all the dead soldiers and all the wasted life made you feel more secure in your home?

When you turn your light off at night and put your head down to rest do you rest easy and comfortable in the fact that you know British bombs are being dropped on foreign countries, and people and soldiers are dying in far flung lands?

I for one do not feel any safer in fact if the media is to be believed I should feel less safe now than I did in 2001.

In Afghanistan and Iraq we brought our full military might to bear, as did the coalition forces and what did we ultimately achieve? Did we wipe out Al-Qaeda, did we stamp out terrorism?

Nope, in fact we did the complete opposite.

As the former head of MI5 Baroness Manningham-Buller stated: “Our involvement in Iraq radicalised, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people – not a whole generation, a few among a generation – who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as being an attack upon Islam.”

She went on to state that our military involvement in both places substantially increased the terror threat to this country.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, if then with our full military might we actually made this country unsafe, then what do we expect to achieve with just our air force?

The phrase “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” comes to mind but we don’t just have a hammer, we have a multitude of tools that we could be using to bring about an end to ISIS, so the question has to be asked, why are we not using them?

A military solution with no end game in sight, no way out, no plan for victory is just a repeat of the same mistakes which brought us to this dreadful place in the first place.

We need to be utilizing all the tools available to us to combat ISIS, throwing more bombs into the war will not defeat this enemy, it is an ideology you cannot defeat it with bullets.

The generals in the First World War are discredited in history for their pig headed stubbornness in throwing young lads over the tops to their deaths, even though the tactics were not working they continued onwards.

The same can be said with the war on terror, our military actions have been counter productive, it is time we look at changing our tactics.

We can put pressure on regional countries which are making ISIS possible, go after the source of their income, cut off their weapons and ammo supplies.

Look into diplomacy with Russia and Assad, while at the same time support regional forces which have proven they can be reliable, the Kurds for example.

The choice isn’t between bombs or more bombs, there is more than one way to combat and ultimately defeat ISIS.

Funnily enough our allies Turkey have been bombing the hell out of one of the only forces in Syria which have been truly successful against ISIS, the Kurds in Rojava, and their allies.

Our efforts however to pursue non-military measures against ISIS are hampered by the fact some of our “allies” are less than willing to help.

In the end the only people that will profit from dropping bombs are arms companies and terrorist organisations which can use it as a propaganda tool. If anything with each bomb dropped we are further away from our goal, because inevitable each bomb either causes civilian casualties or takes us that much closer to the bomb that will.

For example when the USA bombed a Doctors without Borders hospital, I’m sure that caused a lot of terror to those involved but it is ok, because well they apologised so it makes it all better, right? I’m sure the victim families really understood that by killing their loved ones we were doing it to protect them in the long run of course.

If our recent history is to believed however one thing is for certain this will end in failure. What are your views on Syrian intervention and ISIS? Let me know in the comments below.

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The End Of Democracy As We Know It?

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as it is known in all its glory, never heard of it before? Well it is the biggest threat to our democracy in a generation, and far from our democracy going up in glorious smoke, it is silently and slowly fading away into the night.

TTIP is a trade deal being negotiated between the United States and the European Union, which sounds alright, doesn’t it? After all we have plenty of trade deals all around the world. That is until you scrape underneath the spin and get to the essence of the deal.

All power to the corporations! Pretty much sums it up.

If you check the EU website on TTIP it all sounds pretty good, which can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/

Just looking over this and you would think “why the concern Steve?” – However if you check out this campaign: https://stop-ttip.org/ you will see we are not getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The scariest part of TTIP for me is that it will allow something called “Investor-State Dispute Settlements,” what this boils down to is the right for corporations to sue governments if government policy has caused those corporations to lose profits.

Government policy will therefore be crafted not in a democratic fashion by the will of the people, but by corporations maximising their profits. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the right to hold governments to account in this way? If we could hold them liable for all the deaths that have been caused in relation to benefit sanctions for example.

One of the scariest aspects of this is that these disputes will happen in complete secret, not even elected officials will know about them, or be part of them until after they have already taken place.

When laws are being formed corporations will be allowed to sit at the table and draft the legislation, as well, so from beginning to end corporations will effectively become part of our government.

I will give you an example of this at work, a corporation sells a product which is found to cause cancer and has led to x amount of deaths, the government then bans this product. Under TTIP the corporation would then in turn be allowed to sue the government for eating into its profits.

I don’t know about you but I want my government to be concerned with the welfare of its citizens, not of its corporations. I want my government to protect my rights, not be more concerned with the profit of corporations.

All I hear about is economic growth and paying down the debt, I don’t care about these issues – I care about what my government can do for me, what my government can do for society, not what it can do for the 1% and there banker buddies.
Who lets face it, have surely had enough help by now and don’t need anymore?

The debate is all about human rights isn’t it? How human rights are being abused and how we need to scrap the human rights act. We never hear about the rights of corporations and how they abuse it to destroy the planet, or rip us off.

It just so happens that corporations in many countries have had the same rights extended to them as human beings, but you can bet that their rights to exploit and profit will not be coming into question in the near future.

The NHS that lovely institution which saved and continues to save an untold amount of people from disease and death could and likely would come under threat within the trade deal. Free simply doesn’t make enough profits you see.

The scope of TTIP is that wide that it is impossible to say just how it will begin to take hold over our country, either way when it does it will be done in secret so we won’t even know about it anyway!

At the very least there needs to be a national and international debate around TTIP, something of this magnitude should be a heavily debated and publicised isse which we are informed and educated on, because the rammifications of this whether they are good or bad (bad incase you are still not clear on my position) are absloutely massive.

TTIP has the power to reshape our democracy, effect every part of our lives, the environment, what we eat, how we eat it and an untold amount of possibilities. The tentacles of TTIP will wrap their oily slimey way around everything we now hold dear, so get angry, get mad, and get out there.

This is our democracy, it is time we took it back!