War. Was is it good for? Absolutely nothing. – Edwin Starr, 1970
I always find it amazing how people in positions of power continually fail to learn from the mistakes of the past when it comes to war. Time and time and time again, we have gone to war on grounds of tackling terror and the results have been dire.
Let’s just have a look at the Iraq war. Us and the U.S.A decided to go and fight Suddam Hussain because we believed that he was in possession of weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons. We spent billions of tax payers money, and gave the lives of hundreds of our brothers and sisters and what happened? There was no evidence that he had those weapons. However, what was evident was the real motive behind the war; oil. We went over to Iraq because we knew we could exploit them for their richness in raw materials.
But what matters most about Iraq, is the consequences. Had anyone ever heard of ISIS or ISIL or Daesh back in 2003? No, the so-called ‘Isliamic state’ are a living and breathing response to the western imperialism in the Middle East in the last 20 years. We bombed and we bombed for years and years, and now look where we are. Back at square 1. We may have defeated the Taliban and Al Quaida, but what has grown out of these conflicts, is a group who are 100 times more dangerous and 100 times more merciless.
So for me, the case for air strikes in Syria is slightly ridiculous and non-progressive, seeming as in the past, bombs haven’t worked. However, this is not me saying that we should sit back and watch this fire burn; we need to extinguish the fire, not add more fuel.
Another great example is the Vietnam war. At a time when the United States was a prospering, economically successful country and things looked like they were most certainly going up, they entered a war with the North Vietnamese; a country led by a Communist leader Ho Chi Minh who was at war with South Vietnam.
At a time when the ‘red scare’ was sweeping across the states, they found it necessary to begin a continuous bombing raid on North Vietnam to stop the spread of a potentially dangerous alternative to the capital, market led ideology that America was championing. This method, know as “Operation Rolling Thunder”, went on for 18 months. So what happened? America lost. The North Vietnamese used a range of tactics such as digging underground fortress’ to hide from the bombs (which has been happening with ISIS) creating false targets and rebuilding damaged bases incredibly quickly. So eventually America pulled out. They had lost a war that had seemed so easy but turned out to be a tough ordeal in practise.
So let’s learn. Learn from our mistakes. Because at the end of the day, ISIS will be looking for the world to retaliate with bombs and drones and guns, as a means of providing evidence of imperialism and western destruction on the Middle East. If we continue to act in the same manor that we have in the last couple of decades, things in the region will only get worse and many more lives will be at risk.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil –hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation” – Martin Luther King Jr, 1963