Sometimes we flick through headlines without giving them a second thought; we readily accept the destruction and devastation in the world without thinking about the causes and consequences. Beth Thayne takes a step back and looks at what is happening around us from a different perspective. Be ready to agree, be ready to disagree, but most of all, be ready to look twice at our world and see it with a fresh pair of eyes.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been crawling their way across Iraq and Syria for several months, and this movement from the East is now a threat to the West.
The US-led alliance is like the teenage sleepover that the UK was invited to but didn’t really want to go to because at the last sleepover they made fun of his pyjamas
David Cameron has taken a tentative and almost ridiculous approach to the situation. The US-led alliance is like the teenage sleepover that the UK was invited to but didn’t really want to go to because at the last sleepover they made fun of his pyjamas. Cameron has tip-toed towards our military intervention in the fight against ISIL rather sheepishly. All too fresh on his mind are the devastating repercussions that your man Tony faced back in 2003. In fact, Blair is still having to defend himself whilst people point the finger at him, blaming the current situation in the Middle East on his decisions.
However, it fell out of poor Dave’s hands when the vote on the UK’s involvement in the fight against ISIL fell to the hands of our Parliament on the 26th of September. 524 of our elected gentlepeople voted in favour of airstrikes in Iraq to combat ISIL with only 43 opposing intervention. So that’s it. The deal is sealed. We’ve gone to war.
Our country has taken decisive action that will ultimately have consequences, whether positive or negative, yet the fight against ISIL seems much further away than the 3460 miles that actually separates us from it. We’ve seen terrifying footage of ISIL training camps on the news and read about the horrific things they are doing to those who defy the movement, but the impact of this group and what they are doing still hasn’t hit home, neither mentally nor physically.
Whilst we’ve flicked our status from ‘peace’ to ‘war’, we have to step back and consider just how true this actually is
But whilst we’ve flicked our status from ‘peace’ to ‘war’, we have to step back and consider just how true this actually is. As one of the last countries to join the countering of ISIL, and one of the most powerful and influential, it was expected that the UK would match the efforts of its fellow nations.
It seems we’re in a sort of political hokey cokey – we put our right hand in and then took it straight back out
The US began its airstrikes in Iraq on the 15th of September and has continued these attacks since then. In addition, they have provided firearms for Kurdish troops and opposition groups in Iraq as well as granting the generous sum of $40 million to Syrian opposition groups and are providing training for 5000 militants to combat ISIL. By comparison, the UK has provided 6 RAF Tornado planes to help with reconnaissance and bombing missions and armed Kurdish fighters with $2.5 million worth of firearms. It seems we’re in a sort of political hokey cokey – we put our right hand in and then took it straight back out. Our Parliament voted for war against a terrorist movement and David Cameron decided 6 planes and a couple of guns would do the trick.
Whether you agree with our entry into the fight against ISIL or not, it’s clear that our own politicians are decided on action but reluctant to fulfill what is required. The UK has gone to the sleepover – with different pyjamas this time – but has fallen asleep at 9pm and everyone else is laughing.
Photo Credit: Number 10 via Flickr.