The image of a young boy, covered in blood, after a bombing raid in Syria has polarised the public. Questions are being asked of the politicians who supported military action there – and like the slippery characters they are, those politicians are letting them go unanswered.
Hilary Benn, against the wishes of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, spoke stridently in favour of UK air strikes against terrorists in Syria when it was debated in Parliament late last year. His efforts won him applause from the Conservative Party – something he should bear with shame.
Now we have the images of the boy in the ambulance. This Writer would wager it is impossible to stay unmoved as he wipes his face, sees the blood on his hand, and – simultaneously terrified and confused – wonders what to do about it.
Here in the UK, some of us knew exactly what they would do about it. They challenged Mr Benn. “How about a powerful speech to explain how the bombing is going, Hilary?” asked one person on Twitter.
His response: “What’s happening in Aleppo is shocking. Have you contacted Russian/Syrian embassies to ask why their governments did this?”
The Great British people, it seems, aren’t having any of that nonsense. The replies have been numerous, as follows:
There’s this: “Who do you think you’re fooling Hilary? You helped bring this pain with your warmongering in WM! Has it helped?”
And this: “What is being said about Syria by Hilary Benn suggests lack of knowledge of Middle East policy and esp of Arabs. Scary” which should be coupled with this: “Is Hilary Benn only MP who does not know that Russia is trying to create peace in Syria and is willing to talk with Turkey to achieve it?”
The simple fact is it was wrong to vote for air strikes in Syria – as it has been wrong to join all the other foreign adventures.
It hasn’t stopped terrorist attacks – ask France and Germany if you don’t believe me.
In fact, it might have ensured that they continue well into the future. Who’s to say Omran won’t take up arms against the western powers that attacked him, when he’s old enough? That would fit the cycle:Who benefits? Arms manufacturers and big businesses.
Who suffers? The children. Everybody’s children.