Friday, 4 December 2015

The Syria vote has given way for Facebook scaremongers.

I am someone who is very much used to arguments of a political nature. However, having a degree in journalism and politics and studying with others who had an active interest in current affairs meant that my arguments were usually with other people who had very sound points to make.

Recently, a lot of social media ‘chat’ has been circulating around Daesh and the decision made to take action in Syria. It would seem everyone is suddenly a fierce political campaigner.

I am a strong believer that everyone should be entitled to share their opinion on whether the UK should have gotten involved, as a lot of the time it can help to educate others and raise interesting points of view and points. 

However, as usual with these things it seems that the voices of the ignorant are bellowing over the voices of the rest, and so I’m making a list of the things that are currently being shared everywhere as part of the Syria campaign which in actual fact, are absolutely nothing to do with the vote for involvement in Syria.

David Cameron not apologising for calling anyone who opposes the motion ‘terrorist sympathisers.’
I must admit, I found the footage laughable. And admittedly, as a leader, it was a terrible choice of wording. However, it literally has nothing to do with Syria or with the vote that took place, so why it was raised 12 times in the 9 hour debate is beyond me. David Cameron may technically have become the face of the ‘yes’ campaign, but 397 others voted the same way, including 66 Labour, and it’s important to point out this was also technically the vote of the people, with a poll taken immediately before the 9 hour debate showing the voting UK public were in favour of airstrikes. David's personal opinion on people who vote against the airstrikes are, frankly, irrelevant.

There is money for war but not money for the welfare state. Money is set aside by the state for different things, the money being used for war is not coming out of money being used for welfare and is in an entirely separate pool. This is just people trying to make the airstrikes in Syria about being anti-tory-policies, and using it as a leverage to make others feel anti-tori.

Photos of children being bombed in Syria, or civilians shot in Paris. Everyone knows people die when bombed. It’s tragic, and disgusting, but sharing pictures of victims dead in Syria or victims of the Bataclan to emphasise and reason your decision on airstrikes isn’t just uneducated – it’s falling into the hands of the person who made that propaganda Meme for you to share and is, quite simply, scare mongering.

Comparing David Cameron to Blair.
Yes, they have both been quoted saying similar things, but we must know that these are two very different wars, with very different people in the Commons and in the voting public today than in 2003. 
Blair invaded Iraq, sending troops in to overturn Saddam Hussein’s government. Off the back of these decisions made by Blair, sectarian behaviour intensivied between Sunis and Shias and has led to Daesh having more power. The airstrikes the UK has just voted in favour of are against the Daesh headquatres in Raqqua fighting the rebels. These are two incomparable situations, despite a weak link.

Saying that there will be blood on hands and that David has put the UK at risk. Again, this is social media scare-mongering. We are already at risk, with 12 large-scale terrorist attacks foiled in the UK in the last few months alone. The vote that took place specifically called out that no troops would be sent in at ground-level to Syria. What is happening is the bombing of oil rigs that Daesh are using as their main source of income. They won’t be bombing civilian cities left, right and centre for the sake of scaring them off.

Any kind of anti-muslim/ anti-islam piss. Embarrassed to even have to write this and thankfully I have deleted anyone on my Facebook who is ignorant enough to share this kind of topic, but obviously this is entirely irrelevant to any cause and doesn't back an argument for anything other than the example that islamophobia is growing in the UK thanks to the scaremongering of the idiotic public and disgusting tabloids. (The Sun and their cover - 1/5 British Muslims sympathise with ISIS.) Absolute disgrace.

So to tie loose ends, there are lots of valid reasons and points to back either side about airstrikes in Syria. (I think it's obvious what side I am backing, but I will admit there are lots of points to back the other side of the argument, and if I am later swayed on my opinion in a civilised discussion then I am more than happy to put my hands in the air and admit that I have changed my stand.)

However, there are a lot of posts being shared around that are of no relevance to the conversation and serve no purpose other than to scaremonger – "if you vote for airstrikes, all these terrible things will happen, if you don’t vote for airstrikes, all these horrible things will happen" – and to sway party loyalties. "The tories are disgusting and will have blood on their hands, Labour are terrorist sympathisers and we would be attacked under their reign."

We must all remember, this is not about the parties. This is not about Labour, or the Conservatives, the SNP or any other party. This is about us, together as a nation, fighting against a terrorist group who have threatened and targeted not just us and our close neighbouring allies, but defenceless countries, particularly in Africa. 

And whether you believe airstrikes are the way to fight them effectively or not, one things we all agree on is that Daesh must be stopped, and that is ultimately what these debates should be about. 

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