09 September 2015
Dropping bombs on Syria will be illegal, ineffective and dangerous.
The fact is that this will clearly be a breach of international law. These airstrikes are not at the invitation of the Syrian government and there is no United Nations imprimatur. Moreover the UN provision for collective self-defence doesn’t apply in this case because we are acting at the behest of the United States which faces no threat from Syria.
These airstrikes also just won’t work. You can’t defeat an unconventional enemy like Islamic State by dropping bombs. And regardless, Australia’s contribution will be so small as to be operationally insignificant.
By bombing Syria all the Government will be doing is supporting the Assad regime and dragging Australia even further into the broader civil war in the Middle East.
The madness of this situation is beyond belief. First we invaded Iraq 12 years ago which destroyed that country and fundamentally destabilised the region. Then we supported the Syrian rebels because they were fighting President Assad who is Washington’s enemy. Problem is the rebels included Islamic State so now we are going to bomb them even though doing so supports Assad.
In other words we helped create this mess and have done everything to make it worse. But now we think that more of the same will fix it. About the only thing we know for sure is we shouldn’t have started the war in the first place, and shouldn’t have supported the Syrian rebels in the second place.