One of my favourite books is The Great Migrations by John Haywood. It documents and analyses the most significant movements of peoples since the dawn of mankind. There have been many such migrations and now, in the 2010s, we are in the grip of another, no less significant, movement of human beings, chiefly (but not exclusively) from Syria to neighbouring lands and beyond. Reasons for such migrations vary; it is important to bear this in mind when we see images in the newspapers and on the television. We must address the Syrian refugee crisis with a critical eye and a cool head, not let our baser emotions cloud our judgement.
Late last night, a motion by the British government supporting military action in Syria was rejected by a margin of thirteen. The United Kingdom will not be taking part in any campaign against the Assad regime. This is the first time since 1782 that a British government has lost a vote on military action and the event will most likely go down as one of the highlights of 2013. Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been so passionate in his arguments for intervention, has been humiliated. Continue reading
In 2003, Prime Minister Tony Blair defied the UN and joined George W. Bush on a doomed expedition to Iraq. It was believed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, yet these were never found. It was also believed that Iraq would be a freer, more prosperous land once the Coalition had ‘liberated’ it. This belief has since been proven to be completely unfounded. Continue reading