First of all: I wish that people wouldn’t call them Islamic State or even “The so called Islamic State” (yes I’m looking at you BBC). In a few years they will say “We have been known as the Islamic State for years now by everyone” and I believe they will use that name to try and legitimise stolen land.
OK, onto the main crux of the post. It’s about British men going over to fight alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga. It may surprise many of you to learn that I totally get where they are coming from. I agree with one of those fighters who draws parallels with the Nazis. It is a analogy that I would never normally use but with the public fear they thrive on and the recent incident of historical genocide that is destroying the ancient ruins that pre-date Christ there is no doubt in my mind that these people need to be stopped. Of course the smashing of ruins has no comparison with some of the violent acts which they have performed.
Before I continue I will say that the reason I believe this is not the way forward is that no matter how much one disagrees with things once cannot simply pick-up arms in a foreign country and go to fight in their wars. It is not the way things are done. We have a democratic government. I disagree with our policies but the way to change them is by voting with your feet; not by picking up a rifle and killing people we do not like in unsanctioned action. Sympathy wise I have only a little more sympathy for the ones who go to fight alongside the Peshmerga that the ones who go to fight alongside the terrorists. Either way you cannot simply go off to a war that is not legally ours and not expect consequences (if you survive the war).
I am proud of my service in Iraq and Afghanistan for a reason: We were helping people! Many people will disagree with that and they were not there to see the roads lined with people who could have just as easily stayed and hidden in their houses but they didn’t. There were many places I visited where we were treated like heroes (In Iraq at least). It is that very same pride that allows me to say that I understand why these people are going over there. One cannot just stand by and watch as thousands of people are being terrorised and killed by a terrorist force and do nothing.
I also agree with one of the fighters that the response from our government has been shameful. I publicly said several years back (before there was a rebel force in Syria) that we should have gone in there and taken it to the Syrian regime. I stand by that announcement and I also think that during the “Arab Spring” the West was very quick to tell the people of the countries ruled by a iron fist that they could stand up for themselves and we would back them. The West did that because it looked like it worked in Egypt so why not in other countries (in my opinion) but when it didn’t work out we (the West) just left them to it.
I am currently ashamed to be part of a society that has such an attitude. We cannot just leave people to be slaughtered and do nothing. That is not the reason I joined or stayed in the British Army. It is not the reason I volunteered to go on and stay on as many Operation Tours as I could whilst I was in the British Army.
Saying that if these terrorists were indeed a recognised state then we (the UK at least) would simply throw some sanctions at them (don’t get me started on our lack of backbone against Putin)!
What do you think? Over to you. Do you have sympathy for those going over to fight alongside the Peshmerga or not?
Enough rambling. As usual I have overstayed my welcome on this post