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Question Of The Day

Are Western Airstrikes the Solution in Syria?

"I think you're playing with fire a little."

A bombed building in Syria. Photo by Rick Findler.

After laying the blame for Syria's recent chemical attacks on Assad's regime, John Kerry indicated that America and its Western allies were moving closer to a military response to the situation in Syria. As he may have noticed from both Iraq and Afghanistan, the West dropping bombs on Middle Eastern countries doesn't necessarily solve any problems. But why leave the decision to him? He's only the US Secretary of State.


Instead, I decided to go and ask some people in London if they thought the West bombing Syria would help them find peace.

Chris, retail manager: Erm, I don’t know if it’s our duty to get involved in too much.

So you think there'll be some major consequences?
I don’t think it’s a positive thing.

Do you think we should spend more time on the diplomatic side of things rather than simply firing weapons?
I think we’re always going to need guns and protection, because otherwise the other people are just going to attack. I think more could be done to get these people together and try to resolve it, rather than just going for an all out attack.

Nathalie, hospitality management: No, I don’t think so – I don’t think firing weapons will have too much of an impact on what’s going on over there.

Are you worried will cause rifts between Russia and the West?
It could definitely cause tensions, for sure.

What do you think of the fact that the West have given arms to the Syrian government in the past and are now taking sides with the rebels?
It's definitely ironic. You always see the government give arms to those at the moment when it helps them the most. When they say they’re trying to help others, but really they’re just out for their own interest.

Tom (left), student: I don’t think you can do that without it escalating to something else. I think you’re playing with fire a little.

Do you think that it will increase tensions between Russia and the West?
Yeah, it makes sense that it would. Russians don’t really want people messing around with totalitarian states, do they? It’s not good for their survival.


Do you think we should be spending more time on diplomacy rather than money on weapons?
Yes, but it’s a question of how open the Assad regime is. I think you should peruse all possible ends before you take the next step.

Tony: No.

Why's that?
By carrying out air strikes on Syria, there’s going to be a backlash. So we, or its neighbours, will suffer the consequences of that.

Would you say it's ironic that the West have armed the Syrian government in the past and are now taking sides with the rebels?
Yes. Sometimes I can’t help but think to myself, 'It’s just one big piece of propaganda.' That there’s just one big cover up and that nobody really knows who’s behind it. I think it’s totally unacceptable.

Charlot, fashion assistant: It’s quite a difficult one, because you should never really fight violence with violence. But if you don’t, you’re submissive and then you lose power of your country. So I’m kinda on the fence about it.

Do you think we should be focusing our efforts on diplomacy instead?
I find it quite difficult, because it depends on how hostile the other side are, and the other side seem pretty fucking hostile.

What do you think the consequences might be?
There will consequences if you do something and there’s consequences if you don’t. So if they want to start an all out war then they should fight back, but only if they’re prepared and can see what’s coming.

Do you think it will cause rifts between Russia and the West?
Russia always likes a fight anyway, so they’ll just find a reason to start hating. So yeah, I would think so.

Previously - Have You Ever Been in a Situation Where You Needed a Gun?