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Why The UK Shouldn’t Bomb Syria

Why The UK Shouldn’t Bomb Syria

Firstly, let me begin by getting a few facts out there. ISIS make up for 0.08% of the population in Syria. When we bomb Syria we will kill thousands of innocent civilians – civilians who hate ISIS more than us.

“We’re only bombing ISIS bases and specific targets.”

Incorrect. Just take a look at this video to see the effects air strikes are doing already. This dramatic footage shows Syrian families fleeing from air strikes hitting civilian homes in rebel-held areas of Syria. These are civilian homes, not homes of terrorists. Western air strikes have not enhanced the reputation of the West among Syrian public opinion. Members of Syrian civil society, to whom journalists like Mary Kaldor have talked to, do not understand why the West is bombing ISIL. They wonder why the West isn’t doing anything to protect civilians killed by the regime.

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No money for the poor, yet money for the war?

In recent months, problems have risen surrounding the NHS and other important factors in need of money and solutions, but that the government are unable to solve due to a low expenditures. If we have no money to solve these problems, then why has the military got a huge £12 billion increase? To give you an idea of the kind of sums in play, this would be enough to build at least twenty new hospitals. This UK government review of military spending reeks of war. Another consideration is the expenditure of air strikes. One air strike mission costs Britain £508,000. This same amount of money could pay for 20 paramedics, or 20 police officers, or even 18 junior doctors. The other item focused on by the mainstream is plans for a military force of 10,000 soldiers to be deployed on British streets in the event of terror attacks. The decision on whether to use air strikes in Syria was only agreed on December 2. Military preparation is already underway.

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Why does Britain need to get involved?

We definitely need to end IS’s control of its territory. It is increasing rapidly and needs to be stopped, but are air strikes the only answer? Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria, believes that actions have consequences. Ford believes the added value of UK air strikes in Syria will be piddling. IS leaders have mostly moved to Mosul or are hiding among the civilian population. British people will die and be maimed as a direct result. If the government was sure of its legal case, why is it unwilling to seek an unambiguous UN Security Council resolution? Perhaps they know it would not pass? Why hasn’t the government discussed other options rather than air strikes? It is very difficult to understand why air strikes are the only option on the table. Is it because they are the easiest way to show that we are “doing something”? We should not reply to terror with terror unless we have very good arguments.

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Is there an alternative?

Ending this conflict requires serious commitment to an inclusive political solution that is supported by regional and international consensus. Very strong emphasis needs to be placed on restoring governance in opposition-controlled areas, especially those most vulnerable to further ISIL expansion.

To aid this we need to revive the legitimate economy and introduce specific measures such as imposing much stronger controls on the borders of ISIL areas with Turkey and Iraq, or providing fuel for opposition-controlled areas in a legitimate way with a reasonable price, and make jobs available for men of fighting age to reduce their vulnerability to combatant recruitment.

Rather than ruling out everything and focusing on air strikes we should discuss better strategies for Britain, like focusing on the policies as discussed that are not being undertaken by others. Britain could also make use of its assets, such as its long experience of  providing aid in conflict areas, rather than joining a crowded and mistaken fashion for air strikes.

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Last Updated on June 8, 2018

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

Let’s face it.  We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.

We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.

However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.

1. Facebook is eating away at your time.

Facebook is eating away your time

    How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.

    2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”

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    Likeaholic

      When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.

      3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.

      priorities

        Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.

        4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.

        lack of intimacy

          Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?

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          5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.

          mother baking

            Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.

            6.  We’d rather record someone than help them.

            drowning

              A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.

              7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.

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              sleeping your life away

                Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.

                8.  Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.

                wanting what someone else is having

                  There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.

                  9. Sensationalism still sells.

                  free expression

                    With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?

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                    10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.

                    gun to mother earth

                      This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?

                      Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com

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