I am writing this letter in the hope that one, if not both, of you will come to your senses and kindly refrain from bombing the hell out of Syria. The reasons are straightforward, and have been discussed many times over the past two years.
Firstly, a word on justification. In 2003, both of you conducted a full-scale invasion of Iraq, famously doing so under the misguided pretext that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction. 10 years later, Saddam is dead, your armies have withdrawn and hundreds of Iraqis are still dying in roadside bomb attacks each month.
In similar fashion, you are now claiming, with 100% certainty, that the Syrian government attacked its own people with chemical weapons. While I am certainly no admirer of Bashar al-Assad, and while it is starkly obvious that he has nonetheless waged a brutal campaign against Syrian rebels, making such bold assertions have proven costly in years past.
If you must insist on waging an equally brutal campaign of your own, consider - if only for a minute - the obvious and oft-stated notion that thousands of innocent civilians will perish not just at the hands of the Syrian government, but on your respective watches too. Consider, also, that the death toll in the Syrian Civil War already stands at around 100,000 in the two-and-a-half years since violence first erupted. I can barely ponder where this figure will be if you two get involved.
Furthermore, it might be prudent to take into consideration the fact that Syria's biggest ally is Russia - a country itself in possession of almost 3,000 nuclear warheads, and one with whom you, United States, have a little bit of history. Now, I'm not saying an attack against Syria will precipitate World War III, just as some Austro-Hungarians did not postulate something of this ilk in 1914 (Syria and Serbia are not such different words). But antagonizing one of the world's largest and most armed countries might not be in the best interest of other countries in the region.
After all, Syria is bordered to the north by Turkey, and surrounded by the already politically fragile nations of Iraq, Lebanon and Israel, which is itself adjoined to strife-ridden Egypt, which is bordered by strife-ridden Libya, which is bordered by both strife-ridden Algeria and strife-ridden Tunisia. In other words, and this note is just as much for you, Britain, as it is for America, Syria is essentially the missing piece in a 7-nation jigsaw.
Actually, when you consider that Afghanistan and Pakistan are separated from these countries by merely Iran - another country of interest - the puzzle may eventually have 10 pieces. Moreover, in case you didn't notice, the aforementioned Pakistan does not exactly see eye-to-eye with her neighbour India, who in turn holds longstanding territorial disputes with nearby China, who has also charged India of harboring the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans and who is winged, geographically, by an ongoing nuclear standoff between North and South Korea.
What I'm saying, Britain and the United States, is that there is enough tension across North Africa and the Asian continent that a war between the world's largest nations - often known as a World War - is not altogether unlikely.
Cynics will insist that you, of course, know this already. That you are capitalizing on instability in certain countries and not others, simply for imperialistic gain. After all, where were you guys during the Second Congo War, which, with a death toll of more than 5 million people, was the deadliest war since World War II?
But I'm not a cynic. In fact, I will take you at your word that your primary objective is the liberation of the Syrian people. I just wonder, in this day and age, if you could do so without bombing them to pieces first.
A British expatriate
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