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Debate Society – Should the UK take Military Action in Syria?

The first debate during the autumn term was a superlative one on the topic of ‘Should the UK take military action in Syria?’ between Year 11 student Kevin Tailor and two sixth formers Waymi Adeniji and Jake Dunne.

With Alex Hirsh as the Chair, the debate began with a raise of hands on the spectators’ view. The majority were not in favour of the motion.

Following that, Kevin stood up, explaining the reasons in support of the issue. The points he raised included the devastating fact that thousands of innocent civilians were being killed in Syria; there is evidence that chemical agents were used in the report from the UN inspection and other countries would be influenced by the lack of action, perceiving that they are free to do as they wish without intervention. Kevin’s last words were that ‘It pains me to have found out that during the time of this debate, 2000 people have died in Syria.’

After a brief question and answer between Kevin and the two sixth formers, Jake  explained why Britain should not interfere: the prospect of being drawn into a  war;  withdrawing from the regime takes a significant amount of time; removing chemical weapons may not necessarily stop President Assad; the removal of the weapons will be destroyed by the USA and Russia; diplomatic discussions have been resolved and by getting involved Britain could be attacked by terrorist groups linked to Syria.

Next was Waymi’s argument for against. She mentioned that it was not only Syria that had weapons; many other North African countries had chemical weapons which were funded mainly by the West and Russia.  The irony here is that it is now the West (and Russia) who are critical.

The final vote saw a change from the initial straw poll, with one or two more of the attendees supporting Jake and Waymi in their opposition to the motion and with two or three still retaining the right to abstain.  A hard battle for Kevin, who on this occasion did not gain support for the motion.

By Cherry Hla, 11KF