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The View on the Streets: Syria

20.08

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As the war continues to escalate in Syria, WORLDbytes takes to the streets of London to find out what the public make of the conflict; government policy and Western intervention. This snapshot of public opinion turns the tables on one area government and media avoid testing at the polls. As one astute gentleman points out “When have the British public ever been consulted on foreign policy?” Despite bellicose government gestures declaring arms for the rebels, few of the interviewees were positive about intervention and even fewer had swallowed Obama’s red line on chemical weapons. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the lack of political leadership, cynicism however is evident from ideas of ulterior motives and interests to ‘they won’t listen to us anyway’. That said, the astute observations gleaned from testing opinions as this programme so effectively does, suggests everything is to be gained from serious debate and not allowing the government a free hand to make Syria more of a bloody mess.

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Related topics: Democracy, International

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Steve said:

Glad your doing this, real people real opinions nothing like the criminal corporate elite mainstream puppet broadcasts.
People really have woken up its refreshing

Dixon Phillips said:

Very good comments, but the tendentious leading of the questioner puts into question the whole interactive process.

We deal with serious issues of trust with BOTH our politicians AND our media.

Will said:

This is obviously a very complicated issue, but in general, people should look out for each other. Not just the people who are close to us, but anybody who needs help. However, the West really has no viable options that will not just simply accelerate the killings. I don’t see a way out.

Iqra said:

From a humanitarian point of view I agree that the West should help, but their motives are always questionable, therefore if they were to intervene, this could further exacerbate the problems.

Vivita said:

Very insightful views from the public. I feel that the emphasis on chemical weapons as an excuse for intervention is ridiculous because it shows only concern for the kind of warfare used, not the massacres and suffering of the Syrian people.

Simone said:

As global citizen we have to understand that most of the countries that claim being a democracy are always going to put economic interests first. This implies to get a powerful position trough a specific strategy. I think this video is interesting because it shows how people seem close to principles and notions such as freedom, democracy,justice and far from international strategies that government deploy.

Harmony said:

I think that more people should become aware of the fact that when a foreign country intervenes, there isn’t always a moral motive behind it. Most of the time, its about politics, money and resources, and although we can’t always be sure of the motives behind theses interventions, being aware that they aren’t always good prevents us from having blind faith in the government.

Iseult said:

Some very well thought-out and insightful views from the public on display here. I especially liked the guy at 13.51 analogy — of course you would want help if you were getting beaten up in the street, but what if that help comes with a more deadly price to pay further down the line? Personally I feel that it’s not right to stand by and let the Syrian people be slaughtered in the name of self-determinism, but we must be completely clear on the motives for the west ‘s involvement and the rules of engagement before we back intervention by our governments.

JAmes E said:

This program clearly illustrates that the wider public are not as ignorant to foreign policies as some conventional reports might try to claim. It’s just a pity that the informed views of the wider UK public are not reflected in its foreign policies or any policies for that matter.

Suhail Patel said:

Haha funny seeing my face up on the not-so-big screen. Some very interesting views from the other interviewee’s. I think people largely discredit the intelligence of the general public — riveting stuff!

Rosie said:

Why do we assume the general public do not understand foreign policy and therefore should not be consulted before our government makes foreign policy decisions? This video shows us that people do understand the motives behind intervention and why it should or shouldn’t happen.

Piotr said:

I always get a good feeling from your Views on the Streets videos because they renew my faith in wider democracy. The public here represented is no pushover for some neo-Blairite humanitarian gush (even if Cameron is in charge now).

Sonja said:

Who wants principles if they are rubbish ones don’t see how that helps us. I am confused about what the West hopes to get out of intervening at all or don’t they know either?

videoforlife said:

The jokey guy in the middle made me think maybe there was something positive in Thatchers gung ho get the job done as it represented principles and conviction which no politicians seem to have now even if they were disgusting principles.

Simon Peterson said:

I found this refreshing as the person below said and really informative it makes you realise that not everyone out there is a gung ho militarist.

Katy S said:

Your reporters really nail this I love the way people are pushed to think you really get a much better idea of what they mean so refreshing to see public treated as serious and bloodi hell they come out with some great thoughts here

Rorty said:

Really impressive & refreshing shows the full range of public views. I’m not surprised people are anti-intervention after Iraq & Afghanistan. Politicians should watch this.