25 September, 2014

Softened up

I first began to think we were being softened up for a war when ISIS was described as 'the biggest threat the United States has faced'. That's the United States of America, with its fast jets and stealth bombers, its ships and Aircraft carriers, its drones, its hundreds of thousands of soldiers. ISIS at the time numbered 10,000 (it's probably now around 20,000) and was equipped with the sort of weaponry an American could buy in a hardware store.

ISIS are Sunni muslims and largely Syrian. They were rebelling against Bashar al Assad in their own country and we, if you recall, were trying to help them.

Then we imposed our own man to lead Iraq next door, and he, a Shia, like the majority of Iraqis, was being unpleasant to Sunnis and the Sunnis in Syria crossed the border to fight him.

None of this fighting has taken place in Kent, or New York.

Where the Sunni bandits are a threat to the West is that they might send suicide bombers to our shores. Why would they do that? Because they perceive us as being involved in what they perceive as their country. So what would be the effect of us bombing the hell out of them? Exactly: they will respond in the only way they can.

Now David Cameron has adopted the usual mantle of the Tory Right: 'If there's a fight anywhere, we want to be involved'.  It is a demonstration of national and personal machismo.

Cameron has already told one porky pie to support the idea of British involvement: he said ISIS had already plotted an atrocity on British soil. That was the so-called 'toothpaste bomb' threat but it wasn't by ISIS, it was by an offshoot of al-Qaeda. ISIS have so far killed, what, four westerners? Five?

And yet Cameron has recalled parliament to discuss going to war: another war in which no way out has been suggested and none will be found and which will put not just our service personnel but our civilians at risk.

If instead of vast resources being devoted to a foreign campaign, we simply strengthened Britain's borders we would defend ourselves more effectively.

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