Our beloved leader, Chairman Cameron, was making the case for bombing Daesh (IS) in Syria today. He tried to persuade parliament that bombing Syria was a good idea 2 years ago, but that time we would have been bombing Syrian government forces. The ones that IS were fighting. So we would have been allies then. Hmm. This time , however, the bogeyman is Daesh so the Syrian government will be our allies. Double hmm.
Comrade Cameron told the house of commons that bombing Daesh “would make us safer.” That’s an interesting assertion that should be challenged. You see France decided that it would be a good idea to start bombing Daesh in Syria and the bombing campaign started on 27th September 2015. Daesh affiliated terrorists killed 130 and injured 368 on 13th November 2015. Russia started bombing Daesh in Syria on 30th September 2015, Daesh affiliated terrorists blew up a Russian passenger jet, killing all 224 persons on board, on 31st October 2015. So the evidence doesn’t really stack up on our Dear Leader’s assertions.
The main problem with bombing Syria is that it is a sovereign state, the only legal way to bomb it is with the agreement of the Syrian government. Something which the UK does not have. But who cares about legality? Tony Blair didn’t and he got away with it, so why should David Cameron? The Syrian government has already asked someone to aid in their fight, Russia. It is conceivable that the Russians would start to enforce the sovereignty of Syria, after all they have the means to do so and the shooting down of a Russian plane by Turkey also gives them a motive. There is a very real danger of the Syrian civil war spiralling into a full blown regional conflict, do we really want to get sucked into that?
The simple fact is that bombing of Syria will not defeat Daesh, if this was not the case then the combined might of Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia and others would have bombed them into oblivion by now. After years of civil war there is nothing left to bomb in Syria. Daesh have adapted to the threat from the skies and they still take territory. The only way to militarily defeat Daesh is to fight them on the ground.
Our Dear Leader has the solution though. He has managed to magic 70000 “moderate” jihadists from the harsh desert sands. They will be trained and armed by British military personnel and then set loose upon the hapless Daesh. But there’s a couple of problems with this. We have already trained and armed the Iraqi army who turned tail at the sight of the black flags and left all of their wonderful western equipment for Daesh to use as it pleased. The USA has already tried this and it was a disaster with most of the trainees selling their equipment to Daesh and others, some of them even went on to fight for Daesh. Another problem is that Russia is bombing the groups which have magically increased in size, does that mean that Russia will be bombing our troops? Then there is the small matter of the EU arms embargo, supplying arms to Syria is illegal, so how is that going to work?
Assuming that we do go bombing in Syria we can rest assured that the weapons that will be used are “precision” weapons. They will dangle under the shiny new drones which are to be bought with the money that the OBR conjured out of thin air in the Autumn Statement. The weapons of choice will be the GBU-12, a 500lb guided bomb, and the AGM 114 Hellfire missile. The GBU 12 has a “casualty radius” of between 200 – 300 ft. 50% of the people caught in this area will perish. The Hellfire missile is a modified anti-tank weapon which is fitted with a fragmentation sleeve around the warhead, it has a “wounding radius” of 65 feet and a “kill radius” of 50 ft. Again, if one goes off near you, it’s going to hurt. There will be innocent victims caught up in these bombs, but they will be called “militants” or “combatants” in order to hide the war crime. Anyone who wants to find out more about the use of drones have a look here.
My final point about the upcoming misadventure into another Middle Eastern war is this, how do we know if we’ve won? Do we have to kill all of Daesh or is it just a set ratio? Is it 90%, would that be a victory? How can we tell when we have reached the desired ratio, will we send Daesh some census papers? How much magic money will be committed to the reconstruction of Syria, because if you blow it up you have to fix it, that is laid down in the Geneva Convention. How long will that take? Did Comrade Cameron mention this or was it overlooked in all the excitement of talking about war?
The whole proposal is a disaster waiting to happen. No one knows what the objective is, Daesh or Assad? No one knows how to win. No one knows how to tell if we’ve won. The risks of sparking a wider conflict are huge and increasing by the day. This is one fight which we should leave the hell alone.
One last word for those who advocate putting “boots on the ground”, get yourself down to the Army careers office. I’m sure they will have some boots and rifle for you to take with you to the sandpit. I wish you luck, you’ll need it.