Should we bomb Syria?

by Ray_North on November 26, 2015

images-1Previously in the Middle East:

Assad was an unpopular President of Syria and pro-democracy forces rose up against him vowing to introduce a democratic regime in the area. And we all shouted – hurrah.

Alas Assad, wasn’t going to roll over and die, so he started to bomb and poison the forces against him, and any one else who got in the way. And so we all shouted – shame.

Cue, debate in the House of Commons as to whether we should bomb Assad. Decision: no. And we all went – er, ok, phew, I suppose, because it would have been nuts.

Then, we had the rise and rise of ISIS – they get themselves stuck firmly into the war in Syria, whilst enthusiastically going about the business of setting up their own fundamentalist state in the region, incorporating parts of Iraq. And we all went – boo, because they are a bunch of murderous bastards who are prepared to execute innocents and oppress their own.

But, ISIS were against Assad – which was problematic. With Assad was the Russians, this too was problematic. Because we don’t really trust Putin, but we trust him a hell of lot more than ISIS.

Meanwhile over in Turkey, the Turks were becoming a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of the Kurdish Separatists becoming stronger, they were also unhappy about Russian incursions into their airspace, believing that the Russians were actually targeting Turkmen in Northern Syria. So, they took down one of their planes. And we all went – ouch.

America, well, they don’t know what to make of any of it – they don’t like Assad, because he is a murdering butcher, and they don’t like ISIS, because, they are, er, murdering butchers, they don’t particularly want to intervene, because they know, deep down, that they’ve already made a mother and father of a mess of the Middle East and are reluctant to get involved again.

And throw into this, French, who are now mightily pissed off because of what happened in Paris, and have upped the anti in Syria, bombing various posts. And we all went – fair enough because we like the French and we’ve all been to Paris, and it’s a nice City and that.

And, so, British Members of Parliament are being asked to vote on whether we should bomb Syria. Only this time, we are not planning on bombing Assad, no, we’re planning to bomb (I think) ISIS.

But.

Do we know what we expect to happen if we bomb ISIS? I mean, isn’t it the usual tactic of groups such as this, to disappear for a bit, rather than face the enemy in the time honoured tradition of half a mile apart over a battle field? Do we know whether a decision to bomb ISIS will actually be utterly counterproductive – because, and please tell me if I’ve got this wrong, hasn’t the trend in recent years been that every act of aggression by the West is met by a new wave of even scarier more devout Jihadists willing to carry out bloodier retribution.

Do we even know whose side we are on? Are we with the Russians, or does that mean we are with Assad; do we want to keep Assad in power? And what about the Kurds? Are we going to support the Kurds in their battle against ISIS and piss off the Turks?

And don’t start me on the oil – because, don’t tell me that the oil reserves of the area are not a relevant factor in the thinking of the Western powers.

And on, and on, and on……

So, should we bomb Syria?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Stone November 26, 2015 at 8:13 pm

No, it’s all about Cameron wanting to be seen to do something rather than because it’s part of a considered plan that will bring peace to the Middle East.

Given that lobbing bombs into dusty desert towns will probably create as many militants as it kills, what’s the next move?

The whole mission he is trying to sell is no more than political gaming, but what else would we expect from this most political of Governments.

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Alx w November 26, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Wrote a brief post on labour teachers onthis topic. The question cameron needs to be pushed on again and again is wiuld he bomb isis in support of assad forces because if the answer is no thrn the bombing campaign aunt going to have much effect. If the answer is yes it opens up a whole other barrel of fish. Bottom line is military intervention can only happenwith clear strategic and tactical objectives at present even if we have got these the joins have yet to be joined up as to how bombing will achieve them. I’ve only heard its better than nothing, but i still not sure it is. Not to mention the ‘collateral’ damage airstrikes will cost.

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