Today David Cameron made his case, such as it is, for Britain extending their air-strikes from Iraq into Syria. British bombing will make Britain “safer” he says. “There are 70,000 moderate fighters ready to control the territory we free from ISIS hands”, he says. And on and on in that vein.
Jeremy Corbyn – outspokenly pacifist – expressed his doubts through his “Seven Questions”. While I applaud Corbyn’s reluctance to send Britain into yet another Imperial war at the behest of Washington, his questions were soft, subjective and delivered with all the power of subsitute geography teacher asking for overdue homework.
Here are his seven questions:
1) Will British action make a difference on the ground? Will it contribute to a war-winning strategy.
2) Can the conflict be won without troops on the ground? Would the Kurds take over, or other extremists?
3) Would there be mission creep? Can Cameron rule out troops on the ground?
4) Does the UN resolution give clear legal authorisation for action? And what is being done to cut off arms supplies to Isis? And would there be a greater risk of incidents like the shooting down of the Russian warplane this week?
5) How would this contribute to an end to the Syrian civil war?
6) What assessment has Cameron been given of the impact of air strikes on the chances of terrorist attacks in the UK? And what are the chance of civilian casualties from air strikes?
7) Does Cameron accept air strikes could risk more unintended consequences?
And here, in our view, are the more pressing issues:
1. What evidence does Mr Cameron have to support his assertion that there are 70,000 “moderate” rebels waiting to fight ISIS? Who are they? Where are they based? Who are their leaders? Is it not the case that “our rebels” are actually al-Qaida, Al-Nusra front and other Jihadist groups?
2. Given, as Mr Cameron and others predicted, that Russian involvment in Syria resulted in a terrorist attack on a Russian plane, and given that ISIS (allegedly) attacked the streets of Paris in retalliation against French aistrikes, what is his reasoning behind suggesting that British air-strikes will make British civillians safer?
3. What is the legal basis for this action? The UN resolution was not written under Chapter 7, and does directly provide for military intervention on foreign soil. Given this: does not the dropping of bombs on foreign soil, without permission from the legitimate government, constitute a war crime?
4. Is Mr Cameron not concerned by the emergence of evidence that (at least) one NATO member, and supposed anti-ISIS coalition ally, is actually trading with ISIS? And recently shot down a Russian plane, resulting in the deaths of three Russian service men?
5. What measures can and will be taken to ensure that British bombers do not, in any way whatsoever, come into conflict with Syrian Government forces or (God forbid) the Russian Air Force?
6. Is he conscious of the potential consequences of entering into a theatre of war in possible opposition to a nuclear power? Does he consider the pursuit of regime change in Syria worth this risk?
7. Given the stated aim of all nations involved is a political solution, what possible harm can there be in cooperating with Russia/Iran/Syria in order to remove the threat of ISIS?
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Actually, there is one very simple question everyone should be asking: “Just what is the Prime Minister proposing?”
A similar question could be asked when “media” employees ask Labour MPs about their stance on staying in the EU.
The real issue is not what Jeremy Corbyn thinks about this or that.
The real issue is the treacherous and traitorous MPs in his own party.
It reminds me of the story about a very young Conservative MP pointing to the Labour benches and saying to Winston Churchill “Look sir, the enemy”, to which Churchill replied, “No, they are the Opposition”. The enemy are all around us.”
I think Corbyn could justifiably say something similar to his supporter MPs and other party colleagues today!
Unbelievable: or is it?
The UN has classed Al Qaeda as a terrorist threat and any aid to them would be seen as aiding terrorism. The UN has also granted legitimacy for Russia to bomb on foreign soil because a) it is going after “terrorists” (all terrorists) and b) The Syrian government has given Russia permission. All Assad has to do is withhold his permission from Britain and we will be guilty of committing an Act of War and in violation of International Law and any civilian and sovereign army defence deaths will be not only acts of war but war crimes. The only way he can keep us safe is if he opts to target Syria’s defence army (which is aiding and abetting terrorism and committing war crimes) and sending a clear signal to all, that the UK has gone rogue and is therefore, a valid target for anyone to bomb Britain in retaliation. We will not be able to go to the UN and cry “terrorism” because we will ourselves be a terrorist nation. Our pilots are likely to be shot down legally by Russia or Syria if we do not co-operate with the Russian Command Centre and have permission from Assad to be there. I’m sure Assad and Putin will, if possible, allow what remains of the bodies to be flown home to their families provided the Syrian people allow their removal. (Why should they, if they were bombing the murderous terrorists who have destroyed their country and defences and tortured/butchered so many of their people). The Syrian people overwhelmingly support Assad and despise the US(soon to include the British also) Cameron’s DickWellian approach serves no useful purpose except his own ego.
How can the Labour Party get rid of these creeps? – the entire front bench are completely bought either by corporate interests, oil or gchq.
In the middle of it we have two good men – McDonnell and Corbyn. I sent about half an hour on cif – but every Labour thread is absolutely packed with Lynton Crosby paid trolls. It’s bizarre – slowly most are giving up with it and leaving the trolls to each other.
Indeed. Sickening isn’t it? It’s as though half the country has has a frontal lobotomy. These aren’t The Guardian readers I grew up with.
You can tell they all work on Milbank Tower for Crosby because they are more concerned with point scoring against Corbyn than the actually debate at hand, which is “knowing the effects bombing has on breeding future contempt for the west, do we blindly follow American foreign policy again?”
Pretty serious stuff to be dismissing as a sign that “Corbyn will be gone by Christmas” or whatever stupid line they’ve been told to push.