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Bombing IS?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Zou, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    So we could soon be involved in attacking IS in both Iraq and Syria. Any thoughts?

    I am not keen on it at all. Fair enough the strikes in Iraq are broadly speaking 'legal' but those in Syria are absolutely not. I would have hoped we'd not make that same mistake again.

    As for the concept of selling arms to the Arab states who then supply them to IS whilst simultaneously condemning the movement - seems a bit silly really. Should we really be subsidising the arms industry in this manner?
     
  2. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    As a country we are so on the fence with the whole area, it is crazy to even think of going in there - on any side.
    Of course the government uses our national security as a major justification, so no doubt plenty think yeah! Get in there and get them all.

    Last I'm saying on the subject. Cameron et al make me sick.
     
  3. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

  4. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    My instincts are to support bombing them. I was against the Iraq war. I was against the first Gulf War and I'm generally not keen on intervention if an alternative exists.

    I do feel that on this occasion it would be intolerable to sit and watch the actions of a totally evil group like ISIS and do nothing. I do believe their actions are completely beyond the pale and no civilised world community can sit and ignore them. I realise that some may object to my use of the word "evil" but if there is to be any morality in the world at all I would struggle to find a group it could be more aptly applied to.

    So what to do? Well they are not a state against which normal diplomatic routes can be tried. Sanctions etc do not apply in their case and so we either do nothing or do something. I can't imagine what other something there might be.

    It seems to me to be an effect of Blair and Bush's idiocy that we now succumb to this type of cynicism about doing what we can to help other human beings. Surely just because we messed up badly once, doesn't mean we should never try to do good along with international partners again?

    I can't see much merit in the linked article on this occasion but then I don't, mercifully make my living writing polemics on the internet so I will confine myself to making my own judgement without having any reputation to protect.
     
  5. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    My last post aside, I completely agree that our conduct in arming dubious characters in the hope of either making a quick buck or destabilising some disliked regime or other is disgraceful
     
  6. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    So if we kill them in Iraq and Syria what do we do about them here? Since some Jihadists have travelled from Britain to fight for IS we can assume that we have supporters and recruiters in our own midst. I think that any British politician would be unwise to get into the conflict before the 2015 general election.
     
  7. BikerMike

    BikerMike Well-Known Member

    Only that if anyone really thinks for one moment that yet another round of war in The Middle East will somehow "resolve" anything, they must be out of their tiny minds.

    Every bomb we drop and every life we take simply adds fuel to the flames, however right or necessary we think it is.

    I have no answers, we have opend a Pandora's box.

    Silly me, I thought the most important thing in the free world was to make profit - and sod the consequences. :(

    Regards, Mike
     
  8. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    In the 1970s many people thought Kissinger and Nixon led an evil campaign of chemical warfare and other vile practices against north Vietnam. It's always going to be a tightrope walk of morality and I won't be surprised when God is invoked for yet one more vile act of mass killing. You may have gathered from this that I am utterly against military action.
     
  9. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    The middle east is like the Balkans: everyone hates somebody else, because that somebody else's grandfather murdered the first person's granduncle.

    I wish this was a joke in bad taste, because then there would be some hope for resolution but it's a statement of how things got to where they are. When you read up on the Ottoman empire, you realise that it was an amazingly good system of government, which practiced enlightened policies for the bulk of its seven centuries of existence. However, even the Ottomans couldn't keep their disparate subjects from attempting live disection on one another, every few decades.

    Then the western powers got involved, carving out their own little corners and carefully setting one group against another, with the aim of weakening both. Having done that, they created ersatz states that consisted of lifelong enemies; Iraq is a very sad example of that, with Sunni and Shia moslems jammed in with Kurds. That particular example was almost exactly the same as mixing sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate, then tossing a lighted match on the heap. The thing I've always found amazing is, no-one realised that Saddam Hussein, a thoroughly unpleasant man, was actually the least bad person to run things, with something approaching normality.

    After the coalition kicked out Hussein, the correct solution would have been to partition the country and install three interim governments. What they actually did was to perpetuate the failed state and act surprised when the chronic instability resurfaced.

    With a track record like that, should we get involved again? Allah alone knows and he's clearly indicated that he ain't telling.
     
  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Zou, last question first: regrettably, we do that around the world, even with countries who cannot afford it. We give them aid money, they hand it back in exchange for guns. {Not all aid money goes in that circle but it has happened in the past.} The UK is 1. very hypocritical over Syria, and 2. appears to be incredibly badly informed. Either that or 'something else' is going on. Good job we didn't provide loads of weaponry to the 'rebels' in Syria last year. We have ruined the relationship we had with Assad in the past. He may ask for help but his conflict is a multi-sided one. Where do you start? So, it's Iraq for now.

    Bombing IS? Global warming notwithstanding, it is unlikely to achieve much even with highly targeted munitions. I would suggest that in a media age, the inevitable collateral damage will provide IS with recruiting material in countries where they have influence and more potential financial backers & recruits. The additional danger is that Jordan (& possibly Lebanon as well) will be destabilised by this. Jordan is a key country for stability in the Middle East.

    In an area of porous borders, what is to stop IS melting away into Africa and the Indian continent and either waiting things out or causing havoc there?

    Making the same mistake again? Blair was warned he was doing the wrong thing in 2001 and 2003 but went ahead anyway. It appears our military were fully compliant. We followed that with some less than spectacular military expeditions, Sierra Leone excepted. When I heard Dave speak yesterday, as usual my heart sank to my boots.

    What can we do? There were enough people willing to re-elect Blair & Brown to make them think their actions on our behalf were OK. Sadly, Oly
     
  11. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi S.A. Absolutely but it's worse than that. Blood feuds apart, the divisions of Islam over the centuries make American Southern Baptists look like one big cosy, warm cuddly family.

    With Europeans messing things up in more recent times, I'd almost suggest delivering therapists & counsellors instead of bombs might be a better move. Set Mrs Billy Connolly on them, I say. Tell them if they don't get sorted out with her in two years we'll drop Ruby Wax on them.

    Agree, too, on Hussein. Same true of Gaddafi and, to an extent, Assad although I have a feeling that the problem in Syria is more down to his wider 'family'. The West has been so incompetent in the wider area in the past decade or so that the small bit of conspiracy theorist that lurks within (I try to keep it suppressed, really I do) feels 'there is something going on here'. :confused: Interesting (& scary) listening to Pentagon spokesman yesterday, was it at midday, on R4.

    Agree your post-Gulf2 Iraq solution but Blair had very short attention span. If reports are anything to go by, Dave's is even shorter. Oh, woe! Cheers, Oly
     
  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Biker, 'Tis now, I'm afraid. Remember that debate on here after the death of Thatcher about the respective qualities of recent PMs? Can't remember whether I pointed it out at the time but one who is now looked upon as a complete failure (and interestlingly, appears very knowledgeable - probably from banking days - on world affairs) was John Major.

    During his tenure at No10, IIRC, he realised we needed to start beating our our 'swords into ploughshares' in order to capitalise on the European peace dividend and to start eliminating hunger from the developing world. I think he started talking to some of our weapons manufacturers about this and, again IIRC, BAe actually started down that road. What a shame that Major got diverted by other distractions. IMV, he could & should have been a really good PM. Cheers, Oly
     
  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    IS is not an actual country, It is a a group of religious fanatics who are taking over other peoples land, and who kill any one of a different faith who will not convert to and join them.

    It is an new phenomenon in the world of terrorism.
    It is as happy to kill civilians living in peace, as it is to kill armed forces.
    Death of their own fighters, is taken as lightly and joyously as the death of innocents.

    We have seen sects like this before, but only at the community level, and the only way to stop them has been to kill the leaders who inspire this complete unthinking loyalty.

    Bombing Groups of their fighters may kill second rank leaders and slow down their advance, but nothing much will change till the top religious leadership is taken out.
    Every effort should be taken to do this quickly, even to the extent of using special forces if necessary.

    It should be made known to them that we are only interested in removing the leadership or any one protecting them. And provided the rank and file disarm and return to their homes they will not be attacked.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Terry, somewhere recently (facts have temporarily deserted me - do a recent news search) a first rank leader was killed by, IIRC, a drone strike. His successor was elected & in place within days. This 'conflict' will not end and it's not new: it goes back to the time of Abraham. Cheers, Oly
     
  15. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    I understand the sentiments being expressed here and I know our confidence for intervention is not high and it looks like Terry and I are in the minority here.

    But as I said in my first post, they are not a state, they are a group of lawless vigilantes who need to be stopped somehow. Diplomacy, sanctions etc are not relevant here.

    The alternative to attacking them is to leave them to it. I just can't feel comfortable about doing that
     
  16. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Everything you say is correct.

    The problem is, western politicians are completely unable to admit things like that publicly. This shows up the fundamental problem of representative democracy. Decisions are made on the basis of future electoral success and politicians will always take actions which they hope will be fondly remembered come polling day. Putting forward a policy of extermination, which is probably the only practical solution to this problem, is never acceptable in a democracy.

    Or is it? Let's suppose we put the full facts, positive and negative, on the table. Let's then run a referendum: vote "yes" if you want us to go in hard and kill every last one of them; vote "no" if you want us to stay out of it and take whatever consequences flow from inaction.

    How would Britain vote? I don't know, nor does anyone else. We could find out, if we chose but politicians do not, under any circumstances, wish to find out.
     
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Ali Alawi (former Iraqi Foreign Minister) has just been speaking on BBC R4 WatO. Very informative. Catch it on iPlayer if you want some more insight into this.

    On a slightly different subject, Shaun Ley introduced the programme claiming, in effect that 'Assad had used chemical weapons against his people'. I thought that the UN weapons inspectors had found that not proven. Is my memory defective on that? Assad did have chemical stocks & agreed to have them destroyed. But is it proven that he (his commanders) actually used them?
     
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Another problem that our (US & UK) politicians have created is that 'Assad is bad' 'Rebels are good'. Now they are reluctant to talk to Assad because they will look as though they were wrong. Which they were. But hey, they cannot be seen to be!

    More bad news; Alawi said there had been an IS attack in Lebanon this morning.
     
  19. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Hard as it might be, I think we're watching a re-run of our own religious wars of the middle ages.

    Burning those who disagreed with you was par for the course then.

    Any society that institutionalises belief in gods (one or more) is going to be prone to spawning an extreme fringe.

    A highly intelligent American told me recently that the Christian community he is part of regards Moslems as satanists. I'm sure he and his kind would have something quite nasty in store for them if they could.

    Aetheists just poke fun and scorn primitive beliefs. Did an aetheist ever slice someone's head off for any reason? Don't bomb people, laugh at their primitive ideas until they evolve into rational beings.
     
  20. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I keep telling myself that the phrase "intelligent American" is not an oxymoron. I'm getting quite good at remembering it, honest!

    :cool:
     

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