Note. I am calling Islamic State ISIL, I’ve been told off for calling them ISIS since she was some sort of nice goddess in Egypt and I’m not calling them dash or desh or whatever, the stupidity of not calling someone Islamic state because it offends the Islam is peaceful and these people are not proper muslims crowd but instead calling them by the initials of the Arab name for Islamic state just boggles the mind.
Anyway, the last few weeks have seen a series of attacks, suicide bombers, people killed by gunfire in batches and general attacks on civilisation by the barbarians who are inside the gates.
Paris was the most recent and being in Europe got the most attention, all across social media people have been showing their solidarity and everyone is talking about what a terrible thing it was.
But the victims had barely been counted when Cameron was back on his box calling for airstrikes again, others are saying how our security services needed the new powers, British special forces have been promised a bumper Christmas and the spook agencies are going to be hiring a few thousand new staff.
Perhaps a few of the police who have lost their jobs over the last few years of cuts could get a job with the security services, protecting the population and all that. In fact so great was the governments concern that they found billions of pounds to spend while still not able to explain where those billions of cuts in tax credits are coming from.
But most worrying of all is the relentless propaganda campaign most of our media is pushing, bomb the bastards, send in the RAF, give the Vulcan a final run, start airstrikes in Syria.
We are told that 60% of the population support airstrikes, that 49% of Labour MPs would vote for airstrikes if given a free vote but that dammed pacifist Corbyn is threatening them or some such. A mere handful of Tory backbenchers are against bombing while everyone else is for it though numbers are always a bit vague.
The media are pushing hard, the need to defend the country by killing more civilians, creating more refugees and inspiring thousands more people to hate the west and Join ISIL never seems to come up though.
But what I am not seeing is something very simple, the answer to a little question, an explanation to my three words.
AND THEN WHAT?
That is the question, just three simple little words, three syllables, not hard to say.
So why is there no answer to this simple easy little question?
Remember Iraq, shock and awe, the daily entertainment of watching the US drop bombs on some far distant dusty coutry full of brown people. Remember that one clip, repeated endlessly at the time, a car driving over a bridge seconds before a bomb destroyed the bridge. The driver, most likely a civilian, escaped death by seconds but it was a jolly jape, boys own fun watching the bomb miss him by such a tiny distance.
Then the tanks rolled in and the Iraqi army died, Saddam was overthrown and democracy prevailed, or so we were told. Years later after governments representing one religion or the other Iraq still tops the list of people killed by terrorists every year.
The military of the west rolled in, crushed all opposition, overthrew the dictator. . .
AND THEN WHAT ?
Well not much as it happened, vast sums of money to bring democracy that is faltering and all too often falters, an expensively trained and equipped military that either joined ISIL or ran away leaving all those expensive tanks, humvees and weapons behind to be captured.
There was no long term plan, nothing beyond a sort of commitment to sort of support a democratic government in a sort of vague way.
Libya, Airstrikes, bombs, working with the rebel groups. Death and destruction all round, government weapons by the warehouse full grabbed by groups who later turned out to be religious extremist/ The dictator found and killed, the government overthrown.
AND THEN WHAT ?
Well nothing as it turned out, the west clapped their hands and went out for a drink to celebrate the death of Gadaffi and then looked elsewhere. The country collapsed into chaos, the new government ministers maintaining private armies, warlords and extremists fighting for control of their local areas, death and destruction that the world turned its eyes away from.
Then we have Syria. The west wants Assad gone, seen that before and it never ends well.
The west along with the house of Saud has been funding, training and arming local groups to overthrow Assad (most of whom turned out to be terrorists and religious fanatics, seen that before and it never ends well.
The west wants to put yet more bombers into the crowded airspace over Syria to bomb the terrorists of ISIL despite there being no apparent explanation as to why months of bombing raids, thousands of bombs dropped and it is still easy to find some high profile targets for the French to hit. If our intelligence services knew that building was the IS headquarters for all of Syria why wasn’t it destroyed the day after it was identified?
But aside from that point, sending in more aircraft, sending in more drones, killing more people on the ground, some of whom may be terrorists, seen that before and it never ends well.
Odd that the Tory backbenchers who are vocal in being against airstrikes seem to be overwhelmingly those who have served in the military, that many retired senior military figures are against air strikes, that the politicians appear to be deciding on a military campaign the military says is wrong, seen that before and it never ends well.
Then we have the promises that there will be no mission creep, just drones and bombs, just air strikes, no troops on the ground, no expansion of military operations , no steady increase in resources allocated to the campaign in Syria, definitely only attacking ISIL, absolutely will not bomb any Syrian government forces or do anything against Assad, heard all of that before and it never ends well.
But nothing that will answer my simple little question.
AND THEN WHAT ?
After the bombs have been dropped, after the west sends in more and more forces and accidentally ends up fighting Assad as well, by accident of course.
After it becomes clear that carpet bombing cities doesn’t stop a fanatical regime that has indoctrinated it’s young to form shock troops and is fighting across Europe and the middle east to form the thousand year Reich, Oh sorry, almost broke Goodwin’s law there.
But then what ?
Troops on the ground, a massive campaign to arm the Kurds who seem to be the only effective force on the ground that isn’t either religious extremists or US mercenaries (or both), what happens when a well armed Kurdish group declares a new Kurdish nation and takes chunks of Syria, Iraq and Turkey as it’s homeland, oh look an act of war against a NATO member, seen that before and it never ends well.
Kick out Assad now, let he stay for six months, leave him in power till ISIL is defeated. Then what?
What is the long term plan, where are the grownups using adult thinking here, what is the long term plan. Heck what is the medium term plan?
Send in the airstrikes, drop bombs, and then what?
Too many boys own adventures, not enough thinking about the consequences. Iraq and Libya have demonstrated what happens after the air strikes when there is no long term plan, when the airstrikes are the only option and beyond that no one cares. Chaos, anarchy, hatred, refugees, countless thousands of recruits for the terror groups.
Apparently 60% of the UK population, who expressed an opinion are in support of airstrikes. If that happens to be you I would like you to answer my simple little question. If it’s someone you know then then ask them my question. What is the answer, anyone who wants airstrikes and bombs falling from the skies to kill more people (some of whom may be ISIL), what is the answer to the question.
AND THEN WHAT ?