Forever war

Once again, we’re going to war against an ill-defined enemy.  But this time it’s clear: this is the enemy’s own agenda, and our Headless Chickens are merrily dancing to “Jihadi John”‘s tune.  As ever, we’ll take a bad situation and make it vastly worse.

When it’s demagogues like Galloway and Farage consistently talking the most sense on the subject of policy towards the world’s trouble spots, one can but shake the head and redouble one’s efforts to reduce complicity.

Oh, erm, and am I the only one to see the irony in all the Islamic State horror coming in this centenary year of 1914, as we look back at “Germans eat your babies”?

Posted on September 27, 2014, in uk, war. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Einstein is alleged to have defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. By this definition it seems all the leaders of our main political parties are insane.

    Meanwhile free speech and reasoned debate seem to be going out of the window as George Galloway (not my favourite politician, although I agree with much of what he had to say on this particular matter) was shouted down in Parliament. At least the Tories’ Zac Goldsmith was prepared to condemn such behaviour by the mob, whilst most politicians just went on bad-mouthing “Gorgeous George” via (anti)social media.

  2. When I was bullied at school, my dad persistently drummed into me the message “ignore them, they’ll eventually get bored with it”. Easier said than done, of course, and overtaken by events as kids grow out of it.

    If you respond to the “islamic state” it’ll only strengthen them – or their successors if you successfully crush one group. Attempting a Final Solution doesn’t have a great track record, and military action short of that just feeds bitterness, despair, religion, and all the other things that lead people to take up arms en masse.

  3. Seems to me that whatever you think of Galloway and Farage, they can’t both be right. Their positions, as reported in your two links, are incompatible with one another.

    Galloway – of all people, seems to be channelling Ayn Rand. He argues that Western intervention in Iraq has usurped the agency of the people who actually live there, made them dependent on foreign power, and we should leave them alone to sort out their own mess. Farage, by contrast, believes we should ally with Putin to defeat “the real threat that faces us”, viz Islamic extremism. So Farage wants to seemore military action in the Middle East, Galloway less.

    Then there’s the consideration that the Russians have always been far more ruthless (although not, noticeably, more effective) at crushing insurgent movements than the West, which suggests that if the West simply sat back and encouraged Putin to act against IS via his cronies in Damascus (which is what Farage seems to be hinting at, although with his usual mastery of vagueness he refrains from advocating any positive action whatsoever), it would actually lead to the worst of all worlds: a restored Soviet Union, a stronger Putin, a stronger IS, six-figure casualties, seven-figure refugees, and massive (and well deserved) resentment against the West for letting it all happen.

    Of the two, I’d take Galloway. Not that I think he’s right, but I give him partial credit for sincerity and a few ranks in “knowledge: what the hell he’s talking about”. However, he’s also guilty of the counsel of perfection – the fallacy that because you can’t fix everything, therefore you ought not to do anything.

    I happen to subscribe to the unfashionable belief that the Iraq war of 2002 was justified (albeit not on the grounds that were publicly argued at the time), and those who took part in it do share at least some responsibility for the mess that followed. So I reject Galloway’s argument on its premise (that it was morally wrong for the West ever to get involved, and getting “more involved” now only compounds their sin).

  4. So, the latest Islamic State hostage video identifies itself as being from Syria. Evidently getting us to attack Iraq isn’t good enough: we’re supposed to attack Syria. Will the Headless Chickens take this bait? They’ve kind-of resisted long enough, but maybe having bitten in Iraq, just crossing the border lowers the hurdle. Cui Bono?

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