Author Topic: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria  (Read 12711 times)

BeRational

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2015, 03:11:58 PM »
And why is that? And does fairly indiscriminate bombing and the collateral killing of innocents stop it in any way?

No that will not help at all.

Is that what they intend to do?
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2015, 03:14:30 PM »
No that will not help at all.

Is that what they intend to do?

Bombs by their nature are indiscriminate.

Outrider

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #52 on: November 27, 2015, 03:14:41 PM »
I sort of understand what you are saying. As you say most who committed THAT offence are dead. The problem surely is that more are coming.

If we were sending someone to bomb their isolated camp in the middle of nowhere that wouldn't be a problem for much longer, but that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about bombing heavily populated cities in the middle of a three-way (at least) conflict with no specific targets and no longer-term plan than creating some blasts to give the illusion that we're doing something about it.

O.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #53 on: November 27, 2015, 03:19:17 PM »
It strikes me that it's not really about 'them', so much as it's about 'us'. It's an expression of anger and frustration at the deaths in Paris, even though the majority of people responsible for that are already dead. It's an empty gesture from Cameron pitched as 'security' and 'justice'; it's not even the counterproductive 'vengeance', it's just targetting 'other' with the appearance of significant action rather than having the courage to do something worthwhile even if it doesn't make for headline grabbing pictures.

Political opportunism in the wake of tragedy - it's no wonder politics disgusts so many people.

O.
Agree, as stated earlier, 'We must do something, this is something, therefore we must do this'

I didn't see much of the debate on the statement yesterday but I saw one Tory MP ask if we were doing enough to deal with the threat, particularly since it was Christmas time! Feckin dog whistles!

Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2015, 03:21:13 PM »
Militarily, yes. Diplomatically, no.

I'm suggesting that if no imminent cease-fire is in the offing, which it seems as if it isn't, then we should be only sending troops with two main tactical objectives:

a) Creating safe-haven areas which are free of violence
b) Intercepting military forces in transit and eliminating them in unpopulated areas.

There are difficulties in those, certainly they are more difficult and risky missions than arial bombardment of heavily occupied cities, but that's why we have some of the best trained armed forces in the world.

Strategically we can't be expecting military action to be the answer.

At the same time as that military action, we should be making it clear that seats are available at a negotiating table for those that are ready to come and talk - military force will never create a lasting peace, it can only enforce one with its continued presence, and we don't want to be committing to a permanent military presence which will only feed the fundamentalist PR machine.

O.
Thanks for clarifying your point: I wasn't disagreeing with you, just hoping you'd expand it.
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Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2015, 03:27:26 PM »
Thank God that Corbyn is putting forward the voice of sanity on war.  I feel ashamed of the right-wingers in Labour who are backing Cameron - I guess they supported Blair, so are carrying on in the same vein.
I'm not sure that Corbyn - or Cameron - are voicing sanity of any sort.  They are both taking very partisan lines and - in my view - failing to actually address the core issues which I started this thread to explore. 
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2015, 03:31:16 PM »
I'm not sure that Corbyn - or Cameron - are voicing sanity of any sort.  They are both taking very partisan lines and - in my view - failing to actually address the core issues which I started this thread to explore.
What's the partisan line Corbyn is taking?

Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2015, 03:33:00 PM »
It strikes me that it's not really about 'them', so much as it's about 'us'. It's an expression of anger and frustration at the deaths in Paris, even though the majority of people responsible for that are already dead. It's an empty gesture from Cameron pitched as 'security' and 'justice'; it's not even the counterproductive 'vengeance', it's just targetting 'other' with the appearance of significant action rather than having the courage to do something worthwhile even if it doesn't make for headline grabbing pictures.

Political opportunism in the wake of tragedy - it's no wonder politics disgusts so many people.

O.
So are you suggesting that everything President Hollande has said over the past 2 weeks has been nothing more than 'political opportunism' and 'empty gesture' - and that the closure of schools, transport systems and other things in Brussels has been no different?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 03:40:21 PM by Hope »
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Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2015, 03:39:50 PM »
What's the partisan line Corbyn is taking?
From what I can understand of what he says, he seems to want to make sure that we only act with UN agreement, but that that agreement must be in the form of diplomacy leading to a form of peace.  Now I'm not sure whether he is a die-hard pacifist or merely a die-hard anti nuclearist, but he seems to be suggesting that a process which ISIS had been clear that they aren't interested in is the only real way forward.

I realisethat in the past, we have regularly spoken to 'terrorists' whilst denying that we are, but I think these guys are a totally different form of terrorists, who don't have a political agenda - as the IRA, the Palestinians or the Basques have had, but only a pseudo-religious one.
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Outrider

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2015, 03:42:16 PM »
So are you suggesting that everything President hollande has said ver the past 2 weeks has been nothing more than 'political opportunism' and 'empty gesture' - and that the closure of schools, transport systems and other things in Brussels has been no different?

Everything Hollande's said, no, of course not. The bits about sending bombers to Raqqa and elsewhere, yes.

The fact that these acts of terror won't stop France being a secular, open society: that's not empty in the sense it's meaningless, it's empty in the sense that these acts are changing the way French people go about their lives, it's changing French foreign policy and military activities.

Closing facilities and services in Belgium is a rational short-term response, searching for the specific individual who is presumed to have escaped to/through Belgium is also fine; this person has been identified and is being individually targetted.

Sending bombs to Syria is an empty gesture, which is the bit I was talking about. Other things I'll take on a case by case.

O.
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Outrider

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2015, 03:44:58 PM »
I realisethat in the past, we have regularly spoken to 'terrorists' whilst denying that we are, but I think these guys are a totally different form of terrorists, who don't have a political agenda - as the IRA, the Palestinians or the Basques have had, but only a pseudo-religious one.

I don't see why it's 'pseudo' religious, I'd say it's fairly explicitly religious. Further, given that they are intent on founding a theocratic state, and indeed that many strains of Islam don't differentiate between the religious and political spheres, I'd say they have a solid political agenda.

What they don't appear to have at the moment is any sort of interest in diplomatic activity, but the only way we'll end this without one is to either surrender or wipe them out. Given where they are situated at the moment, that's going to be a slaughter of innocents that I don't want to even think about.

O.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #61 on: November 27, 2015, 03:50:22 PM »
From what I can understand of what he says, he seems to want to make sure that we only act with UN agreement, but that that agreement must be in the form of diplomacy leading to a form of peace.  Now I'm not sure whether he is a die-hard pacifist or merely a die-hard anti nuclearist, but he seems to be suggesting that a process which ISIS had been clear that they aren't interested in is the only real way forward.

I realisethat in the past, we have regularly spoken to 'terrorists' whilst denying that we are, but I think these guys are a totally different form of terrorists, who don't have a political agenda - as the IRA, the Palestinians or the Basques have had, but only a pseudo-religious one.
Then (a) you are misunderstanding him and (b) you still haven't shown even with that that it is partisan.

For (a) the approach is to get the UN to agree in the action, not for that to be necessarily not violent. I don't understand your point about nuclear? Even Cameron isn't suggesting nuclear.

wigginhall

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #62 on: November 27, 2015, 03:55:33 PM »
One of the aims of a diplomatic solution would be to 'drain the swamp', that is, peel away those who have been supporting IS, either covertly or openly.  If this could be done, they would shrink a lot.   This includes those countries who send finance and arms, or buy oil, and those Sunni leaders and tribes who support IS.,

It's clear that this can be done, as it was done in Iraq with Al Qaeda, who were initially supported by various Sunni leaders.  But eventually, they fought against AQ.   Of course, this all went pear-shaped, and IS emerged.

I don't see why Corbyn's ideas are partisan either.  They sound sane to me. 
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wigginhall

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #63 on: November 27, 2015, 04:07:03 PM »
The lack of ground troops is the big flaw in Cameron's thesis.  On the other hand, you could take the cynical view that he knows that British bombing won't make any difference, and it's symbolic and for the prestige.   That's the way that politicians think, although they pretend otherwise.
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Jack Knave

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #64 on: November 27, 2015, 04:38:21 PM »
The obvious reason not to go into Syria is this so called 70,000 boots on the ground they say they have. This is not a coherent, homogenous group. It will include both rebels and Assad's troops, and at minimum the rebel troops will need to be armed to the teeth to fight ISIS.

What do people think will happen when ISIS starts to melt away, run to the hills or join some of the rebel groups, leaving the rebels and Assad's troops facing each other? With all those extra weaponry supplied by the Grand Coalition the original civil war will take off in earnest. This will not only cause absolute mayhem but will be a recruiting agent for a future jihadist terrorist group.

What the Big Boys think they have negotiated for this Grand Coalition is nothing but fool's gold, and when the shit hits the fan it will spray back into their faces; our faces.

Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #65 on: November 27, 2015, 04:55:45 PM »
It's clear that this can be done, as it was done in Iraq with Al Qaeda, who were initially supported by various Sunni leaders.  But eventually, they fought against AQ.   Of course, this all went pear-shaped, and IS emerged.

I don't see why Corbyn's ideas are partisan either.  They sound sane to me.
I believe that they are partisan for the very reason you have given that IS emerged - see italicised section.  OK, 'partisan' may be the wrong term, but I was using a term that I suspect had been misused in another's post that I responded to.
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wigginhall

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #66 on: November 27, 2015, 04:56:40 PM »
Or maybe Cameron is faking it.  He hasn't a clue what to do, but big guns tend to look good. 
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wigginhall

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #67 on: November 27, 2015, 04:59:29 PM »
I believe that they are partisan for the very reason you have given that IS emerged - see italicised section.  OK, 'partisan' may be the wrong term, but I was using a term that I suspect had been misused in another's post that I responded to.

Well, Corbyn is also warning that more violence may actually make things worse, as it did in Iraq.  This isn't partisan, it's just common sense, and learning from experience.   This is the problem that Russia face - OK, they can bomb the rebel groups, but then Hezbollah follow up on the ground - what are the Sunni tribes going to do?  Freak out, and join IS, maybe.
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Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2015, 05:00:58 PM »
I don't see why it's 'pseudo' religious, I'd say it's fairly explicitly religious. Further, given that they are intent on founding a theocratic state, and indeed that many strains of Islam don't differentiate between the religious and political spheres, I'd say they have a solid political agenda.
I used the term 'pseudo-religious' because of the fact that very few Muslim scholars and Islamic scholars believe that what ISIS claims to be scriptural even exists within the Quran.  I would regard something like Westboro Baptist as pseudo-religious for the  equivalent reason.

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What they don't appear to have at the moment is any sort of interest in diplomatic activity, but the only way we'll end this without one is to either surrender or wipe them out. Given where they are situated at the moment, that's going to be a slaughter of innocents that I don't want to even think about.
I think that a slaughter of the innocents has been on-going for 2 or 3 years already.
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Hope

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2015, 05:05:35 PM »
Well, Corbyn is also warning that more violence may actually make things worse, as it did in Iraq.  This isn't partisan, it's just common sense, and learning from experience.   This is the problem that Russia face - OK, they can bomb the rebel groups, but then Hezbollah follow up on the ground - what are the Sunni tribes going to do?  Freak out, and join IS, maybe.
I agree that bombing will do nothing to seriously help the issue, but then diplomacy isn't going to work with ISIS as they currently exist - leaving us with 2 other options: leave them be and just wait till we get more Paris/ 7/7 - type events somewhere in any one of the Western countries, or do something militarily.  I wonder whether it might not be better to send in some of the Western nations' more specialist forces - such as the SAS, the Seals, etc. to handle the matter.  That way they coud be rather more 'surgical' than even the most 'precision' bombing.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2015, 05:08:43 PM »
Bombing is doing something militarily. Can we stop using euphemisms like doing something militarily or boots on ground to hide it means people there to kill and be killed.

wigginhall

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2015, 05:17:57 PM »
I agree that bombing will do nothing to seriously help the issue, but then diplomacy isn't going to work with ISIS as they currently exist - leaving us with 2 other options: leave them be and just wait till we get more Paris/ 7/7 - type events somewhere in any one of the Western countries, or do something militarily.  I wonder whether it might not be better to send in some of the Western nations' more specialist forces - such as the SAS, the Seals, etc. to handle the matter.  That way they coud be rather more 'surgical' than even the most 'precision' bombing.

But a diplomatic solution doesn't mean inviting IS to the table.  It (partly) involves draining the swamp, that is, getting the countries, and leaders, and tribes, who support IS, to stop.  It can be done, as it was done in Iraq with Al Qaeda.  Of course, it involves more than this, possibly a de facto partition, which seems to have happened in Iraq.

This leaves Assad in place, but probably nobody is going to have the energy to overthrow him anyway.
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Outrider

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2015, 05:24:50 PM »
I used the term 'pseudo-religious' because of the fact that very few Muslim scholars and Islamic scholars believe that what ISIS claims to be scriptural even exists within the Quran.  I would regard something like Westboro Baptist as pseudo-religious for the  equivalent reason.

That rather brings us back to the whole 'sect-cult' idea of a 'proper' interpretation of a religious belief. In the absence of any way to be definitive, I'm not sure you can suggest an unpopular - or, at least, less popular - interpretation is somehow 'quasi' sufficient. It's an entirely religious viewpoint, even if it's not a valid interpretation, and there's no easy way to determine that.

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I think that a slaughter of the innocents has been on-going for 2 or 3 years already.

Unfortunately, yes, and our previous actions have contributed to that, but we weren't doing it ourselves. If we do send in bombers it will be difficult, later, to try to claim any sort of moral high-ground in requests for diplomatic solutions.

O.
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Jack Knave

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2015, 05:42:51 PM »
But a diplomatic solution doesn't mean inviting IS to the table.  It (partly) involves draining the swamp, that is, getting the countries, and leaders, and tribes, who support IS, to stop.  It can be done, as it was done in Iraq with Al Qaeda.  Of course, it involves more than this, possibly a de facto partition, which seems to have happened in Iraq.

This leaves Assad in place, but probably nobody is going to have the energy to overthrow him anyway.
No point draining the swamp the worms will just burrow into the muddy ground!!!

Spud

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Re: Arguments for and against the UK joining the strikes on ISIS in Syria
« Reply #74 on: November 27, 2015, 05:44:27 PM »

Sending bombs to Syria is an empty gesture, which is the bit I was talking about. Other things I'll take on a case by case.

O.

So are the French wrong to bomb Syria?