The Lord will know his own: children in Raqqa, Syria, August 2013. Photo: Bidna Capoeira via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).
Bombing Syria? Great! But why stop there?
1st December 2015
David Cameron's vision of striking terrorists in Syria betrays a pitiful lack of vision. We must bomb terrorists and their accomplices wherever they are lurking: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Molenbeek, the Parisian banlieue, even Leeds and Finsbury Park if we have to.
Why just strike at the snake's head? Why not at its arms and legs as well? For a start, the Molanbeek district of Brussels, vividly described by the Daily Express as a 'seething city of jihad where ISIS are heroes'.
So now we know: Britain's MPS will almost certainly give UK Prime Minister David Cameron the mandate he wants to begin his bombing campaign in Syria.
This is clearly a good thing. We already know from experience that bombs are the only language that terrorists understand. Our experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries just goes to prove it.
And don't you dare get clever with me! The fact that terrorism in the UK increased six-fold after the Iraq war comes down to one thing: we didn't bomb enough. So this time, no more Mr Nice Guy.
But it's not just that we didn't drop enough bombs. We were also overly restrained in our choice of targets. The war in Afghanistan was intended after all, to teach Osama Bin Laden a lesson. And quite right too!
There was just one small problem. We never knew for sure that he had anything to do with it. In fact the Taliban who were then running the country did offer to give Bin Laden up to US justice if only we presented evidence that he had ordered the attack. The cheek of it! US President George W Bush soon put a stop to that sort of talk: "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty!" Who needs better proof than that?
But why stop at Afghanistan? Fifteen of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, with two from the United Arab Emirates and one each from Egypt and Lebanon. Maybe our main target should have been the country that most of them came from: Saudi Arabia. Came to think of it, that's where Osama bin Laden came from, too. And actually, not one 9/11 terriorist was an Afghan. Odd, that.
Instead we were wasting our time giving Fallujah in Iraq the 'shake and bake' treatment. In case you're wondering, the 'shake' came from heavy artillery bombarding down onto civilian areas. The 'bake' was the white phosphorus that followed. If only were were doing that in Riyadh, or Jeddah, we might have got somewhere!
Kill them all! The Lord will know his own
So when we look at the problem of resurgent terrorism in Syria under the banner of Islamic State (IS) or Da'esh, we know who to blame: us, for going soft. Just when we should have bombed Saudi Arabia back to the stone age, we wimped out. And now we're getting the blowback.
So let's look at the Da'esh problem. This dreadful terrorist group has been carrying out a gruesome genocide of the Yazidi religious minority in Iraq, and of Christians too, while raping, killing and looting their way across the middle east.
And yes, they are supported from Saudi Arabia, and Qatar too, with money and weapons. We also know that Da'esh is very pally with Turkey, which heals its injured fighters in its hospitals, buys most of its oil to refine on its own terrritory, and that Turkish security forces cooperate closely with Da'esh fighters to support its campaigns.
So you get my drift: the bombing list is getting longer. Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. I was going to add Iraq, but of course we're bombing there already - proving my point that we should have hit the place a whole lot harder at the start in the 'Shock and Awe' phase of the campaign, before things got complicated.
The same goes for Afghanistan (sadly we didn't quite finish the job first time round), but the US Air Force showed fine fighting form when it obliterated a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Kunduz in October, killing 22 doctors, nurses and patients.
OK, some of them may not have been terrorists. In fact, all of them were not terrorists. But let's recall the wise words of the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnaud Amalric, at Béziers in July 1209, confronted with 20,000 people, men, women and children who were variously Cathar heretics and loyal Catholics: "Kill them all! The Lord will know his own." Crusading spirit indeed!
Next, Molanbeek? Leeds?
Now, pause for a moment and remember why we want to get bombing in the first place. Yes, it's because of the terrorist atrocity committed in Paris on 13th November that murdered 129 people.
If it's all about Paris, why exactly do we want to bomb Syria? Because Da'esh claimed responsiblity for the attacks, and they are headquartered in Raqqa in Syria. We can obviously believe every word they say, can't we? And as David Cameron so eloquently puts it, we must "strike at the head of the snake!"
But why just strike at the snake's head? Why not at its arms and legs as well? And we know where they are. For a start, the Molenbeek district of Brussels, vividly described by the Daily Express as a "seething city of jihad where ISIS are heroes" and "a hotbed for extremism at the heart of Europe."
But here's the mystery: no one is talking about bombing Molenbeek. And why on Earth not? We have every bit as much chance of wiping out terrorists as if we carpet bomb Molenbeek as we do in Raqqa, after all, and it's much less far to fly. As for any collateral damage, it's OK: The Lord will know his own.
The same goes for the bleak suburbs of Paris where other attackers of 13th November come from, places like La Courneuve to the North of the elegant Paris we know and love. But out of respect for France, I'd like to suggest that this is first and foremost a job for the French air force - but that we should be ready to respond to requests for fraternal assistance from President Francois Hollande.
As for targets within the UK itself, there must be several good ones. Top of the list has to be Leeds, where three of the perpetrators of the 7/7 attack on London in 2005 came from, while another was from West Yorkshire. And let's not forget the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London.
OK, so 7/7 was ten years ago, and any revenge bombing now might send the wrong message. But still, let's put Leeds and Finsbury Park on notice: any more of this, and we know where you live!
Petition: if you are unconvinced by these arguments, you might want to call on the UK Government to 'Vote no on military action in Syria against IS in response to the Paris attacks'.
Contact your MP and tell them how they should vote tomorrow, and why.
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