Saturday, 5 December 2015

'Something must be done'

Our Man's thoughts on Hilary Benn’s speech in favour of Britain bombing Syria, not that you probably care, but Our Man cut and paste them here to get them straight in his mind if no one else's...

It was a coherent speech, but the substance boiled down to: action, while not perfect, is better than inaction. Islamic fundamentalists are fascists, we are anti-fascist, therefore we must do something. This, I think, we can all agree on.

The problem is the efficacy of air strikes. For all the talk of 1930s parallels, a more apt one would be Vietnam where France, then US, had much more skin in the game and relied on air power in a doomed attempt to prove you could bomb a country to peace. You can't, by definition.

The honest truth is I'm not sure the best course of action. But to use another example in the news, bombing because we have a need to prove we are "doing something" is like fighting the mass shootings afflicting America by shooting the neighbours of the crazed gunmen. "Well, it's not very effective, but it's something" turns out to be worse than a flimsy argument, and actually would be exactly what we're trying to stop.

In closing, my right honorable friends, it is relatively easy to talk the talk, but just because action is needed doesn't mean this is the right walk to walk. Case not proven, imho.

I wish we we would approach terrorism as international crime rather than acts of war. Terrorists are criminal scum. Fight them as such, don't give them what they want which is the elevated status of being enemies powerful enough to change the course of history, which is what oratory like Hilary Benn's confers on them. That plays into their hands and makes us pawns in their game. Not a sensible thing for statesmen to do.

Just my two penneth.


stylescreamer said...

Quite agree as Greens MP, Caroline Lucas Said on @bbcqt last night! Went over the head of Tory Ed minister of course!

Jan Moren said...

As the great political science course "Yes Mr. Minister" put it: "We must do something. This is something. Therefore we must do it."

It is worth noting that the terror of the 1970's was largely pursued and won by treating it as a crime rather than as a war. Of course you still need to "fix" Syria; and as at least a major part of the cause is climate related there really is no easy fix. Any solution is going to involve resettling a lot of people that can no longer live off the land where they used to live.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Yes, I think terrorism is a symptom in some senses of global warming, now that you mention it. Sigh. Apt then that the Green MP was the one talking sense this time. Sigh.