Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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I Don't Care Who Started It
Am I the only one who keeps getting confused about whether we're planning to bomb Syria or Syriza?

There was a weird "We have always been at war with Eurasia vibe" about much of the coverage yesterday, with numerous Tory politicians giving the distinct impression that ISIS would not pose the problem it now does had the Commons not blocked the bombing of Syria in 2013. What they forget to mention is that the proposal then was to bomb not ISIS but President Assad, one of ISIS's principal enemies. I've no idea whether such bombing would have been effective in toppling Assad, but assuming that it had been, in the absence of ground troops the most plausible scenario would surely have been that (as in Libya) the dictator's fall would have created a power vacuum that ISIS itself would have filled. In short, had we bombed Syria in 2013 the capital of ISIS would in all likelihood now be not Raqqa but Damascus.

How would that have been better?

Military historian's hat on.

Truth is that if our government really wanted to have this fight, they'd be talking about feet in boots on the ground, but we all know they lack that sort of stomach. 'The west', however defined, lacks that sort of stomach and ISIS know it!

This is not to suggest that I think it a good idea- anything but- but as a given military scenario, it's the only one that fits.

I think they're aware that the plan had been to bomb Assad, but they think that if Assad had been taken out, the gap would have filled with democracy, because Democracy! Never mind that this didn't work in Iraq or anywhere else.

They also don't believe in boots in the ground because they think that if bombing doesn't work, the solution is: more bombing, because Bombing! There's a long history of that approach being tried without success, in Germany and in Vietnam. It might have worked on Japan, but even these warmongers aren't salivating to use the A-bomb again.

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