Who to fight First, ISIL terror entity or the Syrian dictator… is there really a choice for Britain? we should get our priorities right and list the dangers in descending order if we were to answer. The House of commons vote last week ( Dec 2,2015) by a majority of 174 to back Prime Minister David Cameron’s motion to extend the RAF mission into areas controlled by the terrorist entity the Islamic state ( or ISIl – the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has accelerated a legitimate debate about priorities and who is the real enemy and the tactical realignment within the a larger strategy as with whom should the United kingdom and her allies. Some who understand history and reality of the region and Islamism correctly argue that the Islamic State terror entity is a real danger that we must fight. Others with motives hard to understand, or being anti the idea of extending air-campaign to or just have little experience, argue that we should get rid of Assad regime in Syria first before fighting isil, which is utter nonsense
Unfortunately many – especially younger commentators- seem to have either misreading history or don’t quite understand the lessons of history, especially the second world war when the nation faced and existentialist threat; especially after Dunkirk when Britain stood alone, with her back to the way but stood firm as the only-last moat between civilisation and the barbarism of Nazi-Fascist alliance. Britain’s greatest Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill who understood history better than any other of his contemporaries didn’t hesitate to side with allies like the Soviet Union whose foundation myth was the destruction of the capitalist system which Churchill was fighting to preserve. Churchill saw the bigger picture in his famous quote about making a complementary reference to the devil on the floor of the house if Hitler invaded hell. Unfortunately our today’s (lesser ) leaders are too ankle-shackled with political correctness and various other unprincipled nonsense ( like fearing what BBC Today and News Night, or Channel Four News editors might through some misplaced moral questions or twisted Human rights argument against them) are confusing themselves, the public and the political establishment with priorities to formulate a coherent strategy. There should be no priorities ahead of Britain’s national interest. We are facing an existentialist threat. The Islamic State is not an organisation that would give up terrorism once a set of demands are met or can be a start of a negotiable agenda ( like the IRA, or the Palestinians etc) . In fact there are NO set of demands for the Islamic State, to negotiate, but one of their tactical aims is the destruction of our western civilisation. Some argue, correctly that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, a nasty dictator who bears a great deal of responsibility ( not all of it though) for creating and prolonging the civil war in Syria ( he could have started a set of reforms in 20111 instead of trying to suppress protest) but he is not a threat to us here in UK nor to Europe. Other, unwisely argue that we must first git rid of Assad then tackle the Islamic State.
Several backbenchers, a number of experts, several middle East leaders and intelligence sources as well as retired British Army commanders cite Churchill’s WW2 choice and also point at the change of the French position to say that the only reliable organised army on the ground is the Syrian state army – since neither we, nor any other European nation nor the big talk no action President Barak Obama will commit troops on the ground- to fight and destroy the terror based caliphate. They also call for coordinating with the Russians whose intervention not only set back ISIL in two months more than the entire coalition did in a whole year, but also triggered this western race to take action against the terror entity. One of the excellent pieces was Boris Johnson’s column in yesterday’s Telegraph.
The misreading of history and the argument that we must topple Assad first is not the monopoly of the history misreading lefties. Although the BBC for several days keep wheeling out those ladies ( always ladies somehow) from the so called Syrian opposition trying to sell us a dead parrot by saying “ Isil isn’t as bad as Assad” and “ Assad Created ISIL by releasing some Islamists terrorists from Jail “ and “ Assad buys ISIL Oil “ and other nonsense. ( I will address those later) . Now some people from the right of centre argue this nonsense too ( my very good friend David Blair, who is an excellent foreign hack argue the same in Today’s Telegraph).
First as mentioned above, there is no observer in his right mind thinks or can prove that Assad, despite his nastiness, is posing any danger to us in UK or to our allies in the region or in Europe ( except of course to Turkey which has many interests not only in toppling Assad, but also in breaking up Syria and creating pro-Muslim Brother hood regime as well as a buffer zone controlled by Turkmen to reduce threat from Kurdish PKK and stop creation of a Kurdish independent state) , anywhere near or compare to the threat which ISIL do and its terror campaign against us as we have seen in Paris and various plots here .
This should settle the argument. Now comes to the fanciful call to “topple Assad regime first”… How in god’s name?
Mr Cameron’s figure of “70,000” good guys opposition to Assad who can work with us is laughable pipe-dream ( our intelligence contacts are adamant they were not the source of Mr Cameron’s figure. They include many notorious Islamists groups of ISIL and Alqaeda type. They include free-lance mercenaries who took weapons given by CIA, Turkey and anti Assad Arab regimes and sold them to ISIL. Even if those have the ability to topple Assad, not only Syria will be more unstable ( all other minorities and non-Muslims would fight tooth and nail to resist them to avoid annihilation )
The Prime Minister comic figure include two groups of Kurdish fighters who are the only troops on the ground the pushed back ISIL from areas in Iraq and Syria. The first are the Kurdish Workers Party PKK . Not only USA, Europe and Turkey list them as terrorist group ( they are far from it) , but Turkey booms them frequently instead of targeting ISIL. The second, stronger are the Iraqi Kurds. Once they rid their region from ISIl they will not cross the border to Syria don’t risk confrontation with Turkey.
After deconstructing the “70,000” good guys myth now let us see the claims put by the fervently BBC wheeled out anti-Assad opposition. ISIL started in Iraq first and was enabled to make swift success due to anarchy created by the kind of western intervention those calling for toppling Assad first are calling for. Even if we along with the argument or the claim that a handful of Islamists terrorists boosted ISIL to its current success, they can’t explain how 100s of the made to order pickup white Toyotas which is the backbone of ISIL blitzkrieg. That wasn’t Assad, but Turkey and a congress report get a reply ( to the Dept of Treasury) from CIA they were meant for moderate anti Assad forces ( Like Cameron 70,000) but went to ISIL by mistake ( the report ignored by USA media).
And from a rational deduction view point, can anyone take a woman seriously when she says “ ISIL isnt as bad as Assad “? Given Islamists treatment of women and the secular nature of Assad dictatorship? Can we really rely on those clowns as our allies to be an alternative to Assad?
Finally how can those suggesting toppling Assad firsts propose this aim would be achieved? Since we have no boots on ground and I said why those 70,000 are a mythical figure , then bombing Assad and destroying what’s left of Syria? Well we made a fine job of toppling regime of Colonel Gaddafi with airpower in Libya didn’t we…