Thursday, 25 September 2014

Bombing ISIS: A Question

Early last month with ISIS/ISIL/IS running amok in northern Iraq and leaving a trail of bodies in its wake, I argued there was a temporary coincidence of interest between the US/UK, the decaying apparatus of sectarian Iraqi state, the Kurds and the opportunities for labour movement and socialist politics in the region. Since then air strikes have happened, special forces are in action, the collapse of Iraq has been stymied by a new power sharing deal, and weapons and training have flowed to the Kurdish peshmerga. It's also worth noting that Kurdish forces are secular and, by any definition, leftist.

This brings me to tomorrow's vote in Parliament. According to Dave, the Iraqi government have asked for our help to rain bombs down on Islamic State strongpoints - hence why tomorrow's vote in Parliament is looking to rubber stamp combat operations likely to take place over the weekend.

Contrary to Stop the War and other comrades opposed to the action and the worthy arguments they have marshalled against, I believe the aforementioned coincidence of interests still pertains. Remember, Britain owes the Kurds a profound historical debt too. But critically supporting military action against IS means just that, being critical. And there is one awkward question hanging over UK participation in a weekend of attacks.

While Dave has slowly and carefully built the case for war, there is one question he cannot answer. The Americans have undertook air strikes in Syria and Iraq. Other Arab states, some of whom were happy to throw money at the jihadis until very recently, have also taken part in bombing. Why then is the very modest effort from the UK needed? To let the Americans concentrate on targets in Syria? To be honourable? For domestic political boosterism?


Jim Denham said...

I'd agree with all the above, except calling the pro-tyrant, anti-working class scum of Stop The War "comrades."

Anonymous said...

Don’t fool yourself that this is going to help the Kurds or anyone else. I doubt if the civilians killed by UK bombs – and there have been many killed by the US so far, if little reported – will be comforted by the fact that quite a few socialists here were only offering critical support. ISIS will not be defeated by an air campaign, nor is that the US’s intention. They aim for containment only. As long as ISIS exist – “pure evil”, etc, etc – it gives the US – and the UK – a justification for continued interference in the region. Does Iraq really need more bombs after the last ten years?

Speedy said...

Bomb them, but as part of strategic plan. Galloway is probably right - they did not come from nowhere. New settlement in mid east.

Chances of that? Zero. Replace IS with what?!

Key rule of war - never limit your options. This will go on and on because the west has no vision. Even Bush had a vision, albeit wrong.

This will turn in to first global civil war - home grown jihadis bringing war to the west, often via nothing but twitter and a caving knife.

The west will lose (as it is losing) because it is neither prepared to deal the hits or take them. Its enemies are prepared for both.

Defeat looks like a europe 30 years hence under a form of marshall law with freedoms much restricted. A communal europe with different laws and different areas for different groups - a mix of india and lebanon - eyeing each other with mutual hostility and suspicion.

Chris said...

Bomb, bomb, bomb. The lunatics of the West do sing again and again and again. Lunatic West deciding who to bomb next...

“I argued there was a temporary coincidence of interest between the US/UK, the decaying apparatus of sectarian Iraqi state, the Kurds and the opportunities for labour movement and socialist politics in the region.”

Then you should be damned for eternity. If the lunatics in the West, spearheaded by the king of Lunacy, the USA and its industrial/military killing machine, had taken a similar approach to the Middle East, as say, China and Russia, ISIS would not even exist. The problem in the Middle East is not ISIS but Western imperialism, and all the lunacy within it. They have retarded that region by centuries with their war mongering, attempts at supremacy, divide and rule, that crusading mentality of teaching the natives how to be civilised. Like the violent lunatic who holds the world under its oppressive heel can teach about morality!

So the question isn’t, do we have a common fight with Western imperialism but do we on the left have temporary allies in ISIS and the people fighting Assad? Do we have a have temporary common goal with the various Islamist groups within the Middle East fighting the status quo? Are these groups the only cure for the poison that is Western imperialism? That’s the question that needs pondering.

The answer is surely no but any leftists worth their salt cannot even begin to ask the question you posed.