A Terrorist Sympathiser?


As I’ve often remarked, the level of discourse in Britain – political and otherwise – is abysmal, but I was still shocked to learn that in the view of the Prime Minister, I can accurately be described as a terrorist sympathiser because I’m not persuaded that it’s a good idea for the UK to bomb Syria.

With the greatest of respect to all my friends in the USA, this is the kind of language I’d expect to hear from certain American politicians, not from British ones, while it’s little comfort to learn that roughly 50% of Britons are likely to agree with me on the question concerning Syria, judging from a poll conducted by the BBC’s Mark Easton that I saw on the news just an hour or so ago.

My views on this matter have little if anything to do with my conscience, because as I remarked in a previous post, I think that deciding whether or not bombing Syria is in the interests of the greater good is a matter of coldly weighing up the benefits and disadvantages of such a course of action, based on our intimate knowledge of all that has gone before.

For what it’s worth, I don’t regard those who differ with me on this matter as callous warmongers or anything of the kind, so I won’t be stooping to using disparaging invective like this against doubtless well-intended others who have arrived at a different conclusion to me. For all I know, they may turn out to be right, but as none of us can see into the future, only the passing of Time can demonstrate this.

“If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one’s own self-deception and ignorance.”
Marcus Aurelius.

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5 Responses to A Terrorist Sympathiser?

  1. satanicviews says:

    Unless all sides cooperate, and work with Assad, with troops on the ground, the UK bombing of Islamic State is a waste of public money, and will achieve nothing as evidenced by one year of bombing via air by multiple nations against IS.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dr Dan H. says:

    What I rather think is happening here is that our current Prime Minister is trying to have a Thatcher moment, with rather less promising input material. He hasn’t had a tin-pot dictator commit an act of aggression against him, and he doesn’t have a Cold War weapons system with which to surprise the hell out of said aggressor (using Vulcan bombers to hit a target 4000 miles away from base). What he has is a bunch of religious nutcases who think they’re fighting Armageddon, and an assortment of shady characters busily using said nutcases for their own nefarious reasons.

    Turkey is buying crude oil from IS on the quiet, rather in the manner of purportedly respectable businessmen buying looted goods from pirates. A nice little earner until you get rumbled, in other words, and Turkey’s rulers seem to have misunderstood how powerful and true a friend the EU is. The EU can be described as an alliance in the Ambrose Bierce sense; “Two thieves with their hands so deeply inserted in each others’ pockets that they cannot separately plunder the pockets of a third”. It isn’t an empire, it has no military to call its own, so when engaging in diplomatic relations is reliant on constituent nations to provide the force. As these regard the EU diplomatic section with amused condescension or resigned disgust, most are content to leave it out to twist in the wind after it has made a fool of its self.

    Russia is engaging in a dick-waving exercise. It isn’t really a superpower any more, but it does have truly staggering military power and no fear of the European Union after that failed empire tried to play with the big boys and got its arse kicked. Russia has been looking for excuses to wheel out its military and display just how much of a bully it still is on the world stage.

    France is out for revenge, plain and simple.

    America wants to secure its oil, and is playing to a woefully ignorant home population, especially as there’s a presidency up for grabs there soon.

    And then there’s Cameron, out looking for his Falklands moment. He ain’t going to get it, and as he has to play nice with Turkey and a host of other nations, on the grounds that Britain has not the army nor the stomach for a full-on war, his military efforts will be limited to bouncing a bit of rubble up and down a bit in Syria.

    A better move would have been to stay out until definite IS targets could be identified, or to try to act as a coordinator between the various factions involved in the war. Persuading Turkey that buying black market oil is a silly move would be good, especially as the Russians are now out looking for nicely photogenic oil convoys to burn. This would help limit the cash input into IS, and it is a lack of cash that will cripple them in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. eternalidol says:

    Well, over the last week or so, I must have read hundreds if not thousands of comments and opinion pieces online, while I’d say that at least two thirds of them were against bombing for the reasons outlined above. I was particularly struck by the fact that nearly all the views offered by senior military men were against bombing, while I see there was/is a big Twitter campaign ridiculing the ‘terrorist sympathiser’ observation, so it’s good to know I’m not alone in being extremely irritated by this.

    Otherwise, when I’ve watched Castaway style programmes over the years or other reality shows, one constant aspect is that everyone involved wants to do the exciting trials and challenges, whereas very few want to do the mundane stuff like the laundry, the washing up and so forth. I imagine that an almost identical process is involved when setting up a state, so while the overwhelming majority members of Isis are doubtless very happy to race around in trucks like they’re in some Mad Max movie, I doubt that these young men are quite so keen on applying themselves to rubbish collection, fixing potholes, setting up a viable health service and all the other unromantic drudgery involved in making sure your community functions properly.

    All these things are trying and demoralising, as we can see from our own country, so if you’re trying to do this on an ever-decreasing budget, I’m sure there’ll come a point when most people throw up their hands in despair at the realisation that their Utopia is unattainable. So, yes, I’m sure a lack of cash will be the deciding factor and while sanctions might not sound as appealing as “Shock and awe”, we can see that no country likes having them applied, whether that country’s South Africa, Israel, Russia, Iran, Cuba, North Korea or anywhere else for that matter.

    I simply don’t understand why, in this day and age of cyberwarfare, Boundless Informant and all the rest of it, our functioning states in East and West can’t cripple the Isis economy in a matter of days, something that’s made all the more depressing by the news I’ve just read on the BBC, where Cameron “warns of a long Syria campaign”. God help us.

    And finally, whichever ‘side’ you’re on, things are undeniably getting very heated online and it’ll all end in tears, mark my words.


  4. corvusrouge says:

    I find myself thinking the “terrorisist sympathisers” sub-plot is designed to create distraction from the fact that the “70,000” sympathetic ground forces are nothing but wishful thinking and one thing that is commonly agreed upon, is that air power won’t win this conflict.
    Personal insults are an excellent distraction technique when your own position is weak and hearing some of the politicians claim that “our bombs” are more accurate than any one else’s to justify spending money we apparently don’t have to feed people without the need for food banks just about sums up how we have copied the US model in creating profits for the arms manufacturers at the expense of spending money on common decent social programs to benefit everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      The “Bogus Battalions” are already up there with the “Dodgy Dossier” as part of modern political folklore, but I think this ill-judged matter of “terrorist sympathisers” is here to stay as well. Looking on the bright side, I saw what I thought was a very amusing article by Mark Steel in The Independent on precisely this subject, but otherwise, as you rightly inferred, there really aren’t many reasons to be cheerful.


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