MP on Iraq

Paul CĂ©zanne, The card playersWhen arguing, stick to your strong points. From what he misses out, Mr Sawford’s argument for bombing Iraq is very weak indeed. I emailed him on the day of the vote, and he wrote to me dated 6 October. He has posted much of his argument on his website. He says six key conditions were met:

There is a just cause for action on humanitarian grounds and the grounds of national interest, as the instability caused by the overthrow of the democratic state of Iraq means it could become a haven and training ground for terrorism directed at the UK.

Humanitarian bombing. Who’d have thought it? The rhetorical triple is good- just… humanitarian… national interest- three words to push my buttons- but how might bombing promote stability in the Failed States Index’s 11th most unstable state?

Paul CĂ©zanne, bathers, in partIS have shown they could not be negotiated with. Well, so has the US, with drone strikes. Who can negotiate with death from the air?

The UK is responding to the request of the democratic state of Iraq. I can’t find how inclusive it is of the Sunni minority, but the BBC says it is not.

The aims of the mission are clear: international military air power is supporting the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga in their ground campaign against IS, and the use of air power is accompanied by training and resources to support their efforts. Are the aims achievable? Are those forces capable of withstanding IS?

There is broad support for action, with all 28 EU member states, the Arab League, and a regional coalition of Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and Qatar supporting the action. In 2010, Saudi Arabia bought $60bn worth of aircraft from the US. Why isn’t it flying these missions? Sales continue. Ask Google. It appears Saudi Arabia is bombing Syria instead: so much for Britain not bombing Syria.

The action is proportionate, with the UK now committing a limited number of Tornado aircraft as well as continued surveillance.

Paul CĂ©zanne, bathersI emailed, and asked three questions this does not address.

What are the chances of success?

What are the costs of the action?  Flying the Tornados and firing their missiles costs money, as does repairing the damage on the ground, and is there a risk that IS will have surface to air missiles?

In what way is this military action better than doing nothing at all? Will not more Muslims be made militant by seeing their co-religionists bombed? Might IS left alone become as good a government as we might expect in Iraq after further bombing? Is there anything which might produce stable, peaceful states in Iraq and Syria?

Hooray for Youtube. This charming song has lived with me for decades.

8 thoughts on “MP on Iraq

    • It is so costly to them. Peter Mandelson (I couldn’t remember his name, so I typed Prince of Darkness Peter into Google) was forgiven for financial improbity, but who has been forgiven for voting against war?


  1. The music was … well, indescribably lovely. In terms of bombing, I have no impact or influence. I’ve written to my Congressman (Democrat) about twenty times. But who am I? Why does my opinion matter. Death, being inevitable, is hard to argue away. We all die in some fashion, some day. Well, clearly, I’m lost.

    Pink … I have this new blog but I want access to your world of civility. Can I contact you on this blog and listen to you. In many ways, I see you as my ideal alter-ago. However … I’ll settle for some communication.


    • For some reason, this ended up in my spam folder, and I have only just noticed. People sometimes have this problem: in 2012 all my comments were spammed for about two months, unless the blogger spotted it and let me through. Now I have unspammed you, it should not happen again here.


      • Good grief … my life is becoming something akin to a Job like test of faith. If you read about a New Yorker they found curled up in a corner outside the 24 Hour Fitness gym (well, a boy likes a view), that will be me throwing in the towel.

        Liked by 1 person

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