Don’t bomb Syria. Here’s why:
1) What problem will it solve?
It won’t stop terrorists – they’re already here. It won’t stop ISIS – just as it didn’t stop Al Qaeda, which just morphed into something else. Anyway – the actual problem is Saudi Arabia.
2) “We have do do something!”
Fine. Build a wall, fence it off, let it knaw itself to death. The main difficulty here, again, is that the main problem is Saudi Arabia – i.e. if you wall it off, properly wall it off, then you’ll need to account for the commensurate kick-off in oil prices. But you’d have to do that accounting anyway, if you start a war in Syria.
And the other difficulty, you say, is humanitarian. What about all the people we fence in. Well, I expect they’d prefer to be bombed. Alternatively, you could just open Europe’s borders. Oh.
3) Who are you actually going to bomb?
See “1)”. What, specifically, are you trying to eradicate? And how will you verify you’ve done it? You can bomb fundamentalists but you can’t bomb fundamentalism.
4) How will you know when to stop bombing?
You’re going to lose. The “win” here is Assad retaining control of Syria. That’s arguably a win, relatively speaking, for the territory of Syria, but it doesn’t do anything about what you think you’re bombing, which is fundamentalist terrorism. You’ll be needing to bomb, say, Libya (again) next, to continue what you started. Then Morocco. There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
5) What evidence would ever be provided to convince you not to bomb?
What if all the terrorists are still Belgians from Morocco? Or Frenchies from Algeria? Is it because you didn’t bomb hard enough? What about when they’re revealed as Saudi-sponsored?
6) You’re just a massive lefty
No I’m not. Things worth bombing are discrete regimes with an enclosed singular purpose, whose eradication would be verifiable, whose threat is direct and mortal to our country itself.
And also, I’d quite like to bomb individual terrorists. Pot-shots. Fuck ’em. Anyway, I expect we’ve been doing that for years – what’s that you say? You weren’t offered stories about it to read in the papers? Oh.
But anyway I don’t at all trust Dave to do pot-shots like that openly, for and of itself – it has to be a Grand Stategic Adventure for the Greater Glory. A Campaign. This is what’s on the table. Aggrandisement of politicians. And this is bollocks.
Also – it’s possible to not bomb Syria and for Corbyn & Stop The War etc. to be utter mongs at the same time. Shocking, I know.
“THE OCCUPIER’S PROGRESS” :
A cautionary TALE
– for those lately OCCUPYING in the yard of St. PAULS –
by the hon Wm HOGARTH Esq &c
1) “Fortune found! I shall forsake my goodly home and family, and thence to St PAULS with my new-found and noble friends!”
2) “The levee – and the fine-ness of mine minstrel friends Bragg and Yorke, and Morello verily Raging against certain famed and new-fangled Machines”
3) “Night – a brothel, Tranquility is the team – but whence is my watch, and mine favour’d Blue Ukelele? Lost!”
4) “The creditors come … and mine pocket picked, mine beloved forsaken! Woe is me!”
5) “Married, saved! to the old wench Westwood and her fine hosiery. Her fortune is plentiful, for her Tax lawyer is the finest”
6) “… but lost again – and, a fire! Fire in the library!”
7) “Madness – my play REJECTED, along with yon writings of mine accomplice upon topic of the National Debt”
8) “Finally, insane and violent, BEDLAM and all entailments! Oh me!”
Today I happened to be in London, and went to visit OccupyLSX for the first time. I hung around for about an hour and a half, overall between about 1.00pm and 3.30pm, to try and get a decent impression of the mood. Impressions as follows.
- Emptiness. There’s simply no-one there. I saw a total of 2 people pass in and out of the “info” tent, and there were about 6 or 7 people drifting in and out of the big “tent university”. The “Stone Soup” counter had about 2 customers, although they may have just been having a chat.
- Unwashed grime and detritus. This a camp without any proper sanitary service that’s been there for months, and it shows. And smells. This is compounded by there being no-one around; there are simply piles of miscellaneous crap lying everywhere, sometimes in bundles, sometimes not. Most of the loose stuff must have blown away before I got there (it was windy).
- Deranged, unquiet rantings. There are very few of the usual suspects not represented by some placard or banner; New Age self-release, PETA, Freemen Of The World, and so on. I saw no sign of the Islamist terrorist preacher tent I’d heard about. This was all the more eerie due to there being no actual practitioners around, in the tents; only American tourists reading the signs and laughing.
Anyway, some pictures herewith. Click on the thumbs for the proper hi-res ones, you know the drill by now.
Empty tents #1
Empty tents #2
Drunk guys in the semi-shelter of the main tent. (They had a fight later, off-camera.)
The “stand-up toilet” directive is a guide and not a rule, apparently. I especially liked the padlock vs. the “Engaged” sign – I’m fairly sure there was no-one in there.
Random detritus #1
Random detritus #2
See if you can read the detail – it’s standard stream-of-consciousness idiocy.
.. and this, apparently, is what democracy looks like.
Even the lefties think the lefties fucked up :
- Part 1 : “First Night” review, from the BBC.
- Part 2 : Progress Online‘s lengthy response.
- Part 3 : OWS’s devastating summary of their own demise.
- Part 4 : How not to run a GA.
- Part 5 : Occupy Denver’s PR man shoots their PR strategy in the head.
- Part 6 : Lessons from OccupyBrighton.
- Part 7 : OccupyWS begin to notice how profoundly and spectacularly ineffective they are.
- Part 8 : Laurie Penny puts the boot in.
GA minutes :
- GA minutes: “The finance meeting in Starbucks fell apart”.
- Uncensored GA minutes kept up on FatCouncillor’s blog – one of the original classics.
- GA minutes. “… there has been no victory. We have no message. We have not engaged the public.”
- The aborted sixteen-hour “occupation” of Roman House.
- The GA minutes with the pissing, knifing and child-beating.
UPDATE Aug 2013 – they moved the minutes. Someone stopped paying the original webhost bill. The best minutes by far are here.
- OWSExposed.com. Their default info pages on the Occupy movement in the US include “Deaths” and “Sexual Assaults”.
- Howard Stern takes down OccupyWallSt.
- OWS protesters living in 5-star hotel.
- The bit where police have no jurisdiction at OccupyLSX.
- Original, hilarious list of demands from OWS.
- CommentatorIntl’s brilliant movie – “The One With The Ginger Dreadlocks”.
- Self-appointed leaders of OccupyLSX go bonkers after The Guardian’s CommentIsFree goes off-message.
- Low-level infighting in the OccupyLSX camp.
- Epic Animal Farm takedown from The Times, of OccupyLSX.
- Exhaustive #fail of OccupyDenver failing to explain why they’ve failed to occupy a WalMart.
- Articulate and thoughtful exit speech from a key OccupyLSX ex-activist.
- Arab activists object to the Arab Spring being compared to the Occupy movement.
- Occupy protesters shouted down and told to piss off by the rest of the public, at Davos.
- The Magic Occupy Hermaphrodite.