Syria Airstrikes
Democracy

Parliament's vote to bomb Syria has already won the moral victory against ISIL

 

As I began writing this within an hour of the Commons vote, 4 RAF Tornadoes were already on their way to bomb Syria. This is it; the UK is now fully embroiled in the multilateral effort to strike Islamic State/ISIL/Daesh at its very heart. Our MPs have had their say and the final majority was overwhelming. There is no turning back from here.

The House of Commons becomes most alive when the boundaries of party politics are blurred and for once MPs are given the freedom to speak from their hearts. Reputations can be made and lost and as is so often the case in these situations it is not the party leaders’ speeches that have the greatest impact. Instead it is those lower down the pecking order who make their mark with speeches filled with passion and honesty. Hilary Benn, who for 16 years has been known for little more than being the son of Tony, is now being talked of as the favourite to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

This drama and theatre of Parliament’s epic 11 hour session across both of the houses demonstrated politics at its very best. We can only be thankful that in the face of a threat unlike anything we have faced in our lifetime, MPs and Lords, irrespective of their point of view, repeatedly placed justice and principle above revenge and hatred. Where ISIL show an utter disregard for the life of others, our parliamentarians have fought over the best ways to preserve and protect the life of all those affected by the chaos and death radiating out from Syria and its surrounding countries. It was a painful vote precisely because we cherish life and freedom so dearly and no solution offers an escape from the inevitable deaths of innocents.

The  dilemma that fuelled so much of the debate is the risk that, as Justin Welby put it in his speech to the House of Lords, “We can end up doing the right thing in such a wrong way that it becomes the wrong thing.” The danger of overly focusing on the act of airstrikes is that we lose sight of the fact that, “only a holistic, theological and global policy will achieve our aims.” Again in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s words:

The Prime Minister’s strategy.. rightly recognised that military action is only one part of the answer. But there must be a global theological and ideological component – not just one in this country – to what we are doing, and it must be one that is relentlessly pursued and promoted.

And it must include challenging Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose own promotion of a particular brand of Islamic theology has provided a source from which ISIL have drawn a false legitimisation.

It must also show clear support for global mainstream Muslim and other religious leaders..

Without a far more comprehensive approach we confirm [ISIL’s] dreadful belief that what they are doing is the will of God.

Ultimately this is not a physical war, but a spiritual and ideological one. It can only be won if we acknowledge that this is a battle for supremacy between the followers of competing cultural and religious gods. ISIL ‘s ingrained belief is that they hold the keys to Islam. By establishing a caliphate they have announced to the world that theirs is the true form of Islam to which all Muslims and non-Muslims must submit or face death.

We in the West have our god of liberal secularism that drives much of our thinking and our actions. Despite what some may think, it is derived from the vast depths of Christian morality and whereas that two can in theory exist comfortably side by side, this form of Islam provides a dangerous and uncompromising challenge that deliberately aims to eradicate those other gods.

Victory for any side lies not in military power but something less tangible: the power of hope. As long as hope remains any defeat is temporary and it is in truth that lasting hope is to be found. We have chosen to fight ISIL because we hope for a restoration of peace and that our values will bring greater freedom, prosperity and security than their extremist interpretation of Islam offers. We also hold on to the very Christian hope that good will ultimately conquer evil. Logically there is no such guarantee, but intrinsically we sense that those who propagate evil cannot do so indefinitely. For Christians it is at the core of their faith. God, through the death and resurrection of His son, brings salvation to the world. Without that hope everything is lost. It is fundamentally down to this belief that we see ourselves as custodians of what is right true and proper. It is so rooted in our cultural DNA that when we see grave injustice in the world, especially when it threatens our way of life, we cannot resist the urge to act.

Pain and suffering, war and conflict will never go away. Our world is full of destruction and instability; we cannot avoid it. ISIL’s extremism is too corrupted through hate and arrogance to offer the security of hope that we each long for.  But we can find a source of hope that will not run dry, that sustains us in the face of evil and through the darkest of days. For those who put their faith in a different God, such a hope abounds:

Psalm 140

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, ‘You are my God.’
Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, never to rise.
May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
Surely the righteous will praise your name,
and the upright will live in your presence.

  • len

    This poisonous ideology known as ‘daish’ (and should be known as such)for to link this death cult with more moderate forms of Islam with the title ‘Islamic State’ is wrong . Daish must be isolated and destroyed.
    Evil needs to be confronted for if not it will grow as a cancer and spread contaminating all it touches.
    It is all too easy to try’ not to get involved ‘but we can see from history that this just does not work as appeasement did not work with the Nazis..

    • Pubcrawler

      “Non-Arabs telling people to say “Daesh”, instead of ISIS, is just weird
      & silly. Daesh is merely the *exact* Arabic equivalent to the
      English acronym ISIS / ISIL. And no, Daesh does not *mean* anything in
      Arabic. It’s merely the Arabic acronym. If the childish argument is:
      “but Daesh rhymes with XYZ, or sounds like so and so insult, they hate
      that, so let’s use it.” Well, ISIS is an Egyptian she-goddess, I know
      they hate her too (this would be the unforgivable sin of ‘shirk’, or
      idolatry)! So if I’m speaking Arabic, I’ll use “Daesh”. But if I’m
      speaking English, I’ll use ISIS (or the more technical ISIL), thanks.
      Let’s stop trying to be so bloody PC all the time! Sorry but I detest it
      when people don’t do shit about extremism, yet parade their rebel
      credentials in my face by saying DA’ESH at me, in an Arabic accent. And
      they don’t even speak Arabic.” (Maajid Nawaz)

      • Anton

        I’d heard, perhaps inaccurately, that acronyms are regarded as insulting in Arabic culture; not that I mind insulting this movement. Surely the real reason for this confusion is that ISIS and ISIL are inaccurate because the movement is not restricted to Syria or Lebanon, and our politicians don’t want to dignify it as a “state” so IS won’t do either?

        • Ivan M

          Daesh has a ring to it. The funniest I’ve.read on ISIS is a comment:
          ISIS establish Inter-Planetary Command, renames Moon
          LUNASIS.

          After declaring the fellows the greatest threat to mankind since the Nephalim, the politicians had better come up with something sinister. The Algerian GIA for example gets my vote for sheer menace.

    • Orwell Ian

      Don’t be fooled by the Daesh acronym. It is nothing but a ploy to bamboozle the Proles who were becoming conscious enough to realise that a so-called Islamic State that has nothing to do with Islam is a falsehood propagated by government and the so-called BBC.

      • Dreadnaught

        I think its more a sop to keep the peace at home and abroad until such a time that the penny drops and the public latch on to the fact that we are being colonised by another religion/mindset/political/judicial force.

  • Anton

    Cameron would have more credibility if he had not previously been seeking parliamentary approval for bombing Assad – the one man of power in Syria who doesn’t persecute Christians merely for their faith. Bombing ISIS is not going to stop the organisation; instead, it is probably going to get part of London blown up sooner rather than later. Of course we must not cut any kind of deal with ISIS about that, but going out of our way to invite retribution is not smart – especially with our back door open to terrorists posing as several hundred thousand refugees.

    If we are going to bomb, at least we are bombing their oil wells, something Obama declined to do out of concern for the environment!

    • bmudmai

      It won’t make a difference to the threat of terrorism in this country. They’re already trying to attack us, just we have a good secret service thankfully. One will slip through eventually though.

    • johnb1945

      Assad created this situation and this is exactly what he would like you to think.

      That he’s the answer.

      He is a Shia and he operated a scorched earth policy and used barrel bombs and Sarin on his mainly Sunni civilian population. This has produced the ready stream of nothing to lose Sunni militants for not only ISIS but Jabat Al Nusra and others too.

      Assad may stay in the short term, but we need a ceasefire out of him as a minimum. In the long term he has to go.

      The only people who could engineer this are the Russians and Iranians.

      Please don’t be fooled.

      If we prop him up it will be yet another Sunni grievance, and this one will be legitimate.

      Sarin. Barrel bombs. On civilians.

      That’s what he does.

      • Anton

        Where did I say that Assad was a nice guy? Realpolitik points to him as the best choice in Syria for the West, that’s all. As for the people of that land, do you think they would be better off under ISIS?

        • johnb1945

          Realpolitik does not point to him. It can’t point to him.

          For all the reasons I have outlined.

          It may point to a Sunni / Shia split or similar, but the best would be a plural kind of government.

          Here the competing interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran have to be worked through.

          • Anton

            He’s a problem for Syrians who oppose him. He’s not a problem for us. And where the alternative is ISIS it might be in the interests of Syrians not to oppose him, don’t you think?

            As for the Saudis, they pay plenty of money to ISIS but it’s protection money as much as support.

          • johnb1945

            That’s a rather cynical attitude and the flood of migrants entering Europe should demonstrate to you that problems for other people have ways of becoming problems for us.

            Our mission should be a sustainable peace which will enable a complete reconstruction of the country.

            It may yet be unclear how that can be achieved, but unless Assad does a complete volte face and starts to behave in a way which is entirely opposite to 50+ years of Ba’ath party rule it is simply impossible to foresee a long term future for him.

            Even if he did the unremitting brutality of Ba’athist conduct in the war makes him poisonous.

            And what of Assad’s decade long official (and much longer unofficial) support of Hizbollah, in direct opposition to our greatest allies in the region, Israel?

            How are you going to undo that? That would require not only Assad, but Iran and all the proxies they support to adopt a completely different attitude towards Israel.

            Stranger things have happened, but it does not seem likely.

          • bluedog

            There have been articles suggesting that the demise of the Sykes-Picot borders and their replacement with ethnically and/or sectarian defined boundaries would be a better option. Specifically, the idea is to create a Sunni-stan in eastern Syria and western Iraq, conditional on IS not being the government. This makes sense as it seems highly unlikely that a Shi-ite ruler like Assad can ever re-assert control over the whole country. The Kurdish-Turkish relationship is a problem as the Turks would be very difficult about the emergence of any sort of Kurdistan that may embolden there own Kurds. However, the partition of Turkey is not without its attractions.

          • Anton

            You call me cynical; I call you idealistic. The idea of going in there, identifying who is “good” and who is “bad”, incapacitating the latter, empowering the former, then quitting, so that they all live happily ever after, is unrealistic. It worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan, didn’t it?

          • johnb1945

            I fully understand the attractions of short term political expediency, but so far as the Islamic world goes we have always ended up paying for it with interest. Our expedient funding of Islamist militants fighting each other or fighting the Russians and our expedient blindness to Saudi promoted Salafism have both contributed to the rise of organised, well funded, well equipped and popular Islamist groups.

            If there is any opportunity at all to learn from past mistakes and encourage something sustainable and stable that’s what we should do.

            I just don’t see how, in the long term, such a settlement can involve Assad.

            It was his brutality that caused this war – shooting protestors. It was his brutality, his bombs and poisoned gas that created the vacuum occupied by ISIS and others. It was his brutality that created a Sunni population with nothing to live for except fighting.

            Do you think the current relative peace of the Balkans could have been brokered with characters like Radovan Karadzic or Ratko Mladic involved?

            It ‘s a very similar situation in Syria.

          • Anton

            Peace came to the Balkans for a combination of two reasons: survivors had had enough of fighting, and diplomatic pressure from outside. The power brokers haven’t had enough of fighting yet in Syria. But even after that the best option is benevolent dictatorship. Democracy isn’t going to work in that culture.

          • johnb1945

            I agree, although I would not make assumptions about readiness for democracy.

            Deep believing communists eventually accepted democracy. A weariness of fighting may come with a desire to create something more democratic.

            It used to be the case that cultures could isolate themselves, but in the age of global travel and the internet this is no longer possible.

            Cultural contact eventually did for communism, and the means through which to achieve this, such as the internet, are even more developed now.

            I suppose the priority has to be that whatever arises from the void is committed to long term peace. It could even be some kind of traditional Islamic polity if that’s what the people in the ME want, so long as it is not violent or expansionist.

            And before you sneer, a country like UAE manages to have a traditional Islamic monarchy with a relative high degree of pluralism and stability. It might be the model.

          • Anton

            Or Jordan. But places like that seem to be getting fewer nowadays.

            I disagree that cultural contact did for communism. The inefficiency of the communist planned economy in the face of a resolute leader of the West (Reagan) and a fall in the price of oil in the later 1980s (Saudis, probably in conjunction with Reagan) did for communism in Russia once Eastern Europe became restive. In China communism is simply withering while paying lip service.

          • johnb1945

            Yes, but if there has been no contact between those from communist countries and the west communism could have staggered on for some time longer.

            North Korea has been in an apocalyptic state of collapse for years, but communism still clings on because of its ruthlessly self-enforced isolation.

            All those East Germans, Poles and Hungarians travelling over the border and realising they could have a house, a fridge, a car which worked, that they could say what they wanted and even go to a church on a Sunday made communism unsustainable.

          • Anton

            It was the desire for greater political freedom, certainly, but slaves and serfs had longed for that for centuries in various places and got nowhere. I credit the factors which I mentioned just above, plus John Paul II backing Solidarity.

          • johnb1945

            Yes, but slaves and serfs didn’t have a viable alternative model for society right next door to them. They had to build the modern world.

            It was a process of both, one led to the other.

          • Anton

            Desire for freedom or material goods makes no difference unless you organise and your opponents fail to. That is what happened. Solidarity organised and Russia didn’t have the strength ro repeat what it did in Hungary in the 1950s and Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. The 1950s Hungarians and the 1960s Czechs wanted Western freedoms and lifestyles just as much as their children and grandchildren did in the era that the Iron Curtain came down.

      • Ivan M

        Assad is an Alawite. The satin attack is credibly linked to the opposition. Search under Seymour Hersh + sarin. Technical aspects are discussed in an another place search using Postal + sarin + MIT. As for who started it and the conditions under which Assad operated you can start with Jeremy Salt + Syria.

  • this is not a physical war, but a spiritual and ideological one

    No, it is a demographic war, and Islam is winning by a mile. Your ‘Christian hope’ about good conquering evil will count for nothing when Europe becomes Muslim, and Islam assumes the custodianship ‘of what is right true and proper.’ That is the fate to which your pious hopes are condemning future generations; you surely cannot be unaware of the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.

    this form of Islam provides a dangerous and uncompromising challenge that deliberately aims to eradicate those other gods

    It is not a form of Islam, it is plain ordinary Islam, straight out of the Qur’an. Yes, it is dangerous and uncompromising, and politicians who had the best interests of Europeans and Christianity in mind would under no circumstances have allowed Islam to infect Europe.

    • Anton

      You are correct.

    • David

      You are right.

    • Orwell Ian

      They can hardly fail to lose a demographic war while most European Governments continue to let in hundreds of thousands of migrants from every corner of the Muslim world. Soon we will be talking millions. When Turkey is admitted the enlarged EU will have an even more porous land border directly with Syria, Iraq and Iran.

      • The Explorer

        And another eighty million Muslims.

      • @ Orwell Ian—European governments have seen the writing on the wall: the increasing popularity of far Right or nationalist parties, call them what you will. In the time they have left before they are thrown out of power, Europe’s ruling classes are inflicting as much damage as possible, in the hope that it will be irreversible. Cameron & Co destabilized Libya to increase the flow of migrants via Africa and the Mad Mutti is doing her bit for Germany.

    • johnb1945

      In countries which have endured Islamist rule such as Syria or Iran people leave Islam in their droves.

      The internet and external contact increases this.
      Among our own Muslims it teeters on the brink. We don’t understand that across this country right now a huge cultural turning point is being reached – one which splits families. I only know because I have seen it with my own eyes.

      Islam could literally die within a generation.

      People go through the motions in that religion. Remove the taboos about leaving and puncture a dam.

      • The Explorer

        Great last sentence. Exactly why the taboos are in place.

        • johnb1945

          Muslims, are fully aware of its incompatibilities with a plural, secular society.

          Its tremendously painful to be steeped in the tradition then be faced with a fork in the road, however.

          It’s tremendously painful to be faced with the fruits of literalist Islam and be somehow blamed for it.

          All the Muslims I know, and I know quite a few, don’t want ISIS or even Saudi Arabia to be associated with their religion. They are embarrassed and uncomfortable with the violent exhortations of the Islamic scriptures and fatwas. At the same time, ditching a deeply ingrained tradition is ditching an actual part of yourself.

          It isn’t easy.

          We need to recognise that.

          • Anton

            Agreed. The trouble is the verses in the Quran calling for jihad – associated with the word qatala meaning violence with intent to kill. You can’t repudiate those and be a Muslim.

          • johnb1945

            It will require a very philosophical re-evaluation of almost all Islam’s precepts. The religion and its foundational texts strike me as so codified that it is very difficult to re-interpret them and still be coherently Islamic, which is what happened in the Christian reformation.

            My personal idea is that there is a dualism in Islam between Meccan Islam and Medina Islam. Meccan Islam is peaceful but has supposedly been abrogated by the violent Medina Islam.

            There is a common philosophy in religions, including Islam to some degree, that God reveals himself as required and in a way comprehensible to different people.

            It may be possible to argue that Muhammed’s intention was to create the Meccan religion, but finding this impossible, he created the Medina version. The Medina version can then be contextualised as temporally necessary, but not eternal.

            Most Muslims are, in practice, Meccan Muslims anyway.

            If Islam cannot be reformed into something peaceful I think its days as a major religion are numbered.

          • Anton

            The notion of interpretation enters only when verses are hard to understand, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Verses in the Quran from Muhammad’s later years in Medina command Muslims to “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them; seize them, beleaguer them, lie in wait for them in every strategy” (Q9:5), “Fight… until there is no more resistance… and the only faith is in Allah” (Q8:39), “fight the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness” (Q9:123), and “fight those who do not believe in Allah… until they pay tribute… and feel themselves subdued” (Q9:29). The word ‘fight’ is based on the Arabic root qatala, meaning making war on, with intent to kill. The definitive interpretation for Muslims of these verses is that of Muhammad, who lived out these words as a man of war; see Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, the early Islamic biography of Muhammad which is genereally accepted by Muslims.

            There are also verses calling for peace in the Quran.
            These came to Muhammad earlier, when he was living in Mecca. (The Quran is not collected in chronological order.) Muslims regard the verses that came to Muhammad later as negating the earlier ones (the doctrine of ‘abrogation’, or naskh in Arabic). There is no disagreement among Muslims about this. So the Medina philosophy takes priority.

          • johnb1945

            Yes, I am well aware of the doctrine of abrogation. Muslims would have to re-evaluate this to make my idea work. My idea is only my idea, and is worthless, really, pure speculation on an approach. This has to come from within Islam.

            It’s not a religion to my mind which is high on philosophical nuance, whatever they do will undoubtedly prove difficult.

            If Islam cannot reform it won’t be here in 2 generations.

          • Anton

            But you cannot rewrite the Quran.

            By what means do you think Islam will cease to exist if it does not change?

          • johnb1945

            By Muslims becoming disenchanted with the religion.

            Muslims are not blind to the constraints placed on them by such a rite heavy religion, they are not blind to constraints on women, they are not blind to violent extremism.

            As more Muslims become literate, more read the Qur’an and realise its inconsistencies and fruitless ideas.

            Christianity has concepts, virgin births, sons of God etc. which people struggle with but underneath there is a deep and radical philosophy about the human condition and its relationship to a loving God. Islam does not even have those redeeming features.

            What we see now is a death throe. The Islamic world has been in decline for 5 centuries, and it is now becoming clear that being more literally Islamic will not reverse this. The radicals are trying to make its eschatology true.

            Causing an apocalypse is the only thing now which can redeem Islam and proclaim it as the truth.

            We have to stop that happening.

          • Anton

            It is 2/3 as old as Christianity and has proved its longevity. It is now locked into a titanic struggle in its heartlands with secularism, fostered by (above all) urbanisation, which promotes anonymity and dissolves the clan ties upon which traditional Islamic society is based. David Goldman’s book “How civilizations die and why Islam is dying too)” is good on this subject. But if Islam is facing problems in the Middle East (and the birth rate in Iran is well below par) then it is flourishing in Europe.

          • johnb1945

            Although they have promised to exploit it, one of the most crushing things for ISIS was to see floods of refugees heading for European lands of Mushrik and Kuffr. They didn’t even stop in Turkey, they went the whole infidel hog.

            Migrants in Germany are converting to Christianity.

            It’s a slow process but it is happening.

          • Anton

            Can you provide evidence that the flood of refugees was “crushing” to ISIS? Or that more than a small minority of Muslim immigrants to Western Europe convert to Christianity? The latter would delight me but evidence of a mass movement is needed for it to make any difference to the present catastrophic demographics.

          • johnb1945

            Yes. You can read about the huge volume of tweets posted by ISIS decrying the exodus, declaring that good Muslims should join them in their caliphate. You can see photos of billboards they placed around Raqqa and other urban areas stating that good Muslims stayed in the Caliphate and did not leave for lands of disbelief.

            There are no stats I know of about conversion of migrants, although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence available on the internet especially from Germany, where churches have seen their pews filled almost exclusively with migrant converts. There is speculation that some of this is to aid asylum applications although much of it seems genuine. These are people who have lived under some of the most repressive Islamist regimes on earth.

            FYI in a bizarre way I do think Islam is an agent of God. It may not be obvious, but Muslims are deep believers in God and when the vision of Islam fails, Christianity can step in. Nobody ever claimed God works in immediately obvious ways.

          • Anton

            I agree but for an opposite reason: I think that Islam is God (Jehovah)’s chosen minister of judgement on secular culture. Now, secular lands don’t have a national covenant with God that they are violating, so what sins are so heinous that God won’t tolerate them on the large scale? Look at the stats for single-parent families, births outside marriage, divorces, abortions: all ran at a few percent for centuries until the 1960s since when they have rocketed by a factor of 10. Just as Islam began to rise in Europe. I don’t think it’s coincidence.

          • johnb1945

            I see why you think that and you’re not the only person who does, but I don’t think that’s true. That is assigning radical Islam a legitimate status as an agent of God, when it is an anti-God.

            Islam ravaged Europe for centuries at a time when Europe was incredibly devout. This has been going on for centuries.

            The secular freedoms we now enjoy are a product of Christianity.
            Secularism and freedom of conscience pave the way for a greater understanding of God.

            I could accept that if we entirely deny God we could be weakened or challenged by various anti-Gods, of which radical Islam is only one, but I cannot accept these would be inflicted on us with any kind of divine blessing – more just an inevitable product of sin.

            And we don’t deny God. Not yet, and not despite the huge efforts of people such as Richard Dawkins.

            Our society is still the greatest agent of good on the planet. We are still blessed and radical Islam ,and maybe even Islam itself will die.

          • Anton

            “I don’t think that’s true. That is assigning radical Islam a legitimate status as an agent of God, when it is an anti-God.”

            God used the pagan Babylonians to enact judgement on the Israelites. He called Nebuchadnezzar “my servant” at a time before N’s conversion. You do’t need to know God to be part of his plan. So this argument against Islam being a vehicle of divine judgement upon secularism doesn’t hold.

            “Islam ravaged Europe for centuries at a time when Europe was incredibly devout.”

            I’d say that Europe at that time was a nominal Christian culture in which everybody believed the truth of the Bible story but not necessarily many people lived it. Even Satan believes the scriptures.

          • johnb1945

            Were we being judged in 1939?

          • Anton

            Hitler was.

          • johnb1945

            Were Europe’s Jews also being judged? God does not instigate something like the Holocaust. God gives us free will. People do.

          • Anton

            The Jews have a covenant with God and the relations between the two need to be looked at in that light, which is different from God’s dealings with gentile nations. Note that the Holocaust was terrible but led to the refoundation of the State of Israel, and that the Jews have rejected God’s son but God still keeps his promises, in this case the second return prophesied by Isaiah 11:11-12 and a return in unbelief followed by a spiritual cleansing (Ezekiel 36:24-26). As for Britain, God said that those who bless the Jews would be blessed but those who curse them would be cursed (Genesis 12), and we won World War 1 soon after making the Balfour Declaration and had a narrow squeak in World War 2 soon after reneging on it by choking Jewish immigration to Palestine in the Jew’s hour of need.

          • johnb1945

            The Anglo Saxons have been the most blessed people on earth for about 500 years. We defined the modern world.

            I don’t believe God has plans for people which involve their destruction. I think we have free will and evil comes from sin.

            Radical Islam is a freely created evil not something that operates with God’s blessing.

          • johnb1945

            By the way, at least as I understand it the doctrine of Naskh is one aspect of Islam that is not wholly revealed, but was largely decided by later scholars and convention on the basis of a single verse in the Qur’an.

            If you could undo Naskh you could potentially reform the religion back to its more peacable Meccan roots.

          • Anton

            There are contradictions in the Quran. The problem for Muslims is to reconcile that with the claim that it is the word of an omniscient deity. Some people think that Naskh doesn’t succeed in doing that, but Muslims have clung to it – rather than apostatise – for more than 1000 years, so why might they give up now?

          • johnb1945

            Naskh is an obvious contrivance, and one thing a perfect revelation cannot be is contrived. The revelation in the Qur’an cannot be perfect. Muslims do know this, but the compulsion not to challenge the Qur’an is deeply engrained.

            It’s about opportunity IMO.

            Most Muslims living even 50 or 60 years ago lived in the 3rd world and had no opportunity to learn about other cultures and faiths, other than from the Qur’an, their parents or an imam who would have told them questioning the Qur’an resulted in hell fire and apostasising would have resulted in ostracism or even death.

            Now they learn to read, have the internet and plane tickets.

            It is no coincidence that radicalism is most concentrated in areas where Muslims are the most culturally isolated, and conversely in areas where contact is highest and it is reactionary.

          • Anton

            I agree that Islam is facing an existential battle with secularism in its heartlands – see another comment of mine on this thread re David Goldman’s book. But it’s thriving in Europe despite the freedoms and literate culture there; how do you explain that?

          • johnb1945

            I married a Muslim (now a kind of syncretic agnostic christo-muslim, something I think we’ll see more of and somewhat common among her friends). So I have some insight into this from her and all her friends. Her family remain very conservative…. her generation are different.

            I would not say Islam is thriving in this country from what I have seen.

            It would be realistic to say that Islam exists at a turning point in this country.

            Conservative parents are giving way to children who wish to break free, but the community retains strong bonds of honour which are difficult for us to understand, and which can have severe impacts on children.

            Muslims are also a recent migrant group and have faced racism. Islam has become tied into identity – hence “Islamophobia” is seen as a form of racism rather than simple criticism of a religion. That creates a bond to the religion. It’s this identity politicising which radical Islam develops to the nth degree with its powerful grievance narrative.

            In a country like France, where Islam openly clashes with state secularism and discrimination has been far more overt than here, this is an even greater problem.

            My wife would tell you that the communities in this country have also been subject to Arabisation. In the 80s and 90s if you needed a mosque or books or a salary for the imam then you could guarantee funding by getting wealthy gulf Arabs involved, but it would always be on condition that stricter forms of Islam were adopted by the beneficiaries.

            So it’s not correct to say it is thriving, it is in a period of great transition and change.

          • Anton

            Every community has its inner tensions, which you will know more about than most, but if you look at the numbers of self-described Muslims by year in Britain it is undeniably thriving. Also, the previous generation of Muslims did not perpetrate terrorist atrocities in their host country. The new generation does.

      • @ johnb1945—It’s worth bearing in mind that Islam is a very attractive religion for men. They have absolute authority over women; they have the right to punish women by hitting them; as well as their four wives, they are allowed an unlimited number of sex slaves; their women must always submit to sex; they receive a larger share of any bequest; their word counts for more than a woman’s; and, if they are so inclined, they can fight and kill with Allah’s blessing. That’s a lot to give up.

    • The Explorer

      Christianity is not uniform. Within Christianity there are Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. All three groups contain serious believers who have genuine differences of interpretation. There are also cultural Christians, who get drunk freely, fornicate freely, and are constrained not by an inner morality but by whatever social norms prevail. They could not tell you a single Christian doctrine, but are not atheists because they think there is something out there, whatever it might be. To Muslims, there are four groups of Christians, and it is the fourth group that awakens Muslim contempt for Christianity. (They are also horrified by the polytheism of
      the serious Christians, but it is horror, not contempt.)

      Islam, likewise, is not uniform. Apart from the Sunni/Shia split, there are the different schools of Islamic law. Then there are the cultural Muslims, who try to follow the rules but have pretty vague notions about what their sacred book actually says. These are the ones the West likes to regard as the real Muslims, because they are not keen to blow themselves up and are not seen as an obvious theat.

      Forgive the long preamble to get to the point. Each side sees the other’s fakes and peripherals as the genuine article.

      • @ The Explorer—The worst sin in Islam is polytheism or shirk; ‘Ascribing associates to Allah Most High’ tops the list of enormities. All Christians—Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, cultural, what have you—are guilty of shirk and, in the eyes of Islam, are damned because they choose to follow a religion that is a perversion.

        The cultural Muslims, the moderates, are the real threat to the West because, rather than blowing themselves up, they’re knuckling down and producing lots of tiny Muslim tots.

  • carl jacobs

    Parliament didn’t vote to fight ISIS. It voted to bomb ISIS. There is a staggering difference between those two concepts. Fighting would require a substantial increase in both commitment and risk. Bombing is the preferred bloodless risk-free and relatively cheap Western way of war. Easy to get out. No casualties.

    If you want to fight ISIS, you have to send men to put a boot on its face. You don’t need to convert them. You need to discredit them. You need to demonstrate through their defeat that they are not the instrument of Allah. You can’t do that from an airplane.

    • IanCad

      Spot on! And, the same position held by most of the Tory “Rebels” who voted against air strikes.

    • Dreadnaught

      Parliament didn’t vote to fight ISIS. It voted to bomb ISIS.

      We were already fighting ISIS in Iraq; the vote was to expand the sorties to include bombing targets in Syria – not in the least staggering. We are fighting IS and have been for a long time at home having foiled seven plots focusing on UK civilians this year alone.

      • carl jacobs

        Foiling ISIS plots in the UK will no more defeat ISIS than shooting down Heinkel bombers over London would have defeated Hitler. You have to carry the war to the enemy and take away his sovereignty.

        • Dreadnaught

          This is such a simplistic understanding of the meaning to fight. Laying siege to a strong hold for months on end is a tactic in fighting a war. Loading a trebuchet with diseased bodies and bodies and fling them over the ramparts is a tactic of biological warfare. You won’t find any of this in your John Wayne book of the art of war… but its part and parcel fighting.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not simplistic. It’s realistic.

            I don’t know what a “John Wayne book of the art of war” is, but I do have a reasonably good understanding of the use and limitations of air power. Precision strike weapons from a fighter are useful in conjunction with a ground force to create opportunities for that ground force to maneuver and defeat the enemy. That takes good ground-air coordination. If you want to seriously hurt infantry on the ground from the air you need area effect weapons – like those B52s dropping 120 2000 lb bombs each around Khe Sanh. Or Cluster bombs.

            And you also need the infantry concentrated into a dense pack to make it vulnerable. Infantry concentrates to fight. You need someone on the ground to make them concentrate. Otherwise, they will disperse. And you will end up capping four guys in a Toyata pickup with a JDAM. That’s a wasted sortie. Waste of munitions. Waste of money. Waste of time. Wrong weapon. Wrong target.

            What laying a seige has to do with anything, I haven’t quite figured out. I will however state the obvious point that a seige typically required a BF land force to isolate the enemy. You can’t use seige engines unless you protect them. But this campaign against ISIS isn’t remotely similar to a seige. It’s more like random harassment fire.

    • Anton

      You can, but I wouldn’t advocate nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in present circumstances.

    • johnb1945

      Very well, but putting Western Boots on the ground partially fulfils the ISIS eschatology.
      The conflict between ISIS and opposing ground troops will also result in civilian casualties.

      This is why we wish to use proxies.

      We must also address the most immediate source of Syrian Sunni Militancy, which is the Shia Assad’s scorched earth policy and use of barrel bombs and Sarin on his mainly Sunni populace.

      This is harder. We missed an opportunity in 2013 and now he is backed by Russia, so we must try to work with them to broker a cease fire and staged hand over. This does not seem very easy to me.

    • Dreadnaught

      You kicked off with a statement that said that bombing ISIS
      was different, even staggeringly different from fighting ISIS and pointing out
      that the debate was not about fighting but bombing. I didn’t see that you may have been referring a comment from a contributor unfamiliar with basic English language. You shouldn’t really be so crass to assume people in the UK know nothing of being on the receiving end of a bombing campaign enough to know the difference between that and fighting back by turning out munitions to enable retaliatory bombing is not part of the wider ‘fight’ or what their Parliament is debating at the moment. In fact I took it as an insult aimed at my Country and its military expertise and civilian experience of war. It seemed such a dumb arsed statement to make; not what one would expect from a seasoned warrior such as yourself. I don’t understand what your beef is. You compounded the insult by dismissing the foiled murder plots as though that is no not worth the recognition of ‘fighting’ ISIS on the Home Front.

      If you want to fight ISIS, you have to send men to put a boot on its face… you said. How very John Wayne is that I say. Its more like a statement that I would excuse if made by someone who’s understanding of conflict came from watching re-runs of ‘The Green Beret’ hence the J Wayne reference that I cheekily teamed with Sun Tzu ‘The Art of War’. You didn’t actually go looking for the book did you? And yes, I am being sarcastic.

      I took you to be inferring that to ‘fight’ ISIS you had to engage in a ground war. That bombing was a cheaper and safer option clean hands option; Damn Your nerve you Bounder. The reference to siege engines was mean to convey the point that in using them you were ‘fighting’ an enemy just as much as the blokes standing toe to toe slashing at each other with sword, battle axe or hammer.

      I referred to the past 14 months British engagement in Iraq which according to your reasoning is not fighting ISIS. We have Special Forces and ‘advisors; there; I suppose you regard them as not fighting IS too. The future fighting mass of men on the ground has to come from the Arabs. Work is being done there and that is part of the ‘fight’.

      ISIS declared war on the West. You’ve probably just had an experience of it
      in San Bernardino that was not foiled – they we definitely a sleeper cell. No
      doubt we will be hit with another Paris as well as mowing down tourists on
      sun-lounders in Tunisia. Any action,
      military, economic, subversive or disabling in any quarter, is ‘fighting’ the
      enemy. Unfortunately changing the Islamist’s script is best left to the
      strength and collective efforts of religionists, but I’m not going to hold my
      breath as it is this lot that insists on defending the myth of Islam as a
      religion of peace.

      • carl jacobs

        You kicked off with a statement that said that bombing ISISwas different, even staggeringly different from fighting ISIS …

        That’s because they’re different, Dreadnaught. The US bombed Libya in 1986. It did not fight Libya in 1986. A fight requires a coherent strategy to achieve victory by force arms over an enemy. Bombing just means you are blowing up targets from the air. If you would like to understand the difference, then look up Lt General Michael Short and his description of the air campaign in Kosovo as the “random bombing of military targets.”

        In fact I took it as an insult aimed at my Country and its military expertise and civilian experience of war.

        Then let me apologize for that. It was not my intent to insult the UK or anyone else for that matter, not least of all because the principle offender in this matter is the United States. But let’s not kid ourselves, shall we? The only reason this got approved was because only pilots would be exposed to (very low) risk. Do you think the PM could have gotten approval to send soldiers to fight ISIS? Of course not. And why is that? For exactly the reasons I said. And, no, Congress, wouldn’t approve ground forces either. And .. for exactly the same reasons.

        You compounded the insult by dismissing the foiled murder plots as though that is no not worth the recognition of ‘fighting’ ISIS on the Home Front.

        I did no such thing. I stated another obvious truth. You don’t fight ISIS in Syria by foiling terrorist plots in London. This thread is about Syria. This vote is about Syria.

        How very John Wayne is that I say.

        Well then, you don’t say much of importance. This is exactly the same point I made a few threads back. It’s as important how we defeat ISIS as that we defeat ISIS. No one is doing the hard work of figuring out how to answer the important question. “How do we defeat a force of Islamic Jihadists who are motivated by their religion?” No one wants to even touch that question. But unless we want to fight a war of annihilation (which the ICC wouldn’t like very much) we will fail without an adequate answer to that question. We aren’t fighting the damn Germans. Don’t expect them to react like the Germans.

        I took you to be inferring that to ‘fight’ ISIS you had to engage in a ground war.

        Yes. That is correct. If you want to achieve anything substantial in Syria against ISIS, you must have a competent ground force in theater for the air campaign to support. If you had such a ground force, then I wouldn’t have posted. But to bomb in the absence of such a force is simply futile. It is an exercise in “bombing to give the appearance of effective action.” The problem is that it isn’t effective. It’s simply politically doable. If you don’t have a competent ground force in theater, then you better find one. Otherwise, stay the hell out. It is better to not fight at all than to fight ineffectively.

        Bombing is not an effective strategy by itself. The military results will be negligible unless there is a competent ground force ready and able to take advantage. That is an undeniable fact. Where is the competent ground force? Is it there? So then what are we doing? Are we bombing just to “strike back?”

        The future fighting mass of men on the ground has to come from the Arabs.

        I don’t trust proxy wars supplemented by SpecOps and supported by Air Power. Sure it’s relatively cheap and clean. It’s also highly risky. If those proxy troops fail, it’s our defeat in the eyes of the enemy. I also don’t trust that the Muslim groups we support will be substantially different from ISIS. ISIS is not some whacked-out group at the fringe of Islam. This is what Islam is really like. You can look for Ground troops from the Arab world, but I don’t see where they are coming from, and I don’t see how they will necessarily represent a substantial improvement.

        It’s not enough to fight. You have to fight well. You have to fight intelligently.

        As for San Bernardino, I used to live in that city. The shooting took place about 2000 feet from where I used to work.

        • Dreadnaught

          The bottom line is that ISIS wants a world war based on the war and sharia demanded in the Islamic texts. The fact that its also a convenient for some men to assume great wealth and power in the process seems to pass the minds of brainwashed or fearful Muslims.
          ISIS has declared war on us and AQ and all the other variations now or yet to emerge are always in waiting to fill any gaps of opportunity, anywhere in the world. One thing is certain, innocents will still be killed no matter how many plots are foiled – they only have to succeed once to go on the scoreboard.
          Many people here accept that thing will get worse whether we take direct action or not and that state of affairs may last a lifetime.
          No doubt in my mind that SanB was a terror cell in waiting who did to wait for a specific command from anyone to murder innocent people. They were armed and ready and would have gone off sooner or later; and they are one of many.
          I advocate the Death Penalty for terrorists and enablers – we won’t get it. At least you guys have that going for you in some States – hang on to it, and Hang the terrorists.
          Sympathy for all the poor people chosen to be the victims of these reptiles.

          • bluedog

            ”I advocate the Death Penalty for terrorists and enablers – we won’t get it.” And rightly so. Given the nature of IS and any other jihadis on a killing spree the only sane option is to cut them down where they stand. Getting a conviction in a court in the face of Islamic terrorism puts large numbers of people at mortal risk.

            The politicians included.

  • Dreadnaught

    Parliament didn’t vote to fight ISIS. It voted to bomb ISIS.

    We were already fighting ISIS in Iraq the vote was to expand the sorties to include targets in Syria – not in the least staggering.

  • Anna

    Hilary Benn’s speech was certainly moving, characterised by moral authority, decency and respect; he obviously supports bombing for the right reasons. That said, I doubt that the outcome of the airstrikes in Syria will be significantly different to previous interventions in the ME.

    At best, these airstrikes will cause some confusion on the ground and temporarily weaken the enemy, but not defeat their sense of purpose. The inability to conclude a war properly will do nothing for the West’s standing in the world; rather it will boost the narrative of Jihadi recruiters that victory will soon be theirs, with a bit more effort.

    At worst, this could be the beginning of WW3, as the pope has suggested. The achievements and the relative stability of the past sixty years are being so lightly bartered away by these self-serving politicians.

    So, despite Hillary Benn’s speech filled with ‘honesty and passion’, I suspect his father would have taken a different view:

    • Inspector General

      Anna – Being blown into individual body pieces is a very effective means of ‘defeating their sense of purpose’. Whether it happens to the rogues directly, or they witness a friend sailing through the air in bits in all directions. A son of theirs would be even better. As for Jihadi recruitment, them that want to join up have already joined, or will join up as soon as they are able to grow a half decent beard. In the case of recruiting on the ground, so to speak, the unfortunates ISIS comes across don’t have much of a say in the matter as it stands. Join them or die, and die terribly, apparently.

      Not for the faint of heart all this killing business, especially not for ladies like yourself, what! But it must be done, efficiently and ruthlessly. Sure you’ll agree on reflection…

      • Anna

        So why haven’t they surrendered yet? There was plenty of killing going on since 9/11.

        • Inspector General

          That’s one of their problems. You see, don’t think they are the surrendering type…

          • Anna

            Exactly. I doubt there are enough bombs to ‘blow up’ the 250 million potential Jihadists scattered across the world who won’t meekly surrender.

          • Inspector General

            Where there’s a will, there’s a way, you know…

          • Anna

            And who has the will?
            Surely not the same puppets who won’t speak a word against their Saudi friends who fund the terrorists.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t think the Saudis mind. After all, they are rather concerned the Islamic revolution comes calling their way…

          • Anna

            I think you have just hit the nail on the head. I don’t doubt that the West has the capability, nor do I think that retaliation is wrong in this case.

            However, after the US government gave billions of dollars of their taxpayer’s money as military aid to Pakistan – whose intelligence agency ISI was known to have links with both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda – I have wondered whether the real aim was to win the war on terror or to fuel more conflict in the region for the benefit of their arms industry.

            The more important steps – to stop Muslim immigration, close down mosques and secure borders – are still being endlessly debated. If only the advice of the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul that “you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home” had been taken seriously.

          • Inspector General

            Why the concern, by the way? If you came across these fellows in their element, they’d rape you, making your husband watch before they killed him. Take your daughters as wives, and use your sons as target practice. They’ll be no telling them to do otherwise…

            Women, eh!

          • Anna

            No special concern. I just think that this intervention is unlikely to succeed.

          • Inspector General

            Let’s at least give it a try then…

          • Anton

            Let’s be accurate; CND regularly informed us that there were enough bombs to blow up the world 30 times over, and I don’t note that they achieved their ends.

          • Anna

            My point is that the Jihadis are scattered all over the world including several millions in Europe. You won’t get them all unless you literally blow the world up.

            The Jihadis killed in Syria will be easily replaced.

      • CliveM

        Generally agreed.

        What people forget it is doing nothing simply leaves them to massacre unmolested, settle their Caliphate, legitimise their rule and plan the next stage in peace.

        If it is then said they can’t be left alone what next. In the current political climate boots on the ground is unachievable, so bombing them at least gives the disperate forces on the ground some support and frankly disrupts their activities. It might not stop them, but does slow them down and stops their activities being cost free.

        And if bombing is to be allowed, why not us?

        • Anna

          While doing nothing is no longer an option, it is important to do the right things.

          Destroying their oil supply lines will cripple ISIS temporarily – not a bad thing. But it is necessary to ask yourself, will bombing Syria really destroy ISIS, or will they slither away into new hideouts and regroup, as they have in Afghanistan and Iraq? There is no indication that their financial backers in the Gulf have given up supporting them. And who will occupy the power vacuum in Syria once bombing is over? Remember Libya.

          Without a clear post-war political and reconstruction strategy, this whole adventure is doomed.

          • CliveM

            Leaving them alone will enable them to organise and plan. Also to legitimise their State. Having them creep off and needing to reorganise is still better then that. This is a battle that will need to be fought for years, possibly decades.

          • Merchantman

            Why does every waverer always drone on about having every single brick in place before battle commences? I don’t recall a master plan for the defeat and after care service of Herr Hitler’s Germany in September 1939. To begin with we were dropping leaflets. It wasn’t until Churchill stepped up and after another 4 years war and many Allied conferences latter that a comprehensive plan for the Nazi defeat and taming of the beast was thought through.
            From 1942-1944 we Bombed the heck out of them, Armies in the field and a friendly BBC to propagandize them.
            I know it all went pear shaped in Iraq but it need n’t have.

          • CliveM

            We are taught to believe everything has an instant solution, unfortunately the world is more complicated then that.

  • johnb1945

    ISIS should correctly be known as the Salafi state.

    Saudi should be known as the Salafi Kingdom.

  • jsampson45

    I was watching a documentary on giant hornets. One sting can kill a man. I suspect that bombing Syria is equivalent to poking a nest of these creatures with a stick.

    • Dreadnaught

      I could tell you where you need to poke your stick. Bombing ISIS in Syria is not the same as bombing Syria.No wonder the Yanks have trouble understanding the Brits.

      • jsampson45

        From the cockpit of a bomber much the same thing, at least in effect, I would have thought.

        • RonW

          Surely you didn’t mean that? Positioning systems and a defined target will result in mainly enemy combatants being taken out, as opposed to your apparent supposition that bombing is somehow completely random.

          Anyhow speak softly and carry both a big stick and IS repellent. Perhaps one might dust the whole area with powderised ham? Sounds good, but they’d probably just say a few magic words to annul the satanic influence of pork…

  • Inspector General

    Gentlemen – we are not at war with a rogue state. Syria does no longer exists as such to be one. We are not at war with an ambitious dictator. No one runs what is left there. We are, however, at war with an evil faith, and evil followers, as our forefathers were in the past. The Tenth Crusade, no less, is now under way…

    To borrow from Betjamen…
    ———————————————
    “Come, friendly bombs and rain down on the Saracen. Swarm over the land and give him death”
    ———————————————
    And when the enemy is defeated, we must re-establish crusader bases. The fortresses of old. For to totally eradicate Islam from the area would make even the fiercest warrior baulk at the terrors required to do that. But we can watch him. The Arab. Watch him closely, and keep him in line. At our feet, no longer at our throat.

    • IanCad

      There are a lot of Saracens in Slough.

    • Dreadnaught

      Time for your medication Inspector?

      • Inspector General

        Hardly, Dredders. Western military bases throughout the Middle East wherever the West has needed to smash the locals up. After all, we didn’t leave Germany in 1945 to itself, and these rogues are worse than the NAZIs.

        No one else has thought about the time after, save the Inspector…

        • Dreadnaught

          The West has to start major efforts to turn its resident Muslims overtly in the direction of adopting Western values or leave. We are being too nice to the ‘moderate’ Muslims that can become ‘radicalised’ in an instant, by a single news story of a perceived attack on their ‘brothers’ anywhere that can be linked with the ‘West’ or Western by association with lies or innuendo.

          • Anton

            I’d love to agree with you, but the trouble is that “Western values” have gone to pot. If you were Muslim and you saw the mass drunkenness and promiscuity that goes on in our cities on Friday and Saturday nights, would you want your children to integrate?

          • Dreadnaught

            In a sense I agree but drunkenness and debauchery as been with us since for ever. Even the ‘upper classes’ in relatively recent times have behaved egregiously and then shuffled into Church or confessional.
            We value Freedom and a Health service available to all. We can vote out MPs. We can have religion or none without discrimination. We have a Judiciary independent of the Executive. We have a tradition of help the poor struggler. This is a good Country to live in from which we a free to leave or enter and has given much of the above by example even in colonial times.
            Yes we have a few undesireable warts, but they are treatable if the silent majority get activated. (Your) God Save the Queen. 🙂 It’s still Her Armed Forces after all.

          • Anton

            What we have that’s new is rampant family breakdown, and it is wrecking society.

          • Tutanekai

            What we have now is mass media that shows us everything that’s wrong with our society in a way that couldn’t have happened in our grandparents’ time. We also have the phenomenon of “dumbing down” that became inevitable the moment the “lower orders” started to earn sufficient money to drive the economy via consumption.

            In former times there was just as many problems as there are now, but they weren’t talked about as much. They certainly weren’t broadcast into every home on television every night. Money and power were concentrated in the upper classes, who also controlled the media (such as it was in those days), which virtually ignored the working class. There was just as much family breakdown, only most of it was contained within four walls because of the twin constraints of poverty and the stigma attached to divorce. Wives and children were beaten and raped and even killed by drunken fathers, and nobody talked about it, even though everyone knew.

            What you’re arguing for is a return to an earlier time when people, and particularly children, suffered just as much as they do now, but suffered in silence. It’s a typically English solution to a problem: sweep it under the carpet and it will disappear from view, won’t it? A problem hidden is a problem solved.

            Only it isn’t. A problem hidden is a problem that festers until it explodes. That’s where we are now. And once a problem has exploded, you can’t just sweep up the debris and pretend it never happened.

            It all comes down to money. Money is freedom, and the couples who in earlier times would have married young and been forced to stay together because of poverty and religious stigma now delay marriage and use their discretionary income to get drunk and “have a good time”. Earlier generations of young people, especially women, didn’t have the dosh to spend on dressing up and getting bladdered every weekend. Now they do, so that’s what they do. Once they’ve formed couples and then start to experience the problems that married life always brings, relative affluence makes it easier for them to separate.

            The situation we have now is a result of “brass in pocket”. And that’s a direct result of democracy. One person, one vote means that voters have to be seduced, and the best way of seducing them has always been to throw money at them. It might be money in the form of benefits, or money in the form of well-paid jobs. But it’s still money, and once the common man has money, the constraints that keep his bad behaviour walled up in his home are loosened and everything starts to spill out in public.

            If you want democracy, you have to accept the kind of society we live in now. The two go hand in hand. If you can’t accept that, by all means agitate for change. But do be careful, won’t you? Sedition and anti-democracy movements are going to be dealt with rather summarily in the current climate of fear and uncertainty engendered by the latest wave of terrorist attacks. In times of war known seditionists are always dealt with harshly. Of course you may welcome that as polish for your halo of Christian martyrdom, but don’t say you weren’t warned…

          • Anton

            “There was just as much family breakdown, only most of it was contained within four walls because of the twin constraints of poverty and the stigma attached to divorce.”

            You are failing to distinguish between happiness and stability. I question how happy most Muslim families are, but they are stable compared to the new Western model. In 2008 a senior family court judge, Mr Justice Coleridge, warned: “We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be… catastrophic… stable family life has been co-extensive… with a stable and balanced society. Families are the cells which make up the body of society… almost all of society’s social ills can be traced directly to the collapse of family life.” He spoke of a “ceaseless river of human distress” passing through his courtroom, and warned of dire effects on national life within 20 years. You provide no evidence for many of your I assertions, but there is plentiful evidence for his: The secular study Sex and Culture by JD Unwin published between the wars, which showed that every culture known to have moved from chaste to promiscuous fell soon thereafter.

            In suggesting that, in the past, most people were unhappy most of the time in relationships that they voluntarily chose you are making a very good case for man being fallen.

          • chiefofsinners

            …and also a very good case for the love of money being a root of all kinds of evil.

        • Dreadnaught

          We stayed on in Germany for twenty years and the Yanks are still there and in Japan and Korea. Being in it for the long haul is the way it has to be.

    • Mr Bulls

      Your suggestion is too far ahead of the curve for most to stomach or understand. They cannot understand Islam as they view it through the lenses of their post war western sensibilities (PC) and therefore get the diagnosis wrong.

  • David

    Bombing may check their operations for a while but it can’t defeat them.
    Cutting off their sources of funds seems a far better method of bringing them to their knees. If an army is needed to seize control of the area it should be formed from the tens of thousand of fit young Syrians who have walked into Europe. They should risk life and limb fighting for their people and country, not Brits, Americans or French.

    But ultimately, even if we gain the upper hand militarily and financially, we must recognise that this is an ideological struggle. So suppress it now and it will regrow somewhere, some time in the future. The ideology needs destroying – that’s the thing.

    • Dreadnaught

      What’s your plan then?

      • David

        I don’t have sufficient information to define a detailed plan, do you ?
        My list is an ideas list.
        Achieving the ideological war is the most challenging task, so a suitable practical, thinking group needs to be formed now. If we could outwit the evil Nazis, then we can do this too, with sufficient will.
        A major problem is the abysmal quality of western leadership.

  • chiefofsinners

    This bombing will only achieve one thing: it will strengthen Assad. By the time we have had a significant impact on ISIL, Assad and Putin will have pummelled the 70,000 ‘friendly’ fighters into dust. You don’t have to be Gary Kasparov to work out the end game.

    • Dreadnaught

      Assad is nothing more than a sock puppet of the real power brokers the Iranians. They know that if the Sunnis gain power they as Alawites and maybe Christians or secularists will be in danger in the future.

      • chiefofsinners

        Yes, true. Supporting Assad may well be the least bad option. I just wish our leaders would be honest about it.

        • CliveM

          However lets not kid ourselves, the Assads have massacred Christians in their time.

          • Anton

            Yes, but not for behaving as Christians should.

          • CliveM

            The massacres included a lot of innocent people.

          • Anton

            Massacres usually do. What would you do about Syria then?

          • CliveM

            If we were serious about doing ‘something’ about Syria, we’d be wasting our time. For me, with the political realities as they exist, this is simply about not letting IS sleep soundly at night. To make life difficult and to ensure they are unable to stabilise their Caliphate. Hopefully in the long term this will undermine them and their threat. If political realities change (unlikely in my view) we might become a bit more ambitious. I don’t think its advisable to do nothing.

          • Anton

            I don’t advocate doing nothing. But you can do a lot without resort to the military: diplomatic, financial, etc.

          • CliveM
          • Ivan M

            There are later articles by Raymond Ibrahim and others which show otherwise. One article dating from 2012, and on a neocon site does not show a trend.

          • Dreadnaught

            You mean, like the original Crusaders of course…

          • Anton

            As a response to several centuries of Islamic violence against Europe the Crusades were not more than a matching reply, but it was wrong of the Pope to preach it as a Holy War ie Christian jihad.

          • Dreadnaught

            Just yanking on you chain old lad 🙂

          • Anton

            Pull harder!

          • Ivan M

            If you mean of some Christians in Lebanon, during the Lebanese Civil War, they were fighting on a side opposed to Syria, and actually aligned to the Israelis, who as always use the sectarian divide in Lebanon for their own purposes. However the Christians have learned the bitter lessons on trusting the Israelis.

            https://youtu.be/pdZgkGI5h0A

    • Anton

      The “Free Syrian Army” preferred by Obama has collaborated with al-Qaeda in the past and terrorised Christians in Syria.

  • “It is so rooted in our cultural DNA that when we see grave injustice in the world, especially when it threatens our way of life, we cannot resist the urge to act.” Dangerous humbug. If we were in the least concerned about injustice, we wouldn’t be selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

    • Dreadnaught

      we wouldn’t be selling arms to Saudi Arabia. But Russia or China most definitely would because it is a lever of influence or at least a door to dialogue.

  • John Main

    If you honestly want to fight ISIS go and fight them. If you
    can’t stand by while innocent women and children are butchered, then go and
    fight ISIS. If you passionately believe that Britain has always been on the
    side of morality and law, then go and fight ISIS. If you have concluded that
    ISIS is a new fascist evil that must be confronted and expunged, then go and
    fight ISIS.

    I assume those sabre rattlers who are at liberty to post comments
    on this site are not currently fighting ISIS. Why not? I will excuse them on
    the grounds of age or infirmity, but they must send a young and fit close family
    member in their place, or be called out as hypocrites or worse.

    In case my point escapes these armchair warriors, I despise those
    who collude in sending honourable and
    brave military personnel in pursuit of sordid objectives that align in little
    or no way with our national interests. I hold in contempt those who wish to
    spend other people’s blood and other people’s treasure in order to purchase a
    feeling of righteousness for themselves.

    • Sam B

      I thought we were talking of air strikes… rather than boots on the ground

    • Anton

      I agree. The brave men in our armed forces take a pledge to defend Queen and country, not some cutthroat thousands of miles away whose interests are irrelevant to ours (or would be if we policed our borders properly).

    • Politically__Incorrect

      “purchase a feeling of righteousness ”
      Personally I feel frightened and sickened. Frightened that some innocent families in this country are soon to be weeping over the bodies of their loved ones because somebody has butchered them in the name of allah. Sickened because the likes of Corbyn and some of his cronies on the extreme left would rather turn a blind eye and do nothing about it so that could claim they stuck to their ideals. The political left in this country have probably more to dishonour our armed forces than anybody else

    • Dreadnaught

      Never mind sending British sons to die in exploding IEDs; round up all those fit young and healthy male Muslim ‘refugees’ and ‘moderate male Muslims currently languishing on benefits and suffering marginalisation and form them into a credible fighting force and an extension of the FSA.

      A country worth living in is a Country worth dying for. Only the locals can effectively put boots or sneakers on the ground.

      • David

        Indeed – absolutely !

      • Anton

        You want to arm and equip a Muslim army on British soil? Great idea…

    • Inspector General

      How dare you, sir!

      It is the greatest honour to serve in this country’s armed forces. The finest in the world, you’ll need to know. Every single one of our brave fellows would be appalled at you going around clutching white feathers on their behalf.

      If you can’t get behind our people then go off and make yourself useful doing something else. Like keeping out of the way, and keeping your philosophy of the meek and servile to yourself.

      {SNORT!}

      • John Main

        If white feathers are to be handed out to those who refuse
        to go and fight a proxy war in Syria, then I will be near the front of the
        queue of recipients, which is why I am so opposed to the sending of others to
        fight on such flimsy pretexts. ISIS is a danger to us in the UK only because we
        permit them to come here. Rather than admit that simple fact, the UK government
        and other EU governments are resorting to ever more convoluted distractions.

        If white feathers are to be handed out, some of the pro-war
        MPs need to get in line now. They thought they could consign unknown service
        personnel and their families to years of disruption, danger, demoralisation and
        possibly death, and then return to writing up their Xmas lists and looking
        forwards to a lengthy break. But these MPs are receiving threatening tweets and
        emails, so now some of them are demanding bodyguards and additional security.
        My message to them is to suck it up. If they are so convinced of the moral justification
        of their cause, they should be willing to share the pain.

        I don’t know if our military are the finest in the world,
        but the old days of the “lions led by donkeys” were supposed to be over and done
        with. I never saw that as a reflection on the lack of lions; I interpreted it
        to mean we were no longer going to stand by as a nation and let the donkeys run
        things.

        • Inspector General

          Not much of an amateur statesman, are you…

          Your solution is to stop ISIS coming here. That’s easy enough then, we just stop every man with a dark skin, with or without a beard at the ports and airports. Send them back to where they set off from. Everyone will accept that, because YOU have said that is the way it is going to be done.

          Meanwhile, ISIS, who are now left alone to get on with it, expand, and the armies of neighbouring countries either come in with them, or run screaming to the hills…

          Look, we are now stuck with a sizeable Islamic population whether you like it or not, and the younger impressionable of them are just a log in away from communion with their heroes. If we destroy ISIS physical presence, then we take away nearly all that is heroic in our young home grown Mohameds eyes. ISIS then becomes a failure, and said Mohameds can get on with their lives in this country. Genital mutilating their daughters, bring up their sons to consider the indigenous here as infidel dogs, and slapping their wives around. And then maybe the rest of us here get the chance not to be blown up, beheaded, shot or knifed by them.

          • John Main

            “If we destroy ISIS physical presence …”.
            Who exactly is this “we” of which you write? I thought I made it clear it wasn’t going to be me. Somehow, I don’t think it is going to be you either, although you are welcome to correct me on that.
            You prefer to nominate some other poor sod, who will spend the next however many years being shot at, risking a beheading if things go pear, and worrying always that if he gets carried away in the heat of battle, the system back home will accuse him of murder and the legal people will obligingly lock him up and throw away the key.
            This kind of brings me back to my original point. If ISIS is a threat, then the UK government needs to fight them here, not thousands of miles away. In conclusion, your failure to understand this is undoubtedly all my own fault. {SNORT – Oops, Sorreee}

          • Inspector General

            Your concern for the conscripts in the British Army would be touching – if we had any conscripts therein.

            Putting down the country’s enemies, at home or abroad, is what the people in the armed forces have signed up for. Really, it is no problem to them. It is the way they want it. They have trained for it, and are paid for it.

            By the way, would hate to keep you from any socialist meeting you are planning to attend tonight. Comrade.

          • CliveM

            It’s where Churchill went wrong, should have let Hitler invade first.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The thing that bothers me about this is the talk of regime re-engineering after ISIL have gone. Many politicians are still deluded that we can impose a Western-style democracy when the campaign is over. It won’t work, it never has worked in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel). Democracy is simply not in the Muslim mind-set. Most of them just want peace, even if that means peace under a dictator. Frankly, a dictator has a beter chance of giving them peace. Democracy requires tolerance; something Muslims don’t do too well. Democracy in the Middle East usually means one man – one bullet. Far better that we just dispose of our enemy and then hand the country back to its legitimate, albeit dubious, leader Assad. There is an unpleasant stink of colonialism about the idea of imposing regime and culture changes as we tried to do in Iraq.

    • IanCad

      Well put.
      Further, as democracy is a religion to so many in the west, not to be governed thus is blasphemy.

    • David

      Yes indeed !

    • Mike Stallard

      Hobbes for ever!

    • Inspector General

      There’s a certain delicious irony in what you say, PI. When the Europeans colonised Africa, they saved the indigenous from their petty dictators, the Tribal chiefs. To be replaced by benign (mostly) colonial administration. When the Europeans were told to go, they made a gift of democracy to the colonies – which has all but been snuffed out by today in great swathes of the place. By the indigenous themselves, of course. They didn’t want it, and couldn’t use it, it seems. We will find the same with the Middle East.

  • Mike Stallard

    ““only a holistic, theological and global policy will achieve our aims.””

    Muslims believe that they alone know the truth about Jesus and God. So it is no good talking about the cross and salvation to them.
    So let us look at the Koran. Not for proof texts – nobody believes in that. But holistically. And the recurrent theme is this: accept Allah and his prophet and you are on the right path (Sharia) to your destination. Reject Allah and his prophet and you are heading for the burning disaster of the desert.
    I do not see how any Muslim can dispute that.
    Assuming that beheading, stoning women, raping captives, shooting prisoners of war and boasting about it publicly as true Muslims could be right. Yup. It is possible. In which case the shaheed go straight to heaven.
    On the other hand, there is a considerable body of Muslim opinion which says that such murderers are straying off the path into the desert where they will be burned for ever with a searing heat and that, when they cry in desperation for water, molten lead will be poured down their throats.
    Muslims too can appreciate Pascal’s wager. (Can’t they?)

    • Dreadnaught

      there is a considerable body of Muslim opinion which says that such murderers are straying off the path That’s the line we are being force fed by the media. Over a billion Muslims in the world; their silence is deafening and their inaction glaringly obvious. Dissent in the Mosque is unheard of when it comes to self criticism of Islam and a very risky position.

      • Inspector General

        The BBC will tell you there is a virus going around. It’s called ‘radicalisation’. Apparently, if you come down with it, you lose all control of your thoughts and actions and start murdering the infidel dogs your imam told you about. Still, it exonerates to some degree culpability…

        • Dreadnaught
          • IrishNeanderthal

            An excellent article. If only he and Christopher Booker would stick to politics.

            Anthropogenic Global Warming has certainly attracted political scam artists enough to make Del Boy lurid cyan with envy, but it is nevertheless a real phenomenon.

            Even though, without a certain amount of AGW, we might have headed back into another mini-ice age.

          • Anton

            Of course CO2 is a greenhouse gas and of course we have doubled its atmospheric concentration since the Industrial revolution began, so AGW is a real phenomenon. What matters is whether it is a significant phenomenon, and to answer that you have to get into quantitative modelling as well as large scale data gathering. The models are so complex when water vapour also has to be taken into account that they are worth very little. So what do the data tell us? That it hasn’t got warmer for nearly 20 years now although China and India continue to industrialise and increase the CO2 concentration; so that the effect is much weaker than the IPCC would have us believe. Those data are from satellites, which can look down on the whole globe in one and are therefore better than terrestrial data. As for the terrestrial datasets, it is emerging that older data are clandestinely and systematically being altered downwards, with the effect of exaggerating the warming. See:

            http://www.principia-scientific.org/nasa-exposed-in-massive-new-climate-data-fraud.html?utm_campaign=nov-24-2015&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

            This is deeply shocking; for in science data are sacrosanct. Why might lie behind those changes? Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of an IPCC working group, stated in an interview (Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper, 14/11//2010) that: “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy… one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

            I agree that Delingpole, not being a scientist, would do better to concentrate on the politics. But he is nevertheless right.

          • Ivan M

            To go part of the with you, we have to see how the averaging is done. If the global mean is taken over all parts of the Earth, then it may indeed be true that there has been no net temperature increase. But this is less significant than it sounds for it may just be, that because of the weather patterns, the temperature gradient between the colder and warmer parts of the Earth is getting steeper. Which is compatible with a warming Earth as the heat capacities of various parts of the Earth may be different. Hence the warmists’ conclusions that extreme weather is going to be the norm is not particularly far-fetched. I have a hard time believing that there has been no localised temperature increase, since I live in the Tropics, where it is getting noticeably warmer. For the Earth’s weather system as a thermodynamic engine, the temperature differences should be a significant driver.

          • Anton

            Temperature differences caused by insolation differences are THE driver of weather; they always have been. Also land-sea differences as you correctly point out. Of course there are local temperature increases in places over the timescale of a lifetime; there always have been and always will be. And also local decreases. That’s why it’s the global average that matters. The pixellation done by satellite measurements is really quite fine in scale; the big difference in methodology – and in results – is between satellite and terrestrial measurements.

          • Ivan M

            But for someone caught in the turbulence, as in Madras – Chennai as the bums call it now – it makes all the difference. Though I have to agree that does not show that the global average temperature has increased.

          • Anton

            There are winners and losers in every change, whether warming or cooling.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, she has the size of it. What we need is to fight back. To inform children that they are being sold magic beans in lieu of sense, which are not magic at all. Just beans.

            Perhaps the good lady can come up with a few children’s books, hopefully before said niece proudly announces to grandpa that she is now, with immediate effect, a boy, and to be considered such in all aspects…

          • IanCad

            What with all things bum being promoted in the schools does the Homo lobby support THIS:

            http://takimag.com/article/the_power_of_hiv_positive_thinking-_jim_goad#axzz3tOGV4rZ8

            over here?

            I’m not about to click on Pink News but, as you are of sturdier stock than I, perhaps you could comment.

          • Inspector General

            Mother Nature is taking care of all that, Ian. We’ve all been told that we face an uncertain post antibiotic world very shortly, but the Lady is already there. She has blessed the homosexual community with untreatable gonorrhoea. (Do google images for ‘gonorrhoea of the mouth’. It’s all there)

          • IanCad

            You are quite right. With our pansy lifestyle, and now, antibiotic resistance, the future looks bleak.
            Should those who practice such perversions be charged with biological terrorism?

          • Inspector General

            It’s almost as if man is so inherently corrupt if he allows his dysfunctional baser drives to get the better of him, as in teaching little ones indirectly the glories of anus abuse, that God employs a hidden from view carrot and stick approach. To wit, hope through the example of Christ, and incredibly painful and embarrassing suffering if we don’t.

            Dredders is on line tonight. Wonder what he thinks of it all…

          • Yes. Most definitely.

          • They really are a sick bunch.

          • Andre´Kristian

            Personally, I must declare my wholeheartedly developed reluctance regarding Pink News! This despicable piece of devilry and its unbridled commenters, have completely undermined any the least respect for the few, decent homosexual gentlemen that still exist. Not to mention the so called Pride events. They never miss an opportunity to forward and praise all sorts of depravity, and won´t accept any opponents towards their ridiculous philosophy. Believe me, I have made some bold efforts to bring about the idea, that not every fellow appreciates the present obscenities, which devastates the morality of our society. A moral rearmament would be quite welcome.
            The things You have to combat these days, indeed! Malevolent muslims, degenerated LGBTQ adherents, yelling for “equality”, sluts and slatterns! Mon Dieu! How confoundedly tedious! And to conclude my brisk impromptu, I am NOT an admirer of same sex marriage, as I find those kind of arrangements quite absurd. I wouldn´t trust myself to be present in church at such a ludicrous occasion. Not that I ever was invited to witness such a spectacle. I am certain of the chic fact I would burst out laughing. A simple, discreet and tactful engagement is quite sufficient, if necessary.
            Yours truly, Andre´ 😉

          • Inspector General

            Damn good post, Andre!

            Allow the Inspector to join you in telling, loud and clear, all who will listen that those thug devils on that disgraceful comments facility represent no one but their own paranoid and degenerate selves.

            Let us contend ourselves with the almost certainty that Scotland Yard, among other agencies, have the worst of the demons monitored, as such is the depravity shown by these animals, that it is more than likely that they trade the most indecent and gruesome of images, including children, between each other.

          • Andre´Kristian

            Your approval is the most august and prominent meed I have ever received. Thank You, sir!

          • Dreadnaught

            Harrumph! That was no lady Sir, Mr James would be discombobulated to presume he had somehow given you such a disposition of confusion as to the geography of his genitalia.

          • Inspector General

            Oh! What went wrong there, one muses…

          • Inspector General

            Yes, he’s a man. Earlier, left a comment there congratulating ‘her’ and informing ‘she’ was being discussed on Cranmer. Hope he’s the forgiving type…

          • IanCad

            Dred, Five days ago you posted a link to the corruption and betrayal of young innocents by religious zealots who are much into the cutting off of heads.
            Now this. In reality, the two are one. Religious extremism in its varied forms. For, surely the devils who teach our young the things Delingpole described are exactly that.

          • Dreadnaught

            If we allow schools to bend the minds of children beyond the three Rs and call it education we have only ourselves to blame. The children are not capable of dissemination of education from indoctrination. Its not as despicable as teaching them hide and seek with a bullet in the head for ‘IT’, but its damned well not right for them to be conditioned to conform to politically correct left-wing doctrines as espoused in Schools and segregated alien ‘Faith’ Schools either.

            We have no excuse for not complaining to our MPs when we become aware of such things. The MPs are only human and can’t carry all the blame for what they don’t know about – the truth is, many moan but few complain. We must keep complaining because we are all to blame if we don’t: that is our responsibility and contribution to Democracy.

          • IanCad

            Squeaking wheel gets the grease.

    • Ivan M

      Islam is a man-made religion which in its origin served the purpose of Arab imperialism. Thus the matter on treating neighbors well is there as well as the matter on killing him if needed. It has no intrinsic morality only that of the expediency of the tribes’ interest of the moment . Thus the same people who took part in ‘Anbar Awakening’ which gladdened the Americans in Iraq, now align themselves with ISIS. When the landlord changes, the Muslims change with them. It is useless to base dialog with them on a common understanding of morality, since they can stretch its meaning for their own purpose. Treat them as they would treat you back in their lands.

      • Roger B

        Islam is a man-made religion!
        Please enlighten me and name one that isn’t?

        • Ivan M

          It is not Divinely inspired, unlike the religion that comes from the Son of God. Essentially sharing the some of the exterior form, with no interior life of its own, except what is borrowed from other traditions. So for example if there are Muslims who are tolerant, such as the Ahmedis, most Shias and the majority of Indonesians, it is due respectively to the influence of Hinduism and the British Empire; the worship of local saints and godmen; the culture of the Hindus and the animists. By itself, it is just a vehicle for Arab supremism, nothing more.

          In the days when Arab marauding could give large returns, they thought they had the favour of God. Since the rise of modern civilisation, that mode has lost its mojo. Hence their frustration, losers all round wherever they are. You made it, they did not – sums up the basis of their angst.

  • Anton

    One of our former ambassadors to Syria, Peter ford, has made a telling reference to “recreational bombing”.

    • Dreadnaught

      Probably why he’s former ambassador

      • Anton

        We don’t currently have an ambassador to Syria.

        • Dreadnaught

          Touche! – but your man hasn’t been there for the past ten years, well before the time of the’ Arab Spring’ malarky,

  • Dreadnaught

    If we had true freedom of speech on our tv channels there would be less confusion in the minds of the GBP about the danger of sleepwalking into religio-political disaster that is already in the making. The perspective must be a broad one but first it should never be misunderstood that Islam is a whole life commitment and that Islam is irreconcilably divided into Sunni and Shia. Assad is rooted in Shia. ISIS is Sunni. The FSA is predominately Sunni and will always be vulnerable to the magnet of ISIS.

    ISIS is now embedding into Afghanistan having seen off No1 Taliban chief and just across the border is Nuclear armed Pakistan. Joint the dots. Check out this link from the US featuring a man we would not allow into Britain even though have evil scrotes in turbans sponsored by Saudi Arabia, invited into Mosques and Universities without examining their track records.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/12/video-robert-spencer-on-hannity-the-sb-jihad-attack-and-jihad-denial

    • Anton

      Robert Spencer is a fine man who writes fine books.

      • Dreadnaught

        He is very knowledgeable on Islam but I think he goes over the top in overtly seeing terrorists behind every stone and publishes a lot of other stuff that is really below his intellect which suits his detractors..

  • Manfarang

    There aren’t going to be any victories for anyone in Syria any time soon. The civil war is a stalemate.An escalation risks a spread of the conflict.