The Plastic Hippo

December 3, 2015

Stop the pigeon



There are occasions when the only alternative to utter despair at the sheer stupidity of mankind is to laugh out loud at the absurdity of political power. Gallows humour might be in appalling taste but sometimes laughter is the last resort against a desolate absence of hope. If you didn`t laugh, you would weep uncontrollably.

Elected representatives in the House of Commons have voted to extend an existing air war in Iraq into Syria in the hope of destroying an enemy and ending a reign of terror. This might be a noble motive but what has been confirmed is that a large number of MPs have difficulty in understanding anything more complex than a soft boiled egg with soldiers made of toast. The abject ignorance displayed by MPs on both sides of the argument surpasses any attempt at satire and would be utterly hilarious if you set aside the inconvenient fact that innocent people are going to be blown to bits.

There are some notable exceptions on the green benches who added to the debate reasoned, sensitive and sensible arguments for bombing ISIL in Syria and others who offered similarly sound objections to escalating airstrikes. Sadly, such is the simplistic “good guys/bad guys” mindset of some MPs and their supporters that name-calling, insults and personal abuse are the inevitable result. Thus those in favour are “warmongering scum” and those against are “defeatist traitors”. You might expect this sort of blinkered ignorance from rabid backbenchers of all parties but when a Prime Minister describes those seeking a political, diplomatic and economic strategy against the murderous ISIL as “a bunch of terrorist sympathisers”, it`s pretty clear that Cameron has no other strategy than that of great, big bombs and that he is not fit to run an egg and spoon race let alone a war.

Even in the shallow puddle of duplicity that he inhabits, the Prime Minister is way out of his depth. After a year of bombing Iraq, the RAF have not “degraded” ISIL and the strikes on Syria by the United States, France and others and now the Russians have done nothing to destroy the disparate terror cells intent on butchery. Bombing civilian areas in the hope of neutralising individual madmen will create four things; corpses, refugees, simmering hatred and more terrorists. Sadly, the British Prime Minister is either too stupid to comprehend this or, as is more likely, simply doesn`t care.

In desperation to justify war Cameron has reeled off some hilarious assertions. Only the RAF has the capability to deploy the Brimstone weapons system which, it seems, can identify an individual terrorist from 12 miles out. Designed originally as a cluster weapon to “degrade” enemy tanks, Brimstone boasts a “limited blast envelope” that reduces collateral damage to 12 or maybe 10 dwellings. Saudi Arabia operates Brimstone supplied by the UK.

Apparently the Raptor Surveillance Pod slung below a Tornado can positively target a known terrorist from 20,000 feet by smelling his breath and checking his DNA. According to the Defence Secretary, there have been no civilian casualties in Iraq as a result of British air operations because, as is blindingly obvious even to terrorist sympathisers, without “boots on the ground” the damage cannot be assessed so without a body count, therefore, there can be no bodies. Sorted.

Cameron also claimed the existence of a phantom army of 70,000 “moderate” combatants ready, willing and able to take ground from ISIL after precision UK airstrikes sever the head of the snake and reduce the evil bastards to a disorganised, chaotic mess. This is perhaps the funniest justification for war since the presentation of Jenkins` Ear to parliament in 1731. The only moderates in Syria are hiding in cellars terrified of being bombed by yet another air force and the 70,000 “friendly” irregulars are more interested in fighting Assad and each other to do the West`s dirty work. These are the chaps Cameron wanted to arm two years ago when Assad was the target and the rebels were slicing open Syrian army conscripts to take an unhealthy bite out of still beating hearts. Cameron might be funny, but he lacks a punch line and clearly has no idea of who we should be bombing as long as we bomb something.

After Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, the same old tired joke will be repeated and after a year or so of mission creep, the body bags will be returned to Brize Norton and the English Channel will be covered in leaking boats full of people fleeing destruction. The really funny thing is that UK involvement now is entirely symbolic and will not make any difference regardless of the heartfelt demands that something must be done. The terrorists planning to attack UK cities will not be found in Raqqa or Mosul or Idlib; instead they are watching and growing up in Southall, Smethwick and Bradford. Perhaps Cameron will agree to airstrikes in those areas. One thing he will not do is remotely pilot drones from a bunker somewhere near the A19 in Lincolnshire to take out terrorists in the suburbs of San Bernardino, California. That was a disturbed lone wolf or three and did not pose an existential threat to the British way of life. Maybe Cameron could have a chat with his pals in Riyadh and Qatar.

It would be quite wrong to categorise the Prime Minister as “Dave Dastardly” or compare Corbyn to Muttley but with more bombers over Syria, the world and the streets of Britain just got a bit more dangerous. One more mistake in air traffic control and another downing of a military aircraft could result in a shooting war between nations “united” in fighting ISIL. Dastardly and Muttley could not stop the pigeon and Cameron and Corbyn could not stop the war. Only ISIL are laughing.

That is not funny at all.


  1. At risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the lunatics have definitely taken over the asylum.

    And I don’t mean Corbyn and the 200 + MPs who took the view that bombing ISIL is about as much use as pissing into a white enamel bucket with holes in the bottom.

    Still, look on the bright side. Flagging UK armaments, steel and plastics industries will be revived. The USA will like us again. The French will be slightly less critical.

    As a result, Dave will get some leeway on Europe, Gideon will claim the credit for the economy boost and we will all look forward to a brighter future.

    Except for the poor sods who will either die, flee or decide that a suicide bomb is the only option.

    Comment by The Realist — December 3, 2015 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  2. I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that Cameron won’t be “running a war”, our air force will be assisting those forces already engaged and operating over a larger area than they are already.
    The “we know where you live” death-stare from the fragrant Ms Abbott directed at Labour members applauding Hilary Benn’s speech was most telling. The parliamentary authorities have just announced that they are considering measures to halt the bullying and harassment those that voted in favour of the motion are being subjected to. This new “kinder, caring politics” is really weird, but I guess we can’t all be peace-loving pacifists.

    Comment by Rob — December 3, 2015 @ 11:46 am | Reply

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