Leading article

The good fight

Islamic State must be defeated by supporting its enemies in the Middle East

27 September 2014

9:00 AM

27 September 2014

9:00 AM

It is a mark of the uncertainty of our policy in the Middle East that just over a year ago Parliament was recalled to debate whether to launch military strikes in aid of rebels in Syria. This year, it has been recalled to discuss whether the RAF should join the strikes against the rebels in Syria — or, at least, the section of them that now call themselves ‘the Islamic State’. It is a sobering thought that, had last year’s vote succeeded, Damascus might have joined Raqqa, Mosul and Tikrit among the cities now being run by this pitiless band of barbarians.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, tells James Forsyth on page 29 that Parliament should have the ‘courage’ to support military action. This is not quite right: it was foresight, rather than cowardice, that informed the vote against intervention. The Prime Minister failed to make the case for war or to assure MPs that he had thought it all through. Specifically, he failed to answer the concerns of those troubled by the fact that some of the Syrian rebels seemed, if anything, worse than Bashar al-Assad’s regime. A failure of judgment on the Prime Minister’s part should not be confused with a failure of nerve in Britain or its parliamentarians.

The case for action now is clear and overwhelming. Public support is rising, but there are legitimate concerns. Our military is in an ever weaker position to take action, due to the relentless cuts forced through by the Chancellor. Operational concerns aside, the question that arises now is the same as that which gave the Commons pause last year: what might British intervention actually achieve?

President Obama’s decision to lead a coalition of Arab countries in striking Islamic State positions is crucial to making the point that this is the Islamic world — not just America — confronting a problem that has grown in its midst. Saudi Arabia and Iran are united in the need to crush the Islamists. The US has the firepower and the F-22s stationed in the United Arab Emirates; the Arab world is driving the need for action.

The first Gulf war provides a better model for a response to Isis than does the second. George H.W. Bush made painstaking efforts to build an Arab coalition to help eject Saddam from Kuwait. It is easy to overlook the fact that in 2003 there were plenty of leaders of Islamic countries who welcomed the overthrow of Saddam. But they did not need to put their heads above the parapet, because Blair and Bush were prepared to do the job without assistance and backing. Such was the vanity of Tony Blair that he seemed to relish the lack of international support. He was alarmed to learn that the US intended to start the invasion without Britain, and pressed hard to join the fight.

Blair was then informed not only by a desire to help liberate Iraq but by his own foreign policy: for Britain to project its influence in the world through its status as First Friend of the United States. This is a logical strategy, especially when Britain’s military is now so rundown as to preclude any serious expeditionary warfare on its own terms. But having a rush of western countries helping America invade Iraq in 2003 created the impression of western imperialism. And worse, after being asked to take Basra, Britain was unable to keep the peace there — leaving the city’s residents to be picked off by Shi’ite death squads. The city had to be reoccupied by the new Iraqi army.

As the West now prepares to leave Afghanistan to the Taleban, its reputation for regime change has been tarnished. Far better to encourage the Arab world to confront their own problems. The need to crush the Islamic State is a rare cause around which the majority of Sunnis and Shi’ites can unite. Arab leaders fear the rise of Isis and would welcome its enforced demise. Wisely, the US has persuaded them to stand up and contribute to that demise.

So far the US forces have attacked the Islamic State in Iraq in response to an invitation from that country’s government. In Syria, Obama has rightly not attempted to coordinate his attacks with Assad. The White House now believes it has other fish to fry in Syria, and this week attacked the Khorasan network, another group of Syrian jihadis near the Turkish border. The message coming from America is now reasonably clear: we will help with air strikes on Isis and other groups that threaten world peace, but it is up to regional forces to take advantage on the ground. This is the military version of nudge politics: the role of the air strikes is to elbow Isis’s local enemies into action. It is an enterprise which Britain should feel confident to join, and to contribute in whatever way we can.

In the campaign against Colonel Gaddafi, Britain was able to contribute seven of the 228 Tomahawk missiles fired towards Tripoli — Uncle Sam provided the rest. There will probably be a lot of grandiose rhetoric from the Prime Minister in the next few days, but this is a mission that Britain is following rather than leading. That’s not necessarily bad news: it is high time that the Arab world dealt with its own problems.​

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  • Common Sense ✟ كافر

    How about we first concentrate on the many 1000s of ISIS supporters here in Britain thanks to 20 years of open borders to the alien, hateful, and backward scum of the third world?

    Getting very tired of hearing stories of “British” Muslim immigrants fighting for ISIS and then seeing the family saying “oh i don’t know why my son did it” while running a shop in Brighton praising “Allah” in the street.

    • Bert

      Thats quite right.
      If the families of known Jihadis faced deportation they might try a bit harder not to allow radicalisation. Or child abuse for that matter.

      • Terry Field

        Other countries have rounded up the support group of the jihadi and kicked them all out. It is not hard to do. It simply takes political will.

        • Bob-B

          Which other countries?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        How long can you leave the pause between “Paki” and “stani” before you’re considered a racist?

    • Lydia Robinson

      That’s too much like common sense to prevail with our politicians who all fancy themselves grand-standing on the world stage while selling their own country down the river. Only Farage has had the gumption to say the same thing.

    • Terry Field

      Yes, it is codswallop. They train their children to be bigots, and the ‘radiclisation’ is there from the start,
      They just then need an Imam to point to the relevant passages of the Holy Koran. It is an alien civilisation; no politico will say this or anything like it, because to do so causes the roof to cave in on home and foreign policy. Thus truth is replaced with a sea of lies – lies we all see, lies we all understand the origin of.
      And the Labour Party has, in effect and as seen in practice, effectively supported the rape of kufar girls by muslim men in huge numbers. This problem is truly nationwide.
      That party avoids the subject like the plague.
      Because of this matter alone,they are unfit for any office, and I suspect a rigorous investigation into that party and its actions and deliberate inactions from 1997 to now could well conclude it has acted as a criminal entity that should be proscribed and replaced by a new social democratic party with clean hands. Britain’s working people could not have been worse let down by a party that parrots its concern for their interest.
      Britain has massive problems, and enemies both within and without, some with periodic control of the levers of power.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Kick out Labour. Kick out Pakistani male child rapists.
        It’s quite simple, really.

    • Ambientereal

      Please, do not forget that local islamists are been encouraged and controlled by those in middle east. They get money from there and are told what to do. The only way to keep local muslim under control is to show their islam extremists are headless and that their califat will never exist.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “Our friends in Parliament they all on our side (cock-eyed cock-eyed)Sometimes they talk tough, but you know it’s a lie (cockeyed cockeyed)
      Immigration is a good thing, on that they all agree
      The only ones who’ll stop it are the wicked BNP!

      • wayne

        You forget UKIP
        they will remove
        2. those who don’t want to fit in
        3. illegals
        4. the spongers and considering 50% of Muslim males don’t work and 75% of their women the same. It’ll cut their numbers, I’m sure they’ll find more devious ways to thin the herd like banning Halal etc.

  • Hysteria

    Agreed that we need to focus on getting the Islamic cult out of the homeland — it has no place here. Banning headcovers in public would be a start. Deporting anyone who doesn’t pass the UK test would be another. And what’s this about “Iran wanting to beat Islamists”? You are having a laugh !

  • Augustus

    “The US has the firepower and the F-22s stationed in the United Arab Emirates; the Arab world is driving the need for action.”

    Bombing IS is fine as it goes, but experience has shown that the job cannot be done properly without soldiers on the ground. President Obama probably knows this, and that his present battle plan has little chance of success. The danger is not only in IS’s extreme fundamentalism, which is bad enough, but also in the fact that a lot of the ‘free world’ Muslims have been so fascinated and taken in by the IS phenomenon, that they will probably continue to join the Caliphate to join in the barbarities as long as it remains operative, and that all those jihadists, if and when they do return home, will not so easily put aside their acquired culture of death. The question, therefore, has to be asked: Is it now too late “to encourage the Arab world to confront their own problems”?

  • Livia

    “Saudi Arabia and Iran are united in the need to crush the Islamists.”

    Isn’t this a line in an Alanis Morisette song?

    • Terry Field

      It is also a monumental lie

  • Terry Field

    Much of the Arab world likes ISIS, created it and wants it to drive the Persian Shia threat out of the Levant, and re-establish the arrangments the USA so irritatingly destroyed with its one man one vote nonsense in Iraq.
    This American adventure will do no good.
    Arabia should be left to make its own arrangments.
    They will be very bloody, but that is unavoidable in any scenario.
    All we need is to buy the oil.
    Nought else matters.

    • wayne

      I’d quite happily release a plague and go and take what’s left job done.. the worlds too over crowded as it is

  • waiting to inhale

    People are acting as if without ISIS, the world is filled with rainbows and butterflies, and islamist terror is defeated and no longer a threat!

    Are you all stupid?

  • Ricky Strong

    And yet again I have seen nor heard a single discussion about that which encourages people to want a caliphate, or to behead a captive, or to sell and rape young children. We can bomb IS till the middle east is dust but until we tackle the religion of Islam everything else will just be lilliputian.

  • For those not in the know, the so-called Ukrainian “separatists” are actually Russian Spetsnaz and Guards Airborne troops, which is why a Russian colonel, Igor Strelkov, is in command and not a Ukrainian.*

    These disguised Russian military units entered the Ukraine last February when the Ukrainian population, nationwide, revolted against the Communist government in Kiev,** the cause for the revolt being the weakened security apparatus within the nation, where most of the Ukrainian Army was in either Syria or Iraq, or preparing to enter Iraq from Turkey, pretending to be Muslim “Jihadists” (Islamic State). The Islamic State “Jihadists” wearing the silly masks are the Ukrainians,*** hiding their pale Caucasian/Slavic identities. Russian special forces posing as Ukrainian separatists are allied with the remnants of the Ukrainian security apparatus in the nation and are attempting to restore Communist “order”.

    Moscow & Allies tasked the West to create Islamic State in southern Turkey (using Ukrainian troops to augment the fake “Islamists”) in order (1) to continue spotlighting the chaos the West causes around the globe, though it’s actually Moscow & Allies causing the chaos via their Marxist puppets in Western capitals; thereby (2) decreasing the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world; and (3) further weaken the United States Armed Forces via never ending wars per Moscow & Allies’ tasked “War on Terror”; the United States Armed Forces will be re-deployed to Iraq.

    The fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    Notice that not one political party in the West demanded verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    It gets worse–the West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested and detained the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    Now you know why up until 2013 the “electorates” of Russia, Ukraine and Georgia had been “electing” for president only Soviet era Communist Party member Quislings, except for the first president of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a true dissident who didn’t even last nine months in office before he was ousted in a coup, later said to have committed “suicide”. Zviad Gamsakhurdia was a failed test run to see if a non-Communist Party member president could be controlled.


    * https://spectator.com.au/features/9298982/the-frightening-face-of-russias-future/

    **As hundreds of statues of Lenin were being toppled throughout the Ukraine, statues that were supposed to have been toppled back in 1991 if the collapse of the USSR were real and not the strategic ruse it is…



    Those are professional soldiers (1) cradling their weapons in the military stand down position, with trigger finger kept just outside the trigger guard; and (2) marching in disciplined, two-row, tight formations.

    • AJH1968

      Товарищ Джексон вы слишком умны для нас, мы хотели бы иметь подруга тоже занять свое время.

  • John Croston

    And when the Kurds or Shia militia retake cities occupied by ISIS do we switch sides again when they start to extract vengeance by also murdering and crucifying prisoners etc? There are no “good guys” in this.

    • Des Demona

      That is the major problem. Ultimately we end up supporting the least worst of a bad bunch. Unless we somehow get rid of radical Islamism it will always be so.
      The common cause of practically every major conflict in the world today from Africa to the Middle East to SE Asia? Radical Islamism – it is there for all to see.
      It is up to Muslims to sort this out from the roots because until they do the blood and treasure expended by the west in trying to do so is simply playing a never ending game of whack-a – mole.

      • John Croston

        They can’t sort it out. That would mean ditching the Koran and the end of Islam.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      That thought crossed my mind. The Kurds will literally crucify ISIS fighters.

      • wayne


    • wayne

      That’s actually a good suggestion, we need them constantly fighting each other to thin them down

  • Flighter

    For those of us on the Electoral Roll, the http://www.voteEngland.org voting platform is now running a poll on this issue.

  • Peter Stroud

    The analysis of the situation in Syria, last year, is absolutely correct. It is a pity that our prime minister, and many others, still refuse to face up to these facts.

  • Terry Field

    Turkey, the gulf states and Saudi are NOT enemies of ISIL
    Persia/Iran are enemies of ISIL
    The problem to be tackled is the suzerainty of Shia over Sunni in Iraq, a result of the infantile absurdity of one man one vote imposed by the Americans and, to our shame (and stupidity) Britain.
    This war will not succeed. It will make the internal religious war worse; it will help to ‘radicalise’ (in the jargon of the stupid and PC commentators) the WHOLE of Turkey, who see their success in the 16th and 17h centuries being utterly destroyed.
    This war promotes Persia ove Arabia.
    Plain and simple.
    All the rest is marketing rubbish.

  • edlancey

    If muslims had more honesty they would realise that ISIS is a video replay of how their death cult expanded in the first place. They’ve convinced themselves that the people across the Levant and North Africa welcomed the muslims as liberators 1400 years old, whereas the violent and repulsive reality of it, with no redeeming features, is all to obvious to those of us who aren’t Mobotomised.

  • DaHitman

    Its about time other countries delt with this, the Muslim nations for a start as it’s always their (censored)ing cult religion behind it

  • Terence Hale

    One misconception about this Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group is it has little to do with religion. Its an organized group of criminal elements , sort of eastern Cosa Nostra using characteristic methods. What I missed in the discussion is, helping the Kurds will give problems for Turkey

  • Matthew Meadow

    If you want to fight ‘fundamentalistic’ Islam we have to set our priorities right.

    1 – Understand and get to know the real threat. Stop the deception of politic correctness, which means in practice the betrayal of those who know and understand Islam. It is dividing and weakening us against a common relentless enemy.

    2 – We can not afford to battle at two fronts, Russia and Islam. In fact Russia should be approached as a partner against ‘radical’ Islam.

    Nigel Farage, one of the very few politicians who understands the strategic importance of Russia:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uNsXEu8ljM ( Nigel Farage: Stop playing wargames with Putin )

    A very interesting analysis (audio) from a former Palestinian Muslim who became a Christian about the dynamics between, Islam, Israel, Obama and Russia (Walid Shoebat) :


  • mandelson

    OK so smart bombing IS fighters embedded in civilian areas which kills civilians/women and children is a war crime (Israel) or “saving the world from terrorism” (US/UK/France + Arab dictatorships). Makes perfect sense.

  • themountaineer

    I am from a generation who heard Churchill speak. Imagine him today, trying to condemn IS and to rally the country against this threat from barbarians: political correctness, politicacowardice, liberal activists, human rights laws, would water his words down to the point of extinction. Or would they! “We will fight on and destroy these utterly evil people until the stain they have left on our planet is removed. We are coming for you, and you will not know when, or where, or how, but you are all going to DIE!” Or something like that anyway.

    • wayne

      Sounds great to me

  • Terry Field

    I have never read such a load of codswallop. Th Arab states are the creators of IS, they have massive airpower – WHERE are their planes???? At their bases!!!!!
    It is the West supporting Persia against Arabia Magna.Face it!
    Stop the claptrap marketing garbage!!!!!!!!!
    Bombing IS wil push Turkey to more radical defensive islamic thinking.
    This is an insane action.
    We are about to lose the fourth middle east war, after Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Utterly deranged and irresponsible.
    Why is it happening?
    Because the West lies to its people about the reality.
    Garbage in; garbage out.

    • wayne

      Turkey is already helping ISIS the fact that they are being sneaky little gits about it is perfectly normal so the only change will be at least they show their true colours and we can hit them very hard indeed

  • Mike

    Its all very well that Cameron is contributing here but the main threat
    to the UK is already well entrenched in the UK and all three parties have
    encouraged this to happen by their inaction.

    When is he going to address our domestic issues of Islamic radicalization and sex trafficking ?

    • wayne

      Not just their inaction they actively sought to bring these people over. And Blair did an arms selling deal worth 10 billion with Saudi Arabia and that the Saudi’s as part of the deal wanted Wahhabism to dominate Muslims in the UK.

  • wayne

    Personally these people come with too much baggage, for starters only 50% of muslim men and 25% of muslim women work. They generally don’t integrate. They don’t report crimes like paedophiles or dangerous Imams. They try to make Trojan schools and you can guarantee that they get into places of power to abuse it for the sake of Islam and terrorism. I want them out and there’s only one party that will actually remove the worst cases and that is UKIP. If any of you are day dreaming that things will work out once the government (if it ever does) puts it foot down are sadly mistaken you only have to look abroad to see the same problems. thee problems will cost lives and oh so much money. I’d ban mosques, halal and make things uncomfortable whilst at the same time remove hardliners, criminals, and those who don’t integrate.. Pretty much what UKIP would do. In ten years time it’ll be too late act ASAP

  • FredLaMotte

    Muslim nations SAY they want to defeat ISIS, but with their billions of dollars of U.S. weapons and standing armies that could take out ISIS in a month, they do nothing.