Christopher Hitchens — Mail Online Nov 29, 2015
Once again, as a patriotic Englishman from a Naval family, I stand amazed to find myself so lonely in my doubts about a foolish war.
I am no pacifist. I supported the retaking of the Falklands, national territory illegally seized by foreign invaders. I was thrilled to see that the Royal Navy could still do the hard tasks for which it is paid too little. Could it now?
Yet, on the basis of an emotional spasm and a speech that was illogical and factually weak, we are rushing towards yet another swamp, from which we will struggle to extract ourselves and where we can do no conceivable good.
Heaven forbid that it will lead (as other such adventures have) to more melancholy processions, bearing flag-wrapped coffins, from RAF Brize Norton; or to quieter convoys, carrying terribly injured men to special hospitals.
Why must good, brave, dutiful men and women die or be maimed for life because our politicians are vain and ignorant?
But there is no knowing the end of this, especially given the Prime Minister’s absurd belief that we have 70,000 ‘moderate’ allies just waiting to help us in Syria. Among these scattered ‘moderates’ are those who last week murdered a Russian pilot as he parachuted to earth, and mauled his corpse.
When this phantom army turns out to be non-existent, or hostile, how long will it take Mr Cameron to return to the House of Commons, pleading oh-so-reasonably for ground troops to follow?
Nor can I see why bombing Raqqa will defend us or anyone against such murders.
France’s President Hollande, a failed politician in bad domestic trouble, mired his own country in Syria months ago.
I can’t see what good reason we have to follow him there. It will not help to bind up the wounds of the people of France.
Only three weeks back, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee advised, in a carefully argued report, that intervention in Syria is not a good idea.
The pathetic cave-in of that committee’s chairman, Crispin Blunt, who now supports Mr Cameron’s latest war, merely makes Mr Blunt look irrational, weak-minded and easily led.
The UN Security Council resolution (of which Mr Cameron makes so much) actually offers no legal basis for military action. Nor does it cite Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which authorises the use of force.
David Cameron is already suffering from galloping Churchill syndrome (the patient growls, denounces his critics as appeasers, and starts wars). Now he seems to have contracted Blair’s disorder, an irresistible desire to pose alongside military hardware.
On Monday he managed to have his portrait taken next to a very macho-looking Typhoon fighter jet at Northolt RAF base on his way back from Paris.
Odd, that. Typhoons are not normally stationed at Northolt, and I haven’t been able to get a coherent explanation of what military reason it had to be there, so convenient for a photo-opportunity.
The Prime Minister might have been better employed looking up Syria on a map, reading the relevant documents, or consulting with our former ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford – who energetically opposes what he denounces as ‘recreational bombing’.
In all these modern wars real experts are impatiently pushed aside, while flatterers and yes-men take over. But it’s not decided yet. There’s still just time to write to your MP, if you agree with me that this is folly. I beg you to do so.