70,000 is the new 45 minutes 119


Precisely as I reported two days ago, Cameron really is in trouble over the Syria vote due to his patently ludicrous claim of the existence of 70,000 “moderate rebels”. Most MPs are pretty unpleasant people, but they do have a high opinion of their own importance. They will vote for anything they see as in their own self-interest, but not if it means kneeling and licking the floor when they are being treated with very obvious contempt, in public. Well, a great many of them will even do that if it advances their career, and the George Osborne tendency do it in private and pay for it. But not even pretending to take MPs seriously is a risky tactic, and that is what Cameron has done with his foolish ruse of just inventing 70,000 moderate fighters.

Today the government rubbed MPs faces further in the dirt by saying they could not give a breakdown of who the 70,000 are, because it is a secret.

Yes, honestly. The identity of our allies – even just in terms of what groups they belong to – is a secret.

In consequence the Tory majority Foreign Affairs Committee has refused to endorse airstrikes. Cameron will be under real pressure to come up with a more intellectually tenable line by tomorrow. He can hardly enter the debate on the basis that the entire strategy depends on allies whose existence is secret. Or perhaps he can, on the grounds the Blairites are conditioned to support bombing anybody, anywhere, and the Tories are mere lickspittles. He may look down his long Etonian nose with contempt at the Commons, and think “the peasants will do anything I ask”.

It is going to be an interesting 24 hours. The self-respect of the Commons is at stake. I still think Cameron may have overreached.


119 thoughts on “70,000 is the new 45 minutes

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  • bringiton

    Why would Assad invite someone who was going to bomb him out of existence a few years ago to return to his country and do the same?
    No doubt that Washington and their British poodle were intent on regime change until very recently.
    Russia entering the fray has now made that impossible,at least not without their agreement and as others have said Cameron will have to get permission from Putin who will keep him on a tight leash?
    Don’t expect we will read anything about this in HM press however?

  • Tony M

    Unfortunately most of the public have their – not so much opinions – as programming with disinformation, punched into them by the oligarch owned media, who represent firstly their proprietors, then the banking elite who stand to gain personally from the dismemberment of Syria and thinning of the Syrian population. That in itself is a terminally unhealthy and undemocratic situation. Like Iraq already weakened by long sanctions on bare essentials and four years of proxy terrorist armies butchering anyone who caught their drug and religion addled attention, terrorist armies sent there with the connivance and unlimited help and aid from western governments, including that of David Cameron. This Tory and New Labour fusion of bought and paid for MPs for hire have one well-known short term aim and that is toppling of the Syrian government and with that the complete fulfillment of ISIS/Daesh’s immediate aims. MPs we hope will, definitely should, be able to filter out and disregard the worst of that media manipulation of opinion, the hysteria and jingoism, on behalf of their constituents, they also should in my opinion ostracise those fellow MPs they know by their words and actions have masters they serve whose interests are inimical to the well-being of not only their own constituents but the entire populations of these islands.

    Phils feigned naivete is charming, but wholly unconvincing. Is it just the blood spilling out you like Phil, or is there money in it for you too, or a favour expected in return? Is it just Arabs you hate Phil or is it all of humanity, all that is not ‘Phil’ deserves to die so Phil can have a new hedge-trimmer? All this ‘Christmas’ thing every year sure brings weak-minded and evil to the fore.

  • Tony M

    Again that MP in her letter comes out with the laughable 250,000 claim, 250,000 ‘Syrians’ have lost their lives’ that can only include the many civilian massacres perpetrated by ISIS, and the mercenary and jihad nutters in league with ISIS, few of whom are Syrian, eliminated by Syrian forces. It is this definition of ‘his people’ that is faulty, but I suppose they’re all ‘his’ in that many using this inaccurate possessive subscribe to racist notions, that you can’t tell one from another, pretty much they’re all the same and lends itself to genocidal had to ‘kill them all’ to save the village/Syria. This ‘his people’ claim has already long ago been debunked, at least it has been neutered slightly but the attribution of blame is still firmly and falsely pinned on the Syrian government or personified as victims of President Assad himself. I might excuse Helen Hayes, she no doubt has underlings to craft letters into which disinformation is woven, for her.

  • Pan

    MerkinScot
    1 Dec, 2015 – 8:46 pm

    “I don’t want a war with Russia.”

    That’s a GOOD thing.

    It means you’re sane!

  • Tony M

    Amazing that butchered and bombed Syrian civilians, regular Syrian soldiers, fighting for their legitimate government and for their country (the enemy are largely foreigners) killed by ISIS terrorist outrages, by limitless American, UK and Saudi supplied weapons and explosives in the hands of our cuddly flesh-eating allies, are now victims of Assad. It’s a complete inversion of reality. It’s really sick.

  • glenn_uk

    Phil: I take you as a genuinely concerned person. I would be obliged if you would follow the line of reasoning here, after your own point:

    “However if they were certain of a homegrown terrorist here and the only way to prevent the terrorist from acting out atrocities was to hit them with a missile i would completely understand.

    Consider that a foreign country had made this dubious determination, and killed some supposed “terrorist” in the flat below yours with such a strike. That “intelligence” may or may not have been correct. Regardless, you are now homeless, and your family has been killed, together with a number of your neighbours.

    Would you still consider this a justified policy?

    Consider further our esteemed policy makers deciding that a “double-tap” was appropriate. That’s where a second missile lands on the original target, to kill any rescue workers. Hey – don’t rescue a neighbour screaming in pain, another missile might be on the way!

    This policy is to make the intended kill more likely, because people will eventually learn not to assist anyone caught up in a missile strike, unless they want to risk death themselves.

    Does this sound like the action of the Good Guys? Because this is our policy – this is what we do. The “double-tap” is pretty much our Standard Procedure.

    Now tell me again – would you be happy for assumed terrorists living near you to be “taken out” like this?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The personification of the Syrian Government as, “Assad” has been erdolnet of the personification of all enemies into a single figure which it is easy to hate and want to destroy. And so, an entire country now has become, “Assad”. Nobody seems to talk about, say, “The Baathist regime”, or, “The Syrian Government”. It’s always simply, “Assad”, as though it were “Sauron”, a personification of absolute evil. This is obvious propaganda. Yes, I know about the cult of personality. But in the past, the Syrian Government was never simply referred to as, “Assad”.

    It is not, “Assad”. It is the Syrian state. It is bin-men and hospital cleners. It is the things that comprise civilisation.

    In this schema of idiotic distillation, then, we all are, “Blair”.

    He have not destroyed, “Saddam”, “Gaddafi” or “Assad”. Congratulations, I hope we are proud of oursleves. We have destroyed civilisation.

  • YouKnowMyName

    nice interview in The Economist 26/11/2015 with Natalia Solzhenitsyn, widow of Sasha

    “What I see in the Western press is prejudiced and emotional. It’s not just an anti-Putin point of view,” she says. “It’s an anti-Russian point of view. Watching our television, however biased it might be, one can see talk shows where truly opposite arguments are made, whereas following the Western media one gets no such impression. What is worse, the facts that don’t fit the larger anti-Russia story are just ignored or toned down.”

    It seems the Global news media is in a state of governmental capture, the regulators are similarly ‘bought’, there’s a handful who tell what is really happening:

    Here’s some Fisk, from the Indy, Nov 30th

    David Cameron, there aren’t 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria – and whoever heard of a moderate with a Kalashnikov, anyway? The Blairite Labour MPs are going to vote with Dave because they loathe Corbyn more than Isis
    By Robert Fisk
    Not since Hitler ordered General Walther Wenck to send his non-existent 12th Army to rescue him from the Red Army in Berlin has a European leader believed in military fantasies as PR Dave Cameron did last week. Telling the House of Commons about the 70,000 “moderate” fighters deployed in Syria was not just lying in the sense that Tony Blair lied – because Blair persuaded himself to believe in his own dishonesty – but something approaching burlesque. It was whimsy – ridiculous, comic, grotesque, ludicrous. It came close to a unique form of tragic pantomime.

    At one point last week, one of Cameron’s satraps was even referring to this phantom army as “ground troops”. I doubt if there are 700 active “moderate” foot soldiers in Syria – and I am being very generous, for the figure may be nearer 70 – let alone 70,000. And the Syrian Kurds are not going to conquer Isis for us; they’re too busy trying to survive the assaults of our Turkish allies. Besides, aren’t the “moderates” supposed to be the folk who don’t carry weapons at all? Who’s ever heard before of a “moderate” with a Kalashnikov?

    The Syrian regime’s army – who really are ground troops and who never worried about the “moderate” rebels because they always ran away – are the only regular force deployed in Syria. And thanks to Vladimir Putin rather than PR Dave, they’re beginning to win back territory. Yet after losing at least 60,000 soldiers – killed largely by Isis and the al-Nusra Front – the Syrian army would be hard put to fight off an assault on Damascus by Dave Cameron’s 70,000 “moderates”. If this ghost army existed, it would already have captured Damascus and hurled Bashar al-Assad from power.

    Yet in the Commons last week, we were supposed to believe this tomfoolery – all in the cause of launching two or three fighter bombers against Isis in Syria. It wouldn’t make us more vulnerable, Dave told us. In fact we were already vulnerable because we were bombing Isis in Iraq. Yet Dave knows – and we all know, don’t we? – that Isis will most assuredly try to commit an atrocity in Britain to revenge Dave’s latest schoolboy adventure. Then – à la Blair after 7/7 – Dave will insist that Isis are killing us because they hate our “values”. Then will come the inevitable video of a suicide killer saying he killed our innocents because Dave sent his miniature air force to bomb Isis.

    The odd thing about all this is that most Brits I come across – and most Arabs I talk to in the Middle East – are well aware of the above. So is the Labour Party. But the Blairite MPs in the Labour Party are going to vote with Dave because while they loathe the evil cult of Isis, they hate the evil cult of Corbyn even more. Do they too believe – as we are all supposed to believe – that the so-called “Joint Intelligence Committee” is telling the truth about the mythical 70,000 “moderates”? Is this unspeakably valiant committee so stupid that it does not tell Dave about the role of the Saudi Wahabi death cult, which is the direct religious and sectarian inspiration for Isis? And if it did tell Dave, why didn’t he talk about the Saudis in the Commons last week?

    No, we are not “at war”. Isis can massacre our innocents, but it is not invading us. Isis is not about to capture Paris or London – as we and the Americans captured Baghdad and Mosul in 2003. No. What Isis intends to do is to persuade us to destroy ourselves. Isis wants us to hate our Muslim minorities. It wants civil war in France between the elite and its disenfranchised Muslims, most of them of Algerian origin. It wants the Belgians to hate their Muslims. It wants us Brits to hate our Muslims. Isis must have been outraged by the thousands of fine Europeans who welcomed with love the million Muslim refugees who reached Germany. The Muslims should have been heading towards the new Caliphate – not running away from it. So now it wishes to turn us against the refugees.

    To achieve this, it must implicate hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim refugees in its atrocities. It must force our EU nations to introduce States of Emergency, suspend civil liberties, raid the homes of Muslims. It wishes to destroy the European Union itself. It wishes to strike at the heart of the European ideal by liquidating the very foundation of the union: by persuading us to tear up the Schengen agreement and to close our frontiers. And we are doing exactly that. Are we, in some auto-panic, actually working for Isis? If that gruesome institution did not ban alcohol, their members would be toasting with champagne our political leaders for their vacuity, their sophistry, the abject fear with which they now regularly try to inject us under the dangerous old cry of “Unify the nation”.

    Vladimir Putin comprehends this. He knows that Turkey is helping Isis – this is why he is going to destroy the Isis oil smuggling route to Turkey – and, as a former serving KGB officer, he understands the cynicism of any crisis. If an American aircraft had strayed into Turkish airspace, he asked at his Kremlin press conference with François Hollande last week, does anyone believe that Turkey would have shot down the US pilots? We all know the answer to that. If Turkey wished to destroy Isis, why does it bombard Isis’ Kurdish enemies? Why does it imprison two of Turkey’s top journalists for reporting how the Turkish intelligence service smuggled weapons to Islamist fighters in Syria? And Putin is hardly going to object if the EU is bent on suicide-through-fear.

    Amid all this, PR Dave raves on. And why not? Having Photoshopped a fake poppy on to his lapel to honour Britain’s war dead, why shouldn’t he get away with Photoshopping 70,000 fake “moderates” on to a map of Syria?

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    Tony M

    “Phils feigned naivete is charming, but wholly unconvincing. Is it just the blood spilling out you like Phil, or is there money in it for you too, or a favour expected in return?”
    _____________________

    “Is there money in it for you” – what is the difference between that and Mr Cameron calling Jeremy Corbyn and others “terrorist sympathisers”?

    You are a thoroughly filthy fellow.

  • Tony M

    Fisk: “Are we, in some auto-panic, actually working for Isis?”

    No, all along ISIS work for ‘us’, so it amounts to the same thing.

  • Fredi

    How do you know that they are not representing the views of their constituents.

    The British public are waking up to the war mongering, the other night on a radio phone in the presenter was saying his phone lines were lit up but everyone was against the bombing, so he was requesting for someone (dim) like Phil to ring in and give the case for bombing.

  • Fredi

    Isn’t it rich coming from someone like him (Jihadi Cameron) The friend of Saudi, Qatar and the like. The man who bombed for al-Qaeda in Libya, who provides funding, training etc for ‘moderate’ terrorists in Syria has the fkn audacity to call peaceful people who have enough of his mendacity “terrorist sympathisers”.

    What a ****!

  • Phil

    Ohh right because everyone rings up radio chat shows. Only people with incredibly strong views ring chat shows and alike. People against something always have a stronger opinion than those for it.

  • Phil

    Regarding the airstrike on flat question (I dont live in a flat so i guess im fine). Once again the claim (thats all it is, no proof) British airstrikes against ISIS have not killed a civilian in Iraq would render that question redundant.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Isn’t it rich coming from someone like him (Jihadi Cameron) The friend of Saudi, Qatar and the like. The man who bombed for al-Qaeda in Libya, who provides funding, training etc for ‘moderate’ terrorists in Syria has the fkn audacity to call peaceful people who have enough of his mendacity “terrorist sympathisers”.

    I imagine that parliamentary privilege would protect Cameron from being sued for slander*. That remark would be very difficult to support in court. Unlike the suggestion that Daesh receives funding from Saudi, perhaps…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-accuses-jeremy-corbyn-of-distorting-truth-over-terrorism-funding-claims-a6756781.html

    Distorting the truth? A careful choice of words, there. That is, it’s true, but we don’t like the way you said it.

    *Or libel, as he hasn’t objected to it being published

  • Pan

    Suhayl Saadi
    2 Dec, 2015 – 7:58 am

    “It is not, “Assad”. It is the Syrian state. It is bin-men and hospital cleaners. It is the things that comprise civilisation.”

    Excellent! (Your whole comment, that is).

  • Tom Welsh

    @Suhayl Saidi:

    ‘In this schema of idiotic distillation, then, we all are, “Blair”’.

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    Well, that’s ruined my day – thank you very much!

  • Fredi

    ‘Panicked’ ISIS moving headquarters to Libya as Syrian stronghold pounded by air strikes

    Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists are setting up new headquarters along Libya’s Mediterranean coast after their Syrian stronghold in Raqqa was pounded by air strikes from the West.

    According to the Daily Star, ISIS jihadis have established their new base in Sirte, the former home of Colonel Gaddafi, just a few hours across the Mediterranean from Italy. Following the capture of a 200 km stretch of the coast by ISIS, American and UK forces have been deployed in Libya.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-panicked-isis-moving-headquarters-to-libya-as-syrian-stronghold-pounded-by-air-strikes-2151136?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Suhayl
    at last some reason from someone on this thread.(worth cutting and pasting)

    The personification of the Syrian Government as, “Assad” has been redolent of the personification of all enemies into a single figure which it is easy to hate and want to destroy.
    And so, an entire country now has become, “Assad”. Nobody seems to talk about, say, “The Baathist regime”, or, “The Syrian Government”. It’s always simply, “Assad”, as though it were “Sauron”, a personification of absolute evil. This is obvious propaganda. Yes, I know about the cult of personality. But in the past, the Syrian Government was never simply referred to as, “Assad”.
    It is not, “Assad”. It is the Syrian state. It is bin-men and hospital cleners. It is the things that comprise civilisation.
    In this schema of idiotic distillation, then, we all are, “Blair”.
    He have not destroyed, “Saddam”, “Gaddafi” or “Assad”. Congratulations, I hope we are proud of oursleves. We have destroyed civilisation.

    I am highly sceptical that anything like a peaceful or adequate functioning state can be created from the ashes of Syria, and the wider region, even in the event of the most benign possible outcome, by whatever means- bombing or not bombing.
    The propagandising of Assad reveals a great deal about the kinds of people who are driving this process, as it is just a way of dehumanising an opponent to a demon -and as a demon there is no possible attachment to reason. That we play a part in that process is indeed, surely a sign of own diminished humanity. Rather than insisting on seeing the human complexity we are persuaded to become venomous and vengeful.

    No one mentions what will happen to the people that Assad represents-about 40% of the population of the Syria, in the event of his defeat. Is it possible that Assad and his supporters feel they are in a terminal struggle and have acted accordingly. What plan is there to prevent the blood letting and revenge that would ensue if that group becomes exposed.

  • Tom Welsh

    “…ISIS jihadis have established their new base in Sirte, the former home of Colonel Gaddafi…”

    Well, that’s a huge improvement, isn’t it? Got rid of an elderly, eccentric national leader who had raised his country from poverty to a high standard of living, and replaced him with head-chopping, heart-gobbling Takfiri terrorists. And reduced the whole nation to chaos and anarchy in the process, killing thousands of civilians and ruining their towns.

    Good show, fellows. Well done!

  • bill munny

    Someone must have some awful secrets about piggyboy the way he is foaming at the mouth to attack women and children.

  • glenn_uk

    Suhayl: “It is not, “Assad”. It is the Syrian state. It is bin-men and hospital cleners. It is the things that comprise civilisation.

    Chomsky has talked about this. The war against Iraq was not actually against real human beings, not at all. There was just a load of little cartoon Saddam Husseins running around the place, being comically blown up and then running somewhere else.

    We dehumanise an entire nation by demonising the Big Bad leader, then we can do what we like to them. That’s all that matters, the rest is simply explaining it away as peace-nicks and simpletons not understanding how the world really works.

    That’s at best, of course. If you don’t admit to being a wide-eyed naif, perhaps you have a bit too much sympathy towards these terrorists – you a fifth columnist or something? An Enemy of the People, at the least.

  • Kirsty murray

    To be honest im really happy there bombing syria, about bloody time! P.s hope your well uncle craig havent heard from you in ages x

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