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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  • lysias

    Ah, the first defense! In the form of a question.

    I pity the intellect (or is it the integrity?) of anyone who can’t see (or claims not to be able to see) that it’s a lie.

  • Tom Welsh

    I am intrigued by the popular suggestion that the RAF will be bombing the SAA or other Syrian government assets.

    Hasn’t it been made very clear indeed that the Russians are in Syria, at the invitation of the Syrian government, to assist the SAA in every way possible? How likely is it that they will sit around watching while our brave lads (and laddesses, if any) bomb their allies? Especially since our aircraft would most definitely be breaking international law the moment they venture one inch inside Syria, and a great deal more so if they do any harm there.

    “I say I say I say, have you heard the one about the Eurofighter and the S-400?” Not even Dave could make that funny.

  • Say what ?

    The 70k moderates have to be the mercenary bodies already spotted by Russian satellites across Syrias border with Turkey. All the transit routes into Syria are now covered by Iskanders so this force may find itself without any vehicles, its not going to be “shock and awe” , the flash point may well become Russia supply line in the Bosporus.

    But all the best laid plans can come to halt if smoothface falls into Jesus Corbyns divine trap tomorrow, no labour MP will vote with the neocoens afeter the earful they have presumably been getting from their constituents.

  • Phil

    I don’t think the public’s opinion on intervention on Syria is as clear cut as some of you think.

  • lysias

    Not only would the RAF be bombing Assad’s Syrians. It would be very hard for them to avoid bombing some Russians.

    August 1914, here we come!

  • MerkinScot

    Phil : ‘None of us know how many moderates there are, there could be half a dozen for all we know’.
    .
    Half a dozen?
    You are wrong. The Americans told us they trained 5 at a cost of 500 million dollars.

  • Phil

    Defense, well the government said it was (admittedly its like a pair of 2’s in poker but it beats your high card 2 that’s for sure). I’ll go dig into it if you give me something…

  • Tom Welsh

    Actually, if the decision is taken to bomb ISIS in Syria, the Prime Minister’s military advisers have no reasonable alternative but to insist that the RAF coordinate all attacks with the Russians. (A polite way of saying “place their aircraft at the Russians’ disposal, and subject to their orders”). Although, with the Russians already using over 60 ground-attack aircraft plus dozens of interceptors and occasional participation from inter-continental strategic bombers and cruise missiles, it’s not clear that the British contribution would be worth the trouble it would cause.

    Specifically:

    1. If the Russians don’t know when they are coming, what their mission is, and that they are approved by Damascus and Moscow, the British planes will be in extreme danger – and the responsibility will be entirely Dave’s.

    2. If they don’t ask the Russians and the Syrians, how the hell will they know where to bomb? The UK doesn’t have any military satellites, we can’t send in reconnaissance missions, and there’s not much point asking the Yanks who would simply give us the coordinates of SAA headquarters and then sit back and enjoy a good hearty laugh.

  • Tom Welsh

    @Lysias:

    “Not only would the RAF be bombing Assad’s Syrians. It would be very hard for them to avoid bombing some Russians”.

    They wouldn’t have to bother about avoiding that. The Russians would avoid it for them (by means they wouldn’t like). I think the Russians have had quite enough of being killed by their “partners”, and from now on they will not be giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I would not take the risk of flying across the Syrian border if I were the Pope, in a highly conspicuous flying Popemobile festooned with distinctive Papal insignia.

  • lysias

    BBC: Russia S-400 Syria missile deployment sends robust signal:

    Nato and US spokesmen have said little about the S-400, though one senior Nato diplomat acknowledged that the deployment of this and other sophisticated systems into “one operating area over Syria where many different nations are flying” makes the situation even more “complex”.

    Since the S-400’s deployment the number of coalition strikes in Syria appears to have gone down, with more of them carried out by drones. However it is hard to say if this reflects concern about the new threat or simply a response to the ebb and flow of the campaign.

    A confirmation from BBC of the reduction of Coalition flights over Syria.

  • Say what ?

    I have good news for all those who are intending to purchase a cheap insurance policy ie a hundred kilos of tesco rolled oats, dont bother to waste yer money !

    Putin has made it clear to the cryptos and neocoens who actually run our affairs, that Russia’s first target in any event will be Israel,NY,SF and Golders Green ! And the Freedmans cannot afford to lose 70% so we can expect deescalation to commence soon.

  • Phil

    I don’t think there will be any concerns over being shot down by the russians. The Americans and french have been bombing syria and they’ve not been shot at.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    “One of the lickspittles has finally shown up, but I notice that he does not dare to defend Cameron’s lie.”
    ____________________

    That’s right – I focussed on attempting to answer your question. Did you at least understand what I explained to you?

    If so, you should be polite and say thank you = after all, you never answer mine 🙂

  • Pan

    Lysias
    1 Dec, 2015 – 9:17 pm

    “Still no defense of Cameron’s lie. The silence speaks volumes.”

    Doesn’t it just!

  • Phil

    How do you want be to defend something said as fact, when nothing to the contrary has been said.

  • Tom Welsh

    @Phil:

    “I don’t think the public’s opinion on intervention on Syria is as clear cut as some of you think”.

    “Intervention on Syria”?????

    I take it you mean, “flagrantly and deliberately breaking international law by deliberately violating the airspace of a sovereign nation, killing its citizens, and destroying its infrastructure – an unprovoked act of aggressive war, the supreme international crime”?

    I suppose you have noticed that President Obama recently stated that every nation has the right to defend the integrity of its airspace? If that gave the Turks the right to shoot down a Russian aircraft for merely coming close to the Turkish border – with the attacking jets themselves violating Syrian airspace to do so – what do you think would be the case of British bombers flying into Syria, in defiance of the Syrian government’s wishes, to create mayhem?

    Do please try to understand that there is nothing about being British that automatically allows you to ignore laws and treaties, attack countries that have done nothing to harm you, and believe that you are doing good.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    “August 1914, here we come!”

    _____________________

    As a reminder, the above prophecy comes from the poster who prophesied, back in April of this year, that Lord Janner would shortly meet with an “unfortunate accident”

    I wonder if that poster is also one of those people who prophesies the end of the world every five years or so.

  • Tom Welsh

    “The Americans and french have been bombing syria and they’ve not been shot at”.

    The American bombing raids ceased abruptly – as if cut with a knife – when the Russians deployed their S-400 system. (Just as their vast white elephant aircraft carrier abruptly discovered that it needed maintenance and fled homeward immediately the Russians revealed the range of their cruise missiles).

    As for the French, they are operating within the scope of a specific agreement between Putin and Hollande. Dave is welcome to approach Putin – I would recommend a humble visit to Moscow – and seek to negotiate a similar agreement. Putin isn’t proud, he is willing to accept help – no matter how puny – if honestly offered in a constructive spirit. It might help if Dave explains that his “Hitler” remarks were meant as a joke).

  • Phil

    I can’t see the Russains being stupid enough to get involved with british aircraft.

    The turks were stupid and i imagine NATO gave them a firm telling off (classic).

  • Tom Welsh

    ‘…one senior Nato diplomat acknowledged that the deployment of this and other sophisticated systems into “one operating area over Syria where many different nations are flying” makes the situation even more “complex”’.

    All the “complexity” can be eliminated if the many different nations will just bugger off home and mind their own business. (Except for the Russians and the French, who are there at the invitation of the Syrian government and with its active cooperation).

    If the many different nations don’t take a hint and bugger off home, their aircraft are apt to be eliminated. Tough.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    “That I am being asked by a certain lickspittle to post elsewhere is a sure sign that I have struck a nerve.2
    _________________

    You must learn to read posts carefully, Lysias – after all, that is the least we can expect from an intellectual like yourself who honours us with your presence on this blog.

    I was not suggesting you post elsewhere, just wondering whether you were as prolific on the blogs of your own country as you are on this one.

    So what’s the answer?

  • Phil

    Why would Assad not allow British aircraft to strike IS positions. Assad can focus on blowing the syrian rebels up whilst we blow up ISIS. Thats a result right?

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