War Porn 139


With over 50,000 sorties already flown by allied aircraft against ISIL, it added nothing substantial for a tiny number of British jets to fly instantly after the Westminster vote to hit an oilfield in Syria. It was purely war porn, to provide all those pictures of jets taking off to excite the public and continue the propaganda. Worth noting that none of the mythical magical missiles that don’t kill civilians was used last night, just high explosive freefall bombs. The target is also a useful reminder that, as always, oil features prominently in neo-con foreign policy. MPs spoke openly in last night’s debate of breaking up Syria, which will be music to the ears of Genie Energy and Messrs Murdoch and Rothschild, and the Israeli government which astonishingly has already issued oil licences within Syria.

If we actually wanted to bomb the oilfields that fund ISIL, we would be bombing Saudi Arabia.

Scotland is being dragged into a war it voted near unanimously against. 96.5% of Scotland’s MPs voted against the airstrikes in Syra. On platforms all up and down this country, I argued that I do not care a damn about how strong powers are given to Scotland’s parliament in domestic affairs, it we are not a sovereign nation and can still be taken to war against our will. I was proud of Alex Salmond last night for expressing contempt at the notion that civilians are not killed in British airstrikes, a big lie nobody else directly challenged.

I am reassured that last night’s events must be yet another step along the road to independence, and will have invigorated SNP hearts against the temptation of being too comfortable at Westminster.

I don’t know how many oil engineers, or people who cook and clean for oil engineers, we incinerated last night, but the triumphalism of the Blairite warmongers over it is not a very edifying sight. It says something for the strength of the delusions entertained in the Blairite bubble that the fact that Hilary Benn’s speech led to the rafters echoing with Tories making HWOAR HWOAR noises, is taken by them as a massive sign of imminent triumph within the Labour Party. The 28% of Labour MPs who supported Cameron – which they did with explicit attacks on their own leader and on Labour members who were opposing the Tories – will be experiencing the shock of hangover as the heady moment of triumph seems a lot less clever the next day.

UPDATE: I have withdrawn a statement about British aircraft intercepting Russian aircraft, as my informant has been in touch to say they were in fact referring to an incident several days ago.


139 thoughts on “War Porn

1 3 4 5
  • Phil

    Once again you’re assuming the airstrike targeted buildings. Also don’t all tornado sorties fly with a drone. I don’t know what reconnaissance that does but maybe that helps.

  • lysias

    Telegraph: British air strikes in Syria could last three years as RAF focus bomb attacks on Isil’s oil fields:

    The RAF is to target Syrian oilfields in a new offensive to sever Isil’s revenue lifeline but the mission to destroy the terror group could take three years, the Defence Secretary warned.

    British airstrikes will focus on oil refineries in eastern and northern Syria in the coming days and weeks to hit the “brutal terrorists in their heartland”, Michael Fallon said.

    But he warned the task was “not going to be quick” while David Cameron said Britain would need to be “patient and persistent”.

    A lot of people will likely die in three years of bombing.

  • bleb

    Perhaps Phil can explain how he thinks infra-red sensors (or any other sensors for that matter) can tell the difference between civilians and ISIS fighters?

  • Kempe

    Tornado crews have night vision and thermal imaging equipment and anyway oilfields have acres of pipes, pumps, storage tanks, separators and other large and expensive kit that could be targeted other than occupied buildings. These oilfields have been the subject of intense reconnaissance for months now, long enough to work out how many people are there at any one time and where they might be.

  • Phil

    Drones dont fly from Akrotiri, they come out of various bases in the region. They usually recon the area while the jets get there. Thus you have a constant recon so you know whats going on.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Once again you’re assuming the airstrike targeted buildings. Also don’t all tornado sorties fly with a drone. I don’t know what reconnaissance that does but maybe that helps.”

    ____________

    Above Phil’s comment at 7.16pm

    Below Phil’s comment at.8.27pm

    “Drones dont fly from Akrotiri, they come out of various bases in the region. They usually recon the area while the jets get there. Thus you have a constant recon so you know whats going on.”

    _________________

    One minute Phil isn’t sure about drones, the next he knows exactly what they do and that they don’t fly out of certain RAF bases.

    Phil is taking the piss, he know more than he’s letting on…..nice try laddie.

  • Phil

    I wasn’t sure what recon equipment drones have. I did know that they don’t fly out of Akrotiri.

  • lysias

    RAF Waddington:

    The base is the RAF’s Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) hub and is home to a fleet of aircraft composed of Sentry AEW1, Sentinel R1, Shadow R1, RC-135W Rivet Joint and operating base for the RAF’s MQ-9 Reaper. The station is also home to No. 34 Expeditionary Air Wing.

    General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper:

    On 16 October 2014, the MOD announced the deployment of armed Reapers in Operation Shader, the UK’s contribution to the United States-led military intervention against Islamic State, the first occasion the UK used its Reapers outside Afghanistan. The number of aircraft out of the RAF’s 10-plane fleet was not disclosed, but it is expected that at least two were sent; more were dispatched as the UK drew down from Afghanistan. RAF Reapers’ primary purpose is to provide surveillance support and situational awareness to coalition forces.[119][120] On 10 November 2014, the MoD reported that an RAF Reaper had conducted its first airstrike against Islamic State forces, firing a Hellfire missile at militants placing an IED near Bayji.[121] RAF Reapers based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus conducted one surveillance mission over Syria in November 2014, four in December 2014, and eight in January 2015. On 7 September 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that two Islamic State fighters from Britain had been killed in an intelligence-led strike by an RAF Reaper near Raqqa, Syria; the first armed use of RAF assets in Syria during the civil war.[122] On 4 October 2015 David Cameron announced that the RAF would replace its existing fleet of 10 Reapers with more than 20 of the “latest generation of RPAS”, named as “Protector”;[123] possibly a Reaper variant.[124]

    It would make a lot more sense to fly drones over Syria out of Akrotiri rather than Waddingon, if the facilities already exist at Akrotiri. I wonder if the Lincolnshire Echo’s story that the drone flew out of Waddington is a cover story.

  • lysias

    As for the Reaper’s sensors, this is from that Wikipedia piece about the Reaper:

    An MQ-9 can adopt various mission kits and combinations of weapons and sensors payloads to meet combat requirements. Its Raytheon AN/AAS-52 multi-spectral targeting sensor suite includes a color/monochrome daylight TV, infrared, and image-intensified TV with laser rangefinder/laser designator to designate targets for laser guided munitions.[citation needed] The aircraft is also equipped with the Lynx Multi-mode Radar that contains synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can operate in both spotlight and strip modes, and ground moving target indication (GMTI) with Dismount Moving Target Indicator (DMTI) and Maritime Wide-Area Search (MWAS) capabilities.[34] The Reaper was used as a testbed for Gorgon Stare, a wide-area surveillance sensor system.[35] Increment 1 of the system was first fielded in March 2011 on the Reaper and could cover an area of 16 km2 (6.2 sq mi); increment 2, incorporating ARGUS-IS and expanding the coverage area to 100 km2 (39 sq mi), achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in early 2014. The system has 368 cameras capable of capturing 5 million pixels each to create an image of about 1.8 billion pixels; video is collected at 12 frames per second, producing several terabytes of data per minute.[36]

  • Phil

    I still don’t think they fly directly out of Akrotiri. Im fairly sure the one used last night came out of Iraq…..

  • Andrew

    Mary (3.31pm) – “Where is the command centre for the bombing operation?”

    It’s in Tampa, Florida

    http://www.centcom.mil/

    p.s. The UK drones used in Iraq/Syria are physically based in Kuwait but controlled from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

  • nevermind

    This is a testimony from a friend who extensively traveled the middle east during the 70’s, a great read.

    Warmongers – #NOTINMYNAME
    Alun Buffry·Friday, 4 December 2015
    As far as I am concerned they can all think what they like, say what they like, write what they like and all based on their beliefs, just so long as they don’t pretend to be my friends –
    You all must know my feelings by now – warmongers are not my friends any more than are murders.
    I passed through Syria in 1972, a long time ago, and found people mostly hospitable and friendly if not wealthy. It is mostly desert towns with just a few larger cities.
    I crossed the border withg Iraq at Al qaim, which has been totally destroyed ad is now army barracks and oile worker accomodation; they villegers there, simple folk, showed great hosptality and generosity to what must have seemed weirdo’s from the West. Bahgdad was also a great place.
    I think many of the people I met are either dead or refugees now.
    Over the last few decades, Syria let in millions of refugees fleeing from the bombs in Iraq and troubles in Turkey, Lebanon and so on.
    Now they and their hosts have been scared by all sides so that they flee again. All sides knew that would happen. That is what was happening was no reason to kill and scare them even more.
    The so-called terrorists are on all sides, the Syrian government, external governments from thousands of miles away inow overhead bombing them, the ISIS or whatever name we want to give them, It’s as if they are trying to clear Syria of people. It is an important stepping stone to oil and what the West seeks is that steping stone.
    There have been terror attacks in many countries in the world, so often committed by people from the very same countries they kill in. We bomb or do not bomb based purely on a semi-hidden but obvious agenda that our government and seemingly opposition parties support.
    When you see UK troops on the streets of one if not the most surveyed spied upon countries in the world, housing and protecting the super-rich whilst people sleep on the streets with benefits removed, inadequate schooling and healthcare, where most of the people live in fear of somebody and the vast majority do not support their government,
    …then that is a tyranny, then you will surely know that is has never been the IRA, Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Saddam, Kaddafi, IS, or anyone outside the UK that has caused the problems.
    It has always been the UK Government. Now they call it war, yet the “rules” of war are irrelevant because we are not at war against Syria; we are just bombing them for our own reasons and it is clear enough that Cameron either does not himself really understand or that he is simply telling porkies.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And now these two murderous idiots, who appear to have been clerical fascists, decide to attack and kill multiple people in California in a social services centre for the disabled?

    This is the essence of their political ideology.

    Yet we have helped to create this monstrosity.

  • Tony M

    I’m sticking with ISIS, than Daesh or even Da’esh, this doesn’t limit the Arab or the rest Islam’s adherents right to call them by any derogatory terms they choose. I sense an attempt to erase, to disconnect from the reality that whatever they are they the creation of the West, the Gulf monarchies, Israel and Turkey, sort of in the way Windscale was changed to Sellafield. There’s no point in wasting time over semantics, sowing confusion.

1 3 4 5

Comments are closed.