As I write this, MP's are voting on bombing Syria. Unless there is a massive shock, we will be dropping bombs on Syria in the morning. The whole thing has been the most disgusting debate I've ever witnessed. Firstly Cameron has prevaricated because he didn't want another defeat as he had two years ago. What no one has said is that if Cameron had got his way two years ago, we'd have bombed Assad. If this had happened, ISIS would probably be running Syria. They are clearly the most organised of the opposition parties. Sadly no one has made this point. The Labour MP's are clearly out of tune with the majority of the people who make up the parties. Then there are the Tories. No one has mentioned that there are enough rebels to prevent Cameron having a majority. Yet despite this huge split and the fact that Cameron lacks authority in his own party, no one mentions Tory splits. When Cameron castigates MP's for being friends of terrorists, is he referring to those on his own benches. Then we have the Lib Dems. Under Farron they have moved from the honourable position of Charles Kennedy in 2001, of principled opposition to war, to one of slavish warmongering. Labour wonders why the SNP have usurped them in Scotland. Anyone watching this debate would understand why. I think the SNP are probably the only party who emerge with credit from this process.
I am not an apologist for terrorists. If Cameron had presented a coherent plan for Syria, with a strategy for putting an end to ISIS, with a political strategy and money to rebuild the war stricken country, then I would support the policy. What we actually have is a vote to bomb Syria. No one knows where this will lead. No one can explain what will fill the vacuum when Raqqa becomes a cratered moonscape of bomb craters. Will Assad move back in and massacre the last remaining citizens. Do we care about the poor citizens who've been terrorised and bombed to submission. MY Dad was an air force pilot in WWII. He once told me that whatever anyone tells you, there is no such thing as "precision bombing". The reason for this is because no one in a plane really knows what is on the ground. If you blow up a tank or an oil refinery, this clearly has a military or an economic purpose, but when you bomb a building, who knows who is in it. There has never been an ariel bombing campaign where innocent people have not been killed. When the former Syrian ambassador states that the bombing campign will achieve nothing, surely the likes of Cameron should listen.
The sad truth is that in the next few days, we'll see a few pictures of smart bombs blowing things up. The half dozen planes we'll send will blow up a few things. They will probably kill a few terrorists. They will also kill a few innocent people. If anyone wants to take a bet, I'll bet them £100 to a charity of their choice that in a years time, we will be no less safe from fundamentalist terrorists than we are today. No one has asked Cameron if we will be safer in a years time if we bomb. No one has asked him to explain how.
All in all, there was one of the longest debates in the house for years, but no one really believes that whatever happens, anyone will be made safer by this action. No one has even asked Cameron for a guarantee that his plan will work. The only guarantee is that people will die.