Monday, 23 November 2015
The need for strong defence in a hostile world
Photo: "RAF Eurofighter Typhoon" by Peter Gronemann
There were a number of stories that caught my attention today and choosing which one to write about has proved shall we say, difficult. They are sort of connected as you will see but trying to make sense out of the political developments going on around the world of British politics can be perplexing even for those with a firm view on such matters.
The announcement that the Tory government was to virtually reverse cuts in defence spending was only partially a surprise given that Cameron and his mates have cut the armed forces to the bone following their somewhat ill though out "austerity" policy. The RAF lost all it's Harrier jump jets, the Navy it's only aircraft carrier and the Army shrunk to less than the size of the BEF sent to France in 1940.
Yet there has been no peace dividend. Russia has been on an expansionist binge in the Crimea and other parts of the Ukraine, rattling its sabre alongside the Baltic states and sending out long range planes and submarines to test our air and sea defences just like in the cold war.
Whilst jets could be scrambled to intercept the bombers, it seems we no longer have aircraft able to detect submarines and have to rely on the French and the Germans for assistance.
Meanwhile in the Middle east civil wars across two Arab nations led to rise of what can only be described as a new Nazi movement. ISIL/ISIS/Daesh whatever you call to choose them. A genocidal army made up of religious fanatics and attracting adherents from their bedrooms in supposedly civilised Western countries to go out and rape, murder and enslave all those who are not them.
For too long the world stood aside and allowed this to go on with only the Kurds seemingly being the ones to take on the Islamist criminals. The Americans and other allies sent in their air forces which did include half a dozen RAF jets but that was never going to be enough.
The West's inaction led to a power vacuum allowing other powers to intervene. First the Iranians and their proxies Hezbollah backing up the vicious Syrian dictator Assad but also allowed the West's old enemy the Russian bear to establish itself in the Middle eastern theatre with a vengeance.
Unprepared the Cameron government had to be both shocked by the Paris attacks and shamed by the French response to finally recognise peace relies on being prepared for war.
Not quite the thirties, but near enough as the clerical fascists rise around the world and in our midst with a nihilist agenda that threatens us all.
Too little to late. So many people have suffered through our inaction. Mass graves are being found as the Islamic genocide of the Yazadi's and others are uncovered. The Times reports that ISIS is digging in preparing for their absolute defence of their fatherland or caliphate as they deem it in their deluded war on behalf of an imaginary friend. their ideology taken from the worst excesses of Saudi wahhabism.
The left, particularity in the UK has shamed itself by dallying with non-existent "Islamic alliances" in the name of anti-imperialism. The Stop the War Coalition backed the dictators, ignored the Kurds, pretended as if the Yazadi's didn't exist.
All in the name of "anti-imperialism".
To make matters worse the Labour Party has become dominated by a political tendency around Jeremy Corbyn that wants to pretend these wars are the West's fault and fret about the rights of terrorists like Jihadi John and Corbyn himself feels "uncomfortable" with a "shoot to kill" policy when the terrorists come shooting and murdering our own in the streets.
Our politicians whether of the left or the right have failed us. Tolerating the intolerable. Being weak in the face of adversity and acting so late.
No one wants war, but sometimes war is forced upon us.
We were unprepared. They never learn.
There can never be appeasement in the face of evil.