Journalist and author, Peter Hitchens, has used his Sunday column this week to set out further his case against British involvement in military intervention in Syria.
Peter Hitchens is, of course, not a pacifist. Describing himself in the Mail on Sunday column as a “patriotic Englishman from a Naval family” who supported the retaking of the Falkland Islands, he is now, however amazed to find himself “so lonely” in doubting what he calls “a foolish war”.
Leaving aside the fact that he is far from alone in harbouring such doubts, as reported by Breitbart London yesterday and as witnessed on Twitter, Mr. Hitchens does set out a compelling argument which has not yet been fully-countered by those banging the war drums.
It's not just Corbyn or left wingers Peter Hitchens demolishes the argument that Hilarious Benn called "compelling" https://t.co/pDXbz9lYEz
— thedevilstuna (@thedevilstuna) November 29, 2015
The column warns that under Prime Minister David Cameron’s leadership we are “rushing towards yet another swamp” backed with nothing more than “an emotional spasm and a speech that was illogical and factually weak.”
Predicting that “no conceivable good” can come from Britain’s participation in Syria, Mr. Hitchens also believes it will become another part of the Middle East from which it will be impossible to extract ourselves, with inevitable consequences. He writes:
Heaven forbid that it will lead (as other such adventures have) to more melancholy processions, bearing flag-wrapped coffins, from RAF Brize Norton; or to quieter convoys, carrying terribly injured men to special hospitals.
Why must good, brave, dutiful men and women die or be maimed for life because our politicians are vain and ignorant?
But there is no knowing the end of this, especially given the Prime Minister’s absurd belief that we have 70,000 ‘moderate’ allies just waiting to help us in Syria. Among these scattered ‘moderates’ are those who last week murdered a Russian pilot as he parachuted to earth, and mauled his corpse.
When this phantom army turns out to be non-existent, or hostile, how long will it take Mr Cameron to return to the House of Commons, pleading oh-so-reasonably for ground troops to follow?
Somewhat controversially, Mr. Hitchens says he is “yet to see conclusive evidence that the Paris murders were organised by or in Islamic State” citing “plenty of home-grown hatred” in France and the fact that, despite strict gun laws, the country “is awash with illegal Kalashnikovs and ammunition” as another possible explanation.
Regardless, his observation that he is unable to “see why bombing Raqqa will defend us or anyone against such murders” is one that should be answered. He says that the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee “carefully argued” in a report published just three weeks ago that intervention in Syria is not a good idea, and Mr. Hitchens has seen nothing to convince him otherwise.
Mr. Hitchens goes on to give his diagnosis of the condition under which he says the Prime Minister labours:
David Cameron is already suffering from galloping Churchill syndrome (the patient growls, denounces his critics as appeasers, and starts wars). Now he seems to have contracted Blair’s disorder, an irresistible desire to pose alongside military hardware.
The example he gives is that of the Prime Minister’s portrait next to “a very macho-looking Typhoon fighter jet at Northolt RAF base” earlier this week (see above). In this, Mr. Hitchens smells something fishy:
Odd, that. Typhoons are not normally stationed at Northolt, and I haven’t been able to get a coherent explanation of what military reason it had to be there, so convenient for a photo-opportunity.
The column concludes with Mr. Hitchens citing his fear that in modern wars “real experts are impatiently pushed aside, while flatterers and yes-men take over”. He advises Mr. Cameron to listen to Britain’s former ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, a man who opposes what he calls “recreational bombing”.