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Grantham Journal column: Stable door comes to mind

By Dr Gillian Sutherland

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.

Although I didn’t want to become embroiled in the bitter controversy surrounding RAF air strikes in Syria, subsequent events have forced my hand.

For long enough I have said that I can forgive MPs for being Tories, but not for being incompetent.

So it came as no surprise to me when the early fall-out from the House of Commons vote to endorse the John Betjemenesque call of ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Raqqa (not Slough)”, began to suffer former Iraq-type qualities of misdirection.

As we couldn’t possibly expect honourable members of our democratically elected government to actually lie, then I can only assume that certain spurious claims on the matter amounted to the receipt of misinformation from some quarters.

Firstly the availability of those 70,000 or so friendly fighters poised to leap to our aid in the form of boots on the ground.

Such footwear can be effective, of course, as French citizens demonstrated in defeating the ban on public gatherings after the Paris atrocities.

But surely it would take an idiot to shout it out when the Ministry of Defence was alleged to have known all along that such a force existed only in a politician’s wishful thinking. Friendly fire a les Americans maybe.

Also as it happened, the early RAF raids didn’t produce the forecast spate of civilian casualties. They weren’t likely to in remote areas around the Isis oil wells.

It is true as well that only a fool would believe the terrorist leaders would hang around to be bombed in Raqqa, even with human shields in place.

So I wasn’t surprised to learn that Isis had already begun to shift some of their operations into Afghanistan. Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted Mr Boles? More incompetent “intelligence’ I would suggest.

Finally everyone must realise that Isis cells all over Europe and the USA don’t need Syria to plan their attacks. They already have that autonomy.


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