Soldier , author of “An ordinary Soldier” and “Task Force Helmand”, holder of the MC, UUP councillor and sometime talking head, said:
“they won’t go away, they can’t be reasoned with it’ll only get worse. IS must be defeated militarily and politically.” This in response to an article in the Independent which attempted to set out the nuances of the situation.
I responded to him “calm down dear, let’s treat them like PIRA, all will be well then.”
Unable to see the subtlety of the remark [and the reference to Cameron] he suggested that I was being patronising.
I explained that my remark was made as a result of my experience of HMG and PIRA.
He responded “You’re kinda foolish aren’t you-you’d best jog on and hump someone else’s leg”.
I suppose this must be NCO speak for something.
The point is that on Sunday, lots of talking heads, more able than our second favourite local squaddie, offered pat solutions to IS and lots of jingoism.
Nothing is ever as it seems, who knows how many IS fighters received assistance from the CIA or MI6? How often has IS been used by the West against other foes?How many agents does the West have in IS and how many participate in attacks? What negotiations are going on with IS as we speak? Remember that the British Government talked tough about the IRA for thirty years , all the while negotiating with it. Remember how Major’s stomach would be turned by such a prospect?
As Lord Castlereagh said of diplomacy ” a lie is not a lie where the truth is not expected”.
IS is embedded in many countries and reflects discontent with those particular regimes, a certain view of Islam and no doubt hatred of the West.
Not one commentator I heard on Sunday wanted to open up the wider picture. Apart from the embedded hatred of the West, accrued after the perfidious treatment meted out by Britain and France after the Great War and subsequent US foreign policy in the Middle East, nobody wanted to mention the thousands of Muslim women and children, killed by the West since 9/11 .
That might provide an explanation [though not an excuse] for both massacres in the last year in Tunisia.
The lets ‘go napalm their village” approach has failed over and over. The British Army’s performance in Iraq and Afghanistan was pitiful. There are no bad privates only bad generals and the British press, disgracefully, have failed to hold successive generals to account.
I’m sure Doug was a good and brave company commander and I’m sure his views are about just as worthy as Richard Dannatt. Both are wrong in their simplistic thinking .