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Tunisia, Egypt, Libya... Arab Countries in Revolt

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We've got to be careful with absolutes here. Look at NI, lots of very undesirable individuals walking the streets, but a semblance of normal society has returned. To condemn absolutely those who are your current enemy forever gives them no option to evolve their viewpoint either.

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This whole situation is an interesting one. From the parliamentary angle to the validity of it at all.

I can't say in that I'm that bothered that either of these 2 has been splattered across some interesting new crater in the Syrian landscape, but equally I'm not too sure I want to justify that with the government telling us 'these guys were a threat, OK?'. I'd like to see some evidence they had planned to attack the UK. I'm not sure that just going to Syria and flapping your idiot lip about ISIS bollocks is something that cashes in your life card. Don't get me wrong, if you're going to Syria to join up, I think you're a word removed and your options no longer include returning to the UK, but I don't think that means the UK has carte blanche to kill you. There are plenty of people worldwide who talk a big game about threats to the UK but that doesn't give us the right to remotely remove them from the earth. If that was the case Anjem Choudhary would have been a smoking crater of slowly cooling glass years ago.

If, however, there was credible evidence they did pose a threat, by which I mean plans were in place and work begun to implement them in earnest, given the situation whereby we can't really secure these people to go through due process, I don't think I raise an issue.

Either way I don't think there's many people shedding a tear for 2 words removed tonight 

Great post, sums up my feelings exactly. 

No, I'm not sad they're dead, but I think if this is to be a regular thing, then we need to debate the fact that we're de facto reintroducing the death penalty for people who join IS in Syria. 

EDIT: I really do think the government should be trying to present at least some evidence that this action was justified by the threat they posed. 

Edited by HanoiVillan

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I certainly haven't read anything that even remotely suggests that 'anyone over there under the IS banner is therefore a terrorist and fair game for assassination whenever the opportunity arises' that really is a monumental leap.

I'm not saying that anyone has used those precise words and I'm not saying that is the governments position (though I suspect it's the position of quite a number of people in government and probably a huge number of hawks).

I'd be interested to know why, if one holds the positions that once individuals have crossed the Rubicon and fled the West to Syria and joined ISIS they are terrorists and once intelligence is such they are deemed to be a credible threat to the UK then I would want, no I would expect our Government to take action by whatever means are available to them, one wouldn't be of the opinion that any IS actors (be they British Jihadis or from elsewhere) are not fair targets for the same actions as were taken in this case?

 Yes I think Fallon has said that but then what would you expect him to say? He can hardly say "no this is a one off" because he has no idea what might be around the corner, what threat there may be or what action might be deemed necessary. He would literally have to be stupid to say anything other than that this sort of strike could be repeated.

Actually, from what I now read Fallon hasn't said that there could well be more but that there are indeed more targets against whom 'if there is no other way of preventing these attacks' they would carry out the same strikes. It's an interesting phrase that Mr Fallon uses (it's a bit of a ticking time bomb style insertion) because it doesn't completely fit with what has come out about the targets taken out a couple of weeks ago (i.e. questions about any imminence of threat, that attacks had already been foiled, &c.).

Of course he's a politician and its their wont to weasel their way around things but it would appear to me from his comments that this is some sort of policy (at least in infant stages).

 I don't see the justification for your assertion that its a political decision rather than a security one, nor the logic if I'm honest. I'm struggling to see the political gain available to Cameron from this at a time when the media focus is on a humanitarian crisis and when there is little public appetite for enhanced levels of combat. Unless you think its purely to gain a few popularity points but personally I don't buy that.

I think you may have misunderstood what I meant when I said 'political' decision. It's not about political gain in a party political sense or in a personal popularity sense but it's about making a decision to achieve an end beyond just the crater after the drone strikes - the suggestion in my previous post was as a prelude to further action possibly because the government are not prepared to take their case to parliament (or bring a motion) until 'there is consensus'.

 

 

 

Apologies if that hasn't come out in any readable form but I'm having a shocker of a time acclimatizing myself to this editor!

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I'll finish my comments on the matter with a few quoted lines from David Allen Green's blog on it over at the FT :

There is a good reason why life and death should not depend on the executive’s fiat.

The death of an Isis operative does not matter; but what does matter is that a government capable of killing people does not fall into the habit of casual international homicide, believing it just has to shout “self-defence” and “terrorism” so as to get people to nod-along.

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This whole situation is an interesting one. From the parliamentary angle to the validity of it at all.

I can't say in that I'm that bothered that either of these 2 has been splattered across some interesting new crater in the Syrian landscape, but equally I'm not too sure I want to justify that with the government telling us 'these guys were a threat, OK?'. I'd like to see some evidence they had planned to attack the UK. I'm not sure that just going to Syria and flapping your idiot lip about ISIS bollocks is something that cashes in your life card. Don't get me wrong, if you're going to Syria to join up, I think you're a word removed and your options no longer include returning to the UK, but I don't think that means the UK has carte blanche to kill you. There are plenty of people worldwide who talk a big game about threats to the UK but that doesn't give us the right to remotely remove them from the earth. If that was the case Anjem Choudhary would have been a smoking crater of slowly cooling glass years ago.

If, however, there was credible evidence they did pose a threat, by which I mean plans were in place and work begun to implement them in earnest, given the situation whereby we can't really secure these people to go through due process, I don't think I raise an issue.

Either way I don't think there's many people shedding a tear for 2 words removed tonight 

Great post, sums up my feelings exactly. 

No, I'm not sad they're dead, but I think if this is to be a regular thing, then we need to debate the fact that we're de facto reintroducing the death penalty for people who join IS in Syria. 

EDIT: I really do think the government should be trying to present at least some evidence that this action was justified by the threat they posed. 

Thing is we already have introduced the death penalty for those who join IS and have been bombing them in Iraq for months - at the request of the Iraqi government.

It's the same organisation as that fighting  on territory we recognise as Syria, but for them that international  border no longer exists and was succeeded by their Islamic State. Clearly the IS interpretation of current borders is reflected by the facts on the ground.

What this drone strike has really done is highlighted the absurdity of the UK's current position. You fight IS or you don't. Clinging to a position that events have rendered moot is ridiculous.

Imho Cameron now needs to very realistic about a few things. IS has to fought wherever they are, that includes Syria but also Libya and increasingly the Yemen. He is highly unlikely to get this through a Parliamentary vote and has no chance whatsoever once Corbyn is elected. He doesn't need to, this convention was introduced by Blair to give himself moral top cover for the Iraq invasion. It is not constitutionally required.

He also needs to tell Germany, France and the US that we are going to talk to Putin about a comprehensive political solution for Syria. America is secure behind the Atlantic and Obama is a spanner who has fecked up Middle East policy completely. Germany doesn't really do FP very much but would welcome the chance to start being more pragmatic with Moscow. The French can eat a length, anyone who genuinely believes they are our geopolitical friends needs their heads examined.

The only solution to Syria is political and must include Russia and Iran. That is impossible to achieve while IS dominate so much of the ground. Local forces lack the capacity to decisively push them back, particularly while they are being attacked by the IS airforce in Turkey. We (the West) are going to have to go in or stand aside while the Russians do. From a realpolitik point of view we share Assad's enemies and as long as they exist at current levels of strength and organisation Iraq will also remain a slaughterhouse.

Assad will have to go into exile as part of a managed transition to a new government, but for now it's about the wolf nearest the sleigh and that is IS.

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Well, I totally oppose invading Syria, and certainly nothing will persuade me otherwise. So we're implacably opposed on this issue. 

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Well, I totally oppose invading Syria, and certainly nothing will persuade me otherwise. So we're implacably opposed on this issue. 

Well that's it then. Pistols at dawn :)     

Do you concede that it is logically, strategically and militarily incoherent to attack IS in Iraq but not in Syria, when chunks of  the former territories of both countries are now incorporated into the Islamic State?   For example had these two little 'erberts been plinked by drones on the Iraqi side of the old border this would be a non-issue and indeed have been done with the full (however legally irrelevant) backing of Parliament.  

I'm not asking you to agree that we should invade, only to recognise the obvious failing in the current  UK arrangements for targeting Islamic State.    

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I'm not saying that anyone has used those precise words and I'm not saying that is the governments position (though I suspect it's the position of quite a number of people in government and probably a huge number of hawks).

It might be but we can't really know either way.

 

 

I'd be interested to know why, if one holds the positions that once individuals have crossed the Rubicon and fled the West to Syria and joined ISIS they are terrorists and once intelligence is such they are deemed to be a credible threat to the UK then I would want, no I would expect our Government to take action by whatever means are available to them, one wouldn't be of the opinion that any IS actors (be they British Jihadis or from elsewhere) are not fair targets for the same actions as were taken in this case?

Because unless they pose a direct threat to the UK then there doesn't appear to be a legal basis for the action as is being argued in this case. They are still clearly terrorist but are free to operate as they wish within Syria because of our current restrictions on engagement.

Apologies in advance Snowy if this ends up being a rather disjointed reply but the quoting system on the new site and I simply aren't friends.

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Well, I totally oppose invading Syria, and certainly nothing will persuade me otherwise. So we're implacably opposed on this issue. 

Well that's it then. Pistols at dawn :)     

Do you concede that it is logically, strategically and militarily incoherent to attack IS in Iraq but not in Syria, when chunks of  the former territories of both countries are now incorporated into the Islamic State?   For example had these two little 'erberts been plinked by drones on the Iraqi side of the old border this would be a non-issue and indeed have been done with the full (however legally irrelevant) backing of Parliament.  

I'm not asking you to agree that we should invade, only to recognise the obvious failing in the current  UK arrangements for targeting Islamic State.    

I completely agree with you.

The current restriction on engagement based on a border that has long since ceased to exist really is quite a farce. Irrespective of your fundamental position on our engagement in conflict in the region surely anyone would agree with that.

The rule of engagement is in place therefore should be respected by but its a rule that makes little or no sense in reality.

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The current restriction on engagement based on a border that has long since ceased to exist really is quite a farce. Irrespective of your fundamental position on our engagement in conflict in the region surely anyone would agree with that.

I'm curious to know the answer to that too..

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Because unless they pose a direct threat to the UK then there doesn't appear to be a legal basis for the action as is being argued in this case. They are still clearly terrorist but are free to operate as they wish within Syria because of our current restrictions on engagement. 

Cameron has already told us that IS(IL) poses a direct threat to the Britain.

As for the legality, the link in my post above to David Allen Green's blog (which also contains links to two other legal commentators' blogs/articles) suggests as I've said earlier that the case surrounding this action and the invocation of article 51 is likely to be under discussion by legal people from now until eternity.

Apologies in advance Snowy if this ends up being a rather disjointed reply but the quoting system on the new site and I simply aren't friends.

I'm in the same boat!

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I'm not saying that anyone has used those precise words and I'm not saying that is the governments position (though I suspect it's the position of quite a number of people in government and probably a huge number of hawks).

It might be but we can't really know either way.

Indeed. I'm just advancing my suspicions. :)

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As is fact we are a small Island in comparison to some, So for me I am more than happy consentrating on the security of the UK than every other country in the world. So if a couple of Isis crew who happen to be British are threatening our country, I am more than happy for the Goverment to send a drone out to turn them into part of a 50ft crater.

I know there are political issues in making these decisions, an sure you will never get everyone to agree on the matter, but for me its the right move and sends out the right signals to other British nationals thinking of joining ISIS. I certainly don't want to hear the story of these guys being tracked for 3 years before blowing up 200+ people at a some huge event.

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Huge development.  The German government has confirmed that the rumoured chemical weapon attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq last week were genuine.  IS has apparently developed the capability to manufacture mustard gas in Raqqa and are actively using it on the battlefield - no link yet, hearing it on Radio 4 this morning.

No doubt the cynics will now come pouring out of the woodwork - and they should - but I'd point out that the Germans are not known for their bellicosity and despite numerous rumoured uses of mustard gas over recent months this is the first time they have been sure enough to confirm it.

The clock is now ticking on the formation of a genuine international coalition to attack and defeat IS. Not before time. 

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Huge development.  The German government has confirmed that the rumoured chemical weapon attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq last week were genuine.  IS has apparently developed the capability to manufacture mustard gas in Raqqa and are actively using it on the battlefield - no link yet, hearing it on Radio 4 this morning.

Having looked at recent articles (i.e. googled news reports for the last month), it would appear that there have been reports claiming that mustard gas attacks have happened several times recently and that the German intelligence bod said that their tests confirmed its use on Kurdish fighters. He was quoted - in this article - as saying:

“We have knowledge of ISIS using mustard gas against Kurds in North Iraq,” German media reports quoted BND chief Gerhard Schindler as saying.

“We recovered injured Kurds (from the frontlines) and on the basis of blood samples we can confirm the use of poison gas,” he said.

The combat agent, which is prohibited by the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), originates either from old stocks of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein “or the Islamists have managed to produce the toxic gas themselves, after they took the University of Mosul with its chemistry laboratories,” according to Schindler.

This is not to make a comment on the abhorrent use of chemical weapons (and what that may mean) but just to urge caution about the 'developed the capability' line (all I can see on that is the Heil's headline on their story saying that ISIS are making [and using] chemical weapons, US officials believe).

That's obviously the most worrying angle but from what I've read commentators saying it's as per the above quote (with an extra option): the source of these could be an Assad stockpile, stuff left over in/from Iraq or their own production line. 

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death cult about to get about 50% of it's wish list dropped on it from a great height

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Huge development.  The German government has confirmed that the rumoured chemical weapon attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq last week were genuine.  IS has apparently developed the capability to manufacture mustard gas in Raqqa and are actively using it on the battlefield - no link yet, hearing it on Radio 4 this morning.

Having looked at recent articles (i.e. googled news reports for the last month), it would appear that there have been reports claiming that mustard gas attacks have happened several times recently and that the German intelligence bod said that their tests confirmed its use on Kurdish fighters. He was quoted - in this article - as saying:

“We have knowledge of ISIS using mustard gas against Kurds in North Iraq,” German media reports quoted BND chief Gerhard Schindler as saying.

“We recovered injured Kurds (from the frontlines) and on the basis of blood samples we can confirm the use of poison gas,” he said.

The combat agent, which is prohibited by the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), originates either from old stocks of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein “or the Islamists have managed to produce the toxic gas themselves, after they took the University of Mosul with its chemistry laboratories,” according to Schindler.

This is not to make a comment on the abhorrent use of chemical weapons (and what that may mean) but just to urge caution about the 'developed the capability' line (all I can see on that is the Heil's headline on their story saying that ISIS are making [and using] chemical weapons, US officials believe).

That's obviously the most worrying angle but from what I've read commentators saying it's as per the above quote (with an extra option): the source of these could be an Assad stockpile, stuff left over in/from Iraq or their own production line. 

Thanks for doing that, not had time yet to properly search. Wireless had the Aussie government as source on the Raqqa angle. Suggesting they had recruited scientists are we're producing there.

However as Chris put it, they may soon wish they hadn't

EDIT: and what is it with gassing Kurds? They seem to have been on the wrong end of chemical weapons more often than any other people since WW1...

Edited by Awol
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Thanks for doing that, not had time yet to properly search. Wireless had the Aussie government as source on the Raqqa angle. Suggesting they had recruited scientists are we're producing there.

However as Chris put it, they may soon wish they hadn't

EDIT: and what is it with gassing Kurds? They seem to have been on the wrong end of chemical weapons more often than any other people since WW1...

No probs. There may be more out there - that was just what I could find and as I say it was just to look at the production angle (which is obviously going to get people even more exercised than the use - as horrific as that is on its own).

As for the Kurds, I agree - they can count themselves as more than a shade unfortunate.

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I feel for the Kurds, I really do so I've come up with a cunning plan.

All we need to do is wipe out ISIS and then take the territory that they currently control that was once part of Iraq and Syria. 

Then the U.S and Britain can fund them and then sell weapons to them, then they can invite Kurds from all over the world to come to their new nation. When it gets too crowded they will have the military power and political backing to just extend their territory, nobody will mind its just desert anyway. (Reminder to self, order large quantity of white phosphorus)

Problem sorted and we have a stable Middle East. 

 

Genius.

Edited by TrentVilla
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