Having hopefully learned the lesson that “regime change” doesn’t necessarily mean a “regime change for the better” – especially when the change is simply swapping one Islamic basket-case for another – it seems we’ve now decided to take on some sort of referee role in the Syrian conflict instead. Instead of picking a corner we’ll simply try and ensure a fair fight: Three factories deducted for a below-the-belt chemical weapon strike; an official drone warning for a PoW ear biting (especially if the ear-biting turns into a complete head removal in your propaganda snuff video); an official count to 8 (days) if you’re opponent is on the ropes (or hiding among civilians).
We’ve had virtue-signalling – now we have virtue-bombing. A military strike designed not to defeat an enemy, or take territory, or achieve any kind of tangible political goal, but rather to make a showy statement about our presumed moral decency.
It isn’t surprising (but still disappointing) that shallow, vapid leaders such as May & Macron should get involved in bombing Syria on a bomb-first-ask-questions-later policy. A quick bit of military action is still the easiest way to grandstand as being a ‘strong & commanding’ leader.
What is surprising is that Trump has got the USA involved. So many of his support base are utterly opposed to such interventionism. He campaigned on non-interventionism. He has no need to grandstand his leadership. I fear that in Donald’s case it not only virtue-bombing but vanity-virtue-bombing too.
And if ever there was a case for having so much to lose and absolutely nothing to gain – either at home or in Syria – this is it. It makes no sense militarily, politically or theologically. Let’s get out of the ring.