Should the UK bomb Syria?

This is a cross-post from The Rambling Infidel

David Cameron has laid out his plan to extend operations against ISIS from Iraq into Syria and will hold a vote in Parliament on Wednesday to decide whether her Majesty’s armed forces should intervene in Syria to fight ISIS by way of airstrikes. He is calling for a ‘political transition’ in Syria to bring about an end to the civil war and to increase humanitarian aid.

70,000 moderates

A significant premise of the proposal is the existence of an estimated 70,000 moderate (for want of a better term) rebels who do not belong to extremist groups that can help in fighting ISIS. Already, many people are skeptical of this number and will ask “who are these people?” While others like Robert Fisk will claim that these “moderates” don’t exist and are “ghost soldiers” and Cameron’s own Conservative MP’s labelled these figures as “magical“.

The brilliant Charles Lister explains here who these people are.

Many of the groups who fall within both these categories are armed factions the Islamist-averse United States’ CIA has already ‘vetted’ and assessed as ‘moderate’ enough to receive lethal assistance. Some others are recognised by Syrians as ‘mainstream’ members of the revolution – some moderately Islamic – and crucially, as being strongly rooted within local societies. Combined, these factions likely represent roughly 65,000 fighters.”

“Making a total of 75,000 fighters, these 105-110 factions broadly represent what one could today label as ‘moderate’ in Syria’s context. This means they are explicitly nationalist in terms of their strategic vision; they are local in terms of their membership; and they seek to return to Syria’s historical status as a harmonious multi-sectarian nation in which all ethnicities, sects and genders enjoy an equal status before the law and state. They remain focused on fighting the Assad regime, however, as it represents a more immediate priority for most, in terms of self-protection, the defence of civilian populations and of course, pursuing the revolution’s ultimate objective. Beyond these factions, it becomes more complicated.”

This should answer the question of those who snidely claim “Where are the moderates?”. Well here they are, all that is needed is for them to be organised and weaponized.

Do read the full post here