Like practically all independence supporters, I’m deeply unhappy about the Syria bombings. My concerns are two-fold:
Firstly, I believe bombings without ground forces are directly linked to suicide bombings and the rise of Daesh. I have no evidence for this other than introspection. Basically, I was wondering of how I’d feel if a soldier from another country walked up to my house and killed my kids. I’d want to shoot back, and if I couldn’t do that in any other way, I’d join my country’s army. If they were shot by a tank driving past, I’d want to become a tank operator. But if they were shot by a fighter jet (or worse still, by a drone) and I couldn’t do anything about it, I’d be a ready target for radicalisation.
(I’d hope it’d turn me into a pacifist instead, like my uncle who at the age of 10 was shot at by an RAF plane while walking along the road carrying a bucket full of milk for the family, but I can completely understand why some people will conclude that blowing themselves up is the best way forward.)
In other words, I think it’s incredibly dangerous for us to conduct a war in a foreign country without providing people there with something or somebody to shoot back at. And if we aren’t willing to commit plenty of ground troops (and willing to pay for the care of the physically and mentally wounded veterans afterwards), we should never engage in the war in the first place.
Secondly, does nobody pay any value to strategy and long-term planning any more? The way I see it, we should start out by discussing what we want the Middle East to look like in the long term (e.g.: Should Iraq remain as one country, or should it be divided into two or three states? Would Saudi Arabia remain a source of money for fundamentalist groups in this set-up? And what about Israel?); we should reach an agreement with the other great powers of the World whether they’d accept this outcome (and if not, we should revise it). We should then figure out a sequence of events that would lead to this preferred scenario, and we should then act of them. If it then turned out that bombing Raqqa was a necessary stepping stone, I can imagine supporting it.
I guess the current bombing campaign has been started out of a desire to do something, but I fear it’ll lead to more suicide bombings in the West, not fewer.