Answers required from Tony Blair says Ageing Albion

Mr Blair is at it again in the Sunday Times today (1st September), writing in a most emotive fashion about how appalling it is that we are not acting against the use of chemical weapons. His article is long on moralism and short indeed on hard facts.  If he continues to write in this vein, perhaps he can give some answers to the following:

1.  What is the precise outcome hoped for in firing missiles at the regime?  Is it that it will topple?  It will not, unless a massive effort far in excess of a few air strikes is undertaken.  Instead, the US and its allies would have to go to full scale war with Syria, AND Russia, China and Iran would have to sit on their hands to ensure a reasonably quick and decisive Western victory.

2.  Then what?  See Iraq and Afghanistan for what happens in countries with competing Islamic factions after Western powers have toppled their leaders.

3.  Only a madman, therefore, would suggest that the West should invade Syria to depose its leadership by force.  Let us assume Mr Blair is not proposing this.

3.  But, short of a full-scale attack, the leadership will not fall. Instead, it will place human shields around all likely targets and gleefully display bodies of dead children killed (whether true or not) by the West.  It may choose to carry on using chemical weapons to defeat all enemies before the West has a chance to increase the attacks, or it may take a less confrontational approach and just go back to air strikes, artillery, cluster bombs, land mines and tanks to kill people with, none of which prompted Mr Blair to call for air strikes even though over 100,000 people have been killed by these methods, presumably none of them consoled by the absence of chemical weapons.

4. What are the unforseen consequences?  Russia supplying its latest anti-ship missiles secretly to the Syrians?  Or the Iranians doing it?  One doubts that any Western systems will be able to stop the supersonic missiles in the Russian inventory and the loss of just one US destroyer would lead to a severe dent in Western military prestige.

5.  What of the Syrians firing chemical weapons at the RAF base in Cyprus?  Impossible?

6. Mr Blair needs to tell us in precise terms:

a. What is the purpose of the strikes.
b. How many missiles he thinks might be necessary, fired towards what sort of targets, in what sort of time frame.
c. What he expects the likely response from Russia, China and Iran to be.
d. What the next step is if the initial strikes outlined in (b) above do not achieve the aim in (a) above.
e. What the next steps are after that.
f. How the UK is to fund its contribution given the ruthless evisceration of the defence budget in recent years.
g. What will happen if the regime falls.

These are miminum questions only, but they are all basic pre-requisites. UKIP has received some silly abuse recently for ruling itself out on the basis of a lack of British interests.  A telegraph blog, for example, thought that “British interests only” meant that we would not respond to an attack on a NATO country is absurd, and deliberately confuses “British interests” with the British Isles physically.  Of course Britain’s interests would be very seriously engaged were, say, some North African contingent invade France or Italy. They are not engaged in the same manner by a civil war in Syria.

Secondly, an attack by a foreign power on France could be repelled by military action, which would have a clear objective and a precise finishing point.  This is not the case with Syria’s use of murder methods.

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2 Responses to “Answers required from Tony Blair says Ageing Albion”

  1. Ageing Albion says:

    Just in case anyone other than Cameron and Blair still thinks joining in a multi-faceted civil war, in which atrocities are being committed by all sides and none of the combatants are remotely pro-West, Con Coughlin in the Telegraph has a useful warning:

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  2. Ageing Albion says:

    Less than two years after the above was published, we know the answer to 6g: Isis would control the whole of Syria.

    It is as well that Mr Blair is no longer going to be Middle Eastern Peace Envoy.

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