David Cameron told MPs that bombing so-called Islamic State in Syria will “keep the British people safe” as MPs debated the case for military action.
Of the 620 MP’s who voted, 397 voted in favour with 223 opposed. 66 Labour MPs backed the Conservative government in defiance of the party leader. This is a 64% confirmation from MP’s.
However, according to a new online polling organisation based on registered voters called voteScotland-England, a clear majority of Scots, 72 per cent in fact, are against air strikes in Syria. This group fear that an escalation of British involvement in Syria against ISIL will create more of a threat to Britain as a result.
In England, the vote was different inasmuch that those in favour of air strikes was 54 per cent. This group felt that military action is necessary to prevent ISIL terrorists becoming stronger in the Middle East and beyond.
At best, this poll puts the voters at 50/50 only if the undecided are extracted.
Just two days ago 75 per cent of full labour members were against bombing in Syria, with only 13 per cent in favour, the balance undecided.
According to the latest YouGov poll commissioned by The Times, it found that less than half of Britons support air strikes against Isis in Syria. It also found 21 per cent were undecided, leaving just 31 per cent voting for action.
Even the Daily Mail, a very right-wing paper who supported the disastrous attack of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya reported that
“Public support for bombing ISIS in Syria has dropped sharply in just two weeks, with less than half of voters now in favour of airstrikes. A shock poll on the day MPs will vote on military action shows opposition to Britain extending its campaign against jihadist fanatics has waned since the Paris attacks. It comes amid mounting doubts about David Cameron’s case for launching targetted strikes against ISIS strongholds, as he pushes to secure a clear majority in tonight’s crunch vote.”
Poll after poll of the public clearly makes the case that support for bombing Islamic State in Syria has declined sharply since the Paris attacks and that the appetite for this conflict is low. If the polls above are anything to go by, less than 30 per cent of the general public had decided bombing Syria was the right thing to do.
For the public, this is a re-run. First, a terrorist attack on western interests (9/11 – Paris) where the horror is played out publicly on TV, then instant accusations of a foreign attacker by politicians (al-Qaeda – ISIL). Next the “you’re with us or with the terrorists”, (Bush/Blair – Cameron) statement, finally an arguement made up of lies littered with bullying and intimidation. The outcome the same; we are off to war with no coherent strategy of why or what Britain is contributing to, or indeed what will happen as a consequence (Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya).
The Guardian reported – “Many MPs are unconvinced of Cameron’s claims that there are 70,000 effective moderate ground troops capable of taking up territory liberated from Isis in northern Syria.” This is because there are not 70,000 ground troops capable of anything other than their own agenda, one that does not generally include fighting ISIL.
In the meantime, it is now known that the Paris attacks had little to do with Islamic State fighters finding their way from the Middle East to Europe via fleeing refugees. The actual attackers, mainly disaffected, isolated and marginalised Muslim young men with no prospects in a country that caused mass terror, torture and destabilisation in their own country decades earlier decided on a rampage.
These ‘terrorists’, far from being sophisticated trained killers were people who used credit cards in their real name, who used unencrypted text messages on standard mobile phones to says things like “lets go”. No-one is asking how these people acquired AK47’s in the first place. It certainly was not via refugees.
The Paris conspirators, including the presumed ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, apparently, were able to travel between Belgium, France and Syria while the US-led airstrikes targeting ISIl’s command and control were in full swing. This, along with technical mass surveillance is confirmation of a dramatic failure by the intelligence services if this report is true. Just like 9/11, promises made by governments to protect their citizens was nothing more than a fictitious and fraudulent narrative.
The vote in Britain by it’s lawmakers is unrepresentative of the people they serve. It’s the Iraq war playbook all over again, only this time the dangers for Britain are greater and the stakes much higher than they were in previous attempts to deliver ‘democracy’ via bombing the Middle East.
There are now so many nations either bombing or arming ISIS no-one is quite sure exactly what is happening on the ground. The public are totally confused. The international coalition now numbers 30 nations alone. There have been 15,000 airstrikes over the past year, 95 per cent delivered by the latest state of the art U.S. weapons systems.
Russia, Iran, Syria and China add to the mix. NATO is involved but not much, or are they? France and Britain just joined and Germany will soon, and yet, with all this weaponry and intelligence, no-one agrees on who the actual enemy is or where they are.
Estimates of the number of fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant are extraordinarily wide-ranging. On the low end of things, CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported that “U.S. intelligence estimates that ISIL has a total force of somewhere between 9,000 to 18,000 fighters.” In late 2014, the CIA’s estimate of ISIL’s numbers was slightly higher, as its analysts assessed that the group had between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters between its Iraq and Syria holdings. As many as 10,000 have been killed according to US Deputy Secretary of State. Replenishments are required at a rate of 1,500 a month at this declared kill rate.
In total, there are now 54 countries in this war. Between them they represent all continents of the planet and the vast majority of the population of the world. How is ISIL a match for the combined military firepower of such sophisticated countries. For ISIL, who has about the same population of Bicester in Oxfordshire in southern England and little more weaponry than small arms and RPG’s, staring at annihilation is a sure bet.
And yet, it appears that after 15,000 bombing raids, one for every two ISIS militants in existence is clearly not working.
And if we are also led to believe that the Paris attacks were perpetrated by Islamic State terrorists, then the west has been heavily outwitted and outgunned. It also appears that ISIL is defeating democracy the world over, because in The West we now have much less freedom and as David Cameron and this parliamentary vote has just proved by not being representative of the people – less democracy. But then this is isn’t a war against Islamic State. It’s much more dangerous than that.