Isis is what happens when we try to bomb things better

Call me petulant, but I’m not sure Britain is getting enough credit for our fine, fine work in Libya. The Islamic State, so recently present only in the semi-mythical lands of Syria and Iraq — places you see on the news, but don’t really have to believe in — has now set up residence a short hop away from Italy, in the Libyan town of Sirte. Which is, just to be clear, a hell of a lot closer to Italy than we are. Maybe one-and-a-half times the stretch of a Hull– Zeebrugge ferry. We did that. Well done everybody. Top marks all around.

Also, Derna. That’s another town they’ve got. I’d never heard of Derna before, but apparently, Isis has held it since last October. Last week they took a group of six-year-olds to watch a beheading, ‘for educational purposes’. Derna to Crete is less than Liverpool to Dublin. You could almost swim it. I daresay some have tried.

  • canminuteman

    Perhaps they just weren’t using enough, (and too small) bombs?

  • Jay Currie

    Interesting article. And yes, simply bombing is not going to work – especially at the pinprick level. But this brings up the question of what “work” would entail.

    There is little doubt that a serious air campaign, fought smart with spotters and such like, could make a dent. At least it would make ISIS think twice about victory parades. But is defeating ISIS the goal? It is certainly a goal but it is not obvious that defeating ISIS is going to do much for the Middle East in even the medium run.

    A more realistic goal is to protect Canada’s interests in the Middle East. Do we have any? Well, we would prefer not to have ISIS here or any of the other IslamoWhackos. But we can accomplish that end by forbidding immigration and travel from the Muslim Middle East . (One way travel to the Muslim Middle East should be encouraged.)

    We have an interest in supporting Israel as a democracy and a liberal society in an anti-liberal cess pool. And, perhaps romantically, we may have an interest in supporting the Kurds simply because we admire their resolve.

    But that is pretty much the extent of our interest. We certainly don’t need ME oil and, realistically, what else do they have?

    Down the road, when things, as they usually do in the Middle East, get worse there may be a temptation to intervene on humanitarian grounds, a duty to protect and all that. This temptation needs to be resisted unless and until a realist view of what it will take to put the Middle East right is taken. “Nation building” is a silly idea, again to be resisted. However, if on humanitarian grounds full scale conquest and recolonization is proposed we might take a look. But, again, a look which has Canada’s interests at the top of a very short list.

    For now, taking serious measures to keep the crazies confined to the ME is the only sensible policy. Yes, we might take in some Christian refugees but only with very careful vetting. The tragedy of the Muslim refugees is for the Muslims to deal with.

    • Frau Katze

      The question is whether or not we (the West) should have intervened in Iraq and Libya on humanitarian grounds. Both times I thought YES.

      But I didn’t know that these societies are still extremely tribal and clan oriented (encouraged by Islam to some extent). With such societies I now know that the worst thing is chaos, not a strong-man leader.

      And chaos is what it has turned into. Examples about how well West Germany did after WW II are meaningless since Germany (and most of Europe) had left tribes and clans behind centuries ago.

      Iraq and Libya are not nations the way Germany is because of the tribal factor. Syria is worst of all because it has a bunch of different religious sects on top of the tribes (Libya is all Sunni Muslim,making it slightly more cohesive).

    • I suspect re-colonization will be required, Islam is incapable of providing the means for civilization.

    • The humanitarian reasons to intervene are apparent right now. This is why carpet-bombing in conjunction with other military action is needed.

      This would make sense if we went in to win, not partially win and then clear off.

  • Ho Hum

    Instead of saying ISIS is what happens when “we try to bomb things better” I would say ISIS is what happens when the west gets involved in regime change. Qaddafi would be alive today and in power but for the fact that NATO countries (including Canada) provided air support to the Jihadist rebels. It was a monstrous mistake by all countries involved. Why was it necessary to remove Qaddafi? He posed no threat to the west (in fact he voluntarily disposed of his WMD’s) and he kept a lid on Islamic extremism. Same with Syria. Why is it still the goal of NATO countries to get rid of Assad? He is a secular leader who has protected the Millions of Christians in his country. If Assad falls ISIS will take over and we will see Millions of Christians exterminated. We have seen what ISIS has done to Christians in the city’s it has seized in Syria and Iraq. Little Christian kids have been beheaded!!