I have no issue with most of Jeremy Corbyn’s statement on the reported death of Mohammed Emwazi:
“We await identification of the person targeted in last night’s US air attack in Syria. It appears Mohammed Emwazi has been held to account for his brutal and callous crimes. However, it would have been far better for us all if he had been held to account in a court of law.”
All well and good so far, but then the Labour leader goes on to add:
“These events only underline the necessity of accelerating international efforts, under the auspices of the UN, to bring an end to the Syrian conflict as part of a comprehensive regional settlement.”
So, what does that mean? As usual with Corbyn, not a lot.
I certainly agree that it would have been better had Emwazi been captured and then put on trial but sadly Corbyn doesn’t provide any answers to how that might have been achieved. It seems that the vast majority of politicians are against putting “boots on the ground” so how might Emwazi have been captured? It seems that it is was straightforward enough to kill him with the assistance of drones, but you can’t capture someone with a drone. I don’t have the first idea how he could have been apprehended, but then I am not a politician in high office with access to far more information and intelligence. I expect politicians to work these things out or at least come up with a semblance of a plan, but no, it’s not possible from all accounts.
And what kind of settlement does Corbyn want? You are not going to get ISIS around the negotiating table, are you? They are more likely to blow people up than actually talk to them. Their vision of a caliphate is non-negotiable anyway. They don’t want “a comprehensive regional settlement”. Anyway, what does a comprehensive regional settlement actually mean and who does it involve? Does he mean just Syria, or does he want to involve Iraq and, who knows, his “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah?
Corbyn’s new politics – “a comprehensive regional settlement” – is the old politics but with knobs on. Stop killing people; well yes. Start talking to people, but everyone and anyone? And what about? On what will the settlement be founded? And if it’s that easy, how come no one thought of it before? Cameron thought he had sorted out Libya four years ago, now it’s a basket case, like Iraq, Syria and the rest of the middle east (and large swathes of Africa).
Accelerating what efforts, Jezza? The USA is bombing some places, Russia is bombing others. The west opposes Assad, Russia supports him. We support the Kurds, Russia bombs the Kurds. But we all bomb ISIS. Is that clear?
Yes, it has to be the UN, but how do you get anything through the security council when Russia can veto things it doesn’t like? Corbyn’s new politics is the old politics of “something must be done” although having no idea of what to do nor how to do it.
David Cameron wants to join the bombing of ISIS but he has not made any kind of case for so to do. Corbyn opposes bombing because he always will, regardless of what case is made, or not. Can a politician, please, give us a clue that you actually have a clue?
What we need are politicians of compassion and vision, but right now we have politicians who appear to possess neither. On the face of it, I oppose any kind of military action in Syria but my mind is not totally closed. What if – oh, no: not what if again – there is a strategy to provide safe zones for the Syrian people to protect them from ISIS and Assad and that requires military support? A strategy aimed at keeping the people safe and stopping them being forced to leave Syria in the first place. At present, millions are on the move. If there is a way to keep the people safe which involves some form – I don’t know what – of military action, isn’t that better for the people of Syria and indeed the countries of the west who are all, except us, taking in thousands of desperate refugees? But no one is making that case, maybe there is no such case, but in that case, what? Cameron is not saying so, Corbyn isn’t either. The old politics and the new politics combined are next to useless.
I repeat, I have no solutions,no easy and indeed no complex arguments nor alternatives. My concern is that no one else does, either.
Emwazi’s death changes nothing in the not very grand scheme of things because none of the politicians – and I include the likes of Obama in this – are capable of coming up with solutions. The unhappy truth is this: the vast majority of politicians are just like us. Cameron was a TV executive before entering parliament, Corbyn worked for a trade union. Obama did a bit more: he was a community organiser and a lawyer. But the point is this: they know little more than we, the lumpen proletariat, know. I write what I think could happen – the safe zone for Syrians – but the only difference is that I am not surrounded by civil servants and advisors to turn it into policy.
Ideas change the world and right now politicians have no ideas. They wait for something to turn up, hoping for the best, fearing for the worst, reacting to a changing world. How about trying something different, being proactive, thinking of solutions and putting them into practice? The grinding inertia at the top is killing the world and we are running out of time.