‘Don’t Mention Civilian Casualties’ by John Patton

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BBC Political Editor, Laura Kernssberg , has assured us that each MP wrestled with  the decision before voting on the War motion in the Commons.  The Glasgow woman is absolutely right ;  from the moment they are elected, the one question MPs automatically ask themselves is – ‘what are the implications of this for my re-election’It is assuredly the single most persistent thought that guides their every public interaction.  Issues of principle, and as we saw on Wednesday, political and party allegiance are secondary considerations.

Civilian casualties will barely merit a mention; it is expected and timidly accepted in times of war that reporting will be largely restricted to the operational detail , supplied  by the MOD. From past experience and particularly in Ireland, we know that this is routinely fabricated, distorted  and  quite plainly untruthful. The UN estimates that there have been 200 000 casualties to date in Syria, largely resulting from the actions of the Assad regime but not exclusively so.  It is believed that 8000 of those have been children. The battle  lines in urban areas between   Government forces and insurgents have remained unchanged despite two months of intensive bombing by Russia. However, Putin’s bombers have managed to destroy the National Hospital in Raqqa and cut the City’s water supply.

Cameron failed to convince most military strategists that he knows whom they are fighting and what is the purpose of Britain’s  involvement in the bombing. Unfortunately, many of those in the House are still infected by notions of Empire which is the subtext of Cameron’s ‘to protect our values and our way of life.’ They are joining with the US,  France and Russia , all imperialist powers. As we mourned those who died in Paris last month, some like Irish journalist, Eamonn McCann, reminded us of the last and most recent slaughter of innocent civilians in the French capital, a horrific display of colonial might; ‘probably the deadliest violence to strike France since 1945 was the mass killing of Algerians by Parisian police in 1961…nobody bothered to count but the dead were estimated to number between 100 to 300.’   To observers,  the most bewildering thing about Wednesday’s debate was that  nobody seemed entirely sure of whom or what they were going to bomb; indeed they could not  even decide what the enemy was called.

What is beyond doubt is that there will be mounting civilian casualties – men, women and children  who are already suffering under the terror of the brutal Assad regime. We will be told piously that high precision weapons have targeted oil fields, military installations, IS headquarters and so forth.

All damned  lies and propaganda.


4 Responses to ‘Don’t Mention Civilian Casualties’ by John Patton

  1. fiosrach December 4, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    And you know what p*sses me off most? A percentage of my income tax is going to pay for this knee jerk slaughter. Money that I don’t wish to contribute. Do you remember when evil King John etc etc roamed England taking tithes from the poor and the good Robin stood up for the people? Bring a tear to every Anglo Saxon eye. Later kings stole land in Ireland and flogged it to carpetbaggers to swell the war coffers of the King to prosecute some futile war in some god forsaken backwater that is forever England. It’s ok to bomb the towel heads into oblivion but not ok to bomb the bombers. Nothing changes.

  2. billy December 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    indeed they could not even decide what the enemy is called.
    another good reason to pull up the drawbridge.

  3. Iolar December 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    The Blairites may have influenced the vote about bombing in Syria, McMahon won the election after persuading 17,322 people to vote for him and increased Labour’s share of the vote to 62.27%, up 7.49% from the general election in May. The Blairites should reflect on the result and the reasons for the rejection of the Labour Party in Scotland.

    The Scottish Poet, MacDiarmid, wrote the following words about John McClean, the Scottish Socialist:

    “of all Maclean’s foes not one was his peer”

    Blairites remain comfortable with, “collateral damage”, “boots on the ground” in some other countries, in some other wars but they are not wearing the boots.

  4. Croiteir (@Croiteir) December 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    I too have been worried about civilian casualties, we watched as civilians were butchered, raped and slaughtered, children sold as sex slaves on a mass industrial scale. It is reprehensible that no one came to the aid of these people. It is reprehensible that the allies of the west bombed the only force – the Kurds – who seem to be able to contain the murderers, it is reprehensible that the allies of the west supplied weapons to the death cult that is ISIS . It is also reprehensible that the west allowed its allies to export oil on behalf of ISIS. All this when it was responsible for the mess that allowed these murderers to flourish.

    But the biggest moral failure would be to do nothing, to stand idly by and let ISIS a free reign to slaughter at will.

    I do not know what morality drives those who wish to abandon people to these butchers but I call it pre emptive surrender.