Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Charge of the Right Brigade

Ach well, Davie Cameron got his way. We'll just have to see now, how it pans out. It will be a long haul. Despite a day of argument in Westminster, the case wasn't made for air strikes achieving the objectives the Prime Minister set out in his Memorandum to the Foreign Affairs Committee. The case was seemingly made for a symbolic gesture. There might be 70,000 'moderate' opposition forces in Syria, but they sure as hell can't be brought together as a unified force to fight ISIL on the ground as, for one thing, they're too busy fighting their own war - against Bashar al-Assad. Already, a senior Whitehall source has been quoted as warning that 'Cameron's 70,000' could become the equivalent of Tony Blair’s ‘45 minutes’ claims ahead of the Iraq War. I was reminded of past military follies involving British forces in far off lands...
*Update* Commons Select Committee report on Defence: the idea that there are 70,000 "moderates" is a "figment of the imagination."

The Charge of the Right Brigade


Half a truth, half a truth,
half a truth doctored;
you got the Kurds, but where's
your Seventy Thousand?
“Onwards, the Right Brigade!
Take to the air!” you said,
against the vile men of Daesh.
    Lacking Seventy Thousand?


“Onwards, the Right Brigade!”
Was that a war cry made?
Not so's the public know.
Rebels are bewildered.
Theirs not to fight ISIL,
Theirs just to beat Assad,
Theirs but to win their war.
    If you want to fight the Daesh,
    find your Seventy Thousand.


ISIL's not the fight for them:
Assad on the left of them,
Russians flying over them;
broken and splintered
daily under barrel bombs,
boldly they carry on.
    If you want to fight the Daesh
    somewhere to the north of Homs,
    find your Seventy Thousand.


Raise your rattling sabres. Sure,
fly your missions o'er Tadmur.
Bomb the ISIL oilfields, your
symbolic gesture while
all who reason wonder.
Voted on by Tory-blokes,
Labour hawks whose very votes
split the party line,
now Tornadoes' lightning strokes,
now the Typhoons thunder.
    Some might call it war, but not,
    not with Seventy Thousand.


Jihadists, all of those,
Wahhabists, most of those,
Salafists, the worst of those,
fundamental terrorists
who'd kill us all, the Infidel,
and blow themselves to bits as well,
declaring that we'll go to hell.
    Come, fight the men of Daesh,
    all you need are rebels. Hell,
    every mythic one of them,
    all your Seventy Thousand.


When will you ever learn?
Why repeat mistakes you made?
All who reason wonder.
Onward, the Right Brigade,
it is the will of Daesh, arrayed
against your Seventy Thousand.