Bomb both sides in Syria and we’ll fix the country in a jiffy

We could also bomb Hell, and within a month the residents would say ‘We were better off under Satan’

Mark Steel
Friday 25 September 2015 07:26 BST
David Cameron visits Helmand Province in 2011
David Cameron visits Helmand Province in 2011 (GEtty)

Some people get confused by events in Syria, but they’re not that complicated. Quite simply, we need to bomb somewhere or other out there, like we should have done two years ago. Back then we should have dropped bombs to support the Isis rebels fighting against the evil Assad. But as we didn’t bother, we now need to put that right by bombing the Isis rebels, and protecting Assad.

Because if only we had bombed Assad back then, it would be much easier to bomb Isis and their allies now, as we would be one of their allies so we could bomb ourselves. And we could do that without the fuss of going all the way to Syria, which would cut down on carbon emissions as well.

Also, we could ask Isis if they had any bombs left over that we had given them, “as we need them back to bomb you please”.

The change has happened because back then, you may recall, Assad was so unspeakably evil he had gassed his own people. But now we have decided we support Assad so I suppose we have found out the gas wasn’t so much a chemical weapon as a Syrian version of Febreze, that has left Aleppo with an alluring scent of lemon.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned against bombing, saying “Syria is not Libya, it won’t implode but explode beyond its borders.” So that might not be too cheery, if he is saying things will not necessarily go as smoothly as they have turned out in Libya.

If you were really fussy, you could look for another example of a western invasion in the Syria/Iraq region in the recent past, and find out how well that went. But where we went wrong in Libya and Iraq, is we only bombed one side.

This is the sort of pacifist behaviour that causes the trouble. We should have bombed all the different sides, to make sure we annihilate the right people.

Sometimes we have tried this to a certain extent, so at different times we have armed Assad and Gaddafi and Saddam and Bin Laden and then bombed them for using the bombs we had sold them. But it is not organised properly and leaves the poor sods confused.

Instead of supporting Arab dictators for 20 years, then opposing them for three, and then supporting them again, we should arrange it on a rota system. We could bomb them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, bomb their opponents on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and leave Sundays for US construction companies to make some money rebuilding the stuff we have bombed, so there is something new to bomb.

Otherwise we are left with the predicament Tony Blair finds himself in. He complains that we didn’t bomb Assad two years ago. But, in 2002, Blair invited Assad to stay at Buckingham Palace and praised his modernising outlook. If he had used my suggested system, he could have grovelled to him on Thursday, then bombed him in his bedroom on Friday. I’m sure the Queen wouldn’t have minded sleeping on a mate’s settee for a couple of weeks while builders repaired the damage.

The silly thing is, it’s now claimed there are secret units of the IRA – who have kept their weapons against the rules of the peace process. It would have kept them out of mischief if they had been asked to bomb Blair’s pals such as Assad and Gaddafi, as long as they did it on one of the agreed days, and it would have strengthened the Northern Ireland peace process as well.

There could also be a surprise element to which side we bomb, with vast commercial potential. Instead of the same predictable places popping up, there should be an international body that chooses the venue, with Sepp Blatter opening an envelope to reveal “next year the place we have to bomb as we can’t just do nothing is… Finland”.

Then, whenever someone suggests bombing Finland will make things worse, columnists and politicians and blokes in pubs can shout “well, we can’t do NOTHING”.

This argument, that we can’t do NOTHING, is powerful and well thought through, because it’s clear from Western military interventions in the Middle East that no matter how bad the situation is before we go there, we manage to make it worse. This must have taken immense planning in Libya, but was worth it because everyone seems to agree that most of the country looks back on their days under the foul, despotic, murderous tyranny of Gaddafi with a dreamy nostalgic affection.

We could bomb Hell, and within a month the residents would say “We were better off under Satan. At least he kept the demons under some sort of control.”

Maybe the problem is we are not entirely trusted. This goes to show what a touchy people they are out there. We do all we can to support the spread of democracy by arming the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the Amir of Kuwait and the honourable folk who rule Qatar, and go out of our way to support people with titles such as “Mighty Wizard of Eternal Vengeance and Holy uber-King who can make up laws as he goes along, Divinely Grand Swisher of the Majestic Whip and his Million Wives of Bahrain”, and the little sods still doubt our honourable intentions.

But now there is an even more urgent reason to back the bombing of somewhere or other, which is we must do it for the refugees. The Sun newspaper, in particular, has been running a campaign that we “Do it for Aylan”, the three-year-old lad who was drowned as his family fled from the horrors of Isis.

I suppose they must have spoken to Aylan’s family, who would have told The Sun that bombing somewhere or other is exactly what he would have wanted.

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