29 December 2015

The retaking of Ramadi shows that bombing ISIS works


It has become a catechism of the anti-war movement that bombing should always be opposed as it only creates more victims and makes any situation worse. The curious logic – which I first recall having explained to me by an activist leafleting ahead of Desert Storm, the liberation of Kuwait a quarter of a century ago – is that there is really no point doing anything, other than passing resolutions against tyrants and giving them a jolly good talking to or blaming the West for its alleged provocations. On the other hand, the Stop the War crowd in the UK that cons its ways into the “peace movement” at times of crisis is really only opposed to Western bombing. It can’t get enough of Russian military action.

In the recent parliamentary debate on whether Britain should take part in bombing raids on Syria, opponents rested their case on the assumption that not only is it intrinsically wrong to bomb but also that it simply doesn’t work.

But what’s this? Western bombing seems to have been a rather important help in removing ISIS from Ramadi in Iraq in recent days. The Hill reported last week that B-1 bombers – favoured for their precision and ability to loiter in a target area for ten hours without refuelling – have been deployed.

“On Wednesday near Ramadi, five coalition airstrikes struck two ISIS tactical units; destroyed a fighting position; five command and control nodes; a tactical vehicle; a “bed-down” location; an artillery site; cratered five ISIS-used roads’ and denied ISIS access to terrain, according to U.S. Central Command.”

The idea of ISIS omnipotence and endless advance, fostered by the formidable propaganda operation of the terrorists and their ability to create terror in the West, is highly vulnerable when subjected to sustained attack. Against these barbarians, bombing and ground operations, whether it be Iraqi forces or special forces in Syria, are working. Future success is far from guaranteed, of course, but the West is not useless or defeated. Under American leadership, it is inflicting serious damage on ISIS.

Incidentally, if you are in any doubt that such action to defeat ISIS is essential, please contemplate the guidance issued by ISIS on how and when its fighters can beat and rape female slaves. And then have a look at the reports of a woman being mutilated and murdered by ISIS for the “crime” of breastfeeding her baby in public, even though she was wearing a burqa.

Iain Martin is Editor of CapX.