Michael Fallon on Why We Need to Bomb Syria

Andrew Marr interviewed the Defense Secretary Michael Fallon on Sunday. Marr asked him what the outcome would be if they lose the vote to bomb Syria. Fallon’s reply is astounding:

Well that would be hugely damaging – obviously – to Britain’s reputation across the world. It’s our allies who want us to come and help: France has asked us very directly to send the RAF to help alongside their aircraft. It would obviously damage our reputation internationally, and I honestly believe it would leave us less safe than we are at the moment.”

The fact that he said it at all is remarkable. The fact that this is the first thing that came out of his mouth when asked why we need to bomb Syria, is horrifying. Are more bombs to be dropped on Middle Eastern cities because British politicians are embarrassed to say “no” to French ones? Are innocent men, women and children to be blown apart on the alter of Britain’s reputation?

It is indicative of the imperial ideology among us that talk like this isn’t hash-tagged to death and slammed across newspaper pages. As though it were utterly normal to take bloody military action to defend one’s reputation, rather than being something Mafia bosses might do.

It is crumbs of comfort that the quote above includes, at least, an afterthought about national security. Marr challenges him on this, saying that some wonder if more ill-considered Western bombs in the Middle East will only create more terrorism, to which Fallon replies:

“Well its too late now, we’re already a target [ . . .] We’re attacking ISIL already in northern Iraq.”


5 thoughts on “Michael Fallon on Why We Need to Bomb Syria

    1. These podcasts look very interesting. I noted that in the parliamentary debate, the need to come to the aid of our ally, France, was constantly repeated, and it seemed more compelling to the house than any argument that further bombing would improve the situation in Syria, or make us safer here. I got the feeling that their real fear was not about losing security or stability, but power.

  1. Hi O broken hearted one… I think your comparison of the United Kingdom to the Mafia over the issue of honour or ‘reputation’ is bit off. Biblically argued Just War theory head to head with Anabaptist “Two Kingdom” theology remains a stalemate. I whisk wish it could be simpler than it is. One could ague that what we value most about our freedoms within the rule of law requires a strong military presence abroad as well as a professional (non partisan) police presence at home is the cost. After all we are not living in paradise our a sin free Utopian world. NOT to engage militarily with Islamic State gives a message of weakness and insecurity and an unwillingness to stand up and be counted and COULD (and would) be interpreted as an indication of the effectiveness of the Islamic campaign of terror placing us beneath contempt in the eyes of the Jihadist warriors. This is not about ‘Empire” or some kind of neocolonialism. Its about whether or not you are willing to stand up to the pirates breaking in the front door of your house to kill you, rape your wife and sell your children into slavey. For Britain to refuse to join her allies can easily be construed as cowardliness, appeasement and a willingness to just ‘give in’ the pirate occupation of home, nation and kith and kin. Why not talk to an eastern orthodox Christian about what it is lie to live under Islamic rule in a condition of Dhimmitude, or better yet, try reading the Koran yourself to see how your reading accords with Jihadist hermeneutics verses the watered down of so-called ‘normative’ Islam.

  2. I think you are arguing against far more than there is in this blog, no? I wish that Michael Fallon had answered with some of the concern you suggest for the eastern orthodox Christians (and Muslims and Kurds and Yazidis) who are suffering and resisting Daesh, but he didn’t. He answered with concern for Britain’s reputation.

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