Archive for the ‘war’ Category

Bomber Command Memorial

March 19, 2017

Bomber Command Memorial, at the top of Canwick Hill, overlooks South Common, with stunning views across the Witham Valley, over Lincoln, and on a  clear day, as today, over the Trent Valley.

The site is quite eerie, consisting of a central spire, which represents two wings of a Lancaster Bomber, and concentric walls.

The spire and the walls are made of rusting iron, or maybe steel, I assume to represent Lincoln once the city of heavy industry, with foundries, sadly long gone, skilled jobs replaced by low paid temporary McShit jobs.

The spire, not apparent until close up, is hollow.

The walls, are covered in names, cut into the walls both sides, the names of airman who died during World War Two. I was told 56,000, though I did not count.

Not yet open to the public. Today was an Open Day. I was an invited guest.

Also on site and as yet unfinished International Bomber Command Centre and a wooden shed.

Inside the shed, a long table half way down one side, with half a dozen veterans signing books and limited edition prints and answering questions.

One end serving tea and coffee, the other end a few books for sale.

Signed limited edition prints of paintings by one of the veterans.

I was surprised by the number of people there.

Everything run by volunteers, all pleasant and helpful, with two exceptions.

A man thrust a bucket in my face and more or less demanded I put in some money. I had no money, I expected an empty site.

Whilst looking at one of the books, I was told they are for sale not for looking at. He then bragged to an associate that he worked in a charity shop where he tells customers that books are for sale not for looking at.

One thing is needed, and hopefully there will be, when the site is officially open, a way up from South Common, otherwise a long trek round.

There needs to be path and steps leading up from South Common to the Memorial. Then if on the Common, can walk up, or, if at the Memorial and a pleasant day can combine with a walk on the Common.

Children’s experience of the Bombing War

January 25, 2017

In the interwar years, the theory was, all out war, total war. Destroy the cities, destroy the factories, destroy the workers, kill the means of production, destroy morale and the will to go on.

Aerial bombing may have had impact on Arab tribes, possibly because the experience was alien to them

Off the scale was kill millions, wipe out the cities.

Whilst this may be possible today, with the exception of Guernica, which even horrifies today, and Dresden, it was not possible.

Analysis of aerial footage, showed only about five percent of the targets were hit, and from British experience, it was known it was possible to recover very quickly, even when factories were damaged.

Each bomber produced had on average a lifetime of fourteen operational sorties. How best to make use of limited resources?

It was decided to change tack, destroy the housing, an easier target to hit. If the workers had nowhere to live, they would be demoralised.

But again, what basis was there for this?

It was decided to carry out a survey of children, what was their experience of bombing, the 1942 British bombing survey.

Two cities were chosen, Birmingham and Hull. The children were asked to write essays, the essays were then analysed to see what understanding could be drawn from those essays.

The children aged 10 to 12 years old, were asked to write an essay What Happened to Me and What I Did in the Air Raids.

Mrs Ingram got an incendiary bomb in her back bedroom and my father and brother put it out.

…there was a little bang and my brother said that he would have to go out as it was a firebomb and he would have to put it out. While he was putting it out a bomb dropped and blew him inside the shelter again.

When we got into the house there wasn’t half a mess. I started to tidy up and then I lighted [sic] the fire and made my mother and the two other children a nice hot cup of tea.

I was glad that I could do something to help, for there was a lady who came into our shelter who was very frightened. She had a little child of one and a half years. The lady was trembling, I took the little baby, and every time a bomb came down I threw a pillow over myself and the little girl, who was called Sheila. She kept crying but at last I hushed her to sleep.

What these essays showed was the children were coping, the families were coping. They show  the normality, life went on, a bomb may have dropped, put it right with a nice cup of tea.

Dad may be working during the day, on fire watch at night. If injured, he came home, was patched up by Mum and went straight back out again.

Brother helped put out the fires.

Mum looked after the household possessions, tidied and cleaned up the house after a bombing raid.

Sister helped Mum keep order, looked after the little ones, made a nice hot cup of tea.

They coped.

They saw after the initial horror of the bombing raids, the city was not destroyed, they could cope, life went, you kept on smiling. You may be afraid, but that was normal to be afraid.

If the intention was to reduce productivity capacity, or destroy morale, it failed.

This then questioned the effectiveness of bombing German cities.

It also raises question of why the policy of evacuating children from the cities to the countryside.  No only were they able to cope, they actually provided a support mechanism for the family.

And we know, when children were evacuated, they very quickly returned home.

A fatalistic attitude, if we are going to die, we may as well all die together.

We see this today in Syria. Assad does not control the countryside. The only way he controls the cities is by reducing to rubble.

And Assad does not cow the people. When they are finally forced to leave, they are still defiant, the children are defiant. The children even go on-line and record their experiences to let the world know.

The only main difference between Syria and WWII, is that WWII, very clearly defined roles between men and women, whereas in the north of Syria there are very effective Kurdish all-women fighting units.

A future research project, ask the children from  Aleppo to write an essay  What Happened to Me and What I Did in the Bombing Raids.

An excellent talk by Dr James Greenhalgh, senior lecturer, at University of Lincoln Riseholme Campus.

Dr James Greenhalgh is author of a forthcoming book on this topic.

Filming of documentary on bombing raid

December 30, 2016

Filming of a documentary of a World War Two Bomber Command bombing raid from the viewpoint of a Lancaster crew.

Interviews with veterans, film footage of raid.

The film, title not yet known, may be crowdfunded, possible available as DVD and streamed on vimeo.

A taster will be posted on vimeo and youtube.

Filmmaker Andrew Panton.

Christmas Party for Lincoln University archive volunteers and veterans

December 16, 2016

At the Riseholme Campus, Lincoln University held a Christmas Party to say a big thank you to all their volunteers and WWII veterans.

The centre, IBCC Digital Archive,  maintains a record, mainly digital, of first hand accounts of the Second World War, not only from a British perspective, but also from Europe.

The centre will go live on-line hopefully sometime next year. It will be an important source of original material for historians.

A good selection of eats and drinks.

Two veterans of Bomber Command attended, and thanks to the volunteer drivers who brought them.

A third veteran was unable to attend, too busy in his new found hobby of painting, but he did kindly send three of his paintings, which he had donated to the centre.

Harry Parkins was presented with Honour d’Legion, the highest award from the French President, with a letter of commendation from the French Ambassador to the Court of St James

A brief mention of the archive and its work, with a special mention of one of the recent acquisitions, a beautifully  illustrated  diary of an English Prisoner of War held in a German Stalag.

Within the diary, a recipe for a Christmas cake, made one assumed with the Red Cross rations.

It was not at all clear what some of the ingredents were, for example fruit and biscuits. Hazard a guess, and a little experimentation, assume dates something like digestive biscuits.

The lady who baked all the eats, also kindly baked the Prisoner of War Christmas Cake.

What was it like? PoW rations, it cannot be good.

It was nothing like a modern day Christmas cake, but then maybe during WWII, Christmas cakes were different.

To everyone’s pleasant surprise, the Stalag Christmas cake was excellent.

Thanks to the lady who baked the Stalag Christmas cake, and all our delicious eats.

I suggested, publish the recipe  and maybe have  a chat with Curtis, an excellent local independent baker and butcher, and ask them would they like to bake and put on sale with a small donation for each cake sold.

Finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers, who were each presented with a  certificate to thank them for their work.

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

July 17, 2016
Red Arrows

Red Arrows

Every two years, a jamboree for arms dealers, a showcase for the world’s most lethal killing machines, but portrayed as a fun day out for the family.

Try telling that to families in Syria.

For the local people and businesses in Farnborough, two weeks of noise, one week of gridlocked roads.

F -35 peaked at 112 dBs.

Day 1, a heavy downpour, nothing exceptional to what we have seen this year, but the Airshow could not cope. Exhibition halls flooded, loss of power, mass evacuation from the halls, Airshow closed early.

Irony, aviation fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, airshow shut down by inclement weather.

Those expecting lots of flying, would have been gravely disappointed. Very little flying, long gaps between.

Red Arrows did a fly past, and that was it.

No Lancaster or Battle of Britain fly pass.

There was a flying fortress, it did a fly pass, and that was it.

Normally, on Saturday and Sunday, it is packed outside The Swan at the end of the runway, best place for viewing, but this year few people.

Airshow organisers showed their usual contempt for local people. No compensation for nuisances caused, but they could buy one ticket and get one half price.

Buffet lunch at Gurkha Palace. I was surprised to find closes at three o’clock.

The Swan once again ripping people off during Farnborough Airshow. A fiver to sit in the garden, £4-50 for a pint of beer.

No man is an island

July 16, 2016
Nice

Nice

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

— John Donne ‪

Chilcot Report

July 7, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn made his first assessment of the Chilcot Inquiry in Parliament on Wednesday, a statesman-like address to the House of Commons. It was damning, yet touching, in equal measure – and without vindictiveness.

The Labour leader was one of the most prominent voices of opposition against the Iraq War at the time, leading protests and actively raising his grave concerns in Parliament.

Concerns that were shared by millions of people around the world, but tragically fell on deaf ears.

Corbyn opened by saying that:

I would like to remember and honour the 179 British service men and women killed, and the thousands maimed and injured during the Iraq war and their families, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died as a result of the invasion and occupation launched by the US and UK governments 13 years ago.

He then began his assessment by giving cool criticism of what he called “the extraordinary time it has taken for the report to see the light”, saying it “is frankly, clearly a matter for regret”. But when it came to the subject of the decision to invade Iraq itself. He did not mince his words:

The decision to invade and occupy Iraq […] was the most significant foreign policy decision taken by a British government in modern times. It divided this house, and set the government of the day against the majority of the British people.

Corbyn’s criticism became even more overarching. Directly attacking Tony Blair’s government …

the war was not in any way […] a last resort; frankly it was an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext, as the inquiry accepts, and has long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion.

Questioning the legality provoked a furious reaction from some MPs. However Corbyn continued with his criticisms:

it led to the deaths of 100,000 people […] it devastated Iraq’s infrastructure and society; it fostered a lethal sectarianism […] that turned into a civil war. Instead of protecting security at home and abroad, the war fuelled and spread terrorism across the region.

He cited Sunday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad, which killed 250 people and was the worst terrorist attack since the US/UK invasion in 2003 – implying that Daesh (Isis/Isil), which claimed responsibility, was a group that had come into existence as a result of the Iraq war. “By any measure”, Corbyn said, “the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been, for many, a catastrophe”.

He continued:

the decision to invade Iraq on what was clearly flawed intelligence about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) […] has led to a fundamental breakdown of trust in politics and in our institutions of government […] while the governing classes got it so horrifically wrong, many people got it right.

More jeering from backbenchers ensued, one of whom ITV’s political editor Robert Peston identified as Labour’s Ian Austin MP – who can be heard saying “sit down and shut up”, and “you’re a disgrace”.

But Corbyn seemed undeterred. He cited the protests against the Iraq war in February 2003 as being “the biggest ever demonstration in British history”. Amid more continuous heckling, he fired criticism at both Margaret Thatcher’s and John Major’s Tory administrations, implying that while many people protested about Hussein our governments had basically cosied up to him.

Turning his attention back to Blair, he recalled:

we could see that this state posed no military threat and the WMD evidence was flimsy […] If only this house would have listened to many of its own people […] the course of events might have been different. There are members here today who voted against the war […] but none of us such take any satisfaction from this report.

Corbyn briefly paid tribute to the late Robin Cook, Blair’s foreign secretary who resigned over the war. Cook warned at the time of his grave concerns, saying that “I can’t accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support”.

The Labour leader then rounded on the decision of Blair’s administration to go to war, saying:

the Chilcot report has rightly dug deep into the litany of failures […] but the reality is it was the original decision to follow the US president into this war, in the most volatile region in the world, and impose a colonial-style occupation, that has led to every other disaster.

He summed up by echoing what surely most people who remember the Iraq war must feel. Firing a parting salvo at Blair and the other members of the government who took the UK to war, Corbyn starkly said:

those laid bare in the Chilcot report must face up to the consequences of their actions. Whatever they may be. We make decisions that […] go on for decades and decades […] we need to reflect very seriously before taking any decisions again to take military action without realising the consequence of those we will live with all of us for many decades to come, and will often have incalculable consequences as a result.

While Corbyn’s detractors are often quick to criticise the leader’s soft-touch approach to his speeches in Parliament, no such criticism could be levelled on Wednesday.

Having been at the forefront of the campaign against the Iraq War, his stance at the time has now been wholly vindicated. His speech in Parliament must have been uncomfortable listening for many on his own backbenches, as there were countless MPs sitting there who voted for military action. He defied his party to stand on the right side of history in 2003. Some might say he is doing the same today.

In his address to Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn made clear his position: the choice of New Labour and the House of Commons to invade Iraq was one of the gravest mistakes in modern history. One which cannot be allowed to happen again.

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised by the coup plotters, most of who backed the Iraq War, for voting against Party. But what would we rather have, an automaton that follows party orders (in which case install a robot and save on expenses) of someone who thinks and  votes according to his conscience?

Contrast the address by Jeremy Corbyn on Chilcot to the House of Commons with the contrived response from war criminal Tony Blair.

Blair cannot see he has done anything wrong, Iraq is a better place as a result of his actions, he would do it all over again.

The tragic bomb blast at the weekend, killed more innocent people, than all the British military who lost their lives during this illegal war.

Warnings were given not only by the intelligence services, but also by Canon Andrew White, of the chaos into which Iraq would descend. These warning were ignored.

Cannot be  a coincidence that the Charity Commission launches an investigation into Andrew White aka Vicar of Baghdad, any more than a coup is launched against Jeremy Corbyn, days before the Chilcot Report is published?

Iraqis used to tell you they were Iraqis, now they are Christian, Shia, Sunni, Kurd.

Terrorism has spread across the region, has given rise to ISIS, has spread to Europe.

Blair has since devoted his life to the Middle East. Most people would be forgiven into believing he was promoting the interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, whilst at the same time lining his own pocket.

On Wato, we had paid liar Alistair Campbell justify the action taken by Tony Blair.

Chilcot is a damning indictment of Tony Blair, but still he cannot see he did anything wrong.

A deafening silence from the Blairite coup plotters, who have every day been calling for Jeremy Corbyn to go. One of who was Angela Eagle, who not only supported the Iraq War, but also tried to block an Inquiry into the Iraq War. Can we imagine Angela Eagle, even less Hilary Benn, giving the speech Jeremy Corbyn gave?

The noise and abuse, which can be heard in the background as Jeremy Corbtn was addressing Parliament, was not coming from the Tory benches, it was coming from the Labour benches.

One of those shouting abuse was identified by ITN political editor Robert Peston as Labour MP Ian Austin – who can be heard shouting “sit down and shut up”, and “you’re a disgrace”.

The only disgrace was Ian Austin. Please sign the petition calling for him to be suspended from the Labour Party. His own local party should do the right thing, Vote of No Confidence and move that he be de-selected.

It is easy to see why the coup plotters were so keen to remove Jeremy Cobyn before the Chilcot Report was published. Jeremy Cobyn opposed the Iraq War, as did John McDonnell, which is more than they did. They were the war cheerleaders, their hands are as soaked in blood as that of Tony Blair.

Since the coop plotters outed themselves, Labour has seen a 100,000 increase in membership.

Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Alistair Campbell, should be put on trial at The Hague for war crimes. At the very least Tony Blair should be charged with Misconduct in Public Office.

Is there no dictator Blair will not act for, so long of course his palm is greased?

If the gassing of the Kurds had happened today, Blair would be doing the whitewash.

Intelligence was flawed. The executive wanted war, and the intelligence was tailored accordingly.

It was known, there were people in Iraq peddling dodgy intelligence for money or a visa to the west. It should have been verified, by satellite pictures, signal intelligence, via other sources.

When reliable, well placed sources said Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, those sources were ignored.

The weapons inspectors said there were no weapons. They were ignored.

We should not forget David Kelly, the man who was probably killed to silence him.

David Kelly was a weapons inspector. He was also a double agent working for the British. It was he who leaked to the BBC  that the Dodgy Dossier had been ‘enhanced’ at the behest of Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell.

Andrew Gilligan, the journalist at the centre of the ‘dodgy dossier’ row, writing in The Telegraph on evidence submitted to the Chilcot Inquiry:

What we now know is that, according to an MI6 officer working on the dossier, the 45-minute claim was “based in part on wishful thinking” and was not “fully validated”. Another MI6 officer said that “there were from the outset concerns” in the intelligence services about “the extent to which the intelligence could support some of the judgments that were being made”.

What we now know is that on September 17 and 18 2002, a week before the dossier was published, Alastair Campbell sent memos to its author, Sir John Scarlett, saying that he and Tony Blair were “worried” that on Saddam’s nuclear capability the dossier gave the (accurate) impression that “there’s nothing much to worry about”. On September 19, Campbell emailed Scarlett again, suggesting the insertion of a totally false claim that, in certain circumstances, Saddam could produce nuclear weapons in as little as a year. This fabrication duly appeared in the dossier.

What we now know is that in his September 17 memo, Campbell suggested 15 other changes to the text of the dossier. Most were accepted; their effect was to harden the document’s language from possibility to probability, or probability to certainty. Campbell lied to Parliament about the content of this memo, giving the Foreign Affairs Committee an altered copy which omitted his comments on the 45-minute claim and played down his interventions on most of the other issues.

And what we now know is that, contrary to his campaigning certainty at the time, Blair admits in his memoirs that he privately saw the case for war against Iraq as “finely balanced”. No wonder a little tipping of the scales was needed – or, as Blair also put it in his book, “politicians are obliged from time to time to conceal the full truth, to bend it and even distort it, where the interests of the bigger strategic goal demand that it be done”.

We knew nothing of this then. Indeed, in his evidence to the Hutton inquiry, Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, described the 45-minute claim, straight-faced, as “a piece of well-sourced intelligence”, two months after his own service had discredited it. Despite his key role as Dearlove’s military counterpart, General Laurie was never called to Hutton at all; his explosive statement, and that of the two MI6 people, emerged only in 2011, at the Chilcot inquiry.

I don’t blame you if you knew nothing of all this until now; most of it, by happy coincidence, came out only long after public attention had moved on, and the government could no longer be damaged.

But the government knew – and this is what makes its behaviour towards the BBC and David Kelly so incredible. He came forward to his bosses as my source under a promise that his identity would be kept secret, but was effectively given up to the world after Campbell, in his words, decided to “open a flank on the BBC” to distract attention from his difficulties over the dossier.

Yesterday, on Wato, liar Alistair Campbell said pressure had not been exerted, and put the blame on faulty intelligence, as did Tony Blair.

David Kelly was found dead in woods, his wrists slashed.

He had withstood the pressure in Iraq, confronting Iraqis. Was he likely to succumb to a couple of hours questioning by Commons Select Committee?

The summary by Peter Oborne demonstrates how damning the Chilcot Report is on Tony Blair.  Unlike many such reports, it does not pull its punches, and is not as many feared, an Establishment Whitewash.

War criminal Tony Blair, a liar, delusional, and seems to be possessed of a Messiah Complex.

Only last weekend, Blair was putting himself forward as the man to negotiate with the EU over Brexit.

Leaving EU will start WWIII

May 9, 2016
Joseph Goebbels Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany

Joseph Goebbels Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany

Today we had yet more EU garbage and scaremongering from David Cameron.

Leaving the EU will trigger World War Three, it is only thanks to those good folks at the European Commission that WWIII has not already started.

Caroline Lucas, whose posts are getting ever more ludicrous, regurgitates the Cameron garbage on twitter.

Earlier in the year, we had Dodgy Dave trolling around Europe trying to get a new deal for the UK.

What did he get?

Minor concessions that foreigners would not be able to claim benefits. But they are not here to milk the benefit system (leave that to Nepalese parasites, who Cameron is noticeably silent on), EU migrants are here to work.

And even this minor concession, a senior member of the European Parliament has said it will not be honoured.

In February, Dodgy Dave told the Commons that Britain would be just fine post-Brexit. He said if he didn’t get minor changes to migrant benefits he would consider leaving:

I will never argue that Britain couldn’t survive outside the European Union… Let me say again, if we can’t secure these changes, I rule nothing out.

Today he tells us Brexit will start World War Three:

The serried rows of white headstones in lovingly tended Commonwealth war cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe. Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt? Is that a risk worth taking? I would never be so rash as to make that assumption.

He  insulted WWII veterans. Did they make sacrifices, to usher in the EU dictatorship?

This begs the question, if Dodgy Dave seriously believes Brexit risks war, why would he consider backing Brexit over some tiny changes to the benefit system?

The truth is somewhat different.

EU was established as a democracy-free zone. It was established as a cartel for French and German heavy industry.

It is still a democracy free zone.

When the eurogroup meets, we have no control over its deliberations, we do not even know what those deliberations are, it publishes no minutes, no transcripts of meetings are made available

EU has contempt for democracy, as we have seen with the crushing of Greece, now served by a puppet government of the EU.

The countries of southern Europe are the indebted vassals of the EU.

EU has not kept the peace in Europe. It is Nato that has kept the peace.

We have also had garbage on intelligence sharing. Intelligence is not pooled, shared will-nilly with all and sundry. If it was, it would be of no value as would blow all your sources.

Intelligence is shared on a case by case, need to know basis.

Schengen Agreement allows terrorists, drug traffickers, people smugglers, illegal immigrants,  to move freely across Europe.

European Arrest Warrant allows any corrupt judge to order the detention of any British Citizen and their extradition, without the safeguard of  an Extradition Hearing.

Far from keeping the peace, EU has stirred up anti-foreigner sentiment across Europe.

It was EU meddling in Ukraine, that destabilised the country, gave Vladimir Putin the opportunity to seize Crimea, triggered a civil war, and led the West to the brink of WWIII with Russia.

It is the policies of the EU that is leading to the rise of Fascism across Europe.

We are heading to a re-enactment of the 1930s and all that it led to.

The EU is likely to break up, Brexit will hasten that breakup.

EU is a failing economic zone thanks to the failure of the euro.

Of economic activity in the UK, international trade accounts for around 10%. Of that, less than 50% is with EU, and it is declining.

UK has a trade deficit with EU. Worst case scenario, if zero trade, UK would be better off.

Is Mercedes or BMW going to not wish to sell us their cars?

Are the French going to wish us not to buy their wine and cheese?

Why do we need to negotiate new trade agreements, why can the existing trade agreements not remain in place?

We do not need the EU for people across Europe to cooperate.

Do we all hate each other so badly,  we will start killing each other if it were not for the good offices of the EU?

What may happen, and this is not being discussed, the EU, following the example of the treatment of Greece, may decide to destroy the UK for daring to leave the EU, to set an example to other countries.

The EU was a Nazi project.

Joseph Goebbels speaking in 1940:

The people of Europe understand increasingly that the great issues dividing us, when compared with those which will emerge and will be resolved between continents, are nothing but trivial family feuds. … In fifty years Europeans will not be thinking in terms of separate countries.

The Wall

January 4, 2016

A film by Roger Waters, The Wall.

Frank Waters, father of Roger Waters, was posted missing in Italy, presumed dead, at the end of WWII. Roger Waters was five months old.  As a child, he wanted to go to Italy and bring back his father.

The Wall is The Wall of 1979 revisited.

Bombing in cloud cuckoo land

December 2, 2015
Less than half of voters back airstrikes on Syria

Less than half of voters back airstrikes on Syria

Today MPs debate whether or not to bomb Syria.

David Cameron has refused a two day debate, refused to grant his MPs a free vote, refused to apologise for his disgraceful remark last night that those who oppose bombing of Syria are sympathisers of terrorists.

Meanwhile public support is melting away as people wake up to the lies they are being told.

Speaking on Wato lunchtime today, a Tory MP claimed British air strikes would degrade Isis.

Really?

So what has over a month of Russian air strikes, over a year of American air strikes done?

David Cameron has a point, if forces in Iraq are threatened by Isis over the border, we should not let an arbitrary line deter us, but that is a different matter.

We are not re-enacting WWII, easily defined targets, airfields, command posts, railway lines, sidings, power stations, factories, where the enemy is seriously degraded.

The myth of forces on the ground has been exposed as just that, a  myth.

There are forces on the ground, many are as bad as Isis, if not worse. Their interest is holding on to their existing territory. They are  not going to take the fight to Isis, neither are the Kurds.

If there are forces on the ground, attacking Isis or under attack by Isis, call for air support, that is a different matter.

David Cameron says we are already under threat from Isis. Bombing will increase that threat. That is not an argument against effective action, any action would increase that threat, but effective action would reduce in the long term.