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Glenn Greenwald: No strategic rationale why bombing Syria will weaken IS

MPs backing air strikes on Syria are concerned with projecting an image of the UK as a powerful relevant military actor, the journalist tells MEE
US journalist Glenn Greenwald speaks at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, central Germany, on 18 March 2015 (AFP)
Par MEE staff

With the UK parliament set to vote today on whether to carry out air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria, leading US independent journalist Glenn Greenwald has warned that Britain "lacks any strategic rationale" to join other nations in bombing IS in Syria.

“The action we propose is legal,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday at the beginning of a marathon parliamentary debate on air strikes. “It is necessary and it is the right thing to do to keep our country safe.”

In an exclusive interview Greenwald, the founding editor of the investigative media outlet The Intercept, told Middle East Eye that Cameron’s wish to bomb IS in Syria is about Britain making itself out to be “some sort of powerful, relevant, military actor”.

“None of the Tory or Labour war advocates can remotely articulate any strategic rationale why bombing Syria will weaken, let alone destroy IS, and they don’t even seem to be trying to pretend,” Greenwald said.

“It’s all about the pose and self-image, showing Britain as [standing] up – from a nice safe distance of 30,000 feet in the air - to whoever is the newest Muslim villain group.”

Greenwald went on to say that previous British wars in the last 14 years in Iraq and Libya had “enabled IS in the first place” and that the military operations achieved nothing positive but “massive amounts of human suffering and dangerous instability”.

“The excitement and pulsating sense of purpose brought about by a new bombing campaign completely overwhelms those rational lessons,” he remarked.

Greenwald warned of the cycle of violence perpetuated by massive corporate profit and political power-seizures will have repercussions on the home soil of countries involved, where double standards will then consume the politicians backing the war.

“In the event of another horrific, violent attack in London, people like David Cameron, Hilary Benn, Liz Kendall and the rest of the Tory/Blairite war-mongers will pretend to be mystified that anyone would possibly want to bring violence to peaceful, loving Britain, completely ignoring their own role in fostering and fuelling endless violence,” he finished.

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