Yes, he really did say that. Leaving aside whether there is or is not a good argument for Britain getting involved in the mess that is Syria, this kind of comment is beyond the pale.
What he’s basically saying is ‘if you’re not with me, you’re against me’. Where have we heard such rhetoric before?
There’s a case to be made for strikes against ISIS. The world cannot sit by and passively watch as they tighten their grip on the region. Equally, lessons need to be learned from the failures of Iraq and Afghanistan. Action without due consideration for the consequences and without a plan for the aftermath will only lead to disaster.
The other problem is whether bombing alone can actually achieve anything, and the issue of arming other groups is a thorny one – America armed Osama bin Laden and look what happened there. Plus, different groups have different aims in Syria – some of which are very much not compatible with one another.
That all being said, I don’t agree with Corbyn that diplomacy – or at least, diplomacy on its own – will resolve the crisis in Syria. As horrible as it might be, sometimes a military solution is required, and ISIS aren’t about to sit down with anyone. What I do agree with is Corbyn sticking to his principles – that is rare in politics. He is also letting his party members vote whichever way they wish, which is commendable. Cameron’s hostile ‘you’re my enemy if you’re not my ally’ approach is divisive and threatening. I know who gets more respect from me.
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