Yes, that’s the brave headline in the Scottish Sun today. Faced with common-sense responses from candidates for the Labour Party leadership, they have heroically gone to the barricades and called them cowards. It does my old heart good to think that we still have people of this calibre in Scotland, who are able to ignore the carping criticism that it may not be the height of heroism to send others into battle; and that even if the young fliers are licking their lips at the prospect of bombing targets from a great height, they may not like footage of the civilian deaths their bombs will certainly cause. Of course the Scottish Sun has the balls to fly in the face of the evidence that similar raids on Libya not only failed to hoover up the mess but actually blew the bloody stuff all over the region.
In fact given the prediction that air attacks may not quite cut the mustard in the battle against Isil, I’m sure that the stalwarts at the Scottish Sun would volunteer to be the first to put their boots on the ground. This would have the double benefit of giving Isil a laugh and of ridding Scotland of their nonsense. It would also be a first that would make the Guinness Book of Records: the first time that the warmongering little willies (Scots: affectionate diminutive for male organ) who clamoured for a war, actually had a taste of it themselves.
Of course I realise that some may think it’s unfair of me to give journalists the task of fighting, inasmuch as they are not trained for it. Sure, I probably did go over the top there. It might be better and fairer to deposit the Sun warriors in the battle zone to use the skills honed over years of working for the Murdoch press. Doubtless their phone tapping skills could be used to intercept enemy communications. They could camp outside Isil barracks day and night to ask persistent questions about how they were coping with their friends’ deaths.They could try tapping up the surplus wives of Isil fighters to be photographed in semi-naked poses for the pleasure of British boys. All this, if they were not taken over by Isil to run their propaganda machine because they had proved time and again that facts were of absolutely no importance to them.
There may be some others apart from me who think that if any of those tub-thumping tumshies (Scots: affectionate diminutive for big stupid boys) ever got within a hundred miles of having their heads removed with a blunt knife, they’d run screaming back homewards, tae think again.(Scots: words usually applied to violent Englishmen)
Just at the point where many people in Europe have discovered that we can deal with the refugee problem by patient compassion and rational planning, the Scottish Sun gets an itchy trigger finger and tells us we can “solve” it by raids on Isil. If one lesson emerges from twenty years of UK policy in the middle east, it is that violence has solved nothing and in many instances exacerbated the problems.
There were many of Jesus’ fellow Jews who though the Roman problem could be solved by a mixture of suicide attacks and armed rebellion. There was ample provocation: the Romans had invaded their country and were ruling it for their own benefit. Even in that situation Jesus rejected the call to violence, counselled patience and even more scandalously, love for enemies, only to find himself executed by the Roman authority. He counselled that those who use violence by die by violence, a saying that is not only a warning to anyone tempted to use it, but also a promise that violent thugs who seem so powerful now, will one day get theirs.
There may be need to protect people from Isil, and if so, it should be done through the UN with a relatively massive commitment of troops, so that even those courageous killers of helpless men women and children are deterred.
Meanwhile it would be an improvement if instead fuelling their spurious abuse, Sun journalists used their hot air to fill a balloon that could whisk them skywards to join all the other balloons (Scots: puffed-up people) who preach war.