Now, I do like this - all this death and destruction is your fault because your government, wholly independently of your opinion on the matter, refuses to drop high explosives on Damascus.
There's something bracingly bullshitty about entirely accepting that "there is no appetite for putting military pressure on Assad" in the UK or the US, and then laying the blame for this on "kneejerk peaceniks" who have, as has been repeatedly and graphically demonstrated, no influence whatsoever on foreign policy.
I suspect that some folk just really enjoy putting grand, self-contradicting statements like this out there and the overall effect is like James standing in his back garden holding armfuls of dead pigeons - he hurls them into the air, crying "Fly, my pretties!", to the sound of feathery thumps.
This meme about how, like, "Syria is the anti-interventionists' Iraq" is all well and good but you know, what's so special about Syria? Wars have been cutting a bloody swathe through e.g. Democratic Republic of Congo for decades, but you seldom hear anyone blaming the damn hippies for the millions-strong bodycount there. People almost never run up to you waving pictures of dead South Sudanese under your nose screeching "You did this, you monster!" or anything similarly daft.
And why is it kneejerk peaceniks' fault, specifically? There are damn few of us, and we're vastly outnumbered by people who basically couldn't give a shit one way or the other. I'm against the UK hurling our military around other countries for no sane reason, but I fail to see why anyone who shares my opinions should have to answer twenty questions about our collective culpability, while millions of our compatriots change over from Channel Four News and curl up on the sofa in front of Coronation Street.
Anyway, this all amounts to one basic fact, and it's this - the UK's war fans are really, really pissed off that a lot of people see them as belligerent lunatics, partly responsible for a gigantic pile of dead Iraqis, and so they want to spread some blame around a bit. Thus, all those dead people in Syria must somehow be our fault.
I can understand that urge but it's a criminal's mindset. It's like, okay, I may have murdered some grannies, but you saw some news stories about grannies being murdered on television and didn't immediately don a Batsuit and stab a lot of Allawites to death, so you are technically just as much of a granny-murderer as I am, innit. QED.
Kudos though for James burbling about "the lessons of Iraq" in a column that advocates bombing hell out of Syria in the name of peace, but articulates no actual practical means or achievable outcomes. Remember, the principal lesson of Iraq was "Thou shalt not invade a country for no sane reason without any idea of what thou wantest to achieve".
Being from Edinburgh, I well remember Mercedes, the old mental polar bear at the zoo that used to just swim around in circles or sit there banging her head on the bars of her cage. Here, we see a graphic illustration of similar human behaviours, but with "getting paid to be belligerent" replacing "being large, white, ursine and institutionalised".
Do I have to say it again? Well, looks like I do - Some motherfuckers are always tryin' to ice-skate uphill.