back to article British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

Two British citizens fighting for terrorist group ISIS in Syria were killed in an RAF drone strike on 21 August. The Register understands it is the first time British nationals have been targeted and killed in a strike by an RAF Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle. The deceased British passport holders were revealed to be Cardiff- …

  1. dancecat

    Victims?

    Wrong word.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Victims?

      I agree.

      It is worrying however. We just reinstated the death penalty and we executed two men without trial.

      If we are going to do stuff like that we might as well do it properly - reinstate the death penalty for grand treason and try the "victims" (quotes intended) in abstentia in open court. If convicted, execute by whatever means necessary.

      1. Bumpy Cat

        Re: Victims?

        Killing someone in war is not execution. It does not require a trial.

        If a British citizen chooses to join a group or nation that is actively fighting the UK, they are not a common criminal. For the same reason, we do not arrest and try enemy soldiers in battle*, and we do not use drone strikes on muggers in the UK.

        * In recent fluid situations like Afghanistan and Iraq, the distinction between soldier and (civilian) criminal was not always clear - often by the choice of the enemy. There was a strong reason to arrest militants and hand them over to local justice, but this produced ... uneven results.

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Victims?

          And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly? Ah they are not a nation how convenient for us.

          This could have been done legally and above board instead we have our politicians playing real life Call of Duty.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Victims?

            A formal declaration of war can only be enacted on recognized countries. ISIS/daesh are not recognized. Where's their capitol? Where's their government officials so that a formal declaration can be handed to them? They are, however, basically a large, well-armed, gang who's sole purpose is to kill, rape, and destroy everything in sight in accordance with their view of their sky-fairy.

            Would you rather they be contained where they are and hopefully destroyed? Or would you rather deal with them, presumably in a civilized manner when they march down your street?

          2. Bumpy Cat

            Re: Victims?

            @Gordon 10

            We are actually assisting the Iraqi government in dealing with ISIS, alongside a wide coalition of other countries. Parliament has approved this course of action.

            I am also concerned with the legality of the situation. Unlike you, though, I don't have the conclusion "The UK is always in the wrong!" already in mind.

            1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

              Re: Victims?

              I don't believe the UK is always in the wrong, but when it kills its own citizens without due process and without a clear imminent threat to the UK then it should be challenged robustly.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Victims?

            "And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly?"

            Maybe not legally a war but they were certainly in a battle-zone. As far as one can tell they were there of their own volition and it was a battle-zone created by themselves and their fellows. And in a battle-zone people get killed.

            1. x 7

              Re: Victims?

              "And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly?"

              no need.

              they've made enough aniti-British statements both in act and word to ensure any action against them would be justifiable self-defence

              don't forget we never declared war on Argentina. To be honest "declaring war" is a rather quaint old-fashioned concept

          4. Jimmy2Cows

            Re: Victims?

            Re: Victims?

            And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly? Ah they are not a nation how convenient for us.

            Nation state or not, ISIS are a (somewhat) organised military force with a stated goal of eradicating our way of life.

            Pretty sure we effectively declared war with them some time ago, this is just a continuance of military operations. Had it been two non-Britons killed by drone strike, I doubt there would be anything like the fuss this has generated.

            We don't have boots on the ground because we are not at war with the sovereign states ISIS is attempting occupy, control and turn back into a Caliphate.

            This could have been done legally and above board instead we have our politicians playing real life Call of Duty.

            How, exactly? Send local plod round with an arrest warrant?

            You need to grow up. These aren't criminals, they are traitors who decided to become enemy combatants in an ongoing military operation that was entirely started by ISIS / IS / ISIL / whatever the fuck they're calling themselves today.

            I for one will lose no sleep over the death in combat of two treasonous scumbags.

            1. Martin Milan

              Re: Victims?

              I on the other hand will continue to be rather concerned with this development...

              Parliament explicitly voted against the use of our forces in Syria, and it's happened anyway (let's not forget we've also had RAF crews flying sorties on secondment to other powers).

              Few people, myself included, will cry for the loss of a couple of Jihad obsessed idiots, but the fact remains that the government might well have acted illegally. We urgently need a statement from the Attorney General stating on what legal basis this mission relied...

          5. Robert Grant

            Re: Victims?

            And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly? Ah they are not a nation how convenient for us.

            No, how convenient for ISIS. If they move into the murky middleground of declaring war without being a nation, then they gain an advantage, as they can do things nations don't, for fear of economic and military reprisal. That then drags their opponent into that murky middleground, as the alternative is just letting them do whatever they want.

          6. Brent Beach

            Re: Victims?

            "playing real life Call of Duty"

            Wait ... Call of Duty is not REAL LIFE?

          7. Tom 13

            Re: And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly?

            While I concur that it would clarify things greatly if the cowardly politicians were to formally declare war, it is not necessary for either the UK or the US to declare war for it to be war. It is quite sufficient for ISIS to have declared it, which they have, repeatedly.

            I'm not exactly buy the "only way" line either. I am willing to believe it was the most efficient and that is sufficient for me.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Victims?

          Killing someone in war is not execution. It does not require a trial.

          It requires a declaration of war and authorization of use of military power by the parliament.

          We have not acknowledged formally the existence of ISIS to declare a war against it. We have not had the parliament declare war and authorize use of military power against any of the factions participating in the Syrian civil war. In fact, it voted explicitly against that.

          To make things even more interesting, war means complying to Geneva conventions on prisoners of war. It means that enemy combatants which just fight your military targets without engaging in violations of the relevant conventions like attacking civilians, hospitals, etc should be treated appropriately and not subjected to a trial for murder and sentenced because they are attacking you. If we are in a state of war, then we are violating the relevant conventions across the board on that one.

          While the grand posturing regarding "War on Terror" is all great for PR, it has absolutely zero value in terms of international law and domestic law for that matter. We either have to make it so, or we have to find an alternative justification for lethal police action. IMHO, the latter is a better idea as it will not give ISIS and Co the legitimacy they are getting from us declaring war on them.

          1. James 100

            Re: Victims?

            "It means that enemy combatants which just fight your military targets without engaging in violations of the relevant conventions like attacking civilians, hospitals, etc should be treated appropriately and not subjected to a trial for murder and sentenced because they are attacking you."

            There are various other requirements for them to qualify, such as wearing a uniform and having a proper chain of command which has been announced publicly, not hiding in hospitals or other protected places...

            Moreover, nothing in the Conventions prohibits killing the enemy - it just means they have to be treated properly if and when they surrender or are otherwise rendered unable to fight.

            Nothing in the Conventions, AFAICS, prohibits trying and executing your own citizens for treason when they take up arms against you, either.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Victims?

              '..Nothing in the Conventions, AFAICS, prohibits trying and executing your own citizens for treason when they take up arms against you, either.'

              Ah, so there was due process in this case then?

              Getting legal advice from person X isn't due process by any stretch. (even if they could prove treason via due process, just in case you've not been keeping up, the death penalty for treasonable offences went out years ago (1998) in both UK civil and military law).

              Rule of Law, got to love it (unless it's inconvenient..)

              I'm not going to shed any tears about the demise of these characters, but I'm not happy about the legality of the incident. This was a targeted assassination of two UK citizens by the UK Government in a foreign country for allegedly planning criminal terrorist acts in the UK, bear in mind, we do not have the death penalty as a legitimate legal sanction in the UK

              If the government is allowed to get away with this action without any sort of scrutiny, then it creates a very dangerous legal precedent.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Victims?

                Just remember we never declared war on Argentina over the Falklands, but still attacked their military targets.

              2. Tom 13

                Re: Ah, so there was due process

                Given their activities, no due process is required. Whether or not the UK has declared war, THEY are engaged in acts of war against the UK, and acts of the most heinous sort. They are therefore legitimate targets for the military to take out. When the Norks bump a fighter jet in international airspace, that fighter jet is allowed to shoot it down. Usually the politicians go yellow and don't do what they should, which only encourages more such activity until you finally do have a real war.

            2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

              Re: Victims?

              There are various other requirements for them to qualify, such as wearing a uniform

              That requirement is not in the conventions anywhere. It was invented by Muller (Gestapo boss) on personal Hitler orders in the directive which he issued as a justification for shooting SAS infiltrators in France on the spot in WW2.

              having a proper chain of command which has been announced publicly I do not recall that one in any of the conventions either.

              Moreover, nothing in the Conventions prohibits killing the enemy - it just means they have to be treated properly if and when they surrender or are otherwise rendered unable to fight.

              My exact point.

              1. Blanket torture via waterboarding does not fit that.

              2. We presently subject any of the captives to a trial for killing or trying to kill one or more of "our guys". If we are at war, them doing so is a case of "A la guerre comme a la guerre". They are entitled to do it same as we are. If we are in a police action we should stop calling it a war and get the relevant justification for spot-on executions in a police action.

          2. Brent Beach

            Re: Write the Law

            "we have to find a justification for lethal police action"

            It has been 14 years since 9/11, over 12 years since the invasion of Iraq, and still we do not have any laws that explain what we are doing there.

            All the war machines and all the death and disruption and still we have not passed the laws that make our actions legal.

            All the war and the area is in much worse shape that it was 14 years ago. The people are much worse off, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions dislocated. The enemy holds more land and governs more people. The ideology is spreading to neighbouring countries.

            Killing these two people is not solving any problem. It could even convince 3 Britons to join IS. Are we any farther ahead?

            This action is probably not effective and probably not legal.

            Why are so many so happy it was done?

          3. Tom 13

            Re: It requires a declaration of war and authorization of use of military power

            This is a lie and you are a fool to believe it.

            It was a nicety in the days of horses and swords and lasted through the use of muskets and even early rifles. It was mortally wounded with the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor in WW2 and a stake was driven through its heart with the arrival of the nuclear ICBM.

            Also there would have been no violations of the Geneva convention even if there were a formal declaration of war. The first requirement of the convention is that to be a soldier you must wear a recognized uniform. No one in ISIS does. They are therefore not soldiers and those protections do not apply. They also do NOT limit their attacks to only military targets. In fact their publicly released strategies explicitly prefer non-military targets over military ones. They are therefore spies, and as such can be executed at will under rule .303.

        3. Charles Manning

          It isn't war, it is anti-terrorist action

          It is not war and they are not enemy. This is anti-terrorist action against terrorists.

          There is some overlap in how they are treated, but there are differences too.

          While they present an aggressive threat, both terrorists and enemy are fair game.

          However, if detained, enemy are treated as POWs, terrorists are treated as criminals.

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

            Re: It isn't war, it is anti-terrorist action

            Criminals usually get a trial.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Victims?

          International law is simply not equipped to handle this kind of situation. IS is -last time I looked- not a recognised state. They can therefor not have a 'regular' army. Things like the Geneva or The Hague conventions can not be applied to it. These people ar either 'regular combattants' nor 'civilians' of the IS state.

          Since they can not be tried as soldiers, it would mean that -in this case- they would have to be tried as British civilians. This would require issuing an international arrest warrant for them to be detained, followed by an extradition warrant for them to be brought back to the UK (that is IF they hold UK passports, and don't have some sort of dual nationality, which complicates matter somewhat).

          But WHO would execute the arrest warrant in the IS overrun territories ? Who would you appeal to for an extradition request ? Not to put to fine a point on it, these people operate with inpunity as long as they are within IS held territory. There is simply no way to effectively bring them to justice and stop them misbehaving withing the existing legal frameworks.

          That said, why do we insist offering these criminals the protection of the law when they themselves formally denounce the laws of the country from which they carry a passport and insist only their own law is valid and to be obeyed ? They made their bed. Lat them sleep in it. Preferably forever;

          1. knightred

            Re: Victims?

            I'm entirely confused by this idea that a British or American citizen has the right to a trial while fighting for ISIL or Al Queda. Your country's constitution and laws do not follow you outside of your country. An American isn't entitled to a jury trial or a lawyer in the UK because of the US Constitution (although you do get something similar because of UK law). Why then is a fighter in Syria/Iraq entitled to a jury trial in country of origin?

            I understand the anger/confusion, it seems so many Americans and British assume that the government will decide to have you whacked by a drone the second you arrive for your vacation in Calais. If it was political dissenters getting executed on holiday, I could see an outrage. However, it's people who joined up to go to play war and then they get killed actively participating, I can't even see the "slippery slope" arguement in killing active combatants. I can see the "slippery slope" in the statement "if we don't kill them over there now, they'll kill us here tomorrow". But it seems so many politicians in every country have used that "ooooohhh the terrorist's will get ya" line so much I can't understand who they think they are kidding.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Victims?

        I don't think this is a "death penalty without a trial".. it's war. If you want to fiddle with words than every soldier/militia on the Continental Army was executed without a trial by the British Army. They were citizens who took up arms against the British government.

        These two "gentleman" have joined the daesh and are taking up arms against all of humanity.

        1. mark 177
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Victims?

          You might remember that the British parliament voted explicitly against military action in Syria. So it looks like the government is defying parliament, if this is a war, as many here claim.

      3. Richard Altmann

        Re: Victims?

        @ Voland's right hand: I agree with you. The IS like Al Quaida made out the western worlds constitutions and procedures and values as their weakness which this camel f***ers are exploiting. The United Shitheads of Armswielders where their first opponent and the radicals brought home total victory. The US constitution is no longer worth the paper it was written on, procedures are no longer respected and values have been flushed down with waterboarding. This is a time to take the gloves off but at the end of the day we should not come back from the battlefield and find that all that we fought for is no longer there. As a Passport holder of a country that did not fall for the WMD swindle in Iraq i think there is still some reason left in the western world so that we might overcome this maleé bruised but not broken. The UK must be careful not to go the way the US did. The western world is under attack, no doubt, but we have to make sure that we are not loosing what we are fighting for while we battle. And now go and wipe this fuckers off the fucking planet.

      4. LucreLout Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Victims?

        @Voland's right hand

        We just reinstated the death penalty and we executed two men without trial.

        You've got this very wrong.

        They chose to go out there and join an army, for that is what they are and how they view themselves, that rapes, tortures, and murders its way across the middle east, destroying everything in its path. Over absolutely nothing.

        They were actively involved in encouraging fellow emptyheads to target British citizens on the mainland. They made it a simple proposition - if they were not killed they would eventually coax an emptyhead into killing some of us. That was not our choice, it was theirs. A targetted drone attack is a civilised way to prevent their planned attoricities. Lets face it, there probably aren't many innocent civillians left in Raqqa, only the terrorists and their supporters and financiers, so we could just have dropped a bloody great bomb.

        reinstate the death penalty for grand treason and try the "victims" (quotes intended) in abstentia in open court. If convicted, execute by whatever means necessary.

        These two were terrorist scum. Nothing more. While you're busy gathering evidence, they're busy gathering support. While you're busy planning a trial, they're busy planning an attrocity. And while you're busy executing a show trial with an empty dock, they're busy executing British civilians. No thanks. They had it coming.

        Icon seems appropriate.....

    2. Salts

      Re: Victims?

      Sometimes it is hard to label a group as terrorist, in the case of ISIS I would venture they qualify, just by the observation of tens of thousands running away from them terrified(or the odd beheading, rape, religious intolerance, etc). Terrorists are by definition enemies of the state, their nationality does not entitle them to any special treatment, terrorists are stateless, IMHO.

      To be clear I hate the past and current governments use of terrorist activity to impinge on freedoms of citizens of the UK.

    3. Jimmy2Cows

      Re: Victims?

      Victims?

      Wrong word.

      Completely agree. Traitors. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Join an enemy military force, official nation or not, you're fair game for military engagement.

    4. Nigel 11

      Re: Victims?

      We aren't at war with ISIL. We are dealing with self-proclaimed outlaws who threaten our people and our rule of law. By going where they have gone and practising what they preach, they have placed themselves outside the law (both ours and the law of the land - Syria - where they were located).

      BTW the Geneva conventions confer internationally recognised legal potection on soldiers, and on civilians. Bandits, outlaws, and mercenaries are explicitly excluded from their scope. Summary execution is accepted.

      If they don't like it they have the option of placing themselves under the protection of law (which will almost certainly want to charge them with crimes, may well convict and sentence them). Not necessarily our law. The law of any other country recognised by the UN or uk.gov will do.

    5. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Victims?

      I respect the law, I don't like some of it but I understand why we have to have it.

      But if I am faced with a choice of breaking the law or dying then I break the fucking law.

      Then, as our community are human beings and not machines, people understand why the law had to be broken and there is no legal consequence.

      Those who would faff about with quixotic idealism when there is an opportunity to avert the killing of our innocent families, you can all go fuck yourselves.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    So they knew what he was planning

    so presumably he would have been good to keep an eye on for a while to root out connections at this end where the action was going to be?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: So they knew what he was planning

      Not necessarily. The action might have been taken on the basis that they had rooted those people out and were now following them, so he was no longer necessary to not kill them. Or it could have been another large scale assault on multiple civilian targets was imminent and the only way to stop it was to kill them quickly before they could get the plan in action.

      Since the intelligence reports haven't been released you can't make any solid assumptions, only lots of flights of fancy. The only thing we know for sure is two evil guys are dead.

  3. Steve 114

    Britons?

    Wrong word.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Britons?

      Quite right. A Scot and a Welshman. No need to tar everyone in the UK ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Britons?

      > Wrong word.

      Pray tell us what the "right word" would be, my dear fellow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Britons?

        Immigrants.

        Given chances in life here that back in shitholeistan they would never have and STILL they want to kill us.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Britons?

          "Immigrants.

          Given chances in life here that back in shitholeistan they would never have and STILL they want to kill us."

          Tw@s.

          Let them post comments on the internet and they just come across as tw@s.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Britons?

        When asked about his Irish nationality, the Duke if Wellington is supposed to have said that 'A puppy born in a stable isn't a horse', because he considered himself to be English despite being born in Ireland.

        This pair were the same, born in the UK but actually members of the Ummah, a global community that does not recognise nation states because it is all God's creation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Britons?

          @Moultoneer

          Used by a certain Mr Bernard Manning as well to describe some of our "from overseas" visitors whom were under the impression that living in an adoptive country means every has to fall in line with your belief values, not the ones already enshrined in the culture.

          1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

            Re: Britons?

            I was always under the impression that this was a rider of exceedingly fine, and eye wateringly expensive bicycles?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Britons?

              They are indeed very fine bicycles, of which I own two. The most recent that I purchased was pricey and always causes me a bit of embarrassment when I say what I paid for it. But what price excellence?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Britons?

        the "right word" ? "colonizers" ? not immigrants, not Britons. Years ago, European settlers born in Kenya called themselves "Kenyans", but obviously were not.

      4. Nigel 11

        Right word?

        "Outlaws" as far as that goes.

        We don't have a translation for what the more civilised parts of the Islamic world call them. It translates as "heretics" but that English word lacks both the force and the context.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Right word?

          I believe the correct word is "crusaders"

        2. Rob

          Re: Right word?

          I venture one further and say instead of outlaws they are barbarians.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Britons?

        "Pray tell us what the "right word" would be, my dear fellow."

        Dead.

  4. Graham Marsden

    "police and security services...

    "...had stopped at least six terrorist attacks against Britain within the last 12 months"

    [citation needed]

    (Or, indeed *any* sort of evidence other than his claim which should be taken with a *large* pinch of salt)

    PS Before anyone starts making Straw Man arguments about my wanting to weaken national security or give secrets away to the enemy or compromise pending trials or make the country less safe for us or any other such nonsense, I am not saying anything of the sort, merely that past evidence has shown that such claims may not be credible (see the "Ricin Terror Plot" for example).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "police and security services...

      Totally agree - although the Simpsons had this covered:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnBMwPcRbVE

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "police and security services...

      > at least six terrorist attacks

      And at most? You would think they could give a precise count given the modest scale of magnitude.

      If I were their PR man I would have gone for seven exactly. I like prime numbers, and they look good on press releases. I might have gone for eleven instead, had I not had a bad experience with voice operated lifts in the past.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: "police and security services...

      It's not a strawman argument if it is true. All the previous disclosures of how we tracked what the terrorists were doing resulted in them modifying what they were doing so we could no longer use those means to track them.

      You may not LIKE the fact that your strawman argument weakens your government's ability to protect you, but that does not affect its truthfulness. Yes, your demands are traitorous no matter how reasonable you believe they are.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

    It appears that they were 'coordinating' other people in the UK to do the dirty deeds. In that case: should not those in the UK have been picked up ? It seems that they had intercepted communications or something.

    From where I am sitting it appears that David Cameron has incited some army type to commit murder. He has joined Tony Blair in my estimation.

    1. Smooth Newt

      Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

      I don't understand why the UK is constantly fighting these wars. Hasn't anyone noticed that there isn't an Empire to be defended from the Johnny Foreigners anymore.

      I understand the history - the UK was on the winning side in World War 2 so is "blessed" with a permanent seat on the Security Council, but by now Japan and Germany - who both have bigger populations and GDPs than the UK - are probably pretty glad they missed out on the big poisoned chalice. For one thing, it gives UK politicians the idea that if the Americans are in a war then the UK ought to join in. God knows how we missed out on Vietnam.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

        Sure, the last IRAQ war was a mistake, the mistake was then handled badly....

        But ISIS is a threat to us all, and must be dealt with, air strikes are not enough, ground forces should be used.

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

          ISIS are just another case of reaping what you sow. We've spent over a hundred years (if not 2) dicking around in the Middle East acting shamefully (if occasionally) with good intentions, but usually just bloody handed empire building. The only way to stop it is to stay the hell away from there.

          The chances of ISIS doing much more than senind the odd terrorist our way is slim to none, and if GCHQ and the security services can't drfend out shores their management should be fired until someone credible takes charge.

          The mere fact that we took a conscious decision to blow up 2 citizens which regardless of how you chop the legalities is was probably dodgy. Bear in mind the Govt took "legal advice"over the Iraq war too,

          Thought for the day : just how well have ISIS been penetrated if we knew they were British in advance - and given that depth of intelligence - how likely is it that they were a clear and present danger to the UK?

          They probably deserved it and I ain't gonna weep for them but I suspect the act was both immoral and illegal and given its apparent success how long it will be before we'll be blowing up innoncents like the Yanks are always doing. Oh I forgot "tanned" civilians don't count.

          1. Schlimnitz

            Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

            You should read this for a different perspective. http://gatesofvienna.net/2015/08/in-the-middle-east-there-are-only-lose-lose-options

            Strikes me that both Libya and Iran financed and supported the IRA. But nobody I know blames them for the Troubles.

            1. Nigel 11

              Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

              Strikes me that both Libya and Iran financed and supported the IRA. But nobody I know blames them for the Troubles.

              If ISIL were not an expansionary movement desiring world domination and/or bringing about an apocalypse -- if ISIL were "merely" a genocidal horror like the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia - then ignoring them as "somebody else's problem" might make sense. Sometimes the only choices are "terrible" and "even worse".

              But ISIL is an expansionary movement, so if it's not dealt with now, it will have to be dealt with later, and the cost will be far greater. Neither is any compromise possible with a movement that glorifies rape, slavery, torture and genocide.

              As for the IRA: It was possible to negotiate (some would say compromise) with people that shared its aims but not its methods. Irish Republicanism is not morally repugnant if pursued via civilised political debate. Also it was the USA that was the worst culprit when it came to funding the IRA. (People living in the USA, not the USA government, except to the extent that it was at that time unwilling to interfere with their ability and rights to legally send money to the IRA. 9/11 changed that in an instant. One of history's ironies: it was Al Quaeda that broke the IRA )

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

          > the last IRAQ war was a mistake

          Just the last?

          > But ISIS is a threat to us all

          Pardon?

          > ground forces should be used.

          So have you reached the recruitment office yet? Need directions?

          1. Nigel 11

            Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

            > But ISIS is a threat to us all

            Pardon?

            It is a threat in the same way that Hitler's nazism was a threat. It's an expansionary movement that promotes (amongst other ghastly things) rape, slavery, torture, and genocide, which nevertheless somehow has the ability to attract converts to its cause. I fear that there is more to its hideousness than "psycopaths of the world unite, you can do whatever you want with the rest of those sheep".

            History records that there were many people who thought that it was appropriate to negotiate with the nazis. The consquence was that nazis took over and militarised a major economic power, unopposed. Instead of a small war that Germany would have lost quickly(*), we got world war II and genocide. Also, history records that we very narrowly escaped defeat and subjugation by the thousand-year reich. We had to do deals with the devil (Stalin) to escape: his empire was almost as evil, but less ruthlessly expansionary.

            ISIL converts in the UK are protected by the rule of the law that they despise. When they remove themselves to a place not governed by any accepted law, they become outlaws. They have chosen to forsake the protection of law, and the Geneva conventions are quite clear that outlaws are excluded from its provisions.

            (*) hopefully followed by reconciliation, but I don't have any privilieged access to that alternate reality.

        3. Smooth Newt

          Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

          The fear - blown out of all proportion - is that some of these poorly trained and undisciplined thugs will return to the UK and carry out a few random murders.

          Well they might, but this isn't the IRA. These people don't enjoy any support in the UK communities where they are based and which was so critical to the IRA's campaigns, despite the best efforts of parts of the gutter press to tacitly paint Muslims as the new Commies.

          1. x 7

            Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

            "These people don't enjoy any support in the UK communities where they are based"

            If you'd been in the office I used to work in and saw the mainly Pakistani-origin staff cheering as the World Trade Centre collapsed, then you'd think otherwise.

            "These people" enjoy enormous support in SOME of the UK Asian ghettos

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

            These people don't enjoy any support in the UK communities where they are based

            It'd be wonderful were that true, but it's not.

            Pretty well any survey of attitudes I can find with google shows nearly 45% thinking 9/11 was a setup by the USA, with circa 16% thinking suicide bombing in Israel is just peachy. Now no mulsim I know voices such ridiculous notions, but then they can't speak for their community any more than I can speak for mine.

            Trying to gloss over this issue is making the problem worse not better, and its time to tackle it head on and out in the open, however many Guardian readers that may upset.

          3. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

            Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

            These people don't enjoy any support in the UK communities where they are based and which was so critical to the IRA's campaigns, despite the best efforts of parts of the gutter press to tacitly paint Muslims as the new Commies.

            Rubbish - as polls on issues such as 911 and Charlie Hebdo will demonstrate. There is a substantial, but not overwhelming support for these characters in 'communities' and mosques within the UK. Outside of Ireland, 'community' support for the IRA was minimal. It was there, but with a large Irish immigrant population (if you call yourself an immigrant 3-4-5 generations later) there would always be some people who might support their objectives and even their methods.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

        "God knows how we missed out on Vietnam."

        Harold Wilson, for all his faults, wasn't stupid.

        1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

          Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

          Harold Wilson, for all his faults, wasn't stupid.

          The Open University is a testament to that.

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: How would they have hurt anyone in the UK ?

      In the case of this strike, it could be argued as "tidying up some of our mess".

      After all, the pair came from the UK to take part in rape, murder and destruction - the RAF has prevented further participation, without a boot on the ground. Problem solved, no tears to shed.

  6. Naughtyhorse

    Oh dear,

    How sad,

    Nevermind

  7. James O'Shea Silver badge

    so?

    they volunteered for military service in a cause they _knew_ was directly contrary to HMG's policy. They _knew_ that HMG was active on the other side. Indeed, this knowledge was (allegedly) a major motivation for them to join up. Take the consequences of their actions.

    And, oh... during the Second Word War, there were a few dozen Britons and white Commonwealth citizens in the Britisches Freikorps of the Waffen SS. (Indians, despite being more Aryan than Teutons, were in Frei Hind; there weren't many of them, either.) If they'd faced Empire and Commonwealth forces, it's unlikely that they'd have been taken prisoner. Mostly they were operating against the Soviets. After the war there was a lot of noise about the less than 60 total BFK SS-men. France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway all provided substantially more troops for the Waffen SS. The last defenders of the Hitler's bunker in Berlin were from Charlemagne, the French SS unit. Some Charlemagne men had engaged Free French troops in France in 1944; several prisoners were brought before LeClerc, who asked them why they were betraying France by wearing German uniforms. They sassed him back by asking him why he was betraying France by wearing American uniform. He had them shot. Further back, there is the example of the Batallón de San Patricio, mostly Irish deserters from the US Army during the Mexican American War. (That didn't end well for them, either.) I'm sure that readers can think up a multitude of other examples.

    I expect that the RAF would have bombed the BFK if it had been larger and thereby worth paying attention to. I _know_ that Free French and Free Dutch and Free Norwegians flying RAF aircraft bombed and torpedoed ships run by French, Dutch, and Norwegian seaman under German command. This 'news' item is not new, is not unexpected, is not unusual, and is not news.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: so?

      Wrong example.

      During WW2 the more prominent collaborators were tried in abstentia for grand treason. The less prominent also had that offense quite clearly tagged onto them and it carried an automatic death sentence.

      Today we neither have grand treason as an offense, nor the death penalty so drawing parallels with WW2 is a bit disingenuous until we have reinstated both. Frankly, the case deserves it too.

      1. Tom 64

        Re: so?

        'Frankly, the case deserves it too.'

        I'm sorry, what? The only 'evidence' you have to go on is the official government line, which you probably just read on these esteemed pages.

        If the UK gov. have such evidence against these chaps, surely they can release it for scrutiny, can't they? What's that, its a 'National Security' secret? How convenient.

      2. Jonathan Richards 1
        Stop

        WWII historical treason @ Voland's RH

        There are a few mistakes there which seem to me to indicate that you're making stuff up. Firstly in absentia is the right term (one t), so you probably weren't directly quoting a source, were you?

        Secondly, England (and after 1702 the United Kingdom) never had an offence [sic] of "grand treason". Treason was either high treason, or petty treason. High treason is still (partially) governed by the Treason Act of 1351 which explicitly states that adherence to or giving comfort to the King's enemies is treasonable. [1]

        Finally, The Encyclopaedia that Anyone Can Edit has a list of people tried for treason, and there is no entry for anyone tried during or after WWII in absentia. If you have an example, please let us know what it is.

        [1] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Edw3Stat5/25/2/section/II

        1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

          Re: WWII historical treason @ Voland's RH

          Tut tut tut tut - bringing evidence into the fight - you should be ashamed of yourself :-)

  8. Arachnoid

    So......

    Good work on killing any ISIS little fuclktards be they male or female and abroad or at home.My main concern is the UKs ability to actually obtain and accurately verify the right information regarding potential enemy's without the help of third party's with their own hidden agenda,

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: So......

      Good job, yes, murder, yes.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: So......

        Good job, yes, murder, yes.

        Murder, no. Murder is an offense as defined by the rule of law (AFAIK by every nation state on the planet). ISIL are outlaws, explicitly rejecting both the law of the UK and the law of the nations in which they are to be found. Outlaw: OUTside of the LAW. Most of us grew up in a world where there was no outside, but today the rule of law has been removed from some territories.

        What ISIL does to its captives is what should be called murder, rather than "execution" (shame on our media). Execution is a judicially sanctioned killing. ISIL has no such sanction.

        1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

          Re: So......

          I agree. This use of the word 'execution' is frequently abused. But then the meeedja will have us understand that words change there meanings all the time.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Martyrs not wanted

    In Northern Ireland the terrorists depended for support on a steady diet of martyrs. Locking terrorists up eventually paid off because Sinn Fein had to deliver prisoners back to their communities. When the agreement was faltering it was the prisoners' families that applied pressure on SF to keep their relatives out of gaol that kept the Republicans at the table.

    In Syria the same probably applies to UK based sympathisers. Your average teenager has fantasies about going down in a blaze of Glory, I doubt many would feel the same about twenty years in Belmarsh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Martyrs not wanted

      The difference is the places involved, be it the UK or Eire, had stable, co-operative governments. Good luck going to Syria and hoping you can arrest them.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is all about pre-war justification.

    You build up public opinion to either bomb or go in on the ground, 6 months ago going in on the ground would be impossible, now it's looking more likely, either that or they will arm and train the friendly kurds at least till they become unfriendly or disagree with what the west wants in the middle east then bomb the shit out of them.

    I also wonder why if they intercepted comms (as presumably that is how they knew exactly where they were) why they didn't use them for intelligence gathering or maybe this is just one of those unverifiable stories that we just have to accept the government is telling the truth.

    It seems to me that history keeps repeating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The issue with arming with the Kurds has long been known, just as the Turks.

  11. elDog Silver badge

    And it's convenient that those villains won't be able to present their case

    Or ask for evidence against themselves.

    It's just so much neater to "take out" enemy combatants rather than scoop them up for some proper questioning. However with all the secrecy laws in effect, perhaps the outcome would be determined and the process just as murky.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: And it's convenient that those villains won't be able to present their case

      Well if you're volunteering to go to Syria and 'scoop them up for some proper questioning' you crack on.

  12. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    You take the high ground and I'll take the low

    I really would like to know what the legal advice was to allow this assassination, the passing of a death sentence on two British nationals by the British government. We aren't in a state of war, we don't allow death sentences, no court of law was involved, no evidence has been offered, and no defence allowed.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: no court of law was involved, no evidence has been offered, and no defence allowed.

      yup

      fuck em

      I think you'll find the concepts of 'law','evidence','and defence' don't mean much where they live

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: no court of law was involved, no evidence has been offered, and no defence allowed.

        I think you'll find the concepts of 'law','evidence','and defence' don't mean much where they live

        And don't seem to mean much in this country either. That's the problem I see.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: You take the high ground and I'll take the low

      Uh.. they're ISIS. They don't play by anyone's rules. So why should they get the same treatment? Act like a rabid dog, you should be treated like one.

      1. Zolko

        where is the proof ?

        they're ISIS

        yeah, exactly here lies the problem: what is the proof for that ?

        1. Diogenes

          Re: where is the proof ?

          The UK is providing military assistance to a recognised foreign government at the request of that government. These chaps were in a warzone - at worst its a "s**t happens".

          I must hasten to note I have no great love of the RAF or USAF - my mother as a 6yo girl was in Hamburg when Gommorah took place.

          1. mark 177

            Re: where is the proof ?

            You mean the Syrian government? Since when was the UK working with them?

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: where is the proof ?

              'You mean the Syrian government?'

              No he means the Iraqi government, maybe read a newspaper or something it's been going on for months.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: where is the proof ?

          @Zolko

          yeah, exactly here lies the problem: what is the proof for that ?

          Well, it could be they video they made holding the ISIS flag, while claiming to be members of ISIS, and all the messages they released stating they had joined ISIS, or the fact they were openly recruiting for ISIS. Seriously, there's less evidence they were human than there is for their being ISIS. FFS.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: You take the high ground and I'll take the low

        @Mark 85 - We have the rules that apply to everyone because of what we are; what you or some politician says they are is not relevant in deciding who the rules apply to.

      3. QuiteEvilGraham

        Re: You take the high ground and I'll take the low

        Because, at the risk of getting immediately downvoted, that's precisely the fuck what stops us being like them. Does this really have to be spelled out for you keyboard warriors?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You take the high ground and I'll take the low

      > I really would like to know what the legal advice was to allow this assassination

      Well, it won't be released¹. So much for "democracy".

      > the passing of a death sentence on two British nationals by the British government

      If we take a wildly unscientific approach and judge by the number of ↓ votes to your comment, compared to the corresponding ↑ votes, I think you will find your position is in a minority. Quite how the majority can, however, reach its conclusions in the absence of sufficient, accessible information (see above), is well beyond me. So much for "democracy" again.

      ¹ Besides, "legal advice" means a report typed up by some poor sod with a law degree trying to ingratiate himself with the politico du jour, cf. the "Oh yes, torture for sure is alright" legal advice waved around by the Septics a couple years back. Quite different from a legal sentence, which is the proper way of doing things in the civilised world, plus France.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    British? My arse.

  14. Arachnoid

    War..........

    Its a convenient method to label anybody an enemy without trial or defence when they are an embarrassment or may speak out against you

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: War..........

      Equally convenient when a batshit cult of fuckwit godbotheres is intent on setting off bombs in the rush hour

      you say potato...

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    No winners

    too bad for the families, when will these kids learn that the promised land they are fleeing to doesn't want their help, except for squeezing all possible info, and using them as a media tool... then lights out in any case.

    I've heard J'hadi John has fallen out of favor. Just a rumor I think...

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: No winners

      I've heard J'hadi John has fallen out of favor.

      We can hope. One of the common failure modes of revolutionary movements(*) is paranoia, when they break into factions and start killing each other until there's almost nobody left. Hopefully our intelligence agencies are hard at work electronically fabricating the appearance of disloyalty to the ISIL cause by some of those within it.

      (*) I can't think of a better term, but allowing ISIL to be called a "revolutionary movement" is much like allowing Jimmy Saville to be called "just another criminal".

  16. J J Carter Silver badge
    Pint

    I'll drink to that! Just about 99,998 murderous fifth-columnists to go

  17. Arachnoid

    I HOPE ALL THE VIRGINS

    Are all Catholic nuns with an axe to grind

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: I HOPE ALL THE VIRGINS

      whats wrong with fat sweaty gamers livin' in their mom's basement?

      it says in this here contract '72 virgins' nuthin about male or female.

      (apologies to anyone who is fat, a gamer, or lives in their mom's basement, and commiserations to anyone who scores more than 2 on the list)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least this saves them from being them arrested and released again on re-entry to the UK when they come back for more benefits.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy Solution.

    If a member of your family goes off to fight in Syria or wherever then the whole family gets deported.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Nide Idea but

      very illegal.

      No matter Extraordinary rendition to the rescue eh?

      Just make them disappear, release some dodgy CCTV footage of them getting on a plane to Turkey and bingo, public opinion will be right behind you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If a member of your family goes off to fight in Syria...then the whole family gets deported."

      I presume no family known to you has ever had a stroppy teenager? Or one who leaves home and gets into trouble?

      The Daily Mail is over there -------------------------------->

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deporting people born in Britain?

      Where to, exactly? Wait for Wales to fully separate and then send the family back to Cardiff?

      But the whole automatically-punish-the-clan-for-the-sins-of-one has a bracingly Old Testament flavour to it, the sort of inhumane crap that ISIS espouses. If the nation ever decides to thoroughly abandon any stake on moral high ground then it would be a good way to go.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deporting people born in Britain? @Mongo

        >But the whole automatically-punish-the-clan-for-the-sins-of-one has a bracingly Old Testament flavour to it, the sort of inhumane crap that ISIS espouses.

        It's more of an Israeli thing

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC: Zealots of the Book

          The thing the various Abrahamic religions can agree on is that the older Books are your one-stop-shop when you need to get your smite on.

    4. skeptical i
      Meh

      Kids screwing up? Out you go.

      Hi, A.C.: There are certainly many many cases wherein parents/ carers/ sperm and egg donors are clearly negligent and have more than a small hand in their offsprings' misdeeds and in those cases the "parents" should be made to participate in the reparations. But -- and I say this not knowing the particulars of these perps' family lives, and pro'ly sounding a bit huggy-feely -- if there are already stresses on the family (poverty, divorce, crap education system) even the best- intentioned parents might be pulled too thin to effectively, um, parent. Even the obvious solution ("if you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em") doesn't apply if the best laid plans have gone aglee with a medical bankruptcy or other reversal of fortune. Not sure how to address this one.

  20. Ralph B

    Progression

    I'm not too keen on the potential progression I'm seeing here:

    1) Extrajudicial killings of foreigners overseas.

    2) Extrajudicial killings of Britons overseas.

    3) Extrajudicial killings of Britons in Britain.

    Although I suppose it could be said that we have reached 3) already, the use of drones to do the job is an unhappy escalation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Progression

      Wrong publication, The Grauniad is that way ☞

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Progression

        > Wrong publication

        Indeed. There was a time, maybe up to about ten years ago, when you could expect a certain amount of pondered, insightful, and respectful commentary in this blog. Nowadays it makes The Sun readership appear like a bunch of intellectuals.

        1. Titus Technophobe
          Stop

          Re: Progression

          Even the Guardian has articles suggesting that far from being "Extrajudicial killings" these actions were both lawful and proportionate.

  21. J J Carter Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Bombadins take a beating

    If only he'd read-up on how to disable WIndows 10 telemetry before using Facebook

    Votes waiting for a modern-day Ferdinand and Isabella to complete Reconquista 2.0

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All it will take for get everyone on the PM's side

    will be an IS "event" here in the UK.

    For those who have not experienced a terrorist attack, let me tell you it is not nice. I was very close to the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey.

    Because a number of IS members have strong ties to the UK, I think that the PM is right to be cautious.

    He has a hard juggling job to do. Blair failed IMHO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All it will take for get everyone on the PM's side

      As long as it's not like those DFS "events" they never end.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: All it will take for get everyone on the PM's side

      Blair succeeded beyond measure - the whole national security lobbying machine and the Home Secretariat have been living off 7/7 event ever since.

  23. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Cameron, backbone. Not two words I'd have put in the same sentence but I'm willing to give him a pat on the back anyway.

    And we should feel rest assured that in 10 years or so, the UK gov will spend another couple of million investigating this when the key players have moved on and can't defend themselves adequately.

  24. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Bad on several levels ...

    Firstly, it is illegal and is *not* regarded as self-defence for a person to kill another person on the grounds that the killer believed that the deceased was making plans to kill others at some unspecified future date. Not even the police are permitted to kill someone unless they believe that the person presents an *imminent* threat to life. The rules change (to an extent) only in times of war. If the UK government wants to operate under wartime rules, then it must first officially declare that we are at war. But that would be inconvenient, because the government could then not change the designation and scope of who is and who is not "the enemy" to whatever is politically beneficial from time to time. And it is both impossible and also not at all desirable for a country to declare war on a religion, ideal or flavour of politics. There is a word we use for political leaders who execute anyone who it deems has undesirable thoughts or contrary political opinions.

    Perhaps the guys killed by our techno-toys really were planning to commit a terrorist act inside the UK. Excuse me if I do not simply take Cameron's word for it. DeMenezes was believed to be a nasty Middle Eastern terrorist and was shot dead - but it turned out he was just a Brazilian electrician on his way to work. Asking for Cameron to be put on trial for murder and have to prove that his defence of "self defence" is justified would obviously be a pipe-dream, but maybe a post-mortem public judicial review could be held, complete with an honest legal team representing the deceased, that will prove beyond reasonable doubt that the claims made, and therefore the justification for the killing, are true and accurate.

    Perhaps the worst thing about acts such as this is that it inflames conflict and creates justification in the minds of people already upset with the UK to behave in a similar fashion toward us. And whilst the people we brand "terrorists" do not have access to anything nearly as sophisticated as the drones used by the US and UK military, a poor-man's version could be cobbled together for under £200 - and while not nearly so versatile, would still be more than capable of remotely delivering a bomb to places where it would cause a huge amount of damage.

    In my opinion, strikes such as this should only be carried out (if at all) in situations where the target is presenting a fairly obvious imminent threat to innocent lives.

    1. Frank Bough

      Re: Bad on several levels ...

      The Demeneses case is entirely different. These guys were self confessed, active jihadis, Demeneses was an innocent guy going about his daily business, and he was shot be trigger happy coppers, not deliberately targetted by a military drone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bad on several levels ...

        I love it when people bring the DeMenezes case up because it just shows how infrequently such things happen. This was in 1978 and people are still harping on about it, don't you have anything more recent?

        1. x 7

          Re: Bad on several levels ...

          "I love it when people bring the DeMenezes case up because it just shows how infrequently such things happen. This was in 1978 "

          Check your facts

          He was born in 1978, died in 2005.

          Whatever the rights or wrongs of killing him, we've had few significant attacks in the UK since. Shooting someone - anyone - appears to have had the desired effect of keeping the heads of UK based insurgents down

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bad on several levels ...

            >He was born in 1978, died in 2005.

            So my eye to brain to hand coordination went awry. Still ten years.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bad on several levels ...

          "This was in 1978 "

          2005 actually. Did you not know or were you trying to confuse? Ten years is a lot less than 37.

          At the time with New Labour in power the Met had acquired quite a reputation. The revelations of what actually went on that day were really quite shocking, though as you don't even know when it happened I doubt you have read them. Since then, and partly as the result of the plebgate goings on, the Government has clamped down on the Met, with even Teresa May stopping them from acquiring water cannon. So something was achieved, but it is sad that the death of a completely innocent man at the hands of pumped-up police was needed to help bring it about.

          "So my eye to brain to hand coordination went awry"

          Spectacularly so if you managed to confuse 1978 and 2005. You've been caught in an untruth.

  25. stucs201

    You might think Cameron is a dick, but Isis are assholes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32iCWzpDpKs

  26. Frank Bough

    Good to see

    that the Reaper systems are functioning properly.

    1. x 7

      Re: Good to see

      "Good to see that the Reaper systems are functioning properly."

      yeah, warfare is much more grim without the reapers

  27. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    OMG

    Have the El Reg forums somehow got mixed up with the StormFront/Daily Mail ones?

    As well as the vicious glee several people have demonstrated in the death of 2 men, we have had several "Send them back/deport their families" (deport them to where exactly if they are British) comments and at least one ISIS = benefits scroungers.

    I thought as a body commentards were better than this. :(

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: OMG

      For the most part, I think we are better then this. The problem is the ISIS/daesh. Very bad news who seek destruction of the planet if everyone does not conform to their belief. The families are not the problem and recognized by the downvotes those got. The dead... well... they took up arms and went into the fray.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMG

        Agreed. I'm a bit of a touchy feely liberal but when they started blowing up Palmyra I actually heard myself yelling "Oh for FUCKS SAKE, this is what we invented NERVE GAS for!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OMG

      > I thought as a body commentards were better than this

      It hasn't been the case for quite a while now. There was a time when I valued ElReg for its comments sections. Nowadays I only come here when I need to put a check on my optimism and faith on my society. It does work great for that, mind.

    3. <shakes head>

      Re: OMG

      who decides what is "better"?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will the next Great War be religious?

    On an increasingly crowded planet the beliefs of IS/ISIL/ISIS are so far from any acceptable form of human rights and equality that we have no room left for those who want to live like that.

    There seem to be a great many governments that fall not far short of this group. If we could consign the whole god delusion to mythology where it belongs that'd go a long way toward solving some issues.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

      Name one war that was because of religion?

      Resources/land/power, religion makes a lovely excuse a bit like race used to.

      1. RPF

        Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

        Here are the 10 biggest....

        http://addictivelists.com/10-biggest-religious-wars-ever-fought/

        They may have missed The Crusades.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

          This is fun,

          10. Second War of Kappel - The peace that ended the war, the so-called Zweiter Landfrieden (Second Territorial Peace) forced the dissolution of the Protestant alliance. It gave Catholicism the priority in the common territories < Land

          9. Lebanese Civil War < Power (government)

          8. Crusades < Land , Pope Urban II authorized the First Crusade in 1095 with the goal of restoring European access to the Holy Land.

          7. Second Sudanese Civil war - Four million people in southern Sudan were displaced at least once (and often repeatedly) during the war. The civilian death toll is one of the highest of any war since World War II[4] and was marked by a large number of human rights violations. These include slavery and mass killings. The conflict officially ended with the signing of a peace agreement in January 2005.

          I'm going to stop now with that last one as that's the cherry on the religious cake, what religion allows slavery and mass killings?

          I'm shocked that people actually believe war is about religion? Wake up, it's about land/money/power religion is just a nice excuse to justify their behaviour.

          Lets be straight here, I'm an atheist, a thinker and philosopher, when I refer to power that also equates to money.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

            For the daesh, they seem (including the leader) that this is about religion. They want to draw the armies of the world into a Final Battle with them at a specified location. They know they will lose that battle and the leadership and the followers will die but they aslo believe that Allah will suddenty convert the world to Islam Yeah... it's their religion and they claim it's in their Holy Book.

            I may be fuzzy on the details but that's the gist of what they're supposedly believing in.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @ Mark 85

              You do seem to spend a lot of time posting in here (which is good practice if you're looking to improve your spelling). I wonder what sort of academic and professional setting might breed and support such a fecund writer with decided opinions on such a wide range of subjects.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

              How crazy is it to sell Saudi nukes? Everyone, crims included, should be frightened by that prospect.

        2. <shakes head>

          Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

          all of those look to be one group against another that happen to have different religion, but also in most cases ansestry or a buch of other things, land/ not land.

          oh i give up.

          people are different and ofter we fight, sometimes even about being different

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Name one war that was because of religion?

        err that would be most of them

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will the next Great War be religious?

        I wrote the "Will the next..." comment and largely agree with you. The issue with religion is that it's used as the control mechanism to get people to kill each other. Stir 'em up, lie about the reason for the military action and watch 'em go. Sadly, most of us still seem to fall for this stupidity and once one side is stirred up what the other side to do, even if our side did the initial stirring through our Intelligence agencies for corporate interests? Now that the religious control mechanism has kicked firmly in and everyone is riled up I'm not will to live under or worry greatly about Sh'aria. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia_law

  29. J J Carter Silver badge
    Pirate

    Rule .303

    Rule .303, all that's needed to deal with these chaps. You can stuff your namby-pamby, cry-baby, hand-wringing, big girls blouse, bed-wetting 'umin rights

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rule .303

      Mr Carter, thank you for your most profound insight. But a much wiser man than both of us (if I may speak on your behalf), once said that powerful is not he who knocks the other down but he who controls himself in a fit of rage.

      1. Tel

        Re: Rule .303

        Controlling your temper is all very well, but when the other guy is about to hold a massive gun to your head (or those of your loved ones), standing still and letting him shoot you rather than bashing him over the head with a blunt instrument is a bit counterproductive.

  30. Commswonk Silver badge

    But what if...

    Although there have been some persuasive comments in support of the "rule of law" come what may, I am currently of the view that justice of a sort _has_ been done. Those who stray on to the battlefield simply have to take their chances.

    Another way of looking at the "termination with extreme prejudice" is as follows: what if the same two people had been killed either by action on the part of the Syrian government (which we don't like) or by Kurdish forces whose aims are more akin to our own? Would we expect our government to protest to whichever was responsible that two innocent British lives had been lost? I certainly wouldn't. The two concerned had taken up arms to fight for a cause; the fact that we may regard that cause as thoroughly appalling is almost neither here nor there. Given that their cause sees nothing wrong in beheading anyone who is not to their taste I cannot shed any tears about their demise.

    I worry about saying this but our strict adherence to legal process - in particular to the HRA - could well be our collective downfall; before anyone tells me I am fully concious of the fact that saying that opens up a Pandora's Box of potentially unimaginable horrors. Which is the least worst option?

    And in any case "shit happens".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But what if...

      Ah, the old "ends justifies the means" argument. Always given by the people who are nowhere near the receiving "ends". Slippery slope or what?

      'And in any case "shit happens".' Sounds like something any one of a number of murderous scum from Hitler to Genghis Khan would have said. But I'm sure you're better than them - moral high ground and all that stuff...

  31. x 7

    the only mistake made here is the announcement by the politicians that it happened.

    They should have simply blown the scum up and said nothing. As it stands, the opposition now know the two are dead, how it happened, and can have a pretty good guess as how they were tracked. Better if nothing had been said, and ISHIT had been kept in the dark.

    Operational Security - least said about any op, the better. Let the opposition wonder and worry

  32. Bloodbeastterror

    Cock...

    As soon as these people decided to fight for their Man In The Sky they ceased to be citizens of the UK. If they chose to put themselves in harm's way then I'm sure that they will be the first to accept their fate.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good, keep it up.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cameron's "I feared for my safety"

    Before we had cops using the "I feared for my safety" line to justify whatever action they took. Now we have Cameron with a similar one: "I am not prepared to stand here in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our streets and have to explain to the House why I did not take the chance to prevent it when I could have done."

    Well, well, well, It's coming to that time where we round up all those mooslims and execute them. After all it's all a mater of prevention, how can we afford to let those dangerous 1% escape? Surely you would not be defending doing nothing when faced with the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our streets?

    Spineless.

    1. x 7

      Re: Cameron's "I feared for my safety"

      "Well, well, well, It's coming to that time where we round up all those mooslims and execute them. After all it's all a mater of prevention, how can we afford to let those dangerous 1% escape? "

      Why not? |ts a tradition of British history. Æthelred did it with the Danes. What was good enough for him should be good enough for us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cameron's "I feared for my safety"

        "What was good enough for him should be good enough for us."

        And Alfred defeated the Danes at Ethandun and converted many of them to Christianity, after which they evolved a reasonable successful coexistence. Autres temps, autres mores.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cameron's "I feared for my safety"

      "...round up all those mooslims and execute them."

      Hitler tried the same with the Jews.

      In a sane world, people would find this totally evil and unacceptable.

      The Register forums appear to be nothing more than mob rule at the Coliseum.

      1. x 7

        Re: Cameron's "I feared for my safety"

        "In a sane world, people would find this totally evil and unacceptable"

        In a sane world there wouldn't be any loony muslim terrorists who need shooting. But the world isn't sane, there ARE loony evil bastards at loose, so we have to shoot them. Not nice, but necessary.

  35. Van

    Good shot

  36. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    But why the announcement? Maybe it was intended as a deterrent for others but it doesn't work that way. Will politicians never learn?

  37. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    So, how do you improve a situation by making yourself as bad as your opponent?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      WG asked "So, how do you improve a situation by making yourself as bad as your opponent?"

      By having better weapons.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That "secret" legal advice

    Surely will come to light anyway when this gets to the courts? What's the point of not releasing it?

  39. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Up close and personal provides a truer perspective on collateral damage issues

    Has that lethal action ..... Two British citizens fighting for terrorist group ISIS in Syria were killed in an RAF drone strike on 21 August. The Register understands it is the first time British nationals have been targeted and killed in a strike by an RAF Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle. ..... which be quietly endorsed and supported by the non vote of the members of Parliament and apparent full acquiescence of the Cabinet of government ministers, made legitimate terrorist targets of all those fleeting persons of interest for precision removal from the war games stage and Harry Limelight and media footlights?

    Methinks it surely logically must have, as the RAF only follow their orders, which I must agree, doesn't put the RAF in a pleasant light either.

    One just can't get the proper staff these days for top gun jobs, and by jove, it certainly shows.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shit!

    Does travel insurance even cover drone-strike?

  41. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Well...

    Well.. it is a little troubling when you have all these battles being fought (US, UK, etc.) without any sort of declaration of war. This could raise legal questions.

    But, ISIS controls a definite area, with a de facto capitol, there's a line where they don't control territory past it, and there's heated territorial battles along the border as it's expands out or is pushed back. De facto, this is a war. Anyone fighting in a war zone cannot really expect to be exempt from harm because of their nationality.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bravery of being out of range

    Sir turn up the TV sound

    The war has started on the ground

    Just love those laser guided bombs

    They're really great

    For righting wrongs

    You hit the target

    And win the game

    From bars 3,000 miles away

    3,000 miles away

    We play the game

    With the bravery of being out of range

    We zap and maim

    With the bravery of being out of range

    We strafe the train

    With the bravery of being out of range

    We gained terrain

    With the bravery of being out of range

    With the bravery of being out of range

    We play the game

    With the bravery of being out of range

    - Roger waters

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: The bravery of being out of range

      Versus the stupidity of being in range.

      Or to put it another way, 'Never get in a fair fight, there's a 50/50 chance you'll lose'

  43. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    OK, mixed feelings about this...

    Clearly, the simple reason for this operation is to show other half-wits with British passports that going to that dusty shithole and making a video about yourself killing infidels will eventually get you killed too.

    There is a question of legality of that strike in absence of a war declaration - that's bad. But, that place has no recognised government and therefore no law. Anyone can be killed there without it being illegal. And Geneva convention doesn't apply either. So, killing a holder of a British passport in a place where it's not illegal to kill holders of British passports, according to local law - is that a crime back here?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

      "Clearly, the simple reason for this operation is to show other half-wits with British passports that going to that dusty shithole and making a video about yourself killing infidels will eventually get you killed too."

      It tends not to work that way. They see that fate as glorious martyrdom, as glamorous. Yes, we may view that attitude as irrational but that doesn't stop people thinking irrationally.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

        "They see that fate as glorious martyrdom, as glamorous. Yes, we may view that attitude as irrational but that doesn't stop people thinking irrationally."

        We don't view it as irrational when it's us. During WW2 young men signed up with enthusiasm to fly aircraft, crew tanks and submarines. My father, who has been a pacifist for years, tried to get into the Fleet Air Arm. All were tantamount to suicide given the odds. My father and his friends brought their loads of men and tanks into beaches defended by machine guns and mines. Most of them didn't survive. They did it because they wanted above all to defeat Nazi Germany.

        Unfortunately our politicians and tabloid journalists cannot imagine that the other side thinks just as we do but precisely the other way around.

        Ideally I think we need to kill these idiots but without publicity. Leave their fate unknown and uncertain. If you must say anything, leak reports to the tabloids that they died of an outbreak of typhoid or something like that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

          Unfortunately, you seem to be advocating the "what they don't know can't hurt them" philosophy.

          In the West, we generally believe we have the right to make decisions about our future based on the truth.

          However, (cheer)leaders like Cameron, Obama and Blair use every dirty trick in the book to ensure the "truth" remains as opaque as possible. Despicable behaviour in any democracy.

          If people want to live in a totalitarian dictatorship where these lies are spun to deceive the electorate, maybe they should move to Russia or China or North Korea or Iran.

          1. x 7

            Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

            "In the West, we generally believe we have the right to make decisions about our future based on the truth."

            The problem is, Muslims have a different version of the truth from most people who live in Western democracies, and many of them believe in ramming THEIR "truth" down OUR throats through violence.

            1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

              Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

              Just a slight correction - under Muslims you mean adepts of satanist cults mascarading as Muslims.

              1. x 7

                Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

                "Just a slight correction - under Muslims you mean adepts of satanist cults mascarading as Muslims."

                No, I mean Muslims. Satanist cults tend to be a bit harmless in comparison. Russians are worse

                1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                  Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

                  Oh, dear... How did you manage to get yourself so frightened? The world outside must be a scary place for you, dear boy.

                  1. x 7

                    Re: OK, mixed feelings about this...

                    "The world outside must be a scary place for you, dear boy."

                    with Putin becoming increasingly erratic, and making off-the-wall comments about dropping instant sunshine on the lesser members of NATO, then the world could quite probably be recognised as a scary place. I don't think he's really daft enough to do it yet, but if his insanity gets worse, then who knows?

                    Even most of the ex-pat Russians I know agree......had a long conversation today with an emigree Azerbaijani girl of third generation Russian descent who has come to the west to escape the claws of Putins goons even in Azerbaijan - it seems they were trying to put the hooks into her while living in Azerbaijan - they were trying to blackmail her into working for the Russian state to obtain information

                    As for the muslim raving looney conspirators, yes they create a big enough threat to justify pre-emptive retaliation before they launch more attacks

  44. J J Carter Silver badge
    1. Huw D
      Coat

      Are you trying to tell me that Last of The Summer Wine was an ISIS enclave?

  45. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Oh well

    bomb them until the sand turns to glass

  46. Flakey

    In A Word....

    ...Good

  47. SolidSquid

    The thing that worries me here is the precedent this sets. We're essentially setting off a bomb in a civilian area to kill people suspected of being members of ISIS, and we know that there have been civilian casualties at least for some of the American ones. How is this any different to ISIS setting off a bomb in London to kill off-duty British soldiers? Or bombing the parliament who authorised this? Are those legitimate military actions on the part of ISIS, or are they terrorist attacks which should be outright condemned? If the latter, how do they differ to us setting explosives off in Raqqa?

    Yes, we are essentially assisting Iraq in a civil war against ISIS, but killing people without trial outside of the battle field raises a *lot* of ethical questions about what point things tip over from military action to terrorism, and make it far easier for ISIS to justify their actions

  48. flearider

    ok stop all this PC crap ... 2 people went over to another country to kill others ..

    they no doubt gave information to the side we are fighting .. they got blown to hell ..

    who's fault is it ? theres simple they made a choice ..

    was it right or wrong .. both ..

    now anyone else want to go .. be a hero to who ever ?? yeah .....thought so .. job done

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drone wars

    The nationality of those two guys is neither here nor there (in lawyer speak). What we hear about are the clear-cut cases ("ISIS fighters", "Al Quaeda operatives") being targeted. But what really happens is that "The West" (on closer inspection, one and a half nations...) target a large number of people, largely based on "local intelligence" (i.e. denunciations from neighbors who have always had an eye on that farm, not to mention that stolen donkey two generations ago...), with a good proportion of collateral damage. And then we are surprised that the "hearts and minds" thing doesn't work and the enemy is inundated with new recruits abroad and in Europe (particularly Britain). How do you defend against relativism and whataboutery, if you show (almost) as little respect to international laws and conventions as the barbarians you are fighting?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when can we expect

    The Government to reinstate its 'shoot-to-kill' policy in the UK and this time not just in Northern Ireland? Oh, I forgot, they already did. For the crime of being a Brazilian plumber. Now that drones are in the armoury, better watch out when planning a wedding party. Perhaps get married in a bunker, just to be on the safe side

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: So when can we expect

      Here's a hint, it's very hard to train someone to shoot-to-maim. You teach them to aim at the centre of mass, because it means they're most likely to actually hit the target. It also means they'll probably be dead because that's where the vital organs are.

      Ironically if you could teach troops to shoot-to-maim you would because every injured troop requires another one to carry him off the battlefield. Dead ones can wait.

      1. x 7

        Re: So when can we expect

        "Ironically if you could teach troops to shoot-to-maim you would because every injured troop requires another one to carry him off the battlefield"

        old wives tail. Doesn't work that way against communist terrorists or islamic extremists. They've no way of hospitalising the injured so they just leave the injured to die - or kill the injured themselves if they have any spare bullets. In an extremist society, life is cheap and the survival of the weapons is more important that the people carrying them. Remember, these nutters don't fear death, they welcome it, so leaving your fellows to die isn't a sin.

        also injured people can in many cases, if driven by idealogical beliefs can carry on fighting despite extreme pain - especially if the injury is such to ensure a prolonged death e.g. a gut shot. Indeed one of the historic limitation worries about CNB warfare was that irradiated or infected troops would fight harder because they knew they were going to die anyway

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't remember the announcement of the military pre-crime division being set up?

    Regardless of whether they should or should not have been killed it is wrong that the government can order the military to kill people without offering any evidence or having any proper judicial oversight. Let's face it the attorney general green lighted the war on Iraq where we got all those WMD's from the bad man that used to be our friend when he bought our weapons and sold us oil.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some good arguments for both sides I think (as well as some more extreme left and right wing views).

    I'm not too sure how I feel, but I think it's very difficult to apply British rights and laws to people who are now fighting for an organisation who shares almost none of our rights and laws (can't remember the last time I saw a homosexual being chucked off a tower block).

    I don't think that gives us carte blanche to go 'Team America on their ass' but if the other side of the coin is to just leave them to carry on undertaking whatever nefarious activities they are doing is that any more palatable?

    It is a very difficult conundrum.

  53. thedroog

    Terrorism

    You have to look at the bigger picture here. The UK along with the US were mainly responsible for the creation of ISIS by implementing a prime minister (Nouri Maliki) in Iraq who was no better than Sadam and systematically killed hundreds of Sunnis whilst the west looked the other way. Nothing good can come from violence and we are now reaping the seeds we have sown from our meddling in affairs that do not concern us?

    1. Fonant

      Re: Terrorism

      Agree, killing people of a particular group also tends to make that group angry and more likely to want to kill you back. An eye for an eye, etc.

      The problem is that affairs in the Middle East do concern "us", almost entirely because of the presence of large amounts of oil in the ground there. One argument in favour of developing renewable energy is that we could just say to the Middle East "hey, we don't need your oil any more, sell it to someone else". Lower oil prices would remove much of ISIL's income, too.

      Iraq and surrounding countries are artifical, with borders drawn up by the Allies after the end of WW2. When you have countries consisting of groups of people that mostly hate each other, you have to have a bit of a powerful dictator in charge. Would probably help if the borders were just erased from the map, but history makes things complicated, and keeping distinct countries makes it easier to extract the oil for profit and energy...

      1. x 7

        Re: Terrorism

        " killing people of a particular group also tends to make that group angry and more likely to want to kill you back"

        Simple - kill ALL of them.

        "hey, we don't need your oil any more, sell it to someone else"

        China and India would simply buy the lot - so increasing their rates of technological advance and so threatening our manufacturing industries even more

        " borders drawn up by the Allies after the end of WW2."

        Actually WWI

        Look up "Sykes-Picot agreement"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Terrorism

        I think a lot of this has to do with some of the countries in that area wanting to move off US currency as the worldwide currency to purchase oil. Religion, the ultimate control mechanism, just makes it easy to stir up the locals and it keeps us from protesting draconian, privacy invading "terrorism" laws locally, as the Fascists continue their takeover of the west.

  54. Drefsab_UK

    Theres a lot to this however on the legality of killing UK citizen's, I think they should revoke the citizenship of any British citzen that leave our shores to join the terrorists. Be that as a fighter or a bride or anything. You want to go and join them fine then your not welcome back.

    If they are actively involved in plots then I don't have any issue with our armed forces blowing them away, that does however depend on them actively being involved in trying to hurt this nation. If they leave the uk and try to lead a life in these other countries without trying to harm us then they should be left alone.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FTFY

    "I think they should revoke the citizenship of any British citzen that leave our shores to join the terrorists and innoculate them with Ebola"

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For all those banging on about IS/daesh not being a state, you are clearly not very well informed on the law in this area. I suggest you read up on lawful v unlawful combatants. Simple version, if you engage in combat activity linked to some outfit that is not a recognised state, you can be deemed an unlawful combatant. The key is the legal basis of being defined as a combatant. Once you have been deemed a 'combatant', lawful (ie in a legally recognised army) or unlawful, you are subject to the rules applying to combatants, which include allowing you to be killed by a drone strike whilst in a vehicle, even if you were not engaged in combat at the time. So you should be asking if these guys had been deemed unlawful combatants or not before talking nonsense about laws you don't understand. Then you can look at the legality of taking them out in foreign territory.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could they honestly know these guys were planning something? or were they scared they were planning to return to the UK and another Bherlin Gildo situation may occur?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe GCHQ were doing their job for a change.

  58. JasonB

    Declare War?

    So if we had declared war on ISIL / ISIS that would have made the legal position clearer and pre-empted any attempt by the family to sue the government?

    Perhaps it's time to declare war on a group that seems intent on the destruction of anyone and anything they disapprove of?

    Just a thought ...

    1. Fonant

      Re: Declare War?

      We don't want to declare war on ISIL, just in case we need them to become allies later when they control all the oil fields. Just as we armed the Taliban when it was convenient to have them as allies, and then demonised them as the enemy in later years.

      George Orwell was right: our enemies change as a function of time. One period's hated terrorist can become another period's lauded freedom fighter (for example, Nelson Mandela).

  59. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    When things are not really as they are portrayed, are you fooled and taken for a mad ride. ‽

    Whenever you don't know all of the facts, the picture you paint with your opinions is a nonsense which screams to no one and nothing in space and time, and has always done so through the entire history of travel and imaginative delivery of virtual reality applications of absolutely fabulous fabless existence in space and time fields ........ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-08/mi6-isis-rat-line-threat-india

    If the mainstream news you are fed with is fundamentally false, is the future secured by mass reaction or threatened by it, with the truth of the deception exposed and made attributable to foreign sources and alien forces?

    Indeed, in Deeds IT is an Advanced Intelligent Phorm, and in All Truly Mad, Bad, Rad, Sad, Fad, Glad Worlds, Commanding Controller, Practically Autonomous and Virtually Anonymous to Boot.

    And a most valuable tool to sell to capital markets for a hedge against systemic rout and catastrophic collapse too, if one is not rooting exclusively for the other side and competition.

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