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|>>|| No. 18042
Shamima Begum: Bring me home, says Bethnal Green girl who left to join Isis
On the day the caliphate suffered a mortal blow the teenage London bride of an Islamic State fighter lifted her veil. Her two infant children were dead; her husband in captivity. Nineteen years old, nine months pregnant, weak and exhausted from her escape across the desert, she nevertheless looked calm and spoke with a collected voice.
“I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago,” she told me. “And I don’t regret coming here.”
With those words and the act of lifting her niqab, a mystery ended. The girl sitting before me, alone in a teeming Syrian refugee camp of 39,000 people where she is registered as No 28850, was Shamima Begum, the only known survivor of the three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy whose fate has been unknown at home since they fled Britain together in 2015 to join Islamic State.
Ms Begum may have reached comparative safety, yet she chastised herself for leaving the last Isis territory as Kurd forces, backed by the West, closed in.
“I was weak,” she told me of her flight from the battle in Baghuz, with something akin to remorse. “I could not endure the suffering and hardship that staying on the battlefield involved. But I was also frightened that the child I am about to give birth to would die like my other children if I stayed on. So I fled the caliphate. Now all I want to do is come home to Britain.”
Should someone who quite clearly doesn't regret going to join ISIS and is still sympathetic to their plight be allowed back in this country? Then again, she'd already been 'radicalised' by those closest to her in this country.
|>>|| No. 18535
This part is fact
>the government does not have consular staff in Syria
but this part is judgment
>it will not risk any lives to help Britons who have joined a banned daft militant wog group
The right thing to do in a democratic society is bring them back and put them through due process, not leave them to rot. It's not even as if she's stuck in the middle of a conflict zone in the middle of Syria. She's in a refugee camp a few miles from the Iraqi border. How much fuss would it have been to arrange for someone to get her to that border where she could have been met by British officials and taken into custody?
|>>|| No. 18536
>How much fuss would it have been to arrange for someone to get her to that border where she could have been met by British officials and taken into custody?
Somewhere between "a fair bit of fuss" and "a major international incident".
She is believed to still be in a UN refugee camp in al-Hawl, which is within YPG-controlled territory a few kilometres west of the Iraqi border. It would be logistically reasonable to facilitate an extraction via Turkey if the YPG agree to co-operate. There's no way in hell that the YPG would risk Kurdish lives to save an ISIS bride and the Turks are too incompetent to get her out alive, so we'd have to do the driving.
The main sticking point as I see it is the question of who carries out the extraction. The only people really qualified to do it safely are the special forces, but putting wellies in the mud would be politically fraught. Russia might see it as provocation (or play it as such in the international media), which could strain our relationship with the Kurds. We could do it without the help of the Kurds, but that would be significantly more risky. A fast and stealthy operation by a small patrol group would be less politically provocative, but is more risky domestically, as there's a non-zero chance of that group being ambushed and killed or kidnapped by rebels. A larger group could fight their way out of anything, but would create a huge political kerfuffle.
We could send in civilians from the Foreign Office rather than military personnel to avoid the international political risk, but that obviously creates a domestic political risk, because they'd be a prime target for kidnappers.
It's conceivably possible that we could persuade some aid workers to sneak her out in the back of a wagon, but no agency is going to officially sanction such an operation because it would massively compromise their neutrality. We're going to look like absolute cunts if they end up getting beheaded because the British government persuaded them to do something daft.
The political calculus is quite straightforward - we're under no legal obligation to get her out, the moral case for doing so is highly debatable and there's a real risk of everything going horribly wrong. We're not going to take a huge risk to do a favour for someone that we don't particularly like.
I hope she can thumb a lift to Turkey, but I don't particularly care. Of all our moral duties to the people of Syria, our duty to rescue Begum falls very, very low down the list of priorities.
|>>|| No. 18537
>chance of that group being ambushed and killed or kidnapped by rebels
>they'd be a prime target for kidnappers.
Why don't we hire some Kurdish kidnappers to do it?
|>>|| No. 18539
>She is believed to still be in a UN refugee camp in al-Hawl, which is within YPG-controlled territory a few kilometres west of the Iraqi border. It would be logistically reasonable to facilitate an extraction via Turkey if the YPG agree to co-operate.
If she's a few miles from Iraq, why would be we extracting via Turkey? That's like saying that getting someone trapped near Chester out of England could possibly be done via Scotland.
|>>|| No. 18541
Because Begum is such a powerful artefact that a Kurd blessed by the Valar would not have been able to withstand her influence in the same way a Hobbit could?
|>>|| No. 18542
>would not have been able to withstand her influence in the same was a Hobbit could
Mr Frodo was corrupted by the ring in the end. Sauron was absolutely correct that no being was immune from the ring, he just didn't foresee that some dickhead holding the ring would lose their footing inside Mount Doom and fall into the lava.
|>>|| No. 18543
The part of Iraq she'd have to travel through is disputed territory claimed by both Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, so it's highly politically sensitive. The border with Syria is closed and heavily militarised. We don't have any military resources that far north, so arranging her transport would require the co-operation of the Americans. The Mosul area was only recently liberated from IS, so Begum would face an extreme risk of retribution from both the remaining IS guerillas and disgruntled Iraqis.
The logistics of getting her to the Turkish border are challenging, but she could make the entire journey through territory controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and she'd be safe as soon as she crossed the border. Syria is sufficiently chaotic and poorly-governed that you could conceivably make the ~80km journey to al-Haul and return to Turkey without anyone noticing. 3.5 million Syrian refugees have crossed the border into Turkey and thousands more are still crossing, so it's fairly easy to hide in the throng. We'd probably owe Turkey a favour, but they owe us a few.
Going through Iraq is vastly more complex, with a lot of literal and metaphorical roadblocks. Begum just isn't valuable enough to justify diplomatic wrangles with three different countries, none of whom are particularly inclined to help out. If she tried to make the journey of her own volition, she'd almost certainly be killed.
|>>|| No. 18544
>Begum just isn't valuable enough to justify diplomatic wrangles with three different countries
Which three would those be? It might piss off the Syrians, but we don't currently have relations with them anyway. Iraq aren't particularly hostile at the moment, and I don't see them objecting to us removing an interloper. The Americans evidently don't have an issue with it, since their position is that foreign fighters are a problem for their origin countries to sort out (and have specifically called out Shamima Begum as an example of this). I'm not sure what the Russian position is, but I suspect that if any of their people joined ISIS they'd prefer to be the ones doing the executions. That leaves Turkey, but if we're not going via their territory then I don't think they have skin in the game.
With all that talk aside, every British citizen is worth helping, without exception. Again, it's supposed to be what separates us from the bad guys. Sajid Javid has basically told the world that we don't really care about our citizens abroad, and will happily break the law to deal with apostates. I might as well just apply for a Russian passport right now, because the real thing is always better than a cheap knock-off.
|>>|| No. 18545
>>18544 I might as well just apply for a Russian passport right now, because the real thing is always better than a cheap knock-off.
Russia, whose care for its more troublesome citizens abroad extends to polonium and novichok?
|>>|| No. 18547
>Which three would those be?
If she goes through Iraq, we need support (or at least a blind eye) from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan and America. They all have more pressing concerns than facilitating the rescue of some daft English bint.
>With all that talk aside, every British citizen is worth helping, without exception. Again, it's supposed to be what separates us from the bad guys.
A military operation to rescue someone from an active warzone goes far above and beyond our obligations to provide consular assistance. If she makes it to Turkey, we have an obligation to provide her with legal and practical advice, supply her with travel documents and to lend her enough money to get home. We are not obliged to send a rescue mission into a country where we have no consular presence. To say that Begum ignored the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice would be something of an understatement; we have certain duties under domestic and international law, but the FCO are not the Thunderbirds and they are not required to expend limitless resources to rescue people who have made very poor life decisions.
|>>|| No. 18548
>To say that Begum ignored the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice would be something of an understatement; we have certain duties under domestic and international law, but the FCO are not the Thunderbirds and they are not required to expend limitless resources to rescue people who have made very poor life decisions.
A thousand times this - removing her nationality hands the moral victory back to her, we should have just done nothing and helped her if she got as far as a consulate (unlikely, as we have all discussed). Sajid Javid just wants to be next PM, this episode shows his judgement is poor (although in the current climate, that doesn't appear to be any kind of barrier to political leadership and the top job).
|>>|| No. 18549
Maybe in your eyes, not in the eyes of the 80% of the population that don't give a toss about daft militant wogs.
|>>|| No. 18550
>If she goes through Iraq, we need support (or at least a blind eye) from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan and America.
All of whom would endorse the removal of foreign fighters and support from the area. Iraq are sick of having to pick up the pieces of our mess, the Kurds are possibly the most progressive regime in the area, and the Americans have explicitly said that we should have taken Begum back.
>A military operation
Why do we need the military? If we don't have local fixers on the ground we're doing something seriously wrong.
>to rescue someone from an active warzone
She's not in an "active warzone". She's in a refugee camp. Wouldn't be much of a refuge if it was in the middle of all the fighting.
|>>|| No. 18551
You still appear to be under the misapprehension that we're desperately keen to rescue Begum and that I'm arguing that it's impossible. I'm setting out the case for why it would be logistically and politically challenging to do a thing that the government don't want to do in the first place.
The Iraqis and Kurds might not oppose us retrieving Begum, but they have rather a lot on their plate at the moment. We're not asking for them to slip some nobody out of the country; we're asking them to help us retrieve someone who is now one of the most famous IS sympathisers in the world. By talking to the press, Begum sabotaged her ability to safely leave Syria.
We could use an unarmed convoy to get her out, but the risk of that convoy being ambushed is significant and the political blow-back of such a failure would be massive. The decision to rescue Begum would already be pretty unpopular, but her rescue attempt turning into a massacre would be a catastrophic embarrassment.
She's in a refugee camp in the middle of a warzone. You have to go through the warry bit to get to the non-warry bit. We didn't eradicate IS, we just scattered them to the winds; they may only control a tiny enclave in the south-east, but they're still armed, organised and active. IS would quite like to kill the traitor and send a message to others that there's no escape from the caliphate; if they can capture a few aid workers in the process and give them a rather drastic haircut in glorious HD, all the better. She's reasonably safe from IS at the moment because she hasn't actually denounced the group and she's behind the secure cordon of a refugee camp; as soon as she crosses that cordon en route to Britain, she's a marked woman. Groups that oppose IS would also very much like to get their hands on Begum, so she's at risk from all quarters.
It's not that we couldn't do it, but there's a yawning chasm between the political will to do so and the resources that would be required. There's no practical impediment to us building a 100ft tall statue in honour of Gary Glitter, but that's never going to happen either.
|>>|| No. 18552
>and the Americans have explicitly said that we should have taken Begum back.
I'm sorry but do people still take America seriously?
|>>|| No. 18553
When you've got an orange idiot in charge of the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world, you don't really have much choice.
|>>|| No. 18554
I rather suspect that some quiet and earnest men who don't attract the spotlight will have taken measures to ensure Trump's impulsiveness can't cause danger in that area.
|>>|| No. 18555
The structure of decision making for the use of nuclear weapons in the U.S. is fascinating and well worth reading about. Dan Ellsberg is my go to source for this.
|>>|| No. 18556
"Sincere apologies, Mr President, we are working around the clock to repair *the big red button*"
|>>|| No. 18557
It's a refugee camp not the fucking Somme. Just stick her in the back of one of the many aid trucks going in and out while the government waffles on about how we're totally not going to save her. I'm sure we can convince some aid agency to do it for the change down the back of the couch and if it all goes tits-up we've not lost anything.
You seem to have gotten called out in a lot of assumptions and are now just being flippant.
|>>|| No. 18558
>You seem to have gotten called out in a lot of assumptions and are now just being flippant.
Weird, first time I posted was that post.
|>>|| No. 18559
As if being called out on assumptions was the worst part of that accusation.
|>>|| No. 18560
>stick her in the back of one of the many aid trucks going in and out
As has already been said, that would expose any NGO working in the area to unnecessary risk about seen to be taking sides.
|>>|| No. 18569
I thought the debate was around revoking her citizenship or not, not trudging into deepest, darkest, Syria to get her out?
|>>|| No. 18571
It was, but then Labour decided to try and use a dead baby for political point scoring.
|>>|| No. 18572
There's a spectrum of opinion. Revoking her citizenship is blatantly illegal (and largely unnecessary), but a lot of people think that we have a duty to bring her back rather than just allowing her to return.
Some people think that she should be brought back to face justice, but it's not entirely clear that we could gather enough evidence to make any sort of prosecution. Others think that we should organise her return on humanitarian grounds, but that sets a slightly weird precedent, because a) that's not something the FCO would normally do for a British citizen and b) we don't have an embassy in Syria.
|>>|| No. 18573
>but it's not entirely clear that we could gather enough evidence to make any sort of prosecution
I don't think that's the case at all. It's abundantly clear there's enough evidence to prosecute for membership of a proscribed organisation. The question there is more one of whether it would be appropriate to prosecute someone who has been groomed. Words were had over some of the sex abuse grooming cases when children who had introduced other children to the gangs were themselves charged as accessories.
|>>|| No. 18724
>Shamima Begum's lawyer has been unable to get the Isis bride's permission to launch an appeal for British citizenship after he was blocked from entering the camp she is in by Syrian forces.
>Tasnime Akunjee was stopped just "50 metres" from Begum after travelling thousands of miles to the al-Roj camp in north-eastern Syria. He was there to get her signature on paperwork necessary to start the process to appeal against the government's decision to remove her UK citizenship.
>The lawyer told the Guardian: “She can’t get legal advice and I have even been there and tried, but got detained for my efforts. It cannot be that this is in any way just. I knew which tent she was in, I got aerial photographs. Where I stood in the camp she was about two rows down - she was less than 50 metres from me. It was so frustrating. Intelligence officers at the camp have decided that no one is allowed in or out of the camp – nothing gets in and nothing gets out, apart from food.”
Piece of piss getting her out and to a consulate, mind.
|>>|| No. 18725
>blocked from entering the camp she is in by Syrian forces
Are they even allowed to do that? Interfering with the business of a refugee camp sounds like the sort of thing that might be against international law. Thank goodness we haven't done anything like that, otherwise we'd look like right dicks complaining about it.
|>>|| No. 18731
I think Syria is well beyond that. It's like when people stated making a big fuss about whether the chemical weapons attacks were war crimes or not:
Did they suddenly expect the attacks to stop if it was pointed out they were war crimes?
Were the other attacks alright because they weren't war crimes?
It's beyond me.
|>>|| No. 18732
If war crimes are committed, the war police are supposed to step in and stop whodunnit, or at least prosecute and possibly execute them afterwards. So yes, in theory, proving someone is committing war crimes is a way to stop them.
|>>|| No. 18733
What happened here is that the war police have a bent copper who let it all happen and prevented anyone from doing anything about it.
|>>|| No. 18734
Yes. But that doesn't stop people from shouting "Help! That man stole my warpurse!"
|>>|| No. 18746
It blows my mind even more that there are a great many successful male streamers too.
|>>|| No. 18747
Do female streamers actually stream themselves doing things or is it just a case of them being a cocktease/acting like a surrogate girlfriend?
|>>|| No. 18748
Just a case of them being a cocktease/acting like a surrogate girlfriend.
I don't know why more people haven't clocked on to this yet. Twitch streamers, camgirls/boys, waifus, friend-group podcasters, youtube celebrities. They're all just surrogate relationships for increasingly isolated populations. There's some irony in RedLetterMedia making fun of "Video best friend" VHS tapes they find as they sit around chatting to the camera over a beer. Under a veneer of film reviewing they're performing the exact same parasocial function.
|>>|| No. 18749
This is such a stupid, worst-cast-scenario, manner of thinking. These things are a replacement for the TV and radio, they make people laugh or just bauble away in the background.
|>>|| No. 18750
They're for weirdos and saddos, just like internet dating was for weirdos and saddos over a decade ago.
|>>|| No. 18753
The whole reason Mukbang is popular is so people can replicate the feeling of eating together as a part of a social group. You can have a conversation with people and pretend that the Pot Noodle, you're devouring in your pants is the ramen that the streamer is eating.
|>>|| No. 18754
Why is a post that referenced previous posts talking about camwhores talking about camwhores?
|>>|| No. 18755
Yes, in a thread that had hitherto contained no previous posts about camwhores.
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