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Vote no on military action in Syria

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Vote no on military action in Syria against IS in response to the Paris attacks

In response to the tragedy of the Paris attacks, the British government is considering military action; air strikes against ISIS targets. However, this is the response that ISIS is wanting and hopes to gain recruits and increase its numbers from the fear and radicalise more people against the West.

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There are other avenues to solve ISIS that should be considered such as freezing their assets, shutting down ISIS related social media accounts and restricting access to arms from selling weapons to the Middle East. There is no one solution that should be considered, but murdering people will just make things worse.


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commented 2015-11-30 18:14:56 +0000
My response to Jeremy’s email to members was:

Dear Jeremy,

You ask “what you think Britain should do. Should Parliament vote to authorise the bombing of Syria?”

At the conference in September, the Party laid down four principles before an attack should take place. We should adhere to this resolution. The principles, and my comment on each, were

1. Authorisation from the United Nations.

UN resolution 2249 reads in part that the UN Security Council “Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq.”

In my view, this clearly allows for airstrikes on ISIL controlled areas.

2. A comprehensive plan for humanitarian assistance for refugees displaced by the action.

Here I believe that the UK is failing badly. Allowing for 25,000 refugees over five years does almost nothing to alleviate the threat to millions of people. We are doing nothing within the European context to help to resolve the problems of the hundreds of thousands of refugees desperately seeking to enter Europe. We have left it to poorer countries such as Greece to deal with it as best they can. This has been a pathetic response by the UK – and sadly there has been virtually nothing to be heard from the Labour Front Bench on the matter.

Military action is no substitute for humanitarian deeds.

As it stands, we are clearly not meeting this principle.

3. Assurances that the bombing is directed exclusively at military targets associated with ISIL.

This principle will be almost impossible to meet unless we put troops on the ground.

Air strikes are by themselves insufficient.

4. Military action should be subordinated to international diplomatic efforts to end the war in Syria.

It is impossible to argue with this principle but the evidence is that the UK government is less interested in resolving the conflict than it is in negotiating a marginally better deal for membership of the EU. The Labour Party has to apply more pressure to the government to act to find a political solution, while recognising that ISIL will not be interested in negotiation.

I would add four further points:

A. The Labour Party must have a clear policy that responds adequately to the threat of ISIL. This should centre on isolating ISIL from its channels of support. We must prevent ISIL receiving income, such as through the sale of oil, and we must cut off its supplies of arms.

B. Your speech in Parliament was sadly lacking in one major respect.

You said “The whole House will, I’m sure, agree that our first priority must be the security of Britain and the safety of the British people. So when we consider the Prime Minister’s case for military action in Syria, the issue of whether what he proposes strengthens – or undermines – our national security must be front and centre stage.”

Of course our national security is vital. But this is also a moral question and I fear your speech made no reference to the morality of failing to take action against the horrors being perpetrated by ISIL, in particular against women and against those of different beliefs. We must seek a solution rapidly which helps actual and potential victims.

C. Although we are being asked by French Socialists to support them as allies in Syria, we should not join them without careful forethought. We made such an error in 2003 when asked for support by the US. This proved a massive mistake.

D. What the Labour Party does this week or next should not be seen as its final word. It may be appropriate at a future date to change our stance. Never say never.

Finally, I admire the fact that you have asked the Party membership its views on airstrikes in Syria. This has allowed me, a long term member of the Party who now lives in a Tory held constituency, to have influence on the Party’s actions in parliament. I should however be glad to know how you intend to summarise the myriad views on such a complex topic.

Andy Jordan

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