Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dan Jarvis on Syria

Labour's leader appears to be unable to move out of his 70's hard left revival comfort zone, but there are some opposition MPs who are showing signs that a cross-party consensus may be available to take action against DA'ESH.

Labour MP and former soldier Dan Jarvis has an article in the Guardian, "My five tests for backing military action in Syria" which unlike his party's leader, makes sense. His article begins

"What heightens our grief and horror over the atrocities in Paris is the knowledge that they could easily have happened to us here in the UK. Our country experienced its own pain a few months ago when 30 British holidaymakers were murdered on the beaches of Tunisia. Both were strikes against all decent and civilised people.

  "They underline how Islamic State hates us for who we are, not for what we do. Any idea that these fanatical terrorists will leave us alone if we leave them alone is misguided. We must confront Isis and its poisonous ideology wherever we find them. That’s why I was one of 524 MPs who voted a year ago to support airstrikes targeting Isis’s strongholds in Iraq – at the invitation of the Iraqi government. There is no logic, however, in opposing the jihadists only in Iraq – especially when they do not recognise any border between their bases in Iraq and Syria."

After noting that

"the resolution unanimously agreed at the UN security council on Friday gives us a compelling mandate to act – legally and morally."

Jarvis sets out the basis on which he could support intervention - which appeared reasonable to my non-expert opinion - and concludes

"Much has been said in recent days of the importance of learning the lessons of recent conflicts. As someone who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones, memories weigh heavily on my mind. Of course we must learn from the past, but we must not become prisoners of it either.

"This is a moment when we should put party politics aside in the national interest. We have a duty to stand together and confront as one this common enemy. If the prime minister can show he has a wider strategy to do that, he will have my support."

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