Monday, November 30, 2015

Quote of the day 30th November 2015

Robert Harris wrote in the Sunday Times yesterday of the attempt by "Momentum" supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to put pressure on Labour MPs to vote against military action against DA'ESH in Syria, that if they were successful it would be a disaster both for Labour and for the country. He added that he wrote not as a fan of armchair warriors but as someone who opposed both the Iraq war of 2003 and the previous proposal to bomb Assad's forces in Syria. He went on

"Labour MPs, understandably still bitter over the way their loyalty was abused by Tony Blair in 2003, need to be clear about the differences between then and now.

This is not the pre-emptive invasion of a country which, for all the vileness of its regime, posed no direct and imminent threat to the British people.

This is a proposal to extend existing airstrikes 100 or so miles to the West in order to hit the headquarters of a movement that enslaves women and young girls, that hurls suspected homosexuals from high buildings, that tortures to death captured prisoners, that publicly slits the throats of aid workers and captured journalists, that blows up civilian airliners and that recruits and sponsors terrorism across the world, including in Britain.

Now it controls territory the size of the UK and has some of the oil-rich resources and infrastructure of a state. This so-called 'Caliphate' is dedicated to our destruction: its' very existence acts as a call to arms to young sympathisers around the world.

If the British left cannot support military action against such a barbaric theocracy, one wonders at what point it ever would be prepared to fight.

And this is action, incidentally, endorsed by the United Nations, taken in conjunction with a French Socialist government that is well to the left of anything seen in Britain for a generation and supported by a Democratic US president who ahs proved notably cautious of overseas entanglements. The allied coalition even includes that stalwart of left-wing anti-western dreams, Russia."

His article concluded

"Let us hope then, that enough Labour MPs have the courage to defy their leader and his virtual army and ensure that Britain plays its part in the UN coalition against Isis. Because if the vote goes the other way it won't only be the Labour party that has been revealed as supine, unreliable and irrelevant in the teeth of this crisis - it will be the entire country."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gesture politics, boots on the ground are needed.

Chris Whiteside said...

Air and ground forces will be needed to eliminate DA'ESH. In Iraq, our air power has been most effectively used when it is in support of the Peshmerga.

But if it achieves nothing else, extending air strikes against DA'ESH into Syria will make it harder for DA'ESH to use the territory they have as a base for their forces to resupply and recuperate before attacking allied ground forces in Iraq.

In the medium term we need a negotiated solution to the Syrian civil war which frees all other sides to unite against DA'ESH.

Will the proposed action be a huge game-changer? No.

Will it help? Yes.