Tag Archives: syria air strikes

Letter to Vince Cable – UK military action in Syria is not justified

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This letter is in response to Vince’s request for feedback on the Syrian question

Dear Vince Cable,

Thank you for giving we members an opportunity to forward our views to you on the possible military intervention by the UK in Syria.

This is an extremely difficult problem which seems to place us in a lose-lose situation. If we do not intervene we appear to stand by impotently whilst terrible wickedness takes place, including the internationally illegal use of chemical weapons. If we do intervene there is a strong possibility of making a bad situation worse, as has already happened in similar circumstances in Iraq and Libya.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

Lib Dem pressure wins inquiry into UK extremist funding

The image of Alistair Carmichael looms large on the Guardian’s website this morning. This is connection with his leading the campaign to launch an inquiry into the funding of jihadi and extremist groups operating in the UK.

The report states:

Political pressure on Cameron to investigate extremist revenue streams in the UK has come from the Liberal Democrats who requested the inquiry in exchange for supporting the extension into Syria of British airstrikes against Islamic State.

I think this is referring to the last sentence of the fifth of Tim Farron’s “tests” for supporting Syrian air strikes, which says:

We…call on (the government) to conduct an investigation into foreign funding and support of extremist and terrorist groups in the UK.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Tim Farron on why he supported air strikes – and other things

 

Yesterday the Independent on Sunday published an interview with Tim Farron under the headline ‘Lib Dem leader on why he went against his party over Syrian air strikes‘.

Tim Farron has argued that the Liberal Democrats are “not a pacifist party”, following grassroots criticism of his decision to back Syrian air-strikes – a move opposed by two-thirds of members.

The Independent on Sunday can reveal that the Lib Dem leader was rebuked at a meeting of a senior party committee this month for failing to consult properly on the controversial vote.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

I hope I am wrong

 

I certainly know that there are many people in this world who know a lot more than I do about the Middle East, about military strategies, about international politics and about the human tragedy that arises through conflict. However, based on what I have I have seen over the last two decades, I do not believe that the UK government has presented an adequate strategy for destroying Daesh.

I believe that the current bombing campaign in Syria will fail to achieve its stated objectives. Throughout my lifetime, I have watched the modern ‘gun boat’ diplomacy fail time and time again in the Middle East and watched with frustration as the region has slipped into deeper turmoil. We now aim to correct the mistakes of yesterday using all of the same strategies that led us to the modern horrors of both a terrorist threat and a refugee crisis in Europe.

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

Tim Farron stranded in storm

 

It was reported on the BBC News at Ten on Saturday night that Tim Farron had been stranded in his car with four children in the stormy weather conditions, in Cumbria with (presumably) a telephone interview with Tim.

I wonder if, while waiting to be picked up, he reflected on the report from Keswick – that the town had launched an appeal for one million pounds to help with the clear up operation that will now be required in the town. If he did he might have recalled that each of the bombing missions now being carried out on Syria, that he had voted for on Wednesday, had been costed by Sky at a little more than this amount.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

The crisis in the Middle East – Is this the ‘end of the beginning’?

 

As the tide of war turned in 1942 following the second battle of El Alamein, Winston Churchill spoke about “the end of the beginning” of the fight back against fascist oppression. I have to confess that these words went through my mind as I sat through many hours of TV parliamentary debate last Wednesday on whether or not to bomb Daesh in Syria. For those who are cynical about the goings on at Westminster, this was an occasion that illustrated perfectly how important our parliamentary democracy really is.

There were some cracking speeches on both sides. Tim Farron rose in my estimation with his contribution, as did Margaret Beckett and Alan Johnson and, as for Hilary Benn, could this be the end of the beginning of his march to the leadership of his party? I noticed that one critic claimed it was short on facts; but there are times when “fight them on the breaches” carries more emotional and symbolic weight than the practicality of fighting on sand. I just  wonder whether the reaction to his speech had anything to do with the shoring up of Labour’s majority in the Oldham by-election.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments
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