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Wy I shall vote against Cameron’s rush to war on Syria

Syrian bombsiteI was shocked and appalled by the terrorist attacks in Paris and those in other countries and cities in recent weeks and the deaths of British tourists in Tunisia. I share the feelings of many of sympathy for the victims and families, of wishing to express solidarity with the French people in standing up to terrorism, and anger against those who perpetrated these horrendous acts.

I understand the natural impulse in wanting to take military action against ISIL/Daesh, however, the decision whether to go to war; decisions on life and death, should not be taken lightly or on a wave of emotion. I have listened to the Prime Minister’s case, but I am not convinced that the UK participating in airstrikes will improve the situation in Syria, help to defeat ISIL/Daesh, or increase UK security.

Make no mistake, I want to see the defeat of both ISIL/Daesh and Assad, but I cannot support military action which has no clear parameters, achievable aims or a credible exit strategy.

It is inevitable that additional bombing will lead to further civilian casualties and add to the refugee crisis. I am also concerned that the Prime Minister has yet to offer an explanation as to how UK airstrikes will make a real difference. The US and other forces have been bombing ISIL/Daesh for over a year and while ISIL/Daesh have lost some territory, they have made gains elsewhere. There seems to be little evidence that bombing has diminished Daesh capabilities.

Airstrikes alone will not solve the problems in Syria. A long term solution is difficult to envisage without a co-ordinated approach between the US and Russia, as well as securing the support of Arab states who will have to provide the boots on the ground to hold the territory forfeited by ISIL/Daesh.

We need a diplomatic solution – even if we are successful at removing ISIL/Daesh, we will then be in a difficult and dangerous situation with Russia supporting Assad and the US and European allies supporting Assad’s opposition in an ongoing civil war.

However, discussions and proposals regarding a post ISIL/Daesh Syria are being ignored, and fundamentally without addressing these difficult issues and proceeding with an effective co-ordinated approach I cannot see a clear exit strategy for the UK or a path to peace in Syria.

I do not oppose all military invention out of hand, but it cannot be taken in isolation and war should never be a symbolic gesture.

The Government will ask MPs to support a leap into the dark, potentially a never ending commitment which once started will likely result in further UK involvement with mission creep as has happened previously being a serious issue.

I cannot support airstrikes simply to be seen to be doing something.

The UK should seek to secure the diplomatic and political agreements required for a post-ISIL/Daesh Syria as these are the foundations that will be required in the long term to secure a stable future for Syria which is more important than a rush to war.



  1. David Ellis says:

    The only time in history that aerial bombing defeated an enemy without ground troops was Japan 1945 and that was probably the greatest single war crime ever committed.

    1. Robert says:

      Well yes they should have dropped it on the military parts of Japan but even then it would have wiped out large number of peoples.

      But a lot of sons went home after those bombs it took two to end the war, which I think shows how long the war would have went on for.

      My father in law fought the Japaneses, and was captured by them but escaped . He said they did not see people as human and what they did was beyond the bounds .

      Were the American right to kill innocents well seems we are heading that way with shoot to kill being said to day meaning innocents are going to die.

      Life is cheap.

      1. David Ellis says:

        For capitalism life is indeed cheap. Profit is what counts.

        As for Japan the nuking was prompted not by the desire to save the lives of invading soldiers, there was no need to invade the surrounded and already defeated nation, but by the need to get a quick surrender before the revolutionary fervor sweeping the world as the war came to an end spread to Japan and the regime was overthrown by communism. Better to eviscerate the civilian population than that.

        1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

          That’s a more than just eccentric and somewhat idiosyncratic interpretation of those events even for you.

          I’d even go as far as to describe it as being completely bonkers.

          Truman has a new weapon at his disposal one that was supposed to be game changer; and apparently he wanted to use it see what would happen when he did, I doubt the thought of the Japanese, (even now in many respects, certainly in my opinion, a feudal society,) turning to communism ever crossed his mind or the minds of Japanese themselves.

          As for it being a uniquely horrible demonstration of martial technology; well once you get past the fact that damage was wrought by only a single weapon, the resulting devastation and loss of life certainly compares with results of the saturation bombing of Dresden or Cologne for example.

          But you’re still absolutely right about whole Isis thing being essentially a commercial war; one being driven not by ideology or for defense but simply for profit, (military Keynesianism,) and as Truman’s successor Eisenhower foresaw only to well the military/industrial complex that America had created during WWII is now running completely out of control.

          1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

            But yes too; also to put the fear of America’s military capability into the Russians although considering their own massive losses (20-40 million,) during WWII that was probably a somewhat redundant gesture.

  2. stewart says:

    there is no doubt in the labour party,without naming names, there are mps in the past who have had sympathy with terrorists whether they be the ira or hamas,but that aside,i was all in favour of bombing the hell out of fascist isis,i have changed my mind today,i think to be honest Vladimir putin and the Russian military are doing a fantastic job at degrading fascist isis and assads secular army are winning back terrority on the battlegroud from these isis fascists.what would be are involvment just symbolic and a waste of bombs,i say.let putin and assads army finish off fascist isis once and for all,that is the way forward to a peaceful and stable Syria in the future.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      New English Weekly, 29 July and 2 September 1937

      The Spanish war has probably produced a richer crop of lies than any event since the Great War of 1914-18, but I honestly doubt, in spite of all those hecatombs of nuns who have been raped and crucified before the eyes of Daily Mail reporters, whether it is the pro-Fascist newspapers that have done the most harm.

      It is the left-wing papers, the News Chronicle and the Daily Worker, with their far subtler methods of distortion, that have prevented the British public from grasping the real nature of the struggle.

      George Orwell

    2. Robert says:

      The fact is the Russians have hardly touched ASIL, they are bombing at area in Syria where hardly a single Terrorist had yet to get to.

      The BBC now just showed where the Russians are bombing and it’s not in the s\me area as the yank or the French are bombing.

      And the fact is when the French bombed the hit a bloody hospital.

      Sorry but these wars are just the tip of an iceberg and get rid of one and another will take over…

      If the UK wants to go to war then do it with a plan and put troops on the ground not waste Millions in Bombs to kill one or two people.

      I will back to the hilt a real call to arms but not this.

  3. David Ellis says:

    Whilst the initial big winners militarily on the ground as a result of Western and Russian bombing in Syria will be Assad it is quite obvious that in the long run the real winners exactly as it is in Iraq as a result of bombing there will be Iran and ISIS. You need only the tiniest capacity for analytical thought to know that. But they are not interested in that they are simply engaged in the usual tawdry geo-politics that goes on between the big powers wrapped up in a blanket of pseudo humanitarianism. They had a chance to support the Arab Spring but both the imperialists and the degenerate left turned their back on it preferring instead sectarian butchery to the prospect of democracy in the Middle East. The imperialists we of course know are not interested in democracy in the semi-colonies but what moves the degenerate left? Hatred of revolution. Hatred of the masses. Their hero is Putin who is also a hero of the far right.

  4. roland says:

    putin far right ? don’t insult the one of the greatest leaders Russia has ever had.

  5. Bazza says:

    Benn’s a political imbecile and should be sacked as a Shadow Minister and kicked out of the Labour Party like the rest of them.
    As the UK bombs so called IS who hide deep within captive populations, civillians will be killed and blood is on the hands of Labour’s Social Imperialists.
    Interestinlly I heard someone say an MPs office (who was voting against bombing) had received 500 contacts today on Syria – 495 were against bombing and 5 were in favour including one who said “nuke them!”
    Interestingly a Lib Dem MP who challenged a Labour MP who said “people will die’ replied, ‘so what, they would anyway’.
    Perhaps the last hurrah for the ‘great men and women of history’.
    Progresive Labour grassroots members should focus on getting power back to members and conference and getting democratic socialist MPs in a few years time that reflect grassroots opinion. Well tried Jeremy and there is hope for the future.

    1. Robert says:

      You cannot kick him out and if you tried then I’ve no doubt the party would split, the idea of another five years after this one of the Tories with Osborne as leader leaves me cold.

      I think the next front bench changes will see those that voted against moved to other places, but make no mistake Benn is a politician of the new school he’s to the right and he is a careerist who is only interested in where he ends up, as leader, he is another Brown.

      I suspect war is coming both with ISIS and then Labour party

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