28th December, 2015
My Fellow Britons; Ask Not What ISIS Might Do To The UK
Now that the government has won the vote on fighting ISIS the world has moved on. The immediate fallout is not that thousands of innocents have been killed by “us” but (allegedly) that Jeremy Corbyn is about to purge from his shadow cabinet such as Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn and Angela Eagle who presently holds two Shadow positions: First Secretary of State & Business Secretary. Both voted with the Conservative government on ISIS/Syria.
There were always many reasons to argue that it would be unwise to send our forces to fight in Syria. They usually fall into statements of ‘fact’ with an explanation mark. Sometimes they are ‘indisputable’ questions [with answers in hidden parentheses]. Often a combination of both:
- Not our fight!
- Look what happened in Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya!
- What difference will our diminished forces make?
- Who cares about Middle East civil wars?!
- What has it got to do with us anyway?
- Haven’t we caused enough trouble?!
- Why make Muslims hate us even more?
- Who do we think we are?
- An illegal war!
- All Tony Blair’s fault! Leave me out of it.
But by far the least acceptable reason for not participating in the fight to remove ISIS’s death cult from the world is this one:
“If we get involved in attacking Daesh in Syria we are inviting ISIS and others we upset to attack Britain”.
This is far worse than unacceptable. It is shameful, weak and above all wrong-headed.
BACKGROUND TO UK’S RECENT INTERVENTION IN SYRIA
In fact since mid-2012 SAS Commandos have been conducting covert operations within Syrian territory, out of Turkey. On Tuesday June 26th of 2012 Israeli-based website Debkha suggested British special forces had actually entered Syrian territory proper, presumably alongside rebel forces. In the same year the UK, USA & France provided opposition forces with non-lethal military aid, including communications equipment and medical supplies. The UK was also reported to have provided intelligence support from its Cyprus bases, revealing Syrian military movements to Turkish officials, who then passed on the information to the Free Syrian Army.
In August 2013, when the Assad government was accused of using chemical weapons in the Ghouta area near Damascus, Paris called for military intervention but was isolated after the US president, Barack Obama, refused to act despite the breach of what he had earlier declared was a “red line”.
On 29 August 2013, a vote was held in the House of Commons to decide whether the United Kingdom would join the United States in initiating militant action against the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government: David Cameron′s motion was defeated by 285 votes to 272 when then Labour leader Ed Miliband embarrassed himself and his party.
Although the prime minister does not need parliamentary approval for military action, Cameron said that he would respect the Parliamentary decision and that the UK would not take part in military action in Syria.
On 19 September 2013, French President François Hollande hinted that France was ready to begin supplying lethal aid to the Free Syrian Army during a press conference in Bamako in a “controlled framework”.
In mid-November 2015, in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, France, which had begun strikes in Syria at the end of September 2015 on a small scale to avoid inadvertently strengthening the hand of president Bashar Assad by hitting his enemies, citing self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, significantly intensified its air strikes in Syria, closely coordinating with the U.S. military. On 20 November 2015, France dismissed Russia′s suggestions that its air strikes against oil installations in Syria were illegal, saying they were “an appropriate and necessary riposte” to attacks by Islamic State.
On 20 November 2015, the UN Security Council, while failing to invoke the UN’s Chapter VII which gives specific legal authorisation for the use of force, unanimously passed a resolution that urged UN members to “take all necessary measures” in the fight against Islamic State and al-Nusra Front; the adopted resolution was drafted by France and co-sponsored by the UK the following day after Russia introduced an updated version of its previously submitted draft resolution that was blocked by the Western powers as seeking to legitimise Assad’s authority. British Ambassador to the U.N. Matthew Rycroft said the resolution would be used by prime minister David Cameron to address Parliament on his plans to begin airstrikes by the UK in Syria.
On 3 December 2015, after the UK parliament overwhelmingly backed the UK government′s motion to extend the UK military action to Syria, four Tornados from RAF air base in Cyprus carried out their first air strikes against the ISIL in Syria targeting the Omar oil fields in eastern Syria, and were “successful”, according to defence minister Michael Fallon. France welcomed UK military action; Syria, noting that the UK had failed to ask permission from Syria’s government, insisted Britain and its allies must follow Russia’s example and co-ordinate their campaign with Syrian government forces.
The simple fact is that we have been intervening in Syria against both Assad and now ISIS for well over three years. Despite such as the anti-war warrior Jeremy Corbyn a large majority of this country’s voters know it is the right thing to do.
Our country is a great country. It is invariably listed in the top ten richest countries in the world. It is the birthplace of modern parliamentary democracy. It innovates & discovers where others eventually follow.
It has much to be proud of. It is neither insular nor self-obsessed and has the most cosmopolitan capital in the world.
The words of one of its sons, Rabbie Burns, is sung worldwide at every New Year’s dawning.
For Auld Lang Syne and to paraphrase President John F Kennedy who was killed before the public had time to learn to hate him – ‘Ask Not What Your Enemy Might Do To You… ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP, CONTAIN AND DESTROY YOUR ENEMY’.
By Blair Supporter
Please note: articles and posts on ‘Vision’ reflect the views of the individual authors and not of all involved in ‘Middle Vision’.
According to an ORB poll for The Independent seven out of 10 people do not trust Jeremy Corbyn to safeguard Britain’s national security
Inaction Is An Active Choice by David Paxton