Against Air Strikes #2

About the possibility of a vote in Parliament on military action in Syria, My MP Stella Creasy asked a set of questions of her constituents. Here are my responses. Full opinon here…

“If you state at present that you do not support the proposal to extend air strikes, are there any circumstances in which you would support military intervention in a foreign country?”

Let’s stay focused on the (already huge) topic that you may be asked to vote on this week: air strikes in Syria. I do not support air strikes in Syria. My opposition is considered, backed up with reasons and evidence, as it would be for any military intervention in any foreign country.

“Do you support the air strikes in Iraq which have helped the Kurdish Peshmerga drive Daesh out of their communities?”

Again, let’s stay focused on the huge topic of Syria. But I do not know that air strikes have helped in this area, I do know that Kurds are fighting on the ground and that elsewhere those same Kurds are being bombed by Turkish air strikes. And look! with £700m of equipment we sold them!

Air strikes kill civilians.

“Do you think that no country should be taking military action against Daesh in Syria, or are your concerns primarily about UK involvement?”

My concerns are for the people of Syria. The people of Syria are being massacred by their own dictator not by IS: military action against IS will not save them.
“If we want to drive ISIL from the land that it currently holds in Syria, we need to understand that the Assad regime is a much larger threat to people on the ground. It is responsible for more than 95% of civilian deaths in Syria since the beginning of the uprising. In the first half of 2015, the regime killed seven times more civilians than ISIL. A recent survey of refugees in Europe showed that twice as many Syrians were fleeing Assad’s forces than were fleeing ISIL.” (Letter to David CAmeron, from seven Syrian Support organisations in the UK)

If our concerns are for Western Europe, and its security against international terrorism, I don’t believe that military action from anyone will defeat terrorism. Many that perpetrated the Paris attacks were brought up here. More civilian deaths will not help this.

“Are there any circumstances in which you would support extending those air strikes against Daesh into Syria?”

For many years now I have not trusted the intentions and the mode of operating of the US military, and sadly by extension the UK. Our role in extraordinary rendition, evidence of torture, film evidence of the knowing bombing of civilians and other grave human rights abuses. With this as a backdrop it is hard to support any military action including air strikes.

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