Monday 30 November 2015

Lucas: 'Burning desire to act' must not ignore consequences of recent interventions

Caroline Lucas has published a piece on Huffington Post stating that she will not vote for bombing Syria LINK.

This is a key extract:

It's critical that the burning desire to act, to stop terrorists and keep us all safe, doesn't result in an approach that ignores the evidence of our recent interventions in the region - or their consequences. The civilian death count from the Iraq war and its aftermath is at least 147,000 and, according to Barack Obama, the resulting instability laid the ground for the rise of Isis. Post-Gadaffi Libya, which also has British fingerprints all over it, is witnessing Isis forces gaining power too. Isis thrives in the chaos brought about by Western intervention, which is why the unintended consequences of the 'War on Terror' must serve as a stark warning to anyone thinking of supporting airstrikes in Syria.

But let's be clear: the choice we're facing is not between military intervention and inaction. The Government can and should play a role in brokering peace and stability in the region. The Prime Minister could start by redoubling his commendable efforts to find an urgent diplomatic solution. Given that Isis flourishes where chaos reigns, renewed effort needs to be made to end the Syrian civil war The talks in Vienna are a start, but the process must be accelerated and continue to involve all proxies to the war. That diplomatic effort must also extend to Iraq, where the Abadi Government must be encouraged to reach out to the neglected Sunni minority - especially in those parts of the country where Isis is recruiting.

The British Government should also immediately suspend British arms sales to the Middle East and commit to a foreign policy that is consistent as well as ethical, particularly when it comes to our relations with countries that undermine human rights.

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