Thursday, August 29, 2013

Letter to my MP about Syria

Well, an email actually. Sent tonight. Reproduced here because it sums up how I feel at the moment.

Dear Mr Doughty

I’m writing to express my concern that the UK Government is contemplating a campaign of violence against the people of the nation of Syria, and even doing so without a UN mandate.

As my MP and representative in Parliament I would like you to strongly oppose any move by the UK Government to take unilateral military action or action in partnership with other countries, but without a UN mandate. Military action without a UN mandate is the action of a rogue state, not a civilised nation.

I also ask you to request that the UK Government ensures all diplomatic and other avenues are exhausted before embarking on military action. We simply cannot keep up this path of armed response. The history of UK military interventions in the 21st century contains many lessons for us. It’s easy to get into conflicts. It’s hard to get out of them.

The scenes of chemical weapons use in Syria are horrendous. The UK Government has my full support in trying to discover the perpetrators and bring them to justice. I recognise that may mean military action as a very last resort. However, any response has to target the right people with precision. Otherwise, what is the difference between indiscriminate military action from the UK or USA and indiscriminate military action by Syrian forces on either side of the civil war?

I used the term ‘last resort’ because from the comments heard in the news today, it appears some MPs are suggesting violent action as a ‘first resort’.

There are other things that concern me. What is the likelihood of a response from Russia if military action is taken by the UK / USA? Also, there have been threats made against the Christian minority in Syria that militias will target them if ‘Christian’ countries attack Syria. How do we know that Western military action will not unleash a pogrom against these oppressed religious minorities? A wave of violence against non-Muslims has recently engulfed Egypt, and the sizeable Christian minority in Iraq has been systematically targeted and all but exterminated by vigilantes since the UK & American invasion in 2002.

I know this is a very difficult time for all our Members of Parliament and I hope you find a way forward that best serves both our nation and the oppressed people of Syria.

With best wishes,

Jon Matthias