Dear Letter’s Column Editor
I have received a great number of emails and phonecalls regarding the vote on military action against Syria.
As by now you may know, I remained unconvinced that bombing Syria without any proper plan would be helpful to anyone, least of all Syrian citizens. Further, that despite a resolution being passed at the United Nations in support of France and others about events caused by this regime in their country, such a measure didn’t follow the necessary path towards legitimacy by going via Chapter 7 of the codes laid down in the Rules for the unified support of the UN.
Although this and other factors led me to conclude after hearing the debate and statements made in private meetings, to decline the support for action – I feel obliged to say that a lack of sensible coherence in the whole debate, seemed to be the order of the day. The argument that allies wanted us to drop bombs in Syria - because they are, is not a good enough reason for doing so. Especially as these bombs may be dropped indiscriminately.
The truth is the logic of our inclusion in this war, is yes as an ally against ISIS – but also in support of some regime change in Syria and elsewhere. A direction I am not sure we should be engaged in particularly as it has led to major problems because of our and others involved in that part of the world in recent times ie Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Egypt. My conclusion was based on evidence and arguments presented which recognised the lack of a serious and coherent plan and not simply bombing for the sake of it.
Finally to conclude by saying out of this reply one should not assume that I am a pacifist – I am not. My grandfather died at the Somme in the First World War, my father was seriously injured in the Dunkirk debacle in the Second World War. My family tree is littered with military history.
Therefore at any time if the nation needed a decision for me to support strong defence action on their behalf, I would not hesitate to take the necessary decision.
It’s just in this case – I don’t believe there was.
Alan Meale MP