Pressure on NZ politicians after UK Commons rejects air strikes on Syria

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Today we can all celebrate an historic vote in the British Parliament rejecting a motion authorising the British government conduct a military strike on Syria.

The main credit should go to the British people, who have overwhelmingly rejected military action. A Daily Express poll showed only 8% of Britons supported a strike, and 41% were against even if the strike was endorsed by the UN.

It now looks possible that public opinion in America and elsewhere will stymie a US-led strike. Key Arab countries, like Egypt and Lebanon, are strongly against a strike. And it isn’t popular in Europe, with most Germans, for example, opposing military intervention.

Respected British journalist Robert Fisk went out on a limb yesterday calling such a strike “the stupidest Western war in the history of the modern world”.

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To his credit, British PM David Cameron has responded to the Commons vote in a democratic fashion, acknowledging that “the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the government will act accordingly.”

The British decision now puts pressure on New Zealand politicians to oppose any US-led strike, and I’m sure such a stance would be backed by New Zealanders.

Yes, the world is horrified by the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria, and wants a strong international response against the Assad regime (or whoever it was) from the world community. But outside military intervention, whether it be air strikes or boots on the ground, will not help matters. It will only exacerbate the war and more innocent people will die.

Yes, the UN should play its part, but not by endorsing air strikes. The UN’s role is to do everything possible to get the Syrian parties together to work out a new governing structure and bring an end to the killing.

10 COMMENTS

  1. “Yes, the world is horrified by the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria “…

    A pity they weren’t a bit more horrified when used by Western allies (Iraq) against Western “foes”……..or just those who didn’t matter!

  2. Key just reported on National Radio that there will be no vote in parliament. and we haven’t be asked to provide planes & bombs to help the strike ( wow – he’s a fucking genius – who would have thought) but, and here is the joke, we have been asked to provide “moral support” – um – er – how can Key provide moral support – he doesn’t have any morality – or did he mean spying support or are the SAS boys already over there – is that the “moral support ” he means ???

  3. “The Israeli press says the bombing start Friday night/ Saturday morning. Maybe I’m being naive, but the UK just voted no to war, China and Russia walked out of the UN Security Council, and the alternative media such as this web site has done such a great job informing people that there is NO justification to attack Syria in any way shape or form, that even our American Fuhrer appears to be giving a moment’s pause. Maybe he’ll see the light, but I doubt it. He needs a distraction to allow the engineered economic collapse that liberals keep voting for to happen.”

  4. I agree with Keith. If we were to support more stokes, more civilians did and who says this would stop anything + what means have we to uphold an intervention.

  5. Its notable that almost all Western commentators adopt a ‘civilising mission position’ on this war. The Syrian people are like characters in a Conrad novel. Most are people without history, without subjectivity. They are replaced by cartoons characters like Al Qaeda, the CIA, Robert Fisk (he who is in bed with Assad). And of course the only Syrian given any credence is the Assad who leads a modernising regime; British education, committed to neo-liberalism, tolerant of Israel, and an ally of the US against the ‘infidel’.
    Lest people get caught up in this orientalist fantasy, they should take time out and find out what the disappeared Arab other is doing in Syria. I mean those who are living, fighting and dying for the most basic democratic freedoms and who will continue to do so even while the rest of the world demands proof of their existence.
    http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/you-can-jail-revolutionaries-but-you-cannot-kill-the-revolution-the-syrian-people-will-not-kneel/

    • I can’t take Robert Fisk seriously. Before the invasion of Iraq, he was writing about the formidable ring of defences around Baghdad and how the invading forces would be defeated there. He has a good writing style, but has been horribly wrong so many times that he shouldn’t be thought of as a serious commentator.

  6. Ah so now it makes sense we didn’t need the GCSB before now because we weren’t sticking our necks out with this kind of bullshit but Key was obviously planning on joining in and knew it would put us up high on the terrorist wishlist

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