Thursday, 5 September 2013

London Evening Standard letter: Britain must help the Syrian people

Published on Thursday 5 September 2013.

The fluid reality of diplomacy around Syria is in stark contrast to the rigidity of the UK ruling out both a second Commons vote and future military involvement.
As the G20 convenes, even Russian obstructionism may be weakening, with Putin’s threats mixed in with a remarkable statement that he could yet support a UN Security Council resolution if provided “objective, precise evidence” on who carried out last month’s chemical attack.

Irrespective of Putin’s eventual position, events may unfold that meet every condition stipulated by both the Government and Opposition motions: the UN inspectors’ report could prove WMD use; further compelling evidence could be provided on the regime’s culpability; the report be voted upon by the Security Council. President Obama has already stated that any military action would be time-limited.

If even Russia can change its stance, our political leaders’ position will come under increasing strain. Meanwhile what should be taking precedence is not the minutiae of Parliamentary procedure, but the human rights of Syria’s civilians.

John Slinger, Labour activist and fellow, Humanitarian Intervention Centre

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