Tagged: air strikes

North-East MPs explain why they voted in favour of RAF strikes against IS

> Never any money for welfare, always plenty for warfare..

 

RAF fighter aircraft were poised to launch air strikes against Islamic State (IS) jihadists after Parliament gave the green light for military action.

At the end of a marathon Commons debate, MPs voted by 524 to 43 – a majority of 481 – to endorse attacks on the militants in Iraq in support of the United States-led coalition, with Labour backing the Government motion.

> Of course Labour did… Cameron probably told them there were weapons of mass destruction only 45 minutes away. Well, it worked last time they voted us into a war…

Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs – meeting in emergency session – that Britain had a “duty” to join the military campaign as IS posed a direct threat to the country.

“This is not a threat on the far side of the world,” he said. “Left unchecked, we will face a terrorist caliphate on the shores of the Mediterranean, bordering a Nato member, with a declared and proven determination to attack our country and our people.

“This is not the stuff of fantasy – it is happening in front of us and we need to face up to it.”

The US and its Middle-Eastern allies have already carried out dozens of bombing missions in a bid to stop IS over-running Iraqi positions.

The vote gives British military planners the go-ahead they have been waiting for to launch attacks on IS positions in Iraq – but not in IS-controlled parts of Syria where the group has training camps and command-and-control bunkers.

The first wave of attacks is expected to be carried out by RAF Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft based in Cyprus.

Flying from Cyprus will give RAF fighters an hour over IS-occupied Iraq – more than enough time to choose their targets. The Royal Navy is also expected to deploy submarine-launched cruise missiles.

The Prime Minister recalled parliament following an official request from the Iraqi government. The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour leaderships all supported air strikes although some MPs expressed fears that the UK would get drawn into a wider conflict.

Military action was overwhelmingly backed by MPs of all parties from the North-East.

However, three Labour MPs – Grahame Morris (Easington), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) and Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow) were among the rebels opposing air strikes.

Two others – Jenny Chapman (Darlington) and Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) – did not vote.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, said:

“I think there had been a compelling case made. There are two or three elements that really convinced me, because any decision that parliament has to take to commit British military resources is a profound and sombre one.

“The first is this wasn’t Britain unilaterally going into a country almost like an invasion, this was at the request of a democratically elected government of Iraq who is very concerned about the collapse of that state.

“There is a regional coalition, with Arab states involved, it is classed as legal and there are no ground troops.

“That criteria, proportionality, regional cooperation and legality expressed by a democratically elected country, those were the things that clinched it for me.

“Of course, it goes without saying the atrocities that ISIL are carrying out, beheadings of British citizens, threats to others, the recruitment of Jihadists from Britain, we have to stamp this cancer out.”

Mr Wright said he had considered the views of his constituents, some of whom had contacted him ahead of the vote, before committing to the Government’s motion.

This is an issue where people appreciate the complexity, people appreciate that is not the same issue as was Syria last year,” he said.

“It was split half and half. People were saying you have to go in, they have beheaded some of our people, you have got to stop this, there’s a humanitarian crisis and then I had people saying we should not commit to air strikes, violence doesn’t help.

“You have to weigh up the arguments and work out what you think is for the best.”

Mr Wright said he was aware of the dangers of so-called ‘mission creep’ once the bombings began, but felt there would be adequate oversight .

You are always going to have to have close scrutiny from the parliamentary process, that goes without saying,” he said. “This will come back to the House.

“What was really striking in the minutes after (the vote) is that this was not done flippantly by any member of parliament, there was a really sombre mood in the house and in the corridors of Westminster afterwards. People were realising the gravity of what we have done, but thinking that given the situation this is probably the best approach.”

Sedgefield Labour MP Phil Wilson, ( Tony Bliar‘s successor) said he backed the strikes because: “ISIS is a barbaric terrorist organisation which needs to be eradicated. It is only right that we play an appropriate role in its destruction.”

In the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury backed British air strikes, saying: “The action proposed today is right.”

But he warned: “We must not rely on a short term solution, on a narrow front, to a global, ideological, religious, holistic and trans-generational challenge.

“We must demonstrate that there is a positive vision far greater and more compelling than the evil of [IS].

“Such a vision offers us and the world hope – an assurance of success in this struggle – not the endless threat of darkness.”

All the Tyne & Wear MPs (except Stephen Hepburn in Jarrow) voted for military action. Are we really suprised ?

Source –  Northern Echo, 27 Sept 2014

 

Here is a full list of the 43 MPs who voted against

Labour (24)

Diane Abbott

Graham Allen

Anne Begg

Ronnie Campbell

Martin Caton

Katy Clark

Ian Davidson

Paul Flynn

Stephen Hepburn

Kate Hoey

Kelvin Hopkins

Sian James

Mark Lazraowicz

John McDonnell

Iain McKenzie

Austin Mitchell

Grahame Morris

George Mudie

Linda Riordan

Barry Sheerman

Dennis Skinner

Graham Stringer

Mike Wood

Jeremy Corbyn (Teller)

Plus:

Rushanara Ali (Formal abstention)

Conservatives (6)

Richard Bacon

John Baron

Gordon Henderson

Adam Holloway

Nigel Mills

Mark Reckless

Lib Dems (1)

Julian Huppert

SDLP (3)

Mark Durkan

Alasdair McDonnell

Margaret Ritchie

Plaid Cymru (2)

Jonathan Edwards

Hywel Williams

Respect (1)

George Galloway

SNP (5 and teller)

Stewart Hosie

Angus Roberton

Mike Weir

Eilidh Whiteford

Angus Brendan McNeill

Mike Wishart (Teller)

Green

Caroline Lucas

 

> I’ve posted this vid of the Dead Kennedys Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round before, but it bears repitition. Dates from the Thatcher/Reagan era,  but just change the names to Cameron and Obama and see if you can tell the difference…

 

Newcastle-based muslim leader condemns David Cameron’s move to seek air strikes

A muslim leader in the North East has condemned David Cameron’s decision to take military action in Iraq and Syria.

But Abu Tayeb was quick to speak out against Isis’ brutal acts of terrorism, demanding that a peaceful solution to the crisis should be sought.

Mr Tayeb, from the Newcastle-based North East’s Islamic Diversity Centre, said: “

As much as I oppose Isis and their terrorism – I equally oppose this new bombing campaign by the ‘Coalition forces’ aka terrorism by governments.

“More innocent people will be killed no doubt and, of course, more terrorism will spread.

“Has the UK and US not got enough blood on their hands?”

Mr Tayeb hopes to promote a better understanding about the teachings of Islam across the region.

He said:

Islam does not stand for the barbaric acts carried out by Isis but it’s important to remember that muslims do not have a monopoly on this type of extremist behaviour.

“We want to send out a clear message that as muslims, it is our duty to speak out against any type of extremism. Isis kills innocent people, including many muslims.”

But Mr Tayeb dismissed the Prime Minister’s decision to seek military action in the form of air strikes.

He said:

“Violence breeds violence. No matter what they say, these raids will lead to innocent people suffering.

“To that innocent person on the ground, these air strikes are terrorist acts and we believe they will only add to the anti western feeling.

“If anything, these type of acts make matters worse, intervention is not the way forward.”

Mr Tayeb, who networks extensively in the region’s Islamic community, said there is a unified feeling against the barbaric acts carried out by Isis against British and American citizens.

He added:

All the Imams I have spoken to all feel the same, all have condemned this type of extremism and terrorism – they stand united in that regard.”

The North East’s Islamic Diversity Centre says it is working hard to remove many misconceptions about Islam in order to create greater harmony in Newcastle and across the North East.

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 25 Sept 2014