Maintaining the Primacy of Violence in International Relations

Letter to Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP about Syria

Dear Sir Malcolm,

I wrote to you last year during Israel’s bombing of the occupied Gaza Strip.

I am now extremely concerned that Britain will soon be bombing yet another Muslim country, after Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

You stated today that “There is every certainty that if we don’t make that effort to punish and deter then these actions will indeed continue”.

This statement raises a number of questions:

– How do we know that the Assad government committed this awful crime?

– Why would a previously rational government do the one thing that could tip the balance of the conflict against them?

– What would the nature of the punishment be? Presumably Assad and other key government figures would be safe from harm, so it would be the population that would suffer

If Cameron and Clegg want a swift intervention from the air, what happens when Syria inevitably responds in the only ways they can – on the ground (as happened in Kosovo) and regionally? Realistically, Britain cannot then withdraw from its attack on Syria and will be involved in a regional conflict causing appalling suffering and may become involved in a proxy war with Russia.

What would any of this achieve?

Diplomacy is the only sensible route and ceasefire is the best that can be hoped for.

The fact that Britain has been funding al Qaeda terrorists to overthrow the Assad regime for the last two years is a well known fact and I saw nothing from the government today that would change the perception of the vast majority of people that Britain has no concern for the innocent victims of the Syrian conflict and has no ability to speak with any moral authority, nationally or internationally.

With best wishes