Thursday, December 03, 2015

Syria Airstrikes Vote : Britain To Begin Bombing Within Hours After MPs Overwhelmingly Back Action

Obama poodle Cameron leads UK down the road to WWIII in Bush/Blair Iraq war redux - as the Chilcot report gathers dust  

By Ben Riley-Smith and Michael Wilkinson

Hilary Benn spearheaded a show of defiance against Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday as MPs voted in favour of air strikes against Isil in Syria following his call to “confront this evil."

War criminals Blair, Cameron
The House of Commons voted by 397 to 223 in favour of extending RAF action across the border from Iraq. 

The margin of victory was far great than expected and included 66 Labour MPs, 11 of whom were shadow ministers - further undermining Mr Corbyn’s position. 

The victory for David Cameron meant that eight British tornado jets will immediately begin launching strikes from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Two jets took off from the base within an hour of the vote. 

The vote followed a rousing speech from the shadow foreign secretary in which he said Britain must attack the “fascists” of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant because “we never have, and we never should, walk by on the other side of the road”.

As Mr Benn sat down to cheers from Labour and Tory MPs, Mr Corbyn stared ahead and refused to applaud. 

MPs from both main parties shouted “outstanding” and “brilliant” and Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, called it “one of the truly great speeches” in parliamentary history. 

Following the vote, Mr Corbyn said: “British service men and women will now be in harm’s way and the loss of innocent lives is sadly almost inevitable.” 

Labour said Mr Corbyn was still in control of the party but described the vote as “very worrying”. 

Mr Cameron said that MPs had taken the "right decision to keep the UK safe". 

Cameron dances to Obama's tune setting the stage for WWIII and the destruction of the UK

More than a third of the shadow cabinet rejected Mr Corbyn’s calls to oppose the war and voted alongside the Government. 

Those joining Mr Benn included Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary, Tom Watson, the deputy leader and Heidi Alexander, the shadow health secretary. 

Mr Benn was on Wednesday night facing a vicious online backlash from hard-left activists as he was accused of “betraying” the Labour Party. 

However, there were also warnings that any military action would have to involve British troops on the ground.

Lord Hague of Richmond said it could be necessary to deploy ground troops to defeat Isil. “[We] should not rule out the use, perhaps, of small specialist ground forces in the future, from Western nations, if that helps to tip the balance on the grounds,” he said. 

And Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, said that without effective local participation, “we may have to face again the unpalatable option of deploying Western combat units on the ground at some point in the future."

How quickly the UK forgets 
Mr Benn’s impassioned speech was the culmination of a 10-hour debate in which Labour MPs and party grandees defied Mr Corbyn to back Mr Cameron’s call for air strikes. 

Mr Benn said: “We know they are plotting more attacks. The question for each of us is this: given that we know what they are doing, can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in our self- defence?” 

He added: “As a party, we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility to one to another. We never have, and we never should, walk by on the other side of the road. 

“And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculating brutality but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt, they hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt, they hold our democracy –the rules by which we will make our decision tonight – in contempt. 

“And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated.” 

He was joined by party grandees including Alan Johnson, the former home secretary, and Dame Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, who spoke in support of Mr Cameron’s plan. 

Mrs Beckett, who served under Tony Blair, said: “We are being asked to agree to act both in Iraq and Syria precisely because that is what Daesh do and their headquarters is in Syria. We are being asked to make a further contribution to an existing international effort to contain Daesh from extending the mayhem and bloodshed that accompanies their every move even more widely."

In remarks clearly aimed at Mr Corbyn and his allies, she said: “Some say simply innocent people are more likely to be killed. Military action does create casualties, however much we try to minimise them. So should we on those grounds abandon action in Iraq, even though undertaken at the request of Iraq’s government, and it does seem to be making a difference? Should we take no further action against Daesh, who are themselves killing innocent people and striving to kill more every day of the week? Or should we simply leave it to others?” 

Opening the debate, the Prime Minister urged MPs to vote for military action against the “woman-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters” of Isil. 

The marathon parliamentary session came 27 months after MPs refused to back a campaign against the forces of Bashar al-Assad. 

However, in the wake of the Paris attacks last month, Mr Cameron decided that he should make a new attempt to become involved in Syria. There are 10 countries – including the US and France – countering Isil in Syria.

The open defiance against the Labour leader came as MPs faced intimidation from Mr Corbyn’s supporters. 

Stella Creasy, the Walthamstow MP, yesterday said her staff were “abused” by campaigners and a protest was held on Tuesday night in her constituency. Minutes after the debate finished, Miss Creasy said on Twitter: “Hilary Benn’s speech has persuaded me that fascism must be defeated. I will hold a public meeting on Sunday to discuss Syria.” 

Other Labour MPs told how they were subjected to threats from activists hoping to reduce support for strikes. 

In unprecedented scenes, Mr Corbyn opened the debate for Labour by opposing air strikes – only for Mr Benn to close the debate by supporting intervention. 

As Mr Corbyn criticised Mr Cameron’s “ill-thought-out rush to war” and suggested that bombing in Iraq should be stopped, Mr Benn shook his head in disagreement with his leader. 

Mr Corbyn infuriated MPs by suggesting that the terror attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger aircraft in October were because of those countries’ decisions to bomb Isil in Syria. 

Only seven Tory MPs opposed the air strikes. 

Julian Lewis, who chairs the Commons defence select committee, criticised Mr Cameron’s claim that there are 70,000 Syrian fighters who can take on Isil.

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