May de­fends Syria strikes

PM says de­ci­sion was right one

Yorkshire Post - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

THE PRIME Min­is­ter has put for­ward a com­pelling case to MPs, out­lin­ing why it was “legally and morally right” for the UK to join air strikes against the Syr­ian regime in or­der to al­le­vi­ate hu­man suf­fer­ing and sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce its abil­ity to carry out such ab­hor­rent at­tacks in the fu­ture.

Ad­dress­ing the House of Com­mons, Theresa May said there was clear ev­i­dence that the As­sad govern­ment was be­hind the dread­ful chem­i­cal weapons at­tack in Douma, and stressed the UK had ex­plored ev­ery diplo­matic op­tion but had con­cluded there was no practical al­ter­na­tive to what she called a limited and tar­geted strike.

The Prime Min­is­ter has been heav­ily crit­i­cised for send­ing Bri­tish mil­i­tary per­son­nel into ac­tion with­out UN ap­proval or even par­lia­men­tary de­bate. The lat­ter has caused dis­quiet among many MPs wor­ried that it threat­ens to un­der­mine the very demo­cratic val­ues that we es­pouse around the world.

Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn wants to see leg­is­la­tion brought in that would make it nec­es­sary for MPs to ap­prove Bri­tish mil­i­tary ac­tion in the fu­ture, and while it is right that Par­lia­ment should be in­volved in such pro­foundly im­por­tant de­ci­sions wher­ever pos­si­ble, there are oc­ca­sions when it is not al­ways practical to seek its ap­proval and in th­ese in­stances the Govern­ment has to be free to act in the na­tion’s best in­ter­ests.

Some­times mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion, how­ever un­palat­able it may be, has to be an op­tion. Sim­ply do­ing noth­ing is not a vi­able diplo­matic or strate­gic pol­icy and it too can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

As the Prime Min­is­ter said, we can­not af­ford to live in a world where dic­ta­tors and tyrants are able to use chem­i­cal weapons against in­no­cent civil­ians and get away with it unchecked. That would be a dere­lic­tion of duty and a fail­ure of hu­man­ity.

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