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How do we all feel about David Cameron’s latest bid to have a Middle Eastern crusade?
He has always wanted one, and no doubt he wants to bury the spectre of last year’s aborted attempt to attack Syria – when Labour leader Ed Miliband did the impossible and, from opposition, stopped the government from having its way.
But exorcising that demon would require Miliband to oppose an attack on IS and this seems unlikely because the cause appears to be just.
Not only has Iraq appealed to the UK for help to contain the threat of Islamic State, but we have proof – from IS itself – that it is killing British citizens.
The Guardian has reported a cautious response from Miliband in line with the wishes of the Labour Party conference, which called for a UN security council resolution before the UK commits to any conflict. But the BBC is reporting that Miliband has confirmed his support for an alliance of nations – including Arab states – against IS, saying that the UK should not “opt out”.
Back in the Victorian era, when a British citizen was threatened in Greece, Lord Palmerston famously sent a gunboat and blockaded Athens. Cameron – who has been working hard to resurrect the 19th century – would be showing weakness if he did not seek similar retribution.
And the last thing he needs to show IS is weakness.
It would be seen as an invitation to launch further attacks against the UK – possibly even on our own soil.
Parliament will be recalled to discuss the matter at 10.30am tomorrow, with a vote at around 5.30pm. The result, it seems, is a foregone conclusion.
At the top of this article, readers are asked how they feel about David Cameron’s latest bid to have a crusade in the Middle East. Some readers might find that a churlish way of describing the matter, as the cause does seem just.
But Cameron’s motives are always questionable. He wants a war that will win an election for him, just as the Falklands War won a second term for Margaret Thatcher.
His problem is, he’s not as intelligent as Mrs T. She, it has been claimed, led Argentina to believe that the UK was weaker than was actually the case, in order to provoke that country into a fight it could not win. This narrative claims that she planned the whole thing.
Cameron has planned nothing. He is in the hands of circumstance and could just as easily become the victim as the victor.
And the British public is tired of endless foreign adventures that cost a fortune and bring no benefit back here.
Those are the facts of the matter – as far as it is possible to interpret them at this time.
What do you think?
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