Conservative candidate explains his position on Syria
Conservative's parliamentary candidate for the Burnham-On-Sea
area has explained why he would have voted differently to MP Tessa
Munt in last week's House of Commons vote on military action in
Heappey, pictured, has had first-hand experience of conflict,
having served as an officer in the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire
and Wiltshire regiment when he saw action in Afghanistan, Northern
Ireland and Iraq.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: "From the comfort of my
home in Axbridge, I can dance around the Middle East in an analysis
of the geopolitical impacts of the current situation and what
might happen if we intervened in Syria. But all of that is hypothesis.
What we know is that innocent people are being gassed. Innocent
people are being burned alive by napalm. Innocent people are being
shot at and blown up. Parents are losing their children and children
are losing their parents. They are all losing hope."
its not our war. Nor was Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo
or Sierra Leone. We are war weary and were pretty hard up.
Missile strikes seem the most obvious (and safe) option but there
is a danger well be striking at shadows; using lethal force
as a token gesture and risking the lives of more innocent civilians.
And what if they fail? What if there is another chemical attack?
Do we bomb Syria again and again and again?"
last week Parliament was invited to consider a motion that did
not commit us immediately to armed intervention. It asked our
MPs to do nothing more than condemn Bashar al-Assad and the use
of chemical weapons and then wait until the UN inspectors had
reported with the prospect of intervention acknowledged as an
option. I would have voted for that motion with both hands and
action was to be the subject of a second debate in which I would
have wanted to know what our objectives were and whether we had
the intelligence and the precision weapons needed to achieve them.
Embroiling us in a war with no obvious outcome; I would vote against.
But if our Prime Minister, our National Security Council and our
military planners believed that they could do something
anything to limit the chances of chemical weapons being
used again; I would vote for it."
current MP has written her views on Syria too. She writes that
she listened to most of the debate. Most!? This is
a decision of grave importance, a decision that weighs most heavily
on the consciences of our politicians. Listening to it all surely
cannot be too much to ask."
also writes as if she is against intervention but then says that
if Assad is proven to be culpable, he must be punished. On Thursday
last week, she was asked to vote for exactly that. But she didnt.
Nor did she vote against it. She abstained."
following morning, Paddy Ashdown thundered on Twitter 'In 50 years
trying to serve my country I have never felt so depressed/ashamed.
Britain's answer to the Syrian horrors? None of our business!'
In parliament the night before, Ms Munt had not even offered an
respect those who take an opposing view to my own and voted in
accordance with their conscience but abstention is just the easy
way out. It lets others do the deciding, it lets others wrestle
with their consciences and it lets others take the flack. It means
you can try to be on both sides of the argument but actually you
are on neither. It was the easy way out on tuition fees and it
is now the easy way out on Syria."
who did not take the easy way out will never be vindicated. Inaction
will see more people dead and potentially set a precedent for
others with chemical weapons in the future. However, a limited
intervention might fail too and that might make us look impotent.
What is certain though is that innocent people are suffering horrendously
in Syria. The lucky ones are in the squalor of refugee camps on
the Jordanian and Turkish borders. We must help them. The unlucky
ones are being burned alive by napalm and gassed by Assad in their
own homes. Lets hope that the USA and France are able to
stand up for them."