A Letter to an M.P.


The following is the contents of an e-mail letter sent this morning to my own MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods, a Shadow Minister in the Labour Party:-

Thursday 25 September 2014

Dear Roberta Blackman-Woods,

I write in connection with the forthcoming proposal of the Prime
Minister, scheduled for debate in the Commons on Friday, to allow him
to add the R.A.F.’s bombers, equipment and personnel to join the action
against Islamic State’s operations in Iraq. I realise that you, as a
Shadow Minister, have undertaken to act in a concerted fashion with
most of your Party Colleagues, and to vote as required, again in
concert with your Party; but I am writing to ask you to consider what
you are being both asked and required to vote upon. It is just about a
year since the scheduled vote, put forward by the Prime Minister, where
Parliament was asked to authorise attacks on the Syrian Regime as they
had allegedly deployed chemical weaponry; and of course, due in a large
part to the considered thoughts and votes of the Labour Party, that
vote was defeated.

You are now being asked to vote, once more, upon this issue, but this
time to act, in concert with a ‘coalition’, in degrading and destroying
the infrastructure of the people who fight under the black flag of
Islamic State. You are being asked to authorise a Western element which
will actively intrude into a religious and civil war in the Middle
East. You, as a Member of Parliament, are being asked to authorise
exactly what was sought just a year ago, but this time, you are being
asked to have our Forces fight in only one part of the conflict area,
namely Iraq, against a Force which is, itself, fighting against the
very people, namely the Syrian Government, you were asked previously to
bomb and attack.

It is not often that I find myself nodding in perfect agreement with a
Guardian writer and journalist, but what Simon Jenkins said when
interviewed on the BBC was perfectly correct; air strikes alone do not
work; you have to defeat an army with another army, and if the Iraqi
Army cannot fight, with all the weaponry at their disposal, maybe it is
about time the Arabs realised they have got to sort out their own
problems. We should not get involved with a religious dispute in
Islamic countries; if the West needs a memory jog, just check out what
happened in Libya. Maybe Gaddafi was a very bad man, but just look at
what that unhappy and terror-torn nation has inherited after we, the
French, the British and the Americans ruled the skies above Tripoli and
allowed the opposition to steamroller the old regime into the ground!

We should not be in that theatre of war; we should not even be thinking
about it. Please use the information available to you, so that you
might advise your colleagues, many of whom still remember what the end
result of our last adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan actually turned
out to be, and then vote down any idea that British jets should once
again strike at the behest of a Prime Minister who might sound as
though he knows what is going to happen, but has not yet considered the
long-term results, which may well turn to be even more disastrous than
the previous follies pursued by your own predecessors!

Yours sincerely,

Mike Cunningham

I would urge all British readers to contact their own MPs, by means of
‘Write to Them’, or by any other means available, because Parliament needs to be aware of the perils of sleep-walking into a disaster area!

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