01_december_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,272

Tuesday 01 December 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria had this to say about your case for joining the aerial campaign against Islamic State forces in Syria – “His case was very unconvincing. He put forward, I would call, a deceitful sort of strategy. For example, he claimed that the Syrian opposition forces could put 70,000 men in the field against IS and he gave the impression the most of these were under the command of the so-called Free Syrian Army. This is straight-forward deceit. To go into this situation eyes wide shut is ridiculous and criminally negligent.”

RT asked Ford, “At times like this when France and Belgium are in so much fear and stress now, and UK is part of Europe, shouldn’t it stand shoulder to the shoulder with its European counterparts?”

Ford’s response was – “Not. No one consulted Britain when France decided to start bombing IS in Syria. They didn’t consult us before indulging in this adventurism. We should not be dragged into the Syrian mire. We should not make our security hostage to people like the French, the Americans, the Saudis and the Turks who want to pursue an adventurous policy. Cameron said that we shouldn’t subcontract security. I say we should not make ourselves hostage to the actions of others.”

Propaganda is a tool of war, it is probably inevitable but it is despicable none the less. You claim, “Although the situation on the ground is complex, our assessment is that there are around 70,000 Syrian opposition fighters on the ground who do not belong to extremist groups.”

Guardian defence correspondent Ewen MacAskill had this to say about these moderates, “There are an estimated 60,000-70,000 “moderate” opposition fighters in Syria. The problem is that they are not a united force. And so far they have not shown much interest in focusing on Isis – as Cameron would like them to – being too preoccupied fighting Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army. There are at least 100-120 different groups, with various aims, and differing in size from thousands to just 100-200 members. They are splintered, with some limited to a narrow geographical area. And some are far from moderate, sharing the ideology of al-Qaida.”

The last person to dominate the narrative for war is the person who most wants to pursue it. As Ford said, “The government is also being deceitful and not coming clean about the increased threat to the people of Britain; we’ll have to go onto higher alert. If we go ahead with bombing we can state with 99 percent certainty that there is going to be an outrage on the streets and markets and stadia of Britain as there was in Paris.” It is the citizens of this country who will be most under threat from a terrorist outrage, that’s who you are playing politics with and that is outrageous.