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Should we bomb Syria? We ask the politicians and the people of London

 

Two RAF Tornado GR-4s pull away from a KC-135 Stratotanker after refueling on Sunday, May 14, 2006. The Tornados and crews are from the 617th Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, England. The KC-135 and crew are deployed to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from the 905th Air Refueling Squadron at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

RAF Tornado  Pic: US Air Force

In one of the most important decisions of this Parliament, MPs will vote tonight on whether to join the US, France and Russia in bombing Islamic State targets in Syria.

While Prime Minister David Cameron says Islamic State is a major threat to Britain’s security, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a former chair of Stop the War and lifetime peace campaiger is against bombing. This has triggered deep divisions inside the Labour Party, with many of the Shadow Cabinet in favour.

Against the backdrop of the Paris attacks, the issue has also provoked debate around the country, with many fearing Britain will become sucked into a conflict on the ground with no clear outcome.

We asked MPs, local councillors and members of the public: Should we bomb Syria?

Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and shadow cabinet member:

“No, because I don’t think bombing will defeat or destroy ISIS. The USA has been bombing ISIS for a year and they’ve been growing. The solutions are democracy and diplomacy.”

 

 

 

Morris Mohlala, 66, retired, Whitechapel:

“No. I do not agree with it at all. I actually lived in Egypt and the sentiment of a lot of people in the Middle East and in North Africa is that there has been interference from America and the West. They should attack the resources of ISIS which is oil, drugs and agriculture. That’s where they get a lot of their money. There have been too many casualties – innocent Syrian people who are dying [as] collateral damage.”

 

Jack Mooney

Jack Mooney

Jack Mooney, 28, retail manager, Brixton:

“No, because I think part of the reason we’re in this situation now is because of what we done before in the Middle East. It’s a massive knee jerk reaction to what’s happened in France, which is obviously terrible. But I think there’s a better way of dealing rather than just steaming in, which is what it looks like we’re going to do.”

 

 

Keith Garlick, 61, pensions associate, West Croydon:

“I’m not convinced, at the moment. I’m not against it in principle but I am concerned that there is no clear objective and there’s no cohesive plan. I don’t think there’s much protection for civilian against civilian casualties so I am quite concerned at the moment but something has to be done but I’m not quite sure this is the answer now.”

Oliur Rahman

Oliur Rahman

Oliur Rahman, Independent Group councillor for Stepney Green ward, Tower Hamlets:

“The solution has to be to work collaboratively to cut the finances of Daesh rather than an indiscriminate bombing of the Syrian people – including women and children. Many other countries have been carrying such air strikes by dropping bombs for a while without a real success. We must not simply think in bombs but we should also engage our brains.”

 

Gavin Barwell, Conservative MP for Croydon Central:

Getting emails saying “I’d like to see ISIL defeated but not clear it’s achievable so do nothing”. Imagine if we’d taken that view re Hitler

— Gavin Barwell MP (@GavinBarwellMP) November 27, 2015

Rosemary Harper, 67, retired, Selsdon:

“It’s a tricky one. I don’t support going into countries the way it is at the moment, what started all this was going into Iraq. This is what started all this. There was no trouble before then; they shouldn’t have gone in, with Tony Blair and Bush. You can’t go into other countries like that. There was nothing before like ISIS.”

Brian Burton

Brian Burton

Brian Burton, 67, retired, Dalston:

“Yeah, in principle I do. We’re gonna be targeted anyway…it’s only civilian casualties we’ve got to be worried about but the region’s up in the air…I can’t see much of a solution unless you put boots on the ground. It is a very complicated thing. I don’t think we know how many groups we’d be fighting in Syria…who do you fight, and who do you leave in control?”

 

 

Daniel Lucht, 42, consultant, Shoreditch:

“Well, I think if there was a strategy in place for what happens after the bombing and what happens after ISIS has been moved, then maybe it would be a good idea to actually remove them. But, equally, the last campaigns in Iraq and Libya leave a bad taste in your mouth. But I also have to say I can understand the reaction of the French government…you can’t just do nothing.”

Jane Smith

Jane Smith

Jane Smith, 53, artist, Dalston:

“I just cannot make my mind up, I’m afraid. I just can’t, because I can see both sides of [the argument]. It’s never good to bomb anywhere, but definitely …we need to get rid of ISIS one way or another, don’t we? So yes, it’s a difficult choice, it’s a tough one.”

 

 

Michael Grant, 56, electrician, Dalston:

“No. They’ve just come out of a war, they wanna go back in a war, there’s people who don’t have nothing in England and they’re cutting child benefits…why go to war? Why not bring [funding] back to places where they need it at home? Jeremy Corbyn disagrees with it but he’s got his rebellious party behind him and they’re gonna vote for [the airstrikes]. England is just a warmonger…they like to war.”

Adam Rae

Adam Rae

Adam Rae, 28, stuntman, Brockley:

“No. I don’t support bombing, of any kind, anywhere. I don’t see a solution but I don’t think that’s a mandate for bombing. I think it all needs to be considered.”

 

 

 

Thomas Stukings, 21, student, New Cross:

“They should vote against…try to find a political solution. There’s too much danger to the citizens. When Obama said that ISIS are stronger than ever, [the US] had been bombing them for over a year so clearly [their approach] has not been working. We should take the higher ground and find a way to work with moderate rebel forces…the only way to get through this mess is to re-stabilise and rebuild, through our aid and help – not through bombs.”

Chris Philp

Chris Philp

Chris Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South:

“Yes, I support it. ISIL are actively threatening the security of their own region and Western Europe.”

 

 

 

Bri Harrison, 23, unemployed, New Cross:

“I don’t think it’s right to retaliate with violence. I don’t think bombing is the answer. I think discussion, or some other way of communicating, what we want from what they want and what is going on.”

This article, Should we bomb Syria? We ask the politicians and the people of London, first appeared on Eastlondonlines.