21st March 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Reconsider your support (James Mackenzie)

, by , in News

I thank isles MP Alistair Carmichael for his email of today. I am taking the liberty of responding with an “open letter”.

You say that UN resolution 2249 gives a legal basis for bombing ISIL.

The resolution: “Calls upon member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL … and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.” (my italics).

The question is what is necessary? The logic that you seem to be following is that because we have the capacity to bomb, as do other countries who are presently bombing in Syria, then it’s necessary for us to do so as well. (You will of course be aware that the UK is already taking action in the skies over Syria by collecting aerial surveillance intelligence.)

The argument that because we are bombing in Iraq, with some military success, it is illogical not to do so in Syria, is flawed because the military situation on the ground is entirely different. And of course, unlike in Iraq, we have not been asked to intervene in Syria by any government in Syria.

You then conflate bombing ISIL with bringing the Syrian civil war to an end.

You say that: “Whatever decision the Commons takes today will have consequences. Be in no doubt, however, that failing to act will also have consequences. The civil war that has killed thousands and which has seen unprecedented numbers of people displaced from their homes and come to Europe as refugees will continue.”

It is just as likely to continue if we do not “fail to act” in this manner.

Finally, and most remarkably, you say this: “To shrug our shoulders and refuse that opportunity [to act] because it is too difficult or should be left to others is to cheapen the compassion of that response and determination to help [refugees].”

I just don’t see the logic in this. It could just as well be argued that bombing cheapens compassion.
Having admitted that you have wrestled with your conscience over this, and saying you respect those who have reached different conclusions, how can you then dismiss them as shrugging their shoulders?

Even at this late hour I beg you to reconsider your support for the UK government’s motion.

James Mackenzie
The Lea,


  1. iantinkler

    “it is “reasonably certain” that a drone strike in Syria has killed the Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John”.” A multiple sadistic murderer is now out of the war. Unpleasant as bombing is, needle point strikes with laser guided munitions will eliminate mass rapists and the most brutal of murderers. I am sorry, but I do not think sitting on our hands and doing nothing is an option. If prior to the “Twin Towers attack”, Bin Laden, had been taken out, we may have had a much safer world, sadly he was not and the history that followed was tragic. Just remember The Twin Towers was the first mass killing and preceded the western backed wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq. Fanatics, whom will kill without compassion, rape and destroy all whom do not follow their own bitter and distorted Creedo leave us few options.

    • Johan Adamson

      But everyone deserves a fair trial. Are we just forgetting this principle nowadays? We have no evidence of any persons guilt or this persons death – it maybe is right enough, we just dont know enough. OK, so we just believe the authorities, then they are all powerful and can control us in a very 1984 way.

      • iantinkler

        “But everyone deserves a fair trial” Well what a piece of utter stupidity from Johan Adamson. So Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his fellow butchers, should have been allowed to wear their suicide vests, shoot to kill civilians, again and again, whilst the French authorities endeavored to take them alive!! Osama Ben Laden and Jihad John should have been left to live, so if and when taken alive they could have a fair trial. Never mind how many they butchered, beheaded, burnt and raped before capture. I do not know what planet you are on Johan Adamson, is it just the planet plain stupid or just planet SNP?

      • Johan Adamson

        So, you’re out walking around London one day and you get shot by the authorities. You were innocent but got caught up and they thought you were a terrorist. They called you Suicide Ian, your family protest your innocence. The press just believe everything the authorites tell them. Would that be OK? Would your killing not be hailed by your relatives as unjust and they would feel the need to extract revenge, escalating everything a bit more? Dont you think that instantly being killed is too good for some of these people you despise?

      • Johan Adamson

        Actually, you were just walking around Aberdeen cos Police Scotland have decided they are armed now.

      • Johan Adamson

        Who is deciding that these people are guilty? If caught in the act then maybe OK. But our justice system is there for a reason. Maybe its not needed because anything is good enough for the infidel?

    • Robert Duncan

      “If prior to the “Twin Towers attack”, Bin Laden, had been taken out, we may have had a much safer world”

      I’m not sure I believe this. These Middle East does not exist in a vacuum and as much as certain individuals can be picked out as particularly influential, groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS have senior members being killed regularly and very quickly replace them with others of similar belief.

      • ian tinkler

        Robert Duncan , following the SNP line yet again? “Twin Towers” was down to Bin Laden. Only the SNP would leave Isis to do their killing and raping, just another divisive little ploy. Blame Westminster/ Cameron yet again, so very typical. Lets hope we have no attacks in Scotland, clearly the SNP care little about UN requests and French request to help fight Isis.

      • Robert Duncan

        The SNP has precisely zero to do with what I have said here, and almost zero to do with this subject more generally. I haven’t “blamed” anybody, I questioned your own personal view. I’d assume from your childish deflection that you do not have a genuine response.

      • iantinkler

        Robert Duncan, then it is your view is that the early elimination of Bin Laden, the founder, financier and head of Al Qaida also the planner of the Twin Tower massacre would have been pointless, because a replacement may have immerged! I found that view was so staggeringly stupid I just assumed it was not your own. I honestly believed you were more intelligent than that, I am sorry, I was clearly wrong, please accept my apology, not an SNP opinion, all your very own. Just a coincidence it mirrors the SNP actions of doing nothing but posturing and criticising others is the best way forward. Sorry again, my mistake. So we should not go for self confessed, brutal mass murderers because they may be replaced? Just leave them to kill again!

      • Robert Duncan

        Curiously, my reply decrying the aggressive and insulting tone of your latest comment appears not to have passed the ST’s moderation, whilst the comment itself remains.

        I’d ask how I have “postured” or “criticised others”, but I’m not sure it’s worth battling against such an ironically arm-flailing argument. I will say this: If Bin Laden had been killed prior to 9/11, perhaps the 9/11 attacks would not have happened. That does not mean that we would live in a safer world or that no such attacks would take place, and to suggest so is incredibly simplistic. Call me an idiot for that all you like, but this comment chain simply reflects your own myopia and arrogance.

      • Robert Duncan

        And of course, to talk of killing Bin Laden is itself an incredibly simplistic analogy, given these air strikes cannot possibly be so successfully targeted as to only take out the most dangerous of political leaders or even their resources.

  2. iantinkler

    James You reconsider! Every Jihadist killed will help stop this.

    We know that in August the 82-year-old guardian of the antiquities of Palmyra, Professor Khaled al-Assad, was beheaded and his headless body was hung from a traffic light. And we know that in recent weeks there has been the discovery of mass graves in Sinjar, one said to contain the bodies of older Yazidi women murdered by Daesh because they were judged too old to be sold for sex. We know they have killed 30 British tourists in Tunisia, 224 Russian holidaymakers on a plane, 178 people in suicide bombings in Beirut , Ankara and Suruc, 130 people in Paris – including those young people in the Bataclan, , whom Daesh, in trying to justify their bloody slaughter, called them apostates engaged in prostitution and vice. And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us here tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision, in contempt.. James You reconsider!

    • Peter Abbit

      You’re spot on there Ian. How can anyone tolerate a person who believe themselves to be above all others, dismiss others purely based upon their beliefs and wish them dead because they believe them to be murderers with or without categorical proof. May I suggest we organise a crowd-sourced fundraiser to get you a Grip as you seem unable to get one for yourself.

  3. iantinkler

    ” they believe them to be murderers with or without categorical proof” Were the videos of the beheading and the boastful glee of Bin Laden and Jihad John not rather categorical proof, Peter Abbit?. Isis glorify in videoing their atrocities, what more proof do you need. You have to be SNP, your puerile insults, for example “May I suggest we organise a crowd-sourced fundraiser to get you a Grip as you seem unable to get one for yourself” are so typical of their infantile supporters comments.