CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – LESSONS FROM AFGHANISTAN – 11 February 2015

[Paul Flynn: ... At least we have the good sense of 650 MPs, as we had on 29 August 2013, when the present Prime Minister was urging the House of Commons, urging the nation, to go into Syria to attack Assad, who is the deadly enemy of ISIL. Now, we are in the same country and attacking ISIL, which is the deadly enemy of Assad. Even today, we hear the conflicting views on the conflict there. Why on earth should we go into a conflict between the Sunnis and the Shi’as that is ancient, deep, incomprehensible to us and nothing to do with us?]

Dr Julian Lewis: I strongly agree with the hon. Gentleman’s last point, about the 1,000-year conflict between those groups. He may remember that I was one of the 39 rebels whose votes were decisive in preventing the attack on Assad. However, could I ask him not to overstate the case, in this sense? Even he admitted that it would have been right to take military action to expel al-Qaeda. Surely the key point is how and why the campaign changed its nature after al-Qaeda was expelled.

[For Julian's speech in this debate click here.]