Syria – an open letter to Julian Brazier MP

Dear Julian Brazier MP,

As the Conservative Member of Parliament for Canterbury you have my utmost respect as a politician who listens to people and respects the views of his constituents. Anyone who observes your work in a wide variety of issues and local concerns will recognise your genuine desire to hear what people say and represent their concerns.

I am an ex-pat Brit continuing to work abroad and I still recall events of 2010 in which you gave me such excellent support prior to my decision to leave England and work in Spain. So you are still in a real sense for me, my MP. I therefore make my appeal to you on the question of Syria as a fellow Catholic and in the hope that you may share this view and act upon it.

The terrible devastation suffered by the Christian community in Egypt is a foretaste of what will happen to Syrian Christians in the wake of the fall of Assad, no matter how tyrannical his regime. Aleppo is already controlled by Al Qu-aida, so how does it make sense to aid the very people we have been fighting – at great loss to our troops – in Afghanistan?

The US voices calling foul cite the use of chemical weapons in Syria as crossing a red line. The US used them in Vietnam, Agent Orange. The indiscriminate use of chemical agents in Vietnam still affects the people of that country today.
Did the British government half a century ago raise that matter at the UN? The contradictions are enormous. We do not want to receive lectures from the US on the morality of warfare as an excuse for another military/political adventure the Middle East. Or shall we remember napalm attacks on children too?

vietnam 1

I do not want MPs debating the morality of warfare, leading up to a proposed US-led strike on Syria – supported by British forces – to be based on an entirely skewed argument based on very recent history. Some of us looked on in disbelief a half a century ago when the US was committing unholy atrocties in Vietnam and we will not regard favourably any politicians who vote for war on a flawed moral platform.

I sincerely hope that MPs of all parties will have the commonsense to rein-in the glory boys looking for a short term political solution.

Thank you, Julian.

Yours sincerely,
Gareth Thomas

Update Thursday 29 August
The situation has changed dramatically, with the government having lost any chance of rushing into war and the vote on immediate military action will not take place. The amount of public clamour against such precipitate action seems to have had an effect.


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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2 Responses to Syria – an open letter to Julian Brazier MP

  1. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    Well said.

    I’d be interested in his response.

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    In the end, there was no response from him, perhaps because I am no longer technically a constitutent. The outcome of the vote was a great relief: it would have been mad to jump in without a properly conceived plan of action. Sometimes it takes great courage to refrain from action.

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