Sunday, 24 November 2013

The March to a Deal with Iran Began on 30th of August

We awake today to find a deal done with Iran. The train of events that led to this began on the 30th of August with the defeat of the motion for bombing of Syria toute de suite by Obama, Cameron and, alas, Nick Clegg and Paddy Ashdown.

At the moment the party seems to be intellectually divorcing the virtuous turn of events from the actions of those of our MPs who voted with the Tories to start flinging bombs.

Make no mistake, there is absolutely NO WAY that the accord with Iran could have been achieved without the failure of Cameron's motion. The bombs would have started flying and the fuel would have been thrown on the Sunni-Shia (Alawite) divide that is at the root of so much Middle East misery. After being suckered by Blair (and Bush) into the Iraqi adventure (which our party fortunately and wisely eschewed) it was greatly disappointing that we had any truck with the "bomb first" faction just ten years later. 

At the time of the "failure" of the vote various pundits spoke of the irrelevance of Britain. They could not have been more wrong. It was by what we did not do that the chain reaction led to a deal with Iran. 

The danger in our party not having a foreign policy any more is that it can be more easily railroaded into "coalitions of the willing". It's time for foreign policy to become a subject of lively debate, even in off-off-conference smoky rooms, where the leadership never deign to visit.

Remember if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything...

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