John Wilson, MSP for Central Scotland and Scottish Greens candidate for 2016, has today submitted a motion to parliament raising concerns over the United Kingdom parliament’s decision to begin air strikes in Syria and calling for the Scottish Parliament to condemn the decision.
Mr Wilson’s motion states that bombing heavily populated areas will ‘inevitably lead to substantial numbers of civilian casualties.’ His motion also states that ‘an increase in Western military action in the Middle East will increase the likelihood of radicalisation both at home and abroad.’
Wilson, a member of the Green – Independent group, asks that the parliament ‘condemns the decision taken by the UK Parliament to launch air strikes in Syria.’
Wilson has marked his motion for members business, in the hope of taking the debate to the chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
“The decision taken by the House of Commons yesterday demonstrates a defiant will to ignore the many lessons we should have learned from previous ‘interventions’ and instead opt for a head strong march toward war. It epitomises a ‘something must be done’ approach rather than a sensible consideration of the situation.
“Dropping bombs on heavily populated areas, such as the city of Raqqa, will have one inevitable consequence – scores of dead civilians. It doesn’t matter how precise you think your bombs are if you are dropping them in crowded places. And ultimately with these civilians deaths comes radicalisation, at home and abroad, making the fight against these terrorists all the harder.
“We should have learned lessons from Iraq, from Libya, and from countless other conflicts we have gotten ourselves into since George Bush and Tony Blair declared their war on terror. Instead we walk the same path to war once more, having apparently learned nothing.”
“We should be putting diplomacy and humanitarianism at the forefront of our efforts to tackle this crisis. We should be pursuing a diplomatic solution to the crisis at the Vienna talks, where much progress has been made recently. And we should continue to push the humanitarian agenda by caring for those displaced by the conflicts in Syria, both those who have arrived here as refugees, and those who number the millions in neighbouring countries in the region. Instead I fear that by making war our first option and not the last option we are playing into the hands of Daesh.
“I am pleased that the vast majority of Scottish MPs reflected the will of the Scottish people and voted against this bombing campaign and I hope my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament will join me in condemning this reckless action.”
Full text of John Wilson's motion:
That the Parliament considers that bombing densely populated areas in Syria, such as the city of Raqqa, will be ineffective in combatting the threat posed by Daesh and will inevitably lead to substantial numbers of civilian casualties; believes that an increase in Western military action in the Middle East will increase the likelihood of radicalisation both at home and abroad; considers that the UK can best offer support to the region through the use of diplomatic services and humanitarian aid, particularly in support of people fleeing the conflict; recognises that bombing will not bring about a peaceful resolution to the horrific situation in Syria; notes the strong feelings expressed across Scotland including in the Central Scotland region on this subject; praises the Don’t Bomb Syria protests held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and elsewhere across the country in the week beginning 30 November 2015; welcomes that the vast majority of Scottish MPs voted against the UK Government's motion, and condemns the decision taken by the UK Parliament to launch air strikes in Syria.