Logo Commons Knowledge
Read my day
Newport TV
Hot Campaigning
Common Jewels
'Soft' works: 'hard' kills

'Soft' works: 'hard' kills

No, Tony, the reason why public opinion has lost faith in 'hard' military intervention is because they don't work.

It was the “hard' choice to back Bush's war in Iraq and to invade the Helmand province. 168 British soldiers have been killed and little gained. It was 'hard' of Israel to invade Lebanon. It was 'soft' to call for a cease-fire. According to one of your ministers that would have been a 'meaningless gesture.' Not so for the children buried alive at Qana, the thousand killed and the million who homes were bombed to rubble.

It was 'soft' to use our brilliantly effective troops to save hundreds of thousands of lives in Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Bosnia. If we had not over-committed ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan, we could have embarked on 'soft' peacekeeping missions in Dafur.

Yes, gains have been made in Iraq and Afghanistan but Bush's mission to turn both countries into western style democracies is an impossible one. Oppression is not limited to two countries. What about the Chechens, Uzbeks, the people of Aceh and the Zimbabweans ?

The 'hard' choice is to throw away £25 billion plus on Trident for which we hasno use and it does not need to be replaced for 18 years. The 'soft' choice is concentrate on peacekeeping to ensure there is no repeat of the slaughter of the past decade. 54 of the last 59 world conflicts have been civil wars in which the casualties are mainly women and children. Two million children have been killed and four million maimed.

Our task is to end civil wars, not provoke them.

Britain’s role as peacekeepers not macho posturing
Response to Tony Blair’s call for debate on nation’s role

Paul Flynn MP Newport West said “Britain’s most successful military role recently has been our brilliant peacekeeping in Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Kosova. Posturing as a would-be super power in Iraq and Helmand province has achieved little and cost the lives of 168 British soldiers.

Of the last 59 recent military conflicts in the world, 54 of them were civil wars where groups were slaughtering civilians from their own countries - mostly women and children. In the last decade, more than 2 million children have been killed in civil wars, more than 4 million have been physically mutilated.

While gains were made initially by British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the outcome has been bloody civil strife and unnecessary British deaths Our 5 year campaign to cut the heroin trade in Afghanistan has resulted in the biggest poppy harvest ever and the lowest price of the drug on the streets of Britain.

Our prime role in the world should be as highly effective peacekeepers and not macho-posturing, aping the super power role of the USA.