29/08/2014 Newsnight


29/08/2014

Investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark. A special programme on the anniversary of Parliament's vote not to intervene in Syria.


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Transcript


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It was exactly a year ago that parliament voted not to intervene

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militarily in Syria. Today David Cameron warned we will be fighting

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against Islamic State for years, but how? And he upped the terror threat

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to "severe". Tonight a special programme, what were the

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consequences of that vote? Have Britain and the west lost their

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appetite for foreign wars? And what has happened since? The spread of

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the Syrian conflict into Iraq, the rise ofcy. Of IS and three million

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Syrian refugees. It is clear to me that the British parliament,

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reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British

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military action, I get that. President Assad himself has now

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confirmed on Russian television that he does have chemical weapons and is

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prepared to give them up. The The war where you youngest are caught in

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crossfire, they are targeted, even tortured. Militants, backed by a

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anti-Government tribal fighters say they have taken control of Fallujah.

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We are not putting boots on the ground, this is

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We are not putting boots on the help them in their fight. After four

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days of this, the Jihadis are now effectively in control of Mosul,

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Iraq's second city. Many are from the minority Yazidi secretary,

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forced from their homes a week ago and are now trapped on mountains

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surrounded by the Jihadists. Syria's intensifying refugee crisis has

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surpassed today a record three million refugees. The killer, who

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speaks with a British accent, sends a direct message to President Obama

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before killing James Foley. It poses an immediate threat to the people of

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Iraq and the people throughout the region. We don't have a strategy

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yet. Good evening, David Cameron wouldn't commit to any further

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military involvement in the Middle East today, but he did describe the

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Islamic state as a greater and deeper threat to our security than

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we have ever known before. We are in the middle of a

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generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology

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that I believe we will be fighting for years and probably decades. We

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will always take whatever action necessary to keep the British people

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safe here at home. But a year ago the Prime Minister took a very

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different approach after chemical takes by President Assad on his own

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people. Parliament was recalled to approve military action in Syria

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only to fail to get the backing of a majority of MPs. How did the

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Government misjudge that vote? What has the impact been on our foreign

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policy? Policy still made in the shadow of the Iraq War. Here is our

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special correspondent, her report contains disturbing images.

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How do we decide? Who we d'oh we -- do we stand up for? Tonight David

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Cameron's plan for punishing President Assad using chemical

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weapons failed. It is parliament, reflecting the views of the British

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people does not want to see military act, I get that and the Government

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will act accordingly. If we didn't strike then, what now?

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With dangers more complex, more intense? David Cameron became the

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first Prime Minister in many generations to lose a vote on

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foreign policy. Ministers were astonished, the consensus was

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smashed. But their position had been based on not one but a series of

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miscalculations. The biggest, perhaps, a misunderstanding of the

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recent past. MPs' minds were clogged with

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memories of their vote for shock and awe, on evidence that was wrong. We

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cannot ignore the lessons of the calamitous Iraq War. If we do not

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take action, and it probably means military action, then the

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credibility of the international community will be greatly damaged.

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We all know, I have the scars about this, how easy it is to get into

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military action and how difficult it is to get out of it. The legacy of

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going to war in Iraq on a false premise cast a large shadow. And

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some of us in parliament are in no mood for smoke and mirrors when it

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comes to these things. There wasn't doubt about Assad's brutality, by

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chance just as MPs voted these images of a chemical attack were

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shown for the first time. But the question was how to punish the

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crossing of the west's red line. The Government and Washington wanted to

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side with the rebels. Some of these rebels included ISIS, some included

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groups linked to Al-Qaeda. The idea of intervening on their behalf was

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sheer and utter madness. Even on the morning of the vote, one minister at

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the cabinet table suggested there would be no problem with the debate,

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yet party managers and others were increasingly aware. They hadn't had

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enough time to get the votes over the line. First time parliament, or

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the party, assembled as a group was just before the debate started. The

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whips were hampered from their usual operation, being able to move around

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the lobbies, ringing colleagues, speaking to individuals personally.

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And I think so again it goes back to the shortage of time to actually

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marshall the party as a cohesive group. David Cameron had banked on

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Ed Miliband's support though and given private concession, but to his

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shock Labour decided instead on their own, more cautious motion.

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This was a very significant political question Labour wanted to

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try to demonstrate its unease. But it also wanted to show that if push

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came to shove it was not going to baulk at making a difficult

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decision. On paper Labour's position was not so different to the

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Government's, but in practice, it killed off David Cameron's plan. By

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the time he entered the Commons' chamber, before the result, a member

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of his team had in their pocket a speech prepared to acknowledge

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defeat. Nothing had been written in case of a win. And at at the most

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senior levels of Government it was Ed Miliband's manoeuvres that sunk

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the vote and they saw as treachery. The ayes to the right, 272, the nos

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to the left 2le 5. Ed Miliband 's move did not force David Cameron to

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be this explicit. We have to listen to parliament, parliament spoke, and

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parliament, I think, made a very clear view, which it doesn't want

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British involvement in military action. We will proceed on that

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basis. Though he says the threat from the Middle East now is deeper,

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stronger, it is harder to act. I think it probably did limit

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Government power, but I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing,

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we're living in a parliamentary democracy. Parliament has a right to

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be heard. Parliament has raised the bar when it comes to intervention,

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that is a good thing, given our past errors over the last decade. The

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fact that Britain backed off and then America followed them just

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illustrated to these militia groups that hang on the west is hesitating

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here. Here is a real opportunity. We have seen them march straight into

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it. This defeat did more than prevent the UK's action. Both sides

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agree it gave parliament strength, but reduced the UK's power. A year

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on with threats, more comMOX, more dang -- complex, more dangerous, any

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leader must work harder for permission to intervene. Or take a

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bigger and frankly unlikely gamble, act now and ask later. The ironic

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inheritance of the vote, the sense. Reticence. When a year on threats to

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Middle East safety grow. Joining me is Liam Fox, former

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Defence Secretary, Lord Ashdown, once leader of the Liberal

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Democrats, and Lord West, a Home Office Minister in the last Labour

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Government and before that the First Sea Lord. At the time of that last

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vote Lord Ashdown, you said you were ashamed of parliament. Do you still

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think it was bad decision? Yes. Undoubtedly. For the very first time

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in my memory Britain refused to stand up for international law. It

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is not about intervening in Iraq, to provide weapons for the rebels in

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Iraq, in my view that wouldn't have been a wise thing. Because you

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wouldn't know into whose hands those weapons would have gone. And indeed

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events have subsequently showed that. When Assad crossed a red line,

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broke into international national law in existence since 1925, that

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had restrained Hitler and Stalin, and the British parliament decided

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to do nothing to stand up for international law, I think that was

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a shameful moment. I think what happened subsequently, the Americans

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sincerity to go ahead and take action, together with France but

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without Britain, forced Assad to come to the table to negotiate

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chemical weapons. They have now been removed. But elsewhere in the Middle

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East, as we have seen very clearly, the failure to act has encouraged

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others to believe that whatever the nature of the transgression we will

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not act. That's landed us in the position we are in now. Yes, bad

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move, an unwise move and for Britain a shameful one. There you are Lord

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West, you argued against intervention, it was shameful and

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has allowed the rise of IS? I don't agree. I'm delighted that almost 12

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months ago, minus two day, we didn't start bombing Syria with no clear

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aim of what the end game was, no clear aim of where we were going, we

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could actually in terms of what "what ifs" have a whole Syria

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controlled by ISIS if we did that. We don't know what would have

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happened. I think it was right not to jump into bombing them without a

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clear view of what our aim was. Far from being a shameful -- thing I

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think it was right. What I didn't want was the thing in parliament it

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was not a clear cut thing, I'm asking permission to bomb Syria in

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two days time, should we do it or shouldn't we? No the answer we

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shouldn't have. It became more fuzzy. Liam Fox you argued very

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strongly for intervention, do you think as a country we are diminished

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by the failure of that vote? I think that our influence has been

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diminished and I think people will wonder what our word is worth I

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think Paddy Ashdown is 100% correct. It wasn't about intervening in a war

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in Syria, it was about a breach in international law about the use of

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chemical weapons. What we were asking is for a limited response to

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send a very clear signal that the use could not be tolerated again.

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The fact that we didn't send that signal sent a message to those who

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have chemical weapons in other place that is they could use them with

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impunity. That is what Paddy Ashdown was saying was the shameful moment.

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Was it that George Osborne underestimated the shadow of Iraq?

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I'm not sure that was entirely true. I think there was an understanding

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on the part. Of the Government that the Labour Party would give the

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Government support until very late in the day. I think that was a

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really dreadful mistake by Ed Miliband. Should there be military

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intervention now? Would it be impossible without parliament's

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better mission? There should be intervention to deal with ISIS? What

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kind of intervention? If we believe it to be the threat we believe it to

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be we have to deal with it in all its facets. We have to stop the sale

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of oil on the black market where it derives money and the flow of money

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from sympathetic groups in the region. We need to interrupt the

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command and control and supply lines of ISIS, that will require air

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strikes. British air strikes? Along with the United States if we are

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asked to do so. It is important that the west provides air cover, close

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air cover for any ground offensive, counter-attack by the Iraqis or the

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Kurds. Paddy Ashdown, Liam Fox is saying clearly we should be

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militarily involved in the air strike, do you think it is possible

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to do this without parliament's say so, or now is every single military

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intervention to be run past Westminster? If we're going to

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engage British military forces and put them in harm's way it is proper

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that parliament should be consulted. I profoundly disagree with Fox, by

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the way. I think we have to get away from this idea which says that in

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response to everything in the Middle East our answer is bombs and

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rockets. I mean there is a use for limited forms of air support to

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protect for instance the Kurdish state. There is also a use for such

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military action as would be consistent with an integrated

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policy. My view of what is happening in the Middle East now is a very

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powerful, terrible, but probably reasonably temporary convulsion, but

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it will change the borders of the Middle East. What we need is an

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integrated policy in which diplomacy, First Minister with

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Turkey, Iran, for instance to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to stop

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supporting the Jihadis is probably as important, if not more important

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than the military action, but it is the co-ordination of those which

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will have the effect. Tell me Liam Fox, there will be a NATO meeting,

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what will we do, will we tell NATO we will not take any action? I think

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of the United States in particular it says we would like Britain to

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share the burden of limited air involvement to be able to reduce the

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military capability of ISIS and give the forces on the ground a chance to

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work. If we were to go to NATO summit and say we are not going to

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be supporting the Americans, but we are demanding that the rest of NATO

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pulls its weight more, that would be a very odd position for Britain to

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have. Lord West in your view should there be a clearly defined limited

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strike, after the NATO meeting next week, Liam Fox seems to be

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suggesting if we are asked we should go ahead with military strikes, is

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it possible to have a limited, clearly defined strategy in the

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Middle East? We need a very clear strategy and clear end game of where

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we want to go, and we have to employ everything at our disposal in terms

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of diplomatic, in terms of leaning on those within the region, for

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example, stopping money flows from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, more

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pressure on our prevent mechanism here in terms of radicalisation and

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people going. This needs to be much better co-ordinated. There is danger

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about thinking it is nice and easy, let's fire a few missiles and drop a

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few bombs on people, that will solve the problem, it doesn't solve the

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problem. But sometimes, sometimes you do have to use force. I have

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been involved in using force in this country, but it has to be clearly

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thought through and you mustn't do it in a sort of haphazard way. I do

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think that attack on Syria a year ago would have been haphazard, you

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can't rap on the knuckles here. It does have to be proportionate and I

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do think it has to be limited, it has to be part of a wider strategy.

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It has to be financial, political, but if we do require a military

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element to complete that strategy we should not be unwilling to do it.

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But in wider terms what is the shape of our possible future interventions

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in the Middle East and beyond look like, is it changed now? It depends

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on the situation that arises in the future. I do think we have to have

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an integrated strategy that takes foreign policy, economic policy

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fully into account. Is there an appetite for it do you think? The

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question is do Governments wait until the threat is so great that

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the public are demanding action, or does the Government act when the

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Government believes that the threat is such a severity that it warrants

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action. Does that look to you like intervention and the way it should

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be conducted? There is all sorts of intervention. When you act to

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support a country with aid that is intervention, why do we always put

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intervention only in military terms. We need an integrated strategy. Let

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me make a slightly different point if I may for you, since we are now

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facing in the day when we raised the threat level, the Government is

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concentrating, and I think they are unwise to do so on the threat of

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Jihadis coming home. By the way when they have raised the threat level

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they have raised it to what has existed in Northern Ireland for the

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last two years and what we sustained for five years in the case of the

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IRA terrorist. Of course this is a threat. But it is a threat that we

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know how to deal with it and it needs to be put into proportion. I

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fear it is getting out of proportion. By far the greater

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threat to Britain is the threat of a widening religious war which

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threatens to engulf the entire Middle East. Now that's the bigger

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threat. I wish I had heard the Government talking about tackling

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that. If you want to link Ukraine with what's happening in the Middle

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East, this is the system that will do it, because Russia supports

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Assad. You are talking here about something much, much bigger, much,

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much more dangerous than returning Jihadi, you are talking about a

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regional war, in the Middle East, which is religious in nature, which

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could engulf the Middle East which could change the borders and which

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could easily f we allow it to get of control engage the great powers as

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well. That is why complinecy has as much a part to play as does military

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force. Thank you very much indeed, what are the guiding principles of

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our policy on intervention in foreign conflict if there are any.

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It is 15 years since Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. Was last

:18:38.:18:40.

year's vote not to intervene in Syria a turning point in the UK and

:18:41.:18:43.

west's approach to the rest of the world. Here is our diplomatic

:18:44.:18:45.

editor. Historians and think-tankers have

:18:46.:19:02.

Long been obsessed with the UK's global status. 50 years ago it was

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an American politician who said that Britain had lost an empire but not

:19:08.:19:14.

found a role. Actually Britain has had a pretty well defined role over

:19:15.:19:19.

the past half century, which is acting as America's number two or

:19:20.:19:23.

deputy in upholding international security. In the past year though

:19:24.:19:28.

even that's become highly uncertain as the British Government has

:19:29.:19:34.

stepped back from foreign wars. I for one was quite surprised at how

:19:35.:19:38.

much the rest of the world was taking notice of what happened in

:19:39.:19:42.

parliament that day. Because in the gulf and even in eastation and Japan

:19:43.:19:46.

people were saying to me is Britain serious about defence, is there a

:19:47.:19:49.

big rift between Britain and the United States. Are you guys

:19:50.:19:52.

withdrawing from your space in world affairs? And what seemed at the time

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to be a domestic blip, admittedly a serious blip, but a blip in our

:19:58.:20:01.

political process, was perceived by the rest of the world as a tipping

:20:02.:20:06.

point in Britain's decline as a world power. Just a few weeks back a

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senior Special Forces officer I met told me that the SAS were not

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operating in Iraq because of the parliamentary vote. If they got into

:20:17.:20:21.

combat it might be deemed illegal. So what would they be doing once the

:20:22.:20:26.

commitment in Afghanistan had wound down? Well more training missions he

:20:27.:20:30.

suggested and Britain would rely more on the soft power of the

:20:31.:20:33.

International Development Department. The forces, intelligence

:20:34.:20:40.

agencies and Foreign Office have all geared themselves to the

:20:41.:20:44.

Government's view that absent a 9/11 scale event Britain has lost its

:20:45.:20:48.

will to confront enemies overseas. It would be realistic of me to say

:20:49.:20:53.

that I would not accept in the most extreme circumstances, I would not

:20:54.:20:57.

expect to see a manifestation of great appetite for plunging into

:20:58.:21:04.

another prolonged period of ex-president decisionry engagment

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into -- expeditionary-type engagment any time soon. So the Government has

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been drawing down in Afghanistan and shunning any commitment to follow on

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training for the Afghan forces. We have seen a reduction in British

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commitment, evidenced by the British extreme reluctance to get involved

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with the commitment to a training, advising assisting mission in

:21:32.:21:34.

Afghanistan, when the mission concludes at the end of this year.

:21:35.:21:38.

What we have seen is countries like Germany and Italy stepping forward

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to fill the gap in supporting the Americans which Britain

:21:44.:21:46.

traditionally did. One year ago the result of the British vote

:21:47.:21:51.

reverberated across the Atlantic, feeding US Congress which then

:21:52.:21:55.

declined to support US strikes on Syria. Britain had gone from being

:21:56.:22:00.

the dependable partner to a more questionable ally. I think the vote

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in parliament did have an impact on the President. Because within a

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couple of days of that vote he decided to go seek a vote in

:22:09.:22:11.

Congress, which he had not planned to do here, and of course that then

:22:12.:22:16.

faded away. I don't think, I think it was little more than a ripple in

:22:17.:22:20.

our long-term relationship with Britain, I think when the President

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gets his strategy together he will hope, as I will, that the British

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will be by our side again as they have been so often. So can there be

:22:28.:22:31.

some sort of new concept about when it is right to intervene, well Tony

:22:32.:22:35.

Blair may have gone in with the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan,

:22:36.:22:40.

but he did also take unilateral military action in Sierra Leone, and

:22:41.:22:46.

he favoured the concept of what's called humanitarian intervention, he

:22:47.:22:51.

believed in the concept of the responsibility to protect, in cases

:22:52.:22:54.

where "ethnic cleansing" Oregan side were imminent.

:22:55.:23:09.

Is the Prime Minister who marched his troughs down the hill now at the

:23:10.:23:12.

mercy of events marching them back up again. The RAF is flying over

:23:13.:23:18.

Iraq once more. It is dropping aid not bombs, for the moment any way.

:23:19.:23:21.

Government insists it has not not bombs, for the moment any way.

:23:22.:23:26.

asked yesterday to join American air strikes. The signs are that this

:23:27.:23:30.

Government doesn't want to take major military action in this crisis

:23:31.:23:34.

no matter whether that is independently or as President

:23:35.:23:40.

Obama's junior partner. Britain still wants a role in the world, it

:23:41.:23:44.

just seems less sure than ever about how to carve it.

:23:45.:23:52.

To discuss this I'm joined by the former Chief of General Staff, the

:23:53.:24:00.

author of the End of History and a Professor from the London School of

:24:01.:24:03.

Economics. Are we living in a world in which Britain is unwilling or

:24:04.:24:07.

unable to exercise our military power? No, I don't think we are.

:24:08.:24:14.

Your conversation earlier this evening on this programme quite

:24:15.:24:17.

rightly has focussed on the debate in parliament a year ago. And I was

:24:18.:24:21.

one of those who spoke against intervention on bombing at that

:24:22.:24:25.

stage, as Lord West, who you talked to earlier also did. Because the

:24:26.:24:32.

issue then was an unclear issue which would potentially have had us

:24:33.:24:36.

bombing in a complex Civil War and the consequences of what we had done

:24:37.:24:40.

were most unclear. We were right to vote against that and it caused a

:24:41.:24:46.

check on American ambitions. It also actually led the Russians to get

:24:47.:24:50.

involved and it then led to the removal of most of the Syrian

:24:51.:24:54.

chemical weapons. Now the situation today is very different. The

:24:55.:24:57.

situation is different today, but I was going to ask you, in what

:24:58.:25:01.

scenario can you see us intervening, if there was another Sierra Leone,

:25:02.:25:07.

if there was another something, when in the Middle East can you see us

:25:08.:25:11.

intervening, you heard what Liam Fox said? I'm not going to start

:25:12.:25:16.

presupposing different scenarios. Let's take the situation we have

:25:17.:25:19.

today. The issue we have in front of us today is very clear. Islamic

:25:20.:25:25.

State is a very clear and present danger. The Prime Minister has

:25:26.:25:29.

spoken about that in absolute terms. What should we be doing now? The

:25:30.:25:34.

Americans are bombing in support of the Peshmerga fighters northern

:25:35.:25:37.

Iraq. There is the issue of the Free Syrian Army in Syria. And the

:25:38.:25:42.

request, if it hasn't come will come quite soon whether whether the UK

:25:43.:25:46.

will not only take surveillance pictures from its aircrafts but drop

:25:47.:25:50.

explosive ordinance as well. I believe this is a very different

:25:51.:25:54.

issue from a year ago and we should be taking action, not just from the

:25:55.:25:58.

air but also playing our part in arming and training the Peshmerga

:25:59.:26:01.

fighters particularly in northern Iraq so that they can stand against

:26:02.:26:10.

this very person national curriculums -- pernicious regime

:26:11.:26:14.

trying to put itself in power, the Islamic State. Do you agree with the

:26:15.:26:19.

analysis? First of all I think there is such a thing as humanitarian

:26:20.:26:23.

intervention but it needs to be focussed on the suffering of the

:26:24.:26:27.

people. It needs, you know, people are going through terrible things in

:26:28.:26:32.

Syria and Iraq. Any kind of intervention has to be focussed on

:26:33.:26:36.

that, we tend to have in our minds that intervention only means war

:26:37.:26:39.

fighting, it only means defeating people. But as a country, you know,

:26:40.:26:47.

do we have, we are a huge military power, are we posturing as a

:26:48.:26:51.

military power, generally? I think both ourselves and the United States

:26:52.:26:55.

have lost a huge degree of moral credibility as a result of both the

:26:56.:26:58.

interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not just that we

:26:59.:27:02.

have lost our appetite, we haven't come to terms with our culpability

:27:03.:27:07.

for what is happening. And the fact that we do have a much more limited

:27:08.:27:11.

role because we have lost our credibility. Until we can start

:27:12.:27:15.

coming to terms with what we were responsible for, what we did wrong,

:27:16.:27:21.

we can't start to think what's right. You know, once upon time

:27:22.:27:28.

America was the world's policeman and we no longer appear to be the

:27:29.:27:35.

Lieutenants willing to do anything. Do you agree with that analysis that

:27:36.:27:39.

until we understand the problems Iraq gave us we can't move on to a

:27:40.:27:46.

different kind of world peace? I think what Iraq and Afghanistan have

:27:47.:27:49.

demonstrated is that we don't have the knowledge and the ability to

:27:50.:27:55.

create very specific political outcomes like building democracy in

:27:56.:27:58.

either of those countries. But we still have a lot of power and we

:27:59.:28:01.

still have a lot of national interest. I actually think that the

:28:02.:28:07.

situation in both Iraq and Syria has deteriorated to the point that we

:28:08.:28:11.

have to be pretty hard headed right now about protecting some core

:28:12.:28:16.

interests. I think actually you can define a strategy fairly simply,

:28:17.:28:20.

that we, that is to say the United States, Britain and other western

:28:21.:28:27.

powers ought to at this point act as off-shore balancer, our objective

:28:28.:28:30.

should be to prevent any of these bad actors like ISIS or the Assad

:28:31.:28:38.

Government in Syria from dominating the region. That we can do. We

:28:39.:28:43.

cannot turn Syria into a democracy, but we can at least prevent the bad

:28:44.:28:50.

use of power by some extremely nasty groups there. But it is not just

:28:51.:28:55.

about air strikes in that case is it, is it about putting boots on the

:28:56.:28:59.

ground. There is no appetite for that kind of intervention? You know

:29:00.:29:06.

the one thing about ISIS right now that is that they are very much

:29:07.:29:11.

overextended. You usually cannot achieve certain political objectives

:29:12.:29:14.

just with air power, but this is a case where you can really, you can

:29:15.:29:19.

take apart a lot of their infrastructure in Syria and do it

:29:20.:29:22.

without any need for ground forces. So I think this is one case where

:29:23.:29:28.

actually a little bit of limited military power it can actually do a

:29:29.:29:33.

lot of good. If you move your gaze to somewhere else in the world and

:29:34.:29:37.

you look at what is happening now between Russia and Ukraine, and

:29:38.:29:41.

Ukraine tonight calling for full membership of NATO to come under

:29:42.:29:45.

that umbrella, is that a conflict where actually the danger to us is

:29:46.:29:51.

quite severe and actually that Putin's ambition threatens us all? I

:29:52.:29:59.

actually think that Ukraine is a much more serious threat, not just

:30:00.:30:03.

to us but to a lot of countries that are quite important to us, and

:30:04.:30:07.

anything that is going on in this spreading, Sunni-Shia war in the

:30:08.:30:13.

Middle East. And Putin has set a new precedent that's very, very similar

:30:14.:30:18.

to what Hitler did in the 1930s about supporting Russians outside of

:30:19.:30:22.

Russia that will be extremely destablising in Europe. I think NATO

:30:23.:30:27.

needs to get serious as a military alliance, it hasn't been for the

:30:28.:30:30.

last 20 years, but the time has come for it. I think it is very difficult

:30:31.:30:36.

to defeat the Islamic State just through war fighting. I just don't

:30:37.:30:41.

think that is possible nowadays. I think absolutely key you know, it

:30:42.:30:45.

may not be possible to create a democracy, but the absolute key is

:30:46.:30:51.

an inclusive political arrangement, so politic is key to dealing with

:30:52.:30:55.

these things. But when you look more at what is happening in Europe, when

:30:56.:30:58.

you look at what is happening with Putin and you look what that threat

:30:59.:31:03.

looks like, does NATO have to step up the challenge again, do we have

:31:04.:31:08.

to stand nose-to-nose and show our power? I think that is terribly

:31:09.:31:11.

dangerous to do that, but at the same time, again we are talking

:31:12.:31:15.

always in geopolitical terms, where as if you look at what's happening

:31:16.:31:20.

in eastern Ukraine, what was a democracy movement is being turned

:31:21.:31:24.

into an ethnic conflict. There is displacement, there is human rights

:31:25.:31:30.

violations and we need to shift the discourse from geopolitics to

:31:31.:31:34.

humanitarian issues. Thank you all very much, that is all we have time

:31:35.:31:37.

for, from this Newsnight special, good night.

:31:38.:31:43.

A special programme on the anniversary of Parliament's vote not to intervene in Syria - have we lost our appetite for foreign wars? With Kirsty Wark.


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