George Osborne attacks Western leadership for creating a ‘vacuum’ in Syria….reports Asian Lite News
Osborne is back. The former chancellor, in one of his best performances at the House, accused the Western leadership of letting the Syrians down.
In his new avatar as a statesman, the former chancellor told the MPs that they share some responsibility for the terrible events happening in Syria, BBC reported.
Osborne said the unfolding tragedy in Aleppo had not “come out of a vacuum” but was due to “a vacuum of Western and British leadership”.
“Parliament had helped enable a “terrorist state” to emerge by voting against military intervention against the Assad regime in 2013,” said Osborne.
Mr Osborne, coming out from the shadow of his close friend and foreign minister David Cameron, said Parliament must reflect on its own actions with regard to the five-year civil war in Syria.
Speaking in the Commons for the first time since being sacked from the Cabinet by Prime Minister Theresa May, Osborne said the last time he spoke as a backbencher was in 2003 in the run up to the Iraq War, for which he voted in favour of intervention. In August 2013, the parliament rejected the government’s case for possible intervention in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian regime forces. MPs voted 285-272 against the UK joining President Barack Obama’s plan for US air strikes – which never came to pass because of political opposition in the US.
Mr Osborne recalled speaking from the backbenches ahead of the 2003 Iraq War and said he feared now that “it is impossible to intervene anywhere”.
“The Syrian civil war has been waging since 2011 and therefore it is something that we could have foreseen and done something about,” he said.
“I think we are deceiving ourselves in this Parliament if we believe that we have no responsibility for what has happened in Syria.
“The tragedy in Aleppo did not come out of a vacuum, it was created by a vacuum, a vacuum of Western leadership, of American leadership, British leadership.”
But he said he had “some hope out of this terrible tragedy in Syria” that “we are beginning” to learn the “price of not intervening”.
The price was that tens of thousands of people had been killed, millions of people had been forced from their homes and “we have allowed a terrorist state to emerge”.
He added that key allies such as Lebanon and Jordan had been destabilised while the refugee crisis had allowed fascism to rise in Eastern Europe and created extremist parties in Western Europe and “for the first time since Henry Kissinger kicked them out of the Middle East in the 1970s, Russia is back as the decisive player in that region”.
He added: “Let’s be clear now, if you don’t shape the world, you will be shaped by it.”
Mr Osborne has previously described the decision not to intervene in 2013 as one of the worst decisions ever taken by Parliament. In 2015, the Commons did sanction air strikes against militants from the so-called Islamic State group in Syria.
Speaking in Tuesday’s debate, former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell said the UK had been among nations ten years ago to sign up to the “responsibility to protect” doctrine to prevent humanitarian catastrophes of the like seen in Srebrenica and Rwanda.
“This responsibility to protect was signed up to at great fanfare and embraced by all the international community, great and small,” he said.
“Yet here we are today witnessing, complicit, in what is happening to tens of thousands of Syrians in Aleppo.”