Iraq: Coalition Against ISIL

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 26th September 2014.

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Photo of Margot James Margot James Conservative, Stourbridge 12:43 pm, 26th September 2014

I agree with my hon. Friend. That is absolutely a priority, and it should not be instead of but as well as what this country provides through humanitarian aid.

Of course, military action is not the only matter with which the House must concern itself. I strongly agree with many of the points made by Hazel Blears. We really must get behind the moderate and universal force of those of Muslim faith, both here and abroad, in seeking to educate the younger, more hot-headed members of that faith, who are such a minority, that this is not the path of true Islam and it is not the path that they should follow.

But proceed to these air strikes we must. Of that I am in no doubt, and for many reasons. First, there is the unique nature of the threat. We are dealing with a growing army of mediaeval barbarians who have the most modern 21st-century military equipment at their disposal. The methods of ISIS are so barbaric, its manpower, military and financial resources so substantial, that the other regional powers are not a match for it without western support. Initially, its focus has been on securing territorial gains and then expanding within the middle east. Unchecked, the history of fundamentalism shows us that there is no doubt whatsoever that ISIS will then turn its sights on western targets. The Prime

Minister is quite right when he says that ISIS is a direct threat to us in the UK, and that is clear from the number of young men who have already been recruited by it to join its fight, some of whom will find ways of getting back into this country, no matter what measures we put in place to deter them, to try to mount terrorist attacks.

That is not the only justification. It is only 11 years since we invaded Iraq, an invasion to which we were not invited, for which there was no post-invasion plan, and which presided over the disastrous de-Ba’athification of the Iraqi army. There then followed Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and other gross abuses and insults to the Islamic world. It was Lord Salisbury who said:

“Our first duty is towards the people of this country…to maintain their interests and their rights; our second is to all humanity.”