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Miliband and Syria: No UN resolution needed

I was suprised to hear Ed Miliband, during the five leaders debate, claim that he represented a break from Blairist Atlanticism because he had privately told Cameron that he would refuse to bomb Syria without a UN resolution. Has Labour finally learnt the lessons of the past? Labour apologists like Owen Jones think so, describing Milliband as “a dramatic rupture with the bomb-happy leadership of Tony Blair.”

The truth, sadly, suggests otherwise, as Gabriel Carlyle’s letter in the Guardian makes clear:

“[Virtually all] of Labour’s list of requirements for supporting military action in 2013 ‘appear[ed] in the government’s own motion’ (Malcolm Rifkind), and Miliband himself explained that he was prepared to back military action without a UN resolution. As Jonathan Steele observed, ‘Cameron and Miliband used dubious legal grounds to try to justify bypassing a veto in the UN security council by saying western military strikes were needed to protect Syrians’.”

Quite. When, during the same debate, Miliband went on to outline the importance of resisting Russian military aggression (or some such formulation), I realised that Labour’s US-flavoured militarism – and dishonesty – is still firmly in place.

 

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