Thursday, September 05, 2013

Don't wait by the phone

Labour leader Ed Miliband's theory of the Syrian conflict last week during the House of Commons debate on UK military intervention --

We must ensure that every effort is made to bring the civil war in Syria to an end, and principal responsibility for that rests, of course, with the parties in that conflict, and in particular President Assad.

Ed Miliband's theory of the Syrian conflict during Questions to the PM yesterday --

Nobody disagrees about our revulsion at the use of chemical weapons. As I say, the question is how to deal with it. What I said to the Prime Minister was, given the difficulty of getting direct talks moving between the Syrian Government and opposition, is there not a case for getting the regional partners involved? We all know the role that Iran has played in fuelling this conflict. However, given that successful diplomacy involves talking to those with whom we profoundly disagree, what is the Government’s position on Iran participating either in a contact group or as part of the Geneva process?

So a conflict that last week was principally about the warring parties this week is about their regional backers -- who somehow are going to be induced to the negotiating table now after polite asking by the UK overcomes their 2 year reluctance to do so. He also still wants peace talks even after the chemical weapons attack for which of course he hastens to express his "revulsion," a luxury not available to the people who would have to sit the other side of the table from the Assad regime.

He needs to accept that the price of last week's vote was irrelevance.