The Speech by the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP
听听英国工党议员Hilary Benn火遍全球演讲 关于空袭叙利亚ISIL
Thank you. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Before I respond to the debate, I would like to say this directly to the Prime Minister: although my right honorable friend the Leader of the Opposition and I will walk into different division of lobbies tonight, I am proud to speak from the same Dispatch Box as him. My right honorable friend is not a ‘terrorist sympathizer’. He is an honest, a principled, a decent and a good man, and I think the Prime Minister must now regret what he said yesterday and his failure to do what he should have done today which is simply to say, "I am sorry."
Now Mr Speaker, we have had an intense and impassioned debate – and rightly so, given the clear and present threat from Daesh, the gravity of the decision that rests upon the shoulders and the conscience of every single one of us, and the lives that we hold in our hands tonight. And whatever decision we reach, I hope we will treat one another with respect.
Now we have heard a number of outstanding speeches, and sadly time will prevent me from acknowledging them all but I would just like to single out the contributions both for and against the motion from my honorable and right honorable friends the members for Derby South, Kingston Upon Hull West and Hessle, Normanton Pontefract and Castleford, Barnsley Central, Wakefield, Wolverhampton South East, Brent North, Liverpool West Derby, Wirral West, Stoke on Trent North, Birmingham Ladywood and the honorable members for Reigate, South West Wiltshire, Tonbridge and Malling, Chichester and Wells.The question which confronts us in a very very complex conflict is at its heart very simple. What should we do with others to confront this threat to our citizens, our nation, other nations and the people who suffer under the yoke, the cruel yoke, of Daesh?
我们已经聆听了许多精彩的发言，但很遗憾，时间关系我无法一一点出他们的名字。不过，我愿意挑选出一些来自我尊敬的朋友们的贡献——无论他们支持或反对此动议——来自Derby South, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, Barnsley Central, Wakefield, Wolverhampton South East, Brent North, Liverpool, West Derby, Wirral West, Stoke-on-Trent North, Birmingham Ladywood的（工党）议员，以及来自Reigate, South West Wiltshire, Tonbridge and Malling, Chichester和Wells的尊敬的（保守党）议员。尽管冲突十分复杂，我们面对的问题核心其实无比简单：当我们的公民、我们的国家以及其它国家面临威胁时，当人们在Daesh的枷锁、沉重的枷锁下痛苦呻吟时，我们应该怎样做？
The Carnage in Paris brought home to us the clear and present danger we face from them. It could just as easily have been London or Glasgow or Leeds or Birmingham – and it could still be. And I believe we have a moral and a practical duty to extend the action we are already taking in Iraq to Syria. And I am also clear, and I say this to my colleagues, that the conditions set out in the emergency resolution passed at the Labor party conference in September have been met. We now have a clear and unambiguous UN Security Council resolution 2249, paragraph five of which specifically calls on member states to take all necessary measures; to redouble and co-ordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.
So the United Nations is asking us to do something. It is asking us to do something now. It is asking us to act in Syria as well as in Iraq. And it was a Labor government, if the honorable gentleman will bear with me, it was a Labor government that helped to found the United Nations at the end of the Second World War. And why did we do so? Because we wanted the nations of the world working together to deal with threats to international peace and security – and Daesh is unquestionably that.
So given that the United Nations has passed this resolution, given that such action would be lawful under Article 51 of the UN charter, because every state has the right to defend itself, why would we not uphold the settled will of the United Nations, particularly when there is such support from within the region, including from Iraq?
We are part of a coalition of over 60 countries standing together shoulder to shoulder to oppose their ideology and their brutality. Now Mr Speaker, all of us understand the importance of bringing an end to the Syrian civil war, and there is now some progress on a peace plan because of the Vienna talks. They are the best hope we have of achieving a ceasefire. Now that would bring an end to Assad’s bombing, leading to a transitional government and elections. And why is that vital? Both because it will help in the defeat of Daesh, and because it would enable millions of Syrians who have been forced to flee to do what every refugee dreams of: they just want to be able to go home.
Now Mr Speaker, no one in this debate doubts the deadly serious threat we face from Daesh and what they do – although sometimes we find it hard to live with the reality. We know that in June four gay men were thrown off the fifth story of a building in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor. We know that in August the 82-year-old guardian of the antiquities of Palmyra, Professor Khaled al-Assad, was beheaded and his headless body was hung from a traffic light. And we know that in recent weeks there has been the discovery of mass graves in Sinjar, one said to contain the bodies of older Yazidi women murdered by Daesh because they were judged too old to be sold for *. We know they have killed 30 British tourists in Tunisia, 224 Russian holidaymakers on a plane, 178 people in suicide bombings in Beirut, Ankara and Suruc, 130 people in Paris – including those young people in the Bataclan, whom Daesh, in trying to justify their bloody slaughter, called them apostates engaged in prostitution and vice. If it had happened here they could have been our children, and we know they are plotting more attacks.
So the question for each of us and for our national security is this: given that we know what they are doing, can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in our self-defense against those who are planning these attacks? Can we really leave to others the responsibility for defending our national security when it is our responsibility? And if we do not act, what message would that send about our solidarity with those countries that have suffered so much, including Iraq and our ally France. Now France wants us to stand with them, and President Hollande, the leader of our sister Socialist Party, has asked for our assistance and help. And as we are undertaking air strikes in Iraq, where Daesh’s hold has been reduced, and we are already doing everything but engage in air strikes in Syria, should we not play our full part?
Now Mr. Speaker, it has been argued in the debate that air strikes achieve nothing. Not so. Look at how Daesh’s forward march has been halted in Iraq. The house will remember that 14 months ago people were saying, ‘They are almost at the gates of Baghdad.’ And that is why we voted to respond to the Iraqi government’s request for help to defeat them. Look at how their military capacity and their freedom of movement has been put under pressure. Ask the Kurds about Sinjar and Kobane. Now of course air strikes alone will not defeat Daesh, but they make a difference because they are giving them a hard time and it is making it more difficult for them to expand their territory.
Now I share the concerns that have been expressed this evening about potential civilian casualties. However unlike Daesh, none of us today act with the intent to harm civilians. Rather we act to protect civilians from Daesh, who target innocent people.
Now on the subject of ground troops to defeat Daesh, there has been much debate about the figure of 70,000 and the government must, I think, better explain that. But we know that most of them are currently engaged in fighting President Assad. But I tell you what else we know: it’s whatever the number - 70,000, 40,000, 80,000 - the current size of the opposition forces mean the longer we leave taking action, the longer Daesh will have to decrease that number. And so to suggest, Mr Speaker, that air strikes should not take place until the Syrian civil war has come to an end is, I think, to miss the urgency of the terrorist threat that Daesh poses to us and others and I think misunderstands the nature and objectives of the extension to air strikes that is being proposed.And of course we should take action - it is not a contradiction between the two - to cut off Daesh’s support in the form of money and fighters and weapons, and of course we should give humanitarian aid and of course we should offer shelter to more refugees, including in this country, and yes we should commit to play our full part in helping to rebuild Syria when the war is over.
Now I accept that there are legitimate arguments, and we’ve heard them in the debate, for not taking this form of action now, and it is also clear that many members have wrestled and who knows, in the time that is left may still be wrestling, with what the right thing to do is. But I say the threat is now and there are rarely if ever perfect circumstances in which to deploy military forces. Now we heard very powerful testimony from the honorable member for Edisbury earlier when she quoted that passage, and I just want to read what Karwan Jamal Tahir, the Kurdistan regional government high representative in London, said last week, and I quote: ‘Last June Daesh captured one third of Iraq overnight, and a few months later attacked the Kurdistan region. Swift air strikes by Britain, America and France, and the actions of our own Peshmerga saved us. We now have a border of 650 miles with Daesh. We have pushed them back and recently captured Sinjar. Again Western air strikes were vital. But the old border between Iraq and Syria does not exist. Daesh fighters come and go across this fictional boundary.’ And that is the argument, Mr Speaker, for treating the two countries as one if we are serious about defeating Daesh.
我承认有人提出了合法性上的担忧，正如我们在辩论中听到的，认为不应该采取军事行动。很明显，很多议员争论的是“究竟怎么做才是正确的”，而且在剩余的时间里，可能还会继续为此争论。但是我想说，威胁就在眼前，但出动军事力量这种事几乎不存在什么完美的前提。我们刚才已经听到了来自Eddisbury的尊敬的议员的有力证词，她引用了这段话。我也愿意为大家朗读一段来自库尔德斯坦地方政府驻伦敦高级专员Karwan Jamal Tahir上周所说的话，如下：“去年六月，Daesh在一夜之间就占领了伊拉克三分之一的土地，数月后就开始进攻库尔德斯坦。是英国、美国和法国及时的空袭，以及我们库尔德自由民兵的战斗拯救了我们。我们现在与Daesh之间有650英里的边界。我们将它们击退，重新夺回了辛贾尔城，西方的空袭又一次帮助良多。但是伊拉克和叙利亚原来的边境线早已不复存在，Daesh的武装人员可以轻易越过这条虚拟的边境，来去自如。”议长先生，这就是我的论断：如果我们真的想要击溃Daesh，我们必须将伊叙两国视同为一。
Now Mr. Speaker, I hope the House will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labor friends and colleagues on this side of the House. As a party, we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another. We never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road. And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It is why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria. And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for this motion tonight.