David Haines murder means it’s time for military action

Nobody wants another war, but we cannot allow the fatigue of Afghanistan and Iraq to cloud our judgement in the face of such a bloodthirsty international threat as Islamic State. Isolationism is seductive, but we just can't afford it

David Haines. He must not be forgotten
Clare George-Hilley
On 15 September 2014 07:13

The brutal murder of British aid worker David Haines is yet another reminder of the barbarity of the Islamic State and should serve as a wakeup call for those who assume this problem will just fade away. The notion that the US and UK can sit back and make aid contributions to solve the problem has been proved wrong. We have a moral duty to intervene, and intervene we must.

Nobody wants another war, but we cannot allow the fatigue of Afghanistan and Iraq to cloud our judgement in the face of such a bloodthirsty international threat. The Islamic State has proven itself to be more dangerous, better financed and more bloodthirsty than al-Qaeda.

Through a sophisticated manipulation of social media, the organisation has managed to attract support from over 500 British citizens, establishing its own ‘state’ of evil, which cannot be ignored.

After the Syria intervention vote over the use of chemical weapons on children was sabotaged by the spineless Ed Miliband and, I am sad to say, some equally dishonourable Tory rebels, Britain has found itself struggling to act in the face of atrocities.

Our forefathers would be ashamed at what a passive country of inaction we have now become, turning a blind eye to international events instead of shaping them. To his credit, David Cameron has shown guts and conviction by taking on the evils of the Assad regime, but without Parliamentary support initiating meaningful action is near impossible.

Last week I helped to organise a Stand Up rally opposite Downing Street to raise awareness of the plight of Christians and other minorities in Iraq. The overwhelming messages was that we must stand tall for the persecuted, whatever the cost, and that the government must take action to halt the menace of Islamic State.

The event also heard reports from international religious leaders and senior politicians including Charles Tannock MEP, who issued a public demand for the protection of Assyrian Christians of Iraq.

Regardless of these public calls for military intervention and genuine action, the international community is still taking far too long to respond. I have lost count of how many times there have been announcements of COBRA meetings, speeches, declarations of condemnation and pledges to step up our response to this serious threat.

We seem to have reached a place where media announcements and opinion polling is now more valuable than leadership and intervention, a fact of which the enemies of freedom seem all too aware.

Britain needs to look itself in the mirror and decide the role it wants to play in tackling terror at home and abroad. That’s why I’ve organised an Islamic State panel debate with Charles Tannock MEP and former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox MP at Conservative Party conference, to get answers to the many questions still hanging over our response to the crisis.

I hope that this serious discussion will enable party figures to issue a strong call to action and ensure that our country remains a force for tackling evil, wherever it appears.

I cannot imagine the pain Mr Haines’ family are going through at the loss of someone described as a ‘fantastic man’ and a committed aid worker, with two children. Unfortunately, the fact that this man was so committed to helping others meant that he was a prime target for a legion of evil, which revels in cruelty and the murder of innocent people.

This horrific act proves that Islamic State is not an organisation that will fade away or can be negotiated with. It cannot be appeased or reconciled: the more innocent the victim, the more pleasure it gains.

With these facts in mind, military action is unfortunately the only option available to protect men like David Haines and the many other thousands of victims of this menace. We must not falter, we must not fail.

Clare-George Hilley is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator and a former Conservative councillor in Croydon


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