'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

An Open Letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski

Dear Senator Mikulski

I hope you don't mind me, a UK citizen, writing to you. I think of you as 'my' Senator as I spent a summer working in Ocean City  in 1987 - when you were in your first year as a Maryland Senator. It is wonderful that you are still there.

In the next few days you will be asked to vote for or against military action in Syria. I am not going to presume to tell you how to vote - I am not American, and it is clear from your proud record voting against action in Iraq in 1991 and 2002 that you know your own mind and vote accordingly.

But I just wanted to say this; when deciding which way to vote, please consider 3 things

1. Is there still a chance for peace? Through happenstance, happy accident or luck, it seems we are moving towards a scenario where a resolution may be possible over the handing over of chemical weapons. I would rather the world stumbles into peace than charges into war.
2. Is there a plan and a purpose to military action. Is it really worth stirring up the hornets nest over an 'unbelievably' small strike, as appears to be proposed? If there is no clear objective other than 'punishment',  why strike at all - surely that just invites escalation of the issue? What would any suggested military action actually achieve?
3. Has the UN route been fully explored? To go the full UN route, and run into a brick wall is one thing. To go early and circumvent the UN is to invite criticism unnecessarily.

Thanks for listening, and good luck with your decision on which way to vote - surely the most difficult decision any politician ever has to face.

With all best wishes

Richard Morris

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