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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 27, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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so i understand the wariness there will be in the house and in the country about whether this is a repeat of 2003, but on those five grounds it is not, and it is demonstrably not. i give way. >> does my right honorable friend agree that our failure to >> does my right honorable friend agree that our failure to reconstruct iraq properly after the war actually increases our responsibility to act responsibly and engage other partners in the region to create a more stable country for the future than we have seen over the past 10 years? >> i completely agree with my honorable friend about our responsibilities, and indeed our responsibilities to the people of iraq. i will not give way again. the late robin cook said this in his resignation speech on the eve of the iraq war -- -- "our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules." this is multilateral action, prompted by a legitimate
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democratic state; and a world order governed by rules, if it is about anything, must be about protecting a democratic state, which is what the motion before us is about. i believe that, although this is difficult, it is the right thing to do. there is no graver decision for our parliament and our country, but protecting our national interest, security and the values for which we stand is why i will be supporting the motion this afternoon. >> on a point of order, mr. speaker. you will have noticed that the house is very full. my constituents expect me to be able to get into the chamber and hear my prime minister. no such obligation rests on this poor man behind me. will you find a safe place for this camera crew, so that he can film without getting in our way? >> i am grateful to the honorable gentleman. as far as i can see, the camera
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crew is certainly not interfering with the business of the house, and everybody is safe. i am grateful to the honorable gentleman for his point of order, to which i have responded. may i point out to the house that no fewer than 77 hon. and right honorable members are seeking to catch my eye, in consequence of which colleagues will understand my decision to impose, with immediate effect, a five -- minute limit on back -- speeches. >> i congratulate the prime minister and the leader of the opposition on the constructive and measured way in which they introduced today's debate. this intervention is different in two respects. for the first time, war is fought using social media as a tool.
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the power of the internet is becoming increasingly apparent. we have all been shocked by the slick propaganda. for most of us, the first we heard of isil was through youtube. this is the world that we live in today. the second is the young age and radicalism of our opponents. albert einstein once said that old men start wars but younger men fight them. well, not any longer. the isil and al -- qaeda commanders are in their 30s and the old men are the refugees. >> my right honorable friend makes an important point. one of the most powerful weapons that is has been using is social media. what should governments around the world, like ours and like that of the us, be doing to ensure that social media are not used, that sites are blocked and that is is stopped from getting its publicity out into the public domain?
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>> i agree with my honorable friend. i think he has answered his own intervention. i think the government should be addressing that and recognising that soft power is now a tool of war, and should be addressed very seriously indeed. i was saying that our opponents are young and radical. up against them are the slow, clunking democracies of the west and the civilised world. but these democracies are our strength. this building and our electoral mandate -- they give us a legitimacy that isil and similar rebel groups will never have, and that is what will ultimately undermine them. >> the right honorable gentleman makes a very important point. an important part of all this, alongside the military action that i hope we will endorse today, is the soft approach -- the diplomatic record of the
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united kingdom in relation to many of the sunni tribes in the area over which isil has control. is it not important to recognise that isil, with its use of social media and its very strong media operation, is effectively an opportunist front for what has been a civil war? we cannot negotiate with isil, but we must make sure that we negotiate with and talk to the people in the sunni community within the tribes in that area. >> i agree with the honorable gentleman; indeed, he anticipates what i am coming to in my speech. the western world agonises about how to respond intelligently and responsibly to these violent threats. i congratulate the prime minister on the rational and measured way in which he has assessed the situation and on the leadership that he has shown. a coalition of the willing has been assembled. the response has been prepared. our thoughts are now with the men and women of the armed
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forces. this is not going to be an easy campaign. it is going to be messy, it is going to be untidy, and there will, i fear, be fatalities. but this intervention is the very least that a country such as britain and the united kingdom should be doing. we are a world leader in the eu, in nato, and in the g8. we hold down a permanent seat in the security council in the united nations. we derive benefit from all these positions, but they also give us responsibilities, and we have a duty to act. i have to say, however, that it is of some regret to me that, while i recognise the politics, we are not authorising action in syria today. the border between syria and iraq has virtually disappeared. it is a sea of human misery. there is open, cross -- border movement of people both legal and illegal, military organisations, innocent citizens, and homeless,
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terrified refugees. it is a seamless conflict over two countries covering thousands of miles and presenting a vulnerability in isil's stretched resources that we are not capitalising on. >> will my right honorable friend give way? >> i will not, if my honorable friend does not mind. we have long encouraged the arab states to get involved. now they are, and the irony is that we are pulling our punches as they do. this is the first time that there has been an international coalition in syria, and we should be a part of it. the leader of the opposition said that it would be better if a resolution was tabled at the united nations before intervening. given that russia has already said it will veto such a resolution, it is incumbent on
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him to say what his position would then be. why the hesitation over syria? we will never end this conflict by turning back at the border. perhaps when the deputy prime minister winds up the debate, he could say what is the role for the free syrian army, which has just been given half a billion dollars by the us congress to equip its fight. it has been fighting isis for months, and, like the peshmerga in northern iraq, it is fighting for its homeland. we are all agreed that air attacks alone are not going to bring this war to an end. isis will clearly go underground, and we will need forces on the ground to ram home the advantage that air cover provides. we all accept that there are not going to be british or american boots on the ground, but the peshmerga and the free syrian army are willing. they have strong contacts with each other and stand shoulder to shoulder in their exchanges.
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>> will the right honorable gentleman give way? >> i will not, if the honorable gentleman does not mind. strategically, it makes sense to bolster moderate forces to take the fight to isil. this means supplying funds and equipment to the free syrian army, which has shown itself to be a reliable partner over a sustained period. in the longer term, this will strengthen its anti -- assad capability and bring him to the negotiating table -- something that we have been talking about for over three years. no one should be under any illusion that the attacks on innocent citizens in syria remain 99% the work of the syrian regime, which has now killed an estimated 170,000 of its own people, as against just a few hundred killed by isil. mr. speaker, war is a terrifying business, particularly for those who have experienced it. on occasions it is a necessary evil, but no matter how necessary, it is always ghastly and horrendous. it is with a feeling of
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depression and trepidation that i will be supporting the government tonight. >> although i support the motion authorising military strikes on isil in iraq, and although i fully support my party leader's caution over extending it to syria without un backing, the blunt truth is that simply allowing isil to retreat across an invisible border, to them, that they control into syria to regroup is no answer. first, why british military action against isil's barbarity but not assad's butchery? should not the haunting and ill -- fated legacy of invading iraq instruct us to stay well clear? in the cabinet in 2003, i backed tony blair over iraq because i honestly believed that saddam had weapons of mass destruction. i was wrong. he did not. we went to a war on a lie, and the aftermath was disastrous. that has made me deeply allergic to anything similar in the region and certainly anything
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remotely hinting at cowboy western intervention. >> does my right honorable friend also accept that the intervention in 2003 was welcomed by a lot of the people of iraq, particularly by the kurds? >> i agree absolutely. even libya, supposedly a surgical operation consented to by this house in 2011, is hardly a good advertisement for us, with chaos now in the country. >> in supporting the motion, as i think broadly we are across the house, does the right honorable gentleman agree that one of the lessons from the 2003 intervention in iraq is that we should have designed in the reconstruction of iraq as a democratic state from the outset, rather than leaving it till after we had achieved some military effect?
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>> indeed. we tried to, but the americans took no notice, frankly. in the syrian horror from which isil has sprung, of course assad's forces have unleashed waves of terror, but his jihadist opponents too have committed terrible atrocities. that is the context that has given birth to isil; not because the house prevented the prime minister from armouring moderate rebels in the free syrian army. had the prime minister got his way last august, where might those british arms have ended up? probably with isil. instead of trying to bounce parliament into backing military strikes in syria last august, we should have been promoting a negotiated solution right from the beginning. that was always going to be the only way to get assad and, more importantly, his backers to shift towards compromise. syria never was some simplistic battle between evil and good;
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between a barbaric dictator and his repressed people. it is a civil war; a quagmire into which britain should tread at dire peril. at its heart are the incendiary internal islamic conflicts -- sunni versus shia, and their chief protagonists and sponsors saudi arabia versus iran. there is also a cold war hangover, of the us -- with all its considerable military and intelligence assets in the region -- versus russia, with its only mediterranean port and intelligence capability in syria. even more crucially, assad is backed by 40% of his population. his ruling shia -- aligned alawites, fearful of being oppressed by the sunni majority, along with the kurds, christians and other minorities do not like his repressive ba'athist rule very much. they fear the alternative even more. becoming victims. of genocide, jihadism or sharia extremism. assad was never going to be defeated militarily and he is
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not now. that is the truth. if western military intervention had somehow toppled him without a settlement in place, violent chaos on the syrian quicksand would still have ensued. the arab league envoy lakhdar brahimi, along with the un, set out a political solution, which should always have been the imperative. that means negotiating with assad's regime, along with the russians and iranians standing behind him. our failure to undertake that is a major reason why the civil war, in my view, has been so prolonged and why isil has been allowed to flourish. medieval in its barbarism and its fanatical religious zeal, which views its own narrow wahhabi sect, dating from the 18th century, as possessing the sole truth, it uses that as the justification for exterminating both all its opponents and any other religious group blocking its way to establishing a caliphate. it has to be stopped and britain has the military surveillance and intelligence capabilities that those on the front line fighting isil do not. in northern iraq, only us air power -- at the request of the iraqi government, the kurds and the minorities facing genocide by isil's remorseless advance,
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and very significantly, with the military participation of half a dozen nearby arab countries -- has knocked back isil's well -- equipped army. it would not have happened otherwise. that iran gave its de facto if covert blessing is of significance, opening an opportunity for future engagement and collaboration which could be transformative for the whole region, israel -- palestine included. britain should also help local iraqi and kurdish forces fighting isil with air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support. but not with troops on the ground. countries in the region have to take ownership of this battle because isil threatens them all. but the elephant in the room, for me, remains syria. isil will never be defeated if it is constantly allowed to regroup from its syrian bases. without either un or syrian government authorisation, air strikes in syria may be illegal, although there could well be justification under international law for such
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strikes, even without un agreement. and un authority for air strikes in syria will not be granted without assad's and putin's agreement -- maybe president rouhani's too. that is very difficult -- to many, very distasteful -- but very necessary. what is the alternative? although syria's russian -- supplied air defences have been hit by the fighting, they are quite sophisticated. even the us had to pre -- inform damascus about the timing and location of its air strikes this past week or so. yet engaging does not mean befriending. rather, it is akin to what churchill said in 1941: "if hitler invaded hell", he told his private secretary as germany readied to invade stalin's russia, "i would at least make a favourable reference to the devil in the house of commons." handled sensitively this could be an opportunity -- and i urge the prime minister to take it -- to kick -- start a proper syrian peace process and to defuse the long -- standing, deep and inflammatory divisions among muslims. in the middle east: iranians as shi'ites sponsoring hezbollah
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and other militias; saudis and qataris as sunnis sponsoring al -- qaeda and other jihadists -- including isil, where they have helped to unleash a monster that threatens to devour them all. by acting carefully, not bombastically, and by making common cause with both saudi arabia and iran to confront a common isil enemy, britain could even help realign middle east politics to overcome the bitter and violently corrosive sunni -- shi'a fault line in the region. it is a big ask, and an even bigger task, but an immensely valuable one. >> i do not think there is any significant controversy about the moral and legal case for what is proposed, and in five minutes i will not set it out. the world would be a better place if isis was destroyed, and britain would be a safer country without doubt. the legal case for intervention in iraq is clear with its government's inviting us, and i think it is pretty clear in syria because of the genocide and the humanitarian disasters being inflicted on that country. i do agree that it is artificial to divide the two problems: the
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sykes -- picot line is a theoretical line on the map now, and there is absolutely no doubt that isis has to be defeated in both countries. mr. bernard jenkin (harwich and -- >> given that one of the principles of counter -- insurgency is to deny the enemy a home base, is it not absolutely essential that we back the american efforts in syria? otherwise, we will never defeat isis in iraq. for people to suggest that we cannot go to syria is actually tying our hands behind our backs. the american efforts in syria? otherwise, we will never defeat isis in iraq. for people to suggest that we cannot go to syria is actually tying our hands behind our backs. >> i agree with my honorable friend. president obama has been quite open that the alliance we are joining is going to launch attacks on isis in both syria and iraq, and it is unrealistic to proceed on any other basis. the real debate, to which i
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would like to contribute briefly, and which is the only issue for the vast majority of people in this house and for the vast majority of our constituents, is -- where are we going, what is the long term purpose, what is the strategy, and how are our foreign policy, our politics and our diplomacy going to be better on this occasion that they have been for the last 15 years? the disaster of past occasions is not that we attacked pleasant regimes, we attacked evil men when we attacked hussein, when we got rid of gaddafi, when we got rid of gaddafi, when we attacked al-qaeda in afghanistan, and we would have been doing so if we had attacked assad's chemical installations last year. it is no good going back.
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i supported two of those -- libya and syria last year. i was dubious about one of the others and i opposed iraq. that is not the point. what happened in all those cases was that the military deployment produced a situation at least as bad as it had been before and actually largely worse. i have no time, i am sorry. we did not create extremist jihadism. we did not create these fanatical, fundamentalist pressures, but we made things worse and made it easier for them to spread by some of our interventions. so we all agree that we must not repeat that. we need to be reassured, and i congratulate my right honorable friend the prime minister on his speech, where he spent a very great deal of his time trying to reassure. i am left with the feeling that certainly i shall support the motion, because some of our best allies are taking part in this intervention, but i still think that we are at the early stages
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of working out exactly where we are going. our participation in these military attacks is almost symbolic. six aircraft and our intelligence are no doubt valuable to our allies, but we are symbolically joining them. my main hope is that it gives us a positive influence on the diplomacy and the unfolding politics that have to take place to try to get together -- again, all sides seem to agree that this is necessary -- the widest possible participation and settlement between the great powers of the region, to get what we all want -- lasting stability and security in what at the moment is a very dangerous region of the world. i congratulate those who are responsible.
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americans, no doubt, forgetting the sunni allies and the arab states into what is taking place. that makes a big difference from previous occasions, but all these things have problems. saudi arabia, qatar and other arab states actually support other extremist islamist, sunni organisations, and they have to be persuaded not to. isis is the worst of the sunni threats to the region, but it is not the only one, and its enemies include al-qaeda and other groups as well. the participation of the shi'a is even more problematical, because there is no real shi'a engagement, and that takes us on to the crucial matter of iran. a lot of what is taking place in the region is a proxy struggle for power between iran and the shi'ites and the saudis and the sunni, and we revived ancient sectarian warfare that most
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sensible muslims -- the vast majority -- hoped was long since dead. iran is a key influence because it is a close patron of assad in syria, of hezbollah and of the shi'ites in iraq, including the shi'ite militia, which is the only effective armed force at the moment for the so -- called iraqi government. somebody has got to get the iranians and the saudis closer together to support moderation and to decide what stability replaces things. i am delighted that we have aligned ourselves with the kurds, but their aim of kurdistan makes problems. for turkey, and turkey is a key ally as well if we are to make any progress. i congratulate the prime minister on addressing all these things and on meeting rouhani for the first time, and i wish him well over the coming several years, because no genius will
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solve this problem in a very short time. >> before i make my contribution today, i want us all to take a moment to think about and to pray for the hostages who are being held by is and the hostages who have been murdered in the most horrific circumstances, and i want us particularly to think today about alan henning. alan is a taxi driver from eccles in salford. he is not a constituent of mine, but he lives very close to my home. alan and his wife and family are in the thoughts and prayers of everybody in my city, everybody across the country and, i hope, everybody in this house. alan went out to syria on a humanitarian mission to give aid to the men, women, children and babies who were being
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slaughtered. he was there as an ambassador from our country and today i make a personal plea to the people of is -- whether it falls on stony ground or not -- to release him. he should come home to be with his wife and family and the people who love him. a lot will be said today about military power, air strikes and troops on the ground, and i make it clear from the outset that i support the terms of the motion.
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if we simply take action in iraq and iis will go back into syria and we will be faced with a very serious problem. >> we may and well having to go into syria as well. thatre we going to ensure theing syria does not have affect of strengthening? and much more sophisticated strategy than bombing syria. makes anorable friend
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relative point. most of us have been involved for years and we have seen unintended consequences and that is why a farsighted strategy of what to do and the impact and how we build resilience and coalitions will be essential. i want to thank the prime minister for the work he has done in building the alliances and the coalition, because it means we are in a significantly different place today than we have been in years past. i think that the idea of the west on its own -- america and britain -- taking a war to the middle east is completely wrong, and that the idea that the states on the ground, which have a personal responsibility for the safety of their own region, should take this action, with our support and backing, is absolutely right. i know how difficult it is to build those alliances, so i am thankful for that. i want to talk not about the military action, but the causes of terrorism, which i have
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mentioned many times in this house. unless we deal with the root cause and the poisonous ideology being promulgated by the extremists who seek to groom vulnerable young people into extremism, we will find ourselves back here time and time again. now is the moment at which we need to be really serious about this agenda. the latest estimate is that 3,000 people from the european union alone have gone out to fight in iraq and syria. they are young, vulnerable men and women. people can be radicalised in all kinds of environments, including at home by their family, in a youth centre, increasingly on the internet and social media and, indeed, sometimes in religious institutions. it is very interesting that the home office's current estimate is that less than 2% of radicalisation is being carried out in religious institutions; actually it is happening in
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ungoverned spaces in parts of every single community. >> will my right honorable friend put on record her interest in the work of the active change foundation in walthamstow? it not only set up the "not in my name" campaign, which both the prime minister and the president of the united states have talked about, but is doing exactly the kind of work my right honorable friend is talking about and which we should be doing more of. >> i am delighted to place on record my appreciation for that organisation and my honorable friend's commitment. we have debated the prevent strategy many times in this chamber. in his statement on 1 september, i was delighted that the prime minister said -- "we should be clear about the root cause of this threat -- a poisonous ideology of islamist extremism, a warped world view,
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and we should be clear that this has nothing to do with islam." i am grateful for that and for the many statements that religious people in this country, including imams, have made in response to atrocities. we are now beginning to move from condemnation to a proper narrative about the fact that such atrocities are not justified by the religion, but we have a long way to go. i urge the prime minister to be more courageous and to say that we need to support credible scholars to develop a view of islam in a modern day, 21st -- century democracy, where muslims are in a minority, that is more relevant to everyday life and that will protect and build the resilience of young people. that is difficult work and we will be accused of trying to tell people what to believe in their religion, which is not the place of a government in a democracy, but the work is urgent and needs to be done. i ask the prime minister and the home secretary to come back to this house with a proper plan for how we are going to conduct the counter-narrative to the ideology. the home office has the research, information and communications unit, but it is small and is not doing the kind of effective work it could do. it needs to be bolstered and to take in the best ideas from all
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of our partners around the world in order to build a narrative, and that must be done in a practical way so that we can show people that this is not the future for our country. i usually give way to my honorable friend the member for birmingham, but i am afraid i do not have time now. i want to give two examples of why this work is so important. members will probably have seen in today's newspapers the case of samira salih al-nuaimi, who was a human rights lawyer in mosul. she was taken and brought before a sharia law court and tortured for five days. she was sentenced to public execution and murdered on monday. she was a brave human rights lawyer. that is what a caliphate does and that is what this ideology is -- it is mediaeval and it is about human trafficking and exploitation. secondly, there are people in this country like the young man from brighton whose mum said he was brainwashed. she had no idea and does not want other people to follow him. those are the reasons i want to see the prime minister back here with a proper counter-narrative ideology plan, and i will
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support him in that. >> i, too, remember the speech made by robin cook in 2003. i remember it with great admiration and perhaps a little emotion, not least, of course, because he resigned from the government as a result of his views and joined the rest of us who voted against them in the lobby that evening. this is not, however, 2003. it is an entirely different set of circumstances, an important feature of which is the fact that we would be responding to a request made by the lawful government of syria. i meant iraq. i have syria on the brain and will come back to it in a moment. the very existence of the
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government of iraq and, indeed, the country for which they are responsible is undoubtedly at stake. in my view, there is a legal basis -- it has been referred to by many of those who have already spoken -- for what we are being asked to endorse today. >> given that air strikes alone will not achieve victory over isis, who has the plans and the determination to win on the ground now? that, i hope, is the product of the alliance that the united states, through president obama and the efforts of secretary of state john kerry, have been putting together. as an illustration of that commitment is the fact that five countries in the region have joined in to support the air
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strikes carried out so far. no, i am afraid that i must move on. no, i am afraid that i must move on. the circumstances faced by iraq are such that its very survival is at stake. it is important that we exercise a degree of responsibility in the matter. although it is not the sole cause of the current circumstances in iraq, there is no doubt that the military action in which we joined with the united states against saddam hussein has been a major contributor to the circumstances in which we find ourselves. let me deal with the question of syria.
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i am content that were there to be a motion to the effect that we should take similar action in syria, there exists a proper and sound legal basis for such action. indeed, the very factors that justify intervention in iraq would be of equal weight in relation to syria. those are, to put it briefly, the barbarism that is being displayed, and the fact that regional stability is being heavily undermined. let us remind ourselves that such undermining of stability has an impact on countries such as jordan, a close ally that would be a necessary component were there ever to be a global settlement for peace in the middle east. we must also recognise that the arab countries that have joined in have exercised a degree of responsibility in doing so. in many cases, they are taking on elements in their own
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countries that are opposed. how would any other country, faced with that decision, feel in the event that the motion that we are debating were not passed? it has been suggested that we need a united nations resolution before we can embark on any action of the kind that is proposed, or indeed on similar action in relation to syria. we must accept the reality that the prospect of a united nations security council resolution is totally remote. indeed, even to put such a resolution on the table would be a wholly pointless exercise because of the attitude that would undoubtedly be taken by russia and possibly also by china. the language that has been used so far has been about destruction, but i am not sure that it is possible to destroy an ideology.
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i am not sure that it is possible to destroy a cult of the kind that now exercises such malign influence. one thing that we most certainly can do is to adopt a policy of containment and deterrence. to do that, we have to degrade its military capability and create circumstances in which any return to barbarism will be met by swift and effective action. i think we would do best to agree that we are not likely to embark on a successful process of destruction, but that we can have an effective doctrine of deterrence and containment. there is no parallel between today's debate and the debate on iraq in 2003, but there is a parallel with kosovo. when kosovo was an issue, with
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considerations similar to those that we are discussing -- not least ethnic cleansing -- the international community was able to deal with the situation without a resolution. a lot has been said about the long term, but we do not have that luxury. >> order. >> it is so easy to despair. in politics, especially, how often do we obsess about small differences rather than about the biggest challenges? too often, we are interested by the internal workings of westminster power, and we stop looking outwards. we turn away from the world and in on ourselves, but that is a mistake. our country is internationalist in outlook and, to us, all people matter, just as our neighbours and our families matter. people in iraq matter. the conflict has innocent victims who have been scared out of
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their homes -- women, men and children who take no part in violence but who will lose the most. isil has executed a murderous and disastrously effective campaign of violence. this summer, it has taken control of iraqi cities and exploited the fragile political situation to cause terror and devastate morale. isil has demonstrated that it has a serious stock of military equipment that it is prepared to use to attack indiscriminately. it must be stopped. >> in the past 20 years, the the united nations has moved, and it now places a responsibility on its member states to deal with genocide when it occurs in the world. that does not, in my view, require a security council resolution. we need to do something when people are threatened in this world. >> i will say more about internationalism shortly. some people will say that the
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conflict is not our fight, and we should leave it to those who are closer by. for those who feel strongly, it is tempting to offer a counsel of despair and walk away. it is much harder to set about dealing with violent threats in a complicated context where the risks are high. in response, i say that we all want peace, and the only question is how to achieve it. the uk should not dictate the answer to the violence or carelessly interfere, but that does not mean that we should turn our back while the violence persists. in answering the question of whether we should do anything or nothing, we have to ask ourselves what good we can do. no one is talking about walking away. the only argument is over whether bombing is the way to resolve the long -- standing
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political problems in iraq and the surrounding region. >> as i have said, in answering the question of whether we should do anything or nothing, we have to ask ourselves what good we can do. conflict in the middle east seems to invite comparisons, but although we should learn from history, the search for patterns and repetition can be misleading. there is no reason why the future should necessarily be like the past. in fact, our job is to make sure that it is not. isil is a serious and growing force that is wreaking havoc on the iraqi government and on innocent people. the iraqi government have asked us to help, and we have the capacity to do so. our government have made their aims clear, and the leader of the opposition has set the right tests. we in this house must offer scrutiny as best we are able and make the success of the operation more likely. a vital factor in that success will be to cut off the financial supply to isil, as my honorable
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friend the member for leicester west said earlier. a united nations security council resolution on that point was adopted on 14 august, and it would be helpful to know what progress has been made. there are other facts that matter. we are talking not simply about security, vital though that is, but about politics and development. we need more than a military response. peace requires not only the absence of violence but the meeting of other needs. basic needs must be met to keep the vulnerable alive, and all who are affected must be shown a way out of the conflict. in the past, the uk, via the department for international development, has put reasonably substantial sums into development focused assistance for iraq. that ended in 2012 when the bilateral programme ended. this year, dfid's budget for iraq has been more than £25 million, but only £4.3 million has been spent so far. do we need to increase efforts to ensure that money that has been committed can be spent effectively and soon?
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we must question whether that is enough support. by way of comparison, we will spend some £75 million this year in syria, and a similar sum in yemen. i want to make two further points about development, the first of which concerns long -- term needs. the budget that i have mentioned is for a single 12-month iraq emergency humanitarian assistance programme to help 65,000 ordinary iraqis who are in serious need. it will be used to provide emergency medicines, food and basic shelter, and to reunite families. at what point can we see more longer term development assistance, rather than simply humanitarian assistance? instead of emergency aid, such longer term assistance would support the wider development needs of victims of the conflict. have the government discussed that possibility internationally?
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do ministers know how many children are losing out on their education as a result of the conflict? schools in the kurdish region are being used for shelter, which is the right thing to do, but it means that many children are losing out on their chances and hope for the future. in addition, what is the risk to wider health care needs? the iraqi government must be supported to maintain not simply the hard infrastructure that the country will need -- power, transport and water -- but the vital infrastructure of public services. development assistance must work alongside military answers to isil. is the minister working alongside the military in planning? [interruption.] >> order. there is quite a persistent chatter in the house, which is, frankly, discourteous. all colleagues should be heard with courtesy. please let us do so. >> thank you, mr. speaker. refugees.ask about we were able to help a handful of the most vulnerable people from syria to take refuge in our country. i would like to ask whether we can do more.
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the refugee crisis now is colossal. this country must live up to its obligations and our moral duty to help those who have done nothing to cause the conflict and are innocent victims of it. victims of violence in iraq need our help, and our military assistance, but our job is far bigger than that. we must also try, limited though our power is, to win the peace. >> the threats that isil poses are very clear. the humanitarian outrages that it has already perpetrated have been on our television screens and in our newspapers. isil threatens the destabilisation of the region and an all-out religious war. it will be a global exporter of jihad if we allow it to be. therefore, the question of whether to act or not is a relatively simple one. however, in choosing to act, we must do so politically, economically and militarily, all in concert.
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politically, we need greater regional support even than we have had until now. that includes turkey, which is a key player in the region and a strong nato ally. we also need a clear view from the regional powers on exactly what political shape they want to achieve in the region. if anything, the lesson we learned from iraq is that military victory, where it is possible, is only the beginning of a much more difficult process. >> does the right honorable gentleman agree that countries, including turkey, cyprus and others, in the region need to do much more to disrupt the flow of fighters from europe and elsewhere to iraq and syria and indeed back here, if possible? >> it is the duty of all those who wish to see international order maintained to do everything in their power to disrupt the flow of such people. all conflicts are ideological and this conflict is no
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different. we require political and religious leaders in the region to be much more vocal about the fact that this has nothing to do with islam, that it is a cruel, barbaric, mediaeval and misogynistic creed, and that it is not religion but a political perversion. we also need to make those messages clear to those young, impressionable individuals in britain who may be considering becoming involved in such an enterprise. those who are already there need to understand that they are not welcome back in this country and that the full force of the law will be applied should they come back. they cannot take a jihad gap year and come back to the uk with impunity. the question of oil has been mentioned but, through the international financial system, we also need to stop financial flows to isis. it is very well funded and we must stop groups in the region
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playing a double game, publicly decrying isis but providing it with the funding it requires. >> my right honorable friend is making an important point about the economic levers that need to be deployed. would he agree that there is a serious dichotomy? some of the middle east coalition allies in the current arrangement also fund the export of undesirable aspects of islamic fundamentalism, particularly to north and west africa. >> i agree. not only are those countries funders, but ideologically they give succour and support to groups, such as isil, that have been causing trouble in the region. those countries cannot have it both ways. when it comes to military action, i absolutely welcome the decision to use british air
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power. it has been obvious for some time that the forces on the ground were not able to achieve a military solution because they did not have sufficient air power. however, in applying british air power, we must understand that this is not just about dealing with the command and control, or even supply lines, of isil. close air support will be required if there is to be a successful counter -- offensive by any ground forces in the conflict. we need to understand the risks that that will pose to our forces. however, it is a mistake not to include syria in today's motion. isil operates from syria. it attacks individuals, communities and the iraqi state itself from syria. there is a clear legal case for attacking isil bases in syria. i am afraid that sooner or later we are going to have to do it.
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it would be far better if we said so explicitly today. >> does my right honorable friend agree that when isis, or isil, is defeated in syria, it is important to fill the vacuum with the opposition free syrian army, rather than allowing the murderous assad regime to take over as that would be counterproductive? >> there is no doubt that the situation in syria is complex and difficult.
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my point was simply that, if we want to defeat isil, we cannot do it without defeating it in syria, where it has bases from which it operates. otherwise, we are giving ourselves an impossible task, which will get us into the mire later. >> will my right honorable friend give way on that point? >> no. we need to be clear in this country that we cannot disengage from the global threats that we face. it is clear to us that there are those out there who hate us ideologically for who we are, not what we do. when the us was bombing isil and we were delivering humanitarian aid, it did not differentiate between an american hostage and a british hostage who were beheaded. terrorism and terrorist ideology respect no borders. acting will undoubtedly have a cost on this occasion, but the cost of not acting would be infinitely greater. >> there is little time, so i will try to deal with just some of the issues. clearly, we have needs, opportunities and tasks to complete. as i understand it, the plan, which has not been explained terribly well, is that we should just be part of a process to try to find, fix and then, as the americans would describe it, finish the opposition. our contribution to the process at the moment is, at best, to help to fix the enemy in the position it is in -- and not allow it to advance and do any more harm -- and perhaps to do more than that if we can.
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that is part of a campaign. in many respects, the language is over-ambitious, it always is. it is about wars on terror and eliminating and destroying. that needs to be better calibrated but, as i understand it, our part is in what possibly is not yet a fully formed strategy, but which is a developing campaign. we need to make whatever contribution we can to a long-term process. as a number of hon. members have said, that involves diplomatic activity as much as military activity. we need to do a lot more on that. we also need to do a lot more on the financial activity and the ideology that is peddled. my right honorable friend from salford and eccles made an important point, to which i will return.
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we need to invest in those processes because we have been disinvesting in them. therefore, we have opportunities. we need to understand that others have made progress. it is interesting to see a woman jet pilot from the uae flying an f-16 in combat. other nations are making progress. one should not deny the success that is being achieved. that does not solve everything but it shows that a different discussion is going on in the region. three years ago, in conjunction with the royal united services institute, i set up a defence and diplomacy group in parliament because it was clear that the strategic focus had moved and we were behind the game. therefore, we must not make that mistake. there is an opportunity, no more than that, that we must develop and work on. some rapprochement between iran and saudi arabia may be possible. it is a dirty business, it always is. sometimes one has to speak to people one does not want to speak to in order to make progress. i did that for 25 years as a trade union official -- get over
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it and get on with it is the answer. you have to make progress and recognise success when one sees it. there are those tasks but we must invest in the ability to do them. we must not only create space by fixing the enemy but enable the countries in the region to be helped to do things for themselves. we must do things for ourselves, too. we have dramatically disinvested. we do not have jones the spy where we need to have jones the spy because we have not been paying the money to have intelligence on the ground to understand the position. we have disinvested in our intelligence, at home and internationally. we need to understand that this a long-term process, and that in doing all these things we need to make a long-term investment. >> is the honorable gentleman in any way perturbed by the open -- ended nature of this motion?
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>> it is a reality. i am perturbed by it, but i also recognise the fact that it is the realpolitik. there is no way that we will make this change in the short term, and neither will we make it in a twitter debate of 140 characters. as i have said to you, mr. speaker, on a number of occasions, we used to have defence debates in this parliament on a regular basis -- a full day of discussion and you need to reinstate them. this will be a long-term process, and this debate will not be the only discussion about it. we will be discussing this matter for the next 15 years and we need the structure to do that. >> my honorable friend knows about these things. is it not a fact that this whole debate, and all the build -- up to it, is in reality about the deployment of about six tornado aircraft in north iraq? if we are genuine about being humanitarian, would it not be better to deploy about 60 fully laden cargo aircraft to deliver medical supplies, food and water
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to the affected areas? >> the truth is that to put six jets in the air takes a lot more than six people -- i tell the house that for nothing -- and we are already contributing with intelligence, humanitarian support and all the rest of it. he makes the point that, yes, this will involve long term investment and a long -- term commitment in terms of expenditure on a whole range of places, including perhaps on scrubbing up our bases in cyprus and other places. we have to invest to do that stuff. i will just talk about the law for a moment. i led a report for the defence committee earlier. in fact, i surprised myself when i discovered that it was 2013 when we produced it -- about the legal framework for military personnel in future operations. we have domestic difficulties with all that. the debate about combat immunity
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has not gone away. the reason i want to raise this issue now is that there seems to be a settled view in some places that there is a legality to going into syria. that is our next debate. it is not a debate for today, because today we are only talking about operating in iran -- sorry, iraq, freudian slip. if an aeroplane were to go down in iraq, the search and rescue mission would not be a problem; should an aeroplane go down in syria, there could well be a problem. there is this "hot pursuit" argument being made, that if iraq is now defending itself, it is therefore legitimate for it to go over the border into syria to do so, and to be supported by the americans and others. however, do we all of a sudden vicariously gain legal legitimacy because we are part of the support activity for that process? where would that situation leave individual members of the military in terms of their legal certainty? that is a discussion that we will need to have if we get to that point. i understand the arguments that this situation is like kosovo, that this is collective defence and that it is all these different things, but we need to have a serious discussion about this issue.
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the only thing i would say to those who say, "well, we can make all these decisions today, it is already done and it is all very certain", is that i do not think it is very certain, including in our own supreme court. i think we would find that out if we were to go and ask it. so we should just be careful about what we do. the issue of protection is equally as important for the individual as it is for the collective approach that we are taking. i will vote for the motion today, despite the fact i think it is being badly sold. i tell government members, "you need to get your act together", because i do not think the general public understand that this motion is a component part of what is a broader developing campaign that will develop into something we might call a strategy. government members need to sell their goods a bit better. i think that i understand the motion, but what i also understand is that we have a series of tasks ahead. it is easy to talk to others about what they should do, but i say to government members, "you need to address what you need to do." >> i shall be very brief. first, i applaud the tone and measure of the prime minister's speech to the house today.
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secondly, i concur with almost everything that my right honorable and learned friend the member for rushcliffe said, he has successfully shot all my foxes. therefore, i only want to say that in my time in this house the failures in our policy in the middle east, under all governments, have been really serious. the lesson that we and this government have learned needs to be highlighted today. it is that the diplomacy that has gone on ahead of the formation of this coalition has been magnificent. it is a new effort in bringing in our coalition partners in this effort -- saudi arabia, qatar, jordan, bahrain, the uae and others -- to take part in their fight. it is not the west's fight. it is their fight, and we are in support of their efforts. it should be marked, and marked well, by the country that we are in support of an arab coalition. i endorse the point that the
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hon. gentleman made in his excellent speech about the need for further and greater intelligence capability on the ground. i am not party to decisions about that capability. i do not know -- of course, correctly -- what we have there already, but whatever we have, it is not enough. in all these operations, we need to know much more than we do about the immense intricacy and complication of the tribal structure, and the way that it works. in his admirable speech some time ago, the chairman of the defence committee, my honorable friend made these points very clearly indeed. intelligence is the key to all future operations of this type. i conclude by saying only that i, together with every other person in this house and in the wider country, wish good luck and safe return to our tornado pilots, who i can assure the house will make a magnificent effort on our behalf.
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>> the threat posed by the barbarism, brutality and savagery of isil is not merely a threat to the sunnis, shi'as, kurds, christians and yazidis of iraq itself. isil poses a clear and present threat to the people of the united kingdom. it is a clear and present threat to the territorial integrity of iraq, the government of which has asked us to intervene by way of air strikes. and it is a clear and present threat to regional stability, international security and civilisation in general. for those reasons, we are in a different place from where we were a year ago when this house was last asked to consider military action. that time, in syria and for those reasons we in the democratic unionist party will support military action, unlike last time. a plea has gone out to the country.
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the sovereign nation of iraq faces a perilous time and it has submitted a request for assistance at this crucial juncture, to assist it in protecting its national security, and the security and safety of its people. with our history of fighting for freedom, democracy, justice, and human rights, how can we as a nation turn our backs and reject such a plea? this time, there is no question mark about the legality and validity of intervention in these circumstances, and there is certainly no question mark about the need for immediate intervention. the savagery, sheer brutality and scale of the genocidal wave of terror sweeping the region is truly terrifying. it is a savagery and obscenity that continues to shock even the most hardened commentators and those with great experience of previous conflicts. in northern ireland, we are well used to the impact of terrorism
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on families and communities. we have seen it first hand and directly. however, this terrorism is on a different scale. it is a mediaeval-type barbarism, which people in the country want a response to. >> does my right honorable friend agree that any decision to take military action is not one that will be taken lightly by any right honorable or hon. member of this house, bearing in mind the sacrifice or the dangers facing our servicemen and women, but that we cannot sit idly by and allow a group of islamic fanatics to terrorise and butcher innocent people in iraq? >> i am grateful to my honorable friend and clearly, the dangers are great for our servicemen and women. i pay tribute to them and salute them for their efforts in many conflicts, and again they are being asked to do a job on behalf of the people of this country.
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the house is coming together to ask them do that job. we wish them well, and we know that they will display the courage, gallantry and effectiveness that they always display in these situations. >> does the right honorable gentleman accept that if the house had voted last year to go into syria, or to bomb syria, in effect we would have been on the same side as isis and fighting the same battle as isil, and does that not lead us all to show a great degree of caution about the fact that within one year circumstances can change rapidly in an incredibly volatile civil war going on in that region? >> he is right to say that the situation then may have led to the consequences that he outlines, which is why we in the dup voted against intervention in syria at that time. in any future situation that arises where a motion comes before the house, whether on syria or the intervention of combat troops, we will take our decisions at the time on the merits of the circumstances. we are taking this decision today on the merits of the
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circumstances that are before us in the house, and we believe that it is right and imperative that we give the assistance for which the iraqi government have asked. it is on a sound legal basis and it will be according to a well-thought out plan and will make an effective difference. that is the difference between now and last time. >> no, i cannot give way because i have used up all the interventions. despite what we have said about the barbarism and savagery of isil, which is well documented and people can see it for themselves on their tv screens and read about it, there are people who will ask why the uk should get involved and directly intervene in such a situation, for the reasons that have been outlined by many already. isil's brutality and savagery are aimed not just at the peoples of iraq, but present a clear threat to this country, the west and the region in
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general. unless that threat is confronted now, we will be storing up much greater trouble for this country and our citizens in the future. we have seen the brutal murder of david haines, the kidnapping of and the threat against alan henning, and others who have been brutally terrorised and murdered. it is not just that isil presents a threat to the uk. this organisation has already taken direct action against the citizens of the united kingdom, and that demands a response on the part of this country. we simply cannot allow the creation and consolidation of a state covering large swathes of territory that would be the base for the planning and direction of terrorism against this country and on a worldwide scale. hundreds of people have already gone to the region from this country and have engaged in terrorist activity and in war.
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we need to be clear that as we embark on this action in this house today we also say to the people of the united kingdom that we will take the decisive and clear action that is needed to prevent people from this country who have gone to the middle east, to iraq and syria, from returning and becoming a major direct threat to the citizens of this united kingdom. it would be simply wrong to take this action today and then to say that we will not be able, for whatever reason, to take action to prevent these people from coming back to the united kingdom. the two have to go hand in hand. if parliament were to reject this request today, it would send the disastrous signal that the united kingdom does not stand by its friends and allies in times of trouble and that it is prepared to ignore the barbarism of isil and our international responsibilities and obligations. intervention is justified
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because it is on a sound legal basis. it is at the request of the iraqi government and there is already a clear and direct threat to the united kingdom through the murders of british citizens. we will be part of a coalition that includes sunni muslim states. there is a clear plan and we can make an effective difference for the better. the barbarism of isil has already targeted uk citizens and we must respond to that, we will be feeling our people. >> more on the international response to isis. we would have the iraqi speech from the iraqis president. that, chuck hagel briefs reporters on the u.s. response to isis.
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>> this weekend, saturday night a national town hall on the critical and impact of voting. sunday evening, washington post columnist sally quinn. night, matt rectal on the distractions of technology and its impact on society. the ninth annual brooklyn book festival. author jonathan white on the role of the union army. dunlapnight, and that explains the evolution of first lady said fashion. the programsbout you are watching. he send us a tweet.
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join the conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. thereaqi president says is no other option but to defeat isis everywhere. in his address at the u n general assembly he thanked the international community for the support and aid thus far in iraq's fight to combat isis. this is 20 minutes. >> in the name of god, the compassionate and merciful, your accent on see -- your excellency assembly,of the
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ladies and gentlemen. of on behalf him on hisulate has -- ofs president the general assembly. we wish all success during this session. i would like to thank the secretary general for the support in the march of my country, something that we think lies in iraq. gentlemen, 14 years state and governments committed to the development goals focusing on issues that remain to that moment, vital.
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social and economic developments, the protection of international peace and security disarmament,the the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, whose very name incites fear among everyone. fighting terrorism and organized crime, guaranteeing human rights, and coordination on humanitarian system efforts, and the promotion of international law. we would like to remind you of our bitter memory wmds andperience of
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chemical weapons in 1988 at the hands of the sectarian regime. , we will ben celebrating the 70th anniversary of the funding of the united .ations as an organization this occasion and the tasks it has achieved, to make more initiatives and settle disputes, and remote human rights and larger freedoms, and celebrate the beijing conference rate that was a turning point in seeking to promote the rights of women to which womene are exposed. we need to promote efforts to protect our planet revolution
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and to seek to create a sound environment to fight the problems of poverty and illiteracy. successnd gentlemen the of political parties in iraq and establishing a government of national unity that represents every iraqi was extremely important. it is important that everyone represents them. the aspirations and hopes, to move with their state to another era of stability and progress. buildrnment that seeks to with neighborly relationships built on understanding the guaranteeing peace in the region states on the basis
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of mutual interest and neighborliness. the establishment of the government was a firm response to a real danger stalking us, the isis danger. international terror action by attacking innocent civilians. .t took terror into a new era isis was able to occupy areas in more than one city in iraq and syria and established a state based on hatred and rejecting the other. we saw in the past few months this heinous terrorist organization committed crimes against humanity. it killed, it displays committee committed genocide, ethnic suffering and all the
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with all parts of iraq he people by horrific crimes. it kidnapped women and sold them as captives. it destroyed religious shrines and houses of worship, as well as historic monuments. it oppressed people on the basis of their ethnic identities and targeted minorities. we would like to thank the free people of the world who expressed their dismay and rejected these crimes as well as set in solidarity with the victims. this terrorist organization enjoys huge financial assets. state,aring the islamic they became a hotbed to attract
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militants and extremists in the middle east and the world. they are declaring allegiance to this regime. they started working, among the , thedangerous phenomenon emergence of a new generation of terrorists. and europeanican citizenship. forces and the defense volunteers were able to stop the progress of isis and stop their occupation. we succeeded in liberating cities that had been occupied by the terrorists of this organization. we were able to break the siege on cities they used to lay siege to. the humanitarian and military
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support but we received, the state of the, european union, and other friendly states played a vital .ole in assisting us , which we shall never support, concerns to our people that we are not fighting terror. i would like to express the appreciation and gratitude of the people of iraq and all their stripes. an appreciation by its government over -- to all those the in a by us against maze of humanity. we would like to thank those who made efforts to bring to success the conferences.
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those who made every effort to adult a security council resolution in facing terrorism and the challenges exposed to everyone. ofwe leave here, hundreds us,laced refugees look to those who were forced to leave their homes without taking with them some of the most simple possessions. millions of defenseless civilians who have been forced tyranny ofer the isis terrorists also look to us. their protection and the relief is our responsibility. we call me international community to stand by our side and support our efforts, and those of international
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organizations and friendly countries in alleviating the suffering of refugees who still need to look forward to return to their homeland, and get rid of isis. organization is -- eliminating this organization can only be achieved by swarming a unified global front to fight their financial organization and military forces. clones ourrmined to lands -- to cleanse our lands from misys, it will be an important step in the direction of protecting the world and ridding the world from this
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danger. tribute to the resolution prevent supporting, terrorists, and convinced their flow into iraq. we would like to pay tribute to the resolution of the human rights council, which condemned ices and established a fact-finding committee to investigate crimes against humanity, a vital organization. in the context of this international position vis-à-vis and while we
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consolidate the value and culture of use and coexisted iraq call forin the institutionalization of this responsible position against terrorism related to the united nations and for such an institution to be tasked with developing and operationalizing and international solidarity against terrorism in all its forms and rid the world from the evil. we believe the time has come to work collectively in the country , in the region so that all countries of the region would work to defuse security tensions and arrive internally at understand things that contribute in tightening the space available to terrorism that usually lives on conflict
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and strife. send important messages to the iraqi people, including the statements, declarations, resolutions adopted therein. we hope all these decoration -- meet practical measures. ladies and gentlemen, it pains of theee the suffering fraternal palestinian people in gaza and other palestinian territories. we renew our call on the international community to honor its commitment towards the palestinian people and exert concerted effort to restore peace, restored to negotiating table, and in the conflict and achieve peace and security.
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we wish our brothers in yemen and libya ability, that they would be able to get rid of the threat of terrorism and extremism. and wish them success and progress in the democratic path chosen by the people. we hope the fraternal syrian people would be able to overcome the dilemma. we hope that syrians would unite their efforts to arrive at the political solution that ends the bloodshed and preserves life. we hope such a solution would achieve democracy to serious and security to our region. regioned tension in our extremismupportive of and to radical ideology. this makes us want to work together to expedite the search
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for solutions to the problems that will contribute and create a humanitarian environment based on civilization, culture, and freedom. with regard to the situation in the ukraine, we express our concern vis-à-vis the dangers of the situation. we believe the international community cannot allow an exacerbation of this conflict. and the dire consequences on civilians, those who have been displaced or forced to live in the conflict zone. ladies and gentlemen, iraq is interested in the result arrived at by the working group on sustainable development goals. report, we believe the results constitute an important step, they deserve appreciation. we truly value the efforts made by the group to arrive at its
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conclusion. terrorism in all its forms and manifestations did not occupying the space it deserves in the report of the group. it would have been who report to address this challenge and an objective on its own, and to ,ook into its manifestations causes, repercussions, and ways to address it. humanityd gentlemen, was able to work throughout this era to promote human partnership and enhance the prospects for peace, freedom, human rights, prosperity, and security. astand here before you today a representative of this country that was decimated by terror for
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over a decade. on behalf of the millions of orphans, i martyrs, stopped her to tell you that we have no other option but to defeat ices everywhere. we look forward to the future determination will assist us to liberate our society from this risk that continues to threaten mass. thank you for your attention. >> pakistan's prime minister for peace invision the region. this is 20 minutes. >> mr. president i congratulate
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, mr. sam kutesa over his election as the president of this assembly. i assure him that his priorities -- revitalization of the general assembly, sustainable development, climate change and peaceful settlement of disputes -- are also our priorities. our delegation will extend its support to him, to achieve these objectives. i also pay tribute to mr. john ashe for his effective leadership of the past session of the general assembly. we commend the secretary general's efforts to find diplomatic solutions to complex challenges to international peace and security.we appreciate his leadership in hosting a climate summit. extreme weather patterns are disrupting world economies. in pakistan, we have directly
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experienced such a calamity only recently. the monsoon floods in pakistan have killed hundreds of people, the international community should intensify its efforts to move from awareness to commitments, to actions on climate change. particularlyomies in developing countries. mr. president, this is a defining moment for the united nations. as it embarks on the task of transforming the lives of billions of people, by investing in sustainable development in the next fifteen years. we are setting ourselves a vital target of eradicating poverty by 2030.
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to do that, we need to go beyond the millennium development goals. we need a new approach to eliminate conflict and violence and reduce inequality within and among nations. only then, we will be able to ensure healthy lives, empower women and girls, improve quality of education, create jobs and guarantee supply of affordable energy. the time is ripe for such ambition and action. the sustainable development goals crafted so far, must be woven in an overarching framework. we must prioritize them. first things should come first. peace, stability, and inclusive economic growth - all come first. at the national level, we have launched our vision 2025, which puts people first.
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this is inspired by our founding father, quaid-i-azam mohammad ali jinnah's vision of a welfare state, based on the principles of justice, equity and responsibility. in the coming decade, we will develop human and social capital through investment in education, health and gender parity; stimulate sustained economic , prioritize energy, water and food security; modernize public sector, and encourage private sector-led entrepreneurship. we have determined that regional peace and security, political stability in the country, the rule of law and social justice are absolutely crucial for the realization of these goals. above all, we will continue to work for the promotion and protection of human rights. energy is key to economic
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development. pakistan co-chairs the group of friends of un secretary general's initiative on sustainable energy for all. the objectives of this initiative are also our national goals. mr. president, it is my government's aspiration and effort to build a peaceful neighborhood by pursuing a policy of constructive engagement. in south asia, our people have missed opportunities for prosperity because of unresolved conflicts. we have a choice today: continue with the status quo or to seize the moment to resolve all outstanding issues and free up our shared energies for cooperation. to take this course of high statesmanship, we need more, not
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less, dialogue and diplomacy. we need to respect each other's rights and sensibilities. we must have relationships based on equality, mutual respect and transparency. we were disappointed at the cancellation of the foreign secretary-level talks by india. the world community, too, rightly saw it as another missed opportunity. pakistan is convinced that we must remain engaged in the dialogue process for settling disputes and building economic and trade relations. let us not ignore the dividends of peace. more than six decades ago, the united nations passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in jammu and kashmir. the people of jammu and kashmir are still waiting for the
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fulfillment of that promise. many generations of kashmiris have lived their lives under occupation, accompanied by violence and abuse of their fundamental rights. kashmiri women, in particular, have suffered immensely. for decades, attempts have been made, both under un auspices and bilaterally in the spirit of the lahore declaration, to resolve this dispute. the core issue of jammu and kashmir has to be resolved. this is the responsibility of the international community. we cannot draw a vale on the issue of kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of jammu and kashmir. pakistan is ready to work for resolution of this issue through negotiations. our support and advocacy of the right to self-determination of the people of jammu and kashmir
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is our historic commitment and a duty, as a party to the kashmir dispute. mr. president, afghanistan is going through momentous security, political and economic transitions. as always, pakistan stands in solidarity with the fraternal afghan people. i congratulate the people of afghanistan over the successful completion of the electoral process and offer our warm felicitations and good wishes to the new afghan leadership. it is our earnest hope that these landmark processes would culminate in the emergence of a stronger, more stable, and unified afghanistan. we also hope that the process of inclusive afghan-led and afghan-owned reconciliation would move forward, contributing to greater harmony, stability
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and prosperity in afghanistan. pakistan remains committed to forging a deeper bilateral relationship with afghanistan on the basis of equal security and shared prosperity. our two nations confront common challenges, which call for greater cooperation and understanding. we have reached out to afghanistan to address difficult and build on convergences. we have made headway in this effort. pakistan continues to host, for
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people ofsummer the gaza were subjected to mass atrocities by israel. we condemned the indiscriminate killings which amounted to genocide. from this platform i once again andey condolences sympathies to the people of palestine over the continuing plight. we welcome the cease-fire between gaza and israel. next up's must the taken. the blockade of gaza must be lifted, palestinian prisoners freed and illegal settlements halted. the united nations should facilitate a just and lasting solution of the palestinian issue, based on the relevant un resolutions. we call on all parties in syria to renounce military and
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militant means and hold dialogue to restore peace and stability in their historic land. the emergence of new militant entities in the middle east once again illustrate that terrorism is a global threat. this primitive force in iraq and syria is an aberration, which has no sanction of any religion. it must be countered with unified and resolute will. we condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. we are fighting terrorism planted on pakistan's soil. our valiant soldiers are laying down their lives to take out terrorists and tear down their evil networks. the entire nation is behind them. in the past thirteen years, as a frontline state, we have given enormous sacrifices in blood and resources.
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tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured. our economy too has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in direct costs and denied investment opportunities. yet, in this fight, each time a soldier falls, another takes his place proudly. it is the resolve of our nation to fight this scourge to the finish. at the same time, we have made a plan of action for the relief and rehabilitation of nearly one million internally dislocated persons. this includes a strategy to prevent return and resurgence of militancy and creation of a safe environment for the local population. mr. president, it is important to counter the rp's keeping is rooted in our
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belief that every nation should contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security . inspired by the idea, pakistan has maintained that their participation,. we contribute more than 1100 troops to the central african republic despite the dire situation there. as a responsible nuclear weapon state, we will continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; and pursue a policy of nuclear restraint and credible minimum deterrence. pakistan is not participating in any arms race in the region. yet we cannot be oblivious to the emerging security scenarios and buildup of armaments. we too, have the obligation to maintain a robust and reliable deterrence.
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i would reiterate the need for an inter-linked mechanism for pursuing nuclear restraint, conventional equilibrium and conflict resolution. to promote stability, we are prepared to explore new confidence building measures. mr. president, pakistan has maintained the highest standards of nuclear safety and security. at the last summit at the hague that i attended, pakistan's recent nuclear measures, especially the establishment of a centre of excellence, were appreciated. pakistan is a state with advanced nuclear technology, with an experience of more than 40 years. we are a mainstream partner in the international non-proliferation regime. pakistan also has a stringent national export control system that is fully harmonized with
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international export control regimes. though a non-member, we are abiding by their guidelines. pakistan ought to be a part of these export control regimes, especially the nuclear suppliers group. pakistan also qualifies for full access to civil nuclear technology, to overcome its energy shortages and spur economic growth. the ongoing un reform must be comprehensive. we support a reform of the security council that would reflect the interests of all members' states - small, medium-sized, and large -- and not the ambitions of a few. there should be no new permanent seats in the council. this will be contrary to the democratic character of this world body. we want the council to become
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more representative, equitable, accountable and transparent. we meet here today on the cusp of a new era for the international community. never before has the united nations embraced such lofty goals to banish poverty, stimulate development, protect environment and foster peace, as it will during this session. the future of our planet hinges on our decisions. let us deliver them with full responsibility and wisdom. pakistan will assist this assembly and the united nations as a whole, to make this world a better place for all mankind. i thank you. [applause] few comments we have received from viewers.
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both easy. enjoy it looks like you are experimenting and trying to find a new format. i want to discourage it. is one of thev smartest things on television. think that is what everybody hope television would be. it is too bad there isn't a cable channel devoted to it. i am glad c-span is doing it. it is important. i can't tell you how many books i have bought because i have watched that. tell you ilike to don't watch to book tv anymore because i can't figure out what's going to be shown. i used to watch it over the weekend and comcast in massachusetts does not tell me. it just says to be announced, or they are going to be talking
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about some book but they only give you the first two words of the chapter. it doesn't tell you what's going to come on. because i don't know what's going to be on i don't know whether to stay on or tape it or anything. once you are the best news source that i have at the moment. i love your show. i watch it for years. keep up the good work. >> let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us. e-mail. tweet. send us a join the conversation. now, defense secretary chuck hagel and general martin didn't see brief reporters about
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operations in iraq. he discussed the military's involvement in efforts to combat ebola in western africa. this is happened our. >> good afternoon. as you all know, this has been an important week in our campaign against isil. let me make a few comments about that campaign. and what has been going on in the last week, and then general dempsey will make some comments, and then we will take some questions. and then we will take some as i said, this week has been an important week for the u.s. and our coalition forces as we began our strikes in syria. along with france, we have conducted over 200 airstrikes in
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iraq against isil in support of iraqi forces. we have conducted 43 airstrikes in syria. combined with the ongoing efforts in iraq, these strikes will continue to deny isil freedom of movement and challenge its ability to plan and direct and sustain its operations. we also took action in syria against a network known as the khorasan group. we are still assessing the operational impact of these strikes. this was a critical operation. members of this group were actively plotting attacks against the united states and our friends' allies.
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in syria there has been no coordination, nor will there be with the assad regime. nothing is changed about our position which has shifted our approach to assad and his regime because this regime, president assad, who has lost all legitimacy. i wanted emphasize that no one is under any illusions that airstrikes alone will destroy isil. they are one element against our comprehensive campaign against isil, a campaign that has diplomatic, intelligence, and other military components, working with coalition partners and a new government in iraq. this week we move forward on each of these fronts. in new york the president chaired a u.n. security council
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meeting on stopping the flow of fighters in and out of the region. with the treasury department in the lead, the united states and our partners are intensifying efforts to cut off isil's financing, and we continue to support the iraqi government and its program of reform and reconciliation, because that is the only long-term solution to the sectarian tensions that enabled isil to rise. on wednesday, president obama met with prime minister abadi. the president stated america's support for him, his new government, and the iraqi
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people. yesterday secretary kerry met with members of the cooperation council, and the president and vice president spoke with the turkish president to strengthen our coalition's cooperation against isil. senior officials continue to coordinate with our partners. now that we have the support of congress, we are moving forward with their plan to train and equip the moderate syrian opposition. we have begun detailed military planning for this mission. assessment teams have arrived in saudi arabia. in iraq, isil's strongholds continue to pose a major challenge. but our support for iraqi and kurdish forces is enabling many iraqi units to go on the offensive. coalition forces will continue to maintain pressure on isil fighters. as the president said in his wednesday speech, this broad economic, and military campaign is underwritten by a broad multinational coalition of more than 40 nations, including five regional partners. and this coalition continues to expand. over the last two days, the governments of belgium, denmark, and the netherlands have
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announced their intention to participate in coalition airstrikes in iraq. inform me that the british parliament had just voted 524-43 to join the air campaign in iraq with the united states and our coalition partners. a broad coalition has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of our strategy against isil, and we appreciate all the contributions and commitments of our friends and allies as we continue to work closely with them and coordinate their participation and efforts. sustaining on a broad diplomatic and military campaign will require a long-term mimic from the united states and all our partners and allies. this will not be an easy or brief effort. we are at the beginning, not the end. here at the beginning, not the end of our effort to degrade
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and destroy isil. i know americans have confidence in the skill and professional of our men and women in uniform. when i had the opportunity to visit centcom last week in tech, we made a point of expressing our deep appropriation to the general and his centcom team for their hard work, their planning, and this hard work and planning and commitment to this country is keeping america secure. i am proud of them. the president is proud of them. we are all proud of them. we are proud of all these men and women who do so much for our country, and the men and women downrange who are carrying out this mission every day, with courage and designation and resolve. thank you. marty? >> thank you, mr. secretary, and i would like to reiterate that the campaign against isil will be a persistent and sustained campaign, and it will take time. as i said last week, this is not
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an iraq. this is an iraq first strategy, not an iraq only strategy. our targeted actions are disrupting isil's kinetic and control, their capabilities, and infrastructure in syria, while in iraq we are empowering a reiki partners to go back on the offensive. we will continue to build, guide, and sustained a credible coalition to include importantly arab states to set the stage for a broader international campaign against isil. our military actions are part of a comprehensive strategy that includes disrupting your financing, interdicting, recruitment and movement of foreign fighters and exposing isil's false narratives, in particular, stripping away their cloak of religious lives is a messy behind which they high. while the situation in the middle east involves and continues to demand attention,
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we have pressing challenges in other areas. the ebola outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen. this is an emergency beyond a public health crisis that has significant humanitarian, economic, political, and security dimensions. as part of the inter-agency and international response, we are leveraging military capabilities to establish command and control nodes, hubs, training for health care personnel, and as most of you know, i just returned from a trip to france, lithuania, and croatia were had some candid and productive discussions with my nato counterparts. russia's aggression in eastern europe and former abilities -- and vulnerability and our enduring commitment in afghanistan will continue to demand the attention of our european allies. while in europe, i had a chance to visit the american military cemetery in normandy with my
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french colleague. that sacred ground near the sands of omaha beach is a testament to the extraordinary men and women in uniform who safeguard our freedoms. today they are conducting hundreds of exercises, activities, and engagements across the globe of actions that deter conflict and i sure our allies. they are always foremost on my mind, as are their families, and with that, i will be happy to take your questions. >> mr. secretary, you mentioned the president of turkey. turkey is also speaking about a buffer zone, and raised the prospect of a no-fly zone. i know chairman dempsey have spoken about that. i'm wondering if the united states would now consider supporting actively to protect a no-fly zone or buffer zone to
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enforce one and also can you please give me some examples of how the united states is protecting against civilian casualties in syria. >> thank you. on the first question, the buffer zone issue, as i mentioned and you know, the president and vice president have spoken to my minister -- to the prime minister of turkey last week. we continued to talk with the turkish leadership about their different ways to contribute to the coalition. the issue of a buffer zone is not a new issue. we discussed all these possibilities and we will continue to talk about what the turks believe they require. they know clearly that isil and what is happening in serious and iraq is a clear and present threat of danger to them.
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they are now hosting about 1.3 million refugees, plus all the dimensions of the isil threat to their country and their people. as to collateral damage, our military, every mission that it plans, always factors in first collateral damage questions and assessments. there is no strike, no military operation ever undertaken in our military without that clear assessment. and then a judgment has to be used as to whether we would go forward with that mission. it is first and foremost the priority of our commanders who have responsibility for strikes to make sure that -- do everything they can to make sure there is no collateral damage
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specifically civilian casualties. >> one of the things you're seeing in this air campaign is the fruition of two decades of interoperability and procurement activities, training activities, education activities with our allies in the region who are performing just as well as we are on the issue of precision and reducing the possibility of collateral damage. of course, you know you cannot reduce it to zero, and i suspect over time isil will publish a few propaganda videos alleging civilian casualties. but we have got a pretty good suite over there now that should enable us to actually determine not only how to strike, but the results of it after the fact, what we call battle damage assessment. our allies are doing well.
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>> can i ask you to clarify an issue of enforcing a no-fly zone with turkey? >> a buffer zone may become a possibility in the future, but that is not part of our present plan. >> i want to ask you first, are you aware of the threat faced by syrian occurred in northwestern syrian along the turkish border? there was a firefight playing out between isis fighters and the syrian kurds a short time ago, that they appear to be facing the same genocidal threat that was saw of the yazidis in iraq. why has not the united states come to the aid of the syrian kurds from there, and i was wondering if i could have a quick follow-up with the general? >> first of all, as general dempsey said, we have a rather sophisticated and complete isr
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picture of all that area, including the area that you talk about. so we are aware of what is going on. we are discussing how and what we can do with our coalition partners to help them deal with it. so it is not a matter of us not being aware of it, nor not actively looking at the options we have to deal with it. >> does that mean someone like turkey would be more likely to act in the u.s. -- than the u.s.? >> we are talking to turkey about this and all the different aspects of the isil threat. >> it has been little more than a week since you testified before congress, and you mentioned during that testimony that you believed it was the right step, you would recommend deploying u.s. ground forces i