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July 21, 2014

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"On Iraq and Afghanistan.....I have spoken and written thousands of times."

I know you have Paul and its to your great credit that you were not prepared to ignore it as nearly all of your colleagues have. You have taken it up as a cause on your own and done very well on the public's behalf.

I just don't think Putin should be called belligerent and that NATO should assume the moral high ground when NATO has destroyed Iraq and by the looks of it Afghanistan. Especially as America and Russia have been to the very brink of nuclear war in the not so distant past. We can't afford to ignore the militaristic crazies on both sides, they must be kept in check.

Antagonising Russia? Why? Lets take the wood out of our own eyes first. Again you have put yourself in the firing line in an attempt to do that. We surely don't want an escalation in bad relations between the two sides.

Paul Flynn

Have been 'speaking out' against Putin's action in Chechnya, Georgia, and against his murders of his citizens for many years.

On Iraq and Afghanistan.....I have spoken and written thousands of times.

K

I think politicians who consider themselves progressives should have spoken out against Putin's homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic regime sooner. Since the anti-LGBTQ laws were passed life for gay and transgender people (particularly for powerless young LGBTQ people) has just got worse each day.

The western leaders remind me of the appeasers of the 1930s. They weren't interested so long as dictators were persecuting and scapegoating minorities in their own countries, but by not doing the decent thing and nipping such bullying behaviour in the bud they only gave increasing confidence to tyrants and - surprise, surprise - it was too late and they were too strong by the time their own wellbeing was at stake.

Cameron et al should have taken a stand and refused to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics (the Putin regime's very own version of Berlin 1936) right from the get-go because by failing to do so he was lending credence to a regime which persecutes, imprisons and murders LGBTQ people. They just thought it was about gay people, but they obviously didn't learn the lesson that when the playground bully has been allowed to drive one kid away said bully will simply go looking for another victim to pick on. First they came for the LGBTQ community...well now they're coming for you and what reason have you given for anyone to turn around and come to your aid, amoral western politicians?

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Well he is the popular leader of Russia. And NATO leaders have also acted belligerently. But then again you must see things more clearly as a politician yourself in terms of judging this character. Besides which I'm not against undermining such people (well overthrowing them all at some point) but I am against escalation and treating Putin as some kind of menace to world peace, or as a belligerent and idiotic bully from the east who is incapable of reason or reasonableness.

So I'm not against pulling him down but neither am I against pulling down Obama or Cameron. Do you imagine the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan does not look far past belligerence to many of the worlds inhabitants?

So no to 'kicking off' on Putin and Russia is my point. I think your question assumes our leaders are decent, rational and capable of acting in other than base selfish modes. We've a lot to thank Russia for in fact. To disrespect them because they exist largely outside of the political bubble you inhabit is a grave mistake. Lets get our own house in order first.

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