The Times August 29 2013

It must be frustrating to watch the horror of unfolding events in Syria and believe one can change the situation for the better. But I hope our elected representatives will think carefully about recent as well as more distant history and choose not to act militarily. When the divisions within Christianity were marked by national and political power-play, Europe was at war for decades. The only reason why the Shia /Sunni divisions have not so far involved outright war is because the Shias were so heavily defeated.  But the balance is changing. Our invasion of Iraq has strengthened neighbouring Iran. The Shia majority has a natural empathy with Shia Iran and Iran and Lebanon will not be observers as Shias are defeated in Syria. Conflict across the region may last decades. Do we really want to become embroiled in a religious war? What has all the expenditure and loss of life achieved after 12 years in Afghanistan? Surely our money is better spent helping the refugees than contributing to the violence.

Sylvia Vetta