Stirring times as Democracy rears its head in the UK and Parliament rediscovers its cojones. David Cameron has become the first British Prime Minister to lose a Commons military vote since Lord North in 1782 after the defeat at Yorktown. He is now a broken backed PM. Vladimir Putin will slap him on the shoulder at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg next week for being on the same side while Boris Johnson the Great Buffoon of London is sharing raucous laughter with his wife and wifelets in Islington as he plots with fellow toffs to get back into Parliament ASAP, being a viper whose sole policy is ME, ME, ME!!
When the likes of Simon Jenkins and Max Hastings start coming out with something akin to a reasonable anti-war argument then it’s clear there is no further prospect of Cameron emulating Blair by dragging the UK into another bloody, illegal foreign war – to quote Simon
“Bombs are irrelevant. They make a bang and hit a headline. They puff up the political chest and dust their advocates in glory. They are the dumbest manifestation of modern politics.”
Why David Cameron couldn’t even get the DUP (Ulster Unionists) to vote for War which is quite an achievement? Let there be no mistake about it, ANY military action against a Sovereign State is an Act of War – there are no clear, limited, surgical strikes in reality or in International Law.
Syria is not our country and Britain can no longer indulge in the Great Imperial delusion of being the world’s policeman – especially as it have helped to stoke up the flames of civil war in that country by seeking regime change way back. The UK Parliament has voted not to aid Al Qaeda in the Islamic civil war currently located in Syria, ignoring encouragement to do so from the Arab League (Sunni), Saudi (Wahabi ) and sundry other non- Shia participants / proxies. The disaster for David Cameron is entirely self-made; it is he who in his arrogance who recalled Parliament beating the drums of war looking for his Churchill moment and ended up instead being a Chamberlain.
It is naïve to suppose that Sarin gas is any worse for its victims than napalm, cluster bombs, Agent Orange defoliant or white phosphorous, widely used by the Western powers in their wars since 1945. White phosphorous was used by America in its assault on Fallujah in 2006 and Israel in its assault in Gaza in 2008 – both equally constitute war crimes against the civilian populations under the Geneva Conventions.
See: Free Gaza, Free Palestine, Free Palestinians
All warfare is barbaric and all wars inflict dreadful casualties on civilians. Though President Assad has killed large numbers of non-combatants, so have American drone strikes in Pakistan and the Middle East – and so have Syria’s insurgents fighting against the regime. Thousands of Syrians have died because the reactionary Sunni states (do Saudi Arabia and Qatar care about democracy in Syria, or indeed anywhere?) and the West, emboldened by their disastrous and dishonest meddling in Libya decided to manipulate the so called Syrian opposition to wage a proxy war to weaken Iran. Like the disastrous and illegal war in Iraq this attempt to weaken Iran will have the opposite effect.
The Gaddafi War Crime
The UK has no strategic interest in Syria, has largely a military capability borrowed from others and was incompetent in Basra and Helmand both of which it had to hand over to others to do the job it couldn’t do. And did I mention with its poisonous and perfidious history in the Middle East it is the country least likely to succeed? Also, it was the first country to use chemical weapons against a civilian population in the Middle East?
So let us have a reality check on intervention in the Arab World; 10 years after the Invasion of Iraq when can we look forward to Tony Blair taking a riverside stroll by the Tigris in Baghdad, enjoying the traditional fried fish in the restaurants and receiving the heartfelt gratitude of happy Iraqis living contented lives with democracy and security?
Britain in Iraq
You get the point? Whatever this chest puffing and posturing by Western Politicians is about it is not about the lives of Syrians, no more than past macho interventions have been about the lives and well being of Libyans, Iraqis and Afghanis? The United States is frustrated at the impotence of the United Nations and wants to bypass International Law again? Well perhaps it should have thought of that when it ignored the Geneva Conventions, set up the illegal cesspit of Guantanamo (where they currently imprison people even its kangaroo Military Courts have cleared?) and exercised its veto 59 times against the Palestinian people.
The U.S. Government rains drone missiles on civilian targets anywhere in the world, continues to operate Guantanamo in the face of universal condemnation, whitewashed Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and the torture memos, committed aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan, and invests billions to sustain its unlawful global surveillance capabilities.
Still, it has the audacity to lecture the world about ‘norm enforcement’ in the wake of the chemical weapons attack in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus. Someone should remind President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that credibility with respect to international law begins at home and ends at the United Nations. It might also be enhanced by submitting to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and respecting the Geneva Conventions.
Perhaps the anti-Vietnam War campaigner John Forbes Kerry could exercise some moral consistency and exercise the humanitarian provisions of International Law in favour of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank where Israel is in breach of the Geneva Conventions, 23 UN Resolutions which the US didn’t veto and where Israel has WMD’s and undeclared nuclear weapons. Perhaps he could also ask why a US Government which spends 27% of the Federal Budget on Military expenditure (at $635 Bn, as much as the REST OF THE WORLD combined) and is $2 Trn. in debt, mainly to communist China, needs to have military forces stationed in 143 countries of the world? As a start it could remove its forces from Muslim countries where it supports undemocratic regimes which are largely conspiracies against their own people.
Surely if the US wants things to fix, it has a fairly heavy agenda at home?