An unavoidable personal comment
Last night, House of Commons representatives voted against military intervention in Syria. I am sure this is not the last debate on this subject – possibly not even the last vote. I am glad and relieved that the Prime Minister and war mongers on both sides of the house lost their case.
Today’s BBC comments from Paddy Ashdown – somebody who I usually tend to agree with – are hugely bewildering but typical for a military man: “Britain is isolating itself by the decision to stay out of military action” ??? In my humble opinion, this cannot be any closer to utter unreflected rubbish. Britain’s obsession with armed interventions and poodling to be on the USA’s side above the UN’s whatever the reasoning; today’s overdramatisation of this decision to ultimately stay away getting involved in yet another world police mission without exit plan, clear concept and UN mandate just show how deeply backwards, arrogant and trigger happy many UK parliamentarians are. The free vote last night showed that the majority of MPs did listen to their constituents, did learn from Iraq and Afghanistan and did understand that the integrity of Britain would indeed be seriously compromised if we – once again – testosterone driven, assume that missile attacks safe lives.
Obama seems to be under serious pressure by the war hungry Republican right wing since he committed to act if the “red line” was crossed. Ignoring the UN once more doesn’t make him much better than Bush in 2003, even though I suspect his motives to be rooted in the humanitarian aspect. But I doubt that the fact that Russia has so far sternly vetoed any intervention within the UN security board hasn’t also played a part. The USA and Russia are clearly celebrating the cooling down of their relationship – worsened by the recent Snowdon conflict – with dangerous provocations. Syria seems to be a dangerous vehicle to show Russia how little the US respects their equally questionable stance on this civil war.
There’s no question over the seriousness of the situation in Syria, the horrendous suffering of the population and the use of chemical weapons – by whichever side. But it cannot be that the only solution that the international community can come up with to help the people, ease the situation and aid a peaceful resolution is more fighting.
[box type=”info”] There will be a national demonstration in central London on Saturday, September 31 at 12 noon from Temple Place[/box]
The Guardian: “No 10 curses, but Britain’s illusion of empire is over – The Syria debate has exposed the fact that, while Cameron wasn’t looking, both his country and his party changed” by Polly Toynbee