Five thoughts on Cameron’s humiliation over Syria


by Sunny Hundal    
12:37 am - August 30th 2013

      Share on Tumblr

Wow. It is extremely, extremely rare for a sitting Prime Minister to lose a vote on going to war.

Here are my five quick thoughts.

1) There is now almost no prospect that Britain will join the US in action against Assad.

Cameron has been humiliated so badly I doubt he’ll go back to the House of Commons on Syria, especially as he will now have to take his cue from Ed Miliband. And he hates taking Miliband’s lead more than anything else. This has now become more about the politics in Westminster than the people of Syria. Besides, according to some tweets, he has dismissed any more action on Syria anyway. Defeat on a another vote would have likely to have led to a confidence motion.

2) It is too easy to say that Cameron lost because the isolationist wing of the Tory and Labour party are dominant. But people forget we went into Libya to take out Gaddafi not long ago!

No, Cameron lost because he wanted to rush into Syria and dismissed any caution or calls for proper evidence. He misjudged the mood on both sides of the House and assumed that no one would defy him on a vote of war. That’s why he lost.

3) This is clearly very humiliating for Cameron, but I’m also wondering where it leaves Nick Clegg. The Lib Dem leader abandoned the party’s traditionally anti-war or at least cautious position in favour of siding with Cameron. And now they’ve both been handed a defeat. At least if Clegg took a principled stand he would have gotten back some support.

4) To underline how complicated this conflict is, the Muslim Brotherhood chief in Syria has been criticising the United States for not intervening in Syria earlier.

5) I was for British intervention in Syria to warn Assad about the usage of chemical weapons. It’s unclear where President Obama stands now but I hope he will present the full evidence to Congress and militarily warn Assad anyway. If Assad steps up usage of chemical weapons now, part of the blame will lie on Cameron’s obstinate behaviour.

Update: I’m sick of sanctimonious people saying I should stop talking about Westminster and its implications, instead of what this means for the people of Syria. As I pointed out earlier – this was a feeble intervention that would have made very little difference. Even US action is not going to be about stopping the bloodshed or deposing Assad. I wanted the UK to join the USA in this but either way it would done almost nothing to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

Update 2: If anyone still has doubts that chemical weapons are being used in Syria, see this short BBC film from last night.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Foreign affairs ,Middle East ,Westminster

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Free born John

Solid points – Cameron needs to return to Parliament if, as Labour offered, a more compelling case can be made!

Interesting old article from the guardian weeks after entering Iraq

http://t.co/OsP0dkB1md

Tony Blair was ready to quit his job as PM if he had lost a crucial Commons vote Iraq in 2003

“I’m sick of sanctimonious..”

They aren’t being sanctimonious. They are surprised by how much you have been sucked in.

Do you really want to become a Labour Party spinner that much?

No war:)

4. Realpolitik

Agree with your focus on UK Parliamentary events. Maybe we need to add a wider lens perspective. I suspect that Obama, Assad & Cameron have all been pushed to their current positions by more hardline elements within their political spheres. Obama is having to act within the context of a still influential neo-con agenda on foreign policy. Syria is just the next step in a 10 year plan laid down by Cheney, Rumsfeld et al along time ago. Today the British Parliament distanced itself from that project.

Regarding update 2, isn’t the US of the opinion that chemicals that ignite and burn are okay to use in deployment and don’t in fact count as chemical weapons precisely because they can be imstead classified as ‘incendiary weapons’?

6. gastro george

“… this was a feeble intervention that would have made very little difference.”

Which begs the question, then what would have been the point.

The BBC News last night could have been mistaken for a political broadcast of the War Party. It seemed quite weird that, at the same time that Cameron was rowing back because the only legal legitimacy that could be found was to punt any action as a limited targeted humanitarian intervention, the BBC graphics were talking volubly about “going to war”.

BTW, did I really hear Hamilton on Newsnight saying that the idea was to stop Saddam Hussein from using chemical weapons again?

Miliband has played a blinder here.

@6 – yes he did say Sadaam Hussein twice i thought, only on the 2nd time did he look like he realised he’s said the wrong name. Not very reassuring!!!

8. Thinking Tory

If I had my way we’d just bomb the shit out of the bastards!

@Yea – “No war:)”

Um – the war is still going on for the people of Syria, you know.

All good points there.

> part of the blame will lie on Cameron’s obstinate behaviour.

And also with Miliband for his part in this vote. At least Cameron’s errors were sins of omission.

11. Man in the street

Incendiary bombs aren’t chemical weapons Mr Hundal you gold-plated idiot. The BBC video shows what happens when you use an incendiary. We have used them in the past and the Americans used kerosene-fuelled bombs in Iraq and probably have since.

And White phosphorous is used by several governments. What are you going to do about it?

12. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Sunny

Point 1 should have surely been Blair !

‘I wanted the UK to join the USA in this but either way it would done almost nothing to stop the bloodshed in Syria.’

Which eloquently sums up Cameron’s position.

I do however think this does provide the UK with an opportunity to be British again instead of a mere surrogate of the US.

13. Man on Clapham Omnibus

6. gastro george

BBC = State TV

14. Man on Clapham Omnibus

2. Tory

It’s worse than that. Sunny wants to be a Labour MP when he grows up.

15. Rob the cripple

No dossiers no lies Cameron has accepted it’s not going to happen he took it on the chin, he will not be running to America to make his millions, maybe he does not need to.

I think this has hurt Cameron and the public will decide you know something he listened pity Blair did not.

16. George King

Jack Straw said Cameron failed to make the case for war in Syria unlike with Libya. The case being there is little oil in Syria. Cameron was posturing and never had any intention of attacking Assad. Like they care about Arabs who are probably just above rats in the racist mind. Cameron gets to play Pontius Pilate whilst Silly Milly takes the blame for Assad’s next atrocity.

17. George King

Report from an acquaintance from Friday’s `successful’ protest:

1. Had a big argument at the demo. People are waving flags with Assad’s face and and a guy just put up a placard of Bin Laden so I’m leaving.

2. Just got home. It wasn’t just that they were there, it was that the organizers let them lead the demo. They started to march around and the demo was headed up by these guys waving Assad flags. I was told to leave if I didn’t like it by some of the organizers, yelled at and almost hit in the face with a bullhorn and called an “imperialist bitch”

Gastro George (@6):

“… this was a feeble intervention that would have made very little difference.”

Which begs the question, then what would have been the point.

It was to:

(a) ‘send a message’ – whether this is valid diplomacy or the result of binge-viewing The Sopranos is a separate question

(b) ‘send a shot across Assad’s bows’ – which (in the UK at least) has a suitably neo-imperial ‘gunboat diplomacy’ ring

(c) ‘a warning not to do it again’ – a bit like ‘six of the best’, but with a bigger bang. This leaves the question: what if Assad’s regime does do it again?

There is a fourth option – that the use of chemical weapons would open the way for air strikes/missiles to be used to such an extent that they end up turning the conflict in favour of the rebels under the guise of (a)-(c) (cf Libya), but that would mean pursuing regime change in the guise of a ‘humanitarian intervention’. Again.

@17 – yes, those of us with doubts about intervention – I mean WTF is Obama wibbling on about when he talks of a “shot across the bows” for example? – do find ourselves on the same “side” as all the crap people.

But that doesn’t mean that all the people on that “side: are crap!

Hundal:

The Lib Dem leader abandoned the party’s traditionally anti-war or at least cautious position in favour of siding with Cameron.

That’s because he’s in government now and wants to behave like a grown-up. And ‘grown-ups’ in government take the ‘tough decisions’ to go to war. However, don’t be surprised if Clegg starts distancing himself from his own position…again.

21. gastro george

@17 redpesto

Quite.

Is is too much to ask for some of the comments to remain on the topic rather than taking silly pot shots at me? I swear there is a better standard of debate on Twitter, and that’s saying something.

23. George King

Clegg came out against the Iraq war only after he knew it was going to happen and has come out for air strikes on Assad only after he was sure they weren’t going to take place. It’s an age old trick. Lots of Labour MPs have gained reputations as `lefties’ by voting against things they knew in advance would be passed. If Cameron and Clegg didn’t know in advance that New Labour and some of his more right wing and racist MPs weren’t going to successfully block action they would not have proposed it.

“I’m sick of sanctimonious people saying I should stop talking about Westminster and its implications, instead of what this means for the people of Syria.”

For once sunny, I agree with your frustration. What happens in Westminster and what it meant for the UK intervening or not does matter more as this is our political constituency.

To disregard what it means for us seems careless about our own democracy and how it works.

“But people forget we went into Libya to take out Gaddafi not long ago!

No, Cameron lost because he wanted to rush into Syria and dismissed any caution or calls for proper evidence.”

The problem with debates on war in the UK now is that some of the pro-iraq war crowd haven’t got their heads around the idea that you need more arguments than “X is a bad guy” to justify a war. Hence the hysteria on twitter yesterday when people with concerns over the wisdom of invading Syria were accused of supporting the gassing of children.

Yesterday’s vote was important and symbolic, but it doesn’t really remove the prospect of the UK joining a war in the future. All the objections and votes against basically amounted to a demand to provide evidence in future that military action would achieve the objectives stated without causing a regional war. Just because Assad deserves to be removed doesn’t mean that attacking Syria would be a good idea.

Theorists of “humanitarian intervention” (how I hate the term) have for decades being trying to say there are criteria or tests that those proposing military action to achieve humanitarian ends have to meet in order for the action to be justified. Broad agreement is that the list of tests goes something like this:

1. Is a major humanitarian disaster or atrocity about to happen, or is currently happening?
2. Is it possible to prevent further disasters/atrocities happening through non-military means?
3. Is it possible to prevent further disasters/atrocities through using military actions?
4. Are the actual military actions propsed proportionate and make every attempt to avoid creating more disasters/atrocities (i.e. you don’t Nuke everyone)?
5. Will taking military action increase the risk of escalating the conflict – for example by drawing in allies of the regime you are attacking?
6. Is the long term result likely to be an improved situation for the people of the nation you are attacking?

If you can’t answer the questions as “yes”, “no”, “yes”, “yes”,”no”, “yes”, then the proposed action isn’t justified.

In the case of libya, I think you could reasonably claim this was the case. In the case of Syria, the answers to the questions are very different, and go something like this:

“yes”
“Probably not”
“Unlikely without full scale invasion and ground troops”
“No, given the above and strength of Syrian army”
“Excpetionally likely given the support of Russia and Iran for Syria, and the likelyhood of Israel retaliating against any attempt of Assad to attack them”

and therefore “no” to the final question.

Parliament refused to be railroaded in the way that it was railroaded by Blair in 2003. If Parliament has learnt that lesson from the Iraq debacle then it is a good thing.

If Cameron had waited until next week for a vote, or if he had accepted the Labour amendment, then he might have won the vote eventually. He paid the price of trying to appear to be a “strong leader” by recalling parliament and forcing a decision now, before the report by weapons’ inspectors and without allowing parliament to consider the long-term implications of this decision.

PS to Sunny: it isn’t the focus on parliament that is irritating about Liberal Conspiracy these days. It is the fact that it has meant the import into Liberal Conspiracy of many of the irritating behavioural tics and lazy assumptions of parliament and the Parliamentary Labour Party (like talk about Tory isolationists or the implications for Clegg or Cameron or the obsession with Galloway). This produces a very narrow perspective on issues.

Um – the war is still going on for the people of Syria, you know.
^^^
As it has been for some time and when it is over there will be another war else where, why is it British service men & capital have to be expended on these issues? Besides that this is not some dessert or defenseless country and it holds the real possibility of starting a huge war of the kind this world should never again see.

Hence the hysteria on twitter yesterday when people with concerns over the wisdom of invading Syria were accused of supporting the gassing of children.
^^^
“Liberals”…

Spot on planeshift #25

Guano: This produces a very narrow perspective on issues.

Well, we focus on Westminster but also on a range of other issues. As I keep saying – if people want to write about or highlight other stuff, they can always pitch ideas to me!

31. George King

There are only two differences between the Libya situation and the Syria situation: There is hardly any oil in Syria and Assad’s brutality is beyond anything the madman Gadaffi achieved.

Hello lefties.

I don’t normally comment on this site but today is different.
I now have respect for those of you that said no to war, I believe you did the right thing & as strange as it feels I’m even going to say thanks.
Below I have put some of the comments I have posted on conservativehome, my usual site to post on, I have also put my IntenseDebate page for the nosy ones to see my usual stand.

Anyhow, doubt I’ll be posting again but nice knowing, as fellow Brits, we can be at one when it’s the right thing to do :O)

My posts.

“Normally I wouldn’t spit on Ed if he was on fire, but today I’d buy him drinks all night, the mans a star, today.”

“can’t believe I’m saying this but, thank goodness for Labour, they have done the British people a great service by stopping Cameron & let’s hope they continue to do so.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but, Diane Abbott has gone from zero to hero in my book & Labour, in the last hour, have gone from me hating the ground they walk on to just hating them.”

And this post below got me so many thumbs up I was blown away.

“I expect a leader to be in tune with his people, Cameroon must have tinnitus & so can’t hear the tunes coming from us. He should have known the country is tied of war & wants others to step up to the plate so’s to give us a break.
Seriously! It seemed we just got the IRA “thing” out of the way, unlike the Americans not having to put up with terrorists on their streets but just funding them & helping them, thinking that cretin Bill Clinton (White House ‘passed British secrets to IRA http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/48407.stm ) and we were straight back into it because the Americans got hit, although we didn’t fund those against them we just paid for the privilege of going to war with them!!

Anyhow, Cameron.
So now Obama draws a line in the sand, the line gets crossed & Obama wants us to help him not look silly weak by throwing money & troops if needed at the “problem”.
Cameron jumps because we have this “special friendship” that aint that special any more, were just a poodle, and all of a sudden here we go again. NO! Stop the ride we Brits wanna get off.

Cameron has enough problems at home, he’s unpopular with most of his own party members because of bad decisions, in fact it seems he’s out to become as unpopular as he can & even with the salvation army’s new advert saying how British children are going hungry & needs donations & with families going to food banks making it worse he still gives our borrowed money away in aid because it’s a really nice thing to do, but we the people hate him for it & are getting bitter & twisted about it, BUT he just doesn’t see it, or just doesn’t care or he’s doing it because he is just arrogant & pig headed, but what ever, the war “thing” with Syria is the last straw, but he just seems to not know it.

I know I’m going off topic & ranting but that’s how it is, this war thing really feels like the straw breaking our back but it’s like he wants to see us finished & why does it feel like that, so we can’t fight the war we Brits REALLY want, the EU battle, that’s the ONLY fight I know people won’t mind having, BECAUSE IT’S IN OUR INTEREST!!

It’s really time & really needed that we act like an island, for a while, get our own house in order, get our people back on their feet, brush ourselves down & then, & only then, look to doing a bit of charity work around the planet.

But sadly, very sadly, we just know it’s not going to go that way & somethings got to give, what happens after that is anyones guess.”

Bye lefties, we will have to do this again some time.

Also, if we’re really lucky, Gove’s little tantrum will have kiboshed any chance he had of ever becoming leader of the Tory party.

34. Man on Clapham Omnibus

22. Sunny Hundal

You say ‘spot on’ Sunny but you wanted intervention and Planeshift says no. So maybe some explanation is required as to exactly what you are advocating.

24. Step Left

‘the people of Syria’ is certainly a tough one to nail down particularly if you are just about to launch an attack.

I would argue that it is easier to consider the entire Arab world as an homogenous entity that is geographically structured according to past principals. Hit one part and you are inevitably hitting another. That’s why hitting any of it is so dangerous.

35. Robin Levett

@Cylux & Man in the Street #5 & 11:

Incendiary bombs aren’t chemical weapons

Exactly right. There’s been talk here and elsewhere about double standards because of the lack of action against Israel over the use of white phosphorus shells; but the Chemical Weapons Convention is very clear (as were its predecessors) that what is prohibited is weapons using the toxic properties of “Toxic chemicals” – not incendiaries, or dual-purpose incendiaries/smoke shells. Blurring the legal difference to make partisan points does make arguing a legal case against war much more difficult.

The CWC is here:

http://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/UNTS/Volume%201974/v1974.pdf?bcsi_scan_6ff3f37d49d6906c=ngKZ427Vt/jlKEbA5c/UAQhYacMUAAAAXVMkDA==&bcsi_scan_filename=v1974.pdf

(the English version starts at p325, and the definitions of “Chemical weapons” and “Toxic chemicals” are at Article II paras 1 and 2 respectively).

Article II para 9 specifically excludes from the purposes the subject of prohibition:

“Military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare”.

Incendiaries are conventional (as opposed to chemical) weapons, and their use is governed by Protocol III to the “Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects”:

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/ccwc_p3/text

Broadly the Protocol says “Don’t use them on civilians”; so the BBC film does appear to show the aftermath of a war crime – just not the use of chemical weapons, which was the point of your reference.

By the way: smoke shells with an incidental incendiary effect (eg containing white phosphorus) are specifically permitted by the protocol (Art 1(1)(b)(i)).

36. Robin Levett

@35:

Correction: For “your reference”, read “Sunny’s reference”.

37. Planeshift

“There are only two differences between the Libya situation and the Syria situation: There is hardly any oil in Syria and Assad’s brutality is beyond anything the madman Gadaffi achieved.”

There are lots. Russia is backing Syria – it didn’t care about Libya, Syria has chemical weapons – Gadaffi gave his up, there are other regional powers backing all kinds of groups in Syria making the likelyhood of a succesful outcome lower, Syria has the ability to attack Israel in an attempt to provoke a regional war. And so on.

38. Man on Clapham Omnibus

32. T_England

‘It’s really time & really needed that we act like an island, for a while, get our own house in order, get our people back on their feet, brush ourselves down & then, & only then, look to doing a bit of charity work around the planet’

you should definitely visit here more often!

No, Cameron lost because he wanted to rush into Syria and dismissed any caution or calls for proper evidence.

This is so farcically, ludicrously untrue that I wonder whether Sunny was watching at all last night. The motion proposed by the Government was phenomenally cautious: it didn’t propose military action, it

Agrees that a strong humanitarian response is required from the international community and that this may, if necessary, require military action that is legal, proportionate and focused on savings lives by preventing and deterring further use of Syria’s chemical weapons

It also required that the UN weapons inspectors complete their report to the UNSC, and proposed

in spite of the difficulties at the United Nations, that a United Nations process must be followed as far as possible to ensure the maximum legitimacy for any such action

It also required a further vote in the House before any specific action could be taken, and guaranteed:

that this motion relates solely to efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering by deterring use of chemical weapons and does not sanction any action in Syria with wider objectives.

The idea that any of this is gung-ho or reckless is fatuous to the point of absurdity (hey! A new strapline for LibCon).

Cameron lost because Labour opposed the motion. He restricted the number of rebels on the Tory benches to 30 (Blair had 139 MPs vote against him on Iraq). It’s pretty clear that he only recalled Parliament for this vote on the basis of professed support from Miliband – subsequently reneged on.

You say ‘spot on’ Sunny but you wanted intervention and Planeshift says no. So maybe some explanation is required as to exactly what you are advocating.

I agree with Planeshift’s initial point and his questions, though not his assessment. I also said the main reason for going into Syria was to send a message regarding CWs. But we need to exercise caution and make the case to the public first, not rush in as Cameron wanted.

41. Planeshift

“. But we need to exercise caution and make the case to the public first,”

To be blunt, Cameron could have won this with both the public and parliament with a bit more thought. Had he waited and discussed with Obama, Hollande et al what the actual proposal on the table was, and also helped build up a coalition of other nations behind a specific proposal, then he would have been in better position to re-call parliament and answer the questions his own MPs had. In addition to buying a couple of weeks to feed the media

42. paul barker

My thoughts on last night
1 Milliband seems to have tricked The Goverment by implying Labour would back them if they made concessions. Who is going to trust either Labour or Milliband in the future?
2 Labour seem to have gone back to the Isolationism of the 1930s, UKIP will be pleased.
3 Politics, Labour & Britain were all damaged.

Where’s the EU in all of this? Don’t we have a High Representative?

Russia could end the use of CW’s by picking the phone up. The tragedy here is the pointlessness of the UN, or at the least of the Security Council.

3 Politics, Labour & Britain were all damaged.

How exactly? This has nothing to do with international trade, tell us, how does not going to war damage the average British persons life?

45. Planeshift

“Russia could end the use of CW’s by picking the phone up”

Agreed.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that negotiating with Russia could produce an effective unified response to Assad and avoid the need for any conflict here.

38. Man on Clapham Omnibus

“you should definitely visit here more often!”

Oh how sweet xx

I don’t speak lefty, your being sarcastic right, because we are an island, I know you know what I really mean, your a little devil aren’t you?
Or, is it, you can see what a great guy I am & want me to vist this site more often, because the lefty force is weak with you & you think you could make a new friend? ((hugs))

What are you like?!

Lots of love
T

Missing me already aint ya?

Dear UK, what happened to our “special relationship”? Yours truly, USA.

48. Man on Clapham Omnibus

41. Planeshift

‘To be blunt, Cameron could have won this with both the public and parliament with a bit more thought’

I think if he wanted to win he would have had to show some tangible benefit. Since no-one in the Government or anyone else , including those on this site, have demonstrated any upside to this strategy it was a loser,IMO, right from the off.

Possibly he could have used subterfuge like Blair.

49. gastro george

“It’s pretty clear that he only recalled Parliament for this vote on the basis of professed support from Miliband – subsequently reneged on.”

“Milliband seems to have tricked The Goverment by implying Labour would back them if they made concessions. Who is going to trust either Labour or Milliband in the future?”

If Miliband had backed Cameron’s motion, even in the watered-down form, he would have been toast inside the Labour Party because of the number of MPs who would have voted against whatever, as with Blair and Iraq. Cameron would have got his motion, and the side story would have been how weak Miliband was, unable to lead his party.

Even if Miliband made any promises to Cameron, which I doubt, then the Cameroons should have been wise to the position that Milband was in, and the high likelihood of him having or choosing to reverse his supposed position.

Instead, Miliband comes out with a statesman-like principled position, and Cameron is toast – shown to be weak because he forced the vote, and lost control of both the policy and his party.

Now put yourself in Miliband’s position. Which line would you choose?

This is politics, it can be rough, and, whatever the reality, Cameron has made a grave misjudgement.

“I was for British intervention in Syria to warn Assad about the usage of chemical weapons.”

You mean you were for WAR AGAINST Syria. You can’t just bomb someone and say “let that be a lesson to you”. Bombing another country is an act of war. If the UK attacked Syria we would be starting a war.

Sunny @ :

“Is is too much to ask for some of the comments to remain on the topic rather than taking silly pot shots at me? I swear there is a better standard of debate on Twitter, and that’s saying something.”

ROFL! “Silly pot shots”? But surely part of the topic is your epic political misjudgement. You called for intervention in Syria, when the case was always going to be weak and three-quarters of the UK electorate were opposed to it or sceptical. Now, isolated even on the left, you try to row back after the pathetic flip-flopping Milliband does an unprincipled U-turn. Then you do some flip-flopping yourself (as MOCO observes @ 34) by @ 29 endorsing planeshift @ 25. And then you write:

“No, Cameron lost because he wanted to rush into Syria and dismissed any caution or calls for proper evidence.”

When, as TimJ shows @ 39, this is simply not true!

And this is part of a pattern, as you so often get make poor political judgements…not only on Syria but also (for example) in decribing Richard Murphy as a “tax genius” (when economic commentators like Luis Enrique to Tim Worstall have demonstrated he has zero credibility) or being almost the last person on the left to be sticking up for the discredited Johann Hari…

planeshift @ 25: Well said. A rational and balanced assessment. And, as you say @ 37, there are lots of differences between Syria and Libya. We had national interests there – not just oil but also the need to prevent a massive flow of refugees into the EU, many of whom would have headed to the UK

Let’s not ignore the little matter that it has not been proven who has been using chemical weapons. Carla del Ponte of the UN around May said it looked like it was the rebels using it. The news seemed to fade from media attention rather rapidly to put it politely.

Also, we need to have some humility here having used cluster bombs in Afghanistan, white phosphorous in Fallujah and depleted uranium shells extensively in both places. The birth defects that have resulted should make us wonder why we are appointing ourselves as “the good guys”, to then go in without the UN inspectors having done their work is disgusting.

There are moral many other points which seems rather unfashionable, this is all before the practical issues with bombing a chemical plant as a “shot across the bows”.

Who cares if a coalition of Alawites and Melkite Christians kill off some Sunni Muslims? I’m not going to take the Muslim Brotherhood side, no way. Obama is acting incomprehensible in siding with these Al Qaeda Fellow Travellers.

nobody is more happy than david cameron losing the vote in going to war with syria,that was his intention and he has fooled you all.

Why does Obama consistently side with Muslim Brotherhood types in the ME? We’ve seen how they are burning down churches in Egypt and Syria. The rebels (who are siding with Qatar and Turkish Sponsored Mercs) would burn down Westminster Abbey given half a chance.

Wake up America and Britain! You are siding with jackals!

Stewart
7 mins ago
nobody is more happy than david cameron losing the vote in going to war with syria,that was his intention and he has fooled you all.

This thought passed my mind. He certainly didn’t twist enough arms to win the motion.

think about it dan.half his ministers were still on there holidays and did not even both to come back to vote,very strange indeed,he knew he would of broke all un resolutions if he went to war,do you really think david cameron wanted a legacy of being tagged as a war criminal and a liar,camerons more clever than we think,his master stroke is letting the french and the americans take all the flak if everything goes wrong when they bomb syria.thats why the americans dont even class david cameron and the uk as a important allie now.

58. Sher-E-Hind

BBC is hardly a credible news agency. The whole looks staged to me.

” If Assad steps up usage of chemical weapons now, part of the blame will lie on Cameron’s obstinate behaviour.”

What an absolutely ridiculous, morally and logically grotesque accusation.

Oh dear Sunny, you should probably fire your researcher.

The motion the Commons rejected didn’t say Britain would “go to war”.

It said: “Believes that the United Nations Security Council must have the opportunity immediately to consider that briefing and that every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any such action is taken, and notes that before any direct British involvement in such action a further vote of the House of Commons will take place”

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmagenda/ob130829.htm

I was kind of surprised Labour voted against it to be honest.

61. CloseShave

@16. George King

Truth about Libya
Our western airforces knocked out Gaddafi and his forces who were fighting al-qaeda insurgent forces for years!
(by the way A.L. is a Masonic code for their timekeeping, like plus 1300yrs – as in A.D. etc)

Does NOT make sense – unless you wanna destabilise a whole country

(such as unleashing the tribes on each other in Iraq
- whilst stuffing fort knox with saddam’s stolen (oil payments)multi-billion gold stash in exchange for pallets of dollar bog paper)

The CIA funded ‘terrorists’ then nicked the sarin shells etc after raiding captured ammo dumps in Libya!

McCain/Palin ’08 is looking pretty good now, n’est-ce pas?

@Sunny Hundal

With reference your update 2, very few—certainly not me—are denying that chemical weapons were used in Syria.

What we doubt is by whom. Further we believe that the proposed action will be ineffective and perhaps counter-productive.

On the issue of by whom, there are a number of possibilities:

1) The Assad government. Frankly, this strikes me as unlikely—he’s winning, and chemical weapons were about the only thing that would spark a Western response.

2) Rogue elements in the Assad government, without it’s knowledge. Also unlikely—by now Assad would have dad them arrested, and perhaps shot to distance himself.

3) The rebels. They’ve done it before. Although not an Assad target, the rebels are known to have fought amongst themselves, and this could be more of the same. We can be pretty sure they’ve got them:

http://rt.com/op-edge/chemical-weapons-syria-turkey-896/

4) An accident. This report (and follow the links as well):

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_08_30/Syrian-rebels-take-responsibility-for-the-chemical-attack-admitting-the-weapons-were-provided-by-Saudis-1203/

whilst stating that some of the facts cannot be verified say that it was caused by mishandling Saudi supplied chemical weapons.

5) Less likely, but still possible, is they were trying to make sarin and had an accident. Sarin is bath-tub chemistry, but highly dangerous. See this link for a bit more info:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/411177/FORMULA-FOR-SARIN-IS-SIMPLE.html?pg=all

As the article states, any terrorist group trying this would be likely to have casualties doing it, but Islamic extremists have used suicide bombers, so they presumably could get volunteers for this.

#63

I can absolutely believe that Al Qaeda affiliates would be happy to launch poison gas attacks if they could, and that they wouldn’t mind killing ‘friendly’ (by which I mean non-Assad-supporting) civilians in order to discredit Assad. But it is extremely difficult to kill large numbers of people with poison gas without the sort of delivery apparatus that Assad has but the rebels do not. The very large numbers of casualties makes it look very likely that it was Assad responsible.

@64. Lamia

Look at the link in point 4, and follow the links in the article as well. At least one of the sources states that Saudi Arabia has supplied chemical weapon missiles to the rebels, and that one of them went off accidentally in the area.

The rebels have used chemical weapons before, I believe using a missile (can’t find a link as they’re swamped by the current ones), so they have form.

64. Lamia
What do you mean by a ‘delivery device’ and why do you think that it is necessary?

Entertainingly, those in favour of intervening in Syria now find themselves on the same side as Anjem Choudary :- http://www.aimislam.com/salafis-march-against-shia-islam-in-london-attack-shia-passersby-on-edgware-road/

This isn’t an argument against intervening per se, but I thought it an interesting observation to make anyway. The civil war is now being fought along ethno-religious lines, I’m not entirely sure the west should intervene to ensure Sunni dominance in the region. We’re not the puppets of the Saudis.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy: Five thoughts on Cameron’s humiliation over Syria | moonblogsfromsyb

    [...] via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/08/30/five-thoughts-on-camerons-humiliation-over-syria/ [...]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.