MPs and Syria: in the shadow of Iraq | Comment is free | The Guardian

English: David Cameron's picture on the 10 Dow...

English: David Cameron’s picture on the 10 Downing Street website (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an excellent, MUST READ editorial article from the Guardian. Check it out!

via MPs and Syria: in the shadow of Iraq | Comment is free | The Guardian.

It seems that international military action in Syria , in response to the deployment of chemical weapons,  is imminent, waiting for one last hurdle, namely the approval of the UK Parliament on Thursday;  Parliament has been recalled for a special debate. Unlike the US and France where military action is an executive decision of the President, in the UK the Prime Minister still needs the approval of Parliament.

The article highlights how the British people are against military intervention and that UK Prime Minister, David Cameron must convince Parliament of the case for military intervention. Let me quote the critical words from the article:

He needs to come up with a clear statement of how military action in Syria will be proportionate, legally sound and, above all, foreseeably finite.

Personally, I struggle with the record of David Cameron’s government, and am wary of their recommendations. As highlighted in the Guardian editorial the the intervention must be:

  • Proportionate
  • Legally sound, and
  • Finite

Any thoughts?

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: The US has little credibility left: Syria won’t change that | Gary Younge | Comment is free | The Guardian |

  2. Pingback: David Cameron Parliament and Military Intervention in Syria – John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  3. Dr Alf states that the approval of Parliament is required before a Prime Minister in the UK can go to war.

    The reality is, as we saw in Iraq, that this “approval” can be obtained on the basis of a lie (the Dodgy Dossier) and on the basis of using the Whips and what they know about individual MPs to be able to transform them into compliant lobby fodder.

    The legal advice given to Tony Blair before the Iraq War was never seen by Parliament but from what we now know from Chilcott, it was probably ignored.On that basis, the Iraq War was illegal and with 775000 Iraqui dead, 1 million refugees, breaches of the Geneva Convention, prisoner abuse in Abu Graib, a concentration camp in anything but name,
    it was hardly “proportionate”.

    Bombings and internicine strife characterize what is happening in Iraq today so 22 years later does not meet my understanding of “finite” either.

    In the case of Afghanistan the decision to invade that country was made in 2000 at least a year before 9/11 (See Jon Pilger on You Tube interviewing a Neocon).So that war wasn’t legal either because the justification came after 9/11, one full year before the decision to invade was made.

    Afghanistan has been going on for 12 years and we are still conducting special forces missions there and will be doing so well into 2015 some 14 years after hostilities started.This will be nearly 3 times longer than the duration of World War 2 and therefore cannot be described as “finite”.America is leaving XE (ex Blackwater) mercenaries there in 15 large bases, supposedly to aid the Afghan National Army in their stabilization role once the regular US Army leaves in 2014 so this is not “finite ” either.
    Proportionality is a matter of degree but when the Twin Towers fell total deaths on the day were 3,500 with perhaps a similar number dying from diseases and afflictions caused since the Twin Towers fell created by dust, chemicals and poisons released into the environment by aircraft flying into the buildings and reducing them to rubble.

    The Afghan War has seen perhaps 120,000 Afghans die plus 400 plus of our own servicemen, several thousand American servicemen and casualties from the armed forces of around 40 different countries.
    Even by “eye for an eye ” standards no-one could say that this was “proportionate”.

    American Presidents are only supposed to be able to wage war with the approval and funding authorised by Congress under the War Powers Act.The reality is that America has massive “Black budgets” which it uses to fund a range of warlike and futuristic initiatives such as Project Looking Glass which is designed to facilitate time travel and the possible re-engineering of history using advanced technology, Project Prime Argus which is about triggering earthquakes and reigniting dormant volcanoes from space as a way to overwhelm opponents either in wars or in situations where no war has been officially declared.
    It relied on the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident to enter into the Vietnam War which had been going on previously under the French until their defeat at the hands of General Giap at Dien Ben Phu. The American involvement went on from 1960 until their defeat in 1976 following the involvement of China in the latter stages of the war. That war met the “finite ” test posed by Dr Alf but there are still American ex servicemen suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), to this day so for them the nightmare goes on and on.

    With 1 million dead Vietnamese, poisoned land, billions of dollars worth of economic damage,58,000 American dead, 2,500 missing in action, 225,000 North Vietnamese missing in action and greater tonnages of bombs dropped under Operation Arclight by B52 bombers than all the bombs used in the whole of World War 2, it was hardly “proportionate”


    In each of these wars we see that they are neither legal,proportionate or finite unless something happens to make them stop.

    David Cameron may well win his vote in Parliament and may tell us that “The boys will be home by Christmas”, Dominic Grieve may well tell us that his legal advice is sound,that we have to do the right thing,Nick Clegg may well tell us about proportionality.

    Not one word of it will be true and we should not trust David Cameron,s hollow reassurances however convincing they may appear.
    Today in the UK we have thousands of rough sleepers with a mixture of problems ranging from homelessness, alchoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, PTSD.

    50% of these “rough sleepers” are ex servicemen,denied housing by local authorities on the grounds that they do not meet the criteria for homelessness or that their drinking has to stop before they can be considered for even temporary accommodation.

    Under the present Government,our Armed Forces have been cut,housing stock reserved or which should have been reserved for our troops has been sold off and the so called “Military Covenant” has been breached.

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