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 Iraqi 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 internecine 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, alcoholism, 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.
- Syria, Cameron, UK Parliament and Risks of Military Action – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- The Western Military Intervention in Syria: further thoughts – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- MPs and Syria: in the shadow of Iraq | Comment is free | The Guardian (dralfoldman.com)
- A Hard Look at Western Military Intervention in Syria: John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- Syria, Chemical Weapons and Military Intervention: A Personal View – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- The heir to Blair: David Cameron makes ‘moral case’ for attack on Syria in echo … – The Independent (independent.co.uk)
- UK Prime Minister David Cameron forced to push back plans for imminent strike against Syria; office agrees to wait for UN report – @Reuters (reuters.com)
- Parliament is right to be sceptical: this isn’t really about chemical weapons (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- The heir to Blair: PM makes ‘moral case’ for attack on Syria ahead of National Security Council Meeting (independent.co.uk)
- Britain recalls Parliament to discuss Syria (news.yahoo.com)