I know I shouldn’t get so vexed about a relatively insignificant country with a dictator who has a fetish for killing his people but I can’t help myself!
A few weeks ago I felt myself getting very patriotic and felt proud when David Cameron and William Hague were trying to stoke up the American lethargy about this heinous war in Syria but I must say events over the past few days have dented my confidence somewhat. Here are a few questions lingering aimlessly in my mind.
Although, in the post Blair/Iraq era, I understand the need to go to Parliament for authority to commit our forces to an incursion but I’m not sure if the government properly thought this out so as to avoid this ignominious defeat in the Commons.
Why the rush to get MPs out of their deck chairs (and four corner handkerchiefs) before the United Nations inspectors disclosed the result of their findings even if we all know how inept these will be given the restrictions placed upon them.
We all know that they were given the ‘run around’ by the Syrians and as such their conclusions would be ridden with caveats but if the findings of the Government’s Whips were that the ‘lily-livered’ libertarians wanted this pre-requisite before voting favourably for war, delay the vote until adequate support is corralled.
The Whips would have known that the numbers didn’t add up well beforehand and the vote should have been postponed. The political significance for this is unparallel. It was too important to get right and, I’m sorry to say, the government bungled it. What a shame! You don’t get too many chances to establish your authority and failure is dealt with mercilessly.
To make matters worse, although we could all feel the frustration in the Prime Ministers voice, why declare that Britain will no longer play a part in Syria?
Common sense dictates you leave the door slightly open to revisit the process by holding another debate when more information is known. But instead to do this now will involve an ignominious volte-face with the parliamentary ‘mauling’ that will accompany it.
There was a point when I thought President Obama was talking the language of international authority but you could see that jingoism doesn’t play an active part in his mind since, instinctively, he would like America to shrink back from its international responsibilities and focus on the domestic scene. He now wants the decision to be made by Congress so that responsibility passes to the Republicans who cannot resist a good war. What a coward!
Lest we loose sight of what is going to happen if there is military action – there will be no ‘boots on the ground’ and there will probably not even be technicians covertly dispersed around the country. It will be no more than a very sophisticated and targeted ‘armchair’ firework display with cruise missiles trying to disable key military targets such as airports, armament dumps, fuel supplies etc. This will be a relatively risk free conflict where men will be well away from the exploding ordnance and smell of cordite.
So what’s all the fuss about I ask? In the meantime who do you think is celebrating this analysis by paralyses process? Mr Assad and his brother who are being shielded by the Chinese and Russians can now really roll their sleeves up and kill more innocent people using these atrocious chemical/biological weapons while the politicians ‘fiddle’.
Britain has no key military assets to speak of. However, it should always hold its place as a political ally of America. It is inconceivable that the former ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’, i.e. France, has stepped up to the plate and are now the new European warriors and good for them for doing so.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat dissenters should hold their faces in shame for casting this shadow over Britain’s unblemished and proud military record. They should have lobbied for a postponement of the vote but clearly didn’t, instead, joined the ranks of the treacherous conscientious objectors of the past. Shame on them!
Don’t get me wrong I’m a great fan of Cameron and the Tory party but the last few days have not been their finest hour. I hope before long this is put right in some way or another. It needs to be!