Abandoning Syria?

by Richard on September 2, 2013

Long-time commenter Avraham asks, “How about an editorial criticising Britain’s abandoning Syrian innocents to more chemical/gas attacks?”

The first thing to say is that I don’t accept that Parliament’s decision not to support military action against Assad amounts to abandoning Syrians. How is it possible to punish a regime with missile strikes? When will we get beyond the attempt at resolving conflicts by hurling explosives at them? A knee-jerk attack on Assad without any clear notion of the intended strategic outcomes would have been foolish indeed, and you don’t have to take my naive word for it: senior British military figures seem to agree.

Furthermore, it turns out that until very recently, Britain was granting export licences to firms selling the ingredients for chemical weapons to Syria. This revelation should be no surprise, but it should disgust and outrage us. If we want to have the moral authority to denounce the actions of nasty foreign dictators, we really do have to stop selling them their tools.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Kim 09.02.13 at 8:45 am

Well put, mate. As the counter-humanitarian argument will not appeal to AR, it is canny of you to insist that on purely military grounds there are experts who cogently argue that missile strikes are an unwise intervention in the catastrophe of Syria. Nice touch too about that most moral of businesses, the arms trade, and our governments hypocritical involvement in it. In fact, all the sabre-rattling of the US and UK reeks of hypocrisy, duplicity, and geopolitical hidden agenda.

As for the US president during a week that commemorated the 1963 March on Washington, as one wag put it: King said, “I have a dream”; Obama says, “I have a drone.” King also said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own country.” Needless to say, in 50 years, nothing has changed — except that the weapons have become more sophisticated, and the lies more unconscionable still.

2

steve 09.02.13 at 11:32 am

Do you really believe the liars and war-mongers in Washington DC?
Let’s not be fooled again.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/09/01/a-blank-check-for-war/

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