Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why The Rush to "Retaliate"?

We have had two wars in the past two decades and they both started through murky if not dishonest reasoning. We now hear the drum beat again to start prompting allied action in Syria. Why the rush?  As Hans Blix notes in an interview with the Huff Post,

"As far as they are all concerned, a criminal act has been committed so now they must engage in what they call "retaliation." I don't see what they are retaliating about. The weapons weren't used against them. It should be the rebels who want retaliation. If the aim is to stop the breach of international law and to keep the lid on others with chemical weapons, military action without first waiting for the UN inspector report is not the way to go about it. This is about world police, not world law."
You may recall the Bush administration went out of its way to discredit Blix and he returns the favor nicely by exposing the flaws in this latest crop of world leaders' reasoning .  The British public at least seem to have learned the right lessons from recent history with respect to middle eastern conflict and they have  no desire to repeat the same moronic behavior. As Cassidy notes in in his  New Yorker blog, widespread  opposition to Syrian action is cooling Cameron's  desire to play Blair's role in agreeing to follow the Americans, 
"Britons are against military action by a majority of about two-to-one, and the skepticism extends to many supporters of the Conservative-Liberal coalition. In recent days, the voters have been besieging their M.P.s with phone calls and messages, and their protests have had an effect. “Grateful for all the emails I’m receiving from constituents about Syria,” the Conservative M.P. Zac Goldsmith wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “Unlike so many cut-and-paste jobs, they are authentic & heart-felt.”
Maybe giving the UN a chance to vote on any action might be a good start. If you want to play world policeman and want a world of laws you cannot ignore the one body entrusted with the right to authorize military action under these circumstances. 

1 comment:

  1. Miliband so far is doing the right thing - and for his pains has literally been called a cunt by Downing Street.

    We the British public never wanted the invasion of Iraq!

    Yet again we see a Brit PM trying to chummy up with a Yank president by forces of arms as it were.

    What would intervention be for? We don't understand the forces hostile to Assad - nor is it 100% certain these chemical weapons were used by government forces.

    That's not to say he's not a bastard.

    We should be doing something for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who been turned into refugees.