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After yesterday’s vote. August 30, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, European Politics, International Politics.
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The result of the vote in the House of Commons on Syria, 285 votes against involvement in military action as against 272 for, are positive for a number of reasons. Here’s a few of them.

Firstly, because all the supposed ‘actions’ by the US or the UK are so entirely cosmetic, driven largely by domestic US political concerns. They – and this is known by everyone involved, whether pro or contra them, will make absolutely no difference on the ground. Their intention is not to damage the capacity of the Syrian state to prosecute its side of what is clearly a civil war. They assist those on the opposing side in no functional way.

All they are there to do is to reassert US ‘authority’ and in the most pointless way possible.

Secondly, because Cameron’s defeat and subsequent retreat points up the first. By being prevented from participating, and by a democratic vote, it pushed back against those who would underwrite the cosmetic action outlined above. Indeed there’s been something of a retreat even in Washington – not that that will stop some actions eventually. But it may yet underscore the futility of such approaches in this instance.

None of those arguing that Obama should be ‘tougher’ intend for US troops to land on Syrian soil. And that is what it would take – putting aside the likely catastrophic consequences of same for one moment – to seriously alter the nature of the conflict there. If that’s not going to happen, and the US isn’t going to push the regime over, then all is is effectively rhetoric.

Notably it was a defeat to Cameron delivered in part by his own, Conservatives were conspicuous in their antipathy to the prospect of intervention. This is a strand that has long been extant in Conservatism. Douglas Hurd exemplified it best during the 1990s, but I wonder is it now much more dominant as the right libertarian element becomes an increasingly significant part of the mix in that party?

Thirdly, it underscores just how partisan and self-serving Cameron and his circle were in their attacks on the vastly more cautious Ed Miliband. Whatever about Miliband’s own position, and there was no small political calculation in that, the nature of those attacks was both absurd and abysmal – and perhaps hinted in their extremity at the fact Cameron was going down to defeat. Indeed the more that comes out the more absurd the Cameron position – not least the charge that Miliband was ‘siding with the Russians’. One has to admire Jim Fitzpatrick who resigned as a shadow minister because he couldn’t accept Miliband’s proposals. Good for him, even if perhaps it was a little premature given the immanence of the government defeat.

Michael Gove et al made a right show of themselves, and crucially demonstrated their inability to accept democratic decision making. Indeed Gove’s partner Sarah Vine in attacks on twitter on those who voted against the government merely underlined how hollow the exercise was.

Vine tweeted:

I am SO angry about today’s vote. No military action would have come out of it. It was simply about sending a signal. Cowardice.

What’s interesting is that Vine doesn’t appreciate the contradiction in her own words. If Vine knows that, and Cameron knows that then presumably Assad knows that too and can and will act accordingly. And what is the particular signal, and what would Assad have done on foot of receiving it? He’s unlikely to step back from attempting to consolidate his regime on foot of a ‘signal’, and all other options appear so much moonshine short of a more decisive military advantage to his opponents. And so the dance goes one.

As to the central issue of the Syrian civil war, given that no one actually wants to do anything very much about it one way or – and given that militarily there’s not very much that can be done about, short of the sort of massive intervention that characterised Iraq, it will continue much as it has done. But without in any sense wanting to appear to champion that regime, it is of a different character to Saddam and more importantly appears much less unpopular and – arguably, more stable (ironically the Syrian regime always appeared much more ramshackle than Iraq under Saddam – not so much in material terms, but in political terms, but it has proven remarkably resilient). And yet Iraq demonstrates that even in a context of a broadly loathed regime nationalist sentiment will emerge rapidly against those who intervene. What then of a serious effort to push Assad over?

But again, that’s not on the table.

So if the Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated the disastrous and potentially catastrophic limits of hard power in relation to interventions, Syria appears to point up to the limits of soft to medium power. While having clear implications for the future exercise of British power, and in fairness other European states have been generally extremely leery of involvement, that – one would hope – will have implications further afield.

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Comments»

1. 6to5against - August 30, 2013

Sometimes The Onion is the most articulate news source around:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/so-whats-it-going-to-be,33662/

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WorldbyStorm - August 30, 2013

Depressing but accurate.

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2. sonofstan - August 30, 2013

I think, like most foreign policy debates, this had next to nothing to do with anything foreign: not Syria, not even the US and the ‘special relationship’. It was all about the next election – Tory backbenchers’ anxiety concerning being outflanked by an isolationist UKIP and desire to be rid of Cameron and to dump the Lib Dems, Miliband’s desire to find something that might shift the crucial swing voter his way.

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WorldbyStorm - August 31, 2013

I think that’s very true actually. But I’m interested in how this plays out internationally, and in that respect there are ramifications.

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RosencrantzisDead - August 31, 2013

On that note, you may wish to look here.

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3. Kevin Higgins - August 31, 2013
4. EWI - August 31, 2013

Never underestimate the Tory appetite for humiliating Democratic presidents, either.

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5. Enya Rand - August 31, 2013

According to this source the only ‘western democracy’ where the majority of the population (and that is limited to one ‘ethnicity’) supports heaping carnage upon carnage in Syria is Isreal.

Symptomatic.

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Enya Rand - August 31, 2013

Ahem. Israel is real.

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6. Enya Rand - August 31, 2013

I’m wondering to what extent the (by the way continuing) NSA/GCHQ revelations served to pave the way in this historic break of the master-slave ‘special’ relationship.

The US has been significantly weakened, and so has Cameron’s government. Neither is such a bad thing.

What we on the left should really be talking about is how to shame our governments into doing more for the six million refugees.

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WorldbyStorm - August 31, 2013

Very important points you raise there ER. Particularly the last.

Re the revelations I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I bet you’re right.

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7. Enya Rand - August 31, 2013

Whenever the US militarily intervenes in the Middle East, look for the fossil fuel motivation.

See this piece in Counterpunch.

Last year, Haaretz wrote that the Israeli Defense Force was quickly becoming the “Israeli Gas Defense Force,” and that was before the Netanyahu government asked for a budget increase of $800 million dollars to create a Naval task force to patrol the gas fields.

and

It appears that Damascus will soon finally feel the full impact of the Western fist. Turkey and Israel will be key partners in this effort. Gas may be the reason why.

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8. CMK - August 31, 2013

I had to switch off Channel 4 News last night as after about 20 minutes as I could no longer stick the whole ‘what does this mean for Britain’s place in the world?’ moping and introspection. It seems to me that ‘Liberal Englands’ media elite were looking forward to another war, after all it’s nearly two years since Libya and Afghanistan is just not as interesting as it once was. It was a truly weird experience to hear senior Tories speaking sense and implicitly acknowledging that Britain is no longer capable of these actions. Paddy ‘Pantsdown’ Ashdown was utterly shameless with his declarations of shame at the vote. I think the ‘Onion’ piece linked above is by far the most insightful thing written about the Syrian intervention.

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WorldbyStorm - August 31, 2013

I found Ashdown’s position near incomprehensible. He should know better than most the limitations facing any action that is taken.

I take the point re the wringing of hands re Britain’s place, but, another way of looking at it is that it’s a discussion they’ve avoided seriously for many decades and perhaps it’s long past time they engaged with it. Mind you, that’s me being optimistic.

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9. Jim Monaghan - August 31, 2013

And at home the Irish government is proceeding with sending troops to the Golan. Surely in view of the situation there should be a discussion in the Dail. It is a bit stupid wandering into a battlefield. A bit like Charlie Bird in the Glen of Imall.

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10. Logan - August 31, 2013

Its a difficult situation alright.
What strikes me about the “left” reaction to the last few days events is that there seems to be more satisfaction the Britain retreated from action (“they have finally learned there manners”) than that any progress to an eventual solution has been advanced. If i had been a MP voting last Thursday I probably would have voted with the majority, as I don’t think there is any point lobbing in a few missiles while there is no long term strategy. However,i would have been torn, though, as if there results in a complete lack of action (such as if the US and France follows suit) it has two major repercussions.

One – Dictators around the World, from Burma to Bahrain, from North Korea to Saudi Arabia, will be emboldened to think that they can get away with gassing their populations if their regime comes under serious threat and that the Worldwide community will do a lo of flapping, but ultimately do nothing.

Two – As a poster above mentioned, there have been upwards of six million refugees created by this conflict. Despite all the brilliant work being done in the camps for the m by the likes of GOAL, (and i am sure the Irish government could do more), the only long term solution to this crisis (the worst refugee crisis in numerical terms since the partition of India in 1947) will be if the Assad regime goes and a solution is found for the current civil war.
i dont see anybody putting forward any idea for that. A lot of the left seem to imagine that he UN is going to sort it, somehow, if they just make one more diplomatic push, which considering the cynical positioning of Russia and China on the Security Council is a pretty asinine delusion.

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ejh - August 31, 2013

Dictators around the World, from Burma to Bahrain, from North Korea to Saudi Arabia

Of course, from that list Saudi Arabia is a big proponent of intervening in Syria and is hence hardly likely to take satisfaction from the vote, while British ally Bahrain is no more likely that Saudi to fear UK military intervention.

Bit do carry on.

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WorldbyStorm - August 31, 2013

If there’s clear proof of gassing, then I would think almost any regime would face massive sanction. I’m actually far from a non-interventionist, I take a fairly pragmatic line, if something can be done and it seems on balance that it will do less harm or prevent greater subsequent harm there may be good reason to take some form of military action. But, when it is, as was suggested here, purely cosmetic with no actual functional goal, I’d be very dubious about its use. And I’d be even more dubious about any greater military action in this instance either.

Surely though it’s about crafting responses that aren’t just military in nature (as the sort of default) that at the same time can be as efficacious as is possible in disrupting the regime so that the price of continuing with actions that result in atrocities of whatever kind will be greater than acquiescing to a broader international will.

I’d add that whatever about the British issue, that is a very specific response to the events of the early to mid 2000s and unlikely, as we’ve seen in the case of France most immediately, to be replicated by others who while not willing to commit to any serious military intervention are willing to ‘send a message’. All well and fine but that’s where what I pointed to in the second part of the first paragraph of this comment swings back into play.

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dmfod - September 1, 2013

Verv few states still have chemical weapons though. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have actually joined the CWC and you forgot to mention Israel, which is one of only seven non-parties including Syria. Coincidentally, that number’s not far off the nuclear five that get a free pass under the NPT

It’s also interesting that everyone is jumping up and down about Syria having broken international law when as it never signed the CWC it’s legally entitled to use chemical weapons if it wants and also that the proposed remedy for this supposed violation of international law is to launch an illegal war against Syria, which it would be under international law without a UN mandate.

The whole discourse around this is such a pile of hypocritical bullshit. 100,000 people have been killed but the real problem is that 300 of them were killed in a particular way?

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RosencrantzisDead - September 1, 2013

Syria are not a party to the CWC, but they are a party to the Hague Conventions (and related protocols). The Hague Conventions ban the use of unconventional weapons (explosive rounds etc.) and chemical/bacteriological warfare. Furthermore, it can be said that the use of chemical weapons or bacteriological agents in warfare violates a ius cogens norm and cannot be derogated from.

Syria would be in breach of international law. With international law, however, the only thing that matters is if it can be enforced so larger countries are seldom punished for breaches.

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dmfod - September 2, 2013

Thanks. I didn’t know they had ratified the earlier convention, though of course there’s absolutely nothing in it about being unilaterally punished by another state starting a war against you if you use chemical weapons.

I’m just extremely cynical about bans on any particular weapon as they usually exist for military reasons that have little or nothing to do with humanitarian concerns, but a lot more to with reinforcing the world military order.

Hence the ban on chemical weapons which are a relatively cheap force equaliser for less advanced armies but a messy waste of time for more advanced militaries.

In this case as well, the whole debate about chemical weapons has effectively been a distraction from the horror of the rest of the conflict and is now just blatantly being used as an excuse to intervene, seemingly in large part for reasons of imperial credibility.

Patrick Cockburn also has a theory that given the unreliable nature of the opposition from a Western perspective the real game is to keep the war going as long as possible, thereby keeping Syria occupied until a better strategy presents itself.

So maybe that’s the idea of a smallish intervention. at a ttime when Assad has been fighting off the rebels to a large extent it could tip things in their favour again, but not enough to bring about a resolution to the conflict.

That might appear too much like incompetence though, so it might not fly.

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Jim Monaghan - September 1, 2013

I suppose you think Iraq and Afghanistan were major successes for this approach.

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Enya Rand - September 1, 2013

Yey – this is a first – I’m about to link to an article in the Daily Mail! But only because Foreign Policy is behind a paywall :-) I hasten to add.

It’s not just “Dictators around the World” ™ who are are complicit in the use of Chemical weapons. Britain, the US, Russia, China and doubtless Israel all have chemical weapons programs.

The US nudged Saddam (when he was their compliant ally) to use them, provided him with aerial intelligence when they were concerned that he would loose to the Iranians.

The intelligence papers on the site make interesting reading.

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Enya Rand - September 1, 2013

Hm. My usual luck with links. Here it is the link again.

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EWI - September 1, 2013

One – Dictators around the World, from Burma to Bahrain, from North Korea to Saudi Arabia, will be emboldened to think that they can get away with gassing their populations if their regime comes under serious threat and that the Worldwide community will do a lo of flapping, but ultimately do nothing.

It’s funny how this argument somehow never seems to get made for, say, miltary coups in Egypt.

Of course, Syria itself is a sideshow, a stepping-stone to attacking Iran. If certain elements in Washington succeed in starting a war against Syria, then the attempt will be made to ride the war momentum into an attack on Iran afterwards (as happened with Afghanistan and Iraq).

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Logan - September 2, 2013

In answer to your comment on how “this argument never seems to be made for Egypt”, well, the current Egyptian regime has not used chemical weapons …yet.

I am not trying to excuse the Egyptian regime, (or Obama’s tacit support for the coup) but regarding use of chemical weapons, there is a history of the World community saying that the use of chemical weapons are just unacceptable, in a way that there is no definite consensus yet that a country has to break off with an ally when there is a coup.

You could view the comparison with what Obama did about Egypt in two ways.
– You could say: “Obama did not react correctly to the Egyptian coup, so he has no right to hypocritically take military action against Assad gassing his” people”……………………………….
Or you could say: “If Obama takes military action against Assad for gassing his people, it will put the Egyptian generals on notice that if they start using chemical weapons, it will make it nearly impossible politically for Obama to continue his tacit support of them. Therefore they might be a less likely to resort to it.”

There are few purely good and bad options here, unless you think you can make a judgment on every international action by how it fits into your own personal idea of what “imperialism” is.

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WorldbyStorm - September 2, 2013

A lot I’d agree with there Logan.

One interesting aspect of the Geneva protocol is that it came about in the wake of WWI, and there’s some stuff about it being driven by a public abhorrence at chemical and biological warfare. The sceptical part of me wonders, and yet, given the experience of gas warfare in WWI it does make some sense given that that was arguably the first signficant European war (though it had a global aspect) where the realities of technologically advanced war and their impact on populations far far behind front lines really came, as it were, home, so I think there is something to the general sense that chemical and biological warfare is out of bounds.

It’s also important to note that in the course of this conflict Russia warned the Syrian government not to breach the Geneva protocol and pointed out that it was signed up to it.
Now, whether sarin was used by the regime is a different matter, and then how and why it came to be used if it was is another one again.

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LeftAtTheCross - September 2, 2013

WBS, you’re falling into the usage of the word “regime” as negatively connotated by the mainstream media. We never hear about the Israeli regime, the US regime etc.

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WorldbyStorm - September 2, 2013

Not really, I’m not neutral about Assad etc and to my mind states where a single family transfer power from one generation to another without even a patina of democratic change seem to be regimes in my book.

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Ed - September 3, 2013

“I am not trying to excuse the Egyptian regime, (or Obama’s tacit support for the coup) but regarding use of chemical weapons, there is a history of the World community saying that the use of chemical weapons are just unacceptable, in a way that there is no definite consensus yet that a country has to break off with an ally when there is a coup.”

I wish that were the case, but it just isn’t true. The US was allowed to use chemical warfare in Indochina on a massive scale without facing any consequences. Saddam Hussein used poison gas against Kurds and Iranians on a much wider scale than anything Assad has been accused of, and US officials at the UN were instructed to oppose any action and to spread stories that he wasn’t really to blame at all. When it comes to the use of chemical weapons, the ‘world community’ has been every bit as selective in its response as with military coups. In a nutshell – if you’re already on the bad guys list, you’ll be condemned and action may be taken; if you’re an ally or a client, a blind eye will be turned.

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11. Enya Rand - September 1, 2013

In 1949 the CIA came up with cunning plan of establishing democracy in Syria by means of a military coup. And it all went downhill from there.

This multimedia blog entry by Adam Curtis at the BBC is fascinating – highly recommended and a few orders of magnitude more enlightening than this week’s Sindo. Including the generally laudable original aims of Baathism – socialist, anti-sectarian and anti-imperialist.

Particularly interesting is the way that the CIA was already in thrall to applied mathematical game theory, which drove mutually assured destruction and other heady doctrines.

There’s an entire book to written about the cult of game theory which held (and holds) sway over the US military and intelligence leadership, and then was transplanted into finance capital. With equally stunning results.

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WorldbyStorm - September 1, 2013

I always think the history of Baathism is sort of tragic. Great intentions.

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Ramzi Nohra - September 6, 2013

absolutely, non-sectarian (Michel Afleq even spoke positively of the place of Sephardic Jews in the middle east) with the support of freedom of speech and assembly. It soon became as oppressive of any of the other ideologies in the region. Althoguh some remnants of the anti-sectarianism remain in Syrian Ba’ath (emphasis on some)

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12. FergusD - September 1, 2013

So it was sarin. Didn’t some Japanese nut job sect use it on the Tokyo metro some years back? Maybe it can’t be that hard to make then. Have the Us provided evidence the syrian regime were responsible for the attack. I feel they probably were but are we sure?

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13. Dick Gregory - September 2, 2013

Sorry about the long post.

It has been a point made by the anti-Zionist movement for the last 60 years, that the Palestinians should not be made to suffer because of the Holocaust Jews suffered in Europe. I don’t think the Syrians now rising against Bashar al-Assad are responsible for us being dragged into a war in Iraq.
It wasn’t obvious from the beginning that the WMD stories in Iraq were a complete pack of lies. For me it came at Colin Powell’s UN presentation, where I had a hard time believing that he would bother to put forward such an obviously rubbish case.
What was obvious from the beginning was that it was all about régime change, that Bush was determined to invade Iraq. So however long it took to take off, especially when what was putting it off was the assembling of hundreds of thousands of troops in the Gulf, it was going to be a massive military intervention, which even if it had had any justification, was going to have horrendous consequences.
Ann Leslie was just saying on Sunday Morning Live (she’s a Daily Mail journalist opposed to intervention in Syria) that she thought that WWII was a just war, but with WWI she is not so sure. I think that both might be best described as imperialist wars, but that while there was no real difference between the King of England and the German Kaiser, it is to retreat from reality to say that Hitler and the Nazis were no different from any other politicians.
So I think we should take a very different attitude to Syria than we did to Iraq. Then the entire reality was about large imperial states using military force, whether that was a bad thing, which I think it was, and how they could be stopped. What has been going on in Syria is a revolution, and if you want a positive outcome, empowering the revolutionaries is the way to go.
The policy of the “international community” (a phrase Noam Chomsky points out somewhere usually means the US and its allies, sometimes just means the Pentagon) for the last two years has been to Do Nothing, and it has been a disaster. The weakness of the FSA has encouraged the growth of radical Islamism (which to the extent they fight against Assad isn’t the worst thing), has enabled Assad to carry out massacre after massacre. The torturing of Sunni opponents to make them cry out “There is no God but Bashar” has been just one way that the régime has encouraged a secratian divide in Syria and throughout the region, and each time Assad gets a bit more desperate, as he will inevitably in a country that will never let him govern again, the massacres get worse. “Those who make a revolution half-way dig their own graves” said St.Just during the French revolution, those who insist that what is needed is a political solution through the UN with the Russians on board dig the graves of others.
The proposal to drop a few bombs to indicate that you are a very naughty boy if you use chemical weapons are largely just a distraction from any rational debate about what can be done to help Syria. To focus on stopping it, to say it is far worse than the policy of Doing Nothing that has left Assad in charge, has strengthened the Islamists, has increased sectarian divisions, and made Syria more and more something something will have to have something done about, to the point where if no intervention is done that empowers the Syrian people, eventually one will take place that looks a lot more like Iraq.
When the question of EU sanctions came up, probably some time last year, I remember asking Robin Yassin-Kassab if he thought they were a good idea, as there was a long record of the misuse of sanctions, such as at the moment against Iran. He replied something like that the state officials need to be stopped, and there didn’t seem any other way of doing it. In the absence of any prospect that the labour movement in Europe would propose to bring about such sanctions, I thought fair enough, I don’t think this is necessarily the way to go, but as it turned out, it didn’t seem to be the worst thing.
For a long time I held the position that much of the far left has finally got around to adopting, that I was against Western intervention, but for the victory of the rebels over Assad. Though even then I understood that you have to make the latter clear before it is worth saying the former. A lesson I think much of the far left has failed to learn. Have they talked to a single Syrian? The Syrian revolutionary left also says Neither Riyadh Nor Tehran, but they really don’t have anything to prove.
What is intervention? That is one of the problems with the debate. With the simplification that inevitably comes with public debate, the question is often posed as a straight yes/no. But my point is two-fold, intervention that aids the rebels is the only way to stop the spiral into a sectarian proxy war which is more likely to drag in an unwanted boots on the ground imperial intervention the longer it is allowed to fester (because that’s the way the Do Nothing policy of the last two years has altered the picture). And the current ‘threat’ of limited bombing to deter chemical weapons use is largely a distraction, it isn’t going to kill civilians the way Assad does, it isn’t going to involve dropping chemical weapons the way Assad has multiple times, and so to protest about the former while ignoring the latter is utterly disproportionate. The message to Syrians is that they don’t matter.
When Obama was announcing that he will take some action on Syria, I saw someone making fun of the fact that he was flanked by the leaders of Latvia and Estonia. Nobody in the West gave much of a shit about the oppression of the Baltic states by the Russians, and so it is no surprise that they have been bastions of pro-US support ever since they achieved national independence. The situation of Syria is a little more complicated, as it is hard to reconcile the position on Israel of the US and the majority of Syrians, but I think the abandonment by the left of the principle of internationalism when it comes to Syrians means that however late US support comes, it would earn them gratitude in Syria for a generation, because others turned their backs.
A Syrian has just told the BBC in Beirut, “I’m a Syrian revolutionary, what we need is arms not bombs.” Many on the left will see that and think that’s exactly what they are saying. But if you don’t make it clear about the arms , many Syrians would be as happy to see the bombs drop on you. Think about it.

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ejh - September 2, 2013

Nobody in the West gave much of a shit about the oppression of the Baltic states by the Russians, and so it is no surprise that they have been bastions of pro-US support ever since they achieved national independence.

Although it may occur to some people that Baltic anticommunism may be a response to Soviet communism and that their ethic anti-Russian politics may have a similar root. As opposed to being a reaction to the political stances of people of whom they had never heard.

Though even then I understood that you have to make the latter clear before it is worth saying the former.

No, you don’t. There’s always going to be a problem if it is demanded that one particular element of a multi-faceted situation be elevated above all others, and this is particularly so when it comes to something as dangerous and difficult as war. It’s not about what political stances we take and what it proves about us if we do – it’s about what do we think the consequences of a course of action are likely to be? Most people on the left (and indeed the public generally, in an unusual coincidence of opinions) have concluded that the answer is “disastrous” and Lord knows they have enough reasons for thinking so.

Perhaps this time would be different, though I don’t believe so, but it doesn’t seem to me that an obligation to consider the wishes of Syrian rebels overrides an obligation to consider everything else too – and if that means that this has consequences for how those rebels view me, then that, too, is something I have to consider along with everything else. But you can’t alwys give people what they want.

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Dick Gregory - September 2, 2013

it’s about what do we think the consequences of a course of action are likely to be? Most people on the left (and indeed the public generally, in an unusual coincidence of opinions) have concluded that the answer is “disastrous” and Lord knows they have enough reasons for thinking so.
No, because as has been made clear, claiming that any course of action would be a rerun of the invasion of Iraq when that is patently not the situation faced in Syria is not a good reason for anything.
Your first point does not cut across what I was saying. Yes obviously it is the mixture of Russianness and Communism that has made them anti-Russian anti-Communists.

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ejh - September 3, 2013

claiming that any course of action would be a rerun of the invasion of Iraq when that is patently not the situation faced in Syria is not a good reason for anything.

You don’t have to claim that it would be “a rerun of the invasion of Iraq” to be informed by previous experiences of intervention, including other examples than Iraq (which country was not mentioned in my comment).

You may point to differences from previous experiences, and with justification. But other people can point to similarities, with equal justification.

Your first point does not cut across what I was saying.

Yes it does: it’s a question of perspective. What informed these people’s political development and in what proportion? Their lived every day experience over decades, or the actions of people of whom they’d never heard? I mean we don’t have a way of exactly measuring these things, but what’s the balance here?

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14. Roger Cole - September 2, 2013

The Stop the War Coalition played a key role in lobbying the UK Parliament to vote against the proposed US war on Syria. Ian Chamberlain of the Coalition will be one the key speakers on Syria & Iran at a public meeting in Connolly Books on Saturday 7th of September at 3.30pm organised by the Peace & Neutrality Alliance.
The other main speaker is Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
The US and its remaining allies like Saudi Arabia are planning to expand their imperialist war on Syria by launching a massive air strike. The Stop the War Coalition played a major role in defeating British Imperialism and PANA will continue to build up links with it and other anti-imperialist groups in Europe and throughout the rest of the world via the World Peace Council

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15. Harrison - September 14, 2013

Very soon this web page will be famous among all blog visitors, due to it’s good articles

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