War is never solely about morality. It is always about power and influence. My own view is that war between nations is nearly always just war between parts of the global ruling class in which the people suffer. In that respect I’m never likely to support war because I don’t support the ruling class. This is a complex issue and I’m not against the use of violence completely, after all it’s unlikely the ruling class will fuck off and die on its own, it might need some prodding.
The pressure needs to be kept up on the UK, USA and France to avoid further bloodshed. The situation in Syria needs diplomacy and a ceasefire. We all have to play our part in resisting western imperialism and promoting peace between nations.
Below are some notes that have come to mind following the vote against military action in the UK House of Commons:
- As Prime Minister David Cameron held all the aces in planning the recall of Parliament. He chose the timing plus the wording of the motion and all this in detailed knowledge of the intelligence on the chemical weapons attack and also the possible military options available to the UK.The problem for Cameron is that he chose the wrong time: waiting until the Parliamentary recess was over would have taken just a week and in that time the UN inspectors would be out of Syria when their report would be available. The second problem is that having recalled Parliament he then watered down the motion and ensured that it included the option of a second vote before any action took place. The third, obviously is that he couldn’t even deliver the vote on the watered down proposition.This represents amazingly poor political judgement with profound consequences for UK foreign policy. The Tory party hates a loser; they hate mismanagement.
- As Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg just had to close the debate in Parliament. Unfortunately his performance was so dire some Tories have blamed him entirely for losing the vote. Meanwhile his own MPs towed the line (on the whole) making them appear further out of touch with the people.
- The leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, has a momentary boost from all this. However, his summer when taken as a whole was pretty bad and this situation is volatile and could come to haunt him. If the political class dislike the UKs new place in the world they could blame Miliband as much as Cameron. Meanwhile pictures of dead and dying Syrians will keep being broadcast on TV and this could ultimately make the government position much more popular with the public.
- The USA loves to paint pictures of the lone nutter. This is normally a terrorist or a crazy dictator willing to cause harm for no real reason other than their own whim. Obama has managed to make himself look like this. He’s made two key mistakes. The first is by marking a line in the sand last year with regards to chemical weapons being used by the Assad regime. He now has to do something. The second is more recent and it’s the language used following the vote in the House of Commons. The US government has made it clear that it will decide what action to take based on the interests of the US itself. In other words the decision is not purely about chemical weapons usage. This exposes the real reasons for war: power and influence. The chemical weapons are an excuse to flex muscles. The lone nutter must not be allowed to spread his terror.
- The aftermath of the vote in Britain has included many politicians lamenting the position of the UK in world affairs. In fact this was a feature of the debate in the Commons. A number of MPs made mention of the responsibility that a country has if it is to have influence on the world stage. This basically equates to a belief that nations prove their worth by taking military action.Many senior politicians now seem to fear that the UK will not be a force in world affairs simply because it isn’t killing people.
- The UK media spent the August Bank Holiday weekend building up the language of war and propagandising for military action. The moment the vote was lost the coverage turned to three broad themes. The first was to look at a future that showed the UK as diminished in the world as a result. This included focusing on the end of the special relationship. The second was to focus on the effect of the vote on Syria itself by interviewing politicians who claim that the result will mean more slaughter of children. Paddy Ashdown, the war-mongering asshole, was excellent at this claiming that he has never felt so ashamed in his life. He can’t have seen much action in the military then. The third was to concentrate on the fact that the circumstances may change again and therefore military action might still take place with Britain playing a role. The public are being readied for this issue to come back and the vote to be reversed.
- Finally there has been very little detail in the mainstream media on the sanctimonious nature of the west bleating about the use of weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons.Let’s not forget these key uses od such weaponry:The UK gassed the Kurds in the early part of the 20th century,
The USA dropped nuclear bombs on Japan as part of WW2,
The USA used Agent Orange in Vietnam,
The USA approved the use of chemical weapons against Iran and ignored their use against the Kurds by Iraq,
The USA levelled Fallujah in Iraq and some say this included chemical weapons usage.
The USA and UK have been accused of using depleted uranium in Iraq.
The west looked on as Israel used white phosphorous against the people of Gaza.Let’s not pretend this has anything to do with chemical weapons.
- Syria debate: parliament did its job when it mattered | Editorial (theguardian.com)
- Britain will NOT join military strike against Syria after shock Government defeat (mirror.co.uk)
- Shot down: David Cameron’s plans for military action in Syria defeated in Commons vote (independent.co.uk)
- Cameron forced to rule out British attack on Syria after MPs reject motion (theguardian.com)
- “Democracy in Action” and other children’s stories (libcom.org)