There is no way that the Government could send ground troops to Syria without canceling the present raft of defence cuts.
I believe that there will be series of precision strikes against Syrianair defence facilities, Air force assets and known munitions storage centres. Initially by coalition aircraft and cruise missiles, once air supremacy is established unmanned drones will take over to ensure a no fly zone and to deter the deployment of weapons of mass destruction.
Any further involvement would embroiled the UK and the US in another protracted and unwinnable war where non Muslim troops would be seen as the enemy by all factions.
There is clearly a certain amount of brinksmanship going on here as the innocents in Syria continue to suffer from the all-out civil war conflict raging there.
My belief is that there will be no strike. As a Congressman said today, what happens if Assad retaliates with his scuds, what does America do then? Obama himself is on record to have said a while back, America will only respond to aggression which threatens the USA. That is clearly not the case in Syria at present. Just as America is pulling out of her other world conflicts, the last thing she wants now is another war, especially when the entire world economy is facing a precipice of monumental proportions. Secondly, as Wonderhorse points out, who exactly is responsible for these perpetrated atrocities with chemical weapons? It is largely perceived that Assad himself is not the threat or the perpetrator. It seems, it is true, that he is a weak puppet ruler, but there are strong indicators which suggest that the real culprit is his brother, who is in charge of the military. Let's leave Assad and his wife alone, and concentrate on that brother of his. I hope that will be high on DC's, Hollande's, and Obama's agenda at the G20 with Putin next week.
I am amazed that the British public are once again being dragged into a war ( a civil war) using the same old reason which was proved to be bogus and caused the Iraq disaster. The last thing Syria needs is external intervention. Will we ever learn to keep our noses out of other peoples business. Of course there is a more cynical explanation and that is :- that our government has seen the opportunity to distract the public and media from our economic problems by creating a conflict abroad. This really is the oldest trick in the book. It worked for Margaret Thatcher with the Falklands and got her re-elected.
I agree with you both - it is good to hear some right thinking people! It is terrifying to think that we are governed by a lot of 'looneys' who are thinking about no-one else but themselves hoping that they remain in power. They have no concerns about the consequences of their behaviour - the carnage, death and pain that result from interference, there has been so much already and we can only make it worse as we have no idea what will happen - if Assad & Co get booted out, who will grab power, if the war will continue etc etc. No thought of what will happen after our meddling. Iraq is in a dreadful state, Libya and Afghanistan are in a mess - through our meddling. I am not condoning either previous regimes but we haven't helped at all. The Iraqis, Afghani's and Libyans should have been left to decide their own fate in their own time. The Syrians need also to be left to do the same. Give them humanitarian help by all means, we have a duty to help our fellow human beings but not with weapons! Let's hope that there are a lot more people like us.
David - I am not sure what you mean by 'Basil Faulty etc.[ I am having a senior moment!] - I just hope you agree with Peter and Boomer.
On 29 August 2013 16:02, Peter C [via Have Your Say] <[hidden email]> wrote:
America, UK, and the rest of Europe and the wider world did absolutely "Nothing" when Saddam Hussein (puppet rulers in Iraq put in power by American abd British governments) use chemical agents and poisoned his own people......
This "Intervention" in Syria is for one purpose and one purpose alone which is ........
Regime change which will also remove both brothers........
Bashar Hafez al-Assad Bassel al-Assad
Hypocrisy goes before our own country's name UK and the same goes for America.......
There is no immediate threat to us or any other country at the moment but this brinkmanship being played out by America and the UK could very easily cause the Assad's to attack Israel then we will see Hell open up it's gates to Hell and we all can easily be consumed in the fallout from any "Intervention" by America and the UK.
If it was the Assad's who used the chemical weapons is for sure a war crime and it should never be condoned Ever!!
However, listening to the hypocrisy from David Cameron about how the use of chemical warfare and using the usual "Fear Factor" about......
"If we ignore this chemical attack in Syria, what signals will be sent out to ever would-be dictator/s around the world...... That it's ok to use and will use chemical warfare on their own people"
Absolute ..... Poppycock
We did nothing when Saddam Hussein used chemical warfare and it sent "No Signals" totthe wider world dictators.
This is nothing other than "Regime Change" lead by the British and Americans
State Sponsored Killing by the UK and USA....... No wonder we are one off the most hated people abd countries around the world!!
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The scary thing with the Syria conflict is that IF the UK go to war , how the fu*#ing hell are we supposed to fight and with what . Our forces and their equipment has been so grossly depleted , that to go to war in Syria would be murder and David Cameron and Clegg should be found GUILTY . Are forces should down their guns and walk away , they are not looked after when they come back home and more than a half that leave or are made redundant ( due to the cut backs ) are left with next to nothing , so PLEASE Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg remove yourselves from office, do all of the British people a favour and take a very long walk of a very short pier
Wonderhorse, Basil al Assad, brother of Bashar, extremely faulty! - and yes, I do wholeheartedly agree with you, Boomer, Peter, and Triciafo1! I suggested earlier that the best way to get the Assads to toe the line would be by finding common ground with Putin, who has said he deplores the use of chemical weapons in this conflict. Jaw, jaw, is infinitely preferable in my book, to war, war!
Thank goodness the vote went against Cameron this time! Both his and Blair's credibility are by this move, justly shattered! Rejoice!
After seeing the evidence and weighing the arguments and with Cameron and Obama unable or unwilling to talk to Putin, I now concede that although I do not want anyone to succumb to war, some despots seem only to understand one language. Bashar Assad has to shoulder the responsibility for his people. Short, sharp shock is called for, and this man must be removed along with his family, and along with other unmentionables, to face Justice at the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague - the sooner the better, or they must be eliminated like Gadaffi before they are allowed to wreak any more terror. Cameron is right and I was wrong, and apologise to him for my statement above. I do not apologise to Blair, because he is tainted and still will not concede that he wilfully deceived his country over WMD
In a Liberal Democracy there are times to be led by public opinion and times to lead public opinion: Syria is one time where we need leadership.
Last night the general public did have their say, however, how many of them have smelt war or have been properly educated about a world so abstract from our own reality?
Public opinion is based on our Iraq experience yet today is a different context: justification for Iraq was based on pre-emption and based on intelligence 'sexed-up' by Alistair Campbell. Intervention in Syria is in reaction to the use of chemical weapons which are prohibited under international law.
When the moral authority of international law is being eroded and people are dying of chemical poisoning 'no' is not the answer. Ed Milliband has bowed to public opinion and the 'no' vote rather than lead people towards an alternative solution. He is using the commons defeat to discredit David Cameron and score political points against our Prime Minister's ability to govern, meanwhile international law, our nations authority to uphold that law are all in question whilst innocent people suffer the pain of chemical warfare.
Ed Milliband is morally bankrupt and is not fit to lead frogspawn, let alone a country.
Thank you Prime Minister for taking a stand and you have my support.
When Saddam used chemical weapons we did not have the UN's responsibility to protect principle which was enacted in mid-1990s after the international community stood by whilst 1M Rwandans were slaughtered.
I also agree that we should wait for the evidence which will shape the intervention and that the only answer is multi-lateral. My argument is that 'no' is unacceptable when it is based on presumptions from the past. What we need is for Ed Milliband to work with the Prime Minister, not against him, to reach a solution to this crisis. Inaction is not a solution. Most of all, the international systems is a leaderless entity - anarchic - it requires leaders to take on difficult problems and rally others around the cause.
Our position in the world as a world leader, as a member of select committees puts us in a position of responsibility that is not about the self-serving interest you describe, it is about our responsibilities to the international community.
This responsibility is a mixture of diplomacy and military action. Diplomacy is meaningless if we do not back words with deeds. I do not favour isolated military action. I favour military action used in conjunction with the humanitarian effort you suggest. Get with the real world, the peaceful solutions you suggest have not worked, we are talking about a dictator who is unafraid to use chemical weapons against his population. Chemical weapons tip the balance too far in favour of one side.
"I do not, under any circumstances condone the use of chemical weapons it is reprehensible". If you favour inaction then you are by implication condoning the use of chemical weapons.
Assad has breached international law in the use of chemical weapons. What more is there to understand? The only side that is important here is that of international law.
You make too many principled arguments which are not grounded in the real world.
We are not following the American agenda, we are following the moral authority of International Law which America is taking a lead in upholding.
I get your point about duality, the use of Drones in countries not at war should not be permissible.
We must, however, focus on this issue at had otherwise innocent people will perish.
My point is that in this time of crisis we need leaders who will take action, not chose in-action based on the situation being too complicated. Ed Miliband has chosen inaction before proper planning has even started, this is not leadership. He has used the defeat to bolster his own political capital, this is not leadership. He has not offered an alternative solution, this is not leadership. Instead he has chosen risk aversion: he is a coward.
This is war in a foreign land, not peacetime. The only evidence he will get is the next strike to the cost of innocent lives. He lives in an abstract reality that was created by the failings of his own party.
Humanitarian solutions are all well and good. I would like to see how many people volunteer to deploy to a conflict zone to deliver aid in which chemical weapons are being used without military support. This is the real world. Yes humanitarian action should be the answer, but in this case humanitarian action without military support would be sending willing volunteers and good people to a blood bath.
Absolutely guaranteed, beyond reasonable doubt, Ed Miliband would not be the first volunteer. He is as morally duplicitous as the US's drone policy.
I hope that he has just watched John Kerry's speech and now feels very foolish.
The spin off from the no vote in Parliament which was engineered by Ed Milliband for political reasons will ensure that Labour with him in charge will never form a Government in the UK because he is now seen by the US a devious,hostile and unreliable element in regard to the so called "Special Relationship".
So deeply will this distrust be embedded in the American psyche, that I believe the US would intervene covertly to influence the result of a General election if it looked as though labour under Milliband had a chance of winning.
It is indeed good to talk and debate, I enjoy the exchange of ideas.
I totally agree with you that hypocrisy in the International System in breathtaking. That the US do not acknowledge the International Criminal Law is itself a matter of grave hypocrisy since to do so will criminalise their actions in the 1980s.
It is true that we have learned our mistakes from the past. Vietnam and Waco were immoral, the UN's Responsibility to Protect principle brought about in 1994 is an answer to these mistakes. This reality is a matter for another time, not to be resolved whilst chemical warfare rages. The US are now taking a lead on a matter of international law and if John Kerry's speech is correct so are other nations. We could have been part of that lead as a puppet to international law not to the US. A reversal of the vote will now make us look like a puppet of the US even more than otherwise.
Winston Churchill once said that 'if you are under 30 and are not a Liberal you do not have a heart, if you are over 30 and not Conservative you do not have a brain'. You may be surprised to hear that I am the other way around, even as a serving Army officer who should (at least in principle) be a Conservative by default. I support the Tories on this issue, but they do not enjoy my unquestionable support. I try to not define myself by the party, more the issues they tackle at any one time. To some this makes me indecisive; in my mind I want our leaders to earn my vote, not have it gifted based on which side of the spectrum I want to be defined by. I certainly will not vote against an issue based on which side of the spectrum it originates, more vote based on the objective reality. Besides, the reality of the current political spectrum is that the two main parties are converging in the middle but carry the baggage of old assumptions and out of date loyalties.
The most important point here is that we will lose our moral authority to laugh at the French and Top Gear will run out of jokes.
Thank you for you time, it has been a pleasure, it's now time for a beer!