Britain refuses to follow

The British Parliament refuses to buy a second manufactured excuse for an invasion in the Middle East:

The Grand Old Duke of York marched his men to the top of the hill, then marched them down again. Britain’s Prime Minister last week promised cruise missile strikes on Syria and recalled Parliament early from its summer break to authorise our participation. He now discovers that he has charged up his own hill while the majority of the British people and indeed a majority of their MPs remain stubbornly at the bottom.

David Cameron’s attempt to play statesman on the world stage has created a political shambles which culminated in a humiliating defeat in the House of Commons late last night.

Last night’s defeat will also have repercussions for Britain’s relationship with America, which can no longer rely on the incumbent of No 10 Downing Street to do its bidding almost without question when it comes to military matters.  Heaven knows whether President Obama will launch a punitive strike against Syria in the days ahead. Some political fudge may yet enable Cameron to involve Britain anyway.

But in my view there’s no doubt the Prime Minister has made a colossal fool of himself, on a matter of the utmost gravity – that of war and peace. Almost the worst part of the fiasco is that one day we shall need to deploy our shrunken armed forces against a real threat from a real foreign enemy.

And because our leaders have so often deceived us in the past, crying wolf amid their own hubristic  delusions and pretensions, the British people will not believe them.

The theatrics out of the usual warmongers like John McCain and some even weirder ones from less customary ones like Joe Biden notwithstanding, I don’t see much, if any evidence that the American people are buying the “Assad is winning the civil war so he did the one thing that Obama said was needed to trigger US involvement”.

Considering that his father nearly flattened Hama in 1982 and had up to 40,000 Syrians killed in a 27-day massacre, the idea that Assad had any need to use chemical weapons is simply absurd.  It is a pity that the American Congress has neither a backbone nor the ability to stop responding to the war drums like Pavlov’s dogs to the dinner bell.