Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

Syria: Mad dog Assad’s barbaric behaviour needs to be punished


Mad dog: Bashar Al-Assad

Mad dog: Bashar al-Assad

It might be the difference between styles of Government but who is leading the West to War: David Cameron or Barack Obama? The UK seems to be doing the running when it comes to putting all the legal ducks in a row before launching the Tomahawks at Damascus from underneath and on the Mediterranean Sea.

It does demonstrate – despite swingeing Defence cuts  – Great Britain still punches above its weight when it comes to military affairs. Of course, there is no doubt the UK could not commit to an attack on Syria without US backing for both military and political reasons but still it will be Great Britain blowing up millions of pounds on Assad’s Command and Control bases along with the US arsenal. French President Francois Hollande is jumping up and down a lot but is he planning on adding to the firepower?

On the issue of legal and political cover, if the debacle over the lies told by Bliar’s Government over the existence of WMD in Iraq had never happened ten years ago, the US (yes, even under Obama) and the UK would have already have intervened to stop Assad killing his own people and may have introduced a no-fly zone for good measure. Because, let’s be frank, enough innocent people have died already in Syria – the images of children crying in pain after being gassed in the middle of night and finding their parents and siblings dead in their beds is – without doubt – against international law. Have a read of the Geneva Protocol – it’s been wrong, funnily enough, to gas your own people for nearly ninety years.

Mad dog dictators who deploy chemical weapons on civilian populations need to be punished. International law allows this (see Geneva Protocol (again) and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention). Now, when we are talking about Heads of State who are enacting barbaric acts on fellow human beings on a massive scale, we don’t just say “tut tut, don’t do that again” or go and arrest the guy (although that may be how Assad ends up). Civilised countries with sufficient military and political clout have a duty to punish and disable these Heads of State. That means hurting his military power and means of inflicting heinous acts on noncombatants: Command and Control centres, airfields, fuel dumps etc.

Tomorrow there will be a vote in the House of Commons, in all likelihood to seek approval for a military strike on Syria. MPs need to show leadership. This is difficult for them to do, especially for the 2010 intake whom many seem to have come into politics to act as glorified social workers rather than statesmen and women. The Labour Party will no doubt take any political opportunity that comes their way tomorrow – considering the mess they made over Iraq, which indirectly allowed Assad to gas his own people not once but three times in the last few months, nothing would surprise me.

It might be fun for David Cameron to lose his vote but it would be quite appalling to put domestic politics before the lives of Syrian children tomorrow.

Enough is enough. It’s time to put Assad back in his box.

Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

3 thoughts on “Syria: Mad dog Assad’s barbaric behaviour needs to be punished

  1. The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention was never signed by Syria. The Geneva Convention doesn’t apportion the right of any nation to enforce it if it is breached. That right remains with the United Nations Security Council.

    Any action can be authorised by the UN Security Council resolution. However it is highly unlikely that Russia or China will allow a UN Security Council resolution.

    Labour have this evening won their battle of wills with the PM, who faced losing a vote in the Commons tomorrow, as David Davis and his rebels threatened to vote with Labour against military action.

    There will therefore be NO attack without a second vote in the HoC, meaning that tomorrow’s recall is a complete waste of time and money. The Government will give the UN the four days they’ve asked for, at which time the UN weapons inspectors will say chemical weapons have been used but will refuse to say who by. Russia will claim that means it wasn’t Assad, refuse to allow action. So there will be no UN cover, we’ll go ahead without, and if it backfires Miliband can try and play the Lib Dem card – we never backed this illegal war.

    Personally I find the partisan politicking undertaken by Labour when our forces may be deployed totally out of order, but I guess I’m not surprised. What do you expect from a leader more comfortable with student politics than grown up realpolitik, if not a student politics response to a real world problem.

  2. The following Tory MPs voted against the Government taking action. Every one of them is a disgrace to the Conservative Party.

    1. Mr Richard Bacon
    2. Mr John Baron
    3. Mr Andrew Bingham
    4. Mr Crispin Blunt
    5. Ms Tracey Crouch
    6. Mr David T C Davies
    7. Mr Philip Davies
    8. Rt Hon David Davis
    9. Mr Nick de Bois
    10. Mr Richard Drax
    11. Mr Gordon Henderson
    12. Mr Phillip Hollobone
    13. Mr Adam Holloway
    14. Dr Phillip Lee
    15. Mr Tim Loughton
    16. Mr Jason McCartney
    17. Mr Nigel Mills
    18. Mrs Anne Marie Morris
    19. Mr Andrew Percy
    20. Sir Richard Shepherd
    21. Rt Hon Sir Peter Tapsell
    22. Mr Chris White
    23. Dr Sarah Woollaston

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