Wednesday 28 August 2013


Liberal Democrat members of parliament have the opportunity to restore some of our credibility by voting unanimously against military intervention in Syria. If that is too much to hope for then at the very least the leadership should remove the three-line whip and allow, indeed encourage, our MPs to vote according to their reasoned conclusions after hearing the debate.

Eschewing  military intervention does not mean the UK  should stand idly by.  There is plenty of opportunity to try to restrict the access of  both sides (or the many sides) to weaponry and ammunition,  from which, one suspects, the British arms industry has already benefited considerably.  Diplomatic efforts  can also be made to bring pressure to bear via the United Nations, through the General Assembly as well as the Security Council. However, even with UN approval it is hard to see how military intervention by "the West" can do anything other than make a bad situation worse.

With or without UN approval, military intervention by the US with the  UK (and France?) acting as acolytes  is most likely to generate Muslim resentment and possibly provoke retaliatory terrorist attacks.

PS  (29th August, 2013)  It appears that Ed Miliband and the Labour Party have forced Cameron to backtrack and at least wait for the report of the UN Inspectors.  Good for them, but, as I understand it, the Inspectors will report on whether or not chemical weapons have been used, but not on who used them, so that may not be much help


  1. How William Haig can argue that it is in the interests of British security to intervene is beyond belief.

    Until we know exactly what happened we should stay away from military involvement. Will we never learn that we are no longer a Titan - not even a weary Titan?

  2. I am trying to get clear in my mind why Assad who, for all I have read is an intelligent and even cautious dictator, would attack with chemical weapons knowing the reaction of the western powers who seek his removal. I can't square it.

  3. I agree. Logically it would-be the rebels, who want Western intervention, who would use chemical weapons in order to lure the US over their "red line", rather than the government, who are anxious to avoid western intervention and are fully aware of Obama's threat