Parliamentary vote in London puts a stop to that country’s planned military intervention in Syria
Although it is causing great angst in Britain, there is something a bit refreshing about this week’s parliamentary debate in London on whether the Brits should intervene in the military conflict in Syria. In a stunning turnabout, and after an impassioned debate, Prime Minister David Cameron failed to win a majority vote to support his military plan.
Ever since the recent sinister gas attack on Syrian civilians, Western countries have quite rightly been wringing their collective hands trying to figure out how to punish the Bashar Assad government. In the eyes of civilized people, using poison gas to attack your own citizens is crossing an unforgiveable moral line in the sand.
Although the Western countries are convinced the Assad regime was responsible for the attack, the final United Nations report on just who was responsible — the government or rebels — has not been released yet.
The challenge is that while Western nations, including Canada, wholeheartedly agree something needs to be done, figuring out what to do is the problem. When it comes to military intervention, all countries have ruled out sending troops into combat. No one wants to be drawn into another situation like the military campaigns in Iraq or Afghanistan.
About the only other option is sending in missiles and bombs. The trouble with missiles and bombs is they don’t always hit who they are suppose to; in fact, in many cases they hit or make life miserable for innocent civilians.
The Syrian conflict doesn’t have a lot of good guys on either side. The misdeeds of the Assad government are well documented. And the rebel side is filled with all manner of factions, many of them violent, united under the goal of toppling the government. What would happen if the rebels gained power is anyone’s guess, but it would not likely be a pretty scene.
With the parliamentary vote forcing Britain to withdraw its military plans, the ball is now solidly in the court of the Americans. Losing the support of Britain makes U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision even more difficult, especially after all the recent huffing and puffing from him and people like Prime Minister Cameron. His choices aren’t great. Do nothing and look weak; charge ahead blindly and look brutish and vengeful.
One can agree or disagree with what Britain did, but the decision was reached in a democratic manner and forum. And reason carried the day, not rhetoric. The voices of the people in Great Britain spoke to their MPs, with the majority of them saying no to blindly rushing off on an uncertain military adventure, with unpredictable results.
All agree Assad must go, and all agree using poison gas is unconscionable, but like all issues in the Middle East it is complicated so the wisdom of Solomon may well be needed to solve the Syrian crisis. But to their credit, British MPs decided that simply spilling blood is not the answer.
… Some weekend thoughts
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… A debate that raged among the national and local press corps at the Rodd Brudenell Resort during the Federal Liberal Caucus annual meeting this week remains unresolved. The discussion centered on the geographic location of the resort which hosted the caucus meetings. The national press corps was given a variety of options for their story placelines, including Cardigan, Georgetown, Georgetown Royalty, Brudenell, Roseneath and Poole’s Corner. No one could agree but the two front-runners were Georgetown Royalty and Roseneath.