Friday, 30 August 2013

On the Unexpected Discovery of Backbone in Mr Ed Milliband

This is astonishing. Britain's march to war halted. Obama checked. the French - as always - looking desperately for an opportunity to give up.

Ed Milliband has single-handedly brought the Western military industrial complex to a stop.  Just think what he could do if he didn't sound like a dork every time he opened his mouth.

And think how different recent history if the Tories of 2003 had shown the sanity and backbone that Milliband and Labour showed today.

The pathetic claim that he was somehow offering 'succour' to Assad, as stated by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, deserves nothing but scorn.  he wasn't succouring a bloody dictator, he was preventing another blundering inept foreign adventure.  And if he really was called a Copper bottomed shit - an appalling mixed metaphor -  by a government source he should wear the label with pride.

And on the subject of Tories, pause to consider this:
Michael Gove, the education secretary, was overheard shouting "disgrace" at Tory rebels, an MP told the Press Association.

The Scottish National Party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson told Sky News he watched as Gove had to be "persuaded to calm down" following the outburst.
While this is all very serious, the image of Michael Gove losing the plot and shouting "Disgrace" and "Infamy" and "For shame" and so on in the Corridors of Power is very funny.

So all in all, not a good night for the Tories and David Cameron, but a better one for Labour and Britain.

This might be odd from someone who is in favour of intervention in Syria.  But a ill thoughtout lurch into a conflict is not going to help.  There should be a UN backed intervention - thoough it is hard to see how it can be done in the face of Russian and Chinese vetoes.  After all, the USA would not want to set a precedent of ignoring vetoes when it comes to the Middle East, would it?

Even an utterly black-and-white UN report probably won't lead to a mandate for direct intervention, I think. The Chinese and Russians will block it. But they must be tired of backing Assad, who is starting to look like a loser. They will probably allow the rebels to be supported and perhaps air cover 'to prevent further atrocities' if they can be persuaded that Assad is on the way out, and they have to think about making sure thye have friends among the regime that replaces him.

As for the nature of the rebels, we have to be phlegmatic.  Yes, some of them are unsavoury and perhaps are affiliated with terror groups.  But what did you expect would happen?  Two years ago, the Syrian people tried to overthrow Assad.  He shot them, and has continued to kill them ever since, while we did nothing.  Did we really expect the rebels to wait meekly for Assad to butcher them because we said they couldn't have guns to fight back with?

it shouldn't be that difficult to make sure we are putting guns in the hands of the least worst of the Syrian rebels.  After all, it will be in our interest to make sure the factions least hostile to us are in a strong position once Assad goes.  And go he must.

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