After the US media has criticised the UK for not being prepared to go to was with Syria and failing to support them in their desire to bomb Syria, Obama has decided to allow Congress to debate the issue before taking action. For once I believe he has made a wise move; it was foolish of him to draw the so-called red line, and it may be embarrassing for him if Congress opposes military action, but even so, I'm sure he is doing the right thing. In a democratic country, unless there is an immediate threat to its own peoples, no government should take military action without approval of Parliament.
What I believe is the problem in both countries is that it is unclear whether bombing Syria would make any difference. What sort of targets are being proposed that won't cause thousands more unnecessary deaths? Bombing the factories and/or stocks of chemical weapons (assuming that they have been located) will release the very poisons that we are complaining about, killing even more. The situation is made worse because media reports suggest that Assad is holding his prisoners of war at these sites as human shields. So what do we attack that will "punish" Assad, yet not cause thousands more deaths on either side?
The other problem is that if Assad is deposed, those that replace him could be far worse. We've already heard of atrocities being committed by the rebels, and with Al-Qaeda now deeply involved the situation could go from bad to worse. As with Iraq, there seems to be no real forward planning either here or in the US as to how we might deal with the situation in the event of Assad being deposed.
I'm all for action against this tyrant if someone could come up with a practical plan, but to me the mere lobbing of a hundred or so missiles at undefined sites in Syrian seems a very expensive way of achieving absolutely nothing whilst alienating even more members of the Muslim community worldwide.
MONDAY OPEN THREAD….
26 seconds ago