Neo-Con Bloodlust Let Rip 115

If a country breaches an International Convention, that in no sense makes it legal in international law for other countries to bomb it.  Otherwise Britain should certainly be bombed for continual and flagrant breaches of the UN Convention against Torture in the context of extraordinary rendition, and for breaches of several international arms control treaties with regard to the planned acquisition of a new, enhanced, and ruinously expensive, Trident missile system.

Even if we accept that the Assad regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks, that does not give a right to bomb Syria.  Why the lunatic bloodlusters all over our screens – including recycled Blairites who should be in jail –  think that blowing children to pieces ourselves is the correct response to horrible pictures of dead children, is something no TV journalist has had the guts to ask them.

Even the lunatic warmonger Blair felt the  need to bolster the almost non-existent legal arguments for the attack on Iraq with a claim, however ridiculous, that there was imminent danger of an attack by Iraq on British sovereign territory with WMD – in that case the British military bases on Cyprus.  Yet another reason, incidentally, that those colonial remnants must urgently be returned to the Cypriots.  If Britain had been in genuine imminent danger of attack, that would indeed have been a justification of some validity.  On Syria we have merely the claim that some civilians have been destroyed by chemicals; a terrible thing, but when hundreds of thousands have already been eviscerated by white hot metal, and horribly murdered by all side in this gruesome civil war, not the most logical of spurs to action against only one side in particular.

That the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks is perfectly possible but very,  very far from certain.  Particularly as those who claim to have the most certainty about it are precisely those who lied repeatedly about WMD.  That the Assad regime should risk this action now it is winning the war seems peculiar, to say the least.  But the truth is that even if it was Assad himself, nobody else has any legal right to intervene in this civil war without the express authority of the UN Security Council, and there is no possibility of that.

Many on the right are arguing that the Security Council is irrelevant, but we should not bomb anyway as we have no idea of the long term result.  That is true but still short sighted.  The same prudence should apply to the consequences of destroying international law and the authority of the UN.  To do that might seem smart to the neo-cons when the USA is the most powerful military force on earth and we in the UK are its sidekick.  But within my lifetime China will be the most powerful military force on earth.

The neo-cons may feel that destroying the idea of international restraint, in favour of might is right, is  to their advantage, but that is simply further proof of their quite extraordinary short sightedness and stupidity.





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115 thoughts on “Neo-Con Bloodlust Let Rip

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  • Richard

    I agree with what you say – but I want to ask what you think we should do instead. I don’t have any answers myself.

    I might add one thing though – the lessons of history tend to show that the International Community is always too slow to respond. Whether it’s Rwanda, Bosnia, or the Rhineland, prompt action within a week would have prevented much bloodshed.

    Also, can you explain why Russia and China are defending Assad?.

  • mike

    What did Winston (Churchill, not Smith) say about being at the ‘end of the beginning’? I think if this Neocon Operation Mk 5 can be averted, it might mark exactly that. People are starting to wake up to what has been happening since Rambouillet (April 1999) and this even includes some MSM journalists! Hopefully Syria will not be the next name on the PNAC list.

    In terms of culpability, if Al Nusra can eat their enemies organs, decapitate priests and massacre Kurdish villagers, and if their main backers can threaten to attack innocent civilians — including Britons — at the Sochi Olympic Games, then gassing some “heretic” civilians wouldn’t have posed much of a moral conundrum.

    Welcome back Craig. Hope you’re fine and dandy.

  • Jon

    Richard, good questions, but as per my point on the last thread, doing nothing may be the best option. I don’t like it, but the alternatives are (a) assume UK-US are motivated by compassion for the Syrian people, (b) as Craig says, take the word of proven liars about possible atrocities, (c) risk killing more people than have already died, in order to ‘save’ them.

    I wish there were a benign force available, divorced from the capitalist urge to dress up national geo-strategic interests as humanitarian interventionism, but there really isn’t. The system, as ever, is the problem.

    I read something from Blair recently, I think a CIF article in the Guardian. He claimed that we should not be engaging in the moral arithmetic of death counts, though I think that is exactly what we should be doing. It is the ghosts of the 1M+ dead, which he has a direct shared responsibility for, that informs him of his odious (and strangely persistent) views.

    The upside is that it is precisely Blair’s history (and how history is judging him already) that are injecting some caution into the UK response, even though Cameron and co just want to play soldiers.

  • Donald

    I don’t mind David and William starting another war of agression based purely on Youtube evidence but what I want to know is what is he doing about the shape-shifters and UFOs? The UK has sat idley by for long enough.

  • Jon

    Here’s Nick Robinson on the Commons debate, handing media analysts plenty of material:, “Why Cameron buckled on Syria vote”.

    The piece starts “It is without modern precedent for a prime minister to lose control of his foreign policy, let alone decisions about peace and war”. How odd that hearing an anti-war view might be openly regarded as “buckling” and “losing control of foreign policy”!

    Later it says “David Cameron has consistently talked tough on Syria and consistently proved unable to act tough. Today he will try to present that as a search for consensus after the painful wounds of Iraq.” But of course, the attack on Iraq is not described as a supreme international crime, it is “painful”, with the obscene implication that it is the perpetrators who are carrying that emotional pain, and not the Iraqis.

    Oddly, for such nakedly propagandist wording, I still maintain that Robinson and the like are not instructed to make the case for war – indeed, Robinson would be horrified if that were to happen. I do not believe that he believes himself to be biased in favour of Establishment capitalist interests. But, as ever, he needs no instructions, since he does it by his own “neutral” volition.

  • Krishnamurky

    An Anthony Charles Lynton was fined for importuning with another male at a public toilet by a Bow Street Magistrates’ Court. Easy meat for a CIA recruiter at Oxford Uni. The rest as they say is history, shameless Miranda still continues today rooting for a war sought by his masters,in complete disrespect of public democratic opinion.

  • Jon

    Krishnamurky, meh – dunno where to start with that stuff. If you are of the view that Blair does his master’s Jewish bidding because he is being blackmailed out of the closet, then I see shades of homophobia and anti-Jewish racism. Worse, you let Blair off the hook as a victim of a powerful conspiracy, rather than objecting to his psychopathy.

  • haward

    Hi Craig. I’m not sure you’re right on the law. There is a good argument for humanitarian intervention to prevent further atrocities. This is not new law ; I was examined on it in 1978 when I was at the finest University in Dundee

    That said the idea of the UK intervening on the basis of so called intelligence is very weak. It’s time we abandoned imperial pretension , no matter how much the awful Hague wants to be a new Palmerston , and , instead , insisted on a regional solution.

  • Donald

    Jon 29 Aug, 2013 – 2:16 pm

    But that’s exactly what we have seen with Hague. The evidence (i.e. tittle tattle) is overwheling.

  • Donald

    What about Edward Heath? Saved from charges four times in the 1950’s by British security services, suppose a foriegn intelligence asset got their first? We could have had a Roger Hollis running the country.

  • Donald

    How reassuring that the BBC invites war criminal John Reid to make the governments case, and he’s using Saddam’s chemical weapons attack just days after it was anounced that the CIA provided the weather reports, satellite images and intelligence to Saddam that led to that episode.

  • Abe Rene

    The Americans had better be right in their “calculus”, if more good than harm is to result from their proposed action. I am glad that I don’t have to make such a decision.

  • Komodo

    Haward – I’d be interested to know how your legal education might have dealt with this, by Chomsky, written after your time at what I hope was not Abertay-

    The prospective leader of “humanitarian intervention” is also notorious for its ability to maintain a self-image of benevolence whatever it does, a trait that impressed de Tocqueville 150 years ago. Observing one of the great atrocities, he was struck that Americans could deprive Indians of their rights and exterminate them “with singular felicity, tranquilly, legally, philanthropically, without shedding blood, and without violating a single great principle of morality in the eyes of the world.” It was impossible to destroy people with “more respect for the laws of humanity,” he wrote. So it has always been, to this day.

    Several qualifications must be added. The United States is not significantly different from others in its history of violence and lawlessness. Rather, it is more powerful, therefore more dangerous, a danger magnified by the capacity of the elite culture to deny and evade the obvious.

    Chomsky is concerned, as any discussion of Syria must be, not with humanitarian intervention as an end in itself, given legal force by general agreement, but with its use as an excuse or mitigator for actions taken by highly interested parties whose humanitarian principles are to say the least in doubt.–02.htm

  • Moniker

    And welcome back from me, too. Hope you’re doing okay, Craig. Your commentary often brings in points I hadn’t thought of and I’ve missed it.

  • haward

    Komodo – Chomsky is a cracking analyst but no lawyer. Note that he does not deny the doctrine ; he criticizes its use by self interested States and he is right there.

    There was no Abertay when I was educated in Dundee ; btw


  • Komodo

    Well…here’s the advice Cameron has had on his legal position:

    If action in the Security Council is blocked, the UK would still be permitted under
    international law to take exceptional measures in order to alleviate the scale of the
    overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe in Syria by deterring and disrupting the further
    use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
    Such a legal basis is available, under the doctrine of humanitarian intervention,
    provided three conditions are met:

    there is convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community
    as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring
    immediate and urgent relief;
    it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of
    force if lives are to be saved; and
    the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of
    relief of humanitarian need and must be strictly limited in time and scope to this
    aim (i.e. the minimum necessary to achieve that end and for no other purpose).

    No doubt Cameron and his poisonous cheerleader Hague will assume that the spirit of the law, not the letter is important. But how does sending the cruise missiles in affect the humanitarian need one iota? And the provision is for humanitarian assistance, not for reprisals for breaching an international convention. I don’t think Craig is wrong here. Justification is being asserted under one heading for action under quite another.

  • Apostoli

    Glad to see you’re back Craig. Hope all’s well.

    The US (+NATO) attack on Syria is a dead cert. Military equipment is in place. Jihadi’s rearmed and pumped. Majority of the belligerent nations MPs/Senators already in the pocket. Propaganda for domestic populations is well under way. And finally the UN circus has commenced.

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