Syria Strike

Trump, Macron and May strike targets in Syria and avoid hitting Russian targets. The fog of war instantly rises, the Russians say the majority of missiles were shot down and the Americans say each one hit their targets.

If they degrade Bashir al Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, then they have achieved a goal. If they hit any Russian targets, they have achieved something else.

In an excellent analysis, Andrew Adonis has this to say about it. He sees Theresa May’s action as avoiding an embarrassing vote in the Parliament which may not agree that taking non-effective action is a priority. Alignment with Trump may demonstrate to Putin that the UK is to be taken seriously however laughable the net balance of actions by this government are.

Green MP, Caroline Lucas points out that acting before the OCWP can inspect is ridiculous.

The problem with this kind of military gesture is that the powers that order it have no real idea of the consequential effect. Right-Wing Tories keep trying to point out that a vote in Parliament got David Cameron a defeat but is not the scrutiny of the parliament desirable before we run into accidental war with Russia? Our lack of preparedness for war is obvious enough. Is the Government expressing a fear that protection by Trump is entirely necessary

Trumpism

The Trump Doctrine is to lash out and then realise that was not a very good idea. A prime example is his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He calls the leader of that stricken country an “animal” for killing a number of people with “nerve agents” and Chlorine gas and plans to send in the missiles. Except that Russia threatened him back and now he has to negotiate for fear of starting a firestorm and losing major assets as Russia threatened.

The legal point that it is an internal matter for Syria and that independence is the very heart of sovereignty that other nations have no business undermining. Oh, but if “we let Syria use chemical weapons” then “they will again, with impunity”. Understandable sentiment. The world would be a better place without weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Gassing the civilian population is not necessarily as evil as dropping an H Bomb, but it causes unbelievable suffering and only with effective action can their use be stopped.

But the May government in Britain believes that Syria’s sponsor, Russia, used a Novichok nerve agent in the UK to remove a retired spy. She has acted as though it were proven with evidence and it seems “the right thing to do” to most conservative idealists.

But is it? And is her plan to attack the government of Syria going to result in a war between the UK and Syria, or more significantly, with Russia?