Latest Outbreak of Mad Cameron Disease

British Prime Minister David Cameron would doubtless angrily deny that he and his buddies are “aggressive”, but in fact like his predecessor Tony Blair over Iraq, and his own predilections in Libya, he has been itching to “do something military” about the terrible events in Syria.

The proposal to bomb Syrian targets with a cruise missile launched from a submarine somewhere off the Syrian coast is simply mad.

Syria has attacked no other UN country – rather it can be said to be the victim of other countries’ supporting an armed insurrection against its government.  Without a UN Security Council resolution defining and approving military action against another member of the UN under the self-defence provisions in the UN Charter (article 51) there are now reports that Britain and the US are seeking to invoke article 5 of the NATO treaty.

Article 5 declares that an attack on one of its members should be taken as an attack on all of them.  The fig-leaf cover for this move is that sometime last year Syrian missile defences shot down a Turkish fighter that had strayed close to or into Syrian airspace.  Turkey made a routine protest at the time, but nobody in NATO deemed this incident to be an “attack”.

The British people are unlikely to be impressed by such legal pretences.  As Vindex wrote on the 19th June, Cameron’s moralistic view of the world will lead to more death, more destruction, more hatred of the West, Britain in particular.  Cameron and his predecessor Tony Blair bring to international affairs all the exaggerated moral fervour of a seventeen year-old prefect in the privileged, enclosed ambience of the private schools they both attended, uninfluenced by any actual knowledge of the people and countries they pronounce upon.  Who can know who loaded a gas shell into a mortar and fired it?

In the 19th Century, Britain’s Royal Navy destroyed the bulk of the Atlantic and Indian slave trades.  This was the result of a hundred year continuing commitment by one country, Britain, on behalf of all humanity to relieve the immense suffering inflicted on sub-Saharan African peoples.  Britain’s action, through the Royal Navy’s anti-slavery patrols, was focussed, practical, and above all determined to reach a clear-cut end point – in this case the disappearance for ever of slave ships – arguably the greatest moral action by any great power in all history.

Cameron’s proposed bombing of Syria has none of these characteristics – and is an immoral act in fact.

If Cameron and Obama actually want to help the people of Syria, they should load up their warships, not with cruise missiles, but with prefabricated houses, sanitation systems, electric power generators, and Navy and Army engineers to offer to Syria and to Jordan which is currently burdened with over a million refugees in a population of only about six million people.  Now that really would be a moral act, as most people understand the word.

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4 Responses to “Latest Outbreak of Mad Cameron Disease”

  1. Ageing Albion says:

    Nowhere in the media have I seen even an attempt to deal with the arguments in this post or elsewhere on this site. Instead, we have a demented muddled rant from Lord Finklestein in the Times, where T Blair can also be found, reminding us all of one of the chief reasons why he is not welcome in this country (the other being his flagrant deception of the electorate over immigration). Lord Tebbit is generally talking sense, but his influence is not what it was.

    It is vital for the country’s future – and I engage no hyperbole in saying so – that this insanity is stopped before it becomes an obscenity. I hope Ukip will be able to press the point. More illegal wars and more deaths are not what we need.

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  2. Gillian Bush Gillian Bush says:

    See also Ageing Albion’s comment on “Supplying arms to rebels in Syria will prolong the war and kill more people” posted in June this year.

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  3. ageing albion says:

    At long last some common sense prevailed and Parliament managed to rein in Cameron’s delusions of grandeur.

    One can easily see why foreign adventures are so enticing for the Blairs and Camerons of the world. For the most part they have to trudge around the country trying to match words with deeds on all the usual domestic issues such as immigration (action impossible with a clapped out Home Office and too many international agreements in the way), the economy (something beyond the ability of politicians who have never been involved in the world of inventing, manufacturing, buying and selling), the NHS (an entity approximating pure communism, with predictable results) and so on. Far more fun to get on private jets, fly to Washington and make speeches on the White House Lawn, and otherwise play at being great statesmen.

    Foreign affairs is also one of the few areas where the opposition is usually fairly inconsequential: no-one in Washington cares much what the UK opposition leader says about anything. (Many of the foregoing points apply to the foreign aid budget, which is why we continue to waste billions borrowed from the Chinese on vanity projects here and there).

    Also, Cameronesque politicians hope to secure their legacy in the same way that Thatcher’s legacy was created by the Falklands War. But whereas Thatcher never asked for the Falklands War, Blair and Cameroon have positively gone looking for some sort of equivalent. We have all seen the results.

    Cameron can now go back to Downing Street with his tail between his legs and perhaps, just perhaps, consider that his job is to represent British voters, and thus address the things they care about. These do not include the methods of murder employed by the various factions in a civil war a long way away.

    One final question. We have sold an awful lot of weapons over the years to various “friendly” Arab countries. (Admittedly the dubious wisdom of doing so is perfectly encapsulated here, which should be required reading and viewing for all Britain’s left wing intelligentsia). They must have some military capacity in the region accordingly. Why are they not putting themselves forward for some “humanitarian intervention?”

    (See also and and .

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  4. ageing albion says:

    Mr Blair is at it again in the Sunday Times today, writing in a most emotive fashion about how appalling it is that we are not acting against the use of chemical weapons. His article is long on moralism and short indeed on hard facts. If he continues to write in this vein, perhaps he can give some answers to the following:

    1. What is the precise outcome hoped for in firing missiles at the regime? Is it that it will topple? It will not, unless a massive effort far in excess of a few air strikes is undertaken. Instead, the US and its allies would have to go to full scale war with Syria, AND Russia, China and Iran would have to sit on their hands to ensure a reasonably quick and decisive Western victory.

    2. Then what? See Iraq and Afghanistan for what happens in countries with competing Islamic factions after Western powers have toppled their leaders.

    3. Only a madman, therefore, would suggest that the West should invade Syria to depose its leadership by force. Let us assume Mr Blair is not propsing this.

    3. But, short of a full-scale attack, the leadership will not fall. Instead, it will place human shields around all likely targets and gleefully display bodies of dead children killed (whether true or not) by the West. It may choose to carry on using chemical weapons to defeat all enemies before the West has a chance to increase the attacks, or it may take a less confrontational approach and just go back to air strikes, artillery, cluster bombs, land mines and tanks to kill people with, none of which prompted Mr Blair to call for air strikes even though over 100,000 people have been killed by these methods, presumably none of them consoled by the absence of chemical weapons.

    4. What are the unforseen consequences? Russia supplying its latest anti-ship missiles secretly to the Syrians? Or the Iranians doing it? One doubts that any Western systems will be able to stop the supersonic missiles in the Russian inventory and the loss of just one US destroyer would lead to a severe dent in Western military prestige.

    5. What of the Syrians firing chemical weapons at the RAF base in Cyprus? Impossible?

    6. Mr Blair needs to tell us in precise terms:

    a. What is the purpose of the strikes
    b. How many missiles he thinks might be necessary, fired towards what sort of targets, in what sort of time frame
    c. What he expects the likely response from Russia, China and Iran to be
    d. What the next step is if the initial strikes outlined in (b) above do not achieve the aim in (a) above.
    e. What the next steps are after that.
    f. How the UK is to fund its contribution given the ruthless evisceration of the defence budget in recent years.
    g. What will happen if the regime falls.

    These are miminum questions only, but they are all basic pre-requisites. UKIP has received some silly abuse recently for ruling itself out on the basis of a lack of British interests. A telegraph blog, for example, thought that “British interests only” meant that we would not respond to an attack on a NATO country is absurd, and deliberately confuses “British interests” with the British Isles physically. Of course Britain’s interests would be very seriously engaged were, say, some North African contingent invade France or Italy. They are not engaged in the same manner by a civil war in Syria.

    Secondly, an attack by a foreign power on France could be repelled by military action, which would have a clear objective and a precise finishing point. This is not the case with Syria’s use of murder methods.

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