Military strike on Syria update: British lawmakers have rejected a military strike on Syria. Even though by only 13 votes, the British Parliament defeated Prime Minister David Cameron’s intent to pursue a military strike on Syria before the UN Security Council had come to a final conclusion. “The vote, and Mr. Cameron’s pledge to honor it, is a blow to President Obama. Like nearly all presidents since the Vietnam War, he has relied on Britain to be shoulder-to-shoulder with Washington in any serious military or security engagement,” reports The New York Times on Aug. 29, 2013.
Until the United Nations Security Council comes to a final conclusion in regard to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on Syria’s own citizens, Russia, China, and other European countries are willing to wait before pursuing a military strike on Syria.
During Thursday’s British Parliament debate, Paul Flynn, of Labour, reiterated that chemical weapons had been used before against the Kurds and that no strike was initiated.
“Is not the real reason we are here today not the horror at these weapons — if that horror exists — but as a result of the American president having foolishly drawn a red line, so that he is now in the position of either having to attack or face humiliation?” he asked.
Similarly, Sir Edward Leigh, a Conservative, said that Britain “should not allow American assurances to influence its decisions.”
In a PBS interview, President Obama said that there is no doubt that the Syrian regime attacked its own people. President Obama also said that a military strike on Syria would prevent a potential chemical weapons attack on the United States.
“If we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, ‘Stop doing this,’ this can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term.”
“I have no interest in any open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable,” said President Obama during the first five minutes of the full “PBS Newshour” interview.
Fear is a powerful force and it is not the first time a president tries to use fear to justify a strike on another country.
Using fear to justify a military strike on Syria or any other country might have worked 10 years ago, but today is different.
“Mr. Obama’s efforts to marshal a unified international front for a short, punitive strike raised concerns about the evidence, reawakening British resentment over false assurances from the American and British governments that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
Like Britain, there are very few countries and people anymore that buy into a president’s false assurances. But listening to President Obama’s PBS interview, one wonders — does he really care?