The Great Debate over Syria: The Impact of Lessons from the Iraqi War Misjudgment

by Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai

The adage, “Once bitten twice shy,” came visibly to the fore during the great debate on Syria in the British Parliament on August 29, 2013.

The young, bright, Oxford trained, British Prime Minister, David Cameron pulled out many rabbits from his hat, but he failed to convince the British House of Commons that Britain has an insurable interest in Syria, to warrant a military intervention.

With great oratorical skill, possibly acquired at the Oxford Debating Society, he argued with great energy that Syria should be invaded by the use of military force.

David Cameron is a very lucky man. He was born only in 1966 and he has risen to the top very quickly. People, who rise to the top very quickly, may find that they have nowhere else to go except to come down. Is this beginning of the end?

His defeat in the House of Commons on August 29, 2013, may signal that decline.

Hobbes argued that all our actions are propelled by self-love, which he identifies with the desire for power.

David Cameron issued an ordinance, recalling Members of Parliament to approve his proposal for a military strike on Syria.

The recall was a minor irritant, especially when the Members remember that this Prime Minister has been cutting funds, laid off many service men, increased university fees and canvassed for Britain to get out of Europe.
In short, British economy, which is just resurrecting from recession, has no insurable interest, nor national security interest in the Syrian crisis.
The Members of Parliament refused to join in the privateering, military expedition to Syria, which would add petrol to the cauldron, already past redemption.

Perhaps David Cameron had his eyes on the next parliamentary elections. So, he appears to seek per-eminence and self-preservation.

The UN inspectors were at work, the UN was set to debate issues concerning Syria. It was illogical to make a case for intervention in Syria.
So, the failure to convince the British Parliament was self-inflicted.
I recall a scenario in the story told by William Shakespeare in the “Merchant of Venice”.

When the money-lender, Shylock insisted on getting his pound of flesh, the lawyer defending the debtor said, “Yes, you can have your pound of flesh, no more, no less.”

Shylock was defeated.

Now, what are the consequences of a military strike? No citizen, who is a non-combatant, should be killed by such a strike,

Damages caused by the strike are subject to restitution and reconstruction.
Carthage was destroyed and remains destroyed. Kosovo was destroyed and remains destroyed, Libya and Iraq were destroyed and there are insecurities.
Addressing the Curatorium of BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, in Bradford, Professor Ignaz Muller wondered why the emphasis should be on whether chemical weapons were used instead of seeking evidence as to who used the chemical weapons.

Since the heart of man is deep and mysterious, any of the groups fighting for supremacy is suspect.

To talk of premature military strike is to put the cart before the horse.
The GODLY solution to the crisis in Syria is not to rain bullets, tomahawks on the people, who are hungry, cold and despondent, but to supply them with blankets, food, medicine and welfare.

To bomb innocent civilians advertently or inadvertently, who did not use chemical weapons or any weapons at all is curious logic.

The Syrian government has said that it would retaliate. A desperate government backed by powerful military states can do damage beyond pardon.
How will this help the international community to bring about peace and security in the region?

Those who love the Syrian people will be hard-put to convince anyone that the love of Syrians is the reason why one American soldier should die in Syria. The whole thing is a bizarre affair warped in an enigma.

Commentators are arguing that President Obama will lose face if he does not invade Syria. Now what type of thinking is that?

Governor Richardson is suggesting that Obama should draw Putin aside and convince him to back the invasion of Syria. This is arrogance simplcita!
It is this type of thinking, which takes other people for granted that, makes American diplomacy to face resistance from other nations.

Speaking at our recent lecture series at BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, a graduate of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Jim Collins, wondered why war has become so rampant and governments do not seem to learn from history.
I reminded him that in the case of Iraq, history has documented the ignoble acts of Tony Blair and George Bush and should stress to David Cameron and Obama, the powerlessness of power.

I hope that war does not break out between the major military powers. A match can light a Prairie fire.

Both the US Secretary of State and President Obama have forcefully presented the US convictions that the Syrian government used chemical weapons several times and said that there would be consequences.

It could be remembered that Saddam Hussein was accused by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld of being behind the September 11 bombing of the World Trade Center, of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which all proved to be incorrect.

Iraq was subsequently attacked and Saddam Hussein was brutally hanged. For a complete narration of the Iraqi crisis, see Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai, “IRAQ THE NEW CARTHAGE: International and Diplomacy in the Iraqi Crisis” Demyaxs Publishing Company, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2003

In Libya, Muamar Gaddafi was called a dictator and an arrogant leader. He was killed in circumstances of extreme brutality.

These contemporary historical events have led to cynicism and disbelief, which accounted for the defeat of the Conservative Party leader in Parliament on 29 August, 2013.

Jacque Chirac of France opposed the invasion of Iraq. Francois Hollande seems to support military intervention in Syria. No-one seems to know where Hollande is taking the French people.

A little skirmish by French troops in the Mali desert is on record, while social policy is not very visible, leading to the recent demonstrations by the marginalized, feral under-achievers in the French Republic.

Cette une temp magnifique!

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