Cameron’s War: Syria + Sarin = Iraq + WMD?

The war in Iraq is over. Everybody is pulling out of Afghanistan.

That a state of violent chaos continues in these countries is really of no consequence. But the subsequent consumption of weapons and ammunition by the US and the UK and in Nato will be a little too low and a growth in this consumption is something to be desired. The Libyan escapade was far too short and too limited in scope to contribute much to the consumption of materials and to the coffers of the weapons industry. And a vigorous and profitable weapons industry does require that that consumption should grow and not just be maintained or  – god forbid – be allowed to decline.

The weapons industry needs a new war. After all if the existing weapons and ammunition don’t get used up how can one sell any more in these times of financial cut-backs. France has Mali. But the US and the UK desperately need a new war. The US needs a new war for economic reasons.

Washington PostAs U.S. wars end, drop in spending hurts economyA surprising 11.5 percent annualized drop in military spending is holding back the economic recovery, …

Obama would like to leave office having won a war of his own. Bush’s war on terror is a little unsatisfactory since it can never be won and it is not something Obama has created himself. Getting Osama provided little profit for the weapons industry. Cameron needs a new war for purely domestic reasons. He will have to face a new election in 2015. He needs to recreate his own image –  to try and live up to the heroic legacies of Winston Churchill in WW2, Margaret Thatcher in The Falklands and of Tony Blair in Iraq. Once upon a time, wars were declared when there was a genuine belief that no other options were available and a clear enemy could be defined. Bush and Blair (and Howard) and the neo-cons changed all that. They realised that the reasons for a desirable war could always be manufactured. Dossiers could be “sexed up” to invent enemies and provide evidence of their evil doings. Of course the “enemy” needed to be relatively weak so that a “victory” would not be jeopardised but sufficiently strong so that both air and ground forces could consume their equipment. Later if anybody found out that the reasons to go to war had been manufactured, they could just blame faulty intelligence.

It could be happening again in Syria. Cameron really needs to reinvent himself and if it takes a war to do that – then so be it. To just follow in the footsteps of “Slimy Tony” is a little demeaning, so this time the evidence for Syria and Sarin gas will have to be manufactured much more carefully than for Iraq and WMD.

BBCThe US president said there was “some evidence that chemical weapons have been used on the population in Syria, these are preliminary assessments, they’re based on our intelligence gathering.

“We have varying degrees of confidence about the actual use, there’s a range of questions about how, when, where these weapons have been used,” he said.

Mr Obama insisted more evidence was still needed and that there would be a “vigorous investigation”.

But proof of their use would be a “game changer”, he said.

“Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law.

“All of us, not just the United States, but around the world, have to recognise how we cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations,” he said.

….. Earlier Mr Cameron told the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson: “I choose my words carefully, but what I see does look very much like a war crime is being committed in our world, at this time, by the Syrian government.”

War has become just another tool of economic stimulus and for building the images of the war-leaders.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Cameron’s War: Syria + Sarin = Iraq + WMD?”

  1. lehautegryphon Says:

    One point I would make being a person who studies this as well. We will not intervene strongly enough in Syria to actually do anything. This is an exercise in hand-wringing akin to what we have done in Rwanda and countlrss tragedies. No one really wants to do anything there. Syrians will continue to die. They threw out a trial balloon and got no response.

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: