Posts Tagged ‘Cameron’

UK Election 2015: Cameron as a duck to Miliband’s poodle but who is the jackal and who the hyena?

March 26, 2015

Yesterday was the last Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQ) in the UK House of Commons before the general election and it lived up to my entertainment expectations. Miliband called Cameron a “lame duck” for his off-hand comment that he would not want a third term as PM. Since Cameron hasn’t even won a second term, the duck comparison is a little early. (I suppose if he wins he will be as much of a lame duck as Obama was when he won his second term).

In any event Cameron replied spiritedly. He first also called Miliband a duck hanging on to Salmond’s coattails but then called him Salmond’s “poodle”. This went down much better with his supporter’s. Everybody remembers Tony Blair being George Bush’s poodle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Considering the UK general election as a menagerie is quite interesting. In addition to Cameron the duck and Miliband the poodle, we would get Nigel Farage as the jackal hunting for scraps and Alex Salmond as the ultimate scavenger in the shape of a hyena ready to eat anything. Nick Clegg would then be a chameleon changing colour as and when necessary and Natalie Bennett would be the Green slug, slip-streaming behind the chameleon.

UK2015 menagerie

UK 2015 menagerie

 

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A box of his own

August 30, 2013

The Ghosts of Iraq are still stalking the British House of Commons and David Cameron – much to his own dismay – is not as ruthless or as devious as Tony Blair. His Syria dossier was not as sexed-up as Blair’s Iraq dossier.

But President Obama’s dilemma in Syria is a box entirely of his own making.

Red line box

Déjà vu! For Iraq read Syria

August 28, 2013

Déjà vu!

Some kind of military action by the US and its allies – probably missile and drone attacks – is imminent  against Syria and Assad. To what end is uncertain. To destroy stocks of chemical weapons could be an objective but any action would probably only cause more release of the toxins involved. To destroy or help destroy Assad’s regime is possible but unlikely since the alternative would probably be Al Qaida. To assassinate Assad runs the same risk. To kill some of Assad’s military or his supporters just as a “punitive” strike could be an objective but adding to the killing to stop the killing seems a little dubious. To demonstrate a self-righteous “moral” position to the world with the least damaging consequences possible would seem to the main objective. To prevent any future use of chemical weapons by any country could be an objective thought it is difficult to see how many “bad guys” would need to be killed or how much property would need to be destroyed to create a valid deterrent.

For Iraq read Syria. For Bush, Blair, Chirac  (my failing memory) and Howard read Obama, Cameron, Hollande and Rudd. Even though each of the current four leaders is from the opposing party to that of his predecessor. For WMD read “chemical or nerve gas”. Statements by the politicians show that they are absolutely “certain” that Assad was responsible. Evidence is not forthcoming. As it was not for Iraq. And it does not inspire any confidence that to justify the Iraq invasion, “evidence” was made-up by the intelligence services to satisfy their political masters.

That upto some 300 people have been killed seems very likely though there is some doubt as to the number. The main evidence seems to be video footage. That some form of chemical or nerve agent was used seems probable. And traces of such agents are detectable years after the event, though some politicians (Obama and Kerry for example) would like us to believe that the evidence may be destroyed and therefore  time is of the essence just to preserve the evidence. Though it is likely that someone within the Assad regime was probably responsible it is not at all impossible that one of the many “rebel” groups was responsible. Some of the rebel groups – along with Assad’s supporters – have exhibited their barbaric and cannibalistic tendencies.

But I am afraid that military actions will be carried out – again – without any more serious objective than to demonstrate “moral superiority” and to fulfill domestic agendas.  Even though such actions – in themselves – undermine the very moral superiority that is being touted. Some more people – some quite innocent – will of course be killed. They will just be collateral damage and the the sacrifice in a war of moral superiority. That Tony Blair on-board a luxurious yacht somewhere supports immediate strikes against Syria only adds to my feeling that it would be ill-advised. His thirst for blood is apparently not yet satisfied. Obama needs to show that he can actually be decisive – if only for history. Cameron needs a war – any war – before the next General Election and Spain over Gibraltar does not quite fit the bill.  Argentina over the Falklands is better but too far away and already done. Hollande needs to show that he does really exist – as he did in Mali. Rudd would love to be seen at the “big table” and he could see this as a way for grabbing some of Abbot’s supporters for the election in less than 2 weeks.

The chaos in Iraq and the daily loss of life that is occurring there is a direct consequence of the Iraq invasion (and how much worse would it have been under Saddam?). The adventure in Libya to satisfy the European desire for demonstrating their moral superiority will have consequences for many many years to come. Of course the Middle East today (like the Balkans a few years ago) provides proof positive of the barbarism that lies so close to the surface of many human “societies”. And the interventions by moral “police” has always dragged the police down to the level of the criminal societies they are ostensibly trying to put down. The intervention in Kosovo has succeeded after a fashion. But it is hard to come to to the same conclusion for Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya.

To add Syria to the list seems irresponsible.

The only way to address Syria – in my opinion – is to ostracise the entire country. Shun them. Close the borders. isolate them. No weapons – to anybody. No goods, no services to enter the country. Nobody and nothing enters. Only refugees may leave. Send the country to Coventry. Go back in a few months and when the killing stops – help the survivors pick up the pieces. But don’t intervene to add to the killing in the hope of stopping the killing.


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