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Former UK Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson is credited with using, and coining, the phrase "A week is a long time in politics". This week however a day, and even a couple of hours are a "long time" in politics. Events have been bouncing back and forth as US President Barack Obama decides whether to go ahead with military strikes against Syria for the alleged regime use of chemical weapons on August 21.
It is not about helping the people of Syria ut saving face, meting out justice for a perceived wrongdoing, letting other countries know that chemical weapon use will not be tolerated, securing middle eastern gas and oil pipelines, beating Russia, ousting Assad of Syria, helping Israel and so much more.
Helping the people of Syria is way down the "to do list".
As Bob Dylan predicted though around 50 years ago the times have changed. People in the west are less likely to blindly support their government, like innocent lambs trotting off to slaughter.
In the 21st Century following, many lies by politicians and world leaders, plus a great deal of manipulation of world affairs by these people and their special forces, we demand proof. Sometimes proof is just not available but for many the case for military strikes against Syria has not been justified, yet.
When Ed Miliband, and a number of UK coalition ministers, defeated Cameron's Commons vote on scheduled strikes against Syria plans were thrown into question. The French initially ran to support the US, and Secretary of State John Kerry verbally slated the UK. Not in an open way but sneakily with pointed references to the long working relationship between the French and the Americans.
In doing so he proved why the UK is right to act in a way which is true to itself rather than sailing on the coat-tails of another country, the USA, as if it were its colonial underling. If the UK's active allegiance to the USA is forgotten the first time we say NO, then so what? With friends like that who needs enemies? If in life you had such a friend you would soon get rid of them.
However it has to be noted that the UK Commons' defeat stalled military strikes. This small "insignifcant" country made a difference, as always. This time it was by its democratic process which is ironic.
President Obama has reiterated the US UK special relationship, either edging his bets or because behind the scenes the UK is still up to its grubby neck in the unfolding fiasco. Conspiracy theories are multiplying at record speed and the situation is fluid.
Tuesday President Obama addressed his nation and the US congressional vote on Syria is delayed, at least for now.
The fact that Putin appears to be at the heart of a plan to remove chemical weapons from Syria does not sit well with many Americans. People in the UK are less "commie" scared having never been taught to fear "reds under the bed". Here we do not want to unleash what could be the start of WW111. Unlike the US the UK has been blitzed with bombs in the past and knows the true horror of war first hand, not as people across the world.
In truth many people in the UK fear the US these days with its record of online spying, the Iraq war, its support of rebels in Afghanistan during the Reagan years ago and more.
The US Has No Credibility Dealing With Chemical Weapons
The controversy over Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles is not new. Both the Bush administration and Congress, in the 2003 Syria Accountability Act, raised the issue of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles, specifically Syria's refusal to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. The failure of Syria to end its chemical weapons program was deemed sufficient grounds by a large bipartisan majority of Congress to impose strict sanctions on that country. Syria rejected such calls for unilateral disarmament on the grounds that it was not the only country in the region that had failed to sign the CWC—nor was it the first country in the region to develop chemical weapons, nor did it have the largest chemical weapons arsenal in the region.
Indeed, neither of the world's two largest recipients of US military aid - Israel and Egypt - is a party to the convention either. Never has Congress or any administration of either party called on Israel or Egypt to disarm their chemical weapons arsenals, much less threatened sanctions for their failure to do so. US policy, therefore, appears to be that while it is legitimate for its allies Israel and Egypt to refuse to ratify this important arms control convention, Syria needed to be singled out for punishment for its refusal.
"The Chemical Weapons Convention was adopted by member states in 1992 and came into force in 1997. Signatories pledge not to use chemical weapons, to halt any trade or production of chemical weapons and to destroy their stockpile within ten years of signing. Syria is not the only state that has refused to sign the convention. Four other states, Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan have not signed up, and Israel and Myanmar signed the convention but never ratified it."
So what power does the CWC have?"
What power indeed?
If you want to consider conspiracy theories you could say that the US dropped two atom bombs on the Japanese at the end of WW11 rather than use chemical weapons. The effect compared to CW did not differ except it damaged the environment for years and destroyed buildings and the landsacpe. Was the effect on the people bombed less painful than a chemical weapons attack? We doubt it.
Some people claim that the US opted to drop two atom bombs to test their capability and the terms of surrender by the Japanese did not alter from first to second bomb.
Still the US addressed the potential damage caused by atom bombs by developing the neutron bomb in 1958, and testing it in 1963 at a test facility in a Nevada underground facility, which until this year they denied existed. More lies. Yes countries were committing to remove and control chemical weapons so creation of other ways to kill and destroy were necessary.
Saddam Hussein was persuaded to surrender Iraq'a chemcial weapons in the 90's but that country was still invaded by NATO forces led by the US under G W Bush, using fake evidence of CW. Will this fate face Assad and Syria?
But Assad used CW on his own people. Well then there is the theory that rebels in Syria worked with forces from Israel or Saudi Arabia or the US to accquire chemical weapons for use in order to escalate the civil war to the next level knowing that doing so breeched international laws.
And on it goes.
Lies and liars
For many the consenus, when they read history and study the facts is that politicians are at times a bunch of liars with lies tripping off their tonuges as it suits.
For now military strikes against Syria are on hold but don't hold your breath.
Full transcript of President Obama's speech here