As we teeter on the brink of war in Syria… a further word to my Westminster MP

It is disturbing to hear on the news this morning that the Cabinet have agreed to join the US-led coalition for a military attack on Syria and decided that Cabinet approval is all that's necessary, bypassing parliamentary democracy.

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In other words, they’ll skip the democratic process on a matter with potentially fatal consequences for millions. Blair in 2003 at least was bright enough to get gullible MPs from across the House to give him political cover for his illegal game.

I have just come across the following remarks by an eminent US law expert, Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, that show Trump to be on very shaky ground and at risk of impeachment.

Boyle writes: “When Obama was in a similar position in 2013, his advisor Ben Rhodeshas since commented that they turned back largely because they were afraid of impeachment. That fear is well founded. While the prospect of impeaching Trump is thrown around frequently for partisan purposes, on this issue, the constitution is clear: Initiating a war or any such attack without authorization is clearly impeachable.

“Last year, at the National Press Club, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., claimed the authority to target the Syrian government stemmed from the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Gen. Dunford was totally incorrect. The AUMF passed after 9/11 has indeed been used to justify the bombing campaign purporting to target ISIS, but it cannot possibly be used to justify targeting the Syrian government.

“Excuses of ‘humanitarian intervention’ have no basis in international law and in these circumstances are transparently hollow. Israel apparently just attacked Syria (illegal) from Lebanese airspace (also illegal). Israel itself just openly admitted that it is killing Palestinian civilian protesters — part of a decades-long brazenly illegal policy. The U.S. representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, prevented even an inquiry by the UN into the matter. There’s no evidence of any humanitarian concern here, simply a search for pretexts to pursue geopolitical goals which may well include carving up Syria.”

As upholders of the rule of law, including international law, Theresa May and her Cabinet colleagues surely won’t wish to implicate themselves – or the nation – in any such criminal conduct. You might criticise Boyle for his anti-US/Israel stance just as many people are sickened by the Conservative Party’s undying devotion to the Israel project, but that doesn’t extinguish the legal point. Exactly what advice has our Conservative Government received, please, to say that joining this action against Syria is lawful or even sensible?

Also what rock-solid evidence is there that the Douma gas attack actually took place and, if it did, that the Syrian government was responsible?

I imagine most Government MPs have already asked these questions and received answers, but the British public are still waiting, unconsulted, while we teeter on the brink…..

Kind regards etc,

Stuart Littlewood
13 April 2018

Author Details
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.
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7 COMMENTS

  1. To me the attack looks more of a set up like the last one with no real damage to Syrian defense.
    They are all playing politics but the problem is when you give in to a bully he will demand more and Syria will become a punching pad.

  2. It amazes me how the UN can allow a member state prevent an investigation, an impartial search for truth, in matters which effect the lives of civilian populations the UN was created to protect. Also amazing is how a UN member state is allowed to go rogue with attacks against another UN member state; vis a vis, Israel’s contestant bombing of Syria and, the USA’s illegal occupation of Syria. The UN member states representatives are as corrupt as any person can be. Ah, the power of the dollar.

    • The UN is under the thumb of Zio’s and they don’t even want to be blamed for what they do. Might is right.

  3. Yesterday, at the US House Armed Services Committee Budget Hearing, Secretary Mattis was asked what US legal authority there was that would allow the US to strike Syria in response to the chemical incident. He responded that they would be doing so under Article 2, that is in defence of US forces in theatre. Yes, you read that correctly, the US will attack Syria, presumably destroying what they regard as development labs/storage and delivery sites, in order to protect its forces from possible gas attacks. He said that whilst it was not used on US forces this time he could not assume that it would not be in the future. Basically the US would be acting in self defence so needed no further authorisation.

    He also said that it would be due to Syria’s violation of the Chemical Weapons Treaty.

    The first point this was raised is around 80 minutes and then again 93 mins. Also why the US still there is at 126 mins. https://twitter.com/thejointstaff/status/984431168777945092

  4. Senator Bernie Sanders, the most honest and the most popular politician in the US recently introduced a bill to bring up the question of abdication of responsibility by congress regarding ,congressional authorization for war , and the war in Yemen.
    It was tabled and no vote was held.

  5. Thank you Stuart for an excellent, concise statement documented by a top expert. The basic problem is the criminal squeaky wheel in the Middle East called Israel which evidently bribes and threatens all these whores to do its bidding. Of course this country should be shut down by all the other hundreds of countries but even they as countries are nothing but cowards. This is how a tiny outlaw inhumane bully wins. It is truly amazing and astounding to observe isn’t it? The whole world is afraid to stand up to a lying cheating bully hypocritically treating others in ways they criticize others for treating them. Who is more at fault? The criminals in Israel or the cowards in the rest of the world who refuse to take action and occupy this disgusting ignorant excuse of a country until they learn the Golden Rule. Frankly the world deserves its impending plight into oblivion. Because even if this impending nuclear holocaust does not happen in the immediate future, it most certainly will happen at a later time unless some drastic changes are made in human nature.

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