29 August 2013

The Mother of Parliaments rejects war with Syria

The Coalition of the Willing is less so after a chastening decade of war in the Muslim world.In Great Britain, the House of Commons rejected a motion that would have authorized David Cameron's Tory-led coalition government to participate in military action against the Syrian government. Since the head of government must face legislators regularly, opposition MPs, who were joined in rejecting the motion by members of Cameron's own party, forced the Prime Minister to promise further that he would not usurp the "royal prerogative" to attack Syria on his own initiative. As usual, the interventionists portray this as an undeserved victory for the Syrian dictator and accuse the opposition of "giving succor" to a tyrant. The leader of the Labour party rightly called such rhetoric "infantile." Cameron himself appealed to emotion, invoking the victims of Assad's attacks, chemical or otherwise, and warned that failure to punish Assad would embolden others to commit similar atrocities. The opposition replied that it is as yet unproven that the government and not the rebels committed the attack in question. In the U.S., the opposition is torn between war hawks like Sen. McCain and non-interventionists like Sen. Paul, while it remains unclear whether the President believes that his prerogative to intervene in Syria is subject to congressional (much less international) approval. So the American form of government is an improvement on Britain's how?

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