In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The madness before the fall(continued)

Posted by seumasach on August 28, 2013

Waiting for Obama

Cailean Bochanan

28th August, 2013

Having absorbed the shock of Kerry’s speech I laid out what I regarded as the logical consequences in my article Kerry opens prospect of war without end.But none of the subsequent developments corresponds to this logic. Instead a number of enigmas present themselves. Having gone to the trouble (although not that much trouble judging by the shoddiness of this false-flag) of implicating Assad in a supposed chemical weapon attack they have failed to follow through in a way that would be expected. They have hinted at a very limited response not aimed at changing the military balance. They have renounced the goal of regime change and they have continued to refer to the peace process which I had assumed would automatically be buried by the recent dramatic turn of events.

At the same time we see the British and French bragging about openly flaunting international law in a way which would be only consistent with a devil-may-care approach when one is about to embark on a global war anyway. There would be little point in carrying an illegal limited action which left Assad in power and Russian prestige sky-rocketing. The intervention of war criminal , Tony Blair, screaming for war crimes doesn’t look good either.

If I were David Cameron I would be getting extremely nervous. Tomorrow, he faces a debate in parliament in which all these issues will be raised. He is calling for “appropriate action” without specifying what that is. I presume most MPs would wish to respond “appropriately” but they may well still have doubts about what they are responding to. NSA phone taps are hardly the rage at the moment and they are left to guess what is behind Kerry’s claim to “know” that Assad “did it”. Was it the psychics in State Department? Or maybe the psychos?

What would particularly disquiet Cameron would be Obama’s continued silence. We have had Kerry and Biden remarking how Obama believes Assad must be “held-accountable” but no specifics about what kind of action, if any, will be taken. His spokespeople insist that no decision has been taken. Of course, Cameron may have received private assurances but can he trust those from the man who delivered a deliberate snub by not sending a high-level representative to the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, the symbol of the special relationship. He may also recall how Obama wrong-footed him over Europe.

Britain , of course, cannot proceed militarily without the Americans. Tomorrow’s vote, failing a Obama announcement by then, would then appear to be premature and misjudged.

I am beginning to suspect that Obama is deliberately setting up Cameron for a fall. I certainly hope this is so because any military action against Syria looks completely wrong-headed and potentially disastrous. But Cameron has already nailed his colours to the mast of that grand folly.

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