An edition of this essay follows:
“This PM has been a foreign policy disaster… If David Cameron had had his way, we could have been embroiled by now, more than we already are, in yet another Middle East war. As it is, his Syria policy has still backfired, contributing to the rise of jihadism in our own back yard.
Cameron should not be let off the hook for supporting the armed opposition in Syria and being ready to start bombing Syrian government forces in 2013… The planes were ready to take off from Cyprus. It was only parliament, in a historic and too-soon-forgotten vote, that stopped this recklessness in its tracks… What was Cameron thinking, that decimating the Syrian army would make life harder for the Islamists, who are palpably the bigger and more atrocious threat? If Cameron had had his way, the extremists could be in control of Damascus by now…
Having got away with bombing Libya (with barely a thought for the poor Libyans, whose country is now a tragic mess) he must have arrogantly thought that Syria would make a nice encore.
This is all the more deplorable because Cameron’s unthinking policy on Syria can only have fuelled the rise of support for jihadism among British Muslim youth.
To call for the overthrow of the secular Syrian government, to demonise it out of all proportion (and remember, this is the same President Bashar Al Assad who was having tea with the Queen in 2006), to predict its imminent fall, as Cameron and Hague were doing in 2012 and 2013. and then to wail as though it was nothing to do with them when British Muslims set off to help hasten said overthrow, is inconsistent and nonsensical. If we have seen a rise in the terrorist threat in Britain in recent years, Cameron must be held to account for his share in creating the conditions in which it has happened…If you want to know the real reason why '30 brave Conservative rebels joined forces with Labour and others,' go here.
Now we have a non-policy of saying nothing, shovelling aid at the humanitarian situation and tagging along on the Americans’ coat-tails. Yet to this day our official position remains that Assad must go and the opposition should be supported… There may have been a significant non-Islamist opposition in the early days, before the withering of the Arab Spring. But the Syrian ‘revolution’ was quickly and predictably sidetracked and deformed by the much more powerful Islamists…
We also continue to support sanctions against Syria, even though sanctions, as usual, do little harm to the regime they are directed at… If we want to help Syrians, it would be a good start to stop making their situation worse.
At the moment we are on the one hand arsonists, causing the situation to deteriorate by indirectly giving succour and encouragement to the Islamists and hampering Syrian government efforts to rebuild in pacified areas and destroying Syrian jobs. On the other hand we are firemen, hosing taxpayers’ aid money on to a humanitarian disaster that we are helping fuel.
Far from symbolising loss of spine, the parliamentary vote against military intervention in Syria was a perfect instance of how Britain can still provide a moral lead to the world without ‘punching its weight’ militarily. It is no accident that the US Congress drew in its own bellicose horns after the historic vote in Westminster, where 30 brave Conservative rebels joined forces with Labour and others…
It’s no good having a strong economy and a sound NHS if all this is going to be put at risk by a leader who bases his foreign, defence and internal security policies on little save arrogance, ignorance and wishful thinking.”
I promise you would NEVER guess that reason, not in a million years. As for why you do not already know who, more than anyone else, was responsible for stopping another ghastly war in its tracks, well, the majority of the mainstream media in the West is not in the business of supplying you with facts the parliamentary and media warmongers don't want you to know.
It was this, apparently, which convinced just enough MPs to withdraw their support for military action against Syria, thereby preventing the possibility of a dramatic escalation of the war.
Check it out.