Monday, 2 September 2013
The Best Laid Plans ...
As I said a couple of weeks ago I intended to return to blogging but on a reduced scale. Since then my friend who was waiting for an appointment with the breast clinic has had her operation and the surgeon was unable to give her good news. The next part of the 'process' is 5-day radiotherapy for several weeks and because her family live many miles away, another close friend of hers and myself have offered to help her husband with the hospital attendances which vary from an hour and a half to four hours so far.
Two days before her operation she became a grandmother for the first time and she has been unable to see her beautiful new grandson because she is too ill at present. Every day she sees him on Skype though - another blessing for the internet.
Now to the point of this post. I was furious to hear on the news last night that senior MPs have been pressing David Cameron to hold another vote on invention into Syria if definitive evidence merges linking the Assad regime to the chemical weapons attack.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind led the calls for options to be kept open and of course Paddy Ashdown was close behind. Last week he stated, in his rounds of the media studios, that : "I've never felt so depressed or ashamed". I'm sure many of us can remember at least one occasion when he ought to have felt worse.
The PR from the US has been abysmal with Kerry insisting the US has evidence that sarin was used in the attack. Obviously the US has little regard for UN inspectors as he stated his evidence comes from other sources. Haven't we been down this road before not so long ago?
Critics insist that David Cameron's position is on a shoogly peg but, if he sticks to his promise of respecting last Thursday's vote, then he should be commended rather than pilloried.
The crucial question is: Was it Assad or the 'rebel' forces who used the sarin? That will be more or less impossible to answer and with so many factions - each with their own motive - is it right that we go to war again? I think not. The consequences would be disastrous for the UK.
It's so easy to make the case on moral grounds but far more difficult to find an intervention that will make things better rather than worse.
The best development, at this point, would be for the Russians to reduce support for Assad and join the effort to find a way to begin to reduce the violence. A diplomatic, political solution is the way forward towards peace.
Let's not forget Vince Cable's department has been found to have permitted companies to sell chemicals, capable of being used to produce nerve gas, to Syria. The government has yet to produce details of any sale.