Saturday, 31 August 2013

Thank You, David Cameron, For Being a Klutz: The Syrian Files

It's always interesting to watch while political maneuvering backfires.  That was the case this week when Britain's Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron tried to rush things and get Parliament to approve military action in Syria before the UN had fully reported. 

Within hours, if not minutes, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper did an about face, and stopped beating the war drums, so it looks like the US (with maybe a little help from France) will go it alone

The last time the US rallied the Western World was 10 years ago when it led the invasion of Iraq.  Canada stayed out of that one, largely because of huge demonstrations in Quebec. Then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien rightly read the signs and bowed to public pressure: at the time I said I was never more proud of having chosen Quebec and Canada as my home.

This time around the lack of participation by the Brits and Canadians will not be due to truly high-minded principles.  Most observers suggest that Cameron might have won his vote if he hadn't tried to rush it.  And Harper, well Harper is such a toady, such a monarachist suck-up that he'll follow Britains lead. 

Besides he may also be rather glad not to face a wave of protest at home were he to go to war  without a debate in the House of Commons here.  He's prorogued it until October, doesn't want to call it back before then, and probably would have forged ahead anyway if the British House had voted yes.  But it didn't, so now he can kiss some babies on this long Labour Day weekend.

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