The British parliament’s refusal to countenance military intervention in Syria, and President Barack Obama’s decision to delay a strike until Congress approves it, point to a larger, even more dangerous contradiction of the mass destruction age.
President Barack Obama’s surprise decision to seek congressional authorization for punitive cruise missile strikes against Syrian government targets presents the West with a perhaps final opportunity to align rhetoric with reality, and policy with purpose, in its response to the Syrian civil war.
from John Lloyd:
Thursday’s British House of Commons vote against Britain aiding in a Syrian intervention led me to center on one question: what will happen to the U.S.-UK relationship? Is that alliance now gravely weakened? Can it survive in a meaningful form?
from Mark Leonard:
Syria’s population -- at the heart of so many proxy battles for influence -- last night found itself drawn into a different kind of conflict -- this time over the future of British politics. After the British Parliament's vote against action in Syria, the former Liberal Democrat leader, Lord Ashdown, tweeted that Britain is a "hugely diminished country" this morning: “In 50 years trying to serve my country I have never felt so depressed/ashamed.” But is he right to see this vote as a retreat into isolationism? I think it is rather a step into a more modern diplomacy, one where politics do not end at the water’s edge.
from Hugo Dixon:
Rarely has a UK prime minister done so much damage to himself in a single week as David Cameron has with his mishandling of a vote authorising military action against Syria. Cameron may cling onto power after his stunning parliamentary defeat on Thursday night, but he will cut a diminished figure on the domestic and international stage. In the process, he has also damaged Britain’s influence.
from Global News Journal:
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband hopes his Middle East trip will help nudge Syria away from supporting the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, but on a visit to Damascus he let slip that other Syrian allegiances were troubling him.