Post hoc, sed non propter hoc

by John Kersey

The fact that a majority of MPs has come to the correct decision that to commit to military action in Syria would be wrong – not to mention obscene, barbarous and a repetition of those lessons from history that should be written in blood upon the walls and floor of the House of Commons – does not mean that “Parliament works”, nor is it likely to herald a new era of popular legislative developments such as a vote on our membership of the European Union or a genuine engagement with the problems caused to Britain by mass immigration. We have seen false dawns of this kind before.

What this vote may well do, however, and it appears that this has already exercised the neoconservatives who dominate the Cabinet, is send a very clear signal to Washington that they cannot continue to treat this country as a client state of the USA.

This outcome is, I think, more than anything else a result of Labour’s move to the Left, and its seeking to establish some degree of distance from the tarnished Blair legacy. It is that legacy with which Cameron – as “heir to Blair” – has become personally identified through his pro-war stance. Today, it has caused him a considerable loss of esteem. May it yet be seen as the beginning of the end for him?

22 responses to “Post hoc, sed non propter hoc

  1. “Today, it has caused him a considerable loss of esteem.” I wasn’t aware that Cameron was held in any kind of positive esteem. Low esteem, yes. Still, it is good news that Parliament has voted against action against or in Syria, whether it was boots on the ground or another cruise missile party such as we saw in Libya. Obama was counting on Britain to “lead the way” before he moved himself. I’m betting that the vote has thrown cold water on France’s eagerness to intervene in Syrian chaos, as well. With Britain out of the interventionist picture, Obama can only “move ahead” at the risk of enhancing his image as a complete, dictatorial, executive privileged asshole. Polls here in the States are overwhelmingly against any kind of U.S. role in Syria. People are learning here that every time Obama “intervenes,” the action backfires against the intended policy. He supported Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. He supported intervening in LIbya. The creature bows before Saudi royals and wishes he had a son like the black yob Trayon Martin. You fellows over there cannot imagine how much we want to see him out of office.

  2. Only eight votes in it. Eight bribed and drunken votes the other way, and Mr Dave would be crowing about the people’s support for another murderous war. But only one would have been enough for right to have been done.

  3. As with Afghanistan and Iraq no clear alternative regime for Syria has been suggested by the neocons – just platitudes about “democracy” and “the local people will decide”.

    Indeed most of the neocons now admit that the opposition in Syria is now dominated by radical Islamists with a similar ideology to the very people (the Taliban) that British forces are fighting in Afghanistan (although few would claim that President K. is a viable alternative to them in Afghanistan).

    The neocon claim is that two and half years ago the Syrian rebels were not dominated by radical Islamists – but, unless the neocons have a time machine, I do not see what the practical relevance of this claim is.

    Considering all of the above. I am pleased that my local Member of Parliament voted against intervention.

    “This means you are in favour of the gassing of children”.

    Anyone who makes such a claim has no grasp of basic logic.

    Show me your alternative to Assad – give me NAMES (people I can research) and show me how these good opposition leaders have large armed forces loyal to them.

    If you are can not do this, then I could simply reply by saying…..

    “This means you are in favour of children being chopped by radical Islamists”.

    By the way – the misunderstanding of Islam (and Mohammed himself) goes back a long time before Blair and Bush (and it should be remembered that Blair was an interventionist before Bush was – the claim that the United States led Britain down the interventionist path is wrong).

    Even in the 18th century it was fashionable (as a subtle way of sneering at the Christian West) to talk nonsense about what a nice chap Mohammed was.

    I was recently reading again Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” and this phony picture of Mohammed is there (although, as with some of the word webs of David Hume, I doubt Gibbon really believes this stuff – it is really a subtle way of attacking the Christian West).

    The idea that if one removes evil dictator X the country will be fine (because Islamic culture is nice really), the central error of Blair and Bush, can be traced back to the words of various 18th century thinkers (mostly French – but some British and German). They may not have been sincere in their words (as I suggest above – they may have had a hidden agenda), but less intelligent people (such as Blair and Bush) seem to have taken this tradition at their word about Islam.

  4. Maybe I am too much an optimist then, but a small little fluttery white creature called Hope fluttered by me just now when I read the news. I am seriously (perhaps naively) wondering whether the internet has changed the game since 2003.

    Ten years ago, lots of us had the internet, but it had not yet become Web 2.0 with all its instant feedback. I wonder if the fact that the ease of expressing disapproval, by blogs and comments and sending your MP an email or tweeting tipped the balance in this case. It’s now possible for MPs to see that, in this case, nearly all the feedback in both left wing and right wing places on the internet (from the Grauniad to the Telegraph) was intensely hostile to military action.

    It may be that they really have lost the ability to control the message. The Telegraph had article after article by establishment mouthpieces promoting war (with the honourable exception of Tim Stanley) but every comment section was a foaming mass of disapproval, mostly from “right wing” commenters.

    No wonder they want to censor it.

  5. Ian – Yes, I’m also suprised and delighted. I thought it would be another debate between nodding dogs, followed by bombing in our name. In the event, the voice of the people was just heard.

    If only we’d had the Internet in 1914….

  6. Mustela nivalis

    It was “a catastrophe for the cause of progressive interventionism”, says Dan Hodges, arch-Blairite arch-interventionist in the Telegraph today.

    I’d like to say ‘rejoice’ but that would be inappropriate in the face of the suffering in Syria. But I’m inclined to agree with IanB: there is reason for hope. The internet has changed things.

    • Now that military supports seems out the the question, it would be helpful if our politicians stopped giving moral and financial support to church-burners and cannibals.

  7. I was on record as supporting war in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the maximum extent of our strength. I thought this because I did genuinely believe that squashing our civilisation’s enemies, in the forms of either nasty murdering staniNazi dictators, or terorist schools run under the noses of terrifired Afghan civilians, was the right thing to do.

    In the event, killing the fascist pig Saddam was the right thing to do, I still say.

    However, it was all very well to go to war, but not very well to do it do half-heartedly (as we and the USA and the “coalition” did and are doing.

    Moreover, it seems – yet again – that “liberal” or western leftist-leaning governments like Britain, france and the uSA, seem to like getting their boots bloodied on small-to-medium local wars, far from home. And the same people have the brass neck, the crust, the immortal rind, tosneer about “Imperialism”?

    THis was a correct vote from the House of Conmen, for once.

  8. Guido Fawkes is furious.

    This just gets better and better.

  9. Cameron’s betrayal over the referendum probably had something to do with this too. There must be many people who realised, like me, that he could not be trusted.

    So when, in the absence of ‘cast iron’ proof that Assad had ordered the gassing, and he asked to take his word for it, I considered that as yet another personal insult following ‘fruit cake’ ‘loon’ and ‘closet racist.’

    The chickens are coming home to roost. They usually do.

  10. Only thirteen votes in it. You might think the result well within the range of the statistically insignificant and accidental, and this with a huge preponderance of the public known to be against military action. Such is the nature of our “representative democracy” We could cut expense by employing a good dice thrower and rid ourselves of the 650 dwarfs.

    • It’s more significant than the 13 votes. The significance is that it happened at all. It is constitutional custom for the Commons to support war decisions made by the Executive; they are generally obligated to mumble platitudes about Supporting Our Troops, and not complain about the decision.

      In our constitutional system based on precedent, this is seismic.

      • I agree. Perhaps there are some ordinary human beings inside the House Of Conmen after all.

        As Enoch Powell (I think?) said – “There’s a deal of ruin in a nation” – and perhaps we are not totally ruined yet.

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  12. Even if it might, perhaps, have been right to go to war in Syria, I think it’s important to show the fuckers that we can’t quite, just, be pushed about willy-nilly.

    Think, people……
    Think of the Saxon Village, where the Norman warlord, parachuted (sic) in, demands

    “Alors! Je demande quarante gens, avec des weaponnes-fortes! Billes! Atthes! Aucun!! Any…Ting!!! (sic) Qu’es’ce q-u-il-y-a “any ting” “qui est “SHARP”…??

    Maintenant! Vite! Vite! Allez! Allez! Assemblez-vous-ICI…maintenant!” (they all have to say that, the fuckers, to us).

    “Je veux immediatement aller a-la-menage-prochaine, quelques-miles de ici, pour tuer cet [fucking] batarde-merde, qui a rappe (and il did fuck = (his saxon translator helped here)) votres fillettes dans la nuit, quand vous-etes-ecouches, en vos barnes, commes des [fucking] cochons-merdes!!!!

    At the time, we’d probably have bothered to go with the bastard. And beat the daylights out of the poor young males, in the next village a couple of miles away, as he said. Some of them might have been out drinking buddies.

    But why bother now?

  13. Sean, I see an English High-Medieval story coming on, for your dear friend Mr Blake. I have no time to write it, but he could.

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  15. Cameron demands we should have bombed hell out of Syria if the Syrian government killed 350 of its own people.
    May I draw his attention to 9/11 some very prominent people consider that there is greater evidence of who was responsible for the killing of 3000 American citizens in their own homeland. Much higher quality evidence than there is against Assad and thus greater need of regime change.
    What are you going to do Mr Cameron?
    Get your pitch forks and tin hats lads we are off across the pond David Donald Cameron is right behind you, kilt a blowing in the wind.

    • Obama is trying to work the public up into a lather, and has condescended to ask Congress for “permission” to strike at Syria, based on dubious evidence of Sarin gas that just as well could have been used by the “Free Syrian,” Al-Quada linked “rebels.” Actually, what we witnessed during his Rose Garden comments was not lather, but a frothing at the mouth. He is treating Congress the way he has treated the electorate, as a bunch of ninnies who need to be lied to, cajoled, and pampered for their own good. But polls show that the electorate is having none of it. They have taken the measure of Obama – it’s taken them a long time to do it, but they’re wising up – and have concluded that he has a Napoleonic, All-Power-To-The-Leader psychosis. This is a creature who doesn’t like to be opposed or criticized. Moreover, his Rose Garden comments were precipitated by Cameron’s drubbing in Parliament. His only international allies seem to be fools and terrorists.

  16. It would be nice if Congress tells the MessiaObamaNazi where to get off, by refusing his demand to go to war. But I’m not banking on it yet.

    • I doubt the Congress will say no, since Obama has painted them into a corner; although to be fair I don’t blame Obama, since he has been painted into a corner by all the years of Neconservative foreign and domestic policy; the fascist doctrine of war as the health of the State and the making of the citizenry.

      But it will be funny if they do, because then France finds itself the sole aggressor against Syria, which is ROFLMAO territory.

      So, we may end up with a literally token strike by cruise missile. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the Americans are already contacting Syria with a deal that goes “we promise not to target anything serious, if you promise not to strike at Israel”. That way, faces are saved and the whole region doesn’t go up in flames.

  17. his was more a Cameron cock up than a conspiracy against him. Had he been able to organise himself, his ministers and his arguments then I fear he could have won this vote.