Syria

UK Parliament Rejects Military Action in Syria; Enough to Pull US Back From Intervention?

No plan to bring Congress back to debate the issue

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will it matter across the pond?
Adrian Pinkstone/Wikimedia Commons

David Cameron lost a non-binding vote in Parliament on British intervention in Syria, which nevertheless appears to have tied his hands on the issue; he issued a statement saying it was clear to him the British people did not want to see the United Kingdom intervene militarily in Syria.

In the United States, Congress does not return to session until September 9, and there are no plans to bring them back early to approve the military action against Syria President Obama is contemplating. 116 members of Congress, including 18 Democrats, sent a letter to the White House stressing that US military intervention in Syria without the authorization of Congress would be unconstitutional, as it was in Libya. The US intervention in Libya was initiated while Congress was out of session and the president himself was in Brazil. The Congress, however, failed to defund the mission in Libya or to pass any substantive measure asserting the violation of their authority in making war there. 

In 2011, the US was pushed into intervention in Libya largely by Great Britain and France. Will it be Europe that this time pulls the US out of intervening in Syria or will the latest news from the United Kingdom be inconsequential to whether Obama decides to pull the trigger on getting militarily involved? Interventionists suffered another blow when US intelligence officials insisted linking the chemical weapons attack in Syria to Bashar Assad himself was no slam dunk. A fifth U.S. destroyer is nevertheless headed to the eastern Mediterranean.

NEXT: Syrian Government Moves Scud Missiles to Avoid Strike

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  1. he issued a statement saying it was clear to him the British people did not want to see the United Kingdom intervene militarily in Syria.

    If only our own monarchial system could learn from the British.

    1. No it more has to do with the fact that Parliament still matters in the UK while in the US Congress can be ignored in such incidents.

      1. Lest you think parliamentary government is some panacea I will point that a Parliamentary Republic did not stop Hitler.

        1. Goldwin goes Godwin, again?

        2. You know who else wasn’t stopped by…

          Wait. Never mind.

      2. Not only is Congress in the USA totally a bunch of worthless window-dressing figure-heads, wastes of money to boot, we might as well just go ahead and admit it, all those noble sentiments written on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Just pieces of paper, might as well wipe our asses with them?

    2. 12 years of Bush and Obama have taken us back 800 years, before the Magna Carta.

      1. Yep. The fact that Congress hasn’t passed a budget in years should be huge deal but it isn’t.

  2. Let’s see if Congress can show the same resistance as Westminister.

    Assuming, of course, that the bombs have not already flown by that time.

  3. “The Congress, however, failed to defund the mission in Libya or to pass any substantive measure asserting the violation of their authority in making war there.”

    I’m beginning to see the problem.

  4. Considering that the Prez controls the purse strings Congress can’t do shit.

    1. Er what?

      1. Congress hasn’t passed a budget in years and the USG is still going.

        1. And if the legislature isn’t needed to pass a budget then it can be easily ignored as we see Obama is doing. Doesn’t look hopeful for the future.

      2. Er, he is learning you stuff.

    2. Considering that the Prez controls the purse strings Congress can’t do shit.

      The other problem of course it is that president has sole constitutional control over declaring war.

      Man those founding fathers sure were stupid to give all that power to one guy.

      1. The other problem of course it is that president has sole constitutional control over declaring war.

        Didn’t Truman essentially demonstrate that this is true?

        1. He also essentially demonstrated that a mobbed up, paragon of mediocrity can play premiere puppet.

          1. Yeah, but the buck stopped at his desk!

            So there was that…

            1. buck

              Racist!

  5. Surprising considering Cameron argued for the opposite.

    1. He’s got those imperial instincts.

  6. “non-binding vote”

    I’m not sure if that’s the case. I can’t think of the last time a British PM acted contrary to an express Parliamentary resolution. He’d probably have to resign or call a new election.

    1. A bunch of his party hates him so I think Davy has actually made a smart call for once and won’t lay another straw on the camel’s back.

    2. Essentially, it is an expression of the “Will of Parliament” that does not equate to a “Motion of No-Confidence”.

      If a PM loses a confidence vote, he has to resign. If it’s non-binding, then he doesn’t.

      However, it does put a warning against the government that, if they do go ahead, there will probably be a confidence vote.

      1. “put a warning against the government that, if they do go ahead, there will probably be a confidence vote”

        OK, I didn’t think it was as meaningless as a “sense of the Congress” resolution.

      2. Yes, but members of his own party wouldn’t want to vote to have the government fall. Still, respecting the vote is probably the best tactical move by Cameron.

    3. When you think about it, all votes are non-binding.

      1. That’s why Stalin said, “its not who votes that counts; its who counts the votes.”

      2. Except for the Obamacare vote, cause…constitution and shit.

  7. He acknowledged people were sceptical about getting into “another war in the Middle East” after the actions of the Blair government in the runup to the 2003 Iraq war “well and truly poisoned the well of public opinion” about intervention on the basis of secret intelligence. But he insisted the situation was fundamentally different to Iraq.

    “I am of course deeply mindful of the lessons of previous conflicts and in particular the deep concerns in the country caused by what went wrong with the Iraq conflict in 2003,” he told MPs during a packed House of Commons debate on the issue.

    “But this is not like Iraq. What we are seeing in Syria is fundamentally different,” he said. “We are not invading a country. We are not searching for chemical or biological weapons. The case for ultimately, and I say ultimately because there would have to be another vote in this house, the case for ultimately supporting action is not based on a specific piece or pieces of intelligence.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor…..al-weapons

    1. “But this is not like Iraq. What we are seeing in Syria is fundamentally different,” he said. “We are not invading a country. bothering to make sure it’s legal.

    2. Poisoned the well.

      Yeah cuz it is Bush’s fault policing the world can never work.

      When are people going to learn that putting hemlock into a well filled with arsenic really is not changing anything.

      1. Never, because killing with HEMLOCK is like using chemical WEAPNS, but killing with ARSENIC is like killing with AK-47’s.

        Totally different.

  8. This incident, even if Davy does step back, is going to be a BIG deal for UKIP. They’re now the anti-war party. Davy will also be wounded albeit not critically.

    1. He’s going down.

      He couldn’t even sniff Maggie’s boxers.

  9. Racists !!!

    1. 96% of black folk voting for Obama!

      The thingy speaketh for itself.

  10. If military action against Syria at least slightly increases the chance of Obama getting impeached, then is that not the right thing for him to do?

    Other than that… fuck Syria.

  11. Actual quote from a Telegraph article:

    Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, said: “We are, I think, living under the shadow, sadly, of Iraq. But this is not Iraq. We are not putting boots on the ground, we are not invading, we are not seeking to govern somebody else’s country and, above all, this is not George W Bush, this is Barack Obama.
    “And you only need to look at this American president and what he has done to see how nervous, how hesitant, how cautious he is about action.”

    Chocolate Jesus turns bad to good!

    1. “And you only need to look at this American president and what he has done to see how nervous, how hesitant, how cautious he is about action.”

      That’s just creepy.

      1. THIS IS WHAT LEFTISTS AND EUROPEANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE!

        1. Obama is analytical and cautious – Bush was neither.

          I know that does not fit the narrative wingnut radio is feeding you but look at the evidence for once.

          1. He’s cautiously and analytically decided it’s no big deal to illegally start a war in Libya and probably Syria.

            1. Tell me, did President Polk illegally start the war with Mexico?

              1. That was, like, over 100 years ago, so NOT RELEVANT.

                Do try to keep up.

              2. No. Polk got a declaration of war from Congress on May 13, 1846.

                1. Even the Barbary Pirates actions had some form of Congressional approval beforehand.

                  HOwever, did Congress sign off on the many incursions by Marines into various banana republics during the late 1800s/early 1900s? I don’t know and I’m too busy to check.

          2. Obama is analytical and cautious – Bush was neither.

            Pics or it didn’t happen.

  12. the British people did not want to see the United Kingdom intervene militarily in Syria.

    Bastards. If they had just let the Turks keep it nearly 100 years ago we would not be in this mess.

    And yes I just implied that if Obama goes in there he will be fighting WW1 for the British.

    1. These are not the same British people who established a military empire upon which the sun never set.

    2. Well then it makes sense that the British are letting the French handle it. According to the Picot Sykes Treaty, Syria is France’s responsibility.

  13. Will it be Europe that this time pulls the US out of intervening in Syria or will the latest news from the United Kingdom be inconsequential to whether Obama decides to pull the trigger on getting militarily involved?

    He’s got a war boner, and there’s only one cure…

    1. More cowbell?

  14. His politics aside, if I’m ever up for crimes against humanity in the Hague I want George Galloway to be my lawyer.

    http://www.economicpolicyjourn…..syria.html

    I would not want to be in front of his rhetorical blast around four minutes in.

  15. Whether or not the missiles actually fly, it’s helped Obama because people aren’t fixating on his “phony scandals” anymore.

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