May Caught In War Vortex

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Apr 2018 11:39:31


THE allied attack on Syria was perceived to secure the political future of British Prime Minister Theresa May and boost nationalistic pride, but the results of the first opinion poll reveal that she was wrong to order strikes by the Royal Air Force Tornado without the consent of Parliament, while only 30 per cent backed her. May nursed the view that people who were opposed to Brexit or who in recent months have made a tactical shift from supporting Brexit to maintaining neutral stance on it would rally behind her on the issue of nationalistic pride. But it did not happen. Instead, Britons started questioning the wisdom of her supporting Trump’s action. They are not ready to forget Trump’s stance and some of his remarks against Britain.
Large sections of British citizens are angry with NATO as they feel that it has been at the root of controversies created after Britain voted for Brexit. Of the 2,071 people interviewed by Survation, 54 per cent held she was wrong for ordering the strike without the consent of Parliament, while 30 per cent backed her.

The people of Britain are yet to forget the chaos they had to face due to the Iraq war. Tony Blair confessing of a wrong decision is still alive in their minds. May has to do a lot of explaining to her countrymen for her decision. Incidentally, a significant percentage of people told the survey that they did not support her action: Around 34 per cent said they did, while 41 per cent were against.
The survey report makes it absolutely clear that May failed to assess the popular mood and perception. The result also does not support Trump’s tirade against Russia and against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria for his alleged use of chemical weapons.

What is indeed shocking for her is that her own Tory MPs have expressed doubt about the wisdom of going to war without the express backing of Parliament. The May Government has failed to explain the reasons for joining the attack on Syria to its people. Significantly, former Labour Minister and navy chief, Lord West, has questioned the rationale of the attack, saying that it made no military sense for Assad to have used chemical weapons when he was winning the war anyway. He did not rule out one of the rebel groups using it as a tactic to provoke western military action against Assad. It is being alleged that May joined hands with the US President without taking into account the ground realities.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn holds that the grounds for military action are legally questionable. According to him, “What we need in this country is something more robust, like a war powers Act, so that governments do get held to account by Parliament for what they do in our name.”
The situation got more complicated for the British Prime Minister as Russia claimed on Monday to have “incontrovertible evidence” that Britain falsified claims of a chemical attack in Syria to justify military action. Russia’s envoy to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin made the sensational claims that Britain and the US had paid NGOs, including pseudo-humanitarian organisation the White Helmets to make the claims.

“Therefore, we have not just a ‘high degree of confidence’ as our Western partners claim, but we have incontrovertible evidence that there was no incident on April 7 in Douma and that all this was a planned provocation by the British Intelligence services, probably, with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the international community and justifying aggression against Syria,” Shulgin said.
Britain, the US and France continue to insist that chemical attacks were carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on April 7.

Despite presenting no evidence to support the claims, the trio carried out targeted air strikes on Damascus on Saturday April 14, before the OPCW were able to carry out its planned investigations.Douma was the last stronghold of Jaish al-Islam militants who had signed a surrender agreement with Damascus allowing them to leave as the Syrian army closed in to retake the area. The Islamist group admitted using banned chemical weapons against Kurds in Aleppo in 2016 during an attack on the city’s Sheikh Maqsood district.Shulgin claimed that there was “no doubt the Americans are playing the ‘first violin’” in a script prepared in Washington. “The United States, the United Kingdom, France and some other countries after the ‘fake’ addition from the White Helmets and their ilk in Douma, immediately pounced upon the Syrian authorities with accusations,” he said. OPCW director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said that Syrian and Russian officials cited “pending security issues” in the area following the weekend’s missile attacks.

Russia denied claims that it was tampering with evidence and Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Damascus is “fully ready” to co-operate with the OPCW mission.Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, “the consequences of the illegal, unlawful military action” were the cause of the hold-up, with inspectors unable to access the site of the alleged attacks because it needs permission from UN security experts. (IPA)