Day: October 12, 2013

Words of Mass Destruction in the Syria Debate

Note: This is a guest post by Ty Solomon, Lecturer at the University of Glasgow

Even though the war in Syria has been raging for the past two years, much of the global outrage that we now see has only erupted with the recent reports about Bashar al Assad’s government attacking civilians with chemical weapons.   Arguably, the past two long years of war has not provoked the same level of indignation as we are now seeing from world leaders and publics.  Why is it only now, with the use of chemical weapons – and not the use of “conventional” bombs and guns – have the US and UK governments seriously debated intervening?  The conflict has not necessarily taken a turn for the worse with the recent poison gas revelations.  By some accounts 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict before the chemical weapons attack, which itself is reported to have killed about 1,400 people  While indeed horrific, chemical weapons are not necessarily more deadly than “regular” bombs and guns.

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Cameron’s Respect for the House of Commons’ No Vote on Syria was a Good Day for Democracy

Jump to 1:13: It’s the best question asked during the GOP debates last year

Were any other Americans rather awestruck when David Cameron announced himself bound by the the House of Commons’ vote against attacking Syria last month? Wow. I found that so impressive – a due process binding executive war-making. Very nice. I am so used to strutting American presidents insisting that they can use force pretty much as they wish. Somehow the AUMF permitted Iraq and the drone war, and then came Obama’s insufferably condescending and monarchical comment in his Syria speech that even though he didn’t need Congress’ approval, he would deign to consult them anyway. Oh, how nice of you to remember the rest of us! Ech!

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