Rejoice. Rejoice. The first chain of vassaldom has been broken. They will repair it, no doubt, but let’s celebrate independence while it lasts. For the first time in fifty years, the House of Commons has voted against participating in an imperial war. Aware of the deep and sustained opposition inside the country and within the military establishment, members of parliament decided to represent the will of the people. The speeches of all three leaders were pretty pathetic. Neither the opposition amendment nor the war resolution could muster enough support. That’s all we needed. The thirty odd Tory dissidents who made British participation impossible by voting against their leadership deserve our thanks. Perhaps now the BBC will start reflecting popular opinion instead of acting as the voice of the warmongers.
Given Britain’s status abroad as Washington’s bloodshot adjutant, this vote will have a global resonance. In the United States itself the vote in London will increase the disquiet, evident already in off-the-record briefings to the press saying there is no hard evidence linking the regime to the chemical weapons attack. ‘What?’ American citizens will ask each other. ‘Our most loyal follower, deserting us just before the strikes?’ What does it all mean and shouldn’t we be debating the issue? Obama’s language in interviews yesterday was no different from that of Bush. He actually said that the reason for the planned assault was that these chemical weapons ‘might be used against the United States’. By whom? By al-Qaida etc. Excuse me. Aren’t they on your side in this particular conflict and isn’t the real aim of the strikes to strengthen one side against another in this ugly civil war? Read more