UK lawmakers differentiate themselves from US ‘rogue superpower’
The US rhetoric of striking Syria without the support of Britain should stir up countries to create an anti-hegemonic alliance, RT's contributor Afshin Rattansi believes, now that the UK has voted against joining anti-Damascus military coalition.
RT: So any possibility of British involvement in a military campaign in Syria has been ruled out after British MPs voted down the prospect in parliament - a huge setback for Prime Minister Cameron?
Afshin Rattansi: Very much so and it caught some of the
mainstream media by surprise. They say that the US is a declining
superpower but it has just lost one of its closest military
allies. The Prime Minister himself says that he has heard the
voice of the people and they don’t want it. We’ve got to remember
that the US is sending its fifth war ship into the Mediterranean.
Ahead of this vote in the British parliament ten thousand people
went to al Marsa checkpoint with Lebanon, fleeing what they
thought were Tomahawk missile strikes in the offing presumably
using British cover and military help.
So what is happening in Westminster and in the Parliament, should
not blind us to the fact, that all the joking around - and it was
joking around - this is a joint intelligence memo by a man called
John Doe. Just a couple of weeks ago he was sending in heavies
apparently to smash up the British Guardian newspaper computers.
But here he is saying chemical weapons sources are based on
YouTube videos, the British Parliament would not take it and
David Cameron is seemingly realizing that 90 percent maybe of the
British public don’t support the US military action.
RT: How would you assess David Cameron's performance in Parliament today?
AR: This document that he went off is obviously completely
absurd; he could not persuade his own party members. They kept on
mentioning Tony Blair and his dodgy dossier where he of course
took things out from the PhD thesis and we all know about the
Iraq situation. President Obama must have told him – why do you
need parliamentary consensus? Within minutes of that vote he was
saying to officials, regardless of British reaction military
strikes could happen. Yes, a certain spotlight on David Cameron.
If he can’t get his own MPs to vote on something as important as
war, war or peace, well, they chose peace. And how ironic - it's
99 years almost to the day, August 1914 since WWI broke out. Most
of the debate, a lot of the debate was about the start of WWI.
The great powers of this equation on Syria and it looks like the
British Parliament listened to the people and seemingly listened
RT: How will this affect the much talked about special relationship between the US and the UK?
AR: How quick for Barack Obama? It was only few minutes since debate started that the White House began briefing. The US Congress already saying the extra information isn’t much. David Cameron, we could say tried his best but his motion, the motion in the Parliament here was basically saying it was minimal; it did not need that amount of proof. But it looked like the British Parliament wanted to make a stand on the UN report, even the inspector report saying president Assad caused the killing of all those people in Guta near Damascus using chemical weapons- even that would not have convinced the British Parliament. British Parliament is seemingly differentiating itself from US state policy and favors the UN Security Council. It is a sign of a declining super power that the US can no longer get Britain’s support. And of course Britain has bases in Cyprus and there are masses of American bases in Britain, some people call Britain an American aircraft carrier. Perhaps this is a sign of beginning of the end of that.
RT: It looks like Cameron now has to keep the UK's
missiles on hold for the time being. So will the US do it alone?
AR: The Wall Street Journal is citing that Damascus,
Aleppo, Homs, Latakia airport are all targets. Then of course
we’re hearing that people are being moved there. Well what will
the retaliation be? Will it be against the British bases in
Cyprus? What does Britain do then? If you have one rogues
superpower, it is going to act alone without US Congressional
approval, without UN Security Council approval, without the
approval of its NATO partners. Perhaps it's for the historians to
say what people should be doing now, which is allying themselves
against a rogue superpower that is quite willing to evade any
kind of norms of international law. It was mentioned in the
British debate. If president Putin or Xi Jinping decided to bomb
a country because they suspected them of killing 100 people using
chemical weapons, without Security Council approval, what would
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.