Tag Archives: bashar al-assad

Assad, Appeasement, Aleppo and the Collapse of International Law

The latest ceasefire in Syria failed – and was always going to fail – due to a complete lack of will to enforce its provisions. This failure of the international community to respond to the worst humanitarian crisis of a generation is eroding the system of international laws and norms that underpin democratic societies.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 69 Comments

The case for Syrian air-strikes: not overwhelming, but strong enough

In the early hours of 21 August 2013, rockets began to land in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. The civilian population of Syria had now become used to this, since Bashar al-Assad had decided over 2 years earlier that in response to a peaceful uprising against his totalitarian rule he would prosecute the most brutal military campaign by a ruler against his people that this century has seen. But this attack was different: the rockets were filled with sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent.

When the images of the hundreds of people killed and thousands injured began to circulate, there was international outrage of a level not so far seen in the Syrian Civil War. Momentum gathered for a military response. Obama’s red line had been crossed. Enough was enough.

Only it wasn’t. Obama dithered. Miliband played politics. Assad survived to kill another day.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 69 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 22nd Jan - 5:34pm
    Yes David - it is difficult to understand why this is the case. Could it be that there is some doubt about the impact on...
  • User AvatarTynan 22nd Jan - 5:31pm
    I hope your argument is correct Stephen,I really do, but we have known for decades about this and done nothing. Nothing that any government has...
  • User AvatarJames Belchamber 22nd Jan - 5:27pm
    Climate change policy was passed in the autumn - we have the policy. These are just the motions - there will be lots about the...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 22nd Jan - 5:23pm
    We had a big climate change policy paper at the last conference.
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 22nd Jan - 5:14pm
    Climate Change is an obvious omission. Where is the opportunity for members to meet and listen to our MPs?
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 22nd Jan - 5:08pm
    Jeff - I know no more than is offered in the piece. I assume University of Sydney ecology professor Christopher Dickman is an expert on...