Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My letter on Syria published in The Times

Published here in The Times:

We should not conflate legality with morality unless we are prepared to witness another Rwanda or Bosnia

The full-scale military assault on Homs being perpetrated by the Assad regime is precisely the kind of outrage that the West claimed justified its intervention in Libya (News, Feb 6). As this illegitimate, brutal dictatorship perpetrates crimes against humanity on an industrial scale in an attempt to snuff out the pro-democracy movement, we are seeing writ large the predictable and tragic limits of the so-called “Cameron-Sarkozy Doctrine”.
To predicate intervention on a precise set of criteria such as the support of the neighbouring countries and regional political bodies, that there be an authorising Security Council resolution and that no ground troops be deployed, is to leave civilised countries impotent, left blustering and issuing edicts about economic sanctions as brave, innocent believers in freedom are slaughtered.
Tony Blair was pilloried for his foreign interventions, yet he at least had the honesty to do what he thought was right, and refused to be bound by the false “morality” of those who regard the UN Security Council as the ultimate arbiter of the morality of international relations. International “legality” must not be conflated with morality, lest we allow the innocent of Syria to join those of Rwanda, Bosnia and countless other examples where the powerful “legally” stood by, in the face of immorality on a huge scale.
John Slinger
Rugby, Warks

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