Monday, 2 September 2013

Syria: Three Questions for Vince Cable

And so, a pointless war against Syria has been averted - for now. Not that you would think it as BBC News has been in overdrive since Thursday's vote. Bulletins jammed with Syrian war porn - classy. But at least some of the media have been doing a proper job at holding the government to account. Step forward The Daily Record yesterday and The Indy this morning. Unsurprisingly, given successive governments' predilection to sell weapons and weaponisable components to any tinpot dictator that can stump up the readies, so it appears our Conservative-led Coalition government - the administration that has not only led the charge for war with Syria, but has been pressuring Obama to let the missiles fly - previously approved the export of "dual use" chemicals to the regime that are essential components in the manufacture of nerve agents. These exports were to take place 10 months into the civil war. I say "were" because by chance they were never delivered.

As this falls under the auspices of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, cuddly old Vince Cable - Iraq peacenik turned Syria warhawk - has some explaining to do. Here's some questions that need answers:

1. What was the extent of the Business Secretary's knowledge of this particular deal?

2. Given that the Syrian revolution had, by this point, fallen into bloody civil war, knowing that the Assad regime is a de facto absolutist monarchy with a grim record, that it has chemical weapon manufacturing capabilities and, then, with its back to the wall a clear motive for using them, why was the deal approved?

3. From the perspective of the Foreign Office, the Syrian regime and its regional geopolitical objectives conflict with those of Britain, its regional allies and those of the United States. So why did BIS approve export licenses for chemicals that could, and in all likelihood, would be added to the Assad regime's arsenal, thereby undermining Whitehall's policy preferences for the region? Was no interdepartmental advice sought - damning in and of itself - or was the export of nerve gas ingredients not considered relevant?

14 comments:

Gary Elsby said...

Why did Ed Miliband allow the renditioning of suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists to foreign places before delivering them to an International outcast Despotic Country to be tortured?

They now run the security for that Country.

Quite true.

(bet this doesn't count Phil).

(ps, as you know September is a good Month.
But there is a twist.
You'll know it was me).

Phil said...

You're confusing Ed with David Miliband. Quite an easy thing to do when your political interests rarely extend beyond an obsession with Labour in Stoke-on-Trent.

And, of course, I look forward to your September surprise.

Gary Elsby said...

As I've pointed out before Phil, apart from my being quite brilliant (the whole of Stoke Labour knows this), I am quite methodical in my thoughts and understanding of modern politics.

Please refer to my first posting as being 100% accurate.

My skills at devouring Labour as I partake in 'gardening leave' are being honed to a fine art.

I know how to bring Labour politics and socialism together.I struggle with Gramisci, granted (who did he play for again?)but I don't struggle with how to bring things together, if only to cause mischief.

My interest rarely go beyond Stoke Labour? Not true Phil. Very not true.

Surprises Phil, Surprises.

Speedy said...

Gramisci? Hasn't he just been bought by Spurs?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the questions, as this raises people's awareness of the rank hypocrisy of the criminal imperialists but we already know the answers. Peace is bad for business, at least out in the periphery it is.

This is the reason why the imperialist moralising is so wretched and perverted.

Looking at the opinion polls, people know it also.

You would think Egypt, what with displacing an elected president, imposing military despotism and massacring his supporters would have faced the spotlight a little more, but none of it! Our noble imperialists move neither Heaven nor Earth in their case.

Down with imperialism!

Phil said...

Don't worry Gary, I take every single one of your postings as a 100% confirmation of your foolishness.

Gary Elsby said...

It takes some doing Phil, but at least you realise that a Government Minister of the Realm is very responsible for the actions of the Government.

If Cameron throws insults back across the floor after being called a warmonger,that is ok.

If Gary does it, I'm 'foolish'.

A Jong Il/Stalin tactic of the left requiring asylum time for me?

Phil said...

Please do tell us about Ed Miliband's role overseeing flights involving extraordinary rendition from UK bases.

Gary Elsby said...

Please refrain in future from informing us of the 'Tories doing this, the Tories doing that' etc....

You can't have it both ways.

and besides......
On the Sarin gas bit Phil, let's hope a new blog appears if (IF IF IF) a gas attack is proven (CIA MI6Tony Blair no doubt is favourite).

In politics Phil, when the facts change opinions should change (psycho left wing suicide brigade, excused).

Considered opinions based on 'no evidence' should be re-considered.

(air raid warning)
Immininent/Stoke Labour.

Phil said...

Gary talking about the importance of evidence in politics. We're truly living in the end of days.

Gary Elsby said...

Remember Phil, Blair went to war based on UN resolutions that required 'unfettered access'.

Anti war (anti Blair) protesters wanted no war because they knew that there were no WMD.

Take your pick according to your politics.
Blair went to war legally (or illegally) choice is yours.

Chemical weapons are a banned armament by 100 years.
if proof of use is proven (ok, we know it was the CIA) then the need for proof is not required.

It will be interesting to hear the responses from those who denounce 'imperialists' (Mrs Jones down the butcher's)and what the west should do.
In fact, it will be interesting to see what you now suggest.

My position is made very clear.
Anti Iraq war protesters were ok about things, maybe wanting everyone to be friends (chemical Ali and Mrs Jones).

I somewhat feel my trigger finger becoming itchy.

Phil said...

That almost made sense.

Gary Elsby said...

I let 100 ants run around my table every day for practice.

With my right index finger I kill as many as I possibly can...for practice.

Best score so far 100 in 6.78 seconds.

If sarin gas is proven and Assad is a proven genocidal state killer, then I would like my skills to be used.

100 Tomahawks in 6.78 seconds.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

oldephartte said...

Gary is frisky - and hardly just trolling w/o some redeeming features. Harking back to Iraq ( for many reasons, actually ) reminds me of After Downing Street and the rampant fraud attending WMD claims. Sibel Edmonds shone new light on the Valerie Plame ( Wilson ) caper ( the blowing of the CIA agent on the Brewster Jennings intel desk ) by referencing to a prior outing of Brewster Jennings to the Turks 2 years before ( going up on the Corbett Report / BoilingFrogsPost ).
But the feature of it all being an excuse to invade Iraq and start knocking over governments like dominoes ( remember Domino Theory from Vietnam ? ) in oil bearing countries is all too trite. Much needed info on the rewriting of the Iraq constitution comes from an odd source : the Panelist posted "The Real Winner in Iraq was Monsanto" : which also highlights the destruction of seed stocks and infrastructure. Less obvious is the murder of intellectuals,etc. going into fragmenting a state used to restrain the Kurds ( not so much these days ) and stabilize the area.
al Qaeda being blown from Libya makes it hardly news that al CIAda is the real Syrian 'rebel movement'...appropriately a crock.