Speech: Airstrikes show we stand up for principle and civilised values: article by Boris Johnson

#21
#22
1988 is recent history, we went to war, eventually, over chemical weapons if you can remember that far back? The very weapon's we turned a blind eye to whilst he was acquiring them. 40+ were killed last week, 3200 - 5000 killed in a day by Saddam, we didn't lift a finger at the time.
Lots of Resolutions though, including unanimous ones. Using the Geneva protocol though, not Assad's failure to comply with the CWC and 2118 as proven by the Joint Investigative Mechanism. Something happened to any actions arising from their findings, plus it's renewal. Lots of vetoes.

479, 514, 522, 540, 582, 588, 598, 612, 619, 620. Looks like everyone was turning a blind eye. Perhaps we should do more of that?

Turn's out by the time we got there in 91 they'd gone! I'll hazard a guess they've also moved from where they were in Syria. If we were really offended by the gas attack we wouldn't have given advanced warning, so we are complicit again.
Dunford on the briefing said they weren't aware of any movement. How that makes us complicit in going in two days later whilst we confirmed the Int escapes me.
 
#23
Lots of Resolutions though, including unanimous ones. Using the Geneva protocol though, not Assad's failure to comply with the CWC and 2118 as proven by the Joint Investigative Mechanism. Something happened to any actions arising from their findings, plus it's renewal. Lots of vetoes.

479, 514, 522, 540, 582, 588, 598, 612, 619, 620. Looks like everyone was turning a blind eye. Perhaps we should do more of that?


Dunford on the briefing said they weren't aware of any movement. How that makes us complicit in going in two days later whilst we confirmed the Int escapes me.
This wasn't the first time he used them though was it. All he'd had up until then is a very firm finger-wagging, and empty threats by the west. Maybe he didn't move anything, he was probably surprised he'd got away with it for so long.
If we were really trying to gain the moral high ground we would have gone after his chemical weapons years ago, we didn't, we basically stood and watched. If we're going to enforce a treaty/resolution, then enforce it, not wait years to do something.
 
#24
This wasn't the first time he used them though was it. All he'd had up until then is a very firm finger-wagging, and empty threats by the west. Maybe he didn't move anything, he was probably surprised he'd got away with it for so long.

If we were really trying to gain the moral high ground we would have gone after his chemical weapons years ago, we didn't, we basically stood and watched. If we're going to enforce a treaty/resolution, then enforce it, not wait years to do something.
I'm not sure what your point is though. The Geneva Protocol is different to the CWC. Assad signed the CWC and agreed to comply with the Resolution to give up his CW. The JIM found out he lied.

If your point is 'we' should have done something about Hussein years ago I agree. However, the Geneva Protocol and signing the CWC guaranteeing it and 2118 aren't the same.
 
#25
I'm not sure what your point is though. The Geneva Protocol is different to the CWC. Assad signed the CWC and agreed to comply with the Resolution to give up his CW. The JIM found out he lied.

If your point is 'we' should have done something about Hussein years ago I agree. However, the Geneva Protocol and signing the CWC guaranteeing it and 2118 aren't the same.
In the 'other' thread I haven't denied Assad has used CW, we knew he was lying. The same goes from Saddam. It seems to send a message that you can use CW's without reprisal until the West has decided enough is enough. If we are going to enforce either a resolution or something like the CWC we must be seen doing so from the beginning, not letting it fester for years then taking action.
 
#26
In the 'other' thread I haven't denied Assad has used CW, we knew he was lying. The same goes from Saddam. It seems to send a message that you can use CW's without reprisal until the West has decided enough is enough. If we are going to enforce either a resolution or something like the CWC we must be seen doing so from the beginning, not letting it fester for years then taking action.
As above, the CWC is enjoying its 20th anniversary. '88 is 30 years ago tmk.

If there's breaches of the CWC by parties that have signed it and agreed by unanimous UNSC Resolutions eg 2118 to give up their CW and are proven by a unanimously appointed JIM to be lying in their use other than the Syrian Arab Republic, I haven't heard of them.
 
#27
As above, the CWC is enjoying its 20th anniversary. '88 is 30 years ago tmk.

If there's breaches of the CWC by parties that have signed it and agreed by unanimous UNSC Resolutions eg 2118 to give up their CW and are proven by a unanimously appointed JIM to be lying in their use other than the Syrian Arab Republic, I haven't heard of them.
So we have set the precedent as to how action will be taken if the CWC is broken. How many years ago did Assad break the rules?
 
#28
Boris really has managed to raise penistry to an art form.
 
#29
So we have set the precedent as to how action will be taken if the CWC is broken. How many years ago did Assad break the rules?
I believe the better 'test' if you want to use one would be "When did Assad break the rules and UNSC Resolution after the mechanism to ascertain who did what was vetoed three times and a further effort to reimplement it after another attack was again vetoed?"
 
#30
I believe the better 'test' if you want to use one would be "When did Assad break the rules and UNSC Resolution after the mechanism to ascertain who did what was vetoed three times and a further effort to reimplement it after another attack was again vetoed?"
So the latest attack is based on previous findings and our own intelligence gathering on the current situation? The mechanism is clearly too slow and easily brushed aside by those with other interests. Surely this weekens both the United nations and CWC, if it takes so long for action to be taken?
 
#31
So the latest attack is based on previous findings and our own intelligence gathering on the current situation? The mechanism is clearly too slow and easily brushed aside by those with other interests. Surely this weekens both the United nations and CWC, if it takes so long for action to be taken?
1. The best option would be for Assad to stop using CW
2. The next best would (imo) be for Russia (and Iran) to tell him in no uncertain terms to stop using CW or they'll withdraw x, y or z.
3. The next best would be to allow OPCW FFMs immediate access (currently delays, but bearing in mind the Russians have already inspected and crowds were around the sites of the strikes I'm not sure why, but I can guess)
4. Having an independent mechanism that apportions blame. OPCW FFMs only do 'what', 'when' and 'where'. The 'who' requires the JIM or equivalent. We can all speculate 'why'
5. Having sanctions applied from those investigations (if found guilty) without further UNSC Resolutions being required.

None of 3-5 is particularly speedy. After all the Sarin attack from a year ago still took months to apportion blame.

Make it robust, but of course there's nothing stopping repeated attacks anyway. Just the threat of UN sanctions which currently doesn't exist.

Could always ignore it and tell the media to direct their enquiries to the UNSC. Assad gets more confident, uses CW more, etc etc. De Mistura at the UN gets all upset. Guteress gets even more 'concerned'. More Resolutions vetoed. CWC loses credibility. Countries decide to rearm their CW as they have a precedent..... and so on.
 
#33
1. The best option would be for Assad to stop using CW
2. The next best would (imo) be for Russia (and Iran) to tell him in no uncertain terms to stop using CW or they'll withdraw x, y or z.
3. The next best would be to allow OPCW FFMs immediate access (currently delays, but bearing in mind the Russians have already inspected and crowds were around the sites of the strikes I'm not sure why, but I can guess)
4. Having an independent mechanism that apportions blame. OPCW FFMs only do 'what', 'when' and 'where'. The 'who' requires the JIM or equivalent. We can all speculate 'why'
5. Having sanctions applied from those investigations (if found guilty) without further UNSC Resolutions being required.

None of 3-5 is particularly speedy. After all the Sarin attack from a year ago still took months to apportion blame.

Make it robust, but of course there's nothing stopping repeated attacks anyway. Just the threat of UN sanctions which currently doesn't exist.

Could always ignore it and tell the media to direct their enquiries to the UNSC. Assad gets more confident, uses CW more, etc etc. De Mistura at the UN gets all upset. Guteress gets even more 'concerned'. More Resolutions vetoed. CWC loses credibility. Countries decide to rearm their CW as they have a precedent..... and so on.
It also flags up to any state wanting to go off on one, that the UN is slow to react and there is the possibility that you could get away with using CW's for a short period, then get all apologetic and promise not to do it again? I doubt a few more extra holes in the ground from the weekend bothers Assad that much.
 
#34
It also flags up to any state wanting to go off on one, that the UN is slow to react and there is the possibility that you could get away with using CW's for a short period, then get all apologetic and promise not to do it again?
I agree, if they admit it that is.
I doubt a few more extra holes in the ground from the weekend bothers Assad that much.
Possibly. Possibly not.

He could always devote that time, money, men and materiel in means that don’t contravene the CWC
 
#36
More likely the Russians got to test the resolve of the West, and see how far you can push it?
I couldn't see a 'zipped mouth' icon ;)

I tend to believe Assad had a reason for the use as I've tried to explain on the other multiple threads, but explained below. JaI had separate talks with Russia for a deal. SAA and allies (okay, Russian Contractors, SAA Panther forces etc) had taken pretty much all of Ghouta and there was only Douma left. JaI wanted to remain, to 'administer' their area under Assad's govt control. The deal fell through. 'Alleged' CW attack and funnily enough JaI agreed with the terms and moved out to Idlib.

Syria attack triggered Western action, but on the ground Assad gained
After the CW attack, and yes they are 'rebel scum' and 'beards' etc.
A couple of hours later, according to Alloush, mediators from the rebel group held talks with a team led by a senior officer from the Russian defence ministry.

“The threat came: ‘You saw what happened in Douma. Now you can only sign, or there will be more strikes and nobody left in the town’,” Alloush, who is based in Istanbul, told Reuters.

He blamed Russia for helping the Syrian army carry out the attack in order to end the rebellion.

“They bombed and bombed and we weren’t defeated by conventional weapons so they found the only way was to use chemical (weapons).”

The Russian defence ministry did not respond to detailed questions about Alloush’s comments sent by Reuters.

After talking with the Russians, Jaish al-Islam members then met a civilian council representing Douma residents: tens of thousands have stayed on despite the fighting that has reduced much of the town to rubble.

The residents’ message to the rebels was clear: “They said ‘we can no longer hold on. If you don’t leave, we are going over to the regime’,” said Alloush. “Civilian morale collapsed with the scenes of death.”
As I'm sure you know, CW is used for a reason irrespective of effect:
Dozens of people had been killed under intense bombardment the day before poison gas was allegedly deployed, but there was a difference, Alloush said.

“Chemical weapons create more terror."
 
#37
I've never doubted he used them, but not in the conventional way. I'm sure he had the ability to clear much larger areas, but it was used as a tool, to make a point and statement. Saddam knocked over up to 5000 in one go 30 years ago. He's got away with it up to now, and that's the problem, it's all a bit too late in the game.
 
#39
I've never doubted he used them, but not in the conventional way. I'm sure he had the ability to clear much larger areas, but it was used as a tool, to make a point and statement. Saddam knocked over up to 5000 in one go 30 years ago. He's got away with it up to now, and that's the problem, it's all a bit too late in the game.
I'm not sure war crime tribunals feel that way :) (cue some wag and TCB)
 
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