Parliament has voted against British involvement in any military action against Syria. There is, of course, no reason why the government should not seek a further vote in due course, but for the time being we are safe. If the situation changes for the worse, the government could again seek a mandate for action, and rightly so, but at present parliament has listened to the electorate and decided to avoid military involvement.
One thing that worries me is that politicians never seem to look far ahead, and there was no discussion of the possible consequences of any involvement. Action would have worsened our relationship with Russia as well as with a number of Arab and Muslim countries and stangely as it might be seen, we would, in effect, be supporting Al-Qaeda who are now the dominant anti-Assad force in Syria.
Even worse, we would invite retaliation. Arabs tend to believe in taking revenge, if only to save face. Unless Assad were to be killed, he would want revenge, and as he has no military capability for striking at this country, I believe he could and would resort to terrorism. He has Sarin and other nasty chemicals at his disposal; how difficult would he find it to smuggle some into this country for use by a suicide bomber? No doubt we will soon be hit by an influx of Syrian asylum seekers - how do we tell the goodies from the baddies? Assad would only need one baddie who wants to go to paradise in order to carry out a gas attack on the Underground and satisfy his lust for revenge.
So we must thank Parliament for making the right decision tonight, even, as some might argue, it was for the wrong reasons.
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