|Russia's Sergei Lavrov and America's John Kerry |
(NY Daily News)
President Obama has delayed a vote in Congress over whether to strike Syria and here in Britain, the House of Commons voted in favour of focusing resources on refugee aid rather than interfere with the Syrian regime using force (although it was badly mishandled by Cameron with 12 Conservatives failing to take part and losing by only 5 votes). At this stage, France is the only nation that is willing to lead from the front, as a few days ago President Hollande issued Syria with a 15-day ultimatum, giving them the opportunity to organise a “complete and definitive’ declaration of their chemical weapons, revealing their location as well as quantity/types used, through the UN Security Council. Obama has cited the reason for America’s lack of leadership during the crisis being down to Washington being ‘too style conscious’.
One of the main reasons for the British and American public are apprehensive over attacking Syria is the current economic climate. Many people believe that their governments should be putting all their effort into rebuilding their economies and reducing unemployment rather than focusing on issues in far away lands that do not bear direct consequences to their nation, which can be perceived as cynical and selfish. Despite this being the main factor over a lack of action so far, there is most definitely an argument for saying that no one wants a repeat of the Iraq War, and that people do not want to see the lives of their troops risked for sake of people who are not their countrymen. Also the fact that France is approaching the Syrian conflict with new-found military ardour can be used as evidence for this. France were not major players in Afghanistan or Iraq, in fact they weren’t players at all. As a result of this ,the French public and its politicians have not suffered the same kind of ‘war fatigue’ as the US and Britain have. Britain committed 18,000 troops at the start of the war in Iraq and so far 440 lives have been lost in Afghanistan compared with 150,000 Americans stationed in Iraq and thousands of lives lost in Afghanistan. France did not suffer this kind of loss, or war scarring and this is why they appear to be dealing with Syria more efficiently and more decisively than Britain or America.