Rather than pause and reflect on the shortcomings of their arguments, they revert to petulant jibes at those they believe betrayed them in their effort to project military power without a defined objective to a known or predicted effect. Leading the tantrums is the pompous former Tory minister, Malcolm Rifkind, who is quoted in the Mail on Sunday.
So distraught is Rifkind about David Cameron’s defeat at the hands of Labour and 30 Tory backbench rebels, he has suggested the refusal to intervene in Syria will result in a perception of British weakness around the world, risking another invasion of the Falkland Islands. Into the bargain he takes a swipe at Miliband in an effort to paint him as weak on military action, when he said:
This will not affect our determination to defend the Falklands. But that had better be made clear to the Argentinian government – especially by Mr Miliband.
Such a comment is preposterous. There is no similarity between Syria and any potential Falklands conflict with Argentina. It evidently does not follow that refusal to use British military power in Syria without a clear objective and required effect, means we would not use military power to known effect to achieve a clear objective in defending the Falklands.
Moronic comments such as Rifkind’s are the consequence and by-product of life inside the Westminster bubble. As an isolated gene pool that breeds within itself weakens and degrades, so it is that tightly controlled and limited sources of information, along with self reinforcing bias confirmation, narrows minds and results in comparatively uninformed and disconnected political leaders.
All of which explains why moral outrage was the sole driver of the desire to attack Syria and there was no consideration or knowledge about whether such an intervention would have a humanitarian effect or harm those who were supposed to be protected by it. There are times when intervention and military action to a defined outcome are necessary and appropriate. This is simply not one of them.