The Obama administration’s plans to strike at Syria lost its most important foreign ally tonight when the British government said it would not take part in any military action against Syria for its suspected use of chemical weapons.
The announcement by British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond came after Prime Minister David Cameron was defeated in the House of Commons when he put it to a vote.
Cameron said it was clear that Parliament did not want to see British military action.
“I get that and the government will act accordingly,” the prime minister said.
David Cameron’s authority in Parliament and on the world stage was dealt an unprecedented blow last night as he faced a breathtaking Commons defeat over plans for missile strikes on Syria.
In an extraordinary assault on the Prime Minister’s authority, 50 coalition MPs joined Labour in voting against a watered-down Government motion supporting the ‘principle’ of military action.
There were shouts of ‘resign’ from the Labour benches as the result – 285 votes to 272 – was announced to a shocked House of Commons.
The last time something like this happened in the United Kingdom was in 1782, when Parliament told George III that his war with the colonies was over; there is no word whether the Queen of England allowed herself a dry chuckle, or even two, in response to yesterday’s news. Do not be surprised if she did; the House of Hanover isn’t known for holding grudges over slights, but that doesn’t mean that they ever forget them, either.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: How did this fail? If it was always going to fail, then why did they have the vote? – And yes, that’s a question that should be directed at the American government; I’m guessing that the British government scheduled this vote at President Obama’s no-doubt urgent request, which means that Barry has some British egg on his face, too.