This is the text of the statement from 10 Downing Street following the emergency Cabinet meeting on Syria:
This afternoon Cabinet met and received an update on the attack against innocent civilians in Douma, Syria, on Saturday.
The Prime Minister said it was a shocking and barbaric act which killed up to 75 people, including children, in the most appalling and inhumane way.
Cabinet agreed that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday’s attack.
The Prime Minister said it was a further example of the erosion of international law in relation to the use of chemical weapons, which was deeply concerning to us all.
Following a discussion in which every member present made a contribution, Cabinet agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged.
Cabinet agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
Cabinet agreed the Prime Minister should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an international response
Note how the definite article has been dropped. “Cabinet thinks this, Cabinet has agreed..” Who do they think they are? God? Any other entity needs a definite article. “The cabinet….”. “Every member made a contribution”. This is student talk. Modern babified students talk like this. This is an example of how the culture of narcissism exemplified by Therapy Culture has penetrated the world of politics (and media – no difference in the UK any more).
Notice the usual conflation of “highly likely” and fact. It no longer matters which to these people. In the 4th sentence it is “very likely” that this alleged attack was committed by the “Assad regime” By the 6th sentence very likely has become a definite fact: “..the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime”. This is startling: a war is being started on the basis of such an obvious distortion of facts – and no one in the mainstream media will pick up on it.
“Erosion of International Law, deeply concerning to us all…”. Notice the religious tone. This is supposed to rally the troops. (That is the public).
As for concern for International Law – from the people who brought you the illegal (and terroristic bombing of Serbia) at the end of the 90s, the illegal invasion of Iraq, the catastrophe in Libya (based on a sophistic twisting of a UN Resolution) and most recently their illegal interventions in Syria this is a joke. But apparently they take themselves seriously.
As for the level of strategic thinking. How will bombing Assad and weakening his forces alleviate distress? The main opposition to Assad is from right-wing Islamists. Not “moderate” (pro-Western) rebels. If Assad loses, Syria will become something like Afghanistan after the Soviet pull-out; a battle between warring factions. This is hardly going to alleviate “distress” (why “distress” and not suffering? – more baby talk). No; this is just about re-asserting Western power. They don’t like chemical weapons because their use tips the balance of power away from the West. From this perspective it doesn’t matter who used them and indeed if they were used. It is the perception that they have been used which cannot be permitted to stand. This is the same logic which led to Iraq. They have a need to demonstrate their power. There are no military or strategic reasons for bombing Assad which, even without the Russian question, will be a disaster which will help no one.