The UK Won’t Touch Syria

by Brendan James

Yesterday, as we noted, the House of Commons voted down David Cameron’s motion for intervention in Syria 285 votes to 272. It can safely be said that the parliament delivered the will of the people, with British public opposing strikes two to one. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry sees this as “an example of democracy actually working, and in the best sense of the word”:

The neocons urging Cameron to ignore the vote since it was non-binding are missing the point. And David Cameron gets it. Britain’s Parliament, its House of Commons, spoke. And the Prime Minister has to yield. There is no law that says that in this specific instance the Prime Minister should do that–but no matter. The United Kingdom has centuries of tradition of the highest respect for the will of its Parliament, and so there really was no other option for David Cameron.

Larison expects the US to go it alone:

The defeat for Cameron makes it that much more likely that Obama will proceed while ignoring Congress, since he won’t want to risk the same rebuke from our representatives. In truth, that rebuke would probably not be forthcoming, but it’s a chance that Obama isn’t going to want to take at this point. Despite the embarrassment for both Cameron and Obama that this vote represents, it is hard to imagine the administration won’t proceed with the attack because of this. This is good news for Britain, but regrettably won’t have much effect here except to cause a lot of whining about the state of the U.S.-British relationship.

Jack Goldsmith suggests Obama is now going full-Dubya:

The President is way out on a limb, by himself.  Independent of legality, unilateral military intervention in these circumstances is extraordinarily imprudent, and it is hard to fathom that it is being considered by the man who based his case for the presidency in 2008 on his commitment to domestic and international legality, and on opposition to imprudent wars.