May’s dangerous fantasy

Britain is not part of an international law enforcement team, since no such team exists.

During the Russian-supervised 100-bus evacuation of the Syrian town of Douma, it is alleged that chemical weapons were used. Both sides in this civil war have been accused of using poisoned gas. No matter who is responsible, this does not justify us taking the law into our own hands.

The most likely culprit is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But he does not threaten us or any European country.

Even less is he any danger to the trigger-happy USA, a nation whose Gung-ho reputation terrifies its allies. Indeed these allies are as much in danger from collateral damage or ‘friendly fire’ as they are from enemy action.

That a British Prime Minister should act as soon she received her instructions from such an unstable associate is both terrifying and humiliating.

To accuse those Britains who question this illegal action of callous indifference to injustice is absurd. Our Governments have frequently ignored abuses of human rights – sometimes because they are being realistic and accept there is nothing that can be done, but more often because the abusers have trade links, or we need them as friends to preserve the ‘balance of power’.

The use by Saddam Hussan of poison gas during his war with Iran was ignored. In fact, the USA, France and (to a lesser extent) Great Britain sided with Iraq – though to Britain’s credit, we offered help to Iranian’s victims of poison gas.

Our involvement in Iraq and Libya has proved disastrous; the interests of both nations would have been better served had we kept out.

Nor should we ignore the fact that this civil war has a background of conflicting interpretations of Islam – a subject which Christian and secular countries care little about and cannot even understand.

In future we must avoid any further reckless and illegal action. The USA, France and Britain are not the cops of the world. We endanger our own security if we arrogantly take on this impossible role.

The victims of the dreadful civil war need our help and compassion, not our judgements or our bombs.