What right have we to bomb or invade?

Lord Berkeley

I cannot be at the Lords debate today on Syria, but came across this list of countries the USA have bombed since the Second World War.

China 1945-46

Korea 1950-53

China 1950-53

Guatemala 1954

Indonesia 1958

Cuba 1959-60

Guatemala 1960

Belgian Congo 1964

Guatemala 1964

Dominican Republic 1965-66

Peru 1965

Laos 1964-73

Vietnam 1961-73

Cambodia 1969-70

Guatemala 1967-69

Lebanon 1982-84

Grenada 1983-84

Libya 1986

El Salvador 1981-92

Nicaragua 1981-90

Iran 1987-88

Libya 1989

Panama 1989-90

Iraq 1991

Kuwait 1991

Somalia 1992-94

Bosnia 1995

Iran 1998

Sudan 1998

Afghanistan 1998

Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999

Afghanistan 2001

Libya 2011


The UK participated in some of these.

What right have we to interfere and kill people in another country?  We are not the world’s policeman, nor is the US, certainly unless the UN gives a clear authority.

I know that chemical weapons are particularly nasty, but many more people are being killed by more conventional means and the result is the same – death.

It is important to keep our belligerent noses out of other countries problems and, if helpful, seek more peaceful solutions.

But then, only a year ago, the UK was encouraging Syria to buy our arms; war is good for our business.

We must resist yet another air strike, followed by provision of ‘advisers’ followed by more arks supplies to whoever we decide are the good guys.  Lets keep out of it all.

Tony Berkeley

18 comments for “What right have we to bomb or invade?

  1. Dave H
    29/08/2013 at 10:49 am

    I agree, we should be keeping well clear of yet another quagmire that would drain our resources without actually helping those affected. I very much doubt if we’d be thanked by the survivors of a bombing campaign in Syria, and yes, chances are the bombs would kill more innocent people than the chemical weapons.

    If we’ve got spare cash to spend on a foreign war, why aren’t we using that cash to improve the lot of the poorer parts of the UK? Or is it that the money is allocated to the 1% in the form of increased profits from business deals to supply weapons and post-bombing reconstruction aid?

    • MilesJSD
      03/09/2013 at 8:42 am

      1. the Big Problem is

      the Insufficiency of Sustainworthy Governance, Business, and Earth-Citizenship-Education & Training, Leaders & Workers

      versed and successfully-experienced in

      the friendly first-resort of Needs-&-How-Best-Met Recognition and Cooperatively Participant Problem-Solving thereto, using the basic five-steps of Method III (originating author Dr Thomas Gordon “Leader Effectiveness Training”).
      The Britain Problem is the National-Need for the same-sort, but at contrasting-even-conflicting Levels of learning-ability, of individual-education and group-training in
      (1) Living wholly as just one-complete-human-being
      (2) Living and Working as just one participatively-cooperative Lifeplace-human-being and Workplace human-worker.
      A fundamental or two:
      1) Thriving in the Lifeplace can and should be done upon just one-human-living, not upon two, three, ten and upwards to 500 or more human-livings-per-individual-person.
      2) A person in the Lifeplace may have “a right-to-satisfy-a-legitimate-need”


      Workers in the Workplace (especially Governance workers) have duties-to-do-=the-job, not “rights” or “a right”;

      it is a nonsense to fabricate “rights-to-govern, -to-control, or -to-inhibit-or-harm, such people or civilised-infrastructure as it chooses”.
      What about the Poster’s slip-of-the-lip in insinuating that (“) having won the war, we set about selling “Arks” to the vanquished ?

      and is he including our future Bigger-Need to construct adequate “Space Arks”, to carry Bio-Lifesupports for our ultimately Qualified-for-Earth2-Colonising Space-Fleet Earth1-Human-Community-&-Task-Teams ?

  2. Croft
    29/08/2013 at 11:47 am

    “I know that chemical weapons are particularly nasty, but many more people are being killed by more conventional means and the result is the same – death.”

    The use of chemical weapons is specifically illegal under international law and Britain is a signatory to CWC among others. Killing you own population (particularly in a civil war) is not specially nor necessarily any breach of international law – though obviously it can be where crimes against humanity are concerned.

    ” seek more peaceful solutions.”

    Give me strength! 🙄

    Assad won’t stop till he destroys the opposition as he father did successfully before him. The opposition won’t stop till Assad is gone. Russia will block any international action likely to harm Assad (their proxy) and risk their Tartus base (a key to their Med fleet) or a main weapons buyer. Both Russia and China who wish to or have conducted crimes against humanity internally don’t want the UN to do anything which might have the potential to restrict such future acts.

    Standing back has already seen a largely peaceful and non ideological protest movement become more and more radical as moderate voices have been sidelined by hard-liners as the west refused to act and the government slaughtered them. Intervention could make it worse but so could inaction though many proponents of the latter seem to pretend otherwise. The politics of shutting your eyes, covering your ears and hoping it all goes away is a depressing abdication of our duty to humanity. But then as we see in parliament today the opposition is already making a policy based on party politics (internal and external)

    • maude elwes
      30/08/2013 at 7:04 am

      ‘Assad won’t stop until?’ And the USA and the UK won’t stop until, either. Please, give us all a break from this claptrap. The US egged on by the UK over the years since WW2 is proof enough that we are far more warring of nature than Assad and his Dad. They are small fry in this game.

      You have your head in the ‘Great Britain’ cloud. Get off that horse, called Rule Britania, it has run its course and is left without a competent rider.

      And whilst I’m at it, your comment about ‘Russia will back their proxy regardless,’ here is another aberration. Who backs Israel and it’s illegal actions against the Palestinians? Surely not us and that big warrior regime the US with its 11 billion dollars a day. Yes, a day. The tax payers of the free world should take note. Money goes to others before it goes to those who pay the bill. And the idiocy of this policy is, they are killing the goose that lays the golden egg when they starve the fund producers of their war coffers. Austerity and the use of our funds to keep those in the rest of the world jumping to the democracy tune, is taking the breath out of our lungs. You fools. And you wonder why the majority are against more expenditure in this killing field. Join modern Britain and leave old soldiers in peace.

  3. maude elwes
    29/08/2013 at 2:48 pm

    Clearly the chemical bombing in Syria has nothing whatsoever to do with why the US and us, as lackeys, want to begin another assault on the people of this area.

    The US and the UK have used chemical weapons themselves in many countries in their pursuit of happiness. As well as encouraged other countries to use them when it suits the agenda of those behind this war game. What do you think napalm is? Ice cream. Take the Iraq situation with Iran, who was at the back of that chemical warfare? And who is selling this stuff to these countries that use them? Anyone know?

    The killing of women and children does not seem to bother the US or the UK when the people are those they wish to exterminated. Vietnam didn’t leave anyone at the top weeping for them did it?

    And lets take a look at what is going on in Egypt under US funding along with our UK clubbers.

    If the Commons backs this, after they are so aware of the lies and real machinations of this agenda, then either they are colluding in the deaths or they are unsuitable for the job they managed to get voters to see them as fit for.

    Why would Assad use chemical weapons when he is winning the battle? That would be ridiculous and this man is no ones fool. The only people who would find the use of these most heinous of slaughtering bombs is the side that is losing. Knowing full well the funders for their uprising will pay more and join in for the kill rather than face embarrassment.

    This war is simply for Obama and his US administration not to lose face. And we are going to commit a crime of yet another massacre to keep them afloat.

    The time has long come to separate from this out of control regime of lose canons. Because to put our people in danger, when danger is not facing us, is not what we have leaders to do. And if we do not have the courage to end this now, we will be taken into yet another abyss, until we roast in napalm and chemical warfare ourselves. You have the ability to stop this.

    All of those who accepted our trust must have the courage to go along with democracy. What they offer is not worth the price.


  4. maude elwes
    29/08/2013 at 3:06 pm

    This woman gives food for thought.


  5. ladytizzy
    29/08/2013 at 5:18 pm

    “Britain is a leading member of NATO, Britain is the Chairman of the G8, and we have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. This gives us huge diplomatic clout but with the benefits come responsibilities. This is just the moment we have to ask ourselves what those responsibilities are.

    We can behave like a minor nation with no real international responsibilities. We can put our head in the sand, or live up to the expectations that the world community has on us.”
    Richard Ottoman, Chair Foreign Affairs Committee, HoC today

    I hope this answers your question, Lord Berkeley.

    • Bumble Bee
      30/08/2013 at 11:40 am

      We can behave like a minor nation with no real international responsibilities. We can put our head in the sand, or live up to the expectations that the world community has on us.”

      The sand presumably being in Syria?

      We should behave like a G8 nation, which is a nation state of the EU, with real international responsiblities, LOCALLY in our own nation/state. Surprising as it may seem, there is a huge difference between those two sets of ideas.

      You may be quite sure that NO South American state has any illusions about such expectations. Brazil…. 9th largest trading economy in the world.

      US worldwide what those responsibilities are. ???
      Theirs; not ours. Those of our brothers and sisters and those brothers, sisters, relatives, of all peoples in the USA, but not ours.

  6. Bumble Bee
    29/08/2013 at 6:52 pm

    On the basis of those comments and many others, in these columns, I hope I may consider nonble Lord Berkeley to be a good e-friend of mine.

    The ploy of a war like stance by a nation state like the UK, (which is a nation, AND a nation state, by various legal definitions)at a time when the control of migrants is proven to be totally ineffective from any part of the world, not least as admitted recently by noble Lord Dave Howell, ….the ploy of a war like stance is yet again as much an internal stance as one regarding the middle east, and Syria, or previously, Iraq.

    I was looking yesterday at the recommencement of trade relations between Iraq and Iran, once the Oil contract had been re-arranged for the advanatge of the international Oil companies, and it transpires that Iraq and Iran are the biggest trading partners with each other than they have been for many years, certainly well before their war of 1m dead.

    It’s not off the subject. Iran, I contend, is the most peaceful of all the countries in that part of the world, with all its cultural history to support that opinion.
    Egypt is apparently not at peace with itself, and that is bound to have varying effects, on North Africa and countries east of it.

    Perhaps Turkey is just as peaceful as Iran. It has the huge potential to wear Blue berets on behalf of the UN for many of its troops. UN troops in a war torn country would be no bad thing in the middle east, but what have we here?

    A tory PM looking for kudos and an enhanced majority even next time, barking for intervention and war.Take a leaf out of Blair’s copybook Eh! Get thunderous applause when you retire eh?! Forget it.

    The ONLY intervention we should think of should be by the UN itself and its troops,and none other.

    An increased ,but anonymous presence, by Turkey, in those countries unable to elect democratic leaders, and so on and so forth, would be ideal. But which countries pay the bill for those troops!!?

  7. newmarduk
    30/08/2013 at 2:25 am

    Lord Berkeley, Brits and Yanks have often been traditional allies.

  8. Bumble Bee
    30/08/2013 at 10:03 am

    But then as we see in parliament today the opposition is already making a policy based on party politics (internal and external)

    I am glad Croft has put in his spoke for peace with a cunningly inserted smiley emoticon. these things make a big difference to declarations or non declarations of war.

    The underlying two worlds conflict (Soviet/US) is of course still there in all parts of the world, and an understanding of who is the proxy of whom is essential.

    The history of the conflicts of the Mediteranean is amazing, fascinating, and the modern Russian presence in Cyprus for example, a mere reflection of the days when Russia was attempting to impose its will on that Ocean in the times of the expanding empire of, was it? Catherine the Great, late 18th/early 19thC? The Russian monastic orders on the Holy island near Thessalonika
    have been vastly regenerated in recent years, since 1990, desrted monasteries re-occupied.

    Chemical weapons are probably all too easy to make. If somebody has a mind to do something like that, there is little can be done to stop them. They would be made locally out of local materials.

    The task of politicians of the nation state, concerned with state building and unity is surely that nobody does have a mind to such violent behaviour, but there may be many military people who believe quite the opposite.

    Honesty is surely the best policy. We have once again become war makers. There was a theory in the late Maggie’s day that the country was decadent and that the “Falklands” outing was for stirring the morale of the troops, after so many yyears of inactivity. That was the start.

    I am sorry about that. I would rather the morale of the troops had remained at a lowish ebb and that armed forces numbers had been reduced, even then.

    I am researching the death of a friend/acquaintance who
    attended conservative party dinners in the 1980s as a young man, in his 20s, but was murdered along with his wife and family in the Alps last year. His membership of a minority sect, possibly the Muslim ‘Twelvers’ or ‘Fivers’ as they are known, is interesting. They are to be found in all countries of the world, including Syria.
    He may have been involved in the intellectual side of arms dealing, ie what could be bought, where from, and how. He was an intellectually gifted man, with an enthusiasm for maths and physices which took him in to the realm of projectiles and satellites, which probably lead to the family’s death.

    His young daughters are being very well cared for,and are equally clever.
    They were members of the Hanafi sect.

    Thinking about this and our own enthusiasm to beat up any Arab Muslim etc who comes along suggest all too clearly to me, that whilst we have a vast knowledge of the huge numbers of religious sects of the Christian
    world, we have all too little of those of the
    Muslim world, and if we are to live comfortably along side those of other world religions and in harmony we HAVe to understand more about their religious beliefs and organisation.

    Those who close their ears and eyes to anything to do with the Muslim world are surely mistaken, and I have had such a person staying with me in my own home within the last year or so, so it ain’t so uncommon.

    Those who close their ears and eyes to different sects/beliefs of the Christian world itself are also very much mistaken, notably the far right of protestantism, but my goodness, isn’t it a small world?

    Tony Blair’s crossover between CofEAnglican and Catholic was interesting enough, an understanding which may well have brought him his huge majority, but may equally have brought him the problems of internal dissension in the UK only to be resolved by external conflict, at such cost!

    That is not the point. The point is that we surely need to know far, far more of the conflicts and agreements of the Muslim world.

    My cursory inspection of the various sects of descent from the Baghdadi trader Mohamed make me realize how little I know about it and how much more I should know, before pontificatiing on the advisability of military intervention.

    Bashar Assad demanded an apology for the first crusades last year from the Christian world. They were a huge success. Sorry about that, or as the Welsh Archers who all went to their deaths at the battlements of Aleppo, in the disastrous third crusades would have said…. “Sori!” They paid their own way and never returned.

  9. maude elwes
    30/08/2013 at 6:28 pm

    Our Commons has a glimmer of gravitas.

    How prodigious they are when they back their people. It takes enormous courage to step out of the ring. But, it’s what being an MP is all about.

  10. JH
    30/08/2013 at 7:42 pm

    A curious list – where are Clinton’s strikes on Iraq in 1996 and 1998 (and the no-fly enforcement throughout the decade) and indeed what happened in 2003! And did the US really ‘bomb’ Iran in 1998 in the same sense as Libya (of either date)?

    • maude elwes
      02/09/2013 at 3:16 pm

      Here is some more food for thought.


      This idea that the use of drones and the rest are okay, and legal makes it all okay is faulty thinking. Time for a rethink. War machines leave a mark we cannot see for years and the population is altered drastically as a result of it.

      Clinton and Blair are hiding under a left wing pretense. When truthfully they are war monger lunatics. And how our Sunday newspapers have the audacity to allow these criminals a forum is an insult to the people of this country and this planet. How is it these horrendous people still get an opening for propaganda to back war and the desecration of humanity?


      • Bumble Bee
        07/09/2013 at 9:52 am

        The answer to the question of Syria(?) lies with the end of the Ottoman empire in 1917 and the collateral histories of the new states of Palestine and Syria. The battles and campaigns ranged from Southern Iraq, Basra, to the Turkish border , and to the Suez Canal with great rapidity, to Syria and to Palestine.

        The USA was never at war with the Ottomans, nor with anybody associated with Syria, but it does have a 100% commitment to the state of Israel.

        Although even the smallest economic units of Aleppo, for example, were/are independent of each other commercially, the macro economics of the region above, are that, whatever effects Israel also effects Syria. It did in 1917. It does now.

        My own view is that whatever promotes international democratic organisation, not excluding any number of organisations dominated by Iran and Turkey,
        can only be the proper way of going about international harmony in the “middle east”

        Whatever the President of the USA thinks, it can only be that sort of international organisation with which he can become efficiently(!) involved, or wish to promote,
        by his own actions. The USA is an international organisation by obvious definition. The Arab League is another and it does not approve of Syria or its leader, and Syria has been suspended from it.

        The fact that Israel is isolated within the region, and yet is supported by the USA, but that the USA supports international organisations, is an ongoing conflict with which the US governemnt has itself to contend in its Foreign policies.

        The opposing sides in Syria are those
        1) enthusiastic about Russian and Chinese connections
        2) keen on US/UK/FR/AL policies of commitment to democratic enfranchisement in Syria.

        Saying that, Al Fatah (Young Arabs) was formed in 1919 to sponsor a Syrian congress, founded soon after.

        Tony Berkeley’s list above only mentions two conflicts with China, in the early days another international organisation. All the others have been client states, of one sort or another.

        The question now arises as to whose client state Syria is; whether,like Iran, they are becoming the client state of Russia and China or that of the USA, and, dare I say it, associated with the US and France.

        The US concern is the protection of their vital interest, Israel, and continuing stability between Iraq and Iran,latter which is scarcely in doubt.

        However many Russians dominate the electoral rolls of Cyprus, an EU state, there is no doubt that any foreign policy that Cyprus may have, will be of the EU and not an RF
        (Russian/Federation) policy.

        The same can not be said to apply to an ex-communicated AL(Arab League) state.

  11. Senex
    31/08/2013 at 1:36 pm

    Recently, we found ourselves at the ‘National Memorial Arboretum’. This is not consecrated ground where one can be haunted by the earth bound dead but ground that is nevertheless haunting in what it represents.

    We differed on what it meant.

    The welcome sheet given to you on arrival says “It is a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice and fosters pride in our country”.

    This is very much my wife’s view.

    Mine too but there is a deeper meaning one that makes me well up to the point of tears as I walk around this park and dwell on this. Is the Arboretum testimony to the failure of management in whatever form that takes; the failure of political dialogue to resolve and ultimately the failure of the human condition?

    Men, women and children as civilians caught up in war or serving the state as a duty lose their lives all over the world. There are lessons to be learned but it saddens deeply that collectively we ‘never’ seem to learn them.

    Ref: National Memorial Arboretum

  12. Bumble Bee
    06/09/2013 at 10:21 am

    An alternative government was formed by the opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition, in March 2012. Representatives of this government were subsequently invited to take up Syria’s seat at the Arab League. The opposition coalition has been recognised as the “sole representative of the Syrian people” by several nations including the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

    Since the opposition has been recognised as the government for three years or so, it would be difficult not to be involved with the toppling of the government in situ.

    The cause for recognition is the fact of Syria’s traditional opposition to the formation of the state of Israel in 1948, a position which is unchanged today. The opposition would not have had to be opposed to it, to be recognized as the government in such a way.

  13. maude elwes
    09/09/2013 at 2:53 pm

    @Bumble Bee:

    Israel dd not rise out of the desert until 1948. Even though the Polish, Menachem Began and been chomping at the bit for many years in order to set up a Zionist State. And we British gave the right to officially do so after the bombing of the King David Hotel. Even though we were at the back of it via the Balfour Declaration some time earlier.

    However, the problem today lies in the fact that most of Washington US government is filled with Jewish representatives and a very, very powerful rich Jewish lobby. This makes it very difficult for an unbiased and even minded balance in negotiations of this area. In fact it is as if Israel runs the USA as it’s proxy rather than the other way around.

    The Jewish population is around 1.7% of the total citizenry and the government is disproportionately higher in its Jewish make up to population count. Which is seen as an imbalance in decision making as far as the Middle East is concerned.


    This prevents the Arab world believing there is an unbiased view of events taking place on the world stage.


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