French Senior Socialist Demands Government "Not Bow To Calls" For Syria Attack Vote
While the US pro-strike coalition is crumbling following last week's UK vote that dealt a humiliating blow to PM Cameron, followed by NATO, and most recently by Germany announcing it would not take part in a military action against Syria, it was time for a lonely voice of support for Obama's delayed "surgical strike" request to the global community which Syria promptly called a "historic American defeat." It came from France where a senior government Socialist and chief of the foreign affair committee, Elisabeth Guigou, announced the government should not bow to calls from opposition figures to have lawmakers vote on whether to take military action in Syria.
That this comes at a time when up to two-thirds of the public would oppose an intervention in Syria, and with several conservative, centrist and green politicians called over the weekend for France to hold a special parliamentary vote, this will hardly earn the massively unpopular French socialist president many popularity points.
"In a complicated situation like this, we need to stick to principles, in other words the constitution, which does not oblige the president to hold a vote, nor even a debate," foreign affairs committee chief Elisabeth Guigou, a veteran of the ruling Socialist Party, told France Info radio.
Her justification that a vote is not needed:
The recent Syrian chemical attack was “far more massive” than previous use and could only have come from regime’s forces.
Unless of course it came from assorted Saudi contacts of the Syrian rebelts, made to seem like it could only come from regime forces.
She wasn't the only one demanding that the president follow the will solely of Obama, and not of the French people:
Interior Minister Manuel Valls also rebuffed the idea of a vote, saying at the weekend the constitution must be respected.
Parliament is due to debate the Syria crisis on Wednesday. Conservative former prime minister Francois Fillon and veteran centrist politician Francois Bayrou were among those who say a vote should also be scheduled.
The last time parliament held such a vote was in 1991 when then-Socialist president Francois Mitterrand sought its support for his decision to join the U.S.-led coalition in the Gulf War.
But why is France so afraid to conduct a popular referendum on war involvement? Simple - a "yes" vote in France coupled with a "no" vote in US Congress, would make France the only "attacking" force!
"France cannot act alone. To give an intervention legality it would need to be carried out by a broad coalition," she said.
"I don't see that holding a vote would make any sense
politically," she said, noting France would be left in an impossible
situation were parliament to vote in favor of action and then the U.S.
Congress to vote against. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet
parliament leaders later on Monday to discuss the crisis and share with
them French intelligence on the August 21 chemical attack."
Forget politically: the sole French action wouldn't make any sense militarily. Although it would make all the sense in the world humoristically. Just think of the late night comedy talk show host jokes when and if France surrenders the moment it attacks without the backing of the US?
More importantly, the French socialists just proved to the entire world their democratic principles enshrined in 1789 are long dead, and the only thing that matters is what the US president decides is best for France.
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