Cassus belli ad Syriae

Jack Straw, Tony Blair's roving secretary of bullshit, speaking on the Syrian government's alleged involvement in the assassination of Rafik Hariri:

"... they have to get the message that you cannot have a government, if I may say so, at any level going into assassinations."

What Straw, of course, was really saying is that "you" (whoever that is) cannot have a government that the US and Britain don't like going into assassinations. His little maxim surely does not apply to Britain's senior partner in aggression, the US, for example. Nor would Straw be in favor of sending a real "message" to the Israeli government, despite his occasional noises in this direction (emphases added):

Bridget Kendall [BBC interviewer]:
You mentioned the Middle East. We've had an e-mail from Mark Messenger in Brighton who says: What's your opinion of the letter written by 52 former UK diplomats? Do you feel they had a valid concern about this government's relentless following of a right wing American administration that seems to support political assassinations in Palestine and illegal settlements in the West Bank?

Jack Straw:
Well they were entitled to their opinions, is what I say, and at least it shows that contrary to the parody that Foreign Office diplomats are not sort of clones.

Bridget Kendall:
But did they raise a valid point?

Jack Straw:
Well of course they raised points which were valid to them. Were they justified? No I don't happen to think that they were. And we are against assassinations or killings, let's be clear about this, by the Israelis, no one, in a sense, has been more vocal than have I - making it clear that we regard the so-called assassination policy as unjustified, unlawful and counterproductive. ... We also however, need to take account of the terror which has been perpetrated against the Israelis. And that too has to be put into the balance.

In condensed form, what Straw is saying is that these 52 diplomats' aim is wildly off the mark, since Israel doesn't actually use "assassinations", but even if it does, there are extenuating circumstances that make it alright.

And the US and the UK will always be the ones who can define what these extenuating circumstances are.

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