Boris Johnson made a shocking admission about the Syria airstrikes on Marr
The fallout from the UK government’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria took a bizarre turn on 15 April. During an interview on The Andrew Marr show, foreign secretary Boris Johnson essentially admitted that the Syrian airstrikes would have little positive effect on the country’s conflict.
A glaring admission
Johnson appeared to make it clear that there was very little point to the strikes beyond sending a “message”:
This is not going to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria. One can hope that it encourages the Russians to get Assad to the negotiating table in Geneva, to get a political process properly going, but that is, as it were, an extra.
So Johnson effectively stated that a military intervention with massive possible ramifications was potentially pointless, outside of being a “message” that might serve as a deterrent.
So what was the point?
Marr also raised the question of whether the airstrikes had any significant effect on the Assad regime’s chemical weapon capabilities:
It’s also clear because we had to warn the Russians in advance of what we were doing, so we did not kill lots of Russians and start World War III, they will have told Assad, he has moved stuff out
Johnson said the strikes were successful on the sites they targeted. He continued:
The overwhelming purpose was to send a message that after years now in which we’ve seen a series of chemical weapons strikes… finally the world has said enough is enough.
Marr pressed Johnson further, echoing sentiments of journalist Rachel Shabi who appeared earlier on the show. He asked if Assad:
…can carry on killing people with barrel bombs and machine guns and bombs of all kinds as long as he doesn’t use chemical weapons?
Johnson’s response frankly responded:
I’m afraid that is the unhappy corollary of this, that if we say that we are limiting our action to chemical weapons… then, yes, of course it follows that the rest of the Syrian war must proceed as it were.
Johnson has now made it very clear that the airstrike was all about sending a message – a message which could potentially achieve nothing. And based on Johnson’s statements, it seems Assad is still free to continue killing Syrian people as long as he refrains from using chemical weapons.
So once again we ask, what was the point of all this?
– Demand we stop this war. Write to Theresa May and your MP.
– Support and follow Stop the War.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Feature image via screengrab
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.