Is Jeremy Corbyn right to condemn military action in Syria?

The Labour leader claimed Theresa May is “waiting for instructions from Donald Trump” over an intervention.

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The cabinet has met and unanimously agreed that we’re off! Pending, of course, a decision from Donald Trump about what exactly the “consequences” for Bashar al-Assad’s latest use of chemical weapons should be and when they will come about. The President has further muddied the waters by tweeting that he “never said” when the attack on Syria would happen, adding that it “could be soon, or not so soon at all”.

Elsewhere, MPs from across the House are calling for them to be given a vote on what comes next, and Jeremy Corbyn has said that Theresa May is “waiting for instructions from Donald Trump” and has called for “an independent, UN-led investigation” of the attack in Syria. His close ally, Diane Abbott, is under fire for refusing to say four times on the Today programme if Labour would ever support any foreign intervention.

It's important to separate what Corbyn is proposing from what he is opposing. The UN is an ineffective organisation whenever any of the security council members – in this case Russia – have an interest in making it so. They are not and can never be an effective mediator in this dispute, unless there is a sudden change in approach from the Kremlin. For many of Corbyn's critics, it confirms that there is no Western intervention this Labour leadership would ever support, which is merely finessed by the UN call.

But that doesn't change that Trump is an at erratic at best president, with a sketchy at best plan for the Western response to Assad's latest atrocity Even if you think Jeremy Corbyn is a stopped clock, you have to concede that his moment of validation may be approaching.

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics. He also co-hosts the New Statesman podcast.

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