The US raid into Syria is another example of the its determination to carry out attack missions in sovereign countries neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan. Recently the US pursued alleged militants into Pakistan and the attack on Syria is an extension of this policy. Whether this is President Bush’s last throw of the dice in trying to disable as many Al Qaeda cells and Taleban supporters as possible or whether this is a new strategy that will be pursued regardless of who occupies the White House remains to be seen. It is equally unclear whether this strategy will compel the Syrian and Pakistani authorities to co-operate with the Americans, or angers them to such an extent that they refuse to effectively assist the US in its war on terror, or worse actively become more hostile. Whatever the thinking, the stakes have definitely been raised.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said that more consideration must be given to the victims of crime instead of criminals. Sentences of the court he said ‘are first and foremost for the punishment of those who have broken the law, broken society’s rules’ . And he added that a Victims Commissioner is to be appointed soon to ensure there is a voice for victims in Government. Why is he talking about punishing criminals as a priority eleven years after the ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ slogan? Isn’t this an admission that despite tough rhetoric his Government hasn’t been tough on criminals or fair to the victims of crime and has emphatically not delivered on its election promise?