Most MPs in an uncertain world would not rule out military action altogether butmany MPs saw the long, wordy, cobbled together motion as code or proxy for avote in favour of the planned military action.Many, having been brought back to Parliament on a false pretext were notprepared to take the government motion on the face value. I read it carefully butwas unhappy with the impression it gave of leaving only one option open to theUN- to either back a military strike or not.It seemed to me that if we are serious about pressing the UN to address theobscene use of chemical weapons by Syria ,then we cannot in advance tell ithow precisely it punishes a violation of international law. That applies even if weare sceptical about whether it will act at all. (It could for example instead order the supervised destruction of chemical weapon stockpiles as it did in SaddamHussein's Iraq)For that reason I could not back the government motion even though I didn'tdisagree with every bit of it -particularly the call for evidence to be presented andUN action.There were though many MPs who told me they were very unlikely to vote for amilitary strike against Syria by the UK but voted with the government on this firstvote because they were in favour of referring the issue in the first instance to theUN.They knew ,or thought they knew, it was the following week's vote that wouldreally count.The UN so far as chemical weapons are concerned is supposed to be the world'spoliceman. However, we all know that when policemen occasionally don't ,won'tor can't do their job, others sometimes feel obliged to act. You can't ever rule thatout and people have to decide for themselves whether they have such a situationon their hands.