Little more than one year ago, the West was poised to launch air strikes against Syria. Under the pretext that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” (a charge that has since been challenged on the basis of evidence uncovered by respected journalist Seymour Hersh and others – follow the tag on “Ghouta” to read more details) we were then about to be rushed headlong into a war that would have greatly strengthened the hand of “the rebels”, already known to be comprised mostly of al-Qaeda factions (again, you can find evidence for this in many earlier articles posted under the categories “Syria” or “al-Qaeda”). Incredibly, we are now poised to launch a different military offensive, this time against the “rebels” we had previously been supporting, but since renamed ISIS, ISIL and IS (for added confusion). To compound the absurdity in a speech made at the UN General Assembly, Obama now talks of a “war on war” for a peaceful future!
There is no question that ISIS are a menace to people in the region and must be stopped, but a rehashed military intervention by the West is in reality a continuation of the “War on Terror” for geostrategic objectives — in this instance, clearly providing a potential alternative avenue for “intervention” against Syria. In Britain, the Stop the War Coalition is calling for people of good will to lobby their MPs before tomorrow’s vote in Parliament by sending a statement to their MPs using their lobby tool. The statement reads:
Along with most British people, we opposed an attack on Iraq in 2003. The brutal reality of the invasion and occupation confirmed our worst fears. At least half a million died and the country was devastated.
Now, less than three years after US troops were pulled out, the US is bombing again. The British government is considering joining military action, not just in Iraq but in Syria too.
All the experience of the varied military action taken by the west in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya shows that such interventions kill innocents, destroy infrastructure and fragment societies, and in the process spread bitterness and violence.
While we all reject the politics and methods of Isis, we have to recognise that it is in part a product of the last disastrous intervention, which helped foster sectarianism and regional division. It has also been funded and aided by some of the west’s allies, especially Saudi Arabia.
More bombing, let alone boots on the ground, will only exacerbate the situation. We urge the government to rule out any further military action in Iraq or Syria.
Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, Caryl Churchill, playwright Brian Eno, musician Tariq Ali, writer and broadcaster Jeremy Corbyn MP Diane Abbott MP Ken Loach, film director Michael Rosen, author and broadcaster Kate Hudson, general secretary of CND John McDonnell MP Sami Ramadani, Iraqi writer and campaigner Caroline Lucas MP Nick Broomfield, filmmaker Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite Amir Amarani, film director Mark Rylance, actor Mohammed Kozbar, vice president of the Muslim Association of Britain Dr Anas Altikriti Baroness Jenny Tonge Andrew Murray, chief of staff Unite Jean Urquhart MSP Walter Wolfgang, Labour CND.
We must keep up the pressure
- If you haven’t already, lobby your MP now. It takes two minutes.
- Participate in the debate by phoning local radio stations.
The topic of bombing Iraq and Syria is bound to loom large this week, especially in radio prime time (around 8-9 am and 5-6 pm).
LBC (Leading Britain’s Conversation) is a prominent example of a talk radio station (97.3 FM, its telephone number is 0345 60 60 973).
BBC Radio 5 Live (AM: 693 kHz, 909 kHz, 990 kHz ) is another major national talk radio station. Its telephone number is 0500 909693.
For a list of local BBC radio stations, click here.