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The war must be stopped

3 December 2015

Aftermath of US bombing of Kobani, October 2014. Photo Orlok/shutterstock.com

David Cameron has got his way, and the RAF is bombing Syria. We will all live to regret the despicable vote in parliament last night which saw the bombing authorised. MPs voted for invasion and death. Then they laughed.

Cameron’s motivation is clear: to sabotage the progress that Syria, aided by Russia, has been making against ISIS, because he – as part of NATO – wants to shore up the Syrian “opposition”, much of which is jihadist too.

What, though, are we to make of the Labour Party? We warned last week about “weak-willed” moves to promote a free vote among Labour MPs. That is precisely what happened.


Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, desperate to maintain their charade of authority, backed down in the face of opposition not of the people, nor of Labour Party members, but from inside the shadow cabinet.

Rather than stand on principle and fight for peace, they chose to save their own skins – for the moment – by accepting a free vote which they knew would lead to a government majority. Let Syria be bombed as long as their inept leadership survives for another week or month.

They had a chance to actually stop Britain going to war, and they bottled it.

“A new kind of politics?”

A new kind of politics? Some might say it’s even more hypocritical and even less effective than the old. After all, it was Ed Miliband who managed to enforce a three-line whip and secure a majority against war in Syria in August 2013.

Britain’s bombing of Syria is a clear breach of international law. Nothing in the recent UN Security Council resolution justifies this intervention. Others have shown this in great detail – see, for example, this analysis on rt.com. But what does NATO care for international law?

The British government refuses to involve the Syrian government. Instead its only answer is to drop bombs on Syria without permission from the government of that nation – a government recognised by the UN. It is, in effect, an invasion, and one that risks conflict with Russia and Iran, both operating with the consent of Syria.

Only the Syrian government can defeat Islamic State in Syria. This is the only road to peace in Syria not illegal air strikes. Stop British air strikes in Syria!