Commune editorial on Britain’s planned military intervention in Syria.
Ed Miliband must have had Tony Blair in mind when he eventually described Cameron’s planned military strike on Syria as reckless and cavalier. The submarines and tomahawk cruise missiles were in place, within striking distance of Syria. The SAS was in Syria ready to guide home the missiles and generally cause mayhem. Cameron had not provided a dodgy sexed up dossier, but then Tony Blair had already played that trick.
The game plan was to recall parliament, and count on a token Labour amendment. Labour abstention on the government motion would then lead to a government majority to legitimise the attack. Yet by some weird irony of history, Miliband’s timid political mentality was inadvertently transformed into political boldness.
Having initially given the impression he was on message, he then hesitated and decided it would be politic to distance himself from Blairs heritage of blatant dishonesty. So he was ready to support military action the following week after due consideration of any evidence that the Assad regime used chemicals as claimed, but the obvious lack of basic evidence and the strong possibility there would be no compelling evidence had its own logic. The parliamentary game was over.
This was a relief all round. We had been subjected to a barrage of pure propaganda,hypocrisy and fake indignation for days. William Hague writing in the telegraph (28/08/13) went for the massive lie, rather than the small fib. He ranted that the international community had worked for a hundred years to protect mankind from weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. Furthermore, no chemical weapons had been used in war anywhere in the 21st century.
This was the most appalling hypocrisy from this “humanitarian” who has supported the use of weapons of mass destruction against Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere. There is also the matter of the use of white phosphorous by the American army in the city of Fallujah in the Iraq war. The USA used Agent Orange and Napalm in Vietnam. Both the American and British Governments colluded with Saddam Hussein in his chemical attack on Iranian troops in the war with Iran.
Both the America and British imperialist governments have shaped and supported dictatorship in the Middle East. There can be no ethical foreign policy for these powerful Capitalist states. Think about Israel aggression in Gaza ,the killing of unarmed civilians by the Egyptian military,the crushing of the protests in Bahrain by Saudi Arabia. No humanitarian intervention there.
The parliamentary shambles over Syria is a victory for all those who opposed the Iraq war and exposed Blairs lies. Blair’s war crimes have discredited the military hawks : they have been temporarily silenced and embarrassed. But the tragedy in Syria goes on. A popular uprising against dictatorship has become tangled up in wider regional and sectarian interference. Further American or British involvement will not aid the struggle for freedom in Syria or the Middle East.