Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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A Horrible Choice Between War Criminals

Mick Hall writing @ Organized Rage insists that:

The last thing the UK should do is become further embroiled in the Syrian Civil war.

In a piece earlier this week I mentioned Albert Einstein's definition of political insanity:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

One would have thought nowhere is this more obvious than over British military intervention in the middle east and Afghanistan, yet British MPs and people who really should know better seem to be willing to repeat this mistake over and over again.

After British military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, one hoped this lesson would have sunk in, especially to those boneheaded Westminster politicians who voted to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003. Sadly it seems not. On Tuesday in the Westminster parliament MP's were once again beating their war drums. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was calling for demonstration outside Russia's London embassy. Ann Clwyd, a Labour MP who voted for the Iraq war echoed his call for demonstrations only she was a little more ambitious, wanting them across the world.

In a speech Tory MP Andrew Mitchell said Russia was:
behaving like a raging elephant, shredding international humanitarian law, abusing its veto powers on the UN security council, using that veto to protect itself from its own war crimes.

In response to a question, Mitchell said:

The Russians are doing, Mr Speaker, to the United Nations precisely what Italy and Germany did to the League of Nations in the 1930s, and they are doing to Aleppo precisely what the Nazis did to Guernica in the Spanish Civil War.

What bunkum and bullshit. Mitchell understands full well Britain treated the UN far worse and with absolute contempt when it invaded and occupied Iraq without a UN resolution.

Thankfully Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry has a wiser head, responding to Mitchell’s tub thumping with some common sense. She recognised the plight of the people in eastern Aleppo, but called for ‘more statesmanship, less brinkmanship’, and renewed efforts for a peace deal brokered by the US and Russia.

Her four point action plan stressed the need to:

de-escalate overseas military involvement in the conflict of all 14 other nations involved including ourselves, and that is how we will create corridors for aid, and that is how we will stop the destruction of Aleppo by Christmas, and that is how we will stop the suffering of its people.

Not to be left out a small number of socialist activists called on Jeremy Corbyn to support the RAF becoming further embroiled in the Syrian civil war by encouraging the British government to begin airdrops by British military forces of aid to besieged civilians in east Aleppo..

For them to suggest the RAF become further embroiled in the Syrian civil war is an identical position to that of the British security services, and come to that that Boris Johnson when he is acting on behalf of the Tory government. I don't doubt their sincerity, but what possessed these comrades to go down this road, naivety, a nudge from covert forces? Although spoken years ago an old comrade's words have always stuck with me when he said "Mick sincerity is between syphilis and shit in my dictionary."

Once British military planes fly over Aleppo without being invited by the Syrian government they will be breaking international law; upping the ante of war what ever their cargo. To trust the British government to act honourably in this region is at best naïve, at worst it ignores the evidence of its role in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria..

The British military have been part of the problem. Their actions in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen have purposely fed the flames of war. In Syria they are part of a coalition which is funding, supplying and training the armed opposition, the majority of whom are Islamic extremists and head choppers.

At least in the Assad held areas people can live a life. West Aleppo is an example of this. It’s why we rarely see it on our TV screens or read about it in the newspapers. Whenever the mainstream media use children to win hearts and minds I worry about their true intentions. In WW1 it was babies on German bayonets, in the Gulf war it was Saddam's soldiers taking Kuwaiti newborn babies out of incubators and smashing their heads on walls. We believe much of this type of stuff at our own peril.

Our main enemy is at home and that means challenging the British government’s military involvement in the Middle East, not encouraging it to become more involved. If the RAF were to drop supplies into east Aleppo, their head chopping proxies would know the coordinates of where they land before they hit the ground, and they would be waiting to receive more than their share so they can continue the war.

If it came down to electoral support for the secular Assad regime, or the Islamic factions who make up the majority of the armed opposition whom the Gulf states and Saudis support at the behest of the USA/UK, I believe Assad would win easily, and understandably so.

As a Syrian friend said to me:

Assad is a criminal but at least you can live a life under his regime. In the areas held by Isil, Al-Nusra/Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, etc, you submit to their will and religious demands or you die. For example in the areas they control they forced the Druze to renounce their religion and destroyed their shrines, those who refused were massacred.

If they prevail this will also happen to secular Syrians, Christians, Kurds, Alawites and Shia, yet this is whom Britain's allies in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia are protecting and financing.

As Francis wrote on the Tendance Coatesy blog:

The question should be: how can the civil war be brought to an end as speedily as possible, and what constructive things can we do – if any – to help this? Moralising is almost certainly worse than useless here. The same goes for calls to ‘act’ without any clear idea of how such ‘acting’ will help end the war. Whoever ‘wins’, locally or nationally, will be a blood-drenched war criminal. The choice is between a crushing victory for one faction of war criminals, a carve up between several war criminals, or war and war crimes without end. And whether Jeremy Corbyn says anything or not will make not one iota of difference.