We are told that we have to attack Syria in order to defeat the Islamic State (IS), a brutal, fundamentalist autocracy.
Yet we have lived with brutal, fundamentalist autocracies in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, for decades. Britain and the US are closely allied with the Saudi state, which beheaded 19 people in just the first half of August. The peoples of the Middle East will have to deal with their own backward feudal despots, who have funded the Islamic opposition to secular governments in the Middle East.
President Assad’s government has been fighting IS, but the British government has given £600 million in “aid” to his opponents, pretending that this went only to the “democratic opposition”. In the real world IS has been snapping it up
An attack on Syria would wreck that country, just as previous US/British attacks have wrecked Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They make a desert and call it humanitarian intervention.
Cameron has said that there needs to be legal justification for air strikes in Syria. But there is none. The UN Security Council would not pass a resolution authorising such operations. It’s not self-defence – Syria is thousands of miles away from us, and nobody has accused it of planning or carrying out any attack on us. The way to defend ourselves is to protect our own sovereignty, not destroy that of others.
In August 2013, under pressure from their constituents, MPs voted against an attack on Syria, a victory for peace. Now the government is trying again, this time using IS as cover, seeking to overthrow Assad’s government. We must stop it again. ■