Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/978/26746

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 January 2018

Opinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

photo Rafahkid/CC

photo Rafahkid/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Ernst Schäfer, Nottingham Socialist Party

No sooner had the Iraqi government officially declared its fight against Isis over on 9 December than Theresa May congratulated the British government for its role in "supporting the Iraqi security forces, including the armed forces and the Peshmerga."

Before we applaud the government though, let's examine its role in Iraq.

The RAF has conducted more than 1,200 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, second only to the United States.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), this cost the UK taxpayer £265 million and killed an estimated 3,000 "extremists," some of which undoubtedly harmed Isis.

But what is the human cost of these airstrikes? Incredibly, the MoD has claimed there is "no evidence that RAF strikes have caused civilian casualties."

If the RAF truly has not caused any civilian casualties, this would be "unprecedented in the history of warfare," according to Chris Woods, director of the international air strikes monitor Airwars.

This does not even take into account that it is unclear how it is decided someone is an 'extremist'. Nor that much of the bombing was in densely populated urban areas.

Airwars estimates the minimum number of civilians killed by coalition airstrikes as 5,961. Attributing none of these to the RAF seems like folly.

Even if we ignore the "collateral damage," British imperialism's role in Iraq can hardly be considered positive.

After all, the UK was the USA's major ally in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That killed thousands of civilians, and predictably created the breeding ground for Isis.

What good, then, has come of this invasion? Saddam Hussein, a brutal dictator, was defeated and hanged. But the situation for most Iraqi civilians has not improved.

There have been over a thousand suicide bombings in Iraq since 2003, most of them targeting civilians.

The campaign group Iraq Body Count has recorded over 180,000 documented civilian deaths from violence, mostly in English-language newspapers which makes it likely this is a severe underestimation.

And terrorists have targeted European cities in retaliation for the relentless air strikes, killing hundreds.

Estimates for Iraqis displaced by Isis range from 3.5 to five million. The British state is taking in only a tiny fraction of the refugees for which it bears a substantial responsibility.

You can't help but wonder if all this suffering would have taken place had Iraq not had any oil reserves. In any case, Jeremy Corbyn was proven right once again in his opposition to the war.

British foreign policy is dictated by the interests of Britain's capitalist class, not the working class and poor of Britain or anywhere else.

This is why the atrocious regime in Saudi Arabia is the British state's ally, and why civilian casualties are labelled "collateral damage."

Socialists oppose all imperialist 'interventions' and wars. We oppose the airstrikes, and call for those responsible for the Iraq war to be held accountable.

We oppose the supply of arms to 'moderate' rebels and oppressive regimes like Saudi Arabia.

A socialist foreign policy would be based not on interventions, wars and profit interests, but genuine democratic workers' cooperation, international solidarity and peace.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 17 January 2018:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests


What we think

Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy


International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China


Workplace news and analysis

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

Hackney school cleaners strike

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

Home care workers to strike

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We must fight all council cuts!

No to the Woolwich monster block

Undercover policing legal challenge

Heating scandal on east London estate

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

Packed Newham meeting against academies

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

Southern Socialist Party conference


Opinion

Opinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

Opinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

Theatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Isis:

triangleSyria: Assad regime consolidates power after brutal counterrevolution

triangleIraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

triangleTrump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds

triangleSyria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

Imperialism:

triangleYemen's desperate civil war fuelled by imperialism and regional powers

triangleRatcheting up of Iran-US tensions

triangleWhat lies behind the US-China trade war?

triangleThe striking relevance of Leon Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution

Iraq:

triangleSuleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

triangleMass protests rock the globe

War:

triangle75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government

triangleReading Socialist Party: Unite against terror, racism & war

Invasion:

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

Syria:

triangleMass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

1/7/20

TV

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

1/7/20

US

Readers' opinion

1/7/20

Socialist Party

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

24/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/6/20

Covid

A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

17/6/20

Windrush

Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

17/6/20

Grenfell Tower

Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

17/6/20

Film

Film: Da 5 Bloods - entertaining but politically constrained

17/6/20

Profit

Two-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

17/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

17/6/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

10/6/20

Racist

Readers' opinion: Things will never be the same

10/6/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

3/6/20

Football

Football in the time of coronavirus - reclaim our game!

3/6/20

Letters

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999