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From: The Socialist issue 827, 1 October 2014: Pay cuts: Angry and ready to strike!

Search site for keywords: Iraq - War - Military - Government - Libya - Afghanistan

No to imperialist war

Bombing will not stop sectarian violence

Tom Baldwin

Once again the government is banging the drums of war. Parliament has now agreed airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) which will see the return of British military intervention in Iraq. This comes just five years after the end of the last conflict which we were told had brought 'security and stability'.

Because of the barbaric and extremely reactionary nature of IS there is a feeling that 'something must be done'. But the self-serving intervention of Western imperialism, backed by a number of regional powers, cannot solve this problem.

The UK establishment parties, including Labour, which overwhelmingly backed this, have learnt nothing from the recent past military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.


Prime Minister Cameron says they will not put boots on the ground but a creep in the scope and nature of the intervention is an inevitable risk. He may hope it will distract from the Tories' problems at home but in the long run it could be another disaster - both for people of Britain and the Middle East.

The crimes of IS are abhorrent. But why do the capitalists express disgust when IS behead someone for supposedly religious crimes but turn a blind eye when it is done by the Saudi regime, an ally in this conflict?

Why do they say it is evil to murder someone with a sword but acceptable to blow people up from the safety of an airbase thousands of miles away, killing innocent civilians in the process?

The actions of the imperialists are steeped in hypocrisy. They cannot even decide who their enemies and who their allies are. This is not a moral mission to rid the world of IS but an attempt to use military might to pursue their own interests.

Just like the last Iraq war this will not succeed in bringing peace or stopping murderous fanatics, just the opposite.

More death and destruction imposed from hated imperialist countries and regional powers with their own interests to push; the propping up of a corrupt and sectarian government with no authority in large parts of the country - these are fuelling the growth of reactionary forces.

They may be able to strike blows against IS in the short term but at the expense of creating other Frankenstein monsters - as in Libya, which is being torn apart by rival militias after Nato airstrikes helped remove Gaddafi.

IS or similar jihadists won't be defeated by foreign intervention. Only the working class and poor can overcome sectarian forces, by building a movement that can organise a united struggle to improve their lives. The potential for this is shown by the cross-communal demonstrations against the occupation of Iraq or the uprisings that marked the start of the 'Arab spring'.

We oppose this latest war as we opposed the last. Otherwise we'll be faced with a perpetual cycle of war, each time fighting the horrors that the previous conflict has unleashed.

Stop the Bombing of Iraq/Syria


Saturday 4 October:

Assemble 1pm

Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD called by Stop the War Coalition

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