British Blairite ‘Labourites’ support Cameron’s war on Syria

This video from Britain says about itself:

Don’t Bomb Syria day of action 28/11/15: Lindsey German BBC interview

With a vote for bombing Syria expected in parliament within days, Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, was interviewed by the BBC on 28 November 2015, a day of national action against Britain being taken into its fourth war in 14 years.

THERE are many reasons why MPs should not vote to bomb Syria. The most obvious is that it would simply be immoral, if only because totally innocent civilians would be killed, injured, maimed, made homeless, parentless or childless: here.

By Luke James in Britain:

75% Don’t Want War, as Labour gets a free vote on Syria, we must remind the party

Tuesday 1st December 2015

LABOUR MPs were granted a free vote yesterday over whether Britain should bomb Syria, but members overwhelmingly stand with Jeremy Corbyn in opposing air strikes.

Three-quarters of Labour members want the party’s MPs to vote against David Cameron’s bid to bomb Syria, according to a snap consultation carried out over the weekend.

More than 100,000 Labour members, party supporters and trade union members took part in an unprecedented exercise in party democracy.

Analysis of the 64,771 members who responded found 75 per cent don’t want to see British bombs dropped on Syria.

That compares with just 13 per cent who support bombing and another 11 per cent who are undecided on the emotive issue.

The results were revealed on the day Mr Corbyn met his shadow cabinet and MPs to hammer out the party’s position.

Some suggested it gave Mr Corbyn the ammunition to argue for the party to vote en-masse against strikes.

But after emerging from a two-hour meeting, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn revealed: “Today’s shadow cabinet agreed to back Jeremy Corbyn’s recommendation of a free vote on the government’s proposal to authorise UK bombing in Syria.”

“The shadow cabinet decided to support the call for David Cameron to step back from the rush to war and hold a full two-day debate in the House of Commons on such a crucial national decision.”

Mr Corbyn has written to the Prime Minister to request the two-day sitting.

“It is incumbent on us all to ensure the country feels there has been the fullest parliamentary discussion of what you have rightly described as a highly complex situation,” he wrote.

Mr Cameron set to make a statement on Syria last night and could call a vote as soon as tomorrow.

Although Labour MPs have been given a free vote, the Star understands that most shadow cabinet members believe the conditions for action in Syria agreed by party conference have not been met.

Backbench MP Emily Thornberry, a former human rights QC, also called the evidence for bombingthin, damned thin.”

And Mr Corbyn said an extended debate was necessary to “call David Cameron to account on the unanswered questions raised by his case for bombing.”

Concerns centre on what ground forces Britain would support, how supplies to Islamic State (Isis) would be cut off and dealing with any subsequent rise in the number of refugees.

Blairite MP John Woodcock, who backs bombing, welcomed the free vote and said the move would make resignations from the shadow cabinet over the issue less likely.

But Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards, who opposes air strikes, said: “By allowing a free vote on this matter, Jeremy Corbyn is paving the way for the Prime Minister to succeed in securing a Commons majority in favour of the UK launching air strikes in Syria.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said the PM should follow Mr Corbyn’s example and give Tory MPs a free vote.

Defence select committee chairman Julian Lewis is among senior Tory backbenchers who were sceptical of Mr Cameron’s plan.

And Ms Lucas said: “The debate on such crucial issues is greatly diminished when MPs are subjected to the pressure of the whips’ offices.”

Labour whips believe as many as 100 of Labour’s 231 MPs back airstrikes, while 132 would follow Mr Corbyn into the No lobby.

A senior Labour source said both Mr Corbyn and [Blairite] shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn will speak for the party in the Commons debate, even though they would vote in opposite directions.

David Cameron has come under fire for declaring in Parliament that there are 70,000 “moderate” rebels in Syria, ready to fight Isis on the ground if Britain starts bombing the militant group from the sky: here.

Many of David Cameron’s 70,000 ‘moderate’ Syrian fighters are actually radical Islamists, it is claimed. Experts have described the idea that there are 70,000 moderates as ‘magical’: here.

This video from London, England says about itself:

Tariq Ali speaks about the real issues with getting rid of ISIS at the Downing Street London Don’t Bomb Syria protest rally on 28th November 2015, put on by the Stop The War Coalition.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Scottish Labour: ‘Case for bombing hasn’t been made’, says Murray

Tuesday 1st December 2015

TWO of Labour’s most senior politicians north of the border do not believe the case for bombing Syria has been made.

Shadow secretary Ian Murray yesterday argued that advancing air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) in Syria will have no impact.

“Kez doesn’t think that the case has been made either,” he told BBC Radio Scotland speaking for Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

Mr Murray warned innocent people living in the Isis’ headquarters of Raqqa do not want airstrikes and are at risk, while the Free Syrian Army would be unable to support them.

Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism (CfS) also shared the sentiment.

CfS chairman Vince Mills welcomed the pair’s stance and called on Scottish MSPs to “show their support for the position taken by the Scottish Labour Leadership.”

The group reminded Labour that the conditions on advancing airstrikes in Syria agreed at its party conference in October have still not been met.

They point out that the recent UN resolution does not provide clear and unambiguous support for the use of force.

CfS convenor Elaine Smith said: “As we’ve seen in the press at the weekend exiles from Raqqa living in Turkey escaping Isis brutality have opposed further bombing.

“They know it will cost more innocent lives in a city where the civilian population is now held by Isis to serve as a human shield.”

According to voteScotland-England, a new online polling organisation based on registered voters, a clear majority of Scots, 72 per cent, are against air strikes that could intensify the hatred of Isis towards the UK: here.

This video from London, England says about itself:

28 November 2015

My coverage of the London event, protesting Cameron’s march to war.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Intervention has become an obsession

Tuesday 1st December 2015

THE Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) has four clear responsibilities.

First, it must hold the government to account, which can only be done fully and consistently by taking a view on the major issues of the day.

Second, it must represent the interests of the people of Britain — especially, in Labour’s case, the interests of workers and their families who comprise the vast majority of the population.

Third, the PLP must express the views of the party’s members and supporters, which should reflect those same interests. In a genuinely democratic Labour Party, these views and interests would be articulated by the policies adopted in its representative decision-making bodies and, above all, at the annual autumn conference.

Fourth, the PLP should strive to present itself as a government in waiting, preparing to implement the policies agreed upon and presented to the electorate in its manifesto.

In order to fulfil the first of these responsibilities, Labour is right to confirm its conference policy against British military involvement in Syria.

To fulfil the other three, Labour MPs should oppose the nefarious plans laid by Prime Minister David Cameron and his co-conspirators.

Doing otherwise would be to swallow Tory government claims that its primary aim in Syria is now to speed the defeat of Isis by sending in British war planes to assist 70,000 pairs of Free Syrian Army (FSA) boots on the ground, thereby making the people of Britain safer from terrorism.

These claims are fantasy at best — or cynical deception at worst. That some originate with the Joint Intelligence Committee suggest they may be a combination of both.

Do Labour MPs believe that the Tory leadership has abandoned its sole objective of two years ago — namely to strengthen the FSA and other “moderate” forces dedicated to overthrowing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad?

Will RAF involvement really make a difference to “Operation Inherent Resolve?” The 2,857 strikes on Isis targets in Syria so far have accomplished little except where co-ordinated with Kurdish ground forces. FSA members have either retreated or defected, putting their Western-supplied armaments in Isis hands.

As refugees from Raqqa confirm, uncoordinated US bombing terrorises only the civilians trapped in occupied Syrian towns and cities, as the Isis invaders hide in cellars and tunnels.

Labour’s policy, reaffirmed at the shadow cabinet yesterday, represents the views of a clear majority of the party’s members and registered supporters. It also reflects the interests of the people of Britain.

The threat of terrorism here and in the Middle East will only be defeated when the major Western powers stop their obsession with military intervention and genuinely support the resolution of conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen and elsewhere on the basis of negotiation, human rights and international law.

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