War on Syria, British parliament vote today

This video from England says about itself:

Stop the War Coalition demonstration “Don’t Bomb Syria” outside 10 Downing Street London on 28 November 2015. Filming and production by Husain Akhtar for HA production.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Corbyn hits out at PM’s rush to war

Wednesday 2nd November 2015

‘We can’t bomb our way to democracy’

JEREMY CORYBN warned MPs that we can’t “bomb our way to democracy” before a crunch vote today over whether to launch British air strikes in Syria.

The Labour leader made the appeal as David Cameron urged politicians of all hues to support him in bombing Syria against the Islamic State (Isis) terror group.

A successful vote could see RAF fighter pilots hitting the region within days, Downing Street said.

Mr Corbyn accused the PM of wanting to “rush to war” after ignoring his call for a two-day debate on the issue.

The Tory Cabinet yesterday unanimously backed the motion to be tabled to the House, which authorises air strikes in Syria while ruling out troops on the ground.

Around 50 Labour MPs are expected to break ranks to vote with the Tories after Mr Corbyn allowed them a free vote.

But the leader said “more and more” were becoming sceptical about the Prime Minister’s case.

And he warned bombing Isis headquarters in Raqqa will put the lives of several hundred thousand innocent people at risk.

“We’re going to kill people — we’re going to kill people in their homes by our bombs,” Mr Corbyn told BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show.

“Tomorrow, Parliament must make a decision — are we going to go to war again or instead put all our efforts into a peace process, a political process, a rebuilding process, a humanitarian process?

“We are not going to bomb our way to democracy.”

He urged shadow cabinet colleagues planning to support the Tories to “think again,” stating that he “looks forward to them being persuaded.”

Labour frontbencher Clive Lewis, who served in Afghanistan, said if there are members of the Parliamentary Labour Party that want to vote with the Tories “then on their heads be it.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas clashed with Labour MP Mary Creagh during BBC’s Daily Politics over extending air strikes in Syria.

The former Greens leader warned that stepping up action will see a huge increase in Isis recruits, pointing out how their number has doubled since bombing started in Iraq.

She criticised the government for always looking at “a military response” without considering other options such as putting pressure on Turkey to seal its borders or sanctioning “Saudi-Isis finance deals.”

The weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions has been cancelled to allow for a 10-and-a-half hour debate in the Commons with the vote not expected until 10pm, Downing Street confirmed.

Labour is continuing to press for a two-day debate, while speaker John Bercow expressed a willingness to “sit up all night” if MPs wanted.

In a message to undecided MPs, Stop the War urged them examine the catastrophic consequences of previous judgements before deciding to “take us into the fourth war on a Muslim country in 14 years.”

The campaign group held a protest last night at Parliament Square and called another today from noon before a planned die-in to be staged at 6pm.

Labour Frontbenchers

“I will be voting against the air strikes in Syria following over 1,000 emails and tweets”, says Rachael Maskell, shadow defence minister and York Central MP

”Bombs alone will not prevent Daesh obtaining money, arms and more recruits or launching attacks on the UK”, says Clive Lewis, shadow energy and climate change minister and Norwich South MP

”MPs who got it gravely wrong on Iraq and gravely wrong on Libya still have the chance to get it right on Syria and vote against UK bombing”, says Richard Burgon, shadow economic secretary to the Treasury and Leeds East MP

“There remains the serious risk that we will kill civilians, and hit schools, markets and apartment blocks in our quest to destroy Isis militants”, says John Healey, shadow housing minister and Wentworth and Dearne MP

“I am driven to the conclusion that the strategy outlined by the Prime Minister is flawed.” says Keir Starmer, shadow home office minister and Holborn & St Pancras MP.

This video says about itself:

Don’t Bomb Syria – Support Corbyn

Stop the War demo outside Downing Street London November 28th 2015.

Music: Ian Brown featuring Sinead O’Connor – Illegal Attacks

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

‘Free choice’ may cost lives

Wednesday 2nd December 2015

UNLESS humanity and good sense break out suddenly in the Commons today, Syria’s long-suffering people will face attack from British bombers in the coming days.

David Cameron and Michael Fallon claim to have built a coherent argument for their military gesture, but this can’t be taken seriously.

Their case amounts to little more than a mishmash of: “Our French friends asked us to join in,” “Our US allies are already doing it” and “It would be criminal to do nothing about Islamic State (Isis) when it is already hatching plots against our own country.”

Cameron and Fallon could have asked why newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided that his country’s warplanes will be withdrawn from the aerial bombing bonanza.

They didn’t, because they understand that there is no military justification for Nato forces bombing Syria. It is political.

The Tory leadership’s priority is to reprise Tony Blair’s dog-like loyalty to Washington, irrespective of logic or international law.

Their conduct has descended to farce in imagining 70,000 “moderate” anti-Bashar al-Assad/anti-Isis rebels in Syria, just as Blair conjured up mythical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq capable of targeting British targets inside 45 minutes.

So it is little surprise that New Labour nodding dogs who swallowed Blair’s pro-war lies are baying to do likewise for Cameron.

It is a tragedy that Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to allow a free vote to Labour MPs over authorising a new catalogue of war crimes in Syria has handed victory to Cameron.

No-one doubts the Labour leader’s personal commitment to peace or his life’s work in opposing imperialist aggression across the world, but he should have followed his initial inclination to issue a three-line whip.

Those who suggest that opting for a bombfest or rejecting it boils down to a matter of conscience are wrong if they mean that either choice can be equally honourable.

It is akin to accepting equivalence between collaboration with apartheid or opposing it.

No-one can deny that the free-vote decision will assist Labour’s recidivist brasshats to give their backing to another reckless and ultimately disastrous military adventure, as they did over Iraq and Libya.

Some could have been dissuaded from doing so had Corbyn laid down the line, challenging them to display open contempt not simply for the party leader but for the members who voted overwhelmingly for a genuine alternative to New Labour subservience to Washington and the City of London.

Corbyn remains opposed to Nato military involvement in Syria. He will do all he can today to persuade Labour MPs not to vote with the Tories.

A three-line whip could have prevented today’s embarrassing spectacle of the leader and shadow foreign secretary speaking from the same despatch box and quoting the same Labour Party conference motion on Syria but insisting that it means two different things.

Hilary Benn claims that reference to support for armed involvement being conditional on UN approval has been met by a security council resolution urging member states to take “all necessary measures” to combat Isis.

He is not inexperienced, so he must know that UN authorisations of military action must be tabled under Chapter VII of the UN charter, which this resolution was not.

Why he dodges this reality is for him to answer, but he has been adamant that he would trumpet his support for Cameron’s war — from the back benches if necessary.

Corbyn should have answered Benn’s “resignation” threat by accepting it.

The Labour leader should not be harried constantly by supposed parliamentary grandees totally out of touch with the party’s grassroots.

Future Syrian casualties will pay the main price of this political misjudgement, but Corbyn himself will be dogged by rebellions and rumours of rebellions by self-important New Labourites until he and the party confront these historical anachronisms head-on.

Pro-peace demonstrators in London

4 thoughts on “War on Syria, British parliament vote today

  1. Pingback: British government starts another bloody war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Theresa May in Trump visit, Ireland trouble | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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