David Cameron’s expensive bombing of Syria

This video from Manchester, England says:

US [Vietnam war] Veteran says No War on Syria

31 August 2013

Oil and Imperialism is what it´s about in the Middle East

Ron Senchak, President of Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition, speaking at a Don’t Bomb Syria protest in Manchester Piccadily Gardens.

David Cameron´s 2013, then defeated, plan for war on Syria would have made Great Britain an ally of ISIS and Al Qaeda.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Chocks away, old chap

Saturday 5th December 2015

DEEP in the bowels of 11 Downing Street, the Chancellor and Defence Secretary are burning the midnight oil, trying to make the costs of the Syrian bombing more palatable to the gullible public.

Through the dividing wall in No 10 strange sounds can be heard.

“Neeeeyowwww, daga-daga-daga…”
Fallon: “What was that?”
Osborne: “Oh, that’s just Dave.”
F: “Ah yes, his youngsters in high spirits no doubt.”
O: “No, I mean THAT’S Dave.”
F: “Is that the tune from The Dam Busters?”
O: “You should have heard what he wanted to call this dog he saw the other day.”
F: “How long has this been going on?”
O: “Since you had the bloody stupid idea of telling him that the RAF had a spare plane kicking around with his name on it.”
F: “Aaah.”
O: “Oh and then when you got him all excited with your sabre-rattling and told him it was what Maggie would have done.”
F: “Hmmm.”
On the Chancellor’s desk the internal phone begins to ring. Reluctantly he answers.
Cameron: “I say Algie, where’s ginger? We need to take this kite up.”
O: “For God’s sake, Dave. For the last time my name is George not Algie, you’re not Biggles and we haven’t had any gingers around here since we shafted those Lib Dem morons.”
C: “Enough chatter, Algie. Loose talk costs lives and all that. It’s time we got up there in the old Sopwith Camel and taught these chappies what’s what.
“Let’s give the Bosch a good hiding what, chaps? Let’s get up there and give the Red Devils a taste of plucky British steel.”
O: “Er, Dave, the Red Devils are actually on our side.”
C: “Really?”
O: “Yes, I think you may have meant the Red Baron, he was German.”
C: “This is all jolly confusing Algie, which side is a chap on?”
O: “That’s what everyone else wants to know.”
He hangs up and turns to Fallon with a resigned look.
O: “I told them giving him that complete set of WE Johns books and a DVD of war movies was a bad idea. He’s going to be 10 times worse now after the Commons vote.
“What did you want anyway?”
F: “Er, £100 billion for Trident.”
O: “For God’s sake, can’t you see I’m busy? Thanks to you I’ve got to pretend to balance a budget AND fund a war. It’s a good job I don’t really care.”
There is the faint noise of someone knocking at the door and then the phone rings again.
O: “What now!? Yes? Oh, security, hello. What’s the problem? Not a terrorist attack I hope, ha ha! Just my little joke.
“I see, I see … well you know what to do.”
F: “Problem, George?”
O: “That was security. Apparently Hilary Benn has just turned up wearing a World War II fighter pilot’s helmet and what looks like a Tony Blair mask.”
F: “What does he want?”
O: “To know if Dave’s coming out to play, apparently.”

Well they went and did it again. And, sadly there was never really any doubt as to the outcome as a significant number of Blairite chancers cravenly crossed the floor to vote with the Tories on the latest tawdry episode of mass slaughter in the name of imperialist adventurism.

And with sickening predictability no sooner had the vote been announced than the bombs began falling quicker than the smile on a Donegal priest’s face when he realises his access-all-areas Boyzone ticket is not what he hoped it would be.

The quisling-in-chief was of course shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who delivered a braying tub-thumping performance which was praised to the rafters by the media despite being memorable only for the mendacity of his arguments and his flagrant manipulation of historical fact.

Now who does that remind you of?

Yup, it’s 2003 all over again, folks, and they don’t give a damn.

Benn disgracefully exploited the memory of the International Brigades and their heroically doomed fight against Franco in a cynical bid to sell the case for war, boasting that Labour had always supported those who stood up against fascism.

Three points here. First, when the brave volunteers went to fight in Spain in 1936 Labour initially did not support them, regarding them as extremists and communists despite the fact that they came from many walks of life and diverse political backgrounds.

It was not until the tail end of 1937 that Labour reversed its stance.

Second, the International Brigaders did what they did in defiance of their governments, who were quiet happy to sit back and let Franco get on with things with the support of Hitler and Mussolini, in a shameful stance which in many ways paved the way for WWII.

Many of the surviving volunteers were excommunicated, vilified and many were interned on their arrival back home.

They did not toady up to the powers that be in an attempt to make their lives easier at the expense of those of countless others.

Third, comparing Isis to Hitler, Franco et al is the kind of specious lazy rhetoric we have heard applied ad nauseam down the centuries.

Isis are bigoted murdering bastards but they are not “fascists.”

What they want to do is build a brutally repressive theocracy that will suppress all opposition. The glaringly obvious comparison is not 1930s Europe but Saudi Arabia, which incidentally is Isis’s principal bankroller.

But we’re not allowed to mention that are we…?

Still, on the plus side we have been helpfully informed that Cameron’s swanky new ministerial plane is equipped with 159 seats.

That means it should only take two trips to round up all the warmongers and deliver them to The Hague.

This video from England is called Don’t Bomb Syria – Stop The War demonstration 28th Nov. 2015. Demonstration outside Downing Street in London.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

A Soldier Speaks: Blood Will Flow Freely in Syria

Saturday 5th December 2015

A former serviceman, who fought in Afghanistan, pours scorn on Labour’s hawks, who sold their honour cheaply

ON WEDNESDAY, hundreds of hawks in the House of Commons were given their way and now the blood will run in Syria.

The death toll from Isis atrocities will be garnished with those killed by British bombs.

Another year approaches and another British war in the sand and dust unfolds.

We will fight on the basis of terrible arguments, forcefully put. Hilary Benn’s speech is a case in point — rhetorically brilliant, devoid of sense and divorced from reality.

Despite my better judgement, I joined Labour a few months ago. The very party which betrayed the military over Iraq and Afghanistan and sent me into the preposterous war on terror. A conflict which killed men I knew and tens of thousands of people besides.

I joined Labour on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s surge to the top job. He is a man I have long admired and whose efforts and displays of conviction since being elected have impressed me.

He is a great man — a man apart — but my view is that he should have whipped over Syria and whipped hard. Jingoists need the war flogged out of them. I say that as a veteran.

It does the left no good to get to a position of power and then shy away from exercising it.

The whipping would not have secured a majority but it would have eased the way to an isolation and mass deselection of treacherous Red Tory MPs.

In my mind the decision to give a free vote was a moralistic call and not a moral one.

Corbyn’s intentions were noble and he remains a parliamentarian whose honour is intact.

But let us be frank. Sixty-six of Corbyn’s MPs have sold their honour cheaply. Sixty-six spots in the Commons are lying fallow — ground from which nothing good can spring.

Labour has always been a coalition of unions and movements. There are trade union MPs. There must also now be movement MPs.

Corbyn is a product of the movements against war and austerity. So must the 66 scrappers who take up these wasted spots be.

Where are the young leaders of the movement against war, racism and austerity?

Entertain, for a moment, what 66 women and men from the coalface of struggle could do inside and outside of Parliament.

If the pro-business SNP rattles bourgeois cages — and they put up by far the best opposition to the Tory bombing motion on Wednesday — what could our 66 achieve?

Elected from the movements, by the movements, for the movements, they must be fresh, young, fiery and accountable.

Their selection must bypass the ingrained, lumbering left aristocracy and reflect the vibrant, lived diversity of the movements.

I am a socialist first. I put no faith in bourgeois parties. Parliament is one tactic in a wide arsenal — let us use it.

The needless interrogation of a Belgian academic is exactly what Isis wants from us. Watching our Parliament’s grotesque debate on Syrian airstrikes last week (which had more to do with the destruction of Corbyn than the destruction of Isis), I do wonder what the future holds for Britain: here.

20 thoughts on “David Cameron’s expensive bombing of Syria

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  10. Thursday 10th December 2015

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    What connects Hilary Benn and Rick from The Young Ones? A tendency to see ‘fascists’ everywhere, says DAVID MORGAN

    IN the anarchic television comedy series The Young Ones, Rik Mayall’s student rebel character would constantly berate anyone who upset him as a “fascist.” This would always get a huge laugh.

    Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, in what the Tory press and the Blairite faction of the Labour Party described as a career-defining statesman-like speech, denounced Islamic State (Isis) as “fascists” during the parliamentary debate on bombing Syria. He received cheers and applause.

    But when considered in the cold light of day, Benn’s assertion is just as absurd as Mayall’s was and far more disingenuous.

    Isis, which Benn insists on renaming as “Daesh,” dutifully following the Cameron script, has been carrying out mass rapes, public beheadings, burning prisoners alive and eradicating what it sees as “pagan” cultures such as the destruction of the ancient monuments of Palmyra.

    Such vile atrocities are rightly denounced as “fascistic,” but Isis does not constitute an immediate threat to world peace and civilisation as Hitler’s Germany did in the 1930s.

    The comparison just does not stand up to close scrutiny. In reality, Benn’s speech was calculated emotional blackmail and a cynical abuse of historical fact.

    As has been widely documented by experienced correspondents such as Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn, Isis has been incubated by the West and its regional Sunni allies in the Middle East as a means of supporting a sectarian war against the Shi’ite population.

    The group has been freely permitted to flourish for years with volunteers, funds and supplies given free access across the Turkish border to the Isis stronghold in Raqqa.

    Nato powers led by the US have sought to use Isis as a tool to gain strategic advantage over Russia in Syria, just as they supported the mojahedin in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

    Furthermore, Isis is not at all unique as there are many jihadist terrorist groups such as the Nusra Front, which is as equally unpleasant.

    Benn chose to ignore the threat posed by these groups, presumably because they are currently being rebranded as “moderate rebels” and have the backing of Britain’s regional allies.

    While lauding the courage of the Kurds in resisting Isis “on the ground,” Benn studiously avoided mentioning that those doing most of the serious fighting are led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which was banned as a terrorist organisation by Western governments after intense lobbying by Turkey.

    Benn’s argument that Isis poses a threat like the nazis simply falls apart once it is admitted that there are similar threats from a diverse range of jihadist terrorist groups that cannot be dealt with by bombing from the air.

    He deliberately ignored all these inconvenient truths in making his case for bombing Syria.

    Benn even invoked the name of those who joined the International Brigades to fight Franco in Spain, describing them as “socialists,” as many indeed were. Many were also communists, which Benn somehow failed to mention.

    The difference between Hilary Benn and the late Rik Mayall is that the latter was very funny and often made astute political remarks.

    Benn seems to have no sense of humour at all. His understanding of history however is simply laughable.

    To make the case for war on the basis of phoney historical parallels and half-truths besmirches the memory of all those who fought fascism. It is a quite disgusting exercise. A statesman? Don’t make me laugh.



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