British government admits lying about not killing Syrian civilians


This video from England says about itself:

14 April 2018

Scores of people joined forces in Norwich city centre to protest against the UK’s involvement in air strikes against Syria.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Drone Strikes: RAF admit to ‘unintentionally’ killing civilian

A CIVILIAN was “unintentionally” killed by an RAF drone strike … in eastern Syria, the government confirmed yesterday.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed the individual died after crossing into the strike area on a motorbike moments before the blast on March 26. …

Stop the War‘s Chris Nineham said: “This is proof that the Ministry of Defence’s absurd claims [of never killing any civilians] have been misleading from the very start.

The anti-war movement has always argued that it inevitably leads to civilian deaths. This proves we are right and many more will be killed by such drone programmes.

“The vast majority of people in Britain think that this type of intervention has to stop.”

This one precious civilian life lost is just the tip of the iceberg.

The following is the third part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. Parts one and two appeared on May 24 and May 25.

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British peace demonstrators speak


Some of the protesters at the anti-war on Syria eally in Parliament Square in London

From the World Socialist Web Site in Britain:

Protesters in Britain speak out against air strikes in Syria

By our reporters

18 April 2018

On Monday evening, Socialist Equality Party members distributed hundreds of copies of the statement “US-British-French missile strikes on Syria heighten danger of a catastrophic war” to workers and young people at anti-war protests around the UK. At London’s Parliament Square, demonstrators rallied against the bombing of Syria by the United States, Britain and France. …

Labour MPs spoke including Emma Dent Coad, Richard Burgon, Chris Williamson, and Lloyd Russell-Moyle …

Russell-Moyle said, “The struggle continues, and now with an anti-war Labour leader, we, united together, can lead this charge.”

Williamson said, “Let’s get behind Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a War Powers Act, to prevent a prime minister from ever again taking us to war without a vote in Parliament.”

Corbyn put forward the proposed Act in parliament Tuesday, but Labour’s pro-war MPs backed Prime Minister Theresa May’s ordering Britain to participate in last Saturday’s military strikes without parliamentary approval.

Joel with a copy of the World Socialist Web Site statement US-British-French missile strikes on Syria heighten danger of a catastrophic war

Joel, a university student from West London, said, “It is an abomination that Theresa May thinks she can speak for the people without consulting them. We are supposed to live in a democracy and it’s not democratic at all to take this position and initiate more bloodshed. If she did take it to a vote among the public, she would have lost the vote. So, the only way to bomb Syria is to do it behind closed doors at night behind people’s backs.

“The threats against Russia have been going on for a long time. Instead of agitating against Russia and promoting war, we need peace.

“You cannot believe 90 percent of what you see in the media now because it is controlled by a few people. There will come a time when there are too many of us for them to control. The YouGov survey that said 78 percent did not support the bombing of Syria and it made me think, ‘Do I live in a democracy or a dictatorship?’

“The BBC’s coverage is incredibly biased. We are being told there is propaganda being put out across the world and we are told not believe it, but it is happening right here.

“Capitalism does not work. Right now, 1 percent of the population, a tiny section of the population, are living without struggle and a lot of the country are left in poverty. I definitely believe workers and young people need to be mobilised all over the world.”

Sohaib

Sohaib, a student, said, “I am opposed to wars and attacking other countries. Let the Syrian people decide their own future. May has no right to say if a Syrian house is bombed tomorrow or not. If there were chemical factories, when they were bombed, why was there no smoke or chemical fumes? It’s just an excuse to bomb.

London anti-Syria war demonstrators

“It is totally unjust what is going on in Syria, and we should not be a puppet to the United States. We have got no money for the National Health Service or for homeless people. You walk down to London Victoria Station, and there are 50 people out on the streets, but they have money to bomb. They threw £100 million in bombs the other night. May did not take it to Parliament because she knows the British public are awake. The youth are a lot more active when it comes to standing up and speaking for their rights against war.”

The demonstration in Bristol against the bombing of Syria

Around 400 people, half of whom were youth, took to the streets of Bristol. A spokesperson of the Bristol Stop the War declared that the demonstration was called to “halt the military intervention and demand that our MPs and parliament represent this opposition and stand against this potentially catastrophic move from our government and its allies. Let’s show them what democracy looks like.”

Others addressing the rally were Green Party councillors and Labourites … Bristol’s four MPs—Kerry McCarthy, Darren Jones, Karin Smyth and Thangam Debbonaire—are all pro-war and opposed to Corbyn’s leadership.

None of the four attended the rally. Neither did Bristol Labour Mayor Marvin Rees, who steered through an austerity budget earlier this year that cut £34.5million from public services as well as increasing local council tax by 5 percent.

Maximillian, a student, said, “I think it’s clear to anyone who has been following the situation that it’s an unnecessary and illegal action which has been taken by the UK and the US in Syria. I’m more broadly against war in general. American and British involvement has nothing to do with liberating Syria.

“Capitalism is the driving force in as much as the oil interests and so forth are the only reason we are interested in these far-flung countries. Capitalism is necessitating constant regime-change operations for the benefit of a few corporate sponsors of American and British politicians. There are multinational corporations, therefore we must organise ourselves on an international basis.”

Student Macie said, “I thought most of the speeches [on the platform in Bristol] were terrible…so meek and mild. The British government is lying, they go ahead and bomb and don’t care about any opposition, and all the speakers say is talk to your MP. My MP is Kerry McCarthy, a Labour MP, who voted for bombing Syria and did all she could to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader. So, I am supposed to talk to her?

“The only person who said something sensible was Daisy, who I think was from the [Corbyn-supporting] Momentum Youth. I agreed with her that most young people are anti-war and a lot have seen through the lies about Syria after Iraq and Libya. She also said what no one else did, that we have to stand up to Western imperialist aggression ….

Amirah, who bought a copy of the SEP’s 2014 Congress pamphlet “Socialism and the Fight Against War”, came back to say, “I’ve just read a bit of your little book. I can’t believe you were already predicting that the world was heading for such dangerous times back in 2014. And that a nuclear war was possible. I don’t remember anyone else saying that back then.

“I think it’s really good the way you explained how all these governments such as ours are trying to re-divide the world again and prevent Russia and China having any influence. That makes it much clearer why there’s so much hatred against Russia at the moment.

Big anti-Syria war demonstration in London


Anti-Syria war demonstrators, London, 16 April 2018

By Marcus Barnett and Lamiat Sabin in London, England, Tuesday, April 17, 2018:

Anti-war protesters urge returning MPs to stop bombing Syria

THOUSANDS of anti-war demonstrators greeted politicians returning to Parliament this evening by urging them to stop bombing Syria.

Assembling on Parliament Square, protesters mobilised at 72 hours’ notice for the demonstration to oppose US-led forces attacking Syria.

The action, which was organised by the Stop the War Coalition (StWC), followed a weekend of emergency demonstrations held across more than 30 different cities in Britain, following the announcement that British forces were launching military attacks in Syria.

The crowd expressed rage that the government had acted without the authorisation of Parliament, with demonstrators accusing PM Theresa May of bypassing the vote for fear of handing a massive political victory to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn if the vote was to fall.

Ray Mercer, a retired aerospace worker, told the Star: “The fact Trump and May started bombing Syria the morning chemical weapons inspectors were arriving in the country tells you all you need to know.

“After the disaster in Iraq, have we learnt nothing?

“We need international pressure and negotiations, not Western interference pretending to be humanitarian.”

Meanwhile, speakers from the labour and anti-war movements pointed out that merely 22 per cent of the population support war with Syria, and that a YouGov poll conducted this weekend saying that only 36 per cent of the population have backed Ms May on her latest action.

This sentiment was echoed by Labour MPs Richard Burgon, Emma Dent-Coad, Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Chris Williamson, alongside war veteran Ben Griffin and peace activist Bruce Kent.

Large numbers of protesters also amassed up and down the country, in Exeter and Bristol, following StWC’s call to expand the level of opposition to the government “from Orkney to the Isle of Wight.”

Daisy Carter, a Young Labour and Momentum activist helping to organise the Bristol rally, told the Star that the recent action in Syria was “inseparable” from the “long history of Western aggression” in the region.

“I feel that the most important emphasis the British people can make is to call for an end to British bombs falling across the world.”

Ms May faced angry Labour MPs in Parliament today after giving a statement to the Commons about the air strikes.

Mr Corbyn accused the PM of intervening in the Syrian civil war on a “whim” days before Parliament was recalled so that she could avoid scrutiny.

This video from England says about itself:

Bristol Protest March Against Bombing of Syria 16/04/2018

16 April 2018

Bristol Stop The War Coalition brought the centre of Bristol to a standstill during rush hour in protest against the airstrikes on Syria.

CHANTING “Hands off Syria!” and carrying signs denouncing President Donald Trump’s bombing there, hundreds of people massed in front of the White House on Saturday to oppose the Trump-ordered destruction of what he said — and they doubted — were Syrian chemical warfare facilities. Tens of thousands of people joined similar protests nationwide and in other cities around the world. The DC demonstration was one of more than 40 organised by anti-war and anti-Trump groups in the US: here.

Enschede, the Netherlands, 14 April 2016: demonstration against Trump’s/May’s bombs, organised by Syrian refugees and others.

In the days since the US and NATO launched over 100 missiles at the Syrian cities of Damascus and Homs, it is clear that the imperialist powers have not been sated by the latest bloodletting. Within hours of the strikes, US and European newspapers began pumping out editorials demanding a further escalation of the war for regime-change in Syria: here.

British workers against Trump’s, May’s Syria war


Protesters gather outside Downing Steet in London on 13 April 2018 Friday evening to oppose war in Syria

From the World Socialist Web Site in Britain:

“I feel repulsed and outraged about last night’s attack on Syria—it was completely unnecessary”

UK workers oppose drive to war

By our reporters

16 April 2018

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers and young people over the weekend on the military assault by the US, Britain and France on Syria.

At a lobby outside Prime Minister Theresa May’s official 10 Downing Street residence Friday evening, Jeff, a software engineer, said, “There’s no certainty that the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack.

“You don’t bomb another country because you disapprove of what they are doing. If you want to bomb countries because you disapprove of them, why is Yemen still going on? Why is the problem in Myanmar still going on?

“We saw what happened last time in Libya. We saw what happened before that in Iraq. We have had enough of going to war based on intelligence that we never see. The Russians’ poisoning of the Skripals—again intelligence we can’t see. Just believe us, just trust us the government says. No, not any more. Trust is gone. You’ve got to prove it.

“Going toe to toe with Russia is a brave step, even for these fools. In the case of Iraq with Saddam Hussein and in Libya with Colonel Gaddafi, it was an easy win. But it’s not an easy win if Russia says they will retaliate. That must give pause for thought. If the British government lost a frigate or a submarine, it could not do much to Russia. But America obviously could, and we don’t want to be sitting here between America and Russia having a war.

“I think it’s because the press and the television, who are cheerleaders for this nonsense, that we are in this situation. Rather than lobbying my MP I’d rather lobby the BBC, Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme or ‘Newsnight’ demanding they do a proper job holding Parliament to account. I feel betrayed by the Guardian failing to oppose military intervention. Their lead editorial today is full on pro-war.”

People discuss the military strikes in Syria at the Socialist Equality Party stall in Manchester

Artist Aheela has composed two paintings, portraying Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump as warmongers.

He explained, “According to the British Constitution, the prime minister cannot declare war without the consent of Parliament. She just shows contempt for Parliament, so I paint her as you see.

“With or without parliamentary approval, what will a war achieve? Which war has ever achieved anything, apart from destruction, misery and massacres?”

In Manchester Rusholme district, reporters spoke to Tashoor. He said, “I think this is more to do with politics against Russia than Syria or concern for the people there. They are opposing Russia on all fronts.

NATO is dominated by the US and the UK is just following on. The same thing happened with Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We don’t need any more wars. We need a peace process, but we need people to resolve things, not politicians. All that is happening now is that regimes are being taken out through invasions and others are put in and they are just as exploitative as the ones they replaced.

“All these wars since 1990 are to do with politics and economics, aren’t they? It’s about resources and how the UK can get better sanctions in place so they can make more money for companies who are manufacturing weapons.

BAE Systems is one of the biggest weapons makers in the world. How can it be beneficial to the people of Syria to give rebel groups weapons and then after that bomb areas in Syria with planes from the UK and US?

“I don’t believe all this stuff about chemical weapons attacks. It was the same with Iraq. They said they had weapons of mass destruction there. They destroyed the whole country and the country is still in ruins.”

“It was same in Afghanistan when they just installed Hamid Karzai. Karzai worked for an oil company in America.”

“The United Nations was supposedly set up to ensure we would have no major wars in the world, but the UN is just a puppet for the US.

“There should have been a referendum on whether to go to war! They are asking us to go to war with no evidence. Nothing at all. This is all governed by economics and geopolitics.”

Ruairi is a student and lived in Russia for eight months:

“It’s very corrupt there. It’s a capitalist country run by an oligarchy. But we don’t start from that when looking at these wars.

“I don’t agree with what America and the UK are doing. No good is going to come of it. How can we know what’s going on? We cannot have proof.

“There is complete disrespect and lack of interest in other people’s countries by Western governments. They say they support democracy, but support ISIS. They trained these groups in Afghanistan.”

George

George is from Teeside and spoke to reporters in Leeds on Saturday.

“When I heard the news about the bombing this morning I didn’t believe it at first. It seemed to spring out of nowhere.

“How much will it all cost? They can find the money for airstrikes, but not for the people that need it most—the homeless, the sick, the elderly, mental health services and those on low incomes.

“I get most of my news from Twitter and Reddit, which is good for news because it is quick to cross reference. I don’t trust the media. I want to look at all the sources.

“I think that somebody is benefiting from this terrible situation and it’s not ordinary people. The Tories have shares in arms companies and it makes economic sense for them that they want to build more Tridents.

“As far as the poisoning of the Skripals is concerned I am very sceptical. There is no hard evidence. They moved so quickly from the claim about the poisoning to kicking out the diplomats. My mother says it stinks. They just wanted an excuse.”

Steve works for Deliveroo. He said, “I feel repulsed and outraged about last night’s attack on Syria. It was completely unnecessary. We should know this by now. This is not the first time we have gone on these outrageous Middle Eastern adventures—not just 2003 but every bit of meddling in the Middle East.

“They are after regional control and I suspect they aim to surround Russia and Iran and there is probably a financial incentive as well.

“They should stop it right now. They acted on the flimsiest, probably nonexistent evidence, and Parliament was not consulted. It has been a complete failure of our democracy.”

Isabella

Isabella is a supporter of the Stop the War Coalition. She suggested, “It may have been a false flag operation in Douma. That is the lesson of the lies about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq. But was any of it a reason to go to war? So many deaths and so much suffering have been caused.

The UK is one of the largest exporters of arms. Their aim is to sell more weapons to make more profit. The big corporations run the world, don’t they?

“Almost everyone I know is against war—my parents, the old, the young—everybody. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to empower people. The YouGov poll found that only 22 percent supported the war, 43 percent were against and the rest didn’t know.

“Today’s demo in Leeds is about saving the National Health Service, which is in tatters. There is plenty of money for the war machine, but not for the NHS. Theresa May’s talk about humanitarianism is all crap! There is enough money to solve all the problems of society but it is in the hands of the wrong people.”

As Trump and May Claim Concern for Syrian Civilians, Critics Slam Leaders for Anti-Refugee Stance. “If the Trump administration truly cares about the fate of Syrian civilians, it can do far better in resettling Syrian refugees“, by Julia Conley.

Trump’s Syria war, protest Brussels tomorrow


This CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Demonstrators Protest President Trump Dropping Bombs On Syria

14 April 2018

A coalition of peace activists, Arab-Americans and people who don’t like the president formed a protest rally they called “an emergency protest” in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday. Jeff Nguyen reports.

Translated from the Belgian peace movement:

The US, Great Britain and France launched dozens of missiles on Syrian targets in the night of April 14. This military operation is extremely worrying! It comes without waiting for research by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It is an act of war in violation of international law that adds fuel to the flames and brings an open confrontation between nuclear powers dangerously closer.

Did the Syrian population did not have enough war already?

We demand that Belgium condemn this illegal attack. Our government must make every effort to contribute to a diplomatic and negotiated resolution of the conflict and to receive and support the victims of the war.

Stop the military interference. Stop the bombs! Peace for Syria!

Protest action at the US embassy [in Brussels] on Monday, April 16 at 5:30 pm. Will you be there?

Global Leaders Condemn Trump’s ‘Scorn for International Law’ As Haley Threatens More Possible Air Strikes. “You can’t combat the alleged violation of international law by violating international law”, by Julia Conley.

Trump’s Syria war, lies and censorship: here.

Theresa May, Trump’s Syria war poodle


United States President Donald Trump and British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Corbyn urges May not to become Trump’s poodle ‘waiting for instructions’

The Labour leader calls on the Prime Minister to step away from the hot headed hawks in Syria row

JEREMY CORBYN accused PM Theresa May today of being on standby to mimic US President Donald Trump and “waiting for instructions” on when to launch war on Syria.

And peace campaigners rallied outside Downing Street calling on the government not to attack the Middle Eastern country, where the Bashar al-Assad government has been at war with jihadist insurgents for seven years. …

Before their talk, she held an emergency meeting with her Cabinet. They agreed to take “action”, while MPs and opposition leaders urged her to recall Parliament early in order to allow a vote before plunging the country into war.

A statement released by Downing Street after the meeting made no direct reference to military action, but it is considered to be a signal that Britain would be prepared to join any US-led air strikes.

The largest US air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war is said to be heading towards Syria, according to reports in The Times, paving the way for strikes within the next three days.

Mr Corbyn said: “Further UK military intervention in Syria’s appalling multisided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.

The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed, but the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.

“Even US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said we ‘don’t have evidence’ and warned further military action could ‘escalate out of control’.”

Campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition handed a letter to Downing Street today, signed by MPs, trade unionists, celebrities and academics, urging Ms May not to take military action. …

A YouGov poll for [Rupert Murdoch-owned] The Times this week showed just 22 per cent of Britons support military action against Syria, as against 43 per cent who are opposed.

The British Defense Ministry says four of its Tornado GR4 warplanes fired missiles at a military facility as part of the tripartite [USA-French-British] attack on Syria: here.

Trump’s Rush to Judgment on Syrian Chemical Attack: Illegal and Deadly. Thursday, April 12, 2018. By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout.

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the strikes against Syria carried out Friday night by US, French and British forces. The attack is a flagrant and illegal act of aggression. The administrations of American President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May are guilty of a war crime, which poses the danger of triggering a conflict with nuclear-armed Russia: here.

“Anyone who, at a meeting or through the distribution of writings, incites the crime of aggression will be punished with a custodial sentence of between three months and five years,” states paragraph 80A of Germany’s Criminal Code. The “crime of aggression”—i.e., the conducting of a war of aggression or any other act of aggression—is punishable by life imprisonment according to paragraph 13 of Germany’s International Criminal Code. These paragraphs trace their origins directly to the Nuremberg Trials against the Nazis. If they were taken seriously, numerous German politicians and newspaper editors would be behind bars. The preparation of a military strike against Syria has unleashed war fever among Germany’s political parties and newspapers: here.

Stop Trump’s, Theresa May’s, Syria war


This 13 April 2018 video from the USA is called Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard RIGHTLY ASSERTS Congressional Authority Over Military Action In Syria.

Ms Gabbard belongs to the pro-Bernie Sanders, left wing of the Democratic party. But even Senator Tim Kaine, of the right wing of the Democrats, considers Trump’s (and Macron’s) airstrikes, which happened meanwhile, illegal.

In ‘Clear Violation of Domestic and International Law,’ Trump Bombs Syria. “Strikes against the Syrian regime – without congressional input or authorization – shows a contempt for the U.S Constitution and is without legal justification”, by Jon Queally.

The Erdogan regime in Turkey supports the Trump-Macron airstrikes: here.

By Lamiat Sabin in London, England:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Protesters urge May to refrain from attacking Syria

PROTESTERS outside Downing Street delivered a letter to PM Theresa May today urging her to refrain from going to war in Syria.

Stop the War Coalition (StWC) supporters assembled on Whitehall for the emergency action after she and her Cabinet agreed yesterday that they will follow the lead of US President Donald Trump to not allow alleged chemical weapon attacks by Bashar al-Assad “go unchallenged.”

Protesters were also on the streets in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens today and further protests are planned in Bangor, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield and Swansea.

The StWC letter said: “There can be no justification for chemical weapon attacks or for the despicable bombing which targets civilians of the sort that we saw in Douma.

“But further military intervention is not the solution and can only extend the appalling suffering of the people of Syria.

“It also risks spreading the war across the Middle East and raises the frightening possibility of direct confrontation between nuclear armed powers.

“It is quite wrong to argue that these attacks are the price of non-intervention. In fact, foreign military intervention from all sides, including from our own government, has only served to deepen and prolong the war in Syria.

“Rather than backing the gung-ho foreign policy of the most inflammatory and xenophobic US president in history, the British government should be seeking political and diplomatic solutions to the tragic situation in Syria and to avoid anything that can escalate further the conflict in the region”, the letter adds.

Campaigners noted that only 22 per cent of respondents in a YouGov poll said that they would support air strikes on Syria.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon is one MP who has called for Ms May to allow Parliament a say on any plans for military action before the use of chemical weapons has been confirmed.

He told the Star: “We are in very dangerous times. At no point in my life have I been as genuinely worried for the future of our world.

“Any military intervention could escalate rapidly. Those beating the drums of war need to step back and let the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons do their job.

“Further military action in Syria could see the list of forces involved being US, UK, France, Russia, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and possibly Saudi Arabia.

“The threat of escalation is very real. I oppose this push for war. The PM must call a vote in Parliament.”

Protesters gather in Whitehall, London to protest the possible bombing of Syria Photo: @STWuk

Britain 13-17 April | Nationwide | Protests: Trump & May – No More Bombs on Syria: here.

Including:

Stop the Rush to War: Don’t Bomb Syria

Monday 16 April | 17:30

Parliament Square

London SW1

Theresa May has put RAF bombers on standby to start airstrikes on Syria. The stakes are obviously extremely high, but opinion polls suggest public opinion is firmly against military action. Only 22% of respondents in a YouGov poll said they would support airstrikes on Syria. More bombing would prolong the agony of the Syrian people and risk causing a catastrophic war with Russia.

We will be protesting on Monday when Parliament returns on Parliament Square from 5.30pm. Join us.