Unfortunately, earlier this month MPs failed to heed lessons learned from previous catastrophic engagements in the middle east, and voted for air strikes in Syria. It is our opinion that bombing is a completely inadequate solution, and breaks the fundamental principle of ‘first, do no harm’. Daesh/IS clearly wants war with the west – the narrative that it is the true guardian of Islam under attack from the crusading west has had significant success in recruiting people to its cause. To begin bombing in Syria only plays into this narrative. Not only is it terrible that innocent people will be killed, but this fact also contributes to increasing radicalisation of people in the region. It is clear to everyone that bombing Iraq vastly increased the problems in the middle east, helping to spawn the very movement against which we are now fighting.
Daesh needs to be tackled of course, but before we resort to knee-jerk bombing and making things worse, there are some other ways of dealing with the problem: the UK could cut the arms sales to Saudi Arabia which then find their way to Daesh, pressure Saudi to cut off Daesh’s supplies, pressure Turkey to stop buying Daesh’s oil and to stop targeting Kurdish opposition to Daesh, and put all our resources into negotiating the end of the civil war in Syria through democratic transition by building on the Vienna negotiations. Bombing without first attempting any of the above lays the UK open to accusations of hypocrisy, war-mongering and imperial hubris, as well as instantly making our citizens more of a target for Daesh fundamentalists.
National Demo in London – Sat 12th Dec
Coach from Bradford/Huddersfield, leaving 7am/7.30, £10 / £20 Contact Roger Keely firstname.lastname@example.org, 07814 709853
Beat the War demo in Hebden Bridge, Sat 12th Dec 1pm, George Square. Collective drumming for peace – all welcome www.drummachine.org.uk