Socialist Worker

Don't bomb Syria - Western intervention will make things worse

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2368

Cameron wants to bombing to put an end to the regime and the revolution

Cameron wants Western bombing to put an end to the regime and the revolution


 

The West was threatening air strikes on Syria as Socialist Worker went to press.

Britain, the US and France led calls for action against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. This came after a chemical attack which killed hundreds of civilians in Damascus last week.

David Cameron has called a meeting of the National Security Council for Wednesday to discuss military options. He has recalled parliament on the following day to debate Syria.

Labour MP and chair of the Stop the War Coalition Jeremy Corbyn told Socialist Worker, “Cameron has re-called parliament to sanction another war.

“Western intervention will kill many more people and have all the unintended consequences of AfghanistanIraq and Libya. I will be opposing this latest military adventure.”

Foreign secretary William Hague rolled out the old refrain that they want to wage war because of “humanitarian need”.

He claims that an attack will “protect civilians”—which would make it legal without a UN mandate.

But the West is not interested in the needs of the Syrian people, whose revolution for freedom and democracy began in February 2011.

The barbaric response from Assad’s regime has killed more than 100,000 Syrians. Many more have become refugees.

Any intervention by the Western imperialist powers will only make the situation worse—as the experience of Libya shows.

A Western bombing campaign did not improve the lives of ordinary Libyans.

Airstrikes on Syria will cause civilian casualties. They could even strengthen Assad as he presents himself as standing up to imperialism. 

Western powers are no strangers to the use of chemical weapons. From carpet bombing Vietnam with Agent Orange to the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah in Iraq, they have often crossed this “red line” themselves.

But the taste of defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq lingers. Western politicians say they want to carry out a one-off attack. They are terrified of becoming embroiled in another long and bloody war.

The West has significant firepower in the region. It can launch missiles without any aircraft entering Syrian airspace.

But western leaders know that taking on the Syrian military is a much greater task than they faced in Libya. That is why there have been plenty of declarations of intent, but as yet no open military action. 

Cameron and US president Obama say they only want to help those fighting for democracy. Yet their closest allies in the region include Saudi Arabia, which has recently crushed dissent in Bahrain.

In reality they are only interested in pursuing their own strategic interests. Supporting the revolution means keeping their hands off it.

As Bassem Chit, a revolutionary socialist in Lebanon, put it, “Socialists should not fall in the trap of choosing between the two tragedies of imperialism and dictatorship. 

“The Syrian people and all Arab people can be free once we all stand in unison, from the Gulf to the Ocean, against dictatorships and imperialism.”

Stop the War Coalition has called an emergency protest on Wednesday 28 August 5pm, Downing Street, London. For information on other protests go to http://stopwar.org.uk

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.