Socialist Worker

Syrian intervention is no solution - say no to attacks from Washington and Moscow

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2474

The Tories are talking up the prospect of winning a vote for airstrikes in Syria.

This is in the same week as Russia began a military bombardment that has killed many civilians in over 100 sorties over the country. 

Syrian socialist Joseph Daher told Socialist Worker, “Russia wants to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is crumbling, so it is attacking all forms of opposition. 

“The people who pay the heaviest price are civilians, not fighters of any kind.”

The West has attacked Russia’s president Vladimir Putin for the air strikes. 

The US is angry because Russia’s targets include CIA-funded opposition groups.

Tory defence secretary Michael Fallon said Russian strikes were helping the “butcher Assad”. This is the same butcher the West recently said it is willing to work with.

The Tories claim Western military intervention will target the rise of the reactionary Islamist group Isis and stop terror attacks in Britain. 

Fallon even declared it would be “morally wrong” for Britain not to join the Western bombing in Syria. 

He said, “We can’t leave it to French, Australian and American aircraft to keep our own British streets safe.” 

But Joseph pointed out, “The skies of Syria are filled with jets from across the world. 

“The West’s bombing has not stopped the growth of Isis in Syria or Iraq. The solution is not military. It needs a political alternative to imperialism and dictatorship.”

Fuel

The last thing ordinary Syrians need is yet more bombs dropping over their heads. And Western imperialist attacks don’t stop terrorism—they fuel it.

Joseph argued that the West is not interested in the plight of ordinary people in Syria. All it wants is “stability in the region for geopolitical reasons and to stop the flow of refugees to Europe”.

He added, “They see Assad as a rational player in the region whereas Isis is the perfect enemy. 

“It means they can pose intervention as part of ‘war against terror’.”

Joseph added, “The West makes the whole refugee crisis about Isis. But really most Syrians who have fled are escaping the barrel bombs of Assad’s forces. 

“Some 10,000 were dropped in the first six months of this year.”

Socialist Worker argues that all refugees should be free to travel wherever they choose. But we stand against any outside military intervention in Syria. 

The West’s bombs will not be kinder than the Russian ones. As Joseph said, “The Western leaders are hypocrites. 

“They complain about Russia killing civilians yet US bombs destroyed a hospital killing doctors and patients in an Afghanistan hospital last week.”

The Tories may say they are confident about winning a vote in Westminster for bombing Syria. But they only have a majority of 12 in the House of Commons.

The issue has divided the Labour Party. Newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn has long campaigned against military intervention. 

But shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn has called for creating “safe zones” within Syria, which would require military intervention to police them.

Anti-war activists should demand Labour MPs oppose bombing Syria and organise opposition to the warmongers.  


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