The Tories want to escalate the British military intervention in Iraq and extend it to Syria. Some military leaders are calling for ground troops.
They are using last Saturday’s murder of taxi driver Alan Henning to argue that bombing Iraq alone will not beat the sectarian Islamist group Islamic State.
David Cameron said Britain’s military would do everything to “to hunt down and find the people responsible for this”.
In London over 2,000 people joined a Stop the War Coalition demonstration against this latest war. Some 200 joined a vigil in Manchester last Sunday for Alan Henning.
Health worker Tracey helped organise the vigil. She told Socialist Worker that as a Muslim she wanted to say Alan’s death was “not in our name”.
Tracey also had a message for Cameron. “He needs to stop interfering in other countries, because all he is doing is breeding hatred,” she said.
Yet Cameron is intent on extending a war already failing in its declared aims. Even as Australia and Turkey join the US imperialist mission Islamic State continues to take new ground.
US officials have admitted they have loosened their policy on avoiding civilian deaths. This said drone strikes would not take place unless there is a “near certainty” of no civilian casualties.
Caitlin Hayden of the US National Security Council declared that such precautions were only used “outside areas of active hostilities”.
This means it doesn’t cover the current war. Western leaders talk of special forces and arming local fighters.
But even ex-chief of defence Lord Richards, who calls for ground troops, said it was a “tall order” to talk of sending special forces in.
The myth of the daring missions of highly trained special forces was exposed in Libya in March 2011.
Two MI6 officers and six SAS soldiers were dropped into the country by helicopter to intervene in the fight to topple Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
They were almost immediately picked up and captured by local farmers. An embarrassed British government claimed the men were simply a “diplomatic team” although they had bags of weapons, reconnaissance equipment and multiple passports.
The West wants to portray itself as supporting oppressed minorities such as the Yazidis or the Kurds.
But they will never support real struggles for self-determination. They just want to give a progressive gloss to the pursuit of their own imperialist interests
Islamic State grew out of the conditions created by the West’s last war on Iraq. We must go all out to build a campaign to stop their new war.
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