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Tories try to turn Paris tragedy into a new war—Don’t bomb Syria

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David Cameron wants to exploit the shock of the Paris attacks to start bombing Syria, reports Judith Orr
Issue 2481
David Cameron eyeing up some military hardware earlier this week
David Cameron eyeing up some military hardware earlier this week (Pic: Number 10 Downing Street)

Prime minister David Cameron has stepped up the war drive in the wake of the Paris attacks.

He has announced that he plans to push for a House of Commons vote on bombing Syria as soon as next week.

He wants to take advantage of the mood of panic that has shifted the political landscape to the right since the attacks.

The warmongers have been helped by a United Nations (UN) vote on Friday of last week supporting attacks on Isis. The resolution said that Isis “constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.”

It went on to call on UN member states “that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures … on the territory under the control of” Isis.

Russia was being denounced for its airstrikes only weeks ago. Now it is working in coordination with the West. Demands that the dictator Bashar al-Assad must go have been dropped.

Crispin Blunt is the Tory chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which had come out against bombing. Now he says its conditions have been met.

The Paris attacks and UN vote have emboldened Labour MPs who support bombing and further isolated Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn’s anti-war stance was a significant part of his leadership victory but it is increasingly beleaguered.

He allowed shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn to brief that Labour would back action if it had UN support.


Corbyn had still not announced if Labour MPs will be whipped to vote against war as Socialist Worker went to press. There is a fear of the crisis any mass rebellion and subsequent resignations could provoke.

Even Corbyn’s close allies John McDonnell and Diane Abbott are talking about the possibility of a “free vote”.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she is “prepared to listen” to Cameron’s case for bombing Syria.

Scottish National Party foreign affairs spokesperson Alex Salmond said he had not heard “anything yet that would convince us that being the 13th country to start bombing in Syria is going to make any material difference whatsoever to anything”.

But he said it would back action if the bombing was part of a UN “strategy for peace”.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who had opposed the Iraq war, has also said Cameron’s case for war will be “listened to”.

But there is no case for Britain joining the war.

Blunt admitted that so many countries are already bombing Syria that “it’s a shortage of targets rather than of aircraft that is the coalition’s principal military constraint.”

He said the war drive was more about ministers’ “embarrassment” internationally at having their position “restrained by parliament”.

We have to organise to stop the warmongers. Any bombing is not about protecting civilians in Britain or Syria from violence.

It is about imposing the West’s interest on the region—and the people who will pay the heaviest price are the Syrians themselves.

Don’t bomb Syria – protest at Downing Street
Saturday 28 November, 12 noon-2pm
Called by the Stop the War Coalition.
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