Like its predecessors – the governments led by David Cameron and Tony Blair –our government has shown it is willing to allow British blood to be shed to back up US imperialism.
With an opinion poll indicating that only 22 per cent people of in Britain support military action against Syria, Theresa May ordered the RAF to launch strikes – pre-empting debate in parliament.
Many MPs – not just Labour but also Conservatives and others – are calling for a parliamentary vote. Now MPs need to be deluged with emails from their constituents telling them to vote to stop this war – and they need to make May accountable for her illegal actions.
The cabinet thinks it can get away with shunning parliament by calling on the so-called “royal prerogative”, a hangover from the days when the sovereign had absolute power. That would be outrageous.
But governments should rule in the national interest, and there is no national interest in military involvement in the Middle East. They should also operate within the law.
Under international law, there are only three justifications for military intervention in another country. The first is if the government there has asked for military help – which is clearly not the case in Syria. The second is in self-defence – also clearly not the case. The third is if the intervention is authorised by the UN Security Council, which has given no such authorisation for an attack on Syria.
‘A step along the way to a lawless world.’
So the military strikes by the US government and its allies against the Syrian Arab Republic are illegal acts of aggression, a step along the way to a lawless world.
Not that the US has shown much regard for law. For the past seven years, it has armed rebels/terrorists to overthrow the government of Syria – which is also illegal under international law.
The alleged use of chlorine gas by the Syrian government in Douma came within a week of US generals admitting that it had effectively won the war against ISIS, and of Trump announcing that US forces would soon be withdrawn.
Now all that has changed. And the only beneficiaries are ISIS and its allies – which makes it all the more unlikely that the Syrian government was involved.
The dangers of war are huge. And the price will be paid above all by those in and near to the Middle East. US imperialism wants Europe to fight its wars. We must say no.