The invasion Afghanistan in 2001 caused the deaths of at least 200,000 civilians, men, women and children. Much of the infrastructure was destroyed and remains in ruins. The Taliban have not been defeated and al-Qaeda survived. About 2.2m Afghans are refugees with many seeking new homes in Europe.
Britain joined the American attack on Iraq on the back of lies perpetrated by Tony Blair who accused Saddam Hussein of having nuclear, chemical and biological weapons “deployable within 45 minutes”. About half a million have died as a result. We supported Iraq’s corrupt regime which spread sectarian hatred. A third of the country is now in the hands of the radical Sunni Islamic State (ISIS). Costs to us now total £30bn
Yet they have voted again for war. The new enemy is ISIS, the barbarous regime which beheads its enemies. Britain’s allies in this ill fated and shambolic adventure include Saudi Arabia, a country which beheads its citizens for crimes such as sorcery. We sell Saudi Arabia masses of arms which we also sell to Egypt. Egypt’s military staged a coup to oust the elected Muslim Brotherhood, it tortures, executes and imprisons hundreds of thousands of its citizens and closed the border to Gaza, so leaving those people at the mercy of Israel again. Our government is considering an agreement with Syria’s Assad, the dictator it wanted to topple. And Iran too could now be re-classified as one of the good guys for the purposes of this war.
Stop The War
Invading Muslim countries, killing their inhabitants and supporting brutal dictator- ships creates enemies, some at home and many abroad. Yet our politicians are obsessed by the idea that “radical clerics” and “extremist internet sites” can turn your average Muslim into a monster. There is a queue of experts on terrorism lined up outside every radio and TV studio, keen to advocate more surveillance and more restrictive laws. None say we should stop killing Muslims.
The underlying grievance is Israel’s occupa- tion of Palestine, the seizing of land for settlements, the repression and the almost continuous wars that Israel must wage to maintain those policies. The US gives more aid to Israel than to any other country and, with Britain, supports that state without question. Supporting Israel leads to support- ing repressive regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which fear that freedom for the Palestinians will encourage their own people to seek freedom. It fuels the growth of aggressive religious groups whose hatred of the west is fuelled by the west’s own aggressive policies.
The arms merchants have much to gain from this war but we will gain nothing. It will help rather than stop ISIS. It means more waste, more death and more destruction. Stop the war.