Thursday, December 03, 2015

British Imperialism: Leopard with the same old spots:


Over 60 Labour MP's vote with Tories;

Majority of Labour vote with Corbyn;

Shameful and outrageously lying
speech by Hilary Benn; 

The British House of Commons voted by majority to support the Cameron Government’s motion to allow British aircraft to join the illegal bombing of Syrian territory along with the US which has been doing the same for years allegedly “fighting” IS which seized northwestern  Syria to add to its occupation of Mosul and other cities in western Iraq despite over 8,000 bombing raids by the US Air Force in the past 2 years which has not reduced IS control by one inch in all that time.

Cameron’s speech, opening the debate, was lying bluster from start to finish totally exaggerating the effectiveness of aerial bombing despite the clear evidence to the contrary, introducing a new propaganda lie that there were over 70,000 “moderate” opposition fighters in Syria ready to back up the bombing by NATO air forces. This new lie, reminiscent of the Blair/Bush lies on Saddam Hussein’s possession of “weapons of mass destruction” which was the justification for the illegal invasion of Iraq and the killing of over a million Iraqi civilians in the course of it by these two war criminals, shows the utter and shameless hypocrisy of the NATO warmongers who have been financing, arming and training jihadis and importing them to Syria via Saudi Arabia and Turkey as admitted by the White House last week.

Demonstrators outside the House of Commons oppose Cameron's War plans.

Cameron’s phantom army was referred to as follows:  “Last week I told the House that we believe there are around 70,000 Syrian opposition fighters, who do not belong to extremist groups and with whom we can co-ordinate attacks on Daesh(sic).

“The House will appreciate there are some limits on what I can say about these groups. Not least because I can’t risk the safety of these courageous people – who are being targeted daily by the regime, or by Daesh, or by both”. [He can’t say more because he dare not; the phantom army doesn’t exist]

“But, I know this is an area of great interest and concern for the House, so let me try and say a little more. The 70,000 is an estimate from our independent Joint Intelligence Committee, based on a detailed analysis, updated on a daily basis, and drawing on a wide range of open source and intelligence.[The same gang who told Blair that Saddam had "weapons of mass destruction" in 2003] Of these 70,000, the majority are from the Free Syrian Army.[Absolute nonsense, there never was any such number in the so-called “Free Syrian Army” 3-4,000 at most and the majority of them have now defected to IS] "
"Alongside the 70,000, there are some 20,000 Kurdish fighters with whom we can also work”. [He says nothing at all about the regular bombing of the Kurdish Militias by his NATO crony, Turkey.] "Now I’m not arguing – this is a crucial point – I am not arguing that all of these 70,000 are somehow ideal partners. Some though, left the Syrian army because of Assad’s brutality and they clearly can play a role in the future of Syria".[70,000 now reduced into "some", what a fraud!]

The final vote, around 10.30pm was 397 for Cameron’s motion with 223 against including the majority of Labour MP’s supporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the SNP and a few recalcitrant Tories.

The SNP spokespeople made the most scathing criticism of the Cameron Government’s lies and duplicity; John Nicolson of the SNP said it’s ‘absurd’ to think 70,000 Syrian troops with ‘no central command or shared vision will march collectively thousands of miles to support a British mission’. He added “It is clearly and utterly absurd and that argument has fallen apart. “We are being fed ludicrous statistics on a wing and a prayer. Let’s say no.”

SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson  also spoke in opposition to the government’s motion, arguing ‘there is no shortage of countries currently bombing in Syria’:
"I was a co-sponsor of the 2003 amendment to oppose invading Iraq and I am proud to sponsor today’s amendment opposing bombing in Syria. I appeal to colleagues on all sides to learn the lessons from Afghanistan, not to ignore the lessons of Iraq, not to ignore the lessons of Libya. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let’s not give the green light to military action without a comprehensive and credible plan to win the peace".

But, it was the speech in favour of bomber Cameron by Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn, which produced outrage in the thousands of anti-war demonstrators outside the House of Commons. Benn, son of lifelong radical socialist, Tony Benn, shamed his father’s legacy and insulted the sacrifices of many who fought against fascism in Spain in the 1930’s and during WW2 by comparing their actions with Cameron’s illegal proposal for bombing Syria.

“The question which confronts us in a very, very complex conflict is at its heart very simple. What should we do with others to confront this threat to our citizens, our nation, other nations and the people who suffer under the yoke, the cruel yoke, of Daesh? 

“Carnage in Paris brought home to us the clear and present danger we face from them. It could just as easily have been London or Glasgow or Leeds or Birmingham – and it could still be. And I believe we have a moral and a practical duty to extend the action we are already taking in Iraq to Syria. And I am also clear, and I say this to my colleagues, that the conditions set out in the emergency resolution passed at the Labour party conference in September have been met. We now have a clear and unambiguous UN Security Council resolution 2249, paragraph five of which specifically calls on member states to take all necessary measures; to redouble and co-ordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria”.[Not true, resolution 2249 specifically excludes military action, otherwise it would have included a Chapter 7 clause which Russia and China would have vetoed and there would have been no resolution 2249. Benn also ignores the direct connection with the illegal invasion of Iraq by Labour Leader Tony Blair in 2003, which led to the creation of IS, which we will expand on in a future article.]

Hilary Benn misleads the House of commons yesterday as Jeremy Corbyn stoically looks on.

“So the United Nations is asking us to do something. It is asking us to do something now. It is asking us to act in Syria as well as in Iraq. [But, it does not ask for military action which Mr Benn falsely implies] And it was a Labour government, if the honourable gentleman will bear with me, it was a Labour government that helped to found the United Nations at the end of the Second World War. And why did we do so? Because we wanted the nations of the world working together to deal with threats to international peace and security – and Daesh is unquestionably that” [And it was a Labour Government which illegally invaded Iraq in 2003] .

“So given that the United Nations has passed this resolution, given that such action would be lawful under Article 51 of the UN charter, because every state has the right to defend itself, why would we not uphold the settled will of the United Nations? Particularly when there is such support from within the region, including from Iraq”.[But, apparently, the legitimate Syrian state, sovereign member of the United Nations equal to Britain or any of the other NATO warmongers doesn’t have such a right?]

“Now Mr Speaker, I hope the House will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the House. As a party, we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another. We never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road”. [They walked on the “other side of the road” when NATO bombed and destroyed the Libyan state in 2011.  They walk on the other side of the road as their “coalition partner”,Saudi Arabia, bombs and burns alive hundreds of men, women and children on a daily basis in Yemen. They have walked on the other side of the road as their NATO partner, Turkey, illegally occupies the territory of EU member, Cyprus, since 1974 and currently is bombing Cameron’s claimed allies, the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. They walked on the other side of the road when they used brute force to suppress the independence movement in Aden colony in 1965-7 which later became the People’s Republic of South Yemen after Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, peremptorily withdrew all British forces in 1967. So much for Labour “internationalism” and “fights for human rights and justice”. Colonialist imperialists just like their Tory opposites. Who does Benn think he is kidding?] 

Hypocritical and lying claptrap of the worst kind, worse even than the lies and deceit of the Cameron Government as, at least, they are being true to form while Benn is trying to claim the high moral ground for bombing people on a totally false premise.

As usual, the warmongers chose to ignore public opinion as they did in the illegal war in Iraq. Polls show a rapid drop in public support for the Cameron line from 57% last week to 47% this week. Another week and he might have lost the Commons vote as the Blairites in Labour might have run with the tide of public opinion instead of voting with the Tories. Massive public demonstrations last Saturday in cities throughout Britain against the Cameron line also showed growing public opposition. And, the final irony of Labour’s “internationalism” the British bombers will use the Akrotiri “sovereign base” in Cyprus imposed on the Cypriot people by British Imperialism in 1960. 

The Article 51 Deception:

 “Article 51
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security”.

Many of the speakers in the House of Commons debate made reference to Article 51 of the UN Charter which accepts as “inherent right” of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Since the Security Council has already made such a decision with Resolution 2249 so, Cameron has no legal cover to attack Syria under Article 51.

Further, the Syrian Arab Republic, the sovereign state whose territory is being attacked and its citizens lives lost or endangered by Cameron’s illegal actions, has not made or conducted any armed attack on Great Britain or any other country, even its hostile neighbours who are actively promoting armed insurrection on its territory contrary to international law and the UN Charter, which would justify Cameron’s invoking Article 51 to falsely provide cover for his illegal actions and mislead and deceive the British public in this regard.

The attacks on Paris and elsewhere are being mounted by the jihadis and their supporters already in European countries who have been armed, trained and financed by Washington and its allies, NATO member Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In the perverted logic of Cameron’s position, he should then be bombing Washington and Riyadh instead of Syria!
This damnable enterprise then is not the “self-defence” proclaimed by Cameron but, part of  US/NATO/Wahhabi Arabia’s bloody scheme to destroy the Syrian secular state and impose a complaint regime in Damascus which suits the global agenda of the US neo-cons and the Corporate criminals of the international arms trade.

The swallowing wholesale by 397 members of the British House of Commons of Cameron’s deception, including 66 misguided Labour MP’s, shows that jingoistic British Imperialism still lives in all its bloody glory but, also the stupidity and ignorance of these individuals regarding the history and culture of the innocent people they want to kill with their bombs, held in thrall by the bandits their Western governments imported to their country, and the further ignorance of basic military tactics which shows that active enemies can only be defeated in the field. The only force actually on the ground which can do this is the Syrian Arab Army.