White knights and dark knights

IS/Daesh is horrible. It would be great to find a way to defeat it, to wipe it off the face of the earth, but I don’t think it is a ‘war of values’. Daesh was born out of our invasion of Iraq under a pack of outright lies to parliament. This is the honest truth. People on the ground rose up against our bombing campaign in Iraq. Would you not have done the same if some foreign power had bombed your home under some trumped up pretext for war?

We have to face this uncomfortable fact and to stop seeing this as a Hollywood war of ‘white knights and dark knights’. War is war. it illuminates nothing to talk about good and evil as if it were all black and white, them and us. Playing with war to appease friends and make money out of human misery is about as evil as it gets. That is to be avoided at all costs, for it unites enemies against us.

IMG_4389.jpgSome of our so-called ‘friends’ are among the most so-called ‘evil’ in the world. This is the slippery and cynical reality of war. History is written by the winners. We have been plenty ‘evil’ in the name of religious beliefs now and in the past. If we are honest we have to face these truths. We have tortured, assassinated, exterminated plenty plenty plenty, all around the world. Look around the country, we are still lapping up the benefits of our days of empire. The images of it are everywhere around us: in our country mansions, in our memorials to conquest and to war. I could not help seeing things this way when I was at the anti-bombing protest campaign in London on Saturday. London has its beauty, but it is not all black and white!

scdetdet.jpgWe must face up to realities. I do not defend violence, I abhor it. I want to stand up for subjugated people. I want rights and freedoms for myself and for others. We won’t get those by dropping bombs in troubled lands.

Lets work for the best we can be and not the worst. Time to stop bleating and stand up for actual truth. You do not destroy IS/Daesh by bombing Syria. (This is what they want us to do.) You do not keep UK safe by bombing Syria. (You make us more of a target.) You do not defeat terrorism by bombing homes. (You create a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists.) Bombing Syria will not help France. (French people are pleading that we not let the terrorist attack generate feelings of Islamophobia and more violence at home and abroad, because they know how counterproductive that will be.)

Imagine if instead of military campaigns which create only instability and more unrest we spent those vast sums on humanitarian causes! Let us not forget the power of uniting people behind peace rather than for war. This was the overwhelming cry of those who were caught up in the terrorist attacks in Paris. We would do well to listen to that cry. 

Cameron is resting a huge part of his case for bombing Syria on the statement that there are 70,000 moderates ready to come in and operate as a moderate, united and coherent anti-IS/Daesh and anti-Assad force in Syria. Julian Lewis, Chair of the Commons Defence Committee, told us in parliament this week that this is pure fantasy, saying in polite terms that the idea is little more than an outright lie! 

IMG_4390.JPGThings go on behind closed doors that the public cannot know everything about, but when Cameron announces something as a ‘fact’ and the chair of the defence committee declares it is ‘entirely dubious’ you know something very fishy is going on. Cameron is playing war games and it seems that he is being very economical with the truth. We should not go to war for fishy reasons. The case for this war is not sound. What we hope to achieve by it is not at all clear.  Preaching about good and evil helps not one tiny, little bit. We should fight hard for peace and not for getting even more involved in spurious and ineffective bombing campaigns against Syria.

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