The “war on terror” is part of the problem, not part of the solution

25 November 2015

Will Cameron dare to use the blood of the 129 who died in the Paris terrorist attacks to justify bombing Syria? He seems to think that he now has the pretext that he had been looking for since his first failed attempt in the Commons, in 2013, and that he can get away with murder.

"ISIS must be defeated", said Cameron, while his partner in crime Osborne added, in his Defence Review released earlier this week: "The threat from Islamist terrorist groups to the UK, including to British nationals and interests overseas, has increased. Since 2010, over 60 British nationals have been killed as victims of terrorism overseas, including in the recent attacks in Sousse and Paris."

How far can the cynicism of these politicians go? 60 "British nationals" killed by terrorism overseas? Yes, that is terrible for the victims and their families and this should never have happened.

But how many innocent civilians die in the Middle East? According to UN figures, 135 in Iraq and 500 in Syria, not just since 2010 - but every week since the beginning of this year! And how many innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed by British bombs since the bombing started 2 years ago? Certainly a lot more than 60, but what do they care? And they want to kill even more innocent civilians, this time in Syria? No, this cannot be allowed!

Monsters of their own making

Of course, the rule of ISIS is the worst form of dictatorship. Its thugs subject the whole population to systematic racketeering and to barbaric laws borrowed from a distant past; they enslave women and kill all those who object to their ferocious methods - whether Muslim or not. For them, Islam is just a lever to conquer political power. And the attacks they inspire elsewhere, are abhorrent acts, aimed at terrorising populations - just like in the territories they occupy.

But this monstrous militia didn't come out of the blue. It takes all the cynicism of the Camerons of this world to claim the moral high ground in response to its crimes.

Who can forget how this part of the world has been dominated by brutal states - like Saudi Arabia, whose practices are not that different from those of ISIS, or Israel, which operates a system of apartheid against the Palestinian population - all backed and armed by the rich countries?

Who can forget what the rich countries, especially Britain and the US, have themselves created since they launched their "war on terror", after 9/11? Instead of "defeating" al-Qaeda, their aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya only created dozens of fundamentalist al-Qaeda siblings. Isn't ISIS itself a by-product of the struggle for power produced in Iraq by the US-British playing the Shia majority against the Sunni minority?

Since then, each western intervention has produced more of these monsters, by pushing more and more angry, vengeful youth into the arms of ambitious, brutal warlords - most of whom were themselves armed by one of the rich countries, or by one of their regional allies. So that, predictably, far from receding, the threat of terrorism has only been boosted by their "war on terror".

In pursuit of blood profits

The truth is that this "war on terror" just conceals the determination of the rich powers to defend the interests of their big multinationals, whatever may be the cost to local populations - including paying with their lives, if it comes to that.

When Osborne says that "the threat from Islamist terrorist groups to the UK, including to British nationals and interests overseas, has increased", the key words are "British interests overseas", i.e., British capital's profits.

As the distant possibility of a political settlement emerges, under the auspices of the US, EU and Russia, and with the involvement of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the last thing that Cameron wants is for his government to be left on the sidelines without having a say in the final deal, just because the British army is not part of the coalition.

If this happened, what would be the chances of British companies benefiting from the juicy postwar reconstruction contracts and how would British banks be able to compete with their US and European rivals? This is why Cameron wants to go to war in Syria. And it is in the pursuit of the same capitalist interests that Osborne, the champion of "austerity", seized on the Paris attacks to add tens of billions of pounds of military hardware to his budget - whether for Trident or for the Navy. None of this will be of any use to us. But Britain's big shareholders will gain a pretty penny out of it!

These politicians of the capitalist class should get no support from our ranks!