IT is becoming clearer that PM May intends that UK land, air and naval forces will take part in the Franco-American strike against Syria that is now just hours away. She is however so nervous of the prospect, that she is not willing to recall parliament to give MPs a vote on whether the UK should join Trump’s war.
She knows that after the House of Commons voted for war with Iraq in 2003 – a war that was based on lies that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that it was about to use, a war that destroyed Iraq and ushered in ISIS – the House of Commons will be reluctant to repeat the Iraq, and then the Libyan disasters in Syria.
In fact, as recently as August 30th 2013, MPs voted by 285-272 to reject UK military action alongside the US against President Assad’s government, after a faked chemical attack. As the moment for decision nears, the House of Commons’ Defence Select Committee chairman, Julian Lewis, has spoken up to say: ‘When we are contemplating military intervention in other people’s conflicts, Parliament ought to be consulted.’ Lewis told BBC’s Newsnight programme: ‘What is being proposed is that we should intervene massively on the side of the opposition in Syria against Assad and the truth is very different from the suggestion there is a wide range of opposition groups.’
He added, ‘It is absolutely untrue to say that apart from the Kurdish-led forces the Salafists and the Jihadists are not in control of the opposition groups – they are and we will be helping al-Qaeda if we help them to do a sustained military campaign against the brutal Assad regime.’
Fellow Tory MP John Baron said any ‘substantial military commitment’ should be approved by Parliament before any action. Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron commented that ‘Theresa May would be making a huge mistake if she decides to follow Donald Trump and commit our country to action without consulting our sovereign Parliament first.’
In fact, May has agreed with Trump to involve the UK in what can only turn out to be a military and political disaster. Already Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin has warned on the al-Manar TV website that ‘the Russian forces will confront any US aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads.’
Speaking to the channel, the ambassador also said that the fake allegations of a chemical attack were being used to justify ‘offensive acts’ in Syria, while ‘the US and Western escalation against Syria will lead to a major crisis.’
Earlier, the US Navy had announced its decision to deploy the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group to the Middle East, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and destroyers USS Arleigh Burke, USS Bulkeley, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut. According to the recent report by Turkish media outlet Yeni Safak, the US has designated 22 top targets on Syria’s territory. The targets are reportedly located in the province of Homs, as well as near the Russian naval facility in Tartus, where Russian servicemen are currently deployed.
The news agency has suggested that the United States, the UK, France and Israel will carry out coordinated airstrikes against Syria, paying particular attention to military airbases in Homs, Damascus, Tartus, Hama, Deir Ezzor, Raqqa and Al-Hasakah. The allies will use land, sea and air missiles. Workers in the UK are opposed to any new imperialist war in the Middle East after the Iraq and then the Libyan disasters.
The TUC and the Labour leaders remain silent about this crisis. The Labour Party yesterday had no statement from Labour leader Corbyn on the crisis. The Labour Party limited itself to stating, ‘If the government is proposing to expand its military activity in Syria, they should seek a fresh parliamentary mandate for that action.’
There is no doubt that May will join Trump’s assault on Syria. Parliament will return on Monday. By that time the bombs and missiles will have struck home, and perhaps a major war begun. Labour and Corbyn must call for an immediate recall of parliament and insist that there must be no attack on Syria. The TUC must call a national demonstration against this war and tell the Tories that if they attack Syria then the trade unions will call a general strike to bring them down!