THE tragic loss of the Russian airliner flying out of the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh killing 224 people, is being used by the Tories as a weapon in its determined push to send British planes to bomb Syria and join US imperialism’s drive to remove the government of President Assad.
In the week when Cameron had to concede that he would be unable to push through parliament a vote to carry out such a campaign, it is now clear that the Tories are determined to cynically use last Saturday’s tragedy to stampede reluctant Tory and Labour MPs into voting in favour of airstrikes in Syria without the agreement of the legitimate government.
In scenes reminiscent of Tony Blair’s deliberately provoked hysteria about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to steamroller his illegal war in Iraq, the Tories have been engaged in whipping up a frenzy over the crash. Yesterday, the Tory defence secretary, Michael Fallon, told the press that it would be ‘morally indefensible’ for Britain to rely on other countries to fight the jihadist Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria and that he was appealing to MPs to reconsider their opposition to airstrikes.
While admitting that there was no actual proof that IS had brought down the plane by means of a bomb placed on board, Fallon stated that this would greatly strengthen the case for war ‘If it turns out to be Isil’.
He went on to stress that although Cameron had been forced to drop the vote on bombing it would be reinstated when ‘we are pretty sure we can win.’ While Fallon was being cagey about assigning responsibility, Cameron has placed the loss of the airliner firmly at the door of ISIL or one of its Egyptian affiliates. Cameron introduced the favourite standby of ‘secret intelligence’ to justify the unprecedented actions taken by the government this week.
This involved the complete shut down of all British flights in and out of the popular Egyptian holiday resort, leaving up to 20,000 British travellers completely stranded in scenes of complete chaos with flights to return them being cancelled in all the confusion. So keen was Cameron to whip up a storm about the ‘terrorist’ threat that he couldn’t even be bothered to tell the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was actually in London for talks in Downing Street.
Neither Cameron or the US State Department, who also claim to have intelligence that the plane was brought down by a bomb, have seen fit to share this ‘crucial information’ with either the Egyptian or Russian governments. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said: ‘It is genuinely shocking to think that the British government has some kind of information that could cast light on what happened in the skies above Egypt.’
The chairman of Russia’s foreign affairs committee pointed to the way this tragedy has also been used by the imperialists to attack Russia’s intervention, at the request of the Assad government, to combat ISIL in Syria. He said: ‘There is geopolitical resistance to Russia’s actions in Syria. As blasphemous as it sounds, the world has plenty of people in it who would prefer to see this disaster, without any basis, written off as a jihadist response to Russia.’
This is correct, at this time it is impossible for anyone to know the exact cause of the airline crash, this will not be known until a full investigation has taken place. This rush by the Tories to use a human tragedy as a means to justify killing thousands more in Syria is testament to the barbaric nature of imperialism.
The working class is overwhelmingly opposed to any more imperialist adventures in the region – adventures that have shattered the once modern secular states of Iraq and Libya and are directly responsible for the emergence of ISIS and all the other jihadist groups. The Tories, who are at war with workers at home, must be stopped from prosecuting a new war in Syria by the only means available – organising a general strike to kick them out. The TUC must get off its knees and warn the Tories that any attempt to repeat the Blair tactics used to bring about war with Iraq, to stampede the House of Commons into a war with Syria, will be met with a general strike.