TORY MP David Davies has called on ‘abusive protests’ against serving military personnel to be outlawed and intends to amend a parliamentary bill to outlaw ‘abuse’ of the military.
He has been moved into action by a handful of Muslim demonstrators who held placards and yelled slogans as the Royal Anglian regiment, just back from Basra, marched through the town of Luton.
The placards had written on them ‘Anglian soldiers go to hell’ and ‘Butchers of Basra’.
However, it is a matter of record that many people, and even governments, think that the war and occupation of Iraq was and is illegal.
Also, that since one million Iraqis have died since the invasion in March 2003, and up to four million have been turned into refugees, the politicians who ordered it and the soldiers who carried it out have a lot to answer for.
Without doubt it is a very good thing that the mass of the UK soldiery is reminded constantly just how unpopular the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are, and that their bloody role in them is not forgotten.
Millions marched against the war in Iraq.
Millions of British people are opposed to British militarism and British imperialism. It is the militarists and the imperialists that should stand trial, not ordinary anti-war demonstrators.
However there is an issue here. It is just why the British army is parading through the towns and cities of the UK trying to drum up support for what are unpopular wars.
The reason is that a much bigger war is being prepared in Afghanistan, to turn the Afghan war into a war that includes Pakistan and other states in Central Asia.
Tens of thousands more US and UK troops are going to be required to be sent to a big war in central Asia.
The armed forces are going to need a lot more cannon fodder.
Accordingly, the armed forces are seeking to set up military societies in many universities, as well as set up more cadet forces in schools.
They are seeking to bring forward the cannon fodder for the coming expansion of the Afghan war, despite the fact that it is massively unpopular.
The WRP and the Young Socialists salute all those in Luton who turned out to demonstrate against troops marching through the town, insisting that the troops had been engaged in butchery.
We also salute all those who are battling to have the military turned out of the universities and colleges from where it is seeking to recruit.
We view this active anti-militarism as vital for fighting the expansion of the Afghan war and for defending the lives of young Afghanis, Pakistanis and Britons who will pay for it with their lives.
Presumably, Davies’ amendment, if successful, will make it illegal to ban military societies from the universities, and will give the police a weapon to attack and ban anti-war demonstrations and illegalise anti-war newspapers.
The News Line calls for the struggle against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to be stepped up, and for marches and demonstrations to be called by the trade unions against British militarism and imperialism up and down the country.
Already there are moves to get some of those who took part in the Luton demonstration sacked from their jobs.
One man has been suspended from Menzies Aviation for taking part in the demo.
It is a most important issue of principle that his union defends his job and establishes that nobody can be sacked or otherwise victimised for demonstrating against an illegal war and British militarism and imperialism.
Above all, the current witchhunt against Muslims in Luton and elsewhere must be rejected.
Millions must be mobilised to prevent the war in Afghanistan being expanded into Pakistan. UK militarism and imperialism must be smashed.