THE UK’s role in fighting the Islamic State is ‘strikingly modest’ and should be stepped up, the House of Commons Defence Select Committee has said after it found out that the UK had carried out just 6% of coalition air strikes against IS in Iraq, and that there were only three UK military personnel outside the Kurdish regions of the country, compared with 400 Australians, 280 Italians and 300 Spanish.
However, the committee also stressed that it was not in favour of deploying combat forces to battle IS.
This is after the House of Commons on August 30th 2013 decided not to take part in an armed attack on Syria to overthrow its government led by President Assad.
They voted ‘no’ because the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based on lies about WMDs and Iraq’s supposed support for Al-Qaeda. Over 100,000 Iraqis were murdered, and the working class in the UK became determined to actively oppose any other imperialist slaughter in the Middle East.
In fact, most people in the UK are now aware that the hanging of Saddam Hussein, and the calculated destruction of the Iraqi army and police cleared the way in Iraq for the emergence first of all of Al-Qaeda and then IS.
The imperialist powers, however, did not stop there. In 2011, NATO using its air power and special forces, consciously armed, organised and provided air cover for the Libyan Islamists to overthrow the anti-imperialist regime of Colonel Gadaffi.
They placed the Islamists into power, after being hugged by Prime Minister Cameron and President Sarkozy, and hailed as freedom fighters at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli in September 2011.
By this time, the imperialist powers were determined to repeat the Libyan op in Syria, and Libyan arms and Islamist fighters were shipped from Misratah to Syria where they formed the vanguard of the Wests ‘freedom fighters’.
They were joined by thousands of other young fighters who were encouraged to travel from France, the UK, Belgium and Germany to join the West’s freedom struggle in Syria, that is to give Assad and the Syrian Ba’ath party the Gadaffi experience.
However, the Syrian armed forces, steeled in the struggle against the Zionists, were more than ready to defend their country, which also has a splendid anti-aircraft missile system that kept the NATO and Turkish air forces at bay.
This stiff Syrian resistance led the ‘freedom fighters’ from Libya to London to throw off their pro-western cloak and transform into the ground forces for IS, which was then able to plan to take over swathes of northern Iraq.
This change in policy of the UK’s and US’ Islamists was marked by the killing of the US ambassador in Benghazi on September 11 2012 to the astonishment of Obama and Cameron, and then the declaration of the Caliphate in June 2014, in northern Iraq.
The truth is that the imperialist powers created IS. They see their enemy in the oil-rich Middle East and North Africa as the Arab nationalists, and the trade unions in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.
Their friends are the sponsors of Al-Qaeda, IS and the Muslim Brotherhood, in the Islamic States of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who paid and are paying for the counter-revolution in Libya and the war in Syria and northern Iraq.
In Syria, the imperialists have rejected all of Assad’s calls for them to support Syria against IS. While in Libya all of the chickens have come home to roost with the news that IS attacked the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli last week, and that an Islamic State swearing allegiance to the Caliphate has been established in Derna, where there is a massive oil refinery and port occupying a strategic position in the Med, opposite the toe of Italy and Greece. This is the nightmare situation that the imperialist powers have created.
British imperialism cannot fight IS, and its armed forces will certainly not be welcomed in either Iraq or Syria or Libya. Only a workers government in Britain that smashes capitalism and imperialism can play a positive revolutionary role in the Middle East.