US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has told Russia to ‘get ready’ for a missile strike on Syria in response to the completely fictitious ‘chemical attack’ in Douma. French President Macron has announced that France will join the US attack, but Germany has said that it will not participate in military action.
Tory PM May called her crisis cabinet meeting on Thursday. After a four-hour meeting, despite the fact that there were splits and divisions, the Cabinet decided to join France and the US in their military action against Syria, without consulting Parliament first.
Last time the Tories attempted to join an all-out attack on Syria’s leadership was back in August 2013. The Tory PM at the time, David Cameron, took the question to Parliament, where MPs rejected UK military action against the Syrian people and President Bashar al-Assad’s government. PM Cameron was defeated by a 285-272 vote, ruling out joining the US-led strikes. Almost five years later, Tory PM May knows that if she takes the question to Parliament she faces an even bigger defeat, since Assad has won the civil war, and Iran and Russia have forces in Syria supporting the Syrian people.
Many Tory MPs consider that the prospect of US and UK missiles killing Russian and Iranian solders, starting a new regional war, leading to a new world war, is a risk that is just too big to take. The YouGov poll, showing that just 22% of UK citizens support military action, shows that the vast majority of the people, at the least, are not prepared to allow the UK ruling class to jump into the fire in order to start a bigger one!
Corbyn is right to say that May awaits her master Trump’s orders, which are expected this weekend, to launch a joint strike at Syria, killing many Syrian people, defying the will of the House of Commons, and denying a debate and vote on the issue. A fleet of US guided-missile destroyers sits off the coast of Syria awaiting the arrival of US aircraft carriers, while UK submarines have reportedly been moved into position, and UK aircraft are waiting for the signal to proceed in Cyprus. Russia has said that it is prepared to shoot down missiles or aircraft that harm their forces.
Gamblers Trump, Macron and May are prepared to take that risk and gamble with the lives of millions of people! This is a war that must be stopped. It is good that Labour leader Corbyn has indicted May, and said that she is just waiting for Trump to give her his orders to invade Syria.
However, this is not enough.
Corbyn and Labour and the trade unions led by the TUC must call a national demonstration at once for next Monday so that millions can march on parliament and demand that this war is stopped. The TUC must call an emergency meeting of its General Council to adopt a resolution that any US-UK-French-Saudi-Israeli onslaught on Syria will be met with a general strike to bring down the May government and bring in a workers government and socialism.
The lesson from the Iraq war is that a mass demonstration, even one of millions of workers, is not enough to stop an imperialist ruling class going to war and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people to satisfy its own interests and bloodlust. What is required is mass action allied to an indefinite general strike to bring the government down and bring in a workers government that will nationalise the banks and the major industries to safeguard jobs and living standards at home, while abroad it will recall all British troops from the Middle East and close down the just-opened military base in Bahrain.
A workers government will stop arming Saudi Arabia and Israel, recognise the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, and with all refugees having the right to return. It will also guarantee the security of the besieged people of the Lebanon, living permanently under Israeli threat and make an agreement with the government of Syria to assist it in the massive work of reconstruction that has to be carried out in that country. It is time for the working class throughout the UK to act in support of Syria and Palestine. The party that is leading this fight is the Workers Revolutionary Party. Join it today!