As Cameron Bangs War Drum, Voices for Peace Rally Around Corbyn

As British Prime Minister David Cameron declared from Paris on Monday his desire to escalate the UK’s military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) in both Iraq and Syria, campaigners are looking to Jeremy Corbyn to see whether the Labour Party leader can temper the nation’s march to war.

Cameron is trying to rally support for a pending parliamentary vote authorizing the Royal Air Force to bomb Syria, joining ongoing airstrikes by the United States, France, and Russia in that country, and the amplified regional onslaught against ISIS following the attacks in Paris earlier this month.

“We must also do more to defeat ISIL [ISIS] in their heartlands in Syria and Iraq,” Cameron declared on Monday. “I firmly support the action President Hollande has taken to strike ISIL in Syria and it is my firm conviction that Britain should do so too.”

With that vote expected as soon as Thursday, anti-war campaigners with the UK-based Stop the War coalition are calling on British MPs to “Support Corbyn, Not Cameron,” by “stand[ing] against the military escalation in Syria.” 

More war and an escalated intervention, the group said,

will only increase the violence, chaos and suffering there. It will also lead to an increase in the number of people fleeing the already war-torn country.

The idea that so called safe havens or no-fly zones are a solution is a myth. Attempting to create either would involve military confrontation with Assad’s military and possibly Russian forces too. This would involve intense fighting. The call for no-fly zones was the prelude to the Western intervention in Libya which left tens of thousands dead and the country in ruins.

Britain has been the most aggressive country in Europe over the last fifteen years, leading military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Yet it has done little to help the victims of the wars it so enthusiastically pursues and it has been at the forefront of opposing a humane policy towards refugees. 

Another destructive bombing campaign is no solution whatsoever. It will make moves toward a political solution harder. It risks intensifying and widening what is already a catastrophic war.

Calling for a political solution “led by the Arab and Muslim world itself,” Corbyn said last week that it is “vital” to learn from history and “not to be drawn into responses that feed a cycle of violence.” World governments, he added, “must not keep making the same mistakes” in the fight against terrorism.