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Hilary Benn: we never should walk by on the other side of the road

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, December 4th, 2015 - 147 comments
Categories: defence, Europe, International, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, uk politics, war - Tags: , , , ,

UK Labour MP Hilary Benn has given a powerful, compelling speech in favour of air strikes in Syria. He put the case far better than the hopeless Tory leader David Cameron, who had early alienated potential support from Labour MP’s with a stupid sound bite about Jeremy Corbyn being a terrorist sympathiser.

Corbyn has survived a potential leadership crisis in part because of Cameron’s ham fisted gaffe and mostly because he wisely allowed a ‘free’ vote for Labour MP’s. That clever decision allowed Hilary Benn to take the floor in Westminster and speak to both sides of the house.

And what a speech it is!

It’s a tour de force of political rhetoric, rightly hailed as one of the greatest pieces of oratory of recent years. Whether you agree with Benn’s position or not, I think you’ll marvel at it’s dignified power. First he roasts Cameron. Then he praises Corbyn. Then he moves on to make a sound, reasoned case for Britain to go on the front foot against Daesh. It’s just 15 minutes long, but it’s come to define the debate.

Note that throughout the speech, Benn refers to the terrorist organisation as ‘Daesh’. Apparently it is a name hated by the leaders of Isil/Isis/whatever. That’s as good a reason to use it as any.

Personally, I was quietly pleased to hear Benn echo some of the points I made in a post earlier this year. In War HUH! I equated the threat of Daesh to the rise of fascism in Spain. However, Hilary Benn has put it far more eloquently than I:

“We are here faced by fascists – not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber – they hold us in contempt”.

“They hold our values in contempt, they hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt, they hold our democracy – the means by which we will make our decision tonight – in contempt. But what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists were just one part of the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco.

“It’s why this entire house stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It’s why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice and my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil.

It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria.”

Benn is correct. It is the duty of the class conscious left to support the struggle against fascism, whatever its form.

But it’s not enough to just bomb Daesh, there has to be a political solution to the Syrian civil war as well. It’s a sign of how complex and fast moving this situation is that only two weeks ago Hilary Benn was lukewarm at best about joining the bombing campaign. But when push comes to shove, tough calls have to be made.

In effect, the UK parliament was voting not just for air strikes, but to tacitly endorse a multi-faceted approach to Daesh’s threat. UK PM David Cameron has proposed a seven point plan:

  1. Protect the UK at home by maintaining robust counter-terrorism capabilities
  2. Generate negotiations on a political settlement, while preserving the moderate opposition
  3. Help deliver a government in Syria that can credibly represent all of the Syrian people
  4. Degrade and ultimately defeat Isil, through Coalition military and wider action
  5. Continue leading role in humanitarian support and forestall further migratory flows towards Europe
  6. Support stabilisation already underway in Iraq and plan for post-conflict  reconstruction in Syria
  7. Work in close partnership with allies across the Middle East to mitigate the impact of Isil and other violent extremist groups

That seems to me to be a reasonably comprehensive approach, of which military action is not the defining point. We can bomb the middle east to pieces, but we cannot bomb it to peace.

However, Hilary Benn notes that military intervention in Iraq has halted Daesh’s advances there:

” … 14 months ago, people were saying that it was almost at the gates of Baghdad, which is why we voted to respond to the Iraqi Government’s request for help to defeat it. Its military capacity and freedom of movement have been put under pressure.

Ask the Kurds about Sinjar and Kobane. Of course, airstrikes alone will not defeat Daesh, but they make a difference, because they give it a hard time, making it more difficult for it to expand its territory. I share the concerns that have been expressed this evening about potential civilian casualties. However, unlike Daesh, none of us today acts with the intent to harm civilians. Rather, we act to protect civilians from Daesh, which targets innocent people.”

The response to Hilary Benn’s speech has been for the most part positive. One sour note was from Scottish SNP trougher Alex ‘two salaries’ Salmond who claimed Benn’s father, Tony, would be spinning in his grave. That’s rubbish. Benn Snr. would have been proud as punch that his son was making a stand against fascism. Tony Benn was a man of principle, and a humanist, and it appears his values have been passed on to the next generation.

Speaking to his fellow Labour MP’s, Hilary Benn makes this profound point:

“As a party we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another. We never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road”

Hear, hear!

Watch the full speech and marvel at what quiet fury and considered words can do in a parliament. And weep that we don’t have a PM capable of using our house in the same way.

 

 

 

 

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147 comments on “Hilary Benn: we never should walk by on the other side of the road ”

  1. Clean_power 1

    Jeremy Corbyn’s goose is cooked. He is already a dead-man walking.

    • Nope. As I noted in this post (and foreshadowed in the earlier ‘Isis crisis’ post), Corbyn made the wise decision to allow a free vote. What we would call a conscience vote. That showed some real leadership. In a way, it’s like Corbyn is leading an MMP style minority government, but within UK Labour. If he adapts to compromising, he may turn out to be a strong leader.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Any leader/manager who can’t compromise isn’t worth a tin of shit.

        If he’s reached the age of 66 without realizing this, he’s not a leader and never will be.

        • te reo putake 1.1.1.1

          Well, yeah, that’s exactly what he’s done, BM. It appears Corbyn understands the need for compromise. Which, on your analysis, makes him a leader.

          If I can use the MMP reference again, plenty of people didn’t think Helen Clark could manage a coalition, or indeed, a minority government, and she turned out fine. Don’t underestimate Corbyn. The Blairites did and they lost the party leadership to him.

          • BM 1.1.1.1.1

            he adapts to compromising

            You make it sound like this compromising thing is a new approach for Corbyn.

        • Crashcart 1.1.1.2

          Allowing his party the free vote would appear to be clear compromise. He got to keep official Labour Policy as opposing the air strikes whilst allowing members to support it. Unless you think compromising would have been completely caving?

        • Smilin 1.1.1.3

          And who does Key compromise with ?Thats right a tin o shit

      • Morrissey 1.1.2

        “Conscience”. Is that what they’re calling cravenly parroting the Conservative Party line now?

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      He can’t control his own caucus. Piss poor leadership. He should have whipped them and stood up to the lovers of war and death.

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Nope. He did as well as he possibly could in the circumstances.

      • locus 1.2.2

        He can’t control his own caucus. Piss poor leadership. He should have whipped them

        the great thing about Corbyn is that he’s reasonable and inclusive. He brings a breath of honesty, fresh air and consideration into the poisoned controlling and manipulative atmosphere of modern politics…. truly a leader for this judgemental and angry world

    • Raf 1.3

      Um … the by election in Oldham that Labour has conclusively won just now has increased Labour’s share vote by 7.5%ish while the Tories’ has gone DOWN 10%. Perhaps that goose was just his celebration dinner?
      (And the speech? Well, as John McDonnell said – haven’t heard a speech as powerful and eloquent as that since Blair took us into Iraq …)

  2. SPC 2

    The debate was about implementing UNSC Resolution 2249 calling on member states to eradicate the safe haven IS has in Iraq and Syria.

    So the UK authorised the bombing in Iraq in 2014, but excluded Syria (nonsensical because the safe haven is in both areas) presumably because the UK wanted the government of Syria removed from power more and they saw IS’s continuance in Syria as supportive of this goal (as Turkey did and still does).

    All that changed was the bombing in Paris – French calls to the UK to join them in bombing IS in Syria and Russian action to secure the Syrian regime.

    With the Damascus regime becoming secure, any purpose to tolerating IS’s existence in Syria has come to an end.

  3. shorts 3

    “It is the duty of the class conscious left to support the struggle against fascism”

    in which case they should oppose everything the cameron govt does

  4. SPC 4

    As for walking on the other side of the road – Shiite militias bullying Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad prior to the fall of northern Iraq to IS based in Syria.

    Domino 1

    If Iraq is not federalised to enable self government for Kurds and Sunni, it will continue with civil war until the central government (Shia majority) can impose a tyranny over the rest.

    Domino 2

    The Sunni majority in Syria witness the Shia majority in power in Iraq but Iran, Hizbollah and Russia keep them under the regime of Assad (an Alawite minority ruled Baath Party) – to them this is an injustice that provides conditions for al Qaeda (IS and al Nusra), Saudi Arabia (Wahhabi Islamic identity politics extremism) and Turkey (territorial and Sunni caliphate leadership ambitions of its own) to exploit.

  5. millsy 5

    “But what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists were just one part of the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco.”

    Again, a bit different — the IB coming together to help the Republican fight a challenge to them from the Spanish establishment — monarchists, aristocrats, the church, business, etc.

  6. BLiP 6

    I wonder who wrote the speech. Someone from the PR division of the fossil fuel corporations, no doubt.

    Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

    • I looked and can’t find any reference to it being the work of a speech writer, BLiP. In the video, he appears to be riffing off two pages of speech notes, rather than simply reading a prepared address. I think it’s fundamentally his own work.

      • BLiP 6.1.1

        We’ll probably never know.

        • Ad 6.1.1.1

          I’ve read the text and it’s hardly William Saphire structuring up for Robert Kennedy.

          • BLiP 6.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, more sort of Michael Dobbs for Francis Urguhart.

            • Ad 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I mean it’s sufficiently ordinary on paper that it’s more likely to be his own work.

              • locus

                reminiscent of the rhetoric that committed the US to Vietnam for 20 years with a ‘no retreat’ mentality … but unlike the regional containment of the Vietnam war, this punishing air campaign against ISIS will grow hydra’s heads beyond the regional theatre

    • Raf 6.2

      Tony Blair.

  7. millsy 7

    And it is a bit rich to talk about religous fascism when the EU President, Donald Tusk, presided over a government in Poland that has denied women access to birth control, because he has buried his head so far up the arse of the Pope he can taste what he had for dinner.

    • There are places where you can look up the meaning of the word fascism, millsy. Tip: it isn’t “authority figure implementing policies I don’t like.”

  8. Anne 8

    Well, time will tell if he is right. I guess you’re dammed by some if you go, and you’re dammed by others if you don’t. For my part, I don’t know who is right and who is wrong so will watch closely to see what happens.

    In the meantime that is the first time I have seen both sides of the House applauding with such vigour. A British orator along the lines of our David Lange.

    • SPC 8.1

      He was lukewarm on this a few weeks ago, it was as much to convince himself that the incremental step of a few bombing runs in Syria rather than just Iraq was more than technical banality in the exercise of killing power – instead the start of some great cause. Where does that rhetoric lead?

      • Anne 8.1.1

        Where does that rhetoric lead?

        That is exactly what I will be waiting to see. Let’s hope it’s not too long!

  9. Ad 9

    Loved how gentle he was with Corbyn, and remained resolutely harsh on Cameron.

    His calling down the ghosts of Spain and France into Labour’s international solidarity was impressive. And leaving the WW2 Fascist references to the end was strong.

    On paper it’s got very few standard rhetorical devices. It’s reasonably prosaic text.

    But on the floor he was very forceful.
    Just very, very occasionally, Parliamentary debate is a good thing.

  10. Olwyn 10

    Has Hilary Benn made a similarly impassioned speeches about insisting that cancer patients attend job interviews? About the ethnic cleansing of working class London suburbs? I ask this because this “tolerance, decency and democracy” that Britain seeks to export seems rather limited in its application.

    • Morrissey 10.1

      His father did. The son is not a chip off the old block, unfortunately.

      • Olwyn 10.1.1

        Yes I know his father certainly did. But the son seems to have gone the way of the standard establishment politician. The giveaways are the shabby imitation of great orators, and the grafting of noble left wing concepts onto ignoble right wing schemes. Both of these moves seem to be quite fashionable at the moment.

  11. Ad 11

    Anyone prepared to forecast a peace conference involving all the UN Security Council, Syria, and Iraq, in which there is a new federalized Syria to the (coastal, inland, and Kurdish, and a federalized Iraq (Mosul to the Gulf, ISIS rump north, and Kurdish)?

    I could see a combination of President Putin and President Clinton heading for restabilised boundaries as a form of containment, once ISIS has been shrunk in its current territory, and degraded.

    • Anne 11.1

      That’s the usual outcome in these situations so I’m picking you’re right on the button Ad. But there’s going to be one hell of a lot of anguish in between times.

      • Pascals bookie 11.1.1

        I reckon this sort of outcome is what’s needed.

        Now go look hard at that ‘comprehensive plan’ TRP has in the post, and see if you can see anything about new borders in there. Anything in there for the Kurds? Anything to suggest that the plan isn’t to try and regain integrity for the existing states of ‘Syria’ and ‘Iraq’.

        All the hard work is brushed over with ‘do some dimplomacy to get communities on board’ nothing at all about what will be on the table. Nothing at all about the actual conflicts, and a fair bit (esp in the Vienna talks) about what groups of people will be ruled out of any talks.

        I don;t see a long term fix for the underlying grievences here, which makes the rhetoricl highs just empty bullshit.

        Anyone can oppose fascism, that’s a pretty fucking low bar, having a plan to fix the problems that make fascism attractive in some places is another thing.

        • BLiP 11.1.1.1

          That use of “fascism” – seems to invoke Godwin’s Law.

          • Pascals bookie 11.1.1.1.1

            Not sure Godwin applies in a thread about a speech that was a very pretty rendition of:

            ‘Fascism is bad and that’s why we hate fascism mate, always have, always will’

            • BLiP 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Heh! Not referring to you, my friend. I’m suggesting that the speech itself is one big Godwin. Could’ve worded that comment a bit better. Sorry.

          • te reo putake 11.1.1.1.2

            Godwin’s law.

            “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”

            A discussion about fascism isn’t a de facto Godwin, though it can probably get to that point quicker than most other online debates.

        • Anne 11.1.1.2

          Now go look hard at that ‘comprehensive plan’ TRP has in the post, and see if you can see anything about new borders in there.

          I admit all very broad brush and I bow to your superior knowledge Pb. All I can do is wait and see what happens, It’s going to be a long wait!

          And I have to say I feel a bit the same way as Olwyn. The British Tory govt, is not exactly a shining light in the quest for justice, fairness and democratic governance.

        • Grindlebottom 11.1.1.3

          In my view you’re right. Whatever the Western Coalition, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia try to achieve in Syria (and regardless of whether they ever manage to reach some sort of compromise agreement) there are so many disparate groups with serious grievances, the desire for independence or autonomy, and war materiel, that any attempt to re-establish a unitary state in Syria is ultimately doomed to failure. Probably the same applies to Iraq.

          Borders will eventually end up needing to be redrawn to reflect that reality. After that there could be more territorial battles over resources in others’ areas. And over religion. Fundamentalist militant Islam is not going to go away in a hurry. Too much has gone on, & is still going on, to feed it. And there’s a whole generation of children being taught it in the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places where it’s taken root and been ignored so far.

          • Pascals bookie 11.1.1.3.1

            Yeah, you can’t fix Syria without fixing Iraq, and vice versa.

            The Western idea of using the Baghdad govt to sort out Iraqi ISIS while at the same time overthrowing Assad, (who has the passive support of Baghdad and the active support of Iraqi militia) is just silly.

            The Russian idea that Syria can be made to come to heel under Assad is silly given the large chunk of the country that hates his damn guts with good reason.

            having both those theories in play, and racing on the battlefield to see whose stupid plan is the last one standing, just makes for an extension of the very devil’s playground that drives support for ISIS, if not for ISIS’ project.

            Way I see it, all the grivences need to be on the table, not resolved beforehand but acknowledged as genuine things up for discussion. This could include federalism, new states, exile for Assad, war crimes trials in absentia, a Kurdish state, all manner of things.

            The UN has to commit, via a Sec Council resolution, that this stuff will get talked about. That same resolution has to be the one that authorises the destruction of ISIS. The same resolution should require member states to commit to fund and resource, for at least a decade, a massive peace keeping process that will essentially have 100s of thousands of troops manning the joint while the regional talk fest sorting out the issues happens.

            Absnet actual commitments with troops in place whose only role is to honur the commitment to that process, why the hell will groups who have fought to take and create a space for themselves give that space up?

            they know how to resist. So we either fight them forever, or we admit that’s a stupid idea and start listening to their grievences.

            I don’t see a third option.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.3.1.1

              Russia wants a secular, stable government in Syria able to enforce control over the entire country. Assad is an optional extra that they would like. But there is no way Russia will tolerate the western plan of overthrowing governmental structures in Damascus, turning the country into a failed state and then Balkanizing Syria into Islamist fiefdoms.

              BTW putting white Christian boots on the ground in Arab lands as “peacekeepers” is a bad idea and will be instant recruitment fodder for salafist movements like ISIS.

              • Grindlebottom

                Bollocks to the Russians. Ultimately there will be too many forces (military and otherwise) aligned against them. And there are some pretty tiny successful unitary states in the Middle East already: Bahrain, Cyprus, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE. They do ok. Eventually the place is going to get broken up by events and popular demand. They’ve only even been Western artificial constructs.

                • Colonial Viper

                  BTW how would those states do without billions in weapons and financial support from the USA? Ordinary people in places like Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE all happy and good with their undemocratic leadership too?

                  • Grindlebottom

                    What the fuck do you wanna do CV? Invade them and give them democracy as well? How well’s this strategy working out so far?

                    They have to eventually reach their own decisions about revolutions and shit, if they ever want to change their forms of government. The West isn’t exactly a shining example to them is it? Increasing poverty. Increasing police and intelligence surveillance. Increasing loss of democracy. You know, the stuff we all moan about.

              • Pascals bookie

                pssst CV, the ‘Russian plan’ is relying on Shia militia who are pretty damn good recruitment fodder for salafists. Just in case you ‘forgot’

                • Colonial Viper

                  *Shrug*. When the US repeatedly destroys secular states like Iraq, don’t complain when sectarian interests end up in charge.

                  • Pascals bookie

                    was I complaining?

                    Nope.

                    I was wondering how Outin thought he was going to set up a “secular, stable government in Syria able to enforce control over the entire country” with shia militia as infantry.

                    Ask them nicely to go home after they win?

                    “enforce control” too. Such a lovely euphemism for what you can’t wait to watch eh?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I was wondering how Outin thought he was going to set up a “secular, stable government in Syria able to enforce control over the entire country” with shia militia as infantry.

                      Ask them nicely to go home after they win?

                      Iranian Republican Guard elements and the elite Hezbollah troops currently in Syria are highly disciplined regular and irregular forces under a tight chain of command.

                      “enforce control” too. Such a lovely euphemism for what you can’t wait to watch eh?

                      The Americans set the example with Fallujah. The West has no moral standing on these matters.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      “Iranian Republican Guard elements and the elite Hezbollah troops currently in Syria are highly disciplined regular and irregular forces under a tight chain of command.”

                      Iranian command, but let’s ignore that as it doesn’t matter even though of course it does matter. What about the Iraqi shia militia who are operating in Syria CV? Did you forget, or are they just incovenient?

                      “The Americans set the example with Fallujah. The West has no moral standing on these matters”

                      Par for the course for you these days, that particualr argument. But at least you aren’t denying what it is you support.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      *shrug*

                      as I said, Russia was tired of the West turning the Middle East into a series of failed state terrorist breeding grounds. No more.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Shrugging at war crimes CV. This is what you have become.

                      I oppose what the west has done.

                      For the same reasons, I oppose what Russia is doing.

                      You are supporting what Russia is doing, as far as I can tell from what you are saying, because the west did it,

                      That makes no sense at all. It makes it look like you oppose Western war crimes because they are western, not because of the ‘war crime’ part.

              • Anno1701

                “BTW putting white Christian boots on the ground in Arab lands as “peacekeepers” is a bad idea and will be instant recruitment fodder for salafist movements like ISIS.”

                and will be completely & utterly ineffective

                unless they are prepared to keep 500,000 + troops in the country for the next 10+ years ( or possibly forever) to keep a “lid” on things

                anybody who suggest sending in regular troops to fight in a place like Syria clearly knows nothing about asymmetrical / insurgent warfare

            • Grindlebottom 11.1.1.3.1.2

              The UN has to commit, via a Sec Council resolution, that this stuff will get talked about. That same resolution has to be the one that authorises the destruction of ISIS. The same resolution should require member states to commit to fund and resource, for at least a decade, a massive peace keeping process that will essentially have 100s of thousands of troops manning the joint while the regional talk fest sorting out the issues happens.

              Yep. The whole place would have to be flooded with armed peacekeepers & everybody disarmed though. I can’t see this happening BP, sadly. Not yet anyway. The Security Council is just another place for posturing and vetos.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hundreds of thousands of Peacekeepers from where?

                US? UK? From the same Middle East countries which have supported ISIS? Or Turkey and other NATO countries who all favoured Assad gone?

                • Grindlebottom

                  From everywhere CV. From every member of the UN who can spare some, including from muslim countries. Do I think it will happen? Who knows. Nobody’s tried it. What they have tried so far is just causing an effing mess, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and poisoning international and human relations for everybody everywhere.

                • Grindlebottom

                  From everywhere CV. From every member of the UN who can spare some, including from muslim countries. Do I think it will happen? Who knows. Nobody’s tried it. What they have tried so far is just causing an effing mess, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and poisoning international and human relations for everybody everywhere.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “Everywhere” is not a contributor to UN peacekeeping forces.

                    You can’t have “peacekeepers” from countries that have a direct preference or direct involvement in the outcome of the Syrian conflict.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      Well then, Russia & Iran & Hezbollah & Assad aren’t going to be allowed to dictate matters in Syria by all the forces in opposition to their doing so (its a Sunni majority state with a significant Kurdish minority & Shia/Alawite control will not be tolerated after this bloodbath) so on and on it will go. Unless & until they all come to their senses (maybe when the killings are getting into the millions?) & the madness and the killing stops. And then they’ll have to look at more realistic borders.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Assad’s Defence Minister and several of his senior generals are Sunni Muslims.

                      ISIS and Al Nusra frequently slaughters Sunni muslims via their Takfiri code.

                      I am also pointing out that the UN peacekeeper road is totally unavailable as there are no neutral countries who can provide 10,000 neutral peacekeepers let alone 100,000 neutral peacekeepers.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      That, CV, is why I said this;

                      Way I see it, all the grivences need to be on the table, not resolved beforehand but acknowledged as genuine things up for discussion. This could include federalism, new states, exile for Assad, war crimes trials in absentia, a Kurdish state, all manner of things.

                      The UN has to commit, via a Sec Council resolution, that this stuff will get talked about.

                      The “direct preferences” of outside powers especially will be dealt with at the table. the alterrnative is continuing as we are.
                      You cited fallujah as your template. that didn’t work.

                      We can keep on doing Fallujahs forever, or we can get the people around the table with everything up for discussion and a large force in place whose mandate is to firstly allow the discussion to take place, and secondly make sure that the result of the discussion is kept to. That’s why it has to be large enough to deter the states of Iraq and Syria from starting anything, and regional players like Iran and Suadi too.

                      I know you favour ‘moar war crimes and a shiny new police state’ as the solution at the moment, but that’s just not my kind of leftism.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Tell me when you’ve built your camp fire PB, then we can convince all those ‘moderate terrorists’ the US keeps talking about to sit around it and hold hands together with regards to expressing their “legitimate grievances”.

                      I know you favour ‘moar war crimes and a shiny new police state’ as the solution at the moment, but that’s just not my kind of leftism.

                      This thing will grind on because that’s what Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the UAE and others including the USA and NATO want.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      You are beyond reasonable discusssion CV.

                      You’ve literally brought this place down to a kiwiblog level.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      then we’ll sing kumbaya with all these foreign jihadist fighters, as we seek to encourage them to express their legitimate grievances against the wrongs done against them by the Assad Government, even though up to tens of thousands of these militant islamists are citizens of Europe, Russia, Turkey and other neighbouring Gulf States and have never lived in Syria before now.

                      The fact that these groups are stealing millions of dollars worth of Syrian and Iraqi oil per day is also a motivating factor for these groups worth discussing.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Why do you keep lying?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK then PB, you tell me what Assad has ever done to cause grievance against those foreign Islamist fighters who have come in from Sweden, Belgium, France and the Caucuses.

                  • The UN is chronically underfunded.

                    There isn’t the money for that many peacekeepers.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      That’s one of the saddest things about the UN. It’s about as useful as the League of Nations in a peacekeeping role when it comes to major powers and their allies fighting proxy wars.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Yeah, which is why funding would need to be part of the resolution.

                      I’m not saying it will happen, I’m saying what I think would work.
                      Funding this will not be more expensive than another decade or two of what we are doing now.

                      There’s no shortage of thinkpieces about the place saying this ‘is just like the war against fascism’, and that war got funded. So funding is just a matter of commitment, and people have said how serious they think it is, so it shouldn’t really be a problem.

                  • Pascals bookie

                    More lies. Read what I said CV.

                    I explicitly state that the the international community should, via the UN, take out ISIS.

                    The point is that if you try to do so by propping up states that the many of the locals consider to be illegitimate you will not succeed in the long term. You may regain ‘control’ of the area, but unless you deal with fact of why many people are in open revolt you will only make way for the next insurgency.

                    Now I’ve answered plenty of your questions, which invariably bear littel relation to anything I have said, very often they are strawmen, like this time, that are the opposite of what I have said.

                    Now how are you getting on finding any examples of helicopters shot down by TOWs?

                    Or western supplied sophisticated anti-air systems in the hands of rebels?

                    Or evidence that the MSF hospital was hit by anyone other than Assad?

                    Or reasons for Assad releasing the hardest jihadis from his prisons at the outset of the revolt?

                    Or justifying opening fire on peaceful demonstrations at the outset of the revolt?

                    Or those docs detailing the deaths of people (11,000) in his custody in the first 6 months?

                    Or Russia’s use of cheap dumb gravity bombs over urban areas?

                    All of this shit you wriggel around and the best you can come up with is “but the west did it too”.

                    It’s pathetic.

        • locus 11.1.1.4

          this bombing campaign will not have the seeming quick fix that it did in Libya…(though what a disaster there now). In Syria and Iraq it will give ISIS the opportunity to play the ‘good guys’ – because without a doubt innocent locals will be collateral damage – or in ISIS speak: ‘murdered’

  12. shorts 12

    “The British government choosing to attack a city halfway across the world for no good reason and to no great effect doesn’t have much in common with the heroism of the thousands who travelled to Spain, volunteering their lives against fascism. But there are other analogues. During the Spanish Civil War, the first mass aerial bombardment of a population centre was carried out by German and Italian pilots over the Basque town of Guernica. The town itself had little military importance; it’s possible the fascists committed their slaughter their just to see what their weapons could do. Up to 300 people died as they tried to go about their lives; the town was almost entirely destroyed. Afterwards, the massacre inspired a painting by Pablo Picasso, Guernica; a copy hangs in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations, put there to remind the delegates of the consequences of war. Clearly, as Hilary Benn’s speech shows, it isn’t working.”

    https://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/hilary-benns-speech-930

    speech summed up better than I could do… well worth taking a few minutes to read

  13. …airstrikes alone will not defeat Daesh, but they make a difference, because they give it a hard time, making it more difficult for it to expand its territory.

    In any military conflict, 100% air superiority makes a huge difference to the forces on the ground. If this vote is to have ground-attack aircraft provide close air support for Kurdish and other fighters opposing Da’esh, it’s an excellent move because, as mentioned above, it’s contributing to a fight against fascism (something worse than fascism actually, but fascism is the nearest thing we currently have for describing it). Opponents refer to “bombing Syria” as though the UK was about to send a strategic bomber fleet it no longer has to carpet-bomb Syrian cities – that’s bullshit, and bullshit isn’t persuasive.

    • shorts 13.1

      so the british bomb in support of the kurds, the turks bomb those against the kurds and against assad, the Russians bomb those for assad and against the turks and the US just bombs anything that moves… your point is only valid if the various nations bombing syria were all trying to accomplish the same ends, they’re not – the only thing they ALL have in common is bombing civilians

      • Molly 13.1.1

        “…the only thing they ALL have in common is bombing civilians”

        Nicholas Henin (a former ISIS hostage) tends to agree with you.

        His closing proposal:

        “… Actually, there would be a very easy way to make the Islamic State lose ground at a high speed. It would be for the international community, to take the decision that all the Syrian regions that are held by the opposition are no-fly zones. No-fly zones for everyboday, not the coalition, not the Russians, not the regime – No-body.

        So actually, to provide security to the people would be devastating for ISIS – and this is what the international community should focus on.”

        The video is worth the 6 min watch.

      • Psycho Milt 13.1.2

        your point is only valid if the various nations bombing syria were all trying to accomplish the same ends

        Not so. Yes, there are multiple air forces involved with conflicting goals. However, no air force is providing close air support for Da’esh. That means the US, UK and France providing close air support to whoever is fighting Da’esh gives those fighters 100% air superiority, which is a huge tactical advantage. The fact that there are other countries doing counter-productive shit that suits only their own interests is irrelevant to the question of whether this will help against Da’esh.

        the only thing they ALL have in common is bombing civilians

        True but irrelevant. Warfare results in deaths – if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be warfare. Pointing out that this will kill civilians is like pointing out that having a justice system means innocent people will be imprisoned, or that having a health system means that patients will be falsely diagnosed. Yes they will, but the question is whether the thing is still worth doing when those casualties are taken into account. We don’t throw up our hands in horror and declare that we must all reject having health or justice systems, and likewise we sometimes have to accept that the only way to deal with a particular bunch of fascists is with application of lethal weaponry.

        • shorts 13.1.2.1

          you write as if this is a conventional war – its not.

          Every single family that losses someone to “allied” bombs is a potential new fighter or support for ISIS, this is how these fanatics gain followers – by our folly.

          If you force air into fire you only serve to create a bigger fire, starve it of air however….

          • Psycho Milt 13.1.2.1.1

            I write as if the countries involved were committing regular forces against irregulars, because that’s what’s happening. Ground attack aircraft are as effective against irregular forces as against regular forces, more so if the irregulars are dumb enough to try and hold territory.

            Every single family that losses someone to “allied” bombs is a potential new fighter or support for ISIS, this is how these fanatics gain followers – by our folly.

            This is more bullshit. The western allies bombed civilians across France, Belgium, the Netherlands and various other places while fighting fascists, and hardly anyone in those countries decided to become fascists as a result. Da’esh gains followers because Islam is a religion that values martyring yourself in a war against unbelievers, heretics, apostates etc, and because there’s a sizable proportion of young men in the world who feel that killing people, stealing their stuff and raping the local women would be a glorious adventure. Only the certainty of a swift, ignominious and unmourned death will discourage the flood of would-be fascists to this cause.

            • shorts 13.1.2.1.1.1

              this isn’t world war two where nation states fought (it was much bigger than a simple war against fascism) these are people serving various religious, idealogical, extremist and geopolitical agendas- a much more nuanced and intelligent strategy is needed to destroy their power base and to ensue the next middle eastern adventure isn’t a fight against the crowd that will replace ISIS who will be even more extreme

              • Grindlebottom

                +1.

                ISIS and other irregulars are embedded in towns by design. Bombing them inevitably ends up killing civilians. A good percentage of whom no doubt conclude that brutal fundamentalist islamic rule was no worse than Assad’s & much better than being bombed the shit out of by everybody.

            • Pascals bookie 13.1.2.1.1.2

              This is inteesting though:

              http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-discovered-from-interviewing-isis-prisoners/

              IS recruits are apprently not much different from iraq insurgency recruits, they are fucked off, see that their future was robbed, (and for those now aged around 20 their childhoods as well) and so are attracted to the most hardarsed and effective people they can currently see doing anything about that.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I don’t think it’s the hardarsedness so much as the relative stability: religious beheadings and allied air-strikes are a better alternative than a civil war.

                It undermines the whole notion of “they hate us, they hate our freedom” or “they’re religious fundamentalists” and all that: people just want to live in peace, even if that means being ruled by fuckwits.

                We need to stop demanding a veto over which flavour of fuckwits they choose.

        • locus 13.1.2.2

          Warfare results in deaths – Pointing out that this will kill civilians is like pointing out that having a justice system means innocent people will be imprisoned

          wow – stunning observation …

          perhaps you don’t realise, but it also applies to the view that bombing and killing civilians will grow terrorists

          • Psycho Milt 13.1.2.2.1

            Well, yes, it does apply to that view. Funnily enough, there aren’t any wars in which you can say “Wow, there’s just no disadvantages to this conflict!” All you can do is figure out whether the disadvantages outweigh the reasons for taking military action.

            Also: we hear no end of whimpering about how the inevitable civilian deaths involved in killing these fascists will create more fascists, but I’ve yet to see the whimperers claiming that the fascists’ continual deliberate murdering of civilians must be spawning incredible numbers of anti-fascists. How come it only works one way?

    • greywarshark 13.2

      If only they would bomb Syria with bullshit! Once some water got to the ground, they would be able to grow something to prevent starvation.

      Carpet bombing should involve dropping carpets etc. It would make more sense to us as humans to do my apparently silly thing, than the present silly, ugly things going on which are not human in the sense we like to consider ourselves.

  14. maui 14

    I suspect Mr Benns arm has gangrene, hes already lost a couple of fingers from infections contracted in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now its time for preventative surgical strikes further up the arm with unsterilised equipment. The year is really 1800 so this is the done thing and a theatre full of doctors watch on with full admiration.

  15. mac1 15

    “We never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road”.

    Hilary Benn is of course referring to the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped the traveller set upon by thieves on the road to Jericho when the priest and the Levite who passed by earlier refused to be involved.

    Using this parable to justify the bombing of Syrian targets makes me uncomfortable as it doesn’t gell in my mind with the meaning as I know it of that parable. It strikes me that Mr Benn is using an age old trick of using Christian teaching to justify what is non-Christian practice.

    What Christ asked in this parable- and I’ve been reading quite a few versions of this parable’s meaning today, some interpretations of which seem to reflect their interpreters’ needs and beliefs- was the central question “Who is my neighbour?” And of course what are our responsibilities towards our neighbour. Christ’s response was that all men are our neighbours, including our enemies which is what the Samaritans were to the Jews.

    What Christ did not teach in this parable was that the thieves on the Jericho road should be hunted down by the Romans, but that we should love, care for and pray for our enemies, even at risk to our own selves.

    I wonder what Christ would have said about the modern Syrian situation. His parable was about caring for victims of violence, even when they are hated for their apostate religion, their unclean and profane ways.

    Who indeed is our neighbour, and how do we treat them?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      It’s not like using the bible to justify the Crusades is a new thing.

      • Macro 15.1.1

        No CV – and again the Crusades were an abomination. Exactly the point mac1 is making here. The incorrect usage of this biblical reference is an abomination in itself.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          ok yes agree. Citing scripture, etc.

          • Pascals bookie 15.1.1.1.1

            Ah, a point of agreement at last 🙂

            http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Putin+orthodox+syria

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, that is one reason that Putin’s intervention in Syria is popular back home in Russia – out of all the world leaders, only Putin’s action is designed to save the vulnerable and small Christian minority in Syria that ISIS (and many other Jihadi groups, including the “moderates”) has been slaughtering and enslaving.

              • Grindlebottom

                Oh come on, CV. One of the reasons the West is trying to attack ISIS has been to try & stop their persecution & slaughtering of religious minorities including the Christians. Russia has no singular self-righteous claim there.

  16. Morrissey 16

    I wonder if this chickenhawk spat on his father’s grave last year. What a contrast…..

    • I get the feeling you’ve neither read the post or watched the video of the speech, or, if you have, you’ve failed to understand them. And that’s not like you 😉

      • Morrissey 16.1.1

        I get the feeling you’ve neither read the post or watched the video of the speech, or, if you have, you’ve failed to understand them.

        I read the post, and I listened to Tony Benn’s son comparing his own cynicism and political opportunism with the bravery of the men who went to fight in Spain. Obviously such an inappropriate and craven comparison doesn’t bother you. Or perhaps, as you were swooning under the spell of that “tour de force of political rhetoric”, you simply failed to register how cynical and depraved Benn’s words were.

        And that’s not like you.

        Sarcasm can’t deflect from the epic foolishness of your decision to back the Blairite/Cameronian war party, my friend.

  17. Lefty 17

    ‘Lets bomb a few more kids in the name of freedom’ is no brilliant response to the evil of ISIS which have been spawned by hundreds of years of colonialism, nurtured by a voracious arms industry (supported by Benn’s very own party) and normalised by the atrocious behaviour of occupying forces from ‘freedom loving’ countries toward civilian populations in much of the middle east.

    Is he expecting us to believe that the inexcusable and bloodthirsty behaviour of ISIS is somehow worse than the murderous drone bombing of civilians by Obama, or the terrible things done by British troops in Iraq?

    If he were to commit himself to disestablishing the British arms industry, trying Tony Blair for war crimes and stopping the profiteering of multinational companies in war zones he might be believable.

    Benn has simply worked himself up into a frenzy to disguise the sheer awfulness of his position.

    This is not a compelling and powerful speech. It is simply self serving nonsense from a man who is establishment to the bone, a warmonger, and in his own way every bit as dangerous as the ISIS fascists he condemns.

  18. Hami Shearlie 18

    Things are changing so rapidly over in the middle east that one can have an idea of what to do, and a week or two later, things have changed so rapidly, you would then have to regroup and think it all through again. It’s not at all like a conventional war with an enemy army one can understand. Isil/Daesh are something totally new, even some in Al Queda condemn them which says how truly evil they are.

  19. NZSage 19

    Benn may be able to talk but ultimatelly he’s another Blairite, Tory lite who voted for killing innocent people in Syria.

    All I see is someone who is hell bent on destroying the party and cause he father loved.

  20. One Anonymous Bloke 20

    “War on Fascism” makes as much sense as “war on terror” or “war on drugs”.

    Daesh, the Caliphate, call it what you will, is an idea.

    They’ll be unable to hold territory under combined attack from Peshmerga and allied air-strikes. After that, what rules? Rojavan style democracy? Warlords?

    Where’s the plan? Re-defeating fascism’s going to take a bit more than a military victory.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      They’ll be unable to hold territory under combined attack from Peshmerga and allied air-strikes.

      The Peshmerga won’t be fighting outside of their own tribal areas.

      ISIS/ISIL have been under coalition airstrikes for not quite 18 months now. They’ve expanded their territory held in that time.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        🙄

        They’ll be unable to hold territory under combined attack from Peshmerga and allied air-strikes.

        What Pascal’s Bookie said.

    • “War on fascism” may be an idea, but killing armed fascists is a real-world, practical activity that ceases once you can’t identify any further armed fascists. After that, what rules comes under the heading of “meh.”

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2.1

        Which is precisely the attitude we can’t afford. Cf: post-invasion Iraq.

  21. Ed 21

    The speech wasn’t universally well regarded:
    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/hilary-benns-speech-930

  22. Morrissey 22

    Hilary Benn’s ‘Extraordinary’ Speech for
    Bombing Syria Was Disingenuous Bullshit

    by SAM KRISS December 3, 2015
    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/hilary-benns-speech-930?utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=viceuk&utm_medium=social

    So there will be another war. Last night, the House of Commons decided, by 397 votes to 223, to carry out airstrikes in Syria. After the result had been announced, after the morbid spectacle as hundreds of overstuffed suits cheered the news that people would shortly be dying at their hands, the Speaker and a few MPs congratulated each other on an orderly and decorous debate, on being sensible and well-mannered as they discussed whether or not to throw dynamite at people from out of the sky. We will bomb Syria, not because it’ll make anything better, but for purely symbolic and autotelic reasons: to be seen to be bombing, to kill for the sake of having killed. (Who else behaves like this?) So it’s not surprising that as the eternal war continues to spin out forever, all anyone wants to talk about is how great Hilary Benn’s speech was.

    During the debate, Hilary Benn MP, son of the great socialist campaigner Tony Benn, delivered a 14-minute speech in which he defied Jeremy Corbyn to express his support for an air war in Syria, and seemingly everyone agrees that it was wonderful, statesmanlike stuff. He might be endorsing a thousand years of blood and slaughter, but what great rhetoric.

    The reviews are pouring in, as if this were a West End musical instead of the overture to a massacre. “Truly spellbinding”, the Spectator gushes. “Fizzing with eloquence”, gurgles the Times. “Electric”, gloops the Guardian. The Telegraph‘s Dan Hodges, who can reliably be called upon to provide the worst possible opinion at any given time, goes further. “He did not look like the leader of the opposition,” he writes. “He looked like the prime minister.”

    But none of this is true. It is, however, a very convenient stance for those who see failure to drool at the prospect of an aerial bombardment as an unpardonable offence, and something that they hope to turn into fact by constant repetition.

    Hilary Benn’s speech was not the masterstroke of a consummate statesman; it was disingenuous nonsense. Even on the level of pure rhetoric: he imitated better speakers by occasionally varying his tone, rising from a sincere whisper to tub-thumping declamation without much regard for the actual content of what he was saying; this is now apparently what passes from great oratory. The speech was liberally garnished with dull clichés: “clear and present danger”, “safe haven”, “shoulder to shoulder”, “play our part”, “do our bit”. He said “Daesh” a lot, and mispronounced it every time.

    And then there’s what he actually said. Hilary Benn has form here: he voted for the 2003 war in Iraq (making him far more responsible for the rise of Isis than some of the people who will die in the airstrikes he’s so passionately promoting) and the disastrous 2011 air war in Libya. Much of his speech is familiar invocation of the just war doctrine: laying out the brutality of Isis, as if the eight British jets we’re sending could put an end to it; asking “what message would [not acting] send?”, as if the self-image of the British state were worth a single innocent life.

    But along the way Benn made a few comments that were really startling, both callous and clunky. He mentioned the inevitability of civilian casualties only once. “Unlike Daesh”, he said, “none of us today act with the intent to harm civilians. Rather, we act to protect civilians from Daesh, who target innocent people.” Well, that’s fine then. As if our sincere good wishes mean anything when we’re lobbing bombs at a city from 30,000 feet.

    He declared that the United Nations had been founded because, “we wanted the nations of the world working together to deal with threats to international peace and security,” rather than with the goal of abolishing wars altogether – wars like the one Hilary Benn MP helped start in 2003, which led to the one he helped start last night.

    He gave a strange sort of credence to David Cameron’s absurd claim that there are 70,000 ground troops in the Syrian opposition ready and waiting to help Britain defeat Isis – while admitting that it’s simply not true, he insisted that, “whatever the number, 70,000, 40,000, 80,000,” their existence requires us to act now. Maybe there are a million, he may as well have said. Maybe there’s just one.

    All of this was followed by a truly cackhanded coda. Addressing his colleagues in the Labour party, Benn said: “We are here faced by fascists. […] And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil.”

    It’s a very strange comparison to make, especially as he aligns himself with a Tory war. During the Spanish Civil War, thousands of British left-wingers did indeed join up to fight against the fascists, but Benn’s new friends weren’t great supporters of the effort. George Orwell writes in The Lion and the Unicorn of the “frightening spectacle of Conservative MPs wildly cheering the news that British ships, bringing food to the Spanish Republican government, had been bombed by Italian aeroplanes.”

    The British government choosing to attack a city halfway across the world for no good reason and to no great effect doesn’t have much in common with the heroism of the thousands who travelled to Spain, volunteering their lives against fascism. But there are other analogues. ….

    Read more….
    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/hilary-benns-speech-930?utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=viceuk&utm_medium=social

    • johnm 22.1

      brilliant article Morrissey.
      The hypocrisy of this speech and its manipulation reek sickeningly of utter Bullshit, he’ll probably get a pay rise for this from Warshington. They reward their toadies.

    • Paul 22.2

      ‘ “Truly spellbinding”, the Spectator gushes. “Fizzing with eloquence”, gurgles the Times. “Electric”, gloops the Guardian. The Telegraph‘s Dan Hodges, who can reliably be called upon to provide the worst possible opinion at any given time, goes further. “He did not look like the leader of the opposition,” he writes. “He looked like the prime minister.”’

      Just shows us who owns the media.
      How are those arms industries doing?

    • Wainwright 22.3

      Sad day when Vice is one of the best news sources online. But they’re on the money. It’s easy to pretend you give a damn about a ‘diplomatic solution’ when all you’re really doing is voting to kill more civilians to make yourself feel like a man.

  23. johnm 23

    ” Benn is openly being touted as a potential replacement for Corbyn in a future palace coup. He used his closing statement to make a pitch for that role, farcically ( something that is supposed to be serious but has turned ridiculous) claiming that in bombing Syria, the UK was carrying out a struggle against a “fascist” threat akin to Franco in Spain and Hitler in Germany.

    While evoking party “unity” in his remarks, Benn had been tweeting against the Labour leader during the debate. When a spokesperson for the party leader sent a message that air strikes could increase the terror threat against Britain, Benn fired off a riposte rejecting the claim.

    Having been given free rein by Corbyn, various Labour right-wingers were first up in the debate to pledge their fealty to the government and war. One after another, leading Blairites, who already have blood on their hands from the Iraq war, spoke in favour of military action. ‘

    ” UK was carrying out a struggle against a “fascist” threat akin to Franco in Spain and Hitler in Germany”

    Nice claim by a UK imperialist, esp providing UK rulers did nothing to stop Franco and even tacitly backing him. ”

    ” Yes. In the UK at least, few people know their history so absurdities like that are allowed to slip through. ”

    ” It is already quite clear what scuttles under the Labour Party stone after a century of backing the imperialist British State; after a decade of Blair’s illegal wars; after decade upon decade of advocating and enforcing neo-liberal economic policies. To provide cover today for Corbyn’s attempts to hold this anti-worker party together at the seams does no favor for the aspirations of the British or international working class. ”

    ” It`s easy: the main aim of US policy in Syria since at least 2006, is `Assad must go!`, in order to weaken Iran before dismembering it. This is not working for Washington as it hoped, then Russia steps in to defend its base in Tarsus, and its ally Bashar al-Assad, in the face of advancing threat of Daesh and the “moderates” , i.e. armed and supported by the Pentagon. From that moment on the Syrian Army gets into offensive against the Daesh and the opposition armed and supported by western imperialism. With these geo-political maneuvres and intrigues in mind, the rush to war in Syria by the UK, Germany and France, who each want a slice of the action with the main player, the US, Of note is the tenacity, with which successive Administrations, hold and pursue this neocon policy, originating with Wolfowitz. ”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/12/03/vote-d03.html

    Comparing Isil to Hitler’s Germany or Franco in Spain ignores the fact that Warshington, London and Paris have financed and armed Isil all along to over throw Assad.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py_XwwMokHg

  24. johnm 24

    Hillary Benn: ” orchestrated hysteria ” His speech is pure bullshit! 🙁 The Uk now will more likely be hit by terrorism! 🙁

  25. Tory 25

    Having advocated boots, bombs and bullets for the last few months I feel somewhat vindicated, thanks te reo I will take your post as a personal thank you.

  26. Paul 26

    A shameful speech.
    Labour has been a war mongering party since Blair’s coup d’etat.

  27. Tony Benn must be spinning in his grave.

    • Nope. Check the links in the post. Tony Benn was extremely proud of his son, even though they differed politically. Tony would be perfectly happy that Hilary was taking a stand against fascism, though I presume he’d have voted with Corbyn had he been in Parliament. He wasn’t a pacifist, by the way. And he was probably more to the right as a young man than Hilary is now.

  28. Morrissey 28

    The speech, Parliament’s immediate response to it and the media’s reporting of it have all been as much a means of attempting to discredit Corbyn and bolster Benn’s ambition as it was supporting his stand on Syria.

    Vile.

    —by Jamie on Media Lens.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1449216534.html

  29. test

    (sorry, just had a technical issue)

  30. reason 30

    Shorts correctly wrote ….. “the only thing they ALL have in common is bombing civilians”

    Psycho replied in a way fitting of his internet name……….”True but irrelevant. Warfare results in deaths – if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be warfare. Pointing out that this will kill civilians is like pointing out that having a justice system means innocent people will be imprisoned etc etc etc ”

    A half educated reasonable human like myself can clearly see war is murder …. and modern warfare kills up to 100 civilians for every combatant death, we don’t imprison 100 innocent people to lock up a guilty one etc etc ………. never mind all the destruction, the homeless, the traumatized and refugees…… life destroying destruction and misery known as ‘collateral damage’.

    Isis/Da’esh are the worst in a bad bunch ……… but their present status and ‘power’ is a direct result of the war/invasion of Iraq …………….And the decision to remove Assad by the usa/c.ia, france by means of a civil war, which are often the worst for civilian deaths tolls, ethnic cleansing etc. ……………. look at Libya as the most recent ‘successful’ example of the west helping in a civil war……….. Isis have taken Ghadafis home town……………. mission accomplished ?

    If the combined military of the “coalition of the willing” plus france were serious about defeating Isis in conventional warfare with the 100% air superiority that they enjoy those suv driving Isis camel jockeys would be blown away and routed in weeks not months …………

    That they’d rather just bomb away and pour huge amounts of weapons into the area speaks more to me than any stern words against terror….

    It’s does seem like a new version or the wars, assassinations and civil wars which were waged against the people of South America ……… “Rollback was the American end of the proxy war fought between the two superpowers for power and influence in the developing world. The basis was childishly simple: my enemy’s enemy is my friend… In Central America the doctrine required supporting the ‘contra’ rebels in Nicaragua, and backing for the Guatemalan government which – during the Reagan era – may have killed more than 100,000 Mayan Indians.”http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2004/339-reagan-visions-of-the-damned-part-1.html

    Also relevant in these ‘wars’
    http://johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-on-democracy

    • A half educated reasonable human like myself can clearly see war is murder …

      No shit, Sherlock? Problem is, it doesn’t matter that you don’t want a war if the other side wants you to have one. And one thing everybody’s agreed on is that Da’esh wants us to have one.

      It’s like when you’re out late at night and some drunks want to give you a kicking – the fact that you strongly believe fighting is wrong might give you a totally enormous moral advantage over these arseholes, but it’s of no actual, tangible assistance to you at that point.

  31. Wainwright 31

    “Hilary Benn’s ‘Extraordinary’ Speech for Bombing Syria Was Disingenuous Bullshit – also totally banal” – Glen Greenwald
    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/672794174756900864

  32. savenz 32

    Personally I think Fascism is alive and well in the West as much as the middle East.

    When you have 2 year olds being washed up on the shores drowned trying to escape the bombing in Syria, get rid of the macho attitude and grow a brain.

    More bombing, more civilian deaths, more refugees, more tragedy.

  33. newsense 33

    If the morality is so cut and dried why not use nuclear strikes? I mean this is simple evil, right?

  34. gnomic 34

    “Pascals bookie …
    5 December 2015 at 1:55 pm

    More lies. Read what I said CV.

    I explicitly state that the the international community should, via the UN, take out ISIS.”

    I fear i can’t detect any trace of meaning in this statement.

    ‘Take out ISIS’

    Please explain, in copious detail. Relevant and convincing links.

    ‘international community’ Are you referring to the 150 or whatever so called nation states who seem to agree on sod all except when dragooned by the big boys?

    The United Nations. Bwahahaha!

    Perhaps a cup of tea and a prolonged lie down? Come back next year or don’t bother at all.

    Are you sure you are in any way a leftist? Anywhere but on your planet?

    Righto.

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