CND opposes any military attack on Syria. Such actions will only exacerbate this bloody civil war and risk drawing neighbouring states into the conflict.
The alleged use of chemical weapons within Syria is to be condemned in the strongest terms, and full details must be sought and secured by UN inspectors. But the right response is to urgently seek a political solution, ensuring that the Syrian people can democratically choose their own form of political, economic and social structures. A political solution takes time but ultimately it is the only viable way to secure long term peace, democracy and stability.
The fact that the British Government is considering military intervention shows that it has not learned the lessons of the recent past. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s support for an attack, despite the ongoing violence in Afghanistan and Iraq more than ten years since their invasion, is particularly reprehensible. His willingness to ‘pay the blood price’ resulted in hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths in Iraq. These catastrophic wars, based on the discredited doctrine of so-called ‘humanitarian’ intervention, have cost countless lives, and have set back health, education, infrastructure and human security immeasurably. Military intervention by foreign powers, in their own interests, is not the answer to complex and tragic national or regional problems.
The strength of public opinion is overwhelmingly against military intervention. According to a YouGov poll, 74% of the British public oppose sending troops to fight, with only 9% in support. The skewed priorities of this government are clear: while cutting funding for health and education it is continuing to spend billions on new weapons of destruction and is prepared to commit further resources to war. An attack on Syria would not only bring a human cost – with the inevitable ‘collateral damage’ of civilian deaths – but each Tomahawk missile fired will cost almost £1 million.
All efforts must be made to achieve a swift and peaceful resolution to the conflict. The situation in Syria is grave, but military intervention is no answer for the complex problems facing the country. We appeal to British parliamentarians to reject a call to attack Syria and urge the strongest possible demonstrations in support of that position.
If you are in London, please join the Stop the War Coalition protest at Richmond Terrace opposite Downing Street at 5pm on Wednesday 28 August. A rally will take place at around 5.30pm and will include Jeremy Corbyn MP, chair of Stop the War. There are other protests taking place around the country and there is likely to be a demonstration in London this Saturday, 31st August, assembling at 12 noon. Further details to be announced.