The MP’s vote against military intervention in Syria marked a wonderful day for democracy in Britain, because at long last, the Parliament listened to public opinion and voted accordingly, casting a huge blow to the powerful British neo-con clique.
In the great anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front there’s a wonderful scene when Paul, on leave from the front, returns to his old school where his warmongering teacher and arch-hypocrite Kantorek is still urging his pupils to enlist, despite not volunteering himself. To Kantorek’s horror Paul launches an anti-war tirade, and turns on his old teacher. ‘He tells you go out and die, but it’s easier to say go out and die than it is to do it and it’s easier to say it than to watch it happen’.
I thought of that powerful scene this morning when I heard the news that the British Parliament had voted against military action against Syria.
In the same way that Paul had turned on his warmongering teacher, so British Parliamentarians – and the British public – have turned against the neo-con and ‘liberal interventionist’ hypocrites who, like Kantorek, are so keen on war, so long as its other people and their children- who do the fighting- and the dying.
These serial warmongers told us that ‘something must be done’ in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, producing no evidence to back up their claims that the Syrian government was responsible. But this time- unlike in the cases of Kosovo, Iraq and Libya- they’ve not been listened to. And the neo-cons and ‘liberal interventionists’, who trumpet so loudly their commitment to spreading ‘democracy’ around the globe, are not very happy at this wonderful and long overdue sign of a democratic resurgence in Britain. A newspaper poll showed that just 8% of Britons wanted immediate weapons strikes on Syria, but despite that the ‘Democracy by Bombs’ brigade are condemning yesterday’s vote as a black day for democracy. Oh, the irony!
The vote is a huge blow to the tiny but powerful British neo-conservative clique who must have been confident that they’d get their way once again. But things have changed a lot since 2003, and even since 2011, when the neocons got their ‘intervention’ against Libya.
The Rupert Murdoch media empire, at the forefront for propagandising for the US-led wars of the last two decades, is now isolated in its obsessive screeching for military action and the facts that MPs ignored bellicose pro-‘intervention’ editorials in Murdoch papers shows us how much they are declining in influence.
The Murdoch-owned Times must have thought it was being frightfully clever in wheeling out Tony Blair, the High Priest of ‘Liberal Interventionism’ to support an attack on Syria earlier this week but it showed just how laughably out of touch it was with public opinion by promoting the views of a man whom a large percentage of Britons regard- quite rightly- as a war criminal and who should be in a prison cell at The Hague.
Opposition to British involvement in an attack on Syria was widespread across the political spectrum. It wasn’t just the genuine anti-war left who opposed starting World War Three, but traditional conservatives too, with Conservative-supporting newspapers such as The Daily Express taking a strong line against intervention. UKIP opposed it, Respect opposed it, and so did the Greens, the Communists and other groups too.
With the vast majority of people turning against their devilish plans for Permanent War, the small, self-adoring gang of neo-cons and ‘liberal interventionists’, who have exercised so much influence on our politics in Britain since 1997, are now more isolated than ever. Their obsession with military intervention in Syria to topple a secular government fighting the very same Al-Qaeda terrorists and affiliates who are supposed to be our number one enemies, has exposed them for the crazed fanatics that they are.
People are sick and tired of being told by elitist neo-con pundits sitting in comfy offices in London, New York or Washington that ‘something must be done’ as its a record that we’ve all heard many times before. Iraq lies in ruins after the invasion of 2003 and Libya is in chaos too. Yet despite the disastrous record of US-led military interventions in recent years, and the lies told to justify them, we plebs were still expected to obediently fall into line and support the latest instalment of the neo-cons’ Permanent War- an attack on Syria. Its been truly nauseating to see the people who destroyed Iraq and Libya pose as concerned humanitarians in Syria, but now more people than ever before are seeing through the charade.
There’s still a long way to go before we get the foreign policy in Britain that the vast majority of ordinary people in Britain want, but make no mistake, last night’s vote was a hugely important step in the right direction.
The truculent reaction of the serial warmongers to this renewal of British democracy tells us just how significant it was. They’re finding out, like Kantorek in All Quiet on the Western Front, that you can only get away with it for so long.
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