15 years of permanent war: Time to end it
Stop The War will continue its campaigning with renewed vigour in 2016 because civil society resistance to never ending war and misery is as necessary now as it was in 2001.
Press Release: 31 December 2015
As we mark the start of a new year, the threat of new and extended wars, plus the manifold consequences of existing ones, continue to haunt us. Despite claims that each of the interventions embarked on since the War on Terror was launched in 2001 would be both limited in time and produce successful outcomes, the opposite has proved to be true.
None of the wars launched to supposedly combat terrorism has actually ended. In Afghanistan, the Taliban once more controls large swathes of the country. Britain is involved in bombing Syria and Iraq, and there is talk about bombing Libya which has been in a state of civil war since David Cameron's intervention there in 2011.
Stop The War Coalition (StWC) regrets the fact it is still necessary to campaign against these wars, and that 2016 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the start of George Bush and Tony Blair's wars.
We warn that the world has moved into a stage of permanent war and urge media outlets to properly report and analyse the war that is being fought in our name in a practical media silence.
Founded in 2001 London in the aftermath of the Al Q'aeda attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, StWC attracted immediate and spontaneous support from people who feared a disproportionate response from the US administration to a terrorist attack on American soil.
George W Bush's declaration of a War on Terror bore testament to StWC's 2001 prescience but says founding member and convenor Lindsey German, no one envisaged that Britain would still be engaged in war 15 years later.
"We founded Stop The War Coalition fearing the hawks in the US administration in 2001 would use the attack on the Twin Towers as a pretext for a reprisal attack that served their political interests rather than the cause of peace," said StWC convenor and co-founder, Lindsey German.
"We launched Stop The War as a spontaneous movement, I could never have imagined that 15 years later we would still be going. We are still going because the war being fought by the West in the Middle East and South Asia is still going.
"The war on terror began in Afghanistan, spread to Iraq and destabilised the whole region, created the conditions for ISIL to wreak their havoc and misery, has now spread to Syria and is looking set to spread once again into Libya.
"And let’s not forget that British boots have returned to the ground in Afghanistan over the Christmas period.
"We are in war without end. And it is not without consequences. It hasn't just destabilised the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has greatly increased the threat of terrorism in western countries, a point made by the former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham Buller.
"Civil Liberties have been eroded and Islamophobia has risen. And the War on Terror has led to the biggest refugee crisis the world has seen since the Second World War.
"Stop The War will continue its campaigning with renewed vigour in 2016 because civil society resistance to never ending war and misery is as necessary now as it was in 2001.
"We hear about the deaths attributed to ISIL but who is counting the deaths of the civilians killed, maimed and made homeless and stateless in our name? It is surely time for the government to admit that its foreign policy has been a failure and that the answer to the problems of the world does not lie in more bombing and military intervention.
"We ask our opposition parties to hold the British Tory government to account on its policy of airstrikes and ensure no mission creep.
"We ask our media news outlets not to be complicit in a war by failing to report what is happening in the name of the British public."
Source: Stop the War Coalition