Five years since the last evidence was taken, we are still waiting to see the Chilcot report into the Iraq war.
Stop the War Statements
Instead voting for UK bombing Syria, Hilary Benn should learn from the history of the calamitous interventions in Iraq and Libya.
British pilots have been secretly attacking Syria against the will of the UK parliament.
We oppose the use of drone technology for killing, surveillance and repression.
We oppose weaponised and surveillance drones because their deployment lowers the threshold to armed aggression, is used for “targeted” killing of people within and outside warzones – without indictment, trial and conviction, terrorizes the population of the targeted territories, fuels hatred, thereby increasing the cycle of violence, leads to the development of autonomous kille robots, thereby making even more horrifying wars likely, initiates a new round in the arms race.
We demand that all governments cease the production and acquisition of armed drones, as well as their research and development, and work towards a worldwide ban of these weapons.
Althaler, Birgit – Palestine Solidarity Basel, Switzerland
Aune, Björn – Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) Campaign Berlin, Germany
Baloch, Farooq – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Benjamin, Medea - Code Pink (Co-Founder), USA
Björkmann, Rosie – Women for Peace, Sweden
Bosma, Geert – Vredes Informatie Centrum (Staff) & War Resisters Intl. (WRI), Netherlands
Braun, Reiner – Intl. Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA – Executive Director),Germany
Cole, Chris – Drone Wars UK (Founder) & Drone Campaign Network (Convener), United Kingdom
Dubrow, Niels – Staff Assistant to Dr. Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of Bundestag (SPD), Germany
Finckh-Krämer, Ute – Member of Bundestag (MdB), Social Democratic Party (SPD) & Stiftung Friedensbildung, Germany
Fredegård, Anita – Women for Peace, Sweden
Fuchs, Barbara – attac & Friedensratschlag, Germany
Fuchs-Kittowski, Klaus – Forum of Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility (FIfF), Germany
Ghannam, Doris – Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) Campaign Berlin, Germany
Hunko, Andrej – Member of Bundestag (MdB) & of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, DIE LINKE (the Left)
Hugler, Helmut – Staff Assistant to Dr. Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of Bundestag (SPD), Germany
Javaid, Tariq – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Kachel, Thomas – Parliamentary Advisor on Peace and Security Issues, DIE LINKE (the Left) in the Bundestag, Germany
Käss, Helmut – Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Germany
Krutsch, Elfriede – Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Germany
Lammerent, Hans – Vredesactie Peace Movement (former Chair), Belgium
Lorentz, Charlotte – Staff Assistant to Angieszka Brugger, Member of the Bundestag, Green parliamentary group, Germany
Martensson, Ingela – Women for Peace & former Member of the parliament (Liberal Party), Sweden
Mudassir, Ali – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Müller-Reiss, Brunhild – Drone Campaign & Peace Office Hannover & War Resisters Intl. (DFG-VK in WRI), Germany
Nineham, Chris – Stop the War Coalition (StWC -Vice Chair), United Kingdom
Norberg, Agneta – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space & Women for Peace, Sweden
Paulini, Peter – Stiftung Friedensbildung (Foundation for Peacemaking), Germany
Pflüger, Tobias – Drone Campaign & Info. Agency on Militarisation (IMI, Founder) & former MEP (DIE LINKE), Germany
Rassbach, Elsa – Code Pink & Drone Campaign & War Resisters Intl. (DFG-VK in WRI, Board), USA/Germany
Schoeppe, Florian – Staff Assistant to Katja Keul, Membe of the Bundestag, Green parliamentary group, Germany
Steffen, Jens-Peter – Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Staff Adviser on Peace Issues), Germany
Stryk, Lydia – Playwright, USA/Germany
Wijnberg, J.M.T. (Miek) – Burgerrechtenvereniging Vrijbit (President), Netherlands
Wimmersperg, Laura – Drone Campaign & Peace Coordination Berlin (Speaker), Germany
Wirl, Lucas – ICC No to NATO (Co-Chair) & Intl. Network Engineers & Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), Germany
The Stop the War Coalition strongly opposes any military attack on Syria. While we oppose all use of chemical weapons, the latest alleged such attack in Damascus should not be used as a pretext for further exacerbating an already bloody civil war.
It seems that the Western governments have already made up their minds about this attack before it has even been reported on by UN weapons inspectors. They are demanding that ‘something must be done’ even though their record of ‘doing something’ has been nothing short of catastrophic.
There have been numerous western interventions in the Middle East and South Asia over the past 12 years. While the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were all argued for on humanitarian grounds, they have all increased the levels of killing and misery for the ordinary people of those countries. They were in reality all about regime change. This is also what Syria is about.
The same people who brought us those wars have learnt nothing from their mistakes. Now the US, Britain, France and their allies in Turkey and Saudi Arabia are pushing for air strikes. The misnamed envoy for peace in the Middle East, Tony Blair, is once again urging an attack.
Such an attack will have no basis in international law, nor will it have any moral force, despite claims by US Secretary of State John Kerry, from governments who in the past supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and who have used depleted uranium and white phosphorus in Iraq.
The truth is that this latest plan is about intervening to reshape the Middle East in the strategic interests of the West. Military intervention will make a solution to this complex civil war even more difficult and will be a direct violation of the agreements made at the recent G8 meeting to attempt to resolve this war by an International Conference.
We will be protesting and campaigning against any attack and demand that the British government listen to public opinion, as expressed in recent polls, and play no part in any such attack.
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to express our alarm at the increasing intervention by the UK government in the civil war which is now taking place in Syria. We believe that the future of Syria is for the Syrian people alone to decide, and that your actions can only worsen the situation.
Your campaign to increase the provision of arms to the Syrian opposition in response to allegations of chemical weapons being used makes no sense. There is no clear evidence that chemical weapons have been used, or by whom. Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry taking testimony from victims of the Syrian conflict, has recently expressed ‘strong, concrete suspicions’ that sarin nerve gas is being used by opposition forces. And even in the event that chemical weapons have been used, you have failed to make the case as to why arming one side would improve rather than aggravate the situation.
There has long been covert arming and provision of aid to the opposition by various powers, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, France and the US. Israel has now engaged in its second bombing raid on Syrian territory, in flagrant violation of the rules of international law.
The lifting of the EU arms embargo and the direct arming of opposition groups can only further fuel what is already a bloody civil war which is causing immense harm to many Syrians and which is threatening to further destabilise the whole region. Already fighting has spread to parts of Iraq.
The aim of the intervention so far has been to effect regime change, again illegal under international law. The solution in Syria cannot lie in further militarising the conflict, or in intervention by Western powers.
We fear that the aim of those intervening is to change the face of the Middle East, by weakening the influence of Iran through attacking its allies such as the Syrian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The recent Israeli air strikes on Syrian targets are part of this process and represent an act of war against another country.
We believe that it is for the people of the Middle East to decide their own future and that the Western powers have a record and history of intervention there which has been a key source of the region's problems. We also believe that majority opinion in Britain, according to recent polls, is against such intervention, especially if it is designed to effect regime change.
We therefore urge you to abandon your interventionist policy.
Jeremy Corbyn MP Chair, Stop the War Coalition
Lindsey German Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
The catastrophic Afghan war has lasted longer than any modern war confirming all predictions of the anti-war movement.
The UK government needs to learn to respect Britain’s diverse communities and end its addiction to foreign wars.
The highly dangerous situation in Ukraine has brought into focus the threat of a new cold war
Over the last few days a campaign has developed over the invitation we extended to Mother Agnes -- a nun from Syria, who leads a campaign called Mussalaha (Reconciliation) -- to speak in London at the International Anti-War Conference on 30 November organised by Stop the War Coalition.
Mother Agnes has now withdrawn from speaking at the conference.
In inviting speakers to participate in its events, Stop the War has never sought to endorse all their views. We have always provided a platform for a diversity of opinions within a broad anti-war perspective.
We hope that we can now build the conference as a strong focus for opposition to war and imperialism.
Statement by Stop the War Coalition and CND
Supported by Cage Prisoners
The attack in Woolwich on 22 May was horrific. There can be no justification for a murderous attack on an individual soldier in the streets of London. It must have been awful too for the local people who witnessed it.
The Woolwich attack, carried out by two men now shot and wounded and under arrest in hospital, appears to represent a phenomenon that was pointed out nearly a decade ago by the security services in Britain: that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would lead to a growing threat of terrorism in Britain. Many of us have long predicted that these sorts of attacks would happen because of the war on terror.
The men claimed that the killing of the soldier was in response to the killing of Muslims by British soldiers in other countries. One said that the government did not care for people and should get the troops out.
The response from the government has been to declare this a major terrorist incident. We do not yet know whether they had wider connections or whether this was a one off incident.
But the government response fails to deal with the political causes underlying such attacks. There were no such cases in Britain before the start of the ‘war on terror’ in 2001, which led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The consequences of those wars have been devastating for the people of those countries and further afield. Up to a million died in Iraq and 4 million were made refugees. Tens of thousands have died in Afghanistan. Fighting still continues and in Iraq looks like descending into civil war in some parts of the country.
The balance sheet of the last decade and more would demonstrate that the war on terror has been a failure in its own terms. It has not prevented terrorism but caused it to spread.
It has also led to a rise in Islamophobia in Britain and elsewhere. The invasion and occupation of mainly Muslim countries abroad has to lead to the dehumanising of the victims of the wars. Racists like the EDL turned up in Woolwich to try to further foster Islamophobia.
We call on all everyone to resist any racist backlash as a result of this attack.
We also call on the government to recognise the damage done by these wars and to change its foreign policy accordingly.
Lindsey German Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Moazzam Begg Outreach Director, CagePrisoners