Obama has roped in five Arab countries to join his bombing war in Syria. But Stop the War’s Carol Turner is confused. Who are the heroes and villains?

Carol Turner

I must have missed something about the latest bombing of Syria, so just let me run this by you.

Islamic State (IS) are a bunch of terrorists who hold aid workers and journalists against their will, then torture and publicly behead them to strike fear in the hearts of their opponents, right? Ok, got that.

Then America sets up a coalition with Jordan and some Gulf states to bomb Syria where some of IS are based, right? And this sends a political message too because the coalition is with some countries in the region, right?

That’s Bahrain – which imprisons, tortures and occasionally kills doctors for treating injured democracy protestors, right?

That’s Qatar – which dispatches weapons-laden planes to the terrorist militias who now control Libya, which bribes Fifa officials so it can host the football world cup and holds migrant workers in slave conditions to build the football stadium with almost 1,000 dead in the process so far, right?

That’s the United Arab Emirates – which doesn’t recognise domestic violence and legally sanctions husbands abusing their wives, which excludes migrant domestic workers from protection against their employers under the law, and turns a blind eye to the trafficking of forced labour, right?

And that’s Saudi Arabia – which publicly beheads citizens and foreigners alike, sometimes on the basis of confessions extracted through torture, at the current rate of one a day, for ‘crimes’ such as renouncing Islam, insulting Allah, having sex outside marriage, or being gay, right?

Hmmm…. That’s pretty confusing. But I think I might just be getting it. Because we can’t always choose who we work with, right? And there are some pretty bad characters out there.

But Syria isn’t part of the coalition is it? Because President Assad’s a horrible dictator who oppresses his people, right? And now President Obama’s saying it might take a while to get rid of IS and meanwhile he’ll give support to the Syrian opposition, right?

Well hold it right there. Didn’t I read somewhere that ISIS is a split from the al Nusra front, which the United States funded until recently as part of the Syrian Free Army? Now I’m really confused….

So just remind me again which side are the heroes and which the villains in this latest war in the Middle East? And why does David Cameron thinks this is a fight Britain ‘cannot opt out of’?

Stop the War Coalition

24 Sep 2014

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