David Cameron, backed by Labour Party leaders and the Lib Dems, is preparing to bomb Iraq again. It will only make matters worse if he does order a return to British attacks.
At last week’s Nato summit in South Wales, Cameron spoke out in support of US president Barack Obama and his disastrous plan to increase US attacks on Iraq.
Cameron pledged that Islamic State would be “squeezed out of existence”.
Government sources also suggested that British soldiers could return to Iraq to help train troops. They would be the first official British “boots on the ground” in the country since the army was withdrawn from Iraq in 2011.
There are a series of reports that British forces are already involved.
Regular soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment were in the Kurdish region in August–despite government assurances there would be no such deployment.
And at least 1,000 Royal Marines were deployed to Jordan in a long-planned joint military exercise with the US.
First we were told that British forces were only and exclusively providing humanitarian relief. Then they were “monitoring” Islamic State fighters. Now they are preparing to bomb.
They are following in the footsteps of US imperialism.
Last week Obama was asked on television, “Are you preparing the country to go back to war?”
He replied, “I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from Islamic State. Keep in mind that this is something that we know how to do.”
He insisted that he was not returning to war in Iraq.
But US air raids are already spreading to wider areas of Iraq. Last week they hit the Anbar province for the first time since the US withdrawal in 2011.
US Special Operations forces and “advisers” have brought the total US military force in Iraq to over 1,000.
Cameron said British assaults on Iraq are needed to deal with the threat from Islamic State.
But the group is a product of the destruction caused by previous British and US attacks. The West imposed sanctions in Iraq from 1990. George Bush and Tony Blair then launched war against Iraq in 2003.
These attacks caused 1.5 million Iraqi deaths and tore apart the country’s social fabric.
And they increased the threat of terrorism in Britain. Baroness Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, told the Chilcot inquiry that the invasion of Iraq made attacks in Britain “substantially” more likely.
A recent study by the Royal United Services Institute said “there is no longer any serious disagreement” over how Britain’s role in the Iraq war “far from reducing international terrorism had the effect of promoting it.”
Islamic State is brutal and offers no way forward for the people of Iraq. But further bombing by US and Britain is no solution. It needs to be opposed.