Advocates for the bombing of Syria led us into disaster in Iraq and Libya. Their judgement should not be trusted, argues Chris Nineham
There is one piece of research that all MPs would do well to do in the run up to Wednesday night's vote. Let them examine the previous judgements of those arguing to take us into the fourth war on a Muslim country in fourteen years.
Without exception, those keenest on the war, if they were in parliament, voted for the occupation of Iraq in 2003, widely regarded as the worst foreign policy disaster since Suez.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians died and the country was plunged into the very chaos from which Isis emerged.
Those voting for that war include David Cameron, Michael Fallon, Philip Hammond and George Osborne for the Tories and leading figures of the minority hawks in Labour, Hilary Benn, Tom Watson, Yvette Cooper, Maria Eagle and Angela Eagle.
Almost all the key players voted for the catastrophic bombing of Libya which led to the deaths of up to 50,000 people and created a failed state, now recognised as a breeding ground for terrorism.
All the above named Tories also voted for Britain to bomb the other side in the Syrian civil war in 2013 - a move that would undoubtedly have strengthened Isis.
This record not only raises fundamental questions about these leaders' judgements on matters of war, it also puts the whole drive to war into context. The main promoters of the war plan are people with a strong commitment to Britain's role as a global military player,and as an unquestioning junior partner to the US as global policeman, whatever the concrete situation.
This is the reason why the weakness of the case for war - the fact that it is based on mythical troops on the ground, that there is no political plan for the aftermath of the bombing, that there is no evidence bombing can work - is not deterring them.
Let their record speak for them, we should not follow them into another catastrophe.
Chris Nineham is a founder member of Stop the War and Counterfire, speaking regularly around the country on behalf of both. He is author of The People Versus Tony Blair and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukacs.
More articles from this author
- Talking peace, risking war: why the hawks are shaping the US’s China policy
- Brighton 2021: Members speak out on Starmer, stitch ups and next steps for the left
- 'On the road to nowhere': Leah Levane on Labour, Starmer and the expulsions - video
- 'We need to move fast': Ken Loach on Starmer, socialism and building a new left - interview
- Gas and greed: Why Britain faces a special crisis
- Aukus: ratcheting up Western confrontation with China - video
- The tragedy after the tragedy: 9/11 and the war on Afghanistan