“WHEN WE defeat imperialism, then terrorism will start to evaporate.” Andrew Murray summed up the West’s “terrorism” crisis on Monday evening at the Stop the War Coalition’s first major London meeting of the year: “Terrorism may be wrong, but the biggest problem in the world is imperialism. When we defeat imperialism, then terrorism will start to evaporate.”
Dozens of people had to queue for up to 45 minutes for the meeting on the theme “Another year of War?” at the House of Commons offices, but even with a second room found and the speakers moving one to the other, some still failed to get in.
Murray said: “The West’s wars have killed hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, and have definitely displaced millions of people, while regimes have been toppled according to Washington’s taste.”
On the Paris attacks he said: “We unreservedly condemn these barbaric attacks, and any form of anti-semitism, but this barbarism is miniscule compared to that inflicted by western imperialism, which we do condemn unreservedly.”
Guardian journalist Seamus Milne said: “The new British base in Bahrain is Britain’s first new foreign base in 40 years, while France is also building a new base in the United Arab Emirates – both are in the heart of the world’s main oil-producing region.
“Now, instead of sending large armies to fight the ‘war on terror’ is carried out with massive drone attacks, small groups of special forces and by arming and paying surrogate groups. With far fewer troops on the ground, the anti-war campaigns here in Britain are becoming more difficult.”
He said that although the Labour Party opposed and prevented the Nato bombing of Syria, “unfortunately they did support the war in Libya, and they support the current campaign against ISIS and the new British base”.
Lindsay German declared the “war on terror”, “a spectacular failure,” and recalled former MI5 head Eliza Manningham-Buller warning before the 2003 Iraq invasion that it would increase the threat of terrorism in Britain. “Far from defeating Al Qaeda, since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq Al Qaeda-inspired groups have spread across North Africa and to many other African countries.”
She said: “The wars across the region have led to huge numbers of desperate refugees trying to get to Europe in treacherously unsafe boats, while Eric Pickles is now telling Muslims in Britain ‘you have to root out the terrorists in your own communities’.”
George Galloway, the Respect Party MP, told campaign activists: “In reality all that a Muslim has to do to become radicalised is to watch the news. In the last bombing of Gaza the dead included 500 children and 17 journalists, yet there was no uproar in the West, while our government defended Israel’s ‘right to self-defence’.” He revealed that: “For the first time ever, the SAS in Britain was now dispersed in bases across the country, as security experts fear a major incident in the regions.”
He went on: “While pensioners are freezing to death, we’re being told there isn’t enough for public services, but there money for all these wars.” He pointed out that the Paris march for the Charlie Hebdo victims headed by European Union leaders was also joined by Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Arabian ambassador.
Sami Ramadani said: “It is not these brutal terrorists who frighten our ruling class but what they are really afraid of is mass movements.” He said: “The CIA’s centre in Turkey is still funnelling weapons and money to the Syrian rebels, including $3 billion from Qatar alone,” adding: “Wahhabism is not part of mainstream Islam, it’s a cult practised by the rulers of Saudi Arabia.”
As we start a new year of continuing the campaign for peace and opposing imperialist wars are still a top priority, this Saturday’s “Wrap Up Trident” mass demonstration in London, from midday to 3pm, is the top priority for activists.