With Trump about to bomb Syria, you need to see this

US fighter jets over Iraq

The US is expected to start bombing imminently against the Assad regime’s forces and infrastructure in Syria.

Based on recent history, the Tory government and adventurist so-called Labour ‘moderates’ will wish to join in – and will paint anyone who opposes the move as unpatriotic and, almost certainly, as a ‘Kremlin stooge’.

Those opponents will almost certainly include Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Those who care about truth more than jingoistic propaganda should be aware of the following.


Corbyn not only has a track record of opposing the Syrian and Russian regimes in Parliament, as the SKWAWKBOX detailed on Sunday – but has also called for action against Russia and Syria and has laid out steps a Labour government under him will take to curtail their abuse of international law:

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The gas attack

The video footage of distressed children and adults being given inhalers and oxygen in Douma has been powerful – but has not been verified.

Russia has said it found no trace of a chlorine attack in Douma when its personnel visited the town. Many will immediately and understandably dismiss that statement – but the Russians may not have been the only ones to visit.

Russian media claim that the Red Crescent – the equivalent of the Red Cross in Muslim areas – also visited the city and found nothing to suggest a chemical attack had taken place. This information can currently be found only in Russian sources – but should be easily verifiable if true. The SKWAWKBOX has sent a press enquiry to Red Cross headquarters to ask whether the organisation will verify or deny the claims.

Horrific incidents in the Middle East have been fabricated on at least one occasion. The ‘Nayirah testimony’ to US politicians in 1990, for example, helped to cement the case for the 1990-91 invasion of Iraq.

‘Nayirah’, a Kuwaiti ‘nurse’, told the US Congress that invading Iraqi soldiers had stolen incubators, leaving a large number of premature Kuwaiti babies to die:

I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital with twelve other women who wanted to help as well. I was the youngest volunteer. The other women were from twenty to thirty years old. While I was there I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. [crying] It was horrifying.

Amnesty International at first corroborated the story and the media in the US and UK treated it as fact – but it turned out to have been completely fabricated – and the tearful witness to be the 15-year-old daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US.

Amnesty International subsequently accused President George HW Bush of,

opportunistic manipulation of the international human rights movement.

Cynical manipulation of the natural human instinct to protect children to justify military action.

The footage of the distressed children is horrific, but the UK public – and our politicians – should be wary of any attempt to use it to justify military action before it has been verified that it does indeed show a chemical attack in Douma and who was responsible.


The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – the same organisation that is analysing the toxin that hospitalised the Skripals in Salisbury – has only just begun a preliminary analysis of the attack in Douma and has not yet confirmed that it considers a chemical attack took place.

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Action now, before such a confirmation has been received, will certainly be premature – just as the former head of the organisation stated clearly that the UK’s actions and allocation of blame were premature and unrealistic.

Not only that, but according to the BBC Russia – which has troops in Syria supporting the Assad regime – has offered to escort OPCW personnel to Douma to ensure their safety while they inspect the site and analyse any chemicals found.


“The threshold for military action must always be high

Many observers have today been comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s measured, evidence-based approach to events in Salisbury and to events in Syria to the stand taken by Robin Cook in 2003, when Tony Blair’s fabricated claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were used to justify the second invasion of Iraq.

Cook, then the Leader of the House of Commons, resigned from the Cabinet over the unevidenced rush to discard international law and convention to pursue military action – and has been rightly lauded ever since:

Cook – closely watched, coincidentally, by Jeremy Corbyn – spoke with gravity and prescience of:

  • the justified calls of other nations for more time for inspections
  • the UK’s disregard for the basics of proper international procedure
  • the diplomatic weakness the UK brought upon itself by rash action
  • the astonishment of history at the ‘diplomatic miscalculations’ that led to such weakness
  • the need for proper consultation and consensus among nations for military action
  • the importance of the rule of international law for not only the UK’s national interest but that of every nation
  • the contrast between the rash, unilateral action the UK was proposing alongside the US and the multilateral agreement to take action in Kosovo

And with chilling foresight, he anticipated the unknowable toll in civilian deaths that would follow – according to the Huffington Post, the toll in Iraqi lives had reached five hundred thousand five years ago. It has only risen since.

The stakes

Cook spoke of the proposed invasion of Iraq – which cost huge numbers of civilian lives and played an enormous part in destabilising the Middle East. But the stakes now are higher still, because of the involvement of Russia and Iran in Syria.

Iran – which many observers consider to be the ‘end-game’ of US moves around Syria – possesses around ten percent of the world’s verified oil reserves.

And Russia is still a nuclear power with a president who will wish to show strength against any challenge.

US President Trump is a narcissist and could not be further from the concept of a statesman.

The possible consequences of a potential clash between two nuclear superpowers with egotistical leaders in a Middle East cauldron are hard to exaggerate.


If Trump proceeds to order US airstrikes against the Syrian regime – as Israel has already done in Homs – the Establishment in this country will attempt to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by using twisted ‘patriotism’ to improve its standing and to attack Jeremy Corbyn.

The people of the UK must remember the lessons of the past and the cost we have already incurred for ignoring them – in reputation, in international solidarity and in lives lost.

Many of us are already thankful to have a leader of the Opposition who sees that ‘big picture’ and has the courage, integrity and understanding to stand up for it. Many more may well soon be wishing the UK’s Prime Minister had those qualities in even a fraction of the measure Corbyn has already demonstrated.

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    1. We need to push one message hard: why are we proposing military action to help ISIS win a war?

      1. Haven’t you worked it out yet? ‘We’ aka our established western ruling economic, financial, political order are Isis. ‘We’ are a major part of the coalition of western led corporatist/banking empire terrorising the world using financial and military muscle to loot and enslave at will. All countries who push back against ‘our’ unipolar world are our enemies and are evil monsters for wanting to go their own independent way out of our control, servitude and ‘our’ humanitarian democracy of death and destruction..

        The world order is changing and the western led profiteers, free loaders and craven western exceptionalists are prepared to end life on earth to keep their gravy train built on death and destruction of last nearly thirty years going. Why anyone is surprised our political class have brought us to the brinK of engineered WW3 is what I don’t understand. It has been on the cards for years…

  1. Let’s see if the BBC has the guts to go against the Tory and Labour war mongers and forcefully point out that the ‘chemical attacks’ have not been confirmed by any trustworthy witness.

    Using the logic of Boris and May, which country has the means, method and motive to conduct such an operation? – Surprise surprise, Israel, which cares nothing about killing innocent citizens to advance its political aims.

    Very few people thought that the USA could ever again elect a President more stupid than Bush… they were wrong.

  2. If we survive the next 12 months and we do finally leave the EU I’d like us to join the Non-Aligned Movement – as a statement of intent on the future direction of the country it would take some beating.

    Sick to death of the threadbare we-had-an-empire-you-know posturing of the Tories – it’s like Tweezer’s channelling ‘Norma Desmond’ in Sunset Boulevard.

  3. What Jeremy Bowen said, the BBC’s Middle East Correspondent was: “We (the BBC) have decided not to show you images of many dead bodies with foam at the mouth”. That was it. a) Has Jeremy Bowen seen this. b) Would Jeremy Bowen be able to verify such images as new and of dead in Douma? c) Would Jeremy Bowen lie? I don’t think so.

  4. The US is willing to rapidly use military force in relation to an unverified attack on innocent civilians in Syria, but refuses to act when there are verified accounts of innocent Palestinian civilians being indiscriminately murdered by Israeli troops.

  5. At times you perhaps get to feel that you don’t know what to believe anymore in the World, and things at times just don’t seem to add up.
    Why should Assad do such a thing when he is winning and the rebels and families are being bussed out?
    The only hope we have as a potentially civilised World is to act upon evidence whilst remaining as calm and rational critical citizens and then making considered decisions.
    Working people of no country are our enemies and from what has been demonstrated here, this is why JC and diverse working people everywhere are stars and the rich and powerful with their Neo-Liberal Capitalist Morons like Trump et al are Barbarians!
    Yours in International Peace & Solidarity!

  6. Perhaps revenge (for what may not have happened) is good for the Right and fools some into thinking they NEED the Right Wing Barbarians! Yours in peace!

  7. On reflection in the midst of a propaganda offensive from all sides when perhaps “Truth is the first casualty of war” perhaps there are a number of false flags on all sides?
    Perhaps best to check out the sources of information and the evidence but keep in mind we are for working people in every country (East and West) and we are against the rich and powerful in every country because of what they do. Yours in peace and solidarity!

    1. ‘And let us not forget she has said she would be willing to kill 100,000 innocent civilians’

      I’d imagine the total’s not far off that now in the (almost) 8 years may’s been part of this ‘austerity’ government.

  8. It is disappointing that Skwakbox has purposefully chosen to describe elected governments as “regimes”. Words matter, why misuse them, unless as a stooge of the English regime?

    1. It would be naive to think Syria is merely an elected government. But then, that might be equally naive elsewhere, especially in light of recent revelations…

    2. Try not to stress about words and labels that no longer have any meaning in western world and are nothing more than propaganda tools to control the minds of imperial domestic and captured masses.

      What happens next is firmly in the hands of our regimes… make no mistake though much of the world has had enough and is ready to fight to the end in the hope of freedom from centuries of tyranny and plunder.

  9. No serious person doubts that the Assad regime, supported by Putin, was behind Sunday’s chlorine attack. For instance, Juan Cole, who is no supporter of western policy in the region, is in no doubt whatsoever. Patrick Coburn, another regular critic of western policy in the region, also states that the Assad regime is almost certainly the perpetrator. To oppose intervention by the west (which I do), it’s not necessary to deny the obvious culpability of the regime.

  10. Labour ‘moderates’have to prove themselves as ‘strong ‘ in the eyes of the Daily Mail and Murdoch.
    Richard Dennis.

  11. What’s the point of having nuclear weapons if you don’t use them? If Trump doesn’t nuke Assad, when can he use them? What about Venezuela Donald or China? Better not put this on ‘Twitter’.

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