Oct 242014

By Jonathan Russell Chair of Aberdeen and District CND

640The first of a series of Rallies aimed at raising awareness of the folly of the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria will take place this Saturday 25th October at 11.30am outside Marks and Spencer hosted by Radical Independence Campaign, Aberdeen.

CND plans to hold a similar event in the near future.

My first reaction concerning ISIS was that something had to be done about this appalling organisation.

I still feel this but consider that the Wests bombing leading as it always does to the killing of civilians and the destruction of infrastructure was not a viable solution.

We have witnessed an ever increasing spiral of violence in the Middle East. Michael Portillo said last week on the Moral Maze on radio 4 that given this background it is not totally surprising that such a monster of an organisation has arisen. Violence I would assert leads to violence and division. Western policy in my eyes has been stark starring bonkers.

  • We arm Islamic tribal groups in Afghanistan and then we bomb them.
  • We arm Iraq to beat Iran and then we bomb them.
  • We bomb Libya to get rid of Qaddafi and leave behind a failed state where Al Qaida’s flag flies over many towns and cities.
  • We arm rebels mostly Sunni Islamists to beat Assad and now we bomb them.

Nobody gains from this but the arms companies who in a time of general economic meltdown see the value of their shares rise.

ISIS is barbaric but so are we in are use of drones and bombing often leaving behind not only death and appalling injuries but also un-depleted uranium. We also have brutal allies in the area such as Saudi Arabia who have beheaded over 79 people this year and the Egyptian Government who have hanged hundreds of Moslem Brotherhood supporters.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Oman the Wests allies have armed ISIS and helped in their training.

ISIS are not alone they have allies in trained Sunni Ba’ath party soldiers who have considerable military experience and Sunni tribal groups who hate both the West and the Iraq and Syrian Governments.

By bombing, we have acted as ISIS’s recruiting agency. Many people in the Middle East in particular the Sunni population from surrounding countries as well as Iraq and Syria hate the West and will fall in behind ISIS as the lesser of the two evils from their perspective. In my mind the West and Al Qaida and its affiliates feed off each other in this endless spiral of blood.

So here are some alternative solutions.

  • Stop selling and sending arms to the Middle East
  • Make sure arms are not still reaching ISIS
  • Stop buying oil from ISIS
  • Start negotiating seriously for a Middle East settlement which includes Iran, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Palestinian reps, Kurdish reps, Sunnis and Shia,  Russia and China as well as the West and Israel
  • Rather than spending money on bombing massively increase aid to support people who have led their countries due to the conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

If we do not do this we will be getting into an ever deeper mess with exculpating brutality on all sides.

I salute the those Labour MP’s including are very own Anne Begg MP who along with the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Caroline Lucas from the Greens for their opposition to the intervention to the UK  getting involved. In particular I would commend John Barron, Conservative MP who has led the opposition to interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria and now this latest calamity he has consistently got it right.

It is now up to us the citizens of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and across Scotland and the wider UK to start getting active and make our voices heard.

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