The Socialist Alliance released this statement on April 18 in response to the bombing of Syria by the US, Britain and France.
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The Socialist Alliance condemns the Australian government for its lapdog-like endorsement of the April 13 missile bombardment of Damascus and Homs by the United States, Britain and France.
The barrage of more than 100 missiles targeted three alleged chemical weapons-related installations belonging to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad dictatorship. It was justified as a response to reports of a chemical gas attack on Douma, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, on April 7, that killed more than 40 people.
The US-British-French missile attack also took place just hours before a fact-finding team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria to investigate the Douma attack. The OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The US-British-French attack came without United Nations or UN Security Council authorisation and without the authorisation of the parliaments of each of the governments involved in the attack.
We also condemn the Australian Labor Party “opposition” for giving bipartisan support for this irresponsible, illegal and imperialist aggression.
The ALP’s unprincipled and gutless response stands in sharp contrast with that of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s condemnation of the attack as “both wrong and misconceived”.
Corbyn wrote in an article published in the British Guardian on April 16: “It was either purely symbolic — a demolition of what appear to be empty buildings, already shown to be entirely ineffective as a deterrent — or it was the precursor to wider military action. That would risk a reckless escalation of the war and death toll, and the danger of direct confrontation between the US and Russia. Neither possibility offers an end to the war and suffering, or any prospect of saving lives — rather the opposite. The intensification of military action will simply lead to more deaths and more refugees.”
The Socialist Alliance opposes the use of chemical weapons and recognises the brutal record of the Assad dictatorship against the people of Syria, including its use of banned chemical weapons. However, imperialist military intervention has not and cannot end the Syrian civil war and the terrible suffering of the Syrian people.
In fact, imperialist intervention and the intervention of other regional powers has greatly contributed to the deaths, suffering and displacement of millions in Syria.
The Socialist Alliance opposes imperialist military intervention in Syria, including the deployment of Australian forces to Syria in 2014. While that deployment has been substantially reduced, it was yet another example of how Australia has time and time again been drawn into imperialist interventions abroad because of its war alliance with the US.
The Socialist Alliance calls for Australia to end its war alliance with the US, remove all US spy bases, military facilities and troops from Australia and end all US navy visits to Australian ports.
The Socialist Alliance supports Jeremy Corbyn's call for a diplomatic solution that will allow Syria to be rebuilt, for refugees to be able to return home and for an inclusive political settlement that allows the Syrian people to decide their own future.
We also support Corbyn’s call for mandatory parliamentary discussion and approval before our supposedly democratic governments engage in war and other military interventions.