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THERESA MAY has no mandate to order Britain’s air force to take part in any bombing spree against Syria, which would not only be illegal but fraught with danger.
Securing a Cabinet majority for tailing behind whatever decision is taken across the Atlantic will confer neither legality nor justification for further death and destruction in Syria.
Those who advocate bombing Syria don’t even justify their stance militarily, talking airily about “punishing” or “sending a message to” Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin or both of them.
This is typical of the woolly thinking that passes for rigorous debate among the political elite in Parliament and mass media.
It is confused, dishonest and potentially dangerous for all bar those who prattle on about the need for military action, especially in central Asia, the Middle East and north Africa, from the safety of their cosy Westminster benches.
Surely it beggars belief that disgraced former prime minister and serial war criminal Tony Blair is again parading through media news rooms to share his opinion that he supports military action in Syria.
“If the US are taking action, we should be prepared to be alongside them,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme as though we’ve all drawn a line under the lies he told to cajole pliable Labour MPs to back the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq.
While Labour’s membership has moved on from the Blair years — and has swollen manyfold in response to the election of a consistent peace campaigner as leader — its parliamentary ranks remain blighted by too many armchair generals.
Labour Party organisations and constituents should act quickly to contact all MPs — not only the usual violence fetishists — to demand that they oppose the drive to war and insist that May does not go behind the back of Parliament to approve military action.
Jeremy Corbyn has been a consistent voice for sanity in this crisis, following the same principled approach he has adopted in similar circumstances when warmongers, backed by the mass media, have tried to intimidate peace forces into silence.
If Russian or US planes are shot down or troops on the ground are attacked, escalation can be all but guaranteed.
Moscow has indicated that it will not withdraw its forces from defensive positions around airfields and other key installations to give the US air force a free run to hit the Syrian army or its Iranian, Lebanese and other allies.
Russia has drawn a line between international law and imperialist piracy and is unlikely to retreat from this position.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has already declared its intention to send investigation teams to Douma to seek evidence of the chemical attack that jihadist-linked groups insist took place and which is denied by both Damascus and Moscow.
The May government approached OPCW for confirmation of the agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Why not wait to see what it reports on Douma?
Britain has already been bulldozed by Blair and company into one mass bloodletting on the basis of false evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We don’t need another just 15 years later.
Corbyn is not alone in demanding that Parliament should have the final say on military action.
The Liberal Democrats and Scottish nationalists also want a vote but have not spoken out against the Tories’ war fever, raising fears that they will back air raids amid inconsequential nitpicking.
They and the government must be told unmistakably that people in Britain don’t want another war.
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