I have been following the STW debate carefully here as a “newcomer” to the backstory and I am trying to make a disinterested judgement about them and their works. The Respect Coalition – Reactionaries in Progressive Clothing? The following week saw marches that were little more than a collection of hard-left groups selling their newspapers to each other – a pitiful sight for an organisation that, less than two months earlier, had buried the streets of London under a sea of people. A Stop the War Coalition protester at a rally in January. But then Andy Newman, unreconstructed Stalin apologist as he is, is always notable for the sophistry required to deflect attention from the more unacceptable aspects of our very varied Left traditions. Cohen N. (2003) Pretty Straight Guys . (March 20 2004) Demo marks Iraq war anniversary. Spare us your smug,”oooh look how clean my hands are” self righteousness, James Stewart.In the specific context of Syria today Your cod pacifism is not only morally unsupportable, but is actually a deliberate selective distortion of reality too. The Stop The War Coalition website has published a number of posts about Ukraine. This latter category is puzzling and he does not include the use of British troops for genuinely humanitarian purposes which don’t promote the aforementioned interests. Sticking rigidly to the “its all, solely Western imperialism’s fault” , requires StW to ignore the huge role of the lesser imperialisms of Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia – and of course Russia. And even at its formation, Stop the War barely condemned the murder of 3000 innocents by Al Qaeda in 1998 and 2001 which provoked and triggered the whole failed “War on terror”. De facto it backs Russian imperialism everywhere, the theocratic hellhole that is Iran, the murderous psychopath that is Assad. The best that’s Left in Labour. He replied, "I wouldn’t define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back. Most of the arguments claiming to link the Israel/Palestine issue to the Iraq issue tended to be simply comparisons – the malign effect of US foreign policy in the Middle East , a perceived oppression of Muslims by the West, track records on failing to observe UN resolutions – rather than actual concrete links between the two countries and conflicts. 9. By Jermaine Lebert. Left Futures is a new Labour Left network. (March 19 2003) Commons Divisions on Iraq : 26 February and 18 March 2003 . Of course that doesn’t, of itself, invalidate his arguments, but it does indicate that his view is not necessarily typical of all socialists. Stop the War has since been dedicated to preventing and ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. Certain British NGOs were able to produce rigorous analyses. The coalition has campaigned against the wars that are part of the so-called " War on Terror " of the United … [4] Once a vehement opponent of Saddam’s regime, he now classes Saddam’s deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz as a friend, saying of him, “I admire Tariq Aziz, very much. It is a coalition of the vilest supporters of genocide and gangsterism. No we must not back StWC. The cost for the left in bestowing this ridiculously “substitutionist” “historically progressive” anti imperialist role on these universally ghastly regimes has been to turn a cynical blind eye to their systematic murderous oppression of their own working classes , socialists, and minority communities. Moreover, within weeks of the February protests, the STWC had gone into decline with startling … Unfortunately, underlying the simplistic but at the time of the Iraq War, tactically adequate, mobilising slogans , was all the usual gross soviet era sourced misrepresentations of what “imperialism” actually is today. Alliance for Workers Liberty (October 2003) Briefing on the Muslim Association of Britain . It’s certainly very unfortunate that JC feels obliged to continue to publicly support this dodgy organisation and its Stalinist leadership – perhaps because of a misplaced sense of loyalty as they come under increased (and deserved) media scrutiny and criticism. Some kind of explanation might be in order. By becoming a Stop the War member today, you’ll be part of a mass anti-war movement. And in response to your: “No to Washington, No to Moscow, No to Islamic fundamentalism, No to free market fundamentalism”, fair enough, that’s your opinion and, like PhilBC, you’re fully entitled to it. So in this situation the selective cod pacifism of the StWC is not “innocent” of involvement in innocent murder and enslavement, anymore than the continual ignoring of the monstrous crimes of the Assad regime crimes – refusing to campaign for an end to the regime’s indiscriminate barrel bombing of rebel areas, and now the indiscriminate bombing by their Russian (imperialist) allies, leaves StWC with clean hands. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3550411.stm the Vietnamese intervention which toppled Pol Pot in Cambodia). The involvement of the MAB in the STWC has been controversial, especially when it emerged that the organisation is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, an international Islamist organisation that operates in Egypt , the Sudan , Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East , where it has pursued an agenda that is thoroughly anti-democratic, anti-secular and anti-feminist.[7]. Open debate. A consequence of this was the involvement of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), which, along with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, would co-sponsor the Stop the War protests. Anyone new to the party or politics who reads this thread now knows there are powerful easy to comprehend arguments against Stop the War, like Phil’s great article, as well as some arguments for them, like Andy Newman’s article which of course I think is weak. Your help is vital for us to continue our work. What would the reaction have been if Britain, the US or Israel had murdered 500,0000 Muslims? Stop the War Coalition was founded in September 2001 in the weeks following 9/11, when George W. Bush announced the “war on terror”. They say it is easy for any interested person to find out the evidence for their sweeping claims about STW, but I can tell you that as a reasonably interested and intelligent non-Marxist person of the left , devoting a bit of my leisure time to tracking down a few links, so far I have not found any smoking guns. London : Faber and Faber. Any movement of the UK Left which cannot support the right of the Kurds for national self determination and their right for arms and assistance to fight off the murderous Daesh fascists, and Turkey, is simply not fit for purpose. b) the creation of Stalinists, Putinites, Islamic extremists c) they blame the victims of Islamic terror for their own deaths- they literally see everything as the fault of “the West” and they ignore Russian imperialism, Assad’s many crimes, jihadist terror. Part of the national Stop the War Coalition Become a member for as little as £2 per month. “Pure copout and the sort of thing that repels many from the Left”… very well put. The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) has recently come under heavy pressure for refusing to protest the relentless Russian bombing of Aleppo and its blatant targeting of civilians and aid convoys. A consequence of this is that the same old faces seem to continually pop up in its various incarnations. There’s no reason at all why he can’t fully participate in StWC protests with those political viewpoints – why on earth does he seem to think otherwise? Cohen N. op cit. As for the Kurds they are unfortunately either Stalinist groupings now loyal to Putin and Assad like StWC or they are manipulated by the West like the Kurds in Iraq being trained by Turkey. Had the arguments by the STWC not been so incoherent and badly argued, it is conceivable that the Commons rebellions over Iraq might have been much larger, and just might have caused Britain not to participate in the Iraq War. who reject Stop the War because they are a) anti-socialist in that they ally with groups who are self described enemies of socialism? I didn’t see any “PhilBC Coalition” protests anywhere, or even any “Gerry Coalition” protests anywhere, for example. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an often blamed figure by the far-left Stop the War Coalition. p. 131. BBC News Online. I can oppose the bombing of Syria by the West without supporting Assad and Putin thank you very much. Edinburgh Stop the War is affiliated to Stop the War Scotland and Stop the War UK Better for the Kurds to be victims of Daesh and Turkish genocide than the Left has to grasp that sometimes the tactical needs of real people facing immanent destruction trumps the fanciful ideological constructs of UK Lefties – secure in our bourgeois democratic haven ! Given that open and informed discussion is something for which the Labour Party, not to speak of the left in general, does not have a strong tradition or culture I think we need to think carefully about the way we try to establish it. For example, the Church of England produced an excellent review of the arguments for and against war. 7. Nestor – good comments, and very well put. "[3], Just as Galloway indulges the regimes of tyrants of the past, he has also done so with more recent dictators. On the day war broke out, hundreds of people gathered in the city centre to voice their anger, and main roads were blocked by large crowds both at midday and in the evening. But he is nevertheless right, of course, to say that it is important to hold the government to account on the use of the military. What I am suggesting is that we need a style of debate which we try to make as inclusive as possible. Recognising that Stop the War passed a motion in 2006, “the Stop War Coalition resolves to place on the agenda the demand for anti-war government as a constitutional matter that no such wars of aggression can be advocated, or supported in word or deed, that ensures that Britain ends its collaboration in all … 3. Indeed, by pretending it doesn’t exist you merely hand a gift to the Blairite right and the Tories. Are you even in the Labour Party John, because it is quite clear from your lecturing Judean Peoples Front essay that the key points of what is really going on here regarding a dangerous witch hunt against Jeremy has gone straight over your head. We all reach strong judgements about views which we thing are seriously wrong. Put even more simply. Also, the SWP appeared to be aware of the potential for Muslim activists to be mobilised via the mosques of Britain . Join Stop the War. That’s based on my experience of StWC being the only organisation to my knowledge that organised anti-war protests against the bombing of Syria. With all due respect to him, I don’t think it’s unfair to describe him as someone who is on a rightwards political trajectory – from the Socialist Party into the Labour Party and then supporting Yvette Cooper in the leadership election. In my own city, the local STWC had grown to such an extent by the start of the war that they were able to organise branches, not just on a town-by-town basis, but on a suburb-by-suburb basis – an impressive achievement for an organisation less than two years old. Refusing to recognise a crime is being committed and then standing self righteously aside – rather than at least offering solidarity to the innocent victims though active campaigning, is the worst form of political cowardice. The most visible outward manifestation of this huge growth was the massive demonstration that took place on February 15 th 2003. This caused something of a chain reaction as STWC protests came to be seen as extreme-left/Islamist events, providing a further disincentive for moderates either to stay with or join the STWC. It seems that you have a strong objection to “anybody” who supports STWC. I don’t think that assumption can be justified and, frankly, even as an old-timer who tries to keep up I have to say that all that stuff is not known to me (I have less than a passing interest in the activities of far-left groupings). This leaves any further offerings by Mr. P. Burton-Cartledge requiring the kind of scrutiny one reserves for all other propagandist works of deliberate misdirection. I suggest that if we are to make something of the opportunity provided by Corbyn’s election then we will have many very difficult debates to go through on a wide range of topic. However, the impression gained from the inside was that the main conduits of its development were hard-left groups such as the SWP, the Socialist Alliance, the Socialist Party and Workers Power, Islamic groups and mosques, trade unions, peace organisations such as the CND, environmental groups such as the Green Party, and the left wing of the Labour Party. You can become a ... UK involvement with the brutal bombing of Yemen in favour of the deeply repressive Saudi dictatorship exposes British foreign policy. Stop the War Coalition conference AS THE US and Britain begin to mass their forces on the borders of Iraq, the Stop the War Coalition held its national conference on 11 January. Time for this revolting alliance of Putinites and pacifists to be wound up. Well you haven’t even offered any. It is the type of argument that gives the anti-left outpourings of people like Nick Cohen some traction. Given its institutional weaknesses and its failure to generate coherent arguments, this was probably inevitable. In response to the lattr’s complaint that STW “had nothing to say about the Iraqi regime, the theocracy in Iran, the repugnant character of the Taliban” he says. Header images: Wind farm [credit]. were invading,so why compare him The StW Lefties have also found their simplistic “everything’s the fault of the West” mantra, and its cod pacifist “No to Western intervention under any circumstances” chant , has required it to totally ignore the needs of the only major secular, non sectarian, women’s rights supporting, often SOCIALIST, genuine national liberation movement in the region , namely the various factions of the oppressed Kurdish national movement. Whether it be WW1 or Iraq war once socialists lose sight of that fact they almost always eventually end up as useful idiots in the service of the political elites of the day. One final point: I am a socialist, always have been always will be – why should I show a scrap of solidarity to the cynical stalinists who lead Stop the War, who blatantly and shamelessly are allied with, and backed by self -described enemies of socialism, human rights, freedom and democracy? A simple question: what is an organisation called ‘Stop The War’ doing appointing as It’s Chair, someone who supports the bombing of Syria? Moreover, within weeks of the February protests, the STWC had gone into decline with startling rapidity. It’s a sad, mad world you inhabit where those dropping bombs and indulging in regime change after regime change are ignored completely but those that protest against them are somehow the real enemy, but then imperialism always has had a host of supporters in the socialist movement, from H M Hyndman and others raging against the ‘Beastly Bosh’ to the pro-NATO, pro-Trident, pro-War ‘moderates’ now raging against Jeremy for having the affront to turn his back on the arms dealers and all their works. Jeremy was asked twice in the Parliamentary debate on the Syrian bombing by other MP’s about the need to directly support the Kurds. These Stalinists and neo-Stalinists that back Putin as some kind of champion of anti-imperialism are in a de facto alliance with the European fascist right who see Putin as a bulwark against Western liberalism and the American far right too now judging by Putin’s comments about Trump yesterday. We condemn the attacks on New York and we feel the greatest compassion for those who lost their life on 11th September 2001. At its height, the Stop the War Coalition was the biggest protest movement in British history, but it utterly failed to achieve its objectives. Since then the STWC has enjoyed occasional mild resurgences around such events as the Hutton Enquiry and George W. Bush’s visit to London , but in general the trend is one of an organisation in decline, destined to remain stuck in an extreme left/Islamist ghetto. Read Burton-Cartledge propagandist elitist view and criticism of the STW and deemed it utter tripe. 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