Boris Johnson is already proving a robust choice as Foreign Secretary. Despite the constraints of diplomacy he has retained his capacity to express strong views.
Yesterday in the House of Commons he said there was “no commensurate horror among some of the anti-war protest groups” over the Russian atrocities in Syria from those who have been so eager to hold angry demonstrations against the United States in the past.
“I would certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian Embassy. Where is the Stop the War Coalition at the moment? Where are they?” he asked.
— Press Association (@PA) October 12, 2016
In Aleppo there is not much time – there are around 300,000 people being exposed to carpet bombing.
We have an indication of what will follow from what happened in Chechnya in 1999. In order to kill 7,000 rebels the Russians carpet bombed the Chechen capital of Grozny. Then Russian ground troops moved in and massacred survivors. They were dumped in mass graves. Earlier, those who had fled after promises of “safe corridors” were also killed.
Yet Chris Nineham of the Stop the War Coalition has rejected the idea of a Russian Embassy protest. “It would contribute to the jingoism and hysteria that is being whipped up against Russia,” he said in an interview on the Radio 4 Today Programme this morning.
Instead he suggested we should be “mobilising everything we have” into “opposing the West”.
An appalling response – but not a surprising one. Last November after terrorist attacks in Paris their response was headlined: “Paris reaps whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East”.
There was an apology but soon the organisation was providing more succour to terrorists.
They denounced Hilary Benn, then the Shadow Foreign Secretary, who supported air strikes against Daesh in Syria saying that the Labour Party had a history of fighting fascism.
The Stop the War Coalition responded: “Benn does not even seem to realise that the jihadist movement that ultimately spawned Daesh [Isis] is far closer to the spirit of internationalism and solidarity that drove the International Brigades than Cameron’s bombing campaign.”
Again the comment was withdrawn, but we get a general idea of where they are coming from. Even the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas resigned as a patron – although the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn still backs them. He even attended their fund raising Christmas party just weeks after their statements.
Another article on Stop the War’s website was entitled, without any sense of irony: “Time to go to war with Israel”.
The comments of the outfit are less remarkable in view of their leaders. One of Stop the War’s vice-presidents, Kamal Majid is a founder the Stalin Society. Majid has praised the Assad regime for its “long history of resisting imperialism”.
Other leading figures are Trotskyists – which I suppose constitutes a range of views in this “Coalition” by the standards of the far left.
As the commentator James Bloodworth has said: “The Stop the War Coalition is not anti-war, they are anti-West. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, if the United States declared war on Hell then the Stop the War Coalition would find something favourable to say about the Devil.”
During the Obama era the United States has been hopelessly weak when it comes to confronting tyranny – not least in Syria. Yet that appeasement has not won them any favours from the hardliners at the “Stop the War Coalition”.
That Corbyn was able to be re-elected Labour Leader despite his support for such a poisonous outfit is alarming for all democrats.
Don’t expect any protest against real military aggression from this organisation. In all current, past and future conflicts whatever the circumstances the “Stop the War Coalition” will only take to the streets to back the bullies.
Under all circumstances and any President they will denounce the United States and her allies.