Quiz question: who said that the west must “strengthen the Kurdish fighters, who are doing a good job of fighting Isil”? Was it: a) US senator John McCain, b) former prime minister Tony Blair, or c) Respect MP, George Galloway? Yep, you guessed right. It wasn’t the neocon McCain or the “liberal interventionist” Blair. It was the anti-war Galloway, in a House of Commons debate on Iraq in late September.

It isn’t a contradiction to be anti-war and left-wing at the same time as being pro-Kurd and in favour of arming the Kurds. I have been a long-standing opponent of western military interventions in the Muslim-majority world, almost all of which – from Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 to Libya in 2011 – have resulted in civilian bloodshed and terrorist blowback. But I’m not a pacifist. And to pretend that the response to the beheaders, rapists and slave traders of the self-styled “Islamic State” (or IS) need not involve an element of brute military force is either ludicrously naive or disgracefully disingenuous. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Ri – Michael’s Blog

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