In its dotage the Stop the War Coalition is continuing to masquerade as a broad-based anti-war movement whilst doing all it can to undermine any forces that are actually serious about mobilising against imperialism.
StW’s latest abomination is to sponsor a march through London entitled ‘March for Yemen’. If this sounds like a march in solidarity with the anti-imperialist Yemeni resistance, you need to take a closer look at the route announced on the leaflet advertising the event.
After paying a visit to the embassies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two Arab countries leading the barbarous onslaught on Yemen, the protest trail winds up at – wait for it – the Iranian embassy.
On StW’s past record we can be sure that the purpose of this latter visit is not to express solidarity with Tehran and thank it for the fraternal support it is giving to Yemen’s liberation struggle.
This is always how StW operates, pouring a teaspoonful of tar into every barrel of honey and striving at all costs to steer workers away from uniting with those who are genuinely resisting imperialism.
When in January the US carried out the cold-blooded murder by drone in Baghdad of Iranian national hero Major General Qasem Soleimani, StW responded by (a) pointing out that the assassination was “an extremely serious and dangerous escalation of conflict with global significance”, and (b) declaring that “We urge restraint on the part of both the Iran and the US” (emphasis added) – at a stroke equating the forces of resistance with the imperialist aggressors!
Iran, heeding wiser counsels than this, decided that on this occasion the best form of defence was attack, and proceeded to lay into US occupation forces in Iraq. In February two US soldiers and one British one were killed when the Taji military base was rocketed, and the retaliatory airstrikes that followed only triggered more punishment for the occupying forces as the base drew further attacks.
These bases, intended by the US as launch pads for aggression against Iran, are starting to look more like sitting ducks for Iran-backed militias. Consequently, in March, bases at Kirkuk, Qaim and Qayyarah were closed down, and in April al-Taqaddum air base was shuttered too.
The moral is clear: the only way to teach imperialism ‘restraint’ is by standing up to it.
The plan to protest outside the Iranian embassy recalls another shameful embassy visit, back in 2011, when StW celebrated the imperialist-backed counter-revolution in Benghazi by standing outside the Libyan embassy and loudly denouncing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In this way the ‘anti-war coalition’ demobilised the anti-war movement, sending the message loud and clear to British workers that the imperialists were right in planning to overthrow Libya’s government.
Those who refuse to understand the difference between a just war and an unjust war, and make a show of sitting on the fence and urging everyone to show ‘restraint’, are condemned to end up on the wrong side – the side of imperialism.
Just as when it sends oil tankers to Venezuela, by giving what fraternal support it can to the brave resistance of the Yemeni people, Iran is showing how seriously it takes its part in the anti-imperialist struggle.
Workers in Britain need a leadership that is prepared to do likewise.
Support the axis of resistance! Victory to the Yemeni people!