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How Britain killed democracy: Illegal wars and terror wars

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam
is the Yemen Unit Director for the Next Century Foundation (London). Formerly a consultant on Yemen for the UNSC, her writings and commentaries have appeared in major outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, CGTN, Elaph and the BBC.
is the Yemen Unit Director for the Next Century Foundation (London). Formerly a consultant on Yemen for the UNSC, her writings and commentaries have appeared in major outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, CGTN, Elaph and the BBC.
How Britain killed democracy: Illegal wars and terror wars
And so it has begun … shortly after British Prime Minister David Cameron manipulated his way to war, Britain dispatched its first planes to Syria, pounding, officials have confirmed, those targets London identified as radical hideouts.

“I can confirm that four British Tornados were in action after the vote last night attacking oilfields in eastern Syria – the Omar oilfields – from which the Daesh terrorists receive a huge part of their revenue,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC on Thursday, adding: “This strikes a very real blow at the oil and the revenue on which the Daesh terrorists depend.”

But there’s more, Britain is already gearing up for a much larger military deployment as it wants to commit eight additional jets - two Tornados and six Typhoons - to its operations in Syria.

Without so much as a mention of international law, or even an acknowledgement of Syria’s territorial sovereignty, Fallon was only too eager to note how Britain was finally meeting the coalition’s military needs by stepping up its military involvement.

“We are doubling our strike force. The additional eight aircraft being sent to Akrotiri are now in the air and on their way … These are the aircraft the coalition has been asking for,” said the Defense Secretary.

And so here we are, contemplating yet another war against yet another country in the name of lady national security - this elusive siren neocons have serenaded for the past decade, arguing cataclysmic plagues to a gullible public should they fail to intervene.

And intervene they did! If anything in this past decade, intervention has been a constant - the very matrix upon which national and foreign policies have been weaved upon and arched towards.

But intervention against whom? Or rather, intervention against what principles?

Britain’s latest declaration of war on the Syrian nation, which nation I’d like to note never once warranted such ire, did not just sound another chapter in Western interventionism in the Middle East, it very much spelled out the end of Western democracy.

Over dramatic you say? Britain is standing up to terror so that democracy can ring in those corners of the world where only tyranny has ruled you say? I would suggest you take a good look around because democracy reigns no more …. it hasn’t for a very long time.

Ask yourself this: how did Britain get its war? What events allowed for war’s sponsors to position themselves as the voice of reason? In times of great fear, ignorance leads, for passions and not reason are running the argument.

And since fear is all that Britain, Europe and the Western world can think about, breathe and debate, warmongers are holding nations hostage, masquerading political and social radicalization for democracy and free speech.

A lot can be said of a government which labels its political detractors terror sympathizers. A lot can be said of a government which holds closest to its heart those allies whose behavior is disturbingly in sync with terror. And a lot can be said of those powers which deny one nation’s sovereign rights so that they could increase the breadth of their own.

Western powers have played by terror’s rules for so long it has become difficult to differentiate between the two - only maybe that one has yet to become institutionalized.

Who needs democracy when all is required is the illusion of one? Men are best kept in those cages they cannot feel or touch.

Only Britain is starting to look like a rather disturbing democratic devolution.

Britain sold its war to parliament; bullying its MPs into playing the establishment’s game, thus denying the public the luxury of a real democracy.


In all fairness, war in Syria was always going to happen! It is likely Cameron and Co. would have found other means and arguments to back, push and legitimize their calls for more military intervention, should Jeremy Corbyn have presented a stronger front.

Never mind the collateral damage and lives such a decision will ultimately cost, and never mind the petty legalities if it means conglomerates are there to earn a profit.

Britain was going to have its war regardless … Britain’s hawks were always going to engineer those narratives which would permit war to become a seemingly worthy alternative - not even a well-meaning Jeremy Corbyn could ever have hoped to bring sanity in a system which strives on irrationality.

And though many in Britain will feel betrayed by Mr. Corbyn, to his credit, he did play by democracy’s rules, allowing his party members to act according to their beliefs, and not political obligation.

At the end of the day, war won the argument, stealing the very narrative which should have cemented political cooperation over military intervention.

“We are here faced by fascists,” Hilary Benn, the Shadow Foreign Secretary told MPs on Wednesday. No argument there …

He went on: "Not just their calculated brutality but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this Chamber tonight and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt.”

This is the speech which drew MPs to tears and allowed for Syria’s life to be sentenced away.

So I’m asking: whose fascism, and whose terror? Who is holding who in contempt when it is Western capitals which refuse so categorically to value those foreign lives they perceive as lesser than their own?

There is no legitimate ground for war in Syria - not when it means bypassing its sovereignty, not without risking turning into those very radicals we claim to oppose.

There are more than one form of fascism and more than one form of radicalism - and where Daesh holds the religious ground, Britain and other Western powers certainly have claimed ultra-capitalism their own.

If few will indeed argue that terror needs to be addressed, should be destroyed and more importantly ought to be crushed, if ever, peace and stability are to be restored to the Middle East, the jury remains very much out when it comes to identifying those servants of terror.

This war in Syria serves unfettered capitalism interests, not democracy. This war on Syria was declared so that corporations could better carve and chop at those resources, those political holdings capitalist view as their birthrights.

The UK, like many other Western capitals, are increasingly acting like a despot against their own people, using a language of fear and ostracization to push their policies.

Let’s not speak Democracy when policies continue to be driven, dictated and directed by financial conglomerates.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.