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The West stokes more war in the Middle East

BULLETIN 07 August 2012
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In this Newsletter:
1) The West stokes more war in the Middle East
Don't Iraq Iran
Become a Friend of Stop the War and get a signed copy of David Gentleman's new book

1) The West stokes more war in the Middle East

The situation in the Middle East is becoming more and more dangerous. As the violent siege of Aleppo continues, the risk of further western intervention is growing.The West is already intervening in the Syrian conflict by arming the opposition through its proxies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. It was revealed last week that earlier in the year President Obama authorised the CIA to support the opposition in trying to topple the Assad regime. The CIA are actively vetting which groups receive arms. (see

The CIA is also working closely with the opposition leadership and campaigning
internationally for regime change in Syria. Since the early stages of the uprising, the Turkish-based Syrian National Council (SNC), which is being treated by western powers as the main opposition coalition, has called for foreign intervention. The SNC leadership has close links to the US policy elite that go back several years. For the last six months representatives of various Syrian opposition groups have been meeting in Germany to plan what a post-Assad government would look like. (see

Outside intervention, particularly that of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is inflaming the conflict and increasing sectarian tensions. Western intervention -- supposedly to support 'democracy' and 'freedom' -- brought nothing but blood and destruction to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. There is no reason to think it would be any different in Syria. It would deny the Syrian people the ability to shape their future, and risks turning the civil war into a disastrous regional war, drawing in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Turkey.

Pressure is mounting for more intervention by the west, and, with Hilary Clinton scheduled to visit Turkey for talks with the Syrian opposition this weekend, the chances of escalation are high.



2) Don't Iraq Iran

The war in Syria is making an attack on Iran more likely. Two weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in Tel Aviv to deliver the message to the Israeli leadership that he respected their right to take any action on Iran that they saw fit. Last week current US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US was prepared to use "all options" to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons. This wasn't good enough for Netanyahu who complained at a joint press conference, “The Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear programme... This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.” (see

Stop the War has produced a fact sheet about the conflict in Syria that you can read online or download. There are a range of other articles on the website to help you follow developments. Please circulate the fact sheet widely and contact your local Stop the War group to help with campaigning. (see

We also have a downloadable leaflet called "10 Reasons Why We Should Say No To an Attack on Iran" (
We will shortly announce a series of meetings and rallies against western intervention in Syria and an attack on Iran.



3) Become a Friend of Stop the War and get a signed copy of David Gentleman's new book

Graphic artist David Gentleman, who has designed so many of Stop the War's posters and placards, has kindly provided us with five signed copies of his best-selling new book London You're Beautiful. The book, published by Penguin, is the product of a year spent immersing himself in the metropolis, making sketches and water colours of the city, capturing its teeming crowds and ever-shifting, changing light and atmosphere.

To become a Friend of Stop the War all you need to do is take out a direct debit of £10 a month or more to the Stop the War Coalition. This ensures half price entry into all our events, free Stop the War publications and regular merchandise offers.

Becoming a Friend helps to increase the regular income for Stop the War, which increases our ability to respond in a more and more dangerous world.

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