That’s the text accompanying a picture tweeted by Ghaffar Hussain of the Quilliam Foundation (who count among their associates former English Defence League bigwig ‘Tommy Robinson’), and retweeted by Independent columnist and all-around war fan John Rentoul.
Here’s the picture in question:
As the caption says, it was a taken at a demonstration in Erbil, the de facto Kurdish capital, in which one of the demonstrators holds a sign expressing gratitude to the U.S. for their recent airstrikes against ISIS. Given that, as opinion polls have long shown, the Kurdish areas of Iraq do tend to have a strong current of pro-U.S. sentiment, such signs are not particularly surprising.
The implied message from Hussain (and Rentoul via proxy) is that such sentiment is problematic for those who oppose the current U.S. strikes in northern Iraq – or ‘far-Lefty’s’, as Hussain has it. How can we possibly oppose them when many people in northern Iraq themselves welcome the strikes?
And it’s quite a familiar pro-war refrain, actually, to say that some people in the targeted country are all for any given ‘intervention’, and so anti-war activists should be for it as well. It was used in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, and in the first few years of the occupation; it’s still used now to justify the bombing of Kosovo and Serbia; it was used to justify the bombing and regime change operation in Libya, and so on.
And personally, while I do think you’ve ultimately got to come to your own moral and political conclusions in regards to the validity and legitimacy of any war, the wishes and thoughts of some of the people in the targeted country do at least have to be acknowledged.
Which is why I am sure that Hussain and Rentoul would agree, using their own logic, with the conclusion that follows these pictures:
The conclusion being: a sizeable number of people in eastern Ukraine would welcome Russian military intervention in the region, and this therefore proves that such an intervention would be totally justified.
No? Thought not.