Jeremy Corbyn MP explained why he opposed war at a meeting on 17 February
“In the mid-1980s, when I raised the issue of human rights in Iraq in the House of Commons, I was told that I shouldn’t upset that particular applecart as there were big orders on the way, big orders for planes, for guns, for chemical and biological equipment. In 1988 Iraqi biological weapons experts were invited to a trade conference at the same time as the gassing of Kurdish people in Halabja. The hypocrisy of Britain, France, Germany, the United States and all the other arms exporters in arming Saddam and supporting the regime and doing absolutely nothing about human rights there is absolutely dreadful.
Now the West is about to unleash its massive firepower against some of the poorest people in the Middle East, dying for the past seven years for want of food, for want of water, for want of medicine. The West is prepared to spend unlimited millions to put planes into the sky in order to kill them, but it’s not prepared to spend a penny to send penicillin to save them.
The US has always claimed that somebody is an enormous threat. We were once told that Vietnam was a threat to world peace. So we rained down more bombs on Vietnam than were dropped in the whole of the Second World War. Millions died. For what? We were told that Nicaragua was a great threat to the US, so they poured bombs in on Nicaragua. Panama was such a threat that the stealth bomber had to be used to kill the poorest people in the poorest part of that city. We are being told the same old story again.
I do not believe that democracy, peace or self-determination will come because Britain and the United States rain down bombs on that country and kill people. We must do all we can to stop this bombardment as quickly as we can”.