The 10th anniversary of the biggest demonstration in British history called by the Stop the War Coalition against war with Iraq on February 15 2003, is almost upon us.
The war went ahead to the devastation of many thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of British troops as well.
Over time it also ended the careers of the political leaders who took their countries into an illegal war.
Yet, despite government cuts to armed forces and civilian staff, the neoliberal impulse to wage war continues.
The British intervention in Libya has hardly created peace and stability in that country. Now Cameron is weighing in with assistance to a French action in its former colony of Mali.
The interventions of the previous decades weigh heavily on the minds of our current rulers, as do our protests against them.
When it comes to Mali Cameron has stated that no British troops will be involved in a fighting capacity.
Whether that continues to be the case remains to be seen. After all the French leader Hollande and Cameron are hardly political allies.
Cameron has responded to a request for help for two reasons.
First, because the insurgency in Mali is seen as part of the fallout from the Libyan adventure.
Second, Cameron has an interest in maintaining the stability of current relations in the region, as does Hollande.
What does post-1945 history tell us about the matter?
Particularly after the debacle of Suez in 1956 - another French-British collaboration - Britain moved to divest itself of many of its colonies and, to a lesser extent, its imperial role.
Unlike Australia and New Zealand, Britain did not commit forces to US efforts to prop up the corrupt Diem regime in South Vietnam between 1962-1975. It was really only with Iraq that British forces returned to a visibly active role.
Cameron has spun the line that Britain - in Mali - will merely be assisting, but what were the British busy doing in the 1960s and 1970s?
Although Britain did not commit front-line troops to Vietnam the government's support for US action was largely unwavering.
In March 1965 Harold Wilson told the Commons that the government fully supported "the action of the United States in resisting aggression in Vietnam."
He was echoing the stance adopted by the Tory PM before him Alec Douglas-Home and continued after him by Edward Heath.
This full support meant that while no troops were officially committed, the SAS fought in Vietnam under the banner of the Australasian forces. Other troops were seconded to the US and fought under its auspices.
These were not rank-and-file soldiers but specialists and experts in jungle warfare. Indeed, Britain trained US, Vietnamese and Thai troops in its Malaysian facilities in the late 1960s.
It was not just training and expertise that was provided.
The British monitoring station at Little Sai Wan in Hong Kong was used by the US to help target bombing raids on North Vietnam.
When, as in Mali, the British government says it is not actively involved in a Western military intervention it is very likely that this not the whole truth.
As the late socialist historian EP Thompson responded to criticisms that the British left had not developed the amount of Marxist theory that some of its European counterparts had, in dealing with Britain's numerous imperial adventures there had been "so bloody much to oppose" that not much time was left for other things.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.