The murder of up to 30 British tourists on a Tunisian beach last week is yet another consequence of David Cameron’s disastrous ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya. This follows the rape and assault of several UK citizens by ‘former revolutionaries’ in Cambridgeshire last year, who were visiting the country as part of a Ministry of Defence programme to train Libyan forces. While it has not yet been verified whether or not the Tunisian shooter had spent time at a training camp in the neighbouring country, it would take a huge amount of cognitive dissonance to view the two events as unrelated. Daesh took responsibility for the attack; there would be no Daesh without the war on Libya then Syria.
Another consequence is the current refugee crisis, which has so far led to over 2000 deaths in the Mediterranean this year. In 2010 the number of refugees/migrants departing from Libya was 5000. In April Ed Miliband caused an uproar by ‘controversially’ stating that Cameron shared responsibility for the deaths at sea; typically this opinion was rubbished by the media and political establishment. The Tories have flat-out refused to take in any refugees, and are currently leading a military campaign to destroy boats used to make the journey.
David Cameron Responds to Ed Miliband’s Libyan Comments
The government and most of the British public may tell themselves that our foreign policy is not at fault for the current violence engulfing the Middle East and the north of Africa, but history will not judge us as kindly. A Guardian commenter noted on a related article that the Treaty of Versailles is largely accepted as the predominant factor that led to the rise of Nazi Germany; the connection between Western foreign policy (and their GCC cronies) and ISIS is a far simpler one to make. It is possible that the PM is increasingly coming to realise this, judging by his recent ill-conceived and irresponsible speech where he accused British Muslims of ‘quietly condoning’ Daesh, without offering any evidence to support this. These kind of statements are only likely to result in more hate crimes being committed against minorities, and further isolation of those who already feel sidelined by British society. For example, a number of Muslim graves were vandalised in a Nottingham cemetery over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the government’s answer to this latest tragedy is more of the same – more training and weapons for supposedly moderate murderers in Syria, more divisive McCarthyism-style ‘counter-extremism’ policies here.
UK Program to Train Libyan Soldiers Ends in ‘Disarray and Scandal’
In this clip from the BBC News at 10 – 9th of April 2003 – political editor Andrew Marr tells the public that Tony Blair has been vindicated in his decision to invade Iraq. Marr also states that Blair’s critics will not now turn around and thank him for having been right all along, because “they’re only human.” The editor notes that nobody will be able to say that Tony Blair is the type of person who is driven by opinion polls and “the drift of public opinion.” However isn’t a leader who will listen to public opinion exactly what we expect our PM to do? In fact isn’t that what democracy is all about? A Guardian article from January 2003 notes:
The results of the tracker question on an Iraq war shows that opposition to a war has risen steadily from 37% in October to 47% now. Over the same period support for military action has fallen from a peak of 42% to only 30% now.
British public opinion is never consulted before going to war, or in fact before deciding to covertly build a mercenary force, and provide them with money and weapons, as has been going on in Syria since 2011. On issues of war the public are a liability, as if given a vote, it is unlikely that we would have voted yes to British involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Thanks to Ed Miliband’s revolt we were saved from entering another conflict – and on the wrong side – but our covert operations against the Syrian government continue.
It is ironic how Marr says that on that night of April 9th 2003, Blair “stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result” of not having listened to his critics, but in 2015 he is now so, pretty much universally, reviled, that he can’t go out in public here for fear of attack, or of someone trying to make a citizens arrest.
Support for war falls to new low
“So bad it should be illegal.”
Only 42 MP’s voted against Britain’s new bombing campaign in Iraq yesterday; here is a handy list that can easily be referred back to come election time. It should be noted that immediately following the vote, Iain McKenzie (Labour) was sacked as an aide to the Shadow Defense Secretary, and Mark Reckless (Conservative) has since defected to UKIP, announcing the news this afternoon at the party’s conference. Additionally, if your MP is not on this list, he may not have shown up at all to vote (as mine did).
5 Scottish National Party MPs:
Stewart Hosie (Dundee East)
Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
Angus Robertson (Moray)
Mike Weir (Angus)
Eilidh Whiteford (Banff & Buchan)
6 Conservative MPs:
Richard Bacon (Norfolk South)
John Baron (Basildon & Billericay)
Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey)
Adam Holloway (Gravesham)
Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)
Mark Reckless (Rochester & Strood)
23 Labour MPs:
Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington)
Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
Dame Anne Begg (Aberdeen South)
Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
Martin Caton (Gower)
Katy Clark (Ayrshire North & Arran)
Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West)
Paul Flynn (Newport West)
Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)
Sian James (Swansea East)
Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith)
John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington)
Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde)
Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby)
Grahame Morris (Easington)
George Mudie (Leeds East)
Linda Riordan (Halifax)
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Graham Stringer (Blackley & Broughton)
Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)
1 Liberal Democrat: Julian Huppert (Cambridge)
2 Plaid Cymru MPs: Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) and Hywel Williams (Arfon)
1 Green MP: Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
3 Social Democratic and Labour Party MPs: Mark Durkan (Foyle), Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) and Margaret Ritchie (Down South)
1 Respect MP: George Galloway (Bradford West)