On the 15th anniversary of Iraq invasion, evidence remains overwhelming that war was illegal and a “crime of aggression”. Yet six Cabinet members were elevated to House of Lords, others to top international jobs. UK elite enjoys impunity for foreign wars. Far from paying any price, the British system has rewarded ministers for their fateful decision on Iraq
For the past 50 years, the essence of British strategy has been to ensure the UN’s failure to prevent or condemn Britain’s, or its allies’, acts of aggression.
Unless there is a serious challenge, Britain is set to increasingly promote a failed model of international trade that will impoverish developing countries still further. It will also likely pursue an aid strategy that supports corporations, neo-liberal economic objectives and wider British foreign policy.
Britain is on course to ignore human rights in its foreign policy even more than in the recent past. And, if recent speeches by military leaders are anything to go by, it is even threatening to increasingly use its global military power to secure its financial and economic interests.
Historian Mark Curtis cites some of the actions of successive British governments, barely mentioned by the corporate media, which go someway to understanding what makes Britain ‘great’.
Supporting the bombing of Yemen.
Occupying the Chagos Islands.
Supporting US aggression.
Maintaining the global network of tax havens.
Outside of North Korea, speeches by political figures are rarely universally showered with adulation. So the mainstream media’s ravings in reaction to Hilary Benn’s speech to parliament on Syria are especially noticeable. Across the spectrum, the speech has been reported as ‘riveting’ (Guardian), ‘extraordinary’ (Mirror), ‘great’ (BBC News at 6, 3 December) and that of a ‘true leader’ (Telegraph). The […]
The more important story is that British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organisations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain’s global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies.
The idea that Britain promotes terrorism would be an oxymoron in the mainstream political culture. Yet state-sponsored terrorism is responsible for more deaths in more countries than the “private” terrorism practiced by groups like al-Qaeda.
Since Corbyn’s policies are generally popular, they are a direct threat to the elite consensus, and three stand out in foreign policy. First, the idea of holding Blair to account under international law for invading Iraq will strike terror into the minds of the Foreign Office and Ministry of Offence. These people reserve the right to bomb the gyppos every once in a while and they are not going to accept the idea of being held to account for this.
Britain’s Real Role in the World In his explosive new book, Mark Curtis reveals a new picture of Britain’s role in the world since 1945 and in the “war against terrorism” by offering a comprehensive critique of the Blair government’s foreign policy. Curtis argues that Britain is an “outlaw state”, often a violator of international law and ally of many […]