By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:
Labour hypocritical over foreign policy, say campaigners
Saturday 25th April 2015
In his address he accused David Cameron of being partly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean by failing to plan for the aftermath of 2011’s air strikes on Libya.
He said Mr Cameron was wrong to suppose that the country could recover from the ousting of Muammar Gadaffi without more outside help — claiming its descent into chaos “should have been anticipated and could have been avoided.”
The comments, met with outrage by Tories, also sparked claims of hypocrisy from peace campaigners who pointed out that Labour had backed the actions in Libya.
“Ed Miliband is trying to situate the party as one of multilateralism and international institution-building, but the party’s record is one of supporting disastrous and bloody misadventures — from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya.
“Worse still, Labour’s one concrete message in the speech is that they will spend up to £100bn to ensure Britain is a nuclear-armed state for the next 30-40 years.”
Mr Miliband’s comments come the day after EU leaders — including Mr Cameron — met at an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the deepening humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.
A number of states, including Britain, pledged to provide additional resources, ships and aircraft to search-and-rescue operations.
But despite the mounting human cost there was no suggestion that there was any intention to expand the much reduced effort back to previous levels.
This video from England is called Anti Iraq War Demonstration, London 15/2/2003.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Labour, call time on war
Saturday 25th April 2015
“JUST as we should learn from the mistakes of this government, so too we should learn from our past – including the 2003 Iraq war,” Ed Miliband said yesterday. It is a shame that the rest of his foreign policy speech indicated Labour’s continued failure to do so.
Reminding listeners that Labour supported the Con-Dem coalition’s bloody bombardment of Libya in 2011 was perhaps meant to show Miliband’s ability to take “tough decisions.”
That tired phrase is generally trotted out by politicians when they want to indulge in macho attacks on the most vulnerable people in our society, and the same applies to foreign policy.
That’s not, as Miliband claims, because Britain failed to “stand by” Libyans after Gadaffi was lynched. If “standing by” means military occupation, we helped the United States do that in Afghanistan and Iraq. The blood flowed all the faster.
It’s because we launched an unprovoked attack on a sovereign country.
It’s all very well talking about the evil ideology of Isis and the threat it poses. The murderous thugs running rampant in Syria and Iraq would not exist if Western imperialist powers hadn’t subjected the Middle East to an orgy of violence for decades on end, invading, undermining and destabilising countries across the region.
Miliband is no doubt as horrified as we are by this. But it will not stop unless the root cause – our own imperialist interventions – is identified and tackled.
His lack of clarity on the situation in Ukraine is equally dangerous. Seeing the resistance to Kiev’s military assault on the Donbass as a proxy for Russian expansionism ignores the context in which Ukraine’s civil war is taking place. That is, following the armed overthrow of the country’s elected government.
Some on the left are uncomfortable supporting the separatists of Donetsk and Lugansk, on the grounds that it means siding with Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president is a reactionary right-wing nationalist. But the people of Donetsk and Lugansk are fighting neonazis.
Brigades like the Azov and Aidar battalions are led by white supremacists claiming to be part of a “crusade” against “semite-led subhumanity.” They hold torch-lit marches in honour of nazi war criminals and parade portraits of Hitler. They make no secret of this.
In World War II the left found common cause with all sorts of reactionaries – Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle – in the fight to defeat the greatest menace the modern world has spawned, fascism. It’s hardly surprising if authorities in eastern Ukraine will take all the help they can get in their current struggle to survive.
Britain needs to exert what influence it has to rein in Kiev, not join the tub-thumping anti-Russian hysteria being whipped up by the European Union to urge Nato to send “signals of deterrence” to Russia.
And speaking of the EU, Labour urgently needs to drop its vote-losing objections to a referendum on continued membership of a bloc which has enforced austerity across a whole continent.
As Miliband speaks a government specifically elected on a mandate to end austerity in Greece is being told by the EU that its people’s opinions are illegitimate and the pain must continue.
This anti-democratic behemoth offers nothing progressive to working people in this country or any other. It’s time for Labour to wake up.
NATO role in 2011 Gadhafi ouster may have given rise to Islamic State presence in Libya: here.