British Labour party, Libya, refugees, nuclear weapons

This 4 April 2015 video from Scotland is called Patrick Harvie, CND Protest Glasgow (Bairns Not Bombs Scrap Trident Demo).

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Labour hypocritical over foreign policy, say campaigners

Saturday 25th April 2015

PEACE campaigners criticised Labour’s “hypocritical and muddled” approach to foreign policy after a keynote speech by Ed Miliband on the issue yesterday.

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.”

Mr Miliband did not specifically refer to the deaths of hundreds of migrants fleeing to Europe via Libya.

But Labour made clear that his message was that “the refugee crisis and tragic scenes this week in the Mediterranean are in part a direct result of the failure of post-conflict planning for Libya.”

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.

Mr Miliband also used the speech to pledge his party’s commitment to multilateralism and global institutions yet at the same stroke reiterated Labour’s support for Britain retaining Trident.

CND’s general secretary Kate Hudson said: “Labour can’t have it both ways.

“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.

Military support for a gaggle of gun-toting bandits and religious fanatics replaced Colonel Gadaffi’s authoritarian but secular regime with a crucible of warring factions.

The bombs killed thousands at the time, but many more have died since in the sectarian maelstrom that has engulfed a once peaceful country.

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.

In Syria, Britain’s close allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia are busily arming and funding Islamist extremists who execute 10-year-olds and hurl homosexual people from the tops of buildings.

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.

5 thoughts on “British Labour party, Libya, refugees, nuclear weapons

  1. Leaders planning military strikes to destroy smugglers’ boats

    by Our Foreign Desk

    EUROPEAN Union leaders trumpeted their intention yesterday to triple funds for operations in the Mediterranean supposedly aimed at saving the lives of asylum-seekers.

    But in many ways the planned operation sounded as if it would be more military than humanitarian.

    EU border agency Frontex is to send its ships further into the Mediterranean.

    Spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud admitted yesterday that the area of operations “will have to be extended.”

    EU leaders had pledged on Thursday to double the size of Triton and triple its budget but had refused to allow it to concentrate on search and rescue work.

    As part of the military-based agreement, Britain will send a warship, three Merlin helicopters and two patrol boats.
    The 19,500-ton assault ship HMS Bulwark will arrive in the region within a week.

    Germany and France have pledged two ships, while other member states have also lined up vessels and helicopters.

    EU leaders also want to push for a UN resolution that would allow them to destroy vessels that might be used by traffickers before they attempt to smuggle migrants.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron plumped instinctively for the military option, saying: “What’s emerging is what we need — a comprehensive plan, going after the criminal gangs, going after the traffickers, going after the owners of the boats.”

    But forget compassion for refugees — Mr Cameron insisted that anyone picked up would be taken to Italy and would not be welcomed in Britain.

    The rise in funding to €9 million (£6.4m) a month is tacit acknowledgment by the EU nations that it was a mistake to scale down search and rescue in the Med last year.

    The EU decided to end the Italian navy’s Mare Nostrum operation — under which 27,000 square miles of sea was scoured for migrant boats.

    Instead, at a third of the cost, it set up Operation Triton, which was limited to 30 miles off the Italian coast and was primarily a policing operation.

    Around 1,800 migrants have died this year while trying to make the journey from North Africa to Europe after fleeing conflict in their homelands.

    This compared with fewer than 100 during the same period last year.


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