Britain’s disastrous wars and Jeremy Corbyn


This video from the USA says about itself:

Was the Iraq War About Oil All Along? Gore Vidal on Dreaming of War: Blood for Oil (2003)

Significant opposition to the Iraq War occurred worldwide, both before and during the initial 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, United Kingdom, and smaller contingents from other nations, and throughout the subsequent occupation. People and groups opposing the war include the governments of many nations which did not take part in the invasion, and significant sections of the populace in those that did.

Rationales for opposition include the belief that the war is illegal according to the United Nations Charter, or would contribute to instability both within Iraq and the wider Middle East. Critics have also questioned the validity of the war’s stated objectives, such as a supposed link between the country’s Ba’athist government and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and its possession of weapons of mass destruction “certified” by the Niger uranium forgeries. The latter was claimed by the United States during the run-up to the war, but no such weapons have since been found.

Within the United States, popular opinion on the war has varied significantly with time. Although there was significant opposition to the idea in the months preceding the attack, polls taken during the invasion showed that a majority of US citizens supported their government’s action. However, public opinion had shifted by 2004 to a majority believing that the invasion was a mistake, and has remained so since then. There has also been significant criticism of the war from US politicians and national security and military personnel, including generals who served in the war and have since spoken out against its handling.

Worldwide, the war and occupation have been officially condemned by 54 countries and the heads of many major religions. Popular anti-war feeling is strong in these and other countries, including the US’ allies in the conflict, and many have experienced huge protests totalling millions of participants.

Critics of the invasion claimed that it would lead to the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians and soldiers as well as Coalition soldiers, and that it would moreover damage peace and stability throughout the region and the world.

Another oft-stated reason for opposition is the Westphalian concept that foreign governments should never possess a right to intervene in another sovereign nation’s internal affairs (including terrorism or any other non-international affair). Giorgio Agamben, the Italian philosopher, has also offered a critique of the logic of preemptive war.

Others did accept a limited right for military intervention in foreign countries, but nevertheless opposed the invasion on the basis that it was conducted without United Nations’ approval and was hence a violation of international law.[2] According to this position, adherence by the United States and the other great powers to the UN Charter and to other international treaties to which they are legally bound is not a choice but a legal obligation; exercising military power in violation of the UN Charter undermines the rule of law and is illegal vigilantism on an international scale. Benjamin B. Ferencz, who served as the U.S.’s Chief Prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials following World War II, has denounced the Iraq War as an aggressive war (named at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”) and stated his belief that George W. Bush, as the war’s “initiator”, should be tried for war crimes.[3]

There was also skepticism of U.S. claims that Iraq’s secular government had any links to Al-Qaeda, the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group considered responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Some expressed puzzlement that the United States would consider military action against Iraq and not against North Korea, which claimed it already had nuclear weapons and had announced that it was willing to contemplate war with the United States. This criticism intensified when North Korea reportedly conducted a nuclear weapons test on October 9, 2006.

There was also criticism of Coalition policy by those who did not believe that military actions would help to fight terror, with some believing that it would actually help Al-Qaeda’s recruitment efforts; others believed that the war and immediate post-war period would lead to a greatly increased risk that weapons of mass destruction would fall into the wrong hands (including Al-Qaeda).

Both inside and outside of the U.S., some argued that the Bush Administration’s rationale for war was to gain control over Iraqi natural resources (primarily petroleum). These critics felt that the war would not help to reduce the threat of WMD proliferation, and that the real reason for the war was to secure control over the Iraqi oil fields at a time when US links with Saudi Arabia were seen to be at risk. “No blood for oil” was a popular protest cry prior to the invasion in March 2003.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

War ‘Moralisers’ Need to Look in the Mirror

Friday 8th January 2015

Critics of Corbyn’s Stop the War links weren’t so talkative when thousands were dying in illegal wars they backed, writes SOLOMON HUGHES

THE anti-Corbyn crowd like insinuating Jeremy is somehow morally deficient.

We could call it McFadden’s manoeuvre. Because Corbyn is anti-war, imply he is pro-terrorist, and so morally suspect.

Indeed, after Labour MP Pat McFadden tried embarrassing Corbyn by prompting David Cameron to make some grandstanding remarks about terrorism, the Prime Minister replied that he had the “moral and intellectual clarity that is necessary in dealing with terrorists,” which implied Corbyn lacks it.

In the run-up to Christmas there was also a lot of noise from the moan zone where the Labour right and media “political commentators” meet about Corbyn going to Stop the War’s Christmas dinner, with suggestions the organisation is “disreputable” or not “moral.”

This made me worry a lot about moral decline. Not of Stop the War, but of the complainers.

That’s because so many of them supported the Iraq intervention — and the Afghan adventure, and the Libyan disaster. Which really were moral dark zones. Whereas Stop the War consistently opposed these human disasters.

If I had given any time or energy trying to make the Iraq “intervention” happen, I would spend a long time looking in the mirror before I accused anyone who opposed it of moral failure.

The important thing to understand is that the Iraq disaster wasn’t a single event, a one-off mistake or an accident that just happened. It was made of many repeated terrible choices that led to death, torture, poverty and corruption, day after day, year after year.

First there were the lies. The “WMD” hoax wasn’t one fib. It was a complicated and entirely imaginary conspiracy theory, pretending Saddam might — or already had — helped al-Qaeda. This absurd web of lies was spun through multiple dossiers and briefings, using faked and forged materials. A British-US lie machine pumped out this rubbish over time.

After the deception come the deaths in the war itself. There are no accurate figures for the deaths, only estimates.

The “moral” warmongers didn’t count Iraq casualties, because in their calculations, Iraqis just didn’t count.

Perhaps 40,000 Iraqis — mostly soldiers, but also civilians — died in the initial invasion from March to May 2003.

That’s a lot of death based on lies.

But the real catastrophe spun out in the years after the invasion, during the occupation. In these years, the “moral” warriors who backed the war had repeated opportunities to see, criticise and try to change the horrible logic of the occupation. They deliberately turned their heads from these problems. If Iraq was a “mistake,” it is one the supporters of the war made again and again, year after year.

The Coalition Provisional Authority — the joint Britain-US occupying body — didn’t bring democracy or self rule to post-Saddam Iraq. Instead, it handed key parts of the economy to Western firms with links to US and British politicians. These companies were paid vast amounts of Iraqi cash to get water, electricity and essential services running. They took the cash, and spread more of it around in corrupt ways, but failed to fix water or power.

The occupiers then handed political power to hand-picked, unelected cronies, who added to the mismanagement.

Proper security and police forces were broken up and replaced with militias and for-hire Western-run mercenary firms. Special laws written by the occupiers gave these trigger-happy mercenaries immunity from prosecution for misbehaviour.

Iraqi’s were angry about polluted water, lack of electricity for their fridges, air conditioning and lights and soaring unemployment. They demonstrated. So Western troops shot unarmed protesters dead.

Unsurprisingly this mismanagement and violence led to insurrections in Iraq. So the allies went for a divide-and-rule policy, stoking sectarian conflict. This included the “Salvador Option” — US and British backing for secret sectarian torture and assassination squads in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people died in the conflict started by the occupation — killed directly by allied troops, by the various mercenaries and militia, or by the increasingly sectarian insurgents.

So over years the Iraqi scene became a mixture of cheating, incompetence, sectarianism and violence — a nightmare which consumed many lives. Those who castigate Corbyn and Stop the War for “moral” reasons were largely silent on this unfolding disaster.

Those who supported the war, claiming it would be a liberation, had a special responsibility to address this ugly scene. It is a duty they almost all shirked. As supporters of the war and friends of the government, their voice could arguably have had more effect on stopping the crimes of the occupation. But they were silent.

On the scale of human ills I think the Iraq disaster was smaller than Vietnam, but much larger than Ronald Reagan’s contra wars, although it shared features with both.

One irritating instrument often wielded by those who see disgrace in Stop the War is the “moral compass.” It sounds like an imperial adventurer’s device, handily tucked in the safari jacket between a Bible and some pipe tobacco. The implication is that morality is a simple matter — just head north for goodness. But in the real world a compass is useless without a map showing the complex terrain. Those who claim to be “straightforward” are likely to charge off into the swamps of immorality.

By itself the Iraq war was a moral dark zone. The final irony is that out of this grim disaster rose the very terrorism we now face. Iraq was bad enough by itself, but Islamic State was born in the anarchy and ruins of the occupation, gaining arms, territory, recruits and money in the ruins we made.

So the next time we hear this moaning about a fake “morality,” we should say — look in the mirror.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Claims from Jeremy Corbyn’s internal Labour critics that “tens of thousands” of members had quit the party since the General Election have been proven wrong after figures revealed that less than 14,000 people had left since May.

Meanwhile membership of the party has nearly doubled since the election – from 201,293 in May to 388,407 – showing membership is close to its previous peak level of 405,000 in 1997.

16 thoughts on “Britain’s disastrous wars and Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Surprising so many got it years later after the attack that was a contrived indulgence of the colonist powers and there propaganda campaign based on lies that produced the deaths of many innocent individuals and huge cost to our planet orchestrated by those who are at present in power remarkable in so far the controllers are ever present to present deceit that having the ability to potentially and likely to present the next lies? many have little doubt the present governments of the Imperialist nations are not to be trusted now and in the future, as can be seen are a terrorist organization that those who are intelligent enough have a moral duty to resist those who destroy innocent lives and cost the planet and most of its citizens huge cost that most likely will never recoup the damage of the past and present violence? whilst drugs are at present in a state of consideration little is on the agenda as to how we define drugs? such as money and the addiction of this obsession and craving is? often causing death of individuals or worst death and destruction on a wide scale such as war? yet having all the characteristics of drugs are not part of the definition of drugs.

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  2. Saturday 9th January 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    LESLEY DOCKSEY looks at how the vitriol and double-speak aimed at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party has been encouraged by a minority of malcontents within his own party

    Can you remember how so many people felt — waking up on the day after the general election last May — hearing that the Tories had “won” the election? That the majority was small and that they had done it on the support of less than 25 per cent of the electorate was no comfort.

    The fact was that the country faced five years of unchecked Tory ideology, favouring the rich by hitting the rest of us.

    It was like being kicked in the gut.

    I know I was not alone in my despair, my inability to watch any news on television, hear it on radio or read it in the papers.

    The promised dismantling of all that made Britain a relatively kind, fair place to live was too painful to face. The Tories’ glee was both disgusting and juvenile. It took days for our brains to get back into gear, for our anger to rise above the ashes so we could start to fight back.

    Spirits rose from the moment Jeremy Corbyn entered the Labour leadership race. Thousands regained their hopes, rejoined the Labour Party or signed up as supporters. The more the remnants of the Blairite clique mouthed dire warnings of the utter ruination and death of the Labour Party, the more people climbed on board.

    But the day after Corbyn became leader the fight to get rid of him started. Labour MPs were promising to unseat him — I was going to say “left, right and centre,” but that was patently not so.

    Anyone, whether Labour MP, party member or just the man in the street who supported Corbyn was labelled as “hard left.” And we still are, even though we know we’re not.

    Day by day there has been a constant drip, drip of “stories” against Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and others on his team, fed by anonymous Labour MPs and seized by an avid media which, being almost totally right-wing, were as desperate to topple Corbyn as the Blairites.

    That he has doubled the party membership doesn’t matter. That the majority of Labour Party members support him doesn’t matter. Indeed, one MP tried to say the membership was irrelevant — it was the constituents who had voted for Labour MPs. Yet, whether members or constituents, the fact a majority of the British people actually support many of the policies Corbyn advocates also apparently doesn’t matter.

    When he reached his first 100 days as leader, there was an orgy of regurgitated stories about all the things he did “wrong” — like not singing the national anthem, even though photos showed that several others standing around also had their mouth shut.

    He “wasn’t going to bow to the Queen,” even though it turned out not to be mandatory. And so on, and on.

    The Tories really didn’t have to do anything. Those Labour MPs who didn’t want a return to decent values, who didn’t give a toss about their members and who didn’t want to lose their cosy “status” were welcomed with open arms by the media. Stories and exclusives were and are the order of the day.

    And then came the reshuffle, headlined weeks before the fact, based on rumours and those unnamed sources, pored over and picked apart before it ever happened. One would have thought Corbyn was going to appoint a whole new team.

    One or two shadow ministers were relocated. Two got sacked for “disloyalty.”

    So screamed the press, pointing out that the MPs in question had “always followed the party whip.” But was that where they were disloyal? Corbyn and McDonnell being the decent people they are would never make this public, but was the disloyalty based on all those disclosures to the media by “unnamed sources”?

    And one shadow minister resigned on air — and the media went wild. But, according to the website Pride’s Purge, the editor of the Daily Politics show Andrew Alexander wrote on his blog that this was not only arranged by the BBC to take place just before Prime Minister’s Questions, it was their idea.

    Alexander wrote: “…We took a moment to watch the story ripple out across news outlets and social media. Within minutes we heard David Cameron refer to the resignation during his exchanges with Jeremy Corbyn.

    “During our regular debrief after coming off air at 1pm we agreed our job is always most enjoyable when a big story is breaking — but even more so when it’s breaking on the programme.”

    This has now been removed from Alexander’s blog.

    The enemy has made itself very visible. We, the citizens of this country, are facing something which can only be called deliberately evil in its intent to control our lives to our detriment. This is what we have to fight and go on fighting, if we the people are to survive.

    How Corbyn and his allies keep their cool under all this onslaught is only to be admired and supported because the enemy within the Labour Party is, as McDonnell hinted, made up of just a few MPs. Many, sadly, are still sitting on the fence waiting to see which way the wind blows.

    They need to be reminded that the majority is with Corbyn. They need to be reminded that their enemy is not Corbyn but Tory ideology. They need to be reminded that it is the Tories they have to fight, not their own party.

    The storm of sheer nastiness from those who oppose the Labour leader is based on one thing — that what his vision offers is a huge threat to those who hold power.

    Should it be realised it will mean that for the first time the people — not power and money — will be running the country.

    The Tories, the media and the Blairites are terrified.

    Let’s keep them that way. Frightened people make mistakes.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d9fd-The-Tories,-the-media-and-the-Blairites-are-terrified-lets-keep-them-that-way#.VpEHMFJtdSE

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    • What we need to acknowledge is the ability of a minority to manipulate the interests of the majority in creating a mind set to control the public against their own interests of living in a society shaking off the fears that having been given a prescription that what is good for them is become sick and to maintain power for those who have one interest to destroy the health and well being of most people?
      The propaganda of the media that control the perceptions of the many also the membership of the Universities in becoming educated in their studies also and most important that you as a graduate if the adoption of a attitude that is a air of superiority and authority that intimidates those who are to be ruled will become all part of the club that will give you status, fine housing, and a level of income that the ruled can only dream of, the question is if you join the club our exclusive club you can have all the benefits of what the oppressed desire but will never attain? it is our job to if necessary to kill either in a physical sense or destroy the integrity of the individual of self by our method of overt or covert violence.

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