Cameron’s Libya war and British Blairites

This video from England says about itself:

Stop the War hands off Libya protest | London 18th March 2011| John Rees

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

An arrogance matched only by ignorance

Friday 16th September 2016

The select committee report proves Corbyn was right about the war in Libya. Labour MPs would be wise to listen to him more, writes SOLOMON HUGHES

The select committee report into the 2011 Libyan “intervention” is a harsh judgement on David Cameron’s war.

It also throws a dark shadow on the majority of Labour MPs who backed this dismal conflict. There is one point of light — Corbyn and a small band of fellow MPs got this right.

You might think the many MPs who wrongly backed the war might feel they should listen more to the few who got it right and opposed it since they voted for a bloody disaster that has consumed tens of thousands of lives.

So maybe endlessly attacking Corbyn’s point of view is not such a bright thing to do.

The arrogance of many mainstream MPs in trying to pick at Corbyn, especially on foreign policy, seems only to be matched by their ignorance.

I guess they just haven’t read the report or reflected on what they did.

In 2011, there was a rebellion against Libya’s dictator, Muammar Gadaffi, spurring a joint US-British-French military “intervention.”

Cameron’s government claimed to have “learned the lessons of Iraq” before the Libyan war, but it turns out it learned them so well it was able to repeat them one by one without prompting.

The intervention was initially, ostensibly launched to protect the civilians of Benghazi from attacks.

The select committee report says this was (like Iraq) “not informed by accurate intelligence” as the claims of an oncoming massacre were false.

The report quotes letters to Hillary Clinton showing the French backed the war because they wanted control of oil and more power in Africa.

The initial “limited intervention to protect civilians,” the report says, “had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.

“That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gadaffi Libya.

“The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises.” Instead of seeking peace negotiations with Gadaffi’s government for some kind of transition — which was a real possibility — Britain and its allies went for war.

Most Labour MPs voted for Cameron’s mini-me version of Iraq.

When there was unauthorised “mission creep” to “regime change” they went along, or stayed silent.

Not all of the small band who argued the other way were “Corbynite” — David Winnick MP, for example, was an effective critic of “mission creep” — but Corbyn and the left were the core opponents.

Corbyn voted against the action, led the call to bring Parliament back when “defensive” war morphed into an attack plan and kept up calls for a better solution.

In May 2011, questioning Tory former foreign secretary William Hague in Parliament, Corbyn said: “Will the Foreign Secretary confirm that, as it now appears to the whole world, the alliance has given up on a diplomatic solution, and is now involved in regime change and targeting individuals within the Libyan government?

“Does he not think that at some point there will have to be a political solution led by the Arab League and the African Union? Does he not think it time to apply pressure in that direction, rather than continue the bombing of civilian targets?”

The select committee report shows that Corbyn was right: Cameron, Hague and shamefully the bulk of Labour MPs were wrong.

The lesson here is this: Labour MPs should stop waiting for the slow churn of official reports that prove they were wrong five years ago or ten years ago.

They should move closer to Corbyn so they can get it right now, when it matters.

UK parliamentary report criticises Libya war but conceals its geo-strategic aims: here.

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