“Russia bombing Syria will lead to further radicalization and increased terrorism”. Prime Minister David Cameron, 4th October 2015.
How desperately Prime Minister Cameron has been yearning to bomb the Syrian Arab Republic.
In August 2013 when his aim was defeated in Parliament by a 285-272 vote, his vision of the UK joining US-led strikes bit the dust. His dreams of illegally joining the bigger bully and bombing an historic nation of just 22.85 million people (2013 figures) three and a half thousand kilometers away, posing no threat to Britain, was thwarted.
The US threw a conciliatory bone to the snarling Cameron and according to the BBC (1): “would ‘continue to consult’ with the UK, ‘one of our closest allies and friends.’
France said (that) the UK’s vote does not change its resolve on the need to act in Syria.
After the vote … Cameron said it was clear Parliament did not want action and ‘the government will act accordingly.’
Chancellor George Osborne whined on BBC Radio 4′s flagship “Today” programme that: “there would now be “national soul searching about our role in the world “, adding: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all of the world’s problems.
Translation: “Inconsequential politicians on small island only feel like real men when sending off their depleted air force to blow modest populations far away to bits.”
The then Defence Secretary Philip Hammond: “ … told BBC’s Newsnight programme that he and the Prime Minister were “disappointed” with the result, saying it would harm Britain’s “special relationship” with Washington. Ah ha, that tail wagging, panting, lap dog “special relationship” again, for which no body part licking, no crawling on all fours, no humiliation, no deviation of international law is too much.
The excuse for the 2013 rush to annihilate was accusations that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in March and August of that year, a claim subsequently comprehensively dismissed by detailed UN investigations (2.)
Cameron’s excuse for attack had all the validity of Tony Blair’s fantasy Iraq weapons of mass destruction, but of course he regards Blair as a trusted advisor. Judgement, it might be argued, as Blair’s, is not one of Cameron’s strong attributes.
Then came the Friday 13th November tragedies in Paris and by 2nd December Cameron’s parliamentary press gangs managed to threaten and arm twist through a vote to attack Syria in an action of shame which will surely haunt him as Blair is haunted by Iraq.
As the bombs fell, on 6th December, Cameron celebrated the anniversary of his his tenth year as Leader of the Conservative Party with his very own military action, Libya’s tragedy forgotten and belonging to yesterday. That, as Blair’s Iraq, it is entirely illegal (3) apparently bothers the former PR man not a whit.
As the Parliamentary debate was taking place, before the vote, it was reported that RAF reconnaissance ‘planes had already taken off for Syria from Scotland – of whose fifty nine parliamentarians, fifty seven voted against the attack. Cameron thumbed his arrogant nose to near and far.
Apart from the illegality, did it even cross Cameron’s mind, or did he care, that using the Paris attack not only defied law, it defied reason. To repeat again, the attackers were French and Belgian born, of North African extraction, with no Syrian connections apart from that some of them had been there joining the organ eating, head chopping, people incinerating terrorists. Syria is the victim, not the perpetrator, deserving aid and protection, not cowardly retribution from 30,000 feet.
After the vote, pro-killing MPs reportedly went straight into the Commons bar to celebrate with tax payer subsidized booze. Warned that the main doors in to Parliament had been closed due to anti-war protesters outside, one woman MP apparently shouted gleefully “It’s a lock in.” How lightly mass murder is taken in the Palace of Westminster.
Chancellor George Osborne: “eschewed the celebratory drinks … and joined a carol service in nearby St. Margaret’s Church – in aid of a charity for child amputees. You couldn’t make it up”, wrote a ballistic friend.
Within a week Osborne was in the US addressing the Council on Foreign Relations stating that with the air strikes Britain had “got it’s mojo back” and stood with the United States to “reassert Western values.”
It was he said “a real source of pride” to have the authority for air strikes in Syria.
“Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead.”
Britain was prepared to play a “bigger role”, he vowed.
“Mojo” according to varying dictionaries means “a quality that attracts people to you, makes you successful and full of energy”, denotes “influence” and “sex appeal.” The man needs help.
Immediately after the vote during a visit to RAF Akrotiri, the British base in Cyprus from which the airborne killers will take off to drop their human being incinerating ordnance, UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, told military personnel that their mission had the backing of “both the government and the people of Britain.” He lied.
A recent ITV poll showed 89.32 % of British people against bombing. Governmental “mojo” has clearly passed them by.
Pro bombing MPs though, it seems, are anything but warrior material. When angry emails arrived from their constituents condemning the bombing, the heavyweight Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson (pro bombing) complained of “bullying” saying stronger social media policy was needed to prevent such correspondence.
Anti war campaigners had also sent graphic photographs of dead Syrian children to MPs to persuade them not to vote for creating more mutilated little souls. This, the warmongers said, was “intimidation.”
One pro-war parliamentarian said the messages led him to have concerns for the health of his pregnant wife. Beyond pathetic, try being the husband of a pregnant wife, or the wife, in Syria with Britain’s bombs incinerating your neighbourhood.
Another MP was so keen to become a member of the “bullied” club, she was found to have added a death threat to herself at the end of a justifiably angry email from a member of the public. Her attempt to was speedily uncovered. The desire to tarnish those repelled by illegally murdering others is seemingly becoming common currency in the Cameron Reichstag.
A majority of British politicians, prepared to drop bombs on people, blow their children, parents, relatives, villages, towns, homes to bits and are cowed by a few words. As for “bullied”, try being under a bomb Mr Watson, one of the bombs you voted for. “Bullying” doesn’t come bigger than that.
Upset at being sent pictures of dead babies? Imagine being a mother or father holding the shredded remains of theirs. Courtesy the RAF.
Have they any idea of the reality of their “mojo” moment? People tearing at the tons of rubble that was a home, trying to dig friends, beloveds out with bare, bleeding hands?
Further reality is the demented, terrified howls of the dogs who hear the ‘planes long before the human ear can, the swathes of birds that drop from the sky from the fear and vibration, their bodies carpeting the ground, the cats that go mad with fear, rushing from a loving home, never to be seen again. And the children that become mute in their terror, losing the ability to speak for weeks, sometimes months and even years.
Yet David Cameron allegedly called Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and those who voted against this shameful act of terror: “terrorist sympathisers”, reportedly telling a meeting of a Parliamentary Committee before the vote: “You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers.” (5)
This presumably was juvenile pay back time for Corbyn having stated correctly that: “Cameron’s approach is bomb first, talk later. But instead of adding British bombs to the others now raining down on Syria what’s needed is an acceleration of the peace talks in Vienna.”
Cameron also received widespread derision, including from Conservative Parliamentarian Julian Lewis, Chairman of the influential Defence Select Committee, for his claims that there were 70,000 “moderate” fighters on the ground ready to take on ISIS after British bombing.
One government source compared the claim to Tony Blair’s fantasy that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction on the West “in 45 minutes.” Lewis commented: “Instead of having ‘dodgy dossiers’, we now have bogus battalions of moderate fighters.” (6) Another commentator referred unkindly to Cameron’s “70,000 fantasy friends.”
Perhaps the best encapsulation of anger and desperation came from author Michel Faber, who sent his latest book to Cameron (7.)
In searing sarcasm, he wrote in an accompanying letter that he realized: “a book cannot compete with a bomb in its ability to cause death and misery, but each of us must make whatever small contribution we can, and I figure that if you drop my novel from a plane, it might hit a Syrian on the head … With luck, we might even kill a child: their skulls are quite soft.”
“I just felt so heartsick, despondent and exasperated that the human race, and particularly the benighted political arm of the human race, has learned nothing in 10,000 years, 100,000 years, however long we’ve been waging wars, and clearly the likes of Cameron are not interested in what individuals have to say.”
He speaks for the despairing 89.32% who hang their heads in shame. He speaks for those of us who simply cannot find the words.
Citizens of the world are being asked to dig deep for humanitarian aid to Syria. After five years of war and millions displaced there is an urgent need for the world to lend a hand, we are told.
At a so-called “donor conference” in London this week, British prime minister David Cameron appealed to the rest of the world to stump up $8 billion to help war-torn Syria.
Among the 60 nations attending the confab were the US, France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Senior figures from these countries were wringing their hands in anguish over the plight of Syrian refugees.
Washington’s top diplomat John Kerry told delegates: “With people reduced to eating grass and leaves and killing stray animals in order to survive on a day-to-day basis, that is something that should tear at the conscience of all civilized people and we all have a responsibility to respond to it.”
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon adjured nations to “take responsibility to end the crisis in Syria”.
Take responsibility for ending the crisis? How about taking responsibility for beginning it?
Cameron, Kerry and the rest of these charlatans should spare us the emotional blackmail. Most of the governments represented at the London conference are the very instigators and perpetrators of Syria’s destruction.
Why should the rest of the world pay for their crimes?
This is not to suggest that people should simply turn their backs on fellow humans in dire need. But let’s get some straight-thinking here.
Those governments and individual politicians who oversaw regime change in Syria should be paying for their violations, either through massive financial reparations or in jail time. And why not both.
The case is irrefutable. The US-led regime-change plot to subjugate Syria goes back several years, according to numerous sources, such as American diplomatic cables released by the whistleblowing site Wikileaks, former French foreign minister Roland Dumas and ex-NATO supreme commander US General Wesley Clark.
It is only largely due to the dutiful dissembling by the Western news media that such criminality might seem rather outlandish. But it is not outlandish. It is documented and provable. Western governments are culpable in a criminal scheme of regime change in Syria, as they have been in countless other unfortunate countries.
From the outbreak of violence in mid-March 2011, the Arab country has been a charnel house of covert war involving the most vile terrorist mercenaries. Those who take ultimate responsibility for the violence are the authors of the regime-change plot in Syria. Top of the list are Washington, London, Paris, as well as their regional client regimes.
With an estimated 250,000 dead and nearly half of the 23 million population turned into refugees, the total war damage to Syria has been estimated to be at least $100 billion. This is what Washington and its allies owe Syria — and no doubt far, far more — and yet these country-destroying rogue states are trying to wheedle money out of world citizens to pay for their criminal excesses, with the emotional plea of “humanitarian aid”.
Washington and its co-conspirators for covert war in Syria want the rest of the world to pay for their criminal scheming by cajoling the UN, the European Union and anyone else who will listen to fork out “humanitarian aid”. Make no mistake this will eventually translate into ordinary taxpayers, workers and families, paying the bill for their governments’ sanctimonious financial pledges.
In other words, Western powers like the US, Britain and France together with their regional client regimes in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, unleash mass murder and mayhem on a once peaceful, sovereign country — and instead of being held to account under international law for their criminal aggression, these rogue states are getting the rest of the world to subsidize their evil enterprise.
The “donor conference” in London this week was the fifth in a series going back to 2012. Last year, the fundraiser fell well short of its appeals. This year, British leader David Cameron went out of his way to give the appeal added urgency.
Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Cameron said: “Sufficient funding to guarantee the basics of life that these refugees need must be the bare minimum expected of us.”
The British premier emphasized the need for more aid given to refugee centers in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where nearly five million Syrians have been displaced and are languishing in squalid camps.
Cameron’s apparent concern belies his real worry. He doesn’t want any more refugees streaming into Europe and towards Britain. That’s why the British leader is now calling for more international donations and for the cash to be thrown at Syria’s immediate neighbors in order to keep refugees there.
Going back to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, he told the London conference:
“The situation in Syria is as close to hell as we are likely to find on this Earth.”
Syria is indeed a hell on Earth. Made by people like Cameron and Kerry with whom Ban Ki-Moon was rubbing shoulders with in London this week.
Turkey was represented by prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu who tried to blame the humanitarian crisis on the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s military intervention. Davutoglu’s lies are particularly nauseating given Ankara’s role in acting as a conduit for terror brigades infiltrating Syria and his country’s ongoing threats of outright military invasion.
NATO member Turkey’s role in fueling Syria’s refugee crisis through its regime-change machinations is acutely reprehensible. And yet Ankara is to receive $3.4 billion from European Union taxpayers, allegedly to help with stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.
This is just one aspect of the general trend that Washington and its allies are establishing with breath-taking audacity. They have all but destroyed Syria with their covert war using terrorist proxies, and yet they are getting the rest of the world to pay for their crimes.
The cost of war and imperialist crimes was always offloaded on to ordinary people by their rulers. In that regard, nothing much has changed. Except that the scam has become even more brazen.
A chilling remark from a House of Lords debate just caught my eye.
Hansard 4 Nov 2015 : Column GC355
Lord Mendelsohn: We welcome the appointment of the former British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, who will have a key role in cybersecurity inside the Cabinet Office — a very useful and important position.
Sure enough, the UK Government’s website confirms that Gould is now Director of Cyber Security and Information Assurance at the Cabinet Office. “He and his team are focussed on keeping Britain safe from cyber attack, through delivering the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy.”
They must think we have very short memories. Gould was the first Jew ever to hold the post of Britain’s ambassador to Israel. He describes himself as a “passionate” Zionist and whilst in Tel Aviv was instrumental in setting up the UK-Israel Tech Hub. In the words of MATIMOP (the Israeli Industry Center for R&D), the Hub was established “to promote partnerships in technology and innovation between Israel and the UK, and is the first initiative of its kind for the British Government and for an embassy in Israel. The Hub’s creation followed an agreement between Prime Ministers David Cameron and Benjamin Netanyahu to build a UK-Israel partnership in technology.”
Three years ago Cameron appointed venture capitalist Saul Klein as the UK Tech Envoy to Israel with the task of promoting the partnership, leading UK tech missions to Israel, bringing Israeli start-ups to Britain, and hosting tech events in both countries.
MATIMOP quotes Britain’s National Health Service as an example of successful UK-Israel tech collaboration. The NHS “has now formed strong collaborations with Israeli life sciences companies conducting clinical trials in the UK. The cooperation was made as part of the burgeoning partnership between Israel and Britain’s life sciences industries initiated by the UK-Israel Tech Hub.”
Four years ago Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, argued that British policy was being driven in an underhanded fashion by the Israel lobby. He linked Gould with the Fox-Werritty scandal and raised questions about meetings between disgraced former Defence Minister Liam Fox and Fox’s friend/adviser Adam Werritty (who was backed financially by Israel lobbyists but had no security clearance and therefore no authorized role) and Gould.
Former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox and his bestman Adam Werritty.
Murray wrote to Gould asking when he first met Werritty, how many times he had met him, and how many communications of every kind had passed between them. He was told these questions would be answered in Cabinet Secretary O’Donnell’s investigation. “But Gus O’Donnell’s report answered none of these questions,” wrote Murray. “It only mentioned two meetings at which Fox, Gould and Werritty were all three present…”
This prompted Murray to dig further. “There were at least six Fox-Werritty-Gould meetings, not the two given by O’Donnell…. Matthew Gould was the only British Ambassador who Fox and Werrity met together. They met him six times. Why?”
Did Fox and Werritty meet 6 times with ambassador to Israel to plan ‘secret agenda for war’ with Iran?
Murray, with many useful sources from his days as an ambassador, claimed to have serious evidence connecting Gould with a secret plan to attack Iran, but the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Secretary blocked questions. Murray published his story ‘Matthew Gould and the plot to attack Iran’ here.
In it he pointed out that “Matthew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as ‘Not just an ambassador who is jewish, but a jewish ambassador’. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.”
He went on to say that Gould stood suspected of long term participation with Fox and Werritty “in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel”. The stonewalling by O’Donnell and the FCO led Murray to conclude that “something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government”.
Labour MP Paul Flynn remarked that no previous ambassadors to Israel had been Jewish so as to avoid conflict of interest and accusations of going native. He immediately came under intense flak. Flynn too asked about meetings between Werritty and Gould, as some reports suggested that Gould, Werritty and Fox discussed a potential military strike on Iran with Mossad. “I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories,” said Flynn, “but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran.”
Fox had earlier made the idiotic claim: “Israel’s enemies are our enemies” and “in the battle for the values that we stand for… Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together”. The Jewish Chronicle hailed him as “a champion of Israel within the government”. Furthermore Fox continually rattled the sabre against Iran which, of course, was no threat to Britain but is regarded by Israel as a bitter enemy. Iraq too was Israel’s enemy, not ours. Yet Fox, according to the theyworkforyou.com, voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Afghanistan.
Given that Fox so eagerly waved the flag of a foreign military power and was a man with dangerous beliefs and demonstrably weak judgement, how could those who appointed him not see that he was unemployable as a Minister of the British Crown – unless they were similarly tainted?
When the Werrity relationship came to light Fox jumped before being flung from the battlements. But the good people of North Somerset, in their wisdom, re-elected him at the general election last May. He’s already on the road to political rehabilitation among the Conservative high command.
Gould’s new job as head of The Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance (OCSIA) involves giving strategic direction to cyber security and information assurance for the UK. This includes e-crime, working with private sector partners on exchanging information, and engaging with international partners in improving the security of cyberspace and information security. Does it seem right for such a person to be in charge of crucial security matters at the heart of our government? What was in fellow Zionist David Cameron’s mind when he appointed him?
Well, here’s a possible clue. In March of this year Francis Maude, the previous Cabinet Office minister responsible for cyber security, announced three UK-Israel academic collaboration ventures with cyber research funding, the partnerships being University of Bristol/Bar Ilan University, University College London/Bar Ilan University and University of Kent/University of Haifa. They’ll be working together on six specific areas of research:
- identity management
- governance: regulating cyber security
- privacy assurance and perceptions
- mobile and cloud security
- human aspects of security or usable security
This builds on existing UK-Israel cooperation. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on digital co-operation in March 2014.
Still sitting comfortably? Only this week the Cameron government was lecturing us on threats to national security and announcing plans to trawl through our personal emails and web browsers in order to “keep us safe”.
Question is, who trawls Gould’s private emails?
David Cameron’s Spurious Defence of British Veterans
The PM is right to draw a line in the sand, to protect the freedom with which the military has to operate…
— General Lord Dannatt, ex-Chief of Staff
Prime Minister David Cameron is getting himself all wound up about the nasty slurs on ‘our brave boys’; ‘our brave servicemen and women who fought in Iraq’; ‘the people who risk their lives to keep our country safe’; the veterans of Britain’s illegal invasion of Iraq. Of course, they must ‘act within the law’ etc… Except they didn’t.
The said ‘brave servicemen’ are in danger of being taken to court over their abusive treatment, and in some cases murder, of Iraqi detainees during the invasion of Iraq. Hundreds of complaints have been lodged with the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) which was investigating between 1300-1500 cases. Many are simple complaints of ill treatment during detention, but some are far more serious:
- Death(s) while detained by the British Army
- Deaths outside British Army base or after contact with British Army
- Many deaths following ‘shooting incidents’
According to Cameron, ‘Our armed forces are rightly held to the highest standards…’ One wonders what standards he’s thinking of, seeing that it has been proved more than once that the UK military has not complied with international humanitarian law. Britain has a long and ignoble history of practicing torture, as documented by Ian Cobhain in his book Cruel Britannia.
Curiously, or perhaps not, just two days after Cameron launched his assault, IHAT announced it was dropping no less than 58 inquiries into unlawful killings by army veterans. And while so many rushed to the defence of the soldiers accused of abuse, absolutely no one has mentioned another example of the culture of violence within the armed forces which resurfaced just a few days earlier: the ‘notorious’ Deepcut Barracks.
The two law firms pursuing the claims on behalf of Iraqis and their families, Public Interest Lawyers, and Leigh Day, have been labelled ‘ambulance chasers’ and ‘tank chasers’ by much of the loud, right-wing media. Other insults include ‘money-grubbing or grabbing lawyers’. Naturally, goes the refrain, they want to get as many cases into court as possible so they can make a fortune in lawyers’ fees. It’s what you do if you’re defending humanitarian law.
One of the law firms involved, Leigh Day, is now the subject of an intended action by the government, who want to sue it for failing to supply documents to the al-Sweady inquiry, documents which ‘proved that alleged innocent victims (of abuse by UK armed forces) were actually enemy insurgents.’
But Cameron, like other occupants of Number 10, refuses to acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was illegal. And as UK armed forces were in Iraq illegally, any Iraqis who fought them were not ‘enemy’ insurgents, but citizens legally resisting the invaders of their country. Thus, ‘enemy insurgents’ could be, and in this case were, also innocent victims of illegal treatment, treatment that did not comply with international law.
International law covering ‘enemy’ soldiers (in uniform) or insurgents (in any old clothing) ensures proper, humane treatment of any prisoners. No beating, no slapping about, no prevention of sleep by using loud noise, no withholding of food or water, no forced stress positions, no sandbags over their heads, no deliberate extremes of temperature, all techniques which British soldiers were witnessed employing.
Even worse, despite these practices having been banned more than once by Parliament, they were, as evidence at the Baha Mousa inquiry demonstrated, being taught to soldiers and encouraged to use them in Iraq by the Ministry of Defence. Only one soldier ended up with any kind of a sentence after the killing of Baha Mousa (Corporal Donald Payne, one year in prison and dismissal from the Army), but when the inquiry into Mousa’s death was held the evidence that came out was utterly damning.
General Lord Dannatt, once Chief of Staff, is one of those backing Cameron’s stance. Appearing on the BBC’s Today programme on January 22, he defended the high standards of our wonderful army, and spoke of the greed of “lawyers with less integrity than others”. Of course, British forces should “act within the law”, he said, but many of these claims are “spurious and cannot be substantiated”. Not, of course, until they have been tested in court, a point that seems to have escaped the noble lord.
One lawyer with real integrity defending the legal action being taken on behalf of abused Iraqis is Lt Colonel Nick Mercer who, at the time of the invasion, was the Army’s chief legal officer in Iraq. He was out in Basra, he saw the abuse, he complained to his superiors and he gave strong and disturbing evidence to the Baha Mousa Inquiry. As he said, “It was my job to protect British commanders and make sure they kept to the right side of the law.” But the MoD was ‘resistant to human rights’.
The MoD’s view was that the government position prevailed over Mercer’s interpretation of international law. In 2009 the Supreme Court ruled that the advice he had tried to give the MoD in 2003 was correct. But it was not until 2010 that UK military intelligence interrogators were trained in international law and human rights. Whether that has made any real difference to their standards of practice is as yet unknown. In 2011 the MoD was hit by more claims of mistreatment, when Iraqi victims won the right to an inquiry in the Court of Appeal.
Again and again the MoD had tried to gag Mercer, threatening to report him to the Law Society, and in 2007 he was suspended for conducting a case in Cyprus in a way that disagreed with MoD views. He has now left the Army and is an Anglican priest, his principles and defence of the law as strong as ever. He has come out fighting in defence of Leigh Day and Public Interest Lawyers, saying it was beyond doubt that British soldiers tortured Iraqi prisoners.
He emphasises that he and others raised their concerns at the time the mistreatment of prisoners was going on; that the International Committee of the Red Cross had raised their concerns with the government; that the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights has also raised its concerns – with the International Criminal Court. This is not just about ‘money-grabbing lawyers’ against the rest of the nation. There are too many others who were and are concerned about the abuse that have no financial motives, says Mercer, and it was wrong to try and polarise the debate in this way.
He points to the fact that the MoD has already paid out £20 million in compensation for 326 cases. “Anyone who has fought the MoD knows they don’t pay out for nothing, so there are 326 substantiated claims with almost no criminal proceedings to accompany that. And you have to ask why.”
Lord Dannatt said that only 3 of all these cases have been proven – another point he seems to have missed: that the MoD paying compensation prevented the cases coming to court. Dannatt’s version of this is that the MoD “opted on the side of generosity rather than try to fight these cases in court”.
Cameron says these allegations of abuse are ‘spurious legal claims’ that must be stopped, ‘spurious’ being a word that is now used by all those on the MoD’s side. Cameron is a master of spurious claims. He produces one or two almost every week in Parliament, during Prime Minister’s Questions. A recent example, which earned him a great deal of ‘non-credibility’, came during the parliamentary debate on whether the UK should bomb Syria.
He said that there were 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria – a claim that the MoD reportedly asked to have removed from his statement. His ministers are masters of the spurious as well, constantly being corrected for their statements that the government has done this or that, given extra funding for this or that, when, for instance, the ‘extra funding’ turns out to be less than the amount they cut a Ministry’s budget the year before.
But Britain has to face the fact that not only do we have a spurious* government, but that ‘our brave soldiers’ have consistently broken both UK and international law, have been encouraged to do so by their masters and that the government will fight tooth and nail to prevent them being taken to court. For the sake of all of those abused, here and abroad, it is time there was a full and independent inquiry into the MoD’s non-compliance with international humanitarian law.
Last month, before the parliamentary vote on whether to bomb Syria, British Chancellor George Osborne publicly stated that the cost of extending air strikes against Islamic State into Syria would run in the “low tens of millions of pounds”.
Reuters (December 1st 2015 Osborne referring to the bombing of Syria) – “I think the estimate of extended air action over Syria would be in the low tens of millions of pounds. That’ll come out of the special reserve which we established for the purposes of military action like this.” Osborne told a committee of lawmakers.
Reuters (March 23 2011 Osborne referring to the bombing of Libya) – “The cost of Britain’s involvement in military operations in Libya is likely to be measured in tens of millions of pounds rather than hundreds of millions, Chancellor George Osborne said on Tuesday. Osborne said the cost would be less than recent conflicts and would be fully met from contingency reserves rather than the defence ministry’s main budget”.
Same thing, different bloodbath.
Documents released from Westminster show the final statistics of the bombing campaign in Libya amounted to £320m. This included £50m spent on replacing spent weapons and munitions. These figures were clearly designed to disguise the truth from the British public.
It has since transpired, contrary to Osborne’s “tens of millions” prediction, that the actual total to Britain of bombing Libya is now estimated conservatively to be somewhere between £900 million and £1.25 billion.
We have a Chancellor in Britain who ‘miscalculated’ this campaign by around 12,000%, give or take a few ‘tens of millions’. Any so-called ‘special monies’ set aside obliterated in days.
In the meantime, the UK’s actions in Libya has left the country awash with weapons and terrorists groups running amok, the government has collapsed, the country completely lawless. Africa’s richest nation per capita, where poverty was lower than The Netherlands and life expectancy the longest on the continent under Gadaffi has disintegrated. Libya is now just a failed state, a bloody anarchy with extremists hell bent on exporting its death doctrine to the streets of the West.
In September 2011, David Cameron, Speaking in Paris after he chaired a summit on Libya with France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, said early signs for its future were “incredibly impressive” and that the UK will “play its part in rebuilding the country.”
Cameron lied. Britain sent just £25 million ($36m) to rebuild the devastated nation. For context it cost $100 million to build one waste water treatment centre in Iraq after the invasion.
Carmeron, being asked questions by a BBC correspondent said “We stopped a genocide. Would you have rather we’d done nothing, let a genocide take place? Would you feel better as a British citizen?”
The Prime Minister continued to challenge his questioner: “You’re asking me lots of questions, why don’t you answer a question?”
He added: “What you’re suggesting is we should have stood aside and had a genocide take place in Libya, that’s what you’re suggesting. I profoundly disagree. Really disagree. I was prime minister at the time, I could see what was happening, I could see people were going to be slaughtered in their hundreds, possibly in their thousands. I had a choice: act and stop it or stand to one side? We acted and it was the right thing to do.”
But as Counterpunch reveals – David Cameron’s assertion of genocide was a myth. The NYT reported March 2011 – “the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda, claiming nonexistent battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making vastly inflated claims of his barbaric behavior”. The “vastly inflated claims” are what became part of the imperial folklore surrounding events in Libya, that suited Western intervention.”
It has since been estimated that although David Cameron asserted that ‘hundreds, maybe thousands’ would be killed by Gaddafi – 60,000 civilians were killed by August 2011 as a result of the 26,000 bombing sorties and 9,600 strike missions.
British former MI5 agent Annie Machon went further, telling RT that NATO’s intervention was a total disaster on every front.
“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age.”
The World Food Programme stated in November 2015 that one third of Libyans now need humanitarian assistance just to survive and one in five are on the brink of starvation. The economy has utterly cratered.
In an interview with The Spectator, just three weeks ago, David Cameron, a man with blood on his hands for taking a fully active role in the destruction of Libya, lied again – “I would say that Libya is better off without Gaddafi. The coalition helped those on the ground to get rid of the Gaddafi regime. We did a lot to try and help it”.
Cameron went on in the interview to confirm he would do the same again under the same circumstances and unbelievably, given his own ‘dodgy dossier‘ moment confirmed that “you can’t drop democracy out of a box at 40,000 feet” – and proceeded to do exactly that in Syria.
In December, after the British parliament voted to engage in the bombing campaign in Syria, there were seventeen airstrikes in three weeks. As truepublica reported on the 8th December – “Each 6 hour Tornado mission costs around £210,000, adding to that cost is the use of four Paveway bombs at £22,000 each and two Brimstone missiles at £105,000 each. If all weapons are fired on an average mission the cost of each Tornado mission is therefore £508,000.”
It costs £400,000 a week for British fighters to use airbases alone, before they fuel the fighters – and this is a campaign set to go on for years according to David Cameron.
In the meantime, Britain has successfully lobbied the UN to send ground troops alongside special forces back into Libya to fight terrorists that Britain allowed to take a foothold and subsequent control in the first place. This will add to George Osborne’s “tens of millions” that turned into £1.2 billion.
Up to 2013, the cost of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the British taxpayer nearly £35 billion in addition to normal military funding, which left those countries devastated. Of course that doesn’t include the government’s silence over the£36 billion ‘black hole‘ that the taxpayer was facing in 2010 when the Conservatives came to power.
Gordon Brown, the Chancellor at the time of the Iraq invasion stated the cost of the Iraq war to Britain was £8bn – which was only £12 billion short of the actual cost.
One of the tasks that we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system … it’s about making sure people are in control and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters.
— David Cameron, First speech as Prime Minister, May 11, 2010
David Cameron has made “transparency” a mantra. In May 2010 he vowed to rip off the: “cloak of secrecy” around government, extending transparency and stating:
Greater transparency is at the heart of our shared commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account.
He was specific, adamant even:
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since doing this job, it’s how all the information about government – the money it spends, where it spends it, the results it achieves – how so much of it is locked away in a vault marked sort of ‘private for the eyes of Ministers and officials only … By bringing information out into the open you’ll be able to hold government and public services to account.
In early July 2011 he declared: “We are creating a new era of transparency …” Later that month in a speech in Singapore he talked of “accountable and transparent institutions …”
In January 2013 he said one of the main priorities of the UK’s Presidency of the G8 was “transparency.” In November that year at the Open Government Partnership he again delivered a speech stressing the importance of the “transparency agenda.”
In fact, the only transparency is Cameron — you can see right through him.
Holding “government and public services to account?” In your dreams. For example, the UK illegally invading the air space of other countries, murdering people in extra-judicial executions, a pretty massive government undertaking. Questions should surely be asked and have been. “Transparency” and accountability have not only been unforthcoming, they have left the planet.
In August last year two British nationals fighting in Syria were killed in British drone strikes, they were Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, the latter not a “formal” target but killed anyway. Whilst many may be tempted to think “terrorists, serves them right”, this is the thin end of a very dodgy legal wedge. An illegal strike on a sovereign country, killings with no recourse to law – and only the government’s word on who they killed anyway, there will surely never be absolute proof.
Moreover, for all the word juggling, it seems Cameron’s government has followed in the footsteps of their Master, Barack Obama, and had the UK National Security Council draw up a “kill” list.
Defence Minister Michael Fallon denied there was such a list but confirmed in an impressive sleight of words:
… our job is to … identify the terrorists and where we can forestall them. But if you’re asking me would we hesitate to take similar action again today, tomorrow, next week – absolutely not, we would not hesitate.
Assassination whilst illegally in or over another country is now renamed “forestalling.”
It should also be noted that it was not until December 2nd that the UK Parliament voted on Air Force intervention in Syria, a vote and actions anyway in murky legal territory, but the killings were undertaken under Führer Cameron’s auspices without MPs even being consulted, with, it transpires, the “kill” list drawn up “some months” prior to the August action with “a list of targets who would be subject to extra-judicial killing.”
“The Government” has also “refused to publish the advice it received from the Attorney General to justify the attacks.”
Further according to The Independent:
David Cameron said that Khan was involved in “actively recruiting (Isis) sympathisers and seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the West including directing a number of planned terrorist attacks right here in Britain …
However, no further evidence has been provided to substantiate these claims. Downing Street has said it cannot provide this information as it might compromise ongoing operations and legal cases …
Cameron seemingly morphs ever more into his hero Tony Blair – even down to seemingly having a compliant Attorney General in Jeremy Wright, QC. Few will have forgotten Blair’s, Lord Goldsmith, who changed the advice on the Iraq invasion from illegal to legal at a gentle tap on, not even a twist of, the arm.
Wright: “… appearing before the Justice Select Committee said he acknowledged it was important in such exceptional circumstances that MPs should know that legal advice had been given, but insisted that its precise content could not be revealed. Asked why not, Wright said: “In part, it’s an obligation to ensure that legal advice taken by the government is as full and frank as it can be … It’s also important to take collective responsibility under cabinet government.”
So much for holding “government and public services to account.”
That was in September. On January 12th:
Members of the UK’s Parliamentary intelligence watchdog will not be allowed access to all intelligence or defence information relating to the new British practice of targeted killing by drone, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron was asked today by Andrew Tyrie MP whether the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) would be allowed to examine the military aspect of the targeted killing programme, and whether he would commit to the Committee’s security-cleared members being able to see all the relevant intelligence.
Mr Cameron refused on both points, stating that the ISC’s job was to examine intelligence, not military affairs, and that he could not give the commitment Mr Tyrie asked for regarding the Committee’s access to intelligence. Mr Tyrie pointed out that what the Committee is allowed to see remains under the control of the Secretary of State, and that its work on targeted killing ‘could be rendered meaningless’ if it were barred from looking at the military operation.
Harriet Harman MP, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is currently carrying out an inquiry into the issue. She asked whether he would publish the UK Government’s policy on drone strikes – Mr Cameron responded that he had already set out his position to the Commons, but that publishing a written policy might ‘get us into more difficulties.’
In response, Kate Craig legal Director at the international human rights organization Reprieve stated:
In fact, the Government is under a legal obligation to formulate and publish a clear and unambiguous policy, especially when we’re talking about state killing.
Moreover, the Prime Minister’s refusals to share vital information with the ISC raises the disturbing possibility that – much like the controversial US drone programme – UK targeted killing may be beyond accountability and oversight.
Law, national and international, is clearly fast becoming a redundant irritant. Britain and America’s acts of terrorism seem ever more blatant and unaccountable. “Why do they hate us?” bleated George W. Bush. Work it out.
As for Cameron’s “transparency” mantra, having been in mortal danger from the day of its unveiling it is now consigned to that great political cemetery of Prime Ministerial and Ministers’ towering falsehoods and humbug.
Reprieve – January 12, 2016
Members of the UK’s Parliamentary intelligence watchdog will not be allowed access to all intelligence or defence information relating to the new British practice of targeted killing by drone, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron was asked today by Andrew Tyrie MP whether the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) would be allowed to examine the military aspect of the targeted killing programme, and whether he would commit to the Committee’s security-cleared members being able to see all the relevant intelligence.
Mr Cameron refused on both points, stating that the ISC’s job was to examine intelligence, not military affairs, and that he could not give the commitment Mr Tyrie asked for regarding the Committee’s access to intelligence. Mr Tyrie pointed out that what the Committee is allowed to see remains under the control of the Secretary of State, and that its work on targeted killing “could be rendered meaningless” if it were barred from looking at the military operation.
The Prime Minister was taking questions from the House of Commons Liaison Committee, composed of the chairs of the various select committees. He was also asked questions on targeted killing by drone by Harriet Harman MP, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) which is currently carrying out an inquiry into the issue. She asked whether he would publish the UK Government’s policy on drone strikes – Mr Cameron responded that he had already set out his position to the Commons, but that publishing a written policy might “get us into more difficulties.”
Commenting, Kat Craig, legal director at international human rights organization Reprieve said: “Despite the Prime Minister’s assurances to the contrary, the UK’s targeted killing programme is entirely ambiguous and shrouded in secrecy. Just because it may take a bit of effort to formulate a policy, it does not mean the Government can wholesale refuse to do so. In fact, the Government is under a legal obligation to formulate a policy, especially when we’re talking about state killing. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s refusal to share vital information with the ISC raises the disturbing possibility that – much like the controversial US drone programme – UK targeted killing may be beyond accountability and oversight.”
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | November 30, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party, is a man of genuine integrity and honesty in his opposition to British bombing of Syria.
Indeed, he is everything the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, is not.
I think we see from the storm in the British press against Corbyn just how much the establishment values integrity and honesty, which is to say, not at all.
Almost every word of Cameron’s on the subject of bombing is deliberately deceptive.
He is in fact an intimate part of “the club” which privately regards ISIS and other murdering rogues as tools to an end, and that end is to destroy Assad and turn Syria into a rump state. The club’s members always falsely describe the situation in Syria as a civil war rather than what it truly is, an invasion of a peaceful land by the creatures of outside powers.
They freely admit ISIS is horrible, innumerable propaganda videos having established the fact for the public, but they make no move to do something genuine about it. They portray the only man who is doing something to help Syria’s brave army, Vladimir Putin, as some kind of evil figure with dreams of empire. There is a stream of propaganda and lies about everything Russia does, from its cruise missiles hitting Iran to its planes bombing hospitals, all offered with zero evidence.
Cameron’s every word on Syria is inappropriate. A British Prime Minister has no business pronouncing on the legitimacy of this or that government, especially one supported by the majority of the country’s people, clans, and armed forces. Cameron himself, posing as some cheap knock-off defender of democracy, positively Churchillian in his own eyes, enjoys the support of about 35% of British voters.
Assad’s government has fought bravely against monsters shipped in by Turkey and supplied by Saudi Arabia, Israel, and America for years now, while David Cameron sat back and pontificated.
Assad is not an angel, but he runs a state with tolerance for all religious groups in a region where that is not common, and he has often been generous in helping those badly hurt by the likes of David Cameron – for example, the millions of refugees created by the criminal invasion of Iraq. The reason Assad is hated by Cameron and his associates in “the club” is his independent-mindedness in not following Washington’s dictates. Cameron functions as a noisy little lap dog yapping and snapping at anyone ignoring his master, always in expectation of another approving stroke on the head. It truly is that simple, and all the rest we read and hear is just noisy propaganda.
Washington and Tel Aviv are determined to see Assad gone. And you must ask yourself why that should be a shared goal of the two most violent societies on earth today, each of them in a state of perpetual war and oppression of millions.
Yes, Turkey and Saudi Arabia hate Assad, too, but they mostly do as they are told by Washington.
And remember, one of those countries, Turkey, is run by a lunatic who assassinates journalists and any Kurdish person he can get his hands on, and the other, Saudi Arabia, is run by a senile absolute monarch who regularly cuts off heads and crucifies people and is conducting an illegal war in Yemen, killing civilians daily.
Those are the characters with which David Cameron shares his bed.
What is really at stake here is virtually never discussed in public: the right of countries to exist in peace without outside interference from aggressive states like America and Israel. The United Nations should be in the forefront of demanding just that, but it has been reduced to servility through internal manipulations and threats, especially threats of withholding American financial support as was done some years back. Ban Ki-moon is perhaps the most ineffectual Secretary General in memory, sometimes sounding like a pope enjoining peace with no one listening.
Britain’s bombing in Syria would be just plain old-fashioned aggression adding to that already being done by ISIS, al-Nusra, and other cutthroats. We don’t know what targets Cameron has in mind, but he simply has no business in the country, and we can be sure that if he were sincere about only attacking terrorists, Syria would have welcomed him in its desperate fight. Cameron just keeps repeating, like an unpleasant child who thinks repetition makes something so, that the government of Syria must go.
The government of Syria has not sought Britain’s help, and contrary to arrogant people like David Cameron, Syria does indeed have a government, as legitimate as most in the world.
The only people doing any bombing with the permission of the government are the Russians, and they are supporting the only people doing any real fighting, the Syrian army.
This is not a small point for all those concerned about the rule of law, which you might think would be a prime concern for those who claim they oppose terror.
It took centuries to establish some rule of law in international affairs, and today states like America and Israel and Turkey ignore it completely.
Good old David Cameron wants to join the mob, getting his bit of attention.
And it can’t have escaped Cameron’s attention how handsomely the war criminal, Tony Blair, has been rewarded for doing his dirty part in tearing apart Iraq. He has been showered with gold and sinecures.
Wouldn’t it be natural for Cameron to expect a bit of that for dropping bombs on Syria?
Are the powers-that-be using crises such as recent events in Paris to drive through a tyrannical agenda?
Rahm Emanuel – Obama’s former Chief of Staff – once famously said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste – it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before”.
He was not saying anything new. He was simply rehashing something self-evident to those who deal in strategy rather than hysteria, and passing off as his own something said years before by Churchill.
Today, the world is hysterical about the recent serious crisis in Paris.
Naturally, these terrorist actions are tragedies for those individually impacted by them. But strategically, they are opportunities for “things you think you could not do before.”
A substantial minority of people have now got the point that since “a serious crisis” is so useful to those who rule us, our rulers will not only sit around waiting for things to happen which they can use, they will also initiate such things.
It was the events in New York on 9/11 – in which the laws of physics were apparently suspended – which allowed the Patriot Act to be pushed through and the Plan for a New American Century to be enacted.
But it took several years before opinions unencumbered by official propaganda percolated through society.
Due to the proliferation of social media, that same process of dissemination and cross-pollination of cynicism towards the official version of events was in full sway only a matter of minutes after the Paris bombings were announced.
And while the larger portion of the herd is running about crying out for someone to save it and the architects of policy are calmly ramming through their agenda, the new challenge is how to clamp down on dissent from media orthodoxy.
So what’s coming down the pike?
First off: boarder crackdowns. The Guardian recently noted that: “EU interior and justice ministers are to meet in Brussels where they will discuss tightening checks on all travelers at the external borders of the 26-nation Schengen zone as an emergency measure.
“Cazeneuve called on his fellow ministers to agree on a Europe-wide passenger information register, improved controls along Europe’s external borders, and better coordination against arms trafficking.”
“France has been calling for these measures for more than 18 months, and some progress has been made,” he said. “But it is not fast enough, and it does not go far enough … Everyone must understand Europe has to organize, recover, defend itself against the terrorist threat.”
The Independent informs us that EU ministers (i.e. those bureaucrats none of us voted for and whose power structure mirrors that of the Soviet Union’s Politbureau) are considering setting up their own “CIA-style intelligence agency”.
The current stampede will also help push through other items already openly on the agenda.
In the UK, for example, the government is busy enacting a bill to give police access to everyone’s entire internet history.
Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman for data communications, told the newspaper: “We essentially need the ‘who, where, when and what’ of any communication – who initiated it, where were they and when it happened.”
In short: the police want access to your entire life.
Where this is going is total surveillance, general suspicion, and the removal of the velvet glove from the hand of power to reveal the iron fist which was there all along – all served up in the form of a palliative citing the need to protect us from an outside threat.
From Nero to Bush, nothing changes – except who benefits.
So who does benefit?
Western media are intractably incurious on such questions, barely daring to stray beyond the prescribed narrative and sternly serving up Pentagon press releases as news.
A notable exception is political journalist and author Gearóid Ó Colmáin.
Interviewed by RT, Ó Colmáin stated boldly what many have already surmised but had been denied a platform beyond social media to express.
The points Mr. Ó Colmáin makes include the fact that the war against Syria is orchestrated by NATO; that it has been conducting attacks against the civilian population of that country for four years now, and that this itself is a “terrorist campaign”.
He states that there is a worldwide war the object of which is to make the world’s population submit to a “global order” – a war which serves the interests of what he rightly calls a “tiny and particularly tyrannical ruling elite.”
He says: “There is no War on Terror. There is a war which is being waged using terrorist proxy groups and they are being used against nation states who are resisting U.S. and Israeli hegemony. And they are also being used as a means of disciplining the work forces in Europe. In a period of mass unemployment and austerity, you now have terrorist attacks being committed by terrorists funded, armed and trained by Western intelligence agencies. There is no such thing as ISIS. ISIS is a creation of the United States.”
Finally, someone tells it like it is.
The powers-that-be are going to try to shut people like Gearóid Ó Colmáin up. And they are going to use the very “terrorism” that Mr. Ó Colmáin accuses them of creating to do it.
By means of apparently supernatural prescience the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron anticipated just such a problem.
In July, 2015, Cameron set out plans to deal with people who question the official line. He is particularly concerned to contain – and we assume later to criminalize – “ideas” which are “based on conspiracy”.
Cameron asserts: “In this warped worldview, such conclusions are reached – that 9/11 was actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan; that British security services knew about 7/7, but didn’t do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash.”
In the meantime – as the Independent informs us – France has declared a “state of emergency for three months, allowing authorities to shut down websites and giving police sweeping new powers.”
Those powers “include the ability to put people under house arrest without trial and to block websites.”
As Orwell tells us in 1984: “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
And the “ruling elite” Ó Colmáin refers to is in the process of conflating such revolutionary acts with “terrorism”.
While people at Mr. Cameron’s level and above understand perfectly well how power works, if those whose interests Cameron represents get their way, we the people are to be forced by law to believe the type of foolishness which benefits precisely those interests Ó Colmáin had the forthrightness to identify.
If facts are thought so fragile they need laws to enforce their acceptance, once they are enacted it is time to stop pretending we are free and face reality: We are living under tyranny.
Given the right “serious crisis” of the kind Mr. Emanuel so enthusiastically embraces, the herd can doubtless be stampeded over the cliff of any form of resistance to the political will to drive such new laws through. And once such a principle is accepted, there is no philosophical barrier to expanding it.
The loss of what we thought of as our rights will be achieved under the cloak of what works best: appeals to decency and reasonableness and the need to protect the innocent.
While men such as Ó Colmáin are working to awaken the people to the specter of open tyranny, history and experience are against him.
Gustave Le Bon in his seminal work on realpolitik, The Crowd (1895) wrote: “Whoever can supply them [the masses] with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”
By that measure, Ó Colmáin will be thought a terrorist, and those who condemn him hailed as defenders of freedom.
Le Bon believed that the majority respects only tyranny and force and spurns freedom.
We are in the process of learning if he was right.
Sam Gerrans is an English writer, translator, support counselor and activist. He also has professional backgrounds in media, strategic communications and technology. He is driven by commitment to ultimate meaning, and focused on authentic approaches to revelation and realpolitik. He is the founder of Quranite.com – where the Qur’an is explored on the basis of reason rather than tradition – and offers both individual language training and personal support and counseling online at SkypeTalking.com.
When British Prime Minister David Cameron lambasted Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for having a “terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology” the rightwing British media went into raptures over the bashing.
But amid the boorish braying, the question is: what about Cameron’s own extremist-supporting politics? And not just Cameron, but the whole British establishment.Cameron made his cheap shot at Corbyn while addressing his Conservative Party annual conference last week. With the fulsome help of British media, Corbyn’s views on the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, as well as on foreign policy issues, including Russia, Palestine, Hezbollah and Irish republicanism, have been wildly distorted. But the crude demonisation of Corbyn as national traitor is an easy job when you have a phalanx of willing media hatchet-wielders on your side.
How richly ironic it is then that a week after Cameron’s mud-slinging at Corbyn, news emerges of a British man who is facing a death sentence in Saudi Arabia.
Karl Andree, a 74-year-old British expatriate living in the oil-rich kingdom for the past 25 years is to receive 350 lashes under the archaic Saudi justice system. The man was caught last year reportedly in possession of homemade wine — in a country where alcohol is officially forbidden.
His family in Britain are making desperate appeals to British premier David Cameron to intervene in the case to save the pensioner’s life.
Suffering from cancer and asthma, the family of Karl Andree fear that he will die from the flogging, especially after having spent a year already in a Saudi jail. A son of the man told British media this week that Cameron’s government had done little to seek clemency from the Saudi rulers. Simon Andree “accused the Foreign Office of allowing business interests to get in the way of helping to free his father.”
Cameron may be obliged to finally intervene, such is the furore. But the mere fact that London has to be pushed into doing something to save the man’s life shows just how deeply entwined the British establishment is with the House of Saud.
The case is just one of many instances where the British government has steadfastly given the Saudi rulers political cover for their extremist practices. With an estimated 30,000 political prisoners languishing in Saudi jails and over 100 people executed by public beheadings every year, the kingdom has been described as one of the most despotic regimes on Earth. Some observers have noted that the House of Saud beheads as many people as the notorious terror group, Islamic State, which shares the same Wahhabi ideology as the Saudi rulers. Indeed probably bankrolled by the Saudi monarchs, as are other extremist jihadi groups, including Al Qaeda and Jabhat al Nusra.
Yet while Cameron and his government make high-profile calls for sanctions against Russia over alleged violations in Ukraine, London keeps silent when it comes to international appeals for human rights in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this year it emerged from leaked cables that Cameron’s government was involved in “back-room deals” with the Saudis for the kingdom to be appointed to a chair on the United Nations Human Rights Council. This is while international campaigners have recently appealed in two particularly disturbing cases, one involving a Saudi blogger sentenced to receive a 1,000 lashes and the other of a pro-democracy activist, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who is due to be beheaded and crucified. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has personally entreated Cameron to intervene — but so far, Downing Street has declined to mediate.
Cameron has gone on the defensive about British-Saudi relations, telling media that Britain has a “special relationship” with the kingdom, and insisting that it must maintain “close ties”.
The British leader never fails to pontificate to international audiences about how Britain is “supporting democracy and human rights” around the world.
Cameron’s double-think fails, spectacularly, to acknowledge that his government and Downing Street predecessors have “close ties” with the Saudi regime, where elections are banned, women are prohibited from driving cars, and freedom of speech is exercised under the pain of death.
Even as Saudi Arabia carries out more than six months of slaughter in Yemen, the British government maintains a stony silence. Evidence of war crimes involving Saudi bombing of civilians in Yemen has not registered a pause by Britain in supplying the Saudis with Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets equipped with 500-pound Pave IV missiles.Thousands of women and children have been massacred in the onslaught, while Britain reportedly finds new reserves for ordnance to sustain the Saudi bombardment, along with deadly supplies from Washington of course.
In 1985, former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — a political heroine of Cameron — lent her personal intervention in signing the al Yamamah arms deal between Saudi Arabia and Britain.
That ongoing deal — worth an estimated £80 billion ($120 billion) — is the biggest weapons contract ever signed by Britain. A reputed 50,000 jobs depend on its fulfilment, mainly by Britain’s top weapons manufacturer, British Aerospace Engineering (BAE).
The contract is mired in corruption. Investigations have shown that some $1 billion in bribes were funnelled to key members of the House of Saud by BAE, including the former spy chief Bandar bin Sultan. In 2010, a US court found BAE guilty of corruption, for which the firm had to pay $400 million in fines.But Britain’s own legal probe into corruption over the Al Yamamah arms deal was dramatically blocked in 2006 by then Labour leader and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair, as with Cameron recently, simply invoked “national security interests” to close the prosecution. Once again, the supposed “special relationship” between Britain and Saudi Arabia trumped any concerns about criminality or the despotic nature of the House of Saud.
One factor in why Blair gave cover to Britain’s Saudi clients was the threat from the House of Saud that it would pull the plug on the whole Al Yamamah contract, and instead direct its business to France. The French-made Rafale fighter jets were dangled as an alternative to the British-made Typhoon.
Resonating with that, this week a French delegation led by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Saudi Arabia where it signed $11 billion in contracts for various industrial and military products.
This is the same French government that cancelled the $1.3 billion Mistral helicopter ship contract with Russia over alleged — yet unproven — violations by Moscow in Ukraine.
As with the British, the French government’s high-minded claims of democracy, rule of law and human rights are nothing but cynical public relations when it comes to the altar of financial profits, no matter how “extremist” the customers are.
So, let’s re-run that clip again of David Cameron denouncing others for “extremist-sympathising ideology”. Whatever Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged views are, they are nothing, absolutely nothing, when compared with the extremist-supporting practices of David Cameron and a host of British governments in their courting of Saudi oil money.
More than 20 children including one baby have been taken into care over fears they could be subject to extremist views and radical Islam at home.
Children from at least 11 families have been subjected to court orders, which remove children into state care.
The youngest child is a one-year-old from Rochdale whose family were caught attempting to flee to Syria via Turkey earlier in the year.
The figures come after one of the most senior judges in the UK released new guidelines on the increasing number of extremist cases which are taken to family courts.
In many cases judges use court orders to protect children who are considered vulnerable to extremist behavior. The orders can include making the children wards of court, place them in foster care or prevent them leaving the UK.
President of the Family Division of the High Court Sir James Munby said on Thursday that the number of cases involving children had risen since the beginning of the year.
“Recent months have seen increasing numbers of children cases coming before … the family court,” he said.
“There are allegations that children, with their parents or on their own, are planning or being groomed to travel to parts of Syria controlled by the so-called Islamic State; that children are at risk of being radicalized; or that children are at risk of being involved in terrorist activities either in this country or abroad.”
Munby said police should be proactive in seeking court orders, and not rely on local councils. He added that the safety of vulnerable children was “paramount.”
His announcement came days after Prime Minister David Cameron highlighted the “danger” Islamic extremism poses in the UK, saying the “passive tolerance” of radical ideas was allowing the spread of dangerous rhetoric.
Hannah Stuart, counter-radicalization expert at the Henry Jackson Society, said terror groups are continuing to target young people.
“Both among those who support people joining the conflict in Syria or who want to see terror acts committed here, we see a recurring obsession with the radicalization of children.
“We are seeing a generation who are getting older and having children, and those children are growing up in an environment where there is a risk of them being taken to Syria – or being told that it is right to hate non-Muslims and desire martyrdom.”
Britain will order four new nuclear submarines, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.
In a clear message to anti-Trident Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the PM said four new submarines would be ordered to replace the existing fleet, which will be retired.
In his first conference speech since the Tories won a parliamentary majority in May’s general election, Cameron used the occasion to present a strong opposition to Corbyn’s foreign policy stance, highlighting the importance of a strong nuclear deterrent.
He told a packed hall that the nuclear deterrent is the country’s “ultimate insurance policy,” adding that the government would commit to the NATO defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP.