My contribution to the debate on the Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security

We should talk more and bomb less. I say that as someone who wants us to have strong defences. I want our country to play a leading role in the world and to be available, with the UN and allies, or if necessary on our own, to reinforce our values. I accept that there are occasions when we have to fight a just war. We were right to liberate Kuwait with our allies, and we were right to liberate the Falklands, but we need to ask ourselves some hard questions about some of the military interventions we have made under Governments of both parties in recent years.

I am glad that the Government accept that we can go to war only if the House approves such action, which I think has always been the case, and I am glad that they recognise that that is the most serious thing we can do. We have the power, collectively, to authorise our troops to go to kill other people in a foreign country. That is a very serious thing to do, and it should be done only after full debate and, if necessary, on a vote of the House to show that it has at least majority approval—it is even better when there is consensus.

To guide the Government, whether we are approaching such a position again or not, they should ask themselves these questions. First, are they sure that diplomacy and politics have broken down completely and that there is no further scope for diplomacy and politics to carry the problem forward and try to make it better? War is not a good answer. It is what happens when politics and diplomacy fail.

Secondly, after we win a war—even if we have had a great victory, as the allies had in 1918—we need to go back to politics and diplomacy and get it right. Otherwise, we might find that we have created a worse monster that requires yet more conflict, as we are in danger of proving in the middle east. The west has the power to get rid of a regime it does not like, but it does not necessarily have the power to support and create a democratic regime in its place that has the acceptance of enough people in the country to keep it together and make it a better place. It is not a win if we get rid of a nasty dictator and replace them with warring bands who kill even more people.

We need to get the Government to ask whether diplomacy has failed and whether the situation is one in which the use of force, if successful, is likely to make the situation better. If we are going to use force, can we please have a diplomatic and political strategy for the aftermath of successful military engagement? We need to know what military success looks like, but more importantly, we need to know how military success leads to a happier country, democratic values, tolerance and toleration, and all the things we believe in. When we inject more weapons and fighting into a situation, we normally make people not more tolerant, but more intolerant. We make them not happier, but more resentful.

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42 Comments

  1. Old Albion
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Amen to that JR.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed I agree fully.

      If someone bombs ones homes, businesses, friends and family then I doubt very much that it would make many more tolerant.

      Occasionally it is needed as a very last resort but then only when the war and the peace can clearly be won. Have we leaned nothing from Blair’s wars, Cameron’s Libya and history in general?

      Punching people on the nose rarely does either.

  2. Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    What you say is perfectly true ; too often we have been drawn into conflicts that have left us on the wrong side of the fence afterwards . Iraq is a typical example – the truth is still being witheld and the Chilcot report should not be subject to restraints denying the public information ought to know. The Ukraine is another current problem where we are being drawn by the foolish intervention of the EU . Putin is a monster who will and is taking advantage over the weakness in the West , nevertheless , the East of that country does identify with Russia and wants to link with them . Let the people there decide for themselves ; it is none of our business and we should keep our noses out of it .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      We all ready know what Tony Blair and his close circle did. The withholding of information and the large delays in the Chilcot report confirm it. Blair wars were catastrophic (and entirely predictable) disasters. Yet he even now has the temerity to act as a Middle East peace envoy.

      Why were there not more Robin Cook types there?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Passed by 412 to just 149 votes. Why?

  3. Bill
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Accept this completely. The world is changing, Britain is not the great power that it once was, and we need to know where we stand in the great scheme of things. To my mind, one of the great exports we can offer is high quality education – and that does not mean education overlaid with lots of Quality Assurance officers asking academics to fill forms in after every activity. This means medical and scientific research, the glories of English literature, technological innovation and so on. It does not mean drab sociology degrees and the cheaper end of cultural studies.

    I would like to see us with stronger links to Commonwealth countries and democracies and this goes bigger and wider than either the EU or NATO. In other words, we need clear strategic thinking about how our role in the world functions. And that is a bigger and more fundamental matter than the 5 year political programme of one or other political party.

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    “The west ….. does not necessarily have the power to support and create a democratic regime in its place”

    But you assume it would ideally want to ? In historical terms full democracy as we now understand it in the West is a very recent idea and has always been very rare in the world as a whole. There is little historical evidence that it is a better system than several alternative arrangements for countries with no democratic tradition at all – for example in the Middle East or Africa or a host of other countries. There is some evidence from Iraq that imposing it creates even bigger problems than the alternative. Saudi Arabia is a deeply undemocratic country but are we really saying the rulers there should be overthrown and that this would result in the citizens there being happier and more prosperous ?

    Although your views seem largely non-interventionist, in this automatic assumption that one-size-fits-all democracy as we understand it should be promoted throughout the world you are aligned with the most hawkish neo-cons.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Roy,

      You mention Saudi Arabia. I think beheadings are sickening, and I condemn so-called religious zealots in IS who carry them out, as does Mr Cameron, but I see double-standards at play. Have you seen how many beheadings the Saudi state has carried out recently for such things a sorcery?

      I’m inclined to think the people of Saudi Arabia would benefit from a truly democratic government. Plutocracies are not for me.

      Tad

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        In my haste and due to an interruption, I forgot to say that Mr Cameron has been silent on beheadings on the part of the Saudi state. A principle is a principle, and it applies to all, not just to those of convenience.

        Tad

        • zorro
          Posted September 18, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          They are very quiet on the undemocratic nature of these Middle Eastern regimes who happen to be Western allies and customers. This is why the West lacks credibility….. its shocking lack of consistency when beating its chest about human rights.

          I have many doubts about the reality of the ISIS threat and who is financing/leading its way forward. I note that they have still not attacked or threatened Israel yet.

          zorro

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 19, 2014 at 5:25 am | Permalink

          Rarely is this true in politics. A principle is just a piece of rubber to politicians.

          A treaty might magically become not a treaty for example. A promise of an EU referendum, on Inheritance taxes or for no tuition fees might just vaporise once elected.

  5. ian wragg
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    John, talking is all we are capable of after your stupid leader and his shadow destroyed all our military hardware.
    With a G.E in 33 weeks time do you really think that the party that doubled the national debt, destroyed the military and let in 2,500,000 foreigners (the majority illiterate) in 5 years have anything the country wants to listen too.
    I don’t.
    CMD says no ENGLISH (remember them John) Parliament but we can Balkanise the country because that’s what his beloved EU wants.
    Dream on pall, your history.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I agree with many of your arguments Mr Redwood, unfortunately you are not in charge, Mr Cameron and the other members of the quartet are. Non of whom have ever held a proper job, straight from University to political adviser, to MP etc. All hold political degrees but non have an ounce of sense. They may know costs but do not understand the value of anything. During the 4 and a half years your leader has failed miserably on every decision and policy area. He deems his successes 1. Increase in foreign aid and legislate for it to remain at 0.7% of GDP! 2 Increase in mass migration from everywhere which has created more overcrowding, building on the greenbelt, squeeze on all public services. Accepted free movement from a potential 485 million people, many poor from Eastern Europe who are on minimum wages so we subsidise them with £5 billion in tax credits, free public services and housing whilst we have over 4 million on non work related benefits. 560,000 immigrants year on year puts paid to yet another of his “No ifs or buts promise” to control immigration. Talks of a renegotiation with EU but no detail as he hasn’t any chance of re-election or any meaningful renegotiation as his advisers have told Mr Carswell.
      3. Increases in EU aid after claiming a success in reducing budgets but we have to pay more! Just back from Rhodes seeing my increased taxes improving the Acropolis in Lindos and the antiquities in the “Old Town”.
      4. 200 plus increases in taxes, whilst public debt has spiralled out of control.
      The legacy parties are EU puppets as is shown by their desire to split England into regions and not have our own English Parliament. A direct dictat from Brussels.
      Many people out here in the real world are very angry at your leader who needs to start to listen and act on the peoples wishes. Not tell us what we don’t want!

  6. Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    There was a good article in the Telegraph yesterday, (I forget the title) which reminded the reader of Europe’s history regarding religion and religious wars. We were reminded that not so long ago, the rivers of Europe ran red with the blood of religious slaughter.

    It should be absolutely self evident by now that military intervention is ineffective and counter-productive when it comes to any conflict inspired by religion. The only approach is to keep our distance and leave the faithful to slaughter each other without us interfering.

    The terrorism that we now face and the threat from I.S. in the Middle East is a direct result of our interference, interference which has clearly made things worse.

    Bombing somebody because you cannot think of anything else to do is worse than doing nothing; it simply makes new enemies.

    Any military action has to have a defined and achievable goal, with parameters set for judging success or failure at the outset. Reviews have to be built in to ensure that if things are going wrong, the necessary action is taken to either withdraw or change strategy.

    Hard as it may be to accept it, there will always be situations where there is conflict and persecution without any possibility of a successful intervention by the West.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      “It should be absolutely self evident by now that military intervention is ineffective and counter-productive when it comes to any conflict inspired by religion.”

      That depends on whether you are prepared to be ruthless, as well as on whether you have the necessary military forces at your disposal. We don’t hear much from the Cathars these days, and the last Mahdi was seen off by armed force.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      ‘It should be absolutely self evident by now that military intervention is ineffective and counter-productive when it comes to any conflict inspired by religion.’

      Let’s throw oil and a desire for world domination into the mix too Nick.

      Tad

  7. Bob
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    If the EU hadn’t stirred up discontent in the Ukraine we would not now be in a dangerous stand off with Russia, MH17 would quite likely have arrived safely at it’s destination.

    Mr Cameron’s judgement prove to be defective yet again as he chose the wrong side in Syria. He could have allied us with Russia against the IS, and many innocent lives could have been saved.

    The EU have created another mess with a cycle of tit for tat trade sanctions with Russia in attempting what Hitler and Napoleon tried to do, and we should have no part of it. Renegotiation is futile – it’s time to leave.

    ““If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea””

    Winston Churchill

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Bob,

      I think that quote was meant to mean a choice between Europe or the US. Personally, I’d have neither. One bleeds us dry and makes us uncompetitive, the other, with the agreement of our Westminster politicians, leads us into foreign entanglements. I’d rather the UK went back to the commonwealth, and then trade with other countries that have the money to buy our goods.

      Tad

  8. Atlas
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    When it comes to the Middle East we seem to be going from Pillar to Post, with the anti being upped every time. Ruefully, I wonder if overthrowing the Otterman Empire was such a good move? We now have quite a hornet’s nest – with Cameron (if he is still PM tomorrow morning) wishing to poke the nest again with a not-very-big stick.

  9. Mondeo Man
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Never mind intervening in other countries. Our politicians struggle to keep our own country together.

    As well as the Scottish breakaway movement 300,000 of our people turn their backs on Britain too by emigrating. This is, in large part, the result of 30 years of misrule.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    If it’s a “yes” in Scotland today then the government of the continuing UK will have to completely rethink the defence and security of its home base before considering any future expeditionary actions. And while some people both here and abroad would celebrate that final neutralisation of the UK as a global military power I would strongly disagree; despite the occasional political misjudgement and misuse of our military capabilities I believe that on balance we have been and still are a force for good, and I don’t think it would be beneficial for either us or the rest of the world.

    • waramess
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I for one will celebrate if the yes vote stops the UK from viewing itself as one of the worlds policemen.

      Whether a force for good or not there is no mandate for politicians to intervene in the unrest of other countries and they should not do so.

      Their understanding of the middle east for example has been lamentably poor and there is no reason why development, democratic or otherwise, should not be left for each country to find for itself.

      Protecting our own borders and policing our own citizens is proving difficult enough.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        waramess,

        I don’t think we’d have much trouble protecting our own borders, it’s that our fantastic and brave politicians have signed us up to all manner of bilge that precludes it.

        On Denis’ point, that is at the very heart of the matter. The UK COULD be a force for good, but not with the faulty moral compass of the Westminster parties. Blair regards himself as a liberal interventionist, which is all well and good when a truly humanitarian crisis occurs and we tr to stop it, but I have grave doubts about him and his kind, such as ‘the heir to Blair’ Cameron. We’re seeing it yet again in Syria. Parliament says no, so a pretext for intervention is created, then another, then another, until these people eventually get what they set out to achieve, but by another route.

        Tad

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        waramess, we need to get our politicians under control on this just as much as on other matters.

  11. ian
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Democracy at the point of a gun. WE have no democracy in this world. Just like you see in scotland the people told what to vote by the establishment and endless threats, it posed to be free with no interference by another country, i have not seen that. They sit round tables and sign agreements so they have a reason to go to war, you should only go to war when you are attacked not because another tell you to, it not civilized your still back in the stone age selling arms and corrupt intelligence to bring about war.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    You make valid points. Waging war is not even a zero sum option. It is a strongly negative sum option – costing lives, injuries, devastation of civil institutions and culture and immense loss of treasure. The decision to wage war is the most extreme decision any government can make. It is absolutely right that the approval of the House is required before such a step is taken. Unfortunately we have had some trigger happy Prime Ministers in charge in the past twenty years.

    It is also worth pointing out that the UK`s capacity to wage war has been severely depleted over this period. Looking ahead, it will only be further reduced. Unfortunately there remain some in the political establishment who still are all too ready to commit UK forces to conflict and who fail to recognise the diminished capacity of UK armed forces.

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Of course few “yes” voters will believe this, having allowed Salmond and the SNP to pull the wool over their eyes and now sharing the delusion of Scottish grandeur:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11104624/Scottish-referendum-Scotland-will-find-few-friends-and-allies-in-Europe.html

    “Scottish referendum: ‘Scotland will find few friends and allies in Europe'”

  14. Tad Davison
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I could write a book on this, and I’m in daily contact with some of the world’s leading experts in the field.

    I think we need to look carefully at what those values truly are that we would wish others to adopt. They certainly don’t appear to be the ones I was taught to espouse in my formative years – truth, fairness, honesty, justice, equality, and integrity.

    I believe it to be a British value that a person has the right to defend their own home. Were a second party to tell a third party, they had the right to move into the house next door and force out the existing occupants, then those newly installed neighbours kept invading our own property, subjugating us, blockading us, keeping us confined within our property, flagrantly building on our land, shelling us, and even controlling the amount of food we were allowed to survive on, I think most of us would feel pretty fed up with the second and third parties and want retribution. But that inequality and subjugation is precisely what the British government has subscribed us to in places like Gaza by hanging onto the coat tails of that so-called bastion of the free peoples of the world, the good old United States of America.

    We need to break away from the biased domestic media and take a good, long, dispassionate view of western involvement in the many wars and incursions of the modern era to see just how many have been deliberately caused through covert manipulation and coercion. Then we need to get rid of the dangerous self-interested people who continue to this day to stoke up the furnaces of hell (and we only need follow the money trails to sniff them out).

    I see on the BBC’s Daily Politics Show that Australia is permitting the US to station its forces in two new military bases. I wonder what that’s for then? How long before the US takes on China and Russia in their push for world dominance?

    Politicians are there to do our bidding, and not take their thirty pieces of silver to acquiesce or look the other way. I absolutely detest in the most vehement terms, the way a powerful elite have been able to manipulate governments to their own advantage, leaving the hapless people to pick up the pieces thereafter.

    Not for nothing did Dwight D. Eisenhower warn us of the ‘Military Industrial Complex’, and their ultimate goal is not very far away. We in the UK cannot hope to play our part in stopping these people, with the present leadership of the three main political parties. Whilst it might be the case that a British government needs the approval of parliament to go to war, don’t be surprised if the don’t find ever inventive ways to circumvent that process such as in Libya where the leader was deposed under the banner of ‘humanitarianism’. Except that the people we were supposed to be protecting turned out to be heavily-armed and supported by none other than the CIA. Could that have had anything to do with Gaddafi wanting a pan-African currency backed by gold I wonder, a move that would threaten US interests?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    Reply Israel has faced rocket attacks from Gaza

  15. Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    In Iraq, air strikes in favour of the civil power and to protect refugees, and supplying arms, must be the limit of our military action.

    What is the context for diplomacy in northern Iraq? Can the Sunnis be persuaded to support the Iraqi government, or is it already too late? Would it be wise to acquiesce in allowing the Kurds to expand their territory? Does the Shia government want to control the whole of its territory; or is southern Iraq plus a buffer zone north of Bahdad enough for them?

  16. ian wragg
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I think you are correct Dennis. Problem is our troops are expected to fight without sufficient numbers or kit suitable for the terrain. I was a submariner in the cold war and I think nit’s true to say our boats were far superior to the American and French ones.
    With the constant cuts we are left with a rump of a military without the critical mass to do much good.
    Not enough ships, carriers without aircraft. No surveillance capability etc etc.
    We are ruled by pigmies who are also idiots.
    The sooner the mainstream parties are destroyed the better and todays vote is but the start of that process.
    Despite CMD posturing with our cash, he and the 2 henchmen are toast. I think the worm is turning.

  17. agricola
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I do wish you would get your diary site sorted out technically. Having just composed a thoughtful contribution and pressed submit it told me there was an error in the e-mail address. It promptly wiped the lot. Can’t something be devised to allow a correction to an error before destroying a well argued submission.

    • Ted Monbiot
      Posted September 19, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      This has happened to me, but I find if I return to the site area having now added my title and e mail details and press reply, my original post is still there.

  18. agricola
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Diplomacy has failed when innocent hostages are barbarically murdered on TV to make a political point. It happened during the Iran Embassy siege in London. When the terrorists murdered a hostage the scenario changed. Margaret Thatcher handed the task to the military and only one terrorist accidentally survived because he could not be eliminated in front of TV cameras.

    The situation in Iraq/Syria is much the same but on a larger scale. IS are publicly murdering innocent hostages to make a political point. They are now beyond the Pale and have to be dealt with.

    I do not know how Assad compares with Saddam Hussein as a despot, all I know is that he is fighting IS. Russia is supporting him because they understand the danger of IS in their southern provinces.

    We allied with Russia in WW2 when they were an infinitely more evil empire than they are today. The answer to IS if for Russia, the USA and the UK to come to an arrangement whereby we all coordinate our efforts to deal with IS. This would put IS between a rock and a hard place where they could be eliminated.

    We could then get on and diplomatically try to sort out the problems in Ukraine and the aftermath in Iraq and Syria.

  19. Posted September 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    We should talk more and bomb less. I say that as someone who wants us to have strong defences.

    That is what those of us who marched against the 2003 invasion of Iraq were saying. We did not have much support from the Labour Party at the time and even less from the Conservative Party but I think we turned out to be right. We said there were better ways of dealing with Saddam Hussein and we were right again.

    Welcome on board!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree Peter, but we need to bear in mind that Blair and Co. took us into the war on false pretences. They were even prepared to lie to their own parliamentary colleagues to get their way, and Sir Peter Tapsell was absolutely right when he asked recently, when will Blair be tried as a war criminal?

      Of course that won’t happen because the system is so slanted in the crook’s favour. I’d personal like to see the likes of Bush, Chaney, and Rumsfeld tried in the Hague too, but again, it isn’t going to happen for the same reason.

      How then can we hold our own executive to account, when even the evidence given to the inquiry into war is so heavily redacted to be totally meaningless?

      Time perhaps to do away with the leadership all of the three main Westminster parties and have politics take a new direction with a new mechanism. The right of recall might have gone some way towards that, but it is telling that the measure has been put on the back-burner. That is deliberately obstructive and does not fit in with true democracy where the people have the final say.

      Tad

  20. Terry
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    The Ukraine is something else but with regard to the IS problems within Iraq and Syria the fault lies with our own ex-Labour PM Anthony Blair.
    He committed the UK to invade and conquer alongside the Americans without any thought of , “what happens next”? Neither he nor George W Bush had thought out an exit strategy for post operation.
    So one was cobbled together after mass looting was taking place without any policing whatsoever. Government offices and Hospitals were stripped of everything sale-able and/or usable on the black markets of Bagdad, et al. The whole Iraqi infrastructure was disabled, almost overnight by thieving Iraqis in the biggest unchecked crime wave of the century.
    The incumbent, experienced Bath party were ejected in favour of the opposition who were bereft of abilities to take over as Government. They had little idea nor experience to handle the massive undertaking. So it evolved into a civil war between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Suicide bombers galore – eventually morphing into the mess that is now controlled by the extremist IS who appear to be of the Sunni Muslim sect. And all because of Mr Blair and his now proven falsehood, ’45 minutes to mass death and destruction’. And the slaughter goes on but he has no regrets, he says.

    Therefore as a British citizen I want to know why Mr Blair, in his capacity as UN ME envoy, is not in the Middle East, sorting out the dire mess that he was a party to creating in the first place.
    In Century 21 are Western Political leaders no longer to blame for any of their grotesque misuses of power? If so, why so? Nobody should be above the law in a democracy, if that is what we really have here and I have my own grave doubts about that.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      In a word Terry – Money!

      Tad

  21. forthurst
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, taking things at face value is not appropriate or expedient; zorro a few posts ago, wondered how ISIL, or whatever, sprang fully formed from the ‘western’ orchestrated chaos in the ME. As we know, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Sunni governed states, have been financially assisting the very moderate ‘Free Syrian Army’ to overthrow the extremely wicked, ex-good guy, Assad, with assistance from Turkey, all nothing to do with pipelines, obviously. Then, the ‘good’ guys turn nasty; instead of moderately opposing Assad, they hop over the border to overthrow the Shi’ite regime in Iraq as well; nothing new so far; its been happening for some time. But then they decide to promote themselves as the most dangerous and bloodthirsty villains, employing an ‘ad agency’ to achieve this, obviously: they become a ‘state’ instead of being, simply al Nusra front etc; they create promo videos in which a forbidding black-garbed English ‘muslim’ is seen to behead a really nice Englishman or American, or as has been suggested, Israeli, journalist or, even better, aid worker. What is the result? As opposed to a year ago when the British PM failed to gull the English into attacking Syria, now everyone on both sides of the Atlantic is crying out for vengeance and to bomb Syria if not for ‘boots on the ground’. Is the ad agency working for the same people who have actually been attacking Syria? Do turkeys vote for Christmas? When we are being steered towards a course of action, it is the time to ask who by and why now?

    As we know, many producers in Europe are extremely unhappy with the trade embargo which the the US has obliged its politicians to impose on Russia, this despite the peace in East Ukraine brokered by the warmongering gangster, Putin. (All quiet on the MH17 front). Meanwhile the saintly Poroshenko, he whose wealth is entirely derived from extremely legitimate business practices, is feted by NATO and the Americans with offers of weapons and other assistance which he may wish to use to recapture East Ukraine by a resumption of the war he was losing.

    It really is time to ask a simple question: is there a clique with its own agenda, having infiltrated the US State department and the Treasury, driving Europe towards a military confrontation with Russia or at least to destroy Russia as a financially viable state? Is this group also promoting the mayhem in the ME, acting on behalf of another country, with a new action plan to eliminate both Syria and Iran?

    It is time for our politicians to abandon treason for a change, to stop allowing in millions of people we have no room for, and to stop fighting wars on behalf of ‘our friend and ally’ which, in fact, is neither.

    • zorro
      Posted September 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      This interpretation seems pretty reasonable to me looking at how things are playing out…..

      zorro

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Today’s a bit like waiting for the bulletin to be posted up at the Palace announcing either that the King has taken a slight turn for the better or he has died … but worse.

  23. zorro
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Well done John – some really good posts over the last few days. Leading the way on the English question has been really helpful. All you have to do now is get Mr Cameron to say ‘I love England’ and some people might have some hope….. Alas, I fear that will not be the case….

    ‘War is not a good answer. It is what happens when politics and diplomacy fail.’…… Agreed, and as much it hurts me, I am very concerned that the Western powers seem to use the threat of force as a first resort. The arrogance is most distasteful. Our morally dubious interventions have caused the death of too many innocent people by ill timed attacks or covertly supporting barbarians.

    I am glad that you are taking a stand against this barbarism. All power to you!

    zorro

  24. Richard
    Posted September 19, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    We should not get ourselves involved in wars or disputes in foreign lands.

    Our recent involvements in the ME have been disastrous and have only made the situation worse.

    It is not our job to bring democracy and tolerance to the world, in particular to those countries in the ME where these ideas are incompatible with their very strong religious beliefs.

    The people of the ME, and those with the same beliefs from around the world, should be allowed to have the type of government and culture they seek in these ME countries.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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