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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Public thinks foreign policy has been a failure


    by Sunny on 4th August, 2009 at 5:59 pm    

    A survey finds that most Britons feel that the UK’s moral authority has been weakened by its foreign policy over the last decade, according to PoliticsHome.

    In a survey of 1,248 UK adults, weighted to reflect the political balance of the country’s population, 65% said that they thought the UK’s foreign policy over the last ten years had weakened its moral authority on the international stage.

    The survey results also suggest that most of the public would like to see the UK reduce its overseas defence and security commitments, even if that means relinquishing global influence. 54% of people said that the UK should ‘reduce its capability and willingness to commit armed forces to international military operations’, even if it meant not being a major international power.

    You don’t think it may have anything to do with our complicity in torture abroad, or invading countries illegally without finding those fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction? Just a thought…

    Actually the problem has been much worse. Numerous human rights organisations have said that everyone from Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and South Africa have justified internal repression by saying that if the US and UK can ignore United Nations conventions then so can they.

    Thanks to the Iraq war this Labour government will leave power even more discredited in foreign policy than in the past. Well done Tony Blair.



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    85 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Ed Gerstner — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

      I reckon its more optics than morality.

      I don’t think torture plays on many people minds. Wilful and illegal invasion of a country on the basis of a lie, certainly.

      But I suspect the biggest factor is the subservience of British foreign policy to US foreign policy. And the obsequiousness of Tony Blair, who’s obviously a clever chap, to George Bush, who’s obviously a moron.

    2. Shatterface — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:20 pm  

      Bang on the money, Sunny. We’ve discredited ourselves for generations while legitimating human rights abuses abroad. It’s not just our foreign policies though: the National Database will become a template for surveillance in China, North Korea, Iran, etc. and we won’t have a leg to stand on if we protest.

    3. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:28 pm  

      FYI - the US did not ignore UN resolutions, in fact it abided by them when the UN refused to do so. Look it up. Whether or not one supports the war in Iraq should not detract from the facts. Please Sunny, make a bit more effort, these last two posts have been really weak.

    4. Shamit — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:30 pm  

      Sunny -

      What about the third question?

      And soemhow the answers to the third question contradict the second question - wouldn’t you say?

      The third question asks
      Do you support or oppose the principle of humanitarian intervention?

      57% support it - and 16 % strongly supports it.

      So how do you intervene — with words or with an actual force.

      And you may bash Tony Blair as much as you want — but he got it right more than he got it wrong == and the concept of Humanitarian Intervention that he actually proposed has now been backed even by the UN Secretary General and the freaking Pope.
      Scary isn’t it —

      And one of the reasons Cameron is going to get elected is because he reflects a lot of Blair centrism and not ideological dogmas.

    5. MaidMarian — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:53 pm  

      ‘Numerous human rights organisations have said that everyone from Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and South Africa have justified internal repression by saying that if the US and UK can ignore United Nations conventions then so can they.’

      I thought that you didn’t like whattaboutery Sunny and treated it with the contempt it deserves?

      Look Sunny, the problem you have here is that moral authority is cobblers and is totally overrated. President Medvedev and his boss have a warlike foreign policy that runs roughshod over the UN, but you are curiously silent on Russia, and the talkboards are full of autocrat worship.

      Ethical foreign policy was guff designed to pander. The idea that anyone was ever going to say, ‘you know what, all those evil white people are acting in a moral way, we’d better clean up our act,’ is fanciful.

      Indeed Sunny, I can well remember as a politics student in the 1990s hostile comments about Bill Clinton’s candidacy in 1996 over his weakness on Iraq.

      Some countries will always pull the moral equivalence card - you are coming across here as their useful idiot. Well done Sunny Hundal.

    6. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:00 pm  

      maidmarian

      you put it far better than i could

      here! here!

    7. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:01 pm  

      or is it hear! hear! ? I can never remember!

    8. London Muslim — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:02 pm  

      The real shame is how the Labour movement, trade unions, members of the party etc allowed Labour Party policy to be dictated by the shadowy Labour Freinds of Israel, Lord Levy and all that jazz.

      Looking forward to Sir John Chillcott getting to grips with LFI in his Inquiry - Not

    9. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:05 pm  

      ah yes, its all a Jewish controlled plot, thanks for reminding us all London Muslim - what would we ever do without paranoid antisemites like you?

    10. marvin — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:17 pm  

      “invading countries illegally” what law, exactly, was broken? Ye shalt not just topple foreign dicators, pacifist 101?

    11. London Muslim — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:17 pm  

      what would we ever do with paranoid Islamophobic parasites like you 9 that courageously hide behind a Muslim name and type your drivel on behalf of murdering occupiers that ironically having suffered the gassing by Nazi’s seem rather partial themselves, according to the UN, in using phosphorus gas on innocent palestinians which presumably you have no problem with?

      Sorry I cant pursue the excahnge have a flight to catch but you and your fellow mossad murderers no where to find me

    12. marvin — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

      76% of Iraqis said yet to “Do you think the decision to remove Saddam in 2003 was the right choice?”. War mongers.

      The fear amongst dictators peaked, Syria pulled out of South Lebanon, there were massive pro-democracy protests, Gadaffi gave up his quest for weapons of mass destruction, 8 million Iraqis voted, Saddam paid for his GENOCIDE of 200,000 Kurds, sanctions were lifted, Iraqis won the football, conditions at prisons such Abu Grahib prison have improved markedly (for example on one day 600 prisoners were summarily executed)…

      …… None of this is ever mentioned by the ‘antiwar’ crowd. Ever.

      In short the millions of Iraqis in Iraq have hope. A hope that would be utterly denied by the ‘liberals’ of the Guardian and the right-wing isolationists, your allies at the BNP and the Daily Mail….

    13. Naadir Jeewa — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:32 pm  

      @11 :

      Piss off.

      That’s all.

    14. MaidMarian — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:37 pm  

      Marvin (12) - ‘None of this is ever mentioned by the ‘antiwar’ crowd. Ever.’ You make the mistake of assuming that the left’s links to the anti-war movement were from a belief in helping the citizens of Iraq.

      Crikey, once the left got involved the movement morphed from Stop the War to Stop the War/Freedom For Palestine. Why support one cause when you can support 20?

      StW/FFP was first and foremost about the disaffected left waving its genetals at New Labour. That they were standing next to the BNP and suicide bombers at the time was of little to no concern.

      Hence they can not frame arguments, even today, in terms of self-determination and sovereignty and the like. The StW/FFP case in 2009 is all about ‘government failure.’ It is all about UK domestic politics.

    15. Shatterface — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:39 pm  

      We got rid of munir and London Muslim takes his place.

      I’m sure that’s a metaphor for something.

    16. Shatterface — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:46 pm  

      ‘That they were standing next to the BNP and suicide bombers at the time was of little to no concern.’

      Also side by side with the Quakers, who, since they accepted gay marriage, have put themselves way to the Left of a State which barely tollerates civil partnerships.

      (Just thought I’d mention that as I’m usually the first to denounce religion. Sometimes religious people really are on the side of the angels)

    17. Shamit — on 4th August, 2009 at 8:21 pm  

      Come on who cares about the wishes of the Iraqis? We have to bash Blair.

      Actually, something was achieved by Blair — oh no. never. Blair as a politician and as a decisive leader would trump most people.

      Funny, the Left is all for human rights except for those in Afghanistan or Iraq — Not in my name. But funny, if Iraq and Afghanistan has high voter turn out it would be because of the Messiah.

      I am sure Clinton had an ear piece otherwise his racist not strategic enough brain would not have been able to speak to Kim.

      Oh — yeah — Clinton left office with 68% approval rating — the racist bastard.

      Come on guys — you are being too nice — you have to attack Blair - who cares if he delivered 3 victories - one after Iraq where he delivered more majority than Thatcher ever did. No Brown actually did that.

    18. Edna Welthorpe — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:03 pm  

      Everyone with eyes, ears and a brain could see Grinning Tony was an unprincipled charlatan but the defeat-weary Labourites wet themselves with glee at having a Leader who could get them into power at long bloody last.

      Shamit - Blair and One-eyed McBroon deserve to be burned at the stake.

      Better idea - throw them to the jihadists in Belmarsh or H.M. Wherever-it-is in Cambridgeshire. Put the carnage on YouTube.

    19. marvin — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:18 pm  

      I think Tony is one of the very few politicians with heart felt convictions and principles.

      When I look at the people that hate him, I generally like him even more.

    20. marvin — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:20 pm  

      Shamit: ‘e talks sense.

    21. Sunny — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:24 pm  

      Shamit - It’s easy to deliver three victories when (1) the public doesn’t care about foreign policy and (2) when your opposition is so shit.

      Some countries will always pull the moral equivalence card – you are coming across here as their useful idiot. Well done Sunny Hundal.

      I’m just pointing out fact - whether you like it or not. There may be some countries who always do this, but there are other countries who will start abusing human rights because they feel the criticism won’t come. Sri Lanka’s abuse of Tamils is a very good example.

    22. Shamit — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:58 pm  

      All those who think Blair was crap — on the following occasions what should Britain have done

      1 - Kosovo/Serbia

      2- Sierra Leone

      3- On the G8 committing to more than double the international development aid to developing nations -

      4 - Supporting US after 9/11

      5- Building a consensus around the globe that terrorism in all its form needs to be stopped.

      I would really like o know what would have served Britain’s interest best? Run away and hide and act like the Spanish Zapterro government or be like Blair - I choose the later and am glad he was PM.

    23. MaidMarian — on 4th August, 2009 at 10:20 pm  

      Sunny (21) - Christ you are having one of your off days.

      ‘It’s easy to deliver three victories when (1) the public doesn’t care about foreign policy and (2) when your opposition is so shit.’

      How is it going for your Greens then - nice and easy? If the public doesn’t care for foreign policy, why write about this survey and form an article from it? Do you not hold out the possibility that the public does care about foreign policy, just it draws different conclusion to those you draw.

      ‘There may be some countries who always do this, but there are other countries who will start abusing human rights because they feel the criticism won’t come.’

      That does not mean that you should be indulging them in the name of willy-waving at Blair. Does it not strike you as odd that you instinctively see this as a reason to criticise Blair and not these countries? This is like the worst sort of moral equivalence. Tell me that you can see the difference between Blair, elected leader of a democratic country accountable to parliament and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

    24. anobody — on 4th August, 2009 at 10:21 pm  

      I judge all prime ministers/presidents of all nations, who like to go on foreign expeditions, on the effort they put into the illegal occupation of Palestine. He has failed. If he had an ounce of moral fibre he would have put this as a priority. All that bollocks about Humanitarian Intervention.

      It will be written in the annals of history how he lied to his people to take them into war.

    25. MaidMarian — on 4th August, 2009 at 10:28 pm  

      Apologies, forgot - Come on Sunny, what about Mother Russia? What say you?

    26. Adnan — on 4th August, 2009 at 10:29 pm  

      “I would really like o know what would have served Britain’s interest best?”

      Perhaps it would’ve served our interests better to concentrate resources in Afghanistan ?

    27. Arif — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:08 am  

      For me, the problem is not that the words “ethical foreign policy” were said, but that they were never defined. So any intervention or non-intervention anywhere can be cast as being “ethical” - and contradictory principles invoked in each case.

      If Tony Blair, rather than making grandiose speeches about humanitarian intervention, laid out some criteria for a legal intervention and criteria for evaluation of a situation as justifying intervention, that would still not be enough. Intervention could still broadly be justified for most countries - why not China? Saudi Arabia?

      What we also need are clear justifications for non-intervention to go along with the justifications for interventions, only then might I believe it could be morally based, rather than selected for other reasons of convenience etc.

      Even if they were selected for convenience, I did believe that moral concerns were somewhere in the mix of motives. However, the obvious lack of concern for what came after intervention both in Iraq and Afghanistan instead makes it very hard for me to believe it was motivated by any desire (among the political planners) for the welfare of the people there.

    28. damon — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:14 am  

      I don’t know anyone in real life who really gives a toss about foriegn policy, other than as a talking point about something they read in the Daily Mail or some other crap newspaper.
      I know that lots of people listen to the Today programme, and follow Newsnight reports, like from (the excellent) Mark Urban, and it’s a pitty I don’t know too many of them in real life.

      But I’d immagine there’s enough Brits, who when given the choice about whether they wanted to still have forces that did stuff that few other EU countries could do, and make a difference in ways that the Spanish and Germans dont, would say that they still wanted strong armed forces.
      It helps propogate the national myth about us always being the good guys.
      And those public scenes of the coffins returning from Afghanistan through that small Wiltshire town, are part of the macabre death toll that we seem willing to pay to maintain this feeling.

    29. Sunny — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:31 am  

      If the public doesn’t care for foreign policy, why write about this survey and form an article from it? Do you not hold out the possibility that the public does care about foreign policy, just it draws different conclusion to those you draw.

      Hi MM - my opinions are broadly in line with the public on foreign policy. I meant that foreign policy does not feature highly on the list of concerns when people vote. We knew this in 2005. If you have facts to prove otherwise, I’d be glad to see it.

      Does it not strike you as odd that you instinctively see this as a reason to criticise Blair and not these countries? This is like the worst sort of moral equivalence.

      I’m sorry but does the phrase ‘people in glass houses…’ not occur to you? Do you not think those countries use that argument? Do you think when the foreign secretary tells some country not to invade another without UN approval - they won’t turn around and laugh?

    30. Sunny — on 5th August, 2009 at 3:22 am  

      Good points Arif…

    31. Edna Welthorpe — on 5th August, 2009 at 4:10 am  

      Intervene in Sierra Leone?

      Why?

      Seizing the diamond fields would make sense and would recall the early days of European discovery and exploration.

      However, preventing the citizenry of Sierra Leone hacking one another’s limbs off - which is a practice they obviously greatly enjoy - is a grave impertinence and a waste of British taxpayers’ money.

    32. Edna Welthorpe — on 5th August, 2009 at 4:31 am  

      Damon is, as usual, right.

      About 5% to 10% of the people know or care about foreign policy. Ten percent is probably an overestimate.

      As for British - NATO - EU intervention in Macedonia - Albania - Bosnia - Serbia - Kosova* one can say that the Muslims - and their temporary and fickle Croatian allies - won the propaganda wars and the Serbs threw all their advantages away.

      The result is a mess: at present, shabby troika-ruled Bosnia sort-of holds together but the Srpska Republic is, to all intents and purposes, a totally independent entity and a semi-satellite of Serbia.

      Kosova is an independent country but a ward of the international community, a drain on the energies and the funds of others. Christian churches are dynamited and graveyards are erased by bulldozers. Decani Monastery is guarded by foreign soldiers, just as it needed to be guarded by Ottoman troops a century ago.

      Albania is a wretched mess and an aid sponge. The Turks seem to enjoy being a generous uncle to the Albanians at present, but Turkey already has the duty of supporting Turkish Cyprus. The Americans, for reasons not readily obvious, insisted that Albania be admitted into NATO. Does Albania REALLY need to be rearmed to NATO standard?

      Macedonia is still in a snap-snarl contest with Greece about the Macedonians’ meaningless posturing over ancient names and symbols.

      Serbia is mending but still poorer and shabbier than the Serbs’ energies and talents warrant.

      * PP readers know the spelling difference, of course:
      Type Kosova and you are pro-Albanian. Type Kosovo and you are either pro-Serb or too dumb to know the difference.
      The late Robin Cook invariably referred to Kosova, but this may well have been total innocent - ignorance on his part.

    33. Edna Welthorpe — on 5th August, 2009 at 5:28 am  

      The first Cabinet meeting of independent Macedonia:

      Chairman: “All right. We’re all here now, so we’ll begin. Tell me, of all our neighbours, which is the richest, the one with the best communications and the one most likely to prove useful to us?”

      Cabinet members [in unison]: “Greece!”

      Chairman: “Right, so let’s spend the rest of the day thinking up ways we can infuriate and enrage the Greeks!”

      And the rest is, as they say, history …

    34. hasan — on 5th August, 2009 at 9:58 am  

      marvin

      76% of Iraqis said yet to “Do you think the decision to remove Saddam in 2003 was the right choice?”. War mongers.

      The fear amongst dictators peaked, Syria pulled out of South Lebanon, there were massive pro-democracy protests, Gadaffi gave up his quest for weapons of mass destruction, 8 million Iraqis voted, Saddam paid for his GENOCIDE of 200,000 Kurds, sanctions were lifted, Iraqis won the football, conditions at prisons such Abu Grahib prison have improved markedly (for example on one day 600 prisoners were summarily executed)…

      Your concern for the people of the Middle East’s /Muslims political aspirations is deeply moving Marvin. The Iraqi invasion was of course all about giviing freedom to the Iraqis and nothing else. The US risked 1/4 million of its troops (remeber they said Saddam had WMDs) for this reason only. Anyone who says it was about oil, stopping the main threat to Israel or Bush’s re-election/family fued is an appeaser, an islamofacist anti-semite or a realist. This goes for anyone who opposes the US controlling the world.

      You are aware that the vast majority oppose US intervention in the region, including propping up corrupt dictators (as they did with Saddam) and oppose Israels illegals occupation of Palestinian/ Arab land. The US/UK has no problem with dictaors who opress their people per se (as Gaddafis case shows); only when they disobey or dont support US interests.

      Why dont we listen to the people on these issues then? Or could it be you just use stats when they are favourable to your zionist arguments?

    35. Lord Binky — on 5th August, 2009 at 10:30 am  

      # 34 - Hasan

      That Alan Greenspan said out loud that the invasion of Iraq was about oil.

      Those interested - the Barrack-room Lawyers - can track down Chapter and Verse no doubt.

      Galloway is actually a real human and not a cunningly-made Android like Bliar.

      On his PressTV programme, Galloway spoke of former soldiers sleeping in shop doorways and in prison and in mental hospitals. Bliar and McBroon will never ever think of saying such a thing aloud.

    36. The Common Humanist — on 5th August, 2009 at 10:47 am  

      Hasan

      “I feel the same way about George Galloway”

      Oh please. Galloway is a traitor and an embarrassment to the Left. There isn’t a dictator he hasn’t sucked up to and he gives not a fuck about ordinary muslims around the world.

    37. The Common Humanist — on 5th August, 2009 at 10:49 am  

      Lord Blinky

      “On his PressTV programme, Galloway spoke of former soldiers sleeping in shop doorways and in prison and in mental hospitals”

      Makes a change from advocating their murder abroad.

      He is a paid tool of Tehran and an enemy of common folk everywhere.

    38. hasan — on 5th August, 2009 at 11:04 am  

      The Common Humanist

      There isn’t a dictator he hasn’t sucked up to and he gives not a fuck about ordinary muslims around the world.

      Since you are claiming George Galloway isnt a friend of the Muslims and doesnt care about them I’d be fascinated to hear a list of people you do believe are freinds of the Muslims. Well?

    39. The Common Humanist — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:06 pm  

      Are posts disappearing?

      I thought Hasan had asked me to identify people who were actual friends of Muslims rather then dictator lovers like galloway?

      Friends of Muslims:
      Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, the chap who won the Nobel peace prize for micro loans, Dr Sayyid al-Qimni is a remarkable Egyptian political theorist who started off as a pan-Arabist and Nasserite, and ended up an Egyptian liberal, and in their own imperfect ways, George Bush and Tony Blair.

      Sorry, have met too many victims of Saddam Hussein in exile in Yorkshire to share the fake ‘peace’ or ‘antiwar’ sentiments so terribly fashionable amongst my fellow lefties. Humans are violent and cruel far too often. Sometimes the only answer is further violence. These are our major flaws as a species. Possibly one day we will evolve a little more and leave war and violence behind but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. A Councillor and veteran of WW2 and Korea once said to me - ‘this Iraq invasion will be a bloody mess but it will get rid of the Baath and SH with half a million US and NATO troops* preventing a general Iraqi civil war using the large amount of heavy weapons in the country and without Iranian or Syrian state level intervention’.

      The debacle in Iraq, awful and painful though it has been for all concerned, was alot less then a three sided civil war with Iran and Syria involved. What price Saudi Intervention then? And how would this impact on the civilians in the region? On oil supplies? Etc etc etc etc.

      *This was before we learnt what foolish plans and force levels the US had in mind but the point still stands.

    40. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

      TCH:

      Hasan is Munir.

    41. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      British foreign policy has been confused, especially since the end of empire, and Suez. How does a middle ranking power like the UK determine and design its foreign policy? As an ally of the USA?

      Foreign intervention on the back of the USA seemed sexy with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, and seems so, and gives the illusion of being a “great power” in the center stage. In addition the nostalgia for empire has not really waned in significant sections of British society, as Salman Rushdies noted in the early 1980’s as a left leaning writer; “Outside of the Whale”

      “In Germany, after the fall of Hitler, heroic attempts were made by many people to purify German thought and the German language of the pollution of Nazism … But British thought, British society has never been cleansed of the filth of imperialism. It’s still there, breeding lice and vermin, waiting for unscrupulous people to exploit it for their own ends.”

      Salman Rushdie “The New empire within Britain”(1982)

    42. Golam Murtaza — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

      Micro loans chap = ‘Muhammad Yunus’!

      (Sorry, just banging the drum for a fellow Bengali there. We don’t get Nobel prize winners very often).

    43. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

      testing

    44. Shamit — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

      Golam -

      yeah…I think we got only 3 in total - am I correct?

    45. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:01 pm  

      Since the end of empire and Suez, Britain’s foreign policy has been confused, as to where the post -empire middle ranking power stands.

      With the sudden demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, it seemed “sexy” to Washington, and its close ally London that intervention would become the new game, to enforce their foreign policy. However within this drive, we should not underestimate the power of Israel, and the considerable influence the Israeli lobby plays in the foreign policy of both the USA, and the UK.

      As to the issue of empire, and the desire of some in the UK to create a neo-colonial situation we can read Salman Rushdie’s excellent articles from the early 1980’s as a guidance, why foreign adventurism in foreign countries is still popular with sections of the policy establishment in the UK, and why the UK is in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      “In Germany, after the fall of Hitler, heroic attempts were made by many people to purify German thought and the German language of the pollution of Nazism … But British thought, British society has never been cleansed of the filth of imperialism. It’s still there, breeding lice and vermin, waiting for unscrupulous people to exploit it for their own ends.”

      Salman Rushdie “Outside the Whale”

      Salman Rushdie “The New empire within Britain”(1982)

    46. Lord Binky — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

      Galloway is the one and only British MP who has ever mentioned homeless ex-servicemen, mentally ill ex-servicemen and imprisoned ex-servicemen in MY hearing.

      He isn’t everyone’s cuppa chai, but the Commons ought to have twenty more REAL outspoken independents - Left, Right, Green and the lot !

    47. Golam Murtaza — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

      @ Shamit. Yes, just Amartya Sen and Tagore are the others, as far as I know.

    48. MaidMarian — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:44 pm  

      Edna Welthorpe (33) - Edna, is there any hope at all of you writing on here about a subject on which you actually know something.

      In the early 1990s, Greece was to all intents and purposes a renegade state. The Greek Foreign Minister, Antonis Samaras openly supported Slobodan Milosevic and actively plotted with him to take over a large part of the Republic of Macedonia. This is a matter of record.

      Samaras is also on the record as being pleased that in 1991 Milosevic did not withdraw the 5th Division of the JNA from Skopje, thus holding Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov a prisoner. Indeed, the only reason he withdrew the JNA was to fight in Croatia. But I suppose that the independence referendum and election on presidents don’t really mean that much to you do they?

      You only care for self-determination as something to rant about the EU over. Vile, expansionist jingoism (as is at epidemic levels in Greece) is something that, to your mind is a sign of agression and virility far more important than independence or democracy. At least when it suits you.

      Regardless, as Greece carried on apace, providing NATO information to Milosevic whilst the Macedonians changed the design of their flag and amended their constitution to mollify Greece. The RoM government may be imperfect (to put it mildly) but they are acting entirely within European and global precedent. Greece has spent 20 years as a rogue state.

      Indeed Edna, it is interesting to note that you seem to have a real bee in your bonnet about religiously based Islamic threats, yet when the glorious orthodox brotherhood get all hostile you start cheering. Anyone would get the impression that you don’t actually think things through before you write them.

    49. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:50 pm  

      Bangladesh has 1 noble Prize winner.

      West Bengal has probably closer to 6, beyond the well publicized 2.

      West Bengalis are very strong in the Indian academia arena.

    50. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:52 pm  

      In 1996, extreme right wing Israeli Likud policy makers wrote a policy paper for Benjamin Netanjahu, titled a “Clean Break”…..they essentially argued that Israel should not seek peace and co-existence with the Palestinians, as that would spell the end of Israel, with the demographics of the Palestinians viz Israelis..and other issues, and that Israel should have an aggressive military policy around her against Saddam’s Iraq, Syria, Lebanon…and so forth. That such an Israeli policy should be carried out through the might of the USA.

    51. Shamit — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:06 pm  

      Mostaque -

      “West Bengal has probably closer to 6, beyond the well publicized 2.”

      I was not aware of this at all - do you know their names.

    52. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

      Sorry India overall has 6, NOT just West Bengal:

      1. Amartya Sen, Economics, 1998
      2. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar*, Physics, 1983
      3. Har Gobind Khorana*, Medicine, 1968
      4. C. V. Raman, Physics, 1930
      5. Rabindranath Tagore, Literature, 1913
      6. Ronald Ross*, Physiology or Medicine, 1902

    53. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

      Four years later these same Israelis, together their American ideological friends (American Israeli firsters) wrote a new policy paper, this time at least on the surface promoting an aggressive American foreign policy, under the title, “The Project for a New American Century” 2000, and most of the signatories became important key officials in the Bush II administration around Dick Cheney,VP, and Donald Rumsfeld at the PENTAGON. Coincidentally one year later 9/11 took place (as in very coincidentally). The PNAC document is essentially an Israeli military blue print to smash Israel’s rivals in the region, packaged as a bold patriotic post Cold war American policy initiative.

    54. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

      Standard stuff……..

      Where does the UK policy lie in all this? In relation to Iraq, there was/is no noticeable benefit for Britain diplomatically accept for the privilege of looking like Bush’s poodle. Economically most of the economic cake has been swallowed up by USA firms in Iraq…British firms never got a lookin in that front.

      Bush even told Blair that he didn’t have to go into Iraq with the USA, in early 2003 in their meeting in January. The strong Israeli component of British foreign policy however, scotched the chance of some common sense foreign policy.

      Consequently the UK, and Iraq will be left with the legacy of torture, death and destruction, and the ire of Iraqis…….and not much else.

      As to those who keep talking about Iraq being about oil, that is a red herring…….as stated by Alan Greenspan, and Paul Wolfovitz…both Jewish gentlemen with close, very close to Israel…….the Iraq invasion was always about fulfilling Israel’s desire, and using dumb Americans, and UK to do the grunt work.

    55. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:36 pm  

      Israel/Iraq links for those searching for answers:

      “http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_isrorgs.htm”>The Israeli Origins of Bush II’s War

      “http://www.mediamonitors.net/mshahidalam1.html”>Israel’s Proxy War?

      “http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/3696″>Yes, The War is For Oil - and the Oil is For Israel

      “http://thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=3812″>Voice of the White House: Oil From Iraq To Israel

      “http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2003041101241500.htm&date=2003/04/11/&prd=th&”> Israel Eyes Iraqi Pipeline Project

      “http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/249″>Israeli Pipedreams

      “http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/iraqwar.shtml”>Iraq: A War For Israel

      “http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts04232008.html”>The Agenda Behind the Hoax: What the Iraq War is About

    56. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

      So lets not leave out Pakistan for the Noble Prize:

      Abdus Salam, Physics, 1979.

      I believe he is from the Ahmediya community.

      “Salam holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani and Muslim Nobel Laureate. Professor Sir Abdus Salam is considered to have been one of Pakistan’s most influential scientists.”

    57. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

      More links about Israel/Iraq:

      “http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/309″>Hindsight is 20/20 - How Israel Duped U.S. Into Fighting Their Wars

      “http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery04102003.html”>The Night After

      “http://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2004/0402osp.php”>Office of Special Plans

      “http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18674.htm”>Zion-power and War: From Iraq to Iran

      “http://palestinechronicle.com/story-112907171902.htm”>James Petras: US Military versus Israel Firsters

      “http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_oilwar.htm”>Not Oil But Israel

      “http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=8764″>Cloak and Swagger: The Larry Franklin Spy Case

      “http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,999737,00.html”>The Spies Who Pushed For War

    58. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

      More about Israel/Iraq:

      “http://www.viewzone.com/dualcitizen.html”>Dual Citizenship: Loyal To Whom?

      “http://www.dawn.com/2004/08/29/top16.htm”>US Gave Classified Iraq Information to Israel

      “http://www.juancole.com/2004/08/pentagonisrael-spying-case-expands.html”>Israeli Spying Case Expands: Fomenting War With Iran

      “http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0807-02.htm”>Pentagon Office Home to Neocon Network

      “http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,777100,00.html”>Zionist Thinktanks Give Lessons in US Foreign Policy

      “http://www.serendipity.li/zionism/campbell/11720.htm”>The Secret Relationship Between Israel and Oil

      “http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/01/12_405.html”>The Lie Factory

      “http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=639″>The Zionists Who Dominate the White House

      “http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2007/09/democratic-rep-accused-aipac-of-having.html”>Democrat Says AIPAC Pushed Iraq War

      “http://www.antiwar.com/cole/?articleid=3467″>AIPAC’s Overt and Covert Ops

      “http://adereview.com/blog/?p=42″>It’s Not About Oil Stupid, But Flattening Arab Countries

      “http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0329-11.htm”>Zelikow: Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel

      “http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/7170″>Israel Is Pushing The U.S. To Attack Iran

      “http://www.counterpunch.org/nimmo03102003.html”>Richard Perle, Ex-Patriot?

      “http://www.wrmea.com/archives/april03/0304014.html”>The Pentagon’s Dynamic Duo: Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz

      “http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2006/08/03/mideast/”>Iran: The Neocons’ Next War

      “http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/crimes_of_wolfowitz.html”>Real Crimes of Wolfowitz Ignored

    59. fugstar — on 5th August, 2009 at 3:20 pm  

      of course uk colonial present should upset voters, but not for the sake of foreign jihads the army cant ‘Morally’ fight, but for its actual sake.

      Our journey to the global periphery isnt just about the government’s warrior impulse thought. Its economic, creative and industrial. The public need to realise this and somehow tone down the ferocious indignant posturing of state propaganda.

      There should be no feeding of the monster, its not sustainable. Its even sadder when browns buy the hype.

      Attainment of justice around the world is independant of british meddling. A fundamental truth that anybody interested in social change should get their heads around.

    60. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

      The lessons of Iraq for the UK:

      1. The Labor Party likes military adventurism….even when no clear advantages are foreseeable for the UK. Though the idea is that by participating in Iraq Britain can exert some influence over Washington. This was never the case of course………..the Israelis did through the USA, what they wanted to do, which was smash Iraq, and dismember the country.

      2. The Labor government falsified facts to enter/initiate the war, and participated in a war which by International law standards was illegal.

      3. 1.3 million Iraqis have been slaughtered/murdered in the course of the “Liberation”, and the UK willingly participated in that slaughter through ” The El Salvador Option” type covert ops of destabilization, between various ethnic groups.

      4. The participation in the illegal war has harmed Britain’s reputation, but the Labor government does not have the will power or the common sense to make logical appraisal of the real situation in Iraq, and is sticking to its guns…….stupidly.

    61. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 4:23 pm  

      As to Afghanistan very much the same forces which brought you Iraq, brought us Afghanistan.

      ISRAEL.

      1. The need to surround Iran.

      2. To get closer to the Pakistan nukes, an Israeli objective since the 1970’s, traditionally articulated through the USA and India.

      3. To control the Afghan Opium/Heroin trade worth $40-70 billion, annually.

      The Taliban, and al-Qaeda are creations of Western Intelligence and in the case of the al-Qaeda, they simply don’t exist in reality. So you could be looking for Bin Laden for 100 years.

      From the British perspective, and elite interests based around London, the Afghan Opium seems to be the key factor for staying in Afghanistan, and low and behold the British forces have bravely volunteered to patrol the areas with the greatest amount of Heroin growing activity in Afghanistan……..

      Somewhere loosely in the recesses of British foreign policy, the idea of Imperial dreams being rekindled may also be an additional appealing factor, where wogs are being indiscriminately killed with advanced weaponry, may be titillating for sections of the deceiving makers.

    62. Mostaque Ali — on 5th August, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      Afghan Heroin is the main reason the British forces are in Afghanistan:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5514

      http://spoonfeedin.blogspot.com/2008/06/opium-financed-british-rule-in-india.html

      http://judicial-inc.biz/Dying_for_afghan_opium.htm

      http://judicial-inc.biz/taliban_and_zionist_opium.htm

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3294

      Once you’ve got over the idea that drugs is a business run by Delroy Brown out of Dalston, or Pepe Garcia from Colombia, then you can begin to understand who really runs the business, and the role “The City” has played in this vast business over 2 centuries…………then you can begin to comprehend true British policy in Afghanistan….which for most Brits from a common sense angle does not make sense….more so the unconvincing way the Labor government tries to spin this illegal occupation and war.

    63. Naadir Jeewa — on 5th August, 2009 at 6:00 pm  

      @62. You can piss off an’ all.

      It’s not just the antisemitism that’s making me jumpy, but the fact that every blooming time I tell a new person I study political science, within 10 minutes they start to lecture me on how 9/11 was all some conspiracy. I wait just wondering when the J-word will be dropped.

      FFFFFFUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFF

      Sorry.

    64. Don — on 5th August, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      Glanced at one of those interminable links from Mostaque.

      http://judicial-inc.biz/taliban_and_zionist_opium.htm

      I assume the others are of the same quality? Then I won’t waste my time on them.

    65. Naadir Jeewa — on 5th August, 2009 at 6:18 pm  

      @64 No, really, you shouldn’t. You’ll risk an embolism.

    66. Mostaque — on 6th August, 2009 at 3:31 am  

      Don, greetings, agreed that Judicial-inc.org is tabloidish, but its a good laugh…..its got pictures, some of them quite amusing. Why should war, mass murder, sleazy politics, Heroin trafficking by state organisations, invasion of other peoples countries be ALL serious.

      To pick Judicial-inc as the example of the standard of ALL the sources I have just quoted is unbalanced…..sources/article from the Guardian, Counterpunch are also quoted.

      On a loose chatty debating medium as PP…blog website, how serious must all our sources be, for us to give a particular perspective on a very topical issue……I mean Don, when you are with a friend how often do you quote from Enc Britannica……..gossip, conversation, ideas….the basis of the evolution of civilisation according to some research (would you like the exact source of that particular research paper)would be very STALE if we kept having to reference ALL our points of view and ideas…..

      We all have a perspective, and we give them in an open medium such as PP, until the government further legislates against this.

      Are you a Gatekeeper Don working in the basement of Thorny Lane, telling people what are and what are not acceptable points of view and opinion? Must be tough after watching the British media, reading the British media, that there could concievably be alternative perspectives to what exists in the country———-it must be shocking to think that others may have different perspective.

    67. Mostaque — on 6th August, 2009 at 4:02 am  

      @63,65….You pretentious little Gunga Din snivelling undergrad prick, why not say that to my face?

      Little you little acha bacha….

      The world is diverse, with diverse people, with diverse opinions…….once you get out of the Zionist bubble of London, you will begin to see the different shades of the world…………that as an undergrad snivelling bhen chaud you will learn to appreciate the diverse opinions of the world.

      That you should learn not to be arrogant and condescending towards opinions which do not match the “Bush & Blair” doctrine amd official narrative.

      I have adopted the like mode of 63, 65………I am aware that MOSSAD,MI-5…and others have large groups of hired cyber groups who act as spoilers on issues which they feel are sensitive, and require framing and controlling according to their dictates and versions. Most of us informed of this are aware that the purpose of the “spoilers’ is not to debate, but misdirect from the real issues into meaningless verbal spats, which of course is a waste of time.

      Where after all is the value of somebody saying “fuck-off”……”this is conspiracy theory”….and so on….someone who purports to be educated, attending SOAS; educating themselves at an excellent institution in the heart of London, which no doubt encourages doubt and a questioning mind.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K5M0xtxQVQ

      Bush II, “LET NO ONE QUESTION 9/11″…….. All rightie.

    68. The Common Humanist — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:06 am  

      9/11 was a conspiracy - by largely Saudi Nationals, lead by one OBL, care of a cave, Tora Bora, Afghanistan.

      But hey who I am to stand in the way of teenage muslim anti semitism and aversion to facts. Tis a free country after all and that means I am free to LOL at the paranoid, fact free ramblings on display in this thread.

    69. The Common Humanist — on 6th August, 2009 at 10:10 am  

      Yes Mostague, it is all a vast vast conspiracy.
      Everyone is against the muslims, and the Joooows run it all from a lock up in Golders…..

      We meet down the docks and have badges and everything…..

      Quesiton - why do so many muslims think that other muslims are robots, puppets to be spun this way and that by ’shadowy forces’ (que the X Files theme)????

      Why the crushing inferiority complex and endemic conspiracism??????

    70. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:37 am  

      I have lived in Golders Green briefly, it wasn’t that bad. I have mixed amicably with Jews in the UK, in a variety of ways.

      But at the end of the day I have a perspective, which in this case is spelling out what is driving British foreign policy, and the possible motivations behind it (The theme of the post is British foreign policy and public opinion)…..all pretty serious and important stuff for many people. I do not claim to know 100% what are the real answers; I have never worked as a senior British government worker privy to state secrets.

      People have been known to conspire, it is a part of human nature….for example the Sykes-Picot agreement signed between Britain and France in 1917 secretly where they agreed to carve up the Arab parts of the Ottoman empire between themselves, after the Great war………Believe me conspiracy happens…….thats why English language has a word for it……and the criminal law has sanctions against it…………though I am pretty sure the folks who tribally huddle around Golders Green are in the clear…in relation to 9/11.

      As I have reiterated before an awful lot of people have instinctive doubts about 9/11, and a lot of them are from the West. A lot of them are highly qualified people, in a position to know a lot more about what goes on in the corridors of power than you and I.

      Common Humanist it is OK to have an “alternative” perspective to 9/11, beyond the official narrative of Bush and Blair…….characters who it has been subsequently proven to have lied to the British public.

    71. The Common Humanist — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:55 am  

      “”Common Humanist it is OK to have an “alternative” perspective to 9/11, beyond the official narrative of Bush and Blair…….characters who it has been subsequently proven to have lied to the British public”"

      Perhaps try an evidence based one?

      Saudi private citizens, islamists/jihadists, their hearts full of hate, murdered over 3000 people.
      Thats what the evidence base points to as the overwhelming favourite.
      Case closed.

    72. chairwoman — on 6th August, 2009 at 11:59 am  

      “http://www.viewzone.com/dualcitizen.html”>Dual Citizenship: Loyal To Whom?”

      It ill behoves a Muslim to show this as an example when I’m constantly being told that a Muslim’s loyalty is to Islam rather than the country in which he/she lives.

      One rule for you and another for me, eh?

    73. Shamit — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

      So your open mind must have accepted the following truth as well:

      1) Actual 7/7 Bombers were some MI5 operatives following instructions from their Zioniost overlords

      2) Indian Government planned and executed the Mumbai attacks last year - and Mossad and Raw decided to do it after some drinking together one night

      Well a lot of people believe they have seen Elvis recently — and some even talk to him. Now are we supposed to accept that as an alternative truth as well?

      No.

      Lunatics are taking over PP — Reason, logic take cover — from the worst idiots of the BNP to sad munir to idiotic Celt Lord to pathetic London Muslim — and then an articulate loony here now says 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy.

      What the hell is happening to this place guys?

    74. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

      Watch “Loose Change”……though no mention of Israel, as it specifically focuses on the specific event. Its not perfect, but certainly thought provoking.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yx9NRX37SM

    75. ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:22 pm  

      ‘loose change’ is nothing but chicken feed for the small minds of the paranoid and stupid conspiracy theorists and was created by a man who thinks he was the messiah!

      Not thought provoking, but rather vomit inducing, insulting and disrespectful to those who were massacred on 7/7.

      go away you loon

    76. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

      For you Common Humanist:

      John Doraemi asks questions about 9/11, systematically, based on evidence:

      http://mostaqueali.blogspot.com/2008/01/perspectives-on-911.html

    77. chairwoman — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:31 pm  

      My goodness Mustique Ali, you’d be the first one to jump up and down shrieking ‘Islamophobia, prejudice against Muslims’ etc., but you feel free to spew out your antisemitic and anti-Israeli venom ad nauseum.

    78. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:32 pm  

      I’m not seeing any teenage Muslim anti-Semites on this illustrious list of doubters about 9/11:

      http://mostaqueali.blogspot.com/2008/01/more-official-info-on-911.html

    79. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 12:41 pm  

      Sorry Chairwoman, who ever you are, Mostaque Ali is my real name, I am 43…..and I have seen a little of the world, and know about it just a little, beyond whats served up for me by the Daily Mail and Telegraph, the BBC or the Labor government…..or the…..

      I am not a practicing Muslim, and I don’t specifically seek out to live in Muslim societies……Having traveled the world, one can sincerely say there is beauty in everything and every society.

      “We” are many, “We” have many shades and many backgrounds of ALL religions……….”We” have perspectives of Israel, but do not suffer from the Weakness of being called anti-Semite just because “We” think the actions of a country are morally wrong. We do not become traitors to a country merely because we have hold a healthy skepticism of the policies of our governments.

    80. chairwoman — on 6th August, 2009 at 1:26 pm  

      Well Mr Ali, I have 21 years on you, and am actually old enough to remember a lot of incidents that you whippersnappers now dispute.

      I blog under a nom de plume to protect the identities of people I have talked about on my own blog.

    81. The Common Humanist — on 6th August, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

      You reference ‘Loose Change’, really???? Oh dear. Its cack. All of it.

      Those blog references are awful too.

      The Bush Admin was shady about the 9/11 Commission because it was desperate to hide the fact that it could have nabbed the hijackers when they were in the country but due to negligence on the White House’s part and bureaucratic silliness between the FBI and CIA crucial information wasn’t shared until it was too late.

      The Bushies had a Russia, Iraq and China fixation and ignored the outgoing Clinton Admins warnings that AQ and OBL were the most immediate terrorist threat.

      There is you conspiracy - the Bushies always only care about the domestic political agenda and precious little else - hence they tried to obfuscate their gross errors between taking office and 9/11.

    82. Don — on 6th August, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

      Now this, on the other hand, is convincing.

      http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=af07

    83. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

      Don that was cool!

      Now repeat after me, “I must obey, I must obey and accept everything the government tells me. Britain is not a police state, it is a fully functioning democracy, where the people choose their government.”

      I infact didn’t want to get into 9/11, emotive as it is. But do remember good people that 55% of New Yorkers doubt the official government version of that event…and they should know a little bit more about that than you and I.

      But I see and observe a group of people at the thread here who are “sensitive” about Israel, and its reputation.

      9/11 is not directly related to the issue of British foreign policy which is the theme of this thread. That would be more interesting to talk about……………….Iraq and Afghanistan, relevant and current to the general concerns of many in Blity.

      But for your interest Israel has done dirty deeds in the past….False Flag ops, and has been caught at it, a number of times (no conspiracy theory):

      1. Lavon Affair of 1954……….no conspiracy theory here.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavon_Affair

      2. Attack on USS Liberty 1967, where the Israelis tried to make it look like the attack on the USA military surveillance ship was by the Egyptian airforce, so that the USA would join Israel in attacking Egypt in the 1967 war………..no conspiracy theory here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident

      3. The attempted assassination of USA Ambassador John Gunther Dean to Lebanon 1980, make it look like the PLO did it, but the attack was subsequently exposed as Israel’s work……………….no conspiracy theory here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gunther_Dean

      4. Israel is believed to have been behind the killing of Pakistan President Zia ul Haq, along with the top brass of the Pakistan military,an American Brigadier General, and an American ambassador……to prevent the Pakistan nuclear program from progressing (see above citation)

      5. Abu Nidal killed by Saddam sometime in 2002, is believed to be a Mossad operator: http://judicial-inc.biz/abu_nidal.htm

      Once you get your head around these FACTS, AND REAL EVENTS, then you can start making educated guesses….Qui Bono 9/11……whats Israel’s MO…….

    84. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

      The Common Humanist…what kind of name is that….new age …….open to all, we are all brothers and sisters on this planet????

      Sadly there’s not much “new age” about your points of view.

    85. Mostaque Ali — on 6th August, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

      Chairwoman, have you thought about doing a little bit more writing on your blog, or has the creative juice run out?



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