UK parliament publishes damning report on Blair’s foreign policy 3

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the UK parliament has published their latest report which confirms, yet again, the tragically obvious. The invasion of Iraq has provided a tremendous boost to Al Qaeda and violent extremism, the west is losing the propaganda war, Guantanamo Bay is a fabulous recruiting symbol (for terrorism), and people in the UK are at a significantly greater threat now due to the policies adopted by Tony Blair.

The report also calls for the UK and US to stop interferring in Iraqi politics, for the UK government to set out the circumstances under which it would withdraw its troops, and for the regulation of mercenaries in Iraq and elsewhere.

“The Committee concludes that al-Qaeda continues to pose an extremely serious and brutal threat to the United Kingdom and its interests, and that it will become more difficult to tackle the threat of international terrorism. The Committee also says that the situation in Iraq has provided both a powerful source of propaganda and a crucial training ground for international terrorists. Progress towards resolving key international conflicts would go some way towards removing the widespread feelings of injustice in the Muslim world that feed into causes of and support for terrorism. (Paragraphs 15, 21, 30)

The continuing deterioration of the security situation in Iraq is extremely worrying, as are the deepening sectarian and ethnic conflicts. Relying on Kurdish and Shia communities to build up the Iraqi Security Forces has contributed to the development of sectarian forces, and the Committee recommends that the Government must continue to work with its international partners to address this problem. Similarly, the Government should do all it can to facilitate the UN’s role in Iraq. The Committee reiterates its predecessor’s conclusion that the international community, particularly the US and UK, must refrain from interfering in Iraqi politics. (Paragraph 232, 238, 261)

The Committee recommends that the Government should set out in its response to the report the circumstances under which it would withdraw British Forces from Iraq, and sets out several other issues it would also like the Government to address in the response, including the level of detentions by coalition forces, where it recommends that wherever and whenever possible detainees should be handed over to the Iraqi government for trial; that the government should set out the number detained and the basis for their detention; and the slow progress towards resolving the issue of how to regulate private military and security companies, which are increasingly being used in Iraq and elsewhere.(Paragraphs 245, 247, 253)”

Riding pillion in the US ‘war on terror’ and the invasion of Iraq was predictable strategic folly. Yet despite overwhelming evidence of the disastrous effects on national security, our parliamentary system continues to show a stunning inability to self-correct its failed trajectory. For example, as of this post, the monitoring of EDM 1088 still shows only 157 signatures. Its just one indicator of the inertia and ostrich-like behaviour that besets the bulk of New Labour, and New Tory.

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3 thoughts on “UK parliament publishes damning report on Blair’s foreign policy

  • Richard II

    "…and people in the UK are at a significantly greater threat now due to the policies adopted by Tony Blair."

    More evidence – if it's needed! – that Blair needs to be slapped with a super-ASBO, harried, hassled, and hounded until he leaves this country.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Perhaps the Select Committee will now direct its attention to Afghanistan and possibly – even – Uzbekistan, both of which are suffering from such interference at various levels….

  • Richard II

    Chuck wrote: "Perhaps the Select Committee will now direct its attention to Afghanistan and possibly – even – Uzbekistan, both of which are suffering from such interference at various levels…."

    Perhaps the Select Committee will also make an effort to look into purely British crimes, such as how we treated the people of Diego Garcia.

    Or must we continue to pretend that, as a country, we are deeply involved in establishing democracy and human rights abroad – a lie, if ever there was one!

    It's a pity Craig doesn't consider the people of Diego Garcia as worthy of his attention; I'm the only one who mentions them.

    And I'll keep mentioning them until either I just give up on my country altogether – and focus my energies on trying to emigrate – or get banned from this blog for good. Whichever comes first!

    Britain claims compensation has already been awarded to the Chagossians. A figure of millions is quoted, but when you divide that by the number of people affected and what was done to them, it's a pittance – a few thousand each!

    Here is what the government recently said:

    "The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): Compensation has already been paid by the Government to the Chagossians. It was made in two stages: ?650,000 was paid to the Government of Mauritius for the benefit of the Chagossians in the early 1970s. This would be ?5.5 million at today's prices and was given for the express purpose of assisting resettlement.

    "Under a 1982 agreement between the Government, the Government of Mauritius and representatives of the Chagossians, a further ?4 million was paid by the Government into a trust fund for the benefit of the registered Chagossians. This was a full and final settlement of any claims that they might have had. This would be ?9 million at today's prices. In addition, the Government of Mauritius made land available to the value of a further ?1 million.

    "The judgment of Mr Justice Ouseley in Chagos Islands v (1) The Attorney General (2) Her Majesty's British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner [2003] EWHC 2222 (QB) examined thoroughly the circumstances in which the 1982 settlement was reached and accepted it as being in full and final settlement of all claims by those who participated. The judgment also established that the UK had no legal obligation to pay any further compensation. The judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal in July 2004."

    A few thousand each. Money that wasn't offered to them immediately, either – most of it was offered grudgingly and years after the event.

    A few thousand is all Britain paid for driving people off their homeland, for killing their pets, for taking away their homes and most of their possessions, for robbing them of their livelihoods and happiness, for driving individuals and entire families to suicide, and for causing deep psychological distress to all the islanders.

    It's time we stop singling out America as the world's bully, when we are just as ugly or worse.

    It seems to me that the tragedies unfolding in Iraq, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan are a great way for the media and political establishment to blame everything on America and, in so doing, burnish Britain's image.

    "Britain shamed as exiles of the Chagos Islands win the right to go home":

    For the umpteenth time, the government appeals. It won't be satisfied until it gets the judgement it wants:

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