Where is Britain Most Culpable? 77

Our complicity with torture in Karimov’s Uzbekistan is a startling example of Britain’s double standards. But where are Britain’s other most current disgraceful examples of immoral foreign policy, and in particular support of dictators? I want to consider perhaps five of the most egregious examples for a media project. I have my own ideas, but would welcome your thoughts.

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77 thoughts on “Where is Britain Most Culpable?

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  • Suspicious

    Thanks Paul, t’was I who posted it on Indymedia from my own correspondance,hence not referencing it.

    I was in Bangkok at the end of March. My impression is of a very complex cultural situation.

  • Jon

    @Craig – if you want a good account of British history, to weed out our most flagrant abuses of HR, read Mark Curtis – one of our few historians not to revel in our bloodthirsty past. We tacitly supported, for example, the worst atrocities the US committed against Vietnam, and the use of napalm – as demonstrated by official FCO documents.

  • Daf

    I’m sure Mr Murray and many of you posting will know about Mark Curtis’ books on Britain’s dubious diplomatic relations. But if not they are highly recommended – he has done a ton of original research using the declassified government files in the National Archive. He deals with crooked deals past and present.

  • Simon

    My first thoughts to Craig’s original post were Diego Garcia and – I appreciate this won’t be top of many people’s lists – the Government’s refusal to ratify the international law on tribal peoples (ILO Convention 169).

    There are many blips in our foreign record we try to cover up that aren’t particularly headline grabbing – and not worthy of a top 5 but worth mentioning. The moral dilemmas of Pitcairn Island (rape ‘a way of life’) comes to mind, for example. Technically they are British, but we keep that quiet.

  • Alfred

    Craig, what part in that definition of a diplomat: “an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country,” did you not understand?

    A moral foreign policy is an oxymoron.

    A foreign policy not based on a double standard would be a disaster.

    Read the Old Testament again and get the hang of it. Within the tribe, murder bad, among tribes murder good or bad depending on whose getting murdered (or tortured or robbed, etc.).

    If you don’t like that, then sign up for one World Government, via the undemocratic European Union, and enjoy the most corrupt dictatorship the world will have ever seen.

  • Peter

    Craig asks: “But where are Britain’s other most current disgraceful examples of immoral foreign policy, and in particular support of dictators?”

    Stepping aside from dictators for the moment (I suspect Central Asia is the obvious place to look currently) , I think Britain’s most disgraceful and perhaps longest standing immoral foreign policy is its support for Zionism ?” the political movement born in Europe in the late 19th century that aimed at imposing Jewish sovereignty over far-away Palestine whose people were 90% non-Jewish, and virtually 100% non-European.

    Zionism’s aims of gaining sovereignty were achievable only through three avenues, none of them democratic. Was the non-Jewish population in Palestine to be converted to Judaism? Was it to be exterminated? Or was it to be driven – harassed, dispossessed and terrorised – from the land? Eighty years of well-documented history shows that the slaughter and expulsion of the non-Jewish Palestinians are the avenues that Zionists have followed with impunity.

    Britain’s shame is twofold. Firstly, it was the British government’s issuance of the 67-word Balfour Declaration on November 2nd 1917 that initiated the brutal calamity that has befallen the people of Palestine, and secondly, notwithstanding the clause “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, Britain has not merely failed utterly to prevent the persecution of the non-Jewish indigenous people, but has now grown to aid and abet the persecutors.

    Slavery, the Irish Potato Famine, the Bloody Sunday shootings ?” I suggest, that in this age when governments are ready to admit the injustices of the past, the British government’s starting point for a new foreign policy in the Middle-East should begin with a public repudiation, resilement from, and apology for the Balfour Declaration. Let the British Foreign Secretary use Elizabeth Monroe’s words, taken from “Britain’s Moment in the Middle East”. She says of that egregious document, that “Measured by British interests alone, the Balfour Declaration was one of the greatest mistakes in our imperial history” and Sir Arnold Toynbee in his foreword to “The Palestine Diary” noted that “Jewish immigration was imposed on the Palestinian Arabs by British military power… The tragedy in Palestine is not just a local one; it is a tragedy for the World, because it is an injustice that is a menace to the World’s peace. Britain’s guilt is not diminished by the humiliating fact that she is now impotent to redress the wrong that has been done.”

    Britain should condemn Zionism’s undemocratic aims achievable only through ethnic cleansing, should cease paying lip-service to the deceit of the Bantustan-like “two-state solution”, and should press overtly and covertly for a one-state, one-man one-vote democracy to be instituted throughout all three territories (Gaza, Israel and the West Bank, 10,400 sq miles, circa 11 million people) that presently fall under three different codes of Knesset rule.

  • Alfred


    Re: Britain and Israel

    Before the Balfour Declaration was declared it was checked out with Colonel House, President Wilson’s chief fixer. So it was as much an American initiative as a British one. But the Brits had to make the announcement because they were the ones who were to have the Palestine mandate when WW1 ended.

    Further, the Declaration did not envisage a “Jewish State”. It envisaged a home for Jews in Palestine, where it was assumed that the Palestinian Arabs would continue to live. This was not an unusual arrangement at that time. Empires have always felt free to dispose of territory as they thought fit. Britain brought immigrants from the Indian sub-continent to Africa, as well as sending Europeans to Africa and elsewhere. Before WW2, Britain offered to accommodate Germany’s Jews in Ceylon, but the Zionists were having none of that: it was Palestine or nothing.

    The British did not comply with the Zionist program for mass Jewish migration to Palestine because it was opposed by Muhammed Amin al-Husseini, a militant Arab nationalist with a criminal record who was appointed Grand Mufti for life by Britain’s Palestine High Commissioner, the Jew, Sir Herbert Samuel, a dedicated Zionist.

    Anyway, Britain does not control Palestine today, which is, in effect, an American colony, which serves as a front line base and weapons cache for American forces in the ME.

    It would appear, therefore, that the only blame that attaches to Britain in relation to Israel today, stems from Britain’s attachment to and support for the American empire.

    It is that attachment to the American empire that is the real issue. It is as an American tributary that Britain is in some measure complicit in the crimes of American empire.

    So the question is,what alternative do you think Britain has to subordination to the US?

    The BNP have a plan for British neutrality maintained by means of an independent nuclear deterrent. Far-fetched, perhaps. But is there any other option. If so, it has never been mentioned here.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And what’s with the repeated allusions to the BNP, Alfred? In any case, the BNP are great pals of Israel and of the Israeli strategic aim of hegemony in the Middle East. So, by your previous logic somewhere or other, that must mean the BNP are trying to discredit support for Israel by themselves supporting Israel.

    Or could it be that oppressive, intolerant and yes, racist, forces tend to to attract one another? And so, the BNP and Israel make great bedfellows.

  • Alfred

    re: How about ‘British neutrality with no nuclear weapons’?

    That’s a question of strategy. I haven’t the slightest idea whether any kind of neutrality would be feasible. The United States has always demanded that countries chose a side.

    Re: And what’s with the repeated allusions to the BNP,

    I cited their policy, that’s what’s with the BNP.

    If you don’t like their policy that’s fine with me. But as far as I know they are the only party offering neutrality as an option.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yeah, right, ‘neutrality’ in alliance with Israel, the US’s prime satellite. That’s really logical, isn’t it? Like re-naming ‘soup’, ‘broth’.

    Alfred, the BNP are not an alternative to the parties of corporate war. The sad fact that there are no genuine oppositions in this country is worth noting. But just because one lives in a Trappist world and a dog barks doesn’t mean we all go and celebrate the dog.

  • avatar singh

    what about british or rather english role in starting both the first and second world wars and then cold war?

    The first world war was planned by british to destroy german who to the envy of british were doing very well in industry without parasitic empire to draw on. so they wanted germany and russia to fight each other.

    the secon d waolr war was started by england to make germans wage war agasint russia. in fact hitler could have and should have deastroyed the a=british army rather than letting the coward british escpae through dunkirk but hitler had ben given assurance by war o=monger chuirchill that all postruing by english was for public com=nsnsumption and that england would help germany attack russia. and then england stabeed germany aswell. that is why soviets made pact witgermans to buy time.

    one only thing the germans give to english race -thepower of gun, military and violence. in all the germans have beatend english again and again.

    in fact the english were planning to make pact with germans as late as 1917 before americans came into picture. the germans whose three fourth of army regiments were fightin agasint the russians both in first and second world war were defeating the enlgish in west despite the engish having all the respurces of empire not only stolen goods bur manpower-even 3 million Indians fopdied ueslessly for the english inw ar.

    even then fgermans were willing-that tells you how inferior enlgish are in fighting. that is why english race has deep seated inferioirty complex with germsn who beat then at thier own game.


    incidently itis expected but good news that the germans beat englsn sopundly 4-1. how did england dare dream about beating going to finals of world up-the only time england reached there was in 66 in your own country with bad refreeng and massive oropaganda.

    germans have always reached qaurter final since 1938!

    remmebr that. and they have beaten in england in all wars and will beat england again only if they get out of your creation nato.



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