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.


77 thoughts on “Where is Britain Most Culpable?

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  • Anonymous

    Mark Golding – Children of Iraq: Iran may not be the next target, keep an eye on Venezuela.

  • Ignoramus

    You cannot ignore the false flag attacks designed to start the “War on Terror” to justify the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, to wage war against Moslem peoples, and attack human rights everywhere:

    London 77; Bali; 9th of September.

    All inside jobs by the Mafia that controles this world today.

  • angrysoba

    Yeah, Diego Garcia certainly.

    But, of course now we have a lot of bollocks such as this:

    “Chechnya. Utter silence. Total destruction.”

    No. NATO condemned Russia’s attack on Chechnya.

    “There is no sin greater than disbelief.”

    I don’t believe you. Paedophilia and genocide are worse than believing in fairies.

    “The UK’s greatest state immorality is its opposition to Islam.”

    This is where the circular firing squad ends up shooting itself. The UK belatedly assisted in ending a genocide against Bosnian Muslims. The assistance was, of course, opposed by those who thought NATO involvement was itself a travesty.

    Mark Golding says, “Iran – Iran – Iran”.

    “About £900M of Iran’s money is frozen and held in Britain due to the EU sanctions.”

    Well, as you are the special envoy to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad maybe you should tell him that Iran needs to come clean on its nuclear weapons programme.

    Paul Johnston: “Our silence on Burma is deafening!”

    But Paul, criticising Burma is like a terrible intrusion in their internal affairs. Remember Mark Golding’s not at all fatuous or callous dictum that you don’t tell other people how to raise their kids and if Iran wants to hang its dissidents then who are we to say otherwise. Oh, and if you end up on the same side as British foreign policy you are, by definition, evil.

    “But there has never been a shred of hard evidence offered to back up the assertion of electoral fraud….”

    Blah blah blah, blather, blather, blather, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit…

    Iran’s elections were fraudulent from the start. It is constitutionally forbidden from holding free elections as only those who are approved by a bunch of guys who believe in fairies are allowed to stand and they can only stand if their belief in fairies – and the right sort of fairies – is strong enough.

    Let’s also not forget the way it ended with mass arrests, tortures and executions but that is of no interest to anyone who can’t find a way of linking it to British, American or Israeli malevolence.

  • angrysoba

    “Paedophilia and genocide are worse than believing in fairies.”

    And, of course, worse than NOT believing in fairies.

  • e9reen

    PAKISTAN:

    Musharraf era and his unprecedented second marshal law against judiciary. Successful placement of corrupt Zardari regime by assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

  • Suspicious

    We don’t seem too fussed about Thailand:

    May 25, 2010

    Subject: Political crisis in Thailand that has led to my arrest warrant

    Dear Generous Supporters and friends,

    First of all, I would like to apologize for bringing up a troublesome subject to communicate to you. I would like to ask for a few minutes of your time to consider factual evidence and circumstances that have occurred in Thailand. In addition, I would like to explain my involvement in the recent situations to you as well.

    The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) began its gathering in the middle of March. UDD had only one request ?” that the Prime Minister dissolve the parliament. During the one-year and a half in the office, the government has failed in many ways. A large part of the population feels that their economic hardship has not improved. Many social issues, such as the problems in the deep South of the country, drug usage among Thai youth, and environmental issues like the one at Maab Taa Put Industrial Complex, worsened. There are also many grand-scale corruption cases relating to various government projects. Asking for a parliamentary dissolution, which would lead to a nationwide election, is a right of the population in a democratic society.

    On 10 April 2010, the government used force to break up one group of the protestors on Rachadumneon Boulevard. Twenty-five people lost their lives and over eight hundred injured. After the incident, the government still continued to use force. As of 19 May 2010, the total death toll increased to 86 individuals, while more than 2000 people were injured.

    As a peace-loving citizen, I wanted to help the people and their families who were affected by the government’s violent crackdown. Since 11 April, I visited the injured in many hospitals around Bangkok and met the families of those who lost their lives. Many of the deceased had young children or dependence. Many of the injured will become disabled for the rest of their lives. I am very saddened to see this. For all my life that I have been helping people in difficult circumstances, I understand full well the hardship they will have to endure as a result of the government’s brutal actions.

    During and after the failed negotiation between the UDD and the government, the government continued to press ahead with measures that undoubtedly violated the international practices of crowd control. Many more people were sent to the hospital, or died, especially in Bon Kai area, which is near Klong Toey. Many of those victims did not participate in the UDD movement. They got injured while carrying on their normal lives. Some were going to work; some were simply out to buy food, etc. Nevertheless, they became victims of the government’s unrestraint and reckless use of force. Meanwhile, the highly respected and powerful individuals in the country chose not to come out to stop the government from killing innocent civilians.

    Some of the leaders in Klong Toey community and myself decided to express our sincere wish for peace. We no longer wanted to see Thais kill Thais. We set up a small stage at Klong Toey intersection, with signs such as “Stop the Violence!” or “Stop killing civilian!”

    In addition to our efforts, there were many groups in Thai society who urged the government to negotiate. Most notable was the group of 65 senators, led by the Head of the Senate, who agreed to be the middle person in the negotiation to resolve the conflict. However, the government declined the peace talk and rolled on tanks to the main protesting area in Ratchaprasong in the morning of 19 May.

    Even after the UDD leaders already announced they would stop the demonstration and surrender to the police, the use of force by the government continued. The saddest episode happened at a temple called Wat Pathum Wanaram, in which many people, mostly women and children sought refuge. There were reports of soldiers firing into the temple, including at the First Aid tent, where a few medical volunteers lost their lives.

    The government has an arrest warrant on me and has frozen my bank accounts, along with others whom it deemed to be on the opposite side politically. There were never evidence or investigation into whether these people on the list had any involvement in the “terrorist” activities that the government has claimed. I have asked myself if I was guilty of petitioning for the end of violence and killing.

    When ignorance and selfishness obscured wisdom and goodness of the powerful in the society, disaster inevitably arrived. O… what a sad state Thailand has become!

    I can only hope that this tragedy has provided many factions in Thai society with an invaluable lesson ?” that the government, which has the power in its hands, uses wisdom and conscience in solving the problems of the society with sincerity. Problems need real peaceful solutions, not the play with words nor the tainting of evidences as this government has done. One of the core grievances of the UDD that even non-UDD people understand is the existence of double standards in the society during the past few years. This must be addressed in order to bring about peace in Thai society.

    I would like to thank you for your impartial and careful judgment of the circumstances, and for your continuous support of the Duang Prateep Foundation. I truly hope that my participation in the peaceful petition to the government will not affect your generous support of my humanitarian work.

    Best Regards,

    Ms. Prateep Ungsongtham Hata

    A victim of the violence act by the Thai government

  • ingo

    Firstly I would say here, in its own country. Culpable in so many cases against its own people, starting with the lack of finacial regulations, silently falling by the wayside and with the choiceless electoral reform con.

    I agree with others on Diego Garcia, a wholly dehumanising ethnic cleansing of an island, now under false pretences, i.e. enviornmental protection. As if the US forces are known for their environmental record.

    Another flashpoint where britain is closely involved is Columbia and its abstruction of oil in an environmentallly very sensitive area.

    BP of all companies.

    Operations there are marked by extrajudiciary killings of union labour by rebells and/or rightwing forces in with the Government.

    Venezuela will be a future flashpoint for the simple reason that the US is establishing bases on the Columbian border and South America in general. They want the oil Chavez is sitting on and I expect some border dispute to kick it off.

    The US established bases all over the world, from Mildenhall,Frankfurt, Diego Garcia, mostly to project its military might, this alone will make for marked differences in approach, less diplomacy and more military pushing of their global strategic interests.

    Question to you all, which major US bases have not been permament, ie. recinded after the job was done so to speak? you won’t findmany, where they have afoot in the door, they have settled, no pushing will get them out.

    Thailand is stricken by the silence of its king as much as by corrupt politicians, a peculiar thing in so called democratic politics. Centralised leaders are easily nobbled and corrupted by vested interests who never take blame or are contrite, a lasting feature of democracy and centralised Governments in general, hence my penchant for decentralising Governments.

    Eastern European relations will not change until Russia reforms its ‘Oligarchski’s take all’attitudes, which run its secret service, stops pandering to people like Derepaska and Karimove alike, Russias oligarchs are only developing industries they have control over, everthing else is standing still.

    British involvement in middle east is abysmal, Israels this self appointed belligerant sea dog should not be allowed to flai its way through neigbouring borders at will, it needs sorting once and for all, by the UN and the world community, Israel is incapable or unwilling in managing its relations with its neigbours.

  • george

    Italy and Singapore both have dictators in all but name, and Sweden is owned by one man who keeps out of the limelight.

    But what counts isn’t politics. Politics is always lies, a trap for any would-be critic to concentrate on. It’s like watching the telly. Hell, it is watching the telly.

    Two of the nastiest sovereign-state brands that Britain associates with are Israel and the United States.

    People mentioned Diego Garcia. Let’s not concentrate only on the removal of the inhabitants. Diego Garcia is the site of an American military torture-camp, more secret than Guantanamo.

    Until 2008, the British authorities lyingly claimed the Americans weren’t keeping any “detainees” (i.e. POWs denied their Geneva Convention rights) on the island.

    After that, the strategy was to queer the issue by talking about numbers of “rendition flights”, and about “refuelling”.

    This strategy involves getting minor opinion formers (those who comment publicly on issues that have been put into their heads by major opinion formers) to focus on jargon-mediated nitty-gritty.

    Well the hell with that.

    Here’s the central issue: the UK government is allowing the US to run an illegal torture camp on British soil.

  • duppyconqueror

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned CHINA.

    UK Gov Plc has been more than happy to kowtow to the fascist aristocrats in Zhongnanhai.

  • ingo

    “Well the hell with that.”

    I agree with your comment George.

    “Here’s the central issue: the UK government is allowing the US to run an illegal torture camp on British soil.”

    Now there is the rub, will the islanders ever be allowed to return? Does international jurisdiction apply to BIOT? Last time the High court order to return was overtunred by the Lords and is now on its way to the Hague if I’m right.

    Diego Garcia is a secret prison, but jack Straw has assured us that there is no torture going on, honest….

    When Diego Garcia was turned into a military base, deliberately and with a view of making it a global base, this was a 50 year contract so I believe. Theoretically this should end in 2021, but will it?

  • Paul

    I’m not sure how strong the British connection (or how current) but since no one else has mentioned it, what about Western Sahara?

    My knowledge of this is a bit sketchy, but I believe it is correct that Britain has exported arms to Morocco that have been used in the occupation of Western Sahara, including artillery for the Berm (Moroccan Wall).

    Also, I believe the EU has negotiated mineral and fishing concessions within the occupied territory.

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

    http://www.wsrw.org/ – Western Sahara Resource Watch

  • glenn

    If we’re not talking about our more distant past, I’d say the worst thing we’ve done post WW-II is to act as the supporter and enabler of America’s imperialism. Being “America’s loyal attack dog”, in the words of Chomsky. By proxy, we’ve participated in the deaths of many millions, and the financial enslavement of vast numbers worldwide (including in our own countries), the overthrow of democratically elected governments, installation of dictators, and the ruthless suppression of entire populations. Instead of enabling a united European alternative, we have acted as the US ambassador to Europe, undermining any counter-balance.

    For example, even Diego Garcia was done entirely for the benefit of the US. Our continuing war against Iraq which started in 1990 and never ended was at the behest of the US.

  • George

    Remember that the head of the CIA Station in London attends the weekly meetings of the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

    There are also more than 30 US military bases in Britain. That’s not counting US spy bases such as Menwith Hill.

    Most of the films on UK TV are American, and the average person in the UK watches a depiction of an American firing a gun … I don’t know how many times per day, but a lot.

    The country caved in to the US in the early 1940s, when Britain’s physicists were taken over by America, just as many German physicists were taken over by America a decade before.

    UK TV routinely refers to the US president as “the president”. They don’t mean the president of France or Russia or Germany.

    Britain is utterly dominated by the United States, is the truth of the matter.

  • George

    Craig – here’s something you might try to find out, for those of us who don’t have your connections! Does the UK government receive any payment from the US government for allowing them to have military bases here?

    They certainly used to. I remember in the early 1980s such payments were one of the two biggest components of British “invisible exports”. (The other one was accounted for by Lloyds insurance market).

    Now, even those who campaign against US bases in the UK don’t know whether the UK receives any payment for having them here.

    Either the information has been made secret. Or, more likely, the US simply told the UK at some point in the last 30 years that the payments would stop.

    I’d be interested to hear your take on this, Craig!

  • Anonymous

    The most disgraceful stance is supporting the zionist entity without question.

    And here is a shameful example of this.

    Gordon Brown was on the plane in his way to the Mideast Just after the Gaza massacre, where he pledged to donate a Navy ship to tighten the siege on Gaza. and he said the following:

    “We are yet to discover the full scale of the appalling suffering, but what is already clear is that too many innocent civilians, including hundreds of children, have been killed during the military offensive.”

    Here you have it, the UK is helping israel without knowing what happened.

    http://tinyurl.com/9zondh

    No crime is big enough for britain to change stance when the criminal is Israel!!!! that is why Britain has sent the Royal navy to help tightening the grip of occupation on palestine without waiting to know how the 1400 innocent civilians have been slaughtered

  • Arsalan

    Britain is guilty everywhere.

    The reason why God gave Britain an empire where the sun never sets is because God doesn’t trust the British in the dark.

  • Richard Robinson

    “The reason why God gave Britain an empire where the sun never sets is because God doesn’t trust the British in the dark.”

    *laughter*

    Trouble is, the world’s round. Didn’t God notice that by doing that, he also gave us places where we can always be doing things in the dark ?

  • Alfred

    Britain supports the American Empire in its drive to achieve global hegemony. From that most evils listed here derive, including Britain’s complicity in rendition and torture, support for Israel right or wrong, and the ongoing slaughter and displacement of Afghans and Pakistanis.

    The question, then, is do you believe the American Empire is a good thing or not. If not, then all the evils of empire are unnecessary and should be opposed.

    However, if one believes that it is better to live under the umbrella of American power rather than for Britain to look out for itself as a nuclear-deterrent-possessing Swiss style neutral (as advocated by the BNP), then perhaps some or even all of these evils must be accepted as the price of security, if not freedom.

    It may be said that it is possible for a great empire to persist and grow without reliance on evil means, including false flag terrorism, torture, and the mass killing and displacement of innocents. However, no empire that has ever existed rejected whatever means were available to maintain and extend its power. Therefore, I do not believe that you can pick and chose. Either take the evils of empire as they are, or opt for something quite different and face the possibility of humiliating and possibly devastating subjugation by the spurned imperial overlord.

  • Hana

    I have no idea how much familiar you are about the situation in African countries. However, there are disturbing developments that have brought regimes to use the war on terror as a means to brutalize their subjects and yet remain unaccountable because they get support and backing from the US and UK governments. The typical and distubing case in point is the minority regime of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia where the West gave a blind eye to the brutality of the regime and kept supporting the regime. In all accounts here is a regime that has no regard to human rights and respect of the law and its corrupt and criminal officials enjoy the support of western donors. Well if a regime, whatever criminal, has the support and material backing of a western donor, then it will have the means to institute a regime of fear and hopelessness. What makes the issue most frustrating is that even if the west knows the facts, they donot seem to care a bit and as a silenced majority one has little option but live a life of suppression and brute.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Of course not. Capitalist elites are not interested in how people are treated, how their lives are. They simply use the human rights narrative as yet another tool to further their own interests (eg. Tibet, Burma, Iran, etc.) and ignore or suppress it when it doesn’t. Craig’s experiencevis a vis Uzbekistan is a case in point, as, Hana, is your powerful depiction of the rehime’s actions in Ethiopia.

  • arsalan

    Human rights is just like international law and evidence.

    It is just slogans used to justify policies that the west would have done anyway.

    Iraq and Afghanistan were invaded using these slogans, the native peoples of North America and Australia were exterminated using these slogans and Africans were enslaved and transported to the Americas using these slogans.

  • Arsalan

    There is just one law that matters, and the is the law of might.

    Powerful nations have always done what they are able to do. The only way to stop them is to have enough might to act as a deterrent.

    The colonised need to unite to deter the colonisers.

    If we don’t want repeated invasions, we need to reestablish the khilafah.

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