A Horror We Made 589

We are directly responsible for the disasters in the Mediterranean. The bombing of Libya into failed state status is now coming back to haunt us. The ludicrous idea, propounded by Blair, Robert Cooper and the Henry Jackson Society, that you could improve dictatorial states by massive bombing campaigns that targeted their basic infrastructure, is now a total bust. Sadly so are Iraq and Libya, to the permanent detriment of many millions of people. We caused both the Islamic State and the Mediterranean boat disasters, and we caused them with bombs.

But the lack of any effective policing is only part of the problem. What makes people so desperate that they are prepared to give all of the small amount they own, to ruthless gangs, in exchange for a dreadful sea crossing with a one in ten chance of drowning? Most of the refugees are sub-Saharan African. We only see the European end of the saga, not the terrible conditions on the cross Saharan journeys that they start with.

There will be no security anywhere if the world does not address the terrible scourge of African poverty and under-development. That is a huge subject on which I have written extensively and worked much of my life, and I do not wish to open it here. But what it does show is the utter stupidity – inhumanity yes, but also stupidity – of UKIP in thinking that cutting development aid will increase the economic security of the UK.

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589 thoughts on “A Horror We Made

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  • Mary

    More warmongering.

    Isaac Herzog

    ‘There was a clear winner in last month’s Israeli election but there isn’t yet a new Government. Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is taking his time, talking to smaller right wing and religious parties, but also according to rumour, toying with the possibility of inviting the centre left Zionist Union into a national unity government. Stephen Sackur speaks to the man Netanyahu defeated in the battle for the premiership, Isaac Herzog. For him the election was a major disappointment, so what does he and the Israeli left, do now?’
    21 April 2015

    and a clip from the above

    Isaac Herzog: Time to amend the nuclear deal with Iran

    Isaac Herzog is chairman of the Labour party in Israel. His party has just lost in an election to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

    He tells Stephen Sackur that there are no differences between Netanyahu and himself on the crux of the Iranian challenge to Israel.

    Now is the time to amend the Iranian nuclear interim deal, Mr Herzog argues. But he says he won’t be “a fig leaf” to anyone by joining a unity government with Likud. Serving in the opposition is vital to Israel’s democracy, he says.’

    21 April 2015

  • John Goss

    “There’s no mention of the sheer wastage of human lives and lessons for the present day and future generations.”

    No coverage either of the War Poets. Wilfred Owen wrote through his poetry about the horrors of war.

    “Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.”

    There were also the women who recorded first-hand the horrors, and loss of loved ones, like Vera Brittan, who tended wounded German soldiers among others.

    Florence Nightingale had seen it all before in Turkey nursing those wounded in Crimea the last time we went to war with Russia. There are no victors in war, just frightened soldiers trying to be brave on the battlefields of utter carnage and young conscripts taken from their mothers to die for a lie. Tennyson captured some of it:

    “Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.”

    I hope it is clear that I believe wholeheartedly in peace, in the Minsk Protocols, and cessation of hostilities. While the US stations NATO bases all along the Russian border (preparing for what?) in trying to protect the people of Donbas from those who live 500 miles away I have called for Russia to establish bases in the People’s Republics. This gets misrepresented by the Toytown Idiot as:

    “Like Dross, the Russian Doll, an exemplary example who constantly eggs Putin on to go to war in the Ukraine allegedly as a way of creating Peace. Medieval man.”

    Draw you own conclusions on where I stand. Those who think I stand for anything but peace have drawn the wrong conclusions. However, I do not like to see injustice. There has been too much of it in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

  • Mary

    John Goss Eric Bogle was speaking on Radio 5 this morning. He wrote And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda in 1971 as a protest against the Vietnam war.

    I will see if there is a link to the iPlayer.

    He has not lost his Scottish accent. He was born in Peebles in 1944 where his father made bagpipes. He later emigrated to Australia.


    Other songs of his which I like are

    Safe in the Harbour which is also poignant

    Glasgow Lullaby some social commentary on the past?


    I also heard on the same programme that Rupert Brooke the poet died on a French hospital ship off the island of Skyros, where he is buried, two days before the slaughter began in Gallipoli.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “I don’t see why I have any obligation to correct a poster’s mistaken assumptions, especially when they involve impertinent inquiries about my life that have nothing to do with the issues at hand.”

    Well, they do have something to do with the issues at hand; the inquiries you object to are entirely legitimate when a poster – you in this case – makes various claims of a personal nature in an attempt to lend gravitas, legitimacy and the impression of insider knowledge to the contents of his posts.

    They are all the more legitimate when there is reason to suspect the genuineness of your claims.

  • Mary

    I concur John Goss. I love poetry too.


    Back to Libya. I heard the euphemism of the decade yesterday.
    On yesterday’s World At One Martha Kearney interviewed Jeremy Greenstock about Miliband’s accusations of Cameron.

    He said “Former colleagues of mine like Dominic Asquith tried extremely hard to help the Libyans with their reformation of political compromise after Qaddafi left”!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05r6wyh#auto @ 11:42

    ‘Gaddafi left’. Did he indeed. What lies. What trickery.

    Greenstock got Blair’s war on Iraq through the UN. This is where he is now.

    ‘Gatehouse Advisory Partners works with its clients to assess and respond to geopolitical risk

    Founded by Sir Jeremy Greenstock and Sir David Manning, Gatehouse draws from a global network of diplomats, politicians, journalists, senior civil servants, military officials, academics and industry leaders from around the globe to deliver a unique and rounded insight into geopolitical risk.

    Gatehouse does not write long white papers. The world moves too fast. Our clients want to understand what lies beneath the headlines, hear from experts with direct experience of events on the ground and test their assumptions through challenging discussion.’

    Looks hard and calculating. BP, De La Rue, all the usual connections.

    @ the Ditchley Foundation too.

    The FCO has responsibility for much of the atrocity.

    He has also been an advisor to the International Rescue Committee UK. Miliband D runs the US version – £300k + pa.

    What do they actually do?

    47% funded by DFiD !!

  • John Goss

    Thanks Macky, saves me checking out the fascist supporter’s links, finding that they deal in Nazi propaganda. Well, there’s a surprise.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    re European gold reserves in the US:

    “Again I apparently have to preface some text to be able to post these links:

    Why Germany wants its 674 tons of gold back.

    Bundesbank holt 120 Tonnen Gold nach Deutschland.

    Bundesbank-Gold bleibt in den USA:”Politischer Druck und völlige Unterwürfigkeit der Bundesregierung sind das Problem” .

    Bundesbank-Reserven: Bundesregierung will Gold in den USA lassen.

    Druck aus Washington: Deutschland darf sein in den USA gelagertes Gold nicht zurückholen.”

    Mr Goss has not responded to my request that he provide verbatim text to back up his assertion that various European countries have attempted to repatriate their gold reserves but that the US has refused to let them do so.

    Lysias, on the other hand, has responded to my request.

    Well, actually, he hasn’t.

    Firstly, he has been impolite and simply thrown another bunch of links in our direction rather than extracting to-the-point verbatim text.

    And secondly, careful reading of all of those new links reveals nothing atr all to back up Mr Goss’s assertion.

    Now, either Lysias is unable to understand fully the German language and its nuances, or he hopes that readers are so unable, or perhaps he hopes that no one will bother to read through his links.

    I therefore restate my conclusion that Mr Goss and Lysias are liars and deceivers, with the added qualification that Mr Goss at least has the decency not to persist when exposed.

  • Resident Dissident

    Goss (today)

    “I hope it is clear that I believe wholeheartedly in peace, in the Minsk Protocols, and cessation of hostilities.”

    Goss (19/20 March)

    “Should Russia intervene, and I see no sensible alternative,”

    “This is why Russia needs to move into Ukraine to protect the people of Novorossiya as they did with Crimea.”

    “The real supporters and occupiers of the illegal government and country of Ukraine.”

    Talk about stinking hypocrisy – how are any of Goss’s proposed actions consistent with the Minsk Accords and “wholehearted” belief in peace?

    On topic enough for you Mary – surely even you can see the hypocrisy?

  • Resident Dissident

    So what interpretations doe Macky and Goss place on Kadyrov’s statement – or do they just wish to ignore it?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “After Habby’s fake Stopfake.org propaganda site”


    Nothing fake about http://www.stopfake.org, Macky. It provides very useful counterpoise to the stream of disinformation emanating from Moscow and relayed on here by the Useful Idiots.

  • John Goss

    “I therefore restate my conclusion that Mr Goss and Lysias are liars and deceivers, with the added qualification that Mr Goss at least has the decency not to persist when exposed.”

    It’s doubtful anybody but the trolls, and perhaps one other, would give a toss what you think. I provided links – you left the building, presumably to get advice. You want information read the links just as soon as you’ve finished “Big Ears goes to Toytown”.

  • Resident Dissident

    Anyway it looks as Mr Goss might be disappointed in his desire to see a full scale invasion of the Ukraine (or the Russian homelenad as he prefers to call it) – it looks as Putin is aiming for the constant disruption of Ukraine by a Transdinistr/Ossetia type solution and the occasional exercise of Russian nationalism in Chechenya and elsewhere so as to prevent the ultimate colour revolution in Russia.


  • John Goss

    “Talk about stinking hypocrisy – how are any of Goss’s proposed actions consistent with the Minsk Accords and “wholehearted” belief in peace?”

    The people of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk are going to need protection from the next wave of attacks from US/UK-trained forces (US there till November if they don’t decide to stay) followed by Canadian experts to be there till March 2016. I realise as a fascist supporter who claims not to be a fascist you would want your troops to attack a vulnerable populace without any protection. The only way they can realistically be protected is by Russia helping them like the Yanks UK and Canada are helping your fascists. It was the Russian presence in Crimea which brought peace to the region and fulfilled the wishes of the populace there.

    You condone western support for a Nazi government and have the hypocrisy to call me a hypocrite!

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I haven’t been following the commemorations of World War One. To be perfectly frank, I do not have the stomach for it – I think it pretty likely it would all make me sick.

    There are certain aspects of the war I am prepared to bet we have heard zero about:

    – British military resistance to World War One from the ordinary soldier, particularly in 1917-1918;

    – French military resistance likewise;

    – German military resistance likewise;

    – Collaboration between German and Allied ordinary soldiers in desertion and refusal to enter combat against each other.

    Would tell the wrong story, you see. I will be glad to hear that these aspects of the war have been examined, but surprised if they have.

    Kind regards,


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Goss

    “I provided links – you left the building,..etc, etc…”

    Certainly you provided links, Mr Goss. As did your back-up, Lysias.

    The problem is that your links do not back up your assertion, which was that the US had prevented various European countries from repatriating their gold reserves.

    In fact, they show the opposite.

    What is it you don’t understand, Mr Goss?

  • John Goss

    Nobody’s going to check links in the Interpreter when it is obvious what it is. It is run by this organisation.


    “It is a typical example of what is referred to in domestic Russian policy circles as “Russia’s 6th Column” – ie those ex-patriot organisations working against the the domestic Russian establishment. Their counterparts inside Russia are similarly referred to as “The 5th Column” and, post the Ukraine coup of 2014, near universally despised as unpatriotic organisations serving the interests of foreigners.”

  • nevermind

    “Well, they do have something to do with the issues at hand; the inquiries you object to are entirely legitimate when a poster – you in this case – makes various claims of a personal nature in an attempt to lend gravitas, legitimacy and the impression of insider knowledge to the contents of his posts.

    They are all the more legitimate when there is reason to suspect the genuineness of your claims.”

    Says who?
    Go wipe your own nose, before you ask others to reach for the hanky, Habbakuk. You could not make it up, the gall of this cheeky chappie, asking others to reveal their personal circumstances, when he himself is unable to hoist himself up to such petard.

    Piss poor performance Habby, no shekels for you. You, as well as your Gauleiter RD should really try better.

  • Free Speech

    Sorry gentlemen, focus !! We have a key election coming up, rumour has it the BoD have convinced Cameron/Milliband for the need to have a grand coalition in the interest of their “nation”. There will be enough FOI votes to carry any Syria/Iran war resolution then, the 99% can always survive on homeopathy/food banks, there are more pressing eretz matters to attend to before the Obama window of opportunity expires.

  • Resident Dissident

    But of course we are meant to check links in RT/Sputnik/Pravda when it is clear that they are run by Putin and his KGB allies. I ask again what interpretation you place on Kadyrovs’s comments.

    As for all this 5th column terminology we should of course note that it comes from one of Jackboot Johnnies heroes


    And surprise surprise Mola’s modern day supporters from National Democracy were at Putin’s modern day fascist fest in Petersburg recently:


  • Mary

    Pages of comments, mostly repetitive, will now follow, none of which will change a thing.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Pages of comments, mostly repetitive, will now follow, none of which will change a thing.

    Never been very strong on irony have you?

  • Summerhead

    To those regretting their previous support for military action in other places, I strongly recommend doing some research beyond reading the corporate media before making a decision. Ask questions such as why the corporate media demonise a particular country or leader whilst excusing the actions of others – It ain’t rocket science.
    Alternatively just jump on any passing bandwagon and act like a sheep as the vast majority of vampire politicians did in 2011 with the noble exception of 13 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110321/debtext/110321-0004.htm#column_802

  • nevermind

    Exactly Mary, quickly smothering one’s face with a new paint and he presto, the pimples are hidden.

  • Resident Dissident

    And of course I don’t expect Mr Goss to appreciate that the original 5th Columnists were of course the Communists backed by the Soviet Union who turned on the Trotskyists, Socialists and the Anarchists within the Republican ranks.

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