2007 - 2021

UK Brings ‘Peace’ #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik

Boat Migrants Risk Everything for a New Life in Europe:  African asylum seekers rescued off boats and taken aboard an Italy navy ship, June 8, 2014.I just watched David Cameron on the BBC news (02-09-15) telling us all that we did not need to take in more ‘migrants’; rather that we had to bring peace and stability to the countries the ‘migrants’ were coming from.

All the BBC reporter had to say on this comment was that the UK was donating to humanitarian aid in Syria. There is so much wrong with both Cameron’s words and the objectionable BBC response.

If people are fleeing a war zone they are refugees, not migrants. Who has ever read (or watched) any history of the First or Second World Wars in which the people fleeing from Belgium, the Netherlands and France were referred to as migrants? If Western Europeans fleeing a war zone during the World Wars were refugees, then the people fleeing from war in the Middle East and Asia are also refugees. Refugee status is not predicated on colour or religion, but on why people are leaving their country.

While Cameron and NATO were bombing Libya for ‘democracy’ the Saudi tanks were rolling into Bahrain to crush the pro-democracy protestors. When Cameron was asked if they would bomb Saudi tanks in support of democracy in Bahrain he replied, “No, it is not in our national interest”. This is simply part of a long history of the UK interfering in other countries not for democracy, nor from any sense of moral decency, but to further our national interest. It is a long history, stretching from the British East India Company to the multination profits made in Iraq with the assistance of the ‘Middle East Peace Envoy’ Blair. No UK Prime Minister can talk of bringing peace and stability to countries until he accepts that the rule of international law applies to the UK, the US and Israel every bit as much as it does to any other nation or group of individuals.

Consider these few excerpts from the history of the Middle East:-

• Following WWI Churchill and ‘Bomber Harris’ slaughter Kurdish civil populations using poison gas. Harris notes that he can clear a small town in less than an hour. Churchill observes that he can see nothing wrong with using gas on uncivilized tribes.
• The UK and the US arm the future Taliban. (I know that Afghanistan is not in the Middle East, but clearly the war in Afghanistan has had repercussions in that zone).
• UK, Israel and France go to war with Egypt because it decides that the Suez Canal might actually be Egyptian. This is an example of autarchic growth, one of the reasons the US and UK helped overthrow the government of Indonesia.
• The UK and the US overthrow the parliamentary government of Iran and install the brutal Shah.
• The UK and the US invade Afghanistan. During a very long war they provide weapons and support to brutally vicious and oppressive war lords.
• The US and UK provide the material Saddam needs to build and deliver poison gas to be used in his war against Iran.
• The UK and the US impose sanctions on Iraq which kill around 1,000,000 people including an estimated 500,000 children under the age of 5. Various UN officials resign referring to the sanctions as genocide.
• The UK and the US go to war with Iraq on the grounds that Saddam possess weapons of mass destruction. (This causus belli is not of course a reason for nations to go to war with the UK, US or Israel.)
• The UK and US, defined as occupying powers under international law, fail to protect Iraqi museums and cultural heritage. The US puts military bases in the centre of major archaeological sites and sets ISIS an example of how to inflict major cultural destruction.
• Egyptians overthrow their dictatorship; the US president talks not of a victory for democracy, but of the need for stability.
• The UK and US begin to ramp up pressure for war with Iran, claiming Iran is building nuclear weapons. Incredibly, given the complete lack of evidence for an Iranian nuclear weapons programme and given all that happened in Iraq, the ‘free press’ vigorously support the campaign.
• The UK and the US want to provide more support for Syrian rebels. Later the US and the UK decide that some of these rebels (ISIS in particular) may not be such nice people after all.
• After ‘victory’ in Libya black prisoners are found with their hands tied behind their backs and bullets in their head – no action from NATO. Ethnic cleansing in Misrata – no action by NATO

That is a very brief potted history which highlights my basic point: no UK Prime Minister has the right to talk about bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

Until the UK adopts the Kampala definition of the Crime of Aggression, until the UK follows international law, then all UK military intervention should cease. That will be a significant step towards bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

Peace and Stability is ‘jam tomorrow’, the refugees need jam today. The refugees are here now, they are fleeing war now. Peace and stability might encourage people to return, it might reduce the future flow of migrants, but it does not help the desperate thousands now. And they are fleeing war, ten years ago this refugee crisis did exists, it exists because of the ongoing conflicts. People do not risk their lives, and the lives of their children, unless they are desperate. Look at the photograph in the link at the end of this article (it is very disturbing), and tell me they are simply fleeing for a better economic life.

They are human beings, they are human beings fleeing from countries we have helped destabilise. And, even if we had not been involved in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. would it really matter? In the 1930’s we took in Jewish children, but not their parents. Most people look back on these actions with disgust. How will our children view our actions?

Peace and stability will come too late for this little boy.

Comments (14)

Leave a Reply to merry-go-round Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Graham King says:

    While Cameron and Westminster dodge responsibility, is there not scope for Scotland’s Holyrood Parliament to act unilaterally to send help? Will the Scottish MPs in the Commons move for Royal Navy and civil vessels to go to assist refugees at source, rather than wait for them to risk their lives after handing over savings to gangsters? The UK (or Scotlando at least) could then be welcoming new citizens who would still have their own resources to make a start here not so dependent on state aid or charity, and avoid cash flowing to people-traffickers and whatever evil ends they may then put that money to.

  2. Jean says:

    Watching these poor people trying to do their best for their families and ending up dead is heartbreaking. I saw the foto of the child being carried off the beach in Bodrum last night for the first time and I took that image to bed with me and woke with it again this morning. Cameron is a despicable creature as are all around him, does he sleep well at night I wonder.

    Excellent article, thank you.

  3. Dougie Blackwood says:

    There is no shame in the corridors of power in UK.

    Prior to the Iraq was a million people were on the streets; Not In My Name. Now we have the results of Western interference in the Middle East writ large. Of course they are “MIGRANTS” to be decried by our xenophobic, racist press not refugees.

    While the picture in your link is the front page of “The National” today’s headline in the Daily Express is “EU blamed for MIGRANT crisis”; two xenophobic targets in one headline.

  4. bringiton says:

    Successive British Prime Ministers have been so cocooned in their massive egos that they completely fail to understand that by perpetrating violence on others that there may be consequences and even if they did,didn’t seem to care.
    They get away with this largely because,once elected to Westminster,they can do what they like.
    The rule of law,as far as they are concerned is what they say it is and is supported by and large by HM press.
    We have a moral responsibility,having helped to destabilise these countries,to support the people on the receiving end of our government’s foreign policies.
    Trident has not brought stability to the world because it is completely irrelevant in every conflict area (except a theoretical future exchange of nuclear weapons with a foreign power) and the money should be spent righting the wrongs of previous misjudgements by HM government,of which there have been many.
    The picture of the drowned child is beyond words and speaks as always of man’s inhumanity to man.
    An utter disgrace and not in my name either.

    1. Sheena Rae says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with bringiton. The governments past and present never learn by their own mistakes. Britain, which is no longer Great as far as I am concerned should hold their heads in shame. David Cameron is oblivious to the pain and suffering he is inflicting on the refugees NOT Migrants. He does it but certainly Not in my name. I have put a candle light in my window tonight in memory of all those drowned souls. May they RIP can Cameron!!!!!!!

  5. muttley79 says:

    Sadly I think we have to accept the most obvious interpretation of Cameron and the UK government’s response to the humanitarian emergency with the refugees; they simply do not care about the refugees on any level. It is an appalling state of affairs, but I do not see a more convincing interpretation of their inaction in the face of such a massive level of suffering. If you treat the poor, the vulnerable, disabled, those struggling generally so badly in your own state, how and why would you feel any sense of compassion towards those in utterly desperate need of help and assistance outwith your own borders? It simply is not going to happen, and the reason is that the Tories in general believe in a virulent strain of social Darwinism, and have done since Thatcher took over as their leader. There may be some dissenters from this odious position in the Conservative Party at present but I suspect there is not that many.

  6. Broadbield says:

    A timely article which I agree with wholeheartedly and the comments too.

    Listening to Cameron, and others in Labour, who over recent months have basically supported him, I feel that the UK Government’s attitude is borderline racist. His excuses for doing nothing just don’t wash – what he is really saying is, there’s a lot of racist voters in the UK, such as UKIP supporters and many Conservatives, and we really don’t want to upset them, so let’s throw the problem back onto the countries from which the refugees are fleeing, and where decades of our interference in other people’s affairs have caused this exodus. Oh, and let’s not call them “refugees”, but “migrants”, because that will scare people more.

    1. merry-go-round says:

      so people who are racist/border-line racist – you know the kind of Nazis who reckon that 320,000 net migration a year is completely unsustainable – should just be ignored by Cameron?

      Politicians responding to the whims of their electoral base – that’s kind of in the nature of democracy yeah? Actually I’m sure the 4,000,000 people who voted UKIP in May and ended up with one seat may question how democratic the first-past-the post system is but still.

      “decades of our interference in other people’s affairs” – Oh please do tell me how the U.K caused the civil war in Syria I’d love to know!

      1. Bill Wilson says:

        I suggest you look at the link below by Brian Powell. It would be difficult to find any unrest in the Middle East in which the UK/US have not been involved in one way or another.

  7. John Mooney says:

    Let this be a stain on the characters of Cameron,Osborne,IDS and the rest of those benighted Tory bastards.The picture of that young boy is a defining moment akin to the young Vietnamese girl napalmed during that disgusting war!What does Ruth Davidson have to say or is she just following orders from down South to say nothing or does she have the moral integrity to come out and state that her party is totally and disgracefully beyond the pale on this terrible tragedy happening in front of us every day! God damn those right wing apologist,Blair et.all who created this uncivilized and disgusting disaster,DAMN the BASTARDS to HELL!

  8. merry-go-round says:

    Oh dear I was waiting patiently for the “jews-of-the-1930’s” to be dragged up in any discussion of the migration/refugees crisis – I didn’t have to wait too long. Quite how Jews facing almost certain extermination at the hands of the Nazis in the 1930’s are in any way comparable with economic migrants many of whom are escaping “war torn” countries such as erm Vietnam, Central African republic, Bangladesh, Eritrea and Ethiopia is anyone’s guess. Of course the people fleeing Syria and Iraq should take priority – although the liberal left need to be honest and say if there is a thing as too many people or is their wet dream of open borders and to hell with the consequences their real desire? Also should the nations accepting refugees have any say on the matter or will they be ignored as per usual and simply dismissed as racist.

    I agree: the west have had an atrocious track-record in the middle-east and should simply abandon anything regarding interference in the middle east/ Arab world hence-forth and that includes any challenge to the Islamic state.

    1. Bill Wilson says:

      People fleeing war zones are known as refugees not migrants. It is interesting that those opposed to giving aid, of providing shelter, consistently refuse to recognise their refugee status. Do you really believe that they are abandoning all they have, risking their lives, simply for economic gain? It really does not occur to you that the massive increase in flight from Iraq, Syria etc. all follow conflicts in these counties. If you really believe that they are economic migrants can you explain why they were not leaving in their hundreds of thousands before the conflict began?

      As for challenging the Islamic state, you nicely ignore the point, we helped arm them in the first place. We made a major contribution to creating the problem; morally we have to make a contribution to sheltering the people who are now refugees as a result of the problem we helped create.

      Yes there is a direct comparison between how we treated Jewish refugees in the 30’s and how we treat the refugees of today. When people look back on how we treated refugees in the 30’s it is generally with shame. I believe that future generations will look back on how we have behaved this time around and feel similar shame. In the 30’s (prior to WWII and the death camps) there were many of racist tendency who denied the Jews were refugees and who objected to a large influx of people into the UK. It was this racism which meant that children, but not their parents were allowed entry, and only children with a stated sum of money.

      I do not accept that the level of migration into the UK is unsustainable. The figure you suggest (I would like to see how you arrived at that number) is about 0.5% of the UK population. The UK has a declining birth rate so clearly 0.5% is not unsustainable.

      Finally, the refugees are showing great courage, they have abandoned their homes and travelled great distances often at considerable risk to themselves. They strike me as a valuable addition to any country.

      I have answered the points you made in a civil and rational manner, I trust if you respond you will show the same courtesy.

      1. merry-go-round says:

        (a) So you do agree with me that there is a distinction with people in “the jungle” in Calais & camped outside Budapest train station that the people from Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Eritrea, Nigeria & Vietnam who are clearly NOT refugees but simply migrants jumping on the bandwagon of people from genuine conflicts such as Syria and Iraq. The news organizations seem not to have noticed this in much the same way that it has taken a photogenic dead kid on a beach for people to wake up to the horror of a self-imposed civil war which has dragged on for 4 years a killed a quarter of a million.
        (b) I do believe these people both migrants and refugees are on the look out for economic gain: the clue is where they want to go: they don’t settle in Hungary, Macedonia or Albania – instead they seem to want to go to Scandanavia, Germany or the UK – funny that eh? or perhaps it’s just a coincidence!
        (c) I’m not sure how we armed I.S – unless you mean they captured arms which the US supplied to the useless Iraqi army when they pulled out a few years back. We certainly should have backed Asad to the hilt from the very start but I suppose this was the heady days of the Arab (non)spring and public opinion thought that it may be the flowering of democracy in that part of the world similar to eastern Europe in 1989. We should have all paid attention to Niall Ferguson who pointed out that democracy is at odds with the tribal/religious make-up of most middle-Eastern countries and that backing secular dictatorships is the only game in town for stability.
        (d) Morally help them? – isn’t a billion pounds in the past 3 years and a promise to take 6,000 refugees not enough for the British taxpayers? It’s a billion more than the UAE or Saudi Arabia has given. Mind you they both support IS and so this war is just what they want: the extermination of the Christians in Syria and the butchering of Shia muslims is simply the icing in the cake!
        (e) net migration to the UK is 230,000 – that’s the official figure – obviously illegal migration brings that up further. I didn’t make that figure up !
        (f) agreed – we saved very few people in the 1930’s and yet the British milked what little help they give for all it was worth. I tend to believe that many (even the dreadful Daily mail) were not really aware what was in store for Europe until the late 1930’s.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.