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Corbyn is not who he pretends to be judged by his dictator friendly foreign policy ideas.

[Posted by Lara Keller 8/6/17]

On the 26th May 2017 Jeremy Corbyn the leader of the UK Labour Party gave a speech on terrorism and foreign policy (see full text https://partnershipblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/full-text-of-jeremy-corbyns-speech-on-terrorism-and-foreign-policy-after-22nd-may-manchester-terrorist-attack/). He “laid out his vision for British foreign policy”. This speech followed the horrific suicide bomb attack on a concert for young people (among them many children) in Manchester. No sensible person could not applaud his initial heart-felt comments on this heinous act and the need to avoid division.

He then goes on …. “I have spent my political life working for peace and human rights and to bring an end to conflict and devastating wars. That will almost always mean talking to people you profoundly disagree with. That’s what conflict resolution is all about. But do not doubt my determination to take whatever action is necessary to keep our country safe and to protect our people on our streets, in our towns and cities, at our borders.”

He was leader of the UK “Stop the War Coalition” between 2011 and 2015. An organisation which arose as a front for the hard-left “Socialists Workers Party” who provide most of its executive officers. There is a “steering committee” that drags in a broader bunch of well-known progressive names, which give it a softer left image. Jeremy Corbyn still stands by this organisation and supports it work. He was one of the founding members as and “officers” while a “back bench” Labour MP in 2001.

Stop The War Coalition always campaigns against any intervention, against the brutal excesses of nominally “leftist” dictatorships. They do not campaign for good intervention, just no intervention. They appear to be a foreign dictator PR firm, designed to dupe the well intentioned. Jeremy Corbyn is lying when he gives the impression he consistently works for “peace and human rights”. A brutal dictatorship is not at peace, and certainly does not defend human rights. The list of dictators campaigned for includes Saddam Hussein, Ali Khamenei (Iran), Muammar Gaddafi (Libya) and Bashar Assad (Syria). Several of its prominent founding members also campaigned for Slobodan Milošević back in the 1990s. I am more sympathetic to their campaigns against Western supported dictatorships or ultra nationalist regimes, in particular the destructive Saudi Monarchy and Zionist Israel. However Stop The War’s degree of wilfully naïve partisanship is preposterous.

Jeremy Corbyn then pledges in his speech to end the austerity cuts effecting the emergency and police services. He then goes on to what a Labour Government’s foreign policy would be …. “We will also change what we do abroad. Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.”

This he says does not reduce the moral responsibility of terrorists ….. “But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people that fights rather than fuels terrorism.”

Jeremy Corbyn misses the core reason for Extremist Islamist Terrorism in the West. Extremist Islamist movements come from social conditions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). A small minority of Young Muslims in the West are brain washed into believing they can be important supporters of these movements. The root of the problem is in the MENA region.

The objective of Extremist Islamist Terrorism is to get the West to withdraw support for all regimes and retreat from power politics in the region. This goes beyond “wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya”. The 9/11 attacks were justified by the presence of American military support for the Saudi monarchy. Extremist groups claim that their terrorist attacks are due to high profile direct Western military interventions, but why accept their propaganda at face value?

In the same sense Western Intelligence Agencies need to remind the public that they need more resources when more people are recruited to extreme groups, as a result of extremist propaganda that uses propaganda about incompetent direct Western military interventions. The extra supporters means extra expensive surveillance work. This does not mean terrorism would disappear without direct military intervention, what changes is the pattern of recruitment. Once again Corbyn is taking intelligence service PR at face value.

Corbyn’s comment also reveals that he is unable to acknowledge that Libyans were fighting to overthrow the brutal Gaddafi dictatorship, rather than just a “war”. One of these fighters, Salman Abedi, who had turned to so called “Islamic State (IS)” was the Manchester bomber. The initial success of IS – which terrorists are trying to defend – was due to incompetent interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria. More effort should have been made in each case to empower local populations to create well-resourced forces under central command to provide security. In each case the West deliberately avoided this strategy, even against direct appeals from opposition activists. Where was the progressive movement to stop this deliberate negligence? Instead the UK got popular ill-informed reactionary “hands off …..” campaigns, with Stop The War Coalition are their core.

Apart from foreign policy, Corbyn’s speech then goes on to state the causes of terrorism include radicalisation that “falsely drawing authority from Islamic beliefs”. He blandly says ….. “We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism”. The equally bland solution he suggests involves supporting the UK Armed Services and Foreign Office in “engaging with the world in a way that reduces conflict and builds peace and security.” He makes a good point that the UK Army will only get involved when “when there is a plan and you [Army] have the resources to do your job to secure an outcome that delivers lasting peace”. He is taking a swipe at the disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq that were motivated by revenge and greed.

His emotional commitment to the UK is that …. “I want the solidarity, humanity and compassion that we have seen on the streets of Manchester this week to be the values that guide our government. There can be no love of country if there is neglect or disregard for its people. No government can prevent every terrorist attack. If an individual is determined enough and callous enough, sometimes they will get through. …. But the responsibility of government is to minimise that chance, to ensure the police have the resources they need, that our foreign policy reduces rather than increases the threat to this country, and that at home we never surrender the freedoms we have won, and that terrorists are so determined to take away……”

A section of rousing volubility ends with a sentiment no one could argue against ….. “[We must] Stand together in memory of those who have lost their lives. Stand together in solidarity with the city of Manchester. And – stand together for democracy. ….. Because when we talk about British values, including tolerance and mutual support, democracy is at the very heart of them. And our General Election campaigns are the centrepieces of our democracy – the moment all our people get to exercise their sovereign authority over their representatives. ….. They all remind us that our government is not chosen at an autocrats’ whim or by religious decree and never cowed by a terrorist’s bomb.”

The problem with this is obvious, he has spent his political career arguing for appeasing the dictators, whose whim chooses governments. He professes to be anti-racist but is content to campaign for non-intervention against brutal dictatorships who deny their non-Western citizens representative government. Even attempting to deny them support when they rise up in rebellion against these dictators and against incredible odds. This stands starkly at odds with “solidarity, humanity and compassion” that he claims will inform a potential Labour Government under Corbyn’s leadership.

If the West does react to Extremist Islamist terrorism by attempting to “minimise that chance” as its only impetrative, then this means giving in, to the core demands of Extremist Islamism that the UK (and by extension of reasoning the West) withdraws from power politics in the MENA region. A region full of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes that do not depend for stability on popular domestic support. This means that the vacuum will be filled by other outside powers. This means Russia and China who have zero interest in promoting representative government, and have even less accountable foreign policies, than hypocritical Western foreign policies that can at least be influenced by democratic politics. In any case responding to terrorism by letting foreign extremists dictate foreign policy is not sustainable.

His speech then goes on to reason that respecting democracy makes obligations on election campaigning …. “So, let the quality of our debate, over the next fortnight, be worthy of the country we are proud to defend. Let’s have our arguments without impugning anyone’s patriotism and without diluting the unity with which we stand against terror.” His past political stances on foreign policy, especially with “Stop The War Coalition”, have avoided being both patriotic or progressive. Stating this is a matter of objective reality.

He ends with “Together, we will be stronger. Together we can build a Britain worthy of those who died and those who have inspired us all in Manchester this week.”

If Corbyn was who he pretends to be, then he would know the way to defeat Extremist Islamism, is to act in partnership with the alternative, which is genuine representative government in the Middle East. Lack of Western support for the Arab Democratic Uprising in 2011 has given Extremist Islamism an opportunity to reassert itself as the only alternative to current despotic stagnation. This is the mistake which Corbyn embraces, as does his rival the UK Prime Minister Theresa May (see https://partnershipblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/blinkered-theresa-may-and-blinkered-western-extremist-islamists-enough-is-enough/).

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