Simon Jenkins on the UK's "ruinous decade of wars"
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Wednesday December 28 2011
|Simon Jenkins in The Guardian today reflects on what he considers the easy bellicosity of NATO powers against the Muslim world, and the UK’s imperialist echoes in its relations with Muslim majority states.
“That echo [of imperialism] is far from an irrelevance. It has conditioned surely the most catastrophic decade in British foreign policy since the 1930s. Another soldier died in Helmand over Christmas, where soldiers will go on dying, to no clear purpose, until 2014. Another hundred Iraqis died in Baghdad bombings, the outcome of Britain’s shared incompetence in restructuring Iraq. Meanwhile, around 5,000 have died in Syria, screaming against the double standard that toppled regimes in oil-rich Iraq and Libya but leaves Syria to empty sanctions and emptier rhetoric.
“Over this last decade Britain’s national sovereignty has not been remotely threatened by any other state, yet its government has adopted a stance of hectoring and often open belligerence towards much of the Muslim world. British forces have been sent to ill-judged and ineptly fought wars that have left British cities in a state of perpetual terrorist alert. It is hard to think of any gain to Britain’s foreign interests that has come from these wars – apart from a possible anticipated oil deal in Libya.”
As fellow Guardian columnist Seumas Milne wrote earlier this month:
“After a decade of blood-drenched failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, violent destabilisation of Pakistan and Yemen, the devastation of Lebanon and slaughter in Libya, you might hope the US and its friends had had their fill of invasion and intervention in the Muslim world.
“It seems not. For months the evidence has been growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has already begun, backed by Britain and France…”