Historian nails why UK government is getting away with dangerously ‘extreme’ policies

Mark Curtis
Ed Sykes

Historian Mark Curtis has pinpointed why the British government is getting away with such dangerously “extreme” foreign policies.

On 30 January, he seemed to place the blame firmly on mainstream journalists:

His message comes as Conservative politicians have been supporting a US-backed and engineered coup attempt in Venezuela; with broad media support. This coup is very much about trying to put Venezuela’s vast oil resources back in the hands of Western corporations. Seasoned US warhawk John Bolton (currently Donald Trump’s national security adviser) revealed as much recently, saying:

It’ll make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.

Meanwhile, as Curtis says, Conservative ministers have been fawning over notorious war criminal (and former US secretary of state) Henry Kissinger – the man responsible for orchestrating some of the 20th century’s worst atrocities, which slaughtered millions of people.

Billions of pounds in UK arms sales to war criminals and human rights abusers

Curtis also mentions that foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has been praising “apartheid state” Israel. Since 2000, Israeli armed forces or settlers have reportedly killed over 2,000 Palestinian children. And while the heavily militarised state commits alleged war crimes and “ethnic cleansing” in occupied Palestine with impunity, it also gets copious military aid from the US and record arms imports from the UK.

The hypocrisy goes further, though. Because the UK backs brutal dictators and regimes around the world. And its fellow coup plotters in the US support the vast majority of the planet’s dictatorships. Both London and Washington love the Saudi dictatorship, for example. That’s in spite of it creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, with help from over £4.6bn worth of UK arms.

Then there’s Turkey, a key NATO ally found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal. Again, this state gets many million-pound arms imports from the UK. And that’s in spite of Ankara’s support for terrorists and fascists. As Curtis points out:

He then summarises:

Those who live in glass houses…

Considering their terrible records of propping up dictators and fuelling humanitarian crises, any UK or US attempt to play the ‘global police force’ on democracy and human rights is just empty and hypocritical posturing. And a new Control Arms UK report is a perfect wake-up call for Britain to put its own affairs in order before pushing for coups elsewhere. The study urges the UK to reduce its billion-pound arms sales to warzones and repressive regimes. It also slams the government for ‘ignoring’ its findings when they’re inconvenient but ‘quoting’ them “when it suits” UK attacks on other countries.

The coup attempt in Venezuela is yet another unpopular imperialist intervention in an oil-rich state. And history shows just how disastrously such interference turns out. So instead of listening to shameless government warhawks or their cheerleaders in the establishment media, let’s share the message of experts and progressive voices; let’s push for dialogue, not war.

Featured image via screenshot

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  • Show Comments
    1. Most British people are dumbed down by Tory propaganda to bully other British people, while Tories and their friends go into politics to live in luxury for free with expenses.
      They think if we leave the EU there will be a miracle and foreign born Tories like Boris Johnson whose family changed their name to Johnson to sound more British, will suddenly start doing what’s best for most British people and society.
      That’s why when Labour reformed House of Lords, Tories tried to vote against it, so upper classes could live for free on expenses. While telling the millions they made unemployed they weren’t working hard enough to survive.
      I saw people calling a 68 year old woman who was receiving a pension a benefit scrounger

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