Britain’s Foreign Policy and Support For Genocidal killers Shrouded in Propaganda
The hypocritical nature of the Britain’s foreign policy over the decades has been breathtaking. It staggers from one crisis to another. Taxpayers have unknowingly been funding violence and repression across the globe, while dictators such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe owe the UK billions of pounds.
Let’s start by stating one obvious case: the revelation of continued British arms sales to Russia is both embarrassing and morally repugnant. A report by MPs found that out of 285 export licences to Mother Russia from the UK, just 34 have been cancelled following the “annexation” of Crimea – despite William Hague’s pledge to end any shipments that could be used to oppress the Ukrainian people.
More widely, David Cameron made a good, blustery show of opposing Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin, embracing the kind of internationalist, human-rights driven agenda that would make Tony Blair proud of his ideological heir.
However, if you you followed last summers horrific massacre of the people of Gaza by the Israeli military forces you may well have been inspired to sign a petition to make the British government arrest Benjamin Netanyahu on a visit due in a few weeks time for war crimes that the UN has determined took place for 6,000 airstrikes, 14,500 tank shells and 45,000 artillery shells unleashed between July 7 and Aug 26.
The Government has had to respond as the signatories of the petition are well on the way to reaching its 100,000 target to force a parliamentary question on the matter. The government has responded to the petition so far with;
“Under UK and international law, visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained.
The British Government has invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as head of the Israeli Government, to visit the UK in September. Under UK and international law, certain holders of high-ranking office in a State, including Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs are entitled to immunity, which includes inviolability and complete immunity from criminal jurisdiction”.
Of course this is why the Cameron government ‘adjusted’ the law on Universal Jurisdiction that was quietly amended in order to facilitate the entry into Britain of Israeli politicians and military personnel without fear of arrest for alleged war crimes – just in case.
That contentious action was taken by the then Conservative Foreign Minister, William Hague, in order to accede to the demands of Binyamin Netanyahu and the government of Israel, and against the opposition of UK human rights groups and a mounting population who despise Netanyahu and Israel’s actions.
The Home Office, has, from August 2005 to 31 March 2009, excluded 101 individuals from the UK for having “engaged in unacceptable behaviour”. Whilst these individuals are quite rightly excluded, one has to ask the question; why has government decided that Netanyahu’s behaviour is even remotely acceptable in comparison. None of those individuals are mass murderers or war criminals.
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In the meantime, Britain has a long history of harbouring genocidal killers, maniacs and dictators and the Tories have a particular affinity for such individuals.
The dictatorship of Chile was established after the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by a CIA-backed coup d’état on 11 September 1973.
The regime was characterised by the systematic suppression of political parties and the persecution of dissidents to an extent that was unprecedented in the history of Chile. Over-all, the regime left over 3,000 dead or missing and forced 200,000 Chileans into exile. There are estimates that up to 30,000 lost their lives to the dictator Pinochet.
Pinochet was not supported by his Junta and was voted out which he had no choice but to abide by. In addition, Spain wanted extradition as they wanted to try him on charges alleging human rights violations during his 1973-1990 regime.
In 1999 –Baroness Thatcher visited General Pinochet at the home where he was staying under house arrest near London, having been offered a safe haven – and talked of the “debt” she believes the UK owed him.
The Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s former secret police chief, already serving 490 years in prison for human rights violations, was handed an additional 15-year in May this year. Manuel Contreras was the head of operations at the Dina intelligence service, which ran torture centres where hundreds of people were killed.
In another matter, and contrary to general belief, it was the British who instigated and installed an apartheid regime in South Africa and who supported the regime to the end.
Arch-Thatcherite MP, Teddy Taylor, declared that Mandela “should be shot“. One of her biggest fans in the press, the News of the World’s “Voice of Reason”, Woodrow Wyatt, accused Mandela and the ANC of trying to establish “a communist-style black dictatorship”.
Sir Larry Lamb, a personal friend of Thatcher and then Daily Express editor, declared in 1985 that Mandela’s unconditional release would be “a crass error”.
During Thatcher’s time in office, members of the Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) went as far as wearing stickers declaring: “Hang Nelson Mandela” until the group was banned in 1986 by an embarrassed Tory leadership. The head of the FCS at the time, John Bercow, is now the current Speaker of the House of Commons.
Then there are the £2.35 billion of cash loans handed out to foreign countries without any form of regulation – including payments to Iran, Burma and North Korea – which remain unpaid, an MPs’ investigation has found.
Much of the money has been spent on British-made arms, which are then used to control citizens of repressive regimes.
The funds were handed out by UK Export Finance (UKEF) – once dubbed the ‘department of dodgy deals’ – which lends foreign governments money to buy British goods such as weapons.
A former senior aide to Rwanda’s president claimed that British foreign aid to the country is “funding a dictator”.
David Himbara, who was private secretary to President Paul Kagame (president of Rwanda) until two years ago, said the £270million of British aid that will be given to the country over the next three years is “sustaining a bad regime.”
Kagame’s regime is alleged to be funding and arming a bloody rebellion in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo where mass rape, murder and crimes of genocide are reported by the UN.
Britain has promised aid for President Kagame at a rate of more than £80million a year until 2015.
“Britain is not funding Rwanda. It is funding a dictator. Let no British taxpayer flatter herself or himself that they are helping Rwanda. No, you are merely extending their misery,” Mr Himbara said, speaking to Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.
Using strong-arm tactics reminiscent of apartheid South Africa, tens of thousands of people in Ethiopia have been moved against their will to purpose-built communes that have inadequate food and lack health and education facilities, according to human rights watchdogs, to make way for commercial agriculture. With Orwellian clinicalness, the Ethiopian government calls this programme “villagisation”. The citizens describe it as victimisation.
And this mass purge was part bankrolled, it is claimed, by the UK. Ethiopia is one of the biggest recipients of UK development aid, receiving around £375m a year.
“The British government is supporting a dictatorship in Ethiopia,” says Mr O, speaking through an interpreter from a safe location that cannot be disclosed for legal reasons. “It should stop funding Ethiopia because people in the remote areas are suffering. I’m ready to fight a case against the British government.” The dispute comes ahead of the 30th anniversary of famine in Ethiopia capturing the world’s gaze, most famously in Michael Buerk’s reports for the BBC that sparked the phenomena of Band Aid and Live Aid.
The brutal dictators that Britain has supported not just politically but with taxpayers money has included;
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain supported by US and UK and then there was Support of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi – one was hanged and the other murdered when British forces, along with other nations destabilised their countries and turned them into failed states, now run by terrorists.
Pakistan’s President from 1977 to 1988, Zia-ul-Haq, a former British Indian Army officer had close relationship with the UK/US and supported for mujahideen resistance against the Soviets in Afghanistan – the front-runners to the Taliban, funded by the CIA (again). He presided over Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and promoted the spread of Islamist militancy.
Indonesia’s genocidal leader General Suharto was another supported by the British government. For three decades the south-east Asian department of the British Foreign Office worked tirelessly to minimise the crimes of Suharto’s gestapo, known as Kopassus, who gunned down people with British-supplied Heckler & Koch machine guns from British-supplied Tactica ‘riot control’ vehicles.”
More recently, Britain is now signed up – via Nato – to a US deal with Turkey, by which the coalition against Isis can use Turkey’s Incirlik airbase, in return for which Turkey can use fighting against the caliphate as a pretext for resuming its war against the Kurds. The Kurds are fighting our arch enemies – ISIS, but we are supporting Turkey who are fighting the Kurds.
This is precisely the sort of moral inconsistency that violent extremists use to spur their further recruitment campaigns. After all, Britain’s recent history in the Middle East is one of finding inappropriate partners and propping them up as puppet regimes who then pursue catastrophic sectarian agendas: look no further than the post-invasion support for Iraq’s disastrous, divisive former PM, Nouri al-Maliki for proof of that.
And when al-Maliki’s obscenely corrupt government failed, officials on both sides of the Atlantic pin blame for ISIS on Iraqi government.
It makes no difference which way you look at it – Britain’s foreign policy has supported both politically and financially some of the most vicious, reprehensible killers in history whilst propagandising its human-rights position as fair and just.