UK drops “war on terror” shock!

Can it be a coincidence that the Foreign Secretary David Miliband waited until Dubya’s presidency had only six days to run before formally dropping the concept of “ war on terror?”

Can it hell. Intended to foster the notion of an independent UK foreign policy, the timing merely reinforces the idea of Britain as America’s poodle, jumpin

g easily from the lap of one master GW Bush to another, Barack Obama’s. Miliband’s new tilt on terrorism also allows the UK to offer tears and sympathy to Gazans without attacking Israel outright. Quotes below from Miliband’s Guardian article.

The “war on terror” also implied that the correct response was primarily military. But as General Petraeus said to me and others in Iraq, the coalition there could not kill its way out of the problems of insurgency and civil strife.

This is what divides supporters and opponents of the military action in Gaza. Similar issues are raised by the debate about the response to the Mumbai attacks. Those who were responsible must be brought to justice and the government of Pakistan must take urgent and effective action to break up terror networks on its soil. But on my visit to south Asia this week, I am arguing that the best antidote to the terrorist threat in the long term is cooperation.

Predictably Miliband has been attacked from the right, by among others the polemicist Melanie Phillips.

It is as absurd therefore to say as Miliband does that “ the best antidote to the terrorist threat in the long term is co-operation” as it would have been to say that the best antidote to Nazism in the 1930s was co-operation. Does he really think that we should be sending out the police to arrest Osama bin Laden?

Phillips also attacked former UN ambassador and UK rep in Iraq Sir Jeremy Greenstock for remarks in his seminal Today programme interview (0 834 Monday 12 January) for the failure to coax Hamas “down the route of IRA to Sinn Fein” during the six months of the ceasefire, when in his view, it would have been possible .

This analogy is absurd and inappropriate for two principal reasons. First, the Northern Ireland ‘peace process’ became possible only when the IRA declared ‘the war is over’ and asked to become part of the political process instead; and that was only because it had been beaten into at least a stalemate by the British Army and concluded that joining the political process was the only way to achieve its goals.* That is patently not the case with Hamas which is waging uninterrupted war.

Second, and most important, the IRA’s goal was an independent Ireland. It did not want to destroy and conquer the UK and turn it into a Catholic state.

So the local parallels such as they are have been noticed by more than Slugger! Indeed Mark Steyn a Canadian writer for many US and UK outlets including the Spectator, has noticed our latest local spasms which reduce the Israel/Gaza crisis to a proxy for our own sad little sectarian tussles, in which some of the protagonists still posture as players on the world stage.

  • Rory Carr

    Ah, but Britain is ready to offer much more than “tears and sympathy to Gazans”. At least if we are to take some of the latest figures released by Miliband’s own Foreign Office.

    It transpires that while Britain exported £7.5m worth of military equipment to Israel during the whole of 2007 they managed to export almost £19m (£18,847,795 to be precise) in the first quarter alone of 2008.

    And what type of equipment? Why the vey type, including components for combat aircraft and military aero engines and “helmet-mounted display equipment”. All of which must have come in mighty handy indeed in producing tears at least among the unhappy Gazans.

  • Dave

    Miliband’s article reads like a parody of the naive, appeasement mentality of the British left. Yet this man actually means it! He clearly doesn’t grasp that the agenda of Hamas is extraterritorial and that it is not reconcilable with the territorial agenda of the Palestinians or with Western culture, law and human rights or with the state of Israel. You cannot ‘cooperate’ with those who seek to destroy you unless you wish to collude in your own destruction. Yes, Israelis and Arabs can get along, but neither Arab nor due can ‘get along’ with terrorist scum. Local “cooperation” is only applicable to those who wish to cooperate locally, and it has no relevance to those Jihad operates globally. In other words, the agenda of the Palestinians may be a territorial solution but Hamas have no interest whatsoever in a local territorial solution to what they see as a global mission. Miliband simply doesn’t grasp that Hamas sees self-determination as applying only to Islam, and never to specific nationalisms or states so Miliband’s notion that Islamic terrorist groups can be ‘channelled into democratic politics’ shows appalling ignorance of the actual dynamics. In addition, his comment that terrorist groups must be dealt with through civic processes is utterly bizarre – does he think that Hamas is going to arrest the Hamas members who fire rockets at Israel simply because he asks them nicely to? What a muppet! Israel was forced to launch its latest counterterrorist offensive because those who are charged with upholding the rule of law in Gaza are the ones who are violating the rule of law. Ergo, what civic process does the muppet think can be used to arrest terrorists in Gaza?

  • Rory Carr

    Nothing whatsoever to do with Israel failing to comply with its commitment to open the border crossings at the end of the last negotiated ceasefire then, Dave?

  • Dave

    By the way, while some of ‘the locals’ in NI may believe the massive propaganda campaign that was needed to prop-up the local appeasement process, it’s kind of disturbing when you see that senior British politicians now seem to believe their own publicity. Perhaps they should revisit basics and ask MI5 who controlled the Shinners and then read the Downing Street Declaration of 1993. They’ll then discover that all of the ‘jaw-jaw’ between ‘historic enemies’ was merely that (pointless yapping), and that the constitutional and political outcome was decided long before the local political hacks were allowed to get their snouts into the trough at the GFA talks.

  • Dave

    Rory, sovereign states mean sovereign borders. Contrary to what you might think, each state may open and shut its borders as it sees fit. On the other hand, if Hamas didn’t send suicide bombers through those borders, then there would have been no need to close them, would there? The Palestinians shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them and them cry when it stops feeding them. That’s just pitiful Nannystatism.

  • Greenflag

    David

    ‘but neither Arab nor due can ‘get along’ with terrorist scum.’

    Who or what is a due ? Are you a due or was that just a cover or Freudian neo con slip ?

    ‘He( Milliband) clearly doesn’t grasp that the agenda of Hamas is extraterritorial and that it is not reconcilable with the territorial agenda of the Palestinians ‘

    ?????

    ‘or with Western culture law and human rights’

    ???

    or with the state of Israel.

    ??

    Nobody is stating that Israel does not have a right to defend itself against Hamas provocation . If you expell people from their country and then lock same people into a cage for 50 years and expect that they or their children or grandchildren will ‘forgive ‘ their jailers then you don’t know human nature .

    Gaza needs a contiguous border with the rest of Palestine and the region needs a two state solution which guarantees Israel’s continued existence and Palestinians right to their own State . The Israelis can continue to kill Palestinians with impunity but in doing so they are digging their own eventual graves.

    When even UNICEF condemn this Israeli attack it’s a just another measure of the revulsion in which virtually the entire world views this Israeli mass killing .

  • Greenflag

    Rory ,

    ‘It transpires that while Britain exported £7.5m worth of military equipment to Israel during the whole of 2007 they managed to export almost £19m (£18,847,795 to be precise) in the first quarter alone of 2008. ‘

    I’m minded to paraphrase the old cold war joke

    1987

    ‘Meat is supplied jointly to the Poles by the Russians and the Czechs ‘

    The Czechs supply the meat .
    The Russians supply the coupons .

    2009 update

    Armaments are supplied jointly to the Israelis by the Americans and the British .

    The Americans supply the weapons .
    The British supply the spare parts .
    The Israelis use both and pay with coupons and loans
    The Palestinians supply the bodies (human meat )
    🙁

  • OC

    Sounds like UK Foreign Secretary David Milquetoast needs to grow a pair.

  • Rory Carr

    “…sovereign states mean sovereign borders” you say, Dave. And treaty obligations expect adherence from the partners thereof, in this instance an agreement by Israel to open access to border crossings, an agreement which like so often in the past they have repudiated when payment date became due.

    And international law demands compliance with UN Security Council resolutions which Israel has blithely ignored again and again and again (yet another today dismissed out of hand) which means in effect that it has turned itself into a rogue state de jure thus reinforcing the de facto roguery that presents its murderous face to the world.

  • sovereign states mean sovereign borders. Contrary to what you might think, each state may open and shut its borders as it sees fit

    True.

    But not every state builds a wall around its refugees and calls that refugee camp a foreign land.

    Not every state conducts a naval blockade to stop supplies reaching its neighbour from the sea.

    Not every state destroys its neighbour’s harbour to prevent supplies landing.

    Not every state impounds the replacement parts for its neighbour’s only power station.

    So we’re not just talking about any old state here, are we, Dave?

  • Harry Flashman

    “refugee camp”

    I always enjoy the nonsensical use of that term to refer to locations that are neither camps nor inhabited by refugees.