Dear Gordon, Dear Ming

by Stephen Tall on August 28, 2007

The exchange of letters between Ming Campbell and Gordon Brown over the Labour government’s disastrous Middle East foreign policy has been dominating the headlines all day:

BBC Online;
The Telegraph;
The Independent;

Ming has responded to the Prime Minister’s reply over at his website – here – witheringly noting that it “simply rehearses the Government line and could have been written by his predecessor”.

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Brown is just as implicated in the Middle Eastern adventure as is Bliar (that was actually a typo, if a Freudian one) – after all, Brown not only paid for the Iraq War but he also voted for it.

by Mountjoy on August 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm. Reply #

Ming is absolutely right to press Brown on this issue. Those who think that Brown is any different to Blair on foreign policy will have to think again. In truth we are dammed either way, no one seriously imagines that things will be OK in Iraq for the forseeable future, whatever we do. Withdrawing our troops is the least worst option. Our troops have been in Iraq for long enough that it must now be obvious that they cannot improve matters sufficiently for them to leave. Every month the situation deteriorates further and we are told we have to wait longer and longer… Lets face it, it is not working.
And the rest of the world is not standing still either. Afghanistan is getting out of control, Pakistan is on the brink, Dafur is being ignored, as is Palestine. Oil rich states such as Kuwait or Saudi Arabia may not be as stable as we like to think.
We have paid a very high price in Iraq, and unfortunately we have to deal with the situation as it is today. Rewinding the clock is not an option.
It takes extraordinary incompetance to make Iraq into an even more dangerous place than it was when Saddam Hussein was dictator there.
Blair and Bush will go down in history as the worst post war leaders of the western world.

by Geoffrey Payne on August 28, 2007 at 9:42 pm. Reply #

“It takes extraordinary incompetance to make Iraq into an even more dangerous place than it was when Saddam Hussein was dictator there.”

Therein lies the rub. The cynic might say that Saddam Hussein, for all his faults, kept the peace for 25 years. He stopped the various factions killing each other, which they do with such relish now they have “democracy”. Rather like Marshal Tito, who maintained order in former Jugoslavia for four decades.

“Big” Dick Cheney, his marionette, Bush, and the military-industrial-petrochemical complex which hires them, do not give a stuff about peace, democracy or human rights. All they care about in Iraq is oil.

Gordon Brown knows what happens to politicians who get in the way of the military-industrial-petrochemical complex. Jack Kennedy fell to E Howard Hunt’s bullet, his brother was blown away by three CIA men in a Los Angeles hotel. And we know what became of Salvador Allende. Even if Cheney doesn’t actually have Brown bumped off, he can still set Murdoch on him. Which some might argue is a fate worse than death.

I think Brown’s big test is not so much the speed with which he withdraws the remaining troops from Basra Airport, but his willingness to defy Cheney over Iran.

Wasn’t Ming brilliant today? Standing outside Kings Cross Station? He told us the truth, clearly and articulately, and with passion. More power to his elbow.

by Angus Huck on August 29, 2007 at 2:03 am. Reply #

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