DAVID CAMERON- UK Prime Minister (Conservative)
ED MILIBAND- leader of opposition (Labour)
TONY BLAIR- ex Labour PM
Less than ten days before a pivotal General Election in the UK, Ed Miliband, has “weaponised” the drowned migrants tragedy by suggesting Cameron’s foreign policy is to blame, in order to score political points.
SHAME ON YOU MILIBAND!
This is just completely out of bounds as a potential election issue, as I see it. Mr Milliband, during the past 5 years, if you had made a constant song and dance about the plight of migrants; if you had consistently raised the issue in parliament; if you had insisted we discuss this topic with our EU partners, then of course it would be legitimate to use it as an election issue. But you did not.
THE RECENT UK MID-EAST RECORD
2002 AFGHANISTAN. In concert with other western allies, Britain, led by Tony Blair, entered Afghanistan in search of bin Laden, with the additional aim of destroying al Qaida. I think this was legitimate and necessary, though not fully productive.
2003 IRAQ Blair and Bush prosecuted what is considered by many to be an illegal war, based on lies about WMDs. The US led invasion had no UN backing, and resulted in the overthrow of Saddam. The sectarian insurgency unleashed by the war led directly to the formation of the brutal Islamic State.
2004 LIBYA Blair struck his notorious deal with Gaddafi paving the way for a string of oil deals. In return, the supposed Lockerbie bomber, al Megrahi was released from Scotland. Documents later exposed UK involvement in returning exiled Libyan exiles back into Gadaffi’s hands.
2011 LIBYA Cameron, with support of Miliband, intervened in the Benghazi crisis, protecting rebels at risk of slaughter by the Gadaffi regime. Britain, France and the US were involved in this joint enterprise which ultimately led to the demise of Gadaffi. There was no post conflict planning, ( a lesson which should have been learned from Iraq) and Libya became a lawless state. That Cameron should have learned lessons from his predecessor is indisputable.
2013 SYRIA Cameron proposed intervention in the Syrian civil war, but was defeated in parliament . Military action was cancelled and tens of thousands more civilians have died in the civil war.
The point which needs to be made is that Western foreign interference in the Middle East has often been ill advised, poorly planned and born of ignorance. So, when intervention is legitimate, our leaders find themselves haunted by past mistakes, and fixed into a position of inaction.
There is little appetite in Europe, and I imagine in the US also, for putting troops on the ground in the wake of previous disastrous incursions. The growing menace of ISIS may mean we might just have to collectively regain that appetite, despite our current reticence.
I will make my position clear: the West is NOT responsible for every conflict in the area, nor is it responsible for the barbaric, ruthless regime which is ISIS.
What should be clear however, is that those fleeing desperate situations should never be used as weapons in party politics.