The criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn so far extend mainly to his domestic policy, specifically his plans to print more money to fund his future projects. However little attention has been paid to his foreign policy, and his support for causes and actions which could cause a great deal of damage around the world. Isolationism used to be the preserve of the far right in British Politics, after-all the only agreement Nick Griffin and Jeremy Corbyn have is the view that British troops should never have entered Afghanistan or Iraq. The far left have been especially vocal about recent conflicts, from stopping Milosevic to toppling Saddam, and averting a massacre of people at the hands of the now deceased Mr Gaddafi. They have been critically against all of these actions of stopping murder, genocide, and uprooting tyrannies which caused countless deaths under the masquerade of sovereign government.
While Jeremy has never supported such tyrannies of Iraq or Syria his isolationism on the Syrian question is something which has to be challenged. No-one is denying the invasion of Iraq was badly handled and the damage it wreaked on that particular country. Maybe Jeremy is right to apologise for the Iraq invasion, although i still believe the initial aim to defeat dictators rather than prop them up is the moral course of action. If Jeremy is willing to say sorry for Iraq, maybe he needs to say sorry for his support for allowing Syria to be engulfed with violence and destruction.
If Iraq is the millstone behind interventionism, then Syria has to be the same for Isolationism. There are already 4 million refugees from the Syrian conflict and that number is ever growing with almost 11 million people displaced from their homes. The iraq conflict produced between 3.5 million-5 million refugees in double the amount of time. There are 200,000 people reported dead and the ever growing number civilians according to USAID there are more than 12 million in need of Humanitarian assistance. The Syrian conflict has already produced a human suffering which brings shame onto the stop the war coalition. If you add in the growth and creation of ISIS under the stewardship of this conflict then it’s been a disaster of monumental proportions. As Abdel Bari Atwan has pointed out in his book Isis the digital caliphate’, it was the Syrian conflict which opened up the opportunity for I.S. to become a unique force separate from Al-Qaeda in Iraq. His answer to the problem ignores the fact that ISIS is now largely self financing so clamping down on external funding will not destroy the group, and any peace talks will end up with ISIS controlling significant territory.
Jeremy’s support for nefarious groups also needs to come under more scrutiny. On channel 4 he openly denied really being friends with Hamas or Hezbollah. However, while speaking at a meeting for stop the war coalition he struck a contradictory tone to the one presented in his interview with channel 4. He praised Hamas as a movement for social and political justice for both Palestinians and across the region, while this was stated in 2009 we need to know if this is still his view. There are numerous reports by Amnesty and Human rights watch which demonstrate the violation of human rights and dignity are an occurring feature. Maybe Mr Corbyn needs to look at Hamas’s constitution before he labels them as a group which is dedicated to peace and justice. His support for Hezbollah i find equally baffling, because the Lebanese government which Hezbollah are a part of actively enforces apartheid laws against Palestinians. His seeming love for the regime in Venezuela also needs to be questioned. The growing authoritarian regime in Venezuela doesn’t paint a pretty picture and isn’t matched by his rhetoric on creating a new kind of foreign policy. His chairmanship of the Organisation Stop the war coalition also needs to be considered, as does his relationship with Andrew Murray. This is a man who has defended North Korea and made apologetics for Stalinism, was Jeremy again not aware of his views, or maybe we just need to embrace a different view of the world….
One of Jeremy’s plans is to remove us from NATO, the world wide organisation which was founded in 1949. It was a cold war organisation, however it has now morphed in order to provide worldwide logistical support for operations across the world when necessary. Withdrawing from NATO isolates ourselves from allies across the world which when combined with his wish to abandon our nuclear weapons stock adds up to a position where Britain is out looking for new allies in the world. Maybe he wishes to start looking at China and others to get close to. Certainly they share a similar outlook on sovereignty that it must be preserved at all costs no matter what the crime, and that humanitarian intervention doesn’t help anyone. I don’t believe his policy on nuclear weapons is wise either, yes at the moment Trident is a piece of technology which militarily isn’t of great strategic value. But threats change and quite radically, nuclear weapons ensured the cold war stayed cold, the whole point of nuclear weapons is to ensure that they are not used. Any rational state actor can see this with clarity. To argue that we should abandon nuclear weapons is in my opinion a facile argument which i give little credence to, it is an argument based on emotion rather than a logical conclusion of the facts.
It seems that Corbyn actually has few ideas when it comes to trying to combat governments and groups which oppress their citizens. Anyone can say they want a government which supports human rights across the world, i doubt that anyone opposes this. However unless he thinks Saddam Hussein and Milosevic would have walked in chains of sorrow to the ICC, or the Taliban would just reform itself when it garnered control of a country is credulous at best. Corbyn’s support for regimes and movements which casually abuse rights is not something we can turn a blind eye too and we must question whether his support for human rights is entirely committed. His position on isolationism which would ensure Britain would step back from world wide alliances and isolate ourselves in the international arena is also something which we need to be wary of. His foreign policy is a fool’s errand at best, and actively dangerous at its worst.
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