Tuesday, 30 May 2017

British Foreign Policy: Why Corbyn Inhabits a Progressive Fantasy World.

There really is not much of a choice in this General Election and Britain does not have a good future ahead of it. In reality, Corbyn has little chance of being elected and it is just as well. Theresa May is hardly any better, though she is thrown into a position where she too warbles on about generalisations instead of actual policy specifics.

True, Corbyn was smeared by Tory politicians for 'justifying' or 'excusing' terrorism by a succession of 'on-message' MPs, and then the PM, for raising the obvious link between foreign policy and the worsening of the domestic terrorist threat. But Corbyn said nothing that was s not known already and omitted mention of jihadi ideology.

Any other view as just as much wish thinking as is the view that fails to connect jihadi terrorism to the strand of Islam it is connected to, no less than the incompetent and blundering foreign policy that is, as Peter Hitchens correctly said, primarily determined not in London but by the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia.

Corbyn positioned himself well by linking terrorism to foreign policy. But he was just trying to take credit for being 'right' about the Iraq War and 'war on terror' which ended almost a decade ago. Yet he is craven and weak in failing to mention what is specifically a jihadi-Islamist terrorist threat and not just a generalised 'terrorism'.

The Manchester Attack clearly showed the role of failed geopolitical strategies that relied on backing Islamist militias to overthrow a dictator in the deluded hope a stable democracy would immediately come out of it. The result was a failed state and the interconnection of jihadi militias and jihadists to a network extending back into Manchester.

Corbyn is just as feeble, if not more so, than the Conservatives who do not want to offend Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States by referring to it as by its specific name -Wahhabi-Salafi Islam. It is not difficult to distinguish between this variant of Islam and its militant political outgrowths and other tolerant and less politicised forms of Islam.

Corbyn ignores this serious link and simply waffles uncritically about 'the wonderful faith of Islam' and chimes exactly with Boris Johnson in that 'this was a perversion of Islam'. Corbyn just prates generalised principles without ever outlining specifics, addressing a world as he believes it 'ought to be' rather than seeing it as it 'is'.

This indeed does make him both ineffectual and potentially very dangerous. He argues it is necessary to have a foreign policy around the world that deals with the power vacuum in Libya which creates a 'breeding ground' for terrorists. But that was the grounds upon which the US and Britain invaded and occupied Afghanistan after 9/11.

In which case, Corbyn would need to outline a practical foreign policy. 'There are desperate people in Libya, let’s give them some hope by giving them stability'. That means ending a war and containing and destroying jihadist organisations. The same is true in Iraq at present with the support given to the Kurds and the Iraqi national army.

In practice, it would mean backing or supporting a military force capable of doing that, if not involving a US or British military intervention, might mean sending military advisers. It's impossible just to 'give stability' like that. Corbyn is dangerous as he inhabits and ideological fantasy world much as Tony Blair, if not more so.

Corbyn rationalises terrorism by pretending it grows out only of the 'lack of hope' or 'poverty' or 'desperation' as opposed to geopolitical proxy wars and Great Power confrontations which may not have any immediate resolution. This makes him more naïve and ineffectual than a sinister or shifty ideologue but still as unfit to be PM.

Certainly, many StWC hacks used it as a hard left front organisation rationalising jihadi Islamist attacks in crude ways. This then made connecting foreign policy to global jihadi terrorism difficult to discuss for other more sensible critics of Blair's progressive wars of 'liberation', ones he was followed in by Cameron's war in Libya.

Like many progressives, Corbyn does not seem to understand how the world actually works while playing politics and acting as though he could 'solve' the world's evils by offering panaceas. He simply is not credible but only marginally less so than the useless and witless Theresa May who just pretends to be 'strong and stable'.

Jeremy Corbyn Position on Proxy Wars and Jihadism.

It's difficult to know what Corbyn 'believes', so it's necessary to go by what he says and sometimes he gives out oblique messages. In April 2017 Corbyn warned of a proxy war between the US and Russia breaking out in Syria as if one wasn't already happening with Russia backing Assad and the West the "moderate rebels".

What he probably meant was that he did not want the West supplying weapons to the FSA or remnants of Sunni militia groups ranged against Assad. The reason could lie in wanting to accept that there is no military solution, which is true, but also that it would be better to accept their defeat in Aleppo in late 2016.

Obviously, he couldn't come out and say that openly as it would offend the many Sunni Muslim groups in Britain who loathe Assad and want Britain to intervene. It's one reason why the StWC Corbyn once chaired is increasingly unpopular with Muslims and why Corbyn is often accused of being pro-Iran.

So jihadism grows out of geopolitical proxy wars that the Western Powers fight while those fought by others remains largely irrelevant, as it's only what the West does or does not do that determines the way the world is, a very naive assumption that's supposed to be 'empowering for us' in a democracy.

However, as regard the connection of the Manchester Attack to the Libya War, it's difficult to see how it only grows out of desperation and the 'lack of hope' and not as a consequence of destroying the state and the proxy war fought there first between Qatar-Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the UAE and then Russia and the West.

The fact is violent jihadi Islamism does have its own independent existence apart from British foreign policy. It isn't only empowered in resistance to British policy.It is just that by aligning with Qatar in overthrowing Gaddafi it was empowering militias that were actually full of jihadists, some of whom were sent by the British state to fight.

However, if a regional peace settlement over Syria, involving the global powers, is the only solution to the regional proxy war being fought on Syrian soil and which has allowed spece for Islamic State to thrive, then this would not be at the exclusion of drone strikes against its leaders and giving military assistance to the Iraqi army and Kurds.

When pressed Corbyn has kept claiming questions over whether he would order a drone strike against the prominent jihadists are 'hypothetical'. Yet they are not for the simple and obvious reason that the RAF does use drones and, if he were Prime Minister, their use would be actual and not 'hypothetical, unless he was prepared to stop using them.

Corbyn's previous claim in 2014 that 'Jihadi John' should be arrested and put on trial instead of zapped by drone strikes is a bit problematic. After all, if Jihadi John should be arrested, then there could be no special exception for him as a British passport holder as opposed to all the rest of Islamic State who should all be collectively arrested.

That could be slightly difficult in a full war conditions in Iraq or Syria. It is quite apparent that Corbyn simply has not got the nerve to be able to face down IS through military means where appropriate and necessary. Ignoring the reality 'as it is' as opposed to how it 'ought to be' shows he would be at best a lame duck, at worst a danger.

This is a pity. Corbyn at least shows he understands there has to be a regional peace settlement over Syria as opposed to ratcheting up the proxy war. President Trump would, as indicated in his recent trip to Riyadh where he aligned firmly with the Saudis and took their side against Iran while pushing through a 100bn arms deal.

The big question is whether Trump's administration would act upon this this beyond rhetoric as most global statesmen know accept there is no military solution to Syria. So Corbyn isn't outlining anything different from that accepted already by most diplomats and politicians working in the governments of the Great Powers.

But Corbyn is just as mealy mouthed about mentioning jihadi forms of Islamist ideology as the Conservatives because he wants to court popularity and to be 'nice' at the expense of demonstrating vigorous moral clarity. After all, As George Orwell once said 'liberty, if it means anything, is telling people what they don't want to hear.'

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