The US government has now successfully pressured David Blunkett into agreeing that US personnel charged with war crimes will not be extradited from the UK. The US does not recognise the International Criminal Court at The Hague (they argue that US troops should not have to uphold international law) but the UK does. In fact, it was part of Labour's Manifesto pledge to contribute to the establishment of this court as proof of their "ethical foreign policy".
The US has been bribing small countries around the world with aid budgets if they sign a declaration agreeing that US personnel will not be charged with any crime (including rape, torture, genocide and mass murder). Now the Labour Government has agreed that the UK can act as a safe haven for US personnel. Mr Blunkett confirmed that "the UK would contest any request from the international criminal court for [the] surrender of anyone extradited from the US ".
What do we get out of helping out the evil bully of the world? Well funnily enough three UK firms have now been awarded a small slice of the action in Iraq. Foster Wheeler (oil), Parsons-Brinkerhoff (power) and Halcrow (water) are part of consortia that have won £43m worth of contracts, out of a total of £72.3m. It is disturbing that after illegally destroying the basic framework of Iraq, while conducting an illegal war, the victors should make a load of money rebuilding it.
If the Labour government were serious about wanting world stability they'd do better to stop UK firms selling weapons to everyone. The entire loop makes war a profitable business and capitalism encourages these greedy leaders and businessmen to start wars. The stated aims are so obviously wide of the mark, democracy in Iraq would mean a government hostile to the US, and rightly so considering the way the US has treated Iraq, but I don't see the Americans accepting that.
Now they are using the bombings in Spain as an excuse to start on about Al-Qaida again, they are desperate to prove a link. I had to laugh when they said they'd found a tape of the Quran in an abandoned van thought to be linked to the bombings, oh well bound to be Al-Qaida then, as though they account for the whole Muslim population. Just imagine they found a tape of the bible in the van, obviously it proves nothing.
Anyway they supposedly went to war on Afghanistan to get rid of Al-Qaida, bombed a war-torn, miserable country yet again and completely failed in their stated aims. Even with Iraq, where Saddam's secular state did not fit comfortably with fundamentalist Muslims, they have tried to suggest a link. In reality they prompted the proliferation of potential Al-Qaida recruits in Iraq by bombing civilians and sweeping away Saddam's regime.
If we don't get rid of Bush and Blair then this will just get worse, and to be honest even if we do get rid of them I'm not too confident about their potential replacements being any better. Our democracy has failed, the party system is inherently anti-democratic, it is virtually impossible for new parties or candidates to stand as the whole thing is hugely expensive and so power in the UK and the US is strongly connected to money. That strikes me as a really bad way of deciding who gets to run things.Return to Top