David Cameron shows himself a worthy successor to Tony Blair by branding himself a true and militant defender of human rights, and by using war to achieve them.
By Lindsey German
Stop the War Coalition
23 September 2011
Nothing encourages warmongers more than a spot of regime change.
That's the only conclusion to be drawn from David Cameron's speech to the United Nations this week. Cameron showed himself a worthy successor to Tony Blair by branding himself a true and militant defender of human rights, and of using war to achieve them -- unlike those mealy mouthed heads of government who are more reluctant to unleash their bombers on towns and cities night after night.
'You can sign every human rights declaration in the world,' he declaimed, ' but if you stand by and watch people being slaughtered in their own country, when you could act, then what are those signatures really worth?'.
It barely seems to enter Cameron's comprehension that standing by and watching people being slaughtered in their own country is something that the British and other western governments have been rather good at.
After all they defended the dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak in Tunisia and Egypt against the uprisings of their people in the Arab spring which Cameron wants to claim as his own.
They continue to defend the royal families of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as they shoot, imprison, torture and repress their populations. They bend over backwards to support Israel, despite its lengthy crimes against the Palestinians, many of them condemned by the UN resolutions which Cameron now claims are not enough to enforce human rights.
He talked about the UN having a responsibility 'to stand up against regimes that persecute their people'. But here the selectivity kicked in again with only Yemen and Syria being singled out for intervention. The drive to impose strong sanctions against Syria is continuing among the major powers. Sanctions are all too often a prelude to full scale intervention.
While this may be some way off in Syria, it is under serious consideration, dressed up as support for those opposing president Assad whose soldiers are shooting down demonstrators. While many will rightly condemn Assad, those who want democracy and pace in the Middle East should steer clear of another western intervention.
It will be about one thing only as it was in Libya: regime change to suit the west. Cameron talks about the Arab Spring being 'a massive opportunity to spread peace, prosperity, democracy and vitally security, but only if we really seize it.'
He means quite simply that western governments and companies must seize the chance to spread their political and economic power in the region. Human rights, democracy and national sovereignty will all be subordinated to that. Cameron and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy represent the European powers most identified with intervention in the region and they want to use the Arab Spring to further their influence and power.
It is instructive to contrast Cameron's gung ho stance on Syria with his very different attitude to the eminently reasonable demand of the Palestinians for their own state recognised by the UN. He favours their right to have one...but not yet. They aren't supposed to stand up against regimes that persecute their people.
Instead they are supposed to sit down and negotiate with an Israeli government which encourages illegal settlements on |Palestinian land, builds an apartheid wall to contain the Palestinians, and treats them as second class citizens. And instead of standing idly by, doing nothing to help those suffering oppression, they are actively arming and funding Israel.
Mind you, this is a government which will sell arms to practically anyone -- until they have to intervene to stop them killing their own people.
Lindsey German will be at the Antiwar Mass Assembly in Trafalgar Square on 8 October.
Why YOU should join her there...