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Extremism? Three steps David Cameron can take to change hearts and minds

cameron bham 20.7.15First, the prime minister could help to bring about change by apologising for British and American extremism.

He conveniently omits to acknowledge the impact of the attack on Iraq in 1992 – well before 9/11/2001. It was followed by an illegal and ruinous invasion in 2003 and illegal detention and torture in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and less well-known prisons.

He said: “I think we need a clarity of what we mean by extremism” – the actions mentioned above are extreme and over time an extreme response to them has materialised.

Then he added that what we need is people involved in our schools who buy into British values of freedom, democracy, free speech :

Freedom: Babar Ahmad imprisoned in Britain without charge for years

Democracy: ignoring a million strong protest against the second Iraq war

Free speech: as long as it doesn’t ‘rock the boat’ & is politically correct.

Second, Mr Cameron should tone down his extreme support for Israel, which slaughtered over 2000 Palestinians in five weeks and has inflicted many hardships on those living in the occupied territories – except those living well in the illegal Israeli settlements.

children drone killed

Finally he can apologise for Britain’s part in executing young and old without trial by drone strike.

 

Obama, Cameron’s “great friend” – if he toes the line

obama cameron eu

Deplored: once again Britain’s senior politicians – pre-election – seek to reaffirm ‘friendship’ with those who – after subverting and overturning South American democracies, created or acquiesced in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and destabilised the Middle East by supporting Iraq – then illegally invading that country.

US president Barack Obama lavished praise on David Cameron during his recent visit to UK prime minister to Washington, calling him a great friend and “one of my closest and most trusted partners in the world”.

But he has little to offer compared with Germany, said to be seen as America’s main ally in Europe, following doubts over Britain’s membership of the EU – Brexit [British exit]. 

Philip Stephens noted recently in the FT: “the Tory election manifesto leaves the US administration at best incredulous and sometimes scathing. Why on earth, the president has been heard to ask, would any British leader flirt with the idea of pulling up the drawbridge against the EU?”

He continues: “Stripped of diplomatic niceties, the American view of Europe is that, since Germany pays most of Europe’s bills, Chancellor Angela Merkel more or less runs the show”.

US officials question whether UK will continue to be a reliable military ally

Mr Cameron has agreed to supply a further 1,000 UK troops to NATO exercises in eastern Europe over the next year countering Russian military involvement in the region and to provide more drones to help with surveillance missions against Islamist militants fighting in northern Iraq, but the American government has other concerns:

  • the precedent set by parliamentary votes limiting British participation in the coalition against the Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq;
  • the UK’s increasingly limited naval power – not even one aircraft carrier until 2017 so is unable to deploy and recover aircraft, act as seagoing airbase and no effective maritime patrol aircraft – more diplomatically: Jane, “UK’s maritime patrol capability gap;
  • Britain can offer only a few ageing Tornado bombers to assist with aerial bombardment.

Some see the Swiss model is a favoured alternative, minus its safe haven banking practices.