Does Theresa May’s Cabinet Support Corbyn’s Analysis Of War And Terrorism? [Opinion]

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After Theresa May launched a blistering attack on the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn due to his comments about Britain’s wars and terrorism at home, it has emerged that several members of the prime minister’s cabinet have reached the same conclusion.

Delivering his foreign policy speech this week, the Labour leader noted that there might be a relationship between Britain’s wars in the Middle East and terrorist atrocities at home. Corbyn’s analysis did not fair too well with the Conservative Party, however, with some members of the prime minister’s cabinet, and indeed the prime minister herself, describing Corbyn’s comments as ‘vile, despicable, monstrous and obscene’. The weight of evidence, however, suggests that several key figures in the Conservative Party agree with Corbyn’s assessment.

In December 2006, the Conservative Party’s Foreign Affairs Policy Group released a report claiming that the current Prime Minister Tony Blair had significantly increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks on U.K soil in the wake of the disastrous Iraq war.

We need to recognise that a central element of foreign policy – the intervention in Iraq – has failed in its objectives so badly that the threat to this country is actually greater than it was before it began

Unequivocally and without a doubt, the Conservative Party’s position was that the interventionist war in Iraq had increased the terrorist threat. Moreover, the Conservative Pary leader and former Prime Minister David Cameron, wholeheartedly backed the policy group’s conclusion, asserting that the relationship between Britain’s foreign policy and terrorism was “a statement of fact”. He then added.

“I think it is clear that over the last few years decisions that have been taken, the difficulties there have been in Iraq, clearly have had a wider effect.

David Cameron Foreign Policy
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On Friday, Dennis Skinner, the veteran Labour MP for Bolsover, took to Facebook to politely ask Prime Minister Theresa May why, if she found Corbyn’s comments regarding failed foreign policy and terrorism so offensive and reprehensible, she didn’t condemn David Cameron in 2006. The Facebook post, which accumulated no fewer than 6,500 likes and amassed more than 8,000 shares, read ” Hi, Theresa May, I see you didn’t like Corbyn’s foreign policy speech. Why didn’t you condemn Dogy Dave when he made the same one in 2006? Is it another U-Turn?

After the publication of the Chilcot Report in 2016, David Davis, Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden, made no secret of his belief that the Iraq War had directly contributed to the increased risk of terrorism at home.

The decision to go to war was part of a cascade of mistakes that resulted in the careless destruction of a nation, our complicity in the use of torture, our ceding of the moral high ground, and an increased risk of terrorism at home.

In a recent interview with Channel 4 News, Micheal Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence, embarrassingly attacked comments made by Conservative MP Boris Johnson, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs no less, in the belief that the comments came from Corbyn. Johnson had earlier claimed that intervention in the Middle East had created a pretext for terrorist attacks. In an interview with Peston On Sunday this morning, the MP for Sevenoaks faired no better. In a deliberate attempt to change the context of the original quote by Johnson, Fallon read aloud Johnson’s statement, omitting his conclusion and inserting words to change the meaning.

Moreover, Ken Clarke, Conservative MP for Rushcliffe and Father of the House of Commons, made very similar comments to that of Jeremy Corbyn when analysing the consequences of the Iraq War. Clarke asserted the following.

“The decision by the U.K. government to become the leading ally of President Bush in the Iraq debacle has made Britain one of the foremost targets for Islamc extremists.”

For the sake of balance and to dispel any notion that Corbyn’s recent comments are in any way ‘vile, despicable, monstrous or obscene’, here is a quote from the former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller when giving evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry.

“Our involvement in Iraq radicalized, for the want of a better word, a few among a generation, who saw our involvement in Iraq as well as our involvement in Afghanistan, as being an attack on Islam.”

MI5 Elia Manninghan-Buller
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