LONDON: The threat of terrorism and extremism has been “fuelled” by the United Kingdom’s foreign policy, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Sunday, saying it supported foreign invasions and had led to the Iraq war under his own party’s government – then headed by Tony Blair.
Speaking in York in the wake of terrorist attack on London Bridge by the British-born convict Usman Khan, Corbyn accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being “the world’s leading sycophant” towards US President Donald Trump and said it was time for Britain to stop bring tied to the Republican head-of-state’s coattails.
Britain’s repeated military interventions have “exacerbated rather than resolved” the problem of terrorism, the Labour leader warned. He said the so-called “war on terror has manifestly failed” and the world was “living with the consequences” of the botched invasion of Iraq, which he opposed.
Corbyn said the UK risked being “tied to Donald Trump’s coattails” and the United States’ foreign policy under Johnson but praised the public’s “extraordinary bravery” in confronting and tackling the assailant. The police were right to use lethal force, he said, with lives at stake and the attacker wearing a fake suicide vest.
While the responsibility for terror acts lied with “the terrorists, their funders and recruiters”, UK leaders “have made the wrong calls on our security”, he added. “The threat of terrorism cannot and should not be reduced to questions of foreign policy alone.
‘Still living with consequences today’
“But too often the actions of successive governments have fuelled, not reduced that threat.
“Sixteen years ago, I warned against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I said it would set off a spiral of conflict, hate, misery and desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism and the misery of future generations. It did, and we are still living with the consequences today.
“The war on terror has manifestly failed. Britain’s repeated military interventions in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia have exacerbated, rather than resolved the problems.”
Criticising the cuts and warning that real security cannot be done “on the cheap”, Corbyn warned against joining more wars.
“Now, we risk being dragged into a further conflict with Iran on the side of a Saudi regime which is an enemy of human rights everywhere, prolonging a desperate humanitarian crisis in Yemen, interfering in its neighbours’ affairs and murdering journalists.
“This policy has not made us one bit safer,” he added.__The News