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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Gap Year student and A Car Manufacturer

Foreign Secretary David Moribund's appalling Oxford speech, in which he talked of Britain's 'moral impulse' to spread democracy around the world, at gunpoint if necessary, has, I'm pleased to say, been widely condemned. But too many of the speech's critics, including Simon Jenkins, in today's Guardian make the mistake of believing that Moribund and his liberal interventionist/neo con allies are sincere in their desire to spread democracy. As I've long argued, the form of democracy the Eustonista/Henry Jackson crowd favour is not democracy in the popularly understood sense of the term i.e. rule of the people, but the much narrower 'Henry Ford' variety. True democrats believe that people should have the right to elect any government they wish, be it nationalist, communist, socialist, conservative, green or any other variety. Henry Ford democrats believe people should have the right to elect any government they wish so long as it's neoliberal and follows a pro-western foreign policy.

CIF Commenter 'Orwell is right' understands the deceit behind the neocon/liberal interventionist 'democracy' crusade perfectly and has written the best response to Moribund's speech I've seen so far:

"Every time they talk about "spreading democracy" what they're really doing is the exact opposite; that is, ensuring that genuine nationalistic or democractic movements are quashed and pliant puppet governments - usually tyrannical and repressive and always with Western interests at the front of their agenda - put in their place. The reality is that "democracy" is our enemy when it comes to foreign policy - there are countless cases throughout history where our intervention has directly hindered growing genuinely democractic movements in other countries. For example, Britain supported the successive apartheid regimes in South Africa and not the ANC; we supported the repressive regime in Bahrain and not the popular democratic opposition; we supported Suharto throughout his genocidal campaigns both at home and in East Timor and West Papua; we supported Saddam as he gassed the Kurds. In short we prop up decidedly anti-democratic regimes and take action to prevent democracy from emerging. And David Miliband knows all of this, which is why his enthusiastic pronouncements of "spreading democracy" are significant only of the continuation of the deceitful rhetoric presented to the public, wholly at odds with the government's real intentions. Not that any of this is new - the British government has been peopled by immoral duplicitous elites for as long as it's existed."

Still, there's one good thing to keep our spirits up. The "pillock on his gap year", as the anti-war Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews so memorably called the British Foreign Secretary, will soon have to go back to college to resume his studies.....

UPDATE: Charlie Marks, one of my favourite bloggers, has a great post on the Gap Year Student's speech:

"The purpose of Milibliar’s speech was to rebrand the invasion and occupation of countries by the US - with Britain tagging along - as being morally justified because it’s about “spreading democracy”.
The US oil companies getting access to Iraqi oil-fields was just a coincidence, then? And anyway, wasn’t the argument for invading Iraq based on the threat of WMDs?
Hmm. If he’s for democracy, perhaps Miliblair would like to spread a little here at home, and persuade Brown to let us have a vote on the EU consti-treaty? Or hold the promised general election?"


Unknown said...

"we supported Suharto throughout his genocidal campaigns both at home and in East Timor and West Papua" -
- The genocide in West Papua is STILL ongoing.

Anonymous said...

All the same, I can't help wondering about the inner psychological life of Miliband, and also Hilary Benn. Tony Benn seems to stand by his son, whatever. Maybe the family's success ultimately comes before any ideals - most people probably feel that way, in their heart of hearts. But I wonder if young Miliband and Benn are internally rebelling against what they were brought up with - I doubt that's the biggest part of it really. I think once they make the first compromise it opens the floodgate - they end up in a world where they're surrounded by people talking double-speak all the time, and probably have little time to spend with anyone else - they end up thinking in double-speak. Julius Caesar, looking back on the Gallic wars and giving due consideration to all the reasons why the Gauls might have thought they could win against him, finally plumped for "... there's no limit to the human capacity for wishful thinking...". So to with self-deception.

Karl Naylor said...

Remember that sincerity is often more dangerous than cynicism. Those who start off with great ideals and find 'the people' are no up to the challenge of changing the world are then looked down upon with scorn and cold fury.

New Labour is an example of that. English people, deluded by Tory ideals, were deluded. The left was out in the wilderness for 18 years and became bitter.

So they decided to destroy ordinary people's happpiness through political correctness and other pseudo moral postures.

Milland's messianic notion of spreading democracy reflect two things. Firstly, the fact that British economy depends on opening up capital markets and reaping investment into Britain.

Secondly, it reflects the more unpleasant reality that a consumer economy such as Britains depends on control over the oil supplies of the Middle East.

That might be combined with increaed integration between all national economies. Hence the need for Turkey to join the EU in the view of New Lab gradees as Straw.

Democratic geopolitics is a necessary consequence of a consumerist lifestyle. National independence and sovereighty is a barrier to that and must be destroyed.

It isn't just a worldview cooked up by a bunch of neocons. That's too soothing. It is an outcome of the way we have all chosen to live. Painful but true.

Bleak but true...

olching said...

'Gap year student'...fantastic Neil! That just about sums it up.

Karl Naylor said...

Hello Olching , it's SzekelyKarl here !!

Anonymous said...

A comment on oil companies and Iraq. I paraphrase a friend who is a senior official of multi-national oil company. We think in 30 year plus cycles and thus if we had the power we are purported to have by our critics, we would have pressed the US administration not to invade Iraq. An invasion whose consequences we could forsee. Leaving morality aside, the best possible approach would be to do a Libya and come to an accommodation with Saddam Hussein.

The war was not 'about oil' or if it was it was fought with striking ignorance of what the industry wants - this second thought probably makes it more not less scary!

olching said...

Hi SzekelyKarl...hope all is well. I've been checking your blog from time to time.