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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Five Years on- and a victory to celebrate

Apologies for the lack of blog posts in last few weeks- normal autumn/winter service will be resumed very shortly.

This month sees this blog reach its fifth anniversary. Since October 2005 there have been 1,685 posts and I hope you’ve enjoyed at least a few of them. Thanks for reading this far- and I hope you’ll stay around for the next five years.

Since 2005, we’ve seen the Iraq war totally discredited and the neocon/liberal imperialist warmongering project derailed.

The President of the United States thinks the Iraq war was wrong. So too does the new leader of the British party which led the country into war. And Britain’s Deputy PM says it was illegal- which of course it was. Meanwhile it was David Miliband’s support for the Iraq war- and the fact that Blair and Mandelson were backing him- which destroyed his chances of becoming Labour leader.

There’s been a lot of bad news this week about government cuts (more on them later), but there’s one piece of news that should make all of us on the anti-war side happy: the cuts in UK military spending and what they mean in practice.

The government has decided that Britain will no longer be able to mount military operations on the scale of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the deployment in Afghanistan's Helmand province…

Cameron's announcement marks the end of Tony Blair's concept of "liberal interventionism", first set out in his 1999 Chicago speech during the Kosovo crisis.

Read those two paragraphs again and savour them.

There are still many important battles to be fought- over public ownership and defending the NHS and the welfare state-but one important battle has been won.

‘Liberal interventionism’ is dead.

As a certain character in a 1970s sitcom would have put it: Oh Dear. How Sad. Never Mind.


ematejoca said...

Congratulations from Düsseldorf/Germany, dear Neil!

Mr. Piccolo said...

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Mr. Clark! Your blog is really wonderful!

olching said...

Yes, many congratulations, Neil and keep up the good work.

jock mctrousers said...

Yes, Happy Blogday, Neil. I'd been wondering what happened to you.

I know what you're saying about the military spending cuts, but I have to admit that the thought of an aircraft carrier with no planes makes me sort of embarrassed to be British, as if there wasn't enough already to be embarrassed about.

Neil Clark said...

Many thanks everyone!

Czarny Kot said...

Happy birthday - Sto lat!

Undergroundman said...

Alas, Liberal Interventionism is far from dead.Perhaps the label will change but the reality behind why wars such as Iraq were fought will grow even more menacing-the struggle to control diminishing supplies of gas and oil.

The Afghanistan War is set to drag on for another 4-5 years at least, until the main geopolitical aim of the USA/NATO powers is consolidated: the construction of the TAPI pipeline.

This ties in with the aim of encircling and isolating Iran and blocking off the rival IPI pipeline scheme. My new blog deal with this in much detail.

Liberal Interventionism of the Sierra Leone type in 2000 taken by Britain alone was the last of its kind . Yet the strategic review was aimed at integrating Britain's defence capability more closely with the USA's.

According to Simon Tisdall, the USA is still contemplating military action again Iran. The reason, as with Iraq and, to a very large extent ( though seldom understood ) with Afghanistan, is the question for control of fossil fuels.

As these continue to diminish, the capacity for conflicts over control of the pipelines is set to intensify in the New Great Game. All of that was set out decades ago by Brzezinski,who started his career beholden to the Rockefellers.

Brzezinski is Obama's foreign policy advisor. His The Grand Chessboard ( 1997 ) sets out the geostrategy in detail. The carter Doctrine of 1980s made it clear that any threat to the USA's energy security was a threat to its vital interests.

Permanent conflict will continue, if not open, then by the Great Powers using proxy forces in Central Asia to fight against leaders that are no doing their bidding. I am filled with an appalling sense of dread at this. It's possible that humanity might not even survive the C21st if alternatives to oil and gas are not found and reserves conserved more.

Undergroundman said...

Alas, Liberal Interventionism is far from dead, if by that we mean the reality behind why invasions such as Iraq, and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan happened: control of supplies of fossil fuels in a world of diminishing capacity.

Afghanistan is set to go on for another 4-5 years. My prediction is that it could last much longer. At stake is the construction of the TAPI pipeline, a key objective of US and NATO's policy of ensuring energy security.

The reason is that the TAPI pipeline is necessary to block off Iran's rival IPI pipeline, a move to isolate Iran and put pressure on it. By blocking off export routes this offers a lever by which regime change in Iran can be furthered.

A brilliant, though chilling, analysis has been offered by former World Bank energy economist John Foster. Read this link if you want to understand what's really at stake in the New Great Game.

Undergroundman said...

Google John Foster on Youtube. His lectures are available.

This is a highly sophisticated scholar and intellectual. Which makes it so annoying when halfwits write off the pipeline objective as a "conspiracy theory". I've tried to get the Guardian to commission a piece by yours truly on it. My new blog contains a heck of a lot on this.

Undergroundman said...

On my new blog I have put up John Foster's lecture. Watch it and understand why Afghanistan is part of the New Great Game for gas and oil.

Robert said...

Happy blogbirthday, and sorry for not having realised earlier that this anniversary was occurring.

Robert said...

Oh yes, and I forgot to say in my earlier comment, a very interesting SPECTATOR article of yours co-written with Tom Switzer.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Neil's blog.

Keep up the good work.

- questionnaire

Gregor said...

Happy birthday to the blog, which often offers a voice of reason in Britain's increasingly weird media landscape.

Neil Clark said...

Thanks again to everyone.

Douglas said...

Congratulations on five years of blogging! I have accepted assimilation into True North, the Minnesota conservative blog aggregator, so when I write about politics, that's where I appear.

In American League baseball, a player called the designated hitter gets to bat in place of the pitcher, who is usually a terrible batter. I'm looking forward to another five years of being your informal American correspondent, and your designated disputer.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Douglas,
Many thanks. And good luck with 'True North'. It's a real pleasure to debate with someone who is such a gent.