I do not think that Britain should spend £25 billion a year on defence in order to serve as the military wing of Oxfam. It is not only valid to place the national interest at the heart of foreign policy, it is the only rational thing to do. No foreign secretary should apologise for the fact that Iraq’s location and the character of its regime, especially in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, provided an incentive to strike there that does not exist anywhere in Africa.
Did Zimbabwe fall off the map overnight? Did Congo and Burundi disappear in a puff of smoke?
Correct me if I'm wrong Tim, but with your "In the aftermath of" line, are you trying to join the dots between Iraq and September 11th? That horse won't drink. How was attacking Iraq in "Britain's national interest" again?
What are we spending 25 Billion a year on Tim? Have you bothered to actually research that part?
I particularly like this quote from another of your pieces Tim.
Al Qaeda's attack on the hotel in Kenya, a decidedly soft target, is less a sign that Al Qaeda is "back in business" than evidence that the outfit is "in its last desperate stage before U.S. bailiffs arrive unannounced at the door and seize somewhat more than just the furniture.
Now from my personal point of view, HMF is not the Military wing of Oxfam.
In my experience, Oxfam and other aid agencies have a distinct aversion to getting the Military involved on the ground, unless the situation demands it. Mind you, they'll take all the airlift going
However, Great Britain,still represents to a lot of the world, the last best hope in a humanitarian crisis. DO you remember, when Britain stood for all that was right, proper and decent in the World Tim? Do you remember when Britain was the counter-balance to the excesses of others?
People that NEED our help and protection, associate British Forces with deceny and Fair play, no matter who and where they are. If our Armed Forces had not been so badly eviscarated by Blair, Hoon, Brown and the rest, then maybe we would be in a position to project force and exert our influence to prevent greater humanitarian catastrophies?
Do you remember when the British Public were firmly united behind Military intervention , because it HAD to be done, and our Forces were the best to do it? You won't have to look far , and I don't mean Iraq, Tim.
Blairs foreign policy (Appease the US and Israel at all costs), and Straw's willingness to be rolled into it, despite his objections, have , in my PERSONAL opinion, cast a stain on our Armed Forces, and how they were percieved by the British public at the time of the invasion of Iraq.
Now, they are there, doing what we know we are good at, and keeping potential conflagrations defused , to the best of our ability, personally, I don't think we should have been there in the first place, for the reasons stated.
Parliament was lied to,to get us involved in this farrago, and successive whitewashes , are not going to change that.