Posts Tagged ‘Third World Debt’

Vox Political: Bomber Benn Criticised by Public Over Civilian Casualties in Syria

August 21, 2016

Mike over in Vox Political put up another good piece about ‘Bomber’ Benn being taken to task by the great British public in Twitter for his wretched support for airstrikes against the terrorists in Syria. He made a speech declaring his support for such action in parliament late last year against the wishes of his party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In return, he got applause from the Tories, which should, as Mike says, fill him with shame.

Now there is that terrible image of a young boy, covered in blood, being taken away in ambulance. The footage shows the lad looking confused and horrified as he wipes his face, and his hand comes away bloody. Mike’s article has a cartoon from an Arab artist showing the results of our actions, whatever we do. If we continue hitting Syria and its people, it will result in more child victims, symbolised by this boy. If we leave, then it will result in an exodus of refugees, many of which will drown, like the boy, whose body washed up on the shore of Turkey a few months ago, to his father’s horror.

Someone on Twitter pointedly asked Benn to make a speech explaining how the bombing is going. This got the rather tetchy reply from Benn advising his questioner to go and ask Russians and Syrians. Though he did have the grace to admit that what was going in Aleppo was shocking.

Benn’s comments cut no ice with the crowd on Twitter, however. They told him very clearly that it was he who helped bring these horrors about by demanding an expansion of the wars in the Middle East into Syria. They also stated that the Russians are currently talking to the Turks about finding a way to stop the fighting.

Mike also makes the point that western bombing and fighting in the Middle East has only created a vicious cycle, which creates more jihadis, ready to rise up and create more atrocities. The people who suffer are the children of everyone involved. But it creates big profits for the arms manufacturers and military-industrial complex.


This is just the latest vile policy from Hillary Benn. A few years ago, when New Labour was in power and trying privatise everything that wasn’t nailed, Benn turned up in the ‘In the Back’ section of Private Eye. He was one of a coterie of MPs and officials, who were turning the Commonwealth Development Agency, or whatever it was then called, from a charity into a for-profit company. The result was that a British government organisation that gave countries in the Developing World funds to promote their economy by establishing businesses, was going to concentrate instead on finding ways to get the maximum amount of profit from their already impoverished and seriously indebted clients. Once again, western money men were going to get rich from Third World debt. Partly thanks to Benn.

The truth is that Benn is, like his former master Tony Blair, a Neocon, who believes in the right of private companies to loot the world as they please, and in expanding western power through war and invasion. He should get on well with Shrillary Clinton, as she is also a full-on hawk, a corporate warmonger who has made it very clear that she support airstrikes in Syria. And the American atheist/ secularist news show, Secular Talk, has made it very clear that the cycle of violence described by Mike is very real. Secular Talk has even played a piece of a speech from one of the leaders of al-Qaeda, in which he urges the various jihadi factions to stop fighting each other and concentrate on killing the Americans instead. The man openly says that he’s afraid America will cut back its operations. If that happens, then the fragile unity which exists between the various jihadi groups around opposition to the America will fall apart, and they’ll start killing each other again. Kyle Kulinski, the show’s host, has said that the jihadis have told us in this video very clearly how we can defeat them: we do nothing. Mind you, to quote Tom Baker’s Doctor in the classic Who serial, ‘Warrior’s Gate’, it has to be the right kind of nothing. But if we scale back our operations, and stop killing civilians, then the jihadis will do our work for us and butcher each other.

But that’s not something either Bush, Obama, Hillary or Benn on this side of the Pond want to think about. Probably because it means less arms sales to murderous foreign despots, like the Saudis abroad, and less military expenditure at home, leading to a further dip in profits for the merchants of death.

Two Films Urging the Cancellation of Third World Debt

March 17, 2016

At the Lent Course run by one of the priests at my local church last week, we were shown these two films urging the cancellation of the crushing debt of the Developing World.

The second video features a number of famous faces. The only two I recognised were Alun Michael, who amongst other things has starred in the series about a group of elderly rozzers solving old crimes, New Tricks, and the comedian Marcus Brigstocke. Both show its fundamental iniquity. The second video actually makes you question our collective priorities and the whole moral foundation of the banking system. After all, when the money given to bail out AIG is £170,000,000,000 + – the amount equal to the whole of Africa south of the Sahara, it’s a blindingly fair and good question why we are giving money to these banksters, but not willing to cancel such a terrible financial black hole to the world’s neediest peoples.

And there’s another disturbing statistic in there: for ever pound given in aid, we get seven pounds back. As our priest said, ‘It makes you wonder who’s carrying whom.’ Indeed. I used to do voluntary work at the former Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. One evening there was a presentation given by a man, who had traced the early route in southern Africa used by one of the great Victorian pioneer explorers. He said at one point he had been taken ill, and had had to be carried across one stretch of the country by one of their African crew. He stated that at the man stopped carrying him, because he became acutely uncomfortable about the situation and how it resembled, metaphorically, Africa bearing the West.

After watching those videos, I’m convinced that the reason it’s allowed to go on, is because it’s just another way of the rich West screwing money out of the Developing World, just as we did under imperialism. It’s a disgusting situation, whether you’re religious or not. And I hope whatever our personal religious beliefs, we can find some way of changing this situation, before too many more people die in the poverty, squalor and starvation that this toxic debt is creating.