Britain needs her own foreign policy

Downing Street reiterated its policy position towards Iran today and I am glad to say that they appear to be finally awakening to the dangers of an aggressive, interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. The first positive is the UK’s reluctance to attack a sovereign state, a reluctance that has been obviously lacking in recent British governments. The second is the open opposition to American pressure for an attack, including the refusal to host US forces in British bases worldwide.

It has been clear for a while now that the US, pressured by Israel and Zionist lobbies in the US, have been stepping up their pressure on the Iranian regime, the world’s leading pariah state. As the US continues to believe that they and their allies are the only countries morally righteous and responsible enough to hold nuclear weapons (despite them being the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear weapons), Israel, the most aggressive nation in the Middle East, continue to push for an aerial bombardment of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

However, No. 10 announced that the government “does not think that military action is the right course at this time”. It is heart-warming to finally see a British government willing to stand up to US aggression in the Middle East. Having clung to the coattails of the romping US war machine for God knows how many years, it is about time that the UK separates itself from a damaging foreign policy. The result of the intertwining of foreign policies since the Second World War has been the coupling of Britain with America’s damaging, bullying reputation.

In the Middle East Britain is seen as America’s partner in crime. Although we might abhor the notion that we are as eagerly warmongering as our US allies, the result of transatlantic foreign policy choices, including the illegal invasion of Iraq, the fighting of the war on terror by way of intimidating, coercing and murdering civilians and complete hostility to any government that dares to speak out against these terrible deeds, is that Britain and the US are viewed as the same evil, they are inseparably aggressive.

A key part of the foreign policy ideals of the US post-1945 has been the implementation of US friendly governments as far as possible and outright hostility to anybody seen to be outside of the US’ sphere of influence. These are Cold War games that have to stop. One prime example is the Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the leader of the current Iranian government that resulted from the overthrow of the US friendly Shah with an Islamic theocracy. Iranian opposition to American foreign policy in the Middle East (wholly justified I might add) has led to Iran being considered the biggest threat to global security and as such the crazy Ahmadinejad in Tehran simply cannot be allowed to get his grubby hands on the bomb, for fear of nuclear attack on Israel.

The truth is that the US demands to be the controller of the world’s stock of nuclear material, despite their overtures towards disarmament and their signing of the nuclear proliferation treaty. However, there is no reason, other than military muscle, why the US and its allies should be trusted with nuclear warheads and not their enemies; it is a blatant attempt to hold a diplomatic master card over the US’ enemies.

It has therefore become crucial that Britain establishes for itself a foreign policy separate to their American allies. They must speak out against US aggression and continue to oppose an unjustified attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Indeed, the UK has been equally as hypocritical as the US by refusing to scale back their nuclear commitment whilst demanding that other nations do not develop nuclear capabilities. If Britain wants the chance of positive engagement with the Muslim world and the Middle East in the future, they must insist that the US stops commanding the Middle East by their use of arms and the government’s announcements in the past week are to be welcomed as the first steps in Britain’s new, independent foreign policy.