A lot of “centre-ground” (and right-from centre) commentators and “moderate” Labour MPs are pissed off that Stop The War Coalition think that French foreign policy regarding Syria might have provoked the shootings and bombings in Paris in November – and that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has not distanced himself from the anti-war group.
It was blogged in the Spectator site:
Labour MPs appear to be just as annoyed by Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the Stop The War coalition as they are about his comments on shoot to kill. In the questions following David Cameron’s Commons statement on the Paris attacks, several MPs used the opportunity to make coded attacks on Stop The War for a blog it published, titled ‘Paris reaps whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East’. It has been since been removed (cached version here) and Corbyn said he was glad it was deleted — but he has yet to condemn the fact it was published in the first place.
And the Daily Mail reported that
One Labour MP said the suggestion that the French people were to blame for the attack was ‘akin at the time of the Second World War to blaming the Jews for their deaths under the Nazis’.
Frontbencher Hilary Benn refused to rule out resigning if Mr Corbyn attended the event [a Stop The War Coalition Christmas fundraiser] as Labour MPs lined up to condemn their leader’s opposition to armed police shooting to kill terrorists.
This is so disingenuous, and not the first time politicians and political commentators have come out with this nonsense that somehow Western military action abroad doesn’t provoke terror acts at home. Tony Blair, UK prime minister in 2005, denied at the time that the 7/7 bombings were in any way provoked by British military action in Iraq – and he’s still denying it. But, after the bombings, a video was acquired by an Arab TV station in which Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the suicide bombers, said the attack was in response to British military foreign policy in the region.
At the time the BBC reported:
On the tape the bomber said: “Our words are dead until we give them life with our blood.
“I and thousands like me have forsaken everything for what we believe.”
He said the public was responsible for the atrocities perpetuated against his “people” across the world because it supported democratically elected governments who carried them out.
“Until we feel security, you will be our targets,” he said.
“Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight.
“We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.”
Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inayat Bunglawala told BBC News:
“Mr Khan has allowed his hatred to distort his moral compass.
“However, this tape does serve to confirm that the war in Iraq and our policies in the Middle East have indeed led to a radicalisation amongst a section of Muslim youth.”
The same is happening now. While it would be ridiculous to claim that the people slain in Paris somehow “deserved it”, it must be acknowledged that the terrorists – all French or Belgian citizens who had connections with ISIL – did see the French military action in Iraq and Syria as a provocation.
Corbyn can see the connection, and now his political rivals – in Labour and in other parties – want to use his honesty as another lever to undermine him.