Isn’t it childish that, in this age of climate change and environmental catastrophe caused by fossil fuels, our leaders are squabbling over oil again?
The Conservative government has supported claims by the United States that attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – on one of the world’s most important tanker routes – were caused by Iran.
Apparently the removal of a mine from one of the tankers by Iranian special forces was portrayed as proof of that country’s guilt by the US government under Donald Trump. He said he guessed one of the mines used to attack the ships did not explode “and it had Iran written all over it”.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, under prime ministerial wannabe Jeremy Hunt, said an investigation by the United Arab Emirates had concluded that the attacks had been caused by a “sophisticated state actor”, and Mr Hunt said he was satisfied that the actor in question was Iran.
Let’s pause for a moment and compare this behaviour with the Tory government’s response to United Nations claims that its policies had caused an increase in poverty here – DWP secretary Amber Rudd, and Theresa May, said it was impossible for such a conclusion to be formed after such a short period collecting evidence; less than two weeks. The report on the tankers has appeared in less than two days, it seems.
So we have an arguable double-standard in the Tory government’s stance.
But that hasn’t stopped ministers from attacking Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, simply for suggesting that a little conclusive evidence should be collected first:
Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 14, 2019
Happily, the response from the public has been to challenge the Tories. Consider, for example, this reponse to Mr Hunt:
Jeremy Hunt brands Labour leader 'pathetic' over Iran comments https://t.co/cVh6WlPlyO Remember Gulf of Tonkin, WMD etc where US proof turned out to be false. It's not soft on Iran, or excusing any of their crimes, to demand evidence we can trust before sounding the war trumpets.
— JewishVoiceForLabour (@JVoiceLabour) June 15, 2019
Let’s face it – a previous UK government tried to convince us that a war with Iraq was a good idea, based on evidence that was later disproved. That was in alliance with the United States, too.
The people slagging off Jeremy Corbyn for this tweet are the same people who cheered for the Iraq War when Tony Blair, George W Bush and John Bolton insisted Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Don't be fooled again.
A war with Iran will make the war with Iraq look like a pillow fight. https://t.co/cXFs58tqjg
— Frank Owen's Legendary Paintbrush (@WarmongerHodges) June 15, 2019
It is the attack on Mr Corbyn that is most offensive, though:
Jeremy Corbyn was right about Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine and he is right about Iran.
— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) June 15, 2019
That is the fact of this matter.
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