It was Jeremy Corbyn, obviously.
He opposed the idea of the UK going to war in Afghanistan from the moment it was first suggested in 2001, after the 9/11 atrocity – for all the right reasons.
Remember when Jeremy Corbyn said invading Afghanistan would cost tens of thousands of lives and wouldn't solve anything? #CorbynWasRight
— James Bradford(NEW ACCOUNT) (@SpitfireVC) August 16, 2021
But you won’t hear mainstream media types – or anybody in the current Labour leadership – saying it because it casts them in a poor light.
They’ve spent more than half a decade dragging Corbyn’s name through the mud, so it would be hugely embarrassing for them to admit he has been right about the major issues of our times, all along.
The facts are obvious, though.
Way back in 2001, after Tony Blair decided that the UK would follow George W Bush’s
Project for a New American Century US government into war with Afghanistan, to remove the Taliban government that had little or nothing to do with 9/11, Mr Corbyn was elected to the steering committee of the Stop the War Coalition, which was dedicated to opposing the decision.
“There is disquiet… about issues of foreign policy, varying between people like myself, who are strongly opposed to the deployment of troops to Afghanistan, and the threat of bombing Iraq, so there is a lot of disturbance, yes,” he said in March 2002.
Eight years later he made a landmark speech predicting how the warfar in Afghanistan would end – and he was right.
Here’s Jeremy Corbyn ten years ago predicting how this débacle was going to end. Ten years earlier he and others warned against it. Now the useless Raab and the even more useless Johnson reckon “nobody could have predicted this”
Tories, wrong at every turn! #r4today
— John Rodge #YesCymru#Annibyniaeth (@Gtr910) August 17, 2021
“The issue of Afghanistan goes on. The deaths continue, the soldiers continue to die, the war is clearly unwinnable,” Corbyn said.
“The expense in moral terms, financial terms and loss of life of Afghan people gets worse and worse.”
You can see the speech embedded in this Independent article.
“Jeremy Corbyn speech against Afghanistan war from 2010 resurfaces” 👇https://t.co/CbYr2xzvEu
— Labour Left Grassroots (@LabGrassroots) August 16, 2021
Seven years later – and now as Labour Party leader, Mr Corbyn urged then-prime minister Theresa May not to support then-US president Donald Trump as he plotted to send more troops to Afghanistan:
After 16 years of bloodshed and destruction, the Taliban are undefeated and terrorism is no less of a threat at home https://t.co/feJZlK3foH
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 22, 2017
He said: “The war in Afghanistan has failed. After 16 years of bloodshed and destruction, the Taliban are undefeated and terrorism is no less of a threat at home. In fact it has spread.
“The British Government should make clear to Donald Trump that his strategy of more bombing and a new troop surge will continue this failure, not obediently applaud his latest policy U-turn.”
When Boris Johnson announced that UK troops were pulling out of Afghanistan in July this year, Mr Corbyn called for an inquiry into this country’s reason for going to war there in the first place.
He said: “This has to be a day of reflection. We have spent billions of pounds in the war in Afghanistan, 450 British troops have lost their lives, thousands of Americans and other troops have lost their lives, many, many thousands of Afghan people have lost their lives and many more have been forced to be refugees in exile all around the region as well as in western Europe.
“While Britain is withdrawing, surely we need to recognise that when we make hasty foreign policy decisions to go to war, the consequences go on for a very long time. In this case, it is now the 20th anniversary of such a decision.”
(Incidentally, Boris Johnson’s speech on that day – July 8 this year – is, in retrospect, bitterly hilarious. His prediction for the future of Afghanistan after the UK pulled out its troops has proved so far off the mark that one has to wonder whether he was taking his intelligence from Christmas crackers.)
And now, with the refugee crisis that has followed the Taliban’s resurgent takeover of Afghanistan, Mr Corbyn has proved himself right yet again:
There is now a humanitarian emergency in Afghanistan. We must urgently meet our obligations to Afghan refugees, while learning the lessons of two decades of devastating war and failure. pic.twitter.com/4RURLNRnph
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 16, 2021
For those who can’t read text from image files, he said: “We must learn the lessons of a two-decade war which cost nearly a quarter of a million lives and failed to achieve security for the Afghan people or prevent the spread of terrorism.
“The War on Terror and its architects’ reckless use of force to deal with complex political issues has had profound, uncountable, and unacceptable human costs – whether to British and allied servicement and women or to the civilian populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.
“Invasions and occupations are not only wrong and violate the right to sovereignty, they also do not deliver viable and sustainable political settlements. We cannot allow ourselves to be led down such a disastrous road again.”
And, heading off a certain stripe of critic, he added: “Too often rejecting military intervention is conflated with taking no action at all. As well as resettling refugees, I will be making the case in Parliament this week for the UK to play its part in a robust diplomatic effort that engages regional powers to ensure stability.
“This will need to cover humanitarian support, a response to rising extreme poverty, respect for human and civil rights expecially those of women and girls, and real self-determination for Afghanistan.”
Contrast Mr Corbyn’s attitude with that of current Labour leader Keir Starmer, as depicted in the two representative tweets below:
The difference couldn't be more stark pic.twitter.com/HIZ7TUT2Ap
— black lives matter (@jrc1921) August 16, 2021
Mr Corbyn highlighted the humanitarian emergency, saying the UK has an obligation to Afghan refugees.
Meanwhile Starmer could not care less about the Afghan people who have suffered 20 years of disruption (20? more like 40, if you count the resistance to Soviet occupation that the UK supported). His only concern was to evacuate British personnel and support staff.
The contrast encapsulates the reason Jeremy Corbyn is the best prime minister the UK never had – and the reason Keir Starmer must never be prime minister of the UK.
The arguments have been convincing, all the way down the line – more so in hindsight, because we can recognise that Mr Corbyn has been right. Yet there has been no recognition by the UK’s national news media.
Isn't it amazing how Jeremy Corbyn is spot on every time, and yet the 'shit-show' of a media never gives him credit for it?
— richard oneill (@silverrich39) August 17, 2021
They really don’t. Look at the reaction of James Ball of investigative news organisation The Bureau to comments by people pointing out that Mr Corbyn has been highlighting the mistakes that the Western powers keep making, year after year.
He responded with whataboutery – and falsehood – that Mr Corbyn doesn’t care about people being oppressed, if the oppressors don’t happen to be the United States.
Alex Nunns, below, wisely restricted his response to Mr Corbyn’s comments during 2001 alone:
In parliament in 2001, as well as Afghanistan, JC raised Burma,China,Western Sahara,ElSalvador,Chile,Iraq,Turkey,Colombia,Saudi,Sri Lanka,Kurdistan,Chagos,Diego Garcia,Libya,Antarctica,Tibet,Malaysia,Pakistan,Chechnya,Indonesia,Morocco,Papua New Guinea,Somalia & the Zambezi River https://t.co/OqApuV9ZT5
— Alex Nunns (@alexnunns) August 16, 2021
The moral is clear: if you want the facts, go to Jeremy Corbyn – and avoid the mainstream media distortions.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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