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GUEST POST: Rob Waller on the perils of occupying Afghanistan

July 14th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

afghanistanAccording to our ‘friend’ Dave at the Foreign office the reason we’re fighting a war in Afghanistan is to keep us safe at home. He said to the nice people at GMTV…

“This is a mission that’s been developed with a very clear strategy: above all, to make us safer here because we know these areas of Afghanistan and its neighbour Pakistan are used to launch terrorism around the world.”

There are two reasons why the above opinion is abject nonsense. The first point to consider is, what is the actual threat posed by Islamic terrorism to Britain? According to the Government we’re constantly under the threat of being blown up by bearded monsters. But the reality is we’re not. If you review the history of terrorism it is quite clear that the most successful terrorist organisations are indigenous. They are not foreign based.

‘Al Quaeda’ in Britain have managed one successful attack. The rest have basically been bodge jobs that have been over-hyped by the Government and media.

Successful terrorist groups require indigenous support, a decent organisational structure and good weaponry. This was something the IRA had, but not what Al Quaeda in Britain has. It meant the IRA could strike anywhere within the UK with impunity. And why they were almost able to assassinate our Prime Minister.

During the troubles (1968 — 1998) over 1,800 civilains were killed. That’s 60 civilians per year for 30 years and that doesn’t even include all the soldiers and terrorists that lost their lives. While since 2001 Al Quaeda in Britain have managed to kill 52 people or about 7 civilians per year.

It is therefore questionable whether Al Quaeda in Britain pose a great threat. They clearly do not have the capability that the IRA had. And this brings into doubt whether we should be occupying foreign lands because of this threat.

The second point is based on the ‘stick in face theory’. Essentially there is no way you or I can guarantee that we will never be punched in the face. However we can be quite sure that if we wave a stick in someone’s face the likelihood of us being punched will increase greatly. So generally we don’t wave sticks in people’s faces.

The same principle applies to foreign policy. We can never guarantee security from terrorism. The idea of it is ridiculous. However you can be quite sure that if your foreign policy involves invading/occupying other countries that you will face some consequences — for example terrorism.

There is a logical reason for this. Which is simply that those who you attack/suppress will have some support and therefore you’re bound to piss someone off.

Miliband’s policies are flawed because they inflates the threat posed by Al Quaeda in Britain. And pretend that foreign occupation won’t annoy anyone.

The only realistic way to reduce the threat posed to Britain by Islamic terrorism is to remove ourselves from these conflict zones and leave the Islamic world to its own devices. And if you don’t agree with me I would just ask you to consider Ron Paul’s “What if…?” speech

What if our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interest?

What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is the predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others, and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?





Rob Waller sits on the NCC of the Libertarian Party and regularly posts for the LPUK South East Blog.

3 Responses to “GUEST POST: Rob Waller on the perils of occupying Afghanistan”

  1. Gandhi Says:

    Ah, the “what if” speech, that was a good one. Surprised they haven’t had him taken out by now I really am. But interesting that now Bush and co are OUT of the Whitehouse, Fox will allow Freedom Watch to broadcast. There really is a chance of (albeit) right-wing social conservative-ish libertarians being elected in the USA. (After Obama’s finished suckling at Wall Street of course.)

    Can the same be said of us here? They are decades ahead of us, but we have some big opportunities coming up. Libertarians in the UK are going to have to work like crazy to capitalise on the current situation, starting from – as it were – GROUND ZERO.

    Encouraging signs from Ian’s time at the House of Lords on Monday vis banking: IanPJ speech to Parliamentary Conference on Global Economic meltdown.


  2. burkesworks Says:

    social conservative-ish libertarians

    How can any true libertarian be “social conservative-ish”? By that definition, Thatcher was a libertarian.


  3. Gandhi Says:

    burkesworks: Correct on both counts.


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