|Volume 48 Number 10, April 14, 2018||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
The peoples' interests demand an anti-war government
The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, used the occasion of the Lord Mayor of London's Easter Banquet, normally used to set out the government's foreign policy objectives, to deliver a speech that was almost totally dedicated to attacking and belittling the government of Russia. The speech came in the wake of the alleged chemical warfare attack in Salisbury, which the British government has claimed is the deed of the government of Russia. Boris Johnson has been the most bellicose of government ministers, pointing an accusing finger at Russia even when scientists were unable to ascertain the precise nature and origin of events in Salisbury.
Johnson used his speech to once again make unsubstantiated allegations against the government of Russia, but it was perhaps most notable for the fact that he took the opportunity to individually name all the 27 countries, members and allies of the EU and NATO, which have lined up behind Britain to expel Russian diplomats following the Salisbury events. The imperialist system of states likes to label these countries "the international community". It can be pointed out that there are a total of 195 countries in the world today, 193 of which are member states of the UN. Even a number of European countries have not followed the Anglo-US lead.
According to Johnson, the 27 countries have been engaged in "kicking out those whose presence they deem is no longer conducive to the public good". For Johnson, this is evidence that Britain's allies are now willing to adopt the same warmongering approach as has long been advocated by the British government, not just in relation to the events alleged to have taken place in Salisbury, but more importantly in response to Russia's intervention in Syria and the Crimea, as well as in opposition to cyber-attacks and other activities which have for some time been alleged by the British government The expulsions and other measures are in addition to the economic sanctions that have already been imposed on Russia by Britain, the US and their allies, and the military encirclement of Russia by NATO that has been strengthened in recent years and in which British military forces have played a leading role.
According to Boris Johnson and the British government this is an illustration of how a post-Brexit Britain will continue to act in the world, defending its "values" and "our belief in the rules-based international order". Such belligerence, according to Johnson, is what is meant by "Global Britain", and he boasted of the fact that Britain would continue to interfere militarily in the Baltic States, in Nigeria, in the Sahel and particularly in Syria and other parts of western Asia where only the US has authorised more air strikes. According to Johnson, Britain has its armed forces deployed in more countries than any other European power and will in future be extending its diplomatic and other interference, especially in Africa and throughout the so-called Commonwealth. Such expansion, Johnson claimed, is "fundamentally in the interests of the British people", but it was evident that the Foreign Secretary chiefly had in mind the interests of the monopolists and financiers, those who claim that as in the past so-called "free trade" must be inextricably linked with warmongering gunboat diplomacy and is the path to make Britain great again.
The bellicose speech and provocations aimed at Russia, as well as the boasts of Britain's greatness and the government's ability to intervene anywhere in the world as in the days of empire, appear to have been designed to create the conditions for further warmongering activities. The government's plans have become clearer this past week with the threat of military intervention in Syria, where it has also been alleged, without any apparent evidence, that chemical weapons have been deployed.
The government is set on a very dangerous course which must be condemned by all democratic people. So too must the intemperate language and warmongering tone employed by the Foreign Secretary. Now more than ever there is a need for all peace-loving people to redouble their efforts to create the conditions for an anti-war government.