September 23, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Jeremy Corbyn delivered his uncompromising stance on Western warmongering from the back of a London taxi last week. As the cab raced through the streets of the capital, the new Labour leader revealed his vision for an ethical foreign policy in his 17-minute interview with Middle East Eye.
Asked how he would deal with ISIS, the anti-war campaigner was uncompromising. “ISIS didn’t come from nowhere, they’ve got a lot of money that’s come from somewhere. They have a huge supply of arms that have come from somewhere and they are, not in total but in part, a creation of western interventions in the region,” he said.
According to Corbyn, he would deal with the terror group by economically isolating its members. He says he would attempt to unite other groups in the region and stressed the importance of supporting autonomy for Kurdish groups. On the rise of ISIS, he pointed to the vast amount of arms that Britain sells, particularly to Saudi Arabia, declaring they must have ended up somewhere and are now being used.
Corbyn was vehemently opposed to the 2013 Parliamentary vote on military intervention in Syria and remains adamant that bombing the country now would create more mayhem. He told Middle East Eye it would be very unclear who the alliances would be with.
On the region in general, he referred to Israel and Palestine as a massive issue. Unlike his British counterparts, he expressed grave concern at the illegal Israeli settlements, military occupation of the West Bank, and lack of reconstruction in Gaza.
Praising the recent agreement with Iran, he said he wished it had included the issue of human rights, and when asked if he would have invited Egyptian leader Abdel al-Sisi to the U.K., he was clear:
“No, I would not, because of my concerns over the use of the death penalty in Egypt, the treatment of people who were part of the former government, and the continued imprisonment of President Morsi.” He went on to clarify that his statement wasn’t passing judgement on different parties, but on the meaning of democracy.
On Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, Corbyn expressed concern on what he referred to as a “huge number of issues,” naming the treatment of women, the frequent use of the death penalty — including public beheadings — and the treatment of migrant workers.
At a recent Parliamentary debate, Corbyn raised the question of whether British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are more important than genuine concerns about human rights. Most of us already know the answer to this question.
“We need to be a constant irritant on human rights,” he said.
Asked how Britain can make itself safer, both at home and abroad, Corbyn was frank:
“We make ourselves safer by not being part of U.S. foreign policy at every single turn. And we become a force for human rights rather than military intervention.”
Asked why he has such good judgement compared with other MPs, Corbyn admitted that he reads a lot, travels a lot, and learns from people wherever he goes. “The issue is the ability to listen to people,” he said.
Describing what an ethical foreign policy under a Corbyn-lead British government would look like, he said, “My basis would be that I want to see the protection and preservation of human rights around the world, deal with issues of global hunger and global inequality, and the environmental disaster that is facing this planet.”
He added, “I think that should be the basis rather than what it is at the moment which seems to be to see what the White House wants, and how we can deliver it for them.”
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