Login Dark

Why Britain’s politicians shouldn’t rush to take sides in war - The Guardian

Author: The Guardian

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/29/why-britains-politicians-shouldnt-rush-to-take-sides-in-war

Image of Why Britain’s politicians shouldn’t rush to take sides in war - The Guardian

Aditya Chakrabortty describes the attitude of the British media and political class towards the “worsening conflagration in Gaza” as “again preparing for the vicarious thrill of war”, having “learned nothing and forgotten nothing” (The thousands calling for a ceasefire and peace deserve better than abuse and belittlement, 26 October).This is entirely accurate, and I take it further with particular reference to our political class.Those who do and did govern us have found it convenient to forgive themselves for their decisions to take us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.They have forgiven themselves for the huge numbers of deaths they have caused and the continuing chaos they have left behind.Their political slate is thus wiped clean and they can lend themselves with clear consciences to take sides in this next catastrophe in Gaza, just as they have in Ukraine.Tony Blair had no qualms about invading Iraq; Robin Cook did.So did a million marchers. Jack Straw said that it was “in retrospect, a mistake”.The Chilcot inquiry “did not agree that hindsight is required” to know it was a grievous error.By one route or another, the political actors with respect to the Iraq war have forgiven themselves.Ditto Afghanistan.As a consequence, the same political class – not necessarily all the same individuals – are able to turn a blind eye to the provocation of Russia this century and Britain’s central role in creating the Palestine morass.Michael HorwoodTorpoint, Cornwall Aditya Chakrabortty’s article was akin to finding a candle in the darkness. I too have been dismayed by the media, political parties and the usual TV pundits.There seems to be a sense of “follow the trend in order to stay popular with the press”.There also seems to be a deep fear of saying anything against Israel.There are a vast number of people in Britain and throughout the world who want to see everlasting peace in the Middle East.People can understand why a group like Hamas arises without endorsing their terror. But I guess the leaders of the two political parties are looking more towards the next general election than to what is actually right and wrong.Mark TuohyBanbridge, County Down Aditya Chakrabortty is absolutely right.I was horrified by the outrageously cruel attacks by Hamas on defenceless Jewish people.I accept that Israel has a right to protect itself.But I am equally outraged by the besieging of 2.2 million Palestinian civilians, half of them children, in the Gaza Strip, which covers less than one-sixth of the area and has almost 12 times the population of Carmarthenshire, where I live.Denying civilians access to water, food, fuel and medical care is an act of revenge worthy of the hundred years war. Both sides’ actions are war crimes.Both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer need to rethink their responses.Alayne PerrottFelingwm Uchaf, Carmarthenshire The UN was branded “a stain on humanity” when António Guterres stated the obvious: that the Hamas attacks “did not happen in a vacuum”.Israel would clearly prefer the perception to be that they did.Imagine, then, the perception that the attacks on Gaza took place in a vacuum, just how many children, let alone other civilians, have to die before world outrage leads to a halt.Israel claims that its bombs are targeted, but it is either incapable of that or doesn’t care. I suggest that Hamas and the Israeli government are the “stains on humanity” here, and much of the rest of the world is living in a moral vacuum.Jerry StuartLondon

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter