Britain’s Sunday Times on the 2nd July 2017 published an article regarding a “rogue” SAS outfit that had murdered civilians in Afghanistan. They went on to state this SAS unit had fabricated reports to cover up their war crimes. There is nothing “rogue” about this conduct by the SAS.

In 1983, the SAS trained Pol Pot led forces which was revealed by Simon O’Dwyer-Russell in a Sunday Telegraph article in 1989. The SAS had taught the group “the use of improvised explosive devices, booby traps and the manufacture and use of time-delay devices“.

During the Black September conflict of 1970-71 King Hussein depended on Britain for his regimes survival as noted by the British Foreign Office. SAS instructors taught the Jordanian special forces who were waging a war against the PLO.

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Two SAS men who were captured dressed as locals with explosives in Basra, 2005

In 2011, the SAS were captured on the ground in Libya along with an MI6 agent. Their role was to work against the sovereign government. In 2017, the SAS remain in Libya. Just six years earlier in Basra, Iraq, two SAS men dressed in Arab style clothing were arrested by Iraqi police whom they had fired on. They were found to be in possession of explosives. The British responded by sending in tanks to smash down the walls of the prison they were being held in. This is nothing new for the SAS, in the late 1960s, they ran plain clothes hit squads in Aden (Yemen). The SAS would routinely dress as locals in an attempt to lure local resistance fighters where they would try and trap them and kill them.

Despite Britain’s denial the SAS were deployed to Vietnam and were most likely attached to the Australian SAS. They played a covert role and had plenty of experience from Britain’s war in Malaya – a conflict which the United States drew much inspiration from for their campaign in Vietnam.

In Ireland, the SAS carried out a number of cowardly operations. The Military Reaction Force, a British Army death squad, had SAS members working within its ranks. The most well known case is that of the Four Square laundry – a business that had been set up by the MRF to spy on Belfast residents. The MRF carried out drive-by shooting and bombings. Two SAS men were involved in this spy ring.

The SAS has a long history of carrying out covert operations which target civilians and prop up pro-British regimes. There was nothing “rogue’ about those caught murdering in Afghanistan, their only mistake in Britain’s eyes will be that they got caught.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both the British Conservative and Labour parties are as red, white and blue on the issue of foreign policy. They are in essence two peas from the same imperialist pod. Much has been made of Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed “anti-war” position. But let’s explore the recent Labour manifesto.

Labour has pledged to spend at least 2% of the GDP on defence which in their own words is to “guarantee that our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities“. The manifesto goes on to boast that Britain’s defence industry is “world leading” and that Labour would continue to support “development and innovation in this sector“. All to protect the jobs of those in Britain’s booming bomb making industry. Much of which goes to Saudi Arabia, where a campaign of genocide is being carried out against the Yemeni people.

Trident, Britain’s nuclear ‘deterrent’, is only mentioned once in the manifesto. Labour supports the “renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent”. Quite the u-turn from Corbyn. Labour go on to state they want to “lead multilateral efforts… to create a nuclear-free world“. More doublespeak from the Labour camp who desire to create a nuclear-free world by upgrading Britain’s nuclear weapons system.

Under the inappropriately titled ‘diplomacy’ section of their manifesto it talks of Britain’s relationship with the US being “based on shared values“. It goes on to claim Trump ignores them. Britain is a racist state founded on the mass looting and genocide of more than half the planet. The faux outrage at Trump is sickening and very typical case of the Labour party acting as it if possesses some kind of moral superiority when it comes to the issue of racism. It was the Labour party that subjected women immigrating to Britain from Asia to “virginity tests” in the 1970s. It a Labour chancellor during their much celebrated “Spirit of 45” years that referred to Britain’s colonies as “diseased nigger communities”. And it was the Labour Party of the Attlee years that pushed the burden of post WW2 costs on to those living in the ‘colonies’ and sucked the wealth back to Britain to build a welfare state off the back of Black and Brown people in the global south.

They go on to talk of the millions who have been killed in recent years and how terrible they think it is. But it was the Labour party that killed and displaced millions in Iraq. And cue the predictable “Corbyn voted against it” screeches. Yes he did, but who the hell are the Brits to vote on whether it is okay to bomb somewhere or not. You have ask what sort of individual would remain in a party that has carried out such crimes.

The Chagos Islands also get a mention. That the Labour government would support their right to return to their homeland. It was the Labour party of Harold Wilson that gave the authorisation for the islanders to be expelled in the first place.

Britain is arguably historically the biggest abuser of human rights on the planet yet the Labour party think they can lecture China, Egypt, Gulf states (most of which are British neo-colonies!), Myanmar, Russia, the Philippines and Turkey on their affairs.

And perhaps the most sickening of all is the framing of Britain’s war on Yemen as “Saudi-led”. Diminishing Britain’s role to one of merely selling arms. When we know the British are advising on air strikes which happen to be deliberately hitting the agricultural industry in Yemen. This has led to widespread famine with Yemenis starving to death.

The Conservatives and Labour parties are both imperialist entities and will continue to operate in this very way because Britain’s economy is reliant on imperialism. Corbyn is a social imperialist, he puts a friendly face on it. But it makes no difference for those living outside of the Eurocentric Corbyn project whether it’s Tory or Labour bombs dropping on them. And you’d be a fool to think British imperialism would end with Corbyn.

Starvation was a conscious resource for Britain’s colonial projects. It is still being used as a weapon today. Over half of Yemen’s population, 28 million people, are short of food. All the while Britain ‘advises’ it’s junior partner, the Saudis, where their airstrikes should hit. It comes as little surprise that the agricultural industry in Yemen is being deliberately targeted.

Let’s take a look at Britain’s long history of starving people to death in the name of it’s Empire:

Ireland:

The ‘famine’ of 1845-52 in Ireland was no more a natural disaster than the famines in Africa today. It was a man made instrument of war and conquest. Over a million Irish people died of starvation while enjoying the benefits of British rule. A million and a half more left Ireland, many on ‘coffin ships’.

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During ‘Black 47’, the worst year of the so-called famine, almost 4000 vessels left Ireland carrying food to the ports of Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool and London, to feed English people. If we take butter alone, over 800,000 gallons was exported from Ireland at gunpoint – the English couldn’t be left without butter while the Irish were being exterminated by starvation.

Before the genocide the population of Ireland stood at over eight million. One hundred and fifty years later and the population has never reached that figure.

India:

Mass starvation was a regular feature of life in India under British rule. The last ‘famine’ that was inflicted on India was in 1943 when over four million people died in Bengal. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people. Even when other nations tried to send aid to the people of Bengal, Winston Churchill refused the offers.

The major famines that occurred in India under British rule:

  1. The Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770) – over 10 million deaths
  2. Madras City/surrounding areas (1782-1783) and Chalisa famines (1783-1784) – total deaths for both was over 11 million
  3. Doji Bara Famine (1791-1792) – over 11 million deaths
  4. Agra Famine (1837-1838) – close to 1 million deaths
  5. Upper Doab Famine (1860-1861) – 2 million deaths
  6. Orissa (Odisha) Famine (1866) – over 1 million deaths
  7. Rajputana Famine (1868-1870) – over 1.5+ million deaths
  8. Bihar Famine (1873-1874) – the relief effort for this famine was deemed ‘excessive’, it was decided future relief to be “thrift”.
  9. Great Famine (1876-1878) – 5.5+ million deaths
  10. Ganjam/Orissa/Bihar (1888-1889) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  11. Indian Famine (1896-1897) – millions of deaths
  12. Indian Famine (1899-1900) – 1+ million deaths
  13. Bombay Presidency Famine (1905-1906) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  14. Bengal Famine (1943-1944) – over 4+ million deaths

The British ran what they termed ‘relief works’ during some of the famines. Indians were worked to death.

During the Bihar famine it was declared that the relief given to the starving was too generous, and thus decided that future relief was to be ‘thrift’. Lord Salisbury was convinced by senior civil servants that it was “a mistake to spend so much money to save a lot of black fellows”. [i]

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  • A famine relief coin given out during the ‘Great Famine’ of 1876-88. Over 5.5million died.

One of the methods the British devised for starving Indians who wanted to get relief was the ‘distance test’. They would be made to walk over ten miles to and from the relief works. Less food was given at these slave labour camps than at the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald. The annual death rate in 1877 was 94%. [ii]

Britain’s imperial project in India, its aims and methods, was not to prevent ‘famines’ but to engineer them.

‘Malaya’:

During the so-called ‘Malayan Emergency’ of 1948-1960 the British introduced a ‘food denial’ programmed called Operation Starvation. Its aim was to starve out those who were resisting Britain’s looting of the country. Its methods included ration reduction, punching of canned food at the time of purchase and the forbidding of meals at work areas.

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Brits spraying crops with herbicides and defoliants (Agent Orange).

As part of Operation Starvation the British sprayed Agent Orange on food crops. The United States took inspiration from this tactic to use in Vietnam.

Hundreds of thousands were also swept into camps by the British where they were subject to curfews and made to labour on the plantations. Any minor infraction would be punished, often with food reduction.

Biafra:

The British armed and supplied Nigeria with mercenaries during the Biafran war of 1967-70 all in the name of protecting corporate oil. When it looked like Nigeria got the upper hand Britain increased the supply of arms and ammunition.

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Britain’s greed to secure cheap oil saw them support a blockade against Biafra which resulted in countless people starving to death.

Britain’s Commonwealth Minister George Thomas stated in 1967 that the “sole immediate British interest in Nigeria is that the Nigerian economy should be brought back to a condition in which our substantial trade and investment in the country can be further developed, and particularly so we can regain access to important oil installations”. [iii]

Yemen:

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Over half of Yemen’s twenty-eight million people are short of food while Britain’s junior partner, Saudi Arabia, bombs them from the skies. The British are in what is referred to as the “command room”, advising the Saudis where they should strike. [iv] It comes as little surprise that Yemen’s farms and agricultural industry is being targeted. Yemenis are now starving because of this very British tactic.

[i] Mike Davis, “Late Victorian Holocausts” (UK: Verso Books, 2000], pg.37

[ii] ibid., pg.40

[iii] Quoted in the Independent Newspaper, 2004.

[iv] From the Guardian Newspaper, 2016.