All The More Reason

Euston Manifesto debate, “Humanitarian Intervention post-Iraq”: Darfur, the UN, Iran and Iraq
May 11, 2007, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Euston Manifesto, Iran, Iraq, Israeli / Palestinian, Labour Party

The Euston Manifesto event on Monday 30th April has now been posted in its entirety on Youtube at:

I’d recommend you watch it all, it would make interesting Sunday afternoon viewing. The quality of the debate was fantastic, which in part I suspect is due to the additional freedoms Labour Ministers now have in discussions of policy during this period of interregnum.

A theme of Nick Cohen’s writings both in the Observer and also in ‘What’s Left? How Liberals lost their way’ is the failure of the democratic Left (and by this I guess he means in large part the Labour party), has failed to convince the British public of the case for foreign interventions. This is undoubtably a truth – Labour Ministers have in the face of the public’s massive disapproval of Iraq (literally) gone soft: the case for intervention is rarely enunciated, the silence telling of the failure of US and UK reconstruction efforts.

Here, Nick Cohen asks Hilary Benn if he is willing to make the case for humanitarian intervention to Labour supporters: –

I think Hilary Benn is excellent throughout the debate, as is Pat McFadden, who gives us a sophisticated narrative of the causes of Terrorism and our failure to understand them. Responsibility, a key new Labour theme, is re-used to give suicide bombers back their autonomy and with it, their moral culpability.

The debate on the United Nations is interesting, as the failures of the UN are often glossed over or not discussed by politicians: like the NHS it is truly a ‘sacred cow’. I quite like Nick’s argument about the UN being ‘a club with no basic rules’, but Benn and Brian Brivati’s argument for the engagement of undemocratic nations is a good one.

I hope this triggers necessary debate on the future for humanitarian intervention, but also the threshold for future military interventions. Comments would be appreciated.



3 Comments so far
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Those extraordinary answers you get from ordinary people when you ask them about the elections in Iraq are something else all right.

What Benn articulated in the first video is exactly how I feel. Nobody should ever have to apologize for having removed Saddam Hussein. So there was a lot blood being shed pre-invasion and there is a lot of blood being shed post-invasion. The difference is that now the Iraqis have an opportunity to make something of their country. An opportunity they might yet squander, but who can say that the opportunity should not have been offered them?

Comment by hydralisk

What a bunch of right-wing war-mongering liars.

Background on the scumbag McFadden

Comment by resistor

Thank you for your contribution. For as long as people like you continue to be obsessed by empty slogans and the minutiae of factional left politics, we warmongers can continue our worldwide march towards global hegemony unopposed. Cheers!

Comment by Michael P

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