In the Dangerous Footsteps of American Neocons: David Cameron and Extra-Judicial Assassinations

CameronDrones“The government’s power to kill must be carefully controlled – or it could turn into a tyranny worse than terror.” – Former CIA lawyer[1]

“How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?” And: “How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?”Heather Linebaugh, former UAV operator.

“In the absence of better of options, they [extrajudicial assassinations] are not only effective but moral as well.”Douglas Murray, Associate Director of Henry Jackson Society.

If there was any further evidence required that neoconservatism – not democracy – is driving the policies of the present government, David Cameron’s recent defence of the assassination of Britons abroad is it.

For the Love of War

Before analysing the justificatory rhetoric, it is worth looking at the context in which Cameron revealed this unprecedented action. The use of emotions, which is a staple neocon technique to influence public opinion, was demonstrated in the speech in the most twisted manner. Whilst pouring over the refugee crisis, he called for a “comprehensive approach that tackles the causes of the problem as well as the consequences.” Predictably, this meant “stabilising” Syria and Libya; a euphemism for more military escapades in the Middle East as explained towards the end of the speech:

“I believe there is a strong case for the UK taking part in air strikes as part of the international coalition to target ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq.”

The pertinent absence of the cause of the present mayhem which has now triggered the displacement of populations is conspicuously absent: the West’s militarist, hegemonic foreign policy, resulting in a genocide of Muslims; bitter sectarian conflict; and hundreds and thousands of refugees.

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Humza Arshad – A Bad Man with Bad Strategy?

(CC image courtesy of See Li on Flickr)

When the question amongst the scholarly milieu arose regarding the status of India under British colonialist occupation during the 19th century as to whether the land had become a place of war or not, those scholars who gave a sympathetic view to the British were supported and paraded. This, despite the fact that the British fully knew and acknowledged the correct position according to Islamic jurisprudence was that the land indeed had become a land of war.  The manipulation of religion and people to meet policy ends is nothing new then.

Let us now turn to a question:

How far can you caricaturise a serious issue replacing a detailed discussion with false premises and reductionist one-liners to foster a strategy which has discriminated against the Muslim minority of Britain and set the course for the erosion of liberties and “British values”? If Humza Arshad’s video is anything to go by, very far would be an understatement.

I was planning to write on his video in detail, except that Fahad Ansari has done a better job than I ever could, lucidly enunciating the problems with giving credence or support to the controversial PREVENT strategy, hence I have re-posted it on this blog.

There are a couple of additions I would add.

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