Thursday, 20 June 2013

Exclusive: Robert Halfon 'Government Policy toward middle east has failed'

Robert Halfon, who is "not ashamed to admit that I tend towards the neo-conservative view" and one of my favourite MPs, exclusively gave #ThingsElliottSays a statement on what he believes about Intervention and why 'Government policy toward the middle east has failed lamentably in recent years.'

Latest News only available on #ThingsElliottSays.

Rob Halfon believes that policy has been "inconsistent" where there has been "realpolitik, appeasing certain regimes, and on the other hand we said that dictators are evil and that we must take action against them." He said it is "intolerable" that we have backed states such as Saudi Arabia or Libya and have not used "muscular enlightenment" to bring "freedom, human rights, property rights, the rule of law, equality towards women, religious tolerance and rejection of terrorism" to Syria, Palestine and Iran etc. .

Robert Halfon says that the policy of "realpolitik has failed" as it "involves appeasing or collaborating with unsavoury regimes in order to achieve certain foreign policy objectives." He believes that by working with them financially countries like Saudi Arabia "are allowed to pour millions into our universities" resulting in "terrorism at home and abroad; Islamist extremism in our universities has increased; and we are no closer to a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine."

Rob Halfon believes that we have been cuddling up to dictators and autocrats too much.

Libya is another good example of this as under Gaddafi our own ambassador to Libya said he wanted "a closer and more productive relationship with the UK more than any other country" a statement he finds "astonishing." The results of this realpolitik were that "the previous Labour government met with at the most senior level ... with the Gaddafi regime" and thus there was "influence and acceptability."

We can't just use a B52 we have to use other tools and other strategies.

Robert Halfon admits that "you can't just democracy from a B52 bomber" (quoting John Kennedy). It is as much "about winning hearts and minds" than "just about military invasion." He also stressed that "democracy is not just about elections. If it is only about elections, we have the situation of 2006 in Gaza, where Hamas sent its militia on to the streets, attacking members of the more moderate Fatah party and throwing them off the rooftops."

To conclude Robert Halfon said that "Those who oppose freedom in the middle east, however are exactly like those who opposed the end of slavery ...  'yes, we want to end slavery but not yet', and the relapolitik of the middle east says 'Yes, they should have democracy and human rights for women, but not yet'."

Robert Halfon in the House of Commons.

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