Lib Dems: Raab defence of Trump not in UK’s interests

Following Dominic Raab’s appearance on the Andrew Marr show yesterday morning, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Dominic Raab’s lapdog defence of Donald Trump’s reckless action against Iran is seriously misguided and not in Britain’s best interests.

The United States’ so-called strategy with Iran and across the Middle East is so incoherent and inconsistent that it is making the search for peace and security far more problematic. So it is a huge mistake for the Foreign Secretary to give Trump a blank cheque of unequivocal support, especially when the Government was not even consulted before this action and this could backfire badly against Britain.

Iran is a dangerous regime but the Middle East has never really recovered from the illegal and disastrously judged Iraq War, when the Conservatives also unwisely backed US military intervention.

Britain should be telling Washington it needs to totally change its policy of maximum pressure and urgently re-focus on the previously successful strategy of engagement led by President Obama.

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  • Mohammed Amin 6th Jan '20 - 9:44am

    I agree with Ed Davey’s comments.

    The USA under President Trump does not really have a strategy beyond “If Obama was for something, it must be wrong and we must do the opposite.”

  • John Marriott 6th Jan '20 - 9:46am

    Call me naive if you wish; but I didn’t view Raaaaab’s performance on the Marr Show with quite the same degree on condemnation. While not actually distancing himself or his boss, for that matter, from what Trump did, he at least showed, in my opinion, a bit of diplomatic non commitment. Let’s wait and see what happens later, when the dust has settled (if it ever does).

    What happens from now on is anyone’s guess. My money is on something happening anywhere but on the continent of North America. Any money on London, Paris or Berlin?

  • Colin Paine 6th Jan '20 - 9:47am

    I’m not sure Raab was quite a lap dog, and the joint statement since then from UK, France and Germany suggests that Europe might be able to provide a balancing point between the US and Iran.

  • Barry Lofty 6th Jan '20 - 10:01am

    You can call me naive but I haven’t read much about impeachment in recent days?

  • John Marriott 6th Jan '20 - 10:17am

    Too true, Barry. I wonder why? You know, I reckon that Trump has been watching too many Westerns. This taking out of opponents, for some reason, reminds me of a shoot out between the bad guys and the sheriff. And then, it also reminds me, goodness knows why, of that final scene in Kubrick’s ‘Dr Strangelove’, where the bomber pilot, played by ex rodeo star, Slim Pickens, complete with Stetson, rides that nuclear bomb down to earth like he used to ride a bucking bronco, to the strains, I seem to recall; but I could be wrong, of Vera Lynn singing “We’ll meet again”, as the world descends into a nuclear holocaust.

    Perhaps, I’m exaggerating; but, if it’s a soft touch like Iran today, it could be China tomorrow. Yes, with the current US Commander in Chief, it could be that serious.

  • Barry Lofty 6th Jan '20 - 10:29am

    John your analogy of the Iran situation and comparing the Dr Strangelove film with Trumps action was very amusing, it is good to laugh in these tough times.

  • Barry Lofty

    “You can call me naive but I haven’t read much about impeachment in recent days?”

    Keeping impeachment out of the news may benefit the Democrats more than Trump. After months of saying how urgent it was they now appear very hesitant about going forward. Trump supporters will have already disregarded it and neutrals may be wondering what all the “urgency” and “fuss” was about. The killing of Soleimani will have done no harm to Trumps hopes of re-election and most of the leading Democrats have been pitiful in their response to the killing. The UK government have (in my opinion) got the tone spot on.

  • nigel hunter 6th Jan '20 - 11:06am

    Remember Trump is in trouble at home. What is a good idea,to Trump, is distract attention from his troubles using an event of over 30 years ago to harness support, win the next election. Would not put anything past him. We will now see how Johnson’s leadership deals with the situation.

  • This John?

  • Latest opinion polls suggest Trump would beat all Democrat candidates except Biden, and that is close. Is he in trouble?.

  • David Becket 6th Jan '20 - 12:20pm

    @ Nigel Hunter
    Of considerable interest to Lib Dems is how our leadership deals with the situation. I am not over impressed with Ed’s press release. Is there a Charles among our 11 MPs, if so now is the time to speak out.

  • |The UK has a potentially important role to play in de-escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
    The Trump administration has yet to brief congress on the intelligence that led to the security assessment that Solemaini was engaged in an imminent plot to attack America and its allies in the middle east.
    The twitter threats emanating from President Trump around bombing of cultural sites in Iran is clearly a breach of the UN convention and could well constitute a war crime were such threats followed through.
    It is not a time for threats, insults and undiplomatic language. There are British and American servicemen and civilian personnel at risk Iraq. Cool heads are required to find a path through to where the conflicting interests of the US/Israel/Saudi Arabia on the one hand and iran and its Shia Muslim allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yeman on the other can find a way of living with each other without resorting to military conflict.

    A good place to start would be a serious effort tom bring n end to the war in Yemen that is causing so much humanitarian suffering.

  • Barry Lofty 6th Jan '20 - 2:08pm

    As with all conflicts it is the ordinary people wanting just to get on with their lives who suffer in these war torn countries, whoever we perceive to be at fault in these situations far too little thought is given to them. I personally will not be losing sleep about how the British public view the Conservative party.

  • John Marriott 6th Jan '20 - 2:13pm

    You betcha!

  • Peter Hirst 7th Jan '20 - 1:57pm

    It might be wise to keep as flexible position as possible so we can respond to unfolding events while condemning military action except in our defence.

  • IMO there is something even more ‘strange’ than ‘Dr. Strangelove’ behind all this…

    Both Mikes ( Pence and Pompeo) are firm believers in ‘The Rapture’ and, for it to occur, there needs to be a great war in the ME..Believers have already talked about the ‘signs’ proving that the Rapture is coming (Jerusalem becoming Israel’s capital, the rise of ISIS and the Saudi/Yemen conflict to name but three)…

    It seems that Pence has already concocted a story involving Iran/Soleimani in the 9/11 attack and those against the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001.

    If Trump, advised by these two ‘nutters’, does attack sacred/cultural sites in Iraq then the ME will go up in flames..

    BTW..those thinking that I’m ’round the twist’ might check on Pence/Pompeo’s worldwide lectures on the coming of the rapture..

  • John Marriott 7th Jan '20 - 6:20pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Like the ‘countries’ in Africa, most Middle Eastern states are artificial constructs that emerged, in the case of the latter, from the debris of the Ottoman Empire and, in the case of the latter, from the colonial free for all at the end of the 19th century and culminating in the collapse of the Second German Empire, after WW1. As far as the Middle East is concerned, Messrs Sykes and Picot have much to answer for, although they were only doing their masters’ bidding. Then it was all about who got the oil. Now, besides that, it’s also about religion. We created the mess and it might be up to us to sort it out. Africa is still a work in progress.

  • John Marriott 7th Jan '20 - 6:22pm

    Sorry, that second ‘latter’ should have been ‘former’.

  • @ John Marriott “Messrs Sykes and Picot have much to answer for, although they were only doing their masters’ bidding”. Indeed they do.

    ‘their Masters bidding’………Sorry to mention it, John, but the said Masters behind Sykes-Picot Agreement (signed in May, 1916) were H.H. Asquith and his then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. It was a secret treaty…. as were a number of other agreements at the time which had earlier led to the setting up of the Union of Democrat Control……… the vehicle which led to the defection of a number of talented Liberal politicians into the Labour camp.

    Not the finest decision of ‘The Last of the Romans’, although admittedly it was during a Lib-Con Coalition. Squiff’s successor,Lloyd George, implemented it with great enthusiasm in 1917.

  • The Guardian latest news : “British warships, helicopters and several hundred military personnel have been put on standby of 48 hours or less for deployment in or near Iraq, ready to respond as the Iran crisis escalates.”

    NO,NO, NO. Not in my name.

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