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Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron

 

UK Prime Minister: ‘staunchly supports’ Israel and

Sold $12 billion in weapons to Israel

Last updated Sat 19 Jul 2014

The Prime Minister has reassured Israel of Britain’s support in the ongoing conflict between the Jewish state and Hamas in Gaza.

David Cameron has offered the UK's support to Israel in response to 'appalling' attacks carried out by Hamas.

“The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s staunch support for Israel in the face of such attacks, and underlined Israel’s right to defend itself from them.”

Netanyahu has warned that Hamas will pay a “heavy price” for the rocket attacks and at least 47 people have been killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza since yesterday, according to Palestinian officials.

Britain admits selling $12 billion in weapons to Israel

david_cameron_official.jpg

David Cameron contemplates how to aid Israeli apartheid.

(10 Downing Street)

Journalists love rows. We love them so much that we often let them distract us.

Last week was no exception. Fascinated by an apparent bust-up between Israel and the European Union, most Middle East analysts (myself included) missed a very important story: Britain’s arms sales to Israel are far higher than David Cameron’s government has previously confessed.

Data published in a new report from the House of Commons in London states the value of all British military exports to Israel currently being processed comes to £7.9 billion ($12.1 billion).

This data was supplied by Vince Cable, Britain’s business secretary, who oversees the weapons trade.

I had to do a double-take when reading this information as until now Britain has indicated that the value of its arms sales to Israel are measured in millions, rather than billions.

Each year, the EU issues a report on weapons exports for the entire Union, based on information provided by its individual governments.

These reports stated that Britain approved military export licenses for Israel worth €5.7 million in 2011 and €7.2 million in2010.

Taken at face value, the annual reports suggest that Britain has reduced its weapons exports to Israel since Operation Cast Lead, the murderous 3-week attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. During 2008, Britain authorized weapons sales of €31.5 million to Israel, according to its official data.

Discrepancy

Because I was puzzled by the huge discrepancy between all these statistics, I asked Vince Cable’s department to help me out. I didn’t get a clear answer.

But a spokesperson speculated that the gap could be explained by how the yearly figures may not cover equipment that “hasn’t been shipped out yet.”

The latest data, on the other hand, could relate to licenses that have been “granted but not fully executed,” the spokesperson added.

A more plausible explanation, in my view, is that the British government — both under Cameron and his Labour Party predecessors, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair — has been dishonest about the full scale of its weapons sales to Israel.

Pressure from some diligent members of Parliament might have finally led Cable to provide them with more comprehensive figures.

The Commons’ report doesn’t go into much detail about the type of military equipment involved. It is telling, nonetheless, that the largest single deal itemized for Israel involved more than £7.7 billion worth of cryptographic technology.

“Battle-tested”

As far as I can see, there is no accompanying information about this contract — not even a date for when it was rubber-stamped. But anyone familiar with the nature of the Israeli economy should be able to make an educated guess about what is going on.

Israel has exploited the opportunities afforded by occupying the land of another people in order to develop a world-class “homeland security” sector. Israel’s drones are the best-known example of innovations routinely “battle-tested” — a term favored by arms traders — on Palestinian civilians.

Britain, it seems, is providing cartloads of sophisticated material to Israeli entrepreneurs intent on perpetuating the crimes of apartheid and occupation. If I’m wide of the mark, then I challenge Cable to spell out what exactly he and his predecessors have approved.

Despite the large sums involved, this new data does not give the full picture about military cooperation with Israel. Exports of components from Britain to America’s weapons industry are excluded, as far as I can tell, even though there’s a strong chance they will end up in Israeli hands.

Nor does the new data deal with how Britain is an important customer for Israeli weapons. Elbit, a leading Israeli warplane manufacturer, is assembling a series of drones for use by the British Army under the £700 million Watchkeeper program.

Elbit is among the Israeli companies scheduled to take part in the world’s largest weapons fair in London this September.

There can be no excuse for any military cooperation with Israel. An EU law on arms exportsmakes it clear that weapons should not be sold if they are likely to facilitate repression or aggravate tensions in a particular region.

Brazen

Britain’s foreign ministry has named Israel as one of 27 “countries of concern” for human rights abuses.

Of those 27, Israel is the largest destination for British arms exports. Saudi Arabia — long thought to be the biggest client for Britain’s weapons industry — is actually in second place.

The brazen effrontery of the British establishment was on display again today, when it convinced other EU governments to blacklist Hizballah as a “terrorist” organization. The move was taken at the behest of Israel, which alleges that Hizballah was behind a bombing in Bulgaria last year.

The EU has been willing to swallow Israel’s version of events — even though the Union’s own police agency Europol has acknowledged there is no proof of Hizballah’s involvement.

Reports of a major rift between the EU and Israel — as many a headline indicated last week — are, therefore, exaggerated.

Without question, Hizballah has done things that can be considered criminal — especially in Syria. Yet there would be no Hizballah if it wasn’t for Israeli aggression towards Lebanon.

Hizballah is a symptom of the problems in the Middle East. Britain, on the other hand, is the cause.

It was Britain’s political establishment which “gifted” Palestine to the Zionist movement in 1917. All these years later, Britain is arming Israel to the teeth.

David Cameron silent on the recapture of Palmyra?

The biggest military defeat that Isis has suffered in more than two years. The recapture of Palmyra, the Roman city of the Empress Zenobia.

And we are silent. Yes, folks, the bad guys won, didn’t they? Otherwise, we would all be celebrating, wouldn’t we?

Less than a week after the lost souls of the ‘Islamic Caliphate’ destroyed the lives of more than 30 innocent human beings in Brussels, we should – should we not? – have been clapping our hands at the most crushing military reverse in the history of Isis.

But no. As the black masters of execution fled Palmyra this weekend, Messers Obama and Cameron were as silent as the grave to which Isis have dispatched so many of their victims.

He who lowered our national flag in honour of the head-chopping king of Arabia (I’m talking about Dave, of course) said not a word.

Najat Rizk shared a link.
Robert Fisk: Why is David Cameron silent on the recapture of Palmyra?
The biggest military defeat that isis has suffered in more than two years.
independent.co.uk
As my long-dead colleague on the Sunday Express, John Gordon, used to say, makes you sit up a bit, doesn’t it? Here are the Syrian army, backed, of course, by Vladimir Putin’s Russkies, chucking the clowns of Isis out of town, and we daren’t utter a single word to say well done.
When Palmyra fell last year, we predicted the fall of Bashar al-Assad. We ignored, were silent on, the Syrian army’s big question: why, if the Americans hated Isis so much, didn’t they bomb the suicide convoys that broke through the Syrian army’s front lines? Why didn’t they attack Isis?
“If the Americans wanted to destroy Isis, why didn’t they bomb them when they saw them?” a Syrian army general asked me, after his soldiers’ defeat  His son had been killed defending Homs. His men had been captured and head-chopped in the Roman ruins. The Syrian official in charge of the Roman ruins (of which we cared so much, remember?) was himself beheaded. Isis even put his spectacles back on top of his decapitated head, for fun. And we were silent then.

Putin noticed this, and talked about it, and accurately predicted the retaking of Palmyra. His aircraft attacked Isis – as US planes did not – in advance of the Syrian army’s conquest.

I could not help but smile when I read that the US command claimed two air strikes against Isis around Palmyra in the days leading up to its recapture by the regime. That really did tell you all you needed to know about the American “war on terror”. They wanted to destroy Isis, but not that much.

So in the end, it was the Syrian army and its Hizballah chums from Lebanon and the Iranians and the Russians who drove the Isis murderers out of Palmyra, and who may – heavens preserve us from such a success – even storm the Isis Syrian ‘capital’ of Raqqa.

 I have written many times that the Syrian army will decide the future of Syria. If they grab back Raqqa – and Deir el-Zour, where the Nusrah front destroyed the church of the Armenian genocide and threw the bones of the long-dead 1915 Christian victims into the streets – I promise you we will be silent again.

Aren’t we supposed to be destroying Isis? Forget it. That’s Putin’s job. And Assad’s.

Pray for peace, folks. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? And Geneva. Where is that, exactly?

Visited Lebanon, to save self, not refugees: David Cameron

I’m at a refugee camp in Lebanon, hearing some heartbreaking stories. British aid is doing so much to help.

The visit was meant to bribe and warn the Lebanese government to elect a President who is willing to sign on the settlement of the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon proper. More than 1.5 million have already flocked into Lebanon and the number is increasing

Cameron has aided Lebanon with $50 million (in the last 3 years) to educate the Syrian kids in Lebanon.

View image on Twitter

I don’t care if you ignore everything I post as long as you watch this interview with a Palestinian mother from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus

 

Take my kid to Germany“, a mother’s plea for her daughter to be taken to safety http://trib.al/wemw2P6

 
 StepFeed posted

Thanks for the attention bro, but maybe next time you come to the Middle East focus on refugees and not your image back home?

British PM talked a lot of talk – but he was basically just talking to himself and voters back home.
stepfeed.com|By Jason Lemon

With the mission of “inspecting” the refugee situation, everyone breathed a sigh of relief knowing the British were here to save the day.

tumblr_lt6w9mCvzn1qawq0no1_500

Never mind the fact that the UK has pledged to take only a tiny percentage of the millions of refugees.

r2y06

But when you see these photos of Cameron sitting with refugee children, don’t you almost forget that fact?

Doesn’t it almost seem like this man cares about their plight despite the fact that he is actively working to keep them out of his country?

Well, friends, don’t be fooled by the photos. Its all one big PR stunt.

what-did-you-just-say

As the Independent reported, Cameron’s visit to a makeshift refugee school was all staged.

Although it was reported that Cameron simply “dropped by” a classroom of students, he actually dropped by a prearranged group of refugee children. The “teacher” wasn’t even their teacher.

Of course, Cameron wanted the folks back home – and the world – to see a caring leader, descending to meet the poor refugees face-to-face.

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Good show sir, good show indeed!

lbP4iQj

What’s that? You think we’re being too harsh?

r2xlo

Sorry for the honesty, but we think he can take it.

British David Cameron PM: A quick visit to Lebanon

To coax us to retain the 2 million Syrian refugees.

To tell us we should elect a President who will agree to settle the Syrian refugees that are already half our population.

Libnanews.com posted

Sous forte présence militaire, David Cameron, accompagné par une délégation britannique, s’est directement rendu au camps des réfugiés syrien de Terbol dans la Békaa alors que des hélicoptères de type Chinook survolaient les lieux.

Pour ensuite visiter une école publique située à Sed Bouchrieh, dans la banlieue de Beyrouth, dont l’essentiels des élèves sont syriens.

Le Premier Ministre Britannique David Cameron s’est rendu aujourd’hui au Liban, dans le cadre d’une visite quasiment à la surprise générale pour aller à la rencontre de réfugiés syriens et rencontrer les responsables libanais.
libnanews.com|By Libnanews.com

David Cameron serait arrivé à bord d’un avion privé dans la matinée pour y entendre de vives voix « des récits à en briser le coeur »

David Cameron avec le Ministre de l'éducation Elie Bou Saab. Crédit Photo NNA
David Cameron avec le Ministre de l’éducation Elie Bou Saab. Crédit Photo NNA

 

Le responsable britannique a indiqué que l’objectif de cette visite s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’aide que pourrait accorder la Grande-Bretagne au Liban, notamment dans le secteur de l’éducation qu’il considère vital.

A cette occasion, David Cameron a annoncé la création d’un nouveau poste de sous secrétaire d’état en charge de l’aide aux réfugiés syriens.

« Richard Harrington sera responsable de la coordination du travail au sein du gouvernement pour aider à l’installation de jusqu’à 20.000 réfugiés syriens au Royaume-Uni » et de la coordination de l’aide de la Grande-Bretagne avec les pays  limitrophes à la Syrie.

Pour rappel, le Pays des Cèdres recueille actuellement, de source officielle, 1.4 millions de réfugiés syriens alors que d’autres sources évoquent la présence de 1,7 millions de réfugiés syriens, en plus des 500 000 réfugiés palestiniens déjà présents depuis des décennies, alors que la population libanaise n’est estimée qu’à 4 millions de ressortissants dont beaucoup résident à l’étranger.

20 millions de livres sur 3 ans en soutien au réfugiés syriens (What a joke)

A l’issue d’une réunion avec son homologue libanais Tamam Salam au Grand Sérail, le Premier Ministre Britannique a annoncé la création d’un ministère en charge de la question des réfugiés syriens.

Dénonçant l’absence des fonds pourtant promis pour aider le Liban à faire face à cet afflux, David Cameron a également indiqué que la Grande-Bretagne financera un programme d’aide pour un montant de 20 millions de Livres Sterlings pour les 3 ans à venir.

Il a appelé à l’élection rapide d’un Président de la République

Cette visite intervient alors que le Président Français a annoncé vouloir également se rendre au Liban, le 1er octobre prochain pour permettre aux réfugiés syriens « d’y rester » suite à la crise des migrants que connait l’Europe depuis maintenant 2 semaines et le choc causé par la mort du petit Alyan en Turquie.
Lire la Suite: David Cameron au Liban | Libnanews http://libnanews.com/david-cameron-au-liban/#ixzz3ljmcrcwS
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Ten reasons why the British parliament should vote no to bombing Iraq

Is this an excuse to test more upgraded Tornadoes jet planes on Iraqi people?

Chris Nineham 24 September 2014. Posted in News

On Friday 26 September, David Cameron will ask MPs to vote in favour of joining the US bombing campaign in Iraq and take the UK into yet another Middle East war.

Not in my name

1) The West’s last operation in Iraq ended just three years ago. For those with a short memory it didn’t go well. More than half a million people died, millions fled the country and Iraq’s infrastructure was devastated. The operation generated deep resentment against the West.

2) The current chaos in Iraq – including the rise of the reactionary Isis – is largely the result of the 8 years of that occupation. On top of the trauma of the assault, sectarian division was built into the operation.

Elections were organised along communal lines and the authorities used sectarianism to undermine resistance.

By 2006, Baghdad had been turned from an integrated, modern city into a patchwork of ruined communal ghettoes.

The open discrimination of the Western-backed Maliki government detonated a Sunni insurgency last year that helped fuel the rise of Isis in Iraq.

3) Bombing always kills and terrorises civilians. Recent coalition bombing raids on Raqqa in Syria have brought death and panic to its residents. One civilian there told western reporters ‘I would not wish them on my worst enemy’.

4) All three of Britain’s major military interventions in the last thirteen years have been disasters. In 2001 we were told an invasion of Afghanistan would rout the Taliban.

Thirteen years and tens of thousands of deaths later the Taliban have grown in strength and the country is broken.

The bombing of Libya in 2011 was justified as essential to stop a massacre by Gaddafi. After it began an estimated 30,000 were killed in a terrifying cycle of violence. The country is now a failed state with no real government.

5)  The coalition that has been put together for the bombing of Syria – apparently in an effort to give the attacks legitimacy – comprises some of the most ruthless and benighted  regimes in the region.

Human Rights Watch reports that nineteen people were beheaded in Saudi Aarbia in August.

Qatar and UAE have notorious human rights’ records that include the use of forced labour. All three have funded violent Jihadi groups in the region.

6) Bombing raids will increase hatred of the west. One of the wider results of the ‘War on Terror’ has been to spread Al- Quaida and other terrorist groups across whole regions of the world. In 2001 there were relatively small numbers of such militants, centred mainly on Pakistan. Now there are groups across the middle east, central Asia and Africa.

7) The timing is cynical. David Cameron has recalled parliament to debate an attack on Iraq just two days before the start of the last Tory Conference before the general election. This at a time when he is engaged in pushing a right wing, nationalist agenda for party political purposes.

8) Mission creep is almost inevitable. There are already more than a thousand US military active in Iraq and senior US military figures are arguing they should now be openly involved in fighting. In Britain a growing number of voices from Tony Blair to Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb are recommending British boots on the ground.

9) The attack will cost money much needed for other things. One Tomahawk cruise missile costs £850,000, enough to pay the annual salary of 28 NHS nurses.

The US has already fired about 50 of these missiles at Isis targets in Syria. It is estimated Britain spent between £500 million and one billion pounds bombing Libya in 2011. This was roughly the same as the savings made by ending the education maintenance allowance (EMA); or three times the amount saved by scrapping the disability living allowance.

10) The vote will have a global impact. On Friday, MPs have a chance to make a real difference on matters of peace and war. The US wants Britain on board to prove it is not isolated.

When MPs blocked Cameron’s last push for airstrikes, on Syria a year ago, they stopped Obama launching attacks too. A no vote could help reverse the drift towards another full scale western war in the middle east.

Note: The US led “coalition” on terrorism is giving legitimacy to ISIS on the ground that the US is perceived in the Islamic countries as the nemesis, particularly its consistent and blattant support of apartheid and racist Zionist State of Israel.

And why the US wants to bomb? Just to please the absolute obscurantist monarchy in Saudi Arabia that is paying the tab.

 “Sustainable security for Israel”? Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of ‘inexplicable silence’ on genocide

in row over Gaza

Labour leader criticised by Downing Street for ‘playing politics’, as Palestinian death toll from Israel’s offensive exceeds 1,900 and about 10,000 injured
, policy editor theguardian.com, Saturday 2 August 2014
gaza

Ed Miliband claims the prime minister has failed to send a clear and unequivocal message to Israel and Hamas to seek lasting peace.
Photograph: Hatem Moussa/AP

An unseemly row has broken out between Ed Miliband and David Cameron over the crisis in Gaza after the Labour leader claimed the prime minister’s “silence” on events was “inexplicable”.

Downing Street responded with a statement accusing Miliband of “playing politics” as the death toll of Palestinians exceeded 1,650 and Israel confirmed that it had lost 63 soldiers and three civilians, its highest death toll since the 2006 Lebanon war.

In a further effort to deflect Labour’s attacks, the foreign secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday that the effect of the Israeli bombing on Gaza’s civilian population was “intolerable”.

Hammond told The Sunday Telegraph: “The British public has a strong sense that the situation in Gaza is simply intolerable and must be addressed – and we agree with them.

“There must be a humanitarian ceasefire that is without conditions. We have to get the killing to stop.”

The row came as the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated on Saturday night that Israel’s nearly month-long military operation was coming to an end with the destruction of Hamas tunnels into Israel almost complete.

Israel also said that Hadar Goldin, the soldier believed captured by Hamas, had been killed in action. (And Israel fabricated the story of kidnapping in order to break the cease fire agreement of 72 hours, as it fabricated that Hamas abducted and killed the 3 Israeli teenagers)

Earlier on Saturday, Nick Clegg issued a plea for the Israeli government to halt its military operations and talk to Hamas, warning that the assault on Gaza appeared to be a “disproportionate” response to rocket attacks from the territory.

In the Commons last month, Cameron did voice “grave concern” about the death toll in Gaza but had stressed that Israel had a right to defend itself and accused Hamas of triggering the crisis.

But in a statement on Saturday, which broke with the norm of presenting a united front on matters of foreign policy, Miliband said Cameron had so far failed to send out “clear and unequivocal message” to both sides in the conflict.

Miliband said: “With the breakdown of Friday’s ceasefire and the prospects of peace seemingly distant, it is now more important than ever that the international community acts to get the two sides to agree to a renewed ceasefire, and thereafter to reestablish meaningful negotiations to achieve a two-state solution.

“David Cameron should be playing a leading role in these efforts to secure peace. He is right to say that Hamas is an appalling, terrorist organisation. Its wholly unjustified rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, as well as the building of tunnels for terrorist purposes, show the organisation’s murderous intent and practice towards Israel and its citizens.

“But the prime minister is wrong not to have opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza. And his silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action will be inexplicable to people across Britain and internationally.”

A Downing Street spokesman said in response: “The PM has been clear that both sides in the Gaza conflict need to observe a ceasefire.

“We are shocked that Ed Miliband would seek to misrepresent that position and play politics with such a serious issue.”

In his statement, Miliband said that while he was a supporter of Israel and believed in its right to self-defence its military actions in the last fortnight had been “wrong and unjustifiable”.

He said: “The escalation of violence engulfing Gaza has led, and is leading, to suffering and destruction on an appalling scale, and is losing Israel friends in the international community day by day.

Israel’s present military action will increase the future threats to its security rather than countering them. Israelis rightly and justifiably want that security, yet their government’s present actions instead risk simply a growing a new generation bent on revenge.

Sustainable security for Israel cannot be achieved simply by permanent blockade, aeriel bombardment and periodic ground incursion. Instead, it requires acknowledging the legitimate claims of Palestinians to statehood, and sustained efforts to secure a viable Palestine alongside a secure Israel.

“As for the British government, its job now is to develop a collective response not a differentiated one and to speak with one voice. We need the clear and unequivocal message that has not so far been provided to be sent from Britain to both sides in this conflict. David Cameron and the Cabinet must put Britain in a leading role in pressuring both sides now to end the violence.”

Britain is making a further £3m available to allow a rapid response by aid workers in Gaza to what international development secretary, Justine Greening, described as “nothing short of a humanitarian catastrophe”.

The activation of Britain’s Rapid Response Facility – which brings total UK aid in the current crisis to £13m – will allow pre-approved non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to access funds within a few days.

Priority is being given to projects to provide clean water and sanitation following extreme water shortages, as well as emergency healthcare, clearance of unexploded ordnance and counselling and care for civilians, particularly women and children.

The UK’s Department for International Development said that since the Israeli offensive began on 8 July, 136 schools – some serving as shelters – 24 hospitals and clinics and 25 ambulances have been damaged or destroyed, while 8 UN aid workers and at least two Palestinian Red Crescent volunteers have now been reported as killed.

Some 40% of the sixth-most densely populated area on Earth is now a war zone, with a quarter of the Gazan population displaced.

(And apparently, Israel is intent on keeping this 40% additional land for lame excuses)

Will Africa ever be freed from colonial onslaught on its lands and raw materials?

One of the stated purposes of the G8 conference, hosted by David Cameron (British PM) next week, is to save the people of Africa from starvation.

To discharge this grave responsibility, the global powers have discovered, to their undoubted distress, that their corporations must extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa. As a result, they will find themselves in astonished possession of Africa’s land, seed and markets.

Nothing ever changes when it comes to colonial greed.

One of the stated purposes of the Conference of Berlin in 1884 was to save Africans from the slave trade.

To discharge this grave responsibility, Europe’s powers discovered, to their undoubted distress, that they would have to extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa.

In doing so, they accidentally encountered the vast riches of that continent, which had not in any way figured in their calculations.

The colonial powers of France, England, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain… found themselves in astonished possession of land, gold, diamonds and ivory. They also discovered that they were able to enlist the labor of a large number of Africans, who, for humanitarian reasons, were best treated as slaves. (Hands shopped for failing to bring in the proper quota of rubber…)

I had posted many articles on this topic https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/food-baskets-for-year-2050/ and now this one by  .

 published in The Guardian this June 10, 2013:

David Cameron’s purpose at the G8, as he put it last month, is to advance “the good of people around the world”.

Or, as Rudyard Kipling expressed it during the previous scramble for Africa: To seek another’s profit, / And work another’s gain … / Fill full the mouth of Famine / And bid the sickness cease”.

Who could doubt that the best means of doing this is to cajole African countries into a new set of agreements that allow foreign companies to grab their land, patent their seeds and monopolize their food markets?

The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which bears only a passing relationship to the agreements arising from the Conference of Berlin, will, according to the US agency promoting it, “lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through inclusive and sustained agricultural growth“.

This “inclusive and sustained agricultural growth” will no longer be in the hands of the people who are meant to be lifted out of poverty.

How you can have one without the other is a mystery that has yet to be decoded. But I’m sure the alliance’s corporate partners – Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, Syngenta, Nestlé, Unilever, Itochu, Yara International and others – could produce some interesting explanations.

The alliance offers African countries public and private money (the UK has pledged £395m of foreign aid) if they strike agreements with G8 countries and the private sector (in many cases multinational companies). Six countries have signed up so far.

African farming needs investment and support. Does it need land grabbing?

Yes, according to the deals these countries have signed.

Mozambique, where local farmers have already been evicted from large tracts of land, is now obliged to write new laws promoting what its agreement calls “partnerships” of this kind.

Ivory Coast must “facilitate access to land for smallholder farmers and private enterprises” – in practice evicting smallholder farmers for the benefit of private enterprises.

Already French, Algerian, Swiss and Singaporean companies have lined up deals across 600,000 hectares or more of  Ivory Coast prime arable land. These deals, according to the development group Grainwill displace tens of thousands of peasant rice farmers and destroy the livelihoods of thousands of small traders”.

Ethiopia, where land grabbing has been accompanied by appalling human rights abuses, must assist “agriculture investors (domestic and foreign; small, medium and larger enterprises) to … secure access to land”. (Think of this Indian multinational planting rice and roses on lands rented for a single dollar a hectare…)

And how about seed grabbing?

Is that essential to the wellbeing of Africa’s people?

Mozambique is now obliged to “systematically cease distribution of free and unimproved seeds“, while drawing up new laws granting intellectual property rights in seeds that will “promote private sector investment”. Similar regulations must also be approved in Ghana, Tanzania and Ivory Coast.

The countries that have joined the New Alliance will have to remove any market barriers that favor their own farmers. Where farmers comprise between 50% and 90% of the population, and where their livelihoods are dependent on the non-cash economy, these policies – which make perfect sense in the air-conditioned lecture rooms of the Chicago Business School – can be lethal.

Strangely missing from New Alliance agreements is any commitment on the part of G8 nations to change their own domestic policies. These could have included

1. farm subsidies in Europe and the US, which undermine the markets for African produce; or

2.  biofuel quotas, which promote world hunger by turning food into fuel.

Any constraints on the behavior of corporate investors in Africa (such as the Committee on World Food Security’s guidelines on land tenure) remain voluntary, while the constraints on host nations become compulsory.

As in 1884, powerful nations make the rules and weak ones abide by them: for their own good, of course.

The west, as usual, is able to find leaders in Africa who have more in common with the global elite than with their own people.

In some of the countries that have joined the New Alliance, there were wide-ranging consultations on land and farming, whose results have been now ignored in the agreements with the G8. The deals between African governments and private companies were facilitated by the World Economic Forum, and took place behind closed doors.

But that’s what you have to do when you’re dealing with “new-caught, sullen peoples, / Half devil and half child“, who perversely try to hang on to their own land, their own seeds and their own markets.

Even though David Cameron, Barack Obama and the other G8 leaders know it isn’t good for them.

• Twitter: @georgemonbiot. A fully referenced version of this article can be found at Monbiot.com


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adonis49

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