Britain’s unprincipled, unconventional war
The west is waging an unconventional war deploying stealth weapons, extra ordinary rendition and secret prisons
The recent announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that British drones on operations in Afghanistan are, for the first time, being remotely controlled from Britain’s shores is a public acknowledgement of the deadly stealth war being conducted by the west. Not long ago the mere existence of such weapons let alone operations was denied. As with the unlawful kidnapping, imprisonment and extradition of foreign citizens, commonly known as extraordinary rendition, public denials of Britain’s involvement from highest levels of government were proved to be blatant lies as evidence to the contrary was leaked.
To these can be added the, now not so, secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe that are used to interrogate “suspects” away from the questioning eyes of the world. There is then the use of torture, namely waterboarding, which was reclassified as enhanced interrogation techniques by the US to avoid falling foul of internationally agreed conventions against the use of torture.
Thus in addition to the conventional war on terror the west is waging in Afghanistan-Pakistan there is the unconventional war deploying stealth weapons, extra ordinary rendition, secret prisons and the brutal mistreatment of suspects.
In this unconventional, there is no rule of law, no independent judicatory, no witnesses or trials and no innocent until proven guilty. The US and Britain execute this unconventional war safely behind the classification known as top secret using whatever means necessary, legal or otherwise.
Politicians in Britain and the US lecture the world about how civilised and principled they are, they protest at their superior values that are elevated and beyond reproach. They often define their struggles in broad terms to be about how it is these values that their enemies want so badly to extinguish. It is ironic that these sentiments are expressed none more so than in their execution of the war on terror.
However, as the use of drones, once denied but now public, shows nothing could be further from the truth. Principles have been foregone, truth concealed, wrongs refined and the rule of law abandoned in the unconventional war on terror. This has been executed using stealth and secrecy which is slowly being uncovered; exposing the lies and the truly unprincipled utterances of the politicians in the west.
The piecemeal exposure of the west’s unconventional war exemplifies the notion that the first casualty of war is truth. It therefore follows that we must always take political utterances with a huge dose of scepticism. Only time will reveal what other unprincipled practices have been executed during the west’s “war on terror”.