Liberation journal editorial by Jamshid Ahmadi
It is no exaggeration to claim that the world we live in has been experiencing unprecedented trauma and upheaval. The Covid pandemic has fundamentally challenged the capacity of most governance structures in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. The neo-liberal orthodoxy of recent decades has been exposed.
While China, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba excelled in controlling the spread of COVID-19, the governments in the US, UK, Brazil, India and Iran have acknowledged their marked failure. The figures are there to tell the story. The prime importance of state-controlled health systems and the provision of well-planned and adequately financed public services is now acknowledged globally.
The US administration under Donald Trump has not only been a disaster for the Americans but created havoc in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia. The US Administration’s dealing with international agencies, international treaties and its complete disregard for diplomacy has made a world a less safe place in which to live. Trump’s expressed aim of “making America Great” has brought a new cold war with China. It has given a green light to the right-wing reactionary government in Israel to show flagrant disregard to all UN resolutions regarding the right of the Palestinian people to a viable independent state and to live in peaceful co-existence side by side Israel.
The US under Donald Trump has mortgaged its foreign policy to the Saudi Arabian and Persian Gulf Arab kingdoms in exchange for lucrative arms deals. In such a climate, autocratic regimes in Turkey and elsewhere have brazenly pursued adventurist plans that can only mean more terror and bloodshed.
Britain has continued its policy of supporting any dictatorial government that is prepared to purchase British arms and military technology. Yemen has been turned into a killing field by the Saudi war machine using British weapons. And in Britain itself, in the midst of a pandemic and with the economy in free-fall, Boris Johnson has announced a mammoth increase of £16.5 billion to the military budget. This is on top of the annual rise of 0.5% to the MoD’s existing £41.5 billion.
Liberation’s mission has always been to contribute to a safer and more equal world. It was founded in 1954 as a campaigning human rights organisation, the non-sectarian Movement for Colonial Freedom. As such we vigorously campaigned for an end to colonial rule. When we changed our name in 1970 to Liberation our focus was expanded to address the legacies of Britain’s colonial past.
This change was in recognition that, while colonial empires were in decline, they had been replaced by a new neo-colonialist imperialism. Economic and political exploitation and racism continued. Today, fifty years on, imperialism still inflicts harm on the peoples of many lands and still menaces the global environment.
The government of the USA and its allies are ignoring or undermining international agreements which seek to develop peaceful cooperation and coexistence between independent nations and protect the global environment and climate.
In Cyprus the US and Turkey have taken over where British colonialism left off. In Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, they are stoking up war against Armenia. In the East Mediterranean grave conflicts are emerging in pursuit of oil. At the same time threats against Iran and the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people continue to destabilise the whole Middle East.
Liberation is committed to economic and political self-determination and independence as a basic human right.
Liberation will always defend asylum seekers and economic refugees seeking safety from imperialist and neo-colonialist violence.
Liberation stands firm against all forms of racism, abuse and discrimination. Public awareness, education and active public opposition on these and many other issues is vital to building a safe future for all people and our planet.
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Photo: Banksy artwork, West Bank. By Dan Meyers / Unsplash