Cameron’s tough-guy tactics: Warmongering & policy gaffes

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has made a name for himself when it comes to supporting yet more wars abroad, including events in Libya, Syria and now Ukraine. But more often than not, such warmongering has come back to bite Britain.

Iran nuclear weapons

Back in 2010, Cameron stated that Iran has a “nuclear
when asked about why he was backing Turkey’s bid to
join the EU.

He responded that Turkey’s accession could “help solve the
world’s problems, like the Middle East peace process, like the
fact that Iran has got a nuclear weapon.”
This comment was
followed by a staged apology during a meeting with Pakistani
President Asif Zardari.

‘Working phones’ with Republicans over Iran sanctions

Cameron also attempted to pressure the American Congress over
sanctions on Iran right ahead of his visit to the US, but
Republicans called it an unproductive move.

Cameron had to give some explanation during his joint conference
with President Obama, saying he was not telling “American
Senate what it should or shouldn’t do,”
but was only
advocating the UK’s position.

Milking premature Libya success

Cameron actively supported the 2011 military operation in Libya.

“So I am clear: taking action in Libya, together with our
partners, is clearly in our national interest,”
he said at
the time. “Anyone who thinks Gaddafi has any role [in ruling
the country] should forget it.”

Back in 2011, Cameron visited Tripoli with France’s
then-President Nicolas Sarkozy to declare victory over Muammar
Gaddafi’s regime in what turned out to be premature celebrations
with the rebels.

He faced heavy criticism after his visit, as the fighting in
Libya was still in full swing. Cameron came in for greater
disapproval after ISIS attacks that killed Coptic Christians in
Libya last week.

“The actions we took there and the decision to intervene was
an international one,”
he said in a recent interview, while
noting that Libya shouldn’t become a “safe haven for

Libya scenario doesn’t sit well with Syria

In Syria, Cameron also supported arming the nation’s rebels in
order to attempt to oust President Bashar Assad.

Cameron, while advocating attacks against the Syrian government,
admitted he was not “100 percent certain” that Assad was
behind a recent chemical attack, but that it was “highly

“This is not like Iraq, what we are seeing in Syria is
fundamentally different … We are not invading a country,”

His Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg attacked Cameron’s stance.

“This is not like Iraq and it’s different to Libya as well.
This is a bloody civil war. The idea we can provide a unilateral
British military solution to this is fanciful,”
Clegg said
when criticizing Cameron’s push for military involvement.

Cameron has been calling for the international community to
engage more closely with the Syrian rebels from the early stages
of the conflict.

“Every effort should be made to secure a [UN] Security
Council Resolution backing military action before any such action
is taken,”
Cameron said in the speech to the House of Commons in 2013.
“We have a summary of the Government’s legal position, which
makes it explicit that military action would have a clear legal

READ MORE: British MPs reject military intervention in Syria

But Cameron’s attempts proved futile, as British MPs effectively
ruled out UK’s involvement in a military campaign in Syria. The
Libyan mistakes were apparently fresh in everyone’s minds.

Opposing Israel boycott

Cameron made his position towards Palestinians clear when he
abstained from the British Parliamentary vote to recognize

Following that ballot, Cameron resorted to criticism of Israeli

“We oppose boycotts,” he said. “Delegitimizing the
state of Israel is wrong, it is abhorrent – and together we will
defeat it.”

Gaza failure

Cameron also encountered heavy pressure from senior Liberal
Democrats to implement a total ban on arms sales to Israel after
hundreds of Palestinians were killed in Israel’s ‘Operation
Protective Edge’.

“Throughout this coalition government, the Conservatives have
adopted a less forthright approach to the Middle East conflict,
in a way which I believe risks decreasing British influence in
the region,”
coalition partner Clegg said.

Involvement in Ukraine

With conflict brewing in Ukraine, Cameron has announced that UK
troops will support Kiev with tactical intelligence, training and

READ MORE: Cameron commits troops ‘non-lethal aid’ to

“Where we can help a friend in non-lethal equipment, we
Cameron said. “Over the course of next month,
we will be deploying British service personnel to provide advice
and a range of training from tactical intelligence, to logistics,
to medical care, which is something else they have asked

UK will also “be developing infantry program with Ukraine to
improve the pure ability of the forces.”

More sanctions during ceasefire?

On top of that, Cameron called for more sanctions against Russia,
in addition to those implemented during the past year.

Cameron’s stance defies the actions of French and German leaders
Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel, who are trying to push for a
peaceful and diplomatic solution to the conflict.

“We should keep up the pressure [on Russia],” Cameron
said, noting that “in this respect the interests of the
United Kingdom and democracy do go together.”

The PM’s most recent comments come after the Minsk peace talks,
in which a ceasefire was agreed upon by the leaders of France,
Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

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