Paris attacks are military intervention 'coming back to haunt' the West, says Ken Livingstone

France has taken part in Coalition airstrikes in Syria

Jon Stone
Monday 16 November 2015 13:15 GMT
An explosion rocks Syrian city of Kobani
An explosion rocks Syrian city of Kobani

The Paris terror attacks are an example of the West’s military intervention “coming back to haunt” its populations, the former Mayor of London has said.

Ken Livingstone said aggressive foreign policy had implications and that any solution in the Middle East had to involve the world working together.

“All these terrorist attacks, the statements they make on their websites and so on are all about foreign policy,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour.

“I don't think Islamophobia is a major factor in all of this, it's the endless interventions of Britain and America and France in Arab countries that has come back to haunt us.

“After the fiasco of Afghanistan and Iraq, Britain and America and France are just not credible in this.

“If we are to defeat Isis we've got to have a coalition of the UN. It's got to be Chinese troops, Russian troops, Brazilian, South African. It can't just be the West intervening in the Middle East, largely because of its oil interests.”

Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London

There were reports from eyewitnesses during Friday night’s attacks that at least one of the killers had said France’s intervention in Syria was to blame. France was opposed to the 2003 Iraq War, however, and blocked its approval at the UN Security Council.

Mr Livingstone was Mayor of London during the 7/7 attacks, which he described as an “indiscriminate attempt at mass murder” in a speech in the aftermath of the murders.

Fellow Labour politician Mike Gapes however responded to Mr Livingstone's remarks, tweeting: “Not the reason. Da'esh hate us for what we are not for what we do.”

This morning Mr Livingstone’s party leader Jeremy Corbyn warned that a hasty military response in Syria could cause “more conflict, more mayhem, and more loss”.

“Who is arming Isis, who is providing safe havens for Isis?” he asked on ITV1’s Lorraine programme. “To get there you have to ask questions about the arms everyone’s sold in the region, the role of Saudi Arabia in this. I think there are some very big questions and we have to be careful.”

David Cameron this morning said Isis did not recognise the border between Iraq and Syria and that the UK should extend strikes to join in action in the Syria with France, the US, and their allies.

Mr Cameron was thwarted by MPs in this attempt to bomb the Assad government in 2013; that regime is currently fighting Isis.

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