There is nothing controversial in Jeremy Corbyn’s foreign policy speech

Please send your letters to

Friday 26 May 2017 15:17
The Labour leader said that the war on terror has failed and that foreign policy would change under his party’s government
The Labour leader said that the war on terror has failed and that foreign policy would change under his party’s government

Why is it controversial for Jeremy Corbyn to suggest that warlike reactions are provoked by UK involvement in foreign conflicts?

Former Minister of State for Security and Counter Terrorism, Baroness Neville-Jones, observed: “the effect of Iraq has been to act as a recruiting sergeant ... giving our enemies the narrative of western hostility to Islam and Muslims in general”.

Retired Brigadier Ben Barry, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, likewise remarked of the British Army: “There’s no doubt that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq acted as a recruiting sergeant – people joined knowing that they would be going out at least every two years”.

Young males like to fight for a cause.

John Doherty


Jeremy Corbyn may well be right that the “war on terror” has made us less safe in the UK; however, the logic of his speech is that we should only get involved in foreign wars if there is no chance of any significant repercussions at home. On that basis we should have left the Yazidis and Kurds to be raped and murdered by Isis. In addition, I suspect that going into Iraq, Syria or Libya under the auspices of the UN would make no difference to the way the West is viewed by Islamists whose hatred is ideological not organisational.

Andrew Brown


If only Jeremy Corbyn had gone further. It’s time to stop viewing terror-funding Saudi Arabia as a valued ally and Iran as a permanent enemy.

Yugo Kovach


As Patrick Cockburn states (It is pious and inaccurate to say Salman Abedi’s actions had ‘nothing to do with Islam’, 25 May) the biggest source of terrorism are the Wahhabis supported by Saudi Arabia. But May and Trump ignore the facts facing them all to gain a few billion pounds and dollars in export revenues.

May should stop pandering to the Saudis and supporting US military action in Syria and throughout the Middle East if she wishes to put a stop to terrorist attacks in the UK.

She herself advised Trump in February that the West should not meddle in independent countries, especially not in the Middle East.

Robert Laver

London, SE21

Katie Hopkins

I am very grateful that LBC radio has terminated its relationship with Katie Hopkins following her call for a “final solution” in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing.

It is a good thing for the hygiene of public discourse that Hopkins’s latest comments, loaded with a possible reference to the Holocaust, have resulted in consequences.

It is not before time.

Sasha Simic
, N16

Exercise in vanity

The odd soldier or two swanning around a shopping centre is not going to stop suicide bombers.

Community policing, which was decimated by previous governments, was the best preventative solution to the problem, as it meant locals could easily give information to the local bobbies on the beat regarding any concerns with people in their locality.

This was much more effective than ringing a distant helpline number which relies on switchboard operators to attempt to prioritise information and, as we have seen with the Manchester suicide bomber, these warnings can go unheeded.

Armed policeman and soldiers walking the streets is a vanity exercise.

It’s a bit like having firefighters walking the streets to deter arsonists.

Toby T Brewster


Emir Abdelkader

Thank you Robert Fisk (We must look to the past, not Isis, for the true meaning of Islam, 25 May) for speaking the unspeakable and gently reminding us that the West bears some responsibility for the rise of Isis and the actions of men like Salman Abedi.

This fascinating article points up the crassness of our response to attacks by Isis and its predecessors, and the sad disregard for history amongst many politicians in the West. After 9/11 there were those in America, including survivors of the attack and families of the victims, who were calling for a measured response, a consideration of the causes of such an extreme level of anger towards their country. Their voices were disregarded and the age-old pattern of retribution led to the massive humanitarian disasters of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Across the Muslim world there are countless individuals whose lives have been wrecked by Western “intervention”, families who naturally feel hatred and loathing for the forces that have destroyed their homes and killed their loved ones. It takes an exceptional man like Abdelkader to respond with words of peace and brotherhood.

Sadly such men are rare today, but our politicians would do well to pause in their headlong rush to make war on terror and wonder if there is a better way forward.

Lynda Newbery


Robert Fisk rightly draws attention to Emir Abdelkader’s extraordinary accomplishments as a statesman, philosopher, and humanitarian. In addition, Abdelkader was a renowned spiritual teacher and mystic. His works on practical theology are studied as classics, and he was buried by Ibn Arabi, often described as the greatest Sufi teacher.

Athar Yawar


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments