Review: Web of Deceit by Mark Curtis | Books | The GuardianGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
In his explosive new book, Mark Curtis reveals a new picture of Britain's role in the world since and in the 'war against terrorism' by offering a comprehensive critique of the Blair government's foreign policy. Curtis argues that Britain is an 'outlaw state', often a violator of international law and ally of many repressive regimes. He reasons not only that Britain's foreign policies are generally unethical but that they are also making the world more dangerous and unequal. The Web of Deceit describes the staggering gulf that has arisen between New Labour's professed commitment to upholding ethical values and the reality of current policies. It outlines the new phase in global intervention, the immorality of British policy in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq and Indonesia and support for repressive governments in Israel, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Curtis also reveals Britain's acquiescence in the Rwanda genocide and economic policies in the World Trade Organisation that are increasing poverty and inequality around the world.
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Recent revelations will have made unsettling reading for those who still believe in Britain's essentially benign approach to world affairs: evidence of British collusion with loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland engaging in "targeted assassinations" of suspected IRA members, for example, and the mounting anger over the way in which the government not only doctored intelligence reports on weapons of mass destruction, but also misled the House of Commons, and indeed the whole country, over the nature of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. In his brilliant and deeply disturbing new book, Mark Curtis demonstrates that these cannot be brushed aside as isolated cases, and delivers a powerful challenge to the notion that Britain's foreign policy is basically benevolent: that it promotes democracy, peace and human rights. The truth, according to Curtis, is that Britain supports terrorism. Indeed, "violating international law has become as British as afternoon tea". But if New Labour has raised hypocrisy and double standards to the level of a new art form, "never in history has there been such a gap between government claims and the reality of policy" , the route they are pursuing is hardly a new one. Curtis convincingly shows that contempt for international law has passed easily from Conservative to Labour, and from the colonial era to the present.
Read the introduction Read the Chronology of British foreign policy. To order the book: go to www. The range of his inquiries is as impressive as the care and diligence with which they are conducted. It outlines the new phase in British global intervention, the immorality of its policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Indonesia and support for repressive governments in Israel, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Drawing on formerly secret government files, the book also shows British complicity in the slaughter of a million people in Indonesia in ; the depopulation of the island of Diego Garcia; the overthrow of governments in Iran and British Guiana; repressive colonial policies in Kenya, Malaya and Oman; and much more.