UK: There Is No Profit In Peace By Kelly Grehan

On 15th February 2003 I was one of the 3 million people who marched through the streets of London, one of 600 cities that held protests around the world at what was then, the imminent bombing of Iraq.

You might think that such a big, and a global show of feeling would have at least slowed down the march towards the invasion, but days later, on March 19th, George Bush announced:

“On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign…..My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.

His words could not have turned out to be more ironic: the invasion, turned into an occupation.

No thought was given to what came next.  

Credible estimates of Iraq War casualties range from 150,000 to 460,000.  Iraq’s armed factions still remain locked in a struggle with the forces of the Islamic State.

This morning we woke up to the news Britain, France and the US had launched air strikes on Syria, or as Donald Trump put it:

The nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality.”

To quote Jeremy Corbyn “Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace.”

This action occurred despite Reports saying UN Inspectors were in Damascus last night to carry out inspection of Douma today.

The UK could have enabled the inspection and not joined the US & France launch strikes in Syria.

The BBC are reporting that Theresa May pushed for an early strike “to avoid having to get parliamentary consent”.

This while we lecture other countries on democracy!

The Syrian conflict began seven years ago as a peaceful uprising against the president, but has now turned into a full-scale civil war.

Many groups and countries are involved and perhaps unsurprisingly the jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda have flourished.

The US, UK, France and other Western countries have provided varying degrees of support for what they consider “moderate” rebels.  A global coalition they lead has also carried out air strikes on IS militants in Syria since 2014 and helped an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture territory from the jihadists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group with a network of sources on the ground, had documented the deaths of 353,900 people (up to March 2018).

This includes 106,000 civilians.   1.5 million people have been left with permanent disabilities, including 86,000 who have lost limbs.

At least 6.1 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.6 million have fled abroad.

The figures do not include 56,900 people who it said were missing and presumed dead. The group also estimated 100,000 deaths had not been documented.

Neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where 92% of them now live, have struggled to cope with one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history.

As the 6th richest economy, you might have expected the UK to play a role in aiding the civilalians, but the truth is this country is incentivised to pursue conflict for profit.

But as I wrote a few months back Britain is the worlds second biggest arms exporter.(

In July 2014 the then Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed to Parliament that the UK had indeed exported chemicals that “were likely to have been diverted for use in the Syrian programme”.

This morning David Cameron said  “I firmly support the military action taken in Syria. The barbaric & intolerable use of chemical weapons should never go unchecked.”

Yet, 10 months after the Syrian uprising David Cameron granted chemical export licences to British firms so they could supply chemical weapons to Syria!!

Here is an idea for you David, maybe we could prevent chemical weapons attacks by NOT SELLING CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

Maybe Britain has redeemed itself with its’ efforts to secure safety for those who have left Syria?

In 2016, Lord Dubs sponsored an amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 to offer unaccompanied refugee children safe passage to Britain amidst the European migrant crisis. Originally rejected by the House of Commons, the amendment was eventually accepted by the government following a second vote in favour by the Lords.

In February 2017, the Home Office abandoned the scheme after accepting just 350 out of the planned 3,000 child refugees.

To quote David Lammy MP “We have today found ourselves in the morally untenable position of bombing Syria without Parliament voting at the same time as refusing to take in child refugees who are fleeing the bombing in Syria. As a society we must reflect hard on how we have ended up in this situation.”

‘In The Name of God’ But What’s In A Name? By Eddie Luigi

By Eddie Luigi

Yes I know. Never discuss religion or politics, but if you’ve seen my Facebook page you will know my political views, and I discuss them. Frequently.

Let me make it clear from the outset, I am not a Christian, nor am I a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Pagan, Jedi or Sikh. I am an Agnostic. 

What is an Agnostic I hear you ask? 

An Agnostic is someone who believes in God, but does not follow a prescribed religion, or is perhaps undecided. 

The purpose of this blog is not to convert you to my way of thinking. 

The truth is what you believe, and your truth is no less valid than my truth.

So, why am I an Agnostic? Let me try to explain. Stay with me on this and hopefully it will become clear.

I have a brother. 

His name is Mark

I call him Boot (family nickname).

My siblings call him ‘brother’

My parents called him ‘son’

My grandparents called him ‘grandson’

My Aunts call him ‘nephew’

Their children call him ‘cousin’

His wife called him ‘darling or ‘dearest’

And probably some pillow name that I don’t know.

My wife calls him ‘brother in law’

My children call him ‘uncle’.

His children call him ‘dad’.

His grandchildren call him ‘granddad’.

There are a lot of other people who have different titles for him but I won’t belabour the point.

By my count that is 14 titles for one man. 

Each of the people have a different relationship and perspective of my brother.

I have never wanted to kill any of them because they relate to him in a different way to me.

I believe there is one God, and it does not matter what title is given to God, be it God, Allah, Jehovah, Yawah, The Force or Kali, as long as people addressing God recognise a supreme entity. 
Your God and my God are the same, only our hearts are different.

Atheists, please don’t imagine that God is weeping or losing any sleep.

God does not need your belief to exist.

So I am an Agnostic because it appears that whenever man gets involved with anything there is an argument that somehow becomes violent and I don’t want anyone to get between me and God.

So stop killing fellow humans in the name of God!!

Eddie is an Agnostic who believes in the existence of God. Eddie has spoken to God and believes that God loves Eddie, but is sometimes disappointed.

Blood On Our Hands? London Hosts World’s Biggest Arms Fair by Kelly Grehan

By Kelly Grehan


The word ‘fair’ might conjure up images of village greens, tombolas, cake sales and arts and crafts or maybe thrill seeking rides, but in London this week an altogether different fair has come to town: one in which 1,600 exhibitors from 54 countries display their weaponary to prospective buyers.  


Representatives of countries with concerning human rights records including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have been invited. The bi-annual event is one reason for the UK is the second biggest arms dealer in the world.  


Whilst there has been condemnation of this from protest groups International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has defended Britain’s arms export dealing claiming that if countries were unable to acquire the weapons they wanted legally there would be an eruption of ‘unregulated’ sales. Which reminds me of the line trotted out by drug dealers, that if they did not sell addicts drugs someone without their diligence would.  


There has been particular pressure from campaigners for Britain to end its arms trading with Saudi Arabia, because of its well documented history of repression and human rights abuses. However the government has paid no attention and has continued to regard Saudi Arabia as a priority market for UK arms sales. 

The UK has approved £3.8bn of arms licences to Saudi Arabia, the leader of a multinational coalition in Yemen, since the conflict escalated in March 2015. 

This is fuelling the civil war in Yemen, where Saudi forces are supporting the government in its struggle against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. It is very likely that selling arms to a country in conflict will make the conflict more deadly and last longer, indeed, there is no sign that the Saudi-led air bombardment, which has been going on for two years, will decisively break the military stalemate. 

More than 10,000 people have been killed and three million displaced already with the coalition’s air and naval blockade driving millions more to the brink of famine and sparking the world’s largest ongoing cholera outbreak. Why do we not see more headlines about this? Maybe because the unpalatable truth is we are complicit in the indescribable suffering of the Yemeni people.  


The truth is, for all our talk about us being a humanitarian nation, by holding the world’s biggest arms fair and trading with countries we know to be engaging in immoral warfare categorically, we are a country who prioritise arms sales and profit over human rights. As a taxpayer and British citizen I just do not see how anyone can feel proud of our approach to arms sales and knowing what we are involved in in Yemen, but also in other countries.

With every weapon we have been involved in being used against an innocent person or or destroying the homes and cities of innocent people with have blood on our hands.


To read more articles like this please like The Avenger facebook page: