The Telegraph breaks this story about how the British Government has seemingly decided not to charge two Libyan men in connection with the death of WPc Yvonne Fletcher in 1984. The two men are relatively high up in Gaddafi's regime, and it would certainly cause a fuss if the government decided to demand justice for WPc Fletcher and her family (and for Britain in general.) There is certainly a case to be made for not pushing it too much, this was 1984 one might say, it was one person, and now, alongside the Obama adminstration's push for 'looking forward', we need to do the same and move on. I disagree with such an argument, but it has been put about a fair bit on other issues, and seems to be the policy of government right now.
Unfortunately this whole 'moving on' policy that Obama has been pushing, and Brown and co have been skipping alongside trying to keep up with, is a complete farce. Although it may have earnt President Obama a Nobel Peace Prize for "creating a new international climate" this climate is not one that suits America or Britain. One of the key features of this masochistic policy has been to pander to nutcase regimes like Iran and Libya, while throwing Anglo-American allies under the bus (like Israel, Japan, Poland etc.) Now, while being 'fairer' and being a little tougher with one's allies, and 'stretching out an open hand' to one's enemies may sound nice in a poem or in a Harvard lecture theatre, in real life it severely damages national interests, strengthens extreme regimes like Iran and Libya, and gets people killed.
In 2009 so far, we have had Britain release the Lockerbie bomber (which caused an Anglo-American rift after Obama criticised Britain for it, although it subsequently came out that he knew all about it), we've had Obama shaking hands with Gaddafi left right and center, Brown met him a while back, Obama gave a 'America is not better than anyone' speech at the U.N which was followed by a delighted Gaddafi showing his approval. That's just Libya, it would take all day to get into everything else Obama and Brown have done to appease the lunatics of the world. So, today's announcement about WPc Fletcher should shock but shouldn't surprise.
The implied reason for this move is business interests (I think this is true for the British goverment, while for Obama its more of an ego trip about saving the world.) Now, I'm not naiive, in order to do business, you can't always operate with only the Saints, and sometimes you have to make some tough compromises. However, the message that is being sent out is not 'Britain is willing to compromise to do good business', the message now is simply that Britain has lost its strength. Both America and Britain have capitulated on a number of occasions to Libya and pals, and what for? Has all this bending over backwards really gained us a great deal? If we have gained significant business deals from this, is it really worth it? Now we are telling people that you can commit enormous human rights violations, wage war on the West, come onto British soil, blow up airliners full of American and British civilians and shoot our police officers in cold blood in the street, and as long as you have some oil to distract us, we'll let it go. What sort of signal does this send?
This is an extremely dangerous precedent to set. I thought it was supposed to be George Bush who was 'obsessed' with oil, as the left so frequently told us? Well at least Bush wasn't prepared to threaten our national security and our status in the world for it. There is a reason that British and American governments have never negotiated with terrorists before now: because if you do and they are seen to get what they want, then it encourages others to do exactly the same. I dread to wonder what the American and British governments have encouraged by these reckless capitulations.