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Farage: Bombings, bailouts - what on earth are we doing?
Date 26/03/2011 17:41  Author webmaster  Hits 3606  Language Global
VIDEO
"It seems that what we have in [the UK] Parliament now are a political class. They all go to the same schools, they go to the same universities, they get the same jobs in research offices, they spend their careers in politics, having never had jobs in the real world, and they operate, speak and vote like sheep. 

"We don't have enough independent thinkers sitting in the House of Commons prepared to make counter-arguments
." - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP


The UN says it's alarmed by the looming humanitarian crisis in Libya. Officials warn food supply lines have been disrupted and over three hundred thousand refugees have already fled the country. Nigel Farage, MEP and leader of the UK Independence Party, speaks with RT (March 25) about the Western intervention in Libya and the Eurozone bailouts.

Click here for Video and Full Transcript




Excerpts (full transcript further down):

On Western military interventionism: "We'd all seen it, to begin with, as France, Britain and America getting involved in this and it is now coming under a NATO umbrella, but what van Rompuy made clear was that those countries would not, and in fact could not, have gone to war in Libya without the European Council approving it. So what van Rompuy is saying is that it's the EU that started off this war and that the aim is to topple Gaddafi. I would have thought that that does go against UN Resolution 1973 and I see it as a very surprising development," said Nigel Farage

"If we run this on any longer we may well find ourselves with ground troops in a country where we actually alienate both sides of the conflict, so I am very nervous, very sceptical, I don't like what's happening in Libya, but here we are, throwing in our aircraft, possibly about to throw in our troops, against a man who just four months ago Mr van Rompuy was hugging in public."

On the Eurozone bailouts and the failing euro: "I've been saying for over ten years that the Eurozone as is currently constructed can not work. You cannot have countries as diverse and different as Greece and Germany put together in a single economic and monetary union.

"It won't work. And they can come up with their bailout packages and they can come up with their plans, and they can  keep these countries inside the Eurozone for now, but in the end all they're doing is building a far bigger and a far worse bust when it comes, and I am utterly convinced that Greece and Ireland, and now Portugal and possibly even Spain are now being trapped iside an economic prison where their democratic voice in terms of general elections can't be heard, where we're going to see an increase in violence on the streets, and at some point in time they've got to come out of the euro, re-establish their own currencies, devalue and reschedule their debt, otherwise they are simply not going to survive."

Full Transcript:

RT: The European Council president Herman van Rompuy pointed out earlier today that the EU is primarily aiming at ousting Gaddafi. Now that's not what the UN resolution indicates. Do you think the EU is on a collision course with the UN here perhaps?

NF: I was very shocked, and I have just been to a private meeting with him - seven of us from the European Parliament - where he repeated that. So it's perfectly clear that as far as Rompuy is concerned, regime change is why we're involved in Libya.

What was also surprising was that we'd all seen it, to begin with, as France, Britain and America getting involved in this and it is now coming under - this morning - a NATO umbrella, but what van Rompuy made clear was that those countries would not - and in fact could not - have gone to war in Libya without the European Council approving it, so what van Rompuy is saying is that it's the EU, than anybody else, that started off this war and that the aim is to topple Gaddafi. I would have thought that that does go against UN Resolution 1973 and I see it as a very surprising development.

RT: Let's draw some comparisons here, if we may, back in 1999 NATO bombed the former Yugoslanvia for over four months and still introduced ground forces to take full control, now we here reports that 4000 US marines are being moved closer to Libya. Is there really support for another ground offensive?

NF: I don't believe there is any support for another ground offensive and certainly if I talk about British public opinion, we've been told by the Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey in response to 'what is the length of our commitment' - he replied, 'how long is a piece of string?' Well goodness me, we've had British troops on the ground in Afghanistan now for over ten years. I don't think there's any apetitie for us getitng involved in foreign wars where we cannot directly see our own national interest being threatened, and where franly, if we go in to support the rebels, we don't even know who they are or what they stand for or what they want.

I don't think anybody had thought this true, not just in the context of libya and groujnd forces, but, hey! What about Yemen?  What about Syria? What about Bahrein? What about Saidi Arabia? Have Sarkozy, or van Rompuy or Cameron - have they thought about a strategy for the Middle East?

RT: When we talk about Yemen and Bahrein, for example, we are seeing anti-government protests - people fighting for the same cause as we've seen in Libya. Why is it then that Western powers have gotten involved in Libya and not in places like Bahrein and Yemen?

NF:  You're asking the same question I want to ask myself. Surely, logically, if we got ourselves involved in Libya - because we're on the side of the rebels and we want to bring parliamentary democracy to Libya - then we have to repeat that in Bahrein, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia and everywhere else. Do we really have the will to do that? Do we have the money to do that? Do we have the military might to do that? What on Earth are we doing?

RT: When you talk about the will to do such a regional intervention, talking about Yemen, Bahrein and of course Libya already underway, a lack of will you say in Europe and also perhaps a lack of will in the region against Western powers getting involved when they're not invited.

NF: Well I would have thought that's true as well and it may well be that the people defending Benghazi against Gaddafi are at the moment very grateful for the help they've had over the course of the last week, but if we run this on any longer we may well find ourselves with ground troops in a country where we actually alienate both sides of the conflict, so I am very nervous, very sceptical, I don't like what's happening in Libya, but here we are, throwing in our aircraft, possibly about to throw in our troops, against a man who just four months ago Mr van Rompuy was hugging in public.

RT: Why do you think Mr van Rompuy would be hugging him public, are you thinking there is some sort of a behind-closed-doors energy dealings going on there, mutually beneficial agreements?

NF: Well, quite possibly, don't forget it was Tony Blair who did bring Gaddafi in from the cold; Peter Mandelson, of course, knows Gaddafi's son well, he's been pheasant shooting with him, he's been on a yacht in the Mediterranean with him and as I say there was van Rompuy in December - the air is pretty thick with hypocrisy over this isn't it?  

We could have singled out other dreadful dictators  we could have gone and attacked Mugabe or chosen all sorts of different places, so I just don't know why they've picked on Libya, I don't believe they've thought it through, and if they are going to put ground troops in then I think they're going to find in all the member states involved in this a real strong level of oppostion.

RT: So you say you're not entirely sure of the true motives behind this military intervention, but there are many that are saying it's becauese of the 4% of the global crude oil that comes from the region. Could oil be the factor?

NF: Well, oil is clearly a factor, and oil and business was the reason that Tony Blair did bring Gaddafi in from the cold - so you have to be perhaps careful in life which friends you choose - it may be that it's oil, but look, if they're worried about that what would happen if there was a serious insurgency in somewhere like Saudi Arabia that produces far more?

RT: If you would just take us back for a moment here, when British MPs voted on UK intervention in Libya, only 13 of them voted against the measure. Why so few?

NF: Well of course, we saw that with Afghanistan, we also saw that with Iraq, where with the exception of the Liberal Democrats virtually everybody in Parliament voted for the Iraq war.

And it seems that what we have in Parliament now are a political class. They all go the same schhols, they go to the same Universities, they get the same jobs in resreach offices - they spend their careers in politics, having never had jobs in the real world and they operate, speak and vote like sheep.  We don't have enough independent thinkers sitting in the House of Commons prepared to make counter-arguments.

RT: When we look at the bombing campaigns and the missile strikes in Libya at the moment, hundreds of tomahawk missiles and dozens of bombing campaigns have been striking so called rebel areas, meantime Western powers claim these acts are to protect civilians. Does is it seem to you that colateral damage is an expectable and expandable side-effect?

NF: I don't think it matters how good your missiles, how up-to-date you kit is. There is no doubt that if you're involved in military intervention, unfortunately, however much you try and pick the targets there is bound to be a number of civilians that get killed in these things. I think that is just a fact of modern war of this nature, but again... I've seen Mr Cameron this afternoon talking about the fantastic victories we'd secured over the course of the last week - I'm not sure what to believe, when I hear all of that, but certainly civilian casualities will be an ongoing part of this campaign.

RT: When you hear mr Cameron talking about so-called victories, in what context do you think victory actually translates to?

NF:  Well they seem to measuring success in the number of tanks and armoured personnel carriers and fighter jets that they've destroyed from the air and with missiles. They seem to be saying look, we've smashed up loads of their kit, they haven't got much of an airforce left, we've killed lots of their people and therefore aren't we doing well and doesn't this justify the action that we took just over a week ago, and I'm just not sure the public is ready to buy that.

RT: Let's turn our focus now to that of Brussels - the past few days of severe protests there as the EU summit has been discussing a possible bailout of Portugal and more austerity cuts in social services there.  Do you think with severe austerity cuts taking place around Europe, it's likely to possibly overshadow military involvement in Libya, or on the contrary make the public more sensitive to the huge spendings on ths Libyan campaign.  

NF: Yes, I think when people see cuts in front-line services for whatever reasons, when people see their retirement ages going up, when people see the taxes, both direct and indirect that they're paying, going up, they have a right to question what on earth are we doing getting involved in an open-ended commitment in terms of war with Libya that could cost us goodness knows what else.

I do think the two are very closely interlinked, but I also feel that there are lots of countries, and certainly in Britian, people woke up this morning and they looked at the television and bought their newspapers and saw that as Portugal is about to topple over as the next Eurozone country requiring a bailout, tha tthat is actually going to cost each British taxpayer about £400, and that actually the biggest effect on our pockets this week wasn't the chancellor's budget, but it was the fact that the Portguese government fell and they're about to be bailed out.

So I think people have every reason to be pretty angry that they see their own costs at home going up, their services being cut and money being thrown oversees in all sorts of projects that they wouldn't necessarily support.

RT: Now I've seen those reports earlier that British families will be cashing about £400 for the broadscale bailout of Portugal, but is the Eurozone failing do you think?

NF: I've been saying for over ten years that the Eurozone as is currently constructed can not work. You cannot have countries as diverse and different as Greece and Germany put together in a single economic and monetary union.

It won't work. And they come up with their bailout packages and they can come up with their plans, and they can  keep these countries inside the Eurozone for now, but in the end all they're doing is building a far bigger and a far worse bust when it comes, and I am utterly convinced that Greece and Ireland, and now Portugal and possibly even Spain are now being trapped iside an economic prison where their democratic voice in terms of general elections can't be heard, where we're going to see increase in violence on the streets, and at some point in time they've got to come out of the euro, re-establish their own currencies, devalue and reschedule their debt, otherwise they are simply not going to survive.
www.ukip.org
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