DAVID Cameron dramatically escalated the British government’s war against refugees fleeing imperialist war in the Middle East and North Africa when he announced on Thursday that the Royal Navy will be deployed off the coast of Libya this summer to prevent a flood of refugees crossing over to Europe!
Speaking from Brussels, where the EU leaders are engaged in ‘talks’ with the reactionary Turkish regime of Recep Erdogan on the refugee crisis, Cameron told the other leaders that he would send the Navy into Libyan waters with orders to return the refugee boats to Libya, disembark the refugees and then destroy the boats.
Whether the Royal Navy will be ordered to open fire or use other force if the boats make a run for it, or the refugees refuse to return has not yet been made public. According to government sources: ‘The PM would like to see the vessels being destroyed as close to where they set off from as possible to send out that very clear deterrent message.’
Cameron is demanding the same approach to refugees in boats as that employed by the Australian government. Since 2013 Australia has deployed its navy to turn back boats containing refugees towards Indonesia. Those not turned back have been held in detention centres run by private companies on nearby islands.
These detention centres have been condemned by an Australian Senate committee, which last year described them as ‘purgatory’, with the detention centre on the island of Nauru being accused of overseeing a regime of sexual abuse against women and young children.
The reaction of the Australian government to the outrage these revelations provoked was to pass a law, The Border Force Act, making it a crime, punishable by two years imprisonment, for employees at detention camps to discuss conditions in these centres.
This is the brutal road that Cameron and the rest of the EU leadership are going down. They intend to turn Turkey into one vast concentration camp for the victims of imperialism’s war to control the wealth and resources of the region, while forcing Libyans back into the hell hole that imperialism and its jihadist allies have created, in what was once a modern, sophisticated state.
Forcing refugees from Syria back into Turkey is delivering them back into the arms of Erdogan’s murderous regime which, along with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, have been the main supporters of the very jihadist groups they are fleeing from. None of this worries Cameron and the EU leaders.
At the Brussels summit they are engaging in a repulsive game of bargaining with Erdogan, who is demanding EU membership and billions of euros as the price for acting as camp commandant for the EU, with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, offering a 6 billion euros bribe.
Even some EU leaders have been forced to warn that this Turkish ‘blackmail’ risked violating international law. International law counts for zero as far as the EU leaders and imperialist powers are concerned; all that concerns them is to keep a bankrupt capitalist system afloat through wars to rape and rob entire countries of their wealth, while simultaneously waging austerity war against the working class at home.
Refugees are not the enemy of the working class, they are allies in the fight against the common enemy, capitalism in its most barbaric and final imperialist stage. News Line calls on the UK trade unions to spell it out to Cameron that, if the Royal Navy is used to attack refugee boats and to use force to return refugees to Libya, they will call mass demonstrations and then a general strike to bring down this government and bring in a workers government that will join hands with refugees and the workers of the world to put and end to UK and EU imperialism with socialist revolutions.
In fact, the historic issue is that of putting an end to capitalist barbarism once and for all through the victory of the world socialist revolution.