After the disastrous 2003 Iraq war and occupation which eventually had British troops scurrying out the back door in Basra in the middle of the night. The recent chaotic scenes when the British military retreated from Afghanistan leaving much of the country decimated and many Afghans without food or work, and ten years after NATO intervened in Libya. it's gone from a cohesive country, all be it with major flaws, to a failed state.
Now, you would have thought lessons would have been learnt from these failures but, no. The British prime minister is now poking the Kremlin with a long stick and has not dismissed putting British troops on the ground in the Ukraine. This beggars belief, when a casual glance at history would see the outcome would be disastrous for the Ukrainian people not least because NATO intervention would antagonize the bear.
Nevertheless the British MSM have been daily stoking up a war with Russia. Night after night, BBC TV news has been showing the same clip of Russian troops with a narrative - Putin is warmongering.
What is indicative of this shoddy reporting is the almost total failure of MSM outlets to report from the ethnic Russian speaking part of the Ukraine which makes up a third of the country's population.
What the Russian government wants was summed up succinctly by Alex McCrory:
If you found your home being surrounded by hostile forces, what would you do? This is precisely the position Russia finds itself in today. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West, in the shape of NATO, has fashioned a noose for the Bear's neck. Most of the former Russian satellite states have been wooed by the West via the European Union and NATO at the behest of America. Nuclear missiles are capable of striking Russian cities in minutes from a number of NATO bases located along its border. What Russia demands is a Pan-European security agreement that removes the current existential threat. A reasonable request in the circumstances.
China is already surrounded by US bases and the hawks in the Pentagon are doing the same with Russia, you don't have to be a groupie of President Putin or President Xi Jinping to understand how dangerous this is for world peace.
It's worth reminding ourselves who is the serial aggressor here. Since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.*
* Taken from the American historian William Blum who until his death in 2018 yearly updated a summary of the record of US foreign policy.
⏩ Mick Hall is a veteran Left Wing activist and trade unionist.