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1 Nov, 2014 16:42

If you threaten US interests, you may be destroyed – ex-London mayor Livingstone

It’s time for the UK to have an independent foreign policy and stop being a cheerleader for Washington, says former London mayor, Ken Livingstone. But politicians know that posing a threat to US interests may end badly for you, he told RT.

Livingstone, a vocal critic of Britain’s military involvement in Iraq, believes that since as far back as the First World War, the United States, with Britain’s help, has intervened on numerous occasions all over the Middle East just to control the flow of oil.

"If you read what now is published in people's diaries and official documents, immediately after 9/11 when Tony Blair arrived at the White House he was shocked because everyone around George Bush was not talking about Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda, they were talking about Iraq and Saddam Hussein.”

So, it was always a cover, adds Livingstone.

“Ever since the end of the WW1 Britain and America have intervened all of the Middle East to control the flow of oil. It's been the center of their economy. They put up completely corrupt regimes, they overthrew democratically elected ones, like in Iran in 1953. We've just had a hundred years of Western intervention. And the tragedy is, when you look at the loss of life and what it cost us, we would have been better off if we paid an honest price for the oil, having the Arab countries sell it themselves."

Livingstone says one of the reasons he supports Labour leader Edward Miliband is because he is a leader who is prepared to stand up to the Tories on foreign wars, as was proven when his stance was instrumental in Cameron’s parliamentary defeat on British involvement in Syria.

Still from RT video

"If we get a Labor government, and I think we will, it's not just going to be Washington's puppet."

Livingstone believes that if a UK Prime Minster stands up to represent Britain’s interests and “not just be a cheerleader for the United States,” there will be huge public support, as people are overwhelmingly opposed to any more involvement in America's wars in the Middle East.

"We've had thousands and thousands of our young men killed fighting for America's economic interests. This is nonsense!"

Livingstone says that standing up to Washington may come at a cost, though.

"Everyone coming out from the political system knows: if you pose a threat to the American interest, you might be destabilized, there might be a smear campaign or you might even have a nasty accident. An awful lot of people who challenge American interest seem to die..."

What’s more, he said that all the main newspapers and media outlets in Britain are owned by a few billionaires and give unwavering support to America’s interests despite the loss of “thousands of British lives.”

"Seventy percent of the papers British people read are owned by five billionaires: Murdoch, the Barclay brothers, Lord Rothermere, completely signed up to the American-Anglo alliance..."

Livingstone added that the British media goes along with the government foreign policy objectives.

The front bench of the Labor Party is calling for an international peace conference and Livingstone believes that there should be an alliance, which is not seen as another stooge to the West.

British soldiers wearing their combat helmets June 26, 2003 patrol in Amarah, 350 km southeast of Baghdad. (Reuters/Radu Sigheti)

“That means Russia must be a key player in it, Iran should be a key player... The real problem for America is that they've been having this campaign about Ukraine and what's been happening in Eastern Ukraine, and it's very difficult then to turn to Putin and say, 'We need your help to deal with the real evil...'"

Livingstone said the tragic irony is that the rise of the Islamic State and Islamic extremism in general stems from the Western policies in the last decades.

"This is the tragedy of the last 30-40 years. When we had this growth of extremism in the Muslim world it was actually broadly funded by the Saudi-Arabians and the Americans so that Russia would be drawn into war in Afghanistan. If you actually look at the records, the CIA went to see Jimmy Carter in his office in the White House in the summer of '79. They said: if you fund these fundamentalist Muslims, Russia will have to intervene, it'll become new Vietnam. And they fell into that trap. But it never seemed to occur to Jimmy Carter that those fanatics might then turn on America and the Saudi and many of the Gulf States have been funding groups like the Islamic state. Now they are beginning to worry, if they do get control they are going to behead us because we debauched the whole concept of Islam," he said.