What the latest secret government file tells us about UK Middle East policy

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 31 May 2019 The British government is refusing to release a 1941 file on Palestine, as it might “undermine the security” of Britain and its citizens. Why would a 78-year-old document be seen as so sensitive in 2019? One plausible reason is that it could embarrass the British government in […]

How the West’s war in Libya has spurred terrorism in 14 countries

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 3 May 2019 Eight years on from Nato’s war in Libya in 2011, as the country enters a new phase in its conflict, I have taken stock of the number of countries to which terrorism has spread as a direct product of that war. The number is at […]

British foreign policy in the Middle East: A secret history of self interest

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 27 March 2019 On Tuesday in the British parliament, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry asked an urgent question relating to allegations that British troops have been covertly fighting in Yemen and supporting the Saudi-led coalition. As reported in the Mail on Sunday, five British special forces troops from the elite Special Boat […]

Britain and the Iranian Revolution: Expediency, arms and secret deals

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 31 January 2019 Forty years ago this month, the Iranian revolution sent a shockwave through the Middle East, overthrowing the Western client, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and bringing to power the Islamic regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. While Iran now poses the biggest challenge to Western power […]

Five years on: How the UK sees opportunity and profit in Sisi’s repressive Egypt

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 10 August 2018   Five years ago on 14 August, the new Egyptian military regime under General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi crushed a protest at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, killing at least 817 people. Since then, increasing repression has enabled Sisi to consolidate his rule while maintaining the support […]

Twitter and the smearing of Corbyn and Assange: A research note on the “Integrity Initiative”

by Mark Curtis The UK government-financed Integrity Initiative, managed by the Institute for Statecraft, is ostensibly a “counter disinformation” programme to challenge Russian information operations. However, it has been revealed that the Integrity Initiative twitter handle and some individuals associated with this programme have also been tweeting messages attacking Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. [i]  This […]

Britain and global deaths in conflict – an estimate

Table – Britain and global deaths in conflicts The following table is taken from Mark Curtis’ book, Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses, published in 2004. It gives figures on the estimated number of deaths for which Britain bears ‘significant responsibility’. There are four categories of British responsibility: ‘Direct responsibility’ is where British military and/or […]

Colluding in war crimes: Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 6 December 2018 Britain’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, recently visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging to increase trade and investment between the two countries, which already stands at a record $9bn. While more than 230 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli forces since […]

Why the West’s World War One carve-up is still unfinished business

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 November 2018 One hundred years ago this month, the guns of the European powers may well have fallen silent after four years of war. But in the Middle East, many of those same powers were creating the conditions for a century of further conflict. Decisions taken […]

Will the US and UK seek a palace coup against Mohammed bin Salman?

by Mark Curtis published in Middle East Eye, 25 October 2018 As Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) comes under increasing pressure over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, policymakers in Washington and London have one overriding priority: to preserve the House of Saud, a military and economic ally in which they have invested so […]