Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Al-Qaeda’s Jabhut al-Nusra declines invitation to Thatcher’s funeral...on principle!

In a blow to British foreign secretary William Hague’s prestige, Jabhut al-Nasra the al-Qaeda affiliated group leading the front line against the Syrian Arab Army has now refused to send a representative to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

The decision to invite Jubhat al-Nasra was initially warmly received by the group’s leader Emir Abdulla al-Ifreet who added that he was looking forward to his “adventurous” trip to London. More so, he had received assurances from the Emir of Qatar to show him round his shop, Harrods and also his pointless £1.5bn tower, the Shard. “I know the Emir likes London so much” said al-Ifreet before adding, “to the extent that he is prepared to bail out this bankrupt and venal city with subsidies investments in the London Stock Exchange, Barclays, Sainsburys, race horses etc..etc...but as soon as my right hand man, General Noon al-Meem informed me of the British horse meat scandal I was compelled to review my initial decision. How would I know the meat I’m being served is halal, even if it does say halal on the box!”

Upon hearing about the latest withdrawal Hague is said to be “diplomatically disappointed”. Some close aides are quoting him ad verbatim, “Those bloody wogs! After all I’ve been through trying to get them a no-fly zone at the UN and with the Americans, they stab me in the back like this.”

Abdulla al-Ifreet concluded that he will not compromise his principles.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Balfour Declaration – Ain’t Nothing to do with Napoleon!

The land of Lord Balfour hosted a rare but much needed conference on his infamous 1917 declaration. The event was convened by the appropriately named organisation, the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) on the 19th January 2013 in London.

It is rare because not only is the ‘Balfour Declaration’ and its brutal ramifications greatly understudied but the entire period of British total military and political dominance of the Middle East between 1917 and 1948 is more or less whitewashed from contemporary discussion. Yet, if we are to fully understand today’s Middle East there is probably no more an important period than this.

The declaration let it be known Britain’s “view with favour” the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine and its commitment to use “best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this objective.”

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Owen Jones and the Elephant in the Room – Social Imperialism (1)

“The greatest peril of Imperialism lies in the state of mind of a nation which has become habituated to...deception and which has rendered itself incapable of self-criticism.”[1] J.A. Hobson, “Imperialism: A Study.”

Immediately following his successful appearance on BBC’s ‘Question Time’ programme, the author and journalist Owen Jones dedicated his weekly column in the ‘Independent’ to lambast the current UK political spectrum. He rightly noted the almost complete banality of consensus of the three main parties on the major issues of the day. From financial regulation, austerity to foreign policy, it is literally a case of tweedledum and tweedledee when it comes to their respective political positions. Yet, there was something all very déjà vu about the article. It simply read as though it was based on a reading of Peter Oborne’s book, ‘The Triumph of the Political Class’ published several years ago on the conformity of the ruling class. Oborne, who clearly belongs to the moderate (culturally, at least) side of the Conservative Party, bemoaned the decline of traditional British oppositional politics and its supplantation by a technocratic, careerist ‘modernising’ class who rarely substantially disagree or venture outside the Westminster bubble. Owen has every right to partly rehash this argument even if it is executed with a good dose of left-wing spice.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Has Birmingham Stop the War Coalition been brought into disrepute?

One of Birmingham’s local “Stop the War (StW) Coalition” groups held a meeting on the 7th November 2012 to discuss the Libyan situation. Surely a group, which in theory, at least, claims it opposes western intervention and was formed on the basis that it opposed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was going to highlight the extreme shortcomings of the British led intervention in Libya? I should’ve known better.

And who did Stop the War invite to give an assessment of what has been happening in Libya since Gadhaffi’s lynching? Why, none other than the person they invited last year to give a pro-NATO talk on Libya. I presume we live in the era of ‘War is Peace’, so why not?

However, the local StW convener, Stuart Richardson, promoted this talk on the basis that the speaker was offering his own personal perspective. But this misses the point entirely. I always thought that StW existed to oppose western interventions. Isn’t this what it says on the tin? – or on their ‘About Us’ page. Maybe on the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Birmingham StW could invite Clare Short or Tony Blair to give their personal perspective on the invasion of Iraq?

In other words, if I want to hear pro-NATO speakers I turn on the BBC/ITV/Sky or I would possibly go to a Conservative/Lib Dem/Labour Party/EDL meeting. I certainly don’t expect to arrive at a StW meeting to listen to pro military interventionists.

Allow me to draw an analogy, if I were to attend a conference on learning more about the benefits of vegetarianism, I simply shouldn’t expect the convener of the conference or the head of the vegetarian group to be eating a chicken or BLT sandwich when I arrive!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Wikileaks and Yemen: How the Yemeni president covers for the USA and then blames Iran!

Learnt about this Wikileak via Angry Arab blog:
“...On March 28, CDA spoke with President Saleh (who was attending the Arab League summit in Riyadh) via telephone and confirmed that the aircraft belonged to the US Navy. He assured Saleh that the plane crashed performing routine reconnaissance near the ship and had not been operating in Yemeni territory...
“...Comment: President Saleh clearly believes the unmanned aircraft had been performing reconnaissance in Yemeni territory when it crashed. He could have taken the opportunity to score political points by appearing tough in public against the United States, but chose instead to blame Iran...Saleh decided he would benefit more from painting Iran as the bad guy in this case.”
Read the actual wikileak here.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

a LEtter the 'left-WinG' mORning sTAr diD noT pUblish

Paddy McGuffin in his round up of 2010 (30th December) accuses Silvio Berlusconi of being a 'teflon tyrant'. This may or may not be true.
But one thing is for sure, Berlusconi, unlike all shades of the British left, including the ones who in fits of self-deprecation, dub themselves "revolutionary" is capable of looking at Italy’s past adventures in other people’s lands and what’s more compensate for the barbarism unleashed by Italian forces. Berlusconi compensated Libya to the tune of billions of dollars.
Now, dare I ask (and let’s put the British right-wing aside) which British lefty has ever got off his high Victorian horse and acknowledged, in real terms, what Britain has done to countless countries such as India, Palestine, Kenya, Aden, Malaya...etc...etc?
Indeed, under the much vaunted Nye Bevin’s watch, according to a recent book, 400,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by British trained Zionist forces and the suppression of Malayan rebels, which included the use of concentration camps, was given the go ahead. The latter’s suppression allowed Britain to sell Malayan raw materials as its own, on the international market, to fund the new post world war ‘welfare state’. It’s all soaked in the blood of natives!
Once again, Berlusconi may or may not be a ‘teflon tyrant’ but when it comes to anti-imperialism I’d rather see a Berlusconi in power than a Bevin, Benn, Wilson or some other British hoodwinking and blood soaked lefty.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Britain and it’s Islamists

One of the most intriguing and secretive political relationships in the world over the last nine decades has been that between the British state and what today is called Islamism. Someone I know has briefly written on this relationship and how it began. It can be read here.
Robert Dreyfuss wrote a book on the relationship between the United States and Islamist groups and there is a chapter in there on Britain’s early relationship with Egyptian Islamists in the 1910’s and 1920’s. It was quite inevitable that a British author would soon appear to write a British version of this thesis and lo behold one has.
Mark Curtis is an independent British political writer. He is not one of these who simply regurgitates something that he has read in a Chomsky, Zinn or a Said book and then turns up at a meeting huffing, puffing and palming people off with terms such as “American Foreign Policy” and “Zionist Lobby” and then claims that he is a ‘revolutionary socialist’. Like all genuine political researchers and writers he has written about how his own establishments attempts to manipulate world affairs. He does his own research in that he analyses declassified governmental information.
His latest book is called, ‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam’. Curtis gives a brief outline of the relationship between Britain and Islamism in a recent interview:
“When Britain connived with the Muslim Brotherhood to kill Nasser in the 1950s, the Brotherhood at that time had a secret apparatus responsible for various assassinations and bomb attacks in Egypt...
... Radical Islamic forces have been seen as useful to Whitehall in five specific ways: as a global counter-force to the ideologies of secular nationalism and Soviet communism, in the cases of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the major champions of radical Islam; as ‘conservative muscle’ within countries to undermine secular nationalists and bolster pro-Western regimes; as ‘shock troops’ to destabilise or overthrow governments; as proxy military forces to fight wars; and as ‘political tools’ to leverage change from governments.”
The book is out in July and to be honest I can’t wait. By the way, the full interview can be read here.