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Were the IAWM right to invite Hezbullah to an anti-war meeting?

category dublin | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Monday November 06, 2006 03:55author by various Report this post to the editors

Short summary of the debate around the decision of the IAWM to invite a representative of Hezbollah to an anti-war public meeting in Dublin on Saturday 4th November. The article also includes copyrighted photos of the meeting by R Whelan.

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The visit of Ibrahim Mussawi of Hezbullah (Lebanon) to Ireland over the past week as a guest of the Irish Anti War Movement has raised some eyebrows among anti-war activists and regular contributors to Indymedia Ireland. MichaelY from the IAWM began by outlining his organisation's position: "Perhaps the most crucial political point of them all. The IAWM is NOT a "Peace organisation" - there are, at least, 10-12 Peace organisations in this country, some of them anti-war/some of them not. The IAWM, as stated in its constitution, is an anti-imperialist organisation whose main objective is to stop the use of Shannon and other Irish facilities by the forces of the Empire, while simultaneously extending support and solidarity with those who are invaded, and those who fight against that invasion and occupation by any means at their disposal.

"It is in this context that we invited Ibrahim Mussawi and it is this context that many of us, especially the older members of the IAWM, supported the Vitenamese NLF and the Catholic inspired armed national liberation movements in Latin America. It is in this context many of us served time for being supporters of the ANC in South Africa , Frelimo in Mozambique or closer at home, the armed Irish movements. We don't see as our role to pick and choose...who is secular and who is not, who is anarchist and who is not, who is armed or not/peaceful, who is for NVDA and who for elections. Who is Gandhian and who Gramscian. Who is a Trotskyist and who Marxist Leninist. Who is a nationalist and who a republican. We support all of them...those who fight, those who resist, those who dream of a better world, those who block and protest while singing the Rosary. All of them."

Fintan Lane of Anti-War Ireland spoke up first on the issue: "In my opinion, inviting a person from an organisation engaged in (defensive) war is a problem only if one is promoting their political position. I don't know if the IAWM or SWP sang the praises of Hezbullah at yesterday's meeting, but one would hope not. My personal political position (as a non-pacifist) is that Hezbullah and any other Lebanese group were perfectly entitled to defend their country against Israeli aggression. I would also be understanding of actions taken in defence of Palestinians. However, that's definitely not the same as embracing the conservative, religion-soaked politics of Hezbullah, which I have no time for.

"The anti-war movement needs to be absolutely clear in its rejection of Christian and Islamic fundamentalism, and the associated bigotry. I'm a socialist and I'm not interested in promoting a conservative religious movement that frowns (I'm putting this very mildly) upon women, gays, socialists and societal tolerance. It's easy, when you're not on the ground, to declare one's admiration for certain Islamic conservatives (in opposition to Israeli and US aggression), but the reality is different for those struggling for left-wing ideas, gay rights, women's emancipation, and so on in societies dominated by these conservative political movements. It also should be remembered that Hezbullah deliberately fired missiles into Israeli civilian areas during the recent conflict and, while the provocation was immense, this still constitutes a war crime."

One anonymous annoyed activist thanked MichaelY for his contribution, yet saying while s/he could "sympathise with the idea that the IAWM is not so much anti-war as anti-imperialist, I still can't see how you can justify inviting a Hizbullah speaker. This is an organization that, as other people have pointed out, has engaged in attacks on civilian targets in Israel that have been widely condemned as war crimes, it's an organization whose leaders have frequently spouted extreme anti-Jewish rhetoric (don't believe me? read Amal Saad-Ghorayeb´s excellent and not unsympathetic book "Hizbullah: Politics and Religion") and of course it's also an organization that benefitted from and sought to prolong the corrupt and brutal rule of Lebanon by the Syrian regime's secret police apparatus. No-one can deny that Hizbullah is a major and genuinely popular political force in Lebanon, or that it played the principal role in ending the Israeli occupation of the South, or indeed that it was the only force that engaged in capable resistance during the recent Israeli invasion, but is this an organization that a group calling itself the Irish Anti-War movement should really be associating itself with? Surely we can get a bit beyond "my enemy's enemy is my friend"?"

MichaelY responded again: "On Hezbollah....I have just finished reading David Morrison's excellent pamphlet 'Lebanon - Hezbollah Wins' - A Labour and Trade Union review pamphlet. Available from the IAWM for €3 if requested. From David's work, and my conversation with him yesterday, and talking to Ibrahim Mussawi, over the last few days, coupled with my few trips to Lebanon over the last few years, I've learnt an enormous amount. Of who they are, why they are, what their plans are, what their composition is, their solidarity work with the Palestinians [did you know there are over 250,000 Palestinian refugees living in camps in Lebanon] who are regarded by the 'democratic' Lebanese society as parasites to be got rid of? With all that baggage, I don't think the IAWM needs to 'justify' its invitation to a Hezbollah militant to come to Ireland and speak to us......over 1,000 activists went to listen to Ibrahim across the country....they, we, I, don't need a justification or a certificate of political 'correctness'' - I join the thousands upon thousands in the London pro-Palestinian demonstration last August who chanted 'We are all Hezbollah now'. I join my Palestinian friends in Ramallah and Jerusalem, and some locals in the Falls, who fly yellow Hezbollah flags.....I embrace a couple of young Eirigi activists who when we are postering in the streets last week, came up and asked us for Hezbollah tee-shirts...they were at the meeting yesterday and, Jaysus, were they welcome."

Cian of the Socialist Party was not impressed: "It is a sign of political degeneration and shifts rightward on the parts of the SWP and the IAWM that a Hizbullah speaker was invited and that political suport was offered to him. Hizbullah offers not only no way forward for Lebanon (being a sectarian based oranisation, currently experiencing broadened out appear, but inevitably this will revert back to sectarian tensions), but also offers no way to actually put an end to Imperialism. In order to defeat US and Israeli Imperialism a mass, secular resistance movement is needed in Iraq, based on democratic defence committees and forces. In order to defeat it once and for all and establish viable independant states of Iraq, Palstine and Lebanon a class movement, including Israeli workers is needed to overthrow the war mongering elites, and the reactionary leaders. This means the Israeli Capitalist class and the Arab elite. That means the job of true anti-imperialists in Lebanon is also to create a force in opposition to Hizbullah, a CLASS force, a new party which wll show Hizbullah up to be the right wing islamic fundamentalist, sectarian, anti-women, anti-worker, homophobic organisation it is. SWP, however, in the interest of token 'broadness' are throwing class out the window and blocking out questions about how to actually DEFEAT imperialism."

The debate continues below - keep to the editorial guidelines

George Galloway MP Respect
George Galloway MP Respect

Ibrahim Mousawi Hezbollah TV Station
Ibrahim Mousawi Hezbollah TV Station

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author by r whelanpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 01:39Report this post to the editors

more images from today
copy right 2006

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Speakers from left Ben Hayes State Watch and Ibrahim Mousawi Al Manar, Lebanon
Speakers from left Ben Hayes State Watch and Ibrahim Mousawi Al Manar, Lebanon

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author by r whelanpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 01:56Report this post to the editors

More images of speakers from the floor
copy right 2006

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author by Ciarán Ó Brolcháinpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 02:38Report this post to the editors

You can view video footage of Ibrahim Mousawi's talk in Belfast on Youtube. (I apologise for the poor sound in some parts.)

Part One - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m17q2LefsTk
Part Two - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMBsIxPQluU
Part Three - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsF9yFgtKIc
Part Four - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMQFjnLw5jM

author by Curious - nonepublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 03:26Report this post to the editors

What is an exponent of Hizbullah doing at an anti-war meeting? Leaving aside the organization's anti-semitism that has been well documented by various writers, it seems clear that they are a pretty seriously pro-war bunch. Fair play to them for kicking the Israelis out of the South, but anti-war they are not. Anyone in a position to elucidate on the IAWM's thinking here? Did they simply feel they needed a token pro-war person to keep the interest up?

author by radical jonnypublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:55Report this post to the editors

I must admit to being confused that Hizbollah representative Ibrahim Mousawi was a featured speaker at a meeting of the Irish Anti-War Movement. I think it was a mistake, for the simple reason that Hizbollah is not anti-war.

Don't get me wrong: I've been to the West Bank and I understand the need to speak out about Israeli aggression and its other unhelpful (to put it extermely mildly) policies in the region.

But I don't think that this was the correct forum. Hizbollah has been (and is) involved in a war. At best, it could be said that they are anti- IRAQ war.

We've seen this kind of muddying of the water by IAWM before. If they need to change their name to Irish Anti Iraq War Movement, then so be it.

War is, and has always been, a tool of ruling elites. It is capitalism stripped of it's economic jargon and it must be resisted. But our resistance must be nonviolent... Just as our nonviolence must be resistance.

Peace, Anarchism, and Troops out of Shannon!

author by C Murraypublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:58Report this post to the editors

There is one woman on the stand. Beating the feminist drum here- but its not
good enough. We know the women work in the protest movement. some of
them never get home. we know that too. But it could be the Green Party etc.

Some political parties namely SF/Labour make a point of encouraging women,
photographing women and making sure that the female demographic is
adequately represented. It brings out voters.

It would have been nice to see a woman in the center of the group , or
addressing the crowd. not from the crowd- there are plenty there.

When organising these things do the committee even think to the future
voter, the young female activist and bringing her in?

author by Sally - anti-warpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 13:09Report this post to the editors

"Q. Does anyone really give a fuck about you guys anymore?

A. Well looks like around 300 people do."

If you have a public meeting with controversial and/or famous speakers, people will come along, no matter who is organising it. It is true of college debating societies, it is true of any organisation. People do not come along because of who is organising it - they come because our society is obsessed with fame and/or controversy and in the case of Galloway, with reality TV shows.

Galloway has discredited himself with many people through appearing on Big Brother. I watched it for the first time when he was on it, and he not only made a fool of himself but he also came across as a bullying egotist (which he is). The fact that the IAWM is willing to capitalise on such crude manifestations of humanity and their notoriety doesn't surprise me. Nor does it surprise me that it draws in the numbers.

The Hizbullah speaker is an interesting concept, for an anti-war movement, which is supposed to be consistently anti-war. Seemingly, the iAWM is not, as its members call for people to show unconditional support for both Hizbullah and Iraqi 'resistance fighters' on a regular basis (the ones who blow up people in queues and at their places of worship, I assume). That is why I recently felt it necessary to join another anti-war group, which is genuinely anti-war, across the board. If you're not sure about their official position on this, ask them. They are not an anti-war group.

To CM - the lack of women on the platform is typical of many activist groups, especially within the anti-war community. It's not peculiar to the IAWM. It seems the IAWM have chosen their token woman for platforms, and token American rolled into one. It is very transparent that that is what is going on.

author by number 12 - legalise freedom campaignpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 13:11Report this post to the editors

It seems that some People out there would be less upset to see an Isreali figure speaking at this meeting.
(After all , Isreal seems more of a , 'Western' type in People's minds. More brainwash)

Why , I do not know.

If they asked themselves the question ,why ,they still would'ent know.

It is easy for People to dictate from the comfort of their own 'safe' Home many miles from any conflict and be a Judge to what is wrong and right. Every one is wrong or right exept the Armchair Judge.

Isreal is the aggressor and Every Person has the God given right to protect themselves and their Families.

One interesting fact is that ,both Isrealies and Palistinians originally derive from the same tribe.

Not TOO far from Home after all , is it?

author by Sally - anti-warpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 13:52Report this post to the editors

You're wrong, lay judge. I wouldn't be happier about an Israeli speaker (unless it was an Israeli activist against Israel's aggression) and am aware Israel was the agressor and that to some extent Hizbullah's actions were understandable. The fact remains though that they have no problem wiht bombing civilians. And neither have what the IAWM vaguely refer to as the Iraqi resistance.

And believe me, I'm not an armchair judge. I have seen at first hand the costs of war - not for a prolonged time, but I have seen it. I have also been an activist for a long time. So don't make assumptions.

author by Fintan Lane - Anti-War Ireland (and Irish Socialist Network) pers. cap.publication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 14:43Report this post to the editors

I'm sorry I wasn't able to make this meeting because Galloway and, also, the Hezbullah speaker would have been quite interesting.

Some of the anti-Galloway remarks on this thread seem rather hard and, in my opinion, don't give the man enough credit.

There are things about George Galloway that really irk me (chief among which are an arrogance and an autocratic manner that seem incompatible with the type of socialism I favour). However, he is a strong voice for the anti-war movement and has been quite principled in his opposition to Britain's role in the war. If we turn our backs on all those who irk us, we'll soon end up with a very narrow anti-war movement. Do we want to be like some sect, just talking to ourselves? Where's the respect for diversity in that? We can't like everybody we work with.

The Hezbullah speaker? In my opinion, inviting a person from an organisation engaged in (defensive) war is a problem only if one is promoting their political position. I don't know if the IAWM or SWP sang the praises of Hezbullah at yesterday's meeting, but one would hope not. My personal political position (as a non-pacifist) is that Hezbullah and any other Lebanese group were perfectly entitled to defend their country against Israeli aggression. I would also be understanding of actions taken in defence of Palestinians. However, that's definitely not the same as embracing the conservative, religion-soaked politics of Hezbullah, which I have no time for. The anti-war movement needs to be absolutely clear in its rejection of Christian and Islamic fundamentalism, and the associated bigotry. I'm a socialist and I'm not interested in promoting a conservative religious movement that frowns (I'm putting this very mildly) upon women, gays, socialists and societal tolerance. It's easy, when you're not on the ground, to declare one's admiration for certain Islamic conservatives (in opposition to Israeli and US aggression), but the reality is different for those struggling for left-wing ideas, gay rights, women's emancipation, and so on in societies dominated by these conservative political movements. It also should be remembered that Hezbullah deliberately fired missiles into Israeli civilian areas during the recent conflict and, while the provocation was immense, this still constitutes a war crime.

Nonetheless, I would have been interested to hear the Hezbullah speaker, as we have few opportunities to hear these views in such a direct way. I'm sorry I missed the meeting, though it looks like it was squeezing room only!

Let us hope plenty of people signed up to the anti-war movement afterwards.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 14:47Report this post to the editors

Waited for a few hours for the [internal] buzz of yesterday's fantastic meeting to subside - and for all the IAWM/Galloway/Hizbollah fans to come out with their views and ideas about what was the largest, most vibrant anti-war meeting in this country for a long long time.....

First and foremost thanks to rWhelan for the pics.....

To summarise some of the comments addressed to the IAWM before and after the meeting....during the meeting we had only one pro-Israeli/anti Hezbollah contributor. His remarks were adequately addressed by the speakers.

1. Nobody would turn up to this meeting - nobody gives a fuck
2. The IAWM is not really an anti-war group...they give platforms to pro-war groups...they unconditionally support violence.
3. There was only one woman "on the stand"! She was token "all rolled into one" anyway being American!!
4. Our society is obsessed with fame/controversy/reality TV...and the IAWM is willing to capitalise on these societal attributes.

On 1. 370 people turned up - almost all paid €10 - 253 of them joined the IAWM - there were some public representatives present - people from the floor, young and old, women and men, spoke and spoke and spoke.....nearly 100 were still downstairs in the hotel afterwards, discussing, arguing, conspiring, criticising. Whichever way you look at this, it was a success. Coming after 2 meetings in Belfast ,one in Derry, one in Cork and today one Galway meeting which were all very well attended without celebrities - just Ibrahim Mussawi....
On 3. The point that there should be more women on political platforms, in activist groups and in more established political organisations remains extremely valid. But to suggest that an American anti-war activist who for over 30 years is fighting and fighting and fighting, is 'token' and an irrelevancy "all rolled into one", not only because of her gender but also because of her nationality is, what's the word........the kindest thing I can say to that comment is that it expresses arrogance of the most objectionable type. Usually passing itself as quasi pro-feminist/peace loving and possibly left libertarian. Am I right Sally?
On 4 (don't worry I haven't forgotten 2) to suggest that the people who came to the meeting, gave their afternoon, stood up and clapped, spoke from the floor, signed up for future activities, shook the hand of and hugged the speakers and the organisers, gave money.......they're all "obsessed with fame etc".....it really takes the dog's biscuit. One really wonders what obsession motivated the author of those lines to come to the meeting

Finally on 2.......perhaps the most crucial political point of them all. The IAWM is NOT a "Peace organisation" - there are, at least, 10-12 Peace organisations in this country, some of them anti-war/some of them not. The IAWM, as stated in its constitution, is an anti-imperialist organisation whose main objective is to stop the use of Shannon and other Irish facilities by the forces of the Empire, while simultaneously extending support and solidarity with those who are invaded, and those who fight against that invasion and occupation by any means at their disposal.

It is in this context that we invited Ibrahim Mussawi and it is this context that many of us, especially the older members of the IAWM, supported the Vitenamese NLF and the Catholic inspited armed national liberation movements in Latin America. It is in this context many of us served time for being supporters of the ANC in South Africa , Frelimo in Mozambique or closer at home, the armed Irish movements. We don't see as our role to pick and choose...who is secular and who is not, who is anarchist and who is not, who is armed or not/peaceful, who is for NVDA and who for elections. Who is Gandhian and who Gramscian. Who is a Trotskyist and who Marxist Leninist. Who is a nationalist and who a republican. We support all of them...those who fight, those who resist, those who dream of a better world, those who block and protest while singing the Rosary. All of them.

We know that this position unsettles the consciousness of some genuine anti-war activists in the country...and annoys big time some left sectarians. It's impossible for us. however, to take a "neutral position" when movements clash with the system of the Empire. This is what we are in the IAWM.

Hope the above clarify a few things and open the path for some genuine/non-personalised debate. All ideas about who to invite in the future and how to conduct ourselves are very welcome.

To suggest, finally, that the Indymedia Collective spares the IAWM from criticism because they obviously deleted some abusive message - well, all I can in good spirit, and through my warmest regards to the Indymedia comrades, say : that would be the day!!

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 14:55Report this post to the editors

Hi Fintan,

Your contribution is very very welcome. You must have been writing it at the same time while I was writing my stuff. I was also sorry not to see you, and some other AWI members I know, there yesterday.....but that's OK. Had you come we would have had a way to squeeze you in.

As for your query re: Hizbollah and the IAWM....neither Richard from the platform nor anybody else from the IAWM who spoke "sang any praises"......I personally share your perspective on national liberation organisations such as Hizbollah, as articulated above. Others in the IAWM, and in the SWP, may have a more nuanced stance.

But we are movements - not political parties.

Greetings to you and all the AWI comrades.

author by me - None but supports AWIpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 15:42Report this post to the editors

" I was also sorry not to see you, and some other AWI members I know, there yesterday.....but that's OK. Had you come we would have had a way to squeeze you in. "

Michael Y, I don't know you except for your comments on Indymedia, which veer between acutely well-observed on the one hand and long-winded and irritating on the other. I'm sure, however, that you're a decent person. But as someone who was at Shannon last Saturday, my observations would tell me that, I'm sure AWI would have found a way to squeeze more than two IAWM members on the bus to Shannon, had they come.

Really, I mean, enough of the patronising comments slyly trying to make the AWI peopel out to have boycotted the meeting. I'm sure Fintan Lane and other AWIers who didn't make it had good enough reasons. And it's clear from Fintan's posting that he would have gone if he had been able to do so. So please, less of the subtle and sometimes not so subtle, digs at other anti-war groups and assertions of superiority.

author by Annoyed activist - nonepublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 15:44Report this post to the editors

Thank you Michael, that explanation of the IAWM's position makes things somewhat clearer. While I can sympathise with the idea that the IAWM is not so much anti-war as anti-imperialist, I still can't see how you can justify inviting a Hizbullah speaker. This is an organization that, as other people have pointed out, has engaged in attacks on civilian targets in Israel that have been widely condemned as war crimes, it's an organization whose leaders have frequently spouted extreme anti-Jewish rhetoric (don't believe me? read Amal Saad-Ghorayeb´s excellent and not unsympathetic book "Hizbullah: Politics and Religion") and of course it's also an organization that benefitted from and sought to prolong the corrupt and brutal rule of Lebanon by the Syrian regime's secret police apparatus.

No-one can deny that Hizbullah is a major and genuinely popular political force in Lebanon, or that it played the principal role in ending the Israeli occupation of the South, or indeed that it was the only force that engaged in capable resistance during the recent Israeli invasion, but is this an organization that a group calling itself the Irish Anti-War movement should really be associating itself with? Surely we can get a bit beyond "my enemy's enemy is my friend"?

Newswire Moderator's Note: Comments on Editorial policy edited out

author by C Murraypublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 15:47Report this post to the editors

Glenda is not token, she is a brilliant speaker and a fine activist. I was pointing out
that some political parties and movements have learnt to value women and some
have not. The political movements that are aware tend to push women and platform
them because of a healthy respect for the female demographic and an individual
respect for the woman. I noted this with SF/Labour-two mainstreams. And it
worked in terms of bringing women in and encouraging the vote.

The women I know in activism work incredibly hard and seem to be in the shadows.
Its not a question of proritisation or of positive discrimination but of utilising the talent
and creativity of women wholly and that is something that can be achieved through
awareness of what women want to see in media and activism and politics.

Again- it was diheartening not to see positive focus. I was in tara at a community protest
and the dominant characters and speakers/organisers were women and it was good
to see.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 16:48Report this post to the editors

To 'me' and the 'annoyed activist'

I'm sorry I missed the meeting, though it looks like it was squeezing room only! - from Fintan's comment above.

My comment to Fintan, was to a friend I like a lot, a comrade, to a fellow activist, and a reworking of his own words. After having thanked him for his message. It wasn't meant as a barb - yes I was sorry he and other AWI activists were not there beause I think they would have contributed even more to the meeting.....further, and now that the discussion brings it, while I am acutely aware that there are deep wounds between individuals, arising from serious hassles in the past, I believe [and I may be crucified by some quarters for saying that] the future of the anti-war movement in Ireland lies in the unity and joining of the various components. Following debates, of a recomposition. Some of us from the various movements tried this earlier in the year in the Anti War Network.....there are still attempts to continue the debate, see Ed Horan's et al call for a full day conference on strategy next Saturday, Nov. 11th in the University of Limerick....btw that date was chosen after discussion with the organisers not to clash with the Nov. 4th activity in Dublin [see relevant thread].

On Hezbollah....I have just finished reading David Morrison's excellent pamphlet 'Lebanon - Hezbollah Wins' - A Labour and Trade Union review pamphlet. Available from the IAWM for €3 if requested. From David's work, and my conversation with him yesterday, and talking to Ibrahim Mussawi, over the last few days, coupled with my few trips to Lebanon over the last few years, I've learnt an enormous amount. Of who they are, why they are, what their plans are, what their composition is, their solidarity work with the Palestinians [did you know there are over 250,000 Palestinian refugees living in camps in Lebanon] who are regarded by the 'democratic' Lebanese society as parasites to be got rid of? With all that baggage, I don't think the IAWM needs to 'justify' its invitation to a Hezbollah militant to come to Ireland and speak to us......over 1,000 activists went to listen to Ibrahim across the country....they, we, I, don't need a justification or a certificate of political 'correctness'' - I join the thousands upon thousands in the London pro-Palestinian demonstration last August who chanted 'We are all Hezbollah now'. I join my Palestinian friends in Ramallah and Jerusalem, and some locals in the Falls, who fly yellow Hezbollah flags.....I embrace a couple of young Eirigi activists who when we are postering in the streets last week, came up and asked us for Hezbollah tee-shirts...they were at the meeting yesterday and, Jaysus, were they welcome.

For the record - this is where we stand. And, if at times, we tend to be long-winded and irritatiing, who is perfect in this world?

author by Cian - SP & SY - personal cappublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 17:08author email comradecian at eircom dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Hey,

It is a sign of political degeneration and shifts rightward on the parts of the SWP and the IAWM that a Hizbullah speaker was invited and that political suport was offered to him. Hizbullah offers not only no way forward for Lebanon (being a sectarian based oranisation, currently experiencing broadened out appear, but inevitably this will revert back to sectarian tensions), but also offers no way to actually put an end to Imperialism.

In order to defeat US and Israeli Imperialism a mass, secular resistance movement is needed in Iraq, based on democratic defence committees and forces. In order to defeat it once and for all and establish viable independant states of Iraq, Palstine and Lebanon a class movement, including Israeli workers is needed to overthrow the war mongering elites, and the reactionary leaders. This means the Israeli Capitalist class and the Arab elite. That means the job of true anti-imperialists in Lebanon is also to create a force in opposition to Hizbullah, a CLASS force, a new party which wll show Hizbullah up to be the right wing islamic fundamentalist, sectarian, anti-women, anti-worker, homophobic organisation it is. SWP, however, in the interest of token 'broadness' are throwing class out the window and blocking out questions about how to actually DEFEAT imperialism.

And even Galloway, far play to him for his good anti-war work, is questionable. Uncritical support for Hizbullah? Pro-lifer? refuses to live on the workers wage? And the SWP refuse to criticise him, in the interest of 'broadness'. This sort of broadness is a weakness. We need a open, democratic mass anti war movement which has open and honestdebates and is a principled campaign. Socialists should not mearly merge in with the crowd, if you do then why join the socialist?! Why not just join Hizbullah?!

Cya,
Cian

Link: The Character of Hezbollah - Only workers unity can show a way out of war and poverty. Part 2.

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/30mideast.html
author by Oisín - ÓSFpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 17:14Report this post to the editors

The imperialists who start the wars are the ones to blame, US, Britain and Israel, not the ordinary people who fight back against it. I'd like to see what the above writer would say about non-violent resistance if his family were being missiled, his cousins shot down in the street and he himself under threat. Its easy for a southern Irish person to sit back and talk about Ghandi and Martin Luther King but they dont deal with the realities of Imperialism they just watch it unfold on television and say "thats terrible"

author by Another annoyed activistpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 17:30Report this post to the editors

MichaelY, you're remark about not seeing AWI members (those you know) at the meeting was a snide sectarian remark. Easily countered though by the query where the fcuk was the IAWM last Saturday??? Two IAWM sterring committee members went to Shannon and hardly any of your members - certainly none of the SWP. Was there some decision to boycott that demo?

250 people turned out at Shannon and, while I applaud your meeting on Saturday, it was better to have 250 people out there on the streets protesting at Shannon than crammed into a room listening to Hizbolloh. That's my view anyway. Less of the sectaianism towards other anti-war groups, pleeze.

author by Deirdre Clancy - AWIpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 17:56Report this post to the editors

I agree with some of what Chris is saying. There are women in activism who do a lot of behind-the-scenes work and yet are very shadowy figures. It's a vicious cycle, in a way, though, because it sometimes seems that even with the best intentions it's hard to get women solidly involved in the anti-war movement. I speak as someone who has observed an enormous disparity in gender even in the audiences (leaving the platform aside for a moment) at both AWI and IAWM meetings on various occasions.

As someone who was part of an affinity group containing three women and two men for the last few years, I can vouch for the fact that there is a natural, probably unconscious tendency on the part of people both inside and outside the movement to solicit statements from the men, or to assume – for no particular reason – that the women aren't spokespeople (with some honourable exceptions, of course). It created a real imbalance in the representation of views in what was quite a diverse, if small, group of people. I only mention this to underline the point that there does seem to be a natural, unconscious and often subtle bias in the wider society to seek male leaders and decision-makers, and this can seep into the left at times. And women are often extremely complicit in our own and one another’s marginalisation, of course. It takes conscious effort on the part of movements to try to go some way towards correcting this imbalance. We try in AWI, but it's hard, as women spokespeople are hard to come by because many women appear to have decided long ago that the movement as currently constituted is not for them.

With regard to the Galloway meeting, I can assure Michael that AWI members did not intentionally decide not to go. In fact, I would think there were probably several members there, as there are probably many members at this stage who you do not know on a personal level. It looks like it was quite a lively meeting.

On a separate - but not unrelated - note, I must admit that, even though it wasn't my reason for not attending, I can't get past the cat impression. I just can't. Churlish it may be, but there it is. Was that the elephant in the room or was anyone actually brave enough to ask, 'What were you thinking?' and thus risk a Galloway tongue lashing?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 17:58Report this post to the editors

Yesterday's fantastic meeting has begun bringing up debate. Particularly interesting are the messages from those who had wished it had never happened, who boycotted it and asked others not to attend, and are now trying to 'explain' post mortem.
I went to the link provided by the SP & SY message above. In an article signed by Kevin Simpson, of the CWI, I read :

"Hezbollah has developed sophisticated social welfare support particularly for the Shia population in the poorest areas of Lebanon. It played the role which the corrupt Lebanese elite failed to do in providing schools, hospitals and employment. .....families whose sole breadwinners have lost their jobs have had visits from members of Hezbollah who have turned up .... to leave money or food boxes. Families needing money for expensive operations for sick family members have been given cards enabling them to go to any clinic in Lebanon for treatment. Hezbollah leaders are renowned for not being corrupt and, too many Lebanese Shia especially, appear to undertake political activity in the interests of the poorest sections of society.....The tendency for Hezbollah to build further support, particularly in Shia areas which have borne the brunt of the latest Israeli attack, is likely to continue given the way it responded to the post-war situation."

For more please consult the article in question - this type of reality is hard to hide. And what's been described here sounds OK to me - and the iawm.

A recent poll by the Beirut Centre for Research and Information
[www.beirutcenter,info/default.asp?contentid=692&MenuID=46] showed that Lebanese people when asked 'Do you support the resistance against the Israeli aggression?', overall 87% said YES with a large majority in favour in all sections ( Sunni 89%, Shiite 96%, Druze 80% and Christian 80%). All these Lebanese women and men, gays and straight, religious or secular, must have been blinded and deluded. False consciousness on a mass scale or is it bull rhetoric trying to fit reality to its straitjacket? I can see the trend and need felt by the SP people to fight the SWP - but what does that have to do with Lebanon and the Empire's plans for a New Middle East?

This is reality - and this is why we asked Ibrahim Mussawi to come and talk to us in Ireland.

How would this reality morph into the future, how the tremedous support Hezbollah enjoys, how this reality will turn on its head - can only be answered by Socialist Party theoretical rheoric. And I will be blunt: to ask in a situation like Lebanon with cluster bombs in every farm, with tens of thousands of refugees and with the Israelis holding thousands of prisoners - to ask for the creation of a party to fight against Hezbollah...and one presumes against all those people supporting it.....what does it smack of?

Wonder never ceases in the domains of the 'socialist' world.

author by radical jonnypublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 18:04Report this post to the editors

"I'd like to see what the above writer would say about non-violent resistance if his family were being missiled, his cousins shot down in the street and he himself under threat."

No, I don't know what I'd do... But I desperately hope that I'd have the courage to break the cycle of violence. Ghandi and MLK did... They decided to fight fire with water. Lots of other movements are doing the same (not least the EZLN).

How many more interminable conflicts around the globe have to grind inexorably on, perpetuating more and more death in the name of revenge and retribution? "You killed my (insert name here); I'm going to kill your (insert name here)"; meanwhile the arms manufacturers make a fortune...

There's got to be another way, OSF. We in the North have had enough of armed reststance. Fat lot of good it did...

author by SoundHeadpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 19:19Report this post to the editors

Hezbollah as anti-Semetic?
Pro-Islamic does not by definition mean anti-Semetic. South Lebanon is a melting pot of religions, as is Lebanon generally. Hezbollah draws support from across the religious spectrum in Lebanon (and in Ireland apparently), even if it is predominantly Shi'a Muslim and does mean "party of God".

In August, I did an indepth interview (40 mins) with Abdullah Said, a man who came from south Lebanon, and he was at pains to describe the co-operative nature of society in that area; tolerant, not sectarian. It was his informed opinion that Hezbollah are not against Jews, but against the illegal and immoral acts of the State of Israel.

According to Abdullah Said, there are still some Jewish people living in southern Lebanon, and they don't suffer discrimination Indeed, he knew a manfrom southern Lebanon who had a Jewish parent (can't remember whether it saw mother or father), but had been in israeli custody for many yers without charge.

It is easier to make allegations than to defend against them, and this slur on Hezbollah is no different.

There's also a bit of a double-standard: Paisely has a reputation for being anti-Catholic, yet it looks as if he's gonna be First Minister for the sake of peace...

Gender or Sex?
When people speak of gender imbalance, what they mean is sex imbalance. A person can be of the male sex but not consider themselves to be of the male gender (i.e., that social construct which is said to determine social roles or divisions of labour).

To highlight the sex of activists is, of course, sexist. Perhaps people might feel that genderist is less contraversial, hence the erroneous use of 'gender' in place of 'sex' in some of the above comments.

If someone focussed on Brian Crowley's disability rather than his politics, especially when disability was not the original subject, this sets the 'disabiity issue' back rather than furthering it. Same for Blunkett or Straw.

the sex issue is no different. For instance, Harney no more represents women as she does men...

author by Cian - SP & SY - personal cappublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 19:31author email comradecian at eircom dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Hey,

Michael, you quote from the CWI's article on the charchter of Hezbollah and claim it disproves the CWI's analysis of Hezbollah... You are obviously seeing things in Black and white. You can point out that Hezbollah do many good things, and yet still say they are fundamentally based on sectarian, islamic fundamentalist, anti-workers ideas which offer no way out for the people of Lebanon. That is what the CWI do. I understand fully why people suport Hezbollah. I defend the Lebenese peoples right to defend themselves. I actually favour it! I, however, feel that Hezbollah cannot defeat imperialism for good. To do so requires a united movement of all workers, young people and peasentry in the Middle east, including the Israeli working class, whose material interests are also opposed to the Israeli ruiling classes. hezbollah are incapable of building such a movement. They are also a pro-capitalist force that has supported privatisation in Lebanon!

I'd encourage all to read the FULL article i referenced earlier: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/30mideast.html

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/30mideast.html
author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 20:48Report this post to the editors

Dear Cian,

Just heard that in the Galway meeting organised by the Galway Anti War Alliance, over 200 people went to hear George Galloway and Ibrahim Mussawi....this in the city were a couple of SP students argued for a boycott and that a Hezbollah speaker should NOT be allowed in the University. This is the same establishment where the Israeli Ambassador did his marketing stuff a couple of weeks ago. I have no love lost for your ex Labour Party outfit but never thought you'd be arguing for censorship.Any CWI views on that?

Looking at your message, mentioning Limerick, come over to the strategy meeting organised next Saturday in the University of Limerick...and bring your comrades....you may learn something real rather than empty theory peddled by the CWI.

author by updatepublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 22:34Report this post to the editors

That conference has nothing to do with the IAWM. Nothing at all. Check out the events listings on indymedia for details.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 00:09Report this post to the editors

Hi Cian,

Good to see you may come to the Conference - check the agenda and the times.
Updater, among the organisers of the Conference there is a member of the IAWM and a member of the AWN....you're right that it is not an IAWM Conference but to say that "it has nothing to do with the IAWM" is somewhat off the point. Still, it will be a good day for all serious anti-war activists.

Finally, thanks to the Indymedia Editorial people for their sanity. There are some crazies about - that's for sure.

author by Annoyed activist - nonepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 01:58Report this post to the editors

Hizbullah's attacks on civilian targets in Israel have been condemned in reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. It's not very hard to find these reports on those organizations' internet sites and read them for yourself. With the exception of Jonathan Cook, I don't think many people have cast doubt on their validity.

As regards anti-Semitism, I would invite anyone who doubts that Hizbullah engages in anti-Semitic (or if you prefer anti-Judaic) discourse to read Amal Saad-Ghorayeb's book, which I referred to above, where she goes into this question in detail. As Saad-Ghorayeb is a professor in the Lebanese American University who's devoted a lot of time to studying Hizbullah and is very balanced in her depiction of the party, I'm inclined to lend more weight to her views than to one 40-minute interview with a South Lebanon villager or MichaelY's visits to Palestinian refugee camps. I certainly don't think it amounts to "a slur". (I've talked to a good few people from South Lebanon, and visited a fair few Palestinian refugee camps, myself, for what it's worth.) I don't see why anyone should think that being pro-Islamic is equivalent to being anti-Semitic, and I certainly didn't say so. But depicting the Jews as millennial enemies of Islam and the Holocaust as a Jewish fabrication is a different matter. Certainly, Hizbullah have been exemplary in their behaviour towards members of local religious minorities - unlike pretty much all the other Lebanese militias, Hizbullah never engaged in sectarian massacres or attacks, and ever since the liberation of the South, they have been very correct in their dealings with local minority communities - and I wouldn't be surprised if that included Jews, but their espousal of anti-Jewish rhetoric is part of a very malign phenomenon across the Middle East and one that certainly doesn't make peace any more likely.

I agree with Fintan that Hizbullah had every right to defend Lebanon against occupation and invasion. I think allowing people in Ireland to hear what Hizbullah has to say is actually quite a good idea. What I'm worried about is the apparent *support* for Hizbullah coming from the IAWM. Maybe I'm wrong in picking it up that way, but if so I'd like to see some willingness to admit that Hizbullah isn't just an exemplary group of patriots.

It's sort of disappointing that anti-war activists would be so unwilling to take a clearer look at organizations that are also on the opposite side of the fence from the United States and its proxies, and see that despite that they may not be in any way progressive or peace-loving.

author by Apublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 02:23Report this post to the editors

As mentioned above, this event hardly qualifies as "anti-war activism". Usually refered to as "preaching to the choir", along with the IAWM street rallies. It is sad if people define their activism against this war as attending such meetings (hopefully edifying and educational).

As RBB exlained on a previous occasion he argued that the name of the SWP front should be "Stop the War Coalition" (like in England and the six counties). Apparently he lost that argument way back when and it has the confusing title of Irish Anti War Movement, which may infer "alll wars" and the total reprsentations of all people claiming to be anti war in Ireland (as it is "movement" not coalition, group, alliance, whatever.

author by observerpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 09:55Report this post to the editors

I seldom agree with the SP but Cian is spot on with regards to inviting that creature. Anyone who sees virtue in Hezbollah needs to have a good long hard look at themselves.

By the way, I note Michael Y's rference to his having "served time" in support of the ANC etc. Served time in what capacity?

author by Sean - Organisepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:04Report this post to the editors

See the SWP's rheotoric, jargon bloodthirsty support for Hizbollah is met by their pacifism at home. If they really want to do something useful instead of talking about it go over and join hizbollah and do us all a favour.

author by Danny - SP Galway (per cap)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:56Report this post to the editors

The socialist party in galway didn't call for a boycott of the Hezbollah meeting. We simply argued against him being hosted by the 'NUIG against war' group which was allegedly designed to be an alliance of supposedly anti-imperialist organisations and individuals. We argued that to host a representative of an organisation involved in direct attacks on Lebanese and Israeli working people would be hypocritical. In fact, we attended the meeting in the town hall theatre yesterday where some vital points were made by one of our members, who was simply shouted down in an insulting manner - told he was talking "bollocks" and told to "grow up"- by George Galloway who failed to address the issues raised. This was met with rapturous applause by SWP and other activists whose shortsighted opportunism was displayed in their uncritical support for gorgeuos George and his Hezbollah buddy. One SWP activist even professed to have "99%" in common with the Hezbollah speaker! After the meeting our speaker was congratulated on his stand by numerous supporters whoidentified with the valid and genuine concerns he raised.

author by non-attendeepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:02Report this post to the editors

1. It got featurised on indymedia, so Something must be right.
2.The smiling photos of men and the raised arms suggest wonderful speeches.
3.You can choose not to go to such events and watch the telly, thus:
1. One despot is having another hanged in time for his mid-term elections, (great photo opportunity
for the Republicans)
2.Watch telly and see violence at the rugby.

Or you can look at Beit Hanoun where women are being murdered because everything
has gone so wrong that we give air-time and features to the people who are involved
in murder banging the eternal war-drums.

Why not- our agendas are dominated by sport/sex and violence. It is indicative
of the way of the world?

BUT:- you can switch it all off and not give a fuck anymore, because these policies
of engendering and supporting violence are contributing to the cycle- well done,
a score. Independent media is like all other media re featurising to a select
audience of a specific age/gender/outlook.

author by omgpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:21Report this post to the editors

Have a listen to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the man who's speaking for Hezbollah today:

If they, the Jews, all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.

wow this organisation has one hellva open mind! And the thought process, riveting! thats just pure genius, where do i sign up? maybe you can get the celtic wolves involved lads, its RIGHT up their street 2!

author by anonpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:36Report this post to the editors

apparently Ireland is the place du jour to sput scary jihadi stuff from, along with Choudry we still have two members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades brought here the governemtn themselves.
The wacky winger WorldNetDaily managed to find some fool to give them their perfect sounbite.

Mideast terror leaders to U.S.: Vote Democrat
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_I...52747
This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud," said Jaara, speaking to WND from exile in Ireland, where he was sent as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the church siege."

SO if it alright with the Irish government...

author by Fintan Lane - Anti-war Ireland (and Irish Socialist Network) (pers. cap.)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:55Report this post to the editors

As this has been turned into a feature, I'd better clarify one clumsily worded sentence in my earlier comment.

"In my opinion, inviting a person from an organisation engaged in (defensive) war is a problem only if one is promoting their political position."

This reference was specifically to Hezbullah.

As I pointed out later in my comment, I believe that people ARE entitled to resist militarily when their country is invaded by imperialist forces. Accepting this, however, is not the same as endorsing the politics of the specific organisations engaged in the resistance. How could a socialist endorse the politics of Hezbullah? Moreover, to ignore the problematic elements of Hezbullah's politics simply because their armed struggle undermines Israeli and ultimately US imperialism is, in my opinion, a very short-sighted and Western-centric perspective. As socialists, our political support goes first and foremost to those trying to build a workers' movement based on left-wing and progressive ideas in the Middle East.

My enemy's enemy is NOT necessarily my friend. This holds true also for Iraq. Blanket support for the Iraqi resistance is not only meaningless, it's bad politics. Certainly, I would support Iraqis right to fight back against the military occupation but, again, that doesn't mean endorsing ALL organisations engaged in the resistance, whether civil or military. Who could support the Islamic fundamentalists and others engaged in sectarian violence?

The 'Hezbullah question' is not black and white, and a refusal to endorse that organisation is NOT a refusal to stand by the resistance to Israeli military aggression. Ultimately, your analysis should be based on your political standpoint and, if you are a socialist, on your understanding of class politics. The reference to Hezbullah's involvement in social services is a red herring; populist movements do such things to consolidate support and because often they are genuinely popular movements that have to respond to their own particular mass base. Doesn't make them left-wingers.

author by Shane - Socialist Partypublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:09Report this post to the editors

...became apparent in Galway yesterday. As usual the Galway Alliance Against War position was, it has all been decided, nobody is to ask any questions. I was the only person to ask a question from the floor that was in any way critical and in response Galloway launched into a personal attack on me, funny I thought as he doesn't know me or anything about me but most of us have no doubt seen him make an absoloute tit out of himself in the media numerous times. However my question on critical versus uncritical support was met by a torrent of abuse from Galloway and his SWP/GAAW drones in the audience. It once again exposed how fundamentally undemocratic these groups are.
Further to this an SWP member said ' I would like to apologise for my fellow Marxist', (please don't I always accept responsibility for my actions and if I feel an apology is necessary I'll make it myself, in this case it is clear no aplogy is necessary.) and went on to claim that we (the Socialist Party) had prevented a Hezbollah speaker from speaking in the college! How could we have done that? What actually happened was that the SWP tried to monouver an anti-war front into the University and were met with opposition from a number of student groups including the members of the Socialist Party. The SWP or whatever front they chose to call themselves would still have been free to have whoever they wanted to speak in the college, however we wanted no part of it.
As for MIchael of the IAWM's ridiculous and uninformed comments, when the Israeli ambassador came to the college the Socilaist Party played a key role in the protest, there was however no sign of GAAW or the SWP on this occassion. It was the same groups (SP, Sinn Fein, IPSC) who had opposed a Hezbollah speaker in the college who protested against the ambassador.

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net
author by Robpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:18Report this post to the editors

So the Irish Anti War Movement is not an anti -war movement?

author by Deirdre Clancy - AWIpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:31Report this post to the editors

I sympathise with Shane's story to a certain degree. I don't like the way Galloway shouts down anyone who disagrees with him, and he often comes across as a hectoring bully. He is charming when there is nothing but adulation for him in a crowd, but can't hack criticism or searching questions, even from the those essentially on the same 'side'. I do admire some of the stances he has taken, but this is a fatal flaw that I'm afraid can't be ignored. Those who go along with this type of behaviour are merely helping to stifle debate. It is behaviour that is rendered acceptable in many contexts in our society (it is, essentially, encouraged by bullish, competitive cultures) - in the workplace and in the media and at public meetings - but actually there's nothing big or clever about shouting someone down with a personalised tirade or interrupting them so they don't have a chance to defend themselves. Unless there's a specific insult being vocalised or bias being expressed (such as in Galloway's encounter with the Sky reporter where he exposed her profound pro-Israel bias, where he was justified), it's just downright ignorant.

That's the thing. Galloway's not selective about who he shouts down.

author by Kevin Wingfield - SWP & IAWMpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:33Report this post to the editors

One thing which has not been highlighted enough in my view is that Imperialism is in trouble. The neo-cons whose programme for the re-conquest of the Middle East, “full-spectrum dominance” and the rest, of which the invasion of Iraq was a part, are in disarray. They are at one another’s’ throats because things are going badly for them. The odious Richard Pearle now attacks Bush and Rumsfeld and says the war was a mistake. The Republicans face possible meltdown in the Congressional elections on Tuesday. A faint echo of this demoralisation among some of the cheerleaders of Empire was evident in Kevin Myers’ recent piece in the Indo.
That the US Empire and its allies face a setback and an increasing crisis of imperialism is an entirely good thing. I would hope this is common ground among all opponents of imperialism.
This crisis is in my view largely a consequence of the resistance of the Iraqis to occupation and most recently the defeat Hezbollah inflicted on US imperialism’s agent Israel, as well, of course, of the existence ofan anti war movement throughout the world.
Among other things, this resistance has reduced the ability of the US to decisively intervene in Latin America, where mass movements confront the neo-liberal agenda of corporate American and its allies.
As a secular socialist, a member of the SWP, who has the privilege of serving on the Steering Committee of the Irish Anti War Movement (and I write here in a personal capacity), I was proud to have helped organise the tour of Ibrahim Mousawi to Ireland. The Irish Anti War Movement took the view that in the face of the demonisation of the resistance in the Western media, it was important that the voice of Hizbollah be heard here, a view I fully agree with.
I too look forward to a secular and classed based socialist mass socialist movement arise across the Middle East (and beyond).
Some may recall Marx’s words in the Communist Manifest to the effect that it is the height of sectarianism to mechanically counterpoise some “shibboleths”, some pure socialist programme to the actual movement of resistance.
Famously, Lenin wrote on the Easter Rising:
‘To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without revolts by small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without revolutionary outbursts by a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its prejudices, without a movement of the politically non-conscious proletarian and semi-proletarian masses against oppression by the landowners, the church, and the monarchy, against national oppression, etc. — to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution. So one army lines up in one place and says, "We are for socialism", and another, somewhere else and says, "We are for imperialism", and that will be a social revolution! Only those who hold such a ridiculously pedantic view could vilify the Irish rebellion by calling it a "putsch".
‘Whoever expects a "pure" social revolution will never live to see it. Such a person pays lip-service to revolution without understanding what revolution is.’
I realise Lenin doesn’t always play very well on this site but the truth of his comments seem to me self evident. The Middle East today is not Ireland 90 years ago but the spirit of his remarks are apt.
Hizbollah “with all its prejudices” stood up and fought Israel to a standstill. This fact has given heart to millions across the Arab world. The solidarity expressed by secular anti-imperialists in the West has not gone unnoticed. Many questions, debates, arguments are taking place on the Arab street. But today they are premised on the possibility of landing blows on Imperialism, not the inevitability of defeat. Secular socialists have import contributions to make to these debates, on the basis of taking sides unambiguously with the oppressed.
This, I believe is the best assistance Western anti-imperialists can give to those wanting to see a secular and socialist movement of social transformation across the region.
As a postscript I might add that the IAWM, NGO Peace Alliance and PANA have agreed a joint campaign to make Shannon an election issue. Broad based committees are being set up in, we hope, every constituency in the country to put to every candidate a pledge that will not serve in any government that allows US troops use Shannon, etc. Those who sign, and those who don't will be publicised in the constituency. Numbers of people (most of whom were not drawn from the limited pool of existing activists) agreed at the meeting to help convene those constituency committees (details soon on IAWM website: www.irishanti war.org or email info@irishantiwar.org)

author by :-(publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:46Report this post to the editors

Bin Laden has really rocked the US boat, brought them into wars that are badly damaging US credibility and his fighters are at the front of the armed resistance in Iraq. Following the logic just expressed by Kevin Wingfield of the SWP/IAWM, Al-Qaida should be seen as our allies in the fight against imperialism. they've dealt a serious blow against Bush and Blair. That is the logical outcome of the SWP's simplistic enemy's enemy is my friend philosophy.

The leson on current affairs is also wasted Kevin. We read the papers too, so please don't patronise us.

author by Davidpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:59Report this post to the editors

I find it amusing that the IAWM have a banner about demanding a demilitarisation of Shannon hanging in a meeting room in Dublin, where they are glorifying Hezbollah violence.

IAWM has consistently refused to hold any meaningful protests at Shannon over the last 3 years. They have done everything they could to sabotage attempts by others at building a non violent direct action resistance at the airport. On the day of the Mass Trespass (march 1st 2003), the SWP organised what amounted to a counter protest and very publicly called for people to go on the 'good' 'non violent' SWP march to the airport and avoid the violent anarchists who were going to try to violently pull down a defenceless fence and sit on a defenceless runway.

They have taken public credit for the actions of others and used that platform to attack them

The IAWM has done everything they could to keep protests away from Shannon and away from any kind of direct action.
So when they hold a meeting supporting violent resistance in Lebanon while refusing to support even non violent resistance in Ireland against the U.S. military, the stench of hypocrisy is overpowering.

I am all for building an inclusive and united peace and global justice movement in Ireland. But I do not consider the SWP to be a part of the solution. Their actions over the past years are closer to those of Agent provacateurs than to genuine peace activism

author by :-(publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 13:12Report this post to the editors

There couldn't be clearer evidence that the IAWM is just an arm of the SWP. Same policies, same politics.

author by discouragedpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 13:13Report this post to the editors

The ideology of IAWM is "The enemy of my enemy is my friend whoever they are and what they stand for."
This is the same thinking that made the USA support the Taliban : because they fought the invaders, in that case the Soviets. The consequences for the people in Afghanistan were disastrous particularly for women.

quote of MichaelY - iawm :
" The IAWM, as stated in its constitution, is an anti-imperialist organization whose main objective is to stop the use of Shannon and other Irish facilities by the forces of the Empire, while simultaneously extending support and solidarity with those who are invaded, and those who fight against that invasion and occupation by any means at their disposal....We don't see as our role to pick and choose...who is secular and who is not, who is anarchist and who is not, who is armed or not/peaceful,........"

History repeats itself.

author by observerpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 13:17Report this post to the editors

Bad enough that you invite anti-semetic barbarians but you compund that by comparing Hizbollah to Connolly and Pearse!!

author by Dan - IAWM- strictly personal capacitypublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 13:51Report this post to the editors

On Direct action and the IAWM

Two words- Raytheon 9 www.raytheon9.org

Day x-On the day that the Iraq war broke out in 2003 the iawm organised by far the largest direct action against war that has traken place in this country when thousands of people in dozens of workplaces the length and breath of Ireland walked out of their workplace and took sometimes limited, sometimes extended, strike action against the war.

Everyone will surely also remember the ring around the Dail which was a direct action involving hundreds a few weeks later.

Yes these mass direct actions failed, but if the objective is driving the empire out of ireland, who has succeeded?

The IAWM has always been guided by the principle of involving the greatest posssible ammount of people in actions against the war, as we believe only a mass movement can effectively take on Imperialism.

To further this end I think we should continue to organise demos, public meetings, and other actions.

On Shannon

The IAWM has organised 10 protests at shannon airport in three years, some involving thousands, others involving dozens.

We have co-operated with numerous other organisations in these protests.

Shannon remains our central campigning priority and we will use a variety of tactics to carry our shannon campaigning

On hezbollah

whether we like it or not Hexbollah have done more to damage American Imperialism in 33 days then westen activists have in 33 years.
Don't you think we might just have something to learn from them (that's if we can shut up preaching our learnt off lines for one second)

And no, I don't agree with everything they say or do, nor do i have to to want to know more about
them. And that was the purpose of having them speak- to inquire and to learn.

On Hypocrisy

As for the stink of hypocrisy. One has to be sickened at the spectacle of what ammounts to the various shards of the left wing of imperialism lining up to condemn hezbollah. Only from this safe distance you are at can you possibly argue that the Lebanese resistance should have taken on the Israeli Military non-violently. Its simply laughable.

Related Link: http://www.irishantiwar.org
author by Until Jerusalempublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 14:02Report this post to the editors

Part 1: Ethics 101

Consider the following situation:

Hezbollah fighters are aiming Iranian-supplied missiles at an Israeli kindergarten in order to destroy as many Jew eggs as possible before they hatch. Meanwhile, Deirdre Clancy has slipped behind their lines with a hatchet supplied free by Lenehan's of Capel Street (as long as she uses their tagline "Your First Stop For All Things DIY" as her battlecry) to take out the missile battery.

Should you:

1. Not interfere physically, but make sure this brainwashed Zionist Islamophobe is forcibly re-educated at the next SWP/IAWM summer camp, enduring a 24-hour screaming fit from George Galloway dressed as a cat.

2. Join Hezbollah fighters in heroically defending said missile battery and beheading the infidel jezebel, later reading passages to your sensitive hirsute comrades from "The International Jew" around a cosy campfire.

Note: Double-barrel-surnamed denizens of south county Dublin are excused from such extreme physical endeavours.

3. Organize mass protest rally in fading Dublin hotel decrying the demonisation of the Hezbollah fighters. Point out that science is still divided on how Jews reproduce. Hold raffle to fund SWP sponsorship of new missile battery.

author by bysshe in exilepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 14:38Report this post to the editors

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n16/glas01_.html
Charles glass in the London review of books. He was knidnapped by Hezbollah in the 1980s.

Bassem Chit is a democracy activist in Lebanon. in Socialist worker in august http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id...=9462

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 14:56author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

Should a member of Hezbollah have been invited to speak at Galway, for instance? I attended the discussion yesterday, found it interesting - though I agree with Shane above, that Galloway's approach can be, ahem, forceful, and was a little shocked at his response to Shane's question from the floor, I still think the man has a certain courage lacking amongst contemporary politicians.

It seems to me - and I am speaking in an independent, personal capacity throughout, here - that the Hezbullah representative, winding up the talk, actually gave George Galloway something of a slap on the wrist about freedom of discussion.

I believe it does us no harm at all to hear the Hezbollah point of view; we are, as the talks suggested, victims of a pro-Western and decidedly anti-Arab media, for the most part. The Galway-based 'City Tribune,' led off on the announcement of the talk yesterday with a headline that described the Hezbullah representative as a 'terrorist,' albeit it in parenthesis. In fairness, it must be added that Galway's media DID turn out for the gig.

I was shocked to hear David Morrison remark that we have Irish troops in Afghanistan - so much for neutrality. A brief outline of his document, 'Lebanon - Hezbollah Wins' can be found on the Western Writers' Centre site at www.twwc.ie

Related Link: http://www.twwc.ie
author by Sean Heffernan - SP (Personal capacity)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:05Report this post to the editors

I too must admit that I was shocked when I heard that a speaker from Hezbollah would be in Dublin at a meeting organised by the IAWM. I have heard the IAWM condemn the killing of innocent civilians in Lebanon by the Israeli Armed forces (And I also condemn it 100%) but unlike me I have not ONCE heard the IAWM/ SWP condemn the killing of innocent civlians in Israel by Hiizbollah. If I'm wrong on that one, and that, at some public meeting I was unable to attend for whatever reason, the IAWM DID condemn the killing of innocent civilians in Israel by Hizbollah, I take my it back. - So Michael Y or other persons from the IAWM who have commented on this thread - Do YOU condemn the killing of innocent Israeli's by Hizbollah, just as we both condemn the killing of the Lebanese and Palestnians by the Isreali armed forces? i myself totally condemn the killing of innocent Lebanse people by the Isreali armed forces, and also condemn the killing of innocent Israeli's by Hizbollah.

I have to say that my blood curdles when I hear somebdy from the IAWM or SWP call Hamas and Hizbollah 'National Liberation movements' - women in Palestine are treated disgracefully by the state, and that same regime has sought to brutally crackdown on protests by Civil Service employees, over unpaid wages and worsening working conditions. Can you honestly say with a straight face, that if Israel was to get out of the Palestine for good, the people would be genuinely liberated? No - women would continue to face extreme opression and workers who strike and so forth will still be dealt with ruthlessly by the state. If you're a worker with Socialist beliefs living in Palestine, my heart truly goes out to you! The SWP would hardly say that the people of this country have been liberated' and neither would I - in fact we are far from it, in the real sense. But this country is a far more 'liberated' state than a Hamas led Palestine or a Hizbollah led Lebanon would be. the SWP Critisize the Irish state (And they are right to do so) but at the same time sing the priases of Hamaz and Hizbollah who intend setting up states that would be many times LESS democratic than ours!

If somebody takes principled stance against war, he/she is opposed to all wars, and groups that use violence to try and achieve there aims. Galloway refuses to condemn Hamas and Hizbollah for using war as a means of furthering their aims, so how can he be seen as having a 'principled' stance against war as some have said here?? The man is an opportunist and will sacrifice whatever principles he once had for a few votes and more fame. If he was such a principled person, he would have fought to win back his old seat in Glasgow on a genuinely Socialist platform, trying to put genuine daylight between what he stood for an the Labour Party. Instead Galloway fled to London, and dropped many of the Socilaist principles he once claimed to stand for, in order to try win a seat in the capital, as he knew the game was up in Glasgow. But truth be told, apart from the war issue, Galloway is still quite close to Labour Party thinking on issues, than some woud have us believe. Galloway is NOT a Sociailist, and it is disengenuous and plain wronng for people to try to argue that he is.

It is also shocking, in my view that many (If not all) SWP members try and circumvent the disgraceful fact that Galloway refuses to live on a workers wage, and try to claim it is a non-issue. Originally when Respect was setup, it had a key demand that all public representatives in that party had to agree to living on the workers wage if they were to represent the party in parliament etc. This key clause was quietly done away with in order to bring Galloway under it's banner. If an SWP member gets elected to the Dail will he/she be bound to agreeing to live on the workers wage? and if that person would have to do so, well why wont you call for Gallowayn to be made do so as well??

My Final point/Question is this -

What groups are now officially affiliated to the IAWM? I know a lot of groups have left, that were in it at the start, i curious as to what groups remain inside that organisation? (Not having a pop at anybody just genuinely interested as to who is still affiliated to the IAWM thats all)

author by Leftypublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:14Report this post to the editors

but everything wrong with not asking them (and Galloway) a few awkard questions. The Socialist Party, of which Shane is a member, has many faults. (And I am not a member of them) But they are 1,000 times better than the rest of the ridiculous gaggle of the Left in places like Galway. Fair play to Shane for asking that question. Galway has its fair share of psudo-leftie big mouths - many of them very active on this site - isn't it funny that it was Shane and not one them who had the guts to ask the difficult question.

author by Mark C - Nonepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:27Report this post to the editors

...and many others who are showing solidarity with Shane regarding Galloway's bully boy tactics in Galway. I was sitting two rows behind Shane (whose name was gotten wrong twice by the compere) and thought he argued well, and took Galloways bullshit with dignity. I'm certainly glad to have been one of the only people not to stand for Galloway's standint devotion, sorry I mean adoration, sorry I mean ovation.

author by Deirdre Clancypublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:28Report this post to the editors

Endorsing hardware stores - now there's a career option post-ploughshares action.

author by gino.k - swppublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:31Report this post to the editors

i was inspired by Saturdays meeting.Hezbullahs resistance in Southern Lebanon and its 33 day resistance against the ZIonists, will be a inspiration to all anti imperialists across the world. There resistance has put a nail in the coffin of the neo- con imperialist PROJECT, lets hope, that the whole middle east will be the grave yard of US imperialism. RESISTANCE IS NOT TERRORISM

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:36Report this post to the editors

Must say that in one thousand years, when we in the iawm decided to invite Ibrahim Mussawi to Ireland, would we have thought that his presence, and the undeniable big time public appeal of that presence, the tremendous success of the 6 (six) meetings around the country and the buzz they endengered, particularly within the Muslim community living in Ireland, would have created such a furore....the Indymedia Collective encouraged that unprecedented flowering of opinion/criticism/ personal - sectarian vindictiveness/argument/debate by shifting the thread to the front page. They did well to do so.

While it is great to see arguments and messages of positive support and encouragement, a number of major strands stand out: among those who have articulated a negative point:
1. The vicious sectarian and divisive anti-SWP set - extending itself foolishly to the IAWM by equating the two. This follows the DUP/PD fashion of relating to Sinn Fein as SF/IRA. Or the Indo/Sunday Times tactic of slagging the Rossport mobilisation as being a front for Republicans.
2. The equally obnoxious anti-Islamic/islamophobic set under the cover of anti-fundamentalism/ secularism - a newer and cooler kid in the block.
3. The slightly more benign 'peace' set accusing the IAWM of encouraging violence.

And, of course, a number of combinations of the above. The more personalised barbs etc belong to a few choice individuals. The Indymedia Collective has dealt with the most virulent of that cabal....they don't deserve responses. I exclude from the above Fintan's and Deirdre's and some other AWI contributions which I have registered as fully within the context of debate inside the anti war movement in this country. Debate that will continue hopefully next Saturday in the University of Limerick.

Each one of those strands has its main architects and spokespeople. Some of them, like the SP militants, identify themselves - and more power to them for doing so. Others, hide, as is their right to do as per Indymedia conventions, behind clever and not-so clever handles......there is the anons and the observers and the updaters and the curious.....along with the A10s and the omgs and the like.. And then there are a few glaring absences of Indymedia regulars.....they're holding their cards close to their chest!

What's the main issue in question? It appears to me that the furore has been generated because the iawm took a controversial initiative, an initiative that touched a few raw nerves. The initiative was very very successful, unexpectedly so for some who argued against it from the outset and pushed openly for a boycott, and the critics now feel they have a hard job to undo 'the damage' to their politics as they see it. So they belittle the intelligence and political savvy of those who came to the meetings.... the "hangers-on", as they were labelled by some barbarian, to listen to "that creature" said another secular leftie!! Words fail me here.

Word games apart, this is a crucial political issue as it touches attitudes towards national liberation movements (such a bogey for some), towards the clash of civilisations and a fear of Islam, under any version or guise, towards the right of the oppressed to resist their oppressors by arms if necessary. These debates have riveted the revolutionary movements right from the outset, from the time Marx, Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Che, Fidel....argued and argued and argued about what attitude should socialists and activists take towards those realities. Each one of these debates necessitate serious thinking and considerate elaboration.

I would have thought that many comrades, particularly the older ones, who have associations with the Workers Party, the Labour Party/Militant, the IRSP, Sinn Fein - would have managed to sort out these issues by now. They were revisited so many times when the war in the 6 Countis was at its peak. In some instances that history seems to have been deleted from the hard disk - leaving behind blind spots as any inconsiderate deletion by pulling the plug would have the tendency to do. So data is now dispersed and disjointed. It explains some of the schizoid attitudes.

The intensity of the debate, plus some plans we have to invite a couple of leading Hamas and Fatah militants into Ireland soon, necessitate some fresh thinking. We will come back to this presently.

Here goes my lunch time - shit!

author by Trotscaí - RSFpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:38Report this post to the editors

From my many years as a left wing activist in Galway, I think that an clé i nGallimhe is appalling. We, Sinn Féin Poblachtach, are the only true forsa clé in Galway.

From our tathaí of the SWP, we have seen their true inactivity. In the Shell to Sea feachtas, their absence was notable; while we, Republican Sinn Féin, have been the only shining beacon of activity on the issue.

We have been impressed, however, by the wonderful obair of 'Big' Tommy, who talks the talk agus walks the walk.

If all you Brit-loving lefties could realise the errors of your ways and come over to the side of Sinn Féin Poblachtach and allow us to build a left movement fíor in Gallimhe, where we can focus on the true concern of the Irish people - freeing the tír from the enslavement of British imperialism, which is true driving force behind Shell, deaths on the road, Bird flu, the occupation of Palestine - the list is críochless.

Slán,

do chara

author by the hit squadpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:42Report this post to the editors

RESISTANCE IS NOT TERRORISM

Tell that to the civilians relatives that got killed by rockets raining down on them

I dont deny the guy the right to speak--he should be able to same as any one else in this country of free speech

what i object to is the banner of which he spoke---there is nothing antiwar about the IAWM, hence maybe its about time they changed their name and stopped using the movement to tinsel up their little mate and essentially preach hatred

author by Fintan Lane - AWI and ISNpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 15:59Report this post to the editors

A few things are being muddled here.

I don't think anybody is denying Hezbullah's right to speak in Ireland. Furthermore, the IAWM and the SWP are entitled to invite whoever they choose to speak from their platforms. That is a political decision that the IAWM has taken and clearly based on internal discussion and an understanding of their shared politics. I doubt very much – we haven't discussed the possibility – that Anti-War Ireland would invite a Hezbullah speaker to Ireland because the political complexion of those involved would almost certainly rule out us providing a platform for that organisation. In any case, the IAWM made a political decision and that's where they are at.

The wider question is the real issue - whether anti-war and left-wing activists should adopt a policy of my enemy's enemy is my friend. I have made my personal position clear and opposition to such a simplistic approach is also a stated position in Anti-War Ireland. Selective quotes from Marx and Lenin won't change my position, which is that supporting resistance to imperialism does NOT mean applauding every organisation engaged in the resistance, regardless of their size. We are NOT all Hezbullah now! At least I'm not, much as I was happy to see the Israeli invasion of Lebanon defeated.

author by Until Jerusalempublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 16:10Report this post to the editors

MichaelY: "The intensity of the debate, plus some plans we have to invite a couple of leading Hamas and Fatah militants into Ireland soon, necessitate some fresh thinking."

Let's not mess around with Fatah. They're pussies. How many New York skyscrapers have they brought down? A big fat zero is what. Bring on the Al-Qaeda boys. They're a national liberation movement, right? After all, it's not up to us to tell Arabs that a Caliphate is a bad idea. We can't be picky about their methods or make any bourgeois moral pronouncements about their choice of warfare.

Let's hear the boys' plans for Saudi Arabia and the wider region - like Hezbollah, they're gotten a bad press from the mainstream media too. Right? Let's see MichaelY put some of his usual hard-hitting questions to one of their spokespeople, such as "Would you like just George Bush's head on a pike, or those of his entire family?", or "When the Caliphate is installed, what's my chance of becoming Grand Vizier?".

I want some fresh thinking and invigorating debate, especially about the best way of sawing Jewish journalists' heads off. You never know, Lenehan's might sponsor the event and give them some free tools into the bargain - "Lenehan's - For All Your Zionist Journalist Neck-Sawing Needs".

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 16:19Report this post to the editors

MichaelY writes in a previous message:
The Indymedia Collective has dealt with the most virulent of that cabal....they don't deserve responses

You should be aware MichaelY that including material like this in your responses is a problem:
1. It's a comment on editorial policy (see #15 of the http://www.indymedia.ie/editorial )
2. It's just a jab at other people on the thread.

Personally I've been very interested to read of the position of the IAWM (as articulated through yourself) and others, and it would be a pity if your comments had to be deleted in whole or in part because you interlarded inappropriate material such as the above. The volunteer editors don't have a lot of time on their hands and your comments suggest (inappropriately) that they're hiding comments at your behest. All that such comments can achieve is more work, confusion and degradation of a public, common place for publication of news, information, and clarifying corrections.

I hope you can give this perspective some serious consideration.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 16:30Report this post to the editors

If you have a little brother 'by Until Jerusalem' he would be advised by me and from all who read your stuff to give you a good bollocking re: the nonsense you write.

Just a couple of simple questions : Who is the main ally of Saudi Arabia? Who arms them, who gives them F16s and missiles, who supports them? What's the connection between that theocratic regime and Israel? Which big-time US based family has intricate business ties with the Saudi Mullahs? Who brought Osama to Afghanistan and armed him and his cabal to the teeth in order to oppose the Soviet invasion? Who lied about the fact that most of the 9/11 barbarians were Saudis?

And if you're interested about what goes on, go to the other thread about what the Israeli forces are actually doing in Palestine, today and over the last few days, and if you can read, which I doubt, sit your little brother so that he figures out a couple of things or two.

And then watch brotherly love in action!!

author by Kevin Wingfield - Can't you guess?publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 17:12Report this post to the editors

I get the impression that the majority of responses on this thread are by people who would consider themselves to be opponents of imperialism which makes some of the comments interesting in the extreme.
Some time ago the IAWM invited a representative of the US Embassy here in Dublin to debate on its platform. Now I'm sure the SP is aware that the US administration has not so far seen fit to acquire a working class socialist programme.
And I imagine other posters are aware that the US government is no stranger to killing civilians (650,000 in Iraq and between to 2-3m in Vietnam to name just two of their more outstanding achievements in the field of democracy, women's rights, etc, etc.)
I don't recall the same soul-searching, logic chopping and denunciation on that occasion. Why? If it's legitimate to give a platform to representatives of the terror-state-in-chief, why not a representtative of a popular movement fighting Israeli aggression? Could it have something to do with the predominant religion in the region and Western liberals' and pseudo-leftists' sqeamishness in the face of "the Other"?
"My enemy's enemy is my friend" is not a characterisation I would accept. Al Qaeda is certainly (currently) an enemy of the US but it is certainly not engaged in any progressive fight against US imperialism. In fact it is the bogeyman fetched out to justify the current round of imperialist attacks and of course they receive no support from the iawm.
Civilian deaths have caused a few raised eyebrows among our "anti-imperialist" posters.
I am sure Hizbollah would have loved to be able to use precision guided missiles with which to fight off Israel's murderous attack. Unfortunately they only had old-fashioned, inaccurate weapons as for some strange reason the US had neglected to equip them with weapons comparable with those it lavished on Israel..
So what's it going to be lads? Thou shalt not let off your obsolete weapons least there are civilians casualties while Israel pulverises you?
(Surely you are aware that despite their precision laser guided this and that, the Israelis still managed to inflict more civilian deaths in Lebanon than Hizbollah's in Israel by an order of magnitude, and you cannot be unaware of the depositing of thousands of cluster bombs by Israel in Lebanon even as the ceasefire was coming into effect has left a deadly legacy that will kill and maim for moths and years ahead).
So there is no equivalence between the violence of the oppressor and the violence of the oppressed.
I was accused of patroning people by pointing out one or two examples of the benefits that the crisis of imperialism consequent upon the US and Israel's setbacks at the hands of the Resistance. I think millions of Lebanese might feel they were being patronised if told they must employ only those methods and tactics approved of by Irish so-called "anti-imperialists".
Yes, Hizbollah fought and won. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? I'm unequivocal. It was damn good thing. How do ye answer that question?
I'm very sorry that Hizbollah is not a Anarcho-Marxist-Libertarian-Feminist-All Singing and Dancing outfit. If they hadn't fought Israel would be at the Litani now. Unfortunately neither Christian pacifists, libertarians, nor the CWI were there to show them how it should be done.
I do not underwrite the politics of Hizbollah---I have already indicatd how I think progress can be made towards a politics in the region that I think is more appropriate. But until that happy day I take sides. Do you?
There were civilian casualties in 1916---not all at the hands of the British; the ANC could be quite disagreeable on occasions as could the NLF. All of this should be placed at the doors of those to whom it properly belongs, imperialism and its allies.
My impression from the 400 or thereabouts at the Dublin meeting was that there was considerable sympathy for the Hizbollah speaker and very little of the moral paralysis that has struck our critics on this thread. This encourages me.
PS BTW Galloway was happy to make a joke at his own expense re Big Brother. I think in the great scheme of things most serious people allow themselves to move on from this incident-----still any stick to beat a dog, eh?

author by Very Relievedpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 17:34Report this post to the editors

I think that answers that Kevin. Thanks.

author by anonymouspublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 17:50Report this post to the editors

The SWP represent a particular phenomenon known as 'long-distance revolutionaries'. When the armed struggle and street campaigns were ongoing here against British imperialism, they offered no practical or serious support to the IRA and INLA, even though Eamon McCann did state at the end of the 1984 edition of War and an Irish Town that the IRA was the leading anti-imperialist organisation on the island.

The SWP stood on the sidelines and sniped at those risking life and limb in the struggle. They organised no speaking tours for republicans and did none of non-violent stuff like prison support. Their anti-imperialist was empty rhetoric.

Now we have fire and damnation in support of an Islamist movement in Lebanon. Do SWP members ever wonder about the contradictions?

author by Cian - SP & SY - personal cappublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 18:02author email comradecian at eircom dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Hey,

I think Kevin is blurring the lines here. Its not the case that I wish to 'no platform' Hezbollah. They do have a right to free speech. My problem is that the IAWM/SWP are giving this organisation political support. Hezbollah offer no way forward for the Lebenes, Palestinian or Israeli working class. They have no strategy that will defeat imperialism once and for all. They are a sectarian organisation which is anti-women and pro-capitalist and HAS ASSISTED IN PRIVATISATIONS!

I think things hsould be seen in context by all posters here, as i think it probably is. Imperialism IS the key enemy. But it is the job of socialist to argue and build a united workin cass mvement (of Lebanesde, Palestinian and Israeli workers) to defeat imperialism once and for all and create viable indepndant states for each which will be able to live in peace without poverty. Socialists must argue that in order to do this a socialist solution is needed, at the very least a class movement.

The SWP is not doing this. They are now throwing out a re-hash of the Stalinist 2-stages theory: unite all classes against imperialism, then build a workers movement. This, unfortunately, doesnt work. Iran 1979 - huge anti-imperialist workers and peasants revolution resulting in oppurtunities for socialism but the 2 stage theory meant the CP handed over power to the Ayatollah, leading to the murder of all the left.

Also: huge strikes in Palestine due to civil servants not being paid for months (Imperialism to blame but this also shows Hamas has no way to defeat imperialism), oppurtunity for class struggle in Israel with new budget. What is needed is a class movement of Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese people against the war mongering and corrupt elites. Also, this is the only way to smash the racist israeli state and replace it wth a socalist Israel, Palestine and Lebanon as part of a socialist federation of the middle east.

Thanks,
Cian

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/30mideast.html
author by Deirdre Clancy - Anti-War Irelandpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 18:15Report this post to the editors

Personally, I have no problem as such with giving Hezbullah a platform. I think it is important to give a voice to people who are trying to survive Islamophobia and Arabophobia. However, this doesn't mean we have to agree laud each and every aspect of their overall ideological agenda or that we have to proclaim 'We're all Hezbullah now!' - which we're all emphatically not. MichaelY may be, KevinW may be, but I'm not. However, well done for giving them a voice and allowing people to hear their perspective, and then make up their own minds.

Two words with regard to Al Manar TV station - 'Al Shatat'. Enough for me not to wish to romanticise Hizbullah.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 18:29Report this post to the editors

This is an interesting and useful thread, at least in so far as it steers clear of the kind of anonymous bile which any thread concerning the Irish Anti War Movement seems to attract. All the stuff about the IAWM and direct action for instance just serves to create a more bitter atmosphere. It may be a subject worth discussing, but not on every single thread to do with the IAWM and certainly not on a thread where it isn't relevant and serves mostly to distract from the main issue. Similarly there is little need to continuously claim that the IAWM is a front for the SWP over and over again. Most of us are well aware that the SWP is the dominant force in the IAWM and that the IAWM broadly reflects the SWP view of what an anti-war organisation should be. Equally we should all be aware that the IAWM includes people, like MichaelY, who are not in the SWP. What purpose does going on and on about how the IAWM is an SWP front serve in the context of this discussion, other than raising hackles and making serious debate more difficult.

Getting to the meat of the matter, I think that some of the contributions by supporters of the IAWM and/or SWP have confused an important issue. As people like Fintan Lane have said repeatedly the objection people have to this Hezbollah speaking tour is not an objection to an anti-war organisation giving a platform to such an organisation for the purposes of debate. If that was what was happening then we would expect the other speakers on the platform and from the floor to be vigorously critical of Hezbollah's politics. Lest we forget it Hezbollah (the "Party of God") is a sectarian Shia party, which is vehemently sexist, homophobic and anti-semitic. It has regularly launched attacks aimed at Israeli civilians (ie indiscriminate civilian casualties were the aim, rather than "collateral damage" as Kevin Wingfield dishonestly suggests). It is opposed to its very core to the idea of separate working class organisation. It acts to deepen sectarian divisions in its own country, Lebanon.

If this was an organisation which the IAWM was debating all of the above would be raised. It isn't as if these are minor issues - they go to the core of what Hezbollah is and stands for. But in fact neither the IAWM nor the SWP bring up such things. Instead they give us a picture of the fight Hamas put up against the Israeli invasion of the Lebanon, undiluted by any critique of the Party of God's other actions and core politics. And if anyone does raise any of these issues, scorn is heaped on their heads by platform speakers and people who I'm afraid to say do seem to merit Shane's remark about "drones". So please, less of the disengenuous stuff about the IAWM or SWP wanting to "debate" with Hezbollah or "learn and inquire" from them. If you are going to organise a speaking tour for them around the country, uncritically promoting them as the face of anti-imperialism at least have the honesty to say as Gino K does that they are an inspiration or as another SWP member argued that you have "99% in common" with them.

Much of the rest of the contributions from supporters of the IAWM or SWP on this thread have been equally unfortunate. We have had claims that anyone who doesn't uncritically cheer on Hezbollah are "pseudo-leftists" squeamish "in the face of the Other" or, in blunter and less pretentious prose that they are "islamophobic". We've even seen the claim that we are "the left wing of imperialism", which is simply beyond ridicule. This kind of nonsense is par for the course unfortunately. More amusing have been the posts which echo the lines the Stalinists used to trot out about anyone who criticised Stalinist movements abroad and which Republicans used to use at home: they are the ones fighting, how dare you criticise them. As if picking up a gun or showing bravery moved you beyond legitimate political criticism.

It's possible that Kevin can remember back as far as the Vietnam war. If he can he might also recall that at one stage at least the predecessor of his own organisation actually stood up against the uncritical adulation of the Vietnamese Stalinists then common on the British far left and raised at a public meeting their slaughter of the Vietnamese Trotskyists. Ironically enough they met with much the same response from the more moronic elements of the far left then as the response they themselves now dish out to anyone who criticises any Islamic "resistance" movement, no matter how religiously sectarian, bloodthirsty or reactionary they might be.

Kevin rips some quotations from Lenin out of context, and presents them in such a way that either he is arguing that the path to a socialist future for the Middle East runs through organisations like Hezbollah or he is saying nothing much at all. A rather more relevant lesson from history, as Cian points out above, is the fate of a number of mass Stalinist parties around the world which uncritically supported whoever seemed to be anti-imperialist, and got themselves butchered by their allies as a result (Iran, Iraq and Indonesia for example). At least the Stalinists had the "excuse" of being wedded to a stages theory, the false idea that before a socialist transformation of society could be fought for, national independence on a capitalist basis had to be won which meant forming strategic alliances with forces hostile to socialism and the working class against the greater enemy, imperialism. What excuse do the SWP, an organisation which comes from an anti-Stalinist tradition, have for reinventing this idiocy? Haven't the Stalinists provided enough in the way of object lessons?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 18:47Report this post to the editors

The last thing we in the IAWM want to do is to shock our good socialist comrades or even, worse make their blood curdle. We discuss and argue our politics, we sign our statements – as Sean and Cian did – and take the consequences of our actions and words. I may repeat some of my earlier comments here but that’s no problem – Sean appears to have adopted a more conciliatory tone, despite some organic disfunctions, so I will attempt to explain.

(1) Yes, I and the IAWM condemn the killing of civilians in either Lebanon or Israel. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website [www.mfa.gov.il] states that during the invasion 43 Israeli civilians were killed , including 4 who died of heart attacks. Do we, do I deplore these deaths – YES unequivocally. As much as I deplore that 117 Israeli military personnel were killed during the same invasion. But, leaving the issue of ‘innocence’ aside, itself a loaded concept as Israel blamed Hezbollah for the more than 1,000 killings of civilians it engineered, I further exercise my brain and ask the following questions: a. How many Katyushas and related rockets did Hezbollah fire into northern Israel before the invasion : NONE!! How many Katyushas and related rockets did Hezbollah fire into northern Israel after the ceasefire? NONE!! Do you see what I am getting at Sean? And you tell us all in Indymedia under what criteria should a socialist like yourself e q u a t e the two belligerent forces – quantitatively – qualitatively – action and effect - what?

(2) Now to the issue of your blood curdling…..is it or is it not true that both Hamas and Hezbollah enjoy massive popular support? Are they or they not democratically elected political forces, in Government both of them, that have a military component? I quoted it earlier but let me repeat it for you: In a poll carried out by the Beirut Centre for Research & Information 87% of all Lebanese who were asked 'Do you support the resistance carried out by Hezbollah against the Israeli aggression' said YES…with a massive majority in favour in all sects (Sunni 89%, Shiite 96%, Druze an incredible 80% and overall Christians 80%). This is what has been traditionally in Marxism, and Leninism, and Maoism, or even bourgeois Sociology and political science has been called a National Liberation Movement!! Same argument applies to Hamas whose elected representatives are currently in jail without trial – incarcerated by the democratic Israeli regime. Does it all remind you Sean images of internment, of Kesh, of political status, of hunger strikes….does it comrade? Now unless you regale us with some socialist theory that all those people who vote for the two organisations are either dumb or suffer from a massive dose of false consciousness....do we, or more correctly, you Sean and Cian believe in democracy - or is that just a cover for power?

(3) Now to the facial contortions Can you honestly say with a straight face, that if Israel was to get out of the Palestine for good, the people would be genuinely liberated, you ask….Pat Kenny asked the same question to an Iraqi biographer of Saddam this very morning. His answer, my answer, the IAWM’s answer both about Iraq and Palestine is yes….yes…yes! Comparing what goes on in Gaza and the occupied territories with the situation here in Ireland, divided as we are, is pure sophistry.

(4) On Galloway and your comments about him – I sort of agree with you. But have you forgotten conveniently that his political antecedents are identical to those of your own Party? More militant or less militant social democracy is where you have all come from…..let me remind you Sean, that about 25 years ago, when comrades of ours, among them I, were fighting for a nuclear-free Ireland around Carnsore, sections of the then ‘Tendency’ along with the Sticks were lecturing us about ‘nuclear power under workers control in the socialist States’. This was a few months before Three Mile Island and Chernobyl exploded in their faces. I had to smile recently when I heard the same arguments about North Korea by another Trotskyist contingent. Your arguments about a united Israeli and Arab working class are equally cuckoo land fantasy my friend - certainly for the next few generations. Who was it who was arguing that British soldiers in the 6 Counties are working class comrades? Tell that to the half a million plus Iraqis killed in the last three years.

(5) As to your query re:the groups affiliated to the IAWM watch our campaign with PANA and the NGO Alliance re: making Shannon an election issue….in Saturday’s meeting George Galloway said he would come and work with us…..can you see your own Joe arguing with George….McWilliams is one thing – GG is another Sean !!

(6) While I was drafting the above I saw your own Cian come back again – with almost a repeat of your arguments Sean. So I won’t pontificate further. But there is another fella who made a crack about the Lebanese Government and the usual nonsense about “holding the people to ransom”. What this gentleman is missing is (i) that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese Government (ii)that there is a clear policy statement by the Lebanese Government, under the heading Resistance and Foreign Policy that says:”the Islamic Resistance must be protected because we recognise that it is a genuine Lebanese manifestation of our right to liberate our lands from any occupation” (iii) that the Lebanese Army website says [www.lebarmy.gov.lb/article.asp?cat=6&In=en] “The national resistance which is confronting the Israeli occupation is not a guerrilla…..its activity led to the withdrawal of the enemy from the bigger part of our occupied land…..Preserving this resistance constitutes a Lebanese strategic interest….”

So much for holding the country to ransom!! And when a bourgeois Army says Hezbollah 'is not a guerilla' - what does that tell you Sean? Hope the above is of some help.

author by kevin Wingfieldpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 18:47Report this post to the editors

Cian If you read my two posts you will see I spoke of the need for a secular movement AND proposed that by standing in solidarity with those actually fighting we might progress this question and influence things in that directon. Sure as hell beats a policy of essentially abstaining from the struggle because it doesn't have the right programme.
I also said explicity that I do NOT underwrite the politics of Hizbollah. Deirdre, I am not Hizbollah, you are not Hizbollah, he, she and it are not Hizbollah ... but I know when it is necessary to support the fight of those we may not agree with.
Anonymous (my word you get around a bit), I presume you are talking about the Republican Movement in the past, which that nice Mr Adams is about to encourage into the local village bobbies to help old ladies cross the road.
Well we in the SWM as we were then called, for example, opposed in the journalists' union the banning of Sinn Fein from the airwaves, we supported the demand for political status (Matteroffact I recall organising a strike in Donnybrook Garage when I was a bus conductor in support of Bobby Sands, part of an H Block support group in the buses which got Bernadette McAlliskey to address busworkers in the staff canteen. While tripping down memory lane Cian might ask his people what their response was to the demand of political status).
Of course we kept our political independence and argued our socialist corner. You see Cian, it is possible to do both, we did and do.
It's possible, indeed praisewrthy, to debate and disagree but it does help if the position of your opponent is not carelessly misrepresented.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 19:12Report this post to the editors

Kevin Wingfield tells us that: "If you read my two posts you will see I spoke of the need for a secular movement AND proposed that by standing in solidarity with those actually fighting we might progress this question and influence things in that directon".

The question is how is this to be achieved without actually making a coherent argument for "a secular movement" and without criticising the sectarian (in the religious sense) and reactionary politics of organisations like Hezbollah? Are we to assume that people in Lebanon, supporters of Hezbollah or others inclined to fight against the Israeli invastion, have psychic powers and will somehow be influenced towards "a secular movement" without anyone actually making a case for such a movement?

In fact, to the very very limited extent that organisations like the IAWM or the SWP can influence people in Lebanon or elsewhere in the Middle East their behaviour towards organisations like Hezbollah is likely to have the opposite effect to that which Kevin seemingly intends. On the one hand you present Hezbollah as the people who fight, as the real resistance to imperialism unlike those armchair warrior socialists and secularists. On the other you seem to imagine that this will do something other than increase the allure of the politics of those organisations. If anyone out there is listening to you, you are more likely to convince secular or socialist elements to turn towards the religious sectarians than the other way around.

author by C Murraypublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 19:34Report this post to the editors

Right of assembly and freedom of religious expression and artistic expression are basic
human rights. Now we have an example of sociopathic secluarism in Britain-where
Straw wants to de-veil.Its about personal choice. Meanwhile Chavez and Ortega had
joined the sociopathy by joining the church or the capitalists.

Quite honestly- there is no-one to vote for because it ain't about choice- as I said about
the photos, here we have a load of guys and one woman, the IAWM is as unrepresentative
as all other groups on the left. No political movement will get my vote unless basic
rights are fought for- this is why i do not vote.

I think that community movements which do not seek to direct public opinion are the only
ones that have a future.

Please explain to me how anti-war- invites Hizbullah.

Does not guarantee the right to free-expression

and is not representative of the female demographic.

More shite.

Please RBB send a PBP female member to my area who has a brain
and understands that the right to freedom of expression and guaranteed rights are
fundamental to human dignity. or feck off- quite simply. am tired of these all male alliances .

BtW- I supppport any woman's right to take off the veil or leave it on- its about choice
self-protection and feeling. women can dialogue with the Koran without masculinist
interpretation of it- empowering people to make choice is not about secularisation.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 20:08Report this post to the editors

Mark P from the SP says “This is an interesting and useful thread, at least in so far as it steers clear of the kind of anonymous bile which any thread concerning the Irish Anti War Movement seems to attract.” I agree – not without some trepidation though because as soon as it becomes apparent that some serious debate is emerging then in flood the anonymistas with their rant. Still – there is hope!

You’re asking KW a very relevant question – and it is a question we had to grapple with when we decided to invite Mussawi. Incidentally Mark, while I agree with your sentiments, you have to accept that not only a few of your comrades argued for a boycott of the meetings, and how dare we organise such a meeting, but some went as far as to suggest that it was our [plural] job in Ireland to create a party of the working class in Lebanon to fight Hezbollah. Now it seems our right to have the meetings has been conceded, we are talking about the type of support – if any – to an organisation such as the Party of God.

Conceding that Irish organisations such as the iawm, or the SWP, or the SP, or the more cosmopolutan cwi, have very limited capacity to influence events in the Lebanon, or the Middle East in general, can I turn your question around and ask you what psychic powers the 80% of Lebanese who supported Hezbollah or the nearly 60% of Palestinians who voted for Hamas will use in order to grasp that our criticism, soft or harsh, of their democratically elected politico-military leadership is r e a l l y because we know better what’s in their interest. The question is not rhetorical because you in the SP, and in the SWP, have to confront the same issue re:the large numbers of people who vote for SF both north and south – for traditional, religious, emotional, personal, psychic, linguistic or other reasons.

It’s the same issue that confronts socialists everywhere where the resistance is active but politically diverse….I saw your comrades argue for support of the Kurdish refugees the other day. Excellent initiative…yet isn’t the Kurdish movement, from the PKK and further to the right riveted with such contradictions? Has anybody read Ocalan when he talks of Islam and the Sunni faith - particularly since he's been incarcerated in the Turkish dungeons? Cypriot secular ‘communists’, of which there a few in Ireland, tell us the few hundred Kurds in Cyprus are all islamofascists and tools of the Empire….and what is the SP doing calling for demos in front of an Embassy of people who are still under occupation and live in a divided country? Where have we heard this before?

I am coming to all this from another direction, good comrade, distinct from the SWP and, it appears to me, from yours. But the fact that we’re debating is positive. Long may it continue.

author by Shane - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 20:11Report this post to the editors

There have been a massive amount of posts since I last looked at the thread this morning. Some are of course more informative than others but mostly they seem to be a variety of people lambasting the SWP/IAWM. THis should tell them something about how the rest of the left views them but no doubt they will react with the singular arrogance that typifies their behaviour. People have responded to my thread in support but their still has been no response vilifying me, which to be honest I find a little disappointing. However I have a couple of questions that still I would like to have answered.

1. While the SWP/IAWM/GAAW/Galloway have repeatedly piped on about how we have no right to dictate what form resistance takes they still have not at any point in this thread addressed the conditions inside the societies they support (eg. sexism and homophobia, even if Gorgeous George did make some comments yesterday that could have been interpreted as homophobic).
2. Further to this they still have not addressed the idea that the Israeli people might not necessarily support the Israeli state and may have some capacity to bring about change.
3. They have not addressed the fundamentally undemocratic nature of their own organisations.
4. They have not explained why they were not present at the the protest against the Israeli ambassador in the University and then accused groups who were there of preventing the Hizbollah speaker from speaking in NUIG.
5. They have not adressed the issue raised elsewhere about the fact that Galloway receives a full MP's salary rather than a workers wage or the corrupt and unprincipaled nature of Respect.
6. MicahelY spoke about the fact that they are democratically elected and as such control legitimate armies... what about Bush and Blair, do the same principals apply?

Could we have some clear answers a bit less of the smoke and mirrors please. I asked Galloway a question yesterday and he responded as if I had just shat on his grandmother's grave. SWP members in the audience responded accordingly. This has been my experience any time I have attended a GAAW or PBP meeting. They don't like discussion and will shout down anyone who dares to ask a question about their practice or policy. You talk about uniting the left but will only do it on your own terms.
Yesterday after the meeting, and after she had 'apologised' for me Dette McLaughlin walked up to me outside and said 'I wish you would grow up' before walking off... I think that speaks for itself.
Today while we were carrying out a Shell to Sea (a campaign the SWP have disappeared from in Galway) protest at an appearance of Frank Fahy and Eamonn O'Cuiv an SWP member walked by us three times without saying anything.
Where is the discussion lads? Where is the dialogue?
Or is it simply a case of 'The swimmers way or the highway'?

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 21:22Report this post to the editors


MichaelY said:
You’re asking KW a very relevant question – and it is a question we had to grapple with when we decided to invite Mussawi.

It may be that you had to grapple with the question, but with all due respect it is evident that you didn't win that particular wrestling match. Neither you nor Kevin have put forward any kind of case that promoting Hezbollah helps encourage a socialist (or even secular) resistance movement in the Middle East. It may be that, unlike Kevin who feels the need to make some kind of genuflection in that direction, that you just don't think that it's important. I don't pretend to have the psychic powers some IAWM or SWP members seem to think that people in the Middle East possess.

Incidentally Mark, while I agree with your sentiments, you have to accept that not only a few of your comrades argued for a boycott of the meetings, and how dare we organise such a meeting, but some went as far as to suggest that it was our [plural] job in Ireland to create a party of the working class in Lebanon to fight Hezbollah. Now it seems our right to have the meetings has been conceded, we are talking about the type of support – if any – to an organisation such as the Party of God.

I'm afraid I don't accept that at all.

Firstly, nobody that I'm aware of has argued that you don't have the right to hold any meetings you please. Many of us do however argue that we have a right to criticise your decision to hold rallies for Hezbollah. That includes a right to argue vigorously that calling the meetings is wrong, or even (and I have no idea if someone did actually suggest doing so) to boycott those meetings. I wouldn't criticise any group for calling a meeting where the politics of Hezbollah would be criticised and debated on the platform. Those however are not the meetings the IAWM actually called. The meetings it actually called were a speaking tour for Hezbollah, where that organisation was to be presented as the face of anti-imperialism and uncritcally supported. I do think that it was wrong to hold the actual meetings that were called. And I think that anti-war activists had not just a right but a duty to say that.

We have generally been discussing the effects such glorification of reactionary organisations might have in the Middle East, but more significant is the effect it has on the anti-war movement here. I find it rather depressing, after years of striving to keep the anti-war movement as politically bland and acceptable to all as possible that the SWP and IAWM have picked this of all issues to use to inject a bit of potentially less popular politics. The attitude of the SWP and the IAWM leadership during my time in that organisation was always that explicity class based arguments, or explicitly socialist arguments, were too divisive or too far ahead of the movement. Most of the activists within the organisation might be socialist, but raising those arguments would be inappropriate and would cut us off from potential support. I disagreed with that because I thought and think that only a movement based on the power of the working class can really stop such a war.

Now we have the SWP and IAWM going out of their way to inject some controversy into the movement, to associate it with forces which most Irish people (and even most Irish socialists) are likely to find repugnant. How is this any less "divisive" than raising socialist and class based arguments? And here the "divisive" step instead of arming the anti-war movement with better politics, better strategy or better arguments only acts to sow confusion by whitewashing reactionary organisations!

Conceding that Irish organisations such as the iawm, or the SWP, or the SP, or the more cosmopolutan cwi, have very limited capacity to influence events in the Lebanon, or the Middle East in general, can I turn your question around and ask you what psychic powers the 80% of Lebanese who supported Hezbollah or the nearly 60% of Palestinians who voted for Hamas will use in order to grasp that our criticism, soft or harsh, of their democratically elected politico-military leadership is r e a l l y because we know better what’s in their interest.

Leaving aside the misleading statement that 80% of Lebanese people supported Hezbollah (a party which in fact only has a real base amongst the Shia section of the population), your question is so slanted in its language as to be almost meaningless. The implication that criticising an elected government party like Hamas or a party of a small but substantial minority like Hezbollah is arrogant or involves a we know best attitude could equally be applied to criticism of Fianna Fail here. Political organisations have every right to argue for their views, even if those views are those of a minority here or abroad.

We make it clear what we are saying to those people who listen by... actually making our political arguments explicitly. No psychic powers are needed if you aren't hiding your actual views behind uncritical support for reactionary groupings. In the context of the Middle East that means making clear that the primary enemies are the imperial powers, that we think that the peoples of the region have the right to defend themselves but also that we disagree with the politics and methods of groups like Hezbollah and want to see a better movement of resistance emerge in every part of the world.

As we both agree, the actual power of our organisations here or even of small international organisations to influence events in the Lebanon is limited to the point of vanshing. That doesn't mean that we can find a shortcut to influence or success by trying to piggyback on the sucess of reactionary, right wing forces.

It’s the same issue that confronts socialists everywhere where the resistance is active but politically diverse….I saw your comrades argue for support of the Kurdish refugees the other day. Excellent initiative…yet isn’t the Kurdish movement, from the PKK and further to the right riveted with such contradictions?

I'm sure it is. I fail to see though why supporting refugees from a national community has anything at all to do with whitewashing whatever political organisations may exist within that community.


I am coming to all this from another direction, good comrade, distinct from the SWP and, it appears to me, from yours. But the fact that we’re debating is positive. Long may it continue.


Yes it's good to have these debates in a civilized manner, something which unfortunately isn't always possible at some organisation's public meetings I might add. I'm curious by the way about the direction you are coming from. It's your own business if you aren't interested in saying on a forum as public as this, but what direction are you actually coming from? Were you in or around a particular organisation of political trend?

author by Joe Spublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 21:31Report this post to the editors

MichaelY says "The IAWM is NOT a "Peace organisation" ...IAWM, as stated in its constitution, is an anti-imperialist organisation whose main objective is to stop the use of Shannon and other Irish facilities by the forces of the Empire, while simultaneously extending support and solidarity with those who are invaded, and those who fight against that invasion and occupation by any means at their disposal. "

Surely then the name is wrong my understanding was always that IAWM stood for Irish Ant-War Movement? Why not just tell the truth for once it is the SWP in one of it's bandwagon jumping guises?

author by SFMpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 21:36Report this post to the editors

Here’s some advice for all you would be socialist revolutionaries out there. As a Dundonian my mother was very eager to attend the talk by Galloway, George is from Dundee and displays many of the fine characteristics of that town which has historically managed to elect socialists of both the SNP, communist and Labour variety. Of course in the mind of many on the Left it seems you have to have less than 50 members to really be a socialist but that is neither here nor there. The first two speakers where passable, if a little bit paranoid in their speeches, Cole used the term ’occupied 6 counties’ that blew my mind, what occupied by 1 million Protestants that appreciate the NHS, occupied by who what and why use such divisive terms. Then there was the Hezbollah speaker, a man the yanks want dead who because he is in the mainstream of his community is some sort of pariah here. But then there was George, very enjoyable, hard but fair attacks on US imperialism. My mother who is a similar age to George felt it was great to see a Dundee boy do good without having to compromise on his and his class’s principles. Then his speech was cut short! Because it was getting opened to the floor for questions. After about the 5th person got up and didn’t ask a question but went on some rant about their micro view of socialism my ma had had enough an asking me “what are they letting ah these blathering skits go on for when people are here to hear George” - she was off - her opinion she had not paid €10 in to listen to kids that will probably grow out of there involvement with the radical left go on when we could be listing to a amusing and committed socialist who has since his days in the Labour Clubs of Dundee be a thorn in the side of that party’s often corrupt establishment. She left, I stayed on being a little bit more tolerant of the far Left. But after some woman got up to bemoan that people had left and that we needed continued work constant to stop the war and commitment…and then some guy on about what unions can do and then admitting he was not a member of a union himself. I decided I was offski as well. Now I have a look at this site and what do we have instead of be invigorated by a good if badly managed meeting we have spotty gits tearing ribbons out of one another on what is real resistance????, Get a grip brothers and sisters, the Left in Dublin is still a micro interest and you are not making attractive to people who are fundamentally in favour of socialism to get involved because of the talking shop, I’m the biggest socialist here rantings. I congratulate RBB for helping get George over but when he offered to help in the election campaign here there seemed to be some fear in the audience that there failed little parties might have some of the limelight stolen - the Left in Dublin is a fucking shambles and the sooner people realise that and don’t think there still living in the 70’s when it was at least of some importance and get on with organising instead of listening to themselves, using assets like Galloway instead of throwing shite at one another the better. This message from a dismayed friend.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 21:59Report this post to the editors

In my opinion, the 'Irish Anti-War Movement' should consider changing its name to the 'Irish Anti-Imperialist Movement' as this is far more accurate and would save a lot of confusion. I always had difficulty myself with the title of 'Irish Anti-War Movement', as I personally support the right of countries to resist being occupied by foreign armies and taking-up arms to defend their country. I would be a lot happier if it was changed to the 'Irish Anti-Imperialist Movement'. Many people who are not pacifists, but yet disagree with the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, the current attacks on Gaza and other parts of Palestine and other foreign occupations at home and abroad are put-off by the title.

Slán anois.

author by Liam - SP(personal capacity)publication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 22:45Report this post to the editors


MichaelY is obviously unaware of vital aspects of the internal political situation inside both Israel and Palestine. The new Israeli budget has declared war on living conditions of the working class and there are the beginnings of mass movements of Israeli workers in reaction to these measures. In Palestine there are mass strikes in response to the appalling living conditions and unpayed wages of the Palestinian workers. Capitalism is failing all the people in the middle east and is crossing sectarian divides to exploit the workers for all the profits it possibly can. If capitalism is crossing these sectarian divides for its cause...how is it 'rational' to divide the working class along these sectarian divides and support organizations that support capitalism and privatisations?

The only answer to this is bandwagon jumping oppurtunism of the worst kind. The mass strikes in Palestine and the working class opposition in Israel to Neo-Liberalism shows, blatantly, that the Palestinian and Israeli working class have clear common interests ie the destruction of capitalist exploitation. The Anti-Imperialist movement simply must base itself on non-sectarian politics and focus on the clear common interests of the working classes across the middle east. The policy of flinging support at any sectarian national liberation movement that gains popularity has shown itself to be complete nonsense. This is simply a rehash of the labour must wait arguments that has meant nothing but disaster, poverty and continued exploitation of the global working class. The history stands in defiance of IAWM/SWP arguments. I think Connolly says it best:

“If you remove the English Army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle., unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs”.

Ya Know. National Liberation torn from socialism is a dead end.

I would like to make it blatantly clear right now: The Socialist Party in Galway did NOT CALL FOR A BOYCOTT OF THE HEZBOLLAH SPEAKER. WE ATTENDED THE MEETING. We raised concerns about the outrageously undemocratic nature of the SWP front group NUIG Against War and also raised the concern that it would tarnish the reputation of the left in NUIG to one week be protesting an Israel Ambassador and the next week to be supporting Hezbollah. I find it amusing that the SWP are so behind Hezbollah yet couldnt be bothered to show up to protest against the Israeli Ambassador, while the Socialist Party played a leading role along with the IPSC, Sinn Fein and independents in showing our objection to the visit. Again they show when it comes to anything approaching genuine activism and struggle they are nowhere to be seen. Just like they've abandoned Shell To Sea.

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/11/06israel.html
author by Kevin Wingfield - swppublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 23:18Report this post to the editors

I get very little sense from the critics of the holding the meetings that they are in any way uplifted, encouraged, still less joyful that a mass movement, whatever our criticisms, threw the Israeli war machine out of Lebanon. By the tone of their comments (especially those from SP members) they seem to be saying that the task of socialists was to come to these meetings and attack Hizbollah, as though the repulsion of IDF invasion was of little or no account and the wall-to-wall media denunciation of Hizbollah didn’t exist and instead we faced widespread idealisation of Hizbollah.

The discussion within the IAWM in the planning of the meeting centred around the need for the voice of the resistance to be heard. The IAWM is not a party but a broad alliance of those opposing the US war drive and occupations in the Middle East etc.
It is natural therefore that there would be a range of opinions about Hizbollah within the IAWM.

What united us was that their voice should be heard by an Irish audience. Mark P points out that among the Irish population there would be some hostility to what has be presented as “extremists”, “terrorists”, “Islamofascists”, “anti-Semites”, etc, etc.
Surely it is right therefore that an anti war movement that takes its task seriously would be interested in letting a spokesperson for Hizbollah speak in their own words to those interested in attending to counter this media misinformation so that they too could go out more confidently to stand out against the media lies..

The main job of the anti war movement in Ireland I take it is to counter these media lies, to organise against our government’s collaboration with Bush’s war machine, etc and to puncture the myth that the war is a struggle of “Western democratic and enlightened values” against the supposed “fanaticism” and “primitivism” of the Muslim world. These myths---the “clash of civilisations”--- after all are the stock in trade of the apologists for the war. In this context the meetings provide their own justification and those who opposed the meetings or simply viewed them as an opportunity to “expose” and “denounce” Hizbollah have put themselves very definitely on the wrong side of the struggle.

As I say the IAWM is an alliance not a party and therefore could not be specifically socialist, or espousing of any other political philosophy, except as noted above, the need to combat Western imperialism’s wars and occupations.

It is fair to say that socialists comprise an important component of the IAWM but to limit it to avowed socialists (by incorporating specifically socialist aims as one of its planks as Mark P expresses the SP’s attitude) would limit its potential to mobilise the thousands of opponents of the War and the participation of those who would not define themselves as socialists.

It seems the SP have no time for alliances with people with whom they disagree. Shane of the SP believes George Galloway should have been berated on his views on abortion and his disagreement with “a workers wage”. I and my party, the SWP, disagree with Galloway on these and other issues. No-one has any need to ally with those they agree with most things about, they are already together. It is precisely the need to unite with those with whom you disagree to make a more massive movement over limited objectives (opposition to US imperialism in this case) that creates the need for alliances.

I’ll put it crudely. You can either unite with Galloway respecting the differences or merely see him as object to attack, expose, denounce, score a few points off and prove your revolutionary virility. Which strategy is more likely to assist popularise the anti war message? For me the answer is, in the jargon, a no-brainer.

Socialists in the Middle East have a very difficult job. The Left has failed in the past and the initiative has passed to political Islam. We can stamp our feet and decry this state of affairs or we can try to intervene. This cannot be done, in my view, in any other way than by standing in solidarity with the resistance to imperialism, with a critical independence. Easier said than done, but I know of no other alternative.

The job of socialists in the Middle East will be made easier, I suggest, if it’s known that secular socialists in the West stand with the opponents of imperialism and not with the “clash of civilisation” types or their liberal compromisers. The movement of resistance in the Middle East needs to know that we stand with them even when they make mistakes or behave in ways in which we disapprove.

Therefore the balance of criticism in Ireland must be different than in the Middle East. Our job is to help destroy or weaken imperialism and our rulers. This is not best achieved by continually repeating our rulers’ complaints about the resistance with some leftish tinge, but by emphasising solidarity.

I don’t believe political Islam can achieve a thorough break-through in the long run. This will require a movement that is region-wide, unwilling to accommodate to bourgeois interests in the region and uniting at its core workers and poor farmers in a revolution upheaval. But as the struggle develops the debates unfold, as I said before, in the Arab street. But a defeated movement doesn’t learn, instead it is cowed and demoralised.

For once imperialism is getting a bloody nose. That is something to celebrate, as millions in the Middle East celbrate, and we should help make its nose bloodier.

True to SWP form I will end with two plugs.
Socialist Worker is organising a Dayschool on Political Islam 2pm-6.30pm Saturday November 18, McClelland Room Central Hotel Dublin Sessions include: Marxism, Islam and the Enlightenment; Hizbollah, Hamas and Anti imperialism; The Left and Islam. Details 087-9889244
SWP Publication New Left Journal Winter 2006 is out now which includes articles on Hizbollah: The real story; Israel: What sort of state; Socialists and national liberation.
Some of this material may by now be on our website; www.swp.ie

author by Bill - Leftpublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 23:32Report this post to the editors

We are entering into a new stage of struggle. Although not yet in crisis, international capitalism is being forced into a corner by its own contradictions. Capitalism is being forced to make extraordinary attacks and cutbacks on the working class.

Neo-liberal attacks have become a reality in Germany, Britain, America and increasingly so in Ireland have led to a growing politicisation and 'militantisation' of the working class. The movements that emerged around issues such as Irish Ferries shocked even the hardest left. Be assured that this will continue to grow.

As history has taught us countless times, a strong left leadership is required to educate, agitate and organise this upheavel. For the past decade the Irish left has squabbled amongst itself. This is somewhat understandable in such a period of economic growth and low level of consciousness. However, this is no longer the case. Now is the time to enter into discussion and try to resolve or compromise some disagreements, not spit sectarianism at one another.

A mass workers' party is needed to bring forward the workers' movement. Although the time may not be right for such a party as yet, that time is fast approching and the left must be ready!

That said, some left groups must not mis-analyse the level and character of present consciousness. By supporting Hezbollah and inviting their political director to speak, it is my opinion, that GAAW has alienated layers of the working class.

Now is the time to build support and raise consciousness in the working class - our time will come.

i dluthphairtiocht,

Bill

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 00:04author email info at socialistparty dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Hey,
Unfortunately this thread is getting to the point where I will not be able to afford the time to follow it anymore. I think the main points have beenr registered anyway and this will now just be for the Indy-people.

One point Kevin W, Militant (precursor to the Socialist Party) back then said (in relation to the hunger strikers):

Militant Irish Monthly, May 1979

· For an end to torture and brutalisation, whether in Castlereagh, H-Block, Walton Jail or any other jail in Britain or in Ireland, and for the closure of all RUC interrogation centres.

· For the repeal of the Emergency Provisions Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Repayment of Debt Act and for the disbandment of the non-jury Diplock Courts.

· For the right of all prisoners to wear their own clothes, receive visits and food parcels freely and to have free access to full recreational and educational facilities.

· For the right of all prisoners to elect representatives to negotiate on their behalf.

· For the review by the Labour Movement of all sentences of those convicted of offences arising out of the present troubles.

Check out www.geocities.com/socialistparty/Assorted/BSandsReview.htm for more

So don't make out we were on thatchers side, or that im stupid, I am actually aware of past positions my organisation has taken. I wonder is that true of the SWP? Do new members know abt the whole uncritical support for the Provos? IRA - revolutionary army? No running in elections? Pay the poll tax? NO! Not from the ones I've talke to. They generally don't even know about the policy Linksruck (German SWP) are taking in Berlin, arguning for an unconditional 'broad' coalition with PDS, despite the fact they are privatising things in Berlin as well as forcing workers to work for 1euro an hour. I dont mean to stray off topic, but KW's comment was quite derogatory!

Cya,
Cian

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/30mideast.html
author by Nataspublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 00:46Report this post to the editors

sfm

Cole was right to refer to the occupied six counties. They are occupied by Britian just as the 26 were until the tan war succeeded in driving them out from that portion of Ireland.

It wouldnt say much for an anti imperialist movement that refuses to recognise the imperialism in its own country. Imperialsm should be fought wherever it si, whther in Iraq, Palestine or here in Ireland.

author by socialist - -publication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 01:09Report this post to the editors

Pay the Poll Tax? The SWP said this? Pull the other one Cian. No wonder you are sneaking off the thread when faced with real answers to your questions and getting a few last digs in while your at it. The SWP have many many faults, as do many lefty organisations.
But this lie is an old favorite. Its that is that they told their members to 'pay the poll tax'. In fact they said "Don't collect, Don't pay". They initially placed more emphasis on Trade Union action, than community action. Showing they had a naive and unrealistic view of trade union militancy for the time. They messed up and underestimated community resistance.
You see Cian you miss out on these finer points when you get blinded by the sectarian mud slinging, and you get caught by legend passed down as myths to a new generation. I would have thought that the sp with an elected socialist TD and a decent public profile would have better things to be doing with their time than this. But the sp did produce a long winded docuemnt about the politics of the swm'ers a few years ago- wouldnt it have been better to have produced a document on the politics of the irish media and the tony o reilly set, which might ahve some relivance to working people than another rant about a micro left party like the swp?

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 01:49Report this post to the editors

One of the things which makes discussing things with many long time members of the SWP such an undiluted joy is their ability to respond to arguments they would like their opponents to have made rather than the arguments they have actually made. So a few posts ago I outlined in a single sentence my view (which I understand to be widely held in the Socialist Party) that our approach towards these issues should be to:

"...make it clear what we are saying to those people who listen by... actually making our political arguments explicitly. No psychic powers are needed if you aren't hiding your actual views behind uncritical support for reactionary groupings. In the context of the Middle East that means making clear that the primary enemies are the imperial powers, that we think that the peoples of the region have the right to defend themselves but also that we disagree with the politics and methods of groups like Hezbollah and want to see a better movement of resistance emerge in every part of the world.

And what does Kevin from the SWP get from this? Well if you take him at face value and assume that he is not deliberately misrepresenting us, he thinks that we were:

saying that the task of socialists was to come to these meetings and attack Hizbollah, as though the repulsion of IDF invasion was of little or no account and the wall-to-wall media denunciation of Hizbollah didn’t exist and instead we faced widespread idealisation of Hizbollah.

Now this is actually quite a revealing exchange, and I don't mean that it just reveals a less than honest method of argument. It shows very clearly the binary outlook on life favoured by the SWP. For Kevin it appears that there are two choices. We can uncritically laud and promote organisations like Hezbollah as the "voice of the resistance". Or we can treat the repulsion of the IDF as of little or no account. No shades of grey. More to the point no ability to appreciate that simply fighting against the USA or Israel does not make an organisation progressive. If an organisation, no matter how reactionary, homophobic or sexist, fights back against Israel we are apparently to suspend our critical faculties and not just refrain from criticising that organisation but actively promote it.

Kevin continues by arguing that:
Mark P points out that among the Irish population there would be some hostility to what has be presented as “extremists”, “terrorists”, “Islamofascists”, “anti-Semites”, etc, etc.
Surely it is right therefore that an anti war movement that takes its task seriously would be interested in letting a spokesperson for Hizbollah speak in their own words to those interested in attending to counter this media misinformation so that they too could go out more confidently to stand out against the media lies.... ...In this context the meetings provide their own justification and those who opposed the meetings or simply viewed them as an opportunity to “expose” and “denounce” Hizbollah have put themselves very definitely on the wrong side of the struggle.


To start with this again misrepresents my point. Yes, there will be many people hostile to Hezbollah and similar reactionary organisations because of the way those organisations have been portrayed by a hostile and sometimes simply racist media. But most people will, in my view, be extremely critical of (or actively hostile to) much of what Hezbollah actually does stand for. Most of us don't need to be fed lies to be against the idea of enforced religious law, sexism, homophobia or anti-semitism.

What's more Kevin's line of argument neatly conflates right wing attacks on organisations like Hezbollah with criticisms from the left. Opposing the cross-class nature of an organisation like Hezbollah isn't right wing bile, it's elementary socialist principle. As too are such ideas as secularism, anti-sexism, gay liberation and so on. But again for the SWP such distinctions disappear. If anyone raises any criticism of Hezbollah or other organisations they view as being "the resistance", then we are objectively or at least in whatever ways that matter taking hte side of imperialists. This is, let me be clear, an argument for idiocy, for the total suspension of our own analyses and our ability to think. And in reducing socialists and other leftists to empty headed cheerleaders for whatever "anti-imperialist" movement is in vogue it removes our ability to argue people around to our own positive political proposals.

Back with Kevin:
It is fair to say that socialists comprise an important component of the IAWM but to limit it to avowed socialists (by incorporating specifically socialist aims as one of its planks as Mark P expresses the SP’s attitude) would limit its potential to mobilise the thousands of opponents of the War and the participation of those who would not define themselves as socialists.

Again this misrepresents, or perhaps misunderstands my view. What type of broad organisation to form against a war is a question which doesn't have a universal answer, applicable to all times and places. It is a tactical issue rather than one of principle. What is a principle, or at least a very basic part of a socialist analysis, is the idea that ultimately it is the power of the organised working class which can put an end to any war and in fact to imperialism itself. For socialists therefore the aim of a broad anti-war movement is to move us towards a situation where the working class can do just that.

That doesn't necessarily mean setting up an anti-war movement which only socialists can join. In the circumstances of the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq that would probably have meant a very small and ineffectual anti-war movement. It is an unfortunate fact that socialist views on the role and power of the working class are currently held only by a small minority. In such circumstances it will often be that an organisation with a much lower level of political agreement is a necessary first step. But, and this is where I disagree vehemently with the SWP, socialists should seek to convince others within that movement of the need for a socialist analysis and an orientation towards the working class. If we are ever going to get to the stage where we can actually stop wars like the one in Iraq rather than simply endlessly protesting against them socialists have to win other people around to the tactics and ideas we think are necessary. But in the case of the IAWM (and even more blatantly the Stop the War Coalition in Britain) the SWP place themselves under a gagging order. They provide platforms to religious leaders, liberals, pacifists, reformists, even the odd howling reactionary. All of these people argue openly and unashamedly for their differing analyses, tactics and ideas. The only people who are expected to remain quiet, to limit themselves to arguments which won't upset the Vicar are the supposed socialists.

Even this discussion is getting away from my point though. Does Kevin not think that arguing that raising socialist ideas would exclude people from the anti-war movement while simultaneously arguing that it is a good thing for the anti-war movement to dish out uncritical adulation of the likes of Hezbollah shows a remarkable lack of confidence in the ability of socialists to persuade people in an anti-war movement of our ideas? Do you really think that people would be more "turned off" by a socialist strategy or a working class orientation than they are by cuddling up to Hezbollah? Why even bother having an SWP?

Kevin again:
It seems the SP have no time for alliances with people with whom they disagree.... ...I’ll put it crudely. You can either unite with Galloway respecting the differences or merely see him as object to attack, expose, denounce, score a few points off and prove your revolutionary virility. Which strategy is more likely to assist popularise the anti war message? For me the answer is, in the jargon, a no-brainer.


There is a certain temptation to be unkind about this and remark that perhaps, yes this is for you a no-brainer. For the rest of us there are more options available than a bare choice between uncritical devotion and "merely" seeing someone "as an object to attack, expose, denounce" etc. For those of us who can embrace concepts a little more nuanced than good/bad or ally/enemy there is always the option of uniting with other forces and individuals around the things we have in common, while maintaining our criticisms of them and arguing for our positive alternative. I apologise for the jargon to anyone reading who comes from outside the Trotskyist tradtion, but this is what is known as a united front. I would guess that Kevin is familiar with the idea.

The fact that you agree with someone around a certain issue or set of proposals does not mean that you have to pretend that they are perfect and that you must ignore all the issues where you disagree. If you do just shut up and go along with mistaken or even reactionary views, so as to avoid rocking the boat you can't convince anyone of your own ideas. If there is nothing wrong with what Galloway says and argues, again why would there be a need for an SWP?

As for the Socialist Party not wanting to take part in broad alliances, I can only presume that this isn't meant as anything more than empty rhetoric. You are well aware that the Socialist Party is involved and has been involved in a wide range of alliances and broad organisations around particular issues or objectives, from Shell to Sea to activist groups in the trade unions. What we don't do is quietly shelve our own views.

This cannot be done, in my view, in any other way than by standing in solidarity with the resistance to imperialism, with a critical independence.

I'm left wondering precisely where this "critical independence" was on show during the recent Hezbollah promotional tour?

author by PaddyK - Irish Grey Squirrels Fundpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 02:25Report this post to the editors

Hizbollah defended the people of Lebanon at a time when it seemed imminent that a first world army was about to complete a mass extermination and a complete civil annihalation against their society.
The people of Lebanon have signalled their unquestionable appreciation and admiration for this brave military stand that thwarted a horriffic campaign against them.

Hizbollah are the sole, victorious defenders of Lebanon.

The Middle East Arab Community has expressed it's relief that, finally, a victory has been registered for it's beleagured people. These people share some things in common. They are generally Muslims. They are generally downtrodden and poverty stricken. They are generally being killed every day. Generally, they have nothing in common with the Pseudo-Socialist Petting Zoo of semi-extinct Red European Squirrels.

Until the UN comes up with a formulation that better protects the people of Palestine and Lebanon from White European bombs and Embargos the Hezzies and Hamas are the rightful heroes of the revolution.

Long live the revolution.

author by E SWP - SWPpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 02:50Report this post to the editors

Have lost a lot of interest in debating with the few SPers on this tread, but I would ask them to question whatever facts and or slurs their throwing around about Hezbollah.
For eg " They are a sectarian Shia party"
"they deepen sectarian divisions"
"They target civilians"
They certainly are a party of the Southern Shia, the most oppressed and poorest section of Lebannese society, but their history is of deliberately trying to counter the sectarianism in that country. This statement is therefore not a mis understanding, but a outrIght lie.
"They aimed attacks on civilians" Another lie, the fact that it get s repeated by the left does not make it any less of a lie. I suggest you check out the British Journalist JK Cooks website.
What deepens sectarians divisions in Lebannon is the policies of the West and of Israli interventions over the years, not Hezbollah.
There are many problems with Hezbollah, you dont have to make them up or regurgitate the rest of the medias propaganda. The last shreads of respect I had for your org have gone with this debate.

author by Lemacpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 09:47Report this post to the editors

E-SWP wake up. Hezbollah bombed civilian targets in northern Israel killing Arab and Jew. Hezbollah is sectarian and it is a racist organisation to deny this is to blind oneself to reality. Hezbollah is an ally of the reactionary and repressive regimes of Syria and Iran. And you are defending them......

author by no idearpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:39Report this post to the editors

Hizbollah defended the people of Lebanon at a time when it seemed imminent that a first world army was about to complete a mass extermination and a complete civil annihalation against their society.
The people of Lebanon have signalled their unquestionable appreciation and admiration for this brave military stand that thwarted a horriffic campaign against them.

What, you obviously have not spoken to many lebanese! For the 30 days of glory they had they inflicted 10 years of pain and division in their country and in fact split the country in 2---they **occupied** the south of Lebanon, like arafat before them, they behave like local warlords and refused for 10years to allow the real lebanese government control in the south. They ruled the south at the point of a gun, that gun was and is pointing at their own people, they are deeply sectarian and make paisley look good!

author by Topperpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:30Report this post to the editors

The phrase that keeps cropping up when discussing the attitude the Left should take to movements like Hezbullah is “critical support”. This is all well and good, but it doesn’t take us very far. “Critical support” is the only kind of support we should offer to any movement, including avowedly socialist organisations. The only alternative is “uncritical support”, which is hardly a defensible position.

The key question is, how much support, and how much criticism? People have referred to the example of the ANC. That, surely, was a movement that deserved more support than criticism. Most people on the radical left would have disagreed with its politics (it was led by social democrats like Mandela, Tambo and Sisulu and influenced by orthodox pro-Soviet Communism). But it was a secular, democratic movement of the Left fighting against a vicious regime. Its armed wing may have killed civilians from time to time but the vast majority of its attacks were directed against the apartheid security forces.

The Easter Rising has also been mentioned. Again, there were ample grounds for socialists (especially in Britain) to support those who led the rising. They may not have been socialists (except for a minority element) but they were radical republicans who put forward a democratic programme for an independent Ireland. There was nothing in the Easter Proclamation or the Democratic Programme of the first Dail that a socialist would object to – the main criticism the Left would (and should) have put forward regarding those two documents was that they were incomplete, not that what they were advocating was wrong.

But when it comes to an organisation like Hezbullah, surely a lot more criticism is in order. There’s no denying the fact that Hezbullah organised a very effective campaign of military resistance to the Israeli attack on Lebanon, and that’s the main reason why Israel was defeated. But there’s also no denying the fact that Hezbullah’s leader has come out with the most appalling (sometimes genocidal) statements of hatred towards the Jews.

When somebody has said that the good thing about Israel is that all the Jews are in the same place so they can all be killed, that surely deserves a whole different level of criticism from what might have been directed at the ANC or Sinn Fein or the Indian National Congress by socialists. There really must be a middle ground, between the likes of Christopher Hitchens frothing at the mouth and denouncing “Islamofascists” who must be stopped at all costs, and secular socialists marching around the streets of London chanting “we are all Hezbullah!”

Strangely enough, the SWP has often been quicker to criticise secular, progressive leaders and organisations than religious fundamentalist ones. Earlier this year they held meetings addressed by Roland Denis, a former minister in the Venezuelan government who criticises Hugo Chavez from the left (by all accounts, they were useful and enlightening). They’ve also been sharply critical of the Zapatistas (sometimes with justice, sometimes not). So why can’t they apply the same logic to Hezbullah, Hamas or the various resistance groups in Iraq? A bit of nuance never hurt anybody.

author by roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:12author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone 01-2351512Report this post to the editors

SFM made reference to my reference that the six counties is
occupied by the British State.
It is a straight factual reality. The six counties in the north eastern
part of of Ireland are occupied by the British state.
I oppose that occupation as I do the occupation of Palestine, Syria, and other states that are occupied. opposition to Imperialism cannot be restricted to every other country other than one's own.
PANA in the last 10 years has consistently advocated that Ireland
should have it's own Independent Foreign policy pursued through a reformed United Nations and that Ireland should support a policy of positive neutrality, so I do not understand why
SFM should be surprised.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by wtfpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:20Report this post to the editors

WTF
who do you think is occupying Syria?

author by roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 13:09author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone 01-2351512Report this post to the editors

In response to WTF I would like to make the following point.
The Golan Heights are part of Syria. The region is occupied by Israel.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Anarchopublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 13:22Report this post to the editors

Good to hear the Raytheon 9 is going to get the solidairty from the IAWM that was previously denied the direct actionists at Shannon.

As enjoyable it is to see Trot groups mud wrestling...there is still the tendency to treat wars/struggles in the Third World as some kind of footbal match where they feel obligated to support one side to make it more interesting. Meanwhile, treating nonviolent direct actions against Ireland's involvement (through the miltarisation of Shannon) in these wars as political competitors for the minimal market of the left and marginalise them.

See the following link for an audio interview where one of the plowshares relfects on marginalisation by the moderate and authoritarian left in Ireland as they went through jail tie in Limerick and 3 trials at the Four Courts.....

http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/2006.1.cor2.mp3

Rumour has it that a documentary on the rise and fall of the anti-war movement in Ireland (2002=06) will be released in the new year. Maybe this will provide a catylyst for serious reflection on the fuck ups of the last four years and where do we go from here.

Related Link: http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/2006.1.cor2.mp3
author by Mark Cpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 13:36Report this post to the editors

apparantly Mr Galloway left in a huff for some reason.

http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?p=478243&sid=f4019...78243

author by CiCipublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 13:39Report this post to the editors

Is occupied by Blair and S.I is occupied by Bush. They are war-mongers.

Roger Cole =reductionism.

The connivances in The St Andrews Globalised agreement is S.I/N.I
SF/UUP/DUP/US/UK.

Its about the cash.

We all live on these islands- have family in Britain. but again- the same old interpretations.
You are not anti-war you are partisan, supporting one globalised terror movement against
another-instead of finding solutions- hopefully the next generation will open their eyes
to the money aspects of globalised ownership. Palestine is debased and destroyed
because democracy movements were quelled by the people who tried to fit everything into
outdated resistance structures. its happening in Mexico , its happening in Rossport.
You niche your arguments into manageable slabs of anti-imperialist rhetoric and
deny what is happening to your own culture in Rossport/Tara. St Andrews promotes econmic
federal EU cooperation. Imperialism has a new face and it is not limited to nationalistic
identities. wake up....

In Mexico calderon is killing his own people and helping bush build an apartheid wall.
$
In Ireland Bertie is criminalisng community to facilitate Globalisation
$
But no- we talk of occupation of the British Army- my family is half-brit, I live in the south.
My son is british- we are related to these people and we need to fight the uS/Uk
terror axis against the leaders who work against our two peoples. as do the ordinary
palestinians and israelis. Failure to recognise history can be added to the
pathetic reductionism evident in these photos and conversations.

Blair can take the army out whenever he wants it suits Bertie/Blair to have it there.
no-one wants a return to struggle in NI/SI except the sabre-rattlers.

author by Justin Morahan - Peacw People (pers cap)publication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 14:09Report this post to the editors

I was unable to attend the IAWM event and will also be unable to get to Limerick on Saturday. That's unfortunate for me and I can't complain but I would love to have been given a synopsis of the speeches and comments rather than a colour story leading to a very interesting debate. What did George Galloway and Ibrahim Mussawi say. I'd like also to know what were the contributions of Ed Horgan and Patricia McKenna from the floor.

It would have been a nice challenge for some of our journalists in attendance to sum up the meeting with a straightforward report that would give a true representation of the events. It would also have been greatly appreciated by those of us who were not there.

The debate is needed but I would love to have it happen in another forum.

author by Until Jerusalempublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 14:11Report this post to the editors

Roger Cole: "I oppose that occupation as I do the occupation of Palestine, Syria, and other states that are occupied. "

It's a tangent, but I'm curious:

1. Do you regard it as an occupation even though a majority of N.I. currently regard themselves as British?
2. ...and a vast majority of those in the Republic voted to remove a constitutional imperative to unite?
3. Do you regard Sinn Fein as quislings?
4. Do you think that violence is justified - say against the PSNI - in pursuit of unification?
5. If "Yes" to 4, how does this tie in with the first word in the title of your organisation?

author by Meyer Lanskypublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 15:02Report this post to the editors

A very interesting debate, well the parts of it where the SP and SWP clashed anyway. it must have caused some ructions inside the SWP for the simple reason that Kevin Wingfield would not have posted on Indymedia unless there was something up. The last time was when Des Derwin was standing in SIPTU I think. Anyway, someone asked why the SWP seems to be much harder on common or garden 'bourgeois' nationalists than on the Islamic type. I think there is a point there as I remember in my distant and mispent youth learning by rote the crimes of the ANC, PLO, Sandinistas etc and never being encouraged to show the type of armchair exuberance being displayed over the performance of the lads in the Leb. In fact I remember KW and other leading SWM (as it was) members used to sneer at the 'coffee pickers' who were engaged in solidarity work with Nicaraugua for instance. Obviously risking being shot by the Contras is not anywhere as important as being shot by the Isrealis. As another poster noted, the fact that Chris Harman stood up at a meeting to commemorate Ho Chi Minh at the LSE in 1968 and listed off his record of crushing the Vietnamese Trots was one of the crowning moments of glory in the internal world of the SW tendencey. Everyone else was soft on nationalism see....
But to get ot the point, sort of. In 1988 there was huge row between the SWM and the mighty, mighty Brit SWP over the Iran-Iraq war. The Brits had taken a postion that their should be full support for Iran against the US backed Saddam. They were supported in this by their mini-mes the ISO in the US (oh, the irony) but strongly opposed by K. Allen and the SWM, who, being old fashioned thought that the US should get beat but that to support the reactionary mullahs was a bit OTT. At the international gathering, which usually took place in London, after the Marxism event, KA was verbally slaughtered by a selection of leading lights, including such intellectual giants as Julie Waterson, Lindsey German, Chris Bambery (the poor man's Galloway) Chris Harman (the poor man's Cliff) and the numero uno, Tony Cliff himself. The Irish delegates were damned for being all sorts of softies because they couln't bring themselves to pretend to love the Iranian regime. Obviously there have been changes and KA has been whipped into line, and in turn has whipped his flock into shape too. But as far as I can ever remember the prevailing view within the SWM was always complete cynicism about nationalism. But then they were cynical about everything which is way they have come to this pass, with excuse being made for an utter chancer like Galloway and bigots like Hibbsollah.

author by international socialistpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 16:51Report this post to the editors

Cian is indeed a clever person, knowing the past positions and all that, bravo
"For the right of all prisoners to wear their own clothes, receive visits and food parcels freely and to have free access to full recreational and educational facilities."

You see comrade this is the point. The above posisition was a COP OUT. The question was wether or not you supported bobby sands and the rest. Your solution, wel all prisoners whether poltical or not should have the right to wear their own clothes. Of course this is a formally correct position.
But it ducked the question. The arguement was do you support the republican prisoners on hunger strike.
You did this because the militant couldnt bring themselves to be seen to be siding with republicans. Of course you wrent on the side of the british gov. In fact you werent on any side.

Which me to the lebanon conflict. You raise the slogan of "socialist confederation of lebabnon, palestine Racist Isael etc".Again this abstract formulation ducks the question. It is maximalist rubbish
Do you side by the National liberation movement, yes hezbollah are a national liberation movement comrade, or do you sit on the fence.
Marxists start with the entire global system and the needs of the international working class. The defeat of israel was a huge blow to imperialism and a victory for workers everywere.

author by Homerpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 17:04Report this post to the editors

"The defeat of israel was a huge blow to imperialism and a victory for workers everywere."

It's not that black and white. The defeat of Israel is certainly a defeat for the imperialist crusade Bush and his acolytes. But Hezbollah winning is not necessarily a victory for workers everywhere. Hezbollah are in the Lebanese cabinet administering the neo-liberal agenda. Similarly France not voting for the UN resoluton supporting the USUK resolution on the invasion of Iraq was not a victory to workers everywhere.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 17:20Report this post to the editors

Decided to simply follow the debate since last night - to see where it takes us. I join the last message in so far as I also enjoyed the SP v SWP tangle....the fact that a number of SP comrades decided to take part, and sign their names to their comments, I consider very very positive. I had this discussion with them in the past....the IAWM is weaker and poorer - politically that is - in their absence. The IAWM is having its 2006 AGM on Dec 2nd. I propose they come, they become members, they put their resolutions, SP members get elected in the Steering Committee. Their views are part of the general anti-war sentiment in this country. Somebody asked about affiliations...Eirigi has just affiliated......

I must also admit that getting Kevin to take part in the debate was a hassle....most SWP comrades, including the few in the IAWM, feel that Indymedia is a space used by all comers to whip them....to attack them....to slander them....look at some of the bull they have been subjected to in another thread re:their attempt to discuss Islamophobia. A number of non-SWP members of the IAWM have also indicated that they find quite a number of anti-IAWM comments hard to stomach. Particularly the newer, and some non-Irish brothers and sisters, who cannot fathom what passes on as 'debate'.....but then that's the objective of the bullies and the trolls - is it not? To push people away, to frighten people, to discourage people!

My good friend Justin - re:above. We taped and video recorded all the contributions....they would be available soon is some format or other I hope. Ed's comments were basically around the use of Shannon and the forthcoming UL conference next Saturday. He was delighted at the numbers in the Dublin meeting and don't know if he went to Galway as well. He's tireless and pluralist in his anti-war work and he is an asset we should be so careful to protect - he gets shit all the time from the usual suspects. Patricia's presence, with kids and all, along that of David Norris, also brought smiles. Patricia also spoke of the need to unite around the use of Shannon as warport and said she was delighted that a number of organisations, the AWI and the IAWM in particulalr, seemed to have upped the ante....her reply when asked how she felt that a Green Party Councillor in the Clare region had come in favour of the use of Shannon as a warport and against last Saturday week's demo,,,,,that sharp reply was lost in the din of the large crowd.

Finally, it's great to see our good comrade Roger from PANA joining the debate....he has to be careful since he represents an organisation with a great number of affiliates but PANA's closeness with the IAWM, adding to the closeness between the IAWM and the IPSC are signs of alliances and working together that will move us forward in the next few months.

The invitation to the SP comrades and the AWI comrades to talk to us, to debate with us, to work together stands and is now on public record. Not necessarily in Indymedia, whose advice re:my posts I accept and I am grateful for, but in any other forum possible. I'm sure Kevin, or even Richard, would not have a problem with that...right?

author by international socialistpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 17:36Report this post to the editors

" But Hezbollah winning is not necessarily a victory for workers everywhere. Hezbollah are in the Lebanese cabinet administering the neo-liberal agenda"
First off all i would say that there are important differences between hezbollah and other national liberation movements(though not all) . It is very important to understand this.Take the plo for instance, Hezbollah has come much more from below than the PLO which was largely a middle class creation. Hezbollah has strong grassroots links and probably wouldnt be as strong as it is without its social programmes.
However Hezbollah has weaknesses, which you alluded to. It did implement neo liberal policies, sometimes exagerated, but neo liberal none the less.
Its social programess, one of its strongest aspects, has a huge weakness. It is built within capitalism whick makes in some ways makes it difficult to ultimately oppose capitalism. In the same way the huge social base and networks built up by the SPD in early 20th century Germany did.
However as much as i think its important for socialists, or whoever, to understand this, it must be said that the JOB OF THE ACTIVIST IN LEBANON, OR IRAQ ETC IS NOT THE EXACT SAME JOB OF AN ACITVIST HERE,
During the lebabon conflict it wasnt enough to simply say END ALL BOMBINGS OF LEBANON ANd ISRAEL ala CWI (instead of SOLIDARITY WITH THE RESISTANCE, Troops out of lebabnon). This is a cop out.
Its times like these that you stand up and be counted. Which side are you on. Will you take a side or sit on the fence.
The job of the activist here was to build opposition to israel and to get the troops out.
Those who took the neither hezbollah or israel stance, whatever their intentions(either pacifist or abstact cwi rubbish) left the door open to foriegn intervention at the end of the war

author by socialistpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 17:49Report this post to the editors

MichaelY, you really don't get it, do you?

Nobody in the Socialist Party or Anti-War Ireland sees the IAWM as the centre of anything. It's a spent force as far as most of the left is concerned. The fact that you brought Galloway to Ireland, and consequently had a large Dublin meeting, is of no importance beyond your exaggerated euphoria. Your inflated sense of yourselves is not contagious. Most activists know the real numbers involved in the IAWM and your political composition.

Finally, I must admit that I find your attempt to portray yourself as some sort of ringmaster to be a pain in the neck. The SWP are worth debating with because they are an organisation with some numbers. You, on the other hand, are known to the left essentially as a regular contributor to indymedia.

author by markpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 17:58Report this post to the editors

i suppose the CWI dont support hezbullah because the dont want to alienate the working class in israel and the zionists at home.
During the 70s, when the national front was rising , with a considerable base in working class areas,
socialists didnt simply raise the slogan of "Black and White Unite" they added "fight"
It is very easy when hard questions like those which came up , to look around for a lovely little fromally correct third way.
You have to take up these serious arguments. It is through taking up these questions that you begin to win people.
If you dont take up these serious questions and just abstract yourself to talk of socialist confederations, then you become nothing, you are meaningless
Or maybe you already were

author by ipublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 18:06Report this post to the editors

Now now, seems this debate is getting a little bit strange. Get a meeting with hundreds and you are a spent force? In the world of some of some the IAWM is a spent force, to be honest most of the IAWM activites nationally (that i know of), and a lot other politcal events, dont even get posted on indymedia. AGenerally whats the point.
So in the world of the 24/7 indymedia contributer, things become a liitle distorted

author by old handpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 18:19Report this post to the editors

The Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) could have hosted Galloway and got hundreds. That's celebrity status for you. You really are getting carried away with yourselves!!

author by Dan - IAWM- strictly personal capacitypublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 18:35Report this post to the editors

Must agree with above that the notion of IAWM as spent force is absolutely hilarious. Then I doubt if the people who throw that out believe it themselves.

A spent force that's just had over a thousand at its meetings and hundreds of people join it in one week. An interesting notion.

Just for ther record, last week has been no aberation or fluke, we've organised an enormous amount of other events in the past year and our membership and activist based has increased rapidly.

By comparision to any other far left organisation I know of the IAWM is absolutely thriving.

Public meetings- about 50 or so in total, including with iraq war veterans, Iranian exiles, debates with the US ambassador etc etc

Gigs with very good attendances in Cork, Dublin and elsewhere

And I seem to remember it was the IAWM who did a lot of the organising for the sizeable demos and public meetings against the invasion of lebanon.

Not to put down the good work done by others, as I think the anti-movement is increasing in strength generally.

Related Link: http://www.irishantiwar.org
author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 18:37Report this post to the editors

Socialist - and whatever is hidden underneath - is there anything there anyway?

I'm afraid, judging from your occasional barb, it's you who doesn't get nada!! Nothing at all!

The iawm, and all of us in it SWP, SF, IPSC, LP and non-aligned alike, our objective is not to impress the 'Left'..... whether that Left thinks we, or FF, or the PDs, or SF, or any political outfit is a 'spent force' is of no relevance! Check the debate in this thread and draw your own conclusions.
If you want to debate with the SWP, judging from the perceptivity of your comments, you'll be arguing against yourself - you know the mirror and all that. But go ahead - who's stopping you?
The IAWM's task is to work among ordinary working people in this island and build a movement that would stop the use of Shannon as a warport.....at the same time, to build alliances across the world with similar movements and those who fight the Empire.
In the Dublin meeting alone, 235 such people joined us....does it matter to you? Spent indeed!
What some of the Left thinks about our objectives has been made quite clear in this thread - if you can read that is. The good and the not-so-clever.....
As for comments like 'ringmaster' and the like....better be that than the stuff left behind in the ring when the wild animals are gone back to their cages. What do you call that stuff anyway?

author by blah blahpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 18:45Report this post to the editors

1. Sinn Fein and the Labour Party are affiliated to PANA. MichaelY claiming them as active elements of the IAWM is an absolute joke!

2. Those 'members' you signed up at the Galloway meeting were people who had a choice of paying 10 euros and getting to see Galloway or paying 10 euros and signing your form. The IAWM does this nonsense regularly and, yet, its active Dublin membership is scarcely a dozen, exluding the SWP. In fact, a dozen is probably generous. Do you think people are fools? I'm sure you have long lists with millions of names of people signed up over the past few years. A massive organisation, huge! Gis a break. Your real membership is tiny.

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 21:22author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co. Dublinauthor phone 01-2351512Report this post to the editors

In response to Until Jerusalem;
1. yes
2.yes
3.no
4.no
The Peace & Neutrality Alliance was established 10 years ago to advocate that Ireland should have its own foreign policy pursued through a reformed United Nations and that a policy of positive neutrality should be a core element of that policy. It is open to all groups and individuals that accept our objectives, and a large number of groups have done so. We have never made any great effort to build up an individual based membership, however and it is essentially an alliance of groups that agree with our objectives. These objectives are pursued through exclusively peaceful and democratic means.
Our web site; www.pana.ie provides information on our campaigns against the Amsterdam and Nice Treaties and our opposition to Ireland's active participation in the invasion, conquest and occupation of Iraq by the US in order to gain control of its oil. For example, we were the first organisation to hold a demonstration at Shannon Airport in May 2002.
The Irish political/media elite totally rejects the right of the Irish people to have their own Independent Foreign Policy and in that same 10 year period has integrated this state into the US/EU military structures. Virtually the entire media backs the Bush/Blair/Ahern war to the hilt. One of the consequences therefore is that indymedia is virtually the only media outlet available to those of us that advocate Irish Indepedence, Irish Democracy and Irish Neutrality.
Our central objective between now and next May is to seek to make the war in Iraq and the Taoiseach, Mr. Ahern's support for that war by allowing the US military to use Shannon Airport. The recent Lancet report showed that thanks to Mr. Ahern and his media supporters over 600,000 men women and children have died in Iraq. Mr. Ahern should be removed from power, not becaue he took some money from his friends, but because his hands are dripping with the blood of Iraqi children.
Whatever the differences that exist in the broad anti war movement, we now need to focus on making the use of Shannon in that war an issue in the election. PANA has designed a poster to that effect on it's web site and those that oppose this Imperialist war can download it.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by iosafpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 22:50Report this post to the editors

People might have left the meeting with a better idea of what Hezbolah are and what they want & how they see themselves. & I suppose if Ibrahim Mussawi is a very good speaker he'll be invited back to Ireland again.
But I suppose that's off the point? - the point being "should IAWM have invited him?" Well.., I suppose that's simple to answer by pondering a question :-
* Did Ibrahim Mussawi attract more than the usual crowd or publicity to IAWM & thus raise the profile of anti-war activity in Ireland whilst informing public opinion?

author by FillEmUpPhilpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 23:11Report this post to the editors

Not news & trolling edited out: Play the ball, not the players

I just want to mention one of the interesting, admittedly abstracted, points raised regarding the invitation of a member of Hezbullah, is around the larger idea of justified war. While the strict pacifists among us would argue against all forms of violent resistance, and while those of you who “love the smell of napalm in the morning”, or the realpolitik hawks out there represent the further end of the spectrum, there is such a massive grey area in between. Now that would be an interesting discussion to see taking place here, one I would enjoy getting involved in.
For those interested, here is a useful, if somewhat limited, web resource to start with:
http://www.justwartheory.com/

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 23:13Report this post to the editors

Should the anti-war movement, and in particular Socialists give political support to Hezbollah? Or more precisely:

Are Hezbollah capable of defeating, once and for all, imperialism?

Cya,
Cian

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/30mideast.html
author by unbelieveable - nonepublication date Tue Nov 07, 2006 23:55Report this post to the editors

Holy Crap People.Do any of yee actually ever stop and think for a moment.Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation.Full Stop.No matter what their aims are these people who in the course of the recent war launched rockets and missiles onto Israeli population.Is the life of an Israeli worth less to yee because of the policies of their government or international government .For an anti-war organisation(anti-war= anti all wars.Peace through dialouge not through armed resistance.Violence begets violence)to bring a represenitive to speak at a meeting is abhorent.

author by Barry - 32 County Sovereignty Movementpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 00:46Report this post to the editors

Hezbollah are successfully defending their national sovereignty in a manner the previous secular and nationalist groups and governemnts failed to do when confronted with imperialist aggression . Not only has their defence of their sovereignty been highly successful it appears that the support given by Lebanese to that struggle which transcended sectarian lines has boosted Lebanese national consciousness to a degree that imperilaism simply cannot undermine in any satisfactory manner . Hezbollah have given the oppressed and colonised in that region and elsewhere the most important ingredient for any revolutionary endeavour - hope . Hope leads to faith and with faith you can move mountains .
Hezbollahs main insistence is upon defence of national sovereignty , national dignity and national consciousness . These are essential pre-requisites for mans political and social progress particularly within the context of colonised and oppressed peoples in their struggle against colonialism . Without these conditions there is no hope for progressive and mature politics ever emerging in any colonised society - one need only look at this colonised country to see the effects of a lack of sovereignty , national dignity and national consciousness . Capitalism and neo liberal agendas, exploitation , sickening theft of national resources , foreign military and multinationals running rampant with no democratic accountability from the Irish people despite the secular democratic facade . As Connollly predicted we are still ruled in the south by foreign capital . As Pearse made clear the people themselves shall only be Lord and Master in their own nation when they themselves have sovereignty and ownership of its territory , its resources and wealth producing process and its political system under full and total national sovereignty .
National sovereignty , dignity and consciousness empowers the oppressed to make mature choices ,to determine their future in a mature manner , to look to the future and not persistently wallow in the past and live for the present. The Irish society whose political system denounces such notions of sovereignty and national consciousness as backward unfailingly makes living saints out of useless greasy middlemen and chancers, like Hume , Adams , Dev and Collins , Garrett and Haughey . It crawls and fawns over people like Clinton , British royals and others , people and leaders whove done absolutely sweet feck all for them . Accomplished nothing of any substance as an accomplishment for the Irish people but yet sainthood is bestowed upon them nontheless . Compare this immaturity from a colonised people to the maturity shown by the British electorate , secure in their sovereignty and national dignity despite facing immense hardship immediately after the second world war . War hero Winston Churchill was hailed by them as a national hero but simultaneously and unceremoniously dumped out on his arse by the British electorate once their nation was secure , a people who had decided the days of being ruled by the likes of him were over , thank you very much . Yet in the colonised society which we inhabit people were still campaigning for election on their contribution to the failed "war of independence" decades afterwards , followed by their sons and even grandsons trading on their names and inviting us to wallow in the past and fuck the future. Utterly immature behaviour and its the lack of sovereignty and the dignity that goes with it that is largely responsible . Capitalism and colonialism has always been aware of this and is always in an excellent position to take advantage of such mental confusion and immaturity which exists among colonised and occuped countries and peoples .
Although Islamic in origin Hezbollah stands squarely on the platform of dignity , sovereignty and national consciusness for all the Lebanese people . As such and given the spectacular nature of their repeated success in defeating colonialism and the repeated attempts to carve up their nation in the manner the colonial powers find most expedient their success is an essential pre-requisite for social progress and justice throughout Lebanon and the region . While its intellectually positive that commentators analyse and criticise their contribution to the revolutionary struggle against imperialism by the occupied and oppressed those who dismiss it and demonise them are ideologically blinkered . Ideologically fundamentalist and like all such fundamentalists extremely short sighted . Their lack of interest in the sovereignty of this nation , their utter failure to understand the necessity of defending ones own nations sovereignty hamers their abilty to make a mature and rational contribution to this debate . Because they are themselves suffering from the effects of colonialism and neo colonialism in their own nation . They are natives too just like the shiites of southern Lebanon , Iraq and Palestine . This condition of their own makes such short sighted dismissals of the struggle Hezbollah has successfully fought as unsurrising and it points to a deficiency in their own intellectual and political position . An unfortunate immaturity and inability to look to the future outside of the reality they have chosen under the colonial/ neo-colonialal world they inhabit , a reality opposed to the one which actually exists.
Hezbollahs victory ranks alongside that of Chavez and Morales as yet another defeat for the New World order and the neo liberalist nightmare worldwide and a triumph of the oppresseds dignity and national consciousness at a crucial period in ans history . While all may lack the ideological perfection required by sections of the fundamentalist left their victory in the struggle for justice and social progress for mankind throughout the world is none the less for that .
Congrats to all those who hosted this event . One of the most worthwhile in Ireland this year aongside the Raytheon protest and the Shannon jury verdict .
Well done .

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 01:11Report this post to the editors

Hezbollah attacked us, folks - something people seem to conveniently ignore. Also, my military sources tell me they got a very bad walloping, which is why they didn't release their casualty figures. That is just as well, as they are a bunch of anti-semitic fascists who are just puppets of Iran. The fact that they were invited to this shindig shows how morally bankrupt the left is these days.

author by Annoyed activistpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 02:29Report this post to the editors

Iosaf, you say: "the point being "should IAWM have invited him?" Well.., I suppose that's simple to answer by pondering a question :- * Did Ibrahim Mussawi attract more than the usual crowd or publicity to IAWM & thus raise the profile of anti-war activity in Ireland whilst informing public opinion? "

Fair enough, as long as you are happy to accept that, what's the technical term, ah yes, 'giving a platform' to an organization with a bad habit of anti-Semitic rhetoric is not in itself problematic.

Re some points made above about Hizbullah stirring up sectarianism, I don't think this is quite accurate. Hizbullah has a uni-communal support base - it has no significant electoral support except from among Shia Muslims, and membership is confined to Muslims of the Shia persuasion. This is hardly surprising given that its aspiration is to establish an Islamic state along specifically Shia lines and that it accepts the Iranian supreme leader as its source of emulation and ultimate political authority. But in its political practice it has been one of the least sectarian political forces in the country and it has been just as quick as other large parties to form multi-communal electoral coalitions - these are of course effectively a condition of electoral success in the Lebanese system. In recent times at least it has also been relatively non-sectarian in the political sense, cf its alliance with the Lebanese Communist Party as well as other forces. It has also been extremely explicit in adapting its poltical goals, as opposed to ideological aspirations, to the Lebanese situation, and insisting that it would not impose its vision of an Islamic Republic without broad consensus, even if it had a majority of the electorate in support of that.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:46Report this post to the editors

What about Iranian imperialism in Lebanon? If Hezbollah had had Lebanon's interests at heart, they wouldn't have attacked Israel. On the other hand, if they were pursuing the agenda of a foreign power, i.e. Iran, they wouldn't give a damn about making Lebanon a battlefield, would they?

author by omgpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:06Report this post to the editors

Hezbollahs main insistence is upon defence of national sovereignty

tis a real shame then barry that by running a state within a state for 10 years all they have actually done for ****national sovereignty*** is undermine it by consistently ignoring calls to drop the guns by their OWN government insisting that they the ***militia** representative of 1 faith and 1 party only split their country basically in two

now thats really in their national interest!!!!

author by Spinning Quicklypublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:22Report this post to the editors

"Although Islamic in origin Hezbollah stands squarely on the platform of dignity , sovereignty and national consciusness for all the Lebanese people ."

Does that include gay, lesbian and bisexual Lebanese?

author by markinpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 14:15Report this post to the editors

avi:

'Hezbollah attacked us, folks - something people seem to conveniently ignore.'

People might ''seem to ignore it' because it is simply untrue. Either you have swallowed uncriticallyy the lies expounded by the Zionist and establishment press, or you intentionally misrepresent the truth to fit your case. I suspect it is the latter.

In the runup to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the UN issued a series of reports outlining daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty by the Israeli military, especially but not exclusively the air force. The report issued just prior to the border incident which 'triggered' the war emphasized that Hizbullah had shown restraint by refusing to be drawn by these provcations.

The American journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the early stages of the war that planning for just such an incursion had been underway for at least two years out in advance , and that US and British officials were not only privy to these plans but, on the US side, were centrally involved in pushing them forward, as it fit perfectly with the regional vision embraced by the neo-cons. That is why we had the nauseating spectacle of Condoleza Rice's 'diplomatic missions' to the region, during which (in between giving piano recitals for the Israeli cabinet) she procalimed openly that the US aim was to stall any atttempts at ceasefire to alllow Israel to complete the job.

Things did not go her way in Lebanon, and all the bravado about Israel snatching victory, etc. is pathetic.

More pathetic in this discussion, though, has been the 'plague on both your houses' attitude demonstrated by friends of the Socialist Party, who apparently do not offer critical support to any national liberation movement which is not led by themselves. On an abstract level, of course, it is perfectly fine to talk about Israeli-Arab unity, but in practice what this means for the SP is that they do not have to face up to the problem of challenging Zionism, including especially overwhelming support for Israeli war aims (and the occupation of Palestine) by what they refer to as the 'Israeli working class.'

This explains their cowardice and complete lack of principle regarding the invasion of Lebanon: like pro-Israeli liberals the world over, they have presented the confrontation as one between equals, in which the Israeli state (armed and financed by the sole imperialist superpower, with the second or third most sophisticated/powerful military machine on the face of the earth, and deploying bunker-buster bombs, some of them apparently containing enriched uranium, and cluster bombs in civilian areas) finds itself up to its neck in a stand-off with a popularly-supported guerrilla movement with limited accecss to second -rate materiel. All of this in a country (Lebanon) which has been subjected to repeated incursons over many years, and to long spells of military occupation by Israel. A country in which the far right (traditionally based among Maronite Christians and NOT Shi'ite Muslims (the poorest section of the population) has often acted in collusion with Israeli militarism, not to mention US power.

What is the attitude of these 'socialists' in this situation? To condemn both sides 'equally'. To devote the overwhelming majority of their propaganda to denouncing 'reactionary Islamists.'

I would argue that this abstract 'neutrality' is in fact a cover for ducking the hard arguments about imperialism that have to be taken up with the so-called 'Israeli working class,' and in fact amounts to coddling the deeply ingrained anti-Arab racism and imperialist chauvinism permeating Israeli society, including Israeli workers But in that respect it is consistent with SP politics across the board. It is the Middle East equivalent of coming out on a tu-led demonstration in the wake of the loyalist murder of postman Daniel McColgan, in the midst of a well-publicized, vicious pipebombing campign, in which loyalists were given free reign to terrorize nationalists, under the neutral-sounding but completely unprincipled slogan "Stop ALL Sectarian attacks." As if there was an equivalence to the McColgan murder on the other side of the divide, as if McColgan were but the latest victim in a tit-for-tat. That this is part of the SP's accomodation to loyalism is openly admitted by thier members, one of whom wrote on Indymedia that the Party did not take up the issue of British troops out of the north because 'of the support the troops' presence has,' or in other words out of fear that it would 'only alienate the Protestant working class.'

Just as they advance the slogan of 'working-class unity' in a completely abstract way in the north to cover their unwillingness to stand up to loyalism, so too their call for Israeli-Arab unity is meaningless in the absence of a politics that recognizes the centrality of the Zionist project to imperialism.

This is not marxism, it is right-wing Labourism; and as their actions in Galway, their intervention on this thread make clear, it is right-wing Labourism combined with extreme sectarianism.

Hizbullah deserves the critical support of every genuine socialist. That does not mean for a minute that we bury our criticisms of them, their strategy. In the context of the past two weeks, when Israel has been carrying out unchecked slaughter in the occupied territories, you do not begin th work on unity by lecturing to those Palestinains driven to resistance but by making a very hard argument to Israeli workers about why they muust break with their rulers, even calling for their defeat. That was also the oinly principled positon to pursue during the Lebanon war.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 16:05Report this post to the editors

Good to have some solid argument and some sanity - wd markin.

In the meantime, I presume all our good SP friends, who argued so succintly above about the desire for unity between Israeli and Arab workers, must have by now read or heard of another big time Israeli barbarism in Gaza - their US supplied weapons, so accurate and precise we are told, smashed into houses in a community and, on current account, killed 18 Palestinians, including many children.
Hamas, immediately said that the truce was over and argued for all Palestinian organisations to unite and attack Israel......and if more people get slaughtered who would be to blame?

Now there is a meeting tonight 7.00 in the Writers Club on Palestine - two dissident Israelis will be speaking (details in another thread). What should we be arguing? Will our SP friends be there to argue for unity - forget what happened - don't retaliate - tell people to calm down having shed a few tears - and we'll let you know how to forge this unity......bury your dead, don't be sectarian, Hamas is a reactionary organisation, you have voted for it in numbers but you're suffering from false consciousness......and us here, in democratic Ireland, we can't take sides because both belligerents are equally to blame!! We support the working class!!

And if the IAWM invites Hamas spokespeople over the next period to Ireland, as we intend to do, will we be told that we are shifting further to the right by supporting reactionaries - uncritically....?

Just a few questions......

author by more of itpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 16:15Report this post to the editors

and if more people get slaughtered who would be to blame?

Whoever/whichever side does the killing? Or are you inferring that because the Israelis killed civilians and paramilitaries that the palestinians can go out and blow away israelis at will?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 16:40Report this post to the editors

Dear friend - I am not i n f e r r i n g anything....the reality is that missiles fired from an Israeli tank or two, which most likely stopped on its way from the US to Israel in Shannon, blasted into four apartment buildings, opened huge holes in them, killed 19 (the number keeps going up every hour) and there are over 50 seriously wounded. Incidentally, that 'paramilitaries' in your message was bull in very bad taste.

I am repeating here what I said above: One view is "Forget what happened - don't retaliate - tell people to calm down having shed a few tears - and we'll let you know how to forge this unity......bury your dead, don't be sectarian, Hamas is a reactionary organisation, you have voted for it in numbers but you're suffering from false consciousness......and us here, in 'democratic' Ireland of the welcomes, we can't take sides because both belligerents are equally to blame!! We support the working class!!" Applause!!!¬???

Is that your view? Is it a practical view? A realistic view? Is it a view that Paletinians would ever have even a minute chance of listening to.....

My understanding is that many Palestinians, not least those whose kids, brothers, sisters, parents have been slaughtered will be seething with rage and will do whatever is possible to avenge these deaths......especially at a time when Hamas and Abbas' government had been engaged in talks about national unity. Another coincidence? Another terrible accident? And how soon before I, and the iawm, are accused of believing in conspiracies? And supporting reactionary organisations, and their followers, uncritically?

Seeing you're interested in what goes on in Palestine - come to the meeting tonight....it's likely to be very lively.

author by hamaspublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 16:50Report this post to the editors

the Hamas view:

"Israel should be wiped from the face of the Earth. It is an animal state that recognises no human worth. It is a cancer that should be eradicated," said Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government.

i dont think it ever changes....the faster the moderates come to the table and get serious the better

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:01author email info at socialistparty dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Hey,

The SP have constantly said that Imperialism is the enemy, and the root cause of troubles. However that doesn't mean we think any and every tactic is justified (like 911, not justified, or suicide bombings targetting civilians, not justified), and particularly we have argued that such tactics, whilst it is understadable why people are pushed towards them and organisations like Hamas, are not going to be successful in defeating imperialism.

Yes at this point i htink the need for a united class struggle against imperialism and the super rich war mongering capitalist elite is even more crucial than ever before. And remember, the day the bombing of Lebanon stared was meant to be a day of mass strikes. There has just been a general strike in Palestine. And now in israel unemployment assistance for under 28s is being scraped along with 1,000 jobs and post, water and electricity are being lined up for privatisation. The basis for such a clas struggle can be seen, though it is difficult to build, it is still vital.

If Hamas was invited I would love to argue with them over how imperialism can be defeated, over the need for a class struggle, the need to break the israeli working class away from their corrupt war mongering ruling class. I would also argue with them that the resistance movement should be based on democratic defence organisations and councils, and on class struggle. And thridly I would argue with them that they should use their power in Palestine not to stand by and watch the civilians starve due to Israel and the US cutting off aid, but to take the companies and banks in Palestine into public ownership and use the wealth to meet peoples needs, provding a job for everyone therefore maximising wealth production. But i have litle hope they would accept any of these arguments as they are not a class based organisation, they are a pro-capitalism force, which is inable to defeat imperialism or provide a way out for the Palestinain masses.

Thanks,
Cian

Link this time is to:
Israeli capitalism suffers defeat in Lebanese war
Limits of Israeli military power exposed. Part One (the other article on Hzbollah is part 2)

Also, unfortunately i will be unable to continue this debate at the conference thing on saturday as my presence is needed in Dublin for a Day of action. Appologies.

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/29mideast.html
author by ISpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:03Report this post to the editors

"Israel should be wiped from the face of the Earth. It is an animal state that recognises no human worth. It is a cancer that should be eradicated," said Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government"
Here we go
Nasty palestians, want the state that bombs them daily to disaper.
I have to say i agree.
Now, for all those zionist and trotskist-zionist out there, that does NOT mean telling the jews to leave. When we argued that the Apartheid state of South Africa should be "wiped from the face of the Earth", because it was indeed "an animal state that recognises no human worth", no one for a second thought that this meant, or argued that this meant, that the Afrikaners, who had lived there for some 300 years, should have to leave.
Israel is a racist state and an artifical state, proped up by the US.
We will be much better of without it.

author by hamaspublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:03Report this post to the editors

especially at a time when Hamas and Abbas' government had been engaged in talks about national unity. Another coincidence? Another terrible accident? And how soon before I, and the iawm, are accused of believing in conspiracies? And supporting reactionary organisations, and their followers, uncritically

Ahh so thats what they call wiping each other out is it? National Unity, you make me laugh, perhaps you havent heard that they have been(the palestinians that is) slaughtering each other recently........

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:09Report this post to the editors

If a relatively small military organisation like Hezbollah can defeat Israeli imperialism , twice in the last 7 years, then why can't Hamas hope to do so ? Because your ideology states that this is so ? Also it might be an idea to attempt a resistance struggle in your own country before lecturing Palestinians on the shortcomings of their own .

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:15Report this post to the editors

To the good friend above who is such a Hamas fan that decided to use the name of that organisation as a handle:

Read carefully please:
In Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this "terrible, despicable crime" jeopardized peace prospects. "We tell the Israelis, you are not seeking peace at all, but are destroying all chances for peace. You must therefore bear all the consequences of these crimes," he told Palestine TV.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas suspended talks with Abbas on forming a coalition government. Abbas, a moderate from the rival Fatah party, urged that negotiations continue. Both men declared a three-day mourning period throughout the West Bank and Gaza and, in a rare gesture, the two visited victims in a Gaza hospital together and each donated blood

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061108/ap_on_re_mi_ea/isra...nians (15 mins ago)

author by nobodypublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:19Report this post to the editors

barry perhaps no1 has ever pointed out to you that the Israelis did not withdraw untill they were good and ready, if they wanted to park their tanks in Beirut they would do so with the greatest of ease anytime they want, bit like the Brits up North really, so your attitude towards the word defeat i.e they were defeated twice, must be akin to the republicans **defeating** the brits with a firebomb in some poor ould bastids shop eh>? maybe yeh can throw a couple of rocks at a couple o tanks, 1 tank turns around and its defeated!!!!

author by ISpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:24Report this post to the editors


An sp member wrote

"i have to say that my blood curdles when I hear somebdy from the IAWM or SWP call Hamas and Hizbollah 'National Liberation movements'

WTF- are these people seriously telling me that they are marxists. That they stand in the tradition of Leninism
Refering to the struggle for indian independence, Trotsky once wrote that Socialists who dont unconditionally support the national liberation movement "deserve to be branded with a bullet"
A little harsh comrades(i dont plan on wacking the next sp member i see) but tis is were the marxist traditon stands.
I have no time for you petty little labourist nonsese.
Cian and other sp members have neatly ducked all the hard questions. You can duck anything with an abstract formulation.
Cian look at the document you produced about the hunger stikers
In the abstact, its looks fine, formally correct.
However, the arugement was.
DO YOU SUPPORT BOBBY SANDS ECT AND THE FIVE DEMANDS
yes or no comrades
Did you stand up
no you didnt.
SP simply said, well all prisoners should have these rights etc.
A cop out if i have ever heard one. A capitulation to loyalism

Just like your capitualtion to Zionism now

author by Barry - 32csmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:32Report this post to the editors

Numerous Israeli tanks were knocked clean out , with the zionists repeatedly crying to the Russians about the damage the RPG 29 vampir was causing to their supposedly indestructable Merkavas . The zionist forces were well hammered by Hezbollah , just as they were seen by the world to stage a withdrawal that turned into a rout only a few years previously .

http://www.bintjbeil.com/articles/2006/en/rpg29.html

recent testimony to a Knesset inquiry by Israeli paratroopers who were sent into Bint Jbeil and repeatedly failed to capture or control the town puts this latest zionist spin , that they scored a great victory in southern Lebanon into its true perspective . Utter bullshit .

http://www.imemc.org/content/view/22293/1

author by pat cpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:51Report this post to the editors

It is perverse to suggest that the SP are capitulating to Zionism. Read what they actuaslly write, go to the site of the CWI Israeli section. Read the article on the Newswire about the Jerusalem LGBT Parade.

I agree that the Militant were found wanting during the H Block struggle but its hardly fair to hammer the SP now about what happened in 1980/81. ( I have differences with them on the National Question, but thats for another day.)

Hezbollah and Hamas cannot be above criticism. Yes, Hezbollah won a National Liberation Struggle against Israel in 2000 and inflicted another defeat on the IDF during this years invasion. But that does not mean that you should cheer on attacks on civilian targets. It doesnt mean that you have to support the Hezbollah Political Programme.

The same goes for Hamas, support them in their war against Israeli aggression but dont support their political programme.

author by markinpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 17:53Report this post to the editors

cian:

I'm all for a "a united class struggle against imperialism and the super rich war mongering capitalist elite," as you so eloquently put it, but chanting phrases like that just won't do it.

you say that you would love to spend some time arguing with the palestinian resistance about the way forward. of course you would: it keeps you from having to argue with the zionist-inclined israelis that you suck up to with your 'plague-on-both-your-houses' politics, which you imagine to be marxism. have a read of lenin on the national question, or trotsky on black nationalism, will you, or do your organisers ban that kind of subversive material?

your assertion that the problem lies in hamas' refusal to "use their power in Palestine not to stand by and watch the civilians starve due to Israel and the US cutting off aid, but to take the companies and banks in Palestine into public ownership and use the wealth to meet peoples needs, providing a job for everyone therefore maximising wealth production" is truly sad, and shows just how far out of step with reality sp's labourist politics has dragged its membership.

i can provide you with reams of material on the orchestrated strangulation of the terrritories and its civilian population over the past 11 months, a campaign coordinated by the US, the EU, and Israel, in which the Irish government is complict. I can provide you with reams of material on the coordinated attempts by the US/CIA and Israel to incite a civil war among Palestinians, with Abbas and the PA as their proxies against the Hamas-led government. Socialists have plenty of reason to be critical of Hamas. As nationalists they are prone to the same pressures as the PLO was before them, and we should not underestimate their wilingness to cut a deal. That is true of Hizbullah as well.

But opposition to Hamas today comes from those in the Bush administration and elsewhere who are determined to prosecute regional war without hindrance, and we need to be clear about that. The Palestinians are being slaughtered because they dared to stand up to the US-led war machine, because they rejected the empty 'democracy' offered them under the so-called 'roadmap.' NOT because their elected leaders have it wrong on gay rights, or because of their attachment to Islam, or because of their support for privatization, which you raise here as a complete distraction, as if Hamas or the PA exercised a scintilla of control over finance etc. in the territories.Laughable if it were not so pathetic. The Palestinians are being literally starved and pulverized into submission, with the entire world watching. Where do you stand? Do you call for the defeat of the Israeli war machine in the territories? Do you argue amongst the small handful of CWI supporters in occupied Palestine that this is the position they must win Israeli workers to, as a first priority? If not, don't call yourself a socialist. Its mainstream liberalism you espouse. Plain and simple.

author by ISpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:01Report this post to the editors

"I agree that the Militant were found wanting during the H Block struggle but its hardly fair to hammer the SP now about what happened in 1980/81. ( I have differences with them on the National Question, but thats for another day.)"
ok fair enough, im not usually one to go back 25 years and argue over past postions. However, it was the SP comrade who produced the document. I thought it was worth having a look at.
The arguements today are different than they were in 81. I dnt really wan to debate 81 again. However the same methadology that was used then is used now. And it is a completely wrong way of looking at the world.
In abstration everything sounds dandy with the sp
But when it comes to the crunch, they are as you said "found wanting"

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:05author email info at socialistparty dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Hey,

I think Militants position in referenceto the H-Block stuff was amazing actually, very well done. I must say I had always been unsure on the HBlock thing I was appalled by the poor conditions etc and still uncertain as to how to it could be done and not alienate the protestant working class, then I finally got around to reading Militants stuff and i found t very well done. And they got it passed in the British labour Party, a mean feat which is testiment to the fact it was well worked out. Militant actually went further than the HBlock protestors saying that truly political prisoners should be RELEASED! But that those who were erally just sectarian butchers shouldn't be and that theonly people who can decide which is which is the working class, democratically.

On the whole Hama defeating imperialism thing, i think i pointed out clearly why Hamas can't. The fact they have been unable to stop the starving of palestinian civilians is a sign of that. they are unwillling to take on big business and use those resoures to help the people of Palestine. Also, i agree, the Israeli state does need to be gotten rid of but the Israeli working class now have a National consciousness and attempts to 'drive them out' or force them to live within Palestine would drive them into the arms to Zionist reactionaries and result in more conflict and civil war. hence the only solution in through class unity, which hezbollah are incapable of doing.

thanks,
cian

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/29mideast.html
author by knowledgepublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:07Report this post to the editors

The Palestinians are being slaughtered because they dared to stand up to the US-led war machine, because they rejected the empty 'democracy' offered them under the so-called 'roadmap.' NOT because their elected leaders have it wrong on gay rights, or because of their attachment to Islam, or because of their support for privatization, which you raise here as a complete distraction, as if Hamas or the PA exercised a scintilla of control over finance etc. in the territories.Laughable if it were not so pathetic

Err methinks it has more to do with them declaring an intifada myself loike!

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:14Report this post to the editors

Hi PatC,

K.
I agree with what you say re: the CWI section etc but to summarise very briefly events over the past few days, coupled with messages in this thread following the very successful 6 meetings around the country where the IAWM had invited Ibrahim Mussawi of Hezbollah - with GG joining the bill in the Dublin and Galway meetings.

The SP started by asking people, correction 'socialists', to boycott these meetings with a 'how dare you' invite such a creature to Ireland talk...... About 1,000 people turned up - accusations were thrown that all those people were 'hangers-on', media hyped boffins etc.....that we in the iawm, blinded by the SWP, had gone all the way to the right......then they conceded our right to invite whom we wanted, but started arguing that we had supported Mussawi 'unconditionally'....another bull!!.

Now the debate has calmed round to the old bogey re:attitudes to the national liberation movements (and there is where I disagree with you) an issue intricately connected with the old shibboleths about our and other peoples national question. One of their your younger members from Galway asked: Can you guarantee that Hezbollah can defeat imperialism and global capitalism? Inference : yes of course we can - so we support - no we cannot - didn't I tell you so?

Even after the Israeli barbarism of the last few days some of their people still equate the two belligerent forces attempting to take a neutral position while being, philosophically, in support of 'unity of the Israeli and Arab working classes'. Nobody from the iawm that I have read, on the other hand, supported the political programmes of either the Party of God or Hamas....It's been a hectic couple of days here. An iawm Steering Committee member is actually in Ramallah these days....see what he comes up with. Watch this space.

Again wlecome good friend......

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:15Report this post to the editors

The belief that class will transcend all division was exposed as utter hogwash in the first world war . James Connolly who had previously held this belief watched dumbstruck as internationalists and socialist fraternities whod promised to never oppose each other volunteered immediately upon the commencement of WW1 to slaughter each other by the million . He watched sickened as trade unions whod for years espoused the necessity for class unity above all else throw themselves frantically into increased war production in the arms and munitions factories .He admitted that it was ideological ballsology he was ashamed of himself for urging people to place their hopes in . On Easter week he also found that his socialist belief that the British would never shell their fellow capitalists property to be a load of balls too . This is by no means a dig at Connolly , but to place the over reliance of marxist ideology and visions of class unity that one must wait for until eternity in their proper perspective . Class consciousness is an even more fragile concept at the best of times than national conciousness . Holding this utopian nonsense out to people being slaughtered and dispossessed and urging them not to resist is little different from the utopia the Catholic church dished out during the genocide of 1847 , certainly every bit as useless .
Even a man of great intellect and courage such as James Connolly was blinded to reality by over reliance on ideology , but as a truly great man he had the courage to admit his mistakes in the face of the blindingly obvious and adapt to realities - imperialism and colonialism must be faced head on , the nation and its sovereignty are the means by which workers can unite and defend themselves , determine their futures . Without thattheir futures are determined for them by others. The SP could do with taking a leaf from his book rather than encouraging peope in the belief that religious bigots and supremacists can be won over by appeals for class untiy and imperialism defeated in this manner . Utterly divorced from relaity and at this stage of world history nothing more than a shallow cop out and cave in to imperialism .

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:18Report this post to the editors

MichaelY asked:
Will our SP friends be there to argue for unity - forget what happened - don't retaliate - tell people to calm down having shed a few tears - and we'll let you know how to forge this unity......bury your dead, don't be sectarian, Hamas is a reactionary organisation, you have voted for it in numbers but you're suffering from false consciousness......and us here, in democratic Ireland, we can't take sides because both belligerents are equally to blame!! We support the working class!!

This is an utterly malicious misrepresentation of the Socialist Party's view, so asinine in fact that it really has to be examined clause by clause:

"Forget what happened?": When have we ever said that or anything like it?

"Don't retaliate?": We've made it clear that we support the Palestinian's right to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation. But if by retaliation you mean a reply in kind, a murderous attack on civilians going about their daily lives, then yes damn right we argue against that. Are you and the various anonymous SWP members who have slithered onto the thread over the last day or so going to be there to say you think it's just fine if a load of Israeli civilians are murdered in response?

"don't be sectarian": As opposed to saying do be sectarian? or well we don't know about sectarian, national or ethnic bigotry, it isn't really for us in Ireland to have an opinion on that?

Hamas is a reactionary organisation, you have voted for it in numbers but you're suffering from false consciousness: Apart from your sneering use of a bit of jargon, "false consciousness", which the Socialist Party doesn't use, the question here again is as opposed to what? Saying that Hamas are just great and we think it's fantastic that as a result of desperation and the corruption of their previous leadership that most Palestinians have ended up voting for bigoted, anti-woman, anti-gay, religious obscurantist, reactionaries? Or saying that well because we're in Ireland we aren't allowed to have an opinion on such matters because we've had our frontal lobes removed?

"We can't take sides because both belligerents are equally to blame!!": Once more, the Socialist Party is very clear that the Palestinians are not "equally to blame". They are a people under occupation and they have a right to fight against that occupation. But unless you've had the aforementioned frontal lobes surgically removed that doesn't mean that we have to support everything any Palestinian faction does, it doesn't mean we have to support things like suicide bombings and it certainly doesn't mean that we have to whitewash the politics of reactionary organisations like Hamas. I realise that such nuances or shades of grey are quite beyond the comprehension of our SWP friends, but I had hoped for a little better from you by this stage of the thread.

we support the working class: This part at least is true. If only it could be said about many others on the Irish "left", people who seem to leave their class politics at home as soon as they get a whiff of "anti-imperialist" cordite.

MichaelY asked:
And if the IAWM invites Hamas spokespeople over the next period to Ireland, as we intend to do, will we be told that we are shifting further to the right by supporting reactionaries - uncritically....?

That rather depends Michael on whether you arrange another promotional tour for them, pushing them as the face of "resistance" to Israeli policy, uncritically cheerleading for them, refusing to openly raise any criticism of their politics and denouncing anyone who does. If the IAWM does that with regard to Hamas, as it already has with regard to Hezbollah, then yes you most certainly will be told that you are supporting reactionaries uncritically for the very simple reason that you will in fact be supporting reactionaries uncritically.

author by Ali H.publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:26Report this post to the editors

"I am sick of hearing the "we regrets" and "sorries" and the empty promises of investigations that never materialize and whose only purpose is to exhonerate the accused. I am sick of the well-intentioned "moral" Army of "defence" routine, that only attempts to attack 'militants', as if to imply the entire occupation is justified if sustained by this absurdist rhetoric. I'm just sick of it all. Sick sick sick."

http://a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com/

As for the latest zionazi rantings Hezbollah are not anti-semitic no more than the Iranians are, and given how many times they've been invaded by Israel and how many of their population murdered by Israelis it is surprising they're not. Jews in Iran are treated the same as Christians and Zoroastrians, and unlike the Israelis the Iranians and Lebanese do not restrict where their own citizens can live or build a house based on their religion, nor do they steal and ethnically cleanse their ethnic minorities. They do not build apartheid bantustans and butcher anybody who has the guts to oppose them etc. etc.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:50Report this post to the editors

One other brief point to the couple of anonymous SWPers above:

What is apparent from your more or less coherent contributions is that class plays no role at all in your politics. You claim to be socialists, to be partisans of the working class, but on each and every occasion where you catch the whiff of gunpowder you ditch all that and get down to a visceral, idiotic and uncritical support for any old bunch of reactionaries, religious sectarians or anti-woman or anti-gay bigots. Instead of arguing that the only way in which genuine national liberation can be won in the neo-colonial world is through working class struggle, you throw your support uncritically behind capitalist "anti-imperialist" movements.

That of course is not a new strategy on the left, nor is it new in the Middle East. It was one of the hallmarks of the Stalinists of previous generations. And notably, in Iran, Iraq and elsewhere such an analysis got the forces of the left massacred, butchered to the last man woman and child in so far as their right wing "anti-imperialist" friends could get their hands on them. The difference I suppose being that the Stalinists actually had forces and support on the ground, and were able to engage in a real alliance with such forces rather than masturbating over them from the safety of Ireland. In the unlikely event that any significant grouping of left-inclined workers in the Middle East listened to you, your politics would be deathly poison for them.

I suspect that the response is likely to be further lies about how the Socialist Party "equates" both sides in the Israel / Palestine conflict. The fact that it has been pointed out over and over again that we do not, is unlikely to trouble our SWP friends. But just as with Kevin Wingfield further up to the thread, this kind of stuff is revealing not just in so far as it shows an utterly dishonest approach to debate on the left. The more revealing thing is that it shows a mentality constricted by the most simplistic of analysis. For the SWP either you support everything Hamas do or you are "found wanting". If you don't cheer foolishly for everything every Palestinian faction does, no matter if its counterproductive, politically reactionary or downright insane you are "equating" the Palestinian struggle with the oppression of the Israeli state. It's the politics of the lobotomy.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 18:56Report this post to the editors

No, Hezbollah are not antisemitic, which is why their TV station, Al Manar, has been banned in Europe, for broadcasting things like the antisemitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and an endless stream of incitement to kill Jews. By the same token, Iran is not antisemitic, which is why its President is a holocaust denier, the government has staged a holocaust denial cartoon competition, its President has threatened to destroy the world's only Jewish country and why Iranian government ministers have been indicted in Argentina for deliberately blowing up Jewish community centres in Buenos Aires.

Quite right: I think we can safely say, on such facts, that neither Hezbollah nor Iran are antisemitic.

author by SP Member - Socialist Party/CWIpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 19:47Report this post to the editors

Aside from the utterly riduclous rantings about the SP, markin's reply demonstrates nothing more than a complete lack of understanding of Mrxism. Throwing around comments like 'sucking up to zionist inclined israelis' demonstrates a reactionary attitude towards the Israeli working class. But this is hardly surprising.

I have read Lenin's and Trotsky's writings on Nationalism. However, unlike you, I do take selective passages out of context of the entirity of the writing to bolster an argument that you suggest these individuals would have made in relation to Hamas etc.

Opposition to imperialist led conflict is not a case of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'. The responsibility of Marxists is not to call for unconditional support for a reactionary organisation simply on the basis that this organisation is fighting against an imperialist led offensive in the Palestinian territories. On that basis you would argue against the recent strike wave in the Palestinian territories on the grounds that it would impact on the ability of Hamas to fight against Imperialism and their local proxys. The defeat of Imperialism and the IDF, on the basis you argue, would be a victory for the working class on a world wide basis, but it would be simply replaced by a fundementalist reactionary regime that was just as opposed to workers rights as those defeated powers. The reality is that such and organistation is incapable of defeating imperialism for as long as capitalism exists so will imperialism. In fact the end product of your argument would be barbarism on a global scale.

The problem with your analysis markin, is that you cannot see beyond your nose. Your arguments consist of nothing but rhetoric. You display nothing but a complete lack of confidence in the ability of the working class of the Middle East to throw off the shackles of imperialism and create a socialist society. This is the fundemental difference between your position and that of the CWI.

The reality you suggest is a reality doomed to replacing on exploiter with another. The reality is that your position is not that of a socialist but of a petty-bourgeois liberal. One who sees the solution in supporting a reactionary anti-working class fundementalist organisation over an imperialist power purely because you are incapable of understanding the fundementals of Marxism. It can be summerised as 'lets defeat US imperialism by wholeheartedly supporting an anti-working class organisation that will alienated the Israeli working-class and enslave the Palestinian masses within the shackles of a reactionary ideology'. The CWI's position is 'lets defeat imperialism by uniting the working class and creating a society that throws off the shackles of reaction'.

From my point of view there is absolutely no competition.

As for Barry. Sorry sunshine I don't accept the idea that the only good Protestant is a dead one and neither did James Connolly. The SP will take a leaf from Lenin and Trotsky who succeeded in uniting dozens of different oppressed nationalities and defeating capitalism and imperialism not by displaying the bigoted notions you display here but by uniting the working class.

author by conor lynchpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 19:52author email conor.lynch at virgin dot netReport this post to the editors

Your correspondents seem to comprise a lot of pacifists. How does one oppose peacefully a massive bombardment from the air the sea and the ground? There are also those who do not support the resistance in the Middle East because the resistors are muslims and therefore seen as socially backward by the new Irish enlightenment. One writer implies that armchair supporters of hezbolah do not understand the nature of this movement on the ground. Well, I was "on the ground" in the recent period and can say that Hezbolah could teach the Irish a whole lot about socialism. As the Hezbolah speaker said in reply to a questioner in Derry, the women in South Lebanon can do whatever they please. That is what I saw. (The movement to wear the headscarf came as a revolutionary statement from the young - often to the surprise and embarrassment of their elders.) But it is true that many of the liberal concerns that seem to keep the Irish left awake at night were not to the forefront of people's minds as families were being evacuated to the North under fire and whole villages were being flattened. It is, to my mind, an terrible indictment of much of the Irish left that it was not their instinct to immediately take our visitor from Lebanon into their hearts and their homes, as those people took me into their devastated homes and made me welcome when they had virtually nothing.

author by Anti warpublication date Wed Nov 08, 2006 22:16Report this post to the editors

Conor, I have to disagree with your above statement.
Women in South Lebanon do not enjoy the freedom you speak of, as a Peacekeeper who served under the banner of Ireland and UNIFIL, I can recall numerous times that I saw menfolk beat the crap out of their wives for waving to Irish troops on our checkpoints. After seeing Lebanese women being badly beatenwhilst coming through Irish AO checkpoints for looking at me and my comrades or waving after I waved to them or for even smiling, I can honestly say, that no Women from South Lebanon do not enjoy this so called freedom that you speak of..!
Exceptions to this are the Christain population. Hizzbullah are terrorists, plain and simple.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 00:21Report this post to the editors

I resisted again from responding to some of the serious comments and the plentiful amount of nonsense, waiting to see where this debate would take us. To Mark from the SP who addressed me by name earlier I will respond tomorrow - just came back from a grand meeting organised by the IPSC where two Israeli citizens, a poet and a lecturer in linguistics, two Israeli socialists, talked to a smallish crowd about their State, the 'ethnic cleansing' of the Palestinians, the attempted indirect 'transfer' of Palestinians from villages being pushed to leave as their land and livelihoods was taken. They spoke of how the EU, with the connivance of the Coalition here, is punishing the Palestinians for having voted 'the wrong way'. Just saw on BBC pictures of the 'democratic' Israeli Army and how it had demolished houses, apartment blocks, killing children. So, to say the least, I am not in the mood to discuss politely with 'anti-war' pro-Israeli jackasses....
The one question that I cannot answer is why the attention to this thread by the SP comrades......is it that that they care so much what the IAWM is doing? If our invitation to Ibrahim Mussawi was such a political error - why bother? Is it because over 1,000 people came to listen to him from Derry to Cork and Dublin to Belfast and Galway and they're afraid that ordinary irish women and men, and activists, may be misled? First time I see SP members pay such attention to a thread....is it their psychotic - sorry political - hatred of the SWP the cause behind this obsession? Could any of you good friends care to clarify?
The IAWM intends to invite, in the not so distant future, members of both Hamas and Fatah to come to Ireland...we will also try to invite reps from the Israeli Embassy to join the debate.....we believe that now that the American people told the world what they feel about that barbaric duo of Bush and Rumsfeld....and when Blair is not doing so well across the water...it is a very good time for the anti-war movement to go onto the offensive and push this ass-licking Coalition to reverse its policy about Shannon....imperialism is in a bind - the Iraq adventure has backfired on them....it's our job here to show solidarity with those who fight the Empire so that the barbarians can be tipped over.
I said it in another message - we are inviting the SP, as an organisation, or as individual members, to come to our AGM, planned for Saturday Dec. 2nd and argue their points....if they don't, we are prepared to organise a Conference and argue publicly some of these issues with them. Us, tthe IAWM.......what the SWP does is their monkey!!
To the other trolls, who attack either by personal vilification, or innuendos about peacekeeping and terrorism and the like.....you're pissing in the wind.....buzz off and leave this thread in peace - to people who care about the plans of the Empire for a 'New Middle East'.....and are willing to fight against them.

author by Annoyed activistpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 01:08Report this post to the editors

Perhaps it is a good time for the anti-war movement to go on the offensive, but it's certainly not a good time for it to destroy its public credibility by associating uncritically with the likes of Hamas. Israeli children slaughtered by Hamas are just as innocent and just as dead as Palestinian children slaughtered by the Israeli army. And if saying so makes me a "pro-Israeli jackass" so be it. If the IAWM does invite Hamas people here, I hope it will make it clear that it does so to promote dialogue and not out of solidarity. While I wouldn't by any means put Hizbullah in the same category as Hamas, there's no very clear message appearing that that was the approach the IAWM took on this occasion.

author by Barry - 32 County Sovereignty Movementpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 02:22Report this post to the editors

"As for Barry. Sorry sunshine I don't accept the idea that the only good Protestant is a dead one and neither did James Connolly. The SP will take a leaf from Lenin and Trotsky who succeeded in uniting dozens of different oppressed nationalities and defeating capitalism and imperialism not by displaying the bigoted notions you display here but by uniting the working class. "

The total dishonesty and deliberate false hysteria in this pathetic reply to the points I raised says it all . Refusal to pander to supremacist bigotry and support for imperialism from any section of the working class does not equate to "the only good protestant is a dead one" and well you know it . By such a definition Connolly was a reactionary who set out to alienate the protestant working class by staging a revolt against the imperialism they fervently supported . Id also point out that both individuals you say youll take your cue from had little difficulty ordering the full scale massacre of sections of their own society who had difficulty accepting their ideological programme . Not a political solution Id ever endorse for a second in this country , not being a pre- programmed ideological robot .
The Palestinians and the Lebanese have for decades now faced a colonised reality . Generations of young men have grown up watching their fathers who often belonged to secular resistance groups being beaten , humiliated arrested and murdered , their lands stolen and colonised with settlers and all they held dear , the family unit , the family home and their dignity as human beings reduced to the most pathetic status in front of their eyes on a daily basis until they were defeated. Seeing this since their earliest childhood has left them psychologically traumatised . This is a reality that Europeans and the enlightened west forced upon them as natives and subjects . Their rage against this is not only understandable but in my opinion completely justified . Their rage has today manifested itself as Hizballah and Hamas , Katyusha and Qassam reprisals on the colonisers towns and martyrdom operations as well as clinically planned and successful military resistance in southern Lebanon .Their refusal to accept the status the Europeans have conferred upon them and enforced with European and Western arms , finance , diplomatic support and technology is completely jusitifed wether in its current Islamic manifestation or its past secular one .
The question as to whether Palestinians and Lebanese are wrong to put their faith in leaders such as Hamas and Hizballah is one thing but the reality is that they have , for the time being at least . The oppressed have chosen them as an expression of their rage and hatred against the sytem which oppresses , murders , humiliates , robs and colonises them on a daily basis . They have chosen them , rightly or wrongly ,as the defenders of their national sovereignty in which theyve placed their hopes for dignity .The response from CWI/SP to this completely justified and in my opinion dignified manifestation of their refusal to be reduced to subhuman status by the destruction of their respective nations by an imperialist creation and proxy is a typical knee jerk of the metropolitan bourgoisie dressed up in labourist jargon . Its no different to the tripe which emanated from the French left during the Algerian struggle which referred to Algerian resistance as nazi and fascist .
The imperious intellectual dismissal and holding ones nose at the manner in which the peasants of Palestine and Lebanon have chosen to resist colonialism , not mere disagreement with thier choice and agreeing to disagree as human beings frequently do , but regarding this choice with the same contemptuous dismissal as the Western bourgeois elite , as invalid and unworthy of ones time and respect by even talking to them is bourgeouis beyond belief . The SP reaction to these manifestations of the oppresseds rage is not simple disagreement with the Hamas/Hizballah platform but , similar to the zionist and western response that the natives are unworthy of admittance to the human race because of the bad choice theyve made in their refusal to surrender their dignity and become more European . They are now not real humans worthy of dignified discourse and empathy but "reactionaries" barbarians and butchers - muslims . And the sad fact is there is absolutely nothing new in this bourgeois reaction of a section of the metropolitan left, sadder too that the SP draw their own ideological standpoint not from the basis of their own nations simultaneous colonised and neo colonial status - (which would be sectarian and anti worker obviously to take issue with colonialisms presence in Ireland ) but from outside their own country , which sadly cannot hope to produce an ideology worthy of admittance to the human race , only dreadful reactionary sectarianism .
There are many many things about Islam , Hamas and Hizballah that I as a secular socialist strongly disagree with . However as a fellow colonised native I rcgnise the choice of the colonised to resist in this manner as the choice of human beings , and not barbarous savages . Therefore I regard it as little more than common courtesy in the face of the attempts by colonialism to reduce my fellow human beings to sub human status to recognise the current manifestation of their rage and desire for sovereignty and dignity as worthy of talking to at the very least . Not contemptuously holding my nose because it upsets my western bourgeois sensibilities to regard such people as anything more than barbarians because they arent European enough , therefore human enough .
Im reminded here of Jean Paul Sartre's response to the European lefts attitude to the revolting natives in the developing world when he identified their response to the failure of the natives to be more "European" -

"The metropolian left is in a quandary : it is well aware of the true fate of the "natives" , the pitiless oppression they are subjected to, and does not condemn their revolt , knowing that we (Europe) did everything to provoke it . But even so, it thinks, there are limits : these guerillas should make every effort to show some chivalry; this would be the best way of proving they are men . Sometimes the left berates them : ""Youre going too far, we cannot support you any longer." They ( the oppressed) dont care a shit for its support . it can shove it up its ass for all its worth . ... a single duty , a singl objective "drive out colonialism by EVERY means . And the most liberal among us would be prepared to accept this at a pinch , but they cannot help but seeing in this trial of strength a perfectly inhuman method used by subhumans to claim for themselves a charter of humanity ; let them acquire it as quicky as possible , but in order to merit it, let them use nonviolent methods . Our noble souls are racist ""
It seems that when Muslims resort to European methods , such as strikes and trade unions, they become human beings worthy of speaking to . When they adopt their own native methods of resstance they cease to be so , become barbarians and savages and must not be admitted to or heard in intellectual left wing circles .

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 03:23Report this post to the editors

MichaelY said:
'...anti-war' pro-Israeli jackasses....

...and that just about ends the discussion as far as I am concerned. I have no interest in discussing the issue with people who regard anyone who supports the Palestinian's right to resist the occupation but doesn't wholeheartedly embrace the likes of Hamas as "pro-Israeli". As for who is or isn't a "jackass" well on that I'll let others decide.

author by Barry - 32 CSMpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 03:44Report this post to the editors

Absolutely nobody has demanded you wholeheartedly embrace anyone . You people have gone on record as stating that a Hizballah representative should not have been invited to speak in the first place , that they have no place within civilised political discourse . A disgraceful position in my opinion and a dreadful insult to the oppressed they most certainly represent and fight for .

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 04:22Report this post to the editors

Once more:

I've already made it clear that I have no problem with a speaker from Hezbollah being invited for the purpose of debate or discussion. I have no problem for that matter with inviting someone from the Israeli government, an institution I would have much more of a moral and ideological objection to. What I have a problem with is uncritical and unconditional admiration for a reactionary organisation.

(Feel free to insert some nonsense about how I am "equating" the Palestinians with the Israeli government here...)

author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:40Report this post to the editors

To Mark from the SP who addressed me by name earlier I will respond tomorrow ......I would have thought that was plain enough. The decision to include yourself, and your SP colleagues, into the 'jackass' category was, I'm afraid yours! That category has a venerable and steady membership that does not, in my opinion, include the few SP comrades who tried to argue their point of view. Check the last three messages above this one - lol.

However, the following paragraph from last night's message stands: The one question that I cannot answer is why the attention to this thread by the SP comrades......is it that that they care so much what the IAWM is doing? If our invitation to Ibrahim Mussawi was such a political error - why bother? Is it because over 1,000 people came to listen to him from Derry to Cork and Dublin to Belfast and Galway and they're afraid that ordinary irish women and men, and activists, may be misled? First time I see SP members pay such attention to a thread....is it their psychotic - sorry political - hatred of the SWP the cause behind this obsession? Could any of you good friends care to clarify?

To our friends who're suggesting we change our name...thank you...we'll take your views into consideration in our AGM, now planned for 11.00 on Saturday Dec 2nd. Date for forwarding resolutions etc Nov.19th.....As for the serious contributions from Barry - thanks. You're making good sense to us comrade. Solidarity with your work.

author by anonpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:48Report this post to the editors

MichaelY: "As for the serious contributions from Barry - thanks. You're making good sense to us comrade. Solidarity with your work."

I'm not going to get into witching-hunting or dissident-republican baiting, but "solidarity with your work"?

Barry's 32 County SC are widely viewed as the, quote, "political wing of the Real IRA", the organisation that carried out the murderous Omagh bombing. Certainly they have the same relationship to the Real IRA that Sinn Fein traditionally have had with the Provisional IRA and the IRSP have with the INLA. So, "solidarity with your work" from the IAWM to the 32 County SC.

Am I really reading this?

author by pat cpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:25Report this post to the editors

Looks as if Gorgeous George threw a tatrum down in Cork. He walked off the stage during a debate in UCC. Full story at link.

Galloway takes legal advice over ‘attack’ at UCC debate

The controversial Respect Party MP stormed off the stage during a debate on US foreign policy in University College Cork (UCC). Mr Galloway was proposing the motion that US foreign policy is the biggest crime since World War II.

But he stormed off in a rage after Dublin-based TV producer and journalist Gerry Gregg spoke of his links with Saddam Hussein’s regime and accused him of taking money from dictators.

A furious Mr Galloway returned to England yesterday morning without contacting the Philosophical Society (Philosoph) who organised and chaired the debate.

Related Link: http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2006/11/08/story17...9.asp
author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:45Report this post to the editors

Slightly off the main core of this thread but I could not resist to relate it to my message above that imperialism is in bad shape and it's time for the anti war movement, in this country and internationallly, to start pushing hard. Bringing in all live political forces - in a non-sectarian, pluralistic fashion based on action and not empty words.

· As the mist around the results of the American mid-term election is lifting, as the Democratic challenger Jimm Webb claims victory over Republican Senator George Allen in Virginia while in Montana, Jon Tester wins the ballot, Democrats will control the U.S. Senate.
· In the House Democrats picked up 35 seats. They will have a solid majority, and progressives will chair many of the most powerful committees.

· And some of the most obnoxious and reactionary (and pro-Israeli) members of Congress have been forcibly retired. California's Richard Pombo is gone (although, alas, not John Doolittle). Arizona's crazy J.D. Hayworth got his papers handed to him. So did the even crazier Florida candidate Katherine Harris. In Pennsylvania, Don Sherwood choked, Rick Santorum went to the dogs, and Curt Weldon will have plenty of time to play golf. Conrad Burns looks to have embarrassed one too many Montanans. George Allen has done the same in Virginia. The former seats of Tom DeLay and Mark Foley now belong to Democrats. And so on. In case we forget, that incompetent barbarian Rumsfeld is gone too!!

In other words, voters had had enough. And, contrary to some pre-election punditry, theirs was not a random "throw out anyone in power" spasm of anti-incumbancy. No incumbent Democrats lost -– not in the Senate, not in the House, not in the governors' races, where Democrats for the first time in ages will now live in a majority of governor mansions. Democrats didn't even lose any open seats they previously held.

This was an anti-Republican/anti-war verdict, a sweeping one, aimed squarely at both the Bush administration and at a Republican-led Congress that has refused to exercise its constitutionally required powers of oversight. This was a vote against Republican arrogance, incompetence, extremism, cronyism, and criminality, but it was also a vote for an assertive Congress and against one-party rule. And this verdict came in spite of, not because of, Democrats.

Democrats as a party, and the party's most visible figures, spent much of this election savaging Bush but studiously avoided taking any true leadership positions themselves. The war in Iraq was by far the election's biggest issue, but because the country's voters, the anti-war movement and the Democrats' activist base and netroots made it that way, not because Democrats themselves wanted to talk about Iraq much or had a coherent alternative plan.

American voters won this election -- not Democrats. This election was about exercising checks and balances, and Democratic candidates were the only available tool to accomplish that end. The two biggest upshots of this are very clear for the Democratic Party.

First, over the next two years, as Congress flexes its muscles and aspirants begin their serious campaigns for the 2008 presidential race, there will be a ferocious, and probably inconclusive, battle for control of the Democratic Party. The blogosphere, and Internet organizing in general, played an unprecedented role in the 2006 election, and the populist impulse this represents is in direct contrast to the ossified Beltway creatures who have traditionally controlled much of the party's hierarchy. The latter won't go quietly into the night, but they no longer have a monopoly on serious fundraising or on candidate recruitment.
Secondly, this election was not about choosing Democrats; it was about repudiating Republicans. Now that Democrats, for the first time in six years, have some serious influence in Washington, the public will expect them to use it, and use it in a way that's perceived as better than what they've replaced. If they don't, the freshman class of 2006, elected largely for who they were not, could just as easily be gone in 2008.
For both of these reasons activists and progressive people all over the world should celebrate for a moment this morning. But only for a moment; there's a lot of work to do. There's the damage from a couple of catastrophic wars to address, runaway spending to rein in, an exodus of jobs to stem, global warming to get serious about. None of these things will happen in the us without a push from the public. A strong, steady, well-informed, vigilant, passionate push.

PS Well done to Cobh/Cork comrades of the AWI - the US warship is gone. The picket was a success - hope to see some of you in Limerick on Saturday.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 13:16Report this post to the editors

Dear Observer et al,

I appreciated Barry's two contributions in this thread....pls read carefully what he wrote and disagree or comment on it if you please.
His organisation is a legal political entity that does quite a lot of work on the national question. It's to that work, plus the content of his posts, that my 'solidarity' was extended. And I stick to that.

Neither he or certainly I made any comment about Omagh.....
Recently SF Councillors took an excellent stand against the links between the DCC and Shell - solidarity with their work was extended to them....does that imply that all of those who expressed solidairity agree wiith the execution of Mountbatten or anything else the Provisional may have done over the last 25 years? Guilt by association is it?

Comments such as yours, observer, are another example of a few well-meaning people attempting to attack, smear and felon-set individuals whose views and political positions worry them.

Stop the provocation therefore - pls. If you have any politics, of the observer or any other type, regale us.

author by anonpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 13:33Report this post to the editors

MichaelY: "His organisation is a legal political entity that does quite a lot of work on the national question. It's to that work, plus the content of his posts, that my 'solidarity' was extended. And I stick to that."

The 32 County Sov. Movement is a 'dissident' republican entity, connected to the Real IRA, that believes that the armed struggle should be continued, even though there is no longer any context or political support for this. They are dangerous headbangers who, among other things, carried out the Omagh massacre in which 29 innocent civilians died. Apart from cheerleading the Real IRA, the 32 CSM does little else. It has no real presence in terms of political activity. It is basically a support group for the Real IRA.

To equate that with those in the Republican Movement (SF and Provo IRA) is a joke. The Provos at least had a massive support base that eventually translated into a huge electoral base. The Real IRA has none of these - it just kills people because it feels it is the right thing to do. It's militarism gone mad. This is known as terrorism.

The extension of solidarity from the IAWM to the 32 CSM is the most bizarre thing I've read on this thread. Very, very bizarre.

author by Ali H.publication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 15:17Report this post to the editors

Hizbollah represent the majority of people in southern Lebanon who have been on the receiving end of Israeli ethnic-cleansing, mass-murder and torture for the bulk of the past 50+ years since the creation by terrorism of the Jewish state.

Hizbollah have a right and a duty to expose Israeli war crimes and lies and the IWAM are quite right to invite them in the interests of a balanced debate.

The Israelis despite claims to that they are democratic are only interested in suppressing the other side of the debate as it does not suit their genocidal aims. When unable to suppress debate they fall back on lies and black propaganda. In fact I'm surprised they haven't tried to claim that the 2 women shot outside the mosque the other day or the 18 people killed in their beds aren't a "Pallywood production" but they couldn't as for a change the eyes of the world were on hand to bear witness. When lies don't work they fall back on their final technique which is to fob us off with their immoral army investigating themselves in order to buy sufficient time for the killers to be absolved quietly of any blame.

If Hizbollah are not allowed to speak Israeli lies will go unchallenged yet again and the misery of the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples will continue until the Israelis eventually manage to wipe them all out as they have been doing in Gaza and Jenin over the past few days.

Boycott Israel!

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 16:30author email comradecian at eircom dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

How about Hizbollah are invited again, bt this time they are invited to a debate: "How is peace possible in the Middle East?", that would be a principled stance. infact the SP had a debate with the IPSC on precisely this point.

I say this, not as a real pactical suggestion, but just to the debate clearer - It is not about Hezbollah being discussed with, its about what is the correct attitude of anti-imperialists, workers, young people and socialists to them. In my opinion it is that they attract huge numbers of genuine workers and poor people who want to fight imperialiism and so must be discussed with but that they can provide no solution to the crisis in the middle east. It is the theory of the Permanent Revolution actually, but no need to bring that up, sufficed to say the SWP are not upholding it and are now more ain to the Stalinists who argued the 2-stage theory.

Cya,
Cian

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/29mideast.html
author by Kevin Wingfield - SWPpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 17:37Report this post to the editors

Cian you put things directly while some of you SP comrades obscure their and your attitude with convoluted formulas. I prefer your approach. It let's us know what you really think. I have had a good crack of the whip on this thread so won't inflict a long diatribe on people.
I think the difference between us is that I think in the face of imperialist war on the Middle East the first thing to do is offer solidarity with those genuinely fighting, despite criticisms.
I detect no sence of such solidarity in your or your comrades' contributions. People might check for themselves by going back to the beginning of the thread to sence the tone of those contributions.
Equally you and your comrades opposed the invitation to Hizbollah and suceeded in NUIG. On your own acount you made sure that your contributions to the meeting you attended was to immediately launch into attacks on Hizbollah and Galloway. OK that's your right, but you can't be too surprised if you end up with a flea in your ear.
Throwing epithets like "Stalinist" around does not illuminate. The SWP as I said considers its chief responsibility on this issue in Ireland (a country firmly aligned with imperialism) is to build solidarity and understanding for the resistance in the Middle East. Your party evidently sees its main role is to establish how little it has in common with those fighting. That is its right, however much it diminishes its claim to stand with oppressed.
Furthermore it is not true that the SWP and its co-thinkers in other countries have nothing to say in criticism of Islamist movements. I've already plugged the day school on Political islam we have organised on November 18 in Dublin where we will attempt to discuss and outline a serious Marxist appraisal of political Islam. Our new issue of New Left Journal contains substantial material on this issue as well. In addition the International Socialism Journal and numerous article pamphlets, etc on the question are available from SWP (Britain) website. We endevour with these resources to enter the debates and arguments which arise among Middle Eastern anti-imperialists and others. There are links to these sites from www.swp.ie.
Therefore: No 2 stages theory, no Stalinism but a serious attempt to analyses and get to grip with an important political trend which is Political Islam.
To conclude: All this is premised on solidairty with those fighting and dying to defeat imperialism and its Zionist catspaw---even when they make mistakes and pursue wrongheaded policies and strategies. I can't make it clearer than that.

author by News readerpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 17:56Report this post to the editors

US to sell arms to Lebanese govt

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/1109/lebanon.html
author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 18:52Report this post to the editors

Kevin Wingfield says:
Your party evidently sees its main role is to establish how little it has in common with those fighting.

As dishonest at the end of the thread as you were at the beginning. You are well aware that the Socialist Party takes as its starting point opposition to the policies of US imperialism and its proxy Israel along with support for the right of the Palestinians to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation. Only in the crazed world of the SWP could that be described as seeing its main role as establishing how little it has in common with those fighting. Only in that crazed world do we face a binary choice between supporting Israel and uncritically cheerleading for the politics and methods of every reactionary who fights them.

It seems that for the SWP politics is like a football match. There are two teams and our role is just to pick which one to cheer for. For the rest of us, it is perfectly possible to support the Palestinian struggle while not whitewashing the anti-woman, anti-gay, religious obscurantist, pro-capitalist and downright reactionary politics of organistions like Hamas or Hezbollah.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 19:33Report this post to the editors

Mark,

It’s hard to debate a very serious and pertinent political issue while accusations of ‘continuous dishonesty’ get thrown around. Be that as it may, and with lots of respect for your TD Joe re: his very sharp comments he made in the Dail re:Shannon and the Irish Government policy, following the disastrous results of the mid-term elections for Bush, I am seriously perplexed about your personal, and collective (party) understanding of this “ right of the Palestinians to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation” that you’re supporting.

Leaving what you call the “ crazed world of the SWP” and the football analogies aside for the moment, I would like to understand how you actually perceive the practical application of this ‘right’. The Palestinians have developed organisations – they have developed political leadership – there is Fatah and Abu Mazen, there was the PFLP, there was the Democratic Front of Hawatmeh, there is now Hamas and there are the various Brigades. Now how exactly, in your opinion, and through what political and military means will this right to defend be exercised? Following the 19 people who lost their lives and the over 50 who were wounded over the last couple of days, how do their sons and daughters and parents and wives and husbands exercise their right? What do they do? Tomorrow - next week?

Their elected leaders are in prison, their livelihood and their land is being gradually taken away, they’re imprisoned in smaller and smaller areas, walls are being built around them…they’re asked to go and vote and they do, in a fair and democratic way, and their electoral choice is then criticised by the EU and the USA in terms very similar to what I read in this thread. The people are starved…any serious anti-Zionist militant who understands what goes on in the occupied territories has a choice….he/she either chooses an NVDA strategy, advocated by some, including Said, or fights….under the leadership of those organisations that can fight. By any means possible.

Now what’s your view? I don’t want to put words into your mouth – you have earlier accused those ideas as being “asinine”!! Tell us comrade….you have told us continuously what you’re against. What are you for? Whom or what do you actually support ? And please do us all a favour and use plain language that even I can understand.

author by anarcho borepublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 20:13Report this post to the editors

Michael, it's impossible for anybody to keep on arguing with you when you keep on misrepresenting them.

"he/she either chooses an NVDA strategy, advocated by some, including Said, or fights….under the leadership of those organisations that can fight. By any means possible."

It's not as simple as that though is it? You have lots of other choices, for example, you also have a choice as to whether you:

a) support a strategy that involves targetting civilians
b) support a strategy that does not involve doing so

Saying that "their leadership has chosen the strategy and they are the leadership of the oppressed, therefore we can't criticise their tactics" is just advocating the most uncritical brain-free approach to politics. Even within the occupied territories and Lebanon there are many people who see indiscriminate targetting of civilians to be both tactically counter-productive and morally repugnant.

So, Michael, please stop over-simplifying the argument. Trying to paint the debate as a pacifist versus non-pacifist argument is just so far from reality.

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 20:28Report this post to the editors

Hey,

The Socialist Party takes our startign point as being an opposition to all forms of imperialsm. Imperialism is, in my view, about the economic and military domination of peoples y foreign elites. It is about supper rich elites such as Oil company owners wishing to dominate the middle east in order to use the low wages and the natural resources there to make super profits. It is an economic policy, and bombings and invasions are a continuation of that.

Imperialism doesn't care about democracy, peace or people its sole consideration is profit and power. US imperialism has destroyed the middle east, killing millions, empoverishing even more and dividing peoples along sectarian lines. As a reaction to this the masses of the middle east have looked for a way to defeat imperialism.

After that the next key question for us is how can imperialism be defeated? We believe that suicide bombing which kill innocent civilians will not solve the problems. Neither, for that matter, would assasinations, even of Bush or Olmert. The only thing that can defeat imperialism for us is a mass movement of workers and other oppressed peoples. In order to defeat imperialims for once and for all we must get rid of the rule of profit, whereby big business is owned by a super rich elite who control the media and politicians. In the concrete situation of Israel-palestine we also have to consider that it is a very complex situation, in that many ordinary even empoverished israelis have grown up there and there is now both an Israeli and a Palestinian national consciousness. This means it is impossible to simply abolish a state for the Israeli workers and poor. This would just push them into the hands of the reactionary's and most violent zionists.

Therefor in our analysis what is needed is a solution that brings together not the corrupt elites, but the ordinary people. What is needed is for everyone to be taken out of poverty and to cut across the feeling that ordinary israelis have had pounded into them that ordinary Palestinians are there enemy. What is needed is a united struggle of Israelis and Palestinians against the people who oppress them both - the super rich Israelis who profit from the wars and from the exploitation of Israeli and palestinian workers. Only by overthrowing these people and establishing a truly democratic society where ordinary people, in there workplaces, schools, universities and communities control society and Big Business democratically, can there be a solution.

In the very particular circumstance of Lebanon being bombed again the question for us is what is the way to 1) defeat the invasion, 2) solve the problem for good. Our concrete proposals were for armed resistance by the Lebanese through defence committees which would be democratically accountable to workers and peasants and made up of cross-community representatives. Suc an organisation could also appeal to ordinary israelis to fight against there government, adn convince them that the war is not in there interest.

But why did we not think Hezbollah were to be given political support? Because they couldn't solve the situation. they are based solely on one community (in the long run). They are a pro-capitalism party, which will mean low wages, privatisation etc for Lebanese people. they are not a class organisation. They are totally inable to create a united class movement of Lebanese and Israeli workers to overthrow the Israeli ruilign class and the racist Israeli state. They are totally opposed to a socialist Israel and a socialist Lebanon woring together.

Even there methods of organising fighting were limited and there was not an appeal to establish democratic organisations which would arm the people of Lebanon. And there is the question, the gaping question: even if the could defeat imperialism fof good even in limited sense of no more israeli bombings for good, How can you provide a good quality of life for all Lebanese people? Or even: how can you stop economic imperialism - where there are no troops on the groung but the ground it self (or the Oil whatever) is controlled by US companies? Or even owned by lebanese super rch elite.

So our approach was guided by the crucial question: What is neccisary to defeat imperialism for good and provide a decent quality of life for all?

Our position was guided by NECCESITY, not blind ideology. That is why it is so important, a matter of principle in fact.

Cya,
Cian

PS Read the link and the Part 2 for a fuller analysis, and a warning: I'm not necissarily putting forward 100% correctly the views of the CWI, more my understanding of the situation which is not, as far as I know, in conflict with the CWI. But sure, im only young, i oculd be missing something!

Related Link: http://www.socialistworld.net/eng/2006/08/29mideast.html
author by PaddyKpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 21:49Report this post to the editors

Hezbollah as extortionist capitalists... LOL

Cmon FFS. Hezbollah is an Islamic Organisation , its ideals are based on the Quranic decree. The Quran does not provide for extortionism or the extraction of high profits from downtrodden workers, Comradeski.

It promotes free markets and fair trade and an egalitarian society with the poor being continuously helped by the rich until a state of human equality and fairness has bee attained. Kind of like ehhhhhhhh Socialism...kind of.

Capitalism .. GMAFB!

author by PeterKpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 22:16Report this post to the editors

Free markets = Capitalism in its bare naked glory.

Fair Trade = Utopian, social democratic, egalitarian and unrealistic concept that has thus far had little impact on the share of wealth in the global economy.

"the poor being continuously helped by the rich until a state of human equality and fairness has been attained"
If the Quran promotes such an ideal how come nation-states which follow the word of the Quran are as unequal and class based as any other nation-state?

Also, you may want to examine the economic and political reasons behind the lives of those who are 'poor'. Do they really need 'help' from the rich, or is it that they need to take the wealth they ceate for the rich back for themselves?

author by Harry Browne - AWIpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 23:42Report this post to the editors

This is quite a thread, but in five days and scores of comments there's been only a word or two about Ibrahim Mussawi's role -- as a journalist for Al-Manar TV.
The arguments against hearing a Hezbollah speaker don't convince me -- of course it makes sense to take (though not endorse) our anti-imperialists as we find them, however we might wish them to be; the IPSC runs a tour of ex-CIA analysts, AWI of ex-US soldiers, without vetting the totality of their history and worldviews for conformity with our own. Moreover the IAWM has had the US embassy and the Freedom Institute represented on its platforms, so handing someone a microphone hardly equates with waving his flag.
However, while I was not at the meeting for family reasons, the warmth of the IAWM embrace as seen on this thread seems indeed to be worth discussing in some detail. This speaker, after all, does not represent the courageous military resistance to Israeli aggression, nor the laudable social commitments of Hezbollah 'on the ground'. Instead, Mussawi is part of the movement's propaganda wing. (I use the P-word non-pejoratively, more or less.)
By Mussawi's own account on RTE radio last week, Al-Manar came into being initially to provide "conservative" programming imbued with "traditional values" that were regarded as scarce on Lebanese TV. Whatever our sympathies with those on the wrong end of cultural imperialism, you don't have to be an Islamophobe to regard that sort of language with some suspicion. As Deirdre Clancy has pointed out above, one effusion of such conservativism was broadcasting the Syrian and seriously anti-semitic mini-series Al-Shatat.
Al-Manar generated its own anti-semitic content in the week after 9/11: the infamous "4,000 Israelis stayed home" story -- which quickly turned into "4,000 Jews" -- spread from an Al-Manar "special report". This story, apparently still widely believed throughout the world, is not only an egregious and ugly act of journalistic stupidity, it is also part of the paranoid-conspiracy idiocy that is a distracting obstacle to real anti-imperialism, which if it isn't based on truth is surely useless.
In short, whatever his personal views might be, Mussawi and Al-Manar represent what is perhaps the most thoroughly indefensible element of Hezbollah -- its active dissemination of a bigoted, reactionary outlook and programme. Again, I'm not saying he shouldn't have been asked; and I appreciate he was probably not selected on the basis of Al-Manar's track record. But let's keep our critical faculties intact.

author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 00:19Report this post to the editors

I also heard (most of) the interview on the Pat Kenny show with Ibrahim Mussawi. He expanded somewhat on the reasons for the launch of Al-Manar. He spoke of the representation of Arabs and Muslims in the media and the lack of self-representation. The setting up of Al-Manar was a recognition of the powerful role that the media can play but also was about who decides the who what where when and why of that representation.

Harry Browne's description of Al Manar, ("its active dissemination of a bigoted, reactionary outlook and programme"), could be applied to any number of TV channels and media broadcasters at home and across the globe.

What was incredible about the interview was the free reign he was given on RTE1 radio, hardly challenged at all. Unlike the treatment Vincent Brown gave Patricia McKenna on his radio show this week when she was trying to talk about the meeting!

Mussawi voiced the powerlessness that remains when the media does not represent you.

And by a strange twist of fate Indymedia echoes Al Manar.......... create your own media!

author by say wha...??publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 00:43Report this post to the editors

"He spoke of the representation of Arabs and Muslims in the media and the lack of self-representation."

Paula, are you serious?

Lebanese and Middle East media is bad that it has a lack of Arabs and Muslims?

author by bored anarchopublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 00:49Report this post to the editors

"And by a strange twist of fate Indymedia echoes Al Manar.......... create your own media!"

Have indymedia introduced a clerical censorship board and placed the site under the authority of the religious leadership?

C'mon. A fundamentalist religious organisation setting up its own TV show isn't really the same sort of thing as indymedia's open publishing. By the same token you could describe Fox News as Rupert Murdoch creating his own media, not to mention all those christian fundamentalist TV shows in the US. In essence, it's stretching the definition of indymedia way way beyond the boundaries of meaningfulness.

author by Fintan Lane - AWI and ISNpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 01:16author email info at antiwarireland dot orgReport this post to the editors

"And by a strange twist of fate Indymedia echoes Al Manar.......... create your own media!"

It does and it doesn't. Yes, both outlets were created to serve particular political functions and came from a need to overcome problems associated with the mainstream media. However, while indymedia is clearly situated on the left in the political spectrum, Al Manar is not. In fact, Al Manar is a vehicle for conservative ideas that would greatly irk Irish socialists if they were broadcast from a similar station here.

On the broader question, this thread has derailed several times and it does seem as if there has a wilful attempt by some contributors to misrepresent the views of others. The "you're either with Hezbullah all the way or you're against the resistance" line is unhelpful to say the least and not conducive to a proper discussion. It is simply not that black and white.

Hezbullah did good work in defeating the Israeli invasion, and no-one on the left could plausibly claim that Israel and Hezbullah are two sides of the same coin. Of course they're not! The Lebanese people, and organisations such as Hezbullah, were quite right to resist the invading Israeli forces and, in doing so, they dealt a severe blow against imperialism.

A military victory against Israel, however, doesn't change the reality of Hezbullah's right-wing and conservative political platform, which is the antithesis of the class-based politics that we on the left generally claim to espouse. Unfortunately, a significant amount of commentary above sails very close to the simplistic position of "my enemy's enemy is my friend".

Indeed, I agree fully with the Socialist Party poster who remarked that anti-war activists in Ireland are in danger of sending back a rather odd message to genuine left-wingers in Lebanon - that we see Hezbullah as the epitome of anti-imperialist resistance and a movement to be embraced with much warmth. Hezbullah, in many senses, is a case of the chickens coming home to roost for Israel, but it offers no positive way forward for those striving for progressive and socialist politics in Lebanon itself.

Does a nuanced view make me less anti-imperialist? I think not.

Related Link: http://www.antiwarireland.org
author by Barry - 32 CSMpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 01:27Report this post to the editors

Interesting contrast here between the attitude of the Lebanese Communist Party towards Hezbollah and that of our revolutionary comrades in some of the Irish leftist sects . Unlike the SP/CWI and their demand that we cover our childrens eyes and ears untill the nasty brown man goes away , the Lebanese Communist Party co-operates with Hizballah both politically and militarily , even fighting and dying alongside them in defence of the Lebanese nation . The Lebanese Communist party mobilised its membership to fight alongside Hizballah during the zionist assault , losing 10 martyrs .

According to Dr. Mufid Kuteish, a member of the Political Bureau and head of the Department of International Relations for the Lebanese Communist Party, Hizballah " speaks our language" and Lebanese Communists , despite their differences with Hizballah ," work hard to bring close to us and empower the positive side of Hizballah" . Do the SP believe these communists are merely in thrall to the whiff of cordite also like those they accuse on the Irish left ?

Its very clear from the interview given by Dr Kuteish that Lebanese communists take the sovereignty of their nation extremely seriously , recognising its virtually non existant and that their nation needs to be built . Unlike many Irish socialists who seem to be spooked by the very notion of an Irish nation and the necessity of defending its sovereignty , alarmed even at our history of establishing its sovereignty .

http://www.workers.org/2006/world/lebanon-cp-1005/index....html

Personally Im heartened to see more and more people on the left in Ireland emerging as progressive on such issues and willing to debate discuss and act in an open and mature manner . The fact a number of 32 csm members were among those arrested at the Raytheon occupation, almost half of those arrested , alongside other socialists and anti war activists points to a progressive way ahead for activists all over this country on issues we all agee with. Our sovereignty consists not only of the national territory but its resources , its neutrality , its internal democratic political machinery which must be put firmly and accountably in the hands of the people , and not subject to internal wheeler dealing with colonialism , imperialism and neo liberal capitalism . The left in Lebanon and Hizballah have united under this common cause . Some among the left in Ireland however seem to be suffering from a touch of Brutonism , whose visits to the north terrified him in case he bumped into a shinner on the street and shook hands mistakenly . The SP are suggesting Irish socialists should do a " Gaybo" and refuse to be contaminated by Hizballah . No doubt others are horrified at the notion of dirty dissidents polluting their nice little niche campaigns , god forbid .
But Im confident that those on the left who intend to radically alter the state of things in this country as opposed to inhabiting a little zone and keeping nasty people out will act in the mature and politically clarified manner that the Communists of Lebanon have decided to act in defence of their nations sovereignty . Without sovereignty we have nothing , no control and ownership of our nation , no dignity , no sense of our future . The Lebanese left can see that , perhaps its time for some on the Irish left to wake up to the theft and domination of their own nation .

author by avi15publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 01:28Report this post to the editors

I am aghast at watching the left tying itself in knots trying to explain the reality of the Middle East. The outpourings of pseudo-intellectual socialist babble would be a creative achievement in themselves if they weren't so absolutely devoid of meaning or practical use. In particular, the painful intellectual yoga being done to work out why the left should be allied to islamic movements that are essentially authoritarian in nature would also be amusing if it wasn't so sad. The reductionist socialist mindset on display would also be less pathetic if it wasn't such a long-since discredited anachronism. Wake up, my friends. You are literally decades out of date.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 01:39Report this post to the editors

http://www.workers.org/2006/world/lebanon-cp-0810/index....html

they certainly seem to be taking the notion of sovereignty extremely seriously on the Lebanese left , continually stressing its importance in this keynote July message

author by :-()publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 01:42Report this post to the editors

Why didn't the IAWM bring a speaker from the Lebanese Communist Party to Ireland instead of an Islamic fundamentalist? It's a fair question, don't you think?

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 01:43Report this post to the editors

Barry asked:
According to Dr. Mufid Kuteish, a member of the Political Bureau and head of the Department of International Relations for the Lebanese Communist Party, Hizballah " speaks our language" and Lebanese Communists , despite their differences with Hizballah ," work hard to bring close to us and empower the positive side of Hizballah" . Do the SP believe these communists are merely in thrall to the whiff of cordite also like those they accuse on the Irish left ?

I can't speak for everyone in the Socialist Party, but as far as I'm concerned this is proof only that Stalinists never learn. This is exactly what they did and said about Khomeini in Iran and the Ba'athists in Iraq. Right up until they got massacred by the very "progressive", "anti-imperialist" forces they had fallen in behind.

author by Deirdre Clancy - AWIpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 02:08Report this post to the editors

"Harry Browne's description of Al Manar, ("its active dissemination of a bigoted, reactionary outlook and programme"), could be applied to any number of TV channels and media broadcasters at home and across the globe."

The way in which Al-Manar has depicted Jews is pretty similar, actually, to some of the content that was disseminated in Medieval Europe, and some of it is derived from that (another great Western import into the Middle East). Pretty ugly stuff, resurrecting ancient superstitions and conspiracy theories. I find it hard to gloss over this stuff, and I don't want to be part of any revolution where truths like this are taboo. That way lies dystopia and misery.

Islamophobia has replaced anti-Semitism in the West now, it's true. But must we perpetrate the cycle of ethnic hatred by ignoring the fact that bigotry exists on both sides of this conflict? Are we so incapable of complex thought that we have to completely ignore the problems with Al-Manar? That, when people try to point them out, they're accused of nit-picking and hand-wringing? This just seems incredibly regressive to me.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 02:54Report this post to the editors

Ill refer again to the statement by the Lebanese Communist Party spokesman when he states their intent is " to work hard to empower and bring close to us the positive side of Hizballah " , which drectly implies there is a negative side to Hizballah as well as a progressive one from his point of view .
I dont believe it is hand wringing or whtever for socialists and others to point out things that are wrong with Hizballah and elements and attitudes within it from their point of view . In fact they have a perfect right to do so . But the horrified reaction to the invitation to Ireland expressed by the SP and others is another matter altogether . Myself and other members of my own organisation have and still do experience precisely the same hysteria from certain sections of the left and even within supposed republicanism . Ive always been disgusted by it . Im reminded that certain socialists and trade unionists decided the Irish people for 25 years would be terribly served if they were permitted to hear the opinions of Irish seperatists , or even suspected fellow travellers of Irish seperatists on any issue at all . Elements of the left colluded with the right in this country on an issue they regarded as their mutuial interest . I regard moral hysteria in the case of Hizballah being invited to address an Irish audience as little different .

I also believe there is a major difference between an Arab who has suffered dreadfully at the hands of the exclusive and supremacist jewish state who has anti jewish prejudices and a westerner who has chosen to scapegoat jews for societies ills and his personal problems , a huge difference . I believe the left can cure one prejudice through dialogue engagement and discourse and the other through a good feckin hiding . Anti jewish sentiments are wrong from wherever they emanate , but in the case of Arabs faced with colonisation and mass murder from a jewish state they are understandable , albeit wrong and ignorant , as opposed to the sheer evil perversity of the extreme right . The task of socialists in my opinion is to engage with Hizballah and its progressive elements in order assist Hizballahs own progressive trajectory , a trajectory it has amply proven to be capable of adaptability , tolerance , reason and humanity .. In this instance Islam is their liberation theology . Surely we would not refuse to speak to Catholic libertion theologians because of the activities of Opus Dei and the Blueshirts ?
Lastly one simply cannot support the resistance in Lebanon without supporting Hizballah to some extent . Its nonsensical to say they have the right to fight but not to speak or be heard . hypocritical in my opinion

author by Fintan Lane - AWIpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:19Report this post to the editors

"Its nonsensical to say they have the right to fight but not to speak or be heard."

Who said they don't have the right to speak or be heard?

Unfortunately, such statements cloud the real issue here, which is whether cheerleading Hezbullah is appropriate. In my opinion, it is inappropriate because, at heart, Hezbullah is a reactionary organisation in its politics that, through its media, has propagated distinctly anti-Semitic views. Its general outlook is right-wing and conservative.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:05Report this post to the editors

The thread, despite some attempts to derail it, is doing pretty well. Reading three prominent members of AWI contribute their 'nuanced' thoughts, and Barry whose posts are live and vibrant, and many others not-so-prominent contributors.....it gives me great pleasure. The varied, and even if at times aggressive, debate was one of the main objectives we were hoping to achieve when we first invited Ibrahim to come to Ireland.

Nearly 200 contributions - on top of 1,000 people who attended the 6 meetings. Doesn't that tell its own story?

So, our 'right' as a movement to invite a Hezbollah speaker has been conceded...Harry quite correctly states that the IAWM has invited all kinds of people to our debates and meetings. And that invitation to speak, or debate, does not i n i t s e l f express support or full/partial agreement or even 'embracing' the politics of the speakers/guests. That means that all those socialists who tried to block us or asked for a boycott or for socialists to abstain ....well, lets say they were politically deficient!! Equally, those who are advising us to change our name because of the invitation are also being rather ingenious.....my personal opinion on the name of the IAWM is that there are good reasons why it should probably be changed - but not because we invited Ibrahim Mussawi!!

Which brings me to the key political issue : the attitude of progessive people living in the North and by that I mean Europe and the USA, of socialists and anti-war activists in particular, to liberation movements of the South, with all the complexity and contradictions they carry. This is, for us in the iawm and me personally, the major political issue.....do we support them, how we support them, what does our support imply in practice, do we or how do we criticise them.......are there things we can learn from them and things we can show them.....

The debate in this thread touched on a number of these issues....as noted some positions were black/white others nuanced.....I had to laugh when posters with anarchist sounding handles were lecturing us here on what Barry's organisation is and isn't....when the very same political currents were gloating in their support of the Raytheon 9/10 - a number of whom are working with Barry's organisation....now, does that mean that we are either pushed to a position to stop supporting them or do we support some of them and not the others? And to put another question to all of you re:Hezbollah and, particularly the role of Al-Manar in relation to the Palestinians - both those living in camps in Lebanon and those in the occupied territories? Has any of you looked at that part of the equation and considered that role? Harry? Mark? Deirdre? I'll tell you one thing - if I was a Palestinian i'd be embracing Al Manar and Al Jazeera big time right now!! Did any of you count the yellow Hezbollah flags yesterday during the funerals of the latest victims of the barbarians?

A critical approach - yes - but also some attention to facts rather than a philosophical approach.

For some these may be interminable and byzantine wranglings of the Left - for others are seen as key issues separating the wheat from the chaff. As a number of us will be discussing strategy of the anti war movement in Limerick tomorrow, we'll have plenty of time to come back to these issues. And then there is the iawm AGM set for Dec. 2nd at 11.00 in the Royal Dublin Hotel. Watch this space.

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:22Report this post to the editors

As I stated earlier in the thread I am repelled by the lack of women
at the table. I certainly am glad I did not attend the event. you have
answered or dealt with every other issue.

In this particular event women were not encouraged to be a part
of the panel nor are they heavily represented on the committee.

Somewhat fly-swatted the issue and attempted to twist it-

does iAWM encorage women to take leadership roles within
the movement, have you spoken with women about standing for
chair.

Straight answers. no bullshit. thank you.

author by activistpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:28Report this post to the editors

The following from MichaelY highlights one of his major blind spots.

".I had to laugh when posters with anarchist sounding handles were lecturing us here on what Barry's organisation is and isn't....when the very same political currents were gloating in their support of the Raytheon 9/10 - a number of whom are working with Barry's organisation."

So what is he saying? That coz some of the Raytheon 9 are part of the 32 CSM (a Real IRA supporting organisation) we have to suspend our critical faculties with regard to the 32 CSM??? And maybe to the Real IRA as well??? What a simple view of the world you have MichaelY. You fetishise tactics and pay almost no attention to political content. Your view of Hizbollah is based on such premises. As long as Hizbollah are whacking Israelis, consideration of their actual politics is a mere distraction, in your view.

MichaelY, on another issue, why are so self-congratulary? Believe me, your self-contradictory fake-militant contributions to this thread have not enhanced the reputation of the IAWM. Quite the opposite in fact. Your aggressive tone polarises and it is obvious that you have convinced nobody in the SP, AWI or among the anarchists of your "We are all Hizbollah now!' nonsense.

author by comicalpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:29Report this post to the editors

put another question to all of you re:Hezbollah and, particularly the role of Al-Manar in relation to the Palestinians - both those living in camps in Lebanon and those in the occupied territories? Has any of you looked at that part of the equation and considered that role?

you should put South Lebanon as the hezbollah split the country in 2 a long long time ago. Also explain then to us all with your wondrous wisdom how 75% of the palestinians in SOUTH lebanon are living below the poverty line if as you say hezbollah boast about how they love the palestinians then why are the palestinians starving in their own backyard and have severe restrictions placed upon them(as bad as Israel) ...might have something to do with the majority of the refugees are sunni and hezbollah is a shia militia, the palestinians have no work, no citizenship, no future in Lebanon, the refugee camps you refer to are actually urban slums with no running water or electricity, no sewerage and no rubbish facilities

yeh hezbollah love em michael, thats why they live worse than conditions in gaza

looks like al manar spun you a line and you swallowed hook, line, sinker

author by Ramon Mercaderpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:34Report this post to the editors

When the Israelis invaded Lebanon in the 1980s, the resistance was led almost entirely by the Communist party and its secular allies. Then Hezbullah came on the scene, backed by Iran, and set out to replace the leftists. One of the ways they did this was by assassinating leaders of the Communist party (at a time when their country was locked in a life and death struggle with a foreign power, they were quite happy to kill fellow resistance activists in order to promote their own political goals).

At this stage, the Lebanese CP is a shadow of its former self. Their military wing was in no position to stage an effective campaign of resistance to the Israeli attack this summer. So it's not surprising that they endorsed Hezbullah's military resistance and rowed in behind them. Any statements they've made about the positive side of Hezbullah sounds like making a virtue out of necessity.

When it comes to the crunch though, leftists and Islamists in Lebanon are likely to be deadly enemies, and the Lebanese CP have enough "martyrs" killed by Hezbullah to prove it.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:40Report this post to the editors

Hi Chris,

Facts: In the current iawm Steering Committee, from the 10 active members 4 (four) are women - the last two to join the group were women - the last two to leave the group were men!

In the local groups in Dublin, it is my impression that the majority of activists are women. I don't think that's the case in groups across the country. The forthcoming AGM will show clearly the situation there. To my knowledge, no other candidate has as yet been proposed for the position of the chair....woman or man!! Deadline for proposals Nov. 19th.

In my strictly personal opinion, women comrades, over the last 6- 8 months, have begun playing an ever increasing role in the iawm.....organising events, in carrying out all kind of tasks, in representing the organisation at meetings. In a forthcoming very high profile international conference the iawm rep will be a woman.

What has not yet happened is our women comrades to assume o public role here in Ireland and start speaking out.....that role is still in male hands.

Overall, in the anti war movement across the country, whether it is the AWI, the AWN or the iawm, there is a lot of work to be done for women to take their rightful place of half the sky.....

author by garrypublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:11Report this post to the editors

"If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of
going after them worldwide."

"If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly,
despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we
would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli."

Lovely quotes from our anti-Semitic friend Nasrallah. If any other group were as outspokenly racist as this, they would have never been invited near an IAWM platform, but as the case of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' seems to be more important, a Hizbullah representative is invited to speak with the IAWM. As long as we're all anti-imperialist who cares about the consistency of our politics.

Yes, the IAWM doesn't have to be a pacifist organisation to be an anti-war organisation, and yes, HIzbullah are anti-imperialist and fighting a war of liberation of Israeli occupation of Lebanese soil was justified, but regardless, the IAWM should have no business associating with conservative religious fundamentalist politics by inviting a member from a racist organisation like Hizbullah to speak.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:30Report this post to the editors

The issue with the 32CSM arose when I thanked Barry, who identified himself as a member of that organisation, for his contribution(s) and dared to write “solidarity with your work”, having in mind his politics as expressed in his posts and the politics of a number of the comrades in the Raytheon 9/10 group. I was immediately assaulted as being a supporter of Omagh and, in the very latest message, of Darkley…talking of aggression. As for your right to think what you want and to analyse as you wish that organisation - far be it from me to stop you.....

Now, my, and the iawm’s general attitude to Hezbollah, is based precisely on the political content and effect of their activity and how it is perceived in the Middle East and the Arab nations in general, in Lebanon in particular and among the Shi’a and Palestinian people specifically. I don’t, and most of us in the iawm, do not arrive at positions philosophically….we analyse actions, be they tactical or strategic, we look at the results of those actions and form an opinion. We talk to Lebanese in this country and in Lebanon, we talk to Palestinians and their organisations, we talk to Israeli anti-zionists and arrive at a position…..because we are a movement and not a political party!! Under the guiding line that what matters in politics, and in real life, is not what people say but what people do! Period.

And we debate our position!! Finally, our objective is not “to enhance our reputation” – particularly among other sections of the Left ! They know who we are (some of course don’t) and we have a very good idea of what they’re made of. Our objective is to build a movement to stop the Irish collaboration with the Empire. And to work with others towards that objective. Especially now at a time that the neo-cons in the US, and their allies here and in Europe have got a good kick in the ass.

PS. Activist, read carefully some of the latest posts from some new kids in the block. Do you recognise the furore that we dared bring Ibrahim to Ireland? Do you smell the froth in the mouth? With your critical ability of political content how do you categorise these posts? Don't know how old you are, but do you hear the echoes of Section 30 and a number of 'left' people's attitude to those fighting the Brits and reaction up the road? Do you? And, pls, do us all a favour and think carefully of blind spots before you respond.

author by Deirdre Clancy - Anti-War Irelandpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:02Report this post to the editors

I would like to comment on what MichaelY said here:

"So, our 'right' as a movement to invite a Hezbollah speaker has been conceded...Harry quite correctly states that the IAWM has invited all kinds of people to our debates and meetings. And that invitation to speak, or debate, does not i n i t s e l f express support or full/partial agreement or even 'embracing' the politics of the speakers/guests. That means that all those socialists who tried to block us or asked for a boycott or for socialists to abstain ....well, lets say they were politically deficient!! "

Just for the record, I'd like to point out that - as far as I'm aware - no AWI person has queried the IAWM's 'right' to give a Hezbullah speaker a platform. So with us, it's not been a case of 'conceding' anything. I know that Michael may not have been referring to AWI here, but I just wanted to clarify that in case anyone got that impression.

I don't think the arguments of AWI people on this thread are 'nuanced' - I think they're nuanced, without the quotes.

And yes, the invitation to speak does not necessarily indicate a full embracing of a person's politics - that's absolutely true. However, I think people could have been forgiven at times during this thread for thinking that this was exactly what was happening. Those who questioned Hezbullah were depicted as hand-wringers and undermining the anti-imperialist struggle for a while theret toward beginning of the thread. The phrase 'we're all Hezullah now' was used with abandon. So I think there was a context to the questioning.

As for calling other socialists' politics 'deficient', well, that just doesn't seem very helpful to me.

author by Until Jerusalempublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:08Report this post to the editors

"To my knowledge, no other candidate has as yet been proposed for the position of the chair....woman or man!! Deadline for proposals Nov. 19th."

Based on his postings to this thread, Mark P. would be a worthy nominee (and no, I don't know him and have nothing _whatsoever_to do with the Socialist Party). He would bring a moral clarity that appears to be lacking from that body's leadership at moment. It's mindboggling that its leadership either doesn't know the lessons that the Iranian revolution taught leftists, or chooses to ignore history out of either a misplaced sense of solidarity or a middle-class thrill for a whiff of Iranian-supplied cordite. What's their new slogan - "Down With Us?".

author by Pushkinpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:20Report this post to the editors

Actually I think Deirdre Clancy would make a better Chair of the IAWM. No disrespect to Mark, hes argued well here and maintained a principled position. But Deirdre has the standing to actually be a good chair. As well as her organisational abilities she also has national recognition.

So if the IAWM are honest about reaching out ( I know Michael Y is genuine) then it would be a magnificent gesture for the IAWM Steering Committee to propose Deirdre for Chair. True unity might be possible if they did so.

author by awi activistpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:29Report this post to the editors

I hate to point out the obvious but Deirdre is a member of Anti-War Ireland and, to be blunt, we really don't care who is chair of the IAWM. Our members are hardly eligible for such positions and wouldn't want to be anyway.

author by Anonpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:33Report this post to the editors

Why doesn't the IAWM dissolve into AWI and then Deirdre Clancy could be nominated as chair of the new AWI?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 13:46Report this post to the editors

What a wonderful world this would be......sanity prevails at last?

Both suggestions, both Mark P and Deirdre would be absolutely fantastic Chairpeople for the iawm. This, of course, is not to imply that there is anything wrong with the current incumbent - but to quote the winners of the mid-term elections across the ocean, change is such a sweet word.

First of all, as correctly pointed out by the last message, both Deirdre and Mark are not, currently iawm members...as far as I know and I stand corrected on this one if I am.....in both cases any such decision would involve some political jockeying....new alliances etc. And I am delighted the suggestions have come from third - if not disinterested - parties.

We are speaking very hypothetically here.....but to include Chris' comment above, Deirdre would be an absolutely briliant, considerate, sensitive and politically almost revolutionary choice....and we can imagine even more innovative solutions, such as a collective leadership etc etc The mind boggles.

So - how about it?

See, bringing a Hezbollah speaker here to Ireland may have some very unexpected and imaginative results.....btw, Deridre is right, the 'detractors' were not and had nothing to do with the AWI. As for my use of the word 'deficient' - perhaps it wasn't very apt. What would be the word that would more accurately describe that attitude?

author by markinpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:31Report this post to the editors

what does it smell like, anyway, and where did the cliche originate? mark seems particularly fond of it, and uses it effectively...um.

cian:

when you write--
'In the concrete situation of Israel-palestine we also have to consider that it is a very complex situation, in that many ordinary even empoverished israelis have grown up there and there is now both an Israeli and a Palestinian national consciousness. This means it is impossible to simply abolish a state for the Israeli workers and poor. This would just push them into the hands of the reactionary's and most violent zionists.'

1) does this mean that sp supports a two-state solution? if so, how do you reconcile this with your call for a regional federation etc.; and 2) in terms of their relations with the arab world, aren't they in the 'hands of the reactionary's" anyway?

this is important, it seems to me, because if you begin from the assumption that challenging what you call 'israeli national consciousness' will only alienate israeli workers, then you have basically surrendered the possibility of challenging the deep-rooted anti-arab racism that prevails among them. this is why i asked whether your comrades in israel argued for the defeat of their own army in lebanon. neither you nor mark answered. if you think i am overstating the level of such racism/chauvinism, then have a read of the comments pages at the ha-aretz website, any day of the week, which draws on a relatively liberal readership.

there is a very important, classic marxist analysis availabvle here, http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/mideast/t....html, which you should have a look at. it includes the following statement, from 1968:

'The historical conflict between Zionism and Israel in its present form, on the one hand, and the Arab world on the other, springs from the fact that the “Zionist endeavor” was from its very beginning a planned and deliberate process of colonization by outsiders who settled in this country, displacing its indigenous people; in this, Zionism was backed by imperialism and sided with imperialism against revolutionary developments in the Arab world. One of the main reasons for the Arabs’ refusal to accept the existence of Israel was that it appeared to them not only as the product of the Zionist colonization process but also as an instrument for furthering and expanding that process against them and at their expense.'

for an organisation that devotes so much of its energy to countering the nationalist/islamist illusions of the palestinian and arab masses, the cwi seems remarkably timid when it comes to challenging support for militarism, imperialism, orchestrated mass murder on the israeli side. look at the sp comments above. the bizarre obsession with the tactic of suicide bombing (which was not an issue in the lebanon war, let me remind you) seems to me completely obscene during a week in which palestinians are being slaughtered in front of the eyes of the world.

this is not an aberration in terms of sp politics, though: it is the logical outcome of an extremely sectarian attitude toward the rest of the left, which i have observed many many many times, and which is epitomized in the venomous rants from mark, and an unprincipled, cowardly approach to the question of imperialism.

mark: i'm not sure where you found anyone arguing for uncritical support for those fighting imperialism, including hizbullah. i argued explicitly for critical support, and pointed out that socialists have substantial disfferences with islamists of all stripes. my own take is that, like the PLO before them, both hizb. and hamas are up for a deal that falls well short of liberation. perhaps your eyes are failing, or your prescription needs refilled.

Related Link: http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/mideast/t....html
author by Marcas MacCaoimhínpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:31Report this post to the editors

Kevin W of the SWP tries to suggest that SP accusations of Stalinism against the SWP are just empty formulas and in doing so infers that supporting an organisation like Hezbollah is somehow consistant with a Marxist approach. This is completely false and is in keeping with the accelerating degeneration of the SWP.
The SWP are involved in popular Frontism. What they put forward is that in some countries Socialist revolution is not on the agenda and therefore we must make alliances with the likes of Hezbollah, Hamas and Clerical elements in the Iraqi resistance. This is akin to Stalinist support for the "Progressive Bourgeoisie". SWP policy zig zags are also reminiscent of Stalinism. A few years ago they were waving red flags chanting "One Solution Revolution", now they are voting to remove the word Socialism from alliance they take part in arguing that the masses are not ready for this complicated idea. - as Lenin put it "Opportunism and Ultra Leftism, two sides of the same coin".

author by Marcas MacCaoimhínpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 16:54Report this post to the editors

"Great political defeats provoke a reconsideration of values, generally occurring in two directions. On the one hand the true vanguard, enriched by the experience of defeat, defends with tooth and nail the heritage of revolutionary thought and on this basis strives to educate new cadres for the mass struggle to come. On the other hand the routinists, centrists and dilettantes, frightened by defeat, do their best to destroy the authority of the revolutionary tradition and go backwards in their search for a ’New World’... The minds of these people are too lazy to renounce Marxism: they prostitute it."

From Trotsky's "Stalinism and Bolshevism".
This perfectly describes what is happening with the SWP. Unable to bring themselves to renounce Marxism they redefine in an academic way what Marxism actually is.

"The policy of the “People’s Front,” as is shown by the example of Spain, France, and other countries, consists in subordinating the proletariat to the left-wing of the bourgeoisie. But the entire bourgeoisie of the capitalist countries, the right as well as the “left” is permeated through and through with chauvinism and imperialism. The “People’s Front” serves to turn the workers into cannon fodder for their imperialist bourgeoisie. Only that and nothing more."

From Trotsky's
"Anti-Imperialist Struggle
Is Key To Liberation"
An Interview with Mateo Fossa September 23, 1938

By supporting Islamic groups you tell Muslim workers to fight for Clerical states where their rights and the rights of Women and Homosexuals as well as basic democratic rights are trampled on.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 17:48Report this post to the editors

And here I was, couple of hours ago, stating that sanity had prevailed in this thread - at last!
I was wrong - again!

Marcus - with all due respect - the issue in question will not be resolved through an SP v SWP football or International Rules match. There's many of us, many many more than the combined membership of the two gladiators, who basically are not very interested in the love/hate relationship between the two of yous. Nor are we too pre-occupied with who is a real Trotskyist, a crypto-Stalinist, a Byzantine dervish or whatever.

Ibrahim is gone, he sends his love and best wishes to all irish people in his latest txt message from Beirut, and hopes to see some of us soon.

That's the end of that strory....now let us concentrate on the future of the anti war movement nationally and internationally.
.
Please.

author by Lemacpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:14Report this post to the editors

We will take that as an admission that you were wrong to invite the reactionary from Hezbollah.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:42Report this post to the editors

Neither Stalin , Trotsky nor Lenin came from a colonised society ( quite the opposite) so simply dont have the insights necessary to properly guide a native liberation movement . They were never colonised by another country , their countrymen were never subjected to the destruction of ones humanity that colonisation insist upon to make one a subject . Colonialism and neo-colonialism are psychological conditions even moreso than merely political and economic phenomena . Hizballah seem to be taking quite a few leafs out of Frantz Fanons book as regards the issue of national consciousness and national sovereignty while developing parallel social structures among the rural peasantry , making looking after the welfare of the rural hinterlands their priority while the metropolitan bourgeoisie do absolutely nothing for them . A tactic which most definitely paid off in their physical defence of the national sovereignty . Without doubt they are the national consciousness of the Lebanese - its in that context the phrase " we are all Hizballah now" is so important .
That elements on the left obviously cant handle Lebanese national consciousness its no surprise given their abhorrence of their native Irish national consiousness , something metropolitan intellectuals have sought to ridicule and destroy the very notion of for the last number of decades and still do . In reading this debate its worth remembering that virtually all taking part in it are themselves from a colonised society which having failed to harness national consciousness has passed on its mental confusion and neuroses to its children . Indeed if they grew up with a tv , radio and newspaper in the house they are the Cruisers and Harrises children , a stigma which carries with it all the mental disorders those men sought to pass on to the Irish people for decades . ( eg witness the confusion on the left in Ireland surrounding the GFA - they vociferously denounce American and British sponsored and brokered peace plans around the world as imperialism but not in their own country , were its peace of course)
A mature debate within this colonial society on a national liberation movement is unlikely to ever happen when it is still afflicted by the disease of colonialism . As Sigmund Freud once pointed out the Irish are a people for whom psycho-analysis is absolutely no use whatsoever . He was'nt being racist , merely pointing out how damged psychoogically this society is and how it was beyond his ability to help them . Dr Fanon would understand this perfectly well . Hopefully Hizballah understand this also and were not overly insulted by the moral hysteria among the Irish left during the visit to Ireland .

author by anonpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:45Report this post to the editors

Well, Barry, you would say that, wouldn't you? The 32 CSM is a nationalist group that believes the way forward lies in small-scale armed struggle, which can safely be called "terrorism" in the way it is practised by the Real IRA.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 18:56Report this post to the editors

32 CSM believe the way forward lies in Irish soverignty and Irish democracy at its maximum expression , without US and British imposed undemocratic vetoes , imperialism ,colonialism and multi nationals running our native political system . We might under these conditions for example own our own oil and gas resources and have a say whether Shannon was a US military base or not . Presently we most certainly dont and are unlikely to do so without a way forward that involves national sovereignty being upheld and defended .
Britian on the other hand most certainly does believe in using terrorism in Ireland and has sponsored it for centuries , the last 3 decades being a particular case in point . Thats why they bombed Dublin Monaghan and imported tonnes of weaponry from S Africa to secure its political objectives in Ireland . However your internal neuroses make you instinctively recoil from these issues .

author by not Hezbollahpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:31Report this post to the editors

Given anons constant jibes at Barrys contributions to the thread perhaps he /she could do us the courtesy of telling us whether he / she is a socialist at least ? Does anon have a point , what is the axe being ground here against Barry ?

author by Marcas MacCaoimhínpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 19:43Report this post to the editors

There is significantly more support for Trotskyism in Ireland than for the 32CSC/RIRA brand of 19th Century Fenianism.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 20:03Report this post to the editors

Im reminded of the loyalist psyche which thinks being called a fenian is some sort of insult .
19th century Fenianism might be required to stop the 21 st century pillage of our national resources if the adherents of early 20th century Russian philosophers cant get the unions out to stop it . Either ways fine by me .
Also while I bump into people who agree with our fenian position on a virtually daily basis and personally sell 1000s of copies of the Sovereign nation to them and take regular contributions for imprisoned activists not a singe one has ever raised the merits of Trotsky with me . Not one .
I think your being a tad over optimistic as regards your position to be fair . Perhaps you need to get out more .

author by anonpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 22:07Report this post to the editors

I'm not particularly interested in criticising your uber-nationalist politics. That's your own business and I have voted Sinn Fein in the past and may do so again. My problem with the 32 CSM has to do with methods. There is no support in the six counties for a continuation of armed struggle, yet your comrades in the Real IRA carry on shooting and bombing regardless. Omagh and the 29 dead can never be forgotten. The fact that a permanent ceasefire wasn't called by the Real IRA after Omagh is damning, for both the RIRA and the 32 CSM.

MichaelY of the IAWM's message of solidarity to such a group still strikes me as very bizarre.

author by PaddyKpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 22:13Report this post to the editors

Those quotes that are attributed to Nasrallah about the Jews are disputed, BTW.

Same as the Quotes by Ahmadinejad, relating to wiping out Israel, are heavily contested as having been opportunistically translated for the public consumption.

Major point from a good journalistic POV .........Minor point from a personal POV.

Even if Mahmoud A. had said that, we still would not be judging the Psyche of the Iranian people or the probable motive or MO of the Iranian state by the words of a single person.

Well some of us wouldnt anyway.

author by Barry - 32 csmpublication date Fri Nov 10, 2006 23:03Report this post to the editors

Interestingly I have never voted for Sinn Fein in my life and never will although I did use to canvass for them for a period . If you regard the political defence of national sovereignty and the desire for democracy at its maximum expression without foreign imposed vetoes and restrictions as to what form Irish democracy is permitted to take as " uber nationalism" then Im afraid I honestly dont know what confused brand of politics your espousing here . Generaly speaking your average nation gets quite ticked off when colonial powers attempt to divide its territory and occupy and tell people what form their internal democracy must take . In fact there are international charters and laws specifically aimed at the former and current colonial powers which specify such activity as illegal and in contravention of international law . A political position with this at its centre is most definitely not ubernationalism . Perhaps you regard the Lebanese insistence upon their sovereignty being respected as "ubernationalism" too ? Hence your problem with Hizballah ?

The 32 CSM does not engage in armed struggle , you can blather about that all you want but it simply does not . To state there is no support in the 6 counties for armed struggle is untrue although there is currently very little support for it accross the entire country ( that you apparently view the 6 counties as seperate from the rest of the Irish nation perplexes me ). It is true to state though that the conditions in which to wage guerilla warfare and an insurgent campaign do not currently exist ( as opposed to the justification for armed insurgency , which certainly does exist in Ireland and will continue to do so while our soverignty is being usurped by a foreign power). Lack of support for armed struggle should not be equated with support for British rule in Ireland . Quite a number of members of 32 csm do not support the use of armed struggle in the current political climate , including myself . Although that will most likely change when Sinn Fein join the British police .
The reason the Real IRA have continued to carry out operations within the occupied area and Britain is simply because Britain continues to act as an illegal occupier of our nation , ie as a hostile , agressive interloper which maintains it has the right to determine the future of our Irish nation and demand our national soverignty be subverted and subjected to its illegal claim over our nation and its intent to occupy part of it and divide the national territory. Therefore they engage periodically in armed struggle simply because they have the right to do so and to assert Irish sovereignty in the face of British attacks upon it .

As regards Omagh and the 29 dead it certainly wont be forgotten , not least by us which is why 32 csm have continually called for an independent cross border public enquiry into the massacre , a call the British and free state governemnts refuse to countenance , not least because their agents have been proven to have been up to their necks in it . No less than 2 trials of republicans they are trying to frame for the bombing have descended into corrupt farces and stitch ups . The O'Loan report identifies serious dodgy dealings in the affair and cover ups and barely a month goes by now without another revelation . There are very few people in Omagh today including amongst the Omagh relatives who dont believe Britain intended that a massacre would take place that day .
That a permanent ceasefire hasnt been called by the RIRA is far from damning I can assure you and the 32 csm continues to enjoy considerable support and sympathy in and around Omagh itself and that area of tyrone . Support which continues to grow now at a faster pace in the current political climate of national betrayal by the Sinn Fein leadership .

MichaelY of the IAWM's message of solidarity to myself is not in the slightest bit bizarre as such messages of solidarity and support from different people happen on a regular basis . However to advance a watery , mealy mouthed felon setting agenda which you have done consistently throughout this thread it is necessary to portray it as such . Id also point out here as well that both myself and MichaelY have clealry spelt out what our political platforms and backgrounds are while you continue to snipe anonymously in attempts to create some sort of middle class moral outrage . Rather than explain what your problem is you keep on using words like "bizarre" without actually explaining why something is bizarre .Such confusion and lack of clarity is not helpful in the slightest to political discourse of any kind and on any subject . I sincerely hope your object here is not to create and promote confusion .

Its obvious therefore that you have nothing by way of encouragement to offer the Lebanese people as you regard defence of sovereignty as "uber nationalism" and outrageous and all you are concerned with is moral outrageousness and how dare these horrble dirty people raise their heads in public . Ive been dealing with articles like you all my life and the bourgeois mentality never really changes .

author by anonpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 00:36Report this post to the editors

The fact that the State attempted to stich up people for the Omagh bombing is irrelevant to culpability. It is accepted by everybody - including 'dissident' republicans - that the Real IRA carried out that bombing, killing 29 innocent people. Now if anybody wonders what the connection with the 32 CSM is, I suggest they visit the 32 CSM website. You can start with the 'Photo Gallery' which contains almost nothing other than photos of masked RIRA volunteers.

http://www.32csm.netfirms.com/photo.html

For an organisation that is divided, as Barry would have it, on the use of violence, they seem hellbent on promoting the RIRA. Care to explain?

author by Barry - 32csmpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 03:23Report this post to the editors

Agreeing to disagree intrnally on the appropriate or optimum time and conditions for other people to engage in armed struggle is hardly what Id call divided , particularly as 32 csm does not enage in armed struggle . 32 CSM however has no reservation in supporting the riht of Irish people to do so though .
As regards the photgraphs on the site its because 32 csm gives moral and political support to "rira" and their prisoners . Someone who needs that explained to them is pretty dim . And what any of this as to do with the invite given to Hizballah is beyond me .
What is your point exactly ? A bizarre one perhaps ?

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 04:05Report this post to the editors

"Should the IAWM have invited a representative of Hezbollah?"

Yes, of course, they should. It is always invaluable and educational to hear from citizens of Middle Eastern countries, who can report what is actually happening in more detail, as we are fed such bullshit by some of the global media.

The Irish Anti-War Movement is an anti-imperialist movement and one of Hezbollah's many aims is to eradicate Western imperialism in Lebanon, so the IAWM would be supportive of that aim. As stated by Michael, the IAWM is not a peace movement, so there is no conflict of interest there, although it is fair to say the title "Irish Anti-War Movement" is misleading and would lead people to believe that it was against all wars - which it is not. IAWM supports the Iraqi resistance and also Hezbollah's right to resist and defend itself against Israeli military incursions and attacks.

Well done to all in the IAWM who put such effort and work into organising this meeting, which has stimulated much debate here.

Comhghairdeas daoibh.

author by Ohhh Errr an Harrispublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 04:34Report this post to the editors

Can anyone tell me whether or not the former BICO organisation has any connection with the SP ? The SP reaction to Hezbollahs invitation and the snotty comment about Fenians somewhere up the page sounds quite reminiscent of times past . Forgive my ignorance if Im wrong but they appear quite reactionary on the subject of national liberation movements .

author by J.A.Woodpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:25Report this post to the editors

You are indeed ignorant. SP does not subscribe to a two nations theory. SP has never had anything to do with BICO. If you want to end your ignorance you should read SP material at www.socialistparty.net.

author by Garrett - SP memberpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 20:02Report this post to the editors

Michael Y
"First time I see SP members pay such attention to a thread....is it their psychotic - sorry political - hatred of the SWP the cause behind this obsession?'

'I said it in another message - we are inviting the SP, as an organisation, or as individual members, to come to our AGM, planned for Saturday Dec. 2nd and argue their points....if they don't, we are prepared to organise a Conference and argue publicly some of these issues with them. Us, tthe IAWM.......what the SWP does is their monkey!!

'To the other trolls, who attack either by personal vilification, or innuendos about peacekeeping and terrorism and the like.....you're pissing in the wind.....buzz off and leave this thread in peace - to people who care about the plans of the Empire for a 'New Middle East'.....and are willing to fight against them".

Michael- there is a book called ' How to lose friends and alienate people'- you might read it but in any case do not be surprised that we psycho's in the Socialist Party will not be joining you at the IAWM AGM.

...them comrades come rally ...
and the last fight ...

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net
author by wilaw - statistical centrepublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 16:51Report this post to the editors

I would like to know (honestly) from someone on the 'left' if occupation and imperialism extends to mass immigration from more or less alien cultures and races and religious traditions....especially those traditions with a long history of antipathy?
Is it imperialism only when armies and militias are involved? Or is there such a thing as cultural imperialism? If Ireland, Scotland or Lebanon is simply overwhelmed by people of another tradition, does that constitute imperialism? If the British army finally and completely leaves the North, will you then agree that violence against the minority protestant population would be no longer acceptable?
If in fifty or a hundren years, Ireland is majority muslim or protestant will you accept that as a natural evolution of the country? Or will that be imperialism by stealth?

If a massive migration of Irish into Scotland and England is acceptable to the native Brits, then you really haven't a leg to stand on when the Muslims and others do it to you, have you?
I would like to know how long your principles will stand up when your girlfriend is being called a whore because she shows a little too much cleavage in an 'Asian area' of Dublin?
Make friends with your buddies in Hamas and Hizbollah and any other group who want their own space ( except for protestants in the North though) it will come back and bite you in the arse soon enough. The trouble with Socialism (I used to suffer from it myself) is that it ignores the reality of human nature and dreams a dream which leads to mass murder. The killers will kill even if they are jewish socialists....no one is immune, not even you. Stalin's men who organised the worst killing machine in the twentieth century were nearly all jewish. No one should put the halo on their heads and condemn the other....its all a lie. Hizbollah have had lots of chance to accept peace with the Israelis over the years they rejected it. Your sense of ownership on their behalf isn't so different to Germanic sense of ownership against the presence of the jews in their country.......The parallels are not so far fetched.

author by Woohoopublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 17:09Report this post to the editors

Thanks for that rambling, nonsensical diatribe, Wilaw. You managed to say nothing concrete whatoever while ranting against Jews, Muslims, socialists, Lebanese and Palestinians, and god knows what else. The Left may be deeply flawed, but at least its thinking is clearer than yours

author by wilaw - statistical centrepublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 17:25Report this post to the editors

OK so you don't understand the question? OK I'm not surprised that when someone asks for information from you, he gets personal insults instead. I wrote the truth. It wasn't against anyone. It was the truth. I have muslim, Jewish and socialist friends.....and even Irish Catholic friends.....they are conditioned and predictable too.

author by Woohoopublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 18:07Report this post to the editors

No, I'm afraid there's nothing clear about it at all. Up until the last paragraph it was a fairly standard anti-immigrant rant, but then you lost the plot completely when you started rambling about socialist and those killer Jews. "I wrote the truth" - you're good for a giggle anyway

author by Cian - SP, SY & CWIpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 22:42author email info at socialistparty dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Here is an interview with Hanna Sell, General Sectretary of the Socialist Party England and Wales outling the CWI's position on this. NOTE that she clearly states that the enemy is imperialism and there is no equating of Hezbollah with the IDF but there is a call for united workers struggle.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=190279936421958...890&q

Related Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=190279936421958...890&q
author by Cian - SP, SY & CWI - personal cap.publication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 22:47author email info at socialistparty dot netauthor address LimerickReport this post to the editors

Imperialism isn't about immigrants. It is about the 'exportation of capital'. Put plainly it is when the stronger capitalist countries use their economic strength to dominate more backward countries, taking advantage of the low wage rates, the natural resources and the new markets to make increased profits. Imperialism is usually an econonomic thing but it also can result in military interventions. War is the continuation of politics by other means.

Related Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=190279936421958...890&q
author by Bide your timepublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 00:16Report this post to the editors

Hannah Sell is deputy general secretary of SPEW

Taaffe hasn't been deposed yet!

author by Cianpublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 14:19Report this post to the editors

I appologise, DEPUTY general secretary.

Related Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=190279936421958...890&q
author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 01:41Report this post to the editors

What is I think is very revealing is how 99% of the posters on this thread choose to ignore the evidence that Hezbollah is anti-semitic. What are we to make of this except that these people share Hezbollah's viewpoint? If indeed this is the case, then I am afraid it negates ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ELSE they are saying, as it reveals them to be the worst, most dishonest hypocrites. As I said, this is the essential moral bankruptcy of the left. Of course, there are none so blind as those who cannot see...

author by Tonypublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 08:11Report this post to the editors

Avi15 says: "What is I think is very revealing is how 99% of the posters on this thread choose to ignore the evidence that Hezbollah is anti-semitic"
The reason is that you have produced no uncontested evidence. Anti-zionism is not the same as anti-semitism.
Zionism is a political and racist movement for a stolen and ethnically-cleansed Palestine, and therefore has MOREin common with antisemitism than has opposition to the state of Israel.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 08:49Report this post to the editors

I also don't accept that zionism is racist. It simply refers to the right of the Jewish people to live in their ancestral homeland. We are quite happy to share that homeland (and note that many Israeli citizens are Arabs), whereas the Arabs are not. Note that the Palestinians will neither accept Jews living in Palestinian areas (They murder them.) nor will they accept a two-state solution (The Hamas government refuses to recognise the existence of Israel). Hezbollah's TV station has been banned in France for anti-semitic incitement and the statements by its leader, quoted in a previous thread, threatening the genocide of Jews, are correctly attributed to him and have been widely reported.

author by Balar of the Baleful Eyepublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:30Report this post to the editors

Hezbollah as anti-Semetic? discussed above - not cut and dry. There are some in the organization who promoted anti-Semetism, there are many (more) who could be best described as anti-Zinist.

avi15
also don't accept that zionism is racist. It simply refers to the right of the Jewish people to live in their ancestral homeland..

Regardless of religion, people who are ethnically, or racially Jewish from throughout the world, can easily get Israeli citizenship.

On the other hand,even those of Arab ethnicity who were expelled from 1948 on, have no such welcome. This is racist.

We are quite happy to share that homeland (and note that many Israeli citizens are Arabs), whereas the Arabs are not..

In this country, we know how an occupying force, a colonizer, an invader, can polarise attitudes, but ultimately accommodation has always been arrived at. The intransigence in this case, seems to come from the 'might is right' stance affored to Israel by the world's largest military poewr.

Note that the Palestinians will neither accept Jews living in Palestinian areas (They murder them.)

Note that if someone said "the Jews", there would be (understandably) a suspicion that the writer was anti-Seietic or racist. When myths are defined as being real, they can become real in their consequences.

Some Israeli Jews don't want to live near Palestinians - new strategy Minister Lieberman for example. Some Palestinians don't want to live beside Jewish people - though I've never heard any of them say this, there may be a few who've been polarised by decades of humiliation and degradation by a neighbouring culture of domination.

Settlements continue uninvited, despite numerous committments by Israel not to continue this theft. The settlers are not invited. The come in and build where they like, backed up by military might. It's amazing then, that anyone can be surprised when, occasionally, settlers are killed.

These settlers cost the Israeli and American tax-payers billions, for what? - arrogant irridentism.

nor will they accept a two-state solution (The Hamas government refuses to recognise the existence of Israel).

Some Israeli Jews don't believe in the two-state solution. Judging by the Hamas vote last year, neither do most Palestinians.

Equal human rights for all within one state sounds like a fair compromise to me and such Palestinians as Edward Said.

In the meantime, "Israeli Arabs" are not on a par with their fellow-citizens who are Jewish. The Star of David wasn't meant to represent a multi-ethnic state, and the apartheid within Israel itself bears this out - rights to housing, employment, gerrymandering etc.

Of course, divide and conquer is no substitue for equality for all.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:55Report this post to the editors

The last poster talks in pseudo-intellectual headlines, which, when analysed closely, do not boil down to cogent arguments, just waffle. He makes a number of errors. As I thought it would, the thread has turned into a trial of zionism, not hezbollah.

1. He states that Hezbollah’s antisemitism is not cut and dried. This despite its leader’s and TV station’s pronouncements. Given that it is an authoritarian entity, it is impossible to believe that its members will differ from the official line. Moreover, he states that antisemitism is a minority attitude but offers no evidence whatsover to support this claim.

2. The rest of his arguments contain major factual and historical inaccuracies. Without wasting my time by going into the detail of these serious errors, it is clear that the poster is both ignorant about Israel itself and is malevolently disposed towards it. Further, his efforts look like a desperate attempt to distract attention from the real issue, which is Hezbollah’s racism. If that is the case, we can only conclude that he approves of Hezbollah’s attitudes. My question then is, why does he hold a brief for a reactionary entity like Hezbollah?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:30Report this post to the editors

10 days after Ibrahim Mussawi returned home, one day before a major anti-war conference opens its doors in Beirut and 230 comments later, allow me to say this has been a very good thread.
The iawm's decision to invite a prominent member of Hezbollah, the fact that nearly 1,000 people turned up to listen to him across the country, the last 2 meets with George Galloway, and the discussion in this thread and across a number of anti-war meetings reflected a number of realities:
1. Those of our active citizens who care about and are opposed to the war, those of us who see Israeli expansionism and militarism as the main source of instability and conflict in the Middle East, are not satisfied with what the establishment media is selling....we want alternative information, we want to bear our own judgements on events, organisations and people.
2. Hosting a speaker, be it the Director of the Freedom Institute, a US Embassy spokesperson, the editor of Sunday Tribune or a Hezbollah militant [and these are not hypothetical examples but facts from meetings organised by the iawm over the last quarter]does not IN ITSELF indicate support and backing of the actions and politics of the guests. It simply reflects our desire, as a movement, to open an agenda where debate can take place, views can be expressed, opinions and judgements, if need be, formulated.
3. Through the debate, one fo the longest in this setting, many many people criticised Hezbollah...others, fewer, supported it. As the US government is beginning to sell harware to and train Lebanese Government personnel, as Blair and the Baker cabal in Washington are making noises about talking to Syria and Iran, and as Israel continues its genocidal policy in Gaza.....developments in that part of the world should remain in focus for all of us in this country. I hear German human rights groups are suing Rumsfeld along with ex-CIA boss Tenet in the German courts....info about Gates, Rumsfeld's replacement, is begiining to filter re: his role in selling arms to both Iran and Iraq a few years ago - when he was CIA boss. The situation is very fluid - needs attention and disciplined focus.
4. Finally it was great to take part in last Saturday's conference in LU when activists from Shannon, from Prestwisk, from Leipzig, from AWI, a couple of us in the iawm and many non-aligned people met, discussed, worked out elements of strategy. There is an afternoon discussion on Islamophobia this Saturday in Dublin's Central Hotel organised by the group everybody loves or hates. The iawm is having its AGM on Saturday Dec. 2nd, the AWI is organising a very impressive gig on Nov. 24th. Lots to think about, lots to do.

So watch this space comrades and friends.....

author by Ali H.publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 13:18Report this post to the editors

"1. He states that Hezbollah’s antisemitism is not cut and dried. This despite its leader’s and TV station’s pronouncements. Given that it is an authoritarian entity, it is impossible to believe that its members will differ from the official line. Moreover, he states that antisemitism is a minority attitude but offers no evidence whatsover to support this claim."

It is clearly not cut and dried, unless of course you've got a mote in your own eye and cant see.

Given that according to you Hezbollah is an authoritarian puppet of Iran then how do you explain the fact that Jews have the same rights as other non-Muslims under Iranian law despite the street-rhetoric of the Iranian president?

The Israelis on the other hand do as they say and say as they do and laid waste to Lebanon on the most threadbare basis murdering over 1000 Lebanese and destroying their country, with WMD including cluster-bombs and phosphorous shells despite repeated denials by the "moral" IDF murderers.

The only thing cut and dried is Israels attititude that all Arabs are expendible and that Nazi-style 10:1 retalliations against Arab civilians are AOK and they will never be held to account because of their holocaust get-out-of-jail-free card against the EU and American vetos.

author by Anonpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 13:32Report this post to the editors

"2. Hosting a speaker, be it the Director of the Freedom Institute, a US Embassy spokesperson, the editor of Sunday Tribune or a Hezbollah militant [and these are not hypothetical examples but facts from meetings organised by the iawm over the last quarter] does not IN ITSELF indicate support and backing of the actions and politics of the guests. It simply reflects our desire, as a movement, to open an agenda where debate can take place, views can be expressed, opinions and judgements, if need be, formulated."

That's a long way from "we are all Hezbollah".

author by Righteous Pragmatistpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 13:39Report this post to the editors

"The Israelis on the other hand do as they say and say as they do and laid waste to Lebanon on the most threadbare basis murdering over 1000 Lebanese and destroying their country, with WMD including cluster-bombs and phosphorous shells despite repeated denials by the "moral" IDF murderers."

Hezbollah killed and abducted Israeli soldiers(who they still hold hostage) and began firing thousands of rockets at Northern Israel killing scores of innocent people and forcing over a million Jewish men women and children to take refuge in underground shelters or to flee to the south. The city of Haifa was a vertible ghost town because of Hezbollah's barbarism.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 13:50Report this post to the editors

My comment cited above that 'We are all Hezbollah' was related to a chant that went up in a London pro-Palestinian demo recently. I understand and fully appreciate why it happened.

Two other similar examples that I experienced in my life was in the Hunger Strike demos across the country in the early '80s, after Bobby died, when we are all singing 'We are all Bobby Sands - we are all in the IRA' and clashing with our heroic Gardai and Army protecting the British Embassy!! And the second, as a young kid, in Paris '68 when we were all singing 'We are all German Jews - Nous sommes tous des Juifs Allemands'.

With your political perception, anon, you should recognise the political significance of those events and chants.

author by Ali H.publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 14:27Report this post to the editors

"Hezbollah killed and abducted Israeli soldiers(who they still hold hostage) and began firing thousands of rockets at Northern Israel killing scores of innocent people and forcing over a million Jewish men women and children to take refuge in underground shelters or to flee to the south. The city of Haifa was a vertible ghost town because of Hezbollah's barbarism"

So attacking a military target which may or may not have been in Lebanon makes it AOK to wipe out many times their number in Lebanese civilians, using 100s of times the munitions as Hezbollah, and lay waste to their country, does it?

It's AOK to use phosphorous and cluster-bombs against civilians is it?

Is this the action of a democracy?

Nazi is as Nazi does.

author by Godwinpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 14:58Report this post to the editors

Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.[1]

Godwin's Law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin argues in his book, Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age, that overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided, as it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

author by Ali H.publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 15:10Report this post to the editors

If you track back through the discussion Zionist posters attempted to use the "anti-semitism" card to attempt to silence debate on why a Hezbollah member should be invited to tell the unheard side of the Israel-Hezbollah debate, ie the Labanese/Hezbollah side.

As for Godwins law try this for size:

"As a political discussion about Israel grows longer, the probability that a defender of Israel will level accusations of anti-semitism against the critics of Israel approaches one.

The same holds true for any discussion about a Jewish politician."

http://interestingtimes.blogspot.com/2006/07/israel-var....html

In any case laws or no laws what Israel did in Lebanon this summer is inexcusable, especially for a so-called democracy.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 15:16Report this post to the editors

As I have said many times before, the use of the term 'Nazi' to apply to Israel is incrontrovertibly antisemitic, as it is obviously causes maximum offence and insult to Jews. I would also add that the using the term 'genocide' is in that continuum when used to refer to the Palestinians' plight, because a significant fraction of their population is not being deliberately murdered. In other words, the Pals may be taking casualties but they are not in danger of mass obliteration as a group; otherwise their population would be decreasing, whereas in fact it is increasing.

Finally, hosting a speaker from an entity like Hezbollah does amount to an implicit endorsement of its views where no speaker from its opponent (in this case, Israel) is invited as well, even if on another occasion. Clearly, there is no balance in such a situation.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 15:40Report this post to the editors

Finally, hosting a speaker from an entity like Hezbollah does amount to an implicit endorsement of its views where no speaker from its opponent (in this case, Israel) is invited as well, even if on another occasion. Clearly, there is no balance in such a situation.

I will bypass the discussion re:Nazism and anti-semitism as it's outside the political parameters I am willing to engage in. To respond to avi's above statement, however, let me point out that the Israeli Embassy was invited to speak and attend. The polite lady I spoke to twice said that as the new Israeli Ambassador to Ireland had not (or only just) arrived, she thanked me and said they would be delighted to come and speak in another one of our meetings in the future.

Check this space because we are now negotiating with the PLO and Hamas to come over to Ireland - so there is still hope that the Israeli Embassy may oblige.

PS To argue against the use of the term 'genocide' on the grounds that the Palestinian population is increasing, rather than, I suppose, 'decreasing' defies belief. Genocide is a term that refers to the intentions of the perpetrator...avi can ask the Turks re:the Armenians, the Kurds and the Greeks and his US friends re: the native Americans. Genocide is not dependent on the results of the intention! The Holocaust was a genocide primarily because of the clear intentions of the NSs in Germany and not because of the effect it had on the Jewish population!!

author by Ali H.publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 15:43Report this post to the editors

Palestinians do qualify as being on the receiving end of genocide on the basis of the following definition:

Genocide is a term defined by Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

killing members of the group; [guilty]
causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; [guilty]
deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; [guilty]
imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
"

This article was endorsed by all members of the UN. Last time I heard Israel was one of them.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 16:51Report this post to the editors

The evidence of genocide is not there. Rather, this is a slogan or soundbite used to vilify Israel. If anyone is guilty of genocidal intent, it is the Arabs, not the Jews, as the Arabs fire their rockets and plant their bombs deliberately to hit civilians, whereas there is no such intent on the part of the IDF. Believe me, if Israel really wanted to wipe out the Pals, given our extreme military power, no-one would be left standing. You have no idea of the kind of weapon systems we have but choose not to deploy. The same cannot be said of Hezbollah: they chuck everything they have deliberately at our civilians. Nasrullah even admitted on Aljazeera TV that the intention of Hezbollah is to kill Jewish civilians in Israel.

author by Balar of the Baleful Eyepublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 17:22Report this post to the editors

If anyone is guilty of genocidal intent, it is the Arabs, not the Jews,

For someone who tried to say earlier that Israel consisted of Arabs as well as Jews, the mask has slipped somewhat.

as the Arabs fire their rockets and plant their bombs deliberately to hit civilians, whereas there is no such intent on the part of the IDF.

There are, of course, Israeli Arabs in the Israeli Arabs, but they don't seem to count for much in your estimation - racist.

Believe me, if Israel really wanted to wipe out the Pals, given our extreme military power, no-one would be left standing.

What Israel seems to have opted for is a policy opposed by many Jews as well as most world opinion - slow relentless genocide.

You have no idea of the kind of weapon systems we have but choose not to deploy.

Morduchai Vanunu must be another of those "anti-Semetic" Jews who gave his freedom to expose Israel's nuclear project in the 1980s.

The same cannot be said of Hezbollah: they chuck everything they have deliberately at our civilians. It would indeed be preferable if their weaponry was advanced enough to target Israel's military targets at long range. Yet, Israel, with its vastly superior technology and precision, drops 4 million cluster bombs on southern Lebanon in the last 72 hours of the bombardment, and kills 1,000+ Lebanese civilians in one month.

author by avi15publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 18:39Report this post to the editors

The previous poster is getting increasingly desperate. He is claiming that because I call the Arabs Arabs I am racist! He infers that I don't think much of Israel's Arabs. Why? I don't see any evidence of that. Then, when I have refuted a poorly constructed allegation of genocide, he claims that Israel is waging 'slow, relentless genocide'. Puleeze! With fourth rate opposition like this, I am not going to waste any more pen and ink on arguing on this thread. Let the twits claim victory if they want: intelligent readers will make up their own minds.

author by Avidpublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 18:49Report this post to the editors

"intelligent readers will make up their own minds"

We will indeed Avi, and our minds will not incline us to support your views. Sorry lad!

author by Joeypublication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 19:00Report this post to the editors

Hizb are in the government of Lebanon. They are a legitimate party to have speak. They are called terrorists by Israel, US ,UK and their allies, who in fact are the real terrorists

author by content mod - imc irelandpublication date Thu Nov 16, 2006 13:27Report this post to the editors

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