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Jihad in the UK

category international | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Monday July 09, 2007 14:14author by Ed - ISN Report this post to the editors

The failed terrorist attacks in the UK have prompted another debate about the causes of such violence – and the ways to end it. Anyone who seeks to lay some of the blame at the door of western governments must expect a torrent of abuse from right-wing commentators and the “Cruise missile Left”, reinforced by a useful collection of house Muslims and renegade jihadists keen to put the spotlight on factors within the Muslim world that are beyond the influence of US / UK elites.

The failed terrorist attacks in the UK have prompted another debate about the causes of such violence – and the ways to end it. Anyone who seeks to lay some of the blame at the door of western governments must expect a torrent of abuse from right-wing commentators and the “Cruise missile Left”, reinforced by a useful collection of house Muslims and renegade jihadists keen to put the spotlight on factors within the Muslim world that are beyond the influence of US / UK elites (1).

Left-wingers should be willing to challenge this consensus, but it’s more essential than ever to be careful in phrasing the arguments, lest we leave ourselves open to accusations of “appeasement”. Take this typically contrarian view from Vincent Browne in the Irish Times after the bombings:

“There is a way out of this awful mess the West has artfully devised: require Israel to disengage from all the lands it acquired in and since 1967; require Israel to disengage from Gaza and all the West Bank; establish and fund a new Palestinian state (the funding must be generous); disengage from Iraq forthwith; stop threatening Iran and Syria; withdraw support from the dictators in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and elsewhere; welcome Turkey into the EU; respect the Islamic religion and culture and stop the celebration of works that are seen to disparage Islam.” (2)

To take the last point first: most people will have taken Browne’s reference to “works that are seen to disparage Islam” as an allusion to the recent knighthood granted to Salman Rushdie. Let’s set aside whatever view we might have of Britain’s daft honours system. There was a time, of course, when Rushdie would surely have rejected the title of “Sir Salman” with contempt. The radical views he expressed in his early novels and essays are now firmly in the past, a sad by-product of his persecution by the Iranian theocracy (3). But let’s concentrate on the question Browne raises: was it wrong for the British government to honor a man whose work has provoked such anger in the Muslim world?

The answer is definitely “no”. “The Satanic Verses” may have outraged devout Muslims, but if we start pandering to such reactions, we might as well forget about subjecting any religion to critical, rational inquiry. Anyone who looks at the tenets of Islam or Christianity from any perspective other than total credulity is likely to offend believers.

And it won’t stop with religion either: the Malaysian government is currently trying to insulate itself from criticism by exploiting the taboo surrounding criticism of Muhammed. After an opposition politician posted a satirical photo-montage of the deputy prime minister on his website, the minister’s cabinet colleagues warned that if people were allowed to mock the country’s leaders, they would surely use the same freedom to insult the Prophet…(4)

The rest of Browne’s list is fine, but with two caveats. First of all, the US and its allies should certainly pull out of Iraq, pressurize Israel to negotiate a just peace with the Palestinians, and so on – but not as a response to terrorism. Western policies should be changed because those policies are immoral and unjust, not because they provoke terrorist attacks. It’s possible that western governments could provoke attacks by doing the right thing (after all, Osama Bin Laden (5) has cited the liberation of East Timor from Indonesia’s genocidal occupation as another “crime” against the Muslim world committed by the West). In that case, it would be right to carry on with the same policies. On the other hand, if changing policies that are wrong in themselves has the fortunate by-product of reducing terrorism, so much the better.

Secondly, we shouldn’t assume that if all the legitimate grievances Muslims hold against the West were removed, the jihadists inspired by Al-Qaeda would simply pack up their explosives and return to a life of pious contemplation. All we can reasonably hope is that the reservoir of hatred and resentment which they feed off would shrink dramatically. There would be fewer recruits and a much more limited audience for anti-western themes.

That’s about as far as it goes - there’s no prospect of any peace deal with Al-Qaeda. Israel could probably strike a bargain with Hamas and Hezbullah if it wanted to, but the network of Salafist radicals that emerged from the Afghan camps will never sit down around a negotiating table with anyone. As Lawrence Wright wrote in a study of post-9/11 jihadism for the New Yorker magazine:

“After coalition forces overran Al Qaeda compounds in Afghanistan in late 2001, they seized thousands of pages of internal memoranda, records of strategy sessions and ethical debates, and military manuals, but not a single page devoted to the politics of Al Qaeda …Beyond the simplistic notion of imposing a caliphate and establishing the rule of Islamic law, the leaders of the organization appear never to have thought about the most basic facts of government. What kind of economic model would they follow? How would they cope with unemployment, so rampant in the Muslim world? Where do they stand on the environment? Health care? The truth … is that the radical Islamists have no interest in government; they are interested only in jihad.” (6)

All we can really do in the face of such nihilism is to create the worst possible conditions for it to flourish. Unfortunately, western policy-making is in the hands of people who appear to be on a commission from Bin Laden. As Tony Blair takes up his new role as peace envoy to the Middle East (you may have to read that one a few times to let it sink in properly), the ideologues of holy war must be rubbing their hands with delight. And that means future bombings in Britain (and elsewhere) should be expected.

1) "The Islamist by Ed Hussein" -
http://arts.independent.co.uk/books/reviews/article2600...4.ece

2) "Reasons Muslims are angry" -
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2007/0704/1183....html

3) "Sir Salman's Long Journey" -
http://books.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2105445,00....html

4) "Malaysian photomontage sparks row" -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6283056.stm

5) "Cyber Jihad"-
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n05/glas01_.html

6) "The Master Plan"-
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/09/11/060911fa_fact3

author by paul o toolepublication date Tue Jul 10, 2007 00:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont think it is a case of appeasement for me, as you stated Ed. I think that even getting into the argument in the first place is doomed to fail.

Fox News had 'witnesses', stating ....'i couldent make out what he was saying when they had him on the ground except (of course) 'Allah'..Allah'......this stuff is all choreographed lies

(immediately)After london murder of Charles Menendes. Sky had three seperate 'witnesses' stating ...'he jumped the turnstiles....had a padded jacket...saw a battery in his hand...tripped as he entered the train...they shot him on the floor'.....all turned out to be lies, except the shooting...where are these witnesses now?? they were plants.

BBC World from 4.40 till 5.03-pm, on 9/11were reporting on the collapse of wtc-7, ....at 5.04 it collapsed ....into its own footprint...on camera...then the live feed 'experienced difficulties'. Then they said that the building collappsed because of fire....the third building in history of steel and concrete construction to colappse because of fire...the other two were wtc-1 and wtc-2 . Larry steinberg, the owner, admitted on camera that he gave the order to 'pull it'. The choreographers slipped up thats all.

The Israeli Ambassador to the UK was told not to go into the London under ground on 7/7. There are reports (three), of witnesses seeing the blast sites and the floors are blown upwards in the carriages, evidence of explosives under the trains rather than on the floor.

It is difficult to believe any of the stuff you see on Sky ,Fox RTE, I dont believe any of it unless it is confirmed from another source other than Murdoch, Powell, Fox or any politician or 'spokesperson'.

Four men were found guilty to day of trying to blow up parts of london after the so called 7/7 attacks, there were no court reporters allowed into the court room except those appointed by the judge. Its not that long ago that innocent people were foung guilty of the bombings in Guilford and Bemingham. To me this is the new facism, constant war, constant threat. We need new enemies and now its Muslims who happen to be sitting on big oil tanks.

author by iosafpublication date Tue Jul 10, 2007 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People could confuse Taliban with Sunni Deobandis as well.

The bus bomb 7/7 could have been tripped by a frequency inhibitor, considering its proximity to Netanyahu that is highly probable & it was dseribale at least to suggest it went off early - the implications of people bombing buses was too horrible - you can't put xrays on the 15a - no room.
Coverage on imc uk on the morning of 22/7 prefaced activity in Stockwell and that coverage was referred to in the report on the de Menenzes shooting on this site which as it happens I put up. One hour before that man was supposed to be dead I and I hope hundreds of others worldwide knew something was going down in stockwell. The first thing we latched on was the coat. We should have latched on how many bullets were fired.

anyway - we'll get no more blood out of that stone.

HMG's new minister for terror Alan West decided this week he doesn't like "the war on terror" tag & so the brits aren't to use it anymore. Then he suggested that people snitch even if it was non-British (meaning if you're somalian or yardie or your parents are afghanistan or iraqi it's ok to snitch on them / grass them up / hand them in ). He finished by suggesting it will take another 15 years to sort out the terror threat. I started saying that (with own name attached) about a year ago though I presume I see the "terror threat" differently to the man who organised the royal navy for its 200 aniversary of the battle of Trafalgar which I had maintained was all fake anyway. http://indymedia.ie/article/70500
- so we're looking at a generation at least of conditioning to security, psy-ops and manipulation.

I don't think It is going to be a case of scapegoating "all muslims" at the securocrat or investigative level - perhaps it is at media level - but that is because mass media keeps things as simple as possible so they can be forgotten as quickly as possible and information is managed. in fact if you do know the difference between a salafia and a deobandi you notice that in the UK at least the Somalians are whipping boys of choice - even though every time the state overtly goes barking at Pakistan first. We've now seen a dramatic turn of attention at professional workers like doctors whereas before the popular accepted model of a terrorist was an african migrant ingrate who went wacky religious.
The morning of 7/7 the british media were gurgling about anything up to a hundred salafia al qeada types straight off the boat from peshwari - (it was exactly the bone to throw) whereas by 11am I had said we were probably looking at less than 8 people and they'd be african. I still maintain that the whole direction of counter-terrorism at a geopolitical level has been in the wrong direction all along.
'tis on the record.

I think we all do best if we don't play the Vincent game (Browne) and instead of naming networks - Islamic army -or algerian salafists or whatever - we simply remember we're on a long long haul. A generation are going to grow up as migrants with this as their identity backdrop & justification for their CCTV and mini x-rays (when they're marketed) on the 15a bus. Divisions between groups of differing ethnicity and class orientation will become more important than blanket grouping of "muslims" or "non-muslims". We already see that in the UK and in London particularly as regards the way even yardie gangs look on somalians simply coz they stab better. & so far they haven't gone through the lowest of upward mobility hoops "earning the right to know their rights" :-
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article2338652.ece

oh & yep - within that 15 year period Ireland will get done. I've told you so lots. & no you've no idea who will do you yet & seem to have no interest in paying attention to where you're most likely to get done.

So less expert chitchat and more grass root humanity and unless you've got what it takes to gurgle - ribbid and belch about this for the next 15 years then stop it now. That means Vincent Browne - like be honest man - give it 15 years and you'll be worrying more about your prostrate than salafias.

We are all in securo-states. As many times as someone has watched Sky or Fox and commented or written on indymedia - it has gone the other way too. we call that the "horizontal relationship". It's what makes us special. it's what makes us useful. It's what makes us paranoid.

author by max - humans for education and mutual respectpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 01:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was Larry Silverstein who insured the building for billions a few months before they ceased to exist.

author by anti-warpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

George Galloway was a guest on the Derek Davies show on RTE radio One this morning. The item was meant to be a debate on Iraq with an English professor who supports the occupation of Iraq. Galloway refused to engage directly with the pro-war speaker and was only on the programme for a few minutes. He launched into a rant at Derek Davies accusing him of going soft on the professor and when Derek Davies attempted to explain his position Galloway hung up! George Galloway has once again done a dis-service to the anti-war movement and exposed himself as a fool.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tried hard to make some sense from Ed - ISN's article above. What is the main argument, the hub, of the piece? Is it, for example, as he says, "first of all, the US and its allies should certainly pull out of Iraq, pressurize Israel to negotiate a just peace with the Palestinians, and so on – but not as a response to terrorism. Western policies should be changed because those policies are immoral and unjust, not because they provoke terrorist attacks"? Or have I missed something else, more perceptive?
I won't dwelve on the author's use of the concept of terrorism in its exclusive reference to violent acts of opponents of the US/UK/Israel alliance. I will concentrate for now on the paragraph above.
The imperial policies of the 'western alliance' incorporate a rather wider set of characteristics than their 'immorality' and 'lack of justice' - concepts that derive primarily, mehtinks, from a philosophical and almost ethereal domain. To assert, from a left wing perspective we are told, that 200,000 plus soldiers, and countless more mercenaries, of three/four imperial States occupying a country for over 4 years ago, with all the mayhem, human loss, infrastructural demolition that this implies, is a matter of morals...or lack of them? Is this for real?
And to imply, nay conclude, that this imperial policy should be "changed" not on the basis of 4 US soldiers being killed every day now, not because 750,000 people have died directly or indirectly as a result of the invasion, not because of the resistance that this barbaric act provoked......but because it pricks Ed from ISN's notion of 'morality' and justice'?
And that incredible "....and so on....." in the sentence quoted above. We should, according to the author pressurize Israel....not resist its occupation of Palestinian land, not demand the right of return, not fight against the daily theft of further land and water, not struggle against its incursions and murder in Gaza....but " p r e s s u r i z e "!! In the name of (western - Christian )morals and justice one presumes. The same drive for morality and justice Blair asserted was behind the invasion of Iraq!!
Can I suggest Ed considers momentarily the name assigned to ISN's new paper, its significance for the left and the anti-war movement. For many of us it is always right to resist, by all means necessary and tools at our disposal, against barbarism. That's what we stand for....and if Ed and his friends call that terrorism, what's new under the sky?

Let us discuss tactics as my country is torn apart please!
Let us discuss tactics as my country is torn apart please!

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've read over your (slightly hysterical) post several times now Michael and I'm afraid I have no idea what you're on about, or what relevance it has to anything I wrote. Bearing that in mind, I don't feel inclined to reply to any of the points you make. Anyone can read the article and see what it actually says, not the meanings you would like to impose on it. You seem to be on a witch-hunting mission to denounce any left-winger who criticises anything that is done by anyone who proclaims themselves an opponent of the West. I'll leave you to get on with that if you don't mind - I have better things to be doing.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I couldn't agree with you more Ed. - You obviously must have much better things to be doing than trying to analyze what 'the West' (sic) is doing in the Middle East, in Iraq, and Afghanistan and now Somalia....and soon in Iran?
Leave that analysis and debate to activists who care about people and know the situation. Leave it to the people who suffer daily from the unbearable weight of morality and justice being imposed on them. As you say, the hub of your article is very clear.....anybody who reads it knows which way your brain is working and your heart is ticking.
Sorry to have disturbed your slumber of the just.

author by ISN memberpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ISN does not see the Palestinian resistance as "terrorism" nor does it call for the defeat of imperialism for simply "moral" reasons nor do we call on the US imperialists to "pressurize" their Israeli client state into doing anything. with regard to the latter, US imperialism should never be accorded such legitimation.

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm mystified as to what are the "questions" that you deem answered. Insofar as you have an argument, it seems to be this - anyone who criticises anything that is done by anyone who proclaims themselves to be an opponent of the West is an apologist for US imperialism. I'm afraid you will search long and hard and fruitlessly in the article above for any condemnation of legitimate resistance to occupation in Palestine and Iraq. It refers to "terrorism" in the specific sense of attacks on civilian targets in the West carried out by the Al-Qaeda network. If these acts are not "terrorist", then nothing is.

Michael, I'm afraid your comments can only be seen as consciously dishonest - you are trying very hard to distort and misrepresent the contents of the article, so you can engage in some rather childish witch-hunting of anyone who doesn't follow your party line. Until you are prepared to engage in debate without using such blatantly dishonest tactics, don't expect people to take much time responding to you.

author by Anniversarypublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the Israeli incursion or ' border security operation'.
it would be nice to mark the day with a silence or something, anyway, The Irish government
led by Bertie Ahern never condemned the aggression during that period. Katsav is plea
bargaining on rape charges and Olmert is on corruption charges.

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You can quibble about words, but I don't think it "legitimises" US imperialism to demand that Washington and other Western governments should stop supporting the occupation of Palestinian territory. When people march in support of the Palestinians in Dublin, London or the US, they aren't just showing their solidarity in the symbolic sense, they'e also demanding that their own governments change their policies.

The anti-apartheid movement was able to force a significant change in western policy - from backing the apartheid regime, they imposed various sanctions on it. Even the US government was eventually forced to do this. Britain, Australia and the US supported the occupation of East Timor for a quarter of a century, but after the independence referendum in 1999 they were forced to change course - not by any change of heart of course, but because it became politically impossible to continue supporting the occupation.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ed,
The comrade from ISN above obviously saw some of the relevance of what I was saying to you and responded in good spirit - thanks for that because I was worried when I saw at the top of this thread Ed presenting him/herself as ISN. I think I have a good idea what the ISN stands for in these matters, having worked with a number of ISNErs recently and in the past before the ISN was conceived.

Back to Ed. To take the recent example of the failed attempts with the two cars in London and the Jeep in Edinburgh.....to assign those (failed) instances to either jihadists, or Al-Qaeda, from where you're standing Ed, is preposterous.....it's onlly the worst and the silliest of the British tabloid press that has attempted to make that connection, quoting "usually reliable intelligence sources"!! What do you know about these mean and women? How do you know they're even connected? What do you know re:their political motivations? Apart from the fact that they all worked in the NHS and, presumably, helped along with repairing some of the damage capitalist society had wreaked onto the health of working people in Britain. Even the title of your piece suggests you're privy to info the rest of us are unaware of. Or, most likely,r you're simply shit stirring. Please clarify.

Now, the concept of 'resistance' does not appear once in your earlier piece- it obviously slipped through the cracks. You talk constantly of 'terrorism'. As for some type of resistance being 'legitimate' or some other not, that's just for the birds!! The legitimacy of any act of resistance derives from the relationship it has to the people directly linked with the situation from where the act sources its impetus....and not by the imposition of any externally imposed criteria, usually manipulated by those whose interest is in denigrating the components of that resistance. Many things Palestinian militants do, for example, is fully legitimate in the eyes of their people. The same cannot be said for your beloved 'West' - which, obviously, includes the Zionist State.

Btw, it's good to see that in your second piece you've corrected some of the incongruities of the first contribution. Please go on and explain further where you stand- you may still discover that this is one of the best things you have ever done. As for the glib comments re:the Guards and straw goblins, leave that, it doesn't suit your style.

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 13:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors


The muck-raking continues. Michael, you honesty seem to believe that if you throw enough crap at the wall, some of it will stick. Take this for example: "The same cannot be said for your beloved 'West' - which, obviously, includes the Zionist State." What the hell are you talking about? This is simply an insolent fabrication with no basis anywhere outside your own mind. "Obviously"? With equal justice, I could write "Michael is obviously an admirer of the KKK".

Then we have this:

"To take the recent example of the failed attempts with the two cars in London and the Jeep in Edinburgh.....to assign those (failed) instances to either jihadists, or Al-Qaeda, from where you're standing Ed, is preposterous.....it's only the worst and the silliest of the British tabloid press that has attempted to make that connection, quoting "usually reliable intelligence sources"!! What do you know about these mean and women? How do you know they're even connected? What do you know re:their political motivations? Apart from the fact that they all worked in the NHS and, presumably, helped along with repairing some of the damage capitalist society had wreaked onto the health of working people in Britain. Even the title of your piece suggests you're privy to info the rest of us are unaware of. Or, most likely you're simply shit stirring. Please clarify."

Setting aside the bile, I take this to mean that only a fool or a charlatan would suspect the involvement of Islamist radicals in the attempted bombings in the UK. Now this is really a curious argument. Radicals inspired by Al-Qaeda (anyone who reads the article above with due attention will notice I was careful to use relatively loose formulations of this sort, since I don't believe in the stereotype of a tightly disciplined global organisation directed by Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri) have already carried out attacks in the UK. They have loudly proclaimed their belief that Britain is a legitimate target for such attacks (most recently today: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2007/0711/bre...0.htm).

With this in mind, every piece of commentary that I have read on the bombings takes it for granted that we should look to this quarter as the origin of the failed bombings. This includes people who are totally opposed to western policies towards the Middle East, who hold those policies responsible for the existence of Al-Qaeda-style terrorism. Vincent Browne takes it for granted in the piece linked to above; Seamus Milne does it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,211895....html).

But you know better Michael, you know how "preposterous" such assumptions are. Oh, to be blessed with your profound knowledge and insight…

Moving on -

"Now, the concept of 'resistance' does not appear once in your earlier piece- it obviously slipped through the cracks. You talk constantly of 'terrorism'. As for some type of resistance being 'legitimate' or some other not, that's just for the birds!! The legitimacy of any act of resistance derives from the relationship it has to the people directly linked with the situation from where the act sources its impetus....and not by the imposition of any externally imposed criteria, usually manipulated by those whose interest is in denigrating the components of that resistance. Many things Palestinian militants do, for example, is fully legitimate in the eyes of their people."

A lot of verbiage here Michael, not a lot of sense. People whose interest does not lie in "denigrating the components of that resistance" have drawn exactly the same distinction between terrorism and legitimate resistance. For example:

"The very presence of the occupation troops gives a real legitimacy to at least the anti-occupation actions waged by the various armed groups in Iraq. And of course the Arab Sunni population considers that this armed struggle is legitimate-though there is a distinction to be made here between actions against occupation troops and actions of a sectarian character.
The mass killings of Shi’ites, the murder of civilians, are not at all welcomed even by the Arab Sunni population in its large majority. I mean, most people consider that to be criminal acts and even the Association of Muslim Scholars always draws a distinction between what they call "honorable resistance," which is just striking at occupation troops, and what they themselves call "terrorism," which is all these actions aimed at civilians or fellow Iraqis..."

http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article947

Perhaps you consider Gilbert Achcar, from whom the above quote comes, or the Association of Muslim Scholars, to be stooges of US imperialism. You are welcome to such a view.

For an elaboration of the distinction between legitimate resistance and terrorism, I'm happy to refer you to an article by one of my ISN comrades on the Lebanon war of last summer, which can be found in this edition of Leftline: http://www.irishsocialist.net/publications_leftline_oct...6.pdf

"Btw, it's good to see that in your second piece you've corrected some of the incongruities of the first contribution. Please go on and explain further where you stand- you may still discover that this is one of the best things you have ever done. As for the glib comments re:the Guards and straw goblins, leave that, it doesn't suit your style."

Again you attempt to put words in my mouth – I didn't "correct" any "incongruities". I don't feel under any obligation to explain myself to you, but I am prepared to take the time to correct your deliberate, conscious distortions of my views. The comments about straw men will stand – I guess it doesn't suit your own style for me to point out what you are doing, but that's not my problem. What motivates you to carry on like this is a mystery to me, but it certainly has nothing to contribute to serious debate.

And finally:

"The comrade from ISN above obviously saw some of the relevance of what I was saying to you and responded in good spirit - thanks for that because I was worried when I saw at the top of this thread Ed presenting him/herself as ISN. I think I have a good idea what the ISN stands for in these matters, having worked with a number of ISNErs recently and in the past before the ISN was conceived."

I've already explained why I don't think it "legitimises" US imperialism to demand that western governments stop supporting Israel and instead pressurise it to withdraw from Palestinian land. Regarding the "moral" case against imperialism, I'm not sure what anti-imperialist argument can do without some kind of moral foundation. Morality is not just the preserve of Church of England clergymen and naïve do-gooders.

author by ISN memberpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First of all, MichaelY is clearly distorting the thrust of this article and also conflating the anti-imperialist resistance of Iraqis and Palestinians with the indiscriminate and/or discriminate terrorism of those who deliberately target civilians. There is a wide gap between shooting US soldiers or Iraqi stooge military and blowing 150 villagers to pieces because they happen to be Shi'ites. Likewise, as Ed says, the attempted attacks in Britain were clearly acts of terrorism as they were intended to indiscriminately kill civilians. I might consider them acts of resistance if they were aimed at British government officials, soldiers or other state elements. They weren't.

I'm less sure about Ed's apparent argument re. the US being called on to "pressurize" Israel into doing this or that. The US administration should just mind it's own f**king business and stop meddling in the Middle East. I don't believe socialists should call on them to "pressurize" or "use their influence" or whatever. I suspect that Ed has just used a bad choice of words because I know that he doesn't believe in a benevolent imperialism. His article clearly indicates that he is strongly anti-imperialist in his politics.

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The wording I used was a paraphrase of Vincent Browne's article; he says the West should "require Israel to disengage from all the lands it acquired in and since 1967; require Israel to disengage from Gaza and all the West Bank". It's probably enough for socialists and anti-imperialists to demand that Washington stops supporting Israel (and stops interfering in the Middle East in general) - the withdrawal of support would almost certainly be enough to make the occupation untenable, without the US or any other western power going beyond that and actively putting pressure on Israel to pull out of the occupied territories.

Hard to be sure where to draw the line - I think it was right for the anti-apartheid movement to demand that western governments impose sanctions on the South African regime, which was a form of positive action, and contributed to the eventual defeat of that regime. Or to take the example of Bosnia - I'd say it was right to demand that governments lift the arms embargo and sell arms to the Sarajevo government so that it could defend itself, but not right to call for NATO military action (that would certainly legitimise the role of the US and other western powers).

The main focus, of course, should be on supporting resistance by oppressed people themselves, instead of relying on outside forces to intervene and "save" them - but often the best way we can help that resistance is by pushing our own governments to change their policies, even in a very small way. To be sure, the foreign policies of western governments are firmly rooted in domestic class structures, and any idea of an ethical foreign policy is going to be an idle dream until we begin to dismantle those structures. But solidarity campaigns can make an impact - if it wasn't for the work of Timor solidarity activists, Indonesia would probably still occupy the country.

author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I appreciate what the ISN comrades are doing in trying to patch some of the cracks created by Ed's article. Party discipline and 'collective responsibility' are very noteworthy charateristics among left wing people.
However, this thread was started by an attempt to counteract some of the cosnciously or unconsciously misleading positions developed by Ed's article - which, one way or the other, reflected on the ISN as well.
To summarize:
(1) The word or the concept of resistance was not mentioned once....all the references were to terrorism.
(2) There was an almost theological (read: benign) approach to imperialism and
(3) An avalanche of words followed thrown as a defence of the indefensible: "Muck raking", crap at the wall", "bile", "cosciously dishonest", "childish witch hunting", "blatantly dishonest", "almost hysterical" and some half joking remarks re:the KKK!

Ed started by writing that he had "better things to do" than responding to remarks with the supposed lyrical characteristics above and then spent a considerable amount of time correcting and side stepping some of his orginal faux pas. Don't know the man/woman and I'm not in a position to assert that he is "truly anti-imperialist" or not.
All I can say, and in sharp contradiction to the quality of the debate in the other thread re:the new ISN paper, Ed has come way short both in depth but also quality of argument. To me (s)he represents exactly the type of argumentation and attitude that Deirdre was telling everybody we should avoid. I sincerely hope Ed finds the time to read some of her and the other remarks on that thread. It will do him a lot of good. Seriously.

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Give it up Michael., you're only codding yourself. If I say so myself, your arguments have been ripped to shreds quite comprehensively on this thread. I don't need to repeat myself, I'm quite happy to refer any readers to my earlier posts. I'm not at all surprised you're bowing out of the debate after such an embarassing performance. I changed my mind about not responding to your blather in detail when it became clear that this merely encouraged you to spout more and more shamelessly dishonest rubbish, in the belief that it wouldn't be challenged. It must be frustrating to see your crude hack-job dealt with abruptly, but you brought it on yourself. If you were at all interested in serious debate, and willing to engage with the views that people actually put forward rather than imaginary ones, there could have been some useful discussion - instead the tone has been caustically polemical, but the choice was yours.

I strongly recommend that you don't try hawking your "anything that's done by anyone who opposes the West must be supported" line anywhere where it might be challenged, it falls apart after a moment's scrutiny. The likes of Nick Cohen and Christopher Hitchens must be ecstatic to have people like you around - you're a cruise missile leftist's wet dream.

author by Paulpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can I ask you a question, Michael? This is a genuine question as I don't wish to attribute to you something you may not have intended, but I find your argument disturbing.

I live in London and use the city's transport system every day. Does this make me a legitimate target of 'resistance'? Is my being blown up in a dirty tunnel a legitimate form of resistance?

It seems to me that there is a massive difference between attacking troops occupying your country and destroying indiscriminately the lives of strangers.

As I said, maybe you weren't implying this, but it reads that way from your statement, "For many of us it is always right to resist, by all means necessary and tools at our disposal, against barbarism".

author by Advocate of Peacepublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please go , Like Caoimhe Butterly to Palestine and stop freaking out people with
undisguised violent and reprehensible language. Volunteer with arab/palestinian
people in ireland, Join RAR and please stop speaking of violence. The people
of London, like the people of Ireland have shit government who endanger lives
for profit?
Would terrorism be welcome against a civilian population of Ireland because
we did not stop the gitmo express/ I am tired of violent language. tomorrow is
the first anniversary of the incursion by Israel that led to war but not one
commentator seeks to commerorate the victims.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 20:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Paul,

A legitimate question. Let us begin with your statement: "It seems to me that there is a massive difference between attacking troops occupying your country and destroying indiscriminately the lives of strangers." Now think of the real meaning of those kind words in relation to what is happening to the 'stangers', the ordinary people of Iraq, as they confront over 200,000 foreign troops, plus countless mercenaries, many of them from the UK and Ireland. Apply those kind words of yours to their lives, their thinking, their political strategy and practice.
Now let us continue, on the strategy of the Allies during WWII...their consistent and planned inflitration of the Nazi controlled areas...destroying bridges, electricity pylons, water reservoirs, making life hell for the local people...be they German, French, Dutch, German or even further south Greeks and Italians. Justified? Understandable?
Shall I talk about the IRA and the INLA strategy closer to home a few years back? Shall I mention what the CIA and the Pentagon are doing right now, as we write these lines, in Iran trying to destabilise the mullah regime there?
It is, as you correctly say, a very disturbing situation ...a terrifying situation....as mind jerking as the young kids being blown to bits by the IDF because Hamas militants fired rockets at Israeli civilians or Lebanese young people blown to smithereens by Ratheon manufactured cluster bombs left behind in the fields.
So reframe the question you asked...who exactly is destroying indiscriminately the lives of strangers? And what is our very own responsibility as citizens of countries that are a key part of that destruction of tens no hundreds of thousands of lives?
And judge our innocence and guilt in relation to what our Governments are doing in our name......judge it, for a little moment, from the point of view of a young fella with sand in his sandals or an older bearded guy with fire in his eyes. Think of it that way and come back and lets continue to discuss my statement that it is always right to resist...by any means at our disposal.

Fraternally

author by networkerpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 21:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

MichaelY is a member of the steering committee of a group calling itself the Irish ANTI-WAR Movement!!!

Michael, the deliberate killing of civilians by those angered by imperialism is NOT justified because the imperialists and others kill civilians. What sort of twisted logic is that?

Two wrongs do not make a right.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Networker,

There is nowhere in what I have written, and in what I believe, any justification or any support for those type of barbaric acts....you're right in saying that there is a twisted logic at work that forces 'ordinary' people to do things, to organise in ways, that goes totally against human values.
War is the ultimate in twisted logic - and that's why I, and the iawm that I am proud to be a member, along many other anti-war activists here in Ireland and right across the globe, are AGAINST WAR.
Please go back over this thread and read carefully what has been written by all the contributors... nobody, not one person, argued that this type of act is "justified".
If you're looking for somebody to blame, an object or a subject to vent your anger against, focus on the warmongers......start with FF, the PDs, many FGs and go down the line.

author by The Bush 9-11 Commissionpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 09:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bush : "What we need is more Terrorist Attacks like 9-11 and London 7/7 to make people appreciate my Oil For Bombs, Torture, and Flag Draped Coffins in Afghanistan and Iraq! The Enemy never stops thinking of ways to harm Amerika and Amerikans! Neither do we!"

author by Bazpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If you're looking for somebody to blame, an object or a subject to vent your anger against, focus on the warmongers......start with FF, the PDs, many FGs and go down the line."

Heed your own advice. You decided on an unwarrented attack on Ed. You accused him/her of being in the same camp as the UsUk/Isreal. And then you refused to engage with the detailed points that Ed made. You're a hypocrite of the highest order.

author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Baz,

(1) Engaging with an article entitled 'Jihad in the UK' and signed by a person close to/member of the ISN cannot by any fair person be qualified as an 'unwarranted attack'. If you conceive any political criticism as 'attack' you won't get very far in whatever you're into.Also the epithet 'unwarranted' moves us to another dimension - how prey would a criticism of points of view be qualified as 'warranted'?
(2) Ed is quite able to fight his own corner - his arguments changed significantly as the thread went on, as he got some mild criticism on his 'pressurising Israel' line (benign to imperialism) from others in the ISN ....and that's fine. But what I objected to was his rather infantile use of epithets....see the list above. That's why I stopped.
(3) Calling people names, as he did and you unfortunately cloned him, does not add any weight to the argument put forward. If you honestly believe in something say it, argue it, and open yourself to criticism - if the need arises. That's an invitation to you Baz.
(4) Finally, please heed my advice to Ed and go and study carefully some of the comments put forward in the other thread about the new ISN paper. You may learn something.

author by Edpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael, it's utterly transparent to anyone what you are doing. Your attacks are "unwarranted" because they had no connection with what I actually wrote - you simply invented views, attributed them to me, and attacked me for my imaginary views. There's a simple word for this - lying. Bizarrely, you seemed to believe that I would simply roll over and accept your shabby little smear-job without responding. You then tried to censor the debate by telling me that I wasn't allowed to point out what you were doing, namely telling lies, throwing crap at the wall in the hope that some of it would stick, because that would be "name-calling". Of course, your rabid attempts to smear me as a craven apologist for western imperialism aren't "name-calling", no sirree! Your claim that I have changed my arguments as I went along is yet another shameless lie to distract attention for your total lack of substance.

The only basis for your repeated attacks seems to be this - I condemn terrorist attacks on civilian targets in western cities. Anyone reading your posts on this thread would be obliged to draw the conclusion that you support such attacks and consider them to be legitimate acts of resistance. When this was pointed out to you by someone, you indignantly denied it - but it would be exceptionally hard to attribute any other meaning to your comments.

As Baz says, you have refused to answer any of the detailed points I made when I became fed up with your torrent of distortions and innuendo - presumably because you have nothing to say. Since declaring the debate over yesterday afternoon, you have posted several further comments. Enough is enough. Unless you can explain why A) it is "preposterous" for anyone to believe that Islamist radicals were behind the attempted bombings in the UK and B) the distinction between "terrorism" and "legitimate resistance" drawn by Gilbert Achcar in the quote above is "for the birds", then I would suggest you finally bow out of the debate and stop wasting everyone's time.

author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ed,

Which of the three words 'End of debate' you don't seem to be able to understand?
I don't want to debate with somebody who asserts time after time that people arrested, and presumed innocent until the opposite is proven in an open court, are what the British tabloids, the spooks and Vincent Browne says they are. What I know is that two cars were mysteriously 'discovered' in London......a man and a woman were arrested in a motorway cafe....and two guys roamed a Jeep into the door of the airport., one of them burning hjimself badly in the process. Those facts alone don't tell me anything more....no links between them, no Al Qaeda connections, no Islamic radicalism, nada! Except, of course, that all arrested were Irish...sorry Middle Eastern. Don't know how old u r, but surely the words Birmingham, Guilford and the like should make you be a bit more careful before drawing UNWARRANTED conclusions. Especially as peoples liberty and lives may be on the line. Wait, check carefully the facts and then pontificate.
Secondly, the legitimacy or not of any act of resistance (a concept btw you're still loathe to use), is not something you, I, or sections of the Left in Ireland or the UK or in France should imagine that they can determine, by imposing criteria. This is not a matter of religion or gender.....Some of your cohorts have written a variety of shibboleths re: the resistance in Iraq or in Palestine or in Ireland or in Germany or in Italy or in South Africa.....this attitude, for example, is what pushes a number of lefties to support the corrupt-to-the-gills Fatah, and that arch Palestinian Pinochet Abbas, as secular and 'almost' progressive against the Islamic Hamas. These elements of that debate are, most likely, incomprehensible to you...and, probably, Baz.
So, calm down, and if you want to debate argue your points. But I am not debating with you Ed. I'll respond to other messages which may have something to do with the issues under discussion but with you....it's OVER. Finally, pls don't tell me, or anybody else, to get off this thread. It doesn't belong to you.....it belongs to all of us who use this precious tool that's Indymedia.

author by Bazpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 13:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Had Bush even lifted an occasional finger to restrain Sharon or advance the peace process, the terror threat might not be so great today. Hopefully it won't have to be investigated some day by some other post-tragedy panel. George Bush's failure of diplomacy and common sense is there for all to see. The Spanish understand well now the effects of that failure. As corpses of US marines are thrown to the dogs in Iraq, the British media tell us that London came might close to emulating Madrid. And another unexploded device on the Madrid/Toledo/Seville train line I hear as I write these lines. Who’s next?"
(Michael Youlton • 2 April 2004)

If Bush had lifted a figure occasionally, might that not have been construed as pressurising? But then is it really a terror threat or a form of resistance?

author by Michael Martinpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the greatest and finest political leaders of the last century, Golda Meir, once said,
"There will be no peace until they love their children more than they hate us." Ms Meir was right!

author by Edpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dearie me Michael, you must really wish you had the power of a state behind you so you could send me to prison for daring to question your wisdom.

”Which of the three words 'End of debate' you don't seem to be able to understand?”
“I am not debating with you Ed. I'll respond to other messages which may have something to do with the issues under discussion but with you....it's OVER.”

I’m afraid you don’t have any right to ban me from debating with you. Funnily enough, you ordered Baz to stop defending me a few posts up (“Ed is quite able to fight his own corner”), then you decided that I wasn’t allowed to fight my own corner.

It’s blindingly obvious why you declared the debate over. At first I said I wouldn’t bother responding to you in detail, since your comments had nothing to do with what I wrote. You took this as a green light to say whatever the hell you liked, and attacked me for not debating with you. So I changed my mind and took on your lies head-on – whereupon you immediately declared the debate over.

Are we really meant to believe that you signed off because of your horror at my “name-calling”? Of course not – you signed off because you couldn’t deal with the arguments. You feared that your complete lack of substance would be exposed if you didn’t storm off in a huff.

Yet, after declaring the debate over, you have continued to post attacking me and repeating the same lies about my views. As long as you continue telling lies about me, I will be obliged to correct your lies. There’s a simple way out of this Michael – stop lying.

”I don't want to debate with somebody who asserts time after time that people arrested, and presumed innocent until the opposite is proven in an open court, are what the British tabloids, the spooks and Vincent Browne says they are.”

I haven’t said anything about the individuals who have been arrested in connection with the bombings. I don’t know whether they are guilty or not. But I am strongly inclined to believe that whoever was behind the attacks was inspired by extremist versions of political Islam. The case for such an assumption is so overwhelming that it has been unanimously accepted by every left-winger I’ve seen commenting on the attempted bombings (in other small evasion, you glided over the fact that Seamus Milne, one of the staunchest opponents of the ‘war on terror’ in the British media, makes the same assumption in an article I linked to above).

You mention Guildford and Birmingham – innocent men were sent to jail for those bombings, and it’s possible that innocent men could be sent to jail for the latest attacks in the UK. But the assumption most people made in the immediate aftermath of the 1970s bombings was that the IRA was responsible, and they were correct (although the Provos denied responsibility for Birmingham for years afterwards). It was a very logical assumption – the IRA had declared war on the British state and already carried out bombings in British cities. They were by far the most likely candidates. In exactly the same way, Islamist radicals of some sort are by far the most likely candidates for having carried out the most recent attacks – they have already bombed Britain, their spokes-men have said repeatedly that Britain is a legitimate target.

“Secondly, the legitimacy or not of any act of resistance (a concept btw you're still loathe to use), is not something you, I, or sections of the Left in Ireland or the UK or in France should imagine that they can determine, by imposing criteria.”

Your claim that I am “still loathe to use” the concept of resistance is another lie – I have referred several times to “legitimate resistance”, which as the name suggests is resistance that I consider legitimate. I don’t accept for a moment that socialists in Ireland or other western countries are not permitted to say what forms of resistance are legitimate or otherwise. By the same logic, we would have had no right to condemn the crimes of Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, because we have no right to pass judgement on struggles in other countries. This attitude can only end in the most debilitating agnosticism and has already done enormous harm to the Left in the past.

But in any case, your point is not relevant to my argument. I quoted Gilbert Achcar, a Lebanese socialist and a life-long enemy of imperialism - someone who fully supported the defence of his own country by Hezbullah and other elements of the national resistance, to take one obvious example. He distinguishes between terrorism and legitimate resistance, and attributes the same view to Iraqi communities, and to the Association of Muslim Scholars, a group which has close connections with the Sunni resistance groups. Is Achcar a liar? Is he completely wrong to attribute those views to the aforementioned parties? Remember – we are not talking about western socialists passing judgement about what’s happening in Iraq. We are talking about Iraqis themselves passing judgement. Are they not allowed to do so either?

“This attitude, for example, is what pushes a number of lefties to support the corrupt-to-the-gills Fatah, and that arch Palestinian Pinochet Abbas, as secular and 'almost' progressive against the Islamic Hamas. These elements of that debate are, most likely, incomprehensible to you.”

Again, your arrogance is simply breathtaking. How I envy your awesome mental capacities – a simple soul like myself just can’t understand the arguments and the issues involved. In fact, I’ve been following the debate about the recent events in Gaza and the West Bank, chiefly in the pages of Al-Ahram Weekly: this article gives a sample of the typical views expressed by its Arab contributors, one that I agree with: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/852/op21.htm. I have nothing but contempt for the dominant elements in Fatah, and I know my comrades in the ISN share that view.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course it would be ridiculous of anyone who didn't begin this thread to describe it as a debate & hit the little gavel on the desk. Anyway - I thought to illustrate the three "r's" which I mentioned in my last opinion/analysis piece "lost logos & spelling in modernety" - refine (= improve) rebutt ( = criticise) resonate (= comparisons to similar things).

The illustration is from last year's fashion show in Madrid. That was the first time the Spanish state & fashion industry moved together against thin or underweight models enforcing a body to fat ratio which interestingly meant quite a few models & their designers couldn't display their wares or push their style. But the illustration rather than reflecting how less than anorexic models strutted their stuff seeks to show you lot a new fad which seems to be gripping younger designers on the continent. David Delfin's three pieces saw him pun on islamic veils. In one photo the model has simply had her long hair tressed around her face. Last night I was dragged by the uncool hair to see one of the utterly boring fashion gigs which happen a lot in Barcelona. This one was the 080 modafad gig which also sees up and coming designers get scholarships. 4 of them including 2 females had latched onto the "ironic veil" idea. One woman had put a lot of work into covering her model's face with a lace mask which combined the suggestiveness of a nijab with the threat of fetish & perhaps cocked a snook at those sweet little old ladies who spend their lives crocheting. Thus I hope to illustrate how veils don't always mean the same thing to everyone. The dreary type I was around last night thought it all very ironic to see their younger sorts top off "creations" (as they call this stuff) of bikinis and thongs with some type of veil. Hmmmmm thought I. The critic sitting next to me nudgewd me in the ribs and asked me to stop making noise. I invited her out for a smoke.., I digress...

The illustration left by Michael Y with the curious invitation to change tactics might have been overlooked by a few who are enjoying this thread. For it is not a pair of Hamas or Hezbollah. The logo and the writing on the headbands clearly display their association with "Islamic Jihad" (well done MichaelY!) Thus I wonder was the comparison to the INLA a good one? I think not. Even the INLA had a political wing. When Hamas got Johnson (the BBC journalist) out of the clutches of that little group I remember pointing out they have no political wing. hmmmmmm. poke me in the ribs.
We can't do politics with people who don't have wings. They've too many strings attached.

3R's : refine - rebutt - resonate
3R's : refine - rebutt - resonate

author by MichaelY - iawm/ipsc - per cappublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

MOUSA ABU MARZOOK is the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement.

The article was written last Wednesday July 10th

HAMAS' RESCUE of a BBC journalist from his captors in Gaza last week was surely cause for rejoicing. But I want to be clear about one thing: We did not deliver up Alan Johnston as some obsequious boon to Western powers.

It was done as part of our effort to secure Gaza from the lawlessness of militias and violence, no matter what the source. Gaza will be calm and under the rule of law — a place where all journalists, foreigners and guests of the Palestinian people will be treated with dignity. Hamas has never supported attacks on Westerners, as even our harshest critics will concede; our struggle has always been focused on the occupier and our legal resistance to it — a right of occupied people that is explicitly supported by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The article continues in
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ma...story

And it ends:

I, for one, do not trouble myself over "recognizing" Israel's right to exist — this is not, after all, an epistemological problem; Israel does exist, as any Rafah boy in a hospital bed, with IDF shrapnel in his torso, can tell you. This dance of mutual rejection is a mere distraction when so many are dying or have lived as prisoners for two generations in refugee camps. As I write these words, Israeli forays into Gaza have killed another 15 people, including a child. Who but a Jacobin dares to discuss the "rights" of nations in the face of such relentless state violence against an occupied population?

I look forward to the day when Israel can say to me, and millions of other Palestinians: "Here, here is your family's house by the sea, here are your lemon trees, the olive grove your father tended: Come home and be whole again." Then we can speak of a future together.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This article explores the basically reactionary nature of Hamas and explains how it came to power.

The victory of Hamas in Gaza and the questions facing Israeli and Palestinian workers

In spite of its reactionary policies and because there is no other viable alternative, Hamas has managed to rally the Palestinian people against imperialism. However, one would have to be a fool to consider Hamas as a revolutionary or even a consistently anti-imperialist organization.

The reasons behind Hamas' popularity in Gaza Hamas is a populist, reactionary movement, whose leadership not long ago had announced its willingness to negotiate with the USA and Britain. They justified this with the argument that these two imperialist powers were different from Israel, as they are not "occupying states". They said this long after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq where the USA and Britain are the main occupying forces and also ignoring the fact that behind Israeli imperialism stands US imperialism with all its might.

Hamas is a populist movement. It built its support on the one hand on the betrayal of the nationalists and on the other on the betrayal of the left and its sell-out to the PLO and Fatah. And we should always keep firmly in mind that Hamas does not want to overthrow capitalism. They merely wish for banks and monopolies with Islamic names. If they follow the same path of making deals with the imperialist powers, which at a certain stage will be inevitable, its leadership will be exposed as just another group of bourgeois politicians, no better than Fatah, especially should they attempt to set up a regime in their image to assert their domination. This, in the long run, is the only possibility in Palestine, where the ruling class is extremely weak and lacks any popular base.


Full article at:

Related Link: http://www.marxist.com/victory-hamas-gaza-israeli-palestinian110707.htm
author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 12, 2007 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

here is an article from another angle but also critical of both Hamas and Fatah.

Palestine In Suicide
By Roni Ben Efrat

http://www.countercurrents.org/efrat120707.htm

Among the Palestinians, a leadership will have to emerge that resembles neither Hamas nor Fatah. It will have to be both honest and realistic. It will have to put the common people first, the workers and refugees—rather than trying to buy them off with the drug of foreign charity or the promise of an otherworldly paradise

author by Paulpublication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 00:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Michael
I'd like to come back on some points.
1. "Now think of the real meaning of those kind words in relation to what is happening to the 'stangers', the ordinary people of Iraq, as they confront over 200,000 foreign troops, plus countless mercenaries, many of them from the UK and Ireland. Apply those kind words of yours to their lives, their thinking, their political strategy and practice".
> I do little else. The oppression of these people by British Empire, Baathist psychotics, Bush I's imperial adventure, Clinton's sanctions and the criminal war of Bush and Blair is a history of almost unparalleled brutality. I apply the very same standards of liberty I expect for myself to the people of Iraq.

I remember having lunch with a friend (also from the anti-war left) in Dublin just before the invasion. We were talking about a demonstration we were involved in organising (may even have been the big one). Across the table from us, we noticed a man glaring at what we said. My friend recognised him as an Iraqi he'd met and tried to engage him, thinking he'd be on the same side. He said he despised us for opposing the war which he thought was going to liberate his people. We argued for a while but in the end he told us to fuck off and left. I think about that man constantly, of the family he's probably lost, the lives of his friends in ruin and it makes me despair that his prediction was wrong and that yet again the people of Iraq are being torn apart by an occupying army and a host of sectarian murderers.

2. The WWII example is a poor analogy. People in occupied France, Italy, the Benelux and elsewhere were prepared to put up with whatever "inconvenience" was caused them by Allied bombing and the French resistance because they understood that the target was the Nazi war machine and that if their bridge was blown up, or even if their friend was killed by an Allied bomb, they themselves were not the object of aggression.

3. The IRA and INLA strategy closer to home. Mention all you want. The strategy was wrong. Again, I would distinguish between attacking the British army or loyalist death squads and putting a bomb in a shopping centre to murder a 12-year old boy.

4. The CIA action in Iran. I don't understand the comparison here.

5. On the IDF, I can only echo your contempt for them. I'll come back to them later.

6. "So reframe the question you asked...who exactly is destroying indiscriminately the lives of strangers? And what is our very own responsibility as citizens of countries that are a key part of that destruction of tens no hundreds of thousands of lives?

This is the most interesting part of your post. Who exactly is destroying indiscriminately the lives of strangers. Well, to respond in an obvious way to that: the US military is, the UK military is, the IDF is AND so are the people who seek to murder commuters in Madrid and London, or in New York. You ask what our responsibility is as citizens of countries involved in the war. Our responsibility is to oppose our governments at every opportunity, to expose their lies, to protest loud and often and in unity against them, to do everything we can do stop them, and I fervently hope, to bring to trial the liars and murderers responsible, thinking here particularly of Blair and his cronies.

"And judge our innocence and guilt in relation to what our Governments are doing in our name". And here's where I believe you are fundamentally wrong. You and I are not guilty because our governments have failed us over the war or the use of Shannon. (I'd be doubly guilty if that were the case, being an Irish citizen living in the UK!) I - and I've no doubt you - have done everything I could to prevent this war from taking place, organising demonstrations (in Dublin, London and the US for my part), committing civil disobedience, arguing with war supporters, sending money to people trying to help in Iraq and Palestine. The war didn't happen because of us, it happened in spite of us. I refuse to take up your offer of guilt for this.

Your argument that the 'guilt' of the population of Ireland/Britain/Spain or anywhere else somehow justifies private citizens of those countries being blown up on the way to work is itself advocating a war crime - the punishment of a civilian population for a military operation, outlawed by the Geneva convention (just because Bush and Blair contravene it is not an argument for us to lower ourselves into the gutter with them). To accept this argument would be to ally ourselves with those who seek to make civilians legitimate targets as happened at My Lai, or at Croke Park when the British opened fire in response to the assasination of their spies. This is the morality of the IDF who daily punish the Palestinian people in response for the crime of their existing!

In other words, this is not a place any of us in the anti-war movement should be.

Shall we reconsider our tactics? I certainly hope so.

Best wishes

Paul

author by anti-warpublication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 01:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Your argument that the 'guilt' of the population of Ireland/Britain/Spain or anywhere else somehow justifies private citizens of those countries being blown up on the way to work is itself advocating a war crime - the punishment of a civilian population for a military operation, outlawed by the Geneva convention "

Well said Paul.

This is my fundamental problem with MichaelY's argument. He later denied it but two of his posts above equivocate about war crimes if they come from those who claim to be opposing imperialism. He's also clearly cheerleading Hamas. The IAWM/SWP has obviously gone completely insane if this is its line. Is it?

author by Edpublication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 07:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The article at this link by Norman Geras discusses the ethics of revolutionary struggle, and what criteria we could use for judging whether violence is justified or not (Geras used to be a fine left-wing writer but now unfortunately hangs out with the pro-imperialist "left" in the UK - oh well...)

http://socialistregister.com/socialistregister.com/file...s.pdf

author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paul,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply - I only saw it two seconds ago. I will come back to you later this afternoon after finisihing a few work related items on my desk - but thanks again. (Incidentally Baz, further above in this thread, posted a part of a 2004 article of mine, written after the Madrid bombings - have a look and think of it as starters).

Re: the anti-war friend's message above:
(1) Leave aside pls the Paisleyite barbs re SWP/IAWM.....my comments in this thread have all been identified as personal contributions and, to tell the truth, I have no idea what the SWP 'line' on these issues would be....or indeed if there is a line. You can refer to them if you want to discuss their views. On the iawm side, we are engaged in discussing these issues, yes, and there is, as expected a variety of views. More on that - watch this space.
(2)As for 'cheerleading' for Hamas, or any other Palestinian grouping, there is an excellent debate going on inside the IPSC. We had members of the Palestinian delegation in Dublin come to speak to us last week and we are all studying and debating the situation in Gaza and the occupied territories.....at times our desire to be informed and tread carefully on these issues goes overboard - and as you say, some us think it borders on insanity. But that's not what you meant good friend, was it?
For you info, pls take 5 mins and study the following article that appeared in the 'Jerusalem Post, on Wednesday last. Incidentally, that paper is edited by David Horror-wits, formerly of the Irish Times.
The article was written by Eran Shayson, who is the analyst team leader at the Reut Institute for Policy Planning - a right-wingish think tank..

"A month after its takeover of Gaza, it seems Hamas has begun to translate its military achievements into political dividends, while Fatah is wallowing in the mud and becoming even less relevant.

Although Hamas's victory in Gaza was decisive, leaving the movement with no serious rivals in the area, the victory also held the potential to work against it. First, following the collapse of the Rafah agreement, Hamas had to ensure the continued operation of the border crossings in order to provide for the basic needs of the population.

Second, the Arab League's negative reaction to the coup, and the Egyptian pullout of its diplomatic delegation from Gaza, seemed to have isolated Hamas. Third, Hamas's actions gave Mahmoud Abbas the pretext - and allegedly the legitimacy - to dissociate Fatah from Hamas and to move forward with Israel on the political path.

Most significantly, it was the cautious "satisfaction" expressed in Jerusalem and Washington regarding the split between a Hamas-led Gaza and a Fatah-led West Bank, that created the impression that Hamas's coup was in fact a hasty move. Israel and the US seemed to have found the formula that would force Hamas to face the responsibility towards Gaza's population, while making the Fatah government a political partner.

However, a month later, it seems that Hamas had the political wisdom to overcome its drawbacks. The group has been successful in consolidating its control over Gaza, in gaining back popular support, in preventing the hermetic closure of the Israel-Gaza border and in conducting a dialogue with Arab and international actors. The return of the Egyptian diplomatic delegation to Gaza is considered a major political achievement for Hamas. Moreover, the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston granted the group a certain amount of prestige in the international arena.

Fatah, on the other hand, has not shown the capacity to deliver in the West Bank. The movement has not recovered from its defeat and has been unsuccessful in unifying its political and military ranks. Some of Abbas's presidential decrees, by which he has been trying to impose his rule in the West Bank, have simply been ignored, even by Fatah members. The most prominent example of this was displayed by the Fatah factions' disregard for Abbas's decree to dissolve them all.

Moreover, following this decree, some members of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades decided to leave the PA security forces and urged Abbas to sack Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. Finally, by formulating an unrealistic set of preconditions for dialogue with Hamas, including a demand to restore the status quo ante in Gaza and accept Fayad's government, Fatah is slowly rendering itself irrelevant.

Israel's frustration with Hamas's buildup emanates mostly from its failure to influence the Palestinians' internal balance of power. Israel is entangled in a "bear-hug paradox": Its obvious gestures toward moderate Fatah elements weaken those elements politically, while confrontation with Hamas or other extremist elements may even strengthen their status.

Therefore, Israel's efforts to strengthen Abbas should be conducted wisely. For example, Abbas should not receive free gifts. Gestures like the release of Fatah prisoners should be carried out only in return for Palestinian concessions following negotiations, so as not to be considered suspicious. Moreover, Israel should seek to transfer powers and authorities to the PA. Only when the West Bank is ruled by a genuinely self-governing Palestinian authority will there be a chance for the creation of a partner.

The true victory of Hamas is that it leaves Israel with no political alternatives vis-à-vis Gaza; Israel knows that the only political alternative to the Hamas regime in Gaza is al-Qaida.

Therefore, if Israel wishes to stay relevant, it will have to recognize Hamas as the true address in Gaza."

You see good anti-war friend, and PatC further above, that kind of insanity that you say has afflicted is catching. Lol

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Paul,
Thank you for your thoughtful and sensitive response. Judging from the time posted the two of us share at least one predilection - thinking and working out things, serious issues, after the rest of our world quitens down.
I must say, overall, I find very few areas where I think we disagree. Some points though need clarification. In turn:
1. I've met a number of pro-war Iraqi citizens living in Ireland as well. They are, invariably, professional people whose families, and in some cases themselves, had suffered seriously under the Saddam dictatorship. A couple are Kurds, a few Shias...."Anything would be better than that animal..." is what they usually say. And who can blame them? In a recent meeting the iawm organised with a rep from Hezbollah, following the defeat of the Israeli invasion, I met a couple of them in the meeting and it was heart wrenching to see them go up to the Lebanese comrade and put their arms around him, telling him they were so wrong about the Americans and wishing him well.
2.I am not so sure the WWI example is such a "poor analogy" . In the past few years I met a couiple of granchildren of German people whose lives were shattered in Dresden...I also spoke to a couple of Greek families whose grandads were assassinated by the left resistance, suspected, rightly or wrongly who knows, of being German collaborators. Particulalry questionable is your statement that "they understood they themselves were not the object of aggression". More on that below.
3. I will not argue here the rights and wrongs of the IRA/INLA strategy re:actions in the mainland (sic). That should be the subject of another thread. Suffice to say 'wrong' or 'right' are not definitions I would use in such a debate.
4. My point about Iran is that there is an ongoing massive financial and material support of some Iranian organisations to "disorganise and destabilise" the mullah regime...this includes bombings, assassinations of individuals working for the regime, infrastructural camage etc. The last figure mentioned in the US Senate was over $3 billion. How does this compare with anything Islamic militants may do in Europe?
5.We agree on the IDF -
6. We now come to what you qualify as "the most interesting part of my post". To clarify from the outset. what I describe as "our responsibility - see "our guilt" is not a subjective view of how you as an individual or me as another one feel.....but how we are perceived by the victims of those who say they act "in our name"! In a very recent trip to the Middle East I was asked a number of times how I squared the supposed 58% popular opposition in Ireland [Landsdowne Marketing poll] to the use of Shannon by US trrops, with the recent election results where pro-war parties, excluding the Greens and SF, got a massive majority. Do you see the point I am making? Do you? There is no easy answer that would make sense to a militant whose family is being attacked by the IDF or in whose streets there are tens of thousands of foreign soldiers and mercenaries....some of the latter proudly proclaiming their Irishness!
So it's not you who's gulty or responsible Paul. I don't suffer from that nightmare either. But I try to look at that coin from the side of those who have no choice but to fight.....not because I have the slightest desire to 'justify', as I think you unfairly say, or support such, what I called, "barbarism", but to note, to highlight, to stress, to understand, as many from the Spanish left and people have done and kicked the liars of ruling cabal, that any condemnation of such acts must at least go with an equally vehement condemnation of the root cause.......this is where I think the IAWM stands.
I hate to use the phrase 'collateral damage' coined by the Empire......I was watching last night in Newnight the story of the two British soldiers killed by their colleagues....and the fact that the commander of the force who ordered the shooting was promoted. Don't know what you, I, or any member of iawm would have done if those two murdered young people, were our brothers, sons, husbands or lovers whom we had supported and helped to join the Army and "export democracy and justice to the natives"!! What would have been our responsibility? Would we have suffered any guilt? Do you feel what I am getting at?

Fraternally

author by iosaf mac diarmada - (i'm not very organised to be fair)publication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kurdistan is in the long-term the really difficult peg to hammer into either a Western "UN security council" solution or an "Islamic" neighbouring Iranian & Syrian involvement solution. & it always was too. Without going into it too much, the illegal war on Iraq was delayed for a number of reasons which are rarely mentioned now. Among them was of course our global mobilisations in solidarity, the reticence of the French state under Chirac, the price of Oil and the role played by Chavez, the Turkish refusal to grant a northern invasion route, the fine-tuning of the carve-up of illegal zones between the original pre-Azores "coalition" & how that was altered post-Azores (which of course my little man the plucky & now near forgotten Aznar played his part in) & of course the "wait and see" caginess of some in the Pentagon who were prepared to give the first incursions by armed militants over the Iranian border.., (I could go on - but if readers are really that interested they could simply go through the news archives from 2002 - 2003 I believe I put it all together back then). However, this comment is meant to remind you that the logical outcomes no matter how far off in time terms include co-operation of all the regional states (if not current regimes) and (this is the good news) the complete withdrawl of US/UK forces. I used to write a lot back then (2002-2003) they can not prosecute their war what was true then - still is. Kurdistan is one factor in the problematic transformation of an illegal war and occupation & de facto ethnic-conflict juxtapoised with insurrection & free-for-all mercenary orientated apartheid society in the making. Amongst the others are the difficulties of establishing (without mercenary structures or the local security efficiency the US republicans always bleat about) the international institutions which like it or not verify our states as functional. By the way if you are like me on the anarchist libertarian wing or like most of the commentators on this thread on the post-marxist or at least leftwing they you are indeed opposed ironically to the very existence of those institutions. Yet without them functioning properly Iraq in any form (& it is arguable whether or not it ought exist in any form) can not move on from Haliburton.. anyway this could turn into a long difficult to read essay.

Kurdistan is spoken so little about by any party with an interest in the huge chunk of land which is "Iraq" because it is so problematic - to Washington and to Tehran and to anyone who in Baghdad who has had the temerity to validate what was an illegal war & breached (ironically) the legitimacy of the very structures which held the post WW2 global world order together. Many miss that - this war rather than affirming "new world order" actually introduced "new world disorder". But remember as you gurgle or expertly opine on Suni v. Shia that the US and UK chose to approve groups & individuals as democratic within the shattered post-Hussein Iraq that they then proscribed outside.

In other words some Kurds were & are tippy toppy democracy makers in the part of Kurdistan which is "Iraqi" but evil wicked terrorists just over the hill in those other states where Kurdistan is.., messy. if you don't get that you need a degree if you have a degree - get another one Behind it all, I might as well reflect on the terms Kurds are portrayed in now, but prefer to refresh Irish readers' memory of certain steps on the way since we are very generally talking about "jihad" (a word I really don't like btw) - The only Irish citizen to die in the seasonal tourist related terror attacks of the last years was an Irish teenager celebrating her Leaving Certificate points. She was victim of a Kurdish group's action in Turkey, less than a month later a bunch of Irish tourists "miraculously" escaped death in a hotel on the Egyptian riviera targetted by elements in the Islamic brotherhood but operating on the Sinai smuggling routes. (The little girl's death was "un-miraculous") but if we ask most Irish people about Kurds or Kurdistan they still won't come up with much will they? I assure you nor with the British, Americans, Russians, Iranians or less we get silly Turkish. It's been years since we did the first resonant RTS! gigs in London, I remember an ex-British army officer by the name of James left what at first glance I thought of as a "trollish comment" graffiti on Winston Churchill's pedestal after the statue had received it's now world famous & cultural iconic "punky mohican". Alas, James got done and served a sentence of six months for his graffiti. It was oddly illegible to most, but got right up a few noses all the same. It was a call in Kurdish and Turkish for the liberation and unity of Kurdistan. We haven't progressed far I fear. Which is why we (& I mean the "we") ought never have gone in. The extent of the lack of preparation for what could come next is truly astounding on any side. Not just the US/UK but any side. Which is why it is going to take so long to sort out. But our bottom agreed global line remains unchanged - end the war on & in "Iraq" & sort out the Palestinians bottom lines are always vague smallprint does that

author by Bazpublication date Fri Jul 13, 2007 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Judging from the time posted the two of us share at least one predilection - thinking and working out things, serious issues, after the rest of our world quitens down.

You mightn't have been good at replying to Ed but you sure do play a mean trumpet. Your own.

author by head-scratcherpublication date Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if you're replying to each others comments could you go better than putting qoutation marks & let people know you're talking to. Otherwise your ripostes and jeers get taken the wrong way and it's like a kindly neighbour arriving through the window on a rope with a big box of milktray finding an elderly couple slash bit sof each others face with razor blades...............you know what I mean?

author by iosaf does a gavelpublication date Sat Jul 14, 2007 15:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I touched very briefly on Kurdistan in my last comment & in my first way up the page touched on my long standing & I would hope well known position on North & East Africa as being the main areas of concern regarding what is called "jihad violence". It seems a pity that debate in Ireland on these subjects often appears to be stiffled by mutual slagging off to the detriment of a deeper understanding of how the war began, how the war will end, why "jihad" is an emergent phenomena & how it dovecotes with sundry otherissues which should be central to all on the left.
Yesterday the US defence department at the pentagon had one of their little reviews & two issues came up which I'd like to think refine the points I'm worried are being lost in the many hundreds of words which have been written by people in Ireland above. 1) US Defence secretary Gates is for the first time overtly touching the gravity of the African dimension 2) rumours of a Turkish build-up on their frontier (which is I hope you realise Kurdistan) were dismissed. However, in the world of these types of exchanges & little briefings peppered with self-congratulations and very managed indications of a forthcoming change of tactics (& possibly strategy) is misleading at the best or worst of times. The USA has dismisssed rumours of the presence of 200,000 Turkish troops in Kurdistan but that might mean there are only 195,000 or as is usual with the Turkish army they're not really Turkish but want to be Armenian. In short please pay attention - I'm not blowing a trumpet or nursing a career or profile down your highstreet or selling you a newspaper - I'm just letting you know things are changing . I would like to think I've done my best to let you know that things have been changing since the first week of May. I sincerely appeal to all of you, regardless of personal animosities, group affiliation or loyalty to refresh your language. Don't use "war on terror", don't use "jihad", stop bleating about "shia versus sunni" & stop thinking it's the same illegal, evil and pernicious game it seemed to be back in 2003. I spend the time to appeal to you to refresh your language but (as I wrote similarly in a comment two weeks ago) fall short of solidifying your positions until things get clearer. I repeat my hope that rather than thinking this is just about "the west versus Islam", or "veils" or "zionism", or "palestinians", or "US imperialism" you realise the whole framework has altered. There are multiple theatres & as I wrote up the page you're just starting out on a time span of one generation. to put it really basically - innocent people are being killed for the next generation while you and your neighbours are very subtley brainwashed.

the link to the pentagon report in which they play their word games & move colours around a world map http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?...=4008
The news that a Turkish mobilisation is being denied or downplayed has now crossed usually reliable sources in the US pitched in parallel with the statement at the pentagon yesterday that a withdrawl ( which we've all demanded ) is going to be a massive undertaking.
They don't use the word massive kids.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/20037....html

author by Edpublication date Sat Jul 14, 2007 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“To clarify from the outset. what I describe as "our responsibility - see "our guilt" is not a subjective view of how you as an individual or me as another one feel.....but how we are perceived by the victims of those who say they act "in our name"! In a very recent trip to the Middle East I was asked a number of times how I squared the supposed 58% popular opposition in Ireland [Landsdowne Marketing poll] to the use of Shannon by US trrops, with the recent election results where pro-war parties, excluding the Greens and SF, got a massive majority. Do you see the point I am making? Do you? There is no easy answer that would make sense to a militant whose family is being attacked by the IDF or in whose streets there are tens of thousands of foreign soldiers and mercenaries....some of the latter proudly proclaiming their Irishness!”

There’s a distinction that we have to be careful to make here. I don’t doubt for a moment that there are likely to be many people in the Muslim world who think along the following lines: “What does it matter if innocent people die in London or New York? Their governments send armies to our countries and slaughter innocents without blinking an eye-lid. Maybe if their own blood is shed, they’ll think twice about it. Anyway, they’re not entirely innocent – they vote for those governments, they can vote them out if they want.”

I don’t agree with this line of thinking, but I don’t find it especially shocking that people might think that way – it’s not particularly crazy or irrational, or even unusually wicked. But it doesn’t seem to be the line of thinking which motivates the people who have actually carried out bombings in New York, Madrid or London.

The article by Charles Glass in the London Review of Books that I linked to above looks at the arguments that have been used by Bin Laden himself to justify Al-Qaeda attacks, and he generally keeps returning to the theme of “you hurt us, we hurt you, you shed our blood, we shed yours”. But it would probably be a mistake to take this all at face value, since he is addressing a broader Muslim constituency and hoping to win their support or sympathy – so it’s natural for him to use the arguments that are likely to carry the broadest appeal.

In another of the articles I linked to, Lawrence Wright examines the ideas put forward by a host of lesser-known jihadists who have been trying to provide leadership for their movement in a post-Bin Laden phase of development. One of them sets out a long-term vision for the struggle, passing through several stages towards a hair-raising finale:

“The sixth phase will be a period of “total confrontation.” The now established caliphate will form an Islamic Army and will instigate a worldwide fight between the “believers” and the “non-believers.” Hussein proclaims, “The world will realize the meaning of real terrorism.” By 2020, “definitive victory” will have been achieved. Victory, according to the Al Qaeda ideologues, means that “falsehood will come to an end. . . . The Islamic state will lead the human race once again to the shore of safety and the oasis of happiness.” ”

It seems very unlikely that the hard core of jihadi terrorists who think along these lines would give up, even if the US and its allies pulled all their troops out of the Middle East and stopped supporting all their client regimes. To go back to the point I made earlier, the best way to undermine them would be to remove all the legitimate grievances that Muslims have against the governments of the West: they wouldn’t just pack up and go home if this happened, but they would find themselves largely isolated in the Muslim world, and find it much harder to recruit people to their ranks.

But it’s a big mistake to assume that this current (“Salafi jihadism” seems like the handiest term, that I’ve come across anyway) is simply an anti-imperialist movement with an Islamist façade (which might be a fair way to look at Hamas or Hezbullah - with qualifications of course). After all, the Salafists have killed far more Muslims than westerners – the Algerian GIA, the Taliban and their allies, Al-Zarqawi’s “Tawid al-Jihad” gang” and others. That can’t possibly have been a reaction to western crimes and western interference.

The GIA carried out some bombings in France in the 1990s, because the French government supported the regime in Algiers. They might not have targeted French civilians if Paris hadn’t interfered in their country’s affairs, but they still would have fought a barbaric civil war against their own people. Al-Zarqawi’s priority seems to have been to incite an equally savage war between Shia and Sunni Iraqis, not to fight the occupation armies.

To get another taste of the thinking behind this current, this article by Noah Feldman is very useful:

“Lest his argument prove too much, Fahd tempers it by the claim that the Muslims fighting the jihad may not inflict disproportionately more harm on the enemy than the enemy has inflicted on them. That raises the question of the extent of American guilt. “Some Brothers have added up the number of Muslims killed directly or indirectly by [American] weapons and come up with a figure of nearly ten million,” the treatise states. This total, Fahd concludes, would authorize the use of weapons of mass destruction to kill 10 million Americans: indeed, “it would be permissible with no need for further [legal] argument.” (The number is never explained or analyzed, and you might assume that it was meant to correspond very roughly to the population of New York.)”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/29/magazine/29islam.html...58400

author by gavinapublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 01:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...because if there's one way to keep your ilk in the lunatic fringe, it's to have you as their mouthpiece. Your contributions to this thread have been at best, blatant distortions, at worst, outright lies. You were comprehensively taken apart by the starter of this thread, and your responses were non sequiturs to comments never made. Truly, a great thinker.

author by Tony O' Reillypublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 03:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was a great article by Kevin Myers in yesterday's (17/07/07) Irish Independent about the sheer idiocy of allowing tens of thousands of Muslims to settle in Ireland. It was probably a bit too sensible for most people on Indymedia to appreciate however.

author by Edpublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah, the courageous Colonel Myers – where would we be without him? I WOULD support his sensible “keep out the darkies” stand, but I fear that once he has his way and all the Muslims and Travellers are deported from our shores, the next to go will be the terrible single mothers who pose such a mortal threat to our society – and I do like my mother, so it’d be a pity.

"It is in fact surprising how little real trouble these reactionary and oppressive currents were able to start. It has only been a small minority of the population of the Muslim population who have protested and the vast majority of them have shown their anger through normal democratic activities such as peaceful demonstrations and a trade boycott. Burning flags or empty Arla boxes shouldn’t excite Danish democrats - it is, like the cartoons, symbolic."

http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article991

"But the newcomers are not the same, object the reactionaries. They have a different religion; they don't mix or intermarry; they don't eat like us or live as we do. You let them develop their argument and then slyly reply, The same used to be said about Jews in the thirties. It is a good blow because, while it is already widely acceptable to be anti-Arab, making anti-Jewish remarks still requires caution. Yet the point is valid and the only difference is one of numbers. There were about 300,000 predominantly Ashkenazi Jews in France before the war; now, with the arrival of Sephardic Jews from North Africa, there are slightly more than twice that figure. What the numbers suggest is that assimilation could take longer to add more color to French culture."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/19951106/singer

“Despite the statistical reality that ethnic minorities are on the receiving end of abuse and discrimination from their fellow citizens and the State, they are blamed for a failure to integrate. Facts on the ground, however, do not bear out the self-segregation thesis. According to the latest census, the indices of residential segregation for all ethnic minority groups fell between 1991 and 2001. The index of isolation — measuring how likely people are not to know people from other groups — is highest for white Christians, followed by white people with no religion. According to CRE studies, 95 per cent of white Britons do not have a Black or Asian friend and one in four would not want to live near them; in contrast, 60 per cent of Muslims have non-Muslim friends.

The preoccupation with cultural difference disguises the core problem afflicting race relations in Britain: the reluctance of a significant section of the white majority to “integrate” into Britain’s multi-cultural society, to accept its democracy, and the willingness of newspapers and politicians to pander to that reluctance.”

http://www.mikemarqusee.com/index.php?p=215#more-215

author by PaddyK - Siiighhhh !!!!!publication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The article posted above with the tagline : "This article explores the basically reactionary nature of Hamas and explains how it came to power." is basically exploring Rubbish. Its a shoppping list of contrived pseudo-socialist grievances, projected willy-nilly, through a plethora of absurd trotskyite catchphrases.

Hamas are reactionary, Imperialist, populist, petty burgeois ..... ooohhhh please ,,, give us a break !!!

There are plenty of good articles on Hamas and on the reasoning , sound and unsound, behind their actions and on the possible outcomes of their operations in Gaza recently. Analysis that take on board considerations of the futrure wellbeing of the people and how this might best be supported rather than socialist pseudo-babble which has the sole purpose of discrediting through bullshit one particular party or the other, or in this case, the democratic mandate of an entire people.
Apart from having produced a complete garble of nonsesne the author of the rubbish article spends 4 or 5 paragraphs lambasting the populist parties for accepting (as he asserts) the .... "Mecca Accord, i.e. the Saudi monarchy and imperialism's scheme for the region. " Then, after embarrassingly misinterpreting a quote from Hanna Amireh, a member of the PPP Politburo, regarding the implications of the Mecca Accord, goes on to chastise Hamas the "populist " and the "stalinist" opposition (Dear God, help us) for realising, too late, that the..."Mecca Accord wasn't the heaven on earth the Palestinian people were to expect. "

It seems like everyone in Palestine is under the same delusion as to what the Mecca Accord actually was, as our witless commentator.
The Mecca Accord was a fairly simple agreement between Fatah and Hamas about how to try to get on for another couple of weeks and form a government and NOT a vision of the region by the Saudi Monarchs as a our little Civil War spouting scribe has decided all by hisself.

Please disregard the article as pseudo-trotskyite, reactionary, pap that serves to undermine the seriousness of a relatively straightforward issue concerning the democratic choices of the Palestinian people at a very important juncture in time.

You have been warned.

author by Edpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fascinating article in the Guardian today, an interview with Sunni resistance leaders by Seamus Milne. The whole thing's worth reading but this struck me in particular:

"At the heart of the new insurgent alliance is a rejection of the murderous sectarianism that has come to grip Iraq - and the role of al-Qaida in particular. Most striking is the case of Zubeidy, whose hardline salafist (purist Islamic) group Ansar al-Sunna recently split in half over the issue (his faction is now called the Legitimate Committee of Ansar al-Sunna - Goure says such splits are endemic in the resistance movement). "We wanted to unite with other resistance forces, but the other group is moving closer to al-Qaida and refused. Al-Qaida has brought benefits and problems," Zubeidy says. "They attack the US occupiers. But every day the problems they bring become greater than the benefits.

"Resistance isn't just about killing Americans without any aims or goals," he continues. "Our people have come to hate al-Qaida, which gives the impression to the outside world that the resistance in Iraq are terrorists. Suicide bombing is not the best way to fight because it kills innocent civilians. We are against indiscriminate killing - fighting should be concentrated only on the enemy. They [al-Qaida] believe that all Shia are kuffar [unbelievers] - and most of the Sunnis as well." They estimate that al-Qaida now carries out between a fifth and a third of all attacks in Iraq.

But they say that it is necessary for the Sunni-based groups to ally with the Shia. "Even though that is not easy," says Zubeidy. "A great gap has opened up between Sunni and Shia under the occupation and al-Qaida has contributed to that - as have the US and Iran. Most of al-Qaida's members are Iraqis but its leaders are mostly foreigners. The Americans magnify their role, even though they are responsible for a minority of resistance operations - remember that the Americans brought al-Qaida to Iraq." "

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2129544,00.html

So much for Tony's theory that all Muslims are barbaric fanatics. If we want Al-Qaeda to be defeated, we should really leave the job to Muslims.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The UK "minister for Terror" whose first statements I referred to up the page has this week said that 2,000 individuals are being monitored in the UK [& because of the translation outsourcing problem/defecit which Eire has Ireland]. We also saw convictions relating to the demonstrations in London last year by members of a group which was then legal but has since been proscribed for incitement to hatred and terror. the Judge (& "common serjeant for London) Brian Barker, in his round-up had this to say :- Freedoms of speech and assembly have long been jealously guarded by our laws - but with freedom comes respect and responsibility, neither of which was demonstrated by you or your hardcore of protesters," http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6903445.stm

Oh well that got me thinking & spitting the muesli & ranting @ anyone in reach about why I left the archipelago back when the Bush clan put Cheney and Junior in. But that judgement came less than a week after one of the heads of the UK's anti-terror police unit [backed by MI5 elements (but MI6/SIS)] called for indefinte detention or "internment" as we Irish call it. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2126704....html "guantanamo in Dorset" as I suggest it would be. I always quote Benjamin Franklin .:. "they who would sacrfice security for liberty deserve neither". It's like this - the angry young mmen sent to jail were in groups which are now illegal and for all intensive purposes disarticulated. They were for domestic intelligence gathering purposes as useful as their weblog or collection of flyers (humungous the "serjeant of London" says). For terror prevention they were more useful as long as they were happily handing out flyers & just like old clawhands imam Hamza in Finsbury who people like me & you knew aws offering a floor to kip on, bread and soup to angry young men for a while before being sent off to Afghanistan., terrible stuff but manageable & so we see ancient and core liberties usurped.., quite simply because an illegal war was begun without any foresight or the minimum of good counsel

Once upon a time Cherie Blair would have been wheeled out to do a case.., Ah but we are in the Brown now.

In my experience of grassroots anti-racism and migration stuff, hot words do not always lead to hot deeds & muslim communities when defined as town or other groups & not mosques are as diverse as any suburb of Dublin or Belfast if considered on the pitch of its local licensed minister of publick worship.., It is also my experience that the disgust as reflected in the muslim mobilisation and taking to the street in Scotland after the Glasgow attack is typical of the British islamic community's attitude to violence yet that same sits incongrously with trans-national hatreds and prejudices which at first are hard to fathom. We thus don't need to select muslims to fight terror (but as you say they are the best) coz if we do - we sponsor Ghadaffi (as was the strategy 2 years ago) or as the Bush clan do - favour the Saudi royals over the infinitely better Syria/Iran axis. etc. etc.

Different cases call for different solutions..., not the right thread.., this is your thread & an excellent one it is too. :-) please write on! & I hope you love tara too.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No Evidence Of Iran’s Role In Violence And
Instability In Iraq – Confirms British Foreign Minister
By Mehrnaz Shahabi

http://countercurrents.org/shahabi190707.htm

David Milliband, British foreign secretary, confirmed in an interview with the Financial times, 8th July, that there is no evidence of Iranian complicity in instability in Iraq or attacks on British troops

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