Private Eye on Britain’s Covert Aid to Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and His Atrocities in the 1980s

July 15, 2018

This is another revelation of British dirty tricks and covert operations against our former colonies.

In this fortnight’s Private Eye for 13th-28th July 2018, the article ‘Letter from Harare’ on page 20 discusses a new book by the historian Stuart Doran, Kingdom, Power, Glory. The article begins by describing how absolutely packed Meikles Hotel in Harare is with the world’s press and other observers coming to Zimbabwe for the inauguration of new president Emmerson Mnangagwe, who succeeds Robert Mugabe after the old thug was overthrown.

Mnangagwe’s spin-doctor, George Charamba, has persuaded the local press to call the new president ‘the Crocodile’, and its connotations of guile, strength and longevity. The Eye states that it would have been more appropriate to call him ‘the Butcher of Bulawayo’ after his subjugation of Matabeleland for his master, Robert Mugabe, during the fighting in the 1980s, in which 20,000 Ndebele and other opponents of the regime in the area were massacred.

Doran has based his book on files and interviews with the agents of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation. This book shows that Britain had a very close relationship with the local spooks and had ‘an inkling’ about the horrors that were being perpetrated by Mugabe’s forces against the Ndebele and other opposition groups at the time. However, they failed to alert the rest of the globe. The article also states that it wasn’t very long before they forgot and forgave Mugabe for the terror and atrocities. He was invited to make a state visit in 1994 at which he was given an honorary knighthood. Which has since been rescinded.

The new president of Zimbabwe, Mnangagwe, was Mugabe’s ‘point man’ in the carnage nearly 30 years ago. The Eye quotes Doran’s book as saying that “Mnangagwe had from the beginning [of the Matabeleland slaughter] played a key role in the campaign against [rival party] Zapu and Zipra [Zapu’s guerilla army]from his chairmanship of the Joint High Command, through to the provocation of the Entumbane conflagration [when the two guerilla armies clashed] … with others he provided the day-to-day bridge between the political leadership and the killers in the security services.”

This makes sense, and shows that there is a lot about this period in Zimbabwe which is being covered up. In the 1990s and early part of this century I used to do voluntary work for the former Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. One of my co-workers was a British man, who moved to Rhodesia and become active in the opposition against the Colour Bar and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. He was genuinely anti-racist, and no friend of tyrants and thugs.

But in the first few years of this century, when Mugabe’s thugs were turning against the White farmers, he’d been down to the Public Record Office in Kew to access the archives on Zimbabwe from the 1980s. He hadn’t been able to. He’d been told that they were out. Or missing. He found this very suspicious, and wondered what was going on.

I’ve also read elsewhere that Mugabe was right when he claimed that the money Britain had promised his regime to purchase White-owned farmed had not in fact been paid. Not that this excuses for one single moment the brutality unleashed against the country’s White minority, or any of the other ethnic groups Mugabe’s thugs have beaten and killed.

There’s something very shady about Britain’s relationship with Mugabe and his butchers, something we’re still not being told here in Britain. The Eye’s review of Doran’s book comes after Robin Ramsay’s review of Rory Cormac’s history of British conspiracies against her former subject nations in Lobster, and supports that book’s central argument and that of the Left about covert operations and dirty tricks in these countries by the British secret state.

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RT Talks to Irish Senator Banning Israeli Goods from Occupied Palestine

July 15, 2018

Okay, I just found a short clip on YouTube of RT’s Going Underground, in which anchor Afshin Rattansi talks to Senator David Norris. Norris is a member of the Irish parliament, and sits as an independent. He fought against the Irish laws against homosexuality to become Eire’s first openly gay politico. In that clip, Rattansi talks to him about a recent bill he steered through the senate to outlaw Israeli goods produced in the Occupied Territories, pointing out that the Israeli occupation of the area has been condemned as illegal by both Eire and the EU.

I haven’t seen the clip yet, and so am not putting it up here until I have had a time to go through what it says. But if the bill has become law, then it might explain part of the desperation of the Israel lobby in this country to smear decent people like Mike as anti-Semites. The BDS campaign against Israeli businesses based in the Occupied Territories has bitten deep. About a third of Israeli businesses there have apparently packed up and left because of it. Many of the campaign’s supporters are Jews, of the type who are no doubt considered to be the ‘wrong type’ by the official Jewish establishment. Trump’s administration has tried to criminalise the BDS movement as ‘anti-Semitism’, even though it is certainly not directed against Jews per se, just the Israeli occupation.

If Eire is banning goods produced in the Occupied Territories, it means the Israel lobby’s ability to stifle criticism of Israel and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is losing its grip. And they’re going to be terrified of how far this process will go. Hence you can expect the Israel lobby over here, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, and the Jewish Labour Movement in the Labour Party, are going to be desperate to silence it, and are going to redouble their persecution of decent, anti-racists like Mike, Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and all the others they’ve smeared.

But the tide is slowly turning. And it’s high time the libellers and smearers were exposed and expelled.

Private Eye on the West’s Support of Anti-Iranian Paramilitary Group

July 14, 2018

This is ominous, as it looks like the Neocons are setting up another paramilitary group, like Ahmed Chalabi’s in Iraq, to pose behind as the liberators in yet another imperialist invasion for the American-Saudi oil industry and western multinational businesses.

In the ‘Letter from Paris’ article in this fortnight’s Private Eye for 12th-26th July 2018, there’s a discussion of a meeting in Paris late last month of the MEK, or People’s Mujahidin of Iran. Or what sounds very much like the old Mujahidin-e Khalq under another name. The MEK/ Mujahidin-e Khalq were a Marxist Islamic revolutionary group. They fought a paramilitary war against the Shah, and were expecting to have a role in the new Islamic Revolutionary regime after the Shah’s overthrow in 1979, but were forced out by the Ayatollah Khomeini and his supporters. Since then, according to the Eye, it’s become a personality cult controlled by Maryam Rajavi, who shares the leadership with her husband Massoud. Massoud Rajavi hasn’t been seen since 2003, and according to the Saudis is dead.

A US-commissioned report published in 1979 stated that the MEK was responsible for scores of terrorist attacks against state officials and civilians in Iran. It also described the grim conditions within the militia, in which members were forced to divorce their partner and devote their lives to compulsory celibacy. Ex-members have also spoken about being forced to announce lurid sexual fantasies and having their children forcibly adopted.

4,000 people attended their conference under the hashtag #IranRegimeChange, although many of these were Polish, Czech and Slovakian students and Syrian refugees from Germany, who were bussed in with 25 Euro Facebook offer of a holiday in Paris with bed and board paid.

The article goes on to report that for the last 13 years Maryam Rajavi has been trying to get the support of the American right as Iran’s next leader in waiting. The MEK have paid up to $40,000 per speech to John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, and the orange buffoon’s personal lawyer, Rudi Giuliani.

The group, according to the Eye, is funded by Saudi Arabia, and has additional funding carrying out black ops for Israel. It was the MEK that was responsible for the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012. At the Paris conference Giuliani suggested that the US government, under its campaign of “maximum pressure” imposing sanctions against any company trading with Iran, is coordinating MEK ‘resistance units’ inside Iran in order to topple the government. In fact, although the country has experienced a wave of protests recently, the MEK has precious few supporters in Iran because of its legacy of domestic bombing and the fact that it fought with the Iraqis against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War.

Also speaking to the terrorist group were four Tory MPs – David Amess, Bob Blackman, Matthew Offord, and Theresa Villiers, Tory peer Lord McInnes, and Labour MP Roger Godsiff. Amess declared that ‘We need to talk about regime change’, while Villiers discussed Iran’s poor human rights record and claimed that the MEK would create ‘a peaceful and democratic future for all’. The Eye stated that this was unlikely, as it is a movement whose only strategy is destabilising the country and fomenting civil war. Nor is it very likely it would win through conventional elections, as there is no evidence that it has any kind of mass support in Iran.

The Eye suggested that the reason this group of British politicos turned up was because they were a bunch of ideological carpet-baggers determined to further destabilise a highly volatile region, with no plan or understanding of the likely consequences. (Page 20).

This sounds almost exactly like George Dubya Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Bush and the neocons put their weight and confidence behind a pretender, Ahmed Chalabi, who claimed to have a huge army and massed supporters waiting for him in Iraq. When the Americans invaded, and installed him as the rightful ruler, they would be hailed as liberators. In fact he had no support whatsoever. As for the neocons themselves, they knew absolutely nothing about the Middle East, and hated those who did. American Conservative opponents of the Iraq invasion describe how they had state and Pentagon officials, who actually had a deep understanding of the region and its peoples removed. This included General Zilli, the chief officer in charge of American forces in the area.

The Neocons have wanted for decades to overthrow the Iranian Revolutionary regime. It was on the list of countries America should invade, along with Somalia, Syria, Libya and three others. They despise it because of its virulent opposition to Israel. Other plausible reasons include the fact that it nationalised its oil industry to take it out of the hands of western companies, such as BP, while I’ve no doubt that American multinationals are hungry for the web of state industries controlled by the bonyads, the Islamic charitable foundations. I also have no doubt that the Saudis want Iran destroyed as it’s a Shi’a state which assists the other Shi’a groups and countries, like Syria, in the region.

Let’s have no illusions: Iran is an extremely intolerant theocracy, which is responsible for very severe human rights abuses against dissidents. But it’s far better than Saudi Arabia. At least Iran has a democratic component, in which the Iranian people can vote for a president even though political parties are banned. Unlike the absolute monarchy in Saudi Arabia. There is also a greater degree of religious tolerance. Three per cent of the population are Armenian Christians, and there are other communities of Jews and Zoroastrians. There are about 4 seats in the majlis – the Iranian parliament – reserved for these minorities.

Contrast this with Saudi Arabia, where the only permitted religion is Wahhabi Islam and where, a few years ago, the grand mufti of Mecca declared that the Shi’a were heretics and ‘worthy of death’.

Like Iraq, Iran is a civilisation over 3,000 years old, going back to the dawn of civilisation in the Ancient Near East. For millennia it was a centre of art, literature, historical writing, science, mathematics and medicine. It is also a country of a variety of different ethnic groups. The main ethnic group are the Farsi-speakers, who comprise 51 per cent of the population. But there are also Baluchis, Kurds, Loris, ethnic Arabs and a number of nomadic peoples speaking languages related to Turkish.

Far from giving the Iranian people peace and democracy, any western invasion would result in the same chaos and carnage as has occurred in Iraq: massive sectarian or ethnic violence, the seizure of the country’s state assets and its oil industry and fields, and the destruction of priceless monuments and art works, including the country’s historic mosques.

Iraq was one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East. Iraq similarly is one of the most, if not the most developed, westernised nations in the region. And you can bet that after the invasion of Iraq and the civil war in Syria created a wave of refugees desperate to enter western Europe, so an invasion of Iran would do the same.

No western politicians should be listening to or supporting the MEK and their fantasies of overthrowing the Iranian regime. And we definitely should not be planning the invasion of Iran. The politicians who are, should be exposed and thrown out of office.

Lobster Review of British Covert Actions

July 13, 2018

Lobster is a website and former small press print journal devoted to real conspiracies and clandestine plots by secret groups seeking to influence politics covertly. Much of its material concerns the secret political and economic manipulation of the British and American intelligence and security services to contain and combat Communism during the Cold War. It has also covered the disinformation and secret assassination policy carried out by the British secret state and the SAS in Northern Ireland, as well as the various secret business organisations and political groups that campaigned to bring Britain into the EU. I’ve cited numerous articles from the magazine on my blog here, including those about the way New Labour handed the running of this great country’s economy over to financial sector and big business, establishing close links with Thatcherite think tanks and pressure groups rather than listening to its own working class core.

In Lobster 76, founder and editor Robin Ramsay has written a fascinating review of Rory Cormac’s Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press: 2018) £20.00, h/b.

It has been a constant complaint of genuine conspiracy and parapolitics researcher – not the people, who believe that the US has signed a secret pact with evil aliens from Zeta Reticuli, or those, who believe the vile and malign conspiracy theories about the Jews manipulating the banking system and encouraging non-White immigration to destroy the White race – that this aspect of domestic and international politics is comprehensively ignored by mainstream historians. Hence Ramsay’s delight at the publication of this book, which he states he never imagined would be written in his lifetime. Cormac states that this is a history of things that officially did not happen using sources few realise exist. It’s theme is the way Britain, as a declining military power, sought to combat the Soviets in Europe and rising nationalism in the rest of the former British Empire, or manipulate these nationalist movements into forms which would serve British interests. It has sections on Iran, Suez, Oman, Yemen, Malaya, Indonesia, British Guiana, now Guyana, Northern Ireland and other countries and regions familiar to students of British covert imperial politics.

The tactics used were bribery, propaganda, and manipulation. Fake political parties and organisations were founded, and fake news and disinformation published. The book alleges that this continued into the 1980s, when the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) funded one of the Islamic groups in Pakistan to publish and distribute Islamic literature to the Soviet republics with large Muslim populations. The British intelligence services, in particular the IRD – the Information Research Department, which hovered between the Foreign Office and the SIS, set up fake radio stations, newspapers, pamphlets and spurious literature of every kind. This got so bad that with the addition of propaganda from the paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, genuine journalists were bewildered and left wondering what to believe.

The book also shows that the massive corruption in many of these countries after independence is not at all surprising, as the British were intent on corrupting them before they gained their autonomy. There were attempts to steal or manipulate elections in the Gold Coast (Ghana), Sudan, Tanganyika, Nigeria, Zambia, and British Guiana (Guyana).

Under Thatcher in the 1980s, with her infatuation with private industry, the lines between the state and the private sector were blurred, with Le Circle, previously the Pinay Circle, Brian Crozier’s Shield Committee and Keenie-Meenie Services entering the field. Cormac notes that this has complicated the field to the point where it is a conspiracy theorist’s dream and impossible to separate fact from fiction.

The majority of these operations were failures, such as those in Albania, Egypt and Syria. The SAS operation in Oman and the overthrow of President Mossadeq in Iran were successes, but had disastrous long term consequences. He also sees British operations in Indonesia as successful, if this is defined to include the massacre of half a million people. He notes that the operation against Colonel Gaddafi created the vacuum for international terrorism. Cormac states that these covert operations in the Middle East only masked British imperial decline, with Ramsay adding in his review that it also resulted in a lasting distrust of Britain in these regions.

Despite this, Ramsay has some criticisms of the books. It does not discuss any possible connections between the British state and private industry, despite the probability that British business would not be satisfied with being excluded from influencing covert politics. Nor does he discuss British funding of Islamist movements in Libya and Syria. He has a conventional view of covert politics during the Cold War, and accuses the Soviets of breaking treaty after treaty. But Ramsay cites revisionist historians like Gabriel Kolko, who argued that the Soviets were instead sticklers for keeping the terms of international treaties. Ramsay concludes

So: although the author has written an account which supports all the left critiques of imperialism and colonialism since WW2, he is not on the left. He began this book as a post-doc researcher at King’s College, London, whose Defence Studies Department is the only university department I have been to which had armed guards at its doors, thanks to its Ministry of Defence funding. Nonetheless, this is a tremendous piece of research and an essential book.

See the review of the book at Lobster 76 for Winter 2018. This is at https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue76.php. Scroll down the contents and click on the article, and then open it in your browser.

I found Ramsay’s review fascinating as it is a mainstream treatment of the conspiracies and clandestine plots this country made against its former colonies and other nations, plots that explain the horrors that have occurred in some many of these countries. I’ve recently published a book myself with Lulu, Crimes of Empire, about how we have been misled into supporting a series of wars and interventions in a plethora of foreign countries, all presented as humanitarian missions to overthrow tyrants and given them democracy. The reality has been that these have been waged for geopolitical and corporate reasons, which have frequently resulted in chaos and the installation of brutal dictators.

Most of the material there is about America, through authorities like William Blum and his Anti-Empire Report. It’s very good indeed that a book’s been published on the crimes the British empire has also committed in its attempts to cling on as a world power.

Ukrainian Fascist Leader Andriy Parubiy Invited to Speak to US Senate

July 12, 2018

This is really disgusting. It shows that the US foreign policy establishment has learned nothing, and hasn’t got better. They’re still giving aid to genocidal Fascists in order to block supposed Russian influence around the world. Just like they did in the Cold War. And the result is always the same: the suffering and brutalisation of the peoples of those nations, in which they install these thugs.

In this piece from the Real News, host Ben Norton talks to Max Blumenthal of the Gray Zone, who has published a piece on his website about the invitation to speak at the US senate’s Foreign Affairs Council to Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy’s the head of the Ukrainian rada, the country’s parliament. He’s also an out-and-out Nazi, who has founded two neo-Nazi movements, the Patriot of Ukraine and the Social Nationalist movement. Which sounds very much, as it is intended, like the National Socialism – Nazism. He’s also very strongly connected to the Azov Battalion, which is now part of the Ukrainian armed forced. As I’ve explained in an earlier article, the Azov Battalion are White supremacists who wear the insignia of the Ukrainian SS auxiliaries during World War II. They are bitterly anti-Semitic and islamophobic, and have carried out attacks on LGBT people. Recently they have attacked and destroyed a number of Roma – Gypsy – villages.

Their racial ambitions don’t stop at the Ukraine, however. They want a Reconquista of Western Europe, in which they will exterminate or expel its Black and Asian inhabitants.

During the meeting, Parubiy met the Republican speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, other foreign policy officials, who were so delighted that they tweeted about what a good meeting it was. This wasn’t the first time Parubiy had met Ryan. Last year Norton himself wrote an article describing how Parubiy had met Ryan and John McCain. Blumenthal states that the Patriot of Ukraine is at the heart of the extremist violence wracking the country since it was destabilised by the US backed coup of 2014, the so-called Maidan or Orange Revolution. Parubiy and three other storm troopers were in Washington pleading for more aid to Ukraine, because the country is dependent on aid. They’re getting this on condition that they allow their country to be the site of more NATO bases against Russia, and that they will help America block the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, which is intended to bring Russian gas to Germany, and is a key threat in the minds of the foreign policy establishment. This threatens American economic control of western Europe. And this fear is bi-partisan. The Foreign Policy Society is not a right-wing organisation, and includes both Democrats and Republicans. Blumenthal turned up and asked the obvious question of whether the US should be inviting the leader of such a violently racist organisation, which has carried out lethal pogroms against Roma, to speak. And as Blumenthal himself says, he did not get a clear answer.

A few decades ago Parubiy wrote a book, and appeared on its cover wearing something very much like Nazi brownshirt uniform. Blumenthal goes on to explain that Ukraine has been used for decades as a chess piece against Russia, ever since it was occupied by Germany during the Second World War. The east of the country is populated by Russian-speaking Ukrainians and ethnic Russians, who don’t want anything to do with the regime in Kiev. This is a technocratic government, set up by the Maidan Revolution as a US vassal, which is mired in corruption and to which the Nationalist far right is directly opposed. The signs were there as far back as 2014 that Fascism was on the rise. The Nationalist movement was exploding, and its icon was Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator during the Second World War. Bandera and Roman Shukeivich were both deeply connected to the pogrom against Lvov’s Jews in 1941. Parubiy has been instrumental in trying to revive Banderaism, and his 1997/1998 book, View From the Right, does show him in brownshirt quasi-Nazi dress, Ukrainian SS uniform, with a pistol at his hip. In the book, he blamed hippies and immigrants for undermining western civilisation. His Social National party pledged in 1994 to save the White race from the degradation of humanity. In the first decade of this century, Parubiy was at the hear of a campaign to build a monument to Bandera in Lvov, whose Jewish population Bandera had helped to wipe out. Parubiy’s Right Sector thugs have been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard under the Interior minister, Arsenovakov, who is a member of Parubiy’s People’s Party.

Blumenthal then talks about how the Azov Battalion are the shock troops against the separatist and Russian forces in the Donbass. He describes their White nationalist ideology, of which the main proponent now is Baletsky. Baletsky hates the current government in Kiev, led by Petro Poroshenko. Baletsky sought to begin the Reconquista by leading the Azov Battalion and other Nazi thugs into Kiev earlier this year, ostensibly to restore order. Other extreme right wing groups have led attacks across the country against Jews, Roma, gays, left-wingers, and Communists. Amnesty International issued a report saying no-one was safe in Ukraine from these Fascists. One of the groups that has carried out attacks on Roman encampments is called C14, after the notorious neo-Nazi mantra of creating a safe place for the White race and their children. And Radio Free Europe, the American propaganda network, released news that C14 was funded by the state. But Blumenthal was the only member of the press to raise the awkward question.

Blumenthal also asked the same question of Michael Carpenter, Obama’s foreign policy advisor on Russia. Carpenter replied by declaring that Parubiy was a conservative nationalist, who cares about his country and is a patriot. But he was not a Nazi. This was mostly Russian propaganda. Carpenter played an important role in Obama’s Defense Department and the state Department. He’s a ferociously anti-Russian pundit, working at the NATO think tank, the Atlantic Council in Washington. As for the allegations of Fascism being Russian propaganda, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, who is no kind of Putin stooge, called Parubiy’s organisations “openly neo-Fascist’. Democrat Representative Ro Khanna also successfully got Congress to pass a bill banning arms sales to the Azov Battalion. Blumenthal sees no evidence that Parubiy has reformed his views and it is incumbent on Carpent and the foreign policy establishment to condemn the violence in Ukraine against minority communities.

The Real News on Israel’s Arming of the Fascist Azov Battalion in Ukraine

July 9, 2018

This is something that won’t surprise critics and opponents of Israel such as Tony Greenstein. But I doubt you’re going to find it reported any time soon in the mainstream news, because, according to the Israel lobby, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, reporting or repeating any of Israel’s well-documented historical connections to real, genuine Fascism and Nazism is ‘anti-Semitic’. The show notes that the mainstream press are beginning to cover Fascism in the Ukraine. But even so, it’s going to be a very long time before they cover this.

In this edition of the Real News, host Ben Norton talks to the journalist Max Blumenthal about Asa Winstanley’s article in the Electronic Intifada revealing that the Israelis have sold arms to Ukraine’s Azov Battalion. The sales were uncovered by human rights lawyers in Israel, and the guns themselves shown off by the Azov Battalion itself on their own website. These are tavor rifles, very distinctive weapons issued to Israeli squaddies. They replaced the Uzi, and were used against some of the protestors in Gaza.

Blumenthal and Norton talk about the Azov Battalion, which adopts the Wolfsangel insignia of the WW2 SS auxiliaries. It was founded by Biletsky, as part of the National Patriot movement, which was itself part of the Social Nationalist Party. Members of the Battalion also wear SS tattoos, and have been photographed giving the stiff right arm Nazi salute. The organisation runs paramilitary training camps, including for children. They are anti-Semites, islamophobic and White supremacist. They have launched attacks on Roma and Jews. The organisation has now been incorporated into the Ukrainian armed forces, which gives Israel some plausible deniability, in that they can claim they are giving aid to Ukraine, not neo-Nazis. But it’s a very specious, thin defence.

Biletsky himself has said that he intends to restore the honour of the White race. He declared that if he got into power, he would abolish the Ukrainian parliament. The ethnic cleansing of Ukraine is the first step in their campaign of ‘Reconquista’, bring the race war to the rest of Europe in order to cleanse them of Jews, Roma and non-Whites. Monto, a western Fascist was arrested when tried travelling to Ukraine to join the Battalion. He intended to return to France to launch attacks on synagogues and mosques.

The Azov Battalion has also been given aid by the Canadians. They recently sent a military attache over there to hold talks with the Battalion’s leaders. When questioned on this, they said it would increase plurality and personal tolerance. Blumenthal points out that the current Canadian foreign minister, Freeland, is a Ukrainians, whose father was a Fascist collaborator, who was recruited over here during the Cold War. When three Russian diplomats had the temerity to point it out, Justin Trudeau expelled them, rather than remove Freeland.

Blumenthal also suggests that the Israelis in this case may be just proxies for American itself. He describes how, in the 1980s, Congress tried to halt arms sales to South American Fascists, such as the Contras in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and the Fascist regime in Guatemala, by demanding that the president personally sign any order to do so. As a result, Reagan’s regime turned instead to using the Israelis to convey arms to them. And the South American Fascist were hugely appreciative. Rios Montt, one of the leaders of these truly genocidal regimes, declared fulsomely that his regime and its death squads were full participants in the ‘spirit of Israel’ and went on to praise the Israeli state.

This is the reason, Blumenthal concludes, why he is not surprised that Israel should now be sending arms to a violently anti-Semitic Nazi organisation, despite the way it purports and postures as the defenders of Jews everywhere.

Here’s the clip:

It’s been the argument of Tony Greenstein and the other principled critics of Israel, like Asa Winstanley, that Israel has never cared about defending Jews from Fascism, except when there is a possibility that some would move to Israel. There are numerous statements from the earliest Zionist leaders stating that if all the Jews in Europe moved to England to escape the Holocaust and survived, they would far prefer it if only half survived and the rest moved to Israel. During the Second World War, Kasztner, the leader of the Zionists in Hungary, made a deal to send tens of thousands of Jews to the death camps in order that the Nazis would send some few to Israel.

This is the shameful history the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, the Jewish Labour Movement and the rest of the Israel lobby are trying to hide when they smear decent people, who dare to talk about it. Like Red Ken and his comments about the Haavara Agreement.

The Azov Battalion and the regime it serves are Nazis. As well as Jews and Roma, they are also attacking pro-Russian Ukrainians and ethnic Russians in the east of the country. And it looks like they’re being used as proxies in a war against Putin.

Putin is a thug, no question. But these guys are worse. They’re true Nazis. And no regime or organisation that genuinely respects human rights, and cares for the safety of Jews, Muslims, Gypsies, blacks or any other ethnic minority, should be giving them any form of aid or succour.

Jared Kushner’s Worthless Peace Deal for the Palestinians

July 9, 2018

Jared Kushner is proving to be every bit a bumptious, arrogrant braggart as his father-in-law, Donald Trump. Trump boasts that every deal or bill he’s going to pass will be absolutely wonderful, pushing them in the most superlative tones. So did Kushner about two weeks ago, when he declared that he was going to make a peace deal with the Palestinians. This was going to be great for the Israelis, and great for the Palestinians. He was not, however, going to spoil it by including the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the negotiations.

I don’t know what kind of deal he finalised, but I doubt is has any value to the Palestinians themselves. If memory serves me right, Kushner is one of the leaders of the Jewish National Fund in America. This is the Israeli organisation, which owns 97 per cent of the land in Israel, which is very much reserved for Israelis and definitely not for Palestinians.

And even if he isn’t connected to that organisation, Kushner is a real estate developer in Israel, who specialises in buying up Palestinian land and developing Israeli settlements, businesses and homes in the Occupied Territories.

The last peace deal the Israelis made with the Palestinians in the 1990s, according to Joe Sacco’s Palestine, did precious little to benefit the Palestinians. They were given an independent authority, but the occupation and its brutalities and injustices continued, as did the constrution and expansion of the illegal settlements. Kushner’s peace deal sounds exactly the same, with the exception that he doesn’t trust the Palestinian leader himself to agree to it. Perhaps the real reason he want to cut Abbas out of the negotiations was because the Palestinian leader may have been a bit too wise to what Kushner would try.

This looks like another insubstantial peace process, where Kushner, America and the Israelis will offer scraps or tokens, while making sure that the indigenous people of Israel will continue to have their lands seized, their schools closed, their homes bulldozed, water fouled, and themselves shot and persecuted as part of the Israelis’ long campaign of ethnic cleansing against them.

Shameless Tory Press Continues to Promote the Policies That Are Killing the Health Service

July 8, 2018

This year is the 70th anniversary of the greatest achievement of Clement Atlee’s government: the creation of the NHS. This was to be a system of socialised medicine, which was to be universal and free at the point of delivery. And the Tory right has hated it ever since.

The BBC has been commemorating the NHS’s birth with a series of programmes, including A People’s History of the NHS. The series’ name recalls the book, A People’s History of the United States, which looked at the history of the US from the point of view of ordinary Americans, including women, Blacks and other minorities, who have had to struggle to gain their freedoms, rather than the elite White men who framed the Constitution. These last were rich patricians, who feared real American democracy because it would lead to attacks on their privileged social position. Needless to say, the book has not been popular with Republicans.

At the same time, the NHS is in acute crisis due to the massive funding cuts inflicted by Cameron’s and Tweezer’s Tory administrations. Tweezer has declared that she will put so many billions into the NHS by 2022, but her estimations still fall short of what is actually required. Besides, regarding the NHS, the Tories cannot be trusted on anything. Remember how David Cameron promised he was going to ringfence NHS spending so that it would not be affected by his austerity programme? The first thing he did when he got in No. 10 was wind up his campaign against Labour’s hospital closures, starting closing them himself, and cut funding to the NHS. And then resume the Thatcherite programme of dismantling it through piecemeal privatisation.

So what has been the attitude of the Tory press to the current NHS crisis? Well, the Spectator, Telegraph and various other right-wing rags have decided to go on as usual, promoting the same policies that are destroying this most precious of British institutions. They’ve declared that extra money isn’t needed, just more cuts to eliminate waste, and that rather than the Tories reforms destroying it, they’re needed more than ever.

Neither is remotely true. The cuts imposed by the Tories have manifestly not led to any improvements. The only thing they have done is lifted the tax burden for the extremely rich. At the same time, the privatisations the Tories and their predecessor, New Labour, have insisted upon have not increased efficiency either. They’ve actually led to closures of hospitals and GPs’ surgeries as the private companies running them have sought to increase their profits. Far from being more efficient, private healthcare is actually more expensive and wasteful than state healthcare, as private firms have advertising and legal departments and must show a profit for their shareholders. Private hospitals, whatever Jeremy Hunt may rave about them, are typically smaller than their NHS counterparts. About forty percent of the expenditure in private healthcare firms may be in administration, a much higher percentage than that of the nationalised NHS.

Private healthcare is wasteful and inefficient. Which is why the Tory and New Labour businessmen and politicos with links to it want to remove the NHS and give private medicine instead state support.

And those voices, demanding that the NHS be privatised through more free market reforms, are shouting in the Speccie and Torygraph. And I’ve noticed that these are the pieces that are being reprinted in the I’s opinion matrix column, which selects pieces from elsewhere in the press. To my knowledge, the column has not included any newspaper pieces demanding that the NHS be renationalised. Because that’s one of Corbyn’s dreadful Trotskyite policies, obviously.

This shows the real contempt the hacks and management at both the Spectator and the Torygraph, as well as the other Conservative rags that share their views on NHS reform, have for the people of this country. They want the NHS to be privatised, and so British people’s health to suffer catastrophically, just to create more profits for the private healthcare firms, on whose boards they serve, and give more tax cuts to the already obscenely rich, while the poor are forced further into poverty.

Get them out, and Corbyn in for a government that really cares about the NHS.

Clive James on Nixon’s Interview with Henry Kissinger

July 7, 2018

One of the books I was reading in hospital was Clive James’ The Crystal Bucket (London: Picador 1981). As I said in a previous blog post, James was the TV critic for the Observer. He started out on the radical left, and ended up a Conservative, writing for the Torygraph. During the 1980s and 1990s, he had his own show, first on Channel 4 with Sunday Night Clive, and then on the Beeb with Monday night. In these, he zoomed up and down the information superhighway to bring you satirical comment on the news and interview stars like Peter Cook, William Shatner, and Sylvester Stallone’s weird and highly embarrassing, at least for him, mother.

James could be witty and intelligent, and in The Crystal Bucket he reviewed some of the programmes then being shown on the serious issue of the time. Like old Nazis and Fascists like Albert Speer and Oswald Mosley talking about Nazi Germany or their career as Fascists, without once admitting that they were genuinely persecutory anti-Semites, responsible or in Mosley’s case, criminally supporting a regime that murdered people in their millions for no other crime than their ethnicity or political orientation.

James also reviewed David Frost’s interview with Richard Nixon, in which America’s most notorious president until Trump tried to sound repentant for the horrors of his foreign policy, while actually not denying or repudiating them at all. This was the interview that was recently filmed as Frost/Nixon.

Frost also interviewed the man responsible for Nixon’s genocidal foreign policy, Henry Kissinger. Kissinger brought chaos, torture and death across the globe from the overthrow of Allende in Chile to the support of another Fascist thug in Pakistan. Of whom Nixon himself said that this thug was ‘a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch’. Kissinger’s massive bombing campaign was responsible for the rise in power of the Khmer Rouge, who became the leading opposition group against the Americans. And after they seized power came the genocides and massacres of Pol Pot’s Year Zero, in which 1-2 millions died.

The review’s particularly interesting for this passage. James was not a total opponent of the Vietnam War, and seems to have believe that the Americans were right to fight against the Viet Cong because of the horrors they would inflict on the rest of the country when they gained power. He criticised Frost, because he thought Frost had bought the whole anti-Vietnam War argument, and states that the Americans were justified in bombing North Vietnamese bases in Cambodia. They were just too brutal, as was Kissinger’s foreign policy generally, and his overthrow of the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was criminal.

James wrote

Indeed Frost’s questioning, though admirably implacable, was often wide of the mark. Frost had obviously bought the entire ant-war package on Cambodia, up to and including the idea that the North Vietnamese had scarcely even been present within its borders. They were there all right. There was considerable military justification for US intervention in Cambodia, as even some of the most severe critics of Nixon and Kissinger are prepared to admit. ‘Now jusd a minude,’ fumed Kissinger, ‘with all due respecd, I think your whole line of quesdioning is maging a moggery of whad wend on in Indo-China. ‘

Well, not quite. Nixon and Kissinger might have had short-term military reasons for their policy in Cambodia, but the ruinous long-term consequences were easily predictable. Nor, despite Kissinger’s plausible appeal to international law, was there anything legal about the way he and his President tried to keep the bombing secret. In fact, they conspired to undermine the United States Constitution. Kissinger’s personal tragedy is that his undoubted hatred of totalitarianism leads him to behave as if democracy is not strong enough to oppose it.

Unfortunately his personal tragedy, when he was in power, transformed itself into the tragedy of whole countries. The most revealing part of the interview was not about South East Asia, but about Chile. It transpires that a 36 per cent share of the popular vote was not enough to satisfy Kissinger that Allende had been democratically elected. Doubtless remembering Hitler, who had got in on a comparable share of the total vote, Kissinger blandly ascribed Allende’s electoral victory to a ‘peculiaridy of the consdidution’. But Margaret Thatcher is Prime Minister of Great Britain by the same kind of peculiarity, and presumably Kissinger, if he were still ruling the roost, would have no plans to topple her. By what right did he topple Allende?

Kissinger couldn’t even conceive of this as a question, ‘Manipulading the domesdig affairs of another goundry’, he explained, ‘is always gombligaded.’It is not just complicated, it is often criminal. The Nixon-Kissinger policy in Chile was an unalloyed disaster, which delivered the population of that country into the hands of torturers and gave Kissingers’ totalitarian enemy their biggest propaganda boost of recent times. You didn’t have to be Jane Fonda to hate the foreign policy of Nixon and Kissinger. all you had to be was afraid of Communism.
(‘Maging a Moggery’, pp.226-228, 4th November 1979).

This shows up two things. Firstly, the sheer murderousness behind Hillary Clinton. Posing as the ‘woman’s candidate’ in the Democratic presidential election contest, and then again in the elections proper against Trump, she showed none of the deep feminine, and feminist concerns for peace and humanity, which have seen women across the world lead marches and protests groups against war and Fascism. Like the women in Chile who formed a group campaigning for the release of information on the victims of Pinochet’s coup who ‘disappeared’. I remember Sinead O’Connor singing ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ back in the 1990s as part of a programme celebrating them and protesters like them. Hillary, instead, has shown herself every bit as much a military hawk and anti-democrat as the generals she surrounded herself with. I’ve no doubt that if she had won the election, we would now be at war with China and Russia. She’s also the woman, who glowingly boasted how she went on holiday with Kissinger, something that did not impress Bernie Sanders in the presidential debates.

It also shows up the Times. A few weeks ago, I posted up a bit I found in a book on the right-wing bias of the British media. This was an extract from the Times, in which one of their lead writers declared that Pinochet’s coup was entirely justified, because Allende only had 36 per cent of the vote and he couldn’t control the country.

Well, Thatcher had the same proportion of the vote, and there was widespread, determined opposition to her in the form of strikes and riots. But instead, rather than calling for her overthrow, the Times celebrated her election victory as a return to proper order, economic orthodoxy and the rest of the right-wing claptrap.

It shows just how thuggish and hypocritical Murdoch’s Times is, and just how much Hillary certainly didn’t deserve the support of America and its women. She’s been whining about how she’s been the victim of left-wing ‘misogyny’ ever since. But if you want to see what she really represents, think of Nixon, Chile’s disappeared, it’s campaigning women and Sinead O’Connor’s performance. O’Connor herself, in my opinion, is no saint. But she’s the better women than Hillary.

Out of Hospital for Myeloma Treatment

July 7, 2018

Way back on the 18th of last month I posted that I was going into hospital for 2 1/2 weeks for the intensive dose therapy for myeloma. Myeloma is a type of blood cancer, which causes anaemia, loss of calcium, and attacks the bones and kidneys. Since about a decade ago it’s been treated with a number of drugs, which avoid the side-effect of traditional chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with the disease last September.

However, after that phase of the course of treatment has finished, they then call you in for a more intense course of treatment to drive the disease further back into remission. Your own stem cells are removed, ready to be returned to you to jump start your own immune system. You are also called into hospital and put in isolation. In Bristol’s BRI you are given your own room. You have a piccline inserted running from your bicep to almost to your heart, through which they administer the drugs. They then give you a dose of malophan, the drug that they originally used to treat the disease.  The next day, they also give you back your own stem cells, and a few days later they also give you back the platelets they removed.

Throughout the whole period you are carefully monitored, given drugs, both in pill form and in infusions to deal with the effects of the cancer treatment. The doctors see you every day to see how you’re coping. If you have problems eating, you may also a nutritionist, while a physiotherapist will also visit to advise you on gentle exercises if you are weak.

I shudder to think how much all this would cost under the private insurance system in America, which the Tories  and New Labour so much admire, even while they’re prating about how much they ‘treasure’ the NHS.

They released me yesterday, and it’s good to be home. The treatment has, however, left me as weak as the proverbial kitten, with a sore mouth, and diarrhoea. I’ve been prescribed and given mouthwashes and drugs for some of these effects. The booklets for the treatment state that it may be 2/3 months, or even 5-6 months, before you make a complete recovery. So don’t expect very much energetic blogging!

I cannot fault the treatment given by the medical and the ancillary staff. They were professional, friendly, courteous and reassuring. I found the treatment very difficult, but they were at pains to say, ‘This is not the ‘new you’. You will recover.’ And it can be very interesting talking to the ancillary staff, some of whom were non-White immigrants, and hearing their stories and perspectives. The NHS certainly has benefit from the skills and dedication brought to it by its medical professionals and ancillary staff from across the world, whether Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, or eastern Europe. And the health service is suffering because many of these are being forced to return home, or look elsewhere for work, because of Tweezer and Brexit.

I’m afraid I haven’t been blogging very much while in hospital, despite my best intentions. Their wifi system simply wouldn’t let me. The hospital wifi system was insecure, so that anyone geographically near me could see my passwords if I went to a site that require them. So the system simply refused to let me on after I posted up those couple of pieces to the blog about George Galloway winning his libel battle against the Torygraph, and New Labour’s desperate policy to stop NHS hospitals owning and operating their own MRI scanners, as opposed to leasing them from private firms. So I spent my time in bed trying to read an SF novel by the awesome Paul McAuley, and re-reading a few old copies of Private Eye and Clive James’ The Crystal Bucket. This last is a collection of James’ old TV reviews from the 1970s from the Observer. James started out as a radical socialist, and then move right, eventually ending up in the Torygraph. An intellectual, with a tendency to show off, he nevertheless took trash culture very seriously, at a time when many intellectuals did dismiss television. One of the jokes about it used to be ‘Why is television a medium? Because it’s neither rare nor well done’. Which is true of a lot, but not all. And James stated that heartfelt trash culture was worth far more than bad high art, like Michael Tippet’s A Child Of Our Time. The ’70s were also the  decade of the Vietnam War and the horrors of the CIA coup in Chile, George Kissinger’s support of genocidal, murderous dictators across the world as part of the campaign against Communism, Watergate, and TV dramas about the Holocaust, all of which he reviewed, along with Star Trek, Dr. Who, Miss World, the World Disco-Dancing Championships, the footie and the athletics. Quite apart from more highbrow productions of Shakespeare, intense dramas, and the horrors of the classic BBC series, I, Claudius, set under the deprave reign of Caligula.

He also reviewed an interview with the old Fascist, Oswald Mosley. Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, and a series of successive Fascist movements after the Second World War. He was very definitely persona non grata for many years, until he partly rehabilitated himself with the publication of his autobiography, My Life.  He then got a job doing book reviews for the Telegraph. Mosley was a fan of Mussolini and then Adolf Hitler. When Mussolini was overshadowed by Hitler as the great Fascist dictator, Mosley changed the name of the BUF to the ‘British Union of Fascists and National Socialists’. He corresponded very amicably with the Nazis, although claimed during the War that in the event of an invasion of Britain he would not serve as this country’s Quisling, the traitor leader of Norway. And in the interview the old thug constantly denied being an anti-Semite, claiming that the attacks and violence were instead all the fault of the Jews. All the while making it clear that he still identified them with the ‘money power’, which was secretly ruling from behind the scenes. James said of him that he didn’t so much proclaim anti-Semitism as embody it. There’s much to blog about in James’ TV criticism from this period. I especially want to do a piece about this interview with Mosley to show the difference between real anti-Semites, and those decent people, who have been smeared as such by the Israel lobby, New Labour and the Tory press. People like Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, mike, my brother, Tony Greenstein and so many, many others. Absolutely none of whom are in any way, shape or form anything like the real Nazis and anti-Semites, like Mosley or the characters now crawling out into public view from the Alt-Right and Libertarians.

I spent part of yesterday evening trying to answer the various comments that had built up on this blog over the past few weeks. I really appreciate all the messages of support and encouragements to get well and get blogging soon! It was really great and encouraging to read. I feel fortunate that I have people like you all following my blog.

I’m still quite ill at the moment, but I hope to pick up and carry on blogging as far as I can. And I hope you all are enjoying good health, and haven’t suffered too much from the heat these past weeks. With luck, it shouldn’t be too long before it’s business as usual. I hope.