Posts Tagged ‘Cologne’

Hatewatch on the Links between the American National Alliance and British Neo-Nazis

June 26, 2016

Thomas Mair, the suspect for the murder of the Labour politician Jo Cox, was a long-time members of the extreme Right, who had ordered about $600 worth of books on how to build home-made guns and ammunition from National Vanguard Books, the publishing arm of the National Alliance, the main American neo-Nazi organisation.

Michelle, one of the many great contributors to this blog, sent me this link to an article on Hatewatch, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Centre that documents the activities of right-wing extremists: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/06/21/thomas-mair-brexit-and-us-uk-neo-nazi-connection. The Southern Poverty Law Centre has been around for decades. In the 1990s its leader, Maurice Dees, published a book on the threat of the Militias, independent, private armies of right-wing survivalists, bitterly alienated from the federal government, entitled Gathering Storm. The above article by Heidi Beirich, their intelligence director, describes the links to the National Alliance and other American Nazi organisations not just of Thomas Mair, but also Zack Davies, who carried out a brutal attack on a Sikh doctor in Mold in North Wales; Mark Cotterill, a former BNP member, who recruits for the National Alliance in Britain through his Heritage and Destiny website, Andrew Lovie, a former member of UKIP, and BNP stormtrooper, who has posted on the neo-Nazi website, Stormfront, in America. Among merchandising Lovie ordered from the National Alliance was a video game, ‘Ethnic Cleansing’, where the player goes around shooting Blacks and Jews. As grotesque and incredible as this sounds, it is all too plausible. When I was at College thirty years ago, the German Republican Party had got into the news and very hot water because of a computer game they launched, in which the player took the part of a the commandant of a concentration camp and had to prevent Jews, gays and leftists escaping. The article also describes the activities of two Brexit advocates, Andrew Tait and Matthew Tait, and Arthur Kemp. Andrew Tait ran a pro-Brexit website, ‘Vote Leave Take Control’, while Matthew Tait was a former BNP activist, who has spoken several times at conferences by American Renaissance, a racist outfit on the other side of the Pond. Tait also has his own website, Western Spring, in which he posted a pro-Brexit piece arguing that the EU was a Communist organisation to destroy the White race. Kemp’s a racist South African, who was a former officer of the BNP, and was at one time the media director of the National Alliance. Kemp also has a racist website, the New Observer Online, in which he calls immigrants ‘invaders’ and ‘rapefugees’.

Other Nazi assassins elsewhere in Europe also have contacts with American Nazi organisations. These include Anders Breivik, who was a member of Stormfront, Peter Mangs, another National Alliance member, who killed three people in Sweden, and Maxime Brunerie, a French Fascist, who tried to kill the-then president, Jacques Chirac. David Copeland, the infamous Nazi, who killed a number of people in a bombing campaign in London targeting gays, Blacks and Asians, was partly inspired by the Turner Diaries, a work of fiction describing a future extreme-right coup in America, sold by the National Alliance. And then there’s Frank S., a German skinhead, who stabbed Henriette Reker, a mayoral candidate for Cologne. He also was active online. The current Chairman of the National Alliance, Will Williams, is also living on welfare due to psychological problems, and has a history of victimising women. He celebrated the death of Jo Cox, stating that she had placed a target on her back.

Politically, the membership of extreme right-wing organisations in Britain is very low, but they are extremely violent, and as this article shows, several of the most vicious have transatlantic contacts. And there is a real danger that this violence will be spread and encouraged by Brexit. As one of my brother’s foreign friends has found, the amount of racism has increased and become very personal.

Vox Political: Labour MP Jess Phillips Accuses David Cameron of Colluding with Child Molesters, Doesn’t Apologise

February 15, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has put up another piece, this time from the Independent, reporting that the Birmingham Yardley MP, Jess Phillips, has attacked David Cameron for block education on sex and relationships for school children. She has accused Cameron of colluding with child abusers. Even more frightfully, she has not apologised! Cue howls of Tory outrage! See

Labour MP Jess Phillips refuses to apologise after accusing David Cameron of ‘colluding with child abusers’

Mike states she’s absolutely right. She is. And I back her 100 per cent. This isn’t the first time Phillips has said something controversial about rape and sexual assault. The good Burghers of England’s second city, Birmingham, got very upset the other week when she said that every week there were incidents on one of the city’s streets like the rape of 200 women by immigrants in Cologne and other European cities at Christmas. There were howls of outrage and accusations of racism. But Yasmin Alibhai-Browne, in the Independent, defended her, and pointed out that what she actually said was very cautious and not at all racist or anti-Muslim.

Now if you read the papers, some universities are already holding classes for students on sex and relationships in order to keep their female students safe. It’s also done in America. I’ve got a feeling that it, or similar measures designed to keep women safe, have provoked outrage amongst the American Right. The American right-wing radio host, Rush Limbaugh, was ranting a little while ago how anti-rape legislation meant that men would have to get written permission from a woman before having sex with them, even though the legislation he objected specifically said that wasn’t necessary so long as the woman had made it clear she consented to sex, either verbally or through her body language.

Now I can imagine that some blokes will be sceptical of such education on the grounds that it seems to be based on the assumption that all men are rapists. I’m sure this isn’t the case. But there is a problem in that young people are under increasing pressure to have sex, and this pressure can lead to date – and outright rape. I also have to say that the thought of sex and relationship education would have traumatised me when I was at school. What we were taught in the fourth year at senior school when we did ‘relationships’ was depressing enough, covering as it did teenage orgies and marital break up, but not in any way that was at all titillating or alluring. Quite honestly, given how depressing the material is, I’m surprised there aren’t more people in this country, who haven’t gone the same way as the Japanese and sworn off sex and dating for the joys of computer games. Perhaps there are, but British machismo demands they lie about it. Either way, it seems education like this is needed. And however controversial Phillips’ claims about sexual assault in her constituency are, if they’re being made by her constituents, they need to be taken seriously. She’s only doing what a constituency MP should do – listen to the people she’s elected to represent, even if what they’re saying is uncomfortable and not something we want to hear. Just ’cause the truth hurts, don’t mean it ain’t true.

Secular Talk: Iranian Cleric Claims 60 Per Cent of American Women Prefer to Have Sex with Dogs

February 3, 2016

This piece of sheer lunacy comes from Iran. It’s a piece from Secular Talk in which the host, Kyle Kulinski, talks about a piece in the Daily Beast by Shima Sharabi, in which she talks about the propaganda she and other Iranian young people were exposed to from the mullahs in the Strategic Centre for Chastity and Modesty. This was a section of the Iranian theocracy devoted to encouraging women and girls to wear the hijab. One of these clerics, Mehdi Bayati, declared that feminism in the west was due to western women not wearing the hijab, and that this is why sixty per cent of American women ‘preferred to sleep with dogs rather than men’. He also claimed that not wearing the hijab also reduced general sexual desire in the surrounding society. Although he saw many couples kissing each other when he was in America, they did so ‘without heat’. This was because they were too used to seeing women’s hair that men were no longer aroused by it, despite having kissed 94 people previously.

Kulinski makes the point that this says more about the mullahs in Iran and their perverted little minds than it ever does about the west. He states quite forcefully, and with good reason, that he has never thought about women having sex with dogs before now, and neither have most people, before they heard this piece of prize nonsense from Bayati. He also makes the point that while men may admire a particular haircut on a woman, they don’t find it sexually arousing. But this, he states, is a result of the repressed society like Iran, where women have to be covered up from head to toe, so that the merest hint of hair is seen as arousing.

The Sex Assaults in Germany and Birmingham

I’m reblogging this because it says much that’s very important about official prejudices towards the west in Muslim and Middle Eastern societies, prejudices that contribute to the wave of sexual assaults that took place in Germany and other countries last month, and similar incidents that have been committed in Birmingham according to the British politician, Jess Philips.

Pornography, Bogus Statistics and Anti-American Propaganda

Firstly, it’s undoubtedly true that the figure for American women sleeping with dogs is completely bogus. It’s something that Bayati pulled out of thin air. And he did it deliberately to arouse disgust. The idea that anyone would want to have sex with animals is revolting enough, but dogs are considered unclean in Islam. It’s his way of claiming that American women, and by extension all western, non-Muslim women, are particularly dirty and disgusting. It’s a product of his filthy mind. And if he did live anywhere in America where it actually went on, there’s the question why he didn’t call the cops. That type of figure sounds like it comes from the lowest, vilest, degrading pieces of pornography. This kind of stuff is illegal, as he should know if he lived in America as he claimed. So if he was encountering this material, why didn’t he alert the police to get the people producing and selling it busted? The reason is either that he actually got turned on by it, and was actively seeking it out, or that it is just propaganda. This is far more likely. It reminds me of the similarly bogus statistics the Soviets used to put out about crime in America during the Cold War. These included completely spurious factoids about the numbers of robberies and murders committed every minute or so in the Land of the Free. They were supposed to show that capitalist America was a vile cesspool of violence, robbery and murder. This was in contrast to the tranquillity of the Communist bloc, where violence and mass murder was strictly a state monopoly.

Last month in Cologne in Germany, and other countries in northern Europe, including Finland, there was a spate of rapes and sexual assaults carried out by gangs. The rapists were described as being of Middle Eastern and North African appearance, and a majority of the suspects arrested were indeed Arabs and others from that part of the world.

Jess Philips, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and Sex Assaults in Birmingham

Then last week, Jess Philips caused a storm of protest when she claimed that assaults like these occurred every day on one particular street in Birmingham. Civic minded Brummies, full of wounded pride, and others subjected her to a tirade of abuse on social media. Among other things, she was denounced as racist.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Indie’s long-time correspondent specialising in racial issues, actually defended her in a piece in Monday’s edition. Alibhai-Brown stated that Philips’ piece was actually reasonable and measured, and certainly not a racist rant. She said that only some – but certainly not all – Muslim men were responsible, and compared the assaults and the sexist attitudes behind them to those of the British during the Empire.

Mullahs Repeating the Same Racist Attitudes of European Imperialists

And Philips and Alibhai-Brown are exactly right. During the heyday of European imperialism, the nudity of some of the indigenous peoples was seen as an indication both of their lack of civilisation and culture, and their own sexual depravity. It added spice to the lurid tales of cannibalism and human sacrifice. Blacks in particular came to be seen as highly sexualised, and so entirely deserving of the abuse and sexual exploitation Black women were subjected to on the slave plantations. And if they weren’t seen as highly sexualised, they were viewed as the opposite. There’s a piece in Elliot Rose’s sceptical study of European witchcraft, A Razor for a Goat, for example, which reveals the attitudes to indigenous societies at the time the book was first written in the 1950s. Reviewing the sado-masochistic elements that were supposedly practiced in Western witchcraft, he compared them with the extreme sexual practices of primal peoples outside Europe. These peoples did not have the same sexual vigour as Europeans, and so needed flogging and other such acts to properly stimulate them for the sexual act. It’s rubbish, of course, and says much less about real conditions and attitudes amongst the world’s indigenous peoples than it does about the weird and prurient attitudes of the sexually repressed European society at the time.

Just as Mullah Bayati’s rantings about the perverted tastes of western women and the lack of sexual desire in western society says nothing about the west, and everything about officially approved Islamic attitudes. It’s the same sneering about supposedly degenerate, naked inferior peoples, that the British and other European colonial powers did, and for pretty much the same reason. It was to bolster their sense of superiority, and stop any members of their ruling elite from going ‘jungly’ and adopting the customs and attitudes of the people around them.

Muslim Anti-Western Propaganda as Contributing Factor to Sex Assaults by Muslims in West

I’m not saying all Muslims have these attitudes, by a long chalk. I know women, who married Iranian Muslim husbands and said that, in contrast to some indigenous British men, they treated them like ladies. But with mullahs like Bayati bellowing at their congregations across the Middle East, on TV, the radio from the pulpit in the mosques, that women, who don’t wear the hijab or chador are lewd, promiscuous whores, and it’s only to be expected that some will act on it. Criminals, who don’t know how to behave, and believe such women deserve to be raped and assaulted, because, by their standards, they’re worthless tarts. Such attitudes aren’t confined to Muslim men, by a long way. I don’t doubt at all that most rapists, and those who commit other forms of indecent assault are White. But attitudes like Bayati’s and the rest of the Iranian mullahs on this don’t help, and contribute to the problem.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was concerned that feminism was being sacrificed to anti-racism. Of course, she’s right, though it goes far beyond feminism, back to the basic level of proper decency and respectful behaviour. The ravings of the Iranian mullahs and their Strategic Centre for Chastity and Modesty show just how necessary the Slut Walks that took place around the world are. No woman deserves to be raped or assaulted, simply because of the way she dresses. Just as the reverse is also true, and no woman should be insulted, attacked or killed, as some women have been, simply because they wore the chador or hijab.

The German Workers Who Struck For Peace

March 29, 2014

German War Corpse

Corpse of German trooper outside his dugout: a vivid image of the horrific carnage experienced by all the combatants in the ‘War to End All Wars’.

This year is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. The BBC has already commemorating this by putting on numerous documentaries about the Great War, setting up on-line resources for schools so you can see what your particular bit of the country was like and did at the time. they’re also running trailers for forthcoming dramas where idealistic young nurses meet handsome soldiers in a saga of love amid the mass slaughter of the War. Documentaries about the World Wars are a staple of British television anyway. Dan Snow on the One Show has appeared several times striding across a World War I battlefield, while a few years ago Tony Robinson presented a Time Team special on the excavation of a system of WWI trenches in Flanders. Some of the coverage has already proven somewhat controversial. There was some comment a few weeks ago on television that something the BBC broadcast had provoked a complaint from the German embassy. There’s a difference of opinion here between German historians and the rest of the world. Most other nations see the War as being caused by Germany. German historians, on the other hand, believe that no single nation is to blame and that the growth of international tension and the web of alliances with which each nation surrounded itself led inexorably to the War. I really don’t know anything beyond the most general outline of events surrounding the First World War, and so leave it to people much better informed than I do to explain it.

One immediate result of the War was the break-up of international socialism. Previously the European Socialist parties had opposed working class involvement in any conflict between the European nations. For them, it would be a fratricidal conflict, as the working classes in each country had more in common with each other than with their rulers. The war would be a bourgeois war, started by the European ruling classes for their own further profit and enrichment, with the working class troops solely the exploited means by which they sought to do so. When the War finally broke out, however, the Socialist parties all over Europe joined the other parties in backing their governments.

Karl Kautsky, the head of the German Social Democrats, modified his party’s view of the conflict. He considered that Socialists in each country should now see the war only as defending their homelands. They should also campaign for a just peace, which would maintain the integrity of the defeated nations and avoid any cause for resentment on their part. This would prevent any further War from breaking out. He wrote

Further, the Social Democracy in every nation is obliged to consider the war only as a war of defence, and to set as its goal only defending itself against the enemy, not of ‘punishing’ or belittling the enemy. As this conception seeks the causes of the war not in the personal depravity or inferiority of the opponent, but in objective conditions, it will strive for the security which they conclusion of peace brings not by humiliating or mutilating its opponent, which would only cause new wars in the future, but by replacing those condition which led to the war – that is, imperialist conflicts and the armaments race.

Patrick Goode, ed. and trans., Karl Kautsky: Selected Political Writings (London: Macmillan Press 1983) 95.

It’s a pity that the Allies did not follow this advice when imposing the reparations and conditions on Germany afterwards. This could have removed some of the feelings of humiliation and resentment felt in Germany, feelings on which the Nazi preyed and used in their campaign to seize power.

Some Socialist parties continued to campaign against the War, such as the Bolsheviks in Russia, and the USPD – the Independent Social Democratic Party in Germany. One of those who campaigned against the War was the radical deputy, Karl Liebknecht, who went on to found the Spartacist League and the German Communist Party. There were also a number of strikes in Germany against the War. When Liebknecht was tried by a court martial for treason on the 28th June 1916, 55,000 workers went on strike in solidarity.

In April 1917 there was a much larger strike due to the government cutting the bread ration by a quarter. In Leipzig, the striking workers demanded in addition to the removal of their economic grievances the introduction of a direct, general and equal franchise, the removal of the state of siege, lifting of censorship, the release of all political prisoners, the re-instatement of the right to strike and hold political meetings. the government was also to make a declaration in favour of immediate peace without annexations.

On the 28th January 1918 a further mass strike broke out. In Berlin alone 200,000 workers downed tools and elected an action committee consisting of eleven Revolutionary Shop Stewards from The Turners’ union, and three delegates each from the pro-War Social Democratic and anti-War Independent Social Democratic Parties. Their demands included the

speedy conclusion of a peace without annexations and indemnities, on the basis of the nations’ right to self-determination, according to the provisions formulated by the Russian People’s Commissars at Brest-Litovsk.

They also wanted the removal of the state of siege and military control of the factories, the release of all political prisoners, the introduction of a general and equal franchise and a thorough democratisation of all institutions of the state. The strike spread rapidly to towns throughout Germany, including Munich, Mannheim, Brunswick, Bremen, Cologne, Hamburg, Kiel, Danzig (now Gdansk in Poland) Leipzig and Nuremberg. In all of these towns with the exception of Munich and Berlin the strike collapsed after a week. In Berlin Military Command suppressed it by placing the leading armaments factories under martial law. In Munich Kurt Eisner, one of the leading USPD politicians and opponent of the War, Kurt Eisner, was arrested before he could call for a general strike to bring down the government. The moderate Social Democrats were thus able to retake control and the Strike ended a few days later.

See F.L. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe 1918-1919 (Aldershot: Wildwood House 1972) 14-15.

I’ve blogged about the bitterness caused by the First World War across Europe, and the anti-War poems of some of the soldiers, who fought in it, like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Germany also has its great anti-War work from the time of the First World War, Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. The original German title is Nichts Neues Im Westen – ‘There is Nothing New in the West’. It’s also a bitter comment on the belligerent nature of Western civilisation. I think it’s also important At this time to recognise that Germany also had its campaigners for an end to the War and for a just peace that would establish friendship between nations afterwards. It’s a point that could easily get forgotten in the programmes, documentaries and debates about the War during this centenary.