Friday, June 12, 2020


Labels can be used to navigate to parts of the blog. To get just book reviews click on "books"

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gaza End the US-backed slaughter


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bush's punishment by Muntadar al-Zaidi

I can see why people think Muntadar al-Zaidi is a hero when
the puppet government in Iraq are such pussies. The brave
security services are beating up a defenceless man in
custody. And they do it to grovel to the American occupying

Since the war millions of Iraqis are still waiting for the
electricity and water supplies to be restored to normal. It
is hardly surprising they experience frustration and any
sign of resistance to Bush is welcomed.

The politicians stay well away from Iraqis, keeping
themselves locked up in what Rajiv Chandrasekaran called "The
Emerald Palace" of the Green Zone. So it was only because
Bush wanted the media to see him on his farewell tour that
Muntadar had a chance to strike a small blow on behalf of
the women and children whose blood is on Bush's hands.

I don't condone throwing shoes but compared to bombing
civilians, the massacre at Fallujah, torture at Abu Ghraib
and Guantanamo, Bush's punishment is mild.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Jewish school-leavers refuse to support oppression in Palestine

Name: Udi Nir
Age: 19
Location: Tel-Aviv
Why I am one of the Shministim:
“I will not lend my own hand to the occupation and to acts that contradict my most basic values: human rights, democracy and the personal responsibility each and every human being bears towards fellow human beings.”
Sentence: Aug. 21st - Sept. 7th 2008 (18 days)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Torture counterproductive in Iraq

Democracy Now! interviewed a former special intelligence operations officer who led an interrogations team in Iraq two years ago. His nonviolent interrogation methods led Special Forces to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq. He has written a new book, "How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq."

The publication date for the book was delayed for six weeks due to the Pentagon’s vetting of it. The soldier wrote it under the pseudonym, Matthew Alexander, for security reasons. He says the US military’s use of torture is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers by inspiring foreign fighters to kill Americans.

Click here to read more

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

McCain has had his chips

Millions of Americans genuinely voted for change. McCain represented more of the same and Obama represented the audacity of hope.

The Democrats and Republicans are essentially one party and we can hardly celebrate the victory of one capitalist party over another. The Democrats are the worst kind of manipulative machine politicians.

A simple example is the response to the story of Obama's aunt.

The use by muckrakers of the corporate media of the fact that Obama's "half aunt" was classed as an illegal immigrant was an ideal opportunity to point out the plight of the illegals in the US. After all when the illegals staged a one day strike on May Day 2006 many everyday services in the USA ground to a halt. The prejudice against illegals is nonsensical.

Instead we were told that Obama was "of course concerned that the law should be complied with". Would he have told Rosa Parks, would he have told all those who broke the law to achieve civil rights the same thing? If he is prepared to make concessions like this before the election what other compromises will he be prepared to make in the future?

Many in America see Obama as a fresh hope after eight years of Republican rule but their disappointment will be so much the greater if the new boss turns out to be the same as the old boss.

Initially people who supported Obama will make excuses - he couldn't help the poor because of the economic crisis. He is intent on managing capitalism and helping the poor and disadvantaged. Socialists might be tempted to say "I've told you before you can't do that!"

And every government which has tried - sincerely or otherwise - to do so has been blown off course like Wilson in 1966. The corporations will not relinquish their power without a fight - and usually a fight to the finish with no holds barred.

John Pilger commented on the election of Obama, "Well, it comes down to, I suppose, asking an Afghan child how they feel when their family has been destroyed by a 500-pound bunker-busting bomb dropped by the United States and dropped by President Obama, as he continues that war. I think that’s the reality that we really have to begin to discuss now, having celebrated, and rightly celebrated, the ascent of the first African American president of the United States. "

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Change big donors can believe in

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman reports that "Regardless of who the winner is, the next president will enter the White House with a long list of major donors to thank. "

And the media do not report on this.

Researcher Bill Buzenberg explains:

“Every local television station I have been to, I say, ‘How do you do in election years?’ They say, ‘We buy new cameras, new sets.’ It is a huge benefit to them. The commercial broadcasters are cleaning up this year like never before, and you’ll never hear them questioning the system that allows so much money to come back to them.”

Click here for details

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Socialism 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

End Child Poverty


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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Channel 4 political awards

The characters listed for this award are as follows:
Of those available I would probably opt for the anti-war protestors although this is technically voting for myself!

Tony Blair: Call 09011 27 27 01
or Vote by email

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness: Call 09011 27 27 02
or Vote by email

Ken Livingstone: Call 09011 27 27 03
or Vote by email

Alex Salmond: Call 09011 27 27 04
or Vote by email

The Countryside Alliance: Call 09011 27 27 05
or Vote by email

Anti-Iraq war protestors: Call 09011 27 27 06
or Vote by email

Don't use their premium rate phone lines, you can vote for free.

What is the betting New Labour have full time staff phoning in day and night?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

New Labour and torture

An astonishing 30 percent of Americans in a recent poll thought that torture was justified. The British government does not torture but it exports the job of torturing to other governments which is just as bad....arguably worse.

It is everybody's nightmare to be tortured but a democratic government which hands over the job to undemocratic governments is disgusting beyond belief.

I can't believe I used to be a member of the Labour Party. What has the party of Keir Hardy become?

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Sarkozy wins

Sarkozy has won the French election. He will cause a civil war. He says he now represents the French people although he calls the poor scum ("racaille") and urges the police to beat them up.

He intends to force through a neo-liberal agenda (worsening of working conditions and wages and the removal of workers' rights which have been successfully defended in France). He will do it with a vengeance and all the power of the gendarmerie. His claims to seek reconciliation echo Margaret Thatcher's "where there is discord let us bring harmony." Not many people confused her with Francis of Assisi for long!

Whereas in England we would grumble or write a letter to the newspapers when the government does something outrageous. They have this "out on the streets and build barricades" response in France.

And the first thing that happened when the teacosy won? Tony Blair congratulated him

Enough said really.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Socialism defeated again...and again?

A hundred years ago, the socialist international represented millions of workers but in 1915 at the Zimmerwald conference the delegates joked that the number of socialist internationalists could be fitted into one or two stage coaches.

In the 1920s Stalin claimed to have decisively routed Socialism which he termed "Trotskyism".

Hitler claimed that he had completely annihilated socialism and communism.

Margaret Thatcher made the same grandiose claim.

Yet today we still have people who feel the need to denounce socialism at great length - denouncing something they have decisively destroyed.....several times.

It makes you wonder.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

G8 summit in June in Germany

Once a year the leaders of the 8 richest nations meet behind closed doors in secret with no publicized agenda or published minutes, to discuss the fate of the world. They’ve been making empty promises for decades about improving the environment, poverty in Africa, and lots more, but the fact is that the G8 is not the solution to these ills, it is the problem!

They have been arrogantly proclaiming that privatisation and massive cuts in services to the public are a global agenda every country in the world must adopt. Trade unionists across Germany will be involved in protests against this when the G8 meets in June this year.


Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rumsfeld and Saddam

Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants were convicted for crimes committed in the town of Dujail in 1982.

Saddam shaking hands with a beaming Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq on December 20, 1983. Is it possible that Rumsfeld and his friends were unaware of Saddam's acts the previous year? Not really.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas cards with a purpose

Omar Deghayes, British resident imprisoned without charge or trial and currently being tortured in Guantanamo bay will be spending Christmas in prison while Blair and co are enjoying themselves.

The Save Omar campaign - whose only demand is that he should stand trial if he has committed any crime - are asking all supporters to post Christmas cards with anti-Guantanamo and Justice for Omar greetings to the Prime Minister and the relevant members of his cabinets. Here are their addresses:

Prime Minster Tony Blair
10 Downing Street

Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
19 King Charles Street

Home Secretary John Reid
2 Marsham Street

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Private Armies in Iraq

The story on Channel 4 News this evening about private security firms in Iraq make one wonder whether the British death toll is being disguised. They showed the grieving family of one soldier who will get no military funeral because he signed up with a private army in Iraq.

They also quoted from one security man who was hired to protect American soldiers. I will repeat that. hired to protect American soldiers and derided their lack of security consciousness concluding "If they get killed by a roadside bomb they will have nobody but themselves to blame." For someone employed to protect them I have to say this is probably not an attitude his employer would want made public.

Moreover the idea that the American army need to be protected by security guards does nothing for their macho image.

The fact is that private soldiers, who will get no flag-draped coffins going home, are very convenient for Bush and Blair.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Boycott Israel

“I lost my sister, my brother-in-law and five of my nieces and nephews this morning. I feel nothing now; I can’t find the right words. All I know that the attack wasn’t a mistake. Israel fired six shells, how can that be a mistake? Israel wants to push us from our homes, but we will stay. This is our land.”

-- Omar Thamena, 46, engineer

“A third of unarmed Palestinians killed during IDF operations in the Gaza Strip since the abduction of Gilad Shalit have been minors, according to a new report prepared by Physicians for Human Rights, to be published Wednesday. Between June 27 and October 28, 247 Palestinians, including 155 civilians (63 percent) were killed by the IDF. Among the civilians killed, 57 were minors. This figure does not include minors who were armed.”

-- Haaretz, 8/11/2006

“We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”

-- David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography by Michael Ben-Zohar

I do not know whether boycotting Israel will halt its genocidal policy towards the Palestinians. I do not know whether the boycott of Apartheid helped to bring it down.

I do know that the ANC called for the boycott of Apartheid; I do know that Palestinians have called for a boycott of Israeli produce.

I also know that not supporting Israel or not supporting Apartheid is simply refusing to be an accomplice.

Israel does not use suicide bombers against unarmed civilians. It uses long-range artillery and it apologises once in a while. That does not make it morally superior does it?


Saturday, October 14, 2006

General Dannatt

I was wondering about sending General Dannatt an invitation to join the Stop the War Coalition. He is saying what everybody else is saying - we are doing more harm than good in Iraq now - bring the troops home before any other mother has to mourn the loss of her child.

Of course the General is most concerned that British Imperialism should still have an army intact and he would probably support other colonial wars if the casualties were "acceptable".

Nevertheless his remarks give the lie to the current spin from Downing Street which boils down to "forget the lies we told to get into this war - we need to stay now or there would be a bloodbath". The General thinks otherwise.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fake "war on terror" in Lebanon

The "war on terror" happens to be a war of rich nations against poor nations, with terrorism as a pretext.

Bush and Blair have no objection to terrorism - for example the terrorism of the Contras or Posadas, when it serves their purposes. The rulers can claim no high moral purpose.

Now they must be laughing up their sleeves as they arm the Israeli Defence forces to the teeth and send them off to fight their battles for them. In this war there will be no embarrassing death tolls of American or British soldiers, no irate mothers camping out to demand to know why their sons have been killed.

It is all being done by proxy. The terrorists are doing the imperialists' dirty work for them by providing a pretext and the imperialists are boosting the terrorists. In Lebanon people could understandably see Hezbolla as a resistance movement, the only people apparently fighting back as the American proxies kill civilians.

At the moment Israeli and Lebanese civilians are the main victims. And Blair is enjoying a nice holiday.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Against the slaughter in the Lebanon

National demonstration
Saturday 5 August: Assemble 12 Noon
Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, London
March to Parliament Square for rally


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

World leaders impotent to help the Lebanon

According to Democracy Now!

"The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon continues to worsen. At least 500,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Scores of roads and bridges have been hit making it hard to transport food or humanitarian aid. Recent Israeli strikes have targeted the country’s largest milk factory, a major food factory and two pharmaceutical plants. Earlier bombs hit water processing plants, power plants and grain silos. On Tuesday a convoy of two trucks carrying medical supplies donated by the United Arab Emirates was hit. The trucks were destroyed and both drivers died. The Israeli military has denied targeting the factories or aid trucks. Two ambulances were also bombed on Tuesday. They were carrying Lebanese soldiers who were injured in an Israeli attack on their base that had killed eleven soldiers. A Greek Orthodox Church also suffered a direct hit. Inside the church were civilians who had taken refuge. At least 10 people were injured. "

This is particularly horrifying for people who remember when Beirut was a byword for violence and instability and the massacres at Sabra and Chatilah where Christians murdered women and children while the Israeli army stood by with its arms folded..

The policy of brute force and ignorance has not brought peace to the middle east and yet Israel is giving it another shot with the blessing and the massive financial backing of the US. The Israeli Defence Forces are not "defending" anyone. By murdering hundreds of Lebanese civilians they are sowing the seeds for revenge attacks in the future.

The people of Israel and Lebanon are being betrayed by their governments and paying a price in blood. Imperialism cannot bring peace and its twin peaks - terrorism and Zionism - exemplify this.