The liars (and/or hysterics) of the CPGB

August 2, 2008 at 9:43 pm (AWL, Iran, Jim D, left, Marxism, political groups, publications, stalinism, trotskyism, truth)

The Liars’ Gazette

You may or may not agree with what Sean Matgamna and I have written about the likely forthcoming Israeli attack upon Iran (see post below). But if you disagree, then at least criticise us for what we’ve actually written, not what you imagine (or have been told) we’ve written.

I was astonished to read in the comments below my last piece, “Dave O” (ie: Dave Osler of Dave’s Part, and  usually a sensible comrade) accusing Sean and I of advocating an Israeli nuclear attack on Iran. I had no idea where he got this impression from…until I saw this week’s Weekly Worker. Never mind the feeble-minded drivel like this, or ther libellous crap like this: it’s the front page that has clearly influenced even serious comrades like Dave. And it’s an out-and-out LIE that Sean Matgamna advocates or would attempt to excuse or justify a nuclear attack by Israel upon Iran.

I defy the CPGB (publishers of the Weekly Worker) to find a single sentence in Sean’s article that suggests he’s in favour of, or would in any way seek to justify, a nuclear attack on Iran. What Sean (and I) were talking about was a conventional bombing raid like Israel’s 2007 attack upon a nuclear weapons site in Syria. Dave had the good grace to admit that he’d been mistaken about that (see comment #76 beneath the previous article, below), and stated that his mistake was a result of taking the Weekly Worker as a reliable source. Hopefully, he and other comrades will learn from that error.

Meanwhile I offer two further comments: firstly, that it’s possible that the Weekly Worker / CPGB people are not simply deliberate, conscious liars, but (and I put this forward having met some of them), pathological liars and hysterics who actually believe their own lies. Secondly, it’s ironic that this ex-Stalinist sect once sincerely believed in the idea of the “workers’ (nuclear) bomb”, before being educated out of that and other Stalinist nonsense by …Sean Matgamna and the AWL.

221 Comments

  1. Chris Strafford said,

    Jim,

    A conventional attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is ok then? Imagine how many people will die? But that is okay for AWL cretins as Israel has a right to deal out beatings to small kids in the playground. What is funny, is to see AWL comrades run around like headless chickens trying to excuse pro imperialist rantings. Sean is very clear on which side he and his merry band are on:

    “But if the Israeli airforce attempts to stop Iran developing the capacity to wipe it out with a nuclear bomb, in the name of what alternative would we condemn Israel?”

    What is at issue at the end of the day is that Nuclear proliferation is only a pretext for Imperialist designs on Iran and the AWL is pumping out the same line as the Hawks in the whitehouse. Furthermore the AWL now find themselves backing the Imperialists before the war has even started. The Shachtmanites are degenerating at a quicker than Shachtman did himself!

  2. Jim Denham said,

    Read Sean’s article, you moron.

    Then ask yourself:

    Has Israel a right to defend itself against a genocidal maniac in Iran who is on record as wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the map? yes or no?

  3. runia said,

    This knee-jerk anti-imperialist stuff really does cloud some people’s capacity to think.

    “What is at issue at the end of the day is that Nuclear proliferation is only a pretext for Imperialist designs on Iran”

    The US, with the broadly imperialist objective of not wanting their profitable markets ruined by a potential nuclear war, want to stop a theocratic anti-semitic regime, whose president is on record as wanting Israel gone, from developing nuclear bombs.
    There is no colonial intent as the phrase ‘Imperialist designs on Iran’ would suggest.

    If the ‘imperialists’ want to stop a disaster for their own bad reasons, such as they did in Kosova, then I can see no good reason to oppose it.

    The motivation for Israel bombing Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities is not at all imperialist, whatever your view of it.
    Its motivation is obvious and understandable whether or not it is misguided.

  4. Chris Strafford said,

    I have read it ‘you moron’, and no one in the AWL except for Broder has enough of a spine to actually condemn Sean for backing the plans of the imperialists. The AWL true to form is backing a military adventure before it has begun, because apparently their is no alternative….

    Iran is 99.9999999999% not going to attack Israel, where has Tehran made any noises that it is going to launch an attack on Israel? Anti semitic rantings from the Iranian leadership is purely for internal consumption. On the other hand Israel has made lots of threats against Iran. A military strike by Israel on Iran is on the cards, but Israel has a right to do that because Matgamna seems to know more than the CIA about Irans nuclear programme. Israel and the USA have made noises that a nuclear strike is also an option, considering that conventional bombs will probably be varying unsuccessful on destroying underground facilities.

    And if we are talking about genocidal maniacs you would find many in the Israeli government!

    My final point is a tiresome one to make but the Nuclear issue is a pretext for Israeli/USA aggression.

  5. Chris Strafford said,

    runia,

    you are either living in a fantasy land or you seem to agree with what the Hawks are saying in the whitehouse…

  6. Chris Strafford said,

    *** Edit – My final point is a tiresome one to make but the Nuclear issue is only being used as a pretext for Israeli/USA aggression, it is not the real issue.

  7. Jim Denham said,

    “Iran is 99.9999999999% not going to attack Israel”… just like the entire bourgeois-democratic world (and most Marxists) in the 1930’s reckoned Hitler wouldn’t *really* put his anti-Jewish genocidal rants into practice…after all, it wasn’t in Germany’s interests to do so, was it? The Nazis were, underneath it all, rational people, after all.
    So, according to you, Mr Wise-Guy, the Jews should count once again, upon an anti-semitic demagogue not really meaning what he says, and actually being “rational”?

  8. runia said,

    “you are either living in a fantasy land or you seem to agree with what the Hawks are saying in the whitehouse…”

    I also think they are right in their belief that the earth goes round the sun.
    Shocking, I know.

  9. modernityblog said,

    Chris Strafford,

    what exactly is the purpose of Iran’s sophisticated (greater than 90%) enrichment programme?

    what purpose could it have?

  10. Chris Strafford said,

    Wow, how long can you actually dodge the real issue here, and that is the backing of Imperialist designs on Iran by using the Imperialists excuses something which is alien to Marxism and essentially a position which shows the AWL as being far far outside of our movement.

    Can we equate Nazi Germany with the Islamic Republic? No. Anti semitic rantings are common place from the Iranian leadership, yet trade and secret cooperation between the IRI and Israel are also common place! What is more Germany in the 1930’s was militarily on par with other Imperialist powers, Iran comes no where near the capability of Israel. It is a mistaken analogy.

  11. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Better get your bombing boots on then Jim.

  12. Chris Strafford said,

    They have not reached that level of enrichment as far as i know and even if they have the nuclear issue has nothing to do with the war plans of the Imperialists does it?

  13. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “They have not reached that level of enrichment as far as i know and even if they have the nuclear issue has nothing to do with the war plans of the Imperialists does it?”

    I did NOT ask what level

    I asked “what purpose could it have?” which is a subtler point,

    so what purpose?

  14. Jim Denham said,

    Mr Stafford: I ask again, my simple question: does Israel have the right to defend itself? Under *any* circumstances? For instance, when openly threatened with destruction by an anti-semitic maniac ?

    Once you’ve given a coherent and satisfactory answer to that question, Mr Stafford, we can move on to such matters as Marx’s attitude to human progress and Lenin’s and Luxemburg’s attitudes towards nationalism.

  15. Lobby Ludd said,

    Denman said:

    “Read Sean’s article, you moron.

    Then ask yourself:

    Has Israel a right to defend itself against a genocidal maniac in Iran who is on record as wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the map? yes or no?”

    Since you put it that way, Mr D, the only answer can be yes. However, in the real world, not Matgamnaville, the answers are more complex and not served well by such crude fantasies about Iran.

  16. Chris Strafford said,

    I very much doubt it has reached 90% enrichment and i doubt it will in the near future. Iran’s nuclear programme is not the issue here, the issue is a very simple one. The Imperialists are not setting about to stop nuclear proliferation (they actually do the opposite!) they are wanting to ensure Iran plays ball at all time with the Imperialist powers.

    Does Israel have a right to defend itself against imagined military and nuclear threats for imperialist interest? No. The question you are asking is a ridiculous one because it lacks any foundation in reality.

  17. Jim Denham said,

    So. Mr Stafford, just to be clear: your answer to my question “does Israel have the right to defend itself”, is “No”.
    That makes you a filthy, fucking, pro-Nazi anti-semite.

  18. Chris Strafford said,

    Well Jim no it does not. I expect an apology very very soon. How dare you call me “pro-Nazi anti semite” because i refuse to play your games. Get to the real issue which the CPGB has raised time and time again, which is the AWL backing the Imperialist powers and being led by a bunch of senile zionists who should gone to a nursing home a long time ago.

    Because the question you asked is as i said above ridiculous, by turning the debate around to the defence of Israel when it is Israel which is threatening a massacre in Iran is a silly little ploy that anyone can see through.

    Does Israel have a right to defend itself? Defend itself against what Denham? It is the bully in the playground not the bullied.

  19. Nuke Matgamna said,

    No, it makes you a Zio-colonialist, imperialist running-dog with a murderous bombing fetish.

  20. Jim Denham said,

    Unlike any other nation state in the world, Israel has no right to defend itself? That’s anti-semitism, Stafford, and if you’re too stupid and racist to understand that, then that’s your problem, you little ol’anti-semite.

  21. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Jim that is.

  22. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “I very much doubt it has reached 90% enrichment and i doubt it will in the near future. Iran’s nuclear programme is not the issue here, the issue is a very simple one.”

    please, Chris, please read my point with greater care

    I am NOT, (got that? NOT) asking what LEVEL of enrichment Iran is at

    that is not my question.

    I am asking:

    “what exactly is the purpose of Iran’s sophisticated (greater than 90%) enrichment programme?

    what purpose could it have?”

    what is the PURPOSE? got that: PURPOSE?

  23. Jim Denham said,

    And, “Nuke”, your point is..?

  24. Nuke Matgamna said,

    No point. Just a description of you which you seem to like clearly.

  25. Chris Strafford said,

    Jim, i did not say Israel does not have the right to defend itself, my point is that in reality which you seem to have lost track of, Israel is not having to defend itself against anyone, it has the most advanced military in the Middle East and is an imperialist watchdog. Who is going to attack Israel? Furthermore who can attack Israel?

    Being against the state of Israel is not anti semitic, what about all those Jews who are against the state of Israel are they anti semitic as well? The racist apartheid state has to be defeated by the Israeli and Palestinian working class, do you agree?

    Mod, You have submitted no proof that Iran is aiming for that level of enrichment, again i am inclined to think that it is simply not true. And what is the point of Iran’s enrichment programme, well you tell me. Maybe you know better than the CIA and Dr. ElBaradei? Again the reason Israel/USA want to bomb Iran has fuck all to do with it’s nuclear programme, got that?

  26. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “Mod, You have submitted no proof that Iran is aiming for that level of enrichment, again i am inclined to think that it is simply not true”

    Chris, I am trying to ask a very simple question:

    I am not asking what the level of enrichment is? is that clear?

    I am asking what PURPOSE could there be to Iran’s sophisticated enrichment programme?

    the purpose, NOT the level (I don’t know what level it is nor do, I suspect, others, that’s NOT my question)

    so again, what PURPOSE could there be to Iran’s sophisticated enrichment programme?

    The purpose?

    please try and answer, I appreciate you’re a student and smart with it, so if you can directly answer the point, not another, I would appreciate it

    what’s the purpose?

  27. Jim Denham said,

    Mr Stafford:

    1/ You *did* say that Israel has no right to defend itself (see your comment#16, above): if you now wish to withdraw that comment – excellent! Then maybe we can get somewhere in this debate…

    2/ How in the hell is Israel an “apartheid state”? Actually (whatever its considerable faults), it’s the *opposite* of apartheid, which was based upon the super-exploitation of the native (“helot” ) population. Zionism set out to avoid doing that, and to a large extent succeeeded. Of course the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has increased Isael’s dependence on Palestinian/Arab labour, but it’s still a million miles from “apartheid” – and it’s political illiteracy to try to make that comparison.

    ..So we’ve a deal: you stae here and now that Israel has the right to take proportionate military action to defend itself, and I’ll withdraw my accusation of “anti-semitism” against you? OK?

  28. Nuke Matgamna said,

    You have placed your organisation in the service of a single state – the Zionist Israelie state. Proletarian internationalism is an anathema to you. Your are paid up members of the Zionist/imperialist fan club. When you were a youngster Jim did you ever suspect some arse hole would get inside your head and turn you into the opposite of what you thought you were. Rattling the war saber on behalf of Western imperialism? What a journey. I feel sorry for you but also disgusted by you.

  29. Jim Denham said,

    Ah, Nuke! The truth at last! We’re all part of an international conspiracy! It’s the illuminarti, isn’t it?

    Btw, Nuke: when I was a youth I fought fascism, supported persecuted minorities and supported the right of nations and peoples to self-determination.

  30. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – what organisation are you in?

    When Modernity asked if you were swp or bnp I thought he was stretching a point. Now Im not so sure.

  31. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – and Stafford

    Why do you deny the murderous intention of Ahmadinejad towards Israel and Jews? What makes you so sure the Iranian regime is not to be taken seriously?

    Read what they say and tell us again that there is no cause for concern:

    (1) “Israel is a filthy black germ…” http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1694.htm

    (2) Jewish conspiracy behind 911 http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1674.htm

    (3) Ahmadinejad boasts about operating 3000 centrifuges to enrich uranium – http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1604.htm

    (4) Ahmadinejad argues for Israel to be moved to Canada or Alaska and he argues for a truth-seeking comission to find out what lay behind 911 and to find out whether the Holocaust really happened. http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1585.htm

    (5) Ahmadinejad talks about the Holocaust as a “false idol” http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1573.htm

    (6) Ahmadinejad: “death to Israel…” http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1222.htm

    (7) Ahmadinejad and Chavez cuddle up against imperialism. Is anyone in AWL ready to join the cuddle? http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1213.htm

    Plenty more here. http://www.memritv.org/search/en/results/0/0/0/0/2/0/0/0/0.htm?k=ahmadinejad&bAdvSearch=false

    Take seriously what they say, not what you think they mean.
    (Links copied from David Hirsh post on awl site)

  32. Alan Laurence said,

    ?

  33. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Obviously Alan I’m in both the SWP and the BNP and I also dabble in alchemy.

    `Btw, Nuke: when I was a youth I fought fascism, supported persecuted minorities and supported the right of nations and peoples to self-determination.’

    Pity you couldn’t have stayed young then isn’t it?

    No conspiracy Jim, just the logic of imperialism working itself out and you clinging on for dear life.

  34. Jim Denham said,

    Ah! I’ve just realised: I’m a tool in the hands of the illuminati!

  35. Nuke Matgamna said,

    You’re a tool.

  36. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke

    Well, it is possible to be in both the swp and the bnp – uncommon though.

    Doesn’t it worry you that unaffiliated leftists, like me, are concerned that you gloss over the rise of antisemitism and fear you cant see what might be coming next?

  37. voltairespriest said,

    Zio-colonialist, imperialist running-dog with a murderous bombing fetish.

    … Come again?

    Was there a political point in there, or did someone just buy you the Spart dictionary for your birthday?

  38. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Well it was something I was discussing with Dave Broder at a BNP meeting the other day. Or was it an SWP meeting?

  39. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan,

    You? Unaffiiliated? Don’t make me laugh. You are an apologist for Zionism and a fellow traveller of the ridiculous Sean Matgamna.

  40. voltairespriest said,

    Again I say, “come again”?

  41. Hamster said,

    What a load of academic twaddle. We’ve got Iran being compared to the Nazi regime, Israel being prortrayed as a poor victim when in fact they have the most efficient and modern military force in the region, and are backed by the US, plus the assumption that Iran will launch an attack on Israel and, additionally, Israel will launch a strike on Iran’s Nuclear facilities.

    If Israel does bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities they will just do so: they won’t ask you, or anyone else on this forum or anyone else in the world, if they have the right to do it.

    For decades there’s been a lot of anti-Israeli rhetoric coming from a number of Middle Eastern states: tension is in the air, but it doesn’t mean that well defended Israel will be attacked any time soon. If anyone is going to be attacked by Iran it could be some of the less well defended Gulf States: the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, etc. All the Iranians have to do is cross the Gulf in their speedboats.

    We could be going on for hours mentioning Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi, Iraq and US “involvement” in the region but it’s almost time to go to the pub.

  42. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    Thanks for putting me right – I didnt know that’s who I am. Is there a badge I can wear- just to remind myself?
    You dont know what Zionism is do you?

  43. Nuke Matgamna said,

    No problem Alan. There is no badge but there is a t-shiirt you can wear next time you’re campaigning for a bombing raid with SM. It says `I’m with this twat’.

  44. voltairespriest said,

    Nuke;

    Do you ever write anything other than strings of empty slogans?

  45. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Yes. The AWL is a Zionist/imperialist stooge outfit. Loaded that one.

  46. voltairespriest said,

    Errm… albeit that you’ve proved my point to be entirely correct by writing it.

  47. Nuke Matgamna said,

    VP, an empty slogan is meaningless one like `oppose the bombing of Iran until it has happened and then support it’. That is an empty slogan.

  48. voltairespriest said,

    No, an empty slogan is one that is uttered for effect but devoid of meaning or purchase on reality. Like “You’re a zio-nazi neoconservative stooge for the international usury conspiracy of imperialist fascists and readers of Nick Cohen” for instance.

  49. Chris Strafford said,

    Mod, the purpose of your yet proven 90% enrichment? It is not important, you haven’t shown that it is Iran’s aim so why speculate on another persons imagination?

    Denham, I am still awaiting an apology.

    1/ I said ‘Does Israel have a right to defend itself against imagined military and nuclear threats for imperialist interest? No.’ So you are asking me to buy into the Imperialist lies that Israel needs to defend itself, and has an absolute right to do through whatever means, the AWL may enjoy cheerleading the massacre of Iranians but being something called an Marxist means I can’t get my pom pom’s out. In reality the nuclear issue is a pretext to give a slapping down in the interests of the Israeli ruling class and the Imperialist powers. You cannot dress up the biggest military force in the region as some poor oppressed nation to cover up for you pro imperialist stance.

    2/ How is Israel an apartheid state? I know you’re a senile old Zionist but seriously it is pretty bloody obvious. Can you see the occupation? The wall? The specific Israeli roads? The encroaching settlement programme, which is essentially ethnic cleansing? Having to agree that Israel has a right to exist to participate in the Israeli parliament? The list is endless.

    A quick question if Israel (which is run by religious fruitcakes just like Iran) attacks Iran, does Iran have a right to defend itself? Or do those Iranians not have the same right to defence as Israel?

    Alan, I do not deny Ahmadinejad’s anti semitic speeches, what I will not jump on board with is the belief that these speeches can effectively been translated militarily and whether the Iranian ruling class has a suicide wish. And this crap that yourself and the AWL are spewing out does not give Israel a free hand to do whatever it wants in the service of imperialism.

    Again everyone is missing the real point in the Weekly Worker which is very very simple. The AWL has degenerated further to now backing an imperialist strike, with all option open before it has even started and doing so by trying to dress up Israel as having to defend itself by copying the Hawks and using nuclear proliferation as an excuse.

  50. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “Mod, the purpose of your yet proven 90% enrichment? It is not important, “

    I have asked this question FOUR times, four times, very politely and yet you can’t answer it?

    let’s start slowly:

    1) if you were, hypothetically speaking, to build a hospital the ultimate purpose of that hospital would be, to treat patients

    2) if you were to build a tank factory then its purpose is to manufacture tanks

    so, what PURPOSE could there be to Iran’s sophisticated enrichment programme?

    NB: the purpose can, of course, be independent of whether or not enrichment is taking place.

    so what’s the purpose?

  51. modernityblog said,

    I should add, just to clarify, that the purpose of a tank factory is independent of whether or not it is manufacturing tanks 🙂

  52. Chris Strafford said,

    Mod, hypothetically enrichment can be used for anything, in reality the issue of enrichment is being used to further the interests of the Imperialists and you are following the same line. A question for you, if Iran is aiming for 90% enrichment does that give Israel a right to pursue military strikes maybe even a nuclear holocaust?

  53. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “Mod, hypothetically enrichment can be used for anything, ”

    NO, NO it can’t.

    please, don’t try to bend the laws of science.

    you wrote:

    “A question for you, if Iran is aiming for 90% enrichment does that give Israel a right to pursue military strikes maybe even a nuclear holocaust?”

    if, by that, you mean does Israel have the right to stop a neighbouring state from acquiring nuclear weaponry and using it on them?

    Most people might be tempted to answer: yes

    but not I.

    I am opposed (which should have been obvious to anyone troubling to read the other thread), completely to any (that’s ANY) attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities

    to repeat, I am absolutely, completely against any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities

    I hope that is clear enough?

    Chris, how long have you been running HOPI?

  54. Chris Strafford said,

    That is very clear, well done to your for not going down the same road as the AWL.

    I don’t run HOPi it is run by a steering committee which i am not a member of.

  55. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “That is very clear, well done to your for not going down the same road as the AWL.

    I don’t run HOPi it is run by a steering committee which i am not a member of.”

    Chris, my apologies, I had made a wrong assumption based on Facebook, I just wondered how long you’d been working on this issue? 1? 2 years?

    you might take the time to read comment #98 in this thread https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/matgamnas-pre-emptive-strike/#comment-17565

    I explained the enrichment issue and why it is so so important.

  56. Chris Strafford said,

    Well i have been involved in HOPI since last year but overall since 2001.

    I will have a read. Thanks.

  57. Richard said,

    In the WW article :

    “Ahmadinejad, however, does have an interest in making anti-Israeli noises. He was elected on a wave of anti-neoliberal sentiment, but, since he supports and benefits from neoliberalism, he is well advised to divert this anger into anti-western, anti-Zionist and anti-semitic expressions. Rhetoric is cheap.”

    “well-avised” ?

  58. Richard said,

    Woops sorry for the typo

    “well advised”.

  59. modernityblog said,

    It is a bit strange that the Workers Weekly seems to misrepresent the Iranian President’s antisemitic activities, I won’t in the first instance assume that its malevolence on their part, rather that the workers weekly is ignorant of this topic and incapable of thinking through the issue.

    The gist of their point is that antisemitism is for internal consumption and does not reflect any genocidal intent by the Iranian theocracy.

    You can disagree with that if you like, but I think that is their point, unless I am corrected otherwise.

    So suppose Ahmadinejad’s continued rhetoric is solely internal?

    why then hold a holocaust denying conference where the publicity is aimed at the foreign media?

    why hold a holocaust denying conference when many Iranians have stated that to deny the holocaust is an abomination?

    why invite neo-Nazis?

    Why hold an international antisemitic cartoon competition? if the purpose is solely internal?

    On the basis of the above, the WW’s points look rather weak.

  60. Chris Strafford said,

    Mod, where has the WW misrepresented the antisemitic drivel of Ahmadinejad? Your points are perfectly in line with what was written in the WW, has Ahmadinejad expelled the Jewish community from Iran, has he set about murdering that community? No. One may think that an anti semitic leader who wants to wipe Israel off the map may start at home first? Unless there was some reason why he was using such rhetoric i.e. whipping up anti jewish and anti western seniment to divert attention from the realities of the Islamic republic.

    I am not saying the Iranian theocracy will not attack the Jewish community in Iran but it is an attack on Iran from Israel that would make it more likely.

    Again anti semitic rantings and nuclear proliferation are not the real issue here they are simply used as devices deployed by the Imperialists to give legitimacy to a possible military strike. Any Marxist with an ounce of sense will understand this.

  61. modernityblog said,

    [sigh]

    please could you re-read my posts?

    I had a problem with you trying to understand the simply word: PURPOSE

    so I would prefer not having to explain, time after time, the same point?

    please try to **engage** with the point about INTERNAL and international publicity

  62. Alan Laurence said,

    Iran attacked Israel via its client Hizbollah and fought the subsequent war on Lebanese soil.
    And – Chris, why do you insist that your interpretation of the regime’s declarations are necessarily right – are you unable to imagine what will be required of the left if it turns out to be more than rhetoric?
    What will you say if your complacency turns out to be misplaced?

  63. Chris Strafford said,

    Mod, i did engage with what you had to say, i thought i was very clear.

    Alan, to say Hezbollah was to blame for the 2006 war is simplistic, as you should know. But maybe you think two Israeli soliders are worth the mass murder of thousands.

    Well any interpretation must be matched by looking at the reality of the situation and the nature of the regime so ‘One may think that an anti semitic leader who wants to wipe Israel off the map may start at home first? Unless there was some reason why he was using such rhetoric i.e. whipping up anti jewish and anti western seniment to divert attention from the realities of the Islamic republic.’ It is not complacency it is reality.

    Again the issue raised by the WW is simple as i have said many times. The AWL are backing the imperialists before the bombs have started to fall, they have dressed up their scabby pro imperialist line with nuclear proliferation and making Israel look like a pathetic entity in need of defending itself against muslim maniacs.

  64. Alan Laurence said,

    Chris,
    What if I’m right and the Irainians are to be taken at their word?
    Isn’t the cautious approach to assume they mean what they say and hope they dont. Isn’t assuming they lie and hoping you are right a little reckless?

  65. modernityblog said,

    “Any Marxist with an ounce of sense will understand this.”

    maybe all knowing “Marxists” might like to employ a method of inquiry** rather than assume they know all ?

    The question as to why the Iranian regime would make such a large and conspicuous effort to publicise Holocaust denial and hold an antisemitic cartoon competition, internationally, across the world, across the media, if that were purely for internal consumption is not clear.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    If that racist rhetoric is purely for internal consumption then spending vast amounts of money hosting neo-Nazis in Teheran is superfluous

    Why publicise an international, widespread, racist cartoon competition, if the issue is only internal to Iran?

    In fact what we see, is that the Iranian dictatorship probably does use some of this foul racism internally, but it’s only a partial explanation.

    Because that doesn’t explain why they went to so much trouble with those international conferences, as they were costly and difficult to organise.

    It doesn’t explain it, it sounds more and more like an excuse.

    —–

    **

    “Of course the method of presentation must differ in form from that of inquiry. The latter has to appropriate the material in detail, to analyse its different forms of development, to trace out their inner connexion. “
    Afterword to the Second German Edition http://marx.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/p3.htm

  66. Chris Strafford said,

    Alan, you are not right though, you are absolutely wrong. As i have pointed out throughout this thread…

    But by claiming an Israeli attack is a cautious approach covers up for your imperialist cheerleading.

  67. Alan Laurence said,

    Chris
    I didnt say an Israeli attack is the cautious approach. I said the cautious approach is to assume the Iranians mean their murderous rhetoric.
    Why do you refuse to understand what is being said to you.
    Try to tell me why it is not reckless to assume the Iranians dont mean what they say and take this as both your atarting and finishing point.

  68. modernityblog said,

    AL wrote:

    “Why do you refuse to understand what is being said to you.”

    haven’t we’ve been here before? “purpose”??

    I do wish some of these “Marxists” would work more on their reading skills and less time in the Union Bar

  69. Alan Laurence said,

    Mod,
    I think Chris is on the run – his emotions seem to prevent him from considering a reasonable question because it may have an unpalatable answer.
    Not quite the brave Bolshevik he wants to be…

  70. modernityblog said,

    Alan,

    agreed, I am astonished, I had higher hopes for CPGBers.

    I wrongly assumed that modern day tankies were at least trained in basic argumentation and reasoning skills, as with their forefathers?

    it is a shame when such discussions falter over basic reading and comprehension issues

    this is a complex and worthwhile topic, although I was surprised when I first read Sean’s article at least it does raise a lot of basic issues that need debating

    clearly a lot of people need to think about it, and they haven’t, pity.

    the old ways of parroting out a “line” isn’t going to work in the 21st century, and I wish the remnants of the British Left would try and learn that lesson.

    has someone dug up Palm Dutt?

  71. Alan Laurence said,

    Im stuggling to see whats actually up with SM’s article. Once the drama’s subsided I cant see what the row is about.
    What do you disagree with?

  72. Chris Strafford said,

    Holocaust denial conferences, anti semitic rhetoric etc. Is produced mainly for internal consumption. It is also produced to garner support internationally from Islamic seperatists etc. Yes there are those in the regime who probably would like to take it further but the Iranian ruling class cares for its own survival it is not reckless because i doubt it will be bombing Israel any time soon, but on the other hand Israel looks set to bomb Iran with the possibility of a nuclear strike to destroy centrifuges which lie deep underground. So what is the real issue here, the rantings of some of the Iranian regime? No. Nuclear proliferation? No. Iran threatening Israel militarily? That is laughable.

    The real issue which you both have dodged and AWL members have turned themselves inside out over is that the AWL are backing a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities through whatever means necessary. By dressing it up with a nuclear proliferation and the right of Israel to defend itself against imaginary threats. Essentially supporting Israel to kill thousands possibly millions of people.. well done to Matgamna and his friends…

    Alan, you are pathetic. ‘Once the drama’s subsided I cant see what the row is about.’ The row as i have pointed out before and was pointed out in the WW is that Matgamna and Co. are backing an Imperialist attack on Iran because there is apparently no alternative…furthermore just like on this thread people are peddling the same crap as the USA/Israel with regards to nuclear proliferation and an imagined threat to the existence of Israel.

    Mod, if you want to talk about simple reasoning you may wish to back up your thus far imagined claims that Iran is seeking 90% enrichment for a nuclear weapons programme. Maybe if you presented some facts instead of making things up we may actually get somewhere.

  73. Jim said,

    Chris, I don’t know why you’re bothering engaging with these Zionist loonies, it’s not even as if they can be considered part of the left anymore, they’re completely beyond the pale.

  74. Chris Strafford said,

    Ah Jim, where is your apology for calling me a pro nazi anti semite? Come on…

  75. Alan Laurence said,

    Chris

    How many times do the awl have to tell us that they do not support an intervention before you listen to them? Refusing to listen makes discussion impossible – it becomes a battle to stay awake rather than a reasoned argument.

    How about you give some thought to the idea that its a reckless dereliction of your anti-racist duty to rule out the possibility that the Iranians mean what they say? Why are you so confident that they simply play to an internal audience? Is it because you cant imagine having to defend the Jews of an ‘oppressor nation’ from an apparently ‘oppressed nation’?

  76. Chris Strafford said,

    Alan, Well the AWL’s patriach Matgamna said : “But if the Israeli airforce attempts to stop Iran developing the capacity to wipe it out with a nuclear bomb, in the name of what alternative would we condemn Israel?” As well as the rest of the article which is an incoherent set of excuses for Israel to bomb Iran. Can the AWL be trusted that they will not support an intervention in Iran with their recent ramblings and on their brilliant support for the imperialist occupation of Iraq? No. But Alan if you want to take the word of an organisation that is supporting the murder of Iraqi’s and Afghans on a regular basis then go for it sunshine…

    It is not about defending or not defending Jews. The Iranian regime may mean what they say, they may beleive in anti semitism what i also recognise unlike yourself and the AWL is that the Iranian regime is more than likely not on a death wish so wont attack Israel. The only country in that region threatening another is Israel, which has a military better than all of its neighbours put together. Lets have a little bit of reality in this discussion…

  77. Jim said,

    Chris, #74 is not from Jim Denham (who’s probably lying in a gutter somewhere ranting about Muslims), but me, a different Jim.

  78. modernityblog said,

    CS wrote:

    “because i doubt it will be bombing Israel any time soon”

    Chris

    three points:

    1. how to put your case
    2. the AWL and this blog
    3. Enrichment

    1. you really do your self and your case a disservice by not reading what people actually write, misrepresenting their views, then making outlandish comments

    2. For the record, there are many people who comment on Shiraz Socialist who are not, got that? (NOT) connected to the AWL.

    The Shiraz socialist blog has a very libertarian comments policy and so is often a good place to discuss issues without the heavy-handed approach taken by some on the Left (SU blog, Lenin’s Tomb, etc)

    So when you insult people here and try to group them with the AWL, you only insult yourself.

    3. As for the enrichment issue, I assume that you didn’t either understand what I wrote or what I explained on the previous thread (#98)?

    because if you had, then you would notice that I didn’t state that Iran had reached a particular enrichment level I was indicating what sophisticated enrichment is (that is 90% of purity).

    I’ll explain that again:

    I don’t know what the enrichment level is in Iran, so I can’t comment on it with accuracy, but enrichment has two purposes and only two purposes. ONLY two.

    Got that? TWO, it is a matter of science not what the weekly worker says.

    Enrichment is either for domestic energy production, or to make nuclear weaponry.

    Is the point clear enough to you (are you still awake?)

    PS: I could paste in numerous links, but I doubt you’d read them ( or on your recent performance be able to understand them)

    I had wrongly assumed that as you were interested in this issue for ages, that all of that would have been bleeding obvious and not need re-stating?

  79. Alan Laurence said,

    Chris,

    I agree with you, it is probably Israel’s military supremecy that prevents Iranian attack. Do you think Israel should disarm? And if it were to would you then argue that Israel is under threat from the Iranians (amongst others)?.

    SM does indeed ask the question you cite. He also says in the first para the reasons why he is against a strike. Cant you read the two together and realise he is setting up a set of arguments in order to knock them down?

  80. Chris Strafford said,

    Mod,

    1, I have not misrepresented anyones views, nor has the Weekly Worker when reporting Matgamna latest support for a strike on Iran.

    2. I know what Shiraz is, and if you get offended by being linked with the AWL then good. The AWL are poison in the workers movement as long as Matgamna maintains bureaucratic control over the group and him and his friends take the group sailing off into pro imperialist positions, they should be considered outside of the movement and anyone linked with them should feel offended.

    And it is wrong for me to offend people on here but the senile zionist that started this thread has free reign to call me a ‘pro nazi anti semite’?

    3. It is not the issue at stake in this discussion, it is not the real reason why Israel wants to bomb Iran, it is not the reason why the AWL are backing an Israeli strike. If you want me to simply agree that enrichment to such a level can only mean two things then i will. Send some links, i hope you have some, i would love to see where Iran has stated that it is aiming for 90% enrichment, but again this is not the issue here…

  81. Alan Laurence said,

    Chris,
    How is it possible to claim the WW has not misreprented SM when it says SM is for a nuclear strike while SM says he is against a conventional strike let alone a nuclear strike?

  82. modernityblog said,

    Alan,

    back to your good question, let me see if I can list them

    1. initially I thought that the framing of the argument by Sean assumed too much and that it was a premature discussion, but upon reflection I think it is worthwhile having.

    However, I am less than keen on the framing of the discussion in almost apocalyptical terms.

    2. I think Sean, to some degree, assumes that the Left can (largely) agree on (or understand):

    a) the nature of the Iranian theocracy
    b) their intent
    c) the racism and genocidal outbursts from the regime
    d) the issue of nuclear proliferation and its wider consequences
    e) the weapons and enrichment issue
    f) the dynamics of regional conflicts

    I had thought that the discussion was premature, but now I can see that it might clear up some of these issues.

    4. to the article, there is an explicit assumption that there will be an Israeli attack on Iran

    I don’t accept that.

    Certainly it is possible, but as I’ve pointed out it would only delay the Iranian leadership’s project, it would NOT stop it.

    next time around, they’d put them in deeper bunkers, several streams of work at once, etc, so any attack would not achieve its objectives and in my view would seriously bring about a deterioration in the situation in the Middle East, much much worse than it is now, it would hasten a wider regional conflict and we would see the ramifications for another 50 to 80 years.

    It would mean the end of any chance of a Palestinian state, it could precipitate a global energy crisis and the main losers in that would be the poor. Leaving aside the death toil.

    Of course, there would be the political vultures who would salivate at the thought of major conflict between nations, but I don’t think it would be contained to just the Middle East, the ripple effects would be felt much further

    In a worse than 1930s downturn, repressive regimes could become the norm, there could be the return of large fascist parties across Europe and the Americas, energy resources might be fought over, etc The Left would vanish.

    It doesn’t bear thinking about,

    5. having said all of that, there were good bits in the artcle, the understanding that this is more than a one dimensional issue, and no matter how we see it from Europe the view from Tel Avis is very different and as important.

    Sean’s clear enough “We do not advocate an Israeli attack on Iran, nor will we endorse it or take political responsibility for it. “

    Sadly, I don’t think most people will read and think about the issues, as he suggests:

    “The left needs to discuss these issues in advance, while a, comparitively, calm discussion may still be possible”

  83. resistor said,

    Critics of the AWL members here forget that for them Sean Matgamna is, and always has been, correct about everything. Even if he contradicts everything he believed in when he used to be a socialist and anti-imperialist. This guy says it well

    http://tragiclifestories.blogspot.com/2008/05/why-british-left-sucks-appendix.html

    At the time of the split with IS, it’s worth noting, Matgamna:

    -Believed that the USSR was a degenerated workers state;
    -Called for victory to the PLO in Palestine;
    -Spunked himself over the Provos in Ireland;
    -Excoriated all who did not do the same, and most who did for doing it the wrong way.

    Now, after a few fusions and a few more splits, the AWL has abandoned all of that, barring the general method of the last point.

  84. Alan Laurence said,

    Mod,
    Maybe the point of the article was to question the left’s assumptions about Israel? That would account for the apocalyptical tone…Its a trip to the mental gym.

  85. modernityblog said,

    Chris,

    you are starting to annoy me when you say:

    “the senile zionist that started this thread has free reign to call me a ‘pro nazi anti semite’?”

    I disagree with Jim on that, but please, don’t make “Zionist” a term of abuse,

    it is common currency on the Far Right for “Jew”

    they are interchangable terms amongst Jew haters:

    Jew/Zionist/Zionist/Jew, ZOG, New World Order, etc

    However, I can appreciate that you might not understand that, but it is best to stop using “Zionist” as an insult.

    OK?

    CS wrote:

    “If you want me to simply agree that enrichment to such a level can only mean two things then i will. Send some links, i hope you have some, i would love to see where Iran has stated that it is aiming for 90% enrichment, but again this is not the issue here”

    Chris,

    I don’t want you to agree with me

    Don’t, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t change the science of the issue.

    Go do your own research, look it up its very simple, you could even ask Yassamine Mather, she’ll know.

    I’m not here to teach basic science, I had enough problems teaching you what the word “purpose” means.

    And if you didn’t get that, then you won’t get the science.

    So again, IF you want to believe the moon’s a balloon or that the earth is flat, that is entirely your choice, equally you can believe, in your profound ignorance, that enriching uranium has nothing to do with making nuclear bombs.

    I will not dissuade you. You will simply make a bigger fool of yourself than you have here.

    The alternative is that you do some basic scientific research, takes about 5 mins on the web, wiki’s a good start and the BBC News, and you’ll be able to decide these issues for yourself.

  86. Nuke Matgamna said,

    After a Zionist strike on Iran, Awl will not condemn it but say it was a tactical error on the part of Israel. The same goes for their murderous assault on the palestinians. A tactical error. Not wrong in principle. Dirty little pro imperialists. Dirty little racists.

  87. modernityblog said,

    Indeed Alan, you’re right, but will they be fitter afterwards?

  88. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Modernity, you are a genocidal rascist.

  89. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – did you get hit a lot in the school playground?

  90. Nuke Matgamna said,

    No.

  91. Alan Laurence said,

    Mod – maybe, they’ll probably shed a few spare comrades.

  92. Nuke Matgamna said,

    You could rationalise any Israeli crime on the basis of Matgama’s arguement. It’s all self defence after all.

    What are you going to do about the fascists Dan and Dave in your own ranks?

  93. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke- I really dont think you should call Dan and Dave fascists.

  94. resistor said,

    I’ll believe Matgamna, Denham, Mod and the rest of the AWL grouplet aren’t racist – when they support equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians. In particular the right of return.

    Zionist is too feeble a term of abuse for such naked racism against Arabs and Iranians whose deaths they incite and applaud.

  95. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan,

    I didn’t.

  96. modernityblog said,

    see the Far right and their hangups with Jews, sigh

    best ignore em

  97. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    Why doesnt the Iranian regime bomb Israel?

  98. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Good question. Think about it.

  99. Alan Laurence said,

    Do you think its because Israel will relatiate? Or are there other reasons?

  100. modernityblog said,

    ahh, I assume that Nuke Matgamna is JohnG?

    same low level abuse, nothing to say, dodgy spelling, etc – SWP/BNP trade marks??

    shame how things have declined

  101. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Yes, Alan, there are other reasons. Iran isn’t a colonialist, imperialist. murderous power unlike Zionist Israel. In fact it is a conservative state that wants to preserve the status quo not a revisionist power at all.

  102. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Modernity. Are you really such a fool.

  103. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    Glad to know Iran is peaceable.

  104. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan, you don’t know anything except what SM tells you.

  105. modernityblog said,

    Nuke Matgamna,

    when did you first decided that you hated Jews? was it a recent thing?

  106. Nuke Matgamna said,

    I don’t hate jews any more than Dave and Dan you freak.

  107. modernityblog said,

    Nuke Matgamna,

    of course, you hate Jews, the very idea of powerful Jews annoys you

  108. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Where as the very idea of power gives you a hard on.

  109. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Scratch that … gives you the idea of a hard on.

  110. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Actually, the idea of any religion with power is a medieaval concept supposedly overturned by the enlightenment and democracy but not in your medieavel world.

  111. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Chris;

    Just one or two factual points about this blog and the AWL, I’m not having a go but I think you may have misunderstood us.

    Jim D is the only AWL member who blogs here, keystone of the place though he most certainly is – especially when I’m being lazy about blogging. I left the AWL eight years ago, albeit that I still have a great deal of time for (most of) their members and I still view them as politically the most healthy tendency on the UK left. Tami and Rosie have never been AWL members. Still more to the point, Andrew comes from a political tradition historically hostile to the AWL, and yet still fits in perfectly well here.

    What we’re actually based on, is the seemingly unfashionable albeit obvious point which is missed by the left in general – that it’s possible to have a comradely disagreement without hating each other’s guts or trying to censor debate. If you have a moment to trawl our archives, do a search on “Obama” or “Democrats”. You’ll see that Tami and I in particular disagree radically about the left’s stance towards the Democratic Party in general and to Obama in particular. Whichever of us you happen to think is right (and I suspect you would agree with Tami), I think you’ll agree that we’re both forthright and free, and yet also ultimately friendly, in our exchange of views. Similarly on this issue I think you would find that Jim and I disagree, albeit that we would both equally be contemptuous of a blind sectarian like “Nuke Matgamna”. There’s nothing wrong in that.

  112. Alan Laurence said,

    Mod,
    That does seem to be the case.
    Nuke and Chris both have an over-inflated view of Jewish power. They are totally unwilling or unable to even consider the possibility that Jews (and the left) are and should be nervous of antisemitic rhetoric.

    I guess thats one of the problems – Jewhating is anti-hegomonic. It seems to thrill and confirm the status of a brave radical. Actually, it confirms the status of shit head.

  113. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Blind in what way VP?

  114. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan, let me just say I’m not anti-semitic any more than Dan and Dave. You on the other hand are a cunt.

  115. voltairespriest said,

    In that you clearly have no idea of any of the actual facts of the situation, offer no evidence whatsoever to back your claims about the AWL, and yet stomp about muttering sectarian slogans anyway.

  116. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke,
    Can you tell me what antisemitism is please?

  117. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Yes I can Alan.

  118. Alan Laurence said,

    Go on then – i’m interested

  119. modernityblog said,

    Alan,

    in fairness to Chris (and I might live to regret saying that!), he’s very young and probably has digested a lot of Stalinist “anti-Zionism”

    I hope that he can look at these issues, on his own, make up his own mind

    time will tell.

  120. Nuke Matgamna said,

    I think it is people who believe that there are races and that the `race’ they belong to is superior in some kind of way and in particular to the `semitic race’.

    Why do you ask?

  121. modernityblog said,

    deep eh? hard to tell if he’s SWP or BNP yet

  122. Alan Laurence said,

    Well, I guess thats a start.
    Is there anything you want to add which is a specific feature of antisemtism as opposed to this, your general understanding of racism – which, and I put down a marker, we will return to in a minute.

  123. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Modernity, here is a clue. I am neither. In fact, I haven’t said anything that apparently couldn’t make me a member of the AWL.

  124. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan, no there is nothing I want to add. Racism is an ideology, I think that covers it.

  125. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke –
    Im not sure it does ‘cover it’ So far youve told me its a form of false consciousness that sees the jews as inferior.
    Maybe you could tell me the features of contemporary a-s? What does it look like today and how does this compare with older antisemitisms?

  126. Alan Laurence said,

    VP
    Chris may be a youngster but he really shouldnt be excused. He is responsible for peddling lies and for contributing to an antisemtic current in the movement. Thats a very serious matter – calling for the awl and by implication other ‘philosemites’ and mainstream Jews to be driven out of the movement isnt something to be tolerated.

  127. Nuke Matgamna said,

    No, it’s a form of false consciousness that sees the `semites’ as inferior. Judaism is a religion not a race no? I’m up for education on this point.

  128. Alan Laurence said,

    Anti-arab racism and antisemitism take different forms. There isnt much to be gained from lumping the two together – especially as neither of us believe a word of this nonsense about ‘race’ as a biological construct.

  129. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Precisely, so why the bias in favour of Israeli criminality as opposed to the criminality of say the Serbs or the British or the Russians or the Americans? Why are you prepared to rationalise Israel’s viciousness towards the Palestinians and their threat to bomb Iran? Why are you prepared to treat Israel’s bombing of Iran, when it happens, as simply a tactical error as opposed to a crime against humanity or at least a breach of international law.

  130. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke,
    Antisemitism had changed across time and place.
    Most of the time it frames the Jew as conspiratorial, self-serving – in the sense of disloyal and manipulative and too smart to be able to allowed to freely function. Without check, antisemitism insists, theJew will create a world which serves his ambition to the detriment of all others.
    The Protocols, which are a forgery but portrayed as fact on primetime Iranian TV, purports to show how the Jews conspire to take over the world.
    The Labour movement thas never been free from a-s. Stalin’s Russia was gearing up for a major pogrom. The UK Labour movement called for restrictions on Jewish immigration at the start of the c20. More fundamentally there is a trend in ‘radical thought’ which sees the Jew as either the capitalist per sa or as the represetnative of the capitalist class and therefore the enemy – the ‘socialism of fools’.

    With me so far? There is more to come but are you in agreement so far?

  131. Jim Denham said,

    Not one of the people who so self-evidently hate the Jewish state and its people with a special passion (like Mr Stafford, “resistor” and the usual gang of nutters and anti-semites) that they don’t hold towards any other state in the world, have answered the simple point: when and where do either Sean M or myself support the *nuking* of Iran? C’mon: when and where? And if you can’t answer that, then have the decency (like Dave O) to admit that you got it wrong: you can blame the liars of the ‘Weekly Worker’ if you want.

  132. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Anti-semitism and opposition to a jewish state are not the same thing Alan. Jews are not identical with semitism as you know. Imperialist support for a jewish state is what has fucked the socialist/democratic elements in the arab/muslim world and given rise to the demand for an islamic state as the only fair thing and the general sense of betrayal. As for the rest of it, what can I say. You insist I’m anti-semitic and I insist I’m not. If I was, I’d tell you believe me.

  133. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Jim, you do support nuking in principle. There is no way out of it from the premises of your 10 point arguement.

  134. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – Ive just put forward an explanation which agrees with you that Jewish and Semitic are not the same thing. But still you insist my argument rests on a conflation of the two. Why do you do this?
    Can you please consider the points Ive made so far – then we can carry on.
    By the way – its nonsense to say that Islamism is a reposnse to Israel. It over-inflates the importance of Israel in a way which re-inforces reactionary ideas of Jewish power – but this we can discuss later…

  135. Jim Denham said,

    “Nuke”: I’m on record (see comments #69 and #78 below the previous article, ‘Matgamna’s pre-emptive strike’ ) as opposing *anyone* (including Israel) using nuclear weapons, under *any* circumstances. I am confident that Sean holds the same view. How much plainer can I make it for you?

  136. Nuke Matgamna said,

    What can I say Alan. I don’t think there is any kind of jewish global financial conspiracy. As Marx said, we are all jews now so yes, anti-semitism is the socialism of fools. I’m not sure how else I can prove to you that I’m not an anti-semite apart from supporting Zionist criminality which of course I won’t do. I’ll leave that to you.

  137. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Well Jim, if that is the case the entire logic of SM’s article falls.

  138. Nuke Matgamna said,

    p.s. I guess that makes you Kitsch.

  139. Jim Denham said,

    Nope, “Nuke”: like the Old Man once said…Learn to Think.

  140. Nuke Matgamna said,

    In principle you’re right Jim. In practise however . . .

  141. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – good…
    We are happy so far. I might want to clarify that the conspiracy is not just financial but also political but maybe thats just picky of me…

    Now try this…
    Socialism has lost its status as the alternative viewpoint with mass appeal all across Europe. There is an explanatory void but still people look for answers. One ‘answer’ on offer is a-s. It offers an explanation for the condition of the working class. It’s a false explanation and a reactionary one – but still it just about acquires the status of a grand explanatory narrative. This is one reason why we live in times when a-s is on the rise across europe both on the right and on the left.

    Blaming Jews for the oppression of the masses is the state sponsored ideology of most of the Arab countries, and in Iran too A-s is used by the ruling class to whip-in the masses. This is not to say that Israel does not oppress the Palestinians – it does – it is to say that Israel is not the oppressor of the majority of the Arab masses – that’s their bourgeoisie. Maybe you know the slogan from Luxemburg (?): the main enemy is at home – that applies.

    Both a-s’s construct the Jew as the problem. Are you content with the above?
    Then move onto this next phase please..

    These statements are considered antisemtic. Do you think they are antisemitic?

    Jews are powerful and the Jewish lobby has great influence often to the detriment of the host nation.
    The Jews do not have the right to a nation state while every other nation/people does have that right
    Jews are responsible for the troubles of the world or region
    Jews are responsbile for what their enemies think
    Jews shout ‘antisemitism’ to deflect criticism
    Jews are all responsible for Israel and Israel Jews should be punished for the actions of their Government.

  142. Nuke Matgamna said,

    oh alan, you are such a tease. tell us why it is right for Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran in principle and how that isn’t racist.

  143. Jim Denham said,

    All peoples have the right to defend themselves from genocidal attack, “Nuke”.

  144. Alan Laurence said,

    Cant you follow the arguement? Try – do1 You are obviously quick and smart – it shouldnt take you too long to assimilate the arguments

  145. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Jim, at last you’ve stopped denying it.

  146. Jim Denham said,

    Denying *what*, exactly, Nuke?

  147. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan, you don’t argue you assert and hope that prejudice will see you through.

  148. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke –
    Israel should be understood as having the same rights to self defence as any other nation or people. To attribute less rights to Israel is antisemitic.
    Do you understand the point that is made here: treating Israel as intrinsically different to other states is antisemtiic. This doesnt mean you are motivated by a-s. I have no idea of your motives – its your political viewpoint that is under scrutiny not the darker reaches of your soul!

  149. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Jim, denying that nukes are legit.

  150. Nuke Matgamna said,

    There we have it then Alan. The case is closed. You support Israel’s right to pre-emptively strike Iran. That’s all we wanted to know. When the strike comes we’ll know where you stand. Shame about all those dead Iranians innit.

  151. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – you are on the run.
    I am trying to contsruct a multi layered argument but you insist that all that needs to be said can be said in a couple of lines. It cant.
    What am I asserting rather than arguing and what prejudices do I rely upon to see me thorugh?
    What do you tihnk of the statements – reproduced below. Do you think these are antisemitic?
    Jews are powerful and the Jewish lobby has great influence often to the detriment of the host nation.
    The Jews do not have the right to a nation state while every other nation/people does have that right
    Jews are responsible for the troubles of the world or region
    Jews shout ‘antisemitism’ to deflect criticism
    Jews are all responsible for Israel and Israel Jews should be punished for the actions of their Government.

  152. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Now… gingerly and please bear in mind that I’m not defending Nuke:

    1) It is true that although the notion of a “Jewish lobby” is a nonsense, groups like AIPAC are lobbyists and do hold an influence which is malevolent, not least towards the Israeli left;

    2) Every nation does have the right to self-determination, including the Jewish nation, That does not mean that I would simply want to ignore the historical injustices surrounding Israel’s establishing. This was not the liberation of a nation from an oppressor, it was the creation of a nation by force of arms, by what were increasingly predominantly outsiders. Mind you, that also doesn’t mean that I’d oppose a two-state stance in the here and now – the reality of the situation has changed and Israel is now a historical fact.

    3) Jews are certainly not all responsible for the Israeli government’s actions. However the various Likudnik lobby groups around the world do seem to make truth-claims on behalf of all Jews. They shouldn’t.

  153. Jim Denham said,

    “Nuke”: I can only repeat, Lean to Think…
    …Alan: you’re a great Marxist educator. But even your sharp Marxist logic has come up against an immoveable object: the inbred British pseudo-“left”‘s long-standing anti-semitism.

  154. Nuke Matgamna said,

    I’m an inbred anti-semite am I Jim? Where does that fall in the pantheon of marxist thinking?

  155. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – you are on the run. You may wish the case to be closed but we have hardly started.
    It seems the questions have overwhelmed you (and I agree there were too many to be answered at the pace you like to go at) so lets go more slowly:
    Leaving aside an assessment of the current state of threat, do you think Israel, in principle, has the same right to self defence as any other state?

  156. Nuke Matgamna said,

    `This is not to say that Israel does not oppress the Palestinians – it does’.

    Why don’t I believe you Alan? Could it be your uncritical support for the right of Israel to do what ever it sees fit to defend itself? yes, that must be it.

  157. Nuke Matgamna said,

    `Nuke – you are on the run. You may wish the case to be closed but we have hardly started.
    It seems the questions have overwhelmed you (and I agree there were too many to be answered at the pace you like to go at) so lets go more slowly:
    Leaving aside an assessment of the current state of threat, do you think Israel, in principle, has the same right to self defence as any other state?

    Alan, your priestly approach doesn’t impress me. I’m not in your silly cult so keep the question coming and I can assure you I will not be overwhelmed.

  158. Jim Denham said,

    “Nuke”: As you must surely realise, I’m not one to bandy about accusations…but… if the cap fits…
    As for “the pantheon of Marxist thinking”…well, “Nuke”. I’d be happy to provide you with a reading list, (starting with the Communist Manifesto), but as you seem not to have bothered to read the Matgamna article that started this whole business, I would suggest that you kick off with that. and think about it. Then get back to me for further instruction. This will be free of charge, by the way.

  159. Nuke Matgamna said,

    No need for an entire reading list jim. just show me where he talks about inbred beliefs.

  160. Alan Laurence said,

    VP
    Of course the Jewish community lobbies – just like every other interest group/ religion/communal outfit.
    It isnt reference to a Jewish lobby I object to but giving it special status, powers and capacities over and above its actual weight. IAnd to presetning the jewish lobby as though it is an unfragmented whole. In my experience its as disfunctional as most other networks of lobby groups – riven by splits and schisms and turf wars. It isnt a monolith – some lobby groups will be right wing while others etc etc.

    Sure there is a battle for hegemony and operational control within Jewish communities and so far as I understand it witihn judaism too. Part of the political armoury is to claim to speak on behalf of all Jews. The ANC used to do it too. Obviously I agree with you – its all balls.

    Israel is a product of the holocaust. Survivors decided their own state was necessary to prevent re-occurence. An understandable conclusion to draw, and its worth remembering that the arms were used against the Birtish commanded Arab armies.
    At the time the left did not object to immigration to Palestine.

  161. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke – good
    Im glad you are staying on top of this. What are the answers to my questions please?

  162. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Alan, your questions are irrelevant to the matter under discussion i.e. your support for the bombing of Iran.

  163. Jim Denham said,

    Reading list:
    1/ Communist Manifesto:
    “In order to arouse sympathy, the artistocracywere obliged to lose sight of, apparently, of their own interests, and to formulate their indictment against the bourgeoisie in the interests of of the exploited working class alone. Thus the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new master, and whispering in his ears sinister prophecies of coming disaster”.

    Next: ‘German Ideology’.

    That’ll teach you what I meant by “inbred beliefs” – a rather fundamental Marxist concept, although he never used the term (it’s mine).

  164. Nuke Matgamna said,

    I am suitably chastised Jim. Well done on the new term.

  165. Jim Denham said,

    Thank you. When you’ve read the Communist Manifesto, we’ll turn to (the) German Ideology. OK?

  166. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    First – I am not in the awl or any other trot group.

    I think the questions I asked you inform the argument. To rule them ‘out of order’ is quite extraordinary.
    What are you frightened of?
    Your explanation of a-s and indeed of racisms in general was partial at best. It certainly was not an explanation put forward by any marxist I have come across. It read more like an entry in a mainstream dictionary. In this real sense you do not know what you are talking about. Literally you do not understand the concepts behind the words.
    This isnt an insult, in fact its a defence of you. It means you are not necessarily an antisemitic cunt or a moron. Its means you have not been given the chance to satisfy your interests.
    You have a choice: continue to display your ignorance or take the trouble to find out more. Read the CM and the GI as Jim suggests. Right now I challenge you to prove me wrong – destroy my arguements:

    Socialism has lost its status as the alternative viewpoint with mass appeal all across Europe. There is an explanatory void but still people look for answers. One ‘answer’ on offer is a-s. It offers an explanation for the condition of the working class. It’s a false explanation and a reactionary one – but still it just about acquires the status of a grand explanatory narrative. This is one reason why we live in times when a-s is on the rise across europe both on the right and on the left.

    Blaming Jews for the oppression of the masses is the state sponsored ideology of most of the Arab countries, and in Iran too A-s is used by the ruling class to whip-in the masses. This is not to say that Israel does not oppress the Palestinians – it does – it is to say that Israel is not the oppressor of the majority of the Arab masses – that’s their bourgeoisie. Maybe you know the slogan from Luxemburg (?): the main enemy is at home – that applies.

    Both a-s’s construct the Jew as the problem. Are you content with the above?
    Then move onto this next phase please..

    These statements are considered antisemtic. Do you think they are antisemitic?

    Jews are powerful and the Jewish lobby has great influence often to the detriment of the host nation.
    The Jews do not have the right to a nation state while every other nation/people does have that right
    Jews are responsible for the troubles of the world or region
    Jews are responsbile for what their enemies think
    Jews shout ‘antisemitism’ to deflect criticism
    Jews are all responsible for Israel and Israel Jews should be punished for the actions of their Government.

  167. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Stop trolling Alan and answer the question at hand.

  168. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    I will answer your question if you answer mine. Is that a deal?

  169. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Actually, it is quite instructive that the AWL are relying on an old stalinist like you to fight their corner. Specially one so unreconstructed and anti-trot as you.

  170. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Jim, no need to thank me. I was being ironic.

  171. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    Can I repeat my offer: I will answer your question if you agree to answer mine. Do we have a deal?

  172. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Actually you have already answered my questions so there is no need for me to answer yours. Good luck with the war.

    I will answer one though. Israel is a vassel state. The Zionist lobby only has power as long as US imperialism is interested in Israel.

  173. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    Oh dear. I didnt have you marked down as spineless, scared to answer the questions pressed by an ‘old unreconstructed stalinist’ or whatever it was you wrote. I thought you had fire in your belly, I thought you were someone who wanted to commit to anti-racism. I thought you wanted to do what’s right by Arabs, Iranians and probably Jews too. What a shame.
    Still it is late – probably past our bedtimes.

  174. voltairespriest said,

    Alan;

    AIPAC et al aren’t “the Jewish community’s” lobby groups though are they? They have a very specific political agenda and certainly do not represent the Jewish community as a whole, in spite of appearing to claim to do so. I appreciate that more recently J-Street and others have started to supply a counter-weight (and more power to their elbows) but that’s at a very nascent stage.

  175. Alan Laurence said,

    Sure, all kinds of agencies claim to represent all Jews, just like the ANC claimed to represent all of SA’s oppressed. Its almost always balls – isnt it?
    Maybe I should have said something like, ‘there are many lobby groups operating within J communities. Some right wing some left, some secular etc. It isnt a monolith’
    Does that make more sense?

  176. Alan Laurence said,

    Jim,

    It looks like you were right. Nuke isnt up for the fight. He prefers to throw stones from a safe distance. Ive given him 30 minutes to rescue his self-respect but he bottled it.

    He reminds me of a weaker version of Derick Draper – remember him? He is now back in Number 10 – so the papers say. When Draper was a student he used to say the most outrageously right wing labour things. He never ran away and you couldn’t help but respect him for it. He went on to run part of the Labour Party’s election machine.
    This apprentice trot doesnt have the balls of a right wing labourite. So much for his contribution to the overthrow of the international bougeoisie – he cant stay the distance of an argument. When the going got tough Nuke ran away. Best no one counts on Nuke when it really matters. He’s yellow.

  177. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Alan;

    Yes, I’d agree with that formulation.

  178. Alan Laurence said,

    phew – thought I’d fucked up!

  179. Nuke Matgamna said,

    Your questions are a diversion and designed to avoid the issue of your justification and rationalisation of all Zionist crimes wether that be a pre-emptive strike on Iran or the slow strangulation of the Palestinians. Doubtless too that any attack on an `independent’ palestine would be justified as self-defence. You are little more than a war criminal Laurence.

  180. Alec Macpherson said,

    I don’t often appear on Shiraz, possibly because I’ve grown too comfortable on HP, but Nuke, you really don’t help your case not to be a Jew-hating scumbag (well, I assume it’s so, because you haven’t answered the questions) by describing any bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities as “pre-emptive”. What is there to pre-empt if Israel’s security is not threatened by them? Unless it’s the continued political existence of free-thinking Jews, whose chastisement is more vital than avoiding the deaths of a few ten thousand of them or Arabs.

    Opposition to any conflict should be based on a desire to avoid death, not to humiliate one side. Fair basic stuff, I would have thought.

    Now, onto Strafford:

    >> But maybe you think two Israeli soliders are worth the mass murder of thousands.

    Few thoughts:

    … it was ten in total, with two dying men being removed. Then civilian centres were shelled with the intention of mass Jew-murder;

    … even then, two dead Jews, troublesome but unimportant? Excuse me while I barf;

    … thousands did not die. One thousand +/- 100 did. This, clearly, was not much of a comfort to them, especially the 4/500 non-combatants who died as much a result of Dan Halutz’s fascination with his magnificent flying machines as Hezbollah operating from behind their cover.

    >> I expect an apology very very soon.

    >> Denham, I am still awaiting an apology.

    >> Ah Jim, where is your apology

    Get over yourself, you berk.

  181. Alec Macpherson said,

    One last thing:

    >> I know you’re a senile old Zionist

    I hope you’re going to apologize.

    >> but seriously it is pretty bloody obvious. Can you see the occupation? The wall? The specific Israeli roads? The encroaching settlement programme,

    At least one of those is a disgrace and should never have been embarked upon, but apartheid it is not. This political model referred to the subjugation of inhabitants of the same country as the favored group, not those in external territories acquired through military action and (before you claim otherwise) most certainly not earmarked for complete and unilateral withdrawal. Surely you’re not suggesting that Israel extend domestic law to the ATs? That would be de facto annexation. And illegal.

    >> which is essentially ethnic cleansing?

    No it’s not. Learn Sebro-Croat to get a real impression of this term.

  182. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke –

    You say:
    ‘Your questions are a diversion and designed to avoid the issue of your justification and rationalisation of all Zionist crimes wether that be a pre-emptive strike on Iran or the slow strangulation of the Palestinians. Doubtless too that any attack on an `independent’ palestine would be justified as self-defence. You are little more than a war criminal Laurence.’

    This is silly stuff. How do you know my motivations – my ‘designs’? Arguments are better when its the text that is discussed not the assumed motivations.
    Why wont you look at the questions about contemporary antisemtism and tell me what you dispute?

  183. Alan Laurence said,

    Nuke
    Ok – I will add another characteristic of contemporary antisemitism to the list you run away from:

    Refusal to entertain the possibility of antisemitism

  184. Boogski said,

    Entertaining thread. I gotta drop by more often. 😀

    The hardcore anti-imperialists are a fucking laugh riot. All logic and common sense goes right out the window with these goofballs, eh?

    “Zio-colonialist”?

    Good grief.

  185. modernityblog said,

    looking at the reaction to Sean’s latest article:
    http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2008/08/03/how-i-came-advocate-israeli-nucler-strike-iran

    he wrong, very wrong.

    Sean should not assume that:

    1) any of his political opponents can read these articles correctly,
    2) and, after having read them, that these opponents will legitimately represent the point of view as it was intended.

    Next time, Sean should spell out, slowly with each of his arguments, then at the end put in a conclusion with reinforces the points, so that there is no room for misunderstanding.

    So, Sean should take greater care, reiterate his arguments, time after time, and then write a clear conclusion to remove any ambiguity, or the possibility that anyone will misread his arguments

  186. resistor said,

    The way I read it, Sacha Ismail and others are preparing a palace coup against Matgamna. There is a suspicious amount of postings critical of ‘The Dear Leader’ getting past the censors.

    Looking into my crystal ball I see Matgamna and Denham playing the roles of Saruman and Wormtongue in a trotskyist version of The Lord of the Rings.

  187. johng said,

    The AWL should no longer be considered part of the workers movement. Its really that simple.

  188. runia said,

    Johng,

    Should people who consider Iraqi trade unionists quislings, who chant ‘we are all Hezbollah’, who support Hamas against Fatah, who excused and apologised for murderous Serb ethnic imperialism, who refused to condemn the 9/11 attacks, who support the Taliban in Afghanistan and Ba’athist and Islamist murder squads in Iraq etc. etc. etc. be considered part of the workers’ movement?

  189. modernityblog said,

    JohnG wrote:

    “The AWL should no longer be considered part of the workers movement. Its really that simple.”

    so says a professional middle class crank, JohnG?

    when the workers classes need advice from apologists for racists (Nasrallah, Tamimi, Atzmon), we’ll ask

    don’t hold your breath tho

  190. Bruce said,

    For the record (and if anyone is really interested), the position of the AWL passed at our AGM in May with no dissent is:

    7. We characterise any realistically likely military conflict between the US and Iran as one between two
    imperialisms: an imperialist superpower and a regional “sub-imperialism”. A conflict between Iran and Israel would
    constitute war between the two sub-imperialisms, with one most likely backed by the American superpower.
    8. We oppose both military action (whether invasion or air strikes, bombing raids, etc.) and economic sanctions
    against Iran.
    9. We oppose attempts by the Iranian government to develop nuclear weapons. We want the labour movement to
    fight for unilateral disarmament by all nuclear weapons states. That should not prevent us from acknowledging,
    however, that the prospect of the Islamic Republic developing a bomb is particularly alarming.

  191. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    “The AWL should no longer be considered part of the workers movement. Its really that simple.”

    JG is wrong about this. Social chauvinism and social-imperialism, however gross, is unfortunately a trend within the British workers movement, and has been for rather a long time. It’s correct to write the AWL out of the left, but not out of the workers movement itself. They are now definitively part of the pro-imperialist right-wing of the workers movement. A small and eccentric part, but a part nonetheless.

  192. Arthur Bough said,

    Jim,

    As a member of the AWL’s old cadre I am sure you feel the need to defend the organisation, but really comrade Sean’s position was truly appaling as you must realise, and as Dave Broder has stated. Martin some time ago said that an attack on Iran would be a “good thing”. Now the AWL try to weasel out of responsibility for things they believe would be or are good things such as an attack on Iran, or the Occupation of Iraq, or the bombing of Serbia by saying well we think it was a good thing, but we can’t be held responsible for the bad things that necessarily gowith it, because we didn’t actually call for it in words that we could be held accountable for. That just shows a lack of backbone to defend the positions you beleive in.

    The fact is that the press for a long time has been full of reports that Israel was planning a nuclear strike on Iran. Its also known by anyone who cares to research these things that in order to achieve its objectives Israel would have to use tactical nuclear weapons. So what then in order to prevent such an Israeli attack some other state is free to take out Israel’s nuclear and chemical capability before it too could be used???

    None of these positions has anything to do with developing an independent working class position. None of them have anything to do with a Marxist position on War.

    For that see my blog Israel, Iran and Reason

  193. modernityblog said,

    “It is inconceivable that Iran, even were it to obtain nuclear weapons, and there is no indication that it is anywhere near about to,”

    so Arthur, what is the purpose of sophisticated uranium enrichment ?

    just to be clear, I am NOT asking the level of enrichment, but what is it’s PURPOSE?

  194. Voltaire's Priest said,

    (From “Boffy’s Blog” – link in Arthur’s comment)

    The AWL are an insignificant Stalinist microsect of a few dozen people

    That mere sentence Arthur shows that you really haven’t thought your political perspectives through. Even if the caricature of the AWL put about by the CPGB and others were true (which it isn’t), then they still wouldn’t be “Stalinist”. It’s a term that simply describes a politics which is other than theirs.

  195. Arthur Bough said,

    In reply to Modernity I assume that the Iranians probably do want to develop nuclear weapons at some point. The point is that they do not have the capacity to produce them yet. The US intelligence services know that, which is why Bush had to rely on the argument that although they have no program to produce nuclear weapons at the moment and gae up that program several years ago, they might try at some point in the future, and why they have been building a case for an attack on Iran based on Iran’s involvement in Iraq.

    But, the point remains if they did develop nuclear weapons there is no rational reason why they would commit suicide by using them first. Governments have some freedom of action separate from the State, and from the ruling class, but only within limits. For example, the Chilean ruling class and State limited the extent to which the Allende Government could go in a very brutal manner. I have no doubt that Ahmedinajad has some freedom of movement, but not so far as engaging in an action that would vaporise the entire Iranian ruling class.

    But, the point is that if anyone thinks that Iran might develop and use nuclear weapons at some point in the future what is the socialist, proletarian internaitonalist response to that? Surely, its to seek a workers solution isn’t it, not one that relies in advance on a reponse by a bourgeois State. Surely, that requires attempts to build solidarity between Israeli and Iranian workers doesn’t it? And how is that possible if in advance Iranian worers are to be treated as expendable pawns whose lives are to be at the disposal of the Israeli ruling class???? Trotsky, in replying to the Palestinian Trotskyists who wanted to support “democratic” imperialists as opposed to the fascist imperiliasts said that the German workers told that they should rely on this democratic imperialism destroying fascism for them before together they created socialism would simply reply, “We heard that story before WWI.”

    In reply to Voltaire. My characterisation isn’t based on anything the CPGB might or might not say. Its based on.

    1. My own experience of their rudeness and bureaucratic practices.
    2. The simple evidence of the way they respond to criticism of their politics with abuse, rudeness, evasion etc.
    3. The act that their politics on the National Question amounts to what Trotsky described as Communo-Chauvinism
    4. Having given up hope in the working class they have engaged in a number of areas in an undeclared Popular Front – for example Iraq
    5. Their position on Iraq is a form of Socialism in One Country except instead of subordinating the whole of international struggle to the needs of the USSR, the AWL want to subordinate the struggle against imperialism to the tiny Iraqi working class.

    For starters.

  196. modernityblog said,

    Arthur,

    so you agree that it is a possibility? that’s a starter, but you base your arguments on “there is no rational reason why they would commit suicide by using them first.”

    that might be true, then again it is not a certainty

    leaderships tend to build nuke proof bunkers, and to argue that such regimes make decisions purely on rational criteria is pushing it a bit

    and yes, I think the best way is for the theocracy to be overthrown by Iranian workers.

    but let’s leave it at that.

  197. charliethechulo said,

    ooh dear. Arthur: the AWL are sometimes …*rude*
    Clear proof of their Stalinism, eh?
    On Iraq: so supporting the trades unions in Iraq against the sectarian gangsters and religious fanatics who want to kill them, (something that most “leftists” in the UK don’t do) represents a …”popular front”
    Arthur, boy: you’re in dire need of a reality check.

  198. paul m said,

    As for rudeness Arthur, I’ve just checked out your letter in a recent WW edition.

    Seems you learnt something during your time – a long time ago if I’m right – in the AWL/SO.

    It seems you’re still sore from having your excessive contributions to the AWL website reigned in.

  199. mo said,

    Ok let me let me see if i can get this right. Nuke ’em Matgamna has stated that Isreal have the right to a pre- stricke on Iran due to a lack of alternatives.

    “But if the Israeli airforce attempts to stop Iran developing the capacity to wipe it out with a nuclear bomb, in the name of what alternative would we condemn Israel?”

    And because the CPGB and WW and Chris Strafford disagree with this they are “filthy, fucking, pro-Nazi anti-semite.”

    One question.

    Does Iran have the right to defend itself? and if so with all the the agression directed towards Iran from Isreal and USA “in the name of what alternative would we condemn Iran?”

    Oh and anybody who thinks the threat of war against Iran is due to it’s nuclear programme is fucking stupid. I suppose we went to Iraq as a result of thier chemical weapons?

  200. modernity said,

    strange how apologists for the Iranian theocracy’s racism nearly always seem to assume that everyone else “is fucking stupid”?

  201. Alan Laurence said,

    Mod,
    I dont think this is becasue they are all rude, ignorant no-nothings with a toddller’s need to tantrum.
    I think its because they are desperately conventional and police the boundaries of their accepted wisdoms with the venom and small mindedness of Mary Whitehouse or Ann Widdecomb.
    Oh – they enjoy being outraged too.

  202. modernityblog said,

    alan,

    good way of looking at it

    I’d never thought of it like that, but it is true how in other areas these would-be radicals are very ‘conservative’

    what I find surprising is that so few people nowadays seem to study or research these issues independently, to try and sort out the issues in their own heads

    eg. when this first came up I spend ages hunting around the Iranian President’s web site to find his speech and see the context, I was curious after I had read in the West that he had not said anything close to his “wipe off the map” remark

    soon in my search, I found he had use similar phraseology in a few speeches, did he say exactly that?

    No, but the thrust of these speech was along those lines and as anyone moderately familiar with Farsi would realise translating between that and English is very difficult. Fasi is incredibly expressive and by comparison English is very crude.

    So I learnt to take with a handful of salt the apologists for the Iranian theocracy’s comments, and in particular why they could never explain away the enrichment process.

    I think you’re right, they are really conservative in thinking and it never occurs to them to ask, why?

  203. mo said,

    Ok let me clarify a few points.

    1) i am not an apologist for the Iranian theocracy and no matter how much you say this it will never make it true. I don’t like the theocracy, i don’t support the theocracy and i want to see it overthrown. However, not by anybody, by the working class people of Iran. i believe in a people’s right for self determination not extermination by an imperialist power. This is the exact same attitude i held and still hold in terms of Iraq. Suddam needed to be overthrown, but by the working class of that country not Britain, America and Imperialism. Look at what an invasion and attack has done to our brothers and sisters in Iraq. Why do we think that would be any different in Iran?An invasion or attack on Iran would not help our comrades there and our brothers and sisters but kill them. How on earth does any genuine Marxist support this?

    2) the initial point i made was quite simple and seems to ignored so i will ask again. If the premise to an attack by Israel is justified because they feel threatened – and lets not argue about the precise wording of what Ahmedinajead said, he did threaten Israel. Then if Iran feels threatened – i point to john McCains “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” singing – then aren’t they justified to a pre-emptive strike the exact same way as Israel is?

    Personally i don’t believe this, and if you don’t then surely it shows some hypocrisy to your argument and not the real reason for your views. i ask a straight forward question and would appreciate a straight forward answer. Do or do not iran have the same right to attack if they feel threatened by Israel?

    3) I stand by my original comment that any one who feels the threats of war on Iran is about it’s nuclear capability is fucking stupid! This is not because i’m conservative, rude, ignorant or enjoy being outraged, but rather because i am Marxist.

    Do we really believe the war on Iraq was about chemical weapons (again another question ignored), or do we think it was about something else? Why should we believe any different about Iran? It is the American economy that will drive it to war, not religion, nukes or anything else. this is simply an excuse to promote it’s imperialist agenda. frankly it has an easy enough job ding that with out the left (if you can even be described as that) promoting it too.

    I fail to understand how i am an apologist for the Iranian theocracy, let me say again i want them overthrown, but from below, not simply by anybody, or anything! So please answer the two simple questions before throwing false accusations. and just so you don’t miss them i will end with them.

    1)Is iran afforded the same right as Israel, that if they feel threatened “under what alternative should we condemn them? Again let me clarify this is your line argument extended to Iran not mine. My answer to this question is an unequivocal NO.

    2) Is the threats on Iran about Nuclear weapons or something else? – the same as Iraq

  204. Janine said,

    I’m getting really quite annoyed now. I’ve said this on Stroppyblog nad will say it again here for anyone struggling with basic concepts of punctuation and grammar. This sentence:

    “But if the Israeli airforce attempts to stop Iran developing the capacity to wipe it out with a nuclear bomb, in the name of what alternative would we condemn Israel?”

    is a QUESTION

  205. Janine said,

    I’m getting really quite annoyed now. I’ve said this on Stroppyblog and will say it again here for anyone struggling with basic concepts of punctuation and grammar. This sentence:

    “But if the Israeli airforce attempts to stop Iran developing the capacity to wipe it out with a nuclear bomb, in the name of what alternative would we condemn Israel?”

    is a QUESTION not a STATEMENT.

  206. Juvenile Dwarf said,

    Yes. A RHETORICAL question. What fun all this is.

  207. charliethechulo said,

    …and your point, Mr Dwarf, is..?

  208. mo said,

    Sorry Janine,

    That’s my mistake. Should I take it that you disagree with the statement then and believe that we will have ground to condemn Israel should they launch a pre-emtive strike on Iran?

    As the idea that this is a statement annoys you no end I assume you must be in the process of writing an article to Sean and Solidarity laying out why we must condemn Israel should this take place.

    I shall look forward to reading this!

  209. Arthur Bough said,

    Modernity said,

    1. “so you agree that it is a possibility? that’s a starter, but you base your arguments on “there is no rational reason why they would commit suicide by using them first.”
    that might be true, then again it is not a certainty

    2. No I base my argument on the fact that a) “there is no rational reason why they would commit suicide by using them first.”, but far more importantly the fact that they do not actually have nuclear weapons so a discussion of what is permissible to prevent their use, is not only purley hypothetic, but can only be a diversion from the real reason why such an attack would be launched.
    As Lenin, put it. “Imperialism camouflages its own peculiar aims – seizure of colonies, markets, sources of raw material, spheres of influence – with such ideas as “safeguarding peace against the aggressors,” “defense of the fatherland,” “defense of democracy,” etc. These ideas are false through and through. It is the duty of every socialist not to support them but, on the contrary, to unmask them before the people. “The question of which group delivered the first military blow or first declare war,” wrote Lenin in March 1915, “has no importance whatever in determining the tactics of socialists. Phrases about the defense of the fatherland, repelling invasion by the enemy, conducting a defensive war, etc., are on both sides a complete deception of the people.”
    My position is clear in a war between two bourgeois states workers should be defeatists on both sides, our aim is to build maximum workers unity, and provide a workers solution. However, a state facing subjugation by another state has the right to defend itself, and socialists should support that defence. For example, Iraq against US imperialism. IF Iran had nuclear weapons, and IF it was clear that it was about to use them then Israel would have the right to defend itself just as if the US attempts to overrun Iran, to impose its will upon it then Iran has the right to defend itself and socialists should support it. IF, however, the US merely engages in war against Iran over conflicting interests in dominating other countries in the region then this is an inter-imperialist war, and socialists should be defeatists on both sides. Given the huge difference in power between the US and Iran its difficult to see how this latter could be distinguished from the former.
    Charlie said,
    “ooh dear. Arthur: the AWL are sometimes …*rude*
    Clear proof of their Stalinism, eh?”
    Its not that they are sometimes rude, but that this rudeness, and vitriole is systematic, that it continually takes the palce on their part of rational responses to debate, not just against those from other groups who could sometimes be accused of similar behaviour, but against anyone. You also conveneintly missed out the combination of that rudeness with their bureaucratic means of stifling debate. Remember that it was precisely thos traits which Lenin emphasised in his warnings against Stalin, it was precisely on those grounds that he broke off personal relations with him. See:The Last Post
    “On Iraq: so supporting the trades unions in Iraq against the sectarian gangsters and religious fanatics who want to kill them, (something that most “leftists” in the UK don’t do) represents a …”popular front””
    No, but claiming that imperialist forces in Iraq provide a breathing space for that Labour Movement refusing to develop a Political programme for Iraq, which would mean calling for that Labour Movement to confront not just the clerical-fascists, but also the imperialist Occupation, refusing to call for the labour Movement internationally to oppose its own imperialism’s actions in Iraq. THAT certainly constitutes a Popular Front.
    “This bureaucracy does not trust the masses but fears them. It seeks rapprochement with the ruling classes, especially with “democratic” imperialists. To prove this reliability, Stalin is ready to play the role of policeman throughout the entire world.” Trotsky “Fight Imperialism to Fight Fascism”
    That is precisely the AWL’s politics in Iraq and now in relation to Israel and Iran. It has lost faith in the working class, and seeks around the world to act as a world policeman righting wrongs that grate with its moral politics. But, as an organisation of a couple of dozen people it is cmpletely impotent to do so, and instead simply cheers on those in the camp of imperialism that it DOES see as being able to do so. The fact that it then complains that imperialism has not acted up to its highest hopes simply demonstrates how miserable its politics have become.

  210. Arthur Bough said,

    Paul M said,

    “As for rudeness Arthur, I’ve just checked out your letter in a recent WW edition.

    Seems you learnt something during your time – a long time ago if I’m right – in the AWL/SO.

    It seems you’re still sore from having your excessive contributions to the AWL website reigned in.”

    1. What rudeness was contained in my letter????
    2. I would have made the comments o the AWL website not to WW were it not the case that the AWL deleted my posts to their website willy nilly whatever their size.
    3. As I have pointed out on my blog their deletions of my posts had as much to do with their excessiveness as did the US invasion of Iraq have to do with WMD. IN the last 12 months I massively reduced my posts to their site, and their size. IN the last few months I complied to the letter with the constraints they had asked me to accept – a rather ridiculous 3 to 4 lines of comment. Despite that they still deleted my posts even where they simply referred to comments palced on my blog!!!!

  211. modernityblog said,

    Bough wrote:

    “far more importantly the fact that they do not actually have nuclear weapons “

    Have you been following the discussion? And could you make an effort with brevity?

    If you had then, I hope you have understood the question of enrichment, much like a tank factory you don’t need to be a genius to know that the building of a tank factory is part of the process of building tanks which ultimately our weapons of war

    So that’s the process going on here and by the time anyone has a nuclear weapon it will be too bloody late?

    I hope you see that point?

    I don’t know that the Iranian theocracy has or hasn’t got a bomb, I’d hope not, but it would be incredibly naive, not to say malevolent to assume that they couldn’t eventually have one.

    ahh yes the Lenin quote:

    “The question of which group delivered the first military blow or first declare war,” wrote Lenin in March 1915, “has no importance whatever in determining the tactics of socialists. “

    well it DOES matter, time and weapons have moved on since 1915, Lenin didn’t live in or envisage the nuclear age, where a few bombs could obliterate a whole country.

    btw, quoting Lenin is a poor substitute for thinking about the reality of the Middle East

    got any more Lenin quotes about nuclear enrichment?

  212. Arthur Bough said,

    Not about nuclear enrichment, but he did say something about understanding timescales. Enrichment isn’t having a bomb is it, so there is no imminence that justifies an imminent pre-emptive strike is there. That is the point of the enin quote that you clearly didn’t understand. Bourgeois states tell lies, they justify wars by saying that some other bouregois power is a threat. You seem to want tohelp Israel tell that lie rather than build a wokers response to both Israel and Iran to stop the warmongers in both camps.

    Israel, however, does have the world’s fifth largest nuclear arsenal It also has and has used chemical weapons. It looks likely to attack Iran. It COULD use nuclear weapons. ON the basis of your logic some state should have the right to defend Iran against such an attack, say Pakistan for instance. Or alternatively, some Iranian suicide bombers fearing such an attack might decide to get themselves into an Israeli nuclear facility and do the job personally. They would have “good reason” to adopt such a straegy on your logic wouldn’t they?

    I wouldn’t support such action, but if you act according to reason you would have to, wouldn’t you?

  213. modernityblog said,

    Arthur wrote:

    “Bourgeois states tell lies, they justify wars by saying that some other bouregois power is a threat. “

    my point concerning the VERY, very different nature of war passed you by

    still, you won’t grasp this either: people lie, politicians, everyone lies, small one, big ones, important ones, trivial one

    history is littered with killing lies, from Stalin’s USSR to Mao’s famines

    even lies about Iraq.

    You seem to have a very naive view of the world

    you wrote:

    “You seem to want tohelp Israel tell that lie rather than build a wokers response to both Israel and Iran to stop the warmongers in both camps.”

    And you want to misrepresent my views, do yourself a favour, read all the related threads and you’ll see that I’m against any conflict between Israel and Iran.

    I am expressly against Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Do you understand that?

    However, I don’t adopt the crude “my enemies enemy is my friend” approach nor my blind to the news coming out of Iran, I follow the science and I am against nuclear weaponry nuclear-power whoever has it, Israel, Britain, France, etc

    You can believe what you wish to believe, but the centrifuges have special purposes and enrichment is not done without cause, unless you can re-write some laws of physics?

    again you wrote:

    “I wouldn’t support such action, but if you act according to reason you would have to, wouldn’t you?”

    Rather than do some clumsy extrapolation from your misreading of my views, why not when you next want to know someone’s views ask them a direct question.

    My logic is that Israel should not attack Iran. I’m against it completely. I am against Iran attacking Israel via proxies, I’m against the Iranian leadership’s racist conduct, I’m against any quest for nuclear weaponry.

    Clear enough?

    Please don’t bother replying, I’m not interested in your vacant verbosity or your bad faith.

  214. Arthur Bough said,

    I’m surprised you can come to a conclusion of bad faith after just a couple of posts. C’est la vie. I could accuse you of the ame thing where you said I was basing my argument SOLELY on the idea that the Iranians would not use a nuclear bomb, whereas I made clear that the main argument was that they diddn’t have one, so there could be no question of any atack needing to be imminent. You can hardly complain of verbosity looking t the length of some of your posts above. And I have looked through them without finding any clear statement that you oppose an Israeli strike on Iran, as opposed to your comment that you would prefer the Iranian workers to overthrow the Iranin regime, which I would have thought should be taken for granted.

    If you say you oppose an israeli strike then good, I apologise for misrepresenting your views.

  215. modernityblog said,

    Arthur wrote:

    “I’m surprised you can come to a conclusion of bad faith after just a couple of posts. “

    when you accuse me of lying, what else am I to think? as in “You seem to want tohelp Israel tell that lie rather”

    you wrote:

    “And I have looked through them without finding any clear statement that you oppose an Israeli strike on Iran,”

    well, that’s because you didn’t look enough?

    try again, I have commented in many threads, work harder and maybe smarter?

  216. Arthur Bough said,

    “when you accuse me of lying, what else am I to think? as in “You seem to want to help Israel tell that lie rather”,

    but as that statement was based on my misunderstanding of your position it was not bad faith was it? Carrelessness, or stupidity on my part for not udnerstanding or making sure I knew exactly what your posiiton was before making the statement granted, but not bad faith. As I have apologised for making that mistake, I think you can hardly sustain that charge. Moreover, surely a charge of bad faith would require me to consistently misrepresent your position. I don’t think that I have misrepresnted your position, anymore than you misrepresented mine, for example when you alleged that I based my case SOLELY on the argument that he Iranian ruling class would not use nuclear weapons. But it never occurred to me to consider this bad faith on your part as opposed to a misunderstanding.

    As for looking though every thread here to determine your position I think that is unreasonable. Maybe I should have asked you to define your position rather than assuming it from your line of argumentation, but in debates it is always he case that people make assumptions about the other persons position. If at every stage we had to ask, “Well could you spell out for me exactly what your position is”,we would never get anywhere. In a reasonable deabte there is some assumption that such misunderstandings will occur, and that they will be cleared up as they present themselves, and thereby enrich the debate.

    But, I have to say given your line of argument above I am at a loss to understand why you thought pursuiing this question was important after I had already said and agreed with you that I assumed that the Iranians WOULD at some point want to develop nuclear weapons. Surely, at that point of agreement the more important point for us to discuss was given that agreement what should socialist response to that be? It was the fact that you continued down the other line of discussion that led me – wrongly – to believe that you thought this question meant that it could only be resolved, or that socialists should not object to it being resolved by a pre-emptive Israeli strike. I don’t think anyhting in that could be construed as bad faith.

  217. modernityblog said,

    Bough wrote:

    “Carrelessness, or stupidity on my part for not udnerstanding or making sure I knew exactly what your posiiton was before making the statement granted, but not bad faith.”

    my impression is that you’re fairly experienced in the movement?

    that being the case, you’d know that bad faith is not only accusing someone of lying, but it is when you view YOUR OWN statements in a chartable light and seek to see the worse motives in others

    is that clear? that’s exactly what you’ve done here

    as I said, GO search the threads and you’ll see my views

  218. Arthur Bough said,

    Mod,

    “that being the case, you’d know that bad faith is not only accusing someone of lying, but it is when you view YOUR OWN statements in a chartable light and seek to see the worse motives in others”

    It seems that this is a perfect description of your attitude isn’t it? I have admitted that I may have been careless in assuming that I knew what argument you were making, and even that to do so without clarifying your position was stupid. I wonder how many other people would make such a frank admission of their own culpability here. Certainly, you did not offer to make any such apology for misrepresenting my views above.

    I also notice that although I had only posted a couple of items, you complained somewhat strangely about my verbosity, even though my posts were considerably fewer and shorter than your own. It seems to me that those comments, and your current refusal to accept ank kind of apology or explanation as to why any misunderstanding on your position arose suggest otehr motives for your attitude. Some years ago one of the people I used to train with at my martial arts club was an ex-Marine. He used to say when we were doing exercises. “Don’t cheat, because you only cheat yourself.” I take the same attitude to debate. I have 100% confidence in the ideas I argue for, and in my ability to argue them. I have no need t cheat, because to do so would only cheat myself. Sometimes I get things wrong, I make mistakes. When I do I admit them, because to do otherwise is to cheat myself.

    I think you are cheating yourself.

  219. modernityblog said,

    saint bough wrote:

    “I have 100% confidence in the ideas I argue for, and in my ability to argue them. “

    you are modesty personified and gain nothing from conversing with us mere mortals.

    I bow out.

  220. Arthur Bough said,

    Mod,

    That will give you more time to spend arguing for ideas you don’t believe in. What’s that called again?

  221. charliethechulo said,

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