Shiraz Maher on Cage Prisoners and ‘Jihadi John’

February 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm (anti-fascism, apologists and collaborators, conspiracy theories, fascism, insanity, islamism, Jim D, posted by JD, reactionay "anti-imperialism", relativism, wankers)

A credit to his splendid name:

“But Shiraz Maher from King’s College London dismissed the Cage claims that Jihadi John was driven into extremism by British security services as “pathetic”.”…/Jihadi-John-identity-revealed-…

Above: Shiraz Maher: voice of sanity
Shiraz Maher from King’s College London dismisses claims by British advocacy group Cage that Jihadi John was driven into extremism by MI5 as “pathetic”
* JD adds: does Amnesty International still support Cage Prisoners, and – if so – should I cancel my direct debit?


  1. Jim Denham said,

    Tami Peterson has just written (on facebook):

    From Alan Johnson: “BBC News now showing a smooth-talking CAGE PRISONERS director and the former SWP leader John Rees hold a press conference about how “kind” and “gentle” and “humble” Jihadi John is. And with that I think we can just turn off the lights, folks”

    I am utterly disgusted by this and want to make it clear that I am embarrassed to have ever been, however briefly, in the same organization, let alone room, as John Rees. How low does the British left have to go before it wakes up? What they are justifying in the name of so-called “anti-imperialism” is utterly outrageous!

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      I have no idea if the characterization here of what John Rees said about ‘Jihad John’, since there are only quotes of single words taken out of context. But it is entirely possible that somebody who is or was “kind”, “gentle”, and/or “humble” can be led by a path of reasoning, or rationalization, into committing acts that seem neither kind nor gentle nor humble. It brings to mind the quote from Voltaire (as translated into English): “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

      • Andrew Coates said,

        This might throw a damper on the lies about the ‘humble’ ‘beautiful” man,

        “A former friend of the terrorist, who met him in 1999 when they both attended Quintin Kynaston Community Academy in St John’s Wood, North London, said he found out Emwazi was a Nazi sympathiser during a Year 9 lesson.

        “The teacher told us the Nazis drew up plans to get rid of all the Jews. I am telling you one million per cent.”

        I heard Mohammed mutter “Good, they deserved it”. I thought he was joking but later he told me that he hated all Jews and blamed them for the plight of Muslims.’

        The school friend said that if they ever walked past a house in Golders Green that Emwazi knew was owned by a Jew, he would shout obscenities such as ‘f***king pigs’.”

        On this one I see no reason to believe Rees more than the above report in the Mail.

        Rees really should watch it: it seems he’s apologising for somebody who’s dyed-in-the-wool Anti-Semite.

        I wonder if his lot would do the same amateur social psychology for. say, the average Einsatzgruppen butcher.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Even if the claims by a “former friend” of ‘Jihad John’ are “one million per cent” true, I’m not clear what’s wrong with trying to understand the “social psychology” of people whose rage, whatever its origins, is displaced against a particular ethnic or religious group. Unless, of course, one wants to argue that Jews as a group are responsible for the oppression of Muslims, which would make Jihad John’s reported attitude toward Jews somewhat rational — more rational, at least, than the widespread hatred of Muslims by Jews, Christians, Hindus and others.

  2. Pete Radcliff said,

    What is so shocking is that CAGE admit to knowing him – well probably not really knowing him they are blinded by their prejudices and naivety – if they really knew him surely they would have surely seen his sympathies with violent political Islam. If they knew him – if they had any concern for him, never mind his future victims – they would have explained the murderous nature of that movement – but no they probably talked at him, repeating ad nauseam that the only problem is ‘US/UK imperialism’

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      There is a difference between asserting that ‘the main problem is US/UK imperialism’ and asserting that ‘the only problem is US/UK imperialism’. I sincerely doubt that the latter was said, and certainly not repeatedly. Rather, this seems like the kind of mischaracterization of one’s opponents’ position that is characteristic of, particularly, anti-anti-imperialists and anti-anti-Zionists.

      • Pete Radcliff said,

        But would you deny that nothing was said in condemnation of Al Qaida or later against Saddam Hussain? If as you wish that it is just a raking of who was worst how do you explain this and what criteria were or could be used to make this ranking? Death counts? Over what time period?
        And how would you do that calculation today?
        But what was said repeatedly that you don’t criticize Al Qaida or Saddam because that would be ‘lining up’ with Bush and Blair. So they tried to deflect every criticism of Al Qaida, Saddam then or IS/ISIS today. Because they don’t top their hit parade of worse oppressors/ imperialism in the world. A bit of a weak excuse for their silence

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Your comment here is rather confusing, Pete R., since you use double negatives, the passive voice, and sentences with unnamed subjects. I’m not at all clear whether you are referring specifically to the organization, CAGE, or to a wider milieu, or to both at different times. One thing that’s politically weird, though, is your lumping of Saddam Hussein with his Islamist enemies — something neocons and other Zionists did, mostly by suggestion rather than by direct assertion, to build up support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and continued doing afterwards. Surely, if CAGE, which is apparently Islamist in its politics, doesn’t mention Saddam, it’s not because they defend him but because he’s irrelevant.

        BTW, here’s a very recent extensive interview with Asim Qureshi of CAGE:
        And here’s a serious article on the relationship between Islamism and British intelligence that isn’t excusing anybody for their actions:

      • Jim Denham said,

        I’d say Pete’s points are pretty clear, and only the deliberately obtuse could claim not to understand.

        BTW: while we’re recommending stuff, listen to this effin’ amazing interview with a very brave and intelligent young man:

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        I don’t expect to get much reliable information from somebody who worked for British Intelligence and has not, apparently, repudiated them. But if there’s a transcript I can look it, I will skim it and maybe more closely read the whole thing, since that would be a much more efficient use of my time and would allow me to more easily quote parts of it in a discussion. (The items I linked to all are texts, or have text transcripts.)

  3. Sue R said,

    I knew I recognised the fellow chairing the press conference on the BBC News Channel this afternoon, but I just couldn’t put a name to the face. Of-coure it was John Rees, pleased as punch to be playing with the big boys no doubt. I thought the CAGE speakers got a remarkably easy time of it: no hard questions. I kept wondering why the Kuwaitis banned this man from entering their country, no-one ever asked. Why didn’t his fiancee join him over here if he couldn’t marry her in Kuwait? So, he went on safari to Tanzania, was he a known radical before that? They wouldn’t even admit that it was the man they had known, saying they couldn’t be sure, and then when one journalist asked if they had recognised him before the security services identified him, they bent over backwards to explain they had not. It also made me laugh, they kept repeating totemically that they were appalled by the beheading of Alan Henning. But, the responsibility lies not just with the man who wielded the knife, but also with those who set him on that path, who just happen to be the British authorities.

  4. Sue R said,

    That last sentence is a statement of their views not mine.

  5. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    Actually the bloke was saying how ‘Jiihadi John’ was, not is – and that’s key. Peterson always was a fool.

    I am embarrassed ever to have been, however briefly, in Socialist Organiser with people like Denham who have subsequently descended into social chauvinism and whose ‘Marxism’ cannot identify the dual nature of the Islamic State – both effectively fighting against imperialism (which necessarily means killing white people – much to the chauvinist Left’s disgust) and indulging in utter reaction e.g. sectarian slaughter.

    This dual nature is clear in the work of Jihadi John – both killing imperialist spies (I’m sorry, ‘aid workers’) as well as brave and admirable individuals e.g. the Salford taxi-driver.

    It would be better to imprison POWs, not kill them and I condemn such actions.

    But what do you think will kill more – those guys with knives or USAF, RAF planes?

    Who is the main enemy here? Imperialism.

    Not that you’d ever know that on this site.

    • Howard Fuller said,

      Islamism is imperialist fool.

    • Jim Denham said,

      “Peterson always was a fool.”: Compared to you, Southernpaunch, Peterson is a sophisticated political thinker. Also, unlike you, a civilised human being.

    • Lamia said,

      ” both effectively fighting against imperialism (which necessarily means killing white people – much to the chauvinist Left’s disgust) and indulging in utter reaction e.g. sectarian slaughter.”

      What a curious – and flatly dishonest – weighting of ISIS actions. In fact, ISIS have merely ‘indulged’ in killing a few white westerners – some of whom you disgustingly characterise as spies, while their most ‘effective fight’ has been a campaign of hideous atrocities against tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children with various shades of brown skin.

      I don’t know Tami Peterson, but in view of your own barbarism and plain dishonesty illustrated here, your dislike speaks quite well of her.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      While you are clearly correct that imperialism is the main enemy, it’s not at all clear that the conflict between IS and imperialism, with the atrocities by the IS, is more than theater, meant to mobilize support for imperialism and its clients, particularly Israel, mainly but not exclusively among the populations of the imperialist countries.

      It is unfortunate that thousands of people who have genuinely anti-imperialist sentiments have gotten sucked into working with and for a group that, if it is not a false-flag operation, is in any case murderously sectarian and doing the work of imperialism.

      • Jim Denham said,

        “if it is not a false-flag operation”: you seriously mean it *might* be: now we’re in the realms of loony-tunes.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Considering how diffuse it is, and how it has recruited so widely, it is far from out of the question that ISIS is being manipulated by imperialist intelligence agencies. I would not consider it likely, however, that they are controlling it. But the use of accusations like ‘loony-tunes’ and ‘conspiracy theory’ to discourage investigation of such possibilities is part of the “way of deception” by which the intelligence agencies cover their tracks when they actually are involved.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Oh dear, oh dear …

  6. Jim Denham said,

  7. Jim Denham said,

    Dave Osland (facebook, again) comments:

    Interviewer: Stig, I’ve been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.

    Stig: No, no. Never, never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to give his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me.

    Interviewer: But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor
    Stig: Oh yeah, well – he did that, yeah.

    Interviewer: Why?

    Stig: Well he had to, didn’t he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do. I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law.

    Interviewer: What had you done?

    Stig: Er… Well he never told me that. But he gave me his word that it was the case, and that’s good enough for me with old Dinsy. I mean, he didn’t want to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off. There’s nothing Dinsdale wouldn’t do for you.

  8. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    Rather than me lying (it seems a reasonable presumption to think some of the Western hostages killed are spies from their recent work in special forces, etc.), why doesn’t Lamia desist from just making stuff up e.g. A UN report six months again gave 6,000 as the casualty numbers killed by IS – that’s both the results of their slaughter as well as soldiers they have killed. It is you making stuff up – e.g. “tens of thousands”.

    I also find it fantastical as to be ridiculous any thought that IS may be supported by the West so as to change public opinion in Phoenix or Peterborough about Israel.

    The reason they foully burnt the Jordanian pilot is not some sort of blood lust but because they wanted to reproduce the type of death he had previously caused on his bombing runs and the consequent loss of lives through fire.

    All some commentators here see is what their TV tells them – no thought is given to the far more mean Western killing machine – dying through asphyxiation after a bombing or having your head cut off by a knife – I don’t think one is worse than the other.

    The main enemy is at home.

    • Jim Denham said,

      “The main enemy is at home”: people such as you, John Rees and those medieval but hi-tech barbarians you are an apologist for/dupe of? Yes, indeed!

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Whatever disagreements I may have with southpawpunch, he at least is not an apologist for the imperialist war for global domination, particularly the control of resources, under the guise of a ‘war on terror’.

    • Alex Ross said,

      “All some commentators here see is what their TV tells them…”

      Although it’s probably a little more reliable than relying upon the voices in your head!!

    • Lamia said,

      “A UN report six months again gave 6,000 as the casualty numbers killed by IS – that’s both the results of their slaughter as well as soldiers they have killed. It is you making stuff up – e.g. “tens of thousands”.

      I said atrocities against tens of thousands. Not just murder but enslavement, torture, persecution, everyday oppression and driving people out of their homelands. That includes thousands of Yazidi women turned into sex slaves. So yes, tens of thousands – in fact more likely hundreds of thousands suffering under ISIS.

      What a grubby little apologist for ISIS you are.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      When I suggest that imperialist facilitation of ISIS might be “meant to mobilize support for imperialism and its clients, particularly Israel, mainly but not exclusively among the populations of the imperialist countries”, you trivialize it by replacing “imperialism and its clients, particularly Israel” with “Israel” and “mainly but not exclusively among the populations of the imperialist countries” with “in Phoenix or Peterborough”! That’s the kind of demagogic manipulation I expect to encounter on this site, but I wasn’t expecting it from a supposed anti-imperialist.

      BTW, the main enemy of humanity is only “at home” for those of us whose homes are in the U.S., the U.K., Israel and, perhaps, a few other bastions of Western imperialism. There are lots of secondary enemies, though.

  9. Rilke said,

    According to Aarrron’s and Rees’s ‘logic’ no one person or group they have sympathy with is either guilty or respnsible for anything they do that may be termed ‘bad’. The ‘bad’ is always the product of manipualtion and other causal factors. You do not even have to waste time listing these ‘factors’ as they can be bracketed under ‘imperialism’ or ‘repression’ or simply ‘Isreal’ or the ‘Pentagon’. This causal manipulation only applies to the ‘bad’ and never to the ‘good’ which is always a manifestation of the inner good of the constituent identity of the group or person with whom they have sympathy. This is not political or rational thinking at all, it is a garbled and guilt-laden social exhibitionism and carries no logical force whatsoever.
    When the ‘bad’ acts of the group or person sympathised with become so awful that they can no longer even be associated with, there is always the option of course, of extending the illogical flow of this position by claiming that th ‘bad’ is in fact, organised by the victims themselves to besmirch the inner ‘good’ of the sypathetic ‘other’ (secret agents are really the perpetrators of the ‘bad’, or ‘false flag operations’ explain the awful acts).
    This is infantile stuff to be sure and has no attachment whatsoever to Marxism or dialectical materialism, or in fact to reasoning thinking of any kind.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      If you are going to criticize me by (misspelled) name, please give a specific quote or reference to what I have said that you are criticizing me for allegedly saying. In particular, where did I ever express sympathy for IS/daesh, other than sympathy for some people with good intentions who might, by fuzzy thinking, have got caught up in it?

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Nor would I claim that, in the rocky long-term relationship between imperialist states and radical right-wing Islamists, the latter are not ‘bad’ on their own account. But their being ‘bad’, and not just puppets, certainly doesn’t mean they can’t be manipulated, cajoled, pushed into doing things that particularly serve the interests of the imperialists.

  10. Jim Denham said,

    Well said, Rilke!

    • Lamia said,

      Indeed. A fair slice of the left has ditched factual analysis and progressive principles for a bizarre mix of sloganeering and cultish superstition. They may as well go the whole Islamist hog and replace ‘imperialism’ with ‘the forces of Shaitan’.

  11. Jim Denham said,

  12. Rilke said,

    There is also, I forgot to add, the pose of ‘political’ bloodthirstiness. The rhetoric of these persons usually takes the form of endless justifications of and demands for the ‘burning’, ‘punishment beatings’, ‘throat cutting’, ‘hanging’ and so on and so forth of the political ‘enemy’. It has the superficial glamour of seeming to be vengeful and outraged but is actually just a pose. I saw a lot of it during the miner’s stirke. Southpaw is of this ilk.

  13. Lamia said,

    Southpawpunch is a member of Left Unity. That tells you all you need to know about ‘Kindly’ Ken Loach’s creepy outfit.

  14. damon said,

    Well at least is has exposed Cage to wider public scrutiny.
    Some radio phone-in hosts had never heard of them before.
    They may lose their charity status now.

  15. Jim Denham said,

  16. damon said,

    Btw, is it OK to laugh at the marks those guys have on their foreheads that they get from so much praying?

  17. Sue R said,

    The Jordainian pilot was burnt alive because that is the method recommended in the Koran. Mohammed did the same to one of his enemies and it is known as ‘Healing the Chests of teh Belivers’, which, funnily enough, was the title of the video. In order to not look like total superstitious God botherers, some people came up with the dubious explanaton about drone strikes burning people alove. No doubt in comparison to the weaponry of the major industrialised nations, ISIS are a mere pinprick, but, no-one is saying that what the imperialist armies are doing is necessarily right. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Sad asbout the irreplacable archeological treasures which have been pulverised too. Their ar45gument that it will cause error and people will start worshipping defunct deities is a load of toss. Wheb was the last time anyone made an offering to Marmluk or Astarte?

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      It seems that, if burning one’s enemies alive is “the method recommended in the Koran”, we would have heard of lots of examples of Islamists doing it previously. We haven’t. OTOH, it was the preferred method for Christians dealing with heretics or uppity women not many centuries ago, and it is done nowadays with white phosphorus by Zionists and other imperialists against those who occupy land they want.

      You write, “no-one is saying that what the imperialist armies are doing is necessarily right.” [Emphasis added!] Interesting that you equivocated with that word, “necessarily”! How would you and the crew of anti-anti-imperialists here react to someone writing, “no-one is saying that what ISIS is doing is necessarily right”?

      And the question for the imperialist-country left is not whether ISIS is “wrong”, or whether “two wrongs make a right”, but, given that “in comparison to the weaponry of the major industrialised nations, ISIS are a mere pinprick”, should our main (unfortunately mainly rhetorical) fire be directed against ISIS or against the imperialism of the major industrialized nations?

      • Jim Denham said,

        Aaron: you just don’t get it, do you? There’s a fundamental difference between bourgeois democratic regimes and fascist-barbarian forces. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        First of all, the use of the term “barbarian” as a put-down is a racist inheritance from Greek and Roman pre-capitalist imperialism. (See or read Terry Jones’ Barbarians. Video version available on YouTube.)

        Secondly, “bourgeois democratic regimes” in imperialist countries may look “democratic” to people, including the labor aristocracy, inside the imperialist countries, but they often look worse to people in the countries targeted by imperialism than, e.g., Fascist Italy looked to the Italian population.

  18. Rilke said,

    Southpaw, is the category ‘white people’ truly a ‘Marxist concept? Is it a useful or useless abstraction do you think? Are the worlds social divisions and global economic relations really divided along these lines? If so, then ‘killing white people’ might be a sort of politico-economic necessity, but I cannot seem to find this crude category of analysis in any of Marx’s writings. Can you perhaps point out the passage? It was my assumption that it was exactly such categories of thought that were ‘disgusting’ to critical dialectical thinking. Unless of course you are a sort of inverted guilt-laden racist who needs to justify murder in order to salve your confused and dirty conscience. In that case, catch-all binary categories such ‘white people’ are pretty useful.

    • Lamia said,

      He’s the sort of far leftist who has heard of Marx but has read little or none of his stuff. The fact that so much of the ‘Marxis’t left today couldn’t tell Karl from Groucho is a sizeable part of why the contemporary far left is so utterly lost and has wound up supporting far right theocracats.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Is “white people” a ‘Marxist concept’? Does it have to be? Is it anti-‘Marxist’ to suggest that even many leftists in imperialist countries whose societies are permeated by the supremacism or, at least, narcissism of the dominant ethnic group or groups, might, without thinking about it, show more concern for the deaths of people who look, talk and behave like them than for the deaths of other kinds of people? Especially when the former deaths, and the reactions to them, get enormously more media coverage than the latter?

  19. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    It’s remarkable that when I condemn the killing of POWs (even spies), and like any socialist (real or pretend), condemn sectarian killings and the like, I get portrayed by the stupid here as some sort of blood-thirsty maniac. In fact, no, that’s par for the course here at Shitty Socialist.

    Because the thing these gross hypocrites won’t do is also condemn the killing; the wider and deeper slaughter, caused by imperialism both in day-to-day bombing runs and the wider loss, such as through poor public health in Iraq, despite the oil wealth – the deaths caused by imperialism.

    It is only the death of the white-skinned, (which is but a pretty good, but not perfect, alternative way of saying those from the imperialist countries) that attracts their attention – indeed some of them are even members of the rancid Labour Party, a prime mover in this killing of Iraqis et al.

    But it’s only hypocrisy and smear from these characters e.g. no-one would think my politics represent those of Left Unity, who are sort of Syrzia praise-singers and with all the limitations of that. Maybe only 5-10% of us LU members argue similar to myself. But they know that.

    I don’t know what quack lesser ‘science’ Rilke is using in his comment at 9. – something from a Sunday tabloid mag maybe? – but it sure ain’t Marxism.

    Here’s Karl himself on atrocities (in relation to the First Indian War of Independence, that’s the Indian Mutiny to quite a few commentators here):

    (Marx) put the issue bluntly enough, asking (August 28, 1857)—‘whether a people are not justified in attempting to expel the foreign conquerors who have so abused their subjects’. Again: “Is it surprising that the insurgent Hindus should be guilty, in the fury of revolt and conflict, of the crimes and cruelties alleged against them?” On September 4, 1857 he added: “However infamous the conduct of the sepoys, it is only the reflex, in a concentrated form, of England’s own conduct in India.—There is something in human history like retribution.”

    • Jim Denham said,

      “… attempting to expel the foreign conquerors who have so abused their subjects.”

      So ISIS (and Al Quiada, Al-Shabab, etc) are actually to be understood as anti-imperialists/anti-colonialists, and so (presumably) worthy of our support?

      That seems to be what you’re saying Paunch. If not, why use the quote from Marx?

    • Lamia said,

      “… attempting to expel the foreign conquerors who have so abused their subjects.”

      That perfectly the effort of the Kurds to expel the foreign ISIS scum you yourself support.

      Go back and try again, fool.

  20. Rilke said,

    Of course Marx writes of ‘foreign conquerors’. He does not write of ‘white people’ or even ‘white’ capitalists. I have never come across such a phrase. I restate my question. How is the category ‘white people’ related to Marxism as a basis for analysing political events? Your quotation proves the opposite of your stated point. I could quote Adorno on those that always wish to appeal to ‘they, the people’ in Minima Moralia, and why this is not Marxism, but I cannot be bothered.
    But in any case you have convinced me Southpaw. I now accept the world of political analogy and moral equivalence. I know of a local Tory councillor and I do have an axe. Let’s kidnap him and store him in a basement and starve the bastard as a protest against the rise in food banks. We can film it and put it out on YouTube as an anti-government act. I also know the house numbers of a couple of Tory voters. Let us wait until they go out for lunch and smash their limbs with hammers and iron bars and torch the fuckers as a legitimate reaction to what these scum are doing to the disabled. We can film that too if you like. Do not worry my friend we are guiltless, it is all part of the way we have been brutalised by the state and our marginalisation. Are you with me Southpaw? C’mon man, don’t bottle it. We need to go in hard Southpaw. These wankers on here are limp-wristed petty bourgeois fellow travellers, but you and I Southpaw, we are real fighters right? Your name suggests as much. Were you a boxer Southpaw. I was, I fought as a welterweight for five years. We know about blood and guts Southpaw, cmon man, don’t bottle it.

  21. John R said,

    For those interested in such matters, here’s a link to a discussion Southpaw had with Andy Newman (Labour PPC Chippenham) in 2007 regarding the question of “military support” for the Iraqi “Resistance” and the Taliban against British and American forces.

    Southpaw advocated “military support” but not “political support” to the “anti- imperialists”. Mr Newman asked (reasonably enough) if this meant Southpaw was then going to sabotage Brize Norton and RAF Lyneham as part of his “military support”. Southpaw thought this was a provocation and should remain unanswered. Mr Newman though he was being “wussy” and went on to express his view that military operations against the aforementioned establishments “or other military action against the British armed forces, both in the UK and overseas” was “entirely justified”.

    So there you have it. Andy Newman thought Southpaw was being a bit of a wuss for not carrying out the actions he supported. Mr Newman, while supportive of such attacks, thought the main priority was building a campaign against British troops being in these countries rather than him engaging in sabotage.

    I guess it’s also a bit tricky to try and get elected Labour MP for Chippenham while planning attacks against Brize Norton. Priorities, my dear boy, priorities.

    Btw, to show he is not anti-American, per se, Mr Newman went on to compare these “anti- imperialists” with George Washington. Perhaps this comparison was what swung the votes in his direction in the selection meeting at Chippenham CLP.

    After all, I’m sure Mr Newman didn’t hide his views (on military attacks) at the selection meeting. That would, indeed, be “wussy”.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Andy Newman and Southpaw were both basically correct in that discussion, except, obviously, on the minor points on which they disagreed.

      The use by Trotskyists of the term ‘military support’ is, in my experience, taken to mean ‘support for the military struggle’ of the group or movement in question, as distinct from possible support for the political line and practice of that group. That support can be propagandistic and agitational, physical and material, or both. When you’re operating in a country that pretends to be ‘democratic’ (while squashing the democratic rights, along with the bodies, of targeted populations), you may legitimately choose to be cagey in how you phrase your support in order to make it more difficult for the government to successfully prosecute you.

      BTW, it is, IMO, always (perhaps with some rare, limited exceptions) worthwhile to try to undermine, physically and politically, the ability of the imperialist ruling classes of, particularly but not exclusively, the United Snakes and the United Killdom, to carry out military actions anywhere, regardless of who or what they are fighting. The particular situation, including the nature of a particular conflict, will determine how much harm, to one’s own forces or to third parties (e.g., armaments workers), it is worth risking to carry out a particular action.

      And, no, taking a principled anti-imperialist stand will usually not win you votes among imperialist-nation workers, especially those who may benefit economically from a military facility that you want to put out of operation. That’s part of the reason why a ‘radicalized’, ‘extremist’, principled internationalist socialist in an imperialist country should not run in elections mainly for the purpose of getting elected.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      BTW, George Washington was no more of an ‘anti-imperialist’ than were Ian Smith of ‘Rhodesia’, the Zionists in Palestine, or the Nationalist Party in South Africa. They were all settler colonists who eventually no longer needed the military support of the British Empire in order to suppress the natives, and therefore chafed at the constraints that policies reflecting more general British interests put on them.

      In the case of Washington and his associates, it was a matter of the threat of the abolition of slavery, of British intention to honor, at least somewhat, treaties with native nations and restrict westward expansion, and, particularly for New Englanders, commercial competition between businesses in the colonies and those in the mother country.

  22. Sue R said,

    That should be Marduk. The point being that without the belief these monuments are just carved stones and therefore not idols.

  23. patrick said,

    why is it ‘pathetic’ for the MI5 to drive people to terrorism? or even to use Jihadi John as a patsy? ISIS is a very mysterious organisation, the new Boogie man. can’t believe so called marxists are all falling for it.

    the effect of the jihad john story makes me question whether islamic immigration to the uk etc is a good idea. i guess that is its purpose.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Shiraz (Maher, that is) was saying it’s “pathetic” of Cage, DTW, etc, to “explain” this guy’s evolution into a brutal fascist murderer on the basis of the attention he received from MI5 and/or as a reaction to western foreign policy.

      • damon said,

        I keep hearing views not so different to Cage’s every time I listen to a radio phone in programme. I heard one just this morning on BBC London.

  24. Andrew Coates said,

    Reverend Flannel has been caught posting under the name of John Wight on SU, “Jihadi John may not be a victim, but he is a consequence.”

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  25. Sue R said,

    Apparently, Emwazi was a member of the same cell as the 21/7 (failed) bombers and had contacts with known Somali recruiters, going back ten years, so I don’t think it stacks up with the story we are being told and if you lie down with dogs you’ve got to expect to get bitten by fleas. Is Damon suggesting that most Anglo people buy the CAGE version of events or is there an organised public response?.

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      Most people I talk to are of the opinion that those girls are fanatics and condone Islamic behaviour. Most agree that they are better out of the UK and should not return as they will breed more fanatics. Most I speak to would prefer them dead. The media are clearly milking this story and have no interest in the opinion of the British people.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Most people you deign to speak to are probably as little worthy of having their opinions considered as you are.

  26. Sue R said,

    In the Koran at Sura 9, ayat 14, it is written:Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you over them, heal the breasts (chests) of the Believers.’. So it is a phrase which means ‘to avenge’, I noted that the other day in a report of an ISIS killing, the deaths that resulted where referred to by the phrase ‘healing the chests of the Believers’. Further to this Ibn Ishaq recounts how Kinana, a Jew of Khayber Oasis, refused to hand his treasure over to Muhammad and thus had his chest set alight and was then decapitated. Meanwhile, his wife, Safiya, was taken as a concubine ie sex slave.

    You may have heard about the Battle of Kayber, it was one where all the Jews were slaughtered after they had befriended Mohammed and his man? It is often chanted on demonstrations to taunt any Jews who may be in the vicinity.

    As to your other points, yes, heretics were burnt alive in the MIddle Ages, but why was that? It was because the Church wanted to maintain its donimant (exclusive) political position. Sounds familiar? As for using the adverb ‘necessarily’, I would’t read too much into that. Decades ago I underwent a certain amount of philosophical training and it has left an indelible mark on certain aspects of the way I express myself. If what the imperialists were doing was ‘necessarily right’, then they would have no choice but to do it. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is not even sufficiently right.

    ISIS as a pin prick to imperialisms full-blown weaponry. I don’t suppose its a distinction that a victim makes. But, we are not victims, we are removed from the situation and we can judge. I don’t want to have to wear a triple burka or only leave the house to go to the mosque to pray accompanied by a male guardian. I don’t want to see the beautiful works of art of the world smashed to smithereens. Maybe you do?

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      You’re right that we are not victims, at least in the sense you are referring to. That should allow us to realize that (1) there are far, far more victims of Western imperialism in the world than there are of ISIS*, and (2) we in the imperialist countries have a lot more responsibility for stopping our own imperialist rulers from continuing and intensifying their murderous rule than we have of somehow, without any military of our own, stopping ISIS.

      BTW, there was a lot more destruction of ancient artifacts in Iraq as a direct and indirect consequence of the imperialist invasion of 2003 than what ISIS has been able to do.

      * In the Congo alone, well over 5 million people have been killed, and probably millions of women raped, since 1996 as a result of the invasion of that country by the U.S.-backed regimes of Kagame in Rwanda and Museveni in Uganda, mainly for the purpose of stealing valuable mineral resources for sale to mostly-Western companies.

  27. Sue R said,

    As to why we haven’t heard about other Islamist groups burning their enemies alive, maybe they do. Arso is a pretty popular weapon among certain groups. However, it should be pointed out that the Islamic State claim to be the restored Caliphate; perhaps this gives them extra punishment rights? Incidentally, when are tehy going to march on Byzantium? Surely, capturing Turkey must be theologically important?

  28. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

    Turkey is facilitating and allowing the nutters to cross into Syria. Getting rid of Assad is more important to them. Turkey has a huge military and could end Isis if required. What is more important is that Turkey is not allowed into the EU as that would allow them to unload their nutters on us.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      To whom is it “important is that Turkey is not allowed into the EU”? Is this an official EDL position, or is it just yours?

      Note to the AWLers here: Why do none of you ever repudiate this Loonie and his chauvinism?

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        I do not know if the EDL have a position however if given a vote to keep Turkey out of the EU then I would vote to keep them out but preferably I hope the UK votes to get out of the EU therefore it would be up to what is left of the EU. I would put money on the rest of the EU voting to keep them out.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        As a citizen of the even worse imperialist monstrosity, I have no vote, even if one were held, about whether the UK should leave the EU. If I did, I would vote for England leaving it but Scotland and Wales staying in. 😉

        More seriously, I would be happy to see the breakup of the the US, the EU, and the UK, but far more valuable would be the breakup of NATO.

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Why the break up of the US? Do you want the old time religion to make a come back and Dixie to be introduced😂

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        I want the breakup of the United Snakes so as to weaken the ability of its ruling class to exert power in the world, militarily or otherwise.

  29. Steven Johnston said,

    Will people please stop talking about imperalism! Folks, the age of imperalism has been and gone. The European countries and the Soviet Union found out to the costs of an empire far outweigh any benefits.
    Though I accept China still occupies Tibet, but at what cost?

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      The United Snakes has more than 1000 military bases in over 100 countries. No previous empire has come close. And, leaving aside countries that are junior partners, rather than neo-colonies, of the U.S., it would be more costly for the U.S. if it had to actually maintain colonial administrations in those countries in order to keep on looting them.

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        We should welcome those bases as they prevent obtrusion in our lives from nutters.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Those bases do, at least, provide gainful employment for thousands of sex workers, which partly makes up for the poverty imposed by the governments and policies that those bases prop up.

      • Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

        That’s an excellent point – and shows the falseness of those who say imperialism died with er, Lenin, er, no, er WW2 – no?, end of ‘East of Suez’, Vietnam, Malvinas, Iraq, Afghanistan – and on and on

  30. Steven Johnston said,

    Anyone read about this march? Now I am no fan of this group, Pegida, but many of the counter-demonstrators were saying that if you are against the islamifcation of Europe you are racist. Excuse me! I thought that if you were a socialist you were interested in World socialism and nothing but. Going by that logic every socialist is a racist.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Would you regard a movement organized to prevent the Judaization of Europe to be racist (or ‘antisemitic’)? If so, does that mean you are in favor of the Judaization of Europe?

      BTW, I have never in my more than half a century of being around socialists, met one who was “interested in World socialism and nothing but”!

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Being around socialists must have been a strange experience more so those that have supported and paid lip service to the likes of PIRA who pretended to be socialist whilst carrying out the murder of working class people. Socialism in Britain as an idea ended in the seventies. The left could not see that they were supporting right wing Irish facists and they are now making the same mistake by supporting Islamic facists.

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Furtheremore A-A, I was around so called socialists since 1966 and although young and on joining the EEPTU it did not take long to twig what they were about and what their real loyalties were and it was everthing other than that to the British working class.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Real socialists support the British working class against British capital, but support the colonized peoples against Britain, including, where necessary, against sections of the British working class. This would include supporting Irish nationalists against the Protestant Unionist working class where that section of the working class was defending its privileges against Catholic and nationalist demands for equality.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Ah! AA advocates good old Catholic sectarianism.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        So the struggle against the Protestant Supremacy in Northern Ireland, including against the anti-Catholic discrimination actively supported by Protestant workers in many of the better-paid industries, and the struggles against the Northern Irish equivalents of Southern U.S. police forces, was “Catholic sectarianism”? Or maybe you’re referring to the desire to reverse the sectarian, and specifically anti-Catholic, partition of Ireland imposed by British imperialism in the early 1920’s?

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Aaron it was the majority of non Papists in NI that did not want a Catholic facist State imposed and surely that was a good arrangement. After all it was the North police that exposed the predators which then went world wide. Some events in history expose perverts and nutters.

  31. Sue R said,

    You may have been ‘around socialists ‘ more than half a century, but sounds like they were the wrong sort. |If you think it is impossible to win defence workers over to non-miliatristic production, then that’s that. Do you recall the CAITs Alternative Plan back in the &)s? That was a Left Labour iniative to do just that. I’m not in favour of any religious colonization of anywhere. It is heartbreaking when just when we thought religion was a dead issue in this country, millions of superstitious bigots have been imported.

    • Jim Denham said,

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      Dream on Sue R. Just when we thought we had rid ourselves of the Vatican another lot of conservative religious right wing Islamic loonies pop up. And some socialists give them credence. I have booked a place on the Star Ship Enterprise. There surely must be a place free from loonies.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      I wouldn’t claim that armaments workers — there’s no such thing as ‘defence workers’ in an imperialist country — can never be won over to supporting conversion of their industries to non-military production, but I doubt that there will be many cases when workers in such industries will try to stop military production in the real world, where non-military alternatives are not being funded. For the internationalist left, stopping imperialist arms production must take precedence over defending the jobs of armaments workers.

      And why would any genuine leftist be concerned with which side of national borders superstitious bigots are located on? Are you afraid of having secular imperialist bigotry diluted by the religious kind?

      • Jim Denham said,

        Aaron: you’re not even wrong. To be wrong, ideas have to be susceptible to rational analysis.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        Maybe somebody somebody who disagrees with me, but, unlike JD, is capable of rational analysis, will respond to my points about armaments workers, and about the chauvinism of those who want to deal with religious bigotry and superstition by geographic exclusion.

  32. Sue R said,

    I hit the wrong keys there, or rather I hit the shift lock, but, as Jim has it correctly, it was back in the 1970s. (Bliss it was to be alive in that time,,,etc).

  33. Rilke said,

    I do not comprehend, at least in ethical terms, AA’s line that the moral distinction between UK and US atrocities and ISIS ones, is a numbers game. The idea that socialists should take up a position that basically says, you kill more than them so we side with ‘them’ against ‘you’, seems to me to be utterly without ethical and therefore political virtue. This is a garbled political version of utilitarianism parading as materialism. Are we not expected to adhere to certain fundamental principles that we call humane, progressive and egalitarian? If not, then why bother being against any thing exploitative and ‘wrong’? Murdering two people is bad, but murdering one is OK is a curious way for a Marxist to think.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Rilke: it’s a mode of dishonest false “logic” regularly promoted by the likes of Seumas Milne and other Stalinists.

      It’s certainly true that bourgeois democracies are responsible for far more deaths than the Nazis were: for obvious reasons (eg history and geography). Does that make bourgeois democracy “worse” than Nazism? Only if you’re an intellectual cretin, a moral bankrupt … or a Stalinist (ie both of those things combined).

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        IIRC, Stalinists — the ones who actually supported and followed Stalin’s line — generally sided with bourgeois democracies against Nazis and real or imagined fascists, even to the point of suppressing independent movements of workers and the oppressed, such as in Spain, so as not to undermine bourgeois democracies in their largely fraudulent struggle against fascism.

        And there’s a big difference between fighting for democratic rights in an imperialist country and using the existence of such rights as an excuse to support that country’s ruling class against rivals or oppressed nations.

      • Jim Denham said,

        AA: “Stalinists — the ones who actually supported and followed Stalin’s line — generally sided with bourgeois democracies against Nazis”: not between 1939 and ’41, they didn’t.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        The adverb ‘generally’ does not, at least in the English I speak, mean ‘always’. In fact, it contains the implication that there are exceptions to what is being asserted to be ‘generally’ true.

      • Jim Denham said,

        I trust, however, that even you, Aaron, would concede that the years 1939-41 were rather important ones in terms of taking sides for or against fascism.

      • Jim Denham said,

        And talking of rather important years, what about (roughly) 1929 to 1936? You know, the “Third Period”?

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        I generally go along with Trotsky’s analysis of the period from his exile up to his assassination in 1940. In particular, the Stalinists undermined the working-class opposition to the rise of Hitler by treating the Social Democrats, who were rotten at the top but had a mass subjectively socialist working-class base, as the equivalent of the Nazis and refused any united work with the former, in either the electoral realm or, more importantly, in the realm of armed combat. (All parties had their armed militias and used them.)

        On the other hand, the Stalinists played a better role in many respects before 1935 than after, in that they supported militant working-class, anti-colonial and, in the U.S., militant ‘Negro’ struggles without worrying about antagonizing middle-class, democratic-imperialist and ‘white’ support.

        To some extent, at least, this was also the case during the period of the non-aggression pact with Germany. But, just as during their later military alliance with “democratic” imperialism, the Stalinists basically used their influence in the working class around the world as an asset to put at the service of whatever military alliance they thought they needed to make.

  34. Steven Johnston said,

    Best for socialists to not take sides and stick to the old “workers of the World unite” mantra.

  35. Sue R said,

    Ijust want to correct Mr Aarons on something. I am no fan of American miliatarism, but, it must be said that they went out of their way NOT to deliberately damage precious archeological sites. A friend of my husband’s family is a Middle Eastern archeologist and, during the first Gult War he was flown over regions to indicate where the sites are/were. As for the looting of the Baghdad Museum, tht was indiscipline on behalf of the troops, and I think I am correct in saying that there have been trials in America since. It wasn’t only Americans who looted the museums either, I think the locals got in on the act. Just a small point.

    As for the point about having imperialist bigotry diluted by superstitious nonsens, no that’s not it at all, I’m worried about having my (or my loved ones’) head chopped off. QED.

    • Aaron Aarons said,

      Unless you or your loved ones are hanging out in or near ISIS-controlled territory, your chance of having a head chopped off is miniscule compared to the chance that, if you were, say, an Iraqi during the period from 1991 till today, you would be killed by a U.S. weapon, or the even greater chance that a child you love would die as a result of the U.S.-led embargo.

      And, yes, much of the looting unleashed by the U.S. invasion of 2003 was likely done by Iraqis.

  36. Sue R said,

    And that’s just the way I’d like to keep it. I ought to add that it is not just my loved ones I fear for, it is anyone, even Iraqis, who are killed in such a brutal way. Still, the Iraqis are setting out tonight to retake Tikret, so who will you blame for any resulting deaths then? I see Mahdi Hassan in the latest New Statesman claims ISIS is not Islamic, but he would say that wouldn’t he. Rather weak article in my opinion.

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      Sue R the loonie tune islamists are masters at lying in the name of allah. After all it is all about gods will. In fact according to islam anything that happens is gods will and that is how the nutters get away with it. Aaron above is gods will. Aaron is kind of like the islamists in as much he preaches from an age old hymn sheet, Marx.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        You realize, of course, that the people who run this web site invoke Marx much more than I do. In fact, I hardly invoke him at all. But you also realize, rightly, that I am much more an enemy of everything that you, anti-Marxist Loonie Glesga, stand for than they are.

  37. Rilke said,

    I really don’t get it. During the miner’s strike at Kiverton park mine, I and my younger active comrades had police dogs set upon us. At Hatfield we were scattered and beaten by police unidentified SPG squads. At Orgreave we were charged down by mounted coppers and hounded by trained dog handlers. I spent three days in Mansfield nick without charge waiting to be ‘processed’ by the CID. At York, after the Selby picket, they even put us in the fuckin’ castle museum dungeon as holding cells because the court cells were too ‘crowded’. In and through all of this, it never occured to us to kidnap the local copper’s daughter or son and behead her or him in front of the cameras. Yet Cage expect me to believe that being ‘interviewed’ by MI5 and having his luggeage searched, turned a ‘sensitive’ young man into a maniac? Any person who buys this nonensense is a moral simpleton, a stupid exhibitionist or a bloodthirsty nutcase.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Well said, Rilke!

    • Sue R said,

      Exactly. Turns out Arse Arse is an American, so I guess he’s compensating for being a beneficiary of the major imperialist power in the world today. Working through his guilt issues. Nothing to see there.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        My reply accidentally got posted as comment #38, below.

  38. Aaron Aarons said,

    I guess Sue ‘Nothing-to-see-there’ Rectum knows she can’t answer any of the points that I make, so she resorts to name-calling and a very banal version of pop psychology. Yes, like most people who have lived for a fairly long time, I have had a chance to not only do things I feel guilty about, but to become conscious of them. And I do feel a bit guilty about the times I may have taken advantage of the privileged position derived from my white skin and U.S. citizenship to the detriment of those who did not have those advantages. The problem is people who have done the kind of things I mention, and a lot worse, but don’t feel guilty about it and, more important, don’t feel a need to oppose the system of privilege from which they benefit.

    • Jim Denham said,

      AA: we’ve humored you for quite some time (and I am grateful to you for helping sort out a technical problem on this blog): but the idea that Sue (who I don’t know and is not an AWL’er) “can’t answer” your “points” is preposterous. The reason that people don’t bother to answer your “points” is, to be frank, that they’re banal, infantile and not very useful or interesting.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        So you’ve “humored” me and consider my points to be banal, infantile and not very useful or interesting, but consider it necessary, or at least worth the effort, to respond to some of them. OTOH, your rather silent reaction to the all-purpose raving chauvinist bigot, Glesga, stands out. Is your lack of any explicit reaction to his toxic utterances an expression of agreement with them or, rather, of your considering them to be even less worthy of response than mine are? Just curious.

        BTW, presuming everything you write about Cage to be true, why would you, a socialist, waste your time making a case that many non-socialists can make just as well, leaving you more time to do political work that pro-capitalists won’t do?

      • Jim Denham said,

        AA asks a fair question: “BTW, presuming everything you write about Cage to be true, why would you, a socialist, waste your time making a case that many non-socialists can make just as well, leaving you more time to do political work that pro-capitalists won’t do?”

        The answer is that speaking the truth about such questions shouldn’t be the preserve of the right-wing. There is an infantile leftist view (that I strongly reject) that when right-wingers say something that’s true, we shouldn’t be seen to agree. There’s an even more infantile view that if the right says something, we must pretend, as a matter of principle, that it *isn’t* true. There’s a famous quote from Orwell dealing with this:

        “These things really happened, that is the thing to keep one’s eye on. They happened even though Lord Halifax says they happened. The raping and butchering in Chinese cities, the torture in the cellars of the Gestapo, the elderly Jewish professors flung into cesspools, the machine-gunning of refugees along Spanish roads – they did not happen any the less because the Daily Telegraph has suddenly found out about them when it is five years too late.”

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        [In case it winds up somewhere else, note that this is a response to JD’s quote from Orwell.]

        The crimes of Western imperialism and ZIonism in the Muslim world have happened even though reactionary Islamists say they have happened. And the treatment of Muslims, particularly in Britain, under the banner of the “war on terror” is discriminatory and oppressive even if those reactionary Islamists say it is, and it does push some Muslims over the edge into violent reactionary Islamism even if some reactionary Islamists use it as an excuse for such behavior.

        BTW, the Orwell quote is from the 1943 essay, Looking Back On The Spanish War. In terms of its relevance here, the ‘atrocity’ of falsely blaming British intelligence for the evolution of ‘Jihad John’ — an ‘atrocity’ that may have happened even though the Daily Telegraph said it did — is hardly in the same league as any of the atrocities Orwell mentions in the quote. So I stand by my position that it isn’t worth much attention from socialists who support neither the British state nor Islamism.

      • Jim Denham said,

        AA: “the evolution of ‘Jihad John’ — an ‘atrocity’ that may have happened even though the Daily Telegraph said it did — is hardly in the same league as any of the atrocities Orwell mentions in the quote. So I stand by my position that it isn’t worth much attention from socialists who support neither the British state nor Islamism.”

        But you come over, AA as someone who *does* support Islamism – or at least is very, very soft on it.

        And you would appear to think (taking your own words, as quoted above) that the mass murder and rape of the genocidal barbarians of ISIS (and, presumably Boco Haram) “isn’t worth much attention from socialists.”

        You are morally and politically bankrupt, as well as idiotic.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        I can’t tell if you, JD, are being extremely careless, deliberately dishonest, or both. You start out by Bowdlerizing my dismissive reference to “the ‘atrocity’ of falsely blaming British intelligence for the evolution of ‘Jihad John’” into a dismissive reference to “the evolution of ‘Jihad John’” and then try to apply my words, “isn’t worth much attention from socialists”, to the entirety of the crimes of ISIS, of which those of ‘Jihad John’ are a tiny fraction, and even of Boko Haram!

        And, no, I don’t support Islamism, but I also don’t lump all Islamists together. In particular, I see very little in common between the crazed killers and rapists of IS and Boko Haram on the one hand, and, on the other, the heroic fighters against the Zionist murder machine, most of whom are Islamists or are led by Islamists (Hezbollah, Hamas), or the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood who have been killed or imprisoned by the semi-fascist Egyptian military dictatorship.

    • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      Aaron so you are my enemy because I am according to you anti Marxist. That puts you in the nutter league because I am me and not a blind follower of smart talkers.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        When I say that I am an enemy of everything you stand for, I’m not referring to your apparent hostility to Marx, but to your imperialist-nation chauvinism, extending even to your support of imperialist military power, and hostility to any group — Muslims, Arabs, Catholics, Irish, or whatever — that resists domination by your own imperialist ruling class or its allies.

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Aaron I do not have any hostility towards Marx just the nutters that have slaughtered millions in his name. Not the fault of Marx. Marx could surely never comprehend what has been done in his name.

      • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

        Aaron. Perhaps you should consider that the Arabs, Irish Catholics etc would maybe have aspirations to be dominant forces. The Protestants in NI or the Jews in Israel may not want to be dominated by facist forces.

      • Aaron Aarons said,

        The Irish Republic and its predecessor, the Irish Free State, where Catholics (if you include the non-practicing ones) were and are the overwhelming majority of the population, is far from being or ever having been ‘fascist’. Moreover, Protestants have always been a privileged minority there, including being the beneficiaries of discrimination by private employers who were (are?) disproportionately Protestant, and the victims of the influence of the Catholic Church over that society have been almost exclusively Catholics.

        OTOH, the Northern statelet was, at least until very recently, the embodiment of institutionalized discrimination against Catholics in employment, housing, policing, voting and more. It was not without reason that the Catholics that rebelled against these conditions starting in the late 1960’s likened their struggle to that of Blacks in the United States at the time. And what Northern Ireland Protestants and U.S. whites feared was not ‘fascist’ domination by those they were oppressing (often in a nearly-fascist manner!) but the loss of the privileges that came with their own dominant position.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        The only group that can resist imperalist or capitalist domination are socialists. Any other group just replaces one ruling class for another…what socialist would support that.

        Right lads…pay attention, you are going to fight and die so that you will no longer be exploited by capitalists by country X…oh no, your going to be exploited by capitalists from your own country. Oi lads…where you going?

  39. Sue R said,

    Goodness me, you don’t like a little wordplay? If I was James Joyce you’d say it was fantastic. Anyway, I have noticed that Americans have a tendancy to be fanatic, I put it down to the lack of a strong social democratic party and ideology. Not unrelated to its historically dominant economic position.

  40. Jim Denham said,

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