When Stop The War encourages kids to go to war … and other true tales

December 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm (anti-fascism, Human rights, imperialism, Paul Canning, reactionay "anti-imperialism", reblogged, Russia, stalinism, Stop The War, thuggery, truth, Ukraine)

By Paul Canning


Book by STWC leader Andrew Murray. Cover picture shows the burning trade union building in Odessa “where 40 people died after supporters of the Kiev putsch government, Right Sektor activists and Chernomorets football ultras attacked.”

The past two weeks has seen a unprecedented amount of attention on the Stop The War Coalition (STWC), because of their association with the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Endless press stories and media appearances for a leadership under siege.

The STWC response to the spotlight has been to label every criticism a ‘smear’ or a ‘lie’, however it has also been to engage in some tragic PR tactics. When the focus has shifted onto what they publish on their website the STWC response has been to start cleansing the website – and firing the poor Web Editor.

At the instigation of ‘Soupy’ a blog has been set up to cover what STWC are trying to hide or may be about to try to hide.

The Real Stop The War launched at the weekend and here is the content on Ukraine which I contributed.

When Stop The War directs kids to war

The STWC website has a number of posts about Ukraine,. The most egregious by far are by John Pilger.

Pilger methodically repeats a series of Kremlin war propaganda* memes: That the 2014 Revolution of Dignity was a fascist coup (see the response to this pap by Ukrainian socialists and anarchists I link to in my post on Corbyn’s Ukraine fantasies); That there were pogroms against Russian speakers – a line lifted from Putin himself and a vicious fantasy.

The idea of NATO ‘expanding Eastwards’ and ‘threatening Russia’ – central to Pilger but also STWC more widely- not only ignores the agency of Eastern Europeans but also indulges one of the central myths used by Russia’s imperial rulers to maintain their rule.

It’s his post on the so-called ‘Odessa massacre’ that is the most dangerous. The violent events of May 2, 2014 were immediately seized on by Russia to paint Ukraine as fascist, Russia even toured exhibitions around Europe. Citizen investigations have shown that what happened was nothing like Russia says (and Pilger loyally repeats).

Among the mountain of falsehoods, Pilger includes the supposed eyewitness testimony of a doctor. This lie was very quickly debunked as Kremlin disinformation. There’s a weasel note on the post, copied from The Guardian, which fails to say that this information has been proven false.

The May 2 events have been widely used as propaganda and have led to a number of left-wingers (including Brits) traveling to Ukraine to ‘fight the fascists’. In reality they have arrived in ‘Republics’ where actual fascists wield power, anti-Semitism is endemic, homosexuality is illegal as are free trade unions and humanitarian agencies are banned because they might ‘foment counter-revolution’.

Those thug ‘Republics’ are backed by STWC leaders Lindsey German and Andrew Murray. They, along with Pilger, back war on ‘fascist’ Ukraine and couldn’t care less for the fate of any mugs encouraged by their website to participate.

*See this fantastic Lithuanian documentary for more on Russia’s war propaganda machine (in English).

See Also:

26 Comments

  1. m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly) said,

    pedantic note: “could care less”… what is wrong with people these days? it is COULDN”T CARE LESS. I blame the teachers. Or the parents. Or idiotts who couldn’t care less what word salad is written down.

  2. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Strange how STWC seem to have an obcession with Israel and Jews. They do not hit the streets when Israel is attacked. Strange that is if they are against war. Or is it selective wars! Maybe Soupy can have a look at some conflicts they have not protested over since their formation.

    • Lamia said,

      It’s not really strange. The hard and far left have long had an obsessive antipathy to Jews, something they have been very poor at concealing. If the Nazis hadn’t taken first prize for blatant antisemitism, their ‘opposites’ on the left would have come under far more scrutiny.

      It’s there in some very ugly writing by Marx himself, was a common attitude even among Fabians, and of course got its main boost in modern times via the window-dressed ‘anti-zionism’ of Stalin and other Soviets, which itself merely fed off and recycled plain old Eastern European antisemitism.

      It’s no coincidence that among the recently purged slew of articles from the Stop the War website are a number that engage in blood libel of Jews. The wickedness of Jews is one of the fundamental assumptions of the far left.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Pat Murphy, NUT Executive (personal capacity) writes:

    On 10 December the NUT National Executive debated a motion on Syria. It was based on something the SWP had sent out earlier in the week but was moved by Dave Harvey from Outer London.

    The motion was pretty bland, reaffirming a previous decision to oppose UK air strikes on Syria, condemning the recent vote to bomb and calling for support for demos and protests against this including those called by the Stop The War Coalition. I wrote an amendment which added condemnation of all bombing, specifically naming Russian and Assad regime bombing. It also called on Stop The War to condemn this military intervention as well as UK attacks and it called on the UK government to demand that NATO member Turkey cease all attacks on the Kurds.

    The debate was short but bizarre. The most common response was that people ‘didn’t disagree with a word in the amendment but it takes the focus off the UK bombing and that has to be our main thrust’.

    The crassest argument by far came from the SWP. To criticise Stop The War at this time is to criticise Corbyn and that’s a no-no. So we had self-styled revolutionary socialists using their lifetimes of Marxist education to urge Labour Party members to be more loyal to their leader. Much like members of the SWP do for their leaders I guess.

    12 Executive members voted for my amendment and 26 against. The main motion was then carried with one vote against (Ian Leaver of Leicester who seconded my amendment). There was probably a case for that stance. For him it was a gesture of his frustration with Stop The War’s recent publication of articles appearing to compare Daesh to the anti-fascist International Brigades and to blame the West for the Paris atrocity. There was certainly a case for abstention though it was not a particularly strident motion. My amendment took nothing out (rightly or wrongly) but added stuff in.

    The vote for the amendment crossed the obvious political divides to some extent but the bulk of support for it came from LANAC supporters. The determination to defeat this condemnation of Russia and Assad and the minor criticism of Stop the War came from supporters of the Socialist Teachers Alliance and their bag-carriers in the SWP.

    Both organisations are so saturated in low level, lesser-evil anti-imperialism that they have forgotten that such a thing as socialist internationalism ever existed. Now it’s just ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ (or at least a less bad enemy). It was very much like watching the last spasms of a dying species.

    • Lamia said,

      No surprise there. The British far left has abjectly worshipped Russia since 1917. Russia is their motherland. Even Putin counts as an honorary Soviet for them.

      There’s just something about a country that in the past century alone has starved millions of its own people to death, made a pact with the Nazis, persecuted Jews, invaded its neighbours, had its army rape millions of women in ‘liberated’ countries etc that evidently appeals to creepy lefties.

      • Lamia said,

        I could have added:

        shoots its political opponents after show trials, murders journalists in large numbers, has only showed minimal tolerance of sexual minorities for a grand total of about 15 years, threatens small countries with nuclear annhilation, complains that it feels ‘encircled’ by the same neighbours it has attacked and occupied in recent decades.

        I mean, for a ‘progressive’ leftist and fan of ‘social justice’, what’s not to like about all of that?

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Lamia, just post this every now and again.

      • m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly) said,

        “No surprise there. The British far left has abjectly worshipped Russia since 1917.”

        so says an historical illiterate.

  4. Political Tourist said,

    Lamia, not the brightest are you, Brit Left is a pretty wide spectrum.
    Doubt your average Trot would be a fan of the Soviets

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      PT, the wider the spectrum the less chance of power. No better a laugh than listening to a Trot and a Stalinist arguing. We have killed more than you, naw ye hivnae. Wankers the lot including you.

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    Imagine if it was 1947, would Haganah & Irgun have been the ISIS of their day?

    The left back then probably supported then, I know Stalin did!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_shipments_from_Czechoslovakia_to_Israel_1947%E2%80%9349

  6. Political Tourist said,

    Who was it again that blew up the King David hotel?

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Do you care and what is your point?

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Religious terrorists + fighting the West + aided by the left (USSR) = good thing if it creates Israel

        Religious terrorists + fighting the West + supported by the left = bad thing if they are IS

        My point is, why is one good and the other one bad?

      • Steven Johnston said,

        That those that support Israel have back themselves into a corner.
        I mean what is the difference between David Ben-Gurion and say Jihadi John?
        As we know that In 1946, Ben-Gurion agreed that the Haganah could cooperate with Menachem Begin’s Irgun in fighting the British.
        If you were a parent of British solider, would you rather your child be killed by Irgun or Jihadi John?

    • Jim Denham said,

      Anti-imperialists.

      And the Zionists did not set out to kill as many civilians as possible.

      Your attempt at a comparison is simply ludicrous.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        I’m sure that was great comfort to the relatives of those they did kill for their religious and anti-working class state. It was all for a good cause.

  7. Political Tourist said,

    Most British soldiers in Palestine in 1946 were conscripts with no choice in defending the mass retreat from the dying Empire.
    Now in the 21st Century the UK itself is coming apart from the political contradictions.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      The Scottish people for the first time vote to stay in the Union. The Northern Irish including a majority of Catholics wish to remain in the Union. The Welsh are overwhelmingly pro Union. The English want the Union. You may well with your narrow minded petty nationalist ideals want to split the UK but the people have spoken.

      • Political Tourist said,

        Didn’t go unnoticed the entire pro right of SLAB lined up with the No camp.
        So anyway the AWL…..

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        People vote NO because they wanted to. Some looney former International socialists lined up with the petty nationalist Yes mob.

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