Michael Moore – An insult to the Left.

September 3, 2011

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In the late 1700s the Queen of France, Marie Antionette was quite possibly the most hated woman on the Continent. Monarchical discontent had been building for quite some time, François Fénelon’s “The adventures of Telemachus” provided the lining for the future revolution in the reign of Louis XIV, but by the time Louis XVI was removed, along with his family and the Queen from Versailles, the anti-Monarch sentiment was deep and profound, but ultimately it was whipped up in the first place, by lies. Pamphlets had spread, like tabloids, printing and shaping the public mood, moulding public sentiment, guiding the people like sheep, printing lie after lie about the Queen. Eventually, her reign and her life were taken, and history began to judge her as a monster. History now, is less vicious on her. History actually quite likes her. An awful and ignorant Queen, but a harmless woman who loved her children. The power of the press was born.

Interestingly, in 2004, the press really had taken on an anti-George Bush tone. Tabloids depicted him as a monster who was only interested in oil. The people followed suit. Joke after joke was aimed at his apparent lack of intelligence. The anti-Bush tone was set firmly against a tide of anti-Iraq war sentiment. The common wisdom now, seems to be that Bush was only interested in oil. Now, having recently came out as a left wing supporter of the Iraq war, and being quite the critic of George Bush on many policies, not least his frivolous tax cuts which simply quickened the onslaught of recession; I tend to cringe endlessly when George Bush jokes are made; they seem too simple, and too ‘milked’. The lack of understanding many on the anti-war Left have, when it comes to the horrific nature of the Saddam regime, and their willingness to allow that particular regime to continue and calling it ‘peace’ simply affirms my belief that they are the real war criminals. One of the heroes of the anti-war left is horrendous documentary maker, Michael Moore. To sit and watch Fahrenheit 9/11, is to be shocked at its content when taken at face value. Though, when one sits and questions every point Moore makes, and investigates them for oneself, on even the most basic of levels, one is presented with a whole host of inaccuracies bursting out of that film. I will talk you through a couple.

One of the main claims by Moore in the film, and in fact most on the anti-war Left in the US and Britain, and a key theme of Fahrenheit 9/11 is that Iraq;

“never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen.”

– Leaving aside the fact that Hitler didn’t attack the UK, nor did Milosovich attack the US, the point that Iraq had never killed American citizens or threatened to attack the US, is simply untrue. Whilst it might be true that Iraqi soldiers were not waiting for the command to storm Pennsylvania Avenue, to say that Saddam had never murdered a single American citizen is disingenuous at best and a complete manipulation of the audiences emotions, jumping on the bandwagon of anti-Iraq war sentiment at worst. It is a fact that the Saddam regime had funded suicide bombers against Israel, which killed Americans. It is a fact that the Saddam regime paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who targeted Americans and Israelis. It is a fact that the Saddam regime gave refuge to terrorist Abu Nidal, a man who ordered the deaths of 16 people at Leonardo Da Vinci Airport in Rome from gunfire and killing two more when his men threw grenades at people boarding a flight to Israel. A man who said of himself:

“I am the evil spirit which moves around only at night causing … nightmares.”

It is a fact that Nidal’s men hijacked Pan AM flight 73 in 1986, and killed 7 Americans on board. It is a fact that Saddam hatched a plan to assassinate George Bush Sr in 1993 during his visit to Kuwait, with a massive car bomb that would have killed many many more, had the plot not been foiled. It is a fact that the Iraqi newspaper Babel, run by Saddam’s sun Uday, printed an article in 1997 an order to:

“American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces.”

– That sounds like a threat to me.
Another publication run by Uday, called Al-Iqtisadi, said:

“…The confrontation with the aggressors should transcend the means of condemnation and rejection, particularly in the Arab and Muslim street. They should use all means-and they are numerous-against the aggressors, including boycott, closing air and sea ports to civilian ships and airplanes that belong to the U.S. and its allies, striking their economic interests and establishments, and considering everything American as a military target, including embassies, installations, and American companies, and to create suicide/martyr [fidaiyoon] squads to attack American military and naval bases inside and outside the region, and mine the waterways to prevent the movement of war ships…

– Also sounds like a threat to me. It is bizarre that Iraq would have the nerve to refer to the US as aggressors, given the history of the Saddam regime in relation to the absolute genocide of the Kurds (the only war crime we can accuse the US of, in my opinion, is leaving Saddam in power for far too long)
Michael Moore played on his quote as if Iraq were innocent victims of American Imperialist aggression. He was wrong. Moore should apologise to the families of any American killed by an Iraqi funded Palestinian suicide bomber in Israel, for his crowd pleasing bullshit.

One wonders how the anti-war brigade would have responded during World War II. There is a scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 that show Baghdad before the invasion; a thriving city filled with people sitting at cafes and laughing in a care free manner. A happy child flies a kite. Everything seems lovely and joyful. And then the bombs hit! The insinuation is that media simply ignored the fact that Saddam’s Iraq was actually full of joy and that now you, having watched Moore’s film, know better! You are of course, not invited to investigate for yourself, nor are you given a picture of life elsewhere in Iraq. You are just asked to believe subliminally, that Iraq was a place of wonderment before the evil Americans destroyed it. The problem is quite severe here. Moore is responsible on the Left, for what we on the Left deplore institutions like Fox News for; total and utter misrepresentation:
If Moore had have focused on the Marsh Arabs instead of Baghdad, we would have seen a beautiful garden of Eden in the 1980s, filled with fishing communities and the most stunning natural wonders on the face of the Earth. Tiny islands, with one or two huts on each, like the waterways of Venice, but wider and lit up with the homes of families who had inhabited the marshes for centuries, floating between neighbours on tiny little home made rafts. He could then have contrasted that view of paradise, with now. In 1991 Saddam firstly had the water supply poisoned. This resulted in hundreds of deaths. Then, drained the marsh lands, purely because the Marsh Arabs were Shi’ites. He then rounded up the majority of the inhabitants, and had many tortured and killed. Paradise had suddenly turned into hell. It is now a desert. Since the 2003 invasion, there has been an effort by the Americans to reinvent the marshlands, and it is working. The Hammar and Hawizeh Marshes especially, accoring to USAID is back to 50% of 1970s levels, which is remarkable given the absolute destruction Saddam caused. Moore chose to ignore this.
To show a film reel of people drinking coffee and flying kites in Baghdad in 2002 is irrelevant beyond comprehension. It’s imagery is simply used to convey a prevailing theme, which is misguidance on a grand scale. Similarly, we could show film of happy Germans during the Holocaust, or happy Serbians during Milošević’s reign, it would be meaningless.

One of the bigger manipulations in the film, is the part where Moore says:

“out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq.”

– Technically, the statement is true. Though it is true simply because of the emotive language. It is spoken by Moore in a sombre and disappointed tone, designed to provoke outrage. He is then seen stopping members of Congress and asking them if they’d be happy to send their children to Iraq. One of those Congressmen stopped by Moore was Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN). Kennedy responds by pointing out that his son was en route to Afghanistan and his nephews had already served in the forces. This response was cut, and instead Kennedy is shown looking bewildered. When asked about this omission, Moore said:

“He mentioned that he had a nephew that was going over to Afghanistan, So then I said ‘No, no, that’s not our job here today. We want you to send your child to Iraq. Not a nephew.’”

– This is wholly disingenuous of Moore who absolutely knew exactly how the interview would come across, and that he was presenting one side of the story; in which Congressmen are selfish and evil, whilst other people’s families die in war. He had no reason to edit out Kennedy’s response, other than to promote his frivolous and sanctimonious crap. Further, Kennedy, whilst looking bemused by Moore in the film, actually offers to help Moore in the actual, unedited version:

Moore: Congressman, I’m trying to get members of Congress to get their kids to enlist in the Army and go over to Iraq.

Moore: Is there any way you could help me with that?

Kennedy: How would I help you?

Moore: Pass it out to other members of Congress.

Kennedy: I’d be happy to — especially those who voted for the war. I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan.

Similarly in the film, Delaware Republican Michael Castle is seen on his phone waving away Moore’s calls to send his children to Iraq. He seems ignorant and refusing to answer the point Moore is making. The thing that Moore doesn’t tell you, is that Delaware Republican Michael Castle doesn’t have any children.

101 veterans served in the US House of Reps in 2005. 101 put their lives on the line for America. They should now stand outside Moore’s house and ask if the film maker is willing to do the same.

Aside from the glaring omissions and manipulations, the premise that Iraq was no threat and pretty peaceful before the invasion is itself gravely disturbing and bordering on criminal. Iraq under the Ba’athist regime was one of the most vicious and genocidal regimes in history. Perhaps the last great dictatorship of the 20th Century. To have followed the advice of the Michael Moore’s of the World, would have been to ignore the humanitarian disaster that was Iraq, and shout ‘peace’ on the streets, turning our heads to the suffering in the process.

The anti-war stance of Fahrenheit 9/11 was slowly blurred with an anti-Bush stance, as if the two are one in the same. As if being a supporter of the war means we must also support Bush, or vice versa. For example, in yet another sombre tone, Moore, sounding close to tears, says that the Bush regime:

“supported closing veterans hospitals.”

– This is vastly manipulative on so many levels. It is used to perpetuate the nonsensical idea that the Bush regime cared little about the soldiers sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, because their minds were on other things; oil. The problem is, it isn’t true. The Administration’s Department of Veteran Affairs did indeed propose to close certain Veteran hospitals, but only in areas with rapidly declining populations and under utilised equipment, where patients could be served better in hospitals close by. Along with this, the Administration proposed building new Veterans hospitals in areas with growing demand, and building new blind rehabilitation centers and spinal cord injury centers. None of this was mentioned in Fahrenheit 9/11.

I am slowly learning that even those who you believe have the same fundamental values as myself; a sense of social justice, redistributive wealth, freedom of expression, a desire to get to the truth – are often the people one should be most weary about. The black and white premise that the Left seems to attribute to the Bush regime; one of great evil, or to the Iraq war; one based on a lie, for oil, is often so disastrously simple and despairingly unconsidered, that it must not detract you from forming your own conclusions rather than pulling you into its merky waters of over reaction and over simplification, such as those on the Left who call constantly for Blair to be tried as a war criminal. The policy of non-intervention must be followed to its natural conclusion; Hitler would now rule Europe. Milosovich would have succeeded in genocide. Saddam would rule Kuwait. The Taliban would be funding terrorism and suppressing democratic change in Afghanistan viciously. That would all be the legacy of non-interventionism. It is a war crime in itself. I am almost certain that non-interventionism in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Serbia, in Hitler’s Germany, would have led to far more cruelty than interventionism.

Those in 18th Century France who had wholly legitimate complaints about the nature of the Bourbon dynasty, were unfortunately manipulated into a heartless and uncritical acceptance of every lie published by the anti-Antionette pamphleteers. Their simplistic acquiescence of everything they were told, by those whom they believed could never possibly distort the truth, or lie to them, because they seemed to be on their ‘side’, brought upon a decade or more of anti-intellectualism and what would have seemed like the death of the intellectual superiority of the Enlightenment.

We on the Left must learn to form our own opinions as individuals, as well as collectively. We must be able to disagree profoundly on matters that have for so long seemed so central to our uncodified doctrine. That is how we progress. We must engage on issues, and not just resort to blind acceptance of the prevailing wisdom of those on the Left who are most heard. That is how we unify. And unification of the Left, in a World that seems to be ever more dominated by the Right – in the UK, in Europe, slowly advancing in Australia, the Islamofascist regimes throughout the Middle East, and the dehabilitating and vicious nature of the American Republicans – is absolutely essential. We must not cling on to what can only be described as false prophets who perpetuate simplistic, one sided explanations and post them as objective truth. We must ignore the Michael Moores of the World. They absolutely damage and insult the intelligence of the Left.


Multiculturalism in England

February 5, 2011

At the Student protest rally in London last November, I saw a group of people marching together; laughing and joking, holding a sign saying “Jewish and Muslim Students Unite“. A Jewish guy was holding the hand of a Muslim girl. Sadly, I didn’t manage to take a photo of those two. But I got a photo of the banner. I cannot think of a better symbol of the success of multiculturalism in this country, than that group of young people. Whilst the older generation (and a few crazed extremists) likes to cling on to some oddly indefinable nostalgic sense of “Britishness”, the rest of us are getting on with each other, just fine.

David Cameron today has claimed that Britain has become too tolerant of extreme Muslims. It is an unfortunate speech because it comes on the same day as the biggest EDL rally in its history in Luton, later today. Cameron’s mistake is that he mentioned Muslim extremism particularly, and not English Nationalism too.

Both are intolerable thugs, yet both are just not important. They should be ridiculed and ignored.

Cameron makes this speech a year after Merkal of Germany made pretty much the same speech in which she argued that German Multiculturalism had failed, and argued for a strong German national identity……… a strong……. German…. national identity…………. I wont point out the obvious flaw there.

He claimed that too many Muslim organisations are showered with public money, without doing anything to combat extremism. The question is, are the extremists part of these groups showered with public money? If they are, then of course they should be trying to combat the extreme element. But if they aren’t, then why should they? It’s like claiming that all middle aged men should be using their time and influence to combat the fact that a large number of paedophiles, tend to be middle aged men.

It would be terribly ignorant to suggest that there isn’t an extreme element of Islam in the UK. There is. Is it a threat? No. It is a fringe group of fundamentalists, just like the EDL, or should not be acknowledged or given a platform whatsoever. When either EDL or Muslim groups start to propagate violence, then it is up to the security services to make sure they don’t make good on their pathetic threats. But whilst they keep talking about “the word of God”, we should shake our heads, wondering how humanity hasn’t managed to progress past the middle ages, philosophically.

There are many many English Nationalist bloggers who blog exclusively concerning Islamic fundamentalism. They never mention violence and racial discourse by English Nationalism, because they are a part of that propaganda machine intended to imagine Englanders as the great victims. It is of course nonsense, but it isn’t just English Nationalists who play that card….

The Islamic Standard takes fairy tale delusions to the next level. It is religious folk like he, that I despise. They are the cancer of the Earth. He states of a soldier who has recently died in combat:

The family said in a statement: “Martin was proud to be in the Parachute Regiment and serving his country. He served three years as a Police Community Support Officer in West Yorkshire Police before joining the PARAs.”

So not only was he in it for the money like many soldiers, but actually believed in this war against Islam and though anyone can change whilst still alive and become a better person, I can’t help feeling the world is a better place without this nationalistic enemy of Muslims on the planet.

One wonders why he thinks we should be a “friend” of his brand of Islam, when he preaches the total overthrow of our entire culture, and replacement by his.
It’s an ugly sentiment. It makes me angry to read it. But knee-jerk reactions, to Religious Fascism is what leads to the rise of National Fascism, and that’s fucking horrendous too.
It is ironic that he uses the term “nationalistic”. Nationalism is the mirror image of Religious fundamentalism. Both are fighting for a silly little concept, an outdated, human invention. A non-divine, delusion. He lives in a Country that allows him the freedom to wish death upon anyone who isn’t the biggest fan of his fairy tale delusion, and yet he condemns it. As an Atheist, I do not condemn him to death, I do not want to impose my ways on him. I’m sure he can be a nice, civilised, loving person, when he isn’t being a massively racist thug. Whether the man who died was a soldier or not, is irrelevant to Islamic Standard, because in his “about” section, he states:

We also don’t condemn our brethren who do violent acts in the UK, they have their evidence, we have our’s and we love them for the sake of Allah, they are our brothers and sisters and we would never agree to hand them over to the kufr Taghoot authorities and believe to side with the Kuffar, aid them in their war against Islam by either spying on the Muslims or joining their crusading armies and police forces are acts of Kufr Akbar (major disbelief).

– He does not condemn terrorism. He loves them, actually. For the sake of a fairy man in the sky, he loves terrorists. But he doesn’t love Western terrorism. The terrorists have to be Muslims. Violence and murder is perfectly acceptable, as long as you’re slightly Arabic. Because his God apparently differentiates between the skin colour or culture of his murderers. He condemns Western aggression throughout the World (which I do too), but he does not condemn Muslim extremism, when its aim is to install its punitive religious bullshit on those of us who would rather drink our own piss than submit to religious “values”. What if his “brethren” (a word that always makes me laugh, a product of religious delusion) who “do violent acts” kill a child? Is that not condemnable? What about an innocent old lady (I know extremists like to try to justify their inherently violent nature, by suggesting that no one is “innocent”, but that’s a cop out)? is that okay too, because it’s a fight for a massively overrated religion?
He, in short, is a thug.
But he is entitled to his bullshit, in this country. I entirely disagree with him. I find him a virus that the immune system of humanity should be intent on weeding out with logic and reason. But I will always defend his right to be a Fascist, in the same way that his mirror image – the EDL have the right to believe the bullshit that they believe. They are a very small minority who do not condemn violence against those who entirely disagree with them, but want others to understand, believe and treat them like our superiors. It isn’t ever going to happen from me. He condemns me for who I am. He condemns me, because I am not a Muslim.

Cameron argues that Multiculturalism has failed.
He’s wrong.
It hasn’t failed.
Thirty years ago, the Tories ran a campaign in Birmingham with a leaflet stating “If you want a nigger as a neighbour, vote Labour”. Thankfully, that sort of far right Nationalist bullshit is past us. Now, your kids could be white and Christian, playing football in the street with their black, Muslim and Sikh friends. My dad coaches youth cricket teams; the young players are all very very good friends, and are all mixed culturally. Cultural integration is a slow process that takes a generation or two to take hold. This new generation of children are far more culturally aware and integrated that we ever were. Cameron’s speech is inflaming a culture of suspicion of the “other” that until now has been left to the idiots on the far right. He is giving a credible face to that intolerance, especially by not referencing the anti-British values of the EDL.

That being said, I am no fan of organised religion, and if I had my way, no religious organisation would be receiving public funds, and I absolutely wouldn’t tolerate religious schools. I do not want Christian influence on politics and law, just like I don’t want Islamic influence on politics and law. I do not want fairy tales to influence reality. Cameron would do us all a credit, if he is taking a swipe at Islam, to also take a swipe at extreme Christians. Contrary to Christian belief, Western law is not based on Christian reasoning. It is based on social evolution and common sense. Law should be based on irrefutable fact, not on largely discredited miserable fairy tales from 1500-2000 years ago, in the desert. Whilst religious people like to suggest that homosexuality is unnatural, I would suggest that religious belief, is the most unnatural and vicious pessimistic invention humanity has ever had the misfortune to invent. The moment we no longer need such bullshit, is the day when we have evolved to the level that we can truly call ourselves civilised. Fundamentalist Islam, like Nationalists in the EDL are not civilised. They are barbaric thugs and nothing else. Do not let them convince you otherwise.

Multiculturalism has not failed.
The experiment of Nation States has failed. The experiment of one overriding National identity has failed. The experiment of organised religion has failed.
Nation States are a left over from Colonial days. They have nothing but a violent history. They are like a market place, always looking for resources to plunder. It doesn’t matter if it is Western Nations or Middle Eastern Nations; the rich ones always want more. It isn’t Islam vs Christianity. It is the rich vs the poor. Always will be. Religion is used as a way to separate the poor Westerners from the poor Easterners, when actually they have more in common with each other than they think. They should be joining hands and fighting back. Racism has always been used as a divisive tool to stop popular uprisings.

We are all a product of multiculturalism. A British identity has always been a little bit obscure. For most of our history, since the year 0, we were a Catholic country, in which the majority of our citizens considered themselves loyal to Rome before loyalty to the Nation. Protestants and Catholics fought for their vision of what it meant to be British. The English fought the Scots. The Royalists fought the Republicans. The Enlightenment thinkers struggled against the “traditionalists” of the elites. Darwin struggled to find a time to reveal the greatest discovery in the history of mankind, in the face of religious fundamentalists, so backward in their thinking, so dogmatic in their delusions, who would have liked him to have been silenced. We are a land of multiculturalism. I guarantee my idea of what it means to be British is far away from what David Cameron thinks it means to be British. Perhaps, in a very broad sense, we can deduce that to be British, is to believe in Democracy, the rule of secular law, and socially liberal values of acceptance. And tea drinking. Lots of tea drinking.

I have always argued that mass migration is linked entirely to global inequality. We, as a Western State had a foot up the ladder of global Capitalism long before Middle Eastern countries started to climb. We used our days of Empire to secure great wealth, that has kept us relatively privileged ever since. We pillaged the World and then blocked our borders to them. We stole resources and labour supplies, and gave nothing back. Now we are complaining that the people we left behind, want a better life for themselves and their families in the UK. That to me, is irrational. The balance has to be tipped toward the centre economically. Flooding the World with American and British multinational companies, is not fair. It is perpetuating the problem, it results in war and in hatred. Always will do. Especially when mixed with religion.

Fundamentalism in religion, is built on a bedrock of intolerance, hate, violence, delusion, anger, and whilst their mindset is undoubtedly influenced by their religious beliefs; they also must have psychological issues in the first place, to allow themselves to condemn large sections of humanity, who have done nothing personally to upset or hurt them, to a violent, miserable death. This is the legacy of religion. To call any religion, the “religion of peace and love” is a contradiction in terms.

George Bush said he had heard the voice of the Christian God, who told him to go to war in Iraq. Absolute madness. And very very worrying, that a man who has such strong delusions can acquire the position of the most powerful man in the World. It is the 21st Century and our leaders are no different from the 16th Century European leaders who were raging wars based entirely on religions. It is almost beyond comprehension that our history for the past 2000 years has been plagued by the dictatorship of a work of fiction. Christian fundamentalism has been the driving force behind the power of the Catholic Church for decades.

If those of us who are sensibly minded, and optimistic for the future of humanity, those of us who are not infected with the disease of organised religion, all accept that it isn’t Islam itself or Christianity itself that are the problems, that they are just systems for spirituality; and we accept that it is indoctrination into extreme tendencies that are the problem, throughout the World of organised religion, we are sure to prevail. Logic, reason, and fact always prevails.

Moderate Christians, Muslims, Jews, English, Middle Eastern etc should be banding together, and enjoying each others company, learning from each other, and progressing. We should not be suspicious of each other, and we should not be condemning each other, purely for the beliefs one has.

Be black, be white, be gay, be straight, be Muslim, be Christian, be Jewish, be Atheist, be female, be male, be fat, be thin, be happy, be miserable, be sporty, be artistic, be eccentric, be philosophical, be left, be right, and live together.

I do not want to see people as being Muslim first. David Cameron is pointing and saying “look, a Muslim, be suspicious“.


A game played by “adults”

June 8, 2010

According to several sources, our wondrous new coalition government of nasty bastards, are to spend £4m on new “reintegration” centres in Afghanistan, to send unaccompanied Afghanistan child asylum seekers back to Afghanistan. This was announced, on the very same day that BBC News reported the deaths of 10 Nato troops, as fighting in Afghanistan escalated.

In an horrendous move to the right, it isn’t just immigration that the Tories intend to clamp down on, but now quite horrifically, it is children they have taken aim at. Overall, I find the idea of limiting immigration whilst further opening our borders to trade and capital, a silly idea based solely on the Colonial model of Nation States. But then, I find Nation States to be an outdated, and damaging principle. A silly social construct of National pride, that really has its origins around 1534 here in the UK, and is wholly inconsistent with a postmodern World built on Capitalist principles. But children, who really do not have a notion of this largely fatuous and arbitrary system of National borders, or trade, or capital flows, are now becoming the innocent victims of a game played by “grown ups“. I read the article, and just sat thinking how evil the whole idea of Nation States really is.

The Western World has spent decades destroying Afghanistan. We have armed the Taliban against the Soviets, because it suited us. In fact, in 1985, American President Ronald Reagan referred to the Taliban as;

“These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.”

Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted recently, that the creation of the Taliban, was pretty much entirely down to the US. Which in turn, means the problems that Afghanistan, and in a sense, Pakistan now face, are largely due to the policies of the USA, in its vain attempts to defeat whomever they have designated an “enemy” in that particular decade:

“It seemed like a great idea, back in the ’80s to– embolden– and train and equip– Taliban, mujahidin, jihadists against the Soviet Union, which had invaded Afghanistan. And with our help, and with the Pakistani support– this group– including, at that time, Bin Laden, defeated the Soviet Union.”

A decade later, an American oil company called Unocal attempted talks with the Taliban in an effort to secure the rights to a major oil pipeline that would shoot through Afghanistan. Unocal were forced to back out, after they were criticised for dealing with the Taliban.

Add another decade, and George Bush bombed the entire Country back into the stone age, for no real reason whatsoever, whilst referring to the Taliban, as part of an axis of evil (it’s ironic that a fucking evil President, has the balls to refer to another regime as evil). The very same well equiped, and fundamentalist Taliban, that the US created and armed in the first place. The US didn’t seem to give much of a shit about the Taliban’s human rights record when Reagan was funding them. But then, the same can be said for the rather evil right winged groups throughout Latin America that Reagan’s administration funded. Reagan, should have been thrown in prison, and left to rot miserably in a cell for the rest of his life. Bill Clinton, is just as to blame.

According to the Times of India, 2001;

“In the 1980s, the CIA provided some $5 billion in military aid for Islamic fundamentalist rebels fighting the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, but scaled down operations after Moscow pulled out in 1989. However, Selig Harrison of the DC-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars recently told a conference in London that the CIA created the Taliban “monster” by providing some $3 billion for the ultra-fundamentalist militia in their 1994-6 drive to power.”

Apparently Americans are not too keen on their money being spent on keeping their population healthy, but are perfectly fine with $5bn being spent on arming crazed Religious fundamentalists, who are now responsible for mass oppression and child sex trafficking.

Given the not-too-surprising violence that is rife throughout Afghanistan, why would any genuinely decent person, suggest sending children anywhere near a country like that? If I were Prime Minister, not only would I not give two shits about the moronic English Nationalists who must now be at home wanking furiously over this; i’d happily tell them they are scum; i’d also publicly state that there is absolutely no way I am sending any child into a Country whose child sex trafficking market is one of the biggest in the World, regardless of our pathetic sense of National Pride. Regardless of our immigration and asylum policies, regardless of the “burden” to tax payers. Regardless of their skin colour or what language they can or cant speak. They are children. And I could not live with myself, if I had openly agreed to hand a child back to a Country in the midst of war, and losing a battle against child sex trafficking. Especially given that the UK, has had a helping hand in destroying that Country in the first place. It strikes me as being a fundamental problem with the way the World works, that we have billions to give to dirty banks and bad business practice, which in turn contributed to the huge pension packages of people like Sir Freddy Goodwin, who fucked the entire system and now lives in luxury; but we complain incessantly about any money from the tax payer, going to help children who happen to have a different skin colour.

A US State Department Report on Human Trafficking, from 2009, reported:

Afghan boys and girls are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage to settle debts or disputes, forced begging, as well as forced labor or debt bondage in brick kilns, carpet-making factories, and domestic service. Afghan children are also trafficked to Iran and Pakistan for forced labor, particularly in Pakistan’s carpet factories, and forced marriage. Boys are promised enrollment in Islamic schools in Pakistan, but instead are trafficked to camps for paramilitary training by extremist groups. Afghan women and girls are trafficked within the country and to Pakistan and Iran for commercial sexual exploitation and temporary marriages. Some Afghan men force their wives or daughters into prostitution. Afghan men are trafficked to Iran and Pakistan for forced labor and debt bondage, as well as to Greece for forced labor in the agriculture or construction sectors. Afghanistan is also a destination for women and girls from Iran, Tajikistan, and possibly China trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Tajik women are also believed to be trafficked through Afghanistan to Pakistan and Iran for commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficked Iranian women transit Afghanistan en route to Pakistan.

Not only that, but according to the World Fact Book:

Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan Government’s inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan’s living standards from its current level, among the lowest in the world.

It does not matter how the children found their way to the UK. Whether they were trafficked here, whether they were sent by their parents, or whether they found their own way here out of desperation, it is irrelevant. Motives, are irrelevant. They are children. They are not a pawn in an adult game of economic warfare and its obsession with labeling people “illegal” if they weren’t born here. If a couple of pence in every pound of tax money goes to helping these children, rather than sending them to hell, then good! We are a decent country, with a sense of compassion built into us. We are not a country of the social Right. The Liberal Democrats, should be utterly ashamed of this.

This represents a major shift to the social Right, for the Tories. It shows that they have indeed wore a moderate mask for the past few years; hidden behind moderate centre-right rhetoric, but scratch gently below the surface, and we are confronted with the same old vicious, nasty party of old. A party without a sense of human decency, who focus solely on economically driven policies rather than human policies.

Left Wing Progressives, should work together to force real economic and social policy change. We need to understand how much the West is to blame for the hellhole of Afghanistan. We cannot simply exploit countries for the benefit of our business interests, rip the country to shreds, and then throw their children onto the scrap heap. Afghanistan has spent decades as a pawn in a game played by “adults“.


The Reagan Legacy

March 2, 2010

Ronald Reagan, in my estimation, was a nightmare. He is adored as a grandfather like figure who transformed America, whilst his equally as evil minion, Thatcher “transformed” Britain. A Corporate bitch at best, a war criminal for what he did with Guatemala at worst. Reagan once commented on Guatemala:
“President Ríos Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment. … I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice.”
President Rios Montt, staunch anticommunist, and funded almost entirely by the Reagan administration, was according to a Roman Catholic investigation, guilty of commanding widespread torture, rape, political murders and genocide against the indigenous population if they happened to show left wing sympathies.
Greg Grandin, a reputable historian found that:
“In Nicaragua, the U.S.-backed Contras decapitated, castrated, and otherwise mutilated civilians and foreign aid workers. Some earned a reputation for using spoons to gorge their victims eye’s out. In one raid, Contras cut the breasts of a civilian defender to pieces and ripped the flesh off the bones of another.”
Quite ironically, one of America’s most wanted terrorists, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, was funded almost exclusively by the Reagan administration, whilst also given full immunity for cocaine trafficking, people trafficking and other horrific offences, purely because he didn’t really like the Soviets either.

Whilst Reagan was quite happily knowingly funding rape, death, and genocide over in Latin America; back in America he was launching an all out assault on organised labour. His Chief of Staff (ex-chairman of Merrill Lynch, and vice chairman of the New York Stock Exchange) Donald Regan helped build policy around this new Neoliberalist ideal. In 1981, air traffic controllers went on strike to demand better working conditions. 12,000 in all. When 12,000 people go on strike, ones instant reaction is that perhaps management isn’t all that great. 12,000 people are not holding the industry to ransom; the management is holding the people to ransom. Reagan didn’t see it that way. He had them all fired. As a result, management could now just replace striking workers, meaning workers didn’t dare speak out against poor working conditions. Which meant that management could do whatever the fuck they wanted. The median real wage did not grow, during the entire 1980s. But, the gap between rich and poor more than doubled, and the homeless rate was at the highest in decades. As a result of his tax cuts for the rich, the deficit reached record highs. After forcing a recession on the American public, he then managed to cut Federal low income household funds, by 84%.

What about the middle class? According to research undertaken by Wallace Peterson, author of “The Macroeconomic legacy of Reaganomics“, The middle class share of the economy in 1980 was 61.7%. In 1985, that had shrunk to 58.2%. Similarly, the poverty rate under President Carter reached a peak of 12.1% before falling to 11.9% by the end of his term in Office. Under Reagan, between 1981-1986, the poverty rate shot up to 14.7%. Unemployment under Carter started falling and finished at 7.5% by the end of his term. Between 1981-1986, under Reagan, unemployment shot up to 8.1%.
Under Obama, the unemployment rate has dropped from 10% to 9.7%, whilst U.S. Department of Commerce states that 4th quarter GDP growth went from 5.7% to 5.9%, the best rate of growth in seven years. Obama doesn’t have Fox News on his side, Reagan still does. That’s the difference.

What Reagan essentially did, with his ideal of cutting the size of government and slashing aid to those who needed it most, was to bankroll the rich, spit on the poor, create a new class of homeless people, and use this new smaller government (which in fact, had more federal employees than any government before it) to undertake the task of destroying any left wing opposition in Latin America. That was the American Government’s new mission. Constitutional? Apparently so, if you ask Republican America.

Economist Mark Weisbrot is quoted as stating that Reagan’s economic policies were “mostly a failure”. Free-market-failure-denial-sufferers, will never accept that Reagan was an utter failure. Weisbrot goes on to point out that: “The median wage was flat, and there was a massive redistribution of income, with wealth going to the top one or two percent of the population

Was he the most popular President of the past century as some conservatives would have us believe? No. He never reached the 90% approval rating that even George W Bush and his father achieved, and Bill Clinton managed roughly the same rating during his two terms, surpassing Reagan in the second half of each of their terms.

The hysteria about the debt and stimulus across the U.S, is crippling the recovery. America needs more stimulus. As does Britain. It didn’t go far enough. What the World doesn’t need, is another Reagan or Thatcher propagating the rumour that neoliberalism is the only way out of recession, because for millions upon millions of people, it certainly isn’t. During a recession of such huge proportions, a lack of easily affordable healthcare (a universal system), lack of a safety net, and lack of foreclosure federal help, means the majority is far more at risk from financial ruin and psychological depression. One of the many reasons i’ll never vote Conservative.

Reagan’s legacy was one of homelessness, selfishness, arrogance, lack of compassion or empathy, hate, Corporate greed, death, and misery. All in the name of an economic policy disastrously known as “trickle down”. History will remember both him and Thatcher as little beacons of horror and misery. That’s all.

Obama now needs to man up, recognise that he’s President, recognise that the Democrats control Congress, and make sure the Republicans – as well as being a laughing stock for the entire World – know that they are largely irrelevant now.