An occasional e-mail to friends. # 52, January 2009
The cost of Tony Blair’s ego
We will never know the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The families of the dead and injured know about the pain and suffering but the cost to the taxpayer is concealed. The Times of 23-02-08 reckoned £20 billion but that’s probably an underestimate from a pro-war Murdoch newspaper.
The 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. None of them came from Afghanistan but the Taliban regime sheltered al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden and that was enough to justify an invasion that is still costing lives eight years later. Since the invasion there have been terrorist outrages in Madrid, Istanbul, London, Bali and Mumbai. The “war on terror” has done nothing to stop terrorism.
Saddam Hussein had no connection with 9/11 but he was falsely accused of having “weapons of mass destruction.” This was the excuse for a war that has killed over a million civilians and bankrupted the United States. In support of George Bush’s invasion we used cluster bombs, depleted uranium and white phosphorus against civilians, we allowed the CIA to use British facilities to torture prisoners of war, and we kept silent as Israel invaded Lebanon and turned Palestine into a concentration camp.
The destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan is a crime against humanity and a shameful waste of money. Launching $1 million Tomahawk missiles at defenceless civilians is an expensive business. We could not afford to support Tony Blair’s ridiculous imperial pretensions. We had to borrow billions of pounds to bolster the ego of a swaggering pigmy who loved to strut around the world stage in a grotesque parody of greatness.
Now the price must be paid. Generations yet unborn will be paying for the bombs that killed and crippled the children of Faluja. It was a terrible coincidence that the worst president in American history ruled at the same time as the worst prime minister in British history. Bush and Blair will be remembered as the madmen who destroyed the economies of their countries in an orgy of bloodlust. It’s a bitter irony that both of these war criminals claim to believe in God.
Many of the terrorists around the world have been caught. The security forces are cooperating with each other and getting more efficient all the time. We are defeating terrorism with intelligence based on modern surveillance methods and “information received.” But waging war on countries that have been accused of sheltering terrorists is not the way forward.
Everything depends on how you look at it. A liberal sees a group of young blacks as lads discriminated against by a biased white system. But the average white person sees them as a threatening gang who are unlikely to be working.
Everyone sees things from a perspective determined by experience, conditioning and attitude. The liberal has convinced himself that open door immigration is a good thing. But the realist thinks that his country has been ruined by the influx of millions of blacks and Asians. The liberal thinks that his views are objective but in reality he is just as biased as the person who is implacably opposed to Third World immigration.
The idea that immigration has been beneficial to our economy is totally false. When the first nonwhite immigrants arrived in the Fifties unemployment stood at 3% and most women were described as “economically inactive.” London Transport and the National Health Service took advantage of the1948 Nationality Act to recruit West Indian workers. The trade unions ensured that they got the going rate but their availability held down wages and conditions.
The directors of London Transport were decent middle class men who probably voted Conservative and shared the attitudes of the times. They were just trying to run a transport system and gave little thought to the future. But the Clement Atlee government was made up of educated men who should have foreseen the long-term consequences of mass migration.
Winston Churchill tried to warn his party of the dangers of West Indian immigration in 1955. But the Tory grandees insisted that we would have to stop Irish immigration if we stopped the West Indians because the British people would never accept a selective immigration policy. Of course the British people were never asked. They just assumed that we shared their liberal views.
There were no West Indian immigrants in the leafy suburbs where MPs lived. They settled in working class districts like Brixton or Hackney. The few blacks and Asians that the politicians met were law-abiding students and professionals. They knew nothing about drug dealers, pimps and gangsters. And if they did know they put it to the back of their minds. They were so determined to be liberal and open-minded that they saw only what they wanted to
Sixty years later the descendants of those immigrants are still separated from the native population by “black culture.” As the recession bites they will be further disadvantaged by white attitudes and economic pressures. The colour-blind liberalism of the Fifties was the product of political wishful thinking and foolhardy optimism. We can now see that cheap labour was nothing but a cruel deception that exploited both immigrants and native Britons.
Global war – part two
(This article first appeared on Sharon Ebanks’ website in 2007)
During the sixteen years of the Vietnam War from 1959 to 1975 South Vietnam and her allies lost 293,758 men including 58,209 Americans. North Vietnam lost 1,101,100 men including 1,100 Chinese. It is estimated that 4,000,000 civilians died. At the height of America’s involvement they had over 500,000 servicemen in Vietnam. These staggering statistics cannot convey the full horror of the conflict. Throughout the war American opinion was bitterly divided between those who thought that the war was doomed to failure and those who were convinced that it was winnable if only they could send enough men.
The hawks constantly called for the invasion of North Vietnam but the US government knew that such a move would bring incalculable consequences. General Douglas MacArthur’s invasion of North Korea in 1950 failed to expel the communists from the peninsular but it brought China into the war. The Korean War ended in the partition of the country after a bloodbath that lasted three years and claimed 1,271,244 lives on the side of South Korea, including 36,000 Americans, and 1,858,000 from North Korea and China. It is estimated that 2.5 million civilians were killed.
Both the Korean and Vietnam wars ended in failure but America still embarked on yet another Asian war in 1990 when she intervened to oust Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army from Kuwait. The Iraqis had invaded Kuwait in response to the theft of their oil by the Kuwaitis who were slant-drilling into Iraqi oilfields from their side of the border. This war ended in the defeat of the Iraqi expeditionary force but the UN mandate authorizing the war would not allow America and her allies to pursue Saddam’s forces into Iraq. The Iraqis lost 25,000 men compared to the Allies 278, showing the disparity between poorly equipped Iraqi infantry and a carrier-based strike force.
America initiated crippling sanctions that included medical supplies and resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqis, mostly children and the elderly. This embargo was enforced by the Allied air forces and by the US and Royal Navy. It only ended when America launched her “shock and awe” bombing campaign of 2003 using planes and missiles against a virtually undefended country. So far this war has killed 942,636 Iraqis (John Hopkins University) and over 3,000 Americans.
Once again the hawks are convinced that they can win if only they send enough men. They have already forgotten the lessons of Korea and Vietnam and are calling for the invasion of Iran and Syria. George Bush is controlled by the neocons that see the Middle East in terms of The New American Century. Even after his disastrous defeat in the mid-term elections he is still planning to send an additional 20.000 men and has issued new threats against Iran. But without the support of Congress he may lack the power to extend the war into a regional conflict. There may be wiser heads in America who can remember what happens when you invade neighbouring states to cut off supply lines and knock out the opposition.
As Allied troops fight and die in Iraq a parallel conflict is waging on the other side of the Persian Gulf in Afghanistan. Following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in September 1991 the Americans invaded Afghanistan only two months later to destroy the Taliban regime that was sheltering Al-Queda, the prime suspects for the atrocity. Overwhelming air power quickly destroyed the Afghan Army just as it had destroyed the Iraqis in 1990, but six years later 33,000 NATO troops are still battling the Taliban on the ground. At present it is thought that the Taliban have lost about 15,000 men and there have been 7,000 civilian deaths. NATO losses have been thankfully light but the Taliban are boasting that they have 2,000 suicide bombers waiting to strike.
The planners and theorists of The New American Century probably regard the civilian and military deaths involved in all these wars as acceptable. They have calculated the oil reserves of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and decided that a few million civilians and a few hundred thousand Allied soldiers is a fair price to pay. Their only interest is the consolidation of American power. They were only stopped from using nuclear weapons in Korea by the certainty of Soviet retaliation, and they were only stopped from invading North Vietnam by the threat of Chinese intervention.
Their eyes are also on the oil and gas reserves of the Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan. These have traditionally been in the Russian orbit but the neocons think that they can bribe or intimidate them into the American camp. They are hoping to act before Russia rebuilds her industrial and military infrastructure following the collapse of the Soviet system and the painful transition to a market economy. But the Russian recovery may be sufficiently advanced to deter aggressors. Russia still has the military hardware to defend herself and cause unacceptable casualties to her enemies.
The balance of terror known as Mutually Assured Destruction has maintained an uneasy peace since the Second World War and it continues to limit the imperial ambitions of the neocons. They did not nuke North Korea or North Vietnam for fear of reprisal and they will probably not invade Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan for the same reason.
As America risks world war and Russia rebuilds her economy the Chinese and the Indians have joined the Japanese as successful challengers in the marketplace. Europe continues to develop and is enjoying its highest ever standard of living. Only political disunity prevents Britain from detaching herself from the United States and fully committing to the European project.
All the signs are that the world is forming into geopolitical powers. Europe will buy Russian gas and oil in return for investment and industrial expertise. Japan will effectively recreate the East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. The Africans will look north for survival and the South Americans will coexist with the North American Free Trade Agreement of Mexico, Canada and the USA.
There are no insurmountable international problems. Trouble spots like Palestine, Cyprus and Kashmir can and will be settled by consultation, as will the problems of migrant labour and unfair imports. Given goodwill there is no reason that the 21st century cannot bring peace and security to the world, but the warmongers who have hijacked American foreign policy must be thrown out.
The American people have taken the first steps toward rejecting the neocons. If they value liberty and the lives of their sons and daughters they will stop listening to the rhetoric of the New American Century and insist that their taxes are used for health and welfare. America is a wealthy country but she has never achieved social equality and faces huge problems associated with drugs and crime.
This is the age of scientific advance. By cooperating in space the USA, Russia, Europe and Japan are building the international space station. This is a stepping-stone to the stars and a chance for mankind to use its genius for peaceful purposes. Out of this research we will increase human knowledge and expand technology even further.
America is not alone in committing acts of aggression. Britain, France, The Netherlands and Portugal all fought to retain their colonial empires. The Soviet Union sent tanks into Budapest and China violated Tibet. But these actions were within accepted spheres of influence, as was American intervention in the Caribbean. The Middle East is rather different and complicated by America’s very close relationship to Israel. It is very far from the United States to Iraq but it is within striking distance of Israel.
America does not have the right to invade anywhere and everywhere that she chooses. Millions of people have demonstrated against American aggression throughout the world. The choice is simple; America can enjoy the benefits of peaceful co-existence or seek to dominate the planet and commit herself to unending global war.
The great powers acting together can resolve international political problems but separatist groups funded by organized crime will still pose a threat. They control illegal immigration, people trafficking, drugs and prostitution throughout the world. These criminal cartels are so well organized that they have armies every bit as dangerous as those of nation states. When we have achieved international agreement on arms limitation and world trade we will still face the problem of armed gangs inspired by tribalism.
The NF on Europe
An unsigned article on the National Front website, entitled “Remembrance Day can help create European solidarity” reports on their 2008 Remembrance Day march and service. This year Ingo Stawitz a former member of the Schleswig Holstein parliament joined them in their annual parade from Victoria to The Cenotaph in Whitehall. The article called for “no more brothers’ wars” and invited Polish supporters to march with them next year to commemorate Poland’s heroic contribution to the war effort.
The NF is far from the mass movement of the Seventies but they got their best results for nearly thirty years with 35,000 votes and two deposits saved in the 2008 GLA election. In a break from the party line they are now calling for European unity: “ With so many of the British people abandoning our islands hoping for a better life in a foreign climate, we must join with all European patriots who want to help us, no matter what their accent! We want a Europe united by Europeans. Not a 1984 dictator-style Europe united by our political, warmongering, and money-grabbing enemies, as we have at the moment.”
This complicated statement is qualified by an attack on the Brussels regime but it nevertheless represents a shift in NF thinking that would have been impossible a few years ago. The article ends with an invitation to their supporters to join the Dresden memorial service of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands on the 13th and 14th of February 2009. Old hands will dismiss this development but it must be a hopeful sign that the NF is promoting European solidarity.
The next step is to heed Norman Lowell’s call for a takeover of the European Parliament. UKIP and similar parties will not promote national independence by trying to disrupt the EU government. But a bloc of like-minded groups throughout Europe could stop Third World immigration, reject NATO and challenge the globalist agenda.
Previous efforts to create such a bloc were wrecked by petty squabbling. The various national groups must first adjust their mindsets to the new reality. Britain and Europe can no longer shelter under the Pax Americana. The collapse of the global economic system will reshape military and commercial alliances. With China and India following Japan and South Korea as industrial giants the days of captive markets and cheap raw materials are long gone.
Britain on her own would inevitably gravitate towards the North American Free Trade Agreement. And UKIP’s revived Commonwealth would force us to accept the teeming masses of India, Pakistan and Nigeria. Europe is the only answer but it’s up to the people of Europe to decide what sort of government we want. First we must recognize our common European heritage and civilization. The NF article goes at least some way towards that objective.
The swing of the pendulum.
The partial nationalization of the banks has prompted some commentators to call for their complete takeover by the state. But this has been met with howls of protest from critics of nationalization who point to the inefficiency of the old state-run industries.
The railways were originally separate companies serving different routes and regions. When they were nationalized the state kept all of the management. This resulted in a level of overstaffing and duplication that continued right up to the recent privatization. But that has failed too and railways are once again part nationalized and look like going back to full public ownership.
There is nothing inherently inefficient about state-ownership and there’s plenty of evidence that private enterprise can be just as badly run. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors were at the very pinnacle of capitalist success. They dominated the American market and took over much of the European motor industry. Now all three companies are being bailed-out by the American taxpayer and few pundits give them much chance of survival.
The banks were the driving force of Thatcher’s revolution. Freed from government restraint they lent and borrowed billions of pounds all over the world. They financed industry and home ownership and made record profits for their shareholders. It seemed that nothing could stop the upward trend of the booming banks. But now they are literally bankrupt and it turns out that their operation was nothing more than a gigantic pyramid scheme. They were always trading with other people’s money and their whole operation was bound to collapse.
The myth of the free market has finally been exposed by the Bernie Madoff scam. It is now beyond doubt that global capitalism is a racket run by international criminals. But in support of “free trade” Britain abandoned her manufacturing industry and imported cheap labour instead of investing in education and automation. We are now paying the price for the fast buck mentality of Thatcherism.
We closed down a viable coal industry in favour of cheap gas. But gas is not so cheap anymore and the millions of tonnes of coal under our feet are starting to look attractive. It’s only a matter of time before we reopen the mines to generate urgently needed power. Envioronmental issues must take second place to the need to keep our children and pensioners warm in the winter.
Almost everything that the Old Gang politicians have done has been a failure. Cheap labour from the Third World was fine until some of the disaffected children of hopeful immigrants took to mugging, bombing and shooting. Cheap Chinese shirts and pants were a great success but they destroyed our garment industry and threw thousands onto the scrap heap, including workers specifically imported to work in that industry.
As the recession bites the social and economic problems of immigration will become even more serious. Mortgages are now hard to get but people must be housed. Will we make the Asians with their very large families a priority at the expense of the native population, or house our own people first and be accused of discrimination?
We have transformed the police force into the police service and given up active policing for CCTV. The police are now totally politicized and exist to serve the Labour Party. Will this emasculated state asset be able to protect us from rioting mobs when the supermarket shelves are empty?
The generation that lived through the Great Depression learned military discipline during the First World War. They generally behaved themselves and did what they were told. But even they took part in the general Strike and flocked to join revolutionary movements. The current population is very different. We have produced a generation that respects nobody. We have abandoned honesty for opportunity and religion for gratification. People that have been brought up to “know their rights” are not likely to listen to reason. They would not comply with rationing or stand in line to get served. Instead they will shout and lash out as they have been encouraged to do. They will “do their own thing” until the pendulum of commonsense swings back towards social responsibility.
Despite Margaret Thatcher’s contention that “society does not exist,” it does exist and without it we would all starve. We can only survive by cooperation. We must live according to the rules that we arrived at through thousands of years of trial and error. We need governments and we need police forces. An individual can live in the woods and subsist on apples and dandelions but the rest of us need to live in centrally heated homes and shop at the supermarket. We need industry and commerce and we need social security and a health service.
The radical ideas of the neo-conservatives are just as revolutionary as the half backed theories of the Marxists. Both dogmas dismiss history and tradition as old-fashioned. And both treat people as economic units rather than living breathing creatures. It’s not surprising that leading neo-conservatives like Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz were originally extreme left-wingers who campaigned for global revolution.
Employment must be regulated or it will inevitably degenerate into slavery. And banking must be tightly controlled or it will turn into usury. These truths have been known since we first formed ourselves into tribes. The revolutionaries of Left and Right cannot change human nature with their mad ideas. We are human beings who need guidance and security. The experiment with unrestrained capitalism has ended in disaster. It’s time to return to sanity.
Views on the news
When the grinning war criminal George Bush provoked an Iraqi journalist into throwing his shoes at him, The Daily Telegraph went to great lengths to explain that this is considered an insult in Arab countries. They made much less of the fact that Muntazer al-Zaidi was so badly beaten by Bush’s security guards that he sustained a broken arm and may be blinded in one eye. The Tory organ did not explain that breaking people’s arms and kicking them in the face is also considered insulting in the Middle East. The brave 29 year-old journalists could face a 15-year prison sentence.
Tory defector Bob Spink who is UKIP’s sole MP has strong views on crime and punishment. He told the UKIP Law & Order conference in May 2008: “We need to punish, rehabilitate and reform offenders.” Following Ashley Mote’s conviction for benefit fraud and Tom Wise’s investigation for false accounting both men have been expelled from the party. Now another prominent UKIP member has disgraced them. Paul Kidd has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for multiple offences against boys. In the 2004 Euro election UKIP won 16% of the votes with enthusiastic backing of the popular press and the support of TV star Robert Kilroy Silk. But since then it’s all been downhill. Kilroy Silk quit the party after failing to capture the leadership and they have been rocked by a series of scandals. The electorate will think twice about voting for them in the coming Euro election and their wealthy backers will be constrained by the credit crunch.
With the banks and railways under state control we have achieved public ownership without firing a shot. “Free trade” has ended in tears. We let the bankers do as they liked and they did. Now we have rising unemployment, a diminishing currency and a recession that’s set to last. Our military alliance with America will fall apart just as the commercial alliance did. Economic reality will force us to act according to our means. We are not a world power with a fleet that rules the world. We are a medium size country that needs completely restructuring. We need to rebuild our manufacturing industry and stop pretending that we can all live by selling insurance and double glazing. What we have failed to achieve by reasoned argument is happening by force of necessity. Historians of the future will mark 2009 as the year that Britain finally awoke from the imperial dream and started to think about the future instead of living in the past.
The Bernie Madoff affair has been called the greatest theft in history but it’s a minor misdemeanor compared to the annexation of an entire country. The Zionists hijacked Palestine with the tacit approval of Britain and the support of the United States. Bernie’s $50 billion rip-off is nothing compared to that. There will be no peace or justice in the world until restitution is made to the Palestinians. Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has told his people that the occupation is unsustainable. The new government of Tzipi Livni must withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza in accordance with UN Resolution 242.