Author Archive for patrickm

Zimbabwe reflections

A recent debate at Larvatus Prodeo brought to mind the exposure of Lemingist sects in The Life of Brian: “What did the Romans ever do for us?” The enlarging mirror at LP took the form of a well mannered pseudo-leftist, articulately holding to a consistently reactionary position with regard to Zimbabwe. Basically this fellow (John Tracey) supports Mugabe. The LP bloggers took him to task. But did they actually see their own features in that mirror?

‘No Mark, the developed nations standard of living is obscene and the root cause of African poverty.’ Oh dear.

When John Tracey didn’t stun people into silence he often forced them into distorting his position because much of what he bases his views on is what they themselves have argued for on LP. ( ie support for ‘small is beautiful’ right-wing green policies such as Perma-culture, rather than modern industrialized farming; defence of reactionary sovereignty rather than a developing internationalism; promoting ‘cultural exceptional-ism’ rather than being unequivocally in favour of universal human rights)

But on the issue of Zimbabwe, the regular bloggers at LP cannot stoop so low as to abandon the people of Zimbabwe and their struggle for democracy (nothing more than bourgeois democracy). In the crystallized situation that we see in Zimbabwe, LP regulars have chosen the correct side. They want the tyranny there to be brought to an end.Theoretically, John Tracey must also oppose tyranny, however his blinkered incapacity to see any progressive features in the bourgeois revolution that is required at this time and place puts him objectively on the side of a tyrant. Continue reading ‘Zimbabwe reflections’

“So, how goes the war for Greater Israel?”

It seems clear that Bush and Rice are serious about trying to get an end to the war for greater Israel this year, but weakness on the part of Olmert and the Israeli Government is slowing the process up. It’s against the Israeli interest, as identified by Olmert, to not make a peace agreement with the Palestinians and he is now pushing forward with Syria and the ‘minor’ issues with Lebanon.

So what if anything is delaying things?Given how little I know about the inner workings of the Israeli ruling elite, I don’t know. However I would venture that the numbers in the Knesset, rather than the corruption scandal around Olmert, is the problem.  In short the Israelis are having real problems getting the deal done.

Rice is arriving this weekend to have separate meetings with Barak, Livni and Olmert so the pressure is still right on, but with the weakened state of the U.S. as the lastsuperpower, there is no certainty they will get their way this year, Nevertheless there is still a chance.

An interesting development at the moment is Olmert’s attitude to releasing Barghouti amid the increasing loudness of demands to do just that.  He commented publicly that he didn’t think it was a good idea at this stage:

“Imagine that Barghouti is released tomorrow. Is there a way for him to prove that he’s not a collaborator with the Israelis? There’s only one way: to be more extreme than the present leadership.”

So what are the issues that are unfolding? Continue reading ‘“So, how goes the war for Greater Israel?”’