Iraqis vote in Shepparton

Nice little video of Iraqis voting in Shepparton (Victoria, Australia).

61 Responses to “Iraqis vote in Shepparton”


  1. 1 Barry

    This clip and the Iraqi elections in general bring to mind the slogan of the anti-war movement in 2003: “Not in our name”. Had the anti-war movement achieved its aim of an immediate withdrawal of US and allied troops, the old fascistic regime would have retained power and competitive multi-party elections would not be possible. Those of us who supported the war can look at the elections and declare: yes, definitely in OUR name!

  2. 2 jim sharp

    Moribundity

    Terminal! neuronal “genuine 68ers”
    in the jaws of death utter brain-dead
    metaphysical feeble boozh-wah whispers
    spruiking “absolutes” which one can’t
    find in owd Marx’s dialectical lexicon
    nay the less faithfully & unconditionally
    they remain locked-up beyond any doubt’s
    well yes well! flunkies unto wards their imperial
    “spin-meisters mind-over greedy grasping ”
    yes! definitely in “OUR” well-heeled
    murderous camp’s name

  3. 3 keza

    I couldn’t help letting Jim Sharp’s little poem through moderation.

    It really catches the shrieking discombobulation of all those who stopped thinking at some point in their lives, and ended up choosing the wrong side (the enemy side) in Iraq.

  4. 4 Barry

    And, meanwhile, in the real world, the Iraqis go to the polls to elect their own government.

    Give fascism the finger! 🙂

  5. 5 Barry

    Here’s how Omar, from ‘Iraq the Model’, predicted the outcome of the Iraqi election. He made this estimation on 5th March. It will be interesting to see how things actually turn out:

    Omar: Before I forget, here are my predictions for what the distribution of the 325 seats in the new parliament is going to look like:

    Sate of Law (Maliki, Da’wa): 90-100
    Iraqia List (Allawi, Hashimi): 80-90
    Iraqi National Alliance (Hakim, Sadr): 50
    Kurdistan Alliance (PUK, KDP): 35
    Change List (Nesherwan Mustafa): 15
    Iraq Unity Coalition (Bolani): 10-15
    Kurdish Islamic parties combined: 6-9
    Accord Front: 5-10
    Christians, Yezidis and other minorities: 8
    Small parties (Communists, Mithal Alousi, Ayad Jamal ad-Din, etc): 6-12

    http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

  6. 6 Barry

    Seems like the election result is neck and neck between ‘State of Law’ and ‘Iraqia List’ as the most popular coalitions. In other words, a big advance for the secularists.

    No sign of the Iraqi National Liberation Movement which cyberman assured us was emerging a year ago.

    A 60 percent turn-out is pretty good, too, given that the ‘resistance’ threatened, and actually, killed people who dared to vote.

    And the recent election also was characterised by a greatly increased Suni participation.

    Where is John Pilger? Still supporting the resistance?

    Where is Robert Fisk? Still arguing that there’s a state of civil war and that the ethno-religious divisions cannot possibly be overcome?

    What about Chomsky? Still claiming perhaps that the US will not allow anything other than a puppet government?

    Why do I bother even asking such questions?

    No doubt they will now resort to highlighting the undoubted imperfections and faults in the developing democracy. The one thing they just can’t bring themsleves to do is to actually support and celebrate the people’s acheivement.

    This article, “Why I Will Vote”, by Riyadh Mohammed, who was a soldier in Saddam’s Army, reveals the difference between voting under the old regime and today. http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/2010-iraqi-elections-why-i-will-vote/

    These guys, and their local supporters, are about as left behind as can be. That wasn’t a truck, fellas, that was History!

    🙂

  7. 7 steve owens

    Wow the Supreme Council leader Al-Hakim has pledged support to the Allawi lead coalition. I didnt see that one coming maybe they are still trying to remain relevant by doing the unexpected. I think it may be that truck of yours Barry.

  8. 8 Arthur

    The reports I’ve seen implied Al-Hakim support for including Allawi in a coalition rather than leading it. Though that too is surprising. Haven’t followed the details or seen indication of Kurdish position (where a third party also emerged).

    Watching the unfolding dynamics of Iraqi democratic politics “live” and contrasting it with their own regimes will certainly have an impact both throughout the Arab world and in Iran.

    If they weren’t already so completely irrelevant it would be interesting to dig up a collection of anti-war quotes alternately and simultaneously maintaining that its all CIA puppets and/or all helping Iran (and of course feeding Bin Laden terrorism and saving Zionism).

    Meanwhile I’m following Nepal in detail. Even bigger implications than region change in middle east.

  9. 9 Dalec

    I wonder if they knew they were voting for this:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/28/iraq-torture-secret-baghdad-prison
    Dalec

  10. 10 Steve Owens

    Barry in your comment of March 7 you again riducle the anti war protesters and their not on my name slogan. The current Iraqi Prime Minister is a member of the DAWA party. The Dawa party was active in the anti war demos. The DAWA party at the time had some credibility as a party of democracy and a party that reflected the views of many Iraqi’s. You must have some superiour political insight to realise that the war was for Iraqi democracy when it was a conclussion that escaped Iraqi democrats.

  11. 11 steve owens

    Question In which country do they hold elections and then start arresting the opposition MPs Burma? Iran? Zimbabwie? Guess again.
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221968.html

  12. 12 steve owens
  13. 13 patrickm

    AFAIK the political parties that exist now in Iraq are no better or worse than what exists in Libya where Steve last year supported western governments making war to assist them to overthrow their tyranny. Bad things are happening in Libya, and the way forward will not be smooth or straight there either, but they have an easier base to work from in Libya than the peoples’ of Iraq IMHO. And that seems obvious.

    In this and other threads our resident anti-communist is recently busy posting bad news with a clear spin that ignores the fact that he has in 2011 joined the pro-war left. There is no point prattling on about the problems that the Iraqi forces are dealing with, (right or wrong) as are the Libyans in their country. The pro-war left response is that both peoples’ now have a prospect of advancing their own revolution and good luck to them. Neither country is guaranteed smooth development anymore than Greece is!

    A war of liberation happened some years ago in Iraq where Steve and Guy Rundle took a differing stand to me. But where does this former stand lead now? They can’t call for troops out because they have all gone home, and ‘that’ war is over. (It was really over with the free and fair elections all those years ago.) They don’t call for any understanding of the current insurgents and outright terror bombers. (Rundle having long stopped hoping for their victory.) They are not calling for new elections, or disputing the proportional representation that currently exists, yet Steve posts notes trying to prove presumably that the political forces in Iraq are as bad as the politicians in Libya. Well what of it? What is all this rummaging around for?

    Pro-war leftists don’t wear any rose-coloured glasses about the ME region. We have referred to it as a swamp and been dishonestly attacked for the use of that Chomsky analogy. Any investigation will find that the region was and is going to be run by political forces that won’t appeal to our progressive western eyes, so is this predictable and predicted outcome any reason to stop being in favour of democratisation?

    Naturally this is a tense period in Iraq just after the liberating U.S. troops have gone home, and frankly I would rather they had not had to go home quite so early, but when they entered Iraq 2012 seemed a long way in the future, and many people stupidly wanted them home every day from day 1.

    Now we all know that tyranny can be brought down, but not without large scale armed struggle over decade time-frames. Now we know that the region is chock full of ruthless killers who think nothing of ordering a suicide bombing of the hated ‘other’, and with plenty of young fools to do it for them. The region is chock full of people who do not live by any modern western notion of live and let live, and they prove it every day by killing others because they are ‘other’.

    These killers are produced on a cultural production line that stands in sharp contrast to an isolated Norwegian nutter. The production line is of the 1930’s German scale. The revolutionary war and evolutionary transformation will therefore be protracted.

    Meanwhile ALL of us worry about a region wide war breaking out in the ME swamp. After all there are people who are trying to bring this about!

    Iraq is a bourgeois democracy that is well below the civil rights levels achieved in advanced western countries. Obviously in the early stages this very complicated and messy revolution continues with all the predictable forward and backward movement, way beyond the scope of western communists offering a more general support for a method of region wide revolutionary transformation.

    We support the generalized armed struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor and so we stood with Rundle and Steve during this last year as they called for war in Libya to be waged from the sea and air. NATO heavy weapons enabled the defense of the revolution. (As the old NFZ over northern Iraq enabled the Kurds to hold out against the Iraqi Baathists.)

    The revolution has to be named and gets that name from the demands that are being fought for. Free and fair elections, and the various rights to form political parties etc., distinguish both Libya and the Kurdish region of Iraq as having embarked on the first steps of bourgeois democratic revolution.

    ‘Left’ opponents of the NATO intervention last year could not get their heads around this basic problem and often portrayed any Libyan meeting western leaders as some bad ‘sell out’ sort. That line flopped and the anti-war left collapsed in 2011, over the fight for freedom in Libya. Progressives across the globe held their nose and jumped in on the side of the people, and the western and tiny Arab armed forces liberating them!

    Steve admits to getting the air war called the No Fly Zone over the Kurdish region of Iraq wrong. Steve says he ought to have supported this warfare to protect the Kurds, whom he also agrees fought with the COW and did not require COW troops to liberate their region from the Iraqi Baathists. Logically, he was in favour of the Kurds liberating themselves as they did. Just like the Libyans this is but the first stage of the revolution that we say is a bourgeois democratic revolution.

    Yet Steve is intimating that it’s really just the same as Syria in the Kurdish region of Iraq, and so we can see nothing ever really changes. Yet in retrospect at least Steve is a supporter of the war in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Steve just wants the world to know that whatever it is that has emerged in that area of Iraq, it is not what those communists at Strange Times /Lastsuperpower term a bourgeois democracy. Well whatever it is Steve you supported it coming into being and presumably wish to see it evolve.

    We were just correct about it in the first place and have always thought that people ought to ‘cast aside illusions and prepare for struggle’.

  14. 14 steve owens

    Patrick you and I both support democracy in Iraq. I post facts about the struggle for democracy because I think that other people who support democracy want to know that the government is rounding up opponents or burning TV stations down or kidnapping and killing journalists.
    If you know discomforting things about Lybia please post them as I might not have seen them but I would like to be informed.

  15. 15 steve owens
  16. 16 steve owens
  17. 17 patrickm

    Steve some of your ‘facts’ are nothing more than April fool’s jokes if you recall. and then you may remember there is some stuff you could easily think through like this from 2004.
    http://archive.lastsuperpower.net/members/+disc+members+857733353889.htm
    But you get sucked in because you want to post dirt stories like the Guardian and Z-Net types might, and then return to your comfortable old anti-war spin that is no longer objectively serving your current stance of being in favour of democracy in Iraq.

    So to help you in presenting your new pro-war stance here’s some further observations.

    I was listening to the Sunday news this morning and was struck by the reports of events in Libya, Syria and Nigeria, none of which you are posting on. (and please don’t start) The horrible reality is that the ME is a political, cultural and economic swamp where bombs are set off all the time, and people demonstrating for the (quite pathetic) right to participate in free and fair elections etc., are every day shot dead by those who are armed and determined to hold on to their power over others. Corrruption is (as we all know) rife.

    What of the struggle for more democracy in Libya and Iraq where you are in favour of democracy as you have always said?

    As you know mush merchants of the pseudo-left have contributed nothing to the current level of liberation in Libya as only western armed forces have managed that contribution. All the war making capacity from space satellites and even U.S. bases in Australia, to Naval guns and specialist planning back at NATO on ground fire co-ordination, and training forces; and all the long train of logistics troops; and on; and on; fought a war you backed.

    The great ‘progressive’ leaders endlessly run in the Guardian like Chomsky; Pilger; Tariq Ali; Fisk; etc., maintained their role was once again to push a formulaic understanding of the world based on the always poisonous role of U.S. and British imperialism. A line that did not stand up to the problems of the Libyan masses facing the advancing tanks of their tyranny’s army and everyone knew this. You rejected this and good on you.

    The masses of progressive westerners just rejected this nonsense as nonsense and despite any attempt to hide behind NFZ junk by some,- this hiding was not permitted by the head of the U.S. military the Bush appointment that Obama kept; Gates. He said understand this is war from the start if we start!

    You and the mass of western progressives understood and all held their nose and jumped in leaving the usual suspects isolated and still ranting about oil etc..

    You backed the war and it is now over for NATO! So is the Iraq war for the COW. You have to make that adjustment to your stand.

    Of course one government was installed and one was not. Libya will I believe get around to elections, and I wish them well and expect some international supervision and basic confirmation that the new democracy is basically above board. Having backed the war we ought to expect to poke our western noses in to that extent I think you will agree. Nothing more than good manners really, and I am confident that the result will be a legitimate government from a PR political system, and that basically the demands of the SPRING people that ‘provoked’ the war from the tyrant will be met.

    All these same demands have been met in Iraq yet you are carrying on with snippets and a consistent spin as if the Iraq government is your enemy. You are carrying on as if anyone in any political position in Iraq is your enemy. You don’t post when other governments right or wrongly arrest people they are accused of wrong doing.

    We know that some people are doing wrong in Iraq because we see it on the TV a couple times a week. We know it’s not the government that is setting off those bombs and we are not in a position to know what the truth is. You are not meddling with Libya, yet there are similar political situations with Libya only understandably a bit behind in the democratic transformation process.

    So it is now your old arguments that you must deal with!

    They can make their own revolution can’t they?

    You now say ‘they’ ought to be held to some level of international standards right, and that’s where you exhaust your old paradigm and you know it.

    The demands common to both wars are met and new ones will now be advanced as they will in Libya and the human descent from the trees will continue ever onwards. But what is all this meddling in Iraq with selected spin contributions to a western site of fellow pro-war leftists?

    What is the new demand you want advanced? Is it that laws concerning women’s rights; or gay rights; or the rights to not only be an atheist; but to blaspheme, reach the level of Lenny Bruce?

    The ME is well known to be backward on issues of atheism, gender and sexuality in particular. Opposition to the born to rule classes having the ‘right’ to rule others has given a foundation to all progress in all the other rights that we in the west take for granted. The subsidiary rights on racism, sexism and over sexuality obviously can’t lead. The struggle for greater democracy is the foundation. Current western freedoms did not drop from the sky and they won’t in say South Africa where I am glad I do not live either.

    The developed industrialized west has produced some very tolerant societies like Holland, Denmark and Norway but even in those places journalists are murdered by Islamic thugs, news papers are threatened and mad-men of a rightist viewpoint murder dozens of people in cold blood. In these societies the struggle to blaspheme if you want is being fought not against the state but now often through the institutions of the state. The struggle for every measure of bourgeois democracy that can be rung out of a system built on the exploitation of one class of property-less humans by an owning class won’t be easy in the Kurdish region of the Middle East that so dangerously straddles Turkey, Iran Iraq and Syria.

    In the case of Syria the national question has become, in the manner of the breakup of Yugoslavia, the central driving question. There is no way that this country can hold together as the divisions are far too deep and there is no external force that can rapidly intervene and hold the country together by force through the whole liberation process.

    It is clear to me that the U.S. did hold Iraq together and that if they had left when the anti-war crowd demanded troops out, the civil war, that was sought and planned for by the likes of Al Qaeda would have happened with truly devastating casualties and an inevitable region wide catastrophe would have resulted. It still might and if it does eventuate that would not change my view on westerners smashing Iraqi Baathism in the slightest.

    Whatever is left to smash will have to be done by the Iraqi people that your paradigm said could do it all themselves anyway so let’s call this over and move on!

  18. 18 steve owens

    Wow zing! I confess in 2004 in a private email I alerted you to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald. You had independantly come across the story on Late Line. How do I plead, guilty your honor, in a private email I did point out this breaking story.
    Zing again on December 27 2011 at 12.08 I did link to what was presented as a quote from Christopher Hitchens. Bill said that he couldnt find it anywhere else and at 7.35 of the same day I posted that the quote was a joke quote. I would have dealt with it quicker but I thought that Bill was complaining about the other Hitchens links.
    What does the above have to do with this thread? Nothing just a bit of smear. Steve within the space of a mere 7 years has made 2 count them 2 unpardonable mistakes.
    In this thread I have linked to PressTV, The Washington Post, Associated Press and the Gaurdian. You have provided a link to a 2004 post by yourself.
    My point is that there is a struggle for democracy going on in Iraq and for some reason you have nothing more to say about this than generalised statements about the democracy not being perfect. When I point out that there are serious allegations that the government is behind the kidnapping and murder of a journalist you respond that even in tolerant societies journalists are killed by Islamic thugs. Im not talking about Islamic thugs, Im talking about government people.

  19. 19 steve owens
  20. 20 Arthur

    The video showed:

    1) There is freedom to protest in Iraq.

    2) The protests shown are significantly smaller than the best efforts of completely irrelevant pseudo-left sects in countries like Australia. The ones shown appear to be “outnumbered by police” due to the same sort of sheer inability to conceive of how tiny the pseudos are that sometimes occurs here.

    3) There are more extravagant claims of oppression by protestors in Iraq than all but the most self-evidently “nutter” claims of oppression by protestors in countries like Australia.

    4) Al Jazeera journalists sympathetic to such claims are not able to offer any evidence that would counter the obvious implications of points 1 and 2 but are able to at least hint at evidence suggesting that there is indeed (as one might expect), significantly more real oppression of protestors in Iraq than in countries like Australia.

    Without making a detailed study I can only provisionally indicate that I see some disturbing trends in the current government eg:

    1. Accusations against Vice President are suspicious in light of his history of support for Muslim Brotherhood against Baathists. Arrest warrant inevitable given confessions by staff that they engaged in terrorist attacks on his orders but seems plausible that they could turn out to not have been acting on his orders.

    2. Failure to support revolution in Syria, presumably on sectarian grounds.

    On the other hand desire to purge crypto Baathist deputy PM seems long overdue given HIS equally well known previous history.

    Harsh repressive measures against BOTH terrorist opposition AND its “legal” fronts are obviously essential against campaign of mass murder and political assassination. The dangers arising from such harsh repressive measures against “legal” opposition are as well known as the dangers arising from failure to repress. But judgments about specific situations require detailed understanding of Iraqi politics for anyone that actually does support democratic revolution in Iraq.

    Naturally there is no such problem for people who don’t really give a stuff about actual democratic revolution but merely wish to take “stands” for abstract principles.

    For me politics isn’t about taking “more stands” in favour of “principles” but about actually changing the world.

    Given that one could at least hope to influence public opinion in Australia to be supportive or at least less opposed to alliance with US in suppressing fascism in Iraq by armed invasion it was important to express that position.

    There is no possibility of public opinion in Australia having any influence on the detailed evolution of democratic politics in Iraq so not much point taking “stands” without actual knowledge of what’s going on.

    When there is a world movement with forces in both Australia and Iraq we would presumably have enough confidence in our correspondents to issue routine “solidarity” statements without knowing much of the details ourselves. But that could never be a substitute for our own activity and carries its own dangers of flunkeyism.

    As far as I can make out the point of Steve’s posts is not to keep us informed about disturbing trends in Iraq (thought that side effect is not entirely unhelpful) but primarily as a sort of continued expression of the same “principled stand” that led him to oppose the forcible overthrow of fascism in Iraq.

  21. 21 steve owens

    Arthur I think you get points one and two wrong.
    The small group of people shown protesting in the video were protesting in favour of the government. The regular anti government rallies have ceased. It might be because everyone in Iraq is happy with the government or it may be as people explain in the video that people no longer are prepared to face down the governments violence.
    I am a bit exasperated that after all these years of argument you still maintain that my opposition to the invasion was due to some sort of ritualistic “principled stand”
    A ritualistic principled stand would be Im against war because I oppose Imperialism or I support war because I oppose fascism. They are the meaninless principled stands that people cling to.
    When I made up my mind I asked myself what was the likely outcome and I became convinced as I have argued to you many times that my belief was that Saddams social base could and would make the country ungovernable for a very long time and that the most likely people to lead Iraq post invasion would be the SCIRI an anti democratic offshoot of the Iranian nutjobs.
    So please by all means disagree and by all means put up counter arguments but please stop the distortion that my thinking is dominated by “principled stands” rather than by an assessment of facts and judgments based on those facts.

  22. 22 steve owens

    I can’t leave this stuff alone. Arthur when you call for the purge of the crypto Baathist Deputy Prime Minister I guess you mean Saleh al-Mutlaq. Really? A man expelled from the Baath Party in 1977. A man whose professional life was in agronomy. A man who defied popular Sunni oppinion and ran in the 2005 elections.
    I guess thats why you use the term Crypto. Surely deBaathification is for prominent power wielding officials rather that for those who like al-Mutlaq stood up to the Baath Party and demanded fair trials.

  23. 23 Arthur

    I don’t have time to look up old references now, but recall that Al Mutlaq consistently represented the hard line Sunni chauvinist position virulently hostile to Shia and Kurds that nevertheless recognized it was necessary to participate in the new system instead of siding with Al Qaeda in a civil war that could only result in complete destruction for the Sunni.

    His participation was not “standing up to the boycott” but providing a legal crypto-Baathist front for the boycotters – eg denouncing the referendum that approved the Iraqi constitution as fraudulent.

    Some passing references at this site can be found from this google search:

    http://www.google.com.au/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=site:lastsuperpower.net+mutlaq

    Those old threads are worth perusing to remind oneself how badly our opponents got everything wrong and how well our own analysis stood up.

    BTW Steve’s belief that he has made only 2 notorious mistakes is consistent with his other beliefs. In fact he regularly posts on such insights as the US inflation rate, Italy’s immense gold reserves meaning it doesn’t face bankruptcy, alternating enthusiasm for and denunciations of Varga depending on whether he’s discovered that Varga was a Stalinist and endlessly getting it wrong about Iraq and the middle east (as can be seen in above threads).

    Most of the time the mistakes aren’t even “interesting” enough to comment on.

  24. 24 steve owens

    Just to set things straight Italy holds 2,451.8 tonnes of gold. If this was sold at current prices it would cover 10% of Italys debt. Not THE answer but I was arguing that it was an ace up the sleeve.
    Italys other ace is an emergency wealth tax just as it did in the currency crisis of 1992-1993. My position is that Italy could resort to sales and taxation but the problem is of a single currency and is most appropriately resloved by a Europe wide solution ie strong cental bank action rather than solutions at the national level.
    Average inflation in the US during 2011 was 3.16% In the argument with Arthur I was saying that the US authorities had a 2-3% target that they could achieve. Arthur was arguing that deflation was the likely outcome.

  25. 25 Arthur

    As I said, Steve’s “mistakes” usually aren’t interesting enough to comment on.

    This includes the numerous occasions where he misrepresents what other people said and/or what he himself said, as in the above example.

  26. 26 steve owens

    Im interested enough to point out who is the misrepresenter.
    Arthur wrote above that Steve posts such insights as “Italy’s immense gold reserves meaning it doesn’t face bankruptcy,…”
    Well anyone can go to the IMF Advisor says we face a worldwide banking meltdown thread. Scroll down to my post November 9 @ 10.03 pm and they can read. “Another ace up Italy’s sleeve is gold….”
    It is clear Im saying Italy has among other options a large gold reserve. Earlier in the thread I mentioned that Italy also has the option of an emergency wealth tax.
    Look Arthur you can just say sorry or you can ignore me but any further justification of your position is hopless because your arguing against the facts.

  27. 27 steve owens

    Inflation
    Unemployment And Revolution thread April 28 2009 7.43
    Arthur “Deflation has already started in US as well as Japan and China”
    Same thread April 30 2009 10.48
    Steve writes that current leadership in White House will target inflation at between 3 and 5%
    Inflation 2009 = -0.34%
    2010 = 1.64%
    2011 = 3.16%

  28. 28 Arthur

    Steve Owens
    April 28, 2009 at 7:05 pm
    Latest rate on 30year US treasury bond = 3.51%
    Average US inflation rate 2008 = 3.85%
    Nominal rate is 3.51 but the real rate is slightly below 0 I took the liberty of rounding off.
    If you notice I did not cite the rate but the return.

    Arthur
    April 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm
    Deflation has already started in US as well as Japan and China.

    12 month CPI to March 2009 for urban consumers fell by -0.4% DESPITE printing money.

    (Mainly due to energy costs falling).

    Much worse in Japan and China.

    […]
    The US has been running a “moderate inflationary policy” for decades. It is now running an EXTREME inflationary policy – not only staggering levels of deficit spending and zero inflationary rates but actually PRINTING MONEY “quantiative easing”.

    Nevertheless, there is a hole in the balloon and it isn’t inflating so far. In fact it has actually started deflating DESPITE the extreme inflationary policies.

    […]
    BTW US CPI figures for the 3% US inflation Steve predicted have now been released. They show -0.7% deflation for 12 months to April – cf -0.4% for 12 months to March.

    Steve Owens
    May 16, 2009 at 1:34 am
    Yes I was surprised that April recorded 0.74% deflation. All the more reason to expect the US to print even more money.

    I don’t have time to keep refuting Steve’s misrepresentations about what was said nearly 3 years ago.

    Nor is there any point discussing Steve’s views on the “ace” represented by Italy’s gold reserves or wealth tax.

    What’s noticeable is that Steve has nothing to say in defence of his support of Saleh Al Mutlaq so instead resorts to this stuff.

    I will continue to generally ignore it but the constant repetition of claims that Steve has been proved right and others have been proved wrong does make it necessary to OCCASIONALLY document the fact that Steve is a compulsive liar, while not getting sucked into the intended distraction.

  29. 29 steve owens

    Yes there were deflationary pressures and a breif period of deflation. Then as I predicted an inflation rate was restored. I was surprised that there was a blip at all but there was one to the extent that prices went backwards slightly in one year.
    As to Saleh Al Mutlaq he was barred from running in the last election in an anti democratic coup that barred about 500 people from running on the pretext of their Baathist past. What a crock expelled from the Baath Party decades ago and now banned from running for office due to his Baathist past.
    He became deputy Prime Minister as part of the power sharing government. That government has now placed tanks and troops outside his office. In response he has called Maliki worse than Saddam. Personally I think hes wrong but even DeGaul was moved in a fit of temper to describe Churchill as being worse than Hitler.
    A compulsive liar eh (expletive deleted)

  30. 30 steve owens

    http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-iraq-official-calls-pms-removal-143218004.html
    Heres the article that states that Maliki has stationed troops and tanks outside of Al-Mutlaq’s office

  31. 31 steve owens
  32. 32 steve owens
  33. 33 steve owens
  34. 34 steve owens

    Arthur in your post of Jan 23 @ 10.43pm you stated
    “1) There is freedom to protest in Iraq”
    I remember that last year the government banned protests in Baghdad. Have you information to clarify that the government has lifted this ban? You also state that the video I linked to shows that there is freedom to protest but the only protest that the video showed was the pro government group, surely freedom of speech means that anti government groups can protest.
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=baghdad-protest-ban-is-undemocratic-sadr-2011-04-20

  35. 35 steve owens

    This is the most up to date account I could find about freedom of assembly in Iraq
    http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-iraq

  36. 36 steve owens

    I hope that people are still interested in this stuff
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/201221616142140730.html

  37. 37 patrickm

    I’m glad that Steve is concerned about the bad signs coming out of Iraq. We have every reason to worry because the current enemies of the revolution launched by the COW are extremely powerful! The old enemy can’t win but a new enemy can win. THE enemy will deliberately infiltrate the revolutionary Iraqi state and do their work as best they can. The enemy will play democrat by day and be terrorist thug by night. The enemy will present as friend and say one thing but do another. As well as the enemy infiltration of all parts of the revolutionary state there is the well know problem of the degeneracy of those in power that left revolutionaries are well aware of.

    The pro-war left has always said to ‘cast aside illusions and prepare for struggle’ because the revolution will require more revolution to secure the victories won in the first stage and it has always been thus. Nothing is going to be easy about the revolutionary transformation of any part of the ME and that is especially true for Iraq and Syria. There are also bad ‘signs’ coming out of Libya and will do for many years (I’m very glad I don’t live in that region) but we all supported the NATO war and I think the NATO intervention ended in a victory. I don’t think any differently about Iraq except that Iraq was, strategically (as far as the further liberation of the worlds proletariat is concerned) a far more important war of obvious liberation.

    So when Steve reasoned that… Saddams social base could and would make the country ungovernable for a very long time and that the most likely people to lead Iraq post invasion would be the SCIRI an anti democratic offshoot of the Iranian nutjobs.……He obviously drew the conclusion that nothing could be done to advance modernity in the tyranny led ME for decades. He concluded that the swamp that he is obviously referring to ought to be left alone by westerners even though monstrous mosquitoes from the entire region had already been generated and were at work exporting a bombing campaign to all parts of the globe. Steve obviously concluded that nothing internal to the region was going to threaten the Iraqi tyrant at the heart of the swamp. A swamp that had just generated the first waves of mass murdering mosquitoes that had even the bourgeois discussing what had to be done about them.

    That – nothing can be done policy – because we would just make it worse – was a tough-titty policy for the Kurds just for a starter! But it was not made worse. The following clip is what worse looks like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFhCHVKjxjE&feature=related

    Last year in Libya Gaddaffi made it clear that removing him would be very expensive to the Libyan people but NATO showed up and made a nonsense of his rational calculation.

    That also happened to the Iraqi dictator who had a very impressive army that he used all the time. The COW turned up and made a nonsense out of his calculations. Virtually the whole leadership level of Baathism has been annihilated and what remains of those prepared to fight for their right to oppress others, are now reduced to IED’s, sniper rifles and car bombs.

    So now is the time for democrats like Steve to advocate a fight. Cost benefit analysis says go go go. All the costs to date are sunk costs anyway. Steve is being asked not about former views but WHAT NOW? After the war (that both Chomsky and Steve did not support), crushed the old regime and stood up a (week, even very week if you like) bourgeois democratic government. WHAT NOW?

    The COW has gone home as has NATO that Steve did support last year when he joined the pro-war left. Chomsky stuck to his anti imperialist drivel. Both interventions did their job and Iraq is just a bit further along the election / constitution road that’s all. People in both countries are getting along with the business of struggle on their new basis. The raw human material for the new societies are what they are and truth is I can’t see much difference between the two countries other that in Iraq the classic Protestant – Catholic style crap that is very familiar to me, is in play! But that issue can’t be avoided and the enemy is and always was going to make use of that very real divide. But given that reality WHAT NOW?

    Just look at what was done in the very first instance, and then consider how the nut-jobs are now all let loose in Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and on and on. What Steve has been thrilled at last yr as the Arab Spring felled governments run as tyrannies, was a process that gave the nut-jobs real opportunities that they did not have and it can go pear shaped as it did in Iran when the Shah was felled. Indeed that was the Mubarak line as to why he had to run Egypt and Gaddaffi was telling everyone the same line. So it is now with Syria and so it was with Algeria etc.

    In the case of Syria it is clear that Assad does have a substantial social base. That is to say an area of the current country supports him and enables him to gun down people in other parts of the country. They were not being gunned down when they kept quiet in 2010 so things have got worse. Assad would like to go back to holding power without having to gun down people every day… but alas even Saddam could not turn back time to before he sent that very impressive army out like pirates to seize Kuwait. That attack was reasoned by the old anti-war Steve as not worth doing anything of a fighting nature about and of course the earlier advance by Argentine Fascists to pirate British territory was deemed as not worth doing anything to undo either. Neither was worth the cost because there was not enough benefit as far as the old anti-war Steve could see.

    But Steve knows that these undertakings were all structured by the pirates with a cost in mind. If it WAS cheap to do something about them the piracy would never have been done in the first place. Strategically Steve is stuffed and ought to know it. The result is built into the other sides planning problem before they start their latest oppressive undertaking. Always conduct your fascist undertaking with force is the motto. Never conduct fascist undertakings when people can easily stand up to you and arrest you and throw you in jail.

    The whole way the world works ensures that Steve’s political judgment can be and will be defeated by cost benefit analysis. It will always be too costly (especially for anyone that losses everything they have ever had and are ever going to have) to do anything to fight an aggressive fascist regime either externally or internally because they start the fight and only start when they think they are ready. This is failed from the start logic and has nothing to do with any left tradition.

    But the masses were not presented with a cost benefit estimate of the fight. The masses were told that it’s all about oil, Haliburton, it’s illegal, there are no WMD’s, that the environment won’t stand a fight etc Anti war activists marched alongside genuine pacifists and pointlessly chanted things like ‘workers of the world unite’ while they did this. The masses ought to have been told ‘workers of the world unite provided the fascists haven’t made it all too hard’.

    This time last year the immediate menace of Gaddafi’s tanks caused the brains of the former anti-war leftists to hurt with the effort of working out how to fight. Want-to-be progressives emerged from their comatose like state that always produced reflex anti-war chanting.

    Just over 1 yr ago Steve wrote about how he was clearly making an error many yrs ago. steve owens January 4, 2011 at 11:23 pm
    ‘I was clearly making an error when I did not support the no fly zones. At the time I thought that the US was offering temporary protection that would be removed leaving the Kurds in a similar position to the Shia in the south when the US lifted the ban on Saddams troops from moving, there by allowing Saddam to crush the shia rebellion but still I should have been supporting any protection of the Kurds.’

    A few months later he did not make the same error and publicly supported an intervention war of western capitalist countries and was glad that death rained down on Gadaffi’s soldiers as they drove their tanks towards Bengazi. Steve was now prepared to stand along side the US and British and in doing so changed sides and joined the camp of the pro-war left and abandoned his anti-war allies.

    Despite the arguments put forward from all the usual suspects Steve after years of study was not buying their product. Bomb those tanks and unite and fight for a bourgeois democratic revolution NOW was Steve’s conclusion. Unite and fight became the foundation for a new stand incompatible with peace marching and any unity with the old crowd. No matter how smelly the new side was and is the other side had tanks that were crushing an obvious bourgeois democratic revolution and Steve chose wisely.

    Steve remembered I should be supporting any protection of the Libyans and the only way to do that was to support the fighting of a war until it was won and after that phase ended then see the new state slowly emerge. We supported the war while all knew the new democracy would be nothing fit for western leftists to write home about. None of us are shocked by developments since victory and neither am I with respect to Iraq.

  38. 38 Steve Owens

    The struggle for democracy in Iraq involves defense of the right to assembly and the right to free speech. The Iraq state has been cracking down on both of these rights. I posted a link to a video that exposed to lack or right to assembly in Baghdad but Arthur misrepresented it to claim that it proved that the right to assembly exists in Baghdad.
    It is now one year since the violent crack down on free speech in the Kurdish area.
    http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2012/2/state5896.htm

  39. 39 Steve Owens
  40. 40 Steve Owens

    Patrick Im not only interested in bad news, Im happy for the good.
    http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2012/2/state5913.htm
    Kurd net yesterday also ran a “bad” story about the Kurdish missing which I found interesting.

  41. 41 Steve Owens

    Patrick I think that your position is weak because its a complete domination of ideology over practicality where as my position tries for a balance.
    Take the Falklands, the Argentinians did. We both oppose the Argentinian invasion but you are prepared to fight the facists no matter what. Its a matter of principle for you.
    Despite the war costing almost as many casualties as the population of the Falklands and from here to eternity these islands becoming an armed camp where 1 in 4 residents is a soldier and the fact that we know that eventually the Falklands will become part of Argentina.
    What would the cost in lives have to be before you say that the price is too high? The same casualty rate in Iraq would have seen 20 million casualties.
    What if the Argentine navy had not had as its major asset a 1951 cruiser but a couple of modern subs? Then we could expect a death toll in the many thousands. Would that have been an acceptable price? Some how for you I think the answer is yes because for you the question is ideological and the deaths well….

  42. 42 Steve Owens

    For those who want good news about Iraq.
    http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/thereddingpilot/news/116132-a-view-of-iraqi-successes-burdin-hickok-will-talk-about-his-experiences-on-march-10.html
    Wow no credit system under Saddam. He’s the hero of all those that think debt is bad.

  43. 43 Steve Owens

    This ones dedicated to those who argue that freedom of assembly exists in Baghdad, lookin at you Arthur and to those who argued that Iraq’s progressive constitution would mean progressive outcomes, lookin at you Guru.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/0302/Update-on-Iraq-Not-quite-freedom-on-the-march

  44. 44 patrickm

    I do not believe ‘the FACT that we know that eventually the Falklands will become part of Argentina.’ I think that just as we have seen war riven Europe turn towards ever greater integration, (and what’s more very much more integration is urgently required now) we will eventually and sooner rather than many decades later see a similar development in South America. The world wide problems of the capitalist system (producing mass unemployment etc.) will require solutions that may well be beyond the capacities of the current national owning classes – producing some new internationalist leaning proletarian democracy, rather than 1930’s fascist and imperialist solutions; OR there may yet be another round of that dead-end, if a real left can’t get its act together. If owning classes remain in power then that may well end in war, and even on a massive scale but then that is why I want to leave capitalism behind and became a communist in the first place. I don’t think that proletarians have any interest in initiating war. Owning classes have a well known track record of launching war, and I am especially thinking of those lovely liberals that tried their best to prevent democracy emerging in China and Vietnam because communists would win elections.

    I just love the latest good news story you posted out of Iraq ‘To do “country building,” Mr. Hickok said, you need to create an effective infrastructure and a functional government “to support a democratic form of government. Only the Iraqis can build their nation. We’re essentially trying to guide Iraq out of 30-plus years of communist government.” ‘ It really is remarkable what knuckle dragging sorts like this have been able to achieve.

    But even Argentinian Generals know there is no requirement to resolve the ‘problem’ of the Falkland Islands unless the Falkland Islanders completely change and I have no expectation that they will. My view is that Falkland Islanders will remain the most British of all peoples, and that the armed forces of Britain will not have to do more than use the place for some of their cold weather training as they have done since they defeated the aggressor troops over 30 years ago. I don’t see the Islands as any sort of armed camp and think the Argentinians will never fight over the issue again.

    I believe the U.S. in particular was locked into this settlement of the issue at the time, and even more deeply as a result of the end of realist policies and the democratic reorientation after 9/11. I think the issue was resolved in a manner that ought to focus the mind of any in power exploiting class elite that thinks war is the way forward for them. The same type of thinking over the Falkland Islands in 1981, applies to Kuwait in 1991 and is yet another example to focus the mind’s. Aggression has not ended well for the aggressors. These lessons bode well for the future and the pseudo-left hardly got in the way at all but for the problem that they are taken to be what the left is.

    Day in day out, the oppressors and exploiters are if not engaged in aggression, still killing and harming people on my side of humanity’s great descent from the trees. My side advocates peaceful conduct but has to change from advocates of peace to advocates of revolutionary war when peace fails. The enemy is the central problem and must be destroyed as an enemy and obviously that can’t be done without further casualties to my side. Ultimately the death of more enemy troops during my short life time is a benefit to my side and then our descendants. Leftists ought to take a very long term view and treat the enemy’s deaths as ‘lighter than a feather’, and the deaths on our side as ‘weightier than Mount Tai’. Presented in that way perhaps I use more of a cost benefit approach to fighting than you do Steve.

    I believe an era of perpetual peace will arrive via the struggle against all exploitation. I remain a communist. I think Steve ‘values all life’, and so immediate casualties on both side’s becomes a central but unhelpful question for him. Whereas, I am interested in changing the world and advocate uniting the many and killing the few that are the oppressive problem that starts all the killing in the first place. Once the killing starts as it has in Syria I advocate fighting to destroy the immediate enemy and prevent the emergence of the same enemy in the future. The Syrian peoples’ were not being shot as much a few years back, but the price was living in bondage and now the revolutionary war for liberation has started.

    The spell has broken and the war will go on and on until the heavily armed tyranny is defeated. The revolutionaries will benefit from outside help just as the Libyans did. They ought to get as much help as possible all the way through to the destruction of tanks and so forth. But this will not be as straight forward as Libya was. Consider the fools who parade as western leftists who think the main issue is to call for hands off Syria, and that the fight must be left entirely up to the Syrian people. See the ‘anti-imperialist’ idiocy passing for Maoist thinking on this at Kasama.

    When I read Mao I wanted to learn from the most successful revolutionary fighter ever, and having read him I believe that those who use the thinking and methods of Mao will do well in their fighting. (That the other side brings on). I recall the call to “put politics in command”, and “unite and don’t split” are the sort of immeasurably valuable gems that I more fully understand as history moves on. Others treat this so lightly as they follow Chomsky, even as he refers to the misinformation of Mao as a mass-murdering monster.

    Nevertheless, when Mao was alive, Chomsky was in a united-front with Mao as both worked to see the U.S.A., and it’s “running dogs” like Australia defeated in Vietnam. The Chinese under Mao gave massive assistance to the people of Vietnam, and the superpower imperialism was defeated and the “running dogs” became confused and changed as well! It’s close to 40 years since that left-wing high point and Chomsky is now dribbling about how the U.S. was defeated over Iraq! He has to make this claim and it is bullshit. The war aims over the Falkland Islands, Kuwait, and Iraq were all met and the world is moving on. The Iraqi peoples’ are dealing from a position of strength with enemies bred in the swamp and the western anti-war movement is as good as dead.

    But all these changes are like watching a rock being worn down by water. For me it’s all so incredibly slow, so any chance to see a revolutionary war advance the interests of the class is for me a chance worth studying very closely. So even though the British were still waging a low level war against Irish nationalists in the north of that little island I had no trouble working out that Thatcher was not the fascist, old style imperialist that the pseudo-left were painting her, and her government was correct in standing up to fascist aggression. The U.S.A. was also put firmly back in their box over the issue as well! There were no nationalist issues and there are no Malvinas. Peaceful aggression must be met by demands for withdrawal and was. The Junta could have left with no loss of life , but just like Assad, and Gadaffi and Saddam they chose war and the killing started. There was not any dispute from a proletarian standpoint. There is not any now in Syria.

    You ask ‘What would the cost in lives have to be before you say that the price is too high? …..for you the question is ideological and the deaths well….’

    Your question demonstrates that you just do not get it. But now that you are part of the pro-war left let’s try to deal with the war in Syria rather than try to bring you up to speed over 30, 20, and now 10 yr old successful liberations and defenses of bourgeois democracy.

  45. 45 Steve Owens

    Yes the Falklands will become Argentinian long before borders become unnecessary and we all live in an intergrated communist utopia. The Falklands will become Argentinian due to geography and common sense.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/02/falklands-islanders-sold-out
    The Falklands are 300 miles from Argentina and 7000 miles from Britain, the inhabitants have no more right to be part of Britain than does northern island, or the Sudaten land to Germany. Its a bit late to stand on the principal of self determination you dont extend that right to the people of Hungary 1956 or the people of Tibet or the people of Hong Kong.
    Britain seized the Falklands with its military might. The vast majority of South Americans see British soveriegnty as a colonial relic. Those who inhabit the Island can support a negotiated settlement or they can continue to live under the sword of Damacles and wake up one morning to find that mother England dosn’t really give a shit about them.

  46. 46 Steve Owens

    As always Im happy to correct my mistakes. I stated that the population of the Falkland Islands at the time of war was 3,000. I now realise that this is incorrect. The current population of the Falklands is 3,000. The population at the time of the war was 1,500. Therefor my comparison of casualties between the Iraq and Falkland war is wrong the new comparison should be somewhere in the vicinity of 30 million dead and wounded. Fortunately for Patricks logic 20 million of the dead would be of the lighter than a feather variety.

  47. 47 Steve Owens

    You are correct Patrick those bloody pseudos at the Gaurdian just wont admit that Argentinian casualties are as light as a feather.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/02/the-conversation-falklands-veterans-experiences

  48. 48 informally yours

    Typical of Steve to tell us how good he is and how ‘monstrously inhuman’ his opposition is. It is so damn predictable.

  49. 49 Arthur

    Truly bizarre. The war was fought between a fascist regime in Argentinia and a bourgeois democratic regime in Britain over an attempt by the fascists to seize British territory populated entirely by British people. The aggressors lost 649 killed and the defenders lost 258 killed.

    The fascists lost power in Argentina as a direct result.

    Instead of comparing the deaths with the populations of Argentina and Britain, Steve compares them with the population of the Falklands Islands!

    There were 0 civilian deaths, including 0 from the Falkland Islands.

    Steve’s “was it worth it” derives entirely from instinctive sympathy with fascist aggressors against democratic defenders.

    As usual, the bizarre mathematics wasn’t even worth commenting on because it was so bloody obvious. But its hard to resist when Steve boasts of having corrected his mistake “as always”.

    The same applies to his “concern” over the remaining problems in Iraq, even blaming the new regime for the fact that their terrorist opponents are still murdering journalists as well as other civilians and insisting that in this situation of ongoing mass murder attempts, the inevitably resulting badly targeted repression and restrictions on civil liberties are evidence of complete failure.

  50. 50 patrickm

    Just a small point there were 3 civilian deaths from friendly fire (all women) and these deaths were and remain ‘weightier than Mount Tai’.

  51. 51 Steve Owens

    Arthur, Galtieri was dismissed from office days after the Falklands war ended. He was put on trial for civil rights abuses and mismanagement of the war. He was found innocent of the civil rights charges but guilty of war mismanagement.
    The dictator fell not because the war was unpopular but because it was mismanaged.
    The lesson to all dictators was buy up to date weapons systems.
    My point about casualties is that more people were killed or injured than were liberated. Very little value for effort if you ask me.
    Soveriegnty will go to Argentina is just a matter of how long and how many deaths.

  52. 52 patrickm

    Steve you are talking rubish!

    The capitalist ‘utopia’ in the dear – not so old – European Union that emerged after the capitalist planned love-fest of WW2 is IMV not doing so very well as to have anti-communists of any stripe (least of all a pro-war leftist stripe) scoffing at democratically credentialed communists, and ruling out moves in the direction of a workers revolution to overthrow the exploitative owning classes. The western world appears to be going through a 1930’s capitalist depression style crises with much worse to come IMV and most of the rest of the world is already in unimaginably grinding poverty. Those of us that are reading up on Marxist economics are finding plenty of work to get on with.

    But I would have thought that it obvious that Europe’s integration was quite clearly in the context of an impossible to oppose booming capitalism, and I assume that South America would move in a similar direction with consequential improvements in the democratic lot of the vast majority known as the working classes – when that owning class needs us – and known as the unemployed when they do not. No class is going to overthrow a booming capitalism that sees our owning / ruling class delivering real progress. Integration delivers that real progress, but is also delivering a we are the 99% movement even if its first steps are held back by pseudo-left madness, and is essentially premature in a place like still ‘booming’ Australia.

    Uruguay is just across a river and a line on the map not a matter of 300 miles across an ocean. Hell, in Europe there are all those little countries that do not require ‘cleaning up’ and won’t without a change in the way Europe works. Andorra; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Monaco: San Marino; and the Vatican City, may require workers to do something about them from the inside, but I can’t see how owning classes ought to be involved from the outside in. That’s truly an issue of hands off if you ask me. There are no democratic demands in any of these places that require outside intervention to achieve. This is not the case with Syria.

    I read Steve’s March 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm Guardian piece and saw nothing that even made much sense. The British don’t really have to spend much on the Islands and have a navy and army to train anyway. And as technology moves on, and oil or whatever becomes a going issue moving the product to markets, seems like it will move on in capacity as well. At any rate, my point that the British and U.S. Etc., are now locked into NOT permitting any very unlikely Argentinian aggression remains both un-addressed and even un-thought by people who would be regularly published in the Guardian, so when they get what is happening in the ME I may take an interest in their views about the deep South Atlantic.

    But why Steve ought to say ‘the inhabitants have no more right to be part of Britain than does Northern Ireland, or the Sudaten land to Germany.’ is quite beyond me. Unless you mean they can’t force the rest of Britain to have them as a dependency. I think they are virtually unanimous in not wanting a bar of being Argentinian.

    It may well be true that ‘The vast majority of South Americans see British sovereignty as a colonial relic.’ but then they also thought that the British and U.S.A. went to Iraq in 2003 for the oil! At any rate are you aware of French Guiana, and the dozen or so Caribbean dependencies? Personally, I hope that people are smart enough to not think that the closest military power on the make ought to start re-drawing borders to suit the ruling-elite of that nationalist stripe, when France, Holland etc., look a little wobbly etc.. We saw the results with East Timor when Portugal wobbled, and we don’t want to see any more of that old anti-communist, ‘realist’ rubbish.

    One tends to forget that the U.S. at the time was giving the go ahead to clean up these old issues, and had to get pulled up by Thacher and made to support Britain. Whitlam led Australia had not pulled them up over their plans for Timor Leste and neither did Tweedledee Fraser. The support that Britain has provided at every point since 9/11, has ensured that ‘realist-bastard’ behavior, as proposed in the Guardian article is not now really possible.

    On this issue I tend to agree with the inhabitants of the dependency who seem to think that there is nothing to negotiate and that the issue is settled. I don’t think a sword of Damocles is hanging over any Falkland Islander’s head, and won’t for as far into the future as I care to speculate about, but that the war of 1982 has rather removed this option and has created a peaceful part of the globe.

    Self determination does not simply settle any issue of territory and Steve knows this! I am not aware that anyone disputes that Hong Kong is part of China. It’s true that China requires a communist revolution to rid the country of the capitalist ruling elite (that you are so fond of – compared to the communist revolutionaries led by Mao – but that has nothing much to do with any non-existent proposal to break up China.

    I have never stood only ‘on the principal of self determination’. (Especially when it is utterly phony and borders are cut to exclude the rights of the hinterland, and school age majorities never become adult age majorities by virtue of a simple denial of civil rights etc..) As my 40-yr-old analysis of the Northern Ireland issue demonstrates. Northern Ireland continues on the path I have always predicted, and will I think break the connection to the U.K. and be reconstituted as part of a United Ireland one day, but like the issue of the republic in Australia, it will come when ever it does and is thankfully not now high on many people’s agenda. The same can’t be said about the owning class providing jobs to the workers, with or without a United Kingdom.

    As for Hungary, I note that the issue is connected to WW2, and it’s consequential aftermath including the fact that a communist revolution to end WW1 was finally and totally exhausting itself, with the rise to complete power of the revisionists after the war destroyed so much of what humanity’s best and brightest were up to in the genuine U.S.S.R. Self determination was not the only issue involved, but they have their independence now and I was glad they got it, as I was about all the others, after all I have been a well known critic of the type of phony U.S.S.R that’s been in existence since I was born at least. So that puts us 50 plus years back from thinking about Syria and how this very complex war of liberation is to be thought about, and how to deal with the ‘hands off Syria’ line pushed by the anti-war / anti-imperialist usuals.

    That only leaves the usual slander about ‘ the people of Tibet’ that however IS relevant as the entire country of China – including the ethnically distinct Tibet/Irish, that are entitled to full liberation along with the other minorities – ought to have a revolution and then up to and including as far as independence. The principal struggle is one for democracy and freedom from owning class tyranny! If that really does require the independence of Tibet then they must have it. The tactical realities are that the struggle for democracy must lead lest reactionaries dominate. Just don’t try to push the line that the revolutionary armies writ ought not have been extended into Chinese Tibet when the red army turned up in the first instance!

    Now can we return to pro-war thinking and how to expose the Chomsky / Kasama etc., hands off Syria junk? The democratically minded Syrians require much and they have even more allies like our Libyans that destroyed Christian war graves yesterday. The whole area is about to Balkanize in a complete mess, and realist fear-mongering is preventing NATO and the U.S. from jumping up and down far louder than they are. There are those that actually want a long slow bleeding style war to destroy many more of the Islamist forces.

    As for Falkland war casualties, there were 1,188 Argentine, and 777 British, non-fatal casualties, and 907 deaths, all of these deaths and injuries can be laid at the feet of the Argentinian fascists that invaded the islands and would not withdraw without being defeated. They believed that they had made the costs too high and the risks too great, fortunately for the future they were wrong and the Argentinian people were soon free of their rule.

    BTW the latest article points out
    ‘TM: …Then the air attacks started. I managed to shoot down two aircraft at San Carlos and those aircraft to me were just enemy weapons platforms. It was only after I left the forces that I thought, there were guys flying those aeroplanes, and I’ve killed two men. But the worst thing that happened to me was that my equipment malfunctioned when I tried to fire Rapier missiles at your Skyhawks. The result was that the Sir Galahad was destroyed, with 50-odd men killed. ‘

    In short I was very sorry I didn’t manage to kill some more pilots!

    TM: The way I see it, the Falklanders pay their taxes just like everyone else, so they’re entitled to a military defence, if that’s what they wish.

    Plus what Arthur said X 2!

    For Christs sake Steve you even know about the ‘The Dirty War’ that went from 1976 to 1983? Why do you think it ended in 83? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_War What of the casualties in that ongoing horror of attacks from the army that made the cost of resisting aggression high?

  53. 53 Steve Owens

    Its 30 years since the war and the two sides are still at logger heads. The current Argentinian President ran on a reclaim the Malvinas plaform and this is seen as a key plank in her popularity.
    The Argentinians threaten a blockade of British goods
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/falklandislands/9114859/Britain-accuses-Argentina-of-a-policy-of-confrontation-after-it-threatens-blockade-on-UK-goods.html
    Brazil and other south american countries ban ships in support of the Argentinian claim. My point about soveriegnty is that the Argentinians wont give up and they are only 300 miles away.
    Arthur is again wrong in his slur that I have sympathy with fascism. The major western powers were up to their necks in supporting the junta. The Argentinian fascists were brutal. In this period both countries were found guilty of torture and murder. The Argentinians did more but only because they were facing greater opposition both sides will do what is necessary.
    The war promoted a jingoistic nationalism in both countries. Jingoistc nationalism is the enemy of progress. I am for progress therefor I opposed this war because victory for the UK was a victory for the status quo, a victory for the worst elements of British society. Having stood up to the Argentines, Thatcher went on to stand up to Irish Nationalists and then on to British trade unionists.
    When a problem like this arises I think that the correct question to ask is how will the outcome affect the revolutionary class? If the answer is that the working class will be united to the ruling class through jingoism then the answer is clear oppose jingoism oppose the war.

  54. 54 Steve Owens

    Just a minor point. Hong Kong was ceded to the British in perpetuity. There was no more reason to hand back Hong Kong to fascist China than there was to hand back the Malvinas to Fascist Argentina. Except of course that Britania could cream Argentina in a fight but not China.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_of_sovereignty_over_Hong_Kong

  55. 55 Steve Owens

    Informlly yours, What a hoot, many people use blogs to vent their spleens while they cover themselves by talking about the topic. Not you, straight to the spleen. (Raotflmao)
    But seriously do you share Arthur and Patricks view of the war? What were your thoughts when it was happening?
    You have to excuse me for writting so often I am retired now and havent got a time consuming habit yet. I tried poker but that only lasts while you have some money.
    regards Steve

  56. 56 steve owens

    Iraq prepares for the next elections
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/25/us-iraq-vote-idUSBREA2O1T020140325
    I think that Iraq qualifies as a failed state with the exception that failed states dont hold free and fair elections. We must wait and see.

  57. 57 patrickm

    Steve; I suppose we could say the regime in Egypt is preparing for an election as well, and in Crimea they just had one of sorts and Putin wants a few more along the border where his volk reside! Four years on from the last Iraqi election and the region’s swamp is either spreading or more draining has begun. I don’t think the world has stayed the same and we have now seen several more examples of the implosion of western ‘left’ thinking.

    Has the swamp spread or drained in your view? 4 years ago the wider Arab spring that we were predicting was still to break out. What were the effects of those 2 rounds of real free and fair elections in Iraq? You accept that description as being the reality of both those last elections (run while the COW was still around). I wonder how many Germany had before they didn’t?

    After election cycle number 2 Iraq as a model for a slightly higher form of human association (that other people were entitled to aspire too) was yet to have the dramatic effects upon the region it was always bound to. True, Iraq had been having more subtle effects right across the region for about 7 years or so at that point never for a week having been outside the news but that was the period of incubation for the disease! Then along came a Tunisian whose single case started the epidemic, and away a public fever for change ‘unexplainedly’ spread.

    But the enemies of progress won’t give in and hand power over to unarmed demonstrating proletarians (led by non existent 21st C Arab reds) so there is now more general killing and more ethnic cleansing and destruction and refugees!

    The proof of taking on Baathist armies all by yourself is out in the open now. And the death toll in Syria is rapidly gaining on the also rising number in Iraq. Libya has not become Nirvana neither! By now it ought not take a maths genius to predict the month that the casualty trend lines will cross and Syria take the lead. But where is the Syrian Body count? The Iraq body count is still going ever onwards and the rate has picked up quite a bit since Syria spread the infection back again. People of all classes vulnerable to such an infection had been there all along so what gave those people the notion that they too could have free and fair elections other than the fact that they were happening in Iraq?

    Imagine what the Egyptian people now face.

    Assad, assisted by Putin has given western people years of blood soaked lessons. These horror lessons have come on top of Libya that almost went the other way till NATO stepped in. Lots of western progressives chose unity with NATO ruling elites using their country’s military’s to act as the artillery for the revolution in Libya. We all chose war being the best way forward for Libya. Assad’s Chemical weapons are now being eliminated month by month from his fear of credible imminent U.S. intervention.

    Just scoffing at pro-war left theories as they are adopted by more people can’t work anymore so censorship is the mark of the collapsed pseudoleft. Another round of that censorship has them once again disappearing up their own wazoo while the people reject them as the detestable joke that they are.

    I’m sure you’re glad you left all that twaddle behind years ago. Personally I’m still looking for anything radically left or even in any sense left that is worth working in (on the net or otherwise), I take it you don’t know of anything or presumably you’d have mentioned it by now.

    BTW 500 people were just sentenced to death by a judge in Egypt (I guess the executions won’t be carried through with) but the fact is that the leader there has come to power in a coup and has killed people every day since. I guess they will only shoot 25 or 50 after appeal and that will show how “moderate and responsible” they are!

    Actually the new pharaoh has no way to stop his killing unless the oppressed agree to live as the powerless and oppressed in terror ‘ought’ to and there is no indication that will be the case. Systematic revolutionary terror is the only way to deal with the enemy in this situation as Egypt has moved back into a kill or be killed mode of politics.

    A policemen is now being killed every day in Egypt and that can’t surprise us after all they started it just like in Libya and Syria. That state has only ‘failed’ I suppose if you were the president of it and are now in prison with thousands of others, or dead. If you think that Iraq is failed because they have their police killed every day as well OK then the region is failed and I look forward to that failure spreading to Iran. There ARE political proposals that can stop the killing in all cases but they really require what the reactionary elements won’t deliver, so humanity resorts to trials of strength and ‘all political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’.

    There are literally millions of paid police thugs in Egypt. Some must think it’s a state doing quite well after all better than being the grumbling unemployed that they spy on, beat up, arrest and jail! No doubt some Egyptian police thugs still come out to study at Australian universities. I met a couple when they were ridiculously pretending to be interested in Trots who themselves worked with the blatantly corrupt admin to attack, in every way, communists who stood in their way. Nothing new in these methods.

    Not that far north of that Russian base in Syria Putin has demonstrated that Ukraine will be cut up as and when he sees fit. But 4 years ago about the only thing that was predictable was that Iraq’s election would fall due now.

    This swamp draining business would be a lot easier if it wasn’t always raining and the enemy didn’t block the flow.

  58. 58 steve owens

    Patrick on September 10 Al Qaeda had several hundred members, the support of the Taliban government and an idea to pull off a suicidal stunt.
    Since then the US government has done everything you have called for (and everything Bin Laden could hope for) War on Afghanistan, war on Iraq, pressure on Israel and promotion of democracy in the middle east.
    A decade of war and Al Qaeda is now active in Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines. Al Qaeda have produced more of their deadly stunts in Spain, England, India and Indonesia.
    Israel has tightened its grip on the occupied territories with further role out of settlements.
    Elections in Afghanistan are fraudulent and those in Iraq are looking more that way.
    There have been successes the Kurds of Iraq have improved their situation and we have seen the Arab spring which you can lay some claim to although I suspect not as much as you might like as evidence between the link of the US shaking up the region and the latter developments runs both ways.
    Has a decade of effort drained the swamp or has a decade of effort only produced more mosquitoes.
    My position was and is that Al Qaeda’s main recruiting tool was the use of US troops on “Muslim” soil. My belief was and is that sending troops to Afghanistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia would be an effective recruitment tool for Al Qaeda. Nothing over the past decade has happened to dissuade me from that belief.

  59. 59 patrickm

    Steve, Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke on January 4, 2006, and thereby unwillingly joined – as a non card carrying member – the pseudoleft in the land of the living dead. After 8 years and having learned all he could from the other members in January 2014 his membership in that brain dead club lapsed altogether. People might recall that when leading Israel he had ‘just’ taken very dramatic actions that included the withdrawal from 4 West Bank settlements in September 2005. 100 days later he was ‘gone’ from politics, and its now 8 years since he personally stopped leading the dramatic movement OUT of Gaza, moves that had taken 2 years to drag out.

    Israel moving OUT of anywhere escapes some and the pseudoleft might scoff and now say ‘well of course they had to pull out of Gaza’, yet they had been there since they started this war for land in 1967 (near on 40 years back) so Zionists really did have other notions at the start.

    Forgotten now apparently, but Sharon even had to set up a new political party to bulldoze a way forward because ending such a war is close to tearing the country apart. The war for Greater Israel has been a real disaster! It was an historical anachronism when launched and has becoming a politically gangrenous limb for all who remain connected to such a racist affront to humanity.

    All this stuff evidently takes years, even if – from my POV – if twere well it were done, then twere well it were done quickly. The enemy has a different perspective and the further steps that have been taken by others who have since ‘led’ Israel have hidden the massive direction of retreat from many people almost totally! Obviously a memory loss is as good as a coma, like Sharon’s, so just to catch you up with some events that both of you missed – Israel has NOT tightened its grip on the occupied territories with further roll-out of settlements.

    The reality is that all those electoral cycles and competing and intersecting issues in the intervening years, along with the facts on the ground building projects have been real and consequential but not changed the balance of the interests and strategic direction involved. It’s not stopped being a stand out racist blot on humanity but rather become even more so.

    A couple of years after the ‘bulldozer’ became the dozer, my predictions of what Olmert would do as PM went pear shaped, as did Olmert’s life after his curious tenure as PM, when he played games and Bush tried to ‘understand’ his problems. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/olmert-convicted-on-holyland-bribery-charges/story-e6frg6so-1226870356295# His personal behavior and the fine numbers game of the discredited parliamentary politics of Israel at the time http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/moshe-katsav-rape-charges_n_802579.html led to Livni paying the electoral price, and so we have had Netanyahu staging his fighting retreat against U.S. interests.

    The current U.S. administration has been held right back down in the old gutter of last century’s U.S. administrations making. With the new reality of their interests clear to most of the thinking world the current administration are almost self evidently not happy. These days Obama speaks straight over Netanyahu directly to the youth of Israel and Netanyahu twists and turns and like Putin fools no one at all. You’d reckon Obama would be over both these nasty’s but he’s so vacuous who knows what he will do! It could be that past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour and we could see more dithering.

    Netanyahu turning up at the UN with a picture of a cartoon bomb half full (he’s that sort of guy) is the level that we have been witness to. Others look at the same picture and see the bomb half empty, go figure! Individuals really do matter. Parliaments and elections that produce these ‘leaders’ do matter, and even the competing cycles of them can matter. It’s the old ‘everything is connected to everything and is a class question comrade’, problem!

    Obama can hate Netanyahu all he likes but after the Israelis ran the clock down on a wavering Bush, a ditherer in chief busy not being Bush has got what we ought to have expected from this front. Netanyahu was the one that pushed the reset button. But the trend lines still have consequences and are still producing more events while Israeli politics, U.S. politics, Palestinian politics and the whole Arab Spring has been at work to bamboozle all who doubt that the War for Greater Israel will be settled because it has failed. It is not going to fail it has failed.

    U.S. interests blatantly require that Netanyahu not make them do his bidding even if a generation have to die out before the next free themselves.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/28/release-marwan-barghouti-palestines-nelson-mandela The issue grinds on…and what do people say about the darkest hour.

    I just picked up this comment;
    ‘As the late Christopher Hitchens observed, “Peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved because the parties of God have a veto on it and everyone knows this is true. Because of the divine promises made about this territory, there will never be peace, there will never be compromise. There will be instead misery, shame and tyranny and people will kill each other’s children for ancient books and caves and relics. And who is going to say this is good for the world?”
    And that’s the weakest side of Hitchens fully on display. Our lives might be too short as well but really ‘never be peace’! Let’s step back and look at this like ‘the foolish old man that removed the mountain’.

    When Begin and Sharon were at war in Lebanon the deal for the south border was done and the settlements in Sinai withdrawn but that didn’t make the Palestinians disappear any more than has shouting about the Lebanese, the Syrians or even the very far away Iranian’s.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.581985

    ‘The Camp David Accords were signed on September 17. On September 24, Begin presented the agreement to the cabinet, stressing that the delegation had put up a valiant fight on behalf of the Sinai settlements. “With a pained heart, but with head held high, I am submitting this proposal,” he told the cabinet. “Why with a pained heart? Because we fought every possible fight for these settlements … but I concluded that it’s better this way than to leave the settlers, with all the pain in my heart and deep sadness.” This was not the only part of the agreement that Begin was pained by. The accords called for the establishment of an autonomous, self-governing Palestinian authority in the West Bank and Gaza within five years. “From the Palestinian perspective, there will come a day and it will be called a Palestinian state,” Begin said. 
“And we are closing our eyes to this?”

    At least Sharon can’t be blamed for 8 years of little progress even with closed eyes.

    1. After decades of another failed war, Israel has now withdrawn totally from and settled every issue to do with Lebanon a country on it’s northern border. The war was launched by a government led by Begin but was run by a war criminal of a minister of defence named Sharon.
    This settlement matching the comprehensive settlement with Egypt on it’s southern border was many years ago now but not longer than a decade I can assure you. http://www.meforum.org/1686/how-israel-bungled-the-second-lebanon-war The final deal was done by the Olmert government after yet another war, but it’s so long ago now I can’t recall the details. There was much said about all this on a site called lastsuperpower. The ruling elite of Israel launched a distraction war with Lebanon. The comprehensive settlement did not surprise communists that had thought Israel had lost the war and settling the matter was in the interests of not only Israel but the U.S. as well. (Syria also pulled its troops out of Lebanon during this century as well but that’s another story.)

    2. ALL Israeli settlers (without any exception) were withdrawn by Sharon from the Gaza strip and the Israeli military zone along the border with Egypt known as the Delphi corridor no longer exists! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%27s_unilateral_disengagement_plan

    3. There are no ‘settler only’ roads in Gaza any longer, nor any occupation troops that had first arrived (maybe for all I know with Sharon in direct command you could check on that) in 1967. That’s when the War for Greater Israel was launched and the lies about plucky little Israel started to unwind. How goes this war remains the question? That’s what all this 2 state solution is now all about. The swaps of land that will be acceptable were of course established years ago.

    4. The relationship of the Palestinian peoples’ of Gaza to Egypt was different back a decade ago and changed radically and is now since the coup in Egypt (that the U.S. is not happy about) different yet again. Ruling elites make a big difference and the interaction of the policy choices of those elites count.

    5. Turkey had some of its people killed in the famous boarding incident that went down like a lead balloon breaking that long term relationship with Israel and forcing the phone call apology at U.S. insistence at the airport! It will not go back to the way it was decades ago.

    6. The prison status of Gaza is now only an issue of Egyptian imposition. Israel has nothing to do with Turkish ships landing supplies in Egypt to be trucked into Gaza. Only Egypt, Turkey and Palestinians are involved in the issue!

    7. Netanyahu has become widely known by the general public as a liar and the U.S. presidents since 9/11 only speak of the occupied territories when before then they only spoke of disputed territories. So they actually understand that the remaining settlements are – as they insist on now telling the Netanyahu blockage – illegal and any expansion unhelpful – because any occupation must end!

    Steve, if you had gone to Mars a decade ago and returned you might notice all this but if you keep wandering lost in Neverland you will keep insisting that nothing ever changes.

    The Turkey, Egypt, Israel, U.S. relationships and politics of 30 – 40 and 50 years ago are now so radically different as to be head shaking for me and yet nothing ever changes for some!

    You ought to say that you accept that the last 2 elections in Iraq were better than anything in the rest of the swamp and that you hope that continues even though there are issues that are causing you to worry that this coming election might become a fraud. The best bet would be to compare the end result with any credible pre- election polling and see if they are comparable.

    Instead you say ‘Elections in Afghanistan are fraudulent and those in Iraq are looking more that way.’ but a glass could be half full or half empty I suppose, and perhaps you have a different agenda to tell us about.

    Now that you are a card carrying member of the pro-war left I can help you rewrite your notes. Try this…

    On September 10 Al Qaeda had several hundred members and the support of the Taliban government that had huge backing at the top of the Pakistani state elites. Now they are being fought in both countries. Al Qaeda had even received billions from the U.S. and Saudi governments to fight the ‘Godless’ USSR regime. Such government madness ended years ago and measures against private funds going their way are strengthened now as well. The U.S. are so risk averse in this direction that the very possibility of them getting hold of such funds or direct supplies now has bad implications in Syria. Not fighting in Syria has made the swamp worse! Hands off is the problem.

    Al Qaeda ran the training camps in Afghanistan etc and they got the idea they could defeat the Great Satan because they had defeated even the mighty ‘Russians’ with their huge army. When the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan the USSR collapsed with the ongoing implications and war in Islamic regions like Chechnya is still continuing to this day. God botherers rightly believe in protracted war to defeat the type of enemy that was old style imperialism. The old world of the later 20C will be swept away and the revisionist USSR is not coming back.

    The God bothering thinking went that the decadent, politically soft (if not simple minded) U.S., that had been defeated in Asia decades earlier, ought to go the same way as the Soviets. Perfectly valid thinking if you ask me. Apply protracted war to the overthrow of imperialism and God willing it would be defeated sooner rather than later. Yet it hasn’t worked out so well because imperialism has not been 1 dimensional, and all manner of ‘naked apes’ turn out to be quite prepared to fight Al Qaeda strategically as well as tactically. There is still plenty of scope for a world wide bourgeois democratic revolution if it’s genuine.

    Anyway, the U.S. was a traditionally isolationist naval power, and now the last ‘superpower’ and the reward for the God bothering Muslims is paradise so it’s a win win way of spending one’s brief time on earth apparently. Modern westerners haven’t got the stomach for a fight was the thinking and that is true for a significant chunk of the more right-wing with their devil take the hindmost self – first, second and last – mentality. It’s true for the liberals, greens and insignificant pseudoleft but it is not a proletarian thinking.

    So when God bothering killers had the idea to pull off a cool suicidal stunt that would start a war that would wear down the great Satan, what could go wrong, go wrong, go wrong?

    Since the God bothering attacks the U.S. government has NOT done everything Marxist revolutionaries have called for. The U.S. HAVE changed direction from the swamp blocking policies of the past, but leaving aside just plain dopey things like Abu Ghraib and ‘mission accomplished’ – and still not having established the crucial Palestinian state, they have done virtually nothing like fighting in the manner that a Mao would!

    True the U.S. and other western countries have made war NOT on but IN Afghanistan, war NOT on but IN Iraq, and put pissy pressure on Israel and some very tardy promotion of democracy in the middle east. YET a mere decade of war and Al Qaeda is now actively pursued with even Steve’s support by the French and others in Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines and far far beyond.

    Al Qaeda have naturally kept doing what they do and produced more of their deadly stunts in Spain, England, India and Indonesia because that’s what they do. But because that IS what they do, states across the world have ensured that these once soft targets have become a little hardened and the western world better focused on protecting people from this crap. Norway demonstrates that terror attacks are a reality even without a group. AL Qaeda is just the tip of the problem.

    International issues require an internationalist approach, so the pseudoleft censor self declared internationalists and instead talk among themselves about stopping coal and oil exporting proposals and other ‘local’ politics. They wanted hands off in Libya and as usual they were wrong. Now U.S. ‘seals’ land on an oil tanker and then bring it back to port for a shaky Libyan government and in doing so they help a failed type state. That’s a better result than the Libyan government establishing its authority by bombing the tanker! Even the greens know that! Where is the praise for the U.S. navy seals?

    Strategic war and western culture and technology has flooded out across the world over the decade of the 21st C and there have been such obvious successes on all these fronts of human progress down from the trees that we sometimes forget that that is where we are coming from. Then along comes Boko Haram or a little girl to remind us.
    http://www.nigerianbulletin.com/threads/boko-haram-attack-intense-gunfire-around-aso-presidential-villa-sss-headquarters.59440/

    Al Qaeda was recruiting and gaining control of countries and maintaining known training bases when realists were giving them money! They were growing in number then but the policy of killing Nazis worked for the Nazi problem and it will for Al Qaeda, just not like the pseudoleft insists as a 1 by 1 police action; that is loony. The societies must be changed while the fighting goes on. Draining is required as well as fighting and that is well known but they will appear to be breeding in greater numbers during that process because fighting in the swamps brings greater contact.

    People who think the enemy gets stronger if you fight them can’t be dissuaded from that belief.

    From my POV such progress in a decade is breathtaking. Those that started WW1 didn’t fare too well. Ditto WW2 etc., Al Qaeda has started a war on descendants of the enlightenment, if you accept that ‘I am a person that values free and fair elections and that the enemy does not’ then you will have to now make fighting suggestions. What is the area of contention that you approve of now that we agree that the whole world’s oceans are not open to the enemy?

    Now that you are on the war fighting side where do you say we ought to see troops deployed?

  60. 60 Steve Owens

    I never get why people get worked up over Gaza. It wasn’t part of Israel ‘proper’ it was like the Sinai always up for grabs, it contained 8,000 Jewish settlers surrounded by 1,300,000 Palastinian Arabs. Israel removed settlers and ground forces and continued with air and sea control. Bantustan anyone?

  61. 61 patrickm

    Sea and air control? Whatever were they thinking then? I suppose they had that over Lebanon (or a lot of it)for some decades after 1982, but I don’t think you could consider that comprehensive withdrawal and dealing with all of the outstanding issues in THIS last decade on THAT front anything other than a great defeat for the Zionists.

    You can dismiss all these defeats – Egypt; Lebanon; Gaza; – as well as losing diplomatic ground with any number of countries, and now risking almost total international isolation as really nothing, because they have yet to pull out of the occupied Golan Heights; East Jerusalem; and the West Bank. You seem to share Hitchens’ thinking here and that’s strange because even the U.S. don’t call these ‘disputed’ territories any longer and haven’t for years now. Occupations end sooner or later.

    Zionists don’t control the sea or the air into Egypt and so some Palestinian people could visit other countries and return via air or sea back and forth through Egypt and the trade can flow just as freely without going through an Israeli checkpoint. If the Egyptians facilitate that transport as they now do where is the Zionist control?

    True people have to travel to a seaport or airport and that is not in Gaza as they don’t have either, but the West Bank will never have a sea port and they will not require an airport for a long while either. Jordan is handy for them. Real control is only an Egyptian Palestinian issue now, no? Then Jordan later perhaps? I can think of a few countries in a similar situation.

    Bantustan is an old racist South African method of dealing with the blacks and it failed.

    If I was unkind I might think your point is that when the Palestinian state emerges and takes its place in the UN you will – like some others we could think of stuck back in Neverland – denounce the Palestinians leadership for negotiating a 2 state solution to this conflict and putting it up for a vote?

    Borders are now THE U.S. focus. The issue from a U.S. perspective is as clear as could be – yet still ‘it’ goes on. There is a requirement to end this failed war and settle the defeat and though that’s been clear for years it STILL has not happened. One is forced to consider just how weak the U.S. has become. But despite the weakness the U.S. have set establishing borders as the first goal now and have set timetables.

    It’s clear to all that Israel is the blockage, so Obama has to find the tools for clearing that blockage and so he might stop blocking movement at the UN. He might eventually recognize a Palestinian state – even if Israel is still occupying part of the country that is recognized. People might not think this likely but it’s possible and there have been more dramatic breaks from old policies in history.

    Time marches on for all, and now history can be seen on the horizon beckoning to Obama. He now only has three years to go! The 50 yr anniversary of 6 days that annoyed the world is approaching, in the same year as the 100 yr anniversary of 10 days that shook the world. That’s not much more than 1,000 days for chief ditherer, and after that he will linger on like Carter, but who could wish that on the world. Will the U.S. under this dithering dolittle be stalled for another three years and pay even more of a price? Will he achieve less than Carter? What’s to be gained by being played along further with Netanyahu’s nonsense when a Palestinian state will deliver so much for the U.S.?

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