Archive for the ‘Anti-Fascism’ Category
Far Right Tries to Attract Anti-Imperialists.
On Voltaire Net we read, “Thierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.
He is not content with conspiracy theories about 9/11 in New York and the claim that the “Pentagon was the target of a guided missile, fired on as the result of a right-wing conspiracy within the United States.”
Currently Meyssan’s defence of the Syrian regime is being widely broadcast.
On Meyssan’s own site he has taken upon himself to defend the Syrian regime.
What has been happening in Syria for the past three years? According to NATO and GCC* media reports, the “regime” has shed blood to suppress a democratic revolution. However this version is contradicted by the current support for the government estimated at, according to sources, between 60 and 90 % of the population. The truth is quite different: NATO and the GCC have successively lost a war of succession and a fourth generation Nicaraguan-type war. It is they, and they alone, who organized and financed the death of 120,000 Syrians.
Meyssan is currently (according to the weekly Le Point) cited on Wikipedia) , “professeur de relations internationales au Centre d’études stratégiques de Damas », qu’il « signe des éditos dans al-Watan » et qu’il est « conseiller particulier de Bachar el-Assad »” – Professor of international relations at the Strategic Studies Centre of Damas, and a special adviser of Assad.
In October Le Monde Diplomatique published an article, Les embrouilles idéologiques de l’extrême droite, (the deliberate confusions of the far-right) largely about Alain Soral. (1)
It drew attention to the mixture of “anti-imperialism”, conspiracy theory, and (barely disguised) anti-Semitism peddled by a fringe of extreme-right ideologists.
They are designed to attract a ‘left’ audience, with anti-globalisation, anti-imperialist themes, and the ‘right’ with an appeal to (French) nationalism.
Meyssan participates the site Egalite et Réconciliation founded by Soral. (2)
It does just that.
It is devoted to promoting this ideology.
Equality and Reconciliation advocates the union of the “Labour left” (Marxist) and the “Moral Right” (Nationalism and Patriotism) in response to capitalist globalisation Many consider that it takes as its model the pre-great War Proudhon Circle, which brought together syndicalists (not, despite the legend, Georges Sorel himself) , and Maurrassians (followers of the Action Française, the French ‘Royalist’ party of the extreme right).
It would be a great mistake if the left, in its justified hatred of the jihadist killers in Syria, their international recruits and backers, working in Syria, forgets that Assad has attracted people of Meyssan’s stripe.
(* GCC: Cooperation Council of Arab States in the Gulf)
Soral defined himself as a Marxist, and was a member of the French Communist Party in the early 90′s. He left the PCF because of his opposition to the party’s renunciation of revolutionary content. Soral supported left-wing dissident candidate Jean-Pierre Chevènement during the 2002 presidential election.
In 2005, Soral turned to the far-right, joining the National Front‘s campaign committee; he was given responsibility for social issues and for the suburbs under the authority of Marine Le Pen. Soral’s personal journey has led some to compare him with Jacques Doriot, one of the neo-socialists in the early 1930s and Collaborationist under Pétain. He supported the Bloc identitaire‘s distribution of food in January 2006.
Since 18 November 2007, Soral has been a member of the central committee of the National Front which he left in early 2009 because of some ideas he was in conflict with (especially the menace of Islam which is not an actual threat for him).
In 2007, he founded the group “Egalité et Réconciliation”, a think tank led by the ideas he developed in his books and his several interviews (an innovative mix between social and economic ideas from Left, and Values like Nation or morality from Right).
(2) Interestingly Meyssan is described as a “personal friend” of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a recent post on this site, criticising Iran for giving way to the West over its nuclear programme.
Nelson Mandela’s death has received the coverage it merits.
He was truly a great man.
What should be underlined is that it was not just a great Man but a movement that overthrew Apartheid.
We should recall how the brave activists of the ANC brought down the racist South African system.
How they were backed by supporters across the world.
In this country the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) played its part.
The Daily Mirror describes the AAM’s role,
Home to the South African Embassy, the Square had been the focal point of the UK Anti-Apartheid Movement for just over three decades.
Originally known as the Boycott Movement, the British anti-apartheid campaign began on June 26 1959 – three years before Mandela was imprisoned – when a group of South African exiles and their British supporters met in London’s Holborn Hall.
Backed by trade unionists, Labour Party branches, British Communist and Liberal activists, women’s groups, the National Union of Students, and the TUC, the meeting called for a boycott of fruit, cigarettes and other goods imported from South Africa.
Led by Oliver Tambo, the ANC President and great friend of Nelson Mandela, who lived in Haringey after fleeing to the UK in the 1960s, other key public figures included Labour politicians Barbara Castle, Peter Hain and Frank Dobson as well as playwright Harold Pinter, actor Vanessa Redgrave and archbishop Trevor Huddleston.
The UK was South Africa’s largest investor, and at that time the ANC were still committed to peaceful means.
Eight months after the Boycott Movement was founded, the Sharpeville massacre where 69 protestors against apartheid were shot dead by South African police, changed the stance of the boycotters.
Now, the group renamed itself the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) and began active support for all those fighting apartheid.
Meanwhile, the Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was among those who opposed sanctions, but to no avail.
Mass demonstrations forced the cancellation of the 1970 Springboks cricket tour of the UK, and South Africa was expelled from nearly every international sporting federation.
Haringey was also the home of many of many anti-apartheid activists, including a large group of Oliver Tambo’s fellow exiles. This was a major issue in the area, taken up by progressive organisations, from the Woodcraft Folk, the local political parties of the left, notably the Communist Party, the trade unions, to a group of courageous people who helped support and arm the ANC from the UK.
A dignified response to the event is given by Shiraz Socialist.
Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix will not be attending the Stop the War Coalition’s International Anti-War Conference on the 30th of November.
It seems that two speakers due to speak at the event – Owen Jones and Jeremy Scahill – threatened not to come unless her invitation was withdrawn.
The Stop the War Coalition announced on Saturday,
Over the last few days a campaign has developed over the invitation we extended to Mother Agnes — a nun from Syria, who leads a campaign called Mussalaha (Reconciliation) — to speak in London at the International Anti-War Conference on 30 November organised by Stop the War Coalition.
Mother Agnes has now withdrawn from speaking at the conference.
In inviting speakers to participate in its events, Stop the War has never sought to endorse all their views. We have always provided a platform for a diversity of opinions within a broad anti-war perspective.
John Wight of Socialist Unity writes today,
She has been demonised by her detractors as a ‘pro regime stooge’ due to her support for Assad and his government. But why wouldn’t she? As with the majority of Syrians who support their government – and none more so than Syria’s various minority communities – she understands that the only force capable of preventing her country being turned into a killing field by western and Saudi backed savages is the Syrian Government, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.
The BBC reports on Mother Agnès-Mariam (Extracts)
In recent weeks she has become the focus of media attention because of her attempt to prove to the world that Syrian opposition activists fabricated the videos showing victims of the Damascus chemical attack.
She argues the horrifying scenes – of men, women and children either dead or dying from inhaling sarin gas – which caused such international outrage were stage-managed.
The BBC’s Richard Galpin spoke to Mother Agnes.
Mother Superior Agnes Mariam de la Croix sprinkles blessings liberally over our conversation.
I’ve phoned her to request an interview about her strange role as an analyst of the chemical weapons attack in Damascus.
In her most startling conclusion she alleges some of the people seen in the videos are in fact women and children abducted by rebels from minority Alawite areas of the country. President Bashar al-Assad and his family belong to this community.
The BBC asks, “So how credible are the claims made by Mother Agnes which have been so eagerly seized upon by Moscow as it still tries to save the Assad regime?”
There’s just no basis for the claims advanced by Mother Agnes,” says Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, which has produced many detailed reports on Syria.
“She is not a professional video forensic analyst… we have found no evidence to indicate any of the videos were fabricated.”
One by one, Mr Bouckaert rejected the claims, saying:
- There were tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the Ghouta area of Damascus, according to very regular reports received by Human Rights Watch
- Children were often sleeping in the basements of buildings in significant concentrations because of the intense shelling and that is why so many died (Sarin gas accumulates at low levels)
- The dead and those injured in the chemical attack were moved from place to place and room to room both at the clinics and ultimately for burial
- There were many men and women who were victims of the attacks. But there were separate rooms for the bodies of children, men and women so they could be washed for burial
- Almost all of the victims have been buried
Human rights researchers have spoken to the relatives of Alawite women and children abducted by rebels. None of them said they had recognised their loved ones in the gas attack videos
It is perhaps not a coincidence that arch-conspiracy theorist lunatics Lyndon LaRouche’s group have diffused (November the 14th) a video of an interview with Mother Agnès-Mariam.
Bob from Brockley has been following this controversy closely.
He comments (yesterday),
Her invitation provoked outrage from Syrians and supporters of the Syrian revolution, as “Mother Agnes” has been a widely disseminated mouthpiece for the Assad regime’s propaganda, including vigorously denying some of Assad’s war crimes. (Of pictures of dead children in Ghouta, for example, she claims they are only sleeping.) Her lies are widely promoted by Russian media sources, by Christian news agencies, and by the LaRouche network. There are also live allegations about her own involvement in war crimes, and in the regime murder of journalists. Below the fold, I have pasted some information about her, but some good starting points are Linux Beach, Democratic Revolution, and Pulse.
The Stop the War Coalition could do without this kind of “opinion” amongst its “diversity”.
2 of the 6 far-right party leaders in new alliance.
The Guardian reported yesterday,
Two of Europe‘s leading far-right populists struck a pact on Wednesday to build a continental alliance to wreck the European parliament from within, and slay “the monster in Brussels”.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s rightwing nationalist Front National, and Geert Wilders, the Dutch maverick anti-Islam campaigner, announced they were joining forces ahead of European parliament elections next year to seek to exploit the euroscepticism soaring across the EU after four years of austerity, and the financial and debt crisis.
A better informed report has appeared in Libération,
According to our sources, the Euro MPs from the French National Front, the Vlaams Belang (Belgium), PVV (Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ party), the Northern League (Italy), the Swedish Democrats and the Freedom Party (Austria) held a first working meeting on Thursday, showing they advanced in their union project.
It appears that the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs,) is playing a leading role in this alliance of 6 parties,
The Austrian party has done everything to put an end to the international isolation of the FN, conscious of having in France a real alter ego, both in terms of its electoral potential and its historical background. But they failed to convince the British Eurosceptic party, UKIP or some Scandinavian populist right-wingers, to join them .
Dutch News comements on the alliance between the PW and the FN,
The Volkskrant outlined three key areas in which Wilders and the Front National have different standpoints: on Islam, Israel and gay rights.
While Wilders wants the Koran banned and has called for a kopvoddentaks (head rag tax) for Muslim headscarves, Le Pen says she is not opposed to religion and wants a sharp division between church and a secular French state.
It would be a small sacrifice for Jews to leave their skull caps at home, Le Pen is quoted as saying.
Wilders is a staunch supporter of Israel, and his campaign against Islam is part of this, the paper says. Le Pen, by contrast, has been trying to dispel her party’s reputation for anti-semitism. Her father, who is still the party’s honorary chairman, has described the World War II gas chambers as a ‘minor point’ in history.
Le Pen was also quiet during the recent uproar in France over gay marriage, although her party was well represented at anti-gay marriage demonstrations, the Volkskrant states.
Wilders, however, has made support for gay rights central to his anti-Islam campaigning.
Reuters adds (as does the Guardian),
The anti-mass immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) of Nigel Farage reaffirmed it would not ally with Le Pen’s party.
“It’s cut and dry. There isn’t going to be any alliance with the Front National and we’re not going to sit in the same parliamentary group as them in the European Parliament,” a UKIP spokesman said.
It is generally expected that all these far-right anti-immigration, anti-EU parties will do well in next year’s European elections.
Some consider that UKIP has to do practically nothing to get a massive vote.
“Maligne comme un singe”, French Far-right Weekly Goes New Depths to Insult Minister Christiane Taubira.
Far-right Weekly says of French Minister of Justice, “ Maligne comme un singe, Taubira retrouve la banane”, Crafty (malignant) as a Monkey. Taubira gets her banana back.
Minute (Wikipedia entry in English) is widely available in French kiosks and newsagents.
It is not a minuscule circulation journal only sold by far-right activists.
The French Socialist-led Government has immediately reacted.
Le parquet de Paris a ouvert une enquête pour injure publique à caractère racial, après que le premier ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault a saisi le procureur de la République de Paris au sujet de la “une” de l’hebdomadaire d’extrême droite Minute. “Nous ne pouvons pas laisser passer cela”, avait-il ajouté, en dénonçant une “une” “révoltante”.
The Paris Prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for public racial insult, after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault took the case to the the prosecutor of Paris. The object of the inquiry is the front page of the far-right weekly Minute. “We can not let this go “ , he added, denouncing a this front page as “shocking” . Le Monde.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, co-president of the Parti de gauche tweeted, “Ils n’ont donc pas de limites. C’est même à ça qu’on les reconnaît. Pas une Minute à perdre. Les nazes en cage”. There are no limits,. There’s not a Minute to lose: put the Nazis in a cage.
The Economic Times reports,
In the last month alone, Taubira has twice been publicly compared to a monkey, once by a group of children whose parents had taken them on a protest against gay marriage and once by an electoral candidate of the far right National Front (FN), who wrote on her Facebook page that she would prefer to see the minister “swinging from the branches rather than in government”.
Taubira said those incidents were the tip of the iceberg in terms of the hostility she has encountered since being named to one of the top four posts in the Socialist government that took office last year.
“I’ve been getting monkey and banana insults for a long time but there is also something more subtle going on that nobody has highlighted,” she said.
By way of example, the minister noted how the opponents of gay marriage had targeted her personally rather than the government as a whole and had emphasised the “Frenchness” of the protest movement.
She also pointed to the outspoken reactions that her initial appointment had provoked. These included Jean-Francois Cope, one of the leaders of the main opposition party, warning centre-right voters that: “If you vote for the FN, you get the Left and you get Taubira.”
Taubira’s concern over a perceived increase in racism — or the acceptability of racism — in French society,echoes recent warnings by various rights groups and social commentators.
Taubira is a much loved person.
This is an utter utter disgrace.
But before the British media gets hot under the collar about this we should recall that France has no equivalent of the British Daily Mail, the Express, the Star and the Sun.
In the overwhelming majority of the French newspapers there is no daily stream of stories aimed against migrants, asylum seekers, benefit claimants and trade unions.
Indeed in most respects Minute, whose readership is tiny compared to the British hard-right press, resembles these papers more than they will admit.