Archive for the ‘European Left’ Category
MacShane Against Western Interventions.
Under the headline, “L’interventionnisme militaire occidental est un échec permanent” Denis MacShane former European Minister under Tony Blair attacks Western interventions. (Le Monde 10.12.2013).
MacShane begins by citing Kipling on the ‘White Man’s burden and reflects that President Hollande is now taking on this weight with his intervention in the Central African Republic.
While wishing him success he notes that,
Depuis l’expédition de Suez en 1956, aucune intervention militaire menée par les forces européennes en dehors de l’Europe n’a obtenu les résultats espérés. Dans tous les pays où elles ont établi une présence, elles laissent derrière elles plus de problèmes que de solutions.
From the Suez Expedition in 1956 onwards no European military intervention – outside Europe itself – has achieved the aims set for it. In every country in which it has established a presence it has left behind it more problems than solutions.
MacShane covers the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, and reflects that “Le droit d’ingérence et la doctrine de l’intervention sont des concepts qui remontent à l’ère de Francis Fukayama et sa thèse sur la fin de l’histoire.”, the doctrine of the need to interfere and to intervene (Note, called humanitarian intervention in English) are concepts which belong to the time of Francis Fukayma, and his theory of the End of History. Bernard Kouchner in Paris, Michael Ignatieff at Harvard and Tony Blair argued that this was necessary when countries ignored United Nations norms.
He asserts that interventions failed in Sudan and Rwanda, though worked in Kosovo.
Because of the latter, and the intervention in Sierra Leone, Blair backed the invasion of Iraq.
MacShane observes that far from being just the decision of Bush and Blair 419 left’ MPs in the British Parliament voted for that war.
“Dix ans plus tard, je préfère dire comme Benjamin Franklin que « la pire des paix vaut mieux que n’importe quelle guerre ».
Ten years later I’d rather say, like Benjamin Franklin that “the worst peace is better than any war whatsoever.”
The balance sheet of wars in Afghanistan, the Arab world and in Africa is completely negative. Libya in particular is a disaster, with militias and Salafist warlords in control.
The attitude of the British Labour Party, under Ed Miliband, towards these expeditions, has also changed. They refused to support Prime Minister Cameron, and the French Socialist-led Government, to meddle in the Syrian civil war.
The disgraced former Minister then quotes Churchill, “« Jaw jaw is better than war war »
Sometimes such interventions are justified, as in Sierra Leone.
But while every country should back its army, rare are the occasions when history justifies armed interventions.
MacShane Parliamentary Record.
- Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
- Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
Wikipedia says of MacShane, “Denis MacShane (born Denis Matyjaszek; 21 May 1948) is a former British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rotherham from 1994 until his resignation in 2012. He served in the Labour Government as Minister for Europe from 2002 until 2005.
On 2 November 2012, he was suspended from the Labour Party after the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee found that he had submitted 19 false invoices “plainly intended to deceive” the parliamentary expenses authority. Later that day he announced his intention to resign as MP for Rotherham. On 9 October 2013, MacShane was removed from the Privy Council and stripped of the right to use the title of The Right Honourable. On 18 November 2013 he pleaded guilty to false accounting at the Old Bailey, by submitting false receipts for £12 900.
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.
On Sunday Jean-Luc Mélenchon marched with Bercy Pierre Moscovici. Co-Chair of the Left Party (PG) and Pierre Laurent, national secretary of the French Communist Party (PCF), heading the procession the Left Front for a “revolution in taxation” and against the planned increase of VAT on the 1 st January.
Apart from the Front de Gauche (FdG), Le Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste, Lutte ouvrière and some Greens (EE-LV) took part.
In wintry conditions, the demonstration (reports indicate) essentially mobilised members of the FdG. According to Parti de gauche (PG), 100 000 people were present, this was 70 000 for the (PCF). The Police total was 7 000. Le Monde.
Pictures of the march in L’Humanité here.
On factor motivating the marchers was a wish not to let the streets be dominated by the ‘Poujadist ‘ anti-government demonstrations of the Breton ‘bonnets rouges’ and the lorry driver bosses who were out this morning protesting against ‘eco-taxes’.
The character of the bonnets rouges can be seen in the placard held by the demonstrator below,
It reads, “France, a paradise for the skivers, fraudsters, and criminals, Hell for the hard-working. We say, Merde to Europe and Merde! to that France.”
The Front de Gauche will hold further unitary actions in the coming January.