Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Islamic State: Fascism, Totalitarianism and Evil.

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Islamic State, Fascism, Totalitarianism and Evil.

The decision of the British Parliament to back Prime Minister David Cameron and join an alliance of forces to fight the Islamic State (Daesh) in Syria has aroused great emotion. Hilary Benn and others have described these Islamists as fascists. They are therefore in the class of the wicked against whom we can all unite.

Others notably supporters of the Stop the War Coalition, assert versions of Terry Eagleton’s different view in On Evil (2010) While the “lethal fantasises” of Islamic fundamentalists (his term) may be “vicious” and “benighted” Jihadist acts of mass murder, like the destruction of the Twin Towers, arise from the “Arab world’s sense of anger and humiliation at the long history of its political abuse by the West.” Terrorism, the cultural thinker opined, has its “own momentum”. – to meet it with violence is to “breed more terror”. (1)

The traction of the ‘anger and humiliation” motor was much used in these quarters in the wake of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper-Cacher last January. Rules for the correct and authorised use of satire were drawn up, excluding being rude about the humiliated. Little power in this ready-made explanation was left over for the Paris massacre last month. That was simply to be condemned. Much liberal reaction, while often shy of the fascist label, tends to agree that Daesh is uniquely evil. We “all” denounce this barbarity – including within this all, Muslim voices underlining their profound horror at ISIL.

So Daesh is both exceptional, and fascist. Or not, as those keen to proclaim, from an anti-imperialist and Marxist standpoint, that the West has committed worse crimes, not least in the Middle East, and the difference that this “state” “created” by Western intervention in Iraq shows from European fascism and Nazism. Daesh is not, they have discovered, on scholastic authority, a “battering ram” against the workers’ movement; it does not mobilise the “petty bourgeoisie” behind Monopoly Capital, to destroy bourgeois democracy. It is not a response to a crisis of capital accumulation and a strong labour movement challenge to capitalism. It is has little beyond fringe support in the imperialist nations. The priority is the fight against the imperialists, to work together for their defeat. There is no need for a united front in the “struggle against Islamist fascism”. (2)

Fascism and Islamism.

Comparisons with the 1930s, not to mention contemporary far-right populism in Europe, are self-evidently hard to make. The differences between Daesh and European fascism are perhaps better illuminated by Michael Mann in Fascists (2004) tired to draw out common features of these far-right movements and states. In doctrine, he observed, they are marked by: 1) Thus, nationalism, the “organic, integral unity of the nation”, rebirth, 2) Statism, “Fascists worshiped state power”. 3) Transcendence: they attacked both capital and labour, with the objective of the “supposed creation of a new man”. The nation and state comprised their centre of gravity: they hoped to subordinate capital to their goals. 4) Cleansing, “because opponents were seen as ‘enemies’, they were to be removed, and the nation cleansed of them.”5) Paramilitarism, a key value and organisation form, popular, vanguard of the nation. “Violence was the key to the ‘radicalisation’ of fascism.”(3)

Mann argued that Islamism has many common features with European fascism, “The new jihadis (popularly called ‘fundamentalists’) do seek to create a monocratic, authoritarian regime that will enforce a utopian Koranic ideal. This regime will create a new form of state and a new man (and woman), Its predominant organisation is the paramilitary taking various but always dominant forms – guerrilla international brigades in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, armed bands of terrorising enforcers under the Taliban and Iranian Islamists (rather like the SA or SS), and clandestine terrorist networks elsewhere, All this is decidedly fascist.”(4)

Nevertheless they are not nationalist and the state is not an end in itself: its role is to enforce the Sharia. Mann concluded, “Unlike fascism, they really are political religions. They offer a sacred, but not a secular ideology. They most resemble fascism in deploying the means of moral murder but the transcendence, the state, the nation, and the new man they seek are not this-worldly. We might call this sacred fascism; of course though perhaps it is better to recognise that they human capacity for ferocious violence, cleansing, and totalitarian gaols can have diverse sources and forms, to which we should give different labels – fascist communist, imperialist, religious, ethno-nationalist, and so on.”(4)

Mann did not anticipate the more recent argument that Daesh and other jihadist groups such as Al-Qaeda, recruiting from dislocated social layers, in war-torn Syria and Iraq, have created a “religion de rupture” based on a cultural and generational break. The Islamic State, from this standpoint, is, the specialist in Islamism, Olivier Roy argues, “nihilist”. (Le djihadisme est une révolte nihilste. Le Monde 25.11.15) they are “more Muslim than the Muslims”. The ideology, their ‘imaginary’, of Daesh dwells on death and war, the extermination or enslavement of the non-Muslim Kufur, and the killing of Muslim heretics (in Takfir terms, all non-Sunnis, and all Sunnis who do not accept their doctrine). Their objective is less a utopian society, the recreation of an ancient Caliphate, than the Nothingness that Terry Eagleton identified with the Death Drive – a desire hinted in Nazi extermination. (5)

Genociders.

Richard Rechtman traces Daesh’s practice, from the creation of disciplinary machine that enforces the Sharia in all aspects of life, to genocide. He calls them simply, “génocidaires” (genociders), who mark a line between the “pure” and the “impure” – eliminating all who are unclean. (La Violence de l’organisation Etat islamique est génocidaire. Le Monde. 28.11.15) Daesh has “deterritorialised” its genocide. The Charlie Hebdo journalists, the Jewish customers of the Hyper-Cacher, the tens of thousands of martyrs in Iraq, Syria and Africa, are murdered for what they “are”.

Daesh, may have grown as a ‘state’ in the wake of the conditions of the Iraqi invasion and the Syrian civil war and the failure of the democratic aspirations on the Arab spring in that region and elsewhere. It may be marked by its genocidal ambitions. But it is clearly part of a much broader current of political Islam. Gilles Kepel has described the search for divine sovereignty in the aftermath of the First World War and the break up of the Ottoman Caliphate. He states that the central Islamist belief is that sovereignty belongs to Allah only. As developed in what are widely considered the founding writings of modern Islamism by the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb during the 1950s, ““The Muslim umma is a collectivity (Jama’a) of people whose entire lives – in their intellectual, social, existential, political, moral and practical aspects – are based on Islamic ethics (mihaj). Thus characterised, this umma ceases to exist if no part of the earth is governed according to the law of God any longer…”(6) The task of Islamists is to restore this society.

Four Horsemen.

Some commentators assert that Daesh is a new millennialist movement, evoking images of a final battle with the forces ranged against Islam. In this it is clearly not alone. Kepel noted a widely shared Islamist list of enemies, signs of the end times: the “ four horsemen of the apocalypse (who) were: ‘Jewry’, the ‘crusade’, ‘communism’ and ‘secularism’.” He continues, “’Jewry’ is the ultimate abomination. The word ‘Jew’ (yahud) is used in indifferently to apply to both Israeli citizens and other Jews. Israeli citizenship, in fact, is seen as merely an attribute of the Jew, defined ontologically on the basis of racial, historical and religious criteria.” As we have just seen, Daesh has found it easy to move from identifying these ‘attributes’ to calls for genocide. (7)

From the 1928 foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood by Hassan-Al-Banna, already stamped with hostility to democratic “division”, to Qubt’s ideas, and to the present-day forms of Salafism, Al-Qaeda and Daesh, Islamism is no longer “one” politics or ideology. The Muslim Brotherhood is said to have developed an Islamist ‘constitutionalism’, which incorporates a degree of popular consultation underneath of the rule of religious experts. The Islamic State of Iran is totalitarian in some respects (no political freedom for parties that are not Islamic, interference in private lives, mass political killings) but has a degree of “pluralism” within its oligarchy.  Saudi Arabia is totalitarian but traditional, a ‘kingdom’. Boko Haram is genocidal in way that parallels movements of ethnic extermination. Somalian Islamists are war-lords – a pattern repeated on a smaller scale amongst the smaller Syrian movements. Al Qaeda has attempted to wage a global war to defend the “umma” from Western aggression, although its affiliate in Syria, Al-Nusra, appears fixed on creating something not dissimilar to Daesh, the reign of men working in the Shadow of god over the country. Daesh may be said to be “glocal” – global and local – fighting across the world, and restoring the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria (Genèse du dijhadisme. Nabil Mouline. Le Monde Diplomatique. December 2015).

These are only some indications that Daesh is not cut off from the mainstream of Islamism. Perhaps, if we wish to clarify the nature of these forms of actually existing Islamism, it would be better to use the broad expression “totalitarian” to describe them. We have seen how ‘fascism’ is not a useful term in itself – only to help highlight some common features and to make differences stand out. Specifically no form of Islamism is organised around what Claude Lefort called an “Egocrat” – a Fascist or Nazi ruler who lays down the interests of the Volk or Nation, or the Stalinist ‘Marxist-Leninist’ line. Lefort, abstractly and probably too generally, cited the breaking of a division between civil and political society, and mechanisms to make world ‘transparent’ to the Eye of the Egocrat’s rule. There is no protection against terror; ‘law’ is a constantly shifting game of paranoia and factional dispute. (8)

Islamism has led to new forms of totalitarianism. Worship of state power, and the organic unity of the community have different sources. They could be said to try to restore a pre-modern unity of unquestioned belief and society. But if their sights are set on ‘otherworldly’ goals, they have the presence of scripture, the Qur’an, to rule intermundane existence; they have a ‘law’, the Sharia, which binds the “umma” together without class or other division. This is, as Mann states, a political religion, reliant on modern mechanisms of power to achieve its aims. All wish to encourage virtue, and punish vice, not only by preaching but also by physical coercion. Not only the divine state but god is said to peer into the private lives and minds of their subjects. It can be considered, in its materialised shape, as a political religion wrapped in totalitarian mechanisms.

Contradictions.

The contradictions within the forms of Islamist totalitarianism are marked. How far can they restore the Golden Age of Islam? Maxime Rodinson signaled the problems any form of political Islam faces in trying to reconcile ‘justice’ with the recreation of the mercantile capitalism idealised in their portrait of the early years of the Prophet’s rule (Islam and Capitalism. 1973). This ideal looks even more absurd, amongst the oil, contraband and extortion revenues of the Islamic State.  And what of their ‘moral’ regulation. Islamists insist on the subordinate but cherished place of women, but only some wish to recreate the benign forms of slavery practiced in early Islam. They show degrees of intolerance towards non-believers, the ‘impure’, from accepting the rights of lesser faiths to exist, to Daesh’s programme of all out war. And who indeed has the right to make the rules of the state, from commerce to administration. Is this to be decided by their own reading or by the studies of learned scholars, skilled in deciphering ancient manuscripts?

Is Islamism related to a crisis of capitalist development, its ‘uneven’ growth and the failure of democratic or nationalist regimes to govern in countries with a majority Muslim population? If this is so, it is the case for all political movements in, to start with, the contemporary Middle East. Efforts to claim that it some kind of “diverted” form of class struggle tend to rely on the notion that an ideal ‘revolutionary’ movement is just waiiting there, ready to leap forward when the time is right.

But what is Islamism’s class basis? From the pious bourgeoisie that backs the various wings of the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Turkish AKP, the ‘popular’ masses who see in them a rampart against the destructive effects of the modern world and globalisation, to those fearing rival Muslim – Shiite – bands in Iraq to the ‘dislocated’ individuals prepared to martyr others for their own glory – about the only clear thing we can say is that it is not the working class in the traditional or “globalised” sense of neo-liberalism.  If it is opposed to class struggle and its ‘anti-capitalism’ goes with capitalist economics – with Islamic ‘justice’ – these are not salient points in its politics.The key issue remains ‘divine’ sovereignty against secular authority, either democratic or authoritarian.

Islamism, as we have stated, is not ‘one’ movement. There are major and irreconcilable rivalries between those pursing a ‘Gramscian’ strategy of winning ideological hegemony on the road to power, and those who use terror. Above all, there are fights within material organisations, the Islamic State, the ‘micro-powers’ within communities – ‘radical’ Mosques, Islamist and Salafist associations, Islamic courts, official or unofficial, and the Einsatzgruppen prepared to kill across the planet. These are all part of the wider Islamist ‘mouvance’. To claim that there are sharp distinctions between the distinct elements is to ignore the areas of convergence, notably the practice of violently enforcing a code personal mores – which extends to these small-scale centres across the world, including Europe.

Islamist totalitarianism is a real political threat, not an ‘ontological’ evil, a rent in the world, the tragic side of history. Nor is the problem limited to  nihilistic warriors. These forms of totalitarianism have material weight. They are a major political challenge. They are deeply opposed to the notion of ‘human’ rights, the bedrock ideology of most sections of the left, from liberalism to the defenders of workers’ democracy.

Fight Against Islamism.

Those who make alliances with the ‘moderate’ wings of Islamism align with the enemies of socialism and liberal freedoms.  Those who state that they stand with the Islamists ‘against’ the State or ‘against’ imperialism’ are collaborating with our worst enemies. But there are not only attempts at compromise and accommodation, or leftist manipulation in the belief that the experience of the ‘struggle’ will win their new friends over to their side. A fight is developing, from the fighters of the Kurdish led groups in Syria, to the democrats, leftists and secularists combating Islamism on the ground across the world. Our objective is free societies, in which the democratic movement for socialism can organise, develop and win power. In this battle there is one force we cannot rely on: the Western powers, locked into an alliance with totalitarian Islamist Saudi Arabia and with the authoritarian Islamists of Turkey.

Human rights are universal: they are not subordinate to political calculation in the conflicts unfolding in the Middle East. The popular struggle against Islamism is only beginning.

*****
(1) Pages 157 – 159. On Evil. Terry Eagleton. Yale University Press. 2010.
(2) See: The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany. Leon Trotsky. Pathfinder Press. 1972.
(3) Page 16. Fascists. Michael Mann. Cambridge University Press. 2004.
(4) Page 373. Mann Op cit.
(5) Page 374. Mann Op cit.
(6) Page 112. Eagleton Op cit.
(7) Page 43. The Roots of Radical Islam. Gilles Kepel. Saqi. 2005
(8) Page 113. Gilles Kepel Op cit.
(9) Essais sur le (yes it is ‘le’) politique. Claude Lefort. Seuil 1986. Un Homme en trop. Réflexions sur l’Archipel du Goulag. Claude Lefort. Belin. 2015 (1976).

92 Responses

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  1. Despite a welter of text and name checked sources, your argument changes from being a guided tour of interpretations into an expressed view in the midst of your section on totalitarianism; crucially, it does so by accepting that totalitarianism is the best conceptual framework for looking at political Islam. This is important because totalitarianism’s academic credibility as an explanatory category suffered from its adoption by Cold War warriors, because it appeared to create an equivalence between Stalinist Russia and Fascist regimes which is not sustainable beyond superficial similarities. Also, your reasoning as to why totalitarianism applies to political Islam is absent.

    A Muslim friend of mine did an MA on the Muslim Brotherhood, showing how it accommodated to democratic ideology in the writings of Outb and al-Banna. This is important because it shows that political Islam is a genuinely broad movement and takes different strategic, tactical and ideological forms in response to the circumstances Islamists find themselves in. Your attempt to draw a clean line by which it is possible and necessary for the Left to have nothing to do with any currents within political Islam therefor fails.

    John Tummon

    December 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm

  2. There is a guided tour of some interpretations of Islamism in order to set the context for why the broad concept of totalitarianism is a concept (a ‘tool box’) which can help explain the common elements in the ‘political religion’ as materialised in state forms.

    Have you read Lefort? Apart from his original contributions – – he comes from Socialisme ou Barbarie, a leftist background, and these definitions relate partly to Benjamin Constant (a 18th-19th century French political liberal) and partly to Hannah Arendt.

    No doubt you would consider him and her both ‘Cold warriors’ and therefore not worth reading.

    The term totalitarian was first used critically by Victor Serge, also somebody you would no doubt consider not worth looking at.

    Victor Serge: Totalitarianism and State Capitalism. Philippe Bourrinet

    http://www.oocities.org/capitolhill/lobby/2379/Serge1.htm

    Nobody else thinks the original Muslim Brotherhood had democratic ideals, and certainly not the later 1950’s writings of Qutb, but maybe your ‘Muslim friend’ has a special revelation to offer.

    I referred to Islamic constitutionalism and the more contemporary development of the MB.

    This is a reference to the following: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Constitutionalism.

    https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-and-islamic-constitutionalism/

    This describes much later developments outlined in Egypt after Mubarak (2008) Bruce Rutherford.

    But then, John Tummon, the prospects for the Caliphate being accepted on the left aren’t looking too good these days, are they?

    Andrew Coates

    December 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

  3. Silly me for living in hope that the fact you had put so much time and effort into this meant that you would want a proper debate on its contentions and related issues with someone who is also genuinely trying to work a socialist way through this minefield. But no – you default to sarcasm. So, no debate to be had with you, but for the record I will read the Victor Serge link, as I tend to like what I’ve read from him. I haven’t read Lefort but have read Arendt. Did you know that, although her book was finally titled ‘Totalitarianism’, all bar the final chapter was about something entirely different. I don’t blame Arendt for the misuse of her work by Cold War warriors, but it does mean that, given that hers was a thin thesis in the first place, the word is best seen as rhetoric than analytical. There are parts of your article that impress me; about two months ago I made a presentation to my local LU group on the modern ir/relevance of the concept of Fascism and came to much the same conclusion as you.

    This is such an important issue for the Left and the tragedy is that you are one of a tiny group of non-Muslims who realises this, as I am. If we were grown ups, we would put the need to work hard on debating this with each other above the record of what we have written about each other. I still have not got a fully-worked out position on all of this, despite reading voraciously on and around it, and am nowhere near as fond of the idea of the Caliphate as you imagine. But I am part of that section of the Left who analyse political and ideological movements by looking at their dialectical relationships with everything that impacts on their adherents, rather than singling out their ideological heritage and how this has changed, as if it could evolve autonomously. I regard this as an error closely tied to a key weakness in Trotskyist methodology.

    John Tummon

    December 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  4. Well, we don’t agree on Arendt, who has a profound, if contentious, theory of the nature of politics as a realm of freedom and a philosophy of “love of the world” of great beauty.

    It is not a “typology” of totalitarianism like the ‘Cold War’ political science list – which, in this case, I imagine we agree – are ideal-types of such generality to the point of not saying a great deal.

    Which is the problem with fixed definitions of fascism.

    They always leave the question open of “what was fascism before fascism” – or, for example, how could you fit the word to cover movements like Action française, monarchist and without a charismatic single leader, but in many respect ‘fascist’.

    Lefort tried to give a “political” concept of totalitarianism (hence his use of the term ‘le’ politique (politics as a general human activity) as opposed to la politique, the political arrangement and administration of of states as such.

    Totalitarianism in this view is not just a way of administering society through terror and the bringing together of public life and civil society into a total apparatus ruled by a single governing group.

    It was a kind of suppression of an essential human activity.

    In this sense Islamist totalitarianism could be seen as an attempt to bring human society back to pre-modern ‘heteronomy’ , rule by an outside ‘divine’ order, a state ‘capturing’ territory and peoples, and a rule enforced by terror and expanded by genocide. This would be the destruction of le politique itself.

    Andrew Coates

    December 11, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  5. “In this battle there is one force we cannot rely on: the Western powers, locked into an alliance with totalitarian Islamist Saudi Arabia and with the authoritarian Islamists of Turkey.” – Andrew

    Well, Kobane and other areas have had to rely on “Western powers” ie the Americans to help defend themselves from Isis. Who else was there to rely on?

    On another note, the seconder (Mark Anthony France) of the pro-Isis motion at last years Left Unity conference has been interviewed by the BBC Sunday Politics show (West Midlands) for this weekend. He’s now the organiser for Momentum Bromsgrove, btw.

    I can’t imagine Mr France’s views on the anti imperialist potential of the Caliphate came up in the interview, though as, with Dave Nellist also featured, entryism will be the main point of discussion, I guess.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MomentumBroms

    John R

    December 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm

  6. I said rely with care: Turkey and Saudi Arabia weigh a lot more than the Kurds for them.

    That is not to make a puerile criticism: I cannot imagine doing any different, and I will never forget the US aid for the besieged Kobani.

    Mark Anthony France is also a member of the micro-sect the Republican Socialist Network, proprietor one Steve Freeman, Bermondsey Republican Socialists, The People’s Republic of Southwark

    Cde Freeman, while not campaigning against the Corn Laws and for the restoration of the Commonwealth of England, stood as a Republican Socialist candidate in the last election.

    This is his result: Republican Socialist Party Steve Freeman[9] 20 0.0 n/a

    Andrew Coates

    December 11, 2015 at 6:49 pm

  7. “A Muslim friend of mine did an MA on the Muslim Brotherhood, showing how it accommodated to democratic ideology in the writings of Outb and al-Banna. ”

    Yes, ‘democratic’, so long as your idea of ‘democratic’ includes putting gay people and Jews to death, reducing women and non-Muslims to second class status, and keeping non-Muslim females as slaves.

    You are a truly disgusting creature, Tummon. It is a scandal that you are employed to teach young people.

    Lamia

    December 11, 2015 at 7:18 pm

  8. To be fair, Oxford don, our old friend Tariq Ramadan, says something similar about Hassan al-Banna.

    I had forgotten about Frère Tariq – he seems to have disappeared from the media scene recently…

    “The Muslim Brothers began in the 1930s as a legalist, anti-colonialist and nonviolent movement that claimed legitimacy for armed resistance in Palestine against Zionist expansionism during the period before World War II. The writings from between 1930 and 1945 of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Brotherhood, show that he opposed colonialism and strongly criticized the fascist governments in Germany and Italy. He rejected use of violence in Egypt, even though he considered it legitimate in Palestine, in resistance to the Zionist Stern and Irgun terror gangs. He believed that the British parliamentary model represented the kind closest to Islamic principles.

    Al-Banna’s objective was to found an “Islamic state” based on gradual reform, beginning with popular education and broad-based social programs. He was assassinated in 1949 by the Egyptian government on the orders of the British occupiers. Following Gamal Abdel Nasser’s revolution in 1952, the movement was subjected to violent repression.”

    2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/opinion/09iht-edramadan09.html?_r=0

    This is countered by a careful examination of their 1930s writings (here:The 50-Point Manifesto of Hassan Al-Banna 1936, subsequently re- issued. More: http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/the-50-point-manifesto-of-hassan-al-banna/

    “The very first point of the Manifesto [Political sector] advocates a one-party State. Wendell’s translation adds that the Brotherhood aims at the « channeling of the political forces of the nation into a common front and a single phalanx ». This reference to the « phalanx » is nowhere to be found in the Brotherhood’s version.

    Since the Manifesto was written in the thirties while fascism was booming, it is revealing that Islamists have used fascist terminology in order to describe their own objectives. The term « phalanx » was frequently used at the time by fascists, notably by Spain’s fascists led by Franco to designate their own organization. It would be very unlikely that the translator Wendell had decided to add this reference to the phalanx on his own without having found it in the original text in Arabic first. On the other hand, it is easily conceivable that modern day Islamists may have preferred to abandon this fascist reference.

    Until now, we have not been able to access the original Arabic version of the Manifesto in order to compare it with both translations.

    In the second group of proposals dealing with the social and the educational sectors, the Muslim Brotherhood’s translation reads as follow: « Proposal 26: A consideration into the means of gradually forming a national uniform ». This proposal follows many others that are dealing with the education system promoted by al-Banna. At first glance, we could conclude that this proposal is limited to a dress code for students. However, Wendell’s translation of the same proposal gives us hints that the Muslim Brotherhood envisions a dress code not only for students but for everybody. « Proposal 26: Consideration of ways to arrive gradually at a uniform mode of dress for the nation ».

    Proposal 27 (as it can be found on the Brotherhood’s website) confirms that al-Banna was eager to search people’s wardrobes. It asks for « An end to the foreign spirit in our homes with regard to language, manners, dress, governesses, nurses, etc; All this should be corrected especially in upper class homes ».

    Andrew Coates

    December 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm

  9. Lamia, whoever you are hiding behind this Avatar, making anonymous, abusive comments yet again + spurious allegations, I am amazed that you are allowed on this or any other website.

    John Tummon

    December 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm

  10. Why the hell are socialists even engaging with the pro-fascist scum Tummon? There is no place for ISIS-apologists on the left and secularism is non-negotiable. The idea that this relativist buffoon is teaching young people is seriously worrying.

    Jim Denham

    December 11, 2015 at 7:56 pm

  11. I will debate with Andrew because he is seriously trying to get to the bottom of this vital issue, but not with you two trolls. Tomorrow I will be back home and will be able to look at some of my sources and get back on the main argument. I wil précis the findings of my friend’s MA thesis on the Brotherhood and how it relates to the points Andrew makes.

    John Tummon

    December 11, 2015 at 11:00 pm

  12. Meanwhile I will campaign to have you and anyone who shares your views shunned and driven out of the labour movement.

    Jim Denham

    December 11, 2015 at 11:39 pm

  13. John, you are correct re: the Brotherhood and Trotskyist methodology’s weakness. The kind of analysis you are looking for can be found here:

    https://notgeorgesabraarchive.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/not-real-revolutions-achcar-and-co-on-the-arab-spring/

    https://notgeorgesabraarchive.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/islamists-salafists-and-jihadists-friends-or-foes-of-the-revolution/

    Where I think comrade Coates’ analysis falls down is when he lumps the Muslim Brotherhood (which exists in many Arab countries across a variety of circumstances and espouse a range of politics and tactics), Boko Haram, Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism, Al-Qaeda in general, Al-Qaeda in Syria specifically (Nusra), and ISIS — all of them Sunni — together not only with one another but with Shia Islamic Republic of Iran whose vilayat-e faqih is not similar to the aforementioned Sunni forces at all. This is as useful/insightful as talking about the communism of Karl Marx, Babeuf, Pol Pot, and Abdullah Öcalan in the same breath.

    A more useful approach would be to conduct an in-depth study the specific historical conditions, material basis, and class foundation of each of these groups and then only on the basis of that thorough study draw out the commonalities and differences between different groups operating in different countries during different eras. This piece is an example of what happens when a comrade is so eager to get the right ‘answer’ or ‘line’ on a particular issue that he skips over the preliminary step of figuring out what the right questions are, to say nothing of conducting the kind of thorough investigation those questions deserve or what conditions and forces are at work in the Shah’s Iran or contemporary Nigeria.

    RS

    December 11, 2015 at 11:50 pm

  14. Ach, no enemies on the left…

    Hey is anybody who sees progressive potential in the Caliphate on the left?

    Andrew Coates

    December 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm

  15. Good points RS – the short Blog post is a synthesis to present an argument.

    The approach you suggest would be a lot better, but the synthesis – the result of thinking – is based on a lot of reading, listening, watching, and some direct experience, which it would have been tiresome to list.

    Andrew Coates

    December 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  16. Witch-hunting is as medieval as its most vehement detractors claim to be true of Islam. Kinnock stooped as low ion his campaign to ‘out’ militant from the Labour Party. Vigilantism and democratic debate are on different planets and now your home planet is clear. Take a long torch with you when you begin your campaign – you’ll need it!

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 4:45 pm

  17. As a symbol of a federalised Middle East in which autonomy for minorities – All minorities – is assured, yes, but not in the way Daesh / ISIS have used the term, which is akin to the US use of the term ‘freedom’ to describe their post-war foreign policy.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 4:52 pm

  18. Daesh apologists – just like apologists for European fascism – are *not* on the left and have no place in the labour movement.

    Jim Denham

    December 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm

  19. I am not and never have been a Daesh / ISIL apologist, except to people who have some psychological drive towards denunciatory & witch-hunting politics and require targets for this or else are not well-enough educated to read and understand nuances of meaning. Yes, some people have genuinely misunderstood and, yes, I should, on reflection when I first broached this, have anticipated how my use of language could have been tidied up to avoid such misunderstandings. but it takes two to tango and no amount of denying this has got me anywhere with people like ‘Lamia’ and ‘Jim Denham’ (if its your real name, I apologise) who feel the need to denounce deep in their souls and live in some kind of moralistic political world in which soundbite rhetoric is the king, rather than the material one.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm

  20. The pro-fascist scum-bag Tummon: “I am not and never have been a Daesh / ISIL apologist”

    I say:Yes he is! Fuck him off! Scum like him have no place in our movement!

    P.S: Tummon: I can assure you that “WJim Denham” is indeed, my real name.

    Jim Denham

    December 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

  21. Give me your address or shut up, you little keyboard warrior. I live in Marple, Stockport and if you want to sort this out in the real world, you can have the rest of my address in return for yours. You can’t just hide behind a keyboard for ever demonising people from a position of ignorance and prejudice.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 8:07 pm

  22. Is this you? https://www.facebook.com/JamesNDenham? If it is, then next time I’m down the Molineux, I’ll meet you in any pub you car to name in the West Midlands.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 8:10 pm

  23. I think I know who you are Jim after 10 minutes surfing. Well-known for being a hard-line Trot keen on sectarian bad-mouthing, according to a number of people who know you and also someone who accuses anyone who questions Zionism of being anti-semitic. I’ve met plenty like that before in decades of anti-Fascist work in the North West. You are a disgrace to the old Jewish socialists from AJEX who showed me how to fight Fascism up here in the 1970s, and who were equally clear in their criticism of Israel. Champagne socialism didn’t appeal to them and it doesn’t to me, particularly when its mixed with a denunciatory political personality and dishing out abuse from behind a keyboard . As I said, any pub in the West Midlands – you name one, apart from your own local. I am easy to find.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 9:01 pm

  24. The Daesh apologist Tummon writes: “I’ve met plenty like that before in decades of anti-Fascist work”…

    I write: I’ve never met anyone as degenerate as you, Tummon, in over 40 years on the revolutionary left.

    You disgust me, and I’ll gladly do what I can to see you excluded from the left. You have no place in the labour movement, or in civilised society.

    Jim Denham

    December 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

  25. Coward!

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 9:46 pm

  26. Support Assad and Russia.

    Caliphate John is just confused about the caliphate, as there would be no pubs to have a bust up if it was up to them.

    Jim Denham is equally confused about Israel, and believes he has a right to dictate who is or is not on the ‘left’, using his bully boy tactics.

    therefore, the best position is to support the legitimate government of Assad, and not seek to overthrow it by supporting IS and pretending that it is somehow ‘anti imperialist’, when in reality IS and Islamists are completely infiltrated and backed by western intelligence.

    Assad is the legitimate government, and there are no other options, ‘revolutionary’ or otherwise.
    We should support Assad as the best of a bad lot.

    Trotskyites like to imagine that there is some kind of revolution in all kinds of places, but they have turned out to be a bad joke.

    Benghazi- what a joke.

    Long live Assad!

    Dean

    December 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

  27. Bit of a jump in logic, Dean! ‘Legitimate Ruler’ is also a strange description for any Dictatorship or oligarchy. The fundamental problem in the Middle East remains the Versailles division of the Ottpman Caliphate into nation states based on the rule of minorities, such as the Alawites in Syria. Only a modern federalist solution can begin to break down the religious and ethnic hatred a which have resulted from western dominated nep-colonialist states, periodically re-invaded, re-bombed & re-demonised. The UN has to break with this settlement, but can’t kill its own parent.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 10:11 pm

  28. Hi John,

    If there was a federalist solution and real political forces pushing it forward, then i guess that would be good.
    but there are none that are asking and fighting for that. as such, i don’t see it as existing in reality.

    Do you support the Kurds?

    Assad is legitimate, as he has a seat at the UN, as far as i’m aware, and his government has embassies and things like that. I don’t care whether or not he is a dictator, or run by oligarchy, as in the real world, there are a limited amount of choices. Assad is the best, and I think probably does have the support of most of his countrymen. Likewise, it was a big mistake to get rid of Gaddafi and those leftists cheering on some bullcrap in benghazi have turned out be supporting Islamists.

    If there were a real modern federalist solution, that would be one thing. but it seems to be your pet theory that you want to project on people in another society.

    Dean

    December 12, 2015 at 10:29 pm

  29. Hi Dean

    No – the nearest to a 21st century federalist force are those who are against ISIL but support the Caliphate as a symbol, but I admit they are few on the ground, probably even fewer than those moderate guerilla forces conjured up by Cameron . Unfortunately, the west’s hold on the Middle East, and the compromises and alliances it has made with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to reinforce that hold, rule out anything but the most elemental conflicts for the foreseeable future and also rule out the prospects of any stateless group, whether Sunni, Kurd or Palestinian getting what I would like each of them to get – autonomy within a peaceful federation. Even the ‘Greater Syria’ version of this supported briefly by both the Arab League and the British cabinet in the closing stages of World War Two, before Lord Moyne’s assassination by Zionists (specifically to scupper it) would be a massive improvement on the Versailles settlement, but until the conflicts become less visceral I cannot see any positive overall solutions getting popular support; people need hope for that, and it is in short supply.

    So – progressive ideas can lie dormant for a long time, yet be revived when times are again ready for them.

    I agree that Assad is no worse than any of the other Dictators supported by the west and the idea of picking him out as uniquely unacceptable was never rational in human rights terms, but the main problem with restoring Assad is that it would still leave the Sunnis without a state in South West Asia, and therefore open to joining the latest bunch of jihadis out of desperation. With the Sunnis joining the Kurds and Palestinians as stateless peoples, the existing arrangement of nation states is rendered even more untenable. Maybe the only hope is that circumstances might one day force them to work together, but so long as there are no states willing to help solve this by ceding territory for the purpose, the fundamental problem remains. Your solution – back (partially) to the era of western-backed Arab aristocrats running undemocratic nation states – has been overridden by recent history in that region.

    John Tummon

    December 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

  30. Tumon: you, as a Daesh apologist, seem to be threatening me. I am presently considering informing the authorities. OIn the other hand, if you simply want a punch-up, please get in touch.

    Jim Denham

    December 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm

  31. The pro Daesh scum-bag Tummon has written this to me:

    “Give me your address or shut up, you little keyboard warrior. I live in Marple, Stockport and if you want to sort this out in the real world, you can have the rest of my address in return for yours. You can’t just hide behind a keyboard for ever demonising people from a position of ignorance and prejudice.”

    Should I now inform the police?

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 12:08 am

  32. Andrew writes a thoughtful piece for discussion, and his blog degenerates into something like that bit of the playground behind the bike sheds…😦

    Francis

    December 13, 2015 at 12:48 am

  33. But seriously: should I now inform the police, that I have been threatened by a Daesh supporter?

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 12:50 am

  34. Jim Denham – dont be such a wuss. harden up and be a man. take it behind the bike sheds…

    Dean

    December 13, 2015 at 12:53 am

  35. I’ll gladly have it out with Tummon; but I still tend to think I should inform the authorities as well.

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 12:55 am

  36. Wasting Police Time – section 5(2) Criminal Law Act 1967

    The offence of wasting police time is committed when a person:

    causes any wasteful employment of the police by
    knowingly making to any person a false report orally or in writing tending to:
    show that an offence has been committed; or,
    give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property; or,
    show that he has information material to any police inquiry.

    Francis

    December 13, 2015 at 1:15 am

  37. Anyway, here’s a photo of Kurds protesting against STWC Xmas dinner and supporting air strikes against Isis.

    Hilary Benn was right. Fascism must be opposed.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/adamlangleben/status/675377781371457536

    John R

    December 13, 2015 at 1:32 am

  38. Would it be “wasting police time” to inform them of a Daesh supporter who has threatened me?

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 1:45 am

  39. Yes. You know very well John Tummon is not a real Daesh supporter with guns and suicide belts and all that, he’s one of these leftists whose politics seem to have brought him to the conclusion that sectarian communalism is the way forward in the Middle East. He is not going to explode near you any time soon. If deluded, but non-violent, politics were sufficient grounds for police involvement, the police would need to intern almost every left-wing blogger and commentator, just to be on the safe side.

    Francis

    December 13, 2015 at 2:07 am

  40. I still tend to think that to be on the safe side, I should inform the police about this deluded lunatic.

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 2:37 am

  41. This kind of web reaction came up at our Briefing meeting yesterday in London.

    I cited the case of a well-known – leading – Scottish Socialist Party member who had threatened to come to Ipswich and piss through my letter box.

    Coatesy recommended playing South Park Safe Space to calm things down.

    Andrew Coates

    December 13, 2015 at 12:10 pm

  42. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a would-be bully who has threatened witch-hunting squawking for ‘the authorities’ to come to his aid once he gets a glimmer of what it’s like to be made to feel uncomfortable. It’s the personal equivalent of zionists yelping about ‘anti-semitism’ whenever anyone fights back. Behind it all is the simple fact that if your politics don’t include the analytical tools to enable you to make any meaningful contribution, you default to hitting out at anything like a federal solution that might take power off the Zionist state. Proponents of that position therefore have to be demonised over an over again, so that they remain tarred permanently with a position they do not hold. Just grow up and since your only role is to prevent a proper debate happening and repeating slander, butt out so that those of us who are trying to work through all these problems can do without threat of being outed as a terrorist sympathiser to ‘the authorities’.

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 12:17 pm

  43. You can’t fault John for trying, against logic, to bring the discussion away from his beloved ‘progressive’ Islamic State and back to good old conspiracy mongering about ‘Zionists’. A bit predictable, mind.

    Meanwhile, John’s Stopper comrades are engaged in a purge of their website to remove embarrassing material. They’ve now airbrushed out their jeers about the extermination of Yazidis by ISIS – “a false story of a massive Yazidi crisis and a largely mythical siege”

    http://www.markpack.org.uk/136129/stop-the-war-mount-sinjar/

    From the same time as that disgraceful piece of genocide denial by the Stoppers, one may recall this article on the Left Unity (which has been saved, so there’s no point asking for it to be removed):

    http://leftunity.org/arabia-the-demise-of-the-old-colonial-order/

    ‘Highlights’ are the contributions from a poster who offers the following:

    “why should we by shy of supporting ISIS’s attempt to provide a new, overarching settlement in the northern Middle East?”

    “the mainstream news outlets relentlessly projecting ISIS as an Al-Qa’ida – based outfit dedicated to terrorism and the slimly-substantiated atrocity reports”

    He also describes the killing of Christian civilians by ISIS – what we would normally call war crimes – as ‘military attacks’.

    And he complains: “the ISIS leadership can easily be demonised without counterclaims being aired,”

    and

    “Cameron’s censorship of ISIS pressstements on the internet ensures that we will only hear about ISIS atrocities,”

    and

    “You can’t get ISIL’s point of view in this country, except via long-standing independent journalists like Fisk who the imperialists cannot recruit.”

    (NB this at a time when ISIS were themselves proudly broadcasting on video their atrocities)

    And he argues “What on earth is wrong with the concept of critical support [of ISIS] in this context”

    The name of that poster is, funnily enough, John Tummon. The same John Tummon who here claims:

    “I am not and never have been a Daesh / ISIL apologist”

    You are indeed a proven apologist for them, and a disgusting human being.

    Lamia

    December 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm

  44. I’m not a member of Stop the War, so don’t lay this airbrushing at my door.

    Your choice of highlights is selective in the same way as a hack prosecuting council would produce some quotes without context. You also seem to believe that no-one’s thinking changes but stays still, regardless of changes in the flow of information or in circumstances since

    ISIL did begin an insurrection against the post-WW1 imperialist settlement in the Middle East and I advocated critical support for the development ISIL was and still is trying to provide – a new, overarching settlement in the northern Middle East, as I said, but I disagreed then and still do now about how they have gone about it – in a sectarian and terroristic way, which has alienated all but the most desperate, stateless Sunnis. I am much clearer about the second part of this than I was then, because of what has become apparent since.

    Back in August 2014. When this discussion happened, the news about ISIL was new and its sudden expansion was accompanied by a handful of atrocity stories but I had good reason to cast doubts on, because of the undeniable track record of truth being the first casualty in war and the way Srebrenica had been used in this way in the 1990s, especially that keynote photograph of Bosnians behind barbed wire which, it turned out, actually surrounded the photo-Journalists, who had erected it. What I was wary of, therefore, was of the Left yet again being softened up for demonising an opponent, especially after Cameron had closed down 40 websites in which we might have found out something the western media is not loyally feeding us on. That has remained the case over the past 18 months, although other important things have changed, chiefly, the relentless use of terror by ISIL, which is no longer something I doubt. What I hoped for and was explicit about at the time was that their rise would create a new political space in which a more humanitarian and less sectarian version of Islamism, which does exist, by the way, could take a federalised arrangement forward as a progressive alternative to the Versailles settlement. This has clearly not happened amidst a horrific cycle of violence which has got worse. I can no longer advocate a policy of critical support for ISIL.

    Debates and positions on the Left move on, and so should they. The idea that whatever someone thought and said at an earlier stage is the be all and end all of what we need to know about them because subsequent developments proved them to have been wrong on some key aspects would mean that no-one – not Marx, Lenin, Bakunin. Trotsky, Mandel, Gramsci or Althusser – would have a reputation that was not in tatters. Part of me feels that the reason why I have been subjected to so much of this abuse is that some forces on the Left really have a lot to lose through any process of thinking outside the box in order to try and get to what is really happening. That’s what I tried to do and still am.

    Irrespective of whether or not you or Jim accept this, I won’t be doing any more self-justification. I will only come on here to debate what Andrew put at the start of this thread.

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 6:22 pm

  45. “Irrespective of whether or not you or Jim accept this, I won’t be doing any more self-justification. I will only come on here to debate what Andrew put at the start of this thread”: boo-hoo, poor little Tummon.

    None of that self-justifying shite changes the simple fat that you’re an apologist for fascism: so as far as I’m concerned, no-one on the left should debate with you: we should simply tell you to eff of.

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm

  46. That should, of course be “Eff off”!

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 7:25 pm

  47. I’m not little; I’ve fought Fascists (successfully) for 4 decades and been hauled before the ‘authorities’ you want to involve in your witch-hunting for doing so, on numerous occasions. I won’t take lessons from a zionist Trot who can’t debate the meaning of anything without lapsing into sectarian abuse, fuelled, according to accounts I’ve read, by a lifelong obsession with drinking too much booze. If I had as much crap to forget I probably would be as drunk as you when I come on here to make a point. You seem to have made more enemies than friends in your political life and I can see why.

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 7:42 pm

  48. Can’t spell when you’re pissed!

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 7:43 pm

  49. I can’t resist… “the way Srebrenica had been used in this way in the 1990s”… John – according to your version, what did happen at and around Srebrenica in mid-July 1995?

    Francis

    December 13, 2015 at 8:47 pm

  50. I thought the likes of Rees, German, Galloway and Murray were effin’ horrible scum, with their support for the anti-working class Iraqi so-called “resistance” who murdered trade unionists. I never thougt I’d come across *worse* scum: people like Tummon, supporting ISIs. Quite unbelievable. I am presently ensuring that a co-thinker of his is chucked out of Momentum.. This is no “witch-hunt”: more like political hygiene.

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 9:15 pm

  51. Well I will resist. A student of mine did an excellent dissertation on this 3 years ago – she’s now at Birmingham Uni in her final year. In essence, Srebrenica was used to justify NATO bombing of Serbia, supported by Ashdown and not opposed by the disabled Left of the time, which bought the liberal concept of humanitarian war hook, line & sinker. There is loads out there on this – I am not on here to explain every damn thing, every line I’ve written. No-one else is held to account to that extent. Upsetting the Trotskyist applecart is clearly something that gets the same response – no political answer, because there are no relevant politics to provide one, but plenty of sarcasm, abuse, threats, soundbites and amateur philology.

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 9:18 pm

  52. ‘Political hygiene’, eh? Straight from the Third Reich that one, just like a lot of zionism.

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 9:20 pm

  53. Jim – this your local? – http://www.thewellingtonrealale.co.uk/ I’ll come over so you can call me ‘scum’ in front of your mates, if you still have any!

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 9:24 pm

  54. There are two separate questions here John: how the Srebrenica events of mid-July 1995 were *used* by the Western powers, and what actually *happened*. There can be lots of perfectly reasonable disagreement about the rights and wrongs of how the events were *used* by third parties, but the way you phrased it suggested that you were casting doubt on whether the massacre of Muslim males by Serb forces actually *occurred* following the liquidation of the ill-fated “safe haven” in mid-July 1995. Apologies if I misunderstood you.

    Not quite sure what you mean about Trotskyist applecarts – I was under the impression that both you and Jim Denham came from different bits of the Trotskyist tradition, which would account for the vehemence of your disagreement. Again, apologies if I’m mistaken.

    Francis

    December 13, 2015 at 9:51 pm

  55. I hgave no desire to meet, or discuss with a pro-Fascist like Tummon. Should he turn up at my “local” or anywhere else, I’ll have him turned out and proletarian justice will be administered. That’s a promise.

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm

  56. Francis – read this on what actually happened and why it happened. No, I’ve never been a Trotskyist. I am from a Libertarian Socialist background and I am a Republican Socialist.

    http://www.serbianna.com/features/srebrenica_sherman.pdf

    John Tummon

    December 13, 2015 at 10:54 pm

  57. Tummon links to this:

    “Thus by late July 1995, coverage had already descended to the superficial
    and the biased. It surely did not clarify issues for the reading
    public, but reinforced the party line that villainized the Bosnian Serbs
    and treated the Bosnian Muslims as their unique victims.”

    He really loves genociders – whether ISIS/Daesh or Miloseviic – doesn’t he?

    Jim Denham

    December 13, 2015 at 11:27 pm

  58. Words into my mouth. That’s how zionist Trots work – if you offer a link to elucidate something, you are charged with having every single phrase written or supported by yourself. This is a keyboard wanker that vacillates between calling in the bourgeois law and dishing out ‘proletarian justice’ when someone fights back against his demonisation of anything like Middle East federalism that might threaten the sovereignty of mother Israel, itself obtained by some of the cruellest terrorism of the 20th century and a Nakba that expelled 700,000 people from their homes. He dares to accuse others of supporting terrorism.

    John Tummon

    December 14, 2015 at 12:08 am

  59. ” if you offer a link to elucidate something, you are charged with having every single phrase written or supported by yourself” … eh, yes: that’s what tends to happen when you recommend a link.

    And I wondered how soon “Zionism” would come into things … a sure sign of an anti-Semitic wanker.

    Jim Denham

    December 14, 2015 at 12:57 am

  60. Do you deny that you are a Zionist, because people who sa they know you seem clear that you are? Secondly, equating criticisms of the Israeli state as anti-Semitic is classic Zionism, so even if you say you are not a Zionist, you argue like one!

    John Tummon

    December 14, 2015 at 9:49 am

  61. John – I think your methodological error is to assume in a slightly conspiracy-theory sort of way that the mainstream Western media is *always* lying, that the stories it prints *always* have some ulterior purpose. Hence your immediate disbelief of the ISIL stories over a year ago – if the Western MSM is putting these stories out, they must be untrue or wildly exaggerated. It’s the same story with the Srebrenica business – because the Western powers were generally hostile to the Bosnian Serb forces, therefore all reports of what happened to the male population of the Srebrenica “safe haven” must have been phoney. It’s a nice simple approach which has one serious problem: even the most dishonest people only lie when it suits them. Sometimes not lying is politically more expedient. That’s quite apart from the fact that the Western MSM is not a coordinated conspiracy of liars. It has pathological liars, conscientious investigators and everything inbetween.

    Francis

    December 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

  62. And ISIS are*not* anti-Semitic?

    Jim Denham

    December 14, 2015 at 12:56 pm

  63. Francis, on Srebrenica, two weird things preceded the massacre: 1 General Oric, the Bosnian Muslim warlord, who had been in control of the whole district for months on end, killing Serbs at will, melted away & 2 the UN forces defending Srebrenica simultaneously melted away. This was the first and sole opportunity for Serbs thereabouts to take revenge for what Oric had been putting them through. These are the circumstances that have led many analysts to ask the question-was this a set up between NATO & Izbegovich to facilitate the massacre which could then be used to justify NATO escalation.

    In questioning my methodology, you highlight a problem the Left will always have in analysing international events for which information comes solely from the bourgeois media. By the time of the US invasion of Granada in 1982, Reagan had resolved that uncontrolled media access to war zones was too risky and helped create anti-war movements, so ’embedded journalism’ was invented and has since become normalised (in fact the British government used it in the First World War). The problem of truth in war zones therefor does not arise from ethe nature of the general run of journalists, but from governments giving monopoly access rights to ‘reliable’ journalists, who report from behind the lines of western forces and have their copy checked befor release. That’s why I tend to trust journalists like Robert Fisk, who lives in the Middle East. But when such as Fisk don’t have access to ‘smoking gun’ situations, we are reduced to sceptical, intelligent guesswork. I can’t think of any better methodology in these circumstances. Can you?

    John Tummon

    December 14, 2015 at 1:42 pm

  64. Jim, speak to the hand – the rest of me does not acknowledge you.

    John Tummon

    December 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm

  65. Yes. Take nothing on trust, don’t believe everything you think, use Occam’s razor liberally, give serious attention to evidence which does not fit your assumptions, and if your preferred explanation involves a complex conspiracy of diverse forces, it’s almost certainly wrong.

    Francis

    December 14, 2015 at 3:02 pm

  66. And (this one isn’t aimed at you, John) never let your judgement be clouded by righteous indignation…

    Francis

    December 14, 2015 at 3:05 pm

  67. Francis, you sound like one of the 3 wise men. Can I score some Myrrhe?

    John Tummon

    December 14, 2015 at 4:11 pm

  68. Frankincense?

    Francis

    December 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm

  69. Frankly, what the Isis/Daesh-apologist Tummon thinks, or what he does with his hand, is of no consequence whatsoever, as far as I’m concerned: so long as he’s excluded from the left and the labour movement.

    Jim Denham

    December 14, 2015 at 9:57 pm

  70. It’s chinned a few Fascists in its time, which had consequences. Its day is not yet done. Keep talking to it!

    John Tummon

    December 14, 2015 at 10:14 pm

  71. i think you should report the the Tummon deashist to the plod Jim. if he is really ‘teaching’ in a place of learning he needs to be rooted out anyway regardless of the threats he’s made here.

    m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly)

    December 15, 2015 at 5:57 am

  72. I submit my new work Shite Caliphate for the Academy’s consideration, along with my installation Car Pork.

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    December 15, 2015 at 6:04 am

  73. looking here btw http://weeklyworker.co.uk/assets/ww/images/small-maxresdefault%20%285%29%20-%20Copy.JPG I reckon you could have him anyway JIm. He looks like an owld tosser. Smash the jaw of the streak of piss.

    m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly)

    December 15, 2015 at 6:11 am

  74. Mr Tummon says:

    “Back in August 2014. When this discussion happened, the news about ISIL was new and its sudden expansion was accompanied by a handful of atrocity stories but I had good reason to cast doubts on.”

    Mr Tummon had no good reason at all to cast doubts on it. ISIS were themselves broadcasting their own atrocities on the internet. That is why Tummon was in a tiny minority even among Left Unity, because it was quite clear to them and almost everyone on the planet but deluded Tummon that they really were doing what they said they were doing. It was clear that Tummon was trying to obfuscate about the plainly obvious and utterly indefensible.

    ISIS are now reported to have started killing children with Downs Syndrome and congenital defects. Can we expect Caliphate John to stick to his script and maintain that this is merely more ‘demonisation’ of ISIS by David Cameron?

    “It’s chinned a few Fascists in its time, which had consequences. Its day is not yet done. Keep talking to it!”

    Following his repeated challenges to Jim Denham settle this in a pub, and his attempts to identify where Jim drinks, this shows Mr Tummon going right over the line.

    Lamia

    December 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm

  75. My beef is not with the fact of the massacre or its extent but with the circumstances under which it was allowed to happen and for what reasons. I’ve already made that clear, dullard. Yes, I am 4 years older than Jim apparently is, but my pulse rate is 45 because I cycle over the Peak District hills rather than growing fat in a pub, so why don’t you volunteer for a tag match if you think you and JIm are up to it? Its all very well hiding behind a keyboard to dish out abuse and threats but when it comes back at you, the response is to want to call the plod. Maybe the same applied in the playgrounds of his youth – ‘Teacher!!” As Hitler said, keep telling the big lie as often as possible until it becomes lodged in the consciences of the ignorant – another piece of Third Reich ‘wisdom’ purloined by modern zionist Islamaphobes. I’ve no idea who you are, because you hide behind an avatar, like most keyboard warriors. If you also live in the West Midlands, why don’t you and Jim drop in for a chat at the Western, just behind and under the station in Wolverhampton whenever Wolves are at home? Oh Boleyn, We’ve got you in the cup!

    John Tummon

    December 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm

  76. My last comment mysteriously didn’t make it on here, despite a message saying it was a duplicate. Any idea, Andrew?

    John Tummon

    December 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm

  77. There is nothing in the Spam box, odd really…..

    Do you think it’s the Elders who “purloined” it?

    Perhaps the same “modern Zionist islamphobes” who’ve been hiding the kinda things that Lamina cites about Daesh.

    If this is true about the Down’s syndrome extermination, and it’s given in the Daily Mirror, not known to exaggerate in this instance, then they truly are historic genociders.

    Incidentally if you think that Jim Denham is ‘hiding’ from anybody: well, politically speaking you can see him, the former boxing champ (welterweight) of Selly Oak, from Mars!

    Andrew Coates

    December 15, 2015 at 6:56 pm

  78. I think its just a blip as I don’t go in for conspiracy theories, as you seem to think. I’ve explained that well enough already, to Francis. If Jim really is a former boxer it should be very interesting indeed to meet him; my Dad taught me how to box and he got that from his uncles, who were all fairground fighters in the West of Scotland between the wars, seeing off man after man who thought he was hard enough, back in the days when plenty were just that. and then moving on to the next fairground. Well beyond the Queensbury rules that applied down here.

    Anyway. enough of that. I’ll get back to you on my mate’s MA and then leave it as that, because the endless pseudo banter and abuse with other posters is not something that I like or want to waste any more time at.

    John Tummon

    December 15, 2015 at 8:25 pm

  79. If you recall, there were reports of the Bataclan scum going after patrons in wheelchairs. Daesh appears to have its own T4 programme. All part of the bright tomorrow under the reconstituted theocracy/monarchy. I have no time for ‘republican’ and ‘libertarian’ socialists in the best kf circumstances. I had no idea their politics could be this degenerate — supporting the Serb fascist genociders. Greater –federal– Serbia ruled by Obrenović IV would surely be the obvious best outcome in that region too, no doubt. Just wind the clock back 100 years and dish out the pocket watches and the TB and everything will be perfect.

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    December 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm

  80. If people scroll up, they’ll find a post timed today at 3.44 pm between one at 5.57 am and one at 6.04 am. This is almost certainly not a conspiracy.

    One of the points about the Srebrenica massacre which Herman and friends seem to think significant is the fact that the number of 8000 victims which emerged early on was not subsequently revised downwards (unlike, say, some of the more imaginative numbers of victims of the Securitate’s final shooting spree initially bandied about at the time of Ceaucescu’s last stand). This seems suspicious to them. In fact, it seems to be because the number of Muslim men in the Srebrenica enclave was fairly well known at the time, and somewhere between 7 and 8 thousand remain unaccounted for. Some initial estimates are more accurate than others.

    Francis

    December 15, 2015 at 10:50 pm

  81. This is for Jim – some info. If you really don’t want to bother the plod with a complaint against the DAESHist Tummon then another option open to you is this: Make a complaint to the fuckker’s internet provider and hopefully cause him grief and a lot of hassle. Get his IP address off Coatsey (who should have a record of this via the comments the tosser has deposited). Then you do a search of the IP address on http://www.ip-tracker.org/locator/ip-lookup.php — this will tell you who his internet provider is, then make a formal complaint to his Internet service provider. Maybe get a screen grab of his threats and include them with the complaint. Hopefully he will have his service pulled. At the very least he will get a warning not to repeat the behaviour or else he will have his service pulled.

    m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly)

    December 16, 2015 at 7:05 am

  82. Andrew, a pattern of systematic harassment of me by your followers has become all too clear, so please unsubscribe me from this website and your emails. I don’t need or want this sort of thing in my life.

    John Tummon

    December 16, 2015 at 9:57 am

  83. “please unsubscribe me from this website and your emails.”

    har har. wott a dipshit. “a website’ “unsubscribe me’. ‘your emails’.

    fuckking nora. wott a cretin.

    m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly)

    December 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm

  84. “a pattern of systematic harassment of me by your followers has become all too clear,”

    Shameless. Peerless. Priceless.

    Is there a ‘People’s Republican Comedy Awards’ or some such that we can enter Caliphate John into? He really does deserve wider recognition for his services to mirth.

    I look forward to his next one-man show, rumoured to be titled, ‘The Persecution of Stalin by the Russian Public.’

    Lamia

    December 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

  85. ISIS-DAESH-Muslim Brotherhood are all creations of MOSSAD-CIA tutored by the Fireign Office and MI6. Wahabism is funded by the Saudi royals, who were placed and kept in by MI6, and post war using US $. Erdogan is a placeman of MOSSAD. Syria, like Iran and N. Korea, doesnt opeate a Federal Reserve system and along with geopolitical considerations is the “why” of the Levant situation. All else is mental masturbation.

    willoughby burrell

    December 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

  86. “Willoughby Burrell comments… sponsored by Alcan Aluminium Foil.”

    Lamia

    December 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  87. @willoughby-burrell

    you forgot the capslock mate

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    December 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm

  88. …and the green ink on a yellow background

    m_jelly (@monsieur_jelly)

    December 16, 2015 at 11:55 pm

  89. […] Andrew Coates: Islamic State, fascism, totalitarianism and evil […]

  90. Agree with “RT” missing a dimension here. “Gilles Kepel has described the search for divine sovereignty in the aftermath of the First World War ………… He states that the central Islamist belief is that sovereignty belongs to Allah only. As developed in what are widely considered the founding writings of modern Islamism by the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb during the 1950s, “The Muslim umma is a collectivity (Jama’a) of people whose entire lives – in their intellectual, social, existential, political, moral and practical aspects – are based on Islamic ethics (mihaj).” ……….. Understanding of Islamic ethics implicitly includes human reason. This para is contradictory. Qutb was writing in the context of Nasser’s authoritarian Arab Socialist Egypt. I suggest the relationship between the many strands of political Islam and Qutb, is one of different degrees of rejection and interpretation.

    Angela Keller

    December 20, 2015 at 10:13 pm

  91. Qutb was first of all writing in the context of Islamic doctrine, the rest is important but not decisive.

    Andrew Coates

    December 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm


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