Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Gerry Downing Bumper Issue in the Weekly Worker.

with 28 comments

Bumper Issue: Fun for all.

The Saga continues:

Gerry Downing movingly pleads:

This anti-democratic procedure (no hearing before expulsion; no right to appeal) was initiated by the Labour Party leadership of Tony Blair, which was involved in extensive criminality against working class people at home and abroad. Such as, most notoriously, the Iraq war, where the Labour Party leadership bore responsibility for over a million deaths, caused by the unprovoked invasion.It was also involved in terrible abuses of democratic rights, such as torture and ‘extraordinary rendition’, and even complicit in the American sexual abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. So it is hardly surprising that a party whose leadership did things like this evolved procedures that show contempt for the seemingly more mundane democratic rights of ordinary Labour Party members at home.

The tone is set.

But what does Comrade Tony Greenstein have to say?

Socialist Fight is an organisation that is causing much amusement to the right. However, Downing’s defence, or “understanding”, of al Qa’eda’s 9/11 attacks and the actions of Islamic State are anything but amusing. His playing with anti-Semitism is also no joke and his actions have been used to discredit the wider left.

Unfortuantely cde Greenstein has not the slightest intention of analysing Daesh, its totalitarianism, its class basis, and its genocide, in its own terms.

Instead we get this,

IS, for example, is known to be controlled militarily by ex-Ba’athist officers who have adopted Islam as a convenient justification and legitimation for their barbarous rule. How any socialist can support or “understand” – not as a means of analysis, but as a form of apology – an organisation which enslaves young Yazidi women, whilst slaughtering all the men and older women, defies belief. A group which openly uses rape as a weapon of war. This genocidal group may indeed be a reaction to the US’s imperialist slaughter in Iraq; it may have come into conflict with the US and its sectarian Iraqi regime (although being supported by the Turkish regime); but what type of reaction is it? Do we support any opposition, however reactionary, to US capitalism?

Perhaps those less inclined to dismiss the religious basis of Daesh would disagree: it is a genocidal variant of Islamism, with clear roots in the internal development of that current. How it sprang into political power is a related issue, but it cannot be reduced to this.

Greenstein also makes an extraordinary claim,

It is no accident that Israel is known to support al Qa’eda’s al-Nusra in Syria and it is widely suspected of supporting IS (it is known to be the largest purchaser of IS-produced oil). Opposing Zionism is not on the agenda of IS or al Qa’eda.

It is with relief that we turn to this:

Jim Grant writes, “We must oppose the expulsion of Gerry Downing, but fight to expose his political errors. ”

Gerry’s anti-imperialism is, needless to say, confused in the extreme. The confusion stems from exactly where Gerry says it does: Leon Trotsky’s policy of critical support to anti-imperialist nationalist forces – most notably Haile Selassie in Ethiopia during the Italian invasion – and his argument that, instead of joining the Chinese nationalist Kuomintang in the 1920s, the communists ought to have fought separately but alongside them against the Japanese. This policy ultimately stems from the anti-imperialist united front advocated by the early Comintern.

The trouble is that Trotsky’s judgements were straightforwardly incorrect, and Gerry’s later ones also wrong for much the same reasons. Selassie was a British client; Trotsky’s support effectively meant supporting British imperialism against Italian imperialism. (His vigorous pursuit of this policy inside the British labour movement was thus particularly misguided.) As for China, it is difficult to see how the communists could have suffered less except by fighting the KMT and the Japanese, as they ended up doing anyway.

Leftist Trainspotters will note that the Weekly Worker here attacks some of the most cherished ideas of Trotksyism.

The mad Bob Pitt was fond of citing Trotksy on Haile Selassie in defence of his own principled position in defence of the progressive potential of feudalism, sorry Islamism.

We forget exactly the details about the line of the Kuomintang but know it is an issue that continues to burn today in the halls of orthodox Trotskyism.

The Tendance hopes a stern rebuke, from an unimpeachable sources, such as the World Socialist Web Site, will be winging its way to the Weekly Worker forthwith.

Cde Grant concludes:

When the Labour Party is cleansed of warmongers, city shills and cabs-for-hire, there will be time enough to deal with people whose anti-imperialism leads them to idiotic political conclusions; and with those, like the AWL, whose horror of the latter leads them to worse errors in the opposite direction. Hopefully the comrades will learn along the way. Until then, we deny the right of the Labour right to police the left tout court – no exceptions.

It is hard to see that what could be worse than Downing, from his support for Assad’s chemical weapons programme, his claim that the ‘anti-imperialist’ forces of the genocidal Daesh has to be backed “against” the US and this pile of steaming manure: “ISIS, no matter how reactionary they are, should be supported only in these circumstances (NOTE: of ‘imperialist’ ‘attack’) and only against imperialist attack.”

We therefore, as a matter of principle, support the right of indigenous forces in such countries to resist imperialist attacks. We also say that it is the duty of the workers’ movement in imperialist countries to assist them in defending themselves when possible. This is the meaning of the phrase about ‘tactical military assistance’ that has been so often quoted, again out of context.  In the current situation such assistance would most likely take the form of political strikes against a given war. In a developed revolutionary situation, more might be possible.

Socialist Fight.

Be afraid, be very afraid!

Written by Andrew Coates

March 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

28 Responses

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  1. I wondered how long WW would take before using the poor fool as a straw man. Comrade Grant’s reading of Ethiopian History is highly peculiar: Selassie was a British client? It seems he was as much a British client as the Spanish Republic was, given that the British and the French refused to provide arms and had signed a pact agreeing to the handing over of two thirds of Ethiopia to Mussolini.

    Trotsky’s ‘capitulation’ to revolutionary feudalism is based on pretty thin stuff and seems to come from reading later stupidities back to a few phrases taken out of context.

    Ultimately this boils down to how important the leadership of a country or a group is as a factor when deciding whether to support that country if it is being attacked by a more powerful country. Unless someone thinks that Mussolini’s intervention into Ethiopia was neutral or even positive I do not understand why anyone would think that Trotsky was wrong on this. The fact that this argument is used by an ex-Healyite muddlehead to defend ISIS is neither here nor there.

    Colin (@colin_odr)

    March 18, 2016 at 2:24 pm

  2. Hmmm. If I were a member of the Labour Party, I’d want to see the ice-axe of expulsion used mercilessly and indiscriminately against *all* these members of Trotskyite sects who have wormed their way in. The host should not be indulgent towards its parasites. None of them have any positive *right* to be in the party, and most of them damage its cause in pursuit of their own. And although they all bleat about witchhunts within Labour, they all expel dissenters from their own grouplets with the minimum of due process…

    Francis

    March 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm

  3. For a second I thought the IS under discussion here was Cliff’s International Socialists, not Baghdadi’s Islamic State.😀

    PW

    March 18, 2016 at 5:02 pm

  4. “The Last Straw”.

    First they came for Gerry Downing and I did not speak out –
    Because I was not an Isis-supporting, 9/11 apologising, anti-Semite.

    Then they came for other anti-Semites and I did not speak out –
    Because I have had a proud record of opposing anti-Semites even though I’ve marched with them Against the Cuts, worked with them in the Corbyn campaign and considered them Comrades.

    Then they came for Ian Donovan and I did not speak out –
    Because his anti-Semitic views are SO bad that even the “Weekly Worker” supported Communist Platform in Left Unity expelled him (even though they think he should be allowed to stay in Labour as a Comrade Against the Right).

    Then they came for me – and then I realised that I deserved to be witch-hunted because I had thought it was a good idea to have Gerry Downing as the “Good News” poster boy for the “Stop the Labour Purge” website and then, when he was expelled, it was a bit of an embarrassment and, you know, without any explanation, we took him off there and hoped people would forget all about it.

    But we had forgotten about web cache and screenshots and people would never forget about Gerry or our support for him despite us knowing his and Ian Donovan’s views on the “Jewish Question”.

    https://stopthelabourpurge.wordpress.com/bios-of-banned/

    John R

    March 18, 2016 at 5:29 pm

  5. I am surprised, in this context, that cde Grant – not to mention the victim of the Labour Party’s Abu Ghraib – don’t have a go at ‘debating’ Trotsky’s support for Brazilian fascists,

    Anti-Imperialist Struggle Is Key to Liberation. Leon Trotsky.

    An Interview with Mateo Fossa (September 1938)

    “I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil.

    I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of “fascist” Brazil against “democratic” Great Britain.

    Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers!”

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/09/liberation.htm

    Andrew Coates

    March 18, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  6. I liked the article by Tony Greenstein and which is so much better than the rubbish you read here.

    Greenstein is a consistent anti-Zionist whilst also someone who is hot on attacking anti-Semitism (which is how it should be).

    Compare that to the method for most here which is to generally support Israel and try and falsely rationalise much anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism.

    An example of this sort of mind-set is shown in the recent Ankara bomb that appears to have been undertaken by a group fighting for Kurdish liberation. Kurdish self-determination is to be supported but such a bombing can not be. This doesn’t ‘poison the well’ for me, as well as the Zionists here, of other Kurdish actions against the Turkish (and other) states. But when Palestinians do something that cannot be supported, this is cue for all here to condemn near enough all attacks against the state of Israel and all organisations undertaking such attacks.

    In the Trotsky quote, the key fallacy of the UnTrotskyist Trotsky is his claim that “(Brazilian victory) will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship.”

    Actually I’d be sure victory by the Vargas dictatorship would have boosted, not weakened, the dictatorship. And whilst the defeat of ‘England’ may have given a boost the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat.” (as per Germany in 1918 or Russia 1905) it may not have done (e.g. Britain after the Suez defeat)

    But apart from that Trotsky was right. A Vargas defeat of ‘England’ would have been better for the proletariat and other oppressed worldwide. From Calcutta to the Caribbean, British imperialism would have more in danger from those seeking independence.

    And in the same way, the defeat of Britain by the ‘semi-fascist’ Argentine regime in 1982 would have been the better outcome. Even British supporters of the Argentine claim to the Malvinas get this wrong – it’s neither here nor there who the islands ‘should’ belong to and it wouldn’t have mattered if the war had been about Argentina invading the Isle of Wight – the defeat of the major imperialism, Britain, in 1982 would have been better for the oppressed world wide rather than the defeat of semi-colonial Argentina.

    It’s that consistent non-internationalist approach, as opposed to the consistent ‘what’s best for Brits or Israeli or even Argentines’ – that is the flaw in their thinking of all the LP types here. Think internationally – like a communist.

  7. not much of a fight from socialist fight.
    question of Coatesy – you have to choose – George Galloway OR Gerry Downing?

    Trotsky seemed like a very confused kind of guy, its unclear why so many people think he’s the bees knees.
    Weakly Wanker more like.

    I say get rid of Downing and bring back Galloway!

    Dean

    March 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm

  8. Francis: since you are not a member of the Labour Party, frankly the ideology of its members is none of your business. So you can shove your icepick where the solntse will never find it.

    Colin (@colin_odr)

    March 19, 2016 at 1:14 am

  9. if you think Trotsky was so wrong, Andrew, I would think that you should say what was fundamentally wrong with his positions in these situations in general, rather than what an ex-Healyite muddlehead makes of them nearly 70 years later.

    Colin (@colin_odr)

    March 19, 2016 at 1:23 am

  10. Reblogged this on Redvince's Weblog.

    vincenzo

    March 19, 2016 at 10:02 am

  11. All this talk of trainspotting* reminds me of this:

    *other analogies are available.

  12. Vargas was not an ‘anti-imperialist’ but a fascist who smashed the left, who was not simply involved in a power struggle with the UK but a more complex game with US imperialism against the interests of British capitalism.

    “Brazil’s 1934 constitution, passed on 16 July, contained provisions that resembled Italian corporatism, which had the enthusiastic support of the pro-fascist wing of the disparate tenente movement and industrialists, who were attracted to Mussolini’s co-optation of unions through state-run, sham syndicates. As in Italy, and later Spain and Germany, Fascist-style programs would serve two important aims, stimulating industrial growth and suppressing the communist influence in the country. Its stated purpose, however, was uniting all classes in mutual interests. The constitution established a new Chamber of Deputies that placed government authority over the private economy, which established a system of state-guided capitalism aimed at industrialization and reducing foreign dependency.

    After 1934, the regime designated corporate representatives according to class and profession, but maintained private ownership of Brazilian-owned business. Based on increased labor rights and social investment, Brazilian corporatism, was actually a strategy to increase industrial output utilizing a strong nationalist appeal. Vargas, and later Juan Perón in neighboring Argentina, another quasi-fascist, emulated some of Mussolini’s strategy of mediating class disputes and co-opting workers’ demands under the banner of nationalism. Under the increase of workers’ rights also, he greatly expanded labor regulations with the consent of industry, pacified by strong industrial growth. The new constitution, drafted by Vargas allies, expanded social programs and set a minimum wage but also placed stringent limits on union organizing and “unauthorized” strikes.

    Beyond corporatism, the 1934 constitution also heightened efforts to reduce provincial autonomy in the traditionally devolved, sprawling nation. Centralization allowed Vargas to curb the oligarchic power of the landed paulista elites, who obstructed modernization through the regionalism, machine politics, and façade, corrupt democracy of the Old Republic.

    Vargas faced having to step down as president in 1938 because his own 1934 constitution prohibited the president from succeeding himself. On 29 September 1937, Gen. Dutra, his rightist collaborator, revealed “the Cohen Plan”, which detailed a plan for a Communist revolution. In fact, the Cohen Plan was a forgery concocted by the Integralists[citation needed], but Dutra publicly demanded that the government declare a a state of siege. On 10 November 1937, Vargas announced in a nationwide radio address that he was seizing emergency powers. He also dissolved Congress and canceled the elections due for January 1938. On the same night, the constitution was recast into a severely authoritarian document that concentrated virtually all power in Vargas’ hands. The regime created by this document is known as the Estado Novo (New State).

    Under the Estado Novo, Vargas abolished political parties, imposed censorship, established a centralized police force, and filled prisons with political dissidents, while evoking a sense of nationalism that transcended class and bound the masses to the state. He ended up repressing his erstwhile supporters the “Integralists” as well, once the communists were already defeated, since the Integralists wished for a total Nazi-fascist dictatorship, which was more than he desired.

    During the Estado Novo Vargas made major changes to the Brazilian economy for the betterment of Brazil. But also with help and pressure from the United States, because of the second World War. Vargas began to prioritize the middle class and provided for higher education and better job opportunities. Vargas also began to focus on industrialization; this led to the creation of the first steel mill in Brazil at Volta Redonda. To help further modernize and industrialize Brazil Vargas nationalized oil production and refinement. To improve the life of the laborer Vargas implemented the forty hour work week, a minimum wage, and other regulations to protect middle class and poorer workers.”

    Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get%C3%BAlio_Vargas

    You don’t get out of being a fascist because you are not in an ‘imperialist’ country and because you are a “developmentalist”.

    It was possible to oppose the Italian invasion of Ethiopia without supporting the Negus.

    You don’t get out being a feudal oppressor because you are in Ethiopia.

    The main problem is the use of ‘anti-imperialism’ as the criterion to take a ‘side’ – a view which existed in Trotsky’s mind because of the continued ‘actuality’ of the World Revolution, rather than basing your politics and democratic and class positions.

    There is no ‘World Revolution’ today.

    Andrew Coates

    March 19, 2016 at 11:49 am

  13. I made no claim that Vargas was an ‘anti-imperialist’. I made the very different point that a Brazilian defeat – whether they were democrats, fascists, whatever – of 30s Britain would have given an impetus to those who were anti-imperialists, e.g. Congress in India.

    So all your detail about the Vargas regime, whilst maybe interesting, is also irrelevant.

    On fascism, I’ve never seen a good definition of fascism.

    In a bourgeois democratic country I think a useful indicator of fascism is those who would wish to dispense (rather than just degrade) democracy – ‘democracy doesn’t work’.

    I don’t think a Leader, a racist ideology or other things such as a myth (we are the best nation on earth, etc) are necessary although they are common with fascists. I could see a British fascism in some near point in the future that accepts all resident here until, say 150 years ago but not after e.g. yes to those who came from the Caribbean 50 years ago, no to recent Polish arrivals.

    But that’s in bourgeois democracy – whether IS or indeed Vargas, whilst they may be significantly worse than predecessors, are fascists is moot, I think.

    If they are ‘fascists’, were Charles II (with the Restoration), Richard II (after Peasants’ Revolt), or Napoleon III who was President of France until he became its emperor also fascists? But if fascist just means very cruel and murderous then Britain was often fascist in its colonies.

    It’s very British to say there is ‘no World Revolution today’, a nationalist affliction that affects most of this blog and its commentators. I’d also say thereis no ‘World Revolution,’ as we speak, but there was such, say in Cairo and other Arab countries just a few years ago and doubtless will be somewhere else again soon. It’s a big planet.

  14. 15 not 150 – para 5

  15. Britain, and the rest of Europe, are part of the world.

    There is no world revolution, here, there, or anywhere I noticed.

    Andrew Coates

    March 19, 2016 at 5:31 pm

  16. There is a revolution in London, and the revolution is led by George Galloway and the RESPECT party.
    Another revolution would be to vote Grassroots out, declaring independence from the EUSSR/Fourth Reich.

    Trotsky was just wrong about a lot of things, and Trotskyism is a bit of a joke. perhaps Stalin was right after all?

    Dean

    March 20, 2016 at 12:19 am

  17. And so it goes:

    Momentum Vs Workers Power.
    A case of the party establishment decrying a perfectly legitimate attempt to hold a local politician to account for her voting record? There’s a little bit more of a stroll down the rabbit hole to go. Stuart King, of course, isn’t a name unknown to far left circles in London. He is a contributor to Red Flag, the self-styled “voice of Labour’s revolutionary change.” Looking at some of the by-lines in this earnest and august publication, we have household names – in lefty trainspotter homes at least – like Dave Stockton, Jeremy Dewar, and Bernie McAdam. In other words, it’s the organisation-formerly-known-as-Workers-Power.

    Workers Power were an orthodox Trotskyist split from the International Socialists in the mid-70s, and subsequently evolved away from the “innovations” Tony Cliff brought to his brand of Trotskyism in favour of the screed laid down by the Old Man himself. As a “fighting propaganda group” whose membership never got far beyond 50 activists in Britain, it managed to build itself its own petty international organisation and … that was about it. There was little to mark WP out in the sect marketplace. The Sparts and International Bolshevik Tendency had the minuscule head-banging market wrapped up, the SWP was the home of mindless activism, and the Socialist Party were effectively the refuge for Labourism-in-exile. The only feathers WP had to its bow was a pitch slightly to the left of the larger organisations whom they regarded as “centrist” (opportunistically caught between the poles of reform and revolution), and a tendency to turn up to meetings and propose ranty, ultra-left motions and actions. You can take the, um, organisation out of the organisation (“we’re only a newspaper, guv”), but Stuart’s attempt to get his local Momentum branch to go to war against a local councillor shows all the finesse that kept WP on the margins of British sect life is still with its successor groupuscule.

    So let’s be clear about this. It is not Momentum who are campaigning against a putative London Assembly member and sitting councillor, but a cranky Trotskyist group as part of an anti-cuts campaign they’ve latched onto. Obviously, it is a very difficult political situation when groups of workers and a Labour-run local authority are in dispute, but resolving that situation within and between different wings of the labour movement requires tact and talking, none of which is aided by a pointless Trot outfit trying to flog a newspaper or two off the back of it. Unfortunately, for as long as non-members of the Labour Party can hold office in Momentum this kind of nonsense will keep happening. If Trotskyists want to picket councillors and sell their unreadble guff outside meetings, that’s a matter for them. But allowing any adherent of a Trot group a directing role could choke the positive potential Momentum has – and present opportunities to those who’d like to see it strangled.”

    http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/momentum-vs-workers-power.html

    Andrew Coates

    March 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm

  18. what about Counterfire? are they the future of Trotskyism? or perhaps RS21?

    Dean

    March 21, 2016 at 12:43 am

  19. Andrew you have put a post up here from A Very Public Sociologist without comment that you know is clearly wrong. I have never been a member of Red Flag nor contributed to it and I have asked them to correct it. As you know I was a founding member of Left Unity where I have met you at conferences. LU now campaigns for a Jeremy Corbyn Labour victory in 2020 and for a Labour victory in the London Mayoral elections. We no longer stand in national or local elections against Labour.

    Red Flag as I understand it wants to turn the LP into “a socialist party”. I stand with Ralph Miliband on this question with the belief that the LP as we know it could never be won to an anticapitalist perspective. Strategic entrists in the British LP have discovered this over decades of fruitless effort and most of them have become left reformists or worse in the process.

    Stuart King

    March 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm

  20. I did not know the article by Phil was wrong but am happy to stand corrected.

    I trusted Phil because he is normally very well informed about these things.

    I did not Blog on this myself, letting Phil’s claims stand for the reason just given – though I have blogged on Workers Power in the past (which is why I linked in a comment to the story) – some of whose politics (on Europe) I actually agree with.

    It is understandable that feelings on libraries and related issues in Lambeth run high, and the left across the country is highly aware of this.

    I have never been to a Left Unity conference, let alone been a member!

    Andrew Coates

    March 21, 2016 at 1:42 pm

  21. I stand corrected it must have been one of many other conferences

    Stuart King

    March 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

  22. In reference to PW’s comment. Some of my best friends were in the IS (American, not British) in the 1970s. And now Daesh has forever ruined that acronym. Yet another reason to hate them.

    jschulman

    March 21, 2016 at 9:49 pm

  23. You are a racist idiot Andrew Coates. ISIS is no more representative of Islam than the Stern Gang was of Judaism. Both acted in the name of religion but socialist pierce between the veil.

    Most Kurds are Muslims but that does not stop their slaughter. Likewise most Shiites. They are a political phenomenon crusading under the banner of Islam. There is no essential essence of Islam any more than there is of Christianity or Judaism. Was or is Christianity defined by the Crusades which killed 1.5 million Jews? Hitler was a Nazi and there was a Reich Church whose slogan was the cross in our hearts the swastika on our breasts. The Zionists claim all their barbarities in the name of Judaism, so presumably Coates agrees. When they chant ‘death to the Arabs’ that is a Jewish slogan is it?

    Daesh are despicable, yes genocidal, yes they certain resemble aspects of fascism but not being the product of a modern industrial society they are not fascist. Indeed I also said it was hard to characterise them, neither fish nor fowl, which Gerry Downing immediately picked up on. Presumably u agree with Downing on that?

    Daesh resemble in many ways the Khmer Rouge, Like them, they were the product of an American war which created literally a monster. Their class basis is petit bourgeois and military, Baathist. It is noticeable that their recruits often haven’t even read the Quoran or buy Islam for dummies such is their knowledge of it.

    It is a political movement using Islam. That is very well understood by most Muslims. You however which to take them at their word for what they are. If anything Andrew Coates is Daesh’s useful idiot, subscribing to their propaganda claims. Shame on you. You are now it seems a Zionist willing to do their PR work!

    Tony Greenstein

    April 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm

  24. You are unfit to be a member of any left party Greenstein, and I imagine your former comrades in Brighton Left Unity, who detested you, would have a few things to say about your present self-serving stunts.

    Though no doubt you are relishing the opportunity to get publicity for this pack of lies:

    Israel Supports ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria

    http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/israel-supports-isis-and-al-qaeda-in.html

    Incidentally how is this fight going?

    Andrew Coates

    April 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm

  25. I find it strange you pick on Tony Greenstein Andrew given he was quite rightly attacking anyone, like Downing, who thinks ISIS are “anti-imperialist”. As for Israel’s tactical support for Al Nusra I suspect TG knows a lot more about it than you – you don’t even seem to know the difference between ISIS and Al Nusra who are sworn enemies. Given Israel played a part in setting up Hamas in its early days to split the PLO who can doubt it is playing the same nefarious games in Syria’s Golan Heights, a part of another country that it has just announced it will “keep forever”. An expansionist colonial settler state as ever.

    mckee1917

    April 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm

  26. I very much doubt that he ‘knows’ anything more than suits his pre-existing prejudices about ISIS and Israel.

    I follow Le Monde Diplomatique and have not noticed specialists giving credence to this assertion.

    And where do you get the idea that I do not know the difference between ISIS and Al-Nusra – am I some kind of numpty?

    Anyone who begins a post by libelling me as a racist gets who he deserves.

    Andrew Coates

    April 30, 2016 at 4:48 pm

  27. My mistake – misread something in the diatribe. By the way not sure reading Le Monde on Israel is sufficient, it would be a bit like relying on the Guardian for news of Jeremy Corbyn.

    mckee1917

    April 30, 2016 at 7:13 pm

  28. le Monde Diplomatique: which is distinct and covers the Middle East, and North Africa in great detail

    “Le Monde diplomatique (nicknamed Le Diplo by its French readers) is a monthly newspaper offering analysis and opinion on politics, culture, and current affairs. Le Monde diplomatique is a left-wing anti-capitalist[4][5][2] newspaper.

    The publication is owned by Le Monde diplomatique SA, a subsidiary company of Le Monde which grants it complete editorial autonomy. Worldwide there were 71 editions in 26 other languages (including 38 in print for a total of about 2.2 million copies and 33 electronic editions).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Monde_diplomatique

    Andrew Coates

    May 1, 2016 at 11:02 am


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