Scarey Europe 65

Maintaining support for the permanent occupation of Afghanistan on the extraordinary grounds that it protects us from terrorism at home is difficult enough, but made harder by the absence of any credible Islamic terrorist incidents in the West in recent years.

The 2,000 Islamic extremists in the UK of whom Jonathan Evans warned us in 2007 that they posed “a grave threat to national security” have in the ensuing three years managed to kill a grand total of, umm, nobody.

Now if I were a vicious extremist suicide bomber, careless of my own life, indeed anxious to die in a glorious cause, I would undoubtedly over three years have managed to kill somebody, somewhere. If there were two thousand of me, at least someone positively must have succeeded in killing somebody. Lone nutters like the neo-Nazi who bombed gays a decade ago can wreak havoc, so 2,000 people, many of them in cells and networks? The UK should be littered with bodies. Yet not one.

The only possible conclusion is that Jonathan Evans was talking scaremongering bullshit. For which you and I pay him £165,000 a year plus accommodation and car and index-linked pension.

Anyway, fortunately for support for the war, the State Department has been able to issue a warning that there is definitely an active plot to do something, somewhere in Europe.

Old news, you may scoff. Indeed. But I can reveal to you from my own sources that this again depends in large part on information from the Uzbek secret service torture chambers, passed to the German security services. Germany continues to occupy the Termez airbase in Uzbekistan for NATO supply into Afghanistan, and continues to receive Uzbek natural gas via Gazprom.

The US has opened negotiations in Tashkent to increase still further the “Northern supply route” into Afghanistan through Uzbekistan, using Gulnara Karimova, the dictator’s daughter, as the supply contractor. This is in light of continuing disruption to supply convoys through the Khyber Pass.

As usual, lack of interest by western media and public in Uzbekistan enables British, German and American government collusion with Uzbekistan’s vicious totalitarian regime to pass unremarked – even though yet another dissident journalist, Abdulmalik Boboyev, faces a long hell in one of Uzbekistan’s notorious gulags. Not a word of protest from the West, despite the fact that his crime is working for the Voice of America.

This from Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Journalist Abdulmalik Boboyev is facing a possible five-year jail sentence for working for the US-funded Voice of America radio station in the trial that began today in Tashkent, the capital of one of Central Asia’s most repressive countries, Uzbekistan.

He is one of Uzbekistan’s few remaining independent reporters and his trial could signal the start of a new offensive against journalists who persist in gathering and disseminating news and information that is not controlled by President Islam Karimov’s government.

Everything about the case is political, from the defendant to the charges and the probable outcome. The trial will almost certainly be a sham. Boboyev has fallen prey to a dictatorial regime that has been reinforcing its control over the media for the past five years and constantly violates human rights.

But the international community had decided that it is in its interest to look the other way and support this appalling regime. If Boboyev become Uzbekistan’s 12th imprisoned journalist, it will constitute another serious failure of this policy of rapprochement.

The Uzbek authorities could still change course in this case if they want to embark on a real dialogue with their partners, above all the European Union and the United States. We urge them to do so.

A total of four charges were brought against Boboyev on 13 September. Three of them relate to his work as a journalist: defamation (article 139 of the criminal code), insult (article 140) and “preparing and disseminating material constituting a threat to public order and security” (article 244-1). The fourth is a trumped-up charge of “illegal entry into the country” (article 223). He was banned from leaving Uzbekistan the same day.

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65 thoughts on “Scarey Europe

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  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred & Suhayl,

    “(I take it that all here but myself are agreed that the British are not a race and in any case if they were they rightly deserve to be submerged by the philoprogenitive immigrant flood) should feel fortunate to have lived on the side of the winners and in a world that until recently, at least, was very far from being a jungle.

    The important question, I believe, for those who oppose the war for global empire was raised by Bill Clinton who asked, in a moment of candor: “how do we create a world in which we will be secure when we are no longer the greatest power on earth” or some such words. Could such a system exist? If so, how would it work?”

    The points are these:-

    i) “Race” is a misnomer. It does not exist as an exclusive biological category for homo sapiens. However, the issue is more one of human group identity, which is a reflection more of social and individual psychology and historical identity than any exclusive biological category.

    ii) The “Empire” and pursuit of hegemony are facts of global political life. Whether one admires or despises the old British Empire, truth be told it fed off the rest of the world, about a quarter of it, to advance Britain economically. The US Empire falls within that continuum of pursuit of global hegemony for economic advantage.

    iii) Alfred – the issue goes somewhat beyond Clinton’s observation. It appears unsustainable relative to aggregate supply of world resources, food and oil being of considerable significance, to replicate fully in places such as China, India, Russia, the former Soviet Union enclave, Africa and other places, any form of sustainable economic structure that is the mirror of the present American economy. The challenge is to find sustainable ways for the human being to live in some form of global supportive harmony; put another way ?” how do we structure global architecture that works for humankind?

  • Alfred


    With respect, to say that race does not exist is an absurdity sporned of political correctness.

    Verbiage about “an exclusive biological category” has no apparent biological meaning.

    Race is a valid and widely used biological concept. It refers to a population of a single species that does not freely interbreed with other populations of the same species. Few species comprise a single freely interbreeding population. Gene flow among populations is restricted by distance, physical barriers, environmental inhomogeneities and, among humans, social, political and religious factors.

    Lengthy division of a species into more or less isolated breeding populations results in genetic differentiation due to random mutation, differences in selective pressure and in the genetic composition of the founding populations. Racial differentiation may occur at various levels. Genetic analysis shows differences among human populations on a continental, national, regional, village and family basis. Depending the the object of the analysis, one may identify any of these groups or sub-groups as races.

    So, the British race is a reality, and to deny reflects either ignorance or a political commitment.

    (2) “truth be told it [the British Empire] fed off the rest of the world..”

    So it has often been said, particularly by communists such as Eric Hobsbawm, but what is the evidence? In the early days of the East India Company, the business was to import Indian calicos that severely damaged Britian’s woollen textile industry. Later, as Britian industrialized, the flow of goods reversed. Either way, the object was to make a profit through trade, but it is not obvious that Britain was feeding off India.

    I know there were thieves and scoundrels who robbed and pillaged, but in aggregate, to what extend did Britain feed off the rest of the World?

    The Indies were a source of great wealth gained through the abusive treatment of Africans and native peoples. But the wealth was created through trade and agricultural and industrial innovation. In theory, at least, most of that wealth could have been generated through the exclusive use of white labor with minimal damage to the interests of the native population.

    Canada, the largest single chunk of the Empire yielded little beside fur hats, salt cod and ships masts. And according to Winston Churchill, the African colonies were, with the exception of South Africa, a drain on the Exchequer.

    (3) “It appears unsustainable relative to aggregate supply of world resources, food and oil being of considerable significance, to replicate fully in places such as China, India, Russia, the former Soviet Union enclave, Africa and other places, any form of sustainable economic structure that is the mirror of the present American economy.”

    Not quite sure about all that, but sustainability doesn’t seem much of an issue. Because humans have brains and culture does not mean they are exempt from the rules of natural selection. Living organisms use whatever resources are immediately available without regard to the future because it is the group, species, whatever, with the largest population that is most likely to survive a population crash if resources are exhausted.

    But in any case, if there are insufficient resources for everyone to live like Americans used to live (mean family income in the US fell by $1500 last year), then they won’t. But we don’t know what the limit to the earth’s resources are because technology has not reached an end point. Within a generation we may be recycling resources with an efficiency close to 100%, and have dirt cheap solar cells with an efficiency up to a theoretical limit of better than 70%. By then our population could be heading for 50 or 100 billion people all living better than we do today.

  • ingo

    there is no such thing as a british race, Jopa. Various populations have intermingled and conquered, raped and pillaged over the centuries making globalisation the last step for the pick and mix generations that have grown up since the 1950’s.

    How can you possibly distinguish large chunks of Yorkshire, having a pronounced viking ancestry, from the Pics and Celt induced south east and south west respectively?

    People growing up in different regions are like the climate, hot mediterranian or moderate as in our climes.

    All connotations of race, in a world controlled by globalised companies and their trade, should vanish. If globalisation does not extend to the work force, making immigration the norm, then we have to ask ourselves what values globalisation holds for us normal plebs.

    Imho it will fail because it is unsustainable as the financial systems underlining it, globalisation is rapacious towards developing countries, its one sidedness without much social responsibilities woven into the GATT agreements will eventually create limited protectorates, bringing us back to square one.

  • Alfred

    “with respect – you are mixing up biological with social categorisations. Many people do.”

    Meaning what, precisely? Nothing that can be logically defined, I suspect.

    “How can you possibly distinguish large chunks of Yorkshire, having a pronounced viking ancestry, from the Pics and Celt induced south east and south west respectively?”

    Try reading Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics, University of Oxford: “Saxons, Vikings, and Celts”. You will see how it is possible by DNA analysis.

    However, it seems hopeless to argue with the politically correct who serve as witting or more likely unwitting propagandists for globalization, i.e., the free movement of goods, capital and people to achieve maximization of profits for the global financial oligarchy.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “national autogenocide”: Alfred.

    Sounds like a pile-up on the M25, or rather, just a normal day on the M25.

    For here to be genocide – as technicolour and others have already pointed-out in relation to this hobby-horse – it is necessary for there to be organised mass murder of a group of people. Genocide is what Pol Pot and Hitler did. Genocide is what happened in the Balkans in the early 1990s. Genocide is what happened to the Tasmanians and many of the peoples of the ‘New World’.

    If there are problems with transnational corporate capitalism’s use of migrant labour, the defenestration of manufacturing industry and the imposition of sweat-shopping strategies, then say that and call for a different economic system. But to call the consequences of these processes on Britain, ‘genocide’ is to allow the target to be missed consistently by a very wide margin and by default facilitates an sort of apologism for this kind of capitalism. There is a very real sort of mass murder – both slow and fast – that forms part of this economic system, but it happens far away, in parts of Africa and parts of Asia.

    The persistent use of inflammatory hyperbole in pursuit for what is a monotonal obsession begins to resemble the manifestations of a form of loculated – tabloid – psychosis.

    There is no reasoning with this – that much has become evident every time this subject arises, which it always does with Alfred.

    Truth is, people like Alfred were pretty content when Britain was in charge of the waves and was spreading their wares around the world. But now that the world is turning, all he sees are invaders, trespassers, people who want to conquer Britain as Britain once conquered the waves.

    Truth is, it ain’t real. What’s real is the sound of gold tinkling in the houses of the unholy.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred,

    You are off on a tangent about “political correctness” Alfred, and then you end up with assumptions about other people’s views on “globalization” in its current corporatist guise. How you made those connections and conclusions, I fail to see. I am definitely not trying to operate within the cognitive strictures of any predetermined political doctrine.

    My real point is quite simply that human beings ( homo sapiens) constitute one species.

    Are there variants within the species? Indeed there are. So, I will start with the biological categorisation.

    How do we determine what are the elemental aspects of our species? Well ?” we are then in the areas of the speciation of homo sapiens. To understand such speciation, we must define specific distinguishing characteristics. There is a genetic basis that makes us distinct; there is also a paleontological and genetic time line that is traceable to determine the approximate time of the species transition from precursor hominid species to what constitutes our present hominid species. Some of our distinctive defining features, should one biologically examine homo sapiens across the world, are our capacity for linguistic expression; we are a bipedal primate ; the members of the genus Homo have an erect body carriage; we can note without exception that all the members of the species display brain lateralization.

    Since we humans are also known for our great ability of communicative self-expression, and since we do have the communicative capacity it may just be possible for me to convince you, Alfred, that you through an exchange such as this can accept that indeed one species does occupy the planet we all share? It is a fact Alfred, it is our home Alfred, and I share it with you as a member of our species. Recall for a moment some of what Albert Einstein observed:-

    “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

    And interestingly Einstein also made this observation:-

    “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”

    So ?” I trust that this riposte of mine provides some relief Alfred that indeed we are both members of the genus Homo and the species Sapien.

    Now, you may want to post reams on the several genetically based distinctions between human groups and then debate between Mendelian genetics versus Darwinian evolutionary theory. You may even go further and discuss differences in X and Y chromosomes and theories of sexual selection. And the deeper you go, you will assuredly discover that there is not an absolute biological category within which one can conclusively fit the term “race”.

    I think that your broad accusation about my being “politically correct” is somewhat misplaced. I believe that I can debate with a mind not shacked to political doctrine, and have not shied away one iota from your challenge. I have answered you fully as regards the simple point that I had stated.

    When all is said and done ?” my simple point, as I said is – human beings ( homo sapiens) constitute one species.

    As regards the “social” element, one can readily observe that humans are social beings. Indeed we have a physical biological existence, which is not the same as the social element of our being. We are as social beings – interdependent. We were conceived in intercourse and our very being as humans craves social intercourse. Just to prove it ?” that’s why you and I are debating Alfred.

    Remember now ?” nationalism is an infantile disease and one might sagaciously remind one’s self of this by reference to a certain German dictator. We can undoubtedly see the horrific effects of it when Adolph Hitler caught a massive dose of the disease known as “nationalism”.

    On a more serious note, there is hidden in your thought processes, more profound issues. But, we have covered sufficient ground to arrive at the point where I have explained as precisely as, my very poor command of the English language has permitted me to, my meanings of “biological” and “social” in reference to our species.

    Kind regards Alfred ?” fellow homo sapien.

  • Alfred

    I said:

    “Race is a valid and widely used biological concept. It refers to a population of a single species that does not freely interbreed with other populations of the same species. ”

    Courtenay said

    “My real point is quite simply that human beings ( homo sapiens) constitute one species. Are there variants within the species? Indeed there are.”

    In other words Courtenay restates what I said, although in a slightly less precise form.

    But then Courtenay goes on to say “it may just be possible for me to convince you, Alfred, that you through an exchange such as this can accept that indeed one species [of mankind]”

    Sorry Courtenay, we already said that. You’re spinning in circles.

    As for Einstein’s views on nationalism, what’s that got to do with whether race is a valid biological concept, a point you’ve already conceded.

    You’re problem Courtenay seems to be a failure to read what I said. You seem to have the notion that because I assert the fact, which you agree to, that race is a valid biological concept applicable to mankind, I must be a raving Nazi. This is idiotic, insulting and not worth further discussion.

  • Alfred


    You seem to suffer like Courtenay from a reading disability. Nowhere did I use the word “genocide”. I used the term “autogenocide” and I used that term in an intelligible and reasonable sense that has been used by others, i.e., to refer to national policies that have the effect of displacing in part or in whole the native population of a country by means both legal and non-violent.

    But I remember, you don’t handle numbers too well. So the process is difficult for you to follow.

    Also you are an elitist who opposes a population or an immigration policy that reflects the will of the great majority of the indigenous population, so you obviously have to deny the reality of the ongoing displacement of a relatively infertile indigenous population by a more philoprogenitive immigrant population.

    Finally, since you assert that I am a lunatic, let me respond with equal roughness by saying that your adherence to the view that there is no such thing as a British race is highly reminiscent of the Jewish settler claim that there is no such thing as the Palestinian people.

  • Richard Robinson

    “There is no reasoning with this – that much has become evident every time this subject arises, which it always does with Alfred”

    The man’s an attention-vampire.

    He drops his points, they’re all outrageous, people get all outraged (and “stand for them” or not, cue discussion with technicolour a thread or two back), argue him to a standstill, he gets lots of lovely attention (and also gets in the way of talking about anything else), then he says goodbye, he probably won’t be back. Sigh of relief. And a few threads late he comes back and says the same things all over again like it never happened before. And people argue the same shit with him all over again.

    What’s to stop it going on for bloody ever ?

    I don’t believe this works, without moderation.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred,

    I suspect that Ruth would but for the definition you imposed on “race”:-

    “Race is a valid and widely used biological concept. It refers to a population of a single species that does not freely interbreed with other populations of the same species. ”

    Most on this thread would doubt your willingness to “freely interbreed” with Ruth. Not the point ?” guess she would not warm to you ?” but that’s her choice.

    The postion between us Alfred, might simply be summed up by reference to this Wikepidea quote on Race ( classification of humans):-

    “While scientists use the concept of race to make practical distinctions among fuzzy sets of traits, the scientific community feels that the idea of race is often used in a naive[6] or simplistic way, erroneously designating wholly discrete types of individuals. Among humans, race has no cladistic significance?”all people belong to the same hominid subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens.[7][8] Regardless of the extent to which race exists, the word “race” is problematic and may carry negative connotations.[9] Conceptions and groupings of races vary over time, and sometimes involve folk taxonomies[10][11][12] that define essential types of individuals based on perceived sets of traits. In contrast, scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete,[13] and some have discouraged racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits.[6][14 ]”

    Seems that you go sour on people when you have to confront a view that diverges from you. I think, however there is indeed a considerable degree of nationalistic prejudice in you, that explains your attitude. So I will leave it at that and let Ruth decide if she wants the date.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ All;,

    “Race” – misnomer – meaning:-

    “A misnomer is a term which suggests an interpretation that is known to be untrue. Such incorrect terms sometimes derive their names because of the form, action, or origin of the subject becoming named popularly or widely referenced?”long before their true natures were known”

    Thus – nuff said.

  • Alfred

    “He drops his points, they’re all outrageous”

    Was this outrageous Richard?

    “[T]here is more to the war in Central Asia than pipelines. Pipelines provide control of energy and control of a sufficient proportion of the World’s energy means control of the World. But there are other means of control, and extension of US influence in Central Asia means the further encirclement of Russia. The breakup of Pakistan would mean the elimination of what is both the World’s only Muslim nuclear power and an important Chinese ally. It would also end the insurgency in Kashmir — thus rendering a service to America’s most important Asian ally, India.”

    Or was it outrageous, Richard, to respond to the statement that “the world with the white man is a jungle” by saying:

    “I don’t think it is helpful to discuss the international struggle for power and its brutal and bloody consequences in racial terms. Hegemony, as Zbigniew Brzezinski will tell you, is as old as man and has been pursued by men of all colors.”

    Some here apparently think it fine to talk of race if it refers to a victim of the white man, or if it refers with contempt to Europeans, but call it racism to speak in defense of one’s own people. But this is childish hypocrsy. If Britain bestrode the world as it did almost 200 years ago, it might be a harmless conceit to trash talk one’s own people. But we are in the midst of a World War in which western hegemony is in the balance. To speak at such a time with contempt for one’s own race suggests we approach a civilizational collapse. The struggle for hegemony is as old as man. It has involved all races both as victors and vanquished. It has meant man’s unceasing inhumanity to man. I raised the question whether there is an alternative. Was that outrageous, Richard?

    But here you go, just to keep you stoked up Richard, something really outrageous. There is no Scotch race there is not Irish race there is no Welsh race, and there is no Bengalee race, certainly no Chinese race, no Japanese race, no native Canadian tribes, no Luo tribe — yer know, Obama’s grandma’s supposed race. But listen, bud, don’t mess wid da English race.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Rare earth metals. China. In Africa, China builds roads and schools and the relationship b/w China and African countries is not a colonial one, but one of mutually-beneficial trade. Europe et al were in Africa for several hundred and one way or another produced, yes, real genocide, and largely a disaster-zone. China has been in Africa for a decade or less and exchanges development for rare earth metals – China’s “oil”, as Deng Xiaoping said. There is a massive – and inevitable – transfer of wealth going on, from West to East, from North to South. Isn’t this what we ‘progressives’ always argued for?

    Anyway, what Britain needs to do is:

    1) Get out of the war(s). Decommission Trident.

    2) Let the banks that are toxic go to the wall; Alan Greenspan, Clinton et al ought to have let the dot-come bubble burst and take down toxic businesses with it. The bank(s) that are nationalised – eg. Royal Bank of Scotland – should revert to being only low-risk retail banks as they were before. State underpinning of the domestic retail banking sector.

    3) Investment banking should remain high risk and should receive NO state guarantees or support. If it’s a market, let it be a market; don’t let the wimps come to the people for handouts.

    People are losing jobs and homes to service these parasites – “a cancer on the face of humanity”. 25% of repossessions in the USA right now are being done illegally, hence the freeze in 36 states. We should all say, NO!! They are criminals and should be treated as such. Legitimate self-defence, en masse. I think there should be massive and active confrontation b/w people and bailiffs/police. The govt must be forced to accede or send-in the troops.

    4) Invest in high-tech manufacturing and general manufacturing – NOT the arms trade. Be capitalists with brains.

    5) NO privatisation of essential services.

    6) Make Liam Fox work as a home carer for the rest of his life.

    So, in essence, I agree with certain aspects of libertarian thought and certain aspects of collective action and state provision of essential services. What we’ve got right now is daylight robbery. The banks are raping the people. THIS is what we need to focus on.

  • Roderick Russell

    Suhayl – I certainly agree with your first five points; I don’t know about the sixth. I would add in another two:

    6) Look through trusts and offshore avoidance vehicles when taxing residents; so that the wealthy would pay the same real share of their real income in tax as the middle class do. I think one would be surprised at how much this would raise.

    3) Make sure that Rule of Law applies at all times, no matter how inconvenient it might be. I think that anybody who has read my story will be well aware why I am so passionate about rule of law.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I totally agree with Roderick Russell at 3:15pm! Good points.

    Wrt Liam Fox, an humorous diversion:

    Well, okay, maybe not a home carer – after aw, ye cannae trust yer granny wi’ Liam Fox? O! Ye cannae trust yer granny wi’ Doctor Fox…!


    Let’s say, then, a bin-man. Or a lighting technician, or one of those people who drive vehicles attached to which are little brushes which clean the kerbside and keep the drains from getting blocked. Or a Special Needs Assistant in a school. After all, he qualified in Medicine, the year above me at Glasgow Uni; together with a nice guy called Fred, Liam F was always invading our lecture theatres, giving speeches urging us to join the Year Club and attend some or other social event; so, didn’t he go into it “to help people”? So, then, let him be helped to help people.

    Instead of helping to kill them.

    Methinks it would require a frontal lobotomy – with access gained through the nasal route – or around 1mg of LSD, administered intravenously under controlled conditions, with set and setting both attuned to the C Major sound of a continuous ‘Om’.

    Otherwise, perhaps, like Harold Shipman (eventually; too late for his victims), Liam Fox, too, ought to be struck off the Register of the General Medical Council? After all, neither Trident nor the Afghan Opium War are compatible with good general health.

  • technicolour

    (On topic again) Thanks Craig for drawing attention to the treatment of this journalist, as well as the broader perspective. I hope it says something that, although the general public are believed to view journalists with scorn, if not derision, the ‘Girl With a Dragon Tattoo’ series became a universal best seller, with a crusading journalist as the hero. A silent vote of faith?

  • Alfred

    Suhayl, thank you for responding to my invitation for suggestions on alternatives to killing people in the name of fighting terrorism.

    You say Britain should get out of the wars and decomission Trident. Getting out of the wars is certainly the primary objective of any alternative policy, and if Britain were to do that she would have to decommission Trident. Trident is an American system and the Americans don’t lend their military technology to people who are not “with us” and who by definition are therefore “against us.” With the Americans, neutrality is not an unacceptable option.

    But if you decommission Trident, you lose a great many high tech jobs in engineering, software, etc. And what will you do with Britain’s nuclear warheads? Build an independent delivery system, which would create new high tech jobs, or dismantle them? Abandoning the nukes means abandoning Britain’s great power status. Britain would be less significant millitarily than Pakistan, inferior in international clout even than France, with no means to deter nuclear blackmail.

    And once disarmed, how does Britain get America to remove their nukes, bombers, missiles and military manpower located at over 100 establishments in Britain and on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia? The Japs, I believe, asked the Americans to vacate Okinawa. how successful was that? The last I heard was that the Prime Minister had resigned. And would Britain become the first totally unarmed nation? If so, what happens if Spanish trawlers take all your fish, the Argies take the Malvinas, Sweden takes the Shetlands, France takes back the Channel Isles, and Ireland takes the Isle of Man?

    And if Britain opts out of the wars, it means withdrawing from or being kicked out of NATO. And if Britian is out of NATO would it not necessarily have to get out the EU? Getting out of the EU would certainly be popular. It would rstore British national sovereignty, and securing Britain’s borders against both EU-mandated and illegal immigration.

    If Britain were to retain a defense establishment of any kind, in what will it consist? What would it take to make British territory not worth the risk of invading?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ All ?” scary Europe ?”or ?” scary Europe/US? ?” WHOSE FAULT?

    There are two situations we might consider, essentially opposite sides of the same coin as follows:-

    Situation A ?” the responsibility is local responsibility

    Congo ?” the country now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo is at war. Millions have died. In 1997 Laurent Kabila, after Mobutu’s demise, declared himself President. The Congo is probably the world’s single richest area on the planet with the mineral and natural resources that it possesses. Its people are poor, the leadership is corrupt and undemocratic ?” it is the locals fault ?” let them sort it out.

    Uzbekistan ?” The IMF reports that over 50% of Uzbeks live below the poverty line. President Islam Karimov is the dictator in an oil and gas rich nation. Its people are poor, the leadership is corrupt and undemocratic ?” it is the locals fault ?” let them sort it out.

    Afghanistan ?” There are a number of tribes across Afghanistan and central government does not exist in actuality. There is nothing by way of government operating in the country that equates to Western democracy. People deserve the government they choose. Its people are poor, the leadership is corrupt and undemocratic ?” it is the locals fault ?” let them sort it out.

    Iraq ?” Three main groups exist in Iraq ?” the Shiites, Sunni and Kurds. There are real points of division between the three factions. The country is in shambles. The people are facing a chaotic situation despite the country’s large oil reserves. The leadership is corrupt and undemocratic ?” it is the locals fault ?” let them sort it out.

    Situation B ?” the responsibility is international

    Congo ?” Between 1998 and 2002 the war death toll was 3.3 million up to beyond 5 million at last count. This, for the past 50 years, post World War 11 is the highest war death toll in the world. There has been relentless looting of the Congo’s natural resources. Uganda and Rwanda have played roles in Congo ?” and on the other side there is Kabila’s friendship with countries such as Cuba, Libya and Sudan which does not endear Kabila ( Jr. after Dad was assassinated) to the US. In consequence despite official assertions about the need for foreign troops leaving Congolese territory, the World Bank and US lending agencies continued lending to Uganda and Rwanda, foreign interests control large areas, the looting of natural resources continued and the people of the Congo suffered in a war torn region. Part of the US global play was China’s involvement by way of deals with Kabila’s government for mining rights. British, German, Belgian, American, Canadian companies are involved in the plunder of Congo’s resources. The West has turned a blind eye to the numbers dead and little is reported in the mainstream Western media about the conflict in Congo.

    Uzbekistan ?” The Central Asian capital of Tashkent has been important for America’s “War on Terror”. Operation Enduring Freedom got air bases in Uzbekistan and Karimov got a free hand with human rights abuses, western money, avoidance of free elections, and much more. The Karimov family is central in the entire nation’s economic life. The oil and rewards from it remain sweet. Little is reported in the mainstream Western media about the Uzbek’s government’s excesses and abuses.

    Afghanistan ?” The official story is that Osama bin Laden hold up in some remote part of Afghanistan masterminded the attack on the World Trade Towers and used some 15 Saudi suicide attackers and some 4 other Middle Easterners and brought down 2 ( actually 3) Towers. That attack was relied on to carpet bomb Afghanistan. US and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan and now for almost a decade have fought a war that does not seem to have any end in sight. From a Western perspective, it is the “Taliban” who are the enemy that must be defeated. Upon closer scrutiny, there are several tribes and factions in Afghanistan. It seems a bit simplistic to assume that the length of the war is not significantly attributable to the fact that many tribes in Afghanistan genuinely want to see the back of the invaders.

    Iraq ?” Lies were told to the United Nations Security Council by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, signed off to attack Afghanistan a year before the actual 2003 invasion took place and the document known as the “Downing Street Memorandum” ( i.e. minutes of a July 23rd, 2002 meeting of the British PM with senior ministers. N.B. President George Bush signed off on overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Summer 2002) confirms the facts. There have been estimates of as high as a million Iraqi war deaths. The invaded country has been devastated. There continues to be resistance to the US occupation. There is no focus in the US mainstream media that the invasion violation Article 2 of the United Nations Charter and the occupation continues to be a violation of international law.


    Put all of this together, both the local and the international dimensions. Explain as you will. Attribute as you must.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred,

    “If Britain were to retain a defense establishment of any kind, in what will it consist? What would it take to make British territory not worth the risk of invading?”

    Having conventional weapons does not render a nation impotent. If the US could have attacked Iran that does have conventional weapons, without unacceptable blowback, it would have done so long ago.

    There is an anomaly with nuclear weapons. If a country with nuclear weapons can blow up the world 5 times over and another can blow the world up 1 time over, then does one assume the “5 times nation” will use its nuclear strike before the “1 time nation” and thus the former is safer than the other? If one considers the Cuban missile crisis, I think that we might just come to a sane conclusion that if we want humankind to survive then certain weapons cannot be used. The Americans agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey and the then Soviets removed theirs from Cuban when there was that direct confrontation. Rationally that is the way the world has to go, not building more and more unusable weaponry.

    You are correctly in describing the “War economy” that Britain is. I do not agree that there are no viable and sane options. It is an easy, very easy course, to go status quo ?” it exists ?” so there and we accept the status quo.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred,

    About a million Iraqis have perished in the Iraq war. Working people in the militarised Western countries are bearing the brunt of these US/NATO wars. Many maimed, many killed, many presently jobless, but there is no alternative peaceful way, so we must simply go on building weapons ( many of which cannot be used), making wars ?” then to boot ?” call the whole exercise pursuit of a humane and civilized existence?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Alfred – re: your militarism..

    ” Militarism is the subordination of social interests to military values and institutions.

    A militaristic society encourages blind obedience to authority, promotes security-based fears over critical thinking, prioritizes violent over peaceful methods of conflict resolution and problem solving, consumes the greater portion of its resources for the military, diminishes our overall quality of life, turns us away from developing the true economic, social and environmental bases of national security, thus threatening the long-term well-being of citizens and of our democracy.

    As of May 2010, taxpayers in Wisconsin will pay $16.7 billion for total Iraq and Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

    291,116 Elementary School Teachers for One Year


    “Militarism consumes the strongest and most productive elements of each nation. Militarism swallows the largest part of the national revenue. Almost nothing is spent on education, art, literature and science compared with the amount devoted to militarism in times of peace, while in times of war everything else is set at naught; all life stagnates, all effort is curtailed; the very sweat and blood of the masses are used to feed this insatiable monster–militarism. Under such circumstances, it must become more arrogant, more aggressive, more bloated with its own importance. If for no other reason, it is out of surplus energy that militarism must act to remain alive; therefore it will seek an enemy or create one artificially. In this civilized purpose and method, militarism is sustained by the state, protected by the laws of the land, is fostered by the home and the school, and glorified by public opinion. In other words, the function of militarism is to kill. It cannot live except through murder”.

    – Emma Goldman

    P.S. Could not have said it better myself!

  • Alfred

    Re: “@ Alfred – re: your militarism..”

    Courtenay, what are you talking about?

    I raised some questions. I advocated nothing concerning the military.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Alfred: at 11.07pm: Yes, I am advocating independence for Britain. I realise the US rulers and the client elites (as you say on another threads, global plutocrats who work on behalf of Big Money/ Big War/Their own Big Wallets) who rule the UK will not permit this. So, revolution it is, then. Dismantle NATO. It would require the collapse of the USA.

    So, incremental change then:

    1) Get out of war.

    2) Get rid of nukes.

    No-one gave two tosses when the entire mining/ steel/shipbuilding industry was murdered, needlessly.

    If the UK invests in manufacturing properly – high tech and so on, it will create jobs. WE need not be weapons junkies/ weapons pushers forever.

    Obviously, there should be adequate defence capability to protect these islands, as far as is possible – yet we cannot even defend it from the USA right now which really has ‘invaded’ our territory with their bases, etc. – That’s the real invasion, Alfred. But let’s have not any more pretension to be a ‘great power’. We are no longer a great power; many of our problems stem from our attempt to continue playing a global role of this sort. Btw, ‘Pakistan’ has nothing to do with equation – why did you bring it up in this context? Sleepers, let’s awaken!

  • Vronsky

    “Let’s say, then, a bin-man.”

    I had a friend who was a volunteer with the TA. He noted that whenever they were inspected by a regular army officer, said officer would stop and ask some randomly selected squaddy what he did for a living. My pal searched long and hard for the most startling answer to give in this situation. His favourite was ‘assistant lavatory attendant, sah!’ (but announced with great pride). The real trick was for the rest of the squad not to have a fit of giggles.

    Alfred’s idea of autogenocide is interesting. In Scotland we are serial autogenicidists, the ‘English’ too, I think: practically everybody has DNA here. And we just keep on autogenociding – can no-one stop us? It’s horrifying – The Silence of the Haggis.

    There was a radio program (or was it TV?) once where they located a few people who were intensely proud of their unspotted English pedigree and tested their DNA. Wonderful to hear their reactions when they discovered themselves to be (as in one case ) just a couple of generations away from Hungarian gypsies. Sorry, I’ve lost that link.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Auto-jenny-whatitsts? ‘Jenny Artichoke’. I like it!!

    “…practically everybody has DNA here.” Good God, I should hope so! Otherwise we’d all be viruses, with only RNA.

    I love when that happens, like with that professor a couple of years ago who claimed on BBC radio that Africans had lower IQs than whites; then he had his own DNA tested and discovered it was something like 19% ‘African’! Never heard from the ijeut again.

    A final note, then, in relation to my earlier posts:

    If the Vietnamese/Czechoslovaks/Poles/South Africans/Brazilians/African-Americans/Indians/ Chinese, etc. etc. had believed that they would never, ever be able to free themselves from the colonial, Stalinist (or neo-colonial) yoke, they’d still all be slaves.

    If people in Britain hadn’t fought for the vote and for other rights like children not working down mines, etc., etc., we’d still all be slaves. Perhaps that’s the way the plutarchs would like it.

    So, just because the ruling elites in the USA or elsewhere will resist, tooth and nail, doesn’t mean we give up.

    Quite the opposite.

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