Why is Sunny Hundal a Neo-Con Lickspittle? 222


Sunny Hundal is pulling the Nick Cohen trick of claiming that “Lefties” who fail to applaud every action of Bush, Blair, Netanyahu and Obomber are actually supporting Osama Bin Laden’s cause.

The Taliban is an excrescence but it is not a spontaneous outpuring of human evil. Its roots lie in the devastation of Afghanistan by foreign invasion, first by the Soviets and then by the Americans, coupled with the failings of Pakistani society due in very large part to hideously corrupt governments and politically powerful military, aided and abetted by the West. The Taliban is, in short, as much a symptom as a cause of disaster.

Hundal is a sad figure. He asked me to join Liberal Conspiracy when it started, and I refused on the grounds it was going to be a vehicle for New Labour war criminals. It has become precisely that. Hundal’s basic decency has predictably been eroded as he was sucked in by the neo-con establishment. He joined New Labour and the Guardian and is now in the states working for the drone-killer President who has launched a campaign against free speech which has seen the prosecution of more whistleblowers under Obama than under all previous US presidents combined. Hundal recently helped the anti-whistleblower cause further by publishing a fawning “exclusive” interview with the odious Harriet Harman (Of course it’s exclusive – who the fuck other than sell-out Hundal wants to talk to Harman) repeatedly labeling Julian Assange as guilty of rape.

Hundal’s question “Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the taliban to Pakistanis” is a stupid slur. “Why is Sunny Hundal a neo-con lickspittle?” is a question worth discussion.


222 thoughts on “Why is Sunny Hundal a Neo-Con Lickspittle?

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mary, thanks. I think you’re absolutely right to be highly skeptical of anything the US/UK propaganda organs tell us. We see how they helped create and continue to supply and arm Islamist paramilitaries – according to Ahmed Rashid (Pakistani journalist who wrote a book on the Taliban and who has written several good ones since), the USA helped bankroll – paid salaries of Taliban officials, etc. – the Taliban right up until the autumn of 2001 and we see what they are doing now in Libya/Syria. Mark Curtis, as you’ll know, is good on this area (‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam’).

    So, as we know, the mil-sec complex of the USA/UK (both directly via Special Forces, contractors and the CIA/MI6), trains and arms oppressive military regimes when and where it suits them to do so and also paramilitary forces, likewise. At times, they will be doing both simultaneously in a single ‘theatre’, supporting various interests, some of whom may be in conflict with one another (think of the way they support the Karimov regime in Uzbekistan but also support the Islamist paramilitaries that travel to and from Central Asia and other parts to Libya/Syria to help unseat the regimes/ cause mayhem there).

    Pakistan’s systemic co-creation of/ co-support for these paramilitaries is a useful strategic instrument against Russia and China (though in the past, and maybe still, who knows, for their own strategic reasons, China too has supported the Taliban, India, the so-called ‘Northern Alliance’) in Central Asia and by continuing the incipient state of war b/w Pakistan and India, also helps prevent a unified regional political/economic force developing in South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.). And also, the people they – the politicians (eg. Stephen “I’m a taxi” Byres) and generals (eg. allegedly Richard Dannatt et al, as exposed in The Sunday Times yesterday) – work for, can continue to sell lots of weapons to India and Pakistan. The USA also colluded with Pakistan in its illegal acquisition of nukes. Think of Brzezinski’s statements in recent years on these, and related, matters, which basically amount to acknowledging an ongoing policy of divide-and-rule.

    So, one day, in ‘Af-Pak’ (as the imperialists like to call it), the Islamist paramilitaries are designated ‘ultimate evil’, the next, in Libya/Syria, they are ‘freedom-fighters’ with ‘air-guns and pick-up trucks’. What they are, of course, is tactically useful to imperialist interests. The Pakistani mil-sec complex is one part of that ‘great game’ driven by international capital (of which they are a part). Big bucks, Red Bull, right enough! It’s the story of capitalism.

  • Clark

    Chris2, the amount of scientific illiteracy in the debate is staggering. People don’t know why our current reactors produce so much waste. They don’t understand that longer half-lives correspond with lower radioactivity. They don’t know about natural background radiation. All of this ignorance has been exploited by both sides. What we have now is an uncomfortable stand-off, each side preventing any progress in the other.

    “As a matter of fact popular attitudes towards nuclear power have been very generous, optimistic and dangerously trusting.”

    I disagree. Only a small proportion of the population are enthusiastic about nuclear power. Many accept it grudgingly because they are unconvinced by the alternatives, and many are strongly opposed.

    “they would insist on the careful and exact dismantling of nuclear infrastructure, and a rigorous cost benefit analysis before any new experiments were permitted.”

    Eh? We have no effective disposal method for “spent” fuel. We can dismantle the reactors, but we can’t dispose of the hot bits. We need more experiments.

    Chris2, you should be opposing the crap reactors we use (which the government want to build more of), not opposing nuclear technology in its entirety. Don’t you imagine that early humans had this debate about fire?

  • Komodo

    Talking of hot bits (no…not them), heat exchangers in the high-level waste ponds could probably heat half of Cumbria. Is it waste?

  • Clark

    Jay, I’m pretty much in agreement with views such as those of Craig Murray, Noam Chomsky, Media Lens (the site more than the message board), Richard Stallman, etc.. I think that governments are too heavily influenced by Big Money in the form of corporations and finance, especially in their foreign policies which are much less susceptible to voter influence. And I think that the major force for the manipulation of democracy is the corporate media.

    On “conspiracy theories”, I’m in agreement with Julian Assange; these whacky theories can be proven neither true nor false, and they serve to distract from important issues that we can have some influence upon.

    Look at Suhayl’s contribution; this is excellent analysis, born of a thorough understanding of the area, its people, and their history. It does not reflect the corporate mainstream façade. Neither does it postulate some invisible, untouchable conspiracy pulling all the strings of every involved party.

  • Clark

    Komodo, of course it isn’t waste. That’s why I keep putting “waste” and “spent” in inverted commas. It’s fuel that is between 1% and 3% used. Using the other 97% to 99% would simultaneously neutralise the “waste”, and produce 30 to 100 times as much energy as has already been extracted from it; more, with more efficient power stations. That’s why I’m so keen to react the damn stuff.

  • Clark

    Nevermind, be careful about assigning the birth defects in war zones to depleted uranium (DU). Modern warfare releases a multitude of toxic chemicals; I have seen strong arguments that DU is not the cause. Personally, I’m undecided.

    Of course it’s easy to argue against DU because of the prevalent Nuclear = Bad belief-set. But if you convict the wrong person, the real murderer gets away with it.

    Rather than focussing on DU, it make far more sense to argue against war itself.

  • Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    Clark; I’ve always believed depleted uranium is an oxymoron. When those atomized particulates get absorbed or ingested, can it be safer than say, asbestos? I’ve often associated it with Gulf-War syndrome.

  • technicolour

    Re Sunny Hundall: I’ve been quite exercised recently by the number of people who are prepared to say things like ‘war is good for the economy’. Even when you point them towards Nordhaus (who worked out pre-Iran that it wasn’t; google William Nordhaus, economy, Iran) or more recent summaries like this:
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/02/debunking-the-myth-that-war-is-good-for-the-economy-once-and-for-all.html
    they don’t acknowledge it, or reconsider, or retract. You get the feeling that they will carry on saying it; it’s part of their programme.

    The worst thing was that I was complaining about this to a friend of mine and he said:
    “But war is good for the economy”.
    And it took at least fifteen minutes before he backed down, and then grudgingly.

  • Clark

    Nevermind at 15 Oct, 3:03 pm:

    “Rivers, streams, estuaries, tidal sea currents, wave heights, their motion, wind, solar, more reservoirs, a national water distribution system…”

    I, for one, don’t want little whining machines and interconnecting pylons all over our countryside and wildernesses. I’ll put up with it if needs be, but I’d prefer something better.

    “…we do not know our real consumption levels because our mainly older housing stock is not updated insulated and or energy efficient.”

    Capitalism and the market economy themselves are hideously energy-inefficient. Commercialism that produces baubles designed to lose their lustre and break, a labour market that moves workers hundreds of miles (Mary’s boiler fitters), thousands wasting their live away in traffic jams, or turned to purée on our roads, etc…

    “Concentrated solar power is such a dramatically good idea […] cheaper than nuclear, more reliable…”

    Yes, this is a matter of development, and it would be nice to see the funding of, say, one new PWR nuclear power station put into developing solar concentration instead. That would make a huge difference.

    “I also have an argument with sustainability, […] I could not rely on fissile material for longer than 150 years, at a very long stretch.”

    Well, there’s at least a millennium’s worth of thorium, but I’m not advocating that particularly. I just want the existing mess cleaned up.

    “…it is exorbitantly expensive to protect society from nuclear radiation,”

    Yes, it is, the way we do nuclear at present, because it produces so much hot crap.

    “The only reason to persist with nuclear power is commercial and military but this debate is never had in public and any incoming Government must swear to keep the nuclear status quo.”

    The reasons are commercial, not military. Each government looks at the term until the next election. In that very limited time-frame, it is much cheaper to keep nuclear power stations that are partly paying for themselves. The alternative invokes two costs; decommissioning the power stations, and building replacements.

    “I would swear to dismantle it, bit by barking mad bit.”

    …And that has to include committing to developing and building reactors that can dispose of the “spent” fuel.

  • Clark

    Ben Franklin, I don’t know. DU is less radioactive than natural uranium (obviously). It’s a toxic heavy metal, but you can hold it in your hand without danger. Maybe it’s many times worse when powdered. But all manner of chemicals get released in warfare. Is DU the birth defect culprit? I don’t know. But if we could restrain our governments from war, we’d be stopping the birth defects, whatever is responsible.

  • Clark

    Technicolour: “War is good for the economy”.

    The economy? Whose economy? It does very well for a tiny minority, certainly.

  • kingfelix

    @Technicolour

    “War is good for the economy” – no. I think there are good grounds to suggest that this is not so. However, as we know, foreign wars are extremely lucrative for a small section of the economy and the perpetuation of these foreign wars becomes an end in itself, and, as such, is highly detrimental to the functioning of democracy in the home nation. There is also the linked case, which is that the war-making industries drive out other forms of wealth creation, so it comes to pass that there are large zones where the only employer is the military and its supporting web of contractors.

    “Today, the Department, headed by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel, we are the nation’s largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.”

    If one agrees to the above, and replaces “foreign wars” with “imperialism”, then you get one of the three classic explanations in international relations for the export of capitalism (alongside Luxemburg and Lenin). The writer in question was E J Hobson, working at the beginning of the 20th Century. He swore blind that an imperial project would be devastating to British democracy, and events appear to have backed up his claims.

    We could also mention Smedley Butler’s ‘War is a Racket’, which should be on our minds in a week when it turns out that wearing a poppy is a sideshow to the main event, which is the fantastic networking opportunities that gathering for ceremonies of Remembrance can provide. (I see this chap has now fallen on his sword).

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

  • technicolour

    Clark, yes, quite. But people who are parroting this seem to mean ‘their’ economy; the UK or US economy in general.

  • Sunflower

    “Any knowledge/views on the Zinsser affadavit?”

    Fascinating ScouseBilly, I went on reading about the Antarctica expedition as well.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Suhayl,
    “The self-proclaimed leftists are not really leftist at all, they are corporate liberals, phonies. If they really were leftists, they would not be supporting any of the main parties, here or in the USA, as all the main parties now, more so than ever, are signed up to the same neoliberal economics.”
    For proof – watch this:-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXL998q7skI
    Obama – the con-charmer.
    CB

  • Sunflower

    Nevermind,

    “Fallujahs birth defects have not gone up by a factor of ten, compared to pre Iraq war times, for nothing, its was the heavy use of depleted Uranium munitions we used to flatten the City that has lead to this, so why would we want to perpetuate more nuclear sources which will go wrong, we had a few accidents now to know this, when we can do different.”

    Here is a current news reference: http://rt.com/news/birth-defects-iraq-report-385/

  • Zoologist

    Clarke: “The UN Is A Tool Of The Illuminati Planning To Kill Billions lobby ”

    Who are the lobby members? Can you list them out for us so that we all know who you mean, Clark.

    Or would you like me to?

  • Mary

    The horrible reality of Boris Johnson:

    ‘There is, on the other hand, one living human being who would have perfectly fitted the bill. She has done more than just about anyone to preserve peace and democracy in Europe. It was her 87th birthday on Saturday and it would have been a nice thing if the Nobel committee had recognised her at last. It might have made up for the shameful decision by her university to refuse her an honorary doctorate – and we forget now that those ungracious Oxford dons were protesting about her decision to charge foreign students for university, when those very fees are now essential to higher education and keep the dons in sherry.

    Yes, instead of giving the prize to a clutch of ugly plate-glass office blocks in Brussels, the Nobel committee should have awarded it to Margaret Hilda Thatcher.’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9608484/Dont-honour-a-Brussels-office-block-give-the-Nobel-to-Maggie.html

  • tony roma

    blah blah arise sir mon of biot nuke shill.
    count your areva blood money shekels george you will need it when cancer comes a calling.
    georgee boy won’t be using the flesh killers of the nhs that is a given.

    go drink the fukishima waters george go eat the japanese fish.
    give it to your children film it and we may change are minds until then you are just another chatham house scumbag

  • Clark

    Sunflower, I’m pretty sure that in Nevermind’s paragraph that you quoted, the word “not” was a typo.

    The RT report you linked to is not really about depleted uranium. The metal contaminants most mentioned are lead and mercury.

    A few excerpts from your eyreinternational link:

    “– and again this is out of the whole complex toxic battlefield where DU contributes –”

    “The human and environmental samples have been found to contain Depleted Uranium and abnormally high levels of the artificial transuranic isotope, 236U.”

    “A biological sample taken from one Al Basra citizen, who was exposed to the urban bombing campaign in that city, has an unusual composition of isotopes showing an enriched, as opposed to a depleted or natural, ratio of 235U/238U. The enriched uranium was found in a person exposed to and living adjacent to the same battlefield led by the British Desert Rats, south of Al Basra”

    War kills people, massively degrades their environment and destroys their livelihoods. The focus on DU is too narrow. You could campaign, and maybe get DU banned. War would be just as bad as ever.

  • Clark

    Mary, your Huffington Post link is based on the same report as Sunflower’s RT article. It focusses on lead and mercury.

    Why are people so obsessed with depleted uranium? Have we been led astray to campaign about a distraction? Is it the knee-jerk “Nuclear = Bad” response?

    Campaign against war. Who cares what they make the weapons out of? Whatever they’re made of, you can be sure that very little ethical consideration went into their design. If it wasn’t DU, it would be some other component or material. Campaign against war!

  • John Goss

    Clark @ 2.11 p.m. I also get the impression that when the US develops its latest range of weapons it feels the need to try them out on real people (other than its own people) to see just how ‘effective’ they are. We are seeing it with unmanned drones. As a result we are learning that there are a lot of ordinary non-military civilians dying because of these ‘Nazi-like’ experiments on people they consider to be inferior. I do hope to live to see the modern-day equivalent of the Nuremberg trials.

  • Chris Jones

    @ Scouse Billy “Ah well I can’t reach sh/p-eople that far below the curve…”

    …I’m no huge follower of David Icke – his reptilian ‘thing’ unfortunately tends to diminish the otherwise great knowledge and insight he has, but the certain gentleman in the hat that can be seen sitting hosting this Icke event reminds me of a certain type of innate reaction.The right on anarchist girl that invades the stage at the start and calls Icke an anti semite is a great example of conforming to type too. As Alan Partridge would say, S.A.D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-HWAPmGvR8

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Clark, thanks so much, I really appreciate it.

    Technicolour, Clark, yes, as Craig has mentioned on this blog somewhere recently, I think the economic impact on our societies – the financial crisis – of the vast cost – trillions of dollars/pounds – of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is being ignored by much of the MSM, certainly by the BBC et al. As with the banks, it seems that the economic costs of war are socialised, while the profits are privatised. Not that one would want to wage war, to kill people, for profit to our society – though that is precisely why, usually, they are waged, for someone’s profit (and we know whose).

    Which brings me to the proposed commemoration of the outbreak of WW1. It already feels nauseating, one can sense the unctuousness, the hypocrisy, the appeal to patriotism. It will be war, as pornography.

    The whole thing – WW1 – was a complete waste of life and was utterly unnecessary. It also may well have led to the ‘flu pandemic (a genuine pandemic, this, not like the one in 2009), which, in 1918-1919, killed more people, esp. young adults, than WW1.

    The only commemoration we ought to be having would be one in which on the radio, a child solemnly intones the full names of all those who died, on all sides – one would need a lot of children – serially, day and night, all over the world, for as long as it takes. And then, at the end, the last child would ask, “Why…?”

    And then we can all watch the excellent film version of ‘Oh, What a Lovely War!’ and, likewise, of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’.

    No politicians, no generals, no priests: Donkeys, then, donkeys now.

  • Clark

    John Goss at 15 Oct, 9:00 pm: Yes, every war is a chance to show off the latest weapons. Advertising and consumption, two functions in one, moving money, at the time and in the future, into the pockets of the weapons manufacturers.

  • Clark

    Suhayl Saadi, 15 Oct, 9:18 pm

    ” As with the banks, it seems that the economic costs of war are socialised, while the profits are privatised.”

    Exactly.

    Socialism for the rich and the elite entities, market economics for everyone else. Taxpayers pay for the wars, and the weapons manufacturers, the oil companies, the “reconstruction” contractors, and the suppliers of mercenaries like Xe rake in the private profits.

    It is no surprise that the “conspiracy” websites (for want of a better name) keep telling us that Left and Right is a false distraction, and everything can be fixed by aliens or “hidden ancient knowledge”. They are a force for the Right. They don’t want us to notice the direction of wealth redistribution. And they don’t want us to organise, protest, lobby or vote against the corrupted political “representatives”.

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