The Struggle Is The Meaning 326

There is no conceivable interest of the ordinary people of the Western world being served by the crazed decision of their governments to firmly take the Sunni side in the Sunni/Shia tensions of the Islamic world, and to do so in a fashion which deliberately exacerbates points of armed conflict across the Middle East.

It is even more extraordinary that, in doing so, the West is deliberately forwarding the interests of two nations which have philosophies that are entirely antithetical to the supposed tenets of Western philosophy. Those states are Saudi Arabia, an unrepentant despotism, which promotes and finances a theocratic ideology directly responsible for the major terrorist attacks on the West, and Israel, which is now an openly apartheid state. The USA/Saudi/Israel alliance is underpinned by the identification of a common enemy in Iran and other Shia communities.

Of course the patent absurdities of the alliance point directly to the fact that the real motive is entirely different; this is all about the financial ties of the 1% and the permanent interest of the military industrial complex and their financiers in stoking the flames of war.

Which is an opportune moment to mention – as I have several times over the years – that if I had to recommend one single book to illuminate your view of the world it would be Imperialism by J A Hobson. His brilliant perception that empire had been a net disbenefit to the ordinary people of both the colonial power and the colonised, with the advantages reaped purely by the military, financial, armaments and political classes, and his groundbreaking methods of proving his thesis, is one of the great works of human thought. Lenin plagiarised Hobson extensively.

You can indeed find in Hobson a reflection of the anti-semitism that was regrettably common in his time. It is a problem in many of the great books of the past. Trollope is notably anti-semitic, but when John Major as Prime Minister repeatedly told of his love for Trollope, there was none of the manufactured outrage we saw over Corbyn’s recommendation of Hobson. In reading literature of the past there are inevitably notes that jar with the mores of these times, but they do not invalidate all the other qualities, once noted and appropriately analysed. I confess to being with John Major as a serious fan of Trollope. The Way We Live Now is also a great book, whose dark anti-semitic undertones are not necessary to its critique of rampant capitalism.

To return to Iran, I have no confidence whatsoever that apparent limpet mine attacks on shipping are Iranian in origin – in fact the narrative seems to me distinctly improbable. We have the intelligence community frantically signalling that John Bolton is making up his intelligence assessment of enhanced Iranian military activity. Jeremy Hunt has just put out a quite ludicrous advisory against dual nationals traveling to Iran. My wife Nadira was recently in Iran together with several dual nationals filming a comedy feature film. They met with nothing but friendship and cooperation from Iranian officialdom.

However, I remain hopeful that Trump can outplay John Bolton and prevent any immediate escalation. However bad his domestic agenda, one thing to be said in Trump’s favour is that, unlike every American President since Carter, he has not fed the military industrial complex by starting a needless war. I have no doubt whatsoever that Hillary would have started one by now. Trump, a monumentally flawed individual, is the only thing that today stands between the world and a Middle East conflagration that would make the last three decades seem like peace. That is hardly a comforting thought.

Nor is it comforting that Chelsea Manning is once again in jail, in terrible conditions, for refusing to testify against Julian Assange, himself in Belmarsh maximum security prison. These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will. The American “justice” system is shown up yet again for the farce that it is. What value should be placed on testimony physically coerced from Chelsea Manning, who has already spent a lengthy prison sentence for her actions in leaking the truth about US military aggression? Either Chelsea provides damning testimony against Julian, or Chelsea gets tortured. That the world stands by and watches – and that the cowards of the mainstream media line up to applaud – I find rather hard to take.

Two other actions are worth noting here. The United States violated the Embassy of Venezuela, against the will of its government and in stark contravention of the Vienna Convention, to break in and seize materials and individuals, based on the farce of recognising the impotent US puppet Guaido as the legitimate government able to give permission. If any government wishes to recognise me as President of the United States, I happily give them my gracious permission to trash the US Embassy in their country.

There is no doubt that Guaido, with the entire world watching on, attempted to launch a military coup in Venezuela, and failed dismally. He has since addressed rallies in which his supporters have been numbered in scores. In the vast majority of countries around the world, specifically including the United States of America, Guaido would have been arrested and executed for his military coup attempt. Maduro has the power to do it. The fact Guaido and his violent antics are tolerated gives the lie to that false picture of Venezuela as authoritarian dictatorship which the mainstream media daily present to us.

Finally, in a country which the CIA has succeeded in reducing to puppet government status, Ecuador has, entirely illegally, compounded its illegal refoulement of a political refugee by handing over all of Julian Assange’s personal effects to the United States of America, on no legal basis whatsoever.

I had some difficulty in writing this post because the chain of these and other events over this past few weeks has been so thoroughly depressing, and can easily lead to a feeling of helplessness. On a more cheerful note, Part 2 of my interview with Alex Salmond is now out

RT have blocked the video from functioning in embedded form, you have to click again on the link that comes up. Or for those with Facebook

Here are three cheerful thoughts. Firstly you can declare your determination to work to destroy the United Kingdom, as I do here, and if you have a nice gentle voice and friendly personality nobody gets upset. Secondly, Part 1 had over 122,000 views on Facebook alone, plus those who watched on Russia Today TV and those who saw it on YouTube. When you compare that to the audiences of 7,000 for the flagship Nine news on the BBC’s new anti-Scottish propaganda channel “BBC Scotland”, that is pretty impressive. My third thought is this. I think the lesson of my life as revealed over the two interviews, is that no matter what the state throws at you, it is essential to continue to struggle for social justice. The struggle is in itself a good. Which is something I first learnt from Sartre’s Iron in the Soul trilogy when I was 15. I don’t seem to be getting far with intellectual development. It now being 3.25am, I shall bid you goodnight.


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326 thoughts on “The Struggle Is The Meaning

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  • michael norton

    In protest against proxy powers behind the conflict in Yemen, Italian union workers refused to load electricity generators onto a Saudi Arabian ship carrying weapons on Monday.

    The ‘Bahri-Yanbu’ was blocked from collecting arms in the French port of Le Havre by protests from humanitarian groups earlier this month. The arms which remain on board were loaded in Antwerp, Belgium.

    Unions in Genoa, northern Italy have attempted to prevent the boat from docking. Despite their efforts however, the ship docked early Monday morning, and was met by a small group of protesters on the quay.

    According to human rights advocates, the weapons on board the Bahri-Yanbu violate a U.N. Treaty as there is a risk that the weapons will be used against civilians. The United Nations have previously said that Saudi Arabia may have committed war crimes in the Yemen conflict. If this is true, then these arms transfers are illegal say protesters.

    It would seem TPB will not stop making money for killing, only people power will make them change their tune
    which is the ringing of the till.

  • Stephen Morrell

    One can certainly solidarise with any determination to destroy the UK. But not only minimally with the breaking up of the UK as an artificial, historically oppressive shotgun marriage designed to maximise the benefits to the dominant nation, England. But let’s be consistent here: one must also support the break up of the EU for exactly the same reasons, viz little or no sovereignty for the weaker ‘members’ of these ‘unions’, sacrificed on the alter of German dominance and Germany’s deputy, France. The break up of the UK and EU indeed would both be good things. One can’t support one without the other. This is why, despite the horror of liberals and social democrats, and white-hot support from it from rabid nationalists, that Brexit is a good thing and is consistent with Scotland (and Wales and Northern Ireland) leaving an equally oppressive arrangement.

    But the break up of the UK is only the first stage of its destruction. Sweeping away the feudal vestiges of England’s monarchy and house of lords, expropriating the landed aristocracy and of course their ruling class’ theocratic prop of superstition, the Church of England, would all go some way to properly destroying all the oppression at the core of the UK. And once this much overdue housekeeping is done, then there’s every reason, compulsion actually, to expropriate finance capital, the root of imperialism in the capitalist epoch. What’s left might as well be expropriated also, and while we’re at it let’s take all these resources and plan their use democratically. We’d need another state to do that, however. All this with a gentle voice.

    On Hobson: many of us learnt of the existence of Hobson’s contribution through reading Lenin’s ‘Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism’. Lenin praised Hobson for his groundbreaking work, quoted from him extensively and acknowledged him. How one could label this as plagiarism defies reality and does no credit to the author.

  • Ingwe

    Trump himself probably doesn’t want war with Iran. But he’s stupid and doesn’t really appreciate and fully understand how he could properly use his presidential powers. And like the educationally subnormal Dubya, he’s surrounded by people who are clever and can easily manipulate Trump into taking steps that ultimately lead to war with Iran. Trump is just a useful idiot to the real power brokers in the USA. Pence, Bolton and some of the other new-fascist movers and shakers who are far more dangerous. And that’s without bringing into discussion, the awful Democrats.

    • michael norton

      One of the reasons, they so dislike President Assad, is because he is modest and intelligent.
      One of the reasons, they so dislike President Putin, is because he is modest and intelligent.

  • Dave

    It makes no sense, unless you look at it through the prism of the ancestral madness, in which according to Zionism humanity is “anti-Semitic” and an enemy of Israel and all Jews, simply for breathing.

    That is, everyone’s “anti-Semitic” and those who profess otherwise are in denial and “anti-Semites” in waiting, meaning any proactive death and destruction becomes precautionary self-defence and aggressors become victims.

    And this madness prospers because just like any creed there are the money men who profit from the madness aka MIC.

  • Paul

    I’m not sure if anyone is still reading this comments, but I wonder, from afar (in Hong Kong), how this article today on the BBC’s website fits with the argument that the MainStream Media is utterly anti-Assange.
    It seems to me that it is a well-balanced and useful piece.

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