Archive | October 2nd, 2015

Why Saudi Ties to 9/11 Mean U.S. Ties to 9/11

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Bin Laden Family Members Evacuated from US in Wake of the 9/11 Attacks

Media interest in Saudi Arabian connections to the crimes of 9/11 has centered on calls for the release of the 28 missing pages from the Joint Congressional Inquiry’s report.

However, those calls focus on the question of hijacker financing and omit the most interesting links between the 9/11 attacks and Saudi Arabia—links that implicate powerful people in the United States. Here are twenty examples.

  1. When two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi, came to the U.S. in January 2000, they immediately met with Omar Al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi spy and an employee of a Saudi aviation company. Al-Bayoumi, who was the target of FBI investigations in the two years before 9/11, became a good friend to the two 9/11 suspects, setting them up in an apartment and paying their rent.
  2. Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi then moved in with a long-time FBI asset, Abdussattar Shaikh, who was said to be a teacher of the Saudi language. Shaikh allowed them to live in his home for at least seven months, later saying that he thought they were only Saudi students. In an unlikely coincidence, both Al-Bayoumi and Shaikh also knew Hani Hanjour, the alleged pilot of Flight 77. Although Shaikh was reported to be a retired professor at San Diego State University, the university had no records of him. He was then said to be a professor at American Commonwealth University but that turned out to be a phony institution. During the 9/11 investigations, the FBI refused to allow Shaikh to be interviewed or deposed. The FBI also tried to prevent the testimony of Shaikh’s FBI handler, which occurred only secretly at a later date. Despite having a very suspicious background, the FBI gave Shaikh $100,000 and closed his contract.
  3. Journalist Joseph Trento claimed that an unnamed former CIA officer, who worked in Saudi Arabia, told him that Alhazmi and Almihdhar were Saudi spies protected by U.S. authorities.
  4. After being appointed CIA Director in 1997, George Tenet began to cultivate close personal relationships with officials in Saudi Arabia. Tenet grew especially close to Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Bandar and Tenet often met at Bandar’s home near Washington. Tenet did not share information from those meetings with his own CIA officers who were handling Saudi issues at the agency. These facts are among the reasons to suspect that Tenet facilitated the crimes of 9/11.
  5. Bernard Kerik, the New York City police commissioner at the time of 9/11, spent three years working in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s. He then spent another three years in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s as the “chief investigator for the royal family.” It was Kerik who first told the public that explosives were not used at the World Trade Center (WTC) in a news conference. It was also his police department that was said to have discovered a passport that fell from one of the burning towers, providing dubious evidence identifying one of the alleged hijackers.
  6. After 9/11, former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose agency failed to stop Al Qaeda-attributed terrorism from 1993 to 2001, became the personal attorney for Tenet’s dubious cohort, Prince Bandar. Sometimes called “Bandar Bush” for his close relationship to the Bush family, Bandar was the Saudi intelligence director from 2005 to 2015.
  7. The company that designed the security system for the WTC complex, Kroll Associates, had strong connections to Saudi Arabia. For example, Kroll board member Raymond Mabus, now Secretary of the Navy, was the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. Control of WTC security speaks to the question of how explosives could have been placed in the three tall buildings that weredemolished on 9/11.
  8. All four of the contractors that were involved in implementing Kroll’s security design for the WTC had done significant business in the Saudi kingdom. Stratesec, the company that installed the overall electronic security system at the WTC complex, had also managed security for Dulles airport, where Flight 77 took off, and for United Airlines, which owned two of the three other planes. For many reasons, the company’s managers should be primary suspects in the crimes of 9/11. Stratesec was in partnership with a large Saudi engineering and construction company to develop and conduct business in Saudi Arabia.
  9. Another interesting connection between Stratesec and Saudi Arabia was that, in the years leading up to 9/11, Stratesec held its annual shareholders’ meetings in an office that was leased by Saudi Arabia. This was an office in the Watergate Hotel occupied by the Saudi Embassy (run by Prince Bandar).
  10. The Bush and Bin Laden-financed Carlyle Group owned, through BDM International, the Vinnell Corporation, a mercenary operation that had extensive contracts and trained the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Several of Stratesec’s key employees, including its operating manager Barry McDaniel, came from BDM. In 1995, BDM’s Vinnell was one of the first targets of Al Qaeda, in Saudi Arabia.
  11. One of the two major contractors hired to manage the cleanup of debris at Ground Zero—Bovis Lend Lease—had previously built the Riyadh Olympic stadium in Saudi Arabia.
  12. The other primary cleanup company at Ground Zero—AMEC Construction—had just completed a $258 million refurbishment of Wedge 1 of the Pentagon, which is exactly where Flight 77 was said to impact that building. AMEC had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia for decades, working for the national oil company, Saudi Aramco.
  13. In the 1990s, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), run by Dick Cheney’s protégé Duane Andrews, trained the Saudi Navy and instructed Saudi military personnel at its company headquarters in San Diego. SAIC had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the United States than any other non-government entity and it profited greatly from 9/11.
  14. While SAIC was training the Saudi Navy, the Carlyle/BDM subsidiary Vinnell Corporation was training the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Simultaneously, Booz Allen Hamilton was managing the Saudi Marine Corps and running the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College.
  15. Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), the company that occupied all but ten floors of WTC building 7, was taken over by Citigroup in 1998 after Citigroup was taken over by Saudi Prince Alwaleed, in a deal brokered by The Carlyle Group. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney joined the advisory board for SSB just after Citigroup’s takeover and they only resigned in January 2001 to join the Bush Administration.
  16. The Saudi government was sued by thousands of 9/11 victim’s family members due to the suspicion that Saudi Arabia helped to finance Al Qaeda. The Saudis hired the law firm of Bush Administration insider James Baker to defend them in that lawsuit.
  17. The 9/11 families’ lawsuit against Saudi royals was thrown out on a technicality related to the ability to sue a foreign government and, later, the Obama Administration backed the Saudis during the appeal.
  18. The world’s leading insurance provider, Lloyd’s of London, filed a lawsuit alleging Saudi involvementin the 9/11 attacks. Lloyd’s dropped the lawsuit just days later without explanation.
  19. After 9/11, it became clear that Saudi officials were supporting terrorism. For example, in the case of a would-be “underwear bomber,” it was revealed that the suspect was working for the CIA and Saudi intelligence.
  20. Saudi Prince Bandar has been accused of coordinating an international ring of terrorism in his role as Saudi intelligence chief. From Egypt to Libya, and now in Syria, evidence suggests that Bandar Bush has led a network of terrorists around the globe, with U.S. support.

Bandar

Therefore it is not surprising that people who hear claims of Saudi involvement in 9/11 wonder why the discussion remains so limited and always avoids the glaring implications those claims should entail.

Now that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have “reset their rocky relationship, calls by U.S. leaders to release the “28 pages” may very well die down. Since the new Saudi King came to the U.S. a few weeks ago, the two governments have rediscovered that they are close allies” and many new deals are in the works. It remains to be seen what cards U.S. and Saudi leaders will play in the ongoing game of terror and deception but discussions of hijacker financing will probably be left behind.

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I$raHell: Ministry falsely declares baby dead and sells him for adoption

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Adi Levy

Marianne Azizi writes:

Adi Levy (pictures above) might be someone you wouldn’t really notice. He collects metal and scraps and travels around on his bicycle.

I met him in Or Aqiva in Israel on one of the hottest days of the year – in the sun it was well over 40 degrees Celsius. Everyone was dripping in sweat and he was no exception.

Never judge a book by its cover. As I was sitting outside the Welfare office and child contact centre, he stopped and noticed the flags and banners for Walk4kids September 2015 and asked if he could talk.

In 1977, he became the father of a baby boy. A joyous occasion for him and his wife. Then he received a phone call to say his baby son had died. He was only 2 kilograms at birth, and he was informed the baby had been too small to survive. He was instructed to go to the town of Afula and identify the body.

Filled with grief, he arrived at the morgue and was shown four bodies of babies. He relates how he was told to choose one and that it didn’t matter which. Every instinct in him screamed that none of these babies was his.

Levy’s story seemed impossible to believe initially, so he said he would go to get supporting documents and return. It took some time, and I’d almost forgotten him in the sweltering heat. He carried an old briefcase with all the documentation. His whole life in ragged and tattered pages – a magazine article and a collection of papers (see below).

Adi Levy-magazine

Adi Levy-papers

Adi Levy-papers2

Levy had always doubted the truth of his son’s death. Three months after the event, he was called into the Betuach Leumi – the social security service – and told his payments had stopped. He had barely noticed his mail, and asked what it was all about. He was informed that as the baby had been adopted, he was no longer to receive any benefits for the child. He decided there and then that he would find his son and searched for over 12 years.

Levy proceeded to write many letters – to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior, among others. Endless enquiries. The answers were varied. One letter informed him that the baby had been born on 2 December, died on 3 December and buried in June the following year. This is highly unlikely under Jewish law, which required burial on the same day as death. Another letter informed him that checks had been made for a two-year period and showed no infant deaths during that time. Another document even mentioned he had a girl, not a boy.

Searching for his son became Levy’s life. A death certificate was finally produced in 1991 – 14 years after the birth of his boy. He finally found his son.

Levy says he is an Iraqi Jew, and perhaps they mistook him for a Yemeni Jew, given the scandal of the stolen babies.

He used to be a singer. He was a man full of joy, he said. He went on to have further children, but as he carries around all the documents in a worn briefcase, it is clear that his child never did die.

He is at peace now, knowing that he has found his son and talked to him, but his life was changed from the moment he was told his child was dead.

The practice of taking children in Israel is still happening to this day – over 300,000 children are at risk, and evidence of children being taken from fit parents is mounting.

Levy is grateful for the time and respect he has been given, and gets on his bicycle but the heartbreak of a stolen life will stay with him until his own death.

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Corbyn shifts into reverse to avoid party conference car-crash

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Jeremy Corbyn and Trident

Thousands who backed Corbyn’s leadership bid expecting him to pursue an anti-Trident and EU-sceptic line are left frustrated

By Stuart Littlewood

At the Labour Party conference there was no debate on Trident even though non-renewal of the nuclear deterrent was central to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership

Why the omission? The unions didn’t want to talk about it. Topics for debate are decided “democratically” and since the unions wield 50 per cent of the votes their views tend to prevail. They derailed any idea of having a sensible discussion.

Unite [union] might as well protect the arms dealers too who help make the world go round for the death-dealing arms industry.

Len McCluskey, the head of Unite, which has thousands of members in the defence industry, is reported as saying that his main focus would be the protection of jobs, so Mr Corbyn had to back down.

“I understand the moral case and the huge cost of replacing Trident, especially in this era of austerity,” said McCluskey,

but the most important thing for us is jobs and the defence of communities. We will vote against any anti-Trident motion. I don’t think this will be a problem for Jeremy Corbyn. He is a great democrat and we are already seeing a refreshing change to the Labour conference, with open debates.

But the rank and file membership may not see it like that. Unite might as well protect the arms dealers too who help make the world go round for the death-dealing arms industry. Faced with McCluskey’s attitude, I already regret signing a petition opposing the Tories’ proposed Trade Union Bill. If union leaders are determined to close down the anti-Trident campaign, why should I or anyone else leap to their defence? And why should the British public cough up GBP 100 billion to keep people in work on weapons of mass destruction? The writing has been on the wall for long enough and, besides, we’re signed up to nuclear non-proliferation.

In his rant against the Trade Union Bill McCluskey told conference delegates that the requirement for striking workers to wear armbands on the picket line was like the Nazis’ treatment of trade unionists in concentration camps. “I will be on the picket line when Unite members are on strike and I will not be wearing an armband with a red triangle like the trade union prisoners,” he said. “Conference, remember, that’s what the Nazis did – trade unionists in the concentration camps of Dachau – made to wear armbands with red triangles. We won’t be doing that.”

There are valid complaints about the bill but this isn’t one of them. What the bill actually says is that “the picket supervisor must wear a badge, armband or other item that readily identifies the picket supervisor as such”. A fuss about nothing, which nonetheless received a standing ovation from the leadership and the hall.

Austerity “not an economic necessity”

On the economy Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the conference he was “fearful” about the present situation. He said the Tories’ economic recovery was based on rising house prices, growing consumer credit, and inadequate reform of the financial sector, and that the economy was overwhelmingly reliant on insecure jobs in the service sector.

Our balance of payments deficit is at the highest levels it’s been since modern records began. I worry that the same pre-crash warning signs are reappearing…

“The Conservatives always argue that no matter what the social cost of their austerity policies, they are necessary to rescue our economy. Let’s be clear. Austerity is not an economic necessity, it’s a political choice.

He pledged that every policy Labour proposes and every economic instrument they use will be “rigorously tested to its extreme” before adopted in government, and the Office of Budget Responsibility and the Bank of England would test and re-test Labour’s plans to ensure they are workable and affordable.

McDonnell also slammed the Tories over nationalisation.

I found the Conservatives’ rant against Jeremy’s proposal to bring rail back into public ownership ironic when George Osborne was touring China selling off to the Chinese state bank any British asset he could lay his hands on. It seems the state nationalising our assets is OK with the Tories as long as it’s the Chinese state or in the case of our railways the Dutch or French.

Jeremy Corbyn, in his new leader’s speech, declared that Labour will challenge austerity and inequality and protect workers better. Internationally, Labour will support the authority of international law and international institutions, not act against them.

He immediately threw down the gauntlet to David Cameron over the Saudis.

Intervene now, personally, with the Saudi Arabian regime to stop the beheading and crucifixion of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who is threatened with the death penalty for taking part in a demonstration at the age of 17. And while you’re about it, terminate that bid made by our Ministry of Justice to provide services for Saudi Arabia – which would be required to carry out the sentence that would be put down on Mohammed Ali al-Nimr.

We have to be very clear about what we stand for in human rights. A refusal to stand up is the kind of thing that really damages Britain’s standing in the world.

He also lambasted the Tories’ idea of economic recovery, saying there’s an investment crisis. Britain’s level of investment was at the bottom of the international league, just below Madagascar and just above El Salvador. The UK’s balance of payment deficit was GBP 100 billion last year, saddling the economy and every one of us with unsustainable debt for the future. Shocks in world markets this summer had shown up the fragile state of the world economy and how ill-prepared the Tories had left us to face another crisis. The feeble economic recovery wasn’t underpinned by growing exports and a stronger manufacturing sector but house price inflation, asset inflation, more private debt. He called it unbalanced, unsustainable and dangerous – “an economy that works for the few, not for the many. Manufacturing is still in decline.”

Referring to John McDonnell’s speech the previous day, he said: “The economy of the future depends on the investment we make today in infrastructure, skills and schools.” To help achieve this he wants a National Investment Bank and a Green New Deal investing in renewable energy and energy conservation to tackle the threat of climate change.

On Trident, he said:

I don’t believe GBP 100 billion on a new generation of nuclear weapons taking up a quarter of our defence budget is the right way forward. I believe Britain should honour our obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and lead in making progress on international nuclear disarmament. But we must make sure all the jobs and skills of everyone in every aspect of the defence industry are fully protected and fully utilised so that we gain from this, we don’t lose from this.

In an interview after the conference he said he wouldn’t press the nuclear button anyway, a remark which has caused some consternation. But who would, other than the worst of the worst psychopaths?

On foreign policy he insisted we learn the lessons of the recent past.

It didn’t help our national security that, at the same time I was protesting outside the Iraqi embassy about Saddam Hussein’s brutality, Tory ministers were secretly conniving with illegal arms sales to his regime. It didn’t help our national security when we went to war with Iraq in defiance of the United Nations and on a false prospectus. It didn’t help our national security to endure the loss of hundreds of brave British soldiers in that war while making no proper preparation for what to do after the fall of the regime.

Nor does it help our national security to give such fawning and uncritical support to regimes like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who abuse their own citizens and repress democratic rights.

Corbyn was silent on Europe and the upcoming European Union in/out referendum, no doubt fearing a row. Earlier, he had written in The Independent:

The EU is too beholden to corporate interests, and the behind-closed-doors negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) confirm this. This poses a huge threat to our environmental standards, consumer protections and workers’ rights.

“What’s more, there is clearly a democratic deficit when even elected members of Parliament don’t have access to papers being discussed, and when the proposals include a supra-national and unaccountable judicial system to arbitrate on trade policy. And I’m also concerned by the direction and advance of EU foreign policy development with all new member states required to join NATO, which suggests both a militaristic turn in Europe and the block that puts on an independent foreign policy…

There is a lot wrong with the European Union, a lot of change needed, but I want to hear from the British people about what sort of Europe they want.

He also avoided the thorny issue of immigration.

“Grown-up politics” or cop-out?

Corbyn’s new-style Labour risks becoming a gift to satirists, what with his appointment of such oddballs as the convicted arsonist Lord Watson to his front-bench team along with Lord Falconer, Tony Blair’s old flatmate and “fixer”, and supporter of the war on Iraq. That Corbyn cannot gather enough genuine socialists into his team shows what a comprehensive brainwashing job Blair and his gruesome crew managed to do.

That Corbyn cannot gather enough genuine socialists into his team shows what a comprehensive brainwashing job Blair and his gruesome crew managed to do.

Corbyn says repeatedly he wants to build a “kinder politics”. Not too kind though, one hopes. Lack of coherence and too much slack could be his undoing. He has certainly inherited a difficult legacy but embracing the “enemy within” and especially allowing the unions to dictate what’s debated is beyond ridiculous. Yes, I know the old adage about keeping your friends close but your enemies closer. But c’mon.

Eager new party members and supporters may quickly run out of patience. Thousands backed Corbyn’s leadership bid expecting he’d pursue an anti-Trident and EU-sceptic line. A head-on crash is inevitable if cherished principles are to be upheld. But if Corbyn continues to fudge, duck and weave, that support may evaporate and those who paid GBP 3 to become Labour supporters may never upgrade to full membership. They, I suspect, want to see blood on the carpet and the pro-Trident, pro-EU Blairite rump given a good kicking, and the unions put in their place. Otherwise, what was the point of the Corbyn revolution? The question is left hanging.

“One firm commitment I make to people who join our Labour Party is that you have a real say, the final say in deciding on the policies of our party,” says Corbyn. “No-one – not me as Leader, not the Shadow Cabinet, not the Parliamentary Labour Party – is going to impose policy or have a veto. The media commentariat don’t get it.

“This is grown up politics,” he continued, “where people put forward different views. We debate issues. We take a decision and we go forward together.”

It’ll be a miracle if it works like that. For all Jeremy Corbyn’s wisdom in the prevailing circumstances, it’s going to sound to people outside the Labour bubble like a leadership cop-out.

Finally, a bright note to end on. Labour MPs were told yesterday that they’d probably get a free vote if Cameron sought parliamentary approval to bomb Syria. But today the conference voted to warn that they should agree to bomb only if such action is authorised by the UN, if there’s a comprehensive humanitarian plan for displaced refugees, and if assurances are received that only ISIS [Islamic State group] is targeted. Diplomacy remained the principle means for bringing the civil war to an end.

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C.I.A Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form

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Image result for ISIS FIGHTERS PHOTO

Welcome to the United States’ Moderate Syrian Rebel Vetting Process. To see if you qualify for $500 million in American weapons, please choose an answer to the following questions:

As a Syrian rebel, I think the word or phrase that best describes me is:
A) Moderate
B) Very moderate
C) Crazy moderate
D) Other

I became a Syrian rebel because I believe in:
A) Truth
B) Justice
C) The American Way
D) Creating an Islamic caliphate
If I were given a highly lethal automatic weapon by the United States, I would:
A) Only kill exactly the people that the United States wanted me to kill
B) Try to kill the right people, with the caveat that I have never used an automatic weapon before
C) Kill people only after submitting them to a rigorous vetting process
D) Immediately let the weapon fall into the wrong hands
I have previously received weapons from:
A) Al Qaeda
B) The Taliban
C) The Nazis
D) I did not receive weapons from any of them because after they vetted me I was deemed way too moderate
I consider ISIS:
A) An existential threat to Iraq
B) An existential threat to Syria
C) An existential threat to Iraq and Syria
D) The people who will pick up my American weapon after I drop it and run away
Complete the following sentence. “American weapons are…”
A) Always a good thing to randomly add to any international hot spot
B) Exactly what this raging civil war has been missing for the past three years
C) Best when used moderately
D) Super easy to resell online
Thank you for completing the Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form. We will process your application in the next one to two business days. Please indicate a current mailing address where you would like your weapons to be sent. If there is no one to sign for them we will leave them outside the front door.

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Left Unity: another Trotskyist attempt to mislead the working class

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Image result for Left Unity LOGO
The latest attempt to divert workers’ burning desire for change down pointless avenues of non-activity takes support for imperialism to a new level by including a class A war criminal amongst its leading lights. 
On 30 November, London’s Royal National Hotel is set to be the venue for the founding conference of yet another self-proclaimed party, purporting to represent the interests of working people in Britain.

Since making an initial appeal in March, Left Unity claims, in a letter published in the Guardian on 12 August, that “more than 9,000 people have signed up and more than 100 local groups have been established across the country”. (‘Left Unity ready to offer an alternative’)

Sounds impressive – and at least in part this apparent surge in support does reflect the mass and growing sentiment for what Left Unity’s self-appointed leaders describe as “a genuine alternative to the austerity policies which the three main parties support”.

However, this apparent support is as genuinely shallow as it is apparently wide. First, it is based on the most flimsy of bases – namely, an appeal to “all those who are sick of austerity and war, who want to defend the NHS and our public services, and want to see a fairer Britain, to join us”.

Secondly, much of the claimed support is of the Facebook type – but clicking ‘Like’ is a long way away from building a viable party.

As a result, much of this claimed support will not survive the first puff of a gentle late autumn breeze, let alone the harsh gales of the class struggle.

Similar vacuity is to be found in the prescription offered by the authors of the above-quoted Guardian letter, with their call: “We urgently need a new party of the left. Labour will not provide the opposition to coalition policies that the situation demands. We need to provide a genuine alternative to the austerity policies which the three main parties support. A party that is socialist, environmentalist, feminist and opposed to all forms of discrimination.”

Their letter begins: “This summer will be remembered for Labour’s final betrayal of the working-class people it was founded to represent. Not content with signing up to Conservative austerity measures that are dragging Britain’s most vulnerable people deeper into poverty, Ed Miliband has turned his back on the union members who supported his leadership bid.”

In other words, a petty spat between Ed Miliband and his chief bankroller, Unite’s Len McCluskey, takes precedence over a century of Labour’s betrayal of the working class and oppressed people at home and abroad and over the blood of millions of people slaughtered in Labour’s imperialist wars, from Malaya to Korea, from Aden to Ireland, and from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq.

In analysing Left Unity therefore, it is necessary to focus less on its claimed 9,000 ‘Facebook friends’ and more on the small group of people driving this initiative.

Who is behind Left Unity?

The original impetus came from new husband and wife team Kate Hudson and Andrew Burgin. Both are prominent members of the Stop the War Coalition (and its semi-secretive ‘officers group’), while Kate is best known for being the current (paid) general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and previously its (unpaid) chair.

Like her predecessors in CND, Kate used this position to propagate bourgeois pacifism to the working class (‘disarm yourselves while the ruling class gets tooled up’) and to denounce progressive countries like the DPRK for pursuing modern technology (satellites) and choosing to arm themselves in the face of the ever-present threat of imperialist attack.

A former London District Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), in its final dying days, she has since served stints in the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Socialist Action and Respect.

Her stint in George Galloway’s Respect was something of a whirlwind romance. Joining together with Andrew just after their marriage, she was almost immediately installed as the party’s parliamentary candidate in a Manchester by-election, only to withdraw her candidature, whilst insisting she would stay a party member, following the furore caused by some unfortunate remarks made by George on the subject of rape in the context of his commenting on the politically-inspired charges being levelled at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

But the pledge to stay and fight in Respect did not last long once she and Andrew discovered that they had been removed from the National Committee. Kate has long been known to be fascinated by the idea of regrouping diverse sections of the left in Europe into broad-front parties, following the collapse of the European socialist countries, and has published two books on this subject. She and Andrew are apparently particularly impressed by the recent strong electoral showing of Greece’s Syriza – and the belief that this can somehow be replicated here has impelled the launch of Left Unity.

Whilst our party is crystal clear on the fact that it is only a vanguard party firmly schooled in and equipped with the science of revolution, Marxism Leninism, that can lead the proletariat and its allies to victory in its struggle against exploitation and oppression, we are by no means opposed to united fronts on particular questions or to unity in struggle in pursuit of agreed objectives and against common enemies.

But, as indeed flows inexorably from this, there has to be at least some minimum benchmark against which such matters can be evaluated. In the case of the first initiators of Left Unity, the hopelessness, and indeed often the venality, of Stop the War and CND notwithstanding, a clear rejection of all imperialist wars would not seem to be too much to ask for.

Alas, right from the start, Left Unity has failed that most basic test. Surrounding themselves with a familiar cast of ‘luvvies’, Kate and Andrew promptly secured the support of veteran film director Ken Loach (notorious for his Land and Freedom, a disgraceful anti-communist film, maligning the Spanish Republic and the heroic International Brigades), and, a little later, China Miéville, a popular science-fiction writer and one of a considerable number of people to have recently decamped from the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) following the rape allegations directed at one of its leading members. (Ironically, the SWP had used Galloway’s remarks on the same subject in an attempt to excoriate him. Its own actions in dealing with the allegations were clearly much worse.)

However, this is by no means the worst. Also climbing on the bandwagon has been the Trotskyite sectlet Socialist Resistance, whose own passion for ‘left regroupment’ is driven by the classic Trot modus operandi of a parasite needing a host – or ‘entryism’, as it is often grandly called.

Thanks to the disastrous tie-up with Socialist Resistance, the third signatory, along with Kate Hudson and Ken Loach, to Left Unity’s initial appeal (as well as subsequently, for example, in the above-quoted Guardian letter) was one Gilbert Achcar, a professor of middle-eastern studies at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and, more importantly, a rabid proponent of imperialist war against Libya and Syria, and a man who bears and shares political responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in those dirty wars of aggression.

War criminal Achcar

These are, of course, strong charges – so, distasteful as it will undoubtedly be for our readers, we intend to fully condemn Achcar in his own words.

Faced with some limited exposure of his political crimes by others on the left, Achcar has resorted to obfuscation, denial and lies, pompously declaring: “I will not waste my time and that of the readers in reminding them here of what I really stood for.

But the pompous professor cannot dismiss the working-class movement as airily as an undergraduate attempting to submit a late essay. It is a matter of fact that Achcar has not only supported (or as he has sometimes disingenuously put it “refused to oppose”) wars of aggression; he has also provided advice and huddled together in conclave with the intelligence assets of US and French imperialism to discuss the prosecution of those wars.

In March 2011, two days after the passage of UN Resolution 1973, which led to the unleashing of a war of massive proportions against Libya, Achcar published an interview praising that war as a humanitarian operation, aimed at preventing a massacre of civilians in Benghazi.

While noting that “there are not enough safeguards in the wording of the resolution to bar its use for imperialist purposes”, Achcar said: “But given the urgency of preventing the massacre that would inevitably have resulted from an assault on Benghazi by Gaddafi’s forces, and the absence of any alternative means of achieving the protection goal, no one can reasonably oppose it … You can’t in the name of anti-imperialist principles oppose an action that will prevent the massacre of civilians.”

In another article, he wrote: “If Gaddafi were permitted to continue his military offensive and take Benghazi, there would be a major massacre”; and “from an anti-imperialist perspective one cannot and should not oppose the no-fly zone, given that there is no plausible alternative for protecting the endangered population”.

Of course, the only massacre that did occur was the one unleashed by imperialism, cheered on and encouraged by Achcar, who, as we shall see below, essentially confined his criticism of the imperialists to their apparently not being bestial enough.

He went on to describe the rats, who very shortly became notorious for their racist massacres of black Libyans, and who, directed and abetted by imperialism, destroyed all the civilisational achievements of the Libyan people, built up over more than four decades, as “a mixture of human-rights activists, democracy advocates, intellectuals, tribal elements, and islamist forces – a very broad coalition … The bottom line is that there is no reason for any different attitude toward them than to any other of the mass uprisings in the region.”

Achcar repeatedly demanded that Nato funnel even more weapons to Libyan terrorist militias. Thus, in a largely sympathetic comment on Obama’s April 2011 speech on the war, he said the best way to “enable the uprising to win, in conformity with the Libyan people’s right to self-determination, is for the hypocritical western governments – who have sold a lot of weapons to Gaddafi since the arms embargo was lifted in October 2004, and Gaddafi turned into a model – to deliver arms to the insurgency”.

Finally, as Libyan government forces began to collapse under relentless Nato air strikes in August 2011, Achcar actually criticised Nato for not striking Libya harder!

He issued a statement citing right-wing Wall Street Journal columnist Max Boot’s observation that Nato warplanes had flown 11,107 sorties against Libya, but 38,004 sorties in the 1999 war against Yugoslavia.

He wrote: “The crucial question then is: why is Nato conducting an aerial campaign in Libya that is low-key not only in comparison with the air component of the war to grab similarly oil-rich Iraq, but even compared to the air war for economically unimportant Kosovo? And why is the alliance at the same time refraining from providing the insurgents with the weaponry they have consistently and insistently requested?

In a more recent piece, Achcar sought to distort the facts surrounding his October 2011 meeting in Sweden with Burhan Ghalioun, the first chairman of the opposition Syrian Transitional National Council (SNC). During this meeting, he advised Ghalioun not to call for a Nato invasion of Syria – which would risk provoking mass popular opposition – but rather for “indirect” intervention to arm opposition forces.

In the event, this is exactly the policy that Nato and its regional stooges ultimately pursued, arming the SNC and other islamist opposition forces, including some tied to al-Qaeda, leading to a terrible war in which the Syrian people have suffered bitterly.

Subsequently, Achcar has denounced as a “canard” claims that “I took part in a meeting of the Syrian National Council (whereas it was actually a meeting of the left-wing National Coordination Council) in order to urge them to call for an imperialist intervention in Syria (whereas my contribution to the meeting was dedicated to exactly the opposite)”.

His denial is simply rubbish and lies. He himself publicly announced that he had met with Ghalioun and described his advice to the SNC in an article published in November 2011 in the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar. The French Trotskyite New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) reposted the article, as did the English-language website International Viewpoint, the journal of the wing of the Trotskyite Fourth International which Achcar, the NPA and Socialist Resistance all adhere to.

In this article, he wrote: “I was able to attend the meeting of the Syrian opposition that was held on 8-9 October in Sweden, near the capital, Stockholm. A number of male and female activists operating in Syria and abroad joined with prominent figures from the Syrian Coordination Committee (SNC – who had come from Syria for the event) in the presence of the most prominent member of the Syrian National Council – its president, Burhan Ghalioun.”

Achcar can lie all he wants, but the evidence of his crimes is splattered all over the internet, in his own words.

In April this year, he gave an interview to Amandla (a leftist South African publication opposed to the ANC and the South African Communist Party) calling for the arming of the Syrian terrorists:

“As in Libya, it [Washington] refuses to deliver weapons to the insurgency despite insistent requests … The truth is that the war has dragged on much longer than it might have, had the insurgency received weapons.”

He continued: “Every general rule admits of exceptions. This includes the general rule that UN-authorised military interventions by imperialist powers are purely reactionary ones, and can never achieve a humanitarian or positive purpose.”

Writing in the Lebanese Al Akhbar, he advised the Syrian counter-revolutionaries as to how they might best secure foreign intervention:

The Syrian opposition must define a clear stance on the issue of foreign military intervention, since it is clear that its position has a major influence on whether or not intervention might take place. The reluctance regarding direct intervention that we see today on the part of western and regional states might change tomorrow if intervention requests made on behalf of the Syrian opposition were to increase. 

It was the Libyan National Council’s request for international military intervention at the beginning of March that paved the way for the similar request issued by the Arab League, and the subsequent resolution of the UN Security Council. Had the Libyan opposition opposed direct military intervention in all its forms (instead of just opposing intervention on the ground and requesting air support, as it did), the Arab League would not have sought intervention nor would such action have been sanctioned by the UN.”

By 1 September, following the vote in the British parliament against taking overt military action in Syria (see separate article in this issue), Achcar was at it again. Writing on the Open Democracy website, he was at pains to appear to welcome the vote – but only because the type of military action he believed was being contemplated did not go far enough for his liking.

Writing as a “staunch opponent of the Syrian Baathist regime”, he stressed that he welcomed the vote “even though, on the face of it, the decision in this instance spared one of the most ruthless and murderous dictatorships”, but continued, referring to those parliamentarians who had voted against war:

They did so not out of ‘pacifism’ for sure, let alone ‘anti-imperialism’, but for the same reason that made western opinion makers in their vast majority display a patent lack of sympathy for the cause of the Syrian popular uprising. This reason is above all the lack of confidence in the Syrian uprising, as US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey openly confessed most recently.”

Let Professor Achcar continue:

The third reason to welcome the parliamentary vote is the one most directly predicated on my resolute support to the Syrian popular uprising. The military action that is being contemplated by Washington is about dealing the murderous Syrian regime a few military blows in order to ‘punish’ it for the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

I have hardly any doubt that the Syrian regime did resort to such weapons in its barbaric onslaught on the Syrian people … But this begs the question: is killing up to fifteen hundred people with chemical weapons more serious a crime than killing over a hundred thousand with ‘conventional’ weapons? Why then does Washington want to strike now suddenly after placidly watching the Syrian people being slaughtered, its country devastated, and survivors in the millions turned into refugees and displaced persons?

The truth is that the forthcoming strikes are only intended as a means to restore the ‘credibility’ of the US and its allies in the face of an alliance of the Syrian, Iranian, and Russian governments that has taken full liberty in escalating the war on the Syrian people despite all US calls for compromise …

These strikes will not help the Syrian people: they will increase the destruction and death toll without enabling the Syrians to get rid of their tyrant. They are not intended for this latter goal. In fact, Washington does not want the Syrian people to topple the dictatorship: it wants to force on the Syrian opposition a deal with the bulk of the regime, minus Assad …

However, by denying the mainstream of the Syrian opposition the defensive anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons that they have been requesting for almost two years, while Russia and Iran were abundantly purveying the Syrian regime with weapons (and recently with combatants from Iran and its regional allies), the US administration only managed to achieve two results: on the one hand, it has allowed the Syrian regime to keep the upper hand militarily and thus to believe that it can win; hence, the regime has had no incentive whatsoever to make any concessions …

Had western powers really cared for the Syrian people – or even had Washington been more clever in creating the conditions for the compromise it has been seeking – it would have been easy for them to equip the Syrian opposition with defensive weapons, thus enabling the uprising to turn the tide of the war in such a way as to precipitate a break-up of the regime … It is this reality that refutes the argument of many well-meaning people that arms should be denied to the Syrian opposition because the death toll will be increased.”

He concluded his article with these words: “In the face of the horrible crimes being perpetrated by the Assad regime with the support of Russia, Iran and Iran’s allies, it is the duty of all those who claim to support the right of peoples to self-determination to help the Syrian people get the means of defending themselves.”

He further provided his own brief summary by means of a letter carried in the Evening Standard of 2 September, where he wrote:

All Washington is contemplating, however, is dealing the Syrian regime a few hits to punish it for having used chemical weapons repeatedly. The message is thus: ‘You can carry on slaughtering your people but we forbid you to use weapons whose impact could cross your borders, harming our allies in Israel, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.’ Such strikes will merely increase the death toll without speeding up resolution of the conflict.

The only way to achieve this latter goal is to equip the [mythical] mainstream secular opposition with the defensive anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons it has been requesting for almost two years.”

After this, doubtless tiresome and tortuous, digression through the depraved mind of Professor Achcar, one is surely entitled to ask: Of what possible benefit can a political outfit with such a criminal in one of its driving seats be to the working class?

In fact, Achcar’s ravings remind us of nothing so much as these never-to-be-forgotten words of JV Stalin:

But it follows from this that present-day Trotskyism can no longer be called a political trend in the working class. Present-day Trotskyism is not a political trend in the working class but a gang without principle, without ideas, of wreckers, diversionists, intelligence service agents, spies, murderers, a gang of sworn enemies of the working class, working in the pay of the intelligence services of foreign states.” (‘Mastering Bolshevism’, report to the CC of the CPSU(B), 3 March 1937)

:: The People s Assembly must beware the Grand Old Duke of York, CPGB-ML leaflet (June 2013)

Posted in Politics, UKComments Off on Left Unity: another Trotskyist attempt to mislead the working class

MI5 and the jihadists: an unholy alliance

NOVANEWS

 

Britain’s secret services and reactionary islamists united against Syria.
On 13 March, a teenager from London’s Kurdish community, who was allegedly trying to join a Kurdish military women’s unit fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Syria, was herself charged with a terrorist offence and remanded in custody to Holloway prison.Shilan Ozcelik, aged 18, was arrested earlier this year at Stansted airport and is charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism under the 2006 Terrorism Act.

Her supporters say she travelled to Brussels in an attempt to join the Women’s Protection Units that have fought heroically for the liberation of Kobane from the IS thugs.

Considering the saturation propaganda concerning the barbaric practices of IS (all the better to demonise all people of muslim heritage), one might be forgiven for thinking that Ms Ozcelik would be commended for her courage and her desire to help her people. But clearly one would in fact be very wrong to do so.

Indeed, increasing evidence shows that, all the propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding, the imperialists’ ‘secret state’ is working hand-in-glove with reactionary islamist terrorism. And, as they share the same objective, to destroy any secular, progressive, democratic or socialist-oriented government in the muslim world, it is only natural that they should do so.

This unholy alliance is at work in Syria today, as it was in Libya yesterday, in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, in Afghanistan in the 1980s, in Nasser’s Egypt in the 1960s, and so on.

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Moazzam Begg

One central figure in this current enterprise is former Guantánamo detainee Moazzam Begg. On 2 October 2014, under the heading, ‘Moazzam Begg was in contact with MI5 about his Syria visit, papers show; Defence case corroborated as documents revealed agency told Begg he could continue work for opposition in Syria “unhindered”’, the Guardiannewspaper reported:

“The terrorism case against former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg collapsed after MI5 belatedly gave police and prosecutors a series of documents that detailed the agency’s extensive contacts with him before and after his trips to Syria, the Guardian has learned.

The documents included minutes of meetings that MI5 officers and lawyers held with Begg, at which he discussed his travel plans and explained he was assisting opposition fighters in their war against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“On seeing the material, Crown prosecutors realised it corroborated Begg’s defence case: he insists he was always perfectly candid with MI5, and says the agency assured him no attempt would be made to hinder him if he wanted to return to Syria.

“Begg’s lawyers had disclosed that the meetings had taken place earlier this year during a hearing in open court during which they made an unsuccessful attempt to secure Begg’s release on bail.

“On Wednesday prosecutors told an Old Bailey judge they had ‘recently become aware of relevant material’, and would be offering no evidence against Begg.

“The judge formally entered not guilty pleas on all seven of the terrorism charges that Begg was facing, and he was freed from Belmarsh high-security prison in south London a few hours later.”

The report went on to state that “it is now clear that police and prosecution lawyers involved with the case are angry that the documents were disclosed to them after Begg had spent several months in prison on remand … The Crown Prosecution Service says that had it possessed the material, Begg would not have been charged.

According to the Guardian report: “After the Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011, Begg made several trips to the country, most recently in December 2012 … However, he maintains that during this time he had been in close contact with the intelligence services, keeping them abreast of his plans … 

In the meeting Begg said MI5 were concerned about ‘the possibility of Britons in Syria being radicalised and returning to pose a potential threat to national security. I told them that Britain had nothing to worry about, especially since British foreign policy, at the time, seemed in favour of the rebels.’

“Begg then says he was ‘assured by MI5’ that he could return to Syria and continue his work ‘unhindered’.”

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Jihadi John

Begg is closely associated with a pro-fundamentalist outfit called Cage. In February, further details emerged of the kind of company he and they keep, when the psychopathic butcher dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ in the media – a participant in a vicious and illegal war against the government and people of Syria, and star of revolting IS ‘snuff movies’ depicting the decapitation of hostages – was unveiled as one Mohammed Emwazi, a man who it transpires had numerous contacts with both Cage and MI5.

Bizarrely, Cage maintains that MI5’s attempts to recruit Emwazi are responsible for turning him into a sadistic monster. Prior to this, claimed Cage director Asim Qureshi at a London press conference, Emwazi was an “extremely kind” and “extremely gentle man”.

Whatever the exact relationship between Emwazi and MI5, what nobody has disputed is that he was on their radar in some shape or form for years. Yet, unlike the unfortunate Ms Ozcelik, and despite his apparently being deported from Tanzania years ago at MI5’s behest, he was allowed to slip away unhindered to Syria.

Perhaps this is not so surprising, seeing as how the Islamic State and the British imperialist state are united in their view that “Assad must go”.

 

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Michael Adebolajo

Nor is Emwazi’s the only case of its kind. One of the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo had been “on MI5’s radar” for 10 years and also had extensive contacts with Cage.

The Mail on Sunday reported: “MI5 let Adebolajo go to Kenya where he had terror training and its agents failed to monitor him properly when he returned … After Adebolajo was arrested for butchering Fusilier Rigby, he refused to tell counter-terrorism police where he lived. But in a telling remark, the Old Bailey was told he said ‘MI5 could provide the location because they had visited him earlier this year’.” (‘MI5 tried to recruit Rigby’s killer: agents were courting islamic fanatic just weeks before Woolwich horror’, 19 December 2013)

The Guardian reportedCage also represented the family of Michael Adebolajo, the man who butchered Lee Rigby in a London street in May 2013. After the terrorist atrocity Cage revealed that Adebolajo, seemingly like Emwazi, had been harassed by the security services prior to his violent action.”(‘Cage: the campaigners put in the spotlight by Mohammed Emwazi’, 26 February 2015)

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Shame of Stop the War

What passes for an anti-war movement in this country has said and done nothing in support of Shilan Ozcelik.

But who, one might ask, chaired the surreal press conference where the killer Emwazi was lovingly described as ‘extremely kind’ and ‘extremely gentle’? None other than John Rees, top honcho of the Stop the War Coalition and of the counter-revolutionary Trotskyite sect Counterfire.

It will be recalled that the CPGB-ML was unconstitutionally expelled from Stop the War for our exposure of its misleadership’s support for the counter-revolutionary war unleashed against the progressive Gaddafi government in Libya – a war that has left that once proud African country in ruins. However, the stench from StW’s political corpse is now more revolting than even we could have imagined.

Posted in UKComments Off on MI5 and the jihadists: an unholy alliance


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