Battle of Algiers: Decolonising the Imperial Elephant in the Room.

“This whole world is a corn field son, look out for flying locusts….” Dead Prez, Psychology

Having attended an event organised by the “Decolonising our Minds Society” commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the film ‘The Battle of Algiers’ subtitled, “Decolonisation and the War on Terror” held on the 14th February at London’s SOAS Brunei Gallery one is compelled to comment on a glaring omission. The film is based on the revolutionary Algerian struggle against French imperialism and depicts the torture meted out to freedom fighters by the colonialists. Dr. Sohail Daulatzai, the main speaker, has written a book commemorating the anniversary of the film.

Parallels and similarities were made between the torture administered by French imperialists to Algerians fighting for their freedom and Muslims in today’s ‘War on Terror’.  No doubt there is and both are morally inexcusable. However, there was a glaring difference or omission that was either not explored or deliberately overlooked: the reason why the ‘War on Terror’ was launched by the United States.

Obviously, we need first to establish how the Algerian revolt came about. French imperialism had been ruling Algeria for over 130 years. One of the speakers, Continue reading

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Has the British Empire Breached Star Wars?

A galactic contradiction simmers beneath the surface of the recent Star Wars franchise.

The franchise is in the midst of being extended with a further trilogy. The first of this new trilogy was Star Wars: The Force Awakens released a couple of years ago and now there is, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Central to the plot of all Star Wars franchises are group of people i.e. the so-called Resistance, who are pursued by the “dark side” as originally manifested by the Galactic Empire.

Remnants of the Empire survived military extinction in the final episode of the original trilogy are now referred to, in this new trilogy, as the ‘First Order’ and once again looking to establish Imperial supremacy. Continue reading

Clive Ponting on the Myth of Dunkirk

The film Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan, has raked in almost $500 million dollars. One of the sub-plots of the film, that is the sea aspect of it, shows an everyday ‘Joe’ played by Mark Rylance, courageously sailing the English Channel to rescue the retreated and stranded Tommy holed up on the coast of Dunkirk. But as the British historian Clive Ponting conclusively tells us in his book, 1940: Myth and Reality, this was very much a propagandistic interpretation what actually happened:

“One of the myths of Dunkirk is that the troops were evacuated from the beaches by an armada of small boats manned by volunteers from all over England. Continue reading

Why are some People of Colour Activists apologists for White Activists?

Several years ago, it occurred to me how pitiful the state of anti-imperialist activity in England had become. A certain character (i.e. “political activist”) parading under the name of Daniel Renwick delivered a speech on an anti-imperialist platform just after the Nato-Jihadi operation to unseat the government of Libya was completed with the public lynching of the Colonel Muammar al-Ghadhaffi which the British media welcomed by gloating and celebrating his martyrdom.

On this platform, Renwick declared that Britain had become, culturally speaking, an anti-imperialist country. He supported this falsely ridiculous assertion by correctly informing the attendees at the meeting that British people have grown an appetite for foreign food and also because Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) employs a culturally diverse selection of football players from around the world. Hence, MCFC were “global” and therefore anti-imperialist, whereas a football club such as Liverpool, which at that time presumably did not employ a diverse squad, was not. What I eventually found most disturbing Continue reading

A Note on the Geopolitics of South Yemeni Separatism.

Now in its third year, the British co-ordinated Saudi Arabian led war on Yemen shows no sign of abating. Thousands of people have been indiscriminately killed and the northern part of Yemen is literally laid to waste as British made weaponry is tested on Yemenis. Last year there were reports of famines and now there are reports of hundreds of thousands of cases of cholera. The country which was already one of the poorest in the world is now further pulverised, impoverished and devastated.

The Saudis have been enthusiastically supported, primarily by the British establishment, from the very beginning of this attack on Yemen. Surreally and cruelly, one of the richest countries in the world is bombing the poorest country in the peninsula.

One of the most daunting aspects of the Saudi-British war on Yemen is the support it has received from most of the population of South Yemen. By South Yemen I mean the area that was formally known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. This support compels one to ask why have Southerners welcomed the Saudi-British led military campaign? Continue reading