The NATO military intervention in Libya in 2011 separated the wheat from the chaff for many people. Those who still support the so-called “Libyan revolution” never mention that it was NATO warplanes that ultimately dislodged the rule of Muammar Ghadhaffi and rendered a once prosperous and independent Libya into a basket case of refugees, slavery, human trafficking and warring jihadi warlords. The ultimate act of blowback from this intervention was the Manchester Arena suicide bombing of 2017 which killed 22 people. For these people there is no connection between British military intervention in Libya and an off-script jihadi blowing himself up in the imperial metropole. These same people who rarely speak of what NATO and its de-facto jihadi henchmen did to Libya also keep their heads well down when it comes to the dirty war on Syria. The GCC, Turkey, Israel and the West joined forces to support the Islamist crazies to not only over throw the Syrian government but destroy the state a la Libya. The CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore means nothing to these people.
This essay is about one of these people. A British based academic with supposedly left wing leanings and courageously declared pronouns. Like many lefty academics, Professor Khalili has had nothing to say about the regime change operations in Libya and Syria or the nasty British guided war on Yemen which has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis but has made British Aerospace billions in arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Like most left leaning British based academics, the domestic politics and society of the United States is the platform she uses to express, furbish and flex her left leaning opinions. During last year’s Zionist war on Palestine, she erroneously informed her tens of thousands of Twitter followers that the Axis of Resistance states i.e Syria and Iran use the Palestinians as “pawns”. But it may well be that it is actually the Professor who is a “pawn” of some shadowy political organisation or at the very least she knows which contemporary issues to avoid to maintain her socio-cultural position.
Most dictionaries would define “bullshit” as making a statement in order to deceive or trick. It is my opinion that this was the intention behind the tweet. From another angle, the tweet wasn’t written in ignorance because Professor Khalili is surrounded by books and has first hand experience of Iranian politics and history. Therefore, a very credible assumption is that her intention was to bullshit her social media followers. I discuss the flawed tweet here.
The British writer David Baddiel’s polemic, Jews Don’t Count outlines his critical observations of politically progressive minded people during Mr. Jeremy Corbyn’s stewardship of the Labour Party between 2015 and 2020. Baddiel’s thesis is that progressive people, at the very least, are beholden to a stubborn anti-semitic blind spot. How is it that progressives jump aghast at the slightest slight towards any given racial, religious or sexual minority but are amiss when people of Jewish faith are maligned or grotesque anti-semitic tropes are instrumentalised to score political points. Ipso facto Baddiel legitimately asks, “why is there not a level playing field around racism?”
First of all, lets the scene. Jeremy Corbyn was overwhelmingly elected as Labour Party leader in September 2015 to the dismay of all wings of the British establishment. Corbyn had opposed the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and domestically always battled for the less privileged in British society. In the leadership race, there was a phenomenal 40 per cent difference between Corbyn and his closest rival. Yet, Corbyn was seen as a hopeless and hapless figure for the next 18 months. In the run up to the June 2017 General Election opinion polls showed the Labour Party trailing Theresa May’s ruling Conservative Party by up to 20 per cent. Pollsters were projecting a shoe-in for May, an increase in the Conservative slim parliamentary majority and a welcome trouncing for Corbyn. Instead, Corbyn’s Labour defied expectations and eliminated the governing Conservative’s majority. He increased the Labour Party vote to the highest it had been since Tony Blair’s first election victory in the 1997.
Many of the episodes Baddiel chronicles in his polemic occurred after the 2017 election. This review will highlight some of those episodes and also focus on its main shortcoming.
An essay about Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) so-called “investments” into the British economy can be read on the al-Mayadeen English website. I argue that investments such as the Saudi Arabian in Newcastle United Football Club, Qatar’s in all aspects of London or UAE in British infrastructure projects are modern day neo-colonial plunder and loot in plain sight.
More and more people are now realizing that Britain’s war time leader, Winston Churchill wasn’t the person they were brought up to think he was. There was simply a lot more to him than the person who refused a peace deal with German Nazism and favoured the continuation of the war between 1939-1941 in the hope the United States would soon enter the conflict.
In principle, Churchill was no more committed to empire, ethnic cleansing and genocide than Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Whereas Hitler’s evil manifested itself on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s, Churchill (and to be fair other European white supremacists and imperialists) justified the same evil in their colonial territories in Africa and Asia. Hitler had briefly established his Empire, the Third Reich, in Europe, whereas Britain and France had established their empires in Africa and Asia. Continue reading
A colourful Twitter beef that caught the eye this summer in the wake of the George Floyd murder at the hands of racist police officers, pitted the esteemed University of Cambridge Professor, Priyamvada Gopal against the right-wing Etonian author Douglas Murray. Gopal has positioned herself as the British liberal establishment’s leading connoisseur for all currents that oppose imperialism and require decolonisation. She published her tomb, Insurgent Empire to rave reviews. While Murray’s bestselling books on immigration and the culture wars has earned him millions of followers. His book, The Strange Death of Europe is one of the leading go-to books for right-wingers on contemporary immigration.
The pithy indictments they fired at each other on Twitter were standard schoolyard barbs. Murray sanctimoniously sneered at Gopal spending time on Twitter as compensation for her lack of academic repertoire, while Gopal predictably retorted that Murray finds it difficult a woman of colour lectures at Cambridge. Their adversarial tweets were not only aimed at each other but also clearly played to their on-line base. Gopal’s to the “woke” generation, Murray’s to the Trumpian/Brexit anti-woke masses. The ‘woke’ term emanated in the United States to help give expression to those who were historically marginalised and enslaved.
However, both authors have one essential thing in common. Continue reading