“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
As we once again darkly commemorate the anniversary of the British-American invasion and destruction of Iraq launched on 20th March 2003 it is important to revisit one of the more endearing fabrications that was peddled in the lead up to that war. Alongside the ‘45 minute claim’ and ‘Uranium purchases from Niger’, one wing of the British establishment also let it be known that Tony Blair’s involvement was due to his subservience to George W. Bush. The latter was the line enthusiastically propagated by Great Britain’s anti-war movement, “Stop the War Coalition” (StW) and also its leading mainstream journalist, the Guardian newspaper’s associate editor, Seumas Milne.
No lesser figure than anti-capitalist social activist and writer Naomi Klein vouches for Milne’s “sound” anti-imperialism.
A year before 9/11 attacks on American soil and the subsequent ‘War on Terror’, Milne wrote an excellent and aptly titled article “Throwing our weight about”. In it he took to task Tony Blair’s infatuation with military interventionism (or ‘humanitarian war’) specifically in Kosovo, Iraq (1998) and Sierra Leone as well as noting British interference in Zimbabwean domestic issues. Milne further endorses Nelson Mandela’s rebuke of Blair, in that he is, Continue reading
Barack Obama’s election victory was greeted with a sigh of relief by most of the world, glad to see the back of George W. Bush. In theUnited Kingdom,America’s first African-American president was also heralded in with a good royal dose of cynicism by political commentators.
Whether it be that the honourable political commentator was of right-wing or left-wing persuasion, all agreed, the euphoria which greeted Barack Obama’s victory in November 2008 was comparable to that which greeted United Kingdom’s Tony Blair upon his first election victory in 1997. As such, and imperially armed with this superficial wisdom, they grandly implied that only disillusionment will materialise from the euphoria of Barack Obama’s victory. British commentators as politically diverse as John Pilger, Richard Littlejohn, A.C.Grayling, Marina Hyde, John Rentoul, Charles Moore and others drew this turgid comparison. Yet a close inspection of certain statistical facts and campaigning strategies which brought both candidates to power, could not be further apart. Continue reading
“We insist on the right to bomb n*gg**s.”
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
With the George W. Bush era now finally drawing to a close and as the Barack Obama presidential era begins to gravitate upon us we need to remind ourselves of a moment when George W. Bush spoke a truth about the Iraq War, which is rarely, if ever, acknowledged.
George W. Bush will be rightly remembered for launching the invasion of Iraq 2003 which led to that nations’s almost complete destruction. He was joined by the British state in this criminal and illegal endeavour. Both the American and British governments launched a propaganda campaign to justify war on Iraq. The most imaginative British contribution to this campaign was to authorise the intelligence about Iraq purchasing Uranium from Niger. When the CIA refused to endorse this intelligence, Continue reading