Why Margaret Thatcher hearted Islamists

Upon Margaret Thatcher’s death, her champions naturally eulogised her as a fighter for liberal democracy in Eastern Europe, while her detractors brought attention to the fact that she was highly supportive, even complimentary, of dictators and apartheid in the Global South such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Chile, Indonesia and South Africa as well as her assistance to the genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Overlooked in both scenarios is her support of political Islamism and by extension Jihadis. Here is Thatcher in December 1979, advocating a political Islam as a counterweight to left-wing or communist ideology which she derogatively dubbed “imported Marxism”:

“I do not believe that we should judge Islam by events in Iran…There is a tide of self-confidence and self-awareness in the Muslim world which preceded the Iranian revolution, and will outlast its present excesses. The West should recognise this with respect, Continue reading

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Stop the War Coalition – Droning into Irrelevance?

Stop the War Coalition (StW), Britain’s main anti-war movement held an anniversary commemoration on the 9th February 2013.  It’s been more or less 10 years since over a million people marched in the UK’s capital to demonstrate against the UnitedStates-UnitedKingdom build up to the war and invasion on Iraq.

One must commend and congratulate the organisers for possessing the foresight to hold this event. They began promoting it in late October/early November 2012. Their foresight was rewarded with a fantastic attendance of many hundreds and I presume this turnout inspired everyone who attended. The number of attendees solidly confirmed that there continues to be a strong impulse in the UK against mindless adventurism, imperialist war and international brigandry.

However, the main problem with the event was the Continue reading

Why the United States must Reject British Foreign Policy in Syria.

One of the effects of the Obama presidency is that it has turned international warmongering on its head. The script, has been somewhat flipped. During the George W. Bush era there was very little doubt who was perceived to be leading the mindless, breast-beating clamour for war. What is now clear and impossible to avoid is that the United Kingdom is assuming the lead in calling for more Western intervention in the Middle East. As such and like Libya, the British have been leading the calls for a United States led intervention in Syria.[1]

In an interview with the historian Niall Ferguson, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, declared his “frustration” at the lack of interest in intervening in Syria. He had similarly declared his frustration when it did not seem the British were going to be granted an intervention in Libya.[2]

Since Obama’s re-election Cameron has raised the verbal stakes in advocating intervention in Syria. Firstly, on the day of Obama’s historic re-election and on the back of peddling weapons to the Persian Gulf despots Continue reading

British Colonial Strategy and the 9/11 Blowback.

Osama bin Laden gained his reputation as a militant Islamist during the Western backed counter-insurgency – so-called “jihad” – against the Soviet Union’s invasion ofAfghanistanin the 1980’s

The main strategy employed by the West during this campaign to contain and repel the Soviet invasion was to recruit Islamists from around the world[1] in a war against ‘godless communism’.

Needless to say, this alliance or collusion between the West and Islamist did not originally arise with the invasion ofAfghanistanby Soviet troops. Its provenance can easily be traced back to the challenges faced by British Imperialism in the earlier part of the twentieth century. Continue reading

Unpacking Imperial Britain’s Islamists.

Imperial Britain duplicitously completed its control of the Middle East during World War one with the famous ‘Arab Revolt’. Sharif Hussain, the leader of the north-western Hijaz region of Arabian peninsula, was given the strong impression that Britain would support an independent and unified Arab state in exchange for support against the Ottoman Caliphate, which had taken the side of Germany. This strong impression is mainly contained in the Hussain-Macmahon letters.[1] 

Imperial Britain, of course, literally had other ideas. Simultaneously and unbeknown to Sharif Hussain, Britain had also made a commitment with France and Tsarist Russia to jointly carve up the Ottoman Caliphate as well as a commitment to “facilitate” the creation of “Jewish National Home” to a small band of European Zionists in Palestine. Continue reading