Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Neo-Labour's Election Loss

Comment on Neo-Labour's recent loss in Glasgow;


Some have said that if we don't back Labour, the Tories might get back in! It is a fear - a government pushing privatization, wars, colluding with vicious right-wing governments, colluding with big corporations and so on - hang on - that's now! Face it, the electoral system offers a choice between the Devil (Neo-Labour) and the Deep Blue Sea (Tories).

Neo-Labour is dead.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Battle of Genoa

There is a very good write-up on the police riot of Genoa in the Guardian;

"There are several good reasons why we should not forget what happened to Covell, then aged 33, that night in Genoa. The first is that he was only the beginning. By midnight on July 21 2001, those police officers were swarming through all four floors of the Diaz Pertini building, dispensing their special kind of discipline to its occupants, reducing the makeshift dormitories to what one officer later described as "a Mexican butcher's shop". They and their colleagues then illegally incarcerated their victims in a detention centre, which became a place of dark terror....Genoa tells us that when the state feels threatened, the rule of law can be suspended. Anywhere."

We should also not forget how much of the media just climbed on-board with the faked police account of what happened. I single out the Daily Mail & it's 'journalist' Lucie Morris as the worst. But the deeper meaning in the article holds true. When the state feels threatened, than and and all means become available;

"No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges."
Buenaventura Durruti

It is worth remembering this are we move into the age of the end of oil.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bombing as Infotainment

There is an interesting article and debate going on at Bristol Indymedia about the Fairford Air Tattoo. It is attacked first on climate grounds;

The worlds biggest fossil fuel burning Jamborie is about to start this weekend, with plances flying in from all around the world to make the business of bombing more family friendly than the business of climate change.

Then on militarism;

It is hard to see this as anything other than War Porn - the fetishistic rituals of war and killing. We can see the shiny places and uniforms, but hidden is the real cost of this industry - people. Ten of thousands of men, women and children have been killed by these machines in Iraq and Afganistan and thanks to Depleted Uranium and Cluster Bombs, the air-genocide will continue to kill long after the bombing has stopped.

Indeed to both! Then I read this in the news;

A US air strike killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children, as they were travelling to a wedding in Afghanistan, an official inquiry found today. The bride was among the dead. Another nine people were wounded in Sunday's attack, the head of the Afghan government investigation, Burhanullah Shinwari, said. Fighter aircraft attacked a group of militants near the village of Kacu in the eastern Nuristan province, but one missile went off course and hit the wedding party, said the provincial police chief spokesman, Ghafor Khan. The US military initially denied any civilians had been killed.

It is hard not to see a connection between the idolisation of these aircraft that elevates them (via entertainment such as this) to the status of 'Wunderwaffen', that bomb people from thousands of feet, and the results of the bombing, which no matter how much it might be argued, try to avoid civilian casualties, are going to because you cannot fight an insurgency with air-power;

Here's the simplest truth of air power, then or now. No matter how technologically "smart" our bombs or missiles, they will always be ordered into action by us dumb humans; and if, in addition, they are released into villages filled with civilians going about their lives, or heavily populated urban neighbourhoods where insurgents mix with city dwellers (who may or may not support them), these weapons will, by the nature of things, by policy decision, kill noncombatants. If an AC-130 or an Apache helicopter strafes an urban block or a village street where people below are running, some carrying weapons and believed to be "suspected insurgents," it will kill civilians. The disadvantage of "distant war" is that you normally have no way of knowing why someone is running, or why they are carrying a weapon, or usually who they really are.

On the subject of Iraq, as I sadly often am, one of the architects of the policy, the Neo-Labour Party, continues to meltdown and yet some people still think the leaders who took us along the path of some of the most vitriolic right-wing and genocidal government actions in the last decade, some still think it can be saved;

Brown is wrong to want a low-key election. The Labour candidate can only win on an aggressive, socialist programme. Margaret Curran, the MSP for the area, should lead the campaign. She is an east-ender, has socialist roots and is good on her feet.

Get with it! C'mon, if Neo-Labour were willing to kill a million people in Iraq, what makes you think there is anything left to be moral and socialist about? Get real. Neo-labour is a right-wing husk and we should let Brown carry on burying it.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Guerrilla Wars: They're Not Over until the Guerrillas Win

Great article on the insurgency in Iraq and why the U$A will loose - same may well apply to Afghanistan;

Fact number one about guerrilla wars: They're not over until the guerrillas win. Mao set out the guerrilla's viewpoint 80 years ago: "The enemy wants to fight a short war, but we simply will not let him." The longer the guerrillas stay in the game, the sicker the occupying army gets. Sooner or later, they'll go home -- because they can. It's that simple, and it works. So anyone who tells you it's over is just plain ignorant. That's one thing you can rule out instantly.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bookfair is Go!

The recently formed Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective is delighted to announce the date and location for 2008: St Werburghs Centre, Horley Rd, Bristol BS2 9TJ
Saturday 13 September, from 10am to 5pm
All welcome - free entry

For full info see http://www.bristol.indymedia.org/article/688486 and

Plus there is a benefit night soon:

The second Bristol Anarchist Bookfair benefit on Wednesday the 16th of July at the Croft, with: Inner Terrestrials, the Usual Suspects and Spanner hitting the Croft, Bristol:
Inner Terrestrials - political ska-punk heavyweights from London
The Usual Suspects - dub tha punx from Belgium
Spanner - Bristol's own skanking ska-punk heros

Funds go to the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

Cost of a Life

There is an article in the Guardian entitled 'Price of a life proves to be £192,276';

A British man living in Perth, Australia, who put his entire life up for auction on eBay following the break-up of his marriage, has found that it was not worth as much as he had hoped. Ian Usher, a 44-year-old salesman, held a seven-day online auction of his home, friends and job. Hoax bids pushed the price beyond A$2m but yesterday an Australian bidder agreed to pay A$399,300 (£192,276), A$100,000 below his target.

I feel I need to point out that that is the price of a life in the rich west, if you are an Iraqi or Afgan, then life is a lot cheaper;

[Documents] show 164 incidents [of claims by surviving Iraqi and Afghan family members of civilians] resulted in cash payments to family members; in around half of those cases, the United States accepted responsibility for the death and offered a 'compensation payment.' In the other half, US authorities issued discretionary 'condolence' payments, capped at $2,500 (or £1260)), "as an expression of sympathy" but "without reference to fault."

Australian: £192,276
Iraqi or Afghan: £1260

That is another price of the war of terror. Another interesting article is about how the US army torture tactics being used in the War of Terror have been copied from the communist Chinese army! You can't make it up!

The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of 'coercive management techniques' for possible use on prisoners, including 'sleep deprivation,' 'prolonged constraint,' and 'exposure.'....What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners....The 1957 article from which the chart was copied was entitled "Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War" and written by Alfred D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force, who died in 2003. Mr. Biderman had interviewed American prisoners returning from North Korea, some of whom had been filmed by their Chinese interrogators confessing to germ warfare and other atrocities.