nazi robot christian ‘socialists’

Stop the War rally tries to restore Corbyn’s tattered anti-war credentials
Robert Stevens, WSWS, Jan 13 2020

Saturday’s London protest opposing war with Iran, organised by the Stop the War Coalition (STWC), attracted fewer than 2,000 people. Other events around the UK were tiny dispirited affairs, made up almost exclusively of members of pseudo-left and Stalinist groups. The paltry numbers involved are testimony to the political bankruptcy and collapse of Britain’s official anti-war movement. Concerned primarily with arguing for British imperialism to pursue a foreign policy more independent from Faschingstein, they offer no genuine way for millions of people to articulate their deeply-held anti-war sentiment. Indeed, the more dangerous the world situation becomes, with Pindostan threatening to wipe out entire nations with the backing of Britain and other imperialist powers, the less the STWC, which turns its face squarely to the rightward-lurching Labour Party and trade union apparatus, is able to mobilise popular support. Saturday’s protest was not a demonstration that had anything to do with a fight against imperialist war. Speakers at the rally repeatedly called for “de-escalation” from “both sides” and for Johnson to “stand up” and oppose Trump. The STWC leadership, made up of Counterfire, a split-off from the SWP, and a handful of ageing Stalinists and other pseudo-left figures, was far more concerned with the fate of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn than the Iranian people. Theirs was a rally dedicated to the political rehabilitation of Corbyn and burnishing his badly tarnished anti-war credentials. In Sep 2015, on taking the leadership of the Labour Party, Corbyn cancelled plans to address a Stop the War meeting and announced his resignation as its chairman. To placate the Blairites in his party, the man who spoke against the Iraq war in 2003 delivered a free vote in Parliament for Labour MPs to back airstrikes on Syria in 2015. His 2017 general election manifesto pledged Labour to NATO membership, committing at least 2% of GDP to military spending and the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system. His 2019 election manifesto declared:

Our armed forces are versatile and capable of fulfilling the full range of roles and obligations.

It decried a situation in which “Trained army personnel have been cut from 102,000 to just over 74,000,” and warned:

The security challenges we face know no borders … a Labour government will undertake a Strategic Defence and Security Review to assess the security challenges facing Britain, including new forms of hybrid, cyber and remote warfare.

Having been rejected in December’s general election by millions of workers who had no faith in his claims to represent a left alternative to the Blairites, Corbyn is due to be replaced as Labour leader in April. He has therefore decided to return to his past practice as a loyal backbencher issuing personal declarations committing him to precisely nothing. Such is his determination to do nothing to upset his right-wing allies that he spoke on Saturday not as Labour leader, but as the vice-president of the largely defunct CND. He began by drawing an equivalence between Pindo imperialism and Iran. Tehran’s accidental shootdown a Ukrainian passenger jet killing 176 people last week, at the height of the most recent Pindo war scare, was “part of a whole pattern of appalling acts across the region.” he said:

There’s no excuse for shooting down an airliner, there’s no excuse for a targeted assassination by one state against another.

One wouldn’t have known that it was Pindostan that had launched war after war over the past 30 years in the Middle East, invading, occupying and using its proxy armies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Corbyn’s message was received loud and clear by the Blairite Guardian, whose report of the rally was headlined thus:

Jeremy Corbyn: Iran has ‘no excuses’ for shooting down airliner. Outgoing Labour leader tells anti-war march that missile attack was an ‘appalling act.’

According to Corbyn, there was nothing the imperialist powers could not achieve in the cause of peace. Johnson himself could be a peace broker, said Corbyn, as he appealed:

This year’s NNPT review conference must be a real one for once! One where we recognise the potential power of the NNPT to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons and help to bring about nuclear disarmament! An opportunity to review the Iranian deal, to bring about a conference to end WMDs all across the Middle Eastern region, and help to bring peace, justice and human rights to all the peoples of that area of the world! We must stand up for international law, for peace and for justice all around the world! … Our message today is that we want a British government that will follow those principles, that will take those principles to the UN and make those principles the centre of its foreign policy!

Salma Yaqoob, former leader of the pseudo-left Respect Party, now seeking to be Labour’s candidate for West Midlands’ mayor, challenged Johnson:

How low are you prepared to go on bended knee to Trump? Stand up, man!

Opening the rally was Andrew Murray, a close adviser to Corbyn. A former chair of STWC, he is also chief of staff at the UNITE trade union and was introduced to the rally by CND leader and fellow Stalinist Kate Hudson as speaking “on behalf of UNITE.” Murray stated:

All of us here today wish that Jeremy Corbyn was in 10 Downing Street and there is a battle going on to defend the foreign policy which Jeremy Corbyn has always championed on platforms like this one, a policy that is needed more than ever. .. I urge everyone standing for leader of the Labour Party to make it absolutely clear they are not going to heed the advice of Tony Blair who says Labour must return to support the western foreign policy as he puts it.

What a fraud. Thanks to Corbyn’s political cowardice, he will likely be succeeded by the Blairite ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer. Moreover, the likely winner of the position of deputy, backed by Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, is Angela Rayner, who has praised Blair and insisted following Corbyn’s defeat:

All shades of red are needed in our UK Labour party to take on this nasty Tory government who are wrecking our country.

Despite caveats about Pindostan having no right to be in the Middle East, the Pabloite Tariq Ali insisted from the platform Saturday “that both sides have to de-escalate.” Introducing Corbyn, he grovelled:

I want to say on your behalf to him, welcome home Jeremy! We need you here! … We need Jeremy here, to help us fight and to help you lead the fight, for as long as he can or as long as he wants to, but we need him out here with us! We need him to be the voice of the anti-war movement in this country!

Some of the leading figures in STWC, including Tariq Ali and John Rees of Counterfire, are also leading personnel in the Don’t Extradite Assange campaign, where they have spent months claiming that Corbyn could not speak up in defence of Julian Assange because this would be used against him by the media to prevent his election. One month after Labour’s defeat, they not only joined Corbyn in his continued silence on Assange, but closed ranks to protect him from criticism. When Corbyn was challenged on Saturday as to why he did not speak out on Assange, he scowled in obvious disgust, as did Andrew Murray. He was then bundled away by his minders.

UK protesters speak out against war on Iran
WSWS, Jan 13 2020


WSWS reporters spoke to attendees at Saturday’s demonstrations in the UK against the danger of war in Iran. Carol, who attended the London protest with her friend Titch, had planned to protest at Belmarsh prison in support of Julian Assange but decided to attend the Iran war protest in London at the last minute. She said:

The thought of us fighting against Iran is terrible. Exposing lies is very important … I believe Dr David Kelly was murdered, but our government will never admit that. He said there were no WMDs… It’s very dangerous. You’ve got the Iranians, who have come out and said that they did shoot down the passenger plane and that it was a mistake, but the blood is still on Trump’s hands. This was all because of Trump. It was started long before him, but he has kicked it to another level.

Titch was critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was speaking at his first Stop the War protest in five years. She referred to the regime change operation orchestrated by Pindostan and UK in Iran:

It all began in 1953, when we overthrew the Iranian government to strengthen the Shah. In 1979, the Iranian people overthrew him. Ever since then, Pindostan and the UK have had it in for Iran. They’re going to do whatever they can to get in there and tear up that country. Everyone knows it. I used to be a massive supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. But something happened to him a couple of years ago. He started to back-pedal and he offered a second referendum. And then there was the anti-Semitism campaign against him. He has long been pro-Palestine, but instead of saying no, and drawing attention to the situation with Israel and Palestine, he’s merely been saying, ‘I don’t accept any racism in the party’ and confirmed their narrative. I was screaming at him, saying, ‘What are you doing? We know you’re not an anti-Semite! Why are you backing up their lies?’ Why couldn’t he just get rid of the Blairites? Didn’t Boris Johnson do something similar in the Conservative Party by expelling 20 rebel MPs over Brexit? He said to them that they’re either on board with this or you’re out of here. Why couldn’t Corbyn do the same? Everybody would’ve stood behind him! There would’ve been an ocean of people absolutely behind him! So, what happened? He had this support. Didn’t he trust us? And if he can’t trust us, should we trust him? I think Labour is finished. Now that Corbyn has gone, all of these anti-Semitism slurs have just disappeared. It was a smear campaign. It’s the same situation with Julian Assange … This is about free press. This is about human rights. If they can take these rights off Julian Assange today, you can waive your rights away tomorrow. As long as one of us doesn’t have these rights, none of us do. People should be petrified about this… Wasn’t Jeremy Corbyn against Trident? He just did a 180-degree turn and changed his mind on so many things that so many people supported him on. I don’t think Labour has any future with any of the people they’re going to put in charge. I think we need a whole new system. This whole system needs to be taken down and we need to think of another way.

Tia (L) and Maddy

Maddy, who attended the protest with her friend Tia, noted:

We’ve seen this all happen before, with the Iraq war. We saw how that went. It was a complete tragedy.

Tia said:

The thought of there being more destruction in an area which has just been decimated over and over is really heartbreaking. There’s no chance of any resources being put into recovery, or into making positive change, when war mongering is the only option that our leaders seem to go for.

Jane noted:

I’m on the demonstration to highlight the persecution of Julian Assange. Julian is locked up in Belmarsh prison because he spoke out against war crimes, and the fight to save him is the fight against war as well. I think all the terrible political and environmental issues we’re facing are connected. A consciousness is starting to emerge in the world, where people know there is something terribly wrong and it’s getting to the point where it’s either do or die. I think all our problems are caused by a system that sits above and beyond the government, which is about money and power and oppression, with a few very rich and very powerful people in charge.

Labour Party member Diane noted:

Donald Trump is being impeached and it is a perfect diversion to start a war. Historically, that is what they do. Clinton did it. I think ideologically they are the same. I think big corporations, big business, is behind what’s going on in the world. It is terrifying … how far it has gone to the right.

John Kelsey stated:

I’m here today to stop war and because it’s been a Pindo strategy for the last 30 years to dominate the Middle East.

Lucia, a student visiting the UK from Spain, said:

I don’t believe in war with anybody. People need to come together to solve all our problems, including climate change. Trump caused the problem, to create division between other countries to impose Pindo imperialism.

Deanna remarked:

I am definitely against what Trump is doing. People don’t understand what’s going on, but they need to know.

About 100 people demonstrated on the steps of a bombed-out church in Liverpool called St Luke’s which is preserved in memory of the devastation inflicted during WW2. David and Stephen, 16-year-old school students attended to express their opposition to war on Iran. David explained:

I am here because I’m against war. I’m against violence. Suleimani was visiting Iraq to sort out peace, so it wasn’t good that he was murdered. Most people don’t want war. I saw on the media that Iranian people like people in Pindostan. They just don’t like the president … I imagine they don’t want to go to war with Pindostan. Pindostan would probably use nuclear weapons, like in WW2, in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. They didn’t need to drop the bomb. Japan were already on the verge of surrender. Pindostan killed Suleimani to prove they have the power to destroy. They want the oil. With how advanced weapons are today, there’s no future if war breaks out.

Stephen noted:

It’s my first rally. I agree with stopping tension and war. It will affect the higher up people, but it affects the working class more and future generations, and ruins things for everyone. They won’t listen to us, what we want.

Jennifer, a qualified social worker at a mental health charity, said:

I feel strongly that the Iran war is detrimental and I think we’re going into it blindly with Pindostan. We can’t just sit back. We all need to get out there and say no.

About 60 protesters gathered in Bradford City centre on Sunday. Performing arts student Carol brought her own banner reading “Don’t Attack Iran.” She said:

Ever since the news first appeared I was thinking, what do we expect from a president who’s got a mindset for war? There are lots of tensions between lots of places which could get out of hand. A lot of the attacks in the Middle East are based on lies. They are trying to find excuses to get more power and more money as that’s all that matters to them. Talking to my friends on social media, we are all opposed to what’s happening but feel a bit helpless about what to do.

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