Netstorms

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Category: Politics (Page 1 of 12)

A Certain Perception

I wrote the following as a comment elsewhere and (as is my wont) I’m reposting here:

The IHRA ‘definition’ has it that:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non- Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The proposition here is that antisemitism is not equivalent to antipathy towards Jews (though it may be expressed as such) it is a ‘certain perception of Jews’ but that perception is not described and therefore has no gives no information and therefore cannot define anything.

Nevertheless this ‘definition’ has been adopted by the Labour party. Since it is empty of meaning examples were necessary to give it any utility. I understand that the NEC found four of the eleven IHRA examples problematic and made ammendments. The four examples are: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”“Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

To take just one of these examples: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” This is problematic because it could be taken to deny expression of a legitimate interpretation that the founding of the state of Israel, by priveliging one ethnic group over another and through its implementation was a racist endeavour. It could also be taken to deny expression of the thought that the current policies and practices of the state of Israel are racist. It might be argued that the wording does not deny these expressions as it concerns itself with the existence of the State of Israel not with its founding or its policies and practices but what expression does it then deny? Mere existence cannot be said to be an endeavour at all let alone a ‘racist endeavour’; existence is a precondition to any endeavour. Phrasing such as this can be taken to mean very little or very much. It is correct to say that the definition with its examples is not fit for purpose if that purpose is sanctioning antisemitic racism while protecting the right to speak freely against oppression and injustice wherever and by whomever it is perpetrated.

It is the right of any autonymous organisation or community to determine how, subject to national laws, it is governed internally. It is the duty of such organisations to apply due diligence to the adoption of guidelines. To abrogate that responsibility to outside bodies would be a dereliction of duty on the part of elected officers.

The Antisemitism Heresy

Marc Wadsworth

More than 40 Labour MPs formed a human shield around their Jewish colleague Ruth Smeeth this morning as she arrived at a disciplinary hearing of an activist accused of being anti-Semitic towards her.

Flanked by dozens of her colleagues, Ms Smeeth, an outspoken campaigner against anti-Jewish hatred in the Labour Party, was heckled by far-left activists demonstrating outside the hearing in Westminster.

She was due to give evidence against Marc Wadsworth, a Jeremy Corbyn supporter who is alleged to have accused her of colluding with the media during a press conference on anti-Semitism two years ago.

The exchange, which took place at the launch of Labour’s Chakrabarti report, resulted in Ms Smeeth breaking down in tears.

Mr Wadsworth was condemned afterwards by Baroness Chakrabarti, who said he had behaved “incredibly rudely”. He was later suspended pending investigation.

Read more from the Telegraph 24 April 2018: http://tgr.ph/Hj0MNJ

As Smeeth walks out (from the Chakrabarti Report Launch) I hear Jeremy Corbyn dealing with what Wadsworth has said. He is dealing with it calmly, no dramatics. This is what I expect from politicians, rationality. I am too often disappointed. ‘How dare you? How absolutely dare you?’ shouts Smeeth Is that what we should expect from those who have the privilege to represent us? Yes Wadsworth is clumsy, but Smeeth is cruel.

When she shouts ‘how dare you’ and walks out it no longer matters what Wadsworth has said, what he alleges, Smeeth has changed the nature of the interaction argument to intimidation. How dare he challenge her? To challenge authority and privilege is indeed an act of daring. Observe this carefully, observe where power lies and ask who is being victimised.

Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the party, not for the antisemitism that he had been accused of but for ‘bring the party into disrepute’. It is not however Wadsworth who has brought the party into disrepute it is Smeeth. To my eyes it is Smeeth but I suppose my eyes do not matter.

Ken Livingstone

Ken Livingstone has been in the news again. The fuss over a remark he made two years ago continues.

It seems to me that Ken made a daft and irrelevant remark that was not dismissed as a daft remark but was immediately attacked as heresy. I find the reaction a lot more scarily fascistic than anything Ken said ..

Where there is free speech there are going to things said that offend others. Sometimes this will be understandable and we will take other people’s being offended or hurt into account, at other times we will explain why what we have said is important to us.

I understand the sensitivities around comparing the behaviour of the Israeli state to that of the Nazi regime but where the analogy is apt it should not be out of bounds. The analogy is not used of particular Israel individuals, behaviours or institutions on account of their Jewishness but on account of their oppressiveness and to fail to condemn that oppressiveness is as much a betrayal of those who suffered under Nazi oppression as it is of those who suffer in Gaza under Israeli oppression. This Holocaust survivor makes this point powerfully:

(BTW, I do not endores the headlined equivalency. I don’t know much about the Zionist philosophy but I condemn oppressive Israeli practices)

Assad – No Angel No Demon

The demonisation of Bashar al Assad and the Syrian government has reached absurd proportions but he is no demon.

To be continued ..

Melanie Phillips on Islamophobia and Antisemitism

“Antisemitism is not just a form of racism, it is a unique derangement that is based entirely on lies and demonisation. The same cannot be said of what is considered Islamophobia” says Melanie Phillips.

The implication here is that racism is not a derangement based entirely on lies and demonisation, that there are elements of rationality in racism. This is not true even on the most basic logical premise since racism is assigning negative qualities prejudicially to individuals in a group (demonising) on the assumption that all members of that group have those negative qualities.

Phillips’s statement about the way ‘Islamophobia’ is used to shut down legitimate criticism of Muslim communities is not something I would take issue with but the very same fomulation she uses can be applied to the way ‘antisemitism’ is used:

“Any criticism of Israel is considered antisemitic .. and is used as a means of shutting down legitimate criticism of the Israeli government. The term antisemitism itself is used to cover legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and specific Jewish institutions or individuals; criticism on the grounds of their behaviour an not of their Jesishness.”

The Skripal Absurdities

Last month, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the nerve agent used in the attack was delivered in liquid form. Police had previously said they believed the pair had been poisoned at the front door of Skripal’s home as specialists found the highest concentration of the nerve agent on the door.

Almost 200 military personnel in protective suits and boots will spend months decontaminating nine sites in the town.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/04/skripals-poisoned-by-novichok-in-liquid-form-watchdog-says

So the story changes again. The Skripals must have been sprayed with Novichok rather than having been exposed to it through its being smeared on their front door handle by Russians trained in the art of door knob smearing. That makes so much more sense and explains the nine hotspots. But hang on .. Were the Skripals sprayed nine times with a lethal fast acting nerve agent in nine different places or were they sprayed once and trailed the lethal fast acting nerve agent around with them to nine different places? Perhaps there was a Russian with a water pistol following them from place to place and continuially missing until that one last time. It’s a miracle no one else was harmed by this stupendeously clumsy assassin.

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

I sometimes wonder if the point of this theatre of the absurd is to condition us to believe all the improbable and impossible arguments that the government wants to sell to us.

BTW The Wikipedia definition of ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ is jarringly relevant to our current situation:

The Theatre of the Absurd (French: théâtre de l’absurde [teɑtʁ(ə) də lapsyʁd]) is a post–World War II designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work focused largely on the idea of existentialism and expressed what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.

Local Elections 3 May 2013

The picture is of me as ward secretary with three councillors, Jenny Bailey, Omana Gangadharan and Lester Hudson, representing my ward in Newham. It’s safe to say that Newham is a safe Labour borough but we campaigned actively winning all 60 seats and getting our new mayoral candidate Rokhsana Fiaz elected as Mayor.

I freely admit that I do not know much about the intricacies of national and party politics and so I was initially puzzled that some Labour supporters were disappointed by the overall results of the local elections in which Labour was well ahead in the number of seats gained. But I understand now that only 150 out of 405 councils held elections this year and a map of those councils shows a sea of blue with a few islands of red. It was this support boosted in the May 2017 local elections that made Theresa May miscalculate the odds of smashing Labour in the June 2018 general elections. With a total of 20,209 councillors, an increase by 77 is a drop in the ocean. Nevertheless given the mobilisation of the MSM and establishment against the Corbyn project a hold is a creditable performance. There is a lot of work to do if the Corbyn project is to succeed and given the orientation of the MSM much of this work has to involve very deep conversation that challenges political and ethical assumptions.

LGC-18.05.17-Council-Control-Map

The Douma Deception

It’s hard to believe that I posted these pictures of some newspapers to Facebook just two days ago. In the space of three days since Monday morning the world has come to the point where the two most powerful nuclear armed nations are threatening to go to war with each other.

Douma is part of the East Ghouta where the Syrian government have been fighting the rebel/jihadi groups that have occupied the area. THey had defeated most of the rebels and recaptured most of East Ghouta when the Douma incident happened and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemical weapons on Douma.

Over the past three days I have posted a lot of stuff to Facebook and taken part in a number of discussions in Facebook groups. I don’t want to lose track of that content so I am reproducing some of my Facebook posts to this blog.

Propaganda

Propaganda and media distortion has been a feature of the Empire’s war on Syria since 2011.

Blaming Assad for all the killings in Syria is part of the West’s strategy to destabilise or destroy that country but people who have been to Syria and spoken to Syrians often report widespread support for Assad and question the ‘Butcher of Damascus’ narrative. This 2013 report by Mairead Maguire challenges that narrative:

“The US and the CIA should stop this illegal and counter productive war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad and should stay focussed on fighting who our enemy is, the Islamic extremist groups.”

I like this congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard. But Wolf Blitzer’s attempt to blame 200,000 to 300,00 deaths on Assad should be challenged. As well as supporting the insurgents militarily the US and its allies have been waging a propaganda campaign targeting Assad. We should not trust anything we hear on the mainstream media without examining it thoroughly.

For anyone who does not remember the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016. The US was doing its best to talk up an impending massacre a humanitarian disaster Samantha Power asked of Russia “have you no shame?”

Maria Zakharova had this reply from Russia:

When Aleppo was retaken by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies in December we did not see the massacres of civilians that Clinton and much of the US and UK mainstream media predicted instead we saw people relieved, celebrating their liberation from the oppression of the terrorists that Clinton, Obama, Cameron and Hollande had enabled. I highly recommend that you watch this short French documentary featuring interviews with the people of Aleppo:

As East Ghouta is liberated from the terrorists we see moving videos of their hostages exiting the liberated neighbourhoods. They are grateful to the army, they shout ‘God, Syria, Bashar’. This looks like a film produced by a state broadcaster but can anyone look at the faces, the emotions of these people and tell me that they are not genuine?

False Flag in Douma

The Russians informed the UN about chemical armaments found in liberated areas of East Ghouta almost a month ago.

They warned that “In East Ghuta, rebel jihadist fighters were preparing the staging of another alleged use of chemical weapons, which would then be blamed on the Syrian government and serve as a cause for a USA “reprisal” strike against Damascus.”

This video of suffering and dead children is distressing. Maybe it indicates that they were victims of chemical agents but it does not indicate that the were victims of the Syrian government using chemical weapons. It is counter intuitive, contrary to reason, to believe that with the Syrian Army on the brink of victory in Ghouta that they would needlessly use weapons whose use would give the worrld’s most powerful armed forces to attack them.

I don’t know how the chemicals might have gotten to the rebels/jihadists but look at this video from Tom Duggan a British journalist living in Damascus. He is walking through an arms factory in a liberated area of East Ghouta. It is clear that the rebels/jihadists have access to quite sophisticated armaments. It is clear that military supplies are coming in from somewhere.

Also:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/421515-ghouta-syria-chemical-weapons/

The stakes are high. I’m not going to speculate about the Skripal case here but the way it has been used is to try to isolate Russia. This fits in with an agenda to attack Syria while Russia is on the backfoot. There is clearly coordination between the US and UK governments.

For me this image says it all – Syria, by the way, is the lady in the middle:

They are liars. And they know that they are liars

Here Syria’s ambassador Bashar Ja’afari responds to the threats of the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Halley, quoting the famous writer Najib Mahfouz:

“They are liars. And they know that they are liars.
And they know that we know that they are liars.
Even so, they keep lying very loudly so”

Exactly so. Everyone who looks knows that the US/UK are lying. Ja’afari tells them that he expects them lie about a chemical attack in order to justify an attack and a month later there is a chemical attack and they are using it to justify attacking Syria.

It is no big secret that false flags are standard practice for the Americans

Speaking of liars, here is Boris Johnson explaining how much the UK was giving in ‘non-humanitarian aid’ (what that) to help the White Helmets and to fund ‘police forces’ in Hama, Aleppo and Idlib, you know, the areas that were occupied by rebel/jihadists aka terrorists, at the time. What justifies setting up police forces in someone else’s country?

No Evidence

Unlike the case in other incidents Russian forces now have control of part of Douma and are able to inspect and invite inspections of the alleged chemical attack site.

The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, opened the meeting by describing the reports about the alleged chemical attack in Douma and the subsequent airstrike against the Syrian T-4 air base. He called for an “independent investigation” of the alleged chemical incident and urged restraint for all sides, in view of the airbase attack.

Russia is deeply concerned by the fact that some capitals, Washington as well as London and Paris, which are “blindly following” their US allies, have engaged “in a confrontational policy against Russia and Syria without any justification,” The Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said during the meeting. He went on to say that Moscow recently faced “slander, hawkish rhetoric, sanctions, blackmail” and even “threats of force.”

When push comes to shove will Russia shove back?

There is no evidence that ‘Assad’ carried out a chemical attack, there is no verifiable evidence that there was a chemical attack, evidence is beginning to emerge that there was no chemical attack.

Critical Reading

Good work from Lee Camp. What he says about the NY Times is pretty much true of our mainstream media also. Please everyone look at EVERYTHING with a critical mind.

Notes on June 2017

I’ve not posted here for a while but I have posted a lot to Facebook. June has been an eventful month.

June 5th

In the early hours of the morning we heard a short series of loud bangs but thought little of it. Going downstairs a little while ago I noticed that the window pane above the front door was broken. I went outside. Most of the broken glass had fallen there rather than inside. A short stretch of the road including my house is cordonned off by a tape on one side and a police van on the other.

I spoke to a police officer who said that people were trying to get into a house a little way down from us and the method they used caused reverberations that had damaged glass on a few properties. He said he could get a company to board up the window but that we would have to pay for it. Although the officer did not say this directly I suspect that it was the police who used this method to break into the house he mentioned. The fact that he apologised for the damage reinforces my suspicion.

I tried to find out more about what had happened but the officer did not seem willing to give further details. He said that there was nothing to be worried about and it was not what I was thinking. Since I was not thinking about anything much at the time beyond what to do about the window there must have been a fault in his mind reading techniques.
This is a minor inconvienience and I hope a minor expense but I want to know if anything similiar has been happening elsewhere in Newham – especially given the police incident in Barking Road yesterday.

I posted the above to Facebook. Only later getting more of the story from the Newham Recorder website.

June 9th

Congratulations to the people of the UK. We have passed the collective intelligence test.

Congratulations to all the Labour Party members and supporters who have worked so hard for this result.

Congratulations to the awesome Jeremy Corbyn who contrary to all of the negatives that have been said about him has been a dream of a leader.

We may have lost on points, but when everyone expects you to be bleeding on the ground and you’re still standing and the ‘winner’ looks in a worst state than you are, that’s a victory in my book.

Let’s take a moment to clean up, have a modest celebration, and then start preparing for the rematch.

Never lose the momentum!

June 11th

A reflection –

It was the first time I had done this. Standing outside the polling station on Thursday handing out leaflets for the Labour party or any party. I had joined Labour in 2015 as a registered supporter specifically to vote for Jeremy and joined as a full member within 24 hours of him being elected. I joined the pro-Corbyn group, Momentum and attended ward meetings. Earlier this year I became secretary for my ward.

What attracted me to JC can be summarised in three words. Honesty, Humility and Humanity. I think that is what attracted most of us and what is still attracting new members.
I’ve heard some people say, since this whole thing began, that Jeremy is a nice guy, but he’s not a leader. I’ve heard them say that he has no charisma. Which is really weird because I can’t see how it can be said of someone who pulls the crowds and inspires the near adoration that Jeremy does, that they are not a leader and are not charismatic. I can only suppose that a lot of people just see leaders as having characteristics that are quite opposite to Jeremy’s. They believe that leaders must be, of necessity, mendacious, arrogant and cruel. This is surely why Theresa May’s boast that she would not hesitate to launch a nuclear strike that kills hundreds of thousands is treated as normal while Corbyn’s refusal to say that he would do this is presented as extraordinary by the press and even disqualifying for a leader.

But Jeremy Corbyn’s personal characteristics and socialist beliefs and his persistence in them, are just one part of the Corbyn phenomena. Something deeper is at play. The crowds that are drawn to Corbyn, his supporters on many Facebook groups, the people giving the thumbs up and smiling and crossing fingers as they leave the polling station. It is as though they are part of a conspiracy of hope, indeed a conspiracy of hope, faith and love. Corbyn has become a catalyst for a change, not just political change, but a change in consciousness.
Many people have commented that Jeremy has maintained a campaigning schedule that would overtax even a much younger man. While he is undoubtedly robust and fit for his age there is something else at play here that is actually quite obvious. He is feeding off the energy of his supporters even as he feeds them inspiration. Preaching to the converted? Of course he is. It is exactly what Corbyn needs to be doing right now and it’s what we need in order to cohere as the political community that we need to be. He may be preaching to the converted but the converted are coming together in larger numbers all the time and we are all converting others. We all have stories of family and friend we have brought onboard.

One day the movement will grow beyond Jeremy and I think beyond its current host, the Labour Party. That day is not today and I pray it is not in a near tomorrow. Whenever that day is we will not go back to a leadership that is mendacious, arrogant and cruel. Corbyn’s legacy and ours will be that we have redefined leadership as being essentially about honesty, humility and humanity, about being a servant rather than a master of the many.

That we did not win a majority of seats on Thursday is not, for me, a disappointment. We have won a significant moral victory. The path forward is full of obstacles but we have a sense of our own strength now, we know who we are, we know who our adversaries are and they know who we are. Things are clearer now.

June 15th

The BBC Website gives the facts about the Grenfell Tower tragedy

June 16th

Rapper Lowkey witnessed the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Akala says “The people who died and lost their homes, this happened to them because they are poor.”

It is impossible to deny that they died because they were poor, because our leaders did not care enough to care about their job of protecting all of us, serving all of us.

June 18th

Jonathan Pie talks about ‘cladding over poverty’.

“It is a bold decision and one that affords Mrs May the opportunity to become as dominant a figure on the political stage as Margaret Thatcher was 30 years ago… she is right to call an election.” – Daily Telegraph editorial, 18 April

“It was always a gamble to call a snap election and Theresa May’s decision to do so was particularly surprising in view of her innate caution… Rarely has a prime minister made such a calamitous misjudgement.” – Daily Telegraph editorial, 10 June

This is a delicious article. So is this.

https://medium.com/@josholdham/the-media-were-wrong-dce593caeaff

They underestimated Corbyn and they also underestimated the British people. I did not. A confession. I bet £20 that Labour would win. I lost. I also bet £20 on no overall majority. I won £300. Not advocating gambling though.

June 21st

Negotiations on the country’s exit from the European Union have now started in Brussels, but Theresa May’s government does not seem to have the first clue about its objectives and how to reach them, according to several European columnists.

Source

This article basically says that we’re in a mess with Brexit and have no idea what we’re doing. Britain was doing okay under the amiable lightweight Cameron until he threw it away with the referendum; now we have a speaking robot and Boris Johnson. We have no plan and should be grateful that the EU negotiators are looking out for us more than we are looking out for ourselves.
My own feeling is that when faced with a seemingly binary either-or choice, a neither-and choice often appears, as in ‘I choose to stand paralysed between these unacceptable choices’ or ‘I will take both please’. Although we may seem paralysed at the moment, this is not an option. It is however an option, as in any relationship, to say something along the lines of ‘while we cannot stay together with things as they are, it is possible to change things in ways that are mutually beneficial but that we never explored because we didn’t seriously think it would come to this’. Negotiations are then framed as being about redefining the relationship rather than about leaving or staying. Effectively negotiations have to be about this anyway but framing it in a way that is cooperative rather than competitive means that we are more likely to get a result that we want rather than one that nobody wants. Oh, and something else, before going into any negotiation, cooperative or competitive, it’s a really good idea to know what we want. We don’t. We should tell the EU we need time to ‘get our head together’ and then have a second snap election in autumn where parties keep their current manifestos but prepare a ‘Renegotiating Europe’ manifesto. Then, and only then, will any party have a clear mandate for a clear vision.

June 23rd

NATO to be sued by Serbia for the use of depleted uranium during the illegal bombing of that country in 1999.

I don’t know anything about Horstel or his other policies but it is rare to hear a western politician speak the truth about Syria as this man does.

June 24th

Paul Mason speaks to Progress. Seems about time someone was clear that some things are simply incompatible with the values a decent Labour Party should have, supporting illegal wars is definitely one of those things.

“If it’s important to you to have a pro-Remain party that is in favour of illegal war, in favour of privatisation, form your own party and get on with it!”

Kate Tempest at Glastonbury telling concert goers the social truth in her own uniquely passionate way.

“Stop stability. Meanwhile suicide is increasing, more rough sleepers, ugly words in public places, fear and doubt and all the racists have come out to show their faces. Under May there is a gulf that separates us and it seems to get a little wider every day.

“Now watch her pray on every tragedy. Divide, divide and frenzy up the nastiness….

“If this is strength then we are all f***d.”

Jeremy Corbyn’s reception at Glastonbury is simply amazing. Corbyn is unique as a politician. He can be seen as the manifestation of a collective will to create a better world.

Manchester and The Foreign Policy Connection

Theresa May tries to present a ‘prime ministerial’ front after the Manchester bombing. She accuses Jeremy Corbyn of saying that terror attacks in Britain are ‘our own fault’. He didn’t say this of course, in fact Corbyn gave a speech that was rather wonderful and all about bringing the nation together. It was the speech of a national leader and is well worth listening to here,

and listening to and reading on the Mirror website.

In his speech Corbyn promises:

There will be more police on the streets under a Labour Government. And if the security services need more resources to keep track of those who wish to murder and maim, then they should get them.

We will also change what we do abroad. Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.

He continues:

That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably held to account for their actions.

But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism.

Protecting this country requires us to be both strong against terrorism and strong against the causes of terrorism. The blame is with the terrorists, but if we are to protect our people we must be honest about what threatens our security.

Those causes certainly cannot be reduced to foreign policy decisions alone. Over the past fifteen years or so, a sub-culture of often suicidal violence has developed amongst a tiny minority of, mainly young, men, falsely drawing authority from Islamic beliefs and often nurtured in a prison system in urgent need of resources and reform.

And no rationale based on the actions of any government can remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre.

But we must be brave enough to admit the war on terror is simply not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.

That’s why I set out Labour’s approach to foreign policy earlier this month. It is focused on strengthening our national security in an increasingly dangerous world.

We must support our Armed Services, Foreign Office and International Development professionals, engaging with the world in a way that reduces conflict and builds peace and security.

Seeing the army on our own streets today is a stark reminder that the current approach has failed.

So, I would like to take a moment to speak to our soldiers on the streets of Britain. You are doing your duty as you have done so many times before.

I want to assure you that, under my leadership, you will only be deployed abroad when there is a clear need and only when there is a plan and you have the resources to do your job to secure an outcome that delivers lasting peace.

That is my commitment to our armed services.

This is my commitment to our country. I want the solidarity, humanity and compassion that we have seen on the streets of Manchester this week to be the values that guide our government. There can be no love of country if there is neglect or disregard for its people.

I think this was a defining speech. It defines Jeremy Corbyn as a leader and it defines a better and more honest vision for Britain. Much of the mainstream media however reacded with a kind of knee-jerk condemnation along the lines of Thresa May, pretending that they believed that Corbyn was an apologist for terrorism or at least arguing that although he might be partially right it was not the right thing to say as it was giving comfort to the enemy.

An assumption that people seemed to be making whether they were supportive of or against Corbyn’s speech is that he was saying that because we bombed Iraq and Libya and are bombing in Syria. Corbyn does not if fact say this at that is not the reality. The reality is that the strain of Islam with political and jihadist aspirations that Isis represents, (Wahabbism/Salafism), has been around for a long time and secular governments like those of Sadaam and Gaddafi were keeping them in check because they were seen to be opposed to secular states. When we bombed Iraq and acted as an airforce for Islamists in Libya we destroyed the infrastructure of those countries and set free the jihadist. We are currently supporting anti-Assad forces in Syria and so doing the same to that country as we did to Libya and Iraq. It is not the people who we bombed who are bombing us, it is the jihadists we set free to destroy their countries that are bombing us.

The West has been supporting jihadists since at least the early 1980’s when the US backed jihadists against the Soviet sponsored secular goverenment of Afghanistan.

As a result of this support Afghanistan eventually fell into the hands of the medievalist Taliban. From 2001 the US and their allies have imposed more suffering on the Afghan people in a supposed war against the terrorist group allegedly responsible for the attacks of 9/11.

In 2003 the US and its allies went to war with the Iraqi government of Sadaam Hussain after alleging that he had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and was a threat to his neighbours. No such weapons were found but Iraq’s political and social infrastructure was destroyed and the country was occupied and exploited by western corporations. In place of a stable, if brutal, secular government keeping a lid on the political aspirations of religionists the Western occupiers turned governance over to a Shia dominated government at odds and at war with a Sunni resistance that came to be dominated by the fanatics that became known as Isis or Isil or Daesh.

In 2011 the US, the UK and France used a pretext of humanitarian concern to get UN authorisation to protect rebels in Libya from Gaddafi against whom they were waging a civil war. The mandate was to protect civilians from Gaddafi but the US, UK and France started bombing Gaddafi forces and effectively acting as an air force for the rebels. After the death of Gaddafi the Western powers handed over control to a government that was not strong enough to keep the country together as different groups vied for power. Salafist elements seem to have flourished in the chaos. The Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was a British born member of a Libyan Salafist family, he and they had connections to the Salafists and to Daesh in Libya.

2011 also marked the beginning of the Syrian conflict, a brutal war in which regional powers, notably Saudia Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have supported an armed and predominently Salafist opposition to the government od Bashar al Assad. This armed opposition also got support from the West and without the intervention of Russia would have overrun the government forces and very likely thrown Syria into the kind of chaos we see in Libya.

Why the West supports Salafist terrorism against secular states is best left to another ramble but there is clear evidence that it does. Why then, if we have been enabling them, do Salafist terrorists attack targets in the UK and Europe? It’s because that’s what they do. They carry within them the virus of hate and intolerance, intolerance not only for the secular states in the Middle East that we have armed them to destroy, but for any secular state.

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