The Judgment of Jeremy Corbyn

The Judgment of Jeremy Corbyn

MARTIN SIEFF | 13.08.2018 | WORLD / EUROPE

The Judgment of Jeremy Corbyn

For a man who is assailed and accused of lacking judgment even more than US President Donald Trump, it’s amazing how often British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has already been proven courageously and presciently right.

In 1990, Corbyn opposed the most powerful and successful peace time prime minster of the 20th century, Margaret Thatcher when she tried to impose a so-called poll tax on the population of the UK. His judgment was vindicated: Thatcher’s own party rose up and threw her out of office.

At the beginning of the 21st century Corbyn was pilloried throughout the UK media for his outspoken opposition to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s support for the US invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Blair was prime minister for a full decade and won three landslide general elections, yet today he is discredited and politically virtually a recluse. Corbyn‘s opposition to both wars looks wise, as well as principled and courageous.

Corbyn’s support for the revolutionary Irish Republican movement was so strong that the UK security service MI5 monitored him for two decades listing him as a potential “subversive” who might undermine parliamentary democracy. On the contrary, in the late 1990s, Prime Minister Blair engaged the Irish Republican Army and its political wing Sinn Fein in a peace process that has led to a lasting peace in Ireland. Corbyn, who supported strongly the 1998 Good Friday Agreement proved once again to be ahead of his time.

Corbyn has never been afraid of taking ferociously unpopular positions. In 2015, after shocking Islamic State terror attacks in Paris he advocated the urgent need for a political settlement to end the Syrian Civil War. His advice was ignored by every major Western government. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions more turned into destitute refugees flooding into the European Union since then.

Corbyn was also ahead of his time in seeking to engage Iran constructively. He hosted a call-in show on an Iranian TV channel for three years from 2009 to 2012 even though he knew that at the time such activities would seem to rule him out from ever being a serious contender to lead the Labour Party. But in 2015, the Conservative government of the UK, along with those of the United States, France and Germany joined in signing a far reaching nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Corbyn’s economic positions have long been despised by the Western liberal intellectual elites who have been spared the price of having their livelihoods destroyed by such policies. He strongly advocates using the power of government to encourage the rebuilding of major national industries and manufacturing power. These views are hardly radical, Robert Skidelsky, one of the most influential UK economists of the past generation has given significant support to Corbyn’s proposal of a National Investment Bank. These policies are neither Marxist nor revolutionary. But they can certainly be described as Social Democratic and humane.

Corbyn is no unprincipled careerist either. In voting his convictions and his conscience, he puts 99 percent of the UK parliamentarians of his generation to shame. Between 1997 and 2010, during the Labour governments of Blair and Gordon Brown, Corbyn voted most often against the official party line than any other member of parliament (MP) – a total of 428 times and an astonishing figure. In 2005 he was labeled the second most rebellious Labour MP of all time when his party ran the country.

One of the few areas Corbyn was clearly ambiguous on was the question of whether the UK should remain in the 28-nation European Union or leave it, and even here his ambivalence appeared honestly come by and reflected the genuine divisions in his country. Corbyn recognized the enormous differences between both extremes that have been tearing the British public apart on the EU issue.

Ironically, only Donald Trump in the United States – a figure for whom Corbyn certainly has no personal or policy sympathy whatsoever – is comparable to the degree to which he has defied the Conventional Wisdoms of the political media establishment yet done impressively well in fighting elections that were supposed to be impossible.

In fact, the record and pattern of Corbyn’s career has been very clear: His real “crime”- which he has repeated consistently – is to be years, often decades, ahead of Conventional Wisdom.

In routine, tranquil times, people like Corbyn are usually seen as troublemakers or even as dangerous lunatics. But at times of crisis when the wisdom of mediocrities is exposed as worthless, such figures prove vital to national survival.

When told that General James Wolfe, the UK’s one brilliant general of the mid-18th century, was believed to be insane, King George II replied “Mad is he? Then I wish he’d bite some of my other generals!”

The UK political establishment has sneered at Jeremy Corbyn’s bark. Perhaps it is time they need to experience his bite.

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Report Details Horror of UAE Torture Chambers in Yemen

August 13, 2018

A deserted cell in the public section of Aden Central Prison (Photo by AP)
A deserted cell in the public section of Aden Central Prison (Photo by AP)
Over 49 detainees have been tortured to death in clandestine prisons run by the UAE in southern Yemen where brutal interrogation techniques, including physical and psychological torture, are used by Emirati forces, a report says.

The report provided by Yemeni military figures, who worked with the Saudi-led war coalition against Yemen, and obtained by Al Jazeera revealed that detainees in UAE-run jails in southern Yemen were subjected to sexual abuse by Emirati army personnel and their Yemeni surrogates.

The forces subjected the inmates to rape and electrocution in the genitals, chest and armpits, it said, adding some prisoners were physically assaulted and insulted while being hung in midair.

The sources also recounted other examples of horrors in the UAE-controlled prisons, saying electric cables were used alongside wooden bats and steel poles during interrogation sessions.

Some of the detainees were subjected to sleep deprivation while being confined to narrow spaces with poor hygienic conditions and limited air ventilation, according to the report.

This form of torture was accompanied for some of the inmates by sessions where their skins were lashed with whips and their injuries were subsequently covered in salt. Others, it said, had industrial nails inserted into their fingers and toenails.

According to the report, more than 49 people were tortured to death and five gravesites were used to bury the deceased.
The number of UAE-run secret prisons, according to the report obtained by Al Jazeera, is 27, including sites in Hadramout, Aden, Socotra, Mayyun Island, as well as a facility in Eritrea where the UAE maintains a military base.

SourcePress TV

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UN Seeks «Credible» Investigation into Yemen Bus Attack

Local Editor

The UN Security Council has called for a credible and transparent investigation into the martyrdom of at least 29 children in a Saudi-led coalition attack on a bus in Yemen.

The British ambassador, Karen Pierce, who holds the council presidency, told reporters following a closed-door meeting on Friday that “if any investigation that is held is not credible, the council will obviously want to review that”.

The Ansarullah on Friday backed the UN call for an investigation into the Saudi-led coalition airstrike.

Senior Ansarullah leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said on Twitter that the revolutionaries were willing to cooperate in an investigation of the airstrike on Thursday in their stronghold of Saada province that hit the bus carrying civilians – many of them school children – in a busy market in Dahyan.

The US-backed coalition earlier announced that it had ordered an investigation into the airstrike that wounded at least 48 others.

The Security Council did not order a separate investigation but “will now consult with the UN and others as to how the investigation can best be taken forward,” said Pierce.

The council met at the request of five countries: Bolivia, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland and Sweden, which are all non-permanent council members.

Kuwait, also a non-permanent council member, is part of the Saudi-led coalition waging a war in Yemen.

The US, France and Britain – three of the five permanent council members – have supported the Saudi coalition in its military aggression, but have expressed concern over its heavy toll on civilians.

Before the meeting, the Netherlands stressed that the investigation must be independent, suggesting that the coalition’s decision to open up an inquiry was insufficient.

“We have seen the images of children who died,” the Dutch deputy ambassador Lise Gregoire-van Haaren told reporters. “What is essential at this moment in time is to have a credible and independent investigation.”

The council did not specify in the agreed statement to the press that the investigation should be independent – a demand that UN secretary general António Guterres made in a statement condemning the attack on Thursday.

Council members expressed their “great concern” and “called for a credible and transparent investigation,” Pierce said.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign against Yemen.

The war has left nearly 10,000 people martyred and unleashed what the UN describes as the world’s worst current humanitarian crisis.

Yemeni health minister, Taha al-Mutawakel, on Friday put the death toll at 51 people, including 40 children, and warned that the number of victims could rise.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Saudi Strikes on Hodeidah’s Hospital a War Crime and Moral Decay

Hezbollah: Targeting Yemen Civilians Indicates Saudi Failure, Moral Decay

Hezbollah flag

August 4, 2018

Hezbollah lashed out at the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen, as he denounced the massacre in Hudeidah, which killed and injured dozens of civilians the port city.

In a statement released by its Media Relations Office late Friday, Hezbollah stressed that targeting civilians shows the “Saudi-US aggression’s failure and the moral decay.”

“The Saudi-US alliance had committed a horrible massacre that targeted civilians and patients in Hudeidah’s hospital and market,” the statement said, stressing that the attack “is a crime in every sense of the word.”

“As we firmly denounce this disgraceful crime, we call on free states across the world, international organizations and human rights watchdogs to condemn it and to stand against its perpetrators in order to expose their aggression which has been for more than three years.”

“Targeting patients in a hospital indicates the Saudi-US aggression’s flagrant moral decay, as well as its failure in the battlefield in front of the courageous Yemeni resistance,” the statement stressed.

Hezbollah meanwhile, offered condolences for the Yemeni people and wished speedy recovery for the people who were injured in the strikes on Hudeidah.

More than 40 people were martyred and many others were injured on Thursday as Saudi-led warplanes launched air strikes on a hospital and a fish market in Hudeidah.

Medical workers said more than 20 missiles were fired by warplanes into several neighborhoods of the port city.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations (Translated by Al-Manar English Website)

 

At least 55 Yemenis Martyred in Saudi Strikes on Hodeidah’s Hospital, Harbor

Local Editor

At least 55 people have been martyred after warplanes of the Saudi-led aggression hit a hospital and a fishing harbor in Yemen’s western province of Hodeidah.

Yemen’s Health Ministry said the Thursday brutal strikes also left at least 130 wounded, some in critical condition.

Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing its correspondent, reported that Saudi-led jets struck al-Thorah Hospital in the provincial capital Hodeidah and a fishing port in the province almost simultaneously.

According to the correspondent, the death toll was expected to rise due to the magnitude of the airstrikes, particularly on the hospital.

The report also said that the attacked hospital had launched an urgent appeal for Yemeni citizens to donate blood.

On Wednesday, at least nine fishermen were martyred after Saudi-led warplanes targeted their ship off the coast of Hodeidah.

The imposed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its goal, thanks to firm resistance mounted by Yemeni troops. The war was also launched despite warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Paul Craig Roberts: “The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power”

30.07.2018

Written by Paul Craig Roberts; Originally appeared on paulcraigroberts.org

The United States government has never allowed independent governments in Latin America. Every time people elect a government that represents them instead of US economic interests, Washington overthrows the elected government. Marine General Smedley Butler told us this as have many others. There is no doubt about it.

Currently Washington is trying to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua and has bought off the Ecuadorian government with oil purchases and the usual personal bribes. Evo Morales government in Bolivia is also targeted by Washington. The Obama regime succeeded in removing the reform governments in Honduras, Argentina, and Brazil.

Paul Craig Roberts: "The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power"

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 41 prepares for take off from the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean. (David A. Brandenburg/Navy)

Reform governments in Latin America, except for Castro’s Cuba, always leave themselves set-up to be overthrown. They foolishly or impotently permit Washington’s agents, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development, and various so-called NGOs, whose purpose is to maintain Washington’s control and overthrow every government that escapes control, to organize and fund opposition groups and media that work hand-in-hand with Washington to reinstall a Washington-compliant government.

As Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot understood, you cannot overthrow an oppressor class if you leave them unmolested. Whether from weakness or stupidity, Latin American reform governments always leave the electorally defeated oppressor class and its economic and media power unmolested. When Washington reinstalls the oppressor class, the same tolerance is never shown to the overthrown reformers who usually pay with their lives.

All Latin American reform efforts have made the foolsh mistake of leaving the oppressor class with their newspapers and their traitorous connections to Washington in place, including the government of President Ortega in Nicaragua. One would think that Ortega would know better. Washington has been trying to get rid of Ortega and the Sandinistas since the Reagan administration. His government has survived the latest Washington-led coup attempt, but Washington is pouring more money into the effort. Read Kevin Zeese’s report here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49933.htm

Hugo Chavez made the same mistake in Venezuela, and his successor has repeated the mistake. The post-Castro Cuban government is now also falling into the trap of becoming an American vassal as it was under Fulgencio Batista.

The Monroe Doctrine has always been glorified in US textbooks as warning European colonialists away from Latin America. The Americans intended it for themselves and succeeded in keeping Latin America as a colony. The Organization of American States has always been in Washington’s pocket and remains there today. Latin America accepts its colonized existence and does not come to the aid of those democratic governments that Washington targets for overthrow. Latin America is impotent, because its leaders are paid off, blackmailed, or threatened by Washington.

Washington has pretended forever to be the great friend and protector of democracy, but every time an independent government comes into existence in Latin America, Washington overthrows it.

In 2015 President Barack Obama, America’s first Black President and “great friend of the oppressed,” citing “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by Venezuela,” signed an executive order and imposed sanctions. Obama’s excuse was the Washington-incited violence that led to the arrest of some of those committing acts of violence. Washington quickly termed the criminals Washington had incited “political prisoners” and called for “dialogue” instead of “silencing critics with arrests.” Washington declared the arrests of those commiting acts of violence to be “human rights violations by the Venezuelan government.” http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-declares-venezuela-national-security-threat-imposes-sanctions

In other words, the Venezuelan government was violating Washington’s human rights to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The presstitutes reported this with a straight face.

A government that has no shame whatsoever in telling the most transparent lies while actively trying to overthrow a democratically elected government is a government that deserves universal condemnation. Yet the world is too well paid off or scared to open its mouth.

War criminal Blair advising Saudi dictatorship

Source

By Middle East Eye

Ex-PM’s group said to reach ‘not for profit’ deal earlier this year to help support Saudi’s modernisation programme

Tony Blair is advising the Saudi government under a £9m ($11.8m) deal with his “institute for global change,” the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The former UK prime minister’s group reached an agreement earlier this year to help support Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s modernisation programme under a “not for profit” arrangement, the Telegraph reported.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is a programme of reforms intended to open up and diversify the kingdom’s oil-centric economy by selling public assets, including a stake in the world’s biggest oil producer, Aramco, and reinvesting the funds.

The deal is the first major agreement to have emerged involving the Tony Blair Institute (TBI), which Blair established in 2016 after winding down his commercial operations, the Telegraph said.

The newspaper said the institute received a $10m payment in January for the work, which is being carried out by its staff based in the Middle East.

The payment was made from Media Investment (MIL), a Guernsey-registered firm that is a subsidiary of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, according to the Telegraph.

Sources told the newspaper that the total provided to the institute so far exceeded $12m. The funding is not mentioned on the institute’s website, in spite of a subsequent post praising Saudi Arabia and its crown prince.

Blair’s office said the institute was “under no duty to disclose donors or donations” and declined to say what discussions Blair had held with members of the Saudi royal family or government about the funding.

Asked about the deal, a spokesman confirmed to the Telegraph that TBI “has received a donation from MIL” for the “not for profit” work of the institution.

“We work to support the Saudi change programme,” the spokesman told the Telegraph, adding that the work would be included in the institute’s first annual report.

Last month in London, Blair reiterated a call for the West to ally with Russia to fight the threat of “terrorism”.

Blair said that although there would always be “disagreements” with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, the need to tackle militant activity made cooperation necessary.

Last July, a British court blocked an attempt by a former Iraqi general to bring a private prosecution against Blair over his government’s involvement in the Iraq war.

In 2016, Blair, who after leaving office embarked on a second career as a Middle East diplomat, was successful in hammering out a deal that saw Qatar pay $30m towards the wages of public-sector workers in Gaza, senior sources within Hamas told MEE.

Trump’s Policies & the ‘True Face’ of America

Darko Lazar

30-06-2018 | 09:02

In February of last year, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei thanked US President Donald Trump for finally revealing Washington’s “true face”.

Donald Trump

“What we have been saying, for over thirty years, about political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the US ruling establishment, he [Trump] came out and exposed,” Sayyed Khamenei told a group of Iranian Air Force commanders on February 7, 2017. “With everything he is doing … he is showing the reality of American human rights.”

In the months that followed, Trump has been busy pulling back the curtain.

Between filling his cabinet with warmongering neocons like John Bolton and pairing up with hawkish generals and shady billionaires, the Trump administration also found time to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Citing alleged anti-“Israel” bias, the US will be the first state to leave the UN body voluntarily.

“For too long, the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias,” exclaimed the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, earlier this month.

One can be forgiven for thinking that this reads a little too much like a bit of soul-searching on the part of the American government.

But while Washington’s exit from the HRC can certainly be described as ironic, the move is hardly surprising.

The ill-timed maneuver came as American border guards ripped apart families, and Washington assisted allies in massacring tens of thousands in Yemen, all the while defending the killing of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

According to US-based peace activist Scott Rickard, “the Human Rights Council should have been considering ejecting the United States based upon its human rights violations.”

“In the United States we have one of the most atrocious human rights records; we have almost ten thousand people a year being killed by police officers,” Rickard added. “At the same time, the United States is heavily involved in warfare around the world, murdering millions in my lifetime alone.”

‘Murderers & thieves’

In the lead-up to the US withdrawal from the Council, the outgoing UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, blasted the Trump White House for its “unconscionable” policy along the US border with Mexico.

Zeid was referring to the Trump administration’s recently abolished effort to dissuade illegal migrants from crossing the border by separating children from their parents and dispatching them to detention centers with no assurances that they would ever be reunited.

“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” Zeid said during his opening remarks to the HRC’s 38th session this month.

Trump attempted to justify his immigration policy by citing concerns over ‘security and safety’.

Recently, he was quoted as saying that those who sneak across the border “could be murderers and thieves and so much else.”

Such comments, much like the mass outrage by Trump’s critics at home who are often complicit in the slaughter of Yemeni and Syria children, are intended to disguise the fact that the asylum seekers are fleeing the very violence and chaos that the US instigated.

“The president has to realize what a hundred years of US policy towards Central and South America has caused,” said radio talk show host Robert Patillo.

“US efforts to destabilize governments, US efforts to set up puppet dictators – that’s why we have this level of crime and this dysfunction in Central America,” Patillo explains.

For puppet dictators, look no further than Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom, which remains the source of the Takfiri ideology, fueling global terrorism and the country of origin of 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 has somehow stayed off of Trump’s travel ban from seven countries.

This week, the US Supreme Court upheld the ban, arguing that it had a “legitimate grounding in national security concerns” and was thus constitutional.

Trump’s ban, which is breathtaking in scope and inflammatory in tone, extends to North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Venezuela.

And while Saudi nationals are responsible for the deaths of more than 2,360 people as a result of terrorist attacks on US soil, the countries covered by Trump’s ban are responsible for none. 

Journalist and political commentator Syed Mohsin Abbas believes that “those Muslims who are the lackeys and the puppets of the US foreign policies, who freely give their recourses to the US and who don’t oppose the US’ imperialist policies in the Middle East are not banned.”

Abbas describes the ban as a “direct attack against any nation in the world who dares to stand up to the US” with Iran being one of the primary targets.

American Civil War 2.0

The policies of the Trump administration are as much a reflection of a deeply polarized United States, as they are an indication of the responsibility that the powers that be bear for instigating those very same divisions.

A new poll testifies to just how divided the American public has become over issues like immigration, declaring that some 31% of the population believes a second civil war is likely in the next five years.

The Rasmussen national telephone and online survey revealed that uncompromising accusations of fascism and an alleged desire for open borders have raised fears in the US over the possibility of an armed confrontation between Trump’s supporters and those opposed to his policies.

And in light of the manner in which the current political climate in the country has drawn the curtain to reveal the hitherto well-concealed, callous visage of American society, any suggestion that this previously unthinkable scenario now appears far more likely holds water indeed.

Source: Al-Ahed

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