TRULY INSANE

The new bombing campaign in Iraq, which will inevitably be extended to Syria in due course, is expected, even by its advocates, to last at least two years. A much shorter bombing campaign, that of Libya in 2011, cost the UK between £500 million and one billion pounds. This was roughly the same as the savings made by ending the education maintenance allowance or three times the amount saved by scrapping the disability living allowance. Clearly, neither of these adventures was, or will be, affordable by a UK whose government is continuing to cut public services, hold down wages and refuses to address a housing crisis that is spiralling out of control. Even more significant, however, is that neither the bombing of Libya nor the earlier bombings of Iraq succeeded in stabilising the Middle East nor bringing to its diverse people security, harmony and democracy.

The complexities of the Middle East are huge due, in no small part, to our original colonial interventions, including the establishment and nurturing of the Gulf States, our involvement in Palestine and Israel and our meddling in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and across the region. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Anyone who thinks that, this time, dropping bombs on the Middle East will help is, according to Einstein’s definition, truly insane.

Croydon and beyond

by John Eden

I don’t have my own computer, so my blogs are going to be rather intermittent. my first blog was to draw the the compassion between events that might seem unconnected to some, that the connection between the cuts being imposed in Croydon and the events in the middle-east,and that they have a common cause the economic crises of the capitalist system, and this is the underlying reason of the riots in Croydon and the Arab spring. There are many who don’t share this view of course, they may agree that the riots in Croydon are caused by the economic crises, but not the latter or vice-versa, or they don’t agree at all with the proposition. I have for the last four weeks been reading and re-reading two books, one about the ” History of the Arabs” by Peter Mansfield said to  be a very good introduction to the subject, and another by Nickolaos Van Dam, the “The struggle for power in Syria” and I have also researched on the web

There are those who think that the crises in the middle-east is the creation of imperialist intervention particularly by the United States,Britain and France, paraphrasing the Syrian regime,Russia and China,and that it as nothing to do with the impact of the economic crisis on the internal contradictions of Syrian society. Russia’s defence of the regime as more to do with the retention of their only military base outside the former Soviet Union, and the desire to be a great nation in world affairs, and to sell arms, here is an example of the importance that arms can play in the internal politics of Syria. In the struggle for the power in Syria in 1970,  between the cilvilian Bathist Party led by Salah Jadid and the Military Bathist Party led by Hafiz al-Assad, the Soviet Ambassador sided with the former, the USSR was the main supplier of arms to the regime, the chief of staff of the military was sent to China, and waving the “Little Red Book”,proposed to by arms from there, the USSR backed down. Salah Jadid fell shortly afterwards, this may have been only one factor in his demise, but it was a factor in Syrian-USSR relations. More to follow later, comments welcome!

Croydon and beyond

by John Eden

People of Croydon face the same problems confronting others in Britain and others though less acute than those worldwide, rising unemployment,particularly among the youth and young adults, rising food prices though not on the scale as in some countries where prices have tripled leading to great social unrest as in Middle -East. The websites of the two main legal communist parties in Syria dated April and May 2011 put the initial unrest in the southern town of Derra at the ending of food subsides,the privatisation programme of the government in electrical supply and telecommunications, and rising unemployment. Tensions increased with the heavy-handed response of the security services using state of emergency laws which have been in place for almost fifty years,the lifting of these laws was also a demand of the two parties,what started as peaceful demonstrations though illegal under the above mentioned laws, as become an armed struggle as old suppressed tensions have been unleashed, and what was an oppressed class struggle, could become a sectarian conflict, as regional forces and world powers fight out their own contradictions with each other through the crisis in Syria.

Just as regimes in the middle-east have resorted to cuts to resolve  the world capitalist crisis and how it affects them,so  have the main political parties in Britain, and Labour say they will not reverse any of  the cuts if elected at a general election, in this scenario there is no political party in parliament,where the working people can fundamentally change things for the better.

The Labour leadership has fully endorsed capitalism and come to its rescue, and exposed the working class to savage cuts in living standards, at local level Labour councillors when in power have impose cuts (Lambeth)  and condemned trade unionists who oppose them,where not in power opposed cuts, (Croydon) and invite trade unionists to support their position. Can the working class win back the labour party? Myself I am convinced we can’t but of course we must work with those who think they can.