The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Sympathy for the Victims

Mick Hall • 13 September 2006

On a recent march and demonstration in London which had been organized by the Stop the War Coalition, there were banners and placards which proclaimed, "We are all Hezbullah Now". In the main, these placards were carried by members and supporters of the Muslim Council of Britain [MCB], which is an integral part of the StW coalition.

A considerable number of non aligned Muslims and Leftists also carried the placards, some of whom were members of the SWP, which has a close relationship with the MCB, as membership of both organizations overlaps within the Respect Party. But socialists from other Left organization and independents could also be seen carrying the placards aloft. What these people were doing by carrying the placard, or marching along side people who were, was expressing in a public and legitimate manner that in their opinion the behavior of the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Force [IDF] in Lebanon was wrong, and by proclaiming the sentiment expressed on the placard they were publicly proclaiming their support for the people of the Lebanon and their main resistance movement, Hezbullah. Plus, in the process, they were rejecting the continuous lies told by G.W. Bush and Tony Blair and their media gofers about current events in the Middle East, not least the United States and UK administrations' complicity in them, when they green flagged their support for the IDF war machine in its 38 day orgy of killing and destruction in the Lebanon.

Hardly surprisingly then, when the mass media, never slow to pick up on anything which might discredit the Left, quickly cast their net around to find anyone with a history of left activity, no matter how far back it might be, who was willing to condemn those who carried the aforementioned placards on the march and decry them as supporters of international terror, and misogyny. Nevermind that well over half of those carrying these placards were women.

The usual former leftist suspects were rolled out by the Media, much as they had been in support of Bush and Blair's criminal and disastrous invasion of Iraq, to fill the Sunday broadsheets, right wing magazines and websites like Harry's Place, with nonsense about socialism in its dotage and Islam being reactionary bedfellows.. With an eye on the part of the fee retained until publication, the hacks who were paid to write such guff failed to mention the appalling behavior in the Lebanon of the IDF, let alone the fact they rained down cluster bombs upon the towns, village and countryside of south Lebanon, which is against international law due to the deadly nature of these ordnance, which scatter small explosive devices indiscriminately over a wide area, making it deadly dangerous for civilians to return to their homes at the war's end.

Nor did these gallant scribes for freedom think their readers might be interested in the fact that their own governments had secretly been replenishing the IDF weaponry throughout the course of the war. Instead they centered their fire on those Leftists who carried the aforementioned placards, as if this act was somehow akin to a war crime. Perhaps they would have done better to ask themselves how many Lebanese or Israeli civilians were killed by flying placards that proclaimed 'We are All Hezbullah Now'!

If there is one legacy from 9/11 it has been an ever increasing intolerance for those who do not subscribe to the neo-liberal viewpoint of the powers that be. In the UK even the main opposition leaders are afraid to step outside the cocoon of neo-liberalism; this is especially true over Iraq, despite the majority of people within the UK and Ireland being against the war on Iraq and the continuing stationing of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ROI government felt unable to refuse the US administration landing rights at Shannon, despite a majority of its people being opposed to secret US government flights.

There is consensus amongst the political class in the UK and to a lesser degree in the RoI that the only option is to remain full square with the Bush administration, which in reality amounts to 'keep on digging'. Most citizens understand only too well if you are in a hole, the best thing to do if you wish to get out of it is to stop digging.

By carrying the 'We are all Hezbullah Now!' poster, many of us were not dotting every "i" or crossing every "t" of that organization's program, but saying that the bloody hole Blair and Bush have dug themselves into is not of our making and we want no part of it, as our sympathy and support lays not with them but their victims.






















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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

18 September 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Kick the Pope
Anthony McIntyre

When Saying Sorry Isn't Enough
David Adams

"The third camp is about real lives": Interview with Hamid Taqvaee
Maryam Namazie

John Kennedy

Sympathy for the Victims
Mick Hall

For The Victims of Britain's Holocaust in Ireland
Brian Halpin

Dreary Eden
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Legalize the Irish
Frank [Name Supplied]

Careful What You Wish For
Dr John Coulter

The Peace Process — A Children's Fantasy
Tom Luby

John Kennedy

Upcoming Events

10 September 2006

It's Good to Talk
Dr John Coulter

Bye-Bye Daily Lies
Geraldine Adams

Peelers Give You Trouble
Martin Galvin

If You Cannot Organise a Meeting, How Can You Expect to Organise a Revolution?
Liam O Comain

RSF not involved in proposed 'Front'
Republican Sinn Fein Press Release

Renaissance Republicanism
Mick Hall

Goulding, the Provisionals and the Current Political Process
Roy Johnston

Puppet Show
John Kennedy

Fr. Mc Manus on His Visit to Garnerville PSNI Training Center
Fr Sean Mc Manus

Irlande du Nord: Interview With Anthony McIntyre
André Poulin

Sectarian Interfaces: Glenn Patterson's That Which Was
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 9
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 10
Michael Gillespie

A Curious Snub
Fred A. Wilcox

Con Artist
John Kennedy

Against Civilisation
Seamus Mac An tSaoir

Blanket Coverage for All
Carrie Twomey

5 Years
Brian Mór



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