A new anti (Middle East) war manifesto

Daniel Davies points to an interesting development on the anti war front. It’s the Third Camp manifesto, set up in opposition to the Euston manifesto. He also points to where Marc Mulholland got to. It seems he’s been co-opted on to the team at Crooked Timber too.

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  • Not to deviate from the thread ….kinna…..but last night I was with friends and in that moment of drunken stupidness someone blurted out …….bit strange that in the middle of the worst PR disaster for the Israeli, American and UK governments and their appaling behaviour in the Lebananon out of nowhere we have an escalted threat status and airports shut down.

    My question is were is the evidence that the threat existed? Where is the hard physical evidence to put on display?

    Yesterday Israel invaded Lebanon properly and nothing was reported by the major networks other than tired upset holiday travellers.

    Are we to trust a government who allowed the shooting dead of a brazilian on the grounds that he was a terrorist.

    Is it the point of the intelligence agencies is to misdirect and create fear?

    To get back to the thread – does a manefesto actually mean anything? Surely the point is that the left and arses like Galloway now have another media moment ahead.

  • aquifer

    (The Third Camp Manifesto).. “does not try to draw sophistic distinctions between state and non-state violence,”

    Non state militarists are particularly bad at preserving human life, rights, and freedoms.

    That’s a distinction worth making.

  • willis

    Ulick

    Well I guess if September 11 or July 7 had not happened I would be more sceptical. Of course I don’t trust the Government but that didn’t start yesterday.

    Mick

    I don’t really see how this is in opposition to the Euston Manifesto. They seem to be about 2 different things.

  • DK

    I don’t see any major difference between this and the Euston Manifesto. They are both essentially saying stop supporting the Islamic extremists. The main difference is the Euston Manifesto says that we shouldn’t stand idly by if a state is slaughtering its own people, but doesn’t specify how. The Third Camp say that intervention should be limited to “expulsion from the international community” but no military or economic intervention. And they are only concerned with Iran.

    The Euston manifesto was also really just a way of saying “stop defending nutters just because they are presently fighting America; they’re still nutters”.

  • Keith M

    1 : No to war, No to economic sanctions.
    2 : No to US militarism, No to political Islam.
    3 : No to nuclear weapons.

    Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the embodiment of the anti-everything movement, where “no” is the solution to everything and not a single positive thought crosses their minds.

  • Garibaldy

    DK,

    I think this is clearly aimed as an alternative to the Euston Manifesto. The Euston Manifesto did as you say call on people to stop supporting theocratic nutters, but it also supported the principle of military intervention in the affairs of other states if I recall correctly. This is clearly the product of a small ultra-left group from Iran, but it is interesting nonetheless. Whether it proves successful in atttracting the same publicity and number of signatories or not remains to be seen.

    Interesting too to see Davies’ nervousness over the presence of Gorman et al, which suggests its success may well be limited. Their presence also says something about their sense of self-importance, but fair play to them.

  • Nestor Makhno

    One (obviously unintended) effect of the US & UK governments’ security responses seems have to have been an ever-increasing erosion in the people’s trust in their government(s).

    Not a bad thing you’ll probably say – but I wonder if there is a point at which a liberal democracy will become so fatally weakened by the mistrust of its citizens that its institutions will cease to function?

    One trivial example. This warning from the US government to Windows XP users to update their security patches has been met with widespread suspicion amongst the nerd community. i.e. has Microsoft been told by the US government to place a ‘back door’ in their code to allow authorities to hack PCs? Why has the government made such a big deal about this latest patch and not all the previous patches issued by Microsoft?

    Whether there is any truth to this story is not really the point – the fact that some many people have become some distrustful is in itself very interesting…

    I’ve make a number of (not very politically aware) people yesterday who mentioned the very same suspicions that ulickmagee mentions.

  • kensei

    “Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the embodiment of the anti-everything movement, where “no” is the solution to everything and not a single positive thought crosses their minds.”

    They aren’t Unionists, per chance……..?

  • Keith M

    Nestor “One (obviously unintended) effect of the US & UK governments’ security responses seems have to have been an ever-increasing erosion in the people’s trust in their government(s).”

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t tally with the reality of the ballot box, where Labour are currently in their third term (first time that’s ever happened for a Labour government) and GWB got the highest popular vote in a US Presidential election.

  • Garibaldy

    Nestor,

    I thought it had already been established that there was a backdoor in Microsoft products. But maybe not.

  • Fanny

    “I thought it had already been established that there was a backdoor in Microsoft products.”

    Yes, they’re rubbish. Get yourself a Mac and get peace of mind.

  • Garibaldy

    Can’t stand Macs. Awful things to use.

  • Keith M

    I’m with you there Garibaldy, I tried a Mac once and it was very close to being drop-kicked into the car park.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Keith M: ‘I’m sorry but this doesn’t tally with the reality of the ballot box’

    Well, maybe; maybe not. Turn-out has been going down steeply at each general election and I think many people voted Labour last time out with a sense of grim expediency – ie “The Tories are only going to be worse.”

    All I’m saying is that I’ve never met so many ordinary people recently ith quite paranoid beliefs about what their governments are up to.

    Not sure if this reflects badly on me – but if you want complete peace of mind avoid Macs or Windows PC and get yourself a Linux distro (It’s free; it works reasonably well; and it’s open enough for everyone to see what’s going on under the hood…)

  • Fanny

    “Can’t stand Macs. Awful things to use.”

    Mac users will say the same about PCs. Question of getting used to the machine and OS. The point is that Macs are far more secure. As Nestor says, in event of fire get Linux.

  • Keith M

    Nestor : “I think many people voted Labour last time out with a sense of grim expediency – ie “The Tories are only going to be worse.”

    The Lib-Dems offered an alternative view and failed to make any significant gains.

    “All I’m saying is that I’ve never met so many ordinary people recently ith quite paranoid beliefs about what their governments are up to.”

    This is the price you pay for the opening up of the media and free speech and there are always those that love a conspiracy theory. It doesn’t change the fact that when it comes to making the important decisions like selecting a government, people tend to disbelieve most of the nonsense.

  • Garibaldy

    Would anyone consider signing this manifesto?

  • Jo

    I’d like to read it first. The link doesnt work.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Fanny: “Mac users will say the same about PCs. Question of getting used to the machine and OS. The point is that Macs are far more secure. As Nestor says, in event of fire get Linux. ”

    That’s the rumon… the reality is, of course, that there are so few Macs and Linux boxes, relative to Windows PCs, that few viruses are written for them. Then, some muckety-muck gloats at how secure *their* product is… and is inevitably met with a new virus, just to prove them wrong.

    Viruses and worms are about counting coup at their most harmless and about accomplishing something at their most malignant. Their are not enough Macs and L-boxes to really do either.

  • Garibaldy

    Jo,

    The link has worked several times I tried it, including there now.

  • mickhall

    Keith,
    You used a mac once and kicked it into touch, no wonder your politics are all over the place, how can you make a fair assessment on a single use, what did you actually dislike about the mac?
    Still, i suppose that the mac OSX is more secure than windows is a bad thing for you, as you seem to positively encourage big government, especially when it is snooping and taking away our hard won liberties.

    I see your great leader has been prattling on about islamic Fascists, which seems to me to be a contradiction in terms, islamic arseholes for sure, as the Muslim world and religion, like our own has their fair share of such people, but islamic Fascists? Even when he said it Bush looked a little uneasy, whether that was because he had little understanding of what the word Fascist actually means, who knows with this guy. i fear he said it to bring in to his daft war a spot of the WW2 spirit. Perhaps it might have helped if some journo had asked him what he meant by this terminology, but I suppose if one had, they would be an ex journalist by today.

    When will this fool understand it is simply not possible to declare war on a religion and win, not even if you manage to defeat your foe militarily, which in todays world of mass population exchanges is more than unlikely. The reason is those you defeat who survive will just shut their doors and await better days, thus all you will have achieved is willed your troubles onto future generations. Someone should give GW a book on the history of the Irish.

  • Fanny

    Dread Cthulhu, my first post was about the “backdoor in Microsoft products.” It’s there and has nothing to do with the ratio of PC to Mac. Macs are safer because the software is written better.

    Anyway, this is a terribly minor issue. I’ve signed the manifesto, Garibaldy. The link works perfectly on a Mac 😉

  • Occasional Commentator

    As regards ulickmagee’s theories, I always thought that Israel invaded the Lebanon to distract from the fact that Palestine might have just agreed to a two-state solution. But I must warn there is confusion as to how to interpret that document.

    Anyway, I never believe these so-called foiled terrorist plots.

  • Garibaldy

    Hey Fanny,

    Don’t think I’ll sign it myself (and reading it on a PC). Not sure I believe that Iran has a weapons programme, nor that I accept the equivalence of US imperialism and Islamic terrorism. One is a much bigger danger, and the two should not be treated as similar. And the problem of imperialism is of course not just linked to one country. After all, imperialism is but the highest stage of capitalism

    My code is england36 – ha ha to Beckham.

  • Jo

    Gari
    Thanks, it honestly didnt work earlier, it linked to some womans poetry…

  • Garibaldy

    Poetry? Give me naked imperialist agression any day.

  • Jo

    Happy to sign that and have done so.

  • Fanny

    Some tosser signed as “Butchers Apron.” Wonder who that could be now.

  • Nestor Makhno

    The advantage of Linux is that the code is open for all to see.

    So if a company at the behest of government where to drop in a few lines of code that sent all of your web history off to the Department of Homelands Security when you typed the word ‘bomb’- then it’s open for the world to see. It can’t be hidden.

    With Windows (and OSX) the code is hidden and cannot be seen. So the underlying software could be doing anything – your only knowledge would perhaps be some obscure log file of the traffic going out of your machine.

    Not healthy.

  • Fanny

    I have Little Snitch watching the ports on my Mac and ZoneAlarm on my PC. The latter throws up some very disturbing alerts from time to time.

  • Garibaldy

    Two computers Fanny? That’s just showing off

  • Nestor Makhno

    Fanny – thanks for the Little Snitch suggestion – will check it out.

  • Rory

    I must say that I am in general agreement with Nestor Makinho’s observation that “the US & UK governments’ security responses seems have to have been an ever-increasing erosion in the people’s trust in their government(s)”. Any straw polls I have conducted in London anyway would support that and the response from broadsheet (and Berliner) readers and BBC Radio over recent times continues to support it as well. On any given Question Time on Radio 4, for example, – even preceding the Iraq invasion – when the question of the legitimacy of the government’s foreign policy or trust in the government on matters of either defence, security or ‘anti-terror’ legislation – the audience reaction has invariably been overwhelmingly anti=government. The Tories and Lib-Dems of course are applauded because they appear to agree with the audience by being anti-war (or at least ‘anti’ the way its being waged) and ever so liberal on human rights issues. The trouble is no-one trusts the Tories and the Lib-Dems are really also-ran jokers and condemned to stay that way.

    I enjoyed MickHall’s speculation on the reasons for Bush’s apparent lack of comfort when using the term ‘fascist’. I would also have little trouble accepting that he simply has no idea what a ‘Fascist’ might be, but then possibly neither would most of his intended audience. “They’re bad guys, right?”.

    I was reading earlier today a history of radicals in Hollywood * (the California branch with the two .l’s’) from the beginning through McCarthy. One snippet tickled me:

    According to various unreliable sources: “Dutch” Reagan was turned down (for membership of the Communist Party) in the later 1930’s for being too dumb.

    Well at least the Gipper had an idea what a fascist was.

    On a more serious note MickHall points to the great danger of viewing this in religious terms. The peoples of the area (largely the Arabian Gulf) that are being targeted by the new imperialism in order to control their natural resources are by and large Muslim so it is not surprising if their reaction to the attack upon them is couched in Muslim terminology. But the underlying cause remains political as always. The U.S. neo-cons may speak in the terminology of fundamentalist protestanism when it suits them, but not even poor old J.N. Darby can really be held to blame. Essentially they are capitalist imperialists first – appealing to protestant fundamentilist sympathies.

    We have long suffered the old farrago of Irish Republicanism being Catholic. As if! Catholicism was only ever used to attack and outlaw the Republican Movement. I was at a meeting with the late Peadar O’Donnell of the Republican Congress (and author:The Gates Flew Open) before he died. When asked about the IRA and the Church, he recalled going as part of an IRA delegation to Moscow to seek political and material support. At the airport he was met by a dour commissar who said, “You are great Irish revolutionaries, da?” When O’Donnell owned that they were anyway Irish revolutionaries, he then asked, “How many bishops you shot?” When O’Donnell admitted that so far they hadn’t shot any, he grunted dismissively, “Pah! You are not serious revolutionaries”. O’Donnell then when on to say that the IRA had only shortly beforehand seriously been discussing the advisibility of shooting a particular Catholic bishop who had been causing great problems within the ranks by refusing the sacraments to Catholic volunteers, effectively making IRA membership a reserved sin (whereby one must seek absolution from the bishop himself – a politically sympathetic priest could not give such absolution). The targeting of the bishop was eventually rejected because on balance it was deemed it would probably cause more damage than would letting him live.

    * Hollywood Radicals by Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner. The New Press. New York. 2002

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    republianism isn’t Catholic, but unfortunately most of those who mistakenly term themselves such are Catholic nationalists. Education, education, education.

  • Manual Trackback.

    Is the EuroLeft channeling Nancy Reagan? “Just Say No” to everything, and offer no suggestion to actually do anything.

  • Fanny

    “Is the EuroLeft channeling Nancy Reagan? “Just Say No” to everything”

    Nah. Nancy just said “no” to all the fun stuff.

  • Except, as I recall, free dresses…

  • Rory

    Garibaldy, Irish Republicans are of course also Irish nationalists. They are not Irish nationalist royalists (as Griffith with his dual monarchy) but nationalist republicans. While the island of Ireland remains occupied by a foreign force that nationalism is both progressive and essential. I think you may be unable to distinguish between the progressive nationalism of the colonised and the reactionary nationalism of the coloniser. Many of them are also Catholic, which is hardly surprising given the dominance of that religion in Ireland. Whisper it not, but nearly all The Levellers were Church of England and most of the Bolsheviks were Russian Orthodox.

    Be careful! Remember the last guy who cried “Education, education, education!”?

  • Reader

    Rory: While the island of Ireland remains occupied by a foreign force that nationalism is both progressive and essential
    How can you tell whether it is progressive or reactionary while it is committed to tribal politics? Which side won the Civil War? Why can’t I find the word abortion in either of the two large health documents on the SF website?

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    I understand what you’re saying. I look at it in similar but slightly different terms. National independence, yes. Nationalism is a different thing. National independence is entirely compatible with an internationalist agenda, with the fraternal cooperation of free nations. After all what was Tone’s alliance with the French about? The same reason that republicans from Ireland and across the world joined the Spanish republicans to fight the Spanish nationalists. Internationalism is compatible with national independence, nationalism is not.

    I’ve no problem with people being from whatever religion. After all, Stalin was a trainee priest at one point. However, what I object to is people linking a political ideology to a religious or ethnic group. Hence why I object to people in the north seeking to represent only one part of the people of Ireland, whether it be Catholics or Protestants. On another thread, I mentioned the linguistic sleight of hand that seeks to make Catholic, nationalist and republican the same thing. I’m as little interested in Catholic nationalism as the republicans who fought it in Spain were.

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: The same reason that republicans from Ireland and across the world joined the Spanish republicans to fight the Spanish nationalists.
    Just as Irish Nationalists, with rather more official blessing, went to fight *for* the Spanish Nationalists.
    But where’s this leading? – is it an argument in favour of military intervention in the internal affairs of another country?
    And how come Republicans weren’t so keen to help Germany in the same way as they ‘helped’ Spain?

  • Garibaldy

    No civil war in Germany Reader, I’d say is the difference.

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: No civil war in Germany Reader, I’d say is the difference.
    Is that principle, or practicality? Because it’s not as though republicans objected to the Spanish outcome being decided by non-Spaniards. And plenty of victims to identify with in Germany, too.

  • Garibaldy

    Reader,

    In practice in the 1930s there was no war of fascism versus democracy, so nobody went there to get involved in their political disputes. Had there been a civil war, I’d say people from other countries would have got involved.

    To answer a question you asked before, I’m not in favour of states intervening in other states’ affairs as a rule. Though occasionally in the past it has been necessary. But the Spanish Civil War lacked interference on the republican side, unlike the fascist side. More interference might have been a good thing.

  • Rory

    Garibaldy should be aware that the Irish Republicans who went to fight in Spain were first and foremost nationalists in Ireland – there very raison d’etre as Irish Republicans was the establishment of a free independent Irish nation from sea-to-sea.

    Reader shoild know that Irish Republicans who went to Spain fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of the International Brigades. The Irish fascists (Blueshirts) who went to Spain were to a man Free-Staters who sold out the Irish Republic and now went to aid Franco to destroy the Spanish Republic. They ran at the first whiff of cannon and had to sneak back into Ireland in rags to universal scorn.

  • Garibaldy

    Rory,

    Believing in national independence is not the same as being a nationalist. Every nation has the right to determine its own future. But believing that doesn’t entail believing that all nations should live separately from one another. There has always been a strong internationalist streak in republicanism in Ireland – in fact in its initial phase it lay at the very heart of it. And the most socially-aware republicans have always seen their struggle as part of a wider struggle, be it the Young Irelanders, the leftists within the Fenians, Connolly, those who went to Spain etc.

    Our conceptions I think are the same, but we’re putting different names on whar is basically the same thing.

    In NI, the idea of national independence has not lost its progressive nature. But the alliance of nationalism with right-wing tendencies and a religious grouping means that Irish nationalism as currently manifested has lost it.

    You might be interested in Fearghal McGarry’s recent biography of Eoin O’Duffy. Has some interesting stuff on the Blueshirts in Spain

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: But the Spanish Civil War lacked interference on the republican side, unlike the fascist side. More interference might have been a good thing.
    What – like if the Russians had taken part on the Republican side? Oh – wait – they did:
    http://libraryautomation.com/nymas/soviet_tank_operations_in_the_sp.htm

  • Garibaldy

    Reader,

    Hadn’t known about that. Thanks. But small beer compared to German and Italian interference and doesn’t excuse the hindrance of the republican effort by the British, French etc

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: But small beer compared…
    300 tanks is hardly ‘small beer’!
    Garibaldy: doesn’t excuse the hindrance of the republican effort by the British, French
    You mean – the Arms embargo on Spain for the duration? Shocking…
    Or was it the 2000 British Volunteers on the Republican side – some hindrance. In case it might please you, O’Duffys lot were attacked by their own side having been heard speaking English, and being presumed to be British Republicans. Irony layered upon irony.
    Mean while – a local angle:
    http://www.geocities.com/irelandscw/part-BWN.htm

  • Garibaldy

    Reader,

    I’m afraid the tanks were a tiny contribution compared to that of other countries. And the government in the UK tried to stop people reaching Spain, and certainly tried to frustrate arms shipments. Remember that this was democracy versus fascism, and the democracies stood by, in what was effectively an atittude of friendly neturrality to Franco.

  • Garibaldy

    Paddy Mc Alister, a Belfast volunteer in Spain, wrote a pamphlet on his time in Spain published by The Workers’ Party in 1975 or 1976, but no sign of it online.

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: Remember that this was democracy versus fascism, and the democracies stood by, in what was effectively an atittude of friendly neturrality to Franco.
    The Democracy vs Fascism choice vanished almost as soon as the war started. By the end of the war the Republican side was shooting each other, over whether Anarchists or Communists were going to lead the Republican side into defeat. Should the US and Britain have intervened to impose democracy on Spain?

  • Garibaldy

    Britain and France (the US was isolationist at the time) could easily have intervened. But they chose not to. The argument about the end of the war is somewhat missing the point as had they intervened when the fascist powers did it might never have got that far.

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: But they chose not to.
    I asked if they *should* have intervened. Intervention is a bit of a hot topic, these days, with Afghanistan and Iraq and all. Is there a general rule you would endorse?

  • Garibaldy

    Generally people shouldn’t invade other people’s countries. But where a bunch of fascist countries have invaded another one, then I don’t see the problem

  • Reader

    Garibaldy: But where a bunch of fascist countries have invaded another one, then I don’t see the problem
    But Fascism wasn’t nearly so unfashionable before WW2. Still, maybe Britain, and the US (and Ireland?) should have intervened.
    Is Fascist intervention the only trigger for acceptable intervention? – how about Communist intervention as a trigger (all those Cubans in Africa…), or internal oppression, or genocide? Are there any cases or regimes in the world *right now* where you would advocate intervention by armed force? Is there no-one worse than Franco? And if so, who should actually intervene?