Research article on MH 17

The Heritage and Destiny website today publishes a guest article by Ivan Winters, exploring some of the facts behind the shooting down of the airliner MH 17, widely blamed (indirectly) on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Click here to read this exploration of MH 17 – Some Facts!

 

MH 17: Some facts!

A guest article by Ivan Winters

Rather like my previous article re the Ukrainian protests and the overthrow of a democratically elected President (see H&D Issue 60) all I intend to do in this article is to provide a ‘primer’, a starting point for the reader to launch their own enquiries and lay to rest some of the more idiotic narratives going around. I made comments in the last article about the poor quality of Western media coverage of the situation during the ‘Maidan protests’ and the need to use alternative sources. It has got even worse during this incident. I cited Al Jazeera (AJ) and Russia Today (RT) as two useful sources in my previous article although I did caution that RT is of course putting the Russian regimes spin on things. RT coverage has deteriorated with the network putting forward various barely credible alleged versions of ‘events’ all of which conveniently blame the ‘Ukraine’ or ‘the West’. Most of these claims can be easily debunked by a little research. The next day forgetting the previous day’s narrative which has been debunked RT comes out with another version of events!! In fact at least one RT journalist, Sara Firth, resigned over RT’s handling of the issue. The only station that has remained credible is AJ but AJ has not been giving much airtime to the MH17 incident. This is because AJ’s ‘heroes’ in Gaza, Hamas, have been having a noisy neighbourhood spat with Israel and AJ is giving that a lot of airtime.

A further problem is that among the various claims and counterclaims made by both parties observers are effectively told by both sides that they must take everything ‘on trust’ with little of the primary evidence being made available. We went to war in Iraq on the basis of a ‘dodgy dossier’ now we are not even being allowed to see the dossier merely listen to each sides ‘interpretation’ of their alleged evidence. This includes the fact that the US is known to have electronic intelligence aircraft (ELINT) and satellites monitoring Eastern Ukraine. Both AJ and RT have shown pictures of State Department Press conferences in Washington where the spokeswoman has refused to give any primary evidence from these sources just ‘interpretation’. The evidence given has included such things as pictures from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) allegedly showing a Russian SA-11 rocket launcher being transported on a civilian low loader and photographed allegedly passing through a town close to the Russian border, Krasnodon (Pic 1).

Pic 1: Ukrainian Security Service photo allegedly showing a Russian rocket launcher passing through Krasnodon

The photo has now been taken down from the SBU site but is still quoted by Western sources to prove Russian complicity in this incident. Why has it been taken down. Because some Western sources working on the Internet did what Western media failed to do – check out the pictures. Looking at Pic 1 despite the cruddy resolution clearly visible over the top of the low loader are some trolley bus wires and to the left is the edge of a large roadside advertising hoarding. The border town where this is alleged to have been photographed has a trolley bus system but nothing else fits the photo! In fact some detective work suggests this was taken some distance from the border on the outskirts of Luhansk (Pic 2).

Pic 2: Some detective work suggests the photo was taken elsewhere – some distance from the border on the outskirts of Luhansk.

Just too add to the disinformation the Russians used the same photo (Pic 1) and said it was taken in the city of Krasnoarmeysk a city controlled by the Ukrainian Army since May 11th . But Krasnoarmeysk has no trolley bus system. These discrepancies are analysed further here. A further light is thrown on the situation because as I mentioned above the missile launcher was being transported on a civilian low loader. If, as claimed by the Ukrainians this was a Russian supplied system that is rather odd as the Russians have a range of military tractor/trailer units to transport their systems on. Use of a civilian low loader suggests an ad hoc arrangement, the sort of thing that could well be improvised by civilian based separatists. In fact ‘Paris Match’ magazine did something which major news sources had failed to do. A phone number can be seen on the low loader in some photos. They dialled it ! The owner of the haulage yard told them it had been stolen ‘earlier this month’.

Pic 3: A tarpaulin covered missile launcher filmed on a dashboard camera, just inside the Russian border.

Talking of military and civilian low loaders leads to another confusing report which covers in detail. This is a report of a tarpaulin covered missile launcher on a military low loader filmed on a ‘dashboard camera’ a couple of kilometres inside the Russian border (Pic 3). The missile unit was originally identified as a SA-11, the type of missile most sources accept was fired at MH-17. A closer look at it by Dr Richard North noticed that not only was it on a military low loader it appeared to be longer, with a longer overhang over the hull of the launcher and (just visible under the tarpaulin) more track wheels (7 not 6). It appears to be a SA-12 a different missile launcher with a longer range and greater altitude than the SA-11. In his research Dr Richard North even found a company in New Orleans, USA, that makes diecast models of the SA-12 launcher and military low loader! Could the Russians have shot down MH-17 with a SA-12 from their side of the border and left it to ‘separatists’ with the shorter range SA-11 in the Ukraine to claim the ‘credit’ (or catch the blame !)? The SA-12 has totally different radars from the SA-11 and it is almost certain US ELINT aircraft would have detected the aircraft was being tracked by the ‘wrong radar’. (Rather than bore readers witless if you want more read the long, technical articles, on SA-11 and SA-12 on Wikipedia).

What we have after this long convoluted discussion and various attempts to muddy the waters mainly by Ukrainian and Western sources is that it appears MH-17 was shot down by a SA-11 missile fired from a separatist controlled area of the Eastern Ukraine. How did they get the launcher? Some of the pictures show a number painted on the side of the launcher ‘312’. This matches with pictures on a Facebook page relating to the soldiers in a Ukrainian air defence unit. A picture from early this year, before the outbreak of the ‘separatist uprising’, shows a launcher numbered 312 at the unit base in Donetsk. This base was stormed by the separatists at the beginning of the uprising and a lot of the equipment seized. The Ukrainians claim the missile launchers seized were ‘non-operational’ but they would say that to hide their embarrassment at a lot of high value equipment being seized wouldn’t they ? Some of the separatist commanders in various interviews (rants!) have claimed that ‘civil organisations’ in Russia gave them help fixing ‘non-operational’ equipment they seized. This could be true or it could be a ploy by the separatist leaders to make it appear they have more support than they really have to impress the local East Ukrainian population.

One final factor that is not being mentioned by the Western Press. On July 14th a Ukrainian Antonov An-26 transport was shot down over the separatist controlled region at 21000ft. The altitude of this aircraft meant that it was too high to have been shot down by a shoulder fired missile. A SA-11 or similar system was obviously deployed in the region. Three days later MH-17 was shot down. The question that is being asked is why didn’t the Ukrainian and/or US governments order international air traffic organisations to close the air zone over the Eastern Ukraine to civilian flights as a high altitude capable missile system was deployed in the area? As an aside according to the ‘Wikipedia’ entry for the SA-11M1 (the type used in the Ukraine) there was an old technology 1980’s IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system fitted but I note that the citation for this item (citation ‘8’) is a duff link ! Has their been some ‘friendly editing’ of the entry ? How much skill does the crew need to have to use the IFF (if it exists) competently? As a matter of fact by July 17th some airlines were taking a longer route over the Black Sea to avoid this war zone. Did the Ukrainian government desperate for foreign currency keep routing flights over the area so they could charge the ‘transit fees’ to airlines? Or did the Ukrainian and/or US governments hope for an ‘own goal’ by the separatist manned missile launcher crew which the Western governments could then try to link President Putin too?

I mentioned above the Western governments tactic of blaming everything on ‘Putin’ and refusing to show any of their alleged ‘primary evidence’. The Ukrainian attempts to support the West in this have consisted of dodgy photos which they have had to take down when they are challenged. I mentioned earlier the ‘dodgy dossier’ in Iraq but in 2003 some Western media questioned the accuracy of that dossier. Even the BBC did so with it’s then reporter, the excellent Andrew Gilligan. Now we have a celebrity magazine Paris Match doing more research than the major news organisations like the BBC!  A researcher working with a laptop in Wibsey, South Bradford is doing major research on the subject in between his normal ‘duties’ such as putting together anti-EU briefings. I mentioned in my previous article the work that can be done using ‘alternative media’ compared to the traditional news sources but it is strange (or deliberate ?) that the traditional media are not making efforts to improve the quality of their fact finding. They are, by their lack of efforts to research on these major issues, destroying their own credibility and handing their audiences over to the alternative media. I will close with one excellent quote. Former US Secretary of State, Dr Henry Kissinger may be 90 but he has still got all his marbles: ‘Demonizing Vladimir Putin does not make a Foreign Policy!’

 

Cameron lost the 2015 election yesterday

Baroness Warsi (second left) on BBC TV’s ‘Question Time’ with then BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Baroness Warsi has hitherto been a minor political figure: perhaps the highlight of her career until today was an appearance on BBC Television’s Question Time where she assisted in the general humiliation of then BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Yet her departure from David Cameron’s government yesterday morning might yet take its place alongside the most significant ministerial resignations in British political history, a contest whose palm is probably taken by Sir Geoffrey Howe’s adroit knifing of Margaret Thatcher.
Like Howe, Sayeeda Warsi might eventually bring down a Prime Minister, though in her case partly for indirect reasons that she would not fully appreciate.
A hallmark of Cameron’s leadership has been his obsession with ‘rebranding’ the Tories as an inclusive party, genuflecting to every politically correct obsession.  Therefore his so-called ‘A-list’ of parliamentary candidates – to be foisted on often reluctant local Conservative associations – included enhanced quotas not only of women but of ethnic minorities, etc.  As a Muslim woman from a relatively humble social background (her father was a millionaire but had arrived in England penniless) Sayeeda Warsi ticked several important boxes – and she was a predictably strong supporter of Cameron when he made his leadership bid.
Her elevation to Conservative Party chairman was a symbol of Cameron’s ambition to slay the ghost of Enoch Powell.  Tory think tanks have repeatedly asserted that Asian immigrants, including many Muslims, ought to be natural Tories.  (Conveniently forgetting that one aspect of their ‘natural’ Toryism is a social conservatism that recoils in horror at many of the liberal attitudes which Cameron eagerly embraces.)
By far the biggest contradiction in Cameron’s strategy was exposed yesterday.  For all their concern with politically correct gestures, all such shallow posturing is inevitably outweighed by the modern Tories’ slavish devotion to the Zionist project.

Warsi’s main Cabinet opponent and arch-Zionist, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (right), seen at a banquet for the Jewish ‘defence’ force Community Security Trust with Metropolitan Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (centre) and CST founder Gerald Ronson (left), convicted City fraudster and financier of the ‘anti-fascist’ magazine Searchlight and the violent ’62 Group’.

Baroness Warsi could have remained discreetly in office, assuring her Muslim friends that she was doing all she could behind closed doors, while continuing to enjoy her ministerial salary and other perquisites of office.  She chose a more courageous option, and might yet cause further aftershocks by publishing a diary of her time in government, and/or defecting to Labour.
Why might we assume that the impact of Warsi’s resignation will be felt beyond the ‘Westminster village’ of politicos and journalists?
1) Until yesterday it remained likely that (even traditionally Labour) Muslim voters might have had doubts at next year’s general election about sending Ed Miliband to Downing Street.  Despite all Miliband’s pro-Palestinian rhetoric, and his lack of any religious or even social connections with the mainstream of Anglo-Jewry, many Muslims might have held back from electing the first ethnic Jewish PM since Disraeli.  Warsi’s resignation (especially if she actually defects to Labour) will remove any such concerns.  Muslims had already begun to swing back to Labour in 2010 after their earlier defections in the Blair years.  The salience of the Gaza issue, combined with other factors, will ensure that Muslims vote solidly for Labour in 2015, and turn out heavily.
2) Boris Johnson will play his hand very cleverly (though of course cynically) over the next year.  He has already signalled support for Warsi, though in terms that will not discredit him among Tory friends of Israel.  None of this will win over Muslim voters to the Tory fold, but it will leave Cameron and his ally George Osborne exposed to internal criticism during the pre-election period.
3) Cameron can do nothing to shift his government’s fundamental position on Israel/Palestine, and is likely to suffer further resignations and backbench criticism both within his own party and from his Lib Dem allies.  But it is also far too late for him to amend his politically correct obsessions – indeed these will increase in a vain attempt to offset the Warsi/Gaza issue.  Cameron will continue and increase his focus on “anti-racism” and will probably tone down the hardline immigration rhetoric that had recently been urged on him by campaign advisers.  The result will be a continued haemmorhage of traditional Tory support to UKIP, even among voters who don’t care that much about UKIP’s core policies on Europe.
For nationalists, afflicted by the inevitably delayed recovery from our own self-inflicted wounds, there will be few short-term electoral advantages, but a hopeful prospect ahead: a weak Labour government, faced by a divided Tory opposition and a growing detachment from the traditional party system.

Massive Fraud in 2014 South Africa Election

“Democratic” election winner Zuma

(Stephen Goodson reports)
The South African election held on May 7, 2014 surpassed all previous levels of manipulation, bribery, corruption and fraud.  Since the first multi-racial election took place on April 27, 1994 every election result has been rigged in the favour of the African National Congress (ANC).  In an article in the Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad under the title “Verkiezingen Zuid-Afrika oneerlijk: (Elections in South Africa dishonest), former president F.W. de Klerk admitted that he was aware that over one million ballots for the ANC “netjes in stapels” (neatly in piles) were placed in ballot boxes.  He, however, decided not to object as wished “de natie vooruit te helpen” (to help the nation forward).
At that time a perceptive commentator made the observation that as the ANC, a compliant puppet of the international bankers, slowly ran the country into the ground and suffered a consequent drop in support, the party would have to resort to increasing levels of vote rigging in order to stay in power.  In this election the ANC’s share of the vote declined by 3.7% from 65.9% in 2009 to 62.2%.  In terms of the number of votes allegedly received, the decline was a trifling 213,827 from 11,650,748 to 11,436,921.  This marginal decline occurred notwithstanding the fact that 50 % of the population lives below the poverty datum line, there is 40% black unemployment, there are over 16 million persons receiving a poverty reducing social grant, (pop. 52 million) and according to the Gini coefficient South Africa has the most unequal distribution of income in the world at 0.7!  In any other normal society the ANC would have been heavily punished for its appalling record of service delivery, high levels of corruption (R30 billion or $3 billion was unaccounted for in the previous financial year), uncontrollable crime and poor economic growth, and thus suffered a comprehensive defeat.
According to an article in the Mail & Guardian vote rigging was rampant, particularly in the province of Gauteng where Johannesburg is situated.   When it became clear that the ANC was slipping below the 50% barrier, counting was delayed for over 24 hours in order to manipulate the results in its favour.  Independent observers have revealed that many counting slips were not signed off by the counting officer, or where they had been, they were not signed by a party agent.  There were results which had been signed off by auditors, but differed enormously from the scanned slips.  There were also huge differences in the votes cast by opposition parties on the national and provincial lists, which is a clear indication that there had been tampering with the ballot papers.
The head of the Independent Election Commission, whose ironic slogan is “ensuring free and fair elections”, is under investigation for alleged fraud by the National Treasury.  It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mrs Tlakula was pressurised by government, and in the case of the UBUNTU Party by the Reserve Bank, into ensuring that the correct result was obtained in return for a suspended sentence and a substantial golden handshake.  In this regard it also needs to be mentioned that Jacob Zuma, prior to becoming president of South Africa faced over 700 criminal charges for corruption and racketeering.
One of the major victims of this disgraceful vote rigging was the UBUNTU Party, which offered to the people of South Africa for the first time in its history a proposal to establish a People’s Bank, which would create the nation’s money supply free of debt and interest.  The benefits flowing from a People’s Bank would enable all government infrastructure expenditure to be financed free of interest, home loans at 0% plus a small handling fee, agricultural loans at 0% plus a small handling fee, as in North Dakota, free electricity for domestic consumers as a result of the electricity utility no longer having to pay interest on its loans, lower taxes, zero inflation and near full employment.  The UBUNTU Party launched a sophisticated publicity campaign using leaflets, posters, radio ads in multiple languages, radio interviews, a mobi-fun cell phone campaign, e-mails, t-shirts, you tube clips and a trailer parked all around Johannesburg.  In addition to its existing membership of20,000, the party  received thousands of offers of support and help and built up a supporter base of almost one million.  Despite having a highly successful campaign, the party received a derisory 8,234 votes.
A spokesman for the UBUNTU Party said that they became aware that something was seriously wrong, when one of the party agents, who observed the counting of the international votes – the UBUNTU Party has a strong following overseas – reported that the party had received a quarter of the 18,132 votes cast i.e. 4,500, but only 16 votes were recorded on the scanned receipt.
The UBUNTU Party’s lawyers are currently studying the feasibility of taking this matter to the Constitutional Court with the ultimate purpose of having all the criminals involved in this voting scam exposed.  They will also be canvassing for an increase in the two day time limit to lodge objections to five days, Perspex ballot boxes and for the use of Open Source Free Software in all future elections in order to prevent the endemic problem of vote rigging.

World leaders gather for funeral of Marxist terrorist

Nelson Mandela (centre) with his then wife and fellow terrorist Winnie (left) and Joe Slovo, head of the South African Communist Party.

Today in Johannesburg political and religious leaders from around the world are gathering to pay their final respects to Nelson Mandela, a man who was elevated to virtual sainthood during the last 25 years. Some of those leaders will be hypocrites such as the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who as a young Tory activist was perfectly happy to take a free holiday to South Africa paid for by a propaganda outfit of Mandela’s enemies in the old South African government. Others will be naive but sincere liberals, who believe the “anti-apartheid” movement to have been the great moral cause of their lifetime.

In fact there are only two political/historical subjects that have been taken out of normal debate and given a quasi-religious status, so that it is regarded as grossly offensive or even criminal to express a different view: the Holocaust and Nelson Mandela.

This is all the more peculiar when one realises that Mandela was a Marxist terrorist, allied to the IRA. In fact the movement he led – the African National Congress – was the most communistic of all African ‘liberation’ movements, and Mandela was personally in charge of its shift towards a more pro-Moscow and violent approach.

As has recently been documented by the British historian Dr Calder Walton in his book Empire of Secrets, many African leaders linked themselves with White Marxists as well as liberals as part of their advance to power, while in fact having no real ideology other than personal advancement. Once they had become rulers of their ‘independent’ post-imperial states, they almost always decided that a secret relationship with British intelligence would be more profitable than fellow travelling with Moscow.

A slightly earlier book – External Mission: The ANC in Exile, by Prof. Stephen Ellis, published in 2011 – proved that Mandela and the ANC were an exception, developing especially close ties to Moscow.  During his trial in 1963 – after which he was jailed for life, convicted of leading a terrorist conspiracy – Mandela denied being a Communist Party member.

Yet Prof. Ellis established that he was not only a member, but a leading activist on the central committee of the South African Communist Party, and that even before he became leader of the ANC he was in charge of the pro-Communist faction within the movement, seeking arms and finance from both Moscow and Beijing. (Eventually the ANC became pro-Soviet, though with a small pro-China faction.)

The ANC’s terrorist wing which Mandela commanded – known as Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) – began a campaign of bombings in December 1961. Mandela and nine of his closest comrades were arrested after a successful operation by South African anti-terrorist police, who arrested them in July 1963 at a farm owned by the Jewish communist Arthur Goldreich. In 1948 Goldreich had served in the elite Palmach wing of the Zionist terrorist group Haganah.

The property and other ANC assets had been purchased via Goldreich and a fellow Jewish communist, lawyer Harold Wolpe.

Even with Mandela in prison, his movement continued its terror campaign and built close ties with two of the 20th century’s most infamous organisations: the East German secret police, the Stasi, who trained ANC members in torture and other methods to be used against opponents in their own ranks; and the IRA, whose experts tutored Mandela’s men in the fine arts of bomb making, so that they could be more efficient in killing South African women and children in a series of terrorist outrages.

Nelson Mandela with fellow terrorists Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams of the IRA. 

One IRA style bombing among many was on Church Street in the centre of Pretoria in 1983, killing 19 and injuring 217. Many more bombs targetted Wimpy bars and supermarkets, such as a shop in Amanzimtoti, Natal, in 1985 killing five civilians and injuring 40.

By this time Western leaders had ceased caring about White civilians in South Africa.  With the Soviet bloc collapsing at the end of the 1980s, London and Washington helped broker a deal between the South African business elite and the ANC, by which Mandela was released from prison and installed in “democratic” power.

Many years earlier Britain’s secret intelligence service MI6 had intervened to prevent Mandela being killed during a planned prison escape. British agent Sir Robert Birley, former headmaster of Eton, foiled the plot and became an important MI6 link to Mandela and the ANC leadership, whose Marxist ideals did not prevent such opportunistic alliances.

 

 

Nick Griffin’s road to Damascus

A younger Nick Griffin (left) with his then National Front colleague Derek Holland visiting Libya in 1988.

Today’s Times reports the arrival of Nick Griffin in Lebanon, and no doubt tomorrow’s papers will update the story now that the BNP leader has crossed the border into Syria and arrived in Damascus.

We have made many criticisms of Nick Griffin over the years, but several of his recent statements would not be out of place in Heritage and Destiny!

  • Distancing the BNP from the cretinous Zionist thuggery of the English Defence League.
  • Arguing against successive British governments’ wars for Israel.
  • Defending the Syrian government against relentless Western propaganda, and exposing the terrorism of anti-Assad rebels.
  • Endorsing the Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah in recent online comments.

That said, The Times is justified in pointing out the remarkable contortions and contradictions in Mr Griffin’s comments on the Middle East over the years.

During the mid-1980s he was a leading spokesman for the most militantly anti-Zionist faction of British nationalism, which became the “political soldier” faction of the National Front, and eventually the “International Third Position”.  In this capacity he visited the Libyan capital Tripoli in 1988 and sought funds from Col. Gadaffi.

As leader of the BNP after 1999 he remained pro-Gadaffi, but only because he saw the Libyan dictator as anti-Islamist, and by now Mr Griffin was hostile to all Muslims – apparently endorsing neo-conservative notions of a “clash of civilisations” between Islam and the West.

In January 2009 for example Mr Griffin criticised the BBC for “anti-Israel bias” and condemned “neo-nazi cranks” within nationalism who opposed Israel, saying that the destruction of the Zionist state would “inspire and radicalise a whole new generation of Jihadist fanatics”.

Mr Griffin now concluded that the survival of Israel was “in our clear national interest”.

Only a year or two ago, Mr Griffin was still condemning both the “Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and Iran”.  Now he seems to have decided (correctly as it happens) that only the Saudi Wahhabis should be criticised (though in H&D‘s view he should go a lot further in his historical analysis of this phenomenon).

Some cynics might argue that Mr Griffin has no genuine ideological (still less scholarly) interest in the region, and is motivated solely by the search for cheap headlines and potential donors.

But perhaps we should not be too cynical, and as Mr Griffin follows the road to Damascus we should remember the words of St Luke’s gospel:

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

 

Nelson Mandela proven to be a Communist Party member

After years of lies in which liberal opinion across the world elevated him to sainthood, the terrorist leader Nelson Mandela has been exposed as a member of the Communist Party whose movement – the African National Congress (ANC) – took bomb making lessons from the IRA and was trained in interrogation techniques by the infamous East German Stasi.

A new book by the British historian Prof. Stephen Ellis (former editor of the respected newsletter Africa Confidential) has established the truth by examining previously secret minutes from the South African Communist Party (SACP).  At his trial in 1963, it was alleged that Mandela was a Communist Party member as well as leader of the ANC’s terrorist wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). Mandela denied this at the trial, and his denials have since been echoed by ANC apologists worldwide.

As Prof. Ellis explains:
“I think most people who supported the anti-apartheid movement just didn’t want to know that much about his background. Apartheid was seen as a moral issue and that was that. But if real proof had been produced at the time, some might have thought differently.”

The new book External Mission: The ANC in Exile was launched last week at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and can be purchased here.

Prof. Ellis’s startling revelations were reported in the Sunday Telegraph on 9th December.

Now that Mandela’s Communist and IRA links have been proved by the most serious scholarly analysis of the ANC’s history, we can see the truth of the observation by the late Dr Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, who wrote:
“one thing the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ South Africa have in common is a passion for inventing history.  History is not seen as a dispassionate inquiry into what happened, but rather as a part of political mobilisation promoting some form of collective self-interest.”

Who knows what further political myths could be shattered by a dispassionate inquiry into real history?

Such an inquiry might begin by looking at the background of the South African Communist Party leaders who recruited and promoted Mandela.  As the Jewish Journal commented last year:
“Jews were disproportionately found on the front lines of the internal resistance movement.”

These included a series of Communist Party leaders commemorated in this special issue of postage stamps, including Hymie and Esther Barsel, Rusty and Hilda Bernstein, Ruth First and Joe Slovo, who headed both the ANC’s terrorist wing and the Communist Party itself.

Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela and Communist leader Joe Slovo

MI6 and Iranian nukes – don’t believe the hype!

MI6 chief Sir John Sawers: whose agenda is served by hyping the Iranian nuclear 'threat'

MI6 chief Sir John Sawers: whose agenda is served by hyping the Iranian nuclear 'threat'?

Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph carried a dramatic front page headline claiming that MI6 has so far stopped Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and that the Iranians are now only a couple of years away from obtaining their own nukes.

But Telegraph readers should beware of the hype and should be asking themselves whose interests are really served by all this hysteria about Iran.  The claims were supposedly made by the MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, speaking to a hundred civil servants at a conference in London last week.  Yet in reality intelligence professionals have repeatedly agreed that Iran hasn’t even decided to start a nuclear weapons programme.  The considered judgment of both the CIA and MI6 is that Iran halted its early stages of nuclear weapons research way back in 2003, and hasn’t started it up again.

Political agitation forced the CIA to reopen their investigation: but they again concluded that there was no Iranian nuclear weapons programme.  One CIA source told the New York Times that even the Israeli spy agency Mossad agreed with this conclusion: “Mossad does not disagree with the U.S. on the weapons program. There is not a lot of dispute between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities on the facts.”

So what is actually going on here? It seems that the Daily Telegraph – together with some Tory politicians such as former Defence Secretary Liam Fox – is determined to push the political agenda of the Israeli government, beating the drum for military conflict with Iran at every opportunity.

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan has warned against attacking Iran, but hardliners in the Israeli government such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disagree with their own intelligence chiefs.  Just like Tony Blair and George Bush at the start of the Iraq war, they are prepared to ignore the facts and are determined on a military showdown.

The key fact that such lobbyists ignore is that there is only one nuclear power in the Middle East, and that is Israel itself – a country that obtained nuclear weapons by subterfuge and remains adamantly opposed to any form of international inspection. They even kidnapped and imprisoned one of their own nuclear scientists, Mordechai Vanunu, after he dared tell the truth to the British press.

And now – while accusing of Iran of terrorism – Israel openly boasts to friendly journalists of its role in murdering Iranian scientists.

Its time for our government to start putting our own country’s interests first: that means avoiding yet another bloody, illegal and disastrously costly war.

Afghanistan’s turning point: bring our troops home now

Afghan-Tet

This morning (Sunday 15th April) there seems to be a coordinated attack by Taliban forces on targets in the Afghan capital Kabul, including the U.S. Embassy.

No doubt eventually these attacks will be repulsed, but nevertheless this is a significant turning point that prompts an obvious historical comparison.

In January 1968 (during the traditional Lunar New Year celebration known as Tet) Viet Cong insurgents backed by communist North Vietnam launched an offensive against South Vietnamese and American forces.  This went down in history as the Tet Offensive.

Major targets of the Tet Offensive included the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, the South Vietnamese presidential palace and the radio station.  Eventually the communist forces were beaten back with heavy casualties.  But this wasn’t the point.

The point was that while the American public were being told that the insurgents were being defeated and the situation was coming under control, the Tet Offensive proved that in fact the Viet Cong had the ability to strike even high profile targets in the capital.

It should then have become obvious that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, in that the Viet Cong could only be held at bay by continuing, indefinite commitment of U.S. troops.

So it is today in Afghanistan.  British and American forces are not going to be defeated in a conventional military sense.  But they aren’t going to defeat the Taliban either.

Today’s offensive should be recognised as the Afghan Tet.

Tragically the lesson wasn’t learned in 1968, and the Vietnam War continued until the ignominious American withdrawal in 1975.

Are our rulers going to wait another seven years, with countless further casualties, before a similar withdrawal from Afghanistan?  There is an alternative.  A troop withdrawal plan should begin imminently, accompanied by bringing in the two major regional powers – Russia and Iran – to broker an agreed peace settlement for Afghanistan and the Pakistan border region.

French nationalist leader’s Presidential challenge

Marine Le Pen is likely to poll around 15% in this year's French presidential election, but is very unlikely to qualify for the second round run-off

Marine Le Pen is likely to poll around 15% in this year's French presidential election, but is very unlikely to qualify for the second round run-off

Since the mid-1980s the French Front National (National Front) has been the most successful nationalist party in Europe. The FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked the political establishment in 2002 when he finished ahead of the Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, and qualified for the second round “run-off” ballot. Le Pen is now 83 years old and has retired from the party leadership, succeeded by his daughter Marine. Can she pull off a similar (or even better) surprise result in 2012?

OFRTP-FRANCE-PRESIDENTIELLE-LE-PEN-20070228

Jean-Marie Le Pen contested the French presidency five times and was runner-up in 2002.

French presidential elections are held in two stages. The first ballot on 22nd April involves ten candidates:

  • President Nicolas Sarkozy is seeking re-election after five years in the Elysée Palace.  Of half-Jewish origin, Sarkozy leads the centre-right Gaullist party, although he is the first French president born after the Second World War and to have had no personal connection to the politics of Gen. De Gaulle’s era.
  • Socialist candidate François Hollande is the main challenger and until recently seen as the almost certain winner this year.  During the campaign opinion polls have shown Hollande losing support to the far left.
  • Marine Le Pen of the Front National is likely to finish third, though in the early stages of the campaign there seemed an outside chance that she could overtake Sarkozy and get into a run-off against Hollande.
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a former Socialist government minister who looks set to be the most successful far left candidate since the old Communist Party.  Recent polls show him running neck and neck with Le Pen and challenging for third place.
  • François Bayrou is a perennial candidate of the centre-right, seen as leading a more moderate form of conservatism.  He served as education minister in conservative governments during the 1990s, and has twice been a presidential candidate previously, finishing third with 18.6% in 2007.
  • Eva Joly – the Green presidential candidate this year – is a lawyer noted for anti-corruption investigations.  The strength of the far left means that the Greens are a lot weaker in France than in Germany, and Joly will struggle to gain more than 2%.
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan leads the closest present French equivalent to UKIP and is a former member of Sarkozy’s party.  His campaign has made little impact and he is likely to gain only about 1%.
  • There are two minor candidates of the far left, the Trotskyist Nathalie Arthaud and the semi-Trotskyist Philippe Poutou, but they have been overshadowed this year by the more mainstream far left candidature of Mélenchon.  While the latter might poll as high as 15% and could even overtake Le Pen, Arthaud and Poutou will probably get a combined vote of no more than 2%.
  • Jacques Cheminade is the most unusual of the ten candidates.  He is a radical anti-war and anti-globalisation activist, and leads a movement linked to the 89 year old American Lyndon LaRouche.  Cheminade – a former diplomat – was previously a presidential candidate in 1995, but is unlikely to get more than 0.5%.
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the most serious far left French presidential candidate for a generation, and could poll around 15%, possibly overtaking Le Pen.

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the most serious far left French presidential candidate for a generation, and could poll around 15%, possibly overtaking Le Pen.

    Marine Le Pen had a very promising start to her campaign, but an over-emphasis on the supposed threat from radical Islam has blunted the edge of her radical challenge to Sarkozy.  The best guess now is that she will poll somewhere between her father’s 10.4% last time and his most successful first round result of 16.9% in 2002.  It now looks very unlikely indeed that she can qualify for the second round, which is almost certain to be between Sarkozy and Hollande and to end in a Socialist victory for the first time since the days of President Mitterand (1981-95), who until now is the only Socialist to have served as President in the history of the French Fifth Republic.

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