A Peace Activist Leads the Labour Party

I wonder if people in the United States understand what it means that the Labour Party in London now has a peace activist in charge of it. Jeremy Corbyn does not resemble any U.S. politicians. He doesn’t favor “only the smart wars” or prefer drone murders to massive invasions. Corbyn opposes wars, and he works to end militarism. He was over here in Washington recently trying to get a Brit freed from Guantanamo. He chairs the Stop the War Coalition, one of the biggest peace organizations in Britain. He meets with foreign peace activists, like me, who can’t even enter the same worldview, much less the same room, with any U.S. leaders.

When Corbyn and I both spoke at a peace event in London four years ago, he was introduced by Andrew Murray as working in Parliament with “a pack of war lords.” Corbyn agreed: Parliament is made up of war lords and war criminals, he remarked.

Corbyn at that point credited the Stop the War Coalition with having helped to prevent an attack on Iran in recent years, just as I believed the US peace movement deserved credit, and does so again this year.

Corbyn called the idea that more time was needed to finish a job in Afghanistan a “load of tosh.” He also pointed out that the two sides fighting in Libya could exchange parts for their rifles, because they both had rifles provided by Britain.

Corbyn doesn’t just call war criminals “war criminals.” He intends to see them prosecuted, including Tony Blair, whom Corbyn wants to see face charges for the 2003 attack on Iraq, which Corbyn of course opposed.

Corbyn doesn’t just oppose militarism rhetorically. He wants to shut it down. He opposes the Trident nuclear boondoggle and intends to withdraw the UK from NATO. What other NATO members might follow the UK’s lead?

Corbyn doesn’t just express nice sentiments about a distant future without nuclear weapons. He advocates unilateral disarmament by the UK, in compliance with the non-proliferation treaty.

Corbyn doesn’t just muse about non-military solutions in Syria but seeks to find them and to prevent military action that makes crises worse. He plans to halt British airstrikes from planes or drones in Syria. He also mentions the uncomfortable topic of “some of our supposed allies in the region” providing weapons and funding to ISIS — and proposes to cut that off rather than fueling the fire with more weapons and attacks.

Corbyn is even opposed to the steady buildup of hostility toward Russia, and faults NATO for expanding and the West for creating the crisis in Ukraine. He doesn’t excuse actual misdeeds by Russia, but faults U.S. and European aggression and hypocrisy.

And, though this may be difficult for Americans to imagine, Corbyn opposes the mass slaughter of Palestinians by Israel.

Hours after being elected leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn spoke on Saturday at a huge pro-refugee rally in Parliament Square, and blamed the refugee crisis on its cause, declaring that he would not support the past policy of rushing about the world launching wars.

Americans have come to believe that politicians who support, promote, tolerate, or fund wars can be “war critics” by proposing various tweaks to the war machine.

Bernie Sanders focuses on money issues, taxing the rich, spending on the poor, but has thus far been permitted to engage in the general practice of speaking only about the 46% of federal discretionary spending that it not military. Nobody has asked him about the 54% that by the calculation of National Priorities Project is military. Nobody has asked him if Eisenhower was right that military spending produces wars. Here are 25,000 people who want to know whether and how much Sanders would want to cut military spending.

Sanders is silent on the public support for two, not one, great sources of revenue: taxing the rich (which he’s all over) and cutting the military (which he avoids). When he is asked about wars and says Saudi Arabia should pay for and lead them, nobody has followed up by asking whether the wars are themselves good or not or how the theocratic murderous regime in Saudi Arabia which openly seeks to overthrow other governments and is dropping US cluster bombs on Yemen will transform the wars into forces for good. Since when is THAT “socialism”?

If you go to Bernie’s website and click on ISSUES and search for foreign policy it’s just not there. In the United States, candidates for high office are permitted to just be silent on how much they’d cut the military, even within a range of $100 billion. Does Sanders, or do any of the other candidates, favor $45 billion in more free weapons for Israel paid for by the U.S. public whom Sanders usually wants to spare lesser expenses than that? Who knows.

Jeremy Corbyn just won leadership of the Labour Party by promoting socialism at home and abroad. What are we yanks afraid of?

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  • jadan

    The “Yanks” are afraid of the Pentagon. This is not the UK, Sanders is not Corbyn. The US is occupied territory. If you want to survive, you tread lightly. The political landscape is littered with anti-personnel mines.

    • cstahnke

      Allow me to say Amen.

  • tom

    Corbyn has set the new standard. Any British party that does not at least match these commitments is going to lose.

  • Libertybellle

    A time for war, and a time for peace Ecclesiaties 3:8.
    …and he [the final world ruler over mankind] shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many… Daniel 8:25.

    Do we let the man next door rape our five year old daughter until the cops arrive? Or cut her feet off? Or do we stop him even if we have to kill him?

    Right. Sometimes killing is necessary. Some times war is. And a blanket condemnation of it is unjust.

    I always wonder if anti war people are insane. Know that the issue, then, is just vs unjust war. And any other conclusion is simply injustice.

    By the way Mein Kampf and Bernie Sanders support socialism.

    • cstahnke

      Certainly violence is sometimes indicated in self-defense but most violence and war is caused by lies and confabulation. Stopping rapist is important but we should also try to understand why men rape and become dysfunctional. And that brings us to the biggest and most profound divide between conservatives and liberals and also shows up in comparable brain scans. Conservatives are more deeply fearful because they believe that human beings are naturally bad and need constant threats of violence to keep in line. Hell, of course is the deepest and most extreme form of violence and the ultimate threat conservatives have. Now I dint include certain elements of conservatives like libertarians or a goodly amount of pales in this critiques nor do I exclude the totalitarian center-left which makes up most of the DP and pops up here in the more radical politically correct crowd.

      If you look at all the major wars after the JFK assassination you will note that they were all based on lies. Why did we fight them? Because we could–it offered career advancement for everyone, fulfilled the need in a fragmented society to “come together” and made a ton of money for the MIC. Also
      , we should not forget that international corporate capitalists favored wars not to conquer territories but to keep people terrorized with the the knowledge that if they oppose the current power elite their society would be destroyed just as the assassinations of the sixties destroyed the indendence of politicians booth inside and outside the electoral process.

      • Libertybellle

        Uh, one doesn’t need brain scans to prove knowledge and a healthy fear about the evil nature of mankind shows up. All one has to do is open a history book and start reading. Most of that history of suffering and pain happened long before the invention of the USA . And that history features many lies and lies about wars. All that suffering went on long before corporations or the “MIC” were a bee in the bonnet of crazy libs who themselves excel at lies, murder, and destruction (not to mention wars).

        The evidence of mankind’s profound wickedness is on every page of ancient history unto this day. Yes, there is good to be found there too. But we cannot escape the ancient historical fact that there is something dreadfully wrong with the human species. We simply do not find such evil in the other creatures with which we share our planet. There is a reason mankind is distinct and unique in this matter of ” natural born corruption” unlike all other species on earth. Conservatives better understand this than liberals. It is rational to fear the natural corruption inherent in human nature and writ large on the ancient pages of human history (and now, according to you, brain scans).

        That the conservative brain picks up on this historical fact and it can be verified; and the liberal brain does not and is most likely a tribute to the sensibility of the conservative mind and a great concern about the feeble liberal one.

        Now it appears the goofy libs will soon suggest to us that fear is not a normal human condition even though almost all of the higher creatures on the planet exhibit it as well. They are always grasping at straws for trying to explain their twisted world view.

        Hopefully libs are not bragging about the brain scans that confirm our worst fears that it is they are most mentally disturbed.

  • Libertybellle

    Oh, and the lady with the “refugees welcome here” sign? She is promoting Anglo ethnic cleansing and genocide through immigration in England. That is happening all over the westen world where western leaders are ethnically cleansing people of European descent from European held lands.

    Democrats in America are heading up the ethnic cleansing of whites through “immigration”.

  • ClubToTheHead

    Sanders must know that if he were to become an actual threat to the tottering empire he would soon be dead.

    Corbyn better not forget that he is operating in U.S. occupied territory, easily within range of an Obama ordered drone strike.

    • Libertybellle

      Actually, the evidence from last century shows that those who promote socialism slaughter a lot people. Hitler and Mussolini for example. These types are interested in another kind of empire: a Marxist one.

      • ClubToTheHead


        • Libertybellle

          Socialism: advocated in Mein Kampf and Bernie Sanders speeches.

          • ClubToTheHead

            Democracy is advocated in the US.

            Rhetoric has no relation to policy.

          • Libertybellle

            We are a republic. Democracy is criminality (which is why Democrats support it).
            US policy is usurped by the leftists who promote socialism. But we still can return to the Constitution as that policy still stands as the law of the land.

            But the socialist swine will have to stopped first.

      • There was fascist totalitarianism under H & M as opposed to true socialism.

  • cstahnke

    We should all know by now that the USA is ruled by a Deep State which is like the political arrangements we see in the Godfather only in intent. The structure is that of an emergent neural network. But the end result is the same. You fuck with us and we’ll fuck you up–simple as that. All threats are dealt with and eliminated. Fake threats like ISIS or AQ are engineered and programmed into the system. The fact Corbyn and Sanders emerged shows a deep division within the power-elite and I think we will see a real movement beyond this election. I think this may be the first time since the 1960 election that the people may have a small voice in our political system we will see. Ukraine and Iran will be the test.

    • Lovely, just that Sanders is on record that he will not halt drone warfare.

  • Red Robbo

    Corbyn is seen as ‘Old Labour’. Old Labour supported both world wars, the atomic bombing of Japan,
    used troops to break strikes, introduced charges to the ‘free’ National Health Service,… If Corbyn becomes Primeminister in 2020, what would this mean for us, the 99%? More of the same – and business as usual for the capitalist class! Yes, even if the leftwingers’ holy of holies, the original Clause Four, is resurrected (BBC, 9 August), we can expect nothing more than the renationalisation of some industries, transport, etc. In a socialist society based on common ownership goods are simply distributed not exchanged, so there is no need for money, banks and the rest of the financial system.

    • Just snap your fingers and make it so, genius.

  • Rehmat

    On August 12, UK’s Jewish Chronicle editorial said that “it seems near a certainty that Jeremy Corbyn will become the leader of the Labour Party in just under a month.”

    Then JC claimed: “We are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews (325,000) in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr. Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.”

    Why? The Israeli mouthpiece then listed seven allegations against Jeremy Corbyn, some of which I mentioned in an earlier posting (here).

    However, the following additional allegations which threw me off my chair laughing – are directed at three people I happens to admire; UK’s Bishop Stephen Sizer, Paul Eisen, a proud Jew, but a Holocaust denier, and Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff.

    Did you donate, as alleged by its founder, to Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), a group that publishes open antisemtism, run by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen — an organisation so extreme that even the Palestine Solidarity Campaign refuses to associate with it?

    Have you, as Mr Eisen claims, regularly attended DYR’s annual conference?

    Why have you accepted an invitation to appear at a conference on August 22 alongside Carlos Latuff, the notorious anti-Semitic cartoonist?

    Why did you write to the Church of England authorities to defend Rev Stephen Sizer, a vicar banned from social media because of his habit of posting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, telling them that Rev Sizer was “under attack” because he had “dared to speak out over Zionism”?

    On August 12, Labour MP Simon Danczuk (Jewish) warned that if Jeremy Corbyn wins, a coup will be launched “on day one”.

    The Jew York Times wrote on August 11: Mr. Corbyn finds himself in an odd place: A perennial outsider who has disobeyed Labour Party instructions on how to vote more than 500 times since 1997, he is now considered the favorite to become the party’s new leader.

    On August 12, the UK’s Jewish-owned Dailymail accused Jeremy for hosting an event at the parliament which was addressed by 9/11 denier professor James B. Thring. The said meeting was also addressed by the American self-hating Jewish journalist and author, Max Blumenthal, who compared the Jewish state with Islamic state.

    Some idiot at Jewish site Left Foot Forward compared Corbyn with UKIP’s Nigel Farage, who was declared Friend of Israel not long ago, and French opposition leader Marine Le Pen, who is romantically involved with her Jewish assistant, Louis Aliot – for accusing NATO threatening war on Russia.

    Let’s not forget the UKMediaWatch, which has accused Corbyn of saying that Balfour Declaration cheated Arabs.

    Jeremy Corbyn has become a nightmare for David Cameron’s pro-Israel ruling Tories and powerful British Establishment.