Concerning Afghanistan, and crimes committed by states.

Two emails sent to a friend 

Why military intervention in Afghanistan is neccessary.





No the CIA, MI5, DST etc are not nice people.





Why anti-globalisation demonstrators are manipulated loonies





A qui profite le crime?







Talebans and Nazis







The despicable work of wishy washy liberals, the limits of pacifism.






Was Churchill wrong to make an alliance with Stalin? 

Why he was right.



The danger today is worse than 60 years ago.







How the CIA played with fire, and the danger of short term expediency.






Justice and hope for Algeria, and all the other peoples under the Islamic jack-boot (or jack-sandal?)




The distasteful necessity of grading levels of horror and making choices - it's called growing up..

For Michelle                                                                     23/12/2001   

I hesitate in replying to your last email, it showed a vision of the world that is so far from any objective reality that, if you were the only one so express such opinions, I would seriously question your sanity. Alas, I have heard similar opinions many times, the exact words, bits of sentences and clichés are rearranged differently, but the theme, and word patterns are similar. This would suggest a common origin, a little as linguists discern a link between Sanskrit, Hindi and Celtic languages that, although apparently tenuous to the layman, enables them to conclude that they all come from a common root.

I have no illusions that the CIA, or their equivalents in other countries, are quite capable and frequently do, organise, either directly or, more frequently, by manipulating the naive, all kinds of crimes and horrors. Examples abound, the Rainbow Warrior, The Kennedy assassination, the coup d’état in Chile, the accidental death of a De Broglie, drowned in a few inches of water, are some more well known examples, but others can often be spotted in the press, a headless English engineer found floating in the Loire, the suicide of Bérégovoy, or of Mitterand’s life long friend in the offices of the Elysée, no one heard him blow his brains out with a revolver! All this I am convinced of, and despite being frequently mocked by those who consider any opinion that rocks their comfortable certitudes as the deranged ranting of a conspiracy maniac, I have no intention changing.

But, from there, to consider possible that the American secret services would have had the competence, the capacity and the political will to go as far as hijacking four separate planes, with a total of several dozen Arab militants infiltrated into one of the most secretive organizations in the world, is going too far, and this just to have a pretext to heavy up on the anti WTO militants. Why do they need a pretext? Outside a tiny minority of loonies, the great mass of the population is opposed to the violence of these groups against discussions they only vaguely understand. It is far more likely that the manipulation is in the other direction, and the objective is to prevent a liberalisation of world commerce that would open up the protected markets of rich countries, the USA and Europe, to the products of third world producers. This kind of manipulation is altogether within the reach and the style of Western secret services, not the New York attacks.

Clearly you, and the others who peddle such inanities, believe what you say, and the auto-reinforcement caused by frequenting a peer group where every one repeats more or less the same pseudo cynical ravings does not explain the origin of the propaganda pattern, nor the motives; you are all the means, not the instigators. It seems fairly obvious, applying the maxim of “à qui profite le crime?” that the answer would be found within the rivalries between various commercial groupings, US/Europe, North/South etc. but all that is another story, and the subject is the appropriate attitude one should have concerning the US military intervention in Afghanistan.

To simplify the argument, I think there is an analogy to be drawn with the period between the world wars. The world is in a period of major reshuffling of power distribution, the fall of the Soviet block engenders changes and possibilities for the other power holders - power being the means to riches - to take advantage and replace their pawns in the modern day version of “The Great Game”, which is in full swing, just as the fall of the Austro-Hungarian and Prussian empires did. The peoples in the middle of all this suffer more or less according to their position on the chessboard, as then religion is just a means not a cause.

Like then, this diabolical stew encourages the creation of all sorts of creatures, originally created and “genetically” manipulated by different players for there own ends, but which sometimes get out of the control of their makers and even turn against them. Lady Shelley was talking about her own time, Julius Cesar was another who boasts in his “Gallic Wars” of just the same manipulations and the occasional backfires, which demonstrates that all this is nothing new.

At that time the Nazis, one of the most deranged products of the between-the-wars stew, were allowed to grow until they came very close to destroying the world. Middle class North American “intellectuals” argued against helping the few Europeans who resisted the Nazis, in the name of pacifism at the time, as you do now. They were manipulated by both home grown US Nazis and the German secret services and this unholy alliance between bleeding heart liberals - in the old fashioned sense of the word - and ultra-conservatives, (doesn’t this ring a bell somewhere?) managed to hold public opinion to the non-intervention line. It took Pearl Harbour to change things, are you going to say this was a US secret service manipulation too?

Eventually the US joined the war against the Nazis, and, although by far the greatest part of the war was fought in and by the Soviet Union, they could never have done it without the industrial support of North America. Britain wouldn’t have been able to survive either without lend lease and the direct military intervention that followed. In your opinion, should the USA have intervened against the Nazis? Was this just another inter-imperialist war as some communist parties maintained until the Soviet Union was itself attacked?

From another point of view; it is quite natural that Winston Churchill should have tried by all the means at his disposal, to bring in the US as an ally against the Nazis, quite apart from his mother being herself American, his political culture, conservative, liberal and lifelong defender of empire, makes this altogether natural, but when he had his back to the wall, he didn’t hesitate to deny his whole past and devote himself just as energetically to forging an alliance with the Soviet Union. Against such an enemy as the Nazis any method, any alliance, was justified in his eyes. Do you think he was wrong?

The danger that those that call themselves Islamists, whether this corresponds or not to the “true” Islamic tradition, what ever that may be, is just as real and just as serious as the menace posed by the Nazis. In some ways it is even worse as the means of destruction available today are so much greater than they were then. Pakistan, which was, and I would say still is, very close to falling into the hands of such people, possesses the atomic bomb. It is true that its means of delivery are probably not sufficiently sophisticated to constitute a danger for the USA or Western Europe, but they could certainly be used against their Asian neighbours, which happen to include some of the most densely populated regions of the planet.

Many other factors increase the danger, the third world is no longer “policed” by imperial armies, fortunately for them perhaps, and most of Africa and a lot of Asia are in a very unstable state, their weak governments are easy prey for organised, well financed groups, either politically or criminally motivated. The recent events in Kosovo, Sudan, Somalia and Chechnya are just a few examples.

This brings us to another zone where the danger is particularly acute; since the fall of the Soviet Union, the whole Southern part of this country is wide open for grabs. The CIA has actively used the Islamic card for years, not only in Afghanistan, but in all the other former Soviet territories and even parts of China. Until recently the Western press and their allies amongst the anti-communist “intelligentsia” were only too happy to denounce the heavy handed reaction of both governments, the hundreds of totally innocent Russian civilians killed in bomb attacks were virtually ignored, by this press and their “assistants”, of which you have become one, I’m sad to say.

The same can be said for the tens of thousands killed by axes, throat slitting and worse in Algeria. Some enlightened souls go as far as to accuse the Algerian government of killing their own, decidedly the French, especially the Social Democrats, faithful to Mitterand’s heritage, will never forgive the Algerians for having driven them out. The bastards that have been slitting children’s throats for years were trained in Bin Laden’s camps, will your smug pacifism help their victims, do you think? Obviously neither the French or the American governments give a damn about them, but if their martyrdom could be stopped, as a side effect, would that cause you any problems? Or perhaps you're so much under the influence of French establishment propaganda that you find it easy, as most of the French do, to ignore their suffering, or consider it to be their fault in some way, for having rocked the French colonial boat perhaps?

It is possible to cite many other examples, but if those above are not enough, a hundred others won’t be either. Hitler said himself that the only way he could have been defeated was if his movement had been ruthlessly crushed at the beginning, but once it had reached a critical mass his particular cocktail of terror and manipulation was unstoppable. The Islamists are well beyond their critical mass, and if it takes US bombs to destroy them, that’s fine by me. The Afghan, Algerian, Sudanese and all the other peoples concerned have suffered enough. Like for the Nazis, pacifism is powerless to stop them, and like for the Nazis the help of any one, even the United States is acceptable.

The alternative logic, that of the Irish who helped the Nazis or the black Americans who embrace a religion as backward and barbaric as Islam, extreme or not, in both cases reasoning that the enemy of their enemy must be their ally, is totally flawed. However bad a person, a group or a government may be, there are always those that are worse. In such cases the only possible attitude is to grade the different levels of horror and, when the danger is extreme, as it is today, even if in the ivory towers of Paris one is far from the massacres of Asia and Algeria, no ally is to be refused.




Bleu, blanc, et, surtout, rouge..




Remember Indochina,

Dien Bien Phu



The Algerian genocide



The last massacre in Western Europe, in the streets of Paris in 1961

40 killed in Guadeloupe in 1967


18 in New Caledonia in 1988


Who trained the assasins in Rwanda?


Who put the froth on Fosters?



The mills of God turn slow, but they grind exceeding fine.


"Don't they make a lovely couple!"


Don't do it....


Postscript                                                                                        6/1/2002

The above was written before Christmas, you tell me since that you are considering taking French nationality, as a protest.... So French imperialism washes whiter than US? Not very Marxist, and not very related to historical fact, but I suppose facts shouldn’t be allowed to stand in the way of self interest, should they?

The French decolonisation was accompanied by the worst atrocities of any of the main imperial powers. The US never had much of an empire, considering themselves, with some cause, to be on the other side. They condemned, and blocked, the Franco-British Suez expedition for example. Their wars, especially in Vietnam, must still be considered as part of the process of decolonisation, whatever they may say, but they were just taking up the flame for the French after the latter were booted out at Dien Bien Phu, as I assume you know, not particularly glorious though, was it? Have you seen the film “Indochine”? If not I have a cassette of it you could borrow, oh, sorry, not what you want to see I suppose at the moment, not very patriotic.

The worst horrors were reserved for Algeria, between one and two million deaths on the Algerian side, of course, a few tens of thousands on the French (colonial) side. These deaths concerned men, women and children, tortured, thrown from helicopters, massacred in their villages, in concentration camps or even shot in the streets of Paris. The last major massacre of unarmed civilians in Europe, or probably in the “civilized” world, was the hundreds shot in Paris in 1961 for having the affront to demonstrate in favour of national independence for their country. Many were thrown from bridges into the Seine, then the police amused themselves taking pot shots at them. Many others were beaten of tortured to death in various commissariats and stadiums all over Paris, and many of them were never seen again, was this a practical example of “Fraternité”, or perhaps “solidarité” in modern langue de bois. Of course, you are fully aware of this and I’m sure you will be proud to think of it when you assume your new nationality.

The remaining colonies are smaller, still bigger than the US ones, but need consequently less bloodshed to maintain order, 40 or so dead in Guadeloupe in 1967, various individual and small scale collective murders plus a lot of intimidation does the trick. They had a go at reviving old traditions in Nouvelle Calédonie in 1988 when some militants took a few gendarmes hostage, 18 locals were killed in the “rescue” operation and one more in custody afterwards, I suppose they have to keep their hand in. But then you know all this, don’t you?

No need to go on again about the Rainbow Warrior, only one dead, training the mob who slaughtered a million people in Rouanda was a simple mistake, the French government was only trying to help the poor Africans. They also help in Chad, Niger, Mali etc. etc. Such generosity is certainly one of your main reasons for rejecting the nasty US neo-imperialism and boldly embracing the bleu-blanc-rouge variety (mostly rouge, unkind bigots like me, and some ungrateful Africans, would say). The nuclear pollution of the Pacific with the bombinette tests is certainly another good reason for learning the Marseillaise, good on yer sport!

Go ahead, it’s your life after all, but at least be honest enough to admit you are only looking after number one. Perhaps you are right in thinking that there is nowhere else in the world where you could live so easily, given your choices in terms of life-style, but don’t bother trying to justify it by kidding yourself that one capitalist ruling class deserves your loyalty more than another. Being born a US, French or British citizen is neither a merit nor a fault, just an accident, but choosing a new nationality, is an irreversible political act of support and submission. A similar line of argument could be developed for most of the rich countries, but when the nation concerned has been, and still is, as wicked, hypocritical and selfish as France, it is a criminal act which the victims have every right to hold against you.

As you walk down the aisle, hand in hand with the grinning, blood-stained skeleton of all that's left of revolutionary France’s honour, with its battered top hat and tails, “Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité” on the mouldy hat band and with strips of rotting flesh tattooed Algiers, Morocco, Mururoa, Saigon, Chad, Rwanda, Nouvelle-Calédonie, and so on, hanging down, you, all in white I suppose, can looks straight ahead, block your nostrils and just keep repeating to yourself : “But Brutus was an honourable man.”

Don’t turn your back on all you believed in not so long ago, moral values do count. Recant now before it is too late!