Britain’s Sunday Times on the 2nd July 2017 published an article regarding a “rogue” SAS outfit that had murdered civilians in Afghanistan. They went on to state this SAS unit had fabricated reports to cover up their war crimes. There is nothing “rogue” about this conduct by the SAS.
In 1983, the SAS trained Pol Pot led forces which was revealed by Simon O’Dwyer-Russell in a Sunday Telegraph article in 1989. The SAS had taught the group “the use of improvised explosive devices, booby traps and the manufacture and use of time-delay devices“.
During the Black September conflict of 1970-71 King Hussein depended on Britain for his regimes survival as noted by the British Foreign Office. SAS instructors taught the Jordanian special forces who were waging a war against the PLO.
In 2011, the SAS were captured on the ground in Libya along with an MI6 agent. Their role was to work against the sovereign government. In 2017, the SAS remain in Libya. Just six years earlier in Basra, Iraq, two SAS men dressed in Arab style clothing were arrested by Iraqi police whom they had fired on. They were found to be in possession of explosives. The British responded by sending in tanks to smash down the walls of the prison they were being held in. This is nothing new for the SAS, in the late 1960s, they ran plain clothes hit squads in Aden (Yemen). The SAS would routinely dress as locals in an attempt to lure local resistance fighters where they would try and trap them and kill them.
Despite Britain’s denial the SAS were deployed to Vietnam and were most likely attached to the Australian SAS. They played a covert role and had plenty of experience from Britain’s war in Malaya – a conflict which the United States drew much inspiration from for their campaign in Vietnam.
In Ireland, the SAS carried out a number of cowardly operations. The Military Reaction Force, a British Army death squad, had SAS members working within its ranks. The most well known case is that of the Four Square laundry – a business that had been set up by the MRF to spy on Belfast residents. The MRF carried out drive-by shooting and bombings. Two SAS men were involved in this spy ring.
The SAS has a long history of carrying out covert operations which target civilians and prop up pro-British regimes. There was nothing “rogue’ about those caught murdering in Afghanistan, their only mistake in Britain’s eyes will be that they got caught.
Both the British Conservative and Labour parties are as red, white and blue on the issue of foreign policy. They are in essence two peas from the same imperialist pod. Much has been made of Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed “anti-war” position. But let’s explore the recent Labour manifesto.
Labour has pledged to spend at least 2% of the GDP on defence which in their own words is to “guarantee that our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities“. The manifesto goes on to boast that Britain’s defence industry is “world leading” and that Labour would continue to support “development and innovation in this sector“. All to protect the jobs of those in Britain’s booming bomb making industry. Much of which goes to Saudi Arabia, where a campaign of genocide is being carried out against the Yemeni people.
Trident, Britain’s nuclear ‘deterrent’, is only mentioned once in the manifesto. Labour supports the “renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent”. Quite the u-turn from Corbyn. Labour go on to state they want to “lead multilateral efforts… to create a nuclear-free world“. More doublespeak from the Labour camp who desire to create a nuclear-free world by upgrading Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
Under the inappropriately titled ‘diplomacy’ section of their manifesto it talks of Britain’s relationship with the US being “based on shared values“. It goes on to claim Trump ignores them. Britain is a racist state founded on the mass looting and genocide of more than half the planet. The faux outrage at Trump is sickening and very typical case of the Labour party acting as it if possesses some kind of moral superiority when it comes to the issue of racism. It was the Labour party that subjected women immigrating to Britain from Asia to “virginity tests” in the 1970s. It a Labour chancellor during their much celebrated “Spirit of 45” years that referred to Britain’s colonies as “diseased nigger communities”. And it was the Labour Party of the Attlee years that pushed the burden of post WW2 costs on to those living in the ‘colonies’ and sucked the wealth back to Britain to build a welfare state off the back of Black and Brown people in the global south.
They go on to talk of the millions who have been killed in recent years and how terrible they think it is. But it was the Labour party that killed and displaced millions in Iraq. And cue the predictable “Corbyn voted against it” screeches. Yes he did, but who the hell are the Brits to vote on whether it is okay to bomb somewhere or not. You have ask what sort of individual would remain in a party that has carried out such crimes.
The Chagos Islands also get a mention. That the Labour government would support their right to return to their homeland. It was the Labour party of Harold Wilson that gave the authorisation for the islanders to be expelled in the first place.
Britain is arguably historically the biggest abuser of human rights on the planet yet the Labour party think they can lecture China, Egypt, Gulf states (most of which are British neo-colonies!), Myanmar, Russia, the Philippines and Turkey on their affairs.
And perhaps the most sickening of all is the framing of Britain’s war on Yemen as “Saudi-led”. Diminishing Britain’s role to one of merely selling arms. When we know the British are advising on air strikes which happen to be deliberately hitting the agricultural industry in Yemen. This has led to widespread famine with Yemenis starving to death.
The Conservatives and Labour parties are both imperialist entities and will continue to operate in this very way because Britain’s economy is reliant on imperialism. Corbyn is a social imperialist, he puts a friendly face on it. But it makes no difference for those living outside of the Eurocentric Corbyn project whether it’s Tory or Labour bombs dropping on them. And you’d be a fool to think British imperialism would end with Corbyn.
Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the British Labour Party some two years ago his alleged support for the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin has created quite the uproar in Britain. It has hotted up since Theresa May announced a snap general election. You can’t go a day without the IRA being mentioned in British political discourse. All sorts of accusations and misinformation is being circulated by both the anti and pro Corbyn camps.
The first thing we should analyse when discussing Corbyn and his links to the Provisional movement is who exactly did he ally and align with inside Sinn Féin? It was the counter-revolutionary elements. The likes of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness who accepted the British established partitionist Leinster House and Stormont parliaments.
To give some brief background; in 1986 a revisionist grouping got control of Sinn Féin, they went on to fracture the movement with the acceptance of Leinster House. Just over a decade later and the Provisional movement was to enter Stormont. In 2005, the Provisional IRA surrendered arms that belonged to the Irish Republican movement. Up until 1986 the object of Provisional Sinn Féin was the defence of the 32 county Irish Republic. They now recognise English crown law in Ireland as legitimate and uphold British rule in the North of Ireland. Over the years the Provisional movement have called on the Irish people to become British informers and collaborators, they have called for a unilateral ceasefire, accepted partition, accepted the unionist veto, endorsed the RUC/PSNI (colonial police) and recognised British puppet parliaments.
Corbyn is often referred to as a “friend of Ireland”, the truth is he moved in the circles of those who sought to destroy the Republican movement and work against the Irish Republic.
It is true Jeremy Corbyn has made favourable comments about Irish reunification. But surely this shouldn’t mean rushing to fawn over a British politician. Especially one who associated with the very people who sold out the Republican movement. No amount of patronising should allow Irish Republicans to think it’s okay for a Brit to stick their nose in to Irish affairs. You don’t beg for your freedom nor wish for it be granted by the occupier!
Whenever Corbyn is questioned on the IRA he states he supported a “peace process” in the six counties. The very mechanism that Corbyn supports is to maintain the North of Ireland as part of the so-called ‘United Kingdom’.
Labour has always been a wolf in sheep’s clothing in relation to Ireland. It sent the troops to the North in 1969, built the H-Blocks and waged war of pacification on the Provisional IRA which they subsequently won with the 1998 surrender agreement.
The Corbyn camp are quick to brand the IRA terrorists and Corbyn himself stated he condemned legitimate IRA actions of war. But it has always been the British that are the terrorists in Ireland. For example; child murder, the depth of terrorism is the policy of the British, not the IRA.
John McDonnell, Corbyn’s Shadow Chancellor, “apologised from the bottom of his heart” for his comments on Bobby Sands. McDonnell stated he said it to bring about peace and it was uttered when he was addressing “Republican hardliners” in 2003 in an attempt to “encourage them to take the final steps towards delivering a full political settlement” in the North of Ireland. In other words this was a very typical case of British duplicity designed to pacify a revolutionary movement. A method which has since been exported around the world modelled on the British success in Ireland.
In 2016, the Irish Republican Socialist Party challenged British Labour Party activists organising in the North of Ireland. Corbyn stated he would “consider” running candidates in the six counties. The mere proposal is imperialist. The colonial arrogance of the British Labour Party knows no bounds when it comes to Ireland.
To sum up, my point is that no Irish Republican should be extending support to a future British Prime Minister who would oversee the occupation of our country. I hope the myth surrounding Corbyn being a “friend of Ireland” can be dismissed as nonsense.
When Britain’s collusion with death squads across the ‘Middle East’ and Africa is mentioned it falls on deaf ears. The only time you’ll hear of Britain’s open collaboration with these forces are when they are branded ‘moderates’ or ‘rebels’ by the British media.
Firstly, what do I mean by death squad. I use this term to refer to a wide range of forces, namely Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, Islamic State, the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force), UDA/UFF (Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters), RHD (Red Hand Commandos), LVF (Loyalist Volunteer Force) and the British Army’s very own units such as the Military Reaction Force, Special Reconnaissance Unit and the Force Research Unit.
Loyalist death squads in Ireland were an extension of the British state. They worked hand in hand with British intelligence, British military and the colonial police (RUC). In 2012, the De Silva Report revealed that 85% of the intelligence the UDA received had been supplied by the British security forces. The UDA was not proscribed as a terrorist organisation until 1992 – the decade when the British were waging a campaign of pacification on the Provisional Republican movement.
Loyalist terror gangs were responsible for scores of terror attacks in partnership with said British forces. The 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings which claimed the lives of 34 people carried out by the UVF in cahoots with British intelligence. Britain keeps the files on this act of terror firmly under lock and key. The Miami Showband massacre in 1975, saw the British Army team up with the UVF to murder three members of a cabaret band. Human rights lawyers Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson were assassinated by loyalist death squads working with British military and intelligence. There are endless examples of British collusion with loyalist death squads over a forty year period.
The Irish motto is “collusion is not an illusion, it is state murder” and it rings true today with regards to Britain’s relationship with its death squad proxies across Africa and the ‘Middle East’.
Saudi Arabia is a British creation that serves the interests of the Brits and the United States to this day. The British re-established Saudi Wahhabism in the region after it had been rejected, using its intolerance to wage an internal war on the Ottoman Empire during WW1. In a typically British case of divide and conquer, they allied with the Al-Saud family who have been willing servants of British and American imperialism since their reign.
It was Winston Churchill who bankrolled and armed Ibn Saud, the first King of Saudi Arabia. He doubled his subsidy in 1922 to £100,000. In 1921, Churchill delivered a speech to the House of Commons whereby he branded the followers of Ibn Saud “bloodthirsty” and “intolerant”. For the British this was no problem as long as the Al-Saud family and its followers worked in their interest. And this remains this case today. Not only in relation to the Saudis but also to the various proxy forces fighting across the ‘Middle East’ and Africa. So long as these contras work in British interest, the British will support them. When they render themselves useless or go rogue as often is the case, the British wages war on them.
“They [Ibn Saud’s followers] hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahhabi villages for simply appearing in the streets… [they are] austere, intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty”. – Churchill, 1921, speech to the House of Commons.
Thatcher’s open collusion with the Mujahideen in the 1980s saw her tell a large group on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border that the “hearts of the free world are with them“.
Britain covertly gave military training and supplies to the Mujahideen. The SAS was routinely going in and out of Afghanistan from Pakistan, moving supplies to the Mujahideen and other Afghan groups. In 1986 Britain shipped 600 shoulder launched anti-air craft missiles, with many going to the forces of Hizb-e-Islami, headed by Addul Haq whom Thatcher welcomed to Britain the same year. Haq had ordered a bombing in Kabul which killed 28 people, most of them students. Haq stated that the intention of the bomb was ‘to warn people’ against sending their children to the Soviet Union’.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an associate of Osama Bin Laden, was also invited to London in 1986 by Thatcher. She hailed him a “freedom fighter“. He had gained status after throwing acid in a woman’s face. Known as the ‘Butcher of Kabul’, Hekmatyar, oversaw a campaign of terror which led to at least 50,000 deaths in Kabul alone.
The Mujahideen were bolstered with billions of dollars and military training mainly from the United States. Britain’s specific contributions were specialised military training and funnelling military supplies in to Afghanistan.
In Libya in 2011, Britain allied and worked with various death squads like the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group). It was only in 2005, after the 7/7 bombings, that the LIFG was designated as a terrorist group. 6 years later though, the British were back colluding with this very force against Libya, a country it has wanted regime change in since the al-Fatah revolution led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969.
An SAS unit along with MI6 agents on a covert mission were captured just outside of Benghazi. They claim they were on their way to meet with Libyan ‘rebels’. Branded a “diplomatic team” by William Hague this blunder on behalf of the SAS was quickly swept under the carpet. A telephone conversation of then British ambassador Richard Northern asking for this “diplomatic team” to be released was leaked. In Basra 2005 an SAS team was apprehended by the Iraqi police after a clash in which two people were left dead. They were dressed in Arab clothing with heavy weaponry. The British Army sent in tanks to brake down the walls of the prison they were being held in.
We saw Britain assist the movement of thousands of militants in Bosnia who were there to fight against the Serbs. Hundreds of men from Britain have in recent years travelled to Syria and joined various death squads in the region. A trail collapsed in 2015 against a Swedish national whose lawyers argued British intelligence agencies were “supporting the same Syrian opposition group” as he was. They went on to allege British intelligence were supplying weapons to the group.
Britain is not the enemy of terrorism – it stokes the flames of sectarianism and facilitates death squads when and where it fits in with the agenda of their foreign policy.
The greatest Briton, Winston Churchill, was content in supporting and arming Ibn Saud and his followers so long as they worked in the interest of Britain. He would write in later years that his “admiration for him [Ibn Saud] was deep, because of his unfailing loyalty to us.”
Churchill was completely aware of what he called their “intolerance” and “bloodthirstiness”. In a speech to the House of Commons in 1921 he stated that Ibn Saud’s followers “hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahhabi villages for simply appearing in the streets… [they are] austere, intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty”.
Just like Zionism, Wahhabism was facilitated by Britain in establishing itself in the ‘Middle East’. And the British continue to use both for their own ends.
Starvation was a conscious resource for Britain’s colonial projects. It is still being used as a weapon today. Over half of Yemen’s population, 28 million people, are short of food. All the while Britain ‘advises’ it’s junior partner, the Saudis, where their airstrikes should hit. It comes as little surprise that the agricultural industry in Yemen is being deliberately targeted.
Let’s take a look at Britain’s long history of starving people to death in the name of it’s Empire:
The ‘famine’ of 1845-52 in Ireland was no more a natural disaster than the famines in Africa today. It was a man made instrument of war and conquest. Over a million Irish people died of starvation while enjoying the benefits of British rule. A million and a half more left Ireland, many on ‘coffin ships’.
During ‘Black 47’, the worst year of the so-called famine, almost 4000 vessels left Ireland carrying food to the ports of Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool and London, to feed English people. If we take butter alone, over 800,000 gallons was exported from Ireland at gunpoint – the English couldn’t be left without butter while the Irish were being exterminated by starvation.
Before the genocide the population of Ireland stood at over eight million. One hundred and fifty years later and the population has never reached that figure.
Mass starvation was a regular feature of life in India under British rule. The last ‘famine’ that was inflicted on India was in 1943 when over four million people died in Bengal. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people. Even when other nations tried to send aid to the people of Bengal, Winston Churchill refused the offers.
The major famines that occurred in India under British rule:
- The Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770) – over 10 million deaths
- Madras City/surrounding areas (1782-1783) and Chalisa famines (1783-1784) – total deaths for both was over 11 million
- Doji Bara Famine (1791-1792) – over 11 million deaths
- Agra Famine (1837-1838) – close to 1 million deaths
- Upper Doab Famine (1860-1861) – 2 million deaths
- Orissa (Odisha) Famine (1866) – over 1 million deaths
- Rajputana Famine (1868-1870) – over 1.5+ million deaths
- Bihar Famine (1873-1874) – the relief effort for this famine was deemed ‘excessive’, it was decided future relief to be “thrift”.
- Great Famine (1876-1878) – 5.5+ million deaths
- Ganjam/Orissa/Bihar (1888-1889) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
- Indian Famine (1896-1897) – millions of deaths
- Indian Famine (1899-1900) – 1+ million deaths
- Bombay Presidency Famine (1905-1906) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
- Bengal Famine (1943-1944) – over 4+ million deaths
The British ran what they termed ‘relief works’ during some of the famines. Indians were worked to death.
During the Bihar famine it was declared that the relief given to the starving was too generous, and thus decided that future relief was to be ‘thrift’. Lord Salisbury was convinced by senior civil servants that it was “a mistake to spend so much money to save a lot of black fellows”. [i]
- A famine relief coin given out during the ‘Great Famine’ of 1876-88. Over 5.5million died.
One of the methods the British devised for starving Indians who wanted to get relief was the ‘distance test’. They would be made to walk over ten miles to and from the relief works. Less food was given at these slave labour camps than at the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald. The annual death rate in 1877 was 94%. [ii]
Britain’s imperial project in India, its aims and methods, was not to prevent ‘famines’ but to engineer them.
During the so-called ‘Malayan Emergency’ of 1948-1960 the British introduced a ‘food denial’ programmed called Operation Starvation. Its aim was to starve out those who were resisting Britain’s looting of the country. Its methods included ration reduction, punching of canned food at the time of purchase and the forbidding of meals at work areas.
Brits spraying crops with herbicides and defoliants (Agent Orange).
As part of Operation Starvation the British sprayed Agent Orange on food crops. The United States took inspiration from this tactic to use in Vietnam.
Hundreds of thousands were also swept into camps by the British where they were subject to curfews and made to labour on the plantations. Any minor infraction would be punished, often with food reduction.
The British armed and supplied Nigeria with mercenaries during the Biafran war of 1967-70 all in the name of protecting corporate oil. When it looked like Nigeria got the upper hand Britain increased the supply of arms and ammunition.
Britain’s greed to secure cheap oil saw them support a blockade against Biafra which resulted in countless people starving to death.
Britain’s Commonwealth Minister George Thomas stated in 1967 that the “sole immediate British interest in Nigeria is that the Nigerian economy should be brought back to a condition in which our substantial trade and investment in the country can be further developed, and particularly so we can regain access to important oil installations”. [iii]
Over half of Yemen’s twenty-eight million people are short of food while Britain’s junior partner, Saudi Arabia, bombs them from the skies. The British are in what is referred to as the “command room”, advising the Saudis where they should strike. [iv] It comes as little surprise that Yemen’s farms and agricultural industry is being targeted. Yemenis are now starving because of this very British tactic.
[i] Mike Davis, “Late Victorian Holocausts” (UK: Verso Books, 2000], pg.37
[ii] ibid., pg.40
[iii] Quoted in the Independent Newspaper, 2004.
[iv] From the Guardian Newspaper, 2016.