Editorial from Irish Political Review, May 2006

The Psychodrama Of Current Politics

Killing people in war is a good thing. It doesn't matter on which side you do it. It doesn't matter what the object of the Army in which you do it is. Doing it is good in itself.

That is the only meaning to be got from the decision of the Irish Government to celebrate the killing done in 1916 both by the Irish Army in Ireland and the British Army in Ireland, France, Gallipoli and Mesopotamia.

A War of Independence veteran, Dan Keating, is quoted in the Irish Times 1916 Supplement (15 April):

"I regard this thing in Dublin as pure nonsense. It serves nothing… The whole thing is just the Government preparing for an eletion. There has been an Irish Army for more than 80 years, but they haven't regained a single inch of our national territory… I think that the dead… should be commemorated by people who believe that we should have a 32 country republic. Ten per cent of the population is holding on to a larger population's land, for England. Where is the democracy in that? If I was invited to the event I wouldn't go. I will attend our own commemoration in Tralee as I always do."

He said: "We can start something like that when we have a 32 county republic".

But it has started now. And we reckon it will stay started. We fear that Dan Keating is mistaken when he says it is nothing but a Fianna Fail election gimmick. There is a present purpose for it that has nothing to do with the North.

The Free State has been visibly militarising in recent years.

A couple of years ago the official emphasis was on neutrality. That was for the purpose of browbeating the electorate to vote for another EU measure they did not like. It was then stated that Irish neutrality in international conflicts would not be compromised by the proposed European Constitution. In the event it was not necessary to put the Constitution to the electorate, the French having disposed of it.

When the Constitution fell, it was found to have been unnecessary. The EU just carries on without it. In that more flexible arrangement, tricky ventures can be embarked upon more easily than when everything was put to referendum.

What exactly the EU Constitution would have done if it had been enacted was never clear, but there was a feeling abroad that it would have made the EU a coherent political entity, and that Ireland would have been dragged into participation in its Battle Groups. Neutrality was emphasised in order to lull the electorate. There is no real doubt that the Government wanted to participate in the Battle Groups, but dissimulated for the purpose of winning the referendum. When the Constitution lapsed, it could ease off on asserting the right of neutrality and proceed obliquely towards engagement. And, as part of this development, the aspiration of the Defence Force to become a fighting Army was given freedom to express itself.

The revival of the 1916 commemoration as a militarist display fits in very neatly with this project.

RTE has been playing its part in developing a spirit of globalist militarism.

On the eve of the destruction of Falujah (Iraq) last year it carried a long interview with an Irish-American soldier who was to take part in the assault. The thing was presented in heroic—almost David and Goliath—terms. And we never noticed that much was said after the event about what was actually done to Fallujah.

Radio Eireann's World Report series is strongly Ameranglian in orientation. It is propaganda of the new Cold War—which becomes a hot war every couple of years because enemies are chosen which are incapable of defending themselves. The old Cold War—that resulted from the fact that Communist Russia won the war against Germany that Britain started but was unwilling to fight in earnest by any method other than by fire-bombing the residential areas of German cities—that Cold War stayed cold because the enemy had the means of self-defence, and Ameranglia would risk its own existence by attacking.

Until 1990 we were supportive of NATO, by and large, seeing it as an essentially defensive force. It has been made evident since 1990 that it is an aggressive force. The reason given for its existence before 1990 ceased in 1990 but it continued and, when its strong enemy collapsed, it selected weaker states to be enemies and attacked them.

We are still inclined to think that Europe in the era of Christian Democracy was essentially defensive, but it is now evident that Ameranglia was not. And one of the consequences of the ending of the Cold War was the destruction, by the force of Ameranglian globalism, of the Christian Democracy which re-made Europe after 1945.

One of the first post-1990 aggressions was against Yugoslavia. This was a multi-national state created by Britain in 1919, after it had decided to destroy the functional and democratic Austro-Hungarian Empire as punishment for being defeated in the Great War. Yugoslavia joined Serbia (whose ambition to absorb Bosnia led to the event which sparked off the Great War: the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, who was preparing to develop the Dual Monarchy of Austria and Hungary into a Triple Monarchy of Austrians, Hungarians and Slavs), with Croats, Moslems and other South Slavs, without regard for viability. The Croats were strongly Austrian in orientation and served the Empire until it was destroyed. The Serbs were the only people in the new combination who had conducted a state (which they had established by their own power in conflict with the Ottoman Empire). The Croats soon complained the Yugoslavia was in practice Greater Serbia, and a fierce anti-Yugoslav nationalism developed among them. In 1941 the Government, under Croat influence, made a Treaty with Hitler, which allowed him to pass an army through its territory to Greece. This led to a Serb revolt which overthrew the Government and revoked the Treaty. Hitler then invaded and was welcomed in Croatia as a liberator from Yugoslav oppression. The Serbs resisted, were defeated, and carried on a guerilla war under the authority of a Government in exile in London. Croats and Bosnian Muslims enlisted in the SS in large numbers; and in independent Croatia there was systematic extermination of Serbs.

The Serbs held together as a national community, loyal to the exiled King. Croats and Bosnians were disrupted internally, and divided on the ideological lines of the War, Nazi and Communist. (Britain was little more than an onlooker in 1941-2.)

A strong Communist resistance was developed from the disrupted Croats and Moslems by Tito, but gained little support in Serbia. The Royalist Serbian resistance scaled down its activities because of the massive scale of German reprisals against the civil society. But Tito's partisans, who had the purpose of destroying bourgeois society, were unconcerned about the scale of the reprisals. The Germans were helping with the destruction of a society which they were intent on doing away with anyway.

In 1943 Britain switched support from the Royalist Serbs to Tito's Partisans, because the Partisans carried out more attacks on the Germans, and the Serbs seemed content to allow Yugoslavia to disappear and let the different nationalities live apart. Britain, intent on restoring its creation, compelled the exiled King in London to remake his Government in accordance with Tito's demands; through the World Service of the BBC it carried out black propaganda against the Royalists, painting them as allies of Germany; and it armed the Communists for the conquest of Serbia, which was carried out in 1944.

Thus Communist Yugoslavia was a British creation, not a Russian. From 1948 onwards it was effectively part of the West in the Cold War, though formally "non-aligned". After the first few years of Communist enthusiasm, it 'liberalised' its economic arrangements, introducing many market elements.

It was not part of the Soviet system, and therefore it stayed standing when the states of the Soviet system fell. But it had served its purpose for the West with the ending of the Cold War. Europe therefore decided to destroy it. The work was chiefly done by Germany (which had destroyed it once before, in 1941) and Britain, which had set it up twice (the second time as a Communist state).

The social tensions which made it easy to bring down the regimes in the other East European states after the Soviet collapse were not present in Yugoslavia. Britain and Germany therefore set about breaking it up territorially by encouraging nationalist antagonisms.

Under British and German influence, the EU disregarded the Yugoslav Constitution, which it had seen as a fine thing while the Cold War lasted. The component Republics were encouraged to rush into declarations of independence, which were immediately recognised as legitimate by the EU—even in the case of Bosnia, where the majority for independence was brought about by a voting alliance of Croat nationalists and Moslems, groupings which were profundly antagonistic to each other and could never have formed a governing alliance.

The second declaration of Croat independence was fascist in ideology, being in many respects a repeat of the 1941 declaration. The EU studiously turned a blind eye to this, and the Americans armed and trained the Croats for war and ethnic cleansing.

When the Yugoslav Government acted to preserve the state and insisted that changes should be made in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the EU treated it as being engaged in conquest.

During the wars of the 1990s not a word was said in the BBC propaganda about how Yugoslavia came about in the first instance, or the second instance. And it was not explained how it had come to be a Communist state. It was not actually said that it was one of the states set up by the Soviet Union, but that was allowed to be understood.

RTE played the same game. And one has to ask whether Irish neutrality is really worth a damn, if not only the Government propaganda but public opinion just echoes what's going on across the Channel and ocean?

Here is a recent World Report item from Sean Whelan, its Europe Editor, broadcast on 25th February. He began by saying that out of 161 Serbs indicted as war criminals 6 remain at large. But "putting Karadic and Mladic into the dock alongside Slobodan Milosovic and forcing them to confront the consequences of their actions, is seen as a necessary psychodrama to bring closure to the Balkan wars".

Was Milosovic forced to confront the consequences of his actions? The suggestion that he was murdered by the Court is made plausible by the fact that it seemed increasingly unlikely that it would be able to bring in a Guilty verdict, despite the way procedure was rigged in favour of the prosecution. And, if a Guilty verdict could not have been brought in without flying in the face of the evidence, the trial would have been a failure. The scenario was that guilt was assumed by the Court, and Bench and Prosecution collaborated in an effort to make a Guilty verdict follow from the evidence presented at a show trial against a procedurally-disabled Defence. But, despite the restraints placed on him, Milosovic succeeded in refuting one prosecution witness after another.

A commentator on Britain's Channel 4 television (the most objective in these parts) said that the difficulty was to devise an effective compromise between delivering justice and conducting a fair trial—a remarkable statement which presumes justice to be known independently of the trial. But all that is known independently of the trial is propaganda demonisation conducted by media functionaries acting on the instruction of hostile states—even if the instructions are only given with a nod and a wink, and the knowledge that failure to get the message would ruin a promising career.

Whelan continued that Kosovan independence is almost certain to come this year or next, with Montenegrin independence following soon after. But, because of concern in Macedonia, Bosnia, and Serbia, Kosovan and Montenegrin independence—

"have the potential to destabilise the region… They need careful handling, and the less heroic nationalist figures there are in the scene in Serbia, the easier it will be for the Government there to make the deals and adjustments that will enable the country to emerge from isolation and economic ruination".

He then gave some figures for the economic ruination brought about in Serbia by EU sanctions. Then—

"It's felt most in Belgrade, the once thriving city that dominated the region. It's stepped over the past 15 years into being an isolated backwater. Serbs have watched a stream of regional rivals catch up and then overtake them, in terms of prosperity, development, and freedom." [The Serbs will become free, presumably, when they agree, under extreme pressure from outside, to do what they do not want to do.] "Even Rumania stands on the threshold of EU membership. On Monday the EU Foreign Ministers will almost certainly sanction the suspension of talks with Serbia on what is known as a stabilisation and association agreement. It's the lifeline that the Union throws out to drowning neighbouring states" [in this instance, a neighbouring state that it is drowning], "or those that are floating without direction or purpose. It pulls them into the European way of doing things, opens access to funding, encourages the deep and thoroughgoing process of legal change known as adopting the Acquis. It's the first step on the road to EU membership, but it will be put on ice if Mladic is not sent to the Hague. It's now that the EU has most leverage to exert in using political pressure to bring Mladic to trial, one of the keys to unlocking change in the whole region. Public opinion in Serbia has shifted for the first time in favour of his extradition. The deep reason is the ongoing economic misery. A majority now accept that his trial is the price of access to the Western system. But a bigger blow against extreme nationalism, and its vision of the Serb as victim, occurred in June, when Serbian television aired the notorious tape of Serb paramilitaries executing prisoners captured in Srebrenica. This week one of the killers seen on the tape pleaded Guilty at his War Crimes trial in Belgrade. Between the political and economic calculus, and the shifting moral climate, there is no longer room in Serbia for Radko Mladic."

Whelan here describes the collective punishment of Serbs by the EU because of the failure of NATO forces to capture Mladic and Karadic, and then gives a description of Serbs who think they are victims of punishment as extreme nationalists.

They are being punished to make them do NATO's work for it. They refuse to do it because they see Mladic as having organised their protection against the great upsurge of Croat and Muslim terrorism that started the whole thing off. (Those events were scarcely reported in the Irish/British/European media at the time, and have now been written out of history.) And the way Milosovic was treated in captivity, and died there, has not encouraged them to seek out Mladic and hand him over.

The EU has three ways of 'democratising' Eastern Europe: coercion, subversion, and purchase. Coercion and subversion have been practised in the Balkans. In other places 'democracy' is treated as a commodity and has been bought. It is pretty well admitted that there was wholesale purchase of votes with Euros and Dollars in Ukraine. And before that millions of Deutschmarks were spent in buying votes in the critical Serbian election, before it was decided in the final stage that a sort of coup d'etat was preferable, so that there would be regime change instead of a Constitutional change of Government.

All these states insist that there must be no external interference in their own elections, but they all favour extreme interference in East European elections. And in Belarus the EU diplomats were active election campaigners and street demonstrators—yet the electorate refused the bribes and disbelieved the promises. Information about the actual consequence of these revolutions engineered by US/EU money and propaganda seems to have got about. And, of course, the consequences brought about by US/UK arms in Iraq are plain for all to see.

The Iraqi state was smashed and the routines of political conduct bound up with it were swept away. Three elections have been held, but there is no Government. The business of elections is to choose the Government of a state, but there is no state. In place of a state there are only the Occupation Forces. And, although they control the territory called Iraq, they do not stand in the elections.

A black American Senator, whose name we cannot recall, was interviewed by RTE about two years ago about the delay in holding elections. He explained that, in the process of forming a state, elections do not come first. They come last. RTE does not seem to understand. But where is the state that has arison out of social chaos by means of an election?

Mao Tse-tung said that States come out of the barrel of a gun. While that statement not be entirely true, it is close to it.

Perhaps the Irish state would have been peacefully established out of an election if Britain had not used its power-of-state to set aside the election and obliged the Irish to resort to the gun in self-defence.

A new Irish state was formed in 1922. The republic of 1919 was destroyed by the gun, and the Free state was established by the gun, and people voted for it under the threat of the gun. A section of Sinn Fein bowed to a British threat of overwhelming force, destroyed the Republic with British arms and a largely mercenary Army, and set up a subordinate regime under the authority of the Crown. The Treaty Party governed in authoritarian style for ten years, and tried to negate the growing electoral strength of the Anti-Treaty Party by using the Oath to exclude its representatives from the Dail. But the 1932 election restored an anti-Treaty majority. It might be said that power was then transferred peacefully. But it was an armed peace. Fianna Fail was backed by the IRA, which existed despite the best efforts of the Treatyites to destroy it. And British power was not in 1932 what it had been ten years earlier. So there was a peaceful transfer of power, and the 'Treaty' was broken peacefully, though not constitutionally.

Before a state can become democratic it must in the first place be a state. Democracy is a form of state, not a form of election. A state is a form of organised and regularised power.

Iraq used to be a state. But the state power of Iraq was destroyed by the overwhelming military power of two other states.

The Iraqi state was described as a tyranny when it was decided to destroy it. It was only described as a tyranny by fringe elements on the Left before that. But its nature did not change at the moment when the major Western Powers decided to destroy it. It was not in the 1990s something entirely different from what it had been in the 1980s. Where the change occurred was in Ameranglian foreign policy.

There was extensive intercourse between Ireland and Iraq in the 1980s, and many Irish people went to work in Iraq. It was not on the basis of reports by those people that the people of Iraq were suffering under intolerable oppression that the Irish Government changed its policy towards Iraq. No such reports were made. There was no conflict between Ireland and Iraq. Ireland just followed Ameranglia when it became an enemy of the Iraqi state.

It is now said that, whatever else may have happened in Iraq recently, at least the Iraqi people have been freed from the tyrant, Saddam Hussein—as if the destruction of the state and the overthrow of the tyrant was not the same thing.

It is said that the Iraqi people have been freed, which is a good thing, though the rest is regrettable. Three years ago we doubted that such a thing as the Iraqi people had any coherent existence distinct from that of the state, which would survive the destruction of the state. There were various peoples in Iraq, thrown together by Imperialist Britain for its own purposes in 1919 into what was called a nation state. They had no sense of national unity amongst themselves, but it seemed that they were acquiring a sense of national unity through being drawn into the functioning of the state. In that case the destruction of the state would have the likely effect of stirring up conflict between the various peoples in Iraq. And, if we could see that, we cannot suppose that the US-UK Government did not see it. And in fact they began talking up civil war within weeks of the invasion three years ago, indicating that they saw it very well.

Senator Mansergh is one of those who speaks of the good side and the bad side of the invasion. In another connection Fianna Fail has been dismissive of the suggestion that the two sides of another affair are distinct and might be addressed separately. The two sides of the coin are the same coin, they say, and you can't have one without the other. We suggest that there is substance to the distinction between Sinn Fein and the IRA—which they dismiss as spurious—but that there is no substance at all to the good side/bad side distinction with regard to invasion of Iraq.

Senator Mansergh says that Ireland is now obliged by international law to support the invasion of Iraq because the UN Security Council gave it retrospective validation after the event and made terrorist rebels of those who resist it. And he says:

"Despite vehement criticism of the US and its allies, its conduct does not begin to compare in savagery with the suicide attacks against civilians or the abduction and beheading of hostages that have been the tactics of the insurgents" (IT 17.12.05).

The Iraqis did not do such things under the regime of the tyrant. The great bulk of them lived ordinary routine lives, and by all accounts, Baghdad, even during the years of the sanctions, was one of the safest cities of the world for foreigners (and women) to walk about in, day or night.

What Mansergh describes so moralistically is the conduct of people whose state—whose framework of normality—has been deliberately and systematically wrecked by invading armies with overwhelming force at their disposal. They have been thrown back into a state of nature with a vengeance. They did not do it themselves in a destructive revolution. Ameranglia destroyed the state, and instigated looting by social elements that in another situation they would be at pains to put down. And we helped.

In the same column, Mansergh condemns the President of Iran for suggesting it was for the peoples who set out to exterminate the Jews to provide them with territory for a state, instead of facilitating them in the enterprise of a colonial conquest of Palestine. And he says: "the State of Israel was created by the international community".

We will take a closer look, in a future issue, at the international community that created Israel, and the way it created it. And at the morality which says that it is right to take a country away from its inhabitants and give it to another people.

Here we will only remark that the attitude of Mladic and Karadic towards the United Nations was strongly influenced by Israel, which was their only supporter. They thought it was open to anybody to treat the UN with the kind of contempt that Israel does.

Finally, we must express our gratitude to Sean Whelan, Radio Eireann's naive globaliser, for the term, "psychodrama" to describe the way the dominant Western powers manipulate world affairs at this juncture.


The Psychodrama Of Current Politics.

Ahern's Path To Glory.

1916 And Democracy.
Jack Lane (Letter)

Please Don't Read My Book And Don't Believe What We Say.
Jack Lane

Editorial Commentary.
(Plan B; Denis Donaldson; Troop Reductions; Policing; Mervyn Gibson; Omagh Relatives; DUP Life Peers; Eileen Bell; Eddie Espie; Martin Mansergh)

The Somme Commemorations.
Pat Muldowney

Geopolitics And Race In Britain's Strategy Towards Iraq.
Philip O'Connor

A Labour 1916 Commemoration (Of Sorts).
Brendan Clifford

The Reality Of 1916.
Wilson John Haire (Book Review)

Eoin O'Duffy—A Cautionary Tale.
Manus O'Riordan (Book Review)

Propaganda Then And Now.
Indymedia Report

Irish Backwardness.
Barra Ó Seaghda (Letter)

Labour Comment
Edited by Pat Maloney

EU Decision: One Of The Most Destructive In History Of Conflict In Middle East.
Michael D. Higgins

(Grand Kylops) McDowell's Law, A Suitable Target For Labour.
Seán McGouran

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