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Marching at whose command?

Spearhead's regular column ‘Madhouse Britain’ serves the purpose of conveying both humour and seriousness in its coverage of items of news. The humour comes through by way of the utterly comic flavour of many of its stories; the seriousness is contained in the underlying realities of national life that they demonstrate. The news items in that column are largely small and local in their nature but they go together to portray a real picture of a nation more and more off its head. And that is something we should not be laughing about.

But major national affairs under Tony Blair's Government are coming increasingly to resemble the ‘Madhouse Britain’ column writ large. This has never been more alarmingly demonstrated that in the gigantic political wind-up of the past few months directed towards war with Iraq.

The idea that the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein possesses weapons that could be a threat to the USA or Britain is so preposterous that one would have to question the intelligence, if not the sanity, of anyone who would seriously believe it. That Saddam might, moreover, actually use those weapons in an attack on the Western World surely is a theory beckoning the men in white coats. Iraq is a nation of a mere 18 million, with very little industry and wracked internally by ethnic conflicts. Its ruler, whatever else he may be or not be (and here, with the daily barrage or propaganda against him, it is difficult to sort out fact from fiction), is far from stupid. He know very well that the use of any weapons he has, even against Middle Eastern neighbours, will invite massive retaliation from the Americans and their puppet states, including Britain, which will destroy the country and himself within a few days. Yet the theory that he has made such aggressive plans is now being propounded by western politicians and journalists with perfectly straight faces in numbers amounting to several thousands. Just what do they take us for?

Apart from the blatant absurdity underlining the whole of this view, the view is redolent of the most nauseating humbug. Saddam only recently made the offer of again opening Iraq's borders to foreign inspection teams who would be free to go anywhere in the country they wanted in search of the much-heralded "weapons of mass destruction" he is supposed to possess; yet this is contemptuously turned down by President Bush, with our own Prime Minister squawking approval like a well-trained parrot. The real truth of the matter is that Bush wants his war with Iraq and is determined to have it. Equally, Tony is determined to be there with him at the kill - this adrogynous one-time pacifist wimp who has never felt the blast of a drill sergeant's bark on a parade ground - and is quite happy to send men to possible death in a remote desert just in order to be at Dubya's side at the victory parade.

So here we have Tony, the appeaser of the IRA, shouting at the world that he is no mood for appeasement. And of course, while the IRA is a real enemy of Britain that has been threatening and attacking us for more than thirty years and has killed thousands of British soldiers, police and civilians, Tony is determined to get tough with Saddam, who has never remotely threatened any British possession or interest or a single British citizen. This is par for the course with Labour politicians, who are always ready to bang the war drums as long as the war is in someone else's interest and not our own, and as long as none of them is expected to do any fighting.

And in Tony's case right now we have the additional spectre of just about everything falling apart at home. Britain today is the country in which almost nothing works, but its Prime Minister, apparently, feels justified in turning his back on our mountain of domestic problems in order to strut the world as a puffed-up little war lord. And to add to this, even the armed forces which Tony needs to back up his sabre-rattling are chronically short of men, short of essential equipment and declining in discipline, efficiency and morale under the impact of labour's double whammy of defence cuts and political correctness.

The sheer overwhelming phoniness of this present war hysteria is such that even a good many paid writers in our national press are able to see through it and are prepared to criticise it. Over the past months there have been a growing number of sensible articles by leading journalists asking the very obvious question of just what vital British interest is served by joining Bush's anti-Iraq crusade. And it doesn't end there; the more honest and sane among American journalists are asking the same question about their country's interests too.

But of course there is only so far that a mainstream newspaper-writer is prepared and able to go. Splashing about in the oceans of the present debate, desperately clutching at make-believe reasons for wanting to smash Saddam Hussein, the purveyors of our daily newspapers only very rarely show the courage even to give a hint of the real reason for the present war plans. Such a hint, however, was provided was provided by Alexander, writing in the Daily Mail on September 6th, who said:-

‘It is all very well to characterise Saddam as a threat to other countries. He may be.

‘Yet it seems odd that neighbouring countries, who harbour old enmities with Iraq and Saddam himself, do not seem to be worried - indeed, are among the keenest to stop Bush launching his attack.

‘Except for Israel, of course, whose policies are at the root of the continuous conflict. But will Bush say that? Obviously not.’

This, in a nutshell - albeit phrased in the most moderate language - is what it is all about. Saddam Hussein does not threaten Britain. He does not threaten America. And moreover British and American politicians know it. But Saddam is perceived, correctly or incorrectly, to threaten Israel; and the gigantically powerful international Jewish apparatus of political lobbying, patronage, pressure and propaganda has been mobilised to dragoon the United States, Britain and, if possible, the nations of western Europe into sending the best of their young men to die, if necessary, for Jewish interests and at the Jewish command. At the moment, the Continental European powers are showing just a little more common sense, and a little more consideration for their national interests, than we are. And for their hesitancy to quick-march to death and destruction in the Israeli cause they are pilloried as ‘anti-American’ and even ‘cowardly’. But perish the thought that Tony should ever be thus labelled! The premier who owes more of his career success to Jewish support than possibly any other in British history, even Harold Wilson included, may offer the white flag to Irish republican killers and may scheme and manoeuvre to sell out a loyal British province; but let the Jewish cause be in danger, and let Jewish commands ring forth that it must be defended at all costs and our Tony will snap to attention, whip up a smart salute and dispatch our Paras, Marines, SAS and other armed units to the war zone with orders to fight, if need be, to the death - their own of course, not his!

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