Dear Sir Mark Rylance,
My apologies to you as patron of Stop The War Coalition, I did not realize this when I wondered why you were doing a fundraiser for STWc at the Pasha Islington in London on 7th December. It is comforting to think of the many British citizens who have received knighthoods for services to tyrants around the world that the British elites have favoured. Your knighthood is clearly for acting and services to the film and theatre industries etc, but your “Stop The War’s Coalition” campaign against the Arab Democratic Uprising must have found their supporters in the dictator hugging British elitist London clubland. Well done Sir Mark for getting a knighthood from a Tory government. You continuing patronage of Stop The War Coalition will be an even more valuable tool to camouflage the hard-left agenda of this neo-SWP organization.
Happy New Year and God Bless You Lara Keller
P.S. The people of Syria have suffered from a brutal self-serving Assad Clique dictatorship since 1970, which has used systematic torture and cynical division as its tools of governance. Any ideas how they get rid of the Assad Clique without any threat of military force? Perhaps culture will do the trick, Shakespeare?, a performance of Macbeth in Damascus, most of his inner circle understand English, they need it to arrange transfers of Syria’s wealth to tax havens, perhaps Macbeth, how could they not dwell on the lines “Thou marvell’st at my words, but hold thee still; Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.” What better summary of the Assad regime? Think on this as you lie in your bed, protected by rights that every human being seeks, even Arabs.
On Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 12:58 PM, email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW YOUR POINT OF VIEW LARA,
Assistant to Mark Rylance
07852 342 493
On 16 Nov 2016, at 20:39, Lara Keller <email@example.com> wrote:
Why is Mark Rylance doing an Xmas Fundraiser for Stop The War? Stop the War are run by an ideologically driven group of ex-SWP Trots who are not pacifists in the true sense, but political opportunists. They campaign to block effective action against the brutal Assad and Putin regimes (and other MENA dictators) by promoting misinformation and rhetoric. Is this what Mark wishes to have his good name attached to, as STW promotion opportunity? While their PR clients Putin and Assad mount an ever bigger blitzkrieg against Syrians opposing this brutal dictatorship?
The reality of Stop The War has been known for some years now. Please see below some extracts that might aid your discussion:
Why Stop the War don’t want to listen to Syrians, Syria Solidarity UK, 12 November, 2015
THE FIRST [Stop The War LIE]
Denying the first, Stop the War say Andrew Murray’s position is that ISIS can only be defeated by strong and credible governments in Syria and Iraq. If Andrew Murray does not mean Assad when he talks of a Syrian government, what does he mean? Elsewhere he makes clear that he is against the fall of Assad, saying that a no-fly zone should be opposed because “regime change is the real agenda.”
Andrew Murray also calls on foreign powers to abandon “all the preconditions laid down for negotiations,” language that echoes the Assad regime and its backers in Moscow. Why? Because there is just one precondition that is contested: the demand that Assad step down. This was not originally a Western demand, but first and foremost a Syrian demand.
So Andrew Murray’s “strong and credible government” is one where there is no change of regime, and no demand for Assad to step down: in other words, a continuation of the Assad regime.
There is no lie here.
The Stop the War Coalition should do us all a favour and disband [Sunday 31 August 2014]
“The Stop the War Coalition of today does not represent mainstream or even consistent opinion, if it ever did. Its leaders are hardly mainstream: its former chair, Andrew Murray, is still a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain; there are long-standing historic links to the Socialist Workers’ Party; and vice-president Kamal Majid is a founding member of the Stalin Society. Uncle Joe, you may remember, was not a great valuer of human life, although I am sure Mr Majid would disagree.”
Statement on the upcoming Stop the War event at the House of Commons (Thursday, 29 October 2015)
Unfortunately, the upcoming 2nd November meeting at the House of Commons advocates a policy that is utterly divorced from the horrific reality experienced by civilians currently under attack by Russian and Assad regime aerial bombardments.
We categorically reject any policy proposal, be it for intervention or non-intervention that is not formulated in consultation with Syrian civic, medical or humanitarian workers.
Leila al-Shami on Stop the War, 12th September 2015
Over the past few days, demonstrations have been held in London and elsewhere to oppose the UK bombing Syria. The demonstrations were organized by the Stop the War Coalition (STW), an organization which has long adopted a counter-revolutionary position on Syria. Since the start of the uprising in 2011 STW has refused to acknowledge the agency of the oppressed Syrian people struggling against a fascist regime or to support their struggle in any form, preferring to see the current conflict only through a geopolitical lens. Their selective anti-imperialism means they’ve only ever opposed Western intervention in Syria (even when this was not a reality) and refuse to actively oppose Russian or Iranian intervention. They have never called for any action against Assad or opposed the war he has waged on the Syrian people, raining down barrel bombs and targeting civilian areas with Scud missiles for over four years. It is this war which has been the main cause of civilian deaths in Syria and which has created the vacuum and desperation giving rise to Daesh. These ‘progressives’ have consistently refused to give a platform to revolutionary Syrians. They have even, shamefully, called the police to remove Syrians present at a recent meeting. Conversely, they give non-Syrian apologists for the Assad regime a voice, people such as the odious George Galloway and massacre-denier Mother Agnes.
At the demonstrations organized by STW some present were holding Baathist flags and pictures of the mass-murderer Assad. Seriously, a blatant fascist presence was considered acceptable at a protest organized by people who describe themselves as leftists. It is no wonder that their demonstrations were small (compared to the heyday of the Iraq war demos), with no large scale Syrian or Muslim presence. I am sure many who oppose the bombing of Syria would feel alienated joining a protest organized by those who ally themselves with a regime that practices torture on an industrial scale, sodomizes its opponents with broken bottles, and gasses civilian neighbourhoods. One of the speakers at the event held last Saturday, Tariq Ali (once considered a ‘radical’, so I’m told) rhetorically called for Britain to ally itself with Assad and Russia if it wanted to defeat Daesh. This was based on his erroneous claim that Russia is actually attacking Daesh, whilst the evidence shows that the majority of Vlad the Invader’s attacks are aimed at anti-Assad forces (which have also been fighting Daesh since January 2014) and civilians in areas with no Daesh presence. As for Assad, not only has he not attacked Daesh until recently (to gain international legitimacy as a partner in the ever expanding War on Terror) but has actively facilitated its growth.
Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the British Labour Party who has been the Chair of STW for the past four years and has now appointed the Stalinist and Putin supporter Seumas Milne as the party’s director of communications, is giving his party’s members the choice of whether to back joining the US coalition or not. To help them make up their minds he has invited Patrick Cockburn to brief Labour MPs on Syria ahead of the vote. Patrick Cockburn openly supports the fascist mass murderer Assad, has called for Britain to ally with Assad’s imperialist sponsors Russia and Iran, has consistently slandered Syrian rebels as ‘Al Qaeda’, makes shit up in his writing like pretending to be an eyewitness to massacres which likely never happened, and recommends Donald Trump’s analysis on the Middle East. Does anyone really consider these people progressives? As an anarchist, it seems to me that the statist ideologies of both left or right have much more in common with each other than any values or principles I adhere to.
An “Anti-War” Movement in the West in Relation to Syria Is An Oxymoron
Thank you for this thoughtful article (“Socialists and Wars in the 21st Century?—?The Case of Syria.”)
One of the problems we face in a discussion around how to be anti-war in practice, is that the discussion is crippled by the one-dimensional framework of pro-war versus anti-war.
For all the anti-war movements I have supported or participated in, the actual content is never really limited to “opposing war.” While the existence of war is a sad commentary on the backwardness of the human race, the solution to that backwardness is in removing the causes of war.
Only strict pacifists always advise both sides in a war to simply put down their guns and stop fighting. In practice, one side following this advice only allows victory for the other power.
Thus in Vietnam “anti-war” meant that the U.S. and its allies should stop their war-making, NOT that the Vietnamese should stop their war of liberation. Opposition to the Contra war in Nicaragua, again, was in reference to the U.S. which created and supplied those forces, not a call for the Sandanistas to stop the defense of their country (anymore than we would have opposed the revolutionary war they had conducted against the Somoza dictatorship).
When we had “anti-war” demonstrations against the impending Iraq war, we never meant that the Iraqis should abandon their military defenses. In all such examples, “anti-war” really meant opposing the war-making of one side, but in effect justifying the military efforts of the oppressed nation under attack. It was only because the main enemy in each case were our own imperialist ruling classes that the term “anti-war” was a convenient and popularly formulated slogan expressing that content, in which we were actually (and unashamedly!) taking sides.
That is why an “anti-war” movement in the West in relation to Syria is an oxymoron. Obviously the revolution and civil war in Syria was not a result of any war-making on the part of Western imperialism (despite various fictions to the contrary). We should take the side of the oppressed in Syria every bit as much as we did in the above examples. But?—?unless you live in Russia or Iran?—?using the term “anti-war” doesn’t really specify which side you are on. And using that term robotically can only increase confusion and promote the myth that their revolution is a Western imperialist plot.
In other words, the discussion that Richard Fidler encroached upon was already distorted by the starting point: how to build an “anti-war” movement in the West. Rather, we need to start with the concept of building a solidarity movement with the oppressed. Only from that starting point can we formulate popular slogans and demands and determine if and how terms such as “anti-war” can be applied to those efforts.
— Jeff Meisner via Marxmail.
God Bless You