Friday, December 22, 2006

The Flags of our Fathers


Clint Eastwood's new film is built around the most iconic image of victorious soldiers raising the flag.

Good idea, perhaps, but he used the wrong picture and the wrong flag! (It is a symptom of our cultural domination by the USA that the equally iconic image of Russian soldiers hoisting the red flag over the rubble of the Reichstag is rarely seen in Britain)

The second world war has taken on a mythic status, as seen in the films of Steven Speilberg, etc. And the generation, like my father, who fought in that war, are regarded as the heroes, the good soldiers who fought in a clearly justifiable war.

But there was more than one war. There was a war to keep the British colonies, and there was a war between the Japanese empire and the British Empire and USA to determine which brutal superpower would dominate Asia. This is the war that Clint Eastwood celebrates.

Let us remember the other flag of our fathers, and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who enlisted to fight in the other war, the war against facism. Many soldiers in the British army who wanted to fight Hitler were diverted by the bosses to serve Britain's own sordid imperial interests in the Far East, but at the same time there WAS a people's war here in Britain - a popular mobilisation that overthrew Mussolini and Hitler. There was a war in Europe against fascism, a just war.

The defeat at Dunkirk had destroyed the authority of the Colonel Blimps and chinless wonders who wanted an unpoliticised "professional" army, and instead for the first time since the Putney debates at the end of the English revolution the British army were involved in democratic debate about war aims, and what they were fighting for. An unoffical soldiers parliament was convened in Cairo, the first act of which was to demand the nationalisation of the land and banks; and every army unit had an official political education programme, and the education officers were often CP members.

It as become fashionable in recent years to twin together Hitler and Stalin as equally terrible tyrants. What a travesty. The Soviet bureucracy was brutal and undemocratic, but they were not fighting to promote racial supremacy and they never created an industrial process to destroy human beings and turn them into lamp shades. Were the crimes of the Soviet bureaucracy worse then the crimes of the British government during its own industrial revolution?

The victory of the Axis forces would have thrown the human race into a dark barbarism beyond our most fevered nightmares. Fascism was halted in the Streets of Stalingrad by the Red Army, and the hundreds of thousands of partisans who harried the fascist armies, in the Ukraine, Belorus, Italy, France and elsewhere. But let us not forget the paradox that for those brief few years Churchill and Roosevelt also fought fascism, and young men from Britain and America were the people's soldiers.


badmatthew said...

Clint Eastwood's excellent film is more complex than a simple celebration of a brutal war, it is also an efective reminder of the horrors of war and a reminder about the manipulation of images in the name of ensuring victory. The partner film, Letters from Iwo Jima should show us the Japanese side of things. And the iconic image from Berlin that is shown is now also thought to be a re-enactment.And yes let's remember Stalingrad in all its complexity, including the refusal to evacuate the civilian population. And let's remember the great, triumphant Soviet army stopping outside Warsaw - so close, but so unable to intervene to help the Poles who rose up against the Nazis. And let's not go back to the old discredited tune of 'Stalin Wasn't Stalling'.

AN said...

I admit i haven't seen the film, I was somewhat infleunced by the reviews on Radio 4 which were poor.

Nor do I dispute your good points that the Soviet bureaucracy compromised the war effort by pursuing their own interests.

Nevertheless, I fear that the greater danger at the moment is historical revisionism that the soviet regime was worse than the British or japanese empires.

On the flag issue - the phote on Berlin was not a reanectment, but it was staged. I understand the photo was taken while the fighting was still going on, bt the Red Army had no flag, and the one used was made from a red table cloth belonging to the photographer's mother and specially flown to berlin.

The Sentinel said...


Andrew Newman, or 'an' by his Socialist unity blog alias, is one of the prime examples of the marxist threat we face in this country.

A short, fat gormless, bespectacled, grandad-jumper-wearing, scruffy menace.

His public actions aside, just from the that photo above, I can see why he is so full of hate for us all; hate for a society that never fully accepted him when he was a child. Hate for a society that left him with feelings of inadequacy. Hate for a world that left him with mere scraps of romance, the last offerings no one else wanted. Hate for the status quo.

Life is so much better for unfortunates like this man when they can find people that appear to have an even lower status in society then themselves.

It serves a multifaceted, deep-rooted need within their psyche to become the defenders of the underdog. The new underdog that they have helped to create, in order to elevate their own perceived position.

Any creed that will allow them to exercise their revenge on the society that rejected them, or the world at large is fully embraced.
As the 'right' do not generally appear to welcome such obvious runts like this one, and besides unconcealed authority scares them, it has to be the 'left' that they fall for.

As the empty rhetoric of brotherhood, fraternity and equality play into this angry man's mind he burrows further and further into the 'left' until he sits as close to the wall as he can.

At last he has found a home where all the pent up rage, all the bitterness and all the contempt that burns a hole in him is actually a deemed a positive.

The more he calls for society to be destroyed the more he is applauded. He can even come out of it looking like a hero.

Uncontrolled immigration for our global brothers and sisters! Marriage for homosexuals! No more prison for criminals! ...and all of the other insane mantras.
Of course, the recipients of such insane generosity will be most grateful, but only for a short time, so the campaign must go on.

Because the treacherous band of incompetents and thieves that pass for our government are largely composed of people cut from the same cloth as this man, these goals have been taken on as official policy.

But they do not go far enough for the likes of Andy Newman, the man who's life now revolves around this self-empowering game of politics. The movement that gave him a sense of belonging, a sense of worth and a reason to live cannot end, not even in victory. All of his struts in life would be swept away if it did.

No, the fight must continue with even more radical ideas, even more extreme actions.Of course he knows that the real by product of all of this folly is the complete destruction of the country he grew up in, but that is the whole unsaid point.

Of course he knows that 'rights' for ethnic groups and homosexuals really means the stripping of rights for Britons and productive citizens. But they deserve it.

Of course he knows that unpunished criminals commit more extreme crimes. But after all, if people are more afraid of what might happen on the way home from work then what the treacherous parasites that have wormed their way into power are doing, then that policy will have served its purpose.

The whole game is attack; attacking our values, our morals, our laws and our way of life until we collapse in confusion and exhaustion.

"Between 1995 and 1997, Andy Newman led a successful campaign against the deportation of Mumtaz Begum, a grandmother who lived in Broad Street. The campaign won because it was able to win support right across the community, and also because it was prepared to defend Mumtaz by any means necessary. Andy Newman explains: "Justice sometimes means you have to break the rules, we didn't comply with the deportation order, and we were able to get widespread support for that position across Swindon."

Sums up all of the elements I have described here perfectly.

Why on earth, in all reality, would a normal middle aged man from Swindon feel the overwhelming compulsion to campaign for a woman who lied to customs to enter our country on a visitors visa and deliberately stayed for years, showing complete contempt for our laws and all of us in general. If she had a legitimate reason to stay she could have applied for a legitimate visa.

But this is like the milk of the god's for this man and his ilk! A chance to display his complete hatred for us all, erode our system and purport himself as a hero!

"On the day of the threatened deportation we organised a picket of the family's home including the mayor and the leader of the council (Labour in those days). We made it clear we would defend Mumtaz by "any means necessary", and she was hidden by the local Islamic community. So we organised and supported self defence by the family and their religious community. However the political context for that was solidarity based upon compassion. We managed to create a supportive atmosphere, where no public voice was raised in the town in favour of deportation. At one stage we even had a Jazz band play at a benefit for the family that included US servicemen from nearby RAF Fairford! We held out for 3 years until the government changed, and the incoming Labour government overturned the deportation order on compassionate grounds."


You can feel the smug and gloating tone of this whole statement. It is almost tangible.

This wasn't about her it at all; it was all about him and his feelings of esteem and ego.

As for 'hiding her amongst the muslim community' besides the fact that he should have been charged with obstruction, this is a man who now seeks to deny islamic terrorism as a reality or the possibility that we could have many, many dangerous muslims in our country today, hidden out of sight.
It is distinct possibility that this man's action established a network of safe house within the muslim wards that are being used today to that end; at the very least he helped to consolidate an already existing network.

One capable of hiding someone for three years.

Of course double speak is the main tool employed by the marxists in their quest for destruction.

'Rights' actually means restricting the rights of the majority. 'Equality' actually means inequality for the majority. 'Respect' actually means contempt for the majority and 'tolerance' actually means intolerance for the rest of us.

It is a nasty, corrosive, warped and perverted form of politics that is practised by men such as Andy Newman (race and Equality Officer for the GMB union) and has pervaded, not just our society, but most of the western world's.


Primarily because most ordinary decent people have no interest in playing politics everyday, attending every union meeting or devoting their waking lives to committee meetings.

But it is the life blood of the social inadequate like this one.

The fact that it disgusts and angers people, and after provocation's made, it fails to sink into this very twisted man that his behaviour may have actually consequences and he screams out in anger when someone publishes his address on the internet.

"If it was just me who was affected, I would not be worried at all, but I have a family ­I have a four-year-old and a baby of three weeks" he cries.


So do most of us you fool, but you and your cronies are putting them all at serious risk and ruining their lives with your subversive actions.

Maybe that is the lesson you were being taught.