Socialist Worker

Lies to help prepare for war

Issue No. 1793

The US defence department announced last week that a satellite positioning device had been found in an Afghan cave. They said the equipment was lost in Somalia in 1993. The discovery, they proclaimed, was concrete evidence at last that Bin Laden's Al Qaida network was behind the deaths of 18 US soldiers in the disastrous raid on Mogadishu.

The device bore the name G Gordon, the name of one of the soldiers whose death was shown in the film Black Hawk Down. That was Thursday.

On Friday red faced officials admitted that the high-tech global positioning device had been lost by a US soldier in the cave a few weeks ago. It was manufactured in 1997 at the earliest. G Gordon had transferred his positioning device to another soldier, who lost it during the US's latest assault in Afghanistan.

This admission that the US had made it all up has yet to attract the same publicity as the previous day's announcement of Al Qaida 'guilt'.

Blues for the Tories

The Tory party is facing its biggest cash crisis ever, losing around £300,000 a month. Its workers have been warned that their pensions could be in difficulties. Bet they wish they hadn't broken the link to earnings now!

The problem is partly that because Tories are so old, members are dying off. Their leader has certainly not helped them to win more recruits.

In a recent poll of his constituents, less than half shown his photo could name Iain Duncan Smith. More people could name Dolly the sheep. Not one could say what position Michael Howard holds. Michael who?

The third major robbery at Heathrow in recent months caused big headlines. Few of the newspapers reported that the security officer who was left to guard £2.25 million was a young student. He was working part time to pay college fees.

The government has hired consultants Symonds to oversee the redevelopment of Wembley stadium in north London. Symonds also managed the Millennium Dome.

Tony Blair's pamphlet calling for partnership with public sector workers does not reassure the GMB union. The union has set up an 'ethical threads' organisation, where T-shirts can be made by unionised labour.

Their latest T-shirt has a nurse on the back with the question, 'Is she one of the wreckers, Tony?' and with the slogan 'Proud to be a wrecker' emblazoned across the front.

Life to the Max

Robert Maxwell's business empire collapsed in 1991. Some £400 million was stolen from his employees' pension funds.

A trade and industry department report last year said his son Kevin had behaved 'inexcusably'. It went on to say that Maxwell Jr bore 'heavy responsibility' for the empire's collapse. Labour minister Patricia Hewitt has ruled out disqualification proceedings against Maxwell. He is now chairman of Telemonde, a telecoms company.

Alliance of fear

One of the US's most important new friends in the 'war against terrorism' is the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. The republic boasts of its healthy democracy.

Last week there were mass demonstrations demanding the release of an opposition member of parliament and government critic. Two days of rioting left two dead and around 100 injured. A government crackdown is feared.

A tale of two photographs

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has as its motto 'Creating opportunity, releasing potential, achieving excellence'. Nothing about censorship, then. But the latest issue of the department's newsletter describes how an office move was disrupted by a 20,000-strong demo.

What was the demo about? Well, you certainly wouldn't have been able to tell from the photo that illustrated the story. The one on the left, which is from the DfES magazine, seems to have lost the picture of a B-52 from the top and the words 'Stop the War Coalition' from the bottom.

As you can see from a Socialist Worker picture on the right, these are clearly visible and do not have the electronic 'wash mark' which some DfES lackey has applied. Does the photographer know their work was abused?

Things they say

'The battles to come in Afghanistan will probably be smaller in scale but could be even bloodier in terms of casualties.'
SENATOR BOB GRAHAM, chairman of the US Senate intelligence committee

'IN Afghanistan we're entering into another phase that actually is more difficult because you're looking at smaller units who intend to operate against you in a classic insurgency format.'
GEORGE TENET, director of the CIA

'WE ARE told the British 45 Commando are the world's best. How do we know? They haven't fought anyone for 20 years. Such a claim is arrant twaddle.'
JOHN BARRY, former commanding officer of the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre

'I WISH I hadn't voted Labour the last time but it's Tommy Sheridan's Scottish Socialist Party that I'll be voting for next time, not the Tories.'
ANGIE SULLIVAN, resident of Easterhouse, Glasgow, after Iain Duncan Smith's visit

'WE ARE not aware of any evidence that the Iraqi government are passing on weapons of mass destruction to Al Qaida. Nor have we seen any credible evidence linking the Iraqi government to 11 September .'

'THE MONARCH is the shared symbol of a sacred authority above politics. Kingship is manhood in its fullest development.'

'I THINK Margaret Thatcher should be tried for war crimes against the Irish, the British and the Argentinian people, especially the Argentinians after the sinking of the Belgrano.'

'I WANT to establish the Scottish National Party as the most pro-enterprise party in Scotland.'

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Article information

Inside the System
Sun 8 Apr 2007, 12:55 BST
Issue No. 1793
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