History,  Iraq,  Trots

From the Vaults: The Times, February 7, 1991

Regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with the so-called Socialist Workers Party and their antics with the Stop the War Coalition. What they might not realise is that the SWP’s cheering on of Saddam Hussein dates back much further. Below I copy an extract from a news report that appeared in The Times in 1991 while Operation Desert Storm was occurring:

Saddam’s friends

The Times, February 7, 1991

The Committee to Stop the Gulf War was deeply embarrassed yesterday by revelations that some of its members are openly committed to a military victory for Saddam Hussein…. [T]he committee wants the Iraqis to withdraw peacefully from Kuwait, and reacted angrily to the discovery that the Socialist Workers’ Party, which is represented on the committee, wants the allied forces to be defeated.

”We are for the defeat of America and the victory of Iraq,” wrote John Molyneux, the party’s ideologue, in Socialist Worker before war broke out. Confirming that stand yesterday, Chris Banbury, the SWP organiser, said: ”Our position has been spelt out to other committee members. We are calling for the defeat of America.”….

”These lunatics have not told the committee their view,” says Marjorie Thompson, chairman of both CND and the committee. ”I’m not going to allow people like this to impede our efforts. If they come to our meeting next week we shall show them the door.”

Kanan Makiya comments (Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq, [University of California Press, 1998] p.230) that after the Ba’ath Party coup in 1968, “The bodies of communist militants started cropping up in dark alleyways and floating down the Tigris.” I assume John Molyneux missed that piece of information.