Welcome to Bennett's World: a collection of articles and references covering a wide variety of topics in which I am involved. I am a very political person but I have no allegiance to any political party. Follow me on twitter @colinhove

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What is Stop the War Coalition up to?

I had no reply to this email to Stop the War. I think it warranted one.


What is the role of StWC?
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2017 12:48:38 +0100
From: Colin B Bennett
To: Stop the War

To the Publicity Manager.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I've been a member of the Coalition for some years and always paid my 
monthly subs of £5.

I'm not happy about some of the actions of the Coalition since it seems 
to reflect Establishment positions rather than neutral ones.

I mention two examples:

1. I attended a meeting called by the Coalition at the Old Ship Hotel, 
Brighton on 27 September 2015. The meeting was chaired by Diane 
Abbott whom I regard as an archetypical opportunist. She condemned the 
Syrian Government on that day when the Syrian Government and people were 
facing enormous odds. On 30September 2015 the Russian Government 
announced it was going to support the Syrian Government militarily. The 
Coalition did not make any comments on that positive step. Its line is 
that all foreign military forces are harmful not differentiating between 
those supporting the legitimate Government and those supporting the 

2. Your email of 7 April 2017 in which you write "​​This is the worst 
possible way to respond to the indefensible attack at Khan Sheikhun". The 
tenor of this statement, as well as the use of the word "response", 
strongly indicates that the Coalition is blaming the Syrian Government 
for the attack. This is a line peddled by the mainstream media and the 
western governments. Shades of the Tonkin Incident!

If the Coalition spent less time criticising the immigration policies of 
the US and the UK (which is not in the remit of the Coalition) then it 
might do a better job in speaking up against war and imperialism.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Colin Bennett

I'm puzzled about some aspects of Stop the War. There are undoubtedly some very committed, genuine people in it. As an example of this, I heard a short clip on BBC Radio 4 recently from a StW picket of 10 Downing Street protesting about the bombing of the Syrian airfield. One protestor was asked by the BBC reporter "do you think Syria was behind this attack?". The protestor said unhesitatingly "no".

I think some StW people are confused and others are guilty of groupthink which is not surprising as we're bombarded with war propaganda around the clock. Some others might merely be "useful idiots".

I'd welcome any comments on this question

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Thank Goodness We Have Peter Ford

Peter Ford was until recently the UK Ambassador to Syria. He has the annoying habit of telling the truth and not going along with the propaganda fed to him by the BBC. Here is the link to a recent BBC interview with Peter Ford. Worth watching!


More Fake News About "Syrian Napalm Attack"

Here is more evidence of the conflicting accounts of what the BBC and supposed doctors saw and experienced at a Syrian school an alleged hospital. This alleged incident was portrayed in a Panorama programme on 30 September 2013. As times goes by more and more inconsistencies are coming out of the woodwork. If any readers note other inconsistencies please reveal them.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Crimes Against Palestinians Continue...

I received this email from the PSC yesterday:

Please take action to stop the demolition of the Bedouin village of Umm Al Hiran
Following the attack and home demolitions in the Bedouin village of Umm Al Hiran in January, the Israeli authorities have now issued demolition orders to additional homes in the village. Please take a minute to call for the demolitions in Umm Al Hiran to be stopped, and for the entire plan to demolish the village and expel its residents to be immediately cancelled.

Take action now (https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Prime_Minister_Binyamin_Netanyahu_Stop_the_demolition_of_Umm_Al_Hiran_Dont_expel_its_inhabitants/?cjJrGhb
Denied entry to his homeland

On Friday Kamel Hawwash member of PSC EC and also vice chair of the British Palestine policy council was refused entry into Israel under the new anti boycott law. This follows the refusal last month to allow entry to Hugh Lanning PSC chair, and last weekend to Anuar Majluf, director of the Palestinian Federation of Chile.

Kamel was on a family holiday with his wife and son, who he had to leave at the airport.  Kamel’s wife has Jerusalem ID and he has many relatives in Jerusalem.  Kamel has stated “I am personally devastated at my denial of entry. Firstly because I could not be with my wife and son for our holiday, but also because I have been denied entry to my homeland. I have elderly relatives that I will never see again if I am not allowed to enter in the future. I had to leave my wife and son alone in the airport in tears.”

Ben Jamal PSC Director stated ”The BDS movement peacefully pressures Israel to comply with international law and cease human rights violations. It draws directly from the tactics of Gandhi and Mandela to effect positive change. According to the Israeli government, human rights activism is a security threat. Fundamental democratic norms and freedoms don’t matter. The British government must demand that Israel ceases this harassment.”

See PSC’s full statement including a quote from Richard Burden MP here (https://www.palestinecampaign.org/british-palestinian-easter-family-holiday-banned-israel/) . PSC is raising Israel’s employment of this pernicious law and its wider harassment of human rights activists with the Government and addressed it in our submission to the Foreign Affairs select committee. We will be seeking to raise the issue further in parliament after the recess.
Join us this year to mark the 100^th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

We are working for a just and lasting peace, 100 years after the Balfour Declaration (https://www.palestinecampaign.org/one-hundred-years-long-wait-demand-justice-now/) when Britain set the framework for the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Get involved in our #Balfour2Nakba week of activities taking place from 8^th -12^th May around the country, including  films, stalls and meetings all focused on raising awareness of the implications of the Balfour Agreement. Public meetings will be taking place (https://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/balfour2nakba/) in Cardiff, Hastings, Birmingham, London, Norwich, Abergavenny and more to be announced.

Attend the launch of the Just Walk to Jerusalem (http://palestinecampaign.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=39b479575f6b893766d815ffd&id=7b6e16967b&e=7c22c72c9a) on Saturday 10^th June, organised by our colleagues at Amos Trust - or join the walk itself.

Attend the Palestine Expo on the 8 and 9th July at theQEII Centre in  London (http://www.foa.org.uk/events/palestine-expo/) . PSC will be hosting a conference as part of the event – more details to follow.

Join us at our mass rally on Saturday 4^th November in Central London where we will be gathering under the banner of Justice Now: Make it Right for Palestine.

And if you haven’t already, please ask the British government to issue a formal apology to the Palestinian people for the declaration. You can sign the petition here (http://palestinecampaign.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=39b479575f6b893766d815ffd&id=9c833b2879&e=7c22c72c9a) .

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fake News from the BBC

No one could miss the enormous publicity given by the BBC and other state propaganda services concerning an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian Government in the province of Idlib, Syria. No evidence has been adduced as to whether there was in fact a chemical weapons attack and, if so, by whom. We have photographs of alleged victims and some alleged injuries were displayed. It's not too difficult, and filmmakers do it all the time, to use makeup techniques to indicate injuries. If there were injuries, the lay observer might think they were more likely to be caused by explosives than by poison gas. What is remarkable is how quickly social media was flooded with images allegedly from the site of the incident. The Syrian Government says that gas was released as a result of their military striking a terrorist arms store where the terrorists were filling landmines with poison gas. No investigators have been allowed to visit the site of the alleged attack which is controlled by the terrorist forces. The BBC repeats over and over again the allegations. The fake news item produced by the BBC called "Saving Syria's Children" and shown on BBC Television's Panorama programme on 30 September 2013 is relevant here. That report promoted the idea that there was a napalm attack by the Syrian Government on a school in Syria.

On 9 April 2017 I wrote to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the email is below. I received a very prompt reply dated 10 April 2017. I think it is very professional. As far as I know the BBC has never mentioned the role of the OPCW.

Older readers will remember that the invasion of Iraq by the US and the UK was "justified" by Saddam Hussein's production of "weapons of mass destruction" which were variously described by British media such as the Guardian as being nuclear and chemical. No one now suggests that these reports were genuine and Colin Powell was very embarrassed when his evidence to the UN General Assembly in New York was shown to be completely false. This story will run and run and it's only three days old so far!

From:   Colin B Bennett 
To:     public.affairs@opcw.org, 
Date:   09/04/2017 13:31
Subject:        Alleged poison gas attack allegedly by Syrian Government 
forces on 5 April 2017

Dear Sir or Madam,

I've been in correspondence with the OPCW and in particular Michael 
Luhan in 2014 concerning alleged attacks by chlorine and other chemical 
agents by the Syrian Government.

The OPCW is obviously sceptical about the claims made by the BBC and by 
Mr Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.

Since Friday 7 April 2017 the BBC have been saturated with reports of an 
alleged poison gas attack in Idlib. The Western governments and the 
terrorists who control the area all claim it was done by the Syrian 
Government but no evidence has been produced. The Syrian and Russian 
Governments state gas was emitted as the Syrian military struck an arms 
depot and workshop where the terrorists who control the area were making 
landmines and filling them with this gas.

Has the OPCW been invited to investigate physically and in other ways? 
Have you issued statements on the matter? Are you seeking to visit the 
area which I believe is Khan Shaykhun? My understanding is that as a 
result of the 2014 Russia-US agreement all chemical weapons hitherto 
held by the Syrian Government were removed under the auspices of the 
OPCW and taken by lorries to the coast where they were put on ships to 
be destroyed elsewhere. Was there any indication then or subsequently 
that the Syrian Government had stocks which were not revealed to the 
OPCW? It seems to me that it would have been possible for the "rebels" 
to hide stocks of chemical weapons as presumably they did not allow 
inspections of the areas they controlled.

This is a very important matter and I urge the OPCW to play a bigger 
role in the world by way of publicity and dissemination of the truth.

Thank you very much.

Yours faithfully,

Colin Bennett

Subject: Re: Alleged poison gas attack allegedly by Syrian Government forces on 5 April 2017
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2017 14:36:10 +0200
From: Public.Affairs@opcw.org
To: Colin B Bennett

Dear Sir,

The OPCW is investigating the incident in southern Idlib under the on-going mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which is “to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic”. The OPCW cannot and will not release information about an on-going investigation. This policy exists to preserve the integrity of the investigatory process and its results as well as to ensure the safety and security of OPCW experts and personnel involved. All parties are asked to respect the confidentiality parameters required for a rigorous and unimpeded investigation.


OPCW Public Affairs

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Important news from Palestine Solidarity Campaign here in the UK.

I quite often relay info from the PSC. This blog post contains the latest one. It's full of very useful information and is well-deserved to be read thoroughly and acted upon.

I remind you that it would be useful for people to join the PSC.

Slowly, slowly Israel is drawing criticism of its inhuman and illegal acts. For so many years it's been getting away with murder (sometimes literally) and it's time the tide was turned.