RCP/LM watch

Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts

“Unconditional support” for genocidists

Back from Easter holidays, and what do we see? Mick Hume, ex-editor of the much-unlamented LM magazine, robustly defending LM’s stance during the Balkan Wars by way of commemorating the libel action by ITN and the journalist Ed Vulliamy that put LM out of business (to be very quickly replaced by Spiked and IoI – it’s an ill wind, eh, guys?) [1].

In an article “Why we were right to fight”, Mick Hume (now earning a decent buck in the Murdoch Press) is unapologetic about publishing the mendacious article by Thomas Deichmann which claimed that photos of the Serb concentration camp at Trnopolje, Bosnia, were faked.

It’s worth noting that Vulliamy, unlike any of the the RCP/LM mob or Deichmann himself, was actually at the concentration camp and was there when the photos were taken, so he not unsurprisingly got a serious hump about being called a brazen liar and faker, which allegations if proven would have killed his journalistic career stone dead. Another nail in LM’s court defence was that it spurned the chance to cross-examine a doctor who’d actually been imprisoned in that very camp, so could argue very forcefully indeed that it existed [2]. That would have been an encounter worth seeing, the sect’s lawyer telling the ex-inmate that the camp was a figment of his imagination, but even the RCP/LM has limits to its chutzpah.

Of course you’d not expect Hume to be otherwise, and indeed the trial was the making of the sect as a champion of free speech and gained them an enormous amount of publicity in the liberal Press and amongst the chattering classes, which did them the power of good. [2]

“Unconditional support”

Hume does, however, come out with a brazen lie in his apologia:

LM took no side in the bloody and destructive Yugoslav civil war, apart from siding against Western intervention that we saw could only make matters worse.”

This is completely untrue, and he surely knows it. Whilst LM magazine may not have explicity supported Serb forces, the RCP/LM most definitely did as a matter of Leninist doctrine. As noted in comments to previous blog entries, tireless RCP activists on Usenet regularly called for “unconditional” support for Serbia against the West, based on Leninist ideology. One of the RCP’s gruesome twosome, the bruiser Justin Flude posting as “Big Mac”[3], wrote:

Poster: Big Mac <whop@speed.com>
Newsgroup(s): alt.politics.socialism.trotsky
Date: June 15 1998
Thread:  Nationalism:Its significance.

: Lenin understood that imperialism necessarily involves the political oppression of
:backward capitalist countries.  Therefore the struggle of the people in those countries
:against imperialism was anti-capitalist and demanded the unconditional support of
:revolutionaries.

Or again, in the same thread:

:>Why, because you participate mystically in the guilt of your bourgeois
: >government?!  Get over it, and start thinking straight.  Being critical does
: >not mean “sitting on the fence,” LM Assholes!
:
: Do you back Serbia unconditionally against the West or not?  Yes or no?

Or again, on the Srebrenica massacre:

:Which graves?  Where are they?  Why, despite all the claims of
:massacres in Srebrenica, has nobody been able to find the bodies?  Why
:do witnesses that claim to have seen the massacres give contradictory
:accounts?  Why did the Dutch troops based in the town testify that they
:saw no massacres?  Why did two successive UN reports not find any
:evidence to support the claims?  Why have the army of Western
:journalists that have reported from the region not been able find any
:evidence either?
:
:Because it never happened.

[4]

Gary Dale, the other member of the twosome, was equally as robust:

Poster: Gary Dale <gd@ee.ed.ac.uk>
Newsgroup(s): alt.politics.socialism.trotsky
Date: Nov 13 1998
Thread: Re: Nationalism:Its significance.

They were adding to the chauvinism, propaganda and demonisation that justified the presence of the West.  The character of Milosevic regime is utterly irrelevant: the issue is that the West and your government has no RIGHT to be there.  And you have no MORAL right to whine about what the Serbian government was and was not doing. Also, when push comes to shove, those who oppose oppression MUST support military victory for Serbia against foreign intervention.

More quotes abound, but you get the picture. Flude’s last quote shows the logical consequence of “unconditional support” for a regime – you have to rubbish any story critical of it, and play up any story supportive of it. So the RCP/LM regularly trashed, on Usenet and in print, stories of atrocities by Serb forces, whilst reporting uncritically stories of Croatian and Bosniak crimes [5].

But because LM was sued for libel, rather than having its claims exposed as lies resulting from their “unconditional support” of the murderous Milosevic and Karadzic regimes, it was able to turn the agenda away from their support of genocidists to Press freedom, and to pose as champions of free speech, a banner the sect continues to hold proudly to this day. Instead of being exposed as apologists for war criminals, Uncle Frank and his boys and girls came out smelling of libertarian roses, and never looked back. Truly, the libel trial was the best thing to happen to the sect, turning it from an irritation into the England-wide media phenomenon it is today.

So thanks a bundle, ITN, for throwing petrol on the smouldering embers of what was becoming a moribund sect.

[1] “Why we were right to fight“, Spiked Online, 18/3/2010

[2] Apart from being morally wrong to stifle free speech, even when it was a blatant lie, ITN and Vulliamy really shot themselves in the foot with their action. If not for the court case, the chances are that the sect wouldn’t be 1000th as influential as it is nowadays. The suit was a major strategic blunder. For background on the case, see the  Wikipedia article on the ITN v LM libel suit.

[3] One of his many aliases, but he was plainly identifiable by writing style and, more importantly, posting IP address which was always his work PC.

[4] These quotes are summarised in the thread “ITN launches libel action against LM” which appeared on the newsgroup alt.politics.socialism.trotsky on March 2, 2000.

[5] Such as the mass explulsion of ethnic Serbs from Croatia after the defeat of Serb forces.

April 16, 2010 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , , | Leave a comment