Every week, on a Sunday, we like to highlight three or four stories that go full-Guardian, but don’t require an entire article of refutation.
We encourage reader-participation here, so if you come across something you feel should be included in the next edition either post a link below, or send us an e-mail.
Weaponising the LGBT vote
Both sides of the identity politics coin presented themselves in the Graun this week, both concerning LGBT rights and both concerning the Democratic Primaries.
To be brief, Warren is great and Bernie is shit.
In more detail, this article – ‘I felt seen for the first time’: why trans activists are rallying behind Elizabeth Warren – praises how open Warren is to the rights of transgender individuals. It doesn’t really go into the specifics, because those are hard, but suffice to say Warren made one transgender person feel listened to, so she’s great.
Meanwhile, Bernie praised Cuba – or, more accurately, suggested that in 60 years of governing the country, the Castro regime had managed to do one or two things right.
This brought down the hammer of an angry gay rights activist in the opinion piece “If Bernie Sanders thinks Cuba is worth defending, he should talk to gay dissidents”. Apparently post-Revolutionary Cuba was very homophobic. The author gives us one anecdote to prove it (he doesn’t cite any legislation since homosexuality was never outright illegal in Cuba, unlike both Britain and parts of the US at that time).
The Wikipedia article on gay rights in Cuba has a few telling quotes, such as:
Many of the progressive LGBT persons who remained in Cuba became involved in counter-revolutionary activities, independently or through the encouragement of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and were jailed.
The author makes out that ALL gay men were detained or punished in Cuba, but that was not the case, it was only those who worked with the US to overthrow the government. Their crime was treason, not being gay.
There were some homophobic attitudes, of course there were, it was a majority Catholic nation in 1959, but the author is overstating the situation to score easy political points. Which is made obvious by what he refuses to discuss…such as healthcare.
The article doesn’t discuss healthcare at all – where Cuba’s nationalised medicine gives free hormone treatment or gender-reassignment surgeries to transgender individuals, and where the most successful (free) AIDS treatment program in the world doubtless saved the lives of many who, in the US would have died, gone bankrupt or both.
Neither article talks about class. Because that’s what identity politics is for, to cripple real class analysis with surface-level issues which distract from poverty, social security and healthcare. The Guardian is always the tip of that spear.
Simon Tisdall is never satisfied. It doesn’t matter how many troops Western countries have stashed around the globe, it doesn’t matter how much tax-payer money is turned into bombs and bullets, it doesn’t matter just how much of the third world is trampled by Western boots…it’s not enough. In the past he has essentially campaigned for wars against pretty much everyone he doesn’t like the look of, up to and including Russia.
But this week it’s about Africa. Pretty much all of it above the equator. They are struggling with a growth of “Islamist insurgents”, and the West needs to “do more” about it. Because the US having bases in nearly every country in Africa isn’t enough. Neither is the UN’s 13,000 strong “peacekeeping” force for the region. The only country doing something is good old France, thanks to their “colonialist ties”.
(Tisdall is perhaps the only person in Europe who seems to like Macron, drooling over his reign in columns like this, while the people that have to live under his government are busy burning their cities down in protest. Bizarre.)
Simon doesn’t say what “do more” means, but we can assume it involves people from here, going there and shooting at things. Also, he never once points out that these “al- Qaida affiliates” we should all be so scared of in Africa…are actually on our side in Syria. His doublethink is complete.
Speaking of Syria…
In case any of you needed to know the “Guardian view” on the situation in Idlib is Syria/Russia/Iran = bad, NATO/Turkey/Jihadi proxies = good. This particular anonymous editorial – which always have the ring of a copy-pasted memo from GCHQ – doesn’t deviate from that general theme.
Besides the usual guff (the world’s inaction this or refugees that, spurious statistics about hospital bombing) there are a couple of interesting thoughts on the escalating violence between Syrian/Russian militaries and the Turkish army:
The prospects of European or US support – beyond rhetoric – appear low […] The best-case scenario for Idlib may be that Turkey manages to preserve what is now left of the rebel-held area
It seems that US/UK or other NATO allies aren’t keen to get involved – but have shifted their proxies from the disposable rebels, to the equally disposable Erdogan.
Also, echoing last week’s message from Hasan Hasan, there is the very definite threat of “insurgency”:
But Idlib holds the government’s most committed opponents, and jihadist fighters are already planning for an insurgency. An opposition once contained in the province will probably move undercover.
Meaning, should Idlib fall, the US Empire and it’s “allies” will continue to fund terrorists in a bid to destabilise Syrian reconstruction efforts. Don’t hold out hope for Trump’s so-called “Syrian withdrawal”.
BONUS – Guardian headline of the week
For most of the week this was an easy choice, we decided to create this section entirely because of this headline:
A sustainable vagina revolution is under way [sic]. But beware homemade tampons
But then someone in the comments brought this to our attention:
My boyfriend’s wedding dress unveiled my own shortcomings over masculinity
…which means we have to declare it a tie.
* * *