Do you: (a) Tell them to "Bugger Off!" (b) Say, "Of course, no problems, comrade," and pose for the snap, (c) Hand the person a long questionnaire to fill in detailing their political views on foreign policy issues — including their positions on the Balkan wars, Syria, Russia, the NATO alliance, Israel, and the old Soviet Union, before consenting to be photographed with them.
Well, I'm sure you'll agree that (b) is the answer most normal members of the human race would give. It's certainly what Jeremy Corbyn does. But for Britain's utterly ludicrous NeoCon Thought Police (b) is the wrong answer. The Labour leader should check first, in great detail, the political views on foreign policy before he agrees to be photographed with anyone.
Corbyn has come under ferocious attack from Establishment gatekeepers in both the "old" and "new" media for having his picture taken with one Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos in a London eaterie earlier this week.
"Jeremy Corbyn pictured enjoying pizza with controversial pro-Assad campaigner who denied the Srebrenica genocide" was one headline. "Corbyn spent yesterday evening with Assad-loving genocide-denier" was another. The news even hit the United States — with an added but predictable twist. "Jeremy Corbyn just met with a Russian agent," the Washington Examiner dramatically declared. "Papadopoulos is much more than a sycophant for slaughter. He's a Russian 'active measures agent.' " Whoever said Senator Joe McCarthy was dead and buried?
Let's get one thing cleared up first. Dr. Papadopoulos was wrong to state that a genocide did not take place at Srebrenica. It did. He has said it was a "war crime," but not genocide. This is at variance with the 2007 ruling of the International Court of Justice which held that a genocide did indeed occur (and that the government in Belgrade was not directly responsible for it). But how on earth was Corbyn expected to know Dr. Papadopoulos' stance on this issue when he was asked for a photograph? Is he expected to quiz all those wanting a quick snapshot with him on their acceptance of historical genocides? Just how absurd would that be?
So @jeremycorbyn is expected to know all the political positions of those who want a photo taken with him?This is pathetic 21stC McCarthyism— Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) July 12, 2017
Even if Papadopoulos had acknowledged that a genocide did take place at Srebrenica, the truth is that it wouldn't have made any difference. For a start, you don't even have to be a "Srebrenica genocide denier" to be accused of being one by the NeoCon Thought Police, as I know only too well. I'm in the process of suing an obsessed and very creepy stalker who has repeatedly defamed me as a Srebrenica genocide denier.
In the case of Dr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Corbyn, the New McCarthyites would have found other reasons to make a huge fuss about the men being photographed together — as indeed they did. Kate McCann, in the Telegraph, declared: "Mr. Papadopoulos is famously outspoken on the subject of intervention abroad, particularly on the UK and America's record. Among incriminating "recent messages: from Dr Papadopoulos that were produced as "evidence" against him were:
"We stand with Syria against US aggression. And No to Western-backed Islamist terrorism. #Syria."
"#Israel is not — and never has been — in the fight against al-Qaeda. After all, Israeli hospitals treat wounded al-Qaeda fighters from Syria."
And, wait for it: "President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…"
The implication seems to be that Dr Papadopoulos should be saying "Yes" to Western-backed Islamist terrorism in Syria and standing 100% with those massacring Christians — which is a strange position to find in a "Middle England" conservative paper like the Daily Telegraph.
In a straight fight between Daesh/al-Qaeda and Syrian government forces, which Telegraph readers wouldn't prefer the latter to prevail? After all, its not "Assad" who's been organizing and inspiring terror attacks on UK citizens in Manchester and London, is it?
Furthermore, is the Telegraph's senior political correspondent really saying that it's "controversial" to be "outspoken" on the "record" of Britain's and the US' "intervention" abroad — interventions which have seen Iraq and Libya destroyed and large parts of North Africa and the Middle East turned into jihadist training camps? If we can't be "outspoken" about the illegal Iraq war — fought on a brazen lie about WMDs — and which led to the deaths of one million innocent people and the rise of Daesh, what can we be outspoken about?
The attacks on Corbyn for being photographed with a person with the "wrong" views on foreign policy are another example of the McCarthyite device of "guilt by association." It's not just the things you say (or tweet) which can get you into trouble, it's who you're seen in public with too — and who you engage with on social media.
Interestingly, as Evolve Politics reveal, Dr. Papadopoulos has interviewed — and had his picture taken — with other prominent politicians, in his capacity as publisher and editor of Politics First magazine, but it's the only the snap with Jezza which has caused outrage. What we're witnessing is a campaign waged by the stenographers for the powerful to enforce the "correct" i.e. pro-war views on foreign policy and intimidate people from speaking out — even if their opposition to "liberal interventionism" and disastrous regime-change wars is shared by the vast majority of ordinary Britons.
The Dr. Papadopoulos/Mr. Corbyn story is not the only example of McCarthyism we've seen in recent days.
Aaron Bastani, of Novara Media, issued an "apology" for the heinous crime of speaking to the antiwar former MP George Galloway. Galloway is "black-balled" for comments he made years ago in relation to the Julian Assange case — and which was drawn to Bastani's attention. Yet the Novara head is quite happy to speak to pro-war Labour MPs like Chuka Umunna. In McCarthyite Britain, saying a crass politically incorrect thing is a worse crime than supporting brutal wars of aggression which destroy entire countries and leave millions dead. That's just how the warmongering elite like it to be.
We've asked @AaronBastani why he's willing to speak to Chuka Umunna — who voted for wars on Iraq, Libya and Syria — but not you. No reply. 🤔— Media Lens (@medialens) July 12, 2017
The New McCarthyism may be ludicrous and easy to lampoon, but the sad thing is that it does have an effect. I know of at least one prominent British journalist who won't come on RT because people would say he was in the pay of the Kremlin. Note too how Jeremy Corbyn and his Director of Communications, Seumas Milne — who seems to be under 24/7 surveillance these days — were regular guests on RT in the past, but haven't appeared on the channel since they started in their new jobs. They know that if they did, the neocon punditocracy would screech "Russian agents!" so loud, you could hear it from Land's End to John O'Groats.
Just copped another "why do you speak on Russia propaganda outlet @RT_com?" A question on Messenger. Here's my reply in a tweet storm /2— Steve Keen (@ProfSteveKeen) July 7, 2017
The attacks on, and obsessive Twitter hounding of those who do appear in Russian media like Sputnik and RT is an unedifying spectacle, and needless to say is not reported by the mainstream media. The only victims of "online abuse" we read about are pro-war MPs and Establishment-friendly pro-war journalists. Again, only the powerful can be victims.
To paraphrase the late Malcolm X, if you read certain newspapers and media outlets, you‘ll end up hating the oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. The aim of the New McCarthyism is the same as the old 1950s variety: it's to bully and intimidate those who do dare to think differently on foreign policy issues to conform. Those who don't, like George Galloway, who is arguably the bravest man in Britain for refusing to buckle, are accorded pariah status. Despite having been totally vindicated in his opposition to the illegal western wars of the last twenty years, Galloway's politically-motivated expulsion from the Labour Party for comments made about the Iraq war in 2003, still stands.
The New McCarthyism seeks to narrow the parameters of "acceptable" debate — and in doing so, make sure the UK's foreign policy stays the same. The treatment of dissidents like Galloway, who always speak their mind on world affairs, is a warning to others not to step out of line. Stick to "uncontroversial" domestic issues and posting pictures of your dog on Facebook, if you know what's good for you.
Make no mistake the New McCarthyism represents the biggest threat to free-speech and free-thinking that Britain has ever known. So what can we do about it? Strength in numbers is the key. We — those who oppose illegal wars and want to see a world of genuine internationalism and peace between nations based on mutual respect, are the many; they — those who want the regime-change wars against independent countries to continue — are the few.
But it's about time we made our superior numbers count. So take a stand against the New McCarthyites by sharing this article widely on social media and asking high profile media figures — who claim to be in favor of "free speech" and "free expression" — to do the same. And make sure you have a big bucket of icy cold water ready for Senator Joe's "Why are you re-tweeting that?" Thought Police, when they come knocking on your front door.
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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.