A non-partisan journal of the left.

How To Solve A Problem Like Auschwitz

Fri 29th Feb 2008

If you’re contemplating the possibility of voting Labour in either a local or national election and are looking to divert your gaze away from imaginary Weapons of Mass Destruction and the murder of one million Iraqis as a consequence of the British and American invasion, then sending British children to the concentration camp Auschwitz is the way to do it.

The British Government is planning to invest money in trips to the concentration camp, to ensure that children gain a “first-hand” account of life under Labour's foreign policies, where ethnic cleansing by death squads, the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, the mass murder of children killed for no other reason than being Arab, where the construction of walls around areas thus creating Ghettos and their eventual liquidation by “allied forces”, is all part of “a life-changing experience” according Ed Balls, Britain’s Schools Secretary.

The plan has been attacked by the Conservatives, who have claimed that a few days in the Auschwitz Camp is nothing more than a “gimmick”, when you also consider the fact that a year ago, the United Nations attacked the British Government for its failure to British youth with respect to the problems of drug and alcohol abuse, and teenage pregnancies.

The report also included the fact that there is an increasing number of young people leaving the British education system without the basic and the necessary skills needed to benefit them when entering the workplace, but also pointed out the fact that there is an increase in illiteracy among British children, something which will put them at a disadvantage when reading either Schindler's List or the Diary of Anne Frank.

It appears that the Labour Party, whose backward-looking perspective on human rights ends at the “Work Brings Freedom” sign which hangs above the Auschwitz gates, gave a visa which allowed Sheikh Zagani of the Mehdi Army to enter to the United Kingdom to give a speech to an anti-war rally in 2006. The Mehdi Army boasts that it is "cleansing Iraq of sexual perverts” by killing lesbians and gays, and is even reported to have even put unmarried people under surveillance for “suspected homosexuality”.

The “freedom” which Labour has brought to Iraq also includes the rounding up of the poor, the mentally ill, and the homeless. The new Iraqi regime is even planning to liquidate the country by starving people to death, in a Bergen Belsen styled campaign by eliminating the ration system in June 2008, on the grounds that the liquidation is “in line with the obligations it has made to the World Bank” ("Starvation As A Method of Warfare, London Progressive Journal Issue 5). This public final solution has been planned with no consideration, from the international community, for the millions of people who are going to perish as a result.

Happy to moralise to children over the pictures of starving people behind the barbed wire fencing of the various concentration camps in Europe, the British Government ignores the fact that over 60 % of the Iraqi population lives in poverty and 46% live in Abject Poverty , with an estimated 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from “wasting”, which is characterised by chronic diarrhoea and high deficiencies of protein.

The Arab media have also reported how Iraqis are unable to access health care, partly due to the financial burden but in a situation similar to that depicted in Steven Spielberg’s Schindlers List, whereby hospitals and health workers have also become targets and the hunting ground for sectarian death squads, where under the noses of British and American Troops, sick people have been dragged out of their beds and indiscriminately murdered.

When the British and American forces entered Iraq, one of the first changes made was the De-Baathification law, which in contravention of international law immediately made millions of Iraqis unemployed and unemployable, a law which witnessed the disbanding of Iraq’s Army, civilian bodies and other essential services because the country had been governed by the Ba’ath Party, which unlike the Labour Party has subsequently witnessed a “war crimes” tribunal and the illegal execution of the head of state.

Whilst the British government have called the critics of its plan to send children to Auschwitz, an “insult to the Jewish Community”, for millions of people around the world, this plan is seen as a desperate attempt by Labour to try and gain some ground on its discredited human rights record, which since 2003 has seen one million Iraqis killed. If the organisation which now runs the Auschwitz camp wants to retain its credibility as a memorial to those who died in the Holocaust, they need to send a clear message to the British government: war criminals are not welcome.



Hussein Al-Alak is Chairman of the Iraq Solidarity Campaign.


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