Poet Attila the Stockbroker on German carnival and Ukraine

This is a music video of Attila the Stockbroker, singing his song Blood for Oil.

It is about the 1991 Gulf war against Iraq.

The lyrics are:


Armymen on TV, salivating
Discussing tactics, almost masturbating
Cannon fodder – it’s a Gulf War volunteer
Gonna die in the desert for the sake of a rich emir
They toasted peace in 1989
But the cold war colonels are peddling a brand new line:
Blood for oil (x4)

Saddam was a friend, a good pro Western man
When he gassed the Kurds and the teenagers of Iran
Yankee, French and Soviet arms to order
And a British supergun stopped at the Turkish border
€˜Yeah, we’ll give you the recipe for hell….
Just keep your hands off Texaco and Shell..’
Blood for oil (x4)

And when he marched into Kuwait what did the papers say?
Did they talk about the arms dealers who helped him on his way?
No, he’s the Hitler of Baghdad, that’s why we’re off to war
But just like Hitler, he was Hitler all those years before
When the West put him in power
And business kept him in power

A German chemical firm called IG Farben
Still trading, renamed Bayer Leverkusen
Made Zyklon B to exterminate the Jews
And lots of shit that Saddam liked to use
Now profiteers and hypocrites combine
And half the world is in the firing line….
Blood for oil (x4)

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

Raving at carnival, ranting at the state of the world

Thursday 6th March 2014

On the road with Attila the Stockbroker

I’m writing this on the ferry on the way back from lovely gigs in Geneva, Bern and Mainz.

The last of the three was on Monday at Mainz’s notorious Carnival Day, where tradition has it that most of the local population – plus many visitors from elsewhere – dress up in ludicrous costumes, join a huge procession through the town and get absolutely paralytic.

The local punks and lefties, who mostly view this tradition as rather naff and conservative, crammed into our friend Chris’s Hafeneck pub, gave myself and my band Barnstormer a rousing reception and got equally paralytic.

Without doubt, the best Monday night gig I’ve ever done.

At this point I’m going to stop talking about me and talk about the world, because current events dictate that I go on a wide-ranging and heartfelt rant.

Ukraine? Nationalists, often led by fascists, seized half the country and the role of these fascists is conveniently ignored by the western media, because it doesn’t fit with their hallowed mantra of “people seeking freedom.”

This “freedom”? At best, freedom to be treated as expendable cheap labour by ruthless multinationals backed by the EU. At worst, freedom to start the same kind of anti-semitic pogroms their nazi collaborationist ancestors wallowed in during the second world war.

Let’s go back a bit. War not long ago in Chechnya, now a breeding ground for fundamentalist extremists who in Soviet times were viewed as an irrelevant relic from a bygone era. Same in Georgia too.

An ethnic bloodbath in the ’90s in Yugoslavia, once a peaceful socialist country where different groups intermarried and lived side by side. Oligarchs who stole the fruits of 70 years of Soviet power flaunting their obscene levels of wealth at the people whose labour created it, now rotting in poverty. Fascist gangs roaming Moscow, insulting the memory of their grandparents’ generation who gave their blood and their lives to defeat Hitler.

And people are beginning to get sick of it all. …

Not the clever, thrusting and pushy ones who cleaned up when socialism fell – of course, they trumpet their new “freedom.”

I mean the ordinary people who just wanted, and want, a job, a home and the right to raise a family in peace and security. The ones who had that before and don’t have it now.

Why, when the great and the good talk about “human rights,” do they invariably mean political rights? What about economic rights? Why is economic and social justice considered irrelevant and unimportant compared to freedom of speech? If you’re starving, relying on a food bank, freezing on the street, your human rights are being infringed just as much as someone who is locked up for their political beliefs.

Winners write history. The greedy, the pushy, the me-first won in 1989 and moulded a world in their own image while so many of the left apologised, gave up or, even worse, joined them in creating the world we have today. A world crippled by greed, insecurity, exploitation and war.

It’s time people stopped apologising and re-evaluated the past in the light of the present.


When President Obama recently spoke on “… the principle that no country has the right to send in troops to another country unprovoked …” he was of course referring to Russia’s concerns over unrest in Ukraine and its subsequent troop movements into the Crimean Peninsula. No such “principle” was evoked, however, when Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain in March 2011 in its violent suppression of popular, pro-reform sentiment expressed by the overwhelming majority in the Gulf island nation.

Unlike Ukraine, the peaceful protests in Manama’s Pearl Roundabout did not depose a constitutionally elected government. Obviously, the centuries-old rule of the al-Khalifa family has never been by mandate at the ballot box. Likewise, adherence to the country’s National Action Charter put forward by King Hamad al-Khalifa has been solely to the extent of perpetuating dynastic rule.

So-called liberal German media outlets such as the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, which is close to the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Green Party-aligned TAZ have responded to the intensification of the crisis in Ukraine with a vehement campaign for war. As though they had received their training in Goebbels’ propaganda ministry, some commentators are openly defending fascist parties, hailing anti-Semitic militias as freedom fighters, and calling for a military strike against Russia: here.

Dutch Protestant fundamentalist party SGP uses Ukraine crisis for war-mongering: here.

“Still in November and December, when the Euromaidan has a prefix “euro” for genuine reasons, not from the force of inertia, a part of our leftists came out here with socialist, feminist and LGBT slogans. The other part of these leftists warned: do not go, you’ll be beaten. They were. Probably five times – says a anarchist and antifascist from Kiev who wish to remain anonymous. She mentions, in particular, an attack on a tent of leftist activists in Chreszczatyk in early December: here.

Hundreds of militia members from the neo-fascist Right Sector organization have besieged the Ukrainian parliament on a daily basis since last Wednesday: here.

Cheney: Use ‘military options’ against Putin for ‘blowing off’ treaties: here.

Ukraine, Russia, NATO and Turkey: here.

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2 thoughts on “Poet Attila the Stockbroker on German carnival and Ukraine

  1. Uri Avnery

    As we learned in school, at every turn of Ukrainian history, the Jews were slaughtered. The names of most Ukrainian folk-heroes, leaders and rebels who are revered in their homeland are, in Jewish consciousness, connected with awful pogroms.

    Cossack Hetman (leader) Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who liberated Ukraine from the Polish yoke, and who is considered by Ukrainians as the father of their nation, was one of the worst mass-murderers in Jewish history. Symon Petliura, who led the Ukrainian war against the Bolsheviks after World War I, was assassinated by a Jewish avenger.

    Some elderly Jewish immigrants in Israel must find it hard to decide whom to hate more, the Ukrainians or the Russians (or the Poles, for that matter.)

    PEOPLE AROUND the world find it also hard to choose sides.

    The usual Cold-War zealots have it easy – they either hate the Americans or the Russians, out of habit.

    As for me, the more I try to study the situation, the more unsure I become. This is not a black-or-white situation.

    The first sympathy goes to the Maidan rebels. (Maidan is an Arab word meaning town square. Curious how it travelled to Kiev. Probably via Istanbul.)

    They want to join the West, enjoy independence and democracy. What’s wrong with that?

    Nothing, except that they have dubious bedfellows. Neo-Nazis in their copycat Nazi uniforms, giving the Hitler salute and mouthing anti-Semitic slogans, are not very attractive. The encouragement they receive from Western allies, including the odious neocons, is off-putting.

    On the other side, Vladimir Putin is also not very prepossessing.



  2. Pingback: British poet Attila the Stockbroker on punk rock | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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