Reading the oceans of guff written by the lefties over Kuwait, it would seem the Sheikhdom is a reactionary, feudal, despotic State run for the benefit of the American oil companies and a corrupt ruling class. And of course they are right. It was exactly the same twenty years ago as now.

But on February 17, 1971--a date we would have commemorated had the Flag been out at the time--the Sheikh lavished time, money and expense on a major banquet to host a conference of all who believed in his cause and that of the PLO. Liberals were represented by Lord Carradon and almost every Maoist and Trot group was there. IMG (with "street fighter" Tariq Ali), IS (forerunner of the SWP), the 'Militants' under their then more open trotskyist banner, along with Sinn Fein, all participated.

In the name of anti-imperialism, all received the Sheikh's hospitality and debated what to do for the cause of the Glorious Arab Islamic Revolution. One can see why the Sheikh is a bit cut up about "ungrateful Palestinians" who are alleged to have supported Saddam Hussein after he mixed with that mob on their behalf. He couldn't take it out on his former honoured guests. most of whom also supported Saddam "not politically but militarily" (and insignificantly) so the dispossessed Palestinians got it in the neck on their "leaders" behalf.

What came out of the expensive shindig? We have to hazard a guess, not having been entertained by the Sheikh and his harem to dates and couscous, and the organisers were chary of publishing the minutes. But we do know that from that week on the following important events happened:

- Gaddafi supplied arms to the IRA, though he has been reported to be threatening to inform on them to the British Government in exchange for resumption of normal relations and might yet do so despite his having been snubbed.

- The Maoists who penetrated and seized control of the Red Army Fraction collaborated with Arab Nationalists, and became the target for Mossad (Israeli intelligence). As a result the original RAF was destroyed by the German political police.

- Huge sums of money came from or through Gaddafi to Fascist groups (anti-Jewish) and Trotskyist groups (newspeak anti-imperialists and anti-racialists), on the basis that they opposed Israel. (Mossad had already penetrated most Trotskyist groups in the Arab world as part of their main strategy) The daily trot paper switched to supporting the Great Arab Revolution under the Ayatollah Khoumeini, equating this with the socialist revolution. Most trot groups followed suit (except for the few pro-Israel ones).

- The anti-Ba'ath parties, as well as all the groupings opposing the Ayatollah, found themselves the target of attack everywhere even in the West. The WRP trotskyists photographed Iranian student demonstrations against the Ayatollah in Britain. * Sinn Fein publicly identified themselves as in solidarity with Saddam Hussein as a fellow-anti-imperialist (though being careful not to upset the Great Satan of American imperialism. a more important source of funding than either Allah or Mary). * The Palestinians continued to be held out for twenty years more (correctly) as victims of Israeli aggression but no more was done for them in the next twenty than in the previous twenty. Most Arab States kept them in refugee camps, except Kuwait which needed workers but treated them as transitory and has now turned on them for the actions of leaders (whom they have not chosen) in supporting Saddam Hussein's invasion.

- Many urban guerrilla factions in Europe if not Maoist, were taken over by them directly afterwards, or simultaneously, by Arab-paid units, and were all penetrated by the police.

- As a farcical conclusion, Arab money was lavished on the National Front and the British National Party, Anti-Semitic feeling engendered by them actually helped Zionist propaganda and the main result of Arab-subsidised racism was to make the lives of Muslim immigrants, especially those of Arab origin, that much harder.

- Oil profits, the Israeli State, Palestinian dispossession, Arab feudalism, all continue much as before and social liberation is as far off as ever.