The horrific bombing of an Ariana Grande show at the Manchester Arena, which has claimed the lives of 22 people, including several children, has its origins in the imperialist war against the independent states of the Middle East and North Africa. If we really wish to see such terrible acts stopped, we must stop our ruling class from sponsoring them abroad.
The bomber, Salman Abedi, was the 22-year-old son of anti-Gaddafi Libyan exiles, and reglarly made trips to Libya after the country was destroyed by western imperialism and its terrorist proxies. Libya, which previously had the highest life expectancy on the African continent, guaranteed healthcare and education, among many other fantastic programmes for its citizens as well as other African nations, had long been a target for destruction by European and US imperialism.
In the following interview, I sat down with an American political analyst to discuss Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential elections and whether or not he represents a blow to imperialism. We discussed the impact Trump would have if he sticks to his promises regarding NATO and free trade agreements and whether of not he will end the export of so-called freedom and democracy.
It has been a busy few months for CPGB-ML comrades in South Wales as they continue to step up activity in the region. Comrades have attended Bedroom Tax and NHS events and there has been activity in both Merthyr Tydfil and Abergavenny. The latest Gaza leaflets were distributed in Cardiff City Centre and there was a high level of interest in them. The CPGB-ML were also once again present at the 1911 Railway Strike commemoration in Llanelli as they have been since its centenary in 2011.
The Party has long been instrumental in highlighting and raising awareness about Nato’s murderous warmongering and this was reflected in a good contingent at the ‘No to Nato’ protest in Newport where comrades from Newport, Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea were joined by party members from Runcorn, Hereford, Bristol and London. The demo was large and lively and we were able to set up a gazebo both at the start of the march and the town centre rally afterwards. Comrades marched proudly with the CPGB-ML banner and flags as well as the Palestinian flag, and over 700 of our Nato leaflets were distributed. There was a lot of interest in our latest Ukraine leaflets too and it was refreshing to note that people are not buying in to the Russia as warmonger mythology.
Comrade Giles was able to take our message to a wider audience in an interview for Bangladeshi TV and footage of the CPGB-ML featured on the RT coverage of the event. Despite the usual lack of accurate reporting from the BBC which aimed to make the week of protest look smaller than it actually was in a vain attempt to diminish its impact, the Activists were out in full force. All this despite the intimidation of a heavy police and military presence, the kettling of protesters and access to both Newport and Cardiff having been made as difficult as physically possible.
With the streets of Newport being tarted up for the visit of the ‘World Leaders’ the public showed what they really thought and surrounded Cardiff Castle as the leaders were treated to a slap up feast! While the eyes of the world are riveted to footage of atrocity after atrocity in Syria and Iraq and bombs rain down on Palestinian schoolchildren Obama took time out to visit a local school. The irony of this was lost on him…
As the US and its Imperialist chums turn their attentions back to Syria there is an air of disbelief emanating from the masses, an anger building. A gentleman who was reading our leaflets talked about the convenience of the BBC coverage concerning ISIS and Iraq to divert attention away from Gaza and the outpouring of solidarity across the world with the Palestinian people.Indeed, it is getting harder and harder to keep up lately. Who is on the target list today: DPRK? Syria? Iraq? Iran? Venezuela?
The people of South Wales have always been immensely proud of their heritage and justifiably so. Although the scarred hillsides serve as a constant reminder of the loss of industry in the area it is the actions of the Chartists, the Miners and the working people that remains in our hearts and our minds and serves as an example to us. South Wales has a staunch and admirable Socialist past and the region and indeed Wales as a whole must continue to stand with the workers of Britain and continue to fight for the cause of Internationalism in the same spirit as the Welsh volunteers of the International Brigades. In 1831 during the Merthyr Uprising the red flag of revolution was raised for the very first time and the CPGB-ML are proud to march beneath this international symbol of the working classes – join us!
“Remember the procession of the old-young men
From dole queue to corner and back again,
From the pinched, packed streets to the peak of slag
In the bite of the winters with shovel and bag,
With a drooping fag and a turned up collar,
Stamping for the cold at the ill lit corner
Dragging through the squalor with their hearts like lead
Staring at the hunger and the shut pit-head
Nothing in their pockets, nothing home to eat.
Lagging from the slag heap to the pinched, packed street.
Remember the procession of the old-young men,
It shall never happen again.”
Jot Brar speaks following the London demonstration to oppose the latest atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in Gaza. More contributions from the CPGB-ML international solidarity meeting will follow.
Arguably there are no civilians in Israel. It is such a militarised armed camp for the oppression of the Palestinians and facilitating the looting of the Middle East by US, EU, NATO and UK imperialism. Israel has become integral to a colonial system in which the world is dominated by a handful of superrich countries, which have become wealthy by looting resources and exploiting people all over the world.
Britain, the first country to develop capitalism was also the first to grab a modern empire. In the early 20th century, vast oil deposits were discovered under the desert. Suddenly, the rush to secure plentiful and cheap supplies of ‘black gold’ became a key strategic imperative for all imperialists, leading to a cut-throat competition for control of the region.
Zionism and Palestine
Seeing their chance, the early zionists asked Britain’s rulers to let them set up a jewish state in Palestine in exchange for helping to keep the region under British domination.
With Arab nationalism on the rise, the imperialists accepted the offer, looking forward to the creation of a “loyal jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism”.
And, although British masters were later pushed aside by American ones, a ‘loyal jewish Ulster’ is exactly what Israel has remained to this day.
The zionist stooges who destroy Palestinian homes, drop bombs on Palestinian schools, plough up Palestinian crops and poison Palestinian water are bribed by US and British governments and corporations to do imperialism’s dirty work.
In return for helping corporations like BP and Texaco to carry on looting the oil and dominating the people of the whole Middle East, the zionists are given military support and hardware, financial aid, diplomatic immunity, and a campaign of lies and disinformation in the imperialist-controlled media.
Israel was established in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, and has been illegally occupying further Palestinian lands and displacing and wiping out Palestinian families ever since.
War crimes are a daily event in this, the most militarised state in the world. In fact, rather than viewing Israel as a state with a huge military, it is more helpful to realise that Israel is in fact a massive army base that also happens to have some schools. Israeli children are brought up to be Nazi-like stormtroopers, their heads filled with supremacist hatred of all Arab peoples.
The imperialists made one serious miscalculation, though. It was assumed that in the face of Israel’s might, Palestinians would accept underclass status or leave, but the days when colonialists could evict a people from their land and get away with it were over.
In a century of socialist revolution and national liberation, the racist dismissal of local peoples as ‘uncivilised barbarians’ or merely ‘irrelevant’ was no longer possible.
Instead of politely disappearing, the Palestinians stood their ground – refusing to submit no matter how barbarous their oppressors became. Instead of passively joining the long list of imperialist victims, the Palestinians became a beacon of resistance and an inspiration to oppressed people globally.
Gradually, the wellspring of sympathy that Israel shamelessly exploited following the Nazis’ mass extermination of jews in WW2 has run dry. It is now clear to all that it is the zionists, and not the Palestinians, who stand in the way of peace.
So brazen has its war machine become that, today, Israel is the number one creator of anti-jewish feeling in the world.
So what has all this got to do with workers in Britain?
We need to recognise that the same ruling class that is waging war on our living standards (trying to force us to pay the price of the economic crisis of capitalism) gains much of its power from looting the world. Since oil is such a vital resource, the British state is still one of Israel’s main backers.
It’s in our interest to support the Palestinians against imperialism and zionism. But if we want to give effective solidarity to their struggle, we need to learn from past experience.
A consumer boycott may embarrass to Israel, but British workers can do a lot more, if we are prepared to use our collective power over the country’s economy. British workers need to join this axis of resistance and give full support to all parts of it, taking their place in the unifying and indivisible struggle against imperialism.
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The introduction focuses on the recent troubles in Ukraine, its history, the collapse of the Soviet Union that has led to the Ukrainian people’s current troubles, the imperial intrigues of the EU, NATO and USA, and the political physiognomy of the current ‘Ukrainian Government’ they have installed.
But the scope of the talk is far wider, covering the fundamental economics of monopoly capitalism that lead to its political and military drive for conquest and plunder, that shape our contemporary world – including the invasions and occupations of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Yugoslavia, etc.
These are the very same forces that led to the great conflagrations of WW1 and WW2 in which the great established imperial powers battled it out with the rising capitalist powers who sought a place at the imperialist banqueting table – demanding their ‘fair share’ of the slaves, colonies, plunder and booty. But since the ‘Berlin congress’ of 1884, the territories of the world had been completely divided, and the would be ‘upstart’ German colonialist could only gain territories at the expense of the old fat British and French colonialists.
Our imperialist masters are getting ready to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their (WW1) bloodbath, with great pomp and ceremony, while doing their best to obfuscate the facts of their barbarous wars, in which fully 100 million workers paid with their lives for the imperialist capitalists’ fabulous profits. This is the ideal of our capitalist rulers’ ‘division of labour.’
Let us, the international working class, ALSO remember – that it was a massive capitalist crisis of overproduction – as we are experiencing today – that led to the ‘great’ wars. And that a mighty internationalist proletarian movement arose from these wars, that showed, under the guidance of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, that it was possible to mutiny, in the trenches, in civil society, and in government. That it was possible to go beyond mutiny to revolution – to overthrow the rotten, senile, corrupt, and moribund system that enslaves the entire planet to the greed of a tiny clique of exploiting parasites.
The october revolution and the third international that grew from it it showed definitively that it is possible to defeat and overthrow the monarchs, princes, dukes, kings and Tsars; to defeat and overthrow the capitalist billionaires and their governments. To put in place a workers’ democracy in which “he who does not work – neither shall he eat.” To end exploitation of man by man and nation by nation. To end racism, sexism, and division of the working people along national and religious lines. To forge a great unity and build an economy that serves the people.
An important discussion of opportunism in the British working class movement ends the discussion. For in order to forge unity among working people in Britain, we must overcome the divisive forces that serve imperialism in the working class movement. We must break the ties that bind so much of our ‘progressive’ and ‘socialist’ / ‘anti-war’ movement to the Labour Party. Until we break the link with Labour, all talk of anti-war, imperialist and socialist progress is doomed to failure.
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Henry Friedrich Carl Metelmann, was born on 25 December 1922, the son of a socialist railway worker in Hamburg, Germany. As a lively and active boy, he joined the scouts, and later his group was merged with the Hitler youth. With Hitler’s rise he was seduced by the fascist movement, and the experiences and privileges it bestowed
He fought with Von Paulus’ Nazi 6th army at Stalingrad. Through experience he came to reject fascism and capitalist imperialism. He settled in Britain, becoming a communist, a railway worker, groundsman, writer and peace activist. He died on 24 July 2011.
Henry Metelmann was keen to talk about his experiences, especially to the young, and equated the invasion of the Soviet Union by an oil-hungry Nazi Germany with the Anglo-American assault on oil-rich Iraq in 2003. He remained a member of the Communist party of Great Britain until its break-up in 1991.
He delivered a powerful lecture to the Stalin Society in London, in 2004, which sadly was not filmed, but shortly afterwards Harpal Brar, now chairman of the CPGB-ML, conducted this interview with Henry at his home in Godalming.
This interview remains as moving, compelling and relevant as the day it was conducted. For it helps us to understand German (Nazi) Imperialism. Not merely as something exceptional, uniquely evil, incomprehensible and never to be repeated; but as the standard behaviour of imperialism. That is of expansionist monopoly capitalism.
What conclusions does he draw from his long, full active and historically rich life? He tells us that there can be no peace, while capitalism still exists. We must overthrow it, or perish.
Harpal Brar gives an interview on Libya and the wider interests and motivations of capitalist imperialism. He also touches upon the themes of the USSR and Stalin, as well as NATOs global strategy. Enjoy.
Legendary Marxist-Leninist Liberation fighter, pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist Amilcar Cabral had the following to say on the nature of our fight against imperialism:
“I should just like to make one last point about solidarity between the international working class movement and our national liberation struggle. There are two alternatives: either we admit that there really is a struggle against imperialism which interests everybody, or we deny it. If, as would seem from all the evidence, imperialism exists and is trying simultaneously to dominate the working class in all the advanced countries and smother the national liberation movements in all the underdeveloped countries, then there is only one enemy against whom we are fighting. If we are fighting together, then I think the main aspect of our solidarity is extremely simple: it is to fight.”
Cabral died just 9 months before the party he founded – the PAIGC – liberated his homeland, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, from 500 years of Portugese Colonialism, bringing the downfall of the Potugese fascist junta in its wake.
He and his comrades from the PAIGC also played a vital part in the liberation of other (Particularly, but not exclusively, Portugese speaking) African nations. He was a founding member of MPLA (Angola) and the Portugese Communist Party, inter alia.
Comrade Teodora Ignacia Gomez, Womens’ activist, liberation fighter and comrade in arms of Cabral, features in this video interview, which is an exert from a longer interview she granted to comrades of the CPGB-ML on her recent visit to London.
She outlines the supportive relationship that Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya had fostered with Guinea Bissau, as so many other African Nations. Libya had tried to bring about sustainable infrastructural and agricultural development in Guinea Bissau, she tells us, both through the African Bank and independently granted aid.
As a result of NATOs genocidal war on Libya, and the illegal ousting of her legitimate government – and now Gaddafi’s cowardly and brutal assassination, which foul deed took place 24 hrs after this interview – the people of Guinea Bissau and all Africa will suffer, she says.
The following is an excerpt from a report which appeared today courtesy of Reuters:
“Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated in central Damascus on Wednesday in show of support for President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling a six-month uprising against his rule in which the United Nations says 2,900 people have been killed.
“America, out, out, Syria will stay free,” chanted the crowd, many of them carrying pictures of Assad and Syrian flags. They also shouted slogans warning the European Union not to intervene in their country.”God, Syria and Bashar,” they sang.
State television described the government-backed rally as a “million-strong march … supporting national independence and rejecting foreign intervention.”
At the start of the demonstration a man holding the flags of Russia and China — which both vetoed a European-drafted resolution against Syria at the United Nations last week — flew over the crowd, suspended from a helicopter by rope.”
The time has come for those of us in the anti-imperialist movement to make sure that the lackey’s who lead the anti-war movement here in Britain are not allowed “to do a Libya”. The Syrian opposition has now formed a National Council, based in Istanbul. This body, together with the British-promoted Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, is now, in the wake of events in Libya, calling more stridently for NATO military intervention. Just as with the Benghazi contras in their first days, they had initially, and hypocritically, claimed to be opposed to foreign intervention, just long enough to suck in a few gullible people, and allow some of the pieces of the imperialist jigsaw to be fitted together. Now these traitors to their nation and people are loudly calling for the imposition of a ‘no fly zone’, the very mechanism that was cynically abused to launch a genocidal war against the people of Libya.
Clearly the threat to Syria is now grave. However, the Syrian government retains strong and broad support from the popular masses. It also has powerful regional support, for example from Iran, from Hizbullah in Lebanon and from the forces led by Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq. As for NATO, any celebrations are premature, as the fire of Libyan resistance will, without doubt, shortly be burning beneath their feet more fiercely than ever.
Regrettably, one place from which neither the Syrian nor the Libyan people can expect any support is from the so-called leaders of Britain’s Stop the War Coalition, whose antics have long since passed from the cowardly to the treacherous. The main page of Stop the War’s website contains not a single reference to Syria. Perhaps, given their role over Libya, it is just as well. A new anti-imperialist and anti-war movement needs to be built in Britain, one that stands foursquare for the defeat of imperialism and for the victory of all those forces fighting against it.
Red Youth and the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) pledge every possible effort to build such a movement.
Footage from Harpal at mass meeting in Tripoli (June), pledging to do our utmost to support the just anti-imperialist resistance and legitimate government of the Libyan people against NATO’s colonial war is cut with RT footage of CPGB-ML with green and party flags in London’s anti-war demonstration yesterday.
Stop the War’s leadership, meanwhile, continues to turn a blind eye to NATO’s imperialist war and perversely chimes in with the criminal propaganda of justifying regime change in Libya. They have taken the ‘bold’ step, not of attacking NATO, but of attacking members of the coalition – in particular the CPGB-ML – who support the Libyan government and it’s heroic resistance!
1: StW Leadership’s principle of ‘unity’ – extends to all opportunists and scoundrels, but not constant anti-imperialists:
2: StW leadership’s criminal position on Libyan conflict: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=statements&subName=display&statementId=44
StW on Libya: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=statements&subName=display&statementId=44