Ground the Drones!

ground the drones

Since Nato invaded Afghanistan in 2001, unmanned drones have gone from being an untried technology to a primary means of warfare.

The US now operates 7,500 drones, and 40 other countries are buying or developing similar vehicles.

British pilots have operated thousands of missions over Afghanistan and Libya from US bases, and now Britain’s first homegrown drone base has become operational, with pilots at RAF Waddington in Lincoln flying armed Reaper drone missions over Afghanistan.

As a mass hunger strike by inmates brings Guantánamo back into the media spotlight once again, it is instructive to note that the imperialists’ chosen method of terror and intimidation has shifted since the advent of Obama and Cameron from seizing and locking up men of military age to murdering them (and often their families, too) instead.

RAF Waddington

A new kind of terrorism

Imperialist politicians claim that drone strikes can ‘surgically remove’ ‘high-value’ ‘al-Qaeda operatives’ from the ‘field of battle’.

In reality, while resistance fighters may sometimes be hit, anyone seems to be considered ‘fair game’ by the joystick-wielding mercenaries who operate the guns from the safety of their suburban bases.

These terrorist attacks kill at least 10 civilians for every resistance fighter. Just 1.5 percent of known Pakistani drone victims have been identified as ‘high-profile’ targets by the US. So much for ‘precision warfare’.

Although establishment critics are said to be upset at losing opportunities to ‘interrogate’ victims, Obama has clearly learned one lesson from his predecessor: the longer you keep innocent men locked up, the more likely it is that your lies about them being ‘dangerous terrorists’ will be exposed.

It is so much easier for the imperialists to order a kill, then slander their victims and move on. Particularly when they know that western journalists are trained to regurgitate their press releases as proven fact.

So who will listen to the protestations of a poor Pakistani, Afghan or Yemeni community that the latest ‘targeted killing’ of ‘militants’ has in fact massacred farmers, village elders, school children or wedding guests?

Far from being a ‘humane’ alternative to ground troops, remote-control operation simply allows imperialist soldiers to kill with total impunity – without having to take the risk of being hit back.

Meanwhile, the people who live under the shadow of these weapons are subject to daily terror, never knowing when a Reaper or Predator drone will stop overhead or where it will fire next.

Joystick wars

Preparation for this kind of warfare starts with the pornographically violent computer games and Hollywood blockbusters that glorify war, dehumanise imperialism’s ‘enemies’ and prepare our young people to slaughter without mercy.

This was perfectly illustrated by Prince Harry’s revealing admission that he saw killing Afghans from his helicopter as being similar to playing video games. Indeed, the prince even went so far as to call it “a joy” to have his finger on the trigger, since he was “one of those people that loves playing PlayStation … with my thumbs, I like to think that I’m quite useful”.

Full marks for honesty, if not for tact and diplomacy. But while it may be in the interest of Harry and his parasitic family to inflict collective punishment on peoples who are resisting imperialist aggression, it is not in the interest of most British workers, who have been sold a pack of lies about the ‘dangers’ that our Afghan (or Pakistani, Iraqi, Libyan, etc) brothers and sisters pose to ‘us’.

Using drones against our own

The consequences of this new warfare are far-reaching indeed. As the imperialists continue to use drones to target anyone who they see as a threat, they are turning our whole world into a battlefield where nothing and no-one is off-limits.

Indeed, imperialist governments have already started using armed drones to wipe out their own citizens without recourse to any judicial processes.

The US has butchered at least three of its citizens in Yemen, and has not ruled out the possibility of a military drone strike against a US citizen on American soil.

Meanwhile, the ConDems have ramped up a secret programme, initiated by Labour, under which British ‘terror suspects’ are being quietly stripped of their citizenship before they are captured or assassinated abroad. At least two British men are known to have been murdered by US drones in this way.

Where the US nazis lead, their British counterparts are not shy to follow. In the States, use of both surveillance and armed drones by police and other agencies is set to rise exponentially as the technology becomes cheaper and more reliable.

Here at home, having tested out their use during the Olympic games, it is not difficult to believe that police might soon be using armed drones to control demonstrators or strikers, while the cheapness of surveillance drones is bound to make them ubiquitous among police, secret services, and all the ‘security’ contractors who do our rulers’ dirty work.

No cooperation

It is clear that we need to free ourselves from the disabling influence of the capitalists’ propaganda and realise where our real interests lie. The billionaires who order these incessant wars to be launched are not doing so to protect us, but to protect their profits.

They are the same billionaires who are dismantling education and health services here in Britain and kicking us out of our homes. They want to save their rotten system by making us pay for the capitalist crisis – and they want to trick us into blaming each other for the problems their beloved capitalist system creates.

But if we continue to accept the assassination of those deemed to be ‘enemies’ abroad, how long will it be before British leaders are asked to accept drone strikes against working-class leaders at home as being necessary for our ‘security’?

Instead of falling for the capitalists’ lies, we need to unite with all those who are standing up against British imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and elsewhere. We need to launch a mass campaign of non-cooperation with British imperialism’s war crimes. Together, we have the power to ground the drones and stop imperialism’s dirty wars, for it is workers who ultimately have to carry out these anti-worker actions.

If we refuse to fight in imperialist wars for profit or help with their logistics; if we refuse to broadcast imperialist propaganda in support of such wars; if we refuse to make or transport munitions or supplies, then the British war effort will collapse.

Moreover, taking such action would give workers a much-needed morale boost in the fight against capitalism here at home, helping us to see in practice that we really are on the same side as those fighting abroad, and that together we can defeat the bloodsuckers and build a new society!

cpgbml

BBC REPORT http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-22320275

MORE HERE http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/VIDEO-600-march-RAF-Waddington-drone-protest/story-18822813-detail/story.html

ITV http://www.itv.com/news/central/update/2013-04-27/hundreds-start-drone-protest-march-to-raf-waddington

Reply to our Red Youth Christmas letter

In December a 14 year old cadre of Red Youth took on his school’s Amnesty International group. We published his excellent letter online: A christmas letter to Amnesty International. In response we received a number of questions from others who were interested in the role of Amnesty International in their school. Our comrade has replied to a number of these questions, and we reproduce the excellent reply below [with names removed] in the hope that this will contribute to the debate around what constitutes our attitude to Amnesty International and at the same time explain our Marxist Leninist position on a number of familiar questions.

Dear XXXX XXXX,

Thank you for showing an interest in the CPGB-ML. I understand they have forwarded a letter of mine which I wrote to the Amnesty International club in my own School. Incidentally and importantly, I am still waiting for a reply from them.

I would like to answer, as a fellow school student, the questions you raised with the CPGB-ML. However, beforehand let me stress that the points which you have made are very important and insightful and give rise to the key and broader considerations at hand.

Your first question:

“The CPGB-ML has taken the stance of supporting ‘anti imperialist’
states such as the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China all of which have
according to many Western states and most human rights groups have
appalling records on human rights and other political freedoms. Does
the CPGB-ML feel these human rights abuses are falsified claims by the
West, claims that are put out of context or justifiable evils?”

Obviously, we believe these countries have significant human rights achievements and the western narrative is intentionally designed to mislead. In making this claim, there is no denial that miscarriages of justice do occur, as in any society with a class system. As Karl Marx explained it is class conflict which determines the social and political structures which prevail in society. In which case, only with the abolition of classes will it be possible to have a society without exploitation, inequality and injustices, the kind of ‘perfect’ society you allude to in your question.

However, it was Lenin who showed that in the current epoch capitalism has now swallowed up the globe and that the powerful imperialist states had divided the world into areas of domination and influence in order to exploit the resources and people of the weaker countries. This world system on the one hand is the main obstacle to development and economic progress for the oppressed nations of the world whose resources and people are exploited by the hegemonic nations whilst on the other hand it is the cause of war as they fight each other over the division of the world and violently repress the attempts by the poorer ones to break out from this system. The consequences including the obscene inequality witnessed in the distribution of the world’s economic output and quality of life, as well as the suffering caused by modern wars are the greatest denials of human rights. It is in this context that we judge the role of countries like the former Soviet Union, the former peoples democracies of Eastern Europe, Zimbabwe, Cuba, China, Vietnam, the DPRK, Syria, Iran and previously Libya etc. These are countries that have broken the chain of Imperialism, providing the bulk of humanity with the prospect of a decent life, once the preserve only of the fortunate classes in the more powerful richer nations.

As you have not raised any particular examples in your question, it is difficult to address any particular abuse of human rights you might have in mind. However, what one can say about the listed societies is the needs of the ordinary working people determine the way the society is governed. This can be contrasted with capitalist countries where the primary concern is the right to private property, private profit, the capitalists to exploit the workers and most importantly, for big powerful countries to be able to oppress and plunder the rest of the world including launching unprovoked wars of aggression against smaller countries with much less sophisticated military means to defend themselves.

Further, as the capitalist elite in these more powerful and richer countries survives by exploiting most of humanity, countries which refuse to submit are a big problem for them. It should come as no surprise therefore that the mass media which is controlled by the capitalists should demonise the alternative to their domination. Below is a link to a video which is presented by an ex CIA Economic Hit man who explains very clearly and simply the stages in how the US intelligence forces plot to change or control an independently governed nation.

Additionally, the worst human rights abuses are within western countries and those that they control. The list of injustices is endless as my letter to Amnesty International indicates. However, western countries would have you believe that human rights abuse only happen elsewhere. Are not some of the worst breaches of human rights mass unemployment, denial of a free comprehensive and higher education, the denial of affordable and adequate healthcare and security in old age or when sick or disabled, the denial of equal opportunities for women, national/ethnic minorities, the denial of personal security and protection from police brutality? However, it is in capitalist countries that we witness such human rights abuse as the capitalists seek to place the increasing burden of the economic crisis of the capitalist system on the backs of the workers. The mind boggles when we hear the representatives of the capitalist class explain that the capitalist system can no longer afford these rights for the people, but continue to increase the assets of the ruling rich minority whilst wasting the potential contribution of millions of abled bodied workers who instead remain idle and jobless.

I think it’s also worth noting that the countries you refer to have to remain very vigilant in defending their independence, dignity and freedom from oppression from the big and powerful capitalist countries. Is this freedom not precious to them and should they not come down heavily on those who would jeopardise this, including those individuals that would sell out their country’s independence for their own personal gain?

Taking your second question:

“The CPGB-ML are famous amongst the left wing and trade union
movement for their attitude and relationship with the beliefs of
Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung and other Anti revisionist leaders. These
men, like the previously mentioned nations, have claims of human
rights abuses with their name. Does the CPGB-ML believe that the
claimed deaths that happened under Stalin’s reign, such as Holodomor,
are propaganda from the USA etc?”

Of course during WW2 Stalin was a hero not only to the people of the Soviet Union but to the workers throughout the world as the leader in the struggle of humanity to crush fascism. After the war much of the Nazi propaganda was taken up by Imperialism which of course was seriously weakened by the victory of the Red army. The vile and deceitful falsifications of history and the massive campaigns to deceive the workers in the imperialist countries is not only to be expected but is proof of the authenticity of the socialist and people centred nature of the Soviet Union. For why else was Imperialism forced to take a social democratic turn to stave off revolution in the imperialist heartland? Revolution had brought the workers to power in the socialist countries and at any cost this had to be prevented in the imperialist countries even if it meant making massive concessions at the time, of course with every intention of reversal as soon as the situation allowed or necessitated. So Stalin is demonised because he was a genuine leader of the workers who lead his nation into building a powerful socialist country very successfully and against all the odds. Such was its strength and success, it took over thirty years to dismantle.

The Holodomore myth is simply an extension of the Nazi policy of Lebensraum, whereby large parts of the western Soviet union were to be claimed by the Nazis. The German people were to be fed a barrage of lies about the region so that they should be seen as the rightful owners whose current residents would be only too grateful for the Nazi control. Of course in the very first days of the invasion as the entries in the diaries of senior German officers makes clear the reality could hardly have been more different. 90% of German combat fatalities in WW2 occurred fighting Russia. The Russian defeat of the Nazis is recognised as the greatest military achievement in history (MacArthur). This is the clearest evidence I can provide you with in rebutting the disgraceful slanders against the Soviet union and its leaders taken up by imperialism after the war in order to launch the Cold War.

Of course much has been written about the collectivisation of agriculture in the Soviet Union but if the claims of mass starvation leading to the deaths of millions are true then why is it that the photographs used to prove its existence are frauds and all are from the famine that happened during the war of intervention after 1918 when the new workers state was attacked by 11 imperialist powers? A famous book was written about this scandal by Douglas Tottle in 1987 called Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard, which explains in great detail how this lie started and what actually happened in the Ukraine at the time but is ignored by western media. It should also be made very clear that collectivisation was very popular amongst most of the people who pursued it very robustly but was vigorously resisted by those that had most to lose. The Kulaks resisted violently and selfishly often destroying rather than sharing. However, the policy proved a great success and there has never been famine in the Soviet Union since though this was a frequent occurrence before the 1917 revolution. It also enabled the country to industrialise rapidly as the extra grain could be sold to earn vital capital. Without the policy the country would never have been strong enough to defeat the Nazis and so comprehensively and in so doing save humanity from the awful scourge of fascism.

Taking your third question:

“The CPGB-ML has taken an admittedly unpopular stance on the Arab
Spring revolutions in Syria and Libya. Why did CPGB-ML side with the
forces of Colonel Gaddafi and Bashar Al-Assad against the
revolutionaries? Does the CPGB-ML feel it is better to have a flawed,
non Marxist, anti imperialist state rather than a pro Western
democracy with links to the USA?”

Because Libya was and Syria is not led by puppets of western imperialism, it is to be expected that their systems would be demonised in preparation for military targeting. It’s noteworthy that Libya in 2010 received various UN accolades for its human rights record, namely for educational, gender, ethnic minority and health policies as well as for achievements for social provision and its magnificent infrastructural projects, such as the Sahara aquifers. These human rights achievements were heavily targeted during the destruction of Libya. Ironically, Libya’s prison population was only 12,500 when the country was attacked (which ranks very average as a percentage of the population compared with other countries-unlike the USA which has the highest).

Under foreign pressure, various terrorist prisoners were released who then in cahoots with various western intelligence organisations began a violent campaign in eastern Libya, centred in the city of Benghazi, publically attacking, lynching and beheading public officials and officers, particularly dark skinned ones. Using propaganda techniques reminiscent of the style of Joseph Goebels, the notorious NAZI propagandist, the western mass media then depicted the resulting attempts by the Libyan government in restoring order, albeit very successfully, as a ‘ruthless crack-down on peaceful protesters”. Indeed, how could Al Qaida linked terrorists, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, be in any way considered progressive or revolutionary? These throwbacks are fighting not to liberate their people from slavery, but to try and bring back the slave owners grip to the liberated zones.

Under the camouflage of the Arab spring, where genuine public protests in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and the gulf monarchies are aimed at removing western puppet governments, the UN caved into western pressure authorising a no fly zone resolution over Libya. NATO countries then cynically exploited this far in access of the spirit of its wording so allowing thousands of NATO proxies and mercenaries in the region to descend on Libya under the protection of a massive NATO carpet bombing campaign in order to remove the legitimate government of the country, resulting in the deaths of up to a hundred thousand Libyans including its leaders and their families. Colonel Gaddafi, labelled as a ‘ruthless dictator’ at the time, was lynched and raped in full view of the world’s public as a warning to all those others who should dare to stand up to the NATO powers. As a consequence, abuse of human rights in Libya now is systemic as tens of thousands of innocent civilians languish in the prisons of terrorist gangs, for no other reason than the colour of their skin or their former public service. Such is the level of instability and lacking of rule of law, that even the US ambassador and staff were murdered in full public view.

Indeed, the war was many years in the making, being a pre-planned, organised mission of western imperialism. At a democratic election gathering in 2002, 4 star US Genera, Wesley Clark, described the contents of an extremely classified document which stated that the United States and its allies would use the 9/11 Terror attacks as a pretext for attacking a list of countries which currently were not controlled by US imperialism including both Libya and Syria, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon and Iran. (see this link)

Following the complete disregard for international law in the utter destruction of a sovereign country and the removing of its legitimate government as in the case with Libya, both Russia and China at the UN security council have remained firm in upholding the rule of law so averting a similar catastrophe in Syria.

Therefore, the CPGB-ML, far from being unpopular in its stand on the Arab Spring revolutions, is in good company with those that wish to uphold the rule of law, opposing the highest of all crimes, an unprovoked war of aggression (Nuremburg). We are very proud to have consistently upheld this position throughout the developments in the Middle-East, probably the only organisation on the so called left to have done so. With regards to Gaddafi and Assad not being Marxists, as already explained, the class position is determined by the correct stand against imperialism. The first task of the revolution is the removing of imperialism from the country enabling it to adopt policies to promote the welfare of its citizens at home and pursue an independent foreign policy abroad. Is it not our internationalist duty to support the leaders of such countries whether they are Marxist or not in achieving these goals? I therefore strongly urge you to examine these achievements in relation to these countries which of course have had no air time whatsoever in the western mass media but are well known to the citizens of these countries. It is no surprise that the first country for Mandela to visit after his release from prison was Libya to thank Gaddafi for his support for the liberation struggle in South Africa. Nor should it be a surprise that it was and still is Syria that provides sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians seeking refuge from Zionist eviction and for some 2 million plus Iraqi refugees who were displaced during the genocidal war of aggression against Iraq.

Taking your Fourth Question:

“What is the CPGB-ML’s position on Amnesty International and other
human rights organisations?”

I will try to briefly summarise the party’s line on Amnesty International, but I would recommend reading my letter which was written to the Amnesty International group at my own school.

Amnesty is, and always will be, a tool of the imperialist nations which, I have said before, commit the worst human rights abuses. Instead, it masquerades purposely as a human rights protector and deliberately points its longest finger at the nations which actually try to improve human rights, such as China, Cuba, the DPRK , Libya and Syria. Syria, the nation which is in the firing line of imperialism, is at the forefront of Amnesty’s ‘mission’ to improve “human rights”. Is this a coincidence? Of course not.

“We have the names of over 29,000 people killed since the crackdown on peaceful protests first began in Syria, in March 2011. But we believe the total figure is far higher, and the UN has claimed it is as high as 60,000.” quote Amnesty International (Stop the killing: Take action now!) This one paragraph released on Amnesty’s website sums the organisation up as a bias, lying and pro-war organisation.

So, our position on Amnesty International is very clear. It was set up purely to hoodwink the masses of western countries into believing that the wars perpetrated by western imperialism are carried out to promote human rights and fight humanitarian abuses but it is in fact the opposite which is the truth. Amnesty was introduced by CIA officials and ex US politicians as a key propaganda weapon.

I would be very interested in any responses that you might have to this letter and suggest that we maintain our discourse and continue with our debate.

In comradeship
AC
Red Youth

Stop the War Coalition, Ten years on – what have we achieved?

Red Youth

Stopping the war means stopping the imperial war machine: Join the Axis of Resistance!

Another February, another Stop the War ‘coalition’ conference.

British imperialist politicians, industrialists, mineral extraction conglomerates, weapons manufacturers and city financiers are no doubt quaking in their (custom-made John Lobb) shoes, all a-quiver in anticipation to see what militant challenges to their holocaust industry will emanate from this great anti-war gathering.

Except that a year after curtailing debate, unconstitutionally ‘disaffiliating’ anti-imperialists and ensuring Labour party control, unhindered by electoral consultation with the membership, StW ‘leaders’ have taken the step of scrapping the AGM format altogether, and substituting instead a ‘conference’ of an altogether less threatening type: there will be no motions, no debate, no ‘democracy in action’, no ‘grass-roots participation’. This year, “ten years on”, the platform will deliver their sterile lectures uninterrupted by activists’ disquieting notions of actually resisting imperialism. A kind of Marxism 13 for the Counterfire group.

“Ten years of banging on and on – in increasing obscurity, with ever fewer people paying attention, while the British imperialist war machine grinds inexorably on.” Would be more accurate.

What obstacles will ‘leaders’ like John Rees, Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Benn, Lindsay German – not to forget crowd-pulling Trotskyite linguistic guru Noam Chomsky – throw before the City of London’s ‘god-given’ right to exploit, rape pillage and plunder the globe?

There can be no doubt that this conference will be used as a platform for cosy reminiscences on the ‘great success’ of our ‘million-man march’ through London, on that wintery Saturday afternoon of 15 February 2003. Indeed, all our party comrades were there – although our party was not yet born. It is inspiring to be with the masses, no doubt. We could almost sense our strength, the slumbering power of the working masses. But what was the programme? Where the real disciplined unity? How were we to implement our goal? Were we simply a pressure group, begging the imperialist armies and their Labour party quartermasters to show mercy?

For even as we were marching, the Labour government – content that the official anti-war movement was in safe hands – was laying invasion plans, and was quick to talk down the significance of 4 percent of the British population marching through the capital. We failed to strike while the iron was hot! One month later, the troops were on Iraqi soil. For those who have taken the trouble to count, studies show that the real death toll stands at 4 million in Iraq alone, with 6 million displaced internally and externally. What kind of sorry ‘success’ story is that? And what is the conclusion that the average worker drew? That marching was useless, that the movement was over – that it had failed. On balance, their analysis is better than StW’s.

Renting a crowd?

Let’s not deceive ourselves. It was not the SWP or CPB, and certainly not the Labour party, who turned British workers onto the streets, but a section of British and European capitalists (manufacturing capital, as opposed to the oil and armaments giants) who were less desperate, more risk-averse, and opposed the Anglo-American militarist agenda and impending catastrophe in Iraq and the Middle East. It was the Daily Mail, that enlightened bastion of radical ideas, which advertised the march and called in its editorials for Britons to participate. The day before the march, it was the Daily Mirror that led with the article “A war won’t save Britain from terror” and ran its printing press all night to make placards for the demo!

What’s the point?

Since that initial high, with StW fortuitously finding itself at the head of this groundswell of real and popular anger (polls quoted 93 percent opposed to the Iraq war – while 98 percent of ‘balanced’ BBC propaganda was pro-war), where have we led British workers? How has our relationship matured?

It has been one long downward spiral. The StW office has collected money for distribution to a crop of Trotskyite and revisionist careerist staffers, and the ‘leadership’ thus generated issued call after call to “March, protest, act!” But to what purpose, and with what effect? Resolutions passed at national congress calling for active non-cooperation have been quietly shelved, and the most banal, unimaginative and ineffectual ‘action’ has been StW’s mantra. If the tactics were aimed at losing the support of the masses, they have been pitch perfect!

The grand old 2nd Viscount Stansgate marched us up to the top of the hill, handed us over to his successor, the honourable MP for Islington North, who pinned a Labour party purple campaign ribbon to our breast and marched us firmly down again. All aided and abetted by their adulating left-sectarian groupies, who go to the length of publishing articles – apparently without shame – about their ‘special relationship’ and admiration for Labour party ‘elder statesman’ Benn: “He’s got to this age and he’s still at demonstrations with a flask and cheese sandwich.” Amazing! Would that he were not.

The mountain brought fourth a mouse! The very same party that waged genocidal imperialist war, the Labour party of ‘Bomber Bliar’, leads the anti-war movement, and has delivered it safely into the enemy’s hands. What a farce! When the Nazi party ran trade unions in Germany, did this also demonstrate Hitler’s special relationship with the working class?

Yet few seem able to comprehend that the emperor is wearing no clothes: that the Labour party is a true-blue, union-jack-waving, immigration-scaremongering, gun-boat-toting, cruise-missile-dropping party of imperialism – and that support for and membership of such a party is totally incompatible either with serving the working class, or with stopping any imperialist war.

Where now?

After seven years of crisis, capitalism remains caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of its own making; between the abundant cheap goods it can produce by reducing wages, and its inability to sell this produce to the unemployed and impoverished masses; between the worker as object of his exploitation, and the worker as the consumer of his produce.

This worldwide crisis, more profound than the Wall Street crash of the 1930s, has been decades in the making, and is ruining the lives of unprecedented millions, who find their abilities, talents, and creative labour-power squandered; consigned to the scrap-heap of unemployment. A million British children go hungry each day, over a million youth and probably in excess of 8 million people of working age are unemployed.

The capitalist ‘solution’? Enormous hand-outs to (too-big-to-be) failing capitalists (no prizes for guessing who’s idea that was!), bankrupting the national treasuries, increasing taxes (for workers, while reducing tax on the mega-rich ‘economic motors’!) and reducing ‘unwarranted’ expenditure on health and education: sensible policies, for a happier Britain!

Currently the ConDem fad is more austerity on the one hand, and militarisation on the other; but let us note that decades of (Labour and Tory) Keynesianism have also failed. There is no solution under capitalism, but that will not stop them from attempting to dig their way out by increasing reliance on export of capital, backed by military adventurism to cement super-exploitation of cheap ‘third-world’ labour and looting other peoples’ resources. Britain and the US are becoming, if you can imagine it, ever more parasitic.

That is why the last ten years have seen such a relentless drive toward regional and world war. Our ‘masters’ are drowning the world in blood in order to avert the final demise of their system of production for (their) profit at our expense.

The fact is that the super rich-capitalists are totally out of their depth, and totally out of control. Our domestic woes and British imperialism’s bloody rampages abroad are two sides of the same coin; both are symptoms of the impending downfall of a senile ruling class. But they must be pushed over the precipice. Should our hand tremble? Is that not our job? Is that not the mission of our movement?

‘Unity’ with imperialism: the quaker test

Well, if by ‘movement’ we mean StW, then the answer is actually ‘No’. John Rees (SW/Counterfire Trotskyist) has at previous conferences assured the floor during debate (debate look you!) that he personally embraces these aims (of course!), but that, in order to remain ‘broad’ and quaker-friendly, he opposed StW calling for the victory of anti-imperialist forces.

Much easier (don’t you see?) to implicitly allow the victory of US and British imperialism – in the name of unity – while bemoaning the fate of their victims, calling for a better deal for our boys, fewer atrocities, etc. As for ‘bringing the troops home’, our imperialist masters plan on doing so anyway – once their missions of subjection are complete, compliant regimes are installed, stable occupations enforced and their reign of terror assured. It’s a military necessity to free up troops for the next intervention!

Rees’s infamous ‘quaker test’ is every bit as insidiously and divisively pro-imperialist as Norman Tebbit’s ‘cricket test’ is obviously and offensively so. If Rees wishes to support British imperialism, let him have the courage to say so openly, and remove his pernicious influence from the anti-war movement. No such honesty is forthcoming. Instead, it is more of the same: denunciation of the forces of resistance (they’re not socialists, they have poor ‘human rights’ records, they’re not democratic, are dictatorial …), pacifist platitudes, and simultaneous lionisation of Labour party social-imperialist saboteurs.

Libya

And it is just this opportunist leadership of StW that led to its shameful support of Nato’s bombing of Libya. A little retrospective wailing and gnashing of teeth over the 50,000 deaths and wholesale destruction of Libya’s hard-won independence and freedom will not wipe out the stain of collaboration. For at the crucial moment, Stop the War organised demonstrations in support of Nato’s war, and against the Libyan people’s resistance – on the shabby pretext of ‘opposing Gaddafi’. We shall not forgive or forget this shameful fraud and betrayal, which was the beginning of the end for StW. Libya’s enlightened society and modern industrial infrastructure yielded exemplary living standards – the highest in Africa, before the head-banging CIA and MI6-backed jihadists were forcibly installed.

Syria

No sooner had Libya fallen under Nato’s jackboot, than the same fundamentalist CIA army were transferred to their new task of causing murderous and brutal chaos in Syria – in order to generate the pretext for another intervention, removing the next obstacle on the road to total US/British hegemony over the oil and labour of the Middle East. One step closer to recolonising Iran (how we thirst for Persian oil!)

And, right on cue, in waded StW, with Rees and company’s heartfelt denunciations of ‘brutal dictator’ Assad and strident support for this ‘popular revolution’! Once more, there is not a hair’s breadth between the imperialists’ pro-war propaganda and that of the allegedly anti-war Trotskyites. Rees didn’t seem to notice that Nato’s aggression is a criminal, barbaric assault on an independent and sovereign nation. His only worry was that open Nato bombing (as opposed to the covert, proxy war via local proxies) would be “a threat to the continued progressive nature of the uprising”.
So no need to oppose the aim of Nato’s terrorists’ atrocities – forcing terrified captives to act as human bombs, massacring unarmed civilians while filming it all for the greater glory of YouTube, etc – because we all want Assad out, right? In fact, Rees and co would much rather forget all about Nato’s current war, and concentrate on denouncing the prospect of a future war with Iran – ignoring the fact that the war against Syria is an essential preliminary to that campaign!

History repeats itself – the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce! Lenin was a thousand times right when he said that “the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism”.

If we are ever to be crowned by success, we must jettison this bunch of charlatans who parade as ‘friends of the people’ while binding our movement to the war chariot of imperialism.

Stop the wars! Fight imperialism! Join the axis of resistance!

Zionists in Birmingham come out to defend racist Israeli state

A demonstration was called tonight [and for tomorrow] in protest to the arrival in Birmingham of the Israeli dance company Batsheva at the Hippodrome Theatre. Despite a peaceful, yet vocal protest from Birmingham, the police intervened on the instructions of the Israeli Zionists and attempted to kidnap members of the demo without actually arresting or charging them. Faced with any opposition to Israels war crimes against Palestinians these fascists stoop to any level to encourage and facilitate anti-democratic behaviour of the state forces – but if anything this foolish action will only rally more of Birmingham’s residents to the calls of Palestine solidarity activists tomorrow!

Police start to remove protestors from the demo
Disgrace behaviour of police and state forces
Zionist smirks as he has Palestine solidarity activist hauled off by the cops

A leaflet produced by local solidarity groups in Birmingham outlined the role of Batsheva thus:

“The Batsheva dance company are part of the Brand Israel Initiative which aims to promote a positive image of Israel internationally whilst it continues its many human rights abuses and violations of international law. These include, in particular, the military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and the consolidation of an apartheid regime that condemns generations of Palestinians to poverty and persecution.

Batsheva’s claim – supported by the Hippodrome management – that they are impartial and independent artists is untrue, since they receive funding from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Such funding routinely involves signing a contract stating that the artist’s role is to “promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel”.

In 2005 Palestinian civil society called for an international campaign of Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel. They see this as a peaceful way to end Israeli abuses in much the same way as the international boycott of apartheid South Africa helped end the apartheid regime there. This protest is part of their campaign. Join us to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for justice and freedom.”

All photos courtesy of Stalingrad O’Neill

Stop the War Coalition, Libya and imperialism

2011-12 has been a year of relentless intrigue for imperialism and its agents in the working class movement. The following video is an excerpt from a meeting held in Birmingham in November 2011 addressing the situation in Libya. It was organised by a local group of activists called AIWAA (Against Imperialist Wars in Africa and Asia). Like most stop the war groups around the country, Birmingham is dominated by Trotskyists and social democrats who spend most of their time championing the cause of imperialism, putting on meetings broadly in support of the case for war and telling everybody to get behind the likes of Corbyn and McDonnell! This short video is taken from the question and answer session at the conclusion of the meeting where Harpal Brar puts forward the case for a truly anti-imperialist agenda in the anti-war movement to the utter dismay and frustration of some local Trotskyists, principally Stuart Richardson of ‘Socialist’ Resistance (a barmy and thoroughly reactionary group of misfits infamous for their disgusting position during imperialism’s assault on Libya in 2011).

The world economic crisis has brought a period of renewed and intensified world-wide class struggle. Following the genuine popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Bahrein, Imperialism countered with massive destabilization campaigns against the principle anti-imperialist forces across the middle east, and renewed hostility with socialist states and forces.

In addition to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Saudi, Yemen, Bahrein and the gulf statelets, All out civil strife was fomented in Libya, followed by bombing and the Lynching of Gaddafi. Moves were also made against Ivory Coast, to dominate the Cocoa trade, and ensure french control of ‘their’ west African neo-colonial economies.

Iran and most of all Syria now find themselves in the firing line – and the response of the British anti-war movement has been lamentable – if understandable and sadly predictable.

Read this analysis submitted to the AGM of StW by the CPGB-ML: http://blog.cpgb-ml.org/stop-the-war-leaders-and-libya-you-can%E2%80%99t-expel-the-truth/

More hand-wringing and breast-beating from Stop the War Coalition leaders

CPGB-ML Blog, December 7, 2011

On Monday 5 December, Stop the War Coalition held a rally at Conway Hall headlined Don’t Attack Iran. Everyone in the hall (apart from the usual smattering of MI5 agents) was in agreement: none of us wanted to see Iran attacked.

From the platform, a very frail looking Tony Benn spoke first, confiding to us that when he was minister for energy (years ago when even I was young), some unidentified bloke in his ministerial office had helped Israel to “British” nuclear secrets. If that wasn’t bad enough, Benn also found out and all the “waste” plutonium from “our” civil nuclear industry had been secretly shipped off to America to make nuclear bombs.

Benn said he hadn’t found out about either of these outrages until after he left office. Which says it all about the effectiveness of Stop the War Coalition’s brand of ‘anti-imperialism’.

Not one of the speakers, including George Galloway, who (despite a terrible chest infection) headlined at his tub-thumping and fiery best, had any suggestions about what to do apart from march about with our banners and protest.

We were told to go back to our workplaces and trade unions and “expose” the media lies about Iran; but the speakers’ only stated aim was to bring more people out on the streets of London to wave banners and protest at some undeclared date in the future.

Most depressing of all was the quick mention of Syria in passing. No question of any ‘Don’t Attack Syria’ campaign. We were just told to watch our email inboxes as Stop the War Coalition planned to call us all out – you guessed it … to wave banners and protest at Downing Street at 5.00pm on the day Syria was attacked (or maybe the day after, the speaker wasn’t too sure).

Syria did better than Pakistan, as while all the speakers agreed that Pakistan was under threat, there was not even a suggestion of going to Downing Street with banners to protest over any attack on that benighted country.

So what is to be done? Well, when Stop the War Coalition does call us out, we will (as always) troop along with our banners and protest, but that by itself will do nothing. Two million of us waved banners and protested to stop the war in Iraq, and the imperialists laughed.

We have to do much more and something else. We have to go to the Stop the War national conference and demand something more than mere banner waving and protesting and wondering why these naughty imperialists won’t listen to reason.

The imperialists are listening to reason, they are listening to their own warmongering superprofits-seeking, anti-people reason. And they will never listen to our reason; they will only ‘listen’ to our actions.

This is where CPGB-ML conflicts with the present leadership of Stop the War Coalition. We understand that the one and only way to stop these continual bloody wars is the Jolly George way. The working class has to stop cooperating with imperialism.

We have to fight, not merely wring our hands, beat our breasts and plead with the imperialists to sit on the naughty step. This is big; it’s the future of the world.

See original blog for extra links!