Attention!! If you can see this message it means you are viewing the web with an old browser (web viewing programme such as NETSCAPE 4.x or earlier) or a handheld or mobile phone type reader. That means you will see only a basic version of the pages — the content should be perfectly readable but will have a basic layout. For a printable version you can click on a link to download. A better webpage layout will be shown in modern browsers(eg Opera7, InternetExplorer6, Safari or Mozilla). If you are not limited by small memory in older computers, you can download these programmes from the Internet. Installation is usually quite simple and usually safe from viruses.

Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin

Skip Navigation(?)

Recent issue

No 1255 November 2nd 2004

"Kill the barbarian terrorist" - American Empire's dumb response to Bin Laden message. But with over 400 post-1945 world-control wars, armed coups, and police-destruction "punishments" to its credit in pursuit of its own selfish imperialist interests, and with 100,000 to 200,000 women and children bombed to pieces as "collateral damage" by the Western Occupation since the Iraq invasion began (not even including Fallujah massacres), just who are the "barbarian terrorists"??

The EPSR's understanding, that this insane warmongering by the American Empire in a deliberately ignorant aggression to "solve" the problem of world "overproduction" economic crisis (see EPSR box for original Marxist science) will only repeat the historical pattern of the last 135 years which has ended up in three virtual world wars to "finally" settle monopoly-imperialist rivalry to see who has really become the new "top dog" (Franco-Prussia; WWI; WWII —- all mainly fought between the major imperialist powers themselves in the end, to great and welcomed (!)deliberate destruction to themselves but also to the whole planet), — will only lead to World War III, is now becoming mainstream thinking and fear.

The latest frightened blast (also full of confused, middle-class, reformist muddle, which can be dispensed with) is from Jonathan Dimbleby on late-night Sunday television!!, called "The New World War":

Arabs are being slaughtered by US warplanes and artillery, supported by the British, to impose Western democracy on Iraq at the point of a gun.

But listen to what they say and you discover a coruscating sense of humiliation and a deepening rage against America.

The resentment against the US administration (not the American people who are presumed to have been duped) crosses all classes and backgrounds. 'If the US continues to despise the Arab nation in this way,' the owner of a sportswear shop, Hadi Baalbaki, warns, 'I fear the whole Arab nation will form itself into one big al-Qaeda.'

Richard Clark. Bush's former anti-terrorism coordinator who took charge in the White House on 9/11 and who retains close contact with intelligence agencies around the world, tells me that 'by almost any measure ... the war on terrorism is being lost'. He cites the rate of terrorist atrocities, more than doubled since 9/11, and insists that the number of terrorists has risen to around 100,000 active 'jihadists' around the world, to be supported 'philosophically, politically, and perhaps with money' by upwards of 700 million Muslims.

Ahmad Iskandar is in his early twenties, educated and courteous and speaks as if explaining the self-evident to a backward pupil: 'I am ready to explode myself in Israel.' Ready to be a suicide bomber? 'It is not suicide, sorry. It is a martyr operation.' And what about the innocents who will die? 'Our heart is now dead. They make us forget everything. Just to go and kill them.' And he shrugs his shoulders.

Munir Maqhdar, a refugee, is holed up in south Lebanon where he heads a small band of gun-toting guerrillas who swagger around him as he says 'anybody who supports the killing of Arabs and Muslim people in Afghanistan and Iraq is a legitimate target. Any Arab or Muslim organisation is entitled to take revenge if the opportunity arises... the White House has to demonstrate that the historic injustice perpetrated against Palestinians matters.

According to the UN, 60 million Arabs live on less than two dollars a day, the population is growing rapidly, and unemployment is set to double in five years. The finance director of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Youssef al-Khalil, says that young people have a choice between corruption or fundamentalism. 'Fundamentalism is very much seen as the alternative to corruption... the war on terrorism has to address the war on poverty.'

The neocons who hold sway in Washington do not flinch under this kind of fire. For them, in the words of Richard Perle: 'We are winning the war on terrorism.'

Try telling it to the American diplomat in Addis Ababa who gave me an 'off the record' briefing, holed up in the US compound which, like US embassies around the world, is protected from terrorist attack by armed guards, concrete barriers and razor-wire. He showed me a list of 'wahabi' clerics and business leaders in Ethiopia suspected of allegiance to al-Qaeda and volunteered that US special forces are now operating alongside Ethiopian soldiers in an effort to break up al-Qaeda cells in the Ogaden region. And how were they doing? He shrugged: 'We have already lost the war against terrorism in Africa.'

But you now hear rage against America on the streets of Addis Ababa just as in Baghdad or Beirut.

But in a continent whore thousands of children die every day from preventable diseases and where (despite the ravages of HIV), more than 300 million live on less than a dollar a day, you are bound to grasp any outstretched arm. As it is, the grotesque distortions of the global market mean that for every dollar the West dispatches to Africa in the form of aid, two dollars are clawed back through subsidies and tariff barriers: a monumental rip-off by the rich as they instruct the poor to accept 'free' trade or else.

The hypocrisies and injustices that are inflicted on them drives Meles Zanawi to warn that Africa, no less than the Middle East, could become the source of tomorrow's 9/11.

'Whether it is people in the rural areas of Ethiopia or the centre of Manhattan, we are in the same boat,' he comments, echoing outgoing European commissioner Chris Patten, who says. 'sometimes people are very angry, when they think that fairness is denied them until the crack of doom'.

The president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, tells me 'it is not that someone who is poor immediately becomes a terrorist... but what are the children going to do, young people with similar values to our own, can't get a job and are frustrated in everything they try to do?'

Already we are consuming the Earth's natural but finite resources faster than they can be replenished. Already Britain's chief scientific advisor. Sir David King, tells us global warming is a greater threat than global terrorism. Will we see the melting of the icecaps, catastrophic floods that drown hundreds of thousands of people and turn millions into refugees and famished migrants? Will we all perish in some Siberian or Saharan Armageddon? '

But it is the background of insoluble economic CONTRADICTIONS of a totally-out-of-date and dying imperialist system (which has ruled the world and transformed it, from the West, over the last 800 years) which MUST be understood (but isn't in this modern "smart" era of dumbed-down anti-Marxist mentalities).

The evidence is only circumstantial (the subject is too vast for any one brain to comprehend) but it comes from impeccable sources, — the worried capitalist/bourgeois world itself. First off are excerpt from Murdoch's spokesman on Earth, the normally chipper Irwin Stelzer:

A few — very few, I would guess — will be asking themselves which of the candidates is most able to cope with the economic storm clouds that are now clearly visible. The recent downward drift of the dollar may be signalling the end of an era in which America could, and did, live happily off the savings of other nations.

The facts are these. America's trade deficit has passed the 5% of GDP that most economists feel is unsustainably high, and is headed to 6%, in part because the import bill has been swollen by high oil prices.

To finance that deficit, America has to borrow from China, Japan and other foreigners by selling them American shares and bonds, including bonds issued by the Treasury. Foreign governments, led by China and Japan, now hold $1,200 billion (£650 billion) in Treasury IOUs, and have a tiger by the tail.

If they increase the downward pressure on the dollar by refusing to buy new Treasury bonds, they will drive down the value of the IOUs they already hold. Still, the fact is that these lenders seem increasingly reluctant to buy American securities.

They have reason to worry. The dollar is sinking against both the euro and the yen. Japan's finance minister has passed the word that he is prepared to intervene in currency markets to prevent the yen from rising sufficiently against the dollar to threaten Japan's export-led recovery.

China, meanwhile, continues to peg its currency to the dollar, so that no matter how low the American currency sinks, Chinese exports will not become more expensive in America, or American exports cheaper in China. This is also bad news for euroland and Britain, because the euro and sterling will bear the brunt of the dollar's fall, reducing the competitiveness of European and British goods in the American market.

There is worse. If the downward drift of the dollar turns into a precipitous decline, Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Board chairman, would have to raise interest rates so that foreigners would be willing to buy and hold Treasury bonds. Higher interest rates will cut into business investment and put further pressure on debt-burdened consumers, already hit hard by the rising price of petrol and heating oil. Result: an economic slowdown,

All of this means that whoever wins Tuesday's election might wish he hadn't. Unless, of course, he is able to tackle the government deficit by cutting back spending. Fat chance. Congress has just passed a pork-laden spending bill that represents the triumph of business lobbyists over fiscal sanity.

So the next American president may have to deal with a dollar debacle. Or worse.

Then come some remarkable middle-class admissions from the US election campaign trail:

Four years ago, Bush was holed up in the governor's mansion as the votes from Florida were checked and rechecked amid talk of hanging chads and political chicanery. At the time, Austin was humming. It was a symbol of America's industrial renaissance in the 1990s and a testament to the country's enduring dynamism.

The dot bomb — as the local chamber of commerce puts it — cost around 40,000 highly paid jobs. Employment, while recovering, is still not back to the levels of 2000 and the unemployment rate is 2.4 percentage points higher at 4.4%.

"The city has been through a terrible period of lay-offs and downsizing," says Dave Porter, vice-president of economic development at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Austin has a reputation as a liberal town. With the United States' second biggest university, it has a large student population and a laid-back, prosperous air. On the campus, as well as among the city's young entrepreneurs, the war being fought in Iraq is no more popular than was the war waged by another Texan president, Lyndon Johnson, in the 1960s.

The other side of Johnson's legacy, however, was his Great Society programme of reforms designed to bring help to the disadvantaged. The Johnson museum and library provides a record of the vast number of education, health, social security and civil rights bills pushed through by the president as part of his "unconditional war on poverty".

There are few in the city who would make the same, claim for the current incumbent.

'Corporate junta'

"This administration is a junta of major corporate interests", says Professor James Galbraith of the University of Texas. "You can start with oil and energy and move on through defence, the pharmaceutical sector, Rupert Murdoch, mining and logging and insurance. The fund managers are salivating over the privatisation of social security in a second Bush term. "What Bush has done is carve up federal policy and pass it out to these interest — groups one piece at a time. They have been feeding at the trough these last few years," he said.
It is certainly not difficult to see why so many corporate executives support Bush, and why Wall Street would prefer the status quo to a Kerry win. The personal tax cuts of his first term were hugely skewed in favour of the already wealthy. Someone in the bottom 20% of wage-earners would have received an extra $2 a week this year, whereas someone in the top 1% would have pocketed an additional $800 a week.

The big corporations have also been able to write smaller cheques to the government, in part because profits have been weaker than in the 1990s boom and in part because the government has hugely reduced their tax bills. General Electric enjoyed $9.5bn worth of tax breaks in 2001-03. In a pre-election giveaway, Bush handed out an additional $145bn corporate tax break this month. The irony, says Galbraith, is that the company presidents and chief executives were a lot better off four years ago because the boom on Wall Street meant their share options were a lot more valuable. "It is lunacy to give tax breaks to the rich and burden future generations with the cost."

The size of the budget deficit is but one of the problems that will face the winner of next week's contest. Action to reduce the amount of red ink — either through higher taxes or lower spending — would increase the risk of a softening of the economy becoming a hard landing so both Bush and Kerry will be hoping that they can grow their way out of trouble.

The economy is "facing considerable headwinds, including oil prices that are eating into consumer spending, spiralling health costs that are as much of a burden to US employers as high social insurance costs are to European firms, the threat posed by China, and the debt burden of consumers. "

The threat posed by outsourcing varies from sector to sector. For Getagadget the savings from manufacturing in China amount to 70%, even after the hassle of doing business. Trafton says that firms looking for says that firms looking for high-quality software prefer to do business at home rather than go to Bangalore, although increasingly he is facing competition from firms undercutting his business with overseas workers. China, like healthcare and social security, will rumble on as issues over the next four years. The priority, however, is to prevent the economy stalling.

Galbraith says there is a strong risk that the economy will perform far less well than either Kerry or Bush is anticipating. Any boost to demand leaks out into higher imports, creating jobs in the Far East rather than the US. Meanwhile, the position of households is precarious, with interest rates rising and tax cuts spent.

Or as Welch puts it: "There are people in Austin who four years ago were making $60,000 a year and are now making $40,000 a year. The trouble is they still expect to live $60,000-a-year lifestyles."

In comparison to previous US economic cycles, the recovery has been weak. Over the same period, real wages and salaries rose at an annualised rate of 2.2%, way below the historical average of 10.6%. And there are fewer Americans in employment than when the upturn started.

"The jobless recovery since 2001 has created greater economic problems for Americans than the sluggish job performance of Europe in the 90s created for Europeans," according to Richard Freeman and William Rodgers in their analysis of what has gone wrong with the great American jobs machine. "The United States has only a limited safety net for workers. Those who lose their jobs risk losing healthcare or seeing their family drop from the middle class into poverty. American welfare policy is full employment, not a social welfare state."

Predictably, then, the failure to generate the number of jobs normally associated with an American economic recovery has seen an increase in the number of people living below the breadline. Poverty has risen and there are now 44 million Americans without health insurance.

What may appear puzzling is that this has been accompanied by an increase in the share of the economy accounted for by consumption — which stands at a record level — and by a hefty increase in the trade deficit. If workers are not seeing real incomes rise very much, how come they are spending as though it's going out of fashion?

The answer is that individuals have not just spent their tax cuts but been encouraged to borrow by the loose monetary policy of the Federal Reserve. "Provided you've got a pulse, the banks here will lend you money," said Steve Newman, head of an organisation in Cleveland that seeks to find work for the unemployed.

Savings boost

Domestic demand has been kept going by an unprecedented explosion in credit. Alan Greenspan has pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, and the extra liquidity has boosted asset prices. The stock market has recovered ground lost after 9/11 and the housing market has boomed. Consumers have remortgaged at low rates and simply carried on spending. There is an obvious limit to pumping up demand in this way and the US has reached it. The Fed is starting to raise rates in an attempt to reverse the decline in saving, and this heralds the end to the remortgaging boom. For the time being, households are trying to stave off the inevitable by increasingly plumping for variable rate products, which on average have interest rates two points below fixed rate products, but there have been signs  in recent months that the squeeze on real incomes is having an effect.

America is consuming too much, China is investing too much. In the short term, this keeps prices of US imports low, but at the long-term expense of costing America jobs and of building up a colossal speculative bubble that will collapse as soon as the US takes action to reduce its trade deficit.

An alternative view is that the economy has been grotesquely mismanaged over the past four years, as witnessed not just by the trade deficit and the job losses but the way Bush has squandered the budget surplus bequeathed by Clinton.

Client conscious

There is a third perspective. It is that Bush has finally buried the Republican party's reputation for fiscal prudence in favour of an approach to policy-making that dovetails with the conservative social views of his base. Michael Wolf wrote in the Spectator: "The Republicans are the party of the Southern Baptist Conference. The Democrats are the party of Goldman Sachs." Kerry supporters such as Professor James Galbraith think this view is' wrong. Bush, he says, doesn't have and never has had an economic policy other than to "serve his clients".

The shortcomings of this approach are becoming evident.

US firms produced more bankruptcies over the past few years than in any other period in US history. They created the widest wage gap between the average worker and average Fortune 500 chief executive. They cut jobs and pension plans to compensate.

In 1929, America experienced a market crash followed by years of depression in which 25% of the population lost jobs. It was caused by wild speculation, availability of cheap money, and deception. The Glass-Steagall Act in 1933 separated bank functions in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

It has been ripped apart by Greenspan, bipartisan Congresses, Robert Rubin, Clinton's treasury secretary, and now Citigroup's vice-chairman, and by regulatory neglect. The bigger financial institutions become, the greater the competition among them and the more incentive to fabricate value. On this impending crisis, Bush is a lost cause, Kerry a disappointment and Greenspan the biggest economic danger no matter who wins.

Finally comes this astonishing blast from a middle-class academic in Venezuela, from a German-American Franz John Tennyson Lee:

ever since the 1970s, the Bretton Woods system has collapsed and resulted in the disintegration of fixed exchange rates, and severe upheavals in international currency markets. The current slide of the US$ against the Euro marks a critical phase of the very existence of the world capitalist system, with far-reaching economic, political, social and military consequences that we are experiencing already on a world scale that could lead to a total destructive global war between the great powers.

This catastrophic economic situation was ushered in when, in August 1971, US President Nixon was forced to cancel the guarantee to redeem the dollars circulating in world financial markets. Among other factors, like the US balance of payments deficit that sky-rocketed to trillions, the massive increase of military expenditure and the so-called "world energy crisis," this measure sparked off the progressive deterioration of the relative economic strength of the United States of America.

Since February 1973, a system of floating exchange rates had to be introduced and, for a while, the US economy benefited from the dollar as international currency, approximating its petro-dollar status. As such, the US currency itself became a huge problem for the rest of the world, especially for the oil-producing countries ever since.

What really was happening was that all the tendential laws of motion of capitalist development, as predicted by Marx in "Capital" and by Lenin in "Imperialism, the Latest Stage of Capitalism" (Original Title), were realizing themselves, inter alia, ever-increasing inflation, followed by low profit rates. In spite of Paul Volcker's introduction of a high interest rate regime ... and by high unemployment... all these accelerated by monopolization, centralization, thus resulting in progressive geometric pauperization on a world scale.

As we always pointed out, the current labor system, the capitalist world order, is in agony, in transition.

*In reality, the current "New Wars," the next "World War," concerns the USA and its major competitor "Eurasia," Yes, we have reached Orwellian historic dimensions already.

Volcker caused such a crisis, thus, in September 1985 at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the five major capitalist powers, under the army boot of the USA, had to agree to reduce the value of the US dollar, because of the damage that it caused to the US economy itself.

What followed was an increasingly aggressive US policy against imports, particularly from Japan. Ever since 1985, in fact, it was precisely the competitiveness of the giga-US corporations, backed by the US administration, that benefited most from this measure.

This resulted in higher concentration of the major contradiction in late capitalism; practically Japan was booted out as future competitor, in the early 1990s, the Japanese economy was falling into progressive stagnation, and severe deflation, accompanied by small recoveries now and then.

In April, 1995, the US$ acquired a record low of 79 ¥en, now Robert Rubin had to devaluate the ¥en The then current US balance of payments deficit of some $500 billion, currently running at around 5% of gross domestic product, resulted in a huge increase of external debt at the rate of $1 million per minute, increasing daily more than ever ad infinitum. Only the Petro-Dollar is still keeping this soap bubble alive.

According to Nick Beams: "It is estimated that the more than 15% rise in the euro against the dollar since December last year is equivalent to the European Central Bank lifting interest rates by one percentage point. Such an increase could possibly be absorbed if it were a one off occurrence. But there are predictions that the euro could soon rise to over $1.20 and even to $1.40 in coming months."

The current "New Wars" of the Bush administration are Economic Wars, directed against the major rivals of the USA. Afghanistan and Iraq ... and in a certain sense, Venezuela ... are just "collateral damage" of the coming military "show-down." Economically, Germany and France are the European Union ... and the European Union is Germany and France.

How this economic world war is taking shape, Beams explained Eurozone companies are already reporting falling profits. Volkswagen said the rise in the euro had cost the company $460 million in the first quarter, with pre-tax profits dropping by 67%. The Financial Times predicts the impact could be even more severe on small and medium-sized export-dependent engineering companies, forced to compete with firms based in China where the currency is linked to the

Estimates are now being made of the effect of the rising euro on profits. According to Deutsche Bank, a 10% fall in the US$/euro exchange rate, compared to its average level in 2002, will see the continent's 350 largest companies lose an average of 4.7% on their earnings * This is the international context of the current Bolivarian Revolution.

Yes, the Economic World War is already approximating genocidal dimensions. The article, published in "Venezuela, Iran and Indonesia will follow once Russia moves to the Euro ... it would destroy the US$ as a reserve currency" is most timely, and very clearly portrays immediate future developments on a world scale.

The full scale of the "innocent civilian" massacre by the invading neo-colonising armies (who went there allegedly to "save and protect the innocent victims of the Saddam regime) is hardly credible.

The "mass graves found in Iraq" old propaganda lies, already discredited worldwide (but not in what passes for Ann Clwyd's brain) as evidence of serious civil-war struggles in the past, prompted and financed from the Vest through treacherous Kurd separatism may at last meet reality, but ONLY because of these latest Western aerial massacres (with a lot more to come):

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians — half of them women and children — have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces, according to the first reliable study of the death toll from Iraqi and US public health experts.

The study, which was carried out in 33 randomly chosen neighbourhoods of Iraq representative of the entire population, shows that violence is now the leading cause of death in Iraq. Before the invasion, most people died of heart attacks, stroke and chronic illness. The risk of a violent death is now 58 times higher than it was before the invasion.

Last night the Lancet medical journal fast-tracked the survey to publication on its website after rapid, but extensive peer review and editing because, said Lancet editor Richard Horton, "of its importance to the evolving security situation in Iraq". But the findings raised important questions also for the governments of the United Sates and Britain who, said Dr Horton in a commentary, "must have considered the likely effects of their actions for civilians".

The research was led by Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Five of the six Iraqi interviewers who went to the 988 households in the survey were doctors and all those involved in the research on the ground, says the paper, risked their lives to collect the data. Householders were asked about births and deaths in the 14.6 months before the March 2003 invasion, and births and deaths in the 17.8 months afterwards.

When death certificates were not available, there were good reasons, say the authors. "We think it is unlikely that deaths were falsely recorded. Interviewers also believed that in the Iraqi culture it was unlikely for respondents to fabricate deaths," they write.

They found an increase in infant mortality from 29 to 57 deaths per 1,000 live births, which is consistent with the pattern in wars, where women are unable or unwilling to get to hospital to deliver babies, they say. The other increase was in violent death, which was reported in 15 of the 33 clusters studied and which was mostly attributed to airstrikes.

The biggest death toll recorded by the researchers was in Falluja, which registered two-thirds of the violent deaths they found. "In Falluja, 23 households of 52 visited were either temporarily or permanently abandoned. Neighbours interviewed described widespread death in most of the abandoned houses but could not give adequate details for inclusion in the survey," they write.

The researchers criticise the failure of the coalition authorities to attempt to assess for themselves the scale of the civilian casualties.

"US General Tommy Franks is widely quoted as saying 'we don't do body counts'," they write, but occupying armies have responsibilities under the Geneva convention. "This survey shows that with modest funds, four weeks and seven Iraqi team members willing to risk their lives, a useful measure of civilian deaths could be obtained."

Statisticians said last night that the scientists' methodology was strong, and the death count could well be conservative. They said that the work rubbished suggestions by the US that civilian body counts were impossible to conduct.
In coming to a total of 100,000 civilian deaths, the team excluded Fallujah, where two-thirds of violent deaths recorded had occurred. Dr Roberts told The Times that the death toll from bombing suggested a pressing need to alter air strike strategies.

"We can say with absolute confidence that both mortality and violent deaths have gone way up," he said.

"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

So how feeble and incurably, warmongeringly savage and inappropriate was the collective American Empire response to Bin Laden's eminently sensible message to the ordinary people of America:

The following are excerpts from a speech by Osama bin Laden addressing the American people in a videotape, parts of which were aired by al-Jazeera television yesterday, as translated by Reuters

" O American people, I am speaking to tell you about the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan, about war and its causes and results.

Security is an important foundation of human life and free people do not squander their security, contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not attack Sweden for example.

It is known that those who hate freedom do not possess proud souls like those of the 19, may God rest their souls. We fought you because we are free and because we want freedom for our nation. When you squander our security we squander yours.

I'm surprised by you. Despite entering the fourth year after September 11, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened.

God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it.

And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed — when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the US sixth fleet. In those difficult moments many emotions came over me which are hard to describe, but which produced an overwhelming feeling to reject injustice and a strong determination to punish the unjust.

As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way [and] to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.

We had no difficulty in dealing with Bush and his administration because they resemble the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half by the sons of kings... They have a lot of pride, arrogance, greed and thievery.

[Bush] adopted despotism and the crushing of freedoms from Arab rulers... called it the Patriot Act under the guise of combating terrorism...

We had agreed with [the September 11] overall commander, Mohammed Atta, may God rest his soul, to carry out all operations in 20 minutes before Bush and his administration take notice.

It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American forces [Bush] would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone at a time when they most needed him because he thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This had given us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God...

Your security is not in the hands of [Democratic presidential candidate John] Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe.

Meanwhile, astonishingly to middle-class "reformism" (impossible) but perfectly predictably to Marxist science (EPSR), the American Empire only prepares its next list of small states for warmongering bullying, —(the 'normal' way in which World Wars I and II started as the cockiest biggest powers of the time intended to cow and impress the world to "behave itself, or else", really meaning the message for the main rival imperialist powers whose existence is the only real (and incurable) contradiction to any Empire ruling the world for ever (as the Empire always sees it, but in longer-term reality, the problem is that the world's population is simply no longer ruleable in the old imperialist way, — transformed by capitalism's globalising spread of science and technology itself).

Even the war propaganda from the world CIA brainwashing control is already lyingly and speculatively in place, via the Guardian here (typical).

It began with Bush's last-minute electoral threat to fascist émigrés in Florida to now at last invade Cuba on their behalf!

Simultaneously came these prepared threats to Ukraine about electoral propriety for bourgeois joke "elections"!! but really about war threats.

The Ukrainian opposition claimed victory last night in the country's fourth presidential elections despite exit polls showing that their candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, did not have enough support to avoid a bruising second round. A poll funded by western embassies said that Mr Yushchenko won 45% of the vote and Mr Yanukovich 37%.

But a Russian-backed poll gave Mr Yanukovich 43% of the vote with 40% for Mr Yushchenko.

Mr Yushchenko appeared at 2am today to tell reporters that his faction's parallel count of the vote had given him 50.34%, just past the 50% barrier needed to claim victory in the first round. He said: "Democratic forces have won in Ukraine"

Many voters said they would protest today.

The commission, which was last night surrounded by barricades and at least 200 troops in body armour waiting in buses, reportedly asked the prosecutor to investigate. Irina Gerashenko, the press secretary for Mr Yushchenko, said: "We are absolutely sure we won the first round.

The United States made its boldest foray into tomorrow's tense presidential election in Ukraine by threatening to take "measures" if the voting was unfair.

The US mission to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is monitoring the election, said that if it failed to meet international standards "a variety of measures" against those responsible for electoral misconduct would be considered.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Kiev declined to elaborate on what sanctions were under consideration.

The statement is the latest in a series of interventions aimed at aiding the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.

The US statement will increase the tension between Moscow and Washington, which have seized on this election to back the rival candidates. Washington has sent a series of emissaries, including George Bush Sr and Henry Kissinger, to Kiev to call for fair elections.

Richard Armitage, the US assistant secretary of state, wrote in the Financial Times yesterday that the "Ukrainian authorities can put an end to the violations that have plagued the campaign", and warned that "a bad election... will force us to re-examine our relationship".

Mr Yanukovych made a similar call, Interfax reported, telling his supporters: "You don't have to yield to provocations ... you don't have to take part in any violent actions "

He added: "I don't understand the politicians who are dreaming of a violent seizure of power, under the cover of the name 'democratic opposition'. "

Those who oppose Mr Yanukovych say winning would close the door to the west, stifling the country.

MILLIONS of people will be urged to take to the streets in Ukraine.

Yulia Timoshenko, who is Ukraine's wealthiest woman and a prominent opposition leader, said she feared that the government would commit widespread fraud to swing the vote in its favour.

Timoshenko's threat has raised fears of bloody clashes with the police in a campaign already marred by intimidation. A crowd of several thousand gathered in front of a statue of Lenin last week in Zolotonosha, a small town 100 miles from Kiev. Timoshenko, 44, was cheered by peasant women with gold teeth and wearing headscarves as she took to the stage in a black designer coat and pearl earrings and passionately denounced the price of salo, Ukrainian pork fat. The charismatic Timoshenko, [is] a former energy minister who made a fortune in the gas industry.

The poll is reminiscent of the cold war, when Russia and the United States meddled in elections to expand their spheres of influence.

Once the bread basket of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, with its population of 48m, is of great strategic importance to Moscow, which sees it as a buffer against Nato expansion. Russia's southern fleet is based in the port of Sebasotpol and Ukrainian pipelines are used to export Russian gas and oil.

Yushchenko, whose wife is an American of Ukrainian descent, is backed by the West. Yushchenko was forced to halt campaigning at one point after falling ill and claiming that he had been poisoned. He has become so disfigured that he wears heavy make-up. State-controlled television which did not show Yushchenko before, now broadcast pictures portraying him in an unfavourable light.

Yanukovich has denied any responsibility for his rival's illness. Yanukovich, however, pledge to hold free and fair election but warned opposition protesters that they would be prosecuted if they caused trouble.

Meanwhile, the warmongering bullying against small defenceless Third World targets that is already going on (in the lead-up historically to World War III inter-imperialist nightmare) in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine is continuing to go from bad to worse.

This is tragic but historically unfortunately necessary because the first major thing that can happen towards the proletarian overthrow (worldwide) of the no-longer-tolerable imperialist system is DEFEAT of some kind for the Empire; and only then can mass revolutionary action and organisation be really expected to respond. Chauvinist nationalism plus "shock & awe" raw military might will always get its chance first.

But when at last it fails, then the end is in sight — given Marxist scientific revolutionary understanding prevailing and not "reformist" Stalinist and Trotskyist counter-revolutionary imbecile "theories" and anti-workers-state treachery.

Stubborn Maoist guerrilla wars have done remarkably well over the years, but with no real thanks to Mao's insane "imperialism is a paper tiger" bombast as a purely nationalist bravado to be "different" to dodgy Stalinism from "European Russians".

Is it "paper tigers" which have wiped out 60 million to 70 million international revolutionary fighters against imperialism since 1945??? — in Greece, Korea, Vietnam and Indo-China, Algeria, Malaya, Kenya, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc????

And still it goes on, — now shamefully with the "United Nations" assistance from over 150 China-state police, currently seconded to the UN for bogus "counter-terrorism" duties.

Read from the capitalist press admissions what is really going on in the latest, little-reported, American Empire fascist coup:

Residents in the National Fort district, which like most of Port-au-Prince's slums is a bastion of support for former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, gathered around the darkening blood the following day. Some said policemen wearing black masks had shot and killed 12 people, then dragged their bodies away. At least three families have identified the bodies of relatives at the mortuary; others who have loved ones missing fear the worst.

"The police officers will say that this was an operation against gangs. But we are all innocent,' said Eliphete Joseph, who claimed to be a friend of several of those killed.

The killings appear to be the latest example of what human rights groups describe as a campaign of repression against suspected supporters of Aristide, who was escorted out of the country on 29 February by US Marines. The US government said that he resigned. Aristide says that he was forced out in a US-backed coup.

Neither the US nor the United Nations, which has a peacekeeping force here of more than 3,000 troops, has censured the abuses committed under the government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, who took power in March. 'When 20 to 30 people were getting killed a year, there was a cascade of condemnation pouring down on the Aristide government,' said Brian Concannon Junior, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. 'Now that as many as 20 to 30 are getting killed in a day, there is silence... It is an obvious double standard.

Meanwhile, heavily armed former members of the defunct military, a corrupt force disbanded by Aristide in 1995, swagger through the capital and control swaths of the countryside with tacit UN and government approval.

What is clear is that in recent weeks the government has gone on the offensive against members of Aristide's Lavalas party, searching homes and arresting people without warrants. Jails are full of suspected dissidents who have never seen a judge nor been charged.

The most publicised case is that of Gerard Jean-Juste, a Catholic priest arrested on 13 October at a soup kitchen he runs for children. Justice Minister Bernard Gousse said on Thursday that Jean-Juste is suspected of hiding 'organisers of violence', and no warrant was required for his arrest. A long-time rights activist who set up an organisation in Florida to assist Haitian refugees, Jean-Juste was an Aristide supporter. He remains in the national penitentiary.

'They are persecuting the Aristide people because they are afraid of them,' said lawyer Reynold Georges, leader of a party opposed to Aristide, who is representing Jean-Juste and several other jailed Lavalas party members. 'A lot of people have stayed loyal to Lavalas. The poor people, the masses, still believe in Aristide.'

But DEFEAT for the West in this disgusting world warmongering tyranny against any whiff of socialism or communist revolution remaining on the planet is on and defeat still looms for totally outdated and exclusively purely NAZI-behaving imperialism.

Defeat for imperialism is the answer - just as here in VeitnamThe Zionist fascist-colonial tyrannical capture and occupation of the land of Palestine since 1945 is still totally stymied by the stark choice:- Either genocidally kill every last Palestinian; or go back to the West for ever from whence you came with colonial-imperialist intent.

And a Kerry victory will not change this insane NAZI perspective at all.

The Empire will use their mad Zionist NAZIS to lead the blitzkrieg of Iran, with total petty-bourgeois fake-"left" reformist opinion still completely paralysed into mere feeble protests, utterly useless in the long run.

"Reform" delusions still pointlessly try to "interpret" the NAZI Sharon's never-changing basic plan to colonise and rule Palestine for ever as "Israel" plus a joke "Palestinian state" prison with no powers at all.

But the Sharon propaganda confusion will be swept aside by the Zionist part in the failed American Empire drive to World War III and by the end of Arafatist "reform" nonsense, at last clear to all Palestinians and the whole world as an impossible compromise with unbending NAZI-colonisation tyranny.

Tiny Lebanon's Hizbullah (Iran-aided) is Zionism's latest propaganda target as the "terrorist threat to "world peace" to spread the Empire's warmongering field against small "rogue states":

Hizbullah, the Lebanese guerrilla group backed by Iran, is increasingly involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with orders and money flowing from its Beirut headquarters into the West Bank, according to a senior Israeli intelligence official.

The claims come at a time of increasing tension between Iran and the west, mainly because of suspicion that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons. The allegations could be part of a softening-up process by Israel ahead. of action against Iran or Syria. This week, Israeli jets flew over the Bekaa valley in northern Lebanon, an area controlled by Syria.

Israel's claim was given some credence this week by the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, who complained about Iran's meddling in the West Bank and Gaza. He said Hizbullah was trying to "infiltrat" Fatah, his organisation, which includes the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Hizbullah, whose forces are ranged along the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, is the best-equipped and best-disciplined paramilitary group in the region and is respected and feared by the Israeli military. Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000 after suffering high casualties.

Speaking to British journalists in his compound in Ramallah earlier this week, Mr Arafat said Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah AH Khamenei, "is working against us and giving money to all these fanatical groups, financing Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and trying to infiltrate Fatah".

All total lies, of course, purely designed to serve Arafat's bourgeois pro-imperialist criminal "reformist" two-state nightmare, in joke cowardly class submission to a world of American Empire, his perpetual bourgeois real class allegiance:

Ariel Sharon's chief aide caused a political storm yesterday by claiming that the real purpose of the Israeli prime minister's "disengagement plan" was to freeze the peace process and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, all with the blessing of the US.

Dov Weisglass, Mr Sharon's chief of staff and point man in negotiations with the White House, boasted that he had won an agreement from the Americans for Israel to keep almost all Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Swiftly seeking to defuse the row created by Mr Weisglass's comments, Mr Sharon said he remained committed to the US-led road map as "the only plan that can permit progress toward a durable political settlement".

But the celebratory tone of Mr Weisglass's remarks confirmed suspicions among Palestinian leaders and some on the Israeli left that Mr Sharon's strategy has been to kill the possibility of a negotiated peace so that he could impose an emasculated and semi-autonomous Palestinian homeland on terms he could not hope to win by agreement. In an interview with the Ha'aretz newspaper, Mr Weisglass said that Mr Sharon's plan to withdraw settlers from the Gaza strip while expanding Jewish settlements on the West Bank was designed to freeze the peace process.

"When you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem," he said. "Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress."

"The disengagement is actually formaldehyde," he said. "It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians." Mr Weisglass said that would mean that 190,000 settlers in the rest of the West Bank, in addition to those in [East Jerusalem, "will not be moved from their place".

"What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns. That is the significance of what we did,"he said.

In August George Bush broke with decades of US policy by agreeing that West Bank Jewish settlements, illegal under international law, would eventually become part of Israel.

Finally, some latest unwitting bourgeois press admissions that the neo-con neo-colonial world domination plan since 1971 (part in of muddled TV documentary Wed 9 pm, BBC) is what is driving the planet:

Cries of election fraud, furious crowds in the street, nervous police pondering mutiny as a beleaguered government wonders whether to impose a state of emergency — the dramatic first round of the upheavals which led to a change of power in Georgia last autumn and in Serbia four years ago may be about to re-emerge in Ukraine.

The more significant factor is the extraordinary degree of foreign intervention in the campaign. One might have thought the US would have had enough on its plate not to be interested in Ukraine. But the cold war has never really died, and Ukraine is still seen as a powerful prize. Henry Kissinger was in Kiev last weekend, the latest in a recent string of high-level American visitors that included the republican senator John McCain and Richard Holbrooke, the potential next secretary of state if John Kerry wins.

They were aroused, it seems, by the outgoing president Leonid Kuchma's sudden change of line on Nato. Eventual entry into the alliance has been a key part of Ukraine's national strategy, approved by parliament, for some years. In July, shortly after meeting George Bush at Nato's summit in Istanbul, Kuchma reversed it.

Observers initially thought he was piqued by Bush's advice to him not to try for a third presidential term. But Yanukovych, Kuchma's favoured successor, is campaigning on the new anti-Nato posture and the Americans are angry. Yushchenko, who was identified during his time as central bank governor several years ago as a pro-American neo-liberal. He was bound to be Washington's favoured candidate in this year's election.

But it is mainly because of the Nato factor that the US has become much more engaged in recent weeks in denouncing the dangers of fraud, funding the exit polls which will be done on Sunday and financing the groups of activists who may take to the streets.

Ostensibly, the US says it has always merely wanted to promote democracy. But Ukraine's political observers note that US complaints fell silent after Ukraine sent troops to Iraq last year.

They also wonder how much of a democrat Yushchenko is. He publicly compared supporters of one murdered journalist. Georgy Gongadze, to fascists. Like his rival, Yanukovych, he has links to oligarchic clans

Thirteen years after the euphoria of independence, it was inevitable that Ukrainians would rethink their future. This comes as Russia, after a period of neglect in Yeltsin's second term, has revived its interest in Ukraine. It has settled Ukraine's massive energy debts and made a long-term agreement on supplying low-priced oil and gas. Russia is also starting to create a "common economic space" with Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan which could lead to a free trade area.

Nato is a different case. The alliance has become nothing more than a tool of Washington's global policy, with an expansionist agenda that still includes a strong anti-Russian component, in spite of various programmes for cooperating with Moscow.

Among the first to call for action against Mihevic, interestingly enough, were the now notorious neoconservatives, especially Richard Perle, the original "Prince off Darkness", and the current senior Pentagon figures Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. This shows that the neocons are by no means exclusively preoccupied with the Middle East and the defence of Israel.

Western rhetoric in Kosovo stipulates that certain benchmarks in the economy, minority rights and civil society must be met before there can be any discussion about sovereignty — "standards before status". But after the riots in March, the prospect of achieving anything approaching the right standards is remote. Another fiasco for Western intervention?

Serbs were subjected to an orchestrated pogrom in March this year, which destroyed years of patient ethnic bridge-building in a few days. Economically, the region is in a parlous state, corruption is rife and there is little outside investment. Criminality, local and international, is also a huge problem.

Nor has the final status of Kosovo been resolved: the Albanian population is determined on independence, the Serbs dead set against.

The 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Algerian liberation war against France falls on Monday. On November 1 1954 the the FLN (the Algerian National Liberation Front) broadcast its proclamation calling for the "restoration of the Algerian state, coordinated with a series of armed attacks on French targets. The then French minister of the interior, socialist Francois Mitterrand, responded that "the only possible negotiation is war".

Eight years of bloodshed later, the Evian agreement paved the way for Algerian independence.

Israel, sinking ever deeper in its own colonial adventure in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, could learn some vital lessons from the Algerian experience. Although there are important differences between the French-Algerian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the similarities are striking — from the scenes of paratroopers in the casbahs to the popular racist phrase "a good Arab is a dead Arab", to the promise of "a million martyrs", which all featured in both cases."

Important analogies lie beyond[.] The French settlers — the "pied-noirs" — had been in Algeria since the 19th century. France treated it as a province, rather than a colony, and the assertion that "Algiers is as much a part of France as Provence" echoes Israeli attitudes to the West Bank and Gaza, although (East Jerusalem apart) Israel never annexed the territories it occupied in 1967.

Generations of French settlers were born and bred in Algeria, and when their homes were threatened, they formed militant underground groups, exchanged fire with French soldiers and even attempted to assassinate Charles de Gaulle. But when the government decided to accept Algerian independence and evacuate the occupied land, its million settlers packed their bravado as well as their bags, and home they went.

Of course, the French settlers in Algeria did not share the deep religious bond some Israeli settlers feel for the biblical landscape of what they call "Judea and Samaria" But most Israeli settlers, who were lured to the West Bank and Gaza by government mortgages, grants and cheap housing, have no such sentiments. Underneath the rhetoric of the settlers' unelected leaders, the attachment of most settlers to their homes resembles that of the French settlers in Algeria, and a government determined to end the occupation, along with offers of proper compensation,

With the right strategy, the small messianic minority would be left isolated.

Another crucial lesson of the Algerian war is the futility of using military force to try and crush a popular uprising for national liberation. The French in Algeria, like the Israelis today, used increasingly brutal methods in their efforts to keep control: collaborators were recruited, suspects tortured, houses demolished. Just like Israel, France tried to present itself to an increasingly impatient international community as a victim of terror. When resistance grew, France also resorted to violent "crackdowns".

The French response to the FLN rebellion was based on overwhelming force and the Algerian resistance were temporarily defeated. In 1957, French general Raoul Salan also resorted to the construction a security wall on the Algerian borders with Morocco and Tunisia. But the French military victory could not be translated into political success, and just increased popular support for the FLN.

Some Israelis argue that the French used even more brutal measures in Algeria. Yet besides being illegal and immoral, these methods simply did not work. Victory in the Battle of Algiers did not make occupation any more sustainable. It did, however, scar the French collective consciousness for generations. "The moral corruption of our own society by occupation" which Israelis complain about, had far-reaching implications on French culture and society, and the debate over it is still ongoing. Algeria got its independence, as will Palestine.

Algerians, like the Palestinians today, argued that terror against civilians was their last resort. "Give us tanks and aircrafts and we'd abandon terror," said the FLN leader Ahmed Ben Bella. Terror, in both cases, was of course not used only against the other side's civilians, but also against their own, when the hunt for collaborators became the pretext for much internal violence.

The redeployment of British forces in Iraq to support a US assault on Falluja marks another stage in a creeping return to the colonial era, when popular revolts against occupation were routinely suppressed by overwhelming force. These past episodes, revealed in declassified British government files, provide numerous parallels with Iraq, and suggest a pattern of future blunders and atrocities. Those in Britain who like to regard more recent military interventions as humanitarian might dwell on those parallels as the latest phase of the Iraq war unfolds.

British ministers' claim to be defending civilisation against barbarity in Iraq finds a powerful echo in 1950s Kenya, when Britain sought to smash an uprising against colonial rule. Yet, while the British media and political class expressed horror at the tactics of the Mau Mau, the worst abuses were committed by the occupiers. The colonial police used methods like slicing off ears, flogging until death and pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight.

British forces killed around 10,000 Kenyans during the Mau Mau campaign, compared with the 600 deaths among the colonial forces and European civilians. Some British battalions kept scoreboards recording kills, and gave £5 rewards for the first sub-unit to kill an insurgent, whose hands were often chopped off to make fingerprinting easier. "Free fire zones" were set up, where any African could be shot on sight.

As opposition to British rule intensified, brutal "resettlement" operations, which led to the deaths of tens of thousands, forced around 90,000 into detention camps. In this 1950s version of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, forced labour and beatings were systematic and disease rampant. Former camp officers described "short rations, overwork, brutality and flogging" and "Japanese methods of torture".

Guerrillas resisting British rule were routinely designated "terrorists", as now in Iraq. Britain never admitted that it was opposing a popular, nationalist rebellion in Kenya.

Similarly, leftwing Malayan insurgents fighting British rule in the 1950s had strong popular support among the Chinese community but were officially called "terrorists". In secret, however, Foreign Office correspondence described the war as being fought "in defence of [the] rubber industry", then controlled by British and European companies.

But under the banner of fighting communism, British forces were given free rein in Malaya. Collective punishments were inflicted on villages for aiding insurgents. A shoot-to-kill policy was promoted, tens of thousands of people were removed into "new villages" and used as cheap labour, and British soldiers had themselves photographed holding guerrillas" decapitated heads. The idea that the revolt was ended through "winning hearts and minds" is a myth; it was crushed by overwhelming force, such as massive aerial bombing.

The brutality needed to be kept secret, a key theme in suppressing revolts. After Britain intervened to crush a rebellion in Oman in 1957, an internal Foreign Office minute stated that "we want to avoid the RAF killing Arabs if possible, especially as there will be newspaper correspondents on the spot".

The British army commander in Oman later noted that "great pains were taken throughout the Command to keep all operational actions out of the press". The reason for this was that Britain committed numerous war crimes in Oman, including the systematic bombing of civilian targets such as water supplies and farms. These attacks "would deter dissident villages from gathering their crops" and ensure "denial of water" officials stated in private.

Bombing was intended to "show the population the power of weapons at our disposal" and to convince them that "resistance will be fruitless and lead only to hardship".

Britain was defending an extremely repressive regime where smoking in public, playing football and talking to anyone for more than 15 minutes were banned. Yet Harold Macmillan told President Kennedy in a 1957 telegram that "we believe that the sultan is a true friend to the west and is doing his best for his people".

As Blair and Bush claim to support democracy in Iraq, it is as well to remember that London and Washington have almost always opposed popular, democratic forces in the Middle East, preferring strong regimes capable of bringing "order".

Britain's' stance on the US war in Vietnam offers other useful lessons. Just as Tony Blair poses as providing a brake on US tactics in Iraq, Harold Wilson claimed to do the same over Vietnam. Yet Britain secretly backed the US in every stage of military escalation.

In July 1965, when the US doubled its ground troop numbers in Vietnam, Wilson privately reassured President Johnson of his support for US policies "in the interests of peace and stability".

The Wilson-Johnson correspondence highlights a shocking level of connivance between No 10 and the White House to deceive the public. When the US first bombed Hanoi and Haiphong in June 1966, Wilson issued a statement disassociating the government from the bombing. Yet this statement had been passed to the US for approval while Wilson assured Johnson that "I cannot see that there is any change in your basic position that I could urge on you".

The myth in Iraq that Britain is not complicit in US brutalities has its precedent in Vietnam. Declassified files show that, in 1962, Britain covertly sent an SAS team to south Vietnam under "temporary civilian status", to help train soldiers of the dictatorial regime of President Diem. Britain secretly provided arms and intelligence support to the US to improve US bombing.

Moreover, brutal US "'counter-insurgency" programmes were based on prototypes developed by British advisers. Britain's "Delta Plan" for the south Vietnamese regime, described by the Foreign Office as intended "to dominate, control and win over the population" in rural areas, became the US "strategic hamlets" programme, which forced millions of Vietnamese peasants into fortified villages that resembled concentration camps.

As in Iraq, the publicly proclaimed search for peace was largely a charade. A senior Foreign Office official wrote in 1965: "The government are fighting a continuous rearguard action to preserve British diplomatic support for American policy in Vietnam. They can only get away with this by constantly emphasising that our objective, and that of the Americans, is a negotiated settlement".

These episodes highlight the gulf between what ministers have told the public and what they have understood to be the case in private. The declassified secret files point to some harsh truths about current policy in Iraq: that the war is not about what our leaders say it is (democracy), is not primarily against who they say it is (terrorists) and is not being conducted for whom they say it is (Iraqis).

Iraqis are in practice regarded as "unpeople" whose deaths matter little in the pursuit of western power; the major block on committing atrocities is the fear of being exposed and ministers will do all they can to cover them up. The public is the major threat to their strategy, which explains why they resort to public deception campaigns. If, as must be expected, atrocities now multiply in Iraq — with Britain complicit — we cannot claim we were not warned.

Mark Curtis' new book, Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses, is published next month by Vintage

Direct colonialism has already once been driven into historical DEFEAT. Now its essence, — neo—colonialism, should historically go the same way.

And on the back of this DEFEAT will at last begin to take shape the world proletarian socialist revolution.

Build Leninism. EPSR

Return to top

World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).


Anti-Irish violence is often dressed up as something less appalling.

Unionist paramilitaries had drawn an "orange line" around Protestant areas, beyond which Catholics would not be permitted.

"FOR YEARS the UDA has engaged in sectarianism and racism and now it is imposing physical apartheid," said Sinn Féin's Joe O'Donnell.

"The UDA's orange line is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate Catholics," said the Short Strand councillor. "This is Nazism at its most base."

O'Donnell, Belfast's deputy mayor, lives in the nationalist Short Strand, a Catholic enclave in a predominantly unionist area of Belfast. Two years ago, the area endured months of violent attack after it was besieged by unionist paramilitaries.

The UDA and other unionist paramilitary groups like to imagine their violence in terms of defending the Protestant community. But the question is, defending them against what? If the UDA is defending Ulster Protestants from the 'contamination' of those of a different religion or racial origin living next door, then they are nothing more than fascists and it's about time the unionist politicians, both the UUP and DUP, stopped pandering to their racist agenda.

Issuing sectarian threats might seem a strange way to mark the anniversary of the so-called loyalist ceasefire but then, as everyone knows, when it comes to threats and violence against Irish Catholics, members of the Chinese and Asian community and other ethnic groups, there has never been a loyalist ceasefire.

Issued under the auspices of the UPRG, the UDA statement said: "We have declared an Orange line around all Protestant areas, whilst we realise that one community is growing faster than the other, we cannot allow another garden, another house or another street to be attacked."

During recent years, unionist paramilitaries, particularly the UDA, have been involved in racist attacks against members of minority communities, primarily Chinese, Asian and African. In traditional unionist paramilitary style, individuals have been brutally beaten and homes have been targeted and attacked, forcing terrorised families to flee.

These attacks have been accompanied by the appearance of nazi-style graffiti, often with reference to fascist groups in England.

Any suggestion that ethnic minorities bring violence against them upon themselves would be immediately recognised as so disgusting that anyone peddling such racist nonsense would rightly attract universal condemnation. But such innuendos are routinely attached to violence against Catholics in the Six Counties, even when it is carried out by the same appalling racists that are attacking the Chinese, Asian and African communities.

It is the general practice in the North of Ireland to distinguish between racist and sectarian violence, despite the fact that to be Catholic in the North is to be identified as Irish and nationalist. When a racist bigot within the UDA targets a Catholic family, who can seriously differentiate the motivation? And yet anti-Irish Catholic violence is often dressed up as something less appalling, even at times 'understandable'.

We have only to recall the outrageous response of many state agencies, civic society and the media to unionist paramilitary violence and abuse of the children of Holy Cross. Rather than condemning outright the blockade of a Catholic primary school and the vile targeting of children, some as young as four years of age, the media and other agencies attempted to explain away the unionist violence of Glenbryn.

During the Holy Cross blockade, unionist violence was explained away in terms of social deprivation as if poverty and unemployment could justify throwing pipe bombs at little girls because they were pupils at a Catholic school. Even the head of the Human Rights Commission, Brice Dickson, characterised the outrageous scenes of grown men and women attacking children and their parents on the way to school as a question of "competing rights". It was a serious lapse of judgement that would later almost destroy the HRC.

Catholic encroachment is routinely used as a justification for unionist paramilitary violence and this is reflected in the UDA statement. "We realise that one community is growing faster then the other," says the UDA. This is an admission unionist paramilitaries rarely concede.

More often, a Catholic family moving into a predominantly Protestant area is depicted as a republican conspiracy to "drive Protestants out" rather than the result of the acute housing shortage experienced by the nationalist community. A situation itself largely engineered by unionist paramilitaries who have traditionally corralled the nationalist community into overcrowded ghettoes through the threat of sectarian intimidation.

The UDA statement's suggestion that Catholics can't be tolerated within predominantly unionist areas because they're all uncontrollable vandals is racist nonsense. "We cannot allow another garden, another house or another street to be attacked," Such a statement is the corollary of suggesting black people can't move into an area because there would be more muggings. Both are outrageous racist stereotypes.

But predictably, the local unionist politician, Nigel Dodds a senior member of the DUP, failed to condemn the UDA statement. Clearly aware of its racist and sectarian overtones, Dodds said he wanted to study the statement further before commenting. "I welcome that there are discussions going on within loyalism on the way forward," said Dodds.

This isn't the first time the UDA has attempted to draw an Orange line (after all it was the basis of partition). Ten years ago, the UDA produced a doomsday scenario that advocated the ethnic cleansing of Catholic populations as a means of securing four out of the Six Counties.

The scenario had been developed from the academic writings of a professor at Queens University, Liam Kennedy. In an essay 'Two Ulsters — a case for re-partition', Kennedy had argued that two of the Six Counties would become so overwhelmingly Catholic that they would have to be conceded to the South.'

The UDA's doomsday plan further suggested that ethnic cleansing would be accompanied by mass hostage taking in which captured Catholics in the east could be used as "bargaining chips''.

"If all Roman Catholics could be rounded up the process could be finished within one to two weeks." Mass expulsion and hostage taking was to be accompanied by "nullification", a euphemism for mass slaughter.

"Roman Catholics stranded behind loyalist lines would be either expelled, nullified or interned."

The document considered these options, declaring expulsion as "reducing the demands on food but giving enemy forces extra men". On the other hand "nullification", while "difficult", resolved food shortages without swelling the ranks of the opposition.

Clearly, fascist doctrine and ideology have been part of the UDA psyche for a very long time. In 1994, when the UDA plan appeared in the media, far from condemning it, unionist politicians welcomed the "battle plan" as "a very valuable return to reality".

"While some will no doubt denounce and ridicule their plan, nevertheless it shows that some loyalist paramilitaries are looking ahead and contemplating what needs to be done to maintain our separate Ulster identity," said DUP spokesperson Sammy Wilson. •


Return to top