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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

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No 1256 November 9th 2004

Now historically anticipate World War III. The Kerry half of the American Empire only offered an even more ruthless "international war on barbarian terrorism", but what is that but WWIII when the sole issue is Western fears over the collapse of the world economic "free market" system (i.e. Western monopoly-imperialist world domination), its hatred in the East and the entire Third World and the West's fears that 800 years of world history is about to end bloodily and nastily, — as the West's own "free press" admits in the small, less propagandist print and TV admissions of the real truth about the world, away from the warmongering bombast and armsrace industrial might and greed-arrogance.

Although a Bush defeat might have become a huge temporary propaganda embarrassment for the warmongers (history being deeply on a knife-edge about imperialist war), the EPSR has consistently explained that warmongering chauvinism and racism was ALWAYS likely to get the first chance to prove that its bullying tyranny is all that will finally "work".

"Work" to do what?? The issue is the "overproduction" crisis-collapse from too much imperialist monopoly greed and bullying, — or "too much imperialism" (see EPSR Box for original Marxist scientific understanding, — the only science of economic society and history that has ever existed and as true about the world today as ever).

Here are the latest bourgeois admissions to use but partially hide these truths behind Utopian "reformist" garbage to try to keep their 800-year class domination of the world going by hook or by crook (laughably known for 150 years as "socialist reforms", or fake-"leftism" (as Marxist science also calls it), — the world, of Trotskyite and Stalinist counter-revolutionary hostility or ignorance about the essence of Marxism-Leninist science which was to keep workers states alive as they appealed historically via the dictatorship of the proletariat after grotesque
failures/disasters/humiliations for mankind out of inter-imperialist warmongering (Franco-Prussia; WWI; WWII), — alive at all costs in order to steadily improve on a planned civilising basis, and to correct mistakes and philosophical weaknesses over time — something which never stopped in the USSR despite Stalinist stupidity ), — — and finally end PERMANENTLY the insane corrupt, culturally-degenerate and warmongeringly, genocidally murderous 800-year dictatorship by the capitalist class which has now again taken the world to its present monstrous crisis (see below for their own agreement that things are now dire on a world scale).

But the immediate first issue is this catastrophic Middle East warmongering tyranny and the military and propaganda humiliations it is leading to, — particularly for Blair and Hoon in Britain who have sworn that the Black Watch deployment in Iraq Central was a "sound, agreed, professional military deployment decision only", and nothing whatever to do with keeping imperialist warmongering re-elected in the American Empire, on which the New Labour political existence is so totally dependent.

More lies, Mr Blair??:

THE commanding officer of the Black Watch was the author of a series of e-mails, disclosed by The Daily Telegraph last week, that expressed concern over the decision to redeploy the regiment hundreds of miles north to replace US marines preparing for the assault on Fallujah.

Further details of the e-mails, from within the Black Watch, show that Lt Col James Cowan was also concerned about the effect on the soldiers' families.

The e-mails said the regiment expected "every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey". This assessment proved to be correct when three of his men and their Iraqi interpreter died in Thursday's suicide bombing.

The Ministry of Defence named the dead soldiers as Sgt Stuart Gray, 31, Pte Paul Lowe, 19, and Pte Scott McArdle, 22, all from Fife. Their bodies were flown to Basra last night en route for Scotland.

Col Cowan wrote: "I hope the Government knows what it has got itself into. I'm not sure they fully appreciate the risks.

"The marines we have taken over from have taken nine dead and 197 wounded since July. I hope we do better. "

he said the deaths were "a painful blow" for the "close-knit" regiment, most of whom fought together at the forefront of the British advance on Basra in last year's Iraq War.
" All three of these soldiers were our friends," he said.

The first hint of trouble came just after 6pm when the armed forces Minister Adam Ingram rose to deliver the news to a hushed Commons. While the Tories and Liberal Democrats  stuck to condolences, the SNP's Angus Robertson spoke of the 'profound implications for public opinion' in Scotland. Within hours, SNP leader Alex Salmond was on the airwaves accusing politicians of 'chicanery' and calling for troops to be withdrawn.

Hoon is said to have been 'spitting nails'.

The interpreter was not named in case his family becomes a terrorist target. But Col Cowan disclosed that the young Iraqi had postponed his wedding to travel with the regiment and died on the day he was to have been married.

At Camp Dogwood, the Cross of St Andrew flew at half-mast. But the Black Watch continued patrols.

"Yesterday was a terrible day

The first day of the US Marines' NAZI collective punishment of Falluja (for daring to fight the military occupation) was not much better for the Black Watch either, — another lethal suicide-bomb attack killing or incapacitating two more of their number.

Demoralisation and despair grows:

"It wouldn't bother me if they'd told us at the beginning," said Private Lynch, "but all the plans had been made to go home. All the hype on the TV about the triangle of death makes me nervous. It's much worse up there than down here. Down here we've controlled the situation. The Americans have ruined it up there."

"They're more hostile to coalition forces up there," said Private Gordon. "We've had training in different situations and environments. We'll have to look out for VBIEDS [military jargon for car bombs] and suicide bombers."

Major Charlie Mayo, a British military spokesman, has said: "We want to go up there and get on with the job in hand."

Yesterday there was little sign of a similar eagerness among the troops. The two young privates display a mixture of suspicion, resentment, and resigned apprehension, the hardest thing for the soldiers has been the abruptness of the deployment — no official promises had been made, but many were expecting to leave for home last Monday.

Private Lindsey Roger, of Dunfermline, said: "Some of the guys on the bus, their faces went a little white for a while. There was a wee bit of tension on the bus."

But now DEFEAT or HUMILIATION for imperialism is the crucial historical understanding.

The CRUCIAL new chapter in world history was created when the Franco-Prussian imperialist War ended in catastrophe in 1871 and the world's first proletarian revolution, - the Paris Commune Revolution.

The even worse catastrophe for mankind of World war I, - military disasters, ruling-class humiliations, defeats and setbacks coming on all sides, - resulting in the greatest Proletarian Revolutionary wave ever, - led by Lenin's Bolshevik Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat, - and several more revolutions or revolutionary situations all round Europe.

The most widespread revolutionary chapter of all history happened after the cataclysmic DEFEAT Of the NAZI-fascist warmongering onslaught on the world on behalf of the Western imperialist-monopoly economic system of world domination which collapsed into global Depression and slump in the 1930s, - again from "overproduction" crisis - - or "too much monopoly imperialism", -- the precursor of the current American Empire NAZI-Blairite blitzkrieg on the Third World to "stop the terrorists from hating us and hating our system," via "shock and awe" total devastation of their countries; "pre-emptive" sneak high-level bombing annihilation; neo-colonial invasions and occupation to impose a Western-monopoly-stooge "local” “democratic”, and “independent” regime on all "rogue states” or "failed states"; with an added warning to all the American Empire's smaller rival powers: "Either you are with us or against us."

The 193Os/NAZI-fascist era of totally devastating global warmongering, - launched by imperialist monopoly-economics in a murderously, degenerate and insane attempt to get out of an INSOLUBLE economic crisis of unresolvable INTERNAL contradictions , - - could not have improved on this disgusting propagandist idiocy and lies, - even under Hitler and Goebbels.

This total historical FAILURE of pre-emptive NAZI warmongering; collective punishment massacres; concentration-camp deaths and tortures; and global brain-washing campaigns etc, etc, - - finally resulted in the mighty China, Korea, IndoChina, Vietnam, Cuba, and other Third World Revolutions, - and in the monumental overthrow of Europe and America's direct or indirect colonial empires, (sadly only to be replaced by neo-colonial monopoly-imperialist economic domination and near-total local, "national-democratic" corruption—bourgeoisie.)

Neo-colonial RECONQUEST is now the aim of the bullying, warmongering, and barbaric slaughter (and genocidal in the case of the Zionist Occupation of the land of the Palestinian nation, - and in some other cases too), - - - but it can no more command colonial "ORDER" than before in history, - - and it is on the cards and historically within sight (despite the unprecedented Empire firepower and savagery) that it will be humiliated and DEFEATED again, - - and overthrown by the greatest proletarian wave EVER.

It is REVOLUTIONARY resistance that this disgusting 'Coalition (imperialist) war' is massacring so viciously now.

It is the NAZI-fascist 'coalition' which has taken almost as much DEFEAT in the last few days as the heroic Iraqis defending their homes, community, and country:

IRAQI insurgents led by Abu Musab al-Zarqavi took the war to the US-led coalition yesterday, launching a devastating series of attacks across the centre of the country, even as American forces massed for an assault on the rebel-held city of Falluja.

At least 20 US Marines were injured by a car bomb in the city of Ramadi after fierce clashes overnight. Firefights also raged along the northern outskirts of Falluja as American planes bombed targets nearby, witnesses said.

The worst of yesterday's violence was in Samarra, north of Baghdad, where 34 people, mainly from the new Iraqi security forces, died in a series of car bomb and mortar attacks on police stations and Iraqi National Guard positions.

Insurgents also attacked in Baghdad, where a suicide car bomb on the road to the airport wounded three American soldiers, and in Baquba, east of the capital, where gunmen opened fire on two trucks carrying prisoners, killing one policeman and injuring four.

'Four lions of the martyrs battalion struck at... evil in Samarra,' said the 'al-Qaeda Organisation of Holy War in Iraq'. Similar statements claimed responsibility for the other attacks.

Last week three soldiers from the Black Watch regiment, were killed.

American intelligence has warned that the militants aim to influence British public opinion by inflicting massive casualties, possibly with a series of suicide car bombs.

Intercepted communications between militant groups have revealed an increasingly sophisticated understanding of politics in Western Europe and America. US sources have told The Observer that key words such as 'Black Watch' are now featuring heavily in intercepted communications traffic between militants, indicating an intention to attack the Scottish regiment. 'Part of the reason is simply tactical.'

Black Watch soldiers conducted a series of raids against suspected terror masterminds yesterday. Troops with night vision gear aided by US air support searched several homes thought to contain local insurgent leaders and stocks of weaponry but found little

As the EPSR keeps explaining, this is no longer a 19th century world in which simpleton "fuzzy-wuzzies" could be butchered at random to create the "invincible Empire" myths of Britain, France, and elsewhere, - insane delusions still dreamed by Blair in Britain and by Bush's NAZI-fascist chauvinist "born-again Christian" primitiveness--voting-"democracy" in the American Empire:

They [the Black Watch] are across key supply lines which the anti-Iraqi forces need. But another aim is to put pressure on the British government,' one source in Washington' said. 'Militants are not stupid. They are well aware that many in the UK are against the war.'

In Falluja, residents said the overnight bombardment had reduced a small Saudi-funded hospital to rubble.

Only its façade, with a sign reading 'Nazzal Emergency Hospital', remained intact. Photographs from Reuters showed blue surreal cloths and empty medicine boxes amid the ruins. A nearby compound used by the main Falluja hospital to store medical supplies was also destroyed, witnesses said. Hospital staff said ambulances had been unable to go out as the city shook to explosions.

THE British public's opposition to the war in Iraq has risen to record levels amid signs that the continued violence could be a major factor in next year's expected general election.

The news comes as the Black Watch suffered another death last night when a roadside bomb detonated, seriously damaging a Warrior armoured vehicle. Two more soldiers were injured in the attack. Until now, the Warrior has proved to be impervious to attacks from Iraqi insurgents three Warriors have now damaged in central Iraq,

The row over the war was fuelled yesterday by Sir Stephen Wall, the Prime Minister's European chief adviser until last June. In a speech at Chatham House, he said that the Government had allowed its worries over inaction to override its judgement of "the even more dire consequences of departing from the rule of law".

Tony Blair yesterday called on the Iraqi coalition to "hold firm, be resolute and see this through" as attacks were launched against Falluja.

Baghdad: A suicide car bomber killed five policemen at a hospital where victims of two church bombings were being treated, police said.

At least three people were killed and 40 injured in two carbomb explosions outside the two churches in central Baghdad, hospital officials said. The victims were taken to Yarmoul hospital, where a suicide bomber later attacked. (Reuters)

"Our view is that if you behave like an occupying power," said one British officer yesterday, "then you'll be treated like an occupying power."

The question is whether the shadowy insurgents, used to the firm hand of the Americans, will take advantage of the subtler British approach.

The Black Watch are promised that they will be home by Christmas, but that will be believed when it happens. "Tony Blair tells lies," Private Lynch said.

From the airport at Basra, Christmas seems a very long way off.

The potential Western economic imperialist catastrophe is as equally hard to dispute as the potential military one. Here are some normally cock-a-hoop bourgeois-capitalist views:

Iraq is a mess which Mr Bush created and it is surely fitting that he should be the one forced to clean it up. The same is true of ballooning government deficits, escalating oil prices and the small but growing, threat of a crisis in the US balance of payments leading to an international run on the dollar.

Extricating American forces from Iraq will be extremely difficult for Mr Bush, especially if he tries to maintain significant control over its foreign policies and its energy resources. Restoring stability to Iraq, without handing the country over to an overtly anti-Western or theocratic regime will become even harder if Mr Bush decides to pick a fight with Iran over nuclear proliferation — or, even worse, if he backs Israel in a "pre-emptive" military attack. To control America's public finances will be equally difficult given that the President and his party are now totally committed to ever-lower taxes, ever-more aggressive military postures and ever-more generous corporate subsidies.

It is quite likely, therefore, that in the next year or two President Bush could face a military or economic crisis (or both) — and, crucially, that such a crisis would be analogous to Black Wednesday in its political effects. If Mr Bush suffered a serious military setback, either in Iraq or in a broader confrontation involving Iran, Israel and other Middle East countries (not to mention North Korea or Taiwan), the Republicans would lose their reputation as the "party of national security", just as the British Tories lost their reputation as the party of economic competence in 1992. The damage to the Republicans' national security reputation would be even greater if America were hit by a serious terrorist attack or if withdrawal from Iraq turned into a disorderly Vietnam-style humiliation.

On the economic front, the Republicans risk disgrace if they raise taxes or if, as is much more likely in my view, America suffers a financial and inflationary crisis because of its failure to bring the federal budget back under control.

But even if the Bush Administration manages to avoid any such disasters, the analogy with Britain in the early 1990s suggests that the Democrats should be grateful to stay out of the White House for the next four years. The electorate's decision to let Mr Bush dear up his own messes does not just threaten the incumbent with poetic justice; more importantly it offers a reprieve from a potential death sentence on the Democrats. If a newly-elected President Kerry were to suffer a terrorist attack or a humiliation in Iraq or some kind of fiscal crisis, the political backlash against the Democrats would be far worse than the damage faced in similar circumstances by Mr Bush.

For as hard as Mr Kerry would try to blame the Bush legacy for any such disasters, the public would see them as evidence that the Democrats as a party are weak on terrorism, prone to defeat in military confrontations and ideologically committed to higher tax. It is again worth imagining the public reaction in Britain if it had been the economic policies of Mr Kinnock, instead of Mr Major, that were blown away by the markets six months after the election of 1992.

In sum, the next four years could be a good time for the Democrats to let right-wing Republicans take their policies to their logical conclusion and beyond. Just as Mr Major took Thatcherism beyond its logical conclusions with policies such as rail privatisation and the bizarre moralising of "back to basics", the Republicans could overreach themselves not only in economics and foreign policy but also, in social and environmental matters and on the membership of the Supreme Court.

The markets were prepared yesterday to turn a blind eye — for a few hours — to economic reality, but it would be a brave punter who would bet on the Dow remaining above 10,000 by the end of the year and put serious money on the dollar avoiding a sharp fall against the euro and the yen in the coming months.

Why? Quite simply, the fundamentals of the US economy do not look good. Growth has eased back since the start of the year, not least because there is a limit to how much debt consumers are prepared to take on, even at rock bottom rates. Disposable incomes are being adversely affected by rising oil prices, the gradual tightening of monetary policy, more expensive healthcare and the absence of fresh tax cuts. The "soft patch" identified by Alan Greenspan is likely to persist for longer than anyone in the Bush administration has been prepared to admit. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2004 is likely to be especially weak.

Slower growth means the budget deficit — already running at $400bn a year — will get bigger. Bush will face a real dilemma: does he continue to face down the bond markets, gambling that fulfilling the pledge to make his first-term tax cuts permanent will keep the economy moving, or does he bow to the pressure to tackling the deficit through tighter fiscal policy, even though cutting spending or raising taxes will risk even slower growth in the short term?

Bush's other big headache is the US trade deficit, now running at more than $50bn a month. Slower domestic demand will help a bit, since it should cut down imports, but the only long-term cure is a pronounced fall in the value of the dollar. Expect the downward move in the greenback to continue over the next two or three months, particularly as the markets start to lower their forecasts for short-term interest rates in the face of sluggish growth.

Ultimately markets have no time for sentiment. Sure, Wall Street voted solidly Republican after trousering the whopping tax cuts for the rich. But its message is clear: Bush will spend much of his second term clearing up the mess from the first.

Meanwhile, “independent” petty-bourgeois commentaries on the Western war grow more and more anxious and bitter:

The commander in chief in time of war won. Guns, God and a large slice of apple pie won. Whoever thought it would be otherwise?

The result has devastated the Democrats, if only because they thought that this election was in the bag. Instead, East Coasters who swore they would emigrate if Mr Bush kept the White House had better leave. Liberals who feared a lurch to the right under a Bush Supreme Court must retreat to fortress San Francisco. Europeans who could not believe that the Americans would confirm a unilateralist warmonger in office must understand that this is just what they have done.

His bombing of Kabul failed to catch bin Laden and alienated the Middle East. His sponsorship of the neo-con expedition to Iraq led him into public mendacity and the most inept occupation of a foreign state in modern times. Mr Bush left America not just isolated but seeming arrogant and incompetent.

DEEP divisions emerged within the Iraqi leadership yesterday when President Ghazi al-Yawer criticised the looming US offensive against the militant stronghold of Fallujah.

Speaking a day after Iyad Allawi, the Prime Minister, said that time was running out for the rebel city, the Sunni Muslim head of state insisted that an assault would be counter-productive.

"The coalition's handling of this crisis is wrong. It's like someone who fired bullets at his horse's head just because a fly landed on it; the horse died and the fly went away," he told the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas newspaper, during a tour of the Gulf.

There has been some imaginative speculation that Bush might be more courageous in putting pressure on the government of Israel now that he does not face re-election.

Bush identifies with Sharon's conviction that terrorism requires a military and not a political solution, and the religious faith with which the southern born-again Christians, of which he is one, believe in the right of Israel to its biblical borders.

It is notable that all the comment this week from the Bush camp on prospects for the Middle East has built on the failing health of Yasser Arafat, as if he alone had been the obstacle to peace. But it is a delusion to imagine that a peace agreement can be established by the simple strategy of finding a more pliable successor to sign up to it.

There will be no lasting peace or viable Palestine unless Israel withdraws there is no evidence that Bush even supports dismantling the settlements, or that he could get agreement to it from the neo-conservatives in his administration, who regard Likud as the nearest thing they have to a sister party.

Now the world is fated to four more years of confrontation, which will widen rather than narrow the gulf between the west and the east.

We invaded Iraq to free Iraqis from a dictator who, by some accounts, oversaw the killing of about 300,000 of his subjects — although no one has been able to verify more than a small fraction of the figure. If it is correct, it took Saddam decades to reach such a horrific statistic. The US and UK have, it seems, reached a third of that total in just 18 months. Meanwhile, the latest scandal over missing nuclear-related high explosives in Iraq (traced and controlled under the UN inspections regime) only underscores the utter deceitfulness of the Bush-Blair argument for the war.

Of course, the US and Britain have a history of turning a blind eye to Iraqi suffering when it suits their political purposes. During the 1990s, hundreds of thousands are estimated by the UN to have died as a result of sanctions. Throughout that time, the US and the UK maintained the fiction that this was the fault of Saddam Hussein, who refused to give up his WMD. We now know that Saddam had disarmed and those deaths were the responsibility of the US and Britain, which refused to lift sanctions.

There are many culpable individuals and organisations history will hold to account for lie war—from deceitful politicians and journalists to acquiescent military professionals and silent citizens of the world's democracies.

my personal vote for one of the most culpable individuals would go to Hans Blix, who headed the UN weapons inspection team in the run-up to war. He had the power if not to prevent, at least to forestall a war with Iraq. Blix knew that Iraq was disarmed, but in his mealy-mouthed testimony to the UN security council helped provide fodder for war. His failure to stand up to the lies used by Bush and Blair to sell the Iraq war must brand him a moral and intellectual coward.

confronted by an estimate of 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians in the prosecution of an illegal and unjust war not only condemns us, but adds credibility to those who oppose us. The fact that such as Osama bin Laden can broadcast a videotape on the eve of the US presidential election in which his message is viewed by many around the world as a sober argument in support of his cause is the harshest indictment of the failure of the US and Britain to implement sound policy in the aftermath of 9/11. The death of 3,000 civilians on that horrible day represented a tragedy of huge proportions.

Our continued indifference to a war that has slaughtered so many Iraqi civilians, and will continue to kill more, is in many ways an even greater tragedy: not only in terms of scale, but also because these deaths were inflicted by our own hand in the course of an action that has no defence.

Scott Ritter was a senior UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998

Moral and intellectual cowardice, and grotesque political opportunism is par for the petty-bourgeois course:

YOU CANT get more authoritative than the Wall Street Journal, the bulletin of the world business community. But in September its authority took a terrible knock. One of its senior reporters wrote an honest account of life in Iraq.

Farnaz Fassihi is the WSJ Middle East correspondent and was reporting from Baghdad, until the end of September. She had been sending monthly emails to friends— keeping in touch, letting them know how she was doing. But one of the recipients circulated an email to others and within days it had whizzed round the world via the internet, as these things can do.

"Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest," it said.

"I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets: I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in anything but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't and can't..."

"Iraqi officials have stopped releasing civilian casualty figures", she wrote, because the "numbers are so shocking. The insurgency is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every day.

"One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if anything could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle."

There was more of this, equally pained, equally persuasive. And very embarrassing for the WSJ. Its response was to ban Farnaz Fassihi from writing about Iraq and send her on a holiday until after the US Presidential election. The email had called into question the. fairness of her journalism.

They did not discipline or sack her… Not at all. The paper expressed its confidence in her as a professional reporter whose private opinions would not be allowed to influence her journalism.

Many of the great and good of American journalism have come out with similar statements. But no commentary that I have read has appreciated the irony that a reporter has been silenced for writing the truth.

There is no danger that any of this stuff will appear in the Wall Street Journal nor any other major US medium. Phew! Crisis over.

And here are some home-grown varieties, -"New Labour", "independent", and other "worthy" varieties:

You won't I have heard of the British-American Project, but its members include some of the most powerful men and women in the UK. Officially it exists to promote the 'special relationship', but it has been described as a Trojan horse for US foreign policy. Even its supporters joke that it's funded by the CIA.

Should we be worried?

UK members of the British-American Project include:
Peter Mandelson EU trade commissioner
Jonathan Powell Tony Blair's chief of staff
Jeremy Paxman broadcast journalist and author
Mo Mowlam former Labour Northern Ireland secretary
Adair Turner head of pensions commission .
Trevor Phillips chairman of the Commission for
Racial Equality
James Naughtie broadcast journalist and author
Matthew Taylor Downing Street head of policy
Chris Smith former Labour culture secretary
Baroness Symons Foreign Office minister
Lord Robertson former Nato secretary-general
Douglas Alexander Foreign Office and trade minister
Geoff Mulgan former head of Downing Street's policy
and strategy unit
Baroness Scotland Home Office minister
Julia Hobsbawm public relations consultant
Steve Hilton Conservative special adviser
Benjamin Zephaniah poet and activist
Colonel Bob Stewart former commander of British
forces in Bosnia
David Willetts Conservative shadow work and
pensions secretary
Alan Sked founder of Ukip
Stephen Dorrell former Conservative health secretary
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown columnist and broadcaster
Charles Moore former editor of the Daily Telegraph
Nick Butler BP group vice-president strategy and
policy development
Lord Lipsey Labour peer and author

The British-American Project for the Successor Generation, to give it its full title, was founded in 1985 "to perpetuate the close relationship between the United States and Britain" in the words of BAP's slim official history, through "transatlantic friendships and professional contacts". It has a membership of "600 leaders and opinion formers", drawn equally from both countries. It holds an annual conference (the next starts this Friday in Chicago) to which journalists are not invited and at which everything said is, officially at least, not to be repeated to outsiders.

It rarely features in the mainstream media — instead, it makes tantalisingly vague and fleeting appearances in those corners of the internet where conspiracy aficionados gather. Here, BAP is portrayed as a Trojan horse for American foreign policy, recruiting Britons of liberal or left-of-centre inclinations and political talent and connections when they are young, indoctrinating them with propaganda about the virtues of American capitalism and America's role in the world, and then watching them approvingly as they steer British politics in an ever more pro-Washington direction.

According to this analysis, the project's greatest success has been New Labour. Besides the names mentioned in BAP's 1997 newsletter, the organisation numbers among its members Douglas Alexander, the precocious Foreign Office and trade minister; Baroness Scotland, the politically favoured criminal justice minister; Julia Hobsbawm, the prominent public relations executive and New Labour associate; and Adair Turner, one of the government's most senior business allies and author, of the recent official report on the future of pensions.

In the years immediately before the founding of BAP, the early 1980s heyday of Tony Benn and CND, the Labour party was sceptical about America. Now it will seemingly swallow almost anything the US does, and the idea that BAP made the difference has some authoritative backers. The leftwing journalist John Pilger, who has been uncovering American manipulation of other countries' politics for decades, has described BAP as a "casual freemasonry" and "by far the most influential transatlantic network of politicians, journalists and academics". The historian Frances Stonor Saunders, who has written extensively about the American use of earlier, similar networks to influence western opinion during the cold war, sees close parallels with BAP: "All that's changed is that BAP are much more sophisticated. In December 2001, in response to a parliamentary question from the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, Tony Blair said that the organisation "arranges meetings, including with ministers, for young leaders from the business, economic, professional, cultural, artistic, governmental, academic, scientific, medical, military and social life of the two countries".

Beyond New Labour, the BAP membership includes the Conservative election strategist Steve Hilton, the shadow work and pensions minister and Tory intellectual David Willetts, the former Conservative minister Stephen Dorrell, the founder of the UK Independence Party. Alan Sked, and Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Until now, BAP's public response to allegations of political influence has been to ignore or dismiss them. A postscript to its official history calls the idea of the project as a vehicle for the American government a "myth" and "a curious reinvention of BAP history".

But what, then, does BAP do exactly? Since 1985, it has received sponsorship from, among other companies, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Monsanto, Saatchi & Saatchi, Philip Morris, Coopers & Lybrand, American Express, Apple, British Airways, BP, Cadbury Schweppes and Camelot. Busy politicians and other public figures have crossed the Atlantic, some of them repeatedly, to attend BAP conferences, which can last for five days. One member describes proceedings as "a quasi-religious experience for some people", but what else has kept the whole enterprise going for almost 20 years? What has BAP achieved?

The author of both the project's official history and the article in its newsletter about New Labour is a British journalist called Martin Vander Weyer. He has been a BAP member since 1994, and until last year was chairman of its British operation. Meeting him, at first, is something of a disappointment. He is disarmingly jolly: amused eyes, a raspy, confiding voice, swept-back grey hair rebelling behind his ears. He is wearing an ostentatiously traditional but slightly unkempt suit of the kind favoured by middle-aged Tory journalists, and has just come back from a lunch at the Spectator, where he is an associate editor. He suggests a café, and strides off, talking freely, through the London rush hour. He does not look much like a New Labour conspirator.

Vander Weyer depicts BAP in altogether more relaxed terms. "It's both a fantastic social opportunity and an amazing professional networking opportunity." At the conferences, he says, "Everyone is on equal terms, and you take the handbrake off..."

Lord Lipsey Labour peer and author

Here, BAP is portrayed as a Trojan horse for American foreign policy, recruiting Britons of liberal or left-of-centre inclinations and political talent and connections when they are young, indoctrinating them with propaganda about the virtues of American capitalism and America's role in the world, and then watching them approvingly as they steer British politics in an ever more pro-Washington direction. According to this analysis the project's greatest success has been New Labour.

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The interesting thing about the continued 'anti-semite' insane abuse is that it makes the political challenge undermining the fake-'left' so clear (Letters, October28).

A world of six billion is in a historical systemic crisis such as a dying mode of production (via unresolvable accumulated internal contradictions - K Marx) has never before seen, and all we get is a tiny bunch of religious freemasons screaming for their own particular colonially degenerate interests, regardless of the fact that this is only helping to drive the world to World War III, and hate-filled abuse against those that point this out.

Modern science declares : "The slice of diversity linked to traditional notions "of 'race' is startlingly small. For example, population geneticists have found that there can be greater genetic similarity between an African and an Outer Hebridean than between two Africans. This counter-intuitive finding, and many more like it, renders a genetic view of race meaningless to most scientists."

And to this selfish-'racial' self-determination freemasonry fiction is now deliberately acted out the knowing insanity that random desperate 'terrorist' groups are the real threat to world civilisation on a planet where 40 million children die needlessly annually from malnutrition; and western imperialist greed, warmongering and arrogance fills the world with hatred.

And the US-'Israel' reply? 'Kill them all until people follow our orders and behave themselves' - just to get your own illegal real estate. Sick.

Royston Bull Manchester

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Republicans were up for a deal, the DUP was not

ONLY two things came out clearly from the Leeds Castle talks. Republicans were up for a deal and the DUP was not.

Sinn Féin's Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness warned against media spin that suggested that a deal was imminent and that the DUP had accepted the core principles of the Good Friday Agreement.

"The fact of the matter is that the DUP has not moved one iota from its anti-Agreement stance.: It is as intent as ever on wrecking the Agreement and the longer the two governments indulge its intransigence, the more the DUP will believe it is succeeding," says McGuinness.

Faced with this reality McGuinness argues that it's up to the two governments, "as custodians and guarantors of equal status" to implement all aspects of the Agreement that are not dependent on the participation of all parties.

McGuinness points out that since it is the case that in the terms of the Agreement neither government can force the DUP to participate, "neither should any one party by its refusal to participate be allowed to hold the whole political process to ransom".

The present situation of unilateral British direct rule is unacceptable and in itself a violation of the Agreement, says McGuinness. In the terms of the Agreement, if locally elected representatives are unable to reach accommodation, then it falls to the two governments to enter into a power sharing arrangement until the parties can resolve their differences.

"We cannot allow the negative forces of anti-Agreement parties and organisations to frustrate its potential," says McGuinness. Calling for a proactive commitment to the Agreement by the two governments, McGuinness says it is essential to confront and defeat the enemies of progress.

"Given that, with the exception of the DUP, all other political parties here accept the unstoppability of the process of change," says McGuinness. "is it not time that the two governments demonstrate the beneficial effects of power sharing, resources, facilities and expertise on an all-Ireland basis?"


McGuinness' comments come in a week in which the DUP was further demonstrating its intransigence when it comes to power sharing with northern nationalists in whatever guise. A move to introduce a power sharing mechanism within Ballymena Borough Council was rejected by the DUP.

DUP councillors voted down a motion calling for the introduction of the D'Hondt system as a means of sharing council positions and making way for the possibility for a nationalist mayor. Councils with nationalist majorities in the north have adopted D'Hondt as an equally measure to enable unionist minorities to share power and positions.

But this commitment to equality and mutual respect has not always been reciprocated in councils with unionist majorities. In Lisburn Borough Council, for example, the Ulster Unionists and DUP have used their majority status to deny elected representatives from the nationalist communities of Poleglass and Twinbrook access to council positions.

In Ballymena, the DUP not only blocked D'Hondt but declared their rejection of power sharing as a principle. In an amendment, the DUP asserted that majority rule (their rule) was best for the area and "power sharing is not the best form of government as it provides less effective weaker and demonstrably less durable administrations".

Curiously, the DUP amendment acknowledged that the "operation of a power sharing system is justified only by national emergencies and is deemed democratically acceptable only for the purpose of binding together divided communities or coming out of conflict".

For a moment, you might be tempted to think that the DUP is at last, occupying the same political planet as the rest of us but sadly this is not the case. The DUP admits in such circumstances power sharing might be a good idea but the DUP was "delighted" to announce that "Ballymena is not a divided community in conflict".


In, Belfast, the British Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, has met with unionist paramilitaries. Three of the UDA's so called six brigadiers, including Andre Shoukri from North Belfast, Jackie McDonald from South Belfast and Billy McFarlane from Derry, formed part of the Ulster Political Research Group delegation.

Unionist councillors Frank McCoubrey, Frankie Gallagher and Tommy Kirkham accompanied the paramilitaries. The meeting went ahead despite the fact that the UDA has been officially deemed in breach of its ceasefire and has carried out numerous sustained attacks against vulnerable nationalist communities and dozens of killings, both sectarian and feud-related.

The three-hour meeting was described by Paul Murphy as "very useful and constructive". Murphy said the UPRG had discussed a wide range of issues of loyalist concern and he in turn had made it clear that violence had to stop and the issue of unionist paramilitary decommissioning must be dealt with.

Commenting on the meeting, Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey welcomed dialogue but said that it had to be made clear to the UDA that its campaign against Catholics and ethnic minorities had to end, along with its drug dealing operations in working class unionist areas.

"Many people are getting tired of the constant moaning, in advance of these discussions about the supposed raw deal loyalist communities have got since the cessations. Deprivation and poverty exists but not just in the loyalist community. The reality is that these issues can only be tackled on the basis of need, not perception," said Maskey.

Working-class loyalist areas had been let down, said Maskey, but not by republicans and nationalists. They had been let down by "the woeful political leadership which has been provided by unionist parties over the years.

"They have also been let down by the UDA, who demand regeneration while at the same time continuing to peddle drugs within those very same communities.

The very obvious social and economic problems which exist within some loyalist communities will not end until these communities are given real political leadership," said Maskey.


In Dublin, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was expressing concern at continued DUP stalling but he was couching his words in the usual politicking. Ahern said he hoped no party involved in the Peace Process was delaying a settlement for tactical reasons.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Where do we go from here?

MARTIN McGUlNNESS (Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator)

FOLLOWING the Leeds Castle talks, the media were in a frenzy on the back of government briefings that a deal was imminent and it was just a matter of putting the finishing touches to the detail. We were expected to believe that the DUP had accepted the core principles and fundamentals of the Agreement and that the hold-up was down to finding mechanisms to make the workings of the institutions more accountable and transparent.

I wish it had been so simple but of course we have come to realise over the years of non-stop negotiations not to take at face value anything emanating from unnamed sources within either government. The only factual information to come out of Leeds Castle was that republicans were up for a deal.

As comments by Gregory Campbell and other DUP spokespersons will verify, the fact of the matter is that the DUP has not moved one iota from its anti-Agreement stance. It is as intent as ever on wrecking the Agreement and the longer the two governments indulge its intransigence, the more the DUP will believe it is succeeding in its attempts to, if not wreck the Agreement, then at least frustrate its implementation.

It is time, therefore, for the two governments to lay it on the line to the DUP and any other anti-Agreement elements that exist - the majority both in a Six-County and an all-Ireland context voted for the Agreement as presently constituted and in its entirety. There will be no tampering with the core principles and fundamentals of the people's Agreement.

The Agreement institutionalises power sharing between the two traditions in the North based on the political strength of the parties until such time as a majority decides on constitutional change. Neither government can force any party to enter into a power-sharing Executive against its will. But neither should any one party by its refusal to participate be allowed to hold the whole political process to ransom. Therefore, if the DUP is unwilling to enter into an Executive as prescribed in the Agreement, this should not mean that the rest of the Agreement is put into suspended animation.

The two governments, as custodians and guarantors of equal status of the Agreement, which is an International Treaty, have a responsibility to implement all aspects of that Agreement that are not dependent on the willing participation of all parties. The present situation of unilateral British Direct Rule is unacceptable and is a violation of the Agreement.

The Agreement, as I have already stated, institutionalised power sharing between the representatives of the parties that had achieved a sufficient electoral mandate. If, therefore, the locally elected representatives are unable to reach accommodation on how best to exercise power, then it falls to the two governments, as equal signatories to the Agreement lodged with the United Nations, to enter into a power sharing arrangement until the parties can resolve their differences.

The British Government must not be allowed to act unilaterally in the absence of agreement. Unilateral British Direct Rule is unacceptable to Irish republicans and nationalists and negates the guarantees in the Agreement of parity of esteem and equality.

I welcome An Taoiseach's comments in Rome this week, where he spelled out the two governments' commitment to the Agreement and their "co-partnership" of the process. The fact that An Taoiseach also ruled out the possibility of the DUP being allowed to draw talks out until after the next Westminster election is also a welcome development.

I believe now that the Irish Government has asserted itself more robustly and publicly, it will send a powerful message to the anti-Agreement forces that they will not be allowed to set the pace of progress. It will also give a welcome boost to confidence in the Irish Government's stewardship of the rights of Irish citizens here in the North.

While I commend the Irish Governments' assertion of its 'co-partnership' position under the Agreement, we in Sinn Féin will continue to represent our constituency with vigour and determination.

Dermot Ahern's logical and common sense remarks a few weeks ago resulted in a media and political backlash from predictable quarters. Establishment politicians have been queuing up ever since to assert that they will not enter a coalition government with Sinn Féin unless and until certain preconditions are met (echoes of anti-Agreement unionism). They have been encouraged to adopt this stance by the usual unrepresentative but vociferous anti-republican, pro-unionist elements in the 26-County media.

What these anti-republican commentators fail to realise is that, despite their best efforts, it is accepted by growing numbers both throughout Ireland and abroad that Sinn Féin has been the catalyst for the transformation of the political landscape in the North over the past decade.

Secondly, the party is now the undisputed and strongest political voice of northern nationalism.

And thirdly, it has been brought increasingly into focus, especially during the local and EU elections in June, that Sinn Féin represents the real alternative to the centre-right politics that has governed the 26-County state in the past.

This growth will continue through local government and Westminster elections here in the North next May and in future elections in the 26 Counties.

Establishment parties can no longer ignore the continued growth in Sinn Féin electoral strength. And that is what will instil political reality in the machinations of the party strategists as they jockey for power in Leinster House and Stormont.

Parties of every shade of political opinion work with Sinn Féin and share local power with our representatives on councils across the 32 Counties of this island every day. That same simple political logic must replace the political posturing that we see at the moment and which is having such a detrimental effect on the whole political process.

Politicians in the 26 Counties should refrain from comments that leave them hostage to fortune and in the process frustrate efforts to resolve the conflict.

Remember, it's the electorate that decides the configuration of the Dáil and the Northern Executive and if Sinn Féin is given sufficient support to influence the make-up of government, it will be Sinn Féin that will decide if we will be part of a Cabinet or Executive, not the other parties.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Former guerrilla party brings change to Uruguay's Government

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people celebrated in the streets after Tabare Vazquez was elected Uruguay's President on Monday 1 November. The election of Vazquez shows that Latin America's people are decidedly turning to the left when it comes to finding solutions to poverty and inequality. Vazquez's candidacy was supported by Venezuela's President Chavez, and many see in the new Uruguayan leader a figure similar to that of Lula, the Brazilian Workers' Party president.

Official results gave Vazquez's coalition of forces, which includes former guerrilla fighters, 50.7% of Sunday's presidential vote, just more than the 50% plus one he needed to avert a runoff. Some 30,000 ballots remained to be counted before the Court of Elections could confirm his victory, but his two main rivals have conceded and Vazquez declared victory for himself and his coalition, which took control of the two-chamber parliament.

Jose Mujica, who served seven years of solitary confinement back in the 1970s for his leadership of the Tupamaro Guerrilla Movement, has been the key in the election of Vazquez. Mujica won more votes than any other senator and his Popular Participation Movement won more votes than any other party. Nearly one in five Uruguayans voted for Mujica's party, built on the remnants of the Tupamaros. who were crushed by the dictatorship in 1973.

Vazquez's victory breaks a 179-year stranglehold the Colorado and National parties have held on the presidency since Uruguay's independence from Spain in 1825. Analysts agree that the vote amounted to a rejection of the free-market economic policies behind recent economic troubles. The current President, Jorge Batlle, had been widely criticised for pursuing closer ties with the United States in response to the economic collapse that hit neighbouring Argentina three years ago and quickly spilled over to Uruguay, nearly bringing down a financial system that had, following US advice, opened itself up to the outside world.

And while the Front has backed away from its support of an Argentine-style default on the country's foreign debt, Vazquez has said he will insist that the International Monetary Fund ease up on Uruguay.

But da Silva's example also illustrates the pitfalls of promising profound, almost immediate, change and then failing to deliver. In municipal elections on Sunday 31 October, his Workers' Party lost not only in São Paulo, Brazil's largest city and the party's birthplace, but also in Porto Alegre. a onetime stronghold where the 'Workers' Party had been in power for 16 years.


Uruguayan voters also approved a constitutional reform that defines water as a public good and guarantees civil society participation at every level of management of the country's water resources, finishing with speculative moves towards the privatisation of natural resources.

More than 60% of voters came out in favour of introducing a constitutional clause stating that "water is a natural resource essential to life" and that access to piped water and sanitation services are "fundamental human rights'. Socialist President-elect Tabare Vazquez was one of the advocates of the constitutional reform.

The referendum, unique in the world, "sets a key precedent for the protection of water worldwide, by enshrining these principles into the national constitution of one country by means of direct democracy", says a letter by the environmental group Friends of the Earth International, signed by 127
organisations from 36 different countries. The groups underline that the constitutional amendment "secures the protection and sovereignty of this natural resource against attacks from transnational corporations transcending the national limits of Uruguay and setting a strong political precedent for the whole region".

Activists say that in just a few years time, a handful of companies will control almost 75% of all water for human consumption in the world, as an increasing number of governments privatise water and sewerage services.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have actively encouraged the privatisation of water resources in the developing South, making privatisation a condition for granting loans.

Water privatisation has been loudly opposed in several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, and transnational corporations have sometimes been forced to pull out. But. Uruguay's referendum has set a historical precedent, not only in the region, but in the world. ?


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

They shoot, he scores

INTER MILAN topped their Champions League group this week with the backing of a whole new band of supporters. Mexico's indigenous Zapatista rebels.

Argentinean captain Javier Zanetti talked his club into donating player fines for late arrival to help villagers in a Zapatista stronghold in the Chiapas region of. southern Mexico rebuild after they were attacked by the Mexican Army in April.

The donations included €5.000 (£3.475), an ambulance and the captain's shirt. Zanetti wrote a note to the villagers of Caracol de Oventic. saying: 'We believe in a better world, in an unglobalised world, enriched by the cultural differences and customs of all the people. This is why we want to support you in this struggle to maintain your roots and fight for your ideals.”

The team manager. Bruno Bartolozzi. visited the village in June, bringing the donations and the blessings of the team and its oil baron owner. The donations helped the villagers to rebuild houses and water pipelines. Inter Milan has offered to supply football gear and balls for budding Zapatista footballers.

The Zapatista leader, Subcomandante Marcos, expressed his thanks in an e-mail accompanied with a photo of him wearing the Inter captains shirt. 'Brothers and sisters of the Italian team. I wish you the greatest success in your sporting campaign.”


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