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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

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No 1282 December 4th 2005

Pacifism is no answer to the relentless plunge of imperialism towards worldwide war and turmoil. The Nazification of society and the whipping up of new war fever is the prelude to yet more Iraq-style blitzings and bombings – the only way out of oncoming crisis that capitalism knows. Bourgeois “democracy” is a fraud and protest is impotent to stop catastrophic economic and political disintegration driving historically bankrupt imperialism to Third World War. Only defeat slows its destruction and only revolution to end it totally will end the warmongering.

Condoleezza Rice, US foreign secretary, sneeringly tells the “liberals and wimps” of Europe to “back off” protesting about CIA torture flights and secret prison camps - underlining the growing fascist-isation of worldwide imperialism and its dominance by the USA – and the “left” spectrum calls for what?

More protest.

It is not enough that 60 years of imperialist wars, coups, “democratic” manipulation and corruption, bombings, blitzings, assassinations and massacres have demonstrated a million times over that imperialist tyranny and exploitation will completely and cynically ignore all “protest” and “parliamentary” opposition (where the Labourites and other “lefts” are not doing the imperialist business themselves anyway eg in Sierra Leone), but the fake-”lefts” want to hobble the working class with another century of futility, powerless and pointless pacifism.

Two million people marching in the London winter cold against the Iraq war, with millions more actively supporting them, was the apotheosis of “protest” and “making our voices heard” and it achieved exactly zero impact on the plunge towards now almost continuous imperialist blitzkrieging and militarised barbarity, from Serbia to Afghanistan and Iraq.

But still the glaringly obvious – that protest gets nowhere – is ignored by the “lefts” (while the rest of the population has worked it out and no longer comes out for this kind of protest).

All that resulted was the larding of the already sickening government lies and Blairite spin used to start the wars – alleged “massacres” in Kosovo, a worldwide terrorist threat “imminently going to wipe us all out”, non-existent WMD terrifyingly due “in 45 minutes” etc. etc. – with yet more layers of diversionary Goebbels lies about “bringing freedom and prosperity etc.” to poor oppressed peoples in Baghdad and Kabul.

You could cram 100,000 “peace delegates” into the London “Stop the War” conference due on Saturday, rather than the 1,000 booked and it would still make not a blind bit of difference to arresting the Third World War disaster which the imperialist system is unstoppably careering towards.

All it would achieve would be 100 times as much of the utterly discredited gasbagging, posturing and “left” posing which makes up the full time activities of the 57 varieties of left opportunists (Labourites and “extra-parliamentaries”) anti-communist Trotskyists and confused, imbecile Stalinist-revisionists.

Even if some of the delegates are sincere and well meaning they have less chance of halting capitalism’s drive to war than a shackled Guantanamo camp inmate has of a peaceful night’s sleep and just and fair treatment the next day. War is the very basis of the system.

By all means the almost universal disgust with the growing Nazification of society, the tearing up of basic legal rights and freedoms, and the warmongering cynicism should be given a voice, be developed and discussed to understand what can be done.

But that means discussing the only way possible to end this slide into world chaos - building of a revolutionary theory and the ending of the out-of-time capitalist system.

And that means overturning imperialism completely in order to build socialism across the planet, under disciplined working class control.

But the London conference will achieve just the opposite, refusing the obvious revolutionary conclusions and diverting attention onto unachievable “stop the war” slogans.

Exactly how will such empty phrases stop anything?

The fatuous and pious aims of the conference advanced by the latest “left” gimmick, George Galloway’s Respect party racket to try breathe some life into the corpse of working class support for parliamentary politics, are to “bring the troops home and discuss the way forward for peace internationally”.

What planet do they suppose we are all living on?

Certainly not this one and its now permanent and unending war condition, which can only get festeringly worse as the oncoming capitalist slump crisis breaks out in full force.

Warmongering is the very essence of the antagonistically competitive profiteering capitalist system, inbuilt and always latent even in the most prosperous of boom times and emerging as the dominant feature when the system runs into the economic buffers and the bitter international monopoly rivalries for a share of the world exploitation cake turn vicious and increasingly destructive.

War is the only “solution” to the crisis of overproduction that the imperialist epoch of the capitalist world order has been able to come up with since its emerged in the mid-nineteenth century, when the already brutal reality of enterprise competition to extinction in periodic crashes became the outright destruction of surplus capital and rivals through war.

And three monstrously inhumane, destructive and increasingly widespread international wars have proved the point in 1870, 1914 and 1939.

And despite “mankind learning its lesson” supposedly, world war is back on the agenda (quite apart from imperialism’s endless routine bullying and blitzing such as Korea, Vietnam, the half century of genocidal oppression of the Palestinians etc.).

After the razing of so much “surplus” capacity in the first two world wars, imperialism has managed to keep its boom period going – despite endless teetering on the edge of disaster – for six decades, helped by the refinement of the bank, credit and currency systems to contain the continuous perturbations that can trigger fullscale disaster at any moment.

But stretching production capacity to such an astonishing extent, drowning the imperialist world in largely pointless and empty consumerism, on a more international scale than ever before, has only stretched the contradictions of the system to an unprecedented extent.

The entire population of the world has been dragged into the orbit of capitalist production and given the skills and know-how to carry out capitalism’s work needs, and buy its goods.

The entire population of the world therefore has been educated far enough to know that they don’t want and cannot bear to live under this repressive system any longer, kept in relative ignorance, poverty, and dumbed-down philistinism.

And, as Marxist-Leninist science discovered and proved long ago (see economic quotes) there is no avoiding the eventual collapse of the crisis into catastrophic slump turmoil. There are ultimately not enough people with enough money to buy at a profit the ever expanding output of the capitalist production system.

Almost daily signals underline the disastrous hollowing out of the world economy from near bankruptcy for giant enterprises like General Motors and Ford to collapses in retail and manufacturing (kept going anyway only by the insane and unsustainable piling high of state and private debt).

The giant might of the US ruling imperialist power has managed to push the worst effects of the developing crisis onto Asia, causing currency collapse and a decade of slump in rival Japan, South America, bankrupting several countries, Africa kept in starvation and AIDs ridden plundered despair and to some extent major european competition in Germany and France particularly.

But the onrushing disaster is getting uncontrollably larger.

The way out from a panicking ruling class perspective is war, and it is being consciously pushed forwards (by whatever gut class instinct and centuries long experience guides the semi-realism of the ruling class).

Imperialist war has been emerging sporadically with every lurch in the permanently unstable capitalist crisis from Thatcher’s almost disastrous Falklands (Malvinas islands) aggression to get out of the early 1980s slump and unpopularity (tapping into still deep-seated jingoism and little England nationalism again), to the USA’s (and UK’s) first Iraq war, and the blitzings and bombings of Libya, Somalia and Sudan etc. on the way.

And now the world is getting used to continuous warmongering, beginning with the disgusting 19 nation NATO bullying of little Serbia for its presumption in ever having been communist (and to resolve the proxy inter-imperialist conflicts being expressed in the endless foul intriguing over fragmenting Yugoslavia from 1990 onwards) to the entirely specious destruction of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan under B52 carpet bombing and the ongoing brutalities of the Iraqi occupation.

The specious excuses and Goebbels justifications for these particular targets are nothing but the same kind of lies always used by imperialism for its colonialist and neo-colonialist rampaging and plundering across the planet, an endless series of over 400 wars, interventions, CIA plots and coups since the second world war to install and maintain stooge regimes to keep the world under its control and the fat sweet life continuing for the most powerful and privileged ruling class the world has ever known.

But this is far more than that, not just a “war for oil” as the limited and half-blind inadequacies of addle-brained revisionism put it.

Warmongering is now the total strategy of a capitalist system that is hitting the historical buffers; no longer capable of taking humanity anywhere and smothering its development with grasping ownership laws. hijacking and stifling of creativity under “intellectual property laws”, poverty, death squad repression and the insane reversal of rationality under a tide of fundamentalist religious mumbo-jumbo.

The “shock and awe” aim is to intimidate and head off all resistance from upstart nationalist anti-imperialist rebellion to major imperialist rivals who cannot but be driven to get out from under as the economic trade war conditions squeeze ever harder (as Germany and France are experiencing with rising unemployment etc. and murmurings of rebellion, erupting in the suburbs etc.)

Iraq and Afghanistan were almost randomly chosen as examples, though conveniently demonisable because of past monsters like Saddam Hussein (created by imperialism for brutal anti-communist suppression).

Half a dozen other “rogue states” are being lined up for the next phases already.

And there was the useful side effect of bringing into line a stooges “gone bad” like Saddam and the Taliban, each driven by the steadily rising ferment of hatred for the capitalist west world wide into doing a bit more than just bragging about their anti-imperialist credentials.

The main message however is to the whole world. The old game of lubricating a hundred corrupt and oppressive regimes with dollar handouts and the racket of “democracy” is no longer working well.

So it is a taste of the B52s if you should coming knocking on our door for the value that we have been sucking in, by ever growing out-of-control imports and deficit creation.

The American ruling class (with the senile British establishment clinging to its trouser leg) hopes to survive by simply plundering the rest of the world, leaving a trail of ultimately valueless paper dollar IOUs, and daring anyone to come collect.

It is the destruction of all the rules and social contracts that capitalism professes to live by (even if much of its reality is cheating and fraud, especially on the working class), a major symptom of the historic bankruptcy of capitalism and class rule.

But so too is the disastrous failure of even these early stages of the neo-con warmongering strategy.

But if there a hiatus in the warmongering it has little to do initially with marches and protests.

It has everything to do with the shattering defeats on the ground for the neo-colonial occupations, part of the general rising tide of militancy and ferment of anti-imperialist hatred throughout the billions of exploited in the Third World.

Despite the most ruthless onslaught on civilians and insurgents alike they have not been overawed by the devastating power and lightning dominance of the imperialist forces.

Just the opposite. The occupation has bred increasing hatred and resistance as incident after incident continues to show. Here is yet more from the capitalist press:

Masked insurgents took over much of the centre of the restive city of Ramadi yesterday and attacked a US base and government offices in an apparent show of force hours after George Bush’s victory in Iraq speech on Wednesday night.

Residents and police said that shortly after dawn about 100 heavily armed men entered the city’s streets, 68 miles west of Baghdad. “They stayed there for a few hours, launching mortar rounds before dispersing,” said Captain Hassan al-Dulaimi of the Ramadi police.

He said the men distributed leaflets saying that al-Qaida in Iraq, the group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was in charge. Television footage showed the insurgents walking down a deserted street and in a residential neighbourhood as well as firing mortars.

Ramadi is the capital of the predominantly Sunni Arab Anbar province and regarded as a magnet for militants.

In Wednesday night’s much-flagged speech at the US Naval Academy, Mr Bush said the US was making headway against the insurgency, which has accounted for more than 200, mostly civilian, Iraqi lives in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile at a briefing in Baghdad the US military said there had been a decline in suicide bombings in November to 23, the lowest figure in seven months. US and Iraqi forces had also discovered 301 weapons caches, the biggest number in a single month this year.

This week 2,000 US and Iraqi troops launched a joint operation in western Iraq to try to prevent further attacks during the run-up to elections on December 15. But residents and Iraqi officials have complained that despite the repeated sweeps, insurgents operate relatively freely. An official in the Iraqi defence ministry, who asked not to be named, said: “In Ramadi, as in other towns in the Sunni triangle, it is the same story of cat and mouse. The US and Iraqi soldiers go in, and the insurgents slink away. Then they [US] withdraw, claiming victory, and the insurgents move back in.” Khalil Jihad, an Iraqi journalist who visited Ramadi last week, said yesterday: “The people there know who is in charge, and I mean the mujahideen, not the coalition.”

Insurgents in Iraq have inflicted their deadliest improvised bomb attack on American troops in months, detonating a roadside device near Falluja that killed 10 marines, the US military said yesterday.

The blast, which struck a foot patrol outside the city on Thursday, was one of the worst single incidents to hit US marines since the war began.

Another 11 marines were wounded by the device, which was fashioned from four large artillery shells and went off in the courtyard of a factory south-west of Falluja, about 32 miles west of Baghdad.

Separately the US announced that three soldiers were killed in a traffic accident yesterday. Another soldier died in a rocket attack near Ramadi, west of Falluja, on Thursday, and four other servicemen died on Wednesday, three from hostile action, the military said.

The losses came in the wake of a speech by George Bush, setting out how he intended to defeat the insurgency. But despite his claims of “significant progress” in securing Iraq, the insurgency shows little sign of running out of steam.

US commanders in Iraq said roadside devices, which vary greatly in sophistication, have been the most common cause of US military casualties. Military sources in Baghdad said the blast hit the marines as they were conducting a routine patrol as part of a broader counter-terrorism operation initiative in the area in advance of national elections on December 15.

Falluja, a majority Sunni Arab city, was a hotbed of insurgent activity until smashed by a major US assault in November 2004. The attack on Falluja succeeded in reducing the number of insurgent attacks in the area - many of the militants simply moved west to towns along the Euphrates - but it also caused an unknown number of civilian casualties...

America has been busy fighting the propaganda war in Iraq too, paying to plant favourable stories with Iraqi journalists and newspapers, and yesterday military top brass were called to the Senate to account for the practice.

“A free and independent press is critical to the functioning of a democracy, and I am concerned about any actions which may erode the independence of the Iraqi media,” said John Warner, the Republican chairman of the senate armed services committee.

It is four years since the fall of the Taleban regime. The United States has spent billions of dollars on its operations in Afghanistan – but what does it have to show for it?

With no end in sight to the insurgency led by remnants of that regime and insecurity still holding back development in large parts of the country, it is a question that many more people are asking....

As the year nears an end, bombings and shootings continue almost daily in the south and east.

Such incidents have claimed at least 1,400 lives in the past year - the highest toll since 2001.

A rise in suicide attacks, for which Afghan officials believe al-Qaeda is partly responsible, is causing particular concern.

Since the spring, evidence has been mounting of a renewed drive by Osama Bin Laden’s network to revive its influence here - particularly in eastern Afghanistan.

But it is only when the violence reaches Kabul - such as two recent suicide bombings - that the situation gets any significant attention from outside.

The official US view is that things are on track. “Security is getting better every day,” is a line that frequently emerges from the “talking points” American spokesmen use in their briefings.

Last week, the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was holding Afghanistan up as a model for Iraq, in terms of its progress.

“Iraq is several years behind”, he said. But people on the ground here - in official Afghan circles, as well as in the myriad different international bodies involved in the rebuilding effort - are far less confident about Afghanistan’s “model potential”.

The BBC spoke to a number of Afghan police and security officials around the country and in Kabul, as well as to international workers in different fields.

“We are very worried now,” said one senior police officer in eastern Afghanistan.

“The Taleban and al-Qaeda tactics are getting more threatening.”

An Afghan ministry of interior official said: “It does not help that the police and Afghan military institutions are still weak. Police salaries are still very low.”

One senior UN official said: “We never imagined we would still be talking about a Taleban insurgency four years on.

“We have got to admit the current approach is not working.”

Unlike many other places, he said, NGOs here were often specifically targeted.

So far this year, 30 people involved in aid projects - either as direct employees or as contractors - have died in violence, according to Anso figures.

That compares to 24 last year.

And these statistics do not include people involved in road building projects.

...What is more, the security measures many organisations put in place to protect staff make it ever harder for them to actually do their work.

“Security is a constant work in progress,” said Lt Col Jerry O’Hara, chief spokesman at Bagram, the US military’s main base north of Kabul, when asked to comment on these concerns.

He rejected claims that things were getting worse, but said “the long term solution for security in Afghanistan is Afghan security forces.

“Day by day, Afghan security forces are going to have to take a greater and greater role.”

The question is when that point will come. More than 30,000 troops for a new Afghan national army have been trained by the US, French and British, and many have been operating with the US forces for some time.

But it is a long way from being a force that can operate independently. The Pentagon has aired plans to start withdrawing up to 4,000 US troops next year.

It may not be able to do so if things continue this way.

Four years after the US military arrived here, doubts are growing about its ability to defeat the insurgency.

The fundamentalist puritanism which still informs and galvanises much of this anti-imperialist hostility is another matter entirely to the stultifying anti-science backwardness of the neo-con Nazism being fed by and fostering capitalist reaction – precisely because it is anti-imperialist, and often consciously and rationally so, tapping into and inspiring millions and millions of downtrodden throughout the exploited areas of the planet.

As the masses develop ever greater confidence and anger the movements which currently generate the anarchic attacks so sneeringly dismissed by imperialism as “terrorism” (from the dogged Palestinian intifada to general Middle Eastern insurgency and other struggles like Colombia, Nepal, Mexico and more) will increasingly be displaced by more coherent leadership.

As a past Review (No1251) put it: “it is only a matter of time before, just as in the 19th century, anarchic terrorism gives way to purposeful, unbeatable, organised communist revolution movements.”

But it would happen a lot quicker if the masses did not have to overcome the devastating legacy of self-righteous anti-communism fed throughout the planet by the Trotskyists and the deluded idiocies of the Stalinist retreat from revolutionary perspectives which have created such widespread disillusionment with communism and the turn to religion and other unscientific notions in the vacuum.

The treacherous continuation of the pacifist nonsense in London needs challenging too as part of this continuing philosophical disaster, helping imperialism’s endless anti-communist brainwashing poured out non-stop by the intelligence agencies into the compliant capitalist press.

But no ruling class has ever willingly left the stage of history and until there is a powerful Leninist communist movement in the world, imperialism will continue its headlong path towards more and more warmongering, as the incredible in-your-face brass-necked lying over “achievements restoring peace in Afghanistan” indicate, and Condoleezza Rice’s aggressive put downs over torture and war plans also show, and Bush’s on-its-head boasting about “we stay in Iraq until victory”.

A steady stream of CIA inspired brainwashing evil dictatorship and plotters stories continue to keep the pot boiling underneath the likes of North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe, Syria and even tentatively Saudi Arabia (if the Americans think they can get enough oil elsewhere, from Siberia and so on – to wean them off dependency on the world’s biggest reserves, they would love to “punish” the embryonic revolutionary spirit – already expressed in the weird form of al-Qaida – which threatens soon to topple the tribal/feudal remnants which stooge police the place for imperialist interests.)

The Middle East resistance pressure has begun to expose some of the bullshit however:

Faced with suicide bombings, claims of Iraqi death squads, and kidnappings, the Pentagon has come up with an innovative solution to solving the problems in Iraq: buying good news. Using defence contractors or intermediaries posing as freelance reporters, the military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by a military propaganda unit lauding the US mission.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the articles are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers where they are often presented as unbiased accounts by independent journalists. Records obtained by the newspaper indicate the US has paid to publish dozens of articles since the operation began this year, with headlines such as “Iraqis insist on living despite terrorism” and “more money goes to Iraq’s development”.

One military official told the LA Times the military has also bought an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio station, both used to channel pro-American messages. The propaganda offensive is said to have caused unease among some senior military officials at the Pentagon and in Iraq, especially when the US is promising to promote democratic principles.

At a press conference on Tuesday defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the number of “free” media organisations in Iraq was one of its great success stories, offering a “relief valve” for the Iraqi public to debate the issues of the day.

A senior Pentagon official told the LA Times: “Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq. Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we’re breaking all the first principles of democracy when we’re doing it.”

At the heart of the operation is a contract the Pentagon has with a small Washington based firm, Lincoln Group, whose Iraqi staff help translate and place the stories, posing as freelance reporters or advertising executives.

...The editor of Al Mada, widely considered the most thoughtful and professional of Iraqi newspapers, said if his cash-strapped paper had known the story was from the US government he would have “charged much, much more”

But such lies are one of the main strings in the imperialist bow for manipulating and dominating the planet pouring out in an endless torrent, most of all against the Soviet Union in the past and all the communist and anti-imperialist struggles.

Other recent historic revelations, forced out by the anti-imperialist atmosphere, expose its cynicism further:

British diplomats in Jakarta and the Foreign Office lied about their knowledge of Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of East Timor and worked with the US and Australia to cover up details of atrocities committed by Jakarta’s troops during the attack, declassified documents have revealed.

The DUPlicity led relatives of two British journalists killed by Indonesian troops in East Timor in the run-up to the invasion yesterday to intensify their demands for a judicial inquiry into their deaths. British officials knew well in advance that Jakarta was almost certain to attack the former Portuguese colony, and determined that it would be in London’s best interests to let it proceed, the documents indicate. They also detail how the British embassy in Jakarta and the Foreign Office lied about their knowledge of atrocities, particularly the killing of three Australian and two British newsmen in a house in the town of Balibo shortly before the main invasion.

The documents include a top secret telegram from the embassy in October 1975, two months before the attack, assessing that an invasion was inevitable. It continues by saying: “The American ambassador said ... Timor was high on [secretary of state Henry] Kissinger’s list of places where the US do not want to comment or get involved. I am sure we should continue to follow the American model.”

On December 24 1975, the ambassador in Jakarta, John Ford, said in a secret telegram that invading forces had gone “on a rampage of looting and killing”. He added: “If asked to comment on any stories of atrocities, I suggest we say that we have no information.”

Relatives of the British journalists, Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters, were told they were killed in crossfire.

In a telegram to London, Mr Ford said: “We have suggested to the Australians that, since we, in fact, know what happened to the newsmen it is pointless to go on demanding information from the Indonesians which they cannot, or are unwilling to provide.

“Their embassy are inclined to agree but are apparently under pressure from Canberra not to let the Indonesians get away with their bland denials.”

Maureen Tolfree, Mr Peters’s sister, told the Guardian there is now “no reason not to have a judicial inquiry”. “The Australians and British should apologise for the stress they’ve caused and the lies they’ve told,” she said. “But they still won’t have a full judicial inquiry, because too many people would be embarrassed.”

It is not just journalists of course though in the light of the nearly 100 killed in Iraq and the bombing of Al-Jazeera TV this has special pertinence – but the around one million communists and sympathisers cold-bloodedly massacred by General Suharto in 1965 in Indonesia, fed by the CIA names list and equally “blind-eyed” by the British (with a Labour Government at the time).

Currently Iran is one of the main targets for “evil empire” pre-warmongering lies – again about WMD, – this time nuclear. The “nuclear threat” is a preposterous nonsense, but anyway is nobody else’s business but its own if it wishes to have the weapons to defend itself, as are its civilian nuclear power plans. Why should it not develop technology like any other country?

The lie is thrown into stark relief by the utterly different British imperialist attitudes when the vicious anti-communist Shah was on the throne, before 1979, as revealed by reformist left Labourite Tony Benn:

Given that the prime minister himself is determined to upgrade Trident and appears to be committed to a new series of nuclear power stations, his position as the defender of the non-proliferation treaty is not very credible, and if we are to understand the depth of western hypocrisy on this question we should look back at the history, which has been conveniently forgotten.

Thirty years ago, on January 7 1976, as secretary of state for energy I went for a long discussion with the Shah in his palace in Tehran, and much of the time was spent discussing the plans he had to develop a major nuclear-power programme in Iran.

I had been well briefed on his proposals by Dr Akbar Etemad of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, who had told me that he intended to build a 24 megawatt capacity by 1994, which was bigger than the programme Britain itself had at that time, and he expressed an interest in the centrifuges that are essential for reprocessing, while assuring me that he was anxious to avoid nuclear proliferation. My diary covering my talk to the Shah about the sources of his nuclear technology reveals that he told me that he was “getting it from the French and the Germans and might even get it from the Soviets - and why not?”

It was only a year later that Dr Walter Marshall of the Atomic Energy Authority, my own adviser, announced that he was also the Shah’s adviser on nuclear policy, and had prepared a scheme under which the Shah would order the Westinghouse pressurised-water reactor (PWR) if Britain would do the same, and that Iran was prepared to put up the money - a plan that I was determined to fight. It was actually being suggested as part of this deal that Iran would become a 50% owner of our nuclear industry for the purpose of building the PWRs.

Marshall had, without any authority from me, apparently suggested that Britain abandon our advanced gas cooled reactors and order up to 20 PWRs, and I formed the impression that he took the view, as many in the nuclear industry did, that proliferation was inevitable and there was not much you could do about it. Indeed he almost said as much.

For all these reasons I was totally opposed to this whole idea, and what was most worrying to me was the virtual certainty that it would lead to nuclear proliferation and the development of atomic weapons by Iran. It was never approved. Sir Jack Rampton, my permanent secretary, who seemed to be as keen as Marshall on the adoption of the PWR, and who was directly consulted by the prime minister, was clearly pressing this approach, and Jim Callaghan himself wanted me to go along with it.

At a cabinet committee meeting held on May 4 1977, Jim, while expressing his concern about nuclear proliferation, argued that we should not reject the Iranian approach since he thought that either the Germans or the French would take it up.

Most astonishing of all, in the light of the present discussions, is that the problem of Iran developing such a huge nuclear capacity caused no problems for the Americans because, at that time, the Shah was seen as a strong ally, and had indeed been put on the throne with American help.

There could hardly be a clearer example of double standards than this, and it fits in with the arming of Saddam to attack Iran after the Shah had been toppled, and the complete silence over Israel’s huge nuclear armoury, which is itself a breach of the non-proliferation treaty.

..Now there is a proposal to report Iran to the UN and ElBaradei could find himself in the same position as was Hans Blix, the Iraq arms inspector who was used by Washington for its own purposes, with the US seeking a UN resolution to condemn Iran and then, if that fails, acting unilaterally using force, as in Iraq.

Tony Benn was the secretary of state for energy from 1975-79

Benn’s pious non-proliferation pacifism plays into the hands of the imperialist arrogance expressed in telling the rest of the world what to do, strutting around threatening all and sundry with their own WMD.

And even more it sustains the anti-communist hostility to revolutionary theory which has kept the working class hamstrung behind the “crumbs-from-the-table” politics of trade unionism and old Labourism – happily running imperialist policies each time in power and leading directly to New Labourism’s willing stoogery for the now pending disasters.

The revisionist opportunists have equally sustained this multi-layered fake-”left” – most recently eg supporting the charlatan Scargill long after his new “left” SLP breakaway party was revealed to be nothing but more of the old trade union reactionary class collaboration game.

Revolutionary understanding is needed instead – the only answer to degenerate imperialism.

Don Hoskins

World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

North raids - staged managed arrests

Imperialism’s “throw-mud-and-some-will-stick” smear technique continues against Irish republicans. One year on no evidence at all has been shown of ira bank robbery involvement but raids and accusations continue, gleefully reported unchallenged by the capitalist press

a series of raids and arrests in Tyrone, Down, Belfast and Derry [is] being linked to last year’s £26.5 million Northern Bank robbery.

The robbery has been repeatedly attributed to republicans by the PSNI and media despite the fact that to date no evidence supporting this assertion has emerged.

“The PSNI operation against republicans is being driven by the political agenda of securocrats within the PSNI,” said Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew...MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone

The PSNI operation, which saw five arrests within 36 hours, and a further three arrests, began last Tuesday.

Gildernew was speaking after one of those arrested was released without charge. Media tip offs accompanied the arrest of Brian Arthurs, a well-known Tyrone republican.

The PSNI arrived at the Dungannon home of Brian Arthurs on Wednesday morning 2 November. Over five hours the PSNI removed 39 bags of personal property including children’s course work and a child’s birthday money. Arthurs was arrested and held for two days before being released.

Paula Arthurs woke to the screams of her youngest child as a PSNI raiding party punched and kicked their way into her home. “It was before seven in the morning. I awoke to the noise of banging and shouting. They were screaming, ‘PSNI, PSNI, open the door, open the door’. They were kicking the front door and shouting very loudly,” says Paula.

“My youngest child sleeps in a bedroom downstairs at the front and the PSNI were banging on his window with their fists. Declan is only eight-years-old and by the time I got to him he was hysterical with the shock and fear of it all.

“I opened the door and a number of PSNI officers pushed past me, ran upstairs and handcuffed by husband. Brian was immediately dragged from the house,” says Paula.

“I was alone with the children, my two teenage daughters and son Declan. When my brother arrived at the house, the PSNI refused him entry, they physically threw him across the garden and then locked us in. I was effectively under house arrest,” says Paula.

“I am really angry that because of the political agenda of some people, those who are, determined to thwart political progress, those who don’t want real change, and because of that my children have been subjected to this ordeal....

Commenting on the media’s role, Brian Arthurs said the PSNI had only been at his home a short time before the television cameras arrived. “They must have been tipped off, how else could they have arrived so fast. I was set up through the media and my arrest was stage managed so it could appear on television throughout the country,” he said.

Brian said his arrest had followed prolonged media campaign against him. “I’ve suspected for a while that with stories like this appearing in ... newspapers I was being set up for something,” said Arthurs.

The PSNI informed Arthurs’ solicitor that his client was being held on the word of an unnamed intelligence source. “The PSNI do not have a scrap of evidence linking me to the robbery. They know I had nothing to do with it.

Politicians talk about a new beginning to policing. There is no new beginning,” he said.

A formal complaint has been lodged with the Police Ombudsman’s office. “The PSNI subjected my family and myself to verbal and physical harassment. My teenage daughters had their A level and gcse “course work confiscated,” said Arthurs.

“A PSNI detective threatened my eight-year-old son with being shot dead like his uncle. Declan was told to “get in the fucking house or we’ll shoot you like your uncle”. Brian Arthurs’ brother Declan was shot dead by the sas in Loughgall in 1987.

On Tuesday the quiet village of Kilcoo, County Down had been the focus of the PSNI operation. Two young men were arrested during raids on their families’ homes. Twenty-two-year-old Peter Morgan was later released without charge. Accusing the PSNI of heavy handedness, Morgan said he had been “terrified by the aggressive manner of the PSNI”.

“There is not one bit of evidence against me and there was no evidence produced during my arrest and detention,” he said.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Dominic McEvoy, also from Kilcoo, denied all charges against. According to the PSNI, McEvoy’s dna has been identified amongst a number of dna samples of unidentified people connected to a hat discovered somewhere outside Loughinisland and allegedly linked to the robbery.

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has described the PSNI case against a Coalisland man as “paper thin”.

“I have learned this evening that the PSNI plan to charge a constituent of mine with failing to inform them that he sold a van similar to the one the PSNI believe may have been used in the robbery. This kind of ridiculous, phoney charge will fool nobody,” said McGuinness.

Forty-three-year-old Martin McAliskey has denied attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the purchase and sale of a white van. He has been released on bail.

“As in the past, I am quite sure that this and other cases will collapse but not of course in the blaze of publicity generated by the PSNI in recent days,” said McGuinness.

“The PSNI, realising the widespread anger caused within the nationalist community, appear to be trying to justify their operation with what can only be described as paper-thin cases,” he said.

According to the media a third man from Kilcoo has been arrested, a 40-year-old Belfast man and another man from Derry are also being held.

The PSNI operation directed against members of the nationalist community in various parts of the North over the past week and the media manipulation that accompanied it, is driven by a clear political agenda.

High-profile raids .. were co-ordinated to ensure maximum media exposure.

The raids are being publicly linked to the Northern Bank robbery last December. This is repeatedly attributed to republicans by the PSNI and media. But to date no evidence supporting this has emerged. In fact the only banknotes to have been recovered from the robbery were found at a PSNI Social club.

Media briefings and the profiling of individuals underlines the political agenda. Republicans have seen all of this many times over the past three decades. As recently as last month. County Louth farmer Tom Murphy was the target of a similarly co-ordinated smear exercise with journalists swallowing a tissue of lies concocted by securocrats intent on tactics they have become addicted to over 30 years of conflict.

...the harsh reality [is] for those on the receiving end of securocrat machinations. Homes of innocent people have been violated in the most aggressive and sectarian manner and children have been traumatised by the heavy handed nature of the raids. Of course this reality was not emblazoned across newspapers or TV.

Several of those arrested in the recent raids have been released without charge. Some of the charges are patently ludicrous. It is inevitable that cases which result will collapse, but not of course in the blaze of publicity generated by the raids themselves.

This has been yet another political stunt by securocrats who oppose the Peace Process. They are not those of an accountable and acceptable policing service.

Partisan, political policing must be replaced by an accountable service as called for by the Patten Report.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Awareness grows of the fascist nature of imperialism - but “left” books still fail to draw out fully that “fascism” is inherent to imperialism and surfacing because of its rapidly deepening plunge into warmongering as the “solution” to intractable crisis problems. [Sinn Fein reviews]

Slipping quietly into fascism — Fooled Again. By Mark Crispin Miller Published by Basic Books

Fooled Again shatters mainstream media silence surrounding the myriad irregularities in George Bush’s ‘victory’ over John Kerry in the 2004 US Presidential election. The most glaring suspicion that the result was fraudulent arose around massive discrepancies between exit polls and the result in several states. Exit polls have been accurate at every election in living memory in the US except in 2000, which we have since discovered would have been won by Al Gore if the Supreme Court had not stopped the count and handed Dubya, the Presidency.

The exit polls in 2004 were dramatically at odds with the result, and every single discrepancy favoured Bush. In March 2005, a study came out from US Count Votes, computing that the odds against such an enormous error in the exit polls were 959,000 to one. In other words, the chances that the 2004 election was not rigged are nearly a million to one. There are other tell-tale signs: the votes for Democratic candidates for posts other than President, often dramatically exceeded the votes cast for President, often dramatically exceeded the votes cast for Kerry.

All of this is news to many people because it has hardly been reported in the mainstream media. cnn were even obliging enough to ‘adjust’, their exit polls after the results were known to make them match up with the outcome, swiftly followed by the rest of what Miller ironically refers to as the ‘liberal media’...

Instead of reporting the facts, Miller asserts, the media dismissed concerns as rumour and conspiracy theory, and ignored the overwhelming evidence which emerged, particularly in Ohio, where the State Senate investigated the matter.

Miller documents dozens of staggering assaults on democracy, from the co-ordinated disenfranchisement of overseas US voters (who favoured Kerry by a large margin), to suppression of the Black vote. Ohio is the basis for many of the problems Miller documents, simply because it is the only state to have investigated the matter.

Nonetheless, the evidence is stark: in Perry County, for example, the number of Bush voters miraculously exceeded the number of registered voters, leading to an exceptional turnout of 124%.

In Warren County, a Republican stronghold, officials expelled the press and ‘locked down’, the facility to count the votes in private. As the night wore on, the numbers for Bush increased in this county. A manual recount has not been permitted.

Miller’s concern is that the theological right will go to any lengths to win and retain power, since they see their political opponents, literally, as ‘agents of Satan’. He warns that this could happen again, and does not trust the Democrats to stand up against it.

Miller’s case is compelling. It is particularly disturbing to consider how conditioned the public is. If it isn’t reported in ‘respectable’ media organs, it isn’t news. America is slipping quietly into fascism.

Neo-cons, the Bush dynasty and the Nazi connection

Devastating Society: The Neo-Conservative Assault on Democracy and Justice Published by Pluto Press (2005) Sterling £17.99

It can sound like high-flown rhetoric to describe the current Bush regime as a coup d’etat, fascist even. But when you consider the counts of war of aggression, mass murder, snubbing of the Geneva Convention, the use of torture, secret prisons and the use of chemical weapons, the reality is soberingly close to the rhetoric.

Also consider this: Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a key mover and fixer who gladly arranged American investment in the growing Nazi war machine of 1930s Germany. It was lucrative business for many in New York banking circles. US corporations linked up with German business to reap huge profits from the suppression of trade unions and use of cheap labour camps.

This liaison continued even into the Second World War and when the Third Reich was finally facing defeat, it is alleged that Prescott Bush was a key figure in spiriting Nazi loot out of Germany. The money he made would later serve to set up his son and grandson in the oil business. This is just one of the many claims into the neo-con takeover of American politics given in Devastating Society.

The book is a collection of 12 critical essays, mainly by US-based thinkers and writers, showing how the American body politic has been infected by a virulent right-wing, authoritarian regime.

US society, like the world at large, is being sacrificed to serve the elite interests of financial institutions and corporations. Just like Prescott Bush, the operating principle is elite self-interest. Although the truth is veiled with the lofty language of “spreading democracy” and the folksy, mangled speech of frontman George W.

However, the neo-cons are not simply an aberration in US foreign policy. Since World War Two, this book lists nearly 70 serious interventions by US forces against other countries — an average of one per year over six decades. Neo-cons are but the latest, concentrated, assault on democracy, at home and abroad.

One essay gives disturbing evidence that the Bush administration turned a blind eye to the threat of 9/11 and deliberately failed to take evasive action. More than 3,000 dead and that horror would provide political cover to implement the neo-con plan to corner the globe’s oil reserves.

International aggression, bombing of civilians, mass detentions, human and civil rights violations, are all driven with a massive propaganda machine. A fraction of the public money wasted on this crass system would easily transform the world for the better. This book is an important contribution to undoing the brainwashing.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


Discriminatory sanctions lifted – PUP funding exposes IMC

Republicans greeted the latest report of the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) with the same response it gave to the previous six.

The IMC is a tool of British Intelligence agencies and was established outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Composed of biased securocrats and unionists, its reports to date have been politically motivated, inaccurate, untrue, and aimed at vilifying Sinn Fein.

The last report resulted in financial sanctions against the party. On the foot of the latest report, these have now been removed. Republicans are not thankful believing they should never have been imposed. Alex Maskey mla said the sanctions were ‘’designed to prevent the further development of the party and electoral advances”. He went on to say Sinn Fein would continue to oppose IMC and British attempts to exclude democratically-elected Irish representatives.

The latest report however removes the last excuse the DUP, which has used the reports to its advantage in the past, had for not engaging in the Peace process and working with Sinn Fein Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday 19th October Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy, said the ira had fulfilled all the commitments made in the historic statement of 28 July. “They have addressed unionist concerns and removed any further excuse for non-engagement.

“The DUP must now decide if they want to come on board the Peace Process and the two governments must urgently address the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement including the early restoration of the political institutions,” he added.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey has accused the British Government of “breathtaking double standards” following the revelation that the British Government has imposed financial sanctions against Sinn Fein while providing ongoing funding for the UVF-associated PUP. The British Government does not recognise the alleged UVF ceasefire and says the organisation was responsible for organising and carrying out much of the recent unionist paramilitary violence in the wake of the re-routed Whiterock Orange march. The UVF has also been behind widespread intimidation of nationalists elsewhere,

Alex Maskey said: “The British Government has no right to discriminate against any Irish political representative.”

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Haiti terror continues

Exiled human rights activist speaks to An Phoblacht

Sergo Alexis, comes from the poorest and unluckiest country in the American continent, Haiti.

The history of the island is one of 200 years of struggling for freedom. On the way, there has been the terrible dictatorships of the Douvalier family and continuous foreign interference.

The situation today, after a military coup overthrew elected leader Jean Beltran Aristide, is one of terror. However, reports of massacres are daily ignored by the press, even with increasingly evident involvement of troops supposedly on peace keeping missions. On Friday 30 September supporters of democracy demonstrated against the Haiti situation in 40 cities around the world.

That is what brought Sergo Alexis, a Haitian human rights activist living in exile in Paris to Dublin.

Asked to describe the situation in Haiti he says that in the international media issues such as Iraq overshadow any real coverage of Haiti. “What is happening there is as terrible as what is going on in Iraq. Nowadays, in Haiti, the massacres are a daily occurrence: women, children and political leaders, not just any political leaders, activists of the Labalas movement — are killed.

“Every day civilians are killed at the hands of armed groups or through abuse by the police. We are talking of a corrupt police force that rebelled against elected Prime Minister Jean Beltran Aristide and armed the forces of organised crime, which are now in charge of the security of the country.

“Violence against women is part of their strategy. Women are raped, murdered and discriminated against. The clearest exponent of human rights violations are the acts committed particularly against children, who are being systematically tortured and murdered by the national police as part of their plan of political cleansing. So, everyday in Haiti is one of repression, massacres and illegal detentions.”

Asked about his opinion on the presence in Haiti of UN peace-keeping troops who have been linked to massacres, he says they joined forces with the National Police to engage in massacres against the civil population. “I believe that with the current President the UN will not improve the security situation. Sergo does not see Aristide coming back to take over Haiti’s government. “I do not think this would be possible, because he had two mandates already and the Haitian constitution does not allow for a third. Aristide’s supporters are calling for his return now so he can help them to organise the elections that would take place next December.

He claims opposition to Aristide before the coup was created by the manipulation of the US, French and Canadian Governments who wanted rid of him. “They invest a lot of money in those who opposed Aristide and on the media, so to manipulate the information and create opposition to Aristide’s government through news reports that have since proved false.”

He sees the key reason for US interest in Haiti is that “it wants to use part of our national territory, the San Nicholas cape, to create a military installation in the country that would allow them to control the Caribbean, and that is something that Haitians know very well.

But I do not think the US would occupy Haiti. I believe that Canada would send troops to occupy our country, because they are also a francophone state.

Of hopes for the future of Haiti Sergo Alexis says that during Aristide’s government the economy and security situation improved enormously. “Since the coup, it has been decided to experiment with democracy and create the illusion that we will be electing our own government. However, if the situation continues as it is economically and from the security point of view, I believe that Canada or the US will act and take over the political leadership in Haiti.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
The achievements possible for the poor and what they can lose if they don’t remain on their guard against the kind of tyrannical imperialist interventions described above:

Cuba and Venezuela: cooperation projects worth more than $800 million

• President Hugo Chávez and Carlos Lage close Joint Commission on Comprehensive Bilateral Cooperation Agreement

caracas—Integration is not an illusion, and one expression of that reality are the ties of solidarity between Cuba and Venezuela, peoples that together form a single fist, just as Latin America will be one day, affirmed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, in his closing remarks at the 6th Joint Commission on the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and Venezuela.

Both nations agreed to consolidate what was originally agreed upon and jointly initiate projects in many other areas over the coming year, as a result of the meeting that was closed with the presence of Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage Dávila.

Lage acknowledged the progress already made and called for a big push so as to advance even further.

“There is a great desire to continue driving forward this agreement,” he stated, after noting how the future and that better world that is necessary now seem closer, and confirms that the alba is opening a new road to the definitive independence of our peoples. “Let us march onward without delay,” he urged.

The Joint Declaration issued by the meeting was signed by Rafael Ramírez, Venezuelan minister of oil and energy, and Marta Lomas, Cuba’s minister of foreign investment and economic cooperation, who acknowledged the effort made over three days that finally led to the approval of 192 projects with a budget of over $800 million.

According to announcements made during the closing session, after five years of cooperation, mutually beneficial achievements have been reached for both nations.

Especially impressive is the impact of the Barrio Adentro 1 social program, to cite just one example, which has brought medical attention to more than 17 million Venezuelans (approximately 66% of the population) through 142 million doctor’s visits and medical procedures that have saved more than 29,000 lives.

Thanks to the reach of Barrio Adentro I and II, noted Marta Lomas, Venezuela is set to become a country with the most modern healthcare services and social equity.

The Cuban minister also referred to what has been achieved by the Mission Miracle program, and the goal of a joint effort by Cuba and Venezuela to provide operations for 600,000 Latin Americans as a concrete expression of solidarity and integration.

Among the fruits of this fraternal alliance, many other projects and some of their achievements were also mentioned, and emphasis was placed on the fact that Venezuela is about to receive the high honor of a territory free of illiteracy, and thus to become the second nation in the hemisphere to make good on that social debt.

President Chávez described as positive the progress made on the Cooperation Agreement, and stated that the destinies of the Latin American peoples depend on its success and that of alba.

“Cuba and Venezuela have joined together, and at this point, the world should know that our fate is sealed, that these two homelands, which deep down are one, are opening a new road at whatever cost,” he emphasized.

By Ventura de Jesus —Granma daily staff writer


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