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

Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

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

Skip Navigation(?)

Recent issue

No 1299 13th September 2006

Labour leadership squabbling reflects the profound defeats inflicted on imperialism and its warmongering “solution” to the deepest crisis ever for its now worldwide, and almost universally entrenched, profit-making exploitation system. Blair’s closet Mosleyite tailending of US neocon fascism is causing such deep disquiet, even the scummiest “left” opportunists (who tolerated years of civilian blitzkrieging and secret prison camps) now need to do something to maintain credibility. But too late – real changes in society are ripening for the revolutionary understanding that alone will change the world – Leninism.

The gobsmacking spectacle of New Labour’s collapse into a stinking mess of foul mouthed insults, recriminations, backbiting and panicked fragmentation, over who will replace the wounded Blair figurehead, is both a reflection of the enormous crisis now looming over the entire western order – the world capitalist system – and a major diversion from it.

The orgy of vicious and vindictive insults and character assassinations may be an indication of how degenerate and self-seeking the entire parliamentary racket has become in the “all politicians are nothing but lying twisted charlatans and careerists hell bent on power and with only the most cynical interest in the ‘masses’ as electoral fodder” sense - and they are – but it goes nowhere near to explaining why this desperate and almost unprecedented frenzy has broken out.

The real driver is the fear of the ruling class at the revolutionary turmoil that its now deepest ever crisis is creating throughout the planet and which will inevitably erupt not only throughout the Third World but right into the heart of the most ‘advanced’ countries, once the long deferred crisis finally breaks in a storm of credit collapse, trade war and slump disaster.

Only such a full perspective of the catastrophic revolutionary collapse facing the entire centuries long capitalist domination of the planet, and the disastrous failures of its ever more desperately writhing warmongering plans in defeat and bogged-down disaster after disaster, will help anyone seriously understand this.

The cowering servitude of the opportunists and liars that jostle for position to humbly serve the capitalist order - while posturing and posing as various assorted shades of “lefts” and radicals as necessary, to lead the working class along by the nose - are reflecting the rapidly sharpening class war underneath and all the fears and panic of a ruling class now facing its greatest ever historical crisis.

The entire squealing frenzy, louder than the noise from a barrelful of rats thrown into a pond, is in one sense an utter irrelevancy since it hardly matters which particular New Labour rodent opportunist has his “hands on the tiller” (or even if the Tory Blair-clone Cameron should get there) – because the only interests that will be served by, or are ever served by, parliament when it really comes down to it are those of big money capital and the greed-riven profit-making system which calls all the shots,

Ditching Blair will change nothing – except being hugely satisfying for the punchdrunk working class, battered by blame-the-poor ASBOs, and sanctimonious middle class “put the troublemakers away in prison” “solutions”, to now see the architect of the “focus group” image-is-all New Labourite spin system of Goebbels lies and manipulation being impaled on the same vicious scapegoating policy that he devised in the first place to throw “loser” ministers to the “public-opinion” lions.

Labour and the New Labour spin trickery which followed on, has always “known its place” and served its capitalist masters well (and now in New Labour Blairism more glaringly Uriah Heap-ishly) while showing its arrogant contempt for the poor, marginalised and hard pressed. And it has always been buttressed by posturing leftism holding up the more disgusting reaction like Blairism with “jam tomorrow” illusions.

The squabbling turmoil of the opportunist lying scum of Labourism and all reformist “leftism” in total – including the entire parliament-supporting or “pressurising for change” spectrum of fake-”lefts”, (Trotskyists, revisionists, trade union protesters, left Labourites, maverick “old Labour”, “heroic” but anti-communist militants, peaceniks, Scottish nationalist “socialists” etc etc) – is culpable and criminally responsible for the greatest lying fraud and trickery ever pulled on the working class in failing to explain for decades on end that imperialism is a terminally doomed outmoded system that can only head for the greatest disaster and foul stinking chaos in all of its 800 year existence - with its profiteering tyranny inevitably once more entangled in the disasters of “over production” and “want in the midst of plenty” as the Communist Manifesto puts it.

Parliament controls nothing, but the facade of “democracy” has been the best tool the bourgeoise has had for operating its rule – in reality the dictatorship of capital – fooling most of the people most of the time, aided and abetted by the multiple onion layers of “reformists” keeping the revolutionary instincts of the working class suppressed under the lid of “left influence”, “steady gains”, “one more heave” and “radical change when we get a majority tomorrow” lies. And the supposed “revolutionaries” deludedly promise that supporting these reformists (SWP “vote Labour” exhortations, endlessly shaded “tactics” to partially support this or that “lefty” etc) will somehow be a path towards ending capitalism “slice by slice” rather than simply sustaining the entire confidence trick as it in fact does.

But the entire structure is a giant lie. Only ending the capitalist system by revolutionary transformation, the bit that is always missing from the fake-”lefts”, will offer the working class real progress, as the degeneration into war and the erosion of all the post-war welfare gains is proving even before catastrophic crash hits the world economy.

The fake-”lefts” opportunist servitude to the capitalist system has left unchallenged for ten years the monstrous confidence trick of Blairism, even as it has increasingly uncovered its closet Mosleyite nature in eagerly backing American warmongering plans and tearing up human and legal rights at home, along with the imposition of ever more draconian disciplining and ”punishment” of the working class (ASBOs for the unborn almost!!) to solve the problems capitalism’s own antagonisms have created.

But all of them are increasingly uncomfortable that the monstrous foreign blitzkrieging and rapid fascistisation of society at home since the watershed shift of imperialism to an all-out warmongering “solution” to its problems at the turn of the century (pivoted around but not caused by the dramatic 9/11 attack on major US symbols in the New York WTO and the Pentagon) is severing the last few tenuous threads of working class illusion in parliament and “democracy”.

Blairism’s spin and glitz lies - using a few token “investments” in the economy and “on the never-never” privatisation selloffs to produce an illusion of “improvements” eagerly sold on by Labour luvvies like Polly Toynbee in the Guardian etc - was a last ditch “parliamentary democracy” stand anyway for a desperate ruling class that knows its system is facing dire and potentially terminal disintegration of falling profits and the giant contradictions of “overproduction” (even if they don’t understand the reasons why as analysed by Karl Marx, Lenin and others - see economic quotes.)

Thatcherism’s “hard line” disciplining of the “soft and overpaid” working class to try and speed up production, push workers harder and re-establish profits had already run into a brick wall and collapsed over issues like the poll tax and the initially anarchic rebelliousness it caused.

Blairism too is unsustainable, simply further “selling off the family silver” of state assets to the world capitalist class (and that only payable because of the rapidly escalating world capitalist deficit of never-repayable public and private debt now reaching explosive collapse proportions in the main US economy and to some extent the British one too) in order to spin the fantasy of a “better life”.

For the working class the only permanent benefit of the “victory” of New Labour is endless advertising glitz, lies and spin as the remaining assets of the economy continue to be packaged up and sold off at fire-sale prices to the fat cats and carpet-bagging “consultancies”; as the unrepayable debt mountains of the economy (public and private individuals) continue to be piled ever higher to artificially sustain a fatally sick economy; as the public services are privatised and charged-for ever more extortionately for the few who can afford it, and run into the ground for ordinary users; as productive industry is further wiped out; as working benefits like pensions, holiday entitlements, job security and humane working hours are torn up or plundered for “profitability”; and as the steady “fascistisation” of society continues, to prevent any real protest or rebellion, with the imposition of ever more draconian surveillance and security rules along with tearing up of the most basic centuries old “rights”; and most of all as the British ruling class humiliating tailends the warmongering chaos being imposed on the planet by dominant US imperialism on a now continuous basis.

Even when it was “working” it was a lie, National Health Service “improvements” for example, endlessly touted as “how we have spent more on the NHS” mean, in reality, bloated profits for private drug companies that would have had to slash prices otherwise, lucrative deals for “private medicine”, huge overpayments to privatising hospital contractors and the like, massive payments to “management advisors”, and multi-tens of millions thrown away on computer companies for disastrously thought through projects. The entire “market system” has been kept going with these huge subsidies.

And the rest of the economy and societal “gains” are equally fraudulent, from education to “poverty reduction”.

What has not been taken away already, will be when the tidal wave capitalist crisis breaks – the issue that none of the Labour and “left politicians” ever explain.

So far this shallow trickery has just about kept alive because the turn to warmongering bullying signalled already with the monstrous NATO blitzkrieg of tiny Serbia (three years before the WTC attacks supposedly unleashed the ‘war on terror’) and the near continuous warmongering from then on with indiscriminate mass civilian death torture, blitzing and terrorising of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Lebanon (by open collusion with the Zionist fanatical fascists), has forced the world to keep funding US imperialism.

The world’s biggest power has told the rest they must keep on swallowing the mountain of ever growing paper dollar debt it has amassed despite the insane imbalances and unevenesses it is creating in world development – and that anyone who asks for the real value of the goods and services they supply can go whistle. If they make a forceful challenge they know what blitzkrieg treatment they can expect, a threat overtly stated by Bush several times.

To some extent the entire capitalist world is so intertwined with the dollar that it half willingly goes along with this policing “hardness”.

But the pretence of “fair trading rules” by which capitalist deals with capitalist is being torn up to maintain the power, dominance and luxury of the American ruling class and the continuing existence of the world plundering imperialist system.

Challenges will come as the inter-imperialist rivalry pressures get increasingly urgent as crisis bites and the desperate struggle for markets intensifies. The world is plunging towards the Third World War with the Americans determined to get in first with the aggression.

The Blairite wing of Labourism, like Mosley in the pre-second world war degeneration of the 1930s, has proved itself fully willing to implement this fascistisation, with “modern” spin slyness, using Goebbels lies, manipulations, draconian dictatorial “laws”, stepped up open and secret police activity and “security measures” to match everything being imposed by the Bush neocons, despite growing if unfocused resistance throughout the working class expressed in the utter indifference of the last election and universal cynicism.

But despite zero popularity the ruling class is desperate to keep this compliant wing of stooges in place, knowing that its Tory substitute Cameron is potentially a still-born joke of copycat spin shallowness and fearful of all alternatives, to the extent of torpedoing even the half-hearted anti-war stance of the Charles Kennedy Liberals with a set-up leadership “scandal” – let alone the “lefts”.

The “lefts” are no threat either, including the non-revolution-mentioning “revolutionaries”, let alone the imperceptible “Old Labourism” of Gordon Brown - a complete joke of unstated hints and whispers which means nothing. Brown, or even a “left” alternative, is not actually going to do anything to challenge capitalism and increasingly open fascist war dictatorship.

But so delicate now is the future of the entire capitalist order that establishment circles fear the turmoil of discussion and debate that would be set up by a changeover.

The cold fear gripping the ruling class even at the moment of its greatest power and supposed triumph (its much crowed about Fukayama “end-of-history” “defeat” of communism) is that its plunge towards warmongering ruthlessness and the Pentagon “endless war” dominance and suppression of all rebellion and big power rivalry will not serve at all this time to extract it from disaster – and ultimately it is heading for complete overturn by the notionally ignorant masses on the planet who have been sufficiently drawn into its system to get the most profound education of all - that they no longer want or need to live in the shite that is forced on them.

The last great upheaval and World War “solution” - the European and Asian destruction of the 1937-45 Second World War which after years of devastation finally destroyed enough capital to get the system underway again - already came near to completely overturning the entire imperialist order as the mass hostility to the insane blitzing and tens of millions dead stimulated waves of spontaneous pro-communist and anti-imperialist upheaval sweeping all Europe, Africa, South and East Asia, from France to Japan, and Korea to Cuba.

And the ripeness and penetration of the unstoppably “globalising” capitalist investment system has now gone much further and deeper than ever before so that its ultimate inevitable dialectical splitting apart on its own antagonistic contradictions (as Marx so brilliantly grasped, “deconstructed” and analysed in the profound Capital and other works - (see page 6 for basic points)) will be the most titanic upheaval in all of human history - as dimly and miserably grasped by the US neocon ruling class and its desperate floundering fascist efforts to get off the hook.

This fearfulness has kept Blair in place long past his “sell-by” date in public popularity. Even when the hammering defeats for imperialism’s warmongering in the Middle East were well advanced and exposing the monstrous lies, outright criminality and incompetent tyranny of the Bush/Blair neocon war strategy two years ago, they remained silent, pressured by ruling class panic into accepting the imposition of a continuing Blairite agenda as noted in EPS Review No1250:


Blair’s seemingly-deranged determination to press on with the Bush regime’s monstrous worldwide warmongering plans is convincing confirmation of just how deep and serious is this imperialist-system crisis, and at the same time an unmistakable further step towards a historic turning point in the Parliamentary fraud representing “democracy” in Britain.

Surely only because of a hidden underlying agenda of relentlessly escalating American-Empire warmongering plans could Blair continue to defy his co-authors of the New Labour project (which temporarily gave the Parliamentary fraud a new lease of life) by refusing to stand down, and thereby plunge the racket of the “party political system” into an almost guaranteed crisis of electoral uncertainty, almost indefinitely.

Not that standing down would necessarily have got New Labour and the Parliamentary fraud out of the mire for very long because there will still be the problem of how to get “honourably” out of Iraq; how to cope with the bullying juggernaut of US imperialist warmongering determination; and how to cope at all for very long once the “overproduction” crisis of the international imperialist economy breaks down into total and incurable trade war, which certain future is what is feeding the American Empire’s relentless warmongering preparations and escalation.

But it is this stubborn NOT standing down which is immediately tearing New Labourites apart.

Their shallow opportunist minds cannot think beyond the electoral spivvery that if Blair apologises, stands down, and takes the can for the Iraq fiasco, then New Labour’s claimed all-round “brilliance” and “dominance” on every other issue would see the party romping home again at the next election, “as popular as ever”.

But this insane garbage from a now distrusted and despised regime seems not for putting to the test for the moment, since Blair apparently won’t stand down.

The largely pointless turmoil that this is throwing the hate-filled “brothers” into tells everything about the entire, shallow, sleazy, rotten “parliamentary government” game in Britain (and throughout the imperialist West generally).

It is the continuing defeats across the planet which have driven the issue back to the surface; it is the lack of alternative strategies for the ruling class that sees the current finger-nail scratching hanging-on by the Blairites and the equally desperate panic of the “lefts”.

The grotesquely hollow Goebbels lies about bringing “democracy and freedom”, to try and maintain the sweet superprofit-fed life of indolence and luxury for the few in the ruling class in the tiny minority of “rich countries” on the planet (and the odd tailending fascist stooge in the Third World) have run into an ever more tangled mess of defeat, military failure and humiliation, with the Iraq disaster now spread across the entire Middle East and the supposed “successes” of Afghanistan increasingly exposed as an even worse failure.

Even as the massive fault lines in its entire production-for-profit system begin to crack wider apart in ever growing international trade war tensions, currency collapses, unstoppable credit inflation and the endless degeneration of the most advanced societies into worsening shallow consumerism, bloated obesity, racist hostility, criminality, drug dependence and simple incompetent indifferent collapse (like the disastrous loss of an entire city such as New Orleans), its problems are being compounded by these disastrous DEFEATS facing western imperialism throughout the planet.

Far from cowing the great billions strong mass of permanently tyrannised near-slave level workers throughout the Third World (who have never seen decent basic living standards or even clean water let alone dignity, freedom, “choice”, “free speech”, security, health and education), the turn to warmongering is creating massive resistance and compounding the intractable difficulties of this senile and incapable ruling class.

The degenerate warmongering destruction which has served imperialism three times to get out of its “overproduction” glut of “surplus” capital clogging the pores of the entire production and trading system is producing nothing but a massive multiplication of the rebelliousness and hatred the system has engendered by its manipulative and brutal world dominance for the last century and a half as its wage tyranny has been universalised across the entire planet.

And despite the confusion of leadership and sometimes crude methodology the turmoil is rapidly spreading and defeating imperialism’s clumsy and floundering efforts to control it. It grows worse daily as the bourgeois press reports:

Britons were probably not aware of the daunting problems ahead when the government sent additional troops to Afghanistan this year, the Ministry of Defence conceded yesterday. “The difficulty was perhaps not communicated properly,” a senior defence official told journalists.

At the time, the government gave the impression that the 3,000 troops would mainly help Afghan authorities to extend their control and support development work. John Reid, then defence secretary, went so far as to say he hoped the British forces would leave “without firing a single shot”.

Instead, they have become embroiled in a revived conflict with Taliban-led insurgents. More than 1,600 people - mostly militants and mainly in the south - have died in the past four months, according a tally of reports compiled by the Associated Press. The bulk of British forces are based in Helmand province, in the south of the country, regarded as an insurgent stronghold.

Nevertheless, British officials insist that development is still the goal, with troops providing a “security environment”.

“The aim is to establish a zone in which government and reconstruction can take place,” the official continued. “This is still pretty much early days for the Brits down in Helmand.”

A total of 21 British troops have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001. Of these, 14 are classified as killed in action.

Speaking at a multi-departmental press briefing in London, other senior officials played down any hopes for rapid progress in the war-torn country. “Development is going to take years and years and years,” an official from the Department for International Development (DFID) warned.

...Latest figures for illicit drug production in Afghanistan, due to be released shortly, are expected to show a significant rise, but officials say the vast bulk of poppy cultivation is confined to a few provinces in the south. “In the rest of the country there are different patterns. It is stabilising in some areas and beginning to decline,” the DFID official said.

...As fighting in the south continued this week US-led coalition forces foiled an ambush and killed 18 militants in the ensuing gun battle, according to the military. About 60 insurgents attacked the coalition troops with heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in the southern Uruzgan province on Monday.

A suicide car bomber also struck a Nato-Afghan military convoy on a road to the airport in the main southern city of Kandahar on Tuesday, killing two civilians and wounding one, Nato said.

The retreat last week of 1,200 British soldiers from Amara and the looting and destruction of their camp is a watershed for the occupation of Iraq (Comment, August 26). That camp had come under almost nightly attacks as the military and political influence of the occupying forces receded. Relocation of foreign armies outside urban areas is unlikely to protect them from longer range attacks. On the contrary, the reshuffling of British forces around the oil fields and the Iranian border areas in Maysan province will be seen for what it is: an attempt to maintain strategic control of Iraq’s resources.

Many of us have long been calling for an early and timed withdrawal of US and British forces, and we have called upon the Iraqi parliament to set a date for the evacuation, a stance that would give this institution the legitimacy and respect it presently lacks. We believe the occupation forces remain the prime cause of Iraq’s present predicament and a major obstacle to any realistic solution that would help spare Iraqi and other lives.

Blair’s refusal to withdraw British forces is dangerous bravado; a doomed project of a shadow empire that is highly damaging to its victims. There may still be time for an early and orderly British withdrawal that would hasten a US evacuation and bring about an internally and regionally negotiated arrangement, sparing Iraq the torment of further war-like schemes and regional power play. Britain has a responsibility towards Iraq to act sensibly with other European countries and with Iraq’s neighbours. The British military can have no place in any such action, and occupation troops wherever they are will come under attack by Iraqis. Given Britain’s unfortunate history with Iraq, it can make a positive contribution to peace and pay its debt to the people of Iraq only through non-military means, such as education, health and economic support.

Kamal Majid, Kamil Mahdi, Sami Ramadani, Haifa Zangana, Sabah Jawad, Hani Lazim, Kadhim al-Mousawi, Fenik Adham, Ali al-Asam, Mundher al-Adhami

Baghdad experienced one of its worst days of carnage yesterday when 68 people were killed and almost 300 others injured by co-ordinated attacks in the space of half an hour.

About 3,500 civilians were killed in Iraq in July, one of the highest monthly death tolls since the US-led invasion of 2003, while August was also one of the most deadly months for US forces, with 64 soldiers and marines being killed.

The upsurge in violence comes as American officials were maintaining that the situation in the Iraqi capital was being controlled since the deployment of 3,500 soldiers three weeks ago. The Iraqi government also claimed that it will be in a position to provide security to the whole country by the end of the year.

The deaths were the result of bombs planted in cars and buildings, along with missile attacks on Shia neighbourhoods. Apartments and houses were rented by suspected Sunni bombers who then planted explosive devices which were simultaneously detonated by remote control.

People searching among the rubble for friends and relatives were then hit by a second wave of attacks from car bombs and missiles.

The Pentagon admitted yesterday that the conditions that could lead to “civil war” were now present in Iraq, although a report did not qualify the current spike in violence as civil war. It recognised that the “core conflict” has changed into one pitting Sunni Muslims against Shia, with the Sunni Arab insurgency against foreign forces now being overshadowed.

aj-Gen Jihad Liaabi, the director of counter-terrorism in the Interior Ministry, said: “This was a very organised attack. They wanted to inflict maximum damage to innocent people. They rented apartments to blow them up.”

Elsewhere in Iraq yesterday, a roadside bomb killed three Iraqi policemen in Baghdad’s southern Doura district. Another in Kirkuk, 155 miles north of Baghdad, that targeted Iraqi policemen, claimed three casualties. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer during Saddam Hussein’s rule was found dead with gunshot wounds and his hands bound near his home north of Baghdad, a day after he was kidnapped. He was the second former Saddam official to die in as many days. Gunmen also killed a policeman in his house in the village of Numaniya, 72 miles south of Baghdad.

The vile civilian punishment carnage in the south of Lebanon by the Nazi depredations of the Zionists has equally backfired:

There was nothing new about the broad objective behind Israel’s war on Lebanon: through the destruction of Hizbullah it was to wreak fundamental change in a strategic, political and military environment that it had come to regard as menacing to its future. Nothing new about its methods either: the use of massive violence not merely against its military adversary but against the civilians and the infrastructure of the country in which it operates. Or about its official justification: seizing upon one single act of “terrorist” violence from the other side as the opportunity to strike at the whole “terrorist” organisation that was responsible for it. Or about the international support, even outright collaboration, it enjoyed, although in the case of the US and Britain this support was unprecedented in its partisan degree and in the perception of the vast dimensions, nature and menace of the “enemy” against which Israel was waging war. For Condoleezza Rice the “root causes” of the Lebanese crisis lay not on the Israeli side but in the wider Arab and Muslim world: Hizbullah was but the cutting edge of “global terror”, of the Islamic fanaticism that nurtured it, and of those states, Iran and Syria, that succour these forces for their own purposes, whether inspired by ideology or realpolitik.

Nor was there anything fundamentally unexpected about the Israeli campaign. For it grew out of very nature and dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For all the peace-seeking diplomacy it also engenders, that conflict remains what it was from the outset, one in which violence is always the ultimate arbiter. Ever since the 70s, when the Arab states lost the will and ability to fight classical wars, most of the violence has been confined to the main protagonists - Israelis and Palestinians. Basically, Israel seeks through violence to preserve all the gains, at Palestinian expense, that violence secured it in the first place, or at least as much of them as is consistent with its view of what would constitute a reasonable peaceful settlement. The Palestinians use violence in repeated attempts to wrest back enough of what they have lost, or simply to cause sufficient pain and alarm to make possible what, in their view, that settlement should entail. Most of the time violence has been low-level and attritional, but every now and then it escalates into something much larger.

What is new - and dramatically so - about this campaign is its outcome. Arabs soon dubbed this the sixth Arab-Israeli war, and for some of them - and indeed for some Israelis - it already ranks, in its strategic, psychological and political consequences, as perhaps the most significant since Israel’s “war of independence” in 1948. For a state that relies for its survival not on the acceptance of its neighbours but on its repeatedly demonstrated ability to defeat and intimidate them by superior force of arms, it is vital to retain what it calls its “deterrent power”. What, on July 12, made Hizbullah’s seizure of two soldiers so unbearable was not that it was a “terrorist” act; it was that - allowed to pass without an appropriate response - it would have constituted a grievous blow to that “deterrent power”. But with the extraordinary shortcomings of that response it has not only failed to repair its deterrent power, it has undermined it as never before.

Hizbullah achieved this in various ways. On the strictly military level, a small band of irregulars kept at bay one of the world’s most powerful armies for over a month, and inflicted remarkable losses on it; the manner in which it did this - a combination of professional skills, ingenuity, intrepidity, meticulous preparation, masterful use of anti-tank missiles, brilliant organisation, labyrinthine underground defences - is only now fully coming to light. This was only possible because Hizbullah represented something else: the first non-state actor to single-handedly take on Israel in a full-scale war of this kind. Only such an actor could have secured the freedom of action to prepare for and conduct such a war. Yet it was Israel itself, through its earlier attempts to change its strategic environment by force, that did so much to create Hizbullah, just as, in Palestine, it did so much to create Hamas.

It is not just Hizbullah’s performance in itself that has changed the balance of power at Israel’s expense; it is the example it sets for the whole region. In his way Hassan Nasrallah is now an even more inspiring Arab hero than Nasser was; Hizbullah’s achievement has had an electrifying impact on the Arab and Muslim masses that largely transcends the otherwise growing, region-wide Sunni-Shia divide; it will contribute to their further radicalisation and, if that is not appeased by the Arab regimes, to upheavals in the whole existing order. “Public opinion says to the regimes, ‘If they are getting more on the battlefield than you are at the negotiating table, and you have so many more means at your disposal, then what the hell are you doing?’ “ says Mouin Rabbani of the International Crisis Group.

King Abdullah of Jordan, who - like Egypt and Saudi Arabia - made the mistake of publicly accusing Hizbullah of “uncalculated adventurism”, and clearly hoped that Israel would punish it, admits that if things go on like this then new Hizbullahs will emerge, with his kingdom among the candidates for one.

Hizbullah has no intention of disarming, and it is improbable that anyone else can get it to do so. Never before, therefore, has Israel ended a war so persuaded that, sooner or later, it will only generate another.

The only way to prevent that is to get Israel and the US to realise that those “root causes” out of which it grew lie on their side too. Israel may not have caused “global terror” and Islamic extremism, but with its own violence, especially that against civilians, it greatly inflames it. And Israel resorts to violence, at bottom, because it cannot achieve peace; and it cannot achieve that because the only peace it has ever offered falls so far short of what Arabs and Palestinians could ever accept.

The half-hearted conclusions at the end of this piece are pointless pleading of course but it captures the intractable buildup of antagonism and dialectical contradiction that can only intensify.

And so will the growing tide of resistance which far from being the “mad fanaticism of Islam” as painted by Blairism (and backed by the fake-”lefts” and their “condemnation” of “terrorism”) is part of a mass Third World rebelliousness caused by the oppressions of the imperialist system, widely grasped as these press letters indicate:

We have destroyed Iraq, we are well on the way to destroying Lebanon, we have built a wall around the Palestinians to keep them in, we have plucked thousands of people from around the globe and incarcerated them in secret detention centres, and we have marched up and down Afghanistan looking for a mad mullah. Yet young British men still want to blow planes out of the sky (Report, August 11). Now this could be because they are “Islamist fascists”, or it could be that they are a violent manifestation of many people’s view of British, US and Israeli foreign policy.

Richard Riddle


The premise underlying your editorial (‘These ludicrous lies about the West and Islam’, last week) is wrong. Saying that the February 1993 plot to bomb the World Trade Centre could not have been ‘a response to Western actions overseas’ because it took place when Western policies in the Middle East were uncontroversial leaves out the 1991 Gulf War.

In fact the terrorism of the early Nineties was closely related to Western policy, and American encouragement to armed Islamists in the war against the Soviet-backed Afghan regime in the Eighties. The military infrastructure and contacts created then provided a vehicle for the extremists to campaign against the West’s military presence in the Gulf during and after the 1991 war. Their opposition was fuelled by the effects of Western policy, with more than 500,000 Iraqis dying through the effects of Western-orchestrated sanctions against Iraq in the first two years after the war.

Nor is it true that the West was busy negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. By February 2003 the Madrid peace process, initiated in 1991, was going nowhere. The US had shown itself unprepared to exert the degree of pressure on Israel which could have brought results.

Tim Niblock

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Your editorial fails to mention Palestine. The car bomb in New York took place in 1993, after the misery and injustice of the Palestinian people had continued for more than 50 years. I am deeply ashamed that the West has allowed this to go on.

Joan Machin


In what idiosyncratic way do you apply the epithet ‘bogus’ to the ‘sense of victimisation’ of the Palestinians, deprived of their country to assuage Europe’s guilt at the Holocaust and subjected to Israeli oppression; or of the Iraqis, bombed, beaten, raped and murdered by their ‘liberators’?

Robin Seager


The complexities of the huge and spreading Middle East rebellion requires enormous further analysis. The erupting militancy is not Marxism and the religious ideology carrying some of the struggle (filling a vacuum left by decades of revisionist failure, confusion and retreat from revolutionary militancy) is potentially going to hamstring the struggle at some stage (despite the enormous triumphs it has had in the Palestinian intifada for example and the growing maturity of much of its political grasp and understanding).

The battle is to win a fight for Marxist revolutionary consciousness and not, like the Lalkarites, to uncritically support the “resistance”.

But the struggle has thrown up the leadership it has and it is even more important not to oppose or “condemn” its struggle as the entire remaining fake-“left” spectrum has done.

Lenin understood the need for sensitively grasping the cultural context of anti-imperialist struggle and the cowardice and betrayal of any so called “Marxism” that attacked or condemned the leaderships they chose to follow:


To the Indian Revolutionary Association

I am glad to hear that the principles of self-determination and the liberation of oppressed nations from exploitation by foreign and native capitalists, proclaimed by the Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic, have met with such a ready response among progressive Indians, who are waging a heroic fight for freedom. The working masses of Russia are following with unflagging attention the awakening of the Indian workers and peasants. The organisation and discipline of the working people and their perseverance and solidarity with the working people of the world are an earnest of ultimate success. We welcome the close alliance of Moslem and non-Moslem elements (emphasis added). We sincerely want to see this alliance extended to all the toilers of the East. Only when the Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Persian, and Turkish workers and peasants join hands and march together in the common cause of liberation—only then will decisive victory over the exploiters be ensured. Long live a free Asia!

Vol. 31, p. 138 Izvestia No. 108, May 20, 1920

There is enormous opportunity for Leninist understanding to be built precisely because of the huge setbacks to imperialism which are transforming world consciousness at an accelerating pace.

Just how profoundly the mass perception is now being transformed is beginning to be grasped on a wide scale. Author Gore Vidal on Radio 4 this week said that 200 years of American democracy was over and it was “the end of the Republic” comparing US imperialism in 2000 to the imposition of dictatorship by the Caesars in Rome.

Except there is no future for this dictatorship, out of time and out of historical validity. A better comparison would be with the 12 year run of the Nazis’ 1000 year Reich attempt to roll back history.

Another bourgeoise piece, while flippant, conveys a new tone:

Everyone has their own tipping point. For some it was North Korea’s decision to fire missiles over the sea of Japan last month; for others it was the transcript of Bush and Blair rap-speaking at the G8; the relief into which the number of Iraqi dead has been thrown by the war in Lebanon did for many more and for those really paying attention, it was the collapse of the world trade talks last week. None of these crises are in themselves unique, but they have built up over the weeks until you are watching the news one night and suddenly there it is: the out-of-body experience and sense that everything, everywhere, is out of whack. It’s like that scene in Jurassic Park when Jeff Goldblum, finding himself being chased by a T-Rex, struggles momentarily to organise a response. “I’m fairly alarmed here,” he says...

The surprising thing is that any of this has come as a surprise. The day after George Bush was elected for a second term, all those who had been rooting for the other guy (who was it, again?) predicted that the world as we knew it was shortly to end. It was comforting, in a gothic sort of way, to throw oneself around like Sybil Thorndike and imagine just how bad things were going to get. “The one consolation,” a friend of mine emailed at the time, “is that he [Bush] will screw things up so badly in the next four years that the Democrats will move back into favour. That’s if we still have a world.”

It seems rather quaint, that attitude, now. The despondency was real and the doom-mongering heartfelt, but they were still rooted in the superstition that, by preparing for the worst, one reduced the chances of it actually happening. On the November 4, 2004, when people moaned “we’re all going to die,” what they meant was, “we’re all going to carry on pretty much as before,” such being the limits to the human imagination. And given Bush’s approach to Iraq, Iran and the environment, “just as before” seemed bad enough.

When things started to deteriorate, it took a while to register. We are accustomed, as sophisticated consumers of the 24-hour news media, to taking a rolling approach to disaster, which means never regarding a story as finite, which means pretending that nothing has ultimate consequences, which means, if you want to go the whole philosophical hog, existing in a constant state of denial about death. Anyway. In news as in life, the way we deal with disturbing events is to wrap them in analytical packaging, an evasion that makes us feel more in control. If you don’t have a position on war in the Middle East, you at least have an appreciation for the range of positions at your disposal and as long as Sky News keeps booking the experts and loading the graphics, there is no catastrophe too great or too strange to absorb.

September 11 was the exception to this. But without a single event to focus on, it has been relatively easy, since then, to relegate the daily drip of bad news to the top shelf of the brain. One night last week, the main item on the 10’clock news was Israel sending troops into Lebanon. It was accompanied by footage of tanks throwing up dust and people crawling out of bomb damaged housing. The second item was news of three British soldiers being killed in an ambush in southern Afghanistan and nine hundred more British troops being committed to the region, bringing the total to 4,500. The third item was that Corporal Matthew Cornish, a 29-year-old British soldier, husband and father of two young children, had died in a mortar attack in Basra, bringing the total number of deaths in Iraq that day to 60, which the reporter pointed out was slightly below average, and the death toll over the past two months to nearly 6,000.

At this stage, the shelf starts to buckle. Embedded in these stories was speculation about Iran’s nuclear threat, a reminder that Gaza is still under siege, analysis of Tony Blair’s fallout with his cabinet and footage of his joint press conference with George Bush, which when it was shown the first time round - Blair frowning powerfully, Bush sinisterly jocular - was a tipping point into despair for lots of people...

There is nothing to do, of course, or at least there is nothing constructive to do. But unease of this kind requires external recognition,..”

For all the dire petty bourgeois defeatism in this piece it expresses a crucially important philosophical point that the lefts of all shades continuously refuse to make – that capitalism has entered a new period and a sense of revolutionary shifts in the existing order is filtering into every corner of capitalist society.

What is missing is conscious (Leninist) philosophical leadership and guidance for the working class to build the only kind of movement that can now change the world – a revolutionary mass movement that will overturn this foul, stinking and ever more rapidly rotting violent tyrannical imperialism. Don Hoskins


Return to the top

World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Imperialist election meddling and subversion in Venezuela gives the lie to its “freedom and democracy” again

IN the face of its impotence to find a unifying candidate among the internally divided opposition to confront Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, the candidate of the Revolution for the December 3 presidential elections, Washington is showing signs of desperation and has stepped up its subversion in Venezuela with the aim of destabilizing the nation.

It is no secret that this has always been the ultimate objective of the empire although it comes in addition to - at least verbally - the attempts of one sector of the opposition which, with populist programs like those the Venezuelan people experienced for more than 40 years, is trying to wrest away support from the social justice project that the Bolivarian Revolution has been implementing with undisputed success.

While John Negroponte, the new czar of U.S. intelligence, is betting on cia veteran J. Patrick Maher, the new “mission manager” for Cuba and Venezuela, for the task of coordinating espionage efforts against the two countries, Carlos Ortega and three ex-officers escaped from the Ramo Verde military prison 40 kilometers from Caracas on August 14 after having received logistical and financial support from abroad and from internal counterrevolutionaries.

Jese Chacon, minister of the interior and justice, confirmed the very large sum paid to prison guards to conceal from his Ministry for 10 hours details of the escape, reminiscent of that of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles from a Venezuelan jail where he was imprisoned for the mid-air sabotage of a Cubana Aviation passenger plane that killed 73 people in 1976.

This time, just like in the case of Posada, the bribe money came from the United States with the help of national elements.

The escapees of today are terrorists of the same ilk as Posada. Carlos Ortega, president of the now-illegal Venezuela Workers’ Central (ctv) was the mastermind and director of the oil strike that cost the country more than $10,000 million; was accomplice to the Llaguno Bridge murders that culminated in the fascist coup of April 11, 2002, which he was a party to; and has made his career in the yellow union movement on the payroll of U.S. institutions, precisely the ones that oppose workers’ trade union activities.

Brothers Jesus and Rafael Farfa were sentenced to nine years for their connection to the arrival in Venezuela of more than 100 Colombian paramilitaries with the mission of creating a climate of distrust between the two neighboring nations and plotting the assassination of President Hugo Chကvez.

The fourth fugitive is former Colonel Dario Faria who was awaiting trial for arms theft and other crimes related to destabilizing the country.

A series of electronic communications have surfaced that were made at the time of the escape between an official of the U.S. Homeland Security, and Edith Ruiz, an assistant of the Globovisi n director, who was once emotionally involved with Ortega. According to media sources, it was precisely she who received an audio file with the voice of ex-Colonel Jesus Faria, which was read out by the TV channel, in which he explains the reason for the escape along with other details that were not revealed.

There is no doubt that the breakout from Ramo Verde is part of an imperial strategy to heat up Venezuela’s electoral scenario, convinced as they are that no candidate can beat Hugo Chavez in the preferences of the electorate and the vast majority of the public. Pulling the strings to make them hit back with force is in Washington’s sights in order for direct or oas-intermediated intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs when the time is right.

For its part, a section of the opposition has joined in the fray, represented by eight candidates including Manuel Rosales, governor of Zulia state and signatory of the coup decree.

Rosales, whose political roots go back to the virtually nonexistent Democratic Action Party, has initiated his campaign with promises of distributing oil income to Venezuelans, as if Venezuelans didn’t know that it was the Bolivarian Revolution that put that income to just and equitable use by funding all the social missions taking place in the country.

Rosales’ populist and deceitful discourse could never replace the work accumulated by President Hugo Chavez as his first mandate expires.

The coming days will be witness to a new arm-wrestling match in which the empire hopes to pin the strong arm of the Bolivarian Revolution and its undisputable leader, President Hugo Chavez, who, counter to those imperialist designs, continues to grow in popularity with the people who identify him as the only and veritable creator of their dreams and hopes. •

Return to top


World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Mexican presidential election fraud - uncannily similar to the George W Bush 2000 hanging chad “victory” in Florida – underlines just what a joke bourgeois “democracy” is and how imperialism will use endless devious means to twist and distort the “will of the people” in its own interests. Let workers across the world draw the obvious conclusion and be on their guard – only revolutionary transformation will change anything, Revisionist illusions in electoral process are a deadly danger leaving spontaneous mass hostility to the criminal manipulations exposed to counter-revolutionary onslaught and violence.

A leaky political model

EVERYTHING would indicate, in line with accusations he has been making since March 2004, that Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador is at the center of a conspiracy orchestrated by the Vicente Fox government to prevent his taking power with a program of justice and social inclusion.

In a video made public in Mexico, construction businessman Carlos Ahumada reveals the palatial intrigues cooked up in the Los Pinos presidential headquarters aimed at frustrating Lopez Obrador’s presidential aspirations, beginning as early as March 2004, and in which high-ranking government officials are implicated, along with others including - of course - the ruling National Action Party (pan).

The documented evidence was handed over by the For the Good of All Coalition to the Judicial Power Electoral Court (tepJ), in addition to all of that presented as indicative of the fraud committed on behalf of the ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon during the presidential elections this past July 2.

Ahumada’s important revelations compound the more-than-proven evidence of fraud committed against the former mayor of the Federal District when the recount of 9.07% of ballots and votes, authorized for review by the tepJ, showed that 81% came out in his favor.

Claudia Sheinbaum, spokeswoman for the opposition coalition, revealed that by utilizing fraudulent acts, it has been demonstrated in this portion of 9.07% authorized for review, that 149,653 additional votes were added to PAN candidate Felipe Calder n; meanwhile, in projection estimates, “629,299 ballots were withdrawn illegally or, to put it more bluntly, were robbed from Lopez Obrador.”

Therefore, the efforts by the For the Good of All Coalition to keep demanding a vote-by-vote and ballot box-by-ballet box recount should not be seen as the stubbornness of the

“defeated” but rather a just demand. If accepted, it could reverse the victory of the ruling party candidate, qualified by his rival as a representative of the right wing and consequently a defender of the neoliberal model, with aspirations, once in Los Pinos, of advocating the privatization of oil and the energy sector as a whole, going against the current of what is occurring throughout the continent where popular governments are defending the sovereignty of their natural resources to the benefit of the people.

This situation, certainly already an explosive one, has been compounded by the eviction via force of a campsite of Lopez Obrador followers on the outskirts of Congress, including several deputies from the Party of the Democratic Revolution prd), a member of the coalition. This was the first repressive action against the peaceful mass movement that emerged from the post-electoral situation in the country in support of the opposition candidate.

According to press reports, the action was requested by Alvaro Elias Loredo, president of the Chamber of Deputies and a member of the ruling party, along with pri legislators.

The daily La Jornada, in an editorial on the subject, warned that “with this unjustified recourse to public force, the group in power has crossed a line: it has repressed a peaceful demonstration and has impeded, with blows, the right of citizens to free expression.”

The editorial continues: “The use of force by the state against citizens who were peacefully demonstrating speaks to its intolerance and authoritarianism, but also to the regime’s terror. If its members still have any shadow of national consciousness, they would have to realize the absolute inadmissibility of repression at this time: opening up a Pandora’s Box with contents that could destabilize the country and lead to generalized violence.”

In response to this scenario fuelled by the government’s fear of possibly being fingered as the real mastermind behind the fraud, the For the Good of All Coalition has called a National Democratic Convention for September 16, with the goal of structuring throughout the country the peaceful civil resistance tactics, given that there are indications that the tepJ could back the fraud committed against Lopez Obrador and on September 6 declare Felipe Calder n president of Mexico, a decision that, according to the Constitution, cannot be appealed.

There is no doubt that the situation is beginning to grow very volatile. As strong and irrefutable evidence appears to corroborate the accusations of government fraud in the July 2 presidential elections, desperation could generate increased violence against the grass-roots movement that would make Mexico incontrollable and ungovernable, and would demonstrate the deterioration of a political model that is leaking in the entire region on account of the decomposition of the traditional parties that have held it together. (Nidia Diaz) •

Return to top



World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


Cold statistics of the Zionist-imperialist destruction in Lebanon

IT is said that numbers are cold, but they are generally indispensable and extremely useful at the hour of telling. In 33-34 days of Israeli attacks on Lebanon, the Zionists bombarded more than 97 highways and 70 bridges. Initial estimates in relation to buildings and houses indicate that no less than 10,000 homes were damaged or left in ruins. Small- and medium-sized enterprises destroyed totalled over 900 and it will cost $200 million to put them to rights. Moreover, 15,000 tons of oil was spilled along the coast when Israel attacked an electricity plant at the beginning of its offensive. In total, it is calculated that it will cost $7 billion to reconstruct the little country.

On writing these lines, the worst figures were those referring to the 1,300 dead, in their majority civilians, who were being removed from the rubble in cities and villages, with the conviction that the somber toll would increase.

The Lebanese Army was moving at a forced march to be deployed in the south of the country, the first time in 40 years that it will control that part of its territory. At certain points it will be joined by international forces under the command of the UN. On the other side it was not possible to sing to victory because there wasn’t one. Hizbollah launched thousands of rockets over Israel, obliging the country to evacuate 600,000 of its citizens.

A total of 167 Israelis, almost all of them officers and soldiers, died in combat. Unnecessary deaths provoked by the United States stimulating the appetite of Tel Aviv, pushing it into military adventures and using it in its plan of redesigning the Middle East .

The White House is currently not overloaded with brains but it should have learned from the experience of what occurred. On the very days that tons of bombs were being launched from land and air, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was justifying the vandalism with the same arguments wielded by her chief, George W. Bush, who must be feeling very depressed, because while things are not going well for him in Iraq, in Lebanon the results are worse. Let’s go back to numbers. The Israeli Army has half a million troops, not counting its reservists. They have a budget of $6 billion. That country has 600 fighter planes and numerous other weapons, including many that have not even been tested by their

U.S. creators outside of their polygons. This year Washington increased the aid it annually hands over to Tel Aviv to $2.7 billion. All of that and the undeclared but real atomic weapons that Israel has in its arsenals, make its forces into one of the most powerful armies in the world. That force was launched against a small nation to do away with the equally small irregular group Hizbollah which, against all conjecture, has emerged as the winner of this battle. That is, if so much pain and destruction are capable of generating winners in the whole sense of the word.

In any event: all merit to the winner. It is very possible that, with its strength, it has averted aggressions against neighboring nations. That it has retarded Bush’s deranged plans for that region of the planet.

Return to top