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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 1303 27th November 2006

Assassination and intrigue are grist to the lurid diversionary mill of capitalist distraction and its unproven finger-pointing, part of its non-stop Big Lie propaganda to whip up racist and chauvinist hatreds, add to general confusion and prepare for trade war conflict and further warmongering. But the real story is that its shock-and-awe blitzkrieging to evade the intractable capitalist crisis has run into the buffers, with a defeat of epochal significance in the Middle East and strengthening of international anti-imperialist resistance all around. But the system continues warmongering which will only stop when capitalism is overthrown. Leninist clarity and open debate is vital.

The frenzy of lurid accusations about assassination flying around the capitalist press, are major deliberate diversions from the real issue on the planet – the devastating defeat now facing the entire imperialist system and its increasingly desperate attempts to blitz and bully its way out of oncoming slump crisis.

Tucked away among the reams of James Bond fantasy story telling and hearsay allegation filling the compliant TV, press, and radio lie-machine, and the (metaphorically) poisonous outpourings of bitter Russian reactionaries over supposed Moscow responsibility for the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning in London, – and equally hysterical unsubstantiated allegations against Syria and Iran over the Pierre Gemayel shooting in Lebanon, – was the staggering announcement by British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett of Britain’s first phase withdrawal from Iraq next year, the concrete admission that the Middle East turmoil has finally broken the will of dominant US imperialism’s major side-kick at least.

It is of much greater significance than any murders, who ever did them. The capitalist order is in deep trouble and more and more clearly facing a historical disaster of epochal proportions.

It is a possible measure of how bad things are that the bare-faced “white-is-black” spin machine of the Labourites still sputters on, all that can be offered in the face of apocalyptic disaster being the tired trick of turning reality on its head, with Beckett declaring astoundingly that the British troops were leaving because of their “success” and that the pathetic Iraqi stooges manipulated into place by the US and Britain had got “everything under control” for monopoly capitalism.

But this always desperate New Labour painting of a thin layer of spin and advertising glitz over the rot beneath (the last ditch post-Thatcher effort to keep nearly discredited bourgeois parliamentary authority going), is now beyond ridicule. Rory Bremner can retire; satire really is dead.

Under control like this?:

Iraq’s precarious government was teetering yesterday as a powerful Shia militia leader threatened to withdraw support after sectarian killings reached a new peak and the country lurched closer to all-out civil war.

The prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was forced to choose between his US protectors and an essential pillar of his coalition, when Moqtada al-Sadr declared his intention to walk out, potentially bringing down the government, if Mr Maliki went ahead with a meeting with President George Bush in Jordan next week.

Mr Maliki, a moderate Shia, faced the dilemma as the cycle of killings reached new levels of savagery. Yesterday, there were reports that at least 60 Sunnis had died in revenge killings and suicide attacks, including one episode in which Shia militiamen seized six Sunnis as they were leaving a mosque, doused them with petrol and set them alight, while soldiers reportedly stood by. In another attack, gunmen burned mosques and killed more than 30 Sunnis in Baghdad’s Hurriya district before US forces intervened.

Thursday was the most deadly day for Iraqi civilians, and morgue statistics showed that the past month has been the bloodiest since the 2003 invasion, according to the UN, with 3,709 civilians killed.”

The confused and horrific mess in Iraq has already been admitted by George Bush himself to be on a par with the shattering and never-quite-overcome Vietnam disaster. But taken with the equally desperate and growing calamity of the unwinnable Afghanistan occupation, the humiliating setback for the nazi Zionists in Lebanon and even by the patiently heroic resistance of genocidally oppressed and imprisoned Gaza, and the ever growing insurgency and hatred of the masses all across the empire, it is potentially far deeper in its meaning for the future of the age of capitalist class rule.

While the retreat from Saigon was utterly morale shattering for US military and political prestige (colouring the entire 1970s and early 1980s USA with ruling class despair) it was still containable, as imperialism surged on in economic expansionism elsewhere. And Vietnam did at least succeed in containing further revolutionary military struggles by the socialist camp as revisionism, deluded by perspectives of peaceful progress against imperialism, decided the costs of further such struggles would be too high (when, supposedly, socialism would eventually succeed by steady erosion of imperialist influence anyway).

This fat-brained nonsense spiralled into the idiocies of Gorbachevism and ultimate pointless Soviet workers state liquidationism, just at the point when imperialism was beginning to suffer severely from growing inter-imperialist overproduction trade rivalry (from Japan, Germany and smaller rising capitalists) and from the ever escalating expense of the Cold War, and was ready to offer a (temporary) truce in the nuclear race. It is one of history’s bigger dialectical ironies that taking the heat off the Soviet Union led to its demise, as the Stalinist bureaucracy relaxed its grip (because it had let go revolutionary understanding of the permanent subversion threat of capitalism).

But the Soviet liquidation was never going to do much more than temporarily ease the ever-deepening crisis facing imperialism, however much wealth could be plundered.

Contradictions have relentlessly accumulated. The challenge now facing imperialism is to its entire world domination – at a time when its economic system has never faced a greater disintegration from overstretch of production and credit distortion.

Simultaneously rebellion, discontent and upheaval are becoming universal throughout the Third World in one form or another as the great masses of the planet increasingly reject the desperate poverty and endless exploitation which is their lot, and sense the disasters that are accumulating for capitalist rule.

The blows delivered to imperialism’s shock-and-awe plans to blitz its way out before the greatest ever profit collapse “over-production” crisis have fragmented the desperate ruling class and its authority, in the very heartland of imperialism.

The republican electoral meltdown in the US – while changing nothing about the capitalist system and the bourgeois dictatorship of capital which actually run things – is both a reflection of the humiliation of American and capitalist authority, and a major sign of huge underlying discontent growing domestically, triggered as Marxism has always understood, by defeat of the ruling class and its authority. Defeat is the critical factor for change and the revolutionary overturn which will alone can carry through social transformation.

So deep is the quagmire that imperialism has been trapped in, and so glaring its half-deluded floundering that even the most establishment of intellectual voices have joined the mockery:

For Americans, Iraq has ceased to be a video game running along the edge of public consciousness. The midterm congressional elections demonstrate that the US public wants to get out of Iraq almost as much as the British, as does the attention suddenly given to the Baker-Hamilton Commission, which was actually set up months ago.

But how is exit to be accomplished? Clearly the White House does not know, nor does the US army. The Baker-Hamilton Commission is unlikely to know, as its members were chosen because they represent the higher reaches of the conventional wisdom.

Yet the impression the Bush administration now gives is that the whole matter has been put into the hands of Baker’s group - which is ridiculous, especially as the President continues to declare that inviting Iran and Syria to help stabilise Iraq is unacceptable; he is against talking to them, and says he still expects ‘victory’. If so, what is the purpose of the commission?

So this is the situation in which both the administration and most of the Democratic opposition find themselves. The existing policy is a failure, yet nothing can be changed because no one can imagine a valid alternative. American intentions and actions have, it is held, been correct, their goals irreproachable.

If anyone is to blame it is the Iraqis, who failed to seize the wonderful opportunity the United States offered them. Neocons are now saying that the Iraqis did not deserve our help. Some suggest they are an inferior breed.

I don’t include Britain in this accusation because, whatever Tony Blair’s mesmerised submission to the charms of George Bush, the British government, its people and forces have not been living in this condition of denied reality.

In America, it’s as though Bush, his inner cabinet, and the neocons have been playing a video game, with fictional characters and victims, virtual death and torture. Now the disc has suddenly finished, and it’s time to shut down the player.

This is not just a figure of speech. American policy has been running on images rather than evidence of real nations and people doing things for real human motives. It has been populated by abstractions: Global Terrorist Conspiracies, Rogue Nations, Fanatics Who Hate Our Freedoms, Generations of Terrorism and The Global Menace of Al-Qaeda.

The US, where actual people live, has been turned into an abstraction: the Sole Superpower, which everyone in the world knows is a Righteous Nation, the Mars (in the neocon Robert Kagan’s formulation) defending the fragile Venus which is Europe, the Straussian (Leo Strauss, the University of Chicago philosopher) Realist unflinchingly battling in a Hobbesian universe to protect Kantian Europeans, with their illusions of global parliaments and peace, from nameless horrors.

We are the tranquil Elephant (as another American academic, Michael Mandelbaum, has proposed) which by its very presence guards the smaller beasts of the savanna from carnivorous predators.

This is what we exist to do. We are the leading nation, the most moral, born with the redemptive mission to create what the Puritan preacher Jonathan Winthrop called the ‘City on the Hill’, the democracy ‘of the people and by the people’ that originated the modern world with our repudiation of monarchy and inherited privilege, establishing the greatest of republics, saving the Four Freedoms for the world by winning (alone!) both First and Second World Wars, then the Cold War, and now confronting the ultimate test of the ‘long war’ against Evil itself, incarnate as Terror.

Today this is the language of government, journalism, politics and foreign policy in the US, spoken in the policy discussions at Washington think-tanks and on the editorial pages of newspapers.

Is this Orwellian? Or is it just demagogy, politicians’ lies, White House spin, journalistic laziness, formulations conceived to sell books? Or could it be cynical manipulation by apprentice dictators, energy industry and weapons-maker magnates, closet fascists?

It is not Orwellian in that the neocon ideologues, George Bush and Tony Blair, certainly believe all this. They are not being manipulated.

It is not Orwellian because the creators of this cartoon-like conceptual world have themselves become actors in the virtual universe their ideas and actions have made. They have left reality behind - or they simply ignore it, as they did in invading Iraq.

We have passed from 1984 to 2006, into a post-Orwellian condition in which Big Brother has become a part of his creation. He is now imposing it on others by acting as though it were real, at whatever expense to others.

This is our problem today. In some measure we have all been drawn into this virtual world. How do we leave?

· William Pfaff is a senior American commentator on international affairs and American foreign policy.

The famous quote of “those that the Gods destroy they first make mad” is well borne out materially in the delusions and detachments of many ruling class figures in revolutionary periods from Charles 1st’s brutal attempt to defend feudalism against the bourgeoisie which overturned it, and Louis XVI equally in France, to the Tsar in Russia in 1917. It is what the (equally conservative) commentators are noticing in the UK too:

For axis of evil, read axis of hope. The frantic scrabbling for an exit strategy from Iraq now consuming Washington and London has passed all bounds of irony. Help from Syria and Iran? Surely these were the monsters that George Bush and Tony Blair were going to crush, back in 2003? Surely the purpose of the Iraq adventure was to topple these terrorism-sponsoring, women-suppressing, militia-funding fundamentalists in favour of stability, prosperity and western democracy? Can the exit from Iraq really be through Tehran and Damascus? Was that in the plan?

I remember asking a western intelligence officer in Baghdad, six months after the American invasion, what he would advise the Iranians to do. “Wait,” he said with a smile. Iran has done just that. If I were Tehran I would still wait. I would sit back, fold my arms and watch my tormentors sweat. I would watch the panic in Washington and London as body bags pile up, generals mutter mutiny, alliances fall apart and electors cut and run.

As Blair’s emissary, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, comes to me cap in hand, I would pour him tea and roar with laughter. I would ask him to repeat to my face the insults and bile his American taskmasters hurl at me daily. I would say with Shylock: “Hath a dog money? Is it possible a cur can lend three thousand ducats? Fair Sir, you spat on me Wednesday last; you spurned me such a day; you called me dog; and for these courtesies I’ll lend you thus much moneys?”

As we approach the beginning of the end in Iraq there will be much throat-clearing and breast-beating before reality replaces denial. For the moment, denial still rules. In America last week I was shocked at how unaware even anti-war Americans are (like many Britons) of the depth of the predicament in Iraq. They compare it with Vietnam or the Balkans - but it is not the same. It is total anarchy. All sentences beginning, “What we should now do in Iraq ... “ are devoid of meaning. We are in no position to do anything. We have no potency; that is the definition of anarchy.

From all available reports, Iraq south of the Kurdistan border is beyond central authority, a patchwork of ganglands, sheikhdoms and lawlessness. Anbar province and most of the Sunni triangle is controlled by independent Sunni militias. The only safe movement for outsiders is by helicopter at night. Baghdad is like Beirut in 1983, with nightly massacres, roadblocks everywhere and mixed neighbourhoods emptying into safe ones. As yesterday’s awful kidnapping shows, even a uniform is a death certificate. As for the cities of the south, control depends on which Shia militia has been able to seize the local police station.

The Iraqi army, such as it is, cannot be deployed outside its local area and is therefore useless for counter-insurgency. There is no central police force. There is no public administration. The Maliki government barely rules the Green Zone in which it is entombed. American troops guard it as they might an outpost of the French Legion in the Sahara. There is no point in patrolling a landscape one cannot control. It merely alienates the population and turns soldiers into targets.

To talk of a collapse into civil war if “we leave” Iraq is to completely misread the chaos into which that country has descended under our rule. It implies a model of order wholly absent on the ground. Foreign soldiers can stay in their bases, but they will no more “prevent civil war” than they can “import democracy”. They are relevant only as target practice for insurgents and recruiting sergeants for al-Qaida. The occupation of Iraq has passed from brutality to mere idiocy.

It is possible that a shrewd proconsul, such as America’s Zelmay Khalilzad, might induce the warring factions to agree a provisional boundary between their spheres of influence and assign militias to protect it. But my impression is that Iraq has passed beyond even the power of the centre to impose partition. If civil war means armies invading territory, there is no need for that in Iraq. If it means ethnic massacres and refugees fleeing into enclaves, it is there already and in abundance.

The form of the western retreat from Iraq is already taking shape. If all politics is local, none is more local than the politics of anarchy. Britain is already withdrawing from towns such as Amara and bases in Basra, leaving local militias to fight over the territory left behind and regional leaders to try to discipline them. This cannot begin until the troops leave.

American withdrawal will take the same form in the north and west. The chief cause of British and American casualties at present is incoming commanders going on unnecessary patrols to show they can “kick ass”.

Next month’s Baker/Hamilton inquiry - surely the strangest way an army has ever negotiated its own retreat - will call for a hastening of such “redeployment” away from centres of population to giant bases in the desert. They can stay there to save face as Iraq’s factions and provinces reorder themselves messily in the towns and cities. Units can then slip quietly away to Qatar by the month.

It would clearly help Bush and Blair were such a redeployment to be covered by some international conference. But the idea that Ba’athist, Sunni Damascus and clerical, Shia Tehran would jointly guarantee the safety of a power-sharing regime in Baghdad is beyond credence. They might gain regional kudos by attending such a conference, and even by pretending to rein in their co-religionist militias. But any idea that they will stop sponsoring Hizbullah or stop enriching uranium as part of some deal is bizarre. As for Bush promising to “do something” about Israel and Palestine, he promised that in 2003 to no effect. Yes, these leaders would like good relations with the west, but they can survive without them. The axis of evil has done them no harm.

Bush and Blair are men in a hurry, and such men lose wars. If there is a game plan in Tehran it will be to play Iraq long. Why stop the Great Satan when he is driving himself to hell in a handcart? If London and Washington really want help in this part of the world they must start from diplomatic ground zero. They will have to stop the holier-than-thou name-calling and the pretence that they hold any cards. They will have to realise that this war has lost them all leverage in the region. They can insult and sanction and threaten. But there is nothing left for them to “do” but leave. They are no longer the subject of that mighty verb, only its painful object.

Blair’s “fight for a generation” speech in Afghanistan has drawn equal ridicule – not simply at the unwinnability of the military struggle but at the absurdity of the “war on terror”.

But Bush’s recent declaration that “another 20.000 troops” should be sent to Iraq for “one last push” is not delusion alone; capitalism is driven by its own internal logic to keep its bullying and warmongering on the boil, the more so that disasters accumulate, putting ever greater pressures on a desperate ruling class which can sense, even if it cannot scientifically analyse it in a Marxist fashion, that its 800 year order is facing its greatest challenge ever.

The “war on terror” propaganda will continue. And in one form or another capitalism will continue its warmongering escalation all the way to the interimperialist conflict which has already been shown historically three times to be the inevitable end point if capitalism continues.

Whatever happens with Iraq the world is entering a period of even more turmoil and confusion than in the colonial skirmishing of the 1900s or the slump/Nazi desperation of the 1930s when pre-war jostling for advantage by the major capitalist powers muddied all the waters.

By hook or by crook (most likely) the capitalist system needs to escalate the warmongering atmosphere started with Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan – to reach world war levels and allow the violent inter-imperialist sorting out of unbalanced development within the “free market” system and simultaneously to destroy the larger part of accumulated capital worldwide which is clogging up economies with “too much production” to be able to make a profit (as analysed by Marx in three volumes of Capital and many other writings- still unchallenged (see economic box)).

The obvious answer, of using all this surplus to begin to reorganise the world to solve the desperate want and despair of the impoverished majority (by building socialism), is beyond the insane logic of capitalism which has only ever been able to take its fraudulent competitive motivation to the extreme of wiping out its rivals as a “solution”. Slump destruction and war is its end point as in 1914-18 and 1937-45.

Distraction and deception is set to escalate massively as what little rationality and seriousness persists in the degenerate capitalist order slides into intrigue and trade war provocation.

No-one knows in all the current confusion who is responsible for Litvinenko and undoubtedly Putin’s halfway house Russian anti-imperialism, tragically apeing at times the worst great power pretensions of capitalism and a million miles from Leninist or communist understanding, is as good a candidate as any other.

But its Bonapartist corporate statist brakes on the plundering of the former Soviet Union, trying to head off the dismay of the former-soviet working class (as the full disaster of capitalist restoration became clear in the 1990s following the disastrous Gorbachevite liquidation of the Soviet workers state) has drawn the venom of the White Russian nazi diaspora, desperate to re-accelerate the counter-revolutionary dismantling of the former Soviet Union.

They have every reason to plot and slander and even organise such a provocation, along with various other gangsters, the Zionists, assorted mafias, and the equally likely Machiavellian possibility of the west itself seeking to create or stir up trouble and mass confusion.

They all have the form, and as this week’s TV documentary on the over 600 attempts to assassinate Cuba’s communist leader Fidel Castro demonstrates, none more so than the hypocritical US led west, which has maintained its post-War dominance and exploitation rule over the planet with more than 400 coups, sponsored terrorism, assassinations, wars, fomented riots, bribed and manipulated demonstrations and strikes, set-up incidents (most notably the Gulf of Tonkin start to the Vietnam war), massacres and blitzings, to put in place and maintain in its own interests the most monstrous crew of gangsters, fascists, thugs and nazi stooges in all of history, making Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Himmler look like a bunch of rank amateurs.

Who knows who did Litvinenko or the Lebanese job?

No-one except the perpetrators, is the answer.

But it has not stopped the demented circus of the western press reporting every fanciful allegation as already established - so that even the consultant in the hospital felt obliged to step in to check the more extravagant “facts” being reported this week, to say that medically nothing had been determined.

Radioactivity, supposedly, was only detectable after his death.

But science and the truth does not come into this.

Just the opposite. It is standard CIA and MI5/MI6 psyops technique to plant allegations of murder, spying and intrigue based on hearsay, rumour, “friends of the victim say”, “analysts believe” or “diplomats allege” comments, which a compliant anti-communist anti-working class press will run for weeks as if they are fact - and which are then denied or withdrawn later when the heat has died down, (if the story is too thin to keep running) but leaving the event as “proven” in the public perception.

It rarely gets challenged as “left” liberal writer John Pilger said in a recent letter:

...A study by the universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds has found that more than 80% of media reporting of Iraq has slavishly followed “the government line on the moral case for the war in Iraq”, that “anti-war and humanitarian voices” have been “sidelined”, and that the “quotes” of the government and other warmongers have dominated the coverage.

For “quotes” read lies and half-truths and criminal deceptions that even now - with 655,000 “excess deaths” reliably estimated - are still faithfully echoed and amplified by many journalists. The accompanying silence about the true nature of the crime committed by Blair and his gang is censorship by omission on a grand scale. In the US, leading journalists now say that had the media done its job and challenged lying politicians like Bush and Rumsfeld from the start, the cynical, lawless invasion of a defenceless country could not have been justified and would not have happened, and myriad lives would not have been destroyed. Is there no shame at all?

On an opposite page, student journalists are urged to think digital: podcasts and hyperlinks and all that. There is not a word about the role of journalists as state propagandists - honourable exceptions aside - and how the craft of journalism, in promoting the self-serving clichés, jargon and immorality of the powerful to justify an epic crime, is itself stained with blood.

John Pilger

(Despite much useful and brave reporting of imperialist oppression and slave-driving exploitation worldwide, Pilger’s protest would carry even more weight if petty bourgeois individualist hostility to the need for the sometimes rough-and-ready force of the dictatorship of the proletariat, (or at least attempted anti-imperialist firmness and discipline in countries trying to stand up against colonialism), had not led him equally on occasion to stir the demonisation pot. Against assorted western bogies from Myanmar to Zimbabwe, he has been trapped into reporting as ‘atrocity’ what is either not exceptional (Burmese “child labour” e.g. which is not always exploitation in socialised community work campaigns) or is part of state conflict with counter-revolutionary forces. Amnesty International-style catch-all hands-up middle class outrage at ‘political imprisonment’ per se simply misses the point of the deadly class-war and subversion which is endlessly plotted against workers states or anti-imperialist regimes, which are usually not firm enough in suppressing fraudulent “freedom and dem’cr’cy” stunts which are always looking to provoke turmoil and violence, exactly as was the case in Tian An Men, Ukraine’s “Orange revolution” and recently attempted again in Hungary etc etc etc).

But the point stands. The great disinformation campaign is eagerly served by the capitalist media helping the Big Lie weapon be used for decades against liberation movements, revolutionaries and all the workers states, and any of imperialism’s current enemies or victims, notably recently for example against the republican movement in Northern Ireland, still routinely declared guilty for a £20M major bank robbery as if the case had been through the courts, proven and sorted.

And now it is used now to keep the specious “war on terror” and Muslim scapegoating hysteria going, to help build up the chauvinistic and scapegoating war atmosphere needed by imperialism as, at least sometimes, gets admitted in parts of the bourgeois press:

The destruction of a reputation through the media is a tactic we have seen before when serious police errors have come into the public domain. Duwayne Brooks, the witness to Stephen Lawrence’s murder, suffered years of arrests, on charges from rape to stealing a car (his own), but they were always dropped or thrown out of court. It is no surprise then that Mohammed Abdul Kahar, shot last June in his home in Forest Gate, east London, by police looking for a dirty bomb, got the full treatment.

The family was reported as living it up in expensive hotels before the police let them move back into their home; Mr Kahar had reportedly spat at soldiers in their barracks, saying he hoped they would “die in Iraq”; then he was arrested on suspicion of making pornographic pictures of children on the computer he had bought second hand to study maths and English. The decision at the end of last month not to bring any charges received none of the tabloid fanfare that greeted the original claims. Mr Kahar has been unjustly branded first a terrorist and then a paedophile. His whole family has suffered “irreparable damage”, his sister Humeya told me.

Mr Kahar today is traumatised, struggling with lost confidence, sleeplessness, flashbacks and guilt for his mother’s distress. Until June he was a cheerful young man working for Royal Mail, where he had been through a vetting procedure and signed the Official Secrets Act as a driver/collector of material from such places as banks and police stations. He was able to manage this workload despite being dyslexic.

The media and the police were looking for an Islamist extremist far from Mr Kahar’s profile. “I’m Asian, with a long beard; that’s all they had against me,” he told me this week. “I prayed at work and at home, hardly ever went to the mosque, and my friends are mainly non-Muslims, schoolfriends and neighbours.”

Mr Kahar’s life changed dramatically when 15 officers in chemical suits burst into his home and shot him. The bullet entered his chest and exited through his shoulder, and the wound is still very painful, restricting his movement. But the Royal Mail has been loyal to him, and he is on sick leave.

Mr Kahar and his brother were released without charge after a week of questioning about extremist groups they did not recognise. At a press conference Mr Kahar described how a police officer shot him at close range, and he was then kicked, hit on the head and dragged into the street before being given first aid. Hours after the press conference, the Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Andy Hayman issued an apology.

But today Mr Kahar regrets the press conference, and feels it sparked police and media persecution of his family. The child porn allegations retraumatised him, he says, and he feels paranoid and vulnerable. He rejects the Independent Police Complaints Commission report into the shootings, which his solicitors have criticised. Two IPCC reports into aspects of the raid are pending. The porn allegations also need an inquiry. Mr Kahar’s libel lawyers stalled negotiations with two newspapers about their coverage of the raid when the spinning of the child porn allegations began. The negotiations will now be reactivated.

Seven years after the Macpherson report found the police to be institutionally racist, this case deserves the personal attention of the Met commissioner, Sir Ian Blair. As for the intelligence services, who gets demoted for the shoddy work that led to Forest Gate? MI5 says it is investigating 30 major terrorist plots. With Forest Gate as an example, it can expect scepticism.

· Victoria Brittain is the co-author, with Moazzam Begg, of Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantánamo and Back

The fanciful Racec “massacre” used to justify the 1998 Nato blitzing of tiny Serbia, (starting the current warmongering), the even more internationally coordinated big lie about the non-existent Tian An Men Square “slaughter” in China (invisible to all press, TV and radio reporting with not one photo of any ‘massacre in the square’ despite a continuing worldwide press presence there for two months – because it did not happen), the tens of thousands supposedly gunned down in Romania by Ceausescu during the 1989 western organised “People’s revolution” stunts to overturn the east European workers states (and months later conceded to have been a completely made-up figure), the CIA coordinated lorry driver strikes organised in the early 1970s against Salvador Allende to precipitate the torturing fascist Pinochet coup, and the Gulf of Tonkin start to the Vietnam war, are just some of the most notable non-existent incidents used by imperialism to stampede mass opinion. All but the Tonkin incident (now too publicly exposed) are still routinely reported as historical fact.

Mountains of other lies and black propaganda pour out, especially against the entire history of the workers states and any remaining workers states from China and North Korea to Cuba and Vietnam (however disappointingly compromised and inadequate their revisionist opportunism proves at times).

Critical realism means that some of the more glaring monstrosities get reported. The disgusting bankruptcy at Farepak and it filthy exploitation of the poorest in the country, stripping away even the second-rate Christmas that is the best they could expect has rightly been counterposed to the obscene billions being paid in bonuses this year to the City financiers who do nothing useful, but parasitically strip a percentage of the wealth that flows through imperialism - wealth which has one source only, the labour of ordinary people, including those taken for a ride at Farepak.

The libel laws the bourgeoisie is so prepared to swing around to suppress comment, reporting, and debate whenever its endless corruption, bribery, greed, violence, cynicism, unfairness, arrogance, lying, twisting exploitation is mocked, exposed or challenged, simply do not come into play when it is pumping out the crap.

When the dominant powerful imperialist system is on a roll, steaming forwards with its seemingly unstoppable power and might penetrating all areas of the globe to rip out raw materials and commandeer, with the giant power of ever-expanding capital (and the military and police force which is ever ready to back it up), ever more surplus value from grotesquely exploited labour power, building its resources ever higher, it gets away with the lies and manipulation which constitutes the reality of “bourgeois democracy”.

Aiding it always is the opportunism and soft-headedness of the huge spectrum of class collaborating fake-”left”, endlessly posing as “revolutionaries” and strutting and posturing at non-stop academic discussions and debates about how the working class should be doing this and that, and precisely what unintelligibly complex organisational structures it should have in tedious angels-on-a-pin-head abstract detail.

They spend most of their time trying to dazzle and bemuse ordinary workers with their “cleverness” and “intellectualism” but fail to see or explain the daily reality of erupting class struggle and anti-imperialist hatred worldwide.

Just the opposite.

They don’t want to see any such thing and even less to give the working class any leadership in understanding it.

Instead they give “left” cover to imperialism’s anti-communism, failing to defend the workers states and revolutionary struggles at every key moment when the rough and bitter reality comes to the surface of the need to exert class force to defend against subversion.

The Trots, in their middle class gut-instinct hatred of any real workers discipline - especially when organised in state form with the dictatorship of the proletariat - have universally bought into and supported every single stinking fraudulent “mass-revolt” “democracy” counter-revolutionary stunt organised and provoked by imperialism’s 24-hour subversion machinery, from the Nazi/Catholic inspired counter-revolutionary “Uprising” in Hungary in 1956, and the equally poisonous attempt to overthrow the Czechoslovakian regime in 1968, to the Vatican Bank Ambrosiana and CIA funded Solidarnosc “trade union” which was no such thing as is now glaringly clear in the current reactionary government of the Kaczynski twins, completely counter-revolutionary founder members along with the fascist Lech Walesa.

And the many shades of revisionism, with their tepid soft-headed retreat into a reliance on “democratic ways forward” and essentially tailending of the rubbish of gradual change peddled by reformism have been equally guilty of failing to explain to the working class that only the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and the greatest firmness of purpose, in every sector of the world where advances are made - that is in the workers states under the dictatorship of the working class - to suppress and counter imperialist subversion, is absolutely crucial.

But they have all been badly and devastatingly exposed by the eruption of the now ever widening circle of insurgency against imperialism -– showing their true class-collaborating colours as the entire swamp rushed to “condemn terrorism” alongside the reactionary neo-cons, or supported those that did, like the Lalkarites, keeping silent within the SLP for years, until eventually thrown out, having served Scargill’s “left cover” purposes.

It is now clearer than ever that the “terrorism” which capitalism wants to “wage war on” is merging in more and more into mass struggle against imperialism, and is the early spontaneous form of worldwide revolutionary development, however crudely carried through and with whatever sometimes irrational or backward ideology to guide it.

That various inadequate religious, nationalist and other cultural forms dominate the consciousness of the hundreds of millions of workers, peasants, proletarian elements and Third World petty bourgeois anti-imperialists is anyway at the door of the fake-”left” swamp which has poisoned or failed communist development throughout the entire post-war period and particularly in the Middle East where the retreat from revolutionary understanding by Stalinist Moscow revisionism, has at worst fostered strategies and methods based on parliamentary democratic forms of struggle (not an invalid tactic but only if used as a platform to expose parliamentary democracy as a fraud) and containment of militancy and armed struggle, emphasising always a supposed “battle for peace”.

Any of the millions looking for militant struggle against the fascist impositions in Middle East and the stooge regimes fostered by imperialism (Mubarak in Egypt e.g.), or to step past the foul class-collaborating reactionary nationalist Arab regimes which have refused to fight for decades, have been obliged to turn to the leaderships which have offered such - notably the Hizbullahs, Hamas, Islamic Jihad etc etc.

Nowhere has this hampering and hamstringing of the struggle had more impact than in Palestine where the “lefts’ ” influence, across the board, has strongly pushed onto the people the “two-state solution” nonsense of a possible “compromise deal” for decades, opposing and blocking the only realistic scientific understanding there could be of Zionism; that this forced colonialist imposition in the Middle East was a permanent festering wound that could never be healed or become part of the region.

Zionism was always going to be permanently obliged to assert its existence by main force, since it came into being and continued, only by the theft of an entire land and brutal terrorising “ethnic cleansing” expulsion of the Palestinian people, with the total fragmentation of any possible nationhood, destruction of all links and communities and potential elimination of the entire people, by dispersion or genocide.

(And imperialism postures and prances around at the Hague over suppositions and stitch-up allegations of genocide!!!)

As Marxism alone has insisted based on rational scientific study of history and class struggle (the only rational dialectical scientific discipline there is free of one-sidedness and distortion) there could certainly never be any justice for this dispossessed people and worse, since they would not, and could not go away, they must always fight for their existence leaving the need for Zionism to “deal” with the problem by permanent jackboot-on-the-neck oppression and increasing genocidal suppression.

It is a scientific conclusion more horrifically borne out and proven as the days go by, with the entire imperialist order saying not a word as it colludes in this stinking nazism.

It has suited imperialism mightily to have this permanent armed doorkeeper in the Middle East, keeping the entire region prone and ready to “smite” each and every sign of any resistance or rebellious anti-imperialism, feeding it with arms, (including nuclear weapons,) massive subsidy to sustain the otherwise impossible economy, and political support and the evasion of all opposition and United Nations resolutions and declarations of illegality.

But the militancy of the people has grown and the slowly won painful lessons made which will gradually lead back to completely revolutionary understanding and perspectives, eventually developing the scientific Marxism which is crucial for the complete overturn of imperialism.

It could have come much quicker if revisionist opportunism and evasion had not built up a deadly distrust for decades, with its insistence on foisting the impossible, humiliating “negotiated two-state” solution via the opportunist Arafatite tragedy. But with its insistence on refusing to recognise Israel as a state (which it is not, being an artificially imposed colonial occupation – out of time in the long-established post-colonial age) Hamas militancy has demonstrated how the ripening of experience, in struggle and the developing imperialist crisis around it, have combined to push forwards the maturity and competence of the struggle, just as with Hizbullah next door and growing development in the entire region.

None of this is sufficient – and lack of science may hamper the struggle at points. Marxism can only battle the irrationalist elements of this leadership, insisting that scientific clarity is mankind’s future not a reversion to the superstition and religion of past times.

But its obvious movement forwards in the struggle against imperialism is not something to oppose, and be hostile to, as the “fake” left does, foully betraying this growing militancy with its wooden academic analyses and one-sidedness, lining up with the worst of reactionary neocon-ism to condemn all such leaderships as “islamo-fascist”.

Revisionism is as deadly as the Trots, with its lying evasions and refusal to re-examine the mistaken understanding of the past, most of all the disastrous legacy of Stalinism and its specific application in this case through ‘recognition’ of the so-called Israeli state’s foundation in 1948.

Still, rather than confront this appalling mistake, the result of illusions in the “containment” of imperialist aggression and the supposed inevitable gradual overtaking of imperialism economically and politically by the socialist camp, groups like CPGB-Proletarian continue with the same recognition to this day.

It is slyly done, not least because the Proletarian is anyway nothing but the Lalkar group re-branded following its ignominious split with Scargill’s bureaucratic-”left” class collaborating trade unionism in the SLP, with its eight-year long support for this anti-communism and misleadership of the working class still unexplained and simply brushed under the carpet.

Even more sly is its failure to bring out into the open this continuing lie. In its recent issue it bends before the wind of the popularity of Hamas and Hizbullah declaring their

“stock...has risen to remarkable heights. Israeli bombarding during the war, the wholesale destruction of Lebanon and the mass slaughter of Lebanese people have served to intensify anti-American sentiment to a new height in the region and put US-friendly stooge regimes under great pressure from their own public. ... The proletariat in the imperialist countries must greet and embrace this new Middle East with boundless enthusiasm, for this anti-imperialist Middle East is a friend and ally of the proletariat in the latter’s struggle for socialism.”

But this new found enthusiasm comes just a year after writing this (from October 2005):

For our part, we must give full support to the Palestinian people as they work towards their aims of a united Palestinian state, the release of all political prisoners, the right of Palestinians to return to their homes in what is now called Israel, the destruction of the apartheid wall, the removal of the zionist occupation forces from Palestinian land, the return of all land grabbed since 1967 and the withdrawal of all zionist occupation settlements.

But this mealy mouthed evasion just continues the UN trickery that there are valid borders for a valid Israeli state!

As the EPSR 1212 said:

And every devious approach to this subject now tries to pull this same unstated stunt:— “Criticise any act you wish of the Israeli Government, just don’t challenge the right of Israel to exist”.

And every single slander of “anti-semitism” now works itself up into a lather via unstated reference to this assumedly “untouchable” question of “Why should Israel exist at all?”.

Every argument which strays in that direction immediately gets the “anti-semitism” boot right in the face, just as all Palestinian and Arab resistance since 1948 to that armed colonisation of the Palestinian homeland has been getting a boot in the face (and much worse besides).

Notice how, despite all the new flood, now, of unprecedented anti-Zionist criticism in the Western bourgeois media, there is still never any addressing of the only serious question worth asking if there is ever to be any resolution to this never-ending horror story of genocidal warmongering “Israeli” tyranny, — namely, why has this armed colonisation been planted in the midst of the Palestinian Arab homeland at all??? And why does it go on receiving Western imperialist protection, the highest per-capita aid-rate of any country on Earth, and generous licence to have access to any weaponry, including nuclear weapons, uniquely among all countries which are outside the magic circle of the major Western imperialist powers??

The question never gets debated in the media because the whole of the Western world knows that there is not a single shred of historical justification for the armed establishment of “Israel” in the Palestinian Arabs’ very midst, either then or now.

...and the brainwashing nightmare to try to ensure that this questioning of the very existence of “Israel” should never get debated by a zombiefied world, — was also predictable too.

But like all propaganda stunts which go against the grain of history, this one too will in time crash in flames.

The postwar world HAD TO include some genuine elements of retreat from empire, otherwise the mythical nonsense of the “victorious allies” who would “respect peaceful coexistence” could never have been sold to a naive trusting world by Stalinist Revisionism (to get all-out war-revolutionary struggle put on the back burner, giving the delusions of “good imperialists” (as opposed to “bad, fascist imperialists”) the chance to fall apart peacefully under their own “going nowhere” steam, etc, etc)

And this physical empire-dismantling (as opposed to the financial continuation of Western monopoly capitalist global empires) was what the armed colonial establishment of the “state of Israel” went right against the grain of.

It is a measure of Hamas’ political maturity that it sticks tight on precisely this point, accepting the possibility that a truce might be called on the issue if it got a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. But such a compromise is the necessity of the situation, as Lenin made clear in his famous example of compromising with a “well-armed gangster” in order to fight another day. Hamas continues to make the critical political point that there is not any such entity as Israel.

Proletarian’s revisionist deviousness continues, because its same paper last year was eulogising Arafat as a “master of changing tack from armed resistance to negotiation” and calling for Hamas to cease any conflict with his successor Abbas.

But it is disingenuousness of the first water to pretend that such support for the “two-stater” par excellence, Arafat, does not constitute an attack on Hamas which was precisely in conflict with his endless opportunist compromising.

Having come so far in unity, we are sure that these seasoned liberation fighters will not let their people down by training their guns on each other, for that would only let the enemy off the hook and leave the Palestinian people with no protection.

Proletarian gushes on unctuously, further pretending that such “unity” is not in fact a call to bury the vital political argument which alone can clarify the masses and thereby produce genuine unity. What else is the Bolshevik party about?

But then revisionism has been burying the real argument and refusing polemic for decades.

Who has been attacking who? Who won the election victory and tried to from a new government?

Who lost and has initiated the bitter infighting to sabotage the Hamas militancy?

It gets worse if this report is true:

Hamas accused the United States yesterday of fomenting internal strife among Palestinians as new details emerged of a campaign to funnel millions of dollars in funds to its opponents and provide weapons and military training for rival forces.

Officially the US has put up some $42m to bolster Hamas’s political opponents ahead of possible early Palestinian elections, with officials saying the programme is aimed at promoting alternatives to Hamas, which caused a sensation when it won power in January. But reports in Israel suggest that cash is being diverted to military training and to purchase weapons for forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, amid growing fears that Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas are headed for a showdown.

Ahmed Youssef, a political adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said yesterday that the US was trying bring down the government by various means. ‘They failed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Lebanon, and they will fail in Palestine because they have no clear plans on how to deal with Islamists. We hoped after the elections in January that they would open door to talks, to put things on the table and to help Palestinians find a final peaceful solution but unfortunately every time they deal with wrong people and the wrong ideas.’

US cash is reportedly being used to set up training facilities for Abbas’s special guard, Force 17, in the West Bank town of Jericho and in Gaza. Hamas, meanwhile has plans to strengthen its 3,000-strong Executive Force to 7,500 men, and has been importing weapons from Egypt.

No-one wants strife and bitterness in the working class, and the confusion and deadly sectarianism of the Iraq cataclysm is not only devastating but obviously a major drawback in struggle against imperialism.

No one wants it – except imperialism that is, which in the absence of establishing its own stooge regime in Iraq might well be interested in as much divide and rule as possible – or at least divide and survive on the world stage.

In which light it can be asked again – who benefits from an assassination in Lebanon which sets back the rise of the Hizbullah and growing anti-imperialism?

Confusion mongering and intriguing will always continue to be a major weapon of the ruling class, and needs constantly exposing by Marxist science.

Scientific clarity over the balance of class forces and the state of the world is the best weapon to counter the endless subversions and trickery of the ruling class.

The EPSR does not pretend to know all the answers. But it understands this – that the fight to grasp theory is not served by evasions, deviousness and double talk but by battling for understanding in front of the masses and with them over the understanding of this brutal long-degenerate capitalist system.

It needs a party of an utterly new type, concentrating on the struggle for understanding. Without revolutionary theory there is no end to imperialism. Build Leninism. Don Hoskins

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Genocidal Zionist moves against Gaza show the “two state” solution was not just an unachievable delusion (and revisionist soft-headedness) but fatal misleadership of generations of oppressed Palestinians, playing into imperialist hands. Growing but deepening militancy and heroism is nascently revolutionary but without crucial scientific perspectives needed as imperialist warmongering aims grow ever murkier.

MIDDLE EAST: Current wars and those that are on the way

There was little confidence that the request proposed by Mahmoud Abbas would urge the United Nations Security Council to halt the most recent Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. This is the most significant Israeli operation since last June, and included the taking of Beit Hanun, a settlement located in the north of this Palestinian territory. As I write these lines, over fifty people have died and there have been a large number of injured including, as always, children, but announcing the news in this way would reduce the events to just figures and fail to mention the horror of being continuously under threat, with the howl of artillery constantly jangling one’s nerves, while fear corrodes you as you imagine that the walls or roof of your home will be the next to come tumbling down, and the terror of going outside prevents your children from playing. There is no electricity or water. Nor is there a great deal of hope. You never know whether a sick person will make it to the hospital. The Israelis prevent ambulances from moving around or stop them at checkpoints where many women have given birth or serious bleeding has been provoked because they do not permit them to arrive at the medical centers in time.

“Death, destruction, and desperation are the terms that have been used to describe the situation (..*) Today, 40,000 people in Beit Hanun are suffering enormously,” said John Ging, a UN official, following a visit to the place.

Six year old Palestinian murdered by ZionismThis is the reality on the ground, but the Finnish president of the EU, from some ignorant or biased report, sent a note to Palestinian leaders calling on them to bring an end to “terrorist activities.” Giving an apparent impression of impartiality, they recommended that Israel, a nation that possesses one of the most powerful armies in the world, does not use “disproportionate” violence.

The settlement of Beit Hanun has some 30,000 inhabitants and has been undergoing daily aggressions and attacks for the last five months. It has been declared a “closed military zone” by the invaders. This is to say that they have removed the possibility that residents can leave the area. Bush and other politicians talk of Israel’s right to self-defense (?) but it seems that they deny the same right to the Palestinians who, of course, do not have an army.

This carte blanche to the Zionists allows them to use “weapons that transform the dead and wounded into something monstrous. The injuries caused by rockets fired by unmanned aircraft are horrific. They are like knife cuts, legs, feet and hands completely ripped off, the wounds caused by m-16 rifles are -also appalling. The soldiers have orders to fire from the waist and above, they aim at the chest, the heart and the head.” Jo this account can be added what happened to the women who placed themselves in the line of fire, in an attempt to help their sons and husbands threatened by Israeli armored vehicles surrounding a mosque. They were shot. The images are piling up. The event cannot be denied.

Shortly before Israel reoccupied Gaza, it was staging, very revealing political and military maneuvers to determine an increase in the conflict with its neighbors. Some high-ranking officials from the Israeli executive spoke of “strengthening” Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian National Authority, not because they wished to create two amicable states and lasting peace, but for another cunning motive: namely, extenuating the differences between the leaders of Al Fatah and Hamas, arid putting, a stop to any agreement between the two groupings. At the same time, they are maintaining the collective punishments against civilians. What is taking place in Gaza has been approved by the Israeli security cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has authorized what he describes as “security operations”. The challenge is being maintained: put pressure on Hamas and other resistance organizations, and prevent them from maintaining their support,

Among the pretexts put forward to justify the escalation of aggression is the hypothetical existence of tunnels linking Gaza and Egypt and through which arms are moved back and forth. There is no proof to support this theory, but it is a useful hypothesis to hide behind and support actions such as those committed by the Israeli army as they destroyed Palestinian installations in the industrial zone of Erez. Of course, they did not find tunnels nor did they repair what they had annihilated.

The Israeli government’s session in which they agreed to intensify these hostile attacks was the first in which ultra-rightwing Avigdor Lieberman, appointed as deputy prime minister and minister for strategic affairs, had taken part. This individual accentuates the worst tendencies of the Israeli cabinet. He has said that Arabs living in Israel should be deported and that any Congress member who has sustained links with Hamas, deserves to be shot.

It is impossible not to stress that Hamas representatives have been elected according to the same rules that Washington and its followers violate whenever they feel like it. The Israeli boycott of income that through customs charges should by right be given to the Palestinian National Authority, and the end of aid from different countries, is being used so that the population repudiates those they have elected. It is also another, way of placing strain on the possibilities of understanding between sister nations.

In Tel Aviv’s plans and those of its buddy Bush, there are other loathsome orders not only related to keeping the pressure up on the Palestinians between the 600 kilometer wall and the checkpoints where they are unable to pass. There is more. Provocative flights which violate UN-Resolution 1701 that have been carried out over Lebanese cities, at the same time that the White House was releasing reports on the alleged plans by Syria:and Iran against the Lebanese governments. Do they want to put a lid on Israeli infractions or are they preparing the public for worse situations? A heightened concentration of U.S. naval power in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea has been noted. Several analysts fear that this could provoke a fictitious incident against Iran, such as that of Tonkin, which allowed Lyndon Johnson to meddle in Viet Nam in 1964. It should not be dismissed that if they do just that; there would be a similar result. It is worth noting that, with respect to what is taking place and what could occur, we will continue to report on events. (EC)


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