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 paper

No 1317 10th July 2007

Brownite shysters’ fraudulent “new broom” lies about Blairism – brought down by world defeat – about “democracy”, about economic slump disaster hurtling at capitalism like an express train and about the growing world hostility to the foul warmongering oppression that is all imperialism can now give the world. World “terrorism”, however tragic, signals growing resistance and will not be stopped by punishment, more war and more blitzing.

The great pretence by the opportunist New Labourites of bringing in a “new Government” will do nothing to save the British ruling class from the historic abyss it is peering into as the world capitalist crisis deepens inexorably.

The sleight-of-hand changeover to Gordon Brown is not so much re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic as adjusting their positions slightly.

Disastrous oncoming economic collapse and growing worldwide anti-imperialist hostility continue to loom like huge icebergs as Marxist science alone has insistently declared against all fake-“left” derision claiming its slump collapse warnings to be “misguided catastrophism”, “premature” anyway or “old hat and no longer relevant”.

The fraudulently installed Brownite regime immediately proved it is opportunist business as usual with the incompetent chaos over summer flooding leaving millions of ordinary people devastated and fobbed off with a trickle of laughable “compensation” (and no admission that it is Brown’s spending cuts which have savaged flood defences anyway for a decade), while City takeovers, insane bonuses and “private equity” greed rampage and plunder unstopped.

But much more sinisterly, the Brownites have immediately wheeled out the same “world terrorist threat” hysteria used to stoke up a warmongering atmosphere generally by US and other imperialism, piling on the shallow scapegoating clichés about “evil men determined to attack our way of life” and turning the screw to create yet more dictatorial domestic “security” repression.

Shallow gibberish about “foreign ideologues” supposedly driven by some completely inexplicable fanatical hatred of “perfectly nice”, whiter-that-white innocent Westerners “merely trying to pursue their own lives”, was the endlessly repeated hysterical garbage used by Tony Blair (once the initial WMD Goebbels lie conspiracy had been stripped bare and a new story was needed) to “justify” his part in the monstrous non-stop imperialist crisis warmongering that capitalism is now imposing on the planet and which has already killed hundreds of thousands and devastated millions more lives in the Middle East and increasingly further afield.

The “new broom” will do nothing to change any of this since it is nothing but a fresh coat of paint hastily slapped on exactly the same old parliamentary racket used to cover over the dictatorship of the bourgeoise – despite all the bolstering up with the same pomp and ceremony as a real post-election “triumph” changeover (such as that is worth anyway), and the petty bourgeois pretence that it all means something as they give their hushed TV commentaries, helicopter coverage of the ride to Buckingham Palace etc, followed by endless newspaper peering at the tealeaves as the ministries are renamed, the “new cabinet” is appointed, “fresh” policies announced etc, etc,. (well mocked by Steve Bell’s “seals of office” cartoon).

It is all just more of the same spin nonsense invented by Blairism to give parliament an extra lease of life after the growing capitalist crisis had already finished off the disaster of Thatcherism, Tory sleaze and incompetence, massively increased inequality and social breakdown, criminality, drug despair and draconian “disciplining” of the underprivileged and rebellious, and the growing revolt against it all (Poll Tax rioting etc).

Nothing much has changed under Blairism. Or Brown. Or will.

If anything the new “unglitzty, dour, serious” spin is even more cynical than the now threadbare “sincerity” gushing of Blairism (covering over the monstrous neo-Mosleyite fascistisation of society, Goebbels “anti-terrorism” hysteria and stepped-up warmongering of the past decade) since it is pretending to “give power back to parliament” and “re-write the constitution” (immediately backed by the posturing fake-”lefts” like Tony Benn, rushing to rebuild illusions in ‘real, genuine’ parliament – and thereby exposing their “anti-Blairism” for the shallow posturing pointlessness it really has been all along).

It is all an utter joke.

This crew is drawn from exactly the same set of twisters and posturers that put, and kept, Blairism in power in the first place, and which has gone along with every cynical lie for the last decade.

This is lying spin trickery about pretending to give up lying spin trickery.

And even if it was not, what “power” has parliament ever had anyway?

All real and significant decisions within capitalism are taken by the ruling class in its behind-the-scenes manipulations and control through 1001 establishment channels and most of all through the sheer weight and power of big money capital and its profiteering needs, – currently for warmongering destruction of “surplus” capital.

All real and significant opposition has only ever been through the raw class struggle, pushing back the rapacious exploitation of the ruling class, with concessions and allowances won only by the most titanic upheavals and sacrifice, from the insurrectionary Chartist movement of the 1830-40s and the European revolutionary upheaval pressures in 1848 and 1870, to the mass left ferment caused by two world wars and bitterly fought trade union struggles, tipping into near revolutionary battles, as in 1926 and in the post-war miners strikes and others.

And of course won most of all from the huge retreats made by the ruling class in the teeth of the devastating world influence of the 1917 communist revolution in Russia and the flawed but titanic 70 year historic building of the giant Soviet workers state and the enormous anti-imperialist and communist revolutions which it inspired non-stop from then on (some still surviving in various ways); particularly after the equally shattering victory over imperialist fascism from 1941-45.

Only these non-stop and bitterly fought revolutionary struggles (partial and complete) by the world working class – and associated anti-imperialist anti-colonialism fights of many kinds – have ever lain at the root of any changes in the modern world.

Their inevitable re-development on the world stage, in the teeth of imperialist crisis, is all that is changing or will ever change anything in the future.

In all history it is the revolutionary class struggle that has driven change, pushing back and overturning class dictatorship from slavery through feudalism to modern imperialist capitalism.

Reforms are only the ripples of revolution reaching the surface of society.

But the job of parliament, (once a “committee of the ruling class” open only to propertied interests), is to pretend otherwise. Over centuries it was turned more and more to covering over this dictatorship of capital with rainbow-end promises that one day everything can be made better through “steady change”, listening to the “ordinary person’s voice”, working “democratically” and “fairly” and “reasonably” and so forth, all to with one purpose – heading off revolutionary struggle into dead-end disarming reformist backwaters.

Brownism simply tries to spin this historically defunct nonsense a bit further – and even less credibly than the Blairite trick of actually being completely Tory in policy and attitude while gushingly pretending to be for “ordinary people”.

The coalition government that the ruling class always uses in times of crisis, dropping most of the pretence even of a “choice” (like the MacDonald Labour-Tory betrayal in the early 1930s slump) is even more difficult to hide under Brown than Blair, with members of the ruling class like the leader of the bosses’ organisation the CBI, openly invited in as part of government.

But beyond this, the biggest piece of lying New Labour hype currently is covering over the historic emperor’s clothing joke of the “transfer of power” itself.

The entire capitalist establishment tyranny has been tip-toeing around one glaring fact for fear of waking working class discontent – a government has just been brought down.

But the ruling class will go to any lengths to avoid it being seen that raw class forces have defeated it.

It has it has gone through 10 years of pointless, childish, petulant prevarication in “Northern Ireland”, for example, to evade any connection being made between the titanic undefeated survival of the Sinn Féin/IRA armed struggle (and its devastating blows on the mainland) and the “peace agreement” now made with a defeated British class pulling out of the abortive artificial “state”, with effectively a reuniting process for the whole of Ireland underway (whatever formal names remain for Stormont e.g.).

It has bent things even further with Blair.

The exposure of grotesque Goebbels falseness used to get into the Iraq war and the steady fascistisation of British politics was already stinking to high heaven within a year of the Iraq warmongering opening up, driven into the open by the steadily growing resistance and insurgency which the plans had run into.

But so panicky is the ruling class in its crisis desperation it has hung onto Blairism for three years more as the best of a bad lot; every ‘alternative’ lifting the lid on public discussion and dangerously risking stirring upheaval.

It is boxed in.

The previously defeated Tory option remains a Hooray Henry joke – shadowing the same old Blairite trickery with Eton trained elitist toffs. The Liberal-Democrats got just a little too close to the anti-war sentiment of ordinary people (to the extent that Charles Kennedy had to be manoeuvred off the scene by a stunted up “drinking” scandal even though his posturing ‘opposition’ was about as real as a phone-in TV quiz.)

Even Brown’s false and tepid hints of “old Labour-ism” (a reformist fraud anyway) were too much.

But the sleaze of the cash-for-honours scandal, the bending of the law with in-your-face justification of state sanctioned industrial-scale corruption, such as the £1000M BAE bribes to backward and barbaric Saudi Arabia openly covered up, the monstrous Goebbels war lies, the endless draconian blame-and-punish culture against the working class while grovelling to the ever fatter City cats and plunderers, and the universal cynical black-is-white lying, while services are stripped and sold off, has got too much.

Among other clues the last general election and the recent regional elections showed that the parliamentary racket is almost completely exhausted, with what minimal turnout there was sustained only by new gimmicks like the postal vote and the desperate ostriching of some petty bourgeois to avoid revolutionary conclusions.

Some petty bourgeois influence may have affected the working class but mostly, for those that voted, it was from the wish to do down Blair, and ruling class he crawls to, by any means possible (enormous numbers could not see even this much point, and stayed away).

Not a vote was made enthusiastically, or for the “alternatives” (including fake-”lefts”) or with any sense that it mattered.

Massaging the figures and the media pretence of serious “debate” goes on, but despite the manipulation Blair has had to go.

The only real purpose of the Brownite “new broom” therefore, is to try and sweep all this disaster under the carpet.

But the truth is Blair has been brought down by the weight of long developing mass hostility of the world proletariat and tyrannised masses in the Third World as the exploitation they endure has grown increasingly intolerable to them, and is now multiplied ten thousandfold by the crisis turn of the decaying imperialist system to outright warmongering.

The “shock and awe” blitzkrieging, generated entirely by capitalism to “solve” its intractable overproduction crisis by working up a third round of world shattering international war devastation, (to outdo even the sickening horrors of the 1914-18 and 1937-45 destruction and barbarism) has rebounded on the US domination of the planet (and its UK sidekick).

The deadly entanglements and deepening mess in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine have generated waves of revolt spreading everywhere from Pakistan (itself now teetering on the edge of explosive revolutionary upheaval against western stooge dictator sidekick Musharraf) and Somalia to the Nigerian delta, South America and the Far East.

The enormous military machine and destructive capacity of US imperialism (and its few reactionary allies like the fascist Zionist occupation of Palestine) still remains out of all proportion to any forces that the downtrodden and poverty beset Third World masses can muster or even that the biggest of imperialist rivals like Germany or Japan can yet produce.

And the warmongering intent and desperation of disaster threatened imperialism can only increase as it squirms to avoid the unavoidable collapse of its debt and inflation ridden system into trade war, slump and conflict (see economics page).

But while capitalism is a long way yet from being brought down, the only real answer to war and chaos, the knots it has been tied in throughout Iraq and Afghanistan are already shattering blows to ruling class morale, creating splits and recriminations in all directions, with massive and yet unknown consequences.

The known effect is that both Bush and Blair are being laid low.

Under the weaker bourgeois power of the long defunct British empire remnants, Blair’s government has effectively been destroyed, the resignations constituting a major defeat.

Bush’s lies, sleaze and incompetence are also increasingly pushing him up against the ropes as the bourgeois press makes clear:

President George Bush turned 61 today but he did not have much to celebrate...low-key birthday celebrations apart, the week ended as badly as it began. The public backlash against his decision on Monday to commute the jail sentence of the former White House aide, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was followed yesterday by the withdrawal of support by Pete Dominici, a Republican senator for 35 years. The loss of such previously loyal Republicans is ominous for Mr Bush’s war strategy.

Mr Dominici told a press conference in his home state, New Mexico, he was not calling for an immediate withdrawal. “But I do support a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path of coming home.” More Republican defections are expected.

The portrait of Mr Bush that emerged this week is of a lonely president, holed up in the White House more than his predecessors, and fretting over his legacy.

Professor Robert Dallek, of Boston University and the author of several books about the presidency, as well as biographies of Franklin D Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, rates him as among the worst. He said that while it was not unprecedented for a president to end up as the lamest of lame ducks, citing Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and Johnson, he saw Mr Bush as a particularly pronounced case.

“If you are looking at defeat, no one wants to be associated with the person responsible. This is the case with Bush. You do not see his party rally round. He has united opinion against him and it makes for a lonely, isolated position,” Prof Dallek said today. He added: “Once a president loses trust, he cannot govern effectively.”

Although he has 18 months left in office, the president’s options are limited. Last week, he lost his last chance for snatching a lasting domestic legacy when his proposed immigration reform bill was destroyed in Congress. On foreign policy, there is little optimism of a late breakthrough on Israel-Palestine, Iran or Iraq.

The Washington Post reported this week on historians and other academics who have been invited to the White House to discuss with him his legacy, including British ones such as Sir Alistair Horne, author of A Savage War of Peace, a history of the Algerian revolt, which has parallels with Iraq. They, as well as former staffers and friends, spoke of his loneliness, his agonising over how history will portray him.

Michael Conaway, a still-loyal Republican senator and long-time friend, said the president appeared to be worn down by the pressure and spoke of “a marked difference in his physical appearance”.

Although never particularly a social animal, he is reluctant to drop into DC restaurants unannounced for dinner, as the Clintons did, in part because he is fearful of the public response.

This week, in particular, because of the Libby decision, he has largely avoided public contact that could embarrass him: his Fourth of July speech in West Virginia was an invitation-only event.

The White House all week presented the Libby decision as a compromise that was non-political. But a well connected source in Washington offered an alternative view that challenged the consensus that the president’s low poll ratings, just under 30%, could not fall much further because that figure represented bedrock Republican support. The source said commuting Libby’s sentence, a popular move among Republicans, was a panic measure to shore up Republican support that had been eroding at an alarming rate, mainly because of hostility to the immigration plan.

The other seminal moment, Mr Dominici’s withdrawal of support, followed the desertion of the Republican Congressman Richard Lugar last week, also over Iraq. About 50% of the sitting Republican senators face re-election battles in November next year and their constituents have made them well aware of how unpopular the Iraq war is.

George Bush could have spared the former White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby from jail to avoid him implicating others in the administration, a Democratic congressman investigating the affair claimed yesterday.

The White House immediately dismissed the allegation - made by John Conyers, the chairman of the House of Representatives judiciary committee - as “ridiculous and baseless”.

Last week, Mr Bush intervened to commute the two and a half year jail sentence given to Mr Libby for lying and obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA officer’s identity.

The president said Mr Libby’s punishment was too harsh, but stopped short of granting him an outright pardon.

Mr Conyers has scheduled a committee hearing on the matter for Wednesday.

His investigation will also look into pardons made by Bill Clinton and the first President Bush. In the final hours of his presidency, Mr Clinton pardoned 140 people, including the fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Yesterday, Mr Conyers said he suspected the quashing of Mr Libby’s jail term could be different from the earlier pardons.

“What we have here - and I think we should put it on the table right at the beginning - is that the suspicion was that if Mr Libby went to prison, he might further implicate other people in the White House, and that there was some kind of relationship here that does not exist in any of President Clinton’s pardons, nor, according to those that we’ve talked to ... is that it’s never existed before, ever,” he told ABC television.

...Mr Libby, the former chief of staff to the US vice president, Dick Cheney, was found guilty of obstructing a federal investigation into the naming of the covert CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Although never confirmed, there was suspicion that the Bush administration had exposed her to take revenge on her husband, Joe Wilson, a former ambassador.

Mr Wilson had publicly dismissed the president’s claim that Iraq had been seeking uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon as rubbish.

Conservative US papers yesterday condemned what they described as “appeasement” the day after the New York Times finally came out and called for the withdrawal of US troops.

The Washington Times, in its editorial, cautioned that the “appeasement caucus”, into which it lumped Democratic and Republican Congressmen who support an early return as well as the New York Times and other media, “are poised to send another unmistakable message of weakness to the jihadists”.

The Wall Street Journal, whose editorial page is among the most conservative of the mainstream US media, said Republicans calling for early withdrawal would get no credit from the electorate if they contribute to an ugly outcome in Iraq. “Their best prospect for making Iraq less important in 2008 is military progress that allows for a reduction in US forces with honour and a more stable Iraqi government.”

The New York Times, in its editorial on Sunday, began without equivocation: “It is time for the United States to leave Iraq without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organise an orderly exit.”

It said it had lost patience with Mr Bush’s promised breakthroughs. “It is frighteningly clear Mr Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.”

The editorial runs through the various practical issues, including the mechanics of withdrawal.

It concludes: “President Bush and vice-president Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened - the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.”

What is certain is that the sleaze and duplicity miring both the Blair and Bush regimes has been driven to the surface by the partial defeats of imperialist aggression and ruthlessness.

Material defeat, as Marxism understands, runs very deep, and is central to the weakening of the ruling class which finally makes it possible for the proletarian masses to seize the initiative historically and finally take power.

It is the massive turmoil in the wake of the last three great inter-imperialist trade war and slump upheavals, and the deadly conflicts which erupted from them from which the great upwelling of the class struggle has boiled over into revolution; in the heroic Paris Commune of 1870-71, in the Russian revolution of 1917 and in the wave of revolutions which followed the Second World War across Europe, Africa and Asia, including the billion strong Chinese revolution (one quarter of the planet), the anti-colonial struggle and the beginnings of the Middle East struggle.

Only the long stagnating revisionism of Moscow and its retreats from a full world revolutionary perspective have held things back as the next great crisis ripens.

It is obvious that the pot is ready to boil over again – both a symptom and a result of the greatest over production crisis ever for the capitalist system.

Only a complete takeover from the historically defunct capitalist order by the great masses of ordinary people can now stop the accelerating slide into chaos.

But conscious re-building of Marxist philosophical understanding will need to be well underway in the world before the leadership can be achieved to draw together the mass revolutionary forces which can finally end the capitalist imperialist system, and replace it with internationally coordinated and gradually merging planned socialist economies to take mankind forwards, and develop the full enormous potential of the world’s six billion people (mostly wasted and stunted under capitalist exploitation and deliberately maintained ignorance and philistinism).

Leninist party building by open struggle in the world working class for scientific, objective, open and honest understanding of past and current class struggle is a crucial ingredient for that.

But Marxist philosophy has long understood that the spontaneous pressure is already building for a transformation in the world.

Hundreds of millions of the masses on the planet have become increasingly discontent with their lives of endless degradation as exploited wage slave labour.

They suffer non-stop to keep the capitalist “free world” supplied with the goods, services and materials it needs for the tiny minority to live their lives of unbelievable pointless luxury, indolence and power.

But the capitalist world itself has increasingly drawn in the whole spectrum of humanity everywhere, relentlessly recruited into its production sphere and educated and trained for the work they have to do for capital and shown all the possibilities of modern technology and organisation, while they are simultaneously denied any of the fruits of the own labour.

Capitalism has changed the world and most of all the people in it who are more and more ready to burst out of this slavery.

It is the enormous growing spontaneous ferment of hatred for the tyranny imposed on them that is welling up in various forms in a thousand places and which has already blunted the edge of the neocon onslaught, slowing it down and simultaneously driving out splits and confusion in the imperialist order.

The turmoil and disaster of Iraq and increasingly Afghanistan, and the barbaric “collective punishment” smiting to suppress it, just gets worse as the bourgeois press sometimes continues to reveal:

Air strikes in the British-controlled Helmand province of Afghanistan may have killed civilians, coalition troops said yesterday as local people claimed that between 50 and 80 people, many of them women and children, had died.

In the latest of a series of attacks causing significant civilian casualties in recent weeks, more than 200 were killed by coalition troops in Afghanistan in June, far more than are believed to have been killed by Taliban militants.

The bombardment, which witnesses said lasted up to three hours, in the Gereshk district late on Friday followed an attempted ambush by the Taliban on a joint US-Afghan military convoy. According to Mohammad Hussein, the provincial police chief, the militants fled into a nearby village for cover. Planes then targeted the village of Hyderabad. Mohammad Khan, a resident of the village, said seven members of his family, including his brother and five of his brother’s children, were killed.

‘I brought three of my wounded relatives to Gereshk hospital for treatment,’ he told the Associated Press news agency by phone. The villagers were yesterday burying a ‘lot of dead bodies’, Khan said.

He spoke as American forces in Iraq also found themselves heavily criticised over civilian deaths when eight people died, apparently caught in crossfire from a gunfight between insurgents and soldiers in Baghdad’s Sadr City yesterday. But residents, police and hospital officials said eight civilians were killed in their homes and angrily accused US forces of firing blindly on innocent people. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the raids and demanded an explanation for the assault on a district where he has barred American operations in the past.

In Afghanistan, the civilian deaths caused by US and Nato-led troops have infuriated local people and prompted President Hamid Karzai to publicly condemn foreign forces for careless ‘use of extreme force’ and for viewing Afghan lives as ‘cheap’. The increasingly fragile President has urged restraint and better co-ordination of military operations with the Afghan government, while also blaming the Taliban for using civilians as human shields.

Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, raised the issue of civilian casualties on a four-hour visit to Afghanistan on Friday on which he met the senior Nato commander there, the American General Dan McNeill.

Senior British soldiers have previously expressed concerns that McNeill, who took command of the 32,000 Nato troops in Afghanistan only recently, was ‘a fan’ of the massive use of air power to defeat insurgents and that his favoured tactics could be counter-productive.

‘Every civilian dead means five new Taliban,’ said one British officer who has recently returned from Helmand. ‘It’s a tough call when the enemy are hiding in villages, but you have to be very, very careful,’ he added.

The American general has been dubbed ‘Bomber McNeill’ by his critics.

...A count by the United Nations and an umbrella organisation of Afghan and international aid groups shows the number of civilians killed by international forces was slightly greater than the number killed by insurgents in the first half of the year.

Three children were also killed on Friday and another wounded when an old rocket they were playing with exploded in Zabul province in the south, said General Yaqoub Khan, the provincial police chief.

More than 100 people were killed and 250 wounded yesterday when a truck bomb exploded in a crowded market in northern Iraq in one of the deadliest attacks in the country this year.

Colonel Abbas Mohammed Amin, the police chief in the town of Tuz Khurmato, scene of the explosion, said he feared the toll was set to rise: ‘There are still bodies under rubble, we are trying to dig them out,’ Amin said.

The bombing in the largely Shia town was a blow to a US-backed security crackdown in Iraq, and underscored the ability of militants to stage large-scale attacks. It came amid a bloody day in Iraq as two British soldiers died during fierce gun battles in a crackdown on insurgents in the southern city of Basra. Elsewhere in Iraq, 29 people were killed, including 22 people who died in Diyala province, which borders the north-east of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber hit a cafe.

Yesterday evening as the operations in Basra, in which British troops came under attack from bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire, were drawing to a close, a spokesman at the Ministry of Defence in London said: ‘We had intelligence on various suspects and we have made a number of arrests.’

The UK military spokesman in Basra, Major David Gell, said the operation was aimed at arresting individuals believed to be responsible for recent attacks on the Iraqi Provincial Joint Co-ordination Centre, a base from where Iraqi security forces and multinational forces try to keep order in the city.

The two deaths bring the number of British military casualties in Iraq since the start of hostilities in March 2003 to 158. They will increase pressure on the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to accelerate plans to withdraw the 5,500 remaining British troops from Iraq. One soldier, from the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh Regiment, was killed while on patrol in the Tunina district north of Basra when his Warrior armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. The second soldier, from the 4th Battalion the Rifles Regiment, died in what is believed to have been an accident at a base in Basra on Friday.

Three wounded soldiers, one of whom was seriously injured, are being treated at the British field hospital in Basra.

Attacks against the British army in Iraq are escalating, leading to concern that the planned departure of the British troops from their base at Basra Palace to a single camp at the city’s airport have been put on hold.

Initially, military commanders had hoped that it could retreat to the airport this month.

Yesterday Gell said the timetable for withdrawal could now be ‘late summer’ because of the attacks: ‘They are rising, whether they be a single round of small arms fire or a rocket attack. From last September to February they rose to a peak, then tailed off, and have been rising again.’

The American authorities said that they had also suffered casualties in major operations against suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants in the north of the country. Eight US servicemen have been killed in the last two days, according to US officials.

It is spreading too, throughout Pakistan, into Africa, and Asia as well:

Islamic separatist rebels in the Philippines have killed 14 soldiers, beheading 10 of them, in a pitched battle with troops searching for an Italian priest kidnapped a month ago.

The soldiers’ bodies were recovered on the southern island of Basilan today after the bloodiest fighting in months.

Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said its fighters clashed with the troops after they entered territory under its control in contravention of a 2003 ceasefire.

A military spokesman said the soldiers entered the area after intelligence reports that the Catholic clergyman Giancarlo Bossi had been moved there from the mainland.

They blamed the fighting on al-Qaida linked Abu Sayyaf insurgents, whose grim calling card is the decapitation of its victims.

About 80 soldiers were embroiled in the fierce eight-hour clash with up to 300 militants near the town of Tipo-Tipo. Four rebels were killed and another seven wounded.

The chief negotiator for the 12,000-strong MILF, Mohagher Iqbal, said his group had cut ties with Abu Sayyaf and denied any fighters had been given shelter in the area.

Mr Iqbal also said the clash could have been avoided if the military had coordinated with the insurgents. MILF, the Philippines main rebel group, is involved in peace talks with the government and has deployed fighters to help to find the priest.

Despite pinning the blame for the fighting on the army, Mr Iqbal said the clash would not deter MILF from continuing its peace negotiations with the authorities in Manila.

Fr Bossi, 57, a missionary from Milan who moved to the Philippines a decade ago, was snatched by heavily-armed gunmen on June 10 just after he said Mass at his Payao parish on the southern Zamboanga peninsula.

Whatever might be thought about the gruesomeness of some attacks or even the usefulness of particular anarchic methods, it is utterly and completely pointless to “condemn” them as the entire fake-”left” spectrum has done ever since the 9/11 and routinely every time there is a new, particularly bloody or close to home “atrocity” or attack.

It simply plays into imperialism’s hands (see quote below).

But the Brownites have immediately rushed to prove their usefulness to imperialism on this fundamental issue following the Glasgow airport incident etc - taking the deranged “war on terrorism” insanity to a new level by completely denying any links between rising Third World struggle and its spilling over into the heart of imperialism.

Instead all connection with reality is explained away by the mystical nonsense that attacks are caused by some inherent “evil” (on a par with the latest Harry Potter superstitious juvenilia) or inexplicable determination to ”destroy our way of life”, extending the deranged “clash of cultures” racist scapegoating that imperialism is working up to keep its warmongering going.

(In a classic example of how the “lefter” elements of the fake-”left” play a crucial role for imperialism, it is Hilary Benn’s suggestion that the “war on terror” nonsense is “no longer useful” – a supposedly rational recognition of its inadequacy to explain the world – that leads straight into the criminalisation policy.)

“Criminalising” struggle has been the blinkered response of imperialism to anti-colonialism throughout the post-2nd world war period, and most notably in the fight against the IRA/Sinn Féin national liberation struggle, leading to the brutal fascist torture and censorship which created the blanket protest and the terrible hunger strike resistance, finally reversing it as imperialism was driven backwards.

But this shallow moral posturing and vengefulness, dishing out brutal 40 year life sentences, will not neither solve the problems facing imperialism, nor convince increasing numbers of the intelligentsia. Here is one more thoughtful reaction immediately appearing for example:

Two years on from the suicide bombings that devastated London’s streets and tube system, official Britain is still in the deepest denial about why this country is a target for al-Qaida- style terror attacks. In the wake of the abortive atrocities in London and Glasgow, there has been no shortage of lurid media coverage of the “doctors’ plot” that came so close to carnage, nor of bombastic calls for the nation to stand firm against terrorists. The Sun was yesterday handing out free union jacks to “fly in the face of terror”, while its heavyweight counterparts have been demanding ever greater efforts by an increasingly intimidated Muslim community to demonstrate its loyalty. Mercifully, the tone adopted by Gordon Brown has been less strident than his predecessor’s - he has avoided the rhetoric of the war on terror and the shopping lists of new coercive powers favoured by Tony Blair in the aftermath of the July 2005 attacks and last year’s alleged transatlantic airline plot.

But when it comes to the substance, there has been little change. The failed bombings were, Brown insisted, an attack on “our British way of life” and the “values that we represent”, “unrelated” to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan or any other conflict. He compared the fight against the bombers’ ideology with the struggle against communism and called for a similar “propaganda effort” to win “hearts and minds”. In the days since, this “it’s nothing to do with the war” refrain has since been taken up with gusto by large parts of the media. The pro-war Times and Telegraph have led the field, with neoconservative commentators and politicians hammering home the Blair-Bush message that terror is simply the product of an evil ideology. Anyone who dissents or suggests a connection with Britain’s violent role in the Muslim world is portrayed as somehow soft on terrorism - as the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg found when he tentatively referred to Muslim grievances in the House of Commons earlier this week.

In an echo of Gordon Brown’s cold war propaganda theme, defectors from radical Islamist groups have been playing a prominent role in this campaign. Rarely a TV debate goes by without Ed Husain, one-time member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and now a British neocon pin-up boy, or Hassan Butt, formerly of the banned al-Muhajiroun group, insisting that this is all about people with identity crises who are “hell-bent on destroying the west”, denouncing Ken Livingstone for engaging in dialogue with Islamists, or calling for a harsher crackdown on their former fellow enthusiasts for the restoration of the caliphate. They are championed by politicians like the Tory Michael Gove and New Labour’s Denis MacShane, who this week argued that all Islamists, from the liberal Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan to al-Qaida terrorists, had to be confronted without exception. It’s become eerily reminiscent of the McCarthyite era when communist renegades would be wheeled out to give Americans a state-orchestrated glimpse of the enemy’s dark heart.

Of course, it’s perfectly true that al-Qaida and its “takfiri” fellow travellers have an extreme, violently sectarian and socially conservative ideology. But it is simply delusional - and flies in the face of logic and history - to fail to recognise the central link between the terror threat and Britain’s post-9/11 actions in the Muslim world.

First, there were no al-Qaida-inspired attacks in Britain before the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. There were against the US - starting with the World Trade Centre in 1993 - triggered by the aftermath of the Gulf war, as well as jihadist campaigns in Kashmir, Chechnya and Bosnia. But Britain was not a target until it attacked the Muslim world. If the bombers’ real focus was, say, sexually liberal western lifestyles, they would presumably be attacking cities like Amsterdam and Stockholm.

Second, it is only necessary to listen to what the bombers say themselves. Just as Bin Laden has repeatedly spelled out that his campaign is about western occupation of Muslim lands and support for pro-western autocracies, so the “martyrdom videos” made by the London bombers of 2005 made clear that they regarded their attacks as revenge for British support for Israel and the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq: “Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight,” Mohammed Sidique Khan declared. The government was repeatedly warned before the Iraq war that it would bring terror to Britain, and a string of government, intelligence and other reports have since underlined the connection - also accepted by a large majority in opinion polls.

In the case of these latest bungled bombings, in which two Iraqis, a Palestinian and at least two other Arabs are said to have been involved, it’s not hard to guess what might lie behind them. And while politicians who have supported wars that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives might want to cast a veil over the link, it makes no sense for the rest of us.

The neocon attempt to lump together all Islamists - a political trend that stretches from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party to al-Qaida - as beyond the political pale will meanwhile only make it harder to overcome the terror threat and isolate those who believe it is justifiable to kill civilians in retaliation for the Iraqi and Afghan bloodbaths. It is a folly that exasperates senior figures in the police, including special branch, whose job is to counter terror groups in the Muslim community. Just as mainstream Islamists in the Palestinian territories such as Hamas have helped prevent the encroachment of takfiri jihadists, so non-violent Islamists in the west can offer an alternative political channel to those who might otherwise be drawn to al-Qaida-inspired terror. “This approach has played into the hands of al-Qaida,” one high level special branch officer argues. “Islamists have the best antidotes to al-Qaida propaganda.”

Given Britain’s role in the Muslim world, the surprise must be that there haven’t been more attacks. They have, after all, yet to reach anything like the level of the campaign waged by the IRA. But that such attacks continue is a central part of Blair’s legacy - and the responsibility of a political class that failed to hold to account those who launched an illegal war of aggression with the most devastating human and political consequences. Until the Brown government makes serious moves to end Britain’s role in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the likelihood must be that the threat will grow.

This dismay, while significant as a reflection of the disastrous defeat impacting on western society, still does not grasp the real forces and context of the worldwide upheaval; there is no grasp for example of why imperialism launched “an illegal war” (other than the implied background assumption posited by numerous of the fake-”left” that is a “war for oil” or “to extend imperialist greed and power” nor of the growing hatred and desperation which “believes it is justifiable to kill civilians in retaliation”.

It will not be helped by the episodic, contextless explanations of the fake-”left” including just about every shade of posturing so-called revolutionaries, with shallow theories devoid of any long term historic context of the crisis ridden imperialist system or the multitude of interconnections between events across the planet, drawn together ever more by the unstoppable “globalising” tendency of capital export and extended exploitation.

But these upheavals are two sides of the enormous growing contradictions of the greatest ever imperialist crisis.

The are the expression of the impossibility of continuing human history any further under a centuries old profiteering and ruthless system that can only bring mankind repeatedly back to total slump disintegration and breakdown.

The inherent anarchic nature of capitalist production and the overproduction of endlessly accumulating capital can do nothing else (as already manifest two hundred years ago at least and analysed in detail 150 years ago by Marx and Engels (see panel p6 e.g.).

“Illegal” war on Iraq (no more so however than 400 wars, coups, interventions, invasions and blockades carried out by imperialism since 1945 to further its interests) was launched as the next stage in an entire process of warmongering now underway by imperialism begun with the equally monstrous aggression against Serbia beforehand, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon and Palestine as an “answer” to the deadly slump crisis rushing towards it.

It cannot stop itself.

There is no way out from the giant collapse that everyone can see in the form of mountains of paper dollar debt, international trade hostility and massive economic and social imbalance worldwide.

Despite the unprecedented difficulties facing world imperialism all historical experience shows that it will relentlessly push forwards the warmongering.

For all the setbacks and the insane trillion dollar levels of war costs (adding yet more to the economic crisis) Bush’s neocon conspiracy insists not only on continuing the existing wars but provoking new ones:

The US yesterday publicly accused Iran of intervening in the Iraq conflict, claiming that its Revolutionary Guard played a role in an attack that killed five Americans and was using Lebanese militants to train Iraqi insurgents.

The allegations marked a significant escalation as previous similar claims have been made mostly off the record. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, an army spokesman, said an Iranian covert unit called the Quds force had helped orchestrate an assault in Kerbala in January, in which the attackers, disguised as US soldiers, tricked their way into a government compound, killing one American on the spot, and abducting four others whom they killed later.

He also claimed the Quds force and members of the Lebanese Shia movement, Hizbullah, were training Iraqi insurgents at three camps near Tehran.

He said backing for the claims came from a Hizbullah veteran, Ali Mussa Daqduq, captured in southern Iraq in March.

Gen Bergner went further than earlier US briefings in seeking to tie the allegations to the top tiers of the Iranian government. “Our intelligence reveals that senior leadership in Iran is aware of this activity,” he said. Asked if it was possible that the Quds force could be conducting its activities inside Iraq without the knowledge of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, Gen Bergner replied: “That would be hard to imagine.”

The claims coincide with increasingly heated rhetoric in Washington. Last month, Joseph Lieberman, a former presidential candidate now an independent senator, called for air strikes on Iran in retaliation for its alleged role in Iraq.

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” the Connecticut senator said. “And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

The first accusation of Iranian involvement was made two years ago by a British official but the Foreign Office has been reluctant to go as far, at least publicly. But British officials say there is evidence of links between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and secret cells under the umbrella of the Mahdi army, operating independently of its leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

Iran has denied supporting the insurgency, and has accused the Bush administration of trying to justify a new war.

And if not Iran then one of the other demonised victims being lined up such as Myanmar, Sudan, North Korea, Somalia again, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela or any other halfway defiant regime that has dared challenge or resist imperialist diktat and domination.

But that resistance, in a thousand forms, will equally continue to grow driven by the same relentless crisis forces.

The forms in which it is expressed are still crude, limited, and sometimes even hampered by backward illusions, a result largely of the failure of communism to win ground post-war despite its world sweeping successes in driving back fascist imperialism, because of the dire mistakes of Stalinism and its retreat from revolutionary perspectives.

The masses have adapted local cultural forms as leadership as best they can, including variants of Muslimism.

It is an open question how far these will take them and their understandings and sometimes methods of struggle are not those Marxism would use.

Even some of the best like the Hamas militancy still cannot grasp the full picture, themselves even “condemning” attacks elsewhere, and deludedly believing that if they can show themselves to be “rational” and competent in Gaza they will get fair treatment from imperialism eventually.

It is a good negotiating tactic but a bad perspective; ultimately imperialism is capable of anything to hold onto its power. Only the struggle and militancy has pushed it back.

But the crisis of imperialism stretches everywhere and will provoke growing mass upheaval (including more “terrorism”).

Such tragic turmoil will only end when imperialism – the root cause – is ended.

The movements now emerging will be forced through huge transformations as the crisis deepens.

Their leaderships will have to face numerous complexities - which can only be understood eventually by the conscious struggle for scientific understanding.

Build Leninism

Don Hoskins


Return to the top


From the EPSR archive


To what purpose do they strut their moral-posturing “condemnation”?

To no useful purpose whatever, but greatly to the reactionary benefit of the global monopoly-imperialist market system which is driving small nations to national-liberation extremes in increasing numbers.

Not a single Chechen or sympathising Middle-East Muslim is going to be deterred from their growing hatred of Western imperialist world domination by hearing deluded “anti-imperialist” reformists tutting that “taking children hostage is not the way”, etc, etc.

Of course this real resistance to imperialist domination understands the terrifying injustice to the innocent victims of random terrorist strikes. They already grasped it far better than any “moralisers” in the West BECAUSE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN HAVE ALREADY BEEN ARBITRARILY BUTCHERED by imperialist rule.

The mounting proliferation of suicide bombers in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere should make it obvious to even the most limited intelligences that such hatred, determination, and willingness to sacrifice shows that the problem has already moved far far beyond anything that can be helped by a chorus of “condemnation” from the cowardly hypocritical swamp of middle-class “reformist” do-gooders in the West who will “do anything” to stop imperialist tyranny except actually stop it.

The Palestinian nation has been systematically butchered and thrown off their land into stinking refugee camps FOR 59 YEARS NONSTOP already.

No less than THREE GENERATIONS of this ancient and culturally-historically-rich people have suffered this ultimate humiliation and despair of virtually eternal stateless imprisonment and nonstop murderous bullying tyranny, — told by relentless Jewish-imperialist settlement activity that they will NEVER go home.

And throughout these 59 years, the Palestinian nation has been assured by three generations of Western “reformist” do-gooders that peaceful protest marches and demonstrations at the United Nations and around the Western capitals are “about to bear fruit”, etc, etc, etc.

But tomorrow, another Jewish helicopter gunship, supplied and armed and paid-for by Western imperialism, will again be slamming rockets into an “occupied territories” slum or a refugee camp “in retaliation for terrorist atrocities”, butchering scores more Palestinian children, women, and men, — terrorising the Palestinians into surrender EXACTLY AS HAS GONE ON NON-STOP SINCE 1945.

And elsewhere, more Palestinian homes, often wretched enough to start with, will be blown up in cold blood by the Jewish colonial army “because of suspected terrorist activities”, etc, etc.

But remarkably, when one prominent “reformist” do-gooder, Jenny Tonge M.P., actually commented after a visit to the “occupied territories” slaughter zone that she could “begin to understand why some Palestinian women might in despair turn themselves into suicide bombers”, she was immediately demoted in disgrace to the bottom of the Liberal-Democrat parliamentary party.

It is an absolute taboo throughout the West for anyone to say anything about any kind of terrorism, suicidal or otherwise, other than that “it must be utterly condemned”, etc, etc.

And all the little fake-”lefts” from the archbishop to Vanessa Redgrave and the Trots all dutifully join in the “condemnation” chorus.

And will it stop the growth of terrorism??

Not a cat in hell’s chance.

But what will it do???

Play right into the hands of the monopoly-imperialist Western domination system which created this endless history of colonial injustices in the first place, — incidentally PIONEERING the modern usage of hostage-taking in the process.

EPSR 1247 Sept 2004

Return to main story

World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

The cover up continues

The British government has closed ranks to protect the killers of Belfast human rights solicitor Pat Finucane. Finucane was murdered at his home in Belfast in February 1989.

Last year Ken Barrett, a unionist paramilitary convicted of killing Finucane, was freed after serving three years in jail. But the Finucane family has always insisted Barrett and the Ulster Defence Association (uda) did not act alone.

The latest chapter in the British cover up of the Finucane killing unfolded on Monday 25 June when it was revealed that the so-called Public Prosecutions Service (pps) is refusing to prosecute any member of the British crown forces involved in the murder and that of Adam Lambert. Lambert, a Protestant man, was mistaken for a Catholic and shot dead by members of the uda gang who assassinated Finucane.

Nor will the British state be taking any action against its agents who supplied weapons to the uda gang who carried out the 1992 attack on Sean Graham’s bookmakers on the Lower Ormeau Road in South Belfast which left five nationalists dead.

In its 25 June statement the pps confirmed for the first time, that uda quartermaster and Special Branch agent Billy Stobie – who supplied the weapons to Finucane’s killers – handed over weapons to the Special Branch and that weeks later these weapons were returned to the uda.

The pps maintained that as none of the ruc officers who handed these guns back to the uda could be identified no one would be prosecuted.

One of the weapons, a handgun, was used to kill Catholic Aidan Wallace as he played pool with his brother in the Devenish Arms on December 22 1991.

Within weeks of that attack on February 1992, a uda death squad using that same weapon and an ak47 assault rifle, mowed down 5 Catholics, Jack Duffin (66), William McManus (54), Christy Doherty (51), Peter Magee (18) and James Kennedy (15) in the Sean Graham’s bookmakers shop on the Lower Ormeau Road.

The PPS announcement made effectively buries the investigations into the Finucane killing carried out by one of Britain’s most senior police officers, John – now Lord – Stevens.

Stevens finished his investigations into the killings of Finucane and Adam Lambert four years ago. He confirmed that he had uncovered evidence of collusion into both killings.

The high profile investigator said: “I have uncovered enough evidence to lead me to believe that the murders of Pat Finucane and Brian Adam Lambert could have been prevented. I also believe that the ruc investigation of Pat Finucane’s murder should have resulted in the early arrest and detection of his killers. I conclude there was collusion in both murders and the circumstances surrounding them”.

He concluded that the, “actions or omissions”, of crown force members had led to the deaths of innocent civilians. He also accused members of the ruc and the British army’s fru of, “wilfully”, obstructing and misleading his inquiries by withholding evidence and intelligence.

The Stevens inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the killing of Pat Finucane lasted almost 18 years and centred on the activities of uda intelligence officer Brian Nelson – a British agent attached to British Military Intelligence through the Force Research Unit (fru).

Nelson was a British soldier and had served in the Black Watch Regiment but in the early 1970s he was imprisoned after being found guilty of carrying out a uda punishment beating.

Questions abound as to whether Nelson ever left the British army but he was recruited into the fru by a Colonel Gordon Kerr and was installed as the uda’s top intelligence officer.

In that role Nelson was in a position to direct uda deaths squads and using information supplied to him by his fru directors targeted republicans.

However, at least 29 people, many of them uninvolved Catholics, were killed by the uda at the time of Nelson’s involvement and were identified through crown forces intelligence files.

Reacting to the pps ruling, Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey, described it as “scandalous”.

Maskey was repeatedly targeted for death by the crown forces and Brian Nelson. In the mid 1980s Maskey was shot and seriously injured at his Andersonstown home while in May 1993 Sinn Féin activist Alan Lundy was shot dead by a uda gang as he worked in Maskey’s home.

“There was a sustained and orchestrated campaign against my life which included the murder of my best friend Alan Lundy as he worked in my home in 1993.

“I find it absolutely galling that the pps has taken this decision. It wouldn’t happen in any other country in the world”, he said.

Echoing Maskey’s anger the family of Pat Finucane said in a statement that they were extremely angry and disappointed at the decision of the pps.

“It is difficult to square the unequivocal nature of the conclusions reached by Lord Stevens four years ago with the submissive, timid, unconvincing reasons advanced by the pps for not instituting a single prosecution.

“It is notable that the PPS feels himself unable to use ‘certain intelligence records as evidence’ a clear indication that the interests of [British] national security remain more important than human lives”.

The Finucane family statement went on to say that they would not be deterred by the decision made by the pps and that they would continue to press for a fully independent inquiry into Pat’s killing and all the circumstances surrounding it.

“Only an independent public inquiry can satisfy the concerns of our family and the wider public about the existence of collusion between the British army, the ruc and the security services in the murder of Pat Finucane and many others”.


Return to top