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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 1330 3rd April 2008

Counter-revolutionary MDC stunt against Zimbabwe further exposes the fake-“left” — from the Trot reactionaries supporting the Western plotting to the dire influence of soft-headed Stalinist revisionism which leaves the entire post-1945 anti-imperialist struggle without a decent revolutionary perspective and understanding of world capitalist economic and political crisis, the driving force of all history. Relying on bourgeois elections is always a recipe for disaster – proletarian dictatorship is vital for socialism

The ZANU PF anti-imperialism in Zimbabwe, and the whole African anti-colonial movement would be insane to be taken in by the latest bulldozing onslaught of propaganda and lies of the West to try and steamroller Robert Mugabe out of power in the elections in Zimbabwe.

That it might be caught out at all is a tragic reflection of the dire revisionist stagnation of the post-war period under the influence of Moscow retreats and the anti-science, anti-Leninist philosophical stances which it has created worldwide.

The biggest question for the people of Zimbabwe, who invested so much courage and heroism into the long bitter fight to expel British colonialism, and paid such a high price in lives and loss, is whether they now simply hand everything back to imperialism because finally, after years of siege sanctions to destroy the economy and even longer years of bribery and manipulation of stooge elements, a manipulated election claims that is what they want.

To give ZANU its due it has correctly been making it clear that it will not simply sacrifice the 40 years of struggle the Zimbabweans have gone through to a specious “regime change” under the gangster Morgan Tsvangirai and his Western manipulated and laughably CIA public relations branded “Movement for Democratic Change”.

The arrests of foreign journalists and raids on the offices of the more provocative MDC elements in the last couple of days are a sign of some resistance to the West’s monstrous onslaught to try and stampede the liberation movement into capitulating to the disgusting Goebbels campaign that has been run for the last week non-stop in the Western media.

Zanu-PF would even better off by immediately arresting the murderous, plotting thug Tsvangirai himself whose MDC was ludicrously claiming a landslide “victory” long before any results were or could have been known.

The foul and bilious stream of pure shyte which has poured out of the capitalist media in recent days to back this up is almost unparalleled in its Nazi distortions beginning with the trumpeting on Sunday morning, before all the result boxes had even been collected of a “total victory” for the MDC, with an admission in a very tiny down page paragraph of “according to MDC figures”.

Imagine reporting in Britain that a minority party hostile to the government has definitely won a resounding victory “according to figures released by” that same party long before anyone could know the result, and larded with deliberately provocative comments that “this could cause riots”.

For good reasons, to prevent mass violence being induced, such provocations are illegal in Zimbabwe, especially in the light of the vicious civil war of the 1970s and early 1980s which pitched tribe against tribe, with tragically one region of the country, Matabeleland, misled by a rank imperialist-colluding leadership into hostility to the partisan struggle.

Several times in the past days Tsvangirai and the MDC had made such provocative moves, played at full volume by the Western media.

Tsvangirai and his henchmen are playing these tricks to stir up maximum discord, carefully controlled by the entire panoply of Western intelligence, which has every intention of creating as much mayhem, instability, and violence as possible.

Every lying Goebbels trick in the book (and plenty he never even thought of) are being used to do it, high among them non-stop incendiary and utterly fanciful allegations about “landslide victories” and claiming the presidential crown.

The Western press has been backing up this sinister pantomime with non-stop reports of every joke claim as it is was total fact, solemnly declaring day after day that the MDC has ousted Mugabe in a “popular landslide” based solely on alleged “counts” and “new figures” issued by the MDC (under instruction from Western tutors) and backed up by weird, unheard of, unappointed, supposed election monitoring bodies “funded by the US”.

When that turns out to be palpable nonsense 12 hours later they report that “hopes of the people have been dashed” and “the mood is sombre tonight” in melodramatic reports to “secret cameras” in the hushed voices supposed to indicate terrible repression and fear but actually demonstrating nothing more than the pure disinterest of the normal people there, in these laughable games.

If there was any “terrible repression” other than the justified anger of the people there against the monstrous colonialist manipulation by Western TV these cowards would not even be there.

These reports are not remotely comparable, despite desperate claims, to the actually fixed election and outrageous stealing of a popular result witnessed in Kenya recently, where complete Western stooges have plundered the economy for years in criminal collusion with imperialism, continuing their rule by the standard bourgeois mechanisms of manipulating elections.

Notably in the “so-concerned-about-democracy” Western press until recently there was hardly ever a mention of the country let alone any exposé of its totally corrupt stooge regime, and certainly not the endless screaming headlines, and non-stop abuse of its leadership seen with Zimbabwe or other Western demonisation victims like Sudan, or North Korea or Iran etc etc.

Some Kenya reports have followed since February but only because the spontaneous rebellion and destructiveness which erupted from the exploited and deprived masses, was impossible to ignore finally.

Attention has quickly been diverted away again.

And countries such as Somalia, being drowned in blood by Western sponsored military invasion from stooge Ethiopia, because they had the “presumption” to support their own government of the Islamic Courts Movement against the Western-friendly warlord chaos, which has starved and destroyed them for 25 years, never get a mention at all.

Meanwhile for Zimbabwe a stream of well-spoken Western exile “lawyers” and “analysts” has been interviewed in depth about why Mugabe is supposedly such a “monster”, pouring out bile and poisonous lies about ZANU-PF rule larded with every derogatory insult and slander in the book.

But not one single ZANU-PF representative had been quoted in the charade of “election coverage”, let alone interviewed by the entire Western media in the first few days, or given the opportunity to reply to non-stop allegations.

There has been instead the usual run of carefully selected malcontents sifted out from the many anti-Westerners on the street to find one or two who can pour out the vomit and whining against the regime – all dutifully reported utterly unchecked and unverified by the Western press with maximum slanderous language – the News at Ten even referring to ZANU as “Mugabe’s henchmen” as if ZANU were villains straight out of a James Bond movie.

The outrageous filth is non-stop but a few incidents give the flavour. On Monday morning the BBC news hastily slipped in a sentence, in the middle of a stream of abuse, that the pan-Africa electoral commission – the official checkers for the election – had certified the election free and fair, but added that a minority member had disagreed. A five minute interview followed with this person, completely ignoring the main report and full of yet more assertions that the election was a fraud etc etc.

On Tuesday night Jeremy Paxman after prodding and pushing a studio MDC stooge and various mysterious “commentators”, and listening to a total non-report from John Simpson in Harare (by “secret” satellite link ) said that it was impossible to get a comment from the official government in Harare because “telephone lines were down” as if the entire modern telecommunications epoch of easily phoned mobiles and landlines had somehow passed Zimbabwe by (except, magically, when it came to interviewing dissidents).

In classic CIA style the aim is to create an overwhelming tide of supposed “fact” in people’s minds, over days and days, so that when and if the result turns out to be not to be the allegedly pro-Western victory the whole result can be immediately denounced as a “fix”.

And for years afterwards it will be declared “fact” that the election was “bent” just as the current lies are founded on supposed “fixing” of past elections (which were in fact declared fair and open at the time for what it’s worth).

None of this has got anything to do with deep running concern for “ordinary” people as the demented campaign by New Labour, all other parliamentary politicians and every possible orifice of the bourgeois capitalist press lie machine, have been so piously pretending (with the disgusting cringing fake-”left” Trotskyists crawling along behind.)

The monopoly capitalist West has no interest at all in “seeing democracy done” and “the voice of the people” being heard, as the carefully choreographed lie campaign around the election has been screaming hysterically for five days, most revoltingly and hypocritically of all by ex-New Labour Minister Peter Hain, rolled out non-stop on news programme after programme despite being fresh (to use the word extremely loosely) from a monstrous scandal of election fund fixing himself, a disgusting manipulation whether it had been within the ludicrous “rules” of UK parliamentary campaigning with some “accidental” overspending on even those astonishing limits (£100,000 for an inner party campaign!!!) or, as alleged, grossly overspent via a newly created “think tank” front organisation which has produced no thinking at all except how to fund Hain’s campaign.

Hain is anyway up to his neck in the general sleaze which overwhelms Britain’s parliament (all flavours), and more crucially, fresh from a Government which launched the monstrous million dead Nazi aggression of the blitzing in Iraq against the clear democratic majority voice of Britain’s people and on the basis of a monstrous lie about “weapons of mass destruction” anyway, changed at the last minute to another monstrous lie that it was all to “give the people of Iraq fr’d’m ‘n d’mocr’cy”.

The same New Labour is still blitzkrieging away against the half-destroyed poppy drug saturated hell hole that non-stop invasion and gung-ho militarism has made of Afghanistan, was up to its neck in mercenary gun running into Sierra Leone and part of the monstrous NATO destruction of Belgrade and other Serbian towns, all part of imperialist warmongering preparation soon for all out Third World War.

All this “concern” and mountebank posturing has one purpose only, to stampede the heroic and dogged anti-imperialist movement in Zimbabwe into capitulation.

And worse, line it up as a potential blitzing victim.

If it succeeds, it is guaranteed as a minimum that vengeful and vicious imperialism will do its best to drown in blood and terror as much of the remaining resistance to its diktat as possible.

Tsvangirai, caught some years ago on film by secretly planted camera plotting the assassination of Mugabe, (not a normal part of “peaceful democracy”), has all the makings of a total gangster stooge for imperialism ready to invite back into the country all the major corporations and give capitalist plundering exploitation free rein.

All else being equal, though the onrushing economic catastrophe facing imperialism might short circuit things first, he is ready to follow the monstrous lead into megalomaniac tyranny of so many other Western trained and colluding puppet monsters from Uganda’s Idi Amin to the Philippines’ Marcos, from Egypt’s current gangster dictator Mubarak and Saddat before him, to Haiti’s Papa and Baby Docs with their Tonton Macoute death-squads and to the demented psychopathic “emperor” Mobutu in the Congo.

The entire history of imperialism has been one of total stinking barbaric viciousness against all challenges made to its rule with completely depraved violence used to impose and maintain its dominance, by torture and slaughter terror, whenever it can get away with it, via a string of little Hitlers which it has installed throughout the world for the entire post-war period.

That might prove difficult in southern Africa with its growing – if sometimes confused – history of rebellion and anti-imperialism.

But not for want of trying.

Imperialism’s long term subversion and manipulation, funded with the fabulous wealth and power that lies in the hands of capitalism’s ruling class, is never ending.

Combined with the near starvation siege deliberately imposed on Zimbabwe by near total trade blockade and sanctions over a decade – and the ensuing economic dislocation then being outrageously blamed non-stop on Mugabe – the monstrous interference and manipulation in the “laughable” process of bourgeois democracy to bend public opinion among the more petty bourgeois element of the population was bound to have some impact.

In Zimbabwe tapping into, and deliberately fomenting, old tribal hatreds among the Matabele population who sided with imperialism under ZAPU leadership during the anti-imperialist anti-Ian Smith civil war – has added to the mix.

The constant subversion is made easier by the halfway house of playing with bourgeois democratic forms by even such dogged struggles as the one in Zimbabwe. Relying on “staying popular” and somehow beating imperialism at its own game are ultimately asking for trouble.

Much better would be a clear headed and open statement of the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat as the only way to take the world forwards, building socialism and a planned economy.

Imperialism is always going to twist and bend popularity (or what it claims to be the ‘popular will’ in the teeth of ever growing cynicism and contempt for politicians) if it can get access to interfere, using every foul and underhand trick in the book just as it does in all “parliamentary” or presidential elections in the world, which are drowned in billions of dollars of advertising glitz, bribery, string pulling, bent politicians’ lies, gerrymandered boundaries, exclusion rules for smaller parties, voting restrictions against the poor and “criminal”, and if necessary out-and-out ballot box stuffing and “hanging chad” miscounting, etc etc etc.

And there is always the back-up that none of these candidates on any critical issue are any different to the others at all, and none, if elected, have any real power anyway when it comes to making the big decisions of the ruling class about war or finance or property, which are all made in the upper class clubs, or banks, or corporation boardrooms, or in Stock Exchanges or military circles.

It would have been best by far never to have got into the position of giving imperialism’s lying “democracy” fraud any credence whatsoever, a tragic retreat from Lenin’s clear understanding by the soft-headed inanities of Stalinist and subsequent revisionism and their worldwide influence on the anti-imperialist movement and its grasp of tactics.

The EPSR has long warned of this dire confusion under the impact of Stalinist and revisionist ideas of “peaceful roads”and “containing imperialism”.

In issue 1241 for example:

But a lack of Leninist proletarian-dictatorship mental toughness is still a great danger to all of the promising revolutionary anti-imperialist situations developing everywhere, particularly in Palestine with Arafat’s long Stalinist-Revisionist fellow-traveller influence at the helm which always everywhere was just a cover for class-collaborating opportunism.

And this anti-revolutionary quiescence is particularly dangerous right now in Venezuela where Chávez has tragically agreed to hold a recall referendum against his presidential mandate on August 15 in response to non-stop rightwing coup-sabotage preparations, lavishly aided by a fullscale CIA counter-revolutionary campaign both inside and outside Venezuela.

Castro’s lingering Stalinist-Revisionist delusions may not have helped, — this stunt being an even worse repetition of the “democracy”-agitation farce that the CIA’s Contra-War dislocations inflicted on the Sandinista Revolution in the late 1980s, finally toppling it in a bribed and rigged poll, which Castro gave few useful warnings about.

Now this CIA armed and bribed “democracy” stunt is on the march again, having already failed with the first direct counter-revolutionary coup attempt in April 2002.

And worst of all, Chávez seems to have allowed the seemingly “neutral” National Electoral Council to have set a far from neutral referendum question wording.

This reads: “Do you agree with revoking the popular mandate granted through legitimate democratic elections to citizen Hugo Chávez as President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the current presidential term?”

If tolerated at all, this ludicrous piece of counter-revolutionary sabotage could at least have said: “Should our popularly elected President Chávez be forced to resign by more right-wing sabotage and CIA pressure before his term of office has finished?”

That time, in 2004, Chávez survived but imperialism has already pushed back the strengthening of working class rule in Venezuela with a manipulated referendum defeat in December last year, encouraging it in to launching the military provocations that stooge Colombia has just carried out (see back page), which tells the world exactly how “democratic” the West will be.

The ghost of Allendeism lingers on, with its lessons from the 1973 Pinochet coup’s torture and massacring completely ignored, potentially disastrously, that there is no such thing as “peacefully voted in” socialism (except the joke reformist pro-imperialist “socialism” of Labour, New or “old” versions) .

If voting solved anything at all for the working class it would be abolished instantly as the arch-”left”opportunist Ken Livingstone once wrote (though ignoring his own posturing words utterly in the London elections).

In Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Venezuela etc the strongest explanations should be given that the struggle underway on the planet is an out and out class war between capitalism and the overwhelming proletarian majority which is so relentlessly exploited and driven down.

There are only two kinds of “democracy” as Lenin clearly understood: order to consolidate the achievements of the bourgeois-democratic revolution for the peoples of Russia, we were obliged to go farther; and we did go farther. We solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in passing, as a “by-product” of our main and genuinely proletarian-revolutionary, socialist activities. We have always said that reforms are a by-product of the revolutionary class struggle. We said—and proved it by deeds—that bourgeois-democratic reforms are a by-product of the proletarian, i.e., of the socialist revolution. Incidentally, the Kautskys, Hilferdings, Martovs, Chernovs, Hillquits, Longuets, MacDonalds, Turatis and other heroes of “Two-and-a-Half” Marxism were incapable of understanding this relation between the bourgeois-democratic and the proletarian-socialist revolutions. The first develops into the second. The second, in passing, solves the problems of the first. The second consolidates the work of the first. Struggle, and struggle alone, decides how far the second succeeds in outgrowing the first.

The Soviet system is one of the most vivid proofs, or manifestations, of how the one revolution develops into the other. The Soviet system provides the maximum of democracy for the workers and peasants; at the same time, it marks a break with bourgeois democracy and the rise of a new, epoch-making type of democracy, namely, proletarian democracy, or the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Proletarian democracy is the dictatorship of the proletariat in other words. The dictatorship of the majority to suppress the fascists, counter-revolutionaries, opportunists and gangsters, is the only way to develop the capacities, talents and wishes of the great majority and their needs free of the permanent threat of a return to the old oppression and tyranny.

Revisionism argues that it is better not to provoke imperialism, and that smaller countries especially have to tread carefully in what they say about the development they are making for fear of giving imperialism the “excuse it needs” to invade or forcibly suppress them.

Well and good, and tactical considerations are important.

But only within a totally revolutionary framework, precisely the opposite to the softly-softly non-revolutionary retreats of Stalin and all subsequent revisionism.

The lesson of Zimbabwe is that even if the mechanisms of bourgeois democracy are continued with, and imperialism is “unprovoked” by talk of proletarian dictatorship, the subversion and strangulation will be pushed as far as imperialism can press it, and as constantly seen in history from the Paris Commune onwards, all the way to bloody terror massacre if it is able to.

Only one other kind of “democracy” is possible in capitalism, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, hidden behind a torrent of words and fanciful nonsense about “freedom and the people’s will” with whatever reformist concessions the bourgeoisie feels it must grant at moments of revolutionary class pressure on it, in order to at least continue to hold power.

But always in reality it is imposing the will of capital itself and its insatiable never ending profit making needs on behalf of the tiny minority ruling class and its monstrous luxury and power and at the expense of the billions on the planet whose energy, labour and creativity is expropriated by capital for its own use, under permanently repressive conditions.

In times of real crisis difficulty even that pretence is torn up for the “period of wartime” or “national emergency” or as now the ludicrous fantasies of the “worldwide war against terror” which is “threatening our way of life” with “human” and “legal” rights torn up and non-stop surveillance, repression and thought control imposed instead, as in the 1930s.

What does Peter Hain do and say about personal data collection, the suspension of the right to see a lawyer, the 42 day detention period, the possibility of anyone “awkward” being “rendered” even from the streets in Britain and flown away secretly by the CIA from some airport somewhere to part of the international network of hidden concentration camps imperialism has established (in Diego Garcia, Egypt, now fascist entrenched East Europe, and Guantánamo etc) for torture (approved officially by main ally the USA) and even total “disappearings”???

That is only the half of it, and there is much more to come, sliding all the way into total outright dictatorial rule if the bourgeoisie cannot make the democracy lie stick any longer, and as its crisis worsens rapidly.

All this is being greased down the slide into outright fascism by the covert neo-Mosleyism of Blairism and Brownism.

What democracy?

Western imperialism and especially the historically rotten and humiliated British ruling class, once the pinnacle of world imperial power and now desperate sidekicks to failing but still dominant US imperialism after being driven from a world empire, absolutely hates the spirited defiance which has been eventually displayed by Mugabe against the colonial past.

Despite some uncertain and seeming prevarication initially, the last decade of Zimbabwean anti-imperialism has seen a defiant challenge to the arrogant white land ownership, finally and correctly confiscating the British- “owned” farms which were plundered wholesale from the country less than 100 years previously.

The West already detested Mugabe with a burning hatred because of the utter humiliation he wreaked on their foul fascist game in “Rhodesia” and the long tacit support it gave to the supposed breakaway white rebellion of Ian Smith and the Nazi-style killers of the Selous Scouts etc which suppressed the independence struggle with complete barbarity for a long decade.

Supposed sanctions then were ineffectual and were broken with impunity by numerous capitalist companies, unlike the throttling imposed at present.

For a while after the giant and stunning victory of ZANU against the Smith racism and brutality, imperialism had hoped it could salvage something by bending and twisting the leadership around into compliant stooges for Western plundering, just as it has bent so many other originally anti-imperialist “independence” struggles into total corruption, such as Nigeria and, particularly notably, nearby Kenya, where arrogant British landowners still strut their contemptuous and racist stuff – including outright killings of “poachers” on “their land” – and where the wealthy African stooge elite is a byword for corruption and pocket-lining sleaze.

Not only did it fail but Mugabe’s rule has constantly and correctly identified its imperialist plottings, and not least in exposing and capturing the recent coup plot against Equitorial Guinea, funded and encouraged by major figures from within the British and European ruling class and known about months in advance by the British Intelligence and British Government, as openly admitted by then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

What “democracy” was the West and its press supporting there???

It was not just completely the opposite of “democracy” but an international criminal conspiracy that would have resulted in mass bloodshed and destruction and the imposition of a brutal and callous dictatorship, to allow in the profiteering oil companies and the like.

Where is the stream of concerned exposé and non-stop interviews, Question Time debates, and headlines about tyranny, abuse, and conspiracy over that issue????

Where is the international court of human rights case in the much trumpeted Hague in Holland where capitalism’s demonised “war criminals” are taken for modern show trials???

Non-existent, except for a joke play on BBC about Mark Thatcher and the Eton schoolboys involved in the laughable coup plot, which was funny enough but served in the end only to illustrate the limitations of even the best satire and its safety-valve court-jester role in capitalist society.

Equally, where are the non-stop articles supporting the “voice of the people” in Palestine, whose internationally certified fair election of the Hamas two years ago as their leadership has been strangled non-stop ever since by continuous daily blitzing, shelling and sniping by the fascist Jewish Zionists – stepping up to even more inhumane torturing levels the already intolerable concentration camp conditions of the Gaza strip than had been imposed on this criminally persecuted people for the last 60 years, robbed of their land and then forced to live as near starved prisoners on the tiny section left to them???

Instead of world condemnation of this war-crime genocidal Zionist foulness, the West has joined in with economic strangulation and blockading which has added hugely to the suffering and inhumanity imposed on the million and a half civilians of Gaza in open Nazi collective “punishment” because Hamas refuses to give up on the fundamental principle that the “state” of “Israel” is a complete thieving imposition and has been ever since 1948.

Where is the democracy in Saudi Arabia, whose head and hand chopping feudal backwardness supplies so much in lucrative arms dealing to Britain’s vast military production complex, one of the only sectors of actual industrial production it has remaining, in the tail-end degenerate period of imperialist decline into world war mongering??

Where is the democracy in the cover-ups and lies over the massive bribery payouts which oil the deals, with the completely undemocratic suppression of even the hint of an investigation???

And so on and so forth multiplied dozens of times over since 1945, from Pakistan to Indonesia, from Guatemalan death squads to Chilean generals.

Mugabe’s arrest of the coup plotters on the runway in Zimbabwe has added to the smarting humiliation of moribund British imperialism, underlining its dire sense of failure and fears for the future as the world imperialist economic crisis gathers pace, unrolling into catastrophic failure, Great Depression and war, exactly as the EPSR has continued to analyse for the last 28 years since it was founded to restore the struggle for Leninist understanding against the 57 varieties of fake-”left” confusion which imperialism uses to head workers away from clear understanding.

These opportunists and anti-communists, from the fanatical hostility of the Trotskyists to all forms of workers discipline and the workers states themselves (despite their “revolutionary” posturing) to the deluded nonsenses of “peace campaigning” and parliamentary roads fostered by Stalinist revisionist perspectives, are badly caught out by the Zimbabwe events and the even bigger stunt being pulled against China over supposed Tibetan nationalism (in reality a completely fixed-up provocation by discontented feudal remnants pushed and prodded by Western intelligence).

It is reassuring to see that the Chinese workers state, despite Beijing’s own dire revisionist illusions and perspectives, is standing firm against the demented Western provocations there:

China accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters yesterday of plotting suicide attacks in the wake of last month’s violent protests in Lhasa.

The allegation, which was denied by the Tibetan spiritual leader, came as security chiefs in Beijing claimed monks have been building up arsenals of weapons that could be used to escalate the conflict, which has already claimed at least 20 lives.

Wu Heping, a spokesman for the public security ministry, said police had searched monasteries and uncovered 176 guns, 13,013 bullets, 7,725 pounds of explosives, 19,000 sticks of dynamite and 350 knives.

“To our knowledge, the next plan of the Tibetan independence forces is to organise suicide squads to launch violent attacks,” Wu told a news conference. “They claimed that they fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice.”

The Tibetan government in exile denied the accusation, saying it remained dedicated to nonviolent struggle.

However, Wu said China has arrested “key members” of an underground network in Lhasa working with overseas pro-Tibet independence groups to prompt a “Tibet people’s uprising movement”.

He said the Tibetan Youth Congress and other participants drew up a blueprint last year to disrupt the Olympics and foment unrest in Tibetan areas.

“They reached agreement after consulting with high-level leaders in the Dalai clique,” Wu said.

Beijing announced at the weekend that a monk had confessed to working as an agent of the government in exile.

State media said the monk had distributed pamphlets calling for an uprising, as well as passing on information using coded language.

...Four days later, they erupted into violent riots in Lhasa, where Han and Hui Chinese were among the victim of ethnically motivated attacks by mobs of angry Tibetans.

China says 22 people died in the chaos, including five female shop assistants who burned to death in an arson attack.

Washington defended the Dalai Lama, saying he was as “a man of peace”.

However, the rhetorical assaults have intensified. Tibet’s Chinese Communist party boss, Zhang Qingli, has branded the Dalai Lama a “wolf in monk’s robes, a devil with a human face, but the heart of a beast”.

The Chinese state media has condemned protesting monks as the “scum of Buddhism”.

It would be far better to give the world a much clearer idea of the real driving force in these provocations, imperialism itself and its desperate need to get into war because of its growing inter-imperialist conflict and crisis, the inevitable end point of capitalist production as Marx, Lenin and many others analysed.

But none of the swamp of fake-“lefts” will help in doing any such thing. The Trotskyists are up to their necks in support for the MDC, lining up with imperialism as they always do (with a “left explanation”).

And on Tibet they are equally caught out, despite its obvious stunt nature and the huge line-up of Western reactionaries from Bush to Brown supporting the disruption.

The SWP tries to avoid being tarred with the imperialist brush by a supposed neutral report on Chinese competition with America and the tensions it causes, without once mentioning what it thinks of China and its revolution, or the Tibetan counter-revolutionary stunt. But in a masterpiece of evasion and non analysis, it still declares:

But while the White House has condemned the repression in Tibet, Bush himself has remained silent, apart from acknowledging that the US and China have “a complex relationship”.

Repression?!? So the SWP does stand with imperialism then, buying the whole anti-communist story in essence, and even berating Bush essentially for not being vigorous enough against China.

Calling on the US to be more aggressive – that is nothing to do with Marxism.

The even more reactionary academics and poseurs at the CPGB claim a greater sophistication, conceding that the Buddhists monk movement is utterly reactionary and the that the Tibetan feudalists were funded by the CIA to disrupt communist China. But they then declare knowledgeably CIA funding “stopped” in 1972 because Nixon forged a diplomatic deal with China.

On the back of this bizarre and nonsensical claim, that somehow the West no longer supported the feudalists (its subversion in reality is non-stop) the crypto-Trots turn completely about face and also support the Buddhists, under the sly justification that this is a “self-determination movement”, larded with much anti-Chinese nonsense declaring Beijing to be a “standard colonialist” power.

Marxism never made “self-determination” an absolute principle, even when movements were genuine enough (and not the artificially maintained reaction as on show in Tibet) always aware of eventual assimilation of all cultures into a world socialist culture.

It analysed self-determination claims in the light of the immediate class struggle context. There is an enormous difference between deliberately breaking up a workers state, and struggling against capitalist or feudal oppression for national rights.

But the CPGBers are pure counter-revolutionary garbage mongers, full of hatred for the Chinese workers state and all other real life struggles against capitalism.

Other parts of the left have been more circumspect, recognising the glaring reactionary nature of this stunt and its timing.

But while the revisionists, and demagogic figures like Respect’s George Galloway can spot a clear imperialist stunt a mile off and correctly denounce it, what they don’t do is take up the need for a world revolutionary perspective, either in general or against the swamping revisionism in Beijing, which is disastrously far from educating the world working class in the realities of capitalist crisis collapse and its plunge towards world war, unstoppably once more.

Without such a leadership perspective, insisting on the only possible solution being understood, that the world needs a revolutionary ending of the capitalist system, the working class is completely hamstrung, in China itself, or throughout the world.

Revisionist refusal to examine these questions and untangle the disastrous Stalinist legacy – which infects Beijing as much as anywhere else even if it comes in Maoist flavours – has helped create the weakness in understanding in Zimbabwe and elsewhere that leaves it vulnerable to endless stunting.

Leninist science is urgently needed and a party to build it.

Don Hoskins


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Sinister counter-revolutionary form (and funding) of Reporters sans Frontieres, the organisation at the heart of recent supposed “Tibet nationalist” anti-China demonstrations around the Olympic events

RSF with blood on its hands

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Special for Granma International— early 2007

WHAT underhand game is Robert Ménard’s NGO Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) once again playing in its attempt to cover up the facts in the case of Haitian journalists assassinated by paramilitaries?

This is the question that many observers are asking with respect to the recent publication of an investigation by a renowned U.S. expert into the savage murder of a photo-reporter in that impoverished Caribbean nation.

Jeb Sprague, a Californian academic who for some years has devoted himself to the subject of Haiti and who, along with his colleague Diana Barahona, exposed RSF’s collusion with the State Department, has recently published an analysis on the well-known website Narco News in which he shows that the Parisian organization distorted reports of the death of photojournalist Jean-Remy Badio on January 19, 2006.

Sprague tells how neighbors in the Haitian neighborhood of Martissant, in southern Port-au-Prince, have accused the Lame Ti Manchet paramilitary group (The Little Machete Army), of being responsible for the reporter’s murder.

According to the group sos Journalistes, of which Badio was a member, the journalist was executed after taking photos of the killers. However, a statement from RSF released in Paris presents a distorted version of the facts, even when the overwhelming number of documented killings has been attributed to the vigilante group, according to Sprague, in a special report for Narco News Bulletin.

A press release from RSF from Paris attempts to involve another group known as Baz Gran Ravin, who has no proven participation in the assassination.

Emily Jacquard, head of the RSF office in Canada, suspiciously avoided mentioning the charges expressed by the neighbors at the scene of the crime and also failed to show the overwhelming number of political killings documented in Martissant during the last two years that have been carried out by Lame Ti Manchet.

Sprague reported on a massacre carried out together in compliance with the Haitian police during a usaid-sponsored football tournament on August 20, 2005. Footage from that tragic event appeared in a documentary by Walt Bogdanich, a reporter from The New York Times, entitled Haiti: Democracy Undone.

The Haitian Press Agency (AHP) reported that, according to close friends of Badio, the victim had been the subject of death threats from members of Lame Ti Manchet, a paramilitary group that emerged under the protection of the U.S.-imposed Latortue regime.

Guyler Delva, from the Haitian Association of Journalists (AJH) has condemned Badto’s killing in many Haitian media outlets.

It is not the first time that duplicity on the part of RSF has been clearly confirmed with respect to Haiti.

Blatant case: the murder of another journalist, Abdias Jean - 25 years of age - and a correspondent with the Miami radio station, wkat, who was executed by the police of the interim regime in January 2005.

Press agencies mention the testimony of an eye-witness, according to whom Abdias Jean was shot to death by police agents attached to the Latortue government while he was covering a raid.

The police beat Jean and fired their guns at him, despite the fact that he had clearly identified himself as a journalist.

In this case also, AJH President Guyler Delva, has not just condemned the killing but also offered information that the police even pursued the journalist inside a house.

However, RSF has maintained total silence over the case.

The French group, so prone to intervening when it comes to covering up crimes perpetrated by U.S protagonists - the RSF report on the murder of Spanish cameraman Jose Couso in Iraq demonstrates this beyond all doubt - did not believe that this savage execution deserved, at the very least, one statement.

According to an article published in August on the U.S. Counterpunch website by researchers Diana Barahona and Jeb Sprague, the alliance between RSF and the State Department is so confidential that the ned refuses to reveal the contents of documents IRI 2002-022/7270, IRI 2003-027/7470 and IRI 2004-035/7473 which contain details of the existing agreements between RSF and the International Republican Institute, the interfering apparatus of the Republican Party.

The recent investigation into usaid by the Government Accountability Office (gao), the auditory body of the U.S. government office itself, reveals how the IRI and ned are two intermediaries used since the days of the Reagan administration to divert money to foreign organizations that support projects of the extreme right-wing and the cia.

Haiti has experienced an interminable tragedy since 2004 when, following an international campaign of disinformation, a clique of U.S. politicians and mafiosi organized the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

This mafia receives the economic support of the United States Agency for International Development (usaid), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

These same organizations financed, with a view to the presidential elections, various political groups that participated or supported the coup against Aristide.

RSF is among the proven beneficiaries of the grants awarded by these same organizations before and after the coup.

And so.,.. What underhand game is Robert Menard’s ngo playing by presenting a distorted version of the murder of a journalist and totally ignoring another execution, despite repeated condemnation by professionals in the Haitian press? To what point can RSF pretend that it defends journalists and human rights while it is increasingly linked to the disinformation apparatus of the U.S. Government? •

...and more sinister RSF dealings

WITH “impartial and absolute” tenacity, Robert Ménard, director of Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), has persuaded himself that he is defending the cause of freedom of the press in the world. His annual reports testify to outrages against the press in Cuba, China and Venezuela; in Iraq, Venezuela and Cuba; in Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela; in Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela, and in Venezuela and Cuba too.

However, some days ago, Ménard’s obsession with “real information pluralism” played a dirty trick on him. As soon as his advisor on Latin American affairs told him that the government in Havana had gotten rid of Marx, Ménard shouted euphorically, “We’ve won!”

Knowing his reputation for rashness and jumping to conclusions, Regis Bourgeat tried to contain Ménard: “Robert!”

But his boss was already on his laptop, writing a report similar to the one he wrote on Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, with a change of subject: “After so many years of official propaganda, an era of new freedom is opening up, full of hopes and uncertainty for Cuban journalists.”

“Uh. Robert... Robert!” Regis murmured worriedly. “Hold on... It’s not the Marx you’re thinking about; it’s Gary, Gary Marx, the correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in Cuba.”

Ménard went livid. Disconcerted, he looked at the trophy he had received in 2006 from the hands of King Juan Carlos of Bourbon (his fourth Antonio Asensio Journalism Prize). From the middle drawer of his desk, he took out a small plastic bag, and dumped part of its contents on the glass covering his desktop. In his penholder, he found a smalt metal tube. He bent over, pressed on one side of his nose and inhaled deeply.

Regis heard him say, “You’re fired.”

What is the RSF? In a voluminous document on Cuba presented in 2004 by Colin Powell to the U.S. Congress, the RSF is the only non-governmental organization (ngo) that George Bush’s former secretary of State cites as an example of what to do with the media under the “evil” governments.

And the thing is, in the universal cause of good, the RSF reports have set a legal precedent: if in the “evil” countries an individual has a cell phone, a fax or a computer connected to the Internet and begins to issue messages in favor of good and lies against the evil... there you go! He or she becomes a “dissident” or an “independent journalist.”

What is ideal is for “dissidents” who work in the “evil” countries to be summoned by the authorities. Then RSF goes into action, turning a legal issue into “violations of freedom of the press.” That was the case with journalist Gustavo Azócar, accused in 2000 of fraud and diversion of public funds to the detriment of the Táchira Lottery (Venezuela).

However, when Tayseer Aouni, a correspondent with the Al Jazeera television network, was arrested in Spain on September 8, 2003 on “suspicion” of ties to Al Qaeda, Ménard stated that journalists were not above the law, and that the correspondent arrested by Judge Baltasar Garzón had been arrested for what he had done and not for his reporting.

Given that Garzón did not present any evidence and Aouni’s guilt was not proven, it may be assumed that the Al Jazeera correspondent was doing the same as Spanish cameraman Jose Couso and reporter Taras Protsyuk (Reuters agency) were doing when they were killed after a mortar fired by a U.S. tank on October 8, 2003 destroyed the 15th floor of the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad, where international reporters were staying before the invasion.

“Ooh, la, la,” Ménard said.

Today, we know that the mortar was fired by Sergeant [Shawn] Gibson of Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, and that Captain Philip Wolford authorized the firing on order of Lieutenant Colonel Philip de Camp, chief of regiment,

The same day that Couso and Protsyuk were killed by the forces of “good,” the U.S. Air Force bombed the Arab television networks Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabis TV, killing journalist Tareq Ayub.

But Ménard was not interested in such details; instead, he was putting the finishing touches to an RSF press release, affirming that “the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship put an end...” well, the same as above for this case.

RSF exonerated the U.S. armed forces from all responsibility. And the next day, the main page of its web site was dedicated to the “the lack of freedom of expression in Cuba.”

“Independent” journalist Robert Ménard enjoys more impact and power than the missiles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) did during the war in the former Yugoslavia, or those fired by U.S. Air Force Colonel Kimberley Olson on the peoples and cities of Central Asia.

The RSF “reports” do not include the bombing of the building housing Serbian radio and television (1999) or the number of journalists killed in the invasion of Iraq - (2003). Instead, Colonel Olson was accused of using her position as second-in-command to General (R) Jay Garner (the first U.S. administrator in Iraq, and later an Army “contractor”) to grab $3 million worth of contracts with a “security” company.

Why are the RSF’s reports seen in Washington and the European Union as paradigms of “objectivity” when military officials like Olson were accused of mercenary activity by a military court in April 2006? Don’t they work for the same cause, the same bosses?

It could be conjectured that, transgressing certain principles of the honorable institution she represents, Olson discovered that in the project for “building democracy,” hiring mercenaries is more efficient than the defense of democracy and freedom, subject to the political games of international diplomacy.

Ménard’s case is different. He is a career mercenary. That is why the RSF has never said a word about the economic concentration of the media in the United Sates, a country where, according to RSF, “...there is real freedom of the press.”

Just like “soldiers of fortune,” Ménard’s “independent” journalists have made the RSF into a business that offers “ratings on freedom of the press” according to their clients’ demand. Their “ethics,” therefore, do not appear to differ from those of Robert B. McKeon, president of the notorious mercenary supply company Dyncorp, who supports “...the privatization and redesign of government facilities allover the world.” McKeon admits: “I wanted to be independent one day. The desire emerged from my strong need to be my own boss and not to have any limits oh how much money I could make.”

It’s more convenient to be an “independent” journalist. In general, “contractors” end up mutilated or hanging from a bridge in the “evil” countries, and nobody can claim them, because that is what is stipulated in the contract they signed in this valley of tears. In April 2000, without any proof, RSF implicated the constitutionally-elected president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide, in the deaths of Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor. On February 29, 2004, when Aristide was overthrown by a joint Washington/Paris invasion, Ménard spoke of “freedom of the press recovered... a hope that should be maintained” (sic). Nevertheless, RSF was silent after the homicide of journalist Abdias Jean, 25, a correspondent with radio station wkat in Miami, killed in January 2005 by government police agents, while on January 19, 2006, it distorted the death of graphic journalist Jean Rémy Badio, of sos Journalistes.

What kind of “freedom” is RSF defending when it receives funds from magnates concerned about the so-called “information society?” Companies that sell RSF “reports” include the multinational corporation Publicis, the number one publicity agency in France and Europe and number three in the United States, together with its New York partner Saatchi and the French Vivendi. Recent investigations reveal that via its U.S. affiliate Starcom Media West, Publicis is responsible for having placed the new image of the U.S. Army on the market for Europe and the world.

Groups like the International Foundation for Freedom and the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies, led by Jose Maria Aznar, and terrorist organizations like the Cuban American National Foundation and others of its ilk, are some of the RSF’s contributors to RSF: Committee for a Free Cuba, Hewlett Packard, France Foundation, Hachette Foundation, Real Network Foundation, Atlas Publishers, the SER Network, Open Society Institute, and those of Serge Dessault, Francois Pinault and Jean-Luc Lagardère, weapons manufacturers.

In 2004, the UN suspended RSF’s accreditation after some of its members stormed the opening session of the annual Human Rights Commission with pamphlets insulting Libya’s presidency of the commission. Months later, during the Summit on the Information Society, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (uit, 2005), Robert Ménard was declared persona non grata. •


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Colombia raid on Ecuador not only illegal but intended to provoke regional resistance and create excuses for war attacks on Venezuela and those sympathetic to its anti-imperialist stances.

Correa calls on Colombia to abstain from attacks and to apologize unconditionally

LIMA.—The crisis between Colombia and Ecuador can only be overcome with Bogota’s serious commitment to refrain from attacking its neighbors and to halt the Colombian campaign against Quito, President Rafael Correa warned on March 4.

In a press conference after his arrival in this capital to meet with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan García, Correa responded calmly but firmly to questions on his country’s position in terms of the grave crisis provoked by the Colombian attack on Ecuadorian territory on Saturday, March 1. He demanded an unconditional apology from Colombia, not the gibberish of President Alvaro Uribe in making excuses and launching infamous accusations against Ecuador, PL reported.

The expulsion by Ecuador and Venezuela of the Colombian ambassadors in those countries, the rupture of diplomatic relations by those two countries with the Colombian government and the military enforcement of shared borders to prevent any further interventionist military incursions by Colombian troops into those neighboring nations are among the initial measures provoked by that excessive and unjustifiable action.

The government of Rafael Correa, assisted by international law, defense of its sovereignty and the integrity of its territory, has asked for a meeting of the Organization of American States (oas), the Andean Community of Nations and mercosur to discuss the provocations that he described as “extremely grave, deceptive and verified aggression of President Uribe against Ecuador,” as international press agencies have reported.

According to the majority of observers, with that action Colombia is seeking to internationalize the armed conflict taking place in its territory and to obstruct the peace process that is being organized with the participation of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and other forces that are promoting peace in the region.

After the acceptance by the Colombian authorities of the violation of Ecuadorian territory and with the Quito authorities’ demonstration that the facts were not as they were presented by the former: “a hot pursuit” of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (farc) guerrilla group, but a premeditated hunt, the Casa de Narino occupants began to accuse the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan authorities of acts against Colombian security.

In that context, the government of Ecuador has categorically denied any links with the farc, while describing as very grave the charges contained in the communiqué issued by the Colombian presidency insinuating agreements between the farc and the Ecuadorian government.

According to the president’s communications secretary, the breaking off of relations with neighboring Colombia was the result of “discovering the reality of the facts that occurred in Sucumbíos province in which various members of the farc died,” including Commander Raul Reyes.

“Uribe is lying to the world,” affirmed President Rafael Correa, who stated that a deliberate action against Ecuador was perpetrated that cannot be allowed impunity, for which reason he had communicated with other Latin American presidents in search of support and to propose to them a mechanism that would avoid the internationalization of the Colombian conflict.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, Oscar Naranjo, chief of that country’s police, announced that Colombia has photographs of documents allegedly taken from Reyes’ computer and brought new accusations against the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela which, according to various analysts, is making the situation more critical.

Raising the tone of the charges against Caracas, Naranjo stated that the alleged documentation seized included letters confirming funding from President Hugo Chávez to the farc in Colombia, and spoke of “an alliance.”

The vice president of Venezuela immediately responded and said that they were accustomed to the lies of the Colombian government, according to the Monday, March 3 edition of El Tiempo newspaper. In his regular Sunday television and radio program, Chávez had condemned the incursion of Colombian troops into Ecuador, where they killed Reyes and approximately 20 insurgents while they were asleep, and announced the reinforcement of the shared border as well as the withdrawal of his ambassador from Bogota in solidarity with neighboring Ecuador, while warning of the danger of an act of that nature in relation to regional unity and security.

Correa rejected the imposition of unacceptable doctrines and practices of disrespect for the sovereignty of states on the pretext of fighting what Colombia calls terrorism.

According to the El Tiempo correspondent in Washington, Sean McCormack, spokesman for the U.S. State Department, asked Quito and Bogota for “moderation,” and said that Venezuela would be urged to “work constructively” with Colombia.

However, the presence of U.S. advisors and “contract troops” in Colombia is considered the principal destabilizing element in the area, as well as constituting a fundamental threat to the Bolivarian government of Chávez. For more than a few analysts, it is precisely the United States that is stirring up the Colombian conflict in order to justify the presence in that Andean nation of its bases and Black Hawks.

The assassination of Reyes came at a point where the possibility of a humanitarian exchange seemed closer than ever, with the unconditional release by the farc of some of the politicians in its power, and a number of analysts have voiced that ending his life signifies a blow to peace.

On the other side of the world, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner acknowledged that the Colombian guerrilla leader Raul Reyes was France’s contact in negotiations for the release of Ingrid Be-tancourt.

“It is bad news that the man with whom we were talking, with whom we had contact, has been gunned down,” said Kouchner.

These acts, described by the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan governments as “a massacre,” have been condemned by a number of governments via their maximum representatives, as is the case of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, who denounced the violation of the integrity of a sovereign nation. In Argentina, Cristina Kirchner expressed her concern, and the violation of Ecuadorian sovereignty was also condemned in Uruguay. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin warned the United States that the conflict between the two countries must be resolved by Latin Americans

Meanwhile, Venezuela is observing with concern the military action of the Colombian government, given the possibility of eroding a peaceful arrangement in the neighboring country and opening up the option of the internationalization of the conflict, Prensa Latina reported

President Chávez ordered the transfer to the shared border of 10 battalions and artillery forces. His concern is in relation to the existence of a complicated land border of more than 2,200 kilometers and the hostility of the United States, which has significant military forces in Colombia. National authorities and analysts have repeatedly warned of the possibility of a pretext being used to provoke a military confrontation between Venezuela and Colombia, which would open the way to U.S. participation. •

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