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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 1346 5th March 2009

“No one could have known it was coming” crisis excuse by the ruling class and Labourite stooges is the most monstrous lie in history. Their system is a giant conscious fraud of exploitation and unsustainable credit to fool the working class. Catastrophic failure of capitalism and war inevitable as Marx proved. Only revolution to end private production and build socialism will change things. Build Leninism

The wretched cowardliness, self-seeking opportunism and shallow incompetence of imperialism’s political leaders has never been more repellently expressed than in Gordon Brown’s craven, whining excuse that “no-one could have foreseen the credit squeeze that has hit the banking system worldwide”.

It is a sign of how desperately paralysed the world ruling class has become in the teeth of the greatest ever capitalist crisis that this wretched and pathetic “explanation” – on a par with the “I didn’t know” floundering of a caught-out school-yard bully – is now being elevated into a world mantra by letting Brown speak to the US Congress.

It is the biggest lie in history.

It is the biggest conscious lie in history.

It is the lie which has covered up the complete incompetence and failure of the capitalist system, and its collapse into protectionism and inevitable end point, war and destruction.

It is the lie which a panicky ruling class is clinging to with increasing desperation, to avoid the now glaringly clear conclusion that its centuries long rule is historically exhausted, collapsing into catastrophic disaster, and has to go.

It is the lie, most of all, which has been long used to fool the working class and keep it away from revolution and the establishment of communism, told as much by the reformist opportunists of “Labour” and the fake-“left” “revolutionaries” who prop it up, as by the Establishment.

Brown’s desperate pleading to the Congress not to turn inwards to “America First” policies – falling on stony ground – tells further how conscious is the entire capitalist class, and its craven stooges like the New Labourites and the official Trade Union movement leadership, of where capitalism’s slump is heading, – into bitter trade war protectionism and a vicious international struggle for markets now rapidly spiralling downwards.

The Brownites reflect the sheer panic of the imperialist British ruling class at being locked on the outside as the great monopoly blocs gear up to look after their own – in Europe, in Japan’s Asian region, in the US – leaving the UK as exposed as Iceland.

The best the humbled British “imperial” bourgeoisie can hope for is to tag along as a sidekick as Blairism did.

But conflict is unstoppable.

The pattern seen throughout history as the capitalist boom reached the peak and tipped into overproduction crisis, has been ever more brutal elimination of competition, tipping into violence, skulduggery and ultimately war, most especially in the twentieth century and the two World Wars.

Brutal blitzkrieging destruction followed the bank failures and slump of the 1910s and the Depression of the 1930s, the only logical end point for an ever intensifying capitalist need to ““wipe-out” competition and destroy the surplus capital clogging the system.

The US ruling class knows clearly what is coming and has been preparing for a decade for just such inter-imperialist devastation with its insane and demented “war on terror” blitzkrieging, torture and barbarities, being escalated yet again in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and with renewed scapegoating propaganda against Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea etc.

A complete propaganda edifice of “weapons of mass destruction”, “rogue states”, “axes of evil” and “threats to our way of life” by supposedly irrational “foreign ideologies” has been erected to stampede the world into renewed warmongering and get it used to killing and bombing again.

But all that is to cover over the true source of alienation and chaos in the world, the exploitation of imperialism and its inevitable slump Depression disaster.

The collapse is neither a “hurricane out of the blue” nor “like a sudden power cut in the banking credit lines”, both so-called explanations which simply restate the problem in metaphorical terms and are thereby no explanation at all.

Nor is it due particularly to American “irresponsibility in creating too much easy credit” (though it did).

Nor is it due to recent “inadequate regulation” and “a culture of greed” which other sections of the ruling class like the Tories are using as their excuse to blame Brown and pretend it was “nothin’ to do with me guv” (despite having massively turned back, post-war, the reformist public ownership with “free market” reforms under Thatcher).

All these are real enough aspects of late capitalism, true, but they are just symptoms, expressions of the lies, greed and fraudulence of the ruling class and its desperate floundering efforts over decades to put off the evil day of implosion and collapse that is built into capitalist production for profit.

The borrowing and dollar printing that led there, now feeds back into the financial disaster, compounding it and accelerating the downward spiral.

But none of this is the disease.

Capitalism itself is the problem.

Disaster and slump is built into its profit-making exploitation of labour worldwide.

Relentless “overproduction” accumulation and a falling rate of profit with it, means that an eventual disaster will always force its way out whatever reformist “controls” are imposed on the arrogance and excess of individuals.

It is in the nature of capital itself because ever growing mountains of accumulated funds must constantly seek profit on an unlimited scale from relatively ever diminishing opportunities for (profitable) sales to a world population that is ever more underpaid by that same capital, and unable to afford all its output (see quotes page 6).

It is collapsing now because one more contradictory straw too many has been piled finally on the constantly accumulating heap of contradictions which it cannot avoid.

It is an implosion that is utterly predictable.

What is more it has been consistently and continuously warned of for the last 30 years by the EPSR’s struggle to rebuild Marxism-Leninism.

In general it was understood and explained, long before that, by the great thinkers of Marxism and none more so than Karl Marx himself who spent 30 years studying and unravelling the contradictions and alienations of the profit making system, driven to understand the constantly recurring, and each time more destructive, crises in the system which have been routine for the entire centuries long historical span of capitalism.

Others like Frederick Engels, and Lenin and the Bolsheviks took this understanding forwards and extended it, as “globalisation” spread its capital-swamping domination across the planet from the end of the nineteenth century onwards, adding to the complexity of its exploitative domination, but changing nothing about its fundamental nature.

But the swamping of anti-communist propaganda post Second World War has made it crucial to fight this battle constantly all over again.

It is a central part of the fight for revolutionary understanding.

So far the tiny voice of Leninism has gone largely unheeded because of the enormous weight of bourgeois propaganda and cultural control which has said exactly the opposite, lyingly, and knowingly lyingly, declaring that only the “free market” and its associated fraud of “parliamentary democracy” can take the world forwards, “inspiring creativity, invention and delivering prosperity and ‘freedom’ for all”.

This insistent Goebbels message has been used for long decades to justify and sanctify the most monstrous oppression by the subversion, undermining, bribery, manipulation, torture, death squad terrorising, coup-plotting and, if necessary, total blitzkrieging slaughter of country after country and movement after movement which has tried to turn away from capitalism.

By suppressing resistance and bribing and manipulating a network of fascist and gangster stooges around the planet (Marcos, Papa Doc, Baby Doc, the Shah of Iran, Saddat and Mubarak, Saddam and Mobutu, the Sauds, the Husseins, the Suharto family, Noriega, assorted South American death squad generals, the Zionists, Pinochet, the Thai generals, the Greek generals, almost every Nigerian general, the Pakistani generals AND the stooge politicians, apartheid South Africa, bought out Kenyans, etc etc etc) to control the Third World billions, their ruthless exploitation has been sustained, to keep feeding the grotesque wealth and power of the “free world’s” ruling class.

By extending ever outwards into areas of the world previously untouched and intensifying exploitation with new technologies, capitalism has kept expanding into the vacuum left by World War Two destruction.

While it could pretend that this would go on for ever (bolstered by the ever more insane printing of dollars and credit, pumped for decades into the enormously bloated world trading system) it has got away with the lies (helped by the capitulations and retreat from Marxist revolutionism of Moscow revisionist Stalinist “communism” and sour Trotskyism).

But it has hit a brick wall.

Now the profit-system camel’s back is broken and everyone can see it.

But Marxism alone has stated loudly, clearly and consistently that total catastrophic failure and implosion was historically imminent on a scale never seen before, against the overall hurricane of bourgeois propaganda and lies saying the opposite, and against the opportunistic derision of the entire spectrum of fake-”lefts” who have either failed to make any such vital perspective the framework for understanding of the world class struggle or have explicitly derided and put-down such analysis as “nothing but ‘catastrophism’ by loonies that should not be listened too”.

The EPSR has had to fight tooth and nail against this sometimes open censorship and always sneering scepticism as in this argument from 2003 which is one of many from long before the full depth of Depression crisis was obvious- EPSR 1188):

Nothing in the Review has ever claimed to have detailed scientific knowledge of exactly how or when this greatest-ever “overproduction” crisis in capitalism’s history is going to result in such widespread breakdown, and such largescale slump internationally, as to merit the description “imperialist collapse”.

But describing the capitalist system as facing “imminent disaster” or “on the brink” is designed to convey something else entirely.

In Marxist terms, the “free market” has been facing collapse again, ever since its warmongering “recovery” was engineered by 1945 via the, most colossal destruction ever known of civilisation’s industrial, economic, social, and cultural achievements.

Entire major countries such as Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and much of East Europe were reduced to total rubble, and a dozen more countries did not fare much better.

But 2003 is no longer 1945. To merely repeat the scientific certainty (that by the Marxist laws, the post-war “recovery” definitely will end ultimately only in another warmongering collapse) is an abandonment of the revolutionary journalism Lenin strove to describe in “What is to be done”.

It also happens to be a formula behind which Third International Revisionism was perfectly content to hide.

The grotesque flaw with Stalin’s “Economic Problems, 1952” is not in wishing to deny that imperialism remains an economic system of ultimate crisis.

That is accepted.

The problem lies in Revisionist theory’s total denial that it is imperialism’s aggressive economic EXPANSION, on route to a fall, that was going to be the absolute driving force governing or influencing ALL world developments after 1945.

To this day, the Revisionist remnants will still agree (Morning Star, etc) that “of course imperialism is still a system of crisis; we are Marxists”, etc, etc, and then proceed to “analyse” world developments in exactly the same old impressionistic way as ever, devoid of any revolutionary perspective whatsoever, and attacking capitalism’s ad hoc difficulties purely episodically, with ALWAYS only a reformist “solution”, plus the words “we want socialism”, tacked on at the end.

This Scargillite crap is buried deeply in British workers spontaneous trade unionist consciousness.

How to dig it out? Certainly, just shouting “imminent”, or “on the brink” about crisis collapse all the time would be counterproductive.

And certainly, if the “free market” is henceforth destined for another 10 to 20 year period of “recovery” before finally succumbing to Marx’s “overproduction” breakdown, then the EPSR’s attempted political tradition is going to be even more marginalised than ever.

But the Review’s presentation is not some silly gamble.

Its style of anticipatory perspectives obviously lends itself to giving many hostages to fortune, both large and small; but journalism as revolutionary agitation is impossible without it.

On another plane of struggle entirely, an entire stupid bourgeois industry has grown up of academic pedantry which has reduced world history to one long jeer at “Marx’s wrong predictions”, etc.

The EPSR was born because nothing existed that would champion the achievements, so far, of the existing workers states but at the same time denounce Revisionism for its refusal to understand that imperialist boom/bust even existed, let alone be the great significant driving force for all future developments on Earth, which could only be of a totally REVOLUTIONARY character, therefore.

No ten or 20 year recovery has been achieved and the Marxist view is being richly confirmed by events.

Every desperate move made by the bourgeoisie is failing – with the billions of dollars magically conjured from thin air apparently, to salvage the economy, disappearing week after week. From October onwards the story has been blind panic by a ruling class now floundering like wet fish on the shore.

Exactly how fast the system plunges into utter collapse is still hard to say. The desperate splurge of “quantitative easing” (which means printing money frantically) just announced by the Bank of England, may achieve some very temporary effect to give the capitalists some last breathing space.

But the revolutionary nature of the world has already been totally confirmed in the speed and completely transforming spiralling whirlpool of collapse.

The bourgeois press articles trip over each other day by day to constantly revise downwards how bad things are getting.

Every giant credit boost so generously given by the bourgeois state to the bourgeoisie to keep its utterly shamed, humiliated and bankrupt “free market” operating, the core justification of its claim to be the ruler and organiser of world affairs, – has disappeared without trace, including the unimagineably huge hundreds of billion dollar stimulus from Barack Obama which simply saw Stock Exchanges fall further.

As one bourgeois speculator has been declaring loud and clear, the system has already been creating artificial consumer spending and credit for decades, to stave off disaster, and so creating more paper dollars can only make things worse.

It may stimulate some movement temporarily but then the crisis will erupt in flames ten times higher – almost certainly in uncontrollable inflation.

The bourgeoisie is aware that the game is up and is not really trying to “solve” anything anymore; these are moves only to prevent immediate collapse while they gather together the wealth they can (aided by the government simply bailing them out using ordinary people’s money to pay their bonuses) and pull the waggons around for the inter-imperialist conflict and for the explosions of class hatred they know are coming as the world collapses into hunger, unemployment, chaos and breakdown.

Even as the greatest financial disaster ever is unfolding, the EPSR is being buffeted with petty bourgeois “advice” not to “overstate” the correctness of its view, and to tone all this down “in case it puts people off”.

This is a new variant of the old cynicism and petty bourgeois scepticism.

It pretends that “too much self-congratulation prevents people listening to the arguments”.

But the real issue is that seeing the catastrophic nature of the crisis means seeing the revolutionary nature of the world.

It wants to evade that like the old argument constantly used by the fake-“lefts”, that it is “premature” to talk about revolution because workers are “not ready for it”.

Apart from asking the obvious question of ”how do you know what workers are ready for unless you present to them, and ask them to join, the discussion on the real issues – revolution included?”, this is a complete abandonment of leadership, tailending existing consciousness, or even worse, what is alleged by the nervous petty bourgeois academics and poseurs who make up the fake-“left” groups, to be existing consciousness.

The paper and its supporters will continue to repeat loud and clear that it is Marxist-Leninist understanding, and this understanding alone, which has been warning the working class of the crisis.

The point is not to crow about supposed cleverness by individuals, but to emphasise the power and precision of revolutionary science which gives all mankind the understanding which can both explain and guide its progress through collapsing capitalist class domination.

There is a science and a philosophical method which is able to grasp, and analyse, and get right the worldwide conflict of classes in the imperialist system, and give the vital leadership needed for the only rational route out of disaster, the complete ending of the outmoded capitalist exploitation and class domination system, and with it the remnants of all class dominated society from the past.

It centres around a living battle to overcome the limits of human experience and subjectivity with constant struggle for objective understanding, waged by the party in full view of the working class, with it, and at the same time in conflict with its old illusions (deliberately instilled by relentless capitalist news, culture, education and political brainwashing and dumbing-down, with demonisation of “foreigners”, “Muslims” “terrorists” and, above all, communism at the heart).

The revolutionary party can only be one of leadership, precisely fighting to lift consciousness.

In one way or another failure to do that has tied workers to the reformist struggle and “what is achievable now” a path that has degenerated into constant scrabbling for position and “influence” in the labour movement, or the soft-brained degeneracy of the revisionist “peaceful road” which simply leaves capitalism in power.

The ultimate end point of these decades of revisionist retreat was the deluded capitulation of Gorbachevism to the supposed “efficiency” of the free market which then, incredibly, dismantled the dictatorship of the proletariat which had guarded the carefully and steadily built achievements of the Soviet workers state and its commonly held and owned industries, culture and society, for 70 years.

Titanic strides in human culture, arts, science, education, society and technology, all made without any exploitation of the Third World or the working class domestically, and despite the destruction of most of it during the Second World War (all rebuilt), were abandoned overnight for the blinkered short-sighted notion that the West’s “market wisdom” had “achieved more”.

Superficially yes, but in the most shallow, dumbed-down, fatuous, “celebrity”-chasing, pointless consumerism, built only in the richest countries on the back of the most appalling sweat-shop and slave level plantation exploitation of three-fifths of the planet.

And, it is now clear, also on the biggest credit creation fraud in history, an unsustainable arc of excess which was always a illusion, and a confidence trick which had to collapse.

Russia and East Europe (and the deluded, fascist-minded petty-bourgeois layers which so eagerly embraced “the West”), are paying a heavy price now for such revisionist philosophical idiocy, as the “benefits” of consumer capitalism turn to dust and debt-bound Depression rips into the former workers states even faster than into mainstream Western capitalism.

Revolution is not some “pie in the sky” or just a long-term perspective ”while we get on with the problems of the present” or deal with questions of “what happens in the meantime while we wait for your fantasies, comrade”.

This is the meantime.

There is no other way out.

Seeing the whirlpool of capitalist crisis is to see revolutionary nature of all development in the world, – which is why all the lefts got it wrong and are still prevaricating about it now.

Anything but talk about revolution.

Their cravenness, smugness and ivory-tower hostility in the long (false) post-war “boomtime” tells workers just what the 57 varieties of swamp fake-”lefts” will offer, now that the crisis has broken into desperate implosion.

Exactly the same anti-revolutionary misleadership as for the last 60 years – whatever fast-talking “catching-up” they try to do about “explaining” Marx, or “calling for working class action” or even “being revolutionary”.

The twin wings of fake-“leftism” – sour, middle-class, academic, pious, anti-communist Trotskyism and heads-down, don’t-rock-the-boat class-collaborating Revisionism are making all sorts of claims about their “left” credentials.

But shouting “make the bosses pay for the slump” is as meaningless as the fatuous “stop the war” slogans the fake-”left” has pumped out for the last ten years of escalating imperialist blitzkrieging preparation.

Defeat for imperialism is the only way to stop war; taking over all the industry, resources and financial centres under workers control without compensation, the way to tackle the crisis.

Jobs cannot simply be “defended” when entire countries are being slaughtered economically and in fact soon enough will be in outright war.

The scientific Marxist perspective of the world, and the need for a revolutionary end to capitalism must now come into its own.

No other understanding makes any sense or offers anything but destruction and chaos and massive Depression unemployment, chaos, starvation and homelessness which is on the way.

The only rational way out of the inevitable implosion of the system is to end it.

That means ending the private ownership of the means of production, seizing the great industries and farmlands, the mines and the seaways, and taking them into the hands of the working class and proletarian majority.

It means the careful organised planning and control of these productive forces by the great majority, cooperatively organised across the planet to make the best of the diverse skills and resources available to all mankind.

It means the end of exploitation by capital, the absolute heart of imperialism.

Production is needed not for profit to feed the obscene, arrogant bonus rake-offs and degenerate insane over-consumption luxury of the ruling class but for the needs of all.

Technology is so advanced in the modern world, and resource so plentiful, that the potential output for rational use, and not environment-wasting celebrity-chasing pointless, idiot consumption, could sustain and develop the entire world population not only away from hunger, insanitary homelessness, disease and constant oppression, but into civilised multi-faceted cultured, educated human existence built for all with universal education, and living standards at the core of meeting the aspirations of all people.

It means revolution to establish working class rule.

How will it happen?

It is already brewing in a thousand and one rough-and-ready, sometimes backward, sometimes anarchic, sometimes crudely violent expressions across the planet, coloured for the moment by cultural forms and led up a side path by Ayatollah-ocracy and “left” machismo, in varying shades of demagoguery and opportunism, but still hostile to capitalism.

Chaos spreading in Pakistan, from Afghanistan, eruptions of riots in now nearly bankrupted anti-communist counter-revolutionary East Europe, in Greece, France, Guadeloupe, and even placid Norway during the vicious Zionist blitzkrieging massacres of January, are symptoms of much greater upheavals to come, as the police and secret state surveillance forces, like MI5, keep warning.

The ruling class is panic stricken and preparing to tear up all the “democracy” fraud in order to impose police state conditions in even the “home of parliament” (slipped through year by year with Goebbels levels of propaganda “spin” by the neo-Mosleyite fascist mindset of the disgusting New Labourite stooges for the Establishment).

The struggle will force its way through as the determined Palestinian struggle against the fascist Jewish Zionist occupation and seizure of Palestine demonstrates over and over again, each time more organised, more determined, and more heroic.

But history and experience of 200 years of class struggle shows that toppling capitalism completely is the only real solution to the chaos, confusion and devastation of the system.

Turmoil, upheaval, riots and other signs of rebellion across the planet change nothing in themselves, nor strikes, general strikes and huge demonstrations (though they are all powerful weapons for the working class and will be used to defend its living standards etc).

What is required is the conscious building of a party of philosophical discipline, polemic and debate which can, coordinate, lead and inspire the growing spontaneous rebellion against Depression and warmongering collapse.

Transformation of the welling tide of anger into consciously fought for revolutionary overturn, and the building of proletarian dictatorship rule is vital to defend the working class from endless counter-revolutionary subversion (physical and propaganda) while it gets on with building cooperative, planned socialism under the common ownership of factories, banks, farms and mines, the only way to stop the cycle ever greater Depression and War disaster capitalism brings.

The world is not ready for it??

But even the liberal British petty bourgeois is steaming with rage:

My personal snapping point was reached last week, at the precise moment Jack Straw announced the government was vetoing the Information Tribunal’s order for the release of cabinet minutes relating to that whole invasion-of-Iraq thing. Come on, you remember Iraq: that little foreign policy blip millions of us protested against to absolutely zero avail, because Straw and his pals figured they knew best, even though it turned out they didn’t and - oops! - hundreds of thousands of lives were lost as a result. Remember the footage of that screaming little boy with his limbs blown off? Maybe not. Maybe you felt a shiver of guilt when you saw that; guilt that you hadn’t personally done enough to prevent it; should’ve shouted louder, marched further. Or maybe it stunned you into numbness. Because what was the point in protesting any more? These people do what they want.

They do what they want, these people, and you and I are cut out of the conversation. I’m sure they’re dimly aware we still exist. They must spot us occasionally, through the window, jumping up and down in the cold with our funny placards . . . although come to think of it, they can’t even see us through the window, since they banned peaceful protest within a mile of Parliament.

Instead they pick us up on a monitor, courtesy of one of the 15bn CCTV cameras that scrutinise our every move in the name of security. On the screen you’re nothing but a tiny monochrome blob; two-dimensional and faceless. And that’s just how they like it.

Straw and co blocked the release of the minutes, claiming that to actually let us know what was going on would set a dangerous precedent that would harm good government. Ministers wouldn’t speak frankly at cabinet meetings if they felt their discussions would be subjected to the sort of scrutiny that, say, our every waking move is. In other words, they’d be more worried about the press coverage they’d get than the strength of their arguments.

Well, boo hoo. Surely craven pussies like that shouldn’t be governing anyway?

Having pissed in the public’s face, Straw went on to shake the final drips down its nose, writing a defence of the government’s civil liberties record in this paper in which he claimed “talk of Britain sliding into a police state is daft scaremongering, but even were it true there is a mechanism to prevent it - democratic elections . . .

People have the power to vote out administrations which they believe are heavy-handed.” Thanks, Jacksy - can I call you Jacksy? - but who the hell are we supposed to vote in? Despite a bit of grumbling, the Tories supported the veto. Because they wouldn’t want cabinet minutes published either.

It’s all over. The politicians have finally shut us out of their game for good and we have nowhere left to turn. We’re not part of their world any more. We don’t even speak the same language. We’re the ants in their garden. The bacteria in their stools. They have nothing but contempt for us. They snivel and lie and duck questions on torture - on torture, for Christ’s sake - while demanding we respect their authority. They monitor our every belch and fart, and insist it’s all for our own good.

Straw wrote, “If people were angels there would be no need for government . . . But sadly people are not all angels.” That rather makes it sound as though he believes politicians aren’t mere people. Maybe they’re the gods of Olympus. Maybe that’s why they’re in charge.

Thing is, they could get away with this bullshit while times were good, while people were comfortable enough to ignore what was happening; when people were focusing on plasma TVs and iPods and celebrity gossip instead of what the politicians were doing - not because they’re stupid, but because they know a closed shop when they see one. But now it looks as if those times are at an end, and more and more of us are pulling the dreampipes from the back of our skulls, undergoing a negative epiphany; blinking into the cold light of day.

Consequently the police are preparing for a “summer of rage”. To the powers that be, that probably just means more tiny monochrome blobs jumping up and down on the long-distance monitor for their amusement. Should it turn out to be more visceral than that, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

This is a bourgeois press column not revolution, of course.

But the process of mass consciousness reaching breaking point, which he describes effectively, is exactly the reason for Marxism’s insistence on putting its full revolutionary perspective to the working class.

Far from “putting off” the masses, as the fake-“left” excuse themselves, the party will eventually find itself in danger of falling behind in its capacity to keep up with events and explain them well enough to a demanding working class.

As developments move apace workers will want coherent explanation of all aspects of world development.

It is the material reality of the world that determines consciousness and the breaking crisis is going to create the biggest shift in understanding since the turmoil of the Second World War when the last great capitalist crisis reached the point of completely destructive hot bombing and blitzing war.

But reaching revolutionary clarity demands a conscious struggle, led by the party.

Massive confusion remains and is being constantly added to by bourgeois ideology.

The same columnist was only recently celebrating the election of Barack Obama, like many liberals.

Instinct and surface impression is not enough to guide the most of angry commentators, in other words.

A class position, for the proletariat, and a clear scientific view of the world is vital, which can only be built by the constant, conscious effort to understand the development of the world class struggle in the longest historical perspective, on the widest world view and with the philosophical underpinning of revolutionary science developed over 150 years, and fought for against the revisionist retreats and anti-communists distortions of the pretend “lefts”.

Obama is already confirming the EPSR’s characterisation as Barack O’Bomber, continuing the warmongering essence of the Bush-ite blitzkrieging.

The columnist quoted above sees clearly enough the fraud of non-choice in British parliamentary politics (which combined with big money advertising, media bias, impressionistic ‘personality‘ politics, electoral manipulation and sometimes outright ballot rigging etc etc, ensures the permanent continuation of hidden bourgeois dictatorship rule) but is taken in by the trickery of the anti-racist or feminist single issue “causes” which supposedly “create a sea change in US politics”.

It is a nonsense.

Because these are just as anti-communist as any other reformist cause (when pursued within capitalism exclusively) they have been embraced by the capitalist ruling class as a useful way to fool the masses one more time, a supercharged American scale version of Blairism and New Labour.

The “change” in the White House is a cosmetic fraud. Obama is as much a part of the capitalist machine as Blair and Brown, brought in to cover for the disastrous failure of Bush, who has been toppled and humiliated by the stalemating defeat of US warmongering in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The “new broom” gives the US ruling class an excuse to re-order and retreat, salvaging what it can from the failed neo-con years.

The agenda to directly “shock and awe” the world into complete acquiescence to continued American dominance and exploitation, and intimidate potential imperialist rivals even before full scale crisis had broken, ran into a wall of growing Third World resistance which has made a hated mockery of Bushism inside the US and outside, and exposed its absurd lies of “bringing democracy, order, prosperity and freedom”.

After nearly a decade no such outcome is remotely visible in Afghanistan for example as the bourgeois press reports:

Two decades later the ironies of America’s war in Afghanistan are telling. When Richard Holbrooke, the new US envoy to the region, visited the country this week he may not have been aware of the Soviet anniversary. But the US-led intervention is already almost as long. At this stage of their war the Russians were preparing to leave. Now the US and Nato want to get further in, and if Barack Obama’s plans for 30,000 extra US troops are met, along with efforts to get more from Nato, coalition forces will almost equal the 115,000 troops the Russians had at their peak.

Western casualties are considerably less, but Nato has been no more successful. Like the Russians, the western alliance mainly occupies Kabul and provincial capitals. The countryside is vulnerable to attack or in the hands of the resistance - a mixture of Islamic fundamentalists, Pashtun nationalists, local tribal chiefs and mullahs, and Arab jihadis - just like the mujahideen who confronted the Russians. The difference is that the west and Pakistan supported and armed them in the 1980s. Now, using the profits of heroin-running, they are self-sustaining and harder to control.

Nato faces tougher challenges than the Russians. Twenty years ago the Taliban did not exist, suicide bombing was not in vogue, and the Afghan army and police were more effective. Kabul under Soviet rule was an oasis of calm, where girls went to school and unveiled young women attended university. The mujahideen fired occasional rockets into the city but caused too little damage to upset normal life. Note the contrast with today’s siren-screaming armoured convoys and western offices hidden behind high walls and sandbags, and still the Taliban were able to attack three government buildings a few days ago.

...Moscow was not seeking regime change. It was trying to prop up a regime under threat from a mounting civil war. Although western hawks claimed the Kremlin planned to advance through Afghanistan to seize warm water ports in the Gulf, the true aim was limited. Moscow wanted to defend an allied government, contain the mujahideen (who were getting CIA support before Soviet troops invaded), and prevent Afghanistan becoming a pro-western bastion. This was shortly after the US was expelled from Iran and the Kremlin feared Washington wanted Afghanistan as its replacement.

Getting out was easier for Moscow than it will be for the US. International negotiations in Geneva gave the Kremlin the face-saver of “parallelism”. The peace terms were that the Russians would leave when aid to the mujahideen ceased and an intra-Afghan dialogue was launched. This disguised any appearance of defeat. It even provided a good chance for the Afghan government to continue after Soviet troops withdrew. In fact, it lasted three more years.

The causes and consequences of the Soviet withdrawal and Najibullah’s eventual fall have led to some of the phoniest myths of the cold war. Claims that US-provided Stinger missiles forced the Russians to give up and that this humiliation provoked the Soviet Union’s collapse are nonsense. Moscow’s ally Najibullah fell four months after the USSR died, when the Kremlin’s new ruler, Boris Yeltsin, cut fuel supplies to the Afghan army and Abdul Rashid Dostum, the leading Uzbek commander, defected to the mujahideen. Until that moment, they had not captured and held a single city.

Another myth is that the west “walked away” after the Russians left. If only it had. Instead Washington and Pakistan broke the Geneva agreement by maintaining arms supplies to the mujahideen. They encouraged them to reject Najibullah’s repeated efforts at national reconciliation. The mujahideen wanted all-out victory, which they eventually got, only to squander it in an orgy of artillery shelling that left Kabul in ruins and produced the anger that paved the way for the Taliban. If western governments are now paying a high price in Afghanistan, they have brought the disaster on themselves.

The Taliban will not drive Nato out militarily. The notion that Afghans always defeat foreigners is wrong. The real lesson of the Soviet war is that in Afghanistan political and cultural disunity can slide into massive and prolonged violence. Foreigners intervene at their peril.

Nato is in a cleft stick and the idea that, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is the “right war” is a self-deluding trap. A military “surge”, the favoured Obama policy, may produce short-term local advances but no sustainable improvement, and will cost the US and Britain enormous sums. Pouring in aid will take too long to win hearts and minds, and if normal practice is followed, the money will mainly go to foreign consultants and corrupt officials.

Talking to the Taliban makes sense under Najibullah-style national reconciliation. But the Taliban themselves are disunited, with a host of local leaders and generational divisions between “new” and “old” Taliban. Worse still, since the war spilt into Pakistan’s frontier regions, there are now Pakistani Taliban.

What of the better option, a phased Nato withdrawal? It will not produce benefits as clear or immediate as the US pull-out from Iraq. Most Iraqis never wanted the US in the first place. They know the destruction the invasion brought, have stepped back from sectarian war, and now have a government which has pressed Washington to set a timetable to leave. In Afghanistan the risks of a collapse of central rule and a long civil war are far greater..

Iraq is a foul mess too:

In saying that the provincial elections in Iraq are a turning point (We will leave Iraq a better place - British general, 2 March), Lieutenant-General John Cooper ignores the price paid for this fragile progress. At least two estimates - by the academic Dr Gideon Polya and Opinion Research Business - put the number of Iraqi war fatalities at more than 1 million. In addition 2 million Iraqi refugees, mainly in Jordan and Syria, have yet to return to their homes, and a further million remain internally displaced - all out of a population of about 24 million. There is another consideration that receives far too little attention. There is now a substantial literature (e.g What Kind of Liberation?, by Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt) that shows that the Islamic ascendancy in Iraq has put back the cause of women by more than half a century.

Geoff Simons Author of Iraq Endgame: Surge, Suffering and the Politics of Denial

According to Cooper: “Surges work. We saw that in Northern Ireland in 1972.” In 1972 we saw a surge of bitterness from Catholics in Northern Ireland - who had initially welcomed the army as protectors - as a result of army actions, including Bloody Sunday, which sustained 25 years’ of fighting and thousands of deaths in the pursuit of a bloody stalemate. The political solution when it came owed more to the end of the cold war and common British and Irish membership of the EU than to any army surge in 1972. In what sense did that surge “work”?

Roger Crosskey London

Cooper is in Wonderland. He neglects to state that a principal legacy of the illegal invasion is the serious deterioration in relations with the Muslim world and the fact that the London bombings were a direct result of Blair’s decision to spend British taxpayers’ money pandering to the Bush administration’s oil-dictated bid for regional hegemony.

Joseph Cocker Leominster, Herefordshire

So Cooper tells us that the British army “will leave Iraq with al-Qaida largely defeated”. Did anyone tell him that al-Qaida didn’t exist in Iraq before the invasion?

John Mann Irchester, Northamptonshire

The Irish political solution (still being fought for peacefully) owed everything to the dogged determination of the republican armed IRA which ailing British imperialism could not defeat, rather than the end of cold war but the point is made.

Imperialism is increasingly facing such stalemate inability to impose its will and maintain its rule of exploitation on a much wider scale.

The mess is now on fire all the way through Pakistan as well, because of the rampaging “intervention” of crisis ridden imperialism and the huge escalation in Third World hatred it has caused, erupting again in the cricket team attacks this week, but in constant ferment.

But imperialism has no choice but to continue the warmongering because that is in the very nature of capitalism.

The Obama “phenomena” has bought time for the defeated and discredited mainstream US ruling class to regroup.

But nothing changes in essence and one of the first moves is to go ahead with the new 17 000 surge of troops for yet more torture, civilian blitzing, and fascist rampaging.

Imperialism will stampede the world a long way down to war with its lies and propaganda which continue to pump out non-stop to demonise new victims.

Well meaning liberals, pacifists and “democrats” are constantly fooled by accepting the entire supposed “human rights” agenda and non-stop supposed “concern” about “tyranny” used to “justify” warmongering blitzes and interventions.

But every now and then the capitalist press gives away a little of the game. Consider this revelation about imperialist dominated and financed neo-colonial Kenya:

A brutal succession of hundreds of summary executions carried out with impunity by Kenyan security forces was roundly condemned today by a top UN investigator, who called on President Mwai Kibaki to sack his police chief and attorney general because of the outrage.

Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, issued one of the UN’s strongest indictments yet of Kenya’s culture of impunity, in a hard-hitting report following a 10-day investigation into the alleged killing of more than 1,000 gang members, insurgents, petty criminals and political protestors since 2007.

“I have received overwhelming testimony that there exists in Kenya a systematic, widespread and well-planned strategy to execute individuals,” Alston told a news conference in Nairobi.

“Kenyan police are a law unto themselves. They kill often, with impunity.”

His comments came a day after the government-appointed Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) released a videotaped testimony by a police constable who described in chilling detail how he witnessed the killing of 58 people in a year while working as a driver for a police death squad. The whistleblower, Bernard Kiriinya, was himself murdered four months after giving his testimony and going into hiding in Nairobi last year.

A police spokesman today strongly denied KNCHR’s allegations of extrajudicial killings, despite a mounting body of evidence against the security forces in recent years. But the strongly-worded UN report by Alston, an Australian law professor at New York University, will be far more difficult to ignore.

Alston was highly critical of Hussein Ali, the police commissioner appointed by President Mwai Kibaki from the military nearly five years ago, saying he had failed to respond adequately to any of the allegations of extrajudicial killings, and refused even to answer basic questions such as the size of the police force. Ali’s “immediate dismissal” should be the first step in police reforms, Alston said.

Referring to Attorney General Amos Waki, who has kept his job since 1991 — a period of unchecked high-level corruption in the country — Alston said: “Mr Wako is the embodiment in Kenya of the phenomenon of impunity”. Kibaki, who has a record of refusing to censure those close to him, regardless of the offence, also came in for strong criticism.

“His silence to date on this issue [of extrajudicial executions] is both conspicuous and problematic,” Alston said.

Police killings during the post-election violence in January 2008 and a counter-insurgency campaign in western Kenya a few months later have been well documented and heavily criticised by human rights organisations.

But it is the insider details of the campaign against the Mungiki, which is notorious for its macabre initiation rituals and runs extortion rackets, that may offer the strongest evidence of planning and high-level complicity in the extrajudicial executions.

Kiriinya, who the police say was a disgruntled deserter, described in his 90-minute video interview how a notorious criminal called Simon Matheri Ikere was shot in the back of the head by police officers while lying on his stomach. At the time police claimed Ikere had been killed after emerging from his house with an AK-47.

During the murder missions, officers disguised themselves in hired cars, and typically strangled their victims, shot them from behind or clubbed or hacked them to death, Kiriinya said. The bodies were disfigured to prevent identification and dumped in forests or remote woodland areas around Nairobi. Officers in the death squad were given bonuses of up to 15,000 shillings (£132) for “good work” after an execution, he said.

Kiriinya said that senior policemen told him that commissioner Ali sanctioned the killings and had sent his personal congratulations after one of the murders.

After recording his testimony Kiriinya briefly left Kenya for a neighbouring country but returned to Nairobi to try to arrange a permanent move to safety. On 16 October last year, he was lured out of his safe house in a upmarket area of Nairobi and shot in the back of the head. Hassan Omar Hassan, the vice chairman of KNHCR, said Kiriinya had been visited by a police officer earlier in the day — the first male visitor he had seen since going into hiding.

“All our preliminary investigations into the death indicate that the police killed him,” Hassan told the Guardian.

Compare that to the massive front page campaign of non-stop demonisation and endless poison poured out against ZANU in nearby Zimbabwe where no such “death squad” activity has been remotely demonstrated (despite endless hearsay whispers and rumours, by self-interested petty bourgeois “witnesses” given the full Western media treatment without any efforts at official investigation or verification.)

But then Kenya’s ruling stooge “democracy” is completely complicit with western financial and commercial exploitation interests, and above all have never defied continuing white colonialist land “ownership” like Mugabe has, to earn the undying hatred and vilification of the West and above all the dispossessed British ruling class.

Staggeringly but tellingly the small story on Kenya was followed in the same issue of this bourgeois paper by a two-page full-spread with colour pictures on Zimbabwe, “blaming” it for the cholera outbreak which has devastated the population (as it does every now and then in many of the countries in this area).

The very absurdity of the juxtaposition underlines the real hate-filled agenda of Western Goebbels Lie propaganda.

The years long economic blockade imposed by imperialism on Zimbabwe is the real cause of its health problems (whether or not ZANU could improve its management of the economy – by looking to Cuban advice for example).

The western refusal to allow proper aid and resources for treatment because of its siege condition sanctions is the real killer.

These lies add to a stream of constant racist hatred poured out against ZANU.

This demented nonsense is needed because despite dozens of innuendo filled “reports” from “undercover investigation” nothing remotely like the Kenyan corruption and oppression has been found, let alone proven, in Zimbabwe.

Supposed concern for the “people of Zimbabwe” is as a much a lie as was the wish “to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Imperialism runs the world using a string of monsters and torturers:

The Suharto and Marcos gangster regimes in Indonesia and the Philippines, for example, kept two huge countries manacled and butchered in US corporate interests with 15 times the population of Iraq and 15 times the natural wealth for exploitation.

And they were at it far LONGER than Saddam has been, and, if anything, were even MORE corrupt and brutal.

But Washington kept propping them up right to the bitter end (in their revolutionary overthrow by popular discontent).

The Zionist colonists occupying and genocidally massacring the Palestinian nation for the last 55 years, are not only even more ruthless and corrupt than any other US imperialist stooge regime in history but ALSO really do have VAST quantities of totally illegal WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION of every diabolical kind for terrorising the Arab Middle East with, in defiance of UN instruction after UN instruction.

No, what suddenly made the Saddam gangsters “uniquely evil” were the increasingly aggressive signs of independence from Washington control; and what clinched the recolonising invasion plans after 10 years of sanctions and intermittent bombing torture from a distance, was the no-longer-ignorable imminence of world economic collapse plus the Sept 11-type uproar that the intolerable suffering facing the world is bound to soon be reproducing all over the planet in anti-imperialist revolts.

There is no wish whatever in Washington to suddenly start genuinely ridding the world of “evil rogue states”.

And at least a score more of really corrupt regimes, past and present, can be listed to demonstrate how American imperialist domination of the world has always utterly DEPENDED on such crooked states and fascist brutality by stooge governments for its survival. Iraq is just a crisis scapegoat. EPSR 1179)

Egypt’s Mubarak, Pakistan’s General Musharraf, the latest Zionist war criminals all spring to mind as regimes which are still not only not subject to constant Western vilification but are actually supported.

In South America the counter-revolutionaries in Bolivia and Venezuela run around with nailed clubs and Nazi swastikas painted on their 4x4s in their fascist intimidation of the indigenous (and for what it’s worth, democratically elected) peoples movements supporting left populists like Morales and Chávez, with nary a word.

Colombia is a byword for violence and murder against trade unionists and depraved death squad intimidation and kidnapping of even the mildest of “lefts” by the euphemistically named “paramilitaries” while the big Western corporations plunder resources and exploit the cheap labour.

Sudan on the other hand gets it in the neck from the preposterous and hypocritical European “War Crimes Tribunal” on the flimsy basis of a constant drip-feed of lurid allegations and unverified assertions about “mass gang rapes” and alleged genocide, built up over years into a “case” along with photographs of burnt villages.

But these show nothing more than that a tragic war is in progress as it has been for some decades causing devastation.

But direct evidence rather than the emotive and lurid accounts of carefully selected (and briefed) “witnesses” (never verified or cross-examined properly) is non-existent.

Foul mess though it is, this is not any more a “genocide” than a dozen other conflicts.

The outrage of this hypocritical Western posturing is underlined by the complete silence of this same “court” about the Zionist atrocities in Palestine this January, the admitted torture and civilian blitzings carried out by the US and Britain all around the Middle East (and by their stooge regimes) and numerous others.

Sudan is being picked on now because capitalism’s crisis means that it needs to escalate the war atmosphere using a ready prepared victim.

The EPSR will continue to repeat loud and clear that it is Marxist-Leninist understanding, and this understanding alone, which warned the working class of the crisis.

It is Marxism which warns that the path now heads straight for war and only revolution can stop it. Build Leninism.

James Wright


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

The reality of “charity” – imperialist style

USAID, the U.S. agency that, in 2008 alone, allocated more than $45 million in an attempt to destabilize the Cuban Revolution, is managing a wide-ranging propaganda campaign in Iraq aimed at presenting the occupation of that country as a successful humanitarian operation. Besides that, it is also providing support, through its network of agents, to intelligence operations and concealing the mechanisms of corruption generated by the Bush administration.

The (albeit scant) details published by this U.S. destabiiization agency oh its website - - and confirmed during public appearances by its representatives, reveal the extent of the activities of this State Department organization in creating an illusion of the rebirth of this Arab nation, a victim of U.S. aggression.

Several recent investigations have established that up to 80% of the so-called “aid” set aside for the reconstruction of Iraq has been diverted through a complex system of corruption that benefits U.S. corporations, with the complicity of high-ranking Iraqi officials and Iraqi-associated companies.

However, the distinct variants of a recovery system with funds worth hundreds of millions of dollars is being transformed in USAID’s propagandists literature into miracles of U.S. generosity that are leading to the rebirth of the long-suffering nation.

Through doctored reports filled with distorted statistics and false claims, USAID is trying to convince the U.S. public of the successes of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are putting on a show outside the Green Zone, where their executives reside under the protection of paramilitary bodyguards employed by Blackwater.

According to the myth being circulated by their public relations officials, the prts affiliated to the agencies are developing harmonious relationships with the Iraqi population, and distributing aid in both urban and rural areas for the development of humanitarian projects.

The reality is that the prts are, in the main, “embedded” in the mercenary Iraqi army, are not operating outside of the most protected areas of the country and are devoting their time to bribing complacent officials and subsidizing small business people and farmers who then become informers for U.S. intelligence agencies.

According to Front Lines, USAID’s official publication, all of USAID’s agents - known as “development advisors” - maintain close communication with the occupation troops in their sectors of activity and the intelligence and counterinsurgency system.

Among the supposedly humanitarian priorities of the operation is the distribution of small subsidies allocated to “reopening small restaurants and other stores”, as well as offering “loans and commercial training for small- and medium-sized businesses.”

As is the case in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, this recruitment system for collaborators with the occupation forces is compounded by “base programs for democracy which train individuals to organize within their communities.”

USAID representatives travel exclusively under military protection, explains Front Lines, admitting the precarious security situation in areas at a remove from U.S. army installations.

As evidence of the particular nature of its so-called humanitarian work, the presence of USAID in Iraq is handled by Kent Larson, ah official known for his corrosive activities in the former Soviet Union. At the start of this decade, Larson was the head of USAID in Georgia no less.

The idyllic image of the U.S. presence in Iraq circulated by USAID and its longstanding collaboration with the neocolonial power in an attempt to weaken the Resistance contrasts with much more realistic reports published in the U.S. press.

So great is the level of corruption throughout the country that, according to a report in The New York Times last November 17, high-ranking officials in the Iraqi government managed to divert $13 billion of U.S. aid. Other sources estimate that $17 billion have been embezzled in a country ruined by the war.

In another incredible report dated December 8, The Huffington Post estimated that four billion dollars has been wasted on useless projects in the so-called “reconstruction process”, a justification reiterated by USAID representatives.

One example of reconstruction efforts trumpeted by the agency is the Khna Bani Saad jail, a facility with a 1,800-strong capacity. The construction project was awarded to the U.S. firm Parsons but will never be finished. But since the walls of the abandoned building went up, the firm has pocketed some $333 million.

The height of the disintegration of the so-called reconstruction announced by USAID is the confirmation of the closure of a pediatric hospital project sponsored by First Lady Laura Bush (according to The Huffington Post).

USAID’s propaganda activities, directed by the State Department and coordinated by the cia and the Pentagon, illustrate the total lack of ethics of an agency that was created 40 years ago with the aim of demilitarizing international humanitarian aid on the part of the United States.

Throughout Latin America, dozens of USAID agents are also directing Washington’s destabilization attempts in countries that are defending their sovereignty and refusing to be manipulated by representatives of the State Department.

In 2008, U.S. agencies affiliated to USAID have financed - to the tune of four million dollars - more than 68 programs or organizations linked to the Venezuelan opposition. Meanwhile, the vast majority of U.S. citizens, affected by the worst economic crisis in 80 years, are totally unaware of how many millions of their dollars are being invested in anti-democratic campaigns in countries such as Nicaragua, Bolivia or Ecuador.

In Cuba, USAID has reached new extremes over the past year. While it has been wasting $45 million contracting mercenary” companies to slander the island, the agency has been implicated by the Government Accountability Office - the federal government’s auditor - in embezzlement scandals involving firms owned by known CIA agents and its own officials linked to the Cuban-American terrorist network in Miami.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Bloody Sunday Massacre: 30 January 1972


AS the 37th anniversary occurs this week of the Bloody Sunday massacre on 30 January 1972, when British paratroopers shot dead 14 Civil Rights marchers in Derry City and wounded up to 14 others, the British Government has still to publish its latest report into the killings.

The Saville Inquiry, which began in 1998, was due to be published in the course of last year but Lord Saville announced a delay.

In November 2008, Saville revealed his findings would not be made public until the Autumn of 2009 at the earliest.

The announcement prompted campaigners in Derry to warn that confidence in the tribunal was being eroded and victims’ families were suffering further anguish.

Jean Hegarty, whose brother Kevin McElhinney was one of those killed, described the latest delay as “a huge disappointment”.

To mark this delay, this year’s Bloody Sunday commemoration march will go to William Street where it will halt at the point where the original march was stopped on its way to the Guildhall in 1972.

The Bloody Sunday families say this symbolic gesture is “to signify how the families’ search for justice is being denied by delays in the publication of the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry”.

With the slaughter of over 1,300 Palestinians in the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza, the Bloody Sunday Weekend Committee is putting a lot of energy behind an urgent appeal to raise humanitarian aid in the form of medical supplies for Palestine.

In addition, the committee is preparing for the ‘Sea of Solidarity - Sea of Flags’ initiative which aims to prepare 1,000 Palestinian flags to be carried on the Bloody Sunday march as a mark of respect for those who have lost their lives in Gaza.

As Friday marks the 37th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday killings, a minute’s silence will be held at 4pm at the Bloody Sunday Monument in Rossville Street. This will be followed by the unveiling of the Bloody Sunday banner at the newly-refurbished Museum of Free Derry in nearby Glenfada Park.

Later on Friday, a panel discussion will debate the fallout from the report by the Consultative Group on the Past (the Eames/Bradley Report) published on Wednesday 28 January.

As months of speculation come to an end, the Bloody Sunday Weekend offers an ideal and immediate opportunity to discuss the findings of the group. Before the discussion, Dr Patricia Lundy (uu) will give a 10-minute synopsis of the main proposals of the Consultative Group.

As the weekend unfolds, walking tours of the Bloody Sunday ‘Murder Zone”, visiting the spots where people were shot down, will take place.

This year’s Bloody Sunday Lecture will be delivered by human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, director of Reprieve, who represents some of the Guantánamo Bay detainees.

The original Bloody Sunday march was held to protest the policy of internment without trial. It is fitting that this year’s lecture should host the leading human rights defender acting on behalf of those held without trial in the modern-day equivalent of Long Kesh - Guantánamo Bay.

An Phoblacht 29-01-09


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