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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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Back issue

No 1360 2nd December 2009

It is not (yet) BNP idiot racist reaction, and Sarah Palin’s barmy backwoods Republican “patriotism” which are taking the world into Nazi civilian blitzing and torture but the black president elected through PC single-issue reformist delusions, fostered by capitalism’s embrace of post-war fake-“left” evasions of revolutionary Leninist theory

Can it be said that the Obama presidency is different to the Bush led White House that went before it?

Only in this: real world events are proving that it is more extreme in its warmongering, blitzing, and world bullying than the neocons and more profligate than the Bushites in its money printing bailouts for the bankrupt bonus-hunters of the parasitical monopoly-finance sector which have taken the world to the teetering edge of catastrophic failure.

It is the slick, cynical front for imperialist domination in other words and fascist business as usual, as Leninism warned from the beginning.

The torture and civilian killing blitzkrieg in Afghanistan not only continues but is now being intensified with double the troops numbers and widened day by day further into Pakistan and the whole region; the oppression, imprisonment and routine genocidal massacres of the benighted Palestinian nation has continued with the most appalling massacre yet in 60 years completely ignored, while the Zionist Nazi occupation is left to get on with its creeping settlement colonisation theft of all remaining Palestinian land; CIA coup plotting and intrigue against the rising left-nationalist tide in Latin America goes on relentlessly in Bolivia, Venezuela, and most of all with official approval for the joke “election” carried out by the murderous coup in Honduras; at the same time direct US military presence is being hugely increased in cahoots with the death-squad reactionaries running Colombia and in Peru to intimidate the entire region; and the drumbeat scapegoating of selected “rogue state” victims goes on daily, most of all in the increasingly aggressive bullying threats against Iran, echoing the Great Lie prelude to the Iraq war and its Goebbels hysteria of a “threat to our way of life”.

Guantánamo remains open, US bases remain in Iraq, torture remain unpunished and CIA rendition flights etc continue to land and take off.

In other words Washington’s path towards Third World War not only continues but is being ratcheted up to a new level of blitzing, torturing, murderous Nazi mayhem.

So what could be concluded from anyone choosing to declare at this point that Obama represents some kind of progress for the working class?

Surely only that they have not understood the first word about revolutionary politics?

Such is the implication of the latest petty bourgeois attack on the EPSR which has finally emerged, for the first time in written form, from the “objectors” wing (see page 5).

It reeks with confusion and lack of revolutionary content or spirit, underlined by a bizarre emphasis on the US middle class, which points at the underlying class identification in these politics.

Half argued and self-contradictory points squirm around to deny the revolutionary perspective of the paper on various issues (all repeatedly dealt with in long past and recent EPSR’s), but critical is the challenge to the EPSR’s long standing insistence on the fascist nature of the whole of capitalism, and its linked exposure of the debilitating impact (over most of the twentieth century) of revisionist theories that there is a special kind of imperialism (or separate stage) different to “non-aggressive” imperialism, a soft-headed delusion which has underpinned generations of “peaceful roadism”, “parliamentary way” and official “Trade Union” reformist political misleadership, and ultimately in its most degenerated form led to the complete Gorbachevite capitulation of the Soviet Union; an attempt to dismiss the impact of fake-“left” single issue political diversions like black nationalism, feminism and “gay rights” and thereby leave them unchallenged even though they are being mobilised to create reactionary confusion like never before; and the confused stance on the last ditch revival attempt for American “democracy” by the Obama presidency which follows from this, denying the importance of the “black” and feminist cards played to head off growing working class ferment and cynicism about “voting” and “representation” and “change”, which might otherwise turn to rebellion.

The stream of shallow phrasemongering (lardings of “clearlys” and “conscious Leninists would” do not make a garbled sentence anymore scientific) and a cover of subjective huffing and puffing about “insults” that would not sound out of place from a swooning dowager duchess, confirm how the capitalist economic meltdown and its shattering defeats in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan are now so accelerating its crisis that once complacent sceptical positions are being undermined more effectively than a flooded foundation on a Cumbrian road bridge.

This is a crude and philistine attack on the EPSR which chimes in with the petty bourgeois single issue and “African voice” black nationalist hostility which has arisen from the western “objectors” recently (see still unanswered polemic in issue 1357) and further exposes both.

It tries to cover its back by stating at one point that “clearly a conscious Leninist can be in no doubt that the Obama presidency is a continuation of US imperialist policy and diktat” which would be all well and good if the entire thrust of the letter was not saying exactly the opposite, declaring Obama to be a “significant rejection of Bush”, “a very clear shift in public opinion”, “ a desperate hope” for social change etc etc.

All true enough as “hopes” perhaps, but so what? “Demanding beneficial domestic policies” is nothing new – the question is how to get them and that is not through further illusions in bourgeois “democracy” but through exposing it and struggling for revolutionary overturn of capitalism.

The objectors’ implied view (they are too canny to state it openly) is that such demands will of themselves somehow “contain” the new presidency.

But this is pure reformist garbage and so basically wrong as to be embarrassing to have to deal with from comrades who have been around for many years, and who (at the risk of further offence being taken by these sensitive souls at such an “insult”), demonstrate completely a failure to understand the ABC of Marxism.

Even more tricky is the objectors’ sudden querying with wide-eyed disingenuousness whether “it is helpful” to describe Obama-ism as fascist, and their ridicule of the idea that the same descriptor applies to the rest of imperialism, indicating either that they have never understood a word of the paper for 20 years, or are looking for a convenient escape route from its revolutionary conclusions, just as the crisis has broken wide open and is confirming day after day the conclusions of Marxist understanding that catastrophic failure is the inevitable outcome of the contradictions of the capitalist system, as the Dubai debt default and Stock Exchange meltdown show further (and plenty worse to follow).

No, the EPSR is not saying that Obama-ism is a “significant and decisive leap” to fascism.

There is no need because, as the objectors pretend to agree, he is “a continuation of US imperialist policy”, and American imperialist policy is already fascist Nazi warmongering.

Specifically at present, far from “containing” the Pentagon’s gung-ho Afghanistan torture blitzing, and winding it down, Obama is intensifying the eight year long neo-colonial bludgeoning of the country, to yet force it into accepting a corrupt stooge regime to look after Western exploitation interests. But even parts of the bourgeois press reflects the world’s dismay at this criminal escalation:

It is a continuation of a war crime against the suffering people of my country.

I have said before that by installing warlords and drug traffickers in power in Kabul, the US and Nato have pushed us from the frying pan to the fire. Now Obama is pouring fuel on these flames, and this week’s announcement of upwards of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will have tragic consequences.

Already this year we have seen the impact of an increase in troops occupying Afghanistan: more violence, and more civilian deaths. My people, the poor of Afghanistan who have known only war and the domination of fundamentalism, are today squashed between two enemies: the US/Nato occupation forces on one hand and warlords and the Taliban on the other.

While we want the withdrawal of one enemy, we don’t believe it is a matter of choosing between two evils. There is an alternative: the democratic-minded parties and intellectuals are our hope for the future of Afghanistan.

It will not be easy, but if we have a little bit of peace we will be better able to fight our own internal enemies – Afghans know what to do with our destiny. We are not a backward people, and we are capable of fighting for democracy, human and women’s rights in Afghanistan. In fact the only way these values will be achieved is if we struggle for them and win them ourselves.

After eight years of war, the situation is as bad as ever for ordinary Afghans, and women in particular. The reality is that only the drug traffickers and warlords have been helped under this corrupt and illegitimate Karzai government. Karzai’s promises of reform are laughable. His own vice-president is the notorious warlord Fahim, whom Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch describes as “one of the most notorious warlords in the country, with the blood of many Afghans on his hands”.

Transparency International reports that this regime is the second most corrupt in the world. The UN Development Programme reports Afghanistan is second last – 181st out of 182 countries – in terms of human development. That is why we no longer want this kind of “help” from the west.

Like many around the world, I am wondering what kind of “peace” prize can be awarded to a leader who continues the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and starts a new war in Pakistan, all while supporting Israel?

Throughout my recent tour of the US,...people responded strongly when I said that if Obama really wanted peace he would first of all try to prosecute Bush and have him tried before the international criminal court. Replacing Bush’s man in the Pentagon, Robert Gates, would have been a good start – but Obama chose not to.

Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician and a former elected member of the Parliament from Farah province.

It was not “democracy” but the revolutionary socialist regime of the 1970s, supported by the (invited) Soviet Union’s military intervention against Western CIA sabotage (fostering the backward fundamentalist anti-communism which spawned the Taliban eventually) which demonstrated the Afghan people’s ability to develop education, women’s progress, and much else of course and which, done again but better, will once more be the only means to climb back out of the pit again.

Meanwhile the illegal blitzings in Pakistan’s sovereign territory go on terrorising the anti-imperialist insurgency (which US warmongering itself has generated by its rampaging in Afghanistan and Iraq and by Zionist proxy in Palestine and Lebanon, by Ethiopian stooges in Somalia, etc etc), irrespective of the civilian deaths and casualties caused by “taking out” fighters and anyone else that defies Western rule. As even a senior British establishment figure reveals in a recent high level seminar:

Sir Richard Dearlove, who was chief of the Secret Intelligence Service when British troops were sent into Afghanistan in 2001,... praised the British’s government’s updated counterterrorism strategy, which was published, unclassified, in March this year.

He also questioned the extent to which Barack Obama had really changed US foreign policy, which, he said, remained “very aggressive and hardline”.

He said: “I’m of the opinion – I can’t say this definitely – there have been more targeted killings approved by Obama than by his predecessor from drones over northern Pakistan and certainly the full presidential executive powers are still used without restraint in carrying out interception.”

And Obama’s White House is even busier working on a massive escalation of the imperialist racist warmongering against the Iranian Islamic regime, selected for victimhood because of its long history as a thorn-in-the-side of Washington, and being readied with a constant CIA campaign to stir up a frenzy of world hysteria about “totalitarian dictatorship”, stunted up “opposition demonstrations and street revolts”, and hysterical “nuclear threats” etc etc through media reports, UN “inspections” and the panoply of mysteriously funded non-governmental and campaigning organisations that make up the brainwashing network of the Western propaganda and intelligence machine.

It is a total lie, just as WMD 45 minute threats were from Saddam in Iraq, and a complete hypocrisy when the only real threat in the region is the Zionist Nazi occupation in Palestine which was deliberately and secretly armed by Western imperialist nuclear know-how and materials.

But Obama-ism (and the UK Labour sidekicks) are upping the aggressive Hitlerite threats about “patience running out” and the imposition of sanctions just as much as Bush over Iraq, and do nothing to oppose even the most reactionary barbarism voiced by Tel Aviv including blood-curdling threats like this:

The talk in Israel, explicit and open – including in the country’s leading daily, Haaretz, last week – is about a war in the coming spring or summer. The skies will have cleared for air operations, Israel’s missile shields against short- and medium-range rockets will at least be partly operational, and the international community, led by President Obama, will palpably have failed to stymie Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. And the Iranians will be that much closer to a bomb.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, will then have to decide if Israel can live with a nuclear Iran and rely on deterrence. But if they judge the risk of a nuclear assault on Israel too great, Israel’s military will have to do what it can to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, despite the likely devastating repercussions – regional and global.

...This could trigger land wars in Lebanon and Gaza as well as a protracted long-range war with Iran. It could see terrorism by Iranian agents against Israeli (and Jewish) targets around the world; a steep increase in world oil prices, which will rebound politically against Israel; and Iranian action against American targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf. More generally, Islamist terrorism against western targets could only grow.

But it is not only Israel’s leaders who will have to decide. So will Obama, a man who has, in the international arena, shown a proclivity for indecision (except when it comes to Israeli settlements in the West Bank). Will he give the Israelis a green light (and perhaps some additional equipment they have been seeking to facilitate a strike) and a right-of-passage corridor over Iraq for their aircraft? ...

It is clear – and should be by then to all but the most supine appeasers – that the diplomatic approach is going nowhere, with the Iranians conning and stonewalling and dragging their feet, all the while enriching more uranium. And Tehran is laughing, as it were, all the way to Armageddon. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs know full well that the west will never impose the only sanctions that could work (a complete boycott of Iranian oil and cessation of the export to Iran of all products).

Some in the west blithely hope that the Iranians are aiming for a low-key and shadowy “bomb in the basement”, rather than immediately usable atomic bombs, and that this reduces the necessity of a pre-emptive military strike. My guess is that Iran has not taken this giant gamble in order to achieve a dubious, implicit capability: it will not stop short of actual, usable atomic weapons with which to overawe and gain hegemony over its neighbours, deter the west and, perhaps, destroy Israel.

So Obama is fast approaching his moment of truth. His predecessor, George Bush, repeatedly assured Israel that the US would not allow fundamentalist Iran to attain the bomb. The implication was that America itself would prevent this – at the last resort, by military means.

Today that seems highly unlikely. Obama is enmeshed in two wars in Muslim lands, with Afghanistan looking increasingly unwinnable, and Iraq stumbling either toward de facto partition or growing subordination to Shia Iran. With an American public increasingly tired of war, any war, the US president is unlikely to send in the air force, navy and special forces to smash the Iranian nuclear installations.

...Nevertheless Obama will soon have to decide whether to give Israel a green light, and how brightly it will shine. And soon. For spring is fast approaching.

Even this demented Zionist insanity recognises however that imperialism is facing desperate difficulties in maintaining the war drive, which is costing it dearly in finance and morale, feeding into and accelerating its desperate crisis.

But it is one of the great difficulties of this monopoly capitalist domination that the worse the defeat and disaster facing it, and the deeper it is trapped in the contradictions bringing it ever closer to cataclysmic failure and the historical end-point of class rule in human society, the more frantic becomes its need to re-impose its “authority”, to continue the sweet plundering exploitation of the billions strong masses of the planet.

The war drive cannot stop.

Not just the Middle East is facing endless turmoil and destruction, but the entire planet, which faces being torn to shreds in the coming Depression and World War destruction which imperialism is lining up for the third time – and on a far greater scale than ever before.

Iraq was not “misguided” or just a “criminal” war (as the current Chilcot inquiry is trying to pretend to get its perpetrators off the hook by scapegoating the neo-cons and Blair) but part of a complete pattern of crisis warmongering beginning at least with the Clintonite Democrat cruise missile attacks on Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan, the 1998 NATO blitzing of Yugoslavia (with years of subversive provocation and local proxy warmongering beforehand – Croatian Ustashe-fascist violent separatism etc), continued through Afghanistan, and Iraq, the Zionist fascist Lebanon genocidal blitzings, the partial and constantly repeated massacre and terrorisation of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, further blitzing of Somalia, now escalated by US robo-drone and stooge Pakistan pro-Western military onslaughts on Waziristan etc and with the atmosphere being wound up even more with the promise of blitzing and destruction of Iran (and other assorted “rogue state” scapegoats like Sudan, Burma, North Korea, Zimbabwe and more) for daring to defy Western diktat.

No other outcome has ever been remotely possible in modern times for the spiralling disaster of economic collapse and stagnation caused by the “over-production” which the anarchy of the profit-based market system inexorably and repeatedly leads to.

Slump devastation, mass unemployment, industrial wipe-out, closure, hunger and wasteful bankruptcy and ruination were already routine in the general industrial advances of early capitalist times, the inexorable end point of the contradictions built into a system of production guided by the need to make a private profit irrespective of general human needs, capacities or benefit (as Karl Marx analysed - see page 6 and three volumes of Capital).

These have turned into World War Depression and destruction in the epoch of highly concentrated large-scale monopoly capitalism (imperialism) which the “free market” cannot avoid evolving into, and each time the devastation is on a hugely magnified scale.

World War One was a hundred times greater than the destruction and horrors of the Franco-prussian War, and World War Two an order of magnitude greater still, wiping out city after city and reducing even entire countries to rubble, killing whole populations or leaving bereaved survivors in awful human misery and despair.

The spread of the world imperialist system is now greater than ever, its economic and finance structures incredibly huger and more complex, its market penetration and harnessing of world labour exploitation unprecedented, and its weaponry and destructive technology unthinkably vast and deadly, guaranteeing a sweep of destruction a hundred or a thousand times greater still.

But the appalling and horrifying record of capitalism’s past Depression “solutions”, and its ongoing brutal and tyrannical world exploitation has helped educate the vast masses too, especially in the Third World, making a return to war, which capitalism cannot avoid, far more difficult to get underway.

Deliberate efforts to develop a war momentum have already been underway for at least a decade by Washington, desperate to get itself off the hook of failure and systemic meltdown, by blaming assorted scapegoats and the “need” for a “war on terror” (in the absence of a communist scapegoat) for the onrushing economic and political chaos that is in reality entirely due to the failure of capitalism itself, while simultaneously using the devastation to ride out the crisis by forcing crucial destruction of “overproduced” value onto everybody else, Third World and imperialist rivals alike.

All this is utterly “fascist” and Nazi in every aspect, setting out with a philosophy of “shock and awe” which in its very phrasing reflects the arrogance and contempt of a ruling class whose only ”morality” is the insistence that might is right, as the EPSR has constantly characterised in virtually every issue. Here are two from many examples:

The chaotic misunderstandings over “fascism” from Germany and Spain onwards, embracing the catastrophic mistake of categorising America’s world-rule emergence as “non-aggressive imperialism” (with Stalin even more disastrously adding to the helplessness by pronouncing it an imperialism which “COULD NOT expand”),- has still not been cleared up. In fact it is more damaging and muddled than ever.

So-called “fascist power” is still imperialist state power, and it is arguing pointlessly about how much extra racism, repressiveness, dictatorialness, or warmongering chauvinism a vicious regime needs to have so as to qualify as “fascist” nastiness (rather than straightforward “colonial-imperialist” nastiness) which has helped the international workers movement make so many theoretical and practical errors in fighting monopoly capitalist reactionary surges since Lenin’s death.

Whatever the label put on imperialist savagery, - and however long delusions last that a “non-aggressive” interlude has descended on world imperialist misrule, etc, etc, - the working class only ever has one programme for surely ending FOR GOOD the inevitability of never-ceasing threats of war and tyranny and that is by REVOLUTION. EPSR 1196 5th August 2003



And all the bleating in the world of “But how can you sensibly compare this new US warmongering (against ‘real’ terrorists) with Nazi Germany’s inhuman WWII plans for mass subjugation and slaughter?” will cut no ice.

There are two answers.

Firstly, German imperialism was in reality not comparable to its “Nazi horror” historical characterisation anyway.

Every filthy trick from concentration camp slaughter, police-state torture, master-race genocide, and brainwashing propaganda; to blitzkrieg bombing annihilation, scorched-earth starvation, collective punishment-massacre disciplining, and hostage killing control, had ALL been well-tried and used by every major imperialist power in the field before Germany and Japan, — namely by the long-established (hundreds of years) continent-sized empires (frequently slave-powered) of Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, and the United States, to name but few.

Germany and Japan ended up doing it too, admittedly. But what was new and special about that??? Only that they were rising new powers, and their new found aggressiveness and industrial commercial might had put the old-established colonial empires noses out of joint; and they have been paying the propaganda penalty in crap misleading history ever since.

Secondly, who says this new US imperialist warmongering “cannot sensibly be compared to the fascist aggression of WWII”???

Washington’s demented arms-race for ever-more-terrifying weapons of mass destruction and ever-vaster stockpiling of them, makes Germany’s 1930s efforts look ridiculously tame by comparison.

And the USA’s thug-like promise to preemptively crush any attempt, even, by any power to catch up with America’s arsenal, makes Hitler Germany’s endless whingeing about the unfair advantages which the unequal Versailles Treaty had left to rival imperialist powers (in armaments and defensive installations) sound like a bleating chicken.

And a whole Middle East blitzkrieg (with much more threatened to come for an overgrowing list of “rogue states”) just because a handful of “terrorists” with a grievance have staged a couple of suicide stunts against American subjects or interests????????

This American “logical” joke and military aggression insanity makes EVERY “lebensraum” grievance and “protect German interests” provocation by Hitler Germany seem almost sane by comparison.

And if “which is the worst warmongering fascism” should be decided by the actual atrocities committed, then the USA has already left Nazi Germany far, far behind, — and before World War III has even properly started.

To begin with, the USA has already compiled a 400-war start on any Hitler imperialist comparison.

Estimates can vary wildly, but from 10 to 20 million innocents have ALREADY perished since 1945 from US imperialism’s “might is right” aggressive master-race world domination, — before WWIII has even got started.

And now that this unrestrained blitzkrieging has at last got into its stride, the totally devastating “shock and awe” murderous annihilation has been on a cruel and indiscriminate scale as to make the Hitlerite bombings look like rank amateurishness.

Tens of thousands of totally innocent and uninvolved Afghani and Iraqi women and children have been massacred, — and are still being massacred daily, — by this fascist aggressive monstrousness.

And all for what??? In the disgusting pretence, only, of “dealing with terrorism”, a propaganda stunt which might even have made Goebbels blush, and a blatant idiocy when the whole world can see that terrorist resentment arises from Third World poverty and injustice which are growing fast, as will terrorism. [EPSR No1212 9th December 2003]

More. The very phrasing of the question posed by the objectors on whether there has been a “significant and decisive leap into fascism” betrays their total failure to understand that capitalism is the source and generator in itself of all divisive backwardness and splits in society.

There is no “special phase” of fascism any more than there are different “types” of imperialism, except the phase of degeneration of capitalism into its desperate crisis which drives all capitalist countries into the imposition of ever more draconian measures to attempt to control the working class, stepping up police repressiveness against mass action, demonstrations, strikes and political organisation, to intimidate and cow resistance to wage cuts and speed-up, massive job losses, social service cutbacks and the wiping out of past reformist gains which were only possible during boom periods in the richer countries anyway, and which revolutionary politics has always warned would be stripped away.

At the same time the aim is to fragment the working class as much as possible with every kind of race, regional, religious, gender, trade and national difference it can whip up, setting white against black, Caribbean against Indian, Sikh against Hindu, and everyone against the Muslims or any other scapegoatables, to prevent its coming together as a mass struggle for revolution which is the only possible way out of disaster.

The play on national chauvinist interest is a final ingredient to get workers stomping around to “protect British jobs” at the expense of “foreigners” and to support “our boys” no matter what torturing, brutal, bullying violence and mayhem they create trying to re-impose Western colonialist tyranny abroad on selected victims.

It is all part of poisoning the internationalist and class unity vital for a revolutionary struggle to end the capitalist slump system, preparing to drag workers into the World War industrial scale slaughter of rival imperialist powers that is the ultimate endpoint of crisis.

And all this is being done and prepared now by the existing capitalist ruling structures, including by the foul and cynical opportunism of the New Labourites in the UK which have been initiating and justifying the non-stop extension of secret torture, ever increasing computer, telephone, video and database personal surveillance, murderous and violent police action on demonstrations and picket lines, etc etc, as well as the increasingly repressive “testing and blame” culture in schools, hospitals, and social services, etc, creating a fear laden atmosphere of sackings, punishments, ASBOs and “control orders” on teachers, social workers and doctors etc to silence any voices pointing the failure of capitalist society and its culture as the cause of social breakdown, crime and despair.

The official Trade Union movement including its “left” firebrands like Bob Crow etc trails along behind, feeding illusions in Little Englander job protection and keeping the “patriotic” bullshit pumping out over issues like the European Union, while doing nothing to challenge the crisis management of the reformists. When a momentum does build up for action it is sabotaged with reformist compromise like the Post Office workers strike deliberately left without any crisis revolutionary perspective of the civil war union smashing actually going on and diverted with “modernisation” cooperation bullshit, as if that would solve anything – and even this confusion called off at the last minute, when it could have had most impact pre-Christmas. And the CWU continues to fund Labour!!!!

The importance of getting this correct is crucial, when the capitalist state has started deliberately publicising and boosting the BNP and other specifically “fascist” racist Nazi parties, with lavish electoral support, (and plenty of background funding too it would be assumed, from past historical form), endless articles (including those ostensibly “condemning” their racism e.g but giving them and their backward, mystical nonsense, acres more press attention) and high-focus well-publicised TV appearances on Question Time and so forth.

Of course the BBC controllers and government ministers who declare that this “has to be done for democratic fairness” are lying through their teeth, as everyone in the working class can see when their own views and those of any local trade union militants or outspoken community figures, and especially communist voices, never have the remotest prospect of putting their arguments fairly, squarely and undistorted in the billionaire or capitalist state controlled mass press, TV, and radio etc (if they are heard at all).

But the boosting of the Nazi nastiness is only a reserve for the ruling class, the icing on the cake of the backwardness and viciousness of capitalist slump to supplement its anti-working class intimidation if necessary.

It is the degeneracy of capitalism in the first place which creates and feeds the aggressive racism and backward confusion which sustains such parties, not the other way round.

It was not the BNP which vied the hardest on the Question Time programme to prove that it was “dealing with immigration” (which everyone knows is racist code) but Cabinet Minister Jack Straw, and the senior figures from the other supposedly mainstream parties which the capitalist media constantly pretends are the only serious political voices to be heard (part of its suppression and censorship of all genuinely communist voices).

And despite the bizarre, deranged, racist and reactionary nonsense that Nick Griffin did spew out, his claim that it is not the BNP which led and supported a criminal and illegal war in Iraq but the mainstream parliamentary parties was entirely correct.

Which makes the all fake-“left” posturing which has immediately sprung into life to “Stop the BNP” at least as much of a problem as its supposed target, because it heads the working class into the deluded notion that if only we can “deal” with the overt Nazi parties and “keep them off the street” somehow things will be better.

It deliberately turns attention from the real issue of ending capitalism (which Labourism enthusiastically and opportunistically runs, – all shades) by suggesting positive progress and decency can be built by reforms within it.

Is the sudden “silence the BNP” posturing of Ken Livingstone and Peter Hain the answer to the working class’s problems or a complete stunt which covers up their own total complicity in supporting New Labour in the past and now (and in high office at that) and all its dirty work on behalf of capitalism in the illegal Iraq war, in Afghanistan, and now imposing drastic cuts and mass unemployment on the working class while bailing out the fatcats??

Is the “maverick-left” Respect leader George Galloway helping the working class or fooling them when he calls for a vote for Labour in the next election to “keep out the Tories” and the BNP????

In what way does that help stop the hellfire missile incinerations of wedding parties and villagers, sanctions siege starvation of thousands and depleted uranium poisoning of generations to come, which is all far more extensive and casually vicious and cold-blooded than any of the pre-war strafings, bombings and steel helmeted occupations carried out by German and Japanese imperialism in China or Spain in the warm up to WW2??

It doesn’t.

It heads workers away from the vital and urgent discussion and development of revolutionary politics which is the only answer to the Slump disaster building up (and which is still only in its very early stages of inflicting mass deprivation and despair).

Until the credit crunch broke over people’s heads not one of these “left” Labourites and TU officials has even mentioned the inevitability of this deadly and unavoidable capitalist crisis, let alone seriously warned the working class of the unstoppable unravelling of the entire world capitalist system into total catastrophic economic collapse which cannot be stopped (as the $ tens of billions Dubai default panic is underlining once more) and which is now rushing headlong into the greatest and most savage slump and war chaos ever seen.

They still don’t effectively. Not one of the “lefts” (and the fake-“left revolutionary” poseurs from the revisionists and Trotskyists who still support them) confidently and clearly warns the working class that the meltdown bank and credit disaster seen in October last year, and the vision of the total implosion of world trading and production it briefly revealed, is the reality which will return at any second, which the massive “quantitative easing” extension of decades of dollar printing can only hold off for an instant, buying time for the ruling class to manoeuvre and prepare the onslaught on the working class and the international conflicts waiting to explode.

They neither grasp it nor want to, opportunistically strutting and posing instead to blame the extreme right loonies.

But the particular theatricality used for getting Italian and German imperialism into full aggressive mode post WW1 (funded and integrated completely with that imperialism to the extent that General Erich Ludendorff was part of Hitler’s Munich putsch) is an exception not the rule; all capitalism was as foul and degenerately dictatorial before the 1914 outbreak, and in the WW2 period (though the picture is confused by the desperate alliances made with Soviet Russia), and all capitalism is becoming so again, almost certainly without pulling on a single shiny jackboot.

Some freelance fringe thuggery and confusion remains a useful tool for racist splitting and anti-communism but as Obama is demonstrating right now, the warmongering and blitzing will be escalated even when there is a black face in the White House.

He demonstrates completely that capitalism will use every trick it can to carry the masses down the road into Slump and the oncoming World War, including tapping the single-issue reformist legacy of “anti-racism” and feminism (and even anti-fascism!) built up over decades of concessions to the fake-“left” and its diversionary “politically correct” posturing which has been used to head attention away from vital Leninist revolutionary debate.

Far from such PC illusions of progress towards a “fairer” society (within capitalism) being a worked-out seam as the objectors suggest, the Obama election demonstrated precisely that single-issue reformism is a powerful weapon which the ruling class has mobilised precisely to keep its dictatorship going.

If there is any difference in Obama-ism at all, it is that the material setbacks and defeats for imperialism have wiped out the cocky barroom bragging of the Bush era and its overt “New American Century” hard-nut neo-con assertiveness, just as the “no nonsense” confrontationalism of Thatcher and Reagan foundered out of fear of the upheavals it was causing.

After Reagon/Thatcher America has had to find some way to breathe new life into its desperately discredited “democracy” which has been haemorrhaging confidence and credibility for decades, just like Britain’s parliamentary racket.

Fewer and fewer voters bother to register, most of all from the working class, and even fewer actually have any confidence that it will make any difference at all to their lives, let alone believe in a positive way in candidates.

So yes, long-nurtured single-issue politically-correct politics have been tapped after decades of deliberate cultural and reformist political preparation to give one last burst of life to the voting trick, particularly by mobilising previously cautious black registration in the southern States and women’s votes.

There is slightly more to it than the silly parodic mockery by the objectors but in essence it does boil down to running a “handsome black man” who therefore “could not be a fascist”. And the more so when the feminist card is played at the same time and merged into the presidency, another indication of how desperate the ruling class has become.

These are cards that can only be played once or twice, and become more and more “busted flushes” as every passing day of deepening warmongering and Slump cuts proves not only that nothing has changed but that the entire fake-“left” legacy has been part of sustaining capitalism, not ending it.

Class is the issue not colour essentially. Ending capitalism is the solution not “electing” a minority figure opportunist continuing to run the same system.

These confusions have once more erupted inside the Leninist discussion too which is one reason why the debate from 20 years ago has been re-printed recently. (The sly pretence by the objectors that they “cannot understand” such re-printing is the other reason. Just such subjectivism, dissembling and evasion, with a hostile sabotaging intent on the discussion, were a major feature of the anti-party hostility expressed then, as the older pieces show.)

What “development” of Leninism has there been anyway? Not a single letter or article has appeared to argue the supposed case and the objectors could not be bothered to attend the most recent of the EPSR discussions despite the alleged critical importance of these issues.

Far from it being necessary to change the EPSR’s grasp on single issue politics (or “develop the party understanding” as the objectors deviously phrase it, to disguise outright revisionism) events are proving it completely correct. This is not serious revolutionary politics, just attempted disruption to the urgent business of building Leninist understanding.

But it will not stop it.

Don Hoskins

Letter: challenging the EPSR on Obama, fascism and single issue politics (and being called challengers)

It is completely the wrong emphasis to insist that through Obama the US is playing its last race card to gain the black nationalist vote and play on white middle class reformist guilt to win the Democrat presidential vote.

By focussing on this ‘conspiracy’ theory that Obama has been cleverly wheeled into place by the US imperialist controllers as the pinnacle of US election racketeering simply because he is handsome and black has completely diverted from the main Leninist understanding that Obama’s election represented a significant rejection of the neo-con Bush regime. The intolerable pressures on the black and white American working class have resulted in a very clear shift in public opinion as the vote was for the ‘Liberal’ democrat policies which the Obama team represented as a radical ’change’ from the catastrophic Bush presidency. The middle class in America are in unprecedented crisis from foreclosures, debt and redundancy and the faith that they have always had in the security of the ‘American dream’ is being so drastically undermined that they are desperately hoping that social change away from ‘corporate’ America will give them back stability and confidence. It is utter nonsense that the white working class ‘swing’ vote was a tick in the box simply for the black face. They have huge illusions in Obama, and they are demanding that he deliver beneficial domestic policies. The vote for Obama was for conscious change from the crude, gung-ho rhetoric and economic failure of the previous administration (the American working and middle classes have historically been ignorant and dismissive of international policies -until of course the body-bag count coming home from the latest warmongering escapade becomes unbearable). Clearly a black presidential candidate is a winner with the African-American voters and many were hurriedly registered to opportunistically boost the Democrat vote. And how does calling Obama a Nazi fascist clarify anything. Presumably if Obama is a fascist all the imperialist leaders are Nazis and fascists as they are all manoeuvring without fail into warmongering blocs and alliances. Is EPSR saying that under the Obama Democrat administration, US imperialism has made a significant and decisive leap to being an openly fascist country? Or is this use of the word ‘fascist’ really being used for effect to drive home the message to ‘weaker’ EPSR supporters that a black man can be a fascist -in case they fall for PC confusion-mongering and terror of being called racist.?

Clearly a conscious Leninist can be in no doubt that the Obama presidency is a continuation of US imperialist policy and warmongering international diktat. Equally it is the job of a Leninist international movement to warn the US masses that he cannot be anything other than a bourgeois imperialist and dangerously misleading.

But to accuse comrades who challenged the obsession with ’black nationalism’ as being deeply confused by single issue posturing around black nationalist dead end reformism, or even worse being closet Obama supporters, only adds to the confusion and insult. And to drag up a political battle within the party 20 years ago to oust black nationalist separatism from its midst (as a salutary reminder to the erring comrades) is staggeringly insulting. The comrades that it is being aimed at were precisely the ones that had been flagging up that a black nationalist sectarian grouping was deliberately isolating these comrades from meetings where they might challenge ‘black’ people (or even worse bring along the ‘heavyweight’ ILWP leaders) and forming a small ‘invite-only’ discussion group (despite it being their regional party group). The in-fighting was not taken seriously for months and months and was seen as the ‘Harpies’ falling out with each other, before the rotten politics emerged clearly in an open challenge to the leadership .

There has been a recent trend to accuse comrades who raise concerns about the party line over-emphasising the control and influence of single issue reformism in this period of escalating and widespread economic chaos, as failing to grasp the ‘ABC’ of Marxism and falling straight into the PC trap. This is a red herring to divert comrades who are trying to develop an analysis of the bankruptcy of PC reformism and its failure to continue hoodwinking the masses under crisis capitalism. Comrades who are trying to develop the party understanding on single issue reformism from the position that was analysed 20 years ago (and at times they are not articulate or clear enough to push for an immediate higher level of understanding) are labelled with depressing frequency as ‘challengers’ trying to inject poison into the EPSR’s understanding and wrongly accused of being antagonists. Differences in opinion should be able to be battled through in a constructive and healthy manner without abusive name-calling and allegations of ‘attacking’ EPSR.. In a climate of hostility to a challenge of ideas it is all too easy to paint comrades as ‘the opposition’ and create a bad atmosphere for any clarity on, and useful resolution of diverging analyses.

Jenny Yeomans

[Part two of the letter on homosexuality requires more analysis and is held over - ed]


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Does kicking an innocent Iraqi to death qualify as fascism???

HE was kicked to death in British military custody. The reporter Robert Fisk on hearing the news had gone to talk to the father of this poor Iraqi man. He recalls that the British public relations man was laughing and the young Muslim interpreter had said, “He doesn’t care.” Fisk did care for he had reported from the North of Ireland and had heard that laughter before. Like Fisk, we could write the script.

The allegations of torture involving hundreds of young Muslim Iraqi detainees are now emerging from lawyers and human rights groups in Iraq. Allegations of Iraqi’s detained on the killing floors of British interrogation centres and subjected to the most vile torture and sexual abuse are familiar to generations of Irish nationalists who were on the receiving end of the same techniques in places whose names like Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, have passed into the public consciousness.

The details of the abuse now being reported in the British press are sickeningly familiar. They could have been taken from the ‘Twenty five Principle Methods of Torture’ drawn up in 1971 by the then Fathers Faul and Murray and used by the British Army and the ruc against defenceless and innocent men in Magilligan, Girdwood and Holywood detention centres [occupied Ireland-ed].

The involvement of mi5 and mi6 as well as the cia in the emerging allegations are hardly surprising. British torturers have been around for as long as Britain has waged its colonial wars in practically every country in the world.

Innocent Iraqi beaten to death in British military campThe immediate response from the British establishment to the torture of the detainees in the North of Ireland was much the same as what we have heard from British Army spokespersons and the Ministry of Defence in the past few days. Tongue in cheek they claim that ‘The vast majority of British troops conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour in Iraq and it was only a small number who had fallen short of this standard.’ In other words ‘the few rotten apples in the barrel’. Where have we heard that before?

The same excuse was put forward by the apologists for torture in the North of Ireland even when incontrovertible evidence was produced.

According to evidence presented to the current enquiry in London into allegations of torture by British soldiers in Iraq, it is not just the few ‘rotten apples’ but as one lawyer put it: “The whole barrel was rotten.’

Rabinder Singh QC representing the family of the hotel receptionist Baha Mousa aged 26 who died in Basra in 2003, from 93 injuries that included fractured ribs, and a broken nose after he was kicked and beaten by soldiers of the Queens Lancashire Regiment, said that safeguards to protect detainees were ignored not by accident ‘but by design after consideration by lawyers, ministers, and the Attorney General himself.

Senior officers, military police, and the Red Cross visited Baha Mousa but none stopped the abuse. One British soldier who was caught on camera screaming obscenities at the hooded prisoners, became the first member of the British army to be convicted for war crimes. No British soldiers have ever been convicted of war crimes in Ireland.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


How Obama’s White House supports “democracy”

WHILE the western powers never cease to promote their supposed ‘wars for democracy’ around the globe, in Latin America a somewhat less celebrated process is underway: here the war against democracy is gathering pace.

Take the case of Manuel Zelaya, the ousted and democratically-elected president of Honduras. Unlike Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, Mr Zelaya won his own electoral battle in an open, honest and fully verified manner. Mr Karzai was found guilty of wholesale electoral fraud by an independent international investigation. Rather than being hounded from power, he was praised when he (very reluctantly) agreed to take part in a second election.

Mr Karzai remains in power with the full weight of the US military and political establishment ranged behind him (for the moment - he will be disposed of if another more ‘useful fool’ can be found).

President Manuel Zelaya - the legitimate president - on the other hand, was forcibly removed from the presidential palace by armed soldiers in the early hours of June 28 and ‘deported’ to nearby Costa Rica.

A ragbag of reactionaries took power in Tegucigalpa - headed by the (unelected) President Roberto Micheletti - and quickly began reliving Latin America’s nightmare years: civil liberties were suspended, the army was on the streets, those who voiced opposition were beaten and disappeared.

No country on earth has recognised this illegitimate government and Honduras was expelled from the Organisation of American States. Remarkably, some US aid kept pouring in - on the basis that it had already been agreed, while in September the International Monetary Fund announced that it would lend in excess of $150 million.

Incidentally, the illegitimate President Micheletti effectively rubbished the propaganda that had been used to support the coup - false claims that President Zelaya tried to cement his grip on power by tampering with the constitution, when he made public Zelaya’s greatest error: “He became friends with Daniel Ortega, Chavez, Correa (Ecuador), Evo Morales....he went to the left.”

A cardinal error. It is said that Zelaya sealed his fate when he announced a doubling of the impoverished country’s minimum wage.

However, despite the obvious injustice no great western power took up Zelaya’s cause and, arguably, only the repeated demands of Brazil’s President Lula and other Latin American leaders, ensured the issue was not ignored.

In late September Zelaya made a dramatic and clandestine return to Tegucigalpa, where he found refuge in the Brazilian embassy. This forced greater involvement of the US and OAS and, in early November, it appeared that a deal had been fashioned that would facilitate Zelaya’s return to power. But intransigence on the coup plotters’ side has now collapsed the nascent deal.

With scheduled presidential elections due for 29 November, Honduras is now entering a very hazardous period and the fact that a democratically-elected president can be kept from power by coup plotters sends a dangerous signal to very destabilising elements across Latin America.

Indeed, their presence in Honduras at the behest of the coup plotters has already been noted. In early October, a UN human rights panel warned of the presence of foreign mercenaries in the country - and not just any mercenaries, but members of the infamous United Self Defence Forces of Colombia (auc).

The notorious auc were formed in Colombia by Colombia’s drug cartels and the authorities, as a proxy in the state’s war with the farc. The auc took to the ‘war effort’ with gusto, attacking the civilian grassroots of the Colombian left and opposition with a ferocity matched only by Guatemala’s genocidal Generals, of the late 1980s. The auc murdered trade unionists, journalists, human rights’ activists, indigenous and agricultural leaders in their thousands, while keeping the ‘lines’ open for traffickers.

Colombia right-wing paramiltary death squads - the AUCThe UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries has charged that an estimated 40 members of the supposedly ‘demobbed’ auc were brought into Honduras by wealthy landowners to defend themselves “from further violence between supporters of the de facto government and those of the deposed President Manuel Zelaya.”

Former members of the Zelaya government have questioned whether their role is not to actually “do the dirty jobs the armed forces refuse to do.”

The UN body also claimed that the coup regime has further contracted an additional 120-150 mercenaries.

It is widely held in Colombia and abroad - with significant evidential support -that their own president, Alvaro Uribe played a key role in the establishment and running of the auc, in his former role as a provincial governor.

Ironic therefore, but hardly surprising to find Uribe is also at the heart of the war against democracy, in Latin America.

Earlier this month, Colombia brought relations in the region to a new low when it emerged Uribe’s government had agreed a new 10 year deal with the US military. This gives the US military unfettered access to seven Colombian army, navy and airforce bases and also permission to use civilian airports.

The deal provides that US military personnel and ‘contractors’ - new name for mercenaries - will also enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Uribe claims the deal is to assist the ‘war on drugs’, but many in Colombia and throughout the region - including neighbouring Venezuela - had reason to doubt him. And men the Colombian magazine Cambio gave substance to their doubts when it revealed hitherto unknown details of the deal, including the rather telling assessment of the US airforce, in a document it presented to the US Congress.

Urging support for the deal, the airforce pointed out that access to the bases and their location would give the US military the capacity for “full spectrum dominance” of the region.

Once again it appears that Latin America is to become the fulcrum in the battle of the old orders versus the new.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


The true intentions behind the US-Colombia military agreement

An official document from the Department of the US Air Force reveals that the military base in Palanquero, Colombia will provide the Pentagon with “…an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America…” This information contradicts the explanations offered by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the U.S. State Department regarding the military agreement signed between the two nations this past October 30.

Both governments have publicly stated that the military agreement refers only to counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations within Colombian territory. President Uribe has reiterated numerous times that the military agreement with the U.S. will not affect Colombia’s neighbors, despite constant concern in the region regarding the true objectives of the agreement. But the U.S. Air Force document, dated May 2009, confirms that the concerns of South American nations have been right on target. The document exposes that the true intentions behind the agreement are to enable the U.S. to engage in “full spectrum military operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies…and anti-US governments…”

The military agreement between Washington and Colombia authorizes the access and use of seven military installations in Palanquero, Malambo, Tolemaida, Larandia, Apíay, Cartagena and Málaga.

Additionally, the agreement allows for “the access and use of all other installations and locations as necessary” throughout Colombia, with no restrictions. Together with the complete immunity the agreement provides to US military and civilian personnel, including private defense and security contractors, the clause authorizing the US to utilize any installation throughout the entire country - even commercial airports, for military ends, signifies a complete renouncing of Colombian sovereignty and officially converts Colombia into a client-state of the U.S.

The Air Force document underlines the importance of the military base in Palanquero and justifies the $46 million requested in the 2010 budget (now approved by Congress) in order to improve the airfield, associated ramps and other installations on the base to convert it into a U.S. Cooperative Security Location (csl). “Establishing a Cooperative Security Location (csl) in Palanquero best supports the cocom’s (Command Combatant’s) Theater Posture Strategy and demonstrates our commitment to this relationship. Development of this csl provides a unique opportunity for full spectrum operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-US governments, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters.”

It’s not difficult to imagine which governments in South America are considered by Washington to be “anti-US governments”. The constant aggressive declarations and statements emitted by the State and Defense Departments and the US Congress against Venezuela and Bolivia, and even to some extent Ecuador, evidence that the alba nations are the ones perceived by Washington as a “constant threat”. To classify a country as “anti-U.S.” is to consider it an enemy of the United States. In this context, it’s obvious that the military agreement with Colombia is a reaction to a region the U.S. now considers full of “enemies”.



Per the U.S. Air Force document, “Access to Colombia will further its strategic partnership with the United States. The strong security cooperation relationship also offers an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America to include mitigating the Counter-narcotics capability.” This statement clearly evidences that counter-narcotics operations are secondary to the real objectives of the military agreement between Colombia and Washington. Again, this clearly contrasts the constant declarations of the Uribe and Obama governments insisting that the main focus of the agreement is to combat drug trafficking and production. The Air Force document emphasizes the necessity to improve “full spectrum” military operations throughout South America – not just in Colombia – in order to combat “constant threats” from “anti-U.S. governments” in the region.


The Air Force document explains that “Palanquero is unquestionably the best site for investing in infrastructure development within Colombia. Its central location is within reach of…operations areas…its isolation maximizes Operational Security (opsec) and Force Protection and minimizes the US military profile. The intent is to leverage existing infrastructure to the maximum extent possible, improve the US ability to respond rapidly to crisis, and assure regional access and presence at minimum cost. Palanquero supports the mobility mission by providing access to the entire South American continent with the exception of Cape Horn…

The document additionally confirms that the U.S. military presence in Palanquero, Colombia will improve the capacity of espionage and intelligence operations, and will allow the U.S. armed forces to increase their warfare capabilities in the region. “Development of this csl will further the strategic partnership forged between the U.S. and Colombia and is in the interest of both nations…A presence will also increase our capability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (isr), improve global reach, support logistics requirements, improve partnerships, improve theater security cooperation and expand expeditionary warfare capability.”

The language of war included in this document evidences the true intentions behind the military agreement between Washington and Colombia: they are preparing for war in Latin America. The past few days have been full of conflict and tension between Colombia and Venezuela.

Just days ago, the Venezuelan government captured three spies from the Colombian intelligence agency, DAS, and discovered several active destabilization and espionage operations against Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela. The operations - Fénix, Salomón and Falcón, respectively, were revealed in documents found with the captured DAS agents.

Approximately two weeks ago, 10 bodies were found in Táchira, a border zone with Colombia. After completing the relevant investigations, the Venezuelan government discovered that the bodies belonged to Colombian paramilitaries infiltrated inside Venezuelan territory. This dangerous paramilitary infiltration from Colombia forms part of a destabilization plan against Venezuela that seeks to create a paramilitary state inside Venezuelan territory in order to break down President Chávez’s government.

The military agreement between Washington and Colombia will only increase regional tensions and violence. The information revealed in the U.S. Air Force document unquestionably evidences that Washington seeks to promote a state of warfare in South America, using Colombia as its launching pad. Before this declaration of war, the peoples of Latin America must stand strong and unified. Latin American integration is the best defense against the empire’s aggression.

*The US Air Force document was submitted in May 2009 to Congress as part of the 2010 budget justification. It is an official government document and reaffirms the authenticity of the White Book: Global Enroute Strategy of the U.S. Air Mobility Command, which was denounced by President Chávez during the unasur meeting in Bariloche, Argentina this past August 28. I have placed the original document and the non-official translation to Spanish that I did of the relevant parts relating to Palanquero on the web page of the Center to Alert and Defend the People “Centro de Alerta para la Defensa de los pueblos”, a new space we are creating to guarantee that strategic information is available to those under constant threat from imperialist aggression.



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