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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 1363 15th January 2010

Anti-war Muslim group ban is a step upwards in the Goebbels demonisation and hysterical fear-mongering around the ludicrous “war on terror” which is a front for capitalism’s own responsibility for the plunge towards torturing, civilian-blitzing turmoil. Imperialism is unstoppably heading for Slump disaster and using war to get out of it as in 1914 and 1939. The only real way out is socialist revolution and crucial Leninist leadership

The moralising hypocrisy of the middle class, and just about all the fake-”left” around the planned anti-military anti-war demonstration in Wootton Bassett has played right into the hands of capitalism’s tightening censorship, repressive domestic surveillance and its endless “shock and awe” war drive abroad.

The government ban on the small Islam4Uk group which has now followed, taps all the backward and racist scapegoating hostility which is being whipped into a frenzy by the capitalist ruling class and its degenerate reactionary media and political establishment (led by its stinking Labourite stooges) as part of its attempted crisis turn to overt dictatorship and increased fascistisation of society at home and warmongering abroad.

There is no need for Marxists to endorse the particular religious views, cultural attitudes and tactics of such groups in detail, to yet still declare this suppression and censorship a complete dictatorship attack on ordinary people.

And more importantly it is an attack on all politics which declares the capitalist warmongering offensive bombing and blasting of tens of thousands of lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen etc etc to be a foul Nazi atrocity which deserves to be utterly defeated.

Only ending capitalism for good by the mass defeat of its oppressive rule, and building a rational planned socialist world, lifting forever the tyranny of endless exploitation, death squad oppression and poverty, will stop the frustration which is boiling over not just in the Middle East but increasingly into Africa, Latin America and everywhere.

Centuries of oppression has finally pushed the great masses throughout to a tipping point, refusing to accept any longer the Nazi repression, death-squad intimidation and tyrannical bullying routinely imposed upon them by monopoly capitalism to keep the ruthless exploitation of the labour going which feeds the grotesque and wasteful, indolent luxury and power of the Western ruling class.

The desperation and hatred of their suppression which drives them in ever increasing numbers to use any method they can find with their limited resources to fight back, including the ultimate sacrifice in suicide bombing, is the same urgent pressure which will eventually produce a coherent revolutionary struggle to overturn imperialism completely, the only possible solution to the onrushing slump collapse of the profit system and the trade and then shooting war which inevitably follow.

Of course everyone is appalled by such terror horrors.

But the violence is not going to go away, or be stopped by declaring it to be beyond the pale and carpet bombing the places where it arises.

Further repression, using every tool of torturing, indiscriminate civilian-killing “punishment” and “policing” of “the sources of terror” just pours oil on the fire, making the problem a thousand times worse, as everyone can see.

So what is wrong with drawing attention to that reality and exposing the lie that the “war on terror” has got anything to do with “bringing peace and prosperity” but is itself the main source of terror for the great majority?.

Try telling the tens of thousands killed or made homeless and starving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, etc etc with millions of shattered lives, displaced refugees, tortured prisoners and so forth that it is all in the interests of “freedom and democracy”.

“Our” military and the “our boys” from the other imperialist countries are at the heart of this callous, cynical neo-colonialist rampaging, both officially and unofficially, as occasionally breaks surface in the bourgeois press though the biased capitalist courts nearly always exonerate the state forces:

A second public inquiry into allegations that Iraqis were ill-treated and unlawfully killed by British troops is to be set up under a former high court judge, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced today.

The inquiry, under Sir Thayne Forbes, will investigate claims that 20 Iraqis were murdered and others mistreated in May 2004 at Camp Abu Naji, a British base in Maysan province. The MoD strongly denies the allegations.

The government conceded the case for an inquiry after high court judges sharply attacked the failure of the MoD, and the military police in particular, to investigate complaints by the surviving Iraqis.

Documents show that Iraqi detainees had complained at the time to the Red Cross. Although Red Cross officials praised some aspects of the British detention centre, one of its doctors said that in some cases “injuries to wrists indicated excessive force”. He said facial injuries appeared to have been inflicted when the detainees were being held down or were “defenceless”.

Documents also show ministers knew about the complaints a week after the incident, on 14 May 2004. The allegations were first revealed by the Guardian.

A public inquiry is already under way into the death in custody of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist, in September 2003.

Under the Human Rights Act, governments have a duty to investigate fully prima facie cases of wrongdoing by any state agents.

The inquiry announced today is named after 19-year-old Hamid al-Sweady, one of the Iraqis who died after a gun battle between soldiers of the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and 1st Battalion Princess of Wales Royal Regiment and Iraqi insurgents at a checkpoint known as Danny Boy, near the town of Majar-al-Kabir.

Five other Iraqis say they were punched, threatened with violence, thrown violently against a wall, hit by guards if they fell asleep, denied water and subjected to other forms of mistreatment. The MoD says all 20 of the dead were killed “on the battlefield” and their bodies taken to Abu Naji to be photographed, to check whether one of them was an insurgent suspected of helping to kill six military police the previous year. It says nine live prisoners were taken to the camp, and all left alive.

The MoD admitted in high court hearings that it had not disclosed key documents to lawyers representing the Iraqis. They reveal that ministers, possibly including Tony Blair, knew more about the incident than they had admitted.

The court has heard that an army intelligence officer threw a laptop computer containing official documents over the side of a cross-Channel ferry. Captain James Rands, of the Princess of Wales’s Regiment, had taken pictures of the dead for identification purposes, then downloaded the images to his personal computer.

Whatever the legal niceties cover-ups of other incidents, the reality of the military interventions is one of utmost brutality and destruction even if carried out entirely “properly”, which is not much anyway even with supposed officially sanctioned international “Geneva conventions” and standards on torture etc., witness the destruction of Falluja in Iraq or damage caused for 12 years previously by UN nations voted “no fly zone” sanctions on Iraq (which killed half a million children even before the bombing ever began).

And it is clear that torture, intimidation and “collateral damage” (killing any hapless civilians who happen to be near military operations) not only is used but is routine and commonplace, and sanctioned by the capitalist state.

“Rendition” flights to secret torture prisons using such grotesque techniques as razor-blading the genitals of prisoners, in stooge fascist countries are well documented.

The foul Labourites still cover this up for example with their “state security” suppression of MI6 and US cooperation evidence in the few cases which have actually come to light.

All that on top of the endless coups and bribery worldwide used since the nineteenth century by the West to install fascist and gangster stooge regimes everywhere which maintain constant thuggery and violence of the most depraved kind to intimidate and cow the populations - famously Augusto Pinochet’s torturing regime in Chile for example which is nevertheless only one example of a slew of horrifying death-squad oppressions in Latin America alone, from the tens of thousands massacred in El Salvador and Guatemala to the continuing present-day right-wing “paramilitary” units in Colombia as the killer squads are euphemistically known.

Leaders and military in these regimes were frequently trained in the notorious “School of the Americas” in the US and other CIA training camps in methods of inhuman depravity to equal or exceed anything the German Nazis ever did.

One instruction - by no means the worst - in the notorious CIA secret handbook discovered during the anti-communist “contra” period which toppled the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, gave step-by-step instruction on how to scoop out a prisoner’s eyeball using an ordinary spoon.

Is the pounding of massive earth-shattering high-explosive bombs dropped from waves of B52s any less intimidating?

Or the blasting apart of streets and villages by tanks, low-level “Warthog” computerised rapid-fire guns, or Apache missile fire???

Alongside the official army too, grows the ever expanding “privatisation” of the violence by the “security company” mercenaries (mostly ex-soldiers anyway) who operate without much public attention and without even the notional standards and legal controls of the conventional military. Again things sometimes get so bad that the bourgeois press will reveal some details:

Seventeen Iraqi civilians were killed in Nisoor Square, Baghdad, on 16 September 2007. Some of the bodies were so badly shot up and burned that they had to be identified by their dental records. Guards from the private security firm Blackwater were accused of shooting randomly at the civilians as their convoy passed by, while the company insisted they were responding to an ambush.

Last week a US judge dismissed the charges against the guards on the grounds of procedural errors. The Iraqi government, perhaps also looking to score nationalist points as an election looms, was outraged. A government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, accused the men of committing a “serious crime” and the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, warned that “whether in the United States or in Iraq, we will not give our rights up”.

...the Blackwater case casts more doubt on the ability of the Obama administration to live up to the rhetoric the president outlined in Cairo when he spoke of mutual “principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings”...

The role and remit of private security contractors in America’s wars remain highly contested. The animosity felt towards these contractors in Iraq, in particular, is hard to exaggerate. The Iraqi war fired the starting gun for the mass privatisation of war – the burgeoning of private security companies staffed by ex-soldiers from armies across the world...

It was the killing of contractors that sparked the twin battles of Fallujah, the most deadly single battles of the occupation to date. Foreign Affairs reported that contractors were involved in 36% of cases in the Abu Ghraib incidents; and the recent release of Peter Moore was linked to the discovery by the Guardian that his four contractor guards were killed because they were seen as legitimate combatants. Much of the hatred of contractors is blamed on the perception of them as trigger-happy, especially when they are guarding convoys. This view was reinforced by multiple video clips, some on companies’ own websites, showing what appear to be contractors firing indiscriminately at cars.

The ability to prosecute US contractors was a key sticking point in the prolonged debate over the US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa), which finally allowed US troops to be tried in Iraqi courts, but only in cases of serious, premeditated crimes committed while soldiers were off-base and off-duty. Private contractors, previously immune to prosecution in Iraq, became wholly bound by Iraqi laws.

Some may be surprised that the death of 17 Iraqi civilians has created such a stir considering that between 94,939 and 650,000 Iraqis have been killed since 2003. Yet this particular case has become a test of the untangling of the US occupation of Iraq and the restoration of the country’s sovereignty...

Scott Horton, an attorney specialising in international law, told Democracy Now that the procedural failure of the Blackwater case “almost looks like the Justice Department prosecutors here wanted to sabotage their own case, it was so outrageous”...Perhaps (they) worried about what Erik Prince, chief executive of Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) could reveal about the inner workings of CIA and military operations across the globe.

...Meanwhile, despite the work in Iraq drying up and the lack of immunity protection, contractors are moving over to the lucrative war in Afghanistan. Indeed, it is reported that private contractors will make up at least half of the total military workforce in Afghanistan..


A spokesman for the Iraqi government said the collapse of the case in the US courts would lead to an intensified criminal prosecution of Blackwater through the Iraqi legal system. Ali al-Dabbagh said the criminal suit was already well advanced against the firm, which would not be allowed to restart its private military work in the country.

“The government will monitor proceedings against Blackwater in Iraqi courts to prosecute the company and will preserve the rights of Iraqi citizens, of the victims and their families affected by this crime,” he said.

Abdul Wahab Abdul Kader, 35, who was shot in the arm, said he was bitterly disappointed. “”I call for the government to stop all foreign security companies working in Iraq. Their work here has been full of dangers for us and has caused real peril.”

Haitham Ahmed, whose wife and son were killed, said the dismissal of the case cast doubt on the integrity of the US justice system. He told Associated Press: “The whole thing has been a farce. The rights of our victims and the rights of the innocent people should not be wasted.”

The shooting, on 16 September 2007, caused outrage around the world and strained relations between the US and Iraq. A series of congressional hearings was held, and militant groups leapt on the bloodshed as evidence of US brutality.

Blackwater was expelled from most of its key contracts in Iraq and forced into a major damage-limitation exercise that included rebranding itself Xe Ltd.

The incident began when a heavily armed Blackwater convoy moved into a busy square in Baghdad, after breaking an order to stay in the US-controlled green zone of the city, prosecutors allege. The five were accused of opening fire with automatic weapons and grenade launchers on unarmed civilians, killing children, women and men attempting to flee in their cars. One victim was alleged to have been shot in the chest while standing with his hands in the air. Defence lawyers said they had been responding to an earlier car bombing and were attacked by Iraqis they believed to be enemy insurgents.

In his 90-page ruling, Judge Ricardo Urbina made no comment on the legality or otherwise of the shooting. He dismissed the case on the grounds that the five had had their constitutional rights violated by the way confession statements they had made had been used by the prosecution.

...The legal fate of a sixth guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, is now unclear. He pleaded guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding another, and gave evidence against his five former Blackwater colleagues.

Xe said that the dismissal of the case meant “we can move forward and continue to assist the US in its mission to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan find a peaceful, democratic future”.

However, relatives have lodged civil charges against the five in the Virginian courts. Tareq Harb, an Iraqi lawyer, said of the US federal court: “They did not call local witnesses, or victims, or officials who responded to the scene. The guards were protected under Bremer’s law [US administrator in Iraq before 2004]. There was no due process, or natural justice.”

The would-be demonstrators had got this much right, that they were confronting and exposing the lie of the West’s “fighting for democracy and freedom” and right in the heart of the Goebbels heroism myth-building.

The question is not whether it is “appropriate” to hold an anti-imperialist demonstration in the town where military funerals are held, but why the “Stop the War” coalition of assorted pacifists, Trotskyists and all the revisionist “lefts” has not organised just such a demonstration long ago, to draw attention to the brutal, rampaging, torturing, blitzkrieg destruction of capitalism in crisis – exactly what Islam4UK intended to do.

Their demonstration was nothing to do with “shallow publicity hunting and opportunism” as the priggish middle class commentators and class-collaborating “moderate” Muslims have been saying to excuse their cowardly and capitulatory collusion with ruling class warmongering, nor with “polluting the respect for the dead” which is offered on funeral marches.

For a start it seems clear the group had chosen not to demonstrate on a day when any repatriation processions were due.

Just the opposite – well away from actual processions the intention was to demonstrate against the generality of warmongering.

But this town is central to that.

The demonstrators have not made it so. It is the bourgeoisie which has deliberately made the town a focal point and turned private grief into a public and political issue constantly pumped up by the full machinery of the huge capitalist media propaganda machine.

The slow, heavily publicised, funeral processions have nothing to do with genuinely honouring the soldiers who have been killed, even in sometimes individually brave or heroic circumstances, (though their stories are given massive prominence to cover up the usually mundane or routine conditions of the fighting and the sometimes completely dishonourable, torturing, intimidating, bullying, and blitzing conditions, in Afghanistan or Iraq and elsewhere).

They have everything to do with the massive lie that the world faces an imminent threat to “our way of life” from “maniac outsiders bent on destruction” for no reason apparently other than the sheer “evil hatred” of the calm peace loving American led Western powers which are “just minding their own business”.

As if, as the young say.

This same shallow and transparent garbage, poured out in concentrated ultra-sanctimonious form recently by Barack Obama in the Nobel Peace Prize speech, was the essence of the hypocritical “justification” used by Bush and Blair to get their demented war going against Saddam Hussein in the first place.

It is continued in practice by Brown, the Obama presidency and every other imperialist leadership.

This is political and war propaganda par excellence designed to whip up the most deep-running base chauvinistic feelings in the mass population, tapping 200 years of British imperialist racist supremacism and rampaging, and the super-profits opportunism it has created in the petty bourgeoisie and corrupted layers of the better-off working class.

Endless personal accounts of each and every soldier, with lingering TV shots of heartbreaking “untouched bedrooms” and “last letters” intercut with sobbing family relatives, are all designed with the full gamut of modern “reality” TV media manipulation techniques to extract maximum emotion.

The world context of crisis and exploitation is kept well out of this deliberate stampeding of public opinion.

The only way to really respect or honour the tragedy of any lost lives would be to question and query the ruling class leadership and control of a degenerate society which drags the soldiers (ultimately victims of capitalism as much as anyone else) into the these neo-colonialist occupation and wars, built around foul stinking Goebbels lies (as just admitted openly on TV by the war criminal Tony Blair for example and in the stream of self-serving and craven admissions by witnesses to the new Chilcot inquiry – a story that demands more analysis itself) and which are causing mass destruction and mayhem throughout the Middle East, stirring up ever more hatred and hostility against the tyranny and occupations being imposed upon them.

The solemn parades which repeatedly come onto TV screens, and all the attendant “respectful” pomp and hat doffing, are a deliberate diversion from any such notions.

It is the absolute heart of the “patriotism” and waving-the-flag fraudulence which has always been used by the ruling class as the last resort to drag the masses into war, behind an unthinking “national interest” (meaning the interests of the property owning bourgeoisie).

Goebbels would have been taking notes.

Hand in hand goes a deliberate whipping up of hatred and almost vigilante hostility to bury away any opposition voices as “traitorous”, the techniques used devastatingly in the First World War white-feather and Hague poster campaigns for example to drag millions into trench slaughter and by the “anti-Nazism” and anti-German propaganda of the Second World War on one side and the intimidation of German Nazism itself on the other.

Racist demonisation of Muslims, and “clash of civilisations”, “they’re all evil terrorist monsters” hysteria being used currently is as vicious as any scapegoating of minorities arbitrarily picked on for blame hatred in the 1930s, the last time the world was wound up to try and ride out the Slump by dragooning the masses into the slaughter of inter-imperialist conflict to sort out who was the “big boss” and simultaneously destroy the overproduction “surplus” (to profit needs not human want) which always grows to clog the system eventually.

The ruling class is desperate to step up raw class war moves again (if they can) in preparation for the upheavals and discontent it knows will erupt, now that its rotten profit making system has crashed into the greatest failure and financial collapse seen in all history (confirming totally the Marxist perspective which alone has continuously warned the working class of the crisis nature of capitalism and its drive to World War, against all the complacency and ridicule of the fake-”lefts”).

Once the short-term “quantitative easing” money-printing bandages are removed from the now fatally sick world economy, (and particularly a weak link like the British sector), the fraud of “when the upturn comes” etc (which the shallow and philistine fake-“lefts” still swallow because they have no grasp or confidence in their own shallow posturing pretence at being “Marxists” and “revolutionaries”) will be totally exposed.

The knowing pretence from the cynically lying parliamentary politicians is that it is business as usual, despite some “necessary belt tightening” because the capitalist class is desperate to avoid the notion that the world could be run any other way than the private ownership system.

All the game playing about correct policies on taxes and cuts and who is to “blame” for “recession”, and the entire pantomime of the upcoming election between the Tweedledum and Tweedledee versions of capitalist rule, are all a huge diversion to head off any discussion at all of the fundamental failure of the profit making system which is now essentially out of control.

Constant press stories that “hopes” of an “upturn in retail sales” or “manufacturing” have yet again been “dashed” are an expression of the petty bourgeois wishful thinking which has been completely led up the garden path by the complete conspiracy by the ruling class and its assorted stooges, such as the New Labourites, to deny that the capitalist system itself has catastrophically failed.

But that is just to lull the working class, fragment it and buy time for the terrified ruling class to clamp down.

The bourgeoisie is in a blue-funk to hide the reality of the truth about the oncoming Slump because it is losing the great battle of history.

Far from achieving the “end of history” (after the supposed “failure of communism”), and taking mankind to a new world order of “democratic” peace and ever growing prosperity, the monopoly profit system is inexorably dragging the world back into devastating Slump.

Underlying conditions are far more advanced and potentially far worse than even the desperate failure of the 1930s and the follow on Second World War the horrors of which triggered a wave of anti-capitalist or nationalist revolutions which took half the world out of the imperialist orbit and ended forever the epoch of direct colonial domination (except in the highly peculiar artificial unsustainable Zionist enclave).

The warmongering blitzing now, after ten years, is an utter failure in forcing the world to knuckle down once again and pay for the “economic incompetence” of capitalism’s crisis-laden system (the ironic gibberish accusation of Western propaganda when alleged against socialist and anti-imperialist regimes after they have been strangled by sanctions and blockades).

Far from being pushed back into the bottle, the hostility is spreading rapidly (seen follow-on piece).

And long ignored notions of revolutionary change to establish socialism will begin to be seriously discussed once more, as in even the most “advanced” countries the shallow philistinism of “celebrities and shopping” culture (provided from wealth extracted from Africa, Asia, Latin America etc) can no longer be afforded.

But every one of the corrupt and pocket-lining “politicians” in the luxury Westminster club on the Thames knows full well the scale of the disasters unstoppably on the way are beyond anything ever seen even in the 1930s.

The slump Depression, which will have to be imposed on the working class (to keep the ruling class’s privileged lifestyles and bonus greed culture going) will have to be far more vicious and painful than any of the already draconian measures the political parties have all declared so far are “necessary” in wage cuts and unemployment, pension wipeouts, etc and now multi-billion budget slashing moves throughout government.

Ruthless “discipline” to cut wages and conditions and up the rate of exploitation even in the richest countries, is needed if the ruling class is to have the remotest prospect of surviving the brutal trade and cutthroat international slump competition which is unfolding.

The alternative is to see complete collapse of all credit and investment (which may well happen anyway now, because of the huge crisis contradictions which have built up throughout the post-WW2 period, left unresolved by endless dollar printing and credit creation already).

It will mean unprecedented upheaval and discontent either way.

There is no space any more for the pretences of “democracy, parliament, human rights and steady improvement social and work conditions” sold to the working class in the richer countries at least for the last 150 years by reformist politics.

The real dictatorship face of bourgeois rule is being shown.

But bourgeois rule has never been weaker as events in the tiny near bankrupt peripheral economies are showing.

The sudden decision by the president of Iceland to call a referendum on debt payback by the bankrupted finance houses reflects fears of the bourgeoisies everywhere caught between the jaws of contradiction.

To survive in the cutthroat world of trade war now unleashed, the bourgeoisie must capitulate to the pressure of international finance and “pay back” its debts to cut the insane inflationary credit mountain.

But this will devastate much further the lives of ordinary people already facing huge wage cuts, minimum 20% pensions cuts, unemployment etc.

The major creditors had already bent over backwards to accommodate the Icelanders with payments deferred to 2016 and at only 6% a year.

They are as terrified of the consequences of immediately bankrupting the country as the local ruling class, and the example of major upheaval spreading rapidly in the Western world.

But they cannot let Iceland off the hook either. The “rentier” demands for interest on investments is the essence of modern imperialist capitalism and the way it extracts surplus value from the planet.

Let one “get away with it” and the whole world might default.

Where would imperialism, and especially the British “service” finance economy which lives on such parasitic income to a greater extent than any other country, be then???.

Bankrupt too is the answer, and threatening the entire world system with a domino implosion.

This sovereign debt collapse problem already taking Greece, Latvia, and others to the edge of disaster is the next stage of the “credit crunch” which has the bourgeoisie gripped round the throat.

It is a sign of the intractable crisis.

The warmongering in the Middle East has been aiming to distract attention from this by dragging the world back to total conflict.

The continuous “shock and awe” pounding of the planet to “punish” and threaten the growing mass intolerance around the world of the exploitation and grinding drudging labour imposed on the great “unwashed” majority by all-powerful capitalist bank and corporate finance, (backed by local tinpot gangster and fascist stooges, installed and bribed by the same big money) is the prelude to an even greater world war now inexorably developing as the crisis unfolds into Depression and financial disaster on an unprecedented scale.

The US and its willing imperialist accomplices have been warming up the world for the last decade for the only “solution” capitalism has ever had to its crisis, the blitzing destruction of the “surplus” products and capital which relentlessly build up in an anarchic production system orientated around-profit making rather than internationally planned and coordinated production and distribution (socialism).

Warmongering serves at the same time as the biggest diversion of all to blame imperialist rivals and “evil people” for the chaos which comes in reality only from the antagonisms, contradictions and failure of capitalism.

And it serves at the same time to blitz and punish the rising rebellion throughout the Third World which can no longer tolerate the oppression and exploitation which has held the great majority in grinding poverty and backwardness.

The resistance it is meeting, however crudely done and bizarrely expressed, is part of a universal spontaneous revolutionary upheaval which has long gestated and now is being triggered by the intolerance any more of the whole of humanity for the grinding exploitation imposed by big capital on its back for centuries, and brought to the boil by its inevitable catastrophic economic and political failure, and the decade of massacring blitzkrieg it is intertwined with.

It is missing for the moment a clear scientific socialist view, not least due to the historic failure of Moscow Stalinist revisionism from the 1930s onwards (at least) to develop revolutionary perspectives and its even worse Trotskyist “nemesis” which is simply petty bourgeois counter-revolutionary hostility to the workers states disguised as criticism of Stalinist retreat.

But Marxist Leninist grasp will have to be developed, the only leadership which can carry the world struggle through to complete overturn of imperialism and the building of planned socialism under the firm dictatorship of the working class for the majority (as opposed to the only other possibility – the tiny minority rule of the rich and privileged owners in the interests of further wealth accumulation and exploitation of the other 99%.)

But it will not come from the righteous fake-“left” posing about the “proper” and “effective” way to do things. Writing off the crude and limited petty bourgeois nationalism and sometimes backward religious cultural forms of rising Third World revolt as “reactionary”, will not change the hostility and hatred of the billions.

Just the opposite. It is a mask for a complete betrayal of a rapidly spreading fight which for all its limitations is the early stage of world revolutionary upheaval and rapidly accelerating because of the degeneracy of the capitalist crisis.

It will not prevent the instinctive sympathising with that struggle in every country including the richest, however crudely it is expressed.

It is ultimately the same struggle facing all workers to get the capitalist system off their backs for good.

The smug sanctimony around the ban is an echo of the cowardly “condemnation” of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre by the entire swamp of pretend “lefts”, and disowning of every outbreak since of Third World anti-imperialist insurgency and rebellion, falsely labelled “terrorism”.

The “lefts” and liberals who hide their treachery behind a mask of “reasonableness and rationality” in fact feed this atmosphere as much as any. Listen to these press comments:

Apparently, my history teacher was wrong and Voltaire never actually said: “I despise what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” [But]...while it’s an important sentiment, it should also, in a mature, free country, be an obvious one.

So why, when the small bunch of extremists, bigots and opportunists that is Islam4UK announced that they wanted to stage a demonstration in Wootton Bassett, did the home secretary say he would support attempts to ban it? They’re a horrible organisation – an offshoot of the al-Muhajiroun movement that is opposed to the British state and arranged, on the first anniversary of 9/11, a conference entitled “A Towering Day in History” (although a pun is always welcome). I can understand completely why Alan Johnson despises what they say, and I agree, but I’m not certain that outlawing their demonstration qualifies as defending to the death their right to say it.

I hate the idea of the demonstration going ahead. If Islam4UK were sincere in their desire to point out that Muslim civilians have died in Afghanistan as well as western troops and to express their view that it’s an unjust war, then they wouldn’t have chosen Wootton Bassett as the location. They’ve chosen that new Mecca for Britain’s expression of military grief because they wish to defile our holy places.

...”Let the idiots and bullies speak openly and they will be revealed for what they are!” is the idea. It’s a brilliant one and, in confident, educated societies, it almost always works – certainly much more often than any of the alternatives. Why has Alan Johnson lost confidence in this principle? Why have the 700,000 signatories of a Facebook petition calling for the event to be banned?

I know there are circumstances in which freedom of speech is rightly limited – I’m not arguing for a repeal of all libel or incitement to hatred laws.

But it’s difficult to see how this demonstration would incite hatred of anyone other than the demonstrators. Public safety can also be an issue.

I understand that the police couldn’t let the protest go ahead without a reasonable expectation that it wouldn’t become violent. But if it is banned, let us be 100% sure, let our consciences be absolutely clear, that public safety was the reason, not the excuse.

One of the accusations fairly levelled at Islam4UK (incidentally, having now typed their name three times, I almost feel like it’s the most offensive thing about them) is that they’re cynically trying to garner publicity. In fact, their leader, Anjem Choudary, admits it, saying: “It is a publicity stunt, you can call it that, to create awareness.”

This monstrous, ignorant pomposity is excelled by the sinister libellous vitriol pumped out by supposed “left” anti-war demonstrators such as this on the “Socialist Unity” website:

“We have great respect for everyone that passes through here. We sit here in peace and harmony while they fight for us. That is why we come here to show our respects. Although we believe in Islam we do not support Islam4UK. They are a minority of Muslims. They are extremists and we will not support them walking through Wootton Bassett”

On the same page in the newspaper, Farasat Latif, of the Call to Islam Centre in Luton , is quoted as saying he and other British Muslims would join a counter demonstration against Anjem Choudary if the Islam4UK march goes ahead. Farasat Latif said: “Islam is about peace and respect, neither of which will come from this action. this is Britain and British people have a right to grieve for their war dead without this insult. Yes, many in Afghanistan have died and we grieve for them but through prayer as is taught in Islam. this is a political statement and Wootton Bassett is not the town for political statements”

Firstly, congratulations to the Adver reporter Scott McPherson for a good story that helps to puncture the climate of anti-Muslim hysteria that is building up over Islam4UK’s proposed march.

But we also have to acknowledge that there is a very strong pressure building on British Muslims to keep quiet about opposition to the war in Afghanistan, a pressure that of course Anjem Choudrey is seeking to increase in order to polarise and inflame opinion still further.

But this also means that the left needs to urgently consider how to impose the issue of Afghanistan further up the mainstream political agenda. The government are currently having all the running in the media, despite the fact that a majority of the public oppose the war.

The convenient Mr Choudrey deserves an MI5 pay check for continually associating opposition to the war with his brand of moonbat extremism. Of course I have no evidence that actually he has an association with the security services, but “the labourer is worthy of his hire”, as the Bible says.

But the issue exposes a raw nerve, and the left needs to raise its game to help to give expression to the majority opposition to the war.

The foul provocateur innuendo voiced here is itself a disgusting provocation to mask stinking “left” opportunism that wants to cover its back while letting capitalism get away with the outright Nazi censorship that it is now turning too:

Five Muslim men accused of yelling abuse at British soldiers and calling them rapists, murderers and baby killers during a homecoming parade have been found guilty of a public order offence.

There were angry scenes during the parade in Luton for 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Poachers, on 10 March last year.

Munim Abdul, 28, Jalal Ahmed, 21, Yousaf Bashir, 29, Shajjadar Choudhury, 31, and Ziaur Rahman, 32, all from Luton, were convicted at Luton magistrates court today of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Jubair Ahmed, 19, and Ibrahim Anderson, 32, also from Luton, were acquitted of the same charge.

Police had agreed to let activists gather and protest at the event in March last year but their behaviour meant officers felt obliged to intervene and make arrests, the court heard.

As the troops filed past a large crowd in the town centre, the placard-carrying protesters shouted slogans at them, prosecutor Avirup Chaudhuri said, including “British army murderers”.

If it is objected that the Islam4UK movement’s echoing of religious mystical ideology and “extremism” is not the way forwards, then all the more reason to take a lead and present the scientific revolutionary perspective exactly as Lenin recommended in his incisive “Guerrilla Warfare” article in 1906.

The only way to tackle the problems of anarchic and terrorist methods, he declared, was to lift the understanding to a new level of mass revolutionary struggle to overtake and include the bitter anger and desperation which drives such outbursts.

Revolutionary Leninist politics may not advocate or “glorify” individual terrorism but it is in full sympathy with the civil war fighting spirit which can only lead to increasingly violent struggle around the planet against the fascist oppression it suffers and the complacent “Western way of life” sustained on it.

It is far cry from the swamp of fake-“lefts”.

Their sour opportunism is totally in thrall to capitalism and ready to capitulate to imperialist pressure once the heat is on, just as the entire Second International capitulated to the “great nation” chauvinism in 1914, backing their own bourgeoisies in the fraud of “justified war” which pitched millions of workers against millions of others for “Defence of the Fatherland”.

Only Lenin’s tiny Bolshevik party and a couple of other honourable exceptions stood firm in opposing this foul treachery by the trusted “socialist” leadership of the working class and the Trade Unions, calling for the defeat of their own ruling class and its armies to clear the way for revolutionary overturn.

The “Great War” and the even greater conflicts in 1939-45 were nothing but inter-imperialist battling to divide up the spoils of world colonialist exploitation and to sort out the “over-production” crisis of capitalism by the insane profit-making “logic” of destroying the “surplus” (which the great starving masses of the planet are crying out for but cannot afford).

The warmongering now has essentially the same causes despite the complications of the overwhelming monopoly dominance of the US.

Lenin’s position was proven totally correct as the horrors of the First World War escalated (and Lenin’s understanding is one which the fake-”lefts” all pretend to subscribe to, posing and posturing about being “revolutionaries”).

Nearly everything he wrote from 1914 until the overthrow of Tsarism and the establishment of working class dictatorship power (which alone ended the first world war in October 1917 after the February bourgeois revolution had shown itself ready to continue the war) – was to expose and denounce this opportunism and social-chauvinism, which degenerated rapidly into all-out collaboration (to the extent that the German reformists carried out the suppression of the communist movement and the murder of its leaders Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht shortly afterwards, for example).

Meanwhile the “free speech” fretting has been further pursued in a couple of other Guardian “liberal” pieces by arch anti-communist Timothy Garton-Ash for example. Both express more clearly the panicky contradictions of the petty bourgeoisie that clamping down will only make problems worse.

The last thing they want is for anyone to join up all the dots and come to the obvious conclusion – that these giant war and disastrous finance events have all been complete confirmation of the Leninist understanding that capitalism is a system of unstoppable and always returning crisis disaster, under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

But the parliamentary road and “free press” racket has always been the best mask for that and Nazi repression tears up that sophisticated “fool the people” weapon, and helps confirm the need for revolution they fear.

All the better confirmation of the urgent need to build a Leninist party.

Don Hoskins

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Obama’s outrageous stepping up of Nazi “war against terror” aggression in Yemen and the Horn of Africa is already a disaster for imperialism and will only get worse as revolutionary sentiment intensifies and spreads to engulf the entire region

Barack Obama’s aggressive use of the amateurish Christmas Day Detroit passenger plane bomb attempt to justify the escalation of US imperialism’s murderous “war against terror” attacks in the Arabian Peninsula, by making great play over the hapless Nigerian student’s supposed “Yemeni al-Qaida connections”, illustrates the extent of the disaster for all imperialism as capitalism’s revolutionary crisis deepens and forces militant armed responses from the Third World masses across the globe.

The over-the-top response to the attack, and accompanying fear-mongering media frenzy, by British and assorted European imperialisms as well as the US (temporary closure of embassies in Yemen, increased harassment of nationals from “rogue states” at customs and calls for body scans in airports, demands for intensified surveillance of “university extremists” at home, etc.), serves to provide a cover for the bolstering of the counter-revolutionary forces in the Arabian Peninsula, who are struggling to contain sustained rebellions within dirt-poor Yemen and on the Horn of Africa that are threatening to ignite the entire region.

This blundering “pants bomb” attempt hardly signifies a professional and organised attack on the US but it is being cynically used by Obama to further whip up the now normalised scapegoating and Nazi warmongering atmosphere needed to launch World War Three – and further confirms the EPSR’s correct assertion that Obama’s election has done nothing to change the fascist nature of US imperialism.

On the back of this bomb attempt, Yemen was put explicitly in the firing line for the first time, although CIA and special forces operations and air attacks against supposed al-Qaida bases had been stepping up for months, including a cruise missile attack directly ordered by Obama (who has been coordinating Yemeni operations since he took office in January), as the US ABC News reported on 18th December, a week before Detroit, butchering scores of villagers in the process:

Barack Obama’s steely vow to hunt down all those responsible for the attempted bombing of an American airliner on Christmas Day has left a crucial question unanswered: whether it was his personal order to US military forces to attack two suspected al-Qaida bases in Yemen with cruise missiles on 17 December that triggered a “revenge” terrorist operation against the Northwest Airlines plane one week later.

According to a report aired on 18 December by the American ABC News network and not denied by the White House, US and Yemeni government forces jointly targeted al-Qaida training camps in the Arhab district, 60km north-east of the capital, Sana’a on 17 December. Another alleged camp in the village of al-Maajala, in Abyan, 480km south-east of Sana’a, was also hit after US officials determined “an imminent attack against a US asset was being planned” there.

Both targets were bombed repeatedly from the air by Yemeni air force planes. Subsequent official estimates said about 35 militants were killed. But Yemeni opposition spokesmen said a total of between 60 and 120 people had died during bombardments of the two targets and a third location. They said many of those killed were civilians, including women and children. They denied the villages contained al-Qaida camps.

Television pictures broadcast from Yemen by the Arab news channel al-Jazeera on 18 December showed dozens of bodies covered in sheets.

Citing unidentified administration sources, ABC News reporter Brian Ross said the US military fired two cruise missiles during the attacks, one at each alleged camp, after Obama personally gave the go-ahead. “White House officials tell ABC News the orders for the US military to attack the suspected al-Qaida sites in Yemen on Thursday came directly from the Oval Office,” Ross reported.

American officials have neither confirmed nor denied a US role in the air strikes, while the Yemeni government has insisted only its own forces were involved. “We are not going to get into any details at this point,” one US official said. The official added that Yemen and the US “co-operate closely on counter-terrorism”.

But White House officials could confirm that Obama telephoned Yemen’s, Ali Abdallah Salih, after the raids to “congratulate” him on his efforts to combat al-Qaida.


The US military’s support for the Yemeni operations marks a significant escalation in US involvement there and may presage a deepening intervention in coming months as Obama follows up on his vow to track down the would-be bombers. Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, Senator Joe Lieberman called for immediate, extended “pre-emptive” military action in Yemen to counter the terror threat.

Obama has taken a close interest in combating the al-Qaida build-up in Yemen since taking office in January. He sent his senior counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, to Sana’a in September and issued a statement proclaiming Yemen’s security to be “vital” to the US national security interest.

Last month Yemen announced it had signed a military co-operation pact with the US, although Washington was unforthcoming about the details. Yemen’s official Saba news agency said the co-operation agreement was signed during talks in Sana’a between the two countries’ militaries.

Now, having taken the plunge, Obama faces the prospect of the opening up of another front in the “war on terror” as jihadis displaced by US military action in Afghanistan and Pakistan make the trek south – and attempt to turn the Arabian peninsula into a new launch-pad for attacks against the west.

In his statement on the Detroit incident, Obama echoed Bush’s Nazi determination to “pre-emptively strike at any who dare to catch up with USA weapons superiority” with his threat to “continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and to defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia; or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the US homeland.”

This could perhaps explain Brown’s panicky attempts to show that he is “tough on terrorism” with his announcement of a London emergency international summit on Yemen; the spats with the US over whether or not Britain passed on intelligence about the bomb plotter; and the desperation to show that Abdulmutallab was “radicalised” in Yemen not London.

It could also partly explain why British imperialism insists on tying itself to the coat-tails of the US when the rest of the world knows that US imperialism is on its way out.

One legacy of Britain’s former colonial dominance is that it became a magnet for immigration from throughout its former Empire by people opportunistically looking for a “better life” or fleeing famine and war, and strong bonds remain with their countries of origin. Imperialist aggression against Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, for example, in the midst of the greatest capitalist crisis in world history, cannot avoid teaching revolutionary lessons to their former nationals and descendants now living in the UK.

Planning in Britain for attacks against US interests is inevitable, putting Britain potentially in the firing line as a future scapegoating target.

This is speculation, of course, but the certainty is that the end-point of US imperialism’s escalating fascist aggressiveness is world war to “solve” imperialism’s incurable “overproduction” crisis and its final targets are its monopoly-imperialist rivals, including Japan, France, Germany and Britain. It needs to get to that level of warmongering somehow and Obama’s threat is terrifyingly real.

The US is the most hated imperial power in world history and “terror plots” against its interests will only grow as the list of frontline states expands and capitalism’s crisis intensifies, but every action US imperialism takes to stay in control results in a thousand reactions that only deepen its irresolvable contradictions, as it is discovering in Yemen.

The Yemeni stooge president, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s tenuous hold on Yemen is in danger of falling apart. He is facing revolt on two fronts, the intensifying Houthi rebellion in the north that began in 2004 and a secessionist armed campaign in the south, with a growing Al Qaida influence on both those struggles.

These rebellions show every sign of transforming into a generalised anti-imperialist struggle across the Horn of Africa as integration and co-ordination with the guerrilla fighters in war-ravaged Somalia, in particular, grows:

The Horn of Africa retains the potential to be one of the continent’s most explosive regions, having suffered some of Africa’s longest and most bitter conflicts during the past century. “The problem with this region as a whole,” says Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, “is that you cannot talk about Ethiopia without talking about Eritrea and Somalia. You can’t talk about Sudan without mentioning Egypt.” Dowden is convinced too that a failure to understand the nature of the relationships between the various neighbours by other countries – not least the US and Britain – has contributed to the difficulties in the area. With Yemen, just across the Gulf of Aden, added to the mix, the area’s multi-layered security, economic and political problems appear so interconnected at so many levels as to seem irresolvable at a local one alone.

This region has left its mark on the international consciousness over the past two decades for all the wrong reasons: war, famine and massive displacement of civilian populations.

The most potent images, inevitably, are of disasters that struck westerners rather than the local populations: the Battle of Mogadishu that saw dead US servicemen dragged through the city’s streets; the 2000 attack on the USS Cole by al-Qaida in the Yemeni port of Aden that killed 17 American sailors, and the kidnapping of western ships and tourists by pirates off Somalia’s coast. Then there are the connections to the failed Christmas Day plane-bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is believed to have received training and instruction from al-Qaida in Yemen.

The profundity of the region’s problems has seen it defined as one of the two anchors of the so-called “arc of crisis” – the locus of religious, economic and political faultlines which extends in a broad sweep through the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, terminating in India.

.........The most dangerous situation for now is in Somalia, where relative stability is confined to the autonomous Puntland and Somaliland regions. There, the feeble stop-start peace process of the past decade which created a Transitional National Government – torpedoed by Ethiopian interference – and then the present Transitional Federal Government, installed by force with the help of the same state, has hardly solved the country’s problems; in fact it appears to have exacerbated them.

The involvement of the US in approving Ethiopia’s disastrous intervention encouraged the rise of the brutal al-Shabaab militia, which has been backed by Ethiopia’s enemy Eritrea, and armed with weapons smuggled from Yemen. It is precisely this competition between Ethiopia and Eritrea that has been one of the most dangerous conflict accelerators in the Horn in the past five years. While the political elites on both sides were once allies in the battle against Ethiopia’s Marxist regime of president Mengistu Haile Mariam – who was toppled in 1991 – the “civil divorce” that subsequently permitted Eritrea’s secession turned into conflict over a border dispute in 1998.

........Meanwhile in Yemen, a slow disintegration is taking place of a government faced with insurgencies in the north and south – the latter associated by the government with al-Qaida.

Dowden is worried that the same tactics employed in the past by the west – largely without success – are now being used again without thought for the lessons of history. “I believe that grave mistakes are being repeated right now,” he said. On the question of Ethiopia and Somalia, he believes the west’s tacit approval of Ethiopia’s intervention to counter the rise of the Islamic Courts Union – one of whose militias was al-Shabaab – failed to appreciate the enmity between Somalians and Ethiopians. “It showed an unbelievable lack of knowledge when all anyone had to do was ask the question: how will the neighbours feel?”

The answer to that question has had baleful consequences for Yemen and Somalia. Abdul Ghani al-Aryani, an independent political analyst based in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, is increasingly fearful that the Yemeni state may struggle to survive. “Thousands of Somali refugees have been arriving on Yemen’s coastline,” he said. “It is open to them. No one knows how many are associated with al-Shabaab and al-Qaida, but there is evidence that some of them are. We know too that fighters who were with al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan have returned in recent months to both Somalia and Yemen.”

If there are, as al-Aryani suspects, links between al-Qaida groups and proxies in the two countries, he contends that the mutual destabilisation has been driven in recent years by the Yemeni government – not least from the involvement of powerful figures in the arms trade. The same weapons, it would now appear, that are coming back into Yemen to supply a separatist Shia conflict in the north and a second insurgency tied to al-Qaida-linked tribal leaders in the south. Echoing Dowden’s concerns, al-Aryani is concerned that in a country with strong anti-western feelings, unpopular outside intervention, including US involvement in an airstrike before Christmas, can only inflame the problems.

This is a disaster for US imperialism. Any move they make has the effect of hitting a wasps’ nest with a stick, as another commentator graphically described it.

Such are the revolutionary pressures within the region that not only Saleh, whose regime has helped to arm the Somali anti-imperialist insurgency in the first place, but more importantly the Saudi feudal monarchy (the US’s most reliable allies), have long had to play their disgusting stooge roles whilst at the same time making increasingly anti-imperialist postures in order to cling on to power.

To be seen to be propping up the Saleh regime, now completely discredited by vote rigging, corruption, political repression and near economic bankruptcy, would potentially speed up its collapse.

The war in the north is already having a destabilising effect on the US’s most reliable stooges, the Saudi feudal monarchy. Its joint village bombing operations with the Yemeni stooges - over a thousand bombs dropped already, including the reported use of flesh-eating white phosphorous bombs - is backfiring with 73 Saudi casualties and hundreds injured so far, heavy losses for the Yemeni counter-revolutionary forces, and the conflict spilling over into villages in Saudi’s borderland regions.

The Saudi monsters, whose life of opulence and greed has long been hanging by a thread, threatened by the internal resentment of its backward stunted growth and development (a resentment that spawned the Bin Laden/al Qaida Islamic anti-imperialist phenomenon in the first place), is desperately trying to contain the rebellion and the growing influence of al-Qaida’s anti-Saudi ideology for fear that it could spread into Saudi Arabia and hasten their overthrow, which would have devastating implications for all imperialism:

The wider implications of direct US involvement in these murky regional intrigues are potentially damaging. Jousting with Iran over Yemen will not assist the arguably more important western objective of securing a nuclear deal with Tehran. Similarly, deepening Saudi involvement in a polarising conflict in Yemen may undercut Riyadh’s current efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas and thereby facilitate an Arab-Israeli peace deal – a prime Obama objective. It could also weaken the Saudi regime, by creating a rallying point for internal opposition.

Whatever else is done, it’s important to distinguish between measures that benefit Yemen and those that benefit the regime of its president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The worst of all outcomes would be to be perceived as propping up Saleh at a time when his power is clearly ebbing away. Saleh, who rose through the army, has ruled northern Yemen since 1978 and both parts of the country since unification of north and south in 1990. He is now in his last presidential term and has to step down by 2013, when he will be 71, unless he changes the constitution – a move that is not impossible but in the present circumstances would probably cause uproar.

Saleh may well claim that he is the only person who can save Yemen from the abyss (with international support, of course) but his bluff should be called on that. As Marc Lynch put it in a recent article for Foreign Policy, “The government of Ali Abdullah Saleh is to a great extent the problem, not the solution.”

The Yemeni revolts are further signs that world imperialism is getting more and more bogged down in trying to contain eruptions of rebellion spreading out from the Middle East that are not yet revolutionary, but are becoming increasingly sophisticated and interconnected as the Third World masses are forced, by the devastation effects capitalism’s crisis is already having on their lives and communities, to stand up and fight in a battle for survival and control of the world’s resources (and coming soon to the imperialist heartlands).

The Yemeni crisis, and scores of other crises now unfolding (Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Nigeria, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, Colombia, etc, etc) and soon to unfold, cannot begin to be understood without the ability to put such events within the context of an out-of-time capitalist world order that is facing an imminent collapse into slump and war, and threatened with a growing revolutionary determination to end this rotten system once and for all; a determination which will eventually replace it with a system of rational socialist planning and international co-operation (communism, in other words).

Unfortunately, even if they have vaguest sense of a systemic crisis, the petty-bourgeois minds of the pseudo-Marxists and fake-“lefts” (all varieties) are so in awe of capitalism that they cannot even begin to contemplate its collapse into revolution, and so are unable to give more than the most superficial “explanations” of events such as Yemen, which they treat episodically, as if they take place in a hermetically sealed vacuum.

In a recent issue of Socialist Worker, the Trotskyist SWP showed its complete lack of Leninist understanding by falling for the establishment’s spin and lies that the hyped up illusion of capitalism’s supposed “recovery” from its most devastating crisis ever is something more than just an artificially created temporary phenomena, paid for by insanely printing trillions of dollars of money, and sustained by pushing the burdens of the crisis onto weaker countries, such as Iceland, Ireland and Greece (and Britain next...?) and the entire Third World:

“Some claim the crisis is coming to an end. Major economies such as Germany and France have officially come out of recession, as have Ireland, Sweden and Japan. But governments have “left” recession by imposing drastic cuts on working people.

For workers the crisis continues – and the cuts to jobs, pay and public spending will have a lasting impact for years to come.

And it’s not true that the future looks rosy.”

Capitalism may be able to eke out more time for itself by increasing national debts (though not much longer as sovereign debt defaults and national bankruptcies loom), savagely destroying jobs and social services and ratcheting up taxes, but this can be nothing more than the lull before the storm. The crisis can only be “solved” in capitalism’s favour through full-scale war between imperialist rivals intent on forcing the burdens of the crisis on each other before their own working class rises up in revolution against them.

The SWP deny this perspective.

Leaving the comment that “some claim the crisis is coming to an end” hanging in the air, without any criticism whatsoever, is a subtle way of admitting that they go along with all the spin, lies and trickery. This is underlined by the measured phrases about cuts having a “lasting impact” and the “future not looking rosy”.

The working class faces a few “difficult years” before everything bounces back again is the implication.

This lack of a revolutionary world historical perspective and context means that they are completely flummoxed when it comes to explaining the Yemeni escalation of warmongering. They really cannot even begin to understand why it is happening and so they cling onto bourgeois reportage “journalism” to pretend that they are up to speed with events.

Correctly pointing to the reactionary stooge role Saudi Arabia is playing in the region, the corruption of the Saleh regime, the decades of imperialist interference in Yemen’s development, and the growing list of countries in the frontline is all well and good, but it doesn’t in any way offer an explanation as to why the US needs to step in today, at this moment in time, when it is already bogged down in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; nor does it discuss the potential implications a US intervention would have, apart from a vague and obvious notion of “more deaths, refugees and instability”, and so is of little use when it comes to developing revolutionary understanding.

The truest statement they make is that US imperialism “looks to be in a war without end”, but why? Why? Why???

They are completely clueless, as the following astonishing statement confirms:

“The use of unmanned drones in Pakistan has been a particularly controversial component of the ‘war on terror’.”

What?!! The use of drones to attack villages in Pakistan is “particularly” controversial??

More “controversial” than the cynical “weapons of mass destruction” lying justification to kick the whole thing off in the first place? Or Guantánamo Bay? Or US rendition torture flights to secret prison camps around the world? Or the invasion of Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq? Or the plunging the Islamic Court’s attempts to bring about stability to Somalia, and an end to warlordism, back into a state of war? Or the Abu Ghraib torture and humiliation of Iraqi detainees? Or the attacks on the Al Jazira TV station? Or the Fallujah massacre? Or the Gaza massacre? Or the shelling of Afghan wedding parties? Or... Or... Or...???

Or the pretence that it is all about spreading “freedom and democracy” when, in fact, it has everything to do with US imperialism’s determination to “shock and awe” the entire world into submitting to its Nazi-minded diktat, and to cause as much warmongering destruction of “surplus” labour and resources as possible, as part of the preparations for its World War 3 “solution” to capitalism’s overproduction crisis.

The sheer complacency suggested in that statement beggars belief.

Even a first year GSCE History student, ham-strung by decades of anti-communist distortions, the philistine dumbing down “modularisation” of history into countries and time-periods, and a bourgeois fetishism of “great leaders and events” that avoids looking at the long term material movements of history and the broadest possible contexts that shape peoples lives and the world they live in, at least knows that events have causes and effects that need analysis and evaluation, but even this basic education has passed the SWP by.

Their dry lifeless chronological account of “how imperialism shaped this war torn country” explains nothing of the sort, blithely sweeping through a list of dates and events without in any way demonstrating the relevance they have to today’s events.

They downplay the significance of the victory of the Nasserite bourgeois revolutionary revolt of traders, tribal leaders and officers in North Yemen in 1963 as merely “a coup of nationalist officers”, when it, in actual fact, triggered the eventually victorious armed struggle in the south, as well as guerrilla warfare in parts of neighbouring Oman, and outbreaks of revolt in Saudi Arabia.

The South Yemeni workers and peasants National Liberation Front revolt completely routed the British colonialists’ attempts to create a pliant stooge bourgeois state in 1967 (whose attempts to crush the world-wide national liberation struggles had already seen chemical warfare and the head-hunting decapitations of communist fighters in Malaya; vicious and systematic concentration camp torture and forced labour in Kenya; deliberately provoked communal violence that resulted in the tragic slaughter of 2 million people during the scuttling of the “British Raj” in India, etc); shattering any last vestiges of confidence the British ruling class had in itself as an imperialist power.

Its ideology went beyond Pan-Arab Nasserism, which was itself a major anti-imperialist revolutionary inspiration, whose defeat of Britain’s colonialist invasion of Egypt over the Suez Canal nationalisation in 1956, had brought down in humiliation the Eden government and rang the death-knell for British imperialist dominance and might (transforming it into the eager-to-please poodle to Washington’s imperialism it is today).

It was a victory for communist revolution, comparable to Cuba and Vietnam’s revolutionary triumphs (and not simply “a pro-Soviet republic”, as the anti-communist SWP prefer to describe it); a part of the wave of revolution that emerged out of the experiences of capitalism’s last plunge into depression and world war and the shattering of the old colonial world order, and inspired by the Soviet Union’s revolutionary example.

Yemeni’s communism, built on the industrial proletariat of the port of Aden, eventually wiped out not just British colonial dominance in South Yemen, but also the control of the stooge sultans and Adeni bourgeoisie; embarked on a programme of land reform and nationalisations; gave support to the revolutionary movements on the Arabian peninsula (refusing to recognise the post-colonial British puppet states, and giving military and technical support to Oman’s indigenous Marxist guerrilla movement, as well as to the armed struggle in Palestine, for example); and preceded the triumph of Marxist-Leninism in Barre’s Somalia and Mengistu’s Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa.

Imperialist-funded Saudi’s counter-revolutionary intrigue and warmongering to contain communism was non-stop since the North Yemen nationalist revolution, and intensified to sabotage north-south unity attempts in 1990 when, just 10 weeks after the united Republic of Yemen was formed (as a result of the disastrous demoralising impact the insane liquidation of the Soviet Union had on world communism - but with a strong Marxist contingent, including the vice-president) under the leadership of the current bourgeois nationalist turned stooge, Saleh, denounced the US invasion of Iraq from the UN Security Council.

Imperialism’s response was swift and devastatingly brutal, cutting off vital aid to the amount of $500 million, the expulsion of 22,000 Yemenis from Kuwait and over a million from Saudi Arabia, who lost $7 billion of savings and assets in the process, creating a refugee crisis with catastrophic effects on the Yemeni economy (already under severe strain as Yemen was the only country in the region accepting refugees from imperialism’s anti-communist civil war moves to break up any last vestiges of communist influence on the Horn of Africa following the tragic Soviet liquidation), and no doubt contributing to Yemen’s brutal 1994 civil war that followed the formation of a breakaway state in the south.

Yemen’s development was deliberately sabotaged by imperialism and pushed back towards the Stone Age with a nasty vindictiveness synonymous with the Nazi Zionist strangulation and slow genocide of the Palestinian people.

Is there any surprise that the Yemeni masses are in revolt today!

But imperialism has a problem. The rebellion isn’t simply a revolt of uneducated tribal backwoodsmen. Yemeni anti-imperialism may currently be held back by tribal divisions and a mystical religious ideology, but it has form, and has the potential to hit back at imperialism with a vengeance. And the region’s post-WW2 history shows how quickly revolutionary sentiment can spread.

Capitalism’s plunge into slump and world war will soon force the Yemeni workers and peasants to learn from their past communist experience, as part of an international turn towards Marxist-Leninist revolutionary perspectives to defeat imperialism once and for all.

Phil Waincliffe


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