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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 1386 12th April 2011

Western provocations against Syria to extend the bogus “revolution” in Libya will cause more turmoil and confusion until the world begins to take seriously the need for revolutionary Marxist politics. But the desperate gamble to topple Assad’s feeble anti-imperialism will backfire badly on monopoly capitalism in the medium term as its teaches the Arab World, the Third World and the working class everywhere deeper lessons about its fascist nature, ready to use any pretext to step up the war atmosphere, the only solution capitalism ever had to its ever deepening and intractable historic crisis. Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia and later Saudi all show the ferment is growing that will eventually topple capitalism for good. Build Leninism and a party to do it

The West’s efforts to repeat its bogus Libyan “people’s revolution” in Syria, possibly instigated by Zionism, underlines the fear of the capitalist system at the genuine spontaneous revolutionary ferment in the rest of the Middle East, and bubbling up everywhere in the savagely exploited Third World.

Anti-Western upheavals and rebellious outbursts are coming with ever more frequency and intensity as the economic and historical catastrophe of capitalism relentlessly unravels.

Syria is a desperate measure to try and hold it back by spreading more confusion and counter-revolutionary mayhem.

But the first lesson from Syria may simply be the increasing incapacity of imperialism to get anywhere very far with its “popular” movements and deliberate sabotage and turmoil.

Afghanistan, Iraq and much of the rest of the Middle East have already proved disastrous quagmires, bogging down troops year after year and producing nothing but devastation, corruption, bribery, civilian slaughter and growing hatred of the West (spreading well beyond the borders of the initial struggles) while bleeding Western treasuries white.

Now in Syria, as in Libya, the deliberate provocation of civil war by paid or reactionary-minded petty bourgeois (and after the gung-ho personal visit of former republican presidential candidate and ex-Vietnam “hero” John McCain, does anyone but the most die-hard Trotskyist doubt whose side the “rebels” are on?) may first of all demonstrate nothing but the fragmentation and inability of capitalism to stamp its will on anything any more.

The indisciplined mass of middle class reactionaries in Libya have been able to do little more than rush around shooting off expensive ammunition into empty space for the Western journalists, the only damage inflicted on Gaddafi being from the overwhelming might of Europe and America’s air power together, and then only when it can be done remotely, from B52s 15,000m up in the sky or the robot drones now being sent there.

Some fight and some heroes when it is a combined population of 500 million against 5 million and still waged only by proxy and remote games console!!!

Some “revolutionary democratic” ideology that does not have the slightest intention or will to organise anything disciplined or make any real sacrifices.

Even the apparently easy 100 to 1 NATO exercise is hamstrung by dissension, uncertainty and disagreements among the major powers, all preoccupied with the desperate problems of the crisis itself and the massive cutthroat currency and trade war tensions which are driving everything towards all-out warfare and destruction , just as twice in the twentieth century.

Bringing down the Syrian Ba’athists could have all sorts of devastating consequences and all the more so when the contradictions of the entire US dominated post-war exploitation order have exploded in the greatest unsolvable world financial crisis in history (and still only just getting under way in its full impact).

Like the Libyans, the Syrian Ba’athist regime is not liked by the West, among other things because of its support for militant anti-Zionism and particularly the Lebanese Hizbullah, and, via them, the Palestinian struggle.

But it has been tolerated off and on, despite the West’s irritation, because its brand of bourgeois nationalism could usually be relied on not to make too much noise at critical moments, possibly with some financial inducements such as when the Iraq war(s) were launched by Washington.

It remains largely quiescent on the world stage, making no efforts to take any leadership even in the Arab world, or expose the rotten corruption and degeneracy of the backward and feudal oil sheikdoms.

Least of all is it a leadership speaking out for the working class and its needs, either in Syria or internationally.

So, better that than a more radical, fundamentalist or even eventually revolutionary communist movement has obviously been the thinking in imperialist circles.

Why stir up a hornets’ nest for no good reason?

Why risk destabilising the ring of petty bourgeois Arab opportunist acquiescence around the Zionist monstrosity and its constant smiting on behalf of imperialism?

But any such subtlety goes out of the window when the times get tough, and an atmosphere of panic sets in.

Opportunist imperialism is desperate to stamp on the rising Arab revolutionary consciousness before it really catches fire and joins in with the already near uncontrollable anti-imperialist and anti-occupation struggles which Washington’s “shock and awe” Middle Eastern rampaging has caused from Afghanistan and Iraq to Somalia and Pakistan, and with the long and slowly developing Persian revolution in the middle (which had its own spontaneous revolt in 1979, overturning the Shah, and failing to resolve in a communist conclusion only because of the appalling philosophical vacuum left by Moscow revisionism, already heading for total liquidation at the time. It remains a pending question).

Worse still, the mixture of sophisticated and worldly wise ideologies and social elements, especially in nationalist Egypt, to some extent Syria, certainly in once-highly advanced Iraq and perhaps former revolutionary Algeria and Tunisia, could begin produce such a ferment of ideas and discussion as things loosen up, that thousands or even millions of minds will start to think about the real difficulties facing mankind, all generated by the long rotten capitalist order itself.

It is fertile ground for the regeneration of revolutionary communist understanding and struggle, and eventually the crucial Leninist science that is vital for the ending of the long period of class rule in history and the development that will enable of planned socialism and rational development in peace and cooperation of mankind.

Imperialism is likely to lose far more in the medium term with its grotesque and obvious provocations than it gains for the moment in promoting yet more confusion and mayhem and terror-bombing (to try and hold back the Egyptians, Tunisians, Bahrainis and Saudis, etc) because it will teach even bigger lessons to the world’s masses about the duplicity and manipulation of capitalist “freedom”, about the fraud of its lying propaganda and about the ineffectuality, stupidity and treachery of fake-”leftism” which falls for its tricks.

Neither the fatuous continuation of the “peace struggle” line of the revisionists, (including the “hardest” of the Stalinists), nor the foul collusion of the Trots falling over themselves to spread the poison against Gaddafi, Syria etc and thereby feeding imperialism’s war plans, is going to change anything.

Far from it, they hamper, hold back and distort the struggle with their opportunism and failure to expose the fascist Goebbels nature of capitalism in crisis (which finally, to his credit, Cuba’s great revolutionary Fidel Castro has done, despite his own long-running revisionist failings).

Some fake-“lefts” like the SWP are still calling for the arming of the Libyan counter-revolution (!!!) and others are indiscriminately supporting the erratic and individualist Gaddafi (and therefore confusing workers who should be warned that his bizarre Green Book philosophy is not the answer for the working class).

But none are focusing on and denouncing imperialism and calling for its defeat, the only clear policy for Marxism to pursue.

A first step is to constantly expose the crudity of the Libyan bogus “revolution”, which has been underlined even further in recent weeks as the most reactionary elements on the planet have lined up to try and keep the failing momentum of this artificial stunt going, from David Cameron and the detestable little French gauleiter Nicolas Sarkozy to the former republican presidential candidate and arch reactionary John McCain, flying in especially to Benghazi to give a personal morale boost to the rag-tag collection of petty bourgeois little Nazis and vengeful monarchists who make up the alleged rebellion.

And it is further confirmed by the gross hypocrisy of the entire capitalist establishment political circus and its intelligence agency-fed Western media which ignores completely the major demonstrations continuing non-stop in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, while pouring out the filth about Syria and Libya.

For form’s sake (to keep up the pretence of an “objective” news coverage), or when events are so grotesquely brutal and violent in these places that it is impossible to bury them completely (throwing demonstrators out of hospitals etc), the newspapers and “senior” TV and radio news programmes make some reports from Bahrain, and the petty bourgeois “human rights” and “charity” organisations a few protests about Saudi Arabia or the other feudal sheikhdoms and corrupt monarchist client states which service imperialism’s resources and strategic needs in the region.

There might even be a murmured imprecation or two “in the best possible taste” for the pampered and arrogant rulers to relax their draconian dictatorships a little, or perhaps to try and kill a few less people and torture a little bit less, again for form’s sake.

But as even some Tory commentators or intellectual are observing with disquiet, there is not the slightest chance that any “no fly zones” or sanctions, let alone full scale blitzings, Terminator-style killer-drones arms, supplies and troops (advisers!!!) will be sent in to these critically important stooges.

Just the opposite.

They are sure of protection and support from the West, however barbaric or primitive their semi-slave tribalist and feudal orders.

Cameron was even swearing blind in one interview that “things were changing for the better” in Bahrain for example, even as the Saudi’s bolstered the ruler there with its police and shock troops, rampaging from house to house.

Neither is the gung-ho French President Sarkozy, desperate to make a “Napoleonic” mark on the world (if that is not insulting an on-balance progressive period of history), going to suddenly support these revolutions.

Exactly the opposite, as with the vicious and corrupt stooge Ben Ali’s entourage in Tunisia, his cabinet is more likely to be inviting them to dinner.

It takes a particularly gullible type to swallow the nonsense being poured out to “explain” why Sarkozy has “seen he light” and suddenly supported some of the “democracy movements” in Libya and Syria after French imperialism was trying to bolster up its Tunisian stooge.

But far from the French ruling class having a mystical Pauline conversion to the cause of “democracy” (any more than any of the other major imperialist leaders), the obvious truth staring the world in the face is that the French ruling class knows precisely which side its bread is buttered on.

It is prepared to back the most extreme Goebbels manipulation to achieve its ends, just as it has on the Ivory Coast, where the legitimate and popular president Laurent Gbagbo has been ousted by a carefully set up manipulation of “democracy” and non-stop propaganda by the alleged “international community” (meaning the imperialist ruling classes of different countries and their dutiful “organisations”, which like the UN are largely bribed or bullied into compliance if the careful place-men such as Ban Ki-Moon do not get in first) simply repeating over and over again that “world opinion” (as voiced by the Western media and its CIA, MI6, French intelligence and other feeds) recognised the ex-IMF banker stooge Alassane Outtara as the winner.

It did not take long for this Goebbels pretext to be used to “justify” massive French and African troop onslaughts which have seen hundreds of civilians massacred (and well witnessed this time).

And all done without a single Western politician calling for immediate “war crimes” tribunals and arraignments, or even “international investigations” or “UN commissions”

The hollow joke that Sarkozy (or Cameroon, or Obama) is just “doing what he can” but “you cannot intervene everywhere with limited resources” to try and explain away the obvious pro-imperialist character of these counter-revolutions, loses even the semblance of logic now that there are more calls for intervention and sanctions on Syria, rapidly taken up as a “cause” by the Western onion-tears charade of “humanitarian concern” and all jumping conveniently past the weeks of actual brutality and vicious anti-democratic crackdown in Yemen, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi itself.

The Syrian eruption has all the tailored form of the earlier Libyan provocations where Obama has long since admitted to having authorised hundreds of CIA agents and military secret forces to go after the initial events (and that just officially admitted - there would have been plenty more covert “sleepers” and agents waiting their moment)

And if the CIA is not responsible this time (unlikely), then for sure the hand of the even more ruthless and efficient Israeli Mossad and other subversion agencies are at work, including the setting up some of the initial “shootings” and violent attacks.

The nasty little Nazi petty bourgeois movement in Libya, turned to provocative and deliberate arson and violence from the beginning, and was waving the old colonialist monarchist flag as its symbol and its raison d’être too from the start, giving away exactly its nature except to the opportunist Trots, who were just as willing to swallow the garbage notion that Solidarnosc in Poland was a “rank and file movement” even after IT had started stamping the old imperial eagle of the pre-war fascist general Pilsudski all over its posters and flags, a giveaway of its counter-revolutionary nature that has been endlessly confirmed by the Nazi policies of Poland and the other former Soviet states in Eastern Europe.

For any doubters it has all since been relentlessly emphasised by numerous interviews on Western TV where these Benghazi reactionaries have poured out their bilious hatred of the whole 42 yeas of Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist revolution and his attempted egalitarianism, and against any disciplining of their individualist ambitions to trample over everyone else and “get on in the world”.

Calling on the West to bomb your enemies is not a sign of genuine revolution but, like the “democracy” movement in Tian an Men in 1989, an absolute hallmark of its counter-revolutionary nature.

The Syrian build-up, with exactly the same stampeding Western press campaign, (contrasting strongly with what is not said about the genuine rebellions) would be a giveaway in itself, but is further confirmed by “witnesses” like the one on the BBC on Easter Monday proudly pointing to the state buildings they had attacked and burned down.

The violence is deliberate and calculated.

Both countries are now being synchronised and the fascist Goebbels character of the whole racket has been escalated in the torrent of uncritical repetitions of every outrageous allegation of “massacres” and “civilian slaughter”.

But not without the self-contradictions of the lies occasionally breaking through, as for example when two western photojournalist were killed in the front line fighting at Misrata. One of the eulogies on Radio Four declared “how humane” one of the photographers was because he had “bravely stepped in to stop a suspected Gaddafi supporter from being shot by a rebel”, calming down the situation.

But what are the rebels doing shooting “suspected Gaddafi supporters” in cold blood in the first place????

Their bloody violence and vengeful attacks are the cause of the civil war, to which Gaddafi has simply been responding, not the other way around as the Western Goebbels press constantly dress things up, pretending the Western bombing “saved” Benghazi when there was never was any threat of a “massacre like Srebrenica” as lied, a Goebbels falsification piled on a fabrication in the first place.

Srebrenica was nothing but the result of a straightforward civil war fight, not some cold blooded “massacre” as always repeated by the programmed anti-communist correspondents and for which in more than a decade of occupation by the UN and its forensic investigation teams with free access to the entire countryside, not a scrap of evidence has been found of “8000” killed and hidden in mass graves – only some remains commensurate with what might be expected from some brutal and savage fighting, as happens in nasty civil wars.

The constant drip of media stories of alleged horrifying civilian killing in Misrata now is equally only the result of the successful instigation of a nasty counter-revolutionary rebellion and the legitimate efforts of the country’s state forces to try and quell it which means inevitably fighting.

If there are civilian deaths it is because the “rebels” are doing just what capitalism always alleges against the downtrodden with its black propaganda when they fight back, hiding among civilians.

But watch the capitalist TV reports very carefully and the lurid accounts of “massive casualties” don’t tally with what is shown on film anyway – the most hysterical figures are always from the verbal say-so of “doctors” etc - who are the rebels.

And in Syria the same stream of poisonous allegations has poured out with for example James Naughtie on the Today programme this week actually prefacing a report with the caveat that “as usual none of these reports has been be verified”.

Because they are not verifiable James just as none of the “unconfirmed reports” of “thousands dead” etc which provoked the Libyan civil war have been “verified” or ever will be.

It is suspiciously likely that the Syrian government’s allegations that unknown snipers were responsible for the first killings, stirring up hatreds and ill-feeling are true which have then provoked a state response.

Too much of a “conspiracy theory”??

But exactly this was the case during the 2002 coup attempt against Hugo Chávez in Venezuela for example when bourgeois opposition snipers were found ready to shoot into the crowd supporting Chávez, and has been used over and over by CIA and other agencies.

Far from being deluded, it would be utter naïvety to belittle such possibilities, (or sinister opportunism as in the Zionist “left intellectual” David Aranovich’s recent book mocking “conspiracy”.

There is plenty of testimony about the plotting and subversion of Western capitalism from the 1960s book Inside the Company onwards and plenty from the moment socialism was established in the USSR.

It is the reason the Marxist-Leninist Bolsheviks insisted that the working class would need to establish a dictatorship of the working class, to suppress and hold-down what they knew would be constant counter-revolutionary plotting until capitalism and all its class remnants finally left the world historical stage.

Something more recent is the contemporary account of a Cuban state agent who masqueraded as a disaffected petty bourgeois journalist in Havana to expose US subversion. A sample:

From your experience, what is your opinion of this so-called opposition or internal dissidence?

The counter-revolution has sold its soul to the devil. They are mercenaries, they are not even patriots nor do they have any convictions. They are all about dollars, campaigning and getting money out of it. I’m going to give you an example: Jorge Luis García Pérez (Antúnez), who has become tremendously famous abroad.

He says that he’s going to supposedly organize a counter-revolutionary march anywhere in Cuba and they automatically send him money for that.

From here they report that it was a demonstration of 150 to 200 people - which is untrue because, when they actually do something, it’s just him and another couple of provocateurs - and what does Antúnez do with that money. Lives the good life.

Then there are the cases of Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, who receives money by the cartload - and everyone knows who Martha Beatriz is - of Elizardo Sánchez, Juan Carlos González Leyva - this latter is the secretary of the self-styled Human Rights Rapporteurs Council in Cuba.

González Leyva has taken on this mercenary business as a means of self-enrichment; for example, he’s gotten some of the women he’s had relations with out of the country via the USIS (U.S. Interests Section) Refugee Program. He’s also gotten money out of Miami counter-revolutionary organizations with the story of charging prisoners’ phone cards and then he dips his hand in and steals it.

It is obvious that none of these so-called dissidents have any ethics, the only thing they’re interested in is money. Moreover, a large part of those linked to these groups have even asked for the blockade of our country to be intensified.

Once they even proposed providing me with a blog, told me to call it El Guayacán cubano. They clearly wanted it to be something similar to that of the counter-revolutionary Yoani Sánchez to earn money and live well.

And how was that supposed to function?

They explained, via the blog, they would ask followers for donations and emphasized, ‘We’re going to fix you up with the El Guayacan cubano blog and you ask your supporters for money so that you can live.’

The man who really handles that blog is Enrique Blanco, a counter-revolutionary located in Puerto Rico, from Operación Liborio, a project to finance the so-called opposition from abroad.

He has posted information on the blog as if he were me; simply, if I couldn’t attend a particular activity, in this case almost always related to the damas de bianco, he would communicate directly with them and write a report.

Now that the issue of information has been mentioned, is it difficult to organize an anti-Cuba media campaign?

No, it isn’t difficult. In my case all I had to do was communicate with Radio Martí and they’d immediately call me back. I could invent a piece of news right now and without any confirmation or verification, they’d put it out on air.

A short while back I invented an atmosphere around the trial of a counter-revolutionary. I said that when I left my home and passed by the headquarters of City of Havana Peoples’ Provincial Court, I saw a large deployment of State Security agents and the presence of foreign journalists there as well, although they didn’t see, me...

I “dressed that up” a bit with elements like the Security agents recognized me and bundled me into a car and, under heavy threats, took me to a police unit close by.

When I called Radio Martí the person who took the call clarified to me, ‘When you say that they threatened you, you have to explain what threats they made.’ I replied OK and not to worry and that’s how I put together my news report.

Radio Marti doesn’t confirm anything. The thing is to malign Cuba for any reason. After I transmitted what they suggested that I put it in the news report as well.

In the anti-Cuba media campaigns the script always comes from abroad. A lot of it is based on lies, on writing stories of false arrests, of incidents when there aren’t any, but are manufactured.

Which organizations generally lend themselves to expanding those campaigns abroad?

Without any doubt the Inter-American Press Society (SIP) and Reporters without Borders (RSF). Those two organizations are ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to foment any media campaign against our country.

Meanwhile an attempt at seeing something of the truth in Libya has received the usual cynical sneering by the Western media who prefer the kind of made-up fantasies like the recent allegations of “cluster bombs” being used by Gaddafi on civilians for which not one hard piece of evidence has appeared, even ten days later in the form of casings and manufacturers’ markings etc and which has once more disappeared as a story, the impression having been planted in minds everywhere.

But however much it is derided, the reality will seep through to the masses locally who know full well just what is happening in fact (and who contrary to Western lies, now reappearing all over again in Syria, are not “defecting en masse” but getting on with their lives under Gaddafi):

In other circumstances they could have been a group of British package tourists, clad in identical T-shirts, clambering on and off buses with cameras hanging around their necks.

But Libya has no tourists now, let alone of the package variety. And the 13 Britons who toured the west of the country over eight days, had a self-declared mission: to “find facts” about the situation in Gaddafi-controlled Libya to counter what they described as the manipulation and distortion of the western media.

The group, calling itself British Civilians for Peace in Libya, had found each other through word-of-mouth and the internet. They were, they said, academics, lawyers, a doctor, humanitarian campaigners and “independent journalists”, collectively outraged about the attacks on Libyan government forces by “the biggest military force in the world” - Nato.

For some, it was their first visit to Libya. The delegation’s leader, David Roberts, 55, from Leicester, said he had been several times before. A Dave Roberts, also from Leicester, is quoted in a web report as addressing a youth conference in Tripoli in 1999, ending his speech with a rousing cry of “Long live Muammar Gaddafi.”

At a press conference at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, before the group left for the Tunisian border, Roberts and his colleagues set out their “interim conclusions”.

They had received numerous reports of civilian fatalities caused by Nato bombing, they said, although they presented no evidence. They had uncovered nothing that suggested anti-government protests or dissent, dismissing extensive footage of demonstrators being shot which was obtained and broadcast by the BBC.

They had “witnessed substantial support for the government by broad sections of society”, while admitting that they had been accompanied by government officials in whose presence no opposition-sympathising Libyan can speak openly.

The group had not visited Misrata, the rebel-held enclave under siege by Gaddafi forces, nor had it investigated the issue of detainees. It had not asked to visit any prisons, and had chosen not to examine the case of Iman al-Obeidi, the Libyan woman who claimed she had been raped multiple times by Gaddafi troops.

Most of the delegation’s venom was directed at representatives of the British media sitting before it, who were accused of distortion, manipulation and of “failing in their duty to report the conflict truthfully”.

Members of the delegation queued at the microphone to attack the British media, saying it was partisan towards the Nato military action. “Some of the reports from Benghazi and Misrata are totally one-sided,” said one. “There is a very high degree of distortion,” an Italian film-maker who accompanied the delegation said.

They expressed sympathy for the Libyan regime’s restrictions placed on foreign media, which is not allowed to leave the Rixos without a government official and whose movements, even with minders, are highly circumscribed.

“One of the reasons you are being locked up is because your independence is being questioned,” Roberts said.

“It’s an obvious point - the [Libyan] government feels it is in a war situation, and feels the western press is facilitating this,” said another, implying that the media might call in co-ordinates for airstrikes to Nato.

“There are media who identify with this crime [Nato bombing],” said one. They said there was “a groundswell of anger against the western media” among Libyans – sentiments not witnessed by the media corps itself.

The press conference became heated as members of the group wrestled the microphone from their colleagues. Eventually the group departed, copies of the conclusions of their “fact-finding mission” tucked under arms and in briefcases.

Dave Roberts quoted here, is a one time supporter of the EPSR paper but withdrew a long time ago, particularly over differences on questions such as Libya, failing to see the importance of Marxist clarity and understanding for the working class (around figures like Gaddafi for example, and the importance of being able to argue such understanding freely.

The EPSR was eventually prevented from remaining in the Socialist Labour Party by the bureaucratic censorship of its Marxist argument by the re-emergence of the old style of anti-communist “trade union” opportunism by Scargill’s leadership, despite an initial supposed “break with the Labour Movement” when the SLP was first formed, condensing from assorted disillusioned and footloose “lefts”.

The importance of a revolutionary perspective is even more important now, in order to clarify the working class about what is happening in the Middle East and in the unrolling slump disaster that capitalism is driven by.

Supporting Gaddafi is supporting confusion when what is urgently required is Marxist-Leninist revolutionary perspectives.

The problem in the world is capitalist imperialism now driving relentlessly towards war because of its complete historical bankruptcy, brought fully to the surface in the great crash of 2008 which finally exposed the actually long-running crisis disaster which has been eating the centre out of the production for profit system for decades.

It has embarked on a course of escalating warmongering, led by dominant and powerful US imperialism to both suppress growing world discontent at an endless future of grinding and tyrannically imposed exploitation (to feed the tiny minority of insanely wealthy, wasteful and pointless human beings that parasite on the labour and resources of the vast and overwhelming majority (including most workers in even the “rich countries”.

And this path is one of total Nazism (as Castro now belatedly recognises) to distract the world from the great disaster of capitalist collapse, and ultimately to “solve” that problem by destroying as much world productive capacity as possible.

As Marx long ago understood, it is the clogging of capitalism with too much production to sell at a profit to the ever more impoverished workers (who have to be ruthlessly exploited to make things while the bosses cream off a huge surplus for themselves), that is eventually an intractable contradiction.

It will and just has implode the entire framework.

So the inherently fascist nature of capitalism is stepped up further and further to deliberately intimidate and push down revolt, while facing down all potential rivals and forcing onto them the necessary destruction that is capitalism’s only means of reviving itself.

Fascist is too strong a term to keep bandying around??? We can’t say it is Nazi yet??

Don’t see any big Nuremberg rallies??

But these were only ever a particular variant of the overall fascist character of every kind of imperialism.

And for proof look no further than the British Empire and its degenerate record:

The full extent of British brutality during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya 50 years ago has begun to emerge through government reports documenting “systematic” torture, starvation and even the burning alive of detainees.

Four elderly Kenyans who claim they were variously whipped, beaten, sexually abused and castrated while detained under colonial rule in the 1950s have brought their claims for compensation to the high court.

The survivors of the emergency regime of detention camps were “screened” – or violently interrogated – in order to extract confessions. One claimant, the court was told, witnessed the clubbing to death of 11 prison inmates. The British governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, was said to have been present at beatings.

The landmark hearing, expected to last several weeks, will highlight atrocities and attitudes that may rewrite the history of British colonial rule in Africa. Boxes of previously undisclosed documents, stored by the Foreign Office, have been unearthed during research into the claims. They record the methods employed to defeat the rebellion and government awareness of abuses.

While not denying that torture took place, the Foreign Office insists that the UK government retains no residual liability, deploying a range of constitutional precedents – including reference to the declaration of martial law in Jamaica in 1860 – to block the survivors’ quest for compensation.

Robert Jay QC, for the Foreign Office, opened the hearing with an application that the claims should be struck out. Jay told a packed courtroom in London that he did not seek to diminish the appalling acts committed in detention camps between 1952 and 1961, but said the claim that the UK was liable for compensation was “built on inference” and ended in a “cul-de-sac”.

The FCO argues that legal responsibility was transferred to the Kenyan republic upon independence in 1963, or else simply ceased to exist.

The test case claimants, Ndiku Mutua, Paulo Nzili, Wambugu Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara, who are in their 70s and 80s, have flown 4,000 miles from their rural homes for the trial. It will also consider whether the claim was brought outside the legal time limit.

The judge, Mr Justice McCombe, heard Mutua and Nzili had been castrated, Nyingi was beaten unconscious at Hola prison in 1959, which 11 men were clubbed to death and Mara had been subjected to appalling sexual abuse.

The statement of claim drawn up by the law firm Leigh Day and Co, which represents the four Kenyans, says that detainees were subjected to “sodomy, the insertion of sand into men’s anuses and the insertion of glass bottles filled with hot liquid into women’s vaginas”. In many cases detainees died.

The claimants’ solicitor, Martyn Day, said earlier that the case was “not about reopening old wounds”. He added: “It is about individuals who are alive and who have endured terrible suffering because of the policies of a previous British government. They are now seeking recognition and redress in the form of a carefully conceived welfare fund. It is incumbent on the government to treat such people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

"MauMau" (Kenyan revolutionary) prisoners held in concetration camp by BritishimperialismBut the extraordinary quantity of Kenyan colonial service documents, removed from Nairobi by British civil servants at independence in 1963 because of their extreme sensitivity, will lead to a re-examination of the period.

Professor David Anderson, of the African Studies Centre at Oxford University, discovered the files that had been lost or concealed. He has examined only a small proportion of the 17,000 pages relating to Kenya. A further 300 boxes of colonial administration files have emerged from the Foreign Office, covering former UK territories around the world.

In a witness statement, Anderson described the contents of the Kenyan files. Forced labour was used in the camps, he said, even though it was known to be illegal under international convention. Breaches of the convention were a daily occurrence and the attorney general, in one extract, noted that “if we are going to sin, we must sin quietly”.

The government in London knew what was going on, Anderson states. “These documents contain discussion of torture and abuse and the legal implications for the British administration in Kenya of the use of coercive force in prisons and detention camps, by so-called ‘screening’ teams, and in other interrogations carried out by all members of the security forces.”

The legal limits of coercive force were debated. “They reveal that changes to legislation, and additions to the emergency powers regulations, were made retrospectively in order to cover practices that were already normal within the camps and detention centres.”

Torture was commonplace. One file, Anderson says, “contains a telegram, from Governor Baring to the secretary of state for the colonies, dated 17 January 1955, detailing ‘brutal allegations’ against eight British district officers regarding the murder of detainees under ‘screening’ (ie interrogation). This includes the burning alive of detainees.”

In another file, a provincial commissioner, CM “Monkey” Johnson, wrote to the attorney-general asking him to extend an amnesty because “each and everyone one of us, from the governor downwards, may be in danger of removal from public service”.

At certain camps, Anderson notes, “specific methods of interrogation were devised, involving the systematic beating and torture of detainees”. In Mwea camp there was starvation of detainees for up to three days, sleep deprivation and regular beatings carried out by British officers.

Altogether 1,090 men were sent to the gallows for Mau Mau crimes. Many protested that their confessions had been extracted under torture.

Among those who were tortured in Kenya was Barack Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama. Having served in the British army in Burma during the second world war, he returned home and was accused of being a Mau Mau fighter.

In his memoir, Dreams From My Father, Obama refers briefly to his grandfather’s imprisonment: “Eventually he received a hearing, and he was found innocent. But he had been in the camp for over six months, and when he returned … he was very thin and dirty. He had difficulty walking, and his head was full of lice.”

In 2008, Sarah Onyango, Hussein Onyango’s third wife, told journalists that “white soldiers” had visited the prison every few days to inflict what was described as “disciplinary action” upon inmates suspected of subversion. “He said they would sometimes squeeze his testicles with parallel metallic rods,” she said. “They also pierced his nails and buttocks with a sharp pin, with his hands and legs tied together with his head facing down.” Onyango is said to have been left permanently scarred. He was also bitterly anti-British.

The current court case was already underway by the time Obama was elected president. Inside the Oval Office, his predecessor had given pride of place to a loan from the British government, a bronze bust of Winston Churchill, who had been prime minister when the state of emergency was declared in Kenya and when Obama’s grandfather had been detained and tortured. Although the White House would deny there was any connection, one of the newly-elected President’s first acts was to order that the bust be packed up and sent back.

Where are the demands for “war crimes” tribunals etc etc against these perpetrators, and any surviving colonial administrators, military and so forth?

And this was no exception but the very core of British colonial rule, and even more its post-war suppression of the anti-imperialism rising everywhere, inspired by the giant victories of the Soviet Red Army over Nazi Germany ?

Greece, Malaysia, India, Burma and more are a complete parallel with this brutality which has been monstrously covered up for decades.

So too have the killings and death squad suppression of the Irish struggle in the occupied “Northern Ireland” whose revolutionary nationalist movement alone pushed back this foul festering fascist supremacy, forcing out slowly the admissions of British brutality and massacre. After the symbolically important Bloody Sunday inquiry comes a further tickle of revelations:

Majella O’Hare was 12 years old. It was a bright summer’s day in 1976 and the schoolgirl had just walked past an army checkpoint on the way to church. Moments later, she lay dying on a country road in County Armagh, shot in the back by a paratrooper.

Now, almost 35 years after the infamous killing, an unprecedented apology from the Ministry of Defence will be handed over to her elderly mother at a ceremony in Belfast.

The letter, signed by the defence secretary, Liam Fox, belatedly corrects the army’s account of the incident and acknowledges that the soldier’s subsequent courtroom explanation was “unlikely”.

British Irish Rights Watch, a civil liberties group that has campaigned for decades for a formal apology, welcomed the statement and hoped that it would open the way for a more conciliatory approach by military officials.

The only other occasion an apology has been offered for the army’s behaviour during Northern Ireland’s Troubles – albeit in more general terms – was after publication of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry last summer. Then, David Cameron described the Parachute Regiment’s actions in Derry as “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

The death of Majella O’Hare followed a spate of sectarian murders in south Armagh. It was 14 August 1976 and she had set off for confession with some school friends.

“They came upon an army patrol,” her brother Michael, now 62, told the Guardian. “She had walked on about 20 or 30 yards when [shots] rang out from a general purpose machine gun. Three shells were found on the ground. Two bullets hit her in the back.

“The soldier [Private Michael Williams] was carrying the weapon cocked and ready but he would have had to exert between 10 and 12lb of pressure to fire it.

“My father was the school caretaker and he had been outside cutting the grass and tidying up. He heard shots. There was panic; he know something terrible had happened and ran to the scene.

“The soldiers were giving him abuse, shouting: ‘What do you think you are doing? You’re only the fucking grass-cutter.’ Even after he found her on the road and cradled her in his arms, they were abusive.”

Majella was airlifted to Daisy Hill hospital but died in the military helicopter.

Williams, of the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, claimed he had fired in response to an IRA sniper attack. The RUC investigated and the paratrooper was charged with murder.

By the time of the trial, the charge had been reduced to manslaughter. Lord Justice Maurice Gibson, sitting alone without a jury, accepted there probably had been a gunman who fired simultaneously even though there was no independent evidence of anyone hearing other shots. Gibson, who was killed with his wife by an IRA roadside bomb in 1987, acquitted Williams.

At the end of the trial Mary O’Hare, Majella’s mother, approached Williams. “She asked him ‘why did you do it?’ He looked at her and shrugged his shoulders,” Michael O’Hare recalled.

“Majella was a lovely child, going about her life in childlike ways and not feeling threatened at all. My father was so affected afterwards; he never really recovered from the shock and died in 1992.”

An inquiry by the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Historical Enquiries Team (HET), which re-investigated the case, found there was no evidence to suggest there had ever been an IRA gunman. The HET’s director, Dave Cox, last summer called on the army to apologise for killing Majella.

The letter says: “I apologise for Majella’s death and offer you my heartfelt sympathy. Although many years have passed, I have no doubt that your grief and that of your family has not diminished … both the initial investigation by the RUC and the more recent review have concluded that it was unlikely that there was a gunman in the area when the soldier involved opened fire and struck Majella, as he claimed.

“The soldier’s actions resulted in the loss of a young and innocent life, causing sorrow and anguish for those who knew and loved Majella.

“On behalf of the army and the government, I am profoundly sorry that this tragic incident should have happened.”

Mary O’Hare is now 88. She will be handed the letter by the Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Paterson, in Belfast.

“It’s good to get this apology,” Michael O’Hare said. “It’s not going to bring Majella back but at least it will set the record straight for history. When you send trained killers out to use firearms in a warzone, you can never feel safe.

“I would like to meet Michael Williams and see if there’s genuine regret about what happened. Closure will never be there but [there is] compassion and a sense of comfort that we have been denied for 35 years.”

Jane Winter, director of British Irish Rights Watch who has followed the case for many years, said: “This is a full-blown apology from the MoD and on behalf of the nation.

“It’s incredible that it’s taken so long. HET investigators tried to talk to Private Williams but got no further than his lawyers. They said he was contrite about what happened but would never [be able to give evidence] in the state he was now in.

“I have never seen a letter like this. We have tried to get apologies before. I hope this sets a precedent for other families.”

The Historical Enquiries Team, whose re-investigation led to the apology, has so far examined 1,400 deaths that occurred during the Troubles. It has provided fresh insights for many of the families of the bereaved, including those of soldiers who were killed on tours of duty in Northern Ireland.

The EPSR has been riven open and split by petty bourgeois hostility which has made the question of “fascism” one of its key arguments, declaring that the use of the term Nazi or fascist is “premature” in complete denial of the understanding that the group has developed in thirty years of struggle.

Hungarian counter-revoluton lynching civilians suspected of "communism"But the reality of the world is that capitalism and fascism are essentially interchangeable terms as any of the oppressed masses on the hard end of imperialist exploitation tyranny can confirm daily, and have been able to confirm for two centuries.

To assert that “fascism” is something separate and different to be fought against, and “until that day comes” life will go on is to utterly disarm and fool the working class.

The slide into more and more desperate chauvinism and warmongering now becoming clear again may make the nature of capitalist dictatorship rule more obvious but it is no different to what it has always been; the illusions of bourgeois “democracy” are not and never have been anything but a huge fraud (with some bribery to go with it) to head the working class away from the only possible answer there can be – revolution.

And the horrors being admitted or exposed by world struggle will continue until that revolution completely overturns this system.

US torture and atrocities in VietnemAnd it goes on.

The play-acting “disgust” of Obama with the bust of Winston Churchill is only the latest piece of dissembling trickery.

Not surprisingly the other great thread of the dissenters in the south-west against the EPSR was the argument that the Obama election was “a step forwards” for the working class, against the central paper’s arguments that Obama-ism was just the latest and most slippery use of “political correctness” and single issue politics by the ruling class to fool and take-in yet again the working class, pretending every thing will be different now that finally a black man is in the White House.

It is a monstrous nonsense; Obama is product of machine capitalist politics and perhaps the most slippery and lying trickery yet, taking advantage of the long civil rights movement and the battle against sexual inequality to “spin” out the threadbare illusions in voting yet further, and more importantly head off once more revolutionary politics.

The fake-“left” posturing around single issues like black nationalism, feminism and “gay rights” – always hostile to the focus on capitalist crisis and the need for revolution as the only possible way to solve all such problems – has a lot to answer for.

Obama has stepped up the warmongering everywhere, the sinister use of drones, the US troop numbers. Under his “watch” comes the latest atrocities in Afghanistan as yet more children are slaughtered, civilians killed and this as set out by Afghan woman MP Malalai Joya:

The disgusting and heartbreaking photos published last week in the German media, and more recently in Rolling Stone magazine, are finally bringing the grisly truth about the war in Afghanistan to a wider public. All the PR about this war being about democracy and human rights melts into thin air with the pictures of US soldiers posing with the dead and mutilated bodies of innocent Afghan civilians.

I must report that Afghans do not believe this to be a story of a few rogue soldiers. We believe that the brutal actions of these “kill teams” reveal the aggression and racism which is part and parcel of the entire military occupation. While these photos are new, the murder of innocents is not. Such crimes have sparked many protests in Afghanistan and have sharply raised anti-American sentiment among ordinary Afghans.

I am not surprised that the mainstream media in the US has been reluctant to publish these images of the soldiers who made sport out of murdering Afghans. General Petraeus, now in charge of the American-led occupation, is said to place great importance on the “information war” for public opinion – and there is a concerted effort to keep the reality of Afghanistan out of sight in the US.

Last week my initial application for a US entry visa was turned down, and so my book tour was delayed while supporters demanded my right to enter the country. The American government was pressed to relent and allow my visit to go ahead. Ultimately it too will be unable to block out the truth about the war in Afghanistan.

The “kill team” images will come as a shock to many outside Afghanistan but not to us. We have seen countless incidents of American and Nato forces killing innocent people like birds. For instance, they recently killed nine children in Kunar Province who were collecting firewood. In February this year they killed 65 innocent villagers, most of them women and children. In this case, as in many others, Nato claimed that they had only killed insurgents, even though local authorities acknowledged that the victims were civilians. To prevent the facts coming out they even arrested two journalists from al-Jazeera who attempted to visit and report from the site of the massacre.

Successive US officials have said that they will safeguard civilians and that they will be more careful, but in fact they are only more careful in their efforts to cover up their crimes and suppress reporting of them. The US and Nato, along with the office of the UN’s assistance mission in Afghanistan, usually give statistics about civilian deaths that underestimate the numbers. The reality is that President Obama’s so-called surge has only led to a surge of violence from all sides, and civilian deaths have increased.

The occupying armies have tried to buy off the families of their victims, offering $2,000 for each one killed. Afghans’ lives are cheap for the US and Nato, but no matter how much they offer, we don’t want their blood money.

Once you know all this, and once you have seen the “kill team” photos, you will understand more clearly why Afghans have turned against this occupation. The Karzai regime is more hated than ever: it only rules through intimidation, corruption, and with the help of the occupying armies. Afghans deserve much better than this.

However, this does not mean more Afghans are supporting the reactionary so-called resistance of the Taliban. Instead we are seeing the growth, under very difficult conditions, of another resistance led by students, women and the ordinary poor people of Afghanistan. They are taking to the streets to protest against the massacre of civilians and to demand an end to the war. Demonstrations like this were recently held in Kabul, Marzar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Farah.

This resistance is inspired by the movements in other countries like Egypt and Tunisia – we want to see “people power” in Afghanistan as well. And we need the support and solidarity of people in the Nato countries.

Many new voices are speaking up against this expensive and hypocritical war in Afghanistan, including soldiers from the Nato armies. When I last visited the UK I had the honour of meeting Joe Glenton, a conscientious objector who spent months in jail for his resistance to the war in Afghanistan. Of his time in prison, Glenton said: “In the current climate I consider it a badge of honour to have served a prison sentence.”

Joya is not arguing revolution either but that is what is needed.

It will develop as the degenerate war destruction and slump of capitalism bites harder and its foul and repellent lies stretch ever thinner.

Even if it succeeds in mobilising “world opinion” against Syria the Western campaign will almost certainly backfire.

The military and industrial resources of particularly Washington’s world dominance are unprecedented in world history and it has a vast capacity to inflict bloody destruction and devastation on the planet.

But how many more wars and interventions can its resources stretch to?

Even Afghanistan and Iraq, running on pointlessly without visible end have produced massive dissatisfaction and exhaustion inside and out of American imperialism, soaking up ever greater financial resources and sapping morale.

The Libyan war - and war it is clearly intended to be - has almost instantly run into at best utter indifference and none of the surge of chauvinist enthusiasm that the Falklands or even the Gulf wars initially produced.

The urgent need now is for some coherent framework of understanding that can quickly orientate and understand the balance of class forces and avoid the masses being caught out or run round in circles by counter-revolution masquerading as “revolt” will become ever more glaring.

Only a objective analysis will do; only a revolutionary perspective which sees the movement and transformation in nature and history will suffice.

Only a revolutionary Leninist movement struggling constantly for the highest level of understanding, is being proven daily to be the only way to grasp the events unfolding in other words.

It will come as the agonising turmoil of capitalism’s drive to war becomes ever more crudely imposed, convincing billions that there is no other way out of disaster except by finishing for good with the outmoded and increasingly destructive direction of human affairs by the greed and self-interest of a tiny minority ruling class.

Only cooperative socialism based on the rational planning of the world economy which is now easily achievable with modern technology, will take mankind out of the slump unemployment, environmental destruction and bitter warmongering now coming.

Build Leninism

Don Hoskins


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro sets out an understanding of the Nazi nature of capitalism as its slump deepens

NATO’s Fascist War

I didn’t have to be a fortune teller to divine what I foresaw with rigorous precision in three Reflections which I published on the CubaDebate website between February 21 and March 3: “nato’s plan is to occupy Libya,” “Cynicism’s danse macabre,” and “nato’s inevitable war.”

Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so supremely shameless immediately following the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an episode that many people have possibly recalled in recent days.

Almost exactly 75 years have passed since then; but nothing that can be compared to the changes that have taken place during 75 centuries or, if you will, in 75 millennia of human life on our planet.

Sometimes it would seem that those of us who serenely express opinions on these subjects are given to exaggeration. I would venture to say that rather, we are naive in supposing that all of us should be aware of the deception or the colossal ignorance into which humanity has been dragged.

In 1936 there was an intense confrontation between two systems and two ideologies approximately equal in terms of their military might.

Then, weapons seemed like toys compared to current ones. Humanity’s survival was guaranteed, in spite of their destructive and locally deadly power. Entire cities, and even nations, could virtually be devastated. But never could human beings, in their totality, be exterminated various times over by the foolish and suicidal power developed by contemporary science and technology.

On the basis of these realities, The news continuously being broadcast on the use of powerful laser guided missiles of total precision; fighter planes flying at twice the speed of sound; powerful explosives releasing depleted uranium cluster bombs, whose effect on inhabitants and their descendants will last indefinitely, is nothing short of contemptible.

At the Geneva meeting Cuba stated its position in relation to Libya’s internal problem. It unhesitatingly defended the idea of a political solution to the conflict in that country, and categorically opposed any foreign military intervention.

In a world where the alliance between the United States and the European developed capitalist powers is constantly appropriating the resources and the fruit of the labor of the peoples, all honest citizens, whatever their position toward their government, would be opposed to foreign military intervention in their homeland.

The most absurd aspect of the current situation is that before initiating the brutal war in North Africa, in another region of the world almost 10,000 kilometers distant, a nuclear accident had taken place at one of the most densely populated points of the planet, after a tsunami provoked by a magnitude 9 earthquake, which has already cost a hard-working country like Japan almost 30,000 deaths. Such an accident could not have taken place 75 years ago.

In Haiti, a poor and underdeveloped country, an earthquake of just 7 degrees on the Richter scale resulted in more than 300,000 deaths, countless injuries and hundreds of thousands affected.

However, the terribly tragic event in Japan was the accident at the hukushima nuclear plant, the consequences of which are still be to be determined.

I will quote just some news agency headlines:

“ansa.-The Fukushima nuclear reactor 1 is emitting potentially lethal doses of radiation, said Gregory Jaczko, chief of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (nrc), the U.S. nuclear agency.”

“efe.-The nuclear threat given the critical situation of a plant in Japan in the wake of the quake has triggered security reviews of atomic plants in the world and has prompted some countries to suspend their plans.”

“Reuters.-Japan’s devastating earthquake and deepening nuclear crisis could result in losses of up to $200 billion for its economy but the global impact remains hard to gauge...”

“efe.-The deterioration of one reactor after another at the Fukushima plant today continued fuelling fears of a nuclear disaster in Japan, without the desperate attempts to control a radioactive leak giving rise to even a glimmer of hope.”

“afp.-Emperor Akihito has expressed concern about the unforeseeable nature of the nuclear crisis which is hitting Japan after the quake and the tsunami which killed thousands of people and left 500,000 homeless. Another earthquake is reported in the region of Tokyo.” ?

There are cables reporting issues of even greater concern. Some mention the presence of toxic levels of radioactive iodine in Tokyo’s water system, at double the tolerable quantity that very young children can consume in the Japanese capital. One of the cables states that bottled water reserves are running out in Tokyo, a city located in a prefecture more than 200 kilometers from Fukushima.

This combination of circumstances is bringing about a dramatic situation for our world.

I can express my points of view about the war on Libya with total freedom.

I do not snare political concepts or those of a religious nature with the leader of that country. I am a Marxist-Leninist and follower of the ideas of Martí, as I have already stated.

I see Libya as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and one sovereign state out of the close to 200 belonging to the United Nations Organization.

Never before was a large or small country, in this case of barely 5 million inhabitants, the victim of such a brutal attack by the air force of a military organization which has at its disposal thousands of fighter planes, more than 100 submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers and sufficient arsenal to destroy the planet countless times over. Our species has never experienced such a situation and nothing like it existed 75 years ago when the Nazi bombers attacked targets in Spain.

Now, however, the discredited and criminal nato is to write a “beautiful” story about its “humanitarian” bombing.

If Gaddafi honors the traditions of his people and decides to fight, as he has promised, until his last breath alongside Libyans who are confronting the worst bombardments that a country has ever suffered, he will sink nato and its criminal plans into the mire of ignominy.

The peoples respect and believe in men and women who know how to fulfill their duty.

More than 50 years ago, when the United States murdered more than 100 Cubans with the sabotage of La Coubré merchant ship, our people proclaimed “Patria o Muerte.” They have fulfilled and have always been prepared to keep their word.

“Whoever attempts to seize Cuba-exclaimed the most glorious combatant in our history [General Antonio Maceo]-will only recover the dust of its land saturated in blood.”

I ask you to excuse the frankness with which I have approached the subject. Fidel Castro Ruz March 28, 2011 8:14 p.m. •



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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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

Depleted uranium nightmare - a deadly reality of Western bomb-run BIG LIE “humanitarian protection” for civilians

URANIUM tipped missiles “fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way... I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.” Marion Falk, chemical physicist (retired), Lawrence Livermore Lab in California.

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US b2s dropped 45 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads.

DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

An impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporizes into three highly toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales.

Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporised, don’t expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.

In the ‘shock and awe’ attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad alone. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than “five hundred thousand tons of ordnance”. All of it DU-tipped.

Al Jazeera reported that invading US forces fired two hundred tons of radioactive material into buildings, homes, streets and gardens of Baghdad. A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor took a Geiger counter to parts of the city that had been subjected to heavy shelling by US troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas. With its population of 26 million, the US dropped a one-ton bomb for every 52 Iraqi citizens or 40 pounds of explosives per person.

William Hague has said that we are in Libya “to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas.” You don’t have to look far for who and what are being ‘protected’.

In that first 24 hours the ‘Allies’ ‘expended’ £100 million on DU-tipped ordnance. The European Union’s arms control report said member states issued licenses in 2009 for the sale of £293.2 million worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya. Britain issued arms firms licenses for the sale of £21.7 million worth of weaponry to Libya and were also paid by Colonel Gadaffi to send the sas to train his 32nd Brigade.

For the next 4.5 billion years, I’ll bet that William Hague will not be holidaying in North Africa.

(Taken from Rebelión)



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