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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 1409 30th July 2012

West's panicked subversion in Syria to provoke civil war and intimidate the genuine Arab Spring revolution in Egypt is increasingly obviously a set up job swallowed only by the fake "left" petty bourgeois gullibility of the Trots. But the Stalinist defencism uncritically "supporting" the bourgeois nationalist Ba'athist regime is little better than the anti-communism of the Trots, feeding just as many reformist illusions and ending up in the same "No to War" social pacifist dead end. None of the fake - "lefts" nor the anarchists and Pan-African conspiracy theorists begins to explain the real issues confronting the working class everywhere of the most gigantic world scale and historically unprecedented catastrophic failure of an entire epoch of class rule, which has reached the end of the road. Leninist revolutionary scientific understanding is now vital

The confusion and opportunism of the fake-"lefts" of all shades is increasingly exposed by the civil war destruction the West has deliberately provoked to try destroy the Assad bourgeois nationalist regime in Syria.

Sour Trotskyist capitulation to the West's Goebbels lies about a Syrian "Arab Spring revolt" – in reality an artificially triggered counter-revolutionary mayhem – is straightforward betrayal, helping bolster this next stage in the West's crisis driven warmongering "solution" to its cataclysmic economic and political Slump meltdown.

But museum-Stalinist revisionism's solidarity and unconditional support for the petty bourgeois nationalism of the Assad Ba'athist regime, (and for Gaddafi's weird anti-Marxist loopiness, and even Saddam Hussein (!) before that) is just as damaging to working class understanding.

Both flavours of pretend "revolutionism" end up in the same camp at the end, advancing a "No to War" line of "opposition" to any NATO invasion, just differing over how it is to be done, and which side should be backed locally.

But such social-pacifism is a total disaster for the working class, rightly detested by Lenin, and repeatedly battled with by the Bolsheviks throughout the years running up to the 1917 Revolution.

All of Lenin's years of struggle to insist that the fraud of reformism should be exposed at every step, and that only revolution can solve the gigantic crisis of capitalism, are jettisoned.

Instead the illusion is fostered that war can be stopped by sufficiently firm "peace struggle", if only sufficiently widespread propaganda is done with enough "moral" conviction.

This notion was the crucial flaw in post-war Third International understanding generated by Stalin's 1952 revisions to Lenin's understanding of imperialism, which declared that monopoly capitalism was essentially defeated by the Second World War and could be contained by socialist countries' growth outpacing it, combined with a vigilant effort to "prevent it going to war".

Combined with the permanent peaceful coexistence policy for the workers states it led to the disastrous abandonment of a revolutionary perspective expressed in the numerous "parliamentary road" strategies of revisionist parties around the world, including the appalling "Peaceful road to socialism" of the British CP, and to the eventual 1989 Gorbachevite liquidation of the Soviet Union itself.

As the EPSR said in a major, and still unanswered polemic in 2003 (EPSR 1190-96) quoting major sections from Lenin, this was a disastrous misreading of a system not only ready to massively expand production but unable to do anything else, heading for even worse collapse than ever into even greater Slump and world war conflict as a result.

Nothing will persuade imperialism not to go to war or can contain the antagonist contradictions that lead there.

It is an overwhelming material reality stoppable only by overturning the contradiction, ie through all-out revolution to end private profit making as the basis of human society and build planned socialism.

No amount of argument from the tiny resources of the "left" (even if it was not saturated in opportunism anyway) will ever be able to counter the overwhelming grip of capitalist ideology anyway.

It will succeed initially in whipping up all sorts of hatreds, national chauvinisms and, in the 21st century, self-righteous lying "human rights" and "humanitarian protection" humbug, to keep war on the boil, exactly as Libya and Syria are proving.

Only events themselves, will force the working class into action through desperation as increasingly seen in Greece, Spain, Egypt, and plenty more to come.

The objective world view of Marxism will then come into its own to correctly articulate the struggle they are in, and all the complexities and balances of the class forces at work (including numerous misleading claims to be "left" – camouflaging reaction) thereby leading it in a completely new revolutionary understanding of what leadership is.

Forging a dialectical scientific world view itself becomes critical in the balance of class forces, inspiring, coordinating, and organising the unity of the greatest force on the planet, the working class.

Conscious understanding become itself an increasingly important material factor at that point.

A key part of that is the grasp that defeat for imperialism – in this case for its trumped up bogus-"revolutions" – and Middle East warmongering around it, is a vital element in opening up the opportunities for the revolutionary class struggle that can eventually finish off the foul degeneracy of the private profit-making system.

Calling for such defeat for the dominant ruling class forces, which are overwhelmingly those of big imperialism and its topdog power, the US Empire, is the only line.

The anarchic pan-africanists meanwhile reflect an even greater confusion by abandoning a class-based analysis altogether in favour of reverse racism, writing-off all the events in the Middle East as one giant white racist conspiracy, a bizarrely convoluted nonsense that attributes almost magical powers to the imperialist ruling class.

It fails to see and has no confidence in the enormous upwellings of the Third World which the monopoly capitalist system has engendered over its long decades of brutal colonialist and neo-colonialist oppression, and which are now hugely accelerated by the crisis to new mass levels, particularly in Egypt. This revolt, in a multitude of forms, however crude or partial and under a variety of sometimes oddball ideologies from barmy religious notions to assorted nationalism is adding to the crisis all the time.

It is the opening phase of the world revolution, however confused and fragmentary.

But along with militant trade union factory takeovers, outright anarchism, various "Occupy" and "Indignacios" protests and outbursts still to come, none of these varieties of "leftism" begins to grasp or comprehend, let alone explain the enormity and epochal scale and extent of the unravelling catastrophic failure, begun in the credit crunch of 2008 and now taking the world into the greatest disaster in 6000 years of civilisation and class society.

Nor does their petty bourgeois class base, in thrall to the ruling class, even allow for such understanding.

Without such a scientific revolutionary perspective, – Marxism-Leninism – to explain the huge context of the historical breakdown in intractable contradiction, of not just 800 years of capitalist dominance, but all past class based society, the Libyan events cannot be understood.

More – this "left" falseness plays right into the hands of imperialism.

Most glaring is the contribution of the assorted Trotskyists, and their wooden-headed "rank-and-file-ism", willing to swallow any cobbled-together "street movement" with a few CIA-supplied "freedom" banners as a genuine "peoples' revolt" giving it a propaganda boost just when the West's Goebbels campaign is faltering badly.

Even with the "anti-NATO invasion" caveat from some of them – (though some of the most deranged even support or imply support for such an attack!), – their continued acceptance of every stunted up and luridly exaggerated Western press lie and innuendo, building a tower of alleged regime "atrocities" on a foundation of unverified, unprovable and never investigated or cross-examined rumour and accusation by nameless "activists", actually aids and supports the Western sabotage and chaos.

Philosophically this pretence of being "against a war by NATO" while supporting some alleged on-the-ground "actual struggle" requires greater contortions than even the gold medal gymnast at London 2012 will achieve.

"Opposing an invasion" is a completely useless gesture if at the same time these Trots "denounce" the Damascus government with the shallow capitalist supplied label of "dictators", unquestioningly regurgitating every trumped-up allegation and unprovable "hundreds of civilians killed" poured out in tide of rumour-as-fact all over the front pages, building up a momentum of hysterical demonisation with such skill it would have sent Goebbels back to junior school.

It is a philosophical fig-leaf to hide their total capitulation in the teeth of the aggressive Western media onslaught loading responsibility all the "atrocities" onto the shoulders of the Damascus government.

They either did not happen, were perpetrated by the rebels themselves or are responses to the mayhem – and crude and heavy handed as that is, it is no more than might be expected once a major civil war has been stirred up.

The artificially provoked revolt in Syria, as with the laughable Libyan pseudo-"uprising" before it, equally generated by Western subversion and violent attacks on police stations and state forces from the very first days, is gullibly declared by the Trots to be a "peoples" cause, despite the evidence that has poured out of the foulest ragtag gangs of sectarian reactionaries, criminals, adventurers and outright provocateurs and agents who have mixed and mingled with stirred up sections of the multi-sect population.

The "protestors" have been violent from the beginning and it is a NATO-CIA lie to continually refer to "peaceful demonstration for democracy".

Media analyses somberly suggesting the situation "could become a civil war" are equally disingenuous, aiming with such comments precisely to provoke such an outcome.

It has been clear from early on that arms and finance have been smuggled across the border to the "Free Syrian Army" (a name reeking with CIA special operations planning – like the "Movement for Democratic Change" in Zimbabwe, the "colour revolutions" etc etc) not to mention numerous special agents.

Does anyone seriously believe that the most aggressive and well organised secret service in the world, Mossad from the fascist Zionists just across the border (and actually still occupying the Golan Heights) is not up to its elbows as well??????

All these forces have been used to play on and ignite the underlying grievances, discontents, hatreds and fears which are imposed and generated constantly throughout all ordinary life everywhere under capitalism (including Ba'athist bourgeois nationalist capitalism), always potentially ready to explode into antagonisms, racism and conflict, and now deliberately inflamed, since the beginning of last year, with mysterious hidden snipers (filmed by the Syrian government but rapidly dismissed and covered-up by a biased Western media), ludicrous hyping up of tiny demonstrations filmed in close-crop and presented as "popular protest" (in stark contrast to the tens of thousands clearly in Tahrir Square and Cairo streets for example or in the Tunisian cities), lurid alleged "atrocities", fascist intimidation of city districts etc etc.

And this hodge-podge, following directly on from the even more obvious reactionariness of the anti-black racism, monarchism, gangsterism and petty bourgeois Nazism of the Libyan "rebellion", breaking down post-"revolution" into squabbling tribalism and local gangsterism, is to be called a "fight for democracy"?????

And anyway what "democracy" has there ever been, or can be under capitalism – which has only ever been the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie hidden behind a slick manipulated parliamentary façade?

It is a completely un-Marxist disarming nonsense in itself to swallow such a notion.

The hypocrisies and false hand-wringing "concern for human rights" and the "rule of law" would be a sick joke at the best times from a system which is built on slavery and genocidal occupation of other people's lands (wiping out or enslaving the Native Americans, the Aborigines, the Maoris, most Tahitans, and tens of millions of Africans, Indians and Chinese) and which in the twentieth century has given the world over 400 coups, assassinations, installed fascist stooges, large-scale massacres and horrifying bloody wars like Vietnam and Korea, killing millions directly and through ghastly chemical and biological war; which has developed, uses, and trains thousands of agents and stooges in, the vilest torture and killing terror techniques and illicit assassinations from the now-renamed but still running School of the Americas in Fort Benning and other CIA and intelligence centres, (and see the latest Kenya Mau-Mau castration and roasting alive (!!) torture trials in the UK as just one example from many of the foul mass brutality and callously inhuman savagery inflicted by British colonialism eg); which has run dozens of 'deniable' mass-murders such as the Indonesian massacre of one millions suspected communists in 1965 or the killing of thousands in El Salvador and even more in Guatemala; which uses 'legal' frame-ups where it will work (Paraguay impeachment of the reformist "left" president most recently eg), and which routinely and regularly blitzes and slaughters the benighted Palestinians victims of the 1947-8 theft of their lands by colonialist Zionism, continues to steal by settlement the tiny fragments some of them have left, and keeps most of them confined under siege in concentration camp conditions in the Gaza strip, subject to constant harrassment, attack and regular pogrom violence.

It is a disgusting pretence underlined even further when it exploits much of the world's 7 billion people into dirt and desperate starvation poverty (annually killing millions more), to maintain its fabulous power, consumerist pointlessness and insane luxury for the tiny minority.

It is even greater humbug when the hollow tin-plate "rebellion" is not-so-secretly armed and financed and trained by the foulest undemocratic feudal tyrannies on earth in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Sheikhdoms and the reactionary NATO-controlled forces in Turkey, most of them still fresh from shooting down and torturing their own "revolts" (always quickly taken off the bourgeois press front pages).

These stooges have been well protected by Western military and political support for decades, and in the case of Egypt, well financed too, unlike either Syria or Libya which are hated for their anti-imperialist stance (erratic and inconsistent as it is).

Things are becoming so blatant that even a few petty bourgeois individuals in the bourgeois press itself have begun to question what is going on with some interesting new exposés – (also quickly "down-paged" naturally) of how the bourgeois media and press machine is supposedly "falling down on objective reporting" or "allowing itself to be misled", (a misleading euphemism itself when what is described is a major campaign of deliberate brainwashing to stampede of public opinion in the "democratic" West behind the warmongering).

Like much Trot-influenced "liberal" bourgeois press reporting, it still begins with the biased assumption that "opposition to Assad" is automatically correct.

Even so, the piece highlights some of the sinister behind-the-scenes connections and manipulation which conjured the whole foul Syrian mess into existence and slightly edited down, is worth recording at length:

This is how it ends: with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed, towns and families destroyed, and President Assad beaten to death in a ditch.

...but there is another...less bloody, but nevertheless important...story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the "experts on Syria", the "democracy activists". The statement makers. The people who "urge" and "warn" and "call for action".

It's a tale about some of the most quoted members of the Syrian opposition and their connection to the Anglo-American opposition creation business. The mainstream news media have, in the main, been remarkably passive when it comes to Syrian sources: billing them simply as "official spokesmen" or "pro-democracy campaigners" without, for the most part, scrutinising their statements, their backgrounds or their political connections.

It's important to stress: to investigate the background of a Syrian spokesperson is not to doubt the sincerity of his or her opposition to Assad. But a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out.

Though it is not yet stated US government policy to oust Assad by force, these spokespeople are vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria and thus natural allies of well-known US neoconservatives who supported Bush's invasion of Iraq and are now pressuring the Obama administration to intervene. As we will see, several of these spokespeople have found support, and in some cases developed long and lucrative relationships with advocates of military intervention on both sides of the Atlantic.'s high time to take a closer look at those who are speaking out on behalf of the Syrian people.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: The justification for the "inevitable" military intervention is the savagery of President Assad's regime: the atrocities, the shelling, the human rights abuses. Information is crucial here, and one source above all has been providing us with data about Syria. It is quoted at every turn: "The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA [Voice of America] that fighting and shelling killed at least 12 people in Homs province."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is commonly used as a standalone source for news and statistics. Just this week, news agency AFP carried this story: "Syrian forces pounded Aleppo and Deir Ezzor provinces as at least 35 people were killed on Sunday across the country, among them 17 civilians, a watchdog reported." Various atrocities and casualty numbers are listed, all from a single source: "Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by phone."

Statistic after horrific statistic pours from "the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" (AP). It's hard to find a news report about Syria that doesn't cite them. But who are they? "They" are Rami Abdulrahman (or Rami Abdel Rahman), who lives in Coventry.

According to a Reuters report in December of last year: "When he isn't fielding calls from international media, Abdulrahman is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife."

When the Guardian's Middle East live blog cited "Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" it also linked to a sceptical article in the Modern Tokyo Times – an article which suggested news outlets could be a bit "more objective about their sources" when quoting "this so-called entity", the SOHR.

That name, the "Syrian Observatory of Human Rights", sound so grand, so unimpeachable, so objective. And yet when Abdulrahman and his "Britain-based NGO" (AFP/NOW Lebanon) are the sole source for so many news stories about such an important subject, it would seem reasonable to submit this body to a little more scrutiny than it's had to date.

The Observatory is by no means the only Syrian news source to be quoted freely with little or no scrutiny …

Hamza Fakher: The relationship between Ausama Monajed, the SNC, the Henry Jackson hawks and an unquestioning media can be seen in the case of Hamza Fakher. On 1 January, Nick Cohen wrote in the Observer: "To grasp the scale of the barbarism, listen to Hamza Fakher, a pro-democracy activist, who is one of the most reliable sources on the crimes the regime's news blackout hides."

He goes on to recount Fakher's horrific tales of torture and mass murder. Fakher tells Cohen of a new hot-plate torture technique that he's heard about: "imagine all the melting flesh reaching the bone before the detainee falls on the plate". The following day, Shamik Das, writing on "evidence-based" progressive blog Left Foot Forward, quotes the same source: "Hamza Fakher, a pro-democracy activist, describes the sickening reality …" – and the account of atrocities given to Cohen is repeated.

So, who exactly is this "pro-democracy activist", Hamza Fakher?

Fakher, it turns out, is the co-author of Revolution in Danger , a "Henry Jackson Society Strategic Briefing", published in February of this year. He co-wrote this briefing paper with the Henry Jackson Society's communications director, Michael Weiss. And when he's not co-writing Henry Jackson Society strategic briefings, Fakher is the communication manager of the London-based Strategic Research and Communication Centre (SRCC). According to their website, "He joined the centre in 2011 and has been in charge of the centre's communication strategy and products."

As you may recall, the SRCC is run by one Ausama Monajed: "Mr Monajed founded the centre in 2010. He is widely quoted and interviewed in international press and media outlets. He previously worked as communication consultant in Europe and the US and formerly served as the director of Barada Television …".

Monajed is Fakher's boss.

[see below on Manajed]

If this wasn't enough, for a final Washington twist, on the board of the Strategic Research and Communication Centre sits Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at the National Defence University in DC – "the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME)" which is "under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff."

If you happen to be planning a trip to Monajed's "Strategic Research and Communication Centre", you'll find it here: Strategic Research & Communication Centre, Office 36, 88-90 Hatton Garden, Holborn, London EC1N 8PN...

And about a hundred other businesses besides. It's a virtual office....

That's the reality of Hamza Fakher. On 27 May, Shamik Das of Left Foot Forward quotes again from Fakher's account of atrocities, which he now describes as an "eyewitness account" (which Cohen never said it was) and which by now has hardened into "the record of the Assad regime".

So, a report of atrocities given by a Henry Jackson Society strategist, who is the communications manager of Mosafed's PR department, has acquired the gravitas of a historical "record".

...And let's not forget, whatever destabilisation has been done in the realm of news and public opinion is being carried out twofold on the ground. We already know that (at the very least) "the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department … are helping the opposition Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria and providing communications training."

...most quoted ...are the official representatives of the Syrian National Council. The SNC is not the only Syrian opposition group – but it is generally recognised as "the main opposition coalition" (BBC). The Washington Times describes it as "an umbrella group of rival factions based outside Syria". Certainly the SNC is the opposition group that's had the closest dealings with western powers – and has called for foreign intervention from the early stages of the uprising. In February of this year, at the opening of the Friends of Syria summit in Tunisia, William Hague declared: "I will meet leaders of the Syrian National Council in a few minutes' time … We, in common with other nations, will now treat them and recognise them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people."

Bassma Kodmani: Kodmani is a member of the executive bureau and head of foreign affairs, Syrian National Council. Kodmani is close to the centre of the SNC power structure, and one of the council's most vocal spokespeople. "No dialogue with the ruling regime is possible. We can only discuss how to move on to a different political system," she declared this week. And here she is, quoted by the newswire AFP: "The next step needs to be a resolution under Chapter VII, which allows for the use of all legitimate means, coercive means, embargo on arms, as well as the use of force to oblige the regime to comply."

This statement translates into the headline "Syrians call for armed peacekeepers" (Australia's Herald Sun). When large-scale international military action is being called for, it seems only reasonable to ask: who exactly is calling for it? We can say, simply, "an official SNC spokesperson," or we can look a little closer.

This year was Kodmani's second Bilderberg (in Chantilly, Virginia.). At the 2008 conference, Kodmani was listed as French; by 2012, her Frenchness had fallen away and she was listed simply as "international".

Back a few years, in 2005, Kodmani was working for the Ford Foundation in Cairo, where she was director of their governance and international co-operation programme. The Ford Foundation is a vast organisation, headquartered in New York, and Kodmani was already fairly senior. But she was about to jump up a league.

Around this time, in February 2005, US-Syrian relations collapsed, and President Bush recalled his ambassador from Damascus. A lot of opposition projects date from this period. "The US money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005," says the Washington Post.

In September 2005, Kodmani was made the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) – a research programme initiated by the powerful US lobby group, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The CFR is an elite US foreign policy thinktank, and the Arab Reform Initiative is described on its website as a "CFR Project" . More specifically, the ARI was initiated by a group within the CFR called the "US/Middle East Project" – a body of senior diplomats, intelligence officers and financiers, the stated aim of which is to undertake regional "policy analysis" in order "to prevent conflict and promote stability". The US/Middle East Project pursues these goals under the guidance of an international board chaired by General (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft.

Brent Scowcroft (chairman emeritus) is a former national security adviser to the US president – he took over the role from Henry Kissinger. Sitting alongside Scowcroft of the international board is his fellow geo-strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who succeeded him as the national security adviser, and Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International. So, as early as 2005, we've got a senior wing of the western intelligence/banking establishment selecting Kodmani to run a Middle East research project. In September of that year, Kodmani was made full-time director of the programme. Earlier in 2005, the CFR assigned "financial oversight" of the project to the Centre for European Reform (CER). In come the British.

The CER is overseen by Lord Kerr, the deputy chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. Kerr is a former head of the diplo#matic service and is a senior adviser at Chatham House (a thinktank showcasing the best brains of the British diplomatic establishment).

In charge of the CER on a day-to-day basis is Charles Grant, former defence editor of the Economist, and these days a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a "pan-European thinktank" packed with diplomats, industrialists, professors and prime ministers. On its list of members you'll find the name: "Bassma Kodmani (France/Syria) – Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative".

Another name on the list: George Soros – the financier whose non-profit "Open Society Foundations" is a primary funding source of the ECFR. At this level, the worlds of banking, diplomacy, industry, intelligence and the various policy institutes and foundations all mesh together, and there, in the middle of it all, is Kodmani.

The point is, Kodmani is not some random "pro-democracy activist" who happens to have found herself in front of a microphone. She has impeccable international diplomacy credentials: she holds the position of research director at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale – "an independent and neutral institution dedicated to promoting modern diplomacy". The Académie is headed by Jean-Claude Cousseran, a former head of the DGSE – the French foreign intelligence service.

A picture is emerging of Kodmani as a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry. Her "province of origin" (according to the SNC website) is Damascus, but she has close and long-standing professional relationships with precisely those powers she's calling upon to intervene in Syria.

And many of her spokesmen colleagues are equally well-connected.

Radwan Ziadeh: Another often quoted SNC representative is Radwan Ziadeh – director of foreign relations at the Syrian National Council. Ziadeh has an impressive CV: he's a senior fellow at the federally funded Washington thinktank, the US Institute of Peace (the USIP Board of Directors is packed with alumni of the defence department and the national security council; its president is Richard Solomon, former adviser to Kissinger at the NSC).

In February this year, Ziadeh joined an elite bunch of Washington hawks to sign a letter calling upon Obama to intervene in Syria: his fellow signatories include James Woolsey (former CIA chief), Karl Rove (Bush Jr's handler), Clifford May (Committee on the Present Danger) and Elizabeth Cheney, former head of the Pentagon's Iran-Syria Operations Group.

Ziadeh is a relentless organiser, a blue-chip Washington insider with links to some of the most powerful establishment thinktanks. Ziadeh's connections extend all the way to London. In 2009 he became a visiting fellow at Chatham House, and in June of last year he featured on the panel at one of their events – "Envisioning Syria's Political Future" – sharing a platform with fellow SNC spokesman Ausama Monajed (more on Monajed below) and SNC member Najib Ghadbian.

Ghadbian was identified by the Wall Street Journal as an early intermediary between the US government and the Syrian opposition in exile: "An initial contact between the White House and NSF [National Salvation Front] was forged by Najib Ghadbian, a University of Arkansas political scientist." This was back in 2005. The watershed year.

These days, Ghadbian is a member of the general secretariat of the SNC, and is on the advisory board of a Washington-based policy body called the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS) – an organisation co-founded by Ziadeh.

Ziadeh has been making connections like this for years. Back in 2008, Ziadeh took part in a meeting of opposition figures in a Washington government building: a mini-conference called "Syria In-Transition". The meeting was co-sponsored by a US-based body called the Democracy Council and a UK-based organisation called the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD). It was a big day for the MJD – their chairman, Anas Al-Abdah, had travelled to Washington from Britain for the event, along with their director of public relations. Here, from the MJD's website, is a description of the day: "The conference saw an exceptional turn out as the allocated hall was packed with guests from the House of Representatives and the Senate, representatives of studies centres, journalists and Syrian expatriats [sic] in the USA."

The day opened with a keynote speech by James Prince, head of the Democracy Council. Ziadeh was on a panel chaired by Joshua Muravchik (the ultra-interventionist author of the 2006 op-ed "Bomb Iran"). The topic of the discussion was "The Emergence of Organized Opposition". Sitting beside Ziadeh on the panel was the public relations director of the MJD – a man who would later become his fellow SNC spokesperson – Ausama Monajed.

Ausama Monajed: Along with Kodmani and Ziadeh, Monajed is one of the most important SNC spokespeople. There are others, of course – the SNC is a big beast and includes the Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition to Assad is wide-ranging, but these are some of the key voices. There are other official spokespeople with long political careers, like George Sabra of the Syrian Democratic People's party – Sabra has suffered arrest and lengthy imprisonment in his fight against the "repressive and totalitarian regime in Syria". And there are other opposition voices outside the SNC, such as the writer Michel Kilo, who speaks eloquently of the violence tearing apart his country: "Syria is being destroyed – street after street, city after city, village after village. What kind of solution is that? In order for a small group of people to remain in power, the whole country is being destroyed."

But there's no doubt that the primary opposition body is the SNC, and Kodmani, Ziadeh and Monajed are often to be found representing it. Monajed frequently crops up as a commentator on TV news channels. Here he is on the BBC, speaking from their Washington bureau. Monajed doesn't sugar-coat his message: "We are watching civilians being slaughtered and kids being slaughtered and killed and women being raped on the TV screens every day."

Meanwhile, over on Al Jazeera, Monajed talks about "what's really happening, in reality, on the ground" – about "the militiamen of Assad" who "come and rape their women, slaughter their children, and kill their elderly".

Monajed turned up, just a few days ago, as a blogger on Huffington Post UK, where he explained, at length: "Why the World Must Intervene in Syria" – calling for "direct military assistance" and "foreign military aid". So, again, a fair question might be: who is this spokesman calling for military intervention?

Monajed is a member of the SNC, adviser to its president, and according to his SNC biography, "the Founder and Director of Barada Television", a pro-opposition satellite channel based in Vauxhall, south London. In 2008, a few months after attending Syria In-Transition conference, Monajed was back in Washington, invited to lunch with George W Bush, along with a handful of other favoured dissidents (you can see Monajed in the souvenir photo, third from the right, in the red tie, near Condoleezza Rice – up the other end from Garry Kasparov).

At this time, in 2008, the US state department knew Monajed as "director of public relations for the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD), which leads the struggle for peaceful and democratic change in Syria".

Let's look closer at the MJD. Last year, the Washington Post picked up a story from WikiLeaks, which had published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables. These cables appear to show a remarkable flow of money from the US state department to the British-based Movement for Justice and Development. According to the Washington Post's report: "Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles. Classified US diplomatic cables show that the state department has funnelled as much as $6m to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria."

...When asked about the state department money, Monajed himself said that he "could not confirm" US state department funding for Barada TV, but said: "I didn't receive a penny myself." Malik al -Abdeh, until very recently Barada TV's editor-in-chief insisted: "we have had no direct dealings with the US state department". The meaning of the sentence turns on that word "direct". It is worth noting that Malik al Abdeh also happens to be one of the founders of the Movement for Justice and Development (the recipient of the state department $6m, according to the leaked cable). And he's the brother of the chairman, Anas Al-Abdah. He's also the co-holder of the MJD trademark: What Malik al Abdeh does admit is that Barada TV gets a large chunk of its funding from an American non-profit organisation: the Democracy Council. One of the co-sponsors (with the MJD) of Syria In-Transition mini-conference. So what we see, in 2008, at the same meeting, are the leaders of precisely those organisations identified in the Wiki:eaks cables as the conduit (the Democracy Council) and recipient (the MJD) of large amounts of state department money.

The Democracy Council (a US-based grant distributor) lists the state department as one of its sources of funding. How it works is this: the Democracy Council serves as a grant-administering intermediary between the state department's "Middle East Partnership Initiative" and "local partners" (such as Barada TV). As the Washington Post reports:

"Several US diplomatic cables from the embassy in Damascus reveal that the Syrian exiles received money from a State Department program called the Middle East Partnership Initiative. According to the cables, the State Department funnelled money to the exile group via the Democracy Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit."

The same report highlights a 2009 cable from the US Embassy in Syria that says that the Democracy Council received $6.3m from the state department to run a Syria-related programme, the "Civil Society Strengthening Initiative". The cable describes this as "a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners" aimed at producing, amongst other things, "various broadcast concepts." According to the Washington Post: "Other cables make clear that one of those concepts was Barada TV."

Until a few months ago, the state department's Middle East Partnership Initiative was overseen by Tamara Cofman Wittes (she's now at the Brookings Institution – an influential Washington thinktank). Of MEPI, she said that it "created a positive 'brand' for US democracy promotion efforts". While working there she declared: "There are a lot of organizations in Syria and other countries that are seeking changes from their government … That's an agenda that we believe in and we're going to support." And by support, she means bankroll.

...This is nothing new. Go back a while to early 2006, and you have the state department announcing a new "funding opportunity" called the "Syria Democracy Program". On offer, grants worth "$5m in Federal Fiscal Year 2006". The aim of the grants? "To accelerate the work of reformers in Syria."

These days, the cash is flowing in faster than ever. At the beginning of June 2012, the Syrian Business Forum was launched in Doha by opposition leaders including Wael Merza (SNC secretary general). "This fund has been established to support all components of the revolution in Syria," said Merza. The size of the fund? Some $300m. It's by no means clear where the money has come from, although Merza "hinted at strong financial support from Gulf Arab states for the new fund" (Al Jazeera). At the launch, Merza said that about $150m had already been spent, in part on the Free Syrian Army.

Merza's group of Syrian businessmen made an appearance at a World Economic Forum conference titled the "Platform for International Co-operation" held in Istanbul in November 2011. All part of the process whereby the SNC has grown in reputation, to become, in the words of William Hague, "a legitimate representative of the Syrian people" – and able, openly, to handle this much funding.

Building legitimacy – of opposition, of representation, of intervention – is the essential propaganda battle.

In a USA Today op-ed written in February this year, Ambassador Dennis Ross declared: "It is time to raise the status of the Syrian National Council". What he wanted, urgently, is "to create an aura of inevitability about the SNC as the alternative to Assad." The aura of inevitability. Winning the battle in advance.

A key combatant in this battle for hearts and minds is the American journalist and Daily Telegraph blogger, Michael Weiss.

One of the most widely quoted western experts on Syria – and an enthusiast for western intervention – Michael Weiss echoes Ambassador Ross when he says: "Military intervention in Syria isn't so much a matter of preference as an inevitability."

Some of Weiss's interventionist writings can be found on a Beirut-based, Washington-friendly website called "NOW Lebanon" – whose "NOW Syria" section is an important source of Syrian updates. NOW Lebanon was set up in 2007 by Saatchi & Saatchi executive Eli Khoury. Khoury has been described by the advertising industry as a "strategic communications specialist, specialising in corporate and government image and brand development".

Weiss told NOW Lebanon, back in May, that thanks to the influx of weapons to Syrian rebels "we've already begun to see some results." He showed a similar approval of military developments a few months earlier, in a piece for the New Republic: "In the past several weeks, the Free Syrian Army and other independent rebel brigades have made great strides" – whereupon, as any blogger might, he laid out his "Blueprint for a Military Intervention in Syria".

But Weiss is not only a blogger. He's also the director of communications and public relations at the Henry Jackson Society, an ultra-ultra-hawkish foreign policy thinktank.

The Henry Jackson Society's international patrons include: James "ex-CIA boss" Woolsey, Michael "homeland security" Chertoff, William "PNAC" Kristol, Robert "PNAC" Kagan', Joshua "Bomb Iran" Muravchick, and Richard "Prince of Darkness" Perle. The Society is run by Alan Mendoza, chief adviser to the all-party parliamentary group on transatlantic and international security.

The Henry Jackson Society is uncompromising in its "forward strategy" towards democracy. And Weiss is in charge of the message. The Henry Jackson Society is proud of its PR chief's far-reaching influence: "He is the author of the influential report "Intervention in Syria? An Assessment of Legality, Logistics and Hazards", which was repurposed and endorsed by the Syrian National Council."

Weiss's original report was re-named "Safe Area for Syria" – and ended up on the official website, as part of their military bureau's strategic literature. The repurposing of the HJS report was undertaken by the founder and executive director of the Strategic Research and Communication Centre (SRCC) – one Ausama Monajed.

So, the founder of Barada TV, Ausama Monajed, edited Weiss's report, published it through his own organisation (the SRCC) and passed it on to the Syrian National Council, with the support of the Henry Jackson Society.

The relationship couldn't be closer. Monajed even ends up handling inquiries for "press interviews with Michael Weiss". Weiss is not the only strategist to have sketched out the roadmap to this war (many thinktanks have thought it out, many hawks have talked it up), but some of the sharpest detailing is his.

And from the comments on the above article:

It's interesting, isn't it - the US has involved itself in the internal affairs of one country after another over the decades. We know the coup in Iran in 1953 was instigated by the US, even the American Enterprise Institute acknowledges the fact; we know the US raised and funded the contra army that overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala in '54; we know the US raised a contra army to attempt an overthrow of Castro, one effort that failed with the Bay of Pigs fiasco; we know the US was involved in the coup that overthrew Allende in Chile in '73; we know the US funded the Contras to commit acts of terrorism in Nicaragua in the eighties, and was actually found guilty in the international court for illegally mining Nicaraguan territorial waters, a blatant act of terrorism. This is far from an exhaustive list. Naturally, at the time of each operation the US denied any involvement, as it denies any covert dealings in Syria now. But the question I have is why do western mainstream journalists, who are well aware of the above record or should be, always consider the notion of US covert operations a 'conspiracy theory' when there is a long, bloody, track record of it? Why do established historical precedents never inform current analysis?

That atrocities and violence rage in all directions is undeniable, but clearly the result of the deliberate instigation of "civil" war by capitalism and the military onslaught against the "rebels" is simply reaping what has been sown.

Of course there is some real conflict mixed in with the provocations.

Of course their open challenge to the existing state has brought an increasingly vigorous if heavy handed response.

Outside manipulations, and press hype, have been used to play on and ignite all the underlying grievances, discontents, hatreds and fears which are imposed and generated constantly throughout all ordinary life everywhere under capitalism (including under Ba'athist bourgeois nationalist capitalism).

The antagonism, envy, and all-round unfairness of capitalist existence, at all levels, is always potentially ready to explode into racism and conflict, and the more so when deliberately inflamed, with mysterious hidden snipers at "peaceful demonstration", ludicrous hyping up of lurid alleged "atrocities", and taken-at-face-value hate tirades by unnamed and unknowable "protesters" (with no attempt to find out ulterior motives, axes to grind etc), always plucking figures virtually out of the air of supposed "civilian deaths" etc.

All the more can such sectarian, local, religious and tribal grievances feed inflammatory cycles of real enough retaliations and recriminations, aided by fascist intimidation of whole districts etc etc (which has been reported here and there but never makes it into the mainstream media, like the incident of a regime supporter being tipped live out of a multi-storey window and vile lynchings, both shown by Russia Today, or the Irish Radio interview with Christian nuns, holed up in terror in one area and threatened with ethnic cleansing violence and intimidation).

Even without such detail any Marxist would be exceptionally cautious about jumping in behind supposed "democratic" movements, when the post war history is littered with either bogus "revolts" and CIA organised "colour revolutions" (see Philip Agee's book on the CIA "Inside the Company" for example for details on how strikes, marches, demonstrations, occupations, student movements etc were either instigated or manipulated in multiple countries from the immediate post-war years onwards).

Every situation, particularly of "national liberation" struggle needs examining in concrete detail, as Lenin constantly underlined and in the full context of the world class struggle around it and the interests it is serving.

Not an glimmer of the Syrian movement ever indicated that there was any kind of socialist or even anti-imperialist content and its timing indicates just the opposite.

Calls for NATO intervention from the rebels, alone would make it clear.

Slap bang next to the real Egyptian revolution, whose sudden eruption pole-axed the US ruling class, and like Libya, coming straight afterwards, it has clearly been caused by the panicked activation of long-term infiltration and plotting, almost certainly prematurely (which is partly why it has gone badly).

But the petty bourgeois activism of the Trots is not concerned with the finer points.

They fall in behind every Western organised and backed stunt from the anti-communist lynchmob revolt against Hungary's workers state in 1956 (armed from Nazi-saturated Western Germany and populated with Catholic clerical reaction and World War Two gone-to-ground fascists) and Czechoslovakia in 1968 to the reactionary, Pilsudski-loving Solidarnosc anti-workers state movement, dressed up as a "trade union", which eventually reinstalled the fascist counter-revolution in Poland.

Lech Walesa rapidly came out as a Pope-kissing reactionary and the re-installed capitalist governments since have renewed savage exploitation, eliminated welfare, slashed living standards and working conditions and joined in imperialist world bullying, volunteering troops for the Afghanistan war slaughter alongside the US, for example, all while fostering some of the most openly fascist-minded political culture in the European Union (alongside the SS loving Baltic States).

The Trots are willingly taken in because of their deep seated petty bourgeois class position, for all its revolutionary pretences, is in practice completely in thrall to capitalist power and soured with anti-communism and hostility to actual working-class rule and discipline in the workers states.

Their shallow denunciation of "totalitarianism" and call for the "fight for democracy" reflects the most philistine individualism, and shallow anti-theory activism, kow-towing to bourgeois ideological pressure and the threadbare notions of "freedom" and bourgeois "democracy".

Its origins lie in raw anti-communist hostility to the workers states and the discipline of the dictatorship of the proletariat which they embodied, and still do in a few remaining examples like Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and China, despite deep revisionist flaws in their leaderships.

Capitulation to imperialist ideology reached a watershed in 2001 with the denunciations of the 9/11 attacks and "condemnation" of terrorism, a sanctimonious hostility to the rising Third World rebellion which helped the Washington war momentum against first Afghanistan and then Iraq and which proved for all time the reactionary nature of these pretend revolutionaries and dilettantes.

The result has been to oil the wheels for the West's setting-up of repeated sabotaging chaos, and vicious killing onslaught after onslaught, from the blitzing of tiny Serbia in 1998 to the foul Nazi-NATO destruction of Libya's forty years of achievements under Gaddafi's bourgeois nationalist anti-monarchist and anti-imperialist revolution, Gaddafi himself grotesquely lynched by a fascistically vengeful and barbaric iron-bar buggery (an international crime cheered on by "Democrat" Hilary Clinton).

It is telling that the (Trot supported) "rebels" in Syria have been threatening the same no-trial war-crime treatment for Assad, with not a murmur from the alleged "rule of law" upholders of the Western capitalist politicians and "statesmen" (or the Labourites and Trots).

But if the revisionists at least avoid being overwhelmed by the demented hurricane of "atrocity" lies and strident potentially pre-invasion Nazisms about "the world community losing its patience with Assad" etc from the likes of jumped-up little squit William Hague and (telling its own story) feminist icon Hilary Clinton, their ridiculous and wooden museum-Stalinist notion that the Assad Ba'athist regime in itself represents a possible future for Syria's masses is just as misleading.

Correctly denouncing the artificially provoked street fighting in Syria as the counter-revolutionary mayhem it is, financed and armed from the most reactionary imperialist quarters in the Gulf States, is marginally better than the Trots but museum-Stalinism's bizarre insistence that Ba'athist capitalism is "progressive" and to be supported unconditionally as a "step forwards" for the working class, is simply wrong.

Such a wretched nonsense, effectively elevating the Ba'athist opportunist petty bourgeois nationalism and its reluctant and sporadic anti-imperialism and vacillating anti-Zionism to the same level as Marxism itself, demonstrates either a complete failure to understand the ABC of revolutionary science or rampant opportunism and retreat from Leninist perspectives (or in fact both).

It is as opportunist and misleading as the overt sourness of the Trotskyists, and comes to no better conclusion then the same "No to NATO invasion" stop-the-war-ism only from a different direction and with much huffing and puffing about "taking a stand".

This time the pacifism is based on the idea that if only Syria was to be left alone, ("Hands off Syria") it would be able to advance the interests of the working class.

This is most dire reformism on two grounds. Firstly because it overtly supports the notion that the Assad Ba'athist government is "good for the working class" because Damascus has previously put through some social reforms and under pressure from the Arab Street, has partially backed forces taking on Zionism, particularly in Lebanon.

Secondly and worse, it reinforces the notion that such a solution would be possible at all rather than explaining the overwhelming hurricane force of the capitalist crisis which is driving everything into the greatest slump disaster of all time.

Assad Ba'athism, for all its annoyances to imperialism, caused by its anti-Zionist stance particularly and general refusal to capitulate completely to Washington diktat, is still a bourgeois nationalist regime that is unsympathetic to revolutionary Marxism-Leninism at best, certainly not helpful to it, and potentially very hostile, which has been vacillating, weak and indecisive in taking forwards its anti-Zionism and at times has colluded and compromised with US imperialism (during the first Gulf War onslaught on Saddam Hussein for example, which it sat out).

It is because it still runs a capitalist state that it has been unable to overcome the mix of contending interests and sectarian hostilities that Washington and its Western media campaign have successfully been able to play on.

In the former Soviet Union, with hundreds of regional and national interests, such local and regional antagonisms were largely overriden for 70 years by the greater universal ambition of building socialism, even with the less than inspiring leadership of Stalinist revisionism.

In fact national cultures had their first ever real chance to flourish and show off their talents after centuries of Tsarist feudal oppression and suppression.

Only with the liquidation of the Soviet workers state and re-establishment of oligarch capitalism have all the old wounds and national antagonisms re-opened, most horrifically in the valid Chechen national liberation struggle, inflamed by the heavy handed "anti-terrorist" military crudeness apeing of the West by Putin's Bonapartism.

Syria is being victimised by Washington (and its UK sidekick) for imperialism's general warmongering purposes because it is a convenient target and hated by fearful Zionism (which is obviously in the whole situation up to its elbows); to suppress the real Arab revolt beginning in Cairo; to further genocidally suppress the desperate Palestinian struggle; to punish their help to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to undermine the next and bigger target Iran.

So there is every reason to want to see all that come a total cropper, part of the vitally needed defeat for imperialism and its world oppression which alone will open up more opportunities for revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, and the building of worldwide planned socialism, the only way out of catastrophic world meltdown and disaster.

But defeat for imperialism it has to be made crystal clear, is nothing to do with support for Assad, as the Lalker/Proletarian Stalinists argue it for example.

Leninist understanding has always been completely clear that while standing clearly in the fight against the reactionary imperialist enemy, it should simultaneously make clear to the working class that it places no faith at all in such a petty bourgeois leadership, let alone tell the working class that it is a "progressive" and should be supported as a way forwards.

Strike together but march separately is the principle, most subtly demonstrated by Lenin's clear tactical understanding of the need for the Bolsheviks to stand alongside the duplicitous Kerensky bourgeois government in August 1917 to fend off the attack by the Tsarist monarchy restorationist general Kornilov while making very clear to the working class that Kerensky was not to be trusted one centimetre (as was rapidly proven).

That is not anything to do with some sly evasion of the horrors of the now raging civil war or philosophical attempt to "have your cake and eat it" by avoiding the need to "really support" the Syrians.

If it happens that the Assad regime gives the imperialist plotting a major setback then so be it – any source of defeat for the great monopoly capitalist world domination is welcome and there is no other in this situation.

The same arguments – still unanswered by the Stalinist, were being made at the beginning of the Iraq war. (This from EPSR 1179 08-04-03):

To still claim to "prefer victory for the existing Iraq state to victory by the US-UK coalition", causing Trot critics to happily conclude that "military support" for the Saddam regime was at last being conceded, is chaotic anti-Leninist political confusion.

To make it clear that fostering any confidence at all in Ba'athism would be a backward step for international anti-imperialist understanding, as well as a potentially catastrophic delusion, permanently, - the whole notion of "preference" needs abandoning as historically misleading and philosophically muddled.

Approaching the nastiest warmongering contradictions ever posed by imperialist system economic crisis, the defeat of the West's world domination is the utterly vital necessity for all mankind, dwarfing all other considerations.

Pedants who argue that defeat for the US-UK coalition "necessarily implies" calling for a victory for Saddam, or at least an expression of political/military "support" for Saddamism, are missing the wood because of all the trees around.

It is a consistently logical Leninist position to be for the defeat of extremist Kornilov reaction by any means whatever, while remaining at the same time 100% focused that no confidence whatever should be fostered in the Kerensky regime which might, for its own rotten interests, play some part in bringing about that defeat.

It is simply totally misleading to talk about "preferring" a Saddam regime victory to an imperialist one.

In the longer-term history of this greatest inter-imperialist warmongering crisis now looming over the Earth (as the most disastrous economic "overproduction" crisis ever, unfolds), it is simply the earliest possible setbacks and humiliations for Western imperialism's blitzkrieging hysteria and arrogance, by any and every means, which will seriously matter for civilisation in the end.

The Leninist grasp of the other all-round requirements of anti-imperialist struggle, implied by such an understanding of the need for the defeat of Western warmongering domination, would quickly and easily attend to everything else that needed doing, such as toppling the wretched Saddam regime, subsequently.

But in the wider picture, such specific tasks facing world socialist progress are just a distraction if over-emphasised, remaining temporarily incompleted details in a vast list of things needing to be done worldwide.

And such confused concentration on one small issue ("political support?"; "military support?"; "suspend anti-Saddam struggle?"; "not suspend anti-Saddam struggle?"; "prefer a Saddam victory?"; etc, etc) also betrays astonishingly small-minded fussing (over, effectively, "victory for socialism in one country") considering how such groups love to knock Leninism over its alleged "mistake" in the one case where "one country socialism" really could have been key to world revolution in Lenin's dialectical grasp (later made meaningless by Stalinist Revisionist degeneracy).

All this logic-chopping pedantry about Iraq's specific fate really IS single-issue posturing of a "one-country-socialism" daftness in the present context of WORLD revolutionary tasks against the ever-widening world warmongering imperialist crisis. It is reformist tinkering. In 1917, the priority was to not let extreme reaction bring a complete halt to the revolutionary process.

To that end, the need to overthrow Kerensky gave way to the need to defeat the Kornilov rebellion. In 2003, the priority for the whole world is to see US imperialism defeated as soon as possible, wherever possible. If it happens during this monstrous Nazi blitzkrieg on Iraq, so well and good. Continuing to take up arms against the Saddam regime in the midst of its resistance to the US forces' drive on Baghdad WEAKENS the chances for US imperialist defeat in this first of many military adventures to come (as imperialism thrashes about in the turmoil of insoluble economic crisis of "over-production").

All-out for the defeat of US imperialism does not imply the slightest "support" for the Saddam regime, or create any illusions that it does not remain a weak, vacillating, and reactionary regime, - the target for resumed direct overthrow-struggle the moment that the far more reactionary threat to mankind from rampant Nazi US imperialism has been damaged as best possible in the immediate situation around Iraq.

The Pan-Arican theorising about the entire Arab Spring as a giant US conspiracy is just as wooden as the fake-"lefts" above.

The convolutions and elaborations now being set out by assorted semi-anarchist and black nationalist pan-African theorists lose touch completely with the basic Marxist understanding of the world being in the state it is in because of the class domination and exploitation of society, and of the contradictions that causes eventually exploding in revolution.

In the latest "Arab Spring all done by the CIA" theory, what possible reason would Washington have to stir up revolt against itself when it had the major parts of the regions locked down by Zionist smiting threats and stooge gangsterism in the biggest and most dangerously potentially revolutionary country next door?

To get war going? But it has always been able to do that with the thinnest of excuses like the Gulf of Tonkin "marine attack" nonsense setting going a near decade of the Vietnam War, or the non-existent" Racek massacre to trigger the blitzing of Serbia.

The answer is you would not upset that apple cart – the Egyptian revolt was a gigantic shock to world imperialism, even greater than the spontaneous rebellion which toppled the Shah in Iran in 1979 and it has been trying to deal with it ever since, with long-planned Libyan and Syrian counter-revolutionary turmoil then deliberately stirred up to confuse the picture and intimidate the entire region.

Egypt was funded with billions of dollars in aid and arms every year, to keep the monster Mubarak in place and the military which has managed to keep the crucial levers of state power in its hands despite throwing the virtually dead old dictator to the masses as a sop, is still being funded.

Apart from the sheer irrational pointlessness of these elaborations, they, like the absurd complications of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, betray a deep underlying petty bourgeois defeatist hopelessness, and contempt for the rising world revolution, by suggesting that the Third World is not really capable of such uprising, and heading everyone off into a view of a world essentially controlled and manipulated by the CIA.

It betrays a complete contempt for the masses and total failure to grasp the significance of the giant crisis now tearing the world open and shattering the capabilities and confidence of the ruling class.

Conspiracy there is a-plenty in the ruling class's constant manipulations and lies, – the whole racket of "democracy" and parliament is one centuries-long continuous hoodwinking fraud of opportunism and corruption veiling the armed violence and financial bullying of the actual bourgeois dictatorship which rules in reality, and the details above reveal how they have set Syria going, part of constant worldwide subversion.

But they are not in control. Syria and Libya are desperate panic moves by an Empire besieged in all directions.

All these above nonsenses stem from the complete failure to grasp the significance and extent of the overwhelming world crisis of capitalism. It is precisely this unstoppably unrolling crisis and the gigantic escalation of the Third World revolt it has triggered that leads to the desperate Western intervention in Syria as it tries to intimidate, confuse and suppress the Cairo mass upheavals, and general growing revolt everywhere.

The fake-"left" will argue that they do talk about the crisis and to some extent they do now that its financial impact is unavoidably obvious (after years of belittling such Marxist explanation from the EPSR as "irrelevant", "old hat" or "hysterical crisis-ism").

But they make just token and half-digested references to economic crisis, usually thrown in at the end of an analysis, or confined to academic accounts woodenly re-stating parts of Karl Marx's great dissection of capitalist economics and contradictions.

But even these infrequent longer analyses are always disconnected from the great sweep of world events, and particularly from the drive to war.

The ferment of world revolt in different countries is always analysed separately as things-in-themselves, "the Greek situation", "the Egyptian revolt", "Syria", the anti-austerity struggle in Britain, Spain's economic sovereign debt collapse etc etc etc.

But they are all intertwined parts of the same historical breakdown of the centuries long class rule of capitalism, an enormous unfolding disaster.

But none of the "lefts" really begin to grasp, let alone explain, the gigantic epochal scale of the world economic disaster now unfolding.

This is not only the "worst collapse" in a century requiring a "fight against austerity" but a world-shattering breakdown of the entire profit-based way of doing things, everywhere and for all time.

It is a cataclysmic disintegration whose impact has only just begun to be felt and it is utterly unsolvable for capitalism, which despite its pretences and continued going through the motions, is almost paralysed by the enormity of the disaster and failure facing it.

It is the underlying driving force of all history as Marxism has always understood.

The devastating runs of international bankruptcies which erupted in the Credit Crunch of 2008, when the entire world economy teetered on the edge of the abyss, have only been "stabilised" by the insane "Quantitative Easing" programme for a moment.

Behind its lying pretences of "cleaning up the debt mess" and "properly regulating" the banks etc etc the ruling class knows there is no solution at all to this disaster.

Quantitative easing is only making matters one hundred times worse. The dam will burst with even more devastating consequences because of the mountains of additional worthless credit. Crisis has finally reached surface in an historically sudden and devastating collapse – a revolutionary point solvable only by a complete transformation of human production.

A huge dialectical leap forwards to a total reorganisation of society is happening and must happen. Build Leninism. Don Hoskins

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


Honduras expands Pentagon hub in Central America

John Lindsay-Poland

DESPITE persistent reports of serious corruption and human rights abuses by the Honduran army and police, the Pentagon increased its contract spending in Honduras to $53.8 million in Fiscal Year 2011, up by 71% from the previous year. President Obama's budget also proposes increased assistance to the Honduran military in the 2013 foreign aid budget administered by the State Department.

Much of the Pentagon contract spending in Honduras last year - nearly $24 million - specifically names work on the Palmerola U.S. air base, known as Soto Cano, according to contract data posted on and compiled by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (for). Contracting, Consulting, Engineering (cce), a construction firm in Annapolis, Maryland, was awarded a $15 million contract last August to build new troop barracks at Soto Cano.

The U.S. military also spends money on periodic exercises that are supposed to be for training of visiting U.S. forces. These are not counted in foreign aid totals, but they are being used in Honduras both to give training and to leave behind constructed facilities for Honduran forces. A four-month exercise scheduled to begin on March 12, known as "Beyond the Horizons" is a case in point.

"Beyond the Horizons" will include exercise related construction on a Honduran infantry battalion base in Naco, Cortes, according to a contract solicitation posted by U.S. Army South. Earlier contracts showed U.S. construction of bases in Caratasca (on the Atlantic coast) and Guanaja (in the Caribbean), in addition to the larger Soto Cano presence.

Pentagon contracts in the Latin American and Caribbean region as a whole increased by $31.5 million in 2011, or 8.7%, to $417 million, excluding contracts for fuel. Contracts in the Bahamas, where the Navy operates the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (autec) off of Andros Island, totaled $93 million. autec includes a deep water weapons range, and is tied to a headquarters in West Palm Beach, 177 miles to the northwest.

The military last year signed $163 million in contracts for work in Cuba, where the Navy's (illegal) Guantánamo base continues to operate a prison for terrorism suspects held without trial.

Pentagon contract numbers do not include costs paid in the United States, including for personnel directly employed by the federal government, such as the thousands of Navy sailors on aircraft carriers deployed to the region.

Nor do they count arms sales or U.S. military aid administered through the State Department's traditional foreign aid programs.

The Just the Facts website posted an analysis of the Obama budget request for military and economic aid to Latin America in 2013, which also showed an increase in proposed U.S. military aid in Honduras and a decline in Colombia, Haiti and Mexico.

Military contracts in Guatemala included funds for the design and construction in 2012 of a "counter-narco terrorism operations center" in Champerico, counternarcotics maintenance and pier Puerto San José, and training and force protection facilities in Coban. (Excerpts– •


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

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


The United States vs the rest of the world

by Immanuel Wallerstein

THERE was a time when the U.S. had lots of friends, or at least relatively obedient followers. These days, it appears that it has only adversaries, of all political stripes. Moreover, things don't appear to be going very well with these adversaries.

Let's take what has been happening since November and during the early part of December. The U.S. has had confrontations with China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Germany and Latin America, and no one can say that it has come out ahead in any of these controversies.

The world interpreted President Barack Obama's presence and statements in Australia as open challenges to China. He told the Australian Parliament that the United States was committed to "devoting the necessary resources to maintain a strong military presence in the region." Toward this end, the U.S. is sending 250 Marines to an Australian base in Darwin and may increase this number to 2,500 in the future.

This is just one among many similar military moves in the area. Thus, as the U.S. withdraws from the Middle East - or is forced to withdraw - for political and financial reasons, it is flexing its muscles in Asia and the Pacific. Is this really believable at a time when there is a growing public outcry about getting involved abroad, when there are urgent demands to reduce spending, including military spending? So far, China's answer has been, virtually, no answer, as if to say that time is on its side, even in its relations with the U.S. or perhaps because of its relations with the United States.

Then there was Pakistan. The United States had thrown down the gauntlet. Pakistan must stop protecting the Islamic movement. It must stop undermining the Karzai government in Afghanistan. It must stop threatening India with military action in Kashmir. Or what? That's the problem. Apparently, according to leaked documents, the United States thought that its last friend in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari, could dismiss the head of the Army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. In response General Kayani arranged for Presidente Zardari to go to Dubai for medical treatment. The potential coup supported by the U.S. failed. And if the United States should consider reprisals by cutting financial assistance, China is always there to take its place.

In the Middle East, what Obama would prefer is that nothing serious happen between Israel and the Palestinians, at least until he is re-elected. This doesn't meet the needs of Saudi Arabia or those of Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. Both will continue to stir the pot, from the U.S. point of view. And the United States finds itself in the position of making requests, not demanding or controlling.

Then there is Iran, the United States' immediate concern - that of Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well. The U.S. has been using its super-secret drones to spy on the country. There is nothing surprising about this, except that it appears that somehow one of these drones landed within Iran. I say 'landed' because the key question is why, or how, did it do so. The Iranians have suggested that they landed it via some sort of cyber-action. The U.S. has said it's impossible, though Debka, the Internet voice of Israeli hawks says it's true. I myself think that it is probable. And now that the Iranians have the drone, they are working on deciphering its technical secrets. Who knows? Maybe they can publish the secrets so that the whole world might know. And then, just how super-secret will the drones be?

And, yes, Germany... As everyone knows, there is a crisis in the Eurozone and Chancellor Merkel has been working hard to get the countries of the European Union to accept a solution which will work for her, both politically within Germany and economically across Europe. She has been pushing for a new European treaty which would automatically impose sanctions on countries which violate the conditions of the treaty. The United States thinks this is the wrong approach. The U.S. position is that this is a medium-range measure which does not resolve the immediate situation. Obama sent his Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, to Europe to push alternate suggestions. The details - or who is smarter - aren't important. What is important is that Geithner was completely ignored and the Germans are sticking to their plan.

Finally, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean met in Venezuela to found a new organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (celac). Every single country on the continent signed the agreement, except for those not invited - the United States and Canada.

(Excerpts from La Jornada) •

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