No 1433 17 September 2013
G20 deflation of Washington Nazi war hysteria and hypocrisy against latest victim Syria confirms further the paralysis and uncertainty hitting the ruling class as Iraq and Afghanistan defeats merge with CATASTROPHIC rolling failure of the capitalist world exploitation system. But the leaden refusal of “world opinion” rivals to go along with the demented Hitlerite ranting from John Kerry will not stop the desperate US ruling class stepping up world war viciousness even further – the only way it knows to evade responsibility for collapse and Slump. Conscious Leninist leadership is vital for the growing Third World rebellion now increasingly taking up world struggle against exploitation but hampered by religiosity and the confusions of the cowardly fake-“left” who denounce the actual fight. Foul “condemn terror” capitulations are being exposed as events unroll
British and American failure to easily stampede both domestic and “world” opinion behind another round of blitzkrieg and “punishment” for yet another demonised “dictator” regime, this time Syria, is a stunning further shift in the collapse and failure of the now out-of-time capitalist world order.
It raises enormous questions about ruling class confidence and competence as its desperate and catastrophic crisis collapse inexorably continues to unroll.
That will not stop the imperialist drive to war as the social-pacifists and peaceniks pretend with their assorted “Stop the War” posturing.
Just the opposite – it is the failure of the ruling class to suppress and intimidate the world which will make it even more desperate as it stares at the total collapse of its sweet life of power and luxury built on the exploitation of most of the planet.
The most dangerous animal is the cornered rat, and the inexorable unrolling of its crisis is forcing the hand of the world ruling class towards ever more obvious fascist repression and war.
The humiliations at the G20 international congress of failing to win support for the lurid, vilifying hysteria and lies about an alleged “threat to the world”, and the preposterous hypocritical humbug about “protecting civilians” combined with ever deepening cynicism at home from war-wearied ordinary people for the absurd and ridiculous propaganda about yet another alleged “New Hitler” who “must be destroyed immediately to protect our peaceful (!!!) way of life”, signals a new level in the paralysis and fearfulness of a ruling class that has reached the end of the road historically.
This is a capitalist class which is staring its own demise in the face after 800 years of rising power and then domination of the world.
The blustering failure will feed even more growing giant world debate which must eventually conclude with the development of the greatest conscious revolutionary struggle in all history to end the rotten ripe capitalist exploitation system and its deadly massacres and war, for good.
And this is not a question of whether or not the specific details of a specific attack can be “confirmed” or not (still uncertain despite weeks of imperialist bluster and shouting) but about the ridiculous pretence that this is “different” (crossing a “red line”) to the routine barbarity of imperialism against which the atrocities in Syria, undoubtedly from both sides but initially provoked by the West and blamed entirely on the inevitable responses of the legitimate government to hold back civil war, pale into insignificance.
The “cry wolf” readiness of imperialism to call for blitzkrieg attacks long before any proof was available about the alleged attacks, or even could have been available, the record of foul and false stunts and war crimes by the rebels already (barely reported), and imperialism’s own record of lies and stunts(Gulf of Tonkin to start Vietnam, Racak fraudulent “massacre” to bomb Serbia, Iraq non-existent WMD, completely specious, non-existent made-up “massacre threat to Benghazi” in Libya etc etc) are all leaving mass opinion deeply and correctly suspicious, pushing even bourgeois press pundits to comment, as in this section from fake-“left” George Monbiot (stripped of his anti-communist “even handedness”):
Obama warned last week that Syria’s use of poisoned gas “threatens to unravel the international norm against chemical weapons embraced by 189 nations”. Unravelling the international norm is the US president’s job.
In 1997 the US agreed to decommission the 31,000 tonnes of sarin, VX, mustard gas and other agents it possessed within 10 years. In 2007 it requested the maximum extension of the deadline permitted by the Chemical Weapons Convention – five years. Again it failed to keep its promise, and in 2012 it claimed they would be gone by 2021. Russia yesterday urged Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control. Perhaps it should press the US to do the same.
In 1998 the Clinton administration pushed a law through Congress which forbade international weapons inspectors from taking samples of chemicals in the US and allowed the president to refuse unannounced inspections. In 2002 the Bush government forced the sacking of José Maurício Bustani, the director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He had committed two unforgiveable crimes: seeking a rigorous inspection of US facilities; and pressing Saddam Hussein to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, to help prevent the war George Bush was itching to wage.
The US used millions of gallons of chemical weapons in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It also used them during its destruction of Falluja in 2004, then lied about it. The Reagan government helped Saddam Hussein to wage war with Iran in the 1980s while aware that he was using nerve and mustard gas. (The Bush administration then cited this deployment as an excuse to attack Iraq, 15 years later).
Smallpox has been eliminated from the human population, but two nations – the US and Russia – insist on keeping the pathogen in cold storage. They claim their purpose is to develop defences against possible biological weapons attack, but most experts in the field consider this to be nonsense. While raising concerns about each other’s possession of the disease, they have worked together to bludgeon the other members of the World Health Organisation, which have pressed them to destroy their stocks.
In 2001 the New York Times reported that, without either Congressional oversight or a declaration to the Biological Weapons Convention, “the Pentagon has built a germ factory that could make enough lethal microbes to wipe out entire cities”. The Pentagon claimed the purpose was defensive but, developed in contravention of international law, it didn’t look good. The Bush government also sought to destroy the Biological Weapons Convention as an effective instrument by scuttling negotiations over the verification protocol required to make it work.
Looming over all this is the great unmentionable: the cover the US provides for Israel’s weapons of mass destruction. It’s not just that Israel – which refuses to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention – has used white phosphorus as a weapon in Gaza (when deployed against people, phosphorus meets the convention’s definition of “any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm”).
It’s also that, as the Washington Post points out: “Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile results from a never-acknowledged gentleman’s agreement in the Middle East that as long as Israel had nuclear weapons, Syria’s pursuit of chemical weapons would not attract much public acknowledgement or criticism.” Israel has developed its nuclear arsenal in defiance of the non-proliferation treaty, and the US supports it in defiance of its own law, which forbids the disbursement of aid to a country with unauthorised weapons of mass destruction.
As for the norms of international law, let’s remind ourselves where the US stands. It remains outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, after declaring its citizens immune from prosecution. The crime of aggression it committed in Iraq – defined by the Nuremberg tribunal as “the supreme international crime” – goes not just unpunished but also unmentioned by anyone in government. The same applies to most of the subsidiary war crimes US troops committed during the invasion and occupation. Guantánamo Bay raises a finger to any notions of justice between nations.
...Obama’s failure to be honest about his nation’s record of destroying international norms and undermining international law, his myth-making about the role of the US in world affairs, and his one-sided interventions in the Middle East, all render the crisis in Syria even harder to resolve. Until there is some candour about past crimes and current injustices, until there is an effort to address the inequalities over which the US presides, everything it attempts – even if it doesn’t involve guns and bombs – will stoke the cynicism and anger the president says he wants to quench.
There is a long way to go before the impact of long decades of anti-communist brainwashing – the most sustained all-pervading propaganda exercise in history (which Monbiot and others too help sustain from a “left” posture) – is fully overcome and it will not happen because of some “candour about past crimes” suddenly coming about, only through the fight for the Marxist revolutionary understanding that Monbiot and his ilk are completely hostile too.
But the dogged refusal of world opinion to be stampeded by yet another hysterical US imperialist banging of wardrums and absurdly hypocritical pretences about “the fight for freedom and protection of the innocents” etc etc etc ad vomit-inducing nauseum, (even as over a thousand unarmed men and women - perhaps many more - have just been butchered on the streets in Cairo with not a murmur from the “deeply concerned” Western politicians and press) is a signal that the lies have reached saturation point.
Once that turns into a dawning realisation of just how much manipulation there has been to control people for the whole of the last century post-1917’s Soviet revolution, and how deep the lying has gone, the anger of the world’s masses will be uncontainable and will rapidly produce the potential for a dramatic shift in understanding, ready to take up long held back revolutionary perspectives.
Such opening of minds by changed material conditions is inevitable as the unstoppable crisis not only deepens but lurches suddenly again into much greater cataclysm than 2007-8’s still unrolling disaster and delusions in capitalist consumerism and prosperity collapse completely.
Far from seeing the currently pretended “upturn”, the reality of even worse collapse to come will force the world towards revolution as the only way possible to survive the oncoming slump and war, by ending this foul monopoly capitalist system and building a rational planned socialist and cooperative world in place of profit making greed and conflict.
For the moment there is massively increasing spontaneous revolt, an UNconscious struggle in the main throughout the Third World, in the Middle East particularly, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Philippines, Nepal, India and Indonesia.
It rises and falls under various ideologies from left nationalism, Muslim fundamentalism and even Maoism but steadily grows and has already inflicted a series of long slow defeats, setbacks and military quagmires on the USA’s (and its stooges’) war plans for more than a decade, accelerating and intensifying the very crisis which triggered them in the first place.
It has also usefully thrown even sharper light onto the foul opportunism and cowardice of the fake-“lefts” who have all lined up with capitalism’s demented “war on terror” and bitter anti-Muslim crusading (including by such “rational atheist” scientists as the reactionary Richard Dawkins for example).
They not only fail to see or understand this enormous and growing world rebelliousness and the crucial defeats it inflicts from Afghanistan and Iraq, to Yemen and Somalia, and in multiple rising struggles elsewhere; nor also the intractable and unsolvable nature of the epochal crisis failure underneath it (for all their academic “Marxist economics” articles) but in one form or another join in with capitalist demonisation propaganda and war manipulations.
It is a monstrous betrayal.
Universally the reformist Labourites, Trotskyists and museum-Stalinists such as Lalkar/Proletarian “condemn terrorism” and denounce the fundamentalist fighters who are striking guerrilla war blow after blow onto worldwide capitalist neo-colonialist rule.
But for all their often barmy religiosity and even counter-productive sectarianism (as in Syria currently with Hamas fighting Hezbollah) these are the often heroically self-sacrificing struggles with have imposed shattering blows on imperialist confidence in Lebanon, in Africa, and elsewhere and especially from the time of the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon onwards, into the insurgencies and liberation struggles from Afghanistan and Iraq to Yemen and Somalia, and the now mass upheavals of the Middle East.
Such desperate methods of fighting and heroic sacrifice may not be the Marxist way forwards, and cannot ultimately build the rational scientific leadership that alone can end capitalism, but to denounce them is to capitulate utterly to the ruling class, as is the even more extensive denunciation poured on to the heads of many ensuing struggles, most recently in Egypt, where the barbaric military coup by the imperialist funded military has been excused (or even welcomed) by all the fake- “lefts” from one end of the Trot-Revisionist spectrum to the other, Workers Powers and the SWP Trots united in opportunism with the Lalkar/Proletarian museum-Stalinists.
But the fake-”left” bending before the howling wind of Western media lies and hypocrisy – (as if capitalism could care less about civilians being slaughtered, and continuously does most of that killing itself) – usefully exposes the falsity and treachery of their pretend-”revolutionism” which has sustained endless decades of anti-communism during the long artificial post-WW2 “boom”, an anti-communism now translated into a poisonous denunciation of “terror” and “political Islam”, declared equally reactionary or worse than imperialism itself.
Such treachery lets monopoly capitalism and its tyrannical world dominance and exploitation off the hook, failing to explain to the working class that there is one source and one only of chaos, depravity, antagonism and hatred in the modern world, and that is capitalism itself, a piratical class rule in its centuries-long ascendancy and inventive genius, horrifically brutal in its colonialist expansion and now in deadly degeneration, bent on war and destruction to escape its crisis, generated entirely by the ripening of the contradictions within its private ownership system.
Two World Wars are about to be followed by even worse destruction, to escape the deepest economic and political breakdown yet.
All the bogus “left” ideology is part of the anti-communist ideological armoury capitalism uses to underpin its world dominance, maintained since the Second World war with over 400 coups, assassinations, fascist takeovers, blitzings, invasions and all out war destruction (Vietnam, Korea notably, Sierra Leone, Grenada, Iraq twice, Iran by proxy, Rwanda by the US stooge Kigame, and Congo afterwards, Afghanistan and more).
Now such false “leftism” helps underpin stepped-up warmongering, driven by crisis collapse and increasingly “justified” by demented fascist tirades, ultra-Goebbelsian hate campaigns and BIG LIES that make even the German Nazis look pathetic, as in blitzing Libya for example, in the constant low intensity genocide of the heroically persevering Palestinian people and most recently in the cold blooded Cairo coup, gunning-down at least 1000, and probably many more, unarmed civilian Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (unmentioned and un-agonised over by the “democracy” loving capitalist press as the utterly specious Syria “gas warfare” allegations have conveniently diverted attention to fill the front pages).
The fake-“left”’s disgusting rowing in with capitalist war propaganda is the logical end point of their anti-workers state “theories” and academic middle-class “pure” socialist utopianism (dismissing most workers as too incorrigibly “sexist” or “racist” or “homophobic” etc in endless single-issue moralising diversions, to be able to make revolution. Only “pure” workers need apply to these petty bourgeois complacent smugs).
These multiple posturing frauds have deliberately poisoned the well of genuine revolutionary theory and leadership (Leninist understanding) for decades.
Directly, like the Trotskyists (or crypto-Trots such as the once-revisionist Weekly Worker CPGB), they have always vied to outdo capitalism’s own propaganda lies about supposed “totalitarianism” with even more poisonously mad lying denunciations about supposed “repression and massacre of millions” in the USSR and East Europe etc etc (all utterly nonsensical black fantasy).
Or indirectly they have played into the hands of capitalist lies, like the museum-Stalinists, ostensibly defending socialist achievements but actually covering-up completely the mistakes, tragedies and failings of the first great historic experiments in socialist development, thereby preventing workers from understanding what went wrong and more crucially what went brilliantly right, and how to avoid the same mistakes in the future.
Ignoring the philosophical failings and early weaknesses of Moscow’s otherwise stunning socialist construction (98% of what the Soviet Union did) which eventually left the revolutionary spirit high and dry in Moscow, slowly degenerating into wooden revisionist bureaucratism and ultimately the complete and historically pointless Gobachevite liquidation of the giant achievement of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, is worse than useless as a defence for the workers states.
It is also patently not true and instead of recognising and seriously trying to understand and overcome the philosophical difficulties, lets them feed the world distortions and lies of capitalist propaganda (and the petty bourgeois self-righteousness of the Trots).
Errors, problems and setbacks in building socialism for the first time in ten thousand years of human civilisation, while under permanent subversion, invasion threat and sabotage by the vicious hostility of the capitalist West, were inevitable.
They need to be discussed openly.
So to does the necessary firmness of the dictatorship of the working class to counter endless subversion (from outside and from constantly re-arising counter-revolution by the bourgeoisie).
There were clearly cover-ups (turning to criminal suppression) as this complex task unrolled and major errors were made (unavoidably).
But denying these things to cheer on Stalin as a total unsullied hero, makes it all the more easy for capitalist propaganda lies to play on petty bourgeois fearfulness, turning them into wild and lurid propaganda stories about “terrible oppression”.
Embarking on such an opportunist approach is a deadly self-reinforcing abandonment of Marxism in itself, and simply repeats the cover-up methods which added to the problems.
In the case of the Lalkar/Proletarian, it has degenerated all the way into the nonsensical support for the Egyptian coup now being punted by the Stalinists, tangled in utter confusion over the Middle East (see EPSR 1431).
Both variants of fake-“leftism” at best leave anti-communism untouched or even reinforce it as the best weapon capitalism ever had, so that whatever degeneracy its own system comes to, it will always declaim—“but communism doesn’t work”.
The hapless exploited masses are left to conclude, “there is no way out”.
It is the greatest lie of all, but temporarily one of the most effective in history, extending and elaborating the now threadbare “parliamentary democracy” racket which has kept the masses hoodwinked for 200 years with the idea that they are “getting a say” and “steadily improving things” by reforms and pressure on the ruling class to “regulate society” and “control the excesses”.
Such parliamentary “democracy” has always been total bullshit (and the steady decline in voter turnouts and cynicism generally is a healthy sign that the working class knows it), hoodwinking and fooling the mass with the aid of the petty bourgeoisie and class collaborating layers of the working class (TUC, Labourism) who have been corrupted with a few crumbs from the fabulous super-profits that the metropolitan countries’s ruling class has extracted from the sweatshops and plantations of the colonial and neo-colonial world.
The reality of capitalist rule they help hide is one of complete dictatorship by big money capital, hidden away behind the pretences that MPs and voting are in control, whereas all the decisions that matter are taken by the ruling class behind closed doors under the influence of the banks, the Stock Exchange, the military establishment, the intelligence agencies and secret police (infiltrating all protest eg), the judiciary and ruling class society in general operating through a thousand different clubs, freemasonries and connections.
The reality of this actual bourgeois dictatorship (the real “totalitarianism” in the world) emerges most obviously in times of the unavoidable and constantly recurring crises that are built into capitalist production-for-private-profit, confirming the Leninist understanding and the warnings it has long given to the working class.
The evidence piles ever higher.
A deluge of revelations pours out about police infiltration, MI6 torture, military abuses (past and present), prison torture camps, Guantánamo horrors, arbitrary killings, civilian slaughter, universal levels of surveillance of everyone, lying mind-twisting advertising and Blairite “spin” double-think and more, which all far outdoes even the most lurid fantasies of alleged “communist repression” painted by the likes of George Orwell’s 1984 etc (the anti-communist biliousness still taught in capitalist schools as supposed “fact” in the actually completely made-up fictional novel by an author who was himself a capitalist police fink informer, fingering left-wingers to the state).
As Leninist Marxism has long maintained it is not the antics of various far-right groups that constitute “fascism” but capitalism itself and the mainstream of capitalist rule.
Placing all the attention onto far right and racist groups, nasty as they are, which are to be “stopped on the street” by special Anti-Nazi Leagues and anti-racism campaigns misses the point in a big way that it is mainstream capitalism which is degenerating into outright nazism (and in fact is responsible for generating all the petty groups of disruptive anti-communist racist scapegoating backwardness like the EDL or the Greek Golden Dawn nazis).
It is revolutionary struggle against capitalism which needs to be built to end all fascism, and such partial “street” campaigns in the end achieve the very opposite by diverting workers’ attention onto a small aspect of capitalist degeneracy, thereby undermining the struggle for overall revolutionary grasp.
Worse still, because they do not develop revolutionary perspectives, such struggles suggest and imply that things will be better if only the fascist gangs – yet still tiny in Britain – were defeated, instead of making clear to workers that it is the overall crisis of capitalism and its decay which is the root of fascism.
Let the EDL etc be confronted but only with the revolutionary grasp that such foulness will relentlessly continue to regenerate from the very conditions of capitalist antagonistic and backward society which permeates everything else too.
Worse still, the fake-“left” opportunists formally declare that there is some special character to “fascism” and that “we are not there yet”, an idiot and complacent woodenness born of petty bourgeois illusions in abstract democracy and shallow nonsense about the “freedom of the press” etc.
It is complacent nonsense consciously hostile to revolutionary theory.
It leaves the working class utterly disarmed.
But it is beginning to dawn on some of the more thoughtful in the petty bourgeois intelligentsia just what is unfolding, as press accounts set out:
Historians seem to agree that the rise of fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy. The parallels today are very different, but the Damocles sword over Snowden, like the casual abduction of Bolivia’s president, ought to stir us into recognising the true nature of the enemy...
Snowden’s revelations are not merely about privacy, or civil liberty, or even mass spying. They are about the unmentionable: that the democratic façades of the US now barely conceal a systematic gangsterism historically identified with, if not necessarily the same as, fascism. On Tuesday, a US drone killed 16 people in North Waziristan, “where many of the world’s most dangerous militants live”, said the few paragraphs I read. That by far the world’s most dangerous militants had hurled the drones was not a consideration. President Obama personally sends them every Tuesday.
The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane – denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to “inspect” his aircraft for the “fugitive” Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.
In Moscow, Morales had been asked about Snowden – who remains trapped in the city’s airport. “If there were a request [for political asylum],” he said, “of course, we would be willing to debate and consider the idea.” That was clearly enough provocation for the Godfather. “We have been in touch with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country,” said a US state department official.
The French – having squealed about Washington spying on their every move, as revealed by Snowden – were first off the mark, followed by the Portuguese. The Spanish then did their bit by enforcing a flight ban of their airspace, giving the Godfather’s Viennese hirelings enough time to find out if Snowden was indeed invoking article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”
Those paid to keep the record straight have played their part with a cat-and-mouse media game that reinforces the Godfather’s lie that this heroic young man is running from a system of justice, rather than preordained, vindictive incarceration that amounts to torture – ask Bradley Manning and the living ghosts in Guantánamo.
In his acceptance of the 2005 Nobel prize in literature, Harold Pinter referred to “a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed”. He asked why “the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities” of the Soviet Union were well known in the west while America’s crimes were “superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged”. The most enduring silence of the modern era covered the extinction and dispossession of countless human beings by a rampant US and its agents. “But you wouldn’t know it,” said Pinter. “It never happened. Even while it was happening it never happened.”
This hidden history – not really hidden, of course, but excluded from the consciousness of societies drilled in American myths and priorities – has never been more vulnerable to exposure. Snowden’s whistleblowing, like that of Manning and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, threatens to break the silence Pinter described. In revealing a vast Orwellian police state apparatus servicing history’s greatest war-making machine, they illuminate the true extremism of the 21st century. Unprecedented, Germany’s Der Spiegel has described the Obama administration as “soft totalitarianism”. If the penny is falling, we might all look closer to home.
The sometimes excellent and brave journalist John Pilger, like the Harold Pinter he quotes, still refuses himself to let the penny drop on his own anti-communism, yet again parroting the capitalist hate lies about the Soviet Union’s alleged “systematic atrocities” and the background implication that it was a doomed and poisoned enterprise from the beginning.
Anti-communism hobbles even the best of liberal journalism.
But if capitalism is nothing but veiled fascism, or bourgeois dictatorship, then why is it so hard to understand that it would use every Goebbels lie in the book (and to a much more sophisticated level with modern media) to demonise the greatest enemy of all, the communist takeover which alone finally can and will put an end to the minority tyranny of the private profit exploitation system?
Of course the workers states are dictatorships, and use hard class war methods at times including secret police, prisons, and even executions of criminals, and firm military war defence (or preemptive attack) externally against invasions (which have killed tens of millions in the Second World War for example or Vietnam). Only a class force better organised and more powerful than bourgeois dictatorship and firm enough to suppress its endless counter-revolutionary attempts to re-impose its fascist class control, can establish the conditions in which socialist society can be built and steadily advanced.
That is the dictatorship of the proletariat, leading, developing, educating and acting for, with and within, the great majority, in unity and open polemical conflict with the working class and ordinary masses, gradually drawing more and more of them into this class dictatorship over several generations until everyone is consciously part of it, and there is no one left to suppress.
At which point society will have achieved sufficient maturity to dispense with force and coercion – the famous withering away of the state (described by Frederick Engels and later Lenin in State and Revolution), once the old vicious bourgeois influences have died away.
Mistakes there were in the Soviet Union, inevitable when building a totally new kind of society from the crude, distorted, raw and uneducated humanity left by capitalism’s twisted alienation and antagonisms, and papering over of the cracks too, mostly desperately in order to keep going, and sometimes criminally.
But deliberate “systematic“ tyranny just like the one millions have fought and died to overturn (as the petty bourgeois Trotskyists would have it), does not make sense.
All history proves the opposite, with the constant readiness over 70 years of the great mass of the working class in the Soviet Union to sacrifice and struggle to defend it and to aid many other world anti-imperialist struggles, most of all with guns in hand during the appalling nightmare of the Second World War; and of the huge struggles inspired elsewhere in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Cuba, plus dozens of anti-imperialist fights.
In 1941 the entire working class had to be armed for the war against Germany, and with revolutionary experience fresh from 1917, just 25 years previously, it could easily have risen up against “Stalinist tyranny” if the USSR was anything remotely like it is painted in the West.
But instead they fought the Hitlerites, who had been built up and encouraged by the entire capitalist West (including the “anti-Nazi” British, French and US) with the express purpose of turning on the Soviet Union and ruthlessly and savagely destroying the communist upstarts.
Maybe as the renewed crisis unravels, and the deranged neo-Hitlerite ranting against victim after victim state reaches hysteria pitch, as it has been doing against Syria, even the Pilgers will begin to see the point that the only way to counter this depravity is the firmest class war fight to end it.
At least it is raising is raising profound questions as in this second piece:
The intrinsic criminality of the atomic bombing is borne out in the US National Archives and by the subsequent decades of militarism camouflaged as democracy. The Syria psychodrama exemplifies this. Yet again we are held hostage by the prospect of a terrorism whose nature and history even the most liberal critics still deny. The great unmentionable is that humanity’s most dangerous enemy resides across the Atlantic.
John Kerry’s farce and Barack Obama’s pirouettes are temporary. Russia’s peace deal over chemical weapons will, in time, be treated with the contempt that all militarists reserve for diplomacy. With al-Qaida now among its allies, and US-armed coupmasters secure in Cairo, the US intends to crush the last independent states in the Middle East: Syria first, then Iran. “This operation [in Syria],” said the former French foreign minister Roland Dumas in June, “goes way back. It was prepared, pre-conceived and planned.”
When the public is “psychologically scarred”, as the Channel 4 reporter Jonathan Rugman described the British people’s overwhelming hostility to an attack on Syria, suppressing the truth is made urgent. Whether or not Bashar al-Assad or the “rebels” used gas in the suburbs of Damascus, it is the US, not Syria, that is the world’s most prolific user of these terrible weapons.
In 1970 the Senate reported: “The US has dumped on Vietnam a quantity of toxic chemical (dioxin) amounting to six pounds per head of population.” This was Operation Hades, later renamed the friendlier Operation Ranch Hand – the source of what Vietnamese doctors call a “cycle of foetal catastrophe”. I have seen generations of children with their familiar, monstrous deformities. John Kerry, with his own blood-soaked war record, will remember them. I have seen them in Iraq too, where the US used depleted uranium and white phosphorus, as did the Israelis in Gaza. No Obama “red line” for them. No showdown psychodrama for them.
The sterile repetitive debate about whether “we” should “take action” against selected dictators (ie cheer on the US and its acolytes in yet another aerial killing spree) is part of our brainwashing. Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law and UN special rapporteur on Palestine, describes it as “a self-righteous, one-way, legal/moral screen [with] positive images of western values and innocence portrayed as threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted political violence”. This “is so widely accepted as to be virtually unchallengeable”.
It is the biggest lie: the product of “liberal realists” in Anglo-American politics, scholarship and media who ordain themselves as the world’s crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis. Stripping humanity from the study of nations and congealing it with jargon that serves western power designs, they mark “failed”, “rogue” or “evil” states for “humanitarian intervention”.
An attack on Syria or Iran or any other US “demon” would draw on a fashionable variant, “Responsibility to Protect”, or R2P – whose lectern-trotting zealot is the former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, co-chair of a “global centre” based in New York. Evans and his generously funded lobbyists play a vital propaganda role in urging the “international community” to attack countries where “the security council rejects a proposal or fails to deal with it in a reasonable time”.
Evans has form. He appeared in my 1994 film Death of a Nation, which revealed the scale of genocide in East Timor. Canberra’s smiling man is raising his champagne glass in a toast to his Indonesian equivalent as they fly over East Timor in an Australian aircraft, having signed a treaty to pirate the oil and gas of the stricken country where the tyrant Suharto killed or starved a third of the population.
Under the “weak” Obama, militarism has risen perhaps as never before. With not a single tank on the White House lawn, a military coup has taken place in Washington. In 2008, while his liberal devotees dried their eyes, Obama accepted the entire Pentagon of his predecessor, George Bush: its wars and war crimes. As the constitution is replaced by an emerging police state, those who destroyed Iraq with shock and awe, piled up the rubble in Afghanistan and reduced Libya to a Hobbesian nightmare, are ascendant across the US administration. Behind their beribboned facade, more former US soldiers are killing themselves than are dying on battlefields. Last year 6,500 veterans took their own lives. Put out more flags.
The historian Norman Pollack calls this “liberal fascism”: “For goose-steppers substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manqué, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.” Every Tuesday the “humanitarian” Obama personally oversees a worldwide terror network of drones that “bugsplat” people, their rescuers and mourners. In the west’s comfort zones, the first black leader of the land of slavery still feels good, as if his very existence represents a social advance, regardless of his trail of blood. This obeisance to a symbol has all but destroyed the US anti-war movement – Obama’s singular achievement.
In Britain, the distractions of the fakery of image and identity politics have not quite succeeded. A stirring has begun, though people of conscience should hurry. The judges at Nuremberg were succinct: “Individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity.” The ordinary people of Syria, and countless others, and our own self-respect, deserve nothing less now.
Again Pilger’s refusal to study and grasp Marxist science and class struggle understanding, relying instead on a liberal moralising “prodding of the conscience” of the world, lets him down.
Rather than be gobsmacked by the venality of Obama-ism why not warn from the beginning that this was a deliberate fraud, a sophisticated hoodwinking lie by the ruling class establishment to salvage its clapped-out presidential “democracy” illusion, after the defeats and war blunders of the George W Bush White House had almost destroyed what tattered remnants were left (already shredded, like Parliament in Britain, by the relentlessly developing underlying crisis over decades, and growing historical experience of the working class in seeing its constant betrayals and corruption and rejecting its pretences).
Obama’s slick “people’s campaign was long prepared, taking advantage of decades of fake-“left” fostered brain-rot over single-issue reformist struggles like feminism and “black nationalism”, all part of heading attention away from the revolutionary solution that alone can transform society (and on the way provide solutions to all the inequalities and unfairnesses, including race bias and oppression, sexual double-exploitation and every other divisiveness which capitalism constantly generates).
Obama rode into power precisely on these reformist confusions, with the black and women’s vote, a pretence made solely to eke out a bit more of the democracy fraud just at he point where the devastating melt-down of the banks was putting the terminal failure of capitalism right in front of the world and raising outright revolutionary questions.
Even more cynically, in 2012, having used up all the reservoir of remaining democracy illusions and the revived “trust and hope” of the hoodwinked black civil rights movement, and of the feminists (via the fascist minded Hilary Clinton) in its first term, and facing electoral defeat as they turned away, the slick Obama phenomenon then turned to the next fake-“left” single issue, the even more anti-revolutionary and suspect “gay rights” lobby confusion, which promptly proved its reactionary credentials by rescuing the Obama presidency and its by now clear war agenda, in exchange for the trivial “privilege” of legalised “gay marriage” (an issue which raises many further questions anyway about the relentless suppression of debate about sexual normality which has been imposed by the PC petty bourgeois “anti-homophobia” censorship and “gay is normal” posturing, supported by the fake-“lefts”).
As an aside, it is notable, and no coincidence at all, that in the middle of the deadly Western war hysteria against Syria, the same “gay” lobby, via luminaries like the petty bourgeois and reactionary celebrity poseur Stephen Fry and the Trot saturated PC liberal Guardian, have been fermenting a vicious hate campaign against Russia – just at the point where it has been blocking the Western Goebbels campaign to destroy Syria.
But Pilger says nothing about the vital exposés of all such fake-“left” posturing, part of developing a clear perspective for the necessary revolutionary way forwards.
He says nothing about revolutionary class struggle at all.
Despite excellently seeing the fascist character of the US Empire and being prepared to name it as such, he has no way to counter it.
His conclusion at the end of the piece is just lame.
Exactly what should the “people of conscience” do? What should the “ordinary people of Syria” do? And who are the ordinary people anyway, the ones led against Assad by Western provoked and armed sectarianism, or the ones supporting him?
Untangling and exposing the confusions which have torn the region to shreds in deadly civil war is absolutely crucial and it cannot be done by simply laying on the table the atrocities and foul conspiracies of capitalism and hoping that the world will “do the right thing” once it knows the truth.
Pilger is at least answering some of the questions the EPSR was asking him when the Iraq war began (Issue 1144 16-07-02):
Pilger is cleverer than most, and sometimes manages to avoid the cruder “we condemn Sept 11 terrorism” sick class-collaborative Western cringing that the entire rest of the fake-’left’ have fallen for.
But the anti-theory philistinism remains as debilitating as ever.
“The United States is not Germany”. Nonchalantly adding “of course” is fine for imbecile-level logic or geography, but dozens more historical comparisons between imperialist crisis 2002 and imperialist crisis 1930s need examining more purposefully. Assassination, subversion? Coup-making? Military expansionism? Secret-police surveillance at home? Foreign agents in every country? Global economic exploitation?? Contempt for international courts and world opinion? Blitzkrieg aerial destruction of defenceless regimes declared ‘hostile’? An ideologically batty and arrogantly corrupt ruling elite? An insane international warmongering mission? Etc, etc, etc, etc??? “The United States is not Germany”. Nonchalantly adding “of course” is fine for imbecile-level logic or geography, but dozens more historical comparisons between imperialist crisis 2002 and imperialist crisis 1930s need examining more purposefully. Assassination, subversion? Coup-making? Military expansionism? Secret-police surveillance at home? Foreign agents in every country? Global economic exploitation?? Contempt for international courts and world opinion? Blitzkrieg aerial destruction of defenceless regimes declared ‘hostile’? An ideologically batty and arrogantly corrupt ruling elite? An insane international warmongering mission? Etc, etc, etc, etc???
But while he now clearly states that it is capitalism which is the fascism, he still refuses to abandon the hostility to theory that stands in the way of real answers:
Opportunists like Pilger can start to betaken seriously when they can be heard using their platform to argue for the rights of the dispossessed to fight with terrorism or any other weapons they can lay their hands on for combating intolerable tyranny, and when they can be heard hammering the rest of the fake-’left’ for its miserable cowardice in going along with the West’s Goebbels lying arrogance demanding that “terrorism be condemned”.
The “hammering” is needed all the more now as the entire gamut of “lefts” has in various ways backed up the imperialist interventions in the Middle East to confuse and suppress the spontaneous revolutionary upheavals of 2011.
All of them fail to understand and explain that the world imperialist domination of the planet and the warmongering its crisis is driving it to, is the overriding measuring stick for understanding all the great seeming confusion in the Middle East.
Most of all they fail to see, understand and explain that the key issue is the defeats inflicted upon imperialism by world rebellion by whatever forces.
Instead they variously condemn those upheavals, taking sides over Syria for example, and poisonously denouncing assorted anti-imperialist forces, lining themselves up with imperialist interests.
Crudest are the likes of Workers Power and other reactionary Trots who astonishingly still pretend that the “rebellion” in Syria is somehow a genuine mass movement instead of the obvious counter-revolution it has been from the beginning, using outside provocateurs and non-stop Western media hysteria to whip-up anti-government “protest”, violent from the beginning, under the camouflage of being “more of the Arab Spring”.
The intention was to head-off, confuse and intimidate the genuine spontaneous revolt in Egypt in 2011 which had caught the entire imperialist world on the hop.
A million signals told the true story, in Libya and Syria, that these protests were nothing to do with genuine revolt, from the reactionary monarchist, bourgeois “democracy” and pro-imperialist demands of the “demonstrators” to the constant calls they made for Western intervention.
That alone would make it clear this was nothing for Marxists to be involved in, and the huge Western and feudal Gulf Arab state arms, military training, funds and political support that arrived from the beginning (and in Libya the outright NATO intervention) more than confirm the picture.
“Leftism” that continues to pretend that the Syrian and Libyan revolts had anything to do with the working class and its future, or even anti-imperialism are not just mistaken but cynically opportunist.
What would a supposed “revolutionary “ be doing berating imperialist Washington for “failure to arm the struggle” as some of the most outrageous “leftism” has done, such as the new International Socialist Network or Workers Power???
Others have been backpedaling fast to hide their previous support for the alleged “people” revolts in Libya and Syria, such as former SWP fragment, Counterfire, sneakily now saying nothing about its earlier position and falling back on the most tepid “Stop the War” sloganising.
But even those who at least spotted the imperialist skulduggery involved in triggering the bogus revolutions in Libya and Syria, such as the Stalinist Lalkar, have got themselves in complete tangled knots because of their wooden non-dialectal support for the Ba’athist bourgeois nationalism in Syria, which sends completely the wrong message to the Syrian masses and the world working class,
Defeat for the imperialist triggered and armed chaos and civil war forces is all that Marxists should be arguing for, but without creating the remotest illusions that Assad (or Gaddafi) were either a short or long term future, which can only be achieved by Leninist struggle.
Their blockheaded and one-sided tactics lead them into all kinds of further confusions and reactionary positions including in the latest publications, all out denunciations of Islamic fighters as “reactionaries”, the same sly weasely positions adopted by all the Trots.
Like all the other fake-“lefts” this leaves the Stalinists free to foully denounce the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo for example, for being “more reactionary than imperialism” and having “only themselves to blame” for the horrific and bloody generals’ coup.
Slyly in their Egypt piece the Stalinists describe the military’s cold-blooded slaughter in the passive tense as if it had nothing to do with deliberate slaughter.
Beyond that they now find themselves simultaneously denouncing the same people they are declaring that the world working class has a “duty to support”.
But if “Islamism is a hollow worthless and essentially pro-imperialist ideology” as the latest Lalkar declares in a long wrigglingly evasive piece trying to justify its craven support for the obvious counter-revolutionary mass demonstrations in Cairo this June which backed the old Mubarak corrupt military coup, then why is it simultaneously hailing and celebrating and calling for uncritical support for Iran, the Hezbollah fighters and the Allawi majority regime in Damascus.
Are these not Islamists?????????
The whole mess of evasions, twisted excuses and outright opportunist lies being punted out by the entire fake-“lefts” as the crisis deepens into more and more horrific massacre and war by imperialism is enough to make any honest thinker throw-up with disgust.
The festering mess that these groups are in needs more analysis, to thoroughly expose their petty bourgeois pretences, and the service it renders to imperialism.
But it already grows clearer that this anti-Leninist rubbish needs clearing out of the way for good so that the working class can begin to build the sound Leninist scientific understanding and leadership required to end capitalist rule.
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