Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic & 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

Back issues

No 1437 22nd December 2013

Woolwich “murder” verdict a frightened denial by British imperialism of the “war on terror” cause of Third World revolt which will unstoppably continue and grow until capitalist oppression and tyranny is ended. Sanctimonious “our way of life” moralising over the tragic death is both grossly hypocritical and a diversionary cover-up for the non-stop torture, blitzkrieging, exploitation and fascist terrorising imposed on billions of “little brown people” everywhere in order to feed the insatiable greed of the private profit system. Both Mandela’s ANC, hypocritically eulogised by the ruling class and the Irish anti-imperialist struggle were labelled “criminal terrorism”. Torture and death squads against them long predate the “horror” of Woolwich and outdo them for savagery and fascist foulness, as does the entire history of the British Empire (Kenya atrocities etc) gradually emerging despite file-burning cover-ups.

What monstrous hypocrisy and disingenuous flannel has poured out thorough the capitalist media in the wake of the Woolwich trial result.

And how the fake-“left” of all shades has once more pitched in with the demented sanctimonious tirades, just as with 9/11 and all points since, to “condemn terror”, variously describing the event as “murder”, “horrifying” or “not the way”, or “just a devious conspiracy really done by the CIA” thereby lining themselves up completely with capitalist ideology.

It will only grease the wheels for yet further fascist capitalist “righteous” collective punishment onslaughts, by international blitzkrieging, civil war manipulation or outright invasion (as currently in the Central African Republic and Mali before that) as well as further political censorship and repression.

In what way is the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby “incomprehensible” as the TV and bourgeois press sanctimoniousness has tipped out by the lorry load after the inevitable “guilty of murder” judgements against the two perpetrators?

Why is it deemed to be the result of “brainwashing and radicalisation”, as if there is no real material cause for the frenzy of anger and hatred to which they were obviously driven?

Why have “weeks-long” journalistic investigations been necessary to probe into this Muslim cleric, that website, this bit of family background in a diversionary hunt for “what might have made them do this”?

Why have panels of earnest “security experts”, psychologists and “moderate Islamists” been convened to pontificate and debate with puzzled frowns on their faces about an attack from “out of the blue”?

So the world has been one of calm, peace, harmony and growing sunlit meadows prosperity has it, from which such terrorism “unexpectedly” and “irrationally” emerges???

Monstrous, po-faced, deliberate, mystical subjective horse-shyte.

And what frightened whistling in the dark to cover-up the devastating and panic-inducing reality that the revolt against the worldwide “war on terror” neo-colonialist rampaging and warmonger underway for a decade and a half, will keep on re-emerging even in the heartlands of the imperialist countries themselves, inflicting blow after blow and with shattering effect, just as the 9/11 event shattered American complacency and confidence.

This is a total play-acting cover-up of the completely obvious fact that the Western crisis “war on terror” is the cause not the result of the terrifying world turmoil.

The wind it has sown is set to reap an ever growing whirlwind.

The concept of a “war on terror” is a bogus nonsense from top to bottom, an excuse for warmongering and imperialist bullying and smiting from the start, to cover-up the desperate catastrophic failure and collapse of the monopoly capitalist order and to allow it to keep on imposing its tyrannical exploitation on the entire world, plundering sweatshop labour and resources to feed an insatiable greed for profit.

It is not surprising then that it is creating ever greater reaction and revolt, on top of the steadily growing anger and hatred against Western capitalist tyranny, by the exploited Third World masses, labouring their miserable (and short) lives away in crumbling, collapsing factories and sun-fried plantations everywhere (which poverty is already the same for many in even the “rich” countries, and facing all workers as they are pushed down by “austerity” class-war).

The answer is staring everyone in the face.

The desperate little people of the world, exploited into penury, are fighting back from their desperate slum-dwelling and now war-ripped agonised existences, turning to whatever weapons and ideologies are at hand, however inadequate.

Even if the Woolwich two had not clearly stated, themselves, firstly at the scene of their action, then again in their police interrogations, and yet again in the courtroom hearings, just what had driven them there, namely their revolt and rebellion against nearly twenty years of Western warmongering blitzkrieg and killing throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, would it really be so difficult to work it out????

Recent years have been filled with revelations and admissions of the fascist barbaric realities of the imperialist re-colonialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and now Libya and Syria (the anti-Assad sectarian conflict which tragically the youths are themselves confused and fooled by).

Inevitably it has multiplied hugely the recruitment into every kind of violent anti-Western anti-imperialist struggle and insurgency.

And attempting to stop that by smashing it down as “just common criminality” to be punished, is only pouring petrol on flames (and a gross hypocrisy anyway if the conflict with “terror” is a declared “war” by Western imperialism).

Everyone wants to see an end to violence and horrors – but it will not come until the cause of such devastation is removed, the capitalist system itself, allowing the building of rational cooperative socialism.

And the monopoly capitalists will not leave the stage peacefully – no ruling class has ever bowed out of history with a resigned good-natured shrug – but are imposing “endless war”, as the Pentagon declared ten years ago, to hang on to the sweet billionaire life of the tiny few despite the total historic bankruptcy of their private profit way of doing things.

The Woolwich pair were as explicitly political as it is possible to be, stating clearly that they considered themselves “soldiers” in a worldwide struggle against the blitzkrieging and killing which has been maintained non-stop against “Islamic fundamentalism” primarily, killing thousands, in fact hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people since the beginning of Afghan and Iraq invasions, the destruction of Libya, and scorched earth devastation in Syria.

Marxism would not choose this particular form of attack or consider it likely to achieve the ending of such world oppression or the ideology which shaped it; the anarchic nationalist individualism guided by the backward religious ideology to which the two perpetrators have turned is not going to provide the revolutionary mass leadership needed to completely overturn the capitalist system.

Far from it. The contradictions riddled through the such mystical sectarian jihadism are wide open to manipulation and misuse and have seen such youths pitching into to entirely the wrong side in fight after fight, including in Libya against Gaddafi’s bourgeois nationalist anti-imperialism and currently tearing most of Syria into horrific mayhem.

As far back as the war against the Soviet Union’s support for the revolutionary socialist Afghan government of the 1980s, the backward primitivism of various strands of fundamentalism was been twisted and recruited by imperialism to set traps for, and bring down, revisionist soviet aid and support in Kabul (which had already begun the liberation and education of women etc now lyingly claimed by the West via opportunist anti-communists like Gladys Kinnock).

It was a defeat that played a crucial role in wider world imperialist anti-communist subversion, helping precipitate Soviet workers state demoralisation under the disastrous defeatist liquidation of Gorbachevism, the revisionist end point of the Stalinist initiated retreat from revolution which fatally flawed the Soviet workers state leadership from at least the 1930s onwards.

But this nationalist religiosity has also struck major blows against imperialism’s tyrannical world domination - exactly as stated by the convicted pair.

It is no more a simple “crime” than the IRA struggle against British imperialism was “criminal murder” or Nelson Mandela’s armed struggle to end apartheid was “criminality” as some of the more die-hard reactionary Tories still insist on saying, even as the two-faced hypocrisy of the Obamas and Camerons is rushing to the deification of his later class collaborating “reasonableness” in ANC ruled South Africa.

Nor is the random chance selection of the hapless Rigby as the particular victim much more than an individual tragedy for him and his family.

But the fraudulent pretence that it is “just another murder” and there is no rhyme or reason for a British soldier to have been attacked is a grotesque lie.

It does have something to do with the “patriotic” illusions which the ruling class inculcates into its military and which he allegedly held with pride to be “serving his country” and “defending our way of life, our freedom, and democracy.”

It takes some naïvety or reactionary blinkeredness and narrow chauvinism (both deliberately instilled into a misled working class, aided by reformist collusion with the ruling class) in fact to hold to such garbage in the degenerating crisis warmongering which capitalism has now saturated the world in.

It is for example only a couple of weeks since the trial of the British army marine murderer in Afghanistan, filmed by his complicit squaddie “comrades”, cold-bloodedly and callously shooting a disarmed prisoner in the head with the contemptuous words “go on, shuffle off this mortal coil you cunt.”

Not long before that were accounts of US soldiers pissing into dead Iraqi skulls, of “murder competitions” by the occupying military to kill as many local people as possible, of beatings on British army camps of such savagery that they killed and maimed the suspects etc etc etc.

Sinister permanent large-scale torture camps were set up in Afghanistan and Iraq, other revelations show.

Or there was the video footage downloaded by the whistle-blowing Bradley Manning and distributed by Wikileaks (both attracting relentless fascist hatred and stitch-ups as a result) which showed two US helicopter pilots laughing and joking as they shoot down unarmed photographers and children in Iraq from a distance.

As numerous veterans, from the Falklands to Iraq, have testified ever since, this and much more, is the normal and routine practice of Western military occupations, not the “he was just a bad apple” exception as the capitalist politicians and reactionary press try to paint things (and always do).

These were war crimes, not that such a phrase has been seen over the marine murder in the capitalist media, despite its infinite capacity for theatrical “outrage” as it works itself into a froth of supposed “indignation” over world “terrorism” and “dictators”, while ignoring incident after incident after incident by the colonialist rampaging worldwide.

Hypocrisy is too tame a word for this deliberate mob-rousing hate-stampeding red-faced apoplexy.

Fascist Goebbels propaganda is closer.

For the “misunderstood” marine the ruling class, the military and the media have spent their time calling for “leniency” and an “understanding of the stress he was under”.

And who trained him and put him under such stress? And why was he in Afghanistan anyway?

The country is a hell hole of poverty, drug-growing and corruption and ten times worse off than ever it was before a decade of blitzing and occupation and the supposed “ending of the Taliban” and restoration of “democracy and the rule of law”, all lying nonsense.

And all that military degeneracy is only the tip of the iceberg of depravity revealed in disclosures and leaks about endless and widespread torture, inhuman imprisonment (of multiple innocents), constant drone attacks, killings, slaughter of civilians, ethnic cleansing (currently driving out the Beduins by fear and intimidation from the poverty-stricken homes in Zionist occupied Sinai for example, and endless imposed in brutal siege and repeated bombing and shelling attacks on the Gaza strip) and all out murderous invasions which capitalism perpetrates non-stop.

Every Tuesday yet more illegal, death-squad slaughter is signed off by the President of the United States, for drone assassinations carried out against alleged “terrorists” without trials, verifications or appeal, frequently “taking out” numerous bystanders in a welter of high-explosive devastation tearing men, women and children to shrapnel riddled shreds in the cold-blooded process.

Wedding parties and local villages gatherings have been blasted to smithereens and desperate bereavement (with none of these people’s pain explored in multi-page spreads in the capitalist press and in tearful statements on TV).

The British have just shown off their own computer-game killer-drone joystick control centre in Norfolk, all ready for their own long-distance mechanised drone assassinations.

And this goes on throughout northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, at present and before in Iraq and Libya, and by proxy in Syria too.

Even on the day of the court judgement the very same news programmes putting on their “serious” faces were reporting, as the very next item on the news list, that an inquiry “had found questions to answer” (in the politest possible way, of course) that British security had “been involved” in torture, and the euphemistically named “rendition”.

Rendition means the seizing into custody from the street or countryside of uncharged “suspects” who are then spirited away from a country (to avoid the laws relating torture etc) and flown in secret – (with such flights also all denied until further exposés revealed them) – to various prisons and torture cells in suitable stooge fascist regimes where they can be held and almost certainly tortured at will with Western “advisors” on hand.

No contact is given for family or friends or knowledge about what has happened to them - and they can be killed or incarcerated with impunity.

In Latin American this was known as “disappearing” people in the US sponsored and installed fascist regimes of the mid-to-late twentieth century.

Such seizures are not just illegal but have been deemed a sign of feudal uncivilised backwardness for centuries, outlawed by one of the most fundamental of “human rights” principles called habeus corpus, the freedom of the person unless convicted of a crime. Virtually every country in Europe, including the “liberal” Scandinavians so venerated by the fake-“left” reformists have been caught out participating in this rendition, and even where not so, effectively collude with it.

The British capitalist secret police (MI6, MI5 etc) whose “security” function is not to defend “freedom” but the capitalist state and its privileged exploitative ruling class, has been doing just these things:

Dozens of questions about the UK’s involvement in the rendition and torture of terrorism suspects after 9/11 remain unanswered, an official inquiry has concluded.

In his interim report, the inquiry head, Sir Peter Gibson, raised 27 questions to be asked of the involvement of government ministers and officers from MI5 and MI6 in the mistreatment of detainees in the so-called war on terror.

After examining around 20,000 confidential documents, Gibson questioned whether the UK had “a deliberate or agreed policy” of turning a blind eye to the mistreatment of prisoners, and whether the two intelligence agencies were willing to “condone, encourage or take advantage of rendition operations” mounted by others.

The Guardian understands that the heads of the MI6 and MI5 have each been given a month to provide answers to the questions.

Whether those answers will be made public remains unclear, however: the answers are to be provided to the intelligence and security committee, the Westminster body that is supposed to provide oversight of intelligence bodies, but the ISC’s reports are censored in line with recommendations from the agencies themselves.

Gibson’s conclusions and the question he says now need to be address will make uncomfortable reading for former heads of the UK’s intelligence agencies and for ministers of the last Labour government. It is clear that the retired appeal court judge does not accept that the blanket response that ministers gave for years to specific allegations – that Britain “does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture for any purpose” – is no longer sufficient.

Gibson concluded that the unanswered questions can be grouped into four broad themes: interrogation; rendition; the training of intelligence officers and the guidance they received; and communications between the intelligence agencies and government.

He also highlighted the rendition of two Libyan nationals who were taken to Tripoli against their will, along with their families, in 2004.

“There are serious allegations of UK involvement in rendition in relation to the two Libya nationals. These plainly required investigation,” he said.

The report discloses that a few months after 9/11, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, wrote to the home secretary, David Blunkett, requesting a “feasibility study” to establish whether English law could be amended to permit rendition to the UK. Blunkett wrote back saying: “The obstacles to this suggestion are simply too formidable.”

Other questions that Gibson said demanded answers included “whether there was an apparent willingness, at least at some levels within the agencies, to condone, encourage or take advantage of a rendition operation” conducted by other countries. He also questioned whether the British government and its intelligence agencies became “inappropriately involved” in such renditions.

Gibson’s report is based on the reading of around 20,000 documents. He was not able to take oral evidence and his inquiry was suspended in January last year after Scotland Yard opened investigations into the Libyan rendition operations.

As a consequence, his report reaches no conclusions, and no individuals are singled out for blame – instead he poses a series of questions about ministers of the last government and senior intelligence officers.

His report makes clear that the documents he has read show that British intelligence officers continued to be involved in the interrogation of detainees despite their mistreatment having been witnessed.

This tepid hand-wringing inquiry is itself a total cover-up and fraud, and only a fragment of the picture anyway about British and Western imperialism but provided at least some basis for discussion about Woolwich.

But incredibly, on all the news programmes it was presented completely separately, more fenced-off than Monty Python’s “now for something completely different” and completely downplayed, conveniently (and not coincidentally) side-lined and covered-up by the crocodile tears over Woolwich by the politicians, instead of being a central, explanatory factor.

There is not room to print much of all the mountain of other atrocity cuttings accumulating for the last decade on British, American and other blitzing, massacres and torture, such as those in which:

A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

as the Wikileaks revelations began, though it is important to do so at some point for the record. (A sample can be found on the Internet like this http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2010/oct/23/iraq-war-logs-torture-frago242 .)

But something can be said on US death squad activity:

The real people in Jeremy Scahill’s film – and the book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, which accompanies it – are the victims of what are, in effect, US hit squads operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places where the American government is waging its “war on terror”. Starting with one murderous attack on an Afghan police chief and his family in eastern Afghanistan, Scahill widens the focus to portray an out-of-control US military, operating through a shadowy organisation called the Joint Special Operations Command, stalking an ever increasing number of targets in an apparently endless war. It is a compelling picture that tries to make sense of the spiralling number of drone strikes and targeted assassinations; tries, too, to prise a reaction from viewers who have been desensitised by a decade of such killings.

Scahill began work on the film in early 2010, when he travelled to Afghanistan with documentary director Richard Rowley, a friend and colleague with whom he had worked in Baghdad. Rowley wanted to make a film about Afghanistan; Scahill wanted to examine President Obama’s hawkish foreign policy. They have ended up doing both. “We started to investigate a series of night raids [by US forces],” says Scahill, “and discovered that the people doing the raids were members of this elite secret unit. When we realised where else in the world they were operating, we realised we had a film.”

... The extent of the US military’s covert operations and the amount of “collateral damage” are shocking; the film shows that even US citizens have been the victims of non-judicial executions; and the argument that the war on terror is ultimately unwinnable because indiscriminate killings radicalise whole populations is persuasive. “Somehow, in front of our eyes, undeclared wars have been launched in countries across the globe; foreigners and citizens alike assassinated by presidential decree; the war on terror transformed into a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Scahill laments at the end of the film. “How does a war like this ever end, and what happens to us when we realise what was hidden in plain sight?”

...In the late 1990s he worked on TV shows with radical film-maker Michael Moore, whom he calls a “master communicator”, before moving on to the Nation magazine, where he became national security correspondent, reporting on a succession of wars and writing the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. In the film we see Scahill struggling to come to terms with ordinary – too ordinary, as he finds it – life back home in Brooklyn. “I’ve done this kind of work [reporting on wars] for my entire adult life,” he tells me, “and I realised in the course of making this film that it changes you as a person. You come back from a war into your own society, and you feel like you can’t relate to anyone. But also you carry around with you the stories of all these people who have let you into their lives and shared with you the excruciating pain they’ve experienced.”...

But isn’t it tough to carry the scars of all these conflicts – the family in mourning in Afghanistan, the morgue full of children’s corpses in Yemen, the gun-toting anarchy in Somalia? “Yeah, it is,” he says. “We would go into people’s homes and I would promise we were going to bring this story back and tell it in America....

He says the need to tell their stories outweighs any fear he feels that he might himself become collateral damage while reporting, or the paranoia that afflicts anyone who stands up to the state. In the film he mentions being harassed by anonymous phone callers and believing his computer had been hacked.

He says that, as the Edward Snowden furore shows, journalists are under greater pressure than ever before. “Under President Obama the US justice department has authorised the seizure of the phone records of journalists; they are tracking the metadata of journalists; they’re prosecuting whistleblowers in record numbers under the Espionage Act; there really is a war against journalism. For everyone who does this kind of work, where you’re taking on powerful institutions, the responsible posture to take is to assume they’re monitoring your communications. It’s a part of doing this work.”

...Having finished Dirty Wars, he has no desire to rush back to the battlefield. “I don’t want to do this again any time soon. I feel gutted as a person. I’ve been living all these stories and talking about them every day for the past four years. I’ve internalised a lot of it, and it consumes my thoughts. I can’t ever imagine I’ll be anything other than a journalist, but it definitely took a toll on me. I don’t know what I’m going to do next journalistically, but I do know that I need to regain my footing in the world.”

Dirty Wars is released in the UK on 29 November

Or then there is the French colonialist invasions of the Cote d’Ivoire, of Mali, and now the Central African Republic to re-establish Western diktat against assorted rebellions, always garishly painted as supposed barbarians and rampaging killers etc or condemned as “al-Qaeda terrorists” to be gunned down and slaughtered to re-establish the conditions for Western corporate exploitation.

Then there is Guantánamo, itself a fascist illegality, where completely innocent prisoners – even those cleared by the US military, – continue to be held and where hunger strike protests have been forcibly suppressed with barbarous and damaging force-feeding – a form of torture and physical punishment in itself, shamefully carried out by qualified doctors and effectively war crimes too:

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.

The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”.

Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.

The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation “safety officers” rather than doctors. Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner’s physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees.

The CIA’s office of medical services played a critical role in advising the justice department that “enhanced interrogation” methods, such as extended sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which are recognised as forms of torture, were medically acceptable. CIA medical personnel were present when waterboarding was taking place, the taskforce says.

Although the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at Guantánamo Bay in recent years, and the CIA has said it no longer has suspects in detention, the taskforce says that these “changed roles for health professionals and anaemic ethical standards” remain.

“The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve,” said Dr Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University and member of the taskforce.

He added: “It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.”

The taskforce says that unethical practices by medical personnel, required by the military, continue today. The DoD “continues to follow policies that undermine standards of professional conduct” for interrogation, hunger strikes, and reporting abuse. Protocols have been issued requiring doctors and nurses to participate in the force-feeding of detainees, including forced extensive bodily restraints for up to two hours twice a day.

Doctors are still required to give interrogators access to medical and psychological information about detainees which they can use to exert pressure on them. Detainees are not permitted to receive treatment for the distress caused by their torture..

Beyond that is the stream of revelations about British colonial history also pouring out revealing a stream of horrors and concentration camp barbarity that would shame even the Nazis in Germany.

Killer beatings, castrations, broken bottle buggery, and even roasting alive of Kenyan freedom fighters (the Mau-Mau) was the reality in the 1950s following on from the equally brutal anti-communist wars waged in Malaysia, and Greece (by the Labour government) and in Burma and much else of the British Empire, culminating in the deliberate cynical partitioning of India which costs hundreds of thousands of lives.

The brainwashing humbug about “gallant soldiers defending our British way of life and its democratic freedoms” poured out by the press over Lee Rigby is built on layers and layers of lies covering up centuries of atrocities, a cover-up itself which has been covered-up as even further revelations make clear:

As the sun finally set on the Empire, diplomats scurried to repatriate or destroy hundreds of thousands “dirty” documents containing evidence that London had decided should never see the light of day. Some 50 years later, the sheer scale of the operation to hide the secrets of British rule overseas – including details of atrocities committed during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya – is revealed in documents released today by the National Archives in Kew, west London.

The so-called “migrated archive” details the extraordinary lengths to which the Colonial Office went to withhold information from its former subjects in at least 23 countries and territories in the 1950s and 1960s.

Among the documents is a memo from London that required all secret documents held abroad to be vetted by a Special Branch or MI5 liaison officer to ensure that any papers which might “embarrass” Britain or show “racial prejudice or religious bias” were destroyed or sent home.

The ramifications of the operation to conceal the resulting archive of 8,800 files – a closely guarded Whitehall secret until the Government recently lost high-profile court cases – are still being felt in compensation claims for victims of atrocities committed under British rule from Kenya to Malaya.

Relatives of 24 Malayan rubber plantation workers allegedly murdered by British soldiers in the Malayan village of Batang Kali in 1948 returned to the Court of Appeal this week to try to overturn a ruling that the British government cannot be held responsible for the massacre.

Most of the records of the original investigation into the killings were destroyed, most likely during the eight-month period that included the sending of five unmarked lorries [from] the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to a Royal Navy base in Singapore. Their cargo [was] files detailing the secrets of Britain’s rule in Malaya [for] in the words of one official, a “splendid incinerator”.

A memo recording the destruction operation in 1957 notes that the MI5 liaison officer overseeing the operation believed that as a result “the risk of compromise and embarrassment [to Britain] is slight”.

John Halford, of the law firm Bindmans, which is representing the Batang Kali relatives and victims, told The Independent:

“British officials through the years have been desperate to consign the Batang Kali atrocity to history, despite those who were there as children still being very much alive and driven to seek justice.”

Known in several former colonies as “Operation Legacy”, Whitehall set out a list of the types of material it wanted removed, including anything which “might embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants (such as police agents or informers)”. Once “dirty” documents had been removed the remaining “clean” material was passed to a new strata of administrators overseeing independence processes who were deliberately not told about the sifting process.

It also ordered the destruction or removal of “all papers which are likely to be interpreted, either reasonably or by malice, as indicating racial prejudice or bias”.

Under the rules, all material marked “Top Secret” or “Secret” was either sent back to Britain via the RAF or the navy, or destroyed either by burning or “placed in well-weighted crates and sunk in deep and current free water at the maximum practicable distance from shore”.

Among the documents is a note that officials should carefully control any bonfires of secrets and avoid a situation similar to Indian in 1947 when the local press was filled with reports about the “pall of smoke” which fell over Delhi at the end of the Raj as British officials burnt their papers.

The British have also run their own death-squads too, not even in the far flung Empire but right under everyone’s noses while maintaining the occupation of “Northern Ireland” as Sinn Féins’s Gerry Adams recounts:

The BBC Panorama programme on the Military Reaction Force shone a light on one aspect of Britain’s dirty war in Ireland. The existence of the MRF has been known for over 30 years but tonight’s documentary provides new information on a secret British army unit that operated with impunity in the early 70s.

The use of counter-gangs – such as the MRF, the Force Reconnaissance Unit and others – of agents and informers, and of specialist military units, is as old as war itself. The British military has long made use of these tactical tools. I am confident it is passing that experience on to its current crop of young officers in Sandhurst.

As used by successive British governments in Ireland, this involved reshaping the judiciary, the law, the police and the media to suit the objectives of the generals and the politicians. According to Frank Kitson, the British army’s foremost proponent of counter-insurgency tactics: “Everything done by a government and its agents in combating insurgency must be legitimate. But this does not mean the government must work within exactly the same set of laws during an emergency as existed beforehand. The law should be used as just another weapon in the government’s arsenal, in which case it becomes little more than a propaganda cover for the disposal of unwanted members of the public.”

That was the job of the MRF. To kill unwanted members of the public. If unarmed republicans or civilians were killed, that was acceptable.

In every major conflict in the 20th century, and in the colonial struggles for independence – in Algeria and Vietnam, Kenya and Mozambique, Aden and Cyprus – the same strategies were employed. The court case won by Kenyans who were imprisoned and tortured by the British army in Kenya provides the details of these practices at work.


A new book claims members of the RUC and UDR were part of a loyalist gang that killed more than 100 people in the 1970s.

The book claims to have uncovered evidence of collusion on a huge scale.

It says the loyalist gang operated from farms in counties Armagh and Tyrone.

One extract, from an unpublished HET report, says there was “indisputable evidence of security forces collusion” that should have rung alarm bells all the way to the top of government.

Lethal Allies - British Collusion in Ireland contains other extracts of unpublished reports by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) that refer to evidence of widespread collusion.

The book is written by a researcher with the Pat Finucane Centre, a human rights advocacy and lobbying group in Northern Ireland.

The author, Anne Cadwallader, claims RUC officers and members of the UDR were part of a gang operating from two farms in south Armagh and Tyrone that killed 120 people between 1972 and 1976.

“It can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that there was systemic collusion in these cases,” she said.

Allegations of collusion between members of the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries are nothing new.

The BBC Spotlight programme investigated allegations about the existence of the gang nine years ago.

At the time, two former RUC officers admitted they had been members of the gang.

One of them was William McCaughey, who has since died. He was convicted of the murder of a Catholic shopkeeper and the kidnapping of a Catholic priest.

He told BBC Spotlight he had been a member of the UVF while serving as a police officer and explained how it operated.

“There was horses for courses obviously,” he said.

“There was people who were drivers, there was people who were able to take people’s lives, shoot people. There was people who simply operated on an intelligence level, not every person involved was actually involved in the taking of life directly.

“I was quite happy to co-operate at any level with any person who had a basic loyalty to Northern Ireland, who shared the same belief system, the same ideological system as myself.”

The book claims the loyalist gang operated from farms in Glennane in south Armagh, and Dungannon, County Tyrone, and that the security forces were aware of their activities.

An extract, referring to the killings of four people in attacks on two pubs in Charlemont, County Armagh, on a night in May 1976, says: “It is difficult to believe... when judged in concert with other cases emerging at the time, that such widespread evidence of collusion in these areas was not a significant concern at the highest levels of the security forces and of government.”

What peaceful “way of life” has been “so brutally attacked” in a “senseless crime”??

The population of Germany in the 1930s was notoriously blind to the foul repression, scapegoating genocide and war preparations of the Nazis.

What is so different to the smug remarks from middle-class fake-”lefts” and revolutionary renegades that “yes but you can’t call it fascism yet”?????

The working class has been misled and corrupted by decades and decades of lying Empire chauvinism and petty bourgeois class-collaborating treachery (with Labourism in power as much a part of world suppression and exploitation as the ruling class itself – running the most barbaric anti-liberation wars in Greece and Malaysia under the “left” Clement Attlee Labour landslide government, and in 1960s brutally oppressing Yemeni Aden under Harold Wilson, whose government (with “left” Tony Benn a minister) fed intelligence to the Indonesian general Suharto which saw one millions suspected communists massacred in 1965 and which only stayed out of the Vietnam war because of growing late 1960s anti-war ferment.

Equally to blame are the layers of corrupted petty bourgeois influence from the fake-“left” of all kinds on a spectrum from tame Labourism to Trotskyist and Stalinist pretend revolutionaries.

It is the giant vacuum left in world politics by the retreats and twisted cover-ups of fake-“leftism”, long losing all sight of the terminal crisis of capitalism let alone the unstoppable war drive it gives rise to, which has seen assorted substitute militancies fill the space.

But these are unable to identify the real enemy, capitalism and capitalist world domination alone, which is tearing mankind to shreds in agonised confusion.

The “left” only add to the confusion by their capitulation to Western “freedom and democracy” delusions including denunciations of “terrorism” and their lining up with attacks on the halfway house anti-imperialism of “rogue states”.

What the world working class needs is a clear understanding of all the class forces in the world, and of the real enemy, so that it can organise for the now urgent fight to turn over and completely destroy the old class rule and its path towards Third World War.

That can only be done by building Leninism.

Steven Tudy

Back to the top



Repeat Western intriguing and populist-Nazi pseudo-“revolution” will fail again in Ukraine and Thailand because the onrushing capitalist crisis leaves no room for middle-class self-interest. But that is no thanks to Trotskyist and revisionist confusion and shallow abstract “anti-totalitarian” and “democracy” illusions which play into the hands of the provocateurs pushing them along. Trotskyism has fallen for every such stunt since the Hungarian counter-revolution but revisionist Stalinism is just as deluded, currently telling the world the brutal massacring coup in Egypt is “the revolution” and blaming the Palestinians for the Gaza siege the reinstalled military has imposed again, shutting tunnels in collusion with Zionism

The crude anti-communist Lenin statue-smashing and Nazi nationalism of the re-run Ukraine “Orange Revolution” pretence, the vicious lynch mob killings by the middle-class “Yellow shirt” populism in Thailand and the continuing torture and massacre crackdown by the allegedly “popular” militarism in Egypt, all underline how disastrously sour the Western “freedom and democracy” pretences are becoming.

So too in another form does the ludicrous eulogising exaggeration of the Nelson Mandela funeral, painting over his great revolutionary heroism and the armed national liberation struggle which brilliantly ended apartheid, and lauding precisely the faults and “democracy” failings of the revisionist South African CP which has since left the SA working class leaderless and as desperate as before (as even the bourgeois press has noted in places).

As the monopoly capitalist catastrophe and Slump disaster bites ever deeper – whatever transient “upturn” is tricked-up by QE money printing sleight-of-hand temporarily – the obvious reaction, hypocrisy and viciousness of these stunts and petty bourgeois flare-ups from Moscow to Brazil is clearer by the day.

But they are headed for failure, part of the historic failure of the capitalist system and its lying “parliamentary freedom and democracy” fraud and manipulation which has kept everyone compliantly accepting bourgeois diktat and power for two hundred years .

Almost certainly they will peter out again as both did before, mired in obvious corruption and probably as transient as the other more spontaneous but desperate middle-class flare-ups in Turkey, Brazil, and the latest now in the Italian “Pitchfork rebellion”, because the material conditions for capitalism to “reward” their narrow self-interested Nazi stoogery, no longer exist or are disappearing fast in the continuing catastrophe of capitalist economic meltdown and cutthroat trade-war.

These new flare ups are part of a wave of desperation by the middle class across the planet facing the extinction of its comfortable position riding the tail of the ruling class as the crisis and class-war austerity impositions are intensified by the ruling class, desperate to keep hold of its own privilege and wealth.

For the long decades of smug complacent post-war “boom” reformism and welfarism the petty bourgeois in the richer countries at least, has ridiculed Marxism for its notion that the middle class would be ground between the great blocs of the only two really significant class forces in modern history, the tiny but powerful ruling class of billionaire owners, bankers, state bureaucracy and military, and the great mass of the working class who have nowhere to go but to revolution (with famously, nothing to lose but their chains).

“Look” they shouted “far from us being driven down into the ranks of the proletariat, the wages of the workers have just risen and are turning the working class into petty bourgeois. Your Marx got it all wrong.”

But it is this smug philistinism which has got it all wrong (as numerous pained articles in their favourite bourgeois newspapers are spelling out) and they are being crushed, economically driven into bankruptcy and despair.

Hence the extraordinary flare-ups from Brazil to Turkey with their weird reformist environmentalist demands, swinging wildly between reformism and anti-communism and just as rapidly disappearing again.

There are echoes of the reactionary Poujardism of the post-WW2 years in this, populist and capable of vicious anti-working class outbursts like those in Bangkok against the proletarian Redshirts.

Totally exposed by these reactionary stunts are the disastrous politics of the fake-“left” of all shades, from ultra-Trotskyist to ossified Stalinists, whose assorted abstract “democracy” delusions, fatuous “peace protests” and “left pressure” opportunism have helped capitalism stretch out its “freedom” and “rule of law” lies and hypocrisy for a whole century beyond its sell-by date.

Insidious petty bourgeois confusion has played into the hands of imperialism’s skulduggery and anti-communist manipulation, not least in Eastern Europe, from post-war counter-revolutions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, to ultimately the Solidarnosc bogus trade union fascist reaction which toppled the workers state and tipped idiot revisionism in the USSR into total liquidation of the brilliant workers state.

These whipped up “street movements” have been almost routine for Western organised subversion throughout the long post--war “boom”.

They are part of the armoury of endless sabotage, disruption and coup-plotting to try and hamper, weaken and bring down first of all the powerful USSR and all follow-on communist workers states from Cuba to China and North Korea.

They are aimed too at any left-leaning or even half-tepid anti-imperialist “rogue states” to try and topple even the most modest resistance either directly, by manipulated elections and corruption bribery, or as a prelude to brutal military dictatorship coups, or even by direct invasions to “defend freedom” and “prevent dictators killing their own people”.

Capitalist-favoured dictators meanwhile from Augustus Pinochet to Hosni Mubarak, the Shah of Iran, the feudal sheikhs, Papa and Baby Doc in Haiti, Indonesia’s Suharto and the Philippines’ Fedinand Marcos, to name just a small sample from dozens over 60 years of post-war Washington dominance, have been installed with maximum violence and brutality, and then left “free” to terrorise, slaughter, torture and maim as many of “their people” as they deemed necessary – as long as they held communism at bay.

That achieved they were “free” to suppress even the faintest whiff of anti-colonialist anti-imperialist feeling while opening the doors to full-on Western corporate exploitation.

From Chile to Grenada, Zimbabwe to Myanmar, Tian an Men to Tehran, fake and bogus “street” movements and “democracy” campaigns have been non-stop, looking to create hysteria and confusion in any country which dares to try and set itself against the monopoly profiteering interests of international (US, Japanese and some European) capital.

All have been hailed by the fake-“lefts” until their sick fascist racist degeneracy and civil war barbarity became too obvious (though some of the more out-on-a-limb “lefts” are even now still pretending the “Free Syrian Army” etc, heavily funded by the West and feudal backwardness in the Gulf, is “the revolution”).

The Trotskyist petty bourgeois hatred of all workers states' discipline has always seen it pour out the most poisonous hostility against the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, Vietnam etc etc and with the fall of the USSR (also helped by their brain-poisoning rubbish about the “horrible” life in the workers states) it has translated into a similar poison against all forms of anti-imperialism – imperialism designated “rogue states” philistinely denounced as “dictatorships” and “totalitarian repression”.

This smug middle class “human rights” and individualist single-issue rejection of the kind of discipline the working class needed to resist endless Western sabotage, subversion and ideological undermining has lately been turned on the likes of the relatively egalitarian Gaddafi anti-imperialism and the Zionist-hated bourgeois nationalist and reformist Syria, helping set them up for the for the brutal destruction now imposed on them.

Like Iraq and Afghanistan before them, (and Somalia, Yemen and parts of Pakistan) both are now a smouldering mess of devastated infrastructure, slaughter, maimed and dispersed populations and a political vacuum filled with warlordism, racist repression, gangsters, sectarian hatreds and chaos, the opening of Third World War effectively.

The purpose of these long-planned Washington provoked pseudo-revolutions was to head off the gigantic popular revolt against Hosni Mubarak’s pro-West pro-Zionist dictatorship in Cairo, which erupted out of the blue and caught imperialism and its stooge Zionist local repression completely on the hop, and to generally keep the war momentum going which was already established by Serbian blitzing, Afghanistan and Iraq.

But the Trotskyists jumped right in from the start, swimming with the tide of unrelenting Western hate propaganda and luridly exaggerated, one-sided or mostly outright lying and always “unverified” allegations of “atrocities and massacres” by “monstrous dictators” etc etc which the intelligence agency fed out to a compliant media.

They willingly fall in behind even the crudest “anti-dictator” and anti-”totalitarianism” soft-brained idiocies.

The deep down anti-communism of these petty bourgeois groups (and hatred of the Soviet Union etc) blinds them to all the objective facts.

Not an iota of deep class analysis is made as part of an overall world perspective of the imperialist system’s collapse and the great revolutionary movements it is triggering (with much sneering philistinely at the need to consider the emergence of current conflicts from past events as “not relevant to today’s needs” and “no one wants to hear about dead Russians” etc.)

If it is on the street and the capitalist press says it is a popular movement (with a few quickly turned out “freedom” banners and grossly and ludicrously overstated “estimates” of the numbers involved) then it must be “the revolution” is the gibberish immediately poured out by their press, particularly shallow Trotskyist workerism repeating great gobbets of the capitalist propaganda atrocity lies and distortions as fact, and most often with suitably “left” embellishments to rubbish the likes of Gaddafi and cheer on their grotesque Nazi assassinations by the Western provoked warlords and frenzied petty bourgeois.

But so gross have the latest upheavals become now that even these willing petty bourgeois dupes for stunt after stunt are having to back off presently, from the Yellow Shirt demonstrations in Bangkok at least.

Staggeringly however the Trots, like the Socialist Workers Party cling on to the Ukrainian Catholic fascist rebels and the obviously well-funded colour-coordinated revolt. They conclude one piece thus:

Various people and groups are manoeuvring to be at the head of the protest movement. There is Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party which while reclaiming ground was mired in corruption in the past. The boxer Vitali Klitschko leads the anti corruption pro free market UDAR party. Oleg Tyagnibok leads the fascist Svoboda party.

The question is whether the protest movement can build enough momentum to escape the competing interests of the West and Russia, and its own divided ruling class.

This “building momentum” weasel is the usual giant Trotskyist petty bourgeois excuse that somehow such movements would be alright if only they were not “hijacked”, instead of drawing the much more straightforward conclusion that such leadership and plenty of other signals are the indicators of the rotten and foul class nature of these movements, reactionary from top to bottom.

And there are plenty of other clues like the presence of the interfering European politicians outrageously putting their oar in. Imagine the reaction if a communist leader from Cuba was to turn up in Britain insisting that the British rebel against the government.

Or how about this for an indication of who the “revolutionaries” side with:

Some 200,000 demonstrators turned out in freezing cold on Kiev’s Independence Square on Sunday to hear Senator John McCain, the ex-US Republican presidential contender, declare that “Ukraine’s destiny lies with Europe”.

That would be the same John McCain who has consistently called for arming of the vicious civil war rebellion in Syria, who pushed the gung-ho war NATO Nazi war invasion of Libya, and to this day unapologetically supports the US intervention and blitzing of Vietnam?

Is that not definitive enough? Or what of the songs they sing??

“We want to be in Europe” said 46-year-old Liudmyla Babych, a saleswoman from Kiev, holding a placard reading “Mr President – the Ukrainian nation will not forgive you this treason.”

The protesters marched through the streets of Kiev as part of a nationwide day of protest chanting the slogans “Out with the gang!” and “Ukraine is Europe” and singing songs popular during the Orange revolution. Tens of thousands of people held a peaceful meeting on European Square demanding Yanukovych abolish the decree and sack the government.

The songs “popular” in 2004 were the same anti-Semitic Nazi songs that were “popular” in Catholic reactionary Western Ukraine in 1940 too as these brief repeated quotes from ten years ago illustrate (see longer versions in EPSR 1253 30-11-04):

Oranges can often be bitter, and the mass street protests now going on in Ukraine may not be quite as sweet as their supporters claim.

For one thing the demonstrators do not reflect nationwide sentiments. Ukraine is riven by deep historical, religious and linguistic divisions.

Their traditions are not always pleasant. Some protesters have been chanting nationalistic and secessionist songs from the anti-Semitic years of the second world war.



Conflict in Kiev

James Meek may be right that western intelligence services have tapes of outgoing Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma being anti-Semitic “in private” (Bold but bloodless, November 25). But what about the anti-Semitic utterances of Viktor Yushchenko’s supporters in public? One of their key targets is Kuchma’s Jewish son-in-law, television boss Viktor Pinchuk. But pro-Nazi revisionism goes deep in the orange-uniformed ranks of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine.

When one of the party’s main newspaper backers, Silski Visti, was prosecuted under race hate laws for declaring in 2003 that 400,000 Jews had invaded Ukraine along with the Nazi forces, Viktor Yushchenko and his key allies started a campaign “Hands off Silski Visti”. Other pro-Yushchenko media in western Ukraine have blamed the Babi Yar massacre in 1941 on the Jews. Maybe the new European order which Tim Garton Ash sees Yushchenko’s supporters striving to join isn’t quite so new after all.

Mark Almond (Election observer),

Oriel College, Oxford

The Trots are floundering around trying to excuse themselves for the mess being created everywhere by pretending it has nothing to do with their dire politics, and capitulation to imperialist war propaganda, “condemning terrorism”.

The evasive excuse is to helplessly declare that these movements have been “hijacked” by the right wing as if their fascist nature was not clear from the beginning.

This is the same dishonest way the Trots washed their hands of their “political revolution” nonsense which they maintained while the Soviet Union existed, pretending to be “for the workers state but not the bureaucratic leadership which needs to be overturned”.

As soon as it became clear that the liquidation of the USSR in 1991 was nothing but counter-revolution, exactly as Leninism had warned was the only possible meaning of “revolution” within a workers state, the entire rubbish theory was jettisoned with no attempt to explain why it went so disastrously wrong.

Now a whole clutch of Trots, recently come together in the latest effort to fudge over their differences, in the Ken Loach “Left Unity” circus, tries to spirit this disastrous mistake away by stating with an airy wave of the hand that the Soviet Union “never was socialist”, the statement to be the foundation for the LU party principles as proposed in various “platforms”.

Thus they simultaneously dispose of their own theoretical disaster and the twentieth century at the same time.

It takes some chutzpah to dismiss as a completely pointless historical mistake, the entire history of Western anti-communist aggression throughout the twentieth century including a) the ending of the First World War caused because of the revolution in Russia [the only way war can ever be stopped, effectively] b) the enormous multi-nation three year war intervention of nearly twenty separate armies sent in to destroy Lenin’s new Soviet state in 1918-21, c) the great Nazi bulwark against communism built up throughout the 1930s against the new Soviet workers state with massive international capitalist diplomatic and military collusion and encouragement for Hitler’s powerful Germany (which was supposed to turn its aggression eastwards from the beginning of the Second World War) and d) the entire Cold War nuclear encirclement of the USSR and East Europe which nearly bankrupted US imperialism (leading to the Reagan/Thatcher “peace deal” with Gorbachev), as well as assorted wars, massacres, subversions, the Cuban missile crisis, and an anti-communism brainwashing exercise of unparalleled universality, to mention just a few things.

But if the Soviet Union “never was socialist” what would have been the point?

More inter-imperialist rivalry could be answer but why then the bending of the entire world culture, politics, and economics to destroying one country when dozens of bigger rivals exist?

And anyway why would it be necessary to have revived devastated German and Japanese imperialism, when they could have been kept in de-industrialised thrall, as planned initially after the Second World War until they were required for anti-communism, both against internal revolution and for anti-Soviet crusading, and therefore had to be re-industrialised (under the Martial Plan) ??

It is nonsense, from an academic fake-“left” world of pretended revolutionism which in practice neither likes nor wants to see the working class in power and which never could lead it there anyway with its endless angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin tediousness about “constitutions and party structures and rules” which never get round to examining the real world at all, and certainly not in order to establish a commonly agreed grasp of the truth.

A central element in building revolutionary leadership is to continuously expose the great clutter of such misleadership which hampers and hobbles the working class including now correctly despised opportunist Labourism and TUC class collaboration, and all fake-”left”-ism.

This Trotskyist vacuity should be right up there as a demonstration of the complete shallowness and philistine lying opportunist dishonesty of this fake-“left” and it abstract posturing pretences about being “for revolution” (though only ever “eventually” while “in the meantime” – the favourite “no, but really, let’s be realistic” cowardly evasion from all cynical middle-class “left” dilletantism – the democratic “left pressure” and “anti-terror” capitulation continue).

But the notionally pro-USSR revisionists like the Lalkar/Proletarian are just as bad, despite their mighty posturing “principled support” for the latest “rogue state” being set up for total, destruction by capitalism in Syria and for Libya before that.

For a start it is the wooden revisionism that Stalinism punted out – starting with the “hero” Stalin himself – which headed the world working class into the mistaken delusion that capitalism was permanently hobbled after the Second World War, unable to expand as in the past, and while still inherently aggressive and war-inclined, capable of being stopped by pacifist “Stop the War” “peace struggle”.

Stalin consciously revised Lenin’s understanding of imperialism to make this conclusion (see EPSR’s 1190-96).

Supposedly, if “peace struggle” was prosecuted firmly enough, then capitalism could be contained and then overcome by slow economic and cultural smothering as communism outpaced it economically and politically.

It was the “no need for revolution – don’t rock the boat with adventurism and don’t ‘provoke’ capitalism” Third International philosophy which has underpinned all the peaceful road and “parliamentary road” delusions which have misguided the working class ever since and lead straight into all the abstract revisionist “democracy” and “left pressure” delusions which are not only no different to all the other “lefts” but which underpin the CIA/MI6 “democracy movement” stunts everywhere, including all those aimed at the workers states (and leading to their liquidation), and Libya and Syria too.

The refusal to discuss and understand this huge philosophical mistake, the total misreading of the strength of capitalism and its counter-revolution, and the failure to understand and warn of its inevitable ultimate crash back into catastrophic world-war-causing disaster (as now unravelling) is itself one of the overriding characteristic of Stalinism now, covering up and painting over all the past errors, and repeatedly misreading and mis-anlysing the world and then covering up that as well, and then covering-up the cover-ups in an endless spiral of opportunism.

Not only does this fail to clarify the giant questions which the working class needs to answer, such as “does communism work or was it a hopeless dead end”? and “if it is the future why did it go wrong and fail” and “actually did it really fail or was it led into pointless liquidation?” but it leads to endless dishonesty and chaos, further increasing working class distrust of communism (which it has already been taught non-stop by capitalism from the cradle to the grave.)

The “communism does not work” obstacle - a total lie – is the greatest hurdle the working class needs to overcome politically and philosophically, which is why the ruling class constantly fills film scripts, schools agendas, books, plays and politics with just that message, repeated in 10,000 lying variations.

The rejection of polemical theoretical struggle to clarify these issues is the rejection of Lenin’s greatest achievement, the open theoretical battle to establish objective revolutionary truth with a new kind of party built for just such polemic, and constantly developing its understanding (openly, in front of the working class) to keep up with the constantly developing class struggle and its needs.

It has also constantly tangled the Stalinists in their own posturing contradictions which are not only wrong but now lead to completely reactionary positions.

Lalkar/Proletarian (which insists on pretending the two Brarite organisations are not one and the same thing) has yet again got its opportunist undialectical politics into ever greater tangles, – poisonously so over the Middle East in its latest Proletarian paper where its attempts to justify its cheerleading for the Egyptian military dictatorship plumbs new depths of dissembling, misrepresentation, fact bending and out and out opportunist cowardice.

In the course of much more of the alleged “principled firmness” it has loudly trumpeted for supporting first Libya and then Syria against the imperialist counter-revolutions and invasions, it has slipped under the wire its own craven capitulation to Western “war on terror” moralising and “condemnation of terrorists” (in the Sinai and elsewhere).

It goes even further in trying to wriggle out of the ever greater contradictions its wooden politics have got it into.

Incredibly and shamefully, Lalkar/Proletarian now not only supports the torturing, Western-backed and funded military coup and its cold-blooded massacres of thousands of civilians in Egypt, but even blames the Palestinians themselves for the escalated siege being imposed on them in the Gaza strip through the closure of the lifeline smuggling tunnels across the border into Egypt which previously eased the monstrous strangling siege imposed on the Gazans by the Nazi Zionists’ endless genocidal persecution.

(These were destroyed after the military coup, not by the Muslim Brotherhood as Lalkar/Proletarian lyingly implies in an attempt to finger the Morsi presidency, that is by the same Cairo coup military it “hails” as “the way forwards for the Egyptian masses, with full approval by the Zionists and tacit US and other Western support),

But not a mention is made of the hundreds and hundreds of unarmed protestors shot down in the streets in Cairo protesting the illegal deposition of the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.

In Lalkar/Proletarian’s world this inconvenient issue just disappears.

Sick posturing sell-out depravity and reactionary treachery could not get much more repellent, though its desperate lying efforts to get out of its tangled mess certainly do.

So how does the Proletarian get into such mess of opportunist treachery??

It requires some careful and complicated unpicking.

A useful starting point is the all-out support for the Assad regime it has loudly and sanctimoniously declared to be the only “principled position for revolutionaries” just as it was supposedly for Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein (!!!!) and Milosevic in Serbia to name but a few.

The bravado may fall on the right side against the imperialist war intriguing and skulduggery which has been underway for over a decade of escalated warmongering “shock and awe” bullying blitzkrieg, and correctly against the foul Trotskyists and other “left”s who have capitulated entirely to the artificially provoked counter-revolutionary revolt, but it is completely misleading in just about every other respect and certainly nothing to do with Marxist-Leninist principles.

These are to call for the defeat of all the imperialist attacks and the subversive civil war provocations it uses as a proxy, and that defeat to come by whatever forces are able or are on hand (including Assad’s military if it pans out that way, and Hezbollah too).

But no confidence at all should be fostered in such a bourgeois nationalist regime.

To built up working class trust and confidence in the Ba’athists by calling for the leadership's unconditional defence is another question entirely; which takes the working class along a political path which is entirely non-revolutionary.

The Assad government may be better than a fascist dictatorship, pro-reforms and with some anti-imperialist form (just as Gaddafi was) but that is still nothing but reformism – and nothing to do with the revolutionary future which alone can solve workers' problems inside Syria or anywhere else.

Lalkar/Proletarian has even spelt this out previously in long eulogising accounts of the social reforms and benefits provided by the Syrian government.

But declaring that that can be a future for Syria if only capitalism would leave it alone (it will not) is nothing to do with revolution (and anyway misdescribes the often prevaricating and inconsistent stand of the regime).

This uncritical support reveals precisely the reformist heart of Lalkar’s politics which have not an scrap of real understanding of the epochal revolutionary challenges confronting the world working class.

Leninist understanding is that defeat of the main enemy is the crucial question and the enemy is imperialist intriguing and war provocation.

That is not only all that is necessary but vital in order to keep the working class clearly focussed on the overall imperialist crisis warmongering, not limiting attention to just this single country which has no future outside the world revolution anyway.

The embarrassed Brarites, caught out on this, try to sneer that such a defeat policy is avoiding “real support” and “having your cake and eating it” in a small sally against the EPSR which has already challenged them on this, (though typically Lalkar/Proletarian avoids further polemic by not being specific or telling anyone why they have suddenly made the point).

If the defeatism line is wrong they should really take on Lenin himself as a “copout” for his advice to the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1917 when the reactionary general Kornilov attacked the new bourgeois parliamentary government in Russia which the February Revolution had created.

The Bolsheviks called for a fight to stop this dangerous fascist Tsarist coup, which necessarily meant fighting alongside the bourgeois prime minister Oleg Kerensky but specifically made it clear that they offered no support at all to him.

That is the same principle now applied.

Is Lalkar saying that one of the most fundamental and pivotal aspects of Lenin’s revolutionary grasp, during the critical period just before the successful October revolution, which took Russia into workers state control rather than stopping at the bourgeois stage (as some of the “Old Guard” Bolsheviks had wanted), was wrong??????

It was far from wrong, and the proof now is in the dire consequences of this one-sided mechanistic Stalinist thinking which is anything but the dialectics that the Proletarian tries to bluff its way with, without understanding an ounce of it:

However, in Britain, where workers have for so long been starved of any sense of the dialectical nature of history, these developments in the Middle East have been a rich source of confusion – even for many of those who genuinely want to fight against imperialism.

The only confusion being spread at present is from themselves and much of it follows from this anti-Leninist reformism and the cover-up bravado the Brarites put on.

Pitching in behind the Assad Allawites then leads Lalkar/Proletarian to denounce and condemn all those on the other side in Syria ,mechanically following the line of petty bourgeois Ba’athism denouncing and condemning all the civil war mayhem as “Islamic terrorism” and by al-Qaeda.

But this is shallow, partial, one-sided and totally unMarxist and completely throws attention away from the material crisis and war conditions of imperialism which are driving the destruction, and fails to draw out a class analysis of the civil war – on any side at all.

For sure the sectarian turmoil and civil war savagery in Syria was set going by deliberate provocation and an incendiary deluge of Goebbels media lies and stories about alleged “atrocities” and tapped the local sectarian conflicts to inflame the hatreds and vengefulness, all blamed on Damascus.

Backward religious ideologies have been manipulated and pushed to keep the turmoil going; it is one of the great weaknesses of the mass turn to fundamentalism that it blinds them to the real war causes in the world, which are capitalist exploitation and its crisis breakdown into slump and war.

But it is the purest idealism, a hundred light years from Marxism, to then jump to a declaration that these ideologies themselves are the cause and generating force of the turmoil and war as Lalkar does.

So much are they not that capitalism is in constant worry that sine of these jihadists movements will swing the other way at any point, riddled with splits about whether they should be armed and supported at all, and even setting up different proxy groups because of the concerns.

It is the real world and its class contradictions, particularly in capitalist society, which drives events forwards, the various threads and objective class forces then finding expression in people’s heads – and this materialist understanding is so fundamental to Marxism it seems incredible to have to repeat it.

The masses have turned to these ideologies – to try and express some fighting spirit and hostility to the West – because the objective revolutionary truth of Leninism has been abandoned – by revisionism and Trotskyism.

Lalkar’s poisonous characterisation of Sunni ideology and the Al-qaeda insurgency reflects the same contemptuous and aggressive language used by imperialism with its sneering phrases like “rent-a-jihadist” and even monstrously at one point as “death squadists” (which is a term implying deliberate fascist counter-revolution like imperialist activity in Latin America, and against the Irish in Britain for example).

It is no coincidence because this petty bourgeois hate-language is just a cover for Lalkar/Proletarian to capitulate to imperialism’s “war on terror” anti-fundamentalist crusading which is blamed by capitalism for the turmoil in the world caused actually (and only) by its own crisis collapse (a very material cause).

Part of that turmoil is the great upsurge of Third World revolt, mostly confused, sometime going in the wrong direction, manipulated and even self-defeating at times but one of the most important phenomena of world history and one which has struck devastating blows to Western complacency and confidence.

But the entire fake-“left” capitulated to the Western “war on terror” Goebbels onslaught against this gigantic revolt (now bursting out here and there in mass revolt like Egypt in 2011) joining in the great moralising “condemnation” of it all, particularly since the 9/11 WTO attacks (by allegedly reactionary Al-qaeda),

This cowardly class collaboration provides a “left” cover for the Western “policing” blitzkrieging “punishments” by declaring all this fightback to be “beyond the pale” “unacceptable criminality” and “not the way to fight”.

As the EPSR spelled out many times, Lenin’s argument was that revolutionaries would always take the side of the masses against imperialism and if the fightback was doing things “the wrong way” then it is up to Marxism not to “condemn” but to build and fight for a much clearer and better leadership (see Guerrilla War 1906 for example as quoted in EPSR 1116 11-12-2001 and Perspective document for 2002 issue 1118 07-01-2002 ).

Lalkar/Proletarian, which made much of “not condemning” 9/11 (eventually – after going along with Arthur Scargill’s SLP moralising against “terrorism”) has long since joined in the fake-“left” ranks, this year alone denouncing rebellion after rebellion in Mali, the Central African Republic and Egypt too and effectively giving cover to French imperialist invasion.

Apart from anything else its denunciations of “backward Muslim ideology” are pretty rich given the total support it declares for the Syrian struggle and the “axis of resistance” built around the Islamic regime in Iran, a full-on sharia law state.

Why is this kind of religious fundamentalism to be supported??

This utter idealist confusion has even sicker consequences over Egypt where the Lalkar/Proletarianites not only support the alleged “popular revolt” in June against the Muslim Brotherhood – (a “revolt” heavily pumped up by the Western press with absurdly high numbers declared to be supporting the anti-Morsi movement and the likes of Tony Blair coming out to hype it up as the “people’s will”) – but the military coup which followed.

Even the capitalist press has found that hard to swallow, as the cold-blooded street slaughter of hundreds of peaceful Muslim Brotherhood has ensued – and genuinely unarmed at that, as various video and witness reports make clear, unlike the lying pretences that the Syrian and Libyan “revolts” were peaceful.

The fake-“left” have all tacitly gone along with this populist nonsense, swallowing a concerted campaign to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood or pumping out yet another ludicrous conspiracy theory to suggest they were “created and installed by the CIA”. The deluded Brarites not only swim with this Trotskyist tide but go one better, alleging the June street rebellion to be an “extension of the revolution”.

The would be like the Yellow Shirts in Bangkok????

One of the great failings of the spontaneous anti-military and anti-Mubarak revolt in 2011 (which was truly an anti-imperialist upheaval driven by the slump crisis) was that it had not got any clear leadership – in fact “flat leadership” and anti-leader petty bourgeois anarchist and/or abstract “democracy” notions already swirling around the Occupy movements were deliberately publicised by the Western media.

The vacuum again was filled by Islamic fundamentalism in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, accepted by Washington as a stopgap (rather than see things head more dangerously towards communist notions) but not liked by more nervous bourgeois elements, including the Zionists because of their links to the Palestinians and general hostility to Western imperialism.

Of course that was a compromise and, particularly, the Morsi presidency colluded with, and was taken in by, imperialist “democracy” ideas too (hoping, it looks likely, to use them somehow for their own ends) but were constantly sabotaged by the continuing Egyptian military and bureaucracy.

The threat of the Muslim Brotherhood tipping towards great militancy which imperialism might not control was always in the background including the infamous appointment of an MB militant to head the Luxor region.

It was clear the June revolt this year was a completely different character to the spontaneous February 2011 events, being filled with petty bourgeois and army elements, and with not the slightest indication of any political ideology for taking on capitalism or even breaking with US imperialism. Just the opposite it was pro- the imperialist colluding army.

But so far has Lalkar/Proletarian retreated from the fight for scientific Leninism that it cannot see the significance of theoretical leadership content in such movements, taken in by the surface appearances as much as any other fake-“left”.

And if all that was not clear the developments since are glaring.

In what way does any Marxist suggest that a revolutionary movement should work by all-out massacre??????

It is a such completely sick and degenerate position to take, that it raises serious questions for every one of the Lalkar/Proletarian membership to ask why they continue to support this completely unMarxist guru leadership.

The specious idea that the military coup is a way to clear “reactionary Islam” out of the way to allow for the “revolutionary experiences to deepen” is trodden all over by subsequent events which have seen a crackdown not just on Islamists but the “revolutionaries" too:

Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, has enacted a new protest law that rights groups say will severely curtail freedom of assembly, and could prohibit the kinds of mass demonstrations that forced presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi from power.

The law will force would-be protesters to seek seven separate permissions to take to the streets, and bans overnight sit-ins such as the Tahrir Square protests of early 2011. Activists will have to go to court to appeal against any rejected applications – a restriction lawyers argue will render legal demonstration almost impossible.

The law also bans any unsanctioned gatherings – either in public or in private – of 10 or more people, and will give the police the final say on whether a protest can take place. As a result, the law is deemed just as restrictive as a similar protest bill debated and later discarded under Morsi, whose own authoritarian instincts contributed to his downfall. His version – which was written by the same official – would have made demonstrators seek five separate permissions, instead of seven, but outlined more draconian punishments.

“This law brings Mubarak’s era back,” said Gamal Eid, the director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and one of Egypt’s leading human rights laws. Eid even argued that the new law compared unfavourably with repressive legislation drafted while Egypt was still a British protectorate.

“It’s weird that the colonialists would have a law that is more just than the supposedly post-revolutionary one,” he added.

The law has been the subject of fierce debate in Egypt, where activists see its enactment as a litmus test for democracy in the post-Morsi era.

Nineteen Egyptian rights groups signed a joint statement last week condemning the bill while it was being debated.

Human Rights Watch said the law “would effectively give the police carte blanche to ban protest in Egypt”. HRW added that it “could severely restrict the freedom of assembly of political parties and nongovernmental groups” and was “an important indicator of the extent to which the new government is going to allow for political space in Egypt”.

Some advance for the revolution!!!!!

The Brarites try to pretend that because Washington has (temporarily) suspended (some) military aid to Egypt (but not billions in civil aid) it means the new military government is not wanted by the West.

The impressionistic garbage hardly bears comment, except to say that what it really demonstrates is splits and confusion in the ruling class between elements like reactionary John McCain who think it best to play the “democracy” card and make the best of the Morsi-ites, and those who think that is too dangerous, like the Zionists and Saudi stooges who welcomed the military at the cost of even more lessons to the world in the hypocrisy and fraudulence of Western “freedom and democracy”.

Temporary cuts have been made just to try and salvage something of that for the liberals to fool themselves.

As if all this Brarist gibberish was not sick enough it then goes on to try and wriggle out of even further contradictions, most particularly over the Palestinian struggle’s Hamas leadership, which it shamefully blames for its imperialist imposed plight.

Lalkar/Proletarian is already up to its neck is lying cover-ups over the Middle East, still hailing the compromising petty bourgeois Yasser Arafat as a “master of strategy” despite his role in selling the disastrous revisionist devised “two-state” solution to the Palestinian people.

On his death it then advocated the corrupt Palestinian Authority stooge Mahmoud Abbas as the next leader, declared to be almost as sharp as Arafat until the revelations poured out of the sickening PA collusion with both the CIA and Zionism, accepting money and training for the PA security and rounding up itself the militants (all this long buried away again by the Western media (and Lalkar/P too).

Later revelations about the disastrous willingness of the PA negotiators to sell out even the sacrosanct Palestinian “right of return” – the fundamental base of the illegality of Zionist land thieving ethnic cleansing colonialist intrusion which imperialism pretends is a “state” (under yet more “democracy” bullshit) – were not even mentioned, let alone explained by the Brarites, though a sudden change in policy appeared shortly afterwards, unexplained, supporting Hamas now in Gaza.

Typically in Stalinist wooden undialectial one-sidedness it suddenly became a “revolutionary duty” to support Hamas.

But even if this falls on the right side of the fence (against the poisonous undermining of the Palestinian struggle by the Trots and their “gay rights” single-issue treachery) it is no more Marxism than any of the rest of their swings and lurches.

As with Assad, Leninism has called for the defeat of Zionist Nazi oppression but, again, not confusing the working class by suggesting it should out and out follow the religious Hamas ideology which is not the scientific Marxism they need.

Strike together but march separately is the Leninist policy and it is borne out by the Hamas confusion of pitching in against the Syrians for sectarian reasons.

Lalkar/Proletarian, caught out by demanding total support for both Assad’s side including Hezbollah, and Hamas, busy killing each other, has dealt with this tangle in true revisionist Stalinist manner by ignoring it completely.

But now the contradiction has been pointed out by the EPSR it simply lies to cover the truth, declaring that Hamas is “coming round” to another point of view (which is bending reality to say the least) and simultaneously blaming Hamas for its own problems. Thus:

The glee manifest in imperialist circles when the Hamas leadership quit its Damascus headquarters, spoke against Hizbollah’s fraternal assistance to the Syrian army, meddled in the Egyptian revolution and gave apparent succour to the death squads spreading terror in the northern Sinai was palpable. Conversely, indications that Hamas might now be turning its back on this ruinous sectarian distraction, mending its bridges with Iran and resuming its rightful place in the anti-imperialist ranks will go down like a lead balloon in London, Washington and Tel Aviv.

However, in Britain, where workers have for so long been starved of any sense of the dialectical nature of history, these developments in the Middle East have been a rich source of confusion – even for many of those who genuinely want to fight against imperialism.

Where bourgeois propaganda already predisposes the unwary to hostility against both Syria and Iran, it is but a short step thence to mix up support for Hamas’s excellent anti-zionism with support for Hamas’s misguided antipathy towards Syria, a key comrade in the axis of resistance. Conversely, some of the strongest, most anti-imperialist elements of Palestine’s supporters may wrongly start to distance themselves from the cause, alarmed to see some Palestinians and solidarity activists coming down on the side of Morsi in Egypt and against Assad in Syria.

Gaza’s tunnels

Saddled with an ‘anti-war’ movement that actively joins in the imperialist denigration of President Assad, and with a ‘left’ that insists on viewing the Egyptian revolution through the wrong end of a parliamentary-democratic telescope, it is not to be wondered at that rank confusion reigns even in progressive circles when it comes, for example, to evaluating the significance of Egypt’s destruction of Gaza’s tunnels.

It is clear that destroying these tunnels, so vital to the survival of the Gazan population, is an unqualified disaster. Yet those who point to the bombing of the Gaza tunnels as conclusive proof of the reactionary character of the Egyptian army should ask themselves a number of questions.

Why, if General Sisi is so pliant to zionism and imperialism as is alleged, has the United States just frozen a considerable part of its massive subsidy to his army? Should it not make us wary that the pro-zionist BBC consistently constructs a mendacious narrative about ‘Muslim Brotherhood democracy’ versus ‘army dictatorship’?

And why did the sainted Morsi himself also fail to keep the tunnels open during his year in charge?

The difference would appear to be that, whereas former president Morsi blocked access to the tunnels in compliance with the wishes of Tel Aviv and Washington, General Sisi blocks the tunnels because he fears that, in addition to importing the necessities of life to the besieged Gazans, they are also providing aid and succour to the terrorists infesting the northern Sinai and blowing up army posts.

When such elements seek to advance Morsi’s ‘democratic’ cause by, for example, stopping a busload of Egyptian soldiers, lining them up with hands tied then mowing them down in cold blood, what response could be expected from the army? And what can be said about Hamas’s judgement in compromising the tunnels in this way, gambling with the lives of the inhabitants of Gaza?

The truth is that, by having fallen for imperialism’s trickery and laying sectarian obstacles in the path of the axis of resistance, Hamas itself must bear some responsibility for the aggravated plight of the Gazan population. Its change of heart, if correctly reported, is welcome indeed – and must itself in part be attributed to the success of the Syrian people in defending their country’s independence.

Proletarian internationalism

Workers in the metropolitan centres of imperialism, inhabiting the belly of the beast, have a particular responsibility to give solidarity to the Palestinian resistance struggle, under whatever form it presents itself.

For the record, we have been second to none in exposing and repudiating all those who have pleaded misgivings over the ideological shortcomings of Hamas as an excuse for withholding support from the resistance and its rockets. This is so, not because we are closet islamists, but because sometimes one can discern, behind the robes of the mullah and the cadences of the Qur’an, a social content that is none-the-less anti-imperialist for being expressed in the language of theology.

It is on that basis that we have consistently supported Hamas in its struggle against zionism, respecting the resounding mandate which that combative leadership received from the Palestinian people in 2007 and seeing in the courage and initiative of their fighters a fitting reflection of the steadfastness of the Palestinian nation itself.

What a disgusting opportunist prevarication! Should Hamas be supported or not (“consistently” as Proletarian lies?)

The Brarites want to get off this contradictory hook with the lying pretence that Hamas is “changing its mind” (with a stream of “maybes” that show no such thing) but says nothing about what should happen if it does not. In case it does not, Lalkar/Proletarian is ready to denounce it and blame it for “bringing things on its own head”. So now the persecuted are to be blamed for their persecution.

How sick and treacherous is that??

And why the moralising outrage about the attack on the Egyptian military (by an anti-Zionist insurgency in the Sinai in fact which the Cairo military has been brutally repressing in collusion with Tel Aviv), while total silence is maintained on the killings in Cairo????

If the Morsi-ites allegedly “shut down the tunnels” how come most of them had to be blown up again?????

All this wriggling sophistry, falling for such populist confusion and “democracy” philistinism which the “left” still punts out, is nothing to do with Marxism and hostile to it.

The struggle to build a constantly updated objective understanding of the world, Leninism, is urgently needed.

Don Hoskins

Back to the top