No 1482 27th November 2015
The hate campaign stampeding the public behind Syrian bombing after Paris ISIS attack is the most cynical crocodile-tears lie yet by a ruling class hell-bent on war at any cost. “Kill them all” frenzy not about stopping terror - it will INCREASE Third World hatred and insurgency recruitment – but everything to do with global catastrophic failure of capitalism and its need to keep war destruction on the boil, the only “solution” to its Slump crisis. Mystical demonisation of jihadists as “devils” or “psychotics” deliberately obscures the real causes – rising Third World hatred and frustration at the endless tyranny, slavery and destruction imposed on it and diverts attention from capitalist atrocities past and present, far worse than anything ISIS has done. Fake-“left” across-the-board “condemnation” is ignorant, unMarxist capitulation to imperialist pressure which undermines “No to War” pacifist posturing and fails to explain the only possible way to “stop terror”, the revolutionary overthrow of epochally failed capitalism
The deluge of crocodile tears and theatrically sombre posing from all the Western politicians over the tragic Paris and Mali attacks is a sickening farce.
They could not give a damn about the people shot down (or at risk in Egypt) except as political fodder to whip up hate and war, the only “way out” capitalism has for its epochal collapse.
Their dissembling “concern” is not just hypocritical beyond credence but also the most disgusting cover-up and evasion of their own system’s catastrophic failure, the cause of this deadly “blow-back” attack and for all the rest of world terrorist upheaval against imperialism.
These shattering blows at the heart of the West, like 9/11, are a signal of the historic frustration and anger of the great exploited mass of the planet.
While incoherent, and bizarre in their ideology and methods, they are clearly an overwhelming tide of revolt spontaneously erupting from dispossessed.
In other words they are early, albeit highly confused signals, of eventual worldwide revolutionary upheaval.
The calculated hysteria, fed out by the international intelligence agencies for a compliant bourgeois media to promulgate, is that a new “irrational evil” - a “death cult” in David Cameron’s carefully rehearsed phrase - is the cause of the mayhem and hatred exploding from the war devastated Third World and now spreading among the downtrodden racist-persecuted underdogs of European society.
It is a lying nonsense.
This deliberately confusing notion is pure mystical garbage.
It is being cynically fostered to misdirect emotional public opinion away from the objective causes of this growing revolt – the world crisis Slump and its non-stop war “solution”.
It blames a demonised enemy allegedly arising “out of the blue” to attack “our way of life and our values” as the media deluge has been insisting non-stop.
They are declared “cowardly” - a shallow nonsense when these are people obviously driven to such lengths they are prepared to die.
The point is to drown in fear and emotion all balance and rationality.
A massive bourgeois campaign has deliberately inflamed, and then shamelessly milked the pain and grief around the hapless victims to the maximum extent to keep out any objective analysis.
The aim is to stir up as much small-minded vengefulness, hatred and public war frenzy as possible.
An immediate further twisting of understandable public shock and concern has then been added to drag opinion behind yet more crisis warmongering and blitzkrieg destruction in the Middle East, along with stepped-up domestic repression and surveillance at home, taking these fascist manipulation lies to even greater depths than already seen.
Immediately post-Paris the Western ruling class has seized the opportunity to escalate the bombing into Syria, which a war-weary and war-wary public had been holding back from; to slip through massive increases in spying, universal surveillance and social policing; and to legitimise and escalate the arming of police and habituate the public to sinister shoot-to-kill street assassination policy, gunning down “suspects” and “extremists” without trial, just the on-the-spot “judgement” of the state forces.
On top of that there is talk of “backing up the police” with more heavily armed soldiers, acclimatising the public to troops on the street, another stealthy step towards the military dictatorship which the ruling class is preparing for, a last resort to control the public and working class upheavals it knows are inevitable as the crisis collapse of its system returns and cuts are put through which make the current “austerity” look like a tea-party (notwithstanding the current “lucky break” budget retreat by George Osborne).
The great chorus of condemnation, denunciation and “moral outrage” after Paris, cravenly joined in across the board by various “liberals”, reformists and supposed “lefts” and pseudo-“revolutionaries” including pacifists, Labourites, Trots and Stalinists, plays right into the hands of all this Goebbels war stampeding.
Its tutting and head-shaking about “the wrong way to fight”, or “criminal atrocities” (Weekly Worker) or “illegitimate actions” (the Socialist Workers Party) etc or denouncing the suicide fighters as “reactionaries” or “headbanging jihadists” (the revisionist Lalkar/Proletarian) or even completely nonsensically as “fascists” (anti-communist “left” frauds like Paul Mason) variously allows all these “left” groups and spokespeople to join in with the imperialist hypocrisy, and certainly to avoid having to stand against the tide of petty bourgeois fearfulness at the worldwide breakdown of society, while continuing to pose as “sincere revolutionaries”.
Describing ISIS as a new Pol Pot, (a complex phenomenon in itself and historically different to jihadism) as a shorthand for “the terrible social result of non-stop imperialist B52 devastation”, as sometimes excellent but anti-communist “left” radical journalist John Pilger does, is another version of this condemnation, simply substituting the notion of an “irredeemably damaged psychopathic movement” in place of the term “evil” – less mystical but implying the same thing – and still declaring this movement to be a scourge which has to be “dealt with” as imperialism is declaring.
So too does the latest variant on the “it’s all a CIA conspiracy theory” but one that has “gone wrong”, in an article posted and then hastily taken down from the “Stop the War” website, even this sophistry deemed too “tasteless” by the more timid of the class collaborating social-pacifists, Labourites, revisionists and assorted Trotskyists who make up the STW Coalition.
Suggesting that the Paris event was “reaping the whirlwind” is not incorrect but declaring that it has come from a deliberately created and manipulated “reactionary religious” movement, allegedly decades in the planning to “head off secular politics”, is craven misrepresentation, a defeatist nonsense somehow suggesting that the whole of world events are driven along by clever manipulations of “all-powerful” imperialist powers and their deeply laid plots.
Such pseudo-Marxist “science” is just a version of the Sorcerers Apprentice tale, of a magic trick gone haywire, to explain away the reality now increasingly coming through that imperialism is breaking down in chaotic turmoil everywhere, and facing an enormous worldwide rebellion.
What secular political opposition anyway?
Democratic reformism which had held the working class back for more than a century?
Anarchism, in the failed Occupy movements and Egypt??
Trotskyist anti-communism, full of hatred for the workers states, most lately re-proving its opportunism in the hopeless Syriza in Greece?
Or Stalinist revisionism, equally hopeless and which long ago abandoned all revolutionary perspectives in favour of permanent “peace struggle”.
The conclusion that the Islamic movements behind these violent outbreaks are a “problem” to be solved “repudiates” the gigantic social forces which are in ferment everywhere by slyly pretending their upheaval is all really part of imperialism.
Or it implies some new, third kind of force in the world other than the working class and the capitalist ruling class, “reactionary Islam” or “Islamo-fascism” which is a “problem” in the world, which has to be “dealt with” or “eradicated”, (conveniently taking precedence over the revolutionary struggle).
So back to the “horrible devils” story then, as put out by the ruling class.
After that no amount of reformist “opposition to bombing Syria” or “saying no to war” - or even calls to “block the ruling class’s capacity to participate in war” (the Stalinist “peace struggle” version) – can make any progress.
Dalek “exterminate” revenge mindlessness will always win the day.
As the EPSR said at the time of the Beslan school killings (EPSR 1248 14-11-04):
From a revolutionary anti-imperialist point of view, it has always been not only pointless but self-damaging for serious socialists to get diverted by lurid speculation about the “inhuman barbarity” of the terrorism or its alleged “sick motivation”.
Marxist philosophy proceeds from the notion that the world is what it is, — including every political, social, and psychological phenomenon within it,— ENTIRELY due to its TOTAL domination by the bourgeois-imperialist class system.
Independent struggle and thought never ceases, it can only thrive on correcting its own mistakes, and eventually it will completely dominate the Earth as the international socialist revolution.
But beyond conscious, detailed, and genuinely Marxist-Leninist polemics, every other phenomenon is first of all a responsibility of the crisis-ridden imperialist system, and invariably a damning black mark against it.
The fact of “terrorism’ illustrates this materialist philosophical reality exactly.
Why does it exist at all?? Why is it now such a frequent and widespread occurrence, especially “suicide terrorism”???
Why is 99% of it historically associated with desperate injustices or desperately unequal struggles???
Why does it seem to be building up towards a crescendo at this moment in time???
Either the answer is the crisis of the imperialist system, dominating the lives of everyone on Earth. Or evolution has taken a wrong turn and set mankind back, especially the vast majority of mankind in the poorest or most frustratingly disadvantaged and benighted areas of the world, to suffer a repeat of a lemming self-destruct phase of development regression.
But having established that, fundamentally, the reality of imperialist tyranny ALONE is the background for the existence of the now widespread phenomenon and regular historical routine of terrorism, then certain unavoidable implications follow from this.
It makes no sense whatever to BLAME the terrorists for ending up in this desperate, hate-filled, and frequently suicidal frame of mind....
It makes even less sense to “condemn” the phenomenon of terrorism taking place.
Indeed, it is most likely to be the case, as it has been in history so far, that whenever the civil war has finally spontaneously broken out, the serious revolutionary party has at that point no more than the tiniest of tiny minorities among the huge social forces initially spontaneously going into battle. But as Lenin makes crystal clear in his remarkable 1906 article on Guerrilla Warfare, the Marxist revolutionary spirit ALWAYS is in sympathy with any civil war activity, and ALWAYS hostile to all “condemnation” of acts of civil war, however anarchic the terrorism.
To those so-called “communists” and “revolutionaries” and “socialists” who capitulate to the immense social-conformity pressure of a modern bourgeois state to “condemn terrorism”, Lenin says: “I am hurt by this degradation of the most revolutionary doctrine in the world.”
The further conclusion, Lenin says, is that if such methods are inadequate, or unsuitable, or even possibly sometimes damaging, then the fault lies not with the masses but with the revolutionaries who have failed to offer a better perspective of revolutionary mass struggle.
The answer is not to stand against the tide of growing anti-imperialist hatred but to provide a much better leadership that can guide it towards the all out class struggle to completely overturn capitalism and establish the dictatorship of the working class, to build planned socialism.
Of course that is not easy, least of all in the middle of ISIS territory, but most of the “condemners” are not there anyway.
But still they fail to give any kind of perspective of the crisis and the only possible answer to it, revolution.
They need to explain that the “kill them all” atmosphere being deliberately fostered has nothing to do with “justice”, nor with “protecting ordinary people” from “brainwashed radicalisation”.
Blitzing “the terrorists” has everything to do with winding up even further a chauvinist and demented warmongering atmosphere worldwide and domestic repression and fearfulness which is coming anyway.
War and police state crackdowns, with as much violence and torture as necessary, are always the last resort of capitalism as endless historical examples have made clear, notably the brutal torture coups in Latin America and Africa, particularly the infamous General Augusto Pinochet’s torture and butchery of the Chilean “democratic socialism” of Salvador Allende in 1973 or Honduras, Thailand and Egypt recently.
Complacent reformist and petty bourgeois politics still befuddled with “democracy” notions, and residual imperialist delusions that “we’re different and more civilised” (which is what Allende said too) can belittle such warnings all they like (as they have long belittled Marxist “catastrophist” crisis warnings) but this is exactly what the gold-braided chief-of-staff General Houghton and those around him in the ruling establishment have already made clear in TV interviews and media interventions, and the Tories too with their sinister comments that electing Jeremy corbyn would be a “threat to national security” etc etc.
Open bourgeois dictatorship, possibly by coup if needed, is what they are discussing, and in far more detail behind the scenes than a few off-the-cuff public sneers at the tepid “left” reformism of the Corbynites, it can be guaranteed.
Both international war and internal class-war repression are needed by capitalism, not to “fight terrorism”, but because it has hit a brick wall of catastrophe and failure from which all-out World War destruction and conflict is the only way out (from the ruling class perspective) exactly as seen twice in the 20th century and in embryonic form in the Franco-Prussian imperialist war before that (1870).
Led by Washington, the ruling class has been pushing constantly towards the Third World War it knows is the only possible way out of the disastrous and unsolvable overproduction crisis which is strangling the profit making system, while simultaneously bullying the growing Third World revolt with “shock and awe” destruction and drone-terror.
It was ostensibly begun to stop the rising tide of “jihadist” rebellion in the world against the imperialist crisis.
But what it has done, as everybody rational knows, is make such upheavals ten times or a hundred, or a thousand times, more likely.
As predicted by every kind of halfway coherent analyst across the board, particularly since the 9/11 attacks, the philosophically meaningless “war on terror” has been the best recruiting sergeant possible for Third World insurgency and anti-Western revolt, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Nigeria, Somalia, Mali and the Sinai desert.
Every new blitzing or drone attack imposed on the already war-shocked and traumatised populations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Egypt and Palestine (and potentially many more) just further ratchets up the detestation, hatred and rebellion of the masses there and everywhere else through the Third World, on top of the already unbearable frustration, agony and anger that has come from over a decade of endless B52 and “Warthog” blitzkrieg, Bagram and Guantánamo torture, death-drone terrorising, and nazi-NATO invasion.
And that is founded on the steadily growing world hatred created by three centuries of tyrannical oppression, slavery and near-slavery on plantations and in sweatshops (and continuing everywhere).
Every possible torture, mass rape, kidnapping and hostage taking, house demolition, terror method, gruesome punishment and outright butchery and murder, all “atrocities” currently deemed to be the speciality of “pure evil terrorism”, (and many more which have not even been seen so far from the likes of ISIS, like the white phosphorus, bone-burning weapons used by the Americans in Fallujah and repeatedly by the nazi-Zionists on the Palestinians, or air fuel-burst bombs flattening huge areas, or fléchette anti-personnel munitions, or Agent Orange dioxin, etc etc), have long been carried out by the European and US colonial powers including wholesale deliberate smallpox slaughter of entire nations of peoples like the Inca and the Aztec, and most native populations in North America, Gatling gun massacres, dismemberment, and multiple beheadings.
Scalping was developed to measure anti-“Indian” bounty hunting payments by the colonialists – the collection of baskets full of hands for the same purpose by the Belgians in the Congo.
And all this has gone on continuously through to modern times, in the Kenya and Malaysian post-WW2 colonial suppressions by the British, during the Greek civil war, or by the French in Algeria and Vietnam, (followed by the Americans), in the 1965 CIA-informed slaughter of at least one million suspected communist sympathisers in Indonesia by still ruling gangsters (see Act of Killing film), and with the barbaric fascist counter-revolutionaries trained and financed by US imperialism in Latin America, like the “contra” anti-communist terror-gangs used against the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, given CIA handbooks with instructions on how to scoop out eyeballs using a dessert spoon, among other equally grotesque methodologies.
The right-wing death-squads in Colombia do not simply behead their trade unionist and “left” victims but dismember them live, or leave them to be eaten alive by animals, as occasionally emerges in the bourgeois press when it suits (to secure “peace” with the FARC revolutionaries for example) as this example, one from many shows:
A remarkable survivor of these atrocities visited Britain this month for a tour of public meetings about his kidnap and torture, warning of the ravages of “extraction industries” in Latin America, and to consult his lawyers over a suit filed against BP.
Trade union activist Gilberto Torres was abducted by paramilitaries, apparently connected to the security arm of Ocensa – the joint venture company transporting BP’s oil, and in which it was an active member – in February 2002, and held for 42 days, during which time another man with whom he had been kidnapped was decapitated.
Torres was released after workers shut down pumping stations and refineries across Colombia in protest at his abduction. “If the companies were able to order my release,” he told the Observer, “how can they not have been somehow involved in my capture?” He now lives in exile, in fear for his life should he return home.
Torres’s case against BP ...rests on the fact that at the time of his kidnap the company owned a 15.2% share in the Ocensa pipeline, which takes 650,000 barrels a day from his home state of Casanare, in central Colombia, to the Caribbean sea. Other stakeholders include TransCanada, Total and Triton. ...Paramilitaries convicted of the kidnap have testified they were ordered by Ocensa to abduct Torres. Torres also points to known links between the rightwing paramilitaries and the Colombian army, which was also funded by BP to provide security for its operations.
Other actions BP currently faces over its operations in Colombia include a case brought by farmers who claim their fields and sources of water were contaminated, which nears a verdict, and a further suit lodged in July by Edita Guenis Arrigui, who claims her husband, Carlos Mesias Arrigui, was killed “by persons believed to have been responsible for security arrangements made by the defendants” – echoing Torres’s claim. Mesias was a woodcutter and community organiser whose activities, like those of Torres, affected BP’s operations. He had organised a village road block to pressurise BP into fixing the damaged road to their installation.
...Torres recalled how he had helped organise a strike in December 2001 in protest at the murder of fellow union activist Aury Sara. Three months later, he was kidnapped by men who included members of the rightwing paramilitary Self-Defence Forces of Casanare, driving an Ocensa security staff van. They beat Torres, then held him in a pit, chained and blindfolded. They shrieked at him for challenging the multinationals and left his wounds exposed to insects. After the total shutdown of oil production, he was released.
Torres began his legal action in Colombia, where it was delayed and fell foul of the statute of limitations. But an administrative tribunal ruled that his kidnap was a crime against humanity, necessitating the re-opening of his case. “We are gathering evidence in Colombia to get a verdict there, which can be the basis for the suit in London,” he said.
One paramilitary soldier has confessed to the kidnap and other crimes, and has testified of his involvement from jail. Of another four men also jailed, Torres said: “We have one more who we hope will agree to testify that they were instructed by the companies to kidnap me, and they have accused Ocensa directly.”...
But the purposes of Torres’s tour, organised by War on Want, is also to “talk about the wider issue of human rights abuses in the extraction industry”. “Mining and drilling for oil have devastated Colombia. It is a Segundo Conquista – a second conquest [of the Americas]. Five hundred years ago, they came with conquistadors and mirrors. Now they come with oil drills and mines....
Demobilised rightwing paramilitaries “came to protect the pipeline and the interests of the multinationals; when I was kidnapped they abused me for going against the companies’ interests. They are former fighters with the paramilitaries, but basically mercenaries – I don’t see this as part of the ideological war, they’ll work and kill for the highest bidder. They’re paid to harass, attack and kill anyone who questions the interests of the companies, who seeks to address environmental issues and the rights of workers or citizens in the area, and evictions from the area.” Amnesty International reports that some 11,000 people have already been displaced to make way for the Casanare pipeline.
...Torres said his personal life had been “torn apart by all this. I moved first to Madrid with my wife and son, but we were unable to afford to stay there with the economic crisis”. He moved to the Dominican Republic, “and my wife and son to Colombia, but I cannot go back – they’d kill me”. He spends his time preparing his case, and campaigning on behalf of Haitians being purged from their country.
...Torres’s London lawyers told the Observer: “Stricter laws are needed in the UK to deter multinationals like BP and G4S from investing in conflict zones like Colombia and Palestine where their presence will be associated with atrocities.
A whole generation has now grown up in the devastated Middle Eastern countries knowing nothing but sanction siege conditions (killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq’s agonising shortages) and then wrecked cities, fragmented administrations, poverty, endless brutal occupation, savage civil war and mayhem for their entire lives; living in houses and districts poisoned by war debris (depleted uranium eg) where even the basics like sanitation can no longer be provided and such niceties as medical care and higher education are completely out of reach.
There is barely one of them without missing, maimed, tortured, butchered, or blown apart family members; “post-traumatic stress” does not begin to cover the nature of the permanent damage done to the psychology of entire populations.
What meaning is there for any of them in the concepts of “liberté, egalité and fraternité” glibly lauded in unctuous clichéd phrases by the worldwide ruling class in the wake of the Paris attacks?????
Even while inspiring the 1789 French Bourgeois Revolution this was a fraudulent slogan applying only to property owners, and it is a laughable nonsense now.
In the Slump ridden countries of the West there is only more deprivation, hopelessness, social cutback and repression on offer.
There is no “equality” at all for the futureless, unemployed youth and alienated minorities in the featureless desert-like concrete high-rise banlieue (suburbs) around Paris and the other big cities, nor increasingly across the board, for the crisis-wracked young men and women throughout the whole country, even for the middle class, facing unemployment, lack of opportunity, austerity cuts and societal breakdown while the greed and plunder of the rich gets ever more obscene.
The same applies throughout Europe and major conurbations of the entire capitalist world, including in the richest country in the world, the United States.
For the downtrodden of the Third World such pharisaical cant is even worse, nothing but sheer arrogant contempt - a boot in the face effectively – with its talk about “liberty” or “brotherhood” or any of other monstrous humbug about “democracy” and “rule of law”.
The centuries of already oppressive Western tyrannical colonial exploitation which have become increasingly unbearable for the modern developed world population (trained for factories and production by capital) are now made totally oppressive by capitalism’s catastrophic collapse and the “endless war” it has imposed to try and escape from it.
Is it any surprise it has created this ferment of hatred which now stretches from Indonesia to Bangladesh, Iraq and all the way through Africa, and increasingly draws in the dispossessed and alienated of Europe and undoubtedly America too, as the Paris attacks make clear?
The latest terror blow by Islamic nationalists against Mali’s French-supported stooge regime, just a week after the desperate suicide massacres in Paris, demonstrates the ever widening spread of this spontaneously erupting rebellion against capitalism’s international domination.
It is having a shattering effect, despite the hyped up talk of “defiance” urged on the public to “go out an enjoy themselves with a nice meal in a bistro to show that life goes on”, itself hardly an inclusive gesture for the penniless unemployed and alienated.
A three month “state of emergency” in France and the week long lock down in Brussels, closing all public buildings and major is the very opposite of “life as normal” and the “pursuit of small pleasures”, paralysing all daily existence, while the wave of heightened security checks at airports and train stations is just one more permanent additional frustration, likely to be greatly magnified by the breakdown of the European Schengen agreement which allows open borders and passport free travel within most of mainland Europe.
This is a major setback for imperialist confidence despite the warmongering bluster which has followed from François Hollande and David Cameron.
It is a defeat for imperialism and, for all the incredible pain and agony caused to relatives and bystanders - more hapless and innocent victims unjustly slaughtered in a growing world civil war – it will be not be understood by tens of millions across the Third World as anything but a blow against hated domination.
The swamping of all Western media morning noon and night with an avalanche of emotion triggering tearful interviews and public agonies by relatives and friends interspersed with long lingering TV shots of piled up bouquets, terrifying re-enactments, flashing blue lights and bloodstained floors will pass them by, because they live constantly with such horrors and far worse injustice on a daily basis.
They know that such things are a gross injustice and tragedy for the two or three hundred killed and injured because on average, on a daily basis, at least as many innocent and helpless civilian victims are routinely butchered, most of them by imperialism directly or in the devastating sectarian civil wars it has fostered and provoked as in Libya, Syria and Iraq.
Never have endless, minute examinations of grief and pain, saturating the news channels and with additional “special reports” laid on, followed and publicised the desperation, uncertainty and bereavement of the multitude of families throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa.
A devastating attack in Beirut only a day before Paris, killing 40 people, was relegated to the usual down page foreign news sections.
Virtually unremarked, Yemen is currently being torn to shreds by a now five month long high-explosive blitzkrieg waged by the vile, primitive and barbaric Saudi tribal-feudal ruling families, with the full knowledge and complicity of the West, which almost lives off sales of its major arms products to the degenerate and reactionary sheikhs.
Numerous families have been blown apart, or seen their relatives killed and maimed, or their often historic neighbourhoods reduced to rubble.
And this only the latest part of the non-stop “war on terror” or provoked civil-war (as against Assad and Gaddafi)) that has gone on for more than ten years in country after country, directly or indirectly torn apart and blasted into total wreckage and degradation and permanently terrorised with silently hovering killer-drones, their sophisticated societies reduced to warlordist chaos or forced back under the heel of brutal and utterly corrupt local stooge dictatorship, while refugees are forced to flee in tens of thousands.
France delighted in the toppling of the newly elected Egyptian President Morsi in 2013 and the “populist” coup installation of the brutal General Sisi dictatorship (now sanctified by a bogus “election”) and its big corporations have taken full advantage of the subsequent suppression to win construction and other contracts there.
But no huge outpouring of whipped up public grief and cascades of politicians’ crocodile tears followed when thousands and thousands of innocent unarmed men, women and children were shot dead in the centre of Cairo for rightfully protesting that their newly “granted” presidential democratic choice was being trampled all over.
And none have followed since for the even greater numbers dragged off to prison, tortured and sentenced to death in batches of hundreds at a time by outrageous stitch-up kangaroo court “trials” for daring to protest and speak out against the draconian and brutal clampdown imposed by the new military dictatorship, or its release of former dictator Hosni Mubarak and his corrupt family.
There have been no heaps of bouquets filmed in close up on the monuments by the Nile and agonised lengthy tearful interviews with relatives and friends anxiously sitting it out in hospitals wondering “what has happened” to their sons, daughters, boyfriends and spouses.
But what there has been is special flights in by US Secretary of State John Kerry to re-assure the new military dictatorship that as soon as a decent “human rights” (but suitably short) interval had passed, to allow everyone to forget the overt savagery, the military equipment and financial subventions that help keep Egypt’s nearly-bankrupt head above water, would be restored.
Even less do the Palestinian people get such blanket sympathetic and emotion-wrenching coverage, even though the Western press has trouble ignoring them completely given the scale of the endlessly worsening genocidal persecution and barbarous butchery carried out against them by the Nazi-Jewish land-theft occupation of Palestine.
Over a third of the Gazan population was made homeless by the last major fascist onslaught just over a year ago, with thousands of men, women and children killed or grotesquely maimed and injured, as every kind of ghastly bomb and missile was rained down on them.
And in between such regular outright death storms, they are daily subject to the bullying persecution of the Zionist military, which routinely rounds up and beats tortures and kills, or simply “takes out” protestors with now legalised live sniping – not to mention the fascist atrocities and killings carried out by the fanatically religious Jewish settlers (who never see a word spoken against their “bizarre fanatical ideological backwardness” (founded in superstitions long pre-dating and more primitive than Muslimism), nor the frenzied demonisation and “collective punishment” poured out against the Islamist led Palestinians).
As thee bourgeois press propaganda poured out over Paris to swamp any rational examination of the events it was interspersed with conscious denial of any material connections, simply denying history or turning it upside down, such as this deliberate lie, opening one of many such pieces:
I do know that if the question is whether western interventions caused mass murder on the streets of Paris last week, to answer yes is historical and moral stupidity without rebuttal by the case for no –.... Worse, it takes an effort of analytical obtuseness to make aggressive western governments the initiating agent of all that is sinister, void of good intent or positive consequence, and thus explain jihadism as a symptom, with the CIA and Tony Blair as the virus.
But that is not obtuse at all, it is the truth, and only by understanding the connections with capitalist crisis and war, that any solution can be reached - a solution that begins with the understanding that it is the existence of capitalism, not the existence of “terrorism” which is the problem, and that there is no answer except ending capitalism.
The latest “merciless war on ISIS” belligerent bluster from “socialist” French president François Hollande is part of the problem not the solution.
All of Hollande’s strutting and posturing about “war on ISIS” was already in full blast before the latest attacks in Pairs, grandly “sending the aircraft carrier” to the Gulf in the weeks after the February Charlie Hebdo events, and joining the bombing runs against the ISIS areas in Syria for the last two months.
France is already at “war” with the Third World both on its own account and as part of “the international community” (monopoly capitalism).
And as part of the “West” it has long joined in the meaningless “war on terror” intimidation and bullying of the entire Third World.
Despite early hesitations over the Bush/Blair destruction of Iraq (out of tactical inter-imperialist rivalry, not principled reasons), it has taken a lead in bombing and pulverising country after country.
In just the recent period it has backed coups and Western stooges across the board, starting with the civil war coup of former IMF deputy Alassane Ouattara which used French troops to help the bloody overthrow of legally elected president Laurent Gbagbo.
To “suppress rebellion” and put down “evil jihadism” subsequently it has sent troops to bolster one Western stooge after another, in Mali, the Central African Republic and the murky provocations around the border between Chad and Sudan, between Chad and Niger and the north of Nigeria.
The government even invited the dictator in Tunisia to a sumptuous dinner, immediately prior to the first upheavals of the (genuine) Arab Spring.
Most significantly France took the commanding role in the nazi-NATO blitzkrieg of Libya, which destroyed an entire country, reducing a prosperous, coherent and civilised community to a wreckage of blasted cities and warlordist gangsterism, torture and violence, a breeding ground of further hatred, chaos and despair.
It gladly stepped in, alongside Britain to the “take the glory” when the new Obama presidency hung back, because the US has been shattered by the rolling defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, pretending that the US was no longer intervening directly in the Middle East (though Washington provided 60% of the military forces and the Obama presidency has massively stepped-up drone assassination and other covert methods).
Paris has also been at the forefront of the Western hate-campaign against Syria’s erratically anti-imperialist Ba’athist regime, and consistently is one of the loudest of the Western nations demanding bombing and direct war interventions to unseat Assad.
And notwithstanding some murky complications about just which groups were being supported (to be further analysed), this escalated tyranny has produced clearly disastrous results.
Such defeats will shift consciousness in unexpected ways, despite the demented hate-frenzy being whipped up.
Increasingly vocal opinion everywhere is that further bombing is going only to lead to more incidents, not diminish them.
And in a classic oblique establishment kite-flying operation former Blairite foreign adviser Jonathan Powell has already been used to float the notion that just possibly the “Sunni regions” in Iraq – which have fed the ISIS insurgency – have been hard done by and that a “negotiated agreement to recognise this would be a better ways forwards”.
And interestingly among the hate-propaganda there were a few petty bourgeois attempts at a more rational grasp:
That there is a link, a connection, between the west’s military interventions in the Middle East and terrorist attacks against the west, that violence begets violence, is “glaringly evident” to anyone with open eyes, if not open minds.
Yet over the past 14 years, too many of us have “decided not to see”. From New York to Madrid to London, any public utterance of the words “foreign” and “policy” in the aftermath of a terrorist attack has evoked paroxysms of outrage from politicians and pundits alike.
The response to the atrocities in Paris has followed the same pattern. Derided by a former Labour minister as “west-hating fury chimps”, the UK’s Stop the War coalition removed from its website a piece that blamed the rise of Islamic State (Isis) and the Paris attacks on “deliberate policies and actions undertaken by the United States and its allies”. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, scrapped a speech in which he was due to say that Britain’s “disastrous wars” have “increased, not diminished, the threats to our own national security”. Such arguments are verboten in our public discourse.
Isn’t it odd, then, that in the case of Russia, western governments have been keen to link Vladimir Putin’s – and only Vladimir Putin’s – foreign policy to terrorist violence? On 1 October the US government and its allies issued a joint statement declaring that the Russian president’s decision to intervene in Syria would “only fuel more extremism and radicalisation”. Yes, you heard them: it’ll “fuel” it.
Moscow’s bombing campaign will “lead to further radicalisation and increased terrorism”, claimed David Cameron on 4 October. Note the words “lead to”. Speaking at a Nato summit on 8 October the US defence secretary, Ashton Carter, warned of the “consequences for Russia itself, which is rightly fearful of attacks”. Got that? “Rightly fearful”.
And, in the days since the crash of the Russian Metrojet airliner in Egypt on 31 October, which killed 224 civilians, commentators have queued up to join the dots between Russia’s actions in Syria and this alleged terrorist attack by Isis. On a BBC panel discussion the Telegraph’s Janet Daley referred to the crash as “a direct consequence of [Russia’s] involvement in Syria”, adding: “[Putin] has perhaps incited this terrorist incident on Russian civilians.”
Compare and contrast Daley’s remarks on the downing of Flight 9268 with her reaction to the Paris attacks. Rather than accusing President Hollande of “inciting” terrorism against the people of France, or calling the carnage a “direct consequence” of French involvement in Syria, she took aim at anyone who might dare draw attention to the country’s military interventions in Muslim-majority countries such as Libya, Mali and, yes, Syria.
“If there is any need to argue about these matters, it should come at some other time,” she wrote, because “the French people did not deserve this”, and “it is wicked and irresponsible to suggest otherwise”. (To quote one of the leading foreign policy sages of our time, Phoebe Buffay of Friends: “Hello, kettle? This is pot. You’re black.”)
If Isis did bring down the Russian airliner, then of course it would be madness to pretend it wasn’t linked to Putin’s military campaign on behalf of the dictator of Damascus. Yet it would be equally insane to pretend that the horror in Paris had nothing at all to do with France’s recent military interventions in the Middle East and west Africa.
Yes, the attackers in the Bataclan concert hall chanted Allahu Akbar as they opened fire on the crowd, but they were also heard saying: “What you are doing in Syria? You are going to pay for it now.” Yes, Isis’s official statement of responsibility referred to Paris as “the capital of prostitution and obscenity”, but it also singled out the French government for leading a “Crusader campaign” and “striking the Muslims … with their planes”.
To understand political violence requires an understanding of political grievances; to blame terrorism only on religious ideology or medieval mindsets is short-sighted and self-serving. The inconvenient truth is that geopolitics is governed as much as is physics by Newton’s third law of motion: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The CIA, back in the 1950s, even coined a term – “blowback” – to describe the unintended negative consequences, for US civilians, of US military operations abroad.
Today, when it comes to Russia, an “official enemy”, we understand and embrace the concept of blowback. When it comes to our own countries, to the west, we become the child in the playground, sticking our fingers in our ears and singing “La la la, I can’t hear you.”
You can argue that French – or for that matter UK or US – military action in the Middle East is a legitimate and unavoidable response to the rise of a terrorist mini-state; but you can’t argue that actions don’t have consequences.
The former chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer, told me in 2011 that “people are going to ... bomb us because they don’t like what we’ve done”. In an interview for al-Jazeera in July, the retired US general Michael Flynn, who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency from 201315, admitted to me that “the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict”.
It is a view backed by the Pentagon’s Defence Science Board, which observed as long as ago as 1997: “Historical data show a strong correlation between US involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States.”
Let me be clear: to explain is not to excuse; explication is not justification. There is no grievance on earth that can justify the wanton slaughter of innocent men, women and children, in France or anywhere else.
The savagery of Isis is perhaps without parallel in the modern era. But the point is that it did not emerge from nowhere: as the US president himself has conceded, Isis “grew out of our invasion” of Iraq.
Yet we ... pretend that “we” – Europe, the west, the liberal democracies – are attacked only for our principles. This is simplistic fantasy.
Actually you cannot argue that military action is a “legitimate response” at all; it is the cause and origin of the problem.
Nor is the ISIS savagery “without parallel” as already discussed, having been learned exclusively from imperialism (and to some extent deliberately trained in it early on – see below).
But the overall tone of this article shows that the objective impact of such terrorism, far from simply playing into the hands of imperialism, actually pushes it back and opens up the possibility for deeper understanding, and ultimately a revolutionary view.
It needs to be insistently re-stated that to see and assess that such guerrilla war attacks, far from “uniting everyone in a determination to face down this evil and uphold our European values” etc etc, constitute a defeat for imperialism, which will lead to much greater headscratching about the causes, has got nothing to do with “justifying” any particular methods or “supporting them” as the opening EPSR quote went on to explain:
Only imperialist tyranny and deluded reformists think “this has got to be stopped”, damning the act of terrorism.
Revolutionaries think “this has got to be stopped”, striving harder than ever to see a way that the defeat, overthrow, and crushing of the imperialist system, every scrap of it, can be achieved.
With every new “appalling outrage”, the unthinking majority forgets that the snarling imperialist threats of “we’ll get them for this”, universally applauded, are exactly what the imperialists said last time. And has this programme of blitzkrieg brutality led to the diminishing of terrorism???
No, it has only led to its dramatic worsening, exactly as the EPSR from the start has explained was inevitable...
It is continued pure ignorance to see Leninist scientific analysis as “supporting” all terrorism, simply because it refuses to condemn it and blames imperialism instead.
It is a failure of basic logic. It is the phenomenon of the imperialist system disintegrating which M-L sees as the historically positive continuity. The tragic details of HOW it is falling apart, of which Beslan is just a tiny part of a vast horror story in which 40 million children die painfully, prematurely, and needlessly every year around the world, are 100% the responsibility of the giant imperialist powers alone that no-one or nothing can stop them perpetrating EVERY year for as long as the capitalist system rules — EXCEPT the world socialist revolution.
Marxism-Leninism has always demonstrated its GREATER sympathy with human suffering, and its GREATER courage in trying to do something about it, in this way. The historical record of poverty-stricken and tragedy-stricken countries TRANSFORMED by socialist revolution is unequalled in the whole record of humanity.
In this as in everything, clear rational thinking is the highest expression of civilised development, not emotional day-dreaming.
Condemnation simply feeds the stampeding war fever, whatever social-pacifist hesitations about “no more warmongering”.
But what is the blanket “moral” ban on such methods anyway – presumably therefore the Palestinians are to be condemned as well and the Zionists congratulated for their “firm” suppression of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad led Intifadas, deemed to be “terrorism” - including the latest individualistic “knife-attack Third Intifida” upheavals???????
How else is this benighted downtrodden, persecuted and dispossessed people supposed to fight back???
Another seventy years (or an eternity) of non-advance through negotiation, UN mandate and grovelling acceptance of the best 80% of their land being occupied forever under some fantastical, revisionist-advocated ‘two-state solution’, which has been contemptuously scuppered by the land thieving nazi-Zionists and predictably so, because it was impossible from the outset????
Should they accept their lot unto eternity, in exile, constantly sabotaged by olive tree destruction and well-poisoning on the few scrappy farms remaining, or crammed into the Gaza prison-camp hellhole in the same way the persecuted, massacred and hounded native tribe remnants were (and largely still are) confined to desperate “reservations” by the new “Americans”???
Presumably too the Second World War partisans, attacking the Nazi occupation in every way they could with a full range of terror methods, were also to be deprecated for not sticking to “approved democratic procedure” and organised warfare using the “proper” military and weaponry they did not have??
So which “left” groups are going to come out first and say all that – and how much longer do they think they will have any credence with the working class if they do????
But if it is right to call for the defeat of the Zionist occupation, and not condemn how the Palestinians fight back, (which is led by Islamic groups currently by the way) why not the Middle East’s wider fight against imperialism??
Failure to focus on the material reality of monopoly capitalism and its desperate contradiction riven crisis war-drive as the core of world developments, and to see the defeat of imperialism, including all partial defeats, as the key question for the world working class, leaves the “left” of all kinds floundering, lined up on the wrong sides particularly in the Middle East.
Total confusion has prevailed, and most of all because the great swamp of fake-“left” revolutionary and Marxist pretenders have not got the first idea of Marxist-Leninist theoretical science, see only superficialities and cannot grasp movement and dialectical change at all.
A whole additional paper could be needed to tease out all the contradictions - including the chopping and changing support of all these groups for different sides, and the contradictory tangles of their various declarations of “support” - the Stalinists currently denouncing “Islamic headbangers” for example while supporting the Iranian Ayatollahs, or backing the gangster oligarch Russian state’s Bonapartist Putin, apeing the West’s aggression.
Most damagingly the swamp’s wooden ideas about “reactionary Islam” or supposed “democratic secular alternatives” all helped the barbaric imperialist counter-revolutionary restoration in Egypt in 2013, toppling the Muslim Brotherhood’s newly elected president in favour of a renewed stooge military regime.
But inadequate though it was, the compromising reformist wing of the Muslim Brotherhood was sitting on a mass movement with new possibilities, not least in support for the Gaza Palestinian revolt across the Sinai border, and potentially much wider anti-imperialist upheaval in the Middle East.
But Trotskyists and Stalinists alike effectively cheered on the anti-Morsi stunt organised on the streets in 2013 by the CIA and others, once Western imperialism had got its breath back from the shattering genuine Arab Spring.
“Secular politics should prevail” they all said, missing the key point that it is the revolutionary content of politics that matters first.
Their dull-brained petty bourgeois parliamentary democratic notions played into the hands of the middle class and military bureaucratic reaction which toppled the largely working class and peasant-supported Mohamed Morsi, leading to the violent suppression not just of the new (and completely democratic, for what it is worth) Morsi presidency and its MB base, but all the “secular” democrats, and the anarchist “no leadership” movement and their hostility to theory.
The allegedly radical anti-communist nonsense which caused such “offence” on the Stop the War website is a case in point, declaring that because imperialism has been able to take advantage of some Islamism on occasion, tapping into its more backward aspects, against the Soviets in Afghanistan for example, that essentially
a All Islamism always plays a backward role
b It only made headway because of imperialist encouragements “over decades”
c that if such movement had not been encouraged there would have been space for “secular politics” to develop
d As a result imperialism is to blame for Paris and obviously 9/11 etc.
But this is topsy-turvy in every way, most of all failing to take responsibility for the complete disaster that “secular” politics has been.
The first clue is in the name.
What is “secular politics” supposed to mean anyway – except the notion of “democratic paths" and avoidance of the term “revolutionary politics”????
It is the total failure of revisionism first and then of its even worse anti-communist supposed counter, Trotskyism, which has left a gigantic vacuum in the world, abandoning revolution in favour of “permanent peaceful coexistence” and all the baggage of “the peaceful democratic road to socialism” which evolved from it, and then helping feed the non-stop anti-communist anti-~Soviet brainwashing that passes for education and culture within capitalism.
All of them tell the working class that it can win reforms, or resist austerity and war with “left pressure”.
Small wonder Islamism, in its politically adapted “jihadist” version, has filled the space because it expresses to some extent a hatred of imperialist degeneracy and collapse, along with notions of “brotherhood” and sacrifice, that at least in a crude distorted way, fulfil the need in the Third World, and obviously after Paris everywhere else, for revolutionary leadership.
Of course it falls massively short of scientific Leninism and its nihilism, aims and tactics are nothing to do with Marxism, even hampering it.
But that is not solved by condemnations and bombing - it is solved by a struggle for better understanding of the need to end capitalism, building the Leninist party instrument to do it.
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