No 1488 14th March 2016
Syrian ceasefire a defeat for Western skulduggery but Putin’s “anti-terror” rhetoric just muddies the water for world working class. War and destruction comes from the capitalism and its catastrophic collapse due imminently as 2008 crisis re-emerges, not “evil jihadism”. Destroying every last ISIS fighter will solve nothing. Russian bombing had an effect only because it hit stooge forces trained by the West to topple Assad not “terrorists” in general. ISIS is part of a great wave of Third World revolt against imperialism, confused, sectarian and fanatically suicidal as it is. Condemning this and bombing it simply feeds imperialism’s kill-them-all frenzy being whipped up to stampede the world into World War Three destruction, the “way out” for the bankrupt private profit system. Putin’s oligarchs and Assad stand in the way of the revolutionary understanding that is vital for the working class to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. Nothing else will stop the turn to open fascism increasingly obvious from Trumpism and British generals’ coup threats despite fake-“left” complacency. Leninism needed now
The “ceasefire” forced on the motley Western-directed “rebel” forces in Syria by Russian bombs is a useful further humiliation for US imperialism on top its long decade of Iraqi and Afghanistan quagmire and the hellish unsolved mess it has left in Libya.
But while the setback adds to the failures and fears of an international ruling class losing its grip everywhere as its catastrophic economic crisis gathers speed again, this Moscow “cure” is almost worse than the ailment.
It is a minor positive outcome that Putin’s macho display of indiscriminate military muscle has managed for the moment to stop the dirty and vicious street massacres and suburban ethic cleansing which deliberately began, and continues, the Syrian civil war horrors, which have tried to topple another “rogue state” scapegoated target and keep a lid on the Arab world.
Any such defeat for imperialist plotting and subversion is welcome, including that against the filthy Western hypocrisy which approves the bestialities of these laughably named “moderate terrorists”.
But the major impact, from the idiotic general “anti-terror” pronouncements of the bonapartist Vladimir Putin, frontman for Moscow’s mafia gangster oligarch capitalist restorationism, and his support for the even flakier reactionary Ba’athists, also blaming their problems on “terrorism” in general, is wholly negative.
It simply muddies the water even further around the Syrian war, its origins in the bogus rebellion used to head off the great Egyptian revolution, and around the continuing rebelliousness of the Middle East.
Most of all it helps sustain imperialism’s “war on terror” propaganda rationale for dragging public opinion into demented “kill them all” war fever, vital for the oncoming (and already started) Third World War that monopoly capitalism desperately needs, to escape its disastrous collapse.
Putin’s denunciation, and then bombing, of the spontaneous outbreaks of jihadism and revolt embodied in such movements as the Islamic State, simply plays into imperialism’s hands.
This is part of the great wave of Third World revolt which is erupting everywhere in response to capitalism and Putin’s backward thuggery simply lines him up on the wrong side, part of the oppression which has caused it.
But Putin’s intervention has clearly set back the dirty thuggery and barbarity that has been tearing Syria to shreds, it will be argued by the Stalinists and some other “lefts” who have been (erroneously) supporting the Damascus government (rather than simply wanting to see the imperialist attacks on it come to grief – the Leninist policy of defeat for the main enemy but no confidence in reactionary local confusion like the Assad dictatorship).
That is true as far as it goes.
Washington and its stooges are reeling as yet again the horrific civil war, which was deliberately set raging five years ago by Western skulduggery as a bogus and artificially induced “extension of the Arab Spring” (to try and head off and contain the genuine, spontaneous Egyptian revolution), has failed to topple the Western demonised Damascus government, one of its “rogue states” victimised for being inadequately compliant with the West and a useful target for continued crisis warmongering.
Almost a 180 degree about turn seems possible in the “peace talks”, with the usual loud US and UK demands that “Assad must go” now giving way to diplomatic concessions and compromise to focus on blitzing the ISIS in the north.
Splits in Washington over its further strategy – whether to continue trying to “regime-change” the Syrian “rogue state” or to concentrate on attacking the ISIS jihadism it initially encouraged, but which has “blown back” against the West, signal a ruling class at sixes and sevens as made clear in recent Washington insider reports from journalist Seymour Hersh (see recent EPSR 1486) outlining some Pentagon and intelligence agency collusion with Damascus throughout this war.
But it is not the defeat of some abstract “terrorism” which has created this hesitancy and resulting ceasefire at all.
Just the opposite. Much of the “rebellion” which three months of Russian bomb runs have now helped to suppress, tipping the balance towards the Assad military, has clearly been waged by assorted anti-regime stooge groups for the West, openly admitted many times to be receiving CIA training, and lavish funds and arms from the most backward and corrupt feudal Sheikhdoms in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia (and also Turkey pursuing its own regional agenda).
In other words the military victories have primarily been over a very particular set of “rebels”, the cynical Western stooges and collaborators who were prompted and trained to use the most horrific terrorising methods from the beginning to foment this devastating war. Their character has been obvious from their Western coached and choreographed denunciations of the “tyrant Assad”, ludicrously and one-sidedly blaming the entire civil war agony, with numerous atrocities on all sides, solely on the government’s obviously unexceptional efforts to defend itself, and from their constant calls for Western military aid and air support, (or regular sour denunciations of the West for “not helping them enough”), not to mention the assortment of reactionary feudal Sheikhdoms which has continued to fund them (while they grotesquely and hypocritically are claimed to be “fighting for democracy”).
All of which clearly identifies them as reactionary counter-revolutionaries.
No progressive forces, for example, would ask the main enemy, imperialism, to help and support them, let alone to intervene with NATO invasion.
These multiple squabbling groups are akin to the monarchist reactionaries, petty bourgeois opportunists and capitalist collaborators who were whipped up in Libya by Western intelligence subversion in a laughable pretence of “revolt” at about the same time (just after the Cairo eruptions), aided by mysterious hidden snipers, parachuted in special forces (eg those caught in the desert outside Benghazi after a totally incompetent landing in the wrong place), and the overwhelming Western media onslaught of Goebbels fabrications and unverified stories about supposed “atrocities” by the Gaddafi regime etc that supported them all.
That shallow “rebellion” stunt in Libya paved the way for the nazi-NATO blitzkrieg which was eventually needed to rescue this whole completely non-credible “popular movement”, stamped with all the hallmarks of the now routine CIA “colour-revolutions”, using a stirred-up handful of paid demonstrators, their numbers inflated into an alleged “revolt” by carefully positioned Western TV camera reports and “diplomatic source estimates”.
Once inflated they were then conveniently conflated with the genuine Arab Spring which had erupted spontaneously in Tunisia and Cairo early in 2011, to the shock and surprise of the West as it threatened to spread throughout the Middle East into other strongholds of reactionary backwardness like Bahrain and Yemen.
The Egyptian upheaval was a watershed moment in growing Middle Eastern anti-imperialist revolt when, driven by the impact of the 2008 crisis and a decade of destruction in Iraq, its long dictatorially repressed people turned spontaneously to mass revolutionary action, going a step beyond the civil war insurgency and resistance that the West’s Iraq and Afghanistan wars had already stimulated.
That true Cairo uprising of millions onto the street was utterly unlike the massively encouraged pseudo “peoples’ revolts” in Syria and Libya which were bolstered by every intelligence agency-fed media trick and exaggeration in the book (and by the anti-communist gullibility of the Trotskyists on the “left”, shallowly swallowing yet another “street revolt” at face value, as they have swallowed all such pretences, most of all the bogus, anti-soviet, Pilsudski-fascist loving, “trade union” Solidarnosc in Poland, which helped bring down the revisionist workers states).
Cairo’s uprising was genuinely peaceful (except by the reaction’s attacks on it) unlike Libya and Syria which were deliberately and provocatively violent from the start, with arson attacks on police stations etc (lyingly ignored by the Western propaganda, pretending it was all just some hapless “peaceful demonstrations for democracy” that were then suppressed by “the totalitarian regime attacking ‘its own people’” – to use a key CIA trigger phrase).
Their purpose in Libya was the exact opposite of the Arab Spring, to head off and contain the popular but fragmentally led Egyptian revolt (left leaderless by long decades of Moscow and world revisionist retreat from Marxist revolutionism, and deliberate petty bourgeois anarchist “anti-leadership”).
It put pressure on Egypt and stifled any potential solidarity with the Egyptian masses, while the West built up a counter-revolutionary movement there which eventually overthrew the new “democracy” and installed a brutal new western funded dictatorship under General Sisi.
The same in Syria – these are elements that are nothing to do with the overall rising tide of Third World revolt and attacks on Westerners in country after country.
The Islamic State jihadists, like much of the “terrorism” erupting in country after country (now again in Côte d’Ivoire) are something else entirely, part of confused but anti-imperialist upheaval.
Not so, say such “left” reformists as journalist John Pilger, the ISIS was part of the anti-Assad terrorising when it was kicked off, their sectarianism, inflamed by Western manipulation stretching back to the Shia death-squad horrors of the 2005-7 Iraq civil war, turned onto Assad’s regime. There were CIA training camps in Libya, resources in Jordan and so forth.
He and others have published evidence, and there are admissions by the West anyway, which back it up.
They also cite the Western manipulation of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to sabotage the Soviet support for the socialist government in Afghanistan a proof of such strategies.
But those Islamists in the form of the Taliban long ago broke away from the US-backed revolt, and after the US bombing and invasion in 2002 have become the mainstay of the struggle against the occupation, and even against Western collusion in Pakistan.
The ISIS also broke away and has clearly become a “blowback” problem for imperialism.
It has an independent and mostly anti-Western agenda, expressed admittedly in the primitive medievalism of the demand for a religious Caliphate, but essentially demanding the imperialists leave them alone, contemptuous of the divisions and borders created in the Middle East 100 years ago by the First World War secret treaties like Sykes-Picot, (to divide up the imperialist plunder) and attacking the US-installed Iraqi stooge government in Baghdad as well as mounting attacks into imperialist countries like the Paris events.
They have merged with the still festering anti-American Iraq war resistance of the Sunni triangle, including elements of the old Saddam military undoubtedly, and newly emerging local anti-imperialist hatred in a population where anyone under 25 years old has never known anything but destruction, horror, massacre and oppression.
So much is this different to the other anti-Assad forces that within 12 months of kicking off the devastating civil war in Syria, Washington had started denouncing them, withdrew its support, and had to set up an alternative Quisling “opposition”, the laughably hollow Syrian National Council regularly wheeled out on Western TV and radio.
So much are they not the same thing, that ever since Putin started to intervene the West has been complaining that Russia is “bombing the wrong ones” and “not bombing ISIS” (though that is only partly true).
Its “blowback” against imperialism is not some minor aberration as some of the “left” (the Stalinist Lalkar-ites eg) try to paint it (to disguise their own mistakes declaring that jihadism is all ‘run by imperialism’) but a huge dialectical shift.
Whatever confusions the Islamic State went through initially and still suffers, it has merged into the great wave of insurgency and anti-imperialist revolt which now has erupted in a dozen countries.
And this is also clear from the massive support and recruitment it gains from throughout disaffected and alienated youth and fringe communities of Europe, with thousands and thousands risking everything to go an join them. Why?
One obvious answer is buried away in a recent interview with South African novelist Gillian Slovo:
...Slovo is a South African-born novelist and playwright. She is the daughter of leading anti-apartheid activists, Ruth First, who was assassinated by the South African secret services in 1982, and Joe Slovo, leader of the South African communist party and a key figure in the ANC.
.......You’ve also written a verbatim on young people going to join Isis. Where did you start?
The play is going to be on at the National in April. The starting off point was: why are our kids from Europe attracted to this murderous organisation, which represents some of the worst ideas about women and homosexuals and kills people who are not like them? Why is it that kids from our societies are attracted to this? We started before Paris had happened, but even then it was very hard to find anyone in England who would talk to us. So we went to Belgium to Molenbeek, the place the killers in Paris came from, and we talked to a group of the most wonderful mothers whose kids had gone to Isis.
Did you come to any conclusions?
In Belgium it is very clear racism has something to do with it, but it’s not as clearcut in England. In general it’s young people who do stupid things and don’t think. They just go over there and get trapped. But some of this I think is about young people not having enough meaning in their lives. You could say the same about the people who rioted in 2011. Not enough to lose or stop yourself going crazy in the street. Some people are going for an adventure. Some are going for a video game. Some are very damaged. And some are going to build a better life because they haven’t got enough meaning here.
Is there an ideological appeal of power, like the lure of fascism in the 1930s?
I actually think it’s ideologically attractive because it is completely anti-capitalist. If you look at this society you can see what capitalism delivers to people who have money. But if you don’t happen to be one of those people, you also see what it doesn’t deliver to you. And that’s exactly what these jihadis are saying: your system is messed up and it’s unfair. It isn’t one of the principles of Islam, which is about people being equal.
This impressionism – blaming jihadism on “racism” eg – is flawed by some of the inadequacy that tainted the SACP, her father Joe Slovo particularly, a dire revisionist, tailending the Soviet leadership degeneration all the way to applauding the Gorbachevites, right up to the point of the fatuous liquidation of the USSR workers state and its deluded opening up to supposedly superior “market forces”, with never a challenge or attempt to examine this Moscow philosophical decay and its echoes throughout the world’s “official” CPs.
Like all revisionism the SACP lost touch with any grasp of revolutionary movement in the world and particularly the need for the working class to wage total class war to bring down the capitalist order, establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat; its philosophical legacy lingers on in its lack of any challenge to the disastrous class collaboration of the ANC black capitalism in South Africa, and the need for the working class to build a revolutionary movement to establish socialism, as everywhere.
But while Gillian Slovo in this interview is not claiming to speak for the SACP, and certainly not taking up those issues, she does at least see what is the driving force of most of the great jihadist upheaval, expressing better than most of the fake-“left” some understanding of how the huge collapse underway in capitalist society is pushing these movements.
It certainly shows up Putin’s shallowness and failure to understand the world imperialist crisis, blinkered by philistine faith in the “free market” (even as its oil price collapse and imperialist “sanctions” competition is hammering Russia’s restored capitalist economy – inflation massively on the rise), and his lack of any capacity to understand the first thing about Marxism and hostility to it (expressed again recently in his recent interview with a nationalist swipe at Lenin as having “undermined Russia”).
Putin (and Assad’s) insistence that “terrorism”, as such, is responsible for the chaos and mayhem in Syria and by implication the entire world, is a blinkered idiocy which disastrously sets back the understanding of the Syrian working class, the Middle Eastern working class, the Russian working class and the whole world working class.
Exactly the contrary, most of the “terrorism” in the world is a response to and resistance against the barbarity, oppression and centuries long exploitation by the colonialist plundering by capitalism, as hinted by Slovo.
Such addle brained philistinism from Putin’s shallow egotism, plays right into the hands of the capitalist warmongering, which is dragging the world towards the greatest disaster in all history as it hits an epochal collapse, tangled in unsolvable contradictions.
Declaring that bombing all such “terrorism” (rather than just the obvious stooge forces run by the West) will restore the country and the rest of the Middle East to “peace and growth”, is not only a narrow and profoundly mistaken follow on conclusion but a treacherous and reactionary piece of thuggery that continues to take the Syrian and the Russian population in entirely the wrong direction.
Without a perspective of the epochal world imperialist crisis unfolding on a scale never seen in history – which rules out any “peace” except total war exhaustion and certainly any “growth” however many ISIS fighters or other fundamentalists are put into the ground, blown apart by air bombing and ground level high-explosive artillery shells, or with cruise missiles from the Black Sea – Putin’s macho posturing and crude blitzing only feeds into onrushing disaster.
Apeing the imperialists’ thuggery, it just helps imperialism to “justify” its now nonstop warmongering which has already torn half a dozen countries to shreds, butchered hundreds of thousands of innocents and created the overwhelming refugee crisis which is not only devastating the lives of tens of millions but now undermining the stability of the already chaotic and fragmentary European “Union”, helping foment backward racism, hostility and scapegoating.
Joining the non-stop Western hate-campaign to “kick ISIS’ arse” as the demented Tea Party reactionary Sarah Palin ranted at one of Donald Trump’s increasing openly Nazi-level rallies, and even offering joint operations and military coordination with the US, France or NATO (!!!) is a sure guarantee that the destruction and havoc inflicted on the region will not only continue but deepen and spread much further and wider (as it is already in Yemen, Bahrain, Somalia, Iraq over and over and most of all against the Palestinian people, the endless victims of non-stop persecution and genocidal fascist Zionist violence, “punishment” and intimidation on an ever growing scale).
Even if every single one of the ISIS forces was to be “bombed into the ground” and utterly annihilated it would change nothing about deadly chaos and destruction which is unfolding across the world, because it is not caused by “terrorism” at all but by the ever-deepening and intractable contradictions of world monopoly capitalism imperialism.
Actually it would change things – for the worse by feeding the war frenzy and hate campaigning that capitalism needs to continue its drive towards World War Three.
And this applies not only to the Syrian civil war destruction and inhuman massacring violence (lyingly blamed solely on the Syrian regime by the outrageous Goebbels lies the Western stooge “opposition”) but to the spreading warmongering and proxy world warmongering everywhere. It also exposes the museum-Stalinist wing of the fake-“left”, still continuing to present oligarch counter-revolutionary Russia as if were just an extension of the Soviet Union.
Confusing the valuable historical legacy of its achievements, and the working class’s socialist experience, which may well be potentially revivable at some point, with actual advances towards a renewed communist state, and Putin’s philistine bonapartist need to hold back the outright domination of the oligarchs and foreign capital, with a progressive quasi Leninist position, is not only nonsensical wishful thinking but a complete misleading of the working class.
Defeat for the constant belligerence of the West towards Russia (currently surrounding it with aggressive NATO troop buildups in the Balkans) is sound enough against Western wishes to fragment the Russian Federation even further and break up even more any coherence that any future socialist revival might have, but defending Putin, his backward greater Russian nationalism, Orthodox Church veneration and his oligarch cronies is another matter.
A near parallel is the call to defend the opportunist Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian nationalism at the time of the Western blitzing of Yugoslavia (the early opener for the current warmongering) – a completely misleading defencist position which failed to make clear the total absence of any progressive understanding or revolutionary politics in the Belgrade leadership (see EPSR 1006) and the absence of any explanation of the imperialist crisis, or even any calls for the defence of working class interests (as opposed to Serb national interests).
In that case the Leninist position was for humiliating defeat of the nazi-NATO attacks (recognising the Serbian interests were more legitimate than the imperialist stooge “self-determination” breakaways by reactionary Slovenia and Croatia etc) but without any support for the dire Milosevic or his narrow nationalism.
Defending Russia now is equally misleading.
Again the only way to tread through the complexities is to focus on the monopoly capitalist system and its epochal breakdown which is driving everything, and to orientate all understanding around the struggle to end that system.
Defeats for the world dominance of capitalism are the key and the yardstick to measure unfolding events, not boosting all kinds of confused reformism, nationalism, and or nutty religious notions either.
The question facing the world is not simply of what terrorism is, but why it continues to erupt and spread throughout the Third World in particular.
This is a key issue on which the entire fake-“left” has capitulated and bowed its head to imperialist propaganda and demonisation ever since the 9/11 attacks on New York, fearful of going against the tide of petty bourgeois opinion terrified of the great breakdown in the world as the crisis deepens.
Condemning “jihadist terrorism” as “unacceptable”, or “criminal”or just “mad psychosis by headbangers”, or even swallowing the capitalist propaganda that it is a “new evil” or “work of devils” supposedly “full of hatred for our way of life”, is as treacherous as the capitulation of the various “socialist” parties in the Second International to the defence of their own nations in the First World War, siding with the interests of their own bourgeoisies and abandoning the struggle against them.
For all its crudity, despairing suicidal nihilism and in many cases, bizarre cultural and religious forms, all of which would not be the first choice of Marxist struggle and are even sometimes counterproductive for winning mass support, this is the early stages of world rebellion against it.
But though a real enough problem for capitalism (and massively more so as the West’s warmongering has driven more and more recruits in to its ranks) and adds to its crisis problems, it is not the cause of the world’s difficulties.
It needs stating very clearly again that the entire concept a “war on terror” is a total artificial construct by capitalism itself, covering up for the deliberate warmongering it has consciously set going throughout the world to escape its unsolvable overproduction crisis.
There is only one real cause of all the mayhem and that is the antagonistic contradictions of capitalism’s disastrous and historically bankrupt system, wracked by economic crash and failure.
It is not going to stop.
The whole monopoly capitalist order is rapidly heading back onto the rocks of the 2008 “global meltdown” and collapse, after almost a decade of insane Quantitative Easing.
Flooding the world with valueless Mickey Mouse paper money has only very temporarily held off complete catastrophe for the bigger and richer powers, while desperate “austerity” has been forced on to the poorest and weakest in society, onto the smaller and less powerful nations like Greece, Portugal and Spain, and onto much of the ruthlessly exploited Third World (where life has never risen much above poverty and near or actual slavery for tens of millions and is now facing total starvation and collapse).
The inflationary impact is being forced outwards, already exploding in some of the lesser capitalist powers like Brazil, and other Latin American nations (Venezuela notably though complicated by deliberate bourgeois economic sabotage), and in Russia itself (threatening the Putin balancing act chicanery of “looking after” the population).
Even worse collapse is imminent as the authoritative Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland (the bankers’ bank) has again been warning, declaring that the “fragile calm” post-2008 is giving way to “a gathering storm which has long been brewing”, and as the European Bank’s latest astonishing desperate negative interest moves underline (as useless as pushing on a piece of string as famously noted).
The “gathering storm” must break finally in a hurricane of economic chaos and turmoil that was already briefly visible in the summer of 2008 when the world banking system teetered on the edge of utter disaster.
It was a financial implosion that would have far exceeded the shock collapse of the Credit Anstalt bank in May 1931 and the domino wave of bank failures which followed, escalating the pre-WW2 Great Depression with its widespread unemployment, hunger, poverty and desperation, from the Hooverville shanty encampments of the unemployed and desperate in the sub-zero snowbound marshalling yards of Chicago, to six million jobless in Germany queueing at the soup kitchens as the Brownshirt street gangs were on the rise (now echoed by the Trump provocations), and the final conclusion of the breakdown into the Second World War.
As Blairite Chancellor Alistair Darling said in a 2013 interview:
‘The risk I have always seen is that people forget just how close we came to a complete collapse and the thing about a collapse of the banks is that it wouldn’t just have been the banks in ruins, it would have been complete economic and therefore social collapse. People without money can do nothing – you can’t buy your petrol, you can’t buy your food, anything.
‘It was rather like a nuclear war, you know you think it will never happen. And then someone tells you that a missile’s been launched. It was very scary. That moment will stick with me for the rest of my days.’
He almost certainly will not have to wait for the “rest of his days” unless they are very short indeed.
Any notion of a return to “prosperity” is a cynical knowing bamboozling of the working class (notably at present by the Corbynite “left” Labourites and their “left”-swamp, Trotskyist and revisionist hangers-on in “Momentum” or the Bernie Sanders campaign in America.)
Not only the greatest economic catastrophe ever is about to hit people but the descent into warlord and gangster chaos and fighting for resources erupting everywhere will be merged in with international conflict on a giant scale.
The chauvinism and hostility is being stepped up massively and not least in greatly intensified pressure for protectionism and tariff controls, just as they were in the trade war viciousness of the 1930s – these are the central and key aspects of the both the reactionary nationalist demands against “jobs export” from the demented Nazi-violence Donald Trump presidential campaign in the States and in the anti-EU Little Englanderism of the referendum in Europe.
The supposedly “left” campaigns of “democratic socialist” presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the fake-“left” campaigns against Europe, with such opportunist, supposedly “left” firebrands as demagogue George Galloway (now the greatest chum with reactionary UKIP leader Nigel Farage!!), are predicated on “anti-trade deal” protectionism as well, and muddying the water with backward notions of nationalism, and saving “British jobs”, or “American industry” (at the expense of workers everywhere else).
All of this rank encouragement of tribalism and nationalism, feeds into the oncoming war atmosphere which is being driven to a new frenzy of hate and scapegoating blame-placing on other people, other countries, and “unfair competition” etc etc instead of on the collapse and breakdown of capitalism itself and the inherent and unstoppable crisis that its production for private profit mechanism must always run into because of the contradictions built into it - throughout its entire system, – exactly as Karl Marx analysed 150 years ago (see Capital, three volumes and the Communist Manifesto and multiple works of Lenin etc etc).
To escape this epochal disintegration, the biggest and deepest ever crisis of the capitalist order, far beyond the stagnation before World War One or the 1930s Great Depression, the ruling class has been pushing the world towards the international war destruction and shootout which is its only method of riding out the Slump disaster.
Since the turn of the 21st century at least, imperialism’s most powerful empire, the US, has deliberately pushed the entire world towards blitzkrieg mayhem to distract attention from the oncoming collapse (already clear to the ruling class long in advance of 2008), and to bully the entire world with unsuppressed brutality into continued subservience, to continue supplying resources and labour output to the US despite its effective bankruptcy, and suppressing all revolt and rebellion against it with “shock and awe” intimidation.
It also aimed to make clear to all its major capitalist rivals for collapsing and massively shrinking world markets, just what ruthless savagery they could expect if they mounted any serious challenges in the great cutthroat “free market” struggles which are intensifying daily (and which are anything but “freely” pursued competition, even in “peacetime”, with vicious dirty dealing of the monopoly corporations stealing a march using every aspect of underhand market sabotage, bribery, blackmail, cartels, price-fixing, mafia criminality and international heavy handed “diplomacy” bullying, supplemented with surveillance and industrial espionage and the financial arm twisting of agencies like the IMF and World Bank, dominated by the US).
To make the point, the most horrific violent blitzkrieg, invasion, torture, massacre, terrorising and all out destruction has been imposed on country after country, using every kind of barbarism, hi-tech weaponry, drone attacks, death squadism, civilian massacres and concentration camp torture, killing and abuse (Guantánamo and Bagram just the tip of the iceberg).
And this on top of the centuries of colonialist brutality, casual murder and massacre, torture, slavery, and fascist horror imposed on most of the world’s population by the “developed” nations, a tyrannical domination that has run the gamut of every ghastly atrocity, abuse and inhuman degradation that can be imagined, the test bed for every new weapon and killing method devised by technology from the Gatling guns used to wholesale slaughter Sudanese tribesmen and germ warfare wiping out the Native American tribes with measles infected “gift” blankets and smallpox, to the endless B-52 high explosive pounding of Vietnam and the Agent Orange chemical war which destroyed most of its southern jungles (and agriculture) as well as causing grotesque birth deformities still persisting to this day.
The same was even more recently used in Colombia against the FARC communist revolutionaries along with the horrifying death squad methods of dismemberment and mass slaughter that has been the norm for American neo-colonialist domination of its Latin America “backyard”.
Beheading? It has been commonplace throughout the Spanish, French, British, Italian and other empires, as has every other hands-in-the-air “appalling inhumanity” now propagandised about “terrorists”. The Japanese imperialist officers “practiced” their Samurai sword techniques in the 1937 Chinese Nanjing massacre, competing for the highest head trophy tallies.
Rape? Universal. Child kidnapping and village massacres - endless. Nazi atrocities in the Second World War were gruesome on an industrial scale but no more so than the horrors perpetrated since during the Cold War and numerous invasions and wars by the rest of the imperialist world.
The Zionists’ regular onslaughts on the hapless Palestinians use the dirtiest methods available, from bone burning white phosphorus and vile cluster bombs, to “simple” 2 tonne bombs that pound and shred buildings and humans to unrecognisable fragments, men, women and children not excepted.
And far from establishing a peaceful settlement, these horrors simply drive the recruitment into the ranks of the “jihadists” terrorists as has been repeatedly observed by every rational commentator for the last three decades.
It is out of this appalling tyranny that a great rebellion is emerging.
If it turns in many cases to using just as horrifying and brutal a fighting methodology, as the ISIS clearly has done, both as a weapon literally to terrify opponents, as it did when the Baghdad US-stooges’ Iraqi army retreated wholesale in front the onslaught, or as a means of imposing its will and establishing a ruthless organisational discipline that has proved devastatingly effective in the short term, then that is the result of this endless colonial tyranny and the kind of distorted and agonised humanity that it has produced.
The same with the puritanical strictures, and iconoclastic destruction, which many revolutionary periods and their movements have witnessed such as the 1640-49 British bourgeois revolution under Cromwell, the French Revolution too, rejecting the collapsing standards and perceived decadence of the old society.
It is completely pointless for appalled Westerners to throw their hands in the air and declare that such methods are “beyond humanity” or “cultural vandalism” and must be condemned instantly – that leads one conclusion, that this is therefore an unreasoning “evil” which is to be treated like a disease, with yet more insane warmongering blitzkreig to be imposed, exactly as the Nazi-rally Trumpites are demanding, (and Erdogan has promised against the Kurdish PKK national independence struggle) and exactly as would be imposed by the class collaborating Labourites, by the equally aggressive warmonger Hillary Clinton and by the “left” Sander-nistas too, or any other stand-in continuing to run an imperialist state in oncoming war crisis conditions.
Tacking onto the end of such condemnations a quick get out clause that “nevertheless we are opposed to bombing and more war” as the pacifists and the entire fake-“left” does, is firstly totally ineffectual, since the principal that such movements are allegedly “reactionary” has already been conceded and will therefore not stand in the way of public opinion “logic” favouring “world community policing” to “kill them all”, and secondly philosophically misleading.
For all that these revolts may adopt all kinds of backward and reactionary ideological notions they are, as described by Slovo, part of a great hatred of capitalism and revolutionary response to it, and in many cases inflicting damaging blows on its world domination which far from “making things worse” and “helping capitalism”, have rocked it back on its heels.
It is complete treachery not to see such defeats for what they are, and to understand that virtually all these blows against imperialism weaken it.
While not themselves providing a direct path towards the socialist future which alone will end world oppression, and even getting in its way the jihadist revolts are part of a world resistance (also expressed in other forms like the eastern Ukrainian anti-fascist “separatism”) that is opening the door for such grasp.
And this can only be understood by seeing them within the broadest possible context of the world disintegrating capitalist crisis, the revolutionary, dialectical historical Marxist perspective that crucially needs rebuilding in the world to give the working class everywhere an understanding of the need for mass struggle to overturn this dying and defunct private profit system and build socialist rationality within a planned world coordinated economy,
Marxism does not have to subscribe to any of their methods in the current context and certainly does not “justify” in any way the tragedies of slaughtered and terrorised civilians whether they are in New York in 2001 or the Iraqi and Syrian deserts.
But the only valid criticism there can be, is that of offering a far better perspective for the mass, class-war revolutionary struggle to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, exactly as Lenin outlined in his essay on Guerrilla War in 1906.
If all these anarcho-suicide movements are not the “right way” to fight then let revolutionary movements that can take a lead in the class war struggle get to it, better and more effectively, by educating and training the mass revolutionary party and winning the leadership of the discontented and militantly angry masses who are demanding that the struggle goes forwards.
It they turn instead to adapted versions of local cultural ideologies like fanatical Islam and its suicide apocalypse perspectives then that is because no better and more coherent perspective of militant struggle exists, a giant vacuum having been left in world revolutionary understanding by the long retreat from Leninist Bolshevism under Moscow’s steady slide into ever worse revisionism and its disastrous “permanent peaceful coexistence” hopelessness, leading to a disastrous insistence on the parliamentary road ultimately and abandonment of revolution.
But the great swamp of fake-“left” is not offering any better perspective, with the grasp of the revolutionary change needed, at its core.
Just the opposite it has wriggled and squirmed ever since the 9/11 WTC attacks, to find a way to join in with the “condemnation” either outright, with various moralising declarations, that this is all an “unacceptable” way to fight, lyingly declared to be proscribed by Marxism (which says no such thing see numerous past EPSRs eg 1147), or that it is just “reactionary” (as arbitrarily declared by assorted groups), or some kind of deranged madness and psychosis is apparently suddenly afflicting tens of thousands of people including those directly joining such uprisings, and the tens of millions more in the Third World who eagerly cheer on each blow they see struck against the West and its domination.
Most of all the mythology of a world CIA plot has been promulgated, with much tapping of the nose and the “we all know that” pseudo-sophisticated reasoning around the 9/11 attacks in 2001, based on the premise that since Osama bin Laden had once been used by the CIA during the anti-Soviet Afghanistan upheavals, he was therefore categorised permanently as a “reactionary tool”, from which specious foundation a conspiracy edifice higher than the original twin towers could be erected.
This childish “theory” persists to this day despite being debunked by both the physical engineering evidence (see numerous websites) and more importantly by Marxist political science (see EPSR 1223 eg) which demonstrated the complete nonsense of the notion that imperialism either needed, or gambled on, such an elaborate charade to wage war when a simply made up lie served to justify Vietnam, the Serbian blitzing, Iraq itself in the end with the fantasy WMDs etc etc etc (and with Libya that not even a physical event was needed, just the lying allegation that Gaddafi had “threatened a genocide”!)
This petty bourgeois conspiracy evasion is sustained and even reinforced currently around the Syrian war by fact that imperialist skulduggery exists and does try at times to use various stooge forces as counter-revolutionary proxies (as detailed earlier).
But the real reason it is sustained is because of the petty bourgeois “left” is in thrall to the presumed overwhelming strength of the ruling class, seeing everything it does as some masterful plan and, out of this miserable defeatism, failing to grasp or explain the crisis or rather not wanting to see it and the epochal collapse which it presages, and the total overturning of the comfortable niches in capitalist society and the complacency so generated.
These theories provide the entire fake-“left” with a superficially credible way out of making any more profound analysis of the complete breakdown of imperialism and the immediate revolutionary implications that it confronts everyone with.
Despite their posturing and preening as Marxists, that is the last thing any of these petty bourgeois groups wants to take on.
Least of all do they want to stand against the wind of self-righteous petty bourgeois public opinion when it is being inflamed into hysterical kill-them vengeance frenzy as witnessed in the shocking turn to nazi-violence incitement in the US election (no joke).
The proliferation of attacks and jihadists movements since exposes ever further the threadbare nonsense of this cosy theory.
If it is all controlled by an all powerful Western imperialism with a long-term carefully plotted-out agenda, what on earth is it for?
Why and how would so many attacks serve to keep the world on course for stable imperialist exploitation?????
And why would the West be sending troops hither and thither to try and contain it?
Al-Shabaab in Somalia – how does that “stabilise” West Africa for imperialism and the rotten corrupt stooge Kenya next door which it has attacked several times?
Or al-Qaeda in Yemen where Saudi Arabia has been destroying the entire country, including blitzing the jihadists.
Then there is Boko Haram in even more corrupt western dominated Nigeria – how does that avowedly anti-imperialist Islamist movement (its name means “No Western education”) serve to keep western corporate interests intact?
The Mali Taureg/al-Qaeda movement and its attacks in the capital – useful to imperialism???
Ditto the attacks by al-Qaeda of the Maghreb on the beach in Côte D’Ivoire this week???
Or how did the Central African Republic takeover by Islamist rebels - brutally put down by a viciously vengeful “Christian” forces supported by French troops – serve to advance Western interests?
And how come in denouncing all these movement the fake-“left” finds itself lined up with interventions by Western imperialism, currently with British and Kenyan troops and aircraft attacking the Al-Shabaab, with French troops who “restored order” (and a stooge government) in Mali, with French troops in Côte d’Ivoire and again in CAR, with US and UK troops on the border with Nigeria to attack Boko Haram?
What nefarious plot is all this supposed to be serving?
Only one plot is the answer, that of sophistry and philosophical evasion by the fake-“left” getting itself off the hook of having to examine a real and ever growing movement in the world of explosive insurgency which for all its crudeness, sometimes gruesome methodology and sectarian infighting, is bursting out everywhere.
They need to apply Occams Razor to their convoluted theories and declare that quite simply the entire Third World is in ferment of revolt.
Their nonsense gets them into further tangles over the Palestinian struggle against the decades long colonialist land theft occupation of their land, and the inevitable recurring genocidal onslaughts on their very existence which the nazi-Zionist cuckoo in the Middle Eastern nest is obliged to make by all the logic of its position.
“Israel” can never survive as long as the people it dispossessed by raw terror and ethnic cleansing massacres from their 1500 year long tenure continue to exist, and who will inevitably fight to recover their land and culture.
So all historical logic drives the nazi-Zionist regime to repeatedly butcher and slaughter and terrorise the seven million Palestinians until they are wiped out or so dispersed, fragmented, broken up and diminished that they no longer constitute a threat (like the Native Americans or Aborigines), keeping them in the meantime in abject concentration camp misery and permanent humiliation and suppression, routinely terrorised by low level sniper killings (several a week at present around Jenin, target of the next illegal “settler” takeover), brutality, property destruction, well poisoning etc etc.
And there are few (bar the most off-the-wall) on the “left” who would deny their right to fight and that by any means possible – recognising that they have neither a well-funded state military nor the weaponry for “proper” warfare, – as they are currently with a wave of desperate knife attacks against civilians in the occupied lands, to try and push back this Jewish-Zionist monster, potentially a Third Intifada already declared by Hamas.
But if the current Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership is therefore not written off as “reactionary backwardness” to be condemned, and their anti-imperialist fight is a valid one, then why would any of the other great waves of jihadism be treated so?
Again Marxism does not support Hamas or Islamic Jihad, which suffer as much from barmy religious notions as most of the other movements, but it does say that this is the leadership that exists at present and which has sufficient militancy and revolutionary energy to keep taking the Palestinians forwards for the time being (doggedly standing firm during the barbaric Operation Cast Lead destruction two years ago) – and will do so until its religious fervour proves unable to match the growing revolutionary complexities of the crisis.
Ultimately only a scientific Marxist world view and leadership will suffice to complete the revolutionary overturn of capitalism that is the only solution to the Palestinians’ oppression and that of the Arab world, and Third World that their struggle increasingly merges into.
But the fake-“left” is presented with major contradictions in having to declare for the Palestinians in some way (or be exposed as irredeemably reactionary).
Why then does it condemn the Sinai fighters in Egypt next door, who are Sunni Muslim anti-imperialists as well, who have fought both Zionism and the grotesquely brutal General Sisi coup government in Cairo, and provide what aid they can to the Gazan Palestinians, particularly when the Muslim Brotherhood was briefly in power, running supplies and aid through the border tunnels (now closed by the military regime)?
Because they are deemed to be “reactionary jihadists” too is the answer, and particularly since they declared their allegiance to the Islamic State.
So here is a fine conundrum.
It gets worse.
Take the museum Stalinists of Lalkar/Proletarian, with their wooden step-by-step view of world struggle and failure to see the revolutionary breakdown everywhere, which has simply taken its cue from limited and erratic Assad bourgeois nationalist regime, (and from a supposedly “steadfast” oligarch supported Putin) which in line with the most mechanistic revisionist “logic” is thought to be a “little bit better” than imperialism and therefore to be defended as a “step forwards”.
In this bit-by-bit and completely undialectical view, the “official” “legitimate” government is the key to eventual socialist advance, a perspective that is pure reformism, giving no sense at all of the great breakdown in the world and the revolutionary transformation it is leading to.
So everything that is against the Ba-athists is declared bad, including all the forces painted as “terrorists” by Assad and Putin.
With this clunky nonsense it immediately is enmeshed in contradictions.
Firstly of course it has to explain why it is therefore supporting other Islamist movements, presumably just as “headbanging” and mystical as ISIS etc, such as firstly the Shia Hezbollah, currently fighting for Assad and secondly Iran (also backing Assad) which is not just an Islamic militant group but an entire Sharia law Islamic state.
Secondly how does this not come into conflict with its support for the Palestinian Hamas which is a Sunni movement opposed to the Shia Assad and also fighting the Hezbollah?
How does that in turn not come into conflict with its condemnation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as “Islamic reaction” given that the MB is the parent of the Hamas which, until recently at least, Lalkar/Proletarian declared it was “the duty” of every revolutionary to support in the struggle against the Zionist fascist occupation.
These tangles lead to all kinds of reactionary notions, and hypocritical humbug, denouncing the Islamic rebellion and by the A=A but A(not=)B bourgeois mechanical logic of Stalinism, then declaring effectively in favour of the Egyptian government which hunts them down.
Unbelievably these Stalinists continue to say nothing about the vile dictatorship re-established in Cairo; and nothing about the fact that Lalkar/Proletarian cheered on the coup in July 2013, and to this day favourably quotes the opinions of the Egyptian “government” (no qualms there about the legitimacy of the coup-installed Sisi government against a “legally elected” president Mohamed Morsi – for what such “democracy” considerations are worth).
So no mention in those pages of the thousands of innocents shot down in the streets by the Sisi military, of the hundreds at a time sentenced to death by a judiciary which makes Hanging Judge Jeffries look like a pussycat, of the even larger numbers imprisoned for merely voicing liberal thoughts, including most of the “democracy” demonstrators who helped whip up the “secular revolt” against Morsi which gave the counter revolution its opportunity.
And what do Lalkar (and all the other “left”s who declared against the Morsi government for its “reactionariness, opening the way to the coup, if not supporting it as such) say to this?:
Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge PhD student from Italy, was on his way to see a friend when he left his flat near Behoos metro station in Cairo on 25 January.
It was a tense day in the otherwise bustling neighbourhood on the western bank of the Nile, where street sellers hawk cheap plastic sunglasses, books and shoes from groaning tables.
That day marked the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Egyptian revolution which overthrew Hosni Mubarak, and tension was palpable across the city following weeks of intense police activity aimed at scuppering any pro-democracy demonstrations.
It was also the last day Regeni was seen alive.
Nine days later – and days after the Italian foreign ministry announced that it was concerned about his mysterious disappearance – Regeni’s body was found in a ditch near a desert highway between Cairo and Alexandria. An examination of his body in Rome concluded that he was brutally tortured before his death: he was burned, beaten, and mutilated. His nails had been ripped out and he suffered from broken ribs and a brain haemorrhage.
For experts who study Egypt and its infamous record on human rights, Regeni’s murder bears all the hallmarks of an extrajudicial killing by the state’s security police, who are believed to be behind the death of 474 Egyptians in 2015 alone.
But Regeni’s case stands out amid the catalogue of horrors: his murder is the first time such an act has happened to a foreign academic researcher working in Cairo, the kind of person who could have expected to be harassed or even deported for his work, but who would have been considered physically “protected” by his passport.
Senior officials in Italy have not directly pointed a finger of blame at Egypt. Nor have they shied away from the suggestion that the Egyptian state needs to answer for the crime.
Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, has said Italy would not settle for “a convenient truth”.
“Because we are friends [with Egypt] we want those really responsible, their names and surnames. If someone thinks that in the name of political correctness we can settle for a patchy truth, we are Italy … the truth for Giulio is not an option or a luxury.”
It is a demand that has also been made by Paolo Gentiloni, the foreign minister, who has called for “full and total collaboration on the part of the Egyptian authorities” in the investigation. Italy has sent its own team of investigators to work on the case, but there are indications that their access has been limited, including the fact that Italians were not present at the original autopsy in Cairo.
In Italy, newspaper reports speculate about why Regeni was killed, including theories that have examined the sensitive research he was conducting into labour unions in Egypt, the contacts he was making, and even the journalism he did on the side – using a pseudonym – for a communist newspaper in Italy called Il Manifesto that was critical of the Egyptian government.
His family has categorically denied the suggestion in Italian press reports that Regeni may have worked for Italian intelligence.
Experts remain confounded by the circumstances of his death. Was it the result of a bizarre and careless mistake of a lowly henchman? Was Regeni caught up in a roundup of people who were considered generally suspicious? Or was he specifically targeted? And if so, why?
Raffaele Marchetti, professor of international relations at Luiss University in Rome, said the details that have emerged so far point obviously to the involvement of intelligence or security services, but that it was difficult to understand why an Italian citizen would be targeted, given the uproar it would obviously cause.
It pointed to a “blatant mistake” or even possible fractures within the security services under the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was swept into power following the 2013 coup that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, the country’s democratically elected president.
Marina Calculli, a Fulbright scholar at the George Washington University who has worked as a researcher in Egypt and Syria, said that whether the murder was carried out by the Egyptian regime or not, the government was still culpable “because this could not happen in a context when you do not every day have extrajudicial killings”.
“The case of Giulio is strange because he was [apparently] in detention for days,” Calculli said. “It could be that somehow he was taken and detained and tortured in this kind of anti-foreigner, anti-researcher hysteria and perhaps they crossed a line and could not come back.
“You cannot just release a foreigner that has been tortured, because you are exposing to the world what you are doing inside your prisons.”
The case has become a diplomatic problem between two countries with deep economic, business, and defence ties. But there is no evidence that – beyond some rhetoric – Italy is prepared to put real pressure on Egypt.
Such investigations into Regeni’s life and personal relations have added to speculation that his contact with activists involved in the labour movement made him a target, and have also added to pressure on his close friends to avoid talking to the media, likely fearing for their own safety.
Both Nagy and Nassar made clear that neither policemen nor security officials will likely be questioned as suspects in connection with Regeni’s disappearance and murder.
“Statements from the policemen and the security forces are going to happen, but it’s still not in that stage yet,” Nagy said. While he said the investigation was following leads from Regeni’s friends, “there is no set date as to when the next stage starts.”
“The questioning of any policemen will not be as suspects, but of their knowledge and enquiries about Regeni’s case,” said Nassar. He declined to comment on whether Regeni had been under surveillance prior to his death.
Shamy, like other officials, declined to respond directly to reports that Regeni was tortured.
As always the working class will left be floundering in the dark about the disastrous errors which leave the CPGB-ML Proletarian/Lalkar, supporting General Sisi, and in true Stalinist tradition no debate or polemic will be engaged to try and clarify how they were wrong, or why, let alone explore how their politics, built on uncritical worship of Stalin and refusing even to admit, let alone look at and re-assess, the long decades of political retreats and mistakes that were made by Moscow’s leadership, could lead to such wrong conclusions.
But neither will the rest of the fake- “left” which has in various ways also declared Islamic revolt reactionary or “all run by the CIA”, leaving it free to line up with capitalism in “condemning” it.
The sick reality of capitalism’s crisis turn towards Third World War is growing more obvious day-by-day and no more so than in the now obviously fascist Trump campaign using all the Big Lie demagoguery and incitement of mass violence that the Hitlerites used in the 1930s.
Right in the heart of it is the belligerent scapegoating of Muslims and the raising of bomb-them-all war fever.
It makes a revolutionary perspective more urgent than ever.
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