No 1517 1st August 2017
Trump White House turmoil reflects ruling class splits and weakness, caused by unsolvability of the monopoly capitalist crisis about to crash worse then ever. But steady militarisation prepares the ground for even more fascist warmongering, the only answer capitalism has for its desperate failure and paralysis. Aggressive bluster against tiny North Korea’s justified self-defence nuclear arms, against Venezuela and continuing gross slaughter in the Middle East all part of US “topdog” imperialist failure to get the world back into line for continuing domination and exploitation. New details of the horrific crudeness, city obliteration, summary execution and civilian slaughtering savagery to suppress the Iraqi anti-occupation fight, further expose the hollowness and lies of Western “freedom and democracy” and will lead to greater Third World hatred and revolt. Utter bankruptcy of the fake-“left” of all shades more exposed by events, and especially its collusion with the “war on terror” excuses for WW3. Re-building Leninist revolutionary theory vital
Bourgeois commentary still mocks the Donald Trump presidency, and its apparent confusion, but the latest shake-outs in the White House increasingly resemble the Hitlerite takeover in Germany in the 1930s, with the appointment of yet another Pentagon general and the crudest corporate capitalist aggression, to fill out the administration.
It smells like a slow coup, displacing the old patrician Republicans (reactionary enough) with an unholy Hollywood amalgam of Goodfellas mafia-capitalist bullying and A few good men Jack Nicholson-style generals who can “handle the truth” ie tear up the democratic niceties in the “national interest”.
The impression is all the more reinforced with the almost immediate insistence by new ex-marine chief of staff John Kelly that the gross “cocksucker” belligerence of spokesman Anthony Scarramucci is in turn removed, leaving a “cabinet” around Trump even more dominated by military elements.
It should never be forgotten that the German Nazis, funded and encouraged by a compliant bourgeoisie, made use of the hoodwinking “democracy” racket to “legally” elect their own Chancellor and then pass laws establishing fascist dictatorship.
The great difference now is that far from being a still rising economic and political power, hemmed in and bursting to escape the Versailles Treaty shackles imposed by its imperialist rivals (Britain, France, the US) even topdog modern US imperialism is on the slide, part of an entire world capitalist order that has hit the buffers on a far greater scale than ever in history.
And for all the new military-style “discipline”, there has not yet been a total defeat of the working class on the streets, the racist scapegoating and demonisation is as yet only incipient (though not for want of trying against Mexicans and Muslims), the establishment is riven down the middle and internationally the picture for US world domination has been one of chaos, and even retreat, for its “shock and awe” attempts to re-assert control.
But the great similarity is that the desperate need to drag the world into war – to head off and divert growing discontent and ultimately to destroy the great “surplus” of capital clogging the world profit-making arteries – is as urgent as it was in the 1930s Depression and in fact far more so.
Hysterical calls to “stop fascism” by “fighting for democracy” are not the answer however.
Trumpism is only the continuation of the hidden bourgeois dictatorship that has always run things, now showing its true face because the deepening crisis deepens.
The crude “might is right” assertions and “America first” bullying of the world, tearing up even the pretence of “regulation” of corporate plundering, environmental protection and welfare protection are an extension of what was happening anyway and entirely part of the logic of capitalist crisis and the cutthroat competition between the great monopoly rivals.
Savage butchery was already being imposed on the Middle East in Iraq, Syria and Yemen: the genocidal oppression of the Palestinians was non-stop under the Nazi Zionist landtheft occupation; blood curdling war threats and sanctions made against socialist North Korea for trying to defend itself and crude CIA-sponsored violence employed to topple Venezuela’s reformist "socialism".
Trump’s theatricality and bluster reflect the desperation of a ruling class on the ropes and lashing out in all directions.
Like Hitlerism Trumpism is a sign of weakness but deadly dangerous because of it.
The forces driving it are about to get far worse.
Capitalism’s virtually permanent crisis is deeper than ever before and imminently due to crash further.
The scale of the international banking collapse which surfaced in 2008 is already far beyond the disaster of the pre-WW2 Depression.
Only the demented creation of ever more valueless credit (Quantitative Easing) has staved off Catastrophe temporarily, and that only in a few richer places, buying time for the ruling class under the pretence of a “recovery”.
But weaker sections of all the “advanced country” populations and whole economies like Greece and Venezuela (of which more below) already suffer soup-kitchen deprivation, homelessness and fatal poverty, as currency and credit manipulation forces the crisis outwards.
International tensions over trade are red hot as the world economy stagnates.
And the QE partial “salvation” cannot last, as even some rightwing near-rationality occasionally remarks:
This week the klaxons started to sound. Another crash is on the way.
If you wake up one morning and the cashpoint machines are empty, and there are long, angry queues outside famous high street banks, you, the Queen and the Government will have no excuse for surprise.
The warning came from Alex Brazier, a director of the Bank of England, in a speech that ought to have been on every front page.
For if he is right, all the controversies, from the EU to Donald Trump, will shrivel into nothing pretty soon.
He said: ‘Household debt – like most things that are good in moderation – can be dangerous in excess. Dangerous to everyone in the economy.’
Consumer credit has recently increased more than six times as fast as incomes. There is no real money to cover this.
It is very similar to the dangerous sub-prime mortgages that infected the Western financial system with impossible debt ten years ago. He warned of a ‘spiral of complacency’. As loans become easier to get, more money is lent on easier terms. ‘The spiral continues, and borrowers rack up more and more debt. Lending standards can go from responsible to reckless very quickly.’
It’s not just maxed-out credit cards, though debts of this kind are now huge.
There’s a big new danger. Great fleets of shiny, big new cars are pouring out of showrooms thanks to easy-money loans called Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). Almost four new cars in every five are now bought through these PCPs, which postpone payment.
If, at the end, the buyer can’t pay, he can just hand the car back and walk away. Can you see how risky this is for the lender? The money comes from the finance arms of the car companies, not usually from banks themselves, but if used car prices fall, as is quite possible, the whole thing goes down the drain.
Mr Brazier warned: ‘The banks that are involved, as well as the shareholders of car companies, will want to think very carefully about the risks.’
Or will they? Experience suggests that lenders don’t want to think about this at all.
...what to do if it all comes crashing down one day, and farmers’ fields are full of used SUVs?
They’ll say it came out of the blue, but it’s as predictable as next autumn, and may not be much further away.
Fake-“left” failure to explain the titanic significance of these developments continues hold back the working class everywhere.
Instead of spelling out loud and clear (on every front page as the man says), this historic and catastrophic breakdown of the profit making system and the revolutionary conclusions that must follow, they continue to feed notions of “left” pressure and change; “better democracy”; single issue protest like anti-fracking or housing occupations, or feminism and “gay rights” (now mainstream Tory policy!!!); supposed reversal of economic collapse (“No to austerity”); “prevention” of war (“No to War”); or “step-by-step” advances in the world through supporting “less bad” regimes like Syria.
But without an overriding revolutionary perspective, all these are partial issues at best and totally inadequate reformism.
At worst they are major diversions which disarm and mislead the working class, leaving it frustrated, held back and open to barbaric counter-revolution.
The working class needs to grasp that the world is heading for utter disintegration, the unstoppable chaos of a system which is paralysed by its own contradictions and knows only war and destruction as a “way out”.
Only revolution to completely overturn and end this system can stop its decline, and horror-filled collapse (and deal with its increasingly open fascist aggression).
But fake-“left” bankruptcy has long abandoned any such grasp, capitulating entirely to the “war on terror” nonsense being used to stampede scapegoating chauvinism and hate-frenzy, to divert attention from incompetent failure of the capitalist ruling class, unable to run even their grotesque greed and exploitation version of society anymore.
For all the “Marxist” pretences these groups posture with (at often tedious academic length) they baulk at the reality of a world hitting the buffers.
As far as they are concerned “revolution” has only ever meant some kind of accelerated reformism, just “improvements in life conditions” (and mostly those affecting the petty bourgeoisie) pushed along by some judicious “left pressure”, “better organised or bigger strikes” or extra-parliamentary “street action”.
Or it is a series of step-by-step movements along a straight path which is steadily “more left” than previously, building on past achievements until finally a socialist world is reached.
But the Marxist dialectical philosophical concept of revolution is totally different.
It begins with the understanding that revolution is not an aim or a method, – a more extended version of striking or demonstrations etc, – but a description of the way the world develops and moves forwards (in every aspect from material sciences to the complexities of history, economics and human social development).
And it moves in contradictions, with molecular movement forwards constantly countered by reaction pushing back, the pressure growing and growing as the conflict paralyses all, until the underlying new development finally becomes strong enough to push the old over and burst through, transforming everything and beginning new development at a much higher level.
Society is heading for just such total overwhelming shattering upheaval, as the complete breakdown of everything current takes places.
That is not a wish or an aim.
Who could possibly want turmoil, war and disruption?
It is a recognition that such overwhelming chaos and devastation is inevitably unravelling, and will continue to do so until the world is turned upside down by class war, and the profit making system is ended for good, replaced by the building of world socialism and rationality.
This is no fanciful or utopian dream, but a necessity for a world population which is no longer primitive and backward but sophisticated and streetwise (as one EPSR reader points out); no longer able to tolerate the wage-slave hire-and-fire of the past, precisely because capitalism has itself transformed mankind (in order to feed its factories and sell its products).
The masses of the world can no longer live the old way as world turmoil itself makes clear, from the huge “jihadist” wave of revolt in the Middle East, Africa and as far afield as the Philippines and Indonesia, to the “left” reform Bolivarian movement in Latin America, and increasing nostalgia (and willingness to fight for) reestablished Soviet life in Russia and Ukraine.
Only a swastika-waving atrocity-Nazism holds things back in Kiev; savage civilian-slaughtering military coups (universally ignored or tacitly supported by capitalism) in throwback monarchical Thailand, or Egypt; truly primitive tribal feudalism propped up by the West in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.
The “left” surge in Britain, (currently headed-off by the Labour pretences of Corbynism and its fake-“left” supporters – and by Brexit chauvinism), and the street stirring around the Grenfell fire, police custody deaths, and other incidents, is all part of the same picture.
Defeats and problems for imperialism arising from this growing hatred and discontent are the way its dominating tyranny and control will be loosened initially.
As Lenin said “when the ruling class can no longer rule and the proletarians can no longer live in the old way”, the conditions are right for the world to be transformed.
But the final ingredient, the conscious revolutionary understanding needed to guide, organise and make this confused and sometimes self-defeating struggle coherent, to wage the titanic class war required to overturn the capitalist system, is totally missing.
Mass grasp of revolutionary theory is temporarily stymied by decades of revisionist retreat and errors and the sectarian refusal of the “lefts” to engage in the huge polemical debate needed to examine and analyse the mistakes which eventually led to the liquidation of the giant achievements of the Soviet Union and European workers states (without throwing the baby out with the bathwater as the petty bourgeois “anti-Stalinist” Trotskyists do, writing off everything and playing along with the capitalists’ brainwashing lies that “communism didn’t work and was a terrible mistake”).
Events in Latin America around the misnamed “Bolivarian Revolution” have been making this clear and with it, showing up the entire slew of fake-“left”.
The Venezuelan core of this left reformist bourgeois nationalist movement, established by Hugo Chávez and continued by the successor government under Nicolás Maduro, is now under non-stop attack by Western imperialism using every dirty trick in the book of disruption, propaganda lies, economic sabotage and deliberate creation of shortages by withholding investment and blocking commodity distribution.
The chaos is reinforced by the impact of the world economic crisis, which has halved the price of oil on which the economy depends, and the impact of which is disproportionately felt by smaller economies which cannot stand up to the intensified international trade pressures, credit manoeuvres and currency manipulations of big monopoly finance.
All this is now accompanied by deliberately violent middle-class demonstrations, their counter-revolutionary disruption of the legally elected government incited by inflammatory hostility, aided by a poisonous and lying local media and now outrageously presented to the world by the international media as “peaceful protest”(!!!) (with some of the most reactionary coverage as always run by the “liberal democratic” anti-communist press such as the Guardian, happy to report the reactionary “condemnations” of Boris Johnson and the Trump White House with approval, and parroting the usual lies about “mismanagement” or “corruption” etc being to “blame”.
The siege conditions established are further intensified by international sanctions from the US taking the side of the reactionary bourgeoisie.
As Leninism has constantly warned, without fighting for and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, all “left” measures, improvements for the working class, social and welfare advances, and removal of grotesque privilege and wasteful luxury would be vulnerable to the constant subversion and undermining by imperialist counter-revolution.
The archetypal lesson lies in the deliberate sabotage and economic and social disruption fomented in Chile in the early 1970s after the first ever majority election of an out and out socialist government under Salvador Allende.
Working with the CIA the bourgeoisie and sections of its military colluded to stir up discontent, demonstrations and disruption culminating in the violent military takeover by Augusto Pinochet in 1973 and the savage crackdown that followed with thousands of workers and leftists killed and tens of thousands tortured, imprisoned and subjected to terrifying repression.
But there were already numerous coups, takeovers, assassinations, bloody disruptions and artificially stirred counter-revolutions to make the point in post-war years, (Guatemala, British Guiana, the pre-revolutionary dictatorship in Cuba, Congo, Cyprus, Aden, imposition of the bloody Shah regime in Iran etc etc), a minimum of one million slaughtered in the 1965 General Suharto military uprising in Indonesia (butchering communists and suspected communist sympathisers alike, many fingered on British and CIA lists), not to mention out and out invasions, and devastating war against even the stirring of national liberation and democracy demands (Greek “civil” war, and bloody Malaysian suppression, Cyprus, Algeria, 2 million killed in North Korea, 4 million in Vietnam, torture and massacre in Kenya etc etc etc).
And there have been many more since, not least a stream of massacres and death squad impositions throughout South and Central America, including the brutal military regime in Argentina “disappearing” tens of thousands, endless bloody dictatorships in Haiti, Brazilian military suppression, and the gruesome 1980s death squad slaughter in El Salvador, Guatemala, and eventually Nicaragua (with the School of the Americas trained barbarities of the contras to disrupt the Sandinista revolution, under the laughable Reagonite pretence of a “freedom fight”).
The sophistication of the CIA techniques has grown over the decades into the slick “colour revolutions” such as Georgia, the “Orange” fascist Ukraine upheavals of 2004 and 2014, and most recently of all the toppling of the newly established “democracy” in Egypt to re-install a military-bureaucratic dictatorship.
Ironically it was the “secular democracy” illusions of the fake-“left” which helped the CIA-Egyptian establishment conspiracy whip up the counter-revolution in the middle class in 2013 against the Muslim Brotherhood’s newly elected president Morsi, the first fruit of the toppling of the old Hosni Mubarak pro-imperialist stooge gangster regime by the great spontaneous Arab Spring mass street revolt of early 2011, which shook imperialism to the core.
While this new religious Islamic presidency was by no means a Marxist regime, nor even particularly revolutionary or nationalist-independent, in the carefully selected form of the class-collaborative Morsi - the most “moderate” of the MB potential candidates, jostled into place by Western manoeuvres in 2011 - it was still too much for imperialist interests and particularly the nearby Zionists and their sympathisers in the Western ruling class networks.
The most reactionary wing of imperialism was fearful of the support given to the Palestinians in the adjoining Gaza strip, where the Hamas leadership is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, at least in origin, and the potential for the initially moderate MB presidency to turn far more militant.
Hence the plotting to bring down the new order using the by-now standard techniques of economic chaos via the control the military-bureaucracy retained over important sectors like energy, and deluges of “international community” hostility, and a virtual hurricane of press and media disinformation and misanalysis blaming “mismanagement” etc and whipping up an atmosphere of dictatorship accusations, while inflating stunted up local “protests”.
An onslaught of similar skulduggery is underway for Venezuela alongside a series of counter-left moves in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, manipulating elections and mounting specious judicial coups, such as the trumped-up “corruption” impeachment of Brazil's left-reformist president Dilma Rousseff by a Senate which is entirely corrupt and whose replacement choice, rightwing conservative Michel Temer is mired in bribery and dirty dealings.
Early on (2009) the Honduras coup, cheered on by the Obama administration, was a sign of US interference and a warning of the future as a mess of drug gangsterism, monopoly corporate exploitation and death-squad suppression of journalists and political activists was installed.
The same, or worse Pinochet levels, of brutal reaction is the only kind of future on offer under restored capitalism in Caracas (as the Argentinians and Brazilians are beginning to see, with the criminal pursuit of fascist military from the 1980s now being suspended in Buenos Aires for example).
The hand of the US is allover these manipulations; for Venezuela, openly admitted:
The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government of Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.
In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there”.
He added: “I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”
Mr Pompeo’s comments, delivered during a Q&A session at a security forum organised by the Aspen Institute think tank, have sparked outcry among supporters of Venezuela’s government. President Nicolas Maduro, who was elected in 2013, has denounced Mr Pompeo’s remarks and hit out at the governments of Mexico and Colombia.
“The director of the CIA has said ‘The CIA and the US government work in direct collaboration with the Mexican government and the Colombian government to overthrow the constitutional government in Venezuela and to intervene in our beloved Venezuela,’” Mr Maduro said in a televised interview, according to TeleSur.
“I demand the government of Mexico and the government of Colombia to properly clarify the declarations from the CIA and I will make political and diplomatic decisions accordingly before this audacity.”
The US, which is currently gripped by allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, has a long history of interfering with democratically elected governments in Latin America, from Chile to Nicaragua, and Argentina to Haiti.
In Venezuela, it has sought to weaken the elected governments of both Mr Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chávez, who was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup. Some of the effort has been in distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.
In May 2016 unidentified US officials told reporters in a background briefing that Venezuela was descending into a deepening “crisis” that could end in violence. They said they doubted Mr Maduro was not likely to be able to complete his term, which is due to end after elections in late 2018.
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said that for the past 15 years of so it had been US policy to seek a change of government in Caracas.
The development comes as both Mr Maduro and his country face mounting problems. Against a backdrop of food shortages, soaring inflation and civil unrest, the president has been accused of resorting to mounting authoritarianism. The opposition has called for him to stand down and there have been widespread protests.
Opponents are furious about his plan to press ahead with a vote for a Constitutional Assembly on Sunday. Critics say the rules of the assembly appear to ensure a majority for Mr Maduro.
But Reuters said that Mr Maduro, 54, insists it is the only way to empower the people and bring peace after four months of anti-government unrest that has killed more than 100 people and further damaged the economy.
Maduro’s moves to strengthen his presidential powers with a constitutional referendum, have just about succeeded and indicate a willingness to fight back against the criminal turmoil instigated by the bourgeoisie, allowing arrests and suppression of the most outrageous disruption underway.
But even approaching matters this “parliamentary” way reflects continuing weakness of the “21st Century Socialism” begun by Chávez, which has been muddled and confused from the start and a million miles from the Leninist clarity and leadership that could really guide the working class.
Best of all now would be building local committees for the defence of the revolution (as the Cuban revolution did immediately after taking power in 1958) and arming them against the increasing violence of the bourgeois, now trying to provoke all out civil war.
Even better would be arming them with revolutionary theory and a deep grasp of the nature of imperialism, its crisis collapse, and with the need to take power completely.
The bourgeois press screams that “Maduro wants to be a dictator”: his real failing is precisely that he does not argue for and educate the working class in the need for proletarian dictatorship and the complete takeover of the economy.
The bourgeois class remains intact and capable of mounting endless subversions and sabotage.
Meanwhile some of the fake-“left” who have spent years eulogising Chávez particularly, not only not raising a word of criticism or the need for Leninist theory, but going along with the entire notion of a Bolivarian “revolution” and its importance as “an example” for the world, have suddenly realised that their “revolutionary” credentials are being shown up. Hence the following from the Lalkar/Proletarian museum Stalinist stable (tacked onto the end of a long ramble about supporting Maduro):
Needless to say, the aims of this new Constitution are not going to meet with the approval of imperialism or its Venezuelan toadies... In actual fact what is happening is of extreme revolutionary, importance. Venezuela has long been held put by revisionists and Trotskyites as being the supreme proof that socialism could be brought into existence peacefully through the ballot box, but Venezuela’...proves that this is simply not true. Any government that stands up against the interests of imperialism is liable to be subjected to extreme violence unless, having been ruthlessly undermined by sanctions and/or internal sabotage, it departs the scene willingly, perhaps through the ballot box. In the present circumstances of imperialist world domination and overwhelming financial power and fire power, peaceful proletarian takeover is out of the question. ..the proletariat is faced with...:
“Either eke out a miserable existence and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon. That is the choice imperialism puts before the working class. Imperialism brings the proletariat to revolution” (Stalin).
Contrary to appearances projected by the fake-news merchants of the bourgeois media, there are signs aplenty that the Venezuelan proletarian masses are up for the fight to defend their Bolivarian revolution [Lalkar July/August 2017].
Let the working class fight of course but this attempt to shoehorn in a Stalin quote to bolster their own and their “hero’s” credibility with some fish-in-a-barrel anti-Trot polemic is both shallow and dishonest.
First it says nothing about how such “revolution” is to be achieved and least of all challenging Maduro’s (and Chávez’s) garbled confusion and lack of Leninist understanding. And notice the sly get-out pretending that only in “present circumstances” is peaceful proletarian takeover impossible.
That helps excuse these Brarites for the fact that they have had at least 15 years to make such warnings (at the time of the anti-Chávez coup in 2002 eg (EPSR 1132 16-04-02)) but have never done so; and, it must be suspected, only hint at them now because of the EPSR taking them up on these questions in the past, as it did for example at the time of Chávez’ tragic and possibly suspicious death (see Socialist Review below) when the entire fake-“left” was uncritically eulogising his leadership record, Lalkar included (EPSR 1421 11-03-13).
Not a word was said to criticise Chávez’ garbled and highly unMarxist notions of a “new kind” of socialism for the “21st century”, implying clearly that the “old kind” (Leninism) and its central tenet of proletarian dictatorship, was no longer needed or correct.
Thirdly, it is Stalin’s own mistakes and revisions, which underpinned the entire development of “peace struggle” and “parliamentary road” strategies adopted by “official” communist parties across the world in the post-WW2 period, based on the assessments he made in the 1952 book Economic Problems in which he revised Lenin’s grasp.
Instead of an expansionist imperialism heading for war, he said, it was now essentially a hamstrung system and increasingly hemmed in by the socialist world (see EPSR book Unanswered Polemics Vol 21).
From that sprang the idea of containing the aggressive side of imperialism with “peace struggle” until it would finally shrivel away – and from that the abandoning of the revolutionary perspective in favour of “democratic methods and negotiation” combined with “left pressure” if needed.
So, Mssrs Lalkar how about quoting some of that Stalin???
And how does this newly found “revolutionary” righteousness fit in with the Brarites’ total support for the ending of the armed struggle in Colombia (next door to Venezuela and more able to aid the Western subversion currently with the heat off) which has been encouraged by the tragically addle brained theorising of the revisionist leadership in Havana, ignoring its own heroic example in building a firm workers state after fighting the Batista capitalist dictatorship into the floor, to suggest that the parliamentary path is now the way to achieve socialism for the FARC revolutionaries.?
The newly disarmed FARC are apparently able to achieve their aims through parliament declared Lalkar in its Nov/Dec issue last year:
Clearly, the present situation in Colombia still presents both significant opportunities and serious dangers. The struggle has not ended. Far from it. It is merely entering a new phase - a phase in which the highly disciplined, highly experienced, highly courageous and highly principled comrades of the Farc aim to take their struggle for a new, democratic Colombia, that can open the way to socialism, out from remote rural base areas (in which the embryo of a new society has been forged) and into the whole of society, among the working class first and foremost.
So can “new democratic” parliamentary “phase” “open the way for socialism” or is this “simply not true”????
Only if parliament is used solely as a platform to denounce the democracy fraud Lenin would say.
But in the past the FARC’s attempts to do things this way led to mass death-squad slaughter, and underlined the need for armed struggle.
This Stalinist tangle reflects a deep-seated philosophical failure to grasp and celebrate the great disintegration of the world capitalist system.
And its straight line thinking leaves the working class even disarmed and misled.
One of the core elements for stampeding the world into a war frenzy is non-stop propaganda of a “war on terror” blaming the chaos and disintegration in the world on a supposed “evil” which irrationally “hates our way of life”.
All the petty bourgeois dominated “left” groups go along completely with this mythical and fascist nonsense despite their ostensible “No to War” protests.
Craven “condemnations” of this world guerrilla war upheaval are rolled out both for each and every relatively minor but massively-hyped “terrorist” attack within the Western countries (always deliberately exaggerated by the ruling class to create maximum public fear and hysteria), and against the wave of “jihadism” erupting worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and as far flung as the Philippines.
So instead of exposing the grotesque imperialist fascist horrors being inflicted on Mosul, Raqqa, the Yemen and elsewhere (Sinai, Somalia, Philippines) they go along with this capitalist barbarity as a “rational response” to a new “evil” in the world (a completely non-rational mystical notion devoid of the materialist understanding which is the foundation of Marxism’s scientific approach).
What needs saying is that these savageries are the latest desperate war escalation of a monopoly capitalist system which has totally failed to re-impose its will on the world and particularly the selected victim Iraq, subject to 15 years of blitzing, death-squad barbarity and now suppression by a corrupt and compliant stooge Baghdad regime.
The last EPSR took up this question and the exposure of the “lefts” by the blitzing of Mosul. But the sheer depravity of the latest onslaughts has been further revealed in a few later press reports still coming through despite a Western media silence, and what they reveal completely tramples across all pretences of reestablishing order and “democracy” or even civilisation.
The “kill them all” frenzy and orgies of vengeful killing, “collateral damage” butchery of anyone “in the way”, collective punishment, torture and summary execution exceed even the shameful and shaming grotesqueries of the initial occupation and Afghanistan blitzing or the horrors induced in Syria and Libya:
The catastrophic number of civilian casualties in Mosul is receiving little attention internationally from politicians and journalists. This is in sharp contrast to the outrage expressed worldwide over the bombardment of east Aleppo by Syrian government and Russian forces at the end of 2016.
Hoshyar Zebari, the Kurdish leader and former Iraqi finance and foreign minister, told me in an interview last week: “Kurdish intelligence believes that over 40,000 civilians have been killed as a result of massive firepower used against them, especially by the Federal Police, air strikes and Isis itself.”
The real number of dead who are buried under the mounds of rubble in west Mosul is unknown, but their numbers are likely to be in the tens of thousands, rather than much lower estimates previously.
People have difficulty understanding why the loss of life in Mosul was so huge. A good neutral explanation appears in a meticulous but horrifying report by Amnesty International (AI) called “At Any Cost: The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul”.
..it confirms many of the points made by Mr Zebari, notably the appalling damage inflicted by continuing artillery and rocket fire aimed over a five-month period at a confined area jam-packed with civilians who were unable to escape.
However, ...terrible civilian casualties have occurred in many sieges over the centuries, but in one important respect the siege of Mosul is different. Isis, the cruellest and most violent movement in the world, was determined not to give up its human shields.
Even before the attack by Iraqi government forces, aided by the US-led coalition, started on 17 October last year, Isis was herding civilians back into the city and not allowing them to escape to safety. Survivors who made their way to camps for displaced people outside Mosul said they had to run the gauntlet of Isis snipers, booby traps and mines.
Determined to hang on to its hundreds of thousands of human shields, Isis packed them into a smaller and smaller space as pro-government forces advanced. Isis patrols said they would kill anybody who left their houses; they welded shut metal doors to keep them in, and hanged people who tried to escape from electricity pylons and left the bodies to rot.
“as IS lost territory areas became increasingly crowded with civilians,” says the AI report. “Mosul residents routinely described how they sheltered in homes with relatives or neighbours in groups of between 15-100.”
...these groups became the victims of the massed firepower of pro-government forces. In many streets, every house is destroyed and I could not even enter some badly damaged districts because access was blocked by smashed masonry, craters and burned out cars.
people assume most of this destruction was the result of airstrikes – and much was – but Mr Zebari is correct in saying that it was shell and rocket fire from pro-government ground forces, particularly by the Federal Police, that caused the greatest destruction and loss of civilian life.
..types of ordnance used by pro-government forces... include 122mm and 155mm howitzers, but also notoriously inaccurate 122mm Grad rockets and locally made Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs) that might land almost anywhere.
The US-dominated coalition said that it tried to avoid carrying out air strikes where civilians were present, and its planes dropped leaflets telling them to move away from Isis positions. People on the ground in Mosul regarded this as a cruel joke, because they had nowhere else to go to.
In addition, the Isis system of defence was based on quickly moving its fighters from building to building through holes cut in the walls in the newer parts of Mosul; meanwhile in the Old City, where most houses have cellars, Isis linked these by tunnels so they could fire and retreat before the building they were in was destroyed, most commonly by 500 lb bombs.
“There were very few Daesh [Isis] in our neighbourhood, but they dropped a lot of bombs on them,” Qais, 47, a resident of Mosul al-Jadida district told me. He reckoned that between 600 and 1,000 people in the district had been killed.
A further reason for the devastation [in] west Mosul was the ..fight for east Mosul between 17 October and 24 January. The Iraqi government and Americans expected a hard fought but relatively swift victory, about two months to seize the city (in fact, it took nine months).
The attack east of the Tigris River was primarily by the highly trained and experienced Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), fighting house to house. Air strikes were carefully selected and not called in at will by ground troops.
These tactics did not work. True, they captured east Mosul after three months of heavy fighting and at the cost of casualties to the CTS reported as being between 40 and 50 per cent. But they could not afford this scale of losses repeated in west Mosul, where Isis was even more deeply entrenched.
When the assault on west Mosul began on 19 February, pro-government forces were using artillery, rockets and airpower much more freely. And in addition to the CTS, they fielded the Federal Police and Emergency Response Division, both of which were far less well-trained and more sectarian than the CTS. As they suffered heavy casualties, they lost all restraint.
Why has there not been more outcry over the destruction of west Mosul? There should be no question about the massive civilian loss of life.
The biggest reason for the lack of outrage is that Isis was seen as a uniquely evil movement that had to be defeated – whatever the cost to the people of Mosul.
It is an understandable argument, but one that in the past has meant Iraq never finds peace.
A belief that Isis fighters and officials detained in Mosul are later able to bribe their way free explains why soldiers, most of whom are not complicit in bribery networks, have summarily executed Isis prisoners, sometimes by throwing them off high buildings.
Corruption by the occupying military forces takes different forms, according to Kurdish intelligence information cited by Mr Zebari. Some people are “being charged $100 for removing a body from the rubble and others $500 to reoccupy their house”, where it is still standing. Iraqi army and militia units have always been notorious for exacting fees and protection money from civilians, with trucks moving goods on the roads being a particularly profitable target when they pass through military checkpoints.
Mr Zebari says that he is disappointed by the lack of Iraqi government plans to reconstruct Mosul. As finance minister in Baghdad until late last year, he had made provision for $500m in the budget for rebuilding Mosul. He says: “I wanted $500m upfront to encourage other donors, but now the government has withdrawn from the fund and used the money elsewhere. This was not an encouraging sign.”
Even if there is reconstruction, Mr Zebari, who grew up in Mosul and still has a house in the east of the city (though long confiscated, first by Saddam Hussein and later by Isis), laments that “the soul of Mosul has gone and its iconic buildings are destroyed”.
An Iraqi major has told of the brutal orders he was given as ISIS were flushed out of Mosul - to kill everyone.
Terrorists, soldiers, civilians and children are all among the hundreds of corpses piled up beneath the rubble in the annihilated northern city.
After the liberation, the army officer said he and his comrades were told by their superiors ‘to kill anything or anyone that moved’, which included Mosul’s desperate citizens who have lived through the terror of ISIS’ reign.
He said it was the wrong call because the remaining terrorists had surrendered, but the strict orders were obeyed.
Talking to Middle East Eye, the major - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said: ‘There are many civilians among the bodies.
‘After liberation was announced, the order was given to kill anything or anyone that moved.’
Shockingly, he said the actions of the allied forces in recent days mirrors that of ISIS in the city with even public executions being witnessed near the River Tigris.
‘There is no law here now,’ the major said.
‘People went down to the river to get water because they were dying of thirst and we killed them.’
‘Most of the ISIS fighters surrendered. They gave themselves up, and we just killed them.’
There had been speculation of prisons in Baghdad being too full to accept any more ISIS prisoners, but the major dismissed it.
‘It’s not true,’ he said. ‘We have plenty of prisons, but now we are not treating the prisoners like before.’
‘Earlier, we arrested a lot of Daesh and brought them to the intelligence services. But now, we make very few arrests.’
One of the major’s soldiers, talking of the brutality, told MEE: ‘We killed them all. ISIS, men, women and children. We killed everyone.’
Such violence and demented butchery is also out of all proportion to the alleged or even the admitted terrorising atrocities of the Islamic State rebellion, for what it is worth (which is not much since even a “parity” of “punishment” would mean a return by alleged “advanced civilisation” to the crude eye-for-an-eye tribal justice principles abandoned 2000 years ago. And there is no parity in this total obliteration blitzing).
It takes the astounding “shock and awe” brutality of the 2003 Iraq invasion to new levels of depravity, destroying city after city, wiping out tens of thousands of civilians and abandoning any pretences of “human rights”, Geneva conventions, and the “rule of law”.
And not just in Iraq:
A shocking video has emerged showing 18 prisoners in orange jumpsuits getting shot in the back of the head from point-blank range in summary executions in Libya.
The men, understood to be ISIS fighters, are shown kneeling in four rows and facing away from their killers.
Executioners can be seen walking up slowly behind their targets before firing a spray of bullets from what look like semi-automatic assault rifles into the backs of their heads before another line of killers repeat the sequence.
It comes amid tensions between jihadists and Libyan forces in Benghazi after strongman Khalifa Haftar - a former soldier under the Gaddafi regime who has risen through the ranks to commander of the Libyan National Army - declared victory in the eastern city.
The gruesome video, seen by MailOnline, shows all 18 men in orange jumpsuits falling to the floor after being shot, but it it not clear who is pulling the trigger and giving the orders.
It is claimed by the Libyan Express the commander of the eastern Saiqa Force of Operation Dignity Mahmoud Al-Werfalli conducted the massacre.
He was also said to have ordered the killings by the Libyan Observer, who reported he had been promoted by Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army, for his alleged role in killing policemen in May.
It is understood those killed were ISIS fighters in Libya, according to Al Jazeera, who again claimed it was Al-Werfalli reading the charges before his proteges shoot the detainees dead.
In the video, a man can be seen reading from a piece of paper and men in military uniform can be seen walking up to their targets, taking one each, and unleashing a flurry of bullets on the command of their leader.
Eventually, they turn on their heels and walk back together in a line before a new set of executioners walk forward and kill the next line of prisoners.
The video is dated July 17, which means it would have come just days after the UN’s human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell said called for the Libyan National Army (LNA) which controls the eastern part of the country to investigate summary executions of prisoners.
The LNA is pushing to expand its presence in central and southern Libya, where it has been vying for control with forces linked to the UN-backed government in Tripoli and other opponents.
LNA leader Khalifa Haftar has gained ground with Egyptian and Emirati support, and Western states say Haftar must be part of any solution to Libya’s conflict
UN human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell said: ‘We are deeply concerned that, after recent fighting in Benghazi, people taken prisoner by members of the Libyan National Army, which effectively controls eastern Libya, may be at imminent risk of torture and even summary execution.
‘Reports have suggested the involvement of Special Forces, a unit aligned with the LNA, in torturing detainees and summarily executing at least 10 captured men.’
Meanwhile 7 million Yemenis are deliberately driven to the edge of famine, by blitzkrieg savagery from the backward feudal Saudi Arabia, fed with British and American arms, training and embedded “technical” military personnel.
The world is being readied for unparalleled devastation.
Only defeat for this fascist brutality and the building of conscious revolutionary Leninism will end it.
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