No 1518 15 August 2017
Bloodcurdling nuclear threats against North Korea workers state’s right to defend itself and invasion plans to obliterate Venezuela’s socialist reformism no mere Trumpite bluster; nor is the Nazi populism, being stirred up. Both are the deadly reality of imperialism heading for crisis collapse. However uncertain Trump’s nascent Nazism it has already demonstrated its fascist barbarity slaughtering 40,000 innocent civilians who "got in the way" in Mosul as the Iraqi Sunni anti-imperialist anti-occupation ISIS resistance was pulverised. Fake-"left" capitulation to the nonsensical “war on terror” helps this fascist barbarity instead of calling for the defeat of imperialist onslaught. War the only answer this greed ridden private profit system has for Catastrophic failure and it is coming despite the complacency of all the "left". Their vaunting of the "Bolivarian Revolution" "democratic path" for 15 years played into the hands of capitalism too, another side of total failure to make clear that only the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism is now possible as the way to stop World War Three. Leninist polemical theory building vital
Fresh from barbaric mass civilian butchery and blitz destruction of Mosul in Iraq, and Raqqa in Syria, new demonised targets in North Korea and Venezuela are being set up for even greater devastation.
Supposed “victory” against Middle East “terrorism” in Iraq has been instantly replaced by blood curdling nuclear “fire and fury” belligerence against these latest CIA-smeared “threats”, who have nothing in common with jihadism.
But they are convenient blame victims for the next stage of the US’s demented aggression as the monopoly capitalist order writhes and squirms in its unsolvable contradictions of economic collapse and failure.
So a stream of poisonous and laughable CIA disinformation and vile BIG LIE “black is white” propaganda is pouring out night and day against both, which makes even the gross Blair-Bush WMD fabrications, used to set up Iraq in 2003, look like calm reasoning.
Astounding and totally vicious pure inventions about supposed “ballot stuffing” and “government killings” saturate the media about Venezuela; and for North Korea the latest is a doom-laden hour long “documentary” (read: propaganda brainwash) slickly replete with sinister background music and lighting, and “conveniently” scheduled on BBC2 this past Sunday, and repeated on Monday (the very week of the US’s lurid war threats, despite such productions obviously requiring at least a month or months in preparation) full of such ludicrous accusations against Pyongyang that even the parodic James Bond franchise would have laughed the producers off the film set ---- (the core nonsense of this travesty, for the record, was that the “deadliest nerve gas known to man” - VX, of which a fraction of a droplet absorbed through the skin kills almost instantly, we were informed – was used in full view in a public airport smeared on a cloth (!!) to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s brother, yet he continued to walk around easily for ten minutes or more, the two duped and amateur girl “assassins” who had bare hands (!!!) somehow did not even feel queasy, those who did the cloth smearing preparation likewise, and no-one else in a busy airport concourse where this alleged “murder” happened, was even remotely affected by so much as a sneeze as this “most deadly chemical agent” was aerosoled all around (!!). The cloth, obviously covered in poison so deadly it is handled in special remote tong cabinets at British chemical war research centre Porton Down, where it was invented, is unaccounted for too but equally obviously has done no damage since.)
On such farcical Goebbels-isms 25 million are threatened with nuclear annihilation!!
Sudan, Iran, Zimbabwe and Cuba could all be next too and Havana is already subject to made-up lurid accusations recently about some alleged “sinister machines used to deafen US diplomats”.
“You couldn’t make it up”, it is tempting to say, except the Western intelligence agencies most certainly do and on a more and more fascist scale; as Adolf Hitler’s regime said “if you are going to tell a lie tell an almighty big one and keep on repeating it until the public swallows it”.
The real story is that the Great Catastrophe of monopoly capitalist economic disintegration which began in earnest as the world “credit crunch” ten years ago (and even was pre-empted by George Bush’s “shock and awe” New American Century war plans) continues to unravel, as a series of panicky bourgeois press, anniversary commentaries been spelling out (see also last EPSR and many previously).
It is driving the whole world into Slump beyond anything seen before, including repeated partial collapses like the Asian currency meltdown in the 1990s, and far beyond even the 1930s Depression.
Slump disaster is unavoidable with ever increasing inequality, Slump poverty and euphemistic “austerity” being forced on workers everywhere as the bourgeoisie is forced to savagely cut jobs, wages, conditions, health care, pensions and housing to maintain its position of power and luxury.
All talk of “recovery” is yet another Goebbels lie and in fact the Catastrophe already hammering the world, is imminently due to crash even further again, and on a far worse scale.
World War is the only “way out” for this deranged system’s ruling class and so new victims are needed, proof positive that the plunge to war in the world has nothing to do with “evil Islamists”.
It is driven by imperialism alone and its desperate floundering.
And it is proof positive that the entire spectrum of the fake-“left” is equally bankrupt, misleading the working class (to be charitable about its outright treacherous class-collaboration) in its failure to spell out either the crisis or the immediate need to build for a revolutionary end to this stinking fascist system and its death dealing world tyranny.
These “left” mountebanks and frauds are, and always have been, a million miles from the Marxism and revolutionary politics they claim to uphold and no more so than in their decade and a half of “condemnations” for the great wave of anti-imperialist revolt in the world as “reactionary” Islam or “all run by the CIA”.
As the EPSR has constantly warned (against all the fake-“left”) the “war on terror” has only ever been a cover for the plunge towards World War Three, setting the world up for the “kill them all” frenzy that imperialism needs to get out of its crisis.
As Leninism alone has insisted for 35 years in the teeth of endless mockery of “Catastrophism” by the “left” spectrum, this is an utterly failed system paralysed after its 800 years of world dominating ascendancy, by the contradictions of its endless greed ridden profiteering exploitation, unable to move an inch further historically.
The only way out the degenerate and contemptible capitalist ruling class knows is to drag the world into ever deeper warmongering, evading its responsibilities and shame.
It goes hand in hand with the turn to trade war chauvinism and anti-foreigner scapegoating being whipped up domestically around Brexit, and notably in the latest alt-right terror attacks in Virginia which not only are not condemned but implicitly approved by an increasingly fascist-toned Trump White House.
The aim is to distract attention from its historic failure and humiliation by imposing disaster on the world’s masses in world war destruction of lives and property (surplus capital).
Devastation (to eliminate “surplus” capital - see Marx) can get it off the hook it hopes, though it will be on a scale far beyond the Great War horrors just being commemorated, and even beyond the hundred times greater Nazi-savagery of the Second World War.
Even if the blood curdling threats against Pyongyang and Caracas from Donald Trump’s bizarre scapegoating and chauvinist White House, should prove to be only bluster for the moment, they are still symptoms of a system now driving the world towards devastating war.
The nervousness and splits in the Trump “team” around these belligerent bullying threats, with one half like Rex Tillerson backpedalling towards “diplomacy” and all kinds of leaks suggesting the military is not yet on “standby” while the other ramps up the hair-raising rhetoric and military “exercises” intimidation, indicates the fear of the ruling class as this crisis logic drives it towards this horrific destruction.
But while this is part of the debilitating ruling class paralysis caused by the crisis itself, (compounded by the defeats the first round of Iraq and Afghanistan war saw) and may well hold off the chaos for a while, the logic of the crisis is also relentlessly driving the ruling class ever closer to outright fascist onslaughts.
Any notions that they “would not do it” or “nuclear war is unthinkable” or “somehow wiser heads will prevail” (by impeaching Donald Trump etc) is petty bourgeois complacency or soft-headed Stalinist delusion, generated by decades of brainrot illusions in “democratic paths” “No to War” peace struggles and “good versus bad” imperialism.
It comes from a petty bourgeois fear of the breakdown significance of all these events, and of the full revolutionary implications, most of all in the class war working class dictatorship necessities they impose.
Such attitudes originate in the 1952 Stalin authored Economic Problems, where the revisionist nonsense was advanced that imperialism no longer had the capacity to grow now that it was “hemmed in” by socialist states and could be “contained” by sufficient “left pressure” and pacifism.
Try telling that to the tens of thousands just slaughtered in Iraq for “getting in the way” of the continuation of the Iraq war in the Sunni triangle by the US occupation and its British, French and other henchmen, and the stooge Iraqi “government”.
The West’s supreme contempt and cynical indifference for a minimum of 40,000 civilians blown apart as “collateral damage” and with thousands of further gruesome death-squad revenge killings and torture for those even suspected of being a jihadist supporter, shows just what depravity is in store.
The destruction in the Middle East, effectively gone along with by the “condemn terror” treachery of the “left”, universally decrying “reactionary” or “headbanging” jihadists – in reality the first stirring of massive, if still crude worldwide anti-imperialism – has only ever been a prelude to far greater horrors to come.
The unbelievable war-crime Dalek extermination flattening the entire city of Mosul and the “completion” of the war on ISIS with further butchery and blitzkrieg depravity in Raqqa, Syria, by US-British-French troops, (and backward Russian bonapartist “cooperation”), overwhelming US and other airpower, and assorted Western-supplied stooge military like the Kurds, may have brought “victory” over the Islamic State jihadists, but has solved nothing at all for imperialism’s crisis troubles.
It will not even solve the “jihadist problem” for long, and endless recurring and greatly magnified hate-filled anti-Western revolt is awaited by the international intelligence agencies, as has been the repeated and escalating pattern predicted by every rational observer, ever since the blundering 2003 US-nazi invasion, and not just in the Middle East but across Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines and more.
And far more than sporadic “jihadist terrorism” has already erupted anyway; by 2011 the worldwide credit crunch economic disaster, (capitalist Catastrophe reaching surface) still unravelling and particularly heavily pushed onto the Third World, generated fully fledged mass revolution in Tunis and Egypt, christened the Arab Spring.
It was suppressed only by imposing once more the civilian-slaughtering and torture savagery of a US-stooge military dictatorship in Cairo, so close to the previously toppled Mubarak that it released the whole corrupt family and then the gangster Hosni himself, once the new military bureaucracy was (re)installed by an artificial middle-class “revolt” in 2013.
But revolution festers beneath the surface in Egypt still, in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and much of the Middle East and North Africa.
Hence the nazi-NATO invasion of Libya, and the deliberately inflamed sectarianism in Syria (both bogus “extensions” of the Arab Spring) to create civil war mayhem and sabotage any moral, economic or moral support these anti-imperialist bourgeois regimes might have given temporarily revolutionary Cairo.
Hence the brutality against Yemen, now driven to mass famine by British and US armed tribal reaction in Saudi Arabia, and the bullying threats against Qatar to shut down Al-Jazeera TV station, the nearest pretence to a “free press” there is in the ME, with even its halfway house critical realism deemed too explosive by the reactionary sheikhs, the Egyptian dictatorship and Trumpite urging.
And still all this does nothing to halt or reverse the relentless collapse of the US dominated world exploitation system and nor can it.
The demented “necessity” is for riven US imperialism to keep on its war bullying, now pushing it forwards with the same kind of fascist/chauvinist theatricality used by Germany in the 1930s.
Hitler would have used the nuclear bomb; America already did in 1945 and has contemplated it many times since (Cuba 1963 eg) held back only by the fears of the by then very powerful Soviet Union.
And of course it will do so again, as Trump is threatening.
The world working class is being sleep walked into horror by the complacency and opportunism of the Trot and revisionist “left” who still feed it with “democracy” and left pressure illusions.
But more urgently than ever world needs to overturn this entire greed-ridden, private profiteering bankrupt class exploitation, with the masses taking over all industry, farms and finance into common ownership.
From there, under the firmest of class control through proletarian dictatorship it can establish and build planned production on a world scale.
That is the only basis on which a rational and peaceful world society can be built, becoming more and more truly democratic by drawing more and more ordinary people into running industry and society, and which eventually will need no suppression at all as the old bourgeois counter-revolutionary influences die away.
But to take on this titanic transformation, the greatest in human history, requires the building of a revolutionary leadership, a purpose built party of open polemical scientific struggle to thrash out and establish the vital perspectives of this greatest ever crisis and the coordinated class war struggle to end it.
It needs to build on the great foundations already created in 100 volumes of Lenin, Marx and Engels, and the developments of the EPSR (see nearly 20 volumes of Leninist books and over 1500 papers including Vol21 Unanswered Polemics - against museum-Stalinism).
Just as much the cowardice, confusion and craven capitulations of the 57 varieties of fake-“left” need exposing not only in their failure to develop such a vital instrument of leadership but their dangerous and lulling misleadership and misdirection the working class, across the board.
Few even get close to an overall perspective, (also urgently needing updating by EPSR) sticking to piecemeal and specific analyses such as “ISIS jihadism bad” – a blinkered narrowness that then condemns all such struggle as “terrorism”, with the wooden Stalinist worshippers even tripping over their own feet to end up supporting such monstrosities as the Washington funded Egyptian government (because it “fights terrorism”).
A few voices have a crack at some kind of broader perspective, such as this not bad go from the radical bourgeois journalist John Pilger, who has form for excellent anti-imperialist exposé, albeit at times tainted with anti-communism:
Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach, left me close to tears.
Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece... nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning.
Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the US Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless radioactive spectre descending on the last of the living world.
I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world’s second most lethal nuclear power. There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.
The “sanctions” are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.
Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.
The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called “a noble cause” and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an “exceptional people”. He was not referring to the Vietnamese.
Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. “Listen up,” he said. “We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom.”
At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.
A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls “an eternal present”. Harold Pinter described this as “manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”
Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously “the left” are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.
Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics”, wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man - not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system - beckons great danger for all of us.
While they pursue their fossilised anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardian suppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.
On 3 August, in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a “Soviet agent”), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia. Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was “clearly unconstitutional”.
A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.
This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the “national security” managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them “the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today”.
They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to instal an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia’s “borderland” - the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people. Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.
In response, “partnership” is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin - anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon.
The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The US has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China’s economic lifelines.
The admiral commanding the US Pacific fleet said that, “if required”, he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute’s fiction.
None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichés. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated...
The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms “left” and “right” are meaningless. Most of America’s modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.
When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America’s longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings - murder - by drones.
In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the “reluctant liberal warrior”, dropped 26,171 bombs - three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Having pledged to help “rid the world” of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.
It was Obama - with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side - who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the “deporter-in-chief”.
One of Obama’s last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.
This telling emotional account is still a curate’s egg, only good in parts, such as on Obama-ism, Vietnam, and the relentless brainwashing by consumerism and news manipulation that keeps people away from serious thought and analysis.
Its swipe at the fake-“left” preoccupation with “identity politics” - feminism, gay rights, black nationalism, – is sound too, pointing out how these issues supplant and divert attention from the serious plunge to war, and are used an excuse for the fake-“lefts” total failure to dent capitalism at all by claiming “success” on “gay rights” etc.
But Marxism would add, every advance made by such reforms will be swamped by the endless regeneration of prejudice (of all kinds, homophobic, racist, sexist etc) which will always recur under the fundamentally antagonistic nature of exploitative capitalist life. By diverting attention from that need for concentrated focus of capitalism as the source of all problems, the single-issuers in themselves become anti-communist eventually and therefore self-defeating.
It is Pilger’s own refusal to delve deeper in theory and read and grasp Marxism that is the biggest flaw, leaving out why this plunge to war?
The piece does manage to set a context of inter-imperialist trade war conflict, emerging as the US bullies Europe (meaning its major rival Germany) on gas sales and much more too, like cars, with the EU correspondingly taking great swipes at Google, other big corporations and American finance out of London.
Pilger correctly sees this blow against Russia as also being a swipe at Europe.
But this is not simply a way to get more plunder for American imperialism and the aggressive blow against Europe is the major point.
Trump is not “more pragmatic” so much as shifting the target onto the major imperialist competition, Germany which is the fundamental driver.
These developments arise from inter-imperialist conflict for collapsing markets, and not just rapacious “greedy plundering” for a bit more; they are the very basis of the crisis from the contradictions built in to capitalism (see EPSR box quotes and Marx’s Capital etc).
World War Two, although built up through the 1930s to attack the new Soviet workers state (by universal Western collusion with Hitlerism against hated communism) in the end exploded as a fight between the imperialists themselves and their struggle to control the world’s colonial plunder and escape collapse.
Pilger also often seems stuck in the petty bourgeois impressionism of “democracy good” “dictatorship bad”, failing to grasp the fundamental difference between proletarian class dictatorship, vital to suppress the counter-revolutionary machinations of the bourgeoisie once the working class has taken power, and the dictatorship of capital which suppresses the masses and imposes ruthless exploitation on them using as much tyrannical oppression as necessary.
In much of the Third World where maintaining any kind of pretence of “democracy” is too expensive, that has always meant open fascist oppression, via an assortment of stooges, from Papa and Baby doc in Haiti, the Shah and SAVAK in Iran, Marcos in the Philippines (and now Duterte’s death squads heading back that way) Suharto in Indonesia, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Saddam Hussein in Iraq (for his first two decades), Nicaragua’s Somoza, Panama’s Noriega, death squads in El Salvador, the killer military in 1980s Argentina, Sharon, Idi Amin, Batista in Cuba, Apartheid, Savimbi, Saudi’s tribal oppression and assorted Gulf Sheikhs, Musharraf, Taliban, Synghman Ree in South Korea, etc, etc, etc ad infinitum.
But hidden bourgeois dictatorship is also the reality of “parliamentary democracy” in even the richest of countries too; the game of “freedom and democracy” is a clever cover to maintain the rule of capital by “fooling the people most of the time” without the dangers that overt military and police oppression brings by educating the working class in the need for revolution.
So his perspective does not ultimately see the crisis pushing all this and the need to develop revolutionary understanding – eg he simply believes that exposing the dangers and iniquities (for which he has an honourable record in the main) somehow will trigger a response.
And it remains one-sided; while exposing much of the imperialist skulduggery which has used CIA funding, arming and training to initiate and manipulate anti-Assad terror in Syria, Pilger has never grasped or understood the deeper basis of the jihadism there or anywhere else, which is driven by anti-imperialist hatred.
Manipulated as some of it has been, and even having some groupings artificially set in train, particularly in Syria (though such “moderate” terrorism is mostly clearly tied to imperialism) this whole eruption has a spontaneous basis in Third World anti-imperialism.
Islamic weirdness and backwardness, and sometimes destructive and counter-productive sectarian forms which these eruptions take, is historically a temporary phenomenon, due largely to the absence of good communist leadership, the result of decades of revisionist retreat and errors.
Excepting the artificial groups (distinguishable by their constant calls for Western intervention to depose Assad or Gaddafi etc) this religiosity will eventually be worked through, with better and more conscious leaderships arising, finding their way through all kinds of infighting, and possibly further gruesome incident, to an understanding of the great enemy being imperialism alone, and ultimately to communist understanding itself.
The deeper and better that is studied and developed by building Leninist open polemical struggle, the quicker the backwardness and crudity can be overcome and the revolutionary drive everywhere find a path to defeat and overthrow imperialism.
Two crucial issues right now are obviously around North Korea, and Venezuela; in both cases explaining the importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and challenging the sanctimonious and hypocritical pretences of imperialism to be “defending democracy and the rule of law”.
First it needs complete denunciation of the absurd notion that the little workers state of North Korea is the greatest “threat to the world” since Hitler etc etc. and a defence of its right as a sovereign state to build whatever defences it can manage to fend off constant bullying and invasion threats, including nuclear weapons just like those constantly pointed in its direction or threatened by non-stop US B1 overflights.
It would be foolish not to.
Even more should it be entitled as the workers state it is.
Leninism might well have some disputes with the Pyongyang leadership over the revisionist limits to its understanding, and particularly the need for a much broader and open discussion with the world about the crisis, the nature of imperialism and above all in examining the great achievement of the Soviet Union, China and other 20th century workers states, as well as the errors and flaws which led to Moscow’s eventual liquidation of its workers state in 1989-91.
But it also stands 100% unconditionally in support of the North Korean communist state and the giant achievements it has made against constant hostility, sabotage, economic siege strangulation (its “isolation” which the West mocks, being imposed on it not specifically chosen).
And that includes trying to expose as much as possible the ludicrous imperialist hate lies, such as those poured out in the astonishing BBC2 programme mentioned before, a Goebbels fabrication of astonishing nonsense, repeating a string of absurd fabrications such as “Kim’s uncle executed with an anti-aircraft gun”, that “everyone lives in terrible poverty except the elite” who have “secret businesses” and the childish crudities of the Kuala Lumpur airport “assassination by smeared VX nerve gas”.
“Yeah - right”, as the teenagers used to say.
Even the Guardian, middle class bastion of liberal flavoured anti-communism more poisonous than the rightwing papers, has felt obliged to carry some positive comment among its demented ultra-hypocritical hysteria about “no democracy”, from which a few edited points:
[Trump’s advisor Sebastian Gorka declared} “we are now a hyper-power. Nobody in the world, especially not North Korea, comes close to challenging our military capabilities.”
This has been a truism since the Soviet Union collapsed, but it doesn’t explain how the US has failed to win four of the five major wars it has fought since 1945. One of those wars was Korea, where rough peasant armies, North Korean and Chinese, fought the US to a standstill.
It was 64 years ago that North Koreans emerged from this war into a living nightmare, after three years of “rain and ruin” by the US Air Force. Pyongyang had been razed to the ground, with the Air Force stating in official documents that the North’s cities suffered greater damage than German and Japanese cities firebombed during World War II.
...the great French writer and filmmaker Chris Marker wrote in 1957: “Extermination crossed this land.” It was an indelible experience still drilled into the heads of every North Korean.
There are 25 million human beings living in North Korea. They bleed like we do, they live and die like we do, they love their kin like we do, but most Americans will not know this because they know nothing about the carpet-bombing of North Korea.
What about the 50 million South Koreans, whose elders also suffered through this war? “Trump doesn’t seem to understand what an alliance is, and doesn’t seem to consider his ally when he says those things,” Lee Byong-chul, a senior fellow at an institute in Seoul told the New York Times.
The next few weeks are critical to this deepening crisis, with annual “Ulchi-Freedom Guardian” war games set to start up on August 21, involving tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops.
North Korean generals have been preparing for moments like this for decades, gaming out war scenarios during several crises going back to January 1968 when they seized the US spy ship Pueblo and held the crew for 11 months.
Pyongyang always pursues tit-for-tat strategies: the US lifts B1-B nuclear-capable bombers from Guam for flyovers of South Korea – a constant not just under Trump but also during Obama’s tenure – and the North chooses a scenario that will call attention to the nuclear blackmail that the US has pursued going back to the Korean War, and particularly during the decades from 1958 to 1990, when the US stationed hundreds of nukes in South Korea with standard plans to use them in the early stages of a North Korean invasion.
Even most “fair” commentaries about the North still say the Korean war was “started by the North invading the south”. But the truth is that there is no such thing as “South” Korea, any more than there was “South Vietnam” or “Israel”, all artificial land-theft constructions by imperialism, Korea’s maintained by outright dictatorship and US occupation until 1987 and by manipulation and corruption since, as recently revealed about the just deposed corrupt presidency in Seoul, forced out by near-revolutionary, weekly, half million strong, mass protests over the last year:
...from 2009 to 2012, the NIS [South Korean spy agency] instructed 30 teams to bombard social media with messages to help shape public opinion in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.
The probe accuses former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon of organizing the smear campaign involving anti-North Korea psychological warfare units to influence the 2012 election in favor of Park Geun-hye, who ended up winning with 51.6% to 48%. The teams also engaged in a campaign to criticize rival candidate Moon Jae-in.
“The teams were charged with spreading pro-government opinions and suppressing anti-government views, branding them as pro-North Korean forces’ attempts to disturb state affairs,” the internal NIS probe revealed, as quoted by Financial Times.
It is alleged that the campaign hired civilians and used as many as 3,500 social media accounts to support the conservative party.
So much for the pretence of “upholding democracy” by the West!
The vile nonsense of the Trots is particularly exposed on this North Korea question and their lying anti-communist hatred for worker states, telling the working class of alleged Stalinist “repression and poverty” (total bullshit), regurgitating the same poison poured out by the CIA’s crude propaganda.
But the revisionist defenders of North Korea, notionally on the right side, also tangle themselves in confusions too, not least remaining completely silent about Beijing’s disastrous compromising with imperialism, going so far as to vote with the US in the UN Security Council imposition on Pyongyang of dire additional “sanctions”.
This siege savagery is in itself an act of aggression like the 60 year blockade on Cuba which damages lives and brings fatalities (lack of medicines, food etc).
Beijing’s collusion (recalling its similar actions in voting for sanctions on Libya just before NATO blitzkrieged it) is built on the revisionist brainmush nonsense of “not provoking” imperialism – and it remains unchallenged by the Brarites etc, doubtless concerned to maintain their annual “solidarity” jaunts to uncritically “hail” the Chinese, (while simultaneously enjoying the same hospitality in Pyongyang!!!).
So much for their much heralded concern for “Leninist theory” as plastered across their masthead then!
But real solidarity with either (still both workers states) lies in taking up and debating errors and mistakes, just as it did with the Soviet Union (as the EPSR’s record of 100% unconditional support while challenging disastrous Gorbachevism shows clearly - see EPSR Books Vol 10 [Obtainable by post - pdf to come].
Revisionist muddle and failure to put forwards the need for revolution is exposed too by the White House sanctions and now military threats against Venezuela’s efforts to defend its reforms.
The working class needs to hear immediately a vigorous and firm defence of Caracas’ struggle against the CIA orchestrated bourgeois violence and economic sabotage, setting the country up for either a 1973 Chile-style blood and torture counter-revolution (to ‘restore order', as Pinochet’s coup pretended), or a Reagan style US “intervention” (which invaded and slaughtered the Grenadan revolution a decade later see EPSR Book Vol 12).
But it is the nearly two decades of muddle and confusion about “democratic paths” and “21st century socialism” (allegedly so different to that “old-hat” (Leninist) socialism and its armed struggles and proletarian dictatorship) which has left the situation open to the shallow propaganda from the West of “trampling over democracy” and establishing “dictatorship”.
Of course the pretences about “democracy” are a giant hypocrisy: as with South Korea so with a stream of Washington established regimes around the world (as partly listed earlier) that have nothing to do with “upholding democracy” – Saudi Arabia’s corrupt tribalism, destroying Yemen?? Thailand’s military coup regime (which puts people in prison for decades for “insulting the King”)?? The fascist land theft Zionist occupation of Palestine, routinely genocidally blitzing the hapless dispossessed? Or Rodrigo Duterte’s state-approved terror-vigilantism, often by the police themselves, summarily executing thousands of alleged “drug dealers” without trial (and threatening the same even for the users, mostly trapped in poverty in the slums); all this being a cover for political suppression now extended to indiscriminate civilian killing of the Islamic and Maoist rebellion long brewing in the southern islands??
Or what about the latest laughable “election” for the ethnic-cleansing Tutsi dictator Paul Kagame in Rwanda, whose 99% (!!) vote would have brought instant Western press derision for days on end if this had been any kind of anti-imperialist regime, or even say, Vladimir Putin. Instead buried deep within some foreign news pages:
Paul Kagame, the controversial president of Rwanda, has won a landslide victory in the small African state’s election, securing a third term in office and extending his 17 years in power.
The result will surprise no one, inside or outside Rwanda.
Kagame, 59, has won international praise for the stability and economic development he has brought Rwanda since the 1994 genocide, when an estimated 800,000 people were killed, but he has also been accused of running an authoritarian, one-party state. Some have dismissed the polls as a sham.
Friday’s election came after a constitutional amendment, which ended a two-term limit for presidents and theoretically permits Kagame to remain in power until 2034. The amendment was approved by 98% of voters.
In the final tally for Friday’s election, he won almost 99% of votes cast, said Kalisa Mbanda, chairman of the National Electoral Commission.
The board expects turnout in the east African country of 12 million people to have topped 90% in an election that fielded only a single opposition candidate, Frank Habineza, and an independent.
The piece goes on to repeat the lie that the Pentagon-trained Kagame “saved” the Tutsi during the 1994 civil war; but as the excellent book The Politics of Genocide demonstrates clearly the whole Hutu-Tutsi turmoil (all horrifying) was provoked by outside interference and assassination of the Hutu president, with Kagame’s conveniently prepared and timed invasion from the Western stooge Uganda, carrying out much of the slaughter.
Western “aid” (bribery) has helped keep the regime in power since with infrastructure programmes etc; not coincidentally, Tony Blair is a frequent visitor to official ceremonies.
All this is propped up because of its strategic position next to the giant critical-mineral rich Congo (which, along with Western stooge Uganda, it has invaded several times) and it has helped the West wage war on the left orientated Congo government and its allies like Zimbabwe.
A string of mysterious assassinations of opponents and suppressions, as were detailed in a not-well-publicised BBC4 documentary two or three years back, has helped keep power.
And the West continues to pretend it upholds democracy!!!
Within Latin America the record is also one of constant sabotage and manipulation, from the “judicial coup” which toppled Paraguay’s left reformism, the 2009 coup in Honduras reestablishing a right wing death squad and drug cartel regime (with Obama/Hilary approval); the scandal lies and rumours used to used to topple left-reformist Christina Kirchner in Argentina putting a rightwinger back, and the astonishing impeachment nonsense which toppled Dilma Roussef’s “left” government in Brazil last year in a vote by a completely corrupt Senate; all this the result of corruption and subversion.
But the greatest skulduggery has been reserved for the Venezuelans, whose inspirational Hugo Chávez was at the heart of the “Bolivarian Revolution”.
A first major CIA coup attempt in 2002 failed miserably (infamously catching out the treacherous Labourites whose MP Dennis McShane happened to be in Caracas and already cravenly denouncing Chávez as a “ranting demagogue” on the first day of the overturn to “restore” legitimacy - only to see mass popular support beat off the reactionaries he had sided with - ESPR 1137).
Subversion has been massively stepped up following Chávez' mysterious early death with a non-stop campaign of deliberately instigated violent demonstrations and economic sabotage all laughably and lyingly presented as being “peaceful protest”, hoping to capitalise on worsening the severe pressures on the economy caused by imperialism’s worldwide crisis and on demonising the less charismatic Nicolás Maduro and presenting him as a “dictator” because of the firm moves he has pushed through to try and cope with the constant deliberately instigated chaos.
But the great weakness he has is not a “tendency towards dictatorship”.
Just the opposite, the whole left movement in Latin America needs a far firmer grip, and a leadership ready to educate and lead the masses towards a full dictatorship of the proletariat, capable of suppressing completely this total reaction and taking over the entire economy.
Instead of continuing to feed illusions in bourgeois “democracy” (a complete lie as spelled out above) leaving the whole regime open to constant lying accusations of “fixing” votes (like the Big Lie stunt pulled off by the London-based (!!) vote equipment company which supplied the regime for the recent constitutional referendum - yet another Western nonsense trick about some supposed “million missing votes”) the leadership should declare outright for the rule of the working class.
Developing this understanding would be the best and most inspiring thing for the hard pressed masses.
And if that means revolutionary civil war – well what is this subversison trying to induce anyway????
The entire history of past skulduggery in Latin America particularly, such as Chile, has shown just what barbarity can be expected if this counter-revolution should succeed.
And the masses in the “judicially” overturned regimes are already experiencing the reimposition of poverty and repression, as in Argentina for example.
But none of the “left” has even said such a thing: far from warning the working class of the need for all out revolutionary battling they continue to pump out their “left pressure” and democratic path disarming nonsense.
For fifteen years they have all told the world this “Bolivarian” movement was a new way forwards to be emulated and celebrated by the workers movements everywhere without a word of warning about its vulnerability for as long as the bourgeoisie remains intact.
Now one by one these left reformist bourgeois nationalisms have been toppled and still the “lefts” say nothing, least of all drawing out their own mistakes and errors.
Just the opposite they hesitate and equivocate like the pretend-“leftism” of the Corbynites and its ineffectual “blaming all sides” for the violence, a total treachery when the working class needs the clearest possible warnings about the class war nature of the struggle and its intensification as the crisis deepens.
Much of the Trotskyist “left” currently bolstering this Corbynism with its entryist opportunism, cynically pretending this thoroughly bourgeois Labour Party can be transformed for socialism – a total nonsense – is shown up by such comments too.
And even the few groups who suddenly feel obliged to tack on some warnings about the “impossibility of winning socialism through the ballot box” like the Brarite Stalinists, say nothing about their complete silence on this issue for a decade before, building up the “Bolivarian Revolution” and nothing about challenging and exposing such revisionist illusions elsewhere, including among such leaderships as Havana.
In what way does telling the FARC revolutionary struggle in Colombia to abandon its arms and pursue socialism through peaceful parliamentary means, as the Cuban leadership has done, and the Lalkar/Proletarian uncritically goes along with, square with this ostensible “revolutionary” bravado?
Cuba has a heroic history of building a workers state (from revolutionary armed struggle overturn of capitalism) and its practical example and giant sacrifices and achievements are still a major advantage for the world working class, but its revisionist perspectives remain a problem.
The suspicion must be that the newly found Lalkarite “perspective” is nothing but a last minute re-think to cover the trail of yet another revisionist mess, suddenly exposed by events, the usual approach of this ossified Stalin worship, still refusing to deal with a score of other mistakes from those of the Soviet leadership itself onwards, and above all avoiding any polemics, including those put forwards by the EPSR (see eg Unanswered Polemics – Against museum-Stalinism: EPSR Books Vol 21).
Meanwhile Venezuela and the Latin American working class remains vulnerable, suffering continuing revisionist influenced illusions in doing things the “bourgeois democratic” way which plays right into the hands of Western hypocrisy and its stampeding of public opinion for an “intervention”.
Maduro’s regime has shown some determination despite this, in pushing through its constitutional changes and going ahead correctly with arrests of the violence instigators and expelling those among its own ranks who have capitulated to the Western pressure, like the treacherous attorney-general, Luisa Ortega is useful.
Blaming “mismanagement” for Venezuela’s difficulties as she did and calling on the “international community” (which can only mean imperialism) to “defend democratic law” is treachery; there may well be all kinds of mistakes and corruption even in a regime that is only bourgeois reformist, if well-meaning (and even a workers state cannot be instantly perfect overnight), but lining up with Washington is not the way to deal with it.
Better understanding, Leninism, developed with and in the working class, is the answer.
The real “mismanagement” to point to is that of the capitalism system whose “mismanagement” of the entire world economy led to the 2008 crisis and the warmongering that is coming.
The only “management” that can save the world from oncoming horror is the planned socialist management, possible only when the working class takes power and takes over all banks, farms and factories.
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