No 1557 1st June 2019
Euro-election indifference shows the “will of the people” is mostly two-fingers to parliamentary “democracy” and its lying mountebank politicians who will do nothing to get this capitalist austerity system off their back. Rejecting the chance for a “second referendum on Brexit” is a healthy sign but to go forwards the vacuum in politics needs to be filled in the only way that can change anything, by building revolutionary political understanding for all-out class war to bring down the whole stinking collapsing armsrace capitalist order. That means overcoming the great distrust of “theory” and tackling the non-stop deluges of chauvinist jingoism dragging the world to war to cover up the gigantic Catastrophe of the whole monopoly capitalist system. Trump trade-war in all directions is a new fascism bullying the world to pay for bankruptcy of US imperialism, and heading for world war three. Great fight needed for understanding, and exposing endless fake-“left” posturing and above all anti-communism like the renewed Goebbels lies around Tian an Men, the correct Chinese suppression of counter-revolution. Build Leninism
The Euro elections certainly revealed “betrayal” of the people – but not in the way trumpeted by the Tory ruling class, the fraudulent Farage populism or the pathetic, grovelling Labourite stoogery and the fake-“left”, all shades.
Far from being a “wake up call” to get on with Brexit – or to stop Brexit in its tracks, according to taste – it has simply made even clearer the total lie of all bourgeois “democratic elections” as the ruling class continues to trample over ordinary people, pushing them into brutal austerity as crisis deepens, and dragging the world ever further into blitzkrieg, torture and world war.
What the people want is to get this monstrous, degenerate, exploitative and ever more grossly unequal system off their backs and to stop the slide into total barbaric collapse that it is heading for (already imposed by horrific blitzkrieg across the Middle East for two decades).
What they are getting is the outrageous stitch-up of the Tory leadership campaign, collusion with American warmongering and total contempt from a ruling class which takes an ever greater share of society’s wealth, carving up and selling off even the most basic services (health, schools) while driving the mass further and further into desperation, homelessness, and unemployment (or grossly exploitative “jobs”).
What they need is not playing further games with lying election rackets (the great historic fraud of bourgeois “democracy”), but an understanding of the monstrous monopoly capitalist system and of its Catastrophic crisis collapse that has been unrolling for decades (despite seeming endless glitzy boomtime in the postwar years) and which is now degenerating into brutal trade war and the inevitable shooting war that will come as its culmination.
In other words what they need is a revolutionary perspective that tells them about the world disintegration, why it is collapsing, what needs to be done about it, and what can be done about it.
For that, a leadership party struggling for the deepest Marxist-Leninist understanding has to be built, to develop, deepen and extend the scientific grasp already achieved of history, economic development and breakdown (Marx, Lenin, Mao, and others - and the EPSR’s contributions, particularly from Roy Bull), and to assess day-to-day the constantly changing balance of class forces in the world, in order to lead, educate and organise the working class to overthrow this entire stinking and ever more festering mess of armsrace war, waste, poverty, inequality, and repression.
Implacable class war has to be waged against this corrupt, armsrace, degenerate, profiteering system, now sliding into the greatest breakdown and failure in all of history, driven there by intractable, incurable crisis of overproduction just as Marx identified 150 years ago in Capital.
That has nothing to do with blaming specifically European bosses, or suggesting things could be improved by breaking out of Europe to go back to “how things were” (under British imperialist capital).
How things were was never very good, and what temporary improvements were ever seen for the working class were the result of world revolutionary developments forcing a few concessions from the ruling class while it still had something (not much) to spare from its worldwide empire exploitation superprofits (taken from billions of Third World workers anyway), and particularly post-war when the Red Army had swept across Europe and destroyed Nazism in Germany (doing almost all of the real fighting, it is worth mentioning in passing, as the West once more tries to claim the credit for that in yet more history-distorting D-Day commemorations).
These reform “gains” were already going by the 1970s as Britain sank ever more into decline relative to the rest of ever sharpening imperialist competition and a moribund ruling class become less and less capable of “standing alone”.
Nor is there any future inside a capitalist Europe (see EPSR last issue and previously) whatever flying-pig fantasies are promoted about “cross Europe class struggles for reform”.
The whole world is breaking down into a cataclysm of Slump and inter-imperialist conflict the like of which has never been seen in all history, beyond even the chaos and agony of the pre-war periods in the twentieth century and the appalling war horrors that followed as capitalism deliberately destroyed the great “surpluses” its demented pursuit of profit accumulation had built up.
The breakdown now is far beyond the Great Depression of the 1930s and the destruction of Europe, Japan and the Far East which followed, and unravelling fast.
Only totally ending capitalism and its hidden dictatorial rule (veiled by the pretence of “democracy”) can stop this incurable crisis and build the world again on a planned and rational basis, namely socialism.
A great struggle needs to be fought to achieve the necessary consciousness in the working class for this coming class war, against all the prejudices, backwardness and confusion built up by decades of trade unionist class collaboration, against petty bourgeois complacency which doesn’t think it could get “that bad”, and against lies about “democracy”.
It needs above all to tackle a century of brainwashing anti-communism and the class-spirit-dulling propaganda lie that the Soviet Union (and current workers states) were a “failure”. Only their revisionist leadership retreats are failures.
Arrogant dismissal of the Third World anti-imperialist upheavals as “nothing but headbanging terrorism probably run by the CIA” needs to be challenged too, understanding it for what it is, part of the great turmoil against imperialist capitalist tyranny, however confused and backward its ideas.
Some of these prejudices go very deep, not least in the British working class, much of it saturated in illusions about its “superiority” derived from two centuries of class collaborating sharing in the booty from Empire rule, and hampered by a traditional hostility to theory and to “know it all” intellectuals (the latter admittedly distrusted with good reason in many cases, given the dire influence of petty bourgeois anti-communism, fake-“leftist” Trotskyism and numb-brained revisionism, but then throwing the baby out with the bathwater in dismissing vital Leninism, the only science able to get to the truth of society and class).
A core aspect is ridding the masses of all illusions in “democracy” and “steady improvements” through “peaceful constitutional” means, still promoted by all these fake-“lefts” variously.
That the working class needs to take over and establish its own class power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, is the crucial point they all avoid (and fear, deep in their petty bourgeois souls, however they posture about being “Marxist” or “revolutionaries”).
But while this fight for Marxist science is still to be won, at least the Euro election shows that much of the old ideological grip continues to loosen.
It has been a disastrous failure, revealing only more about the desperate paralysis of the ruling class facing total meltdown of its economy and inability to compete.
Despite an unprecedented bourgeois press campaign to hype up Brexiteer jingoism around Nigel Farage, the working class essentially gave the whole event a giant raspberry (as they did the preceding local elections).
Supposedly this was to be a great moment to once more kick the Establishment for “failing to deliver” etc, virtually a re-run of the Referendum.
The ruling class lies and duplicity went into overdrive pretending that they are desperate to “give the people what they asked for” (which was not clear at all from the plebiscite (a reactionary fraud itself)).
Instead it fell flat with a turnout of just 38%, even less than elsewhere in Europe.
Of this, the great new “Brexit party” vote was a mere 32% - that is to say, 12% of the total possible vote.
A similar proportion was “for Europe”.
Taking into account the votes illicitly denied millions of Europeans now living in Britain (a grotesque fraud in itself to add to all the other tricks and twists which the bourgeois democracy racket always uses to stuff ballot boxes, misrepresent the issues, limit explanation, manipulate opinion polls, deluge brains with paid-for hype, gerrymander boundaries etc etc), and allowing for those who either could not, or did not want to register at all, this means a tiny proportion of the population.
Most of those were the Tory backwoodsmen of the shire counties etc filled with Battle of Britain delusions about past stiff-upper-lip “glory”.
In other words the working class showed total disinterest and the long term trend of disdain and rejection for the parliamentary process continued to deepen, just as it has since the “great” Clement Attlee “left” Labour landslide government of 1945 first made clear that the working class would only ever see sellout and betrayal from such parliamentary “democracy”.
Only the fake-“left” continued to drag the working class behind this racket, some even advocating a vote (!!) for the pocket Nazi Nigel Farage (buddy to the blond blubber mountain Donald Trump and his all-directions belligerent bluster) and others calling for them to vote Labour, where they are currently parasiting with their impossible entryist pretences of “changing it into a progressive party”.
What none explained is that all parliament and elections are nothing but a gigantic hoodwinking pretence covering up the actual dictatorship rule of big money capital and its ruthless and never ending exploitation and theft of the value produced by the working class.
Through long practical historic experience, that is what the working class has learned, albeit without yet articulating it as such.
But its deep distrust of on-the-make lying politicians cannot remain as passive rejection forever – it will have to find better answers, which can only be supplied by revolutionary theory.
Meanwhile, inasmuch as any conclusions could be drawn from the election as such and its tiny vote, (itself a distortion since it is only those still with illusions in “voting” who went out at all), they only underline further the arrogance and cynicism of the ruling class which is plunging ahead with its austerity imposing rule despite total fragmentation, class recriminations and collapse.
If this “democracy” meant anything then the government should resign immediately, to begin with, since its much vaunted “result” showed total deflation of its “support”.
Instead, it is going ahead with a completely non-democratic change in government decided by a pantomime Tory Party “leadership election” choosing among a crew of ever more reactionary wideboys, which has nothing to do with the population as a whole let alone the working class.
And even that “election” will either be cut short or be fixed up, just like the last one which shunted the Theresa May government into place after David Cameron’s resignation – a complete trampling over the pretences of “democracy” in itself, compounded by the subsequent outright bribery of the defeated “no surrender” colonialist Democratic Unionist bigots from Ireland, brought in (or bought in) to sustain the unsustainable because of their sulking skulking hopes to turn the clock back on the Irish national liberation struggle (another impossibility).
And the Labour Party, supposedly representing workers interests, where is that meanwhile?
It is avoiding any confrontation or conflict which might bring down the Tories and put them into government instead, just as they have been doing since the 2010 election when they rejected the chance to form a coalition with the Lib Dems to block off Tory austerity.
They have even discussed rescuing the Tories over Brexit!
The Labour “opposition” in fact has made clear it does not want to take over – even since the great surge of hopeful working class support elevated the mountebank “left” around Corbyn.
Nothing but flannel and obfuscation has followed, in the 2015 election and subsequently.
They prefer to stay in “opposition” collecting their comfortable salaries and lucrative expenses – (one Labour Lord has pulled £50,000 a year for doing nothing at all in the “upper House”) – without showing themselves up by the need for action.
Every one of them knows that they will not really be able to sort anything out for the working class because all their pretences about “ending austerity” or “regulating or controlling” capitalism are so much gobshyte.
Either they would be “unfortunately unable to avoid” imposing cuts and restrictions “because of factors out of our control” just as the Tories do (and as they all do in the stripped bare local authorities, and as the new “radical left” elsewhere in Europe has shown too, such as Syriza in Greece, much hailed by the Labourites and Trots initially but now barely mentioned, obviously), or they really will face disastrous collapse and world market turmoil.
And if that does not hold them, then there will come an escalation of capitalist state control moves, all the way to outright military coup as many examples have shown historically, not least in the infamous 1973 bloody overturn of Salvador Allende by the CIA-advised General Pinochet takeover and fascist suppression, killing multiple thousands and torturing many more.
Various pompous media prognostications by gold-braided generals have already made that clear against Corbynism.
So the “comrades” prevaricate, defer, delay and obfuscate, and avoid all such opportunities as do exist even within parliament (frequent in the last years), to bring down the Tories.
On top, the dirty dealing Blairites make sure that any “left” sentiment is drowned in outrageous accusations of “anti-semitism” etc.
This terrified performance by the ruling class and its up-the-fundament TUC/Labourite stoogery reflects total desperation and fear.
They know it is the great hurricane of world economic collapse which is driving events and pushing the world ruling class into tradewar conflict and war, which is the only way out they can come up with (and hope to hold onto their power and wealth).
The 2008 global credit meltdown was the watershed moment, confirming once and for all the Marxist-Leninist understanding of the whole system relentlessly and unstoppably plunging into disaster (which the EPSR has fought for as the correct perspective, against all the mocking and “knowing” sneering of the rest of the petty bourgeoisie and the fake-“left” who declared such “Catastrophism” to be “old hat” and “no longer applicable”).
For the moment, the very worst economic implosion has been held off by more of the demented credit creation and money printing which propped things up for the post-war period boom.
But the ever tightening vice of social cuts, inflation and wage restrictions will not stop its squeeze even before the next financial lurch down.
And the decade of Quantitative Easing has solved nothing, as constant warnings from the bourgeois finance institutions, economists and banks make clear, all jumpily wondering at what point the world system will implode again in one way or another, and knowing the problem has been worsened by this artificial infusion of valueless dollars.
This terrifying prospect underlies the increasingly fascist stridency of the Trumpite presidency, lashing out in all directions with trade war bullying to try and protect the essentially bankrupt US economy, against Europe, against China, and now adding to its bullying pressure by demanding “restraint” from the Japanese and threatening even its nearby trading partners in Mexico:
Donald Trump kicked off his state visit to Japan on Saturday by urging Japanese business leaders to increase investment in the US – but he also complained about his own central bank and knocked his hosts for having a “substantial edge” on trade, which he said negotiators were trying to even out.
The US is already in the middle of an expensive trade war with China, and similar tensions are simmering with the European Union. Trade is expected to be addressed during more formal talks between Trump and Abe on Monday, but officials have played down the possibility of a deal being announced during the visit.
North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are also likely to be on the agenda, a fact underlined by remarks on Saturday from Trump national security adviser John Bolton. The mustachioed hawk said recent missile tests by Pyongyang violated United Nations security council resolutions, the first time a senior US official has made such a statement.
Trump is also due to become the first foreign leader to be received by Emperor Naruhito. Naruhito and Empress Masako, who studied at Harvard, will host an elaborate dinner on Monday night. In Washington on Thursday, Trump made clear that he was flattered by the invitation...
“Prime Minister Abe said to me, very specifically, ‘You are the guest of honor.’ There’s only one guest of honor … I’m the guest of honor at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” he claimed. “So it’s a great thing.”
...Trade was among the subjects covered – “The real trade war began 30 years ago,” the president wrote, “and we lost … we don’t lose any more!” – as was a jab at Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee and a complaint about Trump-supporting bikers having problems getting a permit for a parade in Washington.
...Trump told them there had never been a better time to invest in the US, although he also repeated a familiar complaint that Federal Reserve policies had kept US economic growth from reaching its full potential.
Trump also got in a dig at Japan, saying he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries and ensure fairness and reciprocity.
Donald Trump has defended his decision to impose new tariffs on Mexico as stock markets worldwide were rattled by fears of an escalation in trade tensions.
“Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades,” Trump tweeted. “Because of the Dems, our Immigration Laws are BAD. Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem. Time for them to finally do what must be done!”
On Thursday Trump announced that he was placing a 5% tariff on “every single good coming into the United States from Mexico” starting on 10 June, to pressure the country to do more to curb immigration into the US.
The tariffs will rise by 5% each month until it reaches 25% in October if the number of people crossing the border doesn’t “come down substantially”, the White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said.
The Trump administration’s decision led to a sell-off in stock markets around the world. In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 315 points, or 1.3%, in early trading. In London the FTSE 100 dropped close to 1% and all the European markets were down.
Mexico is the US’s largest trading partner. Last year it sent about $346.5bn of goods such as avocados, tomatoes, clothes and cars across the border. A 5% tariff would amount to a tax increase of more than $17bn that will largely be passed on to US consumers.
The Business Roundtable, one of Washington’s most influential lobby groups, called the decision a grave error.
But the warning coming from China that this will cause terrible economic problems gets things completely wrong:
Further escalation of the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies, China and the US, could greatly hurt the global economy, according to former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Dai Xianglong.
Talking at a press event in Beijing on Friday, he said that, “The consequence of the China-US trade war not only will be reflected in both countries, but will also extend to relevant regions, extend to the whole world.”
“If the China-US trade war continues to grow larger, it may cause the global economy to decline, and may cause a global financial crisis,” he said as cited by CNBC.
Dai, who was PBOC governor from 1995 to 2002, said he expects the China Shanghai Composite stock market index to rise steadily above the 3,000 level, helped by China’s coming market reforms. The index which hit above the key psychological level of 3,000 earlier this year was trading at 2,898 on Friday.
Dai also attributed the recent weakness in the Chinese yuan to the market’s reaction to trade tensions. He noted that Beijing would not devalue the renminbi in response. According to him, fundamentals, such as economic growth and foreign exchange reserves, support a stable yuan.
Former Chinese vice commerce minister Wei Jianguo, who was moderating the Friday press event, said that initiating a trade war with China might be the biggest strategic mistake made by the United States since World War II, or even its founding.
“It can be said, that the US this time has at the wrong time, fought a wrong war, and chosen a wrong opponent,” Wei said, adding that trade tensions could last 30 years or more.
The combative spirit is sound but it is not the US trade war moves that are causing a global crisis, (though it aggravates it), it is the unstoppable crisis which is leading to the aggression and belligerence from Washington.
Getting this upside down reflects the dire influence of revisionist politics stretching all the way back to Stalin’s mistakes and mis-sassessments as expressed in his 1952 Economics Problems book for example, which wrongly revised Lenin to say that imperialism could no longer expand in the post-war world, and following from that, failing to see and comprehend the inevitability of disastrous crash such expansion implied, however long deferred (See EPSR Book Unanswered Polemics).
Beijing is clearly still thinking that crisis can be avoided if only everyone is “reasonable”.
It props up the delusional/wishful thinking that revolutionary struggle can be avoided, possibly altogether, on a path to eventual world socialism.
It is the same delusion that has dulled brains throughout the long decades of Moscow’s Third International political influence and still hampers understanding to this day, as above, and as in the “peaceful path” notions still being promulgated by Havana for example, particularly in its assessments of the Latin American struggles, and advice to those like the FARC armed revolutionary movement in Colombia, to disarm and pursue their struggle through peaceful parliamentary means.
But there is nothing reasonable about the capitalist ruling class and especially in crisis when its desperation will turn towards ever more overt aggression, warmongering and destruction abroad, and deepening repression, censorship and crackdowns domestically (across the internet and against protest, as the liberal Extinction Rebellion are finding out or the anti-“gay is normal” Muslim demonstrators in Birmingham, and the vilely pilloried and imprisoned Julian Assange of Wikileaks, psychologically tortured and potentially to be killed “by accident or illness” somewhere within the American prison system if they can get him there).
Trumpism is presiding over a degenerate America that is more hated and detested by the world by the minute, with its lashing out in all directions to make the world pay for its continuing fat slobby existence despite the total paralysed bankruptcy of its economy.
This belligerence and ever cruder bullying and threats, becoming more offensively so by the day, is outright fascism.
It is deluded idiocy to deny it as for example the left demagogue former Labourite (and rank opportunist) George Galloway was doing in the run-up to the Euro-election, mocking the idea that Nigel Farage and his populism could be called “fascist”.
Such posturing around with nitppicking academic and mechanical “definitions” as to what comprises fascism and how much overt racism it has to show, or when it is “valid” to use the term and when not because it “might become overused”, is completely disarming and misleading the working class.
How typical of the Proletarian/Lalkar-ite Stalin worshippers to quote Galloway approvingly in the Euro elections while they too were bolstering the Farage campaign and its whipping up of British jingoism and anti-foreigner sentiment (EPSR last issue).
It is wooden undialectical thinking that will see all of these “lefts” (and much of the rest of the fake-"left" swamp) still disputing the meaning of the word and whether it is “valid”, all the way to the concentration camps or whatever modern equivalent hi-tech imperialism devises as it rounds up the “left” and any other fellow travellers that might be deemed part of an opposition.
Head-of-a-pin disputes about exactly how much of the press has to be shut down before “freedom” has gone – (try arguing for communism and see how “free” the press is! - or ask the Irish as quoted below) – or what uniforms they might wear and with what shininess of boot, misses completely that fascism is essentially capitalist imperialism itself and its colonialist brutality throughout 500 years of taking and enslaving other nations’ lands – (ask any of the multitudes butchered, manacled, tortured, deported, brutalised and ground into the floor, if their nations survive at all, how un-fascist it all was) – and then particularly so in its period of decline and collapse, using ever more grotesque and barbarous bloodcurdling threats and intimidation, to suppress all resistance.
Was the butchering in Iraq not fascist? Carpet bombing of Afghanistan? The horrific NATO blitzing of Libya leaving warlordist chaos? The destruction of Yemen leaving 12 million (twelve million) near famine and many in daily terror of bombs and drones?
Or the indiscriminate destruction of the anti-occupation fight in Iraq (carried out as a “war against terrorism” in order to win popular opinion, notwithstanding its savagery):
From Kosovo to Iraq and Syria, the US and its military allies have for years told a tale of “precision bombing” and “surgical strikes”. It was a lie then and it’s a lie now. When huge numbers of bombs and missiles are unleashed on densely populated cities like Mosul or Raqqa, civilians are killed in their hundreds – possibly thousands. But still, the myth of precision and “meticulous processes” persists. Not least because militaries like our own refuse to even go back to the cities they’ve bombed, and refuse to acknowledge deaths unless presented with irrefutable evidence from the likes of Amnesty.
Last week I did what UK, US and French military officials refuse to do: I went to Raqqa to see for myself what has happened to this city as a result of mass bombardments by the US-led coalition between June and October 2017.
Never before have I seen a city so completely devastated. Not just in one district area, but almost entirely. Think Dresden and you’d be close. Street after street of windowless, hollowed-out buildings. Miles of rubble. Piles of twisted metal. Utter ruin. There has been no assistance for residents desperate to rebuild, and entire families are reduced to living in bombed-out husks of buildings. Meanwhile, many children spend all day scavenging in the rubble for bits of steel and plastic they can sell so as to buy food. They risk injury and death from unsafe buildings and uncleared landmines.
Among those I met in this ruined city was Mohamed, a 28-year-old carpenter who cares for his younger brother, Rabi’a, who is now paralysed after a coalition airstrike destroyed the building where his family was sheltering in October 2017. Most of his family were killed. Mohamed lost his wife, two children (the youngest of whom was 11 days old), his parents, his sister, her husband and their four children. With his family as devastated as the city he still inhabits, Mohamed has devoted himself to looking after his brother. It’s heartbreaking, tragic and deeply moving.
The battle to oust Islamic State from Raqqa followed the modern US military playbook. A massive aerial assault conducted with willing military powers (here, the UK and France); zero use of ground troops; and a reliance on proxy fighters at street level (here, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces militia). The bombardment was immense. For four months the coalition pounded the city into the ground – with thousands of airstrikes (215 from the UK, says the MoD) and 30,000 US artillery rounds. Never mind that artillery is notoriously imprecise and should not be used in heavily populated areas (such use is “indiscriminate” in international legal parlance), the coalition fired artillery round after artillery round into residential areas for four solid months. In fact, as US forces themselves boasted, more artillery was fired into the streets, squares and homes of downtown Raqqa than has been fired in any conflict in the world since Vietnam.
As I saw for myself, the results are predictably apocalyptic; 80% of the city has been reduced to ruins. More than 11,000 buildings are uninhabitable and Raqqa is widely considered the most-destroyed city of modern times.
On top of this lethally irresponsible behaviour, the coalition has refused to send investigators into the ruined city to establish the truth of its boast about “precision”. It has refused to set up a compensation fund for those maimed or bereaved by its handiwork. And – perhaps most worryingly of all – it has refused to even try to learn lessons from this latest exercise in mass bombing without responsibility.
Recently, Amnesty and Airwars presented the UK, US and French authorities with detailed evidence from our own painstaking on-the-ground investigation showing that at least 1,600 civilians in Raqqa were killed by the coalition’s aerial attacks, 10 times more than previously acknowledged. Collating huge data streams from investigations spanning almost two years and including multiple visits to Raqqa, we built a database of the victims, with names for more than 1,000 of the dead.
Last year, after Amnesty published a 70-page report based on 42 site visits in Raqqa and interviews with 112 beleaguered Raqqa residents, then defence secretary Gavin Williamson responded not with alarm at the report’s findings but with a broadside against Amnesty from the House of Commons despatch box. Our report was “deeply disappointing” and “disgraceful”. We needed to recognise the “amazing professionalism of our Royal Air Force”. Flag-waving rather than dealing with the unpalatable facts – this was yet another aggressive denial from a government increasingly unwilling to hold its own military forces to account.
Last week, Willamson’s successor Penny Mordaunt signalled that the UK would in future go even further in its refusal to deal with alleged war crimes committed by UK forces overseas.
The fact that Isis fighters terrorised and effectively held hostage vast populations in Syria and Iraq doesn’t justify the coalition in indiscriminate bombing campaigns.
Far more could be said on this and the responsibility in the West’s hands for creating the mess in Iraq and Syria in the first place, through its BIG LIE backed invasions killing hundreds of thousands in the first place, and on the nature of the rebellion it has generated.
But the point for the moment is to show that cynically or revisionist-blockheadedly continuing to insist on “democratic paths” and denying the fascist nature of imperialism right now is disarming workers completely.
Democracy is a permanent lie manipulated and twisted by ruling class money and ideological dominance, and simply trampled right over if necessary, as far as capitalism finds necessary and can carry out.
And this is constantly exposable from hypocrisy of support for the monstrous gangsterism of the Saudi thug-Royals blitzing millions in Yemen (who were struggling for a voice) and the Zionist race-supremacist occupation of Palestine genocidally denying the people their own land, to the numerous stooges and fascist tyrannies propped up throughout the world by post-war American dominance from Marcos in the Philippines (and the demagogue Duterte now), the Papa and Baby Doc tonton macoute horrors of Haiti, of Mobutu in the Congo, Somoza in Nicaragua, Augusto Pinochet and Indonesia’s General Suharto (installed by a bloody year of non-stop butchery of as many as three million “suspected” communists in 1965 (see The Act of Killing film eg), fed by British and US intelligence “kill lists”) or the Saddat, Mubarak and now General Sisi dictatorships sustained and funded by Washington in Egypt, among many more examples.
And of course the Vietnam and Korean wars, slaughtering millions in utter savagery.
Or consider Thailand for example, barely mentioned in the Western press even as it is railing against say, Venezuela with the lie that it is “undemocratic”, except to marvel at its grotesque 3-day floor grovelling coronation ceremony for its reactionary monarchy.
But the bloody coups which punctuate its post-war history, including the latest, lasting now six years, are almost never referred to except in very rare, buried away “foreign news” stories. And the reality of its pretend “democracy”?:
Since 2016, a number of activists have either been found dead or mysteriously disappeared, raising questions about their safety in Laos and the role of Thailand’s military government in the disappearances. The junta has consistently denied any culpability.
In June 2016, Ittipon Sukpaen, known as DJ Sunho, disappeared without trace. He had been charged with violation of lese-majesty laws in Thailand and was hiding in the outskirts of the Laos capital, Vientiane, where he continued to broadcast anti-monarchy YouTube videos.
In 2017, the wife of an exiled host of an anti-monarchist radio show witnessed his abduction from their house in Vientiane. Wuthipong Kachathamakul, known as Ko Tee, has not been seen since.
Then in December last year, one of Thailand’s best-known dissidents, Surachai Danwattananusorn, and two other exiles with whom he was living in Laos, Chatcharn Buppawan and Kraidej Luelert, disappeared from their home.
Two weeks later, the bodies of Chatcharn and Kraidej washed up on the banks of the Mekong River on the Thai side. They had been disembowelled and stuffed with concrete, their legs broken and their hands handcuffed, as well as tied with rope at the neck, waist and knees. Surachai’s body has not been found.
It is believed Chucheep was attempting to cross into Vietnam because he and the other exiles feared for their safety in Laos.
Three Thai activists facing charges of insulting the monarchy have (now) disappeared after reportedly being arrested in Vietnam, months after two exiled critics of the military and monarchy died.
The three dissidents had fled lese-majesty charges and continued to broadcast anti-monarchist and anti-junta commentary from exile. Chucheep Chiwasut – known as Uncle Sanam Luang – Siam Theerawut and Kritsana Thapthai were reportedly stopped after crossing over the border from Laos into Vietnam a month ago, reportedly using fake passports.
According to Human Rights Watch, Vietnam handed the dissidents over to Thai authorities on 8 May, but they have not been seen since, and there has been no acknowledgement of their arrest and detention. Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, denied the activists were in Thai custody.
Brad Adams, the executive director of Human Rights Watch Asia, said: “Vietnam’s alleged secret forced return to Thailand of three prominent activists should set off alarm bells in the international community.”
Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code says anyone who insults the king, queen, heir or regent faces punishment of up to 15 years in prison.
Following a military coup in the country in 2014, many activists who were part of the pro-democracy “red shirt” movement and had voiced anti-monarchist sentiment were forced to flee to Laos, where dozens have been hiding out since.
Many, including Chucheep, continued their anti-monarchist activism from exile, broadcasting messages through radio and YouTube channels that were considered incendiary to the military junta and the monarchy.
In March, it was confirmed to the Guardian by another lese-majesty exile, Yammy Faiyen, who had stayed briefly with Chucheep in hiding, that Chucheep’s name was at the top of an unofficial warrant of exiles living in Laos that the Thai government wanted to track down.
“Uncle Sanam Luang is the one who Thai government wants the most,” said Yammy.
Separately on Friday, a former law student was released from jail a month before the end of his two-and-a-half-year sentence for a 2017 lese-majesty conviction.
Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, an activist and critic of the ruling junta, was jailed for posting a profile of King Maha Vajiralongkorn published by the BBC’s Thai language service that was deemed offensive. His release was part of a royal amnesty for thousands of prisoners to mark the king’s coronation this week.
A question left hanging by this report is what the revisionist leadership of Vietnam’s workers state thinks it is doing in handing over such asylum seekers, is only answerable with more information.
But it possibly underlines further the importance of the world getting itself back to a rational Leninist understanding of the nature of imperialism and grasping just how degenerate it is even in “normal times”, asserting its “right” to butcher and plunder its way around the planet, let alone what it will be pushed to do as it slides into collapse and failure.
As the EPSR has always made clear, there is no depravity or gruesome barbarity the ruling class will baulk at to hang on to its sweet power and privilege.
And that applies into the heart of the most “civilised” and “advanced” nations. Couldn’t happen here? Think again, it already did:
A former soldier broke down in tears at the Ballymurphy inquest after telling how some within the Parachute Regiment were out of control ‘psychopaths’ who ‘revelled’ in killing anyone in sight.
The ex-Para said anyone on the streets during the shootings in west Belfast was considered to be associated with the IRA and liable to be shot.
A new inquest is being held at Belfast Coroner’s Court examining the deaths of 10 civilians, including a Catholic priest and a mother of eight, across three days in August 1971.
The episode dubbed the ‘Ballymurphy Massacre’ began after the British Army moved into republican strongholds to arrest IRA suspects after the introduction by the Stormont administration of the controversial policy of internment without trial.
But relatives of the victims have long said none of them were armed or involved in any terrorist activity.
The witness, known as M597, told the inquest today some within the Parachute Regiment were rogue and out of control ‘psychopaths’ who had evaded prison by joining up.
The shootings happened after the Army moved into Republican areas to arrest IRA suspects, sparking rioting. Father Hugh Mullan, a Catholic priest, was among those killed.
Soldiers ‘revelled’ in what had happened and congratulated each other afterwards, the ex-serviceman added.
Breaking down in the witness box, he said: ‘Rogue soldiers were out of control, killing people on the street and knowing that they would be protected.
‘They were saying, anything out there that moves we consider them to be in the IRA or associated with the IRA, and for that alone they could be or should be shot.’
He recalled that the conversation between soldiers in Belfast was happening with three or four bodies lying nearby.
The soldier, who was a member of the military unit A company, was told that officers in charge of B company had ‘lost control’ and the Paras were of the opinion that anyone, regardless of sex or age, could or should be shot.
He said he was in the Henry Taggart Army base shortly after an incident in which four people were killed.
He alleged his fellow soldiers had no feeling or respect for the dead.
The ex-Para said: ‘It was a joke, literally it could be four anything, not four human beings, it could be four anything.’
He added: ‘They seemed to think they could do anything and get away with it.’
M597 could not recall any briefing or debriefing after the killings and claimed young soldiers were left to fight for their lives.
‘They were on a high and enjoying it, soldiers do enjoy going to battle as opposed to doing nothing.
M597 said he was investigated over a separate shooting of a petrol bomber on August 9, 1971, and he was congratulated by other servicemen who told him how lucky he was to have a ‘notch on my rifle’.
The incident was not properly investigated and he said: ‘In fact it was a pat on the back for what I had done.’
Claims that IRA gunmen were in the area at the time of the Ballymurphy Massacre have been disputed during the inquest hearings.
At the inquest last week, Gerry Adams denied he was a member of the IRA, but said he will never disassociate himself from the organisation.
The Ballymurphy Massacre refers to three days of shooting in which 10 people were killed in west Belfast in 1971.
From August 9 to August 11, the British Army’s Parachute Regiment was involved in action in which Catholic priest Father Hugh Mullan, 38, and mother-of-eight Joan Connolly, 50, were shot dead.
The eight others gunned down during the three days were: Francis Quinn, 19, Noel Phillips, 20, Daniel Teggart, 44, Joseph Murphy, 41, Edward Doherty, 28, John Laverty, 20, Joseph Corr, 43, and John James McKerr, 49.
British soldiers have long been held by the families to be responsible for the massacre, but last year former Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) members claimed the Protestant paramilitary group was involved.
And don’t think British “press freedom” is something special either:
the inquest into the deaths of 10 people shot by British paratroopers in 1971, later known as the “Ballymurphy massacre”, has been under-reported by London-based mainstream media since it began more than five months ago.
But the failure of newspapers and news broadcasters to report on what was said by two former soldiers who served in Northern Ireland at the time of the deaths, was a breathtaking omission.
First up was Henry Gow, a former paratrooper, SAS member and RUC officer who has been a barrister for 25 years. He told the coroner that one of the soldiers, having recovered part of the skull of one of the regiment’s victims, used it as an ashtray. He also said that a sweepstake was run by his unit to reward soldiers who “got a kill”.
Relatives of the victim, identified as Henry Thornton, were said to have been deeply distressed by the revelation, which is understandable. What was not understandable, however, was that every daily national newspaper ignored Gow’s astonishing evidence, although it was reported in the Belfast-based Irish News.
Then came the testimony of a former corporal in A Company of the Parachute Regiment’s 1st Battalion, who was identified only by the code M597. He contended that Gow’s claim about the skull was “a fantasy”, a debunking that did get reported in some outlets, including the Belfast Telegraph.
But his denial should be seen in the context of what he went on to say about the actions of his fellow soldiers on the streets of west Belfast over the course of three days in August 1971. Some of them, he said, were “psychopaths” or “rogues” who were “out of control” and prepared to shoot anyone.
The witness, who is now 70 years old, broke down in tears while giving what surely amounts to astonishing and damning testimony, as was reported on the BBC news website. Yet it was not considered astonishing enough to warrant large headlines in any British national newspaper.
There was more from M597 that also deserved the widest possible coverage. He argued that the military authorities were dedicated to covering up the killings. “It is like the KKK,” he said. “It’s like a brotherhood. They are sticking together.”
He referred to recent Facebook posts by former servicemen opposed to the prosecution of soldiers: “Death, dementia and delay. What they are saying is delay it … and we will all be gone.”
Contrast this failure to report with the space given to politicians, such as Tory MPs Penny Mordaunt and Johnny Mercer, and former army chiefs, such as Lord Dannatt and Sir Mike Jackson, when protesting against the historical prosecution of British servicemen. Their views were headlined while the Ballymurphy inquest evidence has been all but buried.
The Irish News has carried almost 70 pages about the inquest and its editor, Noel Doran, argues that “significant new information has emerged over the course of the inquest.” He says: “Senior officers have spoken for the first time about the incidents, and they’ve been cross-examined, too. New facts have come to light.”
Intense public interest inside Northern Ireland is natural enough. People in Belfast have sought for years to highlight the massacre of Ballymurphy, which should be seen as a prelude to Bloody Sunday five months later, when 13 innocent people were shot dead by the Parachute Regiment in Derry.
But what is at issue here, the conduct of British soldiers, merits attention across Britain. By turning a blind eye to this inquest, editors fail to provide essential information that would help to counter the propaganda of those who seek to conceal from the public the realities of the Northern Ireland conflict.
They happen to include the Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, who outraged the relatives of people who died at the hands of the British army by calling the soldiers’ actions “dignified and appropriate”. Her subsequent apologies did not assuage the anger of those who see her views as part of a pattern, a refusal to accept that crimes were committed by troops.
Doubtless, should the inquest identify any individual as being responsible for the shootings, those editors will headline the fact and attack it, just as they have in the case of Soldier F, the former paratrooper who is to be prosecuted for the murder of two men on Bloody Sunday.
In a thoughtful Guardian piece last week, a former commanding officer in the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, Colonel David Benest, made a powerful argument against the idea of there being an amnesty for veterans. Given his background, it carried weight.
However, did he overlook a point?
Although it is understandable that the bereaved should seek justice, and therefore want to see people face the court for what they did, it is unfair for the poor bloody infantry to take the rap when both their leaders, the army chiefs, and the people who sent them there in the first place, the politicians, escape scot-free.
In reading the Ballymurphy inquest testimonies, what struck me was the complete absence of sensitive, mature leadership on the ground and, at the political level, a lack of understanding about what those troops were supposed to achieve in those dark days of 1971.
The “dark days” were those of the continuing brute force British suppression of the Irish national-liberation struggle, begun in the Black-and-Tan terrorising of liberation war and continued when “Northern Ireland” was ripped out of the country by bayonet and brute force in 1921’s “Partition” with an imposed and artificial border around its occupied section of the six counties.
In the revived struggle of the IRA/Sinn Féin from the late 1960s onwards Britain used every kind of barbaric methodology to impose the colonialists’ fascist military occupation and suppress the justified armed struggle against it, including the jury-free martial law style Diplock courts, death squad murders, middle of the night terror raids on civilians, concentration camps (H-block), total censorship of the Irish nationalist cause (blocked from TV etc), arbitrary massacres (see above), universal surveillance and constant road blocks, stop-and-search and other intimidations, as well as the development of torture on an unprecedented scale, and to a new “refined” level (now adopted by the Americans for Guantánamo etc as journalist Ian Cobain spelled out in his book Cruel Britannia).
Much of which has come to light because of the defeat of the British imperialist presence and its snail-pace withdrawal towards an eventual united Ireland, as set out in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (proving impossible to get round for the Brexit posturing despite the best reactionary efforts of the empire-throwback Brexiteers and the sullen colonialist DUP remnants).
Further defeat in Iraq has also revealed the sheer fascist brutality there despite the continuing efforts of the British ruling class to cover it up, using a host of dirty tricks to paint those looking for justice as “criminals”, most of all the dogged solicitor Phil Shiner, shamefully condemned as a “money chaser”. Sections of the more liberal petty bourgeois continue to be dismayed by this whitewash for “our boys”:
In 2003, Baha Mousa was beaten to death in an illegal interrogation facility operated by the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. He was found to have 93 sites of injury on his body, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. No one has yet been held to account for his death.
At the public inquiry, Sir William Gage said his death “was avoidable and preventable and there can be no excuses. There is no place in our armed forces for the mistreatment of detainees. And there is no place for a perverted sense of loyalty that turns a blind eye to wrongdoing or erects a wall of silence to cover it up.” He added that it was “a very great stain on the reputation of the British army”.
This stain, however, could be wiped away by the new secretary of defence, Penny Mordaunt. She is proposing granting immunity from prosecution to all those members of the armed forces who “turned a blind eye to wrongdoing and erected a wall of silence to cover up the crime”, so long as a decade has elapsed. In the light of the Mousa case alone, this proposition seems wholly indefensible as no one has yet been held accountable for his death.
However, there is another part to the proposed immunity that has been carefully shielded from public view. The vast majority of allegations against the UK submitted to the international criminal court (ICC) concern interrogation. The techniques used by the British army are a matter of public record. In Iraq in 2003, interrogators first used the five banned techniques. These techniques, which had been declared inhuman and degrading by the courts in 1978, were hooding, stress positions, sleep and food deprivation and white noise.
After this was challenged, a policy of “harshing” was introduced and in 2011 publicly endorsed in the House of Commons by the then secretary of state for defence, Liam Fox. This was little better, often inflicting violence and sexual and religious denigration on the prisoner. Despite being repeatedly advised by military lawyers that the techniques were illegal, the government persisted. No one has ever been held to account for this “institutional error” and now these same people will potentially benefit from this amnesty. In other words, if you breach the Geneva conventions and stall for long enough, then the Geneva conventions no longer apply.
However, there is a potentially more serious example of these institutional “failings”. In last year’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) report, Dominic Grieve made it clear that UK forces not only colluded in the abuse of prisoners but were implicated in rendition. In the context of an international armed conflict, rendition is a grave breach of the Geneva conventions. As with “authorised” interrogations, it is no fault of the soldier on the ground if they are ordered to detain and spirit an individual out of the country. However, it is the responsibility of the chain of command, including civilians, to ensure they were acting lawfully. Now this potentially grave breach could also be time-barred.
We run a serious risk that those implicated in rendition in Iraq and Afghanistan are never held to account. It also sends the message to those considering such actions in the future that they don’t have to worry too much so long as the truth remains covered up for long enough. Obstruct the investigation, as with the ISC, and you are home and dry.
Northern Ireland remains difficult because of the amnesty for terrorists and apparent double standards. However, the recent article on “Soldier F” by Douglas Murray in the Spectator suggests that a similar situation to Mousa has presented itself once again to the courts. According to the article, although the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday offered immunity from prosecution for those who told the truth, “1 Para were intent on spurning this last effort to get to the truth of what happened”. Just like Mousa, if those under investigation keep quiet, they can run down the clock.
The limelight was always going to be on Penny Mordaunt as defence secretary. A Brexiter accused by the last prime minister of lying to win, she is now touted as Theresa May’s emotionally intelligent successor. She did nothing to dispel such speculation with a speech on Wednesday, promising to protect soldiers from “lawfare” – a pejorative term coined to describe the use of a country’s legal system to undermine its defences. Ms Mordaunt said she would seek a presumption against prosecution for offences committed in conflict more than a decade ago – covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and seek a future opt-out of the European convention on human rights.
This is part of a familiar narrative about the hounding of British soldiers by what is claimed are money-grabbing lawyers launching ill-founded cases into alleged wartime abuse. It is true that one lawyer who acted for torture victims was found guilty of misconduct and struck off as a solicitor. But the work of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team also saw the Ministry of Defence paying out millions of pounds in compensation to victims of abuse in hundreds of cases. Modern armies have to comply with international humanitarian law and are rightly held to account if they don’t. This ought not impede conflict and post-conflict operations. It should ensure they are legal. Ending violations would end the litigation. There are about 150 cases outstanding; alleged victims and perpetrators ought to see justice.
There are a number of reasons why Ms Mordaunt’s consultation might not advance very far. First, Northern Ireland is excluded from the proposals. The prosecution of a former paratrooper for the murder of two people on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972 has angered the forces whom Ms Mordaunt, herself a naval reservist, is keen to champion. Second, an opt-out could not be sought for war crimes. Unless a genuine investigation was under way into such claims, they could be taken to the international criminal court. Third, there is no statute of limitations for the murder or torture of civilians.
The (edited out) wet liberal conclusion to the second piece suggests “strengthening the international law” in a desperate effort to maintain the delusions the petty bourgeois has in “freedom and democracy” and its ostrich ignoring of the giant world crisis which is already tearing much of this apart in trade war and through the inter-imperialist antagonisms it is rapidly intensifying (see everything Donald Trump says this week).
The ruling class is deliberately covering up its war crimes because it needs to impose far worse yet (almost certainly alongside American troops); that it is obliged to back off from doing so in Ireland is because of a revolutionary national-liberation war which it could not defeat and the need clean up by drip-feeding its admissions of guilt decade by decade as a result (proving once more that the fake-“left” assertion that a settlement favouring imperialist domination was “imposed” on the nationalists, is completely topsy-turvy garbage, expressing their petty bourgeois defeatism and inability to see revolutionary struggle successes in front of their eyes).
They will doubtless completely miss the humiliation for British and American imperialism of the latest UN vote on the Chagos Islands:
The United Nations general assembly has overwhelmingly backed a motion condemning Britain’s occupation of the remote Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The 116-6 vote left the UK diplomatically isolated and was also a measure of severely diminished US clout on the world stage. Washington had campaigned vigorously at the UN and directly in talks with national capitals around the world in defence of the UK’s continued control of the archipelago, where there is a US military base at Diego Garcia.
The vote was in support of a motion setting a six-month deadline for Britain to withdraw from the Chagos island chain and for the islands to be reunified with neighbouring Mauritius. It endorsed an advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February, calling on the UK to relinquish its hold on the territory in order to complete the process of decolonisation.
The US, Hungary, Israel, Australia and the Maldives backed the UK in the vote and 56 countries abstained, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and Romania. Other European allies including Austria, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland voted for the UK to relinquish sovereignty.
The scale of the defeat for the UK and US came as a surprise even to Mauritius, in view of the concerted campaign pursued by London and Washington.
“Even we didn’t expect support for the UK to go into single figures,” Jagdish Koonjul, the Mauritian ambassador to the UN, told the Guardian. “More importantly, this has happened despite the huge, huge, pressure on national capitals and at the UN.”
British diplomats said the non-binding resolution would have little practical impact. But it has taken a political toll, draining support for the UK in the general assembly and focusing dissatisfaction over its permanent seat on the UN security council. It lost its seat on the ICJ two years ago. Mauritius now intends to challenge UK membership of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.
The UK retained possession of the Chagos archipelago after Mauritius gained independence in 1968, effectively paying Mauritius more than £4m for the islands.
The islands, known by the Foreign Office as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), include Diego Garcia, used by US bombers on long-range missions and, in the past, for rendition flights carrying terrorism suspects.
The UK and US lobbied intensely at the UN to try to avoid support for Britain dropping to single figures among the UN’s 193 member states. The Mauritian prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, was present for the debate.
Karen Pierce, the UK’s permanent representative at the UN, said the large number of abstentions reflected many countries’ unease about the precedent set by the motion.
The UK recently set aside £40m for exiled Chagossians who live mainly in the UK, Seychelles and Mauritius. Relatively little has been spent so far because programmes are being developed. Some money has been used to pay for five group heritage visits, in which 76 exiled Chagossians were allowed back to visit ancestral graves and spend up to a week on the archipelago.
The almost afterthought final paragraph indicates how deeply contemptuous colonialist attitudes permeate into even the supposed “liberals” of imperialist countries such as Britain, blind to the obvious fascist nature of what was done to this indigenous people, thrown off their lands (and seas) to make way for one of the American Empire’s biggest and most strategic airbases (used for the B52s which carpet bombed Afghanistan for example) – and still denied justice and restitution.
But the contempt for Britain’s ruling class in this vote is a highly significant indicator of the ever-growing hostility and hatred of the entire Third World for this degenerate system.
And while US technological and military might remains greater than any other, parts of the rest of the world are rapidly catching up, most notably China which for all its revisionist shortcomings remains a workers state, whose planning framework for the development of the economy (and the development and education of its huge population) has allowed it to catch up and even overtake.
The great furore about supposed “security concerns” over Huawei’s 5G telecoms equipment for example is nothing but the further humiliation and fear by American imperialism that it is being outcompeted, and in the most complex and advanced sectors at that; so it uses this hysterical nonsense to bully the world into blocking Huawei’s advance, (covering up the total hypocrisy on “free market competition” thus exposed).
This is all part of the underhand trade war moves justified by the usual bully’s shout of “you were cheating because you stole our ‘intellectual property’” when it is its own arm-twisting and cheating which has put it where it is in the first place, claiming ownership for every development and advance made on its behalf by the brains and talent and resources it has bought in or simply stolen from the rest of the planet (“patenting” DNA in jungle plants!!!).
Alongside this trade war crisis basis for American antagonism there continues the non-stop vilification of China as a workers state, part of the overall Western brainwashing ideology, trying to sustain the lie that communism is “nothing but a monstrous tyranny” etc.
But it is thin stuff relying on traducing the obviously sound and straightforward defence of the Chinese state against Islamist disruption and violent upheaval by some of the indigenous Uighur people in XinJiang autonomous region, and on a revival of the lies and distortions around the routing of the Tian an Men demonstrations of 1989 by reactionary “pro-democracy” “pro-West” students.
The first has seen a string of lurid allegations and exaggerations pumped out about the re-education camps that Beijing has set up in order to deal with the disruptive and deadly upheavals carried out by reactionary Islamist groups among the population in this region.
Like many other countries China has been trying to cope with suicide bomb attacks and other violence arising from the growing jihadism erupting in the world.
Unlike many Western states it has sound justification for suppressing this disruption which is trying to overturn and bring down a workers state; relative to that, backward Islamic jihadism is playing a reactionary role even if genuine (and there is every reason to think it could be deliberately provoked, just as it has been in Syria and Afghanistan before that.)
It is therefore a different case to the jihadism erupting against US imperialist occupation or Western dominance.
But unlike the imperialist world, China has not responded with violent retaliation clampdowns and brutal bombing invasions and slaughter; nor even an atmosphere of mindless Islamophobia.
Instead it has taken a path of disarming and reeducation. And of course this involves policing, and sometimes using forced attendance in the re-education camps.
Heavy handed or not, and even that is not demonstrated in the various reports, there is no basis for the lurid innuendo Western imperialism has promptly surrounded this with.
That is built entirely on its own record of German fascist depravity (and post-war anti-communist brutality in Malaysia, Kenya etc) which led to the equation of the term “camp” or “detention” with “concentration camp” and the further implication that this must mean “death camp”. Even suggesting mistreatment (and “torture”) is pure Goebbels misrepresentation fed by axe-grinding dissident “witnesses” (who as always in such cases have no way to verify what they claim and mostly are obviously coached, hoping for some reward in the West). Not surprisingly despite all efforts to hype up all that with “satellite pictures show” etc not a scrap of evidence can be found for any such persecution. Even the alleged numbers held of “one million” (small enough relative to China’s huge population) are both denied by Beijing and are unverified.
Meanwhile the best comment to make about the distortions pouring out yet again over perfectly valid moves the Chinese state took to suppress counter-revolution in Beijing’s main square 30 years ago around the bogus pretence of “democracy” (lauding that great symbol of American imperialism the Statue of Liberty), is to ask “is this the best you can come up with after all this time, of supposed ‘tyrannical suppression’”? In all this vast country and its nearly 1500 million people, the only criticism is to be based on the utter lies told then and desperately revived now under a specious “anniversary” banner.
And the sly lies are monstrous, every media outlet repeating the same line (intelligence agency scripted) about “several hundred, possibly a thousand killed” or, upping the ante on the Today programme, “possibly three thousand”.
But this sly “possibly” is consciously and deliberately both a lie in itself and a cover-up for the exposure of the CIA lies at the time that “possibly 10,000 were killed in Tian an Men” - which as the EPSR demonstrated then (see Book 16 on China- TiananMen - defeat for Western “democracy”) was a logistic and physical impossibility, and clearly untrue anyway since there was not a single picture, film or other evidence of any such thing (nor infamous “satellite” pictures) even though the entire world’s media was present and had been for weeks.
And the very right wing Spectator eye-witness account (quoted again in EPSR 894 11-03-97) shows how the square was evacuated calmly without a single casualty once the army moved into end the provocation.
There was no massacre, and such deaths as there were, something under 400, occurred around the square in violence provoked deliberately by the counter-revolutionaries against the Chinese state forces.
And the “Tank Man”, just used as the subject of a ludicrously-hyped four part and obviously expensive TV “mystery story” (ie made up) about “finding him” just to repeat all the bullshit once more as if true, and glowingly 5-star reviewed by the petty bourgeois Guardian despite being utterly tedious, is notable for the fact that he was not squashed but walked away. Imagine standing in front of one of Pinochet’s tanks...or General Sisi’s...or Suharto’s....
This anti-communism is desperate stuff. Build Leninism
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