Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The two-faced sponsors of terrorism

IF ANYONE still had any doubt about the true nature of the Syrian rebels, last week’s killings in Paris should have finally opened their eyes. The Charlie Hebdo terror attack and the assault on a Jewish supermarket showed what Syria is up against today.
The gunmen who killed 14 civilians and three police officers in the name of the “Islamic State” are no different to those who are spreading death and destruction across Syria in an attempt to overthrow the Popular Front government of Bashar al Assad in Damascus. In fact they are clearly linked.
Initial French reports suggested that the terrorists were petty Muslim criminals radicalised in prison who were acting on their own. But one of the gunmen, at least, recorded a seven- minute-long “martyrdom” video in front of the “Islamic State” banner in which he discussed support for the reactionary terrorist movement that has seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria.
The “Islamic State” is now in conflict with the imperialists. When the IS militia overran large tracts of Iraq last year it grew too big for its boots. The captured oil wells meant that the Islamic State no longer needed direct western support to pursue its reactionary agenda and when the imperialists attempted to drive their militia out of the oil fields they responded with savage reprisals against western hostages. This wasn’t always the case.
When the imperialists and their feudal Arab allies launched the uprising in Syria in 2011 the “Islamic State in Syria,” as it was known, was supported by the Nato powers. Arms and cash were conveyed across Turkey to sustain the ISIS militia as well as those of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaida in Syria to bring down the Assad government, which has long been an obstacle to total imperialist domination of the Middle East.
Thousands of Muslims were recruited in Europe to join in the anti-Assad crusade with the covert assistance of imperialist intelligence agencies. Over 1,000 French Muslim “volunteers” are believed to have gone to Syria. The Charlie Hebdo terrorists may have been among them. Certainly the ease with which the wife of one of the slain gunmen was able to flee the country suggests some sort of cover-up is going on.
But we may never know the full truth. The investigating French police chief committed suicide within hours after being asked to file a report on the Charlie Hebdo attack and all the Paris gunmen were conveniently killed in the subsequent shoot-outs with the French police.
More than 40 world leaders joined millions of Parisians on Sunday to rally in support of the victims of the terror attacks. Most went to express their grief at the senseless slaughter. But the great and the good from the imperialist camp had another agenda — to fix the public focus on the supposed culture clash between Islam and so-called “western” values and divert any attention from their own role in fomenting the violence in Syria.
They bleat on about the freedom of speech which is enjoyed in differing degrees in the European Union and the United States but say nothing about Britain’s crippling libel laws, which protect the rich and powerful and helped the late Jimmy Saville cover up his sordid perversions. At the same time they are preparing the ground for more restrictions on Internet privacy and the total elimination of encrypted communications.
They are once again talking about a “war on terror” which in reality ends up as a war against the Arabs, as it did in Iraq, Libya and Syria. But none of them say anything about ending imperialism’s support for Syrian rebels and “regime change” in Damascus.
If the imperialists really want to stop terror they should stop supporting the Syrian rebels and back Russian mediation efforts to bring an end to the conflict. If they really want to prevent another Charlie Hebdo they should co-operate with Syrian and Iraqi intelligence to break the terror finance and recruitment networks across the western world. But all they want is the Arabs’ oil. They can’t and they won’t do it.

New Worker editorial 
16th January 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: Revolutionary Democracy

Revolutionary Democracy Vol. XX, No. 1, April, 2014

 by Theo Russell

The latest issue of the Delhi-based Marxist-Leninist journal Revolutionary Democracy is packed with new and fascinating articles from around the world, of which we only have space to delve into a selected few.
There have been many recent revelations about US intelligence, but an interview with former senior CIA officer Robert Baer by Yugoslav journalist Milos Cupurdija is particularly revealing.
Baer details how, in the early 1990s, US agents were tasked with whipping up fears in each community of attacks by extremists from other communities, such as the fictitious ‘Serbian Supreme’ group, supposedly poised to attack key buildings in Sarajevo.
The CIA targeted the news media, and Baer explains: “Of course the news readers did not know anything as they received their instructions from their bosses, who received instructions from his boss, who was our (CIA) man”.
He says the Srebrenica massacre was “an exaggerated story” and says “the numbers of people killed there were all part of the political marketing”, adding he was told well in advance that “there would at some point be a big con in Bosnia” which “would be known around the world.”
The CIA actively assisted the new Bosnian army’s attacks on civilians in Srebrenica, leading Serb forces to retaliate “as they would have been incited and paid to do so also”.
His conclusions are of wide significance: “Simply, they made slaves of you, your people are working for free and the products are going to Germany and America, they earn! In the end you have to pay to import what you have made yourselves and since you have no money you must take out loans. It’s the story with the whole of the Balkans!
Ironically, another article, by Red Action (Croatia), shows how the violent unrest in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – but in the Republika Srpska – last February was followed by attempts to whip up communal tensions.
Bosnia has much higher rates of youth unemployment than Greece or Spain, and among the protestors’ demands were calls for privatisations to be reversed. But the Croatian media and politicians claimed the protests were aimed against Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Serb media and politicians claimed they were the “beginning of a Muslim war against Serbs”.
In contrast to the increasingly violent Ukraine protests, Brussels not only condemned the protesters, but the EU’s Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko threatened EU military intervention, while other EU and US officials called for faster “NATO integration” in Bosnia to “ensure stability”.
In a debate on the economic relations of People’s China since 1947, Rev Dem editor Vijay Singh argues that the establishment of a people’s democracy 1949 based on an alliance with the middle bourgeoisie, advocated by Stalin, was never followed by the removal of the national bourgeoisie from the National People’s Congress, and today “the state structure remains frozen at the level of the democratic revolution”.
In 1953 he says, the rich peasantry were brought into the collective farms, now called ‘people’s communes’, and after 1958 the Machine Tractor Stations were dissolved.
Singh concludes that “the means of production were never socialised in large sections of the economy of the PRC, so they never were able to go beyond a democratic economy to a socialist economy”.
A recent speech by Mohammad Shafi Khan, secretary general of the Trade Union Centre of Jammu and Kashmir, exposes India’s hypocrisy on the self-determination of Kashmir.
Khan recounts that after Kashmiri patriots decided to adopt non-violent tactics,  “during the mass uprising of 2008 more than 50 people and during the 2010 people’s revolution more than 120 people were killed during peaceful and democratic demonstrations,” and thousands more were injured imprisoned and tortured.
In sharp contrast to much smaller events in China’s Xinjiang province, the Western media ¬– which routinely describes India “the world’s largest democracy” – largely ignored these events.
In their latest talks, Khan says, “India and Pakistan are trying to exclude the Kashmiri leadership from the decision-making process.” He calls on India to hold a referendum “to identify the genuine leadership in Kashmir for a dialogue”.
An interview with Hindu fundamentalist Swami Aseemanand, involved in bomb attacks on a Pakistan-India train in 2007 killing 68 people, anti-Christian riots, the destruction of dozens of churches, and raping of nuns, reveals the new Indian premier Narendra Modi’s close ties to the paramilitary fascist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In his campaign to be the right wing Hindu BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Modi defeated Lal Kishan Advani by backing Aseemanand, gaining the crucial backing of the RSS, the RSS forerunner and core of the BJP.
In the 1930s the RSS had relations with Mussolini and Hitler and regarded Hitler as “the saviour of Germany”, and Hitler is still widely admired in its ranks.
The article “Corruption Plagues the CPI(M), Too”, says that “the fact that corruption has become endemic within the CPI(M), especially in states where it has been in power, has been admitted in successive party documents on ‘rectification’”. 
But, while many  senior leaders have been expelled or side-lined for exposing dishonesty, “there is hardly any instance of the CPI(M) initiating disciplinary action against any senior leader on corruption charges, at least in recent decades”.
There are many more articles on Africa, Latin America, Ukraine, Soviet and communist history. We highly recommend this issue of Rev Dem to any progressive observer of current events.

Our supply of the April 2014 edition has sold out but most of the articles can be read online on the Revolutionary Democracy website.