Israel/USA: Hands off Palestine and Syria!

Israel/USA: Hands Off Palestine and Syria!

10-12-2017 – The nightmare scenario has come true. Last Wednesday, US President Donald Trump fulfilled one of his campaign promises to recognise Jerusalem as the political capital of Israel, and to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Outrage in response shot around the world, and there was even opposition from within Trump’s own cabinet. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis reportedly opposed the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem, mainly out of concern for the safety of US diplomatic staff.[1] It would be a mistake, however, to view this move as some new outrage that Trump alone was determined to push. In June this year, the US Senate voted 90 to zero passing a resolution affirming that Jerusalem remains the “undivided” capital of Israel.[2] There was not one vote against from the Democrats or Republicans, although there were ten abstentions.

The response from Palestinians has been swift and decisive. Demonstrations have hit the streets, after the ultimate outrage from the Trump administration, on top of 69 years of Israeli military occupation, funded, armed and backed by the US Empire. Reportedly there have already been three Palestinians killed in by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), and 750 injured. The IDF has apparently bombed several sites throughout Gaza, and has targeted towns such as East Jabaliya and Khan Yunis.[3] Huge demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine have taken place in European cities such as Paris. Most notably, tens of thousands of Yemenis, even under the terrible conditions of a Saudi-led war against them, have taken to the streets of Sanaa in solidarity with Palestine.

Selective “gates of Hell”

Many in the East and West have commented that Trump’s attempt to move the US embassy to Jerusalem will open the “gates of Hell”. For much of the Palestinian solidarity movement in the West, however, they are quite selective as far as these scenarios play out. For the last six years, the “gates of Hell” have been a reality in neighbouring Syria, but most Western supporters of Palestine have been as quiet as a church mouse on that issue. This is despite the fact that if the US government, in concert with the Zionist Israeli state, had been able to overthrow and destroy the Syrian Arab Republic through its ISIS proxies, Palestine’s “gates of Hell” would have been opened years ago. It is doubtful that Palestine could survive in the Middle East without Syria and its allies Iran and Hezbollah – which, along with Russia, played a key role in defeating the US/UK and Israeli backed genocidal mercenaries they sent into Syria.

This Palestinian solidarity movement is now moving into gear, pretending as if the US/Israeli proxy war did not happen. In the case of Israel, it was a direct war on Syria. The IDF military has repeatedly bombed Syria during the last six years, of which the Western Palestinian solidarity movement, especially in Australia, said not one word. Even Al Jazeera, the news outlet which played an abysmal role during the US/Israeli war for regime change on Syria, sometimes reports on the Israeli attacks on Syria.[4] In September, October and November of this year, the Israeli military has struck targets within Syria. It aims to take out Hezbollah and especially Iranian military activity. Iran was specifically invited by the Syrian government, as was Russia, to assist in the defence against the US armed mercenaries, which went under many names – Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, ISIS and others. Needless to say, the Zionist Israeli state has no legal authority to decide who the Syrian government can invite into Syria – but then it attempts to bomb them anyway. This is a war crime – but the Western Palestinian solidarity movement only moves when Israel bombs Palestine, but not Syria.

To be sure, some Palestinian solidarity activists are well aware of the role of the Israeli state in the war on Syria. It was not as if it was hidden. This role extended to Israel not only regularly bombing Syria – but expressly working with the major barbarian terrorist groups. The reports of the Israeli state treating wounded Al Qaeda fighters at no cost in their hospitals are legion. But it goes much further – there is evidence that the Israeli state provided logistical and financial aid to all Al Qaeda allied mercenaries who then committed unspeakable war crimes against innocent Syrians.[5] Pioneering whistle-blower Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, posted an interview with former Mossad (Israeli secret service) chief Efraim Halevy, and reported that the Israeli government was “quite openly backing Al Qaeda in Syria.”[6]

Australian rulers join imperialist slaughter

Canberra, as usual, backed the Israeli/US war on Syria, even sending troops and jet fighters to Iraq and Syria. Again large parts of the Palestinian solidarity movement on these shores was silent, either out of confusion or out of deference to those left parties, which had not only abandoned their earlier vocal support for Julian Assange and Wikileaks,[7] but had swung behind arguably the dirtiest imperialist war of regime change in world history. These Australian left parties were even silent when the Australian government admitted bombing Syria on September 16, 2016,[8] killing Syrian soldiers. These actions, or inactions, earned them the ignominious nickname of “the imperial left”. These parties – and unfortunately large parts of the Palestinian solidarity movement – ignored the fact that while the treacherous Hamas leadership openly backed Israeli/US orchestrated regime change in Syria, several other Palestinian armed groups joined the operations to defend Syria. The most notable was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), but there were other Palestinian militias who fought with the Syrian pro-government forces. This includes Liwa Al-Quds, Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini, and Quwat al-Jalil.[9] As far as we are being told, Australian troops are still in Iraq and Syria, and the Australian government has not issued any statement against the Trump Administration’s outrageous provocations on Jerusalem. Working people here can help undermine the Australian government’s subordination to Israeli/US designs by demanding: Australian Troops: Out of the Middle East!

Israel/US/ISIS defeated in Syria

It does not seem a coincidence that the latest US imperialist provocation on Jerusalem comes at almost exactly the same moment that the final defeat of Israeli/US proxies ISIS has been announced. On December 9, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi declared final victory over ISIS, after three years of operations.[10] Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Hmeimim near Latakia in Syria, effectively announcing that the task to retain Syria as a unitary sovereign state was complete. He also warned that should the terrorists (ISIS) again raise their heads, they will again face further strikes, such that they “haven’t seen so far”.[11] In short, Israel and the US, along with Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and others (Turkey initially, but it switched sides) suffered a humiliating defeat in Syria. Imperialism in Syria was defeated by the heroic Syrian defence, with the assistance of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. While some US troops and other terrorists remain in Syria, overall its defeat in Syria is a victory for the workers of the world, and arguably the first defeat of US imperialism since the Vietnam War.

Indignant, the US Empire has lashed out in many directions, including against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or “North Korea”), threatening the Asian region and the entire world with nuclear war. Even despite the very real possibility of total annihilation, the DPRK’s heroic defiance of the US has matched that of its ally Syria. The DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement condemning the Trump Administration’s declarations on Jerusalem, and pledged support and solidarity with “the Palestinians and other Arab peoples in their just cause to regain their legitimate rights”.[12] The imperial left, which is hostile to the DPRK as well as towards Syria, again misreads anti-imperialist direction.

Which way to Palestinian liberation?

While we can support the actions of the governments of Syria, Iran, Russia and also Hezbollah in defeating US imperialism in Syria, thereby protecting Palestine, we also recognise that only one form of anti-imperialism has a chance of forever removing the mortal danger. That is the anti-imperialism of a combined working class movement to overthrow capitalism in the Middle East, which is underpinned by US led imperialism. This requires the building of genuine Marxist vanguard parties in the Middle East, and internationally, as well as on Australian shores. As far away as this perspective currently seems, there is little other option. In fact, the current impasse highlights the express limits of all the political variants of the Palestinian liberation movement which have thus far been attempted.

The recent actions of the Trump Administration on Jerusalem show how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement misfires. While BDS appeals to imperialist governments (sanctions) to bring the Israeli state to heel, it is plain to see that it is imperialism which maintains the Zionist Israeli state, and that therefore imperialist governments (whether US/AUST/UK/FRA etc.) cannot be allies in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. Nor can, or should, the profit-gouging corporations (divestment) be allies, which act as an arm of the imperialist states. And asking workers with a trifling amount of disposable income (boycott) due to capitalist recession to buy their way to geo-political strength is like wishing for magic.

The traitorous actions of Hamas in effectively siding with Israel and the US against Syria directly exposes them and highlights how Islamist leadership ultimately is neither anti-imperialist nor anti-capitalist. Nor is the dead end of Palestinian nationalism, whether in the form of the hopelessly corrupted Mahmoud Abbas, the former PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) negotiator Saeb Erekat, or much of the Western Palestinian solidarity movement, largely headed by parts of the imperial left. The reason is that all of these political forces, through various means, act and aim for a capitalist Palestine, which they call a “free” or “independent” Palestine. But even if this was possible, this would not address the poverty, unemployment and economic malaise which blight both Palestine and Israel. Both the “two-state” and the “one-state” options do not propose to change the existing mode of production, leaving Palestinian solidarity activists, in an act of cognitive dissonance, to campaign for capitalism in the Middle East.

The fact is that capitalism in the Middle East cannot be overthrown without the joint efforts of both Arab and Hebrew workers in Palestine and Israel. This can only be carried out through a joint struggle for socialist revolution, culminating in a bi-national Arab-Hebrew workers state (i.e. NOT a capitalist state). Palestinian workers cannot deal with their sell-out bourgeoisie without the aid of the millions strong Israeli proletariat, and the Israeli working class cannot rid itself of the deeply ingrained Zionist ideology without linking with Palestinian workers in the same struggle. Here in Australia, workers can aid this struggle by working directly to undermine the pro-Zionist ruling class, not least by demanding the ripping up of the Australia-US (war) alliance. ISRAEL/USA/AUST: HANDS OFF PALESTINE AND SYRIA!
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National flags of Palestine and Syria. Some Palestinian militia groups fought with Syria against Israeli/US backed regime change.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

E:workersleague@redfireonline.com

www.redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012
[1] http://thehill.com/policy/defense/363616-mattis-tillerson-warned-trump-of-security-concerns-in-israel-embassy-move (10-12-17)

[2] https://www.timesofisrael.com/senate-unanimously-passes-bill-marking-50-years-since-jerusalem-reunification/ (10-12-17)

[3] http://www.theleadersnews.com/israel-bombs-gaza-750-palestinians-injured-3-dead/ (11-12-17)

[4] http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/10/israel-attacking-syria-171023081211645.html (11-12-17)

[5] https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/israeli-support-al-qaeda-allied-forces-syria (13-12-17)

[6] https://twitter.com/julianassange/status/857891820801581060?lang=en (13-12-17)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2017/12/03/free-julian-assange-no-to-the-new-mccarthyism/ (13-12-17)

[8] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-18/australian-jets-involved-in-botched-air-strike-on-syrian-army/7855610 (13-12-17)

[9] http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/quwat-al-jalil-a-pro-assad-palestinian-syrian-militia/ (13-12-17)

[10] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-islamicstate/iraq-declares-final-victory-over-islamic-state-idUSKBN1E30B9 (13-12-17)

[11] http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16872/putin-declares-victory-during-sudden-syria-visit-assembles-grand-regional-strategy (13-12-17)

[12] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/north-korea-condemns-dotard-trump-over-jerusalem/articleshow/61997477.cms (13-12-17)

Let the Russians Play! No to the New Cold War

LET THE RUSSIANS PLAY! NO TO THE NEW COLD WAR

09-12-17 – As if the McCarthyist hysteria could not possibly get any more deceitful, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently issued a statement banning Russia from participation at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea (“Republic of Korea” or ROK). Claiming that Russia systematically manipulated anti-doping rules during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014 and since, the IOC Executive Board effectively banned the Russian uniform, the Russian flag and the Russian anthem from the 2018 games. Amongst other measures seemingly out of the script of a 1960s era James Bond film, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) was suspended from the IOC, ROC President Alexander Zhukov was suspended as a member of the IOC, and the Russian Minister of Sport (Vitaly Mutko) and his deputy (Yuri Nagornykh) were banned from any participation in all future Olympic Games.[1]

On hearing this, one might think that the IOC must have a mountain of substantial evidence to take such vast and sweeping steps. But, no, the IOC has based its outrageous actions on the Schmid Report – which is based on the “testimony” of a Russian who defected to the US in 2015, and is now under a US witness protection program. Grigory Rodchenkov, whose defection previously led to the McLaren Report which then led to the partial ban of Russia from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the total ban of Russia from the Paralympics, doesn’t deny that he has been involved in serious wrongdoing. Russia’s own Investigative Committee into the matter declared that it had enough evidence to show that Rodchenkov had destroyed the doping tests of Russian athletes required by world anti-doping agencies, as well as the letters asking as to their whereabouts.[2] This was done for his own financial gain – and reports have it that he now has a fancy apartment and a brand new ‘Infinity’ car in the US provided for him.

That is, the Russian government has admitted that there were serious and illegal moves on the part of Rodchenkov and a group of his contacts while they operated in sports labs in Russia. They admit this was a crime, and have moved to prosecute Rodchenkov, and have called for his extradition from the US to do so. What the Russian government has expressly denied, however, are the repeated claims by the IOC and others within the US government that Rodchenkov’s malfeasance was in any way “state sponsored” or directed from the Russian government, and certainly not ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, they have stated that the Schmid Report concurs with their own findings – guilt on the part of Rodchenkov, but no evidence at all of the deception of the world anti-doping bodies by the Russian Ministry of Sports or the Russian government.[3] The Russian government doesn’t deny that doping is a problem in elite sports in every country, including their own. But the relentless US claims of state-sponsored sports doping in Russia is nothing more than a tissue of lies.

The corruption of Olympic legitimacy

Any remnants of impartiality, fairness and sportsmanlike conduct from the bodies running the Olympics now lie in shreds, if indeed they existed in the first place. The Olympic Committees are being used as tools in the New Cold War against Russia, succumbing to political pressure originating from Washington – or perhaps being handsomely paid to act as mouthpieces. The IOC doesn’t hide that it is sponsored by some of the largest capitalist corporations in the world, almost all of them headquartered in the West, or in countries allied to the US, such as Japan and South Korea. General Electric, Toyota, Samsung, Proctor & Gamble, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Intel, and Visa are amongst them.[4] The Chinese based Alibaba is also there, which may be one reason why China has not been targeted in the Olympic aspect of the New Cold War.

The Olympics are supposed to be about sport. In a class divided society, and in a world where the US Empire is struggling to maintain its unipolar world, we would be naïve to believe that politics does not play a role. But the current level of the manipulation of the Olympic movement to serve the deadly political interests of US imperialism beggars belief. In the same way in which there is zero evidence to back the absurd claim that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections, there is zero evidence to back the lurid claim that there is a “state-sponsored” program of sports doping in Russia. It is precisely on zero evidence, though, that McCarthyism, old or new, functions. All that is needed is attempted smear and baseless allegations, repeated many times by Western governments and the corporate media arms which are effectively capitalist state media. As the saying goes, a lie repeated a thousand times eventually becomes accepted as truth. Yet working people do not always buy the snake oil.

The thoroughly corrupted officials of the Olympic movement have also maintained their ban on the Russian Paralympic Team, which was banned from participation in the Rio Paralympics. This move is beneath contempt. Disabled people face a lifetime of difficulty and hardship, enduring practical and social isolation, a lack of acceptance, and physical travails that few able-bodied people have to even contemplate, let alone deal with on a daily basis. All measures to include the physically and mentally disabled to take part in society at a level which they are able should be encouraged, not discouraged. Paralympic sport is one activity that can give some disabled people some meaning, and even some recognition, in their lives. The fact that Washington does not blink twice in causing immense hardship to the disabled people of Russia in order to maintain their rotting carcass of world “leadership” speaks volumes about who they are. It also exposes Russophobia as something particularly loathsome.

Payback for defeat in Syria

As transparently false as the claims of state backed Russian sport doping are, there are very real political reasons why this nonsensical game is wheeled out time and again. Principally, the main reason is that Russia upheld what was left of international law and intervened in Syria – at the invitation of the Syrian government – to take on and militarily defeat the regime change war waged by the US government. The US was backed in this atrocious proxy war by the governments of the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, Australia, Canada, Denmark and others. Of course, this was all done in the dirtiest way possible – the direct funding and arming of genocidal mercenary terrorists flown or trucked into the Syrian Arab Republic. These barbarians, under a myriad of names – ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, the “Free Syrian Army”, the “Syrian Democratic Forces” – unleashed the most merciless horror in history upon the people of Syria, especially those who were seen to be supporting their own secular government, led by President Bashar Al-Assad. This war caused the deaths of up to 400 000 people, the overwhelmingly majority of whom where Syrian civilians or Syrian soldiers defending their country. It was arguably accompanied by the largest compendium of lies and media distortions of the truth of any war previously seen.

Currently, this war is in some parts still live. Israeli Defence Force jets still sporadically bomb parts of Syria.[5] Largely, however, the US war for regime change in Syria was defeated, and Russia’s contribution, beginning on September 30, 2015, was decisive. Russian air power, via the superbly engineered SU-24 and SU-25 jet fighters, dealt blow after blow against the Western armed ISIS forces. With the assistance of Iran – who were also invited by the Syrian government – and the fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, Washington’s regime change manoeuvres came to zilch. The Russian government expertly checkmated the US deep state by inviting the US government to take part in the war against ISIS. The US was paralysed, as it would lose too much political face by coming to the aid of ISIS – which was a CIA operation to start with. Neither did the US want Russia to gain any legitimacy by joining with them to take out their own intelligence assets. Politically exposed, the US stood down, gradually withdrawing logistical support for the ISIS Frankenstein.

Crimea goes home

The defeat of the US in Syria was arguably its first defeat in a major imperialist war since Vietnam. This burns the US deep state, and their operatives in the Democrats and the Republicans, more deeply than anything else. No one is supposed to be able to stand up to the US, let alone defeat their war plans. But it was not only the people of Syria, and Iran, and Russia, and Hezbollah that dared to defy the US. The population of Crimea did also, in response to the US led NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) installed fascist coup in Kiev in February 2014. The illegal coup, backed by fascists on the ground who literally hailed their predecessors who worked with the Nazis against the Soviet Union during World War II, presented Ukrainians with an ultimatum – succumb to NATO backed fascism, or get out.

Crimea had been “gifted” to Ukraine by then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.[6] Yet in reality, the overwhelming majority of Crimeans are ethnically Russian, and have been for centuries. When in fact Ukraine abolished the constitution of Crimea and sent in troops in 1995, no one in the West uttered a sound.[7] Now the Western media repeats over and over that Russia “annexed” Crimea. Actually, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to re-join Russia, in March 2014, rather than live under NATO armed fascism from Kiev. How overwhelming? By a vote of at least 96%![8] It doesn’t get any more convincing than that. Despite this, the US and Western governments repeat endlessly that Russia “annexed” Crimea. In this instance, it was not even the actions of the Russian government which stymied regime change in Ukraine. Even voting in favour of re-joining Russia, in an area considered for centuries to be Russian anyway, and in order to avoid Nazi-led fascism – is enough for the US state to claim “Russian aggression”. The mind boggles.

Just who is meddling in whose elections?

The US orchestrated banning of Russia, via the IOC, is also calculated to cause maximum damage to the prestige of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will be running as a candidate in the Russian elections of 2018. The US deep state also hopes that any showcasing that Russia will be able to do via the hosting of the 2018 (soccer) World Cup will likewise be undermined. These insidious moves expose once again the laughable claim of Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Elections – the reality is entirely the other way around. Washington’s candidate in the Russian elections – Alexei Navalny – has been the recipient of funding from the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED)[9], the US deep state body charged with subverting and overthrowing governments, and/or countries, which are independent of the US and their allies. Navalny has been found guilty of embezzlement, and is currently banned from running in the Russian elections next year, due to this criminal conviction. Cue Washington’s nefarious manipulating of the International Olympic Committee.

There is a crying need for an anti-imperialist anti-war movement, and not just because the US is hell bent on bringing Russia to heel. Working people will not be able to take the first step in defending their deteriorating living and working conditions unless they start to break from the foreign policy of Washington, backed as it is by Canberra. Unfortunately, most Australian left parties either agree with the targeting of Russia, or are silent in the face of anti-Russian hysteria. As we have mentioned previously, today’s Russophobia contains elements of both racism and anti-communism despite the overthrow of socialism in the former Soviet Union more than 25 years ago. At the very least, workers should demand that all bans on Russian participation in the Olympics be lifted, as well as all Western trade sanctions.

The US has Russia in its gunsights, and any conflict with Russia will mean the catastrophe of nuclear war. Working people need to be clear that in this eventuality, the US ruling class, and not Russia, will be at fault. While the Russian government defends a form of capitalism within its own borders, which will eventually need to be overthrown by an insurgent working class, workers internationally must avoid at all costs inadvertently conspiring with the US to take down Russia, via US backed NGOs or indeed Alexei Navalny. In the meantime, Russia must be defended against NATO and US led brinkmanship, which is inching the world closer and closer to World War III. A desperately needed campaign to normalise relations with Russia can begin by demanding:  LET THE RUSSIANS PLAY!
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WORKERS  LEAGUE

 

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

www.redfireonline.com

PO  Box   66    NUNDAH  QLD  4012
[1] https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-suspends-russian-noc-and-creates-a-path-for-clean-individual-athletes-to-compete-in-pyeongchang-2018-under-the-olympic-flag (09-12-17)

[2] http://russia-insider.com/en/ill-destroy-all-russian-olympic-sports-next-5-years-shocking-statements-runaway-wada-informant (09-12-17)

[3] http://tass.com/sport/979259 (09-12-17)

[4] https://www.olympic.org/sponsors (09-12-17)

[5] https://www.timesofisrael.com/lebanese-media-israel-bombed-hezbollah-weapons-depot-in-syria/ (09-12-17)

[6] https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/why-did-russia-give-away-crimea-sixty-years-ago (09-12-17)

[7] https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/28/so-who-annexed-crimea-peninsular-then.html (09-12-17)

[8] http://www.fort-russ.com/2015/02/crimea-was-it-seized-by-russia-or-did.html (09-12-17)

[9] https://www.sott.net/article/290848-Meet-Alexei-Navalny-The-US-State-Departments-inside-man-for-regime-change-in-Russia (09-12-17)

The Russian Winter Olympic team has been banned from the 2018 games, a political smear job orchestrated by Washington. Image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk

No War on DPR Korea! Lift the Sanctions

NO WAR ON DPR KOREA!

LIFT THE SANCTIONS!

STATEMENT OF THE WORKERS LEAGUE

05-12-2017 – As we go to press, the US and its puppet South Korean navy are completing yet more threatening war manoeuvres right on the border with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – or “North Korea”). This comes on top of the most extensive US, Japanese and Republic of Korea (ROK or “South Korea”) military war games ever this year, which are carried out annually. These “exercises” are little more than a dress rehearsal for an invasion and overthrow of the DPRK – something which is barely even concealed. There is nothing “routine” about them – unless threatening a sovereign nation with annihilation can be called “routine”.

Vanishing standard of living linked to war

The world teeters on the brink of a thermonuclear war. One side, and one side only, is responsible for this indescribable calamity – the US Empire, loyally backed by servile politicians in Canberra. The ruling class of the United States is presiding over a decline preceding a collapse similar to that of the Roman Empire of ancient times. Its capitalist for-profit economy is in many areas barely functioning, and US working people are paying a heavy price. Australian workers are also suffering, as the falling rate of profit for big capital results in bare-faced assaults such as stagnant wages, high unemployment, a skyrocketing cost of living and homelessness at chronic levels. Minimal working conditions, such as the right to be paid for working on a weekend, are being abolished. Basic liberal democratic rights and civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, and the right to form an organisation, are being torn to shreds. Many young people – the “millennials” – face a future of insecurity, joblessness and poverty.

Make no mistake, all of these privations and more are directly linked to the threat of nuclear war, which is twisted in the corporate media to be because of a “threat” from the DPRK. In reality, the DPRK has done, and is doing, everything which is humanly possible to avoid a war with the United States. For over six decades, all the DPRK has ever stated is that if it is attacked, it will respond – which is the inalienable right of every human being, let alone every sovereign nation on planet earth. The DPRK has repeatedly offered to suspend the testing of nuclear weapons in exchange for an end to the yearly military “exercises” – which practice invasion – on its border. This has been ignored. The DPRK has offered to abolish its nuclear weapons program altogether, if the US will withdraw all of its nuclear weapons and its 30 odd thousand permanently stationed troops from South Korea. This has been ignored. Recently in the United Nations, the DPRK was one of the first countries to vote in favour of a resolution banning the development, testing and use of nuclear weapons. This too, has been ignored.

The unavoidable political reality is that it is the ultra-hostile position of the US government over many years which has forced the DPRK to develop and produce nuclear weapons. And as its vote in the United Nations in favour of banning the production and use of nuclear weapons shows, the DPRK would prefer, a thousand times over, not to have to divert what relatively scarce resources that are available to them to a military defence program. The economy of the DPRK may be tilted heavily towards military spending, but it is the height of hypocrisy for the strongest imperialist power in world history to repeatedly threaten the DPRK with elimination – and at the same time condemn it for “neglecting its own people”. The resources that the DPRK has assigned to military defence, which has only ever produced a deterrent against a military attack, and nothing more, are resources which have, so far, ensured the survival of the DPRK. It hardly needs to be said that the recent US led wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are proof positive that the DPRK’s decisions on its military spending have been eminently correct.

Lift the Sanctions!

The US in recent years has specialised in waging wars of regime change against countries which provide free health care and education to its citizens. Libya and Syria, pre-US invasion, willingly spent some of its resources in this way, and so does the DPRK. In fact the DPRK goes much further, to provide free housing, universal employment, and constitutionally guaranteed holiday leave from work, amongst other things, to all of its 25 million civilians. While certain distortions exist in the DPRK – who amongst us can claim that any socio-economic system is perfect? The fact is that the form of socialism which survives in the DPRK co-habits with the enormous strength and prosperity of next-door neighbour China, which also operates a socialist economy, albeit with differing restrictions. The unending US led sanctions on the DPRK, dramatically escalated this year, are ultimately aimed at overturning the socialism which has been achieved in the DPRK and China. In addition, the threatened war on the DPRK by the US will not just be against the DPRK but against China, and also Russia. Russia, while not socialist, has also stood in the way of total US planetary domination, e.g. Syria.

The world’s working people must demand an immediate lifting of all sanctions and trade blockades on the DPRK, the immediate cessation of all US led military exercises near the DPRK (including South Korean, Japanese and Australian participation) and the removal of all US military hardware, nuclear weapons and personnel from South Korea. We must also demand the closure of the US spy bases in Australia, including Pine Gap and Nurrungar, and the removal of US troops from Darwin. Working people cannot resist the attacks on their own jobs and living conditions without also resisting their international extension – the threat of nuclear war.   HANDS OFF THE DPRK!

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

P.O.  Box   66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

www.redfireonline.com

DPRK Leader Kim Jong-Un stands next to Hwasong-15, the largest missile yet produced by the DPRK. Image from the South China Morning Post.

Free Julian Assange! No to the New McCarthyism

Free Julian Assange! No to the New McCarthyism

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the balcony of the Ecudorian Embassy in 2012. Image from http://www.newsweek.com

29-11-2017 – If you cast your mind back a few short seven years, Wikileaks became a virtual household name by releasing a tranche of 250 000 odd classified State Department cables. Soon after, Wikileaks released the infamous “Collateral Murder” video, apparently supplied by US soldier Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, which showed the US military in 2007 blowing away Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, became a whistleblowing hero, along with Chelsea Manning. Manning was imprisoned and no doubt tortured for seven years. Julian Assange now remains held inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The British police maintain they will arrest Assange if he steps outside, and, if so, many fear the UK government would deliver Assange to the US government.

At the time, Wikileaks was a revelation in journalism, although some dispute whether the publishing of documents is actually a form of journalism. Nevertheless, the organisation displayed a “drop box” on its website, where any employee or someone working for a wealthy government or corporation could anonymously deposit cables, emails or other documentation which they believed could expose a fundamental social injustice. Wikileaks would then release the documentation, and the “leaker” would be protected. The Wikileaks organisation would then cop the barrage from what is now called the deep state. Julian Assange willingly put himself on the line, an act of unheralded bravery.

Then, all manner of left parties universally hailed Wikileaks and Julian Assange as heroes of a new age, as trailblazers whose exposure of the global capitalist elite powers could open a path to a breakthrough the socialist left had been seeking for decades. All socialists rallied behind Julian Assange, an Australian who grew up in Queensland, and praised his name to the heavens. The Socialist Alliance was the most vocal in the defence campaign, rightly calling on the Australian government to offer Julian Assange full consular assistance, rather than colluding with the US government in a vicious persecution.[1] Although Socialist Alternative at the time had not yet launched its newspaper Red Flag, they were at the time as loud as any other in defending Wikileaks for exposing US war crimes.[2] Solidarity quite correctly at the time pointed out that the release of information about the criminal activity of the imperialist powers only points to the need for “a broader fight against a system run by a privileged few who care nothing for democracy and will hurl millions into the hell of war”.[3]  These left parties were joined by many others who had vigorously opposed the war on Iraq, and others opposed to the never-ending war on Afghanistan.

Where are they now?

Fast forward to today, and it is a totally different story. Julian Assange remains an effective prisoner in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, unable to leave the building. Wikileaks continues to operate somehow, a testament to Assange and his team. Yet where are the left parties who were so outspoken in their defence, several short years ago? Where are the socialist led campaigns to free Julian Assange? They have all but vanished, and ironically imperialist war is the reason once again.

The imperialist led wars on Libya and Syria were starkly revealing as far as who, in practice, stands against US/UK/AUST plunder of the planet, and who justifies or apologises for this madness. It has recently been revealed that literal black slavery has reappeared in Libya in 2017,[4]  several years after the then Wikileaks defending left parties stridently advocated the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi’s Green Libya – which was duly carried out by NATO. Early in 2017, after Hilary Clinton – arguably the most corrupt and evil politician on earth – lost the US presidential election to Republican Donald Trump, she turned against “Russia” and Wikileaks, blaming them, and many others for her defeat. Julian Assange shot back on social media by referring to her as the “butcher of Libya”,[5] as she was US Secretary of State at the time. Clinton later bragged and joked about the lynch murder of Colonel Gaddafi. To this day, not one of the left parties which defended Wikileaks during 2010, but welcomed the NATO destruction of Libya in 2011, have uttered a word of remorse. In addition, since that time they dropped Wikileaks and Julian Assange cold.

Failed war of regime change on Syria

Soon after the brief but incredibly destructive NATO war on Libya, which left no functioning state, the West’s war for regime change in Syria ignited. The same left parties which defended Wikileaks earlier, then cheered on the elimination of Libya, again leapt into action calling for the overthrow of Syria. Julian Assange and Wikileaks saw through it all, and was summarily ex-communicated – by the left parties which formerly defended them, and by the capitalist powers waging the war. Despite the lurid claims of a “popular uprising” emerging in Syria in 2011, Wikileaks disclosed information confirming that real US state plans for the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic – in concert with Israel and Saudi Arabia – dated back to 2006.[6] Assange explained how the conflict was prolonged by the use of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to funnel weapons in Syria – which found its way into the hands of all manner of genocidal mercenary terrorists, from Al Qaeda to Al Nusra to ISIS. Moreover, he explained how this motley collection of allies were intended to undermine the influence, if not the existence, of Iran and Hezbollah.

The war on Syria was thus arguably the dirtiest war in the history of world imperialism. It dragged on for six years, and the Syrian government is still in the throes of expelling the last of the US backed barbarians from the country. Julian Assange and the Wikileaks organisation are founded on the basis that the public has the right to know the truth about what is happening in their world. Julian Assange himself has demonstrated immense bravery for continuing to speak out against imperialist war crimes, even while he is still barred by the British Government from leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The left parties which swore blind they would defend Wikileaks showed no such courage. They dropped Wikileaks like a sack of spuds once it became clear that Wikileaks would play no part in apologising for the war on Syria, and would continue their work of exposing US imperialism – regardless of whether it was headed by a George Bush or a Barack Obama.[7] Julian Assange may not be a Marxist revolutionary, but even he was far too left wing for those parties who played a large part in demobilising any prospective anti-war movement. Thankfully, the intervention of Russia in defence of Syria in 2015, turned the tables and effectively defeated the US led proxy war.

The New McCarthyism

Russia’s defeat of the scourge of ISIS, with the assistance of Iran and Hezbollah, did more than save Syria. It thoroughly exposed the role of US deep state collusion with a myriad of terrorist outfits. Russia had already been subject to NATO expansion on its European borders for years previously, but the prevention of what for the US rulers should have been a straightforward toppling of a non-compliant Middle Eastern government tipped anti-Russian hysteria over the edge. Combined with this was the US Presidential Elections of 2016, which was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Democrats and ultra-war hawk Hilary Clinton. As we know, the American people feared Clinton in the White House far more than Donald Trump, who at that time was at least promising some change of direction domestically, along with a seeming position of peace with Russia.

US politics has moved on since that time, with the Trump administration effectively abandoning almost everything it stood for during the elections. To a degree, the Democrats and the deep state operatives may have pushed Trump to be even more belligerent in terms of war than he was planning to be. Regardless, the Clinton camp has lashed out furiously at all and sundry, effectively refusing to accept the vote of the American electorate. Wikileaks was and is accused of colluding with Russia to turn the US election in favour of Donald Trump. As with all accusations of “Russian interference”, there has never been any evidence put forward whatsoever. Wikileaks did release emails of the Democratic National Committee Chairman John Podesta during the US election campaign, which revealed staggering levels of collusion of Hilary Clinton with Wall Street.[8] Russia could not have had anything to do with these arrangements if they tried.

The baseless yet relentless and slanderous allegations against Russia – a new McCarthyism – continue in the US, and have reached a level of absurdity which threatens basic public discourse. Russia’s RT news and current affairs broadcaster has now been forced to register as a “foreign agent” in the United States, years after operating there without incident.[9] Other foreign news services, which also operate in the US, such as BBC, NHK, China Daily and Al Jazeera, have not been forced to do so. More than this, the US Congress has now stripped RT America of its Congress credentials,[10] meaning that RT journalists are blocked from attending White House press conferences.  As if this was not enough, US comedian Randy Credico was recently summonsed by the US House Intelligence Committee for an interview on “Russian interference in the 2016 elections”.[11] Credico has refused, saying his radio show is covered  by the First Amendment. He has no doubt it is because he has had contact with Julian Assange, and the US government is trying to silence Wikileaks.

The system at an impasse

Wikileaks’ slogan is “We open Governments”. The work that Wikileaks does is eminently commendable, and Julian Assange and his team play a heroic role in exposing the crimes of the world’s most powerful governments. The bravery should be recognised, and the left and the Union movement should agitate and organise for the release of Julian Assange. Unions in Australia especially should take up this cause, for the Australian government is certainly not acting to protect one of its citizens for overtly political reasons. It is in the direct interest of working people internationally to have access to information on what the governments that claim to represent them are really doing.

Yet here is the rub. The capitalist system worldwide is at an impasse, and only has more war, more poverty, more unemployment and more environmental devastation to offer. The top officials of the Union movement here are tied by a thousand threads into this system, and will not break with it unless subjected to immense pressure from the rank and file. These well-heeled officials in turn carry out the foreign policy of Canberra, which is not only directed currently against Julian Assange, but against Russia, which threatens world nuclear war. The left parties which originally defended, and then abandoned, Wikileaks tail after these conservative Union officials, as they maintain the same foreign policy – the backing of the US Empire. They play their part in the new McCarthyism.

To move the seemingly immovable Union bureaucracy, a genuine revolutionary workers’ party is desperately needed. While access to uncensored information remains critical, and the work of organisations such as Wikileaks remain invaluable, the exposure of the crimes of the global elite will not end them. This requires the uprooting of the system of capitalist imperialism, which can only fall via the working class seizure of the means of production, the displacement of the rule of capital, and the founding of a workers’ government. FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

P.O. Box  66  NUNDAH QLD 4012

E:workersleague@redfireonline.com

www.redfireonline.com

 

[1] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/socialist-alliance-defend-wikileaks-and-julian-assange (01-12-17)

[2] https://redflag.org.au/article/it%E2%80%99s-other-oscars-and-yet-again-winner-slips-away (01-12-17)

[3] https://www.solidarity.net.au/mag/back/2011/31/fight-to-hold-the-powerful-to-account-has-just-begun/ (01-12-17)

[4] https://www.theroot.com/how-obama-s-worst-mistake-led-to-the-libyan-slave-tra-1820879083 (02-12-17)

[5] https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/799812/wikileaks-julian-assange-hillary-clinton-us-election-russian-hacking-fbi-emails (02-12-17)

[6] http://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia-planned-overthrow-of-syrian-govt-in-2006/221784/ (02-12-17)

[7] http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/33180-wikileaks-reveals-how-the-us-aggressively-pursued-regime-change-in-syria-igniting-a-bloodbath (02-12-17)

[8] https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/784498891936915456?lang=en (02-12-17)

[9] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-media-restrictions-rt/russias-rt-america-registers-as-foreign-agent-in-u-s-idUSKBN1DD25B (02-12-17)

[10] https://www.rt.com/usa/411361-rt-congress-credentials-withdrawal/ (02-12-17)

[11] https://www.rt.com/usa/411210-credico-assange-russia-investigation/ (02-12-17)