Myanmar: Military Moves Against US Subversion

Flag of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

07-02-2021: When is a military coup progressive? When it stymies and rolls back the designs of US imperialism, that’s when. On February 1 the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) detained leader Aung Sung Suu Kyi and took control for 12 months, citing a clause in the country’s 2008 constitution. The clause states that in case of a national emergency, the president and the National Defence and Security Council can issue a decree to hand the government’s executive, legislative and judicial powers to the Tatmadaw’s commander-in-chief.[1] The Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services is Min Aung Hlaing, who is now in power of the state for the coming year. Suu Kyi along with President U Win Myint and other National League for Democracy (NLD) officials were detained, with the Tatmadaw announcing a new round of elections will be held due to voter irregularities and suspected fraud during the November 8 election last year.[2] The NLD “won” an absolute parliamentary majority, and has been running the government in Myanmar since 2016.[3]

Coup installed President denounces…coup

Scaling the heights of hypocrisy, US President Joe Biden – weeks after being installed in a deep state coup where blatant and overt electoral fraud was documented[4] – condemned the Tatmadaw’s takeover in Myanmar. His statement threatened to reimpose sanctions which were lifted following the 2016 election which propelled Suu Kyi into the leadership. Laughably, Biden’s statement also averred that “The United States will stand up for democracy whenever it is under attack” ![5] This is from the very same government which has directly funded “civil society” Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in Myanmar for decades – almost all of which have the aim of subverting if not overthrowing the state.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the public relations arms of the CIA, even lists on its own website around 80 phony “human rights” and “investigative journalism” organisations it funds and sustains. Using the British colonial based former name of Myanmar (Burma),the names of just some of these organisations are a dead giveaway: Assistance for Political Prisoners and Human Rights Advocacy, Burmese Language Satellite Television Broadcasts, Civil Society Development in Burma, Empowering Burmese Democracy Activists and so on.[6]  Obviously, this is not benevolent funding  so much as a direct and orchestrated attempt at regime change, which blatantly violates any semblance of Myanmar’s national sovereignty. It is the internal political version of landing US troops on the beaches and marching to the capital. Yet it has been going on for decades – and was the prime reason why Aung Sung Suu Kyi became leader (or State Counsellor) in the first place.

British imperialism is also in on the act. It is no exaggeration to say that almost the entirety of the “pro-democracy” movement – including the NLD – is a not indigenous to Myanmar at all. It is a product of the political and financial backing of two of the most powerful capitalist powers on earth – the US and the United Kingdom (UK).[7] This faux “democracy” movement is so powerful that it is virtually impossible to run in the elections against the NLD and make any substantial electoral gains. The US and UK funded fronts operating in Myanmar operate as para-state organisations, and working people in Myanmar simply do not have the political or financial resources to compete with them. The Tatmadaw’s claim that the November 8, 2020 election in Myanmar contained fraud is indeed feasible.

Targeting Red China

The goal of this extensive political interference in Myanmar by Washington and London, and backed by Canberra[8], is not only to procure a more pro-Western government in Naypyidaw. It is also aimed at Myanmar’s giant neighbour, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The economy of the PRC, a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state, is in the process of outstripping the capitalist economies of the US and Europe because it does not primarily run on the basis of production for private profit. Huge state-owned industries in the PRC provide the stimulus for economic growth rates which are simply not possible in the West – or at least not over a period of decades. Myanmar, a direct neighbour of the PRC and a developing country, has no option but to join with the PRC in its offers of mutually beneficial trade, investment and infrastructure building opportunities. Neither the US nor Europe nor Australia nor Japan can even offer the economic partnerships the PRC can. Aung Sung Suu Kyi, despite being installed with the backing of Washington and London, understood this. She did not break Myanmar’s ties with the PRC, as it would be economic suicide. This enraged Washington, which cannot abide by sovereign decisions to do business with Beijing.

This was the real basis for the Western campaign against Suu Kyi over the manufactured Rohingya “crisis” of 2017. Washington was scarcely concerned about the human rights of the Rohingya in the Rakhine state – they were far more concerned about the PRC assisting Myanmar in building the deep-water port of Kyaukpyu, which lies at the conclusion of the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline. This pipeline went into use in 2013, and stretches from Kyaukpyu in the Bay of Bengal through to Kunming in South Western China, dissecting Myanmar. The PRC is building the Kyaukpyu port as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and delivering oil and gas to Kyaukpyu via the pipeline for export bypasses the Malacca Strait.[9] This means that the oil and gas shipments do not have to negotiate the South China Sea, which remains patrolled by US warships with the assistance of the Australian Navy.

The crocodile tears and handwringing by Western governments over the fleeing of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh in 2017 was pure hypocrisy. The Rohingya were fleeing violence from two sources. Firstly, they had been subjected to racist physical attacks from Buddhist “monks” who wanted to drive them out of Myanmar, and who were also a part of the political base of the “Saffron Revolution” which assisted Aung Sung Suu Kyi into power. Secondly, they were fleeing from the violence instigated by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) – who do not at ally deny their links to Al Qaeda. Despite their name the ARSA do not only attack the Myanmar government, they attack other Rohingyas who do not support their violent separatism.[10]

It was sheer folly to suggest the Tatmadaw engaged in a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya. In reality, the Tatmadaw were responding to an armed pre-dawn attack on 30 police posts across the townships of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, as well as an army post at Tuang Bazaar. The ARSA assault took the lives of at least 10 police, 80 ARSA militia and 6 civilians.[11] The Rohingya who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh were thus fleeing the conflict between the ARSA terrorists[12] and the Tatmadaw, with the clear danger of being caught in the crossfire. Can anyone imagine what the government response would be in Australia, the US or the UK if a militant group had launched an ambush on police stations and slaughtered 10 police officers? To ask this question is to answer it.

Armed separatists bordering the PRC

Suu Kyi – and most in Myanmar – could see the manipulation of the Rohingya “cause”. Therefore she (correctly in this case) refused to acknowledge alleged “human rights” crimes in the Rakhine state. This – along with her rational position of refusing to break lucrative and necessary trade and investment ties with Beijing – was the reason Suu Kyi was subject to a backlash from Western liberals who had previously upheld her as a democracy icon. There were calls for the Nobel laureate to be stripped of her Nobel peace prize, and Amnesty International stripped her of its highest award, an “Ambassador of Conscience”.[13] In practice, this was also an expression of US imperialism giving Suu Kyi a public slap on the wrist for not being pliable enough in their barely concealed anti-China drive.

At the same time, Western backing of armed separatist groups along the norther border with the PRC continues. Armed groups from the Kachin state are engaged in a running battle with the Tatmadaw, ostensibly for “independence”, but in reality serving to destabilise co-operation between Myanmar and the PRC. Kachin fighters in fact formed part of the UK’s Burmese colonial army stemming out of World War II. It was stacked with Kachin alongside Gurkha from Nepal and Punjabis from India, while there were barely any from the Burman majority.[14] A classic divide and rule colonial tactic, but one which serves to disrupt key Myanmar-PRC building projects today.

For example, the Kachin Development Network Group (KDNG) – another US government funded NGO in Myanmar – publicly campaigns against the Myitsone Dam project in the Kachin state. Wikileaks revealed some of its activities some five years ago.[15] Ostensibly they campaign against the dam on environmental grounds, claiming that people will be displaced and environmental damage will be caused. Yet this is a transparent ruse to oppose a major project that will provide electricity to areas of northern Myanmar that have never previously seen it – in order to disrupt economic activity which is spurred through dealings with China.

US funded fronts, not “NGOs”

It is oxymoronic to describe US funded NGOs as “NGOs”, as their entire agenda matches that of one of the most powerful foreign governments in the world. Even the Australian state media admits US funding of the “civil society” groups in Myanmar would not be affected by any sanctions that were applied. This amounts to a sum – or that which they admit to – of $US 108 million per year.[16] This money does not go to the people of Myanmar – it pours into a spectrum of organisations which undermine and subvert the government towards US interests. They include fake human rights fronts, quasi legal organisations, media organisations and supposedly environment focused campaign groups. In reality, they politically bolster the NLD, and undermine, attack and reverse cooperation between Myanmar and the PRC.[17] For unknown reasons, the Tatmadaw has allowed these US funded political mining operations to operate unhindered in Myanmar for decades.[18]

However, the Tatmadaw’s recent takeover is the first indicator that perhaps it needs to take steps to ensure US/UK influence does not prevail entirely. Ultimately, the US would prefer to have US troops in Myanmar on the border with Red China, as a continuation of imperialism’s struggle to contain and encircle the PRC – in the manner of Russia and Iran. The US almost gained complete control of Myanmar via Aung Sung Suu Kyi and its fabricated NLD. However, the Tatmadaw has stepped in to prevent this from occurring. To this extent only, Marxists offer critical support to the actions of the Tatmadaw insofar as it acts to defend Myanmar and its people from US control. In a similar way in which Marxists offered critical support to the actions of the Russian government in using its superior air power to strike down ISIS mercenaries in Syria, the actions the Tatmadaw takes to defend Myanmar from Western or Al Qaeda backed terrorists can be similarly defended.

For a socialist Asia

Needless to say, military moves in Myanmar alone are not enough to curtail the intrigues of the US Empire, especially when it tactically plays the game of political subversion so well. Already, a “civil disobedience” campaign to the Tatmadaw coup among health workers and teachers has begun,[19] no doubt linked to the very US backed NGOs well versed in disguising political motives. The Tatmadaw would do well to begin to uproot and remove these subversive groups entirely. Or at the very least, put in place laws such as those of the Russian Federation. In Russia, US funded fronts are required by law to publicly disclose their funding[20], so that Russians know exactly who is behind the groups being vocal for “democracy” and “human rights”. It is one reason why the pro-US “democracy” groups in Russia have such little backing, which is confined to a relative handful of malcontents.

Amongst other things, given that both the government and the Tatmadaw were in the process of implementing the Covid “pandemic” nonsense, neither offer political direction to the workers of Myanmar. Only a genuine socialist movement can provide a path forward for Myanmar and all of South Asia. While economic cooperation with the PRC will be vital, politically South Asia needs proletarian revolutions in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia to be combined with proletarian political revolutions in China, Vietnam, and Laos. The forging of internationally linked Leninist vanguard parties is a prerequisite, to light the path towards regionally integrated planned economies.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

[1] European leaders condemn Myanmar coup after military takes control, detaining Aung San Suu Kyi | Euronews (06-02-2021)

[2] Myanmar to clarify voter fraud, hold new round of elections | The Myanmar Times (mmtimes.com) (06-02-2021

[3] Myanmar election: Aung San Suu Kyi wins parliamentary seat for ruling National League for Democracy | World News | Zee News (india.com) (06-02-2021)

[4] When Exactly Was the “Fascist Coup” ? | Red Fire (redfireonline.com) (06-02-2021)

[5] Myanmar coup: Joe Biden threatens to resume sanctions | Myanmar | The Guardian (06-02-2021)

[6] BURMA 2019 – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (06-02-2021)

[7] Land Destroyer: Myanmar (Burma) “Pro-Democracy” Movement a Creation of Wall Street & London (06-02-2021)

[8] Marise Payne calls in Myanmar ambassador after Australian adviser to Aung Sun Suu Kyi detained (msn.com) (07-02-2021)

[9] https://www.chinacenter.net/2020/china_currents/19-3/a-relationship-on-a-pipeline-china-and-myanmar/ (07-02-2021)

[10] https://redfireonline.com/2018/09/13/myanmar-rohingya-manipulated-for-the-wests-drive-to-war/ (07-02-2021)

[11] https://asiatimes.com/2017/08/rohingya-insurgency-declares-open-war-myanmar/ (07-02-2021)

[12] http://m.thedailynewnation.com/news/247344/arsa-a-threat-to-bd-or-burma (07-02-2021)

[13] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46179292 (07-02-2021)

[14] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/07/militants-threaten-chinas-obor.html#more (07-02-2021)

[15] https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10RANGOON30_a.html (07-02-2021)

[16] US formally declares Myanmar has been subject to military coup – ABC News (07-02-2021)

[17] Myanmar’s Military Takes Over | New Eastern Outlook (journal-neo.org) (07-02-2021)

[18] Land Destroyer: Myanmar Crisis Explained… (07-02-2021)

[19] Aung San Suu Kyi could face two years in jail over ‘illegal’ walkie-talkies | Global development | The Guardian (07-02-2021)

[20] https://meduza.io/en/cards/russia-s-authorities-increase-pressure-on-ngos-with-plans-to-strengthen-foreign-agent-laws (07-02-2021)

Syria: Biden Reignites Obama’s War

04-02-2021: You may have missed it, but the deep state coup installed US President Biden has already restarted former President Obama’s war of regime change against the Syrian Arab Republic. On the first day of the Biden Presidency, a large convoy of 40 US trucks and armoured vehicles rolled into Syria from Iraq.[1] Joe Biden is at least keeping one of his promises to reverse the policies of the Trump Administration. For all of Donald Trump’s shortcomings, he at least began the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,[2] as he had initially campaigned against the “forever” regime change wars. Now that the Democrats are back in the White House thanks to the barely concealed falsification of Presidential election ballots[3], they have not wasted time in reigniting a war for regime change which liberal icon Obama ignited and sustained along with NATO, the UK, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Qatari monarchy and the Zionist Israeli state.[4] Liberals love war, especially when it is waged by Democrats in the US White House.

SDF assists US occupation

The absurdly named “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) – violent Kurdish separatists revered by liberals in the West – are up to their usual crimes as proxy forces for US imperialism. They have been imposing a siege on the northern cities of Hasakah and Qamishli, blocking water tankers by closing the entries and exits to neighbourhoods controlled by the Syrian Army. Food, flour and water has been blocked by the treacherous Kurdish forces, seemingly in response to demands from the US government to mark the coronation of Biden – including the halting Syria’s oil to the different regions of Syria.[5]  With military assistance from the US, the SDF has taken control of large parts of northern Syria where much of its oil and wheat production lies. There have been weeks of protests by Syrians in these areas against the abuses of the US backed SDF, and Syria’s President Assad has accused the YPG (“People’s Protection Units” – an armed wing linked to the Kurdish PKK in Turkey) of treachery[6] for aiding the theft of oil and wheat supplies by the US Empire.

The US led war for regime change in Syria is arguably the dirtiest proxy war ever waged in history. From 2011 on, the former Obama administration actively aided and even created ISIS, and funneled arms[7] to Al Qaeda and a whole host of barbaric mercenaries. These homicidal maniacs terrorised Syria for years under the blatantly false guise of a “democratic uprising”. At one stage there were mercenaries from around 80 different non-Syrian nationalities fighting with or alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq.[8] Thankfully, these guns for hire were defeated by a combination of resistance from the Syrian government, aided by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

Hands Off Syria splits into anti-lockdown and pro-lockdown

The solidarity organisation Hands Off Syria formed in response, to defend Syria against the imperialist war driven from Washington. It had to contend with what became known as the “imperial left” – the majority of centrist left parties which firmly backed the war on Syria. Unfortunately, during the 2020 Covid fear “pandemic” – a ruse to cover an assault on the global working class[9] – the component parts of the Hands Off Syria coalition fell apart. It was more or less a 50-50 split – some backed the scientifically groundless lockdowns imposed by out of control governments, while the others strongly opposed them. Those who advocated lockdowns joined hands with the very forces they had condemned and denounced during the war on Syria. The imperial left was joined by some who had opposed the regime change war to form the “lockdown left” – ostensibly left parties who did not blink while becoming police auxiliaries of the very imperialist states which besieged Syria.

Tim Anderson, a prominent academic and activist leader of Hands Off Syria, led the charge in attempting to shoehorn the working class into voluntarily enslaving themselves to the very governments which spared no expense attempting to overthrow Syria.[10] On the other hand, Vanessa Beeley, a UK based investigative journalist who exhaustively exposed the lies justifying the war on Syria, turned her immense research and communication skills towards countering the irrationality of lockdown mania.[11] That is, arguably the two foremost public figures spearheading the movement against the war on Syria, came up with diametrically opposed positions on the alleged Covid “pandemic”. Any serious political issue can split an organisation on class lines, and this was no exception.

Whether they are aware of it or not, the lockdown left has dramatically aided the political forces of imperialism and has therefore contributed to dynamics which could launch yet another imperialist war – even World War III. While they bent over backwards to help install the Democrats in the Oval Office in Washington (despite adamantly denying doing so), the lockdown left has unleashed a liberal bourgeoisie which is much more dangerous than its conservative wing. Alongside Big Tech and Big Pharma, the lockdown left bears heavy responsibility for the re-invasion of Syria by the Biden administration. What is urgently required is a left-wing which combats imperialism on ALL fronts, from  Covid lockdowns to regime change wars. Such a force can only be assembled via the forging of internationally linked Leninist vanguard parties, which can help lead the struggle against Covid launched wars and for the construction of planned economies based on public ownership.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

[1] https://www.nationandstate.com/2021/01/23/a-large-us-military-convoy-rolled-into-syria-on-1st-day-of-biden-presidency/ (01-02-2021)

[2] https://davidharrisjr.com/steven/just-like-the-good-old-days-joe-biden-invades-syria-with-convoy-of-us-troops-and-choppers-on-first-full-day-as-president/ (01-02-2021)

[3] https://www.rt.com/op-ed/508738-us-election-stolen-democracy/ (01-02-2021)

[4] https://journal-neo.org/2016/08/28/syria-the-obama-conviction/ (01-02-2021)

[5] https://www.syrianews.cc/us-sponsored-kurdish-sdf-separatists-besiege-syrian-cities-in-hasakah/ (03-02-2021)

[6] https://news.yahoo.com/u-backed-kurds-lift-siege-185142988.html (03-02-2021)

[7] https://www.voltairenet.org/article183223.html (03-02-2021)

[8] https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/15000-foreigners-80-countries-fight-isis-iraq-syria-says-united-nations/ (03-02-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (03-02-2021)

[10] https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/10/the-great-viral-debate-dr-andersons-closing-statement/ (03-02-2021)

[11] https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/who-controls-british-government-response-covid19-part-one (03-02-2021)

NED Attempts a Navalny led Coup in Russia

30-01-2021: It didn’t take long. Barely three days into the tenure of the fraudulently installed Biden Administration in Washington, the US deep state orchestrates an attempted colour revolution in Russia. The choreographed return of CIA asset Alexei Navalny to Russia was likely timed to coincide with the bizarre scenario of a Democrat Joe Biden inauguration which is supposedly so “popular” 20 000 National Guard troops were required to secure the capital.[1] As an encore to four years of the exhaustive but evidence free narrative of Russiagate (ludicrous claims that the Russian government manipulated the 2016 US Presidential Election), the Western corporate media has, on cue, hyped up  the fanciful “repression” of Navalny after his arrest – for open bail violations. He is only jailed for 30 days, and if convicted (yet again) for embezzlement, he will only receive a 3-year term.[2] Regardless, liberals in the West prattle on with wildly distorted claims of Russian government suppression.

Navalny the Russian Juan Guaido

Navalny is being used by the CIA as a Russian version of right-wing puppet Juan Guaido,[3] who declared himself President of Venezuela with the backing of the US government, without having ever run in such an election. The Western corporate media makes risible claims that Navalny is THE “opposition leader”, or AN “opposition leader” in Russian politics. In fact, Navalny is a very minor player, and even when his multiple convictions do not prevent him for running for office, he never garners more than 5% of the vote. Most Russians either reject him or do not know who he is. In his own blog, Navalny admits that he was funded by the US government regime change arm the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 2007-8, and Navalny was a co-founder of the Democratic Alternative (DA!) in Russia – where the US state department itself lists DA! as a recipient of “youth movement” funding.[4] It is not hyperbole to describe Navalny as a CIA stooge.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov even explicitly made the link between Navalny and the CIA, where usually diplomatic norms are to avoid such accusations. Peskov stated that CIA specialists are working with him and giving him different instructions.[5] This stands to reason, as Navalny would never  have returned to Russia if it was actually true that the Russian government had attempted to poison him. It is entirely plausible to suspect that the CIA instructed Navalny to return to Russia – even if he was jailed – as this would provide a narrative of a detained “opposition leader” supposedly being martyred for attempting to rally Russians for “democracy”.[6] The US deep state saw a perfect opportunity to rally Western liberals for yet more war pressure on Russia and did not hesitate to act.

US grates against Nord Stream 2

It is also likely that the Navalny “poisoning”, farcically claimed by the West to be carried out with Novichok, was another effort to derail Nord Stream 2. This hydrocarbons pipeline, which stretches from Russia to Germany, is around 90% complete.[7] The US government is desperate to prevent its opening, as it will not only increase Russia’s gas exports but will boost Russia’s political standing in Europe. Russia will not only be a gas supplier, it offers at least an alternative source of energy and commerce without political interference from the US Empire. Russia is far from being an economic powerhouse on the world stage, but simply the independence of Russia from US/EU imperialism is more than enough to earn the ire of the Washington elite. And this is despite the fact that the Russian government has capitulated to, and played along with, the fake Covid-19 storyline, even going to the extent of fast tracking the development of its own “Covid vaccine” – Sputnik V.[8]

Navalny has an unsavoury political past, to say the least. In 2006, Navalny made headlines by publicly backing the ultra-nationalist Russian March. This march was criticised by his own party at the time, the Yabloko Party, as containing fascist, Nazi and xenophobic content. Navalny was later excluded from Yabloko for attempting to overthrow the leadership.[9] Navalny posits himself as being a fighter “against corruption”, even while he has himself been convicted for….corruption. His Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) was in practice a front for his dubious activities. Millions of dollars raised for the ACF was in fact used by Navalny to buy private properties for himself, and to fund recreational trips abroad.[10] What a sterling example of political and personal integrity!

Hands Off Russia!

The Russian Federation in 2021 is a middle ranking capitalist economic power, yet it possesses military power and military technology which far surpasses the comparative arsenals of both EU and US imperialism. Some of this military power was inherited from the days of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), while some of it has since been developed domestically, e.g. its  hypersonic missiles and gliders. These weapons ensure that Russia can effectively destroy large parts of any American or European imperialist state which attempted to strike it. Russia’s military superiority has occasionally been used to contain and roll back US imperialism itself, e.g. its crippling air strikes which disabled the US backed ISIS mercenaries attempting to overthrow Syria from 2015 onwards.

Workers of the world need to uphold the right of Russia to defend itself against US/EU imperialism both externally and internally. The Russian state thus has the right to detain Navalny and each of his supporters, charge them with treason, and punish them – given their links to the CIA. At the same time, the Russian government is itself co-operating with the very imperialism which has blatantly set up an attempted colour revolution in Moscow using Navalny as bait. At each step, the Russian government has mimicked the imperialist West’s Covid assault on working people, by forcing them under lockdowns and threatening them with an experimental gene altering “vaccine”.  These actions are more evidence that the Russian government does not see imperialism as an enemy and wants to be seen by imperialism as a partner in administering the “Great Reset”.

This is a wildly naïve hope. Imperialism has never forgiven Russia for the overthrow of capitalism in 1917 and the establishment of the Soviet Union – the world’s first workers’ state. That state has not existed for 30 years, but today Washington cannot tolerate Russia’s independence. Russia is self-sufficient economically, in natural resources, and possesses enough military firepower to block ANY imperialist state which oversteps boundaries. Simultaneously, the Russian government betrays the workers of the world by seeking to prop up and maintain global capitalism – as long as it is offered a seat at the table.

The tasks of workers internationally are thus to defend Russia against imperialist backed internal subversion AND the constant threat of US/NATO triggered war provocations. Marxists maintain a critique of the Russian government from the left while simultaneously opposing those forces attempting to overthrow the Russian Federation from the right, e.g. Navalny, the CIA, pro-Western liberals and the US/EU funded “human rights” industrial complex. Russia needs socialism to once again return to the land of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, but this time led by an international workers’ vanguard party which can see through imperialism’s Covid mask. Working-class resistance to lockdowns must be combined with resistance to the Empire’s war on Russia.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://theduran.com/biden-the-most-popular-president-ever-requires-20000-national-guard-troops-in-dc-for-his-inauguration-security/ (27-01-2021)

[2] Alexei Navalny & Russia Baiting: Biden Brings Back Business as Usual – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) (27-01-2021)

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3 (27-01-2021)

[4] Meet Alexei Navalny: The U.S. State Department’s inside man for ‘regime change’ in Russia — Puppet Masters — Sott.net (27-01-2021)

[5] https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/10/01/navalny-is-working-for-cia-kremlin-makes-explosive-allegation-after-fake-poisoning/ (27-01-2021)

[6] https://blogfactory.co.uk/2021/01/20/101525/ (27-01-2021)

[7] Navalny Poisoning – The Real Target Is Russian-German Nord Stream 2 Pipeline – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (27-01-2021)

[8] https://tass.com/society/1245757 (27-01-2021)

[9] Anti-corruption blogger Navalny sentenced to 5 years behind bars for embezzlement — RT World News (27-01-2021)

[10] CIA/NED Asset/Convicted Felon Navalny Arrested in Moscow – Freedoms Phoenix (27-01-2021)

Iran: Baha’i Used as Yet Another Excuse for Regime Change War

View of the World Baha’i Centre in Haifa, Israel.

04-01-2021: As the orchestrated removal of the US Trump Administration nears its end, the Israeli state is likely behind multiple attempts to trap President Trump into attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran, again. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated that its intelligence via Iraq indicated that Israeli agents-provocateurs were planning attacks on Americans in the region, in the hope that the US Empire would have no choice but to launch strikes on Iran.[1] While the Trump Administration largely faced down relentless pressure from the Democrats and the Deep State to wage war against Russia, it has remained bellicose towards Iran, even assassinating top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at the start of 2020. Any and every excuse is used to agitate for a regime change war on Iran, the largest independent power in the Middle East. An ongoing one is supposed “repression” of the Baha’i.

Innocent religious beliefs?

Some on the left fall for the liberal imperialist “humanitarian” war agenda, such as the appalling proxy war against the Syrian Arab Republic from 2011 to the present day. Many of the same actors make wistful but entirely deceitful claims that the Baha’i in Iran are simply being persecuted for innocent religious beliefs that differ from those of the predominantly Shiite Islam held by the Iranian governmental system. An ABC News Australia report would even claim that arbitrary arrests and home raids of Baha’i believers are currently “escalating”. The accompanying blurb would claim that Baha’i beliefs include “truthfulness, equality and human rights, and an emphasis on the essential worth of all religions”.[2] In reality, there could not be a greater distortion of the political role of the Baha’i in Iran.

Many in Iran who still back the overwhelmingly popular 1979 revolution view the Baha’i as “Zionist spies”. Is this an unfounded suspicion? Hardly – when one considers the fact that the Zionist Israeli state has allowed the Baha’i to establish their spiritual authority – the Universal House of Justice (UHJ) of their religion on a large property in Haifa, without subjecting it to any tax. The Israeli government has issued a postage stamp featuring the UHJ, and numerous Israeli Presidents and Prime Ministers have visited the World Baha’i centre in Haifa. This includes Izhak Ben Zvi in 1954, Zalman Shazar in 1964, Chaim Herzog in 1984, Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, Shimon Peres in 1994 and the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[3] Just these “visits” alone, from top representatives of the Zionist Israeli state which has never hidden its outright hostility to Iran, should at least raise eyebrows.

The Baha’i make the deceptive claim that they are “persecuted” in Iran because they are not allowed to practice their religion, but in fact they are only prohibited from proselytising their religion. They are entitled to practice their religion amongst themselves, get married (and divorced), pray etc – which is in fact the exact same situation in Israel itself. In Iran and Israel, the Baha’i practice is banned in terms of being able to be publicly taught and disseminated, while the private practice of the Baha’i faith is not subject to legal or governmental restriction.[4]  Despite this, the Baha’i claim to only be repressed in Iran, but not in Israel. This is just the start of a series of glaring hypocrisies.

Given the actual or claimed religious beliefs of the Baha’i, it is only logical that not only Iran and Israel, but ANY government in any country could not allow the Baha’i faith to be openly practiced. If they did, they could find themselves overthrown, or have a potential world war on their hands. Some of the Baha’i doctrine is directly political and explicitly calls for: a world super state, a world legislator, the unification of all the world’s religions under the umbrella of the Baha’i faith (!), a world parliament, a world police force, a single world currency, a world taxation system and a single auxiliary world language.[5] Alongside these, the claims that the Baha’i believe in the unity of the human race, the equality of men and women, and the need for world peace are scarcely credible, and appear to be a covering credo to obscure the actual agenda.

Any government in any country, likewise, could not allow other Baha’i views such as the abolition of all non-Baha’i legal systems[6] to be openly promulgated. Can one imagine what would happen to a group in Australia, the US and Europe openly calling for the removal of their legal systems, and its replacement with one run by their own religion? Furthermore, the Baha’i even view non-Baha’i education as “death incarnate” which leads to “stagnation”.[7]  That is, they do not wish for their children to be educated alongside other members of the community in a state or private school not run according to the Baha’i religion. This is flagrantly in breach of their professed belief in the unity and oneness of all humanity, and even of their supposed view that all religions should be equal!

No to war on Iran

A fantasy narrative about Baha’i persecution in Iran is being peddled to once again beat the drums of war against Iran, on the anniversary of the US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani. Workers the world over have a vital interest in opposing any drive to war by US/EU imperialism, no matter what the claimed justification. Even though the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has entertained the false Covid-19 “pandemic” hysteria in an effort to assuage world imperialism, this has not had any effect in deflecting the threats of war. The wars of regime change against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were catastrophic and unjustifiable – as will be a war on Iran. War propaganda retailing false allegations of Iranian government “repression” is a key component of regime change war. All tenets of it must be exposed and rejected. NO TO REGIME CHANGE WAR ON IRAN!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

[1] Iran’s foreign minister urges Trump to avoid Israel ‘trap’ to provoke war | Reuters (03-01-2021)

[2] Australia’s Baha’i community pleads for help as arbitrary arrests and home raids escalate in Iran – ABC News (03-01-2021)

[3] Home – Baha’i-Israel Relationship (webs.com) (03-01-2021

[4] Bahai Israel Relationship | The Bahai Insider (03-01-2020)

[5] Global Governance and the Baha’i Faith – The Real Agenda News (real-agenda.com) (03-01-2020)

[6] Shut down Nauru! For an Anti-Empire Refugee Rights Movement! | Red Fire (redfireonline.com) (03-01-2020)

[7] How Baha’is View non-Baha’i Schools – Baha’i principles (bahaibahai.com) (03-01-2020)

Theses on Lockdowns and Political Tasks for Socialists

Adopted by the Workers League  29-12-2020

1.After almost a year of lockdowns imposed by the ruling classes of the West, it is becoming more and more clear to many workers that the lies used to justify brutal totalitarian measures will continue throughout 2021. It is no longer credible, if it ever was, that the world is faced with a deadly plague which threatens humanity. This was never about a virus. Rather, “Covid-19” is part of a civil war launched by finance capital against workers and oppressed people.

  1. This attack, which may well have been planned and premeditated, is primarily aimed at lowering the cost of labour power. That is, it is a method used to increase capital returns of the largest private corporations at the expense of working class. This is carried out through massive job cuts and the deliberate shutting down of whole sectors of capitalist economies. While the operators of small and medium sized capital are also dramatically affected or driven out of business, this is another brazen assault on workers employed in these industries.
  1. The vast increase in unemployment is used to frighten and cower workers still employed into playing along with the false coronavirus narrative. Unemployment incorrectly attributed to “Covid-19” takes the focus away from the real culprits – the collusion between big capital and the politicians and governments who serve them. The creation of poverty through the intentional shutdown of whole sections of the for-profit economies is used to prevent the remaining employed workers from demanding decent wages and conditions – which had been under siege for the last 30 years through the “normal” functioning of capitalism in any case.
  1. The unprecedented assault on workers’ jobs, wages and working and living conditions under the guise of a “pandemic” requires the virtual elimination of elementary and basic bourgeois democratic rights. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement as well as written and unwritten constitutional rights have in many cases been ignored or abolished. In some states, entire parliaments and elections were suspended. The right to invite friends and/or family into your own home is now subject to governmental approval. The right to go to a pub/tavern, to a restaurant or to a church is often prohibited or likewise subjected to a dictate. Lockdowns and other restrictions are enforced by the capitalist state – either by the police or military, or both. This is a new and particular form of fascism.
  1. Even if lockdown measures are temporarily lifted or suspended, the imperialist states can re-apply them at any time. Tracking and tracing, and a litany of ever changing and illogical rules are imposed on all apart from the wealthy elite, trashing any semblance of civil liberties. Scientifically groundless social-distancing and facemask rules are enforced and are used as another threat against working people. Workers are also being threatened with a “Covid” vaccine, “Covid” passports and national and state border closures which have no medical or scientific justification whatsoever.
  1. The main political reason for lockdowns, social-distancing, the shut-down of venues, “health” directives, the prevention of physical and social human interaction, the prevention of gatherings of any kind etc., is to prevent working people from resisting the tyrannical onslaught of big capital. The imposition of draconian dictates backed by pseudo-science has removed some political and protest movements which provided some level of systemic challenge from the streets almost entirely, e.g. the Yellow Vest movement in France. In some cases, lockdowns and other “health” restrictions have been found to be illegal and unconstitutional even by judges interpreting bourgeois law. Political parties and workers’ Unions cannot effectively operate if they are prevented from gathering by the capitalist state – arguably one of the express intentions of the ruling elite. The capitalist ruling classes want workers to become accustomed to no longer enjoying the fragments of democratic rights they enjoyed in the 20th
  1. The Union bureaucracy – largely overpaid officials – have betrayed workers on a scale which has no precedent. We do not know of any Union officials who have opposed capitalist politicians or any part of the mainstream media on the irrationality of lockdowns. In fact, Union officials have been the most ardent enforcers of the ideology and physical dictates of the capitalist state. They, above all, are aware that capitalism in crisis today requires extraordinarily repressive measures such as lockdowns – and so they are more than happy to enforce them. Due to this, Union members are split: some Union members follow the ultra-conservative leadership, while others are dissatisfied and/or confused as to why their Union leadership is openly siding with the authorities.
  1. Almost all ostensibly “socialist” parties have carried out a betrayal of workers on Covid which arguably surpasses that of August 4, 1914. At that time, socialist parties the world over – apart from the Bolsheviks – automatically backed “their own” ruling class as it led the charge into the slaughter of World War I. Today, almost all so-called left parties virtually in unison have signed up enthusiastically with “their own” capitalist governments and the entirety of world imperialism, to aid the driving of workers into the dust through brutal lockdowns and mass unemployment. They accept the bourgeois ideology of lockdowns, social-distancing, facemasks and forced vaccines without question, and act as police auxiliaries by doing everything they can to prevent workers from questioning the suppression measures. The “lockdown left” join with the Union officials in openly serving billionaire capital.
  1. The betrayal of workers by the Union officials and the lockdown left is more than matched by the conservative and nationalist political leaderships of the deformed workers’ states. The partially “communist” and “workers” parties which have usurped political power from the proletariat in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) and the Republic of Cuba (RoC) have not hesitated to assist US/EU (European Union) imperialism implement near worldwide lockdowns. They have not apologised for politically aiding the same US/EU led imperialism which seeks to overthrow and destroy them, in a classical example of the betrayal of “peaceful coexistence” and “socialism in one country”. These distorters and vulgarisers of Marxism have not even blinked while assisting the ruling classes of the West implement a savage attack on “their” workers. While they have not fully imposed the same attack on the proletariat domestically, they have played up to a scientific and medical fantasy to deceive and mislead working people within their borders.
  1. With a few exceptions (e.g., Belarus), the governments of the non-imperialist states have also betrayed their own workers by allying directly with US/EU imperialism on the fake coronavirus narrative. The governments of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran have entertained lockdowns, facemasks and even vaccines in the same way as US/EU imperialism has spun the deception. While operating on a different political basis to the deformed workers’ states, the political leaderships of Russia and Iran have played a role which is just as treacherous as that of the allegedly “Marxist-Leninist” administrations of the five remaining deformed workers’ states.
  1. The attempt by the government of the deformed workers’ states and the non-imperialist states to mollify and appease US/EU imperialism by proclaiming and implementing the same coronavirus lies has increased, not decreased, the extreme danger of imperialist war being launched against them. Imperialism will strike no permanent bargains or permanent deals with any state and will continue to seek to destroy non-imperialist states until and unless it is overthrown by the workers of the world. While there may be some minor disagreements amongst the ruling classes of the US and the EU, they still seek “regime change” in Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela etc. – and are prepared to risk world war to do so.
  1. The “election” of Joe Biden/Kamala Harris and the Democrats in the US – through monumental fraud – has likewise vastly increased the danger of imperialist war being launched by the Pentagon. This may be a continuation of the regime change war against Syria, or a new regime change war against a smaller non-imperialist state, or it could be a global confrontation with Russia and/or China. Liberal pillars of imperialism such as the key leaders and organisers of the lockdown left, Black Lives Matter, Antifa and the officials of the conservative Union bureaucracy are extremely likely to defend the instigation and prosecution of these wars on behalf of US imperialism, even while claiming to be “progressive” and “left-wing”.
  1. To indulge the ideology of a “pandemic”, or facemasks, or social-distancing, or tracking and tracing, forced vaccines or any Covid restriction, is the ultimate betrayal of the working class. To attempt to ensure that other workers “follow the rules” is to assist billionaire capital maintain its death grip on the world’s workers and oppressed. For alleged socialists to capitulate in any way to the fictitious Covid narrative is an open and irrevocable rupture with the basic tenets of Marxism. No socialist can claim to be left-wing in any sense while doing the bidding of the imperialist ruling classes, their politicians and the corporate media.
  1. Therefore, the position of anti-lockdown versus pro-lockdown is the class line between labour and capital. Moreover, given the dire circumstances of world capitalism, the anti-lockdown movement can be characterised as anti-fascist, while the pro-lockdown position can be characterised as pro-fascist. This remains the case irrespective of the appearance of the anti-lockdown movement largely consisting of the “right-wing” and “conspiracy theorists”, while the irrational pro-lockdown fanatics are predominantly composed of “left-wing” and liberal elements. In reality, pro-lockdown fanatics are not in any way left-wing or progressive. They have simply found themselves in a position of being more right-wing than the “right” due to liberalism politically moving to the right over the last 20 years.
  1. This is why Marxists have the perspective of building the anti-lockdown movement as deeply and as broadly as possible. Despite appearances, the vanguard of the insurgent working class is currently contained within those forces who are prepared to go to great risk to publicly defy the entirety of the ideology and politics of lockdown fascism. This is even despite large sections taking up politically misguided notions such as nationalism, spiritualism, “globalism”, and “anti-socialism/anti-communism”. Despite the prevalence of these and similar ideas, the political direction of the anti-lockdown movement directly and powerfully confronts the political and ideological decay of capitalism as it descends into lockdown fascism.
  1. Hence, the Workers League urges the building of the anti-lockdown movement as a united front. That is, we advise workers to energetically assist and participate in all meetings, demonstrations and mobilisations of the anti-lockdown movement shoulder to shoulder with all those opposed to lockdowns, forced facemasks, forced vaccines, nonsensical restrictions, economic shutdowns, border closures, state surveillance and so on. Within this united front, all political and semi-political organisations and parties should have the right to distribute their material and win others to their viewpoint and perspective. However, by no means should socialists or any other tendency subordinate their politics to any other grouping within the bloc. The united front is built for the achievement of common aims, not the political perspective of component groups or individuals.
  1. At the same time, Marxists within the anti-lockdown movement have the task of seeking out and winning over the most class aware elements to socialism. This is difficult, and must be carried out with tact, given the unfortunate fact that many workers confuse socialism with Stalinism and/or confuse globalism with socialism. The United Nations (UN), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and so on, are multi-national capitalist institutions, and do not have one iota of pro-working class content. The Stalinist political apparatuses of the deformed workers’ states – principally the PRC – distort socialism beyond recognition even if they partially defend their socialist economies at home. It is vital to impress upon anti-lockdown proponents that socialism does not in any way mean political repression (a la Stalinism), but in fact means the liberation of the working class from tyranny.
  1. No united front is permanent, and socialists should not view the anti-lockdown movement as permanent either. At each stage, Marxists need to assess and evaluate its political direction and political achievements. If, at any moment, the anti-lockdown movement adopts radically anti-working class positions (overt racism, overt anti-Union views, overt anti-China or anti-socialist positions), then socialists should confer and decide on whether to combat the development of such views within the movement, or to leave the movement altogether.
  1. Currently, there are no significant indicators of the anti-lockdown movement developing in an anti-working class direction. Most participants come from varied political backgrounds and are motivated by anti-war and peace issues, civil liberties and democratic rights, freedom of medical choice issues, for the restoration of common law rights, for freedom of movement and so on. However, there is a possibility that the anti-lockdown movement could at a certain stage split into left and right (or more than two) wings under the impact of political developments or through repression from the capitalist state. If this were to occur, again socialists should assess the political reasons for such a split and proceed from there.
  1. For working people, there will be no permanent escape from lockdowns, or “The Great Reset” or “The New Normal” without the overthrow of capitalism in the imperialist centres, combined with proletarian political revolutions in the deformed workers’ states. At the very least, this will require the establishment of democratic workers’ councils. After a year of hammer blows from a declining and thus lawless and dangerous capitalism, there is a dire need for a working class offensive.  A vital task to help provide working class leadership now and for the coming period is the forging of internationally linked Leninist vanguard parties, sworn to uphold Permanent Revolution. To help form a bridge to workers’ councils, the Workers League will continue to propagate three demands:

(i) A six-hour work day
(ii) Public ownership of energy, infrastructure, banks
(iii) A workers’ government.

WORKERS  LEAGUE
www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

Free Chan Han Choi from Lockdown!

   24-12-2020: Chan Han Choi is undoubtedly a pro-socialist class war political prisoner. The Australian government imprisoned Choi under high security for almost three years in 2017 without charge. Choi is the first person ever to be charged in Australia under the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act.[1] After nearly three years behind bars and being subjected to cruel restrictions – such as having to speak to his wife in English only and having his conversations with his lawyers listened to by authorities – Choi has been released from prison only to now be engaged in a form of house arrest until his trial takes place. Chan Han Choi originates from South Korea, (Republic of Korea – ROK) but has lived in Sydney and worked as a cleaner for over 30 years. He views the political system in North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK) as one which protects and acts in the interests of working people – which indeed it largely does.

Unjustifiable sanctions

His only “crime” was to allegedly organise some trade deals which – if they had actually occurred – would have enabled a small measure of relief from the crippling sanctions imposed on the DPRK effectively by US imperialism. During his period of detention, Choi stated his belief that the sanctions administered by the United Nations (UN) on the DPRK are fundamentally unjust and unfair.[2] Workers of the world can only reaffirm this basic truth. The UN, acting as a cat’s paw of the US Empire, imposes sanctions which themselves could be a form of genocide against the people of the DPRK. The sanctions forbid any sailing vessel or aircraft from transferring goods directly or indirectly from another country to the DPRK. An exhaustive list of materials, goods, equipment and technology are simply prohibited from reaching the DPRK. Many basic necessities are listed under “luxury items” or are listed as “dual use” – meaning they COULD be used for the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile weapons programs.[3]

In reality, any electrical goods and equipment could be used for military purposes. Obviously though, they could also be used for straightforward domestic industrial and commercial purposes, and for the basic functioning of the economy. The DPRK – a heavily deformed workers’ state – has the express right to defend itself from invasion from US imperialism. This is a daily and ongoing reality for all Koreans, as a result of the repelling of the US led war on Korea in the early 1950s. The DPRK has seen what has happened to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya if a state does not possess nuclear weapons and other ballistic missiles: it will be invaded and destroyed by Washington. The DPRK would much prefer not to have to build ANY weapons of mass destruction. Alas, it has no choice but to do so.

All lockdowns must be opposed

Without question, the campaign of solidarity to free Chan Han Choi has been organised and led by the left party Trotskyist Platform (TP)[4]. From the outset, TP have been the drivers behind the important demonstrations which help to break down the fierce anti-socialist hysteria directed against the DPRK, which in turn is a sub-set of the irrational antagonism against China (People’s Republic of China – PRC). At the same time, TP’s campaign in 2020 has a fatal flaw. TP is a card-carrying member of the lockdown left – ostensibly revolutionary left parties which allied with the very imperialist powers they claim to oppose on the fake coronavirus “pandemic”. As we wrote in August, so fervently does TP agree with the Australian government and all bourgeois politicians that the world is beset by a deadly plague of biblical proportions, TP actually make public calls for mandatory temperature testing in workplaces of more than two people, and for public housing residents to be locked down by health workers rather than police![5] Yet Chan Han Choi is himself subjected to a lockdown: prison and now house arrest. Does TP call for the release of Choi from lockdowns, but for all other workers to be locked down – due to Covid?

The lockdown left tries in vain to separate the lockdowns from all other political activity. They would have us believe that the response of the capitalist governments to a virus which is most likely one of the many coronaviruses which circulate every winter[6] is simply a “health” issue. With TP at the forefront, the lockdown left mumble about the job losses, poverty, depression, domestic violence and economic destruction – but echo government lies that this is all caused by a virus. TP would have us believe that the removal of free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and the most elementary civil and democratic rights are necessary to “save lives”. They rally workers against the same politicians who are inflicting cruel punishment on Chan Han Choi – but also want us to strongly back these politicians when they prevent children from going to school or playing with their friends! The lockdowns themselves take lives[7], as that is a part of the civil war that finance capital is waging against the working class. For TP though, lockdowns enforced by cops and/or the military is actually the state trying to save your life![8]  Years of TP’s warnings about the dangers the capitalist state pose to workers have vanished into thin air.

The ideological and political Covid prostration of TP before the very bourgeois forces which not only are detaining Choi but are threatening the DPRK and the world with nuclear war, is illuminating. Workers need a consistent message. They cannot be told, on the one hand, that capitalism is their enemy, but on the other hand, be asked to fully comply with the same capitalist system when it locks them down under house arrest – with the threadbare Covid excuse. If the Prime Ministers and Presidents of the West are allies on Covid – why would they not be allies on other issues?  Why be a socialist? Why join a Union or any left party at all – if, on Covid, all we should do is obey “our own” corporate politicians and the mainstream media?

Workers should strive to support the campaign to free Chan Han Choi. But it is crucial to oppose all lockdowns and ALL aspects of lockdown terror. Chan Han Choi and the working class can only be fully emancipated once EVERY part of bourgeois ideology is defeated – not just fragments of it. Therefore we urge workers to build the anti-lockdown movement as part of an initial struggle for the reclaiming of free speech, freedom of assembly and every other right that workers need in their battles against the rule of the private banks and the stock exchange. The most class aware workers amongst those resisting the draconian dictates of the Covidian state need to be welded into internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties, to help lead the struggle for liberation from lockdowns and other relics of class society.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

[1] https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/korean-australian-chan-han-choi-appeals-for-fair-trial-as-a-political-prisoner (24-12-2020)

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/06/man-charged-over-alleged-north-korea-missile-deal-ordered-to-stand-trial-in-australia (24-12-2020)

[3] https://www.globalresearch.ca/north-korea-un-double-standards-pertaining-to-sanctions-and-their-devastating-social-impacts/5364484 (24-12-2020)

[4] https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/10/31/trotskyist-platform-fighting-to-free-australias-other-assange-political-prisoner-chan-han-choi-join-the-cause-191101/ (24-12-2020)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/08/25/the-labour-lieutenants-of-lockdown-terror/ (24-12-2020)

[6] https://off-guardian.org/2020/12/15/the-covid-19-data-is-a-travesty/ (24-12-2020)

[7] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/seeing-the-invisible/estimating-the-true-magnitude-of-the-pandemic-and-lockdown-deaths-part-1/ (21-12-2020)

[8] https://www.trotskyistplatform.com/corporate-bosses-endanger-workers-lives-during-covid-19-epidemic/ (24-12-2020)

Release Julian Assange from Lockdown!

12-12-2020 – Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing Wikileaks organisation, informed his supporters at the start of this year that he is “slowly dying”.[1] Guilty of nothing but journalism, Julian Assange remains in Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom (UK), in a wing reserved for those accused of the worst forms of terrorism. Years of detention inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London had already taken a severe toll, but this has been followed by prolonged solitary confinement for 22 or 23 hours a day. Solitary confinement is psychological torture[2] under any definition of the term, which is an open abuse of the rights of prisoners in supposedly democratic states. Julian Assange is a Walkley journalism award winner, but also the first journalist to be prosecuted as a spy by the US government under its 1917 Espionage Act. It is unfortunately no coincidence that this act was introduced by the US government for the prosecution of socialists and anti-war activists at the time of tremendous influence of socialism in the months prior to the October Revolution in Russia in the same year.[3] For, just over 100 years later, imperialism is once again driving workers towards revolution if only to free themselves from the state repression against which Julian Assange had issued dire warnings.

Intimidation the aim

The severe and prolonged physical and psychological torture being meted out to Julian Assange has the aim of intimidating anyone else who is considering exposing the blatant crimes of Anglo/US imperialism, at home and abroad. Another aim is to remind workers that “democracy” and all its trappings has extremely strict limits in the year 2020 and can even be removed if the super elite sees fit to do so. Some semblance of freedom of the press may have been tolerated by Western ruling classes to an extent during the 20th century – but these rights have only cursory observation today. The further world capitalism declines economically, the more it must increase the amount and the severity of political repression of “their own” working people.

During 2020, Anglo/US imperialism has utilised the cover of a fake pandemic to launch the most severe attack on the working class since the 1930s. We are expected to believe that the very same people who waged cataclysmic war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria taking the lives of millions in the most brutal manner imaginable – are now primarily concerned with “saving lives”. We are expected to believe that the very same people who have subjected Julian Assange to inhuman torture for at least 10 years because Wikileaks exposed their criminality – are now doing their utmost to protect democratic and human rights. We are expected to believe that the very same people who have savagely defunded public healthcare systems for more than 30 years – are now most keenly concerned to avoid public hospitals being overwhelmed. More than anything else, Julian Assange was sickened by such boundless hypocrisy, and was prepared to risk his life to expose it.

Colossal hypocrisy of the lockdown left

The hypocrisy of finance capital and their governments which enforce its rule through Covid-19 fraud[4] is not only matched, but exceeded, by the hypocrisy of the lockdown left on the issue of the detention, i.e., lockdown, of Julian Assange. The lockdown left refers to “socialist” parties, Union officials and liberal social-democrats who swear blind that they uphold progress, humanitarian values or even socialism and Marxism – but in practice have moved so far to the right that they are today outflanked on the left by the entire spectrum of supporters of US President Donald Trump, QAnon followers, “anti-vaxxers”, and those concerned about the danger of radiation from 5G telecommunications towers. The lockdown left is oblivious to the fact that it has practically merged with the capitalist state as it descends into a tyranny which arguably exceeds that of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s.

In 2010, the lockdown left mobilised as one to defend Assange, for, at that time, Wikileaks was exposing the crimes of the US Empire in its wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the instant that Wikileaks began to expose the war of regime change on Libya, followed soon after by the war of regime change on Syria – the lockdown left dropped Julian Assange like a hot potato. According to them, exposing the war crimes of Republican President Bush was fine and dandy – but exposing the war crimes of then Democrat President Obama and then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton? Well, that was just too left-wing for them. For eight long years, the lockdown left said and did virtually nothing while Assange was held hostage in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Then, when Assange was expelled from the embassy and faced being extradited to the US to face a virtual death sentence – the lockdown left sheepishly and very cautiously found their voice again. That is to say, only when liberals outflanked them from the left, did the “Marxist” lockdown left change their tune.

Today, the lockdown left calls for the release of Julian Assange from lockdown, but strongly defends government lockdowns against almost the entire population under the ludicrous claim of a “pandemic”. They are not able to see that their own actions in defending lockdowns and facemasks has lent political legitimacy to the capitalist state – which has then used this endorsement to dramatically increase severe political repression against workers, and against Julian Assange above all. This is not just a matter of the political bankruptcy of the lockdown left, and most especially the overpaid Union officials who have basically not lifted a finger to help free Assange. What this also means is that the campaign to free Julian Assange will not succeed unless it opposes all facets of the imperialist offensive today; from the barbarous detention of Assange, to the Covid lockdowns, to forced Covid vaccines, to mass unemployment, to the abolition of the right of assembly, to the abolition of free speech via Big Tech censorship, to imperialist war provocations against Russia, China, Iran and so on. Freedom for Assange and freedom from lockdowns are therefore directly linked with a struggle for collectivised and planned economies, led by a vanguard party committed to working class rule.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012     


[1] https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/01/julian-assange-says-hes-slowing-dying-in-prison-during-christmas-eve-phone-call-report/ (10-12-2020)

[2] https://www.michaelwest.com.au/torture-of-julian-assange-by-australian-governments-sends-powerful-message-to-whistleblowers/ (10-12-2020)

[3] https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-congress-passes-espionage-act (10-12-2020)

[4] https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/17/covid19-evidence-of-global-fraud/ (11-12-2020)

Western Sahara: Polisario’s Degeneration Reignites War

Map from Deutsche Welle

   06-12-2020: Fighting recently broke out in Western Sahara after numerous years of relative peace between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the self-claimed leaders of the self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Polisario disingenuously claims that Sahrawis were simply engaging in peaceful protest in the Guerguerat buffer zone close to the southern border with Mauritania. Like so much of Polisario’s rhetoric over the past 30 odd years, it is packed with brazen untruths. Polisario and its militias were in fact harassing MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) personnel, committing “acts of banditry”,[1] and blocking the movement of people and goods on the road.[2] The UN has explicitly called on Polisario to cease these violent provocations at the Guerguerat buffer zone in Resolution 2440, passed two years ago.[3]

“Liberation” struggle gone wrong

Some left parties cling to the issue of Western Sahara from decades past, romanticising it into a struggle of an “oppressed” and “occupied” people against some kind of colonial overlord. While there may have been some justification originally for ensuring the rights of Sahrawis were not ignored by being absorbed into Morocco in 1975, these times have long since elapsed. One major reason for the diversion of the Sahrawi cause is the degeneration of the Polisario Front, with a leadership that can now only be described as politically corrupt and ethically bankrupt. This is fast being recognised by its former allies. During the 70s and 80s, the SADR was recognised by the governments of a whole host of former colonial countries, as well as progressive or socialist oriented governments of the time, such as Libya and Cuba. At that time, Polisario had at least a nominal or partial commitment to socialism. Since then, any shred of progressive politics has faded into a dim and distant past, to be replaced by a seeming commitment to Western backed “Islamic” terrorism.

One could argue that Polisario has now become a branch of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). AQIM has for some time openly recruited amongst Sahrawi youth in the Tindouf refugee camps operated by Polisario in Southwestern Algeria.[4] This is officially denied by the Polisario leadership, yet  other sources indicate Polisario has also been offering safe haven to AQIM, and even organising convoys that supply AQIM with food and weaponry.[5] It seems to be a case where, running out of allies, Polisario has abandoned any sense of principle and latched onto AQIM, or Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other Western backed proxy forces creating chaos across Africa with the aim of disrupting co-operation between African countries and Russia and China.[6] Mindful of the danger of being seen to be supporting any kind of terrorism, dozens of former allies have formally withdrawn recognition of the SADR. Since 2000, 34 countries have abandoned the SADR, including 9 Carribean nations.[7]

One significant reason why Sahrawi youth take up the offer of joining AQIM is simply to escape detention by Polisario in the Tindouf camps. Reportedly, Polisario only allows one car every 20 days to drive out of the camps. There are also repeated claims of the torture of Sahrawis, not by Moroccan troops, but by Polisario.[8] It’s one thing to carry on an armed struggle for your people against a supposedly colonising power, but it is another thing entirely to harm or torture the very people you are allegedly fighting for. There are also no jobs, virtually no economy, and therefore no future in the Polisario run camps. In addition, Polisario dramatically prevents freedom of movement of Sahrawis – so the temptation to join AQIM to escape is sometimes too much to resist.

Embezzlement, slavery, abuse of women

There is a severe lack of democratic rights for Sahrawis under Polisario enforced detention. One reason for this is the systematic and ongoing embezzlement of humanitarian aid for Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf camps which flows from Europe. Polisario claims that the numbers of Sahrawi refugees are between 155 000 to 170 000, whereas neutral observers estimate the figures are more likely to be between 70 000 and 90 000. Humanitarian aid for over 150 000 arrives, and the surplus is simply pocketed by Polisario to fund their war against Morocco. As a result, according to the UN, 40% of Sahrawi children in the camps suffer from a lack of iron, while 32% suffer from a lack of nutrition.[9] Further, male adult Sahrawi refugees are often forced by Polisario to serve in their armed forces in return for some portions of the food aid – a clear case of extortion.

There are also persistent claims that slavery is still practiced and overseen by Polisario in the refugee camps they administer. In 2009, a controversial documentary film called Stolen was produced and released by two Australian film makers, Violeta Alaya and Dan Fallshaw. The film displays the evidence they came across to indicate that slavery still takes place in Western Sahara, with the connivance of Polisario. In response, Polisario began an international campaign to discredit the film, even going to the extent of flying one of the female interviewees in the film to Australia to denounce the film’s “misrepresentations”. Five years later, Human Rights Watch released a 94 page report, Off the Radar: Human Rights in the Tindouf Refugee Camps. It found that while slavery in Western Sahara is not widespread, it still persists in Tindouf and other parts of Western Sahara administered by Polisario.[10] Stolen producer Tom Zubrycki claimed that the report had vindicated the film, and was proud that some pressure had been applied to Polisario to commit to end the practice.[11]

The rights of women in the Tindouf camps are the subject of repeated calls on Polisario and the Algerian government to act. Accounts of rape, forced childbirth, detention against their will, forced marriages, deprivation of liberty repeatedly come to the surface. Not only women but Tindouf residents lack the right to employment, the right to food and medicine, and the right to freedom of movement. Women though, appear to largely live in a state of servitude, relegated to forced domestic chores. Even European MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) have openly called on Polisario to cease the diversion of humanitarian aid intended for Tindouf Sahrawis, and to address the “deplorable” situation of women in the camps.[12] Polisario instead turns a deaf ear.

National liberation?

Let us suppose, for argument’s sake, that Polisario was not guilty, or was not involved, in any political or criminal misconduct. Let us imagine (despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary) that Polisario was NOT involved in banditry, slavery, terrorist links to Al Qaeda, suppression of the democratic rights of Sahrawis, arbitrary detention and the abuse and degradation of women. Could workers then extend a measure of political support? Not at all. Why? Because aside from all of these rather major concerns, the politics of Polisario is almost completely barren, and devoid of any kind of progressive ideology. From all appearances, it has but one position: separatist independence. More to the point, it is separatist independence regardless of the consequences. On its own, this is not left-wing, and nor is it anti-imperialist. In fact, it almost always leads to a dependence on imperialism.

Moreover, not all Sahrawis support Polisario. Yet even if Polisario did not have any politics outside of a military struggle for separatist independence (and was not involved in brazen criminality), it could still be possible for Marxists to offer some kind of support IF the case of Western Sahara was a genuine cause of national liberation. That is to say, IF Western Sahara fulfilled the Marxist criteria for nationhood, and IF rule by Morocco resulted in the severe and ongoing suppression of the various types of national rights, and IF absorption into Morocco produced intractable obstacles to common class struggle between Sahrawis and Moroccans – then advocacy by Leninists of self-determination for Sahrawis MAY be applicable. However, in the real world, none of this is even remotely the case.

In the first place, Western Sahara does not fulfill the basic elements required for recognition of a nation according to Marxist criteria. JV Stalin, in a work which was edited line by line by VI Lenin[13], outlined four basic criteria for nationhood, those being 1. A common territory 2. A common language 3. A common economy and 4. A common culture. All four factors must be present before Marxists can recognise a nation, and even then, it is not automatic that socialists demand the exercising of the right to self-determination. Marxists have a negative national program generally, for the simple reason that the advocacy and/or exercise of the right to self-determination, up to an including separatist independence, is subordinate to the overall political development of the working class.

Marxists are not for splitting large states into smaller states for the sake of it. In fact, generally speaking, Marxists advocate larger states and even amalgamation of states into a larger entity because this scenario is more advantageous to working class struggle across nations against capitalism – which uses nationalism for its own interests. One factor which makes working class political struggle easier is a common language. In the case of Western Sahara, we find that Sahrawis speak and write in the same languages as Moroccans (Berber or Arabic), given that they both originated from the same Saharan region. What is more, the local Hassaniya Arabic dialect of the Sahrawis is recognised in Morocco’s constitution.[14] Culturally, Sahrawis and Morrocans share the same religion – Sunni Islam. So, even on linguistic and cultural grounds, it would make little sense to separate from Morocco while speaking the same language, and observing the same religion.

Western Sahara does not have its own economy either. Its economy is administered by the Moroccan government, and thus it is the major source of employment and the only source of social spending and infrastructure development.[15] The Moroccan government has since 1975 spent billions of dollars developing the economy of Morrocan Sahara, and has even provided benefits to Sahrawis living there which are not available to other Morrocans, such as no taxes![16] To say the least, this is hardly indicative of Morrocan “oppression” of Sahrawis. Not surprisingly, large numbers of Sahrawis (who are not trapped in refugee camps), move into Morrocan administered areas to live and find work. While there, they fully take part in the Morrocan national culture and political life – including through voting in local and regional Moroccan elections. Indeed, descendents of Sahrawi tribes are not only eligible to vote in Moroccan elections, but also to stand as candidates.[17]

The fate of ethnic nationalism

Moreover, since 2007, the government of Morroco has offered a high degree of administrative and policy autonomy under its sovereignty.[18] Polisario has consistently rejected the offer of autonomy, and still holds that the final status of Western Sahara should be decided by a referendum. With common territorial, cultural, linguistic and economic characteristics, Polisario is instead insisting on a purely ethnic based nation, or part of a nation. This is not acceptable even in bourgeois terms, let alone in proletarian terms. A state based only on ethnicity is not only a relic of medieval times – it sets up multiple barriers to the development of working-class consciousness and, therefore, progress towards socialism. One significant reason for this is that ethnically based states, or attempts to establish them, very quickly become politically dependent on imperialism, regardless of their intentions. They can then be easily be manipulated by imperialism, using a thousand subterfuges. Imperialism only backs ethnically based separatist movements if it can use it to its own advantage. Such is the case with the attempts to erect a Kurdish ethnic state in Iraq and Syria, or the efforts to launch an ethnically based Papuan state of “West Papua”.

Workers internationally cannot extend political support to the Morrocan government either, but it would be wise for Sahrawis to accept some form of autonomy for Western Sahara in an effort to preserve what remains of Sahrawi culture. The Moroccan government demonstrates no intention to prevent this from existing and even developing. Then, some level of economic development can flow through to all areas of Western Sahara, which would lead to the initiation and growth of a proletariat. This joint Sahrawi/Moroccan proletariat can then extend its hands to the workers of Mali, Mauritania and Algeria with the ultimate aim of laying the foundations of a socialist federation of West Africa. Key to this perspective is the forging of a network of workers’ vanguard parties utilizing the theory of Permanent Revolution to fight for collectivised, integrated and planned regional economies – forever eliminating the historical legacies of colonialism on the African continent.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

 

[1] Conflict Reignites in the Western Sahara — IR INSIDER (03-12-2020)

[2] Morocco Responds To Polisario Front Provocations In Guergarate Buffer Zone (modernghana.com) (03-12-2020)

[3] Security Council Adopts Resolution 2440 (2018), Authorizing Six-Month Extension for United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara | United Nations Peacekeeping (03-12-2020)

[4] How Is the Polisario Connected to Al- Qaeda? | Sahara Question (sahara-question.com) (05-12-2020)

[5] S.E. Cupp Explains the Not-So-New Al Qaeda Threat in the Maghreb – TheBlaze (05-12-2020)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2020/11/15/nigeria-black-lives-matter-aids-us-meddling-in-africa/ (05-12-2020)

[7] Jamaica withdraws recognition for Western Sahara – Middle East Monitor (05-12-2020)

[8] Detained Sahrawis Complain of Torture in Prison in Tindouf Camps (moroccoworldnews.com) (05-12-2020)

[9] Embezzlement of European Humanitarian Aid continues in Tindouf camps in Algeria | News Ghana (05-12-2020)

[10] https://www.ecoi.net/en/document/1104727.html (05-12-2020)

[11] https://www.if.com.au/vindication-for-stolen-filmmakers/ (05-12-2020)

[12] https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/09/319345/sahrawi-ngo-decries-enslavement-of-women-in-algerias-tindouf-camps/ (05-12-2020)

[13] https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1913/03.htm (05-12-2020)

[14] The threat of separatism in Africa (the-star.co.ke) (05-12-2020)

[15] https://www.economy.com/western-sahara/indicators (05-12-2020)

[16] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/talkingturkey/ties-that-bind-morocco-genuinely-cares-about-sahrawis-unlike-those-using-sahrawis-as-mere-pawns/ (05-12-2020)

[17] https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/10/198454/moroccos-elections-debunk-myth-marginalization-sahrawis/ (05-12-2020)

[18] https://www.mei.edu/publications/how-autonomous-autonomy-western-sahara-dispute-bind (05-12-2020)

   

Hands off Iran! No to Regime Change War

29-11-2020: Little more than 11 months after the US Empire assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced one of its top nuclear scientists had been assassinated. The Iranian Ministry of Defense stated that armed terrorists attacked Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and his security protection team, after which he was transported to hospital, but was unable to be saved.[1] No one has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet, but it occurs on the back of rumours that US President Donald Trump would launch a strike on Iran before he leaves office on January 20 (despite a fraudulent poll where a litany of election laws were ignored and statistically impossible outcomes suspiciously delivered a “result” in favour of the Democrats).[2] Adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and military leader Hossein Deghan accused the state of Israel of trying to provoke a full-blown war in the last days in office of their US ally.[3] Hossein Salami, an IRGC Commander posted on Twitter that “..the assassination of nuclear scientists is the most obvious violent confrontation of the imperialist system to prevent us from gaining access to modern science”.[4]

British-Australian operative released in prisoner swap

This cowardly act of war against Iran comes hot on the heels of the release of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British/Australian academic who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Iran for espionage. Ms Moore-Gilbert was released in exchange for three Iranians detained elsewhere.[5] The case of Moore-Gilbert is being used by the Australian government and its compliant corporate media to ramp up even more hostility to Iran, even though it is evident that the Iranian government had ample grounds for their charges of espionage. Ms Moore-Gilbert had worked as a lecturer at Melbourne University, and had attended a conference in Qom in 2018. It was at that time that Moore-Gilbert was detained and later charged and convicted of espionage, and given a 10 year sentence.[6] Moore-Gilbert has always denied the charges, but never has she, nor the corporate media, nor the Australian government, ever explained what she actually did in Iran. If she was innocent of spying, why not tell the whole story?

This refusal to explain should sound loud alarm bells. It is plausible that Moore-Gilbert was not employed or paid by the Australian government to spy on Iran. It is possible that Moore-Gilbert was yet another liberal academic who consciously or unconsciously allies herself with Australian, and therefore British and US imperialism, in their non-stop attempts to force regime change in Iran by any means. In 2019, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi stated that Moore-Gilbert was arrested on a charge of violating Iran’s national security by spying for another country.[7]  This other country is the Israeli state, and given the history of the Israeli governments’ relentless war provocations against Iran, it is entirely understandable for the Iranian government to take extreme precautions. The Sydney Morning Herald fatuously claimed that the Iranian government detained Moore-Gilbert after discovering she was in a relationship with an Israeli citizen, and was backed by the US government operated Human Rights Watch and the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council.[8] From this it is not a large leap of logic to conclude that Moore-Gilbert was indeed at least aiding the Zionist Israeli state, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was justified in protecting itself from the possible consequences. Inane whining from the liberal pro-imperialist intelligentsia about how the “regime” (they are not able to deign themselves to refer to it as a government) in Iran is allegedly “oppressive” is always used by Anglo/US/AUST imperialism as political capital for catastrophic regime change war.

Iranian government rolls out “pandemic” pantomime

What the government of the Islamic Republic could be justifiably criticised for is enacting its own scientifically groundless lockdowns[9] and medically absurd facemask mandates, which mirror the actions of the imperialist governments targeting them for destruction. From November 21, the Iranian government moved to close 150 cities on partial or full lockdown, with even a ban on cars entering or exiting.[10] The aping of the actions of the imperialist ruling classes against their own workers is a major error, one perhaps carried out to assuage the relentless war campaign against it from the West. Alas, if anything, this has only encouraged the imperialists to step up their war moves. Imperialism cannot be appeased, no matter how many times non-imperialist governments act in the same way and adopt public policies identical to the governments of the US/NATO/EU Empire. Imperialism cannot tolerate any degree of independence, even one which seeks to replicate some of its own practices.

Despite this, it is in the vital interests of working people the world over to defend the Islamic Republic of Iran against a Western led war of regime change. Iran’s role in militarily assisting the defeat of US imperialism in Syria was heroic, and vital because the Iranian government understood that if Washington/London/Paris was able to overthrow Syria, it would itself be next. Iran does not have nuclear weapons capability, but it must have the sovereign right to develop any energy source it requires – including nuclear generated electricity. The repeated assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists at the hands of the West, combines with medieval siege type sanctions to nearly break the Iranian economy. Workers must demand the lifting of all sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the immediate cessation of any assassinations and war provocations by the West.

Despite the laudable victories of the IRGC as part of the Shia Resistance bloc (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthis), Anglo/US/NATO imperialism ultimately cannot be defeated militarily. It will take an international socialist struggle against COVID-19 lies, “the Great Reset” and its accompanying imperialist wars of conquest. The forging of Marxist vanguard parties based on Permanent Revolution throughout the Middle East and internationally remain key to the first steps towards undermining the destructive power of the international system of private profit for private gain. NO WAR ON IRAN!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

[1] https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iran-announces-assassination-of-top-nuclear-scientist/ (28-11-2020)

[2] https://theredelephants.com/there-is-undeniable-mathematical-evidence-the-election-is-being-stolen/ (28-11-2020)

[3] https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2020/11/28/iran-nuclear-scientist-assassination/ (28-11-2020)

[4] https://www.axios.com/mohsen-fahrizade-iran-nuclear-assassinated-tehran-b1765dd7-ab7b-4e54-ac95-29fc082dcef2.html (28-11-2020)

[5] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-26/kylie-moore-gilbert-released-from-iran-prison-in-swap-deal/12921768 (28-11-2020)

[6] https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/dr-kylie-moore-gilbert-has-been-released-from-iranian-prison-after-804-days/ (28-11-2020)

[7] https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/443546/Australian-woman-violated-national-security-Iran (28-11-2020)

[8] https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kylie-moore-gilbert-detained-by-iran-over-baseless-israeli-spy-claims-20201126-p56i7f.html (28-11-2020)

[9] https://jonsnewplace.wordpress.com/2020/06/10/who-says-covid-19-social-distancing-lockdowns-vaccines-now-unnecessary/ (29-11-2020)

[10] https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/106143/iran-gov-t-orders-full-lockdown-in-150-cities-to-curb-covid-19 (29-11-2020)

Nigeria: Black Lives Matter Aids US Meddling in Africa

National Flag of Nigeria

15-11-2020: On October 20, reports emerged of the alleged killing of 12 protestors at two locations in Lagos[1], (Lekki and Alausa) Nigeria’s most populous city. The protestors were claimed to be part of the #EndSARS movement. “SARS” refers to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit set up in 1992. Ostensibly, this is a movement of Nigerian youth against police brutality. In reality, it is yet another covert attempt at regime change in Africa, which serves the ends of Washington in a struggle for relevance in their period of economic and political decline. Whenever a protest movement rapidly moves from the stated reason for protests (in this case police brutality) to calls for the leader (in this case President Muhammadu Buhari) to step down, you can smell the interference of the US state department from miles away. Even as the Nigerian government responded to the #EndSARS movement by renaming the SARS unit the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit, the protests moved seamlessly into calls for Buhari to step down. #EndSARS became #Buharimustgo[2], and the fig leaf covering the movement was blown away.

What really happened?

The #EndSARS movement claims that the military opened fire on peaceful protestors at Lekki, but this appears fallacious. Both the Nigerian military and the police emphatically deny shooting at protestors. Nigeria’s army said the shootings were “fake news”, while the Police Minister Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi told the BBC that troops were NOT ordered to open fire on protestors, and that soldiers are denying their involvement.[3] Major Osoba Olaniyi, a spokesperson for the 81st division of the Nigerian Army, insisted that soldiers did NOT shoot at #EndSARS protestors. What occurred was that there was an outbreak of violence amongst #EndSARS protestors, or some elements intent on hijacking the movement. Several police stations were attacked and burnt, some police officers were killed, some suspects in police custody were released and weapons were carried away. In response to the violence and anarchy, the Lagos state government decided to call in the military to restore order after a 24 hour curfew was imposed.[4] Far from the fanciful narrative of the #EndSARS movement, the Lagos state government responded in the same manner as many governments around the world would, if it experienced terroristic violence being waged against it.

We have seen such tactics many times before, in US orchestrated attempts to paint a government targeted for removal as “brutal” or “authoritarian”. Create, fund and even arm an opposition within the country, provoke a reaction from the security forces, claim “oppression” from a “dictator”, garner political backing from liberal establishments the world over, and ramp up the political pressure internationally. It has been attempted, with varying degrees of “success” in Serbia, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and the list goes on. In Africa, similar attempts have recently been made in Algeria[5] and Sudan[6]. Now it is the turn of Nigeria, but this time, claimed political legitimacy is dispensed by Black Lives Matter (BLM), foot soldiers of big capital who ransacked parts of the US itself in order to dethrone US President Donald Trump, and install Democratic candidate Joe Biden. This appears to have “succeeded” in the US, but the stakes are just as high on the African continent.

BLM imperialist foreign policy

Over and over again, L Trotsky, co-leader of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, stressed that the politics of a party, organisation or individual cannot ultimately be assessed on the basis of their positions “at home”. To grasp a real sense of their politics, their international positions must be identified and examined. One can shout to the heavens about how strongly one backs social justice at home, but this unravels the moment an organisation sides with “its own” ruling class against its real or imagined international enemies. The fact that BLM has never uttered even one word against any US imperialist war over the last 7 years of its existence speaks volumes. As Tony Cartalucci correctly notes, black lives cannot just matter at home, they must matter everywhere.[7] In fact, Black, Brown and Asian lives must matter everywhere, and US imperialism must be opposed whenever and wherever it imposes its will politically, economically and militarily.

BLM arose around 2013, but they maintained radio silence on the US/NATO war on Libya, which destroyed the entire state and resulted in fratricidal war ever since. What is more, in its place stepped the reappearance of black slavery[8], where the slave trade under Green Libya had been punishable by death. BLM matter remained unmoved and maintained its silence over the entirety of the US/NATO war of regime change against Syria, and blatant US regime change efforts in Venezuela, amongst others. Yet BLM wasted no time whatsoever in issuing a statement in support of the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, claiming “pan-Africanist solidarity is central to the global Black Lives Matter movement”.[9] For class aware workers, such opportunism should ring alarm bells.

Almost to a rule, Hollywood and other celebrities also chime in with US imperialist escapades. In this case, rapper Kanye West, footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer Trey Songz, Star Wars actor John Boyega all put their names to the anti-SARS campaign.[10] Beyonce and Rihanna also threw their hats into the ring, alongside – wait for it – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey[11] !! Fresh from blocking and banning Twitter uses who post about Joe Biden’s corruption[12], we are expected to believe that Twitter now stands against alleged police violence in Nigeria? Socialists can – perhaps – excuse actors and celebrities who are not particularly politically aware, but not Big Tech which is a key arm of global capitalist censorship of the internet. When BLM and Twitter align as if one, the fix is on – and not just that of the US presidential elections. We are dealing squarely with liberal imperialism.

East versus West in Africa

To entertain the notion that #EndSARS is an innocent movement for the rights of Nigerians is a fantasy. In reality, #EndSARS is part of a hybrid proxy war for Africa waged by Washington against Moscow and Beijing. As the US economy staggers and US “leadership” of the world becomes ever more redundant, more and more African countries are, not without reason, turning to the Russian Federation for security assurances, and to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for economic assistance. Ditto for many other countries in Central and South East Asia, and Latin America. Russia, with its superior military technology, is uniquely placed to offer a deterrent against US imperialist destablisation. The PRC, with its gargantuan and still expanding socialist economy, is uniquely placed to offer economic and developmental aid, especially with regard to the building of much needed roads, railways, ports, and key infrastructure. As both Russia and the PRC are emphatically non-imperialist powers, such aid is proffered with “no strings attached”. For African countries, co-operation with Russia and the PRC is therefore a no-brainer.

In fact, Russia and Nigeria had been co-operating for at least several years, both in an economic and security sense. In 2017, Russia and Nigeria agreed to step up co-operation with developing a nuclear industry, infrastructure projects, and the export of Russian industrial products to Nigeria. They also cemented ties in the struggle against the terrorism of various groups such as Boko Haram, wreaking havoc in the Sahel-Sahara region of Africa.[13]  In August 2013, Russia, Nigeria and Niger signed an explicit security pact, with the emphasis on countering the terrorism of Boko Haram. The agreement even goes so far as to enable the training of Nigerian servicemen and women in Russian military establishments.[14] Such agreements are a vital necessity for Nigeria, regardless of what the Pentagon – and Black Lives Matter – may think about them.

PRC investment in Nigeria is no small beer, either. In 2017, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Nigerian President Buhari to confirm an additional $40 billion investment in Nigeria by PRC firms. In coming years, this figure could reach between $60 and $80 billion.[15] In 2019, Ye Shuijin, the Managing Director of the China Geo-Engineering Company, stated that his company has offices in 30 Nigerian states, and had a workforce which is 95% Nigerian – comprising over 200 000 staff.[16] What is more, in 2018, Nigeria joined the PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or New Silk Road), alongside scores of other countries. Yet projects not specifically linked to the BRI already built and completed by PRC firms in Nigeria include: the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge railway line, a rail mass transit system in Abuja, a new terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line, the Port Harcourt International Airport, the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, and the Lekki deep sea port project, amongst others.[17] An impartial observer could not but agree that all of this investment and infrastructure will greatly assist Nigeria’s overall economic development.

NATO powers intervene “against” Boko Haram

The response of the NATO powers is not at all to co-operate alongside other countries assisting Africa, but to use any and all means to disrupt Africa-Russia-PRC ties, up to and including regime change via covert backing of armed mercenaries, a la “the Syrian option”. BLM backed protest movements against spurious claims of police brutality and “bad governance” then provides civilian liberal political cover for the violent terrorism of Boko Haram and others. Like ISIS in Syria, it is completely implausible that a mob of rag-tag terrorists could be waging war across multiple countries in Africa without serious state support. In fact, Boko Haram, Ansar Al-Sharia and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) all operate in the Sahara-Sahel region. AQIM obtained serious weaponry from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which in turn was armed through NATO, in its war against Green Libya. Some sources trace Boko Haram funding to the United Kingdom and the Saudi Arabian monarchy, as their violence stretches across Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Mali, and Chad.[18]

This is on top of actual US troops crawling across the African countries, while pointing the finger at Russia and the PRC when questions are raised. US Special Ops commandos currently operate in 22 African countries, a much greater presence than even the Middle East.[19] Libya was the first US/NATO war which was overseen by AFRICOM (US Africa Command)[20], and its role has only grown since then. In 2014, African Renaissance News compiled a report which wondered aloud whether Boko Haram was a covert CIA operation to take control of Nigeria.[21]  The previous year, US Major General Carter F. Ham told a House Armed Services Committee hearing that AFRICOM is “concerned” about AQIM in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al Shabaab in Somalia.[22] The pattern is clear – the US/NATO powers covertly aid and assist Takfiri-Salafist[23] terrorist groups across Africa who create chaos, then US/NATO sends in their troops to shadow box with them. The conflict, war, death, and destruction that results then makes it more difficult for Russian and Chinese investment in infrastructure and the hydrocarbons industry to be in any way functional. African countries remain poor and war-ridden, with US imperialism still posing as a saviour.

Anti-racist movements must be anti-imperialist

Even if we ignore the funding for BLM from billionaire financier and colour revolution creator George Soros[24], BLM can be condemned simply on its pro-imperialist politics. We are speaking here of BLM the organisation, rather than BLM the movement. There may well be many who attend BLM actions who sincerely believe they are struggling for racial justice – but this is an illusion. As long as those who attend BLM actions leave the politics and tactics to the BLM organisation, they are being used for ends the very opposite of what they imagine they are fighting for. BLM’s rioting, looting, and burning across the US this year is merely the small-scale version of the violent terrorism which US imperialism enables and feigns to fight “against” in Africa. The two are inextricably linked in more ways than one. For example, BLM was not only rolled out to politically bolster the coming imperialist wars of Joe Biden and the Democrats abroad. BLM was used to enforce the fraudulent “pandemic” which is being wielded domestically by Western imperialist governments against “their own” working class at home. No group was a stronger believer in the Covid-19 lies than BLM, who were given extraordinary permission to demonstrate despite the savage lockdown orders on everyone else.

A campaign against racism, under any description, must first strongly oppose US/EU/NATO imperialism and its political, economic, and military war on working people across the globe. If it does not reach this first bar, workers are correct to suspect that something is fishy. The liberal bourgeoisie waxes lyrical about how “anti-racist” it is – while underpinning the very capitalist system which causes racism in the first place. BLM is the first among equals in this opportunistic and faux “anti-racism”. Imperialism also knows how to manipulate an anti-police brutality movement for its own ends also, but workers should smell a rat when one is transferred wholesale to an underdeveloped African nation.

Marxists are the last ones to oppose investment, trade and security ties between African nations and the Russian Federation and the PRC. Indeed, such agreements should be defended from disruption from overt interference, e.g. war and US troops on the ground, and also covert interference, e.g. proxy terrorist wars and fake “good governance” campaigns waged internally and externally with the help of the likes of BLM and other Western backed fronts. At the same time, revolutionaries recognise that both Russia and the PRC will only offer development assistance which aids the stabilisation and growth of capitalism in Africa – which will ultimately not solve underlying political problems.

Russia obviously has no drive towards socialism, but neither does the PRC, even though it operates a socialist economy and maintains a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state at home. The Communist Party of China (CPC) rigidly adheres to the anti-Marxist theory of “socialism in one country”, which today means that it seeks to fortify capitalism in all countries outside its borders. While any economic assistance to poverty-stricken countries in Africa is welcome, genuine Leninists would at the same time be, where possible, propagandising for socialism amongst the workers of all countries. That is, while it is the right and the duty of a workers’ state to seek out and secure investment and trade opportunities for its domestic industries, the duty of the political leadership of that state is to reach out politically to the workers of the capitalist state it is seeking to invest in, to gather forces internationally for the victory of world socialism. As can be seen, the CPC is not up to this task. The mission for African and international workers remains the forging of vanguard parties which uphold Permanent Revolution, to finally break the chains of imperialist subjugation through an international struggle for liberation.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2020/10/22/mil-osi-ngos-nigeria-killing-of-endsars-protesters-by-the-military-must-be-investigated/ (11-11-2020)

[2] https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a34485605/what-is-endsars/ (11-11-2020)

[3] https://www.africanews.com/2020/10/22/nigeria-sars-protest-smoke-billows-from-lagos-prison-gunshots-heard/ (11-11-2020)

[4] https://www.nigerianeye.com/2020/10/lekki-massacre-lagos-govt-asked-us-to.html (11-11-2020)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2019/04/18/algeria-us-foments-destabilisation-in-africa/ (11-11-2020)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2019/06/20/sudan-us-plots-further-balkanisation/ (11-11-2020)

[7] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/06/to-america-black-lives-only-sometimes.html (14-11-2020)

[8] https://www.dazeddigital.com/politics/article/38187/1/black-slave-auctions-in-libya-are-a-terrifying-throwback (14-11-2020)

[9] https://blacklivesmatter.com/black-lives-matter-stands-in-solidarity-with-endsars-movement-against-police-brutality (14-11-2020)

[10] https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/13/africa/global-end-sars-protests-nigeria-intl/index.html (14-11-2020)

[11] https://www.fastcompany.com/90566898/how-to-help-nigeria-what-you-can-do-for-the-end-sars-protest-movement-right-now (14-11-2020)

[12] https://reclaimthenet.org/biden-memes-banned-twitter/ (14-11-2020)

[13] https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/252109/russia-nigeria-seek-to-strengthen-cooperation.html (14-11-2020)

[14] https://globeafrique.com/russia-nigeria-sig-military-compact/ (14-11-2020)

[15] https://guardian.ng/news/china-plans-40b-investment-in-nigeria/ (14-11-2020)

[16] https://punchng.com/chinese-companies-investments-in-nigeria-hit-20bn-cccn/ (14-11-2020)

[17] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/01/how-chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-affects-nigeria-africa/ (14-11-2020)

[18] https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-and-france-target-boko-haram-and-focus-on-africas-strategic-minerals/5424607 (14-11-2020)

[19] https://www.rt.com/news/497891-africa-us-military-footprint/ (14-11-2020)

[20] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/14/africom-imperial-agenda-marches-on (14-11-2020)

[21] https://www.globalresearch.ca/is-boko-haram-a-cia-covert-op-to-divide-and-conquer-africa/ (14-11-2020)

[22] http://silentcrownews.com/wordpress/?p=1839 (15-11-2020)

[23] https://archives.infowars.com/boko-haram-terror-attack-in-nigeria-opens-door-to-africom/ (15-11-2020)

[24] https://gellerreport.com/2020/07/soros-millions-blm.html/ (15-11-2020)