#SOSCUBA: Code for Counter-Revolution

CUBA-PINAR DEL RÍO SERÁ SEDE DEL ACTO CENTRAL POR EL 26 DE JULIO

Above: Cubans marching with their national flag, and the flag of the July 26 Movement (26 Julio). Image from http://www.radiorebelde.cu

17-07-2021: Here we go again. Following in the footsteps of numerous “colour revolutions”, destabilisations and outright subversion in multiple countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, now it is Cuba’s turn. As always, regime change operations such as these can ultimately be traced back to one source – US imperialism and their allies. The “#SOSCUBA” demonstrations throughout the island 144 kilometres south of Florida last week had an openly anti-socialist and anti-government character, regardless of a number of economic difficulties Cuba is currently facing. Some placards read “Down with Communism!” and “Down with the Dictator!”, revealing once and for all their counter-revolutionary political character. Workers internationally need to be aware that the US Empire is continually fostering and fomenting regime change within Cuba, via the funding of ultra-reactionary dissidents on the island, and through similar operations in the USA itself.

US funded sabotage

US coup-installed President Joe Biden wasted no time in throwing his support behind the ultra-right wing protests in Cuba. He indicated that Cubans had taken to the streets to protest food shortages and high prices amid the (so-called) “pandemic”. He waffled that the Cuban people are “demanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime”.[1] The rhetoric about protesting food shortages and high prices is simply a cover from both Biden and his proxies for deep-seated anti-socialism. The US state itself spares little expense in putting in fuelling any legitimate discontent towards regime change, ever since Cuba’s socialist revolution in 1959. In the weeks before the July 11 protests, the US State Department asked for $30 million for “democracy promotion” in Cuba, i.e., regime change operations.[2] This is on top of a current tally of $10 million to “identify and promote the next generation of Civil Society leaders” – in other words the current protest leaders themselves.

On July 6, US congressional bill H.R. 4373 was passed, which allots $9.7 million for the US Agency for Global Media.[3] This arm runs the notorious Voice of America media outlet, which broadcasts anti-socialist propaganda daily around the world. It also runs Radio y Television Marti, which beams anti-Cuban government media directly into the island from Miami in Florida. There is some evidence that anti-Cuban messaging was being co-ordinated even before the protests in Cuba, aided and abetted by Twitter. The Big Tech titan, which has censored thousands of accounts over the past 18 months during the fear pandemic, also has a history of shutting down Cuban government and Cuban media accounts.[4] In other words, the July 11 protests in Cuba were planned with the help of the Empire.

The cost of the blockade

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the CIA arm which works full-time on regime change operations, admits that it provided “critical support to advance democracy” in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela during 2020.[5] Needless to say, the NED never “advances democracy”, however that may be defined, but constantly works to overthrow any nation which attempts any inkling of independence from Washington. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez argued in favour of a US military intervention in Cuba, and even suggested it should consider bombing as a part of such efforts.[6] Although sounding ludicrous, it is only political realities that prevents Washington from carrying this out. That is, if it was true that the Cuban government was a dictatorial regime that the overwhelming majority deeply resented, a US military intervention may not cause an outcry. Of course, however, pro-US dissidents in Cuba are certainly there – but are only a small minority.

Indeed, since the anti-government protests, there have been a series of pro-government and pro-revolution demonstrations in response.[7] In fact, footage of some of the largest pro-government rallies in Cuba was falsely used by the Western corporate media to promote an anti-government agenda. The Guardian, Fox News, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Times and Voice of America were all caught in this act of blatant dishonesty.[8] Some of the rallies featured the red and black flag of the July 26 Movement (J26M), the organisation which Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others formed in the course of the Cuban revolution, and parts of which later became the governing Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Obviously, thousands of supporters of J26M would be pro-revolution, not pro-imperialism!

There is no doubt that Cuba is dealing with formidable economic difficulties, which cause shortages of some supplies and utilities like electricity. Where electricity needs to be “rationed”, the hospitals and other vital services are prioritised. However, overwhelmingly the main cause of the economic travails is the economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the US government ever since 1962. In 2002, the Cuban government estimated it loses $685 million annually due to the embargo. A 2008 estimate claimed that the blockade had cost Cuba $93 billion in lost revenue.[9] These losses are not just one way. It is estimated that US businesses forego $2 billion in trade annually that could be made if travel and commerce with Cuba was allowed by the US government. Washington makes a calculation that some economic losses are subordinate to the overall political goal of demonising socialism in Cuba.

Socialism on one island

The Republic of Cuba, however, remains a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state which is politically led by a conservative and nationalist caste. This means the PCC assiduously applies the mistaken Stalinist policies of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence with imperialism” – even at the same time as bravely defending their outstanding achievements. Instead of reaching out to workers of Latin America, the Caribbean and internationally, the PCC leadership restricts much of its internationalism to sharply limited diplomacy with the capitalist and imperialist states of the West. Instead of at least politically aiming for international socialism, the PCC and their backers effectively attempt to construct “socialism on one island” – a bare impossibility. Socialism, at the very least, is about the world’s resources for the world’s people, which can only begin to come about with the working-class holding state power in the major industrialised nations and regions of the planet.

To maintain “socialism on one island”, the nationalist caste leading Cuba cooperates with and helps prop-up capitalist imperialism internationally. “Marxism” is tossed out of the window in favour of diplomatic recognition by the very world powers which plot their overthrow. The most graphic illustration of this practice is the PCC’s capitulation to the Covid fear pandemic, which in practice is the most severe assault on the global working class in history. The PCC act as if the same imperialists which seek to destroy everything they have achieved since 1959 are somehow at the same time highly concerned about the health and welfare of the poorest people on the planet. Through acting as stagehands for the Covid pantomime, the PCC have betrayed their own workers and have simultaneously boosted imperialist political control over the working class throughout the globe.

So eager was the PCC to assist imperialism it enacted measures which harmed Cuba’s economy. They imposed lockdowns and facemasks on March 20, 2020, and on March 24, they closed their borders to tourism[10] – one of the lifebloods of the economy. Lockdowns, facemasks and border shutdowns have not one shred of scientific or medical legitimacy – but the PCC prodded Cuba’s famed medicos to play along with the Covid charade. The nonsensical Covid restrictions forced Cuba’s economy to retract by 11% in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).[11] In a country which struggles economically at the best of times, this was a body blow.

Internationalism?

The Cuban government has displayed a form of selfless internationalism in the past with regard to its international deployments of doctors and health professionals. Many Third World nations have benefited from this largesse, and workers internationally have correctly applauded this practice. However, the dispatching of the Henry Reeve Brigade to 50 nations[12] to deal with “Covid” – a mild flu if it exists at all – can only be condemned. Similarly, Cuba’s development of Covid vaccines[13] is another stab in the back to workers struggling against the tyranny and oppression of lockdowns worldwide.

By adopting the Covid language, methods and practice of imperialism itself, the nationalist caste leading Cuba have bolstered the political stocks of the US Empire even as it wages a life and death struggle against the workers of the world. It has contributed to some confusion amongst some workers who claim to be anti-imperialist and carry out some level of Cuba solidarity. If the Cuban government is on board with Covid – they wrongly figure – then Covid must be a deadly plague. The opposite is the case, as Covid is merely the ideological cover utilised by imperialism to camouflage its descent into a new and historically more dangerous form of fascism. That the PCC have assisted in this disastrous step towards the “New Normal” speaks volumes as to the depth of its betrayal.

In a similar vein, the nationalist castes at the head of other deformed workers’ states have played a similarly treacherous role. The political leaderships of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have all joined with the Western governments in a vast deception of their own working class, as well as the workers of the world. The Communist Party of China (CPC) arguably led the way, being the first government to impose Covid lockdowns – albeit only in one city, and only for a period of around two months.[14] The DPRK’s government immediately shutdown its borders in response to Covid, and this has led to significant economic difficulties. The DPRK’s main and important trading partner is the PRC, but during the lockdowns, trade with the PRC plummeted by 80%.[15] The SRV faired better in an economic sense, and still managed to post an impressive 5.64% GDP growth figure recently[16], despite its partial imposed lockdowns.

Hands Off Cuba!

It is of vital importance that workers internationally demand the lifting of the blockade and embargo on Cuba, and an end to US state meddling through the funding and fostering of anti-socialist sabotage. At the same time, Cuba today is a living refutation of the twin Stalinist policies of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence”. Even if a workers’ state scrupulously respects the boundaries of the Empire outside it, imperialism will never return an ounce of respect. Imperialism is the expansionist policy of finance capital, and capital must expand beyond national boundaries as soon as it has saturated the home market. Or, it reaches a saturation point when it has so impoverished the majority of its working class at home that it must embark on diabolical adventures to intervene and/or overthrow other countries which are not totally open to its exploitation. In Cuba, this is the basic reason for the 60-year blockade, the ban on US travel, the fomenting of anti-socialist dissent, and so on.

While a victorious socialist revolution in an isolated state will need to defend its borders and come to diplomatic agreements with imperialist states in the absence of being joined by other workers’ revolutions internationally, “socialism in one country” is fictitious. Even the PRC, with a vast economic base, can only take steps towards world socialism. The defence of the Cuban revolution “at home” requires the political expansion of the working-class struggle against capitalism internationally. This requires a genuinely Leninist political outlook, which seeks – where possible – to co-ordinate an international workers struggle against capital’s global rule.

Russian revolutionary leader L Trotsky did not live to see the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Yet his formula of proletarian political revolution (ultimately initiated by Lenin against his own Soviet State from 1921) for deformed workers’ states remains critical. Such a series of acts will defend the Cuban socialistic state, while shedding the legacy of an increasingly narrow “socialism on one island”. While demanding imperialist “Hands Off Cuba”, only working-class internationalism can end the interference of Empire.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

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

[1] How Cuba Protests Reveal Biden’s Political Challenges In South Florida: NPR (16-07-2021)

[2] Morgan Artyukhina on Twitter: “Last week, US State Dept asked for almost $30 million toward regime change ops in Cuba, including upgrades to propaganda outlet Radio y Television Marti & promoting “free enterprise and private business organizations” & “people-to-people educational and cultural activities.” 🤔 https://t.co/U0tFULtzc6” / Twitter (16-07-2021)

[3] H. R. 4373 (Reported-in-House) (govinfo.gov) (16-07-2021)

[4] ‘Bay of Tweets’: Twitter Permits Anti-Cuba Bot Army Despite ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour’ Rules – Sputnik International (sputniknews.com) (16-07-2021)

[5] Latin America and Caribbean – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (16-07-2021)

[6] Miami Mayor Says the US Should Consider Bombing Cuba – News From Antiwar.com (16-07-2021)

[7] Cubans take to the streets in rejection of destabilization attempts – YouTube (16-07-2021)

[8] Blatant propaganda: Western media use images of PRO-government rally, protest in Miami to illustrate Cuban unrest as Havana warns of ‘soft coup’ — Society’s Child — Sott.net (16-07-2021)

[9] Blockade on Cuba Costs US Economy More – COHA (16-07-2021)

[10] Leading by Example: Cuba in the Covid-19 Pandemic – CounterPunch.org (16-07-2021)

[11] Cuba’s successful response to COVID-19 | Green Left (16-07-2021)

[12] Cuba and the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade deserve to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – Doctors not Bombs – Jamaica Peace Council (wordpress.com) (16-07-2021)

[13] Cuba announces its Abdala vaccine is 92.28% effective against Covid-19 | USA | EL PAÍS in English (elpais.com) (16-07-2021)

[14] Coronavirus: Lockdowns in Wuhan, Hubei long lifted but some Chinese workers still stuck, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times (16-07-2021)

[15] https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/06/11/across-the-north-korean-border-in-china-an-economic-winter-that-never-ends/ (16-07-2021)

[16] https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnam-posts-high-economic-growth-in-six-months-despite-covid19/204032.vnp (16-07-2021)

Ethiopia: US/EU Meddling Stokes Ethnic Conflict

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Flag of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

12-07-2021: In modern times, there appears to be numerous regions around the world that are afflicted by separatist struggles which are be driven by ethnic or national grievances. On scratching the surface, however, one often finds the fingerprints of the imperialist machinations of the governments of the United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU). Ethiopia today is an example of meddling by the US and the EU, who are covertly backing the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in a fratricidal conflict inevitably aimed at the current Ethiopian government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The US and the EU are doggedly using any means at their disposal – including the fostering of ultra-violent civil conflict – to prevent Africa’s second most populous nation[1] becoming an independent and regional leader via its co-operation with Beijing and Moscow. Workers internationally need to be aware of the deadly manoeuvres at play.

TPLF launches war

The Western corporate media narrative is that the Ethiopian government is carrying out a campaign of suppression against the Tigrayan people defending their basic rights. This is an inversion of reality. In early November 2020, PM Ahmed announced military operations against the TPLF, but only in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps. Around midnight on November 3, the TPLF had launched an armed attack on the Dansha barracks of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), with an hours long rifle and grenade barrage that included former ENDF soldiers of Tigrayan background which had switched loyalties to the TPLF. This was an epic betrayal, with some ENDF soldiers being “killed in their pyjamas” by Tigrayans they had formerly fought alongside.[2] The TPLF followed this on November 9 with a massacre of over 500 civilians mainly from the Amhara, Oromo and Wolaita ethnic groups. The President of the Amhara region utterly condemned the murderous assault and urged people not to fall for the TPLF’s plot of stoking ethnic conflict between Tigrayans and Amharans.[3]

This was obviously unacceptable and was the trigger for the announcement of military operations against the TPLF by PM Ahmed. The ENDF later took control of the regional capital Mekele in late November, but the TPLF vowed to fight on.[4] Some have commented that tensions between the TPLF and PM Ahmed were bound to break out. Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for concluding peace with longtime rival Eritrea, which alienated the TPLF.[5] This was partially due to the TPLF being backed by the West for 27 years when it was in government, before being dumped by them in favour of Ahmed.[6] Now the worm has turned again, and it is Ahmed’s turn to be demonised by the US/EU for having the temerity to even partially ally Ethiopia with their New Cold War foes.

China/Russia cooperation spurs Ethiopian advance

Like many nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Ethiopia has undeniably benefitted from economic co-operation with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and military co-operation with the Russian Federation. The PRC is Ethiopia’s top trade and investment partner, and the two nations work together on a whole swathe of mutually beneficial economic projects. In the area of hi-tech co-operation, the giant Chinese based tech group Alibaba is developing its World Trade Platform, which will help Ethiopia develop its digital economy. Incredibly, PRC assistance in the hi-tech sector has enabled Ethiopia to launch its first ever satellite into space.[7] Like other African countries, Ethiopia benefits handsomely from integration with the PRC’s Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and by signing on to the PRC’s impressive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In 2020, Ethiopia approved over 1500 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects from Chinese based businesses worth 2.7 billion dollars, which accounts for 25% of the total FDI operating within the country.[8]

One of the flagship BRI projects completed in recent years is the Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail line. Ethiopia has long suffered from a lack of rail infrastructure, with the previous line along this route being built by French colonialists in the 1890s, which had since fallen into disrepair. The electrified BRI built rail line runs parallel to the disused and superseded line, and the new $4 billion line will carry both passengers and freight, and will cut travel times between the two destinations from several days to less than ten hours.[9] The rail line gives landlocked Ethiopia crucial access to a seaport, and thus links to further international trade and commerce. Undeniably, such infrastructure alongside other sectors of investment from the PRC has driven Ethiopia’s stunning economic growth in recent years. Ethiopia is the fastest growing non-oil based economy in the world. In 2017, Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was a remarkable 10.2%, which has tailed down to 6.1% during 2020[10] even despite the near worldwide lockdowns of economies due to a nonsensical fear pandemic.

Such economic growth is the envy of the West, with Europe, the US, Australia and others enduring critical economic malaise effectively since the “global” financial crisis of 2008. And in fact, Ethiopia’s cooperation with Russia, not just the PRC, has also contributed to its impressive growth. As part of its economic and military technical agreements, Russia has written off debts owed by Ethiopia.[11] This somewhat assists Ethiopia to recover economically from scientifically unjustifiable “Covid” lockdowns. Ethiopia is yet another example of a government acceding to the fake Covid narrative emanating from Washington and Brussels, yet receiving no guarantee in return that it will not be subject to imperialist destablisation, up to and including the stoking of fratricidal regime change war.

However, in Ethiopia’s case, military cooperation with the Russian Federation forms a partial block to US/EU regime change aims. In July, the two nations held the 11th Ethio-Russia Military Technical Cooperation Forum in Addis Ababa. The former Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) offered strong support to the Derg government in Ethiopia in the 70s and 80s, and this close diplomatic relationship has continued despite political developments since then. Ethiopia (and Eritrea) is distinct from other countries in the Horn of Africa in the sense that rather than Islam or Catholicism or Protestantism being predominant religions, Orthodox Christianity largely takes centre stage. This is not only a means of cultural exchange, as Ethiopian and Russian Orthodox Church officials occasionally engage in exchanges alongside politicians and their delegations from both nations.[12]

US/EU false claims of “atrocities” and “famine”

Unable to compete in the same ballpark of the mutually beneficial ties between Addis Ababa and Moscow and Beijing, the US and the EU resort to the worst tricks of the neo-colonial trade. After its involvement in the massacre on November 9, the TPLF was declared a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.[13] The ENDF then began its military campaign against the TPLF, lest any more civilians lose their lives. Demonstrating crass hypocrisy, in January the EU suspended 88 million Euros worth of budgetary support for Ethiopia until humanitarian support agencies are granted access to the northern Tigray region.[14] The US Biden Administration chimed in, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken releasing a statement accusing both Ethiopia and Eritrea of “human rights abuses”, “atrocities” and “gender-based violence” against people of the Tigrayan region.[15] Needless to say, these claims were made with no substantiating evidence. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) further made baseless claims that the ENDF military operations against the TPLF was pushing “400 000 innocent people to the brink of famine”, and urged the world to remember the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s.[16]

The egregious piety and double-dealing from US imperialism here is more than apparent. The number one war Empire accuses yet another Third World nation of “human rights abuses” and of not allowing “humanitarian access” to Tigray – which would likely be a replay of the situation in Syria. For years there, the US/EU cried out for “humanitarian access” to Idlib, the last bastion where ISIS and Al Qaeda were stationed. EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic replicated, releasing a statement to EU MPs which claimed that Ethiopia was “laying siege” to Tigray, and “using starvation as a weapon”.[17] Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Foreign Minister and EU special envoy to Ethiopia, went much further. He made the claim that in closed meetings, Ethiopian leaders had told him that “they were going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years”. In turn, the Ethiopian government expressly denied anything of the sort had taken place and described Haavisto of having a “hallucination” or a “lapse of memory”.[18]

Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, in a letter to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, openly suggested that US President Joe Biden’s administration was stoking “conflict and destablisation” in Tigray, with the apparent objective being to “resuscitate the remnants of the TPLF regime”.[19] Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government released a statement confirming that humanitarian aid agencies have been allowed access to Tigray, though they have been under the supervision of a government-led process.[20] It is entirely understandable that the Ethiopian government would oversee the delivery of aid to a region of its own country, especially given the recent example of how “aid” to ISIS and Al Qaeda in Idlib during the proxy war on Syria fuelled and prolonged that dire conflict. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed even stated that foreign aid into Tigray could be exploited as a means to re-arm the TPLF.[21] It is to the credit of the Ethiopian government that they recognise the Machiavellian moves of US/EU imperialism and move to prevent them from eventuating.

Ethiopia rising

The Ethiopian government is also moving in the direction of trying to establish a common market for the Horn of Africa. One project which underpins such moves is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which, despite tensions with Egypt over the use of water resources from the Nile, is already providing hydroelectric power to its neighbours. It is currently generating 2000 MW of power but aims for 10 000 MW as construction nears completion over the coming years. This has earnt Ethiopia the nickname of the “water tower of East Africa”.[22]  Large scale engineering projects such as this will lead to further economic development, as the supply of electricity has the tendency to do. These and other developments indicate the leading economic and political role that Ethiopia is playing in Africa. This growth sends shockwaves throughout the corridors of power in the US and the EU. For decades, the US and the EU have destablised the Horn of Africa through intervention and war (recall the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down) to maintain a form of control for imperialism. The last thing the US and the EU want is an economically strong and politically united state in Africa helping Africans to lift themselves out of decades of despair. Rather, the US and the EU need a “weak, famine-stricken and ethnically fragmented vassal state in Ethiopia”.[23]  This is the real reason for US/EU backing of the TPLF.

After centuries of colonial rule by the European powers and the US Empire which followed, Africa finally has the option of economic and military assistance from the PRC and Russia which takes place on the basis of mutual respect. Socialists uphold the right of African nations to engage and/or ally themselves with the PRC and Russia in the process of seeking to push themselves forward to First World levels of development. At the same time, Leninists understand that neither the governments of the PRC nor the Russian Federation aim to build socialism in Africa or anywhere else. While economic development in Africa on a capitalist basis can lead to certain benefits for African workers, ultimate elimination of poverty and underdevelopment will only occur under publicly owned and planned economies facilitated by the operation of democratically operated workers councils – overseen by regionally integrated workers’ states. For this and future upheavals, the leadership of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties will be vital for socialist liberation.

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Ethiopia Population (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) (12-07-2021)

[2] The midnight attack on an army camp that plunged Ethiopia into war | Africanews (12.07.2021)

[3] More than 500 innocent civilians massacred by TPLF forces in Mai Kadra during retreat (ethiopiancitizen.com) (12-07-2021)

[4] EU envoy warns Ethiopia Tigray crisis ‘out of control’ – EURACTIV.com (12-07-2021)

[5] Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister – The New York Times (nytimes.com) (12-07-2021)

[6] Ethiopia: Ethnic Apartheid and the Globalist Colonizers’ Playbook – 21st Century Wire (12-07-2021)

[7] China-Ethiopia relations to see more achievements in 2020: diplomat – Xinhua | English.news.cn (xinhuanet.com) (12-07-2021)

[8] Ethiopia-China Enjoy Strong Cooperation of Belt & Road | Belt & Road News (beltandroad.news) (12-07-2021)

[9] Improved access for Ethiopia: opening the Addis Ababa-Djibouti line (railway-technology.com) (12-07-2021)

[10] Ethiopia GDP Annual Growth Rate | 1981-2020 Data | 2021-2023 Forecast | Historical (tradingeconomics.com) (12-07-2021)

[11] Beyond COVID-19 Aid, Ethiopia Hoists Africa’s Flag – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[12] https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/global-perspectives-ethiopia-russia-relations (12-07-2021)

[13] Is Foreign Meddling in Ethiopia Actually a Proxy War Against China? – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[14] EU suspends Ethiopian budget support over Tigray crisis | Reuters (12-07-2021)

[15] Statement by Secretary Antony J. Blinken on the Continuing Atrocities and Denial of Humanitarian Access in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia (usembassy.gov) (12-07-2021)

[16] U.S.-EU Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Emergency in Tigray | Press Release | U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid.gov) (12-07-2021)

[17] EU commissioner misled MEPs on Tigray war, Ethiopia claims (euobserver.com) (12-07-2021)

[18] The Bloody Conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | New Eastern Outlook (journal-neo.org) (12-07-2021)

[19] Eritrea blames US support for Tigray’s leaders for the war (apnews.com) (12-07-2021)

[20] News: Ethiopia “deeply concerned” by EU statement on Tigray, stays silent on accusations of Eritrea’s role in the armed conflict – Addis Standard (12-07-2021)

[21] What Explains Ethiopia’s Stunning Military Reversal in Tigray? – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[22] Regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa: Wishful thinking or a basis for peace? – ECDPM (12-07-2021)

[23] Ethiopia – Following in the path of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria? Susan Rice’s New War: Washington weaponizing human rights again – Target Ethiopia. | View from the Left Bank: Rob Prince’s Blog (robertjprince.net) (12-07-2021)

Myanmar: “Anti-Coup” Incendiaries Unleash Terror

pyu saw tee demo

Above: Defenders of Myanmar rally with banners and flags in Yangon on February 25, 2021. Image from http://www.cbsnews.com

29/06/2021: According to Western corporate media, the military forces of Myanmar (Tatmadaw) made false claims of electoral fraud with the results of the 2020 November 8 election, and carried out a coup on February 2 2021, restoring military rule. Apparently in response, hundreds of thousands across Myanmar have engaged in peaceful protests demanding the restoration of democracy, only to be met by severe repression. The peaceful protestors are determined to uphold “human rights”, and re-instate their democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Allegedly, Myanmar citizens exercising their right to protest are being gunned down in the streets, while the world looks on. Reportedly, world powers are under pressure to intervene to prevent wholesale massacres of pro-democracy protestors.

Fictional narrative

The only problem with this picture is that it bears an inverse relation to elementary facts. In reality, what is occurring in Myanmar today is an imperialist engineered Libya/Syria style proxy war of regime change weighed against the world’s most powerful socialistic state – the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Far from “peaceful pro-democracy protestors”, Myanmar’s “anti-coup activists” are directly linked to the decades of subversive “NGO” funding[1] poured into the country by the governments of the United States of America (US)[2] and the United Kingdom (UK)[3] and other corporations with which they work hand-in-glove. And just as in Libya and Syria, these foreign funded militants are prepared to use extreme violence to achieve their aims. If these “anti-coup” yahoos are “activists”, then the very meaning of the term “activism” has lost all meaning.

The “anti-coup protestors” are in effect not protesting anything. If they were, they would be putting forward a series of demands, and attempting to win significant portions of Myanmar’s 54 million[4] citizens to support them as part of a political movement. Instead, the “anti-coup protestors” are joining forces with many of Myanmar’s long running ethnic separatist armies to bring down the state through violence, terror and appeals to imperialism to directly intervene, i.e., wage war under the rubric of the “Responsibility to Protect” or R2P.[5] The ethnic separatist armies themselves have been covertly backed by US and UK imperialism ever since WWII, and especially since the independence of what was then Burma. The Karen, Chin and Kachin ethnic groups were consciously built into Britain’s colonial army,[6] in order to maintain divisions within Myanmar.

Today, these ethnic separatist armies merge under faux tags such as the “People’s Defence Forces” (PDF) and use their weapons to launch armed attacks on government infrastructure, and inevitably the Tatmadaw has to respond with heavy weapons. In the Kayah state which borders Thailand, the United Nations (UN) claims that up to 100 000 people have had to flee “attacks by security forces” in the area.[7] However, as in the ten-year failed war of regime change waged by the US Empire and their allies on Syria, what is plainly occurring is that civilians have little choice but to flee the fighting or be caught in the crossfire. In the town of Mindat in the Chin state, it was reported that 8000 people had to flee for their lives during clashes between the newly formed PDF and the Tatmadaw.[8] The Tatmadaw retook the town after days of fighting.

“Peaceful protestors” attack schools

If anyone is still prepared to give the “anti-coup peaceful pro-democracy protestors” a chance, their actions towards schools should give pause for thought. The “peaceful protestors” have carried out bombings of schools and have targeted students and teachers who are even suspected of supporting the State Administration Council (SAC – the body set up by the Tatmadaw as an intermediate governing body until genuine elections can be held). Due to the school bombings by the misnamed “Civil Disobedience Movement” (CDM), some security forces stood guard at some schools, and also brought students from home under armed escort. Some teachers are so concerned about being physically targeted by the CDM that they wear plain clothes to school, and only change into their uniforms once inside.[9] The bombings and arson attacks on schools and educational institutions are not a handful either. Between May 1st and May 26, the SAC stated there were 115 bombings or bomb attempts and 18 arson attacks.[10]

Liberals in the West complain that 125 000 (out of 430 000) schoolteachers had been suspended by the SAC for backing the “Civil Disobedience Movement”.[11] But is it any wonder, given that there is a possibility that these teachers could assist the bombing of their own schools in cahoots with the “anti-coup” protestors – which could take innocent life? The PDF disingenuously claim that they have not carried out the school attacks, and that they are in fact carried out by Pyu Saw Tee groups which have formed to assist the SAC. The PDF claims that the Pyu Saw Tee carry out bombings and arson attacks on schools in order to blacken the name of the “civilian resistance”.[12] However, given this is reported by The Irrawaddy, which admits receiving its funding almost entirely from outside Myanmar, and from “donors” in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland and the United States of America[13] – it should be taken with a large pinch of salt. It rather indicates that Myanmar’s citizens are mobilising against the “anti-coup protestors”, as they are not fooled by the extreme violence which is covered with “democracy” and “human rights” falsity.

US/UK government backed “independent media”

In fact, as The Grayzone has reported, “independent media” such as The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now actually receive extensive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED),[14] the regime change arm of the CIA. In addition, Myanmar Now is also bankrolled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which has partnered with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to advance covert operations of British government foreign policy.[15] To say the coverage of the violent and armed “anti-coup” protestors is skewed by imperialist funded media is to understate the situation. Rather, imperialist funded media such as The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now in practice work hand in hand with the “anti-coup” mercenaries in order to subvert/collapse the state and create chaos so that the economic, trade and investment ties with the PRC will be disrupted.

This “independent media” in Myanmar – which is actually funded via Washington and London – also works in parallel with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which is based in Thailand, not Myanmar. The AAPP provides a daily update of the supposed number of “political prisoners” in Myanmar after February 2.[16] Yet this tally includes just about everyone who engages in any activity against the SAC, especially those who are armed with sub-machine guns and who have assaulted schools, police stations and government infrastructure. So the tally is false, and yet another mechanism used plead for intervention (i.e., invasion) by the West to take on the PRC. The AAPP’s founder is none other than Ko Bo Kyi, who fled to Thailand in 1989, and is so trusted by Washington that he is an NED fellow.[17] The AAPP, The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Now, the NED, the UK FCDO, armed ethnic separatist armies, the CDM – all are strings in the same regime change orchestra.

Targeting Red China

Not only do the “anti-coup protestors” engage in wanton violence, they are also viscerally anti-socialist which manifests in extreme hostility to China based investment and business activity in Myanmar. In March, several Chinese owned factories were looted and set on fire in the Halangathaya District of Yangon. During these attacks, Chinese citizens working in factories which were set ablaze were trapped and unable to escape, causing serious injuries.[18] According to the Tatmadaw, four Chinese-financed garment factories and a fertiliser plant went up in flames after being targeted. When fire engines came on the scene to deal with the emergency, a crowd of around 2000 “protestors” blocked the fire engines from reaching the burning factories.[19] Whatever one may think of the Myanmar military, China-Myanmar economic co-operation, or even the government of the PRC, such acts are patently anti-human. Notwithstanding the position of the PRC as a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state headed by a conservative caste, these are vile acts of racist and anti-socialist terrorism.

Myanmar’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, via the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) is vital for Myanmar’s economy. The oil and gas pipelines which allow the PRC to bypass the Straits of Malacca for export are jointly owned by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which are both state-owned entities.  The largest project in the CMEC is the 431-kilometre Muse-Mandalay Railway, which will connect Myanmar to the Chinese railway network.[20]  These projects will not only provide much needed economic development for Myanmar, it will permanently link Myanmar to the PRC economically, commercially, and even politically. Destroying these links is the real aim of both US/UK imperialism and “anti-coup” terrorism.

Was it a coup?

Even referring to the events of February 2 as a “coup” by the Tatmadaw is grossly misleading. After the November 8 election last year, story after story emerged in Myanmar of overt fraud and deceit by those working for the US/UK created National League for Democracy (NLD) – which claimed to have “won” 83.2% of the seats contested.[21] Yet in a press conference in March, Tatmadaw spokesperson Zaw Min Tun gave details on how the NLD had manufactured thousands of extra ballots by inventing voters, even in Aung San Suu Kyi’s own constituency. He also showed videos of people saying they were paid by NLD representatives.[22]  In the Hmawbi township in Yangon region, which is one of the largest military townships in the country, the NLD garnered 50 000 more votes in the 2020 election than the pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) – whereas the NLD did not receive a single vote in Hmawbi in 2015.[23]

In the Hlaing Tharyar township, the country’s most heavily populated constituency, the NLD “won” a thumping electoral victory. Yet here, tens of thousands of Myanmar citizens were simply turned away from the polling booths, with the local electoral commission blaming a “software error”.[24] Some victory! One can imagine the indignity of not being allowed to vote in an election in your own country. In May, when the SAC formed Union Election Commission (UEC) reviewed voter lists, they found mass voter registration had taken place without the National Registration Card (NRC), and some names that had been registered with the NRC appeared two or three times[25] – all organised under the auspices of the NLD. After repeated and blatant electoral duplicity, it is little wonder that the UEC is now considering disbanding and dissolving the NLD.

One can see how, in this political environment, the Tatmadaw’s “coup” was in fact a belated measure to prevent Myanmar from being totally overrun by Western backed intrigue. It is also no wonder that the Tatmadaw moved to arrest the executive director of the George Soros created Open Society Foundation (OSF) and 11 other OSF staff in Myanmar – as their role in the deceit became clear.[26] In fact, the Tatmadaw’s “coup” may well have – for now – staved off a military incursion by the US Empire and their allies, justified either as a “humanitarian intervention” or the “restoration of democracy”.

This is why workers internationally must defend Myanmar against all moves by US/UK imperialism to sacrifice the nation as part of its New Cold War against socialistic China. Western backed violence and terror – not to speak of electoral fraud – is of course the polar opposite of a bona fide political movement, and all “pro-democracy” incendiaries must be thoroughly exposed. If the PRC was led by genuine Marxists, it would assist with this unmasking and encourage a class struggle towards socialism throughout South-East Asia. Instead, the vital task of forging Leninist vanguard parties based on Permanent Revolution falls to the most politically advanced workers of the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://21stcenturywire.com/2021/03/30/arab-spring-redux-is-myanmar-next-libya/ (26-06-2021)

[2] https://www.mmtimes.com/opinion/20720-bringing-democracy-to-myanmar.html (26-06-2021)

[3] https://burmacampaign.org.uk/about-us/ (26-06-2021)

[4] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/myanmar-population/ (26-06-2021)

[5] https://www.globalr2p.org/publications/myanmars-deadly-coup-and-the-responsibility-to-protect/ (26-06-2021)

[6] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/07/militants-threaten-chinas-obor.html#more (26-06-2021)

[7] U.N. says 100,000 flee fighting in Myanmar border state | Reuters (26-06-2021)

[8] Demonstrations, defiance as Myanmar marks 4 months since coup (millichronicle.com) (26-06-2021)

[9] https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2021/06/02/boycott-and-bombings-mar-myanmar039s-new-school-year (26-06-2021)

[10] https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/2125803/boycott-and-bombings-mar-myanmars-new-school-year (26-06-2021)

[11] Myanmar’s military rulers suspend more than 125,000 teachers for opposing coup | Myanmar | The Guardian (26-06-2021)

[12] https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-school-attacks-unacceptable-says-unicef.html (26-06-2021)

[13] https://www.irrawaddy.com/about (26-06-2021)

[14] https://thegrayzone.com/2021/04/27/us-government-media-myanmar-propagandize-western-intervention/ (27-06-2021)

[15] Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal | The Grayzone (27-06-2021)

[16] AAPP | Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (aappb.org) (27-06-2021)

[17] https://www.ned.org/fellows/ko-bo-kyi/ (27-06-2021)

[18] Chinese factories burn in Myanmar: Video: Angry with China in Myanmar, arson and looting in 10 factories, many Chinese injured – China 10 factories burn down and loot in Myanmar Many Chinese injured Watch video – BCFocus (27-06-2021)

[19] Chinese-Financed Factories Set On Fire, 39 Killed In Myanmar: Report (ndtv.com) (27-06-2021)

[20] https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2021/02/02/belt-and-road-projects-in-myanmar-likely-to-progress-in-light-of-military-coup/ (29-06-2021)

[21] Amid Coup Fears, Myanmar’s Election Commission Rejects Army Election Fraud Claims – The Diplomat (29-06-2021)

[22] Myanmar military blames protesters for arson and violence – Nikkei Asia (29-06-2021)

[23] NLD receives more votes in military constituency of Hmawbi | The Myanmar Times (mmtimes.com) (29-06-2021)

[24] Huge voter list failings mar NLD win in largest township | The Myanmar Times (mmtimes.com) (29-06-2021)

[25] UEC Chairman declares to dissolve NLD party | Burma News International (bnionline.net) (29-06-2021)

[26] Myanmar: Military regime cracks down on George Soros’ OSF, seizes bank accounts (opindia.com) (29-06-2021)

Palestine: Zionist State Massacre in Gaza

gaza bombing

http://www.yalibnan.com

30-05-2021: The death toll from the latest round of Israeli state bombardment of Gaza stands at 213, including 61 children and 36 women, while 23 Palestinians have been slain in the West Bank.[1] The aftermath of the blitzkrieg by the Zionist Israeli state will be as difficult to deal with for the Palestinians as the unconscionable loss of life. The 11-day assault, which temporarily ended with a ceasefire on May 22, resulted in 800 000 in Gaza lacking access to clean water due to 50% of the water infrastructure being damaged by guided missiles. The United Nations’ (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that nearly 17 000 residential or commercial units were damaged or destroyed by air strikes, with 769 of them rendered uninhabitable. Schools in Gaza were closed, affecting 600 000 children.[2]

The conflict was partially sparked by Israeli police being sent to arrest protestors in the Al Aqsa Mosque, who they claimed were throwing stones. In response, Hamas – the militant Islamist party which rules Gaza – requested the removal of police. When this did not materialise, Hamas began launching rockets on Israeli targets. It is claimed that Hamas launched 3300 rockets towards Israeli cities and towns, which took the lives of 10 people.[3] Another trigger for the conflict were the forced expulsions by Israeli settlers in the East Jerusalem area of Sheikh Jarrah, with the tacit approval of the Israeli authorities. Since 2020, eviction notices have been served to 13 Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. These evictions are based on a 1970 law which exclusively allows Jewish Israelis to take back land they claim to have lost before the state of Israel was established in 1948.[4] The fact that the Palestinian families have lived there ever since is virtually dismissed.

One sided war

The Israeli state attacks on Palestinians is the worst since the war of 2014, but this time there are additional factors – such as Israeli settler pogroms. In some of the towns of ’48 Palestine, such as Lydd (Lod), armed Israeli settlers have been patrolling the streets with the protection of the police, looking for Palestinians to harass or harm.[5] There were scenes of these mobs shooting at Palestinian homes and vandalising and destroying property, including Mosques. In Bat Yam, Israeli mobs lynched a Palestinian man, who was lucky to escape with his life.[6] In one incident in Haifa, an Arab driver found himself in the midst of a mob chanting “Death to Arabs”. As he tried to flee, he struck one of the rioters. He was later detained by police.[7] Even though Israeli President Netanyahu denounced the Israeli rioters, there appears to be efforts to use the Zionist mobs as auxiliary forces to the military assault.

Regardless of the launching of some crude rockets by Hamas, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not one of “two sides”, but rather a one-sided war against an essentially defenceless population. The Zionist state of Israel has the backing of the entirety of US imperialism, with the assistance of the European Union (EU) and other Western allies. The US government supplies Israel with $3.8 billion in “aid” each year, and in 2019 all but 0.2% of this money went to the Israeli military.[8] Without this material financial/military backing, the Zionist state of Israel effectively ceases to exist, as it would be overrun the Arab masses. Palestine, on the other hand, has no military to speak of, and does not have its own state. In this unjust and one-sided war, elementary justice is on the Palestinian side, and workers the world over should stand with them against US/EU imperialism.

At the same time, there is much to be desired politically from the Palestinian resistance. Hamas’ mixture of Islam and nationalism offers no political solution, and no way forward. Firing rockets in response to the assault of the Israeli state may win it sympathy amongst suffering Palestinians, but these salvos also give the Israeli state political ammunition for their murderous acts. The conservative Fatah and the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas cancelled Palestinian elections in late April, probably concerned that Hamas may perform strongly. Hamas labelled the indefinite postponement a “coup”,[9] which is not far from the truth. The bitter rivalry between Hamas and Fatah obscures the fact that both parties ultimately base themselves on Palestinian nationalism, which creates a barrier to Israeli and Palestinian working-class co-operation before a match has been struck.

Covid allies?

In addition, the vast majority of the Palestinian solidarity movement, especially that in the West, is mired in multiple and cascading levels of hypocrisy which beggar belief. One could well ask whether they are in fact as “pro-Palestine” and “anti-Israel” as they claim to be. For example, many of the Palestine solidarity organisations and self-proclaimed left parties who lead “Free Palestine” demonstrations do not question the risible claim that the world is enduring a “pandemic”. The very existence of SARS-CoV-2 is scientifically disputed,[10] let alone “Covid-19”. It is more likely a cover for capitalism devolving into a cruel fascism, throwing millions of workers into unemployment, and driving down living standards alongside the elimination of basic civil rights. Many left parties became known as the “lockdown left”[11] for ably assisting the state crushing innocent and healthy workers via lockdowns, facemasks and experimental vaccines. Their forceful backing of authority they otherwise claim to oppose was stark – but no more so in the case of the Israeli state. The Israeli state was arguably the most aggressive in enforcing lockdowns, as well as attempting to all but mandate the dangerous Covid “vaccine”. They enforced a Covid Green Pass which is so absolute it nearly prevents unvaccinated Israelis from being able to participate in society.[12] So if the Zionist Israeli state is over the top with Covid, according to “progressive” Palestine solidarity activists – why is it not an ally?

Axis of Resistance and Palestine

Pro-Palestine and “left” Covid practitioners ignore this obvious contradiction, which only adds another layer to their stunning sanctimony in opposing the “Axis of Resistance” (Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and others) during the imperialist war on Syria from 2011 onwards. Palestinians themselves and much of its international solidarity movement was split during the dirty war waged by the US Empire for regime change in Syria. Some Palestinians and their backers inexplicably backed the proxy war on Syria, while some Palestinian militia based in the Yarmouk refugee camp actively fought on the side of the Syrian Arab Republic,[13] Iran, Hezbollah and others against the US/EU led assault. The Islamic Republic of Iran covertly supplies Hamas with weapons and funding to resist the offensive of the Zionist Israeli state, for which Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh offered public thanks.[14] Yet many pro-Palestine solidarity organisations and left parties effectively bloc with the US Empire with their dangerous regime change provocations towards Iran.

What is more, the Zionist Israeli state has bombed Syria more than 400 times[15] since 2011, without a peep of protest from almost all of those now raising their voice against the latest Israeli bombing of Gaza. The real agenda of some Palestinian solidarity stands exposed when they vociferously oppose the Israeli state bombing Palestine, but barely lift a finger when the Israeli state bombs Syria. But it goes further. The Israeli state was exposed as providing material support, medical aid and air strike support to ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated groups waging war against Syria for several years.[16] The Zionist Israeli state was effectively coordinating efforts with the murderous barbarian mercenary terrorists the US Empire falsely claimed to be combatting – yet none of this warranted a sprig of condemnation from most pro-Palestine left parties. Israeli state repression of Palestine is wrong, but Israeli state aid, assistance and material back up for ISIS and Al Qaeda is fine and dandy?

The Lebanese Hezbollah is likewise known for its support for the Palestinian resistance. Recently Hezbollah sent a delegation to meet with Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders, during which they pledged “complete support” to the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli enemy.[17] Hezbollah inflicted a severe military defeat[18] on the Israeli state in 2006 when it invaded Lebanon with the express aim of wiping out Hezbollah. As decisive as the military victory was, it was also a political defeat for the US government, which backed Israel to the hilt. Despite this, many supposedly pro-Palestine leftists not only ignore Hezbollah’s deeds, but undermine it by backing anti-Hezbollah uprisings in Lebanon.[19] In short, without Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, the Palestinian resistance would not exist. Unfortunately, for many Palestinian solidarity types, acknowledging this would mean breaking with their de-facto overall backing of US imperialist foreign policy – something they are not prepared to do.

The liberal trap of BDS

Even though some Western leftists are sheepish about it, many of them abjectly fail to put forward a Marxist critique of the liberal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Every element of BDS is an appeal to non-working class elements, and even implore the direct class enemy to “join” the campaign. “Boycott” refers to consumer boycotts of Israeli produced goods and services – which assumes that people can change the functioning of not only corporations, but capitalism itself, by choosing to consume different products. It also assumes that working class people have the time and the disposable income to investigate the source of a product, when many of them only have time for a once-a-week grocery run, let alone a shop for expensive treats.  The middle and upper classes have the luxury of time and spare wads of cash, but most workers generally do not.

“Divestment” refers to pleas direct to corporate vultures themselves to invest their millions anywhere else apart from Israel. It implies that if a corporation divests their financial interests from Israeli businesses, they are therefore no longer “bad” corporations, but very “good” ones. This is petty-bourgeois nonsense. A capitalist corporation operates by exploiting the labour of the working class and the natural environment. Its function is plunder, which is why socialists organise to expropriate corporations, or at least initially the largest ones, for public benefit. BDS “divestment” inherently recognises the right of capitalists to enrich themselves, which is anything but progressive.

“Sanctions” refers to plaintive entreaties aimed towards not only capitalist states, but the very imperialist states which provide the material, political, financial and military aid to the Zionist state itself! Its as if the open and organised imperialist states – the US, the EU, Canada, Australia etc. – can somehow be fraternal allies (!) in the struggle against “Israel”. A better definition of liberalism cannot be found. Such demands reinforce nationalist claptrap (“our government”!) amongst workers when its precise opposite – working class internationalism – is most sorely needed. If “our own” bourgeois class can improve their image by applying sanctions on “Israel”, why bother with class struggle?

Every political tactic used by Marxists must seek to raise the level class consciousness amongst workers, domestically and internationally. BDS does the direct opposite – it marshals the “people” of the world against “Israel”, when the aim should be to co-ordinate joint action by Israeli, Palestinian and international workers against capitalism and against imperialism. As much of a problem as Zionism (the ideology of an exclusively Jewish state for Jewish people) is, it can only be overcome by the removal of capitalism in Israel and Palestine. Zionism is not at all threatened by Palestinian nationalism, even when it is backed by millions of misguided solidarity activists worldwide. This is because the nationalism of a small state automatically leads to the recognition, in turn, to the nationalism of a large state. In fact, it recognises the “right” of even imperialist states to exist.

Neither the nationalism of Hamas, Fatah or BDS offers the smallest possibility of liberating oppressed Palestinians. What is required is a bi-national Arab-Hebrew workers’ state, as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East. Key to this task is the forging of Leninist vanguard parties throughout the region, which seeks to prepare a socialist revolution. As far away as that prospect now appears, the barriers of nationality and religion cannot be overcome without it.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/05/18/Death-toll-in-Israeli-attacks-on-Gaza-rises-to-213-including-61-children (23-05-2021)

[2] https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/05/22/UN-says-50-pct-of-Gaza-water-network-destroyed-in-recent-Israeli-raids (23-05-2021)

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/17/world/middleeast/israel-palestine-gaza-conflict-death-toll.html (23-05-2021)

[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/sheikh-jarrah-palestinians-challenge-evictions-and-the-repeat-of-history-2021-5?op=1 (23-05-2021)

[5] https://mondoweiss.net/2021/05/this-isnt-a-civil-war-it-is-settler-colonial-brutality/ (23-05-2021)

[6] https://twitter.com/4noura/status/1392582500359319555 (23-05-2021)

[7] https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-arab-violence-rolls-through-cities-like-wildfire-with-police-overwhelmed/ (23-05-2021)

[8] https://usafacts.org/articles/how-much-military-aid-does-the-us-give-to-israel/ (23-05-2021)

[9] https://apnews.com/article/hamas-middle-east-elections-religion-government-and-politics-e88636bc919f8aab455e01fbbd4b4391 (26-05-2021)

[10] https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/31/phantom-virus-in-search-of-sars-cov-2/ (26-05-2021)

[11] https://redfireonline.com/2021/03/31/year-one-of-the-lockdown-left/ (26-05-2021)

[12] https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-israel-plans-to-operate-a-covid-green-pass-and-prevent-forgeries/ (26-05-2021)

[13] https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/who-are-pro-assad-militias-syria (26-05-2021)

[14] https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2021/05/22/hamas-leader-thanks-iran-for-providing-weapons-n2589853 (26-05-2021)

[15] https://ejmagnier.com/2020/02/27/israel-bombs-syria-how-long-can-this-go-on/ (26-05-2021)

[16] https://21stcenturywire.com/2015/02/19/un-report-reveals-how-israel-is-coordinating-with-isis-militants-inside-syria/ (26-05-2021)

[17] https://en.abna24.com/news/sheikh-naim-qassem-hezbollah-completely-supports-palestinian-resistance (26-05-2021)

[18] https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/10/13/how-hezbollah-defeated-israel-2/ (26-05-2021)

[19] https://redfireonline.com/2020/05/09/lebanon-colour-revolution-redux/ (26-05-2021)

Land Forces 2021: No to War on China!

China bases surround

Above: Map showing US military bases encircling the People’s Republic of China (PRC)

25-04-2021: The threat of war in the Asia-Pacific looms as large as it ever has in 2021. Or should we say, the Indo Asia Pacific. The language emanates from the highest levels of Washington’s war machine, which operates a number of “Commands” in regions across the globe to maintain the US Empire. In 2018, the US Pacific Command was renamed the Indo-Pacific Command,[1] as US imperialism sought to draw India into their efforts to militarily encircle the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Transparently, US imperialism and its allies such as the governments of the European Union (EU), Australia and Japan, are hell-bent on potentially apocalyptic military confrontations with Red China, demographically the largest nation on Earth. The PRC’s gigantic and still expanding socialist economy is rapidly overtaking the faltering capitalist economies of the West – something the US/EU ruling classes will risk anything to prevent from coming to pass.

The formation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, is another dead giveaway as to the intentions. Hardly an innocent undertaking, the Quad is a glaring attempt to draw more US allies into an explicit anti-China military alliance – containing the US, Japan, Australia and India. Its apologists deny that the Quad is being set up as an Asian NATO,[2] but here the axiom of never believing anything until it is officially denied cannot be more apposite. The geographical surrounding of mainland China from Japan to its East, Australia to its South, and India to its West is easily triangulated by the briefest of perusals of a high school map of the region. As in the 1950s and 60s, the once supreme Western ruling classes are yet again embroiled in a deadly game to “contain and roll back communism”. This time, arguably, the stakes are even higher.

Military grade weapons expo

This is the geopolitical context which surrounds Brisbane hosting a weapons manufacturers expo in early June. The very title of the conference indicates not just a military grade weapons garage sale, but a subliminal message as to who the organisers wish to portray as the boogeyman “we” need to arm ourselves against. The first line of the publicity for the expo of Land Forces Australia Indo Asia Pacific International Land Defence Exposition states openly that the expo showcases “equipment, technology and services for the armies of Australia and the Indo Asia Pacific”.[3] The explicit exclusion of China, by far the largest component of Asia, gives the game away. The weapons manufacturers such as Thales, Rheinmetall Defence, Boeing, DB Schenker, BAE Systems, EOS etc., are joined by the Queensland Government and the Australian Army as event sponsors.[4] The links between weapons manufacturers and the governments of capitalist countries have been well documented over the last century. Such governments prosecute wars which then feeds the profits of weapons manufacturers. Yet this does not occur without underlying politics driving it. Without being stated overtly, the prevailing politics of the corporate and government sponsors of Land Forces 2021 are directed against Red China.

To be sure, what exists in the PRC is not a socialist society but rather a socialist state. And this state is heavily and bureaucratically deformed, both by the multi-class character of its 1949 revolution, and the saddling of this state with the Maoist/Stalinist politics of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Despite this, the capitalist mode of production was overthrown, land was nationalised, the predominant and strategic means of production remain publicly owned, and the economy is administered through five-year plans. This – rather than the politics of the CPC – is what must be defended by working people. At the same time, to synchronise the socialist state of the PRC with socialist politics, what is required is the rule of elected workers’ councils comprised of all political tendencies committed to the defence of modern China. That is to say, genuine Leninist-Trotskyism must prevail over the distortions of Maoism/Stalinism, despite its relative popularity in the PRC due to 20th Century history.

Disrupt LandForces 2021

Unfortunately, neither the defence of the PRC state against US/AUST imperialism, nor even opposition to war on China is on the agenda of the activists organising a series of protests against the military expo, under the hashtag of “#DisruptLandForces”.[5] In fact, by the omission of material opposing wars fuelled, led and directed by the US Empire, #DisruptLandForces can find themselves on the same side of the barricades as the US/EU/AUST imperialism, even if this is not their intention. The wars that threaten humanity in 2021 are wars waged by the imperialist bloc and their allies -US/EU/AUST/JAP/CAN/Israel/Saudi Arabia etc., against the non-imperialist bloc and their allies – China, Russia, Iran, the DPRK, Libya, Syria, Venezuela and so on. Most of these wars are proxy regime change operations waged by imperialism against the allies of the non-imperialist bloc. Examples are the destruction of Green Libya in 2011, the Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014, the failed regime change war on Syria from 2011 on, and attempted regime change destabilisations in Lebanon,[6] Algeria,[7] Sudan,[8] the Philippines,[9] Thailand[10] and Myanmar[11]. Workers must resolutely oppose all such regime change wars and attempted colour revolutions organised and funded by imperialism as a matter of self-defence, even if this means a temporary bloc with governments targeted by Anglo/US imperialism which could not be described as left-leaning or even progressive.

Moreover, #DisruptLandForces activists implore progressive folk to picket Land Forces 2021 primarily on the basis that weapons manufacturers will make millions from making weapons of war. While this is true in itself, the implication that there should be no army, or that no nation should maintain and operate a defence force will be automatically rejected by the working class. The working class cannot be won to a position that their nation-state should reduce all military spending to zero, and nor should leftists make such an attempt. This is effectively a demand for the capitalist state to abolish itself, and while workers are no automatic fans of capitalism, they recognise that states as such cannot be abolished overnight.  Working people can, however, be won to positions which oppose imperialist wars, i.e. predatory wars of conquest waged by the Anglo/US Empire – which today includes proxy wars of regime change and Western funded subversion. Therefore, the left should attempt to convince workers to oppose particular wars, not the manufacture of weapons per se.  


Myanmar


At the same time, there is obviously a need for working people to oppose the $270 billion by 2030 defence spending plan of the Australian government, which was announced in June 2020[12]. This is because the Australian ruling class itself – through its government – hardly shies away from an admission that the vast bulk of this spending will be used to militarily confront and provoke China, albeit as junior sidekicks of the US government. They state openly that “we want a free and open Indo-Pacific”, i.e., one not “controlled” or even influenced by the PRC, but in fact presided over by the US and their allies. This is not even slightly realistic, as the PRC is the largest nation on earth, it is situated in the Asia-Pacific, and its economy is still growing rapidly. It is thus in a position to offer much needed economic development and infrastructure building projects to its near neighbours – something the Anglo/US powers simply cannot, given their geographical distance and their long-term economic woes. The only way the US/EU/AUST ruling classes can prevent this from happening is by sowing chaos, sabotage and destabilisation up to and including the collapse of states. Ergo, Myanmar today.

#DisruptLandforces proclaim their solidarity with the “people of Myanmar”.[13] Here they display their loyalty – perhaps unwittingly – to the very “colonisers” they claim to be protesting against. British imperialism certainly did rule what was then Burma until independence in 1948. Since then, the UK ruling class has not ceased its efforts to virtually recolonise Myanmar. It works in concert with the US state department to create and fund an entire “opposition” movement which will politically serve London and Washington, e.g., Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD).[14] They managed to subvert Myanmar’s societal institutions to such an extent that Suu Kyi became State Counsellor in 2015. The government of Myanmar had allowed this overt foreign intervention into Myanmar’s internal affairs for decades, as many third world countries generally welcome any financial assistance from the West.  However, the NLD, with backing from Wall Street, London and billionaire regime change kingmaker George Soros, had ensured by around 2015 that only they could “win” elections in Myanmar. Finally, on February 1 this year, the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) stepped in and said enough is enough. Thus the military “coup” was in fact an act which defended the national sovereignty of Myanmar.[15]

The “anti-coup” protests in Myanmar since early February have in fact been the culmination of decades of US and UK government funding for scores of imperialist backed fronts posing as “civil society” organisations and “NGOs”. The narrative in the Western corporate media of the Tatmadaw mowing down entirely innocent and unarmed “protestors” in the streets of Myanmar is utterly false and is eerily reminiscent of the storyline spun by Western governments to cover their atrocious regime change wars in Libya and Syria.[16] As much as the Tatmadaw is demonised via the corporate press, it remains the only institution standing in the way of a total takeover by Washington and London. In a similar way in which the Pentagon’s regime change war on Syria was aimed at Russia (and Iran), today’s “uprising” in Myanmar has been carefully prepared by years and decades of covert funding for ANY opposition which could serve the interests of imperialism in its losing economic war with Beijing. Patently, Myanmar’s “protests” today are in fact a US/UK proxy war of regime change against Red China.[17]

West Papua

If #DisruptLandForces fall prey to deception in relation to Myanmar, they double and triple their illusions in relation to West Papua (the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat). #DisruptLandForces, and many “peace” activists, imagine that the Indonesian government occupies West Papua, suppresses their culture, and uses armed force to take the lives of those who call for “independence”.[18] This inversion of reality is regurgitated by liberals the world over, who are generally not aware that they are being ensnared by the very people they claim to be fighting for. The West Papuan “independence” movement is not an innocent campaign for “human rights”, but an armed separatist insurgency predominantly motivated by ethnic antagonism. This inevitably spills over into murderous anti-Indonesian violence, which the Indonesian government must respond to. For example, in December 2018, armed Papuan separatists slaughtered 31 Indonesian road workers constructing the Trans-Papua Highway.[19] Papuans who do not necessarily support separatist independence can also be targeted with lethal intent, as in the case of the town of Wamena in September 2019. On that occasion, Papuan separatist militia attacked and burnt down sections of the town, killing 30, including 8 non-Papuan Indonesians.[20]

This is not to say that there are no political and economic problems existing in West Papua. Yet Indonesia is far from an imperialist entity, and all indications are that the Indonesian government is attempting to include, rather than exclude, Papuans within the “Unitary State of Indonesia”. The Indonesian government regularly spends billions of rupiah in economic and social development in West Papua, and not only by building the Trans-Papua Highway. Where the geographical terrain does not prevent it, education (up to Year 9) and health care is provided for West Papuans free of charge. The Indonesian government is also pressing ahead with its plans to provide electricity to all areas of West Papua, in some places which have never before seen a light bulb.[21] Would a separate West Papua, standing on its own, have such resources? To ask the question is to answer it.

For an end to hybrid wars

#DisruptLandForces is also silent on the major war underway against the global south and the workers of the world – the fake “Covid-19” pandemic. The “virus” provides a cover for lockdowns, which are a form of extreme violence against working and oppressed people – no less than physical wars waged with weapons. Thus we find that both #DisruptLandForces and Land Forces 2021 in fact both agree on  just who is the enemy: Covid-19 and China!  Needless to say, working people need to resist ALL hybrid wars waged by imperialism – against “Covid”, or China, or Russia, or whoever is the next target. Essential for this is the building of a vanguard party upholding genuine Marxism, with international sections dedicated to the supersession of capitalism and the inauguration of a socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.pacom.mil/About-USINDOPACOM/History/ (18-04-2021)

[2] https://thediplomat.com/2021/03/the-quad-what-it-is-and-what-it-is-not/ (18-04-2021)

[3] https://www.landforces.com.au/ (18-04-2021)

[4] https://www.landforces.com.au/about/sponsors-stakeholders.asp (18-04-2021)

[5] DISRUPT LANDFORCES – Disrupt Land Forces (18-04-2021)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2020/05/09/lebanon-colour-revolution-redux/ (21-04-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2019/04/18/algeria-us-foments-destabilisation-in-africa/ (21-04-2021)

[8] https://redfireonline.com/2019/06/20/sudan-us-plots-further-balkanisation/ (21-04-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2018/10/05/philippines-bogus-narratives-pushed-by-western-powers/ (21-04-2021)

[10] https://redfireonline.com/2020/10/11/thailand-the-us-empires-democracy-movement/ (21-04-2021)

[11] https://redfireonline.com/2021/04/08/myanmar-western-backed-subversion-aids-regime-change-war/ (21-04-2021)

[12] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-30/australia-unveils-10-year-defence-strategy/12408232 (21-04-2021)

[13] https://www.facebook.com/disruptlandforces/posts/126753716130377 (24-04-2021)

[14] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/05/wall-street-proxy-mother-suu-begins.html (24-04-2021)

[15] https://redfireonline.com/2021/02/07/myanmar-military-moves-against-us-subversion/ (24-04-2021)

[16] https://journal-neo.org/2021/03/31/myanmar-libya-and-syria-dangerous-parallels/ (24-04-2021)

[17] https://redfireonline.com/2021/04/08/myanmar-western-backed-subversion-aids-regime-change-war/ (24-04-2021)

[18] https://disruptlandforces.org/west-papua-resources/ (25-04-2021)

[19] https://redfireonline.com/2019/09/04/west-papua-separatists-incite-violence/ (25-04-2021)

[20] https://redfireonline.com/2019/10/05/wamena-papuan-militia-terrorise-civilians/ (25-04-2021)

[21] https://redfireonline.com/2020/12/23/west-papua-separatists-declare-fake-government/ (25-04-2021)

Myanmar: Western Backed Subversion Aids Regime Change War

myanmar-unity-march

Above: A march in support of the Tatmadaw and for the unity of Myanmar in Yangon, February 2019. Image from http://www.mmtimes.com

09-04-2021: According to Western corporate media, Myanmar’s military forces (Tatmadaw) are currently engaged in a “massacre” of innocent civilians who are objecting to a coup which cancelled popular elections. The Tatmadaw is apparently engaged in unrestrained and unprovoked violence against genuine citizens who wish to transition further towards “democracy” and become part of the international community, where the democratic and human and civil rights of all of Myanmar’s 54 million[1] people are upheld. The Tatmadaw have allegedly engaged in ethnic cleansing and political repression in the past, and if the Western powers do not intervene to save the people of Myanmar, there will be a slaughter of unprecedented proportions which will forever stain history.

Upside down narrative

The only problem is that virtually none of this narrative contains a grain of truth. It is a storyline which is wilfully falsified and deliberately distorted. It is a portrayal carefully designed to pull at the heartstrings of liberals the world over, which invariably gives imperialism “humanitarian” cover to wage yet another regime change war by any means they see as necessary to address the dwindling fortunes of global capitalism. In fact, Western imperialism – led by the governments of the USA (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) is engaged in yet another proxy war of regime change on Myanmar, modelled on the “success” of NATO’s obliteration of Green Libya in 2011, the Ukronazi[2] coup in Ukraine in 2014, and the failure of the ten year ISIS/Al Qaeda proxy regime change war on Syria.[3]

Unlike the regime change operations in Ukraine and Syria – which were largely aimed at Russia (and Iran), the current fix in Myanmar is aimed squarely at the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Red China’s inexorable rise as a socialist economic power cannot be overcome by the floundering for-profit economies of the US and the European Union (EU), and nor can the US/EU offer anything remotely comparable to that which the PRC can with regard to South East Asia. It is not simply dollars that the US/EU forgoes when Myanmar chooses to deepen its economic partnerships with the giant state backed enterprises operating just across the border in mainland China. It leads to a changing of the political balance of forces in the region, and from a unipolar world to a multipolar one. This is what the US/UK seeks to degrade in Myanmar, and they are prepared to resort to the same internal/external regime change tactics that caused staggering loss of life in Libya and Syria.

UK government attempts to regain its “lost” colony

Until 1988, Myanmar was officially the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. Since then, it has been renamed the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. British imperialism ruled what was then Burma from 1885 until independence in 1948.[4] During World War II, British imperialism used minority ethnic groups (e.g. Karen, Kachin, Chin) within the then Burma as part of its colonial army, a divide-and-rule tactic against the majority Burman ethnicity. Today, the Karen, Kachin and Chin armed separatist groups are used to politically and militarily destabilise economic and infrastructure co-operation with the PRC[5], to derail the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or New Silk Road) projects. They are also being used as a base for an alternative military to form a para-state with the aim of overthrowing Myanmar altogether.

The UK government is quite open about its formidable backing of Myanmar’s “pro-democracy protestors”. Loudly and openly on the British government’s own website, it states clearly that the “British government is encouraging and supporting Myanmar’s transition”. It lists its own Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), its Department of International Trade (DIT) and its Ministry of Defence (MOD) as “working closely together” with the British Embassy in Yangon to “support transition”.[6]  The aims here are so transparent that they are barely hidden. The UK government is involved up to its neck in a regime change war in Myanmar, whatever the consequences. It is aimed not so much at Myanmar as towards its gigantic neighbour, the PRC. The PRC itself cannot be overthrown by military means, so the UK embarks in not so subtle political subversion in one of its smaller neighbours. Chipping away at a building brick by brick, the UK hopes to bring down the leviathan of the PRC itself – the world’s most powerful deformed workers’ state.

US government funding scores of fronts

Needless to say, the UK government does not attempt to subvert Myanmar on its own. The US government has far more involvement in fostering unrest there, stretching back decades. The notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED) even lists on its website just some of the “civil society” fronts it funds in Myanmar – but using the British colonial name of Burma. So called activists from the Karen, Shin, Mon, Arakan and Kachin states are listed, alongside claimed journalists, women’s rights centres, think tanks, so-called media empowerment, amongst others.[7] It is farcical to claim that the NED – the public relations arm of the CIA – cares one whit about democratic and civil rights for working people in Myanmar. Rather, Washington and London (backed by Canberra) are creating and funding “opposition” within Myanmar which is reliant on the West itself. This “opposition” can then call for US intervention, which effectively facilitates a stepping stone toward the strategic goal of pressuring the PRC via the presence of US troops (or their proxies) directly on their borders.

The US ruling class is livid at the prospect of the deepening economic, trade and joint infrastructure development co-operation between the PRC and Myanmar. In January 2020, PRC President Xi Jinping became the first high-level PRC official in 20 years to visit Myanmar.[8] At that meeting President Xi and then State Counsellor Aung Sung Suu Kyi released a joint statement committing to an acceleration of the building of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, a crucial part of their co-operation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).[9] Suu Kyi signed on for the obvious economic benefits for Myanmar, including much needed development, rather than any political backing of the PRC.

For decades, the US government – along with billionaire woke anti-socialist George Soros – has been openly funding fronts within Myanmar which masquerade as NGOs. For example, the plan for the development of the Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River in the Northern Kachin State was halted in 2011 due to “protests” allegedly about environmental issues and “disruption” caused by the dam’s construction.[10] In reality, what occurred is that a network of US government backed organisations operated in cahoots with big capital outlets such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF)[11], alongside NED funded[12] “media” units in Myanmar such as The New Era Journal, The Irrawaddy and Democratic Voice of Burma. They made a ruckus about invented “human rights abuses” during construction. In reality, what these US fronts objected to was the involvement in the mega-project of several Chinese state-owned enterprises, such as the China Gezhouba Group and the China Power Investment Corporation.[13]

The generation of vast amounts of electric power via the dam, in an underdeveloped region, will obviously benefit the surrounding population and the economy of Myanmar. Yet, these US government funded “activists” would prefer Myanmar remain without development, with less socio-economic advance – lest “China” should mutually benefit from the construction of such projects. The Myitsone Dam construction halt occurred almost ten years before President Xi and Aung Sung Suu Kyi agreed to advance the China-Myanmar economic corridor. It is absurd to go on to claim that today, some of the very same people and organisations in Myanmar with a history of blocking economic development projects are “peaceful pro-democracy protestors” or are “grassroots” organisations. The US state department does not fund “grassroots” organisations and armed separatist militias for no reason.

Parallel government part 2

As in the regime change wars on Libya and Syria, a parallel government has now declared itself in Myanmar. The “Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw” (CRPH), said to be composed of ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) members, is apparently operating in secret, and is appealing to foreign nations for recognition.[14] This is a transparent call for imperialism – to which they are inextricably linked – to intervene. These US/UK funded fronts, from the NLD to each of the armed ethnic separatist militias, are well aware that they do not have a hope of displacing the military of Myanmar without the largest and most powerful Western states behind them. The US/UK funded political and civil organisations had effectively already formed a parallel government within Myanmar, to such an extent that it had become easy for them to manipulate elections to ensure “victory” for the NLD.[15] Now, the CRPH is a second phase of a long-term plan to destroy Myanmar’s sovereignty.

Belatedly, the Tatmadaw has recently taken some measures against the virtual army of imperialist backed fronts posing as NGOs, which had been operating within Myanmar with impunity. In late March, the Tatmadaw seized the bank accounts of George Soros’ OSF, accusing it of violating multiple financial restrictions for such organisations, and of providing financial assistance to the “civil disobedience” movement. It also accused Aung Sung Suu Kyi of personally meeting with Soros.[16] The strategy of Western finance capital is clear – fund and help organise political subversion, give political cover to ethnic armed separatist militia, foster a pro-Western “civil disobedience” movement which links with them, and then declare a parallel government which then calls for intervention,[17] i.e. invasion, by the strongest Western powers. We should not need a reminder that this scenario could well be a replay of the catastrophic US led war on Syria, where for 10 years the Syrian government had no option but to militarily respond to heavily armed and barbaric mercenaries bent on destroying the country at the behest of their imperialist benefactors. The spillover into South East Asia in such an outcome would cause chaos for the PRC – precisely the aim of Washington and London in their dirty war on Beijing.

Workers must resist Covid enhanced imperialism

If anything, the US/UK proxy regime change war on Myanmar is yet another example that playing along with the Covid-19 fear pandemic nonsense is no guarantee that by doing so, imperialism will regard you as a partner, and will not move to obliterate your nation. Both the Tatmadaw and the internally subversive NLD adopted and practiced the illogical Corona rigmarole, to no avail. To that end, the governments of Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Iran, the DPRK, Cuba and Venezuela also danced to the tune of Covid fraud, and yet the danger of imperialist overthrow against them all is arguably more acute than ever. Imperialism will never regard you as an equal if you demonstrate one iota of independence from Washington. In Myanmar, it is ultimately the Tatmadaw which stands in the way between the last legs of its sovereignty and total control by Wall Street and the City of London. That, and its co-operation with the PRC, means that it is now Washington’s current cartoon villain.

A war on Myanmar would be catastrophic, and would likely spill over into Thailand, and possibly even the PRC. Workers must resist and push back US/UK led imperialism while defending Myanmar and, by extension, the bureaucratically deformed Chinese workers’ state. To be sure, if the Communist Party of China (CPC) operated through genuine Marxism, they would lead a campaign to appeal to the workers of Myanmar to rise against the ethnic armed separatists and US/UK funded faux “human rights” and “civil society” proxies, while linking up with the workers of China, South East Asia and internationally on a class basis. Alas, the political basis of the CPC is the twin Stalinist/Maoist (i.e., anti-Marxist) axioms of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence”, which means it does not even blink if it needs to lean on the workers of China and Asia to fortify imperialism itself.

As far away as it seems now, what is required in South East Asia are the forging of Marxist vanguard parties anchored with the theory of Permanent Revolution. Such organs would seek to prepare workers for socialist revolutions in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia which would link with proletarian political revolutions in Laos, Vietnam, China and the DPRK. In the meantime, workers in Myanmar should form a temporary bloc with the Tatmadaw against US/UK imperialism and their domestic proxies, i.e., armed ethnic separatists and those in Myanmar bought off by the Western funded and fake “civil society” organisations. These miscreants have no qualms about using dishonesty, deception, and even violence to achieve their aims. Workers internationally should act in solidarity with all attempts to drive the foreign funded saboteurs out of Myanmar and Thailand, to help re-establish their independence. Genuine self-determination only arrives, however, with the bringing to power of the proletariat, as part of the international triumph of socialism. US/UK: HANDS OFF MYANMAR!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/myanmar-population/ (05-04-2021)

[2] https://www.europereloaded.com/ukraine-update-crooks-clowns-nazis/ (05-04-2021)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2021/02/04/syria-biden-reignites-obamas-war/ (05-04-2021)

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myanmar (05-04-2021)

[5] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/07/militants-threaten-chinas-obor.html (05-04-2021)

[6] Myanmar (Burma) and the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (05-04-2021)

[7] BURMA 2020 – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (05-04-2021)

[8] Chinese President Xi Jinping Visits Myanmar | New Eastern Outlook (journal-neo.org) (05-04-2021)

[9] China, Myanmar agree to jointly build community with shared future – CGTN (05-04-2021)

[10] Land Destroyer: The Fruits of Globalization: Regression, Destitution, Domination (06-04-2021)

[11] Partners & Allies | International Rivers (06-04-2021)

[12] Microsoft Word – DFIDReview.doc (burmacampaign.org.uk) (06-04-2021)

[13] https://www.banktrack.org/project/myitsone_hydroelectric_dam/pdf (06-04-2021)

[14] https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-03-23/inside-the-spring-revolution-opposing-myanmars-military-coup (06-04-2021)

[15] Arab Spring Redux: Is Myanmar the Next Libya? – 21st Century Wire (06-04-2021)

[16] Soros’ Open Society Staff Arrested & Bank Accounts Seized in Myanmar | Covert Geopolitics (06-04-2021)

[17] https://aseandigest.net/2021/04/02/myanmar-as-an-r2p-situation/ (06-04-2021)

Year One of the Lockdown “Left”

em.flinthillspagans.org

29-03-2021: Late March marks one year since global capital launched arguably its most severe assault on the working class in history. Using the fig leaf of a patently false “pandemic”[1], the governments of the imperialist West threw society into deliberately stoked fear, which provided the cover for ordering whole countries and continents into lockdowns. Significant sections of economies were shutdown, hurling millions of workers onto the unemployment scrapheap.[2] Workers who remained in employment were driven from workplaces and into working from home – if they could do so behind a computer screen. Ostensibly to protect children and teachers from contracting an allegedly deadly disease, schools were closed, and parents had to then supervise the education of their children from home. Lockdown orders in some places included “stay at home” orders, enforced by the police, for 23 hours a day. Protest, along with other cultural and sporting gatherings, were made illegal. Free speech, basic civil liberties and democratic rights were summarily abolished – and have barely been returned.

Lockdown left capitulates

The use of the cover of “Covid” for the most extensive historical attack on working people starkly demonstrates the level of decay of the capitalist socio-economic system. The system of production for private profit has degenerated to the point where it must degrade or kill off the holders of the very element which is its lifeblood – labour power. The capacity of the workers to labour is what capital needs to survive and grow, but workers’ expectations of maintaining living and working conditions together with basic political and civil rights at a certain point come into open conflict with this system in decline. Wars and recessions need to be waged or created, to protect the profits of corporations which in decades past were seen as part of the “free world”. Hence, the self-inflicted lockdowns.

Given the sheer magnitude of the broadside against workers, one would have reasonably expected leftist and workers parties to have been at the forefront of a spirited defence of workers in the face of such mortal blows. As we now know, almost the precise opposite occurred. Most left parties which for decades claimed to uphold the aims of socialism and Marxism were in fact the first organisations to utterly capitulate before “their own” bourgeoisie. With some exceptions, what previously passed for the organised left genuflected before the ruling class without batting an eyelid.

Generally speaking, it is somewhat to be expected that the Trade Union bureaucracy would fall into line so assiduously behind the capitalist class on Covid lockdowns. Union officials (not members) have a material interest in imposing the full spectrum of capitalist ideology onto their own members and the working class as a whole. Union officials often act as an auxiliary police force which keeps workers within certain bounds, even while organising them to defend or win a minor gain here or there. Their role is entirely contradictory, but almost always they fall politically on the side of the elite.

The bourgeois state as saviour?

Left parties which, for decades, had railed against the bourgeois state on any number of issues, flipped in the early parts of 2020. Many of those who previously swore allegiance to socialism, Marxism and revolution were now effectively arguing the capitalist state is imposing lockdowns and facemasks because they are primarily concerned with the health and well-being of the working class and the poorest sections of society. Needless to say, this is beyond laughable. It glaringly exposes these “revolutionaries” as bare reformists. The capitalist state consists not just of the apparatus of repression – cops, courts, prisons and armed forces. The extremely well remunerated education and health bureaucrats also form part of the capitalist state also. The maintenance of their careers is all they need to regurgitate whatever campaign the capitalist politicians and their masters dictate. As has been amply demonstrated during the fraudulent “pandemic”,[3] any number of these bureaucrats can recite the very opposite of whatever scientific and medical research and training they may have conducted in the past. In the case of Covid, their lies match the lies of the corporate politicians, and many who are not politically experienced can be convinced that the government is “trying to save them”.

Yet there is no excuse for hardened leftists, many of whom have been activists for decades, to seemingly throw a class analysis of the state out of the window when they hear of a “health emergency”. As if the capitalist state, which has stripped its health care systems of funding for 40 or 50 years, is now trying to “save lives”!! The Australian so-called left capitulated almost universally. Socialist Alternative (SALT), the largest self-proclaimed socialist party in Australia, not only offered a full throated defence of lockdowns. They also argued that while workers should defend their right to protest and strike (thank goodness for small mercies!), it is “fundamentally misguided to see the main enemy in this crisis as state authoritarianism”.[4] It cannot be clearer – SALT defendthe capitalist state in the process of inflicting economic and psychological terror on workers,[5] while claiming to be left-wing radicals. With radicals like these, who needs enemies?

The Socialist Alliance (SA) is not as direct as SALT in ramming lockdowns down the throats of workers, as they are somewhat aware that they are loathed by the majority of workers. Yet they uphold lockdowns as necessary, even while acknowledging the lockdowns are causing massive job losses. Their response is not to campaign against lockdowns (which they sometimes term “shutdowns” so they do not sound as onerous), but to urge employers to pay pandemic leave![6]  This is dressed up as a progressive campaign when some Union officials have made similar calls. They do not seem to be aware that such calls imply that workers should agree with employers on the need to sack or stand down workers from employment, and then plead with the same employers for leave payments when they do.  Needless to say, SA has knelt down before ruling class ideology so far that they do not even challenge “Covid” job cuts. In fact, by then campaigning for “pandemic leave” they are further reinforcing the “pandemic” nonsense[7] of the politicians they supposedly oppose. One would think the natural option for socialists is to reject “Covid” job losses outright and help to mobilise workers to defend jobs. Yet this would mean a political break with the bourgeois state, which appears beyond SA.

“Trotskyists” and Stalinists for the government

The Trotskyist Platform (TP), known for brandishing the hammer and sickle and claiming to stand under the banner of “communism” and “Trotskyism”, also jump on the purely reformist “paid pandemic leave” bandwagon. Like their allies in the lockdown left, they appear to lack self-awareness. The “coronavirus as a deadly threat” is unfiltered bourgeois ideology. Any acceptance and/or practice of bourgeois ideology renders the workers’ movement virtually unable to win gains. As soon as the left accepts the “pandemic” concept, it stands on the ground of capital, not labour. TP is aware that job cuts have occurred supposedly due to “Covid”, but merely complain that the employers are “using the pandemic as an excuse to cut jobs”.[8] They don’t seem to realise that the main reason for the fake pandemic IS job cuts to ensure the suppression of the cost of labour power (i.e.,wages).[9] And by falling for wholesale corporate media hype of a supposed world threatened by an imaginary black plague, TP have handed employers and the government the political fuel needed to impose millions of job cuts without mass resistance. TP enforce “pandemic” ideology (an entirely false pretext) amongst workers, and then act innocent as employers and the government use this political context to wreak havoc. These “revolutionaries” could almost be hired by the Prime Minister.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) formerly had possibly the largest online presence of any left party prior to the lockdowns of 2020. Then its renowned World Socialist Web Site switched to a position which is potentially more conservative than the imperialist bourgeoisie itself. These “Trotskyists” repeatedly called for harsher and stricter lockdowns and even for schools to effectively remain closed.[10] Even the United Nations (UN) – hardly even a liberal organisation – has cited studies which show that lockdowns and other restrictions could lead to an additional 10 000 children dying per month.[11] Yet, in the name of “socialism”, the SEP are more pro-lockdown than the wealthiest ruling classes in world history. If the vampire squids of finance capital are not prepared to go as far as you demand, how on earth can such a party claim to be pro-worker?

Socialist Fight (SF) paint themselves as pristine Trotskyists untainted by other interpretations of what became of the Fourth International. Yet from day one, SF crumbled in the face of manufactured bourgeois hysteria on an allegedly deadly plague besetting the planet. They took the extraordinary step of expelling one of their members without recourse (who subsequently joined the Workers League – WL) for having the temerity to enquire as to why the SF had apparently taken to the view that the states of imperialist capitalism could suddenly adopt a position of ensuring health care for the working-class and the poor majority as their raison d’etre. They went on to slander the WL for “red-brown fascism” for its position of building the anti-lockdown movement despite the presence of supporters of former US President Trump and QAnon devotees.[12] On our part, the WL stands for militant opposition to capitalism descending into arguably its most politically repressive phase in history – the pinnacle of which are the inhumane and dictatorial lockdowns. As for the accusation of “fascism”, whether of the red-brown variety or not, we suggest the most apt axiom is the one which maintains “the one who accuses is the one who is”.

Australia’s Stalinist parties are universally onside with pandemic hysteria, placing them onside with the Liberal Federal government and the state Labor Premiers, irrespective of their rhetoric. The Communist Workers Party of Australia (CWPA) do not print one word about the forced lockdowns, facemasks and vaccines in the March 2021 issue of their publication The Agitator.[13] It’s as if the entire machinery of corona state repression is something that can be regarded by workers as a footnote. Similarly, the Australian Communist Party (ACP) barely mention lockdowns, and when they do, they imply that only the likes of QAnon “conspiracy theorists” are opposed to “coronavirus restrictions”.![14] One wonders if they are even aware of the thousands of people who have regularly mobilised throughout the country against forced lockdowns and forced vaccines.[15] The Communist Party of Australia (CPA), meanwhile, demands a worldwide rollout of the Covid vax![16]

One must wonder what the parties of the lockdown left actually plan to do in response to the capitalist state dispersing the proletariat through lockdowns, social distancing, the banning of gatherings, meetings, rallies and demonstrations. These measures are designed to make it extremely difficult to politically organise resistance. Their response is to either do nothing, or even virtually assist the police subject innocent working-class men, women and children to house arrest. Meanwhile, working people the world over have been resisting billionaire finance capital’s lockdowns in anyway they can. Despite a corporate media blackout, millions of workers and their allies have repeatedly demonstrated against the unstated but obvious agenda of severe economic and political subjugation under the false guise of a “pandemic”.[17] The whole time, the parties of the lockdown left have been absent, or, as in the case of Germany, actively attempt to counter anti-lockdown demonstrations.[18] Clearly, the “revolutionary” pretensions of the lockdown left have been shattered into a million pieces.

 The end of the Spartacist tradition?

Arguably the most surprising card-carrying members of the lockdown left are the parties derived from the heritage of the Spartacist League. Seemingly without irony, the Spartacist League[19] and its off shoots including the International Bolshevik Tendency,[20] the Bolshevik Tendency[21] and the Internationalist Group,[22] fall like dominoes in thrall to the billionaire class they have sworn to overthrow for decades. We acknowledge the contribution that the Spartacist League and their “family” have made to the study and practice of Leninist-Trotskyism, whatever their shortcomings. Now though, this entire apparatus must be called into question. It is not for us to sling mud and label other left parties as “fascist”, as it hardly helps. However, we have characterised the use of lockdowns and the imposition of scientifically groundless rules (e.g.,social distancing, tracking and tracing, the banning of singing and dancing) as a form of fascism which uses liberalism as its political vehicle. We do not believe that the banning of protest, the effective cancellation of basic civil and democratic rights, and the use of state power to confine healthy and innocent men, women and children to their homes (for those that have homes) for up to 23 hours a day, for months on end, can be politically assessed in any other way.

The parties derived from the Spartacist tradition have openly joined with other left parties they have critiqued as reformist when it comes to the fear pandemic. These include the Workers World Party[23] and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.[24] In fact, with a small handful of exceptions, “Trotskyists”, Stalinists, Maoists and others who identify as “Marxist” or “socialist” have crumbled before the limitless propaganda of the corporate media and capitalist politicians on Covid. The fact that the propaganda barrage is much more intense than usual capitalist messaging should not be used as an excuse. Even though there is horrendous online censorship, the internet has not (yet) been completely cut off. There is no reason why leftists and revolutionaries cannot research and study alternative information to that which the vast apparatus of imperialism disseminates. The failure to do so reflects the fact that on lockdowns – arguably the largest broadside against the working class in history – the lockdown “left” have taken a class position on the wrong side of the barricades. Whatever heritage and past activism they may have to their credit, their avid assistance to big capital for lockdowns is class betrayal.

Fascism appears whenever capitalism lurches into an existential crisis, and lockdown fascism is certainly no exception. Workers need not fear this development, for it signals an opportunity to rise and defeat it through workers’ revolution. Indeed, the descent into fascism is a sure indicator that capitalism can no longer offer workers even minor reforms, and it must use extreme political repression to save itself. Finance capital is showing its vulnerability in doing this, despite the appearance of dominance. The overwhelming majority of workers despise lockdowns, or at the very least suspect something fishy is going on. They could be mobilised alongside the existing anti-lockdown movement if the requisite political leadership of the working-class was at hand. As one of the few left organisations to oppose lockdowns, the Workers League commits itself to helping forge the Marxist vanguard the global working class so desperately seeks. Capitalism belongs the old world, and the time of socialism has arrived. The revolution is rumbling beneath, and we need to prepare. Join us!

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.sott.net/article/431860-How-to-Create-a-Fake-Pandemic (24-03-2021)

[2] https://www.epi.org/press/the-u-s-labor-market-remains-9-9-million-jobs-below-pre-pandemic-levels/ (24-03-2021)

[3] https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/17/covid19-evidence-of-global-fraud/ (27-03-2021)

[4] https://redflag.org.au/node/7453 (27-03-2021)

[5] https://www.aier.org/article/cost-of-us-lockdowns-a-preliminary-report/ (27-03-2021)

[6] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/second-wave-shutdowns-highlight-need-pandemic-leave (27-03-2021)

[7] https://www.globalresearch.ca/were-being-locked-down-infection-fatality-rate-less-than-0-2/5734799 (27-03-2021)

[8] Force Companies To Increase Hiring at the Expense of Their Bloated Profits! | Trotskyist Platform (28-03-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2020/12/29/theses-on-lockdowns-and-political-tasks-for-socialists/ (28-03-2021)

[10] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/03/27/scuk-m27.html (28-03-2021)

[11] https://summit.news/2020/07/29/un-officials-cite-study-that-finds-lockdowns-school-closures-killing-more-children-than-covid/ (28-03-2021)

[12] https://socialistfight.com/2020/12/02/wilhelm-speklin-no-longer-a-member-of-the-socialist-fight-group-12-11-20/ (28-03-2021)

[13] https://communistworkerspartyofaustralia.org.au/resources/THE%20AGITATOR%20THIRD%20ISSUE%20PUBLISHED.pdf (28-03-2021)

[14] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2021/2/12/goodbye-q-qanon-and-the-great-american-conspiracy-theory (28-03-2021)

[15] https://tottnews.com/2021/03/21/coverage-brisbane-freedom-march/ (28-03-2021)

[16] https://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2021/1954/02-editorial.html (28-03-2021)

[17] https://goldenageofgaia.com/2021/03/19/world-freedom-day-march-20-2021/ (28-03-2021)

[18] https://www.winterwatch.net/2020/05/antifa-protests-against-ending-the-lockdown-in-germany/ (28-03-2021

[19] https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1172/covid-19.html (28-03-2021)

[20] http://bolshevik.org/ (28-03-2021)

[21] https://bolsheviktendency.org/2020/04/11/covid-19-a-geo-political-watershed/ (28-03-2021)

[22] http://www.internationalist.org/coronavirus-and-capitalism-2003.html (28-03-2021)

[23] https://www.workers.org/2021/01/53894/ (28-03-2021)

[24] https://www.liberationnews.org/workers-report-covid-19-health-violations-at-iconic-seattle-area-burger-chain/ (28-03-2021)

Strike for Freedom!

Statement of the Workers League

20-03-2021: As worldwide rallies for freedom take place on March 20, most of Western Europe remains under some form of lockdown or curfew, with protest remaining illegal. People can be arrested and charged for “being outdoors without a valid reason”. While lockdowns are being partially lifted in other parts of the world, the lies supposedly justifying previously unimaginable oppression continue. The attempt to vaccinate 7.8 billion people on the planet proceeds, for a virus whose very existence is scientifically disputed. These “vaccines” are entirely political, purely experimental, and are likely to be extremely harmful if not deadly. The same governments which forced healthy men, women and children into barbarous lockdowns now claim that the vaccine is not mandatory at the same time as preparing “Covid Passports” for international travel, domestic travel, and even for access to cinemas, concerts, sporting events and to shop at local grocery stores. This is already a reality in Israel.

Fraudulent removal of rights

Even though it may appear as though business is returning to pre-Covid times, this is also an illusion. Most governments around the world continue to hold the Covid card and are ready to wield it at any moment. Basic civil and democratic rights have either been removed or can be removed once again – with the excuse of “Covid” or “Covid variants”. The right to protest, the right to travel, freedom of movement, the right to purchase food, the right to leave your house, the right not to be forced into wearing an ineffectual and unhealthy facemask, the right to see your friends, the right to see your relatives, the right to visit the elderly and unwell in care homes or hospitals – all of these and more can be removed at any time the authorities deem it so. There was no “pandemic” and there is no “pandemic”. There are only mountains of lies from the corporate media and puppet politicians. Covid is a fraud which is used to increase political repression to levels which arguably exceed historical examples of fascism. In that sense, Covid is the highest form of class war against working people.

Covid was the shroud for the removal of employment for millions of workers worldwide. Whole sections of capitalist economies where shutdown or driven into bankruptcy. Millions of small businesses collapsed, while the largest and wealthiest monopoly corporations on the planet stepped into the void and subsequently amassed windfall profits. This happens in every recession, but this time it is much more apparent. This indicates that the real Covid agenda was a deliberate destruction of some sections of capital to secure and bolster the highest sections of finance capital. It was political action by the ruling classes of the imperialist West undertaken to protect capitalism regardless of the economic, political, and human cost to billions of people around the globe.

Covid is also geo-political. World imperialism, led by the ruling classes of the US and the EU, tailed by their lackeys in Canada, Holland, Australia, New Zealand etc., were floundering behind the economic rise of China, and the military power of Russia. Defeated and repelled at war in Syria, the imperialist powers used the cover of Covid to further develop internal subversion aimed at regime change in Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan, Venezuela and the list goes on. NATO uses the fig leaf of Covid to continue to militarily provoke Russia, China, the DPRK and Iran.

Liberalism the vehicle chosen by the elite

There is worldwide resistance to lockdown terror. Mass rallies and demonstrations repeatedly occur across Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. These are largely blacklisted or ignored by the mainstream media, as the ruling class actively attempts to deny there is mass public opposition – or deride it as being comprised of “anti-vaxxers” and “conspiracy theorists”. Yet the main reason these demonstrations are not overwhelmingly backed by the vast majority of the working class is the epic betrayal of Union officials and parties which falsely claim to be “left-wing” and “socialist”. These layers are not at all left-wing, as their enlistment in the service of the capitalist state over Covid makes crystal clear. These forces are liberal, i.e., they insist they are reforming the system in a progressive direction. However, the loyalty of these elements to capitalism is now so strong that they are prepared to enact fascist-like measures against workers fighting for freedom from lockdowns.

Hence, the “Great Reset” and the “New Normal” launched or backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) is NOT part of a left-wing agenda. It is a capitalist attack headed by liberals with left-sounding phraseology. It can appear as though it is the conservative and nationalist political forces which are resisting planet lockdown. This is only partially true, because while many conservatives and nationalists oppose lockdowns from the point of view of liberty, they of course do not extend this to recognise the need for the overturn of the capitalist system via the establishment of workers’ governments administering a series of workers’ states.

For a general strike!

The anti-lockdown movement thus far has more than demonstrated the bravery required to defy totalitarian rule. At the same time, to achieve its goals it needs two elements which are yet to materialise. One is clear political leadership, and the other is a firmly pro working-class orientation. Due to the nature of the assault issuing from finance capital, it is only the working class organised internationally which has the potential to stop and reverse lockdown terror. The petty-bourgeois class, despite being pummelled by lockdowns, is genetically unable to take a political line independent of big capital. To spur the development of both the political leadership and the proletarian orientation necessary, the anti-lockdown movement needs to call for a general strike against forced lockdowns, facemasks, vaccines, economic shutdowns, border closures, tracking and tracing and the use of state power to enforce absurd and offensive dictates which obviously have no medical basis. The organisation of a general strike requires the formation of strike committees, with the only stipulation for entry into such committees being a sworn opposition to every element of Covid oppression. If developed with vigour, such strike committees can then lead to organs of a new state, which will vie with the lockdown states for the loyalty of working and oppressed people. At the same time, all parties which oppose lockdowns will contest each other for workers’ political allegiance. Permanent relief from lockdown fascism will only arrive with this new power – a workers’ government.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

Milk Tea Alliance: The Empire’s Anti-China Hoodlums

The economic rise of the People’s Republic of China is the major concern of the US Empire. Image from http://www.msn.com

11-03-2021: The West’s flailing efforts to prevent being overtaken and left behind by the economic and political rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues. The capitalist economies of the United States of America (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), Australia, Japan etc., stumble along, either in recession or barely above it. The economy of the PRC, on the other hand, moves ahead in seven league strides[1] – even despite the lockdowns and shutdowns associated with  the fake coronavirus “pandemic”.[2] One could plausibly argue that the Covid lockdowns were part of an engineered recession in the West, as the capitalist ruling classes of the US and EU understood quite well that only the creative destruction of parts of their own capital would give them a chance to drag themselves out of a decade long slump. While the conservative and bureaucratic political leadership of the PRC double-crossed workers by enacting the Covid charade, its economy was largely protected due to predominantly public ownership of the means of production. The PRC does not run primarily on the basis of production for private profit, and this is the key to its indomitable economic rise.

Thailand

In response to the PRC’s inevitably increasing economic ties with its near neighbours and beyond through the Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road) and other means, world imperialism – headed by Washington – uses any means available to disrupt these bonds. The innocuous sounding “Milk Tea Alliance” is anything but. Ludicrous claims that the Milk Tea Alliance is an alliance of “pro-democracy activists” are fostered by the US Empire.[3] The reality is that Washington and London, politically backed by Canberra, are openly funding and organising anti-socialist and anti-government sedition ultimately aimed at regime change in the PRC itself. Any actions – up to and including street violence, physically attacking and provoking police and security forces – are then spun as a “democratic uprising”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Milk Tea Alliance is anti-China, and little else.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the public relations arm of the CIA, does not really attempt to hide the extent to which it funds the “opposition” in Thailand. Its own website lists dozens of “civil society” organisations it funds in Thailand, with amounts of cash attached which are likely understated. These fronts are far from being what they are purported to be about: law reform, democratic rights, human rights, civil society building and so on.[4] Rather, they are about ending any semblance of Thailand’s independence, and punishing the Thai government for extending and deepening economic, political and even military ties with Red China. The Thai government has no choice but to deal with the PRC, and not only because it shares a long border. The PRC, thanks to its gargantuan and expanding socialist economy, offers Thailand economic opportunities that exist nowhere else. Neither the US nor any government of the European Union (EU), due to their respective economic recessions and geographical distance, are in a position to offer Thailand much at all.

The PRC, on the other hand, is a next door neighbour with a vast and expanding economy, which offers trade and investment and much needed infrastructure building projects with zero political interference. For example, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and China have signed agreements to build a railway which connects all these neighbouring South East Asian countries for the first time ever.[5] The economic benefits for Thailand and Laos and Cambodia are obvious, but cultural and political co-operation will also flow as a result. This integration and co-operation will benefit the PRC at the expense of the US Empire – which cannot offer these perks in any case. This is what the Washington seeks to dismantle – and hence the Thai wing of the “Milk Tea Alliance”.

The Thai government also had little choice but to disqualify the “Future Forward” party of corrupt pro-US billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongraungkit for violating Thailand’s electoral laws. Thanathorn had “loaned” his party six million dollars out of his own pocket – which was clearly a donation and therefore illegal under Thai law.[6] In response there were predictable “student” rallies purportedly protesting further restrictions on “democracy”, many of whom would later spring up as the “Milk Tea Alliance”. Likewise, the “Thai Lawyers for Human Rights” (TLHR), led by Anon Nampa, are transparently bound with Washington in an attempt to break Thai links with the PRC under the entirely false guise of “human rights”. Anon Nampa, who springs up and often leads “democracy” protests in Thailand, has had to admit that TLHR “receives all its funding from international donors”. The international donors are of course the NED, meaning that Anon Nampa himself – far from being a disinterested human rights lawyer – is directly paid by the US state department.[7] The Thai “democracy” movement is in fact foreign funded subversion in the service of the US Empire. The Thai government has only recently moved to regulate at least 100 foreign funded “NGOs” which had been operating with impunity.[8]

Myanmar

The latest attempted colour revolution by the US created Milk Tea Alliance is in Myanmar, where the West’s corporate media is painting a picture of a military dictatorship cancelling elections and suppressing demonstrations. This narrative is oceans apart from reality. As we wrote in February,[9] US and UK government funded “democracy” fronts had been operating unimpeded in Myanmar for decades. One result of this has been the creation of the National League for Democracy (NLD) itself, another was the defacto installation of Aung Sung Suu Kyi as State Counsellor from 2016. The Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) had reasonable grounds to claim that the November 2020 election – which the NLD “won” in a landslide was fraudulent, and that the actions it took to prevent a total US/EU government takeover of the state of Myanmar was necessary. It was merely one action that the Tatmadaw has taken against the virtually limitless building of para-state organisations within Myanmar, funded by imperialism itself. For example, not only was Aung Sung Suu Kyi made State Counsellor in 2016, Pe Myint was installed as Minister of Information. Pe Myint was a former doctor who was literally trained in journalism by the NED and George Soros’ OSI (Open Society Institute) at the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok.[10] The notion that Pe Myint would serve the interests of Myanmar rather than the US state department after such backing is fanciful at the very least.

Today, the West’s corporate media and their quislings are fanning the flames of violent unrest which they hope will lead to international (read: US/EU) intervention into Myanmar to confront and/or bring down the Tatmadaw. To do this, they must lie and lie openly about what is happening on the ground in Myanmar. They republish unsubstaniated United Nations (UN) claims that the Tatmadaw killed 38 people in one day.[11] These are baseless allegations aimed at liberals in the West, to soften up public opinion for a possible intervention into Myanmar by US forces or their proxies. At the UN, even Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN gave the three fingered salute (a sign reportedly adopted from the Hunger Games films and by anti-government mobs in Thailand) while calling on the “international community” to hold Myanmar’s military to account. Thankfully, both China and Russia at the UN are currently against international intervention into Myanmar, calling for respect for Myanmar’s internal affairs.[12]  The governments of the US and the EU, needless to say, have no such principles.

One sure indicator of the ultra-reactionary anti-socialist and anti-China nature of the Myanmar anti-coup protestors is the backing offered by Indonesian fugitive Veronica Koman. Ms Koman fled Indonesia to prevent charges for racial incitement being laid against her for false coverage of West Papuan separatist riots during 2019.[13] Ms Koman, who despite having Chinese heritage is virulently anti-Beijing, tweeted in support of the Milk Tea Alliance when Myanmar ex-pats in Sydney staged a “Save Myanmar” rally on March 6.[14] It is to be expected that the vast majority of ex-pat Myanmarese living in Australia – or anywhere outside of Myanmar – would be quickly recruited by US imperialism in its various forms. The goal is clearly to set up political conditions whereby working people internationally do not oppose US or UK or UN troops (or a proxy force) being sent into Myanmar to confront the Tatmadaw – under the guise of “peacekeeping”. This is yet one more step towards the military encirclement of PRC, again escalating the danger of a hot war.

Hong Kong

By far the most violent members of the Milk Tea Alliance are the US/UK government backed Blackshirts in Hong Kong. Throughout 2019, they terrorised Hong Kong citizens with frenzied attacks on police, hurling bricks, petrol bombs and other projectiles. On some occasions, police were struck with arrows shot from bows[15], with some of them dipped in fire before being launched. Fallaciously portrayed as “pro-democracy” activists, many Hong Kong residents argued and pleaded with them to stop destroying the city. One Blackshirt responded to a resident with a different opinion by pouring flammable liquid on him and setting him on fire.[16] Needless to say, the notion that the Blackshirts are somehow fighting for a progressive cause despite using repeated and unprovoked violence against those who disagree with them is absurd. In reality, the Blackshirts are unadulterated anti-socialist hoodlums attempting (in vain) to separate Hong Kong from the People’s Republic of China. This is despite Hong Kong officially being handed back to China as far back as 1997. There is no chance of this happening, given that Hong Kong is now linked to the mainland by rail and the longest land bridge in the world, not to speak of the fact that Hong Kong has been a part of China for millennia.

The Blackshirts – many of whom are too young to even remember 1997 – are acting as reactionary pawns for US/UK imperialist attempts to destablise China using any means necessary. For decades, the US and UK governments have funded thousands of NGOs in Hong Kong, in an effort to prevent Hong Kong’s capitalism being subsumed by the socialism (however deformed) of mainland China. The Blackshirts mobilised under the oxymoronic name of the “Civil Human Rights Front”, when multiple members of this reactionary alliance had directly received NED funding. These include: the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labor Party and the Democratic Party. Some 37 000 NGOs with staff in the tens of thousands operate in Hong Kong, many of which receive funding from US and EU governments.[17] It is no wonder that the Blackshirts then wave not only US and UK flags, but even the defunct British colonial Hong Kong.[18]  This wing of the Milk Tea Alliance is as right-wing as can possibly be conceived.

Defend the PRC against regime change

Taiwan, and even India and Indonesia are sometimes added to the Milk Tea Alliance, giving the game away yet again about who is really behind it. It is unequivocal anti-socialist anti-China subversion, funded and in many cases organised by arms of the imperialist states of the US and the EU. China’s vast population and previous openness to the functioning of foreign backed NGOs opens the door for the ruling classes of the West to attempt to overthrow the PRC from within. Hence the hysterical propaganda campaigns about “human rights” and “democracy” in Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and Tibet. It is also the basis for the fake “democracy” movements being funded and orchestrated by Washington and London in Thailand and Myanmar. The agenda is to encircle Red China with imperialist bases on their borders, while politically destablising the PRC in its extremities. Nothing less than the overthrow of Beijing will satisfy the CIA and MI6, but they understand that this is currently not a military option. Hence, political subversion is the main modus operandi.

The PRC remains a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state, the same one which emerged from the victory of its socialist revolution in 1949. The class character of that revolution, being overwhelmingly backed by hundreds of millions of peasants, was qualitatively different to the working-class proletarian revolution in Russia in 1917. Nevertheless, the PRC today is overwhelmingly based on public ownership of the means of production and a planned economy. This is the productive basis for the 30 years of 10% GDP growth which it experienced, and which would not be possible if the economy was “capitalist”. This is just one reason why workers need to defend the PRC against internal and external imperialist backed subversion. At the same time, the PRC needs a proletarian political revolution to oust the conservative and nationalist political leadership and replace it with workers’ councils comprised of all those who seek to defend modern China and build socialism internationally.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/04/get-ready-for-a-long-recession-408911 (06-03-2021)

[2] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-2020-worldwide-corona-crisis-destroying-civil-society-engineered-economic-depression-global-coup-detat-and-the-great-reset/5730652 (06-03-2021)

[3] https://time.com/5904114/milk-tea-alliance/ (06-03-2021)

[4] https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2020/ (06-03-2021)

[5] https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/thailand-to-sign-rail-pact-with-laos-china-asianewsnetwork? (06-03-2021)

[6] https://journal-neo.org/2020/02/28/thailand-protests-students-fight-to-save-washingtons-billionaire-proxy/ (06-03-21)

[7] https://journal-neo.org/2020/09/29/thai-protests-are-anti-chinese-not-pro-democracy/ (06-03-2021)

[8] https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2073783/govt-to-regulate-all-ngos (06-03-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2021/02/07/myanmar-military-moves-against-us-subversion/ (06-03-2021)

[10] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2016/08/how-us-took-over-myanmars-ministry-of.html (06-03-2021)

[11] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/5/myanmar-diplomatic-revolt-widens-as-protesters-regroup (06-03-2021)

[12] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/myanmar-ambassador-un-three-fingers-military-coup-b1808344.html (06-03-2021)

[13] https://redfireonline.com/2020/01/12/veronica-koman-human-rights-fraud/ (06-03-2021)

[14] https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/world/2021-03-06-hundreds-gather-in-sydney-in-solidarity-with-myanmar-protesters/ (06-03-2021)

[15] https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/arrow-fired-by-hong-kong-protester-hits-police-officer-12101294 (07-03-2021)

[16] https://news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-police-investigating-videos-man-set-alight-081053989.html (07-03-2021)

[17] https://iacenter.org/2019/08/12/international-action-center-statement-u-s-role-in-hong-kong-protests/ (07-03-2021)

[18] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3023817/are-hong-kong-protesters-pro-american-or-british-when-they (07-03-2021)

Biden Bombs Syria: The First Covid War?

Kataib Hezbollah fighters on the march. Image from RT.com

05.03.2021: Just two weeks after declaring the US would not return to forever wars under his administration[1], fraudulently installed President Joe Biden rained bombs on Syria, targeting Iranian supported militias fighting US backed Al Qaeda terrorists operating in the region. Biden was only 36 days into his first term before ordering the bombing of the Middle East[2], once again risking the escalation of an even more catastrophic regime change war. This comes hard on the heels of Biden’s re-invasion of Syria just two days into his Presidency, where 200 US troops and 60 military vehicles crossed the border[3] into Syria to “assist” US backed Kurdish separatist rule in northern Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated that the US airstrikes targeted facilities used by Iranian backed militias including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada. Stretching the limits of plausibility, Kirby claimed that the strikes were in response to rocket attacks on US troops but were deliberately calibrated to de-escalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.[4]

US Empire uses Covid to reignite regime change war on Syria

The US government claimed it gave notice to the Russian government before the strikes took place. It did – but the notice was only four minutes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that “This kind of notification does nothing when the strike is literally already on its way”.[5] Transparently, US imperialism is hell bent on attempting to reverse the defeat it suffered during the regime change war it attempted in Syria from 2011 onwards. The combination of resistance from the Syrian government, with military backing from Russia and Iran, arguably dealt US imperialism its first defeat since the Vietnam War. The Pentagon did not succeed in toppling Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, despite spending $500 million, at the very least, funding and arming deranged mercenary forces[6] to do so. The superiority of Russian air power, combined with the considerable skills of Iranian backed ground militias and heroic Syrian army martyrs – delivered a crushing of ISIS and, by extension, Wall Street.

Washington was stung by this defeat and has never accepted it. Now, their assault on the world’s working and oppressed people under the code name of “Covid”, opens a small window to re-start the regime change war on Syria. While the governments of Russia and Iran performed heroics to stop US imperialism in its tracks in Syria, during 2020 both entities unfortunately marched in lockstep with the US Empire by entertaining the Covid plot.[7] The coronavirus charade was always going to be used by US/EU imperialism against their opponents, and the Russian and Iranian governments’ acquiescence to the fear “pandemic” nonsense only slightly delayed a direct broadside from Washington. Russia and Iran’s mimicking of Western government lockdowns, forced facemasks and forced vaccines was never going to be accepted as currency for respect for their national sovereignty, or much else. Nothing less than regime change and substitute pro-US satrap governments in Syria, Iran and Russia would appease the ruling classes of the US/EU. Indeed, the war on Syria was arguably a stepping stone on the road to regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran, by first eliminating one of Russia’s key allies.

Liberalism accelerates political disintegration

When capitalism enters a steep decline, parliamentary democracy soon becomes insufficiently repressive for the tasks the bourgeoisie needs to carry out to ensure the maintenance of its rule. Basic democratic and civil rights become an obstacle and need to be sidelined. This was one of the goals of the various forms of lockdown fascism initiated by capital in the West during 2020. This particular form of fascism, which was covered with the excuse of “Covid”, was NOT led by a far-right ultra-nationalist stormtroopers but by “left-wing” anti-socialists such as: Antifa, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the lockdown left who tailed the mind-bogglingly conservative Union bureaucracy. This liberal pro-corporate set heavily endorsed the fake pandemic and even – believe it or not – campaigned for longer and stricter lockdowns. While there is no doubt that these forces dragged along some youth and working people who believed they were doing something progressive, their leading lights knew exactly what their task was – to defend capitalist imperialism using any means up to and including violence.

The identity politics, the faux anti-racism, the disingenuous refugee rights activism of Antifa, BLM (which has conveniently disappeared from the streets now that there is a Democrat in the White House) and the lockdown left – combined with Union officialdom – has only strengthened finance capital. All of these forces endorsed and enforced the fake pandemic with its brutally anti-working class lockdowns, forced facemasks, forced vaccines, and tracking and tracing. The Covid ruse enabled the fascistic repression the ruling class required to savage the cost of labour power – through hundreds of millions of job cuts, economic shutdowns and border closures. The extreme Covid political repression also enables the bourgeoisie to wage imperialist war, such as the one being reanimated in Syria. For working people can scarcely organise political opposition to a war when they are separated from each other, when meetings have been banned, and when state borders are barricaded.

What is required is political action which demands US troops exit Syria immediately, and a prompt end to US/EU sanctions and provocations against Syria, Russia and Iran. The threatened imperialist wars against Syria, Russia, Iran and even China are bound up with the Covid war on working people at home. This is despite the deceitful Covid cooperation with Washington by Moscow, Tehran and Beijing. Wars can only be stopped by overthrowing the government waging it – this is the cardinal lesson of the October Revolution of 1917. Then, as now, Marxist leadership of the working class is a critical first step towards the end of imperialist wars and the socialist liberation of humanity.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] Biden Bombs Syria Just Two Weeks After Promising Not To Go Back To Forever Wars In The Middle East….. (thefolliesofdistributism.com) (28-02-2021)

[2] It Only Took Joe Biden 36 Days to Bomb the Middle East – 19FortyFive (28-02-2021)

[3] US Convoy Reported Moving Into Syria From Iraq – News From Antiwar.com (28-02-2021)

[4] ‘Joe Biden Just Dropped Bombs on Syria. Here We Go Again’: US Responds to Rocket Attacks With Airstrikes | Common Dreams News (28-02-2021)

[5] Mismatch: Biden bombs Syria while pushing progressive economic bill at home – People’s World (28-02-2021)

[6] https://abcnews.go.com/International/video/us-approves-500-million-fund-arm-moderate-syrian-25633715 (28-02-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (28-02-2021)