24-12-2020: Chan Han Choi is undoubtedly a pro-socialist class war political prisoner. The Australian government imprisoned Choi under high security for almost three years in 2017 without charge. Choi is the first person ever to be charged in Australia under the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act. After nearly three years behind bars and being subjected to cruel restrictions – such as having to speak to his wife in English only and having his conversations with his lawyers listened to by authorities – Choi has been released from prison only to now be engaged in a form of house arrest until his trial takes place. Chan Han Choi originates from South Korea, (Republic of Korea – ROK) but has lived in Sydney and worked as a cleaner for over 30 years. He views the political system in North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK) as one which protects and acts in the interests of working people – which indeed it largely does.
His only “crime” was to allegedly organise some trade deals which – if they had actually occurred – would have enabled a small measure of relief from the crippling sanctions imposed on the DPRK effectively by US imperialism. During his period of detention, Choi stated his belief that the sanctions administered by the United Nations (UN) on the DPRK are fundamentally unjust and unfair. Workers of the world can only reaffirm this basic truth. The UN, acting as a cat’s paw of the US Empire, imposes sanctions which themselves could be a form of genocide against the people of the DPRK. The sanctions forbid any sailing vessel or aircraft from transferring goods directly or indirectly from another country to the DPRK. An exhaustive list of materials, goods, equipment and technology are simply prohibited from reaching the DPRK. Many basic necessities are listed under “luxury items” or are listed as “dual use” – meaning they COULD be used for the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile weapons programs.
In reality, any electrical goods and equipment could be used for military purposes. Obviously though, they could also be used for straightforward domestic industrial and commercial purposes, and for the basic functioning of the economy. The DPRK – a heavily deformed workers’ state – has the express right to defend itself from invasion from US imperialism. This is a daily and ongoing reality for all Koreans, as a result of the repelling of the US led war on Korea in the early 1950s. The DPRK has seen what has happened to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya if a state does not possess nuclear weapons and other ballistic missiles: it will be invaded and destroyed by Washington. The DPRK would much prefer not to have to build ANY weapons of mass destruction. Alas, it has no choice but to do so.
All lockdowns must be opposed
Without question, the campaign of solidarity to free Chan Han Choi has been organised and led by the left party Trotskyist Platform (TP). From the outset, TP have been the drivers behind the important demonstrations which help to break down the fierce anti-socialist hysteria directed against the DPRK, which in turn is a sub-set of the irrational antagonism against China (People’s Republic of China – PRC). At the same time, TP’s campaign in 2020 has a fatal flaw. TP is a card-carrying member of the lockdown left – ostensibly revolutionary left parties which allied with the very imperialist powers they claim to oppose on the fake coronavirus “pandemic”. As we wrote in August, so fervently does TP agree with the Australian government and all bourgeois politicians that the world is beset by a deadly plague of biblical proportions, TP actually make public calls for mandatory temperature testing in workplaces of more than two people, and for public housing residents to be locked down by health workers rather than police! Yet Chan Han Choi is himself subjected to a lockdown: prison and now house arrest. Does TP call for the release of Choi from lockdowns, but for all other workers to be locked down – due to Covid?
The lockdown left tries in vain to separate the lockdowns from all other political activity. They would have us believe that the response of the capitalist governments to a virus which is most likely one of the many coronaviruses which circulate every winter is simply a “health” issue. With TP at the forefront, the lockdown left mumble about the job losses, poverty, depression, domestic violence and economic destruction – but echo government lies that this is all caused by a virus. TP would have us believe that the removal of free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and the most elementary civil and democratic rights are necessary to “save lives”. They rally workers against the same politicians who are inflicting cruel punishment on Chan Han Choi – but also want us to strongly back these politicians when they prevent children from going to school or playing with their friends! The lockdowns themselves take lives, as that is a part of the civil war that finance capital is waging against the working class. For TP though, lockdowns enforced by cops and/or the military is actually the state trying to save your life! Years of TP’s warnings about the dangers the capitalist state pose to workers have vanished into thin air.
The ideological and political Covid prostration of TP before the very bourgeois forces which not only are detaining Choi but are threatening the DPRK and the world with nuclear war, is illuminating. Workers need a consistent message. They cannot be told, on the one hand, that capitalism is their enemy, but on the other hand, be asked to fully comply with the same capitalist system when it locks them down under house arrest – with the threadbare Covid excuse. If the Prime Ministers and Presidents of the West are allies on Covid – why would they not be allies on other issues? Why be a socialist? Why join a Union or any left party at all – if, on Covid, all we should do is obey “our own” corporate politicians and the mainstream media?
Workers should strive to support the campaign to free Chan Han Choi. But it is crucial to oppose all lockdowns and ALL aspects of lockdown terror. Chan Han Choi and the working class can only be fully emancipated once EVERY part of bourgeois ideology is defeated – not just fragments of it. Therefore we urge workers to build the anti-lockdown movement as part of an initial struggle for the reclaiming of free speech, freedom of assembly and every other right that workers need in their battles against the rule of the private banks and the stock exchange. The most class aware workers amongst those resisting the draconian dictates of the Covidian state need to be welded into internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties, to help lead the struggle for liberation from lockdowns and other relics of class society.
12-12-2020 – Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing Wikileaks organisation, informed his supporters at the start of this year that he is “slowly dying”. Guilty of nothing but journalism, Julian Assange remains in Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom (UK), in a wing reserved for those accused of the worst forms of terrorism. Years of detention inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London had already taken a severe toll, but this has been followed by prolonged solitary confinement for 22 or 23 hours a day. Solitary confinement is psychological torture under any definition of the term, which is an open abuse of the rights of prisoners in supposedly democratic states. Julian Assange is a Walkley journalism award winner, but also the first journalist to be prosecuted as a spy by the US government under its 1917 Espionage Act. It is unfortunately no coincidence that this act was introduced by the US government for the prosecution of socialists and anti-war activists at the time of tremendous influence of socialism in the months prior to the October Revolution in Russia in the same year. For, just over 100 years later, imperialism is once again driving workers towards revolution if only to free themselves from the state repression against which Julian Assange had issued dire warnings.
Intimidation the aim
The severe and prolonged physical and psychological torture being meted out to Julian Assange has the aim of intimidating anyone else who is considering exposing the blatant crimes of Anglo/US imperialism, at home and abroad. Another aim is to remind workers that “democracy” and all its trappings has extremely strict limits in the year 2020 and can even be removed if the super elite sees fit to do so. Some semblance of freedom of the press may have been tolerated by Western ruling classes to an extent during the 20th century – but these rights have only cursory observation today. The further world capitalism declines economically, the more it must increase the amount and the severity of political repression of “their own” working people.
During 2020, Anglo/US imperialism has utilised the cover of a fake pandemic to launch the most severe attack on the working class since the 1930s. We are expected to believe that the very same people who waged cataclysmic war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria taking the lives of millions in the most brutal manner imaginable – are now primarily concerned with “saving lives”. We are expected to believe that the very same people who have subjected Julian Assange to inhuman torture for at least 10 years because Wikileaks exposed their criminality – are now doing their utmost to protect democratic and human rights. We are expected to believe that the very same people who have savagely defunded public healthcare systems for more than 30 years – are now most keenly concerned to avoid public hospitals being overwhelmed. More than anything else, Julian Assange was sickened by such boundless hypocrisy, and was prepared to risk his life to expose it.
Colossal hypocrisy of the lockdown left
The hypocrisy of finance capital and their governments which enforce its rule through Covid-19 fraud is not only matched, but exceeded, by the hypocrisy of the lockdown left on the issue of the detention, i.e., lockdown, of Julian Assange. The lockdown left refers to “socialist” parties, Union officials and liberal social-democrats who swear blind that they uphold progress, humanitarian values or even socialism and Marxism – but in practice have moved so far to the right that they are today outflanked on the left by the entire spectrum of supporters of US President Donald Trump, QAnon followers, “anti-vaxxers”, and those concerned about the danger of radiation from 5G telecommunications towers. The lockdown left is oblivious to the fact that it has practically merged with the capitalist state as it descends into a tyranny which arguably exceeds that of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s.
In 2010, the lockdown left mobilised as one to defend Assange, for, at that time, Wikileaks was exposing the crimes of the US Empire in its wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the instant that Wikileaks began to expose the war of regime change on Libya, followed soon after by the war of regime change on Syria – the lockdown left dropped Julian Assange like a hot potato. According to them, exposing the war crimes of Republican President Bush was fine and dandy – but exposing the war crimes of then Democrat President Obama and then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton? Well, that was just too left-wing for them. For eight long years, the lockdown left said and did virtually nothing while Assange was held hostage in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Then, when Assange was expelled from the embassy and faced being extradited to the US to face a virtual death sentence – the lockdown left sheepishly and very cautiously found their voice again. That is to say, only when liberals outflanked them from the left, did the “Marxist” lockdown left change their tune.
Today, the lockdown left calls for the release of Julian Assange from lockdown, but strongly defends government lockdowns against almost the entire population under the ludicrous claim of a “pandemic”. They are not able to see that their own actions in defending lockdowns and facemasks has lent political legitimacy to the capitalist state – which has then used this endorsement to dramatically increase severe political repression against workers, and against Julian Assange above all. This is not just a matter of the political bankruptcy of the lockdown left, and most especially the overpaid Union officials who have basically not lifted a finger to help free Assange. What this also means is that the campaign to free Julian Assange will not succeed unless it opposes all facets of the imperialist offensive today; from the barbarous detention of Assange, to the Covid lockdowns, to forced Covid vaccines, to mass unemployment, to the abolition of the right of assembly, to the abolition of free speech via Big Tech censorship, to imperialist war provocations against Russia, China, Iran and so on. Freedom for Assange and freedom from lockdowns are therefore directly linked with a struggle for collectivised and planned economies, led by a vanguard party committed to working class rule.
06-12-2020: Fighting recently broke out in Western Sahara after numerous years of relative peace between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the self-claimed leaders of the self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Polisario disingenuously claims that Sahrawis were simply engaging in peaceful protest in the Guerguerat buffer zone close to the southern border with Mauritania. Like so much of Polisario’s rhetoric over the past 30 odd years, it is packed with brazen untruths. Polisario and its militias were in fact harassing MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) personnel, committing “acts of banditry”, and blocking the movement of people and goods on the road. The UN has explicitly called on Polisario to cease these violent provocations at the Guerguerat buffer zone in Resolution 2440, passed two years ago.
“Liberation” struggle gone wrong
Some left parties cling to the issue of Western Sahara from decades past, romanticising it into a struggle of an “oppressed” and “occupied” people against some kind of colonial overlord. While there may have been some justification originally for ensuring the rights of Sahrawis were not ignored by being absorbed into Morocco in 1975, these times have long since elapsed. One major reason for the diversion of the Sahrawi cause is the degeneration of the Polisario Front, with a leadership that can now only be described as politically corrupt and ethically bankrupt. This is fast being recognised by its former allies. During the 70s and 80s, the SADR was recognised by the governments of a whole host of former colonial countries, as well as progressive or socialist oriented governments of the time, such as Libya and Cuba. At that time, Polisario had at least a nominal or partial commitment to socialism. Since then, any shred of progressive politics has faded into a dim and distant past, to be replaced by a seeming commitment to Western backed “Islamic” terrorism.
One could argue that Polisario has now become a branch of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). AQIM has for some time openly recruited amongst Sahrawi youth in the Tindouf refugee camps operated by Polisario in Southwestern Algeria. This is officially denied by the Polisario leadership, yet other sources indicate Polisario has also been offering safe haven to AQIM, and even organising convoys that supply AQIM with food and weaponry. It seems to be a case where, running out of allies, Polisario has abandoned any sense of principle and latched onto AQIM, or Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other Western backed proxy forces creating chaos across Africa with the aim of disrupting co-operation between African countries and Russia and China. Mindful of the danger of being seen to be supporting any kind of terrorism, dozens of former allies have formally withdrawn recognition of the SADR. Since 2000, 34 countries have abandoned the SADR, including 9 Carribean nations.
One significant reason why Sahrawi youth take up the offer of joining AQIM is simply to escape detention by Polisario in the Tindouf camps. Reportedly, Polisario only allows one car every 20 days to drive out of the camps. There are also repeated claims of the torture of Sahrawis, not by Moroccan troops, but by Polisario. It’s one thing to carry on an armed struggle for your people against a supposedly colonising power, but it is another thing entirely to harm or torture the very people you are allegedly fighting for. There are also no jobs, virtually no economy, and therefore no future in the Polisario run camps. In addition, Polisario dramatically prevents freedom of movement of Sahrawis – so the temptation to join AQIM to escape is sometimes too much to resist.
Embezzlement, slavery, abuse of women
There is a severe lack of democratic rights for Sahrawis under Polisario enforced detention. One reason for this is the systematic and ongoing embezzlement of humanitarian aid for Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf camps which flows from Europe. Polisario claims that the numbers of Sahrawi refugees are between 155 000 to 170 000, whereas neutral observers estimate the figures are more likely to be between 70 000 and 90 000. Humanitarian aid for over 150 000 arrives, and the surplus is simply pocketed by Polisario to fund their war against Morocco. As a result, according to the UN, 40% of Sahrawi children in the camps suffer from a lack of iron, while 32% suffer from a lack of nutrition. Further, male adult Sahrawi refugees are often forced by Polisario to serve in their armed forces in return for some portions of the food aid – a clear case of extortion.
There are also persistent claims that slavery is still practiced and overseen by Polisario in the refugee camps they administer. In 2009, a controversial documentary film called Stolen was produced and released by two Australian film makers, Violeta Alaya and Dan Fallshaw. The film displays the evidence they came across to indicate that slavery still takes place in Western Sahara, with the connivance of Polisario. In response, Polisario began an international campaign to discredit the film, even going to the extent of flying one of the female interviewees in the film to Australia to denounce the film’s “misrepresentations”. Five years later, Human Rights Watch released a 94 page report, Off the Radar: Human Rights in the Tindouf Refugee Camps. It found that while slavery in Western Sahara is not widespread, it still persists in Tindouf and other parts of Western Sahara administered by Polisario.Stolen producer Tom Zubrycki claimed that the report had vindicated the film, and was proud that some pressure had been applied to Polisario to commit to end the practice.
The rights of women in the Tindouf camps are the subject of repeated calls on Polisario and the Algerian government to act. Accounts of rape, forced childbirth, detention against their will, forced marriages, deprivation of liberty repeatedly come to the surface. Not only women but Tindouf residents lack the right to employment, the right to food and medicine, and the right to freedom of movement. Women though, appear to largely live in a state of servitude, relegated to forced domestic chores. Even European MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) have openly called on Polisario to cease the diversion of humanitarian aid intended for Tindouf Sahrawis, and to address the “deplorable” situation of women in the camps. Polisario instead turns a deaf ear.
Let us suppose, for argument’s sake, that Polisario was not guilty, or was not involved, in any political or criminal misconduct. Let us imagine (despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary) that Polisario was NOT involved in banditry, slavery, terrorist links to Al Qaeda, suppression of the democratic rights of Sahrawis, arbitrary detention and the abuse and degradation of women. Could workers then extend a measure of political support? Not at all. Why? Because aside from all of these rather major concerns, the politics of Polisario is almost completely barren, and devoid of any kind of progressive ideology. From all appearances, it has but one position: separatist independence. More to the point, it is separatist independence regardless of the consequences. On its own, this is not left-wing, and nor is it anti-imperialist. In fact, it almost always leads to a dependence on imperialism.
Moreover, not all Sahrawis support Polisario. Yet even if Polisario did not have any politics outside of a military struggle for separatist independence (and was not involved in brazen criminality), it could still be possible for Marxists to offer some kind of support IF the case of Western Sahara was a genuine cause of national liberation. That is to say, IF Western Sahara fulfilled the Marxist criteria for nationhood, and IF rule by Morocco resulted in the severe and ongoing suppression of the various types of national rights, and IF absorption into Morocco produced intractable obstacles to common class struggle between Sahrawis and Moroccans – then advocacy by Leninists of self-determination for Sahrawis MAY be applicable. However, in the real world, none of this is even remotely the case.
In the first place, Western Sahara does not fulfill the basic elements required for recognition of a nation according to Marxist criteria. JV Stalin, in a work which was edited line by line by VI Lenin, outlined four basic criteria for nationhood, those being 1. A common territory 2. A common language 3. A common economy and 4. A common culture. All four factors must be present before Marxists can recognise a nation, and even then, it is not automatic that socialists demand the exercising of the right to self-determination. Marxists have a negative national program generally, for the simple reason that the advocacy and/or exercise of the right to self-determination, up to an including separatist independence, is subordinate to the overall political development of the working class.
Marxists are not for splitting large states into smaller states for the sake of it. In fact, generally speaking, Marxists advocate larger states and even amalgamation of states into a larger entity because this scenario is more advantageous to working class struggle across nations against capitalism – which uses nationalism for its own interests. One factor which makes working class political struggle easier is a common language. In the case of Western Sahara, we find that Sahrawis speak and write in the same languages as Moroccans (Berber or Arabic), given that they both originated from the same Saharan region. What is more, the local Hassaniya Arabic dialect of the Sahrawis is recognised in Morocco’s constitution. Culturally, Sahrawis and Morrocans share the same religion – Sunni Islam. So, even on linguistic and cultural grounds, it would make little sense to separate from Morocco while speaking the same language, and observing the same religion.
Western Sahara does not have its own economy either. Its economy is administered by the Moroccan government, and thus it is the major source of employment and the only source of social spending and infrastructure development. The Moroccan government has since 1975 spent billions of dollars developing the economy of Morrocan Sahara, and has even provided benefits to Sahrawis living there which are not available to other Morrocans, such as no taxes! To say the least, this is hardly indicative of Morrocan “oppression” of Sahrawis. Not surprisingly, large numbers of Sahrawis (who are not trapped in refugee camps), move into Morrocan administered areas to live and find work. While there, they fully take part in the Morrocan national culture and political life – including through voting in local and regional Moroccan elections. Indeed, descendents of Sahrawi tribes are not only eligible to vote in Moroccan elections, but also to stand as candidates.
The fate of ethnic nationalism
Moreover, since 2007, the government of Morroco has offered a high degree of administrative and policy autonomy under its sovereignty. Polisario has consistently rejected the offer of autonomy, and still holds that the final status of Western Sahara should be decided by a referendum. With common territorial, cultural, linguistic and economic characteristics, Polisario is instead insisting on a purely ethnic based nation, or part of a nation. This is not acceptable even in bourgeois terms, let alone in proletarian terms. A state based only on ethnicity is not only a relic of medieval times – it sets up multiple barriers to the development of working-class consciousness and, therefore, progress towards socialism. One significant reason for this is that ethnically based states, or attempts to establish them, very quickly become politically dependent on imperialism, regardless of their intentions. They can then be easily be manipulated by imperialism, using a thousand subterfuges. Imperialism only backs ethnically based separatist movements if it can use it to its own advantage. Such is the case with the attempts to erect a Kurdish ethnic state in Iraq and Syria, or the efforts to launch an ethnically based Papuan state of “West Papua”.
Workers internationally cannot extend political support to the Morrocan government either, but it would be wise for Sahrawis to accept some form of autonomy for Western Sahara in an effort to preserve what remains of Sahrawi culture. The Moroccan government demonstrates no intention to prevent this from existing and even developing. Then, some level of economic development can flow through to all areas of Western Sahara, which would lead to the initiation and growth of a proletariat. This joint Sahrawi/Moroccan proletariat can then extend its hands to the workers of Mali, Mauritania and Algeria with the ultimate aim of laying the foundations of a socialist federation of West Africa. Key to this perspective is the forging of a network of workers’ vanguard parties utilizing the theory of Permanent Revolution to fight for collectivised, integrated and planned regional economies – forever eliminating the historical legacies of colonialism on the African continent.
29-11-2020: Little more than 11 months after the US Empire assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced one of its top nuclear scientists had been assassinated. The Iranian Ministry of Defense stated that armed terrorists attacked Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and his security protection team, after which he was transported to hospital, but was unable to be saved. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet, but it occurs on the back of rumours that US President Donald Trump would launch a strike on Iran before he leaves office on January 20 (despite a fraudulent poll where a litany of election laws were ignored and statistically impossible outcomes suspiciously delivered a “result” in favour of the Democrats). Adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and military leader Hossein Deghan accused the state of Israel of trying to provoke a full-blown war in the last days in office of their US ally. Hossein Salami, an IRGC Commander posted on Twitter that “..the assassination of nuclear scientists is the most obvious violent confrontation of the imperialist system to prevent us from gaining access to modern science”.
British-Australian operative released in prisoner swap
This cowardly act of war against Iran comes hot on the heels of the release of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British/Australian academic who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Iran for espionage. Ms Moore-Gilbert was released in exchange for three Iranians detained elsewhere. The case of Moore-Gilbert is being used by the Australian government and its compliant corporate media to ramp up even more hostility to Iran, even though it is evident that the Iranian government had ample grounds for their charges of espionage. Ms Moore-Gilbert had worked as a lecturer at Melbourne University, and had attended a conference in Qom in 2018. It was at that time that Moore-Gilbert was detained and later charged and convicted of espionage, and given a 10 year sentence. Moore-Gilbert has always denied the charges, but never has she, nor the corporate media, nor the Australian government, ever explained what she actually did in Iran. If she was innocent of spying, why not tell the whole story?
This refusal to explain should sound loud alarm bells. It is plausible that Moore-Gilbert was not employed or paid by the Australian government to spy on Iran. It is possible that Moore-Gilbert was yet another liberal academic who consciously or unconsciously allies herself with Australian, and therefore British and US imperialism, in their non-stop attempts to force regime change in Iran by any means. In 2019, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi stated that Moore-Gilbert was arrested on a charge of violating Iran’s national security by spying for another country. This other country is the Israeli state, and given the history of the Israeli governments’ relentless war provocations against Iran, it is entirely understandable for the Iranian government to take extreme precautions. The Sydney Morning Herald fatuously claimed that the Iranian government detained Moore-Gilbert after discovering she was in a relationship with an Israeli citizen, and was backed by the US government operated Human Rights Watch and the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council. From this it is not a large leap of logic to conclude that Moore-Gilbert was indeed at least aiding the Zionist Israeli state, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was justified in protecting itself from the possible consequences. Inane whining from the liberal pro-imperialist intelligentsia about how the “regime” (they are not able to deign themselves to refer to it as a government) in Iran is allegedly “oppressive” is always used by Anglo/US/AUST imperialism as political capital for catastrophic regime change war.
Iranian government rolls out “pandemic” pantomime
What the government of the Islamic Republic could be justifiably criticised for is enacting its own scientifically groundless lockdowns and medically absurd facemask mandates, which mirror the actions of the imperialist governments targeting them for destruction. From November 21, the Iranian government moved to close 150 cities on partial or full lockdown, with even a ban on cars entering or exiting. The aping of the actions of the imperialist ruling classes against their own workers is a major error, one perhaps carried out to assuage the relentless war campaign against it from the West. Alas, if anything, this has only encouraged the imperialists to step up their war moves. Imperialism cannot be appeased, no matter how many times non-imperialist governments act in the same way and adopt public policies identical to the governments of the US/NATO/EU Empire. Imperialism cannot tolerate any degree of independence, even one which seeks to replicate some of its own practices.
Despite this, it is in the vital interests of working people the world over to defend the Islamic Republic of Iran against a Western led war of regime change. Iran’s role in militarily assisting the defeat of US imperialism in Syria was heroic, and vital because the Iranian government understood that if Washington/London/Paris was able to overthrow Syria, it would itself be next. Iran does not have nuclear weapons capability, but it must have the sovereign right to develop any energy source it requires – including nuclear generated electricity. The repeated assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists at the hands of the West, combines with medieval siege type sanctions to nearly break the Iranian economy. Workers must demand the lifting of all sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the immediate cessation of any assassinations and war provocations by the West.
Despite the laudable victories of the IRGC as part of the Shia Resistance bloc (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthis), Anglo/US/NATO imperialism ultimately cannot be defeated militarily. It will take an international socialist struggle against COVID-19 lies, “the Great Reset” and its accompanying imperialist wars of conquest. The forging of Marxist vanguard parties based on Permanent Revolution throughout the Middle East and internationally remain key to the first steps towards undermining the destructive power of the international system of private profit for private gain. NO WAR ON IRAN!
15-11-2020: On October 20, reports emerged of the alleged killing of 12 protestors at two locations in Lagos, (Lekki and Alausa) Nigeria’s most populous city. The protestors were claimed to be part of the #EndSARS movement. “SARS” refers to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit set up in 1992. Ostensibly, this is a movement of Nigerian youth against police brutality. In reality, it is yet another covert attempt at regime change in Africa, which serves the ends of Washington in a struggle for relevance in their period of economic and political decline. Whenever a protest movement rapidly moves from the stated reason for protests (in this case police brutality) to calls for the leader (in this case President Muhammadu Buhari) to step down, you can smell the interference of the US state department from miles away. Even as the Nigerian government responded to the #EndSARS movement by renaming the SARS unit the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit, the protests moved seamlessly into calls for Buhari to step down. #EndSARS became #Buharimustgo, and the fig leaf covering the movement was blown away.
What really happened?
The #EndSARS movement claims that the military opened fire on peaceful protestors at Lekki, but this appears fallacious. Both the Nigerian military and the police emphatically deny shooting at protestors. Nigeria’s army said the shootings were “fake news”, while the Police Minister Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi told the BBC that troops were NOT ordered to open fire on protestors, and that soldiers are denying their involvement. Major Osoba Olaniyi, a spokesperson for the 81st division of the Nigerian Army, insisted that soldiers did NOT shoot at #EndSARS protestors. What occurred was that there was an outbreak of violence amongst #EndSARS protestors, or some elements intent on hijacking the movement. Several police stations were attacked and burnt, some police officers were killed, some suspects in police custody were released and weapons were carried away. In response to the violence and anarchy, the Lagos state government decided to call in the military to restore order after a 24 hour curfew was imposed. Far from the fanciful narrative of the #EndSARS movement, the Lagos state government responded in the same manner as many governments around the world would, if it experienced terroristic violence being waged against it.
We have seen such tactics many times before, in US orchestrated attempts to paint a government targeted for removal as “brutal” or “authoritarian”. Create, fund and even arm an opposition within the country, provoke a reaction from the security forces, claim “oppression” from a “dictator”, garner political backing from liberal establishments the world over, and ramp up the political pressure internationally. It has been attempted, with varying degrees of “success” in Serbia, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and the list goes on. In Africa, similar attempts have recently been made in Algeria and Sudan. Now it is the turn of Nigeria, but this time, claimed political legitimacy is dispensed by Black Lives Matter (BLM), foot soldiers of big capital who ransacked parts of the US itself in order to dethrone US President Donald Trump, and install Democratic candidate Joe Biden. This appears to have “succeeded” in the US, but the stakes are just as high on the African continent.
BLM imperialist foreign policy
Over and over again, L Trotsky, co-leader of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, stressed that the politics of a party, organisation or individual cannot ultimately be assessed on the basis of their positions “at home”. To grasp a real sense of their politics, their international positions must be identified and examined. One can shout to the heavens about how strongly one backs social justice at home, but this unravels the moment an organisation sides with “its own” ruling class against its real or imagined international enemies. The fact that BLM has never uttered even one word against any US imperialist war over the last 7 years of its existence speaks volumes. As Tony Cartalucci correctly notes, black lives cannot just matter at home, they must matter everywhere. In fact, Black, Brown and Asian lives must matter everywhere, and US imperialism must be opposed whenever and wherever it imposes its will politically, economically and militarily.
BLM arose around 2013, but they maintained radio silence on the US/NATO war on Libya, which destroyed the entire state and resulted in fratricidal war ever since. What is more, in its place stepped the reappearance of black slavery, where the slave trade under Green Libya had been punishable by death. BLM matter remained unmoved and maintained its silence over the entirety of the US/NATO war of regime change against Syria, and blatant US regime change efforts in Venezuela, amongst others. Yet BLM wasted no time whatsoever in issuing a statement in support of the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, claiming “pan-Africanist solidarity is central to the global Black Lives Matter movement”. For class aware workers, such opportunism should ring alarm bells.
Almost to a rule, Hollywood and other celebrities also chime in with US imperialist escapades. In this case, rapper Kanye West, footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer Trey Songz, Star Wars actor John Boyega all put their names to the anti-SARS campaign. Beyonce and Rihanna also threw their hats into the ring, alongside – wait for it – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey !! Fresh from blocking and banning Twitter uses who post about Joe Biden’s corruption, we are expected to believe that Twitter now stands against alleged police violence in Nigeria? Socialists can – perhaps – excuse actors and celebrities who are not particularly politically aware, but not Big Tech which is a key arm of global capitalist censorship of the internet. When BLM and Twitter align as if one, the fix is on – and not just that of the US presidential elections. We are dealing squarely with liberal imperialism.
East versus West in Africa
To entertain the notion that #EndSARS is an innocent movement for the rights of Nigerians is a fantasy. In reality, #EndSARS is part of a hybrid proxy war for Africa waged by Washington against Moscow and Beijing. As the US economy staggers and US “leadership” of the world becomes ever more redundant, more and more African countries are, not without reason, turning to the Russian Federation for security assurances, and to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for economic assistance. Ditto for many other countries in Central and South East Asia, and Latin America. Russia, with its superior military technology, is uniquely placed to offer a deterrent against US imperialist destablisation. The PRC, with its gargantuan and still expanding socialist economy, is uniquely placed to offer economic and developmental aid, especially with regard to the building of much needed roads, railways, ports, and key infrastructure. As both Russia and the PRC are emphatically non-imperialist powers, such aid is proffered with “no strings attached”. For African countries, co-operation with Russia and the PRC is therefore a no-brainer.
In fact, Russia and Nigeria had been co-operating for at least several years, both in an economic and security sense. In 2017, Russia and Nigeria agreed to step up co-operation with developing a nuclear industry, infrastructure projects, and the export of Russian industrial products to Nigeria. They also cemented ties in the struggle against the terrorism of various groups such as Boko Haram, wreaking havoc in the Sahel-Sahara region of Africa. In August 2013, Russia, Nigeria and Niger signed an explicit security pact, with the emphasis on countering the terrorism of Boko Haram. The agreement even goes so far as to enable the training of Nigerian servicemen and women in Russian military establishments. Such agreements are a vital necessity for Nigeria, regardless of what the Pentagon – and Black Lives Matter – may think about them.
PRC investment in Nigeria is no small beer, either. In 2017, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Nigerian President Buhari to confirm an additional $40 billion investment in Nigeria by PRC firms. In coming years, this figure could reach between $60 and $80 billion. In 2019, Ye Shuijin, the Managing Director of the China Geo-Engineering Company, stated that his company has offices in 30 Nigerian states, and had a workforce which is 95% Nigerian – comprising over 200 000 staff. What is more, in 2018, Nigeria joined the PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or New Silk Road), alongside scores of other countries. Yet projects not specifically linked to the BRI already built and completed by PRC firms in Nigeria include: the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge railway line, a rail mass transit system in Abuja, a new terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line, the Port Harcourt International Airport, the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, and the Lekki deep sea port project, amongst others. An impartial observer could not but agree that all of this investment and infrastructure will greatly assist Nigeria’s overall economic development.
NATO powers intervene “against” Boko Haram
The response of the NATO powers is not at all to co-operate alongside other countries assisting Africa, but to use any and all means to disrupt Africa-Russia-PRC ties, up to and including regime change via covert backing of armed mercenaries, a la “the Syrian option”. BLM backed protest movements against spurious claims of police brutality and “bad governance” then provides civilian liberal political cover for the violent terrorism of Boko Haram and others. Like ISIS in Syria, it is completely implausible that a mob of rag-tag terrorists could be waging war across multiple countries in Africa without serious state support. In fact, Boko Haram, Ansar Al-Sharia and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) all operate in the Sahara-Sahel region. AQIM obtained serious weaponry from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which in turn was armed through NATO, in its war against Green Libya. Some sources trace Boko Haram funding to the United Kingdom and the Saudi Arabian monarchy, as their violence stretches across Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Mali, and Chad.
This is on top of actual US troops crawling across the African countries, while pointing the finger at Russia and the PRC when questions are raised. US Special Ops commandos currently operate in 22 African countries, a much greater presence than even the Middle East. Libya was the first US/NATO war which was overseen by AFRICOM (US Africa Command), and its role has only grown since then. In 2014, African Renaissance News compiled a report which wondered aloud whether Boko Haram was a covert CIA operation to take control of Nigeria. The previous year, US Major General Carter F. Ham told a House Armed Services Committee hearing that AFRICOM is “concerned” about AQIM in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al Shabaab in Somalia. The pattern is clear – the US/NATO powers covertly aid and assist Takfiri-Salafist terrorist groups across Africa who create chaos, then US/NATO sends in their troops to shadow box with them. The conflict, war, death, and destruction that results then makes it more difficult for Russian and Chinese investment in infrastructure and the hydrocarbons industry to be in any way functional. African countries remain poor and war-ridden, with US imperialism still posing as a saviour.
Anti-racist movements must be anti-imperialist
Even if we ignore the funding for BLM from billionaire financier and colour revolution creator George Soros, BLM can be condemned simply on its pro-imperialist politics. We are speaking here of BLM the organisation, rather than BLM the movement. There may well be many who attend BLM actions who sincerely believe they are struggling for racial justice – but this is an illusion. As long as those who attend BLM actions leave the politics and tactics to the BLM organisation, they are being used for ends the very opposite of what they imagine they are fighting for. BLM’s rioting, looting, and burning across the US this year is merely the small-scale version of the violent terrorism which US imperialism enables and feigns to fight “against” in Africa. The two are inextricably linked in more ways than one. For example, BLM was not only rolled out to politically bolster the coming imperialist wars of Joe Biden and the Democrats abroad. BLM was used to enforce the fraudulent “pandemic” which is being wielded domestically by Western imperialist governments against “their own” working class at home. No group was a stronger believer in the Covid-19 lies than BLM, who were given extraordinary permission to demonstrate despite the savage lockdown orders on everyone else.
A campaign against racism, under any description, must first strongly oppose US/EU/NATO imperialism and its political, economic, and military war on working people across the globe. If it does not reach this first bar, workers are correct to suspect that something is fishy. The liberal bourgeoisie waxes lyrical about how “anti-racist” it is – while underpinning the very capitalist system which causes racism in the first place. BLM is the first among equals in this opportunistic and faux “anti-racism”. Imperialism also knows how to manipulate an anti-police brutality movement for its own ends also, but workers should smell a rat when one is transferred wholesale to an underdeveloped African nation.
Marxists are the last ones to oppose investment, trade and security ties between African nations and the Russian Federation and the PRC. Indeed, such agreements should be defended from disruption from overt interference, e.g. war and US troops on the ground, and also covert interference, e.g. proxy terrorist wars and fake “good governance” campaigns waged internally and externally with the help of the likes of BLM and other Western backed fronts. At the same time, revolutionaries recognise that both Russia and the PRC will only offer development assistance which aids the stabilisation and growth of capitalism in Africa – which will ultimately not solve underlying political problems.
Russia obviously has no drive towards socialism, but neither does the PRC, even though it operates a socialist economy and maintains a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state at home. The Communist Party of China (CPC) rigidly adheres to the anti-Marxist theory of “socialism in one country”, which today means that it seeks to fortify capitalism in all countries outside its borders. While any economic assistance to poverty-stricken countries in Africa is welcome, genuine Leninists would at the same time be, where possible, propagandising for socialism amongst the workers of all countries. That is, while it is the right and the duty of a workers’ state to seek out and secure investment and trade opportunities for its domestic industries, the duty of the political leadership of that state is to reach out politically to the workers of the capitalist state it is seeking to invest in, to gather forces internationally for the victory of world socialism. As can be seen, the CPC is not up to this task. The mission for African and international workers remains the forging of vanguard parties which uphold Permanent Revolution, to finally break the chains of imperialist subjugation through an international struggle for liberation.
At left, the symbol of the Belarusian internal security service, the KGB. At right, Western backed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. Image from Periodicodaily.com
Navalny “Poisoning”: One False Flag Begets Another
06-09-2020 – If we were to believe the Western press, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the poisoning of the main opposition leader Alexei Navalny to knock out a rival, to ensure his rule continues. Cue another round of corporate media hue and cry about “human rights” in Russia, leading to another round of sanctions, flowing on to even more US/EU war games literally on Russia’s border. Cue another round of baseless accusations of the Russian government supposedly fixing elections in the US, enabling Brexit, allegedly doping up their athletes with performance enhancing drugs and more. And working people are supposed to swallow these baseless and evidence free claims, so they do not bat an eyelid when the NATO powers push the world closer to a nuclear conflagration.
Jumping the shark, US National Security spokesperson John Ullyot claimed that the Russian people have a right to express their views peacefully without fear of retribution (!). German President Angela Merkel claimed that tests showed that Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group and called it attempted murder. It should not be necessary to point out the absurdity of such claims. For one thing, there is not one speck of evidence that the Russian government caused Mr Navalny’s current illness. Nor is there a shred of evidence that Mr Navalny was poisoned at all, let alone with Novichok. What happened was that Mr Navalny fell ill and was taken to the emergency section of the Omsk hospital in Russia. There, Russian doctors worked feverishly for 44 hours to save his life. Russian medical specialists stressed that all that could be said was that Mr Navalny’s cholinesterase activity was low, but there was NO evidence that this was due to poisoning with cholinesterase inhibitors.
Mr Navalny was then flown to Berlin for continued medical treatment, which was organised and funded by the Western backed NGO “Cinema for Peace”. This alone should raise eyebrows. It raises the question of why the Russian government would allow Mr Navalny to be flown immediately to Berlin if it had just arranged his poisoning. Furthermore, no traces of any unusual substances were found in the two Russian laboratories which analysed the blood tests of the sick Mr Navalny. After the debacle of the false flag poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who somehow survived being smeared with the deadly military grade nerve agent Novichok, workers are entitled to be just a little more than usually sceptical of this latest claim.
Western corporate media outlets continually infer that Navalny is the primary “opposition leader”. This is farcical. Navalny is part of the pro-US liberal opposition to the Russian government and President Putin who has extremely minimal domestic political support – around 2%. The real opposition are the parties which call themselves Communist, who have wide support within Russia. Navalny, on the other hand, is the US government’s favourite – because it funds him. He has received financial backing from the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – the public relations arm of the CIA – for the running of the Democratic Alternative (DA!) party. One can imagine the outcry in the West if it was discovered that a dissident residing in the US somehow received funding from the Russian government for a US opposition party. Regardless, Navalny is put on a false pedestal by the elites in the West to enable the fuelling of yet more war provocations against Russia. On September 1, the Russian government protested vociferously at the restarting of yet more NATO military exercises on Russia’s border, this time in Estonia.
Failed Covid-19 Colour Revolution in Belarus
Estonia borders Belarus, which is the base of the latest NATO backed colour revolution against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Despite the best efforts of NATO and its agents, the transparent subversion failed, not least because they did not have a collection of muscle-bound ultra-reactionary and fanatically anti-Russian men to arm – unlike during the “UkroNazi” coup in Ukraine in 2014. The US Empire has been itching for a chance to get rid of Lukashenko, over and above the wishes of the majority of Belarusians, for decades. Lukashenko never totally de-Sovietised Belarus, a high crime in the eyes of imperialism. This is not to say that Lukashenko was without fault, for he also flirted with the very NATO states bent on his removal perhaps in an effort to better bargain with Russia. Yet as far as the Western governments and their agents were concerned, the final straw was Lukashenko’s courageous stand on the fake Covid-19 “pandemic”. Lukashenko rightly considered panic about this particular coronavirus to be more dangerous than the pathogen itself.
It can also be plausibly argued that the fake Navalny “poisoning” may also have been arranged by the deep states of the West so as to derail Nord Stream 2. This is a gas pipeline extending from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany. The US government is apoplectic with rage at the prospect of the completion of the pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, as it will allow Russia to sell its hydrocarbons to Europe directly, without the ability of the US to do anything about it. To the advantage of Europe and Russia, Nord Stream 2 bypasses the Ukraine entirely, meaning neither party has to deal with the political and military instability wrought by the NATO backed UkroNazi coup government installed in Kiev in 2014.
Working people have a direct interest in defending Belarus against US backed subversion, and Russia against NATO-led imperialism. This is despite the fact that the Belarusian government wisely rejected the contrived Covid-19 crisis, while the Russian government played up to the manufactured hype of Covid-19. The Russian government even imposed harsh lockdown measures, mimicking those of the Western governments that are continually staging false flags so as to blame Russia for anything and everything under the sun. Be that as it may, NATO led provocations against Belarus and Russia must be strongly opposed by workers internationally, as part of a struggle against war and for socialism.
20-08-2020: As sure as night follows day, any government which retains a shred of independence from the Anglo/US/EU Empire will, sooner or later, be targeted for regime change. In order to overthrow the recalcitrant government, the West will orchestrate an invasion, a war, or a colour revolution utilising faux “human rights” and “democracy” rhetoric. The colour revolution now besieging Belarus is no exception. Needless to say, a colour revolution is galaxies away from anything politically progressive, as it reflects the reactionary politics of their imperialist sponsors who fund, support and often organise “opposition” protests against a government they cannot control. In this case it is the Belarussian government headed by the overwhelmingly popular President Alexander Lukashenko. Whatever his faults may be, workers internationally cannot allow dark forces to overturn the government of a country which is practically a buffer state for Russia against imperialism.
Coronavirus the final trigger for destabilisation
Even though the US Empire has longed for the end of independence for Belarus for much of the 26 years of President Lukashenko’s term in office, the final straw for them was the refusal of Belarus to play along with the full-spectrum attack on the working class shrouded under the rubric of “Covid-19”. Under Lukashenko, Belarusians were spared the onerous political and psychological repression of “coronavirus” lockdowns, farcical facemask orders, job cuts and economic shutdowns. Even though the Western elite powers grated at the fact that Belarus never effectively de-Sovietised, and retained a huge proportion of state ownership of the economy after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, they simply could not tolerate the exposure, let alone defiance, of the mountains of “pandemic” lies. While punters continued to bet on the Belarusian football league, as it was one of the only ones not to be shutdown, President Lukashenko correctly referred to Covid-19 hysteria as a “psychosis”. His concern, eminently confirmed by the self-inflicted economic and social devastation besetting Europe and the West, was that panic will do more damage than the virus itself.
Even though Lukashenko was prepared to make some moves towards some privatisation of state assets, he still stressed that Belarus does not need privatisation that causes job losses. Despite these pro-worker moves, he also played a very dangerous game of strategically tilting towards the West and, incredibly, NATO, while warning against a totally imagined Russian threat to Belarusian sovereignty. Andrew Korybko plausibly argues that Lukashenko’s attempt to pivot to the West in order to balance between Russia and the US was a major error, as all it did was encourage the pro-Western colour revolution elements within Belarus. These are the “protestors” currently on the streets.
Foreign liberals flock to protest
The Belarusian government was more than aware of the detailed plans made for foreign backed subversion. President Lukashenko warned that there would be no repeat of a “Maidan” – referring to the NATO backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, which installed a pro-US cabal backed by virulently anti-socialist and anti-Russian barbarians (the “UkroNazis”). He warned that citizens from Poland, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Russia had travelled to Belarus to be a part of the manufactured protests against the August 9 Presidential election. Not only that, reactionary “solidarity” actions with the attempted Western backed coup in Belarus took place in Russia, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Romania, conveniently holding placards written in English. The dead giveaway that these actions serve only US and EU imperialism were some demands to hold an emergency EU summit, and the universal use of the red and white banded flag initially used when the former Soviet Union collapsed. A referendum in 1995 restored the predominantly green and red flag modeled on the flag of the Belarus Soviet Socialist Republic.
On August 16, the Belarusian Armed Forces announced large scale military drills near the Grodno region bordering Poland and Lithuania. While such acts are necessary to defend Belarus against possible military incursions, on their own they may not be enough to overcome the political and propaganda war constantly waged by the West via their “democracy NGOs”. The “human rights industrial complex” is skillfully wielded by imperial agents to besmirch Russia, and Lukashenko as a Russian government adjunct – which is anything but the case. Yet economic and military integration with Russia is the most logical. In 1995, Russia and Belarus agreed to allow their citizens to live and work in either country at their discretion, while retaining their passports and national identity. Added to the fact that 100% of Belarusians speak Russian, the close economic, cultural and linguistic ties are somewhat natural. It is the severing of these ties, and the tilt of Belarus towards the EU and the US that is the aim of the Western organised and funded election “protests”.
Even though the Russian government played along with its own brand of Coronavirus repression, the military encirclement of Russia by the US and EU remains a grave danger, and especially to Belarus. While a military alliance of Belarus and Russia may temporarily stave off the eminent physical danger, the political danger will remain. The self-inflicted Covid-19 depression in the West is but one sign of the political desperation of the elites in the service of finance capital. Workers in Belarus and internationally should remain in a temporary bloc with Lukashenko against the coronavirus plot, and in a tactical alliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin against US and EU imperialism. However, neither Lukashenko nor Putin can be political allies in the battles the working class needs to wage to emerge victorious over all manifestations of Corona tyranny – the current facemask of capitalist imperialism. The key task remains the binding of the most class aware elements into a Marxist vanguard, linked through international sections to help raise workers to their rightful position as defenders of a triumphant socialist order.
A photo of the August 4 explosion at the port of Beirut. Image from Splash 247
Lebanon: Colour Revolution Phase 3
14-08-2020: On August 4, a massive explosion ripped apart Beirut, killing at least 100 people and injuring thousands. The blast was so powerful it was heard by Lebanese people 80 kilometres away in the southern city of Nabatieh, and by those on the Syrian border. The port where it took place was all but destroyed. Several different stories began circulating at to exactly what happened. Some say it was an accident which ignited 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which was being stored at the port after being unloaded from a container ship which ran into problems in 2013. Others say a cui bono (“who benefits”) analysis will quickly point to the Zionist state of Israel. It cannot be denied that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out targets in Beirut in a speech to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2018. Richard Silverstein claimed that a confidential source inside Israel confirmed that it had indeed bombed Beirut, targeting a Hezbollah weapons depot at the port, and did not know or care that it was stationed next to small mountains of ammonium nitrate.
Rioters capitalise on bloodshed
The Israeli government has denied it was involved, but the ferocious antagonism of the Zionist state towards the Shia politico-military Hezbollah is well known. Hezbollah has militarily prevented the Israeli state from invading Lebanon twice, and this is the basis for its enormous popularity within the country. However, there are also those within Lebanon who are not phased about aligning with US imperialism against Hezbollah, even if it means destroying the country still further. These elements need little encouragement to engage in riotous chaos, especially if they are aware that the US deep state will covertly back them. Of course, this takes place under the rubric of a battle against “corruption” and for “democracy”. As if on cue, these elements used the excuse of the bloodshed of the explosion at the port to storm government buildings in an attempted takeover. Security forces ensured it did not last.
Whoever was responsible for the August 4 explosion, it appears to be the third phase of a politically reactionary “colour revolution” not against the Lebanese government per se, but against the political and military power of Hezbollah. The first two attempts took place in November 2019, and in April this year, the so-called “Revolution in the Time of Corona”. These violent riots are light years away from anything progressive, let alone contain traits of workers’ struggle. The demands “they all must go” are a dead giveaway. All colour revolutions have an entirely negative message – just collapse the government with nothing better to replace it. The beneficiaries in this scenario is the US Empire and the Israeli state in the process of attempting to recover what it lost in Syria. Hezbollah joined with Syria, Russia and Iran to defeat US backed mercenaries in Syria in what was perhaps the dirtiest proxy war in history. It is estimated that the CIA directed the funding of up to $1 billion US taxpayer dollars to alleged “moderate rebels”, who slaughtered around 500 000 innocent Syrians, many in the most gruesome manner imaginable. Of course, the “moderate rebels” turned out to be ISIS and Al Qaeda death squads. This diabolical campaign was arguably the first military defeat for US imperialism since the liberation of Vietnam in 1975. Needless to say, Wall Street seeks to reverse this defeat by any means necessary, up to and including the stoking of a right-wing fake uprising in Lebanon against Hezbollah. Why there? Because they have been largely chased out of Syria, Russia is untouchable in a military sense, and they cannot invade a fully prepared Iran.
Corona tyranny a cover for imperialist strategy
As we have warned previously, the fake Coronavirus “pandemic” is being used as a fig leaf to cover for an unprecedented attack on the workers of the world, including lockdown fascism and imperialist war. The “Beirutshima” attack on August 4 is but one step further towards the abyss of a world conflagration, with Red China being a prime target of Washington and their allies in Tel Aviv, Canberra, London, Berlin and Paris. The Beirut port is a competitor for trade volumes to the Israeli port of Haifa and is a lifeline for Lebanon’s daily sustenance. Destroying the port, with all the difficulties it will add to an already struggling Lebanese economy, facilitates the chaos of the pro-US rioters in Lebanon in a transparent attempt to oust Hezbollah from its position of political and military strength. What is more, the blast comes at a convenient time soon after the Lebanese government was in talks with Chinese based companies for significant investment and development of the Beirut port, as part of China’s New Silk Road linking Europe and Asia. Needless to say, US imperialism is desperate to derail all land and sea links of the New Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative) as part of its “cold” war on China.
The former colonial power of Lebanon, via French President Macron, gave yet another indicator of their aims. Macron hypocritically warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to stay out of Lebanon while it was rebuilding, to “put in place a government that can manage the emergency”. Saudi Arabian political commentator Hamdan Al-Sheri was even more explicit in spelling out imperialist aims. He claimed that Iran was controlling Lebanon via its backing for the Hezbollah “terrorist militia”. His solution was the disarming of Hezbollah and the handing over of its weapons to the Lebanese army, and the elimination of the Hezbollah “state within a state”. This is the real aim of imperialism, using the reactionary Lebanese flag-waving “protestors” laying siege to its parliament as its pawns.
Given Hezbollah’s role in defending Lebanon against the Zionist Israeli state, and helping to defeat US imperialism and its ISIS/Al Qaeda proxies in Syria, workers internationally should call for its military defence alongside that of Iran, Syria and the Axis of Resistance, including the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Workers need to defend the right of state-owned and non-state-owned entities based in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to engage in trade, investment and infrastructure construction with all countries in the Middle East and internationally. This remains the case despite the participation of the governments of China, Iran, Syria and Russia in the Covid-19 deception which is being used against them. For liberation from Corona lockdowns and their attendant wars, the key task remains the forging of Marxist vanguard parties based on genuine Leninism, as part of a workers’ international.
05-08-2020 – “Dictator Dan” Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, has declared a “state of disaster” in Australia’s second most populous state. Unleashing the harshest lockdown yet, draconian new rules will mean people can exercise for only one hour per day, only one person from each household will be permitted to go to the shops each day for food, and people will not be permitted to travel more than 5 kilometres from home. Incredibly, a nightly curfew between 8pm and 5pm will be enforced. Many “non-essential” businesses will be forced to close, sending them to the wall. It is unknown how many workers will lose their jobs and will be pushed into the misery of unemployment. Undeniably, a tsunami of anxiety and depression will decimate the mental health of perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent people. To top it off, residents of Melbourne are already forced to wear facemasks in public, or face state prosecution. It can be plausibly argued that this scenario exceeds the totalitarianism experienced in the worst days of Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
The claim that lockdowns, facemasks and social distancing are needed to deal with a coronavirus cannot be made with a straight face. Yet this is the official justification for the largest and most terrifying assault on working people this century. A curfew from 8pm to 5am quite obviously has nothing to do with a virus, or healthcare – it is little more than a vulgar display of power, with an ulterior motive. Lockdowns kill indiscriminately, even just from the increase in unemployment. Higher mortality rates result from higher unemployment, without any additional factors. A study quoted by United Nations officials – who are hardly radicals – found that 10 000 children per month would be likely to be killed by the lockdowns and school closures. The study, published in the prestigious The Lancet medical journal, estimated that physical distancing, school closures, trade restrictions and country-wide lockdowns will significantly worsen global child malnutrition. Many doctors have spoken out against lockdowns, warning that they will cause more death than the coronavirus itself.
There is not a skerrick of scientific evidence for state or national border shutdowns, but this is precisely what has been enacted. This has almost wiped out the travel and tourism industry, throwing untold number of workers on the scrapheap. Virgin Australia has just announced that 3000 of its 9000 strong workforce would be sacked, and warned that there could be more job losses. Virgin airlines took on many of the domestic flights within Australia, many of which have been halted due to state border shutdowns. Such job cuts would scarcely be tolerated by workers and their Unions if it was not for the false cover of “Covid-19”. In fact, it is not difficult to see that the coronavirus excuse has been used by many employers and various sections of capital to take an axe to workers’ jobs and wages.
While many workers understandably reel from the repeated body blows, big capital’s state media rapidly increase censorship of views which contradict lockdown fascism, even from those most qualified to do so. A group referred to as the Frontline Doctors in the US conducted a press conference on the steps of Capital Hill, where they relayed their experiences of treating Covid-19 affected patients with Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Zinc and Azithromycin. HCQ is an anti-malarial drug which is cheap and has been used effectively for around 70 years. The Frontline Doctors claimed that HCQ not only helps inhibit the Covid-19 respiratory illness (not the virus itself), but can cure it. They stated that of the hundreds of Covid-19 patients they have treated, not one has passed away. They were adamant that no one needs to die from this latest coronavirus.
There was an instant take up of viewers of this video online, until in stepped Facebook, Twitter and Youtube – who removed it! These Big Tech giants, operating on behalf of big capital, joined with Big Pharma to censor vital information that could be used to alleviate or even end the lockdown nightmare. For their part, once the Frontline Doctors knew about this censorship, they once again risked their careers to hold another press conference reaffirming that the public has a right to know about a cure for Covid-19. Harvey Risch, a Professor of Epidemiology at Yale University, stresses that a cure for Covid-19 exists (HCQ), and we need to start using it. He also said that Hydroxychloroquine is being used in the media to define who is “left-wing” and who is “right-wing”. This is of course NOT how any study of medicine should proceed.
The ABC state media immediately pounced and tried to counter a possible groundswell of support for HCQ. One of its articles claimed that HCQ is a poor treatment for Covid-19, and that it has become “right-wing ideology” !! The absurdity of claiming that denial of the preventative and healing qualities of HCQ in relation to Covid-19 is “left-wing” should be apparent to all. HCQ is being censored by the corporatised ABC for nothing if not the obvious fact that it destroys the mantra that the governments of the imperialist West have been repeating for months – that the only way Covid-19 can be dealt with is via a vaccine. At the same time, there are some indications that the US government is in on the attempted cover up of HCQ, by purchasing huge quantities of Remsdesivir – a drug which, at best, has only minimal effectiveness as an anti-viral. The US Department of Health and Human Services recently spent $1.6 billion buying up supplies of Gilead corporation’s Remsdesivir, at a cost of $3200 per dose – compared to $12 to $18 for a normal flu vaccine. The global architects of lockdown will pay almost any price to prevent their exposure.
“Conspiracy theory” lies
Even the notion of people protesting against the adverse health effects of radiation from the 5G telecommunications networks is used by the ABC to slur protestors as allegedly pro-Kremlin conspiracy theorists. The alternative website Global Research is slammed as being “pro-Kremlin” for having the temerity to question the Anglo/US Empire’s relentless war provocations against Russia. This is despite the fact that the Russian government itself enforced harsh lockdowns and would thereby cease to be an object of admiration of the anti-lockdown movement – if it ever was. The ABC and the entire liberal establishment cannot tolerate information such as that which Global Research disseminates. It contains a mixture of views, but generally speaking its material is anti-war and anti-imperialist. It may also contain unsubstantiated “conspiracy theories”, but of course many “conspiracy theories” also contain many facts. What the liberal political establishment cannot allow is information which condemns the entirety of the bourgeois political system and seeks answers outside it. “Conspiracy theorists” do not believe in any form of (capitalist) liberal democracy, with good reason. This is the main reason why they are besmirched as being weird non-conformists by liberal reformers of the establishment, which includes the lockdown left.
The unfortunate fact is that lockdown fascism, like all forms of fascism, cannot tolerate dissenting views, let alone civil debate. The “Corona Nazis” arrogantly claim that science is on their side, despite reacting viscerally to the slightest suggestion that there might be a better way to deal with Covid-19. Lockdown fanatics also dismiss out of hand the very real concerns the anti-lockdown movement has about the loss of civil and democratic rights, the loss of privacy and the intrusion of the (capitalist) state into virtually all facets of human interaction with society. The lockdown left, suffering from an extreme case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, denigrate anyone opposing lockdowns for being right-wing hacks and conspiracy theorists. They of course have not the ghost of an idea how right-wing their own political position is – strengthening the very system which has to resort to a form of fascism simply in order to survive.
The diabolical Corona repression in Melbourne is primarily motivated by one huge lie – that a positive test for Covid-19 indicates something traumatic or dangerous. It is difficult to describe the extent of the distortion of science of “testing” repeated endlessly by capitalist politicians, the corporate media, overpaid Union officials, self-described “left” parties and those who have simply been terrorised into repeating logical contradictions. For one thing, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory technique which is supposedly used to “test” for Covid-19 was never intended as a diagnosis. Its inventor, Dr Kary Mullis, repeatedly stressed throughout his career that the detection of a viral strain using the PCR technique is not to be confused with a diagnosis of any disease which may have some relation to a virus. The high sensitivity of the PCR technique can produce false positive results, while its high specificity may produce false negative results. A whole range of other clinical data referring to the individual must be considered as a whole BEFORE any diagnosis can be attempted. The most important is the question of whether the individual displays any symptoms, are they feeling sick enough to see a doctor or go to a hospital, and so on.
More to the point, the PCR technique is NOT a test for the Covid-19 disease. Even if the PCR “test” does correctly identify the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, this does not at all mean that the individual will at any time develop the Covid-19 respiratory illness. That outcome is only one, largely remote, possibility. The PCR “test” may also simply be detecting part of the viral remnants of SARS-CoV-2 which have already been combatted and defeated by the individual’s immune system. The PCR technique is also an amplification process, rather like the “blowing up” of small text to a readable level on a photocopier. The increase in small amounts of a viral strain so they can be observed by the human eye presents an obvious distortion for analytical purposes. One vital indicator of the chance of developing the Covid-19 respiratory illness is the viral load (somewhat like the total amount) the individual is carrying. Yet the PCR test cannot determine this. In short, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, even if correctly identified, may be a world away from the Covid-19 respiratory illness. From the false positives, false negatives, lack of assessment of overall health and medical history, the disjuncture of the virus from the illness, to the inability to tally viral load, the Covid-19 PCR tests are scientifically meaningless.
Anti-lockdown movement must combat lies
It is not enough to expose the lies of Dictator Dan, the politicians, the corporate media, conservative Union officials and their fake “left” acolytes. The lies must be combatted, and the anti-lockdown movement is in an ideal situation to do this. It is unfortunate that the disparate small groups and individuals who oppose lockdown fascism are forced to fend for themselves, where they should be assisted by anyone who imagines themselves to stand for workers’ rights. However, we have witnessed a level of class treachery from the Union officials and the lockdown left which is simply staggering to consider in terms of a qualitative and quantitative assessment. This is the primary reason why the anti-lockdown movement may appear, on the surface, to be a combination of “right-wing” nationalists, “conspiracy theorists” and supporters of US President Trump. Yet this is an illusion.
Lockdown fascism uses lies, fear and bullying to enforce submission. However, the anti-lockdown movement must not be intimidated, for the obvious and glaring logical contradictions of the Corona fanatics are easily exposed. They are best exposed by mass public demonstrations which confront and condemn the blatantly illegal lockdown measures. The German people are taking the lead in this vital work, with perhaps 1 million marching against lockdown restrictions on August 1. From observation, these and other demonstrations have included ALL those opposed to the lockdowns, whether they be left or “right”, opponents of 5G telecommunications, forced vaccinations, peace and anti-war activists, socialists or nationalists, civil and democratic rights defenders and more. That is the basis of its strength, and this must be replicated internationally.
Marxists are confronted with the task of working within the anti-lockdown movement, both in order to help it win victory, and also to influence it towards socialism. Given the perfidious antics of the lockdown left, it is understandable that sections of the anti-lockdown movement peremptorily dismiss what they see as “socialism”. Despite this, large sections of the working class would be willing to fight lockdown fascism if they saw a movement against the totalitarian Corona nightmare making gains, welcoming all those willing to stand for basic rights, and providing a lead for working and oppressed people.
Manufactured Corona terrorism is ultimately an expression of capitalist imperialism devouring itself. It can be difficult given onerous lockdown oppression, but workers should not despair. There is reason for hope, and there are already signs that many others are risking police harassment and persecution to help win freedom from unjust and virtually uncontrolled state crackdowns. Underground organising may be required to link those who instinctively lead struggles for liberation. A harmonious, rational and humane society is on offer provided working people are prepared to fight the ideological darkness of lockdown tyranny.
01-08-2020: Residents of Melbourne and neighbouring Mitchell Shire are now being forced to wear facemasks when leaving home, ostensibly to help “stop the spread” of a coronavirus. These directions come with a litany of laughable petty rules and guidelines, such as a stipulation that one must carry a facemask while exercising. This should be material for cutting satire and comedy, but unfortunately it is all too real. “Dictator Dan” Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, speaks down to those who elected him with nightly sermons chock full of arrogant and demeaning verbiage about “saving lives”. He, along with bought and paid for medical bureaucrats, offer not one shred of scientific or medical justification for the threatened use of state violence against those who do not wear facemasks. The tyranny of mandatory facemask orders, like the entire Covid-19 psy-op, is not in the least about a virus or healthcare. It is about preparations for fascism and imperialist war.
Facemasks of dubious value
“Stop the spread” is capitalist propaganda which turns reality on its head. A respiratory virus must be allowed to spread in order to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible, so that the virus exhausts itself in the fastest possible time. There is a case for the temporary isolation of the elderly and immune compromised during this process but forced lockdowns and social-distancing for the healthy actively prevent the development of herd immunity – and therefore endanger those who are vulnerable. However, even if the goal is – mistakenly – to prevent viral infection of the healthy, a facemask or a piece of cloth will simply not do it. A virus such as Covid-19 is transmitted through airborne particles. A facemask cannot cut off air to the nose and mouth completely, otherwise it would choke the user to death. Air can get around the sides and the top of the facemask to allow breathing. Therefore, a facemask cannot prevent the airborne Covid-19 particles from going in or out of the wearer. Those who have been terrorised by politicians into wearing facemasks are not protecting themselves or others from the transmission of Covid-19.
Even the thoroughly compromised World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, released a study less than two months ago which again proves that there is no evidence that wearing facemasks in public prevents the spread of flu-like viruses. This is after the WHO has gone up and down like a yo-yo over the last six months, from not recommending facemasks for Covid-19, to advising their use, and back again. People are of course welcome to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Those who wish to wear facemasks can do so, but the forcing of facemasks on healthy people by the state cannot be tolerated by working people. Mandatory facemask orders, like mandatory lockdowns and mandatory social distancing, is little more than psychological terrorism aimed at eliminating that which makes us human. Common humanity must be eliminated by the politicians and the corporate media, to prevent resistance to the obliteration of civil and democratic rights under the rubric of “Covid-19”.
There is no “pandemic”. There is only a pandemic of fear, lies, bullying and intimidation. The origins of SARS-CoV-2, later renamed Covid-19 by the WHO, remain unclear. What is clear is that the ruling classes of the Anglo/US Empire have used Covid-19 as a convenient excuse to unleash a monstrous assault on workers the world over, so that they can save their precious capitalism. Given the precipitous decline of the for-profit economies since 2008, big capital can only preserve the political conditions for its survival by inflicting mass pain and misery on the working class. The ideological cover for this broadside is “saving lives”, which is perhaps the most gargantuan of all the Covid-19 lies. Lockdowns kill and kill remorselessly, through mass unemployment, the delay of vital medical care, forced economic collapse felt first by workers, skyrocketing suicides, increased domestic violence, anxiety, depression and much more. Mandatory facemasks are just one part of the plethora of absurd and frivolous rules people must follow on pain of prosecution by the state.
State and national border shutdowns, to say nothing of actual lockdowns, are not backed by any scientific or medical studies. The politicians do not even attempt to supply one wit of evidence for any of their logic-defying edicts, such as banning standing or dancing in clubs or entertainment venues. Mandatory facemask decrees deliberately target the dissenter or the non-conformist who dares question the descent of society into collective insanity. They are crafted to determine who is with the lawless power of authority, and who dares to question the faceless bureaucrats. In other words, facemask wearers either endorse lockdown fascism, or fear the consequences of resisting.
Throughout history, any form of fascism which has appeared is closely followed by imperialist war. The Covid-19 imperialist war target is most likely the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Wave after wave of false and lying anti-China propaganda is being pumped into workers by the same corporate media which endlessly retails Coronavirus deceit. The nationalist caste ruling the PRC has also played its part in fuelling Covid-19 hysteria, but this does nothing to stem the dire war provocations against China. Despite the degree of free enterprise permitted by the PRC, China’s economy remains predominantly collectively owned, as a result of its ground-breaking revolution in 1949.
Workers must resist the drift to fascism and imperialist war before it is too late. We need not fear the politicians, craven Union officials and liberals who attempt to bully workers into blind submission. Working people united just need to say no to the torrent of lies and build an anti-lockdown movement which contests the Corona delusion head on. This is the only way to escape “the new normal”. Marxists have the difficult task of working within the anti-lockdown movement, and winning the best elements to socialism, despite the huge misconceptions about this concept from those striving for freedom from fear. Clear working-class leadership at this time could result in not only a lifting of facemask orders, but the roll back and containment of fascism and imperialist war.