Afghanistan: US “Withdrawal” Prepares Hybrid War

taliban flag

Above: The Taliban’s Islamic Emirate flag. It is white and emblazoned with an Islamic scripture known as the Shahada in black lettering. The Shahada is an Islamic Oath and is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam found in the Quran which reads “I bear witness that none deserves worship except God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God”. It is considered a basic statement of Islamic faith. Image from http://www.neerthirai.com

26-09-2021: September 17 saw the US Commander of CENTCOM (Central Command) tell reporters at the Pentagon the August 29 drone strike which killed Afghani aid worker Zamarai Ahmadi and seven of his children – was an error.[1] The “over-the-horizon” (controlled remotely from another region or country) drone attack was allegedly carried out to target ISIS-K, who had claimed responsibility for the August 26 bombing of Kabul airport. This incident supposedly took the lives of 13 US soldiers and over 100 Afghans.[2] Suspiciously, eyewitness reports from the time claim that most of the Afghans that perished were not killed by the supposed suicide bomber, but in fact by US soldiers who started “panic” firing into the crowd directly after the blast.[3] As with so many world events today – especially the openly fraudulent coronavirus “pandemic” – the official narrative of the US “withdrawal” and the Taliban takeover is little more than smoke and mirrors to justify yet another war.

Stage managed chaos

While the US mainstream media was horrified at what appeared to be a chaotic withdrawal of some US troops from Afghanistan (leaving thousands of others, plus 18 000 mercenaries[4]), others have noticed that the sequence of events as it unfolded somewhat benefits the Pentagon and may well have been staged managed to do just that. An Afghanistan which once again descends into civil war after the US military machine “leaves” in fact builds political momentum for continued imperialist involvement in Afghanistan, at least in some form. If ISIS makes an appearance, and as if on cue, claims responsibility for an attack which supposedly took the lives of US troops – this obviously creates political conditions for more military operations against the world’s most notorious terrorists.

While on the surface paradoxical, criticism of the Biden Administration’s mishandling of the “withdrawal” can both praise the “ending” of the forever war AND create the conditions for demands for US imperialism to stay in, or return – to “fight ISIS”. How convenient! Liberals – the political base of the Democrats for both the fake “pandemic” and the effective coup[5] which installed Biden, can thus once again be rolled out to demand yet another regime change war. This time, the target is the very Taliban which they have freshly placed in power. This only appears contradictory if the official narrative of “withdrawal” and “defeat” of US imperialism in Afghanistan is taken at face value. It is plausible to speculate that the choreographed and stage-managed chaos was intended to create conditions of conflict, which, with the insertion of ISIS-K seemingly from out of nowhere – transforms the forever war into a hybrid war of destabilisation. Such a hybrid war – which may very well include conditions for yet another colour revolution – is evidently a win-win situation for the Pentagon and the CIA.[6] Surrounding Russia, China and Iran can then be better targeted by subversive terror sponsored by the West.

Taliban as cartoon villains

If the Western corporate media is to be believed, we are now expected to go along with the notion that the Taliban are the new miscreants that must be deposed. This is literally days after the US state gave over 85 billion dollars’ worth of high-tech military equipment to the Taliban. This included: 2000 armoured vehicles, 45 Blackhawk helicopters, 50 Scout Attack choppers, 29 Super Tocano Ground Attack aircraft and over 75 000 vans and Ford and Toyota pick-up trucks![7]  One wonders if the Toyota pick-up trucks are some of the same ones that the US and British governments basically admitted to supplying[8] to “moderate rebels” – who turned out to be ISIS – in Syria during their appalling proxy regime change war from 2011 onwards. Indeed, not only Toyotas, but ISIS themselves appear to have been transported from Syria directly to Afghanistan, by these same Western governments now claiming that the Taliban are the new bad guys. Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly asserted that the US military has been using helicopters to whisk away ISIS fighters on the verge of defeat in Syria directly to Afghanistan, so they can be used as proxy fighters against Russia, China and Iran.[9] So the Libya-Syria rat line has now morphed into the Syria-Afghanistan rat line.

There is little doubt that the Taliban, generally speaking, do not represent political progress. Yet the difference between the 1996-2001 Taliban, and the Taliban of 2021, is in many respects like chalk and cheese. As much as their values might clash with Western political modernity, the Taliban 2.0 are certainly not the backward and violent stone-age misogynists which emerged out of the anti-Soviet Mujahideen (soldiers of God) supplied with CIA weaponry in the 1980s. The implication that they have not changed stirs liberals and the fake left to make yet more disingenuous appeals for Western states to “save” the women and children of Afghanistan. While genuine leftists cannot offer the Taliban political support, nor can they be dragged into yet another hybrid war which is ultimately not about Afghanistan – but Washington’s grand prize enemies in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran.

For example, accurate translations of the Taliban’s first major press conference reveal the Taliban as potentially mild reformers – as far as within the bounds of Sharia Law will allow. The new Taliban stated that women can be educated at all levels and can continue to work. Only the hijab (hair covering) will be required, NOT the burqa (whole body covering). The Islamic Emirate will not threaten anyone (meaning neighbouring countries) and revenge – formerly an essential pillar of the Pashtunwali code – will be abandoned. This has never previously occurred. The Taliban will form an “inclusive” government, with “inclusive” meaning that women and Shiites will not be excluded. Again, this is unprecedented. Freedom of speech, public criticism and debate will be allowed – albeit within the boundaries of “Islamic values”.[10]

In another game changer, the Taliban will ban the production of opium/heroin. So for all practical purposes, the CIA heroin rat line is dead in the water.[11] So the notion that the Taliban (derived from the word for “students”) will immediately prevent women from obtaining an education, will cover women in burqas, will enforce an obscure and medieval version of Sharia Law etc.- is entirely false. While it is true that the 33 member Taliban cabinet does not include any women, it does include one Uzbek and one Tajik in amongst the other Pashtuns. Yet Western liberals would do well to remember that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, joined at the hip to Washington, are headed by entirely male royal families. What’s more, there are indications that the Taliban are angling towards an “Islam with Afghan Characteristics”. One wall in Kabul was recently doused in white and painted with Kufic script which stated: “For an Islamic system with independence, you have to go through tests and stay patient”.[12] Overall, Western liberals who depict today’s Taliban as Disney-esque barbarians sporting long beards and wielding cutlasses are once again acting as foot soldiers for the very Empire they claim to oppose.

Afghanistan and the New Silk Road

What is more, the modern Taliban also displays an ability to recognise geopolitical realities, as well as the economic rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and corresponding economic malaise of the US Empire. It is in this sense that the US has arguably “lost” Afghanistan to Eurasia, given the PRC’s stupendous economic rise signified by the New Silk Road, or One Belt One Road (Belt and Road Initiative), and Russia’s rise to military prominence with its superior hardware. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid reflected this economic and geopolitical awareness when he stated: “Chinese assistance will form the basis of Afghanistan development. One Belt, One Road will revive the ancient Silk Road. China will be our gateway to international markets”.[13] Such statements doubtless infuriate Washington and their political operatives – hence their motivation for the orchestrating of ISIS style terror AND mushrooming de facto calls for already upending Taliban rule.

Washington is also well aware of the estimated 3 trillion dollars’ worth of rare earth minerals in the soil of Afghanistan, which has never been extracted largely due to being enveloped in war for close to 40 years. Afghanistan’s deposits of lanthanum, lithium, cerium, praseodymium and gadolinium are known to be the largest in the world.[14] East and West are cognisant of the fact that it is only China which has the scientific, economic and engineering capacity to obtain these elements and manufacture them into the vital electronics, microchips and superconductors that underpin the performance of modern economies. In addition, only China, due to predominant public ownership and a planned economy at home, is able to offer the Taliban mutually beneficial terms for the joint utilization and development of these mineral elements which modern technology demands. Ironically, the “stone-age” Taliban – via the scientific advances of Red China – can provide the elements needed for the jet age.

Afghanistan under the new Taliban will also move closer to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which was established by China, Russia, Kygyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan in 2001. It is an economic and security bloc with a stated mission of promoting a multi-polar world, one which denies the USA as the single world power. It has since expanded amongst the nations of Eurasia, and now has a population base of 3 billion people and a combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of 8 trillion dollars.[15] Afghanistan currently has observer status, and Iran has recently become a full member, with President Ebrahim Raisi denouncing (US) “hegemony and unilateralism” at the welcome.[16] The inevitable “loss” of Afghanistan to the SCO will likely result in yet more US and UK government attempts to break this cooperation through “ISIS” terror.

Asylum for collaborators?

No sooner had the Taliban miraculously survived the so-called deadliest plague in world history without lockdowns, facemasks or vaccines (!), the lockdown fake left began issuing calls which equate to bellowing for imperialist backed regime change. Unfortunately, this should come as no surprise. It is a very small step from backing calls for “revolution” in Syria where the only “revolutionaries” are ISIS and their off-shoots, to backing calls for “revolution” in Afghanistan where the only “revolutionaries” are ISIS-K. Part and parcel of these demands are the pseudo indignant cries for asylum for tens of thousands of Afghan “refugees”. The Socialist Alliance issued a call for the Australian government to increase its humanitarian intake of refugees by 20 000, and to take in Afghans who had escaped to other countries.[17] Socialist Alternative sung the same tune.[18] The Australian Communist Party joined the fray.[19] The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) ramped up the jingoism to explicitly call for asylum for Afghans who worked with the Australian Defence Forces (ADF)![20]

Would this be the same Australian Army who were exposed as committing some of the worst war crimes in history in Afghanistan? The Brereton Report, conducted by the Inspector General of the ADF, found that Australian troops in Afghanistan had committed at least 39 unlawful killings[21] during their part in the occupation, and this is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. Afghans who “worked with” the armed detachments of Australian imperialism obviously betrayed their own people in the most disgraceful manner possible. “Translators” enabled the Australian and US militaries to smash down the doors of innocent Afghans looking for Taliban who would be executed if found, assisted the torture of others at Bagram Air Base, and aided tens of thousands of trigger-happy mercenaries to gun down the blameless. These are imperialist collaborators with as much blood on their hands as the Anglo/US militaries themselves. The CPA and the lockdown fake left not only shill for Empire during the Covid class attack, they deepen this betrayal by colluding with the Empire in a military war. Genuine Marxists DO NOT call for asylum or refuge for misanthropic collaborators with imperialism.

The calls for the “non-recognition” of the Taliban government from the liberal left plays the same role. If a nation does not recognise the diplomatic staff of another nation, this is not just a symbolic manoeuvre – it is an act of war. And this is precisely what Wall Street has set up via the Pentagon and the White House: yet another hybrid war for regime change, now with ISIS-K as the “moderate rebels”. In contrast, workers the world over have a vital interest in a temporary military bloc with the non-imperialist powers (Russia, China) and their allies (Iran, Afghanistan) against Anglo/US imperialism. Politically, workers only salvation is forging of workers’ parties which fight for workers’ governments throughout Eurasia and internationally. As far away as it now appears, the expropriation of the major means of production and exchange in the name of society and held in trust by the working class, is key to the breakthrough which is required. Such momentous change can only be led by regionally linked Leninist vanguard parties upholding Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. Tactically utilising temporary allies, the proletariat is more than capable of blazing a path towards socialism.

WORKERS  LEAGUE
www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/17/us-urged-end-drone-strikes-after-pentagon-says-killing-10-afghan-civilians-was (19.09.2021)

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/26/explosion-happened-outside-kabul-airport-pentagon-confirms (19.09.2021)

[3] https://southfront.org/us-forces-killed-afghan-civilians-in-panic-shooting-following-kabul-airport-suicide-attack-video (19.09.2021)

[4] https://anti-empire.com/over-18000-pentagon-contractors-remain-in-afghanistan (19.09.2021)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/10/27/us-elections-left-wing-or-right-wing-coup/ (19.09.2021)

[6] https://countercurrents.org/2021/07/a-hybrid-war-to-replace-afghan-forever-war (19.09.2021)

[7] https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/08/worse-thought-complete-list-armaments-us-leaving-taliban-islamist-groups-enough-fortify-years-secret-warehouse-us-equipment-captured (19.09.2021)

[8] https://newspunch.com/isis-and-toyota-truck-mystery-solved (19.09.2021)

[9] https://asiatimes.com/2021/08/enduring-terror-forever-from-al-qaeda-to-isis-k (19.09.2021)

[10] https://www.sott.net/article/457113-Pepe-Escobar-How-Russia-China-are-stage-managing-the-Taliban (19.09.2021)

[11] https://sputniknews.com/20170825/afghanistan-cia-heroin-ratline-1056794770.html (19.09.2021)

[12] https://asiatimes.com/2021/09/what-to-expect-from-taliban-2-0 (19.09.2021)

[13] https://survivalmagazine.org/news/china-represents-our-passport-towards-the-markets-of-the-whole-world-taliban-recognize-communist-china-as-their-closest-ally (19.09.2021)

[14] https://thecradle.co/Article/Analysis/1912 (19.09.2021)

[15] https://rafand.org/shanghai-cooperation-organisations-approach-to-afghanistan (19.09.2021)

[16] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/17/iran-denounces-unilateralism-as-it-becomes-full-sco-member (19.09.2021)

[17] https://socialist-alliance.org/news/make-afghanistan-war-end-all-imperialist-invasions (19.09.2021)

[18] https://redflag.org.au/article/us-occupation-afghanistan-over-disaster-goes (19.09.2021)

[19] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2021/8/16/afghanistan-a-new-chapter-in-the-tragedy-commences?rq=afghanistan (19.09.2021)

[20] https://cpa.org.au/guardian/issue-1976/20-years-of-occupation-of-afghanistan-crass-imperialism-and-a-humanitarian-disaster (19.09.2021)

[21] https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/australia-avoids-reckoning-with-afghanistan-war-crimes-allegations (19.09.2021)

Social Credit – East and West

china social credit

http://www.creditinfoweb.com

06-09-2021: The dramatic imposition of lockdown tyranny across much of the Western world since early 2020 by governments plying their liberal credentials has thrown politics upside down. In direct contrast to the 20th century, we now find that it is the “left” which appears to uphold minority rule, governmental authority and the power of the corporate elite – while the “right” defends basic civil and democratic rights and freedom from despotic and arbitrary use of state power. In reality, the “left” drifted to the right over the two decades prior to the “Covid” lockdowns and was unable to reverse course once fascistic terror became a reality – while the “right” more or less stayed put and found themselves taking up the mantle of liberty from capitalist suppression, despite themselves.

“Left” and “Right” against “China”

Regardless of lockdowns mixing left and right like a kitchen blender, there are important exceptions to the rule. There are leftists which oppose lockdowns, in amongst what might appear on the surface to be a “right-wing” anti-lockdown movement. These groups are crucial, for without a working-class fightback against lockdown fascism, a future too horrible to contemplate beckons. Yet it is also vital that left-wing opponents of lockdown regimes have a correct understanding of the class nature of “China” – specifically, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The anti-lockdown movement will scarcely achieve its goals of freedom if it maintains a similar narrative of the PRC as the very forces it is railing against. Similarly, anti-lockdown leftists must make a complete break from the anti-PRC invective both of the majority of the anti-lockdown movement AND imperialism itself.

For example, the Left Lockdown Skeptics (LLS) in the United Kingdom (UK) are breaking important ground by providing a basis for the building of left-wing opposition to lockdown enslavement. However, they sometimes fall into the trap of castigating the PRC in the same manner as their right-wing pro-lockdown opponents – both the lockdown fake left and pro-lockdown state and non-state forces. On the issue of social credit, some who write for LLS make the error of reiterating the essentially false claims that the PRC uses a “social credit” system to monitor every political and non-political move of Chinese workers. Hence, LLS distributes articles which claim that citizens in the West under lockdown dictates now “know what it feels like” to be living in the PRC under “Chinese Communist Party” (in reality, the Communist Party of China or CPC) rule.[1] Another LLS writer complains that onerous vaccine passports could be easily adapted into a CPC style social credit system.[2]

Such plaintive cries display a misunderstanding of the very partial implementation of a social credit system in the PRC, as well as the overlooking of virtually identical systems which have long been in place in the West – albeit often maintained by privately owned corporations. From the off, the very term “social credit” is arguably lost in translation. Social credit, translated as shehui xinyong, carries a different meaning in the Chinese context. Shehui in the PRC does necessarily mean social in terms of individual interpersonal connections. Shehui is also used to refer to “society” or the “public”. Thus a more accurate translation of “social credit” could be “the credit of society/the public”.[3] Indeed, the PRC’s “social credit” system – which is years away from implementation over the entire country – applies not just to individuals but also to companies and government entities.[4] The notion that social credit in the PRC is where the central government checks and monitors every movement and interaction of the 1.4 billion residents of what is effectively the continent of China – is an illusion. The Western corporate media, at the height of the New Cold War against the PRC, obviously has an interest in pumping out wild and fraudulent stories about “repression” in China. Both the anti-lockdown movement and left lockdown opponents make an error if they replicate parts of the New Cold War anti-China propaganda barrage which emanates from the very same forces they seek to counter.

Bogus Black Mirror comparisons

Many critics, from the “left” and right, make allegorical comparisons of the PRC’s social credit system to the Netflix series Black Mirror, which portrays human unease about the ever-increasing use of technology and how it might be used for control.[5] This specious argumentation is well wide of the mark. Only a few dozen towns and cities across the entirety of mainland China have a social credit system, so there is no such thing as a national social credit score. The government does assign social credit codes – not scores – to companies and organisations, for registration and tax purposes. Individuals have a national ID number, for tax purposes. The existing social credit blacklists use these numbers, like almost every other institution in the PRC. What is the difference between this and a tax file number in the West? Moreover, where they exist, the social credit systems DO NOT give a comprehensive ranking or score to each individual, and DO NOT give a score for “good” and “bad” credit. Companies, institutions and individuals are only blacklisted for serious offences such as fraud or pollution.[6] That is, blacklisting only occurs for actions which are serious crimes – the equivalents of which would certainly be viewed as such in any Western nation.

The PRC’s social credit system, which is only in its first stages, is intended to give an overview of the trustworthiness of firms, organisations, governmental bodies and individuals.[7] In its essence it is about whether organisations or individuals comply with legally prescribed social, economic and contractual commitments. It is NOT designed for political monitoring and control – though it is possible it could be used for this down the track. Importantly, there is little evidence that the PRC’s social credit system – in the small minority of locations where it exists – is opposed by Chinese workers. In the PRC, anxiety about pianzi, or swindlers, runs deep. “How do I know you are not a pianzi?” is a question which many Chinese ask if they are called on the phone by a telemarketer, or receive a knock on the front door from a salesperson.[8] In fact, contrary to the knee-jerk (false) alarm over social credit displayed by some in the West, there are strong indications that Chinese workers firmly support the social credit systems – at least for now.[9] Believe it or not, the social credit system in the PRC is generally NOT viewed as a system of surveillance. Rather, in the main, it is seen as a way to promote a more honest and law-abiding society. In a society where fraud and corruption was widespread – possibly due to the expansion of pro-market and “free enterprise” reforms from 1978 onwards – social credit is currently seen as a method to protect consumers and hold firms accountable.

Is social credit linked to social security?

The PRC’s fledgling social credit system must not be confused with its social security system. While the PRC’s social security system is not fully comprehensive, in recent decades it has vastly expanded to cover the overwhelming majority of working people – at a time when the West’s social security systems have been gutted by years of funding cuts, leaving the unemployed and the disabled with bare pittances on which to survive. The PRC’s social security system is totally disconnected from the social credit system, so there is no overlap at all. One cannot be excluded from social security even if they end up on a social credit blacklist. The PRC’s social security system is comprised of six streams,  to which both employers and employees make contributions. These are: Pension insurance, housing fund, medical insurance, maternity insurance, work related injury insurance and unemployment insurance. Maternity insurance and work-related injury insurance is paid into by employers only.

The rate of contribution is variable, depending on the location of the scheme throughout the PRC. Generally employers pay a higher rate of contribution compared to employees, and pay five times as much into medical insurance, and roughly double the amount into both pension and unemployment insurance.[10] While in the 20th century public retirement pensions were won and awarded at a reasonable age, in recent decades the age of eligibility is pushed higher and higher. In some cases, aged pensions do not apply until the age of 70, with a life expectancy of around 79 years! In contrast, working women in the PRC are able to access pension payments from the age of 50 if they work in blue-collar industries, 55 in white-collar industries, while it is age 60 for men.[11] While there are some moves to slowly and gradually increase these ages due to increasing life expectancies, it still tracks in a different direction to the stagnating capitalist economies of Europe, the USA and Australia.

The West’s de facto social credit system

Largely unbeknownst to Western critics of the PRC’s social credit system is the fact that a form of “social credit” has been in existence there for decades – albeit under the aegis of private corporations rather than governments. In the USA, nine out of ten money lending institutions use the FICO Score[12] to make a risk assessment of the credit history of each individual they consider engaging. On the popular market site Ebay, each seller has a rating ranging from a yellow star (how ironic), up 12 levels to a silver shooting star. These stars indicate how honest the seller was, how communicative they were, and how fast they delivered the item.[13] This certainly sounds like a “trustworthiness indicator” – which is one aim of social credit in the PRC. Moreover, there is a prominent US corporation which sells equipment that maintains lists of “objectionable customers” who can then be excluded from bars and restaurants.[14]

Blacklists are by no means the preserve of only partial aspects of the PRC’s social credit system either. The Hollywood blacklist was notorious for denying employment to anyone suspected of having communist or even left-wing sympathies.[15] Top construction firms in the United Kingdom (UK) kept blacklists for years on building workers who were also Trade Union activists.[16] In Australia, tenants of rental properties can easily end up on the tenancy database, which functions as a blacklist for those who miss rental payments[17] – which can directly lead to homelessness. In New York, insurance firms can legally set their premiums based on the social media feeds (!) of applicants.[18]  The monopolistic Airbnb now has six million listings, so a ban from their app may mean people end up sleeping on the streets. What is more, Airbnb can ban anyone at any time, for any reason.[19] Arguably, young people in the US cannot take part in society if they are banned from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, PayPal, Uber, Amazon and so on.[20]

All of this can be actioned by Western Big Tech, which can claim that it is not part of the government until the cows come home. By default, however, these giant corporations are simply the arms of the capitalist state – and this is becoming more and more apparent to the millions of workers struggling against lockdown tyranny.  Italian fascist leader in the 1920s Benito Mussolini aptly noted that fascism, brought down to its bare bones, is a merging of capitalist corporations with the state. When Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Retail and others are the most enthusiastic enforces of lockdown and vaccine mandates, they have far eclipsed the role the state had during “liberal democracy” in the 20th Century.

For a permanent end to state surveillance

To be sure, the social credit system in the PRC could potentially be used for political surveillance. Even if so, this will be not that far from what already occurs via private ownership of monopoly corporate megaliths in the West. Working people have the right to be free from state/corporate surveillance at all times. The prerequisite for this is the removal of the system of commodity production for private profit in the West, along with the replacement of the conservative and nationalist bureaucracies which lead deformed workers’ states such as the PRC. That is to say, given the exigencies stemming from the imposition of Covid repression, socialist revolutions in the West and proletarian political revolutions in the East are now critical. Workers in the West need to urgently bring down both the states and governments which inflict lockdowns, while workers in the PRC need to maintain the state which emerged out of 1949 while injecting it with the guidance of genuine Leninism.

The conservative Stalinist caste which rules the PRC can be criticised for many things, but not for social credit – or at least not yet. If they were bona fide Marxists, the PRC’s political rulers would be seeking to march alongside the workers of the world in a pitch battle to supersede class society. The extension of workers’ republics internationally would deliver a death blow to the tottering imperialist regimes, which are devolving into lockdown fascism in order to save their own hides. This is a future which working people can prevent, if they are prepared to collectively defend themselves against Covid repression – by Western politicians or by CPC bureaucrats. Indispensable for locating the path to freedom is the political leadership of a vanguard party upholding Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. Covidian terror can be vanquished by workers fighting for a new socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://leftlockdownsceptics.com/2021/08/book-burning-part-2-normalising-the-abnormal (05.09.2021)

[2] https://leftlockdownsceptics.com/2021/08/distilling-meanings-from-the-madness-covid-19-a-trojan-horse-for-the-4th-industrial-revolution (05.09.2021)

[3] MCJ No 2 – 2018.pdf (mappingchina.org) (05.09.2021)

[4] https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3096090/what-chinas-social-credit-system-and-why-it-controversial (05.09.2021)

[5] https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/black_mirror (05.09.2021)

[6] https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/11/16/ (05.09.2021)

[7] https://nhglobalpartners.com/china-social-credit-system-explained (05.09.2021)

[8] https://www.wired.com/story/age-of-social-credit (05.09.2021)

[9] https://merics.org/en/analysis/chinas-social-credit-systems-are-highly-popular (05.09.2021)

[10] https://shieldgeo.com/social-security-contributions-in-china-a-guide-for-overseas-employers (05.09.2021)

[11] http://english.www.gov.cn/state_council/ministries/2016/03/01/content (05.09.2021)

[12] https://www.fico.com/en/products (05.09.2021)

[13] Seller ratings | eBay (05.09.2021)

[14] https://patronscan.com (05.09.2021)

[15] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hollywood-blacklist (05.09.2021)

[16] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/27/on-the-blacklist-building-firms-secret-information-on-workers (05.09.2021)

[17] https://www.realestate.com.au/advice/tenancy-databases-blacklisted (05.09.2021)

[18] https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-insurers-can-evaluate-your-social-media-useif-they-can-prove-why-its-needed (05.09.2021)

[19] https://futurism.com/america-social-credit-system-china (05.09.2021)

[20] https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/565860-coming-soon-americas-own-social-credit-system (05.09.2021)

Afghanistan: US Empire Shadow Boxing with ISIS-K

ISIS-K

Above: A photo from a video supposedly released by ISIS-K to demonstrate their power. http://www.sofrep.com

01-09-2021: So the corporate media narrative on Afghanistan now runs something like this: 20 years after invading, US forces were kicked out of the country by the Taliban and bungled a hasty withdrawal from the country. Afghans who worked with the US during their occupation scrambled to airports, some of whom were dragged along by a cargo plane as it tried to take off, reminiscent of scenes of the Americans fleeing Saigon in 1975. The Biden Administration is abandoning Americans who worked with the military to their own devices, in the face of the advancing Taliban forces. The US backed Afghan government collapsed without a fight, which allowed the Taliban to re-take much of the country without firing a shot. Some Western governments offer the immediate assistance of accepting tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan. From out of nowhere, an ISIS split off (ISIS-K) re-emerges to again target remaining US forces as well as the incoming Taliban.   

A Clayton’s withdrawal

Does this tale bear any resemblance to reality? Fat chance. Like the Empire’s “Covid is the deadliest plague in world history” bunkum, the Afghanistan “withdrawal” so willfully distorts truth only sections of it align with facts on the ground. This was a Clayton’s withdrawal – the withdrawal you have when you are not having a withdrawal. It is a “withdrawal” in the same way in which the US “withdrew” from Iraq and Syria, i.e., leaving enough residual forces to occupy parts of the country to “fight ISIS” – and thereby still largely destabilising entire regions. The US did not “withdraw” and the Taliban did not “win” in the real meaning of those terms.[1] As Kit Knightly points out, the iconic video image of the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster heavy transport plane rolling out of an air strip poses more questions than it answers. Where are the women and children trying to escape? Why are some men jogging alongside and smiling and waving to cameras?[2] Is the US deliberately trying to re-create the scenes of the emergency helicopter evacuation from the US Embassy in Saigon in 1975?

Arguably, the US is not ending the war on Afghanistan, but privatising it. Up to 18 000 mercenaries will remain, alongside thousands of Special Forces operatives, Pentagon contractors and CIA personnel.[3] Moreover, the Biden Administration is only completing a deal signed between the Trump Administration and the Taliban over 12 months ago,[4] but somewhat modifying it to its advantage. Despite Trump’s other politics, one of the central platforms of his run to the presidency in 2016 was to end the forever regime change wars in the Middle East. The Democrats, as perhaps more loyal servants of imperialism, were aghast at the prospect of no more US “interventions”. To retain the veneer of liberalism though, they procured a feigned withdrawal from Afghanistan which was in reality a mere change of tactics in their geopolitical war against Eurasian integration. The US war on Afghanistan from 2001 was never about 9/11 or the Taliban, but more about establishing a beach head from which to harass, pressure and threaten neighbouring Russia, China and Iran.

Taliban 2.0

From fighting “against” the Taliban, the US has switched to working with the Taliban, or at least the new version of the Taliban. The Taliban have repeatedly stated that they have changed and want to live in peace with other Afghans and other nations. While it is true that the Taliban 2.0 [5] are a different force to that which ruled Afghanistan in the late 90s, they appear to still intend to practice a version of Sharia Law, though with some modifications. Politically, they appear willing to cut deals with US imperialism in return for their control over most parts of the country. This may better suit them and the interests of US imperialism, in that the Taliban returns to government – while the US can still use pockets of the country out of reach of the Taliban to launch terrorist attacks against China, Iran and even Pakistan. As the New Atlas reports, the US never had the intention of setting up an independent or stable government in Afghanistan. If such a government was established, it would have little choice but to sign up for desperately needed infrastructure development through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provided by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).[6]

The revised Taliban appear to have kept their word that they would not target or kill other Afghani ethnic minorities which they have previously targeted, e.g., Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks. They seem to have given this same assurance to the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, it could be the case that chaos and a new civil war was exactly the intention of the US government in conducting their contrived chaotic draw down. The neighbouring PRC is vastly more powerful than it was 20 years ago when the US invaded. Similarly, the neighbouring Islamic Republic of Iran is also more capable of defending its interests than it was 20 years ago, despite crippling US sanctions. More destabilising violence and civil conflict is always going to benefit Washington, which seeks to derail the BRI and other countries in the region which are partners to the BRI – such as Iran and Pakistan.

Western governments for “refugee rights” ?

Over the last decade, imperialism itself has learnt how to use and manipulate the genuine concern that progressive minded folk feel for refugees and asylum seekers. Refugee rights activists correctly point out that many flee from Third World countries due to the West’s ongoing wars, or simply to seek better economic conditions for themselves and their families. Generally, workers have supported many protest movements calling for humane treatment of those seeking a safer place to live. However, Western governments have no qualms in exploiting real human empathy for those in less fortunate circumstances, if it can be used to further the aims of imperialist war, regime change or just plain terror. As they did in the case of Syria,[7] imperialism aims to enlist liberal refugee rights activists to fuel their destabilisation of Eurasia. As if on cue, Western governments immediately offered to take in tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan. The US offered to take 10 000, the United Kingdom (UK) 20 000, Canada 20 000 and Germany 10 000.[8] The Australian government, notorious for its inhumane treatment of refugees, offered to take 3000 [9], albeit with no overall increase in current caps.

It is preposterous to suggest that these governments were genuinely concerned about the welfare of Afghans who may otherwise have faced beatings or execution by the Taliban. This was done to once again mobilise liberal political sentiment behind the Empire, in the similar way in which liberalism was and is being used to impose lockdown fascism in the West under the guise of a “pandemic”.[10] Look how progressive we are, taking in thousands of refugees fleeing the rule of backward armed tribesmen! The pretence is so phoney that only the lockdown fake left could genuinely fall for it – and there were examples. The Socialist Alliance breathlessly urged the Australian Federal Government to increase its Afghan refugee intake,[11] while Solidarity called on the Morrison Government to evacuate the families of Afghan refugees already detained in Australia.[12] As with their betrayal over “Covid” lockdowns, the lockdown left alibies imperialism by issuing plaintive demands for a more humane application of the Empire’s drive to war against the Eurasia and the Middle East.

ISIS-K: the Delta Variant?

As if it was choreographed, there was a terrorist attack on Kabul airport on August 26, which apparently took the lives of 13 Americans.[13] Immediately, a group calling itself ISIS-K claimed responsibility. Supposedly a split-off from ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), the “K” stands for Khorasan province, which includes parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. All of a sudden, reports hit the news that ISIS-K is “more brutal than the Taliban”, views the Taliban as sell-outs for signing deals with the US government, and has aims of establishing an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East and Asia.[14] This narrative would be humourous if it wasn’t so tragic. After being effectively defeated in Syria, it beggars belief that Washington would again try to rekindle the ISIS fairytale in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with an ISIS variant that rings ominously of the fake danger they are pumping out about a “Delta” variant of the putative SARS-CoV-2 virus. Yet as working people have discovered since the onset of lockdown hysteria, truth is very often stranger than fiction.

Throughout a ten-year war of regime change, US and EU imperialism and their allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey effectively armed, trained, funded and equipped “ISIS” in order to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic. As exposed by famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh[15] and others, the US government effectively created ISIS and sent it into Syria to collapse the state. ISIS, Al Qaeda and numerous jihadists were given licence to commit the most egregious atrocities against civilians, in arguably the worst proxy war in history. The US Congress itself authorised $500 million of tax-payers money in 2014 to train and arm 5000[16] barbaric yahoos in pursuit of this diabolical act.

History now shows that this elaborate and deadly ruse was brought to an end by a combination of resistance from the governments of Syria, Russia and Iran, assisted by Hezbollah. This was a real defeat of US imperialism, perhaps the first one in war since Vietnam in 1975. Arguably it was this defeat which laid the groundwork for the onset of lockdown fascism in 2020. The US Empire and its allies could no longer tolerate being blocked in its drive for corporate capitalist planetary plunder by sections of the non-imperialist bloc. While the PRC did not play an active military role, the combination of being eclipsed by China’s economic power and Russia’s military power (demonstrated by the superior air power of its SU-35 jet fighters backing the resistance) sent the US Empire into a frenzy. Inflicting Covidian terror on its working class at home was one reflex, and now the deliberate re-lighting of the bonfire of ISIS style “Islamic” terrorism across Eurasia is another.

War on Terror redux

We could be once again subjected to a rehash of the war on terror, which the war on Covid only temporarily kept at bay. In response to the Kabul airport bombings, the Pentagon said the threat of ISIS-K is “very real”, and that it had been sharing intelligence on ISIS-K with the Taliban since August the 14th.[17] The line that ISIS-K believe the Taliban are too “liberal”[18] is spun to imply that the Taliban are now the new “moderate rebels” which makes it fine for the West to now collaborate with them. Give us a break. ISIS-K, may in fact contain US or EU special forces themselves, as British SAS troops were exposed as being disguised as ISIS and fighting with them against the Syrian government in 2015.[19] ISIS is entirely a creation of imperialism, which provides funding, weapons, training and equipment. In the same way in which imperialism fought “against” ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Washington and London will now fight “against” ISIS-K in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s mere shadow boxing, but with the same ultimate aim – to bring down Russia, China and Iran at any cost.

So while we will be treated to another round of “here come the terrorists – again”,[20] the terror bogey could be ISIS-K, or it could also be the “domestic terrorists” who suspected some electoral fraud in the US Presidential Election of 2020,[21] or it could be those who suspect another political agenda behind the Covid vaccine rollout,[22] or think something is fishy about being tracked, traced and forbidden from travelling outside their country, state, or neighbourhood. It all just rolls into one really. If the West’s Big Lie Propaganda Machine can convince people that the Delta variant of a doubtful coronavirus is bringing civilisation to its knees, they can be convinced that the ISIS-K variant aims to set up an Islamic state to threaten freedom and democracy worldwide. Its sheer fantasy, but in no way is it any more outlandish than their claims that healthy people breathing out is hazardous to others.

The stakes are high. As the history of the 20th century shows, fascism and war often go hand in hand. Today, a pseudo-medical fascism is well underway, and the nonsensical Covid restrictions imposed on workers worldwide could easily be rolled out to stymie resistance to yet another war against “terrorism” which is funded and armed by the very governments raising the false alarm. Marxists may well be faced with the task of simultaneously building the anti-lockdown movement as well as mobilising workers against yet another imperialist war “against” ISIS, read: against the non-imperialist bloc. The only way to penetrate the fog of war is with clear political leadership of the working class. Given the base betrayal of the lockdown fake left, what is critically urgent is the formation of a vanguard party staunchly defending the central pillars of Leninist-Trotskyism. Linked internationally, such a party would help mobilise workers against war and fascism through the direct establishment of their own organs of state power. The choice would then be clear: capitalism with its lockdowns and wars, or socialism which is determined to wipe fascism and terror from the pages of history.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com



[1] 6 Questions we NEED to ask about Afghanistan – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) (29.08.2021)

[2] https://twitter.com/kit_knightly/status/1427393502703464449 (29.08.2021)

[3] https://thegrayzone.com/2021/04/16/biden-afghanistan-war-privatizing-contractors/ (29.08.2021)

[4] https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-sign-historic-deal-taliban-beginning-end-us/story?id=69287465 (29.08.2021)

[5] https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/2170159/taliban-2-0-regional-global-impacts  (29.08.2021)

[6] The US Never Intended to Create a Self-Reliant Afghan Government | New Atlas Report (29.08.2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2016/11/16/shut-down-nauru-for-an-anti-empire-refugee-rights-movement/ (29.08.2021)

[8] FAQ: Which Countries Are Opening Doors to Afghan Refugees? And Which Aren’t? (thequint.com)  (29.08.2021)

[9] How many Afghan refugees is Australia taking? Are we going to expand our refugee intake? – ABC News (29.08.2021)

[10] https://redfireonline.com/2021/08/17/lockdowns-and-the-twilight-of-democracy/ (29.08.2021)

[11] Morrison has an obligation to increase Afghan refugee intake | Green Left (29.08.2021)

[12] US humiliated in Afghanistan as Taliban seizes Kabul – Solidarity Online (29.08.2021)

[13] Two explosions at Kabul airport in ‘terrorist attack’; dozens killed – CNA (channelnewsasia.com) (29.08.2021)

[14] What is ISIS-K, the group that claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack? – CBS News (29.08.2021)

[15] (Seymour M. Hersh \267 The Red Line and the Rat Line \267 LRB 6 April 2014) (thelizlibrary.org) (29.08.2021)

[16] Syria Daily, Sept 19: Congress Approves $500 Million to Train & Arm 5,000 Insurgents – EA WorldView (29.08.2021)

[17] Biden Addresses Deadly Terror Attacks At Kabul Airport: ‘We Will Hunt You Down’ | HuffPost (29.08.2021)

[18] ISIS-K: Taliban Victory Giving Rise To A Deadlier Enemy (freedomwire.com) (29.08.2021)

[19] British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (29.08.2021)

[20] Here Come the Terrorists. Again — Strategic Culture (strategic-culture.org) (29.08.2021)

[21] The FBI says the Capitol riot was ‘terrorism.’ Democrats (and Republicans) should, too. (msnbc.com) (29.08.2021)

[22] https://www.sapiens.org/culture/covid-19-vaccine-protestors/ (29.08.2021)

COP26 and the Greenwashing of Imperialism

enviro placard

http://www.bfpg.co.uk

30-08-2021: Ever since the onset of “Covid” lockdowns, the climate crisis has been pushed off the front pages of the corporate press worldwide. The world’s ruling classes saw to it that the “health care” propaganda cover for the replacement of liberal democracy with fascism[1] took and held centre stage for 18 months. Now, with the approaching COP26 (Conference of the Parties, part 26) summit in Glasgow in November, there has been a slight change of emphasis. Climate change and its alter ego global warming are now back on the agenda, or at least according to the corporate spin doctors, but of course “we” still have to fight a “deadly pandemic”. Supposedly, world leaders and global captains of industry will join hands to thrash out solutions to the environmental crisis which threatens the very existence of civilisation. Allegedly, the most concerned of all for the welfare of impoverished humanity from the Third World to under-privileged pockets of the First World are some of the corporate sponsors of COP26 such as Microsoft, Hitachi, and Big Pharma operatives Glaxo Smith Kline and Unilever.(!!)[2]

IPCC Report

Needless to say, the mere suggestion that private capital and their marionette governments are primarily concerned with the welfare of anyone apart from themselves is farcical. COP26, an extension of the United Nations (UN) is yet more greenwashing of the same system of capitalist imperialism which has ground large sections of the world’s workers into the dust through scientifically and medically absurd lockdowns and facemask and vaccine mandates. The very same people, the very same corporations, the very same governments which have removed the most elementary of civil and democratic rights of working people under the guise of “Covid” cannot, by definition, be trusted decision makers on climate. The only figment of scientific reality in the whole COP26 façade is the dire reality of climate collapse which is bearing down on the planet.

As far as working people are concerned, no cross-class international body, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), can be anything other than a front for the system of the status quo. Any “solutions” such a body presents can only benefit the power elites who commissioned them. Nonetheless, the IPCC latest report only formalises the warnings of climate scientists which in fact began not 30 or 50 years ago, but in 1896. Then, Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius laboriously calculated the first model of climate change, by demonstrating the process in which what seem like tiny amounts of carbon in the atmosphere can trap heat.[3] The warnings about the danger of the greenhouse effect hit fever pitch in the early 1990s and have intensified since then. The IPCC’s latest report – whatever its faults – is yet another last ditch call for an about turn. Titled Climate Change 2021:The Physical Science Basis,[4] it stresses there is a narrowing window for avoiding climate catastrophe, but only through immediate, deep and sustained reduction of carbon emissions, and even a system of extraction of carbon already in the atmosphere.[5]

Lived reality of ecological disintegration

Doubtless many of the members of the IPCC and the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), and much of the environmental movement, actually believe that the world climate can be addressed by the 193 member nation states[6] of the UN simply “working together”. While this remains a fantasy, the lived reality of a climate on its last legs stares us in the face. Heatwaves, droughts, floods, freak storms, wildfires and bushfires are getting worse, fuelled by the ongoing burning off of coal, oil and gas. Temperatures and sea levels are rising, rainfall patterns are changing, and the seasons themselves in some cases are becoming meaningless. In the middle of the North American summer, Colorado is seeing snow.[7] Last December, in the middle of the Australian summer, snow was blanketing parts of Tasmania.[8] Whether you call it climate change, global warming or simply pollution, it is not only altering the climate but eating away at the usual seasonal cycles.

Austria and Italy have just experienced horror floods and mudslides,[9] which are inexplicable within usual weather conditions. In July in Germany and Belgium intense storms saw 15 centimetres of rain poured down within 24 hours which simply washed away houses and cars. Tragically, as of the 20th of July 196 people had perished – 165 in Germany and 31 in Belgium.[10] Warmer temperatures means the air can hold much more moisture. While it is true that not every freak weather event can be attributed to climate change, the frequency, severity and vast extent of them when they do occur certainly can.

The bushfires in Australia during the 2019/2020 summer were unprecedented in scale and ferocity. It is estimated that half a billion animals were burnt to death, pushing many wild species to the brink of extinction.[11]  The thousands of bushfires torched 46 million acres across the continent – an area the size of the country of Syria. 34 people died, 3500 homes and countless other buildings were razed to the ground.[12] The coastal town of Mallacoota in Eastern Victoria witnessed half of its population fleeing to the beach as the bushfires roared closer, ready to jump into the ocean to escape the flames.[13] In scenes which can only be described as apocalyptic, the sky turned blood red, somewhat resembling the planet Mars from the Hollywood sci-fi film Total Recall. In the USA, as of the start of August, 91 wildfires were burning their way across the North-West, particularly Oregon, and even in Hawaii.[14]

Fight Covid and fight Climate Change?

Despite these indicators, many in the anti-lockdown movement make the mistake of drawing a straight line between Covid fraud and climate “fraud”. To some extent this is an understandable error, as the very same “New Normals” who aggressively harangued us into obeying authority on Covid are now the ones sounding the alarm (once again) about the climate.[15] In a sense the liberals who virtue-signalled by brandishing suffocating facemasks and urging the masses to “follow the science” (their ideas about science only) on Covid, are now virtue-signalling about the urgent need to take action on climate. And this just happens to coincide with the lead up to COP26. Of course there is no denying the limitless hypocrisy from this lot, but climate science (like real “Covid” science) is not theirs to vulgarise.

Some astute writers who have expertly exposed the Covid narrative as a cover for a far more sinister agenda mistakenly expand their research and analysis abilities to include climate change as another scarecrow which has no substance. They assume that because some of the same forces that brought us “The Great Reset” and lockdowns and political oppression are also climate grandstanders, this must mean that climate change is another deceit. Yet the aim of the liberal elites speaking for world capitalism on climate is not to “collapse civilisation” or “deindustrialise society”.[16] There is an objective need to achieve net zero carbon emissions – but the liberal elites aim for this in order to preserve the capitalist socio-economic formation. System reformers and their agents believe the achievement of zero carbon will stave off a series of successful workers’ revolutions. That is, they promote “climate action” precisely to prevent a generalised uprising against imperialism.

“Renewable Energy” a false messiah

Though they would scarcely admit it, much of the environmental movement channels the woke billionaires through their advocacy of the illusion of “renewable energy” – by which they primarily mean solar and wind power. The position of attempting to power entire countries – let alone the entire planet – with solar panels and windmills alone is a house of cards. It was thoroughly exposed by Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore in their documentary Planet of the Humans,[17] where they highlight the sheer scale of physical materials needed for a solar and wind power build out of any necessary size. Coal has to be replaced as a baseload power source – of this there is no argument. Yet it is increasingly unlikely that zero carbon power can even be thought of without the significant use of nuclear energy. Notably, however, scientists who advocate the replacement of coal (and oil and gas) do NOT argue for 100% nuclear, unlike the renewable energy protagonists. Professors Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw have argued since 2014 that the appropriate mix of zero carbon energy sources need to be used,[18] i.e., not 100% renewable nor 100% nuclear – though they suspect that nuclear will do the heavy lifting.

The renewables versus nuclear debate is a heated one but is made so mainly by the reluctance of generations of environmental activists having to admit they were misled into opposing nuclear power, and who cannot conceive that nuclear energy can indeed be “green”. For one thing, wind and solar has a technical lifespan of 20-25 years, while nuclear energy has a technical lifespan of at least 60-80 years,[19] and probably longer. This means that solar farms and wind turbines need to be torn down and replaced at least three times before one nuclear reactor needs an overhaul. The generation capacity factor – the amount of power that can be produced versus that which is produced – is a hands down win for nuclear. The capacity factor of nuclear power can reach as high as 93%, whereas the absolute maximum capacity for solar is 25% and 35% for wind.[20] Efficient use of land is also a non-starter for renewable energy. Wind farms need 360 times the land space required for nuclear energy, while solar photovoltaic installations need 75 times the land space.[21] Whereas, a standard nuclear reactor can be built on one square mile, or even less in the case of a small modular reactor.

Game-breaking TMSR Reactors

The UN backed COP26 agenda is based on the double delusion of renewable energy “saving the planet” and the trope that capitalism can somehow turn green. In the 3949 pages of the IPCC’s August report there is only one (!) reference to nuclear power – a single sentence questioning whether warmer waters from rivers can be used for cooling reactors.[22] Even if the temperature of the water needed for cooling some reactors was an issue, COP26 appears to be oblivious to the fact that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is about to test the world’s first Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (TMSR), which should be operational by 2030.[23] The development of TMSRs is a game-breaker, as Thorium reactors do not need ANY water for cooling – which is why the PRC is planning to install them in the vast semi-desert landscapes of its Western provinces. Alas, the PRC is headed politically by a conservative bureaucratic caste which has no aim to extend socialism internationally. Hence, it plays along with the COP26 sideshow, in the same way in which it props up the World Health Organisation (WHO) by enacting risible lockdowns, facemask mandates and injections to “fight Covid”.

COP26, as a front for imperialism, will also obviously not seriously address the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions – the US military.[24] Nor will it address another grave threat to a safe climate – the drive to World War III launched by NATO and their allies against Russia, China, Iran and the non-imperialist bloc. Greta Thunberg is on board with this war, having criticised Russia for not allowing some climate protests, and claiming that China being a developing country is “no excuse” for not acting to curb emissions.[25] The Swedish youth is also on board with the Western Empire’s Covid assault on working people, stating that she will now consider attending COP26 after hearing that all delegates will be offered a Covid vaccine (!).[26] In keeping with liberal political forces the world over, the backing of intense repression under the name of “Covid” merges seamlessly with NATO-led war.

The fact that the same liberal bourgeois agents enforcing lockdown fascism are now also the leading voices for “saving the planet” emphasises this fact: capitalism’s exploitation of the natural environment and its exploitation of the working class cannot be separated. Any attempt to politically address environmental degradation on its own, abstracted from the division of vast swathes of humanity into the hostile camps of labour and capital, will inevitably reinforce global capitalism. “Climate activism” which lobbies COP26, or which begs the governments of the richest countries to take “climate action” disempowers and disorients working people, as it turns them into mere letter-writing constituents.

While Marxists cannot ignore the dire ecological state of the biosphere, there can be no “climate action” which does not also lead to the desperately needed liberation of the working class. The replacement of liberal democracy with pseudo-medical Nazi-like “Covid” repression adds even more urgency to the task of proletarian revolutions in the West, combined with proletarian political revolutions in the deformed workers’ states, e.g., China. To help lead this giant endeavour, the forging of Leninist vanguard parties linked with international sections is crucial. The climate crisis, and much else besides, can only be seriously addressed when workers hold the levers of power.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://redfireonline.com/2021/08/17/lockdowns-and-the-twilight-of-democracy/ (22-08-2021)

[2] https://ukcop26.org/ (22-08-2021)

[3] https://daily.jstor.org/how-19th-century-scientists-predicted-global-warming/ (22-08-2021)

[4] AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis — IPCC (22-08-2021)

[5] What does the IPCC’s latest report mean? | Explainer | Climate Council (22-08-2021)

[6] https://www.worlddata.info/alliances/un-united-nations.php (22-08-2021)

[7] It’s August and it’s snowing in Colorado – NewsBreak (22-08-2021)

[8] Summer snow falls in parts of Tasmania (thenewdaily.com.au) (22-08-2021)

[9] Europe – Rain Triggers Deadly Flash Floods and Mudslides in Germany, Austria and Italy – FloodList (22-08-2021)

[10] Europe’s deadly floods leave scientists stunned | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org) (22-08-2021)

[11] Bushfires push Australia’s rare species to extinction  | Daily Mail Online (22-08-2021)

[12] 2019-2020 Australian Bushfires – Center for Disaster Philanthropy (22-08-2021)

[13] https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/mallacoota-bushfire-thousands-trapped-on-beach_au (22-08-2021)

[14] https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/01/us/us-western-wildfires-sunday/index.html (22-08-2021)

[15] The IPCC Report & the Pivot from Covid to Climate – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) (22-08-2021)

[16] The “Great Zero Carbon” Conspiracy – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (22.08.2021)

[17] Planet of the Humans | By Jeff Gibbs, Executive Producer Michael Moore (22-08-2021)

[18] The Society for Conservation Biology (wiley.com) (22-08-2021)

[19] The True Costs of Nuclear vs Renewable Energy – The 4th Generation (22-08-2021)

[20] What is Generation Capacity? | Department of Energy (22-08-2021)

[21] Land Needs for Wind, Solar Dwarf Nuclear Plant’s Footprint (nei.org) (22-08-2021)

[22] https://citizensparty.org.au/media-releases/china-set-test-world-first-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor (23-08-2021)

[23] https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3141581/could-chinas-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor-be-clean-safe-source (23-08-2021)

[24] The U.S. military emits more greenhouse gases than Sweden and Denmark (bigthink.com) (23-08-2021)

[25] https://www.skynews.com.au/world-news/greta-thunberg-and-china-bump-heads-over-emissions (25-08-2021)

[26] https://www.malaymail.com/news/world/2021/08/20/greta-thunberg-drops-boycott-of-cop26-meeting/1999246 (25-08-2021)

Lockdowns and the Twilight of Democracy

markets and police

Above: Riot police in Melbourne pursue anti-lockdown protestors through food markets. http://www.pedestrian.tv

18-08-2021: The Australian states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria (VIC) are currently enduring arguably the harshest “Covid” lockdowns ever imposed. A brutal lockdown has kept NSW incarcerated for seven weeks, with no indication of when it will be released. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has been reduced to a snap lockdown, allegedly after one (!) positive Covid case was supposedly identified along with Covid positive wastewater (!!).[1] Average temperatures in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory (NT) hover around 30 degrees Celsius year round, with humidity fluctuating between 60% and 80% between the wet and dry seasons.[2] The north of Australia, close to the equator, scarcely has weather conducive to the circulation of a flu like virus. Despite this, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner indicated that the NT may still impose lockdowns and border closures even if the plan of the National Cabinet for 80% vaccination rates are reached.[3]

The remote NSW outback town of Walgett, 230 kilometres east of Bourke, has now also been placed in lockdown. The town only has a population of 2000 but has been sent into lockdown on the putative finding of one (!) positive Covid “case”.[4] Walgett will be joined in lockdowns with seven other Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the West of NSW, including Gilgandra and Brewarrina. Walgett in particular has a high proportion of Aboriginal residents, who make up around 30% of the total.[5] For decades, Aboriginal people in Walgett have endured high poverty rates, with scant health and education services, and a high crime rate linked to a virtual absence of jobs. There is no shortage of money for the farmers though, some of whom have private airstrips, and send their children to expensive private schools in Sydney and Brisbane.[6] It hardly needs to be said that the lockdowns will impact Aboriginal people, and scarcely touch the farmers in their vast properties surrounding the town.

The cruelty of lockdowns is having a devastating effect on the mental health of those subjected to them. Currently, 800 000 scripts for anti-depressant medication are being filled each week throughout Australia.[7] Psychological distress and loneliness[8] is but one measure of the pain being inflicted, as lockdowns restrict or extinguish the very ability to have social interaction. Tens of thousands of jobs are lost, throwing countless workers onto the unemployment scrapheap. Many small and medium sized businesses are driven into bankruptcy, large numbers of which will never open again. The right to travel outside your neighbourhood has been subject to control, or even abolished.

Health emergency illusion

The notion that the planet is being assaulted by the “Delta variant” of a SARS-CoV-2 virus is absurd. For one thing, even the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) admit that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has never been isolated and purified in a laboratory anywhere.[9] Secondly, even if SARS-CoV-2 does exist and there is a variant of any sort, all previous immunology says that variants are less harmful than the original. Thirdly, if Delta exists at all, there is no test which can positively identify it.[10] 18 months later, even the basic narrative about a supposedly novel virus which threatens the globe has worn itself to ribbons. There is not now, and never was, a “pandemic”. All cause mortality for the planet has barely changed in the last two decades, including the year 2020.[11] There is no “health emergency”, and at the very least, this has left whole sections of the working class wondering what on Earth politicians are on about.

Even allowing for the possibility of a new coronavirus in circulation, this does not justify ANY extraordinary measures such as lockdowns, facemasks and vaccines. The lockdowns are quite obviously not about health care and are much more to do with political repression and the very real suppression of civil and democratic rights. In Australia currently, the Army is being used to enforce lockdowns in the streets of Sydney. All around the world, parliaments have been suspended, basic laws have been ignored, and the very constitutions of whole nations have been violated at will. Government “tracking and tracing” of entire populations has been introduced without even a cursory debate by local, state or federal politicians. In short, the very notion of democratic rights has more or less been made contingent on whether or not it can be overridden by “Covid”.

For 170 odd years, Marxists have stressed that “democracy” is in fact a form of class rule, and that capitalist “democracy” is only democracy for the rich. There can never be democracy – where the majority opinion or vote holds sway – across different social classes. There can never be a democracy where labour and capital co-exist in the same assemblies and same parliaments, in the same way as there cannot be “democracy” in a workplace between employers and employees. In the transition from capitalism to socialism, there can only be the rule of one class – the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. Thus, there can only be either bourgeois democracy or proletarian democracy. And bourgeois democracy for working people is as much a fraud and a swindle as is the “Covid Pandemic”. Hence, the (now urgent) historical need for the working class to rise to power through a social revolution.

Nevertheless, the pathway to a workers’ revolution can only be found via a thoroughgoing defence of the very rights that were won by the ascendent bourgeois class against feudal absolutism. Workers must defend their bourgeois democratic rights won under capitalism, for without them there cannot be even the first steps towards socialism. The right to free speech, to freedom of assembly, to a free press, the right to form political parties and organisations, the right to form trade Unions – all must be defended as a matter of priority. Ditto for the right to travel, the right to move freely, the right to consent, the right to bodily autonomy and the right to due legal process. The victory of proletarian democracy, via the establishment of a workers’ republic, cannot be obtained if the working class does not vigorously defend every democratic right it obtained during “normal” capitalist operation.

The twilight of liberal democracy

With the excuse of Covid, almost all bourgeois or liberal democratic rights have been curtailed, suspended or simply abolished. Even many of those who, despite everything, still cling to some notion of the government clumsily acting to protect people from a pathogen, are aghast at the blasé bypassing of the elementary norms of parliamentary due process. Even if they somehow uphold the notion of a “health emergency”, they sense something foreboding about the effective cancellation of elementary civil and democratic rights, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Despite being “onside” with the “war on Covid”, many of them agree that vaccines should not be forced. Even those within the anti-lockdown movement who can see through the false Covid narrative like a pane of glass, are also appalled at the removal of even the basic principle of consent.

Even though liberal democracy has always been a shroud for the dictatorship of capital, the bourgeois class was materially able to allow liberal democratic rights while certain economic conditions were maintained. Free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement – these and other rights were tolerated only insofar as the productive forces of capitalism were expanding, only so long as finance capital was able to expand internationally, and only to the extent that new markets were being found. This is no longer the case, so the Western ruling classes have little need for liberal democracy. Imperialist exploitation of the Third World has continued for decades, but that road is facing obstacles. Imperialist wars of regime change were another way for Western capital to expand, yet now that option is rarely available. Unable to expand at home, unable to plunder abroad, the ruling classes of the West now aim their guns at the heads of “their own” working classes. This is the real source of “Covid”.

Paraphrasing Russian Revolution co-leader L Trotsky, either the proletariat overthrows the Ancien Regime – the utterly decayed bourgeois society – or capitalism, in the interests of self-preservation, replaces liberal democracy with fascism.[12] Lockdown fascism, therefore, is not the result of “panic”, or an “overreaction”, or of snowballing “mistakes”. For some time, capitalism had already been doing away with free markets and free competition and had for the last 30 years been cannibalising the state through privatisation and deregulation. Now, capital needs to go to another level in an effort to regain an adequate rate of return on investment. The cost of labour power – wages and salaries of workers – needs to be depressed as low as possible. Throwing millions out of work while scaring the daylights out of the workers who remain employed, is one way of doing this.

If it was possible to explain in three words why imperialism must remove liberal democracy and install lockdown fascism, it would be: People’s Republic of China (PRC). Economically, the PRC is on the threshold of surpassing the economy of the United States of America (US). The situation is analogous to the 1930s, when the economy of the Soviet Union was achieving record growth while the West was in the deepest economic depression it had then known. Today, breakneck economic growth in the socialistic PRC is simply embarrassing the West. Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), or the amount one can purchase for a given amount of currency, is one indicator of economic performance, and the PRC has in recent years left the US behind.[13] The largest bank in the world – according to assets under management – is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).[14] Even though it operates commercially, this bank is in fact state owned and state controlled.

Lockdown tyranny the last roll of the dice

There can be no more accurate metaphor for the PRC’s economy surpassing Western decline than the recent launch of the world’s fastest train in East China’s Shandong Province. A magnetic levitation train developed by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) has made its debut in Qingdao and is capable of reaching speeds of an astonishing 600 kilometres per hour(klm/hr).[15] This compares with standard high speed rail at 350 klm/hr and passenger aeroplanes which cruise at around 800 klm/hr. CRRC is a wholly state owned company, as is the entire rail network in the PRC. Compare this stunning achievement to Australia or the US, both of which are not in possession of even one kilometre of high speed rail !! The abyss between the Australian and US private capitalist economies and the socialistic collectively owned economy of the PRC is there for all to see.

At the same time, the conservative and bureaucratic political caste leading the PRC is subcontracting itself to imperialism by enforcing its own version of lockdown, facemask and Covid injection insanity against workers on its mainland. Betrayal of workers at home and internationally is second nature to Stalinism, and the entertaining of the false Covid narrative by the Communist Party of China (CPC) is another prime example. Despite this, workers in China and internationally need to defend the enormous gains of the 1949 revolution against imperialist subversion. However deformed and distorted, the loss of the PRC workers’ state would arguably be a greater setback for the world proletariat than the counter-revolution which abolished the USSR in 1991.

In the West, the pressing task is the rebellion against lockdown terror, which now regularly mobilises millions of people determined to fight for freedom. Lockdown fascism is the ruling elite’s last chance to save capitalism, and it comes with enormous risks. Any form of fascism generates acute and continuous conflict, which can result in overthrow if the working classes possess the level of organisation required, or war against states that resist imperialist domination. Yet Covid is first of all a civil war waged by billionaire capital against workers and the oppressed. At the same time, by initiating conflict against its nemesis, the world bourgeoisie demonstrates its political bankruptcy.

The abject treachery of the lockdown fake left alongside Union officials is proof positive that lockdown fascism is being waged under the banner of liberalism, i.e., totally fake claims to progressive, humanitarian, “public health”, and even “anti-racist” and “anti-fascist” values. In that vein, the facemask is the swastika of lockdown fascism. Like Covid “vaccines”, facemasks can be forced onto those who question its rationale, becoming both a symbol and a method of gagging and suffocation simultaneously. They are also the perfect propaganda ploy, giving the appearance of a “health emergency”, when nothing remotely resembling it exists.

By a quirk of history, the anti-lockdown movement is currently leading the struggle for proletarian democracy – despite what many of its protagonists imagine themselves to be fighting. By its very existence, the anti-lockdown movement explodes the bourgeois fiction of Covid. Leninists must find ways to aid and assist this rebellion, while taking the time to “patiently explain” that freedom can only be won through the assembly of a workers’ republic. Indispensable for this is the manufacture of a Marxist vanguard party upholding the theory of Permanent Revolution, which can help lead the toiling masses to their rightful place as masters of their own destiny.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.health.act.gov.au/news/covid-19-update-act-enters-seven-day-lockdown-12-august-2021 (12.08.2021)

[2] https://www.australia.com/en/facts-and-planning/weather-in-australia/darwin-weather.html (12.08.2021)

[3] https://au.newschant.com/national/nt/northern-territory-says-lockdowns-and-border-closures-could-be-viable-options-after-vaccine-benchmark-reached/ (12.08.2021)

[4] https://nypressnews.com/news/world/australia/coronavirus-australia-walgett-nsw-to-go-into-lockdown-after-positive-covid-case/ (12.08.2012)

[5] https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/LGA17900 (12.08.2021)

[6] https://blackflagsydney.com/article/26 (12.08.2021)

[7] https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/western-sydney-more-susceptible-to-mental-health-impacts-from-lockdown/ar-AANbcjN (12.08.2021)

[8] https://www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring/data/covid-19 (12.08.2021)

[9] https://www.globalresearch.ca/does-the-virus-exist-the-sars-cov-2-has-not-been-isolated-biggest-fraud-in-medical-history/5752066 (14.08.2021)

[10] https://journal-neo.org/2021/08/11/delta-variants-pcr-tests-and-cognitive-dissonance/ (14.08.2021)

[11] https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/WLD/world/death-rate (14.08.2021)

[12] https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1936/03/crossroads1.html (15-08-2021)

[13] https://www.globalfirepower.com/purchasing-power-parity.php (15-08-2021)

[14] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/122315/worlds-top-10-banks-jpm-wfc.asp (15-08-2021)

[15] https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202107/1228998.shtml (16-08-2021)



Free Queensland!

Brisbane lockdown

shower-stairs.blogspot.com

02-08-2021: An iron curtain has descended across South-East Queensland, Australia’s “Sunshine State”. Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced the extension of a three-day lockdown to eight days,[1] which could be extended further on a whim. 11 Local Government Areas stretching from the Gold Coast in the south to the Sunshine Coast in the north have been condemned to lockdowns, with stay-at-home orders in place, workplaces shuttered, and most small and medium-sized businesses threatened with state prosecution for opening. Facemask mandate rules arguably now cross the line of child abuse, with all students from Year 7 to Year 12[2] somehow being required to mask up, expressly restricting oxygen flows and risking nausea, dizziness and worse side-effects. This is allegedly in response to a 17-year-old student who attends Indooroopilly High School in the west of Brisbane, “testing positive” to Covid-19.[3]

Propaganda “pandemic”

The notion that society is faced with a deadly plague which can be spread by healthy people with no symptoms is farcical. At best, the SARS-CoV-2 virus – if it exists at all – presents virtually no risk to people of working age, and none at all to young people, let alone school children. Covid-19 is a pseudo pandemic[4] which is fuelled by a corporate media barrage so intense it has swindled legions of the most highly educated professionals in many fields. Relentless propaganda from politicians and Big Tech dominated social media has created societal conditions where logical fallacies are repeated often simply to avoid the ominous threat of social opprobrium or outright ostracism. In many cases, workers have little choice but to go along with the Covid narrative just to remain in employment. Other workers in areas deemed “non-essential” have been thrown out of work or stood down without pay.

The claims that some high school student contracted Covid which risks an “outbreak” of the “highly infectious Delta variant” are little more than a tissue of lies. As are the claims that lockdowns, facemasks and Covid vaccines “work” to help contain a virulent disease. Such prattle is only part of the ideology of lockdown fascism, which at its roots has origins which are economic and political, rather than scientific and medical. Lockdowns are a component of “The Great Reset”, where capitalism self-inflicts partial economic destruction in a (vain) attempt to restart itself after more than a decade of flatlining stagnation. The “Global Financial Crisis” (which was not global at all, given that the People’s Republic of China was barely affected) in 2008 was the “third slump” which set the stage for Western economic contraction and the subsequent drive to imperialist wars of regime change in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and many other countries. During the 2010s, workers’ wages in the West barely increased at all, leading even some employer associations into calling for wage increases! This is the background which point to some of the real and underlying reasons for “Covid” lockdowns from 2020 onwards.

Political fight in the balance

Despite having launched lockdown fascism early in 2020 and having all the resources of the state and government behind it, the ruling classes internationally do not have it their own way. In fact, the Australian ruling class is politically losing the Covid agenda, replicating the situation in many countries in Europe and the United States of America (USA). One could reasonably claim that the lockdown extension in Queensland was but an act of political retaliation against the working masses. Just one week prior, some 20 000 people had marched through the streets of Brisbane, as part of “Worldwide Rallies for Freedom”. They were joined by at least 40 000 in Sydney and Melbourne,[5] which were under strict lockdowns at the time. Tens of thousands of people in each of the major population centres on the Eastern Seaboard represents mass rejection of the entire narrative of Covid hysteria and the overtly political repression which is used to enforce it. Lockdowns, facemasks, Covid vaccines, tracking and tracing, state and national border shutdowns, the throwing of millions of workers out of work, the driving of medium and small businesses into bankruptcy, the ludicrous list of ever-changing rules and restrictions on social, family and even intimate partner life – all of it is intolerable.

The political fightback against lockdown domination is now so widespread that the ruling class is responding with more outrageous actions – more lockdowns, more “variant” propaganda, and more repression. In New South Wales, Australian soldiers are being used to enforce Covid lockdowns. In Brisbane on the morning of August 2, police blocked off access to the CBD to prevent a snap protest against lockdowns from going ahead. Those who attempted to walk to the rallying point at the Botanical Gardens were turned away, some with fines for exceeding the 10-kilometre travel limit. Protestors made a tactical retreat to New Farm Park, only to be again dispersed by a heavy police presence. This is evidence that the massive scale of the July 24 anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane represented a “tipping point” in the political fight between the anti-lockdown movement and the forces of capitalist state repression. The anti-lockdown movement now has the upper hand, partially because it is the living refutation of every one of the government’s Covid lies.

The sheer determination of the anti-lockdown protestors is something to behold. In a certain way, the anti-lockdown movement confirms one of the central tenets of Marxism: that the working-class will at a certain point be compelled to defend themselves against the despotic terror of capitalist rule, irrespective of their current political views and beliefs. To be sure, the anti-lockdown movement also contains a large contingent of small business owners wedded to various forms of nationalism. Nonetheless, in practice they are resisting the dire encroachments of finance capital, which only offers a future of political tyranny and economic collapse. This is why leftists need to work side-by-side with all sections of the anti-lockdown movement even if some of them regard themselves as “right-wing”. Real revolutionaries must find a way to forge a workers’ vanguard party through the mass movement which must ultimately pose the question of socialism or lockdown barbarism.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-02/queensland-coronavirus-new-cases-update-lockdown-brisbane-school/100341828 (02-08-2021)

[2] https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/restrictions-impacted-areas (02-08-2021)

[3] https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/indooroopilly-state-school-closes-after-student-tests-positive-for-covid-19-20210730-p58e9x.html (02-08-2021)

[4] https://off-guardian.org/2021/06/29/pseudopandemic/ (02-08-2021)

[5] https://www.instagram.com/p/CRs–eUNfA_/ (02-08-2021)

#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)

Eswatini: “Democracy” Insurgents Run Riot

Eswatini flag

Above: National Flag of Eswatini

04-07-2021: Another country, another covert regime change operation under the guise of a movement for “democracy”. This time, the target is the small African nation of Eswatini, with a population of 1.1 million.[1] Eswatini (also written as “eSwatini”) was formerly the nation of Swaziland, before its name change in 2018. What was then Swaziland gained its independence from British colonialism in 1968, but it has remained a form of monarchy, with a king sitting above a parliamentary assembly. King Mswati III became the monarch in 1986,[2] and is known for taking as many as 15 wives and living a lavish lifestyle. Despite Eswatini being one of the last monarchies still existing, workers cannot afford to extend an iota of political backing to the violent riots now besetting the country. These “protests” are in fact an exercise in deceit which ticks all the boxes of imperialist funded subversion.

Burn, loot and riot

By now it is a familiar refrain: in the name of social justice, first you must burn, loot and riot. Where have we seen this before? It first came to prominence in the hands of Black Lives Matter (BLM) during 2020 in the USA, but was previously employed in Chile,[3] and subsequently in Colombia,[4] Lebanon,[5] Hong Kong[6] and Nigeria[7], to name a few. Needless to say, a genuine movement which pursues noble political goals hardly resorts to burning down public buildings and private businesses, looting shops, and rioting as a first port of call. Something else entirely is going on – and the common thread is surreptitious orchestration by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The NED is the regime change arm of the CIA, and the OSF is the regime change vehicle of convicted financial felon[8] billionaire and anti-socialist George Soros. The NED and the OSF work hand-in-glove to advance the foreign policy of Washington in its New Cold War drive, and Eswatini today is unfortunately no exception.

The NED funds multiple “civil society” fronts in Eswatini,[9] or at least the ones they admit to. The OSF has a special body funding faux “democracy promotion” shells throughout 11 nations in Southern Africa,[10] including Eswatini. The point should not have to be made that the US state department and George Soros are never and nowhere concerned about “bringing democracy” to Southern Africa, or anywhere else. What occurs is sophisticated internal political underwriting of the very institutions of the state which is being targeted for replacement, to the extent that they become agents which corrode and collapse the nation from within. This is carried out with utterly deceptive and disingenuous rhetoric about “democracy”, “good governance”, “human rights” and so on. Deceiving young people and many left and liberal organisations internationally, the NED/OSF transform the targeted state into an effective satellite of Washington. They can then be used as leverage in Washington’s New Cold War.

Sham narrative

The domestic and international forces behind the “protests” underhandedly claim that the protests began peacefully on June 20 when youths took to the streets to demand the right to democratically elect the Prime Minister. They go on to claim that the violence only began after the government suspended the delivery of petitions. Whether or not this is true, a hallmark of NED/OSF backed regime change operations is the extremely rapid turn from peaceful to violent, and this is what occurred in Eswatini. Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku declared that the government suspended the delivery of petitions as this was being used as a “breeding ground for anarchy” which had been “intentionally hijacked to sow seeds of division”.[11] It would appear the delivery of the petitions to the government was just the cover for the pre-planned violence which was to follow. If the government can spot an intentional hijack, there is no reason why leftists internationally cannot do the same.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) plays a similar role alongside the NED/OSF. Yet even it had to report the extraordinary behaviour of “protestors” in the capital Mbabane on June 29. People described as “youth activists” had blocked roads, set fires in the streets, ordered all shops to shut down, and told people to leave town.[12] This is patently not the behaviour of well-meaning “activists” concerned about the fate of their country or their society. Ordering shops to close and people to leave town is a clear indicator that they are aware that violence will follow. These are not “activists” pursuing a political cause out of genuine motivations. Further, some government buildings as well as some trucks crossing the border from South Africa carrying goods were set alight.[13] Obviously, preventing needed goods from South Africa (which is naturally Eswatini’s largest trading partner) from reaching consumers in Eswatini is not “activism”. And neither is setting fire to government buildings!

Liberals internationally are often drawn into the narrative of an “authoritarian” Third World government restricting access to the internet in response to protests, and recoil in horror. This is indeed what has occurred in Eswatini today,[14] but when “protestors” are blocking goods from reaching the country, burning down government buildings, and telling people to leave town – is it any wonder? Brian Sangweni is the national spokesperson for PUDEMO (People’s United Democratic Movement), believed to be the largest of the opposition parties. On June 29 he confirmed that 30 000 workers had been turned away by “protestors” in the industrial area of Manzini.[15] So not only are the “protestors” engaging in violent riots, they are telling people to leave town and are blocking thousands of workers from engaging in their paid work. The regime change aims here could not be clearer. The methods being used are little more than targeted acts of terrorism. This is scarcely a “democracy” movement.

CPS offers “left” cover

The role of the misnamed Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) is quite revealing. CPS General Secretary Thokozane Kunene claimed that King Mswati III had fled to Johannesburg in South Africa and was hiding out in the wealthy Sandton area.[16] Yet this claim was immediately rubbished by Acting Prime Minister Masuku.[17] Kunene later stated that the aim was to “suffocate the regime” and “match the violence (emphasis added) unleashed by the government on the people.”[18] Such a peaceful movement for democracy! Yet the General Secretary was not finished there. He went on to make wild claims that the Eswatini military had tossed murdered protestors into a raging fire at the Swaziland Beverages Company in Matsapha.[19] These claims are more than fanciful and are made with zero evidence. And these fires were started by the “democracy protestors” themselves!

The CPS plays into the fake “Covid” pandemic, which in reality is the class war of finance capital against the global working class. The CPS waffles on with typical liberal nonsense about how capitalism is not able to deal with the “Covid-19 pandemic”, but the countries with a “socialist orientation” such as “Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam” fared far better than countries such as the USA.[20] With a few notable exceptions, almost all leftists identifying as Stalinist have capitulated to “their own” ruling classes on the fear pandemic. While genuflecting before the cops and security forces of the capitalist state for keeping us “safe from Covid”, they spread baloney about how the nationalist and bureaucratic castes of the deformed workers’ states have “done a good job fighting Covid”. What has occurred is that the conservative castes leading Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam (and Laos) have assisted the imperialist nations in its suppression of their own working classes, while submitting the working classes at home to a slightly less draconian version of lockdown, facemask and vaccine repression. This betrayal by Stalinists who control state power is equaled only by the parties of the lockdown left in the West, who have similarly assisted “their own” billionaire class.

The open class collaboration by the CPS is demonstrated by their most recent congress in April this year, which was carried out under the slogan “Decisive Mobilisation for Democracy Now”.[21] In other words, the CPS become bare reformists who ally with classes completely alien to the workers in the name of “democracy”. In this situation, the call for “democracy” is simply a call for a new capitalist government, something that will certainly not benefit the workers of Eswatini – even if the entirety of US imperialism was hypothetically not involved. The CPS are also adherents of the so-called “National Democratic Revolution”,[22] a Maoist formula which in the Philippines has meant more than 50 years of fruitless searches for a more liberal wing of the ruling class. Yet there can never be a “national democratic” anything, let alone revolution.

Democracy is class rule, and it cannot be applied across different classes. The struggle for socialism means a pitch effort to replace bourgeois democracy (the rule of capital) with proletarian democracy (the rule of labour). Especially in countries of belated capitalist development, Russian Revolutionary leader L Trotsky emphasised again and again that only the working class could solve the basic issues of democratic rights, and only through the seizure of state power.[23] Paramount Bolshevik leader VI Lenin stressed again and again that liberal bourgeois forces can only play a counter-revolutionary role, and that was the case even 100 years ago!  Nor can the petty-bourgeoisie – as an intermediate class – play an independent political role. It must be politically led by the proletariat, and principally by the proletarian vanguard. In Eswatini today, we find liberal bourgeois forces openly being allied with an imperialist funded regime change operation – alongside the “Communist” Party of Swaziland ! Here is a gem of an example of the fruits of “national democracy”.

False death counts

A hallmark of NED/OSF colour revolutions in recent times have been false claims that protestors have been “gunned down by the regime”. Eswatini today is no exception, and the CPS spouts this alongside PUDEMO, without a hint of irony. PUDEMO Secretary General Wandile Dludlu echoes the CPS General Secretary with the outlandish claim that the Eswatini military tossed murdered protestors into a fire. He goes on to state that these claims cannot be verified because the bodies have been burnt !![24] Can anyone imagine trying this even in a bourgeois court of law? Sorry, your honour, we cannot verify our claims as they went up in smoke! PUDEMO’s youth wing, the Swaziland Youth Council (Swayoco) also make the same unverifiable claim that 21 people have been killed by the security forces of Eswatini.[25] Swayoco also make the provocative statement that “in honour of our fallen patriots [which don’t exist – WL] we will soldier on until democracy”.[26] For their part, the government of Eswatini stated that there have been no deaths, and the country is being destablised by foreign forces. Under the circumstances it is rather ironic that it takes an absolute monarchy to state some facts.

Skeptics may question why imperialism would make an effort to organise regime change in Eswatini, when it is perhaps the only African country not to sign up for the Belt and Road Initiative headed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). A precondition for serious assistance from the PRC is the non-recognition of the so-called “Republic of China” or Taiwan. Eswatini has chosen to remain loyal to a recognition of Taiwan,[27] as Taiwan was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of the then Swaziland in 1968. So, for now, this rules out PRC assistance to Eswatini, which means foregoing the opportunity of vital infrastructure, trade and development. One would imagine that Washington would welcome a partner which recognises Taiwan rather than Beijing – but not in this case.

Even if your government is overtly pro-US, it still does not protect you from US backed regime change. Why? Washington is trapped in a death spiral. The US economy (and that of the West generally) cannot compete with the sheer economic power of the socialistic PRC, so it is unable to offer anything in the ballpark of the Belt and Road Initiative. To prevent countries from allying with the PRC – or even thinking about doing so – Washington subcontracts internal subversion to the NED, the OSF and the “regime change industrial complex.” Regime change is then rolled out under the entirely fabricated guise of “democracy” and “human rights”. For countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the only permanent way to repel imperialist meddling is to break with global capitalism via the construction of a workers’ state headed by a workers’ government. Key to this task is the forging of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties, as part of the drive towards a socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Eswatini (Swaziland) Population (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) (02-07-2021)

[2] Mswati III | Biography & Facts | Britannica (02-07-2021)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2019/11/03/chile-nationalism-no-answer-to-austerity/ (02-07-2021)

[4] https://redfireonline.com/2021/05/23/colombia-national-strike-or-deadly-riots/ (02-07-2021)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/05/09/lebanon-colour-revolution-redux/ (02-07-2021)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2019/06/23/hong-kong-us-fuels-right-wing-sedition/ (02-07-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2021/06/22/nigeria-buhari-blocks-big-techs-state-subversion/ (02-07-2021)

[8] https://www.dailywire.com/news/9-things-you-need-know-about-george-soros-aaron-bandler (02-07-2021)

[9] ESWATINI 2018 – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (02-07-2021)

[10] About Us | OSISA (02-07-2021)

[11] eSwatini protests turn deadly as police intensify crackdown – The East African (03-07-2021)

[12] Eswatini: Respect Rights While Policing Protests | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) (03-07-2021)

[13] Eswatini burns as pro-democracy protests intensify (sowetanlive.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[14] Internet in eSwatini Shut Down Amidst Pro-Democracy Protests – IT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports (03-07-2021)

[15] https://peoplesdispatch.org/2021/06/29/king-msawati-may-have-fled-swaziland-but-the-pro-democracy-struggle-against-monarchy-is-far-from-over (03-07-2021)

[16] eSwatini’s King Mswati III on the run amid pro-democracy protests – The Maravi Post (03-07-2021)

[17] Eswatini PM denies King Mswati III fled country (the-star.co.ke) (03-07-2021)

[18] eSwatini protesters vow to ‘match the violence unleashed by the govt’ (ewn.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[19] eSwatini protesters’ bodies ’tossed in fire’ – CPS (iol.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[20] Solidnet | CP of Swaziland, Communist Party of Swaziland 4th National Congress Declaration (03-07-2021)

[21] Solidnet | CP of Swaziland, Communist Party of Swaziland 4th National Congress Declaration (03-07-2021)

[22] (20+) Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS | Facebook (04-07-2021)

[23] http://www.trotsky.net/trotsky_year/permanent_revolution.html (04-07-2021)

[24] Pro-democracy protests continue to rock #Eswatini – YouTube (04-07-2021)

[25] 21 Killed As Pro-Democracy Protest Intensifies In Eswatini | The Lafete Magazine (04-07-2021)

[26] Eswatini protests turn deadly as police intensify crackdown – The Citizen (04-07-2021)

[27] eSwatini and Taiwan, a friendship that will last? – Young Diplomats (young-diplomats.com) (04-07-2021)

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)