End Corona Tyranny!

Police arrest Fanos Panayides, a speaker at the May 10 Melbourne protest against the coronavirus lockdowns. Image from Malay Mail.

End Corona Tyranny!

17-05-2020: Coronavirus tyranny continues to impose its will on workers worldwide. This is despite many now openly questioning the logic and reasoning behind the dumping into unemployment of millions, the draconian lockdowns and absurd “social distancing” rules. Desperately needed protests against lockdowns are still happening in the United States,[1] while the largest demonstrations regularly occur in Germany, attended by thousands in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart.[2] After months of hesitation, the dire circumstances have eventually led to anti-lockdown protests in Australia.[3] In one of the most gut-wrenching scenes, police in Sydney traumatised a young child by tearing him away from his mother, who was peacefully protesting for basic rights outside the New South Wales parliament.[4] This young child could suffer permanent psychological damage, and the memory of this appalling incident should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who retains a glimmer of humanity.

Dissociative denial

The intense propaganda barrage from Western politicians and its compliant corporate media has arguably reached a stage which leaves many in a dissociative psychological state. Many know and feel instinctively that Covid-19 (renamed from SARS-CoV-2) is not the Black Plague that it is made out to be, and certainly nothing that has the potential to kill millions of innocent people. Yet they are acting as if that is precisely what it is, seemingly just to avoid being ex-communicated from family, friends, workplaces, and society in general. As CJ Hopkins wrote, everyone knew that in 2003 Iraq did not possess “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. There were huge demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq, but after the US invaded, occupied and destroyed the lives of millions, people were seemingly no longer able to point out or argue that what was being done was wrong. The “War on Terror” narrative was in full swing, so everyone had to at least pretend to be against “terrorism”, even though they knew the Iraqis were not terrorists.[5]

Working people are bombarded each day with death figures and are told this is because of the coronavirus. This corporate media spin is a transparent subterfuge. Not a shred of context or a comparison with other causes of death or other explanation is offered. Yet a few keystrokes on a keyboard connected to the internet will reveal a dramatic false alarm. In Australia, approximately 438 people pass away each day from all causes.[6] This means that the 132 days so far this year have resulted in 57 816 deaths. Of these, if the figures can indeed be trusted, only 97 of these are due to Covid-19.[7] That is, 0.17% of the total deaths so far in Australia this year can be attributed to the coronavirus. Obviously, such a miniscule percentage cannot justify a “pandemic”.

Corporate media worldwide blew the coronavirus situation in Italy into something resembling Armageddon. The reality was again more deceptive coverage. It turns out that 99% of Italy’s coronavirus victims had other adverse and underlying health conditions. The average age of Italy’s Covid-19 fatalities (again assuming accurate figures) was 79.5 years. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have had serious co-morbid health conditions.[8] This scenario is replicated worldwide. Unless you are aged in your 70s, 80s or 90s, or you have a significant health condition which debilitates your immune system, Covid-19 is not a dangerous virus. There is a case for attempting to shield the elderly and the immune compromised from exposure to the virus in the first several weeks of its peak – while allowing the rest of the healthy population to continue to circulate. Yet there is no case for the lockdown and isolation of those who are not sick and who do not display any symptoms.

Covid-19 needs to exhaust itself

In fact, the separation and isolation of the otherwise healthy population will do two things which increases the danger. Firstly, it will prevent natural or herd immunity from being reached in ideal timeframe – five to six weeks. The virus will then hang around for longer in the community, endangering, and even contributing to more deaths of, the elderly and the immune compromised. Secondly, preventing the healthy population from being able to contract Covid-19 means that they will not develop the antibodies to fight the virus naturally, and will thus be more vulnerable to the virus as well as other viruses that will inevitably arrive.

This is where the bourgeois ideology of “stop the spread” and “social distancing” is revealed to be the dastardly sting for which it has been deviously designed. There are only two ways to deal with a virus. One is a vaccine, and the other is natural, or herd, immunity. A vaccine for Covid-19 may not be possible, or if it is, it could be two years away. There is also a strong case for not using vaccines at all, given the domination of vaccine production by Big Pharma. Natural or herd immunity, on the other hand, is the way that humanity deals with flu viruses (admittedly Covid-19 is not a flu virus per se) every single year. Some people get a flu shot, but most people deal with it through herd immunity. We know that if you catch the flu, you isolate yourself from others (and especially elderly relatives) for a week or so, until it has passed. This is practiced by everyone without even thinking about it, through collective experience.

Through intense propaganda, people are being conditioned to do anything to help “stop the spread”, that is to attempt to contain it completely. Yet this is the opposite of what will actually “stop the spread”. With a virus, the healthy population (those who are not elderly or have chronic health conditions) needs to contract it and develop the necessary anti-bodies. They then become immune to it, and they can no longer pass it on to anyone else.[9] It seems ironic, but this is what happens every single year, every single flu season. A virus needs to spread first, so that herd immunity can be reached, and then the virus burns itself out and no longer bothers humans. As much as it is the opposite of what the self-serving politicians tell us, if you are generally healthy and aged under 70, being infected with Covid-19 is not only a good thing, it is necessary to protect the immune-compromised, and to strengthen the immune systems of the community in general. It must be remembered that around 80% of those who contract the virus recover (i.e. develop natural immunity) without the need to go to hospital.[10] In other words, in order to reach its own stage of self-exhaustion, the virus must first be allowed to spread amongst those with healthy immune systems. The fact that the politicians have wilfully lied about this process strongly indicates an ulterior motive, and another agenda entirely.

Lockdowns kill

It is self-evident that lockdowns and the deliberate destruction of the economy will kill innocent human beings, in numbers that are difficult to quantify. In the US, one report has already predicted that there will be 75 000 “deaths of despair” related to the government response to Covid-19. Factors contributing to “deaths of despair” include loneliness, months long compulsory isolation and skyrocketing unemployment.[11] The lockdowns, police enforced social distancing, the crashing of the economy – this understandably leads many to excess deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicide. A report prepared for the Australian parliament described some of the devastating effects unemployment has, from entrenched poverty in retirement, negative generational effects on whole families, up to and including significantly higher mortality rates.[12] Today’s unemployment is not due a “virus”, but a premeditated shutdown of whole industries by politicians, with no conclusive scientific or medical evidence that such an act will save even one life.

In the United Kingdom (UK), 5% of the working age population have applied for unemployment benefits, while in the US 10% of the entire population have filed for social security.[13] None of this is due to a relatively weak virus – it is due to brutal lockdowns and an economic freeze ordered by their respective governments. Disallowing people to work obviously puts them and their families in a perilous situation, as many will not be able to afford to pay the rent or put food on the table. All this happens while much needed health care is cancelled or postponed, to make way in hospitals for Covid-19 patients who are all but mythical. In the UK, 40% of the beds in the public health system remain empty[14], in what is allegedly a “health crisis”. These beds could be taken up by those who have chronic health conditions, the treatment of which could prolong or save their lives. Needless to say, depriving people of the need to work, the need for human contact, and the need for healthcare is plainly not about “saving lives”. Lockdown mania is the wanton taking of lives, for political ends.

Working class political leadership is critical

Corona tyranny is evidently not about medicine, science, or the protection of anyone. As we have indicated previously, the real agenda is a preparation for fascism and imperialist war. This is why the Union bureaucracy – the spine of imperialism – has been used to politically suppress workers. The ultra-conservative and overpaid Union officials impose the false virus scaremongering on their own members, and the working class as a whole. Of course, they have done so under the facile rhetoric of “staying safe”. Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Michele O’Neil released an eight-point program which is a barely social-democratic wish list, with no intention to organise Union members to achieve it. The real aim of the elite ACTU officials was contained in the comments: “We look forward to working with governments, employers and communities (emphasis added) to develop the programs Australia needs to rebuild and make jobs more secure.”[15]  That is, Union officials (as opposed to rank-and-file members) at all levels will co-operate with the very forces enabling the onerous state repression against workers, under the guise of “rebuilding Australia”. In reality, the Union tops are very well aware that the ruling classes of the Anglo-US Empire are pushing for a catastrophic war against China, Russia, Iran and others, and are stepping up the deceit so that no Union member or worker steps out of line by questioning such insanity. Nor are workers meant to question the effective cancellation of rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly or freedom of association – despite these being crucial even just for the existence of Unions.

What is arguably worse is the fact that many parties of the so-called left have barely quibbled with the treacherous Union officials in the task of spreading obviously fake coronavirus hysteria, while pleading for a shopping list of reformist “demands”. Incredibly, these parties which call themselves socialist line up to oppose workers returning to work, while the conservative Liberal government is urging a restart. They appear to believe the world is an incredibly dangerous place now, while the Liberal government knew all along it was all for show. Toeing the coronavirus line we find: Socialist Alliance[16], Socialist Alternative[17], Solidarity[18], Trotskyist Platform[19], Communist Party of Australia[20], Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)[21], Australian Communist Party[22], and the Socialist Equality Party[23]. All of them, to one degree or another, fan the flames of corona hysteria while making derisory pleas for more funding for healthcare. In practice, all of them have run into the arms of the bourgeois class while acting as their lieutenants enforcing a police state.

Before the working class can take one step forward against the ideological onslaught, it must help organise and lead resistance to the monstrous lockdowns and inane social distancing. The left must combat the epic betrayal of the Union officials and the so-called left parties who currently seem unable to question corporate politicians and its servile media. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association are not abstract rights. Capital has used a fake pandemic to remove these rights and will not return them unless workers take them back using their own power. We seek to fill the vacuum of leadership by taking the first steps towards a Marxist vanguard party. Join us!

WORKERS  LEAGUE
www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article242129761.html (12-05-2020)

[2] https://www.dw.com/en/germany-thousands-of-protesters-slam-isolation-measures/a-53382891 (12-05-2020)

[3] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8299429/Anti-vaxxers-5G-conspiracy-theorists-protest-coronavirus-lockdown-Victoria-Mothers-Day (12-05-2020)

[4] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8303083/Dramatic-moment-mother-protesting-rights-arrested-son-Sydney (12-05-2020)

[5] https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/05/virus-of-mass-destruction/ (12-05-2020)

[6] https://realnewsaustralia.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-that-is-the-question/ (12-05-2020)

[7] https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers (12-05-2020)

[8] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/99-of-those-who-died-from-virus-had-other-illness-italy-says (12-05-2020)

[9] https://lovebreedsaccountability.com/2020/05/01/your-mask-is-making-you-meaner-dumber-more-afraid-less-safe/ (12-05-2020)

[10] https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/treat-symptoms-at-home.html (13-05-2020)

[11] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-deaths-suicides-drugs-alcohol-pandemic-75000/ (13-05-2020)

[12] www.aphref.aph.gov.au_house_committee_ewr_owk_report_chapter2.pdf (13-05-2020)

[13] https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/12/opposing-lockdown-is-not-profits-before-people/ (13-05-2020)

[14] https://www.hsj.co.uk/acute-care/nhs-hospitals-have-four-times-more-empty-beds-than-normal/7027392.article (13-05-2020)

[15] https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2020/australian-unions-call-for-2-million-new-secure-jobs-and-halving-of-job-insecurity-to-rebuild-economy (14-05-2020)

[16] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/workers-must-fight-back-10-demands-make-sure-no-worker-left-behind (14-05-2020)

[17] https://redflag.org.au/node/7179 (14-05-2020)

[18] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/may-1-convoy-protest-says-no-to-job-cuts-and-attacks-on-wages/ (14-05-2020)

[19] https://www.trotskyistplatform.com/no-job-cuts-no-unpaid-stand-downs/ (14-05-2020)

[20] https://cpa.org.au/guardian/2020/1914/01-profit.html (14-05-2020)

[21] https://www.cpaml.org/post4.php?id=1589275276&catitem1=People%27s%20Issues&catid1=19 (14-05-2020)

[22] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2020/4/23/covid19-and-the-dark-heart-of-capitalism (14-05-2020)

[23] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/12/viru-m12.html (14-05-2020)

Lift the Lockdowns! No to a Police State!

Police patrol Coogee Beach in Sydney. Image from Reddit

Lift the Lockdowns! No to a Police State!

04-04-2020 – The rhetoric is health and safety; the reality is potential fascism and war. Under the pretext of “public health”, Australia’s elites are installing measures which – under any other circumstance – would be denounced as those of a totalitarian dictatorship. This is not to say that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is not, at some level, a health concern. Yet the measures the Western ruling classes are implementing are likely to create health conditions far more dangerous than the virus itself. It appears the Coronavirus is being used as an excuse to exert extreme ideological and political control of working people, in order to wage economic and perhaps military war against those states who have the temerity to say no to imperialism. A police state, or a state of semi-fascism, would for the capitalist class provide the ideal conditions for the launching of a pre-emptive war against those countries they cannot control.

Lockdown the healthy?

Lockdowns and orders to stay at home are in place across Australia and other nations. Sweden, however, has not gone into lockdown mania. Life largely goes on as normal, with only gatherings of more than 500 people prohibited. Neighbouring Norway has a similar amount of cases (around 3000), and entered lockdowns weeks ago, which meant unemployment quadrupled.[1] Absurdly, the Australian government has banned gatherings of more than 2 (!) people, inside or outside. “Stage 3” lockdowns have been in place, with threats of “Stage 4”.[2]  Fines worth thousands of dollars are to be wielded by the police against those found violating the 2 person gathering limit or the “social distancing” measures.[3] Isolation of those infected with Coronavirus is rational advice, but an attempt to stop any form of social interaction amongst the healthy is deeply suspicious.

Some doctors are publicly questioning the lockdowns, which appear to be driven by a combination of government and corporate media fueled hysteria. Swedish doctor Anders Tegnell stated that older people and people with significant health concerns should be isolated, as well as anyone with slight cold symptoms, but that is all.[4] Indian doctor Anurag Agarwal claimed that physical distancing (rather than social distancing) is necessary, but lockdowns have dire effects not just in health terms.[5] It appears no timeframes are being given for the lockdowns, leaving some to wonder whether they will be semi-permanent. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says six months will be needed. The political establishment and their staffers have no need to be concerned about changing their lifestyle very much at all within that time period. Workers and the now estimated 1 million unemployed workers in Australia, on the other hand, will have a much more difficult time dealing with the many restrictions.

The real dangers of the Coronavirus have been seriously exaggerated, as if there was an intention to frighten people. Television pictures from Italy appear to be serious, but what are the facts? A scientific paper published on the 17th of March reported that 87% of deaths in Italy have been patients over 70 years of age – the same as what happens every flu season.[6] The chief of Italy’s Superior Institute of Health reported that the majority of deaths from the Coronavirus have been among the very old – the average age being 80.3 years. The majority of deaths had three or more serious simultaneous health issues. Just two people under 40 perished, both were 39. But one had cancer, and the other had diabetes, obesity and other health problems prior to being infected.[7]

Even in the United States of America, where the Coronavirus appears to have spread significantly, the actual chance of losing your life is very low. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US noted that of those who contract the Coronavirus, the death rate for those over 80 years of age is 10.4%, 5.35% for over 70s, 1.51% for over 60s, and 0.37% in the over 50s. There are lower rates for those younger, dropping to zero for those under 29.[8] Prudent advice would be for those in a vulnerable demographic to exercise more care, and perhaps avoid huge crowds. Usual health measures of eating well and exercising apply as at all times. Yet there is no serious threat to humanity from Covid-19.

Pandemic?

In an interview with Bonnie Faulkner, Professor Michel Chossudovsky relayed the fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC) on January 30, in relation to the Covid-19 events in Wuhan in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). At the time, there were only 150 confirmed cases of Covid-19 outside of China. The world’s population is 7.8 billion, take away China of 1.4 billion, leaves us with 6.4 billion. So only 150 cases out of 6.4 billion was declared a PHEIC[9], and later a “pandemic”. Under any description, 150 out of 6.4 billion cannot be a “pandemic”. There is another agenda at work here, and it reeks of imperial geopolitics.

As we have previously mentioned, there is a distinct possibility that the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan was actually an act of biological war launched by the Pentagon against the PRC.[10] The PRC government has not stated in official terms that it was, but some experts within China urged the US to release the health status of the US military athletes who visited Wuhan in October last year for the World Military Games[11], to help locate the original source. The Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp of Iran publicly stated that the coronavirus may well be a US biological weapon, first aimed at China, then Iran and other states.[12] The Russian government, like the PRC government, has restrained itself from publicly speculating whether Covid-19 was a US based attempt to attack China and/or Russia. Yet some Russian politicians and some Russian media outlets have published articles which claim exactly that.[13] It is speculation, but it is all in one direction.

Union officials, left parties act as arms of the state

Australia’s top Union officials (not members) have openly sided with the government and the state against “their own” workers. Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU) secretary Sally McManus reportedly has had daily briefings with PM Scott Morrison. Incredibly, at the joint request of Union officials and employers, the Orwellian named Fair Work Commission ruled that worker’s hours can be reduced, and normal time hours be extended, at any time during the alleged Coronavirus crisis. The unaccountable officials of the Australian Services Union agreed with major employers that hours where penalty rates should not apply extend from 6am to 11pm.[14] The officials of the United Workers Union of hospitality staff agreed with large employers that they should be allowed to reduce full-time hours to as little as 22.8 hours per week.[15] No doubt these officials did not even bother to even consult their members about this before openly offering to abolish working conditions won over decades of struggle.

Workers know, from their own experience, that employers will use ANY excuse to reduce wages or abolish conditions. The alleged Coronavirus “pandemic” produces a golden opportunity for large, medium and small business owners to once again push down the price of labour power – workers’ wages. Yet some Australian left parties cripple the ability of workers to resist this drive by agreeing with the capitalist class that there is a “public health emergency”, and even call for more workers to be stood down – albeit with pay.  The danger is that if workers agree with the employers’ (fake) excuse for a stand down, they are scarcely able to bargain about the terms of the stand down.

Some left parties assist the scaremongering. Solidarity does highlight instances of workers and Unions fighting back, while spreading hysteria that “150 000 could die in a worst-case scenario”.[16] Socialist Alternative has correctly called out Union officials for working with the government to reduce workers conditions. Yet they have also organised the “Workers Organising Resistance in the Pandemic” group – which agitates for workplaces to be shut down![17] The Communist Party of Australia explicitly called for a 2 week shutdown,[18] to which the government immediately agreed – and effectively made it six months. The Socialist Alliance calls for an even “wider shutdown than what is being proposed now”, (!) albeit one without the “draconian police measures currently being deployed”.[19] (!!)

Shredding of elementary rights

Yet here is the rub – once you call for intervention of any sort by the capitalist state, workers cannot control how the ruling class will carry out such action. The government is not “ours”, and therefore its state cannot be used in the interests of working people. It is not only fruitless to call on the capitalist state to act on your behalf – to do so vastly strengthens and emboldens it. It has other aims it needs to implement in its interests. In this case the “draconian police measures” are vastly understated. Never in their wildest dreams did the fascists of Nazi Germany have the power to restrict indoor and outdoor gatherings to two people! Yet this is precisely what the Australian government has done today, along with the potential total closure of public beaches, public parks, gyms, pubs, clubs and so on. At a stroke, a police state has been implemented which severely curtails, if not abolishes, freedom of movement. In addition, under the (false) guise of “public health”, almost all political activity has been eliminated – something which could not be achieved without a global war – or a (fake) “pandemic”.

Some can see the immense danger this proposes. It is the descent into a police state which is far more frightening than any virus. Michael Bradley wrote that the situation is such that citizens now have to prove their innocence before they are arrested. He noted that people walking or being stationery now have to give a “reasonable excuse” to police why they are outside.[20] Former British diplomat Craig Murray noted that dictatorship usually begins with emergency measures to combat a threat. Once these measures are in place, a new threat is found to continue the “emergency” measures.[21]  Lawyers advocate Greg Barns correctly noted that laws created in a crisis (e.g. September 11, 2001, the “anti-terror” laws) are very rarely, if ever, lifted or rolled back.[22] Here lies the outcome of calls by some on the left for shutdowns and lockdowns!

There is another agenda being driven here, but it is not “public health”. Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela, Cuba – all took swift measures to contain the virus, which is a health issue to some extent. But, as far as we know, in these states which are relentlessly targeted by imperialism there were no workers thrown out of a job, no overblown hysteria, and no implementation of a police state. Ironically, all of these states are falsely accused by liberals in the West of “authoritarianism”, and even “tyranny”. Now, the boot is well and truly on the other foot, as the governments of Australia, the US and Europe emerge as even more authoritarian and tyrannical than those they accuse. Workers should be aware that the real agenda could be imperialist war launched by the Pentagon against the non-imperialist states, or any ally of China and Russia. Witness the fact that the US government, at the height of the coronavirus hysteria, has acted to tighten the murderous sanctions on Iran, and has indicted Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on baseless and evidence free charges of “narco-terrorism”.[23]

What is required is a united front of action of all those forces opposed to lockdowns which have little or no medical basis, those opposed to the imposition of a police state, and those opposed to needless job cuts and the willful crashing of the economy. This may mean a temporary alliance with non-working class forces, but leftists should not at all discard the Marxist program. On the contrary, the forging of a vanguard party remains more critical than ever, as does the struggle for the socialisation of the major means of production, energy, transport and banking. Then, a truly public health care system can be established, free from all interference from agents of the corporate elite.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://news.yahoo.com/swedens-resistance-lockdown-raises-questions-155335578.html (01-04-2020)

[2] https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/coronavirus-australia-what-would-stage-four-lockdown-mean/news-story/eeb4e4b4a6c77ba8475aba9c5448e561 (01-04-2020)

[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-31/how-australian-states-are-enforcing-coronavirus-measures/12106774 (01-04-2020)

[4] https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/28/10-more-experts-criticising-the-coronavirus-panic/

[5] https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/now-is-not-the-time-for-lockdown-says-doctor-as-india-fights-coronavirus-outbreak/story-G71Cdbo3YJR9dGsikh8nfO.html (01-04-2020)

[6] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763401?guestAccessKey=72f61225-c3fd-4fb1-81fd-09b6a1666aaa&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=031720 (01-04-2020)

[7] https://www.sott.net/article/431559-First-Do-No-Harm-If-Primary-Healthcare-Remains-Shut-Down-Toll-on-Elderly-Will-be-Worse-Than-COVID-19 (01-04-2020)

[8] https://journal-neo.org/2020/03/27/covid-19-hysteria-vs-your-actual-very-low-chance-of-dying/ (01-04-2020)

[9] https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-coronavirus-crisis/5706741 (02-04-2020)

[10] https://redfireonline.com/2020/03/22/covid-19-natural-pathogen-or-biological-war/ (02-04-2020)

[11] https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1183658.shtml (02-04-2020)

[12] https://tass.com/world/1127137 (02-04-2020)

[13] https://zvezdaweekly.ru/news/t/20201291341-AfM0x.html (02-04-2020)

[14] https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/award-flexibility-during-coronavirus/clerks-award-flexibility-during-coronavirus (04-04-2020)

[15] https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/award-flexibility-during-coronavirus/hospitality-award-flexibility-during-coronavirus (04-04-2020)

[16] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/editorial-morrisons-failure-to-stop-the-virus-the-result-of-a-sick-system/ (04-04-2020)

[17] https://www.facebook.com/WorkersOrganisingResistance/ (04-04-2020)

[18] https://www.cpa.org.au/resources/party-statements/index.html (04-04-2020)

[19] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/covid-19-mass-testing-shut-downs-and-guaranteed-incomes-all (04-04-2020)

[20] https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/04/01/new-world-citizens-rights-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2QIMcLE9Fmh7Oi80h9Qn9LWYc3aNXOkNM7c5l0SbC781Ze9EMhK85V_B (04-04-2020)

[21] https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/how-it-starts/?fbclid=IwAR3SbN9XZU9hUTG2gXYgaSuyO9X86MUMjtwJrMvxYUsTAHMPSxNPIE7z9CY (04-04-2020)

[22] https://www.smh.com.au/national/laws-created-in-a-crisis-are-very-rarely-rolled-back-20200331-p54foj.html?fbclid=IwAR2G0CszxjScB8q5BXfpyR25pqtuWgWeqSplwosmf7JduNoQ1uWBKtPcc0k (04-04-2020)

[23] https://www.newsweek.com/us-iran-sanctions-venezuela-president-indicted-coronavirus-1494522 (04-04-2020)

Covid-19: Natural Pathogen, or Biological War?

Covid-19: Natural Pathogen, or Biological War?

22-03-2020 – As the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) crisis spreads further throughout the globe, the spectre of an unprecedented economic depression looms large. As with the Great Depression in the 1930s, the private-profit based economies at that time did not have a hope of a release from its grip. It was “resolved” the only way it could have been – through a World War. This outcome suspends itself over the planet now. Even without the Corona Virus outbreak, the capitalist economies of the United States (US), Europe, Japan and Australia had effectively limped along since the Great Recession of 2008. These desperately waning economic conditions drove the imperialist axis to wage regime change wars or attempted coups against Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or “North Korea”), Iran, Bolivia and Honduras, at the least. These hostile acts were pre-cursors to the real targets of Washington and their acolytes – the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  Workers should be aware that the US Empire’s dangerous hostility to Russia and China will not abate regardless of how the Corona Virus crisis plays out.

Where did Covid-19 come from?

The US Empire (backed by Paris, Berlin, London, Canberra) is desperate to slow or stop the indomitable economic rise of Red China, and the political and diplomatic power that flows therefrom. Washington knows that US corporations – during a virtual recession in the West – cannot compete against the giant socialist state backed industries within the PRC. It also knows that a military attempt at regime change in the PRC is impossible, given the size of China population wise, and the PRC’s possession of advanced nuclear weapons. Thus, the priority flows to political attempts to undermine the authority of the government, along with attempts to break away some of its component parts, such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. Given the fact that these efforts had so far largely failed – even if they had fooled many liberals in the West – it is not unreasonable to suggest that Washington is trying something different with the Corona Virus, regardless of the eminently misanthropic consequences.

Despite attempts to paint Covid-19 as a “Chinese” virus, there is some evidence to suggest that it did not originate in the PRC at all. A report in the English language Global Times newspaper in China, first broke the story that a study by ChinaXiv, an open repository for Chinese scientific researchers, had indicated that the Huanan Seafood market in Wuhan was NOT the original source of the novel coronavirus. The study indicates that “patient zero” introduced the virus to the market last November, with the crowded market then providing grounds for its relatively rapid spread to others.[1]  A report on a Japanese TV station also made the claim that Covid-19 may have originated in the US. Apparently some 14 000 fatalities due to influenza over the previous period may have been due to Covid-19. Moreover, the Military World Games were held in Wuhan last October, with one social media user speculating that the virus had been brought with the US delegates.[2] Various theories are floating around the internet, mainly over whether the release of the virus was accidental or deliberate.

No less than Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian posted open questions on social media to the US government about the known extent of Corona Virus. He posted a video of Robert Redfield, a director of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, admitting that some Americans who had died from influenza later tested positive to the Corona Virus. “When did patient zero begin in US?  How many people are infected? …. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”[3] While the exact origin of the Corona Virus may not be able to be known, developments such as these raise pertinent questions. In the spirit of never believing anything until it is officially denied, US Secretary of State and arch war hawk Mike Pompeo swiftly shot back accusing Zhao Lijian, and China generally, of spreading “outlandish rumours”. A US state department official even stated that the spreading of “conspiracy theories” is dangerous.[4]

It takes some chutzpah for the US to accuse China of spreading “conspiracy theories” at the very same time as US government officials and corporate media fling baseless and evidence free claims of 1 million Uyghurs being detained in the Xinjiang province. And for all the whining from the West about “authoritarianism” in the PRC, the fact is that the Chinese government’s measures to contain and control the Corona Virus have been unmatched by any Western counterpart. China’s efforts to build a 1000 bed hospital from scratch in under two weeks[5] is by now well known. Western economies running on a for-profit basis with governments enthralled by private corporations would not even be able to contemplate, let alone attempt, such a feat. For all the misunderstanding about the PRC economy, the fact is that it does not operate primarily on the basis of production for profit, and the major and strategic means of production are state owned – a legacy of the victory of the 1949 socialist revolution.

Act of biological war?

Despite the distorted leadership of the PRC by the essentially nationalist Communist Party of China (CPC), the simple existence of the Chinese workers’ state and its still rising economic power spell the end of US primacy of the globe – something the US ruling class cannot afford to allow. They are prepared to use any measure to prevent other countries looking to China for economic and even political leadership. While it would be difficult to determine scientifically, it is feasible to suggest that the intention was to bring down the powerhouse Chinese economy, in order to give the ailing US economy some respite.  If so, this appears to have backfired, with the New York Mayor recently declaring that city to be the new epicenter of the Corona Virus.[6]  Yet the question must be posed as to why China, Iran and Italy, out of the 196 countries in the world, have been hardest hit. It has been mooted that Italy was the first G7 country to sign on to Red China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road), while Iran has been attempting to bypass the crippling US sanctions on its economy by importing from China while selling China its oil.[7] As the Chinarising website reports, at one point Iran had 10 000 cases of Corona Virus, while the countries between Iran and China had virtually nil. Also, India, with a similar population to China, but with hundreds of millions more people living in dire poverty and in many cases with poor sanitation, has been left almost unscathed.[8]

The US ruling class is known for its use of biological war against its declared enemies. During the Vietnam War, the US dumped Agent Orange by the gigalitre on an innocent people resisting the imperialist behemoth. Socialist Cuba has also been targeted. What is more, the Russian government had recently warned the world of its grave concerns that the US was developing biological weapons. In November last year, the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, sounded the alarm that the Pentagon had established some 200 biological laboratories which study infectious diseases and can be used to manufacture biological weapons. Many of these labs had been set up in the countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.[9]

What acts of imperialist subterfuge can be determined is the fact that the US has increased already crippling sanctions against Iran, at the peak of the Corona Virus outbreak.[10] This at a time when the Russian and Chinese governments, amongst many others around the world, had been issuing pleas for the US to lift its sanctions on Iran, to assist global efforts against the Corona Virus.[11] Google, ever reliable as an arm of US foreign policy, chimed in by removing Iran’s Corona Virus app from the Google Play Store.[12] The app was released by the Iranian government to help detect patients. This makes a mockery of US government claims that it would offer Iran assistance for the outbreak.

Social and political control

That the Corona Virus is a pathogen which needs to be combatted is not in doubt. What is suspicious is the way in which it is being used to implement mass social and political control, which could be an attempt by the imperialist West to practice a test run of submission to authority for their ultimate goal – catastrophic war against Russia and China. The banning of mass gatherings, enforceable by the police, could easily become permanent measures if not resisted by workers. In Queensland, the police are now monitoring venues with indoor events that may exceed 100 people. Fines of up to $50 000 or 12 months in jail could be applied in different Australian states.[13] If society is at a stage where public meetings can be shut-down by the armed forces of the state – we must question what the difference is with fascism. The corporate media is now so practiced at deceiving masses of people with propaganda, it can induce almost whole populations to dance to its tune.

The corporate media acts as an arm of the governments that protect their profits. In “normal” times, many workers suspect and/or understand this. Yet this time, the capitalist class seems to be willing to trigger an economic recession by throwing millions of workers out of employment. It’s as if they were just itching for the chance to sack workers. QANTAS has stood down 20 000 of its workers, and even claimed that the viability of the airline could be at stake. While there has been a murmur of dissent from the Transport Workers Union officials, saying that this amounts to workers bailing out the airline,[14]  there were no moves to organise resistance to this move at airports or at other workplaces.

The top Union officials, remunerated to the tune of six-figure salaries at the expense of Union members, are once again playing their role as political police of rank and file workers. In Queensland, the Queensland Council of Union executive wasted no time in cancelling Labour Day marches planned for 2020.[15] On the unconvincing grounds of protecting “public safety”, the ultra-conservative QCU executive was only too happy to present itself as one with the government of the elites. No other provisions for even consulting workers, or organising smaller meetings where workers could discuss or plan a response, was provided. The only action component proposed was that workers sign a petition [!!] for leave for casual workers!  The virtual absence of democratic rights for workers within the Unions, enforced by careerist officials, results in such tragicomic outcomes.

Well-heeled Union officials, the corporate media, venture capitalists, and even left groups who usually parade their “socialist” convictions, are now lining up as one. Whether they call on the government to “take the crisis seriously” or encourage people to visit government approved websites, they are all in lockstep with what appears to be a preparation for World War III. The numbers are simply not there for a “pandemic”. The production for profit economy was already effectively in recession, and large and small employers were just itching for an excuse to cut their costs by laying off workers without resistance. What better opportunity than a supposed health crisis? Those with serious capital will not lose out by mass retrenchments of workers – in fact they could well make big money out of it.

Mass retrenchment of workers will cause immense hardship and suffering for the majority of workers who only earn enough to pay the bills, and many not even that. The goal of the rulers appears to have been to once again enforce submission to authority without question. US imperialism (backed by Canberra) was seriously defeated in their war of regime change against Syria. Standing in the way of the US juggernaut was Russia, and to a lesser extent, China. Unable to accept defeat, it is not unlikely to assume that Washington is turning to any method whatever – even the fueling of biological war – in a vain attempt to reassert its fast slipping global hegemony. While workers should participate in reasonable health precautions, docile submission to attacks on jobs and living standards should be resisted. Imperialist war provocations should be rejected, and preparations made for an internationally planned and collectively owned economy. A workers’ party which leads the masses against the never-ending crisis of the profit system remains the most urgent necessity.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1180429.shtml (18-03-2020)

[2] http://en.people.cn/n3/2020/0223/c90000-9661026.html (18-03-2020)

[3] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/coronavirus-chinese-official-suggests-u-s-army-blame-outbreak-n1157826 (18-03-2020)

[4] https://thehill.com/policy/international/487853-pompeo-warns-china-against-spreading-outlandish-rumors-about-coronavirus (18-03-2020)

[5] https://www.france24.com/en/20200204-china-opens-virus-hospital-built-from-scratch-in-under-two-weeks (21-03-2020)

[6] https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-live-updates-china-exonerates-whistleblower-doctor-warned/story?id=69702910 (21-03-2020)

[7] https://www.globalresearch.ca/more-than-just-virus/5706476 (21-03-2020)

[8] https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2020/03/16/kim-iverson-reports-the-same-geopolitical-observations-about-biowarfare-your-passport-has-a-lot-to-do-with-your-exposure-to-covid-19-the-ramifications-for-you-and-your-loved-ones-is-explained-china/ (21-03-2020)

[9] https://journal-neo.org/2020/02/20/us-wages-biological-war-against-china/(21-03-2020)

[10] https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/18/621105/US-fresh-sanctions-Iran-coronavirus-outbreak?fbclid=IwAR2F_ICOKi9ojx4QLMU3p-MMWFMdRznJp2FCKAvuEe6xcqTa0jkW7rjDrJg (21-03-2020)

[11] https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-china-and-russia-call-us-lift-iran-sanctions?fbclid=IwAR2sE4qPdLeLb1uwjR3fvrvy-pKaM1MWckggdpNKpMScJF8cTxUvY959kPU (21-03-2020)

[12] https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/11/620625/Google-Iran-coronavirus-US-sanctions-Trump-medicine?fbclid=IwAR01LkXDjKo4Rxv4yAg3tzgpNF41IwYMkUOJqot4sfg0pR5kaRFRiZ31RF8 (21-03-2020)

[13] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/coronavirus-self-isolation-whos-making-sure-you-stay-indoors/12078074?fbclid=IwAR1T6YXt1AFDkk9bhpVHVYzelVrNOKKrgkScng6SRqbeWjbntHoFAbOW5To (22-03-2020)

[14] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-19/qantas-to-stand-down-two-thirds-of-employees-due-to-coronavirus/12069876?fbclid=IwAR17XkUVtnqbRoLeUlpQoUpIr2y9SecSoaS76J4zkoKO8T7PumEC_LhTh0Y (22-03-2020)

[15] https://www.queenslandunions.org/workers-put-community-health-and-safety-first-in-cancelling-labour-day-events/ (22-03-2020)

Philippines Says Yes to BRI, No to VFA

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Image from Thai Visa Forum

Philippines Says Yes to BRI, No to VFA

07-03-2020: In a ground-breaking move, in February the popularly elected Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte followed through on his previous indications he would downgrade the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the government of the United States of America (US). He gave the US formal notice of his decision to scrap the long standing bilateral agreement.[1] The VFA, signed in 1998, had given the US a virtual free hand to rotate its troops throughout the Philippines, the main purpose of which was to conduct joint “military exercises”. In reality, the VFA ensured legal immunity for the actions of US troops on Filipino territory, while integrating the Philippines into the web of US imperialist threatened assaults on the Pacific region. Thanks to stirring bravery shown by President Duterte – standing up to the US despite possible threats to his own life – for the first time the Philippines is breaking from its former colonial power, and on to more productive and beneficial relations with other powers which show it respect – particularly the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Decline of US as regional hegemon

Although this decision was ostensibly in response to the US revoking the visa of Philippine Senator Dela Rosa, there are deeper moves afoot. Senator Dela Rosa was the former National Police Chief who headed President Duterte’s war on drug dealers and pushers, which liberal (and US backed) NGOs have criticised for alleged abuses of “human rights”. Yet most Filipinos strongly support President Duterte as well as his declared determination to deal with the drug problem in the country. They are aware that liberal (conservative in practice) opposition to the drug war is linked to the fake “human rights” industry, wielded by the West to bring Third World countries to heel. And in fact, President Duterte’s war on drug dealers has been backed by US President Donald Trump several times.[2] On this and many other issues, President Trump differs to the US deep state and his liberal Democrat opposition.

Incredibly, the cancellation of the VFA ends legal immunity for US troops operating in the Philippines.[3] Many people in Japan have protested for decades demanding the ending of legal immunity for US troops operating there. This is another strong sign that President Duterte is leading the push to pivot the Philippines away from the US and towards the PRC – and Russia – for the first time in history. This can only be welcomed by workers in the Philippines and internationally. US imperialism has been gung-ho recently, potentially preparing for a military conflict with the socialist giant of the PRC. President Duterte’s “pivot” away from the US and towards China and Russia throws another spanner in the works of US plans to use the Philippines as a staging post to a possible war with the PRC. It is a move which could give the Philippines some protection in case of a Washington launched World War III.[4] It is also another indicator that US imperialist power is declining in the Asia-Pacific, thanks to links nations there can forge with China and Russia. As neither China nor Russia are imperialist, these links are not ones of domination or plunder, but ties of mutual benefit.

Philippines joins the New Silk Road

In November 2018, President Duterte and PRC President Xi Jinping signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) linking the Philippines as yet another country to have signed on to the PRC’s trillion dollar trade and infrastructure Belt and Road Initiative (BRI – sometimes referred to as the New Silk Road). In the MOU, the Philippines and the PRC agree to co-operate in infrastructure, trade, investment development, and interconnectivity in the transportation, telecommunication and energy sectors.[5]  This gels with President Duterte’s recent slogan of “Build, Build, Build”, which aims to lift the infrastructure of the Philippines finally from Third World status. It is the PRC’s gargantuan socialist economy, predominantly state owned and controlled, which enables it to launch such a vast project across some 60 countries. President Duterte sought to take advantage of the BRI and links with the PRC because he is one of the leaders who can see that the rise of China offers tangible benefits for other countries which the US is not in a position to offer, given its long term economic, and therefore political, decline.

US imperialism (backed by Canberra) is the number one enemy of working and oppressed people worldwide. This is one reason why workers internationally should welcome the moves by President Duterte to tilt the Philippines away from the US and towards the PRC for mutual economic benefit. It ensures that the Philippines will not aid, nor be a staging post, for a US led war against the PRC. In addition, the tilt towards Russia for security issues adds a vital counterbalance to the ever-present danger of US military provocations, so workers must not stand in the way of this either. The majority of Filipino workers strongly support President Duterte, regardless of his liberal critics, internally and externally. This is a crucial factor which Marxists must take into account – as it cannot be denied.

Despite this, the only permanent solution to the problem of economic underdevelopment in the Philippines and the threat of US led imperialist war is the triumph of the workers through proletarian revolutions in the region. Workers’ power in Australia, Japan and the US would be a vast step towards socialism. The PRC, on the other hand, requires a real re-alignment of its political leadership towards genuine Leninism. Key to this perspective are the forging of vanguard parties to guide workers to realise their potential. In the meantime, such parties should strategically defend Filipino sovereignty against US imperialism, and its alliances with the non-imperialist powers. This means a temporary bloc with the Duterte administration against those who would join with non-Trumpist Washington – US backed NGOs, the “human rights” industrial complex, and assorted social-democrats.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireoline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box  66   NUNDAH   QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/11/philippines-to-terminate-troop-agreement-with-us

(07-03-2020)

[2] https://fortune.com/2018/02/26/trump-dealth-penalty-capital-punishment-drug-dealers-duterte/

(07-03-2020)

[3] https://www.sott.net/article/428847-Duterte-counter-sanctions-by-terminating-US-militarys-immunity-from-prosecution-in-the-Philippines (07-03-2020)

[4] https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/02/23/philippine-patriots-say-no-to-wwiii-and-yes-to-the-new-silk-road/

(07-03-2020)

[5] https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/11/27/philippines-china-memorandum-of-understanding-belt-and-road-initiative.html

(07-03-2020)

Olympics 2020: Let the Russians Play!

Russian Ice Hockey players at the last Winter Olympics, wearing the “Olympic Athlete from Russia” jersey. Image from Zimbio

Olympics 2020: Let the Russians Play!

27-01-2020: The US Empire’s hybrid war on Russia covers many arenas, extending even into sport. On December 9 last year, the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approved recommendations to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sporting competitions for a period of four years. WADA also banned Russian state officials, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) officials and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) officials from attending global sports tournaments. This means that Russia as such will be banned from the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, the Paralympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the FIFA (soccer) World Cup (!) in Qatar in 2022. In 2016, WADA claimed over 1000 Russian athletes were involved in state-sponsored doping – without providing credible evidence proving the allegation.[1]

Breathtaking hypocrisy

To say this is a political decision, rather than a sports administration decision, is vastly understating matters. The use of performance enhancing drugs in elite level sports is a global problem, and no country is unaffected by it. But to claim that Russia has a state-sponsored doping program – without evidence – is clearly a geopolitical move by Washington to undermine the nation which is exposing its hypocrisy on many fronts, and thereby even approaching global political leadership. The US ruling class is preparing its people for a possible war with Russia – and this must be preceded by years of extreme Russophobia and propaganda demonising an entire nation. The lies that are required for this are piled upon each other until they form a mountain.

Even the author of WADA’s McLaren report, which was used to ban Russia at previous Olympics and, incredibly, Paralympics, admits that WADA does not have evidence of a state-sponsored sports doping program in Russia. When asked in an interview to respond to Dmitry Peskov’s statement that “as long as there is no evidence of a state-sponsored doping program, it is difficult to respond to accusations, which appear unfounded…”, Professor Richard McLaren stated: “Dmitry’s correct. We don’t have any evidence of a systematic state-wide doping mechanism. [Emphasis added] If we did, we would have published it and so we have to go on the inference.”[2] So the head of the infamous report into “Russian sports doping” himself admits no fault on the part of the Russian government, but also claims that the (unfounded) incendiary accusations must proceed on an inference.

Ever since sports doping became an issue, there has been no shortage of US representatives amongst those who have been found guilty of doping. Remember Carl Lewis, who was awarded the 100 metres gold medal from the Seoul Olympics in 1988, after the winner Ben Johnson was disqualified for using a steroid? Carl Lewis later admitted that he failed three tests during the 1988 Olympic trials, which under international rules at the time should have disqualified him from competing at the Seoul Olympics two months later. However, the automatic ban was overturned by none other than the US Olympic Committee (USOC) ! Carl Lewis’s response to this in 2003 was “Who cares if I failed the drug tests?”.[3] This was just one of the cases at that time that the USOC was accused of covering up and ignoring.

In 2000, Sydney in Australia hosted the Olympic Games. Those games were full of allegations that US athletes had used performance enhancing drugs to win medals. The USOC flatly denied it. Then, several years, later the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) scandal emerged. One of the stars of the Sydney Olympics, US athlete Marion Jones, won five medals including three gold. BALCO head Victor Conte admitted creating drug cocktails, and named dozens of athletes, including Jones. Jones sued Conte for defamation, but in 2007 admitted that it was all true. She received a six-month jail term for lying to federal investigators and was stripped of her medals.[4] The probe which started this was headed by none other than Professor Richard McLaren. Other US athletes at the Sydney games who were suspended for sports drug violations were Regina Jacobs, Alvin Harrison, Michelle Collins, Kevin Toth and John McEwen.[5]

In fact, of the top ten running doping disqualifications in world history, six of them were American.[6] Arguably the biggest doping scandal in cycling history involves US cyclist Lance Armstrong. Between 1999 and 2005, Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles. Allegations of performance enhancing drug use dogged the latter part of his career, which he denied. It turned out that all of these victories were won while being doped up. In 2013 he admitted extensive drug use throughout his career, and was stripped of a bronze medal he won at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.[7] Despite a wealth of examples over previous decades, there is not even a hint of a suggestion that the USA should be banned from the Olympics, the Paralympics or the FIFA World Cup.

Expose the Empire

Imperialism uses many different means to wage war against its enemies – the military means is but one. Through sport, politics, culture, ideology, the US ruling class is waging a desperate campaign to avoid being outshone by Russia – even as the Russian government itself endlessly attempts to co-operate with the US. Despite this, Russia (with the help of Iran) effectively defeated the US in its regime change war on Syria. Russia was also a prime reason why the US could not regime change Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. In Europe, Russia is doing all it can to defuse the threats posed to it by NATO troop mobilisations on its borders. These efforts delegitimise US imperialism in the eyes of the world’s workers even further, and politically strengthen Russia. Hence, the litany of false accusations of state-sponsored sports doping. If we are to prevent the horror of nuclear war, the world’s workers must side with those states resisting US imperialism.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://ahtribune.com/world/europe/russia/3709-banning-russian-athletes.html (27-01-2020)

[2] https://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/trackandfield/richard-mclaren-russian-doping-wada-1.3314048 (27-01-2020)

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2003/apr/24/athletics.duncanmackay (27-01-2020)

[4] https://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/31/us/balco-fast-facts/ (27-01-2020)

[5] https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/guilty-until-proven-guilty/ri16032 (27-01-2020)

[6] https://www.podiumrunner.com/the-top-10-running-doping-scandals-of-all-time_28190 (27-01-2020)

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/mar/09/lance-armstrong-cycling-doping-scandal (27-01-2020)

 

No War on Iran! US: Get Out of Iraq and Syria!

Mourners mark General Soleimani’s assassination in Baghdad. http://www.politico.com

No War On Iran!  US: Get Out of Iraq and Syria!

05-01-2020: In an act of cold blooded murder, the US military assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the leader of Kata’eb Hezbollah, in air strike on Baghdad Airport on New Year’s Day.[1] General Soleimani was the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, and was overwhelmingly popular as the key leader of the military defence of the 1979 Iranian revolution. In every sense of the word, General Soleimani is a martyr in the cause of resistance to the scourge which threatens the world – US imperialism.

Absurdly, US President Donald Trump claimed in the aftermath that the US “took action to stop a war…we did not take action to start a war”.[2] Defying reality, Trump also claimed that the US does not seek regime change in Iran. Little could be further from the truth. For four decades, the US has remained in better enmity to the Iranian Islamic revolution which overthrew the US backed Shah of Iran and proceeded to build an anti-imperialist and independent Iran. Iran is now almost the only country in the Middle East without a US military presence. It is encircled by US military bases in neighbouring countries, in a similar way in which the US is attempting to militarily encircle Russia and China.

US defeat in Syria

This latest unparalleled act of war is more related to recent setbacks for US imperialism, it is not a demonstration of US success. After destroying Libya in 2011, Washington – with the backing of Canberra, London, Paris, Riyadh and Tel Aviv amongst others – set about engaging in a terroristic and criminal war of regime change against the Syrian Arab Republic. Hordes of unhinged mercenary barbarians in the form of ISIS, Al Qaeda and others were armed, funded, trained and sent into Syria to slaughter innocents using extreme violence. The Pentagon was the key supplier of weaponry for the deranged Daesh cutthroats[3], along with its allies. Thankfully, the sadistic imperialist war on Syria was defeated – arguably the first time that US imperialism has been defeated since the liberation of Saigon in the Vietnam War in 1975. The defeat of US imperialism – via their ISIS proxy – came about in no small part due to the painstaking efforts of General Soleimani and the IRGC.

Crucial assistance also came from the Russian government, which turned the tide in the regime change war after it was invited to do so by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Russia’s superiority in air warfare, particularly the use of the SU-35 jet fighter, cut US/Saudi supply lines to ISIS, and prevented their advance throughout the country. Yet even with Russia’s technologically superior air power, a war cannot only be won from the skies. Ground reconnaissance and securing areas won with the air power is necessary. This role was heroically played by the Syrian Arab Army, the IRGC and also the Lebanese Hezbollah. Though not playing an active role, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) offered some forms of aid for rebuilding and helped to block attempts by the imperialist Western powers to enforce sanctions against Syria at the United Nations (UN). The PRC had a direct interest in stifling Saudi financed Wahabist terrorism, as some 5000 extremist Uyghurs had enlisted with ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria.[4] The PRC correctly sought measures to prevent these misanthropic loons from returning to China to carry out even more terrorist attacks against innocent civilians.

Iraq colour revolution derailed

The event which preceded the criminal assassination of General Soleimani was the US backed phony “uprising” against the Iraqi government last October and November. As we wrote at the time,[5] this was no “revolution”, but yet more US backed subversion aimed at breaking the ties the Iraqi government of Adel Abdul Mahdi to Iran, Syria and the PRC. The Iraqi government has little choice but to join with Iran for collective security, and little choice but to join with the PRC for economic assistance. For example, signing on to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road”), a huge infrastructure development program largely funded by the PRC’s still booming socialist economy. Washington was doing all it could to prevent this from occurring – now to the extent of assassinating the key General who defeated its proxy ISIS forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq.

Some have suggested that Iran’s recent discovery of a new oil field containing an estimated 50 billion barrels of oil[6] was what pushed Washington to move yet again against Iran. Iran’s oil wealth is certainly a part of the US Empire’s concerns, but by no means the only one. Even if US troops are still in Syria to illegally steal Syria’s oil despite being expelled from almost all other parts of the country[7], regime change in Iran is the supreme aim of Wall Street. One could say that the wars on Iraq and Syria were only preliminary wars waged by Washington in order to get to Iran. And taking out Syria, Iraq and Iran are key aims in the overall (failing) strategy to weaken Russia and China.

Needless to say, a new US war on Iran would be catastrophic for the world, not only the Middle East. Capitalist imperialism cannot function without horrific wars against anyone, socialist or not, who attempts to stand independently of political control from Washington. Workers of the world have a vital interest in preventing a new calamitous war from being waged not only on Iran, but also on themselves via “their own” governments. The threat of imperialist war is directly linked to the global warming fueled bushfires threatening large parts of Australia currently, and is linked to unemployment, homelessness, relentless funding cuts of government services and falling or stagnant wages. The struggle against imperialist war is simultaneously a struggle for a workers’ government. NO WAR ON IRAN!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/update-qassem-soleimani-and-abu-mahdi-al-mohandes-confirmed-dead-after-us-strikes/ (04-01-2020)

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/jan/03/iran-general-qassem-suleimani-killed-us-trump-drone-strike-baghdad-reaction-live-updates?page=with:block-5e0fa0dd8f08c397226445f2#block-5e0fa0dd8f08c397226445f2 (04-01-2020)

[3] https://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-military-aid-to-al-qaeda-isis-daesh/5548960 (05-01-2020)

[4] https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2133064/china-step-aid-syria-war-winds-down (05-01-2020)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2019/10/13/iraq-deadly-chaos-through-subversion/ (05-01-2020)

[6] https://apnews.com (05-01-2020)

 

[7] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-has-no-right-syrian-oil-adviser-president-assad-n1106846 (05-01-2020)

Release Julian Assange!

Release Julian Assange!

10-12-2019 – The life of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is in extreme danger. At stake is not just the well-being of Assange himself, but the very right to political dissent. Detained in Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom (UK) where it is likely that he will be extradited to the United States (US), his health is failing due to the inhumane physical and psychological conditions of deprivation to which he has been subjected. On November 22, 80 medical doctors wrote to the UK government voicing their grave concern that Mr Assange could die before his farcical “trial” is set to take place. The letter has been sent to the Lord Chancellor, the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Justice.[1] The deliberate denial of medical care, at the very least, is a flagrant breach of basic medical ethics. It also makes a mockery of noble sounding declarations of a “democratic” society.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are guilty of nothing. Supposedly under capitalist “liberal democracy” all citizens have the right to engage in political discourse, have the right to free speech, the right to publish and distribute information, and the right to question how revenue collected for taxation is spent. The governments overseeing Western imperialism – the US, the UK, Australia and others – clearly breach virtually all the rights of citizens piously claimed by its defenders, when push comes to shove. Right now, Western imperialism is in a state of perilous decline due to yet another capitalist economic downturn which has lasted for the last ten years. In this condition, capitalist governments are in the process of removing the basic democratic rights many imagined were guaranteed. The whistle-blowing of Julian Assange and Wikileaks proves the opposite.

Canberra loyal to Washington

Born in Townsville, raised in northern New South Wales, Julian Assange is as Australian as can be. Yet his Australian passport has almost no meaning, given the appalling lack of action from the Australian government. In December 2018, Australian consular officials apparently met briefly with Julian Assange while he was still effectively held in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. This was reportedly the first contact with Mr Assange in six years.[2]  Incredibly, the Australian government released a statement on May 31 this year, claiming that the appropriate level of consular assistance and health concerns had been raised and addressed during two visits to Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison.[3] Even if these visits did take place, Canberra is lock-step with Washington in vain attempts to re-establish the global domination the US enjoyed for a period after the capitalist counter-revolution destroyed the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) in 1991. To do this, they must not only threaten and wage endless imperialist wars around the globe, they must intimidate into silence every last vestige of questioning over their reckless policies from “their own” citizens.

The West is the dystopian nightmare, not China or Russia

Julian Assange, alongside Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, are proof positive that the Orwellian style totalitarian states now in existence are in the capitalist West – they are not China or Russia – the propaganda bogeymen of the corporate media. Chelsea Manning was jailed for refusing to testify against Julian Assange, bravely defying the US authorities even after previously being incarcerated.[4] Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst, cannot return to his home in the United States, after he exposed to the world the fact that the CIA is effectively spying on everyone through the internet.[5] There is surveillance of  virtually every computer user in almost every country which is routinely handed over to the CIA for monitoring, and whistleblowers such as Assange, Manning and Snowden are living proof.

Despite this, working people in Australia, the US, Europe and elsewhere are subjected to a non-stop barrage of hysteria in the corporate media claiming that China and Russia are totalitarian states which suppress democratic rights!  The hypocrisy is staggering. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), born of a momentous revolution of hundreds of millions culminating in 1949, is today surpassing the technological, scientific and economic former power of the US Empire. In doing this, it does not threaten war against anyone. Yet deliberately deceitful Western press complain that the PRC uses facial recognition technology, implying a mistrusting government monitoring its citizen’s every move. At the same time, police in Australia use the very same technology – but of course in the name of “security”.  Russia is accused, without a shred of evidence, of “meddling” in US elections, of invading Ukraine, and of shooting down flight MH17. This, coming from the Pentagon which has overtly waged endless regime change wars around the globe, routinely funded and created “opposition” parties in countries they don’t like, and arming Nazis in Ukraine.[6]

Julian Assange despised the cant of those in power, and set out to hold them to account, whatever the cost. He may pay the highest price, unless a world-wide movement can be mobilised. This movement must be so powerful that the ruling classes of the West realise that they will lose a lot more by making a martyr, than by making a concession. Crucially, it will take actions of the working class, in defiance of conservative Union officials and other liberals who have abandoned him, to achieve results. At stake are the very rights to “life, liberty and happiness” that capitalist society always promises but never delivers. Workers are in dire need of a Marxist vanguard party not only to blaze a path to socialism, but to help free those who sacrifice themselves for a better world. RELEASE JULIAN ASSANGE!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://consortiumnews.com/2019/12/05/doctors-intensify-pressure-on-britain-over-assange/ (08-12-2019)

[2] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australian-officials-pay-visit-to-julian-assange (08-12-2019)

[3] https://dfat.gov.au/news/media/Pages/statement-on-julian-assange.aspx (08-12-2019)

[4] https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/722059301/chelsea-manning-is-freed-from-jail-faces-new-subpoena-in-wikileaks-case (08-12-2019)

[5] https://www.wired.com/story/after-six-years-in-exile-edward-snowden-explains-himself/ (08-12-2019)

[6] https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-arming-assisting-neo-nazis-ukraine-congress-debates-prohibition/5673930 (09-12-2019)

A Real Climate Strike Means Class Against Class

Logo for the Global Climate Strike. http://www.globalclimatestrike.net

A Real Climate Strike Means Class Against Class

14-08-2019 – On September 20, young students will walk out of class, encouraging older workers to walk out of work and join them, in an inspiring continuation of the worldwide movement for urgent action on the increasingly dire warnings of climate collapse. Following the lead of Greta Thunberg, these climate strikers will send a message to all governments that they cannot be ignored any longer. Or so we are told. As in all things political, however, the truth lies somewhat beneath appearances. In this case, the ugly truth is one which should be repellent to workers with elementary class awareness.

The September 20 strikes are being primarily organised by SS4C (School Strike for Climate). Who are they? The real organisers are hidden, because if they were honest about who they were, they may not be welcomed. SS4C hide their tracks very well, so definite proof is hard to come by. But one glance at the politics they are trying to shoehorn everyone into coming behind reveals, within a few degrees of accuracy, forces whose ultimate aim are seats in parliament, not “climate action”.

Circle of reaction

Three organisations are key to understanding the dark forces behind the September 20 walkouts. SS4C is one, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC – or “Baby GetUp!”) is another, and the other is the Australian Labor Party (ALP). In reality, the first two are trustees of the ALP, the allegedly moderate front of capital in the wide brown land. When questioned, SS4C/AYCC deny their connections to the ALP – yet they remain in plain sight. SS4C have even altered their demands in a vain attempt to claw back their federal election defeat in May by the Liberal National Party (LNP), an election which should have been a shoe-in for the ALP.[1] The federal election swung to the LNP largely on the basis of regional Queensland, where sky-high unemployment led some workers to view that the ALP would stop the construction of the Adani mega coal mine, leading to the end of desperately needed flow on jobs. In reality, the ALP was never opposed to Adani, but had to equivocate in the face of the Stop Adani campaign.[2]

The parliamentary fixation of SS4C is plain to see. They speak of “our” [!] politicians, and “politicians can show they care” [!] by meeting our demands.[3] To say this is parliamentary cretinism is an understatement. Workers should be aware that capitalist parliaments are the key institution used by the ruling class to fool the masses into believing that there is some institution which represents them, albeit with some limitations they admit. The Australian federal parliament, like all parliaments under bourgeois democracy, is a den of corruption and deceit. Moreover, it is a class weapon brandished by the corporate elite against the workers and the poor. It cannot be used as a staging post for climate action any more than it can be used to advance housing for the homeless. For SS4C and AYCC, on the other hand, parliament is their holy grail, and their universal solution – for their own careers.

Perhaps the greatest crime of SS4C and AYCC is their deceitful use of young people to advance the careers of (ALP) Members of Parliament. The young primary and secondary school students are wise enough to understand the eminent danger that global warming poses, and they indeed should be congratulated for taking a brave stand, in some cases resisting principals and school authorities. Yet without sufficient political experience, which can only be gained over some years, these young people cannot be expected to see through the Machiavellian scheming of the SS4C/AYCC agents. They cannot be expected to understand that the AYCC’s raison d’etre is not climate action per se, but to be a youth front for the ALP, and thus for the very profit system which imperils human civilisation.

Dishonest climate campaign

SS4C proffer their campaign descriptors as “school student led, decentralised, grassroots, non-partisan, inclusive, non-violent, mission focussed, ambitious, creative”.[4] The only one of these that has a partial ring of truth is “inclusive”, in that all are invited to take part in the climate strike. This is the reason why workers can attend, stop work, and encourage Union members and officials to do likewise. Yet it must be with the aim of undermining and eroding SS4C/AYCC leadership – which, if left unchallenged, will lead the climate movement into parliamentary paralysis. It is false to claim that school students are leading this movement – the AYCC does the work on the ground. Decentralisation is fallacious – the ALP knows that every campaign must have a centralised leadership. Grassroots is mendacious – as politicians are anything but. Non-partisan is a furphy – they are non-partisan only towards the ALP and perhaps the Greens. Left parties are only welcome IF they politically submit to liberalism. The non-violent moniker is a pledge of fealty to the police forces of the capitalist state. In short, SS4C operate on a pack of half-truths.

Moreover, SS4C submit three demands: 1. No new coal, oil or gas projects, including the Adani mine. 2. 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030. 3. Fund a just transition & job creation for all fossil fuel industry workers.[5]  These demands are pitifully moderate, and could just as easily be asked of the ALP – and this is the giveaway that that is the aim. Consciously, there is zero in these demands which would even eat into the profits of capital, let alone threaten their existence. In practice though, workers should not oppose demands 1 and 3. Demand 2, on the other hand is problematic. IF it demanded 100% zero carbon energy generation, it would be rational. However, the 100% renewable energy demand remains seriously impractical if it was actually possible, and if nuclear power was excluded.[6]  It is a sop to the mistaken environmental movement whose anti-nuclear stance has effectively accelerated the burning of coal since the 1970s. There is evidence that some fossil fuel corporations have funded the anti-nuclear movement in order to ensure zero carbon nuclear fission does not replace them.[7]

The fraud of Greta Thunberg

As we have written previously,[8] the aura around Greta Thunberg is fraudulent. Greta Thunberg the brand is backed by some of the largest corporate players on the planet, and hence focuses on politicians not doing the right thing. This lets the corporations – and the capitalist system – off the hook. Raising no objections to capitalism leads to advocacy of the worst excesses of imperialism, which Greta displayed in spades when she tweeted, “Let Russia and Hong Kong strike for climate”.[9] Here is prima facie evidence that Greta is the anointed figurehead of what is essentially a pro-war “climate” movement. The US Empire is currently up to its eyeballs in hybrid war provocations for regime change against Russia and the People’s Republic of China, which are the harbinger of a nuclear holocaust arguably far more dangerous than extinction through ecological malfunction. Washington has already waged proxy wars against Russia in the Ukraine (by arming Nazis)[10], and against Syria (by arming Al Qaeda).[11] Washington is currently waging an attempted war to dismantle China through direct funding to “NGOs” who employ thousands of violent pro-capitalist Hong Kong yahoos, under the ruse of “independence”.[12]

In fact, the reality that the climate strikers never refer to Pentagon launched imperialist provocations and actual and potential wars is revealing. One could plausibly argue that the climate strike movement is thus not really about the urging of governments to seriously address anthropogenic global warming. It is more about aiding and assisting the First World governments of the US, Europe and Australia in regaining their credibility with “their own” people – by making at least cosmetic efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The climate strike leaders, from Greta Thunberg to SS4C to AYCC, ultimately desire the restitution of imperialist liberal democracy in the eyes of working people. And what better way to do this than by shepherding workers behind a US/EU launched war of “democratic” imperialism against the “totalitarian” states of Russia and China?

Left parties alibi climate parliamentarism

Some Australian left parties help build what they see as climate activism, without pausing to consider its content. While they may grumble about the SS4C climate movement needing more pro-worker positions, they effectively only call for a slightly more progressive movement. The Socialist Alliance appears to have few grumbles at all, and reproduce press statements from SS4C verbatim.[13] They are joined as disciples of Greta Thunberg by Socialist Alternative, who likewise endorse and take part in the “new activism” of Extinction Rebellion (XR).[14] Although XR are not organising the September 20 strikes, XR’s class basis of petty-bourgeois radicalism[15] dovetails squarely with the classical reformism of SS4C and AYCC. Solidarity correctly highlight the beginnings of some trade unions endorsing and taking part in the September 20 walkouts.[16] Yet there is no mention from them of the dangers of workers and their Unions obediently mobilising once again behind the abject parliamentarism of the SS4C/AYCC leadership of the climate strike.

After the disaster of the “Change the Rules” campaign, which saw Unions mobilise for two years in support of a failed attempt to elect an ultra-conservative ALP to federal government, one would think some lessons about electoral campaigns masked as movements might be learned. Yet the link between the parliamentarism of SS4C/AYCC, imperialist war and the misguided left are apparent. Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative and Solidarity are strident opponents of Russia and China, as are SS4C/AYCC, as is the Australian ruling class. These left parties do not imagine themselves to be parliamentarists, even while marching in lock step with capital’s hand-picked parliamentarist lieutenants.

Climate struggle is class struggle

The assault on the climactic conditions necessary for human survival is one more assault on the living and working conditions of the masses. While the industrial revolution was necessary to prepare mass production, the private capital which fostered it was never going to be able to regulate itself to any degree of environmental sustainability. For that, private capital must become social capital. In other words, the major means of production must pass from private hands into those of the working people who set it in motion. Yet even though climate science is issuing more and more shrill warnings almost on a daily basis, the climate crisis in itself cannot be separated from the struggle for working class emancipation.

Finance capital is plunging human civilisation into a double-barrelled Armageddon – the slaughter of imperialist war and imminent climate collapse. The parliaments that defend finance capital – and therefore facilitate climate destruction – cannot change their course. In the course of their struggle for decent working and living conditions, and for a safe climate, working people do not directly confront the ruling class itself. Workers instead confront the agents of finance capital within the (sometimes contrived) social movements. Through all manner of subterfuge, these agents attempt to herd workers and youth back into a purely lobbyist perspective. They attempt to paint begging for different policies from politicians who have diametrically opposed material interests, as “radical climate action”. It is a very small step from rehabilitating a capitalist parliament in this way, to a blanket endorsement of imperialist wars against an “other” – be it Russia, China, or whoever. There is little doubt that this is the aim of SS4C and AYCC, who drag along the moderate left parties behind them.

Thus, for the September 20 climate strike and beyond, working people and leftists need to participate with the express aim of breaking workers away from the political designs of the pro-ALP, pro-imperialist leadership which will not and cannot provide even the first steps towards a safe climate – or a safe world. Rather, what is required is a fight for demands such as: the expropriation of the major means of production, transport, banking and finance which could be administered by workers’ committees in the interests of working people. A left-wing climate movement should demand elected workers’ councils to administer a socialised and planned economy. Here, the leadership of a Marxist vanguard party is crucial. The horrors of potential climate incineration, imperialist war and wage slavery can only begin to be addressed through workers’ rule in the transition from the profit system to human liberation.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://redfireonline.com/2019/05/19/liberalism-at-a-dead-end-alp-loses-the-unlosable-election/ (10-08-2019)

[2] https://overland.org.au/2019/06/why-adani-happened/ (10-08-2019)

[3] https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/about (10-08-2019)

[4] Ibid, 3.

[5] Ibid. 4.

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117304495 (11-08-2019)

[7] https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2016/07/13/are-fossil-fuel-interests-bankrolling-the-anti-nuclear-energy-movement/#4bef933d7453 (11-08-2019)

[8] https://redfireonline.com/2019/03/13/for-real-climate-action-expropriate-capital/ (11-08-2019)

[9] https://twitter.com/gretathunberg/status/1128344612186279937?lang=en (11-08-2019)

[10] https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/17/blowback-us-funded-ukraine-neo-nazis-mentor-us-white-supremacists/ (11-08-2019)

[11] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/cihan-celik/us-turkey-realize-al-qaeda-threat-in-syria–a-bit-late-61834 (11-08-2019)

[12] https://www.mintpressnews.com/hong-kong-protests/259202/ (11-08-2019)

[13] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/why-school-climate-strikers-are-demanding-just-transition-and-job-creation (11-08-2019)

[14] https://redflag.org.au/node/6855 (11-08-2019)

[15] https://redfireonline.com/2019/08/07/whats-wrong-with-extinction-rebellion/ (11-08-2019)

[16] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/workers-and-unions-organise-to-join-climate-strike/ (11-08-2019)

 

Algeria: US Foments Destabilisation in Africa

Algeria: US Foments Destabilisation in Africa

17-04-2019 – Algeria was one of the foremost countries of the wave of anti-colonialist liberation struggles which followed the Second World War, winning its independence from France in 1962. Today, there are both hidden and barely hidden attempts to bring Algeria back within the vice-like grip of Western imperialism. The US Empire, desperate after being defeated in Syria, and following ham-fisted failed attempts at regime change in Venezuela, is responding by doubling their bets. Anywhere they can see even half a chance at fostering and fomenting internal regime change where an independent country exists, Wall Street in all probability has contingency plans ready to roll.

To the uninitiated, waves of protest in Algeria calling on an octogenarian leader to refrain from running in the Presidential election for a fifth time appear to be self-justified. Yet in Africa, and politics in general in 2019, things are not at all what they seem. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference with Algerian Deputy Prime Minister Ramtane Lamamra last month. Lavrov pointedly warned of external interference and destabilisation in Algeria.[1] This was a veiled reference to the US state department, delivered with trademark Lavrov diplomacy. Russia and Algeria have been strong allies since the time of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and Algeria also signed a Strategic Partnership agreement with Russia in April 2001.[2] More recently, in 2014 Algeria rejected a US demand to set up a military base on their soil.[3] Since then, Algeria has been one of the very few Arab countries to vigorously defend the Syrian Arab Republic against the US/Israeli/Saudi backed jihadist death squads which besieged them, as Algeria itself is susceptible to similar attacks,[4] some as spillover from the NATO destruction of Green Libya in 2011.

Algeria tilts towards Russia, against NATO

Given the aftermath of NATO’s annihilation of Libya, in cahoots with Al Qaeda linked death squads they armed, Algeria has found it necessary to align itself with the Russia/Syria/Anti-NATO bloc. This is the real reason for the current round of staged protests calling for “regime change” in Algeria. There are always some domestic pro-US layers of society in all countries, from liberal students to agents of small or large business classes. In this case, such elements are betraying Algeria’s independence under a grossly distorted banner of “freedom and democracy”. To be sure, working people in Algeria have no stake per se in the capitalist system operated by the Algerian political leaders. However, allowing Algeria to be fully open to US/NATO plunder via US backed regime change would be consonant with a return to occupation by French imperialism, i.e. it would return Algeria to a situation before its independence in 1962. To that extent, workers in Algeria and internationally need to militarily side with Algeria/Russia/Syria against the US Empire, while retaining their own organisational and political independence.

Russia, in the form of the then USSR, has backed Algerian independence since the first hours of its declaration in 1962. Yet today the alliance between Algeria and Russia to a large extent hinges on Algeria’s backing of Russia’s actions in Syria, where it is still combatting the residues of the unhinged US backed ISIS death squads. Russia also appreciates the Algerian government’s role in what they term the “pacification” of Libya and Mali.[5] That is, Algeria taking measures to prevent the further spread of the remnants of the Al Qaeda elements used by Washington to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. These actions by Algeria are in the interests of working people across North Africa despite the politics of the Algerian government.

Further, it is not just in a tactical security bloc against US backed jihadism in North Africa where Algerian-Russian co-operation is apparent. Energy supplies are vital also. Algeria and Russia are top gas exporters, with Algeria producing 130 billion cubic metres of gas annually. 14% of this amount is exported to Europe.[6] Russian gas exports to Europe are also extensive, so co-operation with Algeria in this sphere is mutually beneficial. Washington, of course, views such trade and co-operation with Europe as an obstruction, and political impertinence – despite the US not being able to supply gas itself.

Algeria signs onto the New Silk Road

As if to further underscore declining US economic power across the globe, in 2018 Algeria became one of the 90 countries to have signed onto Red China’s One Belt One Road (also known as the New Silk Road or the Belt and Road Initiative – BRI). Algeria signed onto the BRI in Beijing itself, while attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.[7] Under the BRI, China’s booming socialist economy commits billions of dollars to infrastructure development in countries along the old Silk Road. Algeria will be a part of the Maritime Silk Road, which connects China, Europe, India, East Africa and the Red Sea states. Washington is furious at this, but is unable to prevent it. What is more, the People’s Republic of China has remained Algeria’s largest trading partner since 2013. 2017 figures have China accounting for $8.3 billion of Algeria’s $45.95 billion worth of imports.[8]

The People’s Republic of China (PRC), like the USSR at that time (and now Russia), has extensive ties with Algeria due to its assistance for its struggle for national liberation. This is not lost on the current Algerian leadership, regardless of their politics. As Guy Burton wrote:

“China’s connections to Algeria go back even further. In 1958 China was the first non-Arab country to recognize the National Liberation Front and provide it with arms and funds in its struggle for independence. Following independence in 1962, China provided soft loans and other forms of assistance, including medical missions to the new government. When China eventually joined the UN in 1971, Algeria was one of the co-sponsors that proposed the resolution. Today, Algeria has one of the largest Chinese communities in Africa and the Middle East, at around 70,000.”[9]

Such ties, forged in bonds against colonialist and imperialist struggle decades ago, are not easily forgotten. The US can fume as much as it likes, but it cannot match anything like the camaraderie and mutual backing offered by both China and Russia – in political and economic terms. The economic crisis of the capitalist US economy, however, drives it further and further into reckless military adventures, and/or, constant preparation for them. This is why Africa today is subjected to US military intervention, the arming and funding of proxy jihadist death squads, and constant backing for compromised opposition groups within African states. The aim is chaos, destabilisation and disruption, and even open war, in order to undermine friendly relations with Russia and China. Washington will consider using any means, from using its own troops, to arming and funding Al Qaeda linked barbarians, to covert or overt backing of internal regime change “revolutions” – such as the one in Algeria today.

AFRICOM – footprint of the US Empire

AFRICOM (Africa Command) was established in 2007 as a counterpart to the US Empire’s CENTCOM (Central Command) and SOUTHCOM (Southern Command). It currently shares its headquarters with EUCOM (European Command) in Stuttgart, Germany. Some US Senators have recently openly questioned why, after 10 years of “operations”, the US does not have its AFRICOM headquarters stationed in Africa.[10] It takes some galling arrogance, even from the standards of US imperialism, to assume that they have a right to permanent bases in countries overseas, and base entire military commands based on sections of the globe. Yet this is the reality of Africa today.

Even some US citizens were surprised to learn, after US troops were ambushed in Niger in October 2017, that US troops are crawling over many countries in Africa.[11] The reaction was one of “what are they doing there?”. To put it bluntly, they are there as an imperial occupying force – albeit one that is not advertised as such. There is some evidence that the main task of US troops across Africa is the fostering and fomenting of coups against African countries which demonstrate even half a shred of independence from the US behemoth. Today Algeria and Sudan, tomorrow Cameroon and Nigeria, and on and on it goes.

Many African countries have baulked at allowing a permanent US military base to be set up on their soil. One of the core responsibilities of AFRICOM is supposedly “stability operations” – but what is meant by this is clearly demonstrated in Algeria and Sudan in recent times. That is, not stability, but thinly veiled destabilisation, to bring down any government or any ruler not willing to play by the rules of Washington. To facilitate this, the Pentagon operates what are euphemistically termed “Cooperative Security Locations” or “Lily Pads”. Lily Pads are weapons and vehicle depots which include airfields for military aircraft as well as drones. Lily Pads have been constructed in Algeria (despite its refusal to host a US base), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe and Togo.[12] It doesn’t take too much understanding of geopolitics to realise that this is an imperial occupation, which can only serve Washington to the detriment of hundreds of millions of Africans.

Left parties toe Washington’s line

Seemingly oblivious to the US Empire’s troops across Africa, or perhaps because of it, some Australian left parties have been eager to put their hands up to man the megaphone for the US state department. First cab off the rank was the Socialist Alliance (SA), as an extension of its role of propagandist for US led regime change war against Syria. In Syria, SA pumped for US/Saudi/Israeli armed jihadists who were leading a mythical “revolution”, alongside secular forces which did not exist. Similarly in Algeria, SA falls for a corresponding assortment. Sam Wainwright in SA newspaper Green Left Weekly claims that the Algerian opposition marches have “included Islamists, people with a democratic secular outlook, the Kabylie independence movement (a Berber speaking part of the country) and the Algerian Socialist Workers Party (PST).”[13]

For a start, the PST is linked to the French NPA (New Anti-Capitalist Party). The NPA was notorious for calling on French imperialism to arm jihadist death squads to effect regime change in Libya and Syria. French imperialism certainly did this, and parties such as the NPA in France and SA in Australia, cheered on these atrociously dirty wars – arguably the dirtiest in history. Islamists were at the heart of the “uprisings” in Libya and Syria, and SA again hails their participation in regime change operations in Algeria. Some Berber independence groups also backed US led regime change in Syria, and “democratic and secular” opposition to the Syrian government was a fantasy.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and its “World Socialist Web Site” (WSWS), to their credit, did not back US led regime change in Syria. However, in Algeria they switch sides and fall into line with Washington. The SEP loudly criticised parties such as SA for spruiking for US led regime change in Syria. Yet they don’t notice the irony of adopting the same position – regime change backed by imperialist powers – as SA in Algeria!  Will Morrow claims in the WSWS that the “…ongoing movement of the Algerian working class against the military backed regime is part of a renewed eruption of working class struggle around the world.”[14] One could only believe this if it was possible to ignore the swathe of US operated “Lily Pads” across Africa, US troops swarming across many African nations, Algeria’s alliance with Russia in security and gas exports, Algeria signing onto Beijing’s New Silk Road and major trade with Red China. One would have to have to be wearing blinkers to ignore Washington’s concern about all African countries’ dealings with both Russia and China. For all rational observers, Algeria’s “uprising” is anything but pure.

To be sure, to lift Algeria and Africa finally clear of the devastating legacy of Western colonialism, socialism – the class rule of the workers – will have to emerge victorious. The current Algerian government will ultimately stand in the way of such progress. However, right now, working people in Africa and internationally have a vital interest in militarily siding with Algeria, Syria, Russia and China against the nefarious ends of US imperialism. At the very least, workers should demand that the US withdraw AFRICOM and all US troops from African soil. The sovereignty of Algeria and all African countries must be guarded, and defended in a temporary bloc alongside the non-imperialist (and anti-NATO) states. US backed coups, in such a scenario, will have little or no chance of “success”.

Workers  League
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
http://www.redfireonline.com

 

[1] https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/19/russia-warns-of-external-interference-in-algeria-lavrov/ (10-04-19)

[2] https://jamestown.org/program/the-broader-regional-meaning-of-russian-foreign-minister-lavrovs-maghreb-tour/ (10-04-19)

[3] https://www.sott.net/article/278889-Defeat-for-the-empire-Algeria-rejects-US-demand-for-military-base (10-04-19)

[4] https://www.globalresearch.ca/algeria-on-the-edge-of-a-soft-coup/5528762 (10-04-19)

[5] https://africandailyvoice.com/en/2019/01/24/algeria-syria-and-yemen-at-the-heart-of-sergei-lavrovs-visit-to-algiers/ (13-04-19)

[6] http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/25/c_137771977.htm (13-04-19)

[7] https://africandailyvoice.com/en/2018/09/05/algeria-joins-the-new-silk-roads/ (13-04-19)

[8] http://northafricapost.com/25232-algeria-joins-belt-and-road-initiative.html (13-04-19)

[9] https://thediplomat.com/2019/03/what-protests-in-algeria-and-sudan-mean-for-china/ (13-04-19)

[10] https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/03/13/senators-consider-putting-africom-headquarters-staff-in-africa/ (13-04-19)

[11] https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/04/28/605662771/the-military-doesnt-advertise-it-but-u-s-troops-are-all-over-africa (13-04-19)

[12] https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/26/africom-giant-waste-money.html (13-04-19)

[13] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/algeria-turning-point-people-rise (13-04-19)

[14] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/04/06/alge-a06.html (13-04-19)

Nazi Backed Coup Govt Drives Ukraine to War – Again

A view of Crimean Bridge across the Kerch Strait closed for the passage of civil vessels after three Ukrainian Navy vessels illegally crossed the Russian border into Russia’s territorial waters. (Alexei PavlishakTASS via Getty Images)

Nazi Backed Coup Govt Drives Ukraine to War – Again

02-12-2018 – In a world which was not upside down, open military provocations against a neighbouring country which threaten catastrophic war near the European landmass would be universally condemned. When the targeted country happens to be Russia, however, any provocation, however hostile, is justified. Defying basic logic, such taunting can even be twisted to be presented as a “Russian attack”.[1] Such is the world of the Western corporate media, official mouthpieces for the behemoth of US imperialism.

What actually occurred was an open and reckless provocation by the Kiev based Ukrainian government against Russia, acting as a cat’s paw for US/EU/NATO imperialism. Three ships were ordered to deliberately enter Russian territorial waters by crossing the Kerch Strait, without the required notification to Russian maritime authorities. How do we know this? Because the Ukrainian sailors have already admitted as such.[2] Not only that, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), have also admitted that it had two agents aboard the Ukrainian naval ships which were detained by Russia for ignoring warnings to cease their dangerous manoeuvres.[3] Throwing away even a semblance of an independent mask, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko then publicly appealed for NATO ships to patrol the Sea of Azov to “provide security”[4].

Martial law?

Continuing the charade, Poroshenko then declared martial law – inside Ukraine – supposedly to deter hostile acts from Russia. As others have pointed out, declaring martial law within Ukraine, for something that happened out at sea, is highly suspicious.[5]  Yet more dubious actions have followed. On November 30, Poroshenko banned Russian males between the ages of 16 and 60 from entering Ukraine. He claimed that this was to prevent Russians forming private armies which, he claimed, act as directed by the Russian Federation.[6] He outrageously claimed that these “armies” aim to finish what started in 2014.

Working people need to be clear. What actually occurred in 2014 in Ukraine was a US/EU/NATO backed fascist coup against an elected government. It was this fascist coup in February 2014 which brought Poroshenko and his cronies into “government”. While the Poroshenko government just barely stops short of being an organised fascist movement, his government relies on support from literal pro-Nazi Ukrainian fascists who are viscerally anti-Russian, anti-socialist and pro-US. In response to this fascist backed coup, Ukrainian areas in the East bravely declared independence in opposition to the Kiev based fascist coup government. They formed the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic. Given their refusal to submit to NATO armed fascism, they deserve the support of workers worldwide.

Once again on Crimea

Ever since 2014, the Western corporate press has repeated a falsehood over and over and over again – that Russia “annexed” Crimea. Such language harks back to pre-World War I rhetoric, and provides an ominous presage to World War III. What occurred was that Crimeans voted by an undisputable majority – over 95%[7] – to secede from Ukraine and to join the Russian Federation. Crimea is overwhelmingly ethnically and linguistically Russian, but even that was only part of the reason why a reunion with Russia was the almost universal choice. Crimeans voted to join Russia because the alternative was to live under the rule of NATO armed fascists.  Barely a word of this essential truth ever appears in the corporate media of the US Empire and its vassal states. No amount of desperate fairy-tale retelling of events by Washington, London, Paris and Canberra can unmake this fact.

For the imperialists, war is the only way out of the economic and political crisis which is almost entirely of their own making. The collapse of “free enterprise” capitalism in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia, and the subsequent vicious attacks on the workers which result, means that the Western elites must have a scapegoat and a target, lest they face open revolt at home. Russia is the easy target, what with a century of anti-Soviet propaganda already hammered into the psyche of a suffering Western working class. Hence, Russophobia makes a dramatic return, and is then ramped up to hysterical levels. As we have mentioned previously, the Russophobia of today contains a combination of racism and anti-communism, even despite the overthrow of socialism in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991-2.

This is why it is in the vital interests of the word’s workers to defend Russia against US imperialism, despite the capitalism restored in Russia since that time. This is why also it was necessary to stand by Russia as it effectively defeated the ISIS mercenary death squads in Syria. In fact, the US led war for regime change in Syria was in part a proxy war against Russia. In the same way, the NATO backing of fascists in Ukraine is in some ways an even larger proxy war against neighbouring Russia. While the foreign policy of the Russian state can sometimes be highly questionable, e.g. maintaining good relations with dubious states such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, at the same time the Russian state is one of the only entities which is currently preventing Wall Street from launching a catastrophic war which could potentially incinerate hundreds of millions of people. In fact, Russia today effectively takes on the responsibility – which it did not ask for – of holding the US/EU/NATO juggernaut in check.

The Russian state today, with its strategic military strength, will need to be a temporary ally in the struggle for socialism of the world’s working people, insofar as it acts to stay the hand of a marauding and dangerous US imperialism. At the same time, pro-socialist workers within Russia need to recruit to their own banner, in the course of linking with other pro-working class forces internationally, in the struggle to prevent the US Empire from launching World War III. Australian left parties especially, need to utterly reject all facets of Russophobia, and act to combat its dissemination amongst working people.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

 

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-26/whats-next-after-russia-and-ukraine-tensions-rise/10554870 (27-11-18)

[2] https://thesaker.is/ukrainian-sailors-confirm-that-they-deliberately-entered-russian-waters/ (01-12-18)

[3] http://tass.com/world/1032816 (01-12-18)

[4] https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/putin-defends-seizure-of-ukrainian-ships-poroshenko-invites-nato-in-azov-sea/ (01-12-18)

[5] http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/11/ukraine-provokes-russia-to-what-end.html (01-12-18)

[6] https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/ukraine-bans-russian-men-between-16-and-60-from-entering-country.html (01-12-18)

[7] https://www.rt.com/news/crimea-vote-join-russia-210/ (02-12-18)