Covid-19: The Looming Shadow of War

Australian warship HMAS Parramatta joins the US in hostile sweeps of the South China Sea. Image from The Maritime Executive

Covid-19: The Looming Shadow of War

02-05-2020: As the coronavirus chicanery of the Western ruling classes begins to unravel, the real agenda behind the “pandemic” emerges from the shadows. Some restrictions enforcing the lockdown mania slowly begin to be lifted in some countries, giving working people across the planet some breathing space. The partial easing of some restrictions is NOT because manic lockdowns are “working” or “stopping the spread”. This is laughable. As Rob Slane demonstrates, there is NO correlation between the demand for soul destroying nation-wide lockdowns and a reduction in total deaths. Assuming all the reported “Covid-19 deaths” are correct (a huge IF), Sweden – with no lockdowns save very large gatherings – is actually doing a better job of reducing deaths than other European countries which have imposed lockdowns.[1] The lockdowns are beginning to be lifted by US and European countries for two main reasons. One is that there have been important protests against lockdowns and economic shutdowns. The other is that their legitimacy is falling apart at the seams and is being openly questioned by swathes of medical professionals and other workers.

The game is being exposed

A hot microphone in the US White House press briefing room caught an exchange between Fox News reporter John Roberts and a technician during set up. He jokes to the technician to take of his face mask, because a recent study in Los Angeles had confirmed a Covid-19 mortality rate of only 0.1% to 0.3%. To his credit, John Roberts asked the health official about this study in the press conference – who promptly dodged the question.[2] This may not have been reported if the people there had known that the microphone was on. Think about the significance of this – White House press reporters are joking about the real mortality rate of Covid-19 being “like the flu”, while millions across the globe have been thrown on the unemployment scrapheap AND placed under effective house arrest, on the spurious grounds that a deadly plague is trawling the globe.

The rubbery figures of Covid-19 “deaths” continue to be hyped by politicians and the compliant corporate media. Yet even their coverage sometimes cannot avoid revealing real howlers. The Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr Ngozi Ezike, was emphatic in a recent interview that even “if you die of a clear alternative cause, it is still listed as a Covid death”.[3] In other words, there has been pressure by health authorities to vastly overinflate Covid-19 “death numbers”. The numbers are phony. While this is going on, critical health care is being halted, resulting in delayed treatment, prolonged suffering and even death from the foregoing of vital cancer screening, tumour biopsies and treatment for stroke and heart attack victims.[4] The reason? The clearing of entire wards of hospitals, and the suspension of “non-essential surgery” to make way for a supposed flood of Covid-19 patients – who never arrive.

Cover for war

It did not take long for one of the diabolical reasons for the over-hyped coronavirus neurosis to emerge. On April 19, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne publicly called for an independent investigation into the spread and origins of the coronavirus[5], with the strong implication that the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was lying. By “independent” she of course meant it should be conducted by anyone but China. The PRC immediately rejected these calls, which were a transparent provocation. This was followed days later by the news that the Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta had joined US warships in yet another incitement, sailing through the South China Sea.[6] If anything reveals the unwritten agenda of the Covid-19 hoodwinking, this is it.

As we have previously reported[7], Red China is also targeted by imperialism which hypocritically claims to defend the “human rights” of the Rohingya people in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. While US allies such as the Saudi Arabian monarchy fund and arm Rohingya separatists with open links to Al Qaeda, the Western “human rights” industry disingenuously accuse the Tatmadaw (the Myanmar military) of a genocidal attack on Rohingya in 2017. What actually happened were vicious attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on 30 police stations in pre-dawn raids, to which the Tatmadaw naturally had to respond. In the firefight, and also in fear of ultra-racist Buddhist “monks” bent on expelling Rohingya from Myanmar, many fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The US state has an intrinsic interest in fuelling murderous separatism in the Rakhine state, as it would supply the perfect pretext to send troops in to “protect” the Rohingya. In reality, it would be a beachhead to move US troops (or their proxy forces) close to the South Western border of the PRC. It would also potentially derail the China-Myanmar pipeline, which ends at the port of Kyauk Phyu in the middle of the Rakhine state. As if on cue, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on human rights (don’t laugh!) claimed that the Tatmadaw is launching military attacks on the Rakhine and Chin states which MAY (they are sometimes careful not to lie too flagrantly) amount to “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.[8] In reality, with regard to the Chin state the Tatmadaw is responding to a long running armed anti-government insurgency by the Chin National Army (CNA) which works alongside US backed fronts such as the Free Burma Rangers.[9] Lest one imagine that the CNA is a “liberation” force backed by its people, even the US based Human Rights Watch has to admit that the CNA “extort money and commit other abuses against Chin civilians”.[10]

Washington (backed by Canberra) also targets the PRC via the Philippines. Recently the overwhelmingly popular President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte terminated the Visiting Forces Agreement with America[11], which gave US troops almost unfettered access to Filipino soil. This is part of a deliberate tilt away from the US and towards the PRC (and also Russia) which riles the Pentagon. It also marks the slow and steady decline of US hegemony in the Asia-Pacific, something Wall Street is desperate to reverse. Again, as if prompted, liberal Western media target President Duterte for….harsh coronavirus lockdowns!!  Knock us down with a feather. In a classic case of projection, Australian state media cites the aforementioned Human Rights Watch to criticise Filipino authorities of “taking a step too far” in policing the rules.[12] Yet it is plain that Australian police arresting people for sitting down in public parks is the same thing, or worse. The article also criticises one Filipino policeman for locking curfew breakers in a dog cage, but then has to admit that the officer will face disciplinary charges for doing so.[13]

US still seeks the destruction of the Middle East

Washington has not given up its attempts at regime change in Syria, despite suffering a heavy defeat via its ISIS proxies in the years from 2011 to 2019.  Russia, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah joined forces to defeat the deranged Al Qaeda mercenaries, which arguably led to the first defeat of the US in war since the liberation of Vietnam in 1975. This setback in turn fuelled desperate US attempts at regime change in Iran, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon and the DPRK – all of which went nowhere. This is one reason why the Western ruling classes decided to latch on to the opportunity presented by the discovery of a new (but essentially very weak) virus. They could not start the global war which MAY have saved Western capitalism, being stymied by a combination of the non and anti-imperialist states. Now, not only is patent coronavirus dishonesty being used to justify self-destruction of economies, it is also being used as a wafer-thin pretext for yet more imperialist war. Recently, a joint Russian and Syrian statement claimed the US was influencing the United Nations (UN) to accuse the Syrian Arab Republic of being unable to contain Covid-19,[14] over the issue of sending aid to the Rukban refugee camp. The implication being, of course, that US troops would be needed to “deliver aid” inside Syria, giving another faux justification for their continued (illegal) presence.

Nor has Washington’s 40-year long campaign for regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran let up, even for a second. Not only had did the US government increase already crushing sanctions against Iran,[15] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has even attempted to claim that the US still remains a participant state of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal – from which it unilaterally withdrew in May 2018. This would, at least in the head of Mr Pompeo, lead to a “snapback” of the UN enforced sanctions against Iran which were in place prior to the JCPOA. The Iranian ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, in response had little option but to label the attempt of the US to claim it was still a signatory to the JCPOA as “similar to a joke”.[16] This comes after the US blatantly assassinated leading Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January.

NATO to “fight coronavirus” ?

Once again NATO tries in vain to justify its existence, this time by jumping on the coronavirus bandwagon. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg absurdly claimed that Russian military exercises in western Russia was a reason for NATO to be on its guard during the coronavirus crisis.[17] That is, NATO threatens the world with a nuclear war because Russia is conducting military exercises  – on its own soil. There is little else that exposes NATO as an anti-Russian Cold War relic. Meanwhile, hack anti-Russian journalists blame the Russian government for what appears in the Russian media, and conflates it with the position of the Russian government.[18] Yet what they are “accused” of in this case has some substance. Some in the Russian media speculate that the coronavirus was a US attempt to kneecap the Chinese economy, which certainly cannot be discounted. And in fact, the Chinese Ambassador to Russia made the announcement that the genome sequence of the coronavirus indicates that it was introduced to the Wuhan seafood market by an infected person – it was not the origin. Zhang Hanhui stated, after extensive research by five reputable Chinese scientific organisations, that the “grandpa” and “grandma” H13 and H38 haplotypes were never found in Wuhan, whereas the “father” H3 was found there, but not in the seafood market. Therefore, the H1 haplotype (Covid-19) had to have been introduced from elsewhere. The gene sequence cannot lie, stated Mr Zhang.[19]

Regardless of its origin, what is not in doubt is that the coronavirus could well be used by Washington and their allies in Canberra, Wellington, London, Paris and Berlin to launch a catastrophic global war against China, Russia, Iran, Syria, the DPRK, Venezuela and more. There was nothing spontaneous about the controlled demolition of parts of the national economies of the West – this was part of an ideological and political preparation in case the Western ruling classes found a (false) justification for launching civilisation threatening bloodshed. Hence the absurd dictums of “staying at home” and “social distancing”. Along with the openly illegal “temporary” elimination of civil and democratic rights, the imperialists were doing little else than testing the limits to which they could prevent political organising and social resistance by working people.

Of course, the imperialists did not do this themselves, but through their agents – which is how they constantly rule in the West. The number one agency they rely on for the political suppression of workers are the ultra-conservative Trade Union officials (not members) – who played their part in the Covid-19 buffoonery. Some of these careerist bureaucrats called on their own members to applaud the work of the frontline health workers – many of whom were themselves confronted with empty hospitals. The “crisis” was not Covid-19 – it was the clearing and vacating of hospital wards for coronavirus patients who never turned up. When it became obvious that the justification for lockdowns and a catastrophic shutdown of the economy was on shaky grounds, and was being questioned by many workers, the overpaid Union officials doubled down and sent out “reminders” to members about just how dangerous Covid-19 supposedly was. Like all claims based on fabrications, however, they fell flat.

Also assisting capitalist politicians and the corporate media were the centrist “left” parties, all of whom stridently defended the lockdowns and effective house arrest of entirely healthy people.[20] Many of these groups, who claim to be “revolutionary”, are already on board with the Anglo/US empire’s agenda of war against China, Russia, Iran and so on. However, so powerful is corporate state propaganda, it has even fooled some individuals amongst the usually anti-imperialist left. Needless to say, it defies logic that the same imperialists who annihilated Iraq and Afghanistan, who destroyed Green Libya, who waged atrocious proxy wars of regime change against Syria and Yemen, could then turn on their heels and – overnight –  be overwhelmingly concerned with the public health of “their own” people. Workers must be clear: a Marxist vanguard party can only be forged from the most advanced sections of its class, i.e., those who remain consistent in their rejection of bourgeois ideology. Such a party is needed to lead working people out of the Covid-19 abyss and onward to the disarming of the ruling class which is planning World War III. AUST/US troops: get out of the South China Sea! No to the Coronavirus wars!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH QLD 4012

 

[1] http://www.theblogmire.com/the-undeniable-correlation-between-lockdown-and-the-unprecedented-destruction-of-economies-jobs-and-lives/ (29-04-2020)

[2] https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/hoax-fox-news-john-roberts-caught-hot-mic-discussing-covid-19-mortality-rate-technician-like-flu-video/ (29-04-2020)

[3] https://nworeport.me/2020/04/26/if-you-die-of-a-clear-alternative-cause-its-still-listed-as-a-covid-death-dr-ngozi-ezike/ (29-04-2020)

[4] https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/494034-the-data-are-in-stop-the-panic-and-end-the-total-isolation? (29-04-2020)

[5] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-and-china-clash-over-independent-inquiry-into-coronavirus-pandemic (30-04-2020)

[6] https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/04/22/australia-joins-us-ships-in-south-china-sea-amid-rising-tension.html (30-04-2020)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2018/09/13/myanmar-rohingya-manipulated-for-the-wests-drive-to-war/ (30-04-2020)

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/myanmar-military-may-be-repeating-crimes-against-humanity-un-rapporteur-warns (30-04-2020)

[9] https://www.freeburmarangers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-FBR-Annual-Report-Web.pdf (30-04-2020)

[10] https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/01/27/we-are-forgotten-people/chin-people-burma-unsafe-burma-unprotected-india (30-04-2020)

[11] https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/manilas-defence-split-with-washington-will-be-dutertes-lasting-legacy/ (30-04-2020)

[12] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-29/philippines-social-volcano-threatening-to-erupt-amid-covid-19/12193188 (30-04-2020)

[13] https://www.philstar.com/nation/2020/03/21/2002637/barangay-captain-faces-raps-locking-curfew-violators-dog-cage (30-04-2020)

[14] https://nation.com.pk/22-Apr-2020/us-launches-campaign-to-accuse-syria-of-inability-to-curtail-coronavirus-claims-syrian-russian-joint-statement (02-05-2020)

[15] https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iran/u-s-increases-iran-sanctions-seeks-release-of-americans-amid-coronavirus-outbreak-1.8685134 (02-05-2020)

[16] https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/05/02/624394/Iran-Majid-Takht-Ravanchi–arms-embargo (02-05-2020)

[17] https://www.rferl.org/a/with-eye-on-russia-nato-stresses-readiness-during-coronavirus-crisis/30523705.html (02-05-2020)

[18] https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/14/russia-blame-america-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-disinformation/ (02-05-2020)

[19] https://tass.com/world/1146127?utm_source=tass.com_internal&utm_medium=internal&utm_campaign=tass.com_internal&utm_content=33196922&utm_term=309113 (02-05-2020)

[20] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/25/the-left-and-the-coronavirus/ (02-05-2020)

Sudan: US Plots Further Balkanisation

Sudan: US Plots Further Balkanisation

19-06-2019 – Corporate media throughout the world is flush with news of a “democratic uprising” in Sudan. Apparent activists on the ground claim a “revolution” is on the verge of removing a “dictatorship”. Those with keener insight, however, can easily see that there are very sinister forces behind the demonstrations in Sudan, and that the chaos occurring once again across Africa can only be orchestrated by the forces of US imperialism. A new “Scramble for Africa” (of sorts) is taking place, but over one hundred years after the last one, this time the imperialist powers are not competing against each other, but uniting as a bloc against the non-imperialist powers. What is taking place in Sudan today is not a “revolution”, but a proxy hybrid war waged by Washington against Beijing and Moscow.

US drives the Balkanisation of Sudan

Little more than 18 months ago, now ousted President Omar Al-Bashir stated in an interview that the Sudanese government was informed that the US desire is to divide Sudan into five parts if they are unable to obtain protection.[1] As a result, at the time Sudan requested the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, as well as SU-30 and SU-35 fighter jets to be purchased from Russia. The SU-35 is the fighter jet which, with its superior capabilities, was used to great effect by Russia in effectively eliminating ISIS from the ground in Syria, and defeating the US-led regime change war. The information about US government plans to further Balkanise Sudan are eminently believable, given the fact that the US government was the key player in the partition of Sudan,[2] which created a new state – South Sudan, but led to immense suffering and destructive conflict since its beginning in 2011.

While the long running conflict in Sudan seems intractable, in reality it is fueled not only by the US government, but also by the governments of Britain, France and the entire European Union (EU). It is these imperialist powers which are the main architects of the conflicts in South Sudan and Darfur, with the training, arming and financing of militias opposed to the Sudanese government.[3] When conflict erupts, they lay all blame for the resulting violence on Sudan’s forces, while moving in to secure energy resources for themselves – particularly oil. If anyone has any doubts about the participation of the US and EU governments in the current “democratic uprising” in Sudan, the visits by US and EU consular officials to the protesters’ sit-in in Khartoum should dispel them. None other than US Charge d’affaires Steven Koutsis personally dropped in to the sit-in outside the Defence Ministry.[4] When the US state department approves and assists your protest, it’s not hard to smell a rat.

Necessary alliances with China and Russia

Protesters in Sudan may have any number of legitimate grievances. And indeed, the actions of Omar Al-Bashir’s government in sending troops to aid the Saudi Arabian monarchy’s genocidal war on Yemen can only be condemned. However, Sudan under Bashir was at the same time strategically tilting towards Russia for military security, and towards China for economic development. Given the fact that the US Empire cannot offer either of these, Sudan has little choice. Washington knows this, and this is what is driving its plans for ongoing chaos and instability in Sudan, at any price. War, communal and ethnic conflict, destablisation – all of this devastation can only benefit the US ruling class. For one thing, it will make it extremely difficult for Red China to deliver any infrastructure to Sudan which can only assist its economic development. For example, Chinese companies are involved in a planned 7500 kilometre railway from Port Sudan on the Red Sea to Dakar in Senegal on the Atlantic, crossing Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Bamako and Mali.[5] Nothing disrupts railway construction like war and political unrest – something in which AFRICOM (Africa Command – the US military across the African continent) specialises.

China’s socialist economic power is the reason it is able to offer mutually beneficial trade and much needed infrastructure development to all African countries, including Sudan. While Russia is not socialist per se, it remains independent of the US, and it contains unrivalled superiority in military technology – partially as a hangover from the days of the Soviet Union. With Washington bent on fostering the expansion of ISIS throughout Africa, as in Syria, it is only Russia who can offer effective prevention.[6] Washington and its allies, including the Zionist Israeli state[7], will stop at nothing to prevent cooperation between Africa and Beijing and Moscow. This includes fomenting false “democracy movements”.

Regardless of the actions of the Sudanese government, or the current Transitional Military Council (TMC), working people in Sudan and internationally risk everything by being manipulated by the forces of a US Empire which is willing to gamble with global nuclear war (against China, Russia, Iran) to prevent losing the status of world’s only superpower. Left political forces in Africa need to demand the withdrawal of AFRICOM from their continent, while welcoming economic assistance offered by China, and the military protection offered by Russia. The presence of AFRICOM troops increases the chances of chaos – as that is their brief. Workers need to reject the constant threat of war and economic malaise which is virtually all the private profit system currently offers, in Africa or the West.  At the same time it is important to maintain political independence, and seek to forge genuine Marxist parties which safeguard the interests of the working people of Africa, Eurasia and beyond. AFRICOM: GET OUT OF AFRICA!

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.rt.com/news/410932-us-wants-divide-sudan/ (19-06-19)

[2] https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/us-played-key-role-in-southern-sudans-long-journey-to-independence/241660/ (19-06-19)

[3] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-balkanization-of-sudan-the-redrawing-of-the-middle-east-and-north-africa/22736 (19-06-19)

[4] https://www.globalresearch.ca/military-opposition-forces-reach-agreement-sudan-tensions-persist/5677597 (19-06-19)

[5] https://schillerinstitute.com/blog/2017/12/04/china-investiert-einen-transkontinentalen-bahnkorridor-afrika/ (19-06-19)

[6] https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/06/08/daesh-is-spreading-all-throughout-africa-and-only-russia-can-stop-it/ (19-06-19)

[7] https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-12987245/sudan-accuses-israel-over-port-sudan-air-strike (19-06-19)

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)

Sudan: US Fuels Deadly Subversion

Flag of Sudan. The Sudanese flag features the Pan-Arabic red, white and black bars. Image from Flagpedia.net.

Sudan: US Fuels Deadly Subversion

10-02-2019:  In the horn of Africa, some Sudanese people move onto the streets to protest against the price of bread. The demonstrations soon force a response from the government, which moves to prevent them from spreading. The demonstrators call for the overthrow of the state. For the left internationally, on the surface it appears to be a straight forward case – we back the people who are demanding bread – or do we?  In Africa in 2019, things are not at all what they seem.

After the experience of Libya, Syria, Ukraine and now Venezuela, working people need to be alert to any suspected regime change effort by the US Empire. And in Sudan currently, all the hallmarks of yet another attempt to overthrow yet another “regime” which is independent of Washington are there. How can we determine this? One giveaway is the fact that the demand for cheaper bread almost immediately became a call for regime change. This is usually a tell-tale sign that imperialism is fomenting yet another hybrid war for the overturn of a state. Another sign is that the protestors immediately moved to burn down offices of the ruling National Congress Party, headed by President Omar Al-Bashir[1], and set fire to some government vehicles. Suffice to say that demanding cheaper bread at the same time as knee-jerk pyromania is more than a little suspicious.

Sudan pivots to Russia, Syria

Another sign that the current protests in Sudan are not the genuine article is the fact that they broke out immediately after Al-Bashir met with Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus on December 16. What is more, President Bashir was flown from the Sudanese capital Khartoum to Damascus in Russian military aircraft.[2] This visit made Bashir the first Arabic leader of a country to visit Al-Assad in eight years – during the time of the West’s proxy war for regime change against Syria. Al-Bashir’s visit to President Assad seemed to be intended to mark a public display of reality in Syria – the war for regime change waged by the US government is over, and Syria will, for now, remain independent. It also seemed to be an intentional display of the re-alignment of Bashir’s government away from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, and towards Russia and Syria. Workers can be thankful for small mercies such as this. The Sudanese government’s participation in the Saudi led war on Yemen is almost unforgivable. Bashir’s government reportedly sent four attack aircraft and up to 10 000 troops to take part in the attempted suppression of the Houthis defending Yemen.[3] The war on Yemen was a spin-off of the failed regime change war against Syria, and Al-Bashir’s participation in this war against fellow Arabs should be condemned, despite an apparent need now to defend Sudan against US led regime change.

Bashir’s tilt away from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and towards Syria and Russia is to be welcomed, if only to counter the nefarious ends of US imperialist pressure on Sudan. Despite the US government recently lifting crippling sanctions on Sudan, President Bashir claims – not without foundation – that the US seeks the balkanisation of Sudan into five parts. Bashir stated that Sudan sought Russian made S-300 anti-missile protection systems and SU-35s (advanced Russian fighter jets) in order to protect themselves from a US onslaught seeking to shatter the country.[4] In contrast to the decision to assist the war on Yemen, this decision is a rational one. The US was transparently behind the moves to separate South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, when it backed the “Christian” south against the “Muslim” north.[5] What is more, this campaign, which inevitably led to further war, was backed by Hollywood celebrities including Don Cheadle, Mark Wahlberg and the notorious US imperialist adjunct George Clooney.[6] George Clooney would go on to make moves to produce a film glorifying the Al-Qaeda outfit “The White Helmets” in Syria, which made fake videos falsely portraying them as “rescuers”.[7] Even with Hollywood’s backing, the US Empire and their Al-Qaeda proxies were defeated in Syria with the assistance of Russian air power – particularly the SU-35. Hence, Bashir’s desire for a stock of these jets for Sudan.

New Silk Road

As is now customary, US ruling class designs in Africa are consistently overhauled in an attempt to ward off the assistance offered by Red China. Any means which can disrupt trade, investment, healthcare or infrastructure development assistance offered by the world’s largest socialist power to African countries, will be considered or carried out by Washington. This includes all measures up to and including the stoking of fratricidal wars. All of this is under the watchful eye of AFRICOM – the US Empire’s strategic command for the African continent. And AFRICOM takes a dim view of China’s New Silk Road (One Belt One Road – OBOR), which seeks to link Africa and Asia to Europe through mutually beneficial construction of roads, ports and railways. Heaven forbid that African countries should accept development assistance from the predominantly planned and collectivised Chinese economy! Given that Sudan is a strategic hub of the African section of the New Silk Road, it follows that Sudan is thus a prime target for a hybrid political/psychological/diplomatic war.

To give just one example, in 2017 it was announced that China would build a railway connecting the strategic Port Sudan on the edge of the Red Sea to the Chadian capital N’Djamena. This will allow surrounding Eastern African countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria a link to the sea port at Port Sudan – a link to Europe and Asia.[8] The US ruling class, from their point of view, simply cannot stand by and allow any African country to develop, or at the least, not through Washington. China, with its economy operating on a fundamentally different basis to predatory imperialism, has nothing to fear and everything to gain from the rise of African countries out of Third World status. The US economy, based on private profit – cannot tolerate any competition whatsoever. The Chinese economy, which does not operate primarily on private profit, but according to its Five Year Plans, welcomes trading partners, cultural exchanges, and friendly political alliances. Hence – the US covert war for regime change in many parts of Africa. Today Sudan, tomorrow Nigeria, and on and on it goes.

US admits one of their own behind the “protests”

Sometimes the hand of the US deep state reveals itself, and in this case, its involvement in the regime change protests in Sudan. The “Voice of America” – US state department propaganda pumped around the world – admitted in a recent article that Rudwan Dawod helped organise the recent protests in Sudan.[9] Mr Dawod, the article states, is a Sudanese-American politician. He lives sometimes in Oregon in the US, and sometimes in Khartoum. He heads up the transparently dubious “Sudan of the Future” campaign, and when in Khartoum he is employed by “Sudan Sunrise” – an openly US funded NGO.[10] Mr Dawod has previously been arrested by Sudanese authorities, apparently on suspicion of spying for both the US and South Sudan. Given his employment by a US backed NGO, such suspicions have more than reasonable grounds. US backed NGOs are planted around the globe, endlessly plotting regime change on behalf of their benefactors, in Russia, China and Iran. The addition of Sudan to this list would surprise no one.

No one, that is, apart from the imperial left in Australia. Leading from behind on this score, is the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). The CPA should be well aware of the role of Red China in Africa, and the desperate measures of the US Empire and its de facto permanent AFRICOM occupation force. However, the CPA gives carte blanche endorsement to the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), and blindly assumes that the actions of this party align with its name. Over a century has passed since Karl Marx wrote that just as we do not judge an individual on what he thinks of himself, we also do not judge political parties on the basis of what they claim to be. If the Sudanese Communist Party claims to be “communist” while calling for the overthrow of the Sudanese “regime” at the same time as US backed NGOs operating in Sudan are helping to organise this, it follows that, at least on this issue, the Sudanese Communist Party is barely left-wing, let alone “communist”.  By retailing the Sudanese Communist Party’s calls for what can only at this stage be US backed regime change,[11] the CPA adds to its membership ledger of the imperial left.

Always eager to be the first in line to call for regime change in a country targeted by US imperialism, the Socialist Alliance (SA) has leapt into the fray. Seemingly SA has drawn no lessons from its strident backing of the US led wars for regime change against Libya and Syria, and has even deepened the errors. Its newspaper Green Left Weekly is replete with articles urging the overthrow of Sudan, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the contrived protests in Sudan do not appear to have gained anything other than token support across the East African country, which has a population of 40 million people. The photos of the “mass rallies” in Sudan are the classical narrow angle photo, which only shows a section of a small crowd, falsely implying a huge attendance. Even aside from this, basic Marxists should know just by the title of the declaration of the opposition parties, that this is an orchestrated pro-Western coup, with some backing from domestic conservative forces. The “Declaration of Freedom and Change”[12] sounds wonderful for the well paid technical staff of the Sudanese Professionals Association, but will do nothing for poor and working class Sudanese. In fact, US backed regime change in Sudan, which blocked off development assistance offered by China, will be disastrous for them.

“Freedom and Change” cannot be won through the US Empire

This is not to deny socio-economic and political problems for the working class of Sudan. Similar issues exist in all countries, but especially in African countries which are still prevented from developing as one consequence of the history of European colonialism. If US and European imperialism did not exist at all, if there was no military, political, financial or diplomatic interference in Sudan, or in Africa as a whole, from the ruling classes of the United Kingdom (former colonial ruler) and the United States, there is a small possibility that workers internationally could come behind political movements in Sudan – even ones aimed at forming a new government. But this fantasy world does not exist. Imperialism – the expansionary needs of financial capital from the First World “great” powers – has created the political problems in Africa, and it will remain until it is overthrown – principally by workers in “their own” centres.

IF there was political movement in Sudan which was clearly leading a struggle for socialism, for workers’ power, and IF this movement was led by parties or a party which made its call for a workers’ government in Sudan and throughout Africa, and IF this movement made it crystal clear that it opposed the interference of US imperialism in toto, THEN workers internationally could look at engaging with such a movement in a supportive manner.  IF any of these characteristics were present, or anything even leaning in such a direction, it MAY be worth looking at a position of critical support for such a movement. Marxism, as Lenin stressed repeatedly, is the concrete analysis of concrete conditions. Leftists have to analyse each set of circumstances on a case by case basis.

The contrived political protests in Sudan today do not meet ANY of even the most basic pre-conditions that would lead to the beginnings of critical support. Not only does the US state department admit that one of its citizens was organising the protests, part of the Sudanese “opposition” admits it has met with high level US consular staff. For example, the opposition Sudan Call alliance met with US Ambassador Steven Koutsis, at their request, in London in September 2018, to “discuss their position on the peace talks and democratic process”.[13] After the experience of the regime wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and attempts at regime change in Ukraine and Iran, amongst others, one can imagine how the US state department views a “democratic process” !!

Working people in Sudan have an interest in opposing, not backing, US imperialist plans for their country. While maintaining their political independence, state and non-state development assistance offered on good terms from socialist China should be welcomed, and even leveraged against the aims of AFRICOM. Socialists internationally should seek to expose the role of the US Empire in Africa, while extending efforts to forge genuine Marxist vanguard parties – the key element of true internationalism.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/sudan-bread-price-protests-rebellion-government-khartoum-a8697986.html (03-02-19)

[2] https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181219-why-did-sudans-president-visit-bashar-al-assad-in-syria/ (03-02-19)

[3] https://southfront.org/sudanese-forces-in-yemeni-war/ (05-02-19)

[4] https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/25/543483/Sudan-US-sanctions-Bashir (05-02-19)

[5] https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/us-played-key-role-in-southern-sudans-long-journey-to-independence/241660/ (05-02-19)

[6] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14050504 (05-02-19)

[7] http://www.handsoffsyriasydney.com/articles/white-helmets-black-hearts/ (05-02-19)

[8] https://www.globalresearch.ca/sudan-is-indispensable-to-chinas-silk-road-vision-for-africa/5619886 (06-02-19)

[9] https://www.voanews.com/a/sudanese-american-politician-who-organized-protests-goes-missing/4749567.html (06-02-19)

[10] http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20120814-US-concerned-over-re-arrest-of-aid-worker-in-Sudan (06-02-19)

[11] http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2019/1854/04-sudanese.html (09-02-19)

[12] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/can-sudanese-people-bring-down-dictator (09-02-19)

[13] http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66325 (10-02-19)