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)

Hands Off Russia! No to Nuclear War

Hands Off Russia! No to Nuclear War

18-03-2018 – Lies, lies and more lies. Lies which could ignite a world war. It is a cliché that truth is the first casualty of war, but the lies spewing forth from the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and Germany over the circumstances of the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia go beyond the standard lies we come to expect from Western politicians. These lies test the rational discourse necessary to operate a society on a basis which is even half civil. Capitalism has long since ceased to be civil, if it ever was. And now it pushes humanity towards the brink of the unthinkable – a mutually destructive nuclear holocaust. The prime movers towards this unthinkable are none other than the ruling classes of the supposedly “advanced” West. Russia is but the scapegoat.

Gulf of Tonkin like incident

Former UK parliamentarian for the Labour and Respect parties George Galloway has poignantly stated that the response by the Western governments to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English town of Salisbury is eerily reminiscent of the lead-up to the unforgivable US/UK/AUST invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then, partially on the basis of a UK government “dodgy dossier” which claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which were able to be deployed within 45 minutes, the US and its Western allies carried out an unprovoked invasion, slaughtering up to 1 million innocent Iraqis. He also stated that the blaming of Russia for the poisoning of Skripal will go down in history as one of the great hoaxes, a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident.[1] The Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred in 1964, where the US destroyer USS Maddox exchanged shots with North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Two days later, the US government claimed the Maddox came under fire again. Although most historians now agree this second attack never happened, the pretext was set, and within 12 months 180 000 US troops were on the ground in Vietnam. The war dragged on for years, and slaughtered 3 million Vietnamese and changed 20th century history. This time, the West’s target is not a small country in Asia, but the world’s largest country by landmass – Russia.

As usual, the Australian government has already given an assurance that it will back the provocateurs, as it has done in every real and potential imperialist war for decades. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has stated that “there is no other plausible explanation” that the Russian government ordered the attack, or allowed others to use its chemical agent stockpiles for the attack.[2] Predictably, Bishop stated that the Australian government would back moves by the UK to send weapons inspectors to Russia. That is, in the same manner as in the lead up to the Iraq war in 2003, the West proposes to send chemical weapons inspectors into Russia, when not a shred of evidence to support their wild allegations has been put forward. Arguably 90% of the world’s population strongly opposed the US led war on Iraq in 2003, because they did not believe attempted government justifications for war. Where is world opinion now?

Mother of all distractions

As others have noted, Sergei Skripal was a double agent, and thus had a lot of enemies. He was tried and convicted of handing over the names of 300 Russian agents to foreign powers, and sentenced to 13 years in prison.[3] In 2010, he was able to escape to the UK as part of a spy swap deal. Given the relatively light sentence for treason that Russian courts handed him in 2004, the Russian government seemingly did not recognise him as a major threat. Russia has consistently denied any involvement in the poisoning of Skripal, and has repeatedly asked for samples of the alleged nerve agent used, as provided for in the conventions of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The British government refused these requests by Russia point blank, while issuing absurd ultimatums to Russia. The discourse from the UK government and its assistant corporate media is childish and pathetic, but there is some basis for their warped behaviour.

The UK, and the imperialist West generally, needed a distraction from the upcoming Russian presidential elections. In these elections, it is almost assured that President Vladimir Putin will win, and win hands down, especially considering his approval rating hovers around the 80% mark. This astronomically high figure can be largely attributed to the fact that Putin and his backers pulled Russia back from the brink of complete social, economic and political catastrophe which followed the capitalist counterrevolution in the Soviet Union in 1991-2. During the 1990s, Russian life expectancy plummeted, leading to Russia’s population shrinking. Economic output more than halved. Alcoholism skyrocketed, as despair set in. From around 1999, Russia with Putin at the helm, started to claw back some of the state owned enterprises which had been privatised during the 90s. Ironically, Putin’s government, despite remaining capitalist, used nationalisation and not privatisation to re-boot the Russian economy. In the process, Putin had to take on and defeat some of Russia’s known oligarchs who had grown rich on the basis of massive and almost unfettered corruption – such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky.[4]

The concept of a Russian leader being overwhelmingly popular, and being endorsed heartily by its citizens, is simply too much for the West to bear. Add to this the fact that the soccer World Cup will in a few months be held in Russia, which will inevitably add at least some prestige to the Russian government on the world stage – and you have a scenario which is tailor made for a Western manufactured “false flag,” of which there have been many over the last several years. Western politicians are arguably universally loathed by working people themselves, due to decades of government funding cuts, austerity, joblessness, homelessness and relentless attacks on living standards. While working people internationally cannot completely endorse the domestic or international politics of the Russian government, working people do have an interest in defending Russia against hysterical attacks from the ruling classes of “their own” countries. In defending itself against the dangerously provocative actions of NATO and Western imperialism, the Russian government takes measures which safeguard the international working class – if only temporarily.

Western defeat in Syria

As the Western governments make lamentable attempts to blame Russia for everything, while presenting no proof, the final stages of the liberation of Syria from the hordes of Western armed ISIS and Al Qaeda mercenaries is taking place. In days past, the Syrian Arab Army announced it had retaken 70% of the areas controlled by terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta.[5] This follows years of occupation by US/UK armed barbarians holding Syrian civilians hostage, starving them, and shooting at them if they tried to escape. Russia was key to the defeat of the US and the UK in Syria (which was backed by Canberra), which created, funded and trained unhinged cutthroats in an effort to effect regime change. If the West had have succeeded in overthrowing the Syrian Arab Republic, Iran would almost certainly be next on the list, likely followed by Russia itself. In defending itself against this barely concealed aggression, Russia performed a service for humanity which is barely recognised. This is similar to the virtual non-recognition of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi led fascism in the Second World War.

Russia almost single-handedly destroyed the West’s creation – ISIS. The practice of Wall Street employing a barbarian proxy army, who could carry out regime change while the US, UK, French and Australian governments claimed “plausible deniability” was derailed by Russia, in a masterful act of military and political brokering. Russia checkmated the West by taking on all terrorists active in Syria, and inviting the West to help them do so. The West could not join such a campaign – exposing them as the ultimate sponsors. In response the West attempts to whip up a pathological hatred of Russia, which arguably eclipses standard Russophobia. The government of the West are creating an atmosphere of thinly veiled racism against Russians, and an almost unbound dehumanisation of Russians, not just the Russian government or its leader – although there is plenty of that. The dehumanisation of an entire people is meant to sanitise the most horrific depredations against them – including the destruction of millions of innocents through nuclear war. The worlds’ working people must be alert to what is occurring.

Consistently evidence free narrative

The US Empire, backed by its allies in London, Paris, Berlin and Canberra cannot act using force alone. Heavy and sustained propaganda must be used to fool the working people internationally, lest they take political action to force an end to insane war provocations. On every issue where the West has attempted to point the finger of blame squarely at Russia, at the Russian government, and at Putin himself, there has consistently been a distinct lack of any probative proof.

The Russian government was blamed for shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 – with no proof. The Russian government was blamed for invading and “annexing” Crimea – with no proof. The Russian government was blamed for meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election – with no proof. The Russian government was blamed for invading Ukraine – with no proof. The Russian government was blamed for a state sponsored doping program of its Olympic athletes – with no proof. And on and on it goes. The West and their allies don’t need proof – this is not the way the New McCarthyism works. All that is needed is smear and innuendo, baseless allegations from the “authorities” with no substantial evidence. The relentless repetition of what is essentially slander is rained down upon working people in the West. It is assisted by liberals, bought and paid for academics, principle free journalists, conservative Trade Union bureaucracies and some left parties. Genuine anti-war activists are thus faced with an enormous task.

Russian “imperialism”

Unfortunately, some left parties buy into the plainly absurd theory that Russia today is “imperialist”. Such claims are laughable, but it allows them to tail after NATO and the US into war after war, even while they claim they are anti-war. For one thing, Russia today is halting imperialist wars, rather than prosecuting them. Arguably Russia should have intervened in some way to block NATO’s obliteration of Green Libya. But since then, Russia drew a line in the sand in Syria, and skilfully brought the imperialist war machine to a screeching halt. If Russia actually was imperialist, it would not be tactically blocking the advance of NATO, it would be joining in its abominable wars. It has not done this, and neither did it sponsor even one terrorist sent into Syria, in stark contrast to the governments of the US, UK and France. Ironically, the governments of the US, France and Germany have now joined the UK in holding Russia responsible for an alleged murder plot (of the Skripals) on British soil. This very act rebuffs those left parties claiming Russian “imperialism”, and demonstrates precisely just who the imperialists are.

The debate on Russian “imperialism”, such that there is one, requires a separate study. Suffice to say that Russia – a middle ranking capitalist economy at best – cannot be imperialist even if that was the desire of its rulers. An imperialist economy is one totally dominated by finance or bank capital – which necessitates an expansionary foreign policy – either through economic subordination or through outright war. But the only thing which is expanding in relation to Russia is NATO. NATO’s relentless expansion to the East, taking in countries of the former Soviet bloc, in violation of express affirmations that it would not do so, mean that Russia must take more countermeasures.[6] These countermeasures are then painted as “Russian aggression”. One look at a map of Europe will show NATO countries which now include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey – all lie on the border with, or in the immediate vicinity of, Russia. Russian encirclement by NATO countries strongly suggest that Russia is a target of the imperialists – rather than being one itself.

As if to further underscore the case, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently announced that US, British and French Special Forces are on the ground in Syria, and their governments no longer deny it.[7] That is, military forces of the West who were not at any stage invited into Syria, as Russia was. Syria remains a flashpoint for a potential reckless mistake which could spark a world war. Working people internationally need to stand foursquare in the defence of Russia should such a conflict break out. At the same time, workers need to understand that the threat of war will remain as long as the real imperialism, led by Washington, exists. All efforts must go not only into ending the threat of war, but of ending the profit system which creates these threats in the first place. HANDS OFF RUSSIA!

WORKERS LEAGUE

Sergei Skripal (behind bars) and his daughter Yulia. http://www.abc.net.au

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201803141062501430-skripal-poisoning-responsibility-mystery-investigation/ (18-03-2018)

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-18/australia-meets-with-russia-over-ex-spy-poisoning/9560102 (18-03-2018)

[3] https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/03/06/a-hundred-grand-and-hundreds-of-betrayed-agents (18-03-2018)

[4] https://qz.com/161135/how-russias-once-richest-man-hid-his-last-170-million-from-vladimir-putin/ (18-03-2018)

[5] https://sana.sy/en/?p=130716 (18-03-2018)

[6] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-says-russia-planning-countermeasuresto-nato-expansion/2016/11/21/83f5673c-afe1-11e6-ab37-1b3940a0d30a_story.html?utm_term=.caab842cc6e3 (18-03-2018)

[7] https://www.rt.com/news/421582-lavrov-foreign-special-forces-syria/ (18-03-2018)

The Liberation of Syria – a Victory against the Empire

17-12-2016 – As we go to press, the Russian and Syrian armed forces are on the verge of the complete liberation of Aleppo from being held hostage by Western backed mercenaries. This is after five years of arguably the most criminal war waged against a sovereign country in modern history. It is an open secret that the governments of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have armed, funded, trained and in some cases directed tens of thousands of barbarous mercenaries from over 80 different non-Syrian countries, and let them loose. In this historically unprecedented crime, they have been backed by the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel and others. The leader of this Empire is centred in Washington, yet as we saw in September this year, and by its own admission, Canberra is a willing partner.[1]

Countless corporate media outlets, from CNN and ABC in the US, to the BBC in the UK, to France 24, and including the ABC and SBS in Australia, have played an ignominious role in reproducing pro-war “news” and continue to do so, even as we potentially see the end of the war on Syria in sight. This litany of lies about the war has confused many of those who opposed the war on Iraq in 2003, and has seemingly fooled a whole swathe of parties which claim to be “socialist”. Some in the Refugee Action Collective have also taken the bait. In the Western corporate media narrative, unspeakably barbaric Western backed mercenaries are called “activists” or “rebels”. The legitimate Syrian government is referred to as a “regime”. The slaughter of innocents by ISIS and Al Qaeda groups, which frequently change their names, is blamed on Russia, without a shred of evidence.

The liberation of Aleppo from ISIS and Al Qaeda should be compared to the liberation of Saigon in 1975. In fact, Syria is arguably the first major defeat for US imperialism since their defeat in Vietnam. For the US Empire, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. It was supposed to be yet another textbook case of the US arming death squads and overthrowing the state which they viewed as too independent from Washington. After Libya, the US elite perhaps believed that no one would stand in their way. In Syria, however, other powers saw that the endless US game of regime change would soon enough target them if they did not act. Russia was the most aware of this and acted accordingly. Iran joined them, and China at least gave some support in the United Nations. As Syrian Presidential and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shabaan commented, the liberation of Aleppo from US backed Al Qaeda groups will not only turn the face of the war, but change the balance of power regionally and internationally. Russia and China now lead the international scene, not the United States.[2]

Consider the position of the US ruling class at this moment. The virtually limitless propaganda about a supposed “Syrian revolution”, led by “moderates”, has been exposed for all to see. No matter which way they attempt to spin it, the whole world can simply do their own research to discover that it is the US ruling class which long ago had designs on regime change in Syria, long before 2011. The whole world can do their own research and without much difficulty, establish that it was the US Empire and their allies, which armed, funded, and in some cases fought alongside,[3] the very ISIS groups they claimed to be fighting against. The whole world can also see who was really serious in ridding the world of the scourge of ISIS, and who by far did the most about it – the Russian government. At the request of the Syrian government, Russia intervened on September 30, 2015, and decisively turned the proxy war against the US Empire. For this service to humanity, Russia has been demonised and subjected to propaganda that makes the original Cold War seem like child’s play. In fact, some sections of the US ruling class were willing to go to war with Russia over Syria. If Hilary Clinton had won the US presidential election, a third world war was a definite possibility. It could still be, despite US President elect Donald Trump potentially being able to pull the US back from a full scale war, at least with Russia.

A few short years ago, ISIS was the hot issue of the day. It allegedly threatened all of humanity with imminent destruction and “we” .i.e. Western governments, had to go to war to “protect” us from ISIS. At the same time, working people the world over had to accept the shredding of even nominal democratic rights, such as the right to not have your communication with others spied upon. In France the right to public assembly to protest against draconian labour law changes was all but abolished. Now, where is the threat from ISIS? Working people the world over can see that it is no longer there, and, regardless of your political opinion of the Russian government, it was largely Russia which eliminated ISIS. Can the US use the ISIS bogey again? Will the people of the world believe it a second time? To ask this question is to answer it.

We can be sure, however, that the US Empire will again attempt, in some form, to at least manufacture a confrontation, if not a major war, with those who they see as standing in their way. This is not primarily a result of recklessness, though there is plenty of that. Ultimately it is produced by the world capitalist economies’ prolonged economic decline, if not outright recession. Working people have an acute need obviously to avoid a catastrophic war, but also for decent paying jobs, reliable public services, and a climate which does not threaten them. Only with a socialist system will the possibility of addressing these serious social problems present themselves. To lead a struggle for this society as well as an end to imperialist wars, working people need their own party. VICTORY TO SYRIA!

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Workers League

PO Box 66 Nundah QLD 4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

www.redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/australian-jets-participated-massacre-syrian-soldiers-deir-ezzor/ (17-12-16)

[2] http://sana.sy/en/?p=96389 (17-12-16)

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/09/pictures-appear-to-show-british-special-forces-on-syrian-front-line (17-12-16)

Justice for ALL refugees! Labor, Liberal, Greens: No Choice!

18-06-2016 – The ruling of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Supreme Court that the refugee detention centre on Manus Island was illegal[1] has led to a situation where neither the PNG government nor the Australian government is willing to take responsibility for the approximately 850 refugees and asylum seekers trapped there. The Liberal Party Minister Peter Dutton continues to be unmoved, while the Labor Party in response, has outrageously reaffirmed its support for off-shore detention. Make no mistake, the two major parties are the architects and executioners of refugee and asylum seeker abuse in this country, and in the region. They coldly calculate that cruelty towards “others” from overseas, even those seeking a safe place to live, will be a vote winner while many workers in this country are encouraged to look for scapegoats for a lack of jobs, infrastructure, healthcare, education and unaffordable housing. The unspeakable horror dealt out to those either fleeing for their lives or simply seeking a better chance at life exposes the more than Machiavellian moves of these misanthropic spokespersons for abuse. For them, if torture equals votes, they have no issues with it.

Working people and those with even a modicum of human compassion recoil with loathing at such behaviour from so-called political “leaders”. Understandably, some then turn to what appears like the next available political option – the Australian Greens. Surely the Greens must stand for a principled position on the issue, and would take immediate steps to end this if in office – right? Actually, no. The last federal government, from 2010 to 2013 was an ALP-Greens coalition. The ALP governed with the support of the Greens. And it was in 2012 that the ALP-Greens government re-opened the detention centres on Manus Island in PNG and Nauru. Sure, the Greens mouthed some opposition, but their actions were somewhat different. Rather than threatening to, or actually, quitting the government over the issue, the Greens remained on the parliamentary benches and pointed accusing fingers towards the ALP. That is, the suffering of refugees and asylum seekers was nowhere near as important for them as retaining their overpaid parliamentary positions. This fact should indicate how the Greens intend to operate if there is another ALP-Greens coalition government which forms out of the coming Federal Election.

Previously, the Greens have written that, if elected, they would close down the “worst” detention centres.[2] Are there “moderate” detention centres? All detention centres mete out abuse, in a situation where the detention itself is illegal even according to the laws of the ruling class. The fact is that voting for, or even giving preferences to the Greens will not free the refugees. The refugee rights movement must face up to this fact. This is not because the Greens are not nice people. It is because the Greens, no less than Labor and Liberal, defend the capitalist system at all costs – even if they don’t like to mention it. It is the faltering profit system which is causing a breakdown of society – the lack of jobs, affordable housing and public transport, the stripping of basic civil rights, the massacre of the natural environment, and – the debasement of refugees and asylum seekers. These “facts on the ground” will not be altered no matter how many Greens Senators are allocated a parliamentary bench on July 2.

Electoral “change”

It might be objected, but the Greens can only do so much without governmental power. What if we were able to elect a government of Greens, or a government of Greens and other progressive parties and independents – a “government of the left” ? Surely that would be the end of the matter? Unfortunately not. Look at what happened in Greece. There an allegedly “left” party which called itself “radical” – SYRIZA – was elected in January 2015. It took them a few hours to form a governmental coalition with the far-right ANEL (Independent Greeks). The SYRIZA government then went on to impose even more crushing austerity than that they had said they were opposed to before being elected. Working people continue to suffer job cuts, wage cuts and a decimation of pensions and social services. And with regard to refugees and asylum seekers, time and again Greek riot police have been sent in to assault them. In December last year, SYRIZA Immigration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas declared that refugees had to either leave voluntarily, file a claim for asylum within 30 days, or be forcibly repatriated to other countries.[3] In the last couple of months, the SYRIZA government is doing its utmost to implement the European Union (EU)-Turkey deal, where any irregular arrivals in Greece are deported to Turkey. In response, even some generally apolitical NGOs have suspended their operations in protest.

The SYRIZA party was never left-wing, let alone radical, no matter what it called itself. And there is a world of difference between winning governmental power and state power. The SYRIZA fraudsters won governmental power – of a capitalist state. This meant that it would have to implement what the capitalists – either from the EU or domestically – ordered. They ordered more austerity, and refugee repression, and SYRIZA delivered. The only way this could have been avoided would be if SYRIZA was actually a socialist party, which aimed to prepare workers for the taking of state (not governmental) power. But SYRIZA, like the Australian Greens, have no intention of ever breaking with the capitalist system which provides them with electoral office. Hence refugees, asylum seekers – and working people – become entirely expendable.

War and refugees

Working people voting for, or preferencing, the Greens or the ALP not only crosses class lines. It actually enables the very conditions which create refugees. This is most especially apparent with regard to war. The Greens and the ALP have both fully endorsed the US-led proxy wars on Libya and Syria, from 2011 to this day. These wars have been a huge reason why there is a disastrous refugee crisis in Europe, with some of them fleeing to other parts of the world, including Australia. The danger of war is ever-present today, ultimately as a result of the inability of capitalism to restart industrial production. Consequently, we see the US war machine preparing extremely dangerous military provocations, not only in Libya and Syria, but along the border with Russia and along the border with China. If one of these flashpoints breaks into war, refugee numbers will explode. But the ALP and the Greens remain wedded to US imperialism, no less than the Liberal Party. A vote, or preference, for the ALP or the Greens is a vote for refugee producing war.

It is not only the Greens who enact a war agenda, despite some anti-war hot air. Some left parties which heavily influence the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) also, despite their intentions, fall into the pro-war camp. From 2011 until today, Socialist Alternative (SALT), Socialist Alliance (SALL) and Solidarity (SOL) have extended full backing to the appalling imperialist wars on Libya and Syria. In both cases, such groups have been outspoken in pleas for the destruction of the states of those countries, giving a blank cheque to the US Empire to do just that. Today, SALT, SALL and SOL clamour for regime change in Syria, while simultaneously denying that they are supporting the only forces attempting regime change – the US, Saudi, British, French and Turkish armed mercenaries of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham, amongst others. These barbarians, which operate in concert with the Israeli Defence Force,[4] have recently embarked on yet another wave of atrocities in the Syrian cities of Tartus and Jableh, explicitly targeting civilians.[5] This bloodbath, which slaughtered at least 100 Syrians, is part of a reigniting of the war by the US and its allies after being decisively rolled back by the Russian intervention on the side of the Syrian Arab Republic since September 30 last year. Despite these unspeakable acts, SALT, SALL and SOL variously refer to the NATO armed mercenaries in Syria as either “opposition”, “rebels” or “revolutionaries” !?!

The intervention of Canberra on the side of the US into this war has not caused these groups any pause for thought. Despite opposing Australia sending troops to invade Iraq in 2003, SALT, SALL and SOL join with the Greens in only mouthing muted calls, if any, against Australian military involvement in Syria. The Russian intervention, however, soon pushed Australian military hardware out of Syria. Australia, with a token few jet fighters, would not dare take on the might of Russia, and consequently the FA-18s were diverted soon after Russia began striking ISIS targets.[6] Refugee rights supporters, all working people, and all those opposed to war need to loudly demand a complete end to Australia’s involvement in yet another US led war for regime change. Australian troops: Out of Iraq and Syria!

There are many genuine people contained in RAC and other refugee and asylum seeker support groups, who are keen to help in any way they can to end the suffering of innocents. The problem is not one of a lack of people willing to help, but one of political strategy. RAC and the left parties which guide (or mislead) it continue with a political strategy of seeking the “unity” of all those who seek justice for refugees, regardless of political orientation, regardless of class, and therefore regardless of material benefit from the profit system. The ALP, the Greens, and the Union bureaucracy, all have their well remunerated positions guaranteed IF they guard the profit system by keeping social and political movements within certain parameters. The refugee rights movement is no exception – in fact it is a prime example. The ALP, the Greens and conservative Union leaders are very skilled at intervening into social movements in order to steer it in a direction which suits their needs. Refugee rights activists need to be aware of this, and need to be prepared to counter it. In fact, the refugee rights movement needs to be prepared to split from the influence of the parliamentary parties and the Union bureaucracy to give it a fighting chance of succeeding.

This does not mean that the backing of Unions is not necessary – for it is vital. Yet the conservative Union officials are a direct obstacle to the desperately needed mobilisation of workers for refugee rights. It would greatly assist if the refugee rights movement adopted an independent and pro-worker political basis. Rather than organise actions which gather a crowd before which the electoralist Greens or Union bureaucrats are allowed to self-promote themselves, rallies and meetings could be organised with an orientation which is independent of the parliamentary parties and with a pro-worker outlook. A workers’ rally with clear demands about ending the on-shore and off-shore detention of refugees would be a good start. If Greens or Union leaders wanted to speak, they would have to speak to the demands of the action, rather than their own agenda. In other words, the refugee rights movement needs to dictate the political terms to the Greens and the Union leaders, rather than ceding political control to them. This will require a refugee rights movement which is prepared to politically break with the Greens, Union bureaucrats and left groups which tail them – but it is vital if we are to ever end refugee torment in this country.

This political break cannot be fulfilled until working people are convinced that 1) NONE of the current parliamentary parties will or can act to end the suffering of refugees and 2) that political struggle independent of the parliamentary parties – and the elections they run in – must take priority and 3) such a political struggle must also remain independent of the self-serving Union bureaucracy, while never ceasing to demand these officials take serious action. The welfare of refugees AND that of the working class will either go forward together, or will remain isolated from one another, leading to yet another defeat for both. While working people cannot ignore the election process set up by the ruling class, neither should we be diverted into campaigns which only aim at pleading with political machines who know very well for whom they are acting.

The refugee rights struggle, therefore, is not simply one of cruelty versus compassion. Ultimately it is one of capitalism versus socialism. This is not just the case in the future – it is the case now, long before workers are prepared for a revolution. A socialist revolution involves a fundamental split in the social movements between all those who are employed or mislead by the old order, and their hangers-on, and all workers and their supporters who are risking everything to construct a new social order. In a similar way, decent treatment of refugees can only be won by those seeking a new order – workers and their supporters – with or without those who cling to the old world – the Greens, the ALP, Union bureaucrats and their left backers.

RELEASE THE REFUGEES!           SHUT DOWN NAURU AND MANUS ISLAND! 

Workers League

PO BOX 66   NUNDAH   QLD   4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-26/png-court-rules-asylum-seeker-detention-manus-island-illegal/7360078 (23-05-16)

[2] http://greens.org.au/end-mandatory-detention (23-05-16)

[3] http://www.globalresearch.ca/syriza-government-sends-greek-riot-police-to-attack-refugee-camp/5496244 (23-05-16)

[4] https://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/un-finds-credible-ties-between-isis-and-israeli-defense-forces-2/ (25-05-16)

[5] http://www.syrianews.cc/us-uk-unleash-bloodbaths-tartous-jableh/ (25-05-16)

[6] http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/07/australian-airstrikes-in-syria-on-hold-as-russias-entry-complicates-mission (25-05-16)

NO to war with China! Lift the Sanctions on the DPRK!

09-03-2016 – It’s a scenario that would have seemed unimaginable even six months ago – a new war in the Pacific. Yet this is precisely what working people across the world stare in the face. The US Empire, smarting from its defeat at the hands of the Russians in Syria, have yet again ramped up its hostile provocations against the People’s Republic of China, with Canberra obediently falling in behind. It follows on from Resolution 2270 passed by the United Nations Security Council[1], imposing the harshest possible sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), for the “crime” of preparing for its own self defence in response to unending hostility from the US government. This year’s “military exercises” – in reality live practice for an invasion – on the doorstep of the DPRK will be the largest ever, involving troops from the US, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and others. The slightest error in these war games could trigger a global war – a war in which working people will be the ones who suffer first, and the worst.

It’s the supreme irony – China and the DPRK are almost universally referred to in the West as tyrannical communist dictatorships in which basic democracy is absent. At the same time, Washington and Canberra are preparing for major military operations against both China and the DPRK – without seeking, let alone gaining, any semblance of public support for war. We must ask, where exactly is the dictatorship? Working people here and internationally generally harbour a passionate hatred for war, which is one reason why the respective Western ruling classes do not even present the question for discussion, let alone debate. To be sure, many unsuspecting people will be drawn in by the corporate media’s compliance, and presentation of the question as if there is no other option. But it is essential for workers and all those opposed to war to speak out and protest loudly, not only for elementary justice, but to prevent a catastrophic war from engulfing the globe.

Barely a month passes without yet another open US provocation against China from either their military or those of toady allies in the South China Sea. Part of the US “pivot to Asia”, the goading of Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia to pursue spurious claims to reefs and islands they previously had little interest in, is part of the US strategy to build a new “coalition of the willing” against Red China. Like the disaster of Iraq which the previous “coalition of the willing” carried out, the ultimate agenda is no less than war. Unfortunately, the leaders of socialist Vietnam have prostrated themselves to the US against China, an act of disloyalty. Canberra has added fuel to the tinder-box by flying its own “freedom of navigation” operations through the disputed areas.[2]

The arch-reactionary US/Australia alliance has used so-called “freedom of navigation” operations on and off for decades, stretching back to the Vietnam War. One can imagine what the reaction from Western powers would be if China or Russia simply claimed “freedom of navigation” and flew fighter bombers up and down the east and west coasts of the US and Australian mainlands !! Bear in mind, the US has once again signalled that its advanced long-range B1 bombers may well be stationed in northern Australia.[3] Given the release of the Australian government’s Defence White Paper, which contains $195 billion worth of military spending in preparation for war, China has every right to believe that it will be targeted sooner rather than later.

Working people might ask, why would Washington and Canberra want war with China, when there is so much trade at stake? Indeed, China’s powerhouse socialist economy is a major reason why Australia has not sunk into a recession anywhere near as deep as Spain or Greece. There are some indications that the Australian ruling class is to some extent divided in going all the way to war with the US. However, all of the parties of the capitalist class currently represented in what passes for the federal parliament, are in lockstep with Washington, from the Liberals to the ALP to the Greens and Nationals. It seems suicidal, but not from the pathological rulers of the US Empire, who are driven to a state of frenzy by China’s inexorable rise. Make no mistake, China’s rise is due to its predominantly collectivised i.e. state owned, and planned economy. However much “capitalism” appears on the surface in the People’s Republic, its real drivers are its gigantic state owned enterprises, precious gains of the 1949 socialist revolution. The US, in contrast, is in a state of deep recession, with its workers paying a heavy price through unemployment, poverty and crumbling infrastructure.

The US knows that the longer it allows China to rise unimpeded, it will soon overtake the US as the number one world power. US rulers cannot allow any challenge to its bloodthirsty rule of the planet, and certainly not from an arch enemy socialist state. The US of course is not militarily strong enough to invade and overthrow 1.3 billion people, but that does not for a moment slow their other plans to undermine or break up Red China. One is the funding of numerous “labour rights” and “human rights” NGOs in China, another is the backing of anti-socialist religious and national groups within China, from Tibet to Xinjiang to Hong Kong. Another major plan is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a massive free trade deal with 12 Pacific Rim countries specifically excluding China. The TPP is quite literally the economic arm of the “pivot to Asia” – the plan for the US to station 60% of it’s external forces in the Pacific by 2020. Needless to say, the “pivot to Asia” is a euphemism for war.

No less a preparation for war is the annual US-led “military exercises”, carried out on the doorstep of the DPRK. This years “Key Resolve/Foal Eagle” operation will be the largest ever, containing some 300 000 troops – an amount close to the number which invaded Iraq in 2003. As usual Australian troops will be participating, but for the first time New Zealand troops will also take part. These war games are quite literally a rehearsal for an invasion of the DPRK – a socialist state which has defied the US war machine for 60 years. As in the original Korean War, the US and their imperialist allies aim to overthrow not only the DPRK, but also set the stage for the undermining and/or break up of China itself. China’s leadership is well aware of this, despite its treacherous vote in favour sanctions on the DPRK in the United Nations.

Working people have no interest in a war with China or the DPRK. In however a distorted form, the conflict between Washington and Canberra on the one hand, and Beijing and Pyongyang on the other hand, is a battle between capitalism and socialism. If war does break out, working people need to refuse to participate in such a war, up to and including the point of taking concerted industrial action, regardless of whether conservative Union officials back us. Ultimately, such a struggle can only be successful as a struggle for the victory of socialism. Capitalism needs war to survive, but working people do not need capitalism.

NO TO WAR WITH CHINA!                                  LIFT THE SANCTIONS ON THE DPRK!

Workers League

PO BOX 66   NUNDAH   QLD 4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12267.doc.htm (10-03-2016)

[2] http://thediplomat.com/2015/12/did-australia-secretly-conduct-its-own-freedom-of-navigation-operation-in-the-south-china-sea/

[3] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-08/long-range-bombers-could-rotate-through-nt-general-says/7231098 (10-03-2016)

Syrian “Opposition” Rima Flihan: Wanted Criminal! For Anti-War Refugee Action!

11-10-2015 – When a refugee rights protest has a keynote speaker who expresses “no remorse” for the slaughter of 87 University students sitting an exam, you know something has gone terribly wrong. Unfortunately, such is the actuality of the “Stand Up for Refugees” action in Brisbane today. One of the speakers is one Rima Flihan, billed as a “Syrian human rights activist”. Far from it. Ms Flihan cares only about the human rights of NATO armed death squads which have been committing unspeakable atrocities across Syria for the last four years. The Syrian government has an outstanding warrant for her arrest, after collaborating with US and Saudi Arabian armed mercenaries attempting to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic. Wanted criminals as “human rights activists” – you have got to be kidding.

The reasons why the Syrian government had little option but to seek the arrest of Ms Flihan became obvious when she gave an interview to a Lebanese television station in January 2013, soon after a mercenary terrorist attack on the University of Aleppo, in which 87 students sitting exams, were slaughtered. Ms Flihan stated that she felt “absolutely no remorse” for the students, as they were “supporters of the regime”.[1] Since fleeing Syria in September 2011 to avoid facing criminal charges, Ms Flihan has paraded around the world as a “political activist”. Such “activism” in her case, means being a part of virtually every body which claims to be a legitimate opposition in Syria, from the “Local Coordinating Committees” (which included non-local expatriates!!)[2], to the “Syrian Opposition Council” to the “National Council of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces”. All of these bodies have now vanished, and some have now been absorbed into the “Free Syrian Army” which has in turn absorbed itself into ISIS.

At fault is not the Refugee Action Collective – the organisers of today’s rally – per se. The Refugee Action Collective contains many honest and ethical people who are doing what they can to protest against both the Australian government’s horrific abuse of refugees and asylum seekers as well as against the US led wars which have created waves of refugees worldwide. Yet the Refugee Action Collective has become beholden to what has become known as the “Imperial Left” – leftist parties who, despite claims to “socialism” and “Marxism”, have nonetheless been the biggest backers of the imperialist wars waged first on Libya, and then on Syria. The Imperial Left has the greatest amount of influence in the Refugee Action Collective, and similar respective bodies around Australia. Such parties include Socialist Alternative, Socialist Alliance and Solidarity. Buying into the fanciful claims of Libyan and Syrian “revolutions”, such parties have performed yeoman’s service for the very imperialist powers they claim to oppose. In fact, so far have the imperial left gone in providing “left” cover for US led wars, they now virtually omit any mention of imperialism, or even claim that US imperialism is not the main enemy!

Imperialism can be succinctly described as “the expansionist policy of finance capital”. That is, where finance capital dominates, it must expand into other countries (i.e. through war) in order to seek an adequate rate of profit after the home market has been exhausted. And, with the capitalist economies worldwide in a state of deep recession, especially in Europe, the US, Japan and Australia, unprovoked wars against independent nations – or even those deemed to be not totally compliant – become ever more part of daily operation. However, there is resistance. Syria today is a laboratory for the imperialist versus anti-imperialist global blocs which have emerged. On the one hand, imperialism is represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany (despite some differences with the others) and their allies Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and other Gulf Monarchies. The anti-imperialist bloc is represented by Russia, China, Iran, Syria and their allies such as Belarus, the DPRK, Cuba and Zimbabwe. The anti-imperialist bloc contains some socialist states – China, the DPRK, Cuba – and some capitalist states – Russia and Iran. However, without necessarily endorsing the politics of the respective leaderships, workers of the world have a stake in mobilising in temporary blocs with the anti-imperialist alliance where its actions coincide with the interests of working people. Currently, Russia’s assistance to Syria is objectively in the interests of preventing wider war, in the sense that they have checkmated US imperialism by calling their bluff and actually carrying out the demolition of ISIS, which the US and their allies falsely claimed the current “war on terror” was all about.

To permanently end the scourge of war, what is required is nothing less than the overthrow of capitalism and the triumph of socialism. In the meantime, what the refugee rights movement desperately needs is to break free from the “left” parties which have railroaded the movement in support of US led wars. The refugee rights movement needs new leadership, one which allies it with the interests of the working class domestically and internationally. This means advocating for the rights of refugees while simultaneously opposing, not backing, Washington and Canberra’s latest criminal wars. This may mean temporary blocs with those forces halting the advance of the NATO/Saudi/Israeli forces to gain a breathing space from which to prepare the organisation of the working class for its historic tasks. To truly be pro-refugee, we need to be anti-war.

Workers League

PO Box 66 NUNDAH QLD 4012

http://www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] http://orientalreview.org/2013/01/22/aleppo-the-final-test/

[2] http://carnegieendowment.org/2012/12/20/local-coordination-committees-of-syria

Victory to Palestine, Syria and Yemen! Defend the Anti-Imperialist Axis! Aust. Troops: Out of the Middle East!

23-10-2015 – As we go to press, the military forces of the Zionist Israeli state have confronted, killed or injured heroic Palestinians rising once again to resist the criminal occupation of their land for 17 consecutive days.[1] Many of those who have perished have been aged under 20 years. Since 1948, ongoing crimes against humanity have been committed by an Israeli state backed militarily and politically by the world’s strongest imperialist powers – principally the US. None of this has dented the will of the Palestinians to defy, even at the cost of their lives. Without necessarily endorsing the strategy or tactics of the resistance, workers internationally need to stand unequivocally on the side of the struggle for Palestinian liberation.

This time, the “Third Intifada”, the latest uprising, is taking place under very different circumstances to the innumerable previous actions. The hideous oppression of Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel since 1948 could not have taken place without the full political and military backing of US led imperialism. US annual military “aid” to Israel, to the tune of around 3 billion per year, was the mainstay of the horrific war crimes against Palestine, which were openly or tacitly supported by Western imperialist allies including the UK and France, and from a distance, Australia. The US rulers kept up this murderous support, as the practice assisted US domination of the Middle East.

However, in the space of a few weeks, the game has changed. At the invitation of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russia has begun a military offensive against the US/Saudi/Israeli armed and backed genocidal head-choppers of ISIS. Almost with one stroke, Russia has exposed the aims of the US in Syria and the region, as well as the so-called “war on terror”. Russia’s actions in neighbouring Syria have had the immediate effect of shifting the balance of power in the Middle East away from US imperialism and towards the workers and the oppressed of the world via the conduit of an anti-imperialist axis. This anti-imperialist axis is largely composed of Russia, Iran and China – but it is joined in the immediate struggle by Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah and the Houthi fighters in Yemen. Due to the fact that the result of this contest has a direct bearing of the situation of the oppressed Palestinians, workers of the world would do well to defend the blows against the US Empire dealt by the anti-imperialist bloc. Without necessarily endorsing the political outlook of the respective leaderships of the anti-imperialist bloc, any setback for US imperialism in the Middle East can only help ease the suffering of the Palestinians – as well as the Syrians and Yemenis, who are also fighting US backed proxy forces on their soil.

From this distance, it appears as if the Palestinian resistance has sensed the opening provided by the weakening of US domination as a result of the Russian strikes against their proxy ISIS forces. They appear to have correctly capitalised on the crack in the wall of US domination provided by Russia, and to an extent by Iran and China. They may have seen an opportunity to press Russian President’s earlier statements that Russia would support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.[2] Whatever the precise reason for the outbreak of an uprising now, it is taking place at a time when the US empire, and, as a flow on, Israel and Saudi Arabia, stand at the weakest point they have been in decades. For once they have been challenged – this time by Russia, Iran and China. The Palestinians, ever eager to press home any advantage they may have against the fourth largest military in the world, have stepped forward. All workers and supporters of Palestine also need to step up.

If Syria was to be overthrown by US/Saudi/Turkish/Israeli backed jihadists, Palestine would barely stand a chance. The US/Saudi/Turkish/Israeli war on Syria, therefore, cannot be separated from the struggle in Palestine. Yet this is what some nominally left parties have been doing for the past four and a half years. Organisations such as Socialist Alternative, Socialist Alliance and Solidarity have in practice backed the war on Syria, claiming that “rebels” were fighting a “dictator”. These same “rebels” – in reality US/Saudi/Turkish armed mercenaries – were backed by the Zionist Israeli state. In fact, genocidal Al-Nusra fighters were treated in Israeli hospitals for free, and the Israeli Defence Forces maintained radio contact with Al-Qaeda.[3] Moreover, Israel has bombed Syria[4], yet these left parties who loudly proclaim their support for Palestine, stood silent. In backing the war on Syria, these left parties have driven themselves into the arms of the same Zionist Israeli state they claim to oppose.

The Palestinian resistance, not just the left, has also been split over the war on Syria. Many Palestinians strongly support the Syrian state for its, albeit inconsistent, support for Palestine. Other Palestinians have followed the treacherous Hamas leadership, which joined the US assault on Syria, and thus found themselves on the side of their immediate oppressor – the Israeli state. Such are the limitations of an Islamist-based leadership, which at crucial times leads it to support the very imperial power which is the source of its travails.

Liberation for Palestine can only be won with the final defeat of imperialism. Imperialism, due to the faltering state of its capitalist economies, has been lashing out like a wounded beast for the last five years. The US-led wars on Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan – not to mention Ukraine – have wrought unprecedented damage. However, Russia appears to have finally realised that if it does not act to halt a rampaging US empire in Syria, the guns will very soon be turned against their own doors. The interests of the oppressed Palestinians, the world’s workers, and the anti-imperialist axis (Russia, Iran, China, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah etc.) are thus temporarily coinciding. By helping the anti-imperialist axis strike blows against US imperialism, workers here will not only aid the Palestinian cause, but their own as well. An emboldened Australian working class will be in a stronger position to resist the attacks of recession-ravaged Australian capital. It will also be able to demand the withdrawal of Australian troops from the Middle East (currently in Iraq and Syria), further isolating the US and further weakening their ISIS proxies. The time to press our advantage is now.

LIBERATION FOR PALESTINE!   AUST TROOPS: OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST!

Workers League

PO BOX 66 NUNDAH QLD 4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] http://www.palestinechronicle.com/blog/#post-22524

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/vladimir-putin-says-russia-will-fight-for-the-right-of-palestinians-to-their-own-state-10141902.html

[3] https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/inquiry/18855-why-is-the-media-ignoring-israels-alliance-with-al-qaeda

[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/israel-bombs-syria/

No to War! Australian Troops Out Now! Victory to Syria!

05-09-2015 – In an eerie similarity to the Vietnam War, Australian PM Tony Abbott has denied that it was his office which pushed the US to request Australian assistance to extend air strikes into Syria.[1] In the spirit of never believing anything until it is officially denied, it is a fair assumption to state that the official entry of Australia into the US war on Syria echoes Australia’s entry into the Vietnam War over four decades ago. Then, it was the Australian government which urged the US to intervene militarily in Vietnam, rather than the US requesting Australian participation. This time, there are no conscripts being sent to fight a war for the US empire, but there are certainly Australian troops brandishing military hardware, including six F/A 18F Super Hornet fighter jets, along with a KC-30 refuelling tanker. These jets have already been bombing targets in Iraq, while the tanker has been refuelling US fighter jets.

The criminal US led war to destroy and overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic has now entered its fourth year. The majority of the world’s population vehemently opposed the US led war on Iraq in 2003. Yet around 10 years later, many of those who opposed that war are now either not active or are silent in the face of the West’s war on Syria. It is not being carried out by conventional means – it is not a case of simply declaring war on a sovereign state and sending in uniformed troops to invade and occupy. These days, it is much more convenient for US imperialism to outsource its wars, invasions, and overthrows of states which are not totally compliant to the Washington consensus. In the case of Syria, mercenary jihadists from 81 different countries have been armed, funded and in many cases trained by the US and its NATO allies Britain, France, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar – and ferried into Syria. All the jihadist groups now in Syria, which claim to be an “opposition”, compete for the weapons and funding flowing in from the West. All jihadist groups, from the so-called “Free Syrian Army”, to Al-Qaeda, to Al-Nusra, to Ahrar Al-Sham, to the manufactured “ISIS” have the same aim – the overthrow of the Syrian Government led by President Assad, on behalf of their benefactors.

Washington, egged on by Canberra, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, London, Paris and the like, have not been successful with their aim of “regime change” in Syria, for a number of reasons. Not the least of these is the fact that the majority of Syrians support and back the secular state of Syria and its current President Bashar Al-Assad. In June 2014, presidential elections were held in Syria. Despite horrific war conditions, 73.42% of Syrians cast a vote, and 88.7% of these voted for Bashar Al-Assad.[2] Many Syrians no doubt rallied behind the government, despite many other concerns, because they recognised that the Syrian Arab Army was the only military force which was protecting civilians against the gruesome and barbaric executions carried out by the Western backed mercenaries. Since that time, the Syrian Arab Army has been joined by the Lebanese Hezbollah, who recognise the danger to neighbouring Lebanon if Al-Qaeda and “ISIS” are able to topple the Syrian government. Hezbollah are a significant fighting force, which was demonstrated during their effective defeat of the Israeli armed forces in 2006.

Another significant reason why the US was not able to destroy Syria in the way that they destroyed Libya in 2011, was the opposition of major powers Russia and China. Russia and China unfortunately did not oppose the NATO bombing of Libya, which was preceded by the same arming and funding of Al-Qaeda linked jihadists. In the case of Syria, however, Russia and China appear to recognise that the war on Syria is also directed at them as much as the Middle East. Russia and China have voiced opposition to the war on Syria in the United Nations, and while they haven’t directly assisted Syria militarily, there are reports of Russian weapons being used by the Syrian armed forces. This is not unusual, however, as Russia and Syria have been allies since the days of the former Soviet Union.

“ISIS”

For the first two years of the war on Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, did not exist. Until 2013, no one in Syria had ever heard of “ISIS”. It is extremely suspicious that it mysteriously dropped from the sky, and then received further prominence immediately after the resounding victory of President Assad in the elections of June 2014. This is because ISIS is almost entirely a manufactured proxy force. Forget about the fanfare stating that ISIS aims to establish an Islamic caliphate. The game was given away when it was recently revealed that British SAS forces have been dressing up as ISIS fighters, flying ISIS flags, and attacking the Syrian government under the pretext of “fighting ISIS”.[3] This is on top of the US and British government openly admitting and announcing that they are training the “moderate” Syrian opposition, that is, training the almost entirely non-Syrian jihadists to murder Syrian civilians in the most brutal manner imaginable. The West’s “war against ISIS” is the media line. In reality, ISIS is set up to justify the US war machine intervening anywhere in the world where “ISIS” shows its head.

Washington, backed by Canberra, has in recent years specialised in funding and/or arming proxy forces in efforts to overthrow the government of any country which is too independent for their liking. Hence, there have been ongoing attempts to arm and fund opposition political forces in countries such as Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong, no matter how reactionary the politics of the opposition forces may be. Yet in Syria, it is not an “opposition” which is being armed and funded by the US and it’s Saudi, Turkish, and Qatari allies. Overwhelmingly, the forces of the “Free Syrian Army”, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al Nusra and the rest are not Syrian in the slightest way. In fact, they originate from 81 different non-Syrian countries.[4] So any notion of a “civil war” in Syria is demonstrably false. What’s occurring is a Western led proxy war for “regime change”, an invasion by armed mercenaries, in plain violation of any semblance of international law.

Unfortunately, some left parties have fallen victim to US propaganda about the Syrian “dictatorship” which is allegedly suppressing a legitimate “revolution”. Left parties which, at other times, claim to stand for secularism, and even socialism and anti-imperialism, effectively reverse their stance when it comes to Syria. The fact that the only forces fighting to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic, which is secular, multi-cultural and multi-religious – are all part of the most extreme versions of Salafism or Wahabism – seems lost on them. And it is even doubtful whether some have any allegiance to Islam at all, given that British soldiers are amongst them. Plus there have been reports of US soldiers taking part under black balaclavas as well. As President Assad has stated, a revolution requires ideas and leaders. A “revolution” which would return women to pre-medieval times, which rejects even conservative ideas of “democracy”, is quite obviously a reaction to a dark age, rather than a “revolution”.

Capitalist Crisis

If the US empire is able to destroy Syria in the way they have Libya, even more immense human suffering will result. Further, the Islamic Republic of Iran will almost certainly be the next target. The takedown of Syria, an Iranian ally, will mean Iran will be more isolated and more vulnerable to open imperialist assault. The proximity of Iran to Russia and China could easily trigger a world war, even if the total destruction of Syria does not. The decision to launch a world war may be incomprehensible to many citizens in the West, yet it may be the only way out for a capitalist ruling class which is desperate to save its system. The longer the US does not confront China, whose socialist dominated economy is tearing strips of the Western economies which are uniformly in recession, the further will the US fall behind. The US cannot accept this. Furthermore, greater integration between Russia and China possibly sets up an alternative trading and financial bloc which emerging countries can orient to. It may seem crazy, but for a crazed US ruling class whipped into a frenzy by its faltering economy, it may just go for what in poker terms is called “double or nothing”. That is, it is prepared to risk everything it has to go for the big prize – the toppling of Russia and China. Needless to say, a global holocaust will be only one of the results.

Canberra’s move to go to war in Syria should not be seen simply as a poor decision, or a mistaken policy that can be abandoned with rational argument. The drive to war stems from the deepest wellsprings of the system of private production for private profit, which has run aground yet again, with little or no prospect of revival. Working people need to make the link between the rapidly deteriorating standard of living in Australia, and ever more reckless and criminal wars overseas. The lawless abuse of refugees and asylum seekers, the ever-increasing surveillance of citizens using the internet, the tracking of communications, heavily armed police patrolling public transport and the recent attempt by the newly constructed “Border Force” to check the visas of people walking down the street, are all examples of increasing repression which occurs when big capital acknowledges that it could potentially lose its political control. They are aware that the skyrocketing cost of living, the unaffordability of housing, the daylight robbery of privatised electricity and water bills, the relentless harassment and bullying of workers by managers, the accelerating destruction of the natural environment, the continual slashing of public funds for health care and education, and the crumbling state of public transport infrastructure can only lead to open rebellion if not contained. Thus the war on the sovereign Syrian Arab Republic and the war on working people here are intricately linked.

This is one of the many reasons why it is in our interests to act to prevent the Australian rulers contributing to a vicious war of aggression against Syria. The Syrian people have endured unbearable suffering at the hands of the West’s covert and overt war, waged with the assistance of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Gulf Monarchies. They have the misfortune to be in the firing line of the West’s unconscionable arming and funding of non-Syrian mercenaries. These barbarians, whether in the form of the “Free Syrian Army”, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Ahrar Al-Sham or others, have committed unspeakable atrocities against innocent Syrians, with either the knowledge or the participation of the world’s imperialist powers – specifically the US, France and Great Britain, but also Australia.

Some of the left parties who have backed the mythical Syrian “revolution” have, without acknowledging it, partially seen the political problem of offering support to US armed jihadists who appear beyond the pale to even those on the political right. Hence, they have jumped on the bandwagon of an equally mythical “Rojavan Revolution”. What occurred was that nationalist Kurdish groups initially allied themselves with the Syrian government for the first two years of the West’s proxy war. Then, Kurdish nationalists such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) switched sides to ally with the US, presumably because they judged the days of the Syrian government were numbered. They now act under the cover of US air strikes, acting as bomb-spotters for the empire. In doing so, they have turned against the Syria with which they had been allied. A few skirmishes with some ISIS forces do not make them “revolutionaries”, especially when working directly with the US war machine. Moreover, they have also signed agreements with parts of the “Free Syrian Army” – which in practice is identical to ISIS. Workers internationally cannot afford to extend any political support to any group which works side by side with the US empire.

Workers and all those who stand against war need to take an urgent stance against the criminal war against Syria. No matter what your personal political opinion is of the Syrian government or its elected leader President Assad, Syria itself must be defended, and not just for the sake of Syrians, as important as that is. Syria must be defended so that the US war machine – in effect the military/political arm of world capitalism – can be blocked from achieving its goal of “full spectrum dominance”. Workers are entitled to a world without war, but the war against Syria indicates that we are going to have to fight for it. We can be inspired by the brave stance taken by the Syrian people, as well as those actors which have acted to prevent war, such as Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and China. The US and their proxies must be stopped.

AUSTRALIAN TROOPS OUT NOW! VICTORY TO SYRIA!

Workers League

PO BOX 66 NUNDAH QLD 4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/prime-ministers-verbal-gymnastics-over-syria-20150826-gj8ojp.html

[2] http://www.rt.com/news/163696-assad-win-president-syria/

[3] http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-sas-special-forces-dressed-up-as-isis-rebels-fighting-assad-in-syria/5466944

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/08/29/at-least-81-nationalities-are-fighting-in-syria/

No to War! Shut down the US bases! Defend Red China!

12-07-15 – Eight. That was the number of warnings given to US P8-A Poseidon surveillance aircraft by the Chinese Navy as it provocatively flew through the South China Sea on May 20, 2015.[1] The US plane had aboard a CNN reporter who was able to record the alleged Chinese “aggression” in the area in order to better help Washington make the case for war against the People’s Republic. The notion of of the Chinese state being increasingly “assertive” in the region is a flagrant absurdity, which turns reality on its head. For years, it has been the US which has been the bellicose aggressor, relentlessly goading China into reacting militarily, which would then “justify” a US response. China has shown incredible restraint to what would be simply unacceptable behaviour if anyone other than the US engaged in it. We need scarcely imagine what the response from the US and their allies would be if the Chinese were flying spy planes up and down the east coast of the US mainland. Yet the US, in its self-appointed role of global cop, arrogates to itself the “right” to patrol any patch of the globe, at any time.

Above: Map showing the activities of various countries on island and reefs in the South China Sea. Predominant are Vietnamese flags, followed by the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia. Chinese flags are in a small minority. On May 13, US Assistant Sectrary of Defense, David Shear, said to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee “Vietnam has 48 outposts; the Philippines 8, China 8, Malaysia 5 and Taiwan 1”.[2] Yet almost all we hear is about Chinese aggression! 

Washington’s reckless and criminal war provocations are echoed by Canberra, which in turn has linked in with Tokyo against China, the world’s largest and most powerful socialist state. Driving the US “pivot to Asia”, with its increasingly shrill war threats, is none other than the dire recession afflicting the capitalist world, particularly in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan. The five remaining socialist states – China, Vietnam, DPRK (North Korea), Laos and Cuba – have been relatively unaffected by the capitalist economic crisis devastating the West – also known under the pseudonym of “austerity”. China, with its massive size, has even been able to drive some economic growth amongst its trading partners, or in the case of Australia, almost single-handedly prevent it from a generalised economic collapse. The spectacular economic success of the People’s Republic of China demonstrates the superiority of socialism over capitalism, as did the Soviet Union during the 1930s while the West was in the midst of the Great Depression. Yet many are confused over the nature of China’s economy and politics. Some who are simply unable to attribute economic success to socialism react by labelling China as “capitalist”, or having “restored capitalism”. The first query of why China is not now in recession if its economy is “capitalist” doesn’t appear to have dawned on them. This question is a huge one to address, and needs to be discussed. For now, we will simply point to China’s 10% GDP growth rate for the last thirty years – “down” to around 7.5% now – and the instance of workers in China leaving some jobs in search of higher wage increases than the ones they are receiving![3] Needless to say, an economy where often employers struggle to pay their workers enough to convince them to stay in the job, does not sound very “capitalist” at all.

Unfortunately, some left parties here square the circle by claiming just that, absolving themselves of the duty to defend a revolution which finally overturned capitalism in 1949. Unconsciously, such left parties are carrying the can for the very ruling class they claim to oppose. Their hostility to Red China is not what workers in Australia can afford to engage, especially given the very real threat of war against China being launched from Australian soil. Recently, scrambling denials by the Australian government that the US plans to station B1 bombers in Australia[4] have merely confirmed that in fact, US war plans against the People’s Republic are currently at an advanced stage. The US already has 2500 troops stationed in Darwin, and the forthcoming “Talisman Sabre” war games off the coast of central Queensland will for the first time involve Japan and New Zealand. These war games are literally a dry run for strikes against China, using the fig leaf of a coalition, in much the same way as the “Coalition of the Willing” which invaded and destroyed Iraq in 2003. Workers internationally have a vital interest in not only preventing an imperialist war against China (which could easily morph into a world war) but also in overturning the very source of war in our time – the system of private production for private profit.

Revelations released by whistle-blower Edward Snowden have brought to light the massive spying powers of the “Five Eyes” alliance and their respective intelligence agencies – US (National Security Agency – NSA), UK (Government Communications Headquarters – GCHQ), Canada (Communications Security Establishment Canada – CSEC), Australia (Australian Signals Directorate – ASD) and New Zealand (Government Security Communications Bureau – GSCB).[5] Operating in secrecy from the public of all five nations, these agencies carry out unlimited interception of communications with the aim of suppressing any dissent to the aims of US imperialism. This does not mean that the US and its allies are targeting “terrorists” – far from it. These arms of imperialism are using their own state terror to wipe out any domestic opposition to their war agenda from “their own” working classes, as well as working toward the undermining and/or overthrow of any state, socialist or not, which attempts to chart a course independent of the US empire. It also means that secretive US bases such as Pine Gap can and are being used both to spy on all communications of Australian (and indeed global) citizens – from fax right through to email. In addition US spy bases such as Pine Gap are reportedly being used to direct drone attacks wherever the US desires. Most recently, this has been used against the anti-imperialist Houthi rebellion in Yemen, assisting the Saudi/Israeli war against what they claim is an Iranian ally.[6]

Recently, Australian workers were subject to an orgy of nationalism in relation to the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 1915. These maudlin commemorations were not just to remember the fallen, if they ever were. One of the principal reasons for the reanimation of the Anzac mythology at this particular time is to once again psychologically prepare the masses for another war – most likely in this region against China. It was, and is, the organised misuse of history to rally workers behind, or at least not to question – US imperialist rampages across the planet. As ever, Canberra will be a willing participant in such atrocities. The sacking of SBS journalist Scott McIntyre for tweeting comments questioning Australia’s sordid history in wars for the British empire,[7] was a sharp warning that ANY anti-war sentiment in the current period will be harshly dealt with. The Australian ruling class is prepared for any course of action in its drive to restore the rate of profit for the billionaire class, even if this means backing yet more US led wars of slaughter – in Libya, Syria, Ukraine…or China.

Recognising this, some within the progressive movements call for an “independent” Australian foreign policy, assuming that such independence will result in the Australian government upholding “peaceful” international values. We sympathise with the sentiment behind such a view, and indeed join with their calls for the closing down of US bases and spy installations on Australian soil. However, we must emphasise that “Australia” already is “independent” in foreign policy and everything else. The Australian ruling class willingly allies itself closely to the US ruling class, seeing its interests as best being served being a “deputy sherriff”. There is no arm twisting by the US or any other imperialist power, and no subjugation of “Australia”. As unpalatable as it may be to accept, the Australian ruling class is every ounce as reactionary as the US empire it serves, and divesting itself from the US, even if it did occur, will not change its political outlook. The reactionary pro-war politics of the Australian ruling class, whether it is lead in the charade of the national parliament by a red or blue (or green) team, stems from its defence of world capitalism, which in this period of dire recession, drives it to wage reckless wars against millions of innocents.

In this respect, the only “independence” worth striving for is the independence of labour from capital. In international terms, this comes about through breaking the chains of imperialism, from removing your nation from the world capitalist system. The five socialist states, through various roads, have achieved independence by overthrowing capitalist rule, and embarking on the road to socialism. As many former colonial countries have found, political independence while remaining within the bounds of world capitalism in practice often falls well short of sovereignty. Iraq, Libya and Syria can attest to this fact, having been almost destroyed by US led imperialist war over the last ten years.

The People’s Republic of China has every right to defend itself against the baleful and menacing provocations by the US in the South China Sea, up to and including the building of airstrips and bases on reefs and atolls. In any case, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines are doing exactly the same thing! Unfortunately in this battle, the nationalist administration of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is allying with the very imperialist power that murdered at least 3 million of its citizens during the 60s and 70s, against China. Rather, the socialist states should be allying with themselves against the US for mutual protection and benefit. Nonetheless, workers here and in the Asia-Pacific need to rally in defence of Red China, and not just because of an opposition to war, as important as that is. Workers also need to rally in defence of Red China because they enjoy what we need to begin to avoid the worst depredations of capitalist decline – a socialist state. Only by the workers seizing and holding state power here in Australia and throughout the region can we put in place measures which can lead to the end of unemployment, poverty, racism and indeed war itself. We are under no illusions that this is an easy path. Yet our road to socialism will be made much easier by allying ourselves with the workers in our region who, through incredible mass sacrifice, have already attained state power. Workers here need to align ourselves with the socialist states of China, the DPRK, Vietnam (despite the currently wrong position of its leadership) and Laos, against the imperialist alliance of the US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand AND US vassal states like the Philippines and Taiwan. A war between the US and China is ultimately a war of capitalism versus socialism. Workers must ensure that we are on the socialist side in this battle.

The US “pivot to Asia” is code for war against China. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is one aspect of the war, the military encirclement and goading of China in the South China Sea is another aspect, the funding of parts of the Uyghur movement in the east of China is another, as is the political backing of the pro-capitalist “Umbrella Revolution” in Hong Kong and the feudalist “free Tibet” movement. Workers have an interest in steadfastly opposing all attempts by the US and its allies to undermine or overthrow the People’s Republic of China – and not just to avoid a potential world war. Workers should defend Red China in order to make the leap towards socialism here an easier task. For it is only with the triumph of socialism will “peace” and “independence” become a reality.

NO TO WAR!   SHUT DOWN THE US BASES!   DEFEND RED CHINA!

Workers League

www.redfireonline.com

PO Box 66 Nundah QLD 4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3090728/China-navy-warns-U-S-spy-plane-disputed-South-China-Sea-CNN.html

[2] http://thediplomat.com/2015/06/who-is-the-biggest-aggressor-in-the-south-china-sea/

[3] http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/496c9daa-3afc-11e2-bb32-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3dssa5peY

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/may/15/tony-abbott-says-us-defence-official-misspoke-on-b-1-bombers-in-australia

[5] http://www.giswatch.org/en/communications-surveillance/unmasking-five-eyes-global-surveillance-practices

[6] https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/massive-pine-gap-expansion-snowden-leak,7842

[7] http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/scott-mcintyre-will-sue-sbs-for-discrimination-over-anzac-tweets/story-e6frfm9r-1227358882683