No to World Nuclear War! US/UK/FRA: Hands Off Syria!

No to World Nuclear War! US/UK/FRA: Hands Off Syria!

14-04-2018 – There is no longer any pretence, if there ever was. After failing for seven years to bring down the Syrian Arab Republic by arming and funding barbaric mercenaries and letting them loose inside Syria, the governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France are now openly using their respective state military forces to attempt to salvage what has been, for them, a lost war. The US President Donald Trump announced air strikes have reportedly already been largely shot down by Syrian Arab Army air defences, though some appear to have hit the capital Damascus.

This comes after weeks of openly provocative, and barely comprehensible, actions by London, Paris and Washington. The alleged poisoning of a former Russian double agent in London was blamed on the Russian government without a shred of proof being put forward, and no confirmation of the current whereabouts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal being offered. Their false case, a blatant and dangerous war provocation, collapsed for lack of evidence.[1] Directly linked, now an even more obviously false flag chemical weapons “attack” in the town of Douma in Syria has been blamed on the Syrian government and their ally Russia. Russian military general staff have stated that these fake attacks have been carried out by the White Helmets, who are notorious for aiding and assisting terrorist groups in Syria.[2] The “White Helmets” are Al Qaeda linked, and, like ISIS and all other terrorist groups operating in Syria, are funded by Western governments, especially the UK. The French government, alongside the US and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and others, have acted to support these terrorist forces, in their vain attempts to overthrow Syria, as a stepping stone to wars on Iran, and ultimately Russia.

Reports say that the White Helmets had been pressured by the Western governments for some months to stage yet another false flag chemical weapons attack, in order to enable another turn in the US/Israeli led war on Syria. A sign that the false flag “poisoning” of the Skripals in London was linked to the false flag chemical weapons stunt in Douma, are indications that British Special Forces have been captured in Douma by Syrian and Russian troops – a claim the UK government denies.[3] What credibility the UK government would have after publicly accusing the Russian government of espionage on UK soil without any putative proof, and after refusing repeatedly to display what evidence they had, is anyone’s guess.

Canberra, as always, has played the part of loyal lieutenant to Washington and London, expelling some Russian diplomatic staff, following the lead from other NATO countries. These extremely dangerous games constantly bring the world to the brink of full scale nuclear war. It is less than 12 months since US President Donald Trump almost triggered nuclear war against the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – “North Korea”). This was foiled by heroic resistance yet again from the DPRK, and also desperate moves by Republic of Korea (South Korea) President Moon Jae-In, culminating in a relatively friendly Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Rebuffed there, the imperialist powers revert to another of their war fronts.

Working people of the world must be clear – the threat of nuclear war remains, and the threat is only emanating from imperialism – the ruling classes of the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia and their allies. Standing in the way of Western imperialism unleashing a nuclear war which could terminate human life on planet Earth, are the non-imperialist powers and their allies – Russia, China, Syria, Iran, the DPRK and so on. While workers can and should retain their own political critiques of the governments of the non-imperialist bloc, they must stand with this bloc against NATO-led imperialism in the interests of preserving the chance for future generations to live and prosper. This is scarcely an exaggeration.

Workers internationally, and especially Australia, must also be aware that the prospect of imperialist launched global nuclear war against Russia and China are not only an expression of systemic meltdown, but a direct link to it. The capitalist private profit system tanked in 2008, and has barely recovered. Poverty, unemployment and homelessness are rapidly increasing. There are ongoing funding cuts to education and health care. Aged care has been privatised, along with child care, making both prohibitively expensive. Those who remain in work currently endure the lowest wages, in terms of purchasing power, in Australian history. They are often pushed to the limit of human endurance, through undoable workloads, compromising elementary health and safety.

Working people should also note that not one Australian Union official has spoken out against these war threats, giving the game away as to exactly whose foreign policy they actually serve. Conservative Union officials have been followed by almost every ostensible left party, which in one way or another have fallen in behind the imperialist wars on Libya and Syria. Some have lined up with “their own” ruling class by falling silent in the face of barely concealed threats of war against China and Russia.

There is a crying need for political leadership in these dark and foreboding times. There are handfuls of activists who have been actively opposing the war threats against Syria, Russia, China and the DPRK, but they must be joined by a serious anti-war movement. Yet it must be an anti-imperialist anti-war movement, one which must squarely take aim at the source of the threats of war – Washington, London, Paris, Canberra. It needs to be joined by a workers movement released from the stifling conservatism of its leaders, restraining workers from defending themselves against unscrupulous employers and war-mongering politicians alike. Bound up with this task is the formation of a Marxist vanguard – a workers party which fights for a workers government. Imperialist war against Syria, or anyone else, will be impossibility with workers in power. NO WAR ON SYRIA!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD   4012

 

[1] http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/no-patients-have-experienced-symptoms-of-nerve-agent-poisoning-in-salisbury.html (14-04-2018)

[2] http://tass.com/defense/999108 (14-04-2018)

[3] https://www.activistpost.com/2018/04/reports-claim-syria-russia-capture-british-troops-in-douma-uk-govt-denies.html (14-04-2018)

The aftermath of an Israeli air strike on the Mezzeh air base near Damascus in Syria. Image from Press TV

 

No Boycott of the World Cup! Hands Off Russia!

No Boycott of the World Cup!  Hands Off Russia!

27-03-2018 – Once again, the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war. The trigger for this situation is barely believable. Western governments, without a shred of evidence, are blaming Russia for the alleged poisoning of a double agent in the United Kingdom several weeks ago. The governments of the UK, France, Germany and the United States of America, without any proof being provided, jointly found Russia “guilty”. The lies behind this obvious falsehood are brazen, and they are lies told by London, Washington, Paris and Berlin with utter contempt for human life, and the future of human civilisation on planet Earth. The word irrational barely describes the actions of the world’s pre-eminent imperialist powers.  Now Canberra has joined this transparent and limitlessly reactionary crusade, by expelling two Russian diplomats,[1] and has hinted at a possible boycott by the Australian Socceroos of the World Cup. Although Foreign Minister Julie Bishop appears to have backed away from a full boycott, “further options” are apparently still being considered.[2]

Ironically, Australia narrowly qualified for the football World Cup by only just squeezing past Syria. If Syria had defeated Australia and qualified, arguably poetic justice would have been served. The Australian government joined with the governments of the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, France, Israel and others in a vicious attempt to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic using their own military in support of the ultra-barbaric ISIS and Al Qaeda mercenaries, whom they also sustained with their own funds. Thankfully, this atrocious attempt at regime change in Syria was thwarted by the heroic resistance of the Syrian armed forces, who were aided by military support from Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and some Palestinian militias. Primarily it was Russian military power which turned the tide. Invited into Syria by the Syrian government, superior Russian air power almost single-handedly destroyed ISIS, and effectively defeated what US, British and French imperialism assumed would be a fait accompli.

Smarting from being defeated on the battlefield, the UK cooked up an obviously fabricated incident which could be blamed on Russia directly in the lead up to the Russian Presidential Elections. No recent photos of Sergei Skripal have been produced, no statement of where he is now, no indication of what hospital he may be in – nothing. The immediacy with which the Western powers said “Russia did it” – before any investigation could even be started – gives the game away. It was a crude attempt to de-legitimise the Russian presidential elections, which Vladimir Putin was always going to win, and win easily. It was also an attempt to undermine the prestige Russia will gain by hosting the World Cup later in June – the world’s largest sporting event. In the end, the blatant lies and baseless allegations hurled towards Russia probably resulted in an increased vote for Putin!  As it turned out, Putin received over 76% of those votes which were cast.[3] It barely needs repeating that no Western politician – in an era where capitalism is in universal political and economic crisis – could conceive of anything even approaching 70% support. This is one more reason for the impetuous acts of the West.

Hysterical Russophobia

Western corporate media, playing the mouthpiece role of the depraved governments they serve, are once again stoking hysterical Russophobia, on a level which defies description. Without any probative evidence, they have blamed Russia for invading Ukraine, shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, “annexing Crimea”, bombing civilians in Syria, meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Election, delivering mass cyber virus attacks, doping their Olympic athletes and much more. When the Western governments are asked to provide the proof they have for these wild allegations, they invariably reply that it cannot be released for national security reasons. In the case of the alleged poisoning of the double agent Sergei Skripal, they have refused point blank, several times, to provide samples of the nerve agent allegedly found – a basic requirement of chemical weapons conventions. The fact that leading British politicians have yet to follow the most basic due legal process which arguably underpins Western civilisation – that one is innocent until proven guilty – exposes their entire system as having reached an impasse. Apart from being ugly and unsightly, it is yet another marker of the irreversible decline of the era of “liberal democracy”.

Liberal democracy was always capitalism, and it is capitalism which is seeking a way out of its long slump. It is prepared to risk world nuclear war rather than agree to coexist with other nations. Yet as throughout history, force alone is not enough to wage fratricidal war. Especially in modern times, where the majority of the population have access to instant news, intensive and pervasive propaganda is needed – as is the crushing of any dissenting views. In addition, the imperialist powers (the UK, France, the US, Germany, et al) cannot wage war in 2018 without dramatic racism, alongside a relentless demonisation and dehumanisation of the “enemy” – which is supposed to be Russia. This is the real purpose of Russophobia – the preparation of the world’s working people for the horrors of war. This is so that working people will either support, or at least not oppose, unspeakable crimes against the human ethos.

A climate is created in which anything Russian becomes suspect, in which any questioning of the anti-Russian narrative becomes treason. Mass hysteria is conjured into existence, where critical thinking often is simply bypassed. As one rightfully concerned commentator noted, the current political atmosphere that prevails in the West traces the course of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. The ideology and the targets differ, but the trajectory is exactly the same.[4] The lack of opposition to government lies, perhaps out of fear, but more due to an almost complete absence of working class leadership, enables the accrual of the forces of darkness. This was how Germany, with all its thousands of years of culture, with its towering intelligentsia and prodigious achievements in science, engineering and the arts, under similar conditions, fell under the control of fascism, with barely a scuffle in the street. The world is in danger, and the alarm must sound.

Hypersonic Weapons

On March 1, President Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian Federal Assembly and unveiled some of the achievements of Russian military technology in the ballistic missile sphere. Russia now has hypersonic missiles, which makes most US anti-ballistic missile defence essentially useless. Russia’s Zircon anti-shipping missile, already in use, is more or less uninterceptable – not even the US navy could really defend itself. But now, the Kinzhal (Dagger) missile exceeds it. With a range of 2000 kilometres, the Kinzhal effectively makes any surface naval fleet of destroyers obsolete. Russian ballistic missile technology, which is now capable of practically unlimited range, and launching missiles with 20 warheads each travelling at around 20 times the speed of sound, is a reality. It is a game changer – it will likely take decades before the US or any Western government has a chance of matching it. Some frightened Western commentators have claimed that this means that Russia now has military parity with the West, but this is false. Russian military technology is now several planes ahead of the West, and it will likely take the West decades to catch up.[5]

Putin was also clear on the reasons why Russia has undertaken the development of these frightening weapons. In 2002, the US government, under the George W Bush administration, unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and never again engaged with the Russians on this topic. This was despite Russia making repeated attempts to warn the US government of its entirely legitimate concerns over US missile “defence” installations in Europe and elsewhere. For sixteen years under Bush and Obama, the US has relentlessly provoked Russia by expanding NATO, backing Georgia in a war in 2008, aiding a fascist-backed Nazi coup in Ukraine and almost destroying Syria. In response, Russia has had little option but to develop an effective deterrent. It mirrors the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or “North Korea”), where the DPRK had no option but to develop nuclear weapons after being labelled part of the “Axis of Evil” by George W Bush in 2003. In both cases the US elite are now reaping what they have sown.

Left parties fold under the wave of Russophobia

No leftist makes any claim that the Russian government is aiming to once again lead the world’s workers in a struggle for international socialism. However, insofar as the Russian government defends itself against precipitous US/NATO provocations, Russia must be defended in the name of human survival. In reality, Russia’s nuclear and hypersonic weapons – developed due to the hostile aggression of US imperialism and their vassal states – are currently a guarantor against a nuclear holocaust. This does not mean at all that this situation will remain in place. The dire economic situation of the profit and private property system in the West ultimately means that war is its only way out. The US ruling class attempted this in Syria for seven years, but were ultimately blocked by Russia’s military power. As we go to press, the Syrian Arab Army has liberated all of Eastern Ghouta, which had been held hostage by Western and Saudi armed and funded death squads since 2011.[6]

Reeling from this defeat, the wounded beast of the US Empire screeches and attempts to lash out at the force which comprehensively out-manoeuvred it in Syria. Wave after wave of Russophobia bombards workers around the world, often with comical and pathetic attempts to prove Russian malfeasance. Russophobia contains a toxic mix of racism and anti-communism despite the restoration of capitalism in Russia over 25 years ago. Unfortunately, many Australian left parties fall prey to the sheer intensity of imperialist propaganda, even if they can see through it on other issues. Socialist Alternative are perhaps the most stridently anti-Russian, explicitly stating that “old” anti-imperialism targeting only the West is no longer adequate. Their moral equivalence between the US and Russia in practice means targeting only Russia, while letting the US off the hook.[7] Solidarity are even less restrained in their fanciful claims of Russian “imperialism”.[8] The Socialist Alliance rallies behind “anti-corruption” candidate Alexei Navalny,[9] while remaining blind to Navalny’s own documented record of convictions for corruption, opposition to government funding for poorer regions of Russia, and using direct funding from the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to establish his ironically named “Democratic Alternative”.[10] The Trotskyist Platform’s inherent disdain of Russia leads it to vilify anyone or any group which defends Russia from immensely dangerous imperialist provocations, for alleged acquiescence of “fascism”.[11] All of these left parties therefore make the error of stunting opposition to NATO.

While it is the case that the Communist Party of Australia (CPA)[12], the Socialist Equality Party[13] and the Spartacist League[14] have a position of opposing war provocations against Russia on paper, their chronic abstention from political activity effectively renders their words a dead letter. Predictably, there has not been one Union official who has uttered a word of dissent against a pack of lies on a par or even greater than the infamous “weapons of mass destruction” fabrications which led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The conservative Union bureaucracy works ceaselessly to shepherd workers behind the foreign policy of Australia’s ruling elite, who willingly play an auxiliary role to the US Empire.

No War on Russia!

There is some opposition to the war drive against Russia, which has been active with consistent opposition to the regime change wars in Libya and Syria. Groups such as Hands Off Syria, anti-imperialist individuals involved in DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) solidarity work, dissident CPA members and genuine anti-war activists have been a lone voice in a sea of political paralysis. These courageous individuals largely remain scattered throughout the country, and need to be joined by a working class led mass anti-war movement. This is a political as well as a practical struggle, which could best be assisted by the formation of a serious workers’ revolutionary party. Marxism’s basic precept is that humanity marches forward, or falls backwards, in direct proportion to the state of the leadership, organisation, and politicisation of the working class in line with its own interests. For humanity to survive in this period, workers of the world need to unite to prevent nuclear war. HANDS OFF RUSSIA!

WORKERS   LEAGUE

E:workersleague@redfireonline.com
www.redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66
NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-27/russian-ambassador-says-diplomats-being-expelled-are-not-spies/9593800 (27-03-18)

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-27/socceroos-world-cup-participation-in-doubt-russia-stoush/9592344 (27-03-18)

[3] https://sputniknews.com/russia/201803181062667521-presidential-elections-2018-preliminary-results/ (27-03-18)

[4] https://thesaker.is/what-happened-to-the-west-i-was-born-in/ (28-03-18)

[5] http://www.unz.com/article/the-implications-of-russias-new-weapons/ (30-03-18)

[6] https://www.rt.com/news/422867-syria-ghouta-cities-liberated/ (01-04-18)

[7] https://redflag.org.au/node/5559 (01-04-18)

[8] http://www.solidarity.net.au/imperialism/imperialist-rivalry-and-putins-russia/ (01-04-18)

[9] http://www.links.org.au/putin-russia-elections-left (01-04-18)

[10] https://www.liberationnews.org/alexei-navalny-agent-of-big-money/ (01-04-18)

[11] http://www.trotskyistplatform.com/defend-syria-against-u-s-australian-imperialism-and-their-proxies-australias-left-in-multi-sided-disarray-over-syria-issue/ (01-04-18)

[12] http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2018/1816/11-stoking.html (02-04-18)

[13] http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/28/pers-m28.html (02-04-18)

[14] http://www.icl-fi.org/english/asp/223/crimea.html (02-04-18)

Map showing the location of venues for the 2018 World Cup, hosted by Russia. Image from Sky Sports

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)

Stop the war on Syria/Yemen! AUS/US troops: Out Now!

05-12-2015 – In the weeks following the events in Paris on November 13, the imperialist powers have sought to again escalate their lawless and criminal war on the Syrian Republic, citing “war on terror” language eerily reminiscent of the atmosphere following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York. At the same time, the same imperialist powers are virtually silent about their ongoing scorched earth war against the people of Yemen, who had the gall to throw out a US backed stooge. Also, in Mali, a suspect attack on the Radisson Blue Hotel in Bamako assassinated three Chinese State Rail managers and six Russians associated with a cargo plane company. Ongoing US provocations against China continue in the South China Sea, and NATO backed Nazis in Ukraine continue to threaten anti-fascist resistance fighters protecting civilians. If the world seems on the brink of war, that’s probably because it is. Capitalism knows no other way out of the perilous economic crisis it has itself procured.

The events in Paris on November 13 have been used as a catalyst for the “free world” to once again hypocritically wring its hands at the barbarity of the alleged work of “ISIS”, and once again declare ISIS as pure evil. The imperialist powers should know – it is the creation of their weapons, training and money. It is an open secret that all mercenary jihadist groups operating in Syria have been brought into existence with the material backing of NATO powers the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with support from Israel, Qatar and others.[1] Yet these extensive plans to outsource an entire war to overthrow the secular state of Syria were thrown into chaos with the intervention of Russia on September 30, at the invitation of the Syrian government. The military might of Russia had immediate effect militarily in taking out many ISIS barbarians and their positions, but also politically. The actions of Russia, in taking out more ISIS positions in four days than the US had in one whole year,[2] exposed the fake anti-ISIS campaign of the US and its allies, and also undermined the whole campaign of ISIS as a universal proxy that the “international community” has to wage perpetual war on. It is akin to the taking out of Osama Bin Laden. Once Bin Laden was gone, the US quickly produced another bogeyman to justify its relentless wars. For a brief moment, it seemed that Russia was going to send ISIS to an early grave, saving the world in the process. Russia, and Putin himself, was suddenly becoming popular, even in areas most associated with pro-US reaction. For example in the UK, one poll had two out of three Britons supporting Putin’s assault on ISIS.[3]

Whipped into a frenzy at the prospect of Russia gaining the sympathy, if not open support, of the world’s masses, the US imperialist behemoth struck out viciously, taking yet more innocent lives. Its proxies carried out a terror bombing in Beirut, targeting Hezbollah, in retaliation for its fighters siding with Russia and Syria and against the West’s terror. Soon after came the 13 November events in Paris, the timing of which are extremely suspect, to say the least. There are many aspects to the mainstream media coverage of the Paris attacks which simply don’t add up. For an event in which supposedly 120 Parisians perished in an alleged “bloodbath”, there was not one picture of any wounds, let alone any cadavers, and no footage of the suicide bombers which are supposed to have attacked the national French football stadium hosting a France v Germany football match. While we extend our sympathies for those who may have perished, we have to be aware of being manipulated. As Stephen Lendman wrote soon after: “Friday’s Paris attacks were either blowback for Western wars on Islam, or a state-sponsored false flag. Odds strongly favour the latter. Western history of false flags for subsequent planned events suggest it.”[4]

As if on cue, imperialist Germany and now the United Kingdom have joined the “war against ISIS”, which is transparently a war for regime change in Syria. In the UK, yet another example of the bankruptcy of attempting to reform capitalism through a “left” reformist project was exposed. Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the former chair of the UK Stop the War Coalition (which has nevertheless not actually opposed recent wars), and a self-claimed “socialist”, rolled over and allowed a “free vote” on the question of the UK fighter jets joining bombing raids on Syria.[5] This action guaranteed the Conservatives would win the vote, with some Labour MP support, and begin yet another phase of the criminal war on Syria.

At the same time as the war on Syria escalates, the US backed Saudi Arabian war on Yemen rages, virtually unmentioned in the corporate mass media. The Ansarullah forces, a coalition of Zaidi Shia, socialist former South Yemen independence fighters, and secular youth, also known as the Houthis, marched into the capital Sanaa in January and seized power, re-establishing the popular committees which had forced out the former US/Saudi backed Mansour Hadi. In response, Saudi Arabia, with the full backing of the United States, launched a horrific war against the people of Yemen. Everyday since January, Saudi missiles have struck hospitals, schools and homes, reducing them to rubble and murdering at least 7000.[6] The Yemenis only crime was to defend themselves with arms against the Saudi/US and Al Qaeda forces ravaging their country. Just as the US cannot tolerate an independent Syria, the US backed Saudis cannot tolerate an independent Yemen. While not extending full political support to the Houthi forces, workers of the world should unequivocally back the military victory of those forces committed to resistance against US and Saudi backed terror.

Canberra has backed the US, as is usual, at every step in the criminal war against Syria, and currently admits to around 600 troops in Iraq, alongside six FA-18 Hornet jets, which is “second only to the United States” in size.[7] The proposition that Australian and US troops are in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS is manifestly absurd. Russia’s actions have thoroughly exposed this ruse. Canberra has joined Washington, London, Paris, Riyadh and Tel Aviv and their jihadist proxies in a war for the overthrow of Syria, and by extension, opening a salvo on the larger targets of Russia and China. The economic failure of capitalism is driving this war, which, with each day, contains the seeds of a global conflagration. Working people must not allow it. No To War! AUST/US Troops: Out Now!

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Workers League

PO   BOX   66     NUNDAH   QLD 4012

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/why-west-wont-hit-isis-where-it-hurts.html

[2] http://journal-neo.org/2015/10/15/putin-is-defeating-more-than-isis-in-syria/

[3] http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/619227/Jihadi-John-ISIS-Vladimir-Putin-Russia-killed-airstrikes-Syria

[4] http://www.globalresearch.ca/paris-terror-attacks-blowback-or-false-flag-france-declares-a-state-of-emergency/5488973

[5] https://www.rt.com/uk/323949-labour-airstrikes-shadow-cabinet/

[6] http://journal-neo.org/2015/11/13/yemen-why-is-us-media-ignoring-a-massive-war/

[7] https://www.pm.gov.au/media/2015-11-24/national-security-statement