Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V.I.Lenin
Subscriptions (£12 p.a.) and circulation P&P Bulletin Publications. PO Box 50, London SW17 9NL [Post Office Registered.] www.epsr.org.uk
No 1489 April 5th 2016 25p fortnightly
Yet more “condemning” of “terror” after Brussels and Lahore confirms the swamp fake-“left” craven capitulation to imperialism and its crisis-driven scapegoating and war demonisation. The rise of Third World hatred from centuries of exploitation, decades of barbaric Western war destruction and the intensifying world economic catastrophe, is unstoppable. These crude and barbaric early forms of anti-imperialist revolution are spreading ever further and shaking capitalism to the core. Far from “strengthening its repression”, it raises new questions about its worldwide tyranny. Breaks in fake-“left” pretend Marxism correctly challenge the “reactionary” or “CIA plot” labels used to denounce the jihadist movements. But they still refuse to examine the anti-communist mistakes of the past and open up the debate for the rebuilding of Leninist understanding. Full Marxist revolutionary grasp is the way to overcome primitivism by offering better leadership for the fight to end slump ridden capitalism and its war “solution” to crisis
New waves of loudly declaimed denunciations and “condemnations” of terrorism and jihadism after Brussels, Istanbul and Lahore fail to say anything about why these attacks are now come thick and fast across the crisis-wracked world.
Even less does their “moral” posturing and “outrage” begin to address what can be done about the world which is driving out more and more of such suicidal anti-Western sacrifices and fanatical national-liberation attacks, namely the world dominated by monopoly capitalism and its catastrophic, epochal failure, heading for Slump disaster and world war.
Instead there has been a stampede of liberals, reformists and the whole swamp of fake-“lefts” virtually treading on each other to be first in the queue making known their “loyalty and reasonableness” to the capitalist powers that be, whatever pretences they have during “normal” times to be working against them to “change” capitalism, keep in under control, regulate it, “reform it” or even to be “revolutionaries”.
But interestingly, among the deluge more and more voices have been heard acknowledging that there might be more to say about why this turmoil is erupting, from 9/11 to the ISIS jihadism, including one or two of the fake-“left”.
The Italian Maoist group PMLI has declared against the Western blitzing of ISIS which it says is fighting an anti-imperialist struggle.
And the Trotskyist Socialist Fight, has made a similar tentative foray.
Its acknowledgement of some anti-Western causes for the New York WTC attacks, and standing against “war on terror” blitzing of ISIS was rapidly stamped on by no less than a prime ministerial statement bullying the “left” Labourite opportunists (to expel this Trot entryism).
In normal times such “extreme lefts” are ignored. But even to try and explain such “terrorism”, let alone acknowledge that there might be grievances and injustices which have led to its eruption is totally forbidden.
All that is allowed are the “unacceptable”, “criminal”, “psychotic”, “cowardly” and just plain “reactionary” epithets which have rung sanctimoniously across the world media, as always.
Labour’s repudiation, expelling SF entryist Gerald Downing came quickly, more craven than St Peter’s three times cock-crow denial on the Mount.
The rest of the “left” also joined with David Cameron to condemn the SF, along with the usual round of “anti-terror” moralising.
And this deluge achieves nothing useful except to make very clear just where the great swamp of pretend “lefts” really stand when the world starts to disintegrate and the revolutionary breakdown of society accelerates – slap bang behind the ruling class and its demented whipping up of scapegoating hatred and war fever.
Reflecting its dire politics the Socialist Fight quickly succumbed to the petty bourgeois public opinion pressure too, making sure it denounced the Brussels attacks as “reactionary” and “utterly to be condemned”, though it continues to try and say something more over Palestine and the Middle East and particularly takes a correct stand against the monstrous Zionist land-theft occupation of Palestine.
Like the rest of the “left” their moralising and high-horse “principles” (lyingly asserted to be Marxist methodology - see EPSR 1106 just after the 9/11 attacks) can do nothing to stop such attacks.
What they do achieve is to cover over the utmost treachery and betrayal, playing into the hands of the degenerate and collapsing capitalist ruling class.
They help whip up narrow chauvinism, and a righteous “bomb-them-all” mindset, the belligerence and fascist frenzy that the imperialist system needs as it slides into the most vicious and cutthroat international trade war conflicts ever.
It is all of a piece with the cries of “unfair competition”, demands for aggressive tariffs (steel), commodity price wars (oil, ores, etc), and international currency conflicts breaking out everywhere as the world’s greatest ever crisis collapse and Slump disaster unfolds, hurtling everything into far greater breakdown disaster than briefly tasted in 2008, (and already increasingly imposed on poorer workers and weaker countries).
As the steel workers in Wales and Teesside etc, are being savagely taught, there are no solutions within capitalism, which is rapidly stepping up the international conflicts with its calls for “trade barriers”.
Such backward and dangerous chauvinism, cynically fostered by Labourite and TUC treachery (and much of the fake-“left”) is part of the crisis, not an answer to it.
Calls for tariffs are another way of feeding the hostility and hatred that the contradiction ridded capitalist system is using to drive the whole world into war and divert attention from its desperate “overproduction” disaster, the classic “want in the midst of plenty” clogging of the world markets with too much output, exactly as explained by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in the great Communist Manifesto, in the detailed Capital and later work by Lenin such as Imperialism - the highest stage of capitalism.
Trade war barriers were part of the spiral of economic implosion that helped drag the world into the greatest Depression unemployment and agony of all time in the 1930s and into the huge devastation of the Second World War, part two of the great conflict to sort out the top-dog capitalist powers, ready to begin further world exploitation once the huge “surpluses” had been wiped out (by destroying much of Europe, Russia, the Far East and Japan, all the factories, towns and “surplus workers” along with them).
They solved nothing then but worsened everything, and the Little Englander chauvinism that surrounds them now, is deadly for the working class.
It sets worker against worker, locally and internationally.
Scapegoating hatred and finger pointing blaming of “others” for the problems that arise from capitalism itself, was a major weapon of the ruling class in the 1930s, to help step up aggression, and split the working class and petty bourgeoisie.
And it is needed even more now to drag a reluctant planet back into a third round of horrors and devastation.
It is the internal contradictions of the private profit system alone which are pushing the world into renewed economic slump collapse and world war hell.
Monopoly capitalism is heading for World War Three in some form, already imposed on Libya, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan etc and now Yemen and unstoppable for as long as its tyrannical domination of the planet continues,
Endless warmongering to keep itself on top and to distract attention from its historic failure was begun by topdog US imperialism even in advance of the “global finance crisis” (the ruling class knowing full well what kind of disasters were coming), including the blockade of Iraq as a suitable victim throughout the 1990s, bombing Sudan and nazi-NATO blitzing of Serbia, and beginning the fascist “shock and awe” onslaughts on Afghanistan and Iraq which followed 9/11, aiming to intimidate the whole world, repress any revolt and suppress rival capitalist challenges as cutthroat trade war intensified.
But not a hint of the total breakdown of the capitalist “free market” and its degenerate drive towards World War Three has been heard or put forwards, as the real cause of “terrorist” mayhem and desperation exploding from the devastated Third World and alienated sections everywhere.
Nor that, for all its confusion, this great turmoil is an initial expression of growing revolutionary hostility and upheaval across the world, its sometime barbarity a crude response to, not an initiator of, the non-stop horrors and brutality inflicted on the world on a huge scale by Western capitalism.
Nor do the “left” say that this turmoil is a major problem for imperialism and its continuing world exploitation, and while not in itself the solution – which can only be the revolutionary struggle to end capitalism, put the working class in power, take command of all resources, finance, industry, and agriculture and establish planned rational socialism – it is a part of an historic breakdown and fragmentation of the established class rule private profit world order.
It a breakdown which opens the door eventually for the conscious coherent class war that alone can achieve such a solution, with the working class taking power.
Recognising the objective impact that these struggles have as defeats and blows to imperialist world control has got nothing to do either with supporting the ideology of jihadism and its apocalyptic suicidal nihilism, nor advocating its methods as the most useful way forwards.
But contrary to the fake-“left” which scabbily and wrongly declares all such eruptions to be “strengthening imperialism”, to “theoretically” justify their capitulation treachery, Marxist science sees exactly the contrary, that this fightback is stirring all kinds of questions which are undermining the existing order.
Even during the days of mass news coverage of the Brussels bombings (and the much more racistly limited Western media reports on the Pakistan and Turkey attacks - and Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkino Faso) slightly more rational voices were heard in various media interviews amid the deluge of ruling class crocodile tears and hollow unctuous phrases poured out on autopilot. Most were suggesting that it might not be “brainwashing” that is driving so many in the world to suicide bombing desperation and sacrifice.
Neither is it some new and weird “irrational evil” suddenly taking over tens of thousands of people, like some Hollywood-style “zombie” infection myth (fictional fantasies which were created as a propaganda way to demonise communists and rebels as “not really human any more” and therefore OK to slaughter wholesale, as “gooks” were in Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea and many other places too).
Dimly discernible among the routine onion-holding hypocrisies by the “great and good” were a few questions asking whether perhaps the mass unemployment and bleakness of life and prospects in areas like the deprived Molenbeek suburb might not have a bit more to do with what is happening than the alleged “hate-filled” irrationality, or shallow nonsense about supposed Svengali-like “radicalisation” or mystical “evil work of devils”.
Perhaps too the desperate poverty and routine blitzings of life in the border mountains of Pakistan, ruled over by a grotesquely corrupt western-stooging government, should be thought about?
Or the endlessly blitzed and shelled villages of the Kurdish region of Turkey (still continuing with “blind-eye” tacit Western approval), where the indigenous people have been denied their basic nationhood and language rights for the last 200 years?
The agony of 20 years of non-stop devastation in Iraq, or Afghanistan?
Perhaps even simply the desperation and alienation of living in a rundown shithole within view of the super-rich “Euro-diplomacy” capital Brussels might have something to do with it? suggested one interviewee.
Or the minimum 30+% unemployment rate, with no future in sight at all, and that even before the capitalist catastrophe returns in its full devastation, when the great Quantitative Easing Ponzi credit boost scheme finally implodes and the world economy is paralysed utterly (the return of 2008 but much worse for being put off by maniacal money printing)?
Or the racist abuse and scapegoating contempt generated constantly by the antagonistic tribalism of conflict ridden capitalism whose ruling class does anything but stand “shoulder to shoulder with the people of Brussels” when they are the poor, the working class, the dispossessed or the isolated migrant – or stand with the great mass of the proletariat in Paris, Madrid, or London, Lahore, Beirut or Kabul, or anywhere else if it comes to it.
All that social pain and hopelessness is not enough to be a cause for such eruptions?
What about the anger, hatred and desperation arising over decades from the entire Third World which has seen country after country blown to smithereens for at least the last 20 years, at the cost of millions – not dozens - of killings and wasted and maimed lives, with men, women and children daily blown to fragments by B52 high-explosives, cluster bombs, flêchette “nail” bombs, white phosphorus bone-burning horror weapons (Fallujah, Gaza Strip); permanently and continuously terrorised with casually violent contempt-ridden military occupations, as well as deliberate death-squad assassinations used to whip up sectarian hatreds (Iraq 2005-7 eg); rounded up secretly off the street and “rendered” into concentration camps for torture and abuse; seeing their homes, towns and basic services blasted into wreckage across Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and now Yemen in the Middle East, and elsewhere too like Kiev-fascist devastated eastern Ukraine???
What about the endless terrorising of the Obama “regime’s” drone warfare which has “taken out” hundreds and hundreds of local anti-occupation resistance fighters, across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Libya, and just as many if not more civilian bystanders, men, women and children, all casually dismissed by Washington arrogance (and other imperialist stoogery like the UK) as “collateral damage” and “a price worth paying”.
What about the chemical warfare wiping out towns, villages and farms as in Vietnam or in Colombia (under the lying pretence of a “war on drugs”)?
Or that this is founded on centuries – over 300 years – of imperialist colonialism which has slaughtered and enslaved whole nations and peoples on an industrial scale and which, ever since its rise, condemns the great majority of the Third World to lives of total poverty and endless sweatshop exploitation in ramshackle collapsing factories, or near slave-labour camps on, say, tea, palm oil, coffee or banana plantations where there is not even basic sanitation, with no doctors and the most primitive schools (if any).
Theirs is a whole world where regular starvation and malnutrition and disease wipe out millions of children annually, a world kept under the tyrannical lash, both of local employers (agents for big multinationals) and the tinpot fascist regimes which Western monopoly capitalism has installed everywhere from Haiti to Honduras, Jakarta to Jerusalem, to smite and suppress any hint of protest or rebelliousness.
Inevitably this great mass of abused and tortured humanity, the enormous majority, “hates our way of life” because “our way of life” with its grotesque ruling class privilege and obscenely wasteful luxury, and all the smug smaller comforts that keep the petty bourgeoisie and layers of the working class corrupted and bribed, is founded on the superprofits extracted by their complete suppression, ripping from them their resources, all the value their labour produces and most of all, their dignity, humanity and potential, with all their possibilities as humans ground into the dirt (if they ever manage to get out of it).
This is no “irrational evil” as the ruling class seek to paint it, to hide and cover their own sole responsibility for the world’s disasters, an unreason suddenly arisen from nowhere because of “pure evil” to disturb what would otherwise be a calm and prosperous world of harmonious growth.
It is a very understandable anti-Western hatred and rebellion at a slump ridden, poisoned, environmentally devastated and slave driven existence.
If it finds expression currently in the great upsurge of weird apocalyptic religious-sectarian fanaticism and puritanism in the national-liberation revolts breaking out spontaneously in country after country from Boko Haram to Al-Shabaab, that is because it does not have a more rational scientific and coherent view of the world.
And whose fault is that?
Firstly of course the primitive backwardness and deprivation that the billions are kept in by imperialism itself, but just as much by the failure of revolutionary leadership and revisionist retreat.
Long abandoned is the scientific revolutionary understanding that it is capitalism and its crisis contradictions that are inexorably bringing the world to disaster, and that it is class war revolution that needs to be built for, now, to completely end this out-of-time, fascist armsrace private profit system.
Decades of mistakes and retreats from Leninist revolutionism made by Moscow-dominated revisionism, beginning way back in the years after Lenin’s death, have been compounded by the even worse supposed “opposition to Stalinism” of the Trotskyists, embedding petty bourgeois individualist conceit and hostility to the workers states into its alleged “left” critique.
Despite titanic achievements by the USSR, and huge practical aid to world anti-imperialism (training tens of thousands of engineers, teachers etc), the Stalinist revisionist legacy gradually rotted the Moscow leadership’s philosophical grasp.
It fatally weakened the resistance of the workers state with its retreat from any confident assertion of the importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat, all the way to its eventual liquidation under Gorbachevite bureaucratic illusions about the supposed advantages of the “free market”.
Imperialism was then able easily to topple an unnecessarily moribund USSR (still growing, if unenthusiastically under the deadening influence of revisionist leadership, even into the mid-1980s) and achieve an alleged “triumph” over communism (in reality only over the uninspired and revisionist-blunted mechanical workings of the workers state and its temporarily confused misled working class).
Trotskyism helped this imperialist counter-revolution all the way to the toppling of the Soviet Union and Eastern European workers states with its “political revolution” garbage (nothing but counter-revolution, it turned out, as Leninism warned).
Ever since, together with the hostile poison of the Trotskyists, this revisionist retreat from revolution (still to this day refusing to examine any of its mistakes or engage in vital polemic to sort things out) has allowed imperialism’s anti-communist nonsense to prevail.
Worldwide, its liquidationism and “permanent peaceful progress” mindrot, has removed for the moment all faith in socialism and scientific communism as the only possible path forwards for the working class, and with it the whole of mankind.
Its dulling of the revolutionary spirit, all the way to holding back and staying many struggles as “too adventurist”, saw its influence and leadership rejected more and more by the rising tide of anger and hatred in the world which increasingly seeks to fight and challenge imperialism.
Communist scientific leadership will recover eventually because it has to; the crisis of the capitalist system has not been overcome by this Pyrrhic victory over the world’s first gigantic and mostly brilliant attempt to build socialism - exactly the opposite, it has intensified to the point of the total credit meltdown in 2008 and with no external bogeyman to blame.
The world working class has no choice but to get back to revolutionary struggle for communism, sorting out all the philosophical mistakes of the past in order to do it, with a gigantic debate about the huge achievements of the workers state, what they got right and how they went wrong, and with the building of the revolutionary party to lead and guide the discussion, for a greater and deeper Marxist Leninist grasp than ever before, to lead what must now be the greatest struggle in history to finally end capitalism everywhere.
But is certainly not going to get any such leadership from the “lefts” – which continue to say nothing about the need for revolutionary perspectives in all struggles, from steel to the NHS.
It is all “too early” it lyingly excuses itself, and “workers are not ready”; in some cases the fakes are consciously hostile to raising revolutionary theory at all, on the grounds that it will “put workers off”.
But the great spontaneous eruptions throughout the world demonstrate exactly the opposite.
The genie is out of the bottle and a huge rebellion is underway, in all kinds of ways, from the mass street revolts in Cairo to the apocalyptic fanaticism of the ISIS.
However brutal and savage the forms it takes for the moment, it cannot be put back.
Of course the sectarian and nihilistic suicidal ideology which this anti-Western hatred has thrown up is not Marxist revolution nor even necessarily on a straight path towards it.
But- ( as previously analysed by the EPSR, (No1213 16-12-03) specifically over the Palestinian struggle, but applicable equally to the now hugely widened upheavals (of which Palestine remains a core element)) -:---
However regrettable some might think it, a Marxist historical view can only be that this spontaneous terrorist fightback has to happen first before a more organised revolutionary political movement is likely to get going towards building a positive revolutionary Palestine to put a certain end finally, once and for all, to this Zionist-imperialist nonsense.
In which case, the only progressive historical comment it is possible to make about something that is going to happen anyway, in the direction of even better future developments, is “let it happen”.
The Marxist programme for a communist revolution would rarely be wishing to encourage the development of spontaneous terrorist anarchy; but it would never condemn it either, even though it might often have cause to regret its consequences, along with other “innocents”.
But fighting capitalist society’s battles for it, against a mess of its own making, would be a ridiculously self-defeating thing for any serious anti-imperialists to do.
If nothing can stop a wave of spontaneous terrorist hatred from being brought about by the injustice, brutality, and degeneracy of the capitalist system, prior to the class war crisis becoming irreconcilably deep and matured enough to lead on to the development of a real revolutionary answer to collapsing bourgeois-system decadence; then the sooner this terrorist spasm is got through, then the more rapidly that the really serious revolutionary progress to put an end to the whole capitalist ruling-class system (and not just an end to individual capitalist state officials or random bourgeois electors) can get under way.
Or, after quoting Lenin’s 1906 Guerrilla Warfare article of 1906 at the time of 9/11:
...people will struggle like this anyway, whether bourgeois-imperialist hypocrisy, fascist-blitzkrieg retaliation, or petty-bourgeois ‘left’ denunciation has ‘condemned’ the suicide guerrillas or not.
Lenin clearly explains here that the organised socialist revolution cannot stand back from such anti-imperialist war but should try to provide proper leadership and perspective to all such struggles.
The fake-’lefts’ have shamefully tried to wriggle out of this Marxist-Leninist scientific exposure of their reactionary ‘moralising’ by pretending that these unbelievably heroic guerrilla-war sacrifices by the Palestinian suicide-bombers and their Sept 11 counterparts are “reactionaries trying to bring back feudalism” or new “fascism”.
The Goebbels-like propaganda scabbiness of this disinformation by the CPGB and others, plus the essential pro-imperialism of their opportunist position on Third World terrorist fight-backs, is beginning to mark out these Socialist Alliance careerists as one of the most despicable sects in the whole rotten history of fake-‘left’ “Marxism”. (No 1115 04-12-01)
Difficult as it would be to make the arguments in the Syrian desert with a sword wielding Salafist, the point is still clear that condemning this struggle is to side with imperialism, a point underlined by the demented “bomb them all” frenzy of the Trump and Sarah Palin speeches (but equally by the Obama/Hillary Clinton Democrats who have actually run the drone programme) and even by the “Fuck Isis” tee-shirts worn by the fascist demonstrators in Dover last week.
So obviously was this fake-“left” treachery falling in behind reaction that soon after 9/11 a whole bizarre mythology of convoluted conspiracy theories sprouted among the petty bourgeoisie that “terrorism” was all really organised by the CIA, part of some all controlling puppet-master plan by the West, usually to seize the world’s oil.
It let the “left” off the hook (of being shown-up, effectively supporting imperialism) because if the jihadists were all “secretly” organised and paid by the West, then condemning them was really only condemning the CIA – wasn’t it?
Similar relief could be obtained if the jihadist were deemed a “new kind of reaction”, the line taken by many of the Trots, or just “mad” as the Stalinists say (along with Assad and Putin) a belt and braces argument in case their “Western mercenaries” line should fail.
This is pure idealism, declaring the nature of world upheaval to be determined by what is in men’s heads (reworked medievalism) and nothing to do with Marxist understanding of dialectal materialism (which says the real world is the driving factor however weirdly reflected in people’s minds for the moment).
Much of this theorising has fallen apart, not least because a) the issue was much more than just about oil, important though it is: b) the West already controlled the world’s oil and everything else and the meaningless “war on terror” was about imperialism losing its grip not expanding confidently; c) the oil price has collapsed anyway as only Leninism warned was the real issue, part of a general economic meltdown – no-one now wants it as such or any other commodity but warmongering and “terrorism” continues d) it gives entirely the wrong picture of the West as being confidently in charge of history with a long term strategy so thought through that all hopes of revolution should be shelved; e) the supposed purpose of all this skulduggery as somehow providing a reason for capitalist warmaking is entirely redundant – the West has always intervened and blitzed where it needs to, on the flimsiest of pretexts, like the Gulf of Tonkin for Vietnam: the laughable Recak “massacre” Goebbels lie to initiate the nazi-NATO bombing of Serbia; famously the “sexed up” dossier on Iraq’s non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” and even the mere alleged “threat” of a non-existent genocide (!!) for Gaddafi.
Of course the Stalinist and other left “theorisers” who wrote whole books on the “war for oil” as the explanation, have brushed this example of their many mistakes under the carpet as they always do, leaving the working class floundering.
Some of them continue their theories anyway as around Syria, blaming the entire upheaval on a supposed plan by the West to “use” sectarianism and jihadism to topple Assad and parroting Damascus’ meaningless assertion that “terrorism” is to blame.
That gets more credence than it should because the capitalist agencies do try to manipulate local discontent, and sectarianism, as their divide and rule practices have done for centuries.
They certainly did in Afghanistan and Libya, and for Syria, used already inflamed Sunni-Shia hatred from the Iraq civil war (itself deliberately fostered by covert death-squad training at the time) to stir up civil war against Assad.
But that was a desperate measure to head off the giant and very real 2011 Arab spring rebellion in Egypt.
They are not in control – and as previous EPSRs have pointed out, they suffer constant “blowback”, not least with ISIS.
And far from such “difficulties” being a trivial matter of “what can you expect trying to handle unstable material” as the “lefts” excuse themselves (a favourite argument being an analogy with “Frankenstein’s monster”) this is a deep running shift reflecting the profound depths of the crisis and ruling class splits and weakness.
Things swing round on a dialectical pivot so to speak, and become their opposite, as anti-imperialist.
But seeing the world in movement and transformation driven by crisis, is beyond any of these petty bourgeois dilettantes, whose petty bourgeois class position not only makes them unable to see the giant breakdown underway but unwilling to see it, because of the revolutionary implications that are immediately raised.
But so much is the world out of control that a crisis phenomenon long predicted by the EPSR is being seen over Syria, that of sections of the ruling class in conflict with each other, with recriminations flying in all directions:
American soldiers never used to shoot at our CIA agents, and vice-versa, but that’s what’s reportedly happening in the northern part of Syria, former CIA officer Ray McGovern told RT from Washington, DC.
In February, the CIA-armed group ‘Fursan al Haq’, or Knights of Righteousness, were apparently forced out of their positions by the so-called ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’, backed by the Pentagon.
The report - put out by a US Veterans group - comes as President Obama this month authorized a new Pentagon plan to train and arm Syrian anti-government fighters.
RT: How much control do the US military and intelligence have over the groups they are funding on the ground?
Ray McGovern: Well, let’s start with the good news. The good news is that because of Russian intervention and President Obama’s sensible reaction to it, namely, no longer pressing for priority for removing Assad and also allowing Iranians to participate in negotiations, the ceasefire - or what we call the ‘cessation of hostilities’ - is holding. Now, the embarrassing part of all is that when President Putin and President Obama told their respective foreign ministers to de-conflict things, make sure their planes don’t run into each other, that has moved forward to the point with this active military cooperation in Syria.
Now, unfortunately the same is not true of the various factions within the US government: the CIA, on the one hand, and the Department of Defense, on the other. They don’t seem able to de-conflict their strategies. And the bottom line here of course is there’s no one in control. Susan Rice, National Security Adviser, she is going to tell the Special Operation folks and the Air Force and the CIA what to do? It is almost laughable, if it weren’t so serious… We have different objectives. First of all, the moderate rebels were going to remove Assad and then they got instructions: ‘No, no, don’t remove Assad. We are going to go after ISIS.’ No one knows what to think. And besides that the Pentagon has been thoroughly embarrassed by investing half a billion dollars into fielding four or five people still in the fight. So, the solution is to work with the Russians, to make sure that they de-conflict not only Russian and US objectives and actions, but that the Russians might even help us to de-conflict the obvious shooting that is going on between CIA-supported rebels and Department of Defense-supported rebels. It is really quite an embarrassment…
RT: Could this be part of the rivalry within the enormous US war machine with both departments, the CIA and Pentagon, wanting to defeat each other?
RG: Yes, it could. These things happen. If there is no strong leadership from the top, and I mean the White House here, that’s why I referred to Susan Rice, the National Security Adviser. If she is having the same problems with the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter as her predecessor Condoleezza Rice had with Donald Rumsfeld then the National Security Adviser is not doing her job. And the President is aloof. And so you get the Department of Defense and the CIA both running their little operations and, quite frankly, I doubt whether the CIA is telling the Pentagon all the things that it is doing in Syria. It is a secret, after all.
RT: How do both the CIA and the Pentagon choose the groups to support?
RG: It has been sort of a helter-skelter choosing process, reminiscent of the people we chose to go into Iraq and set up a government more amenable to our influence. The moderate rebels that we are allegedly supporting – you know it is really bizarre because the President of the US two years ago said: ‘There are no moderate rebels. This is a fantasy’. Well, if it is a fantasy and there are no moderate rebels, whom are we supporting there with millions and millions of dollars? These things have a momentum of their own. And once you have a covert action program with 500 million dollars like the Defense had, you’ve got all this money and people say: ‘Let’s find some moderate rebels because we have all this money.’
This report backs up the Seymour Hersh quotes used recently (see issue 1487) - which equally demonstrate how ISIS is now deemed the “enemy” by a US imperialism which initially set it going in conjunction with the backward feudal Sheikhdoms of the Gulf.
Complete uncertainty is gripping Washington, as to who it needs to attack; trying to bring down Assad’s regime as a “rogue state”, insufficiently compliant with imperialist demands and forced by the “Arab Street” pressure to at least posture as anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist (as CIA stooge placement Saddam Hussein eventually had to, another dialectical shift) – or focus on ISIS, now with a life of its own against imperialism, threatening the unstable and corrupt post-occupation Iraqi regime in Baghdad (US placed stooges) and mounting all kinds of attacks within imperialism itself such as Paris and Brussels.
Endless attempted plotting by the West there certainly is, which is why it spends billions on the CIA/MI6 and other agencies: declaring that every part of the Syrian upheaval is the careful unfolding of a secret imperialist agenda (or really all part of Zionist intelligence) is a both a sly copout from having to analyse the imperialist crisis and more importantly to draw the revolutionary conclusions that urgently need putting forwards, and the most astounding defeatism, in thrall to the idea that the ruling class really is omniscient and all-powerful.
It fails completely to explain the contradictions tearing the capitalist world open and which are leaving the ruling class near paralysed with indecision and uncertainty as it stares like rabbits in the road at the oncoming Slump disaster (no better seen than in the senile British Tory ruling class, breaking apart with resignations over austerity cuts and “in or out” of Europe and unable to salvage even a fragment of its industrial base, as it swans, Marie Antoinette style, around the world.)
“All run by the CIA" theories make even less sense elsewhere; the whole thrust of the “shock and awe” and “New American Century” world intimidation and blitzkrieging was to re-impose US imperialist authority on the world, with direct occupation and a new colonialist rule giving way as soon as possible to reliable local fascist stooges – as Saddam Hussein had been at the beginning - or as the Kabul “government” was intended to be - to keep the multinational exploitation going, calmly and trouble-free.
But exactly what purpose is it supposed to serve to have the CIA create and then run jihadism and insurgency movements like al-Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the al-Qaeda of the Magreb, Islamic terrorism in Java, the Sinai rebels (supporting the Palestinians, attacking Zionism and attack the new Washington funded Egyptian torture dictatorship under General Sisi) and movements attacking Westerners in Mali, Cameroon, the Côte d’Ivoire, etc etc etc??? Or having a 15 year long war with the Taliban if it comes to it, with major and devastating attacks spilling into pro-Western Pakistan?
All this, destabilising whole regions and requiring more and more costly and secretive interventions by Western forces?????:
The UK is to more than double its deployment of British forces to Nigeria to help in the fight against the Islamist jihadi group Boko Haram.
The British forces will be not be involved in combat roles, only training and in an advisory role, said the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, on a visit to Nigeria on Monday.
The UK is to increase a force of 125, sent to Nigeria six months ago, to 300. The reinforcements amount to a recognition of the failure so far to deal with Boko Haram at a regional level.
The US, which regards Boko Haram as closely linked to Islamic State, began deploying 300 troops to Cameroon in October. As well as operating in Nigeria, Boko Haram has been increasingly active in neighbouring countries such as Cameroon.
Fallon, whose visit to Nigeria was to include talks with defence officials as well as the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, said: “Boko Haram is a brutal organisation that has murdered and kidnapped innocent civilians. We stand united with Nigeria in its efforts to defeat them. Stepping up our training efforts will help support the armed forces of Nigeria for crucial counter-insurgency operations.”
The extra British forces will start being deployed early next year. Areas of training will include countering improvised explosive devices and providing medical assistance. An RAF team will help the Nigerian air force in counter-insurgency and protection of airfields. Training is already being provided in areas such as infantry skills.
The UK has small forces of trainers and advisers with the Iraq army in and around Baghdad, with the Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq, and in western Ukraine, and is about to send a team to Libya to scope out the feasibility of sending troops there.
25 March 2016: SAS forces have been deployed in Libya since the beginning of the year, according to a confidential briefing by the king of Jordan.
A leaked memo indicates US lawmakers were personally briefed by King Abdullah in January about plans for Jordan’s special forces to operate in the country....”imbedded [sic] with British SAS” in Libya.
The monarch met with US congressional leaders – including John McCain, the chairman of the Senate armed services committee, and Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee. Also present was the House of Representatives speaker, Paul Ryan.
King Abdullah said UK special forces needed his soldiers’ assistance when operating on the ground in north Africa, explaining “Jordanian slang is similar to Libyan slang”.
The king also highlighted that British forces had helped in building up a mechanised battalion in southern Syria, headed by a local commander and made up of tribal fighters, to combat Bashar al-Assad’s army, and that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go “over the border” to attack al-Shabaab in Somalia.
The monarch’s apparent openness with the US lawmakers is an indication of just how important an ally Jordan is to the US in the region. Since the 1950s Washington has provided it with more than $15bn (£10.5bn) in economic and military aid.
However, the Jordanians had become frustrated over perceived US inaction over the Middle East in recent months. Five years of fighting in Syria have dramatically impacted on Jordan, which has absorbed more than 630,000 Syrian refugees, and the king has repeatedly called for decisive action to end the conflict.
He told those present: “The problem is bigger than Isil [Islamic State], this is a third world war, this is Christians, Jews working with Muslims against outlaws.”
The memo indicates that Abdullah also told US lawmakers:
• The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “believes in a radical Islamic solution to the problems in the region” and the “fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy, and Turkey keeps getting a slap on the hand, but they get off the hook”.
• Intelligence agencies want to keep terrorist websites “open so they can use them to track extremists” and Google had told the Jordanian monarch “they have 500 people working on this”.
• Israel “looks the other way” at the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra on its border with Syria because “they regard them as an opposition to Hezbollah”.
The king raised particular concerns over al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group in Somalia that has links with both Isis and al-Qaida.
“We have a rapid deployment force that will stand with the British and Kenya and is ready to go over the border [into Somalia].”
Abdullah said “we started with al-Shabaab, as they feed into Libya”, which has descended into chaos since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi by Nato forces.
The issue of the oversight of the operations of British special forces has become a vexed matter in parliament. Earlier this week, David Cameron rejected a call from Angus Robertson, the Scottish National party’s Westminster leader, for the SAS to be subject to parliamentary oversight, saying they were already “subject to international law as everyone else is in our country but I do not propose to change the arrangements under which these incredibly brave men work”.
In March, intelligence analysts at Stratfor said UK special forces were already in Libya and “escorting MI6 teams to meet with Libyan officials about supplying weapons and training to the Syrian army and to militias against the Islamic State. The British air force bases Sentinel aircraft in Cyprus for surveillance missions around [the Isis Libyan stronghold] Sirte as well.”
However, in recent weeks there has been a flurry of international activity to stabilise Libya, with British officials prominently pushing a peace process. Under a plan disclosed late last year, the UK will offer the new Libyan government 1,000 troops as part of an internationally coordinated effort.
The jihadist attack was the first of its kind in Ivory Coast – whose population is both Muslim and Christian – since militants began destabilising neighbouring Mali in 2012. A French military intervention that began in northern Mali in 2013 was extended to cover the entire Sahel region in 2014.
But Ivory Coast, where French peacekeepers were based from 2002 to 2014, has not been considered an anti-terror priority. Nevertheless, the country has seen limited Islamist activity since 2015 when groups linked to al-Qaida began lightning attacks in southern Mali, close to the Ivorian border.
Gunmen have killed at least 16 people, including four Europeans, after they opened fire near several hotels in the Ivory Coast. The shooting came amid fears the jihadi threat is spreading in west Africa.
The government said security forces had killed the six assailants who launched attacks on three hotels in the popular seaside town of Grand-Bassam, a weekend retreat for residents of Abidjan, about 25 miles (40km) away.
Among the 16 dead were two soldiers, said the president, Alassane Ouattara. Local media reported gunmen had entered the L’Etoile du Sud (the Southern Star) hotel, seizing guests and staff on Sunday. A French foreign ministry spokesperson said one French national had been killed. A jihad monitoring group said al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb had claimed the attack.
In August 2015, there were reports in Mali that Ivorian authorities had arrested five suspected Islamic terrorist and seized firearms in the north of the country.
The FCO advises:“There is a high threat from terrorism. You should be vigilant after recent attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”
Attacks in recent months on luxury hotels in the capitals of neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso have killed dozens of people, leaving west African countries scrambling to boost security in the face of a growing jihadi threat.
Analysts have voiced fears that jihadi attacks could spread to countries such as Ivory Coast and Senegal, and the region’s US-led Flintlock military exercises that finished recently focused on the need to counter terrorist threats.
Dozens of French forces arrived overnight from neighbouring Mali to aid in the rescue. One member of the US military was embedded with the French forces at the scene, and the US was working to provide France with surveillance and reconnaissance help, according to a US senior defence official.
The source told Associated Press that there were about 75 US troops in Burkina Faso: 15 assigned to the embassy and about 60 assisting the French military.
At least 29 people of 18 nationalities have been killed in an attack on a hotel in the capital of Burkina Faso by al-Qaida-linked militants, security officials have confirmed.
Three jihadis, including an Arab and two black Africans, were killed in the assault on the Splendid hotel and the nearby Cappuccino cafe in Ouagadougou, officials said. A fourth extremist was killed at the Yibi hotel, which was searched by troops as part of a later raid on nearby buildings.
Security forces freed at least 60 hostages when they first stormed the building, with commandos continuing to fight a floor-by-floor battle with the gunmen several hours after the initial attack.
Friday 4 December 2015: Germany’s parliament has approved plans to provide military assistance in the fight against Isis militants, including reconnaissance jets and up to 1,200 support personnel.
MPs voted on Friday 445 to 146 to approve the plan crafted by Angela Merkel’s cabinet this week following a pledge of greater support in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris.
Germany will send up to six Tornado reconnaissance planes and tanker aircraft, as well as a frigate to help protect the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean, but will not actively engage in combat.
Two German Tornados and a tanker are expected to be sent to Turkey’s Incirlik airbase next week but will not be fully operational until next month. The frigate is also to be in place soon.
The green light for the mission that could become Germany’s biggest deployment abroad comes three weeks after jihadis killed 130 people in a series of attacks in Paris. The atrocities prompted France to invoke a clause in the EU’s Lisbon treaty requiring member states to provide military assistance to attack Isis in Iraq and Syria.
Britain joined the US-led bombing campaign over Syria on Thursday, striking an Isis-held oil field. The US president, Barack Obama, also agreed to send as many as 100 special forces to Iraq, with a mandate to carry out raids inside Syria.
A broad coalition of 60 countries has been battling Isis since August 2014, although involvement in Syria has been more limited with some western nations wary of how military action could end up serving Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which they view as no longer legitimate.
Germany has traditionally been reluctant since the end of the Second World War to engage in military missions abroad, but the decision to take direct action in Syria has been largely met with support. An opinion poll in Die Welt newspaper on Friday showed public backing of 58% for and 37% against.
The German justice minister, Heiko Maas, said the case for deployment was legally watertight. “The Germans can be certain that the deployment to Syria neither violates international law nor the constitution,” he told the Tagesspiegel daily on Friday.
“We must stop this terrorist gang of murderers. That will not be achieved with military action alone, but neither would it be achieved without,” he said.
Separately, Germany has also pledged to send 650 soldiers to Mali to provide some relief to French forces battling jihadis in the west African nation.
Security forces opened fire at the two assailants on Friday, killing one and seriously wounding the other, according to a ministry statement. It said two men armed with knives had entered the outdoor restaurant at the front of the Bella Vista hotel and attacked the tourists. The dead attacker was identified as a 21-year-old student from Cairo’s neighbourhood of Giza. Both attackers, the interrior ministry said, carried knives and pellet guns.
All three wounded tourists were taken to hospital.
The attack came just hours after the local affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack a day earlier on a hotel in Cairo near the Giza Pyramids. No one was hurt in the Thursday attack, in which a group of over a dozen men fired flares and pellets at a security post outside hotel where Arab Israeli tourists were staying.
Egypt has been battling an insurgency by jihadi militants led by the local affiliate of Isis. The insurgency has been centred at the northern part of the Sinai peninsula but has frequently spilled over into the mainland since the ousting in 2013 of the president Mohammed Morsi.
The Hurghada attack is a dangerous precedent, since Egypt’s Red Sea resorts have done better than elsewhere in the country in weathering the slump suffered by the vital tourism sector in the five years of turmoil since an uprising toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Thursday’s Giza attack was also significant in that it targeted a hotel in Cairo, a heavily policed city of about 18 million residents, at a time when security appeared to relatively improve in recent months after a series of bomb attacks.
But the Hurghada assault is likely to further affect Egypt’s tourist industry, which was badly hit after the downing in October of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai that killed all 224 people on board, most of them Russian tourists returning from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The Isis affiliate has claimed it downed the aircraft with a bomb to avenge its fighters and civilians killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria.
This worldwide spread of jihadist revolt, and the giant events of the Arab Spring, which indicated a new level of spontaneous mass political struggle opening up in Egypt, with its long militant history and huge population giving it a massive new weight, make it clear that the pitifully shallow conspiracy theories of the fake-“left” are even more of a gigantic copout and evasion than ever.
All that “organised” by the CIA?? For what?? And how??
It is just an insane nonsense to suggest any such gigantic street rebellion like Cairo, suddenly catching the world by surprise (as it did) would have been deliberately instigated, or could have been.
Why would Washington/Zionist imperialism deliberately overturn their own useful stooge military regime under the dictator Hosni Mubarak, in order to undergo two years of highly uncertain turmoil, in the most important and critical country in the Middle East right next door to the crucial and pivotal Palestinian revolt, before managing to get things back under control with an artificially fostered middle-class movement, this time clearly a set up Western “colour revolution” heavily supported by the Western media (taking many months to get underway), toppling the Muslim Brotherhood, and allowing the military back in - more brutally repressive than even Mubarak (who was promptly released)?
And why the need to set up counter-revolutionary bogus revolt in the two neighbouring “rogue states” Syria and Libya (as they clearly were, again with massive Western media onslaughts of Goebbels lies and demonisation) in order to help suppress the Egyptian revolt or at least prevent it being helped or spreading?
A continuing “CIA plot” controlling everything is nonsensical.
Yes, all kinds of subversion, arms and funding, has been used to provoke Libya and Syria - no, it is not firmly in control but a desperate series of emergency measures by an imperialism panicked by the huge spontaneous Middle East rebellion, creating bogus revolts which were so thin they failed in Libya (needing NATO direct intervention) and have blown back now in Syria too (ending up as the ISIS revolt, merging in the previous Iraqi Sunni revolt against the American occupation).
This idiotic nonsense is philistine shallowness, born of capitulation to petty bourgeois opinion stirred and manipulated by capitalist propaganda onslaughts.
And it is being seen through.
The point is sinking in at least with one or two of the rotten fake-“left” as the Socialist Fight comments have made clear.
The leading member Gerry Downing who was singled out recently for opprobrium and attack by David Cameron, and by assorted class collaborating Labourite and TUC treachery (virtually indistinguishable from Toryism), has at least correctly declared that the 9/11 attacks on New York were motivated by Arab world anger at the devastation of war and sanctions siege imposed on the Middle East for a decade beforehand, and therefore cannot simply be condemned.
It has also dawned on them that across the board characterisation of ISIS and the great upsurge of other spontaneous world insurgency as a “new kind of reaction”, or CIA stoogery, is not only nothing to do with even the ABC of Marxist class-war understanding (which sees only imperialism as the source of reaction in the world) but leaves the fake-“left” too obviously lined up with the likes of Donald Trump or even Obamaism.
Declaring that the jihadists are just “deranged monsters” also undermines all the “left” social-pacifist protests that “nevertheless we are against bombing them” and “left” objections to “policing action” by imperialism (or the apeing of it by Moscow), and the hate frenzy accompanying it.
Jut the opposite says the SF, the ISIS are victims of imperialist blitzkrieg and the “left” can never stand with imperialism.
But the tentative comments by the SF only go so far.
The continuing anti-workers state and unMarxist politics of this SF group – sample view: “all bourgeois nationalism is reactionary and all Stalinism too” – make it almost certain that this small foray into the real world is for purely opportunist purposes.
First of all the group remains as biliously poisonous as any Trotskyists ever were, eg regurgitating all the capitalist Goebbels lies about “genocide in Srebrenica”against the revisionist Serbian nationalist remnants of the Yugoslav workers state, or those against the Hutus in Rwanda, (victims, not perpetrators of “genocide” who were running a reformist anti-imperialist government in the early 1990s, that was set up for civil war slaughter by the Pentagon-trained general Paul Kagame, (a good friend of Tony Blair)).
They are obviously laden with all the usual Trotskyist poison against the workers states and especially the USSR.
And its strategy of attempted entryism into the Labour Party, telling the working class that this 100% bourgeois party can finally be “converted” to a fight for socialism, because of the surprise surge behind Jeremy Corbyn last summer (reflecting real enough movement in public opinion) is crudely opportunist treachery; like all such groups without any real political independence, the SF just rides the back of the “Labour Movement”.
Attempting to drag at least some sections of the working class back into support for Labourism at any stage would be an outright confidence trick, giving credence to a party which has been designed consciously and deliberately to head the working class away from revolutionary perspectives and keep it tied to the hopeless delusions of changing things through parliament; doing it now at the point of total worldwide economic catastrophe is both imbecilic and treacherous beyond words, disarming the working class with notions of parliamentary paths just as the point where the ruling class is openly speculating about military coups on TV and the need for understanding revolutionary politics was never greater.
The group’s opportunism was quickly confirmed after Brussels when it rapidly withdrew into its shell, once petty bourgeois opinion had been whipped-up yet again into a hurricane of “appalled dismay” by the great deluge of emotive media coverage and manipulation - immediately joining the chorus condemning the Brussels attacks.
And it has rapidly qualified its position on 9/11 as “only applying to an analysis of an historical event” anyway.
That somewhat undermines the entire point of Marxism as a live and developing understanding, built on already established understanding (Marx, Engels, Lenin particularly) but forged with constant polemical struggle to understand the immediately evolving developments in the world balance of class forces, building leadership to give the working class the sharpest guidance in ever more rapidly unravelling crisis and the necessary revolutionary fight to overturn the entire capitalist system.
The point, as Marx said, is not just to understand the world but to change it.
Of course explaining the significance of 9/11, is not separate from the class struggle now.
Even suggesting it can be illustrates the detached academicism of the fake-“left” who deep down do not believe in revolutionary movement at all.
But contrary to most of the fake-“left” who have not the faintest understanding of this world upheaval, this SF group, to its credit, is at least capable of seeing its revolutionary anti-imperialist significance, and is fearful that the “left” is falling behind, as Gerry Downing says in a letter to the crypto-Trotskyist Weekly Worker:
History is full of these ‘Frankenstein monsters’ that imperialism sponsored at one point, only later to turn against - Selassie, Hussein, Gaddafi and Assad, to mention just a few. We did know all about the CIA and the Saudis sponsoring al Qa’eda, Islamic State, etc. All bourgeois nationalists and all past and present Stalinists are reactionary forces, who only fight imperialism when they absolutely have to in order to stay in power or alive. The goal of their struggle is to forge a better deal with imperialism.
Putin is doing that right now over Syria and he would sell out the Donbass in the morning if he could get a deal that secured his borders.
Such forces have no principled opposition to imperialism, so spare us the details of how bad IS, etc are, Jim and Tony - we know.
But those who are fighting imperialism right now are by definition anti-imperialist and their struggle gains some legitimacy in the eyes of the masses they control, because they see that struggle as genuine to some extent at least.
Supporting your own imperialist power against any other force is pro-imperialist, Jim and Tony.
No exceptions for the truly nasty IS, Serbs, Hutus, etc. When wars that some leftists supported on a ‘humanitarian’ basis are over, the USA is always the clear winner and the third world country the clear loser.
And it is to the anti-imperialism of the masses we must orientate:
The gratuitous swipes in this against Serbs, and the Hutus etc are pure poison, reflecting the anti-communism which lies at the bottom of all Trotskyist politics, and the SF is as desperate as any of the other “lefts” simply to safely posture and moralise with some abstract “principled” opposition but it fears losing out too.
If the reality of the world anti-imperialist ferment does not follow the nicely laid out paths and “politically correct” procedures of the “perfect revolution” and its prescribed “super democracy” etc etc, (carried through by already “moral” workers imbued with all the necessary “politically correct” standards of feminism, anti-racism, gay rights etc as prescribed by the middle class - excluding the dirty and confused mess of actual people in the world that capitalism has created) then it must be deemed reactionary say most of the “lefts” as they pursue their comfortable and conceited plans for “perfect revolution” (which exists only in the heads of these petty bourgeois dilletantes).
The SF is just as academically rigid but tries to square the circle between actual upheaval and its petty bourgeois prescriptions.
How to declare that the world insurgency remains “reactionary” even when it has turned against imperialism, is “solved” in typical Trotskyist idealist style by inventing a complicated rigmarole about “two kinds of anti-imperialism”, conveniently allowing the SF to stay onside with imperialism’s hate campaigning while trying to accommodate the obvious worldwide mass support blows such as 9/11 have received.
There are actual events and there is “the anti-imperialism of the masses”.
In one sense that is true of course, but stating it this way is nothing but the usual workerism of the Trotskyists, tailending the alleged “wisdom of the masses” which of course will just happen to be in line with their own petty bourgeois fantasies (as they have tailed many such allegedly worker movements,such as the counter-revolutionary bogus trade union Solidarnosc in Poland).
What it misses out is the struggle for Leninist revolutionary understanding.
Its academic formalism leads the SF into more difficulties.
The ISIS has to be “defended” they say:
“We support the right of indigenous peoples to resist imperialist attacks. It is the duty of the workers movement in imperialist countries to assist them in defending themselves whenever possible.
It is a position also of the Italian Marxist-Leninist Party, a Maoist group, in a statement released in November:
An imperialist holy alliance is born to fight and destroy the Islamic State fighting against imperialism. Of course, the PMLI cannot be part of it. Currently, our stand is side by side with those fighting against imperialism, that is the common enemy of all the peoples of the world.
The Islamic State does not want imperialism to be the master of Iraq, Syria, Middle East, North and Central Africa, Afghanistan and Yemen. We do not want it either, therefore we cannot but support it. As said again by the Political Bureau in its historic document issued on 10 January, “Every people has the right to self-determination, to independence, and to settle their internal contradictions by themselves.”
An immense gulf divides us from the Islamic State in the spheres of ideology, culture, tactics and strategy, and we do not agree with all its fighting methods, actions and goals. But we have an essential point in common—the unwavering struggle against imperialism. This point at the moment transcends any other difference that may exist, and it is the pivot of our de facto anti-imperialist alliance.
Alliances are made with the forces currently on the field, regardless of their characteristics, ideologies and strategies. These forces are as they are, we cannot shape them as we see fit, after abstract models. They depend on existing circumstances and on the main contradictions in a certain moment.
Just as Stalin allied with US and British imperialists to defeat Germany’s aggressive imperialism, just as Mao allied with the Kuomintang nationalists to force Japanese imperialist aggressors out of China, so we must necessarily ally with the Islamic State, otherwise we will side with imperialist aggressors. There is no other anti-imperialist alternative, including neutrality. Moreover, this is happening in a moment when inter-imperialist contradictions are sharpening over the control of Syria and Iraq, possibly leading to a world war that we oppose with all our strength.
We are on the side of all the peoples fighting for national liberation, starting from the Palestinian people who fight against Israel’s Zionist, Nazi and imperialist invaders. And we support their ongoing Intifada. At the same time, we condemn the state massacre in Ankara against the Kurdish people.
Both of these views struggle correctly with an anti-imperialist understanding - and both correctly say they disagree with the understanding and perspectives of the ISIS ideology.
But it is also causing confusion to defend ISIS.
What these understandings need to get to, but cannot, is the Leninist understanding of defeat for imperialism but without supporting (or “defending”) the inadequate or backward philosophies and leaderships that the struggles are currently turning to.
Defeat for the Iraq invasion for example implied not a jot of support for Saddam.
Further complications arise. The SF also calls for support for the Assad regime against the attacks on it by imperialism.
What then of ISIS which continues to be hostile to Assad and whose Caliphate demands require part of Syria (irrespective of its breakaway from imperialist manipulation)? Or what then of Assad’s onslaughts on ISIS, together with Putin’s Russian forces?
Restoring the imperialist delineated Syrian borders would mean destroying ISIS surely?
Supporting Assad is as mistaken as supporting Saddam or Gaddafi or Putin.
Victory by ISIS or Assad in that sense will solve nothing because the capitalist crisis rolls on unstoppably, the cause and driving forces of all the mayhem.
The key understanding has to be focused on imperialism and its crisis alone, and recognising the importance and significance of all defeats it suffers irrespective of how they are caused but without getting tangled in specific local causes as such and certainly without joining in the moralising claque “condemning” specific incidents.
Even more it has to be focused on clarifying the entire world revolutionary perspective, long abandoned by all these groups.
Neither the Italian Maoists nor the Trotskyist SF come anywhere near it.
But on this question they at least have responded to the real world contradictions.
The ludicrous nonsense about “left anti-Semitism” being used to cow the reformists and remainder of the fake-“left” proves that they have hit a nerve.
That is a whole discussion in itself (to come)- focussed on the monstrous land-theft Zionist-fascist occupation of Palestine at the heart of the whole Arab and Middle Eastern struggle.
E P S R BOX Leaving the world to be run by the greed of the capitalist monopolies can never stop resulting in periodic crises where trade-war destruction MUST rule, and to which the only antidote is Revolution and a strong workers state, --- as these essentials of Marxist-Leninist SCIENCE explain.
Only the crisis events of collapsing imperialist rule interpreted in this Marxist-Leninist light will educate a mass workers party of leadership to do the necessary tasks.
The Revisionist retreat from the Soviet workers state because of crawling to shallow Western glitz and shame at their own past bureaucratic mistakes has only proved the soundness of Lenin's 'State & Revolution' science about a very long period of proletarian dictatorship being the only way for the world to see-off monopoly imperialist warmongering, now back with a vengeance.
It is often said and written that the main point in Marx's teachings is the class struggle; but this is not true. And from this untruth very often springs the opportunist distortion of Marxism, its falsification in such a way as to make it acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the doctrine of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and generally speaking it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognise only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the boundaries of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the doctrine of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something which is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. And it is not surprising that when the history of Europe brought the working class face to face with this question as a practical issue, not only all the opportunists and reformists, but all the "Kautskyites" (people who vacillate between reformism and Marxism) proved to be miserable philistines and petty-bourgeois democrats who repudiate the dictatorship of the proletariat. V.I.Lenin
"The last cause of all real crises always remains the poverty and restricted consumption of the masses as compared to the tendency of capitalist production to develop the productive forces as if only the absolute power of consumption of the entire society would be their limit." (Capital. Vol III. P568.)
" For many a decade past", wrote Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto of 1848, "the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crisis a great part, not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity - the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary...they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them."
The conditions of bourgeois democracy very often compel us to take a certain stand on a multitude of small and petty reforms, but we must be able, or learn, to take such a position on these reforms. (in such a manner) that - to oversimplify the matter for the sake of clarity - five minutes of every half-hour speech are devoted to reforms and twenty-five minutes to the coming revolution.
For a £25 annual subscription to receive EPSR by first class post every Wednesday, write to (but send no money initially): EPSR, PO Box 50, L0NDON, SW17 9NL