Baboon's blog on imperialism

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Baboon's blog on imperialism
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This is the opening of a blog on imperialism from myself as a sympathiser of the ICC. It is my personal expression but I draw heavily on the analysis of the communist left and the ICC in particular. While this thread is informal it shouldn't detract from any deeper expression or position appearing on these boards in relation to imperialism. The hope is that the informality of this discussion, which is open to everyone and I encourage its use, will complement the deepening of our understanding of the imperialist aspect of capitalism.

In order to kick this off I'm submitting here a post I made earlier on libcom regarding a discussion about the role of French imperialism in the Rwandan genocide of 1994:

I don't think that the 1994 slaughter in Rwanda and the primary role of French imperialism in promoting it can be underestimated. The context of this slaughter and the French role in it was the imperialist push of the United States and Britain in the post-eastern bloc collapse and capitalism's "New World Order", ie the role of the US in trying to keep its bloc under control in the face of its former enemy's economic and military implosion. Examples of this by no means smoothly coordinated military push by US imperialism in the face of the weakening of the Nato bloc was the Iraq war of 1992, the "humanitarian" intervention in ex-Yugoslavia in 1992 and various manoeuvres on the African continent which included developments of American and British "influence". which themselves included US training of the Tutsi militias of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. France, which was presenting itself to the world at the time as the pacifist and thoughtful alternative to the aggressive warlike Anglo duo, had already been training its Hutu killers for a number of years (Patrick de Saint Exupery, a journalist for "Figaro" and author of "L'inouvable: la France au Rwanda" - see "Le Monde Diplomatique", March 2004). Rwanda was part of a geo-strategic game between the US, Britain and France within imperialism's "new world order"(Tony Blair went on to use the 1994 Rwandan war to promote the "benign" Anglo-US intervention against Saddam's Hussein Iraq in 2003).

The "secure humanitarian zone" created by the French in the west of Rwanda at the time became the lair of all the extremist groups and representatives of the Hutu governing apparatus ("Le Monde Diplomatique", March 2004). This became part of the slaughterhouse and the French allowed the genocide a free hand as they refused to draw in the Hutu militias and even promoted them. Imperialism bears the responsibility but French imperialism was the major factor behind this slaughter.

Exact numbers killed and legal definitions of a genocide can be a source of confusion and avoidance of the real underlying issues. Numbers seem pointless when the only difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi is the ID card that they happen to be carrying or not. So called ethnic divisions are often just a cover for imperialist slaughter and also provide a western-backed alibi that is racially suggestive that these "ethnicities" are only warring savages and need the civilising forces of the west. But as we saw in Rwanda - and we constantly see elsewhere - these "civilising" forces are the most brutal and depraved and actively play up or create these "ethnic" divisions. You can see it today with South Sudan, capitalism's newest nation that has immediately imploded into a heap of warfare and decomposition. It's "ethnic" the western press tell us - yet of the 70 groups that lived more or less peacefully in the region together there is no word for "tribe". This was and is an imperialist construct in a country set up by Britain around a century ago in order to confront French, German and Italian interests in the region and recently involving France, Britain and the US again confronting each other with the tinsel of Hollywood and the Church of England also put to imperialist use. And all this over what was called "the first genocide of the 21st century" and the slaughter of up to 400,000 (according to NGO's) in Darfur ("Jeune Afrique", 1-14/4/2007). And this time in Sudan, apart from the usual suspects, China, which is becoming militarily adventurous on the continent, is also involved.

Just as there's a denial from some quarters over the murderous role of France in the Rwandan slaughter, there was a denial from some quarters of the British political apparatus over the role of Serbs in setting up concentration camps and undertaking massacres. Although this came from a Stalinist wing of the British bourgeoisie (as I remember it), it perfectly suited the mainstream British ruling class who, then and now, backed Serbia as a vital cornerstone against the expansion of unified German imperialism.

Personally, from what I've read of him, I wouldn't give a whit of proletarian credibility to Chomsky who seems to support one expression of imperialism against another - sometimes the stronger imperialism sometimes the weaker.

I also think that it is important to put the murderous crimes of Stalinism alongside those of fascism rather than oppose one against the other in some sort of political game over body counts. It's important to do this in order to show that Nazi Germany was not some sort of evil aberration from capitalism but an expression of it, with its own specificities at a particular time - as was Stalinism. And I think that it's further important, against those that support the "lesser evil", to clearly state that the murderous crimes of democracy dwarf those of Nazism and Stalinism put together and continue to do so to this day.

baboon
Feel free

I'm not too sure about this blogging business but please feel free to post on here on any aspect of imperialism - points, discussions, postions, etc. In the  meantime a couple of points:

Interesting news in the week from the "Global Post" of January 15, that intelligence agencies of the west have been visiting Damascus and talking to the secret services of the Assad regime since the middle of last year. Not suprisingly British MI6 agents were first on the scene followed by the French, German and Spanish later on. There are further reports that US agencies came afterwards.

A while ago there were, on another thread, some questions about the weakening of the US on the imperialist chessboard. I don't propose to go into this in any detail but want to make some punctual points that underline this weakness and particularly from the decision of the Obama administration not to make a strike, however limited, on the Assad regime following its "red line" crossing. This has impacted enormously on Turkey and caused not a few problems within its ruling class. The Turkish AKP leader, Erdogan, had already annoyed the US by buying a Chinese missile system that was incompatible with its Nato membership. It further pursued membership of the Sino/Russian Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. This has caused splits in the Turkish ruling class and provoked corruption "scandals" that Erdogan said was a "conspiracy" implying that the US and its ambassador and other western powers were behind it(WSWS, 17.1.14).

Tensions between the US and Israel are now obvious, particularly over the non-strike on Syria and the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. Last week the Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, was forced to apologise for an abusive attack on US Secretary of State Kerry's Palestine "peace mission". The diplomatic fall-out is continuing. Further political tensions over the last year or so betweent the US and Israel are detailed in ex-Secretary of State Gate's new book. While Robert Gates wants to hype up his book, and while military cooperation continues apace between the two countries, the political tensions and centrifugal tendencies are there.

After preparing for it and campaigning for it for over a year, Saudi Arabia has renounced its seat on the UN Security Council  in protest against US policies. Its intelligence boss, Prince Bader Bin, Sultan al-Saud, said in October last (Wall Street Journal, 21.10.13) that his units would be scaling back cooperation with the US over Syria in protest against Washinton's policies. Saudi Arabia too  was relying on an air-strike against Assad.

One of the big decisions that undermined a US action against Syria was the decision by Britain not to get involved and this itself is indicative of a certain weakening of US imperialism.

Fred
imperialism and decomposition

So can we conclude then that Imperialism as a major force of capitalism is in chaos?  That Imperialism requires at least a couple of major powers to act as dominant,  unquestioned and unquestionable bully boys, but that those heady days have now gone for good?  Is this all a symptom of decomposition?  

baboon
In general, yes.

Circumstances mean that this is briefer than I would like it to be but, yes, imperialism is a major force of capitalism in chaos, i.e., a symptom of decomposition and imperialism itself is a factor, an element in capitalism's decadence and an expression of a revolutionary period.

We, most of us, have grown up with the two bloc world divided by the east and the west, what you rightly call a couple of dominant, bullying major powers and the demise of this system, dangerous enough in itself, is an expression of decomposition, of everyman for himself and greater centrifugal tendencies. The weakening of the sole remaining superpower, the USA, also makes the global situation more dangerous and more fragile, prone to unforeseen events or elements out of control (in the absence of a relatively cohesive bloc leader). But all countries are imperialist given that the latter is a further expression of nationalism and the national interest. I think that we can see this clearly in the birth of the newest nation, South Sudan, as a "good" example. From a country created by larger imperialism in general (Britain) to a secession to a country serving greater imperialist interests (generally the USA and Britain), its national bourgeoisie immediately express its own imperialist interests. So from the biggest to the smallest, imperialism is a factor that no national element can possibly rise above.

baboon
couple of points

Firstly, the question is raised above about the overall weakening of the US as an imperialist power and I just want to add one small recent fact that can be added to the overall analysis:

Reuters (1.1.14) reports that the Mexican Knights Templar drug cartel, based in the western state of Michoacan and which controls large swathes of the country (as well as the police and the military - hence the groups of armed vigilantes springing up against them) are now mining and exporting iron ore directly to China. Exports by this gang - right in the backyard of the US, an area flooded with US agencies, intelligence and surveillance - have increased 400% in the year up to October 13. This ore, to be used in steelmaking, is being exported by the drug gang-controlled deepwater port of Lazaro Candenas (the Chinese love a deep water port). According to the drugs boss of the Knights Templar on a TV news programme a couple of nights ago, there's more money in selling iron ore to the Chinese than drugs. And, he added, no Chinese businessmen have been kidnapped. That this is happening right next to the US is extraordinary.

Secondly, the BBC and British imperialism.

The BBC is not just a nest of well paid, promoted paedophile pimps - that's just part of its Light Entertainment department - but, like all national media outlets, a voice, a reflection on the imperialist aspirations of that nation. We seen how it's trying to structure the "debate" around the WWI anniversary and there are no doubt hundreds of examples that could be added. Despite (or because of ?) its constant defence of British nationalism, the BBC has acquired the status of a "left wing" even slightly "proletarian" outfit which is testament to the intelligence of the British bourgeoisie (I think that Goeballs somewhere said how much he admired the BBC). But just two small points showing how this insidious organisation works on behalf of British imperialism.

The first concerns the Muslim Brotherhood. Now it's very difficult to get any information about this but it looks to me like, and this is not contradicted by historical facts, the British state has been a major force behind the Muslim Brotherhood recently. And further to this, I believe that the British convinced the Americans to also throw their weight behind the MB - developments that have become spectacularly unstuck. While the MB boss Morsi was in power in Egypt, the BBC constantly reinforced his position by going to an "independent" Egyptian expert at Exeter University who, if he wasn't a member of the MB managed to rattle off their line faithfully. Now that Morsi's gone, the BBC still rely on this same MB character to provide  "independent analysis" (ie, the MB position) on events in Egypt and around. This suggests that the British bourgeoisie still have a Muslim Brotherhood iron in the fire.

The second indication of British imperialist policy concerns Pakistan: I think that a couple of years ago, the US gave Britain a "special responsibility" regarding Pakistan given its historic links and intelligence here and this will be needed more than ever now that "mission's accomplished" in Afghanistan (ie, the country has been reduced to a greater state of misery than ever before). To this end the BBC has been promoting, through its various programmes and "analyses", the son of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto, for political leadership. When this corrupt family was investigated by British police for fraud some years ago, the mother Benazir, threated  to reveal in court the role of British intelligence in setting up Pakistan's fundamentalist madrasas. All enquires were dropped. Meanwhile Bilawal, just out of Oxford, has been holding forth about the necessity of "taking on the Taleban", indicating yet more imperialist-inspired misery for the peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

baboon
Afghanistan

There's quite a bit of talk from the bourgeoisie at the moment about Afghanistan given that there seems to be some disagreement between the US administration and the Karzai regime about the number of US troops that will remain in the country after 2014 - clearly, despite newspaper publicity about all troops being withdrawn and Prime Minister Cameron's "mission accomplished", the AfPak war, and the extension of misery, corruption and murder that it engenders, is not going to end any time soon. The situation of a continued US presence in Afghanistan must, in all likelihood, follow the lines of the Iraqi "withdrawal", where the US set up massive fortresses across the country in Baghdad, Irbil, Basra, Mosul and Kirkuk that continue to be staffed by thousands of mercenaries, special forces, intelligence agencies, drone controllers, surveillance, etc.

The new situation in Afghanistan after the pull-out of the majority of US and  other ISAF troops could well have motivated the setting up of a new secret service agency, the Defence Clandestine Service (DCS), created by the Pentagon in 2012 and running in parallel to the CIA - in fact it looks like the Pentagon's own mini-CIA comprised of up to 2000 undercover operatives and military attaches who are being placed in sensitive areas overseas in order to recruit sources and collect and collate intelligence. This added to an area that is already weighed down by the biggest US intelligence presence outside of America.

I don't think that there's any doubt that Afghanistan represents an element that demonstrates the weakening of US imperialism but, as a declining superpower, it is stuck with and must struggle on with this enormous burden even if it divests itself of much of its hardware and boots on the ground. Karzai can't stand for another term so now there is an election to promote his successor and no doubt the US will be active here in this ludicrous, democratic farce. The newspapers talk about "the election campaign" in Afghanistan - what a joke! The ISAF, US and British led legacy in Afghanistan will be one of even more misery and suffering for the population and for more war involving Pakistan and the Taleban, drawing in other regional powers (India, for example) and probably China.

Part of this Anglo-US legacy has been a flourishing opium trade as the warlords ("entrepreneurs"), including Karzai's drug-running brother, have been heavily backed by the intelligence services of both countries. A year after the US/British occupation, heroin production was back up to and beyond pre-Taleban levels. And the misery from this drug not only spreads through Iran, and dispersed from the Balkans throughout Europe, it is devastating for Afghanis themselves.

There were some photos published recently of Kabul in the 50s and 60s. They were quite surprising in that the women and girls pictured looked just like those in the towns and cities of the west. Now the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, once the cause-celebre of Hillary Clinton and some US and British feminists - justifying, wittingly or not imperialist war - has, like that of the general population, has become worse and worse. Afghanistan's children suffer from one of the highest levels of chronic malnutrition in the world.

In this vast country, the writ of the government just about covers Kabul and whereas the Taleban used to up sticks in winter and head back to Pakistan, they now have fixed bases from which to maintain attacks and tensions. The numbers of people with access to health care has declined by over two million according to the United Nations and the same report talks about over half-a-million internal refugees directly as a result of conflict. ISAF apologists point to the number of schools and hospitals built but, for the most part, these are just empty and decaying buildings. A school is not a school without teachers and pupils and a hospital doesn't exist without patients, doctors and nurses.

The US has spent (officially) nearly one hundred billion dollars on reconstruction and relief in Afghanistan which, dollar for dollar, is far more than any country received from the post-war Marshall Plan. Many, many times that amount has been spent on running the war and its consequences (invalidity pay for veterans was forecast to come to round about a trillion I saw somewhere). There's no rationality from this chaos. Electricity for much of Afghanistan is provided by a hydroelectric plant at Shabrak (now close to Taleban-controlled territory) built by the Russians nearly 40 years ago and which remains the country's biggest power station. The Americans have installed expensive to run diesel generators despite the hilly terrain perfect for hydro-electric generation.

But the "investment" in Afghanistan was always a lie, just like the "advancement" of women or the eradication of heroin production. It is, and remains, a completely irrational contribution to the chaos of decomposing capitalism.

Alf
carry on....

Some excellent contributions from Baboon on this thread/blog, the last one in particular. I note with regard to one of the earlier ones about the French role in the Rwanda genocide that the shit may be about to hit the fan: 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/05/paris-trial-elysee-...

baboon
Thanks for that Alf. I was

Thanks for that Alf. I was feeling a bit iffy about this and not sure whether to continue, so it's good to get some feedback. I will carry on carrying on.

A.Simpleton
Worth Repeating

I have said elsewhere - more generally - that the ICC and 'sources close thereto' have been my revolutionary reuters for years.

I have been reading all of this Baboon because its the real news: I should have said so and said thank you. It's very very important work, because it is so characteristically thorough, from someone who has also consistently traced the real history, the 'totality' of this or that specific, flavour of the month, 'charade' version of the 'alleged' activities of 'falsely reported' protagonists who - of course - aren't the real protagonists: the U.S. miltary involvments in South American 80's coke trading for example depicting the reality - sometimes a very complex web of politicians (i.e. gangsters), gangsters (i.e.politicians) and that swiss army knife utility, coverall : 'Rebel Forces' or 'Rebels' for short.

It is also of key importance to emphasise by such revelation in general,

1) The actuality that huge forces are at work behind local confrontations: deliberately 'minimised' 'euphemised' (however many tragic pictures appear in propaganda) 

2) The impossibility that such vast expenditure and logistics over decades could be anything but deliberately planned co-ordinated in detail with computer run simulation of 'outcomes'- as are the cover-ups. It's not 'conspiracy theory' it's what's actually bloody going on.

3) The change in the 'coherence' or 'viability' of such deadly madness and its implications on a global scale: for both classes and humanity. 

***

Re-reading the German Ideology brought to the front of my mind 'History is Continuous' (shooting my post's credibility in the foot by misquoting) but it focuses the mind that seminal work: concise yet encyclopaedic a focus on the totality of specifics....but... before I go tangential: it laid before me anew the myriad concatenation of contradictions that were clear 160 years ago and precisely because they were ultimately insoluble they could not but increase.

Ergo : re Afghanistan - and the astonishing figures you present; the phrase I mentioned had struck me (from the ICC Theses on Dec.) was the accumulation of contradictions:

How many times in the last 120 years has that region been a theatre of war? often pointless costly campaigns: usually dragging on : yes iPhones may be selling well but if one could 'summon' all the corpses from the last 100 years just in that region: or add all the costs of all the failures..

'progress' 'system' 'growth' hmm I think not : out of control, coming apart - astronomical 'money values' shunted around just to fail to achieve even Imperialism's goals if it can remember what they were.

AS

 

 

baboon
German imperialism

Again, with reference to this:

Jen's profound piece on WWI mentions how the situation around the Far East now, the arms race and tensions, is reminiscent of the run-up to World War One. No disagreement with that at all especially when one looks at the bellicose nature China and of Japan now and its rearmement programme. Japan has also talked up its access to nuclear weapons.

Similar for Germany and the end of its period of "military restraint" proclaimed recently by German politicians. We've already seen its role in Ukraine and its warnings to Russia. Now there's news that the German navy will be present in the Mediterrenean - one of its objectives in setting off the 92 war in the Balkans. And Foreign Office spokesman, Martin Schater, has stated that Germany will make a new, "overdue" foreign policy initiative in Africa (WSWS, today). It already has troops in Mali and there's to be renewed Bundeswehr participation in Somalia and Uganda.

The spokesman for the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, has said that "Africa should not be left to the Chinese". All the German political spectrum, including the left and the Greens seem to support this policy.

So, with differences, the "Scramble for Africa", also bears similarities with those on the eve of the First World War.

A.Simpleton
Couple of points

Just to clear up an 'overarching'  point which momentarily eludes my analytical abilities: Imperialism is Imperialism is Imperialism : but I need clarification to 'get a handle' on how ascendence, decadence, decomposition obviously change ,,,er,,,maybe not its 'essential nature' but its workings (or fail-to-workings as well) its 'goals' - perhaps achievable in the past - but not now or at least not in the same way: I hope you see what I'm getting at .

Say with regard to late 1920's China :'anti-imperialism' would have been a 'slogan' about as mis-aimed as - 'anti-fascism' today. Yet now the awareness of - say the Industrial workers in Syria - in identifying Imperialism behind the sectarian mystifications are 'encouraging' .

Your personal assessment or links appreciated.

***

Secondly: your incisive, darkly humourous, descriptions of the BBC above have not gone unnoticed: deservedly sardonic ( 'and that's just the Light Entertainment dept) I am reminded of an incident which sticks in my mind becasue it was an undisguisable example of the points you make: undisguisable in the sense that it was on the live Six O'Clock BBC news and could not 'airbrushed' out or covered up

Nor is it disconnected from Imperialism

The 'un-natural disaster; of the Haiti earthquake was the <<<breaking news>>> (and, I might add there are still a vast immiserated population in tentsville) 

The Beeb had obviously been scrabbling around for an 'expert on Haiti' at short notice: they introduced a soft spoken Irish Professor (Brunel Uni. Uxbridge I think) : and proudly deferred to him in the usual self-congratulatory way: 'we have in the studio an expert on Haiti : Prof.So'n'So.'

The initial exchanges were general and the Beeb's rep. was in 'we are here to learn from you' mode

Then in answer to a certain question he - continuing in level soft spoken Irish tones - said:

'Well of course America and Haiti have a long and complicated history: and I think that one of the obvious reasons that the death toll was so high is because such a thing is bound to happen when you force a large urban proletariat into a huge shanty town as cheap labour for the American Garment Retail business: even the aid agencies, you see, have for some time been bribing smallholders to move off their self-subsistence plots with the dubious goal of 'a better life' being exploited in sweatshops by American Capital.

You can imagine the immediate change in the woman interviewing: no longer were his words the words of 'the expert' they had 'cleverly' provided for us: they were 'these claims you are making' and 'what evidence is there for them' etc etc

You can equally imagine the 'unfortunate' female interviewer having the producer blasting down her earpiece:' end it now ! for christ's sake get that commie off the air' ...

AS

 

 

 

 

baboon
Hello AS

A major issue obviously, but I would recommend (on the website) "On imperialism" and "Notes on imperialism and decomposition". Any other suggestions will be welcomed.

In relation to the present period - ie, after the collapse of the eastern bloc to now say - there have been major changes and major questions, that remain, about blocs, potential for new blocs and so on. The ICC talks about the "decay" of imperialism and I see no objection to that term in relation to decomposition. This, following the ICC's analysis as I understand it, is the development of centrifugal tendencies, of each for themselves which are aligned to the collapse of the Russian bloc and the weakening of the US. I think that there are plenty of examples of this, not least in the collapse of capitalism's "newest" nation, South Sudan, into a free-for-all of imperialist rivalries and in the present situation of Ukraine which, apart from anything else, is threatening to break up into pieces. Great swathes of the northern half of Africa are now falling into the form of "decayed" imperialism from which, along with other previous "hotspots" of tension and war, there is no possible reconstruction.

On another level, ie, apart from the specifics of this or that imperialism or this or that war - as important as they are - there is also the general overall level that imperialism, decadent capitalism, imposes itself on all countries and ruling classes large and small and none can escape from it. Permanent militarism and strengthening of state capitalism are also other expressions of imperialism.

There is also the fact, mentioned by Jens in his WWI text, that as much as we've away from the beginning of the 19th century - and even more so with decomposition - then we are very much still in the same conditions - or similar conditions in different circumstances. So we don't just see similar circumstances to the build-up to WWI in the Far East today, we also see a renewed "scramble for Africa" which was also very much a feature prior to WWI. Also added to this is the fact that war is spreading today, tensions are rising throughout and all countries are rearming aginst others and all are involved in a global arms race.

One thing that we often say but need to be clearer about is how imperialism is an important question for the working class. What do we mean by this - that every worker has to have an analysis of imperialism generally or of particular imperialist flashpoints specifically? I don't think so. During my years at work I generally found it very easy and interesting to talk to other workers about war and imperialism but I think that it's the whole condition of decadent capitalism and the possibility of a different system that frameworks an understanding of imperialism, not least the need for civil war. Though having said this if one is living in Turkey close to the Syrian border or in Bosnia surrounded by occupying troops one might have a clearer, immediate picture.

 

Good report on the BBC report AS - they usually pick their "experts" to get the right result and when they don't the "impartial" newsreaders become open representatives of the state - that's their role. It's difficult to feel sorry for the al-jazeera journalists banged-up in Egypt after they've been flogging the Qatari line.

Sure the BBC was into paedophilia as were many elements of the British establishment. Senior Labour Party figures in the 80s were flirting around a paedophile public relations group called the Paedophile Exchange - or something like that. It was all under the "people's party" attempt to be all "new-agey" and "with it" and inclusive, including inclusive about child abusers.

One of the best news "moments" I saw happen in front of my eyes was on Fox news a couple of years ago. I flick through the news channels sometimes and Fox news is always in the studio with some half-educated male and female bimbos chuntering on. This time I was amazed to see a live report from Afghanistan. A US officer in Helmand was standing in front of the camera while behind him in full panoramic view armed US soldiers were overseeing and guarding the loading onto lorries of pallet after pallet of raw opium. The poor guy tried to explain whu this was happening for a couple of minutes  but  gave up in the end saying words to the effect "whatchagonnado?". Back to the studio the three glossy-haired standing presenters, clipboards in hand, were gobsmacked and could only look at each other open mouthed. A great moment in TV: Fox exclusive: US troops facilitate transportation of opium!

A.Simpleton
Is it just me ...

This is a tad contemplative compared with your substance but I find myself seemingly 'suddenly' hearing from the Bourgeois Propaganda Corporation in their solemn expert analyses of Ukraine/Crimea events;

1) The tediously predictable misuse of 'revolution' (no change there) ..but also

2) Rising almost to a mantra: 'Will Ukraine look East or West?'

Now of course there has always been an 'East' and a 'West' but for some reason it struck me: having of course grown up when it was 'the industry standard' phrase affirming the pernicious mis-description of 'opposing Imperialist Capitalist Blocs' as 'opposing Systems' (thus at least attempting to deny or 'minimise' the idea that -especially- the US was Imperialist)

I am in no doubt that the Great Lie still weighs heavily on the proletariat: but I found myself musing that ever more potentially revealed is the reality that there are 'only' Imperialist forces controlling or failing to control this or that conflagration and that 'they' are all supposed to be more or less similar examples of that 'holy grail' Parliamentary Democracy: and it doesn't work: 'it' has no solutions -even for itself. 

Pretty idle and over simplistic thoughts as the chaos disorganises.

Heard a brave reporter describing the National Anthem singing group aproaching the Russian or 'Russian' firing line: Russian soldier shouts 'I'll shoot you in the legs' Ukrainian replies 'but we fought in the war together'.

The muck of ages pouring out 'before the event' as it were.

Back to the world service.

AS

 

baboon
The Muslim Brotherhood and gravitational waves

Looking at the imperialist manoeuvres of the British ruling class - indeed all imperialism's plotting and scheming - is something like looking for gravitational waves: you can't see what's going on directly but you can make some sound assumptions  based on the effects they have elsewhere. The recent enquiry launched by Cameron last week on Britain's relations with the Muslim Brotherhood is a case in point.

Sir John Jenkins, Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia is, under Cameron's directive, to examine the "Brotherhood's philosophy and values and alleged connections with extremism and violence", "particularly as they relate to Britain" (Guardian, April 2). The outcome of this enquiry unusually appears to be prejudged if noises from the Foreign Office are taken into account: 'they probably won't result in the organisation being proscribed' and bannig them could be "highly damaging" (FT, 2.4.14) and there's also words about their "possible but unlikely proscription" (Daily Mail, 2.4.14). The experts in the media are saying that this enquiry has been launched because of pressure by the implacable enemies of the MB, Saudi Arabia, but I think that the pressure has more likely come from Washington who I think were duped into supporting the MB, and the Morsi regime in Egypt in particular, by British intelligence who have a long-standing relationship with them.

The book of the journalist Mark Curtis: "Secret Affairs: Britain's collusion with Radical Islam" lifted the lid on Britain's relations with fundamentalist Islam including that of the MB and how the "War on Terror" was a cover for wider imperialist manoeuvres. This relationship with the MB goes back to the mid-1920's and apart from a brief fling with the Nazi's (no impediment to working for HMG), has continued ever since. The bourgeoisie sees the clearly stated needs to "openly engage" with this group and not just this group but those affiliated to it and those influenced by it.

The Executive Intelligence Review (9.8.13) details the role of Britain with the MB since the 20's and the way it has financed it since the 40's and continues to do so into the late 70's at least: "But nobody contributed more (to the MB) than Her Majesty's Services in Britain in bringing these scattered jihadis under loosely bound organisation and making them flourish". British protection of Islamic terrorist leaders began years ago. This is a very useful tool for British imperialism in that, as the EIR says: "the Muslim Brotherhood provides elements for 'regime change' in the Arab countries, North Africa and against Russian interests in Central Asia" (the British used them in Libya where they remain strong today). I think that this is another example of the tensions that exist between the interests of British imperialism as opposed to those of the US.

The sense of the articles in The Guardian is that the Brotherhood is a loose alliance of affable, jolly old men who are just Islamic social workers and such a view was reflected by Dr. Robert Lambert, head of the Metropolitan Police Muslim Contact Unit who said at the end of 2011 that: "Britain can be proud of how it has provided a safe haven for members and associates of the Muslim Brotherhood over 3 decades".

So Britain is not harbouring terrorists and jihadists and using them for its own imperialist ends. No, it's part of an ongoing proud tradition to provide a democratic welcome to immigrants and of "hosting political refugees  and exile groups fleeing repression" according to the Simon Tisdall in yesterday's "liberal" Guardian. It wouldn't have escaped Tisdall's notice that on the same day that he wrote his PR piece (on  behest of whom?),'welcoming democratic Britain' tore a 17-year old girl away from the rest of her family and forcibly ejected her from the country. She'd have had more chance staying here if she was a jihadi terrorist.

baboon
Machiavellianism

In early April ,a video appeared on YouTube of a recording of a meeting taking place at the offices of the Turkish Foreign Ministry where a boss of Turkish intelligence (MIT), a senior army general and two high-up government officials are heard discussing a "false flag" operation where Turkish forces would attack a famous muslim shrine in Syria, blame the Assad regime and then use that as a pretext for invasion. The Turkish government was clearly rattled by this leak - which I think could have only come from spying activity carried out by the Russian equivalent of MI6, the SVR. This has not been much reported in the western press or relegated to the "technology" pages, as Turkey continues to supply arms and support to the jihadis in Syria.

This report follows on from an expose by Seymour Hersch, based on US intelligence, about the sarin attack on Ghouta in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21 last, the pictures from which went around the world arousing anger and revulsion. The US administration (plus all the usual suspects) insisted that research showed that the gas attack came from Syrian army positions and that the sarin used was part of Syrian army stock.

Seymour Hersch has exposed uncomfortable truths about US imperialism and Nato in the past and his excellent work is largely ignored by the western press which is why his latest revelations have been published in the London Review of Books.

According to Hersch and his well-placed sources, MI6 obtained sarin samples from Ghouta, processed them through Porton Down which concluded that the strain did not belong to any chemical weapons possessed by Syria. This information was immediatly relayed to the Pentagon. Obviously a chemical analysis is more trustworthy but to me at the time it looked as if the rockets delivering the deadly gas had been put together by tinsnips.

Hersch goes on to say that the US administration and the British government have been aware that the al-Nusra Front have been using chemical weapons in Syria from Spring 2013. There is also a link with the CIA, who set up a line of supply of various Libyan weaponry from Benghazi to the "rebels" in Syria and certain consequences from that that resulted in the death of the US ambassador in Benghazi last November.

Last May, two al-Nusra commandos were arrested by police in Turkey carrying two 5kg cylinders of sarin and they, along with about a dozen others were charged. All have now been released and charges dropped. The evidence implies the Turkish secret services (MIT) involvement in the gas attack on Ghouta with the aim of drawing in US bombers over Syria with the "red line" being crossed. It appears that Britain and the US knew the gas attack was a con by Turkey.

baboon
Abductions in Nigeria

It took British Prime Minister Cameron's team all of 21 days to distill the phrase "pure evil" to describe the abduction of 276 young girls from a school in the north-eastern state of Borno. The British government, along with the Nigerian government had completely ignored the atrocity (probably including murder and rape) for weeks before they were forced to react down to the growing demonstrations of anger and frustration of mothers, families and friends. Atrocities by the group Boka haram are regularly ignored by the Nigerian government and its international backers (mostly the US, Britain and France) like the 50 young boys slaughtered by the group in February. Now they are falling over themselves to offer "help". The soundbites are that special forces will be sent, with all the latest equipment, to look for the girls. But troops, aircraft, special forces, secret services from Britain and the US have been on the ground in Nigeria for ages. Just a few days after the abduction another 8 girls were abducted by the al-Qaida linked group and a day or two ago 310 people were killed by them in an attack on the town of Gamburu Ngala where many of the Nigerian army forces and their "allies" were based.

There's no contradiction and certainly no surprise that at the same time as Nigeria is announced as a new economic "miracle" (it's now officially the biggest economy in Africa, far outstripping South Africa). it is also being described as a "failed state". It's riven with corruption, as its economy has got bigger its peoples have got poorer and there have been suggestions that elements of the Nigerian state are involved with Boko haram. Whatever, the latter has been fed by the disasterous intervention of the US-led British and French (et al) forces in Libya and this destabilisation has spread to down to Nigeria and its neighbouring states of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. It's a further example of decomposition, a reaction against women and education and an element in the new "scramble for Africa".

baboon
Ukraine

 

Here's a post that I made yesterday on the Ukraine that may be of interest:

May 19 2014 22:04

I don't think that identifying Russia as the weaker imperialism and describing a Ukrainian-based US assault against Russian interests means that one supports Russia at all. Both are facts. I think that earlier in the year a diplomatic and foreign policy initiative (imperialism) by the Russian state precipitated this particular crisis and provoked the western response. The postion of the AWU, for example, is to totally deny the US offensive while denying the specific role of Ukrainian imperialism (as weak as it is) within it.

Things have changed of course since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. But imperialism hasn't - or only in appearances as in the New Great Game. NATO was ending the 1980's with a strategy of "Forward Defence" - its aim was the complete encirclement of Russia, the placement of missiles and the deployment of troops in sensitive areas and the use of fighter jets and bomber sorties right up and occasionally across its borders. Essentially I think a similar strategy from NATO is at work in Ukraine and other local states today.

Anyone can say "Neither Kiev or Moscow"; the AWU, the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity. The SWP had on its masthead the slogan: "Neither Washington nor Moscow" which, more accurately should have been "Either Washington or Moscow" because they always, sometimes "critically", came down in support one or the imperialist blocs in moments of tension or war.

There was an official on TV last night, I think he was talking on behalf of the EU, saying that 3 questions needed to be answered about the tragedy in Odessa. From memory they were: how did the people get into the building? What were they doing there? Why didn't the police stop them? Notice the missing question? That's the sort of shit news we're getting on mainstream British TV. One day after the snipers shot and killed several people in Kiev, a whole team of British agents were at work on the streets measuring trajectories, determining distances and finding out where the shots were fired from.

 

baboon
IRAQ

If anyone had  doubts about the  spread of war, decomposition and chaos from the battlefield of Syria to the rest of the region then events in Iraq - if you can still call it a country - should have dispelled them.

Thousands of fighters from the organisation known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) have taken Iraq's second city, Mosul, and are on the road to Baghdad in an assault that was inconceivable only a few weeks ago. The organisation and its reactionary demand for a Caliphate across the region (and the end to the Sykes/Picoot carved-up lines of French and British imperialism), has built itself up through the war in Syria involving disaffected Iraqis (Sunnis and Baathists), the "international brigade" of jihadis led by ruthless Chechen fighters, some of the local regimes  (it's not clear yet but possibly Saudi and Qatar) and the major powers who have not only de facto assisted the groups rise but, through the CIA at least, have provided them directly with arms. They have been active in and out of Syria through a safe corridor in Iraq from where they mostly come from being disaffected Sunnis ground down by US machinations and war (the US massacre in Falluja being just one example) - and further isolated and repressed by the Iranian-backed al-Maliki regime.

Now, from Mosul, they have reportedly got hold of billions of dollars worth of US weaponary and millions of dollars of cash in this new twist in the "War on Terror" and its consequences. There's reports of another 250,000 internal refugees to add to the unsettled millions already in the region which, themselves, contribute to further instability. Reports from some of these refugees say that they are fleeing not so much from the fundamentalists (who could blame them for that?), but from the response that they know is going to come from the Iraqi military and "international" forces. The US restricted the air power of the al-Malikt regime and it looks likely that it will use its own - with all the "collateral" damage that that brings and a further escalation of hatreds and fighting.; The main Iraqi army has broken down and fled from Mosul - they were more like an occupying army hated by the population - and the advance of ISIS seems to owe something to machinations within the "democratic" state of Iraq. Let's not forget that the west still crows about Iraq now being a "democracy".

The warnings were there but it shows the situation of imperialism today that whatever anyone does now chaos and instability will only spread. Not only that, modern day imperialism now takes on forms (or has to take on forces) that hark back to obscure events of the 12th century. What an example of decomposition. The US still has massive fortresses across Iraq and would have been well aware of these forces building up in that country. A couple of months ago, the number of daily killings in Iraq was equalling those of Syria. There was also the evidence of how the jihadis have gone well beyond the crudities of al-Qaida and in Syria proved themselves to be competent (if ruthless) administrators and businessmen working in some cases with the Assad regime to the profit of both.

The Kurdish bourgeoisie and its army couldn't jump into the vacuum left by the Iraqi army quickly enough. This is manna from Heaven for them and the "west" must be concerned about this development. Further, there are reports that weaponry has fallen into the hands of several Kurdish factions which again will not please the west and Turkey in particular. Iran are going to become involved whatever the US does and there are the other regional powers that have assisted in conjuring up these demons. The major responsibility lies with the big powers as always.

Now the left, or the left-leaning types, say that this is all the fault of the Blair/Bush invasion of 2003 and the disgusting Blair suitably fits the part. But this is just an ideological cloak to blame one part of the state and obscure the deadly innate thrust of US and British imperialism. It wasn't Blair that helped to engineere the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1990, but the diminutive figure of "Mr Ordinary" John Major - whose main personal achievement as British Prime Minister was to set up, at some cost, a "Motorway Cones Hotline" (4 people rung it up). This war, a complete set-up against the Saddam clique which it left in power to wipe out Kurdish resistance, involved a coalition of 34 countries as the US attempted to keep in or curb centrifugal forces that resulted from the collapse of the "Cold War" and the  consequent weakening of the US. Estimates of a quarter-of-a-million Iraqi conscripts and civilians fleeing on the road to Basra massacred by a "Turkey shoot" organised by the US and British were probably an underestimate. Since then, both the US and Britain have played on the sectarian and religious divisions in Iraq in order to put forward their own irrational agendas. And now, in confronting ISIS/ISIL, one more problem for them - which will also increase domestic state repression - will be the fighters "coming home" who, I suspect, will be more radical and more dangerous, than anything coming out of Syria.

A.Simpleton
Hi Baboon

Thank you for this. I was unsurprised to hear of this latest development and sketched a more limited deposition along precisely the same lines. 

History is indeed continuous: revolutionary Marxist 'logic in advance' is able to draw up the best map/depiction/assessment - even of the dead-end-desparate, chaotic, contradiction-ridden, irrationality of decompositing Capitalism.

At 3.30am on the world service I heard an officer of the pomp-parade-drive-through in Baghdad of the latest Imperialist armed sectarian 'army' declaiming : 'I do this for my religion, country and human being' - note the tragic, dangerous prioritizing of mystification: then - perhaps because he realised that such might mildly upset his arms dealers - he added:' I splash my blood for the womens, childrens and my shrines' - a failed back pedal.

There are shed loads of videos on youtube about : "The 'truth uncovered' about El Salvador" : '"The untold story of Iraq" blah blah. Many are informative but the lipstick gloss and assumptions slide them into the confusion skip.

These two get in the ball park for me - despite the obvious problem that the very medium cannot but render them impotent and level them with ten million candy floss reports.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwwMF6biCJU

and the second - although tending towards 'Women against ...' or 'Anti America ...' and other misconceptions has a scene at the end which WEEP WARNING made me weep.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2uTwxAmWSk

AS

 

baboon
Limited and dangerous options

There will be no "boots on the ground" from the US say the TV reporters with a straight face as they announce that Obama will be sending some 700 more boots on the ground to add to the tally of special forces and mercenaries that already exist in the precincts of US fortresses in Iraq. On the same day at Foreign Secretary Hague announces a British rapprochement with Iran, he also says that there will be no more British "boots on the ground" to add to the British military trainers, special  forces and anti-terrorism units that are already in Iraq. The British/Iran rapprochement is another step in the development away from war with Iran which - though looking likely a couple of years ago - has been strengthening for some eighteen months now much to the consternation of Saudi Arabia (which does seem involved in backing ISIS) and Isreal and is part of the problems of the relative weakening of US imperialism and the dominant certtrifugal forces that .contribute to them.

Another example of this is the specific problems that the US faces in Iraq. Targeted drone strikes, let alone air strikes, will see the US as  taking sides in a religious conflict and will, like Yemen and elsewhere have demonstrated, simply provide more fighting forces against them in the longer term. In the short term it will rally the Shia and Kurdish forces producing more problems down the road.

These religious conflicts, though a sign of decomposition, do not appear in the abstract but are a consequence of imperialism sometimes directly manufactured by them. We see it clearly in conflicts in Africa where British, US and French forces have backed their local gangsters by buying up and manipulating their ethnic or sectarian killing squads (see Britain in Ireland for an example close to home). It happened in Nigeria a couple of years ago, it is happening in the DRC and the Central Africa Republic and it has immediately happened in the worlds; latest nation, South Sudan.

The British, French and American bourgeoisie have played and manipulated the sectarian cards in Iraq for decades now and the mass of Iraqi civilians will continue to pay the price.

Alf
Chaos getting chaotic

Agree with baboon's posts, havent' yet dared look at the videos posted by AS. The situation with he imperialist backers of the local gangs is becoming increasingly absurd: after backing the anti-Assad movement in Syria to counter the influence of Russia, the 'western' powers are finding that Assad and, irony or ironies, Iran, are now becoming forces for stability which we can do business with. Israel and Saudi Arabia are, for their own contradictory reasons, very alarmed by this.

Still as Tony Blair said, 'we' need to liberate ourselves from the idea that 'we' in the west are responsible for this, and get ready for a new 'intervention', which (as increasing numbers of bourgeois commentators recognise) could only make the chaos get even more chaotic. 

baboon
Reyhanli

I just remembered that it was ISIS forces that worked hand in hand with Turkish intelligence in the planting of bombs in Reyhanli, southern Turkey which  precipitated the anti-war movement in that region. I think it was also ISIS members that were caught carrying cannisters of sarin by Turkish forces and later released without charges. A couple of days ago, ISIS was still a legal political organisation in the US (I don't know about Britain). They have certainly been backed in Syria by forces of the west.

A.Simpleton
I understand

As well you know, investigation of atrocity even, can ruin your 'life'.

The first video informs - for want of a better word - the 'five streams' depiction; it is simply a G.I. - standing U.S.Army professional: he quits his job - fifty hours per week in Kentucky for three quid an hour - to join the army, post 9/11.

He arrives and says : 'so we're looking for weapons of mass destruction right?': the guys there for 6 months 'laugh at me': 'so we're here to protect the people from Al Q'Aida: the guys 'laugh at me'

."I knew 9/11 was a lie: they knew 9/11 was a lie'

When Bush ramped it up in 2003 he says: 'previously we called for orders when someone in a crowd fired at us: then we got the order :'if anyone in a crowd fires at you :'kill everybody'

He, personally, went AWOL to Canada, to avoid his third term in Iraq: ( at which point he gets a round of applause from the neo-liberal audience) and there are ten thousand AWOLS like him.

OK : it's not class consciousness but he adds - I think significantly - that the 'Anti-War' movement is profiting from this; " I'm helping five guys who are AWOLS living on the streets : they don't give a shit ...we gotta hit the streets...'

AS

baboon
Isis

I don't think that ISIS can in any  way be called a national identity but it is capitalist and imperialist. It has functionaries, bureaucrats, a media division, managers of production, an army, intelligence functions and brutal terror. I think that it is a stark expression of the decomposition of imperialism and of its ideology as this "international brigade" of well organised brigands moves to carve out its "Caliphate" territory in the Middle Eas and beyond. Nothing at all positivve in the break down of borders here but only the break down of one element of capitalist irrationality - the previous Anglo-French defined borders of the region - to be replaced with an even more irrational force. ISIS is a product of decomposing capitalism that also holds dangers for the working class.

ISIS has been backed with money, men and "religious" support by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait and has been a permanent part of the wars in the Middle East these last couple of years. In its anit-Iran, anti-Assad set up, it has been armed and supported, directly and indirectly by the CIA - and, one presumes, British intelligence. There's not been much in the media about the its strong constituent part of Chechen fighters and other elements from the ex-Russian republics. It's not  difficult to assume that these particular elements have at some stage or the other in the recent past been supported  and encouraged by western agencies.

The "movement" is a product of the impasse of capitalism and an expression of its decomposition. Even the Assad regime, which it was fighting against, has supported and encouraged it through the channels of "business as usual".

The Middle East is an important example of the weakness and problems of the US and the whole centrigal and irrational forces that are at work. A de-facto Kurdish state (already effectively recognised by Israel) poses a number of new problems in old areas of great tension. At present Turkey is dealing with the Kurds over oil and British oil companies in Kurdish territory, led by ex-senior civil servants and registered off-shore, are making a lot of money. But to reduce this to a question of pipe-lines and oil would seriously underestimate the development of chaos and further instability that is occruing her.

baboon
Just a word, no more, on the

Just a word, no more, on the passenger jet shot down over eastern Ukraine. Two or three military aircraft sent from Kiev  have been shot down at height over the last week or so and one can ask why civilian aircraft are flying over a war zone? The first answer is to save some money and keep the airline's expenses down. There are other possibilities but the whole development of the war, including Kiev forces shelling civilian areas and denying it, is fraught with unforeseen developments and the chaos of war is spreading. If there's any economic rationale to this, oil, pipelines and so on, I can't see it.

In the meantime, largely unreported and drowned by the hysterical passenger jet coverage, ISIS forces advance and kill hundreds at a time and this is including a lot of workers: oil, transport, local authority workers and teachers - one massacre after the other. In Gaza the ritual slaughter goes on with an estimated one hundred thousand displaced civilians who have nowhere to hide, nowhere to run to because they are locked up in an imperialist prison. In Afghanistan bombings against civilians are increasing.

Both Boko Haram in Nigeria (which has killed thousands so far this year) and Al-Shabab in Kenya have recently launched further assaults and the western-generated internicine chaos in Libya has recently spilled over in fighting across the Egyptian border.

Fred
don't worry baboon

You shouldn't worry about all the problems you list above baboon.  The bourgeoisie is in charge and will get it all sorted out in time.  After all the  UN is passing continual resolutions calling on various warring bourgeois factions to organize cease fires for ten minutes or so and get together and discuss,  though unfortunately one side or the other can never resist lobbing in a few extra missiles while the other side isn't looking. And world leaders of towering strength and authority, like Putin and Cameron,  are in continual session by telephone and may even meet,  and will keep things under control or at least under wraps.  After all, Malaysia now has possession of the precious black boxes and will be able to establish that  MH 17 was in fact shot down deliberately. Clarity at last!  In the mean time all the bodies are being transported by refrigerated train, and that's a generous act.   I'm sure relatives of all the many dead, which unfortunately includes  lots of kids, will find great comfort and consolation in this kind gesture.  And who knows, the gangsters in charge of the crash site, some of whom may actually  have shot off the rocket that downed the plane, have kindly agreed to allow people, maybe even relatives, to visit the site, and may even be so kind as to escort grieving relatives upon a tour of inspection.  "Oh! Don't look now Madame.  There's a decaying body part. Please look away. I'm so sorry...I do apologise... " and so on.  People are so kind. Nobody can be more polite than bourgeois gangsters caught with their pants down. 

As  to Gaza...Secretary Kerry is working hard and flies from place to place like the proverbial blue arsed fly.  Words flow continually.  Every effort is being made and so on. Pres. Obama has even promised money to  help Gaza in its hour of agony. So now there'll  be more money available for burying the dead with honor.   This act alone  may  contain  an implicit  rebuke of Israel, which they'll be able to ignore, for after all,  aren't the majority of the superior weapons the Israelis use against the massed Islamic terrorists in Gaza supplied by the USA anyway? And, consider this, if forced to choose between crazed Hamas terrorists and crazed Israeli terrorists...well the choice is obvious isn't it? Wasn't Jesus a Jew? 

It is also a little harsh baboon to imply that nobody cares about what ISIS or Boko Haram are doing. With regard to the latter, have you forgotten that marvellous gesture  of solidarity made by Mrs Obama when she posed elegantly for a photograph holding a caption on  which was written: Bring back Our Girls:  and it looked like she'd  scribbled it herself, and looked so sad and woeful.  Quite a tragedy Queen!  But no graphics artist needed for Michelle!  Don't overlook rhat!  I think you tend too easily to  forget the trouble the bourgeoisie takes in staging and shedding its crocodile tears.  

And  as to ISIS.  Yes, they may have killed people in trying to establish their Caliphate, but aren't they just a flash in the pan?  God knows the trouble the West and specially our ally in the US has had in Iraq  not to mention the Gulf, in trying to help folk there come to peaceful settlements of their troublesome affairs.  But these people are Arabs, don't overlook that, and tend to give way to hot bloodied tendencies and sentiments  of race and religion, such that any attempt to establish order, as in Afghanistan, which Heaven knows we tried hard enough to do after seeing off the Russians, may take a wrong turn and go bad.  But we are trying baboon. And we do need to secure our oil supplies, like it or not.  What would happen if the world ran short of oil?  Profits would fall. Stock markets collapse.  Consider that awful scenario for a moment, while your indulging your liberal sloppiness!  

 And don't forget you're a commie with a head full of far- fetched ideas like internationalism and brotherly love  and having the State control people's lives and tell them what to do and such stuff.  Don't forget they tried that in Russia, send where did it lead to? I can tell you baboon. It led  first to Stalin  and then to Putin.  So think about that. 

Redacted
The only terrorism happening

The only terrorism happening either by Hamas or by the Israelis is State terrorism.

Hamas makes two demands, lift the seige and bring "freedom" (read, capitalism?) to the Palestinian people.

Israel makes no demands and in the meantime has killed around 600 people and injured more than 3,500. One third of them women and children. Not to mention the civilian men, of which doctors, ambulance drivers, and journalists are all targeted without distinction.

Meanwhile in Haifa the far right in Israel, supported by the police, the army, and the Foreign Minister, attack and sabotage the marches of Israeli citizens for peace.

Still yet the most unfortunate of all these events is that support for an international working class revolution, the only thing that can stop any of this violence and hatred, is nowhere to be found.

Fred
Yes Jamal you're right, the

Yes Jamal you're right, the terrorism in the "Holy Land,"  which I take to  include Gaza, is actually State Terrorism.  The ICC has observed in various articles "that terrorism serves the state" and may well have commented too that States, as the form of governance most suited to the bourgeoisie's dictatorship, tend more and  more to either support in covert form the practice of "terrorism" (Nigeria seems implicitly to support though not officially condone the activities of Boko Haram as a kind of method of population control through fear) or to become practitioners of it themselves. 

Isn't the whole geographic area now from  Iran and Iraq down to Syria, Lebanon the Holy Land  and Egypt  too,  a totality of State promoted terror?  There's the emerging Caliphate under ISIS control, murdering as it advances; the regime in Iraq, responsible for so many deaths under its lack of sane leadership that it almost competes with Sadam himself; the secret terror of the  Islamic  State in Iran  (where recalcitrants can be bled to death and their blood harvested as a profitable commodity) and the out-and-out terror of the warring sides in Syria and beyond, just to mention a few!  

But there is also terror at work in apparently more "peaceful" states.  Look what happened in Boston when  a couple of foolish jihadis let off an explosive device.  The response of the US state's terrorist squad known as The Police, added a degree of mayhem, alarm and terror to the already frightened population such as to make "private" terrorists green with envy. 

And there are simpler and much more widespread acts of terror taking place on a daily basis all over the capitalist world, even in "advanced" "civilized" capitalism's like England.  There's all the snooping and secretive spying that goes on, such as to make people fear to speak freely and openly. That's a form of control-through-fear ie terrorism.  There's the behavior of the banks, credit card companies and lending societies.  They threaten and control, and terrorize through their foreclosures,  demands for repayments, and hiking of interest rates to heights rendering payback impossible.  These are forms of state terror; the method of choice for state control of populations in the advanced democracies.  There's stuff like being forced to take some kind of job, any kind of job,  after a period of time on unemployment benefit  deemed too long by the state.  There's the terror of trying to live on an old age pension, of trying not to fall sick, of trying to see a doctor, or to keep warm in winter. In short, the terror of everyday life under collapsing capitalism. All this takes place under the auspices of, and with  the approval of, the State.  The bourgeois terrorist state.  Hidden vaguely beneath false smiles. 

The bourgeoisie frequently refers to the Welfare State as the "nanny state", implying somehow both its kindness and idiocy within one word: nanny.  Bourgeois children have nannies specially employed to look after them while parents have time off.  But the Welfare State is a misnomer and intended  to mislead, and "nanny"is actually a fanatically inclined terrorist such as Alfred Hitchcock might have invented.  

baboon
Terrorism does serve the

Terrorism does serve the state, or rather different states at different times, but support for various terrorist factions by the US and Britain for example always comes back to bite them. Look at what is happening in Libya. More than a simple arm of imperialism, terrorism is representative of the irrationality and decomposition that imperialism has sunk into. ISIS wouldn't be what it was today without the support of US imperialism (and others) and it now controls greater areas of Syria and Iraq, along with economic infrastructure, than ever before. From original provision of arms and wherewithal from the CIA, ISIS is now in control of billions of dollars of US military equipment left behind for Al-Malaki's disappearing army. But even with this mass of weaponry ISIS has managed to "innovate". It has just re-taken the city of Tikrit which was just re-taken a few days earlier by US-led Iraqi forces and did so with the help of the innovation of the "flying suicide bomber". These were the chosen ones who were loaded up with explosives and then threw themselves out of windows or off roofs onto the advancing Iraqi forces. The advance was stopped.

One thing that points to complete inability of the ruling class to do anything but worsen the whole situation is a bit of a game of what the bourgeoisie could do if there were any rationality to its actions. None of this will happen of course but a major blow could be delivered against terrorism if the west cooperated with Russia. Putin has shown how ruthless the Russian state is in taking on anti-Russian terrorists. But instead of this pipe-dream occuring the opposite to any sort of cooperation is forced onto the bourgeoisie and thus the western countries back, one way or another, the anti-Russian forces of the ex-Republics such as the Chechen separatists who make up a significant part of ISIS.

Another point regarding decomposition is the now clear tendency of the weakening of the US. Who does Kerry talk to in Gaza? While some links are maintained Turkey and Qatar (backers of Hamas) are not talking to the US on matters around this issue. Certainly Israel is not listening to the US and similar for the Saudi's. It all points to the greater loss of control of the major imperialism and the strengthening of centrifugal tendencies.

baboon
Israel and ISIS

An overwhelming barrage of imperialist propaganda is raining down and the centrality of imperialism to the class struggle is, I think, becoming a little clearer. It's not surprising that BBC2 Newsnight gives a ten minute slot to the Israeli ambassador to the UK while its "carnage reports" (trigger warning) blame the conflict squarely on "both sides" - which has an element of truth about it. Having done a job of creating absolute chaos in Libya - there's oil and pipelines here of course, most of it being blown up - the British, French and Americans are now fleeing their diplomatic fortresses under fire while thousands of Libyans queue for petrol as the oil intstallations go up in flames around them. There is no effective government in Kiev now - not that there ever was - and it must be US forces that are more directly involved in engineering  this proxy war with Russia.

I've thought for a while that the gains of ISIS, indeed its background - where did it come from? - are being played down somewhat by the British media in this whole descent into hell - the US has just watered down a proposal to sanction those that deal with the organisation commercially. This makes a bit more sense in the light of recent revelations by Edward Snowden that Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the head of ISIS (ISIL) spent a year being trained by Mossad in Israel. Not only was this intensive military training but also included advanced training in  theology and speechmaking. This, according to Snowden's leaks, was part of a bigger project engineered by the CIA and MI6 to create a "hornet's nest" which would bring the jihadi forces together and serve the imperialist interests of the countries involved. This is not so unusual given that the original Hamas was created by the Israeli secret services for similar purposes.

MH
western interests?

baboon wrote:

This, according to Snowden's leaks, was part of a bigger project engineered by the CIA and MI6 to create a "hornet's nest" which would bring the jihadi forces together and serve the imperialist interests of the countries involved. This is not so unusual given that the original Hamas was created by the Israeli secret services for similar purposes.

 

Baboon, I was aware of the origins of Hamas in the attempt of the Israeli state to create an opposition to PLO nationalism, but I’m struggling a bit to understand the motivation of US and British imperialism in wanting to unite the jihadi forces around ISIS; surely the further destabilisation/disintegration of Iraq is against their interests? Or is this strategy based on a recognition of the failure of the Iraqi state? But then ISIS is hardly a potential western ally? Is it? I know we emphasise the chaos and irrationality of imperialist conflicts in this phase of capitalist decomposition but I must admit I’m struggling here…

 

KT
Anti-Iran, anti-Assad

As far as decomposing capitalism 'makes sense', perhaps this:  "In its anti-Iran, anti-Assad set up, it has been armed and supported, directly and indirectly by the CIA - and, one presumes, British intelligenclye." (Baboon, post #24, Juy 6th, 2014)

slothjabber
Iran is a key component

For more than a decade, the US seems to have been persuing a policy of containment of Iran. Indeed, going back to the '70s, I think it's fairly widely accepted that Saddam Hussein was helped into power in order to be an anti-Iranian strongman opposed to the Islamic Repuplic's regime.

 

ISIS is a Sunni group. Much as the US used to arm the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union and the Taleban against Iran (for they were implaccable enemies at one time, unlike now when an anti-American policy is seeing Shi'ite Iran and pro-Taleban elements in the goivernment of Sunni Pakistan co-operating on nuclear weapons technology) the promotion of Sunni groups in Iraq is seen as a way of destabilising the pro-Iranian factions of the Iraqi state.

 

If that also causes trouble for Assad in Syria, so much the better as far as the Americans are concerned. Disruption of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance is all 'good' for the US - even if that means increasing the power and influence of Al Q'aeda and other Sunni extremist groups.

 

EDIT: or almost exactly what KT just said (and for some reason I hadn't seen) but in a longer and less clear way.

baboon
If I was to post the above on

If I was to post the above on libcom, its oxymoronic anarcho-libertarian legal team - an erudite and well-read little clique within the "collective" - would be asking for "proof" from the authority of the state (it's no contradiction that anarchism is generally attracted to the defence of state authority) and, if not forthcoming, as it can't be, would dismiss the whole idea as "a lunatic conspiracy theory". So, it's good that MH raises this point here as I feel that we have been somewhat behind developments around ISIS and the spread of imperialist chaos in and around Iraq (it is difficult to keep up with these maelstroms of decomposition). This is therefore a bit of a longish response.

Firstly, would American and British imperialism undertake actions that, in the longer term, are actually against their own interests? I'll leave the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq - the chaotic consequences of which could be more or less clearly analysed by communist elements at the time - to one side at the moment and, just briefly, concentrate on the more recent example of the invasion of Libya and the overthrow of Gadaffi. This might have appeared rational to some elements of the bourgeoisie at the time but its consequences are clearly against the interests of the ruling class, not just the effects on Libya itself but the whole swathe of instability and chaos that this western-backed invasion has spread over the north, east and west of Africa. You would have thought that with Iraq they'd have learned the lessons from Afghanistan, and with Libya that they'd have learned the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq. But as the apogee of capitalist short-termism, imperialism pushes longer term rationality out of the window in return for short term gains - and short term gains with very limited results is the best that imperialism can hope for. And within this you have to factor in the different cliques and interests (secret services and so on) that exist within capitalist states and the different interests that, increasingly, exist between capitalist states. On top of this, and the ICC has analysed this for some time, is that imperialist war is more so now not just confrontations with enemies but the creation of enemies of the enemy and, a la Orwell, the creation of an enemy, an outside threat to cohere a state. Thus, as early as the 1980's, Oded Yinon, a journalist linked to Israeli intelligence, could write that "Arab states should be broken down by Israel into small units", "with the dissolution of Iraq and Syria (in the longer term, B.) into ethnically and religiously unique areas". The creation of enemies has been the Israeli strategy for some time but definitely increased with the break up of the blocs..

There is no doubt (I don't think) that the CIA and British intelligence used Jihadi forces in Libya to help overthrow Gadaffi. The same then used these Jihadi forces and their  liberated weaponry to help fight the Assad regime in Syria with plane-loads of them - reported in the British press - landing in Turkey and going over the border into Syria. There were also reports of Chechen forces making the same route. This was clear enough to the population of the "clearing area" of Reyhanli on the Turkish/Syrian border that small anti-war protests turned bigger and spread. But this cosying up to the Libyan jihadis did not stop them turning on their US masters ("blowback" they call it) killing the US ambassador and some of his CIA guards in an attack on September 11 last year. A US Congressional hearing earlier this year gave a glimpse into how the CIA had hoodwinked the US administration into believing that its work in Syria and through Turkey and Jordan, was to support only "moderate" Islamic elements. When the truth emerged about the real nature of the fundamentalist organisations that they were directly supporting any threat of a US strike was definitively called off as the Administration lived with the "status quo". You could see the tension within the state agencies here and another factor is the relationship of secret service to secret service where for example allegiances between the CIA and Mossad could be stronger than between the former and the US administration.

We have the clear evidence that Al Qaida was formed in the late 80's with support from the CIA, MI6 with support of the Pakistani ISI and the Saudis. Israel fostered Hamas shortly after. So the strategy to construct eventually destructive forces has been a constant feature of decomposition. Since then, billions and billions of dollars have gone into direct and indirect support from America, Britain and the Gulf States into Al Qaida, al-Nusra and thus its latest incarnation, ISIS.

Today in Iraq there is devastation against western interests being wreaked by their one-time allies, ISIS. But there's nothing unusual in one time contigent allies turnng on each other for decadent capitalism let alone its decomposing stage. The "Capitalist Caliphate" now controls much of the strategic oil interests in Iraq and Syria and, with their captured weaponry, pose a distinct threat to Baghdad from which their force are just over 100 k's away. ISIS is in fact a modern imperialist force which, in its origins, has played a significant part in the west's attempts to overthrow Assad.

Nabil Na'eem, founder of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party and a former chief of staff of Al-Qaida, recently told the Beirut-based Pan-Arab TV station that all current Al-Qaida affiliates are working for the CIA. Aaron Klein of WorldNet Daily, said that in 2012, ISIS were being trained by American and British special forces in Jordan. ISIS, whatever the consequences, was clearly seen as a military asset by the US and Britain. Der Speigal reported that thousands of jihadis had been trained by the US and Britain in Jordan. Similar reports have come from the US base in Ircirlik in Turkey. There have been many reports like the ones above but these are not going to be corroborated by American and British politicians nor investigated by their supporting media. US Senator John McCain was photographed along with ISIS fighters, which was followed later with his photo-op with Ukrainian fascists.

ISIS was formed in 2004 (in Iraq as far as one can tell) and remained small until the undeclared war by the west against Assad. It's current boss, the possible Mossad trainee Al Baghdadi, who had a ten million dollar reward on his head, was held in the Umm Qasr US facility in 2006 and was released, on orders from Obama, in 2009. Where he went after that is not clear. One thing that is clear over the Syrian war is that Israeli air attacks on Syria (hardly reported in the west) has always favoured the advance of Jihadi forces. One can easily imagine logistic cooperation which would expand the strength and influence of a force like ISIS.

 There's probably going to be no definitive proof on this, no "smoking gun" amid all the AK, mortar fire and flying suicide bombers. Look how long and how painful - like drawing teeth - the partial story of the Iran-Contra "scandal" took to come out. And this activity of the CIA was definitely against the longer-term interests of US imperialism. I think that there is  an underlying question of distrust within the US state with the CIA that has led the Pentagon recently to set up its own international spy network. And the tendency for these sorts of agencies to get out of control is one factor of decomposition that has already been raised by the ICC. If this is a Snowden leak, then the latter's track record has been pretty good, somewhat amazing and there is so much of it.

If the US and UK governments were unaware of the rising strength and advance of ISIS then I doubt that their secret service agencies were. But I think that the Israeli and Saudi regimes would have been very much aware of it and very much involved within it. I've already mentioned the Israeli air strikes that have directly strengthened the jihadi fighting machine in and between Syria and Iraq. There are various unsubstantiated reports that Israel is being provided with a lot of Saudi money. And as both move away from the aegis of the weakening power of the US, both have deepened cooperation at other levels. For Israel a fractured Syria and Iraq, whatever the bloodshed, is a good strategy for keeping its own imperialist interests intact. And for both if Iran is wrapped up in an Iraqi war a sort of buffer zone is created, however chaotic, and Iran potentially weakened.

But in general, without the specifics, I would say that it's decomposing capitalism that has given rise to ISIS. The specifics concern the rise in irrationality, chaos, centrifugal tendencies, local rivalries and the weakening of the US state and the growing danger of imperialism to the working class..

baboon
Melange

My position above is a bit of a melange hence an attempt here to make it more succinct by making two points: one specific to ISIS, the other, general.

I don't think that it's any coincidence that Al Qaida in Iraq (AQI), led by the infamour Al Bagdhadi, morphed into full-blown ISIS after Hezbollah fighters joined the pro-Assad and began to turn the tables on the al-Nusra Front, overwhelm them and gobble them up, and from early 2013, push the rest of the "rebels" back. In fact, if you look at a map which will confirm this, there was a pro-Assad line established from Tehran right up to the Israeli border. It was now that we suddenly started to hear a lot more about ISIS. What was needed by the west and the anti-Tehran forces of the region was a force big and powerful enough, not to take on Assad directly, but to punch a hole  in this line and that is exactly what ISIS has done. It's probably suprised itself (and some of its backers) with the speed that it has advanced and though it won't be marching on Berlin any time soon it now represents further problems and uncertainties for the region for its own backers also

It may seem absurd, insane, that imperialism embraces more and more irrational forces that can only bring it further problems - it is insane but that is the nature of capitalist decomposition. It is based on the underlying contradictions of capitalism, not least its fundamental and desperate competition for national interests in spheres of influence. The bourgeoisie is driven by a system that is basically bankrupt so its decisions can only be an expression of that. The bourgeoisie does become intelligent in decadence but its intelligence is partial and limited as their actions are framed by forces that themsleves are breaking down under their own contradictions.

 

baboon
Correction

A brief correction. I wanted to say that Hezbollah and its Iranian masters came up against a more formidable foe in ISIS and it was ISIS, and not as I said above Hezbollah, which swallowed up al-Nusra.

baboon
A couple of first for the

A couple of firsts for the forces of the Islamic State:

They have made their first armed incursion into Lebanon, the village of Arsel, where a number of Lebanese solidiers were killed, a lot more missing and dozens of dead civilians. Prior to this direct incursion, the very shaky Lebanese state was rocked by bombings in Tripoli and elsewhere in the last couple of weeks that were probably the work of ISIS.

On Sunday, the previously relatively coherent Kurdish forces fled in front of a sudden ISIS advance. The jihadi's took three Kurdish towns and another oil well, the fifth, under its command. It also took control of the hydro-electric producing Mosul Dam as well as the Haditha Dam in west Iraq. Just from the former dam alone it could, if it wanted to, flood the whole of Bagdhad to a depth of 5 to 10 metres. Ongoing divisions between the Kurdish forces and the al-Malakit government have contributed to the ISIS advance.

zimmerwald1915
Mosul Dam

baboon wrote:
Just from the former dam alone it could, if it wanted to, flood the whole of Bagdhad to a depth of 5 to 10 metres.

It might not have a choice. The dam is built on unstable ground and requires regular shoring-up. Just the inevitable disruption in maintenance during and after the capture could lead to the earth surrounding the dam being seriously undermined.

Redacted
I'm fairly confident IS has

I'm fairly confident IS has the technical capabilites to keep the dam running, if they have it in their control. I'm seeing conflicting reports with some outlets saying the Kurdish army drove them off in the end.

Also, wouldn't it be in their interest to maintain the dam considering the it provides power to Mosul, a city which just recently came under their control?

Last thing I wanted to point, a lot of the articles I've been reading have been suggesting their occupation of the Lebanese town was not meant to be a permanent one and that their main motivation in taking it was to release a prisoner.

Also Hezbollah has suggested if IS moves just 50 km west from their earlier location in Lebanon it will engage them.

baboon
There was something about an

There was something about an ISIS prisoner in the hands of the Lebanese authorities, and a truce conducted by an Imam, but none of this alters the fact of the spread of war or the fact that Hezbollah has already been fighting ISIS elements.

Today, the US is to launch (further) air strikes against ISIS positions. This has been likened to calling back the arsonist who lit the original fire to put it out with gasoline.

In 2007, the respected and renegade US writer, Seymour Hersh, who seems to have excellent contacts in the Pentagon, wrote about the Bush administration underwriting extremist Sunnit forces iin the Middle East n order to take on Iran: To undermine Iran, which is predominately Shia, it increasingly used extremist Sunni forces. This is 2007, years before the "Arab Spring" and the war in Syria: "The US has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni  extremist groups  that espouse a militant vision of Islam and one hostile to the US".

It seems to be common knowledge that ISIS has been funded by important elements of the Kuwaiti, Qatari and Saudi ruling class but this I think was undertaken with US approval, or at least CIA approval and complicity. The USA was the midwife of ISIS. Hersh takes the arming of extremist jihadis groups fighting in Syria, Libya and through Turkey as an established fact. The Idea that the US and Britain were arming only "moderate Islamist forces" was a lie from beginning to end because such forces were only a figment of the imagination of US and British intelligence. It was this lie of the "moderate fighting forces in Syria" that fed the fiction, supported by some anarcho-libertarians on libcom, of the continuing "Syrian Revolution" (it was interesting that the "Syrian revolutionaries" whose information libcom was relying on, were based in Washington).

baboon
Humanitarian

Another humanitarian intervention then to "save lives". It was appropriate that on the BBC News this morning a Major-General Tim Cross was interviewed and he gave full blessing to the "humanitarian" nature of the latest millitary actions of the US and Britain. It was the "humanitarian" action in Benghazi that precipitated the western destruction of Libya. But it was Major-General Cross and his paratroopers that were involved in the humanitarian protection of the Kurds in the Iraq War of 91, which ended up with tens of thousands of them being slaughtered by Saddam's Revolutionary Guards and helicopter gunships under the ageis of US and British forces including Major-General Cross's paratroopers.

The US adminstration, followed by Britain, is now flogging the line of humanitarian intervention in Iraq to save the minority Yazidi's from the clutches of ISIS. These are just lies to cover up their imperialist motives - as irrational as they are. Thousands of Yazidi's have already been killed and raped and many Yazidi women are being held prisoner by ISIS in Mosul. Nearly a month ago, tens of thousands of Turkmen and Shabaks were were attacked, subject to mass executions, raped and displaced by ISIS with hardly a world from the west. Fleeiing Turkmen families were refused asylum into Turkey because they didn't have the right papers and it's been across the Turkish borders that the jihadi's, including elements of ISIS,  have crossed and re-crossed with impunity with the support of America and Britain (that was when ISIS was useful to them).

baboon
I agree with Jamal above that

I agree with Jamal above that ISIS has an interest in maintaining the stability of the dams and reservoirs that it controls. It is a capitalist organisation. But it is a capitalist organisation that's expressive of decomposition so I don't think that we can entirely rule out events of a biblical scale. God knows that imperialism is spewing out examples of biblical atrocities all over the place.

I don't think that the US can allow Ibril to be taken by ISIS. It has some numbers of its forces there, ie, boots on the ground, and to pull them out and leave would be an ignominious defeat. But it wouldn't be the first time that the west has abandoned the Kurds to a grisly fate.. The immediate problem is that the Kurds have been restricted in the weaponry available to them (by the US mainly) and they are no match against the much better armed ISIS.

There was a funny little episode on the 8pm BBC news last night: the presenter was talking to a representative of the Kurds and asked her why they were surprised by ISIS and where had ISIS come from. She started to talk very generally about the group being backed by some elements of the Gulf States and the presenter abruply shut her up, interjected with a silly question and then asked her if her family was safe. I got the distinct impression that he realised he had gone where he shouldn't have gone and that the BBC is not yet ready to raise the quesion of the rise of ISIS or where it originated in any depth.

Let me know if I'm going on too much - but do so with sensitivity, gently.

Fred
the beginning of the end?

Is it possible to go on too much documenting the beginning of the end of the world, baboon, coz that's what it seems like?  Well I suppose someone has to do it.

If only there was a positive side to counteract all the shitty crap, it wouldn't be so bad. But there isn't.  If only the workers were fighting somewhere for something, that in itself would be an encouraging sign and an antidote to the poison. But they're not. Though they might well be in China I suppose. 

Somehow it all seems like inevitable now.  The Caliphate spreads like a quick growing cancer; refugees trudge wearily over the stony desert hillocks.  There was even an old woman trying to take a few paces over the craggy stones using a Zimmer frame.  My heart and feet went out to her.  But she's doomed in the end. Must belong to the wrong religion or tribe or something. Who  knows?  Who cares?

If some thoughtful section of the endlessly kind bourgeoisie such as  you find in Europe and  the US  manage to send out a plane of useful  goodies, and chuck the said goodies out of the plane on the same mountain where this old woman  struggles along on her Zimmer;  if she's lucky, and doesn't get knocked over in the scramble by younger fitter people,  she might get a bite to eat or a bottle of water.   But it doesn't make any difference in the end.  She's living in the wrong place now.  Fate, or at least ISIS, the Kurds, the Shia, or is it the Sunnis or the Saudis, or maybe The West, or is it simply capitalism, is against her and her time is up.     

We don't know how lucky we are living in The West though do we?  We're not threatened by either ISIS or Ebola, well not immediately. All we have to worry about  is the increasing futility of everyday life, and the effort of having to go on sustaining life under austerity in order to maintain the very futility we loathe.  We are really in need of humanitarian assistance our selves. For we too are in desperate straits.

We need the humanitarian intervention of the revolutionary proletariat. That's what the old woman struggling for life on the Kurdish mountain side  needs too.  She needs the  working class to wake up.  We all do. Where are you?  Please rise up soon.  Put an end to all this terrifying madness of the bankrupt bourgeoisies.  Give us something to live for again. Before it's too late. 

 

Redacted
"We need the humanitarian

"We need the humanitarian intervention of the revolutionary proletariat."

Exactly this.

Where is the humanitarian intervention from the US for dying people in Gaza? It's citizens have been without access to water or electricity for weeks now.

Or before this war, where were the care packages bringing food to the children of Gaza, who are restricted in the biggest open air prison in the world to only 1,800 calories per day? Where is their relief?

Their relief comes in the form of swift death, from American made missles and jets and ammo. Happy Eid motherfuckers!

The rhetoric and hypocrisy our rulers spew out every moment they have a chance makes me so fucking angry!

Where are the workers?

Rise up! Rise up workers. We can't live in a world like this anymore...

Fred
open prisons

Jamal said

Quote:
The rhetoric and hypocrisy our rulers spew out every moment they have a chance makes me so fucking angry!

Me too Jamal. In fact I've more or less given up on watching the tv news, its so full of cliches and people being sorry for this that or the other monstrosity, as if it took them by surprise, when terrible things now happen every day; and all the lying, and blaming somebody else too.  And shocked commentators, who are running out of genuine expressions of shock as shocking events pile  up daily, and they've already used  up all their shocking words, but it just goes on and on. And Israel and Hamas are such a decaying pain in the arse. I was going to say "deceitful" except they're not even secretive in their vicious nastiness anymore and everybody knows their ridiculous show-biz type "cease fires" to last no longer  than the next news bulletin reporting its establishment. And we know its always "them" the other side, that did it first. And we take that for granted.

Living in Gaza must be like living in hell. But living in Iraq, or Syria, or almost anywhere in the Middle East, or anywhere in Equatorial Africa in conditions like war,  and whole areas of N. Africa too; or India and China in the floods, and the Philippines battered by a chain of typhoons; and Venezuela under "socialism" or anywhere else on the planet with rising prices, falling wages and unemployment always around to bring misery...well, I know it isn't the hell of Gaza but it is a hell of kinds.

Capitalism is hell now. Capitalism itself has become the biggest open prison the universe has ever seen. 

 

 

baboon
ISIS again

A spokeswoman for the US State Department today firmly put the position that the rise of ISIS was the fault of the Assad regime in Syria. There have been continual stories emanating from the US about how "clever" old Assad has helped construct and manipulate these forces and turn them on the west. These crude lies are on the same level as the Bush administration stories that Saddam Hussein was harbouring and encouraging the forces of al-Qaida. But while the latter was mainly used as a useful tool to conduct the completely phoney "War on Terror", ISIS is a different kettle of fish that really does present a whole new ball game.

I didn't think it feasable, in order to maintain its global credibility, that the BBC news organisations could keep up  the fiction that ISIS just fell out of the sky, let alone the idea that it was created by Assad. Last night on Newsnight, the first interview was with Telegraph journalist, Patrick Cockburn, a very knowledgeable person about Middle East politics with some very good contacts in Bagdhad. Straightaway he was asked: "Is ISIS a product of the west?", to which he replied, after a brief hesitation, "Yes" and went on to explain it in the context of the west's actions in the whipping up of anti-Assad forces of which ISIS was a part. He didn't go into specifics because, I suspect, he has good sources and relations with MI6 and he wouldn't want to compromise these. Not so coy was another,equally knowledgeable, expert on the Middle East the night before who, on the main BBC news, was explicit in drawing attention to what he saw was the fact of the CIA training ISIS forces in Jordan.

The "humanitarian aid" being dropped, when it's not disintegrating on impact, is also falling on top of some of the sruggling refugees. This is exactly what happened with the humanitarian aid that was dropped on the Kurds when they fled to the mountains after the 91 war and where the small print in the humanitarian "no-fly zone" diktat showed that it only applied to fixed-wing aircraft, allowing Saddam to use his helicopter gunships. Those in receipt of "humanitarian aid" are probably better off without it.

The scale of these events is truely astonishing and well beyond "oil and pipelines". The rise of ISIS represents a further major step in the destruction of one of the great cradles of civilisation which was one of the great expressions of the advances of humanity. The disintegration of Iraq and the threat to the wider region is a real expression of capitalist decomposition.

The Iraqi leader Al-Malaki seems to have gone but nothing has changed with a more "inclusive" government. The Sunni MP's might come back into government but they cannot go back to their constituences where they would face certain death. A new government doesn't look like making any difference. While the UK is possibly following the US with air strikes on ISIS positions (and civilian areas) there have been major differences between the two governments over the make-up of the Iraqi political machine - these go back to the "de-Bathification" of the Iraqi state instituted by the US overlord Paul Bremner. The situation is now becoming so unstable and complex that there are growing voices among the Jordanian bourgeoisie calling for an alliance with Assad. And in Iraq there are de facto shared interests between the Iranians and the US.

All this is obviously not "happy" news but part of a downward spiral of imperialism that the proletariat in the main centres of capitalism can only fight on its own terrain.

baboon
Regional tensions in the Middle East

Thje advance of Isis, which has developed from regional conflict and tensions in the Middle East and the role of the major powers, has further aggravated those conflicts and tensions which themselves are prime examples of the developments of each for themselves, centrifugal tendencies and further instability.

Not strictly in the Middle East but coming from similar phenomena, Libya is one of the prime examples of the situation getting worse. The "triumph" of Cameron and Sarkozy has given way to something of a silence on the latest, worrying developments - extremely worrying for the populations involved. There were some skirmishes on the Libyan-Egyptian border a couple of weeks ago where the latters' forces confronted elements of the jihadist Ansar al-Sharia. Despite this, these elements have advanced further and deepened their hold in and around Benghazi. On the eastern Libyan border skirmishes have broken out with Tunisian forces and in Tripoli the originally Misrata-based Islamist group "Libya Dawn" is now in control of large parts of the city and imposing its Sharia law. The most senior Islamist authority in Libya, Sheikh Sadik al-Ghariani has, according to the Guardian today, been broadcasting from Britaiin (Exeter actually) winding up the jihadi forces to take firm action in Tripoli. The Sheikh has enjoyed close relations with British diplomats for some time and I believe that this in another confirmation of Britain's relations with the Qatari-backed Muslim Brotherhood which in its turn is a backer of "Libya Dawn". Last week, Egyptian and UAE warplanes struck at Libya Dawn positions in Tripoli - which was in effect an attack on Qatari interests. During the "humanitarian liberation" of Libya Qatari forces, which were often the most ruthless on the ground, were invited into the fray by the British and French showing the sort of double games being played here that only worsen the situation.

The Arab state's Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which has been a relatively stable force, both political and economic,  for a good while, now seems to be breaking apart under the growing tensions. Not only is there a proxy war between the UAE and Egypt on one side and Qatar on the other, but also the Saudis have growing tensions with the latter. Oman, which I think has British and US military bases, has openly made warm overtures towards Tehran and there are voices among the Jordanian bourgeoisie that want to do a deal with Assad. And other countries, notably Kuwait - whose banking system directly funds jihadist groups - has strengthened its relations with China. Turkey too must be concerned about the rise of Kurdish nationalism though the Erdogan government has, indirectly, done everything to strengthen it.

Throughout there has been a real qualitative increase in instablity and tensions.

baboon
Incidently

It may seem strange that a major leader of the Qatari-backed  fundamentalist Libya Dawn should be broadcasting his poison from a converted studio close to Exeter city centre but there is also a senior Muslim Brotherhood spokesman implanted in Exeter university. During the reign of the MB funded Morsi government in Egypt this character, a lecturer, was the first go-to choice of the BBC which always treated him with kid gloves and presented his opinions as facts.

While the British government (and the opposition) talks about shutting down of the "preachers of hate", a fundamentalist leader of a Muslim Brotherhood group, feted by high up elements of the British ruling class, is allowed to spew his pogrommist poison from a provincial city in England. It once again shows I think the continuing relationship between elements of the Foreign Office and MI6 with the Muslim Brotherhood.

jk1921
Meanwhile, Cameron goes in

Meanwhile, Cameron goes in front of the Commons to trumpet the steps his government has taken to respond to the terrorist threat--including proudly citing the power to strip even British born citizens of their citizenship--as long as they wouldn't become stateless (although my understanding is that they are even trying to do away with that caveat). Similarly, the Conservative government in Canada just passed its own citizenship stripping law, although there revoking someone of their citizenship at least requires a criminal conviction first (although not necessarily a Canadian conviction). Increasingly though, in today's climate--citizenship isn't worth the paper its printed on. In the UK, it can now be revoked on such remarkably flimsy grounds that the Home Secretary declares that your prescence in the country is "not conducive to the public good."

Cameron's speech was carried on all the major US networks, as the US media has played up the vulnerability of the homeland to terrorists carrying European (and in particular UK) passports. Not a word of critical inquiry was uttered by the press in the land of constitutionally guaranteed birthright citizenship, at the extraordinary power European and (apparanetly now the Canadian) governments are claiming to render citizenship a practically meaningless status, if you happen to have a claim to another nationality.

Of course, it was just weeks ago that ISIS was dismissed as a "junior varsity" threat. Now, they are the greatest threat Western civilization has ever known, so dangerous it requires calling into question the very basis of the so-called democratic state--equality of citizenship. One wonders what is really behind these moves? Surely, naturalized citizens in these states--or those who might have a vague claim to another nationality through descent or whatever--now have to watch themselves. Watch who you hang out with, watch who you talk to, watch what internet sites you visit, because if the Home Secretary doesn't like your face--you could be out of here--British passport notwithstanding. While this may be aimed at Islamic extremism today--its pretty clear that the effect is to put anyone who might consider questioning the given order of things into fear for their status--even those who may have thought citizenship made them secure in their place and person. Not any more--at least not for some people!

Increasingly, the ideological basis of "democracy" is rendered bare--why risk having the wrong politics, if doing so could get your citizenship revoked? So much for the freedom of debate--the unfettered public sphere of discussion, etc.

Fred
the "wrong" politics

Jk ponders "why risk having the wrong politics..." If they'll only get you into trouble. 

But this comment raises an interesting question.  What exactly may constitute "wrong" politics in today's deteriorating economic  situation?  

We're all supposed to assume that wrong  or indeed "evil" politics are those of fanatics like IS or other terrorists who are usually, outwardly at least,  of the Islamic persuasion.   But the Caliphate, like all terrorism today, is a bourgeois manifestation at heart, and doesn't  have the "wrong" politics at all, just an extreme  extreme version of the eternal and god given  bourgeois so-called democratic politics which will last for ever, so they think.

  No terrorists, including the Caliphate,  actually  threaten capitalism as such only the versions of it they don't approve, or particular manifestations of it that rub them up the wrong way. They don't actually threaten bourgeois rule, and may even contribute  to its extension by providing the bourgeoisie with excuses for an apocalyptic war. Messrs Cameron, Hollande, Putin et al, can hardly wait.  Even as things are now, the red alert of Terrorism in our glorious  homelands and  the heartlands  of capital, provide a wonderful distraction from the  relentless austerity which is at base a greater threat to bourgeois class rule than any terrorism, including the Caliphate.   

What the European bourgeoisie is really scared of is not so much religious-based  terrorism, but what they would construe as the terrorism of the working class. And this is why they are busy building up their defenses with draconian laws, and extended police powers, and anything that can serve to act as a protection for  the bourgeois state.  All this preparation against terrorism, and heightened rhetoric against those who don't properly toe the official democratic line or behave with the required submissiveness - "you'll have your citizenship annulled if you don't behave" -  is presented as a reaction to terrorism but is also  a preparation against class war.  Against it even being  thought of. If unofficial strikes break out in the future those taking part will be treated as terrorists or terrorists in the making. And they  will be treated to the full wrath of the bourgeois state under threat. 

At the moment the bourgeoisie have the upper hand in the class struggle. So much so that they appear as the only  class involved. But this could change. 

A.Simpleton
Proof of innocence

Hi jk . I agree. Indeed the already vacuous and spurious qualities of 'democracy' are now so threadbare as to be see-through. Citizenship apparently/allegedly gives 'rights' and 'rights' are surely bourgeois by definition but even by that standard it fails to have any substance whatever. Like slavery, one is 'born into citizenship' with its hundreds of pre-checked boxes which can't be unchecked whereby one has alledgedly agreed to have the total of one's acts, articulations, locations, journeys, purchases, both 'analogue' and digital scrutinised, controlled. 

'We do not have a record of a TV license for this address. You are alive, you have an address, therefore you must explain why you don't have a TV license'

'Do not lose your right to vote: you must register to vote: if you do not register to vote you are a criminal.' Men with guns may not be forcing you to vote (yet) but ...

Trivial examples tipping the iceberg of more vicious examples. This way of life is purported to be what must be fought for against allegedly different societal arrangements. Risking a simplistic generalisation, Imperialism has ever unleashed its military power to flatten the ground so that it can export this or that brand of 'democratic' state capitalism with the machinery of international capital and the laptops of military intelligence hidden in the boot (trunk:@}) 

Adventurist/sectarian 'anti-forces' - even if they vaguely wished to - do not escape the set agenda. In fact , as Baboon's research consistently points out, they soon become the instruments of more powerful forces - that is if they were not indeed initiated by more powerful forces in the first place.

It might not be the Big Bourgeoisie's first logstical choice - if they have a clue what that is any more - to have endless proliferation and confliction of nation states, sectarian chaotics et al. but it surely suits the ideology. The more types of wrongness they can allegedly identify, the more the great lie at the heart of their presumed rightness remains unscrutinised.

AS

 

 

baboon
spread of Isis influence

The influence of Isis is spreading wider with the Pakistani Taleban splinter group, Jamal ul-Ahrar, dedicating its support for Isis. Isis flags and slogans have appeared in Kashmir and the Indian security forces say that they have detected signs of a network.. A further challenge to them is an Isis recruitment network that has been built up in Bangladesh. Thousands of Egyptians are said to have joined Isis in Iraq and Syria and Isis units are active in the Sinai Peninsula, fighting Egyptian forces, beheading etc., and, according to Jerusalem on-line, setting up training camps in the region in order to absorb local jihadis, This is of the upmost importance to Israel. The Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram, reports that Isis networks already exist in Egypt. In a sign of its further influence, if not organisation, the Phillippine jihadi group, the Islamic Free Fighters (BIFF) has pledged allegiance to Isis.

A.Simpleton
It appears

That a homogenous cause is emerging with more definition and cohesive structure than the chaotic proliferation of the proxy/non-proxy/state/non-state/army/sect/fighters in many locations - a proliferation so redolent of decomposition. But I still can't quite grasp the essence behind the appearances except in a general sense. What aspect of decomposition does ISIS/IL represent: an armed religious cartel growing in number and structure beyond the control of bourgeois states like a Mexican drug cartel only bigger and across boundaries? Is it as homogenous as it seems. I am not disputing this just asking. It is beyond doubt a vicious force with murderous intent and lashings of ideological irrationality. Might its homogeneity/consistency be as much defined by its antithetical role as bete noir for the valiant and decent upholders of pseudo-democracy (ie. another vicious force with a history of murderous intent) as by its real nature. Again I'm asking cos I don't know.

Not long ago in Syria it was Assad blitzing the population and UK/US shouting 'democratic' outrage: that is now reversed (no surprise for such opportunists) as a 'worse enemy' is identified. Back pedalling with remarkable ease on that 12 month old 'outrage', Assad-Army-Factor is now cast in a different light as an imperfect but useful ally for presumably his 'factor' can be controlled. The certain yet characteristically intractable web of arms supply/routes, covert intelligence networks -some longstanding from prior history some newer bridgeheads- demonstrate the continuing Imperialist agenda. It is also plain historical fact that throughout decades, especially the cold war years obviously, the US and Russian imperialisms have thoroughly researched using religion - particularly Islam - as a means and implemented such methods - building mosques, pamphleting, broadcasting, sending scores of agents and agents provocateurs to the Haj pilgrimage etc. apart from the even longer standing flesh pumping with the Islamic Brotherhood passim both sides of the pond as baboon mentions above- being religious-ideology-friendly to pal up with this or that , 'sovereign' state and its capital, this or that religious alliance and its ideological influence on other states, woo them into your bloc. 

That events are orchestrated or quickly brought into orchestration is sure but it becomes confusingly cacophonous. It remains hard to discern as I put it way back 'who's on first base': and the corollary 'who thinks they are on first base': even perhaps the more machiavellian: 'who is letting whom think they are on first base'. Except of course the obvious truism that the bourgeoisie are still on first base. Perhaps better, stuck on first base.

AS 

 

 

jk1921
Domestication

A.Simpleton wrote:

That a homogenous cause is emerging with more definition and cohesive structure than the chaotic proliferation of the proxy/non-proxy/state/non-state/army/sect/fighters in many locations - a proliferation so redolent of decomposition. But I still can't quite grasp the essence behind the appearances except in a general sense. What aspect of decomposition does ISIS/IL represent: an armed religious cartel growing in number and structure beyond the control of bourgeois states like a Mexican drug cartel only bigger and across boundaries? Is it as homogenous as it seems. I am not disputing this just asking. It is beyond doubt a vicious force with murderous intent and lashings of ideological irrationality. Might its homogeneity/consistency be as much defined by its antithetical role as bete noir for the valiant and decent upholders of pseudo-democracy (ie. another vicious force with a history of murderous intent) as by its real nature. Again I'm asking cos I don't know.

Well, according to the "experts," the more territory ISIS comes to control, the more it will have to start acting like a state with interests to protect in the international arena and less like a roving band of manical killers bent on pure destruction and wanton murder. As to whether or not the need to act like state on the international level can domesticate a gang of Islamic extreminists the same way it did an erstwhile revolutionary communist party in Russia remains to be seen, I guess.

 

baboon
Coalition of the willing

It's early days and I wouldn't think that the Americans expected too much from the local players in the Middle East from Secretary of State Kerry's latest visit but they must have been somewhat disappointed. The New York Times reports a reluctance from the putative anti-Isis coalition to even sign a joint communique let alone act on it. Turkey didn't even bother to turn up at the meeting citing concerns for its 40-odd hostages held by the group but probably more concerned with the strengthening of a Kurdish national identity. The only possible "willing" partners to this coalition are Iran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime and, while the US will probably deal with these elements on the side, they are not part of the coalition that the US is looking for.  Saudi Arabia and Israel are particularly concerned about the stronger role that Iran is playing in the region and the boots that it has on the ground in an Iraq whose borders are melting away.

The dangers of air strikes from the Iraqi airforce and the US, forcing the population more behind Isis was shown in the air attack on al-alam, just outside Tikrit on September 1, which Human Rights Watch reported killed 31 civilians, 24 of them children. Fighters were nowhere near this small town and any crowd, even of children, is a likely target. The US wants to extend its air strikes to Syria and the other arm of its strategy here is to strengthen the anti-Assad "moderate opposition". This is exactly what led to the creation of al-Nusra and then Isis. And there is no "moderate opposition".  Isis and the Free Syrian Army have recently signed a "non-aggression pact" and the beheaded US reporter Foley was appantly handed over (sold?)to Isis by elements of the FSA.

Another local element not involved in the "coalition" is Israel. The Israeli air strikes that supported the advances of Isis in Syria have already been mentioned. And now the Israeli "strategy affairs ministry", that is an organisation set up to essentially prepare for war with Iran, has, amongst other things, expressed its "concern" about the US war with Isis. The current minister, Yuval Steintz, dismissed the threat of Isis as a 'short term problem' compared with the larger issue of Iran.

 

On a related issue: Cameron says that the terrorists will be hunted down however long it takes and wherever they are - but this is not quite true of all terrorists. The terrorist aligned Muslim Brotherhood will be allowed to continue to exist and function in Britain. The Telegraph today has the report on the MB - parts of which are "too sensitive to publish" -  demanded by Saudi Arabia and undertaken by John Jenkins, British ambassador to that country. The Saudis and the Egyptians have been furious about Muslim Brotherhood organisation and activity in Qatar, Istanbul and London. Downing Street has said that it will respond to the report (that effectvely accuses the British state of harbouring and encouraging terrorism) "by the end of the year"! The first statements from the Foreign Office are adament that the MB will not be banned and it clearly remains an asset for British imperialism.

A.Simpleton
Helpful update

So after Cameron had had 'focussed discussions on the appropriate response' to Assad -whose behaviour 'outraged' him, he then joined some pals in 'not ruling out Assad as an ally' , one of whom has now coined the spurious term 'moderate anti-Assadists' whom he can strengthen. This gives considerable choice: one can swop extremists without the bother of identifying them. Terrorist dinners can continue at Downing Street safe from maniacal British fundamentalists who will be 'de-lifed' at the airport. Got it.

I was just going to ask about Saudi Arabia. Its own sovereign/proxy state power has always seemed to me to hold rank somewhat effortelessly with a surface pacifity maintained by real wealth, an above average independence allowing it to both demand and refuse on the imperial influence market (and other markets). Not to mention its stability born of ruthless restriction and repression of its population.Their 'fury' has some clout -or is it a front- though not enough to impinge on such a longstanding web as the MB/West bond? I don't know a great deal - and certainly not enough - about Saudi's historical trajectory.

The devastation-scape of decomposition and what it throws up seems to hold. A predictable proliferation of wars, of centrifugal effect. Some bonds between regular cronies remain but do I sense an acceleration of quick changing alliances of opportunity or was it ever thus...

AS 

(oh..and Cameron who has been outraged and shocked so many times I'm surprised he is still standing is now -poor chap- heartbroken at the very thought of Scotland getting a divorce. As it won't happen he had to get the suffering in a bit sharpish.)

 

 

 

Redacted
This is a bit off topic, but

This is a bit off topic, but I was wondering if baboon and others were familiar with the close links between Neoconservatism and political Islam, specifically via Sayyid Qutb and by extension the MB. Qutb was a pupil of Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago, along with Paul Wolfowitz and others.

 

A.Simpleton
In the light

Of what jamal posts: why am I not surprised to read this 70 year old passage from Sayyid Qutb:

'Democracy in the West has become infertile to such an extent that it is borrowing from the systems of the Eastern bloc, especially in the economic system, under the name of socialism. It is the same with the Eastern bloc. Its social theories, foremost among which is Marxism, in the beginning attracted not only a large number of people from the East but also from the West, as it was a way of life based on a creed. But now Marxism is defeated on the plane of thought, and if it is stated that not a single nation in the world is truly Marxist, it will not be an exaggeration.' [1946 : the title is translated as 'Milestones']

If it were not for Marx's method and premises, how impossible would it be to analyse see through and conclude from such confabulation most importantly by seeking historical roots. 'Marxism is defeated on the plane of thought' no less! ha Written as the all pervading 'cold' variety of imperialist war was born, it seems eminently usable except that the Islamic religious state was surely his alternative? which seems counterintuitive to the potential for manipulation inherent in the secular state 'available for proxy status' that would appeal to imperial power.

I have no doubt that behind this appearance is the actuality but any clarity is -as always- welcome. Or is it as simple as Neoconservatism will support whatever is opposed to the ruler that wont play ball?

AS

 

 

baboon
Isis and anti-fascism

It would be wrong to say that Turkey is now getting involved in the Syria/Iraq war since protected Turkish territory was the original port of call for the  plane loads of weapons and jihadi’s sent from Libya by the CIA in order to fuel the war against the Assad regime. But Turkey is now getting drawn in ever closer and in a situation not of its own choosing. The saying “sow the wind...” comes to mind – and more generally to all the players involved. Following the murder of aid worker Alan Hemming (and the murder of what looked like a spy pretending to be an aid worker, David Haines) Prime Minister Cameron has come out with the usual empty phrases about “hunting down the killers”, etc, but this new war, or rather the continuation of the old, has generated support for more defence spending and a stronger role for the apparent weaknesses of British imperialism. The leftist “Stop the War” coalition calls on the British government to get its “Hands off the Middle East” – as if that is any sort of possibility.

As far as the war against Isis goes it is clear that air-strikes are worse than useless in the face of the threat posed by this group. Civilians have already been hit by coalition air strikes which if anything puts the Sunni areas more behind Isis, and last week there was a report that large numbers of the Iraqi army were hit by such a strike. Despite the western lies about being careful to “avoid civilian casualties” – a mantra we have heard many times before, no such thing will happen. Iran has now said that, for the protection of “holy Shia shrines” in Iraq and Syria, it will coordinate its actions on the ground with Iraqi and Syrian forces. Similarly regarding religious shrines, Turkey has said that its troops are ready to defend that of Suleyman Shah, an enclave inside Syrian territory where it has a military force already. Where borders have not broken down in the war zone they are fraying at the edges.

Isis appears to be closing in on the Turkish border town of Kobani from which some 200,000 refugees have fled into Turkey. On the libcom thread on ISIS, mikail firtinaci has been fighting valiantly to defend an internationalist position against getting sucked into this fight but some anarchists who have gone to fight Isis in Kobani, alongside Kurdish nationalist forces, have won support from some “libertarian communists” on here, some of whom supported the fighting in the “Syrian revolution” long after even the remotest prospect of an uprising here was dead and buried. For these elements a class line in an imperialist war doesn’t exist and, tail-ending the “humanitarian” coalition of the major and local powers, calls for “internationalist solidarity with Turkish anarchists” which are doing the fighting. It’s an abuse of both the real internationalism and solidarity of the working class that mikail represents and defends  on this thread – and it is also a perverted re-run of Spain 36, as Alf says in the discussion.

The hand-wringing and “direct action” of the anarchists that support elements in this imperialist war is based on the western line of how “nasty” the Isis fighters are. There’s no doubt about that just as there’s no doubt that the armies of democracy are totally involved in rapes, tortures and atrocities. The example of British collusion in the mass rape of Bosnian women by Serb paramilitaries is just one recent example. But for these anarchists this is a noble fight, doing something to stop evil, an evil which is part and parcel of imperialism created by imperialism. It’s explicit in one case that this is the new “anti-fascism”, the same anti-fascism that has historically colluded with the forces of leftism as the defenders of nationalism.

Redacted
Can anyone link to the thread

Can anyone link to the thread on libcom? I don't post there often.Thanks.

Alf
libcom thread
baboon
British-backed terrorists

In post 56 above there's a reference to the enquiry forced on Britain into its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood by Saudi Arabia and, I think, the US. The heavily censored report by a previous British ambassador to Saudi Arabia has still not been published but it's clear that there are "support groups" and terrorist linked elements involved in the triangle of support for the MB in Doha, Istanbul and London. The Telegraph reports today that as a result of the report, which suggested British support and protection for terroroist elements, that there will now be a "crackdown" on the MB and affiliated organisations in Britain. The "crackdown" consists of the group remaining legal and facing futher "investigations". A spokesman said in the Telegraph report that the terrorist fundraisers linked to the MB and the Qatar regime will be investigated "through the Al Capone method of law enforcement", ie, they will approch the issue through the means of taxation or non-taxation. Given the British governments history of "cracking down" on tax avoidence so far the Muslim Brotherhood and its related gangsters have nothing to worry about.

baboon
The absurdity continues

In today's Telegraph there's a report that over the weekend the two main "rebel" groups receiving US arms and other assistance have surrendered their forces, arms and bases to Jabhat al-Nusra. The groups Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front were supposed to be the shining stars of the new US-led ground force against the jihadis. HH surrendered Friday without a shot being fired and the SRF surrended just after when their base was overrun by al-Nusra forces. Both groups have been highly praised and feted by the US administration and the world's press as "exemplary" examples of a turnaround. More worrying for the "coalition", both groups have been supplied with GRAD missiles and TOW anti-tank missiles. These are now in possesion of al-Nusra who will use them or sell them on to Isis.

The arming of these groups is being coordinated in Turkey by a "millitary council" which now includes elements from the US military, the British, French, Turkish, Saudi and Qatar with the latter, just a short time ago, directly providing arms itself to al-Nusra. And yet the US and Britain still maintain the fiction of "moderate" anti-Assad forces.

baboon
A bit more on the above

The Washington Post, which has been the administration inspired cheerleader for the "moderate" anti-Assad forces in Syria now wonders, after the "moderate" Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm (Steadfast) have gone over lock, stock and barrel to al-Nusra and Isis (or deserted in droves), if these forces "could possibly survive". And the obvious answer is yes, if they join the jihadists or just flee for their lives. Contiued American, French, UAE and British air attacks are only strengthening the rebels while causing greater civilian casulties - the only silver lining for the anarcho-feminists being that some of the pilots of these killing machiines are women, thus raising the "glass ceiling to previously unknown heights

In the weekend's New York Times, freelance journalist Theo Padnos reports on his capture in Syria by al-Nusra. He escaped from them twice, was picked up by FSA elements and immediately returned to al-Nusra both times. He got friendly with some of the fighters who told him that they had just come back from a US training facility in Jordan. They told him that they "had lied" to get there.

On another front, the Telegraph reports today that a number of Libyan fighters being trained by the British army in the Bassingbourn military facility in Cambridgeshire, have been arrested for a series of sexual assaults including the rape of a man in Cambiidge on Sunday. The whole LIbyan "training" mission has been halted and its future under review, according to the MoD.

Redacted
Devrim has written a decent

Devrim has written a decent article on these topics which can be found here: http://ow.ly/Ejlqq

The discussion on these things would benefit from a bit more focus on the origins of these "ethno/sectarian" divisions. While they do have some real historical foundations, imperialism is the real culprit and I suspect we could dig up the dirt and show exactly how and why from the left comm perspective.

My dad has always maintained that when he was a kid, nobody cared if you were a sunni or shia.

radicalchains
?

My dad has always maintained that when he was a kid, nobody cared if you were a sunni or shia.

 

Doesn't it go further than that. That people did not identify as Muslim first but by their nationality. 

 

Fred
Doesn't skin color trump

Doesn't skin color trump Nationality; which trumps religion; which trumps politics so that if you're a white fundamentalist Christian with a passion for right wing politics and a love of country so great that you will happily send others to fight and die for it, you'll be sure of a place in Heaven? 

 

Edit. And males of course trump females just as straights trump queers. This is why we all love  capitalism so much. Everything is pinned down neatly and clearly ordered, and folk know where they stand - up to their necks in shit. 

baboon
capitalist division

I agree with Jamal that Devrim has written a decent text on the situation in Syrian Kurdistan. The text takes a proletarian viewpoint of the situation on the ground while showing up the lies of the anarchists who want to propagate a miniscule "people's revolution" (in Rojava), the fight against fascism (i.e., Isis), support nationalism (the PKK in one form or another) and a movement towards the emancipation of women (both sexes fighting for capitalism - essentially the same position as supporting the Suffragettes in WWI). Devrim's text is clear on all these issues and the actual proletarian content of a workers' response (which simply doesn't exist here).

Jamal makes the point that ethnicities don't have to be at each other's throats. Even in war-torn Iraq, the Yazidi's, one of the oldest religions in the world today, got on relatively peacefully with others. But with capitalist decomposition and the spread of war this becomes more difficult.

During the cold war and the fighting between east and west over Africa, the bourgeoisie used to call its proxy wars "ethnic wars" as if fighting between ethnicities was an inevitable consequence of being backward - and it also served to attempt to cover up their own role in promoting and directing these wars. The west pulled the same trick over the break up of Yugoslavia where, only months after workers were on strike across the country, the west had to intervene - on a humanitarian basis - to sort out these "ethnic" divisions. The fact that they had already been promoted and supported by the major powers for their own imperialist advantage was drowned in the lies about ethnicity and how such ethnicity always produces war. The "ethnic" war in Rwanda was something of an eye opener because the only obvious difference between Hutu and Tutsi were their ID cards - which makes the whole thing ridiculous and shows that these are divisions imposed by capitalism and used by imperialism. The world's "newest state", South Sudan, has immediately collapsed into "ethnic" warfare but again, these peoples got on OK for ages and the ethnic division has been promoted by the local gangsters and the bigger imperialist powers in this new "scramble for Africa".

And this is the weakness of Devrim's text. It misses out the role of the major powers in the war in and around the Middle East. The manipulations and the ordering of "ethnicities" which are subordinated to the much more wider interests of the major powers: Britain, France, Russia, the US, Iran, Israel and the other local powers acting both independently on one hand, and with whatever partners, senior or not, on the other. The Middle East is being convulsed by imperialist war and the manipulation of ethnicities is just one part of that. And another major part of this imperialist war is that it is taking place in an overall framework of further irrational decay.

Redacted
Quote:I suspect we could dig

Quote:
I suspect we could dig up the dirt and show exactly how and why from the left comm perspective

Well, there you go. Thanks baboon

lem_
"capitalist division"   so

"capitalist division"

 

so this catgeorically exists?

maybe the real strength of the worker's movement right now is that where it exists capital is less divided? just a thought eh :)

baboon
"Arab Spring"

One of the extremely positive factors involved in what may be called the "Arab Spring" is how many of the movements, Tunisia,Turkey, Egypt, Syria, etc., initially exhibited common protest and struggle across ethnic, religious, sectarian, gender and generational divides. Even in Libya, where it was very quickly overwhelmed, these tendencies existed. The stronger or closer these elements were to the working class, the stronger was the expression of unity against division. In Libya, the attacks on migrant workers went hand in hand with the rise of militias, tribal divisions and the hands of more powerful imperialisms. The fact that in general these movements did not go forwards and take on the organisational aspects of proletarian struggle, enabled, indeed called for, the various imperialist forces to fill the vacuum.

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