US Trying to Use Syria as a Garrison for Operations in Middle East, Scholar Says
| January 21, 2018 | 6:09 pm | Syria, Turkey | No comments

People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016

US Trying to Use Syria as a Garrison for Operations in Middle East, Scholar Says

© REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki

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While Turkey has begun an operation against the Kurds in the Syrian city of Afrin and the US recently announced plans to continue its military commitment in the Middle Eastern country, Radio Sputnik discussed the developments with Prof. Dr. Bora Bayraktar from Kultuk University in Istanbul.

Sputnik: Turkey is saying that the operation is within the boundaries of a right to self-defense and also within the framework of international law. Do you agree with that?

Prof. Dr. Bora Bayraktar: Of course, I agree with that because, you know, in the city I live, in Istanbul, there were many terrorist attacks last in 2016. And we know that this organization [the PKK] was behind it. Turkey needs to protect its borders, and also Turkey didn’t get diplomatic support from allies and, you know, we can also call Russia an ally for Turkey, especially in Syria. So, this is a big problem, and Turkey has to deal with this issue. And it seems that Afrin would be one of the reasons why Turkey considers that it’s facing terrorist attacks. Afrin is one of the bases of the PYD/PKK, so from the Turkish point of view, this is legitimate.

Sputnik: The US and Turkey have had extremely strained relations for the past few years. How is that going to play into this situation?

Prof. Dr. Bora Bayraktar: In none of the major issues Turkey and the United States are on the same page, especially for the last decade, we can say. The situation in Iraq, the Kurdish issue, the coup attempt in Turkey — Turkey believes that the person behind it is in the United States and they have affiliation with US intelligence — also the Jerusalem issue, Syria, in many issues and major problems Turkey, and Russia, and the US don’t have common goals. They are rivals actually, we can say this easily. But they are both [Turkey and the US] NATO partners, Turkey was part of the Western security system for decades. So this is a big issue. And when it comes to Syria, Turkey is trying to keep the territorial integrity of Syria, trying to keep its borders safe, while the US (and this is my personal opinion) is looking for a garrison state in the eastern part of the Euphrates River. They are trying to build a statelet to use it as a garrison for further operations in the Middle East against Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq. This is an important foothold, so I think in this case, again, Turkey and the US have problems, and they will have more problems if the US keeps supporting the PYD and other groups that Turkey considers terrorist organizations.

Sputnik: What can be done to resolve the situation between Turkey, the US and Russia in Syria?

Prof. Dr. Bora Bayraktar: It’s a very difficult task. I think right now, for geopolitical and strategic reasons Turkey and Russia are getting closer because, you know, they feel the same threat from the United States, especially when it comes to the Middle East and the territorial integrity of the countries like Syria and Iraq.

Sputnik: Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov said that the US is not interested in keeping Syria’s territorial integrity. What’s your take on that?

Prof. Dr. Bora Bayraktar: I totally agree with Mr. Lavrov, because what the United States did last week, you know, they declared that there will be a 30,000 man force that will protect the borders of Syria which is the violation of Syrian territorial integrity, violation of Syrian sovereignty. And as I told you, they are looking for a garrison state in Syria, and this is not acceptable for any country in the region. And I think Mr. Lavrov has a reason for saying that. Although the US Secretary of State Tillerson and a spokesman from Pentagon denied this claim, they said “ok, we are not looking for an extra army.” But when we look at the actions, not the words, we see that the United States is trying to cut a piece of Syria for their use, and this is not acceptable.

The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Macedonia naming dispute: Commentary by the KKE General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas
| January 20, 2018 | 10:14 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Imperialism | No comments

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Macedonia naming dispute: Commentary by the KKE General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas

In an interview to “Real FM” radio on Friday 19th January, the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas was asked about the ongoing developments in the naming dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Below you can read abstracts from D.Koutsoumbas’ answers to the questions regarding this matter:

“It is clear that during this period, the Greek government and to a certain degree the government of Skopje as well, are facing powerful pressures for a solution in the naming issue, especially from the side of the USA and NATO. These powers are keen for the accession of FYROM in NATO because, as well know, the contradictions and competitions, especially in the Balkans, are very intense.
Large economic interests are clashing and Russia does not want to lose its influence that traditional has in the Balkan region and the USA are interested to abstract countries from Russia’s influence and to integrate them in the so-called euroatlantic axis, NATO and the EU. […] For that reason, according to our opinion, the nomenclature is preceded disconnected from the other issues. Its not that the name issue is not an existing matter, but I think we must get out of this sterile nomenclature.
A firm position of the KKE since 1992 was that the term “Macedonia”- if used in the name of the neighboring republic- must have a strictly geographical determination and on the same time- thats is why we are saying that we must get away with nomenclature- particular importance must be given to guarantees, to prerequisites for a solution that will be far from irredentisms, nationalisms, chauvinisms; a solution which will defend the sovereign right of the country, away from borders changes.
(And) of course, according to the KKE, all these issues must be disconnected from the accession of the neighboring republic in NATO or in any other imperialist alliance. After all, these organisations, according to the KKE’s historical experience and view, are the basic sources of “divide and conquer” in the region, of borders’ redrawing, which of course can be done only through war, that is with the people’s blood.
From this point of view we believe that nationalist demonstrations aren’t necessary, as they were not necessary in 1992, especially today.”

Regarding the irredentist aspirations of nationalist groups in Skopje, the General Secretary of the KKE underlined the importance of this matter for the Party.

The guarantees for our borders, the overall international borders of the Balkans, are the needed changes in the constitution of FYROM, that they must recognize- and guarantee -that there is no issue of macedonian minority. And I am saying this because that is the way to find out that there is not any kind of assertion towards our country or any other country. Under no circumstances should there be irredentist goals for a “Macedonia of the Aegean”.

We are also completely against- and that must be combined with tha name issue- the assignation of our relations with neighboring countries to powers like the USA, other powers of the EU and NATO which are responsible for the situation in the region, for the dissolution and the bombing of Yugoslavia, for the rise of nationalism, fascism, chauvinism. Of course, we are doubly concerned by the fact that the current Greek government moves towards the solution of the name-dispute under the pressure of NATO, for the quick accession of the former Yugoslav Republic in NATO’s “wolves-alliance” on July.”
Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
100 YEARS KKE – A century of struggles and sacrifices
| January 19, 2018 | 8:10 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Greece | No comments

Friday, January 19, 2018

100 YEARS KKE – A century of struggles and sacrifices
The text below is a translated version of the first chapter of the Declaration of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece for the Party’s 100th anniversary. The Declaration was published and circulated with the weekend edition of “Rizospastis” on 13-14th January 2018.
This year the KKE completes a century of struggles and sacrifices, remaining the only actually new Party of the Greek society, because it is the only one that struggles for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man. It was founded in a period when the flame of the October Socialist Revolution in 1917 gave a boost to the revolutionary labor movement internationally as well as in Greece.
With the foundation of the KKE, the working class acquired for the first time her own party in our country. From the first day of its foundation, the KKE firmly struggles for the only progressive future for humanity, so that the working class and the popular strata will be saved from the torments of exploitation, oppression, poverty, unemployment, state violence and repression, wars.
It fights for the abolition of any mode of exploitation and repression, for a new organisation of society, with social ownership in the means of production, in the land, through the scientific central planning of economy, with the active participation of the workers in the organisation and direction of social production.
It fights for socialism-communism, the only society which can ensure job for everyone, according to each one’s specialization, with actual free time and enjoying high quality, free of charge social services of Health and Education, Sports, cultural activity, housing, vacation and high living standards in general, responsible participation to the organs of management and control in the whole climax of the workers’ state.
The KKE hold high the flag of socialism-communism, even when the counterrevolutionary overthrow in the Soviet Union and the other countries of socialist construction was at her peak. The KKE had collectively conquered the needed class criterion and finally clashed with anticommunism, the domestic and internationalism opportunism which was projecting “perestroika”, the vehicle of counterrevolution, as progress and socialist renewal.
The KKE came into collision with the bourgeois and opportunist apologists of the capitalist system who were supporting that the “end of history”, the end of class struggle, had come. It highlighted that nobody can stop the course of revolutionary class struggle in historical evolution towards socialism-communism.
It highlighted that socialism, the immature level of communism remains necessary, realistic, hopeful. It illuminated that socialism’s necessity doesn’t depend on each time’s correlation of class struggle in a country or internationally, a factor which is undoubtedly crucial about when a socialist revolution can be erupted, under what conditions it can win in a country or group of countries.
KKE projected that the working class, which creates the social product, is the only social force that can organise economy and society, having as a motive the satisfaction of the more and more increasing social needs. It is the class which can correctly estimate and ensure the interests of the popular strata of the city and rural areas.
The KKE, strongly believing in the right and the capability of the working class to know and change the world, fights from the very first time of its foundation so that it (working class) will be prepared through the daily class struggles as a leading force of socialist construction. It asserts and fights for the development of the scientific knowledge of the workers, for their physical and intellectual abilities, for their cultural development and cultivation of their esthetic criterion. It underlines and contributes so that the working class can utilize and use the book, new technologies, the internet.
The KKE highlighted and highlights the decay of capitalism, the relative stagnation and crisis in relation to the progress that can be made if capitalist ownership and the motive of profit are abolished.
Above all, with its positions and activity, the KKE illuminated that the only way that leads to social liberation is the way of socialist revolution, of the planned and organised revolt and attack of the working class and her social allies for the overthrow of the capitalist class’ power.
The KKE is fighting on a daily basis for the development of the objective factor (labor movement, alliance with popular strata of the middle class), so that it will be ready, in circumstances of capitalist power’s shaking, to correspond to its duty as a driving force of the victorious socialist revolution. It gives the fight daily in order to justify its pioneering role as a visionary, but also as an organiser of the struggle for the ultimate revolutionary overthrow of capitalist barbarity, for the construction of socialism-communism.
* The Declaration of the Central Committee for the 100 years of the KKE will be presented during a political and cultural event at the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus, on Monday 23 January 2018, at 7.00 pm. 
KKE expresses solidarity with the Communist Party of Turkey, denounces the conviction of Kemal Okuyan

Friday, January 19, 2018

KKE expresses solidarity with the Communist Party of Turkey, denounces the conviction of Kemal Okuyan
The International Relations Section of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece has issued a solidarity message to the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) regarding the provocative conviction of TKP’s General Secretary Kemal Okuyan.
The KKE condemns and denounces the unacceptable conviction of the General Secretary of the CP Turkey, Kemal Okuyan, by the Turkish courts to 11 months and 20 days in prison with the pretext that in an article of his “he insulted the President of Turkey, Erdogan.”
This a provocative decision that aims to impede the activity of the communists who are playing a leading role in the struggle against the anti-worker political line and enormous repression which has been unleashed by the Turkish government, as well as against the barbarity of the capitalist system itself. The aim of cde Kemal Okuyan’s conviction is to terrorize the Turkish people so that they do not organize their struggles against the anti-people political line, against the aggression of capital. The provocative decision of the court (which in the end transformed the sentence into a fine) is added to the long list of other reactionary judicial decisions in Turkey.

We express our full solidarity with our comrades of the CP of Turkey, with the struggle of the Turkish people who have the strength to decisively answer the attempt to terrorize them, the repression that goes hand in hand with class exploitation and the system which cannot be corrected, only overthrown.

* * * 
TKP General Secretary Kemal Okuyan sentenced to 11 months in jail for “insulting Erdogan”.
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and soL columnist Kemal Okuyan, is sentenced to imprisonment for 11 months and 20 days on the pretext of “insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan”.
A local criminal court in Istanbul has decided on Jan. 18 to impose imprisonment for 14 months on Okuyan decreasing the punishment to 11 months and 20 days due to “mitigating circumstances” for having written a column that allegedly defamed Erdogan.   
The court has converted the prison sentence into a fine, adding that Okuyan would be imprisoned if the fine were not paid. Many people and politicians have faced such sentences in recent years in Turkey.  
The court alleges that Okuyan insulted Erdogan through a column dated July 28, 2015. “Did the country surrender to a maniac?” was the title of the column by Okuyan.  (soL international)
Citizens head to court against city of Montreal


Citizens head to court against city of Montreal

Montreal, January 18, 2018

Members of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) are suing the City of Montreal for compensatory and punitive damages for the city’s actions which occurred during the 2015 federal election campaign. The 5-day trial will begin January 22, 2018.

During the 2015 federal election campaign, the BDS movement and the CPC, both duly registered with Elections Canada, joined forces to denounce the pro-Israel policies of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party during the electoral campaign. BDS was registered as a third party and the CPC is a registered party which ran four candidates in Montreal. The election posters portrayed a Palestinian child murdered on a beach in Gaza during the 2014 bombings. Their aim was to raise the awareness of Montrealers concerning the cause of the Palestinian people.

These posters, identified as election posters in accordance with the Canada Elections Act, were nevertheless systematically removed by the City of Montreal, undermining the fundamental right to freedom of expression of BDS members and reducing the visibility of candidates of the CPC in the midst of an election campaign.

Following complaints to the Chief Electoral Officer, the City of Montreal has admitted to violating the law.

Today, although it recognizes this fact, the City refuses to acknowledge its fault in this case, forcing the continuation of the trial next week.

A joint release from the Communist Party of Canada and BDS Québec

Vladimir Putin, Communism and Christianity
| January 18, 2018 | 9:12 pm | Analysis, Russia, USSR, V.I. Lenin, Vladimir Putin | No comments

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Vladimir Putin, Communism and Christianity
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. – Karl Marx. [1]
By Nikos Mottas*.
A few days ago, during an interview for the documentary Valaam an excerpt of which was broadcast on Russia 1 TV channel, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened communism to christianity and Vladimir I. Lenin’s mausoleum to the veneration of the relics of saints.
More specifically, Putin said: “First of all, faith has always accompanied us, becoming stronger every time our country, our people, have been through hard times. There were those years of militant atheism when priests were eradicated, churches destroyed, but at the same time a new religion was being created. Communist ideology is very similar to Christianity, in fact: freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice – everything is laid out in the Holy Scripture, it’s all there. And the code of the builder of communism? This is sublimation, it’s just such a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented.”
As for V.I.Lenin, he pointed out: Look, Lenin was put in a mausoleum. How is this different from the relics of saints for Orthodox Christians and just for Christians? When they say that there’s no such tradition in Christianity, well, how come, go to Athos and take a look, there are relics of the saints there, and we have holy relics here”.
The above statements of President Putin come just three months before the elections of March 18th. Being an intelligent bourgeois politician, Putin will make any communicative effort to flatter the ears of large parts of the voters, including of course communists and people of left ideology. However, no communist in Russia, or anywhere else, must fall victim of Putin’s communicative propaganda.
Despite the seemingly flattering words (“freedom”, “equality”, “justice” etc), President Putin’s effort to present communism as similar with christianity actually downgrades the marxist-leninist worldview. Contrary to Putin’s arguments, socialism-communism has nothing to do with religion. While communism consists a scientifically documented worldview, christianity – like all religions- is based on metaphysics.
In response to Mr.Putin’s statements, we remind the simple truth: The christian faith, like every religious belief (despite their varieties and differences), teaches the restoration of justice in “another life”. The christian doctrines of “turning the other cheak” and “posthumous reward” consists one of the best justification of the exploitation of man by man: Why should the victims of exploitation react, as long as- according to christianity- they will take their “revenge” on heaven?
Vladimir Lenin– whose legacy still makes Putin, the Russian bourgeoisie and the deeply reactionary Russian Orthodox Church trembling- was writing: “…those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven.”[2]
Contrary to religions, the communist ideology does not exploit people’s metaphysical concerns and fears and does not offer posthumous “rewards”. Marxism-Leninism refers to the- one and only- earthly life, which interprets and addresses through the prism of dialectical materialism, promoting the class struggle for the ultimate abolition of exploitation of man by man. This is our answer to Mr. Putin.
A century after the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution and almost 27 years since the prevalence of counterrevolution in the Soviet Union, the spectre of socialism-communism continues to haunt the bourgeoisie in Russia and the world. That is why they make every effort to vilify communism, by distorting the truth. However, no matter how much anti-communist poison they pour, history will move forward.

[1] K.Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1844.
[2] V.I.Lenin, Socialism and Religion, 1905: From Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 83-87
Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’. 
Martin Luther King Opposed Everything Liberal America Represents

Martin Luther King Opposed Everything Liberal America Represents

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives a young picket a pat on the back as a group of youngsters started to picket St. Augustine, Fla.

Martin Luther King Opposed Everything Liberal America Represents

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John Wight

There is nothing quite so nauseating as liberal America associating itself with the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., a man who stood against everything it stands for and represents, such as cozying up to Wall Street and the rich at home while unleashing war without end overseas.

That Martin Luther King Day is an annual circus of liberal hypocrisy is evidenced in the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton using it an opportunity to engage in gushing tribute to a man whom, if alive today, would be among their most impassioned adversaries. As US academic Cornel West writes, “The litmus test for realizing King’s dream was neither a black face in the White House nor a black presence on Wall Street. Rather, the fulfillment of his dream was for all poor and working people to live lives of decency and dignity.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. receives Nobel Peace prize from Gunnar Jahn, the chairman of the Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway in 1964
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. receives Nobel Peace prize from Gunnar Jahn, the chairman of the Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway in 1964

It is hard to think of a political figure whose life and legacy been so abused, distorted, and exploited as Martin Luther King’s. Indeed, it is impossible to quantify the extent to which the true meaning of his work has suffered by dint of its appropriation by a liberal establishment that cloaks its mendacity and murderous propensity for war in the garb of compassion and democracy. When, for example, Hillary Clinton is tweeting the words of MLK, celebrating his life, you know you have entered the desert of the real.

So what then did Martin Luther King actually stand for? A trite response to that question is everything that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others of their kind do not stand for – namely justice for the poor of America and poor countries of the world threatened by America. Thus MLK was not killed because he had a ‘dream’ he was killed because he was awake to the fact that the United States government was, in his words, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

The speech in which he spoke those words is titled ‘Beyond Vietnam’. It is one of his most famous, which he delivered in New York in 1967 a year before his assassination in the midst of an imperialist war that would claim the lives of two million Vietnamese and 80,000 Americans by the time it ended in 1975.

READ MORE: Faith Leaders Protest Against Trump, Racism at MLK ‘Dream’ Speech Rally

But widely overlooked as a result of the sanitization of MLK’s legacy by this liberal establishment, for which opportunism is a mandatory requirement, is the animus that was directed at him for daring to oppose the war in Vietnam. As King biographer, James H Cone reveals, “Martin also felt that the vehement criticisms that he received from the white community regarding his opposition to the Vietnam War were motivated by racism.”

Many of those critical voices from within the white community were former allies in Washington, including within the Johnson administration, who’d been happy to support him when his focus was on racial equality at home but refused to understand or accept the circular relationship between structural racism at home and racist wars unleashed overseas.King was a man who did come to understand this relationship, along with the rank hypocrisy of opposing one while not opposing the other, which is why he became such a threat to the moral foundations of the liberal status quo. As he said to one of his black colleagues after said colleague expressed concerns that MLK’s stance against the war in Vietnam would alienate liberal support for the struggle for black civil rights at home, “what you’re saying my get you a foundation grant but it won’t get you into the kingdom of truth.”

The radicalism embraced by MLK towards the end of his life was the product of his refusal to ignore the truth his eyes were imparting to him. His belief and trust in a liberal establishment to deliver justice not only to black Americans but poor Americans had been rocked by the shocking condition of the poor of all colors and race he witnessed while touring the country.

READ MORE: Sanders Carries Torch as US Marks Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the eminently informed analysis of Cornel West the “radical King was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people in the class struggle taking place in capitalist societies. This class struggle may be visible or invisible, manifest or latent. But it rages on in a fight over resources, power, and space.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
© Photo: Wikipedia / Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer – Library of Congress

West’s assertion is proved by MLK’s championing of the struggle of sanitation workers in Memphis for better pay and conditions a couple of months before he was murdered in 1968. “And I come by here to say that America too is going to hell if she doesn’t use her wealth,” he declared in a speech at a rally of striking workers and their supporters in the city. “If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will to hell.”Can anyone seriously imagine Hillary Clinton endorsing such sentiments, a woman whose embrace of Wall Street and big business is a matter of record? Or how about Barack Obama, Washington’s first black president, who swore his oath of office on MLK’s own personal bible?

READ MORE: Rallies Erupt in Cities All Around Country to Reclaim Legacy of MLK Jr.

Cornel West is someone who is in no doubt as to the insult to King’s legacy Obama’s transparent attempt to posit his election to the White House the symbolic culmination of MLK’s ‘dream’: “The dream of the radical King for the first black president surely was not a Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, and surveillance presidency with a vanishing black middle class, devastated black working class, and desperate black poor people clinging to fleeting symbols and empty rhetoric.”

When it comes to the legacy of Martin Luther King, the biting insight of Irish rebel leader James Connolly applies: “Apostles of freedom are ever crucified when alive, but glorified when dead.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.