“Message for the struggle’s escalation” – Militant strike mobilization in Greece against antiworkers policies

Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Message for the struggle’s escalation” – Militant strike mobilization in Greece against antiworkers policies

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/message-for-struggles-escalation.html
A message for the escalation of struggle against the antipeople-antiworkers policies of the SYRIZA coalition government was today’s militant strike mobilizations across Greece.
In Athens, the organised by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), demonstration began at Omonoia Square and through the city center passed towards the U.S. embassy, as a symbolic action against the recent Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.
The Secretary General of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, attended the Athens demonstration.
From very early in the morning, thousands of workers began the organization of the strike by guarding labor places against strikebreaking mechanisms. In the northern city of Ioannina, following orders of a super market chain’s employer, security guards attacked strikers.
Except from Athens, militant rallies were held in Greece’s major cities, including Thessaloniki, Patras, Kavala, Kozani and elsewhere. Below you can see photos from today’s mobilization in Athens, as they were published at 902.gr portal.
Violence & death across Middle East after Trump’s Jerusalem move

EU Parliament awards the 2017 Sakharov Prize to the reactionary right-wing Venezuelan opposition

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

EU Parliament awards the 2017 Sakharov Prize to the reactionary right-wing Venezuelan opposition

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/eu-parliament-awards-sakharov-prize-to.html
The reactionary, pro-U.S. opposition of Venezuela has been awarded by the EU Parliament with the Sahkarov Prize 2017. On the occasion of this shameful and outrageous act, the Communist Party of Greece group in the Europarliament made the following comments:
 
The European Parliament group of the KKE condemns the provocative act of the European Parliament to award the so-called Sakharov Prize to the reactionary opposition of Venezuela, the antigovernmental protests of which express sections of the capital with powerful relations with the USA and the EU, thus promoting the imperialist plans to this country and the broader region.
This “prize”, which is recognized and praised by all the wings of the bourgeois political spectrum- European People’s Party, Social Democrats, Liberals, Greens and GUE – New Democracy, SYRIZA, PASOK, Potami- has been proved a timeless tool of open imperialist interventions by the EU. Among those who have bee “honored” with this award are… prominent anticommunists, persons and organisations distinguished for their undermining action against the people, for their multipurpose interconnections with business groups, imperialist centers and their security centers, epsecially of the USA, the EU and bourgeois governments of the member-states. 
 
This year’s “award” choice marks the EU’s pursuit to strengthen the position of the monopoly groups that serves in the broader region of Central and South America. The European Parliament, like previous ones with respective actions about Libya, Ukraine, Syria, etc, systematically paves the way for the imperialist military interventionso of the EU, alongside her allies, the USA and NATO.
 
The KKE neither recognizes nor legitimizes this inter-state union of the capital and her bodies to proclaim themselves as supposed guardians of the popular freedoms, supporters of reactionary mechanisms of the capital and institutions of imposing “democratic values”. Our Party has, timely and documented, positioned itself about the developments in Venezuela and spoke about the sharpened problems generated by the capitalist way of development against the working class and the popular strata. 
 
The KKE constantly and over time condemns every foreign imperialist interventions. It stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela and supports their inalienable right to choose their own way of development, against every kind of antipeople policy, in order, through their organised struggle,to be relieved from the yoke of capitalist exploitation, taking in their own hands the authority and the wealth they produce. 
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
US Ready to Talk With North Korea ‘Without Preconditions’ – Secretary of State
| December 12, 2017 | 8:35 pm | Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments
https://sputniknews.com/us/201712131059947029-US-ready-to-talk-north-korea-without-preconditions/
In this Aug. 10, 2017, file photo, a man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea.

US Ready to Talk With North Korea ‘Without Preconditions’ – Secretary of State

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The US is ready to begin negotiations and work on a roadmap with North Korea without preconditions, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday.

“We are ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk. And we are ready to have a first meeting without preconditions. Let’s just meet,” Tillerson said on Tuesday at an 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum meeting in Washington. “And then we can begin lay out a road map of what we might be willing to work towards.”

The statement would seem to represent a change of approach for the US, which had demanded that Pyongyang halt its nuclear program before any negotiations could occur.

“We need DPRK [North Korea] to come to the table for talks. We are ready to talk any time they’d like to talk,” Tillerson said. “But they have to come to the table with the view that they do want to make a different choice. Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table.”

“Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards,” Tillerson said, suggesting that initial contacts could revolve around establishing ground rules for any formal negotiations.

‘Without preconditions’ shouldn’t be taken as carte blanche, however, Tillerson noted. “It’s going to be tough to talk if in the middle of our talks you decide to test another device. I think they clearly understand that if we are going to talk, we have to have a period of quiet,” he said. North Korea has conducted 23 missile tests since February and tested a nuclear device in September.

But Tillerson is, apparently, espousing a less demanding position. In August, he told reporters, “We don’t think having a dialogue where the North Koreans come to the table assuming they’re going to maintain their nuclear weapons is productive.”

The secretary of state’s comments come a few days after the UN envoy to North Korea, Jeffrey Feltman, returned from visiting Pyongyang. Feltman is expected to brief the UN Security Council on his trip later on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism regarding negotiating with North Korea. Washington and Pyongyang haven’t sat down for formal negotiations since 2009.

One of the most important talks between Washington and Pyongyang occurred in 1994 when former US President Jimmy Carter visited Pyongyang to negotiate a deal with Kim II-sung, the grandfather of current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Carter’s trip halted the first North Korean crisis and helped pave the way for the 1994 Agreed Framework, in which Pyongyang agreed to freeze operation and construction of nuclear reactors believed to be part of a secret nuclear weapons program in exchange for two proliferation-resistant nuclear power reactors. The agreement also stated that the US would supply North Korea with fuel oil until the reactors were constructed.

At the Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum, Tillerson also revealed that the US and China have discussed how they would secure nuclear weapons in North Korea if the country suffered some kind of “instability.”

“We also have had conversations about in the event that something happened, could happen internal to North Korea — might be nothing that we from the outside initiate — that if that unleashed some instability, the most important thing to us would be securing those nuclear weapons they’ve already developed,” he commented. “We’ve had conversations with the Chinese about how that might be done.”

Last week, a Cathay Pacific flight crew announced that they saw North Korea’s latest missile test last Wednesday as they were flying over Japan.

Analysts agree that the latest test, of an intercontinental ballistic missile, shows that North Korea has improved its potential range, but doubts remain as to the country’s actual missile power. A Manila Times report speculates that a light dummy warhead was used for the test; a missile carrying a significantly heavier nuclear warhead would most likely not have been able to travel as far. In addition, analysts are skeptical that Pyongyang has mastered the technology needed to shield the warhead from extreme temperatures and stresses as the missile barrels back to Earth.

On Tuesday, armed forces from the US, Japan and South Korea combined to conduct an air power drill intended to assess their combat capabilities.

The operation took place in the East China Sea and consisted of Japanese F-15 fighters participating in joint exercises with US B1-B bombers, F-35 joint strike fighters and F-18 multirole jets, Reuters reported.

“The drill was meant to bolster joint operations and raise combat skills,” Japan’s Air Self Defense Force said in a statement.

The trilateral air drill is one of the largest in a series of drills to pressure North Korea to denuclearize and comes after a two-day exercise where the same nations launched missile-detecting operations.

Declassified Docs Prove US Repeatedly Promised Russia No NATO Eastward Expansion
| December 12, 2017 | 8:31 pm | Analysis, Russia, USSR | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/world/201712121059942275-us-russia-east-europe-expansion-nato/

Declassified Docs Prove US Repeatedly Promised Russia No NATO Eastward Expansion

Reagan and Gorbachev

Declassified Docs Prove US Repeatedly Promised Russia No NATO Eastward Expansion

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NATO expansion was a key issue as the US, Western European and Soviet leaders negotiated the reunification of Germany.

US and Western European leaders repeatedly promised their Soviet and Russian counterparts in the early 1990s that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe, according to a series of declassified documents posted by George Washington University’s National Security Archive on Tuesday.

“US Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991,” a press release summarizing the document cache stated.

NATO expansion was a key issue as US, Western European and Soviet leaders negotiated the reunification of Germany, in which the alliance’s boundaries would presumably encompass the former East Germany.

READ MORE: ‘Tragic Mistake’: How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Helped NATO in Eastern Europe

The cache includes a cable from the US Embassy in Bonn informing Washington that German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher had urged NATO to rule out an “expansion of its territory towards the east, i.e. moving it closer to the Soviet borders.”

At the time, Genscher also proposed excluding East Germany from NATO’s security umbrella after German reunification.

In subsequent years NATO has expanded beyond the former East Germany to include 13 Eastern European countries, the latest being Montenegro’s admission in June 2017.

NATO Expansion in Europe

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly stated that the United States failed to uphold its promises, adding that the Ukranian conflict following the 2014 coup that installed a pro-Western government in Kiev has served as a pretext for additional deployments in Europe.

Nevertheless, in 2016, the alliance has decided to approve sending four multinational battalions to each of the Baltic states — namely Lithiania, Latvia and Estonia — and Poland.Most recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance would maintain increased presence in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe “as long as necessary” after the alliance’s members had agreed on instituting a new adaptive command structure to improve the alliance’s ability “to improve the movement of military forces across Europe.”

Hague Tribunal Exonerates Slobodan Milosevic Again
| December 12, 2017 | 8:15 pm | Yugoslavia | No comments

Andy WILCOXSON

Eleven years after his death, a second trial chamber at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague has concluded that Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More than eleven years after his death, a second trial chamber at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague has concluded that former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was not responsible for war crimes committed in Bosnia where the worst atrocities associated with the break-up of Yugoslavia took place.

Buried in a footnote deep in the fourth volume of the judgment against Bosnian-Serb General Ratko Mladic the judges unanimously conclude that “The evidence received by the trial chamber did not show that Slobodan Milosevic, Jovica Stanisic, Franko Simatovic, Zeljko Raznatovic, or Vojislav Seselj participated in the realization of the common criminal objective” to establish an ethnically-homogenous Bosnian-Serb entity through the commission of crimes alleged in the indictment.[1]

This is an important admission because practically the entire Western press corps and virtually every political leader in every Western country has spent the last 25 years telling us that Slobodan Milosevic was a genocidal monster cut from the same cloth as Adolf Hitler. We were told that he was the “Butcher of the Balkans,” but there was never any evidence to support those accusations. We were lied to in order to justify economic sanctions and NATO military aggression against the people of Serbia – just like they lied to us to justify the Iraq war.

This is the second successive trial chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to conclude that Slobodan Milosevic was not guilty of the most serious crimes he was accused of.

Last year, the Radovan Karadzic trial chamber also concluded that “the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan” to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb claimed territory.[2]

The Tribunal has done nothing to publicize these findings despite the fact that Slobodan Milosevic was accused of 66 counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the Tribunal.

Milosevic died in the Tribunal’s custody before the conclusion of his own trial. He was found dead in his cell after suffering a heart attack in the UN Detention Unit two weeks after the Tribunal denied his request for provisional release so that he could have heart surgery that would have saved his life.[3]

Dr. Leo Bokeria, the coronary specialist who would have overseen Milosevic’s treatment at the Bakulev Medical Center, said: “If Milosevic was taken to any specialized Russian hospital, the more so to such a stationary medical institution as ours, he would have been subjected to coronographic examination, two stents would be made, and he would have lived for many long years to come. A person has died in our contemporary epoch, when all the methods to treat him were available and the proposals of our country and the reputation of our medicine were ignored. As a result, they did what they wanted to do.”[4]

Less than 72 hours before his death, Milosevic’s lawyer delivered a letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which Milosevic expressed fear that he was being poisoned.[5]

The Tribunal’s inquiry into Milosevic’s death confirmed that Rifampicin (an unprescribed drug that would have compromised the efficacy of his high blood pressure medication) was found in one of his blood tests, but that that he was not informed of the results until months later “because of the difficult legal position in which Dr. Falke (the Tribunal’s chief medical officer) found himself by virtue of the Dutch legal provisions concerning medical confidentiality.”[6]

There are no Dutch legal provisions that prohibit a doctor from telling a patient the result of their own blood test, and U.S. diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks show that the Tribunal had zero regard for medical confidentiality laws when they gave detailed information about Slobodan Milosevic’s health and medical records to personnel at the US embassy in The Hague without his consent.[7]

Milosevic’s trial had been going badly for the prosecution. It was glaringly obvious to any fair-minded observer that he was innocent of the crimes he was accused of. James Bissett, Canada’s former ambassador to Yugoslavia, said Milosevic’s trial “had taken on all the characteristics of a Stalinist show trial.” George Kenny, who manned the U.S. State Department’s Yugoslavia desk, also denounced the Milosevic trial proceedings as “inherently unfair, amounting to little more than a political show trial”.[8]

The trial was a public relations disaster for the Tribunal. Midway through the Prosecution’s case, the London Times published an article smearing Slobodan Milosevic’s wife and lamenting the fact that “One of the ironies of Slobodan’s trial is that it has bolstered his popularity. Hours of airtime, courtesy of the televised trial, have made many Serbs fall in love with him again.”[9]

While the trial enhanced Milosevic’s favorability, it destroyed the Tribunal’s credibility with the Serbian public. The Serbian public had been watching the trial on television, and when the Serbian Human Rights Ministry conducted a public opinion poll three years into the trial it found that “three quarters of Serbian citizens believe that The Hague Tribunal is a political rather than a legal institution.”[10]

Tim Judah, a well-known anti-Milosevic journalist and author, was dismayed as he watched the trial unfold. He wrote that “the trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague is going horribly wrong, turning him in the eyes of the public from a villain charged with war crimes into a Serbian hero.”[11]

By late 2005, Milosevic’s detractors wanted the live broadcasts of the trial yanked off the air because it was not having the political effect that they had hoped it would. Political analyst Daniel Cveticanin wrote, “It seems that the coverage benefits more those it was supposed to expose than the Serbian public. [The] freedom-loving and democratic intentions of the live coverage have not produced [the] planned effects.”[12]

Milosevic’s supporters, on the other hand, were emphatic. They wanted the live broadcasts to continue because they knew he was innocent and they wanted the public to see that for themselves.[13]

Slobodan Milosevic’s exoneration, by the same Tribunal that killed him eleven years ago, is cold comfort for the people of Serbia. The Serbian people endured years of economic sanctions and a NATO bombing campaign against their country because of the unfounded allegations against their president.

Although the Tribunal eventually admitted that it didn’t have evidence against Slobodan Milosevic, its disreputable behavior should make you think twice before accepting any of its other findings.

[1] ICTY, Mladic Judgment, Vol. IV, 22 November 2017, Pg. 2090, Footnote 15357
[2] ICTY, Karadzic Judgment, 24 March 2016, Para. 3460
[3] ICTY Case No. IT-02-54 Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, Decision on Assigned Counsel Request for Provisional Release, February 23, 2006
[4] “Milosevic Could Be Saved if He Was Treated in Russia – Bokeria,” Itar-Tass (Russia), March 15, 2006
[5] Text of Slobodan Milosevic’s Letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
[6] Judge Kevin Parker (Vice-President of the ICTY), Report to the President of the ICTY: Death of Slobodan Milosevic, May 2006; ¶ 31, 76
[7] U.S. State Dept. Cable #03THEHAGUE2835_a, “ICTY: An Inside Look Into Milosevic’s Health and Support Network”
[8] “Milosevic trial delayed as witnesses refuse to testify,” The Irish Times, September 18, 2004
[9] “Listening to Lady Macbeth,” Sunday Times (London), January 5, 2003
[10] “Public Opinion Firmly Against Hague,” B92 News (Belgrade), August 2, 2004
[11] Tim Judah, “Serbia Backs Milosevic in Trial by TV – Alarm as Former President Gains the Upper Hand in War Crimes Tribunal,” The Observer (London), March 3, 2002
[12] “Debate Opens in Serbia Over Live Coverage of Milosevic War Crimes Trial,” Associated Press Worldstream, September 22, 2005
[13] “Serbian NGO Opposes Decision to Drop Live Broadcast of Milosevic Trial,” BBC Monitoring International Reports, October 8, 2003; Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1300 gmt 8 Oct 03; See Also: “Serbia: Milosevic Sympathisers Protest Inadequate Coverage of Trial,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, June 10, 2002; Source: RTS TV, Belgrade, in Serbo-Croat 1730 gmt 10 Jun 02

 

Trump’s Jerusalem Statement is a Declaration of War

December 9, 2017

Trump’s Jerusalem Statement is a Declaration of War

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the statement by US President Trump, declaring US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and directing the US Embassy to move to Jerusalem from its present location in Tel Aviv.

The US statement is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people, and complete support and endorsement of the Zionist and expansionist policies of the Israeli government, including expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements, the continuing illegal blockade of Gaza, and the imprisonment and torture of Palestinian people fighting to protect their land and national sovereignty.

The US actions have not only ended the peace process, flying in the face of UN resolutions aimed to find a peaceful political solution, but the US has declared war on all the progressive peoples and states of the Middle East who seek peaceful political solutions to complex political problems in the region.  Trump’s actions are an endorsement of Israeli militarism and aggression against the Palestinians, and others in the Middle East.

Trump’s actions are a threat to global peace and security, because of his actions in the Middle East, because of his actions and threats to DPRK, to Syria, to Venezuela, to Cuba, and because of his administration’s decisions to abandon the UN and assign itself to the role of the world’s policeman.

This is the road to calamity and global destruction.

We call on the government of Canada, and the UN to clearly and unequivocally condemn this latest US provocation and act of war, and to take immediate action to reaffirm UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital, based on the 1967 boundaries, and guaranteeing the right of return to Palestinians now living abroad, which is the internationally recognized framework for a peaceful political solution.

We further call on the labour and democratic movements in Canada to oppose Trump’s criminal acts of war, to demand their retraction, and to step up the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, pending the ending of the occupation, the dismantlement of the “security” wall, full equality for Arab Palestinian Israelis and the realization of the rights of refugees including the right to return.

The Communist Party of Canada will continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian People for sovereignty and independence in their homeland, free from Israeli and US aggression and expansionism.  Their brave resistance is supported by all who value peace, democracy and sovereignty in the Middle East.

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada