Political event for the 100 years of the KKE held in Piraeus: “Capitalism- imperialism are the past – the KKE fights for a new world”
| January 22, 2018 | 8:38 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), Imperialism | No comments

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Political event for the 100 years of the KKE held in Piraeus: “Capitalism- imperialism are the past – the KKE fights for a new world”
“A century of struggle and sacrifice, the KKE in the vanguard”. Under this slogan, hundreds of workers, self-employed people, pensioners, trade unionists, students, people of sports and arts participated in the political event held on Monday evening in Piraeus, in honor of the 100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Greece.
The event, which was organised by the Party’s Central Committee, took place at the Piraeus’ Municipal Theatre, just a few metres from the historic building when, on November 1918, the founding congress of SEKE (Socialist Labour Party of Greece), later KKE, was held.
The General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, was the major speaker, presenting the Declaration of the Central Commitee for the Party’s 100 years which was published on “Rizospastis” on Saturday 13th January. The event also included a magnificent cultural performance dedicated to the 100 years of the KKE’s existence and activity.
Dimitris Koutsoumbas, the KKE General Secretary, began his speech by saying: “We are welcoming you in Piraeus, the city where the KKE was born in 1918, since it is here where the 1st founding Congress of the Socialist Labour Party of Greece (SEKE), which was later renamed into Communist Party of Greece, took place”.
“We are completing 100 years of struggles and sacrifices, remaining the only actually new party of the Greek society” said Koutsoumbas, adding:
“Because the KKE is the only party that fights for the definite abolition of the exploitation of man by man. In honor of the 100 years since the founding of the KKE, we will give all our powers for the Party to achieve even wider, deeper, stronger ties with the working class, the Greek people. We will give all our powers so that, with powerful Party Organisations, the struggle for the overthrow of the barbarity of capitalist power, for socialism, to be strengthened”.
In a powerful speech, Dimitris Koutsoumbas refered to both the heroic past of the Communist Party, as well as to the current political developments, sending a message of struggle for the future.
“Capitalism, imperialism are the past. The KKE fights for the new world.”
Photos from 902 portal.
Common appeal by Communist and Workers’ Parties: Solidarity with the people of Iran – No to any foreign intervention

Monday, January 22, 2018

Common appeal by Communist and Workers’ Parties: Solidarity with the people of Iran – No to any foreign intervention
With a common declaration, Communist and Workers’ parties from all over the world express their solidarity towards the people of Iran and condemn any attempt of foreign intervention in the country’s internal affairs:
The Communist and Workers’ parties that sign this statement have followed with concern the recent developments in Iran where tens of thousands of people in many towns and cities across Iran protested against the policies of the autocratic regime.
The protests were against the destructive economic policies of the regime, its brutal violation of human and democratic rights and disregard for the ILO conventions regarding workers’ rights and its widespread corruption. Young people have been the main victims of the regime’s policies, including more than five million unemployed graduates. Those who came out were predominantly young and from poor working class districts demanding fundamental economic, social and cultural change – jobs, a living wage, dignity, respect and justice.
We have received credible reports about brutal tactics used by the security forces and the regime’s paramilitary militia to violently break up these mainly peaceful demonstrations by ordinary people.  At least 20 demonstrators have been killed and more than 3700 people arrested and taken into custody.  The security forces have raided and occupied university campuses in different parts of the country to stop the student movement from joining the protests.  A significant number of university students not involved in any protest demonstration were arrested at home or on the campuses of their universities.  The authorities have claimed that this illegal measure is “preventative”.
The people of Iran and their progressive forces have repeatedly and resolutely stated that, based on their own history and experience of recent tragedies in the Middle East, they reject any outside intervention in the internal affairs of Iran under any pretext whatsoever and believe that the future of Iran should be decided only by the Iranian people themselves.
We believe that the realisation of the demands of the protesters for peace, progress and social justice is the best guarantee for Iran’s independence and for genuine popular sovereignty.  This is the only sure way to guard against foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country and for the Iranian people to stand firm and united against the machinations of US imperialism and its allies, in particular the Israeli government and the reactionary regimes in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf States.
The Communist and Workers’ parties co-signing this statement of support for the struggle of the Iranian people for peace, progress and social justice are united in:
  • Condemning the use of repressive measures against civilian protesters which have resulted in at least 22 deaths and the arrest of thousands of protesters and activists.
  • Demanding that the authorities publish a list of names of all those arrested during the protest demonstrations and where they are being held, and immediately release all those detained by the security forces.
  • Requesting that all those held are guaranteed access to legal representation of their own choosing.
  • Demanding an end to the use of all forms of torture.
  • Demanding the removal of all military and security units from university campuses.
  • Supporting the demands of the protesters for an end to privatisation, unemployment and corruption – all outcomes of the neoliberal-driven austerity policies of the regime.
  • Rejecting any foreign intervention whatsoever in the internal affairs of Iran and emphasizing that the future of Iran should be decided by the Iranian people themselves alone.
1.    AKEL
2.    Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
3.    Communist Party of Greece
4.    Communist Party of India
5.    Communist Party of India –Marxist
6.    Tudeh Party of Iran
7.    Communist Party of the Russian Federation
8.    South African Communist Party
9.    Communist Party of Spain
10. Communist Party of Turkey
11. Communist Party of Ukraine 
[The appeal is open for further signatures]
19 January, 2018.
This is Capitalism #5 – The world’s richest 1% took home 82% of the wealth produced by workers in 2017
| January 22, 2018 | 8:24 pm | Analysis, class struggle, Economy | No comments

Monday, January 22, 2018

This is Capitalism #5 – The world’s richest 1% took home 82% of the wealth produced by workers in 2017
Eighty two percent (82%) of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth, according to a new Oxfam report released today. The report is being launched as political and business elites gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
According to Oxfam,
  • Billionaire wealth has risen by an annual average of 13 percent since 2010 – six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just 2 percent. The number of billionaires rose at an unprecedented rate of one every two days between March 2016 and March 2017.
  • It takes just four days for a CEO from one of the top five global fashion brands to earn what a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her lifetime. In the US, it takes slightly over one working day for a CEO to earn what an ordinary worker makes in a year.
  • It would cost $2.2 billion a year to increase the wages of all 2.5 million Vietnamese garment workers to a living wage. This is about a third of the amount paid out to wealthy shareholders by the top 5 companies in the garment sector in 2016.
Hands Off Syria! TKP and Turkey’s Peace Committee condemn Erdogan’s Afrin operation in Syria

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hands Off Syria! TKP and Turkey’s Peace Committee condemn Erdogan’s Afrin operation in Syria
In a statement published on January 21st, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) condemns the military operation of Erdogan’s government against Syria. Noting that Syria has long been turned into an arena for the bloody games of the imperialist powers, and that the AKP government of Turkey has sought ways to integrate in these imperialist projects, TKP underlined that the Turkish AKP government’s recent military operation in Syria has “nothing to do with any national interest or security issue of Turkey.”
TKP reminded that Turkey is an allied NATO member and pointed to the hypocrisy of the AKP government for not “questioning the military existence of NATO in Turkey, but arguing about a threat in Syria.”
Saying that AKP’s operation serves imperialist plans aiming to divide Syria, TKP underlined that the people of Turkey “cannot be deceived with heroism or nationalist demagogy. Syria must be cleared of imperialist projects, interest conflicts between big powers and the fundamentalist powers of the region. It is the Syrian people who will do this.”
Baris Dernegi: No to foreign intervention in Syria!
From her side, the Peace Committee of Turkey (Baris Dernegi) has issued a statement condemning the so-called Afrin operation of the Turkish military forces in Syria:
The Afrin operation of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has nothing to do with our country’s national interests. This operation is a new link of Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) interventions against the sovereignty of Syria.
Attacks of imperialist-sponsored reactionary forces have turned the country into a bloodbath and displaced millions of Syrian people since 2011. Although the jihadist gangs were largely repelled, the recent developments prove that all powers are the enemies of stability and peace in Syria.
Liquidation of the Islamic State is not enough; it is apparent that peace will not be achieved until the Syrian people take full control of the country and all foreign powers withdraw.
Turkey’s attack with the consent of the U.S.A. and Russia is illegitimate, reinforcing the partition of Syria in the service of imperialism. AKP’s anti-American discourse is completely demagogic.
Escalating nationalism and chauvinism go along with TSK’s intervention, while warmongering is rising and war is attempted to be legitimatised through a religious discourse. It is necessary to reject this policy that functions as divisive not only in Syria but also in Turkey.
Various entities supported by the U.S.A. are pointed out as a threat. All U.S. attempts are extremely serious threats for all peoples of the region, particularly for Syria and Turkey. All policies paving the way for imperialism are anti-people.
It is necessary to put an end to all foreign interventions in Syria immediately and unconditionally. Imperialism and all big powers should leave Syria alone, and the people should determine their future themselves.
We call on all neighbouring and peace-loving people to unite against imperialism and reaction.
J.V. Stalin- Lenin: The Genius of the Revolution
| January 21, 2018 | 6:56 pm | J. Stalin, V.I. Lenin | No comments

Sunday, January 21, 2018

J.V. Stalin- Lenin: The Genius of the Revolution
Joseph V. Stalin –
Speech Delivered at a Memorial Meeting of the Kremlin Military School.
January 28, 1924. 
First Published on Pravda, No. 34, 
February 12, 1924.
Source: Works, Vol. 6, January-November, 1924, pp. 54-66, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954.
I am told that you have arranged a Lenin memorial meeting here this evening and that I have been invited as one of the speakers. I do not think there is any need for me to deliver a set speech on Lenin’s activities. It would be better, I think, to confine myself to a few facts to bring out certain of Lenin’s characteristics as a man and a leader. There may, perhaps, be no inherent connection between these facts, but that is not of vital importance as far as gaining a general idea of Lenin is concerned. At any rate, I am unable on this occasion to do more than what I have just promised.

The Mountain Eagle
I first became acquainted with Lenin in 1903. True, it was not a personal acquaintance, but was by correspondence. But it made an indelible impression upon me, one which has never left me throughout all my work in the Party. I was in exile in Siberia at the time. My knowledge of Lenin’s revolutionary activities since the end of the nineties, and especially after 1901, after the appearance of Iskra, had convinced me that in Lenin we had a man of extraordinary calibre. At that time I did not regard him merely as a leader of the Party, but as its actual founder, for he alone understood the inner essence and urgent needs of our Party. When I compared him with the other leaders of our Party, it always seemed to me that he was head and shoulders above his colleagues—Plekhanov, Martov, Axelrod and the others; that, compared with them, Lenin was not just one of the leaders, but a leader of the highest rank, a mountain eagle, who knew no fear in the struggle, and who boldly led the Party forward along the unexplored paths of the Russian revolutionary movement. 
This impression took such a deep hold of me that I felt impelled to write about it to a close friend of mine who was living as a political exile abroad, requesting him to give me his opinion. Some time later, when I was already in exile in Siberia—this was at the end of 1903—I received an enthusiastic reply from my friend and a simple, but profoundly expressive letter from Lenin, to whom, it turned out, my friend had shown my letter. Lenin’s note was comparatively short, but it contained a bold and fearless criticism of the practical work of our Party, and a remarkably clear and concise account of the entire plan of work of the Party in the immediate future. 
Only Lenin could write of the most intricate things so simply and clearly, so concisely and boldly, that every sentence did not so much speak as ring out like a rifle shot. This simple and bold letter still further strengthened me in my opinion that Lenin was the mountain eagle of our Party. I cannot forgive myself for having, from the habit of an old underground worker, consigned this letter of Lenin’s, like many other letters, to the flames.
My acquaintance with Lenin dates from that time.
I first met Lenin in December 1905 at the Bolshevik conference in Tammerfors (Finland). I was hoping to see the mountain eagle of our Party, the great man, great not only politically, but, if you will, physically, because in my imagination I had pictured Lenin as a giant, stately and imposing. What, then, was my disappointment to see a most ordinary-looking man, below average height, in no way, literally in no way, distinguishable from ordinary mortals. . . .
It is accepted as the usual thing for a “great man” to come late to meetings so that the assembly may await, his appearance with bated breath; and then, just before the “great man” enters, the warning whisper goes up: “Hush! . . . Silence! . . . he’s coming.” This ritual did not seem to me superfluous, because it creates an impression, inspires respect. What, then, was my disappointment to learn that Lenin had arrived at the conference before the delegates, had settled himself somewhere in a corner, and was unassumingly carrying on a conversation, a most ordinary conversation with the most ordinary delegates at the conference. I will not conceal from you that at that time this seemed to me to be something of a violation of certain essential rules.
Only later did I realise that this simplicity and modesty, this striving to remain unobserved, or, at least, not to make himself conspicuous and not to emphasise his high position, this feature was one of Lenin’s strongest points as the new leader of the new masses, of the simple and ordinary masses of the “rank and file” of humanity.
Force of Logic
The two speeches Lenin delivered at this conference were remarkable: one was on the current situation and the other on the agrarian question. Unfortunately, they have not been preserved. They were inspired, and they roused the whole conference to a pitch of stormy enthusiasm. The extraordinary power of conviction, the simplicity and clarity of argument, the brief and easily understood sentences, the absence of affectation, of dizzying gestures and theatrical phrases aiming at effect—all this made Lenin’s speeches a favourable contrast to the speeches of the usual “parliamentary” orators.
But what captivated me at the time was not this aspect of Lenin’s speeches. I was captivated by that irresistible force of logic in them which, although somewhat terse, gained a firm hold on his audience, gradually electrified it, and then, as one might say, completely overpowered it. I remember that many of the delegates said: “The logic of Lenin’s speeches is like a mighty tentacle which twines all round you and holds you as in a vice and from whose grip you are powerless to tear yourself away: you must either surrender or resign yourself to utter defeat.”
I think that this characteristic of Lenin’s speeches was the strongest feature of his art as an orator.
No Whining
The second time I met Lenin was in 1906 at the Stockholm Congress of our Party. You know that the Bolsheviks were in the minority at this congress and suffered defeat. This was the first time I saw Lenin in the role of the vanquished. But he was not in the least like those leaders who whine and lose heart after a defeat. On the contrary, defeat transformed Lenin into a spring of compressed energy which inspired his supporters for new battles and for future victory. I said that Lenin was defeated. But what sort of defeat was it? You had only to look at his opponents, the victors at the Stockholm Congress—Plekhanov, Axelrod, Martov and the rest. They had little of the appearance of real victors, for Lenin’s merciless criticism of Menshevism had not left one whole bone in their body, so to speak. I remember that we, the Bolshevik delegates, huddled together in a group, gazing at Lenin and asking his advice. The speeches of some of the delegates betrayed a note of weariness and dejection. I recall that to these speeches Lenin bitingly replied through clenched teeth: “Don’t whine, comrades, we are bound to win, for we are right.” Hatred of the whining intellectual, faith in our own strength, confidence in victory—that is what Lenin impressed upon us. It was felt that the Bolsheviks’ defeat was temporary, that they were bound to win in the very near future.
“No whining over defeat”—this was the feature of Lenin’s activities that helped him to rally around himself an army faithful to the end and confident in its strength.
No Boasting
At the next congress, held in 1907 in London, the Bolsheviks proved victorious. This was the first time I saw Lenin in the role of victor. Victory turns the heads of some leaders and makes them haughty and boastful. They begin in most cases to be triumphant, to rest on their laurels. But Lenin did not in the least resemble such leaders. On the contrary, it was precisely after a victory that he became especially vigilant and cautious. I recall that Lenin insistently impressed on the delegates: “The first thing is not to become intoxicated by victory and not to boast; the second thing is to consolidate the victory; the third is to give the enemy the finishing stroke, for he has been beaten, but, by no means crushed.” He poured withering scorn on those delegates who frivolously asserted: “It is all over with the Mensheviks now.” He had no difficulty in showing that the Mensheviks still had roots in the working-class movement, that they had to be fought with skill, and that all overestimation of one’s own strength and, especially, all underestimation of the strength of the enemy had to be avoided.
“No boasting in victory”—this was the feature of Lenin’s character that helped him soberly to weigh the strength of the enemy and to insure the Party against possible surprises.
Fidelity to Principle
Party leaders cannot but prize the opinion of the majority of their party. A majority is a power with which a leader cannot but reckon. Lenin understood this no less than any other party leader. But Lenin never became a captive of the majority, especially when that majority had no basis of principle. There have been times in the history of our Party when the opinion of the majority or the momentary interests of the Party conflicted with the fundamental interests of the proletariat. On such occasions Lenin would never hesitate and resolutely took his stand in support of principle as against the majority of the Party. Moreover, he did not fear on such occasions literally to stand alone against all, considering—as he would often say—that “a policy based on principle is the only correct policy.”
Particularly characteristic in this respect are the two following facts.
First fact. It was in the period 1909-11, when the Party, smashed by the counter-revolution, was in process of complete disintegration. It was a period of disbelief in the Party, of wholesale desertion from the Party, not only by the intellectuals, but partly even by the workers; a period when the necessity for illegal organisation was being denied, a period of Liquidationism and collapse. Not only the Mensheviks, but even the Bolsheviks then consisted of a number of factions and trends, for the most part severed from the working-class movement. You know that it was just at that period that the idea arose of completely liquidating the illegal organisation and organising the workers into a legal, liberal Stolypin party. Lenin at that time was the only one not to succumb to the widespread epidemic and to hold high the banner of Party principle, assembling the scattered and shattered forces of the Party with astonishing patience and extraordinary persistence, combating each and every anti-Party trend within the working-class movement and defending the Party principle with unusual courage and unparalleled perseverance.
We know that in this fight for the Party principle, Lenin later proved the victor.
Second fact. It was in the period 1914-17, when the imperialist war was in full swing, and when all, or nearly all, the Social-Democratic and Socialist parties had succumbed to the general patriotic frenzy and had placed themselves at the service of the imperialism of their respective countries. It was a period when the Second International had hauled down its colours to capitalism, when even people like Plekhanov, Kautsky, Guesde and the rest were unable to withstand the tide of chauvinism. Lenin at that time was the only one, or almost the only one, to wage a determined struggle against social-chauvinism and social-pacifism, to denounce the treachery of the Guesdes and Kautskys, and to stigmatise the half-heartedness of the betwixt and between “revolutionaries.” Lenin knew that he was backed by only an insignificant minority, but to him this was not of decisive moment, for he knew that the only correct policy with a future before it was the policy of consistent internationalism, that a policy based on principle is the only correct policy.
We know that in this fight for a new International, too, Lenin proved the victor.
“A policy based on principle is the only correct policy”—this was the formula by means of which Lenin took new “impregnable” positions by assault and won over the best elements of the proletariat to revolutionary Marxism.
Faith in the Masses
Theoreticians and leaders of parties, men who are acquainted with the history of nations and who have studied the history of revolutions from beginning to end, are sometimes afflicted by a shameful disease. This disease is called fear of the masses, disbelief in the creative power of the masses. This sometimes gives rise in the leaders to a kind of aristocratic attitude towards the masses, who, although not versed in the history of revolutions, are destined to destroy the old order and build the new. This kind of aristocratic attitude is due to a fear that the elements may break loose, that the masses may “destroy too much”; it is due to a desire to play the part of a mentor who tries to teach the masses from books, but who is averse to learning from the masses.
Lenin was the very antithesis of such leaders. I do not know of any other revolutionary who had so profound a faith in the creative power of the proletariat and in the revolutionary efficacy of its class instinct as Lenin. I do not know of any other revolutionary who could scourge the smug critics of the “chaos of revolution” and the “riot of unauthorised actions of the masses” so ruthlessly as Lenin. I recall that when in the course of a conversation one comrade said that “the revolution should be followed by the normal order of things,” Lenin sarcastically remarked: “It is a pity that people who want to be revolutionaries forget that the most normal order of things in history is the revolutionary order of things.”
Hence, Lenin’s contempt for all who superciliously looked down on the masses and tried to teach them from books. And hence, Lenin’s constant precept: learn from the masses, try to comprehend their actions, carefully study the practical experience of the struggle of the masses.
Faith in the creative power of the masses—this was the feature of Lenin’s activities which enabled him to comprehend the spontaneous process and to direct its movement into the channel of the proletarian revolution.
The Genius of Revolution
Lenin was born for revolution. He was, in truth, the genius of revolutionary outbreaks and the greatest master of the art of revolutionary leadership. Never did he feel so free and happy as in a time of revolutionary upheavals. I do not mean by this that Lenin approved equally of all revolutionary upheavals, or that he was in favour of revolutionary outbreaks at all times and under all circumstances. Not at all. What I do mean is that never was the genius of Lenin’s insight displayed so fully and distinctly as in a time of revolutionary outbreaks. In times of revolution he literally blossomed forth, became a seer, divined the movement of classes and the probable zigzags of the revolution, seeing them as if they lay in the palm of his hand. It was with good reason that it used to be said in our Party circles: “Lenin swims in the tide of revolution like a fish in water.”
Hence the “amazing” clarity of Lenin’s tactical slogans and the “breath-taking” boldness of his revolutionary plans.
I recall two facts which are particularly characteristic of this feature of Lenin.
First fact. It was in the period just prior to the October Revolution, when millions of workers, peasants and soldiers, impelled by the crisis in the rear and at the front, were demanding peace and liberty; when the generals and the bourgeoisie were working for a military dictatorship for the sake of “war to a finish”; when the whole of so-called “public opinion” and all the so-called “Socialist parties” were hostile to the Bolsheviks and were branding them as “German spies”; when Kerensky was trying—already with some success—to drive the Bolshevik Party underground; and when the still powerful and disciplined armies of the Austro-German coalition confronted our weary, disintegrating armies, while the West-European “Socialists” lived in blissful alliance with their governments for the sake of “war to complete victory.”. . .
What did starting an uprising at such a moment mean? Starting an uprising in such a situation meant staking everything. But Lenin did not fear the risk, for he knew, he saw with his prophetic eye, that an uprising was inevitable, that it would win; that an uprising in Russia would pave the way for ending the imperialist war, that it would rouse the war-weary masses of the West, that it would transform the imperialist war into a civil war; that the uprising would usher in a Republic of Soviets, and that the Republic of Soviets would serve as a bulwark for the revolutionary movement throughout the world.
We know that Lenin’s revolutionary foresight was subsequently confirmed with unparalleled exactness.
Second fact. It was in the first days of the October Revolution, when the Council of People’s Commissars was trying to compel General Dukhonin, the mutinous Commander-in-Chief, to terminate hostilities and open negotiations for an armistice with the Germans. I recall that Lenin, Krylenko (the future Commander-in-Chief) and I went to General Staff Headquarters in Petrograd to negotiate with Dukhonin over the direct wire. It was a ghastly moment. Dukhonin and Field Headquarters categorically refused to obey the order of the Council of People’s Commissars. The army officers were completely under the sway of Field Headquarters. 
As for the soldiers, no one could tell what this army of fourteen million would say, subordinated as it was to the so-called army organisations, which were hostile to the Soviet power. In Petrograd itself, as we know, a mutiny of the military cadets was brewing. Furthermore, Kerensky was marching on Petrograd. I recall that after a pause at the direct wire, Lenin’s face suddenly shone with an extraordinary light. Clearly he had arrived at a decision. “Let’s go to the wireless station,” he said, “it will stand us in good stead. We shall issue a special order dismissing General Dukhonin, appoint Comrade Krylenko Commander-in-Chief in his place and appeal to the soldiers over the heads of the officers, calling upon them to surround the generals, to cease hostilities, to establish contact with the Austro-German soldiers and take the cause of peace into their own hands.”
This was “a leap in the dark.” But Lenin did not shrink from this “leap”; on the contrary, he made it eagerly, for he knew that the army wanted peace and would win peace, sweeping every obstacle from its path; he knew that this method of establishing peace was bound to have its effect on the Austro-German soldiers and would give full rein to the yearning for peace on every front without exception.
We know that here, too, Lenin’s revolutionary foresight was subsequently confirmed with the utmost exactness.
The insight of genius, the ability rapidly to grasp and divine the inner meaning of impending events this was the quality of Lenin which enabled him to lay down the correct strategy and a clear line of conduct at turning points of the revolutionary movement.
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.