Category: Analysis
The KKE responds to the slanderous lies of Carmelo Suárez’s group (Comentario en español)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The KKE responds to the slanderous lies of Carmelo Suárez’s group (Comentario en español)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-kke-responds-to-slanderous-lies-of.html

The International Relations department of the CC of the KKE issued a statement (commentary) replying to the recent slanderous delirium of the opportunist “Carmelo Suárez faction”. Surpassing all limits, the Suárez faction shamelessly involves a third party (Communist Party of Venezuela) in order to vilify the KKE and the Communist Party of Mexico. 

In a recent article under the title “The declaration of Caracas as a necessity of the historical moment in Venezuela”, the group of C. Suárez unleashes a provocative slanderous attack against the Communist Parties of Greece (KKE) and Mexico (PCM) for not being among the signatories of a random declaration of solidarity towards Venezuela.

However, as the KKE statement points out, the group of Suárez hides the continuous and unwavering internationalist solidarity that Greece’s Communist Party has shown towards the CP of Venezuela and the Venezuelan people. The KKE also slams the opportunist view of Carmelo Suárez’s groups about the “revolutionary process” in Venezuela, reminding that the country’s power remains in the hands of the bourgeoisie and the working class experiences intense exploitation by the capitalists. (IDC) 

* * * 


The original full text of the Inter. Relations department of the KKE, published in spanish language, is the following:

El KKE ha expresado de manera específica y responsable  su posición sobre los acontecimientos en el PCPE, la erosión oportunista-trotskista del grupo de Carmelo Suárez y sus enormes responsabilidades por la crisis y la división en el PCPE. 
 
Nuestro Partido ha puesto de manifiesto que el intento de calumniar el KKE y el Partido Comunista de México que llevan muchos años apoyando el PCPE, es infundado, ridículo y se basa en mentiras (si alguien se interesa puede leer las posiciones relativas en la dirección http://inter.kke.gr/es/articles/Posicion-del-KKE-sobre-los-acontecimientos-en-el-Partido-Comunista-de-los-Pueblos-de-Espana-PCPE/http://inter.kke.gr/es/articles/Las-calumnias-no-pasaran/). 
 
Las consideraciones del KKE se confirman día tras día. El delirio que caracteriza las posiciones del grupo de Carmelo Suárez pretende desorientar y retener a los pocos miembros que pueden todavía observar el curso liquidacionista trágico de este grupo. 
 
Puesto que la actitud aventurera de Carmelo Suárez ha superado todos los límites e implica de manera provocadora a un tercer partido con lo que el KKE mantiene relaciones bilaterales desde hace muchos años, relaciones que se han forjado en condiciones muy difíciles, queremos destacar lo siguiente: 
 
Primero: El KKE ha expresado durante todos los años su solidaridad internacionalista, ha ofrecido su ayuda de manera multiforme a los partidos comunistas que la necesitaban y nuestro partido ha recibido solidaridad internacionalista en condiciones difíciles por decenas de partidos comunistas. 
 
El KKE lleva muchos años apoyando la lucha del Partido Comunista de Venezuela y expresando su solidaridad internacionalista. Recientemente, con diversas intervenciones y actos de protesta en la embajada de Venezuela en Atenas  exigió la detención del proceso de ilegalización del partido hermano en Venezuela. 
 
El KKE de cara al 15Congreso del Partido Comunista de Venezuela envió un cálido mensaje de solidaridad internacionalista, condenando cualquier intervención imperialista y a las fuerzas reaccionarias, y este mensaje también fue silenciado por el grupo de Carmelo Suárez y si alguien se interesa lo puede encontrar en la página http://inter.kke.gr/es/articles/Mensaje-de-Solidaridad-Internacionalista-al-XV-congreso-del-PCV/
 
Sr. Carmelo Suárez.

Nuestro partido dejó claro en Caracas que sería preferible utilizar las decenas de mensajes de solidaridad enviados por Partidos Comunistas y Obreros al Congreso del Partido Comunista de Venezuela y no disminuir la solidaridad en un texto con que no podían ponerse de acuerdo todos los partidos comunistas y que sería apoyado por un número de partidos comunistas mucho menor que de los que enviaron un mensaje de saludo. 

 
Segundo: La posición del grupo de Carmelo Suárez sobre “el proceso revolucionario” en Venezuela no tiene nada que ver con la realidad en este país donde el poder está en manos de la burguesía y la clase obrera está experimentando una intensa explotación por parte de los capitalistas, el sistema de explotación y la política de sus administradores. 
 
De hecho (y esto es muy peligroso) esta actitud incrimina el concepto de la revolución y atribuye los problemas del capitalismo y de la crisis capitalista a un “proceso revolucionario” inexistente y por esta razón es de gran importancia dejar claro que los problemas de la clase obrera en Venezuela, así como en otros países de América Latina, no se provocan por la “Revolución” y el “Socialismo” sino por el capitalismo que genera el desempleo y la pobreza. 
 
En caso diferente, se fomentarán ilusiones peligrosas y se socavará la lucha por el socialismo, por la abolición de la explotación del hombre por el hombre. 
 
A estas ilusiones contribuyen las posiciones del grupo de Carmelo Suárez que analiza los acontecimientos con sus lentes trotskistas.
 
18.07.2017.
How Venezuelan Protests Demonstrate ‘Kiev-Style Maidan’
Anti-government protesters throw stones from a highway overpass at a passing police patrol in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, April 24, 2017

How Venezuelan Protests Demonstrate ‘Kiev-Style Maidan’

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In Venezuela, where most of the country’s residents voted against the convening of a constituent assembly in a popular referendum, a pattern similar to that of Maidan in Kiev back in 2014 was seen, according to the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI) Center for Public Relations Igor Pshenichnikov.

On Sunday, the opposition organized the so-called popular referendum, in which over 98 percent of 7.2 million voters opposed Maduro’s decision to call the Constituent Assembly. The country’s government believes that results of the referendum do not have legal force as only the electoral authorities have the right to hold such events.

“We are seeing a classic Maidan in Venezuela in the same pattern that was conducted by the US in Kiev in 2014,” Pshenichnikov said in a video posted on the RISI website.The expert stressed that the United States is the main cause of unrest in Venezuela. “Due to certain circumstances, the current parliament — the opposition, is completely opposed to Maduro and its main goal is to remove him from power,” Pshenichnikov said.

By removing President Nicolas Maduro from power the United States wants to regain its positions in oil-rich Venezuela.

“This is the root of what is happening and this is the way to consider all the events that are taking place in Venezuela,” he said.

Pshenichnikov noted that since the beginning of April there have been mass protests in the country after the decision of the Supreme Court to severely restrict the power of the National Assembly.

“Had Maduro tried to ban the holding of a referendum, the situation could have gone completely out of control,” the expert said.

However, he noted that only the opposition forces participated in the voting.”We must understand that Venezuela is sliding slowly, but confidently to the brink of a civil war,” Pshenichnikov warned.

Venezuela has been experiencing a period of political instability amid the drastic economic situation in the country. The most recent protests erupted in April after the country’s Supreme Court tried to take over legislative powers from the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The top court reversed the ruling but the step did not stop mass demonstrations.

In May, Maduro announced his decision to call the National Constituent Assembly, which was regarded by the opposition as an attempted coup and resulted in further escalation of tensions that resulted in the deaths of over 90 people.

Venezuela will hold voting on July 30 to elect the Constitutional Assembly, set to rewrite the constitution as a way out of the political turmoil, which started in January 2016, when a new legislature was elected and relations between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the parliament became strained.

The Korean Matrix
| July 18, 2017 | 8:23 pm | Analysis, DPRK | No comments

People at a ceremony to open a new residential area on Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang.

The Korean Matrix

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South Korea wants to talk to North Korea.

The Defense Ministry in Seoul proposed to talk at the border village of Panmunjom, while the Red Cross proposed separate talks to discuss family reunions.

So South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made up his mind — after his inauguration on May 10 and Pyongyang’s ICBM test on July 3.Pyongyang may also be inclined to talk — as it had already indicated. But there may be preconditions, as in the suspension of those provocative, annual US-South Korean military drills. The US will say no. Once again, it’s all about Washington.

It’s unclear whether US intelligence has 100% proof that Pyongyang, apart from the ICBM, is on the path to soon achieve other technological breaks, such as building a guidance system and a miniaturized, functional nuclear weapon capable of surviving both the missile launch and re-entry into the atmosphere.

Now for some crude, hard facts. Kim Jong-un very well knows that nuclear weapons are absolutely essential for the survival of the Kim dynasty. Beijing not only knows it — but also calculates that Pyongyang does not exactly see it as a trustful ally. During the Korean War — whose memory is pervasive all across the North — Mao’s key concern was to protect China’s borders, not the safety of its neighbor.

The open secret though is that a nuclear North Korea may represent a perennial dissuasion against the US, much more than a threat, but not against China. So that frames the case, once again, as a Washington-Pyongyang drama.Beijing’s margin of maneuver against Pyongyang is rather limited — something that President Trump as well as the US deep state still do not understand. And North Korea is not a Chinese national security priority — unless the regime would collapse and there would be an uncontrollable influx of refugees.

The only thing that matters for the Chinese leadership is — what else — trade. And as far as China-South Korean trade is concerned, business is booming anyway.

Feverish speculation in the US about a “strike” against Pyongyang is idle. Anyone with minimum knowledge of the Korean Peninsula knows that the response would be Pyongyang virtually wiping Seoul off the map. Not to mention that US intel is clueless on where all the dispersed North Korean nuclear and missile development sites are.

A minimally competent US “attack” would requires a lot of infiltrated US Special Forces, as in boots on the ground, with no guarantee of success. In a nutshell; Washington, realistically, is incapable of eliminating North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Enter the Trans-Korean Railway

So what to do? The only logical strategy would be to admit — just as with India and Pakistan in the late 1990s — that North Korea is a de facto nuclear power.Pyongyang’s strategy, after all, is actually a small marvel; you imprint the feeling you’re a totally unpredictable actor, and you scare the living daylights out of everyone while preventing any attempt at destabilization. As much as wishful thinking prevails, that a US surgical strike would be able to paralyze the North Korean political/military/command/communication structure, US intel is clueless when it comes to predicting Pyongyang’s actions.

A Western intel source familiar with the high stakes in the Korean peninsula adds a few stark observations; “The point that is not even touched upon is that South Korea already is within the range of North Korean nuclear bombs even if the United States is not, and can be liquidated by North Korea. We have to examine the nature of the defense alliance with South Korea. Does it mean that we can and will attack North Korea to protect ourselves when we cannot protect South Korea, triggering their destruction in our self-defense?”

The point is that if South Korea is virtually destroyed by Pyongyang’s response to American strikes, “then our allies around the world will have the uneasy feeling that they too would be sacrificed as allies should they get in the way. I would say that would be the end of the entire US alliance structure, which actually is already imaginary.”

The informed source is convinced that “the South Koreans have forced the United States to agree to forbear on any strike on North Korea, as to support such a strike would be national suicide for South Korea. The United States will do nothing.”

All this is happening just as what Seoul really wants is to do business — in a Korean variant of the China-driven New Silk Roads, renamed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Seoul wants to build a Trans-Korean Railway, and go even beyond, connecting it with the Trans-Siberian and, what else, the Chinese-built Eurasian land bridge. That happens to be the so-called Iron Silk Road concept, which South Korea has been dreaming about since an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in 2004.

“Overcoming the land divide between Asia and Europe”, connected to the vast trans-Eurasia network, means the fifth-largest export economy in the world would be getting even more business. Handicapped by North Korea’s isolation, South Korea is de facto physically cut off from Eurasia. The answer to all this trouble? The Trans-Korean Railway. If only President Moon could entice Kim Jong-un towards a connectivity dream — and make him forget his nuclear toys.

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

Turkey: Communist Party’s Kemal Okuyan reflects on the first anniversary of the July 15th failed coup

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Turkey: Communist Party’s Kemal Okuyan reflects on the first anniversary of the July 15th failed coup

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/turkey-communist-partys-kemal-okuyan.html
A year has passed since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. TKP’s General Secretary Kemal Okuyan answered to soL’s questions on July 15, while the July 15th debate continued uninterrupted throughout the year. 
Below are Kemal Okuyan’s answers in the interview with soL news:
Do you agree with the “controlled coup” argument after a year passed from the coup attempt? In recent days, there has been a lot of supporting news and commentary took place in the world media that supported Kılıçdaroğlu’s argument. Do you think the term controlled coup captures the reality well?
 
No. This means that Erdogan dominated all the critical points of state institutions on July 15, 2016, that he took risks by relying on his dominance and ruled the coup attempt personally after a point; the issue is not that simple.
Is it not possible that someone on behalf of Erdoğan did this?
When we argue against these arguments, we do not ignore the facts that are allegedly grounded. It is just there is a very big mistake in the systematic created, in naming it.
Like what?
 
First, it is almost impossible to stage a scenario in Turkey which is very fragile and where there are hundreds or even thousands of actors by minimising the risks – then why he would need something like that or Erdoğan is a genius with enormous powers. But neither is true! A political murder, a sabotage, a massacre … In the past, there are countless examples that governments want to take the information of such actions and crush the opponents. This happens. But July 15 is a complex and comprehensive attempt. This attempt was not led by a power external to the AKP but by one of the most critical elements of the coalition that supported and brought the AKP to power. There are limits to “controlling” this and it is very, very risky.
Is it possible that they thought “let them do it, they would not succeed after all and we would reinforce our power?
 
On July 15, four people critical for the power, Tayyip Erdoğan, Binali Yıldırım, Hulusi Akar and Hakan Fidan, were hanging around that was not really secure. Armed personnel were around these people. You can control fifty people, but when you encounter with one uncontrolled element, it is over! If it is not a total lie that there are factions within the state and AKP coalition, naming it as a “controlled coup” is not a right, objective option.
It is argued that Akar and Fidan are the ones who controlled the attempt. Also, many findings supporting this argument were revealed to the public.
 
From the beginning, we have said that this coup attempt could be an informed one and some critical actors could have played both sides. There are many strange things that need to be explained regarding the movements of Akar and Fidan on July 14 and 15. This can show a kind of “control” on one hand, and a “disintegration” on the other. What happened in Turkey supports the second scenario. July 15 is a good example to reveal the pathetic condition of the capitalist state of Turkey.
But isn’t it true that Erdoğan has become more powerful after July 15? He benefited from this.
 
On the morning of July 16th Erdogan was not strong or anything. TSK [Turkish Armed Forces], which he tried to connect himself for years by the way of liquidation, had come to the point of disintegration; he needed the support of Kemalist officers who he tried to liquidate; the situation was not better in the judiciary system and foreign relations bureaucracy. Erdoğan was a leader who realised that none of the imperialist countries that treated him good protected him and that the US did not need to hide the impact of one of its factions. He was a leader who panicked because of that. His image of being a great leader was shaken.
If so, how did he overcome this crisis?
 
The system could not create another leader. It is clear that the coup attempt targeted Erdoğan himself; the aim was to detain and try him so that his advantage of being the leader would be eliminated. Therefore, the aim of the coup mentality, if not the coup itself, was an AKP without Erdoğan. The greatest weakness of the coup attempt was that it had shown a TRT speaker against Erdoğan, a visible and ambitious leader. This fits very well with the Gülenists’ implicit, conspiratorial style; but it is not realistic. Especially when they couldn’t capture Erdoğan himself, a coup with a ‘UFO’ characteristic has no chance to succeed.
So you are confident that the coup attempt was done by Gülenists.
 
It is nonsense to argue that Gülen’s sect was not behind this attempt. It is clear that there were other actors but they were in the centre. Also, it should be known that some allegations put forward have been created by Gülenists. They know how to do this. After the coup attempt, both Gülenists and the AKP threw out misleading information; so we need to turn to the general tendency and Marxism for our own mental health.
My question was more about the after-coup process. If Erdoğan came about less powerful from this event, how did he manage to stay?
 
The very first addressee of this question is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who argued it to be a “controlled coup”. He and his party were responsible for selling the dilemma of “Erdoğan or Gülen” to the anti-AKP base. There used to be a wide difference between being against coups and supporting Erdoğan. This difference had been closed with the public meeting in Yenikapı. And then, after the damage was done, they complained about the “palace coup”. After they said, “you can stage a coup, we would not object”…
Why have they turned to a more effective opposition?
 
Because a new strategy has been developed.
Who developed this?
 
A strategy is not developed by one person, or three people by putting heads together. Turkey has an important economic and political place within the imperialist system. In Turkey, conflicting fractions of capitalist hegemony have common class interests and these interests unite against the working class. As Erdoğan always reminds, it is these interests that are served for every time.
However, the world system also has serious and unresolved internal contradictions, and despite these contradictions, they can stand side by side for common interests. There is an increase in the number of those who prefer a Turkey without Erdoğan among the strong actors of the world system, we can say, for 4-5 years. This is a tendency and a number of mechanisms are moving in the direction of this tendency; they can flow into a common pool or go against each other. To sum up, the strategies have an objective ground and there are decision makers and practitioners acting on that ground. We can talk about them in total. Yes, there is a constant search for an AKP regime without Erdoğan in Turkey and a strategy has been developed.
Was the July 15 attempt a strategy?
 
There is no doubt. It would serve the interests of the international capital. Fethullah Gülen said that if the coup had been successful, he would return to Turkey as Caliph, and declare Islamic State in Turkey. These are meaningless. The coup would shake up the reactionary extremes of the AKP, dampen the reaction in the society and try to make the AKP’s destruction permanent. At least it was the intent. That is where the uncertainties and oddities of the coup attempt are derived from. Because they would continue with the AKP. That’s why Erdoğan can not shake the inside of the AKP. It is unclear what will remain if he does!
If international capital is so determined why does it fail?
 
Because there are enormous internal contradictions. Everyone ignores China and Russia when the world system is considered. However, they both disrupt the imbalance of the very serious capitalist economies and the system. Erdoğan benefits from it. Erdoğan also benefits from Germany-US contradiction. There is no international winners and victims here, there are international winners and international winners. Let us add Turkish capitalist class there. They are also international players.
However, we can still speak of countries with more influence over Turkey. Like the US and Germany …
 
Let us include England. Aside from internal contradictions and worries, their biggest problem was being unable to create an alternative. Within the last period, they have wanted to bring all the “Western” elements of Turkey, social democratic, liberal, nationalist, or Islamist together against Erdoğan and make Turkish politics “controllable” by a social opposition that is willing to make a minimum correction to an uncontrolled power. There is a strategy here.
Then Kılıçdaroğlu walked for this strategy?
 
I cannot know that. His personal intention, how he decides, what he wants to do … But it coincides with it. We have to say this. There are leftists who ignore these strategic steps or say “it does not matter, we can do something else tomorrow”. Life is not that way. Some stains do not come out by investing in losing your memory.
If so why did Kılıçdaroğlu go with Yenikapı spirit on July 15th?
 
First, a test that everyone in Turkey thinks to be possible had been unsuccessful. This trial was not seeking political or social support. It relied on the anti-Erdoğanizm in the society and its own political connections. If the coup had been successful, they would not be bothered by the criticism that “democracy should return immediately”. As I said, we are talking about a group that is used to hide its actions. Secondly, I’ve told before, we are not naming an organisation called FETÖ. Because the Gülenists in Turkey was an official organisation that united the state and the social sphere for a while. Whether it is a parallel or a terrorist organisation, that is the problem of those who are involved in it. In Turkey, you cannot separate the political and economic actors of the system from the Gülenists. It is the truth that embraces everyone. And the total reflection of the Gülenists was to join the cursing ceremonies against the coup plotters. Everyone did the same. We are talking about internal forces, not counter-forces.
Back to the beginning, aren’t there so many questions waiting to be answered about the coup attempt?
 
There are countless questions. So many things that we do not know … But it does not necessitate to abandon what we should say. Politics is not a mystery. We do not write detectives. We are trying to show the main trends. What we said on July 16-17 was not crafty, but reactions that should be given in the nature of a communist party. When we look today, we see that these trends are getting stronger.
How do you see the position of the capitalist class in Turkey on July 15 and after? TOBB stated that “after July 15, we have grown 5 percent”. Erdoğan sent a message to the capitalists by saying that we banned the strikes for you. Also the wealth fund… What do you think about all of these?
 
Erdoğan had to give more to the capitalist class he always served to get out of this difficult situation. In fact, the capitalist class always shows a win-win approach. After the coup d’État of September 12th, they won a lot but this does not change the fact that Demirel served for the capital. For this reason, we argue that a class-based approach is essential. Each solution reproducing the system has to take the support of the big monopolies. It is difficult to oppose to this system, but it is not difficult to act “independent” within this system. After July 15th, the capitalists have been revived. Emergency rule and “strike-free” life for the capitalists were golden opportunities. Erdoğan realised that he was weak, and he transferred funds to some capitalists against whom he was ready to fight before.
Then why are the capitalists unhappy?
 
Capitalists are not unhappy, they are worried. Erdoğan wins the hatred of the dynamic sections of the society. If this cannot be solved, it will have devastating consequences for the system. A society cannot always stay quiet when the capitalists clearly say “we advantaged from this” or when the government says “we are working for the bosses”. This, of course, depends on our efforts. That is why we are walking against the current once more. We do not have to help the ruling party that says “Erdoğan first” and the opposition party to keep this goddamned order. It is someone else’s business.
Halt the U.S. Drive to War with North Korea!
U.S. Peace Council P.O. Box 3105 New Haven, CT 06515 USPC@USPeaceCouncil.org USPeaceCouncil.org

July 14, 2017

Halt the U.S. Drive to War with North Korea!

U.S. television news programs (CNN, MSNBC, and Fox) have been pounding the war drums in the last few weeks and days, since North Korea successfully launched a long- range missile. The long drift to war with North Korea[1] has seemingly become, overnight, a U.S. drive to war with North Korea.    With his usual bluster and saber-rattling, President Trump on his recent tour of Europe continued to threaten “severe action” against North Korea. Trump has made matters worse by devolving authority to battlefield commanders who inflame tensions with their own incendiary statements. Example: the U.S. commander in Korea, General Vincent Brooks, stated publicly “the only thing which separates armistice from war” with North Korea is “our self-restraint, which is a choice.”   Anyone is the U.S. could conclude, quite reasonably, that the U.S. is the aggrieved and threatened party; that North Korea obviously wishes to harm the U.S. people; that the U.S. confronts a new danger; that North Korea is the aggressor; that an innocent and remarkably patient U.S. is the intended victim.   Such a conclusion — all of it — would be false. Almost nothing of what the U.S. mainstream media says about North Korea is true. Only a grasp of the history and the broader context can shed light on this Korea Crisis.   A few key facts:

  • The U.S. refusal to accept the legitimacy of the North Korean government (DPRK) is part of its long-term policy that any state in the world that follows an independent course is subject to being overthrown by the United States. Economic independence and sovereignty are considered by the U.S. financial and corporate elite as an act of aggression. Therefore, the DPRK, Viet Nam, Cuba, the USSR and now Russia, Syria, Venezuela, China and others have all been targeted by the U.S. politically and militarily. U.S. policy insists that it has the right to curb independent states, to determine a country’s political leaders and socioeconomic system, and to use whatever means it takes – economic sanctions, sabotage, assassination, war — to achieve those goals.
  • North Korea acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1985.
  • In 1994, the DPRK agreed to freeze its nuclear program in return for the U.S. providing energy materials and generating stations. In January of 2002, President George W. Bush announced that the DPRK was part of the “Axis of Evil,” and subject to regime change and even nuclear annihilation by the US. By the end of 2002, the DPRK had essentially exited the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and began to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent.
  • The notion that North Korea poses a threat to the U.S. is false and absurd. It would be national suicide for the DPRK to start a war with the U.S. or South Korea, which have massively superior military capabilities. The DPRK has never threatened to start such a war, rather it has always asserted that it developed weapons of mass destruction in order to deter the U.S. and its allies from an (often threatened) U.S. attack such as those that decapitated Iraq and Libya. The constant denigration and demonization of the North Korean leadership (they are portrayed invariably as madmen, or clowns, or both) is a strategy to make the Big Lie of a threat from North Korea believable to an ill-informed and fearful U.S. public.
  • The DPRK has offered to freeze its nuclear weapons program if the U.S. freezes its war practices targeting that country, actions aimed to precede negotiations. Russia and China have endorsed this approach. The US, however, refuses.

The U.S. is Provoking the Crisis   North Korea would not have a nuclear weapons program if it were not under increasing threat from the U.S., which has been trying to force regime change in the North since 1945 by war, subversion, diplomatic isolation, and economic strangulation.     A recent article noted that,    As University of Chicago history professor Bruce Cumings [a leading U.S. historian of the Korean War], writes, for North Korea the nuclear crisis  began in late February 1993, when General Lee Butler, head of the new U.S. ‘Strategic Command,’ announced that he was retargeting strategic nuclear weapons (i.e., hydrogen bombs) meant for the old U.S.S.R, on North Korea (among other places.) At the same time, the new CIA chief, James Woolsey, testified that North Korea was ‘our most grave current concern.’ By mid-March 1993, tens of thousands of [US] soldiers were carrying out war games in Korea…and in came the B1-B bombers, B-52s from Guam, several naval vessels carrying cruise missiles, and the like: whereupon the North pulled out of the NPT.” [2]   It is the U.S. that has been provoking the DPRK with its stationing of THAAD missile (“Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense”), a first-strike weapon, in South Korea over the last year. The U.S. is now testing the THAAD missiles. US-South Korea practice military maneuvers, which used to recur several times a year, are now almost incessant.    Moreover, the U.S. is further militarizing South Korea. Residents of the South Korean island of Jeju have strongly object to the South Korean military setting up a base on the island, with the possible deployment of the U.S. Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyer “to deter North Korean aggression.” At the end of World War II, after the Japanese Imperialists had been defeated, Jeju Islanders rose up against the US-installed colonial dictatorship of Syngman Rhee. The U.S. responded by employing the former brutal Japanese military rulers to violently put down the protests.   It is the U.S. that, again and again, has refused talks with North Korea’s leadership.    In January [2017], North Korea offered to “sit with the U.S. anytime” to discuss U.S. war games and its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Pyongyang proposed that the United States “contribute to easing tension on the Korean peninsula by temporarily suspending joint military exercises in south Korea and its vicinity this year, and said that in this case the DPRK is ready to take such responsive steps as temporarily suspending the nuclear test over which the U.S. is concerned.”    The North Korean proposal was seconded by China and Russia and recently by South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in. But Washington peremptorily rejected the proposal, refusing to acknowledge any equivalency between US-led war games, which U.S. officials deem ‘legitimate’ and North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, which they label ‘illegitimate.” (Stephen Gowans, ibid.)   Having partitioned Korea in 1945, the U.S. permanently stationed about 40,000 of troops in South Korea after the end of 1950-1953 hostilities and the 1953 armistice. The U.S. still denies Korea a peace treaty, which the DPRK has insisted on. But peace was never the intention of U.S. imperialism. U.S. foreign policy sees Northeast Asia only through the lens of domination.   The permanent occupation of South Korea was aimed at geopolitical control of the region, including elimination of the DPRK and moving U.S. missile and military forces right up to the Chinese and Russian borders. The occupation was symbolized by the giant, yearly provocative military maneuvers by the U.S. and its regional allies, such as South Korea. Such rehearsals for real war with the DPRK have stepped up dramatically in recent months.    Few Americans grasp the enormity of the trauma suffered by millions of Koreans in the war of 1950-53. The war devastated dozens of Korean cities. The U.S. dropped over 428,000 bombs over the capital Pyongyang alone, and killed 1.2 million people. The U.S. war on Korea included the use of napalm. The U.S. war’s brutal and blatant violations of international humanitarian law remain unpunished.   The real nature of U.S. policy to the Korean peninsula is neo-colonial domination, through occupation and partition. This has been so since 1945. The U.S. has stooped to employ the same quislings that had run Korea as a Japanese colony. Prof. Cumings wrote in the London Review of Books:    To shore up their [1945] occupation, the Americans employed every last hireling of the Japanese they could find, including former officers in the Japanese military like Park Chung Hee and Kim Chae-gyu, both of whom graduated from the American military academy in Seoul in 1946. (After a military takeover in 1961 Park became president of South Korea, lasting a decade and a half until his ex-classmate Kim, by then head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, shot him dead over dinner one night.)    After the Americans left in 1948 the border area around the 38th parallel was under the command of Kim Sok-won, another ex-officer of the Imperial Army, and it was no surprise that after a series of South Korean incursions into the North, full-scale civil war broke out on 25 June 1950. Inside the South itself – whose leaders felt insecure and conscious of the threat from what they called ‘the north wind’ – there was an orgy of state violence against anyone who might somehow be associated with the left or with communism.    The historian Hun Joon Kim found that at least 300,000 people were detained and executed or simply disappeared by the South Korean government in the first few months after conventional war began. My own work and that of John Merrill indicates that somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people died as a result of political violence before June 1950, at the hands either of the South Korean government or the U.S. occupation forces. In her recent book Korea’s Grievous War, which combines archival research, records of mass graves and interviews with relatives of the dead and escapees who fled to Osaka, Su-kyoung Hwang documents the mass killings in villages around the southern coast. In short, the Republic of Korea was one of the bloodiest dictatorships of the early Cold War period; many of the perpetrators of the massacres had served the Japanese in their dirty work – and were then put back into power by the Americans.   The most important new factor is the destabilizing THAAD missiles. According to the U.S. peace organization, Global Network, an authority on questions of war technology, the U.S. has recently deployed the THAAD “missile defense” system in Seongju, South Korea despite massive protests by South Koreans. It is claimed by U.S. authorities that THAAD is there to intercept missiles from North Korea. But many experts believe China and Russia are the real targets, given the enormous range of THAAD radar, which counterproductively intensifies unnecessary military tension in the region. The U.S. has also deployed other “missile defense” systems through the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East to encircle Russia and China. “Missile defense” is a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning.     De-escalate Tensions Now!   The U.S. Peace Council joins with other U.S. antiwar organizations in demanding that

  • The U.S. must reverse course. De-escalate tension now. No more provocations from the US. The United States and South Korea must immediately cease military maneuvers in the region, providing North Korea with an opportunity to reciprocate. The THAAD missiles near the North Korea-South Korea border must be de-activated and removed.
  • The United States must engage in good faith, direct talks with North Korea. Such talks should include the perspective of a peace treaty to end the Korean War. A commitment to denuclearization should not be a precondition for talks with North Korea.
  • The United States and all states in the region must stop military actions that could be interpreted as provocative, including such actions as forward deployment of additional military forces by the United States, and the testing or assertion of territorial claims by deploying of military forces in contested areas by any state. Withdrawing U.S. naval forces newly concentrated near the Korean peninsula would be an important confidence-building step.

Korea — all of it — has a right to its sovereignty and independence. The recently elected South Korean leader, Moon Jae-in, represents a break with the repressive and reactionary leaders of the past. He campaigned on a number of progressive ideas — more independence from the US; more engagement with the North. But he has had to contend with bullying by a U.S. Administration bent on heightening tensions. The U.S. has no right to enforce the partition of the Korean peninsula and to block steps to unity and social progress desired by the people of Korea, North and South. War can still be prevented, but only if the antiwar movement compels the U.S. to reverse course.

[1] More properly, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the DPRK. Here the terms will be used interchangeably.

[2] Stephen Gowans in “The Real Reason Washington is Worried about North Korea’s ICBM Test” (What’s Left, July 5, 2017 https://gowans.wordpress.com)

Scandalous! Corbyn Eats Pizza With ‘Russian Agent’: New McCarthyism, 2017-Style
| July 14, 2017 | 8:08 pm | Analysis, Jeremy Corbyn, Russia, Syria | No comments
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to the media after meeting European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (not pictured) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 13, 2017.

Scandalous! Corbyn Eats Pizza With ‘Russian Agent’: New McCarthyism, 2017-Style

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Neil Clark
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You are a man-of-the-people left-wing politician riding the crest of a wave of popularity. Members of the public regularly ask you to pose for photographs with them.

Do you: (a) Tell them to “Bugger Off!” (b) Say, “Of course, no problems, comrade,” and pose for the snap, (c) Hand the person a long questionnaire to fill in detailing their political views on foreign policy issues — including their positions on the Balkan wars, Syria, Russia, the NATO alliance, Israel, and the old Soviet Union, before consenting to be photographed with them.

Well, I’m sure you’ll agree that (b) is the answer most normal members of the human race would give. It’s certainly what Jeremy Corbyn does. But for Britain’s utterly ludicrous NeoCon Thought Police (b) is the wrong answer. The Labour leader should check first, in great detail, the political views on foreign policy before he agrees to be photographed with anyone.

Corbyn has come under ferocious attack from Establishment gatekeepers in both the “old” and “new” media for having his picture taken with one Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos in a London eaterie earlier this week.

“Jeremy Corbyn pictured enjoying pizza with controversial pro-Assad campaigner who denied the Srebrenica genocide” was one headline. “Corbyn spent yesterday evening with Assad-loving genocide-denier” was another. The news even hit the United States — with an added but predictable twist. “Jeremy Corbyn just met with a Russian agent,” the Washington Examiner dramatically declared. “Papadopoulos is much more than a sycophant for slaughter. He’s a Russian ‘active measures agent.’ ” Whoever said Senator Joe McCarthy was dead and buried?

Let’s get one thing cleared up first. Dr. Papadopoulos was wrong to state that a genocide did not take place at Srebrenica. It did. He has said it was a “war crime,” but not genocide. This is at variance with the 2007 ruling of the International Court of Justice which held that a genocide did indeed occur (and that the government in Belgrade was not directly responsible for it). But how on earth was Corbyn expected to know Dr. Papadopoulos’ stance on this issue when he was asked for a photograph? Is he expected to quiz all those wanting a quick snapshot with him on their acceptance of historical genocides? Just how absurd would that be?

Even if Papadopoulos had acknowledged that a genocide did take place at Srebrenica, the truth is that it wouldn’t have made any difference. For a start, you don’t even have to be a “Srebrenica genocide denier” to be accused of being one by the NeoCon Thought Police, as I know only too well. I’m in the process of suing an obsessed and very creepy stalker who has repeatedly defamed me as a Srebrenica genocide denier.

In the case of Dr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Corbyn, the New McCarthyites would have found other reasons to make a huge fuss about the men being photographed together — as indeed they did. Kate McCann, in the Telegraph, declared: “Mr. Papadopoulos is famously outspoken on the subject of intervention abroad, particularly on the UK and America’s record. Among incriminating “recent messages: from Dr Papadopoulos that were produced as “evidence” against him were:

“We stand with Syria against US aggression. And No to Western-backed Islamist terrorism. #Syria.”

“#Israel is not — and never has been — in the fight against al-Qaeda. After all, Israeli hospitals treat wounded al-Qaeda fighters from Syria.”

And, wait for it: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

The implication seems to be that Dr Papadopoulos should be saying “Yes” to Western-backed Islamist terrorism in Syria and standing 100% with those massacring Christians — which is a strange position to find in a “Middle England” conservative paper like the Daily Telegraph.

In a straight fight between Daesh/al-Qaeda and Syrian government forces, which Telegraph readers wouldn’t prefer the latter to prevail? After all, its not “Assad” who’s been organizing and inspiring terror attacks on UK citizens in Manchester and London, is it?

Furthermore, is the Telegraph’s senior political correspondent really saying that it’s “controversial” to be “outspoken” on the “record” of Britain’s and the US’ “intervention” abroad — interventions which have seen Iraq and Libya destroyed and large parts of North Africa and the Middle East turned into jihadist training camps? If we can’t be “outspoken” about the illegal Iraq war — fought on a brazen lie about WMDs — and which led to the deaths of one million innocent people and the rise of Daesh, what can we be outspoken about?

The attacks on Corbyn for being photographed with a person with the “wrong” views on foreign policy are another example of the McCarthyite device of “guilt by association.” It’s not just the things you say (or tweet) which can get you into trouble, it’s who you’re seen in public with too — and who you engage with on social media.

Interestingly, as Evolve Politics reveal, Dr. Papadopoulos has interviewed — and had his picture taken — with other prominent politicians, in his capacity as publisher and editor of Politics First magazine, but it’s the only the snap with Jezza which has caused outrage. What we’re witnessing is a campaign waged by the stenographers for the powerful to enforce the “correct” i.e. pro-war views on foreign policy and intimidate people from speaking out — even if their opposition to “liberal interventionism” and disastrous regime-change wars is shared by the vast majority of ordinary Britons.

The Dr. Papadopoulos/Mr. Corbyn story is not the only example of McCarthyism we’ve seen in recent days.

Aaron Bastani, of Novara Media, issued an “apology” for the heinous crime of speaking to the antiwar former MP George Galloway. Galloway is “black-balled” for comments he made years ago in relation to the Julian Assange case — and which was drawn to Bastani’s attention. Yet the Novara head is quite happy to speak to pro-war Labour MPs like Chuka Umunna. In McCarthyite Britain, saying a crass politically incorrect thing is a worse crime than supporting brutal wars of aggression which destroy entire countries and leave millions dead. That’s just how the warmongering elite like it to be.

The New McCarthyism may be ludicrous and easy to lampoon, but the sad thing is that it does have an effect. I know of at least one prominent British journalist who won’t come on RT because people would say he was in the pay of the Kremlin. Note too how Jeremy Corbyn and his Director of Communications, Seumas Milne — who seems to be under 24/7 surveillance these days — were regular guests on RT in the past, but haven’t appeared on the channel since they started in their new jobs. They know that if they did, the neocon punditocracy would screech “Russian agents!” so loud, you could hear it from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
​The attacks on, and obsessive Twitter hounding of those who do appear in Russian media like Sputnik and RT is an unedifying spectacle, and needless to say is not reported by the mainstream media. The only victims of “online abuse” we read about are pro-war MPs and Establishment-friendly pro-war journalists. Again, only the powerful can be victims.

To paraphrase the late Malcolm X, if you read certain newspapers and media outlets, you‘ll end up hating the oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. The aim of the New McCarthyism is the same as the old 1950s variety: it’s to bully and intimidate those who do dare to think differently on foreign policy issues to conform. Those who don’t, like George Galloway, who is arguably the bravest man in Britain for refusing to buckle, are accorded pariah status. Despite having been totally vindicated in his opposition to the illegal western wars of the last twenty years, Galloway’s politically-motivated expulsion from the Labour Party for comments made about the Iraq war in 2003, still stands.

The New McCarthyism seeks to narrow the parameters of “acceptable” debate — and in doing so, make sure the UK’s foreign policy stays the same. The treatment of dissidents like Galloway, who always speak their mind on world affairs, is a warning to others not to step out of line. Stick to “uncontroversial” domestic issues and posting pictures of your dog on Facebook, if you know what’s good for you.

Make no mistake the New McCarthyism represents the biggest threat to free-speech and free-thinking that Britain has ever known. So what can we do about it? Strength in numbers is the key. We — those who oppose illegal wars and want to see a world of genuine internationalism and peace between nations based on mutual respect, are the many; they — those who want the regime-change wars against independent countries to continue — are the few.

But it’s about time we made our superior numbers count. So take a stand against the New McCarthyites by sharing this article widely on social media and asking high profile media figures — who claim to be in favor of “free speech” and “free expression” — to do the same. And make sure you have a big bucket of icy cold water ready for Senator Joe’s “Why are you re-tweeting that?” Thought Police, when they come knocking on your front door.

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

Russia ‘Collusion’ Smoking Gun?
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Russia ‘Collusion’ Smoking Gun?

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Finian Cunningham
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Political opponents and US media are calling the uncovered past meeting between Donald Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer a “smoking gun”.

This is the proof, we are told, that the Trump election team did indeed collude with the Russian government in order to win the US election at the end of last year.

Since the New York Times broke the story last weekend of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr and the Russian lawyer there has been a frenzy among the anti-Trump political camp that the so-called “Russia-gate” affair has reached a critical moment.

Demands for impeachment have grown because, it is asserted, a member of the Trump campaign team met with a “Kremlin-connected lawyer who had information to damage Clinton”.If you read the story in this way then perhaps the “smoking gun” conclusion might be made: Trump’s son, Donald Jr, responds “I love it” when told in an email that a Russian lawyer working for the Kremlin wants to give him information that would politically damage Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential contender against his father.

Trump Jr did indeed respond enthusiastically to the offer and the meeting did take place at Trump Tower in New York City on June 9 last year, two weeks after his father won the Republican party’s nomination for president. Donald Jr earlier this week released a batch of private emails confirming those details.

Political opponents of President Trump, mainly Democrats but also Republicans, as well as prominent news media outlets, like The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, are now saying that the meeting between Trump’s son and the Russian lawyer is the “first hard evidence” of the alleged Russia collusion to interfere in US democracy.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany in this still image taken from video, July 7, 2017
© REUTERS/ Steffen Kugler/Courtesy of Bundesregierung

However, this version of the story has a crucial fatal flaw. All the claims made to Trump Jr about the “Kremlin-connected lawyer” and the “Russian government wanting to help Trump get elected” are deeply suspect. The grandiose claims were made by a former British tabloid journalist named Rob Goldstone who appears to be acquainted with Trump Jr.Goldstone, who works as a publicist and an entertainments manager, wrote to Trump Jr to set up a meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. The lawyer was acting for the family of Russian pop star Emin Agalarov.

It turns out that the Russian lawyer wanted to meet the Trump campaign to make legitimate representations about US legislation known as the Magnitsky Act (2010), which has sanctioned several Russian individuals and business people over alleged human rights abuses.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the attorney, has this week told US media that this was the sole subject of the meeting with the Trump campaign, and that she was not acting on behalf of the Russian government, but rather in a private professional capacity. She also said that she never had any intention to discuss Hillary Clinton with Trump Jr. As far as she was concerned, the meeting was only about issues related to the Magnitsky Act.

The Kremlin has confirmed that Veselnitskaya does not work for the Russian government. In fact, the Kremlin said it was not even aware of her legal practice.Trump Jr also confirmed in subsequent media interviews that his meeting with Veselnitskaya was an anti-climax. He says he heard “nothing” about Clinton from the Russian lawyer, whom he said wanted to talk about Magnitsky issues. “I realized that this was the real purpose for the meeting,” said Trump Jr.

That means that Trump Jr was misled by the music publicist Rob Goldstone. For whatever reason, Goldstone embellished the nature of the forthcoming meeting with the lawyer as being about juicy political gossip to help the Trump election campaign.

In other words, the former tabloid hack was putting his own spin on the matter by claiming that the lawyer was “Kremlin-connected” and was conveying “information from the Russian government to damage Clinton in order to help Trump’s election”.

The lawyer for the family of Emin Agalarov, the Russian singer who asked Goldstone to set up the meeting between Trump Jr and Veselnitskaya, has now come out to rubbish the claims made by Goldstone.

“The vast majority of what Rob Goldstone said in email exchange with Donald Trump Jr is not accurate,” Agalarov’s family attorney, Scott Balber, told RT. “The only thing that’s true is that Emin asked the meeting to be arranged. The rest of it is not true, it’s false.”

So there you have it. It appears that the US media frenzy this week about obtaining a “smoking gun” implicating Trump in collusion with the Russian government to subvert the American presidential election is yet another over-the-top sensation with little factual basis.

Simply put, the Russian government was not involved in US election interference, as the Kremlin has maintained all along.

What the US media are basing their latest collusion allegations on are merely claims made by a former British tabloid hack and pop star publicist who would have had self-serving reasons to ham up the “goods” in order to sell Trump Jr a scoop.This would not be the first time that the Russia-gate affair has relied on dodgy information from a dubious British source. Recall that the “dirty dossier” was authored by former British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who made outlandish claims that the Kremlin had “Kompromat” on Donald Trump Sr from hotel orgies with Russian prostitutes.

Granted, one could censure Donald Trump Jr for being willing to receive information from what he believed to be Russian government sources to take down Clinton. But, hey come on, that’s politics and the dirty business of “opposition research” which all parties engage in. It’s impossibly naive and self-righteous to pummel Trump Jr over it.

Anyway, the salient fact remains that there was no such transfer of information from the Russian government to the Trump campaign. The US media are once again going off on a tangent, chasing their tails and tilting at windmills.

To make a grandstanding big deal about Trump Jr’s conduct is the height of hypocrisy, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s campaign having commissioned the British ex-spy Christopher Steele to dig dirt on Trump Sr, as reported by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry.

The whole “Russia-gate” affair is a wild fiction dreamt up by powerful American elements who frankly refuse to abide by democracy. To make things worse, Russia is embroiled as a villain in the piece, which ensures US-Russia bilateral relations deteriorate to dangerous levels of hostility, where even the breakout of war has become a real possibility.Washington and the US media have been in thrall to this fantasy for the past seven months, and yet still no evidence has been unearthed to justify the squandering of taxpayer money and paralysis of American government. It’s not Russia that is undermining US democracy. It is Americans themselves.

The so-called “smoking gun” of Trump Jr meeting a Russian lawyer for 20 minutes last year is another dud in a heap of duds. This is no smoking gun. More like a joke water pistol.

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