Category: Imperialism
New Hope For Working People

New Hope For Working People

New Hope For Working People

After a series of depressing elections over the last year (the rise of Donald Trump was not the only case), some positive news for working people has arrived at the ballot box. Here are two very different scenarios, with some interesting similarities.

In British Columbia, one of the most right-wing governments in recent Canadian history got the hook on May 9. The Liberals won a few more votes than the NDP, but lost their majority in the Legislature, and the Greens ended up with the balance of power. Barring unexpected events, the NDP will take office by the end of June, ready to implement an accord with the Greens based largely on demands raised by people’s movements across the province. The accord isn’t a program to attack the basic political power of the big corporations, but it can help to reverse the worst impacts of austerity and cutbacks imposed by the Liberals since 2001 (and in fact by the previous NDP government of the 1990s). By any measure, this is a victory. But the only way to build on this accord is through mass mobilization and pressure by the labour and people’s movements.

On a global scale, the setback for Theresa May’s Tories in the UK a month later was a much bigger development. Not just because Britain is a key ally of US imperialism, but also because Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigned as a socialist, on a platform calling for radical reforms.

There is much to discuss and debate about these complex events, along with the continued popularity of Bernie Sanders in the United States. One thing is certain: the myth that working people reject the concept of socialism has been decisively disproven. A better world remains both possible and necessary!

Venezuela’s Maduro Denounces ‘Imperialist Coup’ Plot

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Venezuelas-Maduro-Denounces-Imperialist-Coup-Plot-20170624-0022.html

Venezuela’s Maduro Denounces ‘Imperialist Coup’ Plot

  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) and a Venezuelan soldier (R).

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) and a Venezuelan soldier (R). | Photo: Twitter / @PresidencialVen

“We have contained and defeated the oligarchic, imperialist coup that was being planned against Venezuela this week,” Maduro said.

On Saturday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced a plan by sectors of the right-wing opposition to activate and justify an intervention in that country.

RELATED:
Battle of Carabobo’s 196th Anniversary Celebrated in Venezuela

“We have contained and defeated the oligarchic, imperialist coup that was being planned against Venezuela this week,” Maduro said.

“The homeland is already at peace.”

During an event held at the Military Academy’s Honor Patio located in Fort Tiuna, Caracas in commemoration of the 196th anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo, the Venezuelan president explained that the plan consisted of several stages in a chain of events that transpired from last Monday until this Saturday.

The plan, according to Maduro, involved increased acts of violence to provoke deaths, commotion in the east of the capital and the betrayal of a group of soldiers who called for a coup to justify a process of intervention were part of that agenda. He stressed that the plan was neutralized by the country’s executive branch.

“From the high military political command we’ve been in session and permanent activity to cut the chain of coup events,” Maduro said.

“Today, 196 years after Carabobo, we’ve contained, we’ve unveiled and we’re defeating the imperialist coup and our country is at peace,” he emphasized.

The head of state also highlighted Venezuela’s victory of peace and truth before the interventionist actions promoted by the Organization of American States.

Maduro also reported that Venezuelan authorities detected a center of operations managed by opposition sectors that sought to perpetrate a sabotage of the National Electoral Council’s computer mainframe. The purpose was to prevent the holding of elections for the National Constituent Assembly on July 30.

ΠΛΑΝΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΤΙΙΜΠΕΡΙΑΛΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΣΤΗ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ

ΠΛΑΝΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΤΙΙΜΠΕΡΙΑΛΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΣΤΗ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ
| June 24, 2017 | 2:36 pm | Greece, Imperialism, PAME, political struggle, WFTU | No comments

“Neither soil, nor water to the murderers of the people”: Huge rally against NATO in Thessaloniki

Saturday, June 24, 2017

“Neither soil, nor water to the murderers of the people”: Huge rally against NATO in Thessaloniki

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/neither-soil-nor-water-to-murderers-of.html
“Neither soil, nor water to the murderers of the people” and “with the workers of all countries, for a world without exploitation, wars and refugees” were the major slogan of the massive anti-imperialist demonstration organised by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) in Thessaloniki. Thousands of protesters of all ages, from all over Greece but also from abroad, joined their voices against imperialism, its wars and interventions. 

The demonstration began at Aristotelous Square, with a greeting message by Zeljko Veselinovic, president of the Serbian Trade Union SLOGA, on behalf of all the attending foreign Trade Unions. Veselinovic recalled the solidarity that PAME and Greece’s working class had offered to the people of Yugoslavia during the 1999 NATO bombings: “We, the workers, are brothers regardless race, religion or skin colour and that will be forever. Nobody is going to subdue us. We are stronger and they will never beat us”, he said among other things.
 
Greeting messages were also delivered by the General Secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) Giorgos Mavrikos and Nikos Papanastasis, Lieutenant-Colonel (retired). General Secretary Mavrikos pointed out that the WFTU, which represents 92 million members in 126 countries, takes action in every corner of the world towards the support of workers’ rights. Within the framework, Mavrikos refered to a series of initiatives that the WFTU will take in the near future, as well as to the task of strengthening the class-based perception in international trade-union movement. 

 From his side, Lieutenant-Colonel Papanastasis, member of the “Movement for National Defense”, underlined among other things: “We, the military officers, have passed the largest part of our life in the camps and have a first-hand knowledge of what ‘NATO’ means. We know the dimension of the dramatic consequences for the people, resulted by our country’s participation on that. We know what blood-stained operational plans it has. Everyone knows the slaughtering of the people of Yugoslavia, as well as of other people” […] Wherever they go”, Papanastasis said, “NATO, the EU and the imperialists seed wars and misfortunes for the people”.
 
The major speech, on behalf of PAME’s Executive Committee, was delivered by its member Giorgos Perros. Among other things, cde Perros pointed out: “Today’s correspondence to the initiative of the hundreds of Trade Unions, Labour Centers, Workers Federations which rallied in PAME against imperialist war, interventions and incidents which are developing in our neighbourhood and throughout the world, is the road of hope, of perspective, of peaceful co-existence of the people. Our enemies are not the neighboring people, but NATO and the bases”.

A huge “river” of protesters marched through Thessaloniki’s seafront avenue and gathered outside the NATO “Rapid Deployable Corps” headquarters. In front of riot police forces, which had blocked the main entrance, thousands of demonstrators shouted anti-imperialist slogans and denounced the murderous policy of the USA, EU and NATO. “Murderers, thiefs and hypocrites are the European imperialists” and “Crisis, wars, uprooting, this is Capitalism” were some of the slogans shouted by the protesters.
 
The Two-Day Anti-imperialist activities of PAME in Thessaloniki ends tomorrow, Sunday 25/6, with an international meeting of Trade Unions. Yesterday, the representatives of foreign Trade Unions- among others from Syria, Turkey, Italy, Palestine, Egypt, Serbia– had the opportunity to visit and learn the historical background of two significant places of the city; the Yedi Kule prison where numerous communists were incarcerated as political prisoners during the 20th century and the memorial of the victims of the 1944 Chortiatis massacre, one of the most heinous atrocities committed by the Nazis in Greece during WWII occupation. 
 
Nikos Mottas, with info from 902.gr. 
24/6/2017.
A Review of Dan Kovalik’s ‘The Plot to Scapegoat Russia’
| June 24, 2017 | 2:21 pm | Imperialism, Russia | No comments

By: Rick Sterling

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/A-Review-of-Dan-Kovaliks-The-Plot-to-Scapegoat-Russia-20170622-0028.html

  • The author presents the case that the real threat to democracy is not coming from Russia, it is coming from our own political system and the forces which benefit from and which promote war and aggression.

    The author presents the case that the real threat to democracy is not coming from Russia, it is coming from our own political system and the forces which benefit from and which promote war and aggression. | Photo: Reuters/teleSUR

Kovalik presents a persuasive case that the demonization of Russia and Putin is being used to justify war and more conflict with ever increasing military budget.

Attorney Dan Kovalik has written an extremely important book that challenges the current media/political focus on “Russia-gate” and warns that dark forces of war are taking us in an ever more dangerous direction.

The book, released just a few weeks ago, has received high praise from numerous writers.

In his foreword to the book, best selling author David Talbot says:

“The U.S. war machine has revived the tried and true Red Scare … This massive anti-Russian propaganda campaign is one of the biggest fake news operations in U.S. history … Unlike our war-obsessed media, human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik does understand that peace and diplomacy are in the best interests of the American and Russian peoples. His book is an urgently needed counterassault against the propaganda forces that are trying to push us over a precipice that it too terrifying to even contemplate. It’s time for all of us to speak truth to power before it’s too late.” 

Talbot’s warning is not hyperbole. As I write this review, the U.S. military is pushing ever closer to direct military confrontation with Syria, Iran and Russia in the Middle Eastern country.

The book is entertaining reading because Kovalik combines his personal evolution with facts and history. He grew up as a conservative Roman Catholic fearful and wary of communism and the Soviet Union. He describes how his beliefs and assumptions were challenged when he traveled in Latin America. The first hand experience led to more reading and research which resulted in the shocking realization that the U.S. government has been behind coups and military dictatorships from Indonesia to Iran, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and more.

The author discusses U.S. foreign policy since World War II, before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He puts the current “new” Cold War in historical context and reviews the facts behind the current media/political focus on “Russia-gate.” He concludes that we are being blinded with baseless Russo-phobia while forces pushing for more American war and aggression are going unchallenged and recklessly threatening a war which could engulf us all.

Kovalik describes his own youthful belief in “American Exceptionalism” whereby our policies and actions are believed to be uniquely good and well meaning. For the author, that belief was confronted by a very different reality when he traveled to Central America in the 1980’s. There, he saw the reality of U.S. funded “Contras” terrorizing Nicaraguan villagers. There he learned of the four Catholic nuns murdered by the Salvadoran military which our government was supporting.

Relevant but not widely known historical facts are reviewed:
– The role of American advisers in the collapse of the Russian economy during the 1990’s.
– The broken promises to Mikhail Gorbachev.
– The expansion of NATO right up to the Russian border.
– The NATO wars on Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya.
– The increasing discrepancy between rich and poor both within the US and internationally.

RELATED:
NATO Preps for Possible Baltic Invasion by Russia

The author presents the case that the real threat to democracy is not coming from Russia, it is coming from our own political system and the forces which benefit from and which promote war and aggression. Former President Jimmy Carter has said the U.S. is an “oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.”

Kovalik reviews the history of CIA and other intelligence agency whistle-blowers. He concludes that “The CIA is not a reliable source and poses a much greater threat to US democracy than Russia ever could.” The CIA wants Trump to stay on the path of confrontation with Russia. There is a long history to conflict between the CIA and presidents seeking to promote peace. Former President John Kennedy had such fierce conflict with the CIA that he said he wanted to “break it into a thousand pieces and scatter to the wind”.

Kovalik presents a persuasive case that the demonization of Russia and Putin is being used to justify war and more conflict with ever increasing military budget. Instead of a “peace dividend”, the old Cold War led to ever greater U.S. intervention abroad. The new Cold War is raising the risk of a direct confrontation and possible nuclear war. Most Americans do not want another war. Why are we headed down that slippery slope? This book goes a long way to explaining why.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com

Beating Up on Russia: History Tells Why

by W. T. Whitney, Jr.

May 30, 2017
Book Review: The Plot to Scapegoat Russia by Dan Kovalik.  New York:  Skyhorse Publishing, 2017.  Print ISBN:  978-1-5107-3032-8, Ebook ISBN: 978-1-5107-3033-5. $18.99.  Pp.199.       .Lawyer and human rights activist Dan Kovalik has written a valuable book. He looked at a recent U. S. political development in terms of history and then skewered it. His new book, “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia,” looks at mounting assaults against Russia that increased  during the Obama administration and that spokespersons for the Democratic Party, among others, are promoting.

The CIA, he claims, without going into specifics, is engaged in anti-Russian activities. For Kovalik, “the CIA is a nefarious, criminal organization which often misleads the Ameri­can public and government into wars and misadventures.”

Kovalik devotes much of his book to what he regards as precedents for the current dark turn in U.S. – Russian relations. Toward that end, he surveys the history of U.S. foreign interventions since World War II. He confirms that the United States government is indeed habituated to aggressive adventurism abroad. That’s something many readers already know, but Kovalik contributes significantly by establishing that U.S. hostility against Russia ranks as a chapter in that long story.

But what’s the motivation for military assaults and destabilizing projects? And, generally, why all the wars? The author’s historical survey provides answers. He finds that the scenarios he describes are connected. Treating them as a whole, he gives them weight and thus provides an intellectual weapon for the anti-imperialist cause. Kovalik, putting history to work, moves from the issue of U.S.-Russian antagonism to the more over-arching problem of threats to human survival. That’s his major contribution.

His highly-recommended book offers facts and analyses so encompassing as to belie its small size. The writing is clear, evocative, and eminently readable; his narrative is that of a story – teller. Along the way, as a side benefit, Kovalik recalls the causes and outrage that fired up activists who were his contemporaries.

He testifies to a new Cold War. Doing so, he argues that the anti-communist rational for the earlier Cold War was a cover for something else, a pretext. In his words: “the Cold War, at least from the vantage point of the US, had little to do with fighting ‘Communism,’ and more to do with making the world safe for corporate plunder.” Once more Russia is an enemy of the United  States, but now it’s a capitalist country.

That’s mysterious; explanation is in order. Readers, however, may be hungry to know about the “plot” advertised in the book’s title. We recommend patience. History and its recurring patterns come first for this author. They enable him to account for U. S. – Russian relations that are contradictory and, most importantly, for the U.S. propensity for war-making. After that he tells about a plot.

Kovalik describes how, very early, reports of CIA machinations from former agents of the spy organization expanded his political awareness, as did a trip to Nicaragua. There he gained first-hand knowledge of CIA atrocities, of deaths and destruction at the hands of the Contras, anti- Sandinista paramilitaries backed by the CIA. His book goes on fully and dramatically to describe murders and chaos orchestrated by the United States and/or the CIA in El Salvador, Colombia, and in the South America of Operation Condor. Kovalik discusses the U.S. war in Vietnam, occupation and war in Korea, nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear testing and dying in the Marshall Islands, and the CIA’s recruitment of the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in Afghan­istan. He recounts U. S. – instigated coups in Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; and Chile, 1973.

These projects were about keeping “the world safe from the threat of Soviet totalitarianism” – in other words, anti-communism. But then the USSR disappeared, and the search was on for a new pretext. The Clinton administration evoked “humanitarian intervention,” and continued the intrusions: in Ruanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (on behalf of “US mining interests”), Yugoslavia, and Libya.

In Kovalik’s telling, the U. S. government eventually settled upon the notion of “American exceptionalism,” that is to say, “the belief that the US is a uniquely benign actor in the world, spreading peace and democracy.” Thus armed, the U. S. military exported terror to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen (via its Saudi Arabian proxy), and Honduras, through a U. S. facilitated military coup. The book catalogues other episodes, other places. Along the way on his excursion, Kovalik contrasts U. S. pretensions and brutal deeds with the relatively benign nature of alleged Russian outrages.

Good relations with Russia, he says, would be “simply bad for business, in particular the business of war which so profoundly undergirds the US economy … As of 2015, the US had at least 800 military bases in over 70 nations, while Britain, France and Russia had only 30 military bases combined.” And, “under Obama alone, the US had Special Forces deployed in about 138 countries.” Further, “The US’s outsized military exists not only to ensure the US’s quite unjust share of the world’s riches, but also to ensure that those riches are not shared with the poor huddled masses in this country.”

Kovalik highlights the disaster that overwhelmed Russia as a fledgling capitalist nation: life expectancy plummeted, the poverty rate was 75 percent, and investments fell by 80 percent. National pride was in the cellar, the more so after the United States backed away from Secretary of State Baker’s 1991 promise that NATO would never move east, after the United States attacked Russia’s ally Serbia, and after the United States, rejecting Russian priorities, attacked Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

The author rebuts U. S. claims that Russian democracy has failed and that Putin over-reached in Ukraine. He praises Putin’s attempts to cooperate with the United States in Syria. The United States has abused peoples the world over, he insists, and suffers from a “severe democracy deficit.”

By the time he is discussing current U. S. – Russian relations, readers have been primed never to expect U.S. imperialism to give Russia a break. The author’s instructional course has taken effect, or should have done so. If readers aren’t aware of what the U. S. government has been up to, the author is not to blame.

Kovalik condemns the  Obama administration and particularly Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for intensifying the U. S. campaign against Russia. He extends his critcism to the Democratic Party and the media. The theme of anti – Russian scheming by the CIA comes up briefly in the book  in connection with hacking attributed to Russia and with WikiLeaks revelations about the Democratic Party. Nothing is said about possible interaction between personnel of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Kovalik’s historical excursion took in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn’t have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, “the Soviet Union, did wield sizable polit­ical and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II.”

Kovalik acknowledges “periods of great repression.” He adds, however, that “the Russian Revolution and the USSR … delivered on many of their promises, and against great odds. …. In any case, the goals of the Russian Revolution—equality, worker control of the economy, universal health care and social security— were laudable ones.” And, “One of the reasons that the West continues to dance on the grave of the Soviet Union, and to emphasize the worst parts of that society and downplay its achievements, is to make sure that, as the world-wide economy worsens, and as the suffering of work­ing people around the world deepens, they don’t get any notions in their head to organize some new socialist revolution with such ideals.”

Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, ‘The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution’ – and with Daniel Ellsberg’s clarification: ‘The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.’”