Category: Imperialism
European Communist Initiative: “Education should be a right, not a privilege-commodity for the few”
| October 13, 2017 | 8:52 pm | Analysis, Imperialism | 1 Comment

Friday, October 13, 2017

European Communist Initiative: “Education should be a right, not a privilege-commodity for the few”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/10/european-communist-initiative-education.html
 
The European Communist Initiative, which rallies 29 communist and workers’ parties in its ranks, highlights the major issue of education which concerns school and university students, parents and teachers, the peoples as a whole. Education should be a right, not a privilege-commodity for the few.
In reality, it has been demonstrated that the education system under capitalism does not provide real education and is very expensive. It reflects and reinforces the dominant ideology of the society on which it is based.
The mission of the education system under capitalism is to ideologically prepare the workers of tomorrow so that they are assimilated into the exploitative system at a young age, so that they adapt to the needs of the profitability of themonopolies.In capitalist society education systems are critical tools in the maintenance of a class based societyin the interests of the ruling capitalist class designed to perpetuate exploitation. 
The reactionary reforms being promoted by the EU and the bourgeois governments reinforce the penetration and intervention of businesses into all levels of education, state spending is being reduced, the commercialization of education is flourishing and the content and results of research are controlled by these forces.
The anti-scientific and even obscurantist theories about nature and society, such as the attempt to discredit and conceal the theory of evolution, to reproduce unequal relations between men and women. that dominate the education system, the fragmented knowledge and “skills”, impede the development of critical thinking and scientific understanding.
The experience that has been accumulated underscores the fact that a plan is under way which aims to co-opt and convert the children of the working class and popular strata into supporters of the EU and NATO through designated programs and funding for lessons, projects, trips that propagandize the “values” of capital and its organizations.
In every country the working class and the families of the popular strata and their children are paying for the grave consequences of the anti-people political line of the bourgeois governments. The lack of teachers and infrastructure continues and is intensifying.
The education system in capitalism has a deeply class character and aims to produce obedient workers who will not challenge the exploitative system. The poison of anti-communism is utilized in many school books. Socialism and the history of the communist movement are distorted and slandered, as are the history and struggles of the labour-people’s movement. There is a devious and ahistorical attempt to equate communism with the monster of fascism. This year we honour the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution which brought to the fore a superior organization of society, socialism, which abolished the exploitation of humankind.
The radical eradication of the terrible legacy of illiteracy, the safeguarding of high-level exclusively public and free education for all, the development of educational theory and practice and the elimination of unemployment are amongst the great achievements of socialism. Problems that are related to educational infrastructure, the provision of meals, student accommodation etc, which remain unsolved under capitalism, were resolved by socialism.
The European Communist Initiative emphasizes the need to strengthen the struggle against the reactionary changes that are being promoted by the imperialist centres and the bourgeois governments, against the chronic underfunding of education, the falsification of history, the promotion of anti-scientific theories in schools.
We call on school, university and college students, their parents and teachers, the labour-peoples movement to fight alongside the communists to intensify the struggle for the right of children to real education in line with the requirements of our time, so that education becomes a means to improve the life of humanity and not a tool to perpetuate capitalist exploitation and the profitability of the bourgeois class.
A Tsunami of Finance: German Expert Warns of Imminent Collapse of ‘World Casino’
| October 12, 2017 | 8:17 pm | Analysis, Economy, Imperialism | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710121058158469-financial-tsunami-global-system/

A Tsunami of Finance: German Expert Warns of Imminent Collapse of ‘World Casino’

Tsunami

A Tsunami of Finance: German Expert Warns of Imminent Collapse of ‘World Casino’

CC BY 2.0 / Petra Bensted / Tsunami
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Financial expert Ernst Wolff gives Sputnik a taster of his new book, which warns that dependence on the financial industry and the US dollar has created a “financial tsunami,” the consequences of which the world is wholly unprepared for.

Financial expert Ernst Wolff, author of a bestselling analysis of the International Monetary Fund‘s “modern day crusade against the working people on five continents,” has turned his attention to the global financial system in his latest book.

Wolff sees the financial system at risk of imminent collapse and likens it to a “Financial Tsunami” which threatens to take us all by surprise, leaving devastation in its wake.

In a taster of the book’s contents, he told Sputnik Deutschland that the US-based financial industry has been on “life support” since the 2008 crisis and its prognosis “doesn’t look good.”

“The patient is about 75 years old. Our financial system was founded in in Bretton Woods, USA in 1944. The patient is in great difficulty because in 1998 and a second time in 2007/2008, he almost died. Since this second crisis, he has only been kept alive artificially. The financial system is lying in the intensive care unit.”

While most countries have a state central bank, US monetary policy is conducted by the Federal Reserve, a consortium of 12 regional banks in which commercial banks own shares. Wolff describes the system as a “cartel.””One not only gives a patient a diagnosis, but also a case history. First, we need to understand the power of the Federal Reserve, the American central bank which was established a hundred years ago. Many people still don’t know that the Federal Reserve is not a state institution, but is in private hands. This is a bank cartel which lies in the hands of several large, very rich families. This fact has been covered up in the course of history.”

“Since 1944, the dollar has been the most important currency in the world, and since the mid-seventies it has been the most important reserve currency because oil, the most important and most traded commodity in the world, can only be traded in dollars.”


“But the dollar has been hit because the US has been hit. There is great competition on the world market, especially from China. However, it takes time to replace the world’s main currency. Those who have opposed the dollar until now have suffered a terrible fate. Saddam Hussein was the first to try to sell his oil in euros, and he was executed. Then Gaddafi tried the same in Libya, and we know how that ended. The conflict with Iran is also related to the fact that Iran has announced its intention to sell its oil in euros, and now we have the next flashpoint of this kind with Venezuela.”

Wolff says that the financial industry has grown in power along with the US dollar. The proportion of the world economy stemming from the financial industry has increased significantly in recent decades, although the exact figure depends on pinning down a definition of financial services.

The IMF estimates the total service economy to make up 60-65% of total global revenue, while the OECD has suggested that financial services comprise 20-30% of the total service market.

Wolff declared that “the financial economy is infinitely larger than the real economy and has been completely detached from the real economy by not producing anything of value.”

“In the last 30 years it has become a huge casino in which money is simply pushed back and forth. Since the system is built on loans that need to be serviced, more and more money must be pumped into the system. The central banks, such as the IMF or the ECB, are the largest manipulators of the financial system. They are printing more and more money, which they now offer for zero or negative interest rates.”

The financial system rules the world yet it seems impenetrable to most ordinary people, Wolff said.

“That’s the way it’s meant to be. Today, people in finance speak a language that a normal person can no longer understand. They hide behind it,” Wolff said, likening the discourse to the “Doublespeak” in George Orwell’s book 1984.

“You mustn’t lose yourself in the details, you have to see the big picture. With derivatives, for example, there are all sorts of options — puts, options, calls, swaps. You don’t have to know all the differences. You just have to know that derivatives are financial betting. And this huge bookmaker threatens us all.”

Wolff said that the finance industry is to blame for many of the problems currently facing Europe, which at first glance seem unconnected.

“The two prime causes of the refugee crisis are social inequality and wars. The financial industry is at fault for both. In the background, big investors are making money from wars and also treat the third world like a Christmas tree.”

A Chapter in a Declining Empire

A Chapter in a Declining Empire

 – from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Everyone not yet anesthetized by the anti-Russia hysteria, should read Robert Parry’s The Rise of the New McCarthyism. The estimable Parry argues for similarities between today’s overheated political antics and those of an earlier time. He likens the relentless Russia-baiting of 2017 with the red-baiting of the post-war period often identified with Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy.

But that is not quite right. Labelling the post-war delirium, characterizing the anti-Communist frenzy of the period as “McCarthyism” places far too much weight on that sole figure. True, Joe McCarthy exploited the climate, pushing the absurdity of the times to even more absurd levels. Yet we overlook the causes of the poisoned atmosphere just as surely as we would if we labelled this moment we live in as “Maddowism,” after the woman committed to exploiting the mania for ratings, after Rachel Maddow’s prodding anti-Russian sentiment to ever greater heights.
Political fever, like that of 1919 in the US, 1920-22 in Italy, the 1930s throughout Europe, 1946 and 2003 in the US, and again today in the US, is usually driven by crises– threats or perceived threats to the system. It reflects weaknesses or vulnerabilities resulting from economic distress or international conflict. Whether the threat is real or perceived, identifiable or mythical, ruling classes use a crescendo of fear and alarm to foster an atmosphere of conformity and compliance.
During and after World War I, the Bolshevik revolution frightened the US ruling class into its first “Red scare,” an orgy of war-induced patriotism and media-crazed fear of mythical Red barbarity, an orgy resulting in mass arrests and deportations.
Similarly, the victory of the Soviet Union, the expansion of socialism, the intensifying struggles for national liberation, and a domestic left third-party challenge to two-party hegemony spurred the ruling class to spark a second Red scare. A critical mass of consensus was quickly achieved, persisting throughout the Cold War. Thus, it is misleading to say, as Parry does, that “…the 1950s version was driven by Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end, maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as ‘un-American’ and as Communism’s ‘fellow travelers.’”
In fact, except for the “fellow travelers,” most of the non-Communist left and most liberals gleefully joined the red-baiting hunting party for “subversives.” Those who didn’t enthusiastically join the mob did little or nothing to diminish the campaign. Certainly, when the purges began to target the moderate anti-Communists, liberal voices did pathetically stir.
Consequently, those familiar with the history of Cold War US repression are not surprised by liberal complicity in the anti-Russia madness today. It should be no surprise that the liberals and the petty-bourgeois left betray the truth, make common cause with the forces of hate, distrust, and prejudice. In times of crisis, that’s what they too often do.
Outside of a few notable voices, liberal/left intellectuals are buying the anti-Russia frenzy. Despite the fact that US security services have an unbroken record of lies and manipulations, they are today manufactured to be the saviors of US “democracy.” The entertainment industry has cast “deep throat” Mark Felt– a crazed, disgruntled FBI official, bitter because he didn’t inherit the directorship from J. Edgar Hoover– as the hero of the Watergate debacle. Industry moguls stretch credulity to portray him as the courageous forerunner of the sleazy James Comey.
How quickly the liberals have forgotten the shame of 2003, when a ruling class-induced frenzy of lies and distortions prompted an unprovoked US invasion of a sovereign country. Have the scoundrels fabricating “evidence” against Iraq left or have they been removed from the State Department, the CIA, the FBI, etc.? Or are they still there, now busy spinning lies against Russia?
Liberals and the weasel-left should heed Parry’s warning: “Arguably, if fascism or totalitarianism comes to the United States, it is more likely to arrive in the guise of “protecting democracy” from Russia or another foreign adversary than from a reality-TV clown like Donald Trump.” Apart from flirting with war, the new consensus against Putin and Russia further erodes the remaining vestiges of democratic life in the US. Fear has brought us an Orwellian destruction of privacy and freedom, along with a murderous foreign policy and, now, a shamefully uncritical conformity.
War by Other Means
If “The New McCarthyism” is an inaccurate description of our times, what would be more suitable? Perhaps “The New Cold War” would be more appropriate since US aggression is both global and endless. The US is conducting war or war-like actions in Africa, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean, and in Asia. Any and every country that fails to accept US global leadership becomes a target for US aggression.
This constitutes a desperate attempt on the part of US elites to maintain their place at the top of the hierarchy of imperialism, their ultimate mastery over all global affairs.
After the arrogant declaration of victory in the Cold War and the presumption of global governance, matters begin to fall apart for the champions of US global dominance. Former clients like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein began to defy US hegemony. States like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador choose paths independent of the US template for the global economy. Other states like Yugoslavia, Cuba, and DPRKorea refused to acknowledge that socialist economic relations were outlawed in the post-Soviet era. Still other states like Iran, post-Yeltsin Russia, Libya, and Syria reject US interference in their and their neighbors’ affairs. And, of course, the world’s largest economy (PPP)– PRChina– does not accept a subordinate role in global affairs.
In short, the US role as self-appointed world policeman has been answered with far-from-servile acceptance by the world’s people.
The US response to resistance has been violence. Uncountable deaths and injuries from invasion, occupation, and remotely-mounted attacks have been visited upon combatants and civilians alike. The stability of numerous countries has been disrupted, usually under the cynical banner of human rights. Over the last two decades or so, US imperialism has restructured its aggression, relying more and more on surrogates, drones, and economic aggression, but with the same deadly results.
Obama’s cabal of liberal interventionists has refined and expanded the tactic of imposing international sanctions, a particularly brutal, but seemingly high-minded form of aggression.
We should not deceive ourselves. International sanctions may masquerade as a mechanism of civil enforcement, but they are, in fact, acts of war– war by other means. The current world balance of forces allows the US to cajole, intimidate or manipulate UN member states to endorse strangling the economies of US adversaries under the guise of UN sanctions. The UN virtually rubber stamps the US initiatives to cut the lifelines of countries, organizations, even corporations that dare to ignore US dictates. Similarly, the EU and NATO act as sanction lapdogs.. The consequences of sanctions can be just as destructive, as death-dealing, as overt military aggression. Shamefully, even Russia and PRC– the victims of sanctions– have collaborated on these sanctions in recent years, an opportunistic approach meant to ingratiate themselves with US leaders.
At the same time, no UN economic sanctions have been imposed upon the serial human rights violator, the apartheid state of Israel– merely calls, resolutions, and condemnations.
In a toxic atmosphere of incredulous “sonic” attacks charged to Cuban authorities, provocative claims of Russian government meddling in everything from the electric grid to Facebook, allegations of Venezuelan drug trafficking, suspicions of Chinese espionage, and the many other marks of induced paranoia, the fight for truth is the only escape, the only response to the ugly throes of a diseased, embattled empire. Most assuredly, the empire is in decline, though most of its citizens are unaware, sheltered by a thick curtain of deceit.
Greg Godels (Zoltan Zigedy)
zzsblogml@gmail.com
The forgotten holocaust: The 1965-66 massacre against Indonesia’s communists

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The forgotten holocaust: The 1965-66 massacre against Indonesia’s communists

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-forgotten-holocaust-1965-66.html
By Nikos Mottas*.
 
Without any doubt, the WWII Holocaust and the 1915 Armenian genocide consist the two largest mass slaughters of the 20th century. They are crimes which must never be erased from the collective memory of the peoples, no matter how many decades will pass. 
 
However, there are also less known sides of History, the “forgotten” holocausts to which the bourgeois historiography has given little importance, either by downgrading them as insignificant details of world history or by distorting their true dimensions. 
 
A major example of such a “forgotten” holocaust is the mass slaughter of the communists in Indonesia by Suharto’s dictatorship during the 1965-66.
The criminal called General Suharto was the man who, with the tolerance and silence of the U.S. and British governments, was responsible for one of the most barbaric bloodshed of the previous century: the mass slaughter of more than 1,000,000 people, mostly communists, members and supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia [1].
If we want to have a comprehensive image of the social and political conditions that led to the 1965-66 massacre, we must refer to the historical background of developments in Indonesia after the end of Second World War. These developments are related to the role of the British and Dutch imperialists, the conditions under which the independence of the Republic of Indonesia took place, the formation of the class struggle in the country and, of course, the position of Indonesia in the post-WWII imperialist plans which led to the active involvement of the US in the domestic political processes.
In the mid of 1960s, the sharpening of the intra-bourgeois contradictions (with the steady interference of US-British governments) led to a series of military coups and counter-coups that ultimately resulted to the overthrow of the elected president Sukarno. In the morning of October 2, 1965, numerous military vehicles were patrolling at the streets of Jakarta in order to capture the insurgents and lead them to prison. A day earlier, a failed coup attempt had been organised by the commander of the presidential guard Colonel Untung. From his side, in a message transmitted via radio, the Colonel had justified the coup attempt by arguing that its role was to prevent a conspiracy planned by the CIA and army officials to overthrow President Sukarno.
The army crushed the failed coup’s insurgents, with a General called Suharto playing a decisive role. This man would subsequently override Sukarno’s leadership thus becoming the new powerful leader of the country. Suharto and his imperialist allies point the Communist Party of Indonesia as the source of the failed coup – after all, the well-organised and popular Communist Party had played a leading role in the anticolonial struggle and had significant influence in Sukarno’s policies.
 
The rise of General Suharto- a man who had the support of the US imperialists- in Indonesia’s leadership led to unprecedented violent persecutions against communists, including mass killings, executions, tortures and every kind of barbaric act. Even the CIA had admitted in a subsequent report that the 1965-66 events were “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century” [2]. Of course, both the CIA and the British intelligence services had an active role in the massacre by supporting the Suharto regime. Information about the role of the governments of the United States, Britain and Australia in the anticommunist holocaust of Indonesia were unveiled years later.
On May 17, 1990, based on testimonies by personnel who had worked at the US embassy in Jakarta during the 1960s, an article by the States News Service of Washington DC reported that the US embassy had provided Suharto regime lists with over 5,000 names of communists and supporters of the Communist Party [3].
 
The role of the imperialists in the Indonesia massacre has been confirmed by professors and researchers. For example, Professor Brad Simpson of Princeton University and author of “Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and US-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968”, has said that the U.S and British governments did “everything in their power” to ensure that the Indonesian army would carry out the mass killings [4]. The massacre against the communists in Indonesia was followed by an organised plan for the entry of foreign monopoly capital in the country. According to the documentary “The New Rulers of the World” (2001) by Australian journalist and researcher John Pilger, the dictatorial regime of Suharto proceeded to business deals with known monopoly and banking groups such as General Motors, Daimler-Benz, Chase Manhtattan Bank, Siemens, Standard Oil etc.
Imperialism cares to erase its bloody past in order to safeguard its future.
 
Dictator Suharto meets US President Richard
Nixon in Washington DC, May 26, 1970.
The massacre of the communists in Indonesia by the authoritarian Suharto regime, with the support and tolerance of the US-British imperialists, consists one of the darkest pages of the 20th century. It consists a deliberately “forgotten” holocaust that the bourgeois propaganda tries to downgrade as a “collateral damage” of the Cold War. They try to downgrade the historical significance of the 1965-66 massacre of Indonesia’s communists because it is one more example that exposes imperialist brutality.
Imperialism tries to erase its bloody past in order to safeguard its future. For that reason, the imperialists distort History in every possible way. Because they know the actual power that the working class, the proletariat in every country, has. That is why the working people, the people, must know their history and fight against distortion and oblivion, in order to have a powerful weapon in the struggle against the big enemy of humanity which is the rotten exploitative system that generates barbarity, poverty and wars. 
 
NOTES:
 
[1] The Communist Party of Indonesia, the first one established in Asia (1920), reached during the 1960s a significant party strength with approximately 3,000,000 members, especially in the Java region. However, opportunist political choices by its leadership led to the subsequent weakening of the party ties with broader masses. Despite its organisational strength and the extraordinary large number of its members, the CPI didn’t avoid the trap that had been set by both its domestic enemies and their imperialist allies.
 
[2] Blumenthal, T.L.H. McCormack (Ed.), The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilising Infuence or Institutionalised Vengeance?. International Humanitarian Law Services, Martinus Nijhoff.
 
[3] I.A. Tie Asserted in Indonesia Purge, The New York Times, July 12, 1990.
 
[4] The 1965-1966 Indonesian Killings Revisited, Conference at the National University of Singapore, 17-19 June 2009.
 
* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’.
No easing of US vengeance against Colombian revolutionary Simon Trinidad
| September 20, 2017 | 9:39 pm | Colombia, Imperialism, Simon Trinidad | No comments

By W. T. Whitney Jr.

Unable to receive letters, packages, and emails, Simon Trinidad, citizen of Colombia, lives in a tiny, constantly illuminated, underground cell in a high-security prison in Colorado. From 2005 to 2016 Simon Trinidad lived in total isolation. Now he may, infrequently, receive four family members and two lawyers as visitors. Now, chained, he may occasionally interact with a handful of prisoners.

A U. S. court in 2008 sentenced the 58-year old Trinidad to 60 years in prison. He was charged with conspiracy to hold three U.S. contractors hostage – “mercenaries of North American corporations engaged in spying,” according to one observer. The three hostages went free that same year.

Solidarity

One Colombian regards Trinidad as a “clear symbol of the resistance and dignity of a people who had to rise up in arms to confront state terrorism.”  Another speaks of the “debt we have as revolutionaries” and “the grief we feel that someone with the humanity of Simon is in that situation.”

The group Voices for Peace, joined by Colombian human rights organizations, has been agitating for Trinidad’s repatriation; the group cites humanitarian reasons and the peace process. It urged Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to submit a request to President Donald Trump. But Santos’s office referred the question to the Foreign Ministry and from there it went to the Ministry of Justice and Law, where it stalled. An activist explains that, after all, Trinidad is only one of many “extradited Colombians suffering in jails of the imperialist country.”

A new solidarity group emerged recently with support from prisoner defense organizations in Colombia and from Spain’s “Solidarity with Colombia Platform.” The name for the group’s campaign for Trinidad’s release is: “When you read dignity, you write Simon Trinidad” (“Se lee dignidad, se escribe Simón Trinidad”). Organizers are on their way to gathering 100,000 signatures for a petition to the White House. The campaign’s website is here.

The group organized and sponsored Mark Burton’s European tour for the prisoner that ran from September 4 to September 15. Burton, Trinidad’s U. S. lawyer, is part of the Simon Trinidad campaign in the United States. In Europe, he held informational meetings with parliamentarians of Spain, the Basque Country, Germany, and the European Parliament. Burton joined a forum staged by the United Nations Human Rights Council and in Geneva he discussed Trinidad’s case with diplomats of various countries. Along the way, he took part in public events and gave interviews

 

He told interviewer Javier Couso, a Spanish United Left deputy to the European Parliament, that “Simon Trinidad is a most important person in the peace process in Colombia,” and on that account must be freed. Later he remarked to Publico’s interviewer Danilo Albin that, “I want to educate people about my client … I know that the European Union is involved in the phase of peace implementation in Colombia. That’s why I am looking for support for his freedom.”

 

Reviewing his trip in an email, Burton anticipates parliamentary statements and diplomatic initiatives on Trinidad’s behalf. Pro- Trinidad organizations are taking root in Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Alicante, and Geneva. A member of Germany’s Bundestag wants to visit Trinidad in prison.

 

Serving the FARC

 

Prior to joining the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 1987 at age 37, Simon Trinidad had been Ricardo Palmera, member of a politically-connected and wealthy family. He prepared in economics and worked as a banker and economics professor in Valledupar, Cesar Department. Along the way Palmera became aware of unjust land use and distribution. He and others formed a left – leaning, local affiliate of the Liberal Party, after which he helped organize a group called Common Cause. He soon joined the Patriotic Union.

 

A peace agreement in 1986 between President Belisario Betancourt’s government and Marxist-oriented FARC rebels made that political party possible. Demobilized FARC insurgents, Communists, and other leftists belonging to the Patriotic Union ran for political office. Soon they were being killed. Palmera had already suffered prison and torture for a week. Comrades were leaving for exile, but Palmera “decided to save his life but [also] to continue with his revolutionary ideals of social justice, and thus joined the FARC.”

The FARC began in 1964 when a group of small farmers fighting for agrarian rights organized militarily to defend against violence. As Mark Burton explains, new FARC recruit Simon Trinidad, formerly Ricardo Palmera, became “in reality an intellectual for that group.” He was in charge of political education, propaganda, and negotiations with international agencies, foreign governments, and the Colombian state. He had a lead role in peace talks with the government in Caguán beginning in 1998.

In January, 2004, Trinidad was in Quito, Ecuador where he was to have asked United Nations official James Lemoyne to facilitate FARC plans to release hostages. Ecuadoran police, assisted by the CIA, arrested him and transferred him to Colombia. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe insisted on his extradition to the United States. Trinidad lingered for a year while a pretext was manufactured.   A former political prisoner explains that, “Colombia’s Constitution prohibits the extradition of a citizen for political reasons” such as rebellion. Alternative charges were devised.

 

The U. S. government subjected Trinidad to four trials. Persuaded by his testimony, Trinidad’s first jury stopped short of convicting him on the charge of membership in a terrorist organization. A second jury did convict him of conspiring to hold the three captured U.S. agents as hostages, this despite the unlikely chance he would have helped plan the operation; he had no military-command responsibilities. Two subsequent trials declared Trinidad innocent of drug – trafficking.

 

For four years FARC negotiators insisted that Simon Trinidad join them at peace talks in Havana. The FARC is a political party now, and spokespersons say they need Trinidad’s negotiating skills for dealing with post – agreement problems. While the talks were in progress, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos indicated he was open to Trinidad’s return. After conferring with former U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry, FARC representatives were hopeful that the U. S. government might cooperate.   But, “the Colombian government apparently never approached the United States with a formal request,” according to Mark Burton.

 

In Colombia Trinidad would be benefiting from the peace agreement. He would join other former insurgents in applying to the new Special Jurisdiction for Peace for amnesty. He might receive reparations, as per the agreement, because his wartime partner and their child were targeted for murder.

 

No end to conflict

 

Old adversaries are at each other’s throats. Simon Trinidad figures as a stand-in for the revolutionary side, still under siege in Colombia.

 

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, inveterate opponent of the peace process, leads the opposition to Trinidad’s release from prison. In one tweet typical of many such denigrating the prisoner, Uribe laments that “Simon Trinidad added narco-trafficking to the money from kidnappings.” Opinion surveys suggest that at least a majority of Colombian adults agree with claims from Uribe – led right-wingers that the FARC won’t comply with requirements of the peace agreement and claims too that high-visibility FARC leaders deserve imprisonment.

 

Nor have wealthy elites in the United States forgotten the cause they shared with counterparts in Colombia. To defeat the FARC, they provided billions of dollars in military aid, U. S. troops, and intelligence expertise and equipment. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, intent upon keeping that memory alive, has led in vilifying Simon Trinidad.

Revolutionaries in Colombia are speaking out. For former political prisoner Liliany Obando, “Simon has been man of integrity, a revolutionary, and a humanist and his cause on this road has been altruistic….Simon must inevitably be able to count on more hands and on the solid commitment of many people, abroad and especially in the United States, people who can be mobilized and exert important political pressure so that Simon’s repatriation can be achieved.”

On August 20 in Bogota, Colombia’s Communist party staged its annual festival for its Semanario Voz (Weekly Voice) newspaper. An editorial writer celebrated the event saying that, “It’s time now for Colombians who are living moments of change and national reconciliation to take on the job of broadcasting the life, history, and need for repatriation of Simon Trinidad. [He] has already gone from being a rebel of the FARC –EP to being a national hero.”

 

Jaime Caycedo Turriago, secretary – general of the Party, read a poem:

 

“To Simon/ The bright star you can’t see/ hardly asks you/ if any verse/ flew off in the night, /If it came through the bars/ And the regulations, / If it disappeared beyond the sea/ And the empire’s walls. / Perhaps there’s no reply/ To this question. / There will be silence and, / There will be uncertainty. / But here / On this shore, / Which is the shore of the world, There are millions who are pondering. / And they throw out hopes to the universe / That are shaking your bars. / There are millions of hearts / that are together on a shaft of liberty /Who are calling you back to your homeland, / And to freedom.

KKE: Statement on the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

KKE: Statement on the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/kke-statement-on-dangerous-developments.html
The Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following statement regarding the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula:
 
“The KKE expresses its intense concern about the dangerous situation in the Korean Peninsular. The developments reflect the escalation of the economic and military competition and inter-imperialist contradictions in the entire Asia and Pacific region between powerful capitalist states and business interests, at an international and regional level. 

It is not the result of choices of the allegedly “crazy” leaders of the USA and North Korea, as is being deliberately cultivated by the mass media in order to conceal the real causes of the confrontation.These antagonisms between the USA, Japan, China, Russia etc. are related in particular to the new division of the markets, the exploitation of the energy resources, which are to be found in regions such as the Korean Peninsula, the South and East China Sea, the Arctic and elsewhere. All this results in the constant intensification of the dangerous arms race and even the possibility of a military conflict. The USA is also paving the way for the increase of the sales of modern armaments to Japan and South Korea, while maintaining powerful military forces (28,000 troops) and military hardware in their bases in South Korea. It is constantly conducting major military exercises with provocative scenarios for the invasion of North Korea.

It is no accident that from the very first moment, the new US administration of Trump, together with the goal of renegotiating large scale economic agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), turned its attention to this specific region, which is in the under-belly of China and Russia and is considered by China to be a region vital to its interests, as well as other regions of Asia that are on the “Silk Route”.All the above, together with USA’s large trade deficits in relation to China, influence the formation of an aggressive political line in order to defend the US monopolies.

The USA is in the dominant position amongst the capitalist states with a nuclear arsenal, which it has already used, while it is characteristic that very recently the USA, Britain and France absented themselves from negotiations for the signing of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, with the excuse that this is not compatible with the realities of the international security environment. At the same time, NATO is talking openly at its summits about the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Consequently, the USA’s entreaties about the nuclear programme of North Korea are enormously hypocritical and serve as an alibi, the moment when the USA and other capitalist states, like Britain, France, Pakistan, India etc possess nuclear weapons.
 

The USA invokes the nuclear threat from both North Korea and Iran in order to install its so-called “anti-missile shield” both in the Pacific and in Europe, while in collaboration with the EU it follows the path of overthrowing or supporting governments in line with its own interests and imposes sanctions that target the peoples. In addition, it is once again reinforcing its military presence in Afghanistan, with its attention turned towards China and also Russia. The same is also true regarding the concentration of NATO troops in the Baltic.

On its part, Russia is taking a position against these plans, which objectively serve the aim of impeding a possible response by Russia, in the instance when the USA and NATO alliance attempt a “first nuclear strike”.

The USA is utilizing the stance of North Korea to develop its own nuclear programme, to promote its geostrategic interests in the region and more generally. However, the brutal crime the USA committed 72 years ago, with the nuclear destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the long-term consequences of this crime, demonstrate that the solution is not to be found in the development of nuclear weapons. It is no accident the first workers’ state in the world, the USSR, had abandoned the first nuclear strike and played a leading role for a world without nuclear weapons.

The exacerbation of the situation in the Korean Peninsular will not change or reduce the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. This is not only because the consequences of a possible military clash, with the use of nuclear weapons indeed, will be global, but because in the final analysis we are talking about fragile inter-imperialist “balances” and a geopolitical “domino set” that is unfolding on an international level, from the Baltic, Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean to Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

This is not the first time the USA has focused on this region. It played the leading role in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, which led to over half a million dead and to the dismemberment of the country. In any case, it should not be forgotten that Greece sent troops to participate in the imperialist military intervention in Korea, with over 180 Greeks being killed and 600 wounded. This was the choice of the Greek bourgeois class and its representatives.

The Greek government, with the support of the official opposition and the other bourgeois parties, is undertaking enormous responsibilities, as it participates in and agrees with the decisions and dangerous plans of NATO, serving the interests of the local bourgeois class, as all the bourgeois governments have done up until today. It places enormous emphasis on the role of Greece in the framework of the alliance, in the name of the country’s “geostrategic enhancement”.It has just recently agreed to expand the base at Souda and other military bases and infrastructure for the operations of the USA, NATO and the EU. It continues Greece’s contribution to the enormous NATO budget and integrates the armed forces even more deeply into the imperialist plans, intensifying the competition with Turkey.

Various mass media, as well as politicians, utilize the situation around the nuclear issue related to North Korea, not only slandering the struggle of the peoples for a world without the exploitation of man by man as a whole, but also in order to prepare the ground so that our people accept a military intervention by the USA and NATO in North Korea, under the pretexts of “restoring democracy” and “dealing with weapons of mass destruction”, which were also utilized in other imperialist interventions, such as in Iraq. The KKE supports the position that it is exclusively a matter for the people of each country to decide on the economic, social and political regime they will have, and also whether they will change it, through their own organization and struggle.

The developments impose vigilance, the intensification of internationalist solidarity and the strengthening of the struggle against the imperialist interventions and wars, against nuclear weapons. This struggle is integrally linked to the struggle for bread and wages, against capital and its governments, whatever shade of bourgeois government they may be. It is linked to the struggle against the imperialist unions, like NATO, the EU, as well as against others in Asia and elsewhere, against the capitalist system of exploitation and the power of capital, which, as history has shown, does not hesitate to commit all kinds of crimes against the peoples in order to overcome the sharpening contradictions and major problems, in order to achieve its goals and to safeguard its dominance.”

12.09.2017.

U.S. IMPERIALISM IS A PAPER TIGER
| September 11, 2017 | 8:23 pm | Imperialism | No comments

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

U.S. IMPERIALISM IS A PAPER TIGER

July 14, 1956

[Part of a talk with two Latin-American public figures.]

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/mswv5_52.htm


The United States is flaunting the anti-communist banner everywhere in order to perpetrate aggression against other countries

The United States owes debts everywhere. It owes debts not only to the countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa, but also to the countries of Europe and Oceania. The whole world, Britain included dislikes the United States. The masses of the people dislike it. Japan dislikes the United States because it oppresses her. None of the countries in the East is free from U.S. aggression. The United States has invaded our Taiwan Province. Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan all suffer from U.S. aggression, although some of them are allies of the United States. The people are dissatisfied and in some countries so are the authorities.

All oppressed nations want independence.

Everything is subject to change. The big decadent forces will give way to the small new-born forces. The small forces will change into big forces because the majority of the people demand this change. The U.S. imperialist forces will change from big to small because the American people, too, are dissatisfied with their government.

In my own lifetime I myself have witnessed such changes. Some of us present were born in the Ching Dynasty and others after the 1911 Revolution.

The Ching Dynasty was overthrown long ago. By whom? By the party led by Sun Yat-sen, together with the people. Sun Yat-sen’s forces were so small that the Ching officials didn’t take him seriously. He led many uprisings which failed each time. In the end, however, it was Sun Yat-sen who brought down the Ching Dynasty. Bigness is nothing to be afraid of. The big will be overthrown by the small. The small will become big. After overthrowing the Ching Dynasty, Sun Yat-sen met with defeat. For he failed to satisfy the demands of the people, such as their demands for land and for opposition to imperialism. Nor did he understand the necessity of suppressing the counter-revolutionaries who were then moving about freely. Later, he suffered defeat at the hands of Yuan Shih-kai, the chieftain of the Northern warlords. Yuan Shih-kai’s forces were larger than Sun Yat-sen’s. But here again this law operated: small forces linked with the people become strong, while big forces opposed to the people become weak. Subsequently Sun Yat-sen’s bourgeois-democratic revolutionaries co-operated with us Communists and together we defeated the warlord set-up left behind by Yuan Shih-kai.

Chiang Kai-shek’s rule in China was recognized by the governments of all countries and lasted twenty-two years, and his forces were the biggest. Our forces were small, fifty thousand Party members at first but only a few thousand after counter-revolutionary suppressions. The enemy made trouble everywhere. Again this law operated: the big and strong end up in defeat because they are divorced from the people, whereas the small and weak emerge victorious because they are linked with the people and work in their interest. That’s how things turned out in the end.

During the anti-Japanese war, Japan was very powerful, the Kuomintang troops were driven to the hinterland, and the armed forces led by the Communist Party could only conduct guerrilla warfare in the rural areas behind the enemy lines. Japan occupied large Chinese cities such as Peking, Tientsin, Shanghai, Nanking, Wuhan and Canton. Nevertheless, like Germany’s Hitler the Japanese militarists collapsed in a few years, in accordance with the same law.

We underwent innumerable difficulties and were driven from the south to the north, while our forces fell from several hundred thousand strong to a few tens of thousands. At the end of the 25,000-li Long March we had only 25,000 men left.

In the history of our Party many erroneous “Left” and Right lines have occurred. Gravest of all were the Right deviationist line of Chen Tu-hsiu and the “Left” deviationist line of Wang Ming. Besides, there were the Right deviationist errors committed by Chang Kuo-tao, Kao Kang and others.

There is also a good side to mistakes, for they can educate the people and the Party. We have had a good many teachers by negative example, such as Japan, the United States, Chiang Kai-shek, Chen Tu-hsiu, Li Li-san, Wang Ming, Chang Kuo-tao and Kao Kang. We paid a very high price to learn from these teachers by negative example. In the past, Britain made war on us many times. Britain, the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, tsarist Russia and Holland were all very interested in this land of ours. They were all our teachers by negative example and we were their pupils.

During the War of Resistance, our troops grew and became 900,000 strong through fighting against Japan. Then came the War of Liberation. Our arms were inferior to those of the Kuomintang. The Kuomintang troops then numbered four million, but in three years of fighting we wiped out eight million of them all told. The Kuomintang, though aided by U.S. imperialism, could not defeat us. The big and strong cannot win, it is always the small and weak who win out.

Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn’t. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger.

History as a whole, the history of class society for thousands of years, has proved this point: the strong must give way to the weak. This holds true for the Americas as well.

Only when imperialism is eliminated can peace prevail. The day will come when the paper tigers will be wiped out. But they won’t become extinct of their own accord, they need to be battered by the wind and the rain.

When we say U.S. imperialism is a paper tiger, we are speaking in terms of strategy. Regarding it as a whole, we must despise it. But regarding each part, we must take it seriously. It has claws and fangs. We have to destroy it piecemeal. For instance, if it has ten fangs, knock off one the first time, and there will be nine left, knock off another, and there will be eight left. When all the fangs are gone, it will still have claws. If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end.

Strategically, we must utterly despise U.S. imperialism. Tactically, we must take it seriously. In struggling against it, we must take each battle, each encounter, seriously. At present, the United States is powerful, but when looked at in a broader perspective, as a whole and from a long-term viewpoint, it has no popular support, its policies are disliked by the people, because it oppresses and exploits them. For this reason, the tiger is doomed. Therefore, it is nothing to be afraid of and can be despised. But today the United States still has strength, turning out more than 100 million tons of steel a year and hitting out everywhere. That is why we must continue to wage struggles against it, fight it with all our might and wrest one position after another from it. And that takes time.

It seems that the countries of the Americas, Asia and Africa will have to go on quarrelling with the United States till the very end, till the paper tiger is destroyed by the wind and the rain.

To oppose U.S. imperialism, people of European origin in the Latin-American countries should unite with the indigenous Indians. Perhaps the white immigrants from Europe can be divided into two groups, one composed of rulers and the other of ruled. This should make it easier for the group of oppressed white people to get close to the local people, for their position is the same.

Our friends in Latin America, Asia and Africa are in the same position as we and are doing the same kind of work, doing something for the people to lessen their oppression by imperialism. If we do a good job, we can root out imperialist oppression. In this we are comrades.

We are of the same nature as you in our opposition to imperialist oppression, differing only in geographical position, nationality and language. But we are different in nature from imperialism, and the very sight of it makes us sick.

What use is imperialism? The Chinese people will have none of it, nor will the people in the rest of the world. There is no reason for the existence of imperialism.