Category: Struggle for Peace
Israeli and Palestinian communists denounce Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Israeli and Palestinian communists denounce Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/israeli-and-palestinian-communists.html
Israeli and Palestinian Communist Parties have reacted to U.S. President Donald Trump’s provocative decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Below you can read statements by parties such as Hadash, the CP of Israel, the Palestinian CP and the Palestinian Peoples’ Party.
Hadash / Communist Party of Israel (CPI)
According the official website of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI), the intention to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “provoked reactions of outrage” among the ranks of the CPI, including the members from the Joint List of the Democracy Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) in the parliamentary assembly of Israel, Knesset.
Trump is a crazy pyromaniac capable of setting the entire region ablaze with his madness,” stated the leader of the Joint List, Members of Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh. “If there is one thing that the past few days have proved, it’s that the US shouldn’t remain the sponsor for discussions between Israel and the Palestinians,” Odeh added. “If the Israeli government wishes for the world to recognize West Jerusalem as the Israel’s capital, all it needs to do is recognize East Jerusalem as the capital city of Palestine.”
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) attacked the decision of US president Donald Trump to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. “The decision to move the embassy cripples the peace process and the chances of reaching a diplomatic agreement in the region,” Touma-Sliman said. “As long as Israel refers to Jerusalem as a ‘united’ city and occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Trump’s decision will significantly harm the rights of the Palestinian people to liberty and self-determination in its future capital, East Jerusalem.”
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas warned on Sunday, December 3, against US plans to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying that such a move “would endanger the future of the political process in the region.” According to Palestine’s official news agency WAFA, Abbas expressed his outrage and concern in a meeting with a delegation from the Hadash in Ramallah. President Abbas added that Arab countries, including Palestine, and the international community would not recognize such a move by the US administration.
Earlier Sunday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki called on the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene to discuss the situation regarding Jerusalem. Al-Maliki warned that such a US move “would have grave consequences” and would “blow up the situation in the Palestinian territories and throughout the region.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, as Palestinians want Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state of their own.
* * * 
Palestinian Communist Party (PCP)
The statement reminded that the historical Zionist occupation of Palestinian land would not have occurred without the support of British and American imperialism forming this usurper entity, which since its inception is confiscating the land and deporting the people of Palestine.
The Communist Party of Palestine named the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem as “a declaration of war” on the people of Palestine and its national cause. “This obliges us to unite and end the Palestinian division quickly and properly, the only viable option remaining before our people is massive resistance” said the statement.
It was observed that the American attack on the rights of the Palestinian people regarding its defeat “by the axis of resistance” in the region means that the arrogance of US policy is challanging the Palestinian people, free Arab nations and the world.
The statement underlined that the central focus in the face of the Trump attack is the masses of the Palestinian people, its national resistance. It said that this requires to draw a policy of confrontation including; 
– Unifying of all factions on the Palestinian arena and the restoration of the PLO on the basis of a revolutionary democracy. 
– Re-considering the Charter of the PLO and replacing the two-state solution with the one-state democratic solution, which requires a struggle by all means. 
– Meeting all the factions of the national action to prepare for a third uprising, led by the factions of resistance.
– Emphasizing the need to overcome regional agendas or commitments. 
– Giving a larger role for the masses through the people’s congresses, a General People’s Congress, in the homeland and among the diaspora, to draw a policy of confrontation. 
– Resisting to the division of the Palestinian party concerning the Oslo commitments based on the Decisions of the General People’s Congress. 
The Palestinian CP ended the statement with the slogans “Long live Jerusalem, the eternal capital of an independent Palestinian state”, “Freedom to the prisoners of the Palestinian Communist Party”. 
* * *
Palestinian Peoples’ Party (PPP) 
In a press statement, the PPP said that the implementation of the US administration’s decision would have serious repercussion on the security and stability of the region, cutting away the chances of “political settlement” of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The decision was assessed as a blatant attack on the Palestinian people in their struggle for a independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem being its capital. The PPP underlined that the shrewd policy pursued by the US will lead to further ignition of chaos in the Middle East, especially in light of its efforts to impose “solutions” that do not meet the minimum rights of the Palestinian people.
The PPP called not to succumb to Trump’s blackmail policy and his administrations efforts to force the Palestinian leadership to deal with his vision of reviving the “peace process”. Pointing out to Israel’s projects to undermine the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to an independent state on the occupied territories since 1967, Jerusalem being its capital, the PPP stated the need for the US administration to play a positive role.
In order to resist US efforts to diminish the rights of the Palestinian people stipulated in all charters and resolutions of international legitimacy, the PPP called to accelarate the process of ending the division among Palestinian political actors, restoring a comprehensive national unity and adopting a strategy based on further escalation of the struggle. According the statement of the PPP, in the forefront, the popular resistance should be based on the international recognition of the State of Palestine in 2012 with Jerusalem as its capital.
We promise the workers and peasants to do everything for (world) peace…and this we are doing
| November 21, 2017 | 8:15 pm | Struggle for Peace, USSR, V.I. Lenin | No comments

The USA, European Union and Ukraine denied to condemn Nazism at the UN General Assembly

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The USA, European Union and Ukraine denied to condemn Nazism at the UN General Assembly

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-usa-european-union-and-ukraine.html
Hiding behind the pretext of “freedom of speech”, the United States– accompanied by Ukrainevoted against a resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism introduced to the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly by the Russian Federation. 
 
The resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 125 in favor to 2 against, with 51 abstentions. 
 
Among the abstentions are the countries of the European Union (including Greece), Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey and Libya. 
Following the draft’s introduction, the United States representative proposed an amendment to the text that would change all sections deemed to violate- according to the US- individual freedoms of speech, thought, expression and association. The amendment was rejected by a recorded vote of 81 against, to 3 in favour (Israel, Ukraine, United States), with 73 abstentions.
Speaking after the draft, as a whole, was approved by a vote of 125 in favour to 2 against (Ukraine, United States), with 51 abstentions, several States commended efforts to combat Nazism, yet expressed concern over the scope of the draft.  
 
Showing the EU’s hypocrisy, Estonia’s delegate, on behalf of the European Union, said all contemporary forms of racism should be addressed in an impartial manner! We must remember that the government of Estonia- like other Baltic countries- have a leading role in glorifying Nazism during the last years, by honoring the Waffen-SS, organizing anticommunist fiestas and distorting history under the auspices of the European Union. 
 
No matter how hard they try to distort history, to glorify Nazism-Fascism and vilify Socialism-Communism, the historical truth is one and only: The Soviet Red Army and the peoples’ antifascist resistance crushed Nazism in WW2.
 
‘Pressure’ on US Needed to Solve N Korea Crisis Diplomatically – Peace Activist

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710241058502252-us-actions-north-korea-crisis/

‘Pressure’ on US Needed to Solve N Korea Crisis Diplomatically – Peace Activist

A man watches a television news programme showing US President Donald Trump (C) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) at a railway station in Seoul on August 9, 2017

‘Pressure’ on US Needed to Solve N Korea Crisis Diplomatically – Peace Activist

© AFP 2017/ JUNG Yeon-Je
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Amid the ongoing tensions over North Korea, the US is reportedly preparing to put its nuclear-armed B-52 bombers back on 24-hour alert, a measure unseen since 1991. Arthur West, Chairman of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, explained why this decision is rather dangerous and what should be done instead to resolve the crisis.

Sputnik: Despite North Korea making significant progress with their nuclear weapons program… is this necessarily the right response from the US? What affect will this move have on the already delicate situation?

Arthur West (AW): The response by the United States is deeply depressing. I’m afraid it’s a very worrying development and I think it could escalate tensions. The response should be concentrated on a diplomatic solution to the issues.

Sputnik: From your perspective, instead of this constant ‘one upping’ of each other from the US and North Korea, what should be done to alleviate tensions between North Korea and the West? 

AW: Other countries in the world, such as the UK, should start to put pressure on America to find a diplomatic outcome to the current situation. I think that the US president and his administration should accept that any escalation will have absolutely disastrous consequences; I mean what happened in Hiroshima at the end of War World II in terms of casualties and damage.

So, there should be pressure on the United States to get into a diplomatic solution and also such countries as China and Japan should have got something to offer in terms of talks to resolve the situation.

Sputnik: Is there a worry that the provocative actions we’ve seen over the past days and weeks could inspire other countries to develop nuclear programs in a similar way to North Korea? What affect would this have on any international nuclear disarmament efforts?

AW: There is a real degree of hypocrisy here from the like of the US and the UK that speak about modernizing nuclear own weapons systems and yet they are calling on countries like North Korea to move away from nuclear weapons. So I think if we go down the current path yes it could encourage other countries to look at developing nuclear weapons and we don’t want that.

In September, 122 countries voted in the United Nations to have a global ban treaty in relation to nuclear weapons. Disappointingly, the US and the UK ignored these talks, but 122 countries voted in favor.

We need to use forums and structures, such as the UN global ban treaty, to try and move things forward. Certainly at CND we are putting pressure on the UK government to start to take that treaty seriously because over the next couple of years countries will be signing and ratifying that treaty. That offers a one way forward from the current situation towards a nuclear weapons free world.

‘Why Is the US Even There?’ Anti-War Critics Question American Presence in Niger

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710201058390465-us-presence-niger-anti-war/

‘Why Is the US Even There?’ Anti-War Critics Question American Presence in Niger

United States Forces Korea (USFK) soldiers line-up during a display of military equipment at Yongsan US military base in Seoul. (File)

‘Why Is the US Even There?’ Anti-War Critics Question American Presence in Niger

© AFP 2017/ CHOI JAE-KU

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After a bloody militant attack in Niger that killed four US soldiers and five Nigerien service members earlier in October, US foreign policy critics have questioned why the US has a troop presence in countries like Niger in the first place.

Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek of Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear were joined by anti-war activists Rory Fanning and Cindy Sheehan. Fanning is a former US Army Ranger who fought in Afghanistan before becoming a conscientious objector and public speaker, while Sheehan became a vocal opponent of the US military following the death of her son, US Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, in Iraq in 2004.

“It’s not bad enough that our loved ones were killed in one of the many illegal, immoral wars that the US empire wages, but then we get so mistreated,” Sheehan complained. “After we’re used as political cannon fodder, then we are just pretty much just discarded by the country that supposedly is so grateful for our service.”

On Thursday, Trump allegedly told Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of slain Green Beret La David Johnson, that the soldier “knew what he signed up for,” a comment for which he received enormous flak. The White House denied Trump said any such thing, and accused Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) of fabricating the story.

According to Sheehan, the political mistreatment of Gold Star families spans the political spectrum: the family of Humayun Khan, a US soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, was “used by the Democrats” during the 2016 election, as hers has been.

“My grief and the power of the antiwar movement was used by the Democrats,” she said. “The question nobody is answering is: ‘Why are there special forces in Niger anyway?’ Why is the US even militarily involved there?”

The US military claims that its presence in Niger is to train Nigerien troops and deploy surveillance drone missions in the fight against Islamic terrorist groups in neighboring Mali, where US-ally France has been waging a war against Al-Qaeda affiliates since January 2013. Eight hundred US troops are deployed in Niger, with the permission of Niamey.

Niger is far from the only African nation to have a rarely discussed US troop presence. According to Fanning, the United States has been “conducting military operations in 49 of the 54 African countries since 2011 alone. Sixteen years of this, and unfortunately all these incidents only take away focus from the fact that many thousands of American soldiers have died since 2001, plus hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the majority of them innocent civilians.”

Fanning then turned the topic of conversation to his speaking engagements in schools about his time in the Rangers. “I spend a lot of time, when I can get in front of the students here, in the Chicago public schools talking to them about the military. Chicago has 10,000 students signed up to JROTC [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a US military program aimed at high school students] which is more than any other school district. I’m in a county that’s 50 percent black, 45 percent Latino. When you talk to them about the military you’d be surprised by how little they can tell you about the last 16 years.”

“When they do say why they’re all wearing a uniform once a week for these JROTC classes, they say that they’re looking for a little bit of structure, they’re looking for opportunities to pay for college. Eventually they’ll say ‘We want to make sure the world is a safer place, fight for freedom and democracy.’ I go in front of them and tell them about my experience, and the world is a far more dangerous place as a result of the last 16 years. Between 1980 and 2001, there were 381 suicide bombings around the world, only 10 percent aimed at the US or US interests. Since 2001 there’s been as many as 3,000 suicide bombs around the world, with up to 90 percent aimed at the US or US interests.”

“The world is a far more dangerous place, so signing up for the military is not necessarily making the world safer, it’ll make it more dangerous,” said Fanning. “As far as freedom and democracy goes, national sovereignty seems to exist just for the United States. It doesn’t really apply to any other country. The fact that the US is conducting military operations in the vast majority of African countries, let alone other places around the world — that’s not freedom and democracy for those people. It’s about making a small percentage of the population wealthier and controlling various regions of the planet.”

“The conversation we need to be having is: Why are people still being killed?” Sheehan asked. “Why is the US still a military empire with Trump threatening North Korea, Iran and Venezuela militarily? We just have to be more vocal, and it doesn’t matter who’s president. Obama bombed seven countries, he was at war every day of his presidency, he dropped almost 27,000 bombs in his last year. We need to stop being partisan politicos and really start opposing US empire as much as possible.”

US Role in 1960s Indonesia Anti-Communist Massacre Revealed
Indonesia elite troops parade in Bandung, June 1966. The red caps are paratroopers in red berets.

US Role in 1960s Indonesia Anti-Communist Massacre Revealed

© AP Photo/ Horst Faas
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https://sputniknews.com/asia/201710191058357817-indonesia-communist-massacre-us-involvement/

Thirty thousand pages of files have been released on US activities in Indonesia during the archipelago’s gory transition from a socialist dictatorship to a pro-West military dictatorship in the mid-60s. The documents confirm that Washington was aware of, and supported, the military takeover of the government and purge of communist opponents.

The anti-communist purges in 1965 and 1966 were horrific, described by the CIA as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century.” Between 400,000 and 1 million accused leftists were killed, with some estimates going as far as to place the figure at 3 million.

It has long been known that the US and allied governments supported the 1965 military takeover. The US embassy, as well as the CIA, have been accused of providing weapons, economic assistance, and training to Suharto’s forces as well as lists of names of 5,000 communists. The embassy asserted in 1990 that the list in question was compiled by a single official acting on his own direction, and scholars debated whether or not the US helped facilitate the mass killings.

One of the newly released cables came from the embassy’s first secretary, Mary Vance Trent, who told Washington about a “fantastic switch which has occurred over 10 short weeks” that saw an estimated 100,000 people slaughtered.

A particularly shocking 1966 cable from CIA officer Edward Masters discussed the “problem” of captured communist prisoners. “Many provinces appear to be successfully meeting this problem by executing their [communist] prisoners, or killing them before they are captured, a task in which Muslim youth groups are providing assistance,” Masters reportedly said.

The documents were compiled in 2001 by the US State Department and subsequently classified, only to be released today. “We frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000,” read an April 1966 cable attached to the 2001 report.

US Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), who introduced a bill in 2015 calling for the declassification of all US documents related to the matter as well as Indonesia to create a truth and reconciliation committee on the massacre, praised the release of documents. “These documents will provide greater transparency about the United States’ support for the Indonesian government during the same period that these horrible crimes were committed,” Udall said in a statement.

“Today represents real progress. But in Indonesia, many of the individuals behind these murders continue to live with impunity, and the victims and their descendants continue to be marginalized and unrecognized. These injustices are holding back Indonesia from achieving reconciliation and realizing its democratic potential. Here in the United States, we must encourage the continued democratic progress of a vital ally, and we must confront our own role in these terrible acts. Only by acknowledging the truth about our own history will the United States be able to speak out forcibly and credibly to defend human rights in the future.”

Indonesia, which had been a loose colony of the Netherlands for centuries, declared their independence in August 1945 and created the modern state of Indonesia, with the socialist and anti-imperialist Sukarno as the new nation’s first president. Sukarno attempted to balance the military, political Islam and communism in a policy called “Nasakom” and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement with other formerly colonized countries like Egypt and India.

But over time, Sukarno favored his communist allies more, especially those abroad in China and the Soviet Union. Poverty and hunger besieged the world’s third largest communist country, and Indonesia accrued huge debts to Beijing and Moscow. Sukarno also cracked down on Islamists and attempted to weaken the society’s military elements through measures like the creation of a communist-aligned peasant militia.

After a failed coup against Sukarno in September 1965 that the military blamed on the Indonesian communist party and Chinese actors, the nation quickly dissolved into a brief but extremely bloody purge. The military and Islamists allied to annihilate Sukarno’s regime, slaughtering the communist party’s leadership. The documents also suggested that the US embassy had credible evidence that the coup was not orchestrated by the communists — later analysis would question the Indonesian military’s claim, and the culprits and motivation behind the coup attempt remain under dispute.

The rebellion’s leader, Major General Suharto, seized control of the presidency and placed Sukarno under house arrest, where he died in 1970 of kidney failure. Suharto would remain the nation’s US-friendly military dictator until he was forced to resign in 1998.

The legacy of the massacre remains complicated in Indonesia. School textbooks briefly discuss a “patriotic campaign,” a national uprising where 80,000 communist oppressors were killed. A 2016 symposium meant to discuss the tragedy was met with severe backlash, and in September 2017 an anti-communist mob disrupted a meeting of activists to discuss the massacre.

Indonesia massacres: Declassified US files shed new light

Indonesia massacres: Declassified US files shed new light
Relatives visit the site that is believed to be the burial ground for victims of a 1965 massacreImage copyright EPA
Image caption Relatives visit a site believed to be the burial ground for victims

The US knew people were being “delivered for slaughter” during a political purge in Indonesia during the 1960s, declassified documents reveal.

At least 500,000 people were killed between 1965 and 1966, after the army and local Muslim militia went on a rampage following an attempted coup.

It was one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century, but, at the time, Washington remained silent.

But these newly released memos reveal they had detailed knowledge of events.

The documents show US staff describing them in telegrams as “slaughter” and at times “indiscriminate killings”, exposing an intimate knowledge of the Indonesian army’s operations to “completely clean up” the Communist Party and leftist groups.

It is thought as many as three million could have lost their lives within a year.

Young people stood outside an hotel in Indonesia with a military armoured vehicle on stand byImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The events of 1965-66 have been taboo for over 50 years in Indonesia

The violence – which was a taboo topic in Indonesia for almost 50 years and remains extremely sensitive even today – was unleashed after communists were accused of killing six generals at the end of September 1965.

It was the peak of the Cold War, and the struggle for power between the Communists, the military and Islamist groups was in full swing.

‘Delivered for slaughter’

Five decades later, the contents of the US telegrams are chilling.

According to one from US embassy staff in East Java, dated 28 December 1965, “victims are taken out of populous areas before being killed and bodies are buried rather than thrown in river” as they had been previously.

The telegram says prisoners suspected of being communists are also “being delivered to civilians for slaughter”.

Another document compiled by the US embassy’s first secretary, dated 17 December 1965, was a detailed list of the communist leaders across the country and whether they had been arrested or killed.

But the documents also make for uncomfortable reading for Indonesia’s biggest and most powerful Muslim organisations.

Young people holding flags with Arabic inscriptionsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Muslim students in Jakarta demanding a ban of communist groups in 1965

A December 1965 cable from the US consulate in Medan in Sumatra said that Muhammadiyah preachers were telling people it was a religious obligation to “kill suspected communists”. They were the lowest order of infidel, “the shedding of whose blood is comparable to killing chicken”, the report said.

The US cable said this was being interpreted as a “wide licence for killing”.

Another telegram notes that people with no connection to the Communist Party were being killed by the youth arm of Nahdlatul Ulama because of “personal feuds”.

Breaking the silence

Brad Simpson, founder and director of the Indonesia and East Timor documentation project, pushed for the files’ release

“These documents show in great detail just how aware US officials were of how many people were being killed,” said Mr Simpson, noting “the US stance at the time was silence”.

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono also says his extensive research has found no public comments from the US government at the time about the killings.

Mr Simpson said there was growing public interest in Indonesia to know the truth after years of state anti-communism propaganda.

Oscar-nominated film The Act of KillingImage copyright Kevin Winter
Image caption Oscar-nominated film The Act of Killing re-enacted the mass executions

“Indonesians can now read for themselves and learn about these important events in Indonesian history as part of a larger struggle for justice and accountability,” he said.

The 39 formerly classified documents come from a collection of files, daily records and memos from the US embassy in Jakarta during the period 1964-1968.

They have been released by the National Declassification Centre, a division of the US government’s National Archives and Records Administration. More documents, including CIA files, are set to be released later this year.

Revisiting the violence

Lieutenant General Agus Widjojo’s father was one of the Indonesian generals killed in the alleged communist coup.

When the BBC showed Gen Widjojo the documents released on Tuesday, he said: “I cannot say anything to justify or reject what is explained in these documents, but basically the tragedy of 1965 was a struggle for power between the Communist Party and the army.”

He denied knowledge of reports in the US memos about ethnic Chinese being killed in the violence and their businesses being burnt down.

“I have no knowledge that the violence went as far as that, the intensity of the violence and the atrocities I have no first-hand witness or information,” he said.

But he believes the country needs to go through a truth-telling process.

After 50 years, the Indonesian government is going to investigate one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century.

“We should bring all parties concerned together to share their experiences but there must be one condition – the victims, they have to be at peace, they have to move on and see in reflection the tragedy of 1965 from the point of view of Indonesia in 2017.”

He says Indonesian society, including his own institution, the military, is not ready to openly discuss the killings. Attempts at holding seminars to mark the anniversary of the killings last month were shut down by violent demonstrations from right-wing groups.

A 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary, The Act of Killing, is among a list of films about the killings banned in Indonesia.

“We are not looking for a situation to reopen the wounds, we are looking for a situation to heal the wounds and to move on,” he said., “We would like to focus on what went wrong as a society that we were able to conduct such violence and such killings in such large numbers in such a short time.”

Reporting by the BBC’s Rebecca Henschke in Jakarta.