Monday, 30 November 2015
Surprise, surprise. Justin trudeau is as big of an asshole as harper is. Fuck imperialism.
The election of Canada’s Liberal Party is likely to mean a shift away from the hyper-belligerent tone Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party used on issues pertaining to Middle East policy, but few concrete changes can be expected to take place. All signs point to the incoming government continuing to play a key supporting role in U.S.-led imperialism in the Middle East.
That the Liberals intend to approach international affairs in an aggressive manner is made clear in their platform, which accuses the Conservatives of “weakening Canada’s military,” criticises Harper’s government for providing the Canadian armed forces with supposedly inadequate funding, and promises to maintain the military’s budget at current levels. The platform vows to “build a more modern, efficient, and effective military… to strengthen frontline operations,” and to “strengthen Canada’s Armed Forces” so that it can “offer international deterrence and combat capability.” These statements indicate an intention not to spend money on the military for its own sake, but to do so in order to use force.
This can be expected, furthermore, on the basis of the Liberals’ track record. When the party was in power between 1993 and 2005, it participated in U.S.-led attacks on both Afghanistan and (contrary to popular mythology) Iraq as well as countries in other regions of the world such as Haiti.
Moreover, every member of the Liberal Party present in the House of Commons voted in the affirmative when the motion was put forth on whether Canada should participate in NATO’s 2011 intervention in Libya. Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau voted in favour of extending Canadian military action in Libya where the NATO mission was subsequently accused of committing war crimes. These policies demonstrate the Liberals’ long-term commitment to acting as auxiliary to the U.S. ruling class in spilling blood in the Middle East.
That Canada’s new government will act similarly is also clear from statements Trudeau has made on key conflicts. Earlier this month Trudeau indicated that he will not cancel a massive arms deal signed with Saudi Arabia during the Conservatives’ tenure. The Saudis have one of the worst human rights records on earth, have invaded Bahrain to crush an uprising, have a long history of backing violent sectarians in places such as Afghanistan and Syria, and have spearheaded a U.S.-backed war in Yemen that has unleashed what the UN calls a “humanitarian catastrophe.”
Trudeau’s willingness to sell weapons to the Saudis in this context constitutes active support for their policies and signals that his party will not disrupt the key role that the Saudi state plays in the domination of the Middle East by the U.S.-led ruling class.
The Liberals’ attitude toward the Middle East becomes even clearer when its approach to Saudi Arabia is contrasted with its positions on Iran. When Liberal foreign affairs critic Marc Garneau expressed his party’s support for the P5 + 1 nuclear deal with Iran, he said the Liberals believed that “Iran must be held to account for its support of terrorist organizations, its longstanding human rights violations, its aggression toward Israel, as well as its nuclear programme.”
Trudeau favours re-opening Canada’s mission in Iran but, according to his Director of Communications Kate Purchase, “doing so would be dependent on several factors” because the Iranian regime allegedly “represents a threat to Israel, the Middle East, and the world.” What is clear is that, for the Liberals, relations with Iran are contingent on the latter meeting criteria put forth by the U.S. and its allies while weapons can be sold to Saudi Arabia without conditions or even pro forma criticisms being offered.
Trudeau does say that he will end Canadian participation in the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. Canadian special forces, however, will remain on the ground as part of a “training” mission. As Thomas Walkom of The Toronto Star writes, U.S. President Barak Obama likely didn’t object to the removal of Canada’s six fighter jets because “What’s more important politically to Washington is that the U.S. not be the only Western country with at least some troops on the ground.” Thus, while the removal of the Canadian jets is welcome, this move should not be mistaken for a sign that the Canadian state is backing away from its ancillary role in U.S.-led imperialism.
Crucially important in this context is that Trudeau has expressed virulent hostility to the BDS movement and support for Israel even when it was in the process of massacring upward of 2,200 Palestinians in the summer of 2014. Accordingly, there is every reason to expect the Canadian state to continue contributing to the brutal oppression of Palestinians.
While the outcomes of elections can be significant, it’s worth bearing in mind that the roots of the Canadian state’s orientation toward the Middle East go far beyond any one leader or party. Systemic factors shape Canadian policy in the region and these are not determined in elections.
As MIT research fellow Jerome Klassen demonstrates in his monumentally important book Joining Empire, contemporary Canadian foreign policy under both the Liberals and the Conservatives has been guided by a corporate power bloc with vested interests in neoliberal globalization and transnational warfare whose class-based project necessitates “disciplinary militarism toward the Third World.”
This dynamic is evident in, for example, the Canadian-Israeli relationship. The ties between elites in the two countries are deep and have an economic base that transcends the bluster of Harper or Trudeau. As James Cairns shows, the Canadian ruling class has lucrative relationships with its Israeli counterpart in realms such as pharmaceuticals, energy, and weaponry.
Overcoming such links will require massive, coordinated efforts aimed at re-organizing Canada’s political-economic system at home and abroad. Until international solidarity activists living in Canada and their allies around the world can build such a movement, the U.S.-led empire and partner states such as Canada will continue to unleash violence in the Middle East.
Gregory Shupak is an author and activist who teaches media studies at the University of Guelph in Canada. This article first published on the Middle East Eye website.
The original source of this article is Socialist Project
Saturday, 28 November 2015
Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Download PDF for print. Can be printed 1-sided with the statement, or 2-sided wih statement, ads and room for local address.
ON "PRINCIPLED COMPROMISES," AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
November 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution
“Disagreements about the extent of federal power and the design of our democratic institutions were resolved through long arguments and, ultimately, principled compromises.” (Emphasis added)
Principled compromises?! The founding of this country on the basis of institutionalizing slavery—officially establishing the “right” to own slaves, and the status of slaves as less than human, in its founding Constitution—that is a “principled compromise” in the eyes of a present-day representative and functionary of the ruling class of this country. And the fact is that no major politician and no other significant representative of this ruling class will, or can, denounce this country, since its very founding, and denounce its “founders,” in the terms in which they deserve to be denounced: monstrously criminal. If founding a country on the basis of institutionalizing slavery is not a monstrous crime, what is? The fact that no significant representative and functionary of this system, in this country, can recognize and acknowledge this as a monstrous crime—and instead they all uphold as “great men” those, like Thomas Jefferson, who founded a country on the basis of this monstrous crime, and who perpetuated this crime for generations—that gets to the very core of what this system is all about and why there is a great need to put an end to this system at the earliest possible time, and replace it with a system that has no need, no place, and no apology for slavery in any form.
* Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.
* On Elections: Choosing between oppressive rulers will not stop them from ruling over and oppressing you and committing horrific crimes against humanity. This is true of all the major presidential candidates, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and it will be true of anyone who becomes president, or occupies any major political office, under this system. What supporting these people does accomplish is making you complicit with these crimes.
Will this asshole be called a terrorist? Probably not. In fact, many in the fascist states of amerikkka will call him a fucking hero....
November 27, 2015
updated @ 10:30 PM
On Friday a gunman launched an armed attack against the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, wounding at least nine people, with three confirmed murdered as of this writing. This heinous attack marks a serious escalation of the war against women AND a serious escalation in the overall attacks on the people. This must be met with determined, unyielding struggle.
This war has gone on now for several decades. Since 1977, anti-abortion pro-patriarchy fanatics have murdered at least eight people working to provide abortions, the most recent by Dr. George Tiller in 2009. The terrifying violence against the staff, patients and the clinics has been unrelenting over these decades. Some statistics over this same time period that reveals the scale and scope of this vicious campaign to deprive women of the basic right to control their own lives: what was eight murdered before yesterday is now at least 11; and add to this, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 182 acts of arson, and almost 7000 acts of documented violence and 194,000+ acts of active disruption.1 All this is but the leading edge of the violence done to the countless women’s lives who could not access abortion services because so many clinics have been forced to close.
Planned Parenthood has been a major target of this for the last several months with Republican presidential candidates in particular engaging in the most vicious lies, distortions and demagogy. Meanwhile, state legislatures all over the U.S. have put the very right to abortion, as well as birth control, on the firing line and the Supreme Court itself plans to make a major ruling this Spring.
It is imperative that this attack on Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs be met with mass action immediately—answering Sunsara Taylor’s call for demonstrations Saturday, November 28. Then, on January 23, 2016 there must be a massive national demonstration in Washington, DC on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which originally made abortion legal in the U.S. against the whole offensive being waged to take away the right to abortion. Beyond and through that demonstration we need a whole societal-wide movement of women and men who refuse to put up with this any longer, who refuse to just hope for the best but instead insist on directly and militantly confronting and fighting this patriarchal madness, who are determined to change the whole terms of discourse and political action to defend abortion and women’s lives in this society, and around the world.
At the same time, during this past week, there was an armed racist attack on demonstrations and an encampment organized by Black Lives Matter in Minnesota against the police killing of Jamar Clark, a young Black man. Not only did the police do absolutely nothing to prevent this shooting of activists, they took them as an opportunity to further harass and repress the demonstrators themselves. Both of these attacks—the one in Minnesota against the movement against police murder of Black and other minority people and the one in Colorado against women exercising their right to make their own decisions about whether and when to be a parent—are linked. They are part of a more overall openly fascist reactionary wind being fanned—again from very high up among the rulers of this country—in which threats, beatings and armed attacks are being unleashed against the people and in which openly racist thugs like Donald Trump are being given credibility and endless air time to promote poison on these questions, as well as his particular bent against immigrants. All this must be opposed both by militant mass action AND by relying on ourselves to defend ourselves and our movements. The lines are being drawn; the people must stand up.
This whole capitalist-imperialist system of America is rife with oppression and repression, and has no answers for the oppression of women or the ongoing murder of Black and other minority people by police other than empty promises and not just continued, but deepened, oppression, while at the same time stirring up and unleashing armed, fascist, racist, woman-hating forces. If this were all that is wrong with this system, it would be reason enough for revolution—and of course there is much more that needs to be utterly changed, from the horrific international situation and the endless wars, to the oppression of refugees and immigrants, to the destruction of the environment. Nothing short of revolution can solve this. And the most important thing is that there is leadership for that revolution, and a vision and plan for a far better society in which people can really get to work on solving these problems—in Bob Avakian (BA) and the new synthesis of communism he has brought forward, and the party he leads.
The time is now to cast away illusions, look reality in the face, and stand up to fight this oppression and while doing so, engage with BA and the scientific method and approach to, and the framework for, an actual revolution aimed at ending all forms of oppression and exploitation throughout the world and get with the movement for revolution and the Revolutionary Communist Party that is at its core.
Abortion On Demand And Without Apology
Abortion Providers Are Heroes
Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement
Abortion Providers Are Heroes
Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement
1. Statistics from the National Abortion Federation; http://prochoice.org/education-and-advocacy/violence/violence-statistics-and-history/. [back]
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
The following story illustrates exactly why most of the world think the u.s. has no moral authority to even govern it's own people, never mind tell the rest of the world what to do. Their perceived authority rests on their ability and willingness to use their military strength and outright cold bloodedness to do what they want, and to get others to bow down to them.
The pieces of shit shooting at a Black Lives Matter protest are parasitic insects, lower than any vermin you can name.
The pieces of shit shooting at a Black Lives Matter protest are parasitic insects, lower than any vermin you can name.
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
From A World to Win News Service:
The Paris Attacks and the French State Reaction: Murderers All
November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Before the Paris attacks, the French government had already begun to adopt sweeping new government powers in the name of combating Islamist terrorism. After the bombing, 300 police were assigned to conduct home invasions without search warrants over two nights. Parents, siblings and other family members of people suspected of implication in the attacks were jailed without charges. Here, as part of the same crackdown, police are stationed outside the Great Mosque of Paris. (AP photo)
November 17, 2015. A World to Win News Service.The November 13 bombings and shootings in Paris murdered 129 innocent people. Many of them in their twenties and thirties, they happened to be attending a rock concert, eating out in a lively neighbourhood, watching football in a sports bar or just walking by. The attacks took lives at random, devastating families irreparably and leaving most ordinary French people in pain and profound shock.
The attacks were part of a wave of deliberate massacres of civilians claimed by Daesh (Islamic State), including blasts that cut down dozens of people in a Shia neighbourhood in Beirut just the day before, and the blowing up of a Russian airliner with 224 tourists aboard over Egypt’s Sinai desert in October. These were all acts of murder, though on a much smaller scale than the Western powers, France among them, have inflicted on the peoples of the world for more than a century, in the Middle East and elsewhere. Need we mention as many as a million victims of France’s war to prevent Algerian independence (1952-62)?
Almost immediately, French President Francois Hollande declared war. He stated that that his country faced not just attacks by individuals as it has in the past, but now “a terrorist army”. “We are at war,” he told the French parliament a few days after the Paris attack, when it met to give him wartime powers. He claimed this was self-defence, although his government had stepped up military operations in Syria—surveillance flights, air strikes and, according to Le Monde, special forces—in the weeks and days before the Paris killings.
A Terrorist Attack on Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY
Obama After Paris: A Sane and Moral Response?
If this is war, it is an unjust war between reactionary forces equally disdainful of human life, neither of them less deliberately and consciously cruel in the pursuit of reactionary political objectives. Supporting either side will only worsen the dynamic between two unacceptable alternatives. People need to step forward and politically oppose both sides and all their horrors and work to break free of this ghastly logic.
Daesh poses itself as the only force that can challenge the power, ideology and hypocrisy of the imperialist ruling classes of the handful of countries that control or seek to control so many nations and bring so much misery to so many people. They mount this challenge inspired by a reactionary ideology and vision of society that would bring to power rising new exploiters and thwarted old ones. The goal of their jihad is to preserve, sanctify and systematize existing forms of oppression of the people in the Middle East and elsewhere, including the supremacy of men over women, a subjugation that persists in old and new forms throughout all of today’s world, along with other oppressive social divisions that crush the lives and potentials of whole populations. Thousands of youth from France and elsewhere have joined their ranks in Syria and other countries because they believe Islamism offers them a future denied them in their societies. Some of them are said to have been involved in the Paris attacks.
France has been deeply involved in Syria since the First World War was fought to redivide the world among the imperialist powers. Even before that war was over, the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement split the Ottoman Empire’s possessions between Britain and France. France tore Syria apart to create the state of Lebanon, basing itself on its allies among the Christian minority there, and more generally worked to exacerbate religious and ethnic contradictions. The Daesh communiqué issued after the Paris massacres specifically called France “the guardian of the Sykes-Picot temple,” meaning not only the old colonial order but the region’s economic and political subjugation that has persisted and in some ways intensified.
Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.Download PDF
France has sought to advance its interests in Syria and the region in many ways over the years, sometimes in concert with other powers such as the U.S. and often in rivalry with them. Probably more than any other Western power, France has historic ties and influence among sectors of the Syrian ruling class, once with the Assad family and now among leading regime defectors portrayed as the “moderate” (pro-Western) opposition. Ironically, it was France, not the U.S., which was most eager to open a bombing campaign against the Assad regime in 2013. Since then, with the U.S. and then Russia conducting their operations in Syria under the banner of confronting Daesh, French President Hollande has seen an increasing need to do the same, this time in the name of opposing not Assad but Daesh. The tactics, manoeuvres and justifications vary, but the imperialist interests remain the same—he who does not have armed forces involved is not going to sit at the table when the spoils are divided.
It should be understood that what France has and hopes to do in Syria is no different from what it has been doing with its 3,500 troops in Chad, Mali and elsewhere in former French colonies in Western and Central Africa: they are not looking to re-establish colonial setups that are no longer possible or necessarily desirable from the point of view of French imperialism, but they are working to bring peoples more tightly into the networks of capital accumulation in Paris and keeping imperialist rivals at bay.
Just as Hollande had already stepped up French operations in Syria before the Paris attacks, his government had already begun to adopt sweeping new government powers in the name of combating Islamist terrorism. These powers were also directed at France’s considerable population of immigrant origin, largely from predominantly Muslim countries that were once French colonies and remain within its sphere of influence. These repressive measures range from legislation allowing the political police to operate more freely of judicial oversight (not heralding new surveillance practices but giving them a more solid legal cover) to banning tinted glass in cars (justified as necessary for police to see whether drivers are texting or wearing seatbelts, but also, of course, allowing them to more easily spot people’s ethnicity).
After the attacks, Hollande declared a state of emergency that allowed almost 300 police to conduct home invasions without search warrants over two nights. Parents, siblings and other family members of people suspected of implication in the attacks were jailed without charges—an act considered revenge and hostage-taking when carried out by some other countries.
In fact, as French journalists have pointed out, that hypocritical slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” has been drowned out by the singing of the national anthem, La Marseillaise, with emphasis on the verse, “Citizens, to arms.” Unlike after the Charlie Hebdo massacres last January, there are fewer warnings from within the establishment against confusing Islamists with people of Islamic backgrounds. The keynote in Hollande’s discourse is that the state will be “merciless” abroad and at home.
Not coincidently, Hollande has taken up the far right National Front proposal to give the government the power to strip even French-born people (meaning from immigrant backgrounds) of their citizenship. He confined the threat to people holding dual nationality, since leaving people stateless is problematic under international law, but the symbolic value of this power is enormous, as is its potential as a weapon to terrorize families with the possibility of being torn apart. Many millions of immigrants are dual nationals.
Speaking before both chambers of parliament, an extremely rare occasion, he called for legislation that would allow the state of emergency he declared to be extended for 90 days. He also called for changing the country’s 1958 constitution to give this extended state of emergency a stronger legal foundation, and for modifying a constitutional clause that currently allows the president to assume sweeping powers only in the event of an armed insurrection or foreign invasion. He announced the hiring of thousands of new police, border guards and prison guards.
The vagueness of Hollande’s intentions leaves open all kinds of possibilities. There is a general uproar in France’s ruling circles about the risks and opportunities posed by different approaches the country could adopt on a national and international level.
But there is much unity among the French ruling class in terms of repressive measures. For instance, when a leader of the Republicans (the new name of the mainstream right wing party) called for the internment of everyone with an “S” on their police file (meaning that they are under special surveillance, now usually for suspected Islamist connections, estimated to be between 4,000 and 10,000 people, according to Le Monde and the New York Times respectively), Hollande’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls refused to discard that possibility, saying that the government would consider “all necessary weapons.”
When the French president declares “We are at war,” what comes to mind is not just World War II but the Algerian war, when the powers Hollande is evoking were established. They were aimed especially at Algerians in France and also meant to settle disputes in the ruling class by force.
France may be “at war,” but with what realistic war aims remains unclear. At the same time, France cannot stand aside from this conflict, because it needs to maintain and expand its status as a great power, and ultimately as one of the handful of monopoly capitalist countries able to extract superprofits from its place in the workings of the world imperialist system. That is a very dangerous situation, for the French ruling class, the people of France and the world.
The risks are also very high on the domestic front. Stripping people of their French nationality would mean formally acknowledging the inequality of French citizens, a fact already experienced in the daily lives of people in the suburban housing estates where a section of the lower classes already feels confined. It is likely that one of Daesh’s political goals behind these ghastly attacks was to accentuate the dynamic in which large sections of people from France’s so-called “underclass” are pushed in the direction of Islamism by their marginalized position in society and especially by state repression against them.
Both sides are stepping up the polarization between Islamism and the French ruling class and its ideology. That is exactly the problem, the way the clash between these two reactionary sides defines the situation today. A refusal to recognize this dynamic—this reality—can only lead to being pulled into the wake of one side or the other despite protestations to the contrary. In the imperialist countries especially, but not only, this usually means helping the imperialists. Everywhere, supporting either side means strengthening the underlying reactionary dynamic and strengthening both.
It is hard for people to resist the attraction of these two poles without some understanding of why these are not the only choices. In the oppressed and oppressor countries alike, they need a long-term perspective of how a revolutionary alternative could arise. After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., despite a strong tendency of people to seek protection from the government, with the participation of revolutionary communists, a “Not in Our Name” movement emerged that was able to contest the Bush regime’s attempts to take the moral high ground as a representative of the victims and use this to legitimate even more massive crimes.
Today, a serious, courageous and growing opposition to the past, present and future crimes of imperialist rulers could provide political aid to those who hate both imperialism and Islamism in the Middle East and be part of beginning to change today’s unfavourable political landscape worldwide.