US Imperial Interference In Central America To Blame For Migrant Crisis? — Rebel Voice

The caravan of refugees that is moving slowly from Honduras to the Mexico-US border is gaining quite a bit of media exposure, not least from the aggressive rhetoric of Donald Trump. The families in the group have been portrayed as a threat to US national security. Such ill-conceived language serves only to heighten ethnic and […]

via US Imperial Interference In Central America To Blame For Migrant Crisis? — Rebel Voice

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The reinstatement of North Korea: What effects on the ‘story’ of socialism?

 

October 25, 2018

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogThe reinstatement of North Korea: What effects on the ‘story’ of socialism?

It seems unlikely – as it defies 73 years of ongoing aggression, warfare, the near-warfare of constant tap dancing on the border, starvation-creating sanctions, false promises, broken promises, racist caricaturing, hysterical knee-jerk anti-socialism, and more besides – but what if Washington finally allows North Korea to reintegrate into the multinational world?

North Korea has been so politically oppressed from without that they are less integrated into global affairs, regional affairs, and even local & national affairs (their country was forcibly divided, after all) than any nation. They are even less integrated than the other few nations which have sustained modern (and thus socialist-inspired) popular revolutions, such as Cuba, Iran, Eritrea, mighty China and their fighting Vietnamese comrades.

We are told that we don’t really know anything about North Korea! We are also told to believe nothing from Pyongyang, and that the “Hermit Kingdom” is the most inscrutable of all those very-inscrutable East Asians. But I reported from Seoul and the DMZ border in 2013 and learned some interesting things (5 of them are here).

If I had to give the two most important ideas, they would be: no People have lived with more meddling exterior menaces since the year 1945 -North Koreans are bordered by and/or threatened by the US, South Korea, Russia, China and Japan); and the second point would be that the reunification of an $8 trillion mineral-richwell-educated(darn those socialist countries with their not-for-profit education programs) North Korea with South Korea would almost IMMEDIATELY create the world’s 5th-largest economy, trailing only the US, China, Japan and Germany. I hold these truths to be self-evident, and move on to the point of this article….

Let’s conjecture that Korea is still not allowed to reunite but that North Korea is allowed a global reinstatement on the level of China and Vietnam, leapfrogging poor Cuba and lonely Iran (but who is lonely when they have God?): How would that affect socialism on a global-historical scale?

What do I mean by that? I mean: socialism is a historical-political movement which covers 200 years, which is nearly as faith-based as Islam or Christendom, and which is nearly as economically influential as the era of industrialisation (an era which has lasted 250 years because many colonized countries have never even finished the First Industrial Revolution) and reinstatement for North Korea means a North Korean victory…and a victory for North Korea HAS TO impact the “narrative of socialism”, no?

Right now the narrative since 1992 is that “History is over”, per Francis Fukuyama, and capitalism has defeated socialism until the end of time…except that Fukuyama himself just backtracked on that with a recent interview“At this juncture, it seems to me that certain things Karl Marx said are turning out to be true.” Ah, really Frank? By “juncture” you mean roughly 1848, right?

It’s 2018 and we’re talking North Korean reintegration, old F.F. is having doubts and Donald Trump is in the White House – what is the world coming to?!

Trump, God bless his Nobel Peace Prize-deserving soul (hey, Obama re-set the bar, right?) seems willing to do what the smartphone-loving world demands: end the Cold War on North Korea…in order to start exploiting the Jongju superdeposit, the world’s largest rare earth metals cache, and which may contain double the world’s known rare earth element resources. Money talks with capitalists, not ideology/morality/history….

So what does it mean for socialism if North Korea is allowed to allow people in?

Here’s what I’m picturing: Much like Iran, foreigners come visit and realize: this place is far more modern and put together than often ignorantly assumed. After all, North Korea seems to have the ideological cohesion of Cuba combined with a high-tech skillset & wealth volume closer to Iran (Cuba’s “wealth volume” is limited by population size, containing only sugar and nickel, and by being an island (blockade-busting is thus harder)). With reinstatement the world will slowly realize and accept that North Korea is indeed a socialist success – just like China and Vietnam. Unlike Iran, there is no Islamophobia for the Christian-Atheist West to use as a deflection.

Reinstatement means Asians run socialism like Westerners run capitalism

A North Korean victory means we are talking about the four biggest socialist success stories, certainly from an economic standpoint, being from Asia.

Concurrently, European socialism is not even close to being revived: it’s hard to shock back into life someone who has drunk hemlock (events of 1989-1991) and also asked to be shot (the Eurozone & European Union). Asia turns to its left, sees Iran, mumbles (but not disapprovingly), stands on its tiptoes and shakes its head while discussing “revisionism” and “the lack of a Cultural Revolution”.

Here is the fundamental question at the heart of this article: The West writes the history of socialism because they are the “victors” and history is written by the victors.

The West is the “victor” in every way possible, of course – one can never question that. They are the “victors” in what “socialism” is, means and should be…which is paradoxical, because they have undoubtedly always been the “victors” in capitalism-imperialism and are the current victors in neo-imperialism.

Western paradoxes are there only to be ignored, so I’ll continue: They are also the “victors” in which rights are “human” and which are not; they are the “victors” in what is “freedom” and what is not; they are the “victors” in which economics are successful and which are not. All of these are absolutely without a defensible factual foundation – especially the more-mathematical last one – but I contend that the West believes, and much of the rest of the world is also persuaded, that the West are the “victors” in achieving the greatest amount of “socialist victory”. (For the record, I do not believe nor am persuaded by any of these claims.)

Again, socialism is a movement which is so long and so enduring that it forces us to extend our viewpoint: If North Korea is added to the list of socialist victories…what does and what should the world do?

Save a few Latin American countries, only one of which is stable (Cuba); save a few African countries, only two of which are stable (Algeria, Eritrea); it must be admitted that Asian socialism is currently victorious in the “global-regional competition”.

Therefore, I insist an integration of North Korea allows me to declare the “end of history”: Asian socialism is the only acceptable model, and all must follow Asia henceforth.

LOL, but such a declaration is not “socialism” at all because socialism (like Islam) cannot be forced: it would then cease to be democratic, and socialism is the most class- and citizen-inclusive sociopolitical model ever created in human history. This type of a declaration can only be made by capitalists, who impose by force the ideas of one person (or of an oligarchical few).

Obviously, the actual ramifications of a North Korean success on the “narrative of socialism” is multi-faceted, complicated and boring to many, but the ramifications are real, impactful, undeniable and unavoidable.

What do Western socialists ‘learn’ from a North Korean success?

Is the West capable of learning from a North Korean success?

Past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour, so my answer is “no”: The West will make it a point to remain the “victors” (in their view) and thus learn nothing from North Korea’s success, just as they have learned nothing from the successes of China, Iran, Cuba, etc.

The West will try to co-opt North Korean success by the same lie – that North Korea is an anti-democratic mullah-ocracy…no wait, a one-family dictatorship like Cuba – that works better.

They will deny the existence of North Korea’s undeniably socialist rules, laws, history and martyrs. They will also deny the words and experiences of actual North Koreans because the Western “victors” can and should speak for everyone: The Western tongue is the “one, true” tongue.

Above all they will assert – on the Western left and the Western right – that North Korea never was socialist at all, or that it could possibly be “socialist” now. Sadly, Western socialists often do the work of the imperialist-capitalists for them; they, paradoxically are “socialists” despite espousing the exact same (nonsensical, uninformed, self-referencing, self-centered, self-interested) views on North Korea in 2018 as right-wingers.

But for the true socialists living in the Western countries – and I am talking about perhaps as many as 14 people – a North Korean success should be applauded loudly. After all – no other socialist nation has endured more to win sovereignty, freedom and their own form of socialism. Of course, this public applauding will make us even more socially-isolated in Western society to the point where we will have even greater trouble finding that elusive 15th comrade….

It’s undeniable, at least to me, that socialism can be divided into 3 distinct eras: West European dominance (Marx, Paris Commune), East European/Slavic dominance (USSR, Eastern Bloc) and Asian dominance (China, Vietnam, Iran…North Korea?). A North Korean integration means that we are STILL living in this mostly-unappreciated 3rd historical era of Asian dominance in socialist thought and practice. Reinstatement also implies that the long-awaited “Latin American dominance era”, to be led by Cuba, remains unmaterialized (due to the continued domination of the “Monroe Doctrine era”).

Of course, most Western leftists don’t want to hear any analysis which relegates the West to 2nd fiddle, as they are still the “victors”…and they are: in living in a tired, nostalgic, decidedly un-revolutionary fashion.

Trump has certainly said and done crazy things but the re-integration of North Korea follows as much capitalist logic as the re-integration of China (consumer demand, loans/bond buying, formerly low- but now mid-cost labor (providing mid-cost labor is the function Eastern Europe currently serves for the German neo-imperialism of the Eurozone)) and Vietnam (low-cost labor):

Without access to North Korea’s rare earth metals China will have perhaps as great a chokepoint on the modern global economy as any OPEC nation save Arabia (which I refuse to call “Saudi”, as only Western governments believe/want the house of Saud to be synonymous with the People of Arabia). Furthermore, due to their educational advancements, North Korea can obviously serve the same function for South Korea as East Germany did for West Germany upon their reunification: cheap but smart labor.

(Iran might have oil instead of rare earth metals, but how can they serve this capitalist labor function when they are (due to imperialist throttling) the most populous, most advanced economy in the Middle East? Even if a counter-revolution happened in Iran, who would make them their mid-cost labor hub – Russia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt? None of those will work. This is why toppling Iran (combined with their anti-imperialist & anti-Zionist stances) is Washington’s continued project, in contrast to this floated reinstatement of North Korea. The US, being capitalist, runs on lobbies and money – somebody is obviously greasing the policy wheels (exercising their “free speech”) in favor of Pyongyang, and to hell with Korean War veterans groups or anyone else.

But that last is a bold statement – North Korean reinstatement…seriously? Sounds great – Koreans are certainly all for that, and they deserve Korean socialism…or at least to be #5 instead of pawns in a four-way game.

What does “socialism do” if North Korea becomes a success story – acknowledge it or ignore it? It seems like the answer depends on what part of the world you live in, but that is certainly a response which is “bad socialism”.

Socialism’s recent past and its present remains centered in the East, but socialism’s future remains open to anyone with common sense, a disposition for equality, and the courage to speak out.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

Dr. Saïd Bouamama: “Bouteflika Symbolizes the Freezing of Several Trends and It Does Not Make It Possible To Build Anything”

“Why was there so much support for the creation of Israel as a state and then? It is simply because this state serves as a bridgehead for all interventions, all strategies of interference, and so on. And so, we should not consider the fight as being only between Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, in confronting Israel, the Palestinians – and that is why it is a central cause in the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle – clash with the entire imperialist camp.”

Said-Bouamama_4c0a6.jpgSaïd Bouamama is a sociologist, activist and political Algerian residing in France. A doctor in socio-economics, he has written mainly on topics related to immigration, such as discrimination and racism.

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your reading of the geopolitical situation that prevails in Syria at the moment?

Dr. Saïd Bouamama: The situation in Syria is at first a situation of failure of imperialism. In fact, what is happening in Syria has been an attempt to destabilize the Syrian state by supporting jihadist groups. We think what we want from Bashar al-Assad, but he has made a great service to mankind by stopping this destabilization and this attempt to balkanize Syria. Because in reality, it is a balkanization. If we look at all the last wars, what I call the new colonial wars, what is left? Iraq is cut in pieces, Afghanistan is a complete chaos, in Somalia, it is the slaughter, and Sudan is cut in two. In reality, there is such competition today between great powers that, in order to continue to make profits, it is necessary to destabilize states that may be states of resistance or states that do not accept the rules imposed by a number of large countries. This is what happened in Syria whose stake was first of all the control of the region and the access to the regional geostrategy, that is to say, the control of the oil resources of the region.

How do you explain that the Trump Administration threatens to strike at the positions of the Syrian Army, Iran, and Russia even though in reality, those who are encircled in Idlib are for the most part terrorists of Al Nosra and Daesh? Saving Idlib, isn’t that saving al-Nosra and Daech? Does the US want to save the imperialist soldiers al-Nusra and Daesh?

I think we need to become lucid and stop being naive. There is no consistent fight against terrorism on the part of the United States. In reality, they fight it when it suits them and they support it when it suits them. And it’s not new. It must be remembered that the first great advances of the so-called jihadist groups were in Afghanistan, and the pretext for supporting them was to oppose the Soviet Union. We must not forget that whenever the interest of the United States requires destabilization, they let these groups do. They are only fought when the interest of the United States is in question, and therefore there is not a consistent fight of the United States against them. There is a fight at a time, in pieces, and a support at other times. It’s important to keep in mind that the United States does not have a coherent policy, they know only the politics of their economic interest, even in destroying countries and provoking the massacre of the populations, and if it is necessary for that by supporting terrorist groups, well, they do it. Unfortunately, it was done before Syria and if we are not able to immunize, it will be done again elsewhere.

I interviewed Noam Chomsky a few years ago and he told me verbatim that Syria was going to be divided into several areas. There is currently a US redeployment in northern Syria. Do not you think there is a risk of total confrontation, especially between the United States and Russia?

In fact, the US project, at this stage, is part of a long process of destabilizing all states with an economic size, a geographical area, and oil and gas wealth or strategic minerals to balkanize them, to cut them into several pieces, because it’s easier to maintain domination in chaos. And so, we had a number of wars before. With Syria, it is the same project today, but there are other countries and, in particular, there is the will to balkanize Iran. Let us not forget that the United States has not given up on destabilizing Iran. But Iran, in terms of the balance of power, is another matter and the United States is extremely cautious. Russia has understood this very well and has made agreements. Russia is not naïve and understood if it continued to let this balkanization, it could be balkanized itself, this is the big project of the United States – and so Russia has understood very well that its interest was to stop this process.

Before the Chechen sector enters the game?

Exactly, and that is why we have such strong support from Russia to Syria and that agreements with Iran exist.

The Russians regard Syria and Iran as strategic depths.

Exactly. It’s like it’s an inside front. And the Russians are right. Every decline before the balkanization offensive is, in the long term, the danger of war with Russia which is increasing. And whenever there is a failure of this project of balkanization, it is the danger of war that recedes. And today, the good news is that they did not succeed in Syria. And so, it makes them a bit more cautious, but of course, they do not give up.

Do not you think that Algeria is another target of imperialism, especially US and Israeli?

Of course, it is a target and we can even say that if Syria had been defeated, Algeria would be the next target country. There is Iran and then Algeria. There are not thousands of other countries that have this geographical area and this economic depth, so Algeria is on the line of fire. Besides, there is a man to listen to, even if he is an idiot, it is Bernard-Henri Lévy. He often comes to unveil the strategies of imperialism because he wants to strut. This man has nevertheless declared publicly that Algeria actually means three countries and that it was necessary to separate South, North, and Kabylia, in three countries. We can see that behind this, there are spaces, places called think tanks in which they think about different types of divisions, and in Algeria, there is actually a cutting plan. If Algerians stop being patriots and to defend the integrity of the territory, excuses will be found to intervene.

According to you, are our revolutions, Algerians, and Africans, completed? Do not you think that we need a second wind to our revolutions to complete the struggle of our ancestors?

It is absolutely necessary. First, we must not feel guilty. We’ve come from so far. We must not underestimate what was the colonization of Algeria and what was slavery for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. That is to say that the work is immense to recover from such a trauma. We must not say “we are zero”, etc. On the other hand, it is clear that the emancipatory project that led to independence was a project that required going much further than what we have done today. Issues as important as the issues of economic development, the distribution of wealth, the involvement of people in decisions, are still tasks ahead and so, yes, there is a need for a second wind. We also know that independence has given birth to a whole series of parasites, people who take advantage of the state apparatus to divert income, etc. and so there is indeed a need to refocus the process on those who have actually done it, those who have an interest in leading Algeria to real independence.

That is to say, if I understand you correctly, the sincere Algerian patriots who can find themselves among the young, within the population and the healthy vital forces of the nation?

Absolutely. And the matter of youth is, of course, an essential issue. When a part of the youth turns to the jihadists, we can not pretend that it is not important. This means that we have failed on a number of things and we must resume the fight. You know, young people just want to build their future. It is when the future becomes unthinkable when they can no longer imagine it, that they turn to the past and that charlatans can come to divert their legitimate anger. And so, yes, there is a need to take this breath and there is a need to recover the dynamics of the first two decades of independence. Remember the atmosphere when young people graduated from university in the years 1974-1975. It was full of hope for the future, it was the idea of building the country, it was the idea of agrarian reform and going to see the farmers, etc. We have to find that breath that has been lost notably because of parasites who have hijacked the process.

Do not you think that there is a real danger due to the various separatist movements in Algeria? Should the political and economic elite not be self-critical and remain alert to the geopolitical challenges that lie in wait for us? Can Algeria, according to you, go towards a gradual positive change well controlled without being afraid? Second question: has the red and black decade not vaccinated us against Islamist terrorists?

On the first question, yes, there are real dangers with the separatist movements, which nevertheless remain extremely minor, including in Kabylia.

And in Ghardaia.

Yes. In fact, one of the reasons for the development of these movements is that we have been shy about the issue of identity. Today, things are catching up, the Amazigh language is recognized, etc. but it took too long for it and when a right claim is not taken into account, charlatans can come to pick up the frustration. Algeria is pluricultural and multilingual and it is a wealth. There is no reason to consider this as a weakness, therefore, it must be accepted and pull the rug from under the feet to all who would like to exploit this issue.

On the side of the elites, there is no secret, all those who are attached, whatever their political and economic opinions, to the territorial integrity of Algeria and to true independence, must have in mind that this can only be done if there is a minimum of economic redistribution. That is to say that if there is no economic redistribution, if poverty sets in if people are in misery, charlatans can come again instrumentalize. That’s why our youth, even the one who listened to charlatans, is first and foremost a victim because in reality, if it had could think about her future, it would never have listened to these thugs.

You talk about the 1990s. Today, when we talk about the presence of Algerians at Daesh, they are very minor in comparison with the other peoples of the Maghreb.

Absolutely.

How do you analyze this? Have not we been vaccinated by the red decade?

Unfortunately, you are never totally vaccinated. But this has developed real resistance mechanisms and you must know that people who, at first, were able to listen to charlatans, turned away when they saw what this project of society was. There have been entire regions where huge votes have gone in favor of charlatans and which today do not want to hear about these people. So, we can see that it was a popular experience and, yes, there are antibodies in Algeria, stronger than in other countries, because there was this tragedy. We paid a high price for it. But be careful, as long as the causes are untreated, the disease can always come back and we return to the previous question about the distribution of economic wealth.

The fifth term of President Bouteflika is evoked. Do not you think that the time has come to accompany a process of renewal of the entire political class in Algeria, even at the level of “the opposition”, because, for me, the crisis is not only at the level of power, but also at the level of “the opposition”? Should the fifth term not be abandoned to inject new blood into Algeria and vaccinate the country against various risks, both internal and external? Should we not abandon this alternative of an additional term of the current president and go towards a change piloted – why not – by the army which remains the most structured force in Algeria? What is your opinion on this subject?

In any case, I am completely opposed to the idea of a fifth term. Today, Bouteflika symbolizes the freezing of several trends and it does not make it possible to build anything. I also think that there is a gap between the entire political class and the civil part of the nation. We must succeed in bringing to the political class all these young union activists, these doctors, all this generation that was born after. We must pass the baton on the basis, always, of territorial integrity and economic independence. It is time for a new generation to emerge.

President Bouteflika is very sick, very tired and he should give way to someone else.It’s common sense. What is your opinion about that?

Absolutely. It is an absolute necessity and we must also question the image we give to our own people and other peoples by keeping a sick president at all costs.

To say that we are against a fifth term is not to be unpatriotic or anti-national, on the contrary, we serve our country. Do not you think that those who are against a fifth term are the real patriots?

Absolutely. I think being a patriot today means being against the fifth term. Of course.

There is a country whose people are legally killed, it is Palestine. Do not you think that Israel, in addition to being a rogue state, is reaping all the benefits of the problems associated with the various US strategies to balkanize the Arab-Muslim region?

Of course. Why was there so much support for the creation of Israel as a state and then? It is simply because this state serves as a bridgehead for all interventions, all strategies of interference, and so on. And so, we should not consider the fight as being only between Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, in confronting Israel, the Palestinians – and that is why it is a central cause in the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle – clash with the entire imperialist camp. And Israel is not isolated, because precisely, there is this support. In reality, let’s imagine that tomorrow there is a democratic and secular Palestinian state, where Muslims, Christians, atheists live together, the end of Israel would mean that the whole imperialist strategy has failed. Israel is a tool of the great powers and of course benefits from imperialist strategies.

What’s left of Frantz Fanon’s message?

Unfortunately, Fanon’s message has been largely forgotten. Fanon said: “pay attention to the emergence of business managers of the West in the newly independent countries”, that is to say, people who will do the work the West did before with its army. It tends to be forgotten. The message of hope is that, on Frantz Fanon, in particular, we see his name come back while he had completely disappeared. A new generation rediscovers Fanon, unfortunately after several decades of forgetfulness, and we see more and more Fanon quoted and more and more young people take back his image. There is a return to Fanon and this is good news.

What prompted you to write your book “Manuel stratégique de l’Afrique“?

What prompted me to write this book was the tiredness of the wars that followed each other. And in “wars”, I put the black decade in Algeria until the French intervention in Mali. The question was “what is happening on this continent?” and the need to answer all the theories that were given to us, which were culturalist theories, that is to say we were told the war in Algeria as an opposition between Muslims and military, elsewhere we were told that it was tribes that were fighting each other. All of this seemed completely wrong to me in relation to the realities. So I went to look at what was common in all these wars. Of course, I had intuitions and I actually came across the confirmation of my intuitions. All these wars have one thing in common: the economic challenge. Whether in Algeria, we must have in mind the interests of the major powers for Algerian oil and gas, whether it is in the Congo with these wars that do not end and the wealth of the Congo. In fact, the African continent is the richest continent and the continent where we still make discoveries of ores and oil in the sea offshore, and it is, therefore, an enormous challenge for the great powers and there are wars to control the spaces of raw materials. In addition, the great fear of Western countries was the emergence of new countries like China, India or Brazil that trade with African countries and trade with more egalitarian rules and with less domination. And, indeed, it is the direct interest of the great imperialist powers that is at stake. When Algeria makes a contract with China for the construction of roads, etc., you imagine that those who used to consider Algeria as their market are not happy. When it is the Congo that has a contract, Belgium cannot be happy. And so, there are these two factors that combine and explain the African drama, because it’s a real drama. From Algiers to the Congo, there have been dozens of wars since independence, and I have only spoken of wars since independence, I did not talk about wars of independence. I just reported the ones from 1960 until today. All these wars are the same.

Why did you choose the Investing’action editions of our friend Michel Collon? Have other publishers refused to publish your book? Is your book disturbing? Have you been censored?

No, I have not been censored. I did not even think of presenting this book to other publishers for the simple reason that I know very well where we are today in many publishing houses on anti-imperialist issues. This project was born following a number of articles that I wrote on the news and where, while talking with Michel, he told me: “But Saïd, you do not realize, you told us about Algeria, you told us about Congo, you told us about this and that, when do you make us an overall book?” This is how this book was made. Quite frankly, I do not see major publishers taking it back today. It is unimaginable in the French-speaking world. It is different in other countries, for example in England.

Or in the United States.

Yes, in the United States, it would be different, but in the French-speaking world, it is clear that publishing houses today are closed on these issues.

What the committed, anti-imperialist, intellectual that you are, can say to the anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist resistance fighters?

That we must never despair of peoples. There are times when we believe that things are over, there are times when we despair of seeing failures, but in reality, as long as oppression exists, resistance exists, and we are sometimes surprised that two years after our despair, well, there is an offensive in a country we did not think at all. I think we came out of the recoil period. We must not underestimate what happened in Syria, which is the end of this process of decline; we must not underestimate the resistance in Latin America, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.

In Cuba.

In Cuba, yes. All this points to one thing: since the collapse of the Soviet Union, we were going from recoil to recoil, people were losing, losing, losing. And there, there is a stop. Of course, we have retreated so much that we have trouble to learn the facts. But if we combine all this, if we look at the struggles in all countries, we see a youth that mobilizes, etc. So, yes, in the short term, at a year or two, there is no immediate change, but we see that people are beginning to learn from this period of twenty-five years of decline. And today, we have breakpoints. For example, they eliminated Gbagbo, but look at the number of protesters demanding that Gbagbo come back. It was unimaginable a few years ago. And so, we can see that something is moving in anti-imperialism and I think we are entering a new mobilization sequence. That’s for the southern countries. For here, it’s to us to be up to it, to live up to the challenge and to make known the struggles that will develop.

Do not you think that we need a global anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist front that will be decisive in the struggles ahead?

My previous book, just before the last one, is a book called “La Tricontinentale : les peuples du Tiers-Monde à l’assaut du ciel “. Why did I write this book? Because the tri-continental conference in Cuba in 1965-1966 was the moment in which there was a unity of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and that at the same time, all the progressive movements in Europe were in support of the Tricontinental. It was the moment when we were furthest, I think, in this movement. If I wrote this book, it’s because I think it’s time to find that kind of dynamic.

Source

Unipolar Moments Never Last More Than a Moment

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American leaders, politicians, policymakers and pundits are fond of talking about the “Unipolar Moment” and “Hyper Power” position that they imagine the United States enjoys in the world.

Totally lacking from this fantasy are any inconvenient historical facts.

The US Unipolar Moment (insofar as it existed at all) lasted less than a decade from the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of December 1991 to June 15, 2001. The US “moment” barely made it into the 21st Century.

On that epochal day of June 15, 2001, two major events happened. First, US President George W. Bush gave a speech in Warsaw pledging to integrate the three tiny Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into NATO as a prime strategic goal of the United States.

That very same day, Russia and China created with four Central Asian nations the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO): The most populous and powerful international security organization in history.

This year, the SCO doubled in population by adding India and Pakistan at the same time – two major nuclear powers with a combined population of 1.5 billion people. That means the SCO now includes more than 3 billion people, around 40 percent of the human race.

From the moment the SCO was created – dedicated from its inception to preserve and protect a multipolar world from the domination of any one power, the US unipolar moment was dead and gone.

This reality was confirmed less than three months later when al-Qaeda’s terror attacks of September 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000 people. More Americans died that day than in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

George W. Bush should have been impeached for his gross incompetence. Instead his popularity soared. Imagining the Unipolar Moment (or Era) to be still in full flood he invaded Afghanistan later that year and Iraq less than two years later. The United States is still endlessly stuck in those unending wars.

The patterns of history – totally ignored by the US media, pundit-ocracy and political world – in fact teach this lesson consistently. Over the past half a millennium, there have been several unipolar moments for great powers seeking to reign supreme over the world and they all collapsed after only a few years.

When Habsburg Spain and its allies decisively defeated the huge fleet of the mighty Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Spain’s imperial domination over Europe seemed assured. But in fact Spain was already embroiled in a Dutch revolt that started in 1568. Over the following decades, it became even more exhausting than the current US deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

King Philip II of Spain’s dream of domination was totally buried only 17 years after Lepanto with the destruction of his giant Armada fleet to conquer England in 1588.

France rose next. Its domination over Europe appeared to be sealed with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. But by the mid-1660s, glory-crazed Louis XIV, the so-called “Sun King” had already repeated the Spanish mistake and bogged his country down in half a century of endless wars in what is now Belgium, the Netherlands and southern Germany. France’s unipolar moment lasted less than 20 years.

The British came next. Even after winning the Napoleonic Wars against France, they knew they could not rule the world alone and were forced to share it with the far more conservative major monarchies of Europe – Russia, Austria-Hungary and Prussia.

Finally in 1848, the kings of France, Austria-Hungary and Prussia were all rocked or topped by liberal popular revolutions. The British thought then, as the Americans did in 1989-91, that their Unipolar Moment had finally come and would last for eternity. The whole world would look to London for guidance and wisdom.

It didn’t: By 1871, Prussia under its Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had united Germany, smashed France, by then Britain’s ally and humiliatingly swept the British out of any continental pretensions of power and influence.

When asked what he would do if the tiny British Army ever invaded North Germany, Bismarck replied that he would send the police to arrest it.

After the defeat of Imperial Germany in World War I, Britain seemed to enjoy another hyper-power moment. The isolationist United States and the Soviet Union both temporarily withdrew from the world stage.

However, that British fantasy did not even last until the rise of Hitler in 1933. Two years earlier in 1931, Imperial Japan had occupied Manchuria – a huge chunk of Northeastern China: British military leaders were forced to admit to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald there was nothing they could do about it. Britain’s unipolar moment had lasted only 12 years – from 1919 to 1931.

Once these historical facts are understood, it is easy to see why the US Unipolar Moment only lasted even less time than Britain’s 20th century one had – less than a decade.

Since 2001, the United States has bankrupted and exhausted itself, just as Habsburg Spain, Bourbon France and post-Victorian Britain did before it in futile, doomed and ludicrous attempts to deny and roll back the inevitable tides of history.

That should come as no surprise: As Friedrich Hegel warned us, “The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

By Martin Sieff
Source

Absence of true ‘rules-based’ world order no prettier with liberal lipstick on it

 

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There is nothing “exceptionally” bad about Donald Trump. Rather, he represents “business as usual” for the empire.

Last weekend, I was a guest speaker as usual at the How the Light Gets In festival, which normally takes place in the village of Hay-on-Wye on the English-Welsh border but the venue this time was in the liberal lands of North London. I’m the token “noble savage” at this event, the short-sword fighter amid the better or more expensively educated cognoscenti, virtually exclusively wedded to the neo-liberal orthodoxy. I’m usually more noble than savage in the teeth of them – apart from anything, where else would I eat vegan schnitzel for lunch – but this time the savage beast broke free.

The motion was that the Trump presidency represents an “aberration” – a disruption of the “rules-based” world order. Speaking in favor was the chairwoman, Mary Ann Sieghart, an achingly liberal feminist, a first-rate intellectual herself, a fine writer and thinker, who has been a member of the Broadcasting Content Board of Ofcom. She’s therefore currently contemplating taking me off both television and radio.

Also in favor of the motion was another head-aching liberal, my debating partner, Mark Leonard, though he was not quite up the standard of the chair (it is always two against one when I’m involved, except in some years when it is three against one).

At one point (while telling me to speak more softly when talking about wars that have killed, maimed and destroyed the lives of tens of millions of people – well, we were in Hampstead after all, and it doesn’t do to frighten the horses), the chair accused me of being “passionately against the rules-based order.” In fact, I was passionately against the absence of a rules-based order and, worse, the hypocritical pretence that there was one, or had been until the vulgarian Trump showed up.

In fact, there is nothing exceptional about Donald Trump except perhaps that, so far, he’s killed far fewer people than his predecessors and way fewer than his rival Hillary Clinton would have done. Without doubt, the Hampstead classes would have rolled out the vegan schnitzel then nevertheless.

When challenged to “show us the beef” of this liberal order, its protagonists have no choice but to concede there have been “breaches” or, worse, “mistakes” made by the prevailing orthodoxy. But how many breaches or mistakes does it take to invalidate the existence of a claimed “rules-based order?” How many before it becomes clear that it is a cruel chimera?

Let’s start with the one which caused me to raise my voice: Iraq. What rules were followed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq? The UN Security Council refused to agree to the invasion, so George W. Bush and Tony Blair did it anyway. And look at the consequences, which scarcely need spelling out here or in Hampstead. Not only were no rules followed, every rule in the domestic book was broken too.

Intelligence was twisted beyond recognition, warnings by the security services were disregarded, parliament and people were lied to, the United Nations was bugged, banned weapons were used, non-belligerent allies like France were treated just as rudely by the belligerent powers as any Trumpian tweet.

Yet while they’d probably turn their noses up at Bush (though give it time), Tony Blair would slot into last weekend’s festival of ideas with ease if they could afford him.

What rules were followed in Obama’s misadventure in Libya, which has turned a dysfunctional state into a non-state with black-slave markets and multiple “governments” ceaselessly struggling for power (and money)?

What rules are being followed – long before Trump – in the Calvary of Syria, the crucifixion of a whole nation by wholesale illegal intervention by the very European and American besuited brigands who talk loudest about a “rules-based order” whilst shoveling money, weapons and propaganda blitzes into the knapsacks of the throat-cutting mass murderers of IS, Al-Qaeda and associated head-choppers, all without a scintilla of legal approval.

By what rules did the same savages – nothing noble about them, we’re talking Bill Clinton here (though he’d be a big hit at the festival) – destroy Yugoslavia?

None of these were “aberrations,” all of them were a continuum of “might is right” imperial power. From Vietnam through Cambodia and Laos, Indonesia, Chile, Central America, Iran and Suez in the 1950s. From Patrice Lumumba through Salvador Allende all the way to today’s whipping boys, Britain and the US have been rogue states, international criminals for whom rules are for the birds.

It is an ugly reality, made no prettier by the application of liberal lipstick and the industry of think-tankers cat-walking across the stage during festival season. And I will go on saying so, sometimes loudly, whether on TV, on radio, at festivals or not. As long as God gives me breath.

By George Galloway
Source

US has to come to terms with its place in the world, just as Britain did when its empire collapsed

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Trump’s threats of war, sanctions and promises to make America great again could be dismissed as the ranting of an eccentric politician. But this isn’t all about Trump. What he advocates is representative of much of the US elite.

The president and his generation of Americans grew up in a world where the USA was the greatest superpower in human history. It was not just their vast arsenal of nuclear weapons and their war machine but, in 1945, around 50 percent of the entire world’s economy was in the United States of America, with Britain and the USSR hobbling along with around 10 percent each. America dwarfed the power that the British empire had in the 19th century.

In the years that followed, America would intervene all over the world, not to spread democracy, but to overthrow governments that were not working in America’s commercial interests. Whether it was the coup that removed the government of Iran in 1953 and brought back the dictatorship of the Shah; or the military coup in Brazil in 1964 that overthrew a socialist, democratically elected government; or the dozens of other coups around the world, America crushed any opposition to its economic interests.

Some 45 years after the end of the Second World War came the collapse of the Soviet Union, by which time America’s share of the global economy was down to 25 percent. The collapse of the Soviet Union unleashed a wave of assumptions about the future. The most significant of these was Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book ‘The End of History and The Last Man.’ This was met with acclaim around the world as he argued that the ideological evolution of humanity was over with the triumph of Western liberal democracy. Fukuyama had previously worked in the US State Department under Ronald Reagan and later worked for the first George Bush. Now he is a senior fellow at Stanford University and has just published a book called ‘Identity’ looking at the current political situation. But it was his 1992 book that dominated the political debate as he predicted that the collapse of communism meant there was only one system left for our planet: pragmatic liberal democracy, and the world would never change again.

In an interview in The Guardian, Fukuyama talks about the “ruthless cunning of Vladimir Putin” and points out that Trump and Brexit are a backlash against multiculturalism and international cooperation. He warns that “globalization has clearly left a lot of people behind. There is greater automation, greater inequality.” He says he believed the financial crash would see a surge of left-wing populism and was therefore surprised by the rise of Trump.

Across much of the capitalist West, tens of millions have seen their lives get worse and this has fueled the growth of far-right groups and racial hatred. But different things are happening elsewhere in the world, of which the most significant is the rise of China. Around 40 years ago, China was a basket economy with 90 percent of its people living in poverty, but the economic strategy of China has lifted over 500 million Chinese out of poverty and their economy has grown to a point where it is about to overtake the USA. Not surprisingly, this has caused a backlash in the American establishment.

Paul Wolfowitz, a key player in America’s invasion of Iraq, had warned back in 1992 in a secret memo to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney that “our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor.” But with the growth of China’s economy and America’s economic decline, Wolfowitz’s strategy has now become the consensus in the American government, including Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. During Obama’s administration, they were pushing aggressive policies by expanding NATO to encircle Russia and devising a strategy for the economic containment of China. Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) tried to create an economic bloc around the Pacific that would exclude China. Fortunately, this was rejected by most Asian governments and never happened.

America’s paranoia about China ignores why Beijing’s economy has soared. Unlike the West, which allows the financial sector to dominate and set the economic agenda, China focused on scientific and technological development, investment in infrastructure (like high-speed rail) and kept its financial center under firm regulation, thus avoiding its banks collapsing as they did in the West in 2008.

Sergei Glazyev, a key adviser to President Putin, has warned against the continuing US and EU sanctions against Russia, and the capricious policy of the Trump administration that has seen the start of a trade war. He warns that “if the US keeps contradicting international law… the first measure we would have to take together with China and other countries who are suffering from US aggression would be to get rid of the dollar as the key international currency.” China, he said“has created the most progressive system in the world for directing economic development, combining planning with market self-regulation, and subordinating private initiative to the needs of raising the general welfare through an increased volume and efficiency of production.”

Another consequence of China’s growth is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). These countries are increasingly cooperating and as their economies continue to rise, we will never again see a world in which one country’s economy can dominate the whole planet, as was the case with America after 1945.

This global economic shift has caused a backlash with former British prime minister Tony Blair claiming“America needs Europe united and standing with it, not isolated as individual nations, able to be picked off one by one by the emergent new powers.”

China’s President Xi, speaking at the G20 conference two years ago, warned that “we can no longer rely on fiscal and monetary policy alone,” and called for spreading visionary and inclusive economic growth driven by innovation in science and technology… “to spearhead the fourth industrial revolution.” He went on to promise direct support to help the countries of Africa see their economies grow.

Xi also said“the Silk Road Economic Belt is progressing rapidly and the Maritime Silk Road is well underway. But this is not China creating a sphere of influence but rather a means of supporting the development of all countries. We are not building China’s backyard garden but we’re building a garden to be shared by all countries.”

Also, in September 2016, Russia’s President Putin advocated“big, ambitious, complex and long-term tasks” to transform Russia’s Far East into a hub of Eurasian development. At the same time, President Obama was still pushing for the TPP and demanding that “America should write the rules, not China.” A significant response to Obama came from Germany’s Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, who said“In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to America’s demands.”

These views were not shared by Britain’s Prime Minister May, as she launched what seemed to be the beginning of a new Cold War against Russia. Her views were echoed by the Sunday Telegraph’s editor, Allister Heath, who called for Britain to take the lead in creating a new global military and economic alliance to enforce democracy but also capitalism across the globe. Heath’s column was titled ‘Forget NATO. We need a new world alliance to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China.’ Heath continued: “NATO is no longer enough: it is too European, too many of its members are outright pacifists and Turkey’s membership is problematic.” Heath claimed that the new alliance he was advocating “would be the biggest shift in geopolitics since the creation of the UN. It would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China…”

No one power is ever going to dominate the world again. The choice we face is to cooperate with the emerging new economies like China and those that will follow around the rest of the Third World or get caught up in an economic Cold War led by the American establishment and its UK ally. America has got to come to terms with the world as it is now, just as Britain had to the same when its empire collapsed. We should work with China and Russia and the other emerging economies and, in doing so, ordinary people around the world will benefit – including in the USA, if only America stops looking back to the past.

By Ken Livingstone
Source

Syria or Southeast Asia – The West lied, lies, and always will

 

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I’m sitting at the splendid building of the Singapore National Library, in a semi-dark room, microfilm inserted into a high-tech machine. I’m watching and then filming and photographing several old Malaysian newspapers dating back from October 1965.

These reports were published right after the horrible 1965 military coup in Indonesia, which basically overthrew the progressive President Sukarno and liquidated then the third largest Communist party on Earth, PKI (Partai Komunis Indonesia). Between one and three million Indonesian people lost their lives in some of the most horrifying massacres of the 20th century. From a socialist (and soon to be Communist) country, Indonesia descended into the present pits of turbo-capitalist, as well as religious and extreme right-wing gaga.

The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Holland and several other Western nations, directly sponsored the coup, while directing both the pro-Western treasonous factions in the military, as well as the religious leaders who stood, from the start, at the forefront of the genocide.

All this information is, of course, widely available in the de-classified archives of both the CIA and U.S. State Department. It can be accessed, analyzed and reproduced. I personally made a film about the events, and so have several other directors.

But it isn’t part of the memory of humanity. In Southeast Asia, it is known only to a handful of intellectuals.

In Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, the Indonesian post-1965 fascism is a taboo topic. It is simply not discussed. “Progressive” intellectuals here are, like in all other ‘client’ states of the West, paid to be preoccupied with their sex orientation, with gender issues and personal ‘freedoms’, but definitely not with the essential matters (Western imperialism, neo-colonialism, the savage and grotesque forms of capitalism, the plunder of local natural resources and environment, as well as disinformation, plus the forcefully injected ignorance that is accompanied by mass amnesia) that have been shaping so extremely and so negatively this part of the world.

In Indonesia itself, the Communist Party is banned and the general public sees it as a culprit, not as a victim.

The West is laughing behind the back of its brainwashed victims. It is laughing all the way to the bank.

Lies are obviously paying off.

No other part of the world has suffered from Western imperialism as much after WWII, as Southeast Asia did, perhaps with two exceptions, those of Africa and the Middle East.

In so-called Indochina, the West murdered close to ten million people, during the indiscriminate bombing campaigns and other forms of terror – in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The above mentioned Indonesian coup took at least 1 million human lives. 30% of the population of East Timor was exterminated by the Indonesian occupation, which was fully supported by the West. The Thai regime, fully subservient to the West, killed indiscriminately its leftists in the north and in the capital. The entire region has been suffering from extreme religious implants, sponsored by the West itself, and by its allies from the Gulf.

But the West is admired here, with an almost religious zeal.

The U.S., British and French press agencies and ‘cultural centers’ are spreading disinformation through local media outlets owned by subservient ‘elites’. Local ‘education’ has been devotedly shaped by Western didactic concepts. In places like Malaysia, Indonesia, but also Thailand, the greatest achievement is to graduate from university in one of the countries that used to colonize this part of the world.

Victim countries, instead of seeking compensation in courts, are actually admiring and plagiarizing the West, while pursuing, even begging for funding from their past and present tormentors.

Southeast Asia, now obedient, submissive, phlegmatic and stripped off the former revolutionary left-wing ideologies, is where the Western indoctrination and propaganda scored unquestionable victory.

The same day, I turned on the television set in my hotel room, and watched the Western coverage of the situation in Idlib, the last stronghold of the Western-sponsored terrorists on Syrian territory.

Russia has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting warning that the terrorists might stage a chemical attack, and then blame it, together with the West, on the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

NATO battleships have been deployed to the region. There can be no doubt – it has been a ‘good old’ European/North American scenario at work, once again: ‘We hit you, kill your people, and then bomb you as a punishment’.

Imperialist gangsters then point accusative fingers at the victims (in this case Syria) and at those who are trying to protect them (Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, China). Just like in a kindergarten, or a primary school; remember? A boy hits someone from behind and then screams, pointing at someone else: “It was him, it was him!” Miraculously, until now, the West has always gotten away with this ‘strategy’, of course, at the cost of billions of victims, on all continents.

That is how it used to be for centuries, and that is how it still works. That is how it will continue to be, until such terror and gangsterism is stopped.

For years and decades, we were told that the world is now increasingly inter-connected, that nothing of great importance could happen, without it being immediately spotted and reported by vigilant media lenses, and ‘civil society’.

Yet, thousands of things are happening and no one is noticing.

Just in the last two decades, entire countries have been singled-out by North America and Europe, then half-starved to death through embargos and sanctions, before being finally attacked and broken to pieces: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya to mention just a few. Governments of several left-wing nations have been overthrown either from outside, or through their own, local, servile elites and media; among them Brazil, Honduras and Paraguay. Countless Western companies and their local cohorts are committing the unbridled plunder of natural resources in such places as Borneo/Kalimantan or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), totally ruining tropical forests while murdering hundreds of species.

Are we, as a planet, really inter-connected? How much do people know about each other, or about what is done to their brothers and sisters on different continents?

I have worked in some 160 countries, and I can testify without the slightest hesitation: ‘Almost nothing’. And: ‘Less and much less!’

The Western empire and its lies, has managed to fragment the world to previously unknown extremes. It is all done ‘in the open’, in full view of the world, which is somehow unable to see and identify the most urgent threats to its survival. Mass media propaganda outlets are serving as vehicles of indoctrination, so do cultural and ‘educational’ institutions of the West or those local ones shaped by the Western concepts. That includes such diverse ‘tools’ as universities, Internet traffic manipulators, censors and self-censored individuals, social media, advertisement agencies and pop culture ‘artists’.

There is a clear pattern to Western colonialist and neo-colonialist barbarity and lies:

Indonesian President Sukarno and his closest ally the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) were trying to build a progressive and self-sufficient country. Therefore, they had to be stopped, government overthrown, party members massacred, PKI itself banned and the entire country privatized; sold to foreign interests. The overwhelming majority of Indonesians are so brainwashed by the local and Western propaganda that they still blame the Communists for the 1965 coup, no matter what the CIA archives say.’

Mossadegh of Iran was on the same, progressive course. And he ended up the same way as Sukarno. And the whole world was then charmed by the butcher, who was put to power by the West – the Shah and his lavish wife.

Chile in 1973, and thereafter, the same deadly pattern occurred, more evidence of how freedom-loving and democratic the West is.

Patrice Lumumba of Congo nationalized natural resources and tried to feed and educate his great nation. Result? Overthrown, killed. The price: some 8 million people massacred in the last two decades, or maybe many more than that (see my film: Rwanda Gambit). Nobody knows, or everyone pretends that they don’t know.

Syria! The biggest ‘crime’ of this country, at least in the eyes of the West, consisted of trying to provide its citizens with high quality of life, while promoting Pan-Arabism. The results we all know (or do we, really?): hundreds of thousands killed by West-sponsored murderous extremists, millions exiled and millions internally displaced. And the West, naturally, is blaming Syrian President, and is ready to ‘punish him’ if he wins the war.

Irrational? But can global-scale fascism ever be rational?

The lies that are being spread by the West are piling up. They overlap, often contradict one another. But the world public is not trained to search for the truth, anymore. Subconsciously it senses that it is being lied to, but the truth is so horrifying, that the great majority of people prefer to simply take selfies, analyze and parade its sexual orientation, stick earphones into its ears and listen to empty pop music, instead of fighting for the survival of humanity.

I wrote entire books on this topic, including the near 1,000-page : “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”.

This essay is just a series of thoughts that came to my mind, while I was sitting at a projector in a dark room of the Singapore National Library.

A rhetorical question kept materializing:

Can all this be happening?” “Can the West get away with all these crimes it has been committing for centuries, all over the world?”

The answer was clear: ‘But of course, as long as it is not stopped!’

And so, A luta continua!

By Andre Vltchek
First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook

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