Sunday, September 28, 2014

“The Terrorists R Us.” The Islamic State “Big Lie”

Global Research, September 25, 2014
Under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council,  with president Obama chairing the Council session, the United States has called upon the international community to adopt strong measures, at national and international levels, to curtail the recruitment of Islamic State fighters.

What is not mentioned in the media reports is that the heads of State and heads of government  who have endorsed America’s campaign against the Islamic State, advised by their respective secret services,  are fully aware that US intelligence is the unspoken architect of the Islamic State, which is part of a vast network of  US supported “jihadist” terrorist entities.  Countries are either coerced into supporting the US sponsored resolution or they are complicit in the US terror agenda.

Lest we forget, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,  have been financing and training the ISIL terrorists on behalf of the United States.  Israel is harboring the Islamic State (ISIL) in the Golan Heights, NATO in liaison with the Turkish high command has since March 2011 been involved in coordinating the recruitment of  the jihadist fighters dispatched to Syria. Moreover, the ISIL brigades in both Syria and Iraq are integrated by Western special forces and military advisers.
All this is known and documented, yet not a single head of state or head of government has had the courage to point to the absurdity of the US sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution, which was adopted unanimously on September 24.

“Absurdity” is an understatement. What we are witnessing is a criminal undertaking under UN auspices.

While international diplomacy is often based on deception, US foreign policy lies are no longer credible. What we are witnessing is a total breakdown of established diplomatic practice.   The “Forbidden Truth” is that the Islamic State is an instrument of Washington, a US ” intelligence asset”. ISIL is not an independent entity, nor is it an “outside enemy” which threatens global security, as conveyed by the Western media.

While everybody knows this, the big lie prevails. The Lie becomes the Truth.

The  United Nations Security Council resolution calls upon member states to “suppress the recruiting, organizing, transporting, equipping” and financing of foreign terrorist fighters,”  Specifically, the resolution points to the “the particular and urgent need to implement this resolution with respect to those foreign terrorist fighters who are associated with ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], ANF [Al-Nusrah Front] and other cells, affiliates, splinter groups or derivatives of Al-Qaida…” But are these not precisely the “opposition freedom fighters” trained and recruited by the Western military alliance in their quest to unseat the government of Bashar Al Assad?

The ISIL are the foot soldiers  of the Western military alliance. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors. The endgame is to transform countries into territories.

Political leaders present at the UN Security Council session applauded the US counter-terrorism initiative. France’s  President Francois Hollande pointed to the fact that “terrorism has taken on another dimension, and it wants to conquer territory now.”

Several US allies including Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are currently involved in supporting ISIL and Al Nusrah are now involved in the US sponsored air raids allegedly targeted against the ISIL inside Syria.

Turkey and Jordan have borders with Syria. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have borders with Iraq.  The direct military involvement of these countries points to a scenario of escalation and sectarian warfare extending from the Mediterranean to Central Asia.

In this regard, Turkey has already announced that it will be involved in ground operations inside Syria and Iraq. The newly-elected Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced (a day prior to the UN Security Council meeting) that his government will be seeking the endorsement of the Turkish Parliament to intervene militarily in both Iraq and Syria.

What is at stake is a so-called “no fly zone” in disguise, a justification  to bomb Iraq and Syria under a counter-terrorism mandate, largely targeting the civilian population. The political architects of the Islamic State including president Obama, prime minister Cameron and their counterparts in France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, et al, are now waging a  military campaign against the Islamic State, which they themselves created. Boots on the ground are also contemplated. According to Iraqi government sources, the US will sending some 13000 troops to Iraq.

The leaders of western countries are either utterly ignorant and stupid, or totally corrupt and complicit?  “The Terrorists R US.” Moreover, they seem totally unaware of the broad implications of their actions.

War propaganda is a criminal act under Nuremberg: Crime against the Peace. By upholding the lies and fabrications of US foreign policy, the mainstream media is complicit in war crimes.
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is to bring the matter to the British parliament. The revocation of citizenship is contemplated in Britain as well as  in Canada for those suspected of supporting the jihadist movement.  While Britain’s Prime minister has called upon Her Majesty’s government “to restrict or rescind the passports of British jihadists … Home Secretary Theresa May has threatened to deprive those Britons already fighting with the Islamic State of their citizenship.” ,
Ironically, Prime Minister Cameron is complicit in facilitating and organizing within the UK the recruitment of British jihadists.  And indeed one might suggest, pending the formulation of criminal charges, that his passport should be revoked for “supporting the jihadist movement”.

George W. Bush stated in 2001, “you are either with us or with the terrorists.” The forbidden truth is that the US is involved in a diabolical  undertaking: it has created an Islamic terror network with a view to destroying sovereign countries and now it is waging a war against its own terror network. Without media propaganda, this military agenda under the guise of counter-terrorism would fall flat, collapse like a deck of cards.

The US president and his indefectible British ally “R the Terrorists”, they are the “state sponsors of terrorism”, with a view to waging a war of conquest.  The United Nations is complicit in this undertaking.

The March to War: Fighting ISIL is a Smokescreen for US Mobilization against Syria, Iran

Global Research, September 26, 2014
The ISIL or IS threat is a smokescreen. The strength of the ISIL has deliberately been inflated to get public support for the Pentagon and to justify the illegal bombing of Syria. It has also been used to justify the mobilization of what is looking more and more like a large-scale US-led military buildup in the Middle East. The firepower and military assets being committed go beyond what is needed for merely fighting the ISIL death squads.

While the US has assured its citizens and the world that troops will not be sent on the ground, this is very unlikely. In the first instance, it is unlikely because boots on the ground are needed to monitor and select targets. Moreover, Washington sees the campaign against the ISIL fighters as something that will take years. This is doublespeak. What is being described is a permanent military deployment or, in the case of Iraq, redeployment. This force could eventually morph into a broader assault force threatening Syria, Iran, and Lebanon.

US-Syrian and US-Iranian Security Dialogue?
Before the US-led bombings in Syria started there were unverified reports being circulated that Washington had started a dialogue with Damascus through Russian and Iraqi channels to discuss military coordination and the Pentagon bombing campaign in Syria. There was something very off though. Agents of confusion were at work in an attempt to legitimize the bombardment of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The claims of US-Syrian cooperation via Russian and Iraqi channels are part of a sinister series of misinformation and disinformation. Before the claims about US cooperation with Syria, similar claims were being made about US-Iranian cooperation in Iraq.

Earlier, Washington and the US media tried to give the impression that an agreement on military cooperation was made between itself and Tehran to fight ISIL and to cooperate inside Iraq. This was widely refuted in the harshest of words by numerous members of the Iranian political establishment and high-ranking Iranian military commanders as disinformation.

After the Iranians clearly indicated that Washington’s claims were fiction, the US claimed that it would not be appropriate for Iran to join its anti-ISIL coalition. Iran rebutted. Washington was dishonestly misrepresenting the facts, because US officials had asked Tehran to join the anti-ISIL coalition several times.

Before he was discharged from the hospital after a prostate surgery, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest ranking official in Iran, told Iranian television on September 9, 2014, that the US had requested that Tehran and Washington cooperate together inside Iraq on three different occasions. He explained that the US ambassador to Iraq had relayed a message to the Iranian ambassador to Iraq to join the US, then, in his own words, «the same [John Kerry] — who had said in front of the camera and in front of the eyes of all the world that they do not want Iran to cooperate with them — requested [from] Dr. Zarif that Iran cooperate with them on this issue, but Dr. Zarif turned this [request] down.» The third request was made by US Undersecretary Wendy Sherman to Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

Khamenei additionally made it clear that he categorically ruled out any cooperation with Washington on the issue. «On this issue, we will not cooperate with America particularly because their hands are dirty,» he publicly confirmed while explaining that Washington had ill intentions and nefarious designs in Iraq and Syria.

Like Russia, Iran has been supporting Syria and Iraq against ISIL. Also like Moscow, Tehran is committed to fighting it, but will not join Washington’s anti-ISIL coalition.

New Invasion(s) and Regime Change Project(s) in the Pipeline?
As was pointed out on June 20, 2014, in Washington’s eyes Nouri Al-Malaki’s federal government in Baghdad had to be removed for refusing to join the US siege against the Syrians, being aligned to Iran, selling oil to the Chinese, and buying weapons from the Russian Federation. Iraq’s decision to be part of an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline also undermined the objectives of the US and its allies to control the flow of energy in the Middle East and to obstruct Eurasian integration. [1]
There were also two other unforgivable cardinal sins that Al-Malaki’s government in Baghdad committed in Washington’s eye. These offenses, however, should be put into geopolitical context first.

Remember the post-September 11, 2001 (post-9/11) catchphrase of the Bush II Administration during the start of its serial wars? It went like this: «Anyone can go to Baghdad, but real men go to Tehran!» The point of this warmongering catchphrase is that Baghdad and Damascus have been viewed as pathways for the Pentagon towards Tehran. [2]

Like Syria, Al-Malaki government’s cardinal sins were tied to blocking the pathway to Tehran. Firstly, the Iraqi government evicted the Pentagon from Iraq at the end of 2011, which removed US troops stationed directly on Iran’s western border. Secondly, the Iraqi federal government was working to expel anti-government Iranian militants from Iraq and to close Camp Ashraf, which could be used in a war or regime change operations against Iran.

Ashraf was a base for the military wing of the Iraqi-based Mujahidin-e-Khalq (MEK/MOK/MKO). The MEK is an anti-government Iranian organization that is bent on regime change in Tehran. It has even openly endorsed US-led attacks on Iran and Syria.

Although the US government itself considers the MEK a terrorist organization, Washington began to deepen its ties with the MEK when it and its staunch British allies invaded Iraq. Disingenuously and ironically, the US and Britain used Saddam Hussein’s support for the MEK to justify labeling Iraq as a state-sponsor of terrorism and to also justify the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Since then the US has been nurturing the MEK.

Since 2003, the US has been funding the MEK. Washington has been protecting the MEK, because it wants to keep them on a leash as either leverage against Tehran or to have the option of one day installing the MEK into power in Tehran as part of a regime change operation against Iran. The MEK has literally become incorporated into the Pentagon and CIA toolboxes against Tehran. Even when the US transferred control of Camp Ashraf to Baghdad, the Pentagon kept forces inside the MEK camp.

Eventually the MEK forces would mostly be relocated in 2012 to the former US base known as Camp Liberty. Camp Liberty is now called by an Arabic name, Camp Hurriya.

The Istanbul bureau chief of the Christian Science Monitor, Scott Peterson described how US officials began to really put their weight behind the MEK during the start of the Arab Spring in 2011. This is tied to Washington’s regime change dreams. Peterson wrote that US officials «rarely mention the MEK’s violent and anti-American past, and portray the group not as terrorists but as freedom fighters with ‘values just like us,’ as democrats-in-waiting ready to serve as a vanguard of regime change in Iran.» [3]

Washington Has Not Abandoned Dreams of Regime Change in Tehran
Washington has not abandoned its dreams for regime change in Tehran. Is it a coincidence that the US and EU support for the MEK is increasing, especially when the ISIL threat in Iraq began to be noticed publicly?

Six hundred parliamentarians and politicians from mostly NATO countries were flown in for a large MEK gathering in the Parisian northeastern suburb of Villepinte that called for regime change in Iran on June 27, 2014. Warmongers and morally bankrupt figures like former US senator Joseph Lieberman, Israeli mouthpiece and apologist Alan Dershowhitz, former Bush II official and Fox News pundit John Bolton, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, and French former minister and United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNIMIK) chief Bernard Kouchner all met the MEK to promote regime change and war. According to the MEK, over 80, 000 people attended the regime change rally. Supporters of the insurgencies in Iraq and Syria were also present at the Villepinte gathering calling for regime change in Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

The irony is that the money for the event most probably came from the US government itself. US allies probably contributed too. This money has gone to the MEK’s lobbying initiatives with the US Congress and US Department of State, which in effect is recycling US funding. People like Rudy Giuliani — probably one of the most hated mayors in the history of New York City until he took advantage of the tragic events of 9/11 — are now effectively lobbyists for the MEK. «Many of these former high-ranking US officials — who represent the full political spectrum — have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK,» according to the Christian Science Monitor. [4]

Giuliani has been speaking at MEK events at least as far back as 2010. In 2011, he publicly pushed for regime change in Tehran and Damascus at a MEK gathering. «How about we follow an Arab Spring with a Persian Summer?» he rhetorically declared. [5] Giuliani’s next sentence revealed just how much of a scion of US foreign policy the initiative to support the MEK truly is: «We need regime change in Iran, more than we do in Egypt or Libya, and just as we need it in Syria.» [6]
Joseph Lieberman’s friend and fellow war advocate Senator John McCain was unable to make the trip to the Parisian suburb in Seine-Saint-Denis, but addressed the regime change gathering via video. Congressman Edward Royce, the chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, also showed his support for regime change in Iran through a video message. So did Senator Carl Levin and Senator Robert Menendez.

Large delegations from the US, France, Spain, Canada, and Albania were present. Aside from the aforementioned individuals, other notable American attendees to the June 27, 2014 event included the following:

1. Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the lower chamber (House of Representatives) in the bicameral US Congress;
2. John Dennis Hastert; another former speaker of the House of Representatives;
3. George William Casey Jr., who commanded the multinational military force that invaded and occupied Iraq;
4. Hugh Shelton, a computer software executive and former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff;
5. James Conway, the former chief of the US Marine Corps
6. Louis Freeh, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);
7. Lloyd Poe, the US Representative who sits on (1) the US House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats and chairs (2) the US House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non‐proliferation and Trade;
8. Daniel Davis, a US Representative from Illinois;
9. Loretta Sánchez, a US Representative from California;
10. Michael B. Mukasey, a former attorney-general of the US;
11. Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont;
12. William Richardson, the former secretary of the US Department of Energy;
13. Robert Torricelli, a former legislator in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate senator who is the legally representative of the MEK in Iraq;
14. Francis Townsend, former Homeland Security advisor to George W. Bush Jr.;
15. Linda Chavez, a former chief White House director;
16. Robert Joseph, the former US undersecretary that ran the (1) Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, (2) the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, and the (3) Bureau of Political-Military Affairs;
17. Philip Crowley, the former assistant-secretary of state responsible for public affairs;
18. David Phillips, the military police commander who restructured the Iraqi police and was responsible for guarding Camp Ashraf and Saddam Hussein as a prisoner;
19. Marc Ginsberg, the senior vice-president of the public relations firm APCO Worldwide and former US ambassador and US presidential adviser for Middle East policy.

Like the US presence, the French presence included officials. Aside from Bernard Kouchner, from France some of the notable attendees were the following individuals:

1. Michèle Alliot-Marie, a French politician who among her cabinet portfolios was responsible for the military and foreign affairs at different times;
2. Rama Yade, vice president of the conservative Radical Party of France;
3. Gilbert Mitterrand, the president of the human rights foundation France Libertés, which has focused on ethnic groups such as Kurds, Chechens, and Tibetans;
4. Martin Vallton, the mayor of Villepinte.

From Spain the notable attendees were the following:

1. Pedro Agramunt Font de Mora, the Spanish chair of the European People’s Party (EPP) and its allies in the Council of Europe;
2. Jordi Xucla, the Spanish chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group in the Council of Europe;
3. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a Spanish politician and one of the fourteen vice-presidents of the European Union’s European Parliament;
4. José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the former prime minister of Spain (who was also visibly accompanied by his wife Sonsoles Espinosa Díaz).
Other notable attendees from other Euro-Atlantic countries included:
1. Pandli Majko, the former prime minster of Albania;
2. Kim Campbell, the former prime minister of Canada
3. Geir Haarde, the former prime minister of Iceland;
4. Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian senator;
5. Alexander Carile, a member of the British House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament
6. Giulio Maria Terzi, the former foreign minister of Italy;
7. Adrianus Melkert, a former Dutch cabinet minister, a former World Bank executive, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s former special envoy to Iraq.
Not only regime change was talked about, but the cross-border crisis in Iraq and Syria was a major subject. Fox News gave the event special coverage. Just in July, the MEK’s leadership had condemned Iranian support to the Iraqi federal government in its fight against the ISIL, yet since the US had began to nominally fight the ISIL the MEK has begun to hold its tongue.

Before the regime change gathering, the MEK’s leader Maryam Rajavi — who the MEK has designated as the president of Iran since 1993 — even meet with the puppet Syrian National Council’s leader Ahmed Jarba in Paris to discuss cooperation on May 23, 2014.

Regime Change in Damascus through Mission Creep in Syria
The bombing campaign that the US has started in Syria is illegal and a violation of the UN Charter. This is why the Pentagon took the step of claiming that the US-led bombing campaign was prompted by the threat of an «imminent» attack that was being planned against the territory of the US. This allegation was made to give legal cover to the bombardment of Syrian territory through a warped argument under Article 51 of the UN Charter that allows a UN member to legally attack another country if an imminent attack by the said country is about to take place on the UN member.
Barack Obama and the US government have done their best to confuse and blur reality through a series of different steps they have taken to claim legitimacy for violating international law by bombing Syria without the authorization of Damascus. Although US Ambassador Samantha Powers informed Syria’s permanent representative to the UN that US-led attacks would be launched on Al-Raqqa Governate, informing Bashar Al-Jaafari through a formal unilateral notification does not amount to being given the legal consent of Syria.

The US-led attacks on Syria do not have the backing of the UN Security Council either. The US government, however, has tried to spin the September 19, 2014, meeting of the UN Security Council that John Kerry chaired as a sign that the UN Security Council and international community are backing its bombing campaign.

Nor is it a coincidence that just when the US assembled its multinational coalition to fight the ISIL and its pseudo-caliphate, that John Kerry conveniently mentions that Syria has violated the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). While admitting that Syria did not use any material prohibited by the CWC, Kerry told US legislators that Damascus had breached its commitments to the CWC on September 18, 2014. In other words, Washington intends to go after Syria and pursue regime change in Damascus. If this does not make it clear, then the fact that the US will use Saudi Arabia to train more anti-government forces should. [7]

A US brinkmanship strategy to justify a US-led bombing campaign against Syria has been put into action with the intent of creating a pretext for expanding the illegal US-led airstrikes in Syria that started on September 22, 2014.

What the US envisions is a long-term bombing campaign, which also threatens Lebanon and Iran. According to Ali Khamenei, the US wants to bomb both Iraq and Syria using ISIL as a smokescreen on the basis of the model in Pakistan. More correctly, the situation should be compared to the AfPak (Af-Pak) model. The US has used the spillover of instability from Afghanistan into Pakistan and the spread of the Taliban as a pretext for bombing Pakistan. Iraq and Syria have been merged as one conflict zone, which Ibrahim Al-Marashi, using a neologism, has described as the rise of «Syraq.»

The Broader Objective: Disrupting Eurasian Integration
While the US has been pretending to fight the same terrorist and death squads that it has created, the Chinese and their partners have been busy working to integrate Eurasia. America’s «Global War on Terror» has been paralleled with the rebuilding of the Silk Road. This is the real story and motivation for Washington’s insistence to fight and remobilize in the Middle East. It is also the reason why the US has been pushing Ukraine to confront Russia and the EU to sanction the Russian Federation.
America wants to disrupt the reemerging Silk Road and its expanding trade network. While Kerry has been busy frightening audiences about the ISIL and its atrocities, the Chinese have been busy sweeping the map by making deals across Asia and the Indian Ocean. This is part of the westward march of the Chinese dragon.

Parallel to Kerry’s travels, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Sri Lanka and went to the Maldives. Sri Lanka is already part of China’s Maritime Silk Road project. The Maldivians are newer entries; agreements have been reached to include the island-nation into the Maritime Silk Road network and infrastructure that China is busy constructing to expand maritime trade between East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Nor is it a coincidence that two Chinese destroyers docked at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf to conduct joint drills with Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf.

Parallel to east-west trade, a north-south trade and transport network is being developed. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in Kazakhstan recently where he and his Kazakhstani counterpart, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, confirmed that trade was due to see manifold increases. The completion of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, which will create a north-south transit route, is being awaited. Cooperation between Tehran and the Eurasian Union was also discussed by the two presidents. On the other western side of the Caspian Sea, a parallel north-south corridor running from Russia to Iran through the Republic of Azerbaijan has been in the works.

The anti-Russia sanctions are beginning to cause uneasiness in the European Union. The real losers in the sanctions in Russia are the members of the European Union. Russia has demonstrated that it has options. Moscow has already launched the construction of its mega natural gas Yakutia–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline (also known as the Power of Siberia pipeline) to deliver gas to China while BRICS partner South Africa has signed a historic deal on nuclear energy with Rosatom.

Moscow’s influence on the world stage is very clear. Its influence has been on the rise in the Middle East and Latin America. Even in NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, Russian influence is on the rise. The Russian government has recently compiled a list of over one hundred old Soviet construction projects that it would like to recuperate.

An alternative to US and EU sanctions is beginning to emerge in Eurasia. Aside from the oil-for-goods deal that Tehran and Moscow signed, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that Iran and Russia had made several new agreements worth seventy billion euro. Sanctions will soon merely isolate the US and the EU. The Iranians have also announced that they are working with their Chinese and Russian partners to overcome the US and EU sanctions regime.

America is being rolled back. It cannot pivot to the Asia-Pacific until matters are settled in the Middle East and Eastern Europe against the Russian, Iranians, Syrians, and their allies. That is why Washington is doing its best to disrupt, divide, redraw, bargain and co-opt. When it comes down to it, the US is not concerned about fighting the ISIL, which has been serving Washington’s interests in the Middle East. America’s main concern is about preserving its crumbling empire and preventing Eurasian integration.

[1] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, «America pursuing regime change in Iraq again,» RT, June 20, 2014.
[2] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, «The Syria Endgame: Strategic Stage in the Pentagon’s Covert War on IranGlobal Research, January 07, 2013.
[3] Scott Peterson, «Iranian group’s big-money push to get off US terrorist list,» Christian Science Monitor, August 8, 2011.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Matt Spetalnick, Jeff Mason and Julia Edwards, «Saudi Arabia agrees to host training of moderate Syria rebels», Caren Bohan, Grant McCool, and Eric Walsh eds. Reuters, September 10, 2014.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

On Scotland...

National in form, imperial in content by Nick Wright

It has become commonplace, in these last hours, for the great and good to praise the the Scottish referendum campaign, or more precisely the people who live in Scotland, for a great revival of politics.

And it is true. Millions of people grasped at the idea that they could have a decisive say in the way they were governed. Most particularly young people, including those will be deprived of the vote in the forthcoming election but, through Alec Salmond's crafty manoeuvre, were able to vote in the referendum, have displayed a passion, engagement and maturity that stands in contrast to the lacklustre nature of routine parliamentary politics.

People were presented with a clear choice, a binary division, a yes or no. And while it is true that the SNP's offering contained no substantial element of popular sovereignty or genuine independence – how could it when Salmond had already surrendered control of currency, accepted the Royal Prerogative, embraced NATO (and its missile submarines) and, critically, the European Union of bosses and bankers – the popular mood is for change.

This is dangerous for the establishment, both the British establishment and its Scottish outriders.

Labour calculates that, with the independence bubble burst, they have a generation in which to cement the voting loyalty of a Scottish working class that is no longer unproblematically loyal.

But the working class mobilisation that gave a massive vote for this simulacrum of independence in Glasgow, Dundee and other areas of proletarian concentration, contains real dangers for a Scottish Labour leadership that is a mediocre as it is is right wing.

A good part of the drive for a yes vote lay in the implicit promise, heralded in a handful of Holyrood measures, that a return to the kind of concessions that a capitalist class might allow a social democratic government to concede was possible.

This is not on offer. The financialisation of the British economy, no less the Scottish economy, has stripped out the basis of full employment, stable work, productive labour and manufacturing profits that underpinned the integration of the British working class as a whole, and the Scottish working class no less, into the imperial consensus.

It is to the New Statesman , in a piece published days before the vote, that we owe this clear signal that imperial ideas remain deeply rooted.

In a piece that cemented the Staggers role as praise giver in chief for Gordon Brown it was argued thus:

“If the Westminster establishment is serious about far-reaching reform of the kind being proposed in a blind panic and about addressing the decline of parliament, then Alex Salmond, whose political mission from the outset was to break the Union, might end up creating the conditions in which it could be remade and thus saved. For now, as we enter the last days of the referendum campaign – perhaps the last days of Great Britain – those of us who do not have a vote, who loathe neoliberalism but who feel culturally British and believe in the multinational ideal of the United Kingdom, for all its flaws and incongruities, can only watch and hope that pragmatism will hold sway so that Scotland is not lost as Ireland was before it.”

But Ireland was not lost, except to British imperial rule.

From the standpoint of the working class, British, Irish and Scottish, Ireland independence was a victory.

Thus in a piece that ostensibly is critical of Scottish nationalism we find the clearest expression of imperial British sentiment, as equally national in content as it is reactionary.

Meanwhile, the New Statesman and the Labour right is promoting the New Labour warmonger, Jim Murphy, as potential leader of the Scottish party.

Ed Miliband needs to find a way to connect with a Scottish labour movement tradition that can recover the lost working class voters. He will find this impossible with a bomb-happy imperial warmonger like Murphy in command of his Scottish cohorts.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Demand a living wage

The economic crisis that went global after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 is not over, but the free-market system appears, for the time being at least, to have stabilised. Output is increasing while unemployment is falling in Britain, the United States, and even Spain. The euro has survived, and the global bourse is still rewarding those degenerates who manipulate world markets.
     There is nothing new in recognising the cyclical nature of market-driven economies; yet this phenomenon should remind us once again that we cannot wait passively for capitalism to oblige socialism and self-destruct.
     Many of the left-inspired initiatives launched in the wake of the 2008 crisis, while well intentioned, have withered away. Failure was usually due to the fact that these efforts concentrated either on making a moral criticism of the system or attempting to defend a single social issue. It would be churlish to criticise the many dedicated activists who campaigned against these injustices; but ultimately we have to calculate the effectiveness of their actions rather than the aspirations they entertained.
     All too often the left found itself on the back foot, trying to defend old achievements while rarely having the opportunity to advance fresh demands.
     Supported by its own powerful media and a plethora of right-wing ideologues masquerading as academics or civil servants, the masters of neo-liberalism were and are surrounded by a protective propaganda buffer. Their well-oiled publicity machines skilfully dismiss criticism, ostensibly offering a rationale for the harshest of cut-backs and the iniquitous division of wealth. While the layer of misinformation was and is far from being impenetrable, it nevertheless creates an effective barrier to all but the best-crafted critique and adequately supported actions.
     However, just as capitalism appears to be in the process of weathering its latest storm and regaining a certain superficial composure, signs are emerging that at its heart there is a deep-running lack of confidence among some of its most esteemed theoreticians. Central to their concern is the obvious fact that recovery is built upon reducing earnings and income for working people while simultaneously cutting back on the public services and goods often identified by trade unionists as the citizens’ social wage. The difficulty these economists see lies not necessarily in the misery resulting from such policies: what worries them is that a lack of purchasing power is leading to static or falling consumption, leaving the global economy gripped in a non-expansionary or stagnant trough.
     For some time now influential figures from the Keynesian school of economics, such as Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, have been critical of the fiscal policies being followed by OECD countries. They were considered “old-school,” and were tolerated somewhat indulgently.
     More recently, though, other pro-market economists have added their voices to the list of sceptics, and they are less easily dismissed. Even if we haven’t read it, most of us are aware of the latest work of the French economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He caused a stir by undermining capitalism’s claim of an inherent effectiveness of markets to generate wealth equally across the board.
     Other prominent free-market economists are now adding their voices to a growing clamour to rethink the seemingly unshakable position held by economic movers and shakers since the beginning of the Thatcher-Reagan era. The British economist David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s influential Monetary Policy Committee, wrote scathingly in the Independent (London) of British government policy. In his article he described the calamitous drop in living standards and real income levels experienced by a majority of Britain’s working people.¹ This has happened without pause since the present coalition government came into office, and this in spite of a growth in GDP and falling rates of unemployment.
     The Blanchflower article struck a chord when he identified a drop in real wages, which in many cases takes workers’ pay below the cost of living. Of course this issue is not confined to Britain. Labour’s share of income has been falling throughout the OECD countries (including Ireland) for several decades, but the impact was disguised until the economic crash of 2008.² Not any longer, though; and one positive outcome has been an increasing demand for adopting and implementing a living-wage policy.
     In Ireland the call for just such a policy not only has the powerful endorsement of the ICTU and its largest trade unions, SIPTU and Unite, but is supported by a number of well-regarded pressure groups advocating social justice. A report in the Irish Times on 4 July announced the launch of a living-wage campaign, mentioning that “one in six people living in poverty in Ireland has a job, a group often called the working poor.”³
     Achieving a living wage—as distinct from a minimum wage, which often becomes the maximum—is not an end in itself, no matter how welcome it would be for working people. Forcing capital to pay workers an acceptable income does not alter the fundamental property relationships that socialism understands to be essential.
     What the struggle for a living wage does do, nevertheless, is offer workers an opportunity to push back and regain some ground lost over the past years of retreat. In this instance there is not only support for the campaign from the union movement and agencies within civic society but there is the real advantage that capitalism’s ideologues are divided on the issue. In other words, momentum in this case favours workers.
     It is essential to ensure that the campaign does not become restricted or capped. A living wage is an ever-changing target and not a fixed figure. Nor should it be viewed as merely an amount in the pay packet: also included in the demand must be an acceptance of an inviolable social-wage element, guaranteeing all the communal and collective goods that a civilised society must provide, such as a home, health care, education, and daily amenities.
     It has to be recognised, of course, that there is no single panacea that will carry the day for working people. Campaigning in support of a living wage is just one step towards the eventual goal of a socialist society, but if properly supported it can nevertheless become an important step.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Privatisation in Malta

Privatisation of transport on the cards in Malta:

“The announcement made by the Minister of Transport that Autobuses de Leon will take over the running of Malta Public Transport is not in the national interest”, stated The Communist Party of Malta.

“Public Transport should remain under State control as it is an essential service for the public. Government should have avoided re-privitising public transport and instead work towards a reliable, affordable and efficient public service”.
“Through privatisation the Government will now have to make good for the company’s profits. Government should have kept control of the service and instead increased subsidies to make the service meet the expectations of the commuters”.
The Party said that“privatisation will lead to another political failure as the company will be after profits and not after an efficient and affordable public transport service”, stated the Communist Party of Malta.
Victor Degiovanni
Communist Party of Malta

FARC-EP Update from the Peace Talks in Havana, Cuba

Peace Delegation FARC-EP

Monday, 01 September 2014

Iván Márquez, spokesman of the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP, stated that concepts like "transition", "demobilization" and "surrender of arms" don't exist in the General Agreement of Havana or in the ranks of the insurgency.

This was the loud and clear answer to the announcement by the government these days, of creating a 'Strategic Command of Transition', which would be in charge of the transition, of the enemy's demobilization and of controlling the surrender of arms.
Márquez said that the FARC won't ever accept a military hierarchy to resolve problems that are of a political nature, and that fundamental aspects like abandonment of arms also implies demilitarization of society and state.
With these announcements, the government is creating false expectations, when it should be realistic and explain to the people that
"in spite of the progress that has been made on different aspects, it will still take time to define what hasn't been resolved yet, like for example institutional transformations".
The insurgency also expressed its irritation about the government not taking into account the opinions of the counterpart at the Table. The state continues trying to impose its legality (the so-called legal framework) as instrument of transitional justice, while the FARC has said many times that this unilateral imposition is unacceptable.
"The only legal framework we accept is the General Agreement of Havana in which state and insurgency are equal parts. Remeber that item 3, numeral 5 on the End of Conflict, states that "the National Government will review and implement the necessary institutional reforms and adjustments to face the challenge of the construction of peace".
The FARC-EP called for an emergency meeting with the government, to re-establish the bilaterality of the peace process and read the content of what has been agreed. At the same time, the guerrilla movement invites Juan Fernando Cristo, Government Minister, to come to Havana and discuss the different viewpoints that might exist, as well as explain the real content of the agreements made so far.
The peace talks in Havana have entered the 28th round of conversations, which at the same time is the 2nd round on the fifth item on the Agenda: victims. Since the start of the conversations, the FARC-EP on a number of occasions, has made clear that the peace process shouldn't be deflected by third party's wishful thinking or the interpretations of mainstream media.
"There is only one Agenda, in the context is the Agreement made on August 26, 2012. The rest is fantasy".

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Death of Noel Harris

The CPI records with sadness the death of Noel Harris, life­long trade unionist and commun­ist, at his home in Donaghadee, Co. Down. As a union activist and official in Belfast, Dublin and London he was a member of DATA, the Draughts­mens’ Union, then national secre­tary of ASTMS in Dublin and a member of the Executive Council of the ICTU. He moved to Prague as head of the Social and Econ­omic Depart­ment of the World Federation of Trade Unions and then to London as national organiser of the cinema workers’ union, ACTT.

Throughout his working life he campaigned against sectarian discrimi­nation through his union and his member­ship of Belfast Trades Council and the Commun­ist Party. In January 1967 he was a member of the found­ing com­mittee of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Associ­ation and took part in the first civil rights marches.

ISIS is the new 11th of September

Kemal Okuyan
From soL (daily news portal of the Communist Party of Turkey)

Is ISIS (or Islamic State) a US project out of control?

     We witnessed before how organisations that were created by the US armed forces, intelligence agencies and funds being declared “enemies.” Some of these organisations were in a state that made them insensitive to the dictates of US imperialism, and some could not come to terms with having been sidelined by the United States as outdated. There were cases when they were put on the terror list as well as cases when they were truly identified as threats . . .

     ISIS is not like that. ISIS is not out of control. We can comfortably say that ISIS, or Islamic State, with its new name, has been performing wonderfully for US interests.

     If both sides at the talks that are going on and moving forward between Iran and the United States can manage not to describe each other as “enemies” and are looking for ways to collaborate on cracking down on ISIS, if the Obama government is able to bring into line the renewed mullah regime in Tehran, which is trying to put together a “strategy” . . .

     If, at a time when the distinction between “moderate Islam” and the “radical one” was blurred, ISIS, having risen with a violence that destroyed the relation between political Islam and “armed fanaticism,” makes everyone forget the scale of reactionary advances in a very wide geographical area . . .

     If ISIS, which says “I am here” not only in Arab states but in Turkey and even in European states, can help rebuild the public “common-threat perception,” which is the glue for the Western alliance . . .

     If, for the first time, a US-led alliance can become as legitimate, as effective and even as likeable as this one, if the Yankees can position themselves as true liberators . . .

     If ISIS is creating the perfect opportunity for making everyone forget the fiasco in Syria and the means to get everyone on board with the policy changes required by this fiasco, if it helps conceal the war crimes committed by Obama and others in Syria . . .

     If ISIS can change all the balances in Iraq in one day in order that “Iraq cannot become stable as a country, there is no such country,” and prepares the ground for the division of Iraq . . .

     If the ability of various Kurdish groups to “act together” is increasing, thanks to ISIS, and if the authority of the Kurdish leadership in northern Iraq solidifies, despite the “lack of spine” it displayed in the first days . . . (We have many reasons to claim that Barzani’s forces did not move against ISIS right away because it was a US preference) . . .

     What more could Uncle Sam expect from an armed force it has created!

     The Arab world doesn't find the following situation odd any more: peshmergas trained by the United States and ISIS murderers will attack each other with American weapons, and American bombs dropped from planes will land on one of the sides.

     ISIS has created the necessary energy for the revision of the plan of the great transformation that began with the “Arab Spring” but then hit a wall in Syria. The violence displayed is so gruesome that no-one is willing to state the overt role of the United States in it. Humanity is united against barbarism, and the statement “barbarism or socialism,” which had not lost its power for decades, is now vaporised in the face of the tragedy of thousands tortured, beheaded, or buried alive.

     Unite against barbarism! Unite with the USA!

     Are we supposed to accept this?

     The fact that it was the United States that directed ISIS is being dismissed with the label of “conspiracy theory,” and we are supposed to tolerate this?

     Are we going to be afraid of going past the triviality of “the United States was supporting them but now they are out of control”?

     ISIS is a covert US operation. It is a new and better thought-out 11th of September attack. It is the result of “creative chaos” strategy.

     We need to avoid cutting corners by saying, “There is no chance of success, the United States has been failing, none of its plans are succeeding.” Let us not forget that the biggest plan of the imperialist forces is the sustenance of the existing order; there cannot be any plan-project that goes beyond this, that can replace this.

     Alliance with imperialism against reactionary forces, and alliance with reactionary forces against imperialism, have to be severely condemned. One of the ramifications of this in domestic affairs is the liberation of secularism from the connection to the market. If Erdoğan can still hurl threats around today, the reason behind this is not the lack of a wide front against him: it is because the unprincipled and spineless anti-Erdoğan position, and the reasons that make Erdoğan who he really is, are not investigated.

Political statement CPI

National Executive Committee, Communist Party of Ireland
26 August 2014

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland expresses its solidarity with workers now engaged in industrial struggles to defend their livelihood.

     Iarnród Éireann workers are struggling to prevent a cut in wages arising out of Government policy, which is to run down the rail service, and public transport in general, in the interests of privately owned companies, to shift the burden of running public transport onto the workers and travelling public, and to remove the state from any meaningful social responsibility for providing a comprehensive public transport service.

     So also are the Greyhound workers, whose employer wishes to cut their wages by a third and further erode their working conditions—a direct result of the wholesale privatisation of the collection of household waste.

     The establishment has created a free-for-all with little if any regulation in this industry, dominated by a Wild West approach by ruthless get-rich-quick employers and a savage drive to the bottom in workers’ wages and conditions as well as poorer services. Refuse collection services are now a great deal worse than when they were provided by the local authorities themselves.

     This dispute can be settled in a just way for the workers only when all waste collection is brought back under the control of local authorities. In the meantime the demand must be that a Joint Labour Committee be set up to establish basic wages and conditions for this industry, to prevent workers’ wages and conditions being driven further down as the main factor in competition between gangster employers.

     Maximum pressure must be put on Greyhound to allow its employees back to work and to end the use of agency and scab labour. The outcome of this lock-out will affect the security of employment of every private employee in the country.

     The Government cannot be allowed to walk away from its responsibility. In particular, the Labour Party must demand the beefing up of regulatory controls by the Environmental Protection Agency over these rogue companies, to regulate how and by whom such companies can be set up, and where they are registered, and to ensure that the companies’ books are open to public scrutiny.

     Both these disputes arise out of the general offensive of employers and government against workers’ wages and conditions. The response of the trade union movement to this offensive has so far been cowardly and conciliatory. Clearly this policy has not worked; it is time for a policy of resistance.

The CPI is appalled at the suffering, amounting to torture, inflicted by the state on a young immigrant woman seeking asylum here. The woman in question had no money with which to exercise her right to travel, as she was a refugee, being held in disgraceful internment-like conditions and prevented from taking up employment. This greatly exacerbated her position. She was suicidal as a consequence of her pregnancy, which resulted from a horrific rape. She was clearly entitled to an abortion under section 9 of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, on the grounds of her risk of suicide; but this was delayed, adding to her suffering, until she could be made to deliver by caesarean section.

     The CPI reiterates its support for the demand for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and for legislation to recognise women’s right to choose.

The CPI expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people, now living under a prolonged siege by the Zionist state of Israel and suffering savage violence daily. To the gallant people of Palestine the party expresses its continued solidarity. The Israeli Zionist-military state has unleashed a savage and brutal war against the people of Gaza, while imperialist governments mouth empty rhetoric and their pretended condemnation of Israel’s genocidal war.

     The people must demand that the Israeli embassy be closed and the ambassador expelled. We need to move beyond outrage, disgust and charity to building political solidarity with the Palestinian people and in particular to building the boycott campaign.

     Trade unions have an important role in educating their members in accordance with ICTU policy on why they need to boycott Israeli goods. Unions also need to use whatever little influence they may have within the Labour Party to pressure it into taking action at the Government level to stop all trade with Israel.

     To the people of Ukraine the CPI expresses its solidarity, and with those resisting the forces of fascism, forces preserved, encouraged and unleashed by the United States, the European Union, and NATO.

     The wars in Palestine, Syria and Ukraine demonstrate once again the imperialist powers’ willingness to make use of the darkest and most brutal agents, whether Zionist, jihadi, or neo-Nazi, which they persist in imagining they can control as part of their strategy of permanent war. They use groups like ISIS to fuel fear and confusion among working people around the world and in particular to sow confusion among peace activists as to their real intentions in building a war psychosis among a confused and terrified populace. They have no regard for the consequences of their policies for the peoples of the world, including their own peoples, or the risks of a wider war.