Archive | June 4th, 2020

Harpal Brar: Long live Leninism!

Why does Lenin hold such an honoured position in the lexicon of socialist leaders? A century later, what can we learn from his teachings?

Harpal Brar

22 April this year marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the inspirer of the great proletarian socialist revolution in Russia, the leader of the Russian and world proletariat. We publish this article in tribute to his earth-shaking contribution to the cause of world proletarian revolution and the struggle for the overthrow of world imperialism.

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VI Lenin fought all his life against opportunism in the working-class movement, in Russia as well as in the west. He exposed and fought against the German socialist Kautsky’s degeneration into opportunism, making a concrete analysis of every important question at issue, drawing clear and definite lines of demarcation between Marxism and Kautskyism, between the Marxist position and the plethora of tendencies within the socialist movement that conciliated with opportunism and thus stood in the way of successfully making a socialist revolution.

Lenin delved deep into the root causes of the emergence of Kautsky’s degeneration, bringing them into the broad light of day – not allowing any considerations of diplomacy (for Kautsky was the acknowledged leader of world socialism at that time), tactics or expediency to inhibit his thorough exposure of this dangerous trend, for he knew only too well that any gains made by ‘tactical’ manoeuvres are not worth a farthing if into the bargain they bring strategic losses and even the negation of basic principles.

Had it not been for Lenin’s exposure of Kautsky’s opportunism during the first world war, the gigantic proletarian opposition to social democracy a few years later would have been out of the question. The result would have been widespread confusion in the working-class movement, accompanied by organisational stagnation.

After Lenin’s death, Josef Stalin maintained that because of Lenin’s services in the defence of Marxism against social-democratic opportunism, because of his development of Marxism on such questions as proletarian revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat, party organisation, etc, the science of Marxism should be called Marxism-Leninism; and in this Stalin was absolutely right, for such was Lenin’s contribution to Marxism – to its general treasury.

Leninism, far from being merely a Russian phenomenon, became an international phenomenon rooted in the entire international development.

Lenin applied Marxism to Russian conditions in a masterly way. He helped restore the revolutionary content of Marxism, which had long been suppressed by the opportunists of the Second International. Above all, he took a giant leap forward, developing Marxism further under the new conditions of capitalism and proletarian class struggle.

This is how Stalin defined Leninism: “Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution. To be more exact, Leninism is a theory of proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.” (JV Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism, 1924, Introduction)

Leninism is characterised by its exceptionally militant and revolutionary spirit, which can be explained by two causes: first, that Leninism was born of the proletarian revolution, the imprint of which it could not but bear; second, that it grew and gained strength in the struggle against the opportunism of the Second International.

The Second International followed the line of opportunism in practice, while paying lip service to Marxism in theory. As Stalin put it: “The opportunists adapted themselves to the bourgeoisie because of their adaptive, petty-bourgeois nature; the ‘orthodox’, in turn adapted themselves to the opportunists in order to ‘preserve’ unity with them, in the interests of ‘peace within the party’. Thus the link between the policy of the bourgeoisie and the policy of the ‘orthodox’ was closed, and, as a result, opportunism reigned supreme.” (Ibid, chapter 2)

Instead of an integral revolutionary theory, there prevailed eclectic, contradictory propositions and scraps of theory. Instead of a revolutionary policy, there was flabby philistinism and contemptible parliamentary scheming and diplomacy. Instead of a correction of mistakes and of tactics on the basis of the party’s own mistakes, every attempt was made to evade difficult questions and to gloss over them.

As a new era of imperialist wars and of revolutionary proletarian battles drew nearer, the old methods, parliamentary and trade union, were patently useless and powerless “in the face of the omnipotence of finance capital”. (Ibid)

It thus became a matter of the utmost importance to “overhaul the entire activity of the Second International, its entire method of work” and to drive out all philistinism, renegacy, social-pacifism and social-chauvinism; to throw out all that was rusty and antiquated in the arsenal of the Second International and to forge new weapons.

Without the fulfilment of this task, the proletariat would have been completely unarmed in its struggle against imperialism. Stalin added: “The honour of bringing about this general overhauling and general cleansing of the Augean stables of the Second International fell to Leninism.” (Ibid)

Leninism insisted on restoring the breach between theory and practice, through testing the theoretical dogmas of the Second International in the crucible of living practice. It insisted that the policy of the parties belonging to the Second International be tested, not by their slogans and resolutions, but by their actions.

And it insisted on the reorganisation of all party work around new revolutionary lines, in order to train and prepare the masses for the revolutionary struggle.

Finally, it insisted on the necessity of self-criticism within the proletarian parties, in order that they may learn from their own mistakes. In this context, Lenin wrote in his pamphlet Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder:

“The attitude of a political party towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it in practice fulfils its obligations towards its class and the toiling masses.

“Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analysing the circumstances which gave rise to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it – that is the earmark of a serious party; that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class, and then the masses.” (1920, chapter 7)

A party, according to Leninism, is to be judged not by its pompous slogans and declarations but by its practice.

On the eve of the first world war, at its conference in Basel, the Second International, knowing full well that war was then impending, passed a resolution declaring “war against war”. A little later, as the war began, the parties of the Second International gave the workers a new slogan – to slaughter each other at the altar of the glory of their imperialist fatherlands.

The contrast between the policy of the Second International and that of the Leninist policy of transforming the imperialist war into a civil war for the overthrow of one’s own bourgeoisie makes starkly clear not only the baseness of the opportunism of the leaders of the Second International but also the magnificent grandeur of the method of Leninism.

The Bolsheviks generally, and Lenin in particular, were often accused by their opportunist opponents in Russia, as well as in the Second International, of being guided by their factional struggles and always putting fundamental problems of the Russian revolution in the forefront.

Doubtless, the Bolsheviks put in the forefront the fundamental problems of the Russian revolution. These, however, were the fundamental problems of the revolution everywhere – not just Russia.

Problems such as the question of theory, the attitude of the Marxist party towards the bourgeois-democratic revolution, of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry, of the hegemony of the proletariat, of the significance of parliamentary and extra-parliamentary struggles, of general strike, of the passing of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution, of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of imperialism, of the self-determination of nations, of the liberation movements of the colonial and oppressed peoples and of the necessity for the proletariat to support these movements.

The Bolsheviks put forward these problems as the touchstone on which to judge the revolutionary consistency of the parties of the Second International.

They were right to do so. Nay, they had a duty to do so, because all these problems were also the fundamental problems of the world proletarian revolution, to which the Bolsheviks subordinated their policy.

The Russian revolution was no private affair of the Bolsheviks or the Russian proletariat. Lenin had realised very early on that the revolutionary centre was beginning to shift from the west to Russia, and that the outcome of the Russian revolution would have world-historic significance.

As early as 1902, in his pamphlet What Is to be Done?, Lenin wrote:

“History has now confronted us with an immediate task which is the most revolutionary of all the immediate tasks that confront the proletariat of any country. The fulfilment of this task, the destruction of the most powerful bulwark not only of European but (it may now be said) of Asiatic reaction, would make the Russian proletariat the vanguard of the international revolutionary proletariat.” (Chapter 1A)

Nearly 120 years have passed since these words were written and history has eloquently confirmed Lenin’s words. However, it does follow from this that the Russian revolution was “the nodal point of world revolution; that the fundamental problems of the Russian revolution were … the fundamental problems of the world revolution”. (JV Stalin, Some questions concerning the history of Bolshevism, January 1934)

Let us now briefly look at some of these fundamental problems of Leninism.

Marxist theory

Lenin constantly insisted that the proletariat should recognise the role of revolutionary theory. “Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement,” he wrote in What Is to be Done? (Chapter 1D)

He understood better than anyone else the importance of theory, for theory alone can give the movement confidence, purpose and direction. As early as 1902 he pointed out: “The role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory.” (Ibid)

This does not mean that theory should be separated from practice, for “theory becomes purposeless if it is not connected with revolutionary practice, just as practice gropes in the dark if its path is not illumined by revolutionary theory”. (JV Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, 1924, chapter 3)

Lenin waged a merciless struggle against the ‘theory’ of spontaneity, the ‘theory’ of worshipping the spontaneity of the labour movement, as an opportunist theory which repudiated the leading role of the party of the proletariat, a ‘theory’ which dragged the party of the proletariat to tag along at the tail end of the spontaneous working-class movement.

The leading proponents of this ‘theory’, the Economists, went to the extent of denying the need for an independent party of the proletariat. Lenin’s What is To Be Done? demolished this ‘theory’ and furnished the theoretical foundations for a genuinely revolutionary movement of the Russian proletariat.

Lenin’s theory of proletarian revolution

According to Lenin, imperialism (monopoly capitalism) intensifies all the contradictions of capitalism to the extreme. In the heartlands of capitalism, finance capital makes the yoke of monopolies unbearable, thus serving to exacerbate the resentment of the working class against the foundations of capitalism, and bringing the masses to the proletarian revolution as their only salvation.

Second, the export of capital, which is such a characteristic feature of monopoly capital (finance capital), leads to the transformation of capitalism into a world system of financial enslavement and colonial oppression of the overwhelming majority of the population of the world by a handful of ‘advanced’countries, thus splitting the global population into two camps: the handful of countries that exploit and oppress the vast masses of dependent and colonial countries, and the huge majority inhabiting the oppressed world.

All this leads to the intensification of the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed countries, resulting in the growth of the movements of revolt against imperialism on the external front.

Third, the uneven development of capitalist countries, and the resultant frenzied struggle for the redivision of the world between those countries that already possess territories and those claiming a ‘fair share’, leads to imperialist wars as the sole means for restoring the disturbed ‘equilibrium’ – the intensification of the struggle on the third front, the interimperialist front.

Hence Lenin’s conclusion: that wars cannot be averted under imperialism. Hence also the inevitability of a coalition between proletarian revolution in the imperialist countries and the anti-imperialist movements in the oppressed countries in a united revolutionary front against the world front of imperialism.

Combining all these conclusions into one general conclusion, Lenin observed that: “Imperialism is the eve of the socialist revolution.” (Preface to Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, April 1917)

According to Lenin’s theory, with the development of capitalism into imperialism, individual national economies have ceased to be self-sufficient units; they have become links in a single chain of the world economy; that imperialism is a global system of financial enslavement and oppression of the vast majority of the world’s population by a handful of imperialist countries.

This creates the objective conditions for revolution to break out in countries that are not particularly advanced in terms of industrial development because the system in its entirety is ripe for revolution.

As a result, the chain of the world imperialist front may break in any one country or another depending on where the chain is at its weakest. Hence the victory of the revolution is possible in one country, even a relatively backward country (as for instance Russia in 1917).

Dictatorship of the proletariat

“The fundamental question of every revolution is the question of power,” said Lenin. The aim of the dictatorship of the proletariat is to overthrow the bourgeoisie and break its resistance; to organise construction; and to arm the revolution, organising the army against foreign enemies in the struggle against imperialism.

The dictatorship of the proletariat spans a whole historical epoch. It cannot result in complete democracy for all – it institutes democracy for the majority and dictatorship over the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat cannot result from peaceful development of bourgeois society and bourgeois democracy; it can only arise as a result of the smashing of the bourgeois state machine.

With the appearance of Soviet power, the era of bourgeois-democratic parliamentarism draws to a close and a new chapter in world history – the era of proletarian dictatorship – is ushered in.

The Republic of Soviets is thus the political form so long sought and finally discovered, within the framework of which the economic emancipation of the proletariat, the complete victory of socialism, must be accomplished. (Theses on the constituent assemblyDecember 1917)

The peasant question

Leninism has three slogans on the peasant question, each corresponding to a different stage of the revolution: (a) the peasantry during the bourgeois-democratic revolution; (b) the peasantry during the proletarian revolution; and (c) the peasantry after the consolidation of Soviet power.

Those who are marching and preparing to assume power cannot but be interested in the question of who are their real allies. In this sense, the peasant question is part of the general question of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and is thus one of the most important problems of Leninism.

Some people maintain that what is special about Leninism is its stance on the peasantry. This is not true. “The fundamental question of Leninism, its point of departure, is … the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the conditions under which it is to be achieved, of the conditions under which it can be consolidated.” (JV Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, chapter 5)

The peasant question, since it concerns the question of who are the allies of the proletariat in its struggle for power, is a secondary question, deriving from the question of state power.

During the bourgeois-democratic revolution, the struggle was between the Cadets (the liberal bourgeoisie) and the Bolsheviks (the proletariat) for influence over the peasantry. The Cadets were attempting to win over the peasantry and to reconcile it to tsarism. During this stage of the revolution, therefore, the Bolsheviks concentrated their fire on the Cadets.

During the proletarian revolution, the struggle was between the so-called Socialist Revolutionaries (petty-bourgeois democrats) and the Bolsheviks for influence over the peasantry – a struggle to win over the majority of the people by ending the war. But to end the war it was necessary to overthrow the provisional government – to overthrow the power of the bourgeoisie and the power of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks who were compromising with the bourgeoisie.

After the consolidation of Soviet power, the task was to win over the majority of the peasantry for socialist construction. Lenin was correctly of the view that a peasantry that had received peace and land at the hands of the proletariat could be mobilised to build socialism through the cooperatives.

“State power over all large-scale means of production, state power in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat, etc – is not this all that is necessary for the building of the complete socialist society from the cooperatives, from the cooperatives alone, which we formerly looked down upon as huckstering and which from a certain aspect we have the right to look down upon as such now under the NEP?

“Is this not all that is necessary for building a socialist society? This is not yet the building of a socialist society, but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this building.” (On cooperation, January 1923)

The national question

In the period of the Second International, the national question was seen as being confined to a few European countries – ie, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, etc. The vast majority of subjugated peoples in Asia and Africa remained outside the purview of the Second International.

Leninism broke down the wall between whites and blacks, Europeans and Asians and Africans; between the ‘civilised’ and ‘uncivilised’ slaves of imperialism. With this, the national question was transformed from being an internal state problem into a general international problem – a problem of the liberation of oppressed peoples in the colonial and dependent countries from the yoke of imperialism through self-determination and complete secession.

With this slogan of self-determination, Leninism educated the masses in the spirit of internationalism. It brought the national question from the realm of high-sounding declarations to the solid ground of the utilisation of the revolutionary potentialities of the national movements for advancing the movement of the proletariat for the overthrow of imperialism.

It thus transformed the revolutionary national-liberation movements into a reserve of the revolutionary proletariat.

The revolutionary character of the national movements does not presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement or a republican programme.

Thus, according to Leninism, the world is divided into two camps: (1) the camp of a handful of imperialist exploiting and oppressing nations, which possess finance capital and exploit the majority of the population of the globe; (2) the camp of the oppressed and exploited hundreds of millions around the world.

The interests of the proletarian movement in the developed countries and the national-liberation movement call for a union of these two forms of revolutionary movement in a common front against imperialism – against the common enemy.

Without such a front, the victory of either is impossible. “No nation can be free if it oppresses other nations.” (Speech by Friedrich Engels, November 1847)

The union between the revolutionary proletarian movement and the national-liberation movements can only be voluntary – on the basis of mutual confidence and fraternal relations amongst the people.

“If a [Marxist] belonging to a great, oppressing, annexing nation, while advocating the amalgamation of nations in general, were to forget even for one moment that ‘his’ Nicholas II, ‘his’ Wilhelm, George, Poincaré, etc, also stands for amalgamation with small nations (by means of annexations) … such a Marxist would be a ridiculous doctrinaire in theory and an abettor of imperialism in practice.

“The weight of emphasis in the internationalist education of the workers in the oppressing countries must necessarily consist in their advocating and upholding freedom of secession for oppressed countries. Without this there can be no internationalism.

“It is our right and duty to treat every Marxist of an oppressing nation who fails to conduct such propaganda as an imperialist scoundrel.” (The discussion on self-determination summed up, July 1916)

The wars of national liberation against imperialist domination are just wars, and it is the duty of every proletarian revolutionary in the imperialist countries to support such wars and to work for the defeat of his own ruling class. Any other stance would be a total betrayal of the principles and ideals of socialism, for:

“The revolutionary movement in the advanced countries would in fact be nothing but a sheer fraud if, in their struggle against capital, the workers of Europe and America were not closely and completely united with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of “colonial” slaves, who are oppressed by that capital.” (Speech at the second congress of the Communist International, August 1920)

Strategy and tactics

The period of domination of the Second International was characterised by parliamentary forms of struggle, whose importance it overestimated. Only in the period of revolution could an integral strategy and elaborated tactics for the struggle of the proletariat be worked out.

It was in this period that Lenin brought out into the light of day the brilliant ideas of Marx and Engels on strategy and tactics, which had been suppressed by the opportunists of the Second International. He developed them further and supplemented them with new provisions, working them all into a system of rules and guiding principles for the leadership of the class struggle of the proletariat.

His works such as What Is to be Done?,Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic RevolutionImperialism, the Highest Stage of CapitalismThe State and RevolutionThe Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky and ‘Left-Wing’ Communism: an Infantile Disorderconstitute priceless contributions to the general treasury of Marxism, to its general arsenal.

The strategy and tactics of Leninism constitute the science of leadership in the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat.

Stages of the revolution and strategy

Strategy is the determination of the direction of the main blow of the proletariat at a given stage of the revolution; the elaboration of a corresponding plan for the disposition of the revolutionary forces. This is how Lenin’s teachings on strategy and tactics worked during the various stages of the Russian revolution:

First stage: 1903 to February 1917

The objective at this stage was the overthrow of tsarism and the destruction of the survivals of medievalism. The main force of the revolution in this period was the proletariat and its immediate reserves, the peasantry.

In this stage, the direction of the blow was the isolation of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie, which was attempting to bring the peasantry under its wing and liquidate the revolution by a compromise with tsarism.

“The proletariat must carry to completion the democratic revolution, by allying to itself the mass of the peasantry in order to crush by force the resistance of the autocracy and paralyse the instability of the bourgeoisie.” (Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, 1905, chapter 12)

Second stage: March 1917 to October 1917

The objective during this stage was to overthrow imperialism and withdraw from the imperialist war. During this period, the proletariat was the main force of the revolution and its immediate reserves were the poor peasantry.

The direction of the blow in this period was the isolation of the petty-bourgeois parties – the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks – which were trying to win over the toiling masses of the peasantry and liquidate the revolution by a compromise with imperialism.

“The proletariat must accomplish the socialist revolution, by allying to itself the mass of the semi-proletarian elements of the population in order to crush by force the resistance of the bourgeoisie and to paralyse the instability of the peasantry and the petty-bourgeoisie.” (Ibid)

Third stage: After the October Revolution

The objective of the revolution during this stage was to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country, using it as a base for the defeat of imperialism in all countries. The main forces of the revolution in this period were the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country and the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in all countries. The main reserves of the revolution were the semi-proletarian and small peasant masses in the developed countries and liberation movements in colonial and dependent countries.

The direction of the main blow in this period was the isolation of petty-bourgeois democrats and isolation of the parties of the Second International, which formed the main support for compromise with imperialism. The plan for the disposition of forces in this period was the alliance of the proletarian revolution with the liberation movements of the oppressed peoples.

Tactics determine the line of conduct of the proletariat over a comparatively short period of the ebb or flow of the movement. They are a part of the strategy, subordinated to it and serving it.

Changes in the form of struggle are accompanied by corresponding changes in the form of organisation. The point is to put to the fore precisely those forms of struggle and organisation which are best suited to the conditions during the ebb or flow of the movement, and thus facilitate and ensure the bringing of the millions to the revolutionary front, organising also their disposition at the revolutionary front.

The aim must be to locate at any given moment the particular link in the chain of processes which, if grasped, will enable the proletariat to keep hold of the whole of the chain and to prepare the conditions for achieving strategic success.

“It is not enough to be a revolutionary and an adherent of socialism or a communist in general. One must be able at each particular moment to find the particular link in the chain which one must grasp with all one’s might in order to keep hold of the whole chain and prepare firmly for the transition to the next link.” (The importance of gold now and after the complete victory of socialism, November 1921)

The revolutionary party of the proletariat must know not only how to advance, but also how to retreat in good order when the circumstances so require.

“The revolutionary parties,” said Lenin, “must complete their education. They have learnt to attack. Now they have to realise that this knowledge must be supplemented with the knowledge of how to retreat properly.

“They have to realise – and the revolutionary class is taught to realise it by its own bitter experience – that victory is impossible unless they have learnt both how to attack and how to retreat properly.” (‘Left-wing’ Communism, chapter 3)

The purpose of any retreat is to gain time, to disrupt the enemy, and to gather force in order later to assume the offensive. The signing of the Brest peace treaty in 1917 is a model of this strategy as it gained the Bolshevik party time to take advantage of the conflicts in the imperialist camp, to disrupt the enemy forces, to maintain the support of the peasantry, and to gather sufficient forces in preparation for the offensive against the counter-revolutionary generals Kolchak and Denikin.

“In concluding a separate peace,” said Lenin at the time, “we free ourselves as much as is possible at the present moment from both warring imperialist groups, we take advantage of their mutual enmity and warfare, which hinder them from making a deal against us, and for a certain period have our hands free to advance and consolidate the socialist revolution.” (On the history of the question of the unfortunate peace, January 1918)

Three years after the Brest peace, Lenin returned to the subject, saying: “Now even the biggest fool [Trotsky being the chief of these fools] can see that the ‘Brest peace’ was a concession that strengthened us and broke up the forces of international imperialism.” (New times and old mistakes in a new guise, August 1921)

The workers’ party

According to Leninism, the party of the proletariat is the advanced detachment of the working class, possessed of the best elements and an advanced theory.

It must be ahead of the masses and see further than the working class; it must lead the proletariat and not drag at the tail end of the spontaneous movement. Only such a party can divert the working class from the path of trade unionism.

No army at war can do without an experienced general staff if it does not want to be doomed to defeat. The revolutionary party of the proletariat constitutes precisely such a general staff. The working class without a revolutionary party is an army without a general staff.

“We,” said Lenin, “are the party of a class, and therefore almost the whole class … should act under the leadership of our party, should adhere to our party as closely as possible.

“It would be Manilovism [smug complacency] and ‘khvostism’ [tailism] to think that any time under capitalism almost the whole class, or the whole class, would be able to rise to the level of consciousness and activity of its advanced detachment … No sensible Marxist has ever yet doubted that under capitalism even the trade union organisations (which are more primitive and more comprehensible to the undeveloped strata) are unable to embrace almost the whole, or the whole, working class.

“To forget the distinction between the advanced detachment and the whole of the masses which gravitate towards it, to forget the constant duty of the advanced detachment to raise ever-wider strata to this advanced level, means merely to deceive oneself, to shut one’s eyes to the immensity of our task, and narrow down these tasks.” (One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, 1904, Chapter I)

The party is the organised detachment of the working class. It must imbue the millions of unorganised non-party workers with the spirit of discipline in the struggle, with the spirit of organisation and endurance. But the party can fulfil these tasks only if it is itself the embodiment of discipline and organisation.

Lenin’s formulation of the first paragraph of the Bolshevik party rules embodies this concept. According to it, the party is the sum total of its organisations, and the party member is a member of one of the organisations of the party.

It denies self-enrolment so as to prevent the party from being inundated with professors and high-school students and thus degenerate into a loose, amorphous, disorganised body lost in a sea of ‘sympathisers’ that would obliterate the dividing line between the party and the class and thus thwart the party’s task of raising the unorganised masses to the level of the advanced detachment.

“From the point of view of Comrade Martov,” said Lenin, “the borderline of the party remains quite indefinite, for ‘every striker’ may ‘proclaim himself a party member’. What is the use of this vagueness? A wide extension of the ‘title’. Its harm is that it introduces a disorganising idea, the confusing of class and party.” (Ibid)

The Leninist party is a single system of these organisations, with higher and lower bodies, with subordination of the minority to the majority.

“Formerly,” said Lenin, “our party was not a formally organised whole, but only the sum of separate groups, and therefore no other relations except those of ideological influence were possible between these groups. Now we have become an organised Party, and this implies the establishment of authority, the transformation of the power of ideas into the power of authority, the subordination of lower Party bodies to the higher Party bodies.” (Ibid, Chapter O)

Fighting against wavering elements like Martov, who at the second congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) opposed Lenin’s formulation of the party rules, he wrote:

“This aristocratic anarchism is particularly characteristic of the Russian nihilist. He thinks of the party organisation as a monstrous ‘factory’, he regards the subordination of the part to the whole and of the minority to the majority as ‘serfdom’ … division of labour under the direction of a centre evokes from him a tragicomical outcry against people being transformed into ‘wheels and cogs’ …

“Mention of the organisational rules of the party calls forth a contemptuous grimace and the disdainful remark that one could very well dispense with rules altogether.

“It is clear, I think, that the cries about this celebrated bureaucracy are just a screen for dissatisfaction with the personal composition of the central bodies, a figleaf …

“You are a bureaucrat because you were appointed by the congress, not by my will, but against it; you are a formalist because you rely on the formal decisions of the congress, and not on my consent; you are acting in a grossly mechanical way because you plead the ‘mechanical’ majority at the party congress and pay no heed to my wish to be co-opted; you are an autocrat because you refuse to hand over the power to the old gang [the ‘gang’ referred to was composed of Axelrod, Martov, Potresov and others, who would not submit to the decisions of the second congress and accused Lenin of being a ‘bureaucrat’].” (Ibid)

The Leninist party is the highest form of class organisation of the proletariat. It is the rallying centre of the finest elements of the working class, whose political leadership must extend to every other form of organisation of the proletariat.

That is why the opportunist theory of the ‘independence’ and ‘ neutrality’ of non-party organisations, which breeds independent members of parliament and journalists isolated from the party, narrow-minded trade-union functionaries and cooperative officials who have become philistines, is wholly incompatible with the theory and practice of Leninism.

The party is the instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat – an instrument in the hands of the proletariat for achieving and consolidating state power.

“The dictatorship of the proletariat,” said Lenin, “is a stubborn struggle – bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative – against the forces and traditions of old society.

“The force of habit of millions and tens of millions is a most terrible force. Without an iron party tempered in the struggle, without a party enjoying the confidence of all that is honest in the given class, without a party capable of watching and influencing the mood of the masses, it is impossible to conduct such a struggle successfully.” (‘Left-wing’ Communism, chapter 5)

The party is the embodiment of the unity of will of the workers, unity incompatible with the existence of factions. Hence Lenin’s insistence on the “complete elimination of all factionalism” and the “immediate dissolution of all groups, without exception, that have been formed on the basis of various platforms”, on pain of “unconditional and immediate expulsion from the party”. (Resolution on party unity, 1921)

Elsewhere, he wrote: “In the present epoch of acute civil war, the Communist party will be able to perform its duty only if it is organised in the most centralised manner, if iron discipline bordering on military discipline prevails in it, and if the party centre is a powerful and authoritative organ, wielding wide powers and enjoying the universal confidence of the members of the party.” (The terms of admission into the Communist International, 1920)

And further: “Whoever weakens in the least the discipline of the party of the proletariat (especially during the time of its dictatorship) actually aids the bourgeoisie against the proletariat.” (‘Left-wing’ communism, chapter 5)

The party becomes strong by purging itself of opposition elements. A source of factionalism is its opportunist elements – the “stratum of bourgeoisified workers or the ‘labour aristocracy’ who are quite philistine in their mode of life, in the size of their earnings and in their entire outlook, is … the principal social (not military) prop of the bourgeoisie.

“For they are the real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement, the labour lieutenants of the capitalist class, the real channels of reformism and chauvinism. (Preface to the French and German editions of Imperialism, 1920)

Style of work

The Leninist style of work represents a specific and peculiar feature in the practice of Leninism, which creates a special type of Leninist worker.

Leninism is the school of theory and practice that trains a special type of worker and creates a special Leninist style of work. It combines Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency. Revolutionary sweep is the life-giving force that stimulates thought and propels things forward, opening up new perspectives. Without such revolutionary sweep, no progress is possible.

However, on its own revolutionary sweep stands every chance of degenerating into empty phrasemongering if it is not combined with professionalism and efficiency. That is why Lenin emphasised: “Fewer pompous phrases, more plain, everyday work … less political fireworks and more attention to the simplest but vital facts of communist construction.” (A great beginning, June 1919)

On the other hand, such workaday efficiency stands every chance of degenerating into narrow and unprincipled practicalism if it is not combined with a wide revolutionary sweep.

“The combination of Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency is the essence of Leninism in party and state work.” (JV Stalin, Foundations, chapter 9)

Lenin’s fight against opportunism

Leninism was born, grew up and became strong in its relentless struggle against opportunism of every variety.

As early as 1903-4, when the Bolshevik group took shape in Russia, Lenin pursued the line aimed at a rupture, a split, with the opportunists both in Russia and in the Second International. Not surprisingly, then, the Bolsheviks were abused by their opportunist opponents as ‘splitters’ and ‘disrupters’.

The Bolsheviks pursued this line long before the imperialist war (from 1904-12). In 1903, the left-wingers in the German social-democratic party, Rosa Luxemburg and Alexander Parvus, came out against the Bolsheviks on the question of the party rules, accusing them of betraying ultra-centralist and Blanquist tendencies.

In 1905, on the question of the character of the Russian revolution, Luxemburg and Parvus invented the semi-Menshevik scheme of permanent revolution (a distorted version of the Marxian scheme of revolution), characterised by the Menshevik repudiation of an alliance between the working class and the peasantry, opposing the Bolshevik scheme of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.

Subsequently, this semi-Menshevist scheme was picked up by Leon Trotsky and turned into a weapon of struggle against Leninism.

The Bolshevik support for the liberation movement of the oppressed and colonised nations on the basis of self-determination, and the creation of a united front between the proletarian revolution in the advanced countries and the revolutionary-liberation movement of the peoples of colonies and oppressed countries invited abuse from the opportunists of the Second International.

For this line of theirs, the Bolsheviks were baited like mad dogs. Even the German lefts opposed the Bolsheviks on this. Naturally, the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, strongly criticised the German lefts for this approach of theirs; any other course of action would have been a betrayal of the working class, a betrayal of the interests of the revolution, a betrayal of communism.

The consistent and thoroughly revolutionary internationalism of the Bolsheviks is a model of proletarian internationalism for the workers of all countries.

The alliance between the proletariat of the advanced countries and the oppressed peoples of the enslaved countries is a question of emancipating the oppressed peoples, a question of emancipating the labouring masses of non-proletarian classes from the oppression and exploitation of finance capital.

Thus Bolshevism is not only a Russian phenomenon; it is “a model of tactics for all”. (Lenin)

The international significance of the October Revolution

In this context, the following points are worthy of note:

1. The October Revolution, unlike all previous revolutions (except for the short-lived Paris Commune) did not merely replace one type of exploitation by another; it put an end to all exploitation.

2. It caused a breach in the front of imperialism and ushered in a new era of proletarian revolution in the countries of imperialism.

3. It ushered in the era of Soviet democracy and put an end to bourgeois parliamentarism; it showed the world that the proletariat can not only destroy the old but also build a new society, thus setting a contagious example.

4. It shook the rear of imperialism by breaking the chains of national and colonial oppression under the flag of internationalism, thus unleashing an era of colonial revolution.

5. Before the October Revolution, the world was supposed to be divided between inferior and superior races, between blacks and whites, according to which only the superior white races were the bearers of civilisation and were the natural rulers of the world. The October Revolution shattered this legend forever.

6. The October Revolution jeopardised the very existence of world imperialism and created a powerful base for the world revolutionary movement. The result of the October Revolution has been that capitalism can never recover the ‘equilibrium’ and ‘stability’ that it possessed before the revolution. The October Revolution created a beacon which has illumined the path of the labouring masses ever since.

7. The October Revolution was a revolution in minds as well, a revolution in the ideology of the working class; it represented the victory of Marxism over reformism, of Leninism over social-democratism. From then on the only vehicle and bulwark of Marxism has been Leninism.

The above, then, were the achievements of Leninism and of the October Revolution. These were badly damaged by the triumph of Khrushchevite revisionism at the 20th party congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which eventually led to the collapse of the once great and glorious Soviet Union, and brought in its train, albeit temporarily, the destruction of the base of the world revolution, casting over the social and political life of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples the gloom of unbridled reaction.

In marking the 150th anniversary of the great VI Lenin’s birth, that giant of revolutionary thought and action, we must remember Lenin’s injunction as to the inevitability and necessity of breaking with opportunism and conducting a ruthless struggle against it:

“Most dangerous are those who do not wish to understand that the fight against imperialism is a sham and a humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism.” (Imperialism, chapter 10)

Finally, we greet hundreds upon hundreds of millions of proletarian and labouring masses all over the world on Lenin’s birthday and join them in their celebrations of this great occasion, and we pledge ourselves to revive the theory and practice of Leninism and devote ourselves to the cause of overthrowing imperialism and ending all exploitation through proletarian revolution.

Our day will come, and there shall be celebrations in our street.

Posted in Literature, PoliticsComments Off on Harpal Brar: Long live Leninism!

Mr Jones: anti-Soviet propaganda gets thumbs up from Ukrainian president

The same old tired lies are being recycled under the guise of ‘fresh evidence’ in order to remind workers they must not think about taking state power.

Proletarian writers

A new film, Mr Jones, is receiving rave reviews from the corporate media, praised for bringing to life a forgotten Welsh hero who helped expose supposed Stalinist crimes in Ukraine. Nothing, however, is said of the fact that his journey to Soviet Ukraine began and ended in Nazi Germany, where he was the guest of Adolf Hitler.

Mr Jones – coming to a cinema near you

Presented as a mere ‘Welsh journalist’, Gareth Jones was not in fact anything like your average correspondent for the South Wales Echo. Jones was a well-educated Cambridge graduate, reputedly with family links to Ukraine, a multilingual onetime secretary to former British prime minister David Lloyd George. Strange, then, that he should be remembered merely as a newspaperman.

Gareth Jones travelled to Soviet Ukraine and soon afterwards brought back a story of terrible suffering at the hands of Josef Stalin. Mr Jones was not in the USSR for very long, and in the Ukraine for even less. He was caught by Soviet authorities and thrown out, later travelling to Asia where he was found dead, supposedly killed by Chinese bandits.

The new film from anticommunist Polish director Agnieszka Holland attempts to ‘bring to life’ the claims that Mr Jones travelled to Ukraine and witnessed first-hand a manmade famine there. Hunger he may well have seen, but who put the idea into his head (or into the director’s) that it was manmade, let alone that it was a genocide, as our anti-Soviet director declares (joined of course by the Guardian newspaper)?

Polish director a rabid anti-Stalin hack

At the Internationale FilmFestpiele in Berlin, Ruptly news agency recorded Agnieszka Holland as stating:

“Why Stalin is a hero for contemporary Russians? Don’t ask me. It shows an enslavement of the mind and soul. Stalin was one of the greatest murderers in the history of humanity … and he’s responsible for thousands of millions of lives.”

You would think that being responsible for thousands of millions of deaths, Ms Holland might be able to depict just one factual event from real life in her film about the ‘forgotten hero’ Jones and the mass killer Stalin.

Instead, in this excessive and ludicrous piece of anti-Stalin propaganda, the director portrays Mr Jones eating human flesh – a piece of fantasy so galling that it forced a relation of Mr Jones to write in to the Sunday Times to deny that his great-uncle had ever taken part in cannibalism and to admit that as far as the records show, he never even saw any bodies in Ukraine! (Mr Jones: The true story, as not seen on screen by Philip Colley, The Times, 26 January 2020)

Mr Colley Jr said: “In the film, they have got him up a tree eating bark, eating human flesh, tripping over dead bodies. He didn’t witness any dead bodies or any cannibalism, let alone take part in any.” (Daily journalist’s family hit out at Hollywood over film about his life by David Sharman, Hold the Front Page, 29 January 2020)

But that fact hasn’t stopped BBC Wales from reporting on the man who exposed “a manmade famine in 1930s Ukraine” or the Financial Times from noting: “While Graham Greene lends the film a plot point, George Orwell (Joseph Mawle) turns up on screen, inspired by Jones’s reporting to start work on Animal Farm.”

Readers might be interested to know that the family also deny that Mr Jones ever met Mr Orwell!

What do we know about Mr Jones and who he met?

One or two persons whom Mr Jones most definitely did meet with are Messrs Hitler and Goebbels.

Just days before his entry into the Soviet Union, Gareth Jones took a flight in a private jet with Adolf Hitler and ate dinner at a five-star hotel with Dr Josef Goebbels. His notebooks record the events and are held at the National Library of Wales, pages of which have been uploaded online.

In these notes, Mr Jones recorded his pleasant reflections on Mr Goebbels, whom he saw as jovial and laughing “all the time” with a tremendous sense of humour. The website dedicated to his work, garethjones.org, records that Gareth was in Moscow just ten days after his meeting with Hitler, who at the same time had set fire to the Reichstag.

The jovial arsonists Hitler and Goebbels took Mr Jones to Nazi party rallies and, after his deportation from the USSR, Mr Jones was back in Berlin on 29 March 1933 to tell the German people all about the horrors he had witnessed in the Soviet Union.

From Hitler to the modern-day fascists

Agnieszka Holland, who participated in the ‘Prague spring’, has been honoured by the Ukrainian government for this most recent work of fiction. When she collected an award from the neo-fascists, where only a couple of years ago scores of trade unionists were set on fire inside their offices in Odessa, she saw no irony in declaring:

“I do not normally wear jewellery, but today I’m wearing an earring which symbolises the millions of victims of the great famine orchestrated by Stalin in the Ukraine … It shows that social engineering and megalomaniac power can lead to the destruction of nature and suffering, and eventually the deaths of millions. At the same time, Stalin managed to convince the world he is in charge of an island of freedom and justice.”

“This is an allusion to populist leaders who believe that powers gives them the right to design human beings, to design societies, nature or destroy nature,” she said. “Unfortunately we have a lot of populist leaders at the moment.” (Holland picks up best-movie award for film about the Ukraine’s great famine by Matt Day, The First News, 23 September 2019)

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Holland the Order of Princess Olga.

Journalistic fraud in the 1930s

In the autumn of 1934, an American using the name of Thomas Walker entered the Soviet Union. After less than a week in Moscow, the remainder of his 13-day stay was spent in transit to the Manchurian border, at which point he left the USSR never to return.

Four months later, a series of articles began to appear in the Hearst press in America by Walker, who was described as a “noted journalist, traveller and student of Russian affairs who has spent several years touring the Union of Soviet Russia”.

The articles described a famine in Ukraine that had claimed six million lives, and was illustrated with photographs of corpses and starving children. Walker was said to have smuggled in a camera under “the most difficult and dangerous circumstances”.

Louis Fischer, an American writer living in Moscow at the time, was suspicious. Why had the Hearst press sat on these sensational stories for ten months before publication? He established that Walker’s short visit to the Soviet Union could not possibly have allowed him even to visit the areas he claimed to describe and to have photographed.

He also pointed out that Walker’s photographic evidence was distinctly odd: not only were the pictures suggestive of an earlier decade (Fischer thought probably of the 1921 Volga famine), but they contained a mixture of scenes from both summer and winter. Fischer also noted that the 1933 harvest in the Ukraine had been a good one.

Some of the pictures were subsequently identified as having been taken in the Austro-Hungarian empire and in World War 1, and it was known that Hearst newspapers were digging up old pictures and retouching them for use as anti-Soviet propaganda.

Pictures sometimes appeared labelled as having been taken in Russia, and at other times the same picture was relocated to Ukraine for obviously political reasons.

Not only were the photographs a fraud, and the trip to Ukraine a fraud, but Thomas Walker himself was a fraud, turning out to be an escaped convict by the name of Robert Green, who had served time in jail for forgery.

At his subsequent trial following recapture, he admitted that the series of pictures used in the Hearst newspaper articles were fakes and had not been taken in the Ukraine as claimed.

Despite these facts, the same photos are still used on commemoration posters and websites today, as well as featuring in the film Harvest of Despair.

Propaganda lies

Far from exposing the crimes of Stalin and the USSR, the new film Mr Jones exposes the utter bankruptcy of modern western cinema and the thoughtless, prejudiced, virulently anticommunist propagandists who fill positions at the Guardian and other such institutions.

These real falsifiers of history need to be exposed and confronted for the barefaced liars that they are.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Mr Jones: anti-Soviet propaganda gets thumbs up from Ukrainian president

Polish hack writes laughable fantasy on ‘feeding dictators’

As the crisis of capitalism continues to destroy lives, anticommunist hirelings are churning out increasingly blatant and ridiculous lies.

Proletarian writers

Witold Szablowski and his latest invention. No matter how many fabrications Szablowski and such hirelings churn out, no path other than socialism is open to the working class.

A flower of Poland’s literary scene, Witold Szablowski, who was just nine when communist rule crumbled, can write about little else but communism, and how awful it was.

A writer of very few scruples, Szablowski soon discovered that easy money could be made peddling fabrications and lies in the service of imperialism. His latest invention is the book How to Feed a Dictator, published in Britain by Penguin books and translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Witold goes in search of cash

In 2006, Szablowski landed a job straight from college with the premier anti-communist Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborca (Poland’s first anti-communist newspaper, which the revisionists in the Communist party there allowed to begin publication in 1989).

From there, Szablowski worked for CNN and then began to develop his speciality in the especially trivial. For over ten years, he has churned out numerous vacuous pieces of 21st-century anticommunist kitsch-journalism.

Around 2010-11, Witold bought a few rusty kitchen utensils and an old Fiat 126, chose to live amongst old wallpaper and furniture in a ‘communist-era apartment’ and wrote a book as dull as that wallpaper describing what it was like to travel back in time to the ‘communist era’. For Szablowski, wallpaper, cars, and cutlery are reminders of just how terrible the People’s Republic of Poland really was. (Our Little Polish People’s Republic: Six Months in a Three-Room Apartment with a Perm, a Moustache, and a Fiat)

For that piece of especially trivial nonsense, Szablowski earned numerous accolades. In 2012, he published his next indulgence, Let us in, you bastards, an article on the fall of Albanian socialism and the hordes of migrants flooding from Albania to the west, earning (naturally) further awards.

Szablowski was feted in Europe, and for his servility to imperialism he won accolades from Amnesty International recognising his ‘journalistic integrity’. That Amnesty award must have gained for Szablowski the envy of his contemporaries, and since envy is one of the special freedom-loving virtues of capitalism, our award-winning democrat and journalist could be forgiven for letting his especially trivial standards slip.

In a 2016 expose, Polish news reported that Witold Szablowski had passed off as bona fide interviews from the ‘survivors of communism’ the dialogue of an anticommunist propaganda movie about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Our knight of integrity, no doubt having watched a thoroughly good anticommunist movie, may have begun to fantasise that the film was in fact reality and he was its hero. It’s easily done.

When challenged on this by the honest (though not award-winning) reporters of Polish News, he presented two legal opinions from his lawyers, who insisted that his misleading, fabricated fantasy interviews with the star witnesses for the prosecution of the case against the GDR were not, legally-speaking, plagiarism!

‘How to feed a dictator’

Glowing reviews in the Financial Times and Publishers Weekly now claim that in his latest piece of fiction Szablowski has tracked down numerous chefs who’ve cooked for the world’s worst dictators; chefs who have been in hiding from the secret services of the free world but were found out by our Polish newshound.

Who are these hungry tyrants you ask? George W Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama? No, it’s Enver Hoxha, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein and co.

“For Witold Szablowski, the research for his latest book began with a simple, almost childlike question: ‘What did Saddam Hussein eat after giving the order for tens of thousands of Kurds to be gassed?’” breathes the FT reviewer, who clearly needs no introduction to the mode of childlike thought.

“Their memories, direct, human and intimate, reveal an eggshell atmosphere of paranoia and surveillance.” The reviewer explains that Szablowski has explored how this toxic kitchen atmosphere extended all the way out into the countryside, where it is revealed that “Enver Hoxha’s ingredients were sourced only from ‘friendly farms’.”

According to Witold and his gullible reviewers: “The chefs learnt to ingratiate themselves by preparing their masters’ favourite dishes.” Although as anybody with a mother-in-law knows, when cooking for a despot, always prepare revolting meals that ensure your guest returns as infrequently as possible.

“But their bosses’ preferences – Castro loved ice cream … are curiously banal,” says the reviewer of the banality. (Wendell Steavenson, 7 May 2020)

A more sober reviewer from the Minnesota Star Tribune notes that as more than half the words in the book are “set off by double-rule lines, it’s not clear if the first-person accounts are direct quotations or artfully edited summaries”. (Chris Hewitt, 28 April 2020)

The modern world of art and literature

Witold Szablowski is a pitiful creature. Devoid of originality, hiring his mediocrity out like a literary pathic in the service of imperialism, he attempts to paint himself big by pouring scorn upon those people and events that were truly great.

The ruling class of Europe is gripped by the crisis of capitalism and can offer no way out. Deprived of meaningful work, housing and social happiness, the very things which those who grew up under socialism knew so well, its youth degenerate and rot.

No matter how many fabrications Szablowski and such hirelings churn out, no path other than socialism is open to the proletariat, and especially to the youth.

Communists must expose the falsity of all these anticommunist stories, expose the scribblers and buskers, and bring to life the glorious achievements of socialism.

Posted in PolandComments Off on Polish hack writes laughable fantasy on ‘feeding dictators’

Beyond Nuclear Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging High-Level Radioactive Waste Dump for Entire Inventory of US “Spent” Reactor Fuel

By Beyond Nuclear

Today the non-profit organization Beyond Nuclear filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit requesting review of an  April 23, 2020 order and an October 29, 2018 order by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), rejecting challenges to Holtec International/Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance’s application to build a massive “consolidated interim storage facility” (CISF) for nuclear waste in southeastern New Mexico. Holtec proposes to store as much as 173,000 metric tons of highly radioactive irradiated or “spent” nuclear fuel – more than twice the amount of spent fuel currently stored at U.S. nuclear power reactors – in shallowly buried containers on the site.   

But according to Beyond Nuclear’s petition, the NRC’s orders “violated the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act  by refusing to dismiss an administrative proceeding that contemplated issuance of a license permitting federal ownership of used reactor fuel at a commercial fuel storage facility.”

Since it contemplates that the federal government would become the owner of the spent fuel during transportation to and storage at its CISF, Holtec’s license application should have been dismissed at the outset, Beyond Nuclear’s appeal argues. Holtec has made no secret of the fact that it expects the federal government will take title to the waste, which would clear the way for it to be stored at its CISF, and this is indeed the point of building the facility. But that would directly violate the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), which prohibits federal government ownership of spent fuel unless and until a permanent underground repository is up and running.  No such repository has been licensed in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) most recent estimate for the opening of a geologic repository is the year 2048 at the earliest.

In its April 23 decision, in which the NRC rejected challenges to the license application, the four NRC Commissioners admitted that the NWPA would indeed be violated if title to spent fuel were transferred to the federal government so it could be stored at the Holtec facility.  But they refused to remove the license provision in the application which contemplates federal ownership of the spent fuel. Instead, they ruled that approving Holtec’s application in itself would not involve NRC in a violation of federal law, and that therefore they could go forward with approving the application, despite its illegal provision. According to the NRC’s decision, “the license itself would not violate the NWPA by transferring the title to the fuel, nor would it authorize Holtec or [the U.S. Department of Energy] to enter into storage contracts.” (page 7). The NRC Commissioners also noted with approval that “Holtec hopes that Congress will amend the law in the future.” (page 7).

“This NRC decision flagrantly violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which prohibits an agency from acting contrary to the law as issued by Congress and signed by the President,” said Mindy Goldstein, an attorney for Beyond Nuclear. “The Commission lacks a legal or logical basis for its rationale that it may issue a license with an illegal provision, in the hopes that Holtec or the Department of Energy won’t complete the illegal activity it authorized. The buck must stop with the NRC.”

“Our claim is simple,” said attorney Diane Curran, another member of Beyond Nuclear’s legal team. “The NRC is not above the law, nor does it stand apart from it.”

According to a 1996 D.C. Circuit Court ruling, the NWPA is Congress’ “comprehensive scheme for the interim storage and permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste generated by civilian nuclear power plants” [Ind. Mich. Power Co. v. DOE, 88 F.3d 1272, 1273 (D.C. Cir. 1996)]. The law establishes distinct roles for the federal government vs. the owners of facilities that generate spent fuel with respect to the storage and disposal of spent fuel. The “Federal Government has the responsibility to provide for the permanent disposal of … spent nuclear fuel” but “the generators and owners of … spent nuclear fuel have the primary responsibility to provide for, and the responsibility to pay the costs of, the interim storage of … spent fuel until such … spent fuel is accepted by the Secretary of Energy” [42 U.S.C. § 10131]. Section 111 of the NWPA specifically provides that the federal government will not take title to spent fuel until it has opened a repository [42 U.S.C. § 10131(a)(5)].

“When Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and refused to allow nuclear reactor licensees to transfer ownership of their irradiated reactor fuel to the DOE until a permanent repository was up and running, it acted wisely,” said Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist for Beyond Nuclear. “It understood that spent fuel remains hazardous for millions of years, and that the only safe long-term strategy for safeguarding irradiated reactor fuel is to place it in a permanent repository for deep geologic isolation from the living environment. Today, the NWPA remains the public’s best protection against a so-called ‘interim’ storage facility becoming a de facto permanent, national, surface dump for radioactive waste. But if we ignore it or jettison the law, communities like southeastern New Mexico can be railroaded by the nuclear industry and its friends in government, and forced to accept mountains of forever deadly high-level radioactive waste other states are eager to offload.”

In addition to impacting New Mexico, shipping the waste to the CISF site would also endanger 43 other states plus the District of Columbia, because it would entail hauling 10,000 high risk, high-level radioactive waste shipments on their roads, rails, and waterways, posing risks of radioactive release all along the way.

Besides threatening public health and safety, evading federal law to license CISF facilities would also impact the public financially. Transferring  title and liability for spent fuel from the nuclear utilities that generated it to DOE would mean that federal taxpayers would have to pay for its so-called “interim” storage, to the tune of many billions of dollars.  That’s on top of the many billions ratepayers and taxpayers have already paid to fund a permanent geologic repository that hasn’t yet materialized.

But that’s not to say that Yucca Mountain would be an acceptable alternative to CISF.

“A deep geologic repository for permanent disposal should meet a long list of stringent criteria: legality, environmental justice, consent-based siting, scientific suitability, mitigation of transport risks, regional equity, intergenerational equity, and safeguards against nuclear weapons proliferation, including a ban on spent fuel reprocessing,” Kamps said. “But the Yucca Mountain dump, which is targeted at land owned by the  Western Shoshone in Nevada, fails to meet any of those standards.  That’s why a coalition of more than a thousand environmental, environmental justice, and public interest organizations, representing all 50 states, has opposed it for 33 years.”

Kamps noted that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld the NWPA before, including in the matter of inadequate standards for Yucca Mountain.  In its landmark 2004 decision in Nuclear Energy Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency, it wrote, “Having the capacity to outlast human civilization as we know it and the potential to devastate public health and the environment, nuclear waste has vexed scientists, Congress, and regulatory agencies for the last half-century.”  The Court found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s insufficient 10,000-year standard for Yucca Mountain violated the NWPA’srequirement that the National Academy of Sciences’ recommendations must be followed, and ordered the EPA back to the drawing board. In 2008, the EPA issued a revised standard, acknowledging a million-year hazard associated with irradiated nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Even that standard falls short, Kamps said, because certain radioactive isotopes in spent fuel remain dangerous for much longer than that.  Iodine-129, for example, is hazardous for 157 million years.

Posted in USA, Human Rights, PoliticsComments Off on Beyond Nuclear Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging High-Level Radioactive Waste Dump for Entire Inventory of US “Spent” Reactor Fuel

The Corona Crisis: BS is Running Wild! Where does One Start?

By Philip A Farruggio

 Well, let’s go to that sea of new human interest corporate commercials saying how they all ‘Care about you during this pandemic’.

All those nice and decent companies want to see you through this, of course IF you use their products or services. They care!

How about those Big Pharma commercials that tout how they will ‘Help’ you to pay for their overpriced, under regulated and too often over proscribed drugs?

Thank God for the one rule that, to date, has not (Yet) been repealed forcing Big Pharma to list the many side effects from those drugs. The number of them for each drug is mind boggling!

I also just love how many corporate retail chains offer to donate pennies from each of your transactions to the pandemic relief efforts nationwide. Duh, why haven’t those chains and franchises just donated pennies from said transactions into a pool to give back to their employees as extra income? As is, most of those jobs are what Henry Hill in the film Goodfellas referred to as ‘Dead end jobs with bum paychecks’.

Don’t you just love the BS  that comes out of the mouths of all those mega millionaire television newscasters and guest ‘Experts’?

They all listen to the myriad of stories about working stiffs and unemployed working stiffs who face eviction and or foreclosure during this pandemic, and reveal their usual Crocodile Tears to the cameras.

Wouldn’t it be nice, as former NFL star running back Warwick Dunne did around 20 years ago, to purchase homes for single Moms in economic distress? I mean, a guy earning mega millions on television, the movie industry, or professional sports can easily afford to fork out one or two million to buy a slew of homes for those in need. They get a hefty tax write off anyway, on top of the good deed. Maybe if Sean Hannity, the finally revealed slumlord, was to donate some of his rental properties to his low income tenants, perhaps we could begin to see the ‘Hope and Change’ that the phony Obama lectured us on.

Then we come to the greatest group of hypocrites ever assembled, our politicians. Wow! These guys and gals really take the cake! The Republicans on the far right, and their Democratic adversaries on the center right love to pontificate about how they ALL care. Really? Who do they care for? Is it their working stiff constituents or the high roller corporate donors and Military Industrial Empire that they always vote to protect?

Well, look at this current economic depression we are wading through, along with the uncertainty of life itself during the pandemic. What the two parties joined together to do is give away, as in 2008-09, most of the money to prop up the house of cards called Wall Street, along with those huge corporations who together run Amerika… or should I say ‘Ruin Amerika’. Have you even heard, on most of the mainstream, and even alternative electronic media, about the ONLY solution to immediately save us working stiffs? That being a UBI, or  (Non inflationary, by the way) Universal Basic Income that continually puts anywhere from $1000 to $2000 a month per person into our own hands, hopefully Tax Free. Imagine how those big corporate behemoths will salivate as our UBI stimulates this economy in the best and most useful manner.

Think of all the customers the millions of retailers will get back. The bastard absentee landlords will lick their lips to finally get paid their rent each month.

Maybe a pandemic and economic recovery will get those hypocrite politicians to subsidize local community efforts  to buy up all  rental property thru eminent domain and become ‘Non Profit Landlords’.

The next step should be forming Non Profit local mortgage banks that charge but ‘Overhead’ on mortgage loans. Imagine how tens of millions of current renters could now actually afford to own a home or apartment. Factored  in with a UBI, there would be such economic stimulus to really Make America Great Again, pardon my borrowing of that phrase.

Posted in HealthComments Off on The Corona Crisis: BS is Running Wild! Where does One Start?

The Murder of George Floyd: Racism and the Dark History of Slavery Colonialism. How it Relates to France

By Sianny Rooney

Riots have sparked all over US’ cities for more than a week now for the extrajudicial killing of a black man named George Floyd on May 25 in Minnesota, USA. Similar protests on police’s violence after the death of George Floyd also starting in France for the murder of Adama Traoré, a black man suffocated while he was pinned down by gendarmes after his arrest in July 2016. Around 20,000 protesters gathered in Paris on June 2 to show solidarity for victims of police brutality and to demand justice for Traoré. 

In April 2020, similar police  brutality and racism even though not resulting in death also occurred to a man of colour from Egypt who was humiliated and beaten up by the police inside the police van in Ile-Saint Denis. Suspected of theft of building materials, the man jumped to the river Seine and when the police managed to take him out from the river he was mocked in a very racist way and received some violent abuse inside the police’s van. One of the police said “A ‘bicot’ like that doesn’t swim” which followed by the laughter from the other police. The word “bicot” which derived from the word “l’arbicot” (means “petit arabe” or little Arab in French) is a very racist language term that goes back to the French colonial history.

In the video of the incident from the Twitter account of ‘Là-bas si j’y suis’, media site where journalist and activist Taha Bouhafs works and reported the incident, we can hear the scream and cry of the Egyptian man suspected of theft and the laughters of the police inside the van.

Là-bas si j’y suis@LabasOfficiel · Apr 26, 2020

Hier soir à l’#IleSaintDenis des policiers ont interpellé un homme, ont proféré des insultes racistes à son égard et l’ont frappé tout en ricanant.

C’est le témoignage de Léo qui a filmé la scène depuis sa chambre.

Notre reporter @T_bouhafs a recueilli sa parole.

Là-bas si j’y suis@LabasOfficiel

La vidéo en question 676:34 PM – Apr 26, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy96 people are talking about this

Journalist and writer Claude Askolovitch explained this police’s racism and the origin of the racist word “bicot” in “28 Minutes” on Arte TV. The word came from the 19th century when French army colonised Algeria and the word is used to add insult to the oppressed Algerian people who have to obey their French colonisers. It started with the word “larbi” or “l’arabe” (means Arab) which later on transformed to “larbicot” and in 1892 it became “bicot” (means little Arab) which became an authorised insult to use to the North Africans people. There are other racist terms such as “l’ignoble crouille” (horrible North African Arab), “melon” (person from Arab origin), “raton” (rat), “bougnoule” (black, north african), “youpin” (person with origin or belief in Judaism), etc.

Claude Askolovitch also commented that these police’s behaviour brings the French back to a time when racism was a way of being French (“Ce temps ou le racisme était une manière d’etre francais”), implying that there was a systemic racism in France or that racism was part of the French culture, embedded in the French’s DNA.

France like USA also has a very dark history of slavery (more than 400 years ago) and colonialism (ancient form of imperialism). Until today France still imperialise its ex-colonies countries in Africa and the French central bank “Banque de France” governs their currencies, which is unitedly named “CFA Franc”. France pillages Africa’s natural resources and governs every aspect of those countries in Africa from economic, politic, democracy, etc.

The beautiful city of Nantes, France despite its very dark history of slavery. Pictured here is The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. Photo Credit: Avion Tourism

Memorial of the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France is a symbolic witness to France’s horrific past of slavery, abuse of another human beings and trading black slaves as if human beings are commodity. The hypocrisy of how France perceives its dark history and acknowledges its crimes against humanity is clearly shown when the monument to commemorate the victims of slavery is called the “Memorial of the Abolition of Slavery”, as if the perpetrator takes credit of its own crimes by making himself a hero by abolishing slavery, a slavery that the perpetrator created in the first place. Clearly there is a part-denial on how France is accepting and taking responsibility of its past.

Mémorial de l’abolition de l’esclavage (Memorial of the Abolition of Slavery) in Nantes, France. ©Discover Paris!

It is important to understand that to justify the inhumane slavery and colonialism, it is crucial to see the oppressed as less human than the oppressor, it is important to see them as lower, objectify them as sub-human to devoid us from conscience of the horrible wrong things we did to others (another human beings). Thus it is important to instil racism for political purposes so the oppressor can build an empire for power and profit. Racism is a tool of manipulation in the quest for control, power, hegemony and greed.

The systemic or institutionalised racism in French Police or in France as a state as general definitely goes a long way back to its dark history of slavery and colonialism. And until this matter is fully addressed, there will always be the injustice sentiment and social unrest lurking under the surface of society, ready to emerge anytime.

Photo Source: FemmedInfluence

For every nation to develop or advance in humanity, it has to embrace its past and history fully no matter how dark it is, and to learn from its history because those who have never learned from history are doomed to repeat it.

Understanding Human Behaviours, Psychology (How to Maintain Division or Population Control in Society through Institutionalised Racism)

“Divide and Conquer” or “Divida et Impera” (Divide and Rule) of Julius Caesar’s strategy to divide Rome is an old strategy that has been used even before Julius Caesar was born. It is an old tactic used by our “ruling elites” to easily manipulate, divide and distract us, to keep us busy fighting and destroying each other instead of realising the real issues and concentrating our power against the real “enemies”.

To easily control us, we need to be ignorant and brainwashed to keep us dumb and docile, to deprive us from any chance of realizing of what is going on and any chance of fighting back. To easily divide people, racism can be a useful tool.

In our modern society, to control us the people, these are the several pillars of strategy being used against us:

1) Fake Corporate Mainstream Media

Our mainstream medias are owned by the ruling elites. The purpose of the mainstream media is to manufacture our consent, perfectly explained by the renowned intellectual Prof. Edward S. Herman (together with Noam Chomsky) in his book “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media”. Its purpose is to manufacture our consent to align with the ruling elites’ plan and agenda. For example to go to war which is consent to justify killing others in the name of lies and profit, not for humanitarian reasons. The mainstream corporate media is a propaganda tool to propagate lies, to brainwash our way of thinking, and manufacture consent for the ruling elites’ agenda. It is also one of the main tools to instil hate, fear, white supremacy and racism in society for example by propaganda of blaming the immigrants for all the problems occurred in a country or instilling “Yellow Fear” by blaming China for the Covid-19 pandemic.

2)  Education System that Indoctrinate not Educate

Our education system does not educate but instead indoctrinate. It teaches us lies instead of our real history. Our education system shapes our way of thinking for the purposes of aligning with our ruling elites’ agenda. Its objective is not to make us smarter but to control our mind and how we are supposed to think. Indoctrination is an act of war to people’s mind and intelligence.

Education system is the other arm of the propaganda after the Fake Mainstream Media. It can act as a propaganda arm for the government or the ruling class, to maintain control, division and White Supremacy which is the deep ideology behind racism. Education institution teaches lies in history, lies in the concept of economic and finance so that the gullible masses have difficulty understanding the manipulation, the fraud and the mass plundering of wealth by our ruling class (government, elites, bankers, corporations, billionaires, etc). By not teaching the truth in history and inducing chauvinism one can feel superior compare to other nationalities which can lead to deluded exceptionalism. This delusional superiority and exceptionalism can drive one to become white supremacist or racist.

3) Agents Provocateur (The Fake Experts)

Our world is inundated with incompetent, pseudo-elected and unelected leaders and experts who don’t have the people’s interests in their mind. They are paid and bought for, to do the bidding for the ruling elites.

The leader of USA, President Donald Trump often spews racism in his speech. Bill Gates who recently suddenly appeared all over the news and media to talk about Covid-19 pandemic as if he is an expert on pandemic and idolised as a genius and generous donor by the mainstream media turned out to be a scam when the real truth comes out. We pay respect or listen to the wrong people or the wrong experts because that is what the mainstream media and ruling elites want for us.

In France, the agent provocateur expert in racism is none other than the right-wing extremist Eric Zemmour. Eric Zemmour is notoriously well known in France for his racist sexist comments or speeches and for inciting hate against minorities. He has been sued several time by ‘SOS Racisme’, a non-profit organisation that tries to eliminate racism and xenophobia in France. The problem with Zemmour is that in a normal democratic society, he will not be given platform for his own regular TV shows for him to spew hate and racism. For sure there is a vested interest by the ruling elites and the mainstream media for Zemmour to appear regularly on TV giving his opinions and views to influence the public sphere as much as possible and to move the public more to the extreme right-wing political ideology. What is even more bizarre is Zemmour’s cult followers who really believe whatever Zemmour says and support his racism and sexism. As long as there are agent provocateur like Zemmour and his blind incapable of logical thinking followers, ending racism and sexism will be a very difficult battle.

In France police violence and brutality has spread to other citizens not just to citizens of colour, example during the Yellow Vest Movement or early in this year alleged murder of Cédric Chouviat, a delivery man who was stopped by the police because of his dirty motorcycle’s number plate that resulted in a violent inspection control that caused Cédric Chouviat his death.

To fight racism and police brutality we also need to fight impunity of those in power who have done wrong to the people. There should be justice in a society for it to be able to run smoothly and to have peace.

From Slavery to Modern Slavery, White Supremacy, Systemic Racism, and Imperialism

There is still a long road to fight racism and to achieve equality and justice for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, etc. The old form of slavery and colonialism have evolved to another more modern form of racism and imperialism, but the essence is still the same. At the core, it is discrimination and exceptionalism, to see others different races from the White as subordinate, as less human than the White that gives the White the illusion that they have the rights to do everything including inhumane things to others different than them.

To have deep understanding in order to bring real systemic changes we have to understand the root cause of the problems which linked to the West’s dark history of slavery and colonialism, understand the pillars of strategy used against us listed above, know the truth and be well-informed as responsible world citizens. We need to solve the real root causes of the problems and not just its symptoms. To bring real changes, we as society as a whole, the whole world have to relentlessly fight until real systemic changes are achieved.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on The Murder of George Floyd: Racism and the Dark History of Slavery Colonialism. How it Relates to France

Western Governments Collectively Punishing Syrian Civilians with Criminal Economic Embargoes

By Tom Duggan

The Syrian Government is trying to keep medicine at an affordable price for the consumer by limiting the price of medicines, but the pharmaceutical industry inside Syria needs to raise the prices to sustain production.

This is due to two main factors: Sanctions and economy.

Some factories are closing and some are reducing work force.

It’s extremely difficult to purchase the ingredients to make basic medicines through sanctions and also through the exchange rate dollar and the Syrian pound.

Most Syrians earn the same salary they did prior to the beginning of the war 12 years ago but the cost of living has become unbearable for the average family, because the price of manufacturing has increased, and the pharmaceutical companies need to pass on to the consumer, and here is the rub, the consumer can’t afford the increase on its present salary.

The Syrian Government is conducting negotiations with the manufactures at this moment to reach some kind of compromise.
Sanctions

The United States first introduced sanctions at the end of April 2011 against five key persons and entities in the Syrian Government. This measure was followed shortly afterwards by similar sanctions imposed by the European Union. The US sanctions were significantly extended on 18 August 2011 and the list of sanctioned parties has grown. The EU followed on 3 September 2011 by targeting the supply, transport, financing and insurance of Syrian oil and petroleum products.

That was the beginning closely followed by EU sanctions against persons & entities 2013 sanctions can be increased at any time without notice:

  • embargo on telecommunications monitoring and interception equipment
  • ban on provision of certain services (related to such equipment)
  • import ban on crude oil and petroleum products
  • ban on provision of certain services (related to crude oil and petroleum products)
  • embargo on key equipment and technology for the oil and natural gas industries
  • ban on provision of certain services (to the oil and natural gas industries) – ban on provision of new Syrian banknotes and coins
  • ban on trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the Government of Syria
  • embargo on luxury goods
  • ban on certain investment (in the oil and natural gas industries, in construction of power plants for electricity production)
  • prohibition to participate in the construction of new power plants for electricity production
  • restraint on commitments for public and private financial support for trade with Syria and ban on new long term commitments of Member States
  • ban on new commitments for grants, financial assistance and concessional loans to the Government of Syria
  • prohibition for the European Investment Bank to make certain payments
  • restrictions on issuance of and trade in certain bonds
  • restrictions on establishment of branches and subsidiaries of and cooperation with Syrian banks
  • restrictions on provision of insurance and re-insurance – restrictions on access to airports in the EU for certain flights
  • inspection of certain cargoes to Syria and prior information requirement on cargoes to Syria
  • restrictions on admission of certain persons
  • freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities and bodies
  • prohibition to satisfy claims made by certain persons, entities or bodies – valid until 1.6.2017

And each year it gets worse.

With the fake gas attacks an increase in sanctions came into force, this was partially due to the report on Douma by the OPCW which left out valuable information it was not until 2020 when whistle blowers revealed the truth ,but still strict sanctions on Syria were imposed.

Equipment Laboratory equipment, including parts and accessories for such equipment, (destructive or non-destructive) analysis or detection of chemical substances,

This part read carefully,

with the exception of equipment, including parts or accessories, specifically designed for medical use, universities inside Syria cannot purchase test tubes or basic lab equipment due to sanctions.

Trump is also going to extend more measures through the Caesar Act.

Posted in USA, Europe, ZIO-NAZI, Syria, UNComments Off on Western Governments Collectively Punishing Syrian Civilians with Criminal Economic Embargoes

Trudeau’s Cowardly and Cynical Pursuit of a United Nations Security Council Seat

By Arnold August

During a daily press briefing in Ottawa this Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continued parasitizing on calamitous issues to increase the tempo of his bid for election to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat next June 17. How else can one explain that he took the unusual step to comment, in his various first sentences, on the situation in the U.S.? In a supposedly self-effacing comment, he stated that “anti-Black racism also exists in Canada.” How convenient for the statesman. Trudeau did not utter a word about the extreme violation of human rights in the U.S. nor show support for the just cause of protesting there, at least in the manner that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) point out: 

“Over 50 years ago, American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King said… A riot is the language of the unheard … This quote explains and underscores what we are seeing in the media in response to the police killing of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis … Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents. A recent U.S. study found that about 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in the U.S. can expect to die at the hands of police. That is, they are 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with a member of the police force.”

Trudeau, perhaps also animated by his UNSC elections campaign, did not utter a word about the violent century-old colonialist racism against First Nations in Canada. Did Trudeau have a memory lapse about First Nations in Canada? No, the answer perhaps lies in the fact that in 2014 the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya on the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada consisted of a devastating criticism of the situation of Indigenous peoples in Canada. And Canada has not been applying the 2007 United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. If Trudeau had mentioned this, he would have opened a can of worms, as the situation is notoriously known to much of the public. Thus, this would be bad press for a UNSC seat.

When a reporter asked him in that same press briefing for his view specifically on Trump’s incendiary comments against the protesters, Trudeau said, “I am not going to speak on behalf of other countries.”

This is not true, and to utter blatant falsehoods is certainly not becoming of a country seeking a seat at the UNSC. Trudeau has indeed commented on many occasions regarding countries whose governments he does not like, such as Nicaragua, Bolivia (before the racist Trump–Trudeau coup), Palestine, China, Russia, Iran and many others. In fact, on the hot issue of Venezuela, Trudeau literally “speaks on behalf of other countries,” that is, Venezuela. Through the mouth of the Trump-appointed so-called president-in-waiting Juan Guaidó, Trudeau like Trump “speaks on behalf of Venezuela.”

While very aggressive in meddling in the affairs of counties whose governments do not appeal to Trudeau, he does not have a word to say about violation of human rights against the countries he does like, such as Colombia, Brazil, Honduras, Israel, Saudi Arabia and, last but indeed not least, the U.S. itself. Not a word was uttered in the June 1 press briefing about violation of human rights in the U.S.

This hypocritical contradiction, becoming so glaring, actually made it into the Canadian mainstream media. On June 2, the day following what the whole world witnessed on television, namely Trump ordering his troops to attack protesters in front of the White House so that he can have a photo op with a bible at the nearby official White House church, the daily press briefing took place. However, and this is unusual, the question and answer period was converted even by mainstream media into a relatively aggressive interrogation of Trudeau for his foreign policy double standard. Several, and not just one, journalists’ questions implored Trudeau to comment on Trump’s actions and words, not only the previous day’s police attacks and church photo op, but since the beginning of the crisis. Trudeau again refused to answer the question, let alone address Trump’s words and deeds against protesters. A journalist (seemingly frustrated) made another attempt as the Q and A drew to an end, and thus addressed Trudeau in the following way:

“You’ve been reluctant to comment on the words and actions of US president Donald Trump. But we do have Donald trump now carrying out military action against protesters. We saw people there gassed yesterday to make place for a photo op.  But if you do not want to comment on that, what message do you think that you are sending?”

Trudeau stood silent for 20 seconds, on live TV, a very unusual act that has international repercussions.

He finally answered with the same evasive “we have all witnessed with horror and consternation what is going on, but now is the time to pull together…” International western media showed the video clip with the journalist’s question followed by the long delay and finally the response. There will surely be ongoing debate on his long moment of silence, Trudeau may or may not try to spin it. However, the bottom line is that he got, wittingly or not, international attention and he refused to criticize Trump, bringing shame on millions of Canada, sacrificed on the alter of pleasing Trump in exchange for USSC support.

On the same day of his moment of silence on Trump, Trudeau’s Foreign Minister Jean-François Champagne issued a statement via Twitter confirming Canada’s support for the violent pro-U.S. opposition in Venezuela against the elected Maduro government.

On that June 2, Trudeau passed the litmus test as a faithful ally of Trump and the U.S. and is expecting full U.S. support for the UNSC seat.

However, Trudeau’s theatrics (as some parliamentarism called it) did not go down at all right in the Canadian Parliament. First to stand up against Trudeau’s non-response was the opposition social-democratic party NDP Member of Parliament Niki Ashton.

The NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also opposed Trudeau’s silence “revealing his hypocrisy.”

tru jag.jpg

Bloc Québécois opposition leader Yves-François Blanchet was quoted in the Montreal press that Trudeau “lacks courage.”

However, we are not yet done with Trudeau’s June 2 presser. It was not Trudeau’s day. Right on the heels of his pledge to work against racism in Canada (his opening UNSC pitch), a reporter’s question confronted him on a report that was released close to three years ago demanding that Canada apologize and offer reparations for slavery of Blacks in Canada. He was asked why nothing has been done. The response was band standing for the international audience, the usual…“we are working on it.” After all, the Trudeau government has spent so much time and funds in trying to recruit African and Caribbean countries to vote for Canada. He had to say something.

Nevertheless, let us be fair and ask: is it exaggerated to assert that Trudeau uses even the most tragic situations to boost his presence on the international scene as a trampoline for his UNSC seat? For those in doubt, in addition to the June 1 and 2 press conferences, let us take note of the May 28, 2020 virtual UN-sponsored meeting on COVID-19 that Trudeau held with the Prime Minister of Jamaica and the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. As the Canadian state television CBC reports, “The conference is taking place as Canada competes with Norway and Ireland for one of two non-permanent seats opening on the UN Security Council next month. Canada is running on a platform of helping to rebuild the post-pandemic world.” The CBC headline, emphasizing help for poor countries, reads, “Trudeau, allies call for global unity at UN summit on pandemic recovery.”

However, what is Trudeau’s actual track record on COVID-19 in “poor countries”? The quiescence of cynicism took place in the first week of May 2020. The U.S.-led attempted invasion of Venezuela from Colombia on May 3, in collaboration with Juan Guaidó, to carry out a coup against President Maduro failed. It was a fiasco. How did the Trudeau government show its solidarity with the Trump-led mercenaries? His Foreign Minister issued two tweets, on May 3 and May 5. On both occasions, he allegedly based himself on Canada’s “concern” about COVID-19 in Latin America. It was a cynical pretext. The tweets show that the bottom line was support for the U.S.-led regime change strategy. COVID-19 was just a pretext.

Nonetheless, in the apparent haste to cover up regime change solidarity with Trump and Guaidó, conveniently camouflaged with “COVID-19 concern,” Trudeau overlooked this fact: the Latin American countries to which he refers (all American and Canadian allies) – either directly or indirectly – such as Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Chile have the worst COVID-19 prevention records in Latin America. On the other hand, the country in the region with by far the most successful results in containing the pandemic is Venezuela. This country was, of course, not mentioned in the Trudeau government’s May love-in statements with the US-led coup plotters. Trudeau’s morbid UNSC pursuit is fully exposed because it is this successful Venezuela example that the Trump–Trudeau alliance wants to overthrow, which, had it occurred, would have thrust the Venezuelan people into the same hell as the U.S.-Canadian Latin American allies.

Nonetheless, let us continue to give Trudeau some benefit of the doubt. After all, the charge against him is serious: sadistically using COVID-19 for personal political careerism. During the June 1 press briefing, in the context of racism, one reporter did ask him about the racism against the First Nations in Canada and the report of the Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). This inquiry was commissioned by the Trudeau government itself. However, it did not turn out as planned. The news reporter was perhaps making reference to the serious Commission findings leading to accusations of genocide against successive Canadian governments including the Justin Trudeau mandate. Trudeau, waxing eloquently for the international audience and potential UNSC votes, did not answer the question except to say that his government is very concerned about the plight of the First Nations. This statement and similar ones, not to mention innumerable photo ops showing Trudeau in Indigenous clothing, consist of a sin quad non sardonic approach to get a seat on the UNSC.

Moreover, to emblazon his “concern for First Nations,” Trudeau claimed they are working on the MMIWG report. False! Despite the fact that everything indicated that the First Nations are disproportionately prone to be infected by the pandemic because of historical social and economic conditions, his government announced on May 26, 2020 that the work on the Commission was postponed because of the pandemic. However, the former MMIWG chief commissioner Marion Buller said in response to Trudeau’s postponement that governments had ample time to get the work done by the promised date. “‘Using COVID-19 as an excuse for delaying a national action plan – to me – is really like saying, well, the dog ate my homework,’” Buller said. “‘So much could’ve been done, should’ve been done up to and including February and March.”

Let us conclude by going back to square one. On June 1, Trudeau made his “dramatic” statement on anti-Black racism and then on June 2, we heard his lame response to Canada’s history of slavery. In addition, one may ask: a UNSC seat for a country that is responsible, along with the U.S. and France, for a coup d’état and the continued oppression and violence against the people of Haiti. For those who are still not convinced that we should say NO to Canada, Yves Engler’s title of his most recent article merits reflection: “For Trudeau Black (Haitian) lives do not matter

Is it any wonder that the description of Canada as “colonialism at home, imperialism abroad” is increasingly popular? Trudeau: If the shoe fits, wear it.

The movement against Canada’s bid for a UNSC seat is gaining traction. We have made much headway despite the national and international pressure of the Trudeau government and its apologists. Now that the bid is in the public limelight, we have far more leeway to expand the discussion in Canada and thus perhaps take a step in the direction to change Canada’s foreign policy. However, we must increase our tempo. No one can remain indifferent. As Howard Zinn famously asserted, “you can’t be neutral on a moving train.”

Posted in Canada, UNComments Off on Trudeau’s Cowardly and Cynical Pursuit of a United Nations Security Council Seat

Turkish-led Forces Capture Tripoli Airport and Advance Even Further

By South Front

On June 3, the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a military offensive to capture Tripoli Airport from the Libyan National Army (LNA) and push the LNA back from the southern suburbs of the city of Tripoli itself.

GNA fighters and members of pro-Turkish Syrian militant groups supported by the Turkish military attacked the airport from the southern and western directions and in the evening of the same day took control of it. LNA forces showed very little resistance to the advancing Turkish-backed forces and even left behind several pieces of military equipment in the airport area.

“Our heroic forces have liberated the entire Tripoli International Airport, and our heroic forces are chasing the remnants of Haftar militias, which are fleeing towards Qasr bin Ghashir,” Col. Mohamad Qununu, a spokesman for the “Anger Volcano” operations room declared.

A day earlier, GNA troops ambushed a convoy of LNA forces behind the frontline in southern Tripoli destroying at least 3 vehicles. This became the first indication that the LNA defense was crumbling. The coordination between various LNA units was interrupted.Video Player00:0002:56

On June 4, the GNA and its allies launched an attack on positions of the LNA in Qasr bin Ghashir reaching the western vicinity of the town. More than a dozen drone strikes targeted the town over the past 24 hours. Pro-LNA sources claim that these strikes killed a number of civilians.

According to pro-GNA sources, 15 LNA members were killed in the recent clashes. Pro-LNA sources say that 7 GNA fighters were eliminated.

If Turkish-led forces are able to capture Qasr bin Ghashir, LNA southern positions in Tripoli will collapse fully and only Sidi Salih Airport and Tarhuna will remain as the main strongholds of troops loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

On June 4, Haftar arrived in Cairo to meet with representatives of the Egyptian government, one of the two key backers of the LNA, the other one being the UAE. Nonetheless, unlike Turkey, Egypt and the UAE do not openly employ their militaries to support their allies in the Libyan conflict. The further expansion of Turkey and the advances of Turkish-led forces deeper into central Libya could force them to change their current approach. In such a case, the Libyan conflict would flare up even further.

Posted in Libya, TurkeyComments Off on Turkish-led Forces Capture Tripoli Airport and Advance Even Further

Two U.S. Senators Determined to Stop Nord Stream 2 by Imposing Extra Sanctions

By Paul Antonopoulos

The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline will run through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. However, this gas pipeline is strengthening Russia’s relations with European states, making the U.S. desperate to end the project.

As reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, U.S. senators are planning to extend sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project. Sanctions are expected to target insurance companies associated with the project.

Senator Ted Cruz led the charge against Moscow and said the Russian pipeline is “a critical threat to America’s national security and must not be completed.” He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to circumvent the sanctions passed by Congress last year. He of course did not explain how a Russian pipeline a continent away from the U.S. and in northern Europe could impact their security.

Cruz, a Republican, was joined by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, who said that the pipeline “threatens Ukraine, Europe’s energy independence and gives Russia an opening to exploit our allies” and that “Congress must once again take decisive action and stand in this pipeline’s path.” He, just like Cruz, did not explain exactly how the pipeline is a threat or security concern, especially against Ukraine.

The pipeline does not threaten Europe’s energy independence, and rather, as is enshrined in a free market economy that the U.S. says it ardently defends, allows Europe to have another option for gas. Although Russian gas already reaches Europe, it goes via Ukraine that is volatile and a high risk for Russia. The Director General of the Ukrainian gas transportation system Sergei Makogon said earlier this year that Ukraine “will make every effort to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2, as this project has a clear political character and runs counter to European principles of solidarity.”

With Russian gas to Europe at risk, the Nord Stream 2 project ensures Russia’s gas can reach European markets so it can compete with gas from Qatar, the U.S. and other sources. And it is with this that lays the problem for Washington. It is obviously absurd to suggest that Russian gas “threatens Ukraine” or is a “critical threat to America’s national security.” The proposed sanctions, that also has backing from Republican Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, is just part of “gas wars” initiated by the U.S. to force countries to buy American liquefied natural gas.

It is for this reason that Russian Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said on that the U.S.  will not be able to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Last week, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who resigned on June 2, said that new sanctions against Nord Stream 2 could be adopted by the U.S. Congress in an operational mode. Their purpose is to prevent commissioning of the gas pipeline.

At that time, media also swept on the news that an alleged dispute broke out between U.S. President Donald Trump and long-time German Chancellor Angela Merkel because of differences of opinion on the Nord Stream 2 project. However, neither Berlin nor Washington officially confirmed this rumour. Also, at the end of last year, the U.S. adopted a defense budget providing for sanctions on companies involved in laying the gas pipeline. As a result, the Swiss company Allseas stopped work and withdrew its ships. The head of the Ministry of Energy Alexander Nowak said after that Russia is able to complete the project itself however.

The Nord Stream 2 subsidiary, Gazprom Nord Stream 2, is building the gas pipeline. The annual meeting of Gazprom’s board of directors is scheduled for June 11 and it is expected the main topic of talks to be about the impact of Western sanctions on Gazprom and response measures. This is more crucial as now Poland has joined the U.S. in anti-Nord Stream 2 sanctions.

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection initiated a new proceeding against Gazprom regarding the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, threatening the Russian company with a fine of €50 million. The Polish office demanded that Gazprom provide documents regarding the project, namely contracts concluded between Gazprom’s subsidiary and other companies financing the construction of the gas pipeline. These were primarily contracts for the transmission, distribution, sale, supply and storage of gas fuels. Gazprom did not provide this information, and now Poland aims to fine the company.

Despite these pressures, in which Poland has a very minor part, Russia will unlikely be deterred by threats of sanctions. Russia has already learned long ago how to operate while under sanction and will continue to pursue projects that serve their state interests and integrate Russia closer to Europe. This is especially important as the European countries are more interested in convenient gas that is not only logistically easier, but cheaper than many other alternatives.

Posted in USAComments Off on Two U.S. Senators Determined to Stop Nord Stream 2 by Imposing Extra Sanctions

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