Archive | May 11th, 2016

The Ugly Truth Behind The Greek Bailout


Image result for IMF CARTOON

Christine Lagarde, the Queen of Troika and the Head Honcho of the IMF, on May 6th, threatened to pull the IMF out of the Greek rescue plan, with a straight face, calling it a “rescue plan.” Oh, please!

Yet, it is extremely doubtful the IMF would ever entirely pull out since the plan really bails out its own constituency of banks at an unfathomable expense to the Greek people.

Meantime in Greece, transportation and civic services throughout the country grind to a screeching halt, full stop, as the people hit the streets.

Queen Christine’s backroom stratagem, described in a Wikileaks’ leaked confidential letter exclusive to Troika members, preceded the three-day nationwide strike in very strong protest against more and more, infinitely more, austerity measures burying the Greek people as quid pro quo for bailout money, which almost exclusively (95%) serves to service creditors. This is insanity of the highest order. How can Greeks at all accede to a measly 5%?

Anyway, the Troika bailout ruse is finally hitting the proverbial “ you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip” stage, which is when citizens go berserk, ballistic, fighting mad, screaming, kicking and scratching, all kinds of turmoil and hubbub, maybe carnage. Who knows?

The ugly sequence of events started on May 6th when Greece’s shipping, public transport, and civil service departments included the days Friday and Saturday to their planned nationwide strike for Sunday, May 8th, the day when Greece’s Parliament votes on tax changes, as imposed by Troika, meaning higher taxes and lower pensions. Robotically, this is all the Brussels bureaucrats know.

“Greece’s largest labour union, the private sector GSEE, said the changes, were the ‘last nail on [sic] the coffin’ for workers and pensioners. A spokesman said: ‘They are trying to prove to the Eurogroup that they are good students but they are destroying Greece’s social security system,” Greece Hit by General Strike Over Pension and Tax Change, BBC News, May 6, 2016.

“’They are the worst so far,’ said Odysseus Trivalas, president of the public sector union ADEDY. ‘At some point, Greeks won’t be able to take anymore and there will be a social explosion,” IMF Threatens to Pull Out of Greek Rescue, The Guardian, May 6, 2016.

Hark! The Greek bailout is the epitome, the essence of neoliberal practices, i.e., slash and burn social welfare, grind people into the ground, hammer‘em, to save capital. But, then again, that’s how the neoliberal brand of capitalism functions the world over, and it sucks!

The Greek rescue plan, in real time, is equivalent to stepping inside the pages of The Shock Doctrine, similar to The Truman Show, experiencing life in a reality TV program.

The Shock Doctrine–The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, the title of Naomi Klein’s wonderful 2008 New York Times’ bestseller says it all, laying out for everybody the hideous details behind capitalism’s newest wrinkle circa 1980s, neoliberalism, a destructive heat-seeking-missile aimed at unions, social welfare programs, and governmental regulations, let the free market reign supreme!

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UK Prisoners “Potential Assets To Be Harnessed” For Profit

 Image result for UK JAIL PHOTO
 John Newham

The Conservative government’s Prisons Bill to be introduced in the Queen’s Speech this month is the latest stage in the privatisation of the prison service.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove’s proposed bill will introduce “reform prisons,” modelled on academy schools (state-funded, but privately run). They will be rated via league tables, including measures for re-offending rates. Provision is made for “failing” jails to be taken over by more successful prisons. Prison governors are to be given more autonomy over budgets and the deployment of staff.

Preparing the ground for the bill, David Cameron in February gave the first speech on prisons by a prime minister since fellow Tory John Major in the 1990s. He described the “failure of our system” as “scandalous,” as though this had nothing to do with previous government policy.

Cameron said prisoners should be seen as “potential assets to be harnessed.” This was packaged as improving education for prisoners with six jails set to be awarded “reform prison” status by the end of 2016. “Social enterprises” will be given contracts to improve education and employment outcomes, which will be used to mark out prisons deemed as failing for privatisation.

This model has been employed by successive governments to break up and privatise schools, the National Health Service, social services, probation and other public services. Individual trusts are established to break up previously integrated and centrally managed public services, and unrealistic performance targets and standards imposed as budget cuts and outsourcing contracts, staff and service cuts are introduced. With inevitable crises following, and the media attacking a “failing” service, this is used to justify “reforms” involving public services being run for profit by private firms—channelling public funds into unaccountable private hands.

Citing the record-high prison population (currently standing at 85,930 in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales, the biggest in western Europe) and high re-offending rates (the justification to privatise the probation service), Gove was widely lauded in the media as a “progressive” reformer compared to his predecessor, Chris Grayling.

Under Grayling’s watch, building on powers introduced in the Offender Management Act 2007 by the then-Labour government, 75 percent of the probation service was sold off, Legal Aid was cut and courts were closed. Around 7,500 prison officer jobs were lost between 2010 and 2014.

Despite denials from government, staff reductions in prisons led to an overcrowding crisis, a rise in inmate violence and deaths, and an explosion in the use of drugs, as there were not enough staff to supervise prisoners safely.

The total number of assaults, 18,874 in 2015, jumped by 19 percent compared with 2014. There were 4,568 recorded assaults on prison staff in the year to September, up 30 percent year on year. In the same period, there were 30,706 reported incidents of self-harm, up 24 percent on the previous year; 257 prisoner deaths occurred in 2015, up from 242 in 2014, and 153 in 2006. In the year to the end of March 2011, there were 3,700 drug seizures, a rise of nearly 4,500 in 2013-2014.

A report by the then-chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, said, “Staff shortages, overcrowding and a rising level of violence fuelled by a rapid increase in the use of legal highs have all contributed to a significant overall decline in safety.”

Last week, staff at Wormwood Scrubs prison in London walked out due to concerns over safety, after citing alleged assaults by inmates. The staff walked out despite it being illegal since 1997 for prison officers to take industrial action.

This followed a recent damning report by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons, finding the prison was rat-infested and overcrowded.

These deplorable conditions are being used to justify the further privatisation of the prison service, with old Victorian prisons in prime city-centre locations being sold and more than £1 billion spent on building nine new privately run prisons.

Holloway prison in London, the biggest women’s jail in western Europe, with 500 inmates, is the first to be earmarked for closure. The 10-acre site is valued at £200 million, at least. Wormwood Scrubs, and Norwich prison, valued at £50 million, could also be on the list as property developers salivate at the potential for big profits given the inflated UK housing market.

Privatisation of the prison service started when the Conservative government gave a short-term contract to multinational security company Group 4 (now G4S) to operate the newly built, publicly owned HMP Prison Wolds. The 1997 Labour government continued the privatisation process, utilising the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Designed, Constructed, Managed and Financed (DCMF) prisons. The contracts run for 25 years, after which the building becomes the property of the Prison Service. HMP Altcourse, opened in December 1997, was the UK’s first DCMF prison.

There are 14 private prisons contractually managed by private companies such as G4S Justice Services, Serco Custodial Services and Sodexo Justice Service, which between them hold 13,500 prisoners (15 percent of the UK’s prison population).

Birmingham prison was the first to be transferred from public management to the private sector in October 2011. G4S won the 15-year contract, worth £468.3 million.

Private prisons have been plagued by problems. HMP Wolds opened in 1992. Twenty years later, inspectors found that it had “clear weaknesses,” with poor behaviour and high levels of drug use among inmates.

In 2008, 10 of the 11 private prisons in England and Wales came in the bottom quarter of the Ministry of Justice’s prison performance league table.

Prison privatisation will gather apace, given the lucrative profits available via taxpayers’ money and through the employment of prisoners via the new training and education initiative.

In 2012, the Corporate Watch web site reported on of G4S’s “Exploitation of the cheap, captive labour of prisoners.” It had “400 prisoners working 40 hours a week in its six prisons, being paid next to nothing. At Altcourse prison in Liverpool, G4S worked with Norpro, an engineering firm that had converted three former metal workshops into a factory floor using 25 prisoners to produce high-quality office furniture ‘at an economic price.’”

Labour could be done so cheaply by prisoners that “work previously done in India had been brought back to the UK and done in the prison. At Wolds in East Yorkshire, a digital marketing company called Summit Media, which started inside the prison more than a decade earlier, had a turnover of £30 million.”

G4S launched a PR campaign, “Working Prisons: Working People,” to urge the UK business community to “open its mind to the growth opportunities from being involved in ‘working prisons.’”

One of the “benefits to business” listed by G4S was “a committed workforce and low overheads. … We have a dedicated workforce with a variety of skills which can work around business’ needs with the minimum of bureaucracy.”

G4S hoped these types of prisons would “become the norm” in the future.

With the cost of £40,000 and above to incarcerate a person for a year in the UK, and the cheaper labour costs and lower staff numbers in private prisons, huge profits can be reaped.

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The Anti-Semite’s Best Friend

Once, most Jews viewed Israel as the anti-semite’s best friend

It was an assessment no one expected from the deputy head of the Israeli military. In his Holocaust Day speech last week, Yair Golan compared current trends in Israel with Germany in the early 1930s, as Nazism took hold.

In today’s Israel, he said, could be recognised “the revolting processes that occurred in Europe … There is nothing easier than hating the stranger, nothing easier than to stir fears and intimidate.”

The furore over Golan’s remarks followed on the heels of a similar outcry in Britain at statements by former London mayor Ken Livingstone. He observed that Hitler had in practice been “supporting Zionism” in 1933 when the Nazis signed a transfer agreement, allowing some German Jews to emigrate to Palestine.

In their different ways both comments refer back to a heated argument among Jews that began a century or more ago about whether Zionism was a blessing or blight. Although largely overlooked today, the dispute throws much light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Those differences came to a head in 1917 when the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, a document promising for the first time to realise the Zionist goal of a “national home” for the Jews in Palestine.

Only one minister, Edwin Montagu, dissented. Notably, he was the only Jew in the British cabinet. The two facts were not unconnected. In a memo, he warned that his government’s policy would be a “rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country”.

He was far from alone in that view. Of the 4 million Jews who left Europe between 1880 and 1920, only 100,000 went to Palestine in line with Zionist expectations. As the Israeli novelist A B Yehoshua once noted: “If the Zionist party had run in an election in the early 20th century, it would have received only 6 or 7 per cent of the Jewish people’s vote.”

What Montagu and most other Jews feared was that the creation of a Jewish state in a far-flung territory dovetailed a little too neatly with the aspirations of Europe’s anti-Semites, then much in evidence, including in the British government.

According to the dominant assumptions of Europe’s ethnic nationalisms of the time, the region should be divided into peoples or biological “races”, and each should control a territory in which it could flourish.

The Jews were viewed as a “problem” because – in addition to lingering Christian anti-semitism – they were considered subversive of this national model.

Jews were seen as a race apart, one that could not – or should not – be allowed to assimilate. Better, on this view, to encourage their emigration from Europe. For British elites, the Balfour Declaration was a means to achieve that end.

Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, understood this trenchant anti-semitism very well. His idea for a Jewish state was inspired in part by the infamous Dreyfus affair, in which a Jewish French army officer was framed by his commanders for treason. Herzl was convinced that anti-semitism would always prevent Jews from true acceptance in Europe.

It is for this reason that Livingstone’s comments – however clumsily expressed – point to an important truth. Herzl and other early Zionists implicitly accepted the ugly framework of European bigotry.

Jews, Herzl concluded, must embrace their otherness and regard themselves as a separate race. Once they found a benefactor to give them a territory – soon Britain would oblige with Palestine – they could emulate the other European peoples from afar.

For a while, some Nazi leaders were sympathetic. Adolf Eichmann, one of the later engineers of the Holocaust, visited Palestine in 1937 to promote the “Zionist emigration” of Jews.

Hannah Arendt, the German Jewish scholar of totalitarianism, argued even in 1944 – long after the Nazis abandoned ideas of emigration and embraced genocide instead – that the ideology underpinning Zionism was “nothing else than the uncritical acceptance of German-inspired nationalism”.

Israel and its supporters would prefer we forget that, before the rise of the Nazis, most Jews deeply opposed a future in which they were consigned to Palestine. Those who try to remind us of this forgotten history are likely to be denounced, like Livingstone, as anti-semites. They are accused of making a simplistic comparison between Zionism and Nazism.

But there is good reason to examine this uncomfortable period.

Modern Israeli politicians, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, still regularly declare that Jews have only one home – in Israel. After every terror attack in Europe, they urge Jews to hurry to Israel, telling them they can never be safe where they are.

It also alerts us to the fact that even today the Zionist movement cannot help but mirror many of the flaws of those now-discredited European ethnic nationalisms, as Golan appears to appreciate.

Such characteristics – all too apparent in Israel – include: an exclusionary definition of peoplehood; a need to foment fear and hatred of the other as a way to keep the nation tightly bound; an obsession with and hunger for territory; and a highly militarised culture.

Recognising Zionism’s ideological roots, inspired by racial theories of peoplehood that in part fuelled the Second World War, might allow us to understand modern Israel a little better. And why it seems incapable of extending a hand of peace to the Palestinians.

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Tell Eurovision in 1944 Stalin deported Crimean Tatars to protect them from punishment for Nazi war crimes


On Saturday, May 14, in Stockholm’s Globe Arena an event called the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final will take place.

According to the Eurovision Official Rules 2016 posted on

1.2) Criteria of eligibility

1.2.1) Songs

“The lyrics and/or performance of the songs shall not bring the Shows, the ESC as such or the EBU into disrepute. No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC. No  swearing  or  other  unacceptable  language  shall be allowed in the lyrics or in the performances of the songs.  No  messages promoting  any  organization, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, products or services shall be  allowed in  the  Shows and  within any official  ESC  premises (i.e. at the venue,  the  Eurovision  village,  the  Press  Centre, etc.).  A   breach   of   this   rule   may   result   in disqualification.”

However, rules are made to be broken

On May 9, 2016, a tweet from the European Broadcasting Union confirmed “that neither the title nor the lyrics of the song contained “political speech” and therefore it didn’t breach any Eurovision rule, therefore allowing it to participate in the competition.[16] [wikipedia entry]

Why would the European Broadcasting Union feel propelled to make this statement on the  Victory Day celebration in Russia?

That’s because Europeans love to defecate on our life, our history and our modest national holidays.

Thus, we have got a singing competition which doesn’t want to be politicized, and wisely so. But… since the EU members are in Cold War with Russia and NATO is building up an enormous quantity of troops and weaponry all along Russia’s borders, to make a singing competition into an sick anti-Russia spectacle is a given.

Enters Ukraine. Ukraine is a Western territory of Russia, temporally occupied by the West. It’s a colony of the US with a multiethnic society where Russians are the majority, but the US wants to grind into a monoethnic society with a pure, “Ukrainian” identity.  Everyone who doesn’t want to speak the Ukrainian language is being burned alive, like in the Odessa Massacre, or shot, or bombed by NATO. Everyone in Ukraine is supposed to become “Ukrainian” which means “anti-Russian” and a follower of the Bandera ultra-nationalist ideology.

Everyone, that is, for the notable exception of so-called ‘Crimean Tatars” who are allowed by the US and EU to use their own language, their own national identity, their own religious extremist organizations  like Hizb ut-TahrirTablighi Jamaat and other terrorist organization, that are legal in Ukraine, but considered terror organizations in Russia.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, “Crimean Tatars” are not ethnic Tatars, they are Turks.  Turkey is a NATO member and an ally of the EU and US, as you have probably heard.

About 120,000 “Crimean Tatars” live in Crimea. After the liberation of Crimea from Ukrainian occupation, about 8,000 ended up living in Ukraine. The rest of them don’t want to move to Ukraine and prefer to stay in Russia. If they are so upset about 1944 why wouldn’t they move to Turkey to enjoy the true freedom and democracy that the Associated membership with the EU brings?

This year, in Eurovision singing competition Ukraine is being represented by a singer called Jamalawith a song “1944” according to

I listened to this song, and found it being depressingly monotonous.

Here is the lyrics: “When they come… strangers. Come into your home. They kill all of you and say. “We are not guilty…not guilty.” Where is your mind? Humanity is crying. You think you are gods. But all die. Do not swallow my soul. Our souls. The youth is not enjoyed in peace and not live. We could build a future. Where people are free to live and love. Happy times… Where are your hearts? Humanity prospers. You think you are gods. But people are dying. Do not swallow my soul. Our souls.”

However, I must admit, I am no music critic and all ISIS-style songs sound to me the same.

Europeans, however, love it. This is how this political provocation by Susana Jamaladinova a.k.a.Jamala was announced by their media:

  1. Crimean singer in line to represent Ukraine at Eurovision
  1. Ukraine picks Crimean Tatar with tragic tale for Eurovision

“When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say ‘We’re not guilty’,” the song begins. “That terrible year changed forever the life of one fragile woman, my great-grandmother Nazylkhan. Her life was never the same,” Jamaladinova, who was born in Kyrgyzstan, said before the broadcast.

  1. Ukraine’s Eurovision entry takes aim at Russian oppression

Ukrainians have chosen a Crimean Tatar singer and her song 1944, about the mass deportation of Tatars under Joseph Stalin, to represent the nation

  1. According to liveleaks, Ukraine’s Tatar protest song Eurovision choice likely to irk Russia

Because, apparently this is a song about  the mass deportation of Turks from Crimea after Crimea was liberated from the German occupation in 1944.

I want you to remember the phrase: “That terrible year changed forever the life of one fragile woman, my great-grandmother Nazylkhan. Her life was never the same. She is talking about 1944. It’s very significant that she says this. You will understand later why.

On May 9th 1944, after the final battle to liberate Sevastopol from the German occupation, after all the remaining German troops were cleared from Crimea, a decision was made by the Soviet Government to deport the majority of Turks from Crimea to the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. The Turks weren’t deported from Crimea to Siberia. Au contraire…  Uzbekistan has a warm climate and was never devastated by the war.

I don’t know exactly the circumstances around the decision to remove Turks from Crimea after the liberation. I don’t know who made this decision inside the Soviet government and who signed it. Essentially this decision has saved the Crimean Turks from the fury and rage of the Soviet Russian army liberating Crimea. Because when the Russians came back, they found that the ENTIRE Russian population of Crimea was slaughtered by Turks under the supervision of Germans.

Just to remind you how people lived in Crimea before the war, a documentary called One Day in Artek made by students in 1939, also links to sources of historical photographs of pre-war Crimea.

Here are the historical facts:

Crimea was attacked by Germans on the first day of the Great Patriotic war June 22nd, 1941.

In July 1942, Sevastopol fell to the Germans. From October 1941 to July 1942, 156,000 Red Army soldiers were killed defending the city.

Even before the defenders of Sevastopol were defeated, about 100,000 Turks in Crimea greeted Germans occupiers as “liberators.”

We are honored to have the opportunity to fight under the leadership of the führer Adolf Hitler – the greatest son of the German people… Our names later will be honored along with names of those who advocated the liberation of oppressed peoples.” This is from a speech of the Chairman of the Tatar Committee Jaljala Abdurashidova at a ceremony on 3 January 1942 in Simferopol.

The Wikipedia entry about the singer Jamala there is an interesting twist. It states that Jamala’s grandfather was fighting for the Red Army, and couldn’t “protect” his family from deportation.  The facts are that in 1941 as the war had started total 90,000 people were drafted to the Red Army from Crimea. 20,000 of them were Turks. During the first months of war and German attacks on Crimea, 20,000 Turks deserted the 51st Army as it was retreating from Crimea. As we see, almost every Crimean Turk drafted to the Red Army had deserted it. It’s been confirmed on village by village statistic. For example: from 132 men drafted from the village Koysh, 120 deserted the Army. Everyone who deserted the Red Army went to serve German occupants.

From the very first days of arrival, Germans used the support of Tatar-nationalists. Trying to gain support among Tatars, Germans didn’t loot Tatar home, like they did to Russian people.” Wrote the Commander of the 5th Partisan region Krasnikov.

According to eloquent testimonies of German field Marshal Erich von Manstein: “...the majority of the Tatar population of the Crimea was set up very friendly to us. We even managed to form a Tatars armed battalions of self-defense, whose task was to protect their villages from attacks of Partisans who were hiding in the Yayla mountains.”

According to Washington based International Committee for Crimea: “The German military authorities in the Crimea began creating self defense battalions from Crimean Tatar POWs in January 1942. General Manstein viewed the Crimean Tatars as being more sympathetic to the German occupation than the Slavic population of the peninsula. These POWs volunteered for service in the self defense battalions in exchange for release from the camps and better rations. The Germans formed six battalions and 14 companies of Crimean Tatars with 1,632 men by 15 February 1942.[13] In total, close to 20,000 Crimean Tatars served in German organized self-defense battalions during WWII.[14]”

What Washington is omitting that collaborating with German Turks actively participated in the genocide of Russians in occupied Crimea.

From archive of NKVD so called “Special Files. message #465/B” “Jankoy district, a group of three Tatars was arrested who by the German order executed in gas chambers 200 Gypsies.” “In Sudak, 19 Tatar-executioners were arrested. they violently executed Red Army servicemen captured by Germans. From those arrested, Osman Setarov personally shot 37 soldiers.  Osman Abdureshidov shot 38 soldiers of the Red Army.”

Many Crimean Turks left the peninsula along with German troops. For example, the Polit-Commender of the 2nd Belaruskiy Front reported that they had 49th Army armed encounter with so called “Tatar-Volga legion” organized by the Berlin based “Tatar Committee” headed by Shafi Almas. “Tatar-Volga legion” consisted of three battalions and over three thousand people. All of them Turks under the command of the German Colonel Sikondorf. This is according to the Archives  of the Institute of Russian History of Russia’s Academy of Science. F.2. Special File. January 27th, 1944 report of the Deputy Commander of the Main Political Command of the Red Army Shikin.

However, these sort of direct battles with the regular Red Army regiments were unusual for Turks. They much preferred to deal with the civilian population and POWs, the way they have dealt in Turkey with the non-Turkish population. SS Crimean-Tatar Battalion burned alive 15,000 Russians, Ukrainians, Greeks and Armenias, the entire population of village Mirnoe (Peaceful)

During the occupation of Crimea, Germans and Romanians organized 116 death camps staffed with Crimean Turks. They were organized by Schuma organization into 152 battalion. For the exception of 6 military officers, all 320 servicemen in this battalion were Crimean “Tatar” Turks.   For example death camp “Red” also known as Crimean Buchenvald. In this death camp people were executed, without a chance to get out.

In two years of German, Romanian and Turkish occupation of Crimes, over 90,000 civilians were murdered and over 85,000 were trafficked to Germany for forced labor Only about 2% of those people survived and returned.

In nearby so called “internment” camp, out of 140,000 people interned, 40,000 were murdered and 100,000 were trafficked to Germany for forced labor. Turks working in the death camp “Red” were “creative” in the ways they murdered people. They drowned mothers with children in cesspools. They mass burned people alive by tying them up with barbwire, pouring gasoline on them and setting them on fire. Just compare, for 7 years in Buchenvald 56,000 people were killed. 8,000 per year. In death camp “Red” in less than 2 years Germans, Romanians and Turks murdered 15,000 people. The prevailing notion that the majority people killed in these particular death camps were Jews, is wrong. The majority of people killed there were Russians.

crimean tatars 1

crimean tatars 2

According to the article “Death Camp “Red” – Crimean Buchenvald” Ukrainian occupation authorities for decades and during the Soviet time and during  the “independence” were refusing to recognize the place as a memorial to 15,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Armenian and Greek people perished in this camp. The memorial has been build in 2015 after the liberation of Crimea from the Ukrainian occupation.



In 1942, near the resort town Sudak, Tatars captured and murdered a group of reconnaissance troops of the Red Army who came to them seeking support of the locals. While another group  of “self-defenders” captured and burnt alive 12 Soviet paratroopers. On February 4th, 1943 Crimean Tatar volunteers from the villages of Beshoy and Komush seized four partisans from the group of S. A. Mukovnina. Partisans L. S. Chernov, F. V. Gordienko, K. G. Sannikov, and H. K. Kiyamov were brutally murdered: stabbed repeatedly with bayonets, stacked on pyres and burned. Especially disfigured was the corpse of Kazan Tatar H. K. Kiyamova. Apparently, Crimean Turks mistook him as their tribesman. Genetically, Kazan Tatars don’t relate to Crimean Turks, despite of the similar name.

Equally cruelly Crimean Tatar were murdering the non-Tatar civilian population.

As noted in a  special report of L. P. Beria in the names of I. V. Stalin, V. M. Molotov and G. M. Malenkov No. 366/b, dated 25 April 1944: “locals claim that they suffered more prosecution from the Tatars, than from Romanian invaders”. It got to the point that escaping their violence, the Russian-speaking population asked for help from the German authorities and received their protection! for example, Alexander Chudakov (a local witness, not a known Soviet author) testifies: “My 1943 my grandmother was nearly shot by Crimean Tatar executioners in front of my mother — at that time a seven year old girl just because she had the misfortune to be a Ukrainian, and her husband — my grandfather — had worked before the war as a Chairman of the village Council and in that time fought in the ranks of the Red Army. My grandmother was saved from bullets, by the way… the Germans, who were amused by the degree of brutality of their lackeys. It all happened a few kilometers from the Crimea, in the village of Novodmitrovka in Kherson region of Ukraine”.

crimean tatars 3

cromean tatars 3

According to recently declassified data from the Special files of the State defense Committee (May 1, No. 387/B) during the German occupation of Crimea they organized the Muslim committees, which “on instructions of the German intelligence agencies conducted the recruitment of Tatar youth in the volunteer corps to fight Partisans and the Red Army, required suitable personnel to insert them into the Red Army, and were spreading pro-fascist propagation among the Tatar population of Crimea.”  Germans had also created a “Tatar National Committee,” which was headed by Turkish-citizen immigrant Abdurashid Cemil. The Committee had branches in all regions with Tatar population actively collaborated with the Germans. In 1943, Feodosia was visited by Turkish emissary Amil Pasha, who called on the Tatar population to support the activities of the German authorities.

Among specific causes of Turks in Crimea was a fundraiser to help the German army “after the defeat of the German 6th army of Paulus at Stalingrad.” So Feodosia Muslim Committee gathered “one million rubles” donated  by Tatars.

From the report of Beria to the State Committee of defense No. 366/B, dated 25 April 1944 (from the same Special files): “activities of the “Tatar national Committee” was supported by broad segments of the Tatar population, which the German occupational authorities gave all kinds of support: not one Crimean Tatar was trafficked to Germany for forced labor, (excluding the 5,000 people who voluntarily went to Germany), they paid lower taxes than the occupied population, etc.  Not one Tatar settlement was destroyed by Germans.

It was clear that Germans were using ethnic Turks as executors of the Slavic population of Crimea.

It’s not hard to notice that when Crimea was liberated  and before Russians started returning there, significant resources were brought to evacuate Crimean Tatars from the peninsula. As we see from the reports and Classified files, the soviet government knew exactly what was taking place there during the occupation. It was generally assumed that Russian Crimeans coming back from fighting war and finding their homes destroyed and their families, children, wives, parents and grandparents, murdered in the most horrendous ways, would want to take revenge on the murderers, the Crimean Tatars. That’s why even today after 72 years, the majority of Russians believe that Crimean Tatars were saved by the Soviet Government by evacuating them from the region they committed horrible atrocities, to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, where people didn’t know what took place in Crimea.

Now, remember a phrase of  Jamaladinova, “That terrible year changed forever the life of one fragile woman, my great-grandmother Nazylkhan.” She is talking about 1944. Not the 1941, when Germans, Romanians, Turks, Finns, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Italians, Japanese, and many others had attacked and invaded Soviet Russia and Crimea. She is not talking about 1942-1943, the years of occupation, when entire populations of Russians, Armenians, Greeks, and Gypsies, and Jews were annihilated.  No, of course not. Those were the good years for Crimean Tatars. They were murdering people, and they were taking those people’s belongings. Afterwards, instead of locking them all up in jails for war crimes, mean Stalin evacuated them to warm plentiful lands of Uzbeks and Kazakhs. And what about those railroad wagons? Have you ever seen what wagons were used to transport troops across the country? The Soviet Union devastated by the war with Europe, didn’t have any other wagons. It was one type of wagons for everything.

Turks evacuated from Crimea were given opportunity to attend schools and universities, to build houses. They were living amongst the locals just like everyone else did. They were provided with free arable lands they used to grow fruits and vegetables and to sell it in Russia. There income was higher than average income in Soviet Russia.  For the exemption of very few, none of them was convicted and jailed for war crimes and genocide. During the post-war years the population of Crimean Tatars or Crimean Turks grew from about 100,000 to 500,000. It’s grew 5X times! As we know the Russian population severely declined during those years, especially during the liberal terror, that didn’t take place in “independent Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

I would like to ask the organizations of Eurovision and the leaders of European nations, what gives them moral superiority to troll the memory of the Soviet Government  and the Russians who survived the most horrific war in history of mankind, that you conducted against us?

I have no doubt that the same people of Europe who are now voting for this political provocation masquerading as a “song,”  the same  people, and we will see all their faces on our TVs would be burning us, our children and our parents alive, if it wasn’t for Russia’s army and Russia’s fleet.

Time after time, the Europeans are throwing their dung at us Russians, and we got your message, Europe. We got your message back in 1941, and we are getting it now. You can keep your dung…  I mean Eurovision.

Just like the demands of the European politicians to let out of jail Natalya Savchenco who killed two Russian journalists reporting from Donbass. Just like refusal of Turkey government to punish people who down the Russian fighter jet fighting ISIS in Syria. Just like refusal of Kiev junta to punish those terrorists who murdered 400 people in Odessa on May 2, 2014, and over hundred Police officers in Mariupol. The western society openly demonstrate that their crimes against us Russians won’t be punished, but rewarded.

It means that it’s up to us to punish perpetrators.

To all those saying that Germany and Russia are natural allies...

The Eurovision 2016 is shaping up to become a true statement of glorification of Nazism and its excuses to condone the genocide of Russians in World War II, which turned out to be the pinnacle of European civilization.

For those of you who feel propensity to burn people alive, enjoy, while you can….

P.S. Researching for this article,  I came across a comment that strikes me as very true. Someone wrote that in Russia we all have become victims of the Western Cold war against us. We endured economic losses and hardships, caused by sanctions. Our inner peace and sense of security have also been taken away. The only good thing is that our children are growing up hating the Western democracy and everything its represent: hatred, perpetual wars, misery for so many nations and death of so many innocent.

Thank you for your time.

Follow me on twitter for updates

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

Posted in RussiaComments Off on Tell Eurovision in 1944 Stalin deported Crimean Tatars to protect them from punishment for Nazi war crimes

US foreign policy


These days, US foreign policy is often contradictory, as we can see in Syria, where troops trained by the Pentagon are fighting troops trained by the CIA. And yet it remains perfectly coherent on two points – to divide Europe between the European Union on one side and Russia on the other – and to divide the Far East between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on one side and China on the other. Why? And can this be predicted?

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For more than a century, in an attempt to explain and therefore anticipate US foreign policy, we have been visualising a struggle between the isolationists and the interventionists. The former adopted the line of the «Pilgrim Fathers», who fled old Europe to build a new world based on their religious beliefs, and therefore distant from European cynicism. The latter, in the tradition of certain of the «Founding Fathers», intended not only to seize their independence, but also to pursue the project of the British Empire for their own benefit.

Today, this distinction has lost almost all validity, since it has become impossible to live in autarchy, even for a country as vast as the United States. Although it has become commonplace to accuse one’s political adversaries of isolationism, no US politician – with the exception of Ron Paul – now defends such an idea.

The debate has shifted to a confrontation between the partisans of perpetual war and the adepts of a more measured use of force. If we are to believe the work of professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, the present policy of the United States is decided by a collection of interest groups, independent of the desires of its citizens [1]. In this debate, therefore, it is legitimate to note the influence, on the one hand, of the military-industrial complex, which dominates the US economy and whose interest is to pursue a state of «endless war» – and, on the other, the toll companies (software, high-tech, entertainment) who, although their production is more virtual than real, make their money wherever the world is at peace.

This analysis of the debate leaves aside the question of the access to raw materials and energy sources, which was dominant in the 19th and 20th centuries, but has lost its urgency, without having completely disappeared.

Since the «Carter Doctrine», which treats the access to hydrocarbons from the «Greater Middle East» as a question of «national security» [2], we have seen Washington create CentCom, move more than 500,000 men to the Gulf, and seek to impose control over the whole region. We remember that Dick Cheney, persuaded of the imminence of «peak oil», decided to prepare the «Arab Springs», and war against all the states in the region which it did not yet control. But this policy lost its meaning even while it was in appplication, because the United States, apart from their production of gas and shale oil, took control of the hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico. Consequently, in the years to come, the United States will not only have abandoned the «Greater Middle East», but may engage in a major war against Venezuela, the only middle-range power which could compete with and threaten their exploitation in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a series of interviews with The Atlantic, President Obama tried to explain his doctrine [3]. In order to do so, he replied lengthily and repetitively to those who accuse him of contradictions or weakness, particularly after the affair of the «red line» in Syria. He had indeed declared that the use of chemical weapons was a red line which should not be crossed, but when his administration alleged that the Syrian Arab Republic had used them against its own population, he refused to wage a new war. Leaving aside the question of whether the accusation was true or not, the President stressed that the United States had no interest in risking the lives of its soldiers in this conflict, and that he had chosen to economise their forces in order to face genuine threats against US national interests. This declaration of reserve is known as the «Obama Doctrine».

So what are these «genuine threats» ? The President didn’t say. At best we can look at the work of the US National Intelligence Council and the preceding remarks on the power of the interest groups. It appears that the United States has abandoned the post-9/11 «G.W. Bush Doctrine» of global domination to return to that of his father – commercial excellence. Once the Cold War ended for want of combatants, the era was dedicated only to economic competition within the deregulated capitalist system.

As a matter of fact, it was specifically to reassure himself that the era of ideological conflicts was really over that President Obama reached out to Cuba and Iran. It was indispensable to calm the opposition of these two revolutionary states, the only ones to contest not only US supremacy, but also international rules. The bad faith displayed by the United States in their application of the 5+1 agreement only goes to show that they do not care about Iranian nuclear technology, but are seeking only to restrain the Khomeinist revolution.

It’s in this context that we witness the return of the «Wolfowitz Doctrine», according to which everything must be done to prevent the emergence of a new competitor, and this begins with the bridling of the European Union [4]. However, this strategy seems to have been modified, insofar as Washington considers the awakening of China with even greater apprehension. So there is talk of the «Far East Pivot» strategy, consisting of withdrawing troops present in Greater Middle East, and repositioning them in order to control this new region and contain China. While the Pentagon has abandoned the neo-conservative lunacy concerning the destruction of China, it nonetheless intends to restrict Beijing to an entirely economic role, and prevent it from applying any political influence outside its frontiers.

And yet what we are now seeing is the contrary of the «Far East Pivot». The United States have certainly increased their presence in the Pacific slightly, but have above all set up a strong military presence in Central Europe. While war is still raging in Palestine and Yemen, in Syria and Iraq, and threatens to inflame Libya, a new conflict has begun in Ukraine. There are, however, two ways of interpreting this evolution.

On one hand, we may consider that the military deployment at the Russian border, and Moscow’s intended military reponse, are absolutely no threat to peace. Indeed, it seems both very dangerous and absolutely unnecessary to engage in such a conflict. The war in Ukraine will not be directed against Russia, but will constitute the artificial fabrication of a Russian pseudo-threat to Europe, with its sanctions and counter-sanctions, which will allow the United States to «protect» their credulous allies.

On the other hand, we may consider that the economic future of the United States is founded on their control of international exchange, and thus on the maintenance of maritime transport [5]. On the contrary, the development of Russia and China supposes their freedom from US trusteeship, and therefore the construction of continental commercial routes. This is President Xi’s project, with the construction of two «Silk Roads», one building on the antique traces of the route through Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean, the other through Russia to Germany. Two routes which today are interdicted by Daesh in the Levant, and by Ukraine in Europe.

The question of maritime transport was the central point of US strategy at the beginning of the 21st century, with the support of pirates from the Horn of Africa [6] – a strategy that ended when Moscow and Beijing sent their warships into the area. However, even though China had the Suez Canal doubled in size by Egypt, the access via the Bal el-Mandeb Straits remains officially under the control of Djibouti, and unofficially under the control of Al-Qaïda via the Islamic Emirate of Mukalla.

To the control of the commercial routes must be added the control of financial exchanges. This is the reason why the US Justice Department has promulgated rules which it is attempting to impose progressively on all the banks in the world. But here too, Russia has set up its own SWIFT system, while China has refused the convertibility of its money into dollars in order to avoid being shackled by US rules.

If this analysis is correct, the wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine will not end until Russia and China have secured another commercial route to Western Europe. On this subject, we can observe the current efforts by the United States to topple Belarus into their camp after having opposed it for so long – a way of consolidating the Ukrainian firewall and ensuring hermetic compartmentalisation between Western and Eastern Europe.

From this perspective, the commercial negotiations that the United States have undertaken with the European Union (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP), and with the ASEAN (Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP) are not aimed at reinforcing their exchanges, but on the contrary, at excluding Russia and China from the market. Stupidly, the Europeans and Asians are concentrating on the choice of production standards instead of demanding the entry of Russia and China into the negotiations.

A final fact to be learned from Obama’s interviews with The Atlantic is that the United States intend to update their alliances and adapt them to their new strategic doctrine. So the support for the Saudi régime, which guaranteed a supply of Middle East oil, is no longer of any interest, and even becomes a burden. Or, the «special relation» with the United Kingdom which once had its importance in terms of control of the oceans (the Atlantic Charter), and the attempt to fashion a unipolar world (the Iraq war), no longer offers any particular interest and must be re-thought – without mentioning the costly support for Israël, which no longer serves a purpose in the Middle East, and which will not continue unless Tel-Aviv proves itself useful in other parts of the world.

The preceding remarks do not reflect the current Presidential campaign in the United States, which opposes the military-industrial complex and WASP ideology, represented by Hillary Clinton, and the toll industry and social pact of the «American dream», represented by Donald Trump [7]. The violence of this campaign attests to the necessity of re-balancing these forces after a period of the exclusive supremacy of war-mongering since 1995.

When the camp represented today by Trump finally wins, we should see the settlement of wars, but the outbreak of an oppressive coercion for the payment of patents and authors’ royalties. In the case that a win by this group should tarry, the United States will have to deal with the uprising of an angry population and riots. It will then become especially difficult to predict US foreign policy.

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Israeli court refuses to extradite Orthodox Jewish lesbian paedophile to Australia

Paedophile Malka Leifer

Marianne Azizi writes:

The credibility of the courts in Israel is yet again in question after a judge refused to extradite a predatory lesbian paedophile who is wanted in Australia for child rape.

Malka Leifer (pictured above) worked at an ultra-Orthodox girls school in Melbourne, Australia. It is claimed that while her husband was travelling she raped girls aged between 5 and 12 in her home.

One of the victims attempted suicide after being raped.

In the video below, some of Leifer’s victims speak out.

The mother of eight escaped to Israel, taking five of her children with her. In 2014 the Australian authorities began extradition proceedings against her so she can face justice in her home country. However, she claimed that she was unfit to stand trial due to mental illness.

The fact that Leifer has been allowed to stay in Israel for eight years rather than be sent back to Australia, where the courts can decide on her competence to stand trial, is hard to understand.

Some in Israel suggest that Leifer has been given special treatment because she is a woman.

Others question the competence and integrity of the district psychiatrist, Dr Jacob Charnes.

If you would like to read a translation of the Israeli court’s decision of 1 May 2016 refusing to extradite Leifer, click here.

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U.S. and NATO escalate, plan bases on Russian border

US troops in Estonia

US troops in Estonia

On May 3, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, in Germany for a NATO ceremony, accused Russia of “nuclear saber-rattling.” A very serious claim, if true. Carter said, “Moscow’s nuclear saber-rattling raises troubling questions about Russia’s leaders’ commitment to strategic stability.”

This statement came right on the heels of the revelation that NATO is developing plans to station 4,000 troops in Poland and the Baltic states right on the border with Russia. Part of the plan may include installing a German battalion on a border with Russia. Stationing U.S. and NATO troops on the border of Russia, especially if Germany were to set up a permanent base, would be a very serious provocation.

The misleading accusation that Russia is using its nuclear arsenal to destabilize Europe is an amazing distortion of reality and must be called out for what it is, an attempt on the part of the United States to dress up an offensive maneuver—massing fighting forces on a country’s border—as a defensive maneuver.

The State Department and the Pentagon have also used as justification for the troop buildup a recent incident in which a Russian jet flew over a U.S. warship in the Baltic Sea. The U.S. media characterized it as “provocative” and “aggressive.” This is a ridiculous interpretation.

The U.S. warship was a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook. The Baltic Sea borders Russia. Let’s think this through. If  a Russian guided-missile destroyer was “patrolling” in the Gulf of Mexico, wouldn’t the U.S. military dispatch warplanes (and perhaps much more) to intercept the destroyer? In fact, let’s be honest, the U.S. military would most likely either assault, capture or destroy a Russian warship that merely attempted to enter the Gulf of Mexico, whether or not Mexico invited the ship. The U.S. would say that the very existence of the warship in the gulf was an act of aggression.

Make no mistake, although the United States and Russia are not at war, every maneuver by a U.S. destroyer is carrying out a military strategy. TheUSS Donald Cook is armed with cruise missiles. You don’t simply send a destroyer on a random mission. Why else would you send a “patrol” within striking distance of Russian cities during a time of heightened tensions other than to send a forceful message to Moscow? It’s obvious. Sending the warship is an aggressive action aimed at Russia.

Russia has responded to U.S. provocations with plans to shift more troops to the border and with plans to create three more military divisions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, “NATO military infrastructure is inching closer and closer to Russia’s borders. But when Russia takes action to ensure its security, we are told that Russia is engaging in dangerous maneuvers near NATO borders. In fact, NATO borders are getting closer to Russia, not the opposite.”

U.S. responsible for major powers climbing the ladder of escalation

There is no simplistic dynamic in the deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, but let’s be clear. It is not Russia that is encircling the United States with missile batteries and troops. It is the United States that is encircling Russia with missile batteries and troops. It isn’t Russia that wages war on the U.S. economy. The exact opposite is true.

It isn’t Russia that is carrying out a series of military exercises all along the U.S. border that simulate the invasion of the United States. The exact opposite is true.

It wasn’t Russia that helped overthrow the Ukrainian government alongside fascists and hard-right groupings in 2014. That was the United States. In Crimea, which left Ukraine after the coup and rejoined Russia, Russia acted to maintain its only warm water naval port in Sevastopol. For Russia, it was an existential necessity to reincorporate Crimea.

It was the United States that destroyed Iraq, Libya and helped to destroy vast parts of Syria, making possible the rise of ISIS. Russia, on the contrary, has intervened in Syria to help stabilize Syria and defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda.

This list could be much, much longer. But it all breaks down to this: In reality, the United States is the aggressor while presenting Russia as the aggressor. Washington and the Pentagon are conveying to the people of the United States an entirely upside down version of reality.

According to polls, a big majority of the people in Germany and France are very opposed to stationing NATO troops on the border of Russia.

In Poland, where 80 percent of the population has a negative view of Russia, Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski believes that Russia is a greater threat than ISIS! The leaders of Poland and the Baltic states are actively seeking the stationing of NATO troops in their countries, not out of any direct threat that Russia has made to their sovereignty, but out of a die-hard anti-Russian orientation. The elites in those countries have long sought the diminution or destruction of Russia. In fact, Russia is not at all an immediate military threat to any country.

In the United States, we must not only see the conflict between Russia and the United States with clarity, we must also act to prevent a larger war. You do not need to be a supporter of the Russian government to understand Russia’s reasonable attempts to defend its sovereignty. This is clearly not a case where there is equal blame on both sides in the ramping up of a confrontation that could quickly spiral out of control.

Though it is a relatively strong country, Russia is being targeted—not for any reactionary policies—but for drawing existential lines in the sand that have, in some cases, made it harder for U.S. imperialism to bully other countries and to unilaterally set the agenda for the rest of the world. The only sense in which Russia is a threat to the United States or Europe is that it is not willing to give up the entire planet to United States in each and every situation. In that vein, Russia is certainly talking and acting tougher and even being more proactive in its plans and actions.

The type of machinations that are happening right now in Eastern Europe are precisely the types of things that happened in the years preceding both world wars. It is impossible to understate how much another world war would be a calamity of unprecedented proportions. If any country on the planet is the most responsible for tensions among major powers and for exacerbating conflict, it is the United States. It is not hyperbole to say that the fate of the human race relies on us bringing the era of imperialism to a conclusion and ushering in a new era guided by the principles of cooperation and genuine equality between nations. This era of deceitful warmongers and one country hegemony needs to be forcefully brought to an end.

As the world this week celebrates the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II, a war in which at least 50 million people perished needlessly, the progressive and socialist forces of the world must build a movement to resist another war between major powers—must urgently build a movement to end all wars once and for all.

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What’s behind the protests in Iraq?

What’s behind the protests in Iraq?

Large swaths of Baghdad were on lockdown May 6, as Iraqi military and police forces fanned out across the city and put up barricades around the most politically sensitive areas.

This massive show of force, however, had nothing to do with the war raging against ISIS to the west and north. Instead, the Iraqi government was desperately trying to avoid a repeat of the events of April 30, when thousands of protesters breached the infamous and heavily-guarded “Green Zone” that houses the main government buildings and stormed the parliament.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued strict orders to security forces to prevent another humiliating incursion. However, a massive demonstration is expected to take place within days.

The protest movement that has led to a profound crisis at the highest levels of the Iraqi state has two closely-linked primary demands: an end to endemic corruption and the formation of a cabinet of independent technocrats to be appointed on the basis of their professional credentials alone, irrespective of their sectarian background.

Sectarian system a legacy of U.S. occupation

U.S. imperialism thought that the 2003 invasion of Iraq would be a cakewalk, and a springboard for a much more ambitious offensive in the Middle East. Notorious war criminal and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld infamously predicted that the war would take “six days, six weeks, I doubt six months”. Instead, the Iraqi people fiercely resisted the occupation and halted the menacing U.S. advance in the region.

In response, the Bush administration deployed the classic strategy of imperialism – divide and conquer. They sought to fracture Iraqi society into three parts: Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds. Tensions between these groups existed prior to the occupation, but there was a strong sense of Iraqi national consciousness that the invading powers needed to shred.

One of the main ways this strategy was implemented was the imposition of a sectarian quota system at the top levels of the new Iraqi government. Under this arrangement, the country’s president was always to be a Kurd, the Prime Minister a Shiite and the Speaker of Parliament a Sunni. Cabinet positions and the three Vice Presidential positions were also divided on a sectarian basis.

The U.S.-imposed quota system (this should not be confused with affirmative action policies, which also involve quotas but have a progressive character) has been a disaster for Iraqi society. It has facilitated corruption and gross incompetence, leading to decaying infrastructure, poorly administered social programs and a civil service rendered highly ineffective by patronage. It is questionable whether or not the high-level political actors involved in the crisis are sincere opponents of sectarianism, but there was a deep reservoir of popular frustration with this arrangement waiting to be tapped.

Shia alliance fractures

When protests against corruption and the sectarian power-sharing system broke out last year, the leadership was largely secular. Corruption and poor service delivery were also central issues raised during the Arab Spring-inspired wave of protests in Iraq in 2011, which similarly had a secular orientation.

However, followers of Muqtada al-Sadr gained control of the movement following the intervention of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest Shiite religious authority in the country. On August 7, Sistani declared through a representative that Abadi must root out corruption “with an iron fist” and threw his weight behind the demand that the Prime Minister form a technocratic government.

What prompted Sadr and Sistani to come out against the sectarian system? It is impossible to know the full extent of the behind-the-scenes power struggles, but it had certainly become clear that Abadi’s government and its predecessors in the post-invasion period were so incompetent that it posed a major threat to the stability of the Iraqi state itself.

As the protest movement in 2011 and 2015 showed, there is widespread anger at the political elite of all sectarian backgrounds. It is often necessary to pay bribes to access even the most basic government services, a situation made all the more intolerable by the widespread poverty that is a consequence of a quarter century of non-stop U.S. aggression. The popular legitimacy of the entire political system is called into question by this extreme corruption.

Furthermore, core state institutions have become extremely fragile and ineffective as a consequence of sectarian patronage. Nothing exemplifies this more than the collapse of the Iraqi National Army during ISIS’ lightening offensive across the country in 2014. In the face of an enemy many times smaller and far worse equipped, the INA in most cases simply fled. In fact, 50,000 troops (roughly one fifth of the size of the national army) turned out to be “ghost soldiers” – fictitious members of the armed forces who existed on paper so that officers could collect their salaries.

In February, Sadr presided over a huge demonstration of hundreds of thousands. In late March, the struggle escalated with the launch of a sit-in just outside the gates of the Green Zone. A week later, Sadr himself entered the elite compound and set up a tent where he held his own one-man protest – with the implied threat that his thousands of supporters could follow him in at any time.

While Sadr comes from a famous family of Shiite religious leaders, he has always sought to carve out a public profile as an Iraqi nationalist. Following the U.S.-led invasion, he was the resistance leader most despised and feared by the occupying armies.

After a period of exile in Iran, he returned to the country in 2011. His supporters compose the second largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, and Abadi relies on their support to maintain his majority – a position Sadr has leveraged in the ongoing crisis. The militia he led during the occupation – the Mahdi Army – has been disbanded, but it has now been replaced by a new formation numbering in the tens of thousands called the Peace Brigades, which under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces are playing an important role in the fight against ISIS.

Under tremendous pressure, Abadi relented and adopted the demands of the protest movement as his own. However, this does not mean that the non-sectarian cabinet is a done deal. In fact, two previous attempts in recent weeks by the Prime Minister to replace his ministers have been rejected by parliament. There are still powerful forces defending the sectarian system.

Abadi is a member of the Dawa Party, one of the oldest Shia religious political formations in the country that Sadr’s grandfather played a key role in founding. Abadi’s predecessor from 2006 to 2014, Nouri al-Maliki, is a member of the same party but was forced to resign following the disastrous collapse of the Iraqi army as ISIS captured much of the country.

However, Maliki has no intentions of fading into the background, and leads a faction of the Dawa Party opposed to Abadi. Maliki is generally considered to favor a foreign policy orientation that is friendlier to Iran, while Abadi has fewer reservations about working with the U.S. government.

Maliki is opposed to the demand for a technocratic cabinet, but is still willing to intervene in order to better his political positioning. Pro-Maliki lawmakers were able to use a sit-in held by dozens of Members of Parliament on April 14 that was initially aimed at supporting the anti-sectarian movement to hold a no-confidence motion to oust Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. Jabouri, a leading Sunni politician, claims that the legislature did not have a quorum at the time and refuses to recognize the result of the vote.

Political turbulence reflected on the battlefield

The advance against ISIS in Iraq has been painfully slow. It is carried out by a patchwork of armed groups – the largely Shiite Arab and Turkmen Popular Mobilization Forces, the Iraqi National Army, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and Sunni Arab forces (some of whom fight under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization and others in independent formations, while Sunni politicians have long demanded the formation of a National Guard under the authority of provincial governors).

The tragic and criminal consequences of U.S. imperialism’s divide and conquer strategy continue to be acutely felt. The existence of ISIS itself is a legacy of this. The Islamic State of Iraq, the predecessor to ISIS, emerged at the height of the fratricidal violence encouraged by the occupation and rose to prominence by carrying out massacres against Shiite civilians.

ISIS’ surprise offensive temporarily suppressed sectarian tensions at the very beginning of the conflict as it appeared possible that they would overrun Baghdad. However, as the battle lines stabilized and Iraqi forces made gains, recapturing Tikrit and reversing the humiliating loss of Ramadi in 2015, this relative cohesion is breaking down.

As the decisive battle for Mosul, the second largest city in the country, approaches, the question of who will rule post-ISIS Iraq becomes dominant. Ironically, military victories undermine the political incentive to press the advance.

U.S. imperialism has been taking advantage of the chaos to escalate its military presence in the country. In addition to the bombing campaign, thousands of troops have been deployed and, as the death of a U.S. Navy SEAL in Northern Iraq earlier this month shows, are playing an increasingly direct role in the fighting.

The tangled web of problems facing Iraqi society cannot be resolved if it is under the boot of imperialism. The U.S. anti-war movement can play a positive role by opposing all attempts by the criminals who shredded Iraq in the first place – the Pentagon and Wall Street – to reinsert itself into the country.

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Syria: U.S. Special Ops Forces to Fight Against ISIS or Damascus?


President Obama announced on April 28 that an additional 250 special operations forces will be deployed to Syria. Speaking in Hanover, Germany, Obama said: “Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I’ve decided to increase U.S. support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria.”

Even though Obama’s public rationale for deploying forces to Syria is the fight against ISIS, in reality the function of these troops is more likely to train and organize “moderate,” pro-imperialist “Free Syrian Army” rebels in Syria. While the FSA at times has had clashes with ISIS over control of territory, FSA’s mission is not to fight ISIS but to overthrow the secular state of Syria.

It has been nearly two years since the Islamic State gained control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. It is widely known that major operations are being planned in hopes of driving ISIS out of Mosul. So if defeating ISIS were the main objective of the deployment of additional forces, one would expect those forces to be deployed in Iraq, not in Syria.

Obama frames the new deployment in the context of recent battlefront victories against ISIS: “So given their success I’ve approved the deployment of up to 250 additional U.S. personnel in Syria including special forces to keep up this momentum.” But recent ISIS defeats have not been the product of battlefront victories by pro-West Syrian rebels or U.S. special ops forces. ISIS defeats have been at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army, simultaneously fighting ISIS and a conglomerate of other rebel forces, including Al Qaeda-allied Nusra Front and the U.S.-sponsored FSA.

The major battlefront in Syria in recent months has been Aleppo, Syria’s most populated city prior to the start of the civil war. Aleppo has long been divided between a government controlled section, an ISIS controlled section and a section controlled by other non-ISIS rebels, including the FSA. The Syrian army has been advancing on all fronts and severely limiting the supply lines to the various rebels, supply lines from NATO-member Turkey, which has long provided full support to the anti-government rebels.

In February, a cease fire, mediated by the UN Special Envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, took effect. Against expectations, the cease fire held for some time. But as acknowledged by even de Mistura, the cessation of hostilities has now effectively fallen apart. De Mistura’s effort now is to negotiate a new cease fire. He has announced plans to visit Moscow shortly.

Ever since Russia’s air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad started in September 2015, the tide of the Civil War has decisively turned in favor of Damascus. The Obama administration may now have given up hope of the pro-imperialist FSA to overthrow Assad and take over the country, a now most improbable outcome given the relative weakness of the FSA. However, the FSA is the strongest card the United States has to influence negotiations over the future of Syria. The Obama administration does not want the FSA to be annihilated or further weakened.

There were already 50 U.S. special ops forces deployed in Syria. This is the number acknowledged by Washington–the real number is likely much higher. The newly deployed special ops forces will try to prop up the decaying FSA, not to fight ISIS, but to fight the Syrian government.

This is a continuation of U.S. policy towards ISIS and Al Qaeda. It wants to use them while it suits Washington’s aims. If the U.S. priority were to fight ISIS, it would throw its support behind Syria’s government, by far the most significant force fighting against ISIS on the ground. But Damascus is too independent to suit Washington’s taste, so it must be overthrown. That continues to be as high a priority for Washington as the defeat of ISIS.

In the remaining months of the Obama administration, it is unlikely that we will see U.S. military presence in the region escalate into an all-out military intervention. However, Clinton and Trump, the presumptive nominees of the two major capitalist political parties, are both likely to pursue more hawkish foreign policies. Clinton’s tenure as the secretary of state shows that she is as pro-intervention a politician as any, as evident by her efforts to overthrow the Libyan state and cause its descent into its current miserable state, thanks to U.S./NATO bombing.

There is a real danger in the not so distant future of incremental increases in U.S. forces in Syria leading to another U.S. invasion. Such a development will have an uncertain prospect for reversing Washington’s fortune in creating a U.S. client state in Syria. But what is not uncertain, is that it will have disastrous consequences for the people of Syria and the rest of the region. The U.S. anti-war movement should unequivocally oppose U.S. deployment of forces in the region, large or small.

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On the misuse of anti-Semitism

Criticising Israel is not anti-Semitism

By Lawrence Davidson


How do you misuse a racial prejudice? At first glance this ought to appear to be an absurd question. Racial prejudices already constitute the distortion of perception and emotion. Nevertheless, when a particular prejudice has a distinct pedigree and an age-old definition, and then is purposely exploited (particularly by those purporting to represent its victims) solely for political gain, the issue of misuse becomes anything but absurd.

The Zionists have declared that there is no difference between the state of Israel and the worldwide community of Jews and, therefore, if you are opposed to Israel you are anti-Semitic.

The racial prejudice in question is anti-Semitism, one of the most devastating of bigotries and responsible for untold misery. It has always been defined as hatred of Jews as Jews. This hatred is underpinned by a vast number of historical myths and fantastic conspiracy theories, but at its core, what we have here is close to pure racism: a Jew is bad not because of what he or she has done, but because of some racial taint.

Now, here is the complicated part. This age-old definition has been reformulated by an ideologically driven sub-set of Jewry – Zionists – for political purposes. The Zionists have declared that there is no difference between the state of Israel and the worldwide community of Jews and, therefore, if you are opposed to Israel you are anti-Semitic.

This identification of Israel and the Jews en masse is historically, demographically, and certainly religiously false. But no matter, the Zionists shout this redefinition loudly and endlessly. And, by backing their claim with political pressure and a lot of money, they have managed to get it accepted in some Western political circles. This, then, is what constitutes the misuse for political purposes of a dangerous racial prejudice.

Having laid this foundation, the Zionists are now using this bastardised concept of anti-Semitism as a weapon against those critical of not the Jews as a group, but the political state of Israel, its policies and behaviours, which are, themselves, racist and barbaric. Indeed, it is Israeli behaviour, specifically toward the Palestinians, that has encouraged a revival of anti-Semitism after more than half a century of quiescence – thus the very striking irony of the Zionist insistence that opposition to Israeli racist policies is itself a racial prejudice.

Attack on the British Labour Party

There are many examples of this Zionist perversion, but the latest one is a full-blown attack on those members of the British Labour Party who are critical of Israel yet not of Jews as such. Charley Allan, a columnist for the British paperMorning Star, has described the resulting atmosphere as a “witch hunt”. Below are two examples of isolated statements made by Labour Party members which have caused a purposefully exaggerated brouhaha over the issue of anti-Semitism.

Naz Shah

In late April it was revealed that Naseem “Naz” Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West, had posted on her Facebook account a map that showed Israel transferred to within the borders of the US. She labelled it as “a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. Shah’s posting, which she sourced from the website of the Jewish American scholar Norman Finkelstein, was made at the height of Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza and pre-dated her election to Parliament.

… the fact is that Ms Shah’s display of the map was not anti-Semitic at all. It was not an attack on Jews as such, and there is no evidence that it was motivated by a hatred of Jews.

While the suggestion of the wholesale transference of Israel to the US is but a fantasy, associating the US and Israel certainly has an underlying logic. The United States is Israel’s major protector and financier. The US Congress treats Israel as a privileged 51st state. And, most of those who emigrate from Israel go to the US. Accusations that Shah’s post was an anti-Semitic attack on Jewry were now belatedly raised, leading to her suspension from the Labour Party, pending an investigation. She subsequently, and rather abjectly, apologised. Nonetheless, the fact is that Ms Shah’s display of the map was not anti-Semitic at all. It was not an attack on Jews as such, and there is no evidence that it was motivated by a hatred of Jews. What is really objectionable is the Zionist effort to perversely manipulate the post as if it really was anti-Semitism, in order to attack those opposed to their own racist political ideology.

Ken Livingstone

The second example concerns the veteran Labour Party member Ken Livingstone, who is also a former mayor of London. In late April Livingston stated on a British radio programme that “Hitler was a Zionist” whose policy was that the Jews should be moved to Israel.” Now this is certainly not a true statement. What is true is that Hitler wanted the Jews out of Germany. Up until 1938 they could leave that country (albeit without any possessions) if they could find another country that would let them in (which wasn’t easy). During this time Hitler did not particularly care where the German Jews went, and most who did have the foresight to leave did not go to Palestine.

… Livingstone’s statement was not anti-Semitic. Its principal subject was Hitler and the Zionist movement, and, again, there is no evidence that it was motivated by hatred of Jews.

Though historically inaccurate,Livingstone’s statement was not anti-Semitic. Its principal subject was Hitler and the Zionist movement, and, again, there is no evidence that it was motivated by hatred of Jews. Nonetheless, for making his statement Livingstone has been accused of being anti-Semitic, and he too has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.

It would seem that the present Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is running scared, tossing out members like Shah and Livingstone, rather than counterattacking against the Zionist offensive with the truth: that the charge of anti-Semitism is being improperly exploited for political purposes.

Corbyn himself, who is of the left wing of the party, and has repeatedly expressed sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, is probably among the real targets of this campaign of intimidation. It seems that the right wing of the party have joined up with the British Zionists to run Corbyn out of office using, or rather misusing, the charge of anti-Semitism.


Despite what amounts to ever-present paranoia in some circles, there are no signs of a future holocaust in the making.

That does not mean that history holds no important lessons for the Jews. It certainly does. The primary lesson is that the Jews, like other minority groups, need to protect their collective interests by maintaining strong support for universal civil and human rights, as well as the rule of law both domestically and internationally.

However, there is another lesson the past, and specifically the holocaust, ought to have taught us: that it is dangerously counterproductive to engage in a defence of group interests that involves the persecution of others. To the extent that they have followed this path, the Zionists have failed to learn from history.

Therefore, it is not the Jews as a people who are remiss. It is only those who have abandoned the protections of civil and human rights and now flout international law in favour of a cruel nationalist policy. The Zionist claim that they have pursue this path to protect the Jewish people is highly suspect for, since its founding, Israel has always been the most dangerous place a Jew can reside.

We are led to the conclusion expressed by Professor Stephen Bronner in a deeply insightful work entitled The Bigot. “Disentangling genuine prejudice from a legitimate critique of Israeli territorial ambitions should be the aim of all progressive inquiry into the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry.” That critique of Israel’s behaviour is not only legitimate, but central to future peace in the Middle East.

Zionism is an ideology gone seriously astray. And the use of the charge of anti-Semitism as a weapon against its critics is a dangerous exploitation of that age-old bigotry as well as a betrayal of the lessons of history.

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