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‘Lest we forget’ – the 70th anniversary of the victory over Hitlerite fascism

Captured Nazi standards are thrown down at the foot of Lenin's mausoleum by Red Army officers during the victory parade in Red Square, Moscow, 1945

Captured Nazi standards are thrown down at the foot of Lenin's mausoleum by Red Army officers during the victory parade in Red Square, Moscow, 1945

9 May 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the defeat of Hitlerite fascism and the liberation of the peoples of Europe –the culmination of a titanic struggle in which the heroic Soviet Red Army, brilliantly commanded and led by JV Stalin, played the main and decisive role.

Twenty-seven million Soviet soldiers and citizens died in the battle to throw off the fascist jackboot – a power that had been brought into being and nurtured by the imperialists of Germany and elsewhere in order to crush the forces for socialist revolution that were rising across the continent.

On this momentous occasion, the CPGB-ML remembers and extends its gratitude to all those heroic men and women who fought against the most dangerous threat to the working classes and oppressed peoples of the world.

As communists, we celebrate the actions of Marxist revolutionaries and national-liberation fighters from Germany to north Africa, who led the underground resistance against the forces of reaction. Above all, we salute the courage of the Red Army – without whom the liberation of Europe would have been unthinkable.

As members of the British working class, we remember with pride our forbears, who travelled to far-off lands to fight the fascist ascendancy – starting with volunteers in the International Brigades who fought so bravely in Spain – and those who, at home, blocked at every turn the attempts by elements of our domestic ruling class to form a mass fascist organisation in Britain – at the Battle of Cable Street and elsewhere.

We also remember with pride and gratitude the earth-shaking contribution of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese popular forces, who made such great sacrifices in the battle to defeat Japanese imperialism and fascism in the East. The Chinese progressive forces lost between 20 and 25 million people in that epic struggle, and yet their contribution is hardly ever mentioned in our euro-centric narratives.

Yet, despite the decisive, unquestionable defeat of fascism in Europe and Asia in the 20th century, we must still temper our celebrations of this momentous occasion with a note of warning. While fascism in its most traditional and recognisable form might presently appear to be a marginal force in world politics, the capitalist economic crisis is creating once more the conditions for its reappearance.

And, as the imperialist powers attempt to drive east and conquer the former territories of the Soviet Union, we are seeing once again the utilisation of reactionary street forces, as well as the ideological rehabilitation of former fascist movements, along with the rewriting of history to deny both the brutality of fascism and the progressive nature of the communist and liberation forces that fought against and destroyed it.

The new drive to war against Russia and China

As the peoples of the former Soviet Union gather today to remember the tremendous sacrifices made by their forbears, it is important for us to recognise that the next war that the imperialists are planning will be aimed at just those peoples who saved us from the fascist jackboot last time around.

In their bid to save their dying and crisis-ridden system, the imperialists have identified two major obstacles to their domination of the world – anti-imperialist Russia and socialist China.

The martial rhetoric, military threats and economic warfare against both these countries is continuously emanating from the centres of imperialism, particularly from the US and Britain, and is constantly escalating in brinkmanship and hysteria. Make no mistake: we are being prepared by this avalanche of propaganda to hate these enemies of our rulers in order that we will fight in wars against them at some point in the future – or so that we will at the very least not act in any meaningful way to stop such wars taking place.

In their bid to create the conditions for a new war in Europe, our rulers are resuscitating (funding, arming, training and promoting in a myriad ways) the very forces that they pretend to abhor – the various Nazi-aligned fascist forces of eastern Europe that were vanquished by the Red Army and the popular resistance forces 70 years ago.

Moreover, in a bid to deny the pivotal role played by the communist-led forces of the Soviet Union – and to deny present-day Russians and others their share of the reflected glory – imperialism’s journalists and historians have been busy rewriting the history of WW2. So successful have they been in filling western media with such lies that the majority of respondents in a recent survey believed that the war had in fact been won by the USA!

Nothing more perfectly illustrates this phenomenon than the fact that no major newspaper raised a murmur at the exclusion of President Vladimir Putin of Russia from the 70th anniversary commemorations at the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. Gone was any reference to the fact that the camp was liberated by the Red Army, and instead we were greeted with fables about a ‘Ukrainian regiment’.

But the only ‘Ukrainian regiments’ that were put together in the war (as opposed to those Red Army regiments that happened to contain Ukrainians) were the militias of Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian fascist leader, who put his anti-communist death squads at the disposal of the Nazi occupiers.

Today, hand in hand with the resuscitation of such evil men as ‘national heroes’ in the imperialist-controlled media and throughout those former Soviet territories where the imperialists are trying to gain control, has come the demonisation and even criminalisation of communist organisations and ideas.

Once again, we are living in exceedingly dangerous times, as the latest and worst-ever economic crisis of capitalism is leading our imperialist rulers to ever-more desperate measures to maintain profitability and to contain the people’s anger against poverty, privatisation and war.

Fascism and imperialism: a partnership born out of crisis

By ‘fascism’ we do not simply mean political movements that have ultra-reactionary policies or beliefs. There have been many attempts by bourgeois scholars to define fascism by certain approaches to race, nationalism, corporatism and civil rights – all of which have failed to give even a minimal working definition of fascism in a scientific sense.

This is partly due to the ideological promiscuity, eclecticism and cynical duplicity of the fascist movements in the twentieth century, which, despite their fundamental alignment, were forced to abandon their only real international conference (held in 1934 in Montreux) due to a lack of consensus on all but one issue.

In fact, the parties in attendance were unable to construct any shared policies on economics, race, national integration, women’s suffrage or labour laws. There was one thing on which they were all agreed, however – their opposition to communism and to the communist Third International.

And this is no accident. As Marxists, we understand that we need to look beyond what the fascists say about themselves and find a definition that explains objectively what are the conditions that give rise to fascism and what is the objective role that it plays – what class is serves and how it does so.

The revolutionary anti-fascist and General Secretary of the Communist International Georgi Dimitrov put it very well when he said that fascism is “the power of finance capital itself. It is the organisation of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations.” (The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism, 1935)

Fascism is the response of the ruling class to the revolutionary upsurge in the working-class movement that is brought about by economic crisis. It is the naked dictatorship to which the bourgeoisie resorts when its ‘democratic’ veneer can no longer hold the people’s anger in check.

Only this definition can account for the shared international, and divergent national, policies of 20th-century fascism, and for its development out of the inter-imperialist crisis following the first world war.

Ukraine: the hydra of modern fascism

For many onlookers, routinely misinformed by the imperialist corporate media, the trajectory between what was portrayed as the Maidan ‘revolution’ in Kiev and the new government’s assaults on the civilians and militants of the Donbass seems very confusing.

It all becomes much clearer, however, once one understands that the ‘government’ now in power is, in fact, the culmination of 25 years of imperialist meddling in Ukraine. In its attempt to divide the peoples and conquer the territory of the former USSR, the imperialists have been happy to create, nurture and resuscitate nationalist and fascist forces of all stripes, providing them with funding and access to the media in order to sow confusion in the minds of impoverished Ukrainians and to encourage them to blame each other for the problems and poverty that the reinstated capitalist system has brought into their lives.

Whatever the precise shape of its previous current and future incarnations, one thing is sure: fascism is dependent on imperialism for its genesis, dependent on imperialism for its development and, ultimately, dependent on the fall of finance capital as a political force for its complete destruction. In the final analysis, there can be no defeat of fascism without a dismantling of the imperialist system and the building of socialism, and we call on all progressives and anti-fascists to join us in this world-historic task.

Once again, we pay our deepest homage and offer a red salute to those millions of brave Soviet soldiers and citizens who fought so heroically and paid so dearly to defeat the greatest army imperialism has yet assembled. Let us learn from their selfless example and join the struggle to end fascism and imperialism for good.

Russian elections displease the West

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 March.

Russia is holding presidential elections today, which Putin can confidently expect to win, notwithstanding the western imperialist financed attempts to rally a ‘democratic’ (ie, western poodle) opposition.

Naturally, the results will be declared to be fraudulent, with various western imperialist agents no doubt engaged in creating the ‘evidence’ to ‘prove’ this allegation as we speak! It would seem that Putin is standing firmly against the Russian bourgeoisie accepting to be vassals to the West, and it has just been announced that he will be increasing Russia’s defence budget from 3 percent of GDP to between 5-6 percent over the next 10 years.

Syria: Russia and China standing firm

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February

Russia and China continue to frustrate attempts by US imperialism to establish a no-fly zone over Syria that would be aimed at obliterating its independence in the same way as was done with Libya.

A spokesman for the Russian government said that in the case of Libya it had made serious mistakes. These lay not in backing Gaddafi but in not backing him nearly strongly enough. Dimitry Medvedev, the Russian president who made the decision to abstain on the UN vote imposing the no-fly zone on Libya, has been heavily criticised within Russia for that decision.

The Russians have made it quite clear that no amount of pleas from the Arab League, manipulated as it is by western imperialism, is going to stop it from wielding its UN Security Council veto in Syria’s interests.

In the meantime, violence is intensifying in Syria as Turks and others get themselves involved in the assaults on Syria’s sovereignty.

It has become clear even to the blind that, for the most part, the opponents of the government in Syria are not innocent people peacefully expressing their disagreement with government policy but disparate armed thugs who are unable to win any substantial internal support for their various policies and are therefore bent on destabilising Syria by whatever means, happy to court the support of imperialist countries determined to put an end to Syria’s independence

Appeal from Russian and Ukrainian medics working in Libya to stop war against Libya

Via Pravda, 28 May 2011

“We plead with all honest, good will people in the West and East to support our appeal to STOP WAR AGAINST LIBYA.” Please share this eye-witness account and appeal, signed by more than 100 foreign medics in Libya, as far and wide as you can. It may save many lives and a World War III.

Friends,

We plead with all honest, good will people in the West and East to support our appeal to STOP WAR AGAINST LIBYA.

We have not had internet connection in Libya for about two months. It took us a week to find a possibility to email our appeal, but we do not know when we get access to the internet again. That is why we ask people themselves to spread this letter everywhere possible - to internet sites, news agencies, human rights and other international and national organisations, even to one’s own friends.

Only if the truth about situation in Libya is widely known, it will be possible to force American, British and Nato war hawks to stop aggression against the people of Libya and save innocent people from being killed by US and Nato bombs and missiles.

Thank you for your help!

We wish all of us success in the anti-war struggle - especially in the Victory Day over the fascists of the 20th century. Let us stop the fascists of the 21st century!

- Russian, Ukrainian, CIS and Bulgarian medics working in Libya

OPEN LETTER to: 

* the Secretary-General of UN
* Members of Security Council of UN
* UN Member States Representatives & Personnel
* International Criminal Court & future Hague Tribunal on War Crimes against Libya
* And all people of good will

 
from medics from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and other CIS and East European countries, working and living in Libya

1 May 2011, Tripoli, Libya

 

Mr Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General

Mr Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly,

Mr Li Baodong, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UN

Dr Peter Wittig, Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN and Chairman of the UN Peacebuilding Commission

Permanent Representatives of the Member States of the Security Council

Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

 

Sirs

We would like to address the UN Secretary-General personally, as the head of the most important international organisation of UN, and other members of this organisation first of all; members of the Security Council, especially the most righteous and sober China, as well as current members of the Security Council. We also address the people of USA, UK, France and Italy, deceived by their governments in respect of the situation in Libya.

We are pleading with all of you to join your efforts to SAVE THE PEOPLE OF LIBYA FROM GENOCIDE currently committed by USA and Nato armies and to stop the criminal war against sovereign Libya!!!

A month ago we sent an appeal to the leaders of Russia, but we see now, after six weeks of continuing war against Libya, that the efforts of Russia alone are still insufficient to stop this criminal war waged to control Libyan oil. Only the joint efforts of the UN, and especially the Secretary-General and reasonable members of the Security Council, together with all people of good will all around the world, can stop this terrible US and Nato aggression against Libya.

At the end of March, after our letter to the Russian leaders had been published, and the Papal vicar in Libya, Catholic bishop of Tripoli Giovanni Martinelli, had raised his voice against bombing and killing civilian population in Tripoli, US and Nato troops stopped bombing the city of Tripoli. They realised that not all foreigners had left Libya, so it would be impossible for them to hide their atrocities from the international public opinion. (Several hundreds of eye witnesses are working in hospitals all around the country - this is something that no propaganda machine could possibly eliminate.)

However, by the end of April, after US-Nato commanders had realised the futility of their attempts to dismiss Gaddafi and make Libya capitulate by shelling Libyan troops and regional centers, they RESUMED THEIR BOMBING OF TRIPOLI - first of all, Gaddafi’s residential compound of Bab al-Aziziya, and the TV Centre of Tripoli - thus killing and wounding more civilian people.

As medics working in hospitals we can testify that, in one day of such air strikes, the bombs and missiles of the anti-Libyan coalition are killing and wounding more people in Tripoli than in course of all unrests in the west of Libya in February and March, which USA and France used as a pretext for their intervention.

The US-Nato officials are telling us lies about military objects being the target of their bombing. Was the TV station such a ‘military object’, when it was heavily bombarded at the night of 26 April in a new unsuccessful attempt to kill the Libyan leader in time of his speech on TV? Are the people working on TV station ‘military’? Besides, Tripoli TV station is located in the very centre of the city, in a heavily populated residential area.

Next door to the TV station, just few meters away, four secondary schools are located; and finally, it is only 250m from the Children’s Hospital of al-Jala and an obstetric hospital some 50m further to the west. Fortunately, this time American humanitarian missiles did not hit these hospitals immediately, but the tomahawk missiles and bomb explosions in the TV station area were so strong that the walls of the hospitals and nearby buildings, where our medics are living, were shaken and windows glass was clinking, some even cracked.

Everybody woke up in horror (we have already got used to ordinary bombardments, and most of us have even learned to sleep in the course of them). Suckling babies and children in the hospital woke up too and cried with fear. Are the children of Libya the main ‘military target’ for the coalition?

In any case, if the Libyan people do not want to sell their freedom and keep defending their land against foreign US-Nato intervention - does it mean they all, including children and women, are bound to die now?

Today US-Nato military efforts ’successfully’ culminated in destroying Gaddafi’s family compound in the residential area of Tripoli and killing three babies: six-month-old Mastura, the daughter of Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha; two-year-old Carthage, son of Gaddafi’s son Hannibal; and two-year-old Seif Mohammed, son of Gaddafi’s elder son Mohammed; and an adult - 29-year-old Gaddafi’s younger son Seif al-Arab, a civilian student of Munich University in Germany, with no relation to military neither power matters in Libya.

This ‘victory’ was joyfully celebrated by USA and Nato rebel allies in Missurata and Benghazi, which speaks volumes about the personality and moral niveau of those people.

In fact, even the very idea of killing an independent state’s leader as a way of solving political problems is an arguable goal in international politics, but trying to accomplish such a thing by air strikes is far beyond any human reason.

This air strikes method was already well known to the US leaders as a way to kill children and civilians only: the USA already attempted to assassinate Gaddafi in 1986 by bombing and shelling Tripoli, which led to the killing of a number of civilians - along with Gaddafi’s 18-month-old adopted daughter Hanna, and wounding some members of his family, including his youngest son Khamis (Seif al-Arab, his second youngest son, survived that day only to die today).

How could US-Nato commanders possibly expect other results now?! USA leaders’ obsession with killing the Libyan Leader, however good or bad he is, is not a sound reason to kill dozens and wound hundreds of INNOCENT people in Tripoli! What is their crime?!

The famous Russian writer, Fedor Dostoyevsky, taught us that no great and just goal, even creating happiness for the whole humankind, could justify a child’s teardrop! He could not even imagine then that somebody would dare to pave his way to some ‘humanitarian’ goals with children’s bodies.

But killing and terrifying children and innocent people in Libya is only one side of US and Nato activities in the area. The USA are also helping and encouraging Libyan rebels in Benghazi and Missurata to fight against government, thus bringing fuel to the fire of civil war, which would soon have withered away without western ‘help’.

The rebels receive arms and ammunition from Nato, they are being trained by western military instructors. Numerous mercenaries from Egypt and Tunis, well paid by ‘unknown’ donors, provide them with manpower, while US-Nato aircraft and fleet support them from air and sea, destroying Libyan troops by air strikes.

Thus, having the whole American and Nato military machine behind them, the rebels’ leaders refuse to negotiate with Libyan government, leading to more and more casualties from both sides.

On the eve of American attack in March, the Libyan army entered the western suburbs of Benghazi, and the rebels (their numbers are quite small in comparison to the ordinary people who want nothing but peace) were ready to surrender in exchange for a pardon, while a few of the most irreconcilable were packing their cars to flee - the road to Egypt was deliberately left open for them.

But what was the most important - this pacifying of the East had happened almost without casualties from both sides. Only a few wounded people were brought to the hospitals in the East during those days - while on the very day when US and Nato air strikes started, the number of wounded and killed people increased dozens of times. What a strange way of ‘protecting the civilian population’ - by killing them!

Thus, after American intervention, a REAL WAR STARTED in the east of Libya - not mock battles performed by ‘rebels’ for western cameramen as it used to be in February and earlier in March.

Then, almost pacified by then, Missurata revolted and turned into major center of military conflict, backed by troops, weaponry and ammunition brought there by sea from Benghazi - with the help of coalition fleets.

As a result, all hospitals in nearby cities (Zliten, Beni Walid, Tawarga) were filled up with wounded military - from both sides - as well as civilians, while our colleagues in Missurata had to work all day and night to cure people injured in the city.

We are medics, so for us there is no difference whom to treat; we do not care about our patients’ political affiliation. The Libyans from both sides are really nice people, their attitude to us is nothing but very good: all of them are thankful to those who are helping them in such a difficult situation.

As medics we have to heal people, but perhaps even more important is to STOP PEOPLE BEEN KILLED. We feel it our duty to make everything possible to HALT this WAR, provoked from abroad and involving, in the first place, naïve and easily deceived youngsters from the east of Libya and Missurata.

But peace is definitely impossible while foreign intervention continues. Let Libyans settle their home problems THEMSELVES! Many tribal leaders and elders have been desperately trying to interfere as mediators, but rebels’ leaders refused accept their efforts - being sure that ‘America’ will bring them to Tripoli and set them to rule over the whole country.

But this attitude means only one thing - more death and more patients in the hospitals. And also more danger for us, as our colleagues are being shelled and bombed in Missurata and Adjdabiya, while we are under constant US-Nato air strikes in Tripoli and other cities in the west of Libya.

On 20 April, our colleague Dr Anatoliy A Nagayko, a good and brave person, was killed by a shell in Missurata, while nurse Olga Kozina was heavily wounded in both legs. They, together with a number of other Ukrainian medics, had refused to evacuate from the city as they just could not leave their patients unattended; they knew that nobody would replace them now.

So they made their difficult decision to stay with Libyan people - not only in the happiness of the previous wonderful years, but also in trouble and sorrow (this is, in fact, the major reason why many of our colleagues have decided to stay in Libya).

For us, who survived, it does not matter which bomb killed our colleague - American, British, or French; does it come from rebels, or from the Libyan army - as the responsibility for his death, as well as for deaths of other people in Missurata, lies fully on those who brought war to Libyan soil, ie, on the military leaders of the US-Nato coalition.

We understand perfectly well that most Americans and Europeans - including the grass-level military contingent of western aggressors - are deceived by American and European mass-media propaganda against Libya. (The so-called ‘Arabian’ TV channel of Al-Jazeera is only nominally Arabic; in fact, it was established by British staff of the former Arabic service of the BBC, while Qatar is the first USA ally in the Gulf States.)

But still, the military must learn the truth, as it has to be remembered that performing criminal orders makes one a criminal too, as the Nuremberg trial of the fascists’ war crimes proved.

At that time, fascist officers tried to whitewash themselves by blaming their leaders for war crimes, saying that they were merely “performing orders”. Nevertheless, most of them were sentenced by the Nuremberg Tribunal. The war crimes tribunal on Libya is to be established soon - thus the coalition military personnel will have to answer for their deeds, together with their military commanders and their states’ leaders!

On the other hand, however safe the coalition military may feel in the course of killing people from a secure height (no real Libyan air defense exists anymore as it was destroyed in the first days of the invasion), the situation could be reversed if a land invasion starts. Even many of the rebels would join efforts to defend their ancestors’ land from foreign invaders (in fact, during the last two weeks a number anti-war demonstrations have already been held even in Benghazi, though suppressed by rebel commanders there).

Thus our intention is to save not only Libyans (and ourselves too), but also the lives of American and European soldiers who could be in danger in the course of this unjust criminal war. Is it a good idea for free people of America and Europe to die for western monopolies desire to control Libyan oil?

Honest people of America, your ancestors were the first to become really free people, they threw off the yoke of the British empire, proclaimed their independence and freedom, and started living in accordance to the people’s will. So, why is it that now your leaders do not allow other peoples to have freedom and independence, and to choose their own way of life?

Before the war, Libya was a paradise for its people and for foreigners worked there; everyone felt himself safe and happy. Yes, this paradise was rather different from the American one, but is that a sound reason to destroy it? Please, try to understand this, and stop your leaders from killing innocent people, even if they have ventured to have some other idea about life than that of the USA!

People of Great Britain, how do you allow your leaders to mock openly at you all? On the day of the royal wedding the war hawks were planning to kill another country’s Leader. Did they think that such a murder would be the best wedding present to the offspring of their sovereign? Maybe your prime minister considers the royal couple akin to King Herod and Herodias so as to bring them the head of Gaddafi?

In fact, his plan failed, and thus the slaughter of innocents in Tripoli by these modern Herods turned out to be his main - and one would say rather insulting and arrogant - gift to the newly-married couple. How can so proud a people as the British bear such shameful behavior by their leaders?!

We plead with all honest, good will people in the West and East to support our appeal to STOP WAR AGAINST LIBYA. We ask people to spread this letter everywhere possible - to news agencies, human rights and other international and national organisations, even to one’s own friends - in order to force American, British and Nato war hawks and satan’s disciples to STOP AGGRESSION AGAINST PEOPLE OF LIBYA !

(More than one hundred signatures)

Prepared for publication by Lisa Karpova, Pravda.Ru

BBC shocked as Stalin looks set to win yet another popularity contest

BBC News: Stalin could win Russian vote (video)