From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February
Following the official withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in December, the US is deploying a small fleet of surveillance drones (which are claimed to be unarmed) in Iraq in order to protect its interests. In other words, most human soldiers may have left, but they have been replaced by robotic equivalents, backed up with some 5,000 private security contractors and 11,000 (!!!) ‘embassy staff’.
Even the puppet Iraqi government finds these facts embarrassing and difficult to justify to the Iraqi people, who continue to be under threat of attack by US controlled forces. Note has been taken of how drones have been used to kill large numbers of innocent villagers in Pakistan, while US personnel responsible for the massacre of civilians, such as the marine put on trial for leading the 2005 massacre of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, are ‘punished’ with nothing more severe than a demotion.
Even more embarrassing is the fact that the US openly neglected even to pretend to consult the Iraqi puppet government about the installation of these facilities, let alone obtain its permission.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 3 December
Relations between Pakistan and the US continue to sink below rock bottom.
First there has been a scandal (‘Memogate’) surrounding allegations that President Asif Ali Zardari (‘Mr Bhutto’) sought help from the US in asserting control over his own country’s military in the wake of the outrage caused by the US raid on a house in Pakistan in which Osama Bin Laden was killed.
It is claimed that in return for this support Zardari offered to sack various generals and introduce a civilian-led security team.
In the midst of the Memogate furore, a Nato helicopter air raid took place over the weekend of 26-27 November on two separate border posts operated by the Pakistani army in the Mohmand tribal region.
At least two dozen Pakistani soldiers were killed in the raids. After the bombing started, one of the posts fired back against the helicopters that were attacking them.
This renewed assault on Pakistani sovereignty forced the Zardari government to retaliate by closing supply routes to Afghanistan relied on by Nato (as it has done at least twice before) and to order the CIA to vacate the Shamsi base used to launch drone strikes.
Pakistan has also pulled out of a major international conference that had been called to discuss Afghanistan’s security and future development.
On Monday 5 December, Stop the War Coalition held a rally at Conway Hall headlined Don’t Attack Iran. Everyone in the hall (apart from the usual smattering of MI5 agents) was in agreement: none of us wanted to see Iran attacked.
From the platform, a very frail looking Tony Benn spoke first, confiding to us that when he was minister for energy (years ago when even I was young), some unidentified bloke in his ministerial office had helped Israel to “British” nuclear secrets. If that wasn’t bad enough, Benn also found out and all the “waste” plutonium from “our” civil nuclear industry had been secretly shipped off to America to make nuclear bombs.
Benn said he hadn’t found out about either of these outrages until after he left office. Which says it all about the effectiveness of Stop the War Coalition’s brand of ‘anti-imperialism’.
Not one of the speakers, including George Galloway, who (despite a terrible chest infection) headlined at his tub-thumping and fiery best, had any suggestions about what to do apart from march about with our banners and protest.
We were told to go back to our workplaces and trade unions and “expose” the media lies about Iran; but the speakers’ only stated aim was to bring more people out on the streets of London to wave banners and protest at some undeclared date in the future.
Most depressing of all was the quick mention of Syria in passing. No question of any ‘Don’t Attack Syria’ campaign. We were just told to watch our email inboxes as Stop the War Coalition planned to call us all out – you guessed it … to wave banners and protest at Downing Street at 5.00pm on the day Syria was attacked (or maybe the day after, the speaker wasn’t too sure).
Syria did better than Pakistan, as while all the speakers agreed that Pakistan was under threat, there was not even a suggestion of going to Downing Street with banners to protest over any attack on that benighted country.
So what is to be done? Well, when Stop the War Coalition does call us out, we will (as always) troop along with our banners and protest, but that by itself will do nothing. Two million of us waved banners and protested to stop the war in Iraq, and the imperialists laughed.
We have to do much more and something else. We have to go to the Stop the War national conference and demand something more than mere banner waving and protesting and wondering why these naughty imperialists won’t listen to reason.
The imperialists are listening to reason, they are listening to their own warmongering superprofits-seeking, anti-people reason. And they will never listen to our reason; they will only ‘listen’ to our actions.
This is where CPGB-ML conflicts with the present leadership of Stop the War Coalition. We understand that the one and only way to stop these continual bloody wars is the Jolly George way. The working class has to stop cooperating with imperialism.
We have to fight, not merely wring our hands, beat our breasts and plead with the imperialists to sit on the naughty step. This is big; it’s the future of the world.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 1 October
The 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan has been marked by a series of resistance actions that prove that in all those 10 years the Nato marauders have totally failed to subdue the country.
In mid-September, an attack on the US embassy and the Nato HQ in the heavily fortified ‘green zone’ of central Kabul was followed a few days later by the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani. Rabbani was the member of the Afghan government most pivotal to the new US strategy of trying to bring various sections of the resistance into a peace process that might enable Nato to retreat from Afghanistan in a semblance of order.
The Kabul attack, incidentally, was the third spectacular assault in the capital in the past three months, following an attack on the British Council on 19 August and on the Intercontinental Hotel on 29 July.
The view is spreading in imperialist quarters that the policy of trying to win over sections of the resistance is a dead duck, and blame is being directed against the Haqqani network, a group based in Pakistan which is said to number 5,000-10,000 militants and to be supported by Pakistan’s security services.
The Haqqani network has almost become the new al-Qaeda for the imperialist media, as relations between the US and Pakistan continue to deteriorate. The Haqqanis, although characterised as deeply religious, are at the same time castigated as mafia-style criminals, their worst crime being the extraction of protection money from corporations engaged in lucrative road-building contracts, money supplied in the last analysis by the American taxpayer.
The other plank of US strategy in Afghanistan – to build up the puppet army and police to be able to take over from Nato as it reduces its forces – is also going badly as there is an almost total inability to recruit from the Pashtuns of southern Afghanistan. Those few who are recruited tend to be assassinated by the resistance not long afterwards.
Mark Mazzetti, Scott Shane and Alissa J Rubin commented in the New York Times of 24 September: “After a decade of war, there is a growing sense among America’s diplomats, soldiers and spies that the United States is getting out of Afghanistan without ever figuring out how a maddeningly complex game is played.” (‘Brutal Haqqani crime clan bedevils US in Afghanistan’)
Meanwhile, many of the lucrative contracts, for instance in oil exploration, that imperialist companies were expecting to be able to extract from the country are instead going to Chinese companies. Since these enterprises offer much better terms, they are undermining the efforts of western economic hitmen to conclude oppressive, unequal contracts and recoup the costs of the predatory war. China is doing the same thing with the same effect in Iraq.
Via Fightback News
On 21 September, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with 100 leaders and representatives of anti-war, labour, alternative media and Iranian and Palestinian solidarity organisations in New York.
Among the participants were Sarah Martin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Margaret Sarfehjooy, board member of the Minneapolis-based Women Against Military Madness, former attorney general Ramsey Clark, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Sara Flounders from the International Action Center, Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition, Ramona Africa of the Free Mumia Coalition and Amiri Baraka, poet and activist.
The meeting was called by the president of Iran with the hope that a frank and honest exchange of views will help activists further the cause of peace between the people of Iran and the US.
Specific demands raised include to oppose war, occupation and hostility worldwide; oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries; support the right to nuclear energy for all, but nuclear weapons for none; and to support dialogue, justice and equality among all countries in the UN.
After listening intently to the statements of 22 of the participants, President Ahmadinejad said, “We have a treasure chest full of views. I agree with everything you have said and therefore you have spoken from my heart also. Now I will speak in my own way.”
He said that the source of war, capitalism, must be identified and pointed out. “Violent capitalism is based on superiority, hegemony and violation of rights.”
He went on to say that one reason capitalists start wars is to fill up their pockets. They must empty their arsenals so they can build more weapons. As he said at a UN meeting earlier in the day, “Capitalism has come to an end. It has reached a deadlock. Its historical moment has ended and efforts to restore it won’t go very far.”
Ahmadinejad spoke of the US wars in Iraq and deaths of over 1 million people for oil. He pointed out that in an Afghan village over 100 innocent people were killed just to get a few terrorists. He expressed anger that even with the floods in Pakistan, the US continues to bomb Pakistani villages.
He said it is hard to sleep at night after hearing the heart-wrenching stories of the Palestinians living under siege in Gaza with no medicines, no clean water and not enough food. He expressed solidarity with the activists’ goals of struggling for peace and justice at home and abroad and he pledged that Iran will stand strong to the end.
“Speaking with Mrs Ahmadinejad and hearing the president reinforced the importance of struggling against the US campaign to isolate and demonise Iran,” said Sarah Martin.
Margaret Sarfehjooy reported, “I think the meeting was important because we had the opportunity to meet with so many dedicated grassroots activists from all over the country and share our hopes for peace and justice with the Iranian people through their president and his wife.”