Category Archives: Articles in English

STOP NOW THE HYDROLYSIS OF WARFARE CHEMICALS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

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ΣΤΑΜΑΤΗΣΤΕ ΤΩΡΑ ΤΗΝ ΥΔΡΟΛΥΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΧΗΜΙΚΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΠΟΛΕΜΟΥ ΣΤΗ ΜΕΣΟΓΕΙΟ. (STOP NOW THE HYDROLYSIS OF WARFARE CHEMICALS)

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On April 27 2014, it was scheduled to start the destruction of 100 tonnes of chemical weapons of the 1400 tonnes that were sold to Syria by the War Industries. At the moment it is posponed… The decommissioning process, with the method of hydrolysis, is scheduled to take place in international waters between Crete (Greece), Libya, Italy and Malta, under the auspices of the UN, NATO and the European Union. This dangerous experiment will occur for the first time at sea, as the candidate countries, Albania, Belgium, Norway, etc., refused the destruction of these weapons on their territory, despite the strong countervailing benefits that they were offered.

The transport and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons in the Mediterranean Sea violates the limitations laid down by the United Nations “Convention on the Law of the Sea” (UNCLOS 1982;http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf) and the “London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter” (LC 1972; http://www.gc.noaa.gov/documents/gcil_lc.pdf), which have been adopted to protect the marine environment and to set up criteria for the transportation and dumping of toxic waste.

Scientists from Greece and Israel have already expressed serious concerns over the effectiveness of the method of hydrolysis to neutralise chemicals, such as sarin, mustard gas and VX (nerve gas), while the residues of this process are toxic waste. The consequences will be devastating for the marine and coastal ecosystems, for the people and the economy, as the Mediterranean is a closed sea with very slow water-renewal. Such an action does not respect the local communities of the Mediterranean, disregards the international treaties, and places at risk the highly sensitive ecosystems and marine species that live in the area.

The place and the way chosen for the destruction of the chemical weapons reveals once again the role that is determined for the Global South by the powerful capitalist economies and their local partners. This area has been selected to maintain the Warfare Economy through artificial economic and military conflicts; as the dumping site for the hazardous wastes of “development”; as a place where life has no value.

We do not accept the role they have assigned for us.

NO GEOPOLITICAL GAMES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN PEOPLE’S EXPENSE

WE DEMAND THAT YOU STOP NOW THE DESTRUCTION PROCESS OF CHEMICALS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

An Open Letter to the Graduates of West Point: Refuting President Obama’s Lies, Omissions and Distortions

petras

Introduction: On May 2014 President Obama delivered the commencement address to the graduates of United States Military Academy at West Point. Beyond the easy banter and eulogy to past and present war heroes, Obama outlined a vision of past military successes and present policies, based on a profoundly misleading diagnosis of the current global position of the United States

The most striking aspect of his presentation is the systematic falsification of the results of past wars and current military interventions. The speech is notable for the systematic omissions of the millions of civilian deaths inflicted by US military interventions. He glosses over the growth of NSA, the global police state apparatus. He presents a grossly inflated account of the US role in the world economy. Worse of all he outlines an extremely dangerous confrontational posture toward rising military and economic powers, in particular Russia and China.

Distorting the Past: Defeats and Retreats Converted into Victories

One of the most disturbing aspects of President Obama’s speech is his delusional account of US military engagements over the past decade. His claim that, “by most measures America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world”, defies belief. After 13 years of warfare, the US has failed to defeat the Taliban. Washington is in full retreat and leaves behind a fragile puppet regime which will likely collapse. In Iraq the US was forced to withdraw after killing several hundred thousand civilians and fueling a sectarian war which has propelled a pro-Iranian regime to power. In Libya, the NATO war devastated the country, destroyed the Gadhafi government,thus undermining reconciliation, and bringing to power bands of terrorist Islamic groups profoundly hostile to the United States.

Washington’s effort to broker an accord between Palestine and Israel was a dismal failure, largely because of the Obama regime’s spineless attitude toward Israel’s land grabs, and new “Jews only” settlements. The craven pandering to the Jewish power configuration in Washington hardly speaks for the world’s “greatest power” … by any measure.

Through your economic studies you are surely aware that the US has been displaced by China in major markets in Latin America, Asia and Africa. China poses a major economic challenge: it does not have overseas bases, Special Forces’ operations in seventy-five countries; it does not pursue military alliances and does not militarily intervene in countries. Obama’s expansion of the US military presence off China’s coast speaks to an escalation of bellicose behavior, contrary to his assertions of “winding down” overseas military operations.

Obama speaks of defending “our core interests” militarily.Yet he threatens China over disputed piles of rocks in the South China Sea, overlooking the “core interests” of the 500 biggest US corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in the most dynamic economy in the world and the second biggest trading nation.

Obama spoke of the threat of “terrorism” yet his policies have encouraged and promoted terrorism. Washington armed and promoted the Islamic terrorists which overthrew Gadhafi; backs the Islamic terrorists invading Syria; provides 1.5 billion in military aid to the Egyptian military dictatorship which is terrorizing the political opposition, via assassinations and arrests of thousands of political dissidents. The US backed the violent overthrow of the elected regime in the Ukraine and is backing the client regime’s terror bombing of the pro-democracy Eastern regions. Obama’s “anti-terrorism”rhetoric is in fact a cover for state terrorism, which closes the door on peaceful resolution of overseas conflicts, and leads to the multiplication of violent opposition groups.

Obama speaks to “our success in promoting partnerships in Europe and in the world at large”. Yet his bellicose policies toward Russia has deeply divided the US from the leading countries in the European Union. Germany has multi-billion dollar trade agreements with Russia and objects to harsh sanctions as does Italy, Holland and Belgium. Latin America has relegated the US centered Organization of American States to the dust bin of history and moved toward regional organizations which exclude the US. Washington has no “partners” backing its hostile policies toward Venezuela and Cuba. In Asia, Washington’s efforts to forge an economic bloc excluding China, runs against the deep and comprehensive ties that link South Korea, Taiwan and Southeast Asia to China. Washington’s closest partners are the least dynamic and most repressive: Israel, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states in the Middle East; Egypt, Morocco and Algeria in North Africa; Colombia in Latin America ; and motley groups of sub-Sahara despots and Kleptocrats who squirrel billions of dollars into oversees bank accounts in New York and London far in excess of their countries’ health and educational budgets .

Obama’s diagnosis of the position of the US in the world is fundamentally flawed: he grossly understates the military losses, the decline of economic power,and the growing divisions between former regional allies .Above all he refuses to recognize the profound loss of faith by the majority of Americans in Washington’s foreign military and trade policies. The flawed diagnosis, the deliberate distortions of present global realities and the deep misreading of domestic public opinion cannot be overcome by new deceptions , bigger lies and the continuation and escalation of military interventions, in which you the newly minted officers will serve as cannon fodder.

Obama: Political Desperado in Search of an Imperial Legacy

Obama has marked a new phase in the escalation of a military centered foreign policy.He is presently engaged in a major military build-up of air and ground troops and military exercises in the Baltic States and Poland…all of which is pointing toward Russia and signaling that a possible ‘First Strike’ strategy is underway. Obama has been seized by a manic global military escalation..He is expanding naval forces off China’s coast. He has dispatched hundreds of Special Forces to Jordan to train and arm mercenaries invading Syria.He is intervening militarily in the Ukraine to bolster the Kiev regime.He has dispatched hundreds of military forces throughout Africa.He has allocated $1 billion for military expenditure along the European frontiers with Russia and $5 billion to boost the capacity of despotic regimes to repress popular insurgencies under the pretext of “fighting terrorism”.

Obama’s ‘vision’ of US foreign policy is clearly and unmistakably colored by a propensity to engage in highly dangerous military confrontations. His resort to multiple “Special Forces” operations, his increasing reliance on military proxies, is a reversion to 19th century colonial policies.Recruiting soldiers from one oppressed country to conquer another, is a throwback to old style empire building. When Obama speaks of “American leadership, as indispensable for world order” he deceives no one. The Washington centered world order is disintegrating. Disorder is the consequence of military intervention attempting to delay the inevitable.

The Obama Administration’s involvement in the violent coup in the Ukraine is a case in point: as a consequence of the rise to power of a junta headed by a billionaire “President”,power sharing with neo-fascists that country is disintegration, civil war rages and the economy is bankrupt. Obama’s war on Libya has led to a Hobbesian world in which warlords fight jihadists over shrinking oil sales. In Syria US backed ‘rebels’ have destroyed the economy and the social fabric of civil society.

No major country in South America follows US ‘leadership’. Even in the United States few American citizens back Obama’s hostile policies to Cuba and Venezuela.

Obama’s duplicitous rhetoric of talking peace and preparing wars has lost credibility. Obama is preparing to commit you, the newly commissioned officers of West Point, to new overseas wars opposed by the majority of Americans.

Obama will send you to war zones in which you will be pitted against popular insurgencies, in which you will be despised by the surrounding population. You will be asked to defend an Administration which has pillaged the Treasury to bail out the 15 biggest banks, who paid $78 billion dollars in fines between 2012 – 2013 for fraud and swindles and yet their CEO’s received double digit pay increases . You will be told to fight wars for Israel in the Middle East. You will be ordered to command bases in Poland and missles aimed at Russia.You will be sent to the Ukraine to advise neo-Nazis in the National Guard. You will be told to subvert Latin American military officials in hopes of inciting a military coup and converting independent progressive governments into neo-liberal client states.

Obama’s vision does not resonate with your hopes for an America committed to democracy, freedom and development. You face the choice of serving a political desperado intent on launching unjust wars at the behest of billionaire swindlers and armchair militarists or resigning your commission and joining the majority of American people who believe that America’s “leadership” should be directed at reducing the wealth and power of an unelected oligarchy in this country.

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About James Petras

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Brazil: Workers Struggle Trumps Sports Spectacle

petras

Introduction: For decades social critics have bemoaned the influence of sports and entertainment spectacles in ‘distracting’ workers from struggling for their class interests. According to these analysts, ‘class consciousness’ was replaced by ‘mass’ consciousness.

They argued that atomized individuals, manipulated by the mass media, were converted into passive consumers who identified with millionaire sports heroes, soap opera protagonists and film celebrities.

The culmination of this ‘mystification’ – mass distraction –were the ‘world championships’ watched by billions around the world and sponsored and financed by billionaire corporations: the World Series (baseball), the World Cup (soccer/futbol), and the Super Bowl (American football).

Today, Brazil is the living refutation of this line of cultural-political analysis. Brazilians have been described as ‘football crazy’. Its teams have won the most number of World Cups. Its players are coveted by the owners of the most important teams in Europe. Its fans are said to “live and die with football” . . . Or so we are told.

Yet it is in Brazil where the biggest protests in the history of the World Cup have taken place. As early as a year before the Games, scheduled for June 2014, there have been mass demonstrations of up to a million Brazilians. In just the last few weeks, strikes by teachers, police, construction workers and municipal employees have proliferated. The myth of the mass media spectacles mesmerizing the masses has been refuted – at least in present-day Brazil.

To understand why the mass spectacle has been a propaganda bust it is essential to understand the political and economic context in which it was launched, as well as the costs and benefits and the tactical planning of popular movements.

The Political and Economic Context: The World Cup and the Olympics

In 2002, the Brazilian Workers Party candidate Lula DaSilva won the presidential elections. His two terms in office (2003 – 2010) were characterized by a warm embrace of free market capitalism together with populist poverty programs. Aided by large scale in-flows of speculative capital, attracted by high interest rates, and high commodity prices for its agro-mineral exports, Lula launched a massive poverty program providing about $60 a month to 40 million poor Brazilians, who formed part of Lula’s mass electoral base. The Workers Party reduced unemployment, increased wages and supported low-interest consumer loans, stimulating a ‘consumer boom’ that drove the economy forward.

To Lula and his advisers, Brazil was becoming a global power, attracting world-class investors and incorporating the poor into the domestic market.

Lula was hailed as a ‘pragmatic leftist’ by Wall Street and a ‘brilliant statesman’ by the Left!

In line with this grandiose vision (and in response to hoards of presidential flatterers North and South), Lula believed that Brazil’s rise to world prominence required it to ‘host’ the World Cup and the Olympics and he embarked on an aggressive campaign. . . Brazil was chosen.

Lula preened and pontificated: Brazil, as host, would achieve the symbolic recognition and material rewards a global power deserved.

The Rise and Fall of Grand Illusions

The ascent of Brazil was based on foreign flows of capital conditioned by differential (favorable) interest rates. And when rates shifted, the capital flowed out. Brazil’s dependence on high demand for its agro-mineral exports was based on sustained double-digit economic growth in Asia. When China’s economy slowed down, demand and prices fell, and so did Brazil’s export earnings.

The Workers Party’s ‘pragmatism’ meant accepting the existing political, administrative and regulatory structures inherited from the previous neo-liberal regimes. These institutions were permeated by corrupt officials linked to building contractors notorious for cost over-runs and long delays on state contracts.

Moreover, the Workers Party’s ‘pragmatic’ electoral machine was built on kick-backs and bribes. Vast sums were siphoned from public services into private pockets.

Puffed up on his own rhetoric, Lula believed Brazil’s economic emergence on the world stage was a ‘done deal’. He proclaimed that his pharaonic sports complexes – the billions of public money spent on dozens of stadiums and costly infrastructure – would “pay for themselves”.

The Deadly ‘Demonstration Effect’: Social Reality Defeats Global Grandeur

Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, Lula’ protégé, has allocated billions of reales to finance her predecessor’s massive building projects: stadiums, hotels, highways and airports to accommodate an anticipated flood of overseas soccer fans.

The contrast between the immediate availability of massive amounts of public funds for the World Cup and the perennial lack of money for deteriorating essential public services (transport, schools, hospitals and clinics) has been a huge shock to Brazilians and a provocation to mass action in the streets.

For decades, the majority of Brazilians, who depended on public services for transport, education and medical care, (the upper middle classes can afford private services), were told that “there were no funds”, that “budgets had to be balanced”, that a “budget surplus was needed to meet IMF agreements and to service the debt”.

For years public funds had been siphoned away by corrupt political appointees to pay for electoral campaigns, leading to filthy, overcrowded transport, frequently breaking down, and commuter delays in sweltering buses and long lines at the stations. For decades, schools were in shambles, teacher rushed from school to school to make-up for their miserable minimum-wage salaries leading to low quality education and neglect. Public hospitals were dirty, dangerous and crowded; under-paid doctors frequently took on private patients on the side, and essential medications were scarce in the public hospitals and overpriced in the pharmacies.

The public was outraged by the obscene contrast between the reality of dilapidated clinics with broken windows, overcrowded schools with leaking roofs and unreliable mass transport for the average Brazilian and the huge new stadiums, luxury hotels and airports for wealthy foreign sports fans and visitors.

The public was outraged by the obvious official lies: the claim that there were ‘no funds’ for teachers when billions of Reales were instantly available to construct luxury hotels and fancy stadium box seats for wealthy soccer fans.

The final detonator for mass street protest was the increase in bus and train fares to ‘cover losses’ – after public airports and highways had been sold cheaply to private investors who raised tolls and fees.

The protestors marching against the increased bus and train fares were joined by tens of thousands Brazilians broadly denouncing the Government’s priorities: Billions for the World Cup and crumbs for public health, education, housing and transport!

Oblivious to the popular demands, the government pushed ahead intent on finishing its ‘prestige projects’. Nevertheless, construction of stadiums fell behind schedule because of corruption, incompetence and mismanagement. Building contractors, who were pressured, lowered safety standards and pushed workers harder, leading to an increase in workplace deaths and injury. Construction workers walked out protesting the speed-ups and deterioration of work safety.

The Rousseff regime’s grandiose schemes have provoked a new chain of protests. The Homeless Peoples Movement occupied urban lots near a new World Cup stadium demanding ‘social housing’ for the people instead of new five-star hotels for affluent foreign sports aficionados.

Escalating costs for the sports complexes and increased government expenditures have ignited a wave of trade union strikes to demand higher wages beyond the regime’s targets. Teachers and health workers were joined by factory workers and salaried employees striking in strategic sectors, such as the transport and security services, capable of seriously disrupting the World Cup.

The PTs embrace of the grandiose sports spectacle, instead of highlighting Brazil’s ‘debut as a global power’, has spotlighted the vast contrast between the affluent and secure ten percent in their luxury condos in Brazil, Miami and Manhattan, with access to high quality private clinics and exclusive private and overseas schools for their offspring, with the mass of average Brazilians, stuck for hours sweating in overcrowded buses, in dingy emergency rooms waiting for mere aspirins from non-existent doctors and in wasting their children’s futures in dilapidated classrooms without adequate, full-time teachers.

Conclusion

The political elite, especially the entourage around the Lula-Rousseff Presidency have fallen victim to their own delusions of popular support. They believed that subsistence pay-offs (food baskets) to the very poor would allow them to spend billions of public money on sports spectacles to entertain and impress the global elite. They believed that the mass of workers would be so enthralled by the prestige of holding the World Cup in Brazil, that they would overlook the great disparity between government expenditures for elite grand spectacles and the absence of support to meet the everyday needs of Brazilian workers.

Even trade unions, seemingly tied to Lula, who bragged of his past leadership of the metal workers, broke ranks when they realized that the ‘money was out there’ – and that the regime, pressured by construction deadlines, could be pressured to raise wages to get the job done.

Make no mistake, Brazilians are sports minded. They avidly follow and cheer their national team. But they are also conscious of their needs. They are not content to passively accept the great social disparities exposed by the current mad scramble to stage the World Cup and Olympics in Brazil. The government’s vast expenditure on the Games has made it clear that Brazil is a rich country with a multitude of social inequalities. They have learned that vast sums are available to improve the basic services of everyday life. They realized that, despite its rhetoric, the ‘Workers Party’ was playing a wasteful prestige game to impress an international capitalist audience. They realized that they have strategic leverage to pressure the government and address some of the inequalities in housing and salaries through mass action. And they have struck. They realize they deserve to enjoy the World Cup in affordable, adequate public housing and travel to work (or to an occasional game) in decent buses and trains. Class consciousness, in the case of Brazil, has trumped the mass spectacle. ‘Bread and circuses’ have given way to mass protests.

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About James Petras

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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The Rise of the European Right: Reaction to the Neoliberal Right

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Introduction: The European parliamentary elections witnessed a major breakthrough for the right-wing parties throughout the region. The rise of the Right runs from the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, the Baltic and Low countries, France, Central and Eastern Europe to the Mediterranean.

Most, if not all, of these emerging right-wing parties mark a sharp break with the ruling neo-liberal, Christian and Social Democratic parties who have presided over a decade of crisis.

The ‘new Right’ cannot be understood simply by attaching negative labels (‘fascist’, ‘racist’ and ‘anti-Semitic’). The rise of the Right has to be placed in the context of the decay of political, social and economic institutions, the general and persistent decline of living standards and the disintegration of community bonds and class solidarity. The entire existing political edifice constructed by the neo-liberal parties bears deep responsibility for the systemic crisis and decay of everyday life. Moreover, this is how it is understood by a growing mass of working people who vote for the Right.

The so-called ‘radical Left’, usually defined as the political parties to the left of the governing Social Democratic parties, with the exception of SYRIZA in Greece, have failed to capitalize on the decline of the neo-liberal parties. There are several reasons that account for the lack of a right-left polarization. Most of the ‘radical Left’, in the final account, gave ‘critical support’ to one or another of the Labor or Social Democratic parties and reduced their ‘distance’ from the political-economic disasters that have followed. Secondly, the ‘radical Left’s’ positions on some issues were irrelevant or offensive to many workers: namely, gay marriage and identity politics. Thirdly, the radical Left recruited prominent personalities from the discredited Labor and Social Democratic parties and thus raised suspicion that they are a ‘new version’ of past deceptions. Fourthly, the radical Left is strong on public demonstrations demanding ‘structural changes’ but lacks the ‘grass roots’ clientelistic organizations of the Right, which provide ‘services’, such as soup kitchens and clinics dealing with day-to-day problems.

While the Right pretends to be ‘outside’ the neo-liberal establishment challenging the assumption of broad powers by the Brussels elite, the Left is ambiguous: Its support for a ‘social Europe’ implies a commitment to reform a discredited and moribund structure. The Right proposes ‘national capitalism’ outside of Brussels; the Left proposes ‘socialism within the European Union’. The Left parties, the older Communist parties and more recent groupings, like Syriza in Greece, have had mixed results. The former have generally stagnated or lost support despite the systemic crisis. The latter, like Syriza, have made impressive gains but failed to break the 30% barrier. Both lack electoral allies. As a result, the immediate challenge to the neo-liberal status quo comes from the electoral new Right parties and on the left from the extra-parliamentary social movements and trade unions. In the immediate period, the crisis of the European Union is being played out between the neo-liberal establishment and the ‘new Right’.

The Nature of the New Right

The ‘new Right’ has gained support largely because it has denounced the four pillars of the neo-liberal establishment: globalization, foreign financial control, executive rule by fiat (the Brussels troika) and the unregulated influx of cheap immigrant labor.

Nationalism, as embraced by the new Right, is tied to national capitalism: Local producers, retailers and farmers are counterpoised to free traders, mergers and acquisitions by international bankers and the giant multinationals. The ‘new Right’ has its audience among the provincial and small town business elite as well as workers devastated by plant closures and relocations.

The ‘new Right’s’ nationalism is ‘protectionist’ – seeking tariff barriers and state regulations to protect industries and workers from ‘unfair’ competition from overseas conglomerates and low-wage immigrant labor.

The problem is that protectionism limits the imports of cheap consumer goods sold in many small retail shops and affordable to workers and the lower middle class. The Right ‘dreams’ of a corporatist model where national workers and industries bond to oppose liberal competitive capitalism and class struggle trade unions. As the class struggle declines, the ‘tri partite’ politics of the neo-liberal right is reconfigured by the New Right to include ‘national’ capital and a ‘paternalistic state’.

In sum, the nationalism of the Right evokes a mythical past of harmony where national capital and labor unite under a common communal identity to confront big foreign capital and cheap immigrant labor.

Political Strategy: Electoral and Extra-Parliamentary Politics

Currently, the new Right is primarily oriented to electoral politics, especially as it gains mass support. They have increased their share of the electorate by combining mass mobilization and community organizing with electoral politics, especially in depressed areas. They have attracted middle class voters from the neo-liberal right and working class voters from the old Left. While some sectors of the Right, like the Golden Dawn in Greece, openly flaunt fascist symbols – flags and uniforms – as well as provoking street brawls, others pressure the governing neo-liberal right to adopt some of their demands especially regarding immigration and the ‘deportation of illegals’. For the present, most of the new Right’s focus is on advancing its agenda and gaining supporters through aggressive appeals within the constitutional order and by keeping the more violent sectors under control. Moreover, the current political climate is not conducive to open extra-parliamentary ‘street fighting’ where the new Right would be easily crushed. Most right-wing strategists believe the current context is conducive to the accumulation of forces via peaceful methods.

Conditions Facilitating the Growth of the Right

There are several structural factors contributing to the growth of the new Right in Europe:

First and foremost, there is a clear decline of democratic power and institutions resulting from the centralization of executive – legislative power in the hands of a self-appointed elite in Brussels. The new Right argues effectively that the European Union has become a profoundly authoritarian political institution disenfranchising voters and imposing harsh austerity programs without a popular mandate.

Secondly, national interests have been subordinated to benefit the financial elite identified as responsible for the harsh policies that have undermined living standards and devastated local industries. The new Right counterpoises ‘the nation’ to the Brussels ‘Troika’ – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Thirdly, ‘liberalization’ has eroded local industries and undermined communities and protective labor legislation. The Right denounces liberal immigration policies, which permit the large-scale inflow of cheap workers at a time of depression level unemployment. The crisis of capitalism combined with the large force of cheap immigrant labor forms the material basis for right-wing appeals to workers, especially those in precarious jobs or unemployed.

Right: Contradictions and the Double Discourse

The Right, while criticizing the neo-liberal state for unemployment, focuses mainly on the immigrants competing with nationals in the labor market rather than on the capitalists whose investment decisions determine levels of employment and unemployment.

The Right attacks the authoritarian nature of the European Union, but its own structures, ideology and history pre-figure a repressive state.

The Right rightly proposes to end foreign elite control of the economy, but its own vision of a ‘national state’, especially one linked to NATO, multi-national corporations and imperial wars, will provide no basis for ‘rebuilding the national economy’.

The Right speaks to the needs of the dispossessed and the need to ‘end austerity’ but it eschews the only effective mechanism for countering inequalities – class organization and class struggle. Its vision of the ‘collaboration between productive capital and labor’ is contradicted by the aggressive capitalist offensive to cut wages, social services, pensions and working conditions. The new Right targets immigrants as the cause of unemployment while obscuring the role of the capitalists who hire and fire, invest abroad, relocate firms and introduce technology to replace labor.

They focus the workers’ anger ‘downward’ against immigrants, instead of ‘upward’ toward the owners of the means of production, finance and distribution who ultimately manipulate the labor market.

In the meantime the radical Left’s mindless defense of unlimited immigration in the name of an abstract notion of ‘international workers solidarity’ exposes their arrogant liberal bias, as though they had never consulted real workers who have to compete with immigrants for scarce jobs under increasingly unfavorable conditions.

The radical Left, under the banner of ‘international solidarity’, has ignored the historical fact that ‘internationalism’ must be built on the strong national foundation of organized, employed workers.

The Left has allowed the new Right to exploit and manipulate powerful righteous nationalist causes. The radical Left has counterpoised ‘nationalism’ to socialism, rather than seeing them as intertwined, especially in the present context of an imperialist-dominated European Union.

The fight for national independence, the break-up of the European Union, is essential to the struggle for democracy and the deepening of the class struggle for jobs and social welfare. The class struggle is more powerful and effective on the familiar national terrain – rather than confronting distant overseers in Brussels.

The notion among many radical Left leaders to ‘remake’ the EU into a ‘Social Europe’, the idea that the EU could be converted into a ‘European Union of Socialist States’ simply prolongs the suffering of the workers and the subordination of nations to the non-elected bankers who run the EU. No one seriously believes that buying stocks in Deutsch Bank and joining its annual stockholders meetings would allow workers to ‘transform’ it into a ‘People’s Bank’. Yet the ‘Bank of the Banks’, the ‘Troika’, made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, set all major policies for each member state of the European Union. Un-rectified and remaining captive of the ‘Euro-metaphysic’, the Left has abdicated its role in advancing the class struggle through the rebirth of the national struggle against the EU oligarchs.

Results and Perspectives

The Right is advancing rapidly, even if unevenly across Europe. Its support is not ephemeral but stable and cumulative at least in the medium run. The causes are ‘structural’ and result from the new Right’s ability to exploit the socio-economic crisis of the neo-liberal right governments and to denounce authoritarian and anti-national policies of the unelected EU oligarchy.

The new Right’s strength is in ‘opposition’. Their protests resonate while they are distant from the command centers of the capitalist economy and state.

Are they capable of moving from protest to power? Shared power with the neo-liberals will obviously dilute and disaggregate their current social base.

The contradictions will deepen as the new Right moves from positions of ‘opposition’ to sharing power with the neo-liberal Right. The massive roundups and deportation of immigrant workers is not going to change capitalist employment policies or restore social services or improve living standards. Promoting ‘national’ capital over foreign through some corporatist union of capital and labor will not reduce class conflict. It is totally unrealistic to imagine ‘national’ capital rejecting its foreign partners in the interest of labor.

The divisions within the ‘nationalist Right’, between the overtly fascist and electoral corporatist sectors, will intensify. The accommodation with ‘national’ capital, democratic procedures and social inequalities will likely open the door to a new wave of class conflict which will expose the sham radicalism of the ‘nationalist’ right. A committed Left, embedded in the national terrain, proud of its national and class traditions, and capable of unifying workers across ethnic and religious ‘identities’ can regain supporters and re-emerge as the real alternative to the two faces of the Right – the neo-liberal and the ‘nationalist’ new Right. The prolonged economic crisis, declining living standards, unemployment and personal insecurity propelling rise of the nationalist Right can also lead to the emergence of a Left deeply linked to national, class and community realities. The neo-liberals have no solutions to offer for the disasters and problems of their own making; the nationalists of the new Right have the wrong -reactionary – answer. Does the Left have the solution? Only by overthrowing the despotic imperial rule of Brussels can they begin to address the national-class issues.

Post-script and final observations:

In the absence of a Left alternative, the working class voters have opted for two alternatives: Massive voter abstention and strikes. In the recent EU election, 60% of the French electorate abstained, with abstention approaching 80% in working class neighborhoods. This pattern was repeated or even exceeded throughout the EU – hardly a mandate for the EU or for the ‘new Right’. In the weeks and days before the vote, workers took to the streets. There were massive strikes of civil servants and shipyard workers, as well as workers from other sectors and mass demonstrations by the unemployed and popular classes opposing EU-imposed ‘austerity’ cuts in social services, health, education, pensions, factory closures and mass lay-offs. Widespread voter abstention and street demonstrations point to a huge proportion of the population rejecting both the neo-Liberal Right of the ‘Troika’ as well as the ‘new Right’.

source

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About James Petras

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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A REVOLTING PROOF OF THE CURRENT EU HYPOCRISY – “Between Freedom and Hate – The Lines Drawn by the ECHR” International Conference on the Prevention of Genocides

It is very appropriate that Mr Jagland gave this speech on 1 April, because this speech is truly a mighty celebration to hypocrisy, double standards and lies. It is also a revolting proof of the hideous, structural aphasia towards common sense, true righteousness and simple decency that this type of professionally “good people” seem to have.

The following speech must have been written for Mr Jagland by J.K Rowling herself. It is namely a very good fairy tale and unfortunately an excellent example of the very disturbing but still massive moral canyon between words and actions in this EU. It is actually right to even see it as an adult fairy tale due to its clear “political-pornographic” character.

With the very obvious US ad EU supported rise of nazi and fascist movement’s and parties in Europe, through their government’s economic and political neo-liberal strategies, their Goebbelian propaganda industry that still calls itself news-media and through their intelligence service’s dark and covert operations, in which racial, social and political violence are consciously being encouraged, promoted and provoked, this speech can’t be considered as anything else than a bizarre April fools joke. This is demagogy, goodwill-hunting. political pornography and deceiving, diplomatic “pole-dancing” on a very revolting level. It is humiliating to any human being with self respect who is aware of the, nowadays, open anti-democratic, totalitarian aims of this EU, to hear Mr Jagland talk and act as if he was the advocate of Peace and Righteousness in times when nazism has seized power in Ukraine by the EU- and US-promoted coup and when EU itself is taking part in war crimes, genocide and ethnic cleansing on a number of places around the world. EU have together with US turned against not only other parts of the world but also against a whole region (the south) of its own body and particularly against one of its own member states. Its neo-colonial, bankster protecting trends have turned an alleged debt crisis in Greece into a humanitarian crisis, in which clear ‘genocidal’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ policies can be detected. Mr Jagland did not mention the ongoing Greek tragedy or the Ukranian tragedy on 1 April and he is therefore just another “hypnotizer” putting the masses to sleep and by doing that he is insulting every sober citizens intelligence within this European “gulag” they still call a union.

Wouldn’t at least a comment on the still commonly published ‘hate-speeches’ and the ‘hate-articles’ about “Greeks” from the whole European media but mainly the German, English, Eastern European and Scandinavian media have been suitable to mention in such a speech, now when the population of Greece has gone from 11 millions in 2010 to 10 millions in 2014 and the average life-span has decreased with 15 years in the last 4 years?

I, as a Greek, a European citizen and as a free human, advice Mr Jagland to stand up for what these historic times, sheer common sense and the vast majority of the thinking citizens of Europe expects from him or anyone in his position, or to step down and leave his place to a more curageous Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Someone with integrity and self-respect enough to defend the real aims of the Article for Human Rights, one who dares to express the real European issues today and not just cowardly go along with the rise of nazi-policies while mumbling some nonsense mantras about tolerance,  human rights and freedom of speech. All this without a word about the obvious abuse of all democratic rights, trhe constitutions and even European law itself, in todays EU

I have inserted my “comments” to this rediculous diplomatic “pole-dance” as they occurred in my mind when I first read through this qualified nonsense. AV is short for “Athenianvoice”

 

Kosmas Loumakis

ATHENIANVOICE

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Brussels, 

Speech by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland

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Mr Thorbjørn Jagland is the 13th Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General has the overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Organisation. Mr Jagland was elected in September 2009.

The former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland, aged 63, was also the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. He is currently the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Parliamentary Assembly Session April 2011Session de l'Assemblée parlementaire avril 2011

Dear Minister Reynders,
Lady Ashton,
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon,
Chairman Dlamini-Zuma,
Your Excellencies and Distinguished Guests,

It is a privilege to be able to address you today.

Raphael Lemkin, the lawyer and Holocaust survivor once said: “It takes centuries and sometimes thousands of years to create a national culture, but genocide can destroy a culture instantly, like a fire can destroy a building in an hour.”

AV: Greece is over 6000 years old and EU have since 2010 started to consciously kill off its people and it is forcing them to migrate – 11 millions in 2010 and 10 millions in 2014.

We must therefore make sure the “never again” becomes an unshakable reality and not just an honourable declaration.

AV: Therefore your Norweigan Nobel-commitee decided to give the worst warmongers on the planet, such as Obama and your own employer, EU the Peace-price.

The danger is always there.

AV: Yeah, and the danger is especially present when nazis are rising to power under the support of EU and USA and a Goebellian propaganda machinery which is producing false reports and manufacturing fake NGO-videos in order to create consent and hide facts.

It is especially present in times of economic hardship such as the present.

AV: Who have engineered and launched that economic hardship in the first place?

Hatred is an essential prerequisite for genocide.

AV: So therefore the EU-media made sure to, over and over again, repeat obnoxious lies about us Greeks before introducing its genocidal policies against us. This did in fact spread hatred towards Greeks from certain central- and northern European folk groups and cultures. The same goes for Arabs (since decades) and now it is obviously time to defame the Russians. Anyone who dares to criticize and oppose EU and US policies in other words, or anyone that these two neo-colonial looting powers need to steal the land and the natural resources from.

This is why the Council of Europe is so committed to stamping out hate speech and tackling intolerance whilst at the same time defending free speech.

AV: You should speak to the publisher of, for example, the German magazine FOCUS or to Scheuble, Rehn, Barrosso, Rompay, Juncker and Merkel about this as well as all the rest of the bankster-elites runner boys and girls!

The Council of Europe was set up in the aftermath of World War II and very much in response to the horrors of the Holocaust.

To this day, the European Court of Human Rights continues to play a crucial role in condemning public expressions of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination against minorities – which are contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights.

AV: Why is islamofobia not treated as anti-semitism, when it actually is exactly that and why do you, a well educated person, choose to insinuate that only Jews are semitic people? Otherwise you would condemn also the anti-semitism expressed against Arabs.

It would be highly appropriate to also add anti-hellenism and anti-mankind activities to this list, because those two in particular are hidden behind the whole neo-liberal agenda and indeed very much practiced and not only over the last few years. relevant article: Hellenism is in danger, humanity is in danger

Distinguished guests,

One of the most important questions faced by the Court is to assess the line between freedom of expression and hate speech or to determine the limits of freedom of expression.

AV: Oh. so that is why islamofobia and anti-semitism is treated so completely and entirely different from eachother by the entire European and western media? 

It is one of the key challenges of our time.

It is a difficult question.

AV: Not to decent and righteous people! Expressed words that are ment to harm are easy to detect for most, but  if the ECHR have difficulties to tell the difference there are fields of science and available expertice that Mr Jagland have chosen to ignore here. The question faced by the Court is not legal but behavioral in its core so the Court should consult the top behavioural and communication experts to draw these lines (ex. prof Marshall Rosenberg)

Take the case of Bingöl v. Turkey. The applicant, a politician, was convicted for a speech dealing with the history of the Kurdish people which contained vigorous criticism of the policies of the Turkish state.

He was convicted for having incited hatred.

But the Strasbourg Court found there had been no incitement to hatred because even if the speech had a hostile connotation, it did not incite violence or hatred. Moreover, it the speech was given in the context of a debate on a question of legitimate public interest.

AV: Does Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have freedom of speech and are the western media NOT silencing down the truth and completely ignoring critical voices against neo-liberalism and the neo-colonial anti-democratic aims of US and EU?

Attacks on persons through defamation, libel or incitement to discrimination may also justify state interventions to protect against hate speech.

AV: Isn’t the humiliating and isulting lies in western media about Greeks defamation or discriminating? Isn’t generalizing a whole people in order to purposly expose a whole people to hatred and hate violence defamation and efforts to spread hatred (Greeks in Germany, Holland and Denmark have been attacked and in a few cases got their businesses burnt)?

Another challenge for several member States is to draw the line between blasphemy and legitimate criticism of religion.

So where – and how – does the European Court of Human Rights draw the line?

AV: Obviously by waiting for orders and policy advices from the Bilderberg group and from other non-elected but powerful clubs of ruthless ‘puppeteers’. 

Before accepting a certain restriction, the Court will consider a variety of factors.

The most important issue is whether a statement incites racial or ethnic hatred and second, whether it incites violence.

Additional factors are also considered.

Many are linked to the circumstances in which the speech was made and its content. For example, if the speech was made with bad intent or delivered at a particularly sensitive moment.

AV: What if it is obvious that Mrs Merkels, Mr Scheubles, Mr Rhens and Mr Junckers insulting speeches was not only about a simple ‘bad intent’ but in fact it was a well planned public defaming, consent-shaping propaganda in order to prepare the opening for a proper economic, social, political, cultural and humanitarian attack on the Greek society and nation?

The Council of Europe is currently developing a new curriculum to guide judges and prosecutors when dealing with cases related to hate speech.

Dear Friends,

As the Court emphasized back in 1976, freedom of expression constitutes the right to “offend, shock or disturb.”

The Court made it clear that without this right it would be impossible to have a democratic society.

That being so, freedom of expression cannot be unlimited.

There are times when some forms of expression have to be prevented.

One such example is Holocaust denial.

AV: Why is not the continuous and ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity that are committed against the Palestinian people and against Arabs in general such examples?

The Court has made clear that the negation of the Holocaust is one of the most serious forms of racial defamation and an incitement to hatred.

AV: And what is the negation of the ongoing Palestinian genocide or the Holocaust on Africans, Arabs, Native Americans and Asians?

There are many other examples.

Take the recent German case of Hizb Ut-Tahrir and Others from 2012.

This case concerned the prohibition of the activities of an Islamic association calling for the violent destruction of the state of Israel and for the killing of its inhabitants through suicide attacks against civilians.

AV: But for Knesset to keep on not just threatening but actually killing off Palestinians like stray dogs (as the settlers call them) and for the western media to look the other way at the same time is obviously completely fine.

The Court found that the applicant exercised his rights for purposes which were clearly contrary to the values of the Convention.

Or think back to a similar case of the Belgian parliamentarian and chairman of a nationalistic political party who distributed election leaflets bearing slogans such as “Stand up against the Islamification of Belgium” and “Send non-European job-seekers home.”

The applicant was convicted of incitement to racial discrimination and sentenced to community service and disqualified from holding parliamentary office for ten years.

AV: Why not for life? Will he change his character and basic mental state in ten years?

The Court found that these sanctions were justified.

Because the leaflets could have provoked feelings of distrust and even hatred towards foreigners.

When dealing with hate speech one of the most dangerous mistakes one can make is to think that they are just words.

AV: So what about among many others in mainly central and north Europe, the German magazine FOCUS and its general accusation-crusade against not only Greeks in Greece but against Greeks anywhere? It became OK for the German and the EU officials to talk about “Greeks” in general when explaining the crisis.

Let us never forget that genocide does not happen at the blink of an eye.

The minds of people have to be perverted to such a degree that it becomes the norm to deny the very right to existence to entire groups of the population.

AV: So what about the European insulting, propaganda and lies against Greeks that the German and the EU leaders launched through the European media?

We saw this in Nazi Germany.

We saw this in Srebrenica.

AV: But you choose to NOT see what goes on now in Athens and the rest of Greece or in Ukraine where EU has taken an active supportive role for the illegal nazi government and its massacring hordes. 

And, of course, we saw this in Rwanda twenty years ago.

AV: Was the Belgian prime minister or any official from the Belgian embassy ever held to account for that hideous Belgian-promoted genocide?

These tragedies demonstrated that hate speech and incitement to violence against a specific group of people is instrumental to creating an environment in which genocide can take place.

AV: Was it not Belgian interests and the EU-supported neo-colonial ‘programs’ that worked very hard to pour “gazoline” on the fire and who had a major role in this and who consciously took part in provoking and establishing that hatred?

In Rwanda, the killers often carried a weapon in one hand and a transistor radio tuned to a Hutu extremist radio station, in the other.

AV: And the millions of machetes used to slay almost one million humans in less than 11 weeks where imported by Europeans and the silence about this was complete in western main stream media.

The radio station broadcast the names, addresses and license plate numbers of Tutsi and moderate Hutu who were marked for extermination.

AV: And the entire western community and very much so the EU looked the other way and on the 10-year memorial day not a single western leader éxcept the Belgian prime minister where present in order to show respect to more than one million victims in three months… As a revolting additional assurance of the arrogance of the western leaders towards this genocide no one in the west held any silent minute for these people (compare with the global silent two minutes imposed by all western leaders on their people for 3 000 dead in N.Y on 9/11, 2001).

Hate speech, even without a clear call to violence, is extremely dangerous.

AV: So why are US and EU continuing to direct flaming, diplomatic hate speeches towards whole nations and whole people and why are they supporting nazist and fascist organizations and parties that use hate speeches as vulgar political tools?

It involves discrimination and even dehumanization, often of vulnerable groups in society.

That is why we must never shy away from our responsibility to combat hate speech.

AV: Sure, but in the name of righteousness, justice and common decency,.. deal with hate speeches against Greeks, Arabs, Africans and Asians NOW and in the same way you treat hate speeches against Jews and we will ALL feel very much safer and you will be at least a little bit more trustworthy. 

Distinguished guests,

This sad anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda reminds us that to make “never again” a reality we need effective international instruments and mechanisms.

AV: A good way to make “never again ” a reality would be to make the effort to hold to account ALL the true instigators and perpetrators of hatred equally from whatever religious or ideological sewer they happen to pop up from, western or eastern, christian or jewish or muslim. But unfortunatelly the true western violence instigators and atrocity provokers have never been held to account ever again since the Nürnberg-trials. The western establishment with your institution as their temple of trustworthyness, have always reacted as if these international instruments and mechanisms are there just to protect Jews and white Americans and Europeans but never ever Arabs, Africans, Native Americans or Asians unless they first sign horrendous slave contracts and criminal deals with western banks and businesses.

But above all we need political will and the courage to act.

AV: And you mean that you have that??

Let me finish with the words of Pierre Henri Teitgen, one of the founding fathers of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Speaking in 1949, a few years after the horrors of the Second World War, Teitgen said the following:

“Evil operates cunningly. One by one, freedoms are suppressed, in one sphere after another. Public opinion and the entire national conscience is asphyxiated … It is necessary to intervene before it is too late. A conscience must exist somewhere which will sound the alarm….”

AV: The entire awake and aware European population is saying these words today, so why do you fail to hear it today and why don’t you intervene in Ukraine and against the nazification of Europe?

The Council of Europe will always be that conscience.

AV: Sorry to be the one to tell you, but when nazism is rising to power in Europe and when a silent genocide is being committed by the EU against the Greeks, that conscience has long ago mutated into a disgraceful and barbaric support and assistance to the cruelest mass murderers of them all.

Thank you.

AV: zzzZZZzzz

 

Capitalists, Technocrats and Fanatics: The Ascent of a New Power Bloc

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Introduction: The sweeping electoral victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India is the latest expression of the world-wide advance of a new power bloc which promises to impose a New World Order harnessing ethno-religious fanaticism and narrowly trained technocrats to capitalist absolutism.

The far-right is no longer at the margins of western political discourse. It is center-stage. It is no longer dependent on contributions by local militants; it receives financing from the biggest global corporations. It is no longer dismissed by the mass media. It receives feature coverage, highlighting its ‘dynamic and transformative’ leadership.

Today capitalists everywhere confront great uncertainty, as markets crash and endemic corruption at the highest levels erode competitive markets. Throughout the world, large majorities of the labor force question, challenge and resist the massive transfers of public wealth to an ever reduced oligarchy. Electoral politics no longer define the context for political opposition.

Capitalism, neither in theory nor practice, advances through reason and prosperity. It relies on executive fiats, media manipulation and arbitrary police state intrusions. It increasingly relies on death squads dubbed “Special Forces” and a ‘reserve army’ of para-military fanatics.

The new power bloc is the merger of big business, the wealthy professional classes, upwardly mobile, elite trained technocrats and cadres of ethno-religious fanatics who mobilize the masses.

Capitalism and imperialism advances by uprooting millions, destroying local communities and economies, undermining local trade and production, exploiting labor and repressing social solidarity. Everywhere it erodes community and class solidarity.

Ethno-Religious Fanatics and Elite Technocrats

Today capitalism depends on two seemingly disparate forces. The irrational appeal of ethno-religious supremacists and narrowly trained elite technocrats to advance the rule of capital. Ethno-religious fanatics seek to promote bonds between the corporate-warlord elite and the masses, by appealing to their ‘common’ religious ethnic identities.

The technocrats serve the elite by developing the information systems, formulating the images and messages deceiving and manipulating the masses and designing their economic programs.

The political leaders meet with the corporate elite and warlords to set the political-economic agenda, deciding when to rely on the technocrats and when to moderate or unleash the ethno-religious fanatics.

Imperialism operates via the marriage of science and ethno-religious fanaticism- and both are harnessed to capitalist domination and exploitation.

India: Billionaires, Hindu Fascists and IT “Savants”

The election of Narendra Modi, leader of the BJP and long-time member of the Hindu fascist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) para-military organization was based on three essential components:

(1) Multi-billion rupee funding from corporate India at home and abroad.

(2) Thousands of upwardly mobile IT technocrats mounting a massive propaganda campaign.

(3) Hundreds of thousands of RSS activists spreading the “Hindutva” racist doctrine among millions of villagers.

The Modi regime promises his capitalist backers that he will “open India”– namely end the land reserves of the tribes, convert farmland to industrial parks, deregulate labor and environmental controls.

To the Brahmin elite he promises to end compensatory quotas for lower castes, the untouchables, the minorities and Muslims. For the Hindu fascists he promises more temples. For foreign capitalists he promises entry into all formerly protected economic sectors. For the US, Modi promises closer working relations against China, Russia and Iran… The BJP’s ethno-religious Hindu fanaticism resonates with Israel’s notion of a “pure”Jewish state. Modi and Netanyahu have longstanding ties and promise close working relations based on similar ethno-racist doctrines.

Turkey: The Transition to Islamic-Capitalist Authoritarianism

Turkey under the rule of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party has moved decisively toward one-man rule: linking Islam to big capital and police state repression. Erdogan’s ‘triple alliance’ is intent on unleashing mega-capitalist projects, based on the privatization of public spaces and the dispossession of popular neighborhoods. He opened the door to unregulated privatization of mines, communications, banks – leading to exponential growth of profits and the decline of employment security and a rising toll of worker deaths. Erdogan has shed the mask of ‘moderate Islam’ and embraced the jihadist mercenaries invading Syria and legislation expanding religious prerogatives in secular life. Erdogan has launched massive purges of journalists, public officials, civil servants, judges and military officers. He has replaced them with ‘party loyalists’; Erdogan fanatics!

Erdogan has recruited a small army of technocrats who design his mega projects and provide the political infrastructure and programs for his electoral campaigns. Technocrats provide a development agenda that accommodates the foreign and domestic crony corporate elite.

The Anatolian Islamists, small and medium provincial business elite, form the mass base – mobilizing voters, by appealing to chauvinist and ethnocentric beliefs. Erdogan’s repressive, Islamist, capitalist regime’s embrace of the “free market” has been sharply challenged especially in light of the worst mining massacre in Turkish history: the killing of over 300 miners due to corporate negligence and regime complicity. Class polarization threatens the advance of Turkish fascism.

Israel and the “Jewish State”: Billionaires , Ethno-Religious Fanatics and Technocrats

Israel, according to its influential promoters in the US, is a ‘model democracy’. The public pronouncements and the actions of its leaders thoroughly refute that notion. The driving force of Israeli politics is the idea of dispossessing and expelling all Palestinians and converting Israel into a ‘pure’ Jewish state. For decades Israel, funded and colonized by the diaspora, have violently seized Palestinian lands, dispossessed millions and are in the process of Judaizing what remains of the remnant in the “Occupied Territories”.

The Israeli economy is dominated by billionaires. Its “society” is permeated by a highly militarized state. Its highly educated technocrats serve the military-industrial and ethno-religious elite. Big business shares power with both.

High tech Israeli’s apply their knowledge to furthering the high growth, military industrial complex. Medical specialists participate in testing the endurance of Palestinian prisoners undergoing torture (“interrogation”). Highly trained psychologists engage in psych-warfare to gain collaborators among vulnerable Palestinian families. Economists and political scientists, with advanced degrees from prestigious US and British universities (and ‘dual citizenship’) formulate policies furthering the land grabs of neo-fascist settlers. Israel’s best known novelist, Amos Oz condemned the neo-fascist settlers who defecate on the embers of burnt-out mosques.

Billionaire real estate moguls bid up house prices and rents “forcing” many “progressive” Israelies, who occasionally protest, to take the easy road of moving into apartments built on land illegally and violently seized from dispossessed Palestinians. ‘Progressives’ join neo-fascist vigilantes in common colonial settlements. Prestigious urbanologists further the goals of crude ethno-racist political leaders by designing new housing in Occupied Lands. Prominent social scientists trade on their US education to promote Mid-East wars designed by vulgar warlords. Building the Euro American Empire : Riff-Raff of the World Unite!

Empire building is a dirty business. And while the political leaders directing it, feign respectability and are adept at rolling out the moral platitudes and high purposes, the ‘combatants’ they employ are a most unsavory lot of armed thugs, journalistic verbal assassins and highly respected international jurists who prey on victims and exonerate imperial criminals.

In recent years Euro-American warlords have employed “the scum of the slaughterhouse” to destroy political adversaries in Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.

In Libya lacking any semblance of a respectable middle-class democratic proxy, the Euro-American empire builders armed and financed murderous tribal bands, notorious jihadist terrorists, contrabandist groups, arms and drug smugglers. The Euro-Americans counted on a pocketful of educated stooges holed up in London to subdue the thugs, privatize Libya’s oil fields and convert the country into a recruiting ground and launch pad for exporting armed mercenaries for other imperial missions.

The Libyan riff-raff were not satisfied with a paycheck and facile dismissal: they murdered their US paymaster, chased the technocrats back to Europe and set-up rival fiefdoms. Gadhafi was murdered, but so went Libya as a modern viable state. The arranged marriage of Euro-American empire builders, western educated technocrats and the armed riff-raff was never consummated. In the end the entire imperial venture ended up as a petty squabble in the American Congress over who was responsible for the murder of the US Ambassador in Benghazi.

The Euro-American-Saudi proxy war against Syria follows the Libyan script. Thousands of Islamic fundamentalists are financed, armed, trained and transported from bases in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya to violently overthrow the Bashar Assad government in Syria. The world’s most retrograde fundamentalists travel to the Euro-American training bases in Jordan and Turkey and then proceed to invade Syria, seizing towns, executing thousands of alleged ‘regime loyalists’ and planting car bombs in densely populated city centers.

The fundamentalist influx soon overwhelmed the London based liberals and their armed groups.

The jihadist terrorists fragmented into warring groups fighting over the Syrian oil fields. Hundreds were killed and thousands fled to Government controlled regions. Euro-US strategists, having lost their original liberal mercenaries, turned toward one or another fundamentalist groups. No longer in control of the ‘politics’ of the terrorists, Euro-US strategists sought to inflect the maximum destruction on Syrian society. Rejecting a negotiated settlement, the Euro-US strategists turned their backs on the internal political opposition challenging Assad via presidential elections.

In the Ukraine, the Euro-Americans backed a junta of servile neo-liberal technocrats, oligarchical kleptocrats and neo-Nazis, dubbed Svoboda and the Right Sector. The latter were the “shock troops” to overthrow the elected government, massacre the federalist democrats in Odessa and the eastern Ukraine, and back the junta appointed oligarchs serving as “governors”.

The entire western mass media white-washed the savage assaults carried out by the neo-Nazis in propping up the Kiev junta. The powerful presence of the neo-fascists in key ministries, their strategic role as front line fighters attacking eastern cities controlled by pro-democracy militants, establishes them as central actors in converting the Ukraine into a military outpost of NATO. Euro-America Empire Building and the Role of Riff-Raff

Everywhere the Euro-American imperialists choose to expand – they rely on the ‘scum of the earth’: tribal gangs in Libya, fundamentalist terrorists in Syria, neo-Nazis in the Ukraine.

Is it by choice or necessity? Clearly few consequential democrats would lend themselves to the predatory and destructive assaults on existing regimes which Euro-US strategists design. In the course of imperial wars, the local producers, workers, ordinary citizens would “self-destroy”, whatever the outcome. Hence the empire builders look toward ‘marginal groups’, those with no stake in society or economy. Those alienated from any primary or secondary groups. Footloose fundamentalists fit that bill – provided they are paid, armed and allowed to carry their own ideological baggage. Neo-Nazis hostile to democracy have no qualms about serving empire builders who share their ideological hostility to democrats, socialists, federalists and culturally ‘diverse’ societies and states. So they are targeted for recruitment by the empire builders.

The riff-raff consider themselves ‘strategic allies’ of the Euro-American empire builders. The latter, however, have no strategic allies – only strategic interests. Their tactical alliances with the riff-raff endure until they secure control over the state and eliminate their adversaries. Then the imperialist seek to demote, co-opt, marginalize or eliminate their ‘inconvenient’ riff-raff allies. The falling out comes about when the fundamentalists and neo-Nazis seek to restrict capital, especially foreign capital and impose restrictions on imperial control over resources and territory. At first the empire builders seek ‘opportunists’ among the riff-raff, those willing to sacrifice their ‘ideals’ for money and office. Those who refuse are relegated to secondary positions distant from strategic decision-making or to remote outposts. Those who resist are assassinated or jailed. The disposal of the riff-raff serves the empire on two counts. It provides the client regime with a fig leaf of respectability and disarms western critics targeting the extremist component of the junta.

The riff-raff, however, with arms, fighting experience and financing, in the course of struggle, gains confidence in its own power. They do not easily submit to Euro-US strategies. They also have ‘strategic plans’ of their own, in which they seek political power to further their ideological agenda and enrich their followers.

The riff-raff, want to ‘transition’ from shock troops of empire into rulers in their own right. Hence the assaults on the US embassy in Libya, the assassination of Euro-American proxies in Syria, Right Sector riots against the Kiev junta.

Conclusion

A new power bloc is emerging on a global scale. It is already flexing its muscles. It has come to power in India, Turkey, Ukraine and Israel. It brings together big business, technocrats and ethno-religious fascists. They promote unrestrained capitalist expansion in association with Euro-American imperialism.

Scientists, economists, and IT specialists design the programs and plans to realize the profits of local and foreign capitalists. The ethno-fascists mobilize the ‘masses’ to attack minorities and class organizations threatening high rates of returns.

The Euro-Americans contribute to this ‘new power bloc’ by promoting their own ‘troika’ made up of ‘neo-liberal clients’, fundamentalists and neo-Nazis to overthrow nationalist adversaries. The advance of imperialism and capitalism in the 21st century is based on the harnessing of the most advanced technology and up-to-date media outlets with the most retrograde political and social leaders and ideologies.

source

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About James Petras

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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COMMON STATEMENT OF EPAM , IPU and UPR ON THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS (ελληνικά / français / español / italiano)

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ελληνικά français  /  español  /  italiano

The Independence Party ( IPU) (Finland), the Republican People’s Union (UPR) (France),  and the United People’s Front ( EPAM) (Greece) have announced their participation in the European elections to be held in May 2014. On this occasion they reaffirm their mutual support and their common positions:

-Exit from, the Eurozone & the European Union
-National Independency, Popular Sovereignty, Democracy & Social Progress

European Elections present a unique opportunity for our views and our proposals to be heard by a wider public. We should therefore take advantage of this opportunity to enhance our struggle for the restoration of democracy in our countries, which involves inevitably the exit from the EU and the eurozone.

The Peoples of Europe have to get emancipated as soon as possible from the European Union, which is an anti-democratic organisation at the service of the financial and economic oligarchy. The so-called ‘European construction’ is against the interests of the peoples of Europe in every sector.

This year’s vote is the most crucial one since the very foundation of the European Union. Major projects are to be implemented against the interests of Europe’s Peoples, namely the federation of Europe, the banking union, the fiscal pact, the Transatlantic Treaty, large scale privatizations, new austerity policies, event the confiscation of private property as well as confiscation of savings (remember Cyprus) . We must act NOW.

The presence of our three movements in the European Parliament is necessary because the existence of movements, regardless of their political ideology, which truly oppose the European Union, will no longer be ignored unlike other movements which only superficially oppose the EU, damaging the sense of sovereignty and independency with their extremist positions.

Criticism of the EU and the euro has to stop being a taboo, so that alternatives to the EU policies can be heard.

Pro-EU movements participate in national elections, destroying the sovereignty and the independence of their countries from inside. We participate in the European elections with the aim of bringing down the entire ‘’European construction’’ from inside and being the voice of all those who want to leave the EU and the eurozone.

The power of the European Parliament is very limited but it provides a useful platform and an international voice as the example of other. We shall use this platform to make our movements better known and to build further international support for our struggle against the EU and for the restoration of democracy across Europe.

This common statement proves our cooperation as well as our commitment as undertaken during the Athens Meeting in 30 November-01 December 2013.

Signed by:
◾IPU – Finland
◾UPR – France
◾EPAM – Greece

Express support:
◾Per il Bene Comune – Italy
◾Asociacion Democracia Real Ya – Spain
◾Alza il pugno , Eurotruffa – Italy
◾National Platform – Ireland
◾CIB – UK

EPAM – International relations

29 April 2014

400 US mercenaries ‘deployed on ground’ in Ukraine military op

Ukrainian troops outside the town of Andreyevskoe near Slaviyansk, Donetsk Region, where local residents blocked a column of Ukrainian Army armored personnel carriers. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Ukrainian troops outside the town of Andreyevskoe near Slaviyansk, Donetsk Region, where local residents blocked a column of Ukrainian Army armored personnel carriers. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

About 400 elite mercenaries from the notorious US private security firm Academi (formerly Blackwater) are taking part in the Ukrainian military operation against anti-government protesters in southeastern regions of the country, German media reports.

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper, citing a source in intelligence circles, wrote Sunday that Academi employees are involved in the Kiev military crackdown on pro-autonomy activists in near the town of Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region.

On April 29, German Intelligence Service (BND) informed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government about the mercenaries’ participation in the operation, the paper said, RIA Novosti reported. It is not clear who commands the private military contractors and pays for their services, however.

In March, media reports appeared suggesting that the coup-imposed government in Kiev could have employed up to 300 mercenaries.That was before the new government launched a military operation against anti-Maidan activists, or “terrorists” as Kiev put it, in southeast Ukraine.

At the time, the Russian Foreign Ministry said then that reports claiming Kiev was planning to involve “involve staff from foreign military companies to ‘ensure the rule of law,’” could suggest that it wanted “to suppress civil protests and dissatisfaction.”

In particular, Greystone Limited, which is currently registered in Barbados and is a part of Academi Corporation, is a candidate for such a gendarme role. It is a similar and probably an affiliated structure of the Blackwater private army, whose staff have been accused of cruel and systematic violations of human rights in various trouble spots on many occasions.

Among the candidates for the role of gendarme is the Barbados-registered company Greystone Limited, which is integrated with the Academi corporation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “It is an analogue, and, probably and affiliated body of the Blackwater private army, whose employees have repeatedly been accused of committing grievous and systematic human rights abuses in different troubled regions.”

Allegations increased further after unverified videos appeared on YouTube of unidentified armed men in the streets of Donetsk, the capital of the country’s industrial and coalmining region. In those videos, onlookers can be heard shouting “Mercenaries!”“Blackwater!,” and “Who are you going to shoot at?

Academi denied its involvement in Ukraine, claiming on its website that “rumors” were posted by “some irresponsible bloggers and online reporters.”

Such unfounded statements combined with the lack of factual reporting to support them and the lack of context about the company, are nothing more than sensationalistic efforts to create hysteria and headlines in times of genuine crisis,” the US firm stated.

The American security company Blackwater gained worldwide notoriety for the substantial role it played in the Iraq war as a contractor for the US government. In recent years it has changed its name twice – in 2009 it was renamed Xe Services and in 2011 it got its current name, Academi.

The firm became infamous for the alleged September 16, 2007 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. The attack, which saw 20 others wounded, was allegedly without justification and in violation of deadly-force rules that pertained to American security contractors in Iraq at the time. Between 2005 and September 2007, Blackwater security guards were involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq and fired first in 163 of those cases, a Congressional report said at the time.

Source

 

 

The Kiev Putsch: Rebel Workers Take Power in the East

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Introduction: Not since the US and EU took over Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, East Germany, Poland and the Balkans and converted them into military outposts of NATO and economic vassals, have the Western powers moved so aggressively to seize a strategic country, such as the Ukraine, posing an existential threat to Russia.

Up until 2013 the Ukraine was a ‘buffer state’, basically a non-aligned country, with economic ties to both the EU and Russia. Ruled by a regime closely tied to local, European, Israeli and Russian based oligarchs, the political elite was a product of a political upheaval in 2004, (the so-called “Orange Revolution”) funded by the US. Subsequently, for the better part of a decade the Ukraine underwent a failed experiment in Western backed ‘neo-liberal’ economic policies. After nearly two decades of political penetration, the US and EU were deeply entrenched in the political system via long-standing funding of so-called non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), political parties and paramilitary groups.

The strategy of the US and EU was to install a pliant regime which would bring Ukraine into the European Common Market and NATO as a subordinate client state. Negotiations between the EU and the Ukraine government proceeded slowly. They eventually faltered because of the onerous conditions demanded by the EU and the more favorable economic concessions and subsidies offered by Russia. Having failed to negotiate the annexation of the Ukraine to the EU, and not willing to await scheduled constitutional elections, the NATO powers activated their well-financed and organized NGOs, client political leaders and armed paramilitary groups to violently overthrow the elected government. The violent putsch succeeded and a US-appointed civilian-military junta took power.

The junta was composed of pliant neo-liberal and chauvinist neo-fascist ‘ministers’. The former were hand-picked by the US, to administer and enforce a new political and economic order, including privatization of public firms and resources, breaking trade and investment ties with Russia, eliminating a treaty allowing the Russian naval base in Crimea and ending military-industrial exports to Russia. The neo-fascists and sectors of the military and police were appointed to ministerial positions in order to violently repress any pro-democracy opposition in the West and East. They oversaw the repression of bilingual speakers (Russian-Ukrainian), institutions and practices – turning the opposition to the US-NATO imposed coup regime into an ethnic opposition. They purged all elected opposition office holders in the West and East and appointed local governors by fiat – essentially creating a martial law regime.

The Strategic Targets of the NATO-Junta

NATOs violent, high-risk seizure of the Ukraine was driven by several strategic military objectives. These included:

1.) The ousting of Russia from its military bases in Crimea – turning them into NATO bases facing Russia.

2.) The conversion of the Ukraine into a springboard for penetrating Southern Russia and the Caucasus; a forward position to politically manage and support liberal pro-NATO parties and NGOs within Russia.

3.) The disruption of key sectors of the Russian military defense industry, linked to the Ukrainian factories, by ending the export of critical engines and parts to Russia.

The Ukraine had long been an important part of the Soviet Union’s military industrial complex. NATO planners behind the putsch were keenly aware that one-third of the Soviet defense industry had remained in the Ukraine after the break-up of the USSR and that forty percent of the Ukraine’s exports to Russia, until recently, consisted of armaments and related machinery. More specifically, the Motor-Sikh plant in Eastern Ukraine manufactured most of the engines for Russian military helicopters including a current contract to supply engines for one thousand attack helicopters. NATO strategists immediately directed their political stooges in Kiev to suspend all military deliveries to Russia, including medium-range air-to air-missiles, inter-continental ballistic missiles, transport planes and space rockets (Financial Times, 4/21/14, p3). US and EU military strategists viewed the Kiev putsch as a way to undermine Russian air, sea and border defenses. President Putin has acknowledged the blow but insists that Russia will be able to substitute domestic production for the critical parts within two years. This means the loss of thousands of skilled factory jobs in Eastern Ukraine.

4.) The military encirclement of Russia with forward NATO bases in the Ukraine matching those from the Baltic to the Balkans, from Turkey to the Caucasus and then onward from Georgia into the autonomous Russian Federation.

The US-EU encirclement of Russia is designed to end Russian access to the North Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. By encircling and confining Russia to an isolated landmass without ‘outlets to the sea’, US-EU empire builders seek to limit Russia’s role as a rival power center and possible counter-weight to its imperial ambitions in the Middle East, North Africa, Southwest Asia and the North Atlantic.

Ukraine Putsch: Integral to Imperial Expansion

The US and EU are intent on destroying independent, nationalist and non-aligned governments throughout the world and converting them into imperial satellites by whatever means are effective. For example, the current NATO-armed mercenary invasion of Syria is directed at overthrowing the nationalist, secular Assad government and establishing a pro-NATO vassal state, regardless of the bloody consequences to the diverse Syrian people. The attack on Syria serves multiple purposes: Eliminating a Russian ally and its Mediterranean naval base; undermining a supporter of Palestine and adversary of Israel; encircling the Islamic Republic of Iran and the powerful militant Hezbollah Party in Lebanon and establishing new military bases on Syrian soil.

The NATO seizure of the Ukraine has a multiplier effect that reaches ‘upward’ toward Russia and ‘downward’ toward the Middle East and consolidates control over its vast oil wealth.

The recent NATO wars against Russian allies or trading partners confirm this prognosis. In Libya, the independent, non-aligned policies of the Gadhafi regime stood out in stark contrast to the servile Western satellites like Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. Gadhafi was overthrown and Libya destroyed via a massive NATO air assault. Egypt’s mass popular anti-Mubarak rebellion and emerging democracy were subverted by a military coup and eventually returned the country to the US-Israeli-NATO orbit – under a brutal dictator. Armed incursions by NATO proxy, Israel, against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as the US-EU sanctions against Iran are all directed against potential allies or trading partners of Russia.

The US has moved forcefully from encircling Russia via ‘elections and free markets’ in Eastern Europe to relying on military force, death squads, terror and economic sanctions in the Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Asia.

Regime Change in Russia: from Global Power to Vassal State

Washington’s strategic objective is to isolate Russia from without, undermine its military capability and erode its economy, in order to strengthen NATO’s political and economic collaborators inside Russia – leading to its further fragmentation and return to the semi-vassal status.

The imperial strategic goal is to place neo-liberal political proxies in power in Moscow, just like the ones who oversaw the pillage and destruction of Russia during the infamous Yeltsin decade. The US-EU power grab in the Ukraine is a big step in that direction.

Evaluating the Encirclement and Conquest Strategy

So far NATO’s seizure of the Ukraine has not moved forward as planned. First of all, the violent seizure of power by overtly pro-NATO elites openly reneging on military treaty agreements with Russia over bases in Crimea, had forced Russia to intervene in support of the local, overwhelmingly ethnic Russian population. Following a free and open referendum, Russia annexed the region and secured its strategic military presence.

While Russia retained its naval presence on the Black Sea … the NATO junta in Kiev unleashed a large-scale military offensive against the pro-democracy, anti-coup Russian-speaking majority in the eastern half of the Ukraine who have been demanding a federal form of government reflecting Ukraine’s cultural diversity. The US-EU promoted a “military response” to mass popular dissent and encouraged the coup-regime to eliminate the civil rights of the Russian speaking majority through neo-Nazi terror and to force the population to accept junta-appointed regional rulers in place of their elected leaders. In response to this repression, popular self-defense committees and local militias quickly sprang up and the Ukrainian army was initially forced back with thousands of soldiers refusing to shoot their own compatriots on behalf of the Western –installed regime in Kiev. For a while, the NATO-backed neo-liberal-neo-fascist coalition junta had to contend with the disintegration of its ‘power base’. At the same time, ‘aid’ from the EU, IMF and the US failed to compensate for the cut-off of Russian trade and energy subsidies. Under the advise of visiting US CIA Director, Brenner, the Kiev Junta then dispatched its elite “special forces” trained by the CIA and FBI to carry out massacres against pro-democracy civilians and popular militias. They bussed in armed thugs to the diverse city of Odessa who staged an ‘exemplary’ massacre: Burning the city’s major trade union headquarters and slaughtering 41, mostly unarmed civilians who were trapped in the building with its exits blocked by neo-Nazis. The dead included many women and teenagers who had sought shelter from the rampaging neo-Nazis. The survivors were brutally beaten and imprisoned by the ‘police’ who had passively watched while the building burned.

The Coming Collapse of the Putsch-Junta

Obama’s Ukraine power grab and his efforts to isolate Russia have provoked some opposition in the EU. Clearly US sanctions prejudice major European multi-nationals with deep ties in Russia. The US military build-up in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Black Sea raises tensions and threatens a large-scale military conflagration, disrupting major economic contracts. US-EU threats on Russia’s border have increased popular support for President Putin and strengthened the Russian leadership. The strategic power grab in the Ukraine has radicalized and deepened the polarization of Ukrainian politics-between neo-fascist and pro-democracy forces.

While the imperial strategists are extending and escalating their military build-up in Estonia and Poland and pouring arms into the Ukraine, the entire power grab rests on very precarious political and economic foundations- which could collapse within the year – amidst a bloody civil war/ inter-ethnic slaughter.

The Ukraine junta has already lost political control of over a third of the country to pro-democracy, anti-coup movements and self-defense militias. By cutting off strategic exports to Russia to serve US military interests, the Ukraine lost one of its most important markets, which cannot be replaced. Under NATO control, Ukraine will have to buy NATO-specified military hardware leading to the closure of its factories geared to the Russian market. The loss of Russian trade is already leading to mass unemployment, especially among skilled industrial workers in the East who may be forced to immigrate to Russia. Ballooning trade deficits and the erosion of state revenues will bring a total economic collapse. Thirdly, as a result of the Kiev junta’s submission to NATO, the Ukraine has lost billions of dollars in subsidized energy from Russia. High energy costs make Ukrainian industries non-competitive in global markets. Fourthly, in order to secure loans from the IMF and the EU, the junta has agreed to eliminate food and energy price subsidies, severely depressing household incomes and plunging pensioners into destitution. Bankruptcies are on the rise, as imports from the EU and elsewhere displace formerly protected local industries.

No new investments are flowing in because of the violence, instability and conflicts between neo-fascists and neo-liberals within he junta. Just to stabilize the day-to-day operations of government, the junta needs a no-interest $30 billion dollar handout – from its NATO patrons, an amount, which is not forthcoming now or in the immediate future.

It is clear that NATO ‘strategists’ who planned the putsch were only thinking about weakening Russia militarily and gave no thought to the political, economic and social costs of sustaining a puppet regime in Kiev when Ukraine had been so dependent on Russian markets, loans and subsidized energy. Moreover, they appear to have overlooked the political, industrial and agricultural dynamics of the predictably hostile Eastern regions of the country. Alternately, Washington strategists may have based their calculations on instigating a Yugoslavia-style break-up accompanied by massive ethnic cleansing amidst population transfers and slaughter. Undeterred by the millions of civilian casualties, Washington considers its policy of dismantling Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya to have been great political-military successes.

Ukraine most certainly will enter a prolonged and deep depression, including a precipitous decline in its exports, employment and output. Possibly, economic collapse will lead to nationwide protests and social unrest: spreading from East to West, from South to North. Social upheavals and mass misery may further undermine the morale of the Ukrainian armed forces. Even now, Kiev can barely afford to feed its soldiers and has to rely on neo-Fascist volunteer militias who may be hard to control. The US-EU are not likely to intervene directly with an Libya-style bombing campaign since they would face a prolonged war on Russia’s border at a time when public opinion in the US is suffering from imperial war exhaustion, and European business interests with links to Russian resource companies are resisting consequential sanctions.

The US-EU putsch has produced a failing regime and a society riven by violent conflicts – spinning into open ethnic violence. What, in fact, has ensued is a system of dual power with contenders cutting across regional boundaries. The Kiev junta lacks the coherence and stability to serve as a reliable NATO military link in the encirclement of Russia. On the contrary, US-EU sanctions, military threats and bellicose rhetoric are forcing Russians to quickly rethink their ‘openness’ to the West. The strategic threats to its national security are leading Russia to review its ties to Western banks and corporations. Russia may have to resort to a policy of expanded industrialization via public investments and import substitution. Russian oligarchs, having lost their overseas holdings, may become less central to Russian economic policy.

What is clear is that the power grab in Kiev will not result in a ‘knife pointed at the heartland of Russia’. The ultimate defeat and overthrow of the Kiev junta can lead to a radicalized self-governing Ukraine, based on the burgeoning democratic movements and rising working class consciousness. This will have to emerge from their struggle against IMF austerity programs and Western asset stripping of Ukraine’s resources and enterprises. The industrial workers of Ukraine who succeed in throwing off the yoke of the western vassals in Kiev have no intention of submitting themselves to the yoke of the Russian oligarchs. Their struggle is for a democratic state, capable of developing an independent economic policy, free of imperial military alliances.

Epilogue:

May Day 2014: Dual Popular Power in the East, Fascism Rising in the West

The predictable falling out between the neo-fascists and neo-liberal partners in the Kiev junta was evidenced by large-scale riots, between rival street gangs and police on May Day. The US-EU strategy envisioned using the neo-fascists as ‘shock troops’ and street fighters in overthrowing the elected regime of Yankovich and later discarding them. As exemplified by the notorious taped conversation between Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Kiev, the EU-US strategists promote their own handpicked neoliberal proxies to represent foreign capital, impose austerity policies and sign treaties for foreign military bases. In contrast, the neo-fascist militias and parties would favor nationalist economic policies, retaining state enterprises and are likely to be hostile to oligarchs, especially those with ‘dual Israeli-Ukraine’ citizenship.

The Kiev junta’s inability to develop an economic strategy, its violent seizure of power and repression of pro-democracy dissidents in the East has led to a situation of ‘dual power’. In many cases, troops sent to repress the pro-democracy movements have abandoned their weapons, abandoned the Kiev junta and joined the self-governing movements in the East.

Apart from its outside backers-the White House, Brussels and IMF – the Kiev junta has been abandoned by its rightwing allies in Kiev for being too subservient to NATO and resisted by the pro-democracy movement in the East for being authoritarian and centralist. The Kiev junta has fallen between two chairs: it lacks legitimacy among most Ukrainians and has lost control of all but a small patch of land occupied by government offices in Kiev and even those are under siege by the neo-fascist right and increasingly from its own disenchanted former supporters.

Let us be absolutely clear, the struggle in the Ukraine is not between the US and Russia, it is between a NATO-imposed junta composed of neo-liberal oligarchs and fascists on one side and the industrial workers and their local militias and democratic councils on the other. The former defends and obeys the IMF and Washington; the latter relies on the productive capacity of local industry and rules by responding to the majority.

source

________________________________________________________________

About James Petras

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Odessa Massacre – Evidence The Mainstream Media Won’t Show You [WARNING: Disturbing Footage]

While the mainstream media is attempting to avoid assigning blame regarding who set the deadly fire in Odessa that killed over 40 people video footage and images from the event make it very clear who was responsible.

Odessa Massacre - Evidence The Mainstream Media Won't Show You [WARNING: Disturb

On Friday, May 2nd over 40 anti-Kiev protesters were burned alive in the Trade Unions building in Odessa Ukraine. The mainstream media has reported on the event as if how the fire started was a mystery, using cop out phrases like “the sequence of events is unclear”. Some have gone so far as to insinuate that Russia is responsible for the violence. Now while the sequence of events leading up to the fire may be unclear (and we’ll get into that below), the insinuation that the ant-Kiev protesters barricaded themselves in and burned themselves alive is ludicrous. It also flies in the face of all the video and photographic evidence we have available.

Warning: Some of the footage and images that we are going to be showing here are very, very disturbing. We are not showing this for shock value. In fact we will refrain from showing the most horrific images on this page. We will only show what we consider to be the bare minimum to accurately report on the events.

Below is raw footage from Odessa taken from multiple angles. In the beginning you see a crowd approaching. First they destroy the camp of the anti-Kiev protesters, setting the tents on fire. Then they begin to throw Molotov cocktails at the building.

And while the mainstream media is pretending that it’s unclear who was throwing the Molotov cocktails, it’s actually not unclear at all. The video below shows Maidan girls preparing the Molotov cocktails that were then used to assault the building:

Then the “Maidan” crowd blocked fire trucks to prevent them from helping:

Odessa - Maidan fascists block fire trucks

Odessa - Maidan fascists block fire trucks

The transcript for the following video is below

0.43-47 “Let us burn those motherfuckers right in the building, fucking faggots”
1.08 – Everything around is already burning. Injured people are lying on the ground.
1.18-1.20 Maidan activist Mykola is running and shooting at people, who are trying to escape from the window.
2.34-2.36 Older man is telling “Go from the other side around, through the bathroom!” «Ребята, с той стороны, через туалет!»
2.44 – He was told to continue his commands and then answered “ Do not film me” , «Меня не снимай»
3.20 – Fire inside. Operator is telling the building will start to burn now. Second floor is burning.
3.50 – Operator notices that someone is trying to extinguish the fire from the inside.
4.08 – Man is advising to throw more Molotovs. “Throw them, throw them!” , “Кидай кидай,блять!”
4.32 – You may see grenade explosion at the front of the entrance.
5.40-5.50 – attackers throw more fire to the window and then are shouting “GOAL!!!”
6.25 – 7.13 – The same man, Mykola, who is wearing yellow-blue bandage on his left arm, is shooting at people who are trying to catch air and are seen from the window.
8.07 – Operator is wondering what is going on inside. He says that the crowd has started to move inside the house.
8.10 – Maidan activists are telling each other to go to the backyard, because people are trying to escape from there
8.26 – Crowd is shouting “They are escaping! Run to the backyard!” «Они выходят сзади!»
8.42 –This is the front of the building. More cocktails are thrown.
9.41-9.47 – Nationalists are screaming “Fuck them right there, throw to the windows!” , «Хуярьте туда, кидайте в окна!»
10.40 Lady is filming the fire. In front of the building,tents, boxes, almost all found items are set on fire. The smoke from the fireplace is quickly absorbed to the building. If the firefighters would have been there, may be less people would have asphyxated inside.
13.00 – Operator is moving to the backyard.
14.15- People, who are still alive are shouting “Police, you have been bought as scums and all of you will go to prison afterwards!” антифашисты еще живые кричат в мегафон- “”менты продажные твари- всех вас потом посадят в тюрьму- “
14.17 – A bus, where police officers are situated.
14.41 – Man from the window is shouting “Citizens of Odessa city, rise up!”
15.40- менты стоят все это время ЗА Домом Профсоюэов и они спокойно общаются пока здание уже горит с центрального входа и на 1 этаже.
15.49 – Operator shows where police officers are situated. They are simply chatting, while the building is burning from the front and on the first floor.
16.40- People start to jump from the window. 2, 3,4 dead bodies.
21.00 still alive girls are shouting from the second and third floor.
23.00- Burning man has fallen from the window. Crowd is happy. Operator is asking them to help, but the answer is “They have cut off heads of activists in Kiev”.
23.20- Anti-nationalist man is lying on the roof. Maidan nazzis are shouting to him “Jump! Glory to the Ukraine!”, «Прыгай! Слава Украине!»

Believe it or not the Neo Nazi movement in Ukraine has not been shy about expressing their approval of the killings.

The following is a screenshot I took of post by Ukrainian Nationalist Iryna Farion (Ірина Фаріон) on facebook (right click and choose “View Image” to view at full size

Translation: Bravo, Odessa. Pearl of the Ukrainian spirit. Birthplace of the great nationalists Ivan and Yuri Jul. Let the Devils burn in hell. The best of the rebels is the football fans. Bravo.

This facebook post was still accessible at the time of this writing at this link.

Iryna Farion isn’t the only one celebrating this tragedy. While researching for this article I found many threads like the one below.

Neo Nazis in Ukraine celebrate Odessa fire

Bravo? Let’s take a look at what these people were cheering for. Warning VERY Disturbing footage. Do not click if you have children in the room or are easily traumatized:

This video was uploaded by EuromaidanPR, one of the official accounts managed by the Euromaidan movement. It was uploaded with the title: “Russian Terrorists Burnt Alive In Trade Union Building Fire In Odessa Ukraine, May 2 2014″. Believe it or not the actual scene was even more horrific. Click here if you want to see (I don’t feel comfortable showing some of these images on this actual page).

Do you find it shocking that these so called Maidan activists would be jubilant about seeing their opponents burned alive? Perhaps you would be less shocked if the mainstream media hadn’t worked so hard to cover up the fact who these Maidan fascists really are.

Not surprisingly U.S. and E.U. officials like the Swedish right-wing politician and foreign minister Carl Bild have spun this murder as a crime committed by those who were burned alive.

EU officials pretend Russia responsible for violence in Odessa

I say not surprisingly, because this past week while Kiev was using tanks and helicopters to attack protesters in the east Washington officials referred to the violence as “proportionate and reasonable”.

 

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