Nice: Barbarism Continues and it is No Joke in Turkey Either

We could start by saying that the West and Europe must bear a lot of responsibility for so much of today’s barbarism. But perhaps it is better to say: it understandably breaks we Westerners’ hearts to see civilians, men, women, and many children crushed like so many ants due to the barbaric and murderous fury of a French Tunisian, who may or may not be a jihadist supporting a state that does not yet exist, and perhaps never will. The Western world rightly despairs in the face of so much brutal horror that, aside from personal and collective tragedies, has nothing human about it. But we also remember and mourn all those women and children killed like flies in air raids across the Middle East by US, French, English and Italian drones. In 2001 the US went to Afghanistan to fight their former allies, the Afghans, in the name of liberating women, but in reality to make the territory the route for a pipeline to bring oil from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. The operation failed and Afghanistan fell into the abyss of civil war. American military operations have produced hundreds of thousands of deaths among the civilian population. In most cases nuclear and chemical weapons have been used in defiance of all so-called international law and, above all, contrary to the human dignity of those whose only fault was to live in what the most powerful imperialism in the world considered a strategic area. Don’t forget that the terrorism of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, a former US ally, came out of the Afghan campaign.

The Iraq campaign was launched in 2003. Again it was by the US Bush administration but, this time for control of Mesopotamian oil and to contain the threat that it might be sold in currencies other than the dollar. But the excuse was that the US had a "duty" to export democracy. Saddam Hussein was eliminated and Iraq, like Afghanistan before it, was plunged into a bloody civil war. And as always the US Army and the local governments have massacred civilians in their hundreds of thousands in order to make these economically and strategically important areas safe. Everything has rained down on the defenceless population from white phosphorus bombs, missiles with small nuclear warheads, chemical and radioactive substances in addition to those used in the "91" massacre of the civilian population that created innumerable deaths from cancer and leukaemia.

In 2011 France and Britain launched the attack on the dictator Gaddafi, who was just as guilty of imperialist plunder as they were, but was no longer satisfying French and English imperialist interests. The consequences are always the same: Civil war, thousands of civilians dead, despair, hunger and unspeakable suffering for people who had nothing do with the interests of those who brought it about.

The same is true for Syria, where an inter-imperialist conflict is still going on. Here too the civilian population is paying the price. Flights of civilians have taken place in what resembles a biblical exodus. Millions of refugees fleeing the barbarism of war die at sea while trying to escape from certain death at home. The West that is responsible for all this barbarism is, of course, the imperialist West. Hungry for profits it never misses a chance to wage proxy wars, to intervene directly, and encourage civil wars. It has no scruples about pressing a button that would destroy entire villages or districts of a city for the sole purpose of having a military advantage. The hundreds of thousands of deaths and the terrible sufferings inflicted on the population are only “collateral damage”

Given that the theatre of war is the Middle East, with control of what are for now is the world’s most important energy sources at stake, it is no surprise that the civilian population has developed an undying hatred against the "corrupt and corrupting", but also murderous, West.

Barbarism generates barbarity: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and all the myriad jihadi formations, fighting each other for leadership within the Muslim world, are the organisational forms of the hatred against those responsible for so much suffering that often pervades whole populations, or single individuals.

The meaning of this is that barbarism generates barbarism. War produces war. The clash of interests expands the scope of the devastation of both people and things.

It is no coincidence that, following the 21 May call by the spokesman of the Islamic State, Adnani, to kill as many Westerners as possible, in France, in America, anywhere with guns, with knives, with stones or using cars as lethal weapons, he found in Nice a faithful operative with plenty of hatred towards the West, in this case France's responsibility for the attack on Libya. Adnani had also called on jihadists worldwide "to do in their home what they made us suffer for years in our home".

Statements like “where were the police, what were the Intelligence Services doing?” are not worth much. The real problem is that we are witnessing a generalised war, atypical, asymmetrical but still war. But be careful, we must not fall into the easy trap of thinking that it is just a matter of "tit for tat". Everyone fights his war with the weapons at their disposal and the Islamic State does its part while taking advantage of the desperation of individuals scattered everywhere, making them the blind instruments of its strategies. Aside from the Iraqi story after 2003, all other episodes of potential and actual war have accelerated since the 2008 crisis. They range from the crisis between Ukraine and Russia with ''the annexation referendum" of the Crimea to the explosion of the Arab Spring.

They have continued (2011) with the clash between Russia and the USA in Syria. The government of Washington opened hostilities by funding and supporting with arms and military technicians all the forces opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad such as the al Nusra Front and various jihadist movements in the area including, from the beginning, ISIS itself. Russia responded militarily in support of its ally to preserve its naval bases in the Mediterranean. Later two coalitions were created against the Islamic State, the first an instrument of war of one faction, linked to the US against Syria, and indirectly against Russia. Then there was that of the Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia against the Islamic State, after it had embarked on its independent road of forming the new Caliphate against the imperialist West and the "heterodox" East of which Riyadh was a part. In fact the Islamic State is struggling to be a player amongst many in the division of oil fields and to share in their revenue in the name of Allah and Islamic jihad.

Inside and outside these coalitions Erdogan’s Turkey sailed into sight looking for an imperialist opportunity to make itself the key energy hub of the Mediterranean by using an aggressive strategy which only compromised old alliances and created new opponents. Even internal opponents, including a large part of the army, were struggling to make their voices heard on persistent problems. These are, in order of importance: the Kurdish question which has been so mismanaged that it has reopened the old separatist armed conflict; support for the Islamic State criticised in many quarters both for its disastrous management, and for the blatant contradiction in attitude which has allowed Turkey to be labelled as a collaborator with infamous terrorists even after the coalitions were formed. The fiercest criticism has been levelled at the difficulties created by the Erdogan government for Turkey’s entry into Europe. Such failures have not made Turkey any more credible in these imperialist conflicts and has led to tensions with Israel and the US. These may not be completely unrelated to the abortive coup despite Obama's statements in favour of the legitimate power. This is not to mention Erdogan’s clash with Russia after signing a historic agreement with Moscow on the construction of the Turkish Stream that would enable Turkey to strengthen its already substantial role of energy mediator between the Caspian and the Mediterranean.

According to the latest news the clash between army units and the government of Erdogan has already ended and the coup has failed. The army took control of television, the media, and the airports of Istanbul and Ankara but was thwarted by police departments, the true praetorian armed force of the President who has never stopped inciting the people loyal to him to revolt against the coup. The paradox is that both the army and the dictator-President have declared themselves to be working in the name of democracy. Its a macabre dance for power that the world of work will pay for once again. As always they are called on to support one faction or the other when both are the death of the only possible answer: the transformation of the civil war into a class struggle against the army coup, against Erdogan, against his Praetorian Guard and against the laws of capital which they all support.

Returning to the war, the question of course is completely open even if, in reality, we are faced with a conflict of all against all, fragile alliances, sudden and violent changes of governments and fronts depending on shifting strategic needs. In the midst of so much chaos the Islamic state that as long as it had the support of the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and most of the Arab countries of the Middle East could gradually conquer territories, exploit oil fields and receive arms and funding. When the wind changed because it had changed its strategy, (which also involved gaining real territory and giving the movement autonomy from its former backers) things went wrong. Within a year it has lost 40% of the conquered territories and its strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul are threatened. The latest US raids have physically eliminated the military leaders of the IS like Abu Omar al Shishani (Chechen) the strategist of the jihadist army after the killing of al Duri, the former number two of the Iraqi component and ex-army chief of Saddam Hussein. It is within this scenario that Adnani issued his universal terrorist "fatwa". He later added that foreign fighters don’t need to go "Siraq" any more but should remain in their home countries to hinder the enemy at home, as well as all those who, after a jihadist military experience in Iraq or in Syria, return "home" to do the same. The latest attack in Nice is a symptom of a change in strategy of the central imperialist powers against the Islamic State and the consequent counter-measures of the aspiring Caliph in its desperate defence, using all possible means including obsessed "mavericks", both perpetrators and victims of these brutal massacres, and the blind instruments of interests which go well over their heads.

It always ends the same way. We live in a historical period where the enormous contradictions of capitalism are adding up, they multiply until they become civil wars, wars of one warlike front against another, proxy wars, whose physical and human devastation are the condition for restarting production, to exploit on an extended scale but recreating the same conditions that have put in place, in a vicious cycle that will never end if the relations of capitalist production and distribution that underlie it are not transformed. It is not enough to rage against the fierce determination of the leading imperialist powers, just as it is not enough to be surprised by the ferocity of jihadism. We have to understand that they are two sides of the same coin, of a capitalism in crisis. To overcome them we need a united international proletariat standing outside and against any interest other than that of the revival of the class struggle.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016


This may seem trivial but I felt a litle awkward about "it understandably breaks we Westerners’ hearts".

In spite of the internationalisation of capitalism, the bourgeoisie exercises its rule in the form of national states. In opposition to this, the proletariat is an international class, a class of migrants.