Palestinian Youth Organization: Confrontation of the Zionist/Imperialist Project in the Arab Region!

Palestinian Youth Organization: Confrontation of the Zionist/Imperialist Project in the Arab Region ~ PFLP.

Comrade Khaled Yamani of the Palestinian Youth Organization delivered the following paper at the Anti-Imperialist Youth of World Conference in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2014: 

Confrontation of the Zionist/Imperialist Project in the Arab Region

Imperialism is the main enemy of the people. Imperialism stems from multiple sources, and not only one; while the largest, most influential, sophisticated and aggressive is U.S. imperialism, which may conflict and struggle over interests with other imperialisms, this does not mean that other imperialisms are an ally for our struggle. It also does not mean that all imperialisms are equal; clarity in what is our primary struggle, against U.S. imperialism, will only deepen the conflicts between U.S. imperialism and other imperialist forces.

In order to build on our clarity around this concept, we must turn to look at the role that we should play in practice: challenging illusions of peace with the Zionist state and exposing the terrorism of U.S. imperialism in its drive to control the Arab world and Central Asia (the expanded area labelled the “Middle East”) in order to control the oil markets in order to exercise its dominance over the world.

We are at war with imperialism, which is led by the U.S. state terror, with the Zionist state playing an organic and critical role, and supported by other imperialist states. These forces have the goal of destroying all of the progress that has been achieved in our region since independence and decolonization, which is illustrated by the destruction of infrastructure, and the overall economy, in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. This comes in addition of the promotion of sectarian conflict in order to dismantle and undermine social structures and social cohesion in targeted societies. While its control is incomplete, imperialism exploits these conflicts to keep us suppressed, disadvantaged and disunited, because this is the situation most advantageous to imperialism’s achieving control and perpetuating occupation.

The imperialist Zionist occupation entity

The primary objective of the Zionist invasion was to transplant a human base to undergird imperialist armed might, to confront and push back the Arab liberation movement, which constitutes a major threat to the interests of imperialism, which seeks victory in this vital region of the world. It is not true that the Zionist movement was a result of the persecution of Jews in Europe, and there is no true separation between the plans of the Zionist movement and those of imperialism for the region. There is a strategic cohesion between “Israel” and the Zionist movement and global imperialism. The battle with the Zionist entity is key to the overall conflict in the region: between the masses on the one hand, and global imperialism on the other hand.

The Palestinian revolutionary forces raise the slogan: “No coexistence with Zionism.” The end of the Zionist entity is necessary in order to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region. Zionism requires a serious response and confrontation equal or greater in measure to the imperialists’ promotion of the Zionist entity in the region.

This approach must be fundamental and constant in our discourse – especially of the Arab left, and must be at the base of building our strategy of confrontation. Our independence, development and unity as Arabs will not be achieved except through struggle, force, and power. The achievement of social progress is in fact a battle against the imperialist/Zionist juggernaut. Our well-being as a society is not possible without struggle and victory against the imperialist powers.

This is the basis of a clear strategy to build resistance, but it also requires the achievement of internal change in order for it to become possible to build a force that is capable of implementing this strategy and achieving its aims. Thus, the overlap of internal and external conflicts: we cannot build power and strength to confront imperialism with the ongoing presence of internal groups attached to the imperialist project. At the same time, we cannot overlook or minimize the direct threat from imperialism and Zionism engaging in wars against us, seeking control and occupation.

The development of a strategy to resist the imperialist/Zionist project in our region and the world must take into account the following:

1. There has become one battle, from Palestine, to Iraq, to all Arab countries. This struggle is intertwined with that of the peoples of Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, as well as Latin American nations and the rest of the world in general. The Palestinian people are standing on the front lines, and struggling in the trench of the various oppressed peoples and classes affected by the colonial capitalist system, in the struggle of the people in the greater battle against imperialism and its associated forces.

2. Palestinians and the Arab world must note that the Zionist state is an organic part of the politics of imperialism, a colonial settler entity, and an army of “mercenaries” to confront the movement and development of Arab progress. It is an economic center for the corporations of monopoly capitalism and imperialism. We affirm the illegitimacy and illegality of the racist Zionist entity and refuse all attempts to view it as a natural and normal state permanently accepted in the Arab region. The natural, former, present and future relationship of the Arab region with this entity is the relationship between the resistance and the dismantling of the occupation and the settlement. The primary contradiction in our region is between the Arab liberation project on the one hand and imperialism, Zionism and their projects on the other hand. This conflict cannot be resolved by any settlement that leaves imperialism and Zionism in place; it is a struggle until victory.

Any project that includes the integration of this entity in the Arab region is a project of domination that must be resisted. It is necessary to resist normalization of relations at all levels throughout the Arab world; normalization is an important mechanism to install and uphold Zionist hegemony. It is also essential to uphold the right of return of the Palestinian Arab people to their homeland, to their cities of villages of origin, as an absolute, unconditional, personal and collective right that is inalienable, and no authority is entitled or authorized to bargain or waive that right in any form. We emphasize here the Arab character of this right, as it is part of the Arab liberation project.

3. We must rebuild our society on the basis of resistance and the need to build democratic systems that represent the popular classes, in order to confront the imperialist Zionist schemes. We are concerned as revolutionary leftists that all projects of renaissance, renewal and resistance must be centered in the popular classes, in order to defeat capitalism and its subsidiaries who hold authority, and to confront and defeat the Zionist imperialist project.

4. Dependence on the so-called “international legitimacy” reflects and demonstrates imperialist hegemony and U.S. domination of the world. It is this supposed legitimacy that allows these forces to deny and disregard the natural, historical and moral rights of the people of the world. Legitimacy instead must be measured by the people’s right to accept or reject international resolutions approved by the imperialist powers engaged in a global war against the people.

5. In order to form and activate the front of resistance to imperialism and Zionism, in our case, the Palestinian struggle with the imperialist Zionist occupation, we must ask ourselves important questions. (How can the resistance intensify contradictions and class fissures in the Zionist occupier society? What is the tool best suited for pressure to escalate these contradictions?) Certainluy the answer is: The most effective and appropriate tool is the resistance, and the popular liberation war in all of its forms, and at the head, armed resistance. The only language that is understood by the enemy is that of revolutionary violence. The armed struggle is the principal approach that will make our land a key battlefield to the victory in the long struggle against the occupation and its attempts to liquidate our cause. With the masses and their conviction to achieve their goals of liberation at the forefront, this strategy ensures the resistance will achieve its objectives by multiplying the losses of the enemy and inflicting economic losses. The embrace of the resistance fighters who engage in armed struggle and revolutionary violence by the masses is a protective shield so that the enemy cannot isolate them or truly prepare to cope with their strikes.

6. Based on our understanding that the concept of the national democratic revolution is a scientific concept closely associated with the class struggle and national struggle, it is a revolution of national liberation and resistance to the presence of imperialism and Zionism, in order to end their presence in our nation. At the same time and place, there is a democratic revolution against despotic regimes of exploitation and dependency, that continues the struggle for complete liberation and sovereignty in economy, politics, culture and all of the issues of our people which primarily target the poor, the oppressed and the workers. Our vision of development is based on the principle of independent development, self-reliance, revolution and popular democracy. In our current condition as an Arab nation, the basis of revolution is a commitment to a vision and a program that reflects the interests and goals of workers, poor peasants, and the poor and oppressed masses, and it is from this understanding that we confront rulers.

Liberation requires liquidation of the comprador economic structure, the abolition of the domination of the market in the economic field and of the domination of right-wing neoliberalism in the economic, social and cultural spheres on a superstructural level. This means restructuring and building institutions of cultural and social resistance in line with the class interests of the masses of workers, poor and oppressed peoples, and hard and dedicated work to abolish social, economic and cultural backwardness and oppression, and to build instead on foundations of progress, enlightenment and democracy. Industrial and economic development must be planned, on the basis of equal opportunity, in order to provide a minimum income that ensures security for the people, meeting the needs of workers and the poor, and must come alongside the development of healthcare, social security, and cultural programs to serve the people, meet the needs of the masses, and achieve the principles of revolutionary social justice.

7.  On the importance and role of youth in revolution and social justice: there is no doubt that the youth represents a significant and distinct social group in various communities. They are strong and vital, and constitute an important source of prosperity, progress, development and sustainability in the community. When young people are absent from the social arena, the signs of stagnation and decline, accelerate toward collapse.

Perhaps the most important characteristic of young people as a force of social change is that they are, in general, the most ambitious group in a community. The process of change and progress does not stop, and any political party, youth organization or social group seeking political and social change must prioritize attracting the energies of young people and employing these energies toward specific goals.

There is a consensus that the power of youth is a double-edged sword, youth are innovative, creative, and productive if they are supported and are given strength and investment; but with no investment and engagement, they can become an unproductive sector if society fails to deal with its problems and find effective solutions. Young people as a resource depend in the first and last place on the willingness of the community, with all of its components, to support them at various levels, economically, socially, politically, culturally, intellectually and otherwise.

Young people are an important social force and a key sector in this community, and this sector has the means to win in the battle for change. There are many examples of this; the world felt the importance of the youth and students for decades in the countries of the developing world, where the vanguard of revolutionary youth in the national liberation movements led their countries to freedom from colonialism.

It is also the responsibility of leftist forces to take up the task of promoting and deepening awareness of a national culture of democracy among young people, of accommodating the advances of society, and bringing together cultural, national and human projects to defend a democratic and revolutionary culture to confront obscurantist, narrow-minded and oppressive extremist cultural projects. The national democratic identity, affiliation and culture is one that inspires among youth national commitment and democratic vision based on the history and struggle of Arab liberation movements, and leftist liberatory goals.

The Left and Marxist parties and the forces of the Arab left must push to crystallize a new policy that reflects the aspirations of Arab youth. This comes first through political programs and organizing of young people, that express the concerns, interests and aspirations of young people themselves and the challenges they confront at the domestic and external levels, along with attention to the issues of democracy, freedom and social justice. This also means taking up economic struggle; there is a high unemployment rate among youth in the Arab world, in some places over 50%, in addition to issues of education, literacy and health care, which should be at the forefront of daily struggles and party programs. The state of poverty, underdevelopment, illiteracy, the absence of democracy and the suppression of individual and collective freedoms in the Arab world are the results of the dominance of imperialism and the control of the Arab reactionary regimes associated with it, which are one of the key barriers to advancing the Arab national project. The continuation of this deteriorating situation only furthers the continuation of imperialist hegemony and that of its reactionary and bourgeois allies among the Arab ruling class.

8. The liberation of women is a prerequisite to the liberation of our society. Arab women confront two intertwined persecutions, social injustice and discrimination; and Arab women are a full partner in life and share fully in the daily suffering and struggle at all levels. Arab women must be supported to contribute fully as members and leaders of leftist organizations and youth movements, and our organizations must struggle for the liberation of Arab women, at political, social and class levels.

The elimination of imperialist hegemony, exploitation and capitalist greed, and the defeat of global imperialism and its military, economic and cultural control over our countries, which produces extreme poverty, widespread unemployment, hunger, and destruction in poor and developing nations and regional ethnic conflicts, will not occur, and victory over the imperialist onslaught will not be achieved, except through the formation of a democratic global movement to confront imperialism and its consequences, and seek dialogue between the peoples of the world on an equal basis, away from the policy of annexation, subordination and domination.

Palestinian Youth Organization


#UN, post-colonial #colonialism + 9-11: Arundhati Roy on #Palestine!

Arundhati Roy on Palestine. ~ Palestine Diary.

Segment from the film “We..” where Arundhati Roy speaks about the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian struggle in the middle east. Historic references, who funds it, and more.

We is a fast-paced 64 minute documentary that covers the world politics of power, war, corporations, deception and exploitation.

It visualizes the words of Arundhati Roy, specifically her famous Come September speech, where she spoke on such things as the war on terror, corporate globalization, justice and the growing civil unrest.

It’s witty, moving, alarming and quite a lesson in modern history.

We is almost in the style of a continuous music video. The music used sets the pace and serves as wonderful background for the words of Ms. Roy and images of humanity in the world we live all in today.

We is a completely free documentary, created and released anonymously on the internet.


Full documentary on youtube:…


September 11 has a tragic resonance in the Middle East, too.  On September 11, 1922, ignoring Arab outrage, the British government proclaimed a mandate in Palestine, a follow-up to the 1917 Balfour declaration, which imperial Britain issued, with its army massed outside the gates of the city of Gaza.  The Balfour declaration promised European zionists a national home for Jewish people.  Two years after the declaration, Lord Balfour, the British foreign secretary said: ‘In Palestine we do not propose to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.  Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-old traditions, in present needs, in future hopes of far profounder import than the desires or prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit this ancient land’.

How carelessly imperial power decreed whose needs were profound and whose were not.  How carelessly it vivisected ancient civilizations.  Palestine and Kashmir are imperial Britain’s festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modern world.  Both are fault-lines in the raging international conflicts of today.

In 1937 Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians: ‘I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time.  I do not admit that right.  I do not admit for instance that a great wrong has been done to the red Indians of America or the black people of Australia.  I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place’.  That set the trend for the Israeli state’s attitude towards Palestinians.  In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said: ‘Palestinians do not exist’.  Her successor, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, said: ‘What are Palestinians?  When I came here [to Palestine] there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins.  It was desert, more than underdeveloped.  Nothing’.  Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians ‘two-legged beasts’.  Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them ‘grasshoppers’ who could be crushed.  This is the language of heads of state, not the words of ordinary people.

In 1947 the UN formally partitioned Palestine and allotted 55% of Palestine’s land to the zionists.  Within a year they had captured 78%.  On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was declared.  Minutes after the declaration, the US recognized Israel.  The West Bank was annexed by Jordan.  The Gaza strip came under Egyptian military control.  Formally, Palestine ceased to exist except in the minds and hearts of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people who became refugees.

In the summer of 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  Settlers were offered state subsidies and development aid to move into the occupied territories.  Almost every day more Palestinian families are forced off their lands and driven into refugee camps.  Palestinians who continue to live in Israel do not have the same rights as Israelis and live as second-class citizens in their former homeland.

Over the decades there have been uprisings, wars, intifadas.  Tens of thousands have lost their lives.  Accords and treaties have been signed, ceasefires declared and violated.  But the bloodshed doesn’t end.  Palestine still remains illegally occupied.  Its people live in inhuman conditions, in virtual Bantustans, where they are subjected to collective punishments, 24-hour curfews, where they are humiliated and brutalised on a daily basis.  They never know when their homes will be demolished, when their children will be shot, when their precious trees will be cut, when their roads will be closed, when they will be allowed to walk down to the market to buy food and medicine.  And when they will not.  They live with no semblance of dignity.  With not much hope in sight.  They have no control over their lands, their security, their movement, their communication, their water supply.  So when accords are signed and words like ‘autonomy’ and even ‘statehood’ are bandied about, it’s always worth asking: What sort of autonomy?  What sort of state?  What sort of rights will its citizens have?  Young Palestinians who cannot contain their anger turn themselves into human bombs and haunt Israel’s streets and public places, blowing themselves up, killing ordinary people, injecting terror into daily life, and eventually hardening both societies’ suspicion and mutual hatred of each other.  Each bombing invites merciless reprisals and even more hardship on Palestinian people.  But then suicide bombing is an act of individual despair, not a revolutionary tactic.  Although Palestinian attacks strike terror into Israeli civilians, they provide the perfect cover for the Israeli government’s daily incursions into Palestinian territory, the perfect excuse for old-fashioned, 19th century colonialism, dressed up as a new-fashioned, 21st century ‘war’.

Israel’s staunchest political and military ally is and always has been the US government.  The US government has blocked, along with Israel, almost every UN resolution that sought a peaceful, equitable solution to the conflict.  It has supported almost every war that Israel has fought.  When Israel attacks Palestine, it is American missiles that smash through Palestinian homes.  And every year Israel receives several billion dollars from the US.

What lessons should we draw from this tragic conflict?  Is it really impossible for Jewish people who suffered so cruelly themselves — more cruelly perhaps than any other people in history — to understand the vulnerability and the yearning of those whom they have displaced?  Does extreme suffering always kindle cruelty?  What hope does this leave the human race with?  What will happen to the Palestinian people in the event of a victory?  When a nation without a state eventually proclaims a state, what kind of state will it be?  What horrors will be perpetrated under its flag?  Is it a separate state that we should be fighting for, or the rights to a life of liberty and dignity for everyone regardless of their ethnicity or religion?

Palestine was once a secular bulwark in the Middle East.  But now the weak, undemocratic, by all accounts corrupt but avowedly non-sectarian PLO, is losing ground to Hamas, which espouses an overtly sectarian ideology and fights in the name of Islam.  To quote from their manifesto: ‘We will be its soldiers, and the firewood of its fire, which will burn the enemies’.

The world is called upon to condemn suicide bombers.  But can we ignore the long road they have journeyed on before they arrived at this destination?  September 11, 1922 to September 11, 2002 — 80 years is a long long time to have been waging war.  Is there some advice the world can give the people of Palestine?  Some scrap of hope we can hold out?  Should they just settle for the crumbs that are thrown their way and behave like the grasshoppers or two-legged beasts they’ve been described as?  Should they just take Golda Meir’s suggestion and make a real effort to not exist?

In another part of the Middle East, September 11 strikes a more recent chord.  It was on September 11, 1990 that George W Bush Sr, then president of the US, made a speech to a joint session of Congress announcing his government’s decision to go to war against Iraq.

The US government says that Saddam Hussein is a war criminal, a cruel military despot who has committed genocide against his own people.  That’s a fairly accurate description of the man.  In 1988 he razed hundreds of villages in northern Iraq and used chemical weapons and machine-guns to kill thousands of Kurdish people.  Today we know that that same year the US government provided him with $500m in subsidies to buy American farm products.  The next year, after he had successfully completed his genocidal campaign, the US government doubled its subsidy to $1bn.  It also provided him with high quality germ seed for anthrax, as well as helicopters and dual-use material that could be used to manufacture chemical and biological weapons.

So it turns out that while Saddam Hussein was carrying out his worst atrocities, the US and the UK governments were his close allies.  Even today, the government of Turkey which has one of the most appalling human rights records in the world is one of the US government’s closest allies.  The fact that the Turkish government has oppressed and murdered Kurdish people for years has not prevented the US government from plying Turkey with weapons and development aid.  Clearly it was not concern for the Kurdish people that provoked President Bush’s speech to Congress.

What changed?  In August 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  His sin was not so much that he had committed an act of war, but that he acted independently, without orders from his masters.  This display of independence was enough to upset the power equation in the Gulf.  So it was decided that Saddam Hussein be exterminated, like a pet that has outlived its owner’s affection.

The first Allied attack on Iraq took place in January 1991.  The world watched the prime-time war as it was played out on TV. (In India those days, you had to go to a five- star hotel lobby to watch CNN.)  Tens of thousands of people were killed in a month of devastating bombing.  What many do not know is that the war did not end then.  The initial fury simmered down into the longest sustained air attack on a country since the Vietnam war.  Over the last decade American and British forces have fired thousands of missiles and bombs on Iraq.  Iraq’s fields and farmlands have been shelled with 300 tons of depleted uranium.  In countries like Britain and America depleted uranium shells are test-fired into specially constructed concrete tunnels.  The radioactive residue is washed off, sealed in cement and disposed off in the ocean (which is bad enough).  In Iraq it’s aimed — deliberately, with malicious intent — at people’s food and water supply.  In their bombing sorties, the Allies specifically targeted and destroyed water treatment plants, fully aware of the fact that they could not be repaired without foreign assistance.  In southern Iraq there has been a four-fold increase in cancer among children.  In the decade of economic sanctions that followed the war, Iraqi civilians have been denied food, medicine, hospital equipment, ambulances, clean water — the basic essentials.

About half a million Iraqi children have died as a result of the sanctions.  Of them, Madeleine Albright, then US Ambassador to the United Nations, famously said: ‘It’s a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.’ ‘Moral equivalence’ was the term that was used to denounce those who criticised the war on Afghanistan.  Madeleine Albright cannot be accused of moral equivalence.  What she said was just straightforward algebra.

A decade of bombing has not managed to dislodge Saddam Hussein, the ‘Beast of Baghdad’.  Now, almost 12 years on, President George Bush Jr has ratcheted up the rhetoric once again.  He’s proposing an all-out war whose goal is nothing short of a regime change.  The New York Times says that the Bush administration is ‘following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat of Saddam Hussein’.

Weapons inspectors have conflicting reports about the status of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and many have said clearly that its arsenal has been dismantled and that it does not have the capacity to build one.  However, there is no confusion over the extent and range of America’s arsenal of nuclear and chemical weapons.  Would the US government welcome weapons inspectors?  Would the UK?  Or Israel?

What if Iraq does have a nuclear weapon, does that justify a pre-emptive US strike?  The US has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world.  It’s the only country in the world to have actually used them on civilian populations.  If the US is justified in launching a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, why, then any nuclear power is justified in carrying out a pre-emptive attack on any other.  India could attack Pakistan, or the other way around.  If the US government develops a distaste for the Indian Prime Minister, can it just ‘take him out’ with a pre-emptive strike?

Recently the US played an important part in forcing India and Pakistan back from the brink of war.  Is it so hard for it to take its own advice?  Who is guilty of feckless moralizing?  Of preaching peace while it wages war?  The US, which George Bush has called ‘the most peaceful nation on earth’, has been at war with one country or another every year for the last 50 years.

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons.  They’re usually fought for hegemony, for business.  And then of course there’s the business of war.  Protecting its control of the world’s oil is fundamental to US foreign policy.  The US government’s recent military interventions in the Balkans and Central Asia have to do with oil.  Hamid Karzai, the puppet president of Afghanistan installed by the US, is said to be a former employee of Unocal, the American-based oil company.  The US government’s paranoid patrolling of the Middle East is because it has two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves.  Oil keeps America’s engines purring sweetly.  Oil keeps the free market rolling.  Whoever controls the world’s oil controls the world’s market.  And how do you control the oil?

Nobody puts it more elegantly than the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.  In an article called ‘Craziness Pays’ he says ‘the US has to make it clear to Iraq and US allies that…America will use force without negotiation, hesitation or UN approval’.  His advice was well taken.  In the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in the almost daily humiliation the US government heaps on the UN.  In his book on globalisation, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Friedman says: ‘The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist.  McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas….  And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps’.  Perhaps this was written in a moment of vulnerability, but it’s certainly the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalisation that I have read.

After September 11, 2001 and the War Against Terror, the hidden hand and fist have had their cover blown, and we have a clear view now of America’s other weapon — the free market — bearing down on the developing world, with a clenched unsmiling smile.  The task that never ends is America’s perfect war, the perfect vehicle for the endless expansion of American imperialism.  In Urdu, the word for profit is fayda.  Al-qaida means the word, the word of God, the law.  So, in India some of us call the War Against Terror, Al-qaida vs Al-fayda — the word vs the profit (no pun intended).

For the moment it looks as though Al-fayda will carry the day.  But then you never know…

In the last 10 years of unbridled corporate globalisation, the world’s total income has increased by an average of 2.5% a year.  And yet the numbers of the poor in the world has increased by 100 million.  Of the top hundred biggest economies, 51 are corporations, not countries.  The top 1% of the world has the same combined income as the bottom 57% and the disparity is growing.  Now, under the spreading canopy of the War Against Terror, this process is being hustled along.  The men in suits are in an unseemly hurry.  While bombs rain down on us, and cruise missiles skid across the skies, while nuclear weapons are stockpiled to make the world a safer place, contracts are being signed, patents are being registered, oil pipelines are being laid, natural resources are being plundered, water is being privatised and democracies are being undermined.

In a country like India, the ‘structural adjustment’ end of the corporate globalisation project is ripping through people’s lives.  ‘Development’ projects, massive privatisation, and labour ‘reforms’ are pushing people off their lands and out of their jobs, resulting in a kind of barbaric dispossession that has few parallels in history.  Across the world as the ‘free market’ brazenly protects Western markets and forces developing countries to lift their trade barriers, the poor are getting poorer and the rich richer.  Civil unrest has begun to erupt in the global village.  In countries like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, India the resistance movements against corporate globalisation are growing.

To contain them, governments are tightening their control.  Protestors are being labelled ‘terrorists’ and then dealt with as such.  But civil unrest does not only mean marches and demonstrations and protests against globalisation.  Unfortunately, it also means a desperate downward spiral into crime and chaos and all kinds of despair and disillusionment which, as we know from history (and from what we see unspooling before our eyes), gradually becomes a fertile breeding ground for terrible things — cultural nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism and of course, terrorism.

All these march arm-in-arm with corporate globalisation.

There is a notion gaining credence that the free market breaks down national barriers, and that corporate globalisation’s ultimate destination is a hippie paradise where the heart is the only passport and we all live together happily inside a John Lennon song (Imagine there’s no country…)  This is a canard.

What the free market undermines is not national sovereignty, but democracy.  As the disparity between the rich and poor grows, the hidden fist has its work cut out for it.  Multinational corporations on the prowl for ‘sweetheart deals’ that yield enormous profits cannot push through those deals and administer those projects in developing countries without the active connivance of state machinery — the police, the courts, sometimes even the army.  Today corporate globalisation needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, preferably authoritarian governments in poorer countries, to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies.  It needs a press that pretends to be free.  It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice.  It needs nuclear bombs, standing armies, sterner immigration laws, and watchful coastal patrols to make sure that it’s only money, goods, patents and services that are globalised — not the free movement of people, not a respect for human rights, not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons, or greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, or God forbid, justice.  It’s as though even a gesture towards international accountability would wreck the whole enterprise.

Close to one year after the War Against Terror was officially flagged off in the ruins of Afghanistan, in country after country freedoms are being curtailed in the name of protecting freedom, civil liberties are being suspended in the name of protecting democracy.  All kinds of dissent is being defined as ‘terrorism’.  All kinds of laws are being passed to deal with it.  Osama Bin Laden seems to have vanished into thin air.  Mullah Omar is said to have made his escape on a motor-bike.  The Taliban may have disappeared but their spirit, and their system of summary justice is surfacing in the unlikeliest of places.  In India, in Pakistan, in Nigeria, in America, in all the Central Asian republics run by all manner of despots, and of course in Afghanistan under the US-backed Northern Alliance.

Meanwhile, down at the mall there’s a mid-season sale.  Everything’s discounted — oceans, rivers, oil, gene pools, fig wasps, flowers, childhoods, aluminum factories, phone companies, wisdom, wilderness, civil rights, ecosystems, air — all 4,600 million years of evolution.  It’s packed, sealed, tagged, valued and available off the rack.  (No returns).  As for justice — I’m told it’s on offer too.  You can get the best that money can buy.

Donald Rumsfeld said that his mission in the War against Terror was to persuade the world that Americans must be allowed to continue their way of life.  When the maddened king stamps his foot, slaves tremble in their quarters.  So, standing here today, it’s hard for me to say this, but the American way of life is simply not sustainable.  Because it doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.

Fortunately power has a shelf life.  When the time comes, maybe this mighty empire will, like others before it, overreach itself and implode from within.  It looks as though structural cracks have already appeared.  As the War Against Terror casts its net wider and wider, America’s corporate heart is hemorrhaging.  For all the endless empty chatter about democracy, today the world is run by three of the most secretive institutions in the world: The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation, all three of which, in turn, are dominated by the US.  Their decisions are made in secret.  The people who head them are appointed behind closed doors.  Nobody really knows anything about them, their politics, their beliefs, their intentions.  Nobody elected them.  Nobody said they could make decisions on our behalf.  A world run by a handful of greedy bankers and CEOs who nobody elected can’t possibly last.

Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil but because it was flawed.  It allowed too few people to usurp too much power.  Twenty-first century market-capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons.  Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.

The time has come, the walrus said.  Perhaps things will get worse and then better.  Perhaps there’s a small God up in heaven readying herself for us.  Another world is not only possible, she’s on her way.  Maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen very carefully, I can hear her breathing.



| Egypt’s military coup will make Muslims think that democracy has no room for them!

Egypt’s military coup will make Muslims think that democracy has no room for them ~ World, The Telegraph.

Here are six points that strike me as indisputable about today’s events in Egypt.

1. Mohammed Morsi is in custody this morning, yet the only crime he has committed is being elected president of his country.

2. If you don’t like a democratic government, you stick with it until the next election when you have a chance to throw it out. That is how democracy works.

3. There is no doubt this was a military coup. Attempts to claim otherwise are absurd.

4. Mohammed el Baradei (and the Coptic Church) have done himself great damage by  backing the military intervention. Whatever form of government comes next will lack legitimacy because of the methods used today.

5. William Hague failure to condemn outright and wholeheartedly the military coup on the Today Programme today was a terrible mistake.

6. This is another democratically elected Islamist regime, like that of Algeria in 1991, which has not been given a chance. Today’s events are disastrous for the relationship between the West and the Muslim world.

And here are some queries and preliminary observations.  I’d like to see more evidence for William Hague’s  claim that this was a “popular” coup d’etat. Even if the claims that two million people were on the streets yesterday were true, that’s less than 20 per cent of the population of Cairo, and just 2.5 per cent of the population of Egypt.

I wonder how spontaneous this was. I guess that today’s events have been plotted ever since Morsi was elected last year. The army ran Egypt before the revolution, and the deep state never fully gave up control and is back in charge now.

There is an obvious and very worrying analogy with the Algerian elections of 1991 which led to an Islamic government, which was soon overthrown in a military coup and swiftly followed by more than 10 years of civil war, leaving more than 100,000 people dead.

The consequences of what happened yesterday in Egypt may turn out to be even more serious. We may not like or agree with the principles of the Islamist regimes which win these elections. But if they are not given a chance, many Muslims will conclude that there is no place for Islam in a democracy.





| Letter of A Kurdish Political Prisoner Who is on Hunger Strike!

Letter of A Kurdish Political Prisoner Who is on Hunger Strike


Dear Friends;

We would like to call on you to share, via the international e-groups you are subscribed to, the letter below written by Mazlum Tekdağ, who is on hunger strike since 12 September 2012 in Diyarbakır Prison. The letter is written to Gültan Kışanak, BDP co-chair, and it summarizes the process, the demands and the solution very briefly and clearly. 
Hope we can raise awareness on the hunger strikes which now sadly approach a deadly end..
Mazlum Tekdağ’s Letter to Gültan Kışanak:
Dear Sister Gülten
First of all, I hope you are healthy, happy and in good mood. I am sending my best wishes with my most sincere greetings and warm feelings.
It has been a long time since we have last seen each other, hasn’t it? Years have passed. Believe me, I do not know where to start. For such a long time, I always said that “I will write”, but somehow I couldn’t create that commitment, that atmosphere for this. You know, we had a nice camaraderie, considerable intimacy and abundant fondness and I think it’s still as it was. No matter how the time and space change, those valuable and deep feelings abide in the name of friendship and comradeship. These memories belong to us; they are within us, in our hearts and in our minds. They cannot be erased so easily and can never be forgotten… I believe that they remain so for you as well. That is to say, you are always in my mind and in my heart. You are being watched, being followed, and being considered. You are sincerely asked about and greeted. Sister Gülten, I am always with you, believe me, I missed you so much…
You know, the prison affects one’s emotions and thoughts to a certain extent. It causes a bit more sentimentality. If I go like this, I’m just about to cry, be sure. In this sense, you might understand how I feel. I’m going to prevent it, I’ll draw a line… I just want you to know that we love you and miss you so much…
My dear sister, you must have heard the news. As a group of comrades, we started a no-alternate and sine die hunger strike on 12 September 2012. We are fifteen people for now. Except Tayip and me, you may not know the other comrades. We initiated this protest based on two basic political demands. I will not go into the details of these demands here, since I’ll be preparing another writing to handle them on the political grounds and rationale. Moreover, some of our woman friends are also on hunger strike, with whom we are tried on the same court case. At the outset of the strike, we decided to send letters to several institutions to tell our goal. The friends asked me to write to BDP [Peace and Democracy Party]. When they have told me to write to the co-chairs of the party and to invite them to solidarity, we really laughed a lot : )  … I said, “Of course I’ll write but beware that I may not help chitchatting for the good old days, deviating from the goal…”
We haven’t eaten since the last week. This time we are determined, my sister. Our demands will either be accepted or the strike will end in death. We are serious. We have told this in all of our texts and petitions and also declared it to the public. Personally, I have already prepared myself for the possible results and I think all the fifteen friends in the group are ready. As long as we keep this will, this faith, this hope and determination, we won’t care neither food nor the world.
Such a pity that we are going through the days of pain and tears. That uneasiness caused by the war affects all of us. We have to stop deaths and bloodshed. The freedom struggle of the Kurdish people is still suppressed by means of unfair and unlawful practices. The Kurdish people’s language, culture, identity is disregarded; its political will is totally isolated and is tried to be eliminated and liquidated via military and political operations. We have to resist these practices and this concept in every sense. Each and every field forms a ground for intense struggle and we will fight and resist to AKP-state, to its all actions till the end. The current process is chaotic; we can’t see certainly where it evolves into and what results it will bring. We try to take part in this process and to direct ourselves in the right way through dissolving our bodies. Surrounded with the four walls, there is nothing else we can do against the cruelty of the tyrant.
Of course, it’s ironic and significant that we chose 12 September for the beginning date of our strike [He is referring to the coup d’édat of 12 September 1980]. Although nowadays they pursue a different style, there is no difference in method, practice, mentality and the system. In fact, it can be said that current policies have reached a lot more dangerous levels.
Anyway, you know much better about the current affairs of the process and the existing conjuncture, you follow the real politics better than us because you are in it, you live with it. After all, those oppression policies; discreditation, threat, intimidation, dividing, demolishment and imprisonment tactics and practices, which are carried out against democracy movement, will never be able to discourage you. As I said, either they understand your embrace event with the guerrillas correctly and we move forward to fraternity, or they misinterpret and distort that event and we move forward to hostility; that is to say secession.
Now that I write, let me tell you about my own situation, I guess you are curious about it. As you know, it has been more than 3 years since we are imprisoned and now we are familiar with it; we have learned, we have identified and we have understood it. We know this space. Of course, in the first year we had many difficulties. Maybe it was because of the intolerable, never-accustomable sides of the place and the anticipatory mood we were in had also some effect. Personally, on my side, I must say that I could organize a clarification in my mind to a certain extent. These courts will not free us. Isn’t it fooling around if one expects justice from a judicial system that runs on enemy law? It is naive to wish freedom from that understanding and mindset. The overall approach of the judiciary is subject of another letter. Besides us, we have seen so many tragicomic cases.
So I am prepared for the worst result. Of course it does not mean that I’m hopeless. We always get closer to freedom with the faith in us. Our eyes are set to our people and to our fight. Whatever there is to see is inside them, the rest is nonsense… And you are up next; our democratic political struggle continues. I remember the endeavours that we held together outside in the Party. Little time left, my sister, AKP’s policies will obviously fail as long as we stick to the way we know, stand upright and continue struggling. It is then when we have gotten closer to freedom.
My health, my mood and my general condition is quite well. There is no such serious trouble or problems. I try to evaluate this imprisonment process in my own way and try to focus on reading and studying. If I can make some time, I would like to write about the days of prison as well. My mother and my brothers often visit me here. They are doing well. I appreciate them, they do as much as they can to take care. They get along so, keeping the pot boiling.
Now we are staying at a separated place with the eight friends that have gone on hunger strike. Friend Ahmet Çelen is also beside us as companion. He looks after us well, gives morale, he sends special hello to you. All friends that you know are fine. I also don’t see most of them, soon is their trial, I consider attending for one day. There, I’ll probably see everyone. You know, prison is very crowded and there are problems with seeing people. Despite all, your comrade, against previous years, is still young and alive. I’m trying to protect my soul and my self. I’ll never resemble the prison walls, I have also no question about any need or want, I am getting on with myself. Indeed, I should ask about you: Sister, how are you? Are you doing fine? I hope you are okay as you have always been and I hope you are doing fine. You know we gain morale from you, that smile of yours is always in our minds. Believe me, smiling suits you so very fine. The dirt and rust of politics can never ruin your morale, we are aware of this. Sister, on behalf of the co-chairs, I am writing this letter to you, I’ll write a card for Friend Selahattin, you know, a card in a few short words. I’ll send cards to each of friends Ayla and Sabahat, you know we had a friendship with them, I don’t want to annoy them by not writing a single word.
My dear sister, I don’t know how long this strike will go on or how it will conclude. However it ends, I will never lose my faith, my morale and my trust in the struggle. You, our esteemed friends and comrades, with whom we fight together, enforces and encourages me along this way. I shall not continue being wordy now, I do not want to bother you. If one day we meet again, I will again help you in the kitchen; I didn’t change my mind about your hair style; beware, I will have a watchful eye on you while you are in halay dance : )  … It is all I want to tell for now, we all love you and miss you, my dear sister. You are always clear and brave, do not forget that please. One day we will certainly meet again, my Sister. However, I believe with all my heart that this place will not be a prison then. It is always a very nice feeling that to be remembered and to remember…
Take good care and treat of yourself and of your health. I send my greetings and love to all the friends on behalf of you.
May the peace be with you with the hope of meeting in the free tomorrow…
Greetings and love,


| Greed: How Democracies Die!

| How Democracies DieMike LofgrenTruthout.

“Picture a country at the height of its international power and prestige. It has military forces stationed around the globe. It is an intellectual leader….” It’s not the one you’re thinking of.

Picture a country at the height of its international power and prestige. It has military forces stationed around the globe. It is an intellectual leader. Its citizens are pleased to insist that the national idea, their country’s way of life, is a beacon of enlightenment and human rights for the rest of the world. Indeed, they are wont to harp on the notion that the country embodies the very concept of Western Civilization.

But beneath the façade of greatness there is creeping rot. The rich (who are accustomed to getting their way in all things) corrupt the system and buy the people’s representatives in this venerable democracy. The country lurches towards political polarization and, predictably, the machinery of orderly governance becomes gridlocked. The politicians of the right, who take every opportunity to bellow for increased spending on the military, refuse to raise the revenues to pay for it. Why?

Because the wealthy citizens who happen to own these representatives refuse to pay a single cent in additional income taxes. Their class solidarity as alleged “‘job creators”‘ who are owed unconditional deference outweighs their loyalty to the nation at large. They successfully demand that even the crushing expense of a long war should be paid for by loans from abroad (the interest payments on which merely add to the expense) rather than by direct taxes from those citizens best able to afford them. Naturally, a growing share of the population develops a visceral sense that the system is rigged.

There is worse to come. There gradually coalesces a bitterly reactionary political alliance between the plutocratic rich; a retrograde religious Right seeking to roll back the secular state; hidebound militarists; and the species of glib, pseudo-intellectual malcontents who are drawn to political extremism like iron filings to a magnet. They all seek a purported restoration of a country that never existed: a pious, socially harmonious nation where everybody else knows their place. The political groupings of the center and left, on the other hand, are dithering, irresolute, and have not the courage of their own alleged convictions.

This uncomfortably familiar-sounding litany of social dysfunction actually refers to the French Third Republic (1870-1940). One of the most informative, and for English-speaking readers, popularly accessible accounts is still William L. Shirer‘s magisterial “The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940.” Shirer, although a sentimental Francophile himself, delivered a damning indictment of the pathological tendencies of the Third Republic. The immediate cause of the stunning German breakthrough at Sedan in May 1940, and the subsequent French surrender, may simply have been defective military technique. To Shirer, however, the deeper cause was a depressed national morale fostered by political polarization, governmental gridlock and an upper class that had psychologically seceded from the country.

Shirer’s account of the Republic’s efforts to put its finances in order after the enormous expenditures of World War I bears an eerie resemblance to the current farce in Washington. There was a theoretical limit on what the Bank of France (a privately held entity like the Federal Reserve) could advance to the government that was much the same as the statutory debt limit in the United States. This was no problem for the conservative Poincaré government: the breech was committed, and went unremarked in the press. But when the moderately left-of-center Herriotgovernment breeched the same limit, a cacophony arose about fiscal irresponsibility. And when the Herriot ministry sought to redress this fiscal crisis with an overdue levy on France’s wealthy, the cacophony became a firestorm in the plutocracy-owned media. Herriot’s proposed solution also met with blackmail: the possessing class threatened to expatriate its capital in the manner of the present-day American tycoon who incorporates himself in the Cayman Islands or Singapore.

Several of the French overclass proceeded to attack the basis of parliamentary democracy itself. François Coty (of the perfume fortune) bought the mildly conservative Le Figaro and turned it into an extremist rag, while later pouring millions of francs into right-wing anti-parliamentary movements, some of them overtly fascist paramilitaries. When the moderately socialist government of Léon Blum was elected in 1936, the estrangement from France of much of its millionaire class and the right-wing groups they supported was such that they adopted the slogan “Better Hitler than Blum!” Their preference for a German dictator who had spoken and written for 15 years about his unshakable determination to militarily subjugate France to a government that had proposed a 40-hour work week requires no further analysis. When the German panzers broke through at the River Meuse and France fell, many of France’s better sort were not unduly discomfited. The next year, the racing season at Longchamp carried on much as before, with Paris’s high societyturning out in all its finery.

Consistent with its penchant for creating its own reality, the American Right is fond of fabricating quotes about the way the world works. A creative variant is when the Right attributes such quotes to famous historical figures to give the words an aura of timeless sagacity. One such chestnut is this: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largesse out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” This quote has been variously “credited” to Benjamin Franklin and Alexis de Tocqueville, among others. Its actual origins appear to be no more exalted than the opinion page of the Daily Oklahoman of December 9, 1951. But it accurately distills the right-wing conceit about the cause of decadence in democracies.

A compelling counterexample to this “wisdom” about how the rabble with its boundless sense of entitlement supposedly destroys democracy is furnished by the French Third Republic. In that country, the native plutocracy, and the corrupt reactionary politicians who did its bidding, refused to act as citizens bound in patriotic duty to give as well as take. They meanly betrayed the majority of their countrymen and left the nation – once the world’s inspiration as the cradle of the rights of man – a squalid dictatorship.

Mike Lofgren’s book, “The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted,” is based on an exclusive Truthout commentary that became a national media sensation. Inside the front cover, publisher Viking Press (Penguin) even mentions that this bombshell insider’s view of Capitol Hill began as a professional and personal confession that “was posted on Truthout and read by millions.” Receive a copy of Mike Lofgren’s “The Party Is Over” by making a minimum contribution to Truthout by clickinghere.

Copyright, Truthout.