cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0016.jpgThe Market Marxists

Two remarkable documents from the ex-Trotskyist L5I

A comment from Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 25 April 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

The “League for the Fifth International” (L5I) has recently published two quite remarkable documents. (1) One is a statement of its Swedish section addressing the truck attack in Stockholm. The second is a statement of its British comrades on the upcoming new elections in June this year. (2)

The similarity of the perspectives in these two articles is no coincidence. Rather, they reflect the tremendous right-wing shift of this organization in past years.

The statement by the Swedish section is a kind of 1914 bonsai war cry. As readers undoubtedly known, four people died on 7 April 2017 in a rundown attack in Stockholm by an alleged supporter of Daesh. As we always do in similar cases, the RCIT condemns such reactionary attacks against innocent civilians. However, we also consistently point out that the imperialist war offensive in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the racist oppression of migrants, and, in particular, of Muslims in Europe are the main cause for such tragic events. (3)

Contrary to such a principled Marxist approach, and faced with the Islamophobic outcry of the bourgeois media, the Swedish L5I group completely capitulated. Adapting to the hysterical offensive of imperialist “public opinion,” the L5I section denounced the attack, claiming that it confirmed the “fascist character of Islamism” and decried the entire phenomena of Islamism as a “fascist movement of a religious character“! In this way, the L5I is merely parroting the same reactionary nonsense preached by Islamophobic liberal, Stalinist and social democratic parties. These latter forces have proved themselves to be social-imperialist lapdogs of the ruling classes of all the Great Powers. By denouncing Islamism as “fascist barbarity,” they provide justification for and in essence condone the bloody colonial wars of the West in the Middle East and Africa, alongside the brutal oppression of the Chechens by Russia and the Uyghurs by China, and the general oppression of migrants in Europe.

But the Swedish section of the L5I goes even further. In its article it criticizes the left and workers’ movement for not fighting forcefully enough against the Islamists! They demand: “Instead of giving the Islamists spaces of their own, the left needs to mobilise actively against them, something that should have been done a long time ago.

So in a period when thousands of Muslims in Europe are put on trial and thrown into jail; when racists and fascists slander Islam as the main danger to Europe; when Muslim women are increasingly forbidden to wear religious head covering; at a time in which the main task in Europe is to defend Muslims against this oppression (including the defense of democratic rights of Islamists), and in which the left and the workers’ movement so pathetically fail to undertake this responsibility; in such a period the L5I calls … “to mobilise actively” against the Islamists!

In the past, when the LFI was still a revolutionary organization and we were still part of it, we categorically rejected any such characterization of Islamism as a whole as “fascist.” In a congress resolution, we stated: “The Islamist spectrum is a wide one, ranging from those that are conservative-bourgeois parties seeking to maintain the influence of the ulema and the landlords alongside the capitalists and strictly constitutional in their methods, through petty-bourgeois populist currents opposed to imperialism using militant tactics of armed struggle or guerilla warfare, to the jihadi terrorist groups and even fascist and semi-fascist organizations.” (4)

While we certainly criticize Islamism – as we do Castro-Chavismo, Stalinism, etc. – we also recognize its contradictory and heterogeneous nature. There are various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois currents within the Islamist camp, some of which stand in the forefront of just liberation struggles (often national and anti-dictatorial resistance movements); and at the same time there are currents which play an openly reactionary role, like the bourgeois theocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia or Turkey, for example, and even counter-revolutionary forces like Daesh. Since those days, after our complete break with that movement and our founding of the RCIT, we have defended and further developed our earlier analysis. (5)

But after the majority of the L5I leadership expelled us, the founding cadres of the RCIT in April 2011, the L5I has undergone a dramatic shift to the right. (6) The result is its continuous withdrawal from any consistent confrontation with ideological pressures exerted by imperialism. Consequently, a few dead in Stockholm are sufficient for the Swedish L5I group to entirely capitulate to the hysterical imperialist media, for them to gird their loins for battle, and give full vent to a sort of 1914 bonsai call for war against Islamism!

The British supporters of the L5I have similarly adapted rapidly to reformism. In their official statement on the upcoming snap elections to be held in June, they elaborated a short program which they ask the Labour Party to fight for. This program aptly reflects the retreat of this group from revolutionary Marxism. In this statement one can only search in vain for any call to support the resistance struggles against the imperialist Great Powers in the Middle East and Africa. Nowhere to be found in this statement is a call for Labour to finally expel Tony Blair’s right wing from the party. Nor does one even come across a slogan calling for a workers’ government.

But the most remarkably noteworthy item in this statement focuses elsewhere: The British L5I group reiterates more explicitly than ever its radical shift to the right last year on the issue of the European Union. As we have elaborated elsewhere, in its revolutionary past, the LFI defended the position that revolutionary Marxists must neither support an imperialist nation state (like Britain, Germany, or Austria) nor the imperialist EU. (This, of course, has also been the unequivocal position of the RCIT.) It follows, that, consistent with our traditional Marxist position, we always would and do call in referenda about EU membership neither to vote for nor against joining (or leaving) the EU, but rather always for adopting an independent class position: principled abstention with a blank ballot, but preferably one bearing an appropriate slogan (e.g., “For the United Socialist States of Europe!)”

Last year, towards the Brexit referendum, the L5I broke with this decades-long tradition and now supports membership in the EU as a step towards “progress of the productive forces” and the socialist unification of Europe. Here, we do not want to repeat our criticism of this obtuse, groveling flip-flop before European social democracy and, by extension, EU imperialism. Instead, we refer readers to our publications on this issue. (7)

Here, we only wish to emphasize the thoroughly consistent culmination of the L5I’s right-wing shift in the latest statement of their British supporters. After it already proclaimed last year that the EU represents “bourgeois democratic progress,Red Flag, in its current statement, calls not only to fight against Brexit but also explicitly supports the imperialist single market of the EU! Thus, the L5I supporters literally call for the Labour Party to “commit to membership of the single market” and, elsewhere, to “defend the single market“! One can hardly demonstrate more concisely the social-imperialist flip-flop of the ex-Trotskyist L5I!

The “defense of the single market” – this is the goal of avowed liberals and social democrats. While this slogan is admittedly consistent with the L5I’s internal logic, the very fact that such so-called “Trotskyists” can take up this cause, only further reflects the group’s complete ideological disorientation; the loss of their revolutionary compass!

The fact that neither the Swedish nor the British statement has been publicly repudiated by the international organization shows how small and irrelevant (if existent at all) is the number of authentic Marxists still inside the L5I. Clearly, the L5I has degenerated into ordinary Market Marxists!

 

Footnotes:

(1) The L5I’s most internationally renowned section is its British group, formerly known as Workers Power, which dissolved into the Labour Party two years ago and publishes a magazine entitled Red Flag.

(2) L5I Sweden: Condemn the terror attacks in Stockholm: fight terrorism and imperialism, 2017-04-08, https://www.arbetarmakt.com/2017/04/stockholm-terror/; Britain: Labour must turn Left to spike May’s plans, 19/04/2017, http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/britain-labour-must-turn-left-spike-may%E2%80%99s-plans

(3) See e.g., RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! 14.11.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/

(4) Michael Pröbsting and Simon Hardy: Theses on Islamism, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-islamism/

(5) See e.g., Yossi Schwartz: The Marxist View of Religion in General and Islam in Particular, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/marxism-and-islam/; ISL: Islam, Islamism and the Struggle for Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/islam-and-revolution/; RCIT: The Revolutionary Struggle against Daesh and the Imperialist Aggression in the Middle East, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/resolution-daesh/; RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/

(6) The RCIT has dealt with the centrist degeneration of the L5I in various documents. See e.g., Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism. The recent change in the L5I’s position towards the support for EU membership represents a shift away from its own tradition, of the Marxist method, and of the facts; August 2016, in: Revolutionary Communist No. 55, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: Does the EU Represent “Bourgeois Democratic Progress”? Once again, on the EU and the Tactics of the Working Class – An Addendum to our Criticism of the L5I’s Turn to the Right and Its Support for EU Membership, 16.09.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-brexit-article/ ; Manfred Meier: Nachbeben des Brexit – Zur Rechtswende von GAM/L5I: das „JA“ zum Verbleib in der EU, August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/gam-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism (chapter III.3.), August 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; RCIT: Where is the LFI drifting? A Letter from the RCIT to the LFI comrades, 11.5.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/centrist-degeneration-of-lfi/; On the history of the RCIT and the L5I see our book by Michael Pröbsting: Revolutionärer Parteiaufbau in Theorie und Praxis. Rück- und Ausblick nach 25 Jahren organisierten Kampfes für den Bolschewismus, Dezember 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/rcit-revolutionare-partei/

(7) See the previous footnote for the three documents by the RCIT in which we deal critically with this change of position.

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgSupport the Demands of the Palestinian Freedom Fighters in Israeli Prisons!

Free All Palestinian Political Prisoners!

 

Statement of the Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 21.4.2017, http://www.the-isleague.com

 

 

 

According to Palestinian activists, more than 1500 Palestinian political prisoners out of 6500 political prisoners, began an open end hunger strike on April 17th (Israel claims that 1100 prisoners went on strike).

 

The hunger strike was led by Marwan Barghouti, a prominent political figure of Fatah movement. Polls have shown that Barghouti is the most popular choice to succeed Abbas, the Palestinian president. Barghouti was arrested in 2002 during the second Intifada and convicted in a political show-trial, on multiple counts of murder. Israel charged him with directing suicide bombings against its citizens and he was sentenced to five life terms.

 

The political prisoners demand: proper health treatment for sick prisoners, an end to the denial and cutbacks on family visits, and an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement. In addition, they demand the installment of a public pay phone.

 

In a moving letter published in the New York Times, Barghouti wrote: “Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian presence and resistance.” (1)

 

Since 2006, following the capture of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, by Hamas, the political prisoners have been held under even harsher conditions. As Barghouti described in the same letter:

 

Israel has built nearly all of its prisons inside Israel rather than in the occupied territory. In doing so, it has unlawfully and forcibly transferred Palestinian civilians into captivity, and has used this situation to restrict family visits and to inflict suffering on prisoners through long transports under cruel conditions. It turned basic rights that should be guaranteed under international law — including some painfully secured through previous hunger strikes — into privileges its prison service decides to grant us or deprive us of. Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence. Some have been killed while in detention. According to the latest count from the Palestinian Prisoners Club, about 200 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967.”

 

Because of such actions Palestinian prisoners and their families also remain a primary target of Israel’s policy of imposing collective punishments. (2)

 

 

 

Israel’s Cynical Justification

 

 

 

Israel justifies the treatment of the Palestinians political prisoner on two grounds. The first one is that Hamas is cruel toward Israeli captives – dead or alive. For example, it complains that: “Hamas has rejected an Israeli offer to free 18 Palestinians and hand over 19 bodies seized during the 2014 war in Gaza in exchange for the bodies of two IDF soldiers who died in the 50-day conflict, and two other Israelis that crossed the border to Gaza. One of them is mentally ill. Israel’s chief negotiator Lior Lotan said.” (3) He added that Hamas demanded to free other prisoners as well for this exchange.

 

What he did not tell us is that Israel has arrested even Hamas members of parliament. A parliament that has not been convened for over 10 years as part of Israeli pressure tactics on Hamas.

 

In an interview with Al-Monitor, a senior Hamas official in Gaza who is involved in the prisoner issue said that: “the details published to date are “disinformation.” For about a year, he said, all contacts on the issue have been deadlocked, because of one condition that Hamas considers essential to any deal. We are steadfast in our demand for the release of the 54 Shalit deal detainees. Without that, there is nothing to talk about and no way to proceed,” the official declared. The detainees were released as part of the 2011 exchange for the IDF soldier Gilad Shalit but rearrested after the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in the Etzion settlement bloc in 2014. (4)

 

Secondly, that the Palestinian political prisoners are “terrorists with blood on their hands”. However, the Zionists are the last ones who can claim that the Palestinians have blood on their hands. In addition to the ethnic cleansing of 1948 resulted in the removal between 750,000-900,000 Palestinians and the over 30 massacres carried out by the Zionist armed forces, since the formation of Israel at least 10,000 civilians Palestinians were killed by Israel. Since 1967 around 800,000 Palestinians have been in prisons.

 

According to the BBC between July 8th and August 27th, 2014, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, along with 66 Israeli soldiers and seven Israeli civilians. The UN says the vast majority of Palestinian casualties are civilians. But figures from previous operations over the past six years in the densely populated Gaza Strip show it is not the first time civilians have paid a heavy price. The UN says at least 2,104 Palestinian died, including 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children and 253 women.

 

However, according to the Israeli government, Israel killed 1000 terrorists. Thus, for Israel unarmed children and women are in fact terrorists. (5)

 

 

 

Israel tries to suppress the Hunger Strike

 

 

 

The kind of judicial apartheid that Barghouti wrote about was demonstrated in the trial of sergeant Azaria who received 18 months for the cold blooded murder of an injured Palestinian.

 

Many thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank and Gaza in support of the strike. 11 were injured by the Israeli army shootings.

 

At a rally marking the annual Palestinian “Prisoner’s Day” in the West Bank, Abbas sent his support to the hunger-strikers and said Israel was being “stubborn” for refusing to “accept the just humanitarian demands of the prisoners.”

 

According to the Ynet news website, Abbas made no mention of the strike’s initiator and leader Marwan Barghouti. Some Palestinian officials have attributed Barghouti’s call for the strike to an attempt to send a message to the Fatah leadership and Abbas, who excluded Barghouti’s people from a recent Central Committee meeting and didn’t give Barghouti the position of deputy chair to the PA. (6)

 

This may explain why the supporters of Abbas in the prisons have not joined the strike so far.

 

While for the Zionists Barghouti and the other Palestinian political prisoners are dangerous criminals, for the Palestinians and all who oppose the systematic repression of the Palestinians by Israel, the so called “security prisoners” and “terrorists” are freedom fighters against national oppression.

 

The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and its section in Israel / Occupied Palestine fully supports the hunger strike. We oppose the Israeli government that is trying to smash the hunger strike by various methods including the isolation of Barghouti for two “offenses”. The first one for going on hunger strike and the second one for expressing his views in the New York Times.

 

Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, has threatened to deny prisoners on hunger strike access to standard hospitals in an attempt to thwart the strike and block popular solidarity in Palestine ’48. Instead, he has ordered the creation of a “field hospital” in the Negev desert prison, planning for the transfer of hunger strikers, and potentially threatening hunger strikers with forced feeding.

 

At the same time Fadwa Barghouthi, Palestinian lawyer and the wife of Marwan Barghouthi, urged solidarity for the prisoners’ demands and their hunger strike. A number of Palestinian organizations and institutions have organized events for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and the coming weeks. (7)

 

The Palestinian political prisoners are freedom fighters, not different from the black political prisoners in South Africa during the Apartheid regime. Not different from the known Black Panther prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal.

 

 

 

An Analogy: The Heroic Uprising in the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw

 

 

 

77 years ago, during World War II another group of freedom fighters stood up against oppression. At that time it was a group of Jews. They were also considered by the (German) state authorities to be criminals “with blood on their hands“. Israel is not Nazi Germany, but it is an oppressive state, as it was recognized by Marek Edelman (1919-2009) a leader of this Jewish group.

 

World War II was the continuation of the World War I. The root cause of these wars was the contradiction between a world economy and the existence of imperialist powers struggling to control the world economy. Germany that had developed industry was in need of colonies but these colonies were controlled by the so called “democratic states”, Great Britain, France and USA.

 

The only major power that was not an imperialist state was Stalinist Russia where the counter revolutionary bureaucracy removed the working class from the political power by a political counterrevolution led by Joseph Stalin.

 

In the 1932 elections the Nazis won 33 percent of the votes, more than any single party. The Social Democrats (SPD) and the German Communist party together had more voted but they were unable to form a united front. In January 1933 Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany.

 

Between 1933 and 1939 the interest of the ruling classes in the western states was to turn Hitler against the Soviet Union and for this reason, for example, the 1936 Olympic Games were held in Berlin. For this reason the policy of the “non intervention” during the Spanish civil war helped Franco that was supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

 

At the same time, in countries like Britain, to volunteer to fight against Franco was considered a crime. In Palestine the Communist party organized 300 Jews and Arabs to the International Brigades. The Zionists not only opposed them but were busy in stealing Arab lands in what was known as the Tower and Stockade operation during the 1936–39 Arab revolt.

 

All the enemies of the working class revolutionary wave, which Spain was the last part of, united to prevent and smash the revolution. A similar event has been taking place in Syria in the last six years.

 

Around 100 million people died in WWII, most victims were civilians, among them millions of Jews. Shortly after Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, in September 1939, more than 400,000 Jews in Warsaw were confined to a small part of the city. This ghetto was sealed off by brick walls, barbed wire and armed guards, and anyone caught leaving the Ghetto was shot on sight. The Nazis controlled the amount of food that was brought into the ghetto. It is similar to the Ghetto in Gaza.

 

In 1942 the Nazis began the “Final solution”- the systematic killing of the Jews. Heinrich Himmler the head of the Nazi paramilitary corps, the SS, ordered that Jews be sent to extermination camps. In September 1942 some 265,000 Jews had been deported from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp.

 

Between 55,000 to 60,000 Jews remained in the Warsaw ghetto, and small groups formed underground self-defense units. The larger one was the Jewish Combat Organization, or ZOB, which managed to smuggle in a limited supply of weapons from anti-Nazi Poles. It was a united front of Anti Zionist and left wing Zionists. There was another military anti-Nazi smaller organization the ZZB was formed by the right wing Revisionists.

 

The ZOB received their weapons from the Communist underground while the ZZB received their weapons from the Nationalist Polish Home Army. The Zionists in Palestine did not provide even one bullet. They kept their weapons and ammunition for the Arabs.

 

A few Jewish fighters survived, one of them was Marek Edelman who was one of the leaders of the ZOB. After the war he remained in Poland. In August 2002, he intervened in Israel’s show trial of the now jailed Palestinian resistance leader, Marwan Barghouti. He wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian movement, and though he criticized the suicide bombers, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and its press. Edelman had always resented Israel’s claim on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising as a symbol of Jewish liberation. Now he said this belonged to the Palestinians.

 

He addressed his letter to the Palestinian ZOB, “commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organizations“. The old Jewish anti-Nazi ghetto fighter had placed his immense moral authority at the disposal of the only side he deemed worthy of it. (8)

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

(1) https://goo.gl/dTKPzJ

 

(2) Ibid

 

(3) https://goo.gl/WXCF6j

 

(4) https://goo.gl/qQeqIh

 

(5) https://goo.gl/PLCZTn

 

(6) https://goo.gl/sF9StJ

 

(7) https://goo.gl/RBtmQT

 

(8) https://goo.gl/idsDoz

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgStop Persecution of Homosexuals in Chechnya!

Down with anti-gay chauvinism, lynching’s and Russian imperialism! For a free, red Chechnya!

 

By Johannes Moraga, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14 April 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Homosexuality in Chechnya

 

 

 

The Kadyrov-regime, who is no more than a tame dog of Putin whose purpose is to sell the Russian occupation of Chechnya to the heroic Chechen masses, cracked down on the rights of homosexuals.

 

Homosexuality which was first made illegal in Chechnya by the Russian conquest in 1800 was legalized after the formation of the Soviet Union and its expansion to Chechnya’s soil. It was later criminalized by Stalin.

 

The Stalin regime oppressed the whole working class and the poor peasants as well as all national minorities. It was also a vicious enemy of the Chechen people who suffered mass killings and deportation in 1944. This dictatorship was also an enemy of genuine revolutionary communism and as a result it killed several hundreds of thousands of honest revolutionaries – real Trotskyists or supposed ones – as well as of Trotsky himself.

 

Trotsky and his supporters in the Fourth International always fought for the consistent national liberation of the peoples of the Caucasus and of Central Asia. He stood for revolutionary internationalism and for the equality of all peoples and against Russian chauvinism.

 

 

 

The crackdown

 

 

 

Putin’s dog Kadyrov has already encouraged the lynching of LGBT people “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” his spokesman said. “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.” (1)

 

Now Kadyrov’s soldiers are now starting to systematically round up gay men and put them in what LGBT-activists in Russia call a concentration camp. More than 100 men ranging from 16 years to 50 years (2) have disappeared all over Chechnya, some of them might have been killed. There are numerous report about those men being tortured with electro-shocks and beatings to name other members of the gay community. (3)

 

Authentic revolutionaries fight against all types of oppression, because they are linked together and cannot be ended separately. This is true for the oppression of homosexuals as well as for the national oppression of the Chechen people as well as of the religious discrimination of Muslims in Russia and Europe and the exploitation of the workers and poor.

 

 

 

How to fight?

 

The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unconditionally defends the persecuted gay Chechens. Likewise, we fully support the liberation struggle of the Chechen people! (4) We have always stood with the Chechen people against Russian aggression. (5)

 

Kadyrov’s soldiers, who are dogs that keep the Chechen wolf on the ground, help Russian imperialism by trying to draw attention away from the real issue – the Russian occupation and the economic misery of the Chechen workers and farmers! (6)

 

A fellow working-college once told me, and that is what we need to tell all those supposed proud “Chechen” soldiers of Kadyrov: “A real man doesn’t beat those who are weak, he fights those who are powerful!

 

Putin’s imperialist Russia – and with its puppet regime of Kadyrov – is in a crisis. They need to throw sand in the eyes of the workers and poor so that they cannot see the real enemy, which are the rich and powerful. They want to direct the popular anger against the most vulnerable groups which are the homosexuals in Chechnya and the homosexuals and the Muslims in Russia!

 

We need to oppose this chauvinist plague, by showing the masses of the people that only solidarity, especially with the poorest and most oppressed people, will liberate all of us! The liberation of Chechnya will not be successful if it is not led by the workers and the poor peasants, it will not be successful as long as it doesn’t break with patriarchal prejudices and “honor killings” (which are in fact lynching’s of the most oppressed sectors of our class) and puts women, young people and homosexuals as equals in the liberation struggle. This doesn’t mean a break with Chechen culture and tradition because the best elements of it will prevail and be mixed with the best ideas of humanism and socialism!

 

Down with the persecution of LGBT-people!

 

Down with Russian imperialism and its dog Kadyrov!

 

Support the liberation struggle of the Chechen people! For a free and red Chechnya!

 

 

 

(1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/chechnya-gay-men-concentration-camps-torture-detain-nazi-ramzan-kadyrov-chechen-russia-region-a7677901.html

 

(2) http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/deadly-anti-lgbt-crisis-unfolding-chechnya-1616551?utm_campaign=/deadly-anti-lgbt-crisis-unfolding-chechnya-1616551

 

(3) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4397118/Chechnya-opens-concentration-camp-homosexuals.html

 

(4) https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/chechnya-solidarity-feb-2017/

 

(5) https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/freedom-for-chechnya/; See also Michael Pröbsting: Building the Revolutionary Party in Theory and Practice, chapter III. ii) 1994 until Today: The Uprising of the Chechen People against the Russian Occupation, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/rcit-party-building/rcit-party-building-iii/

 

(6) https://www.ft.com/content/8233d33c-ecd0-11e4-a81a-00144feab7de

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgSyria: Was the Chemical Attack a “False Flag” Operation?

 

Let’s make Syria the graveyard for Assad, Putin and Trump! Victory to the Revolution!

 

By Johannes Moraga, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14 April 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

There is tremendous confusion within the international movement of the workers and oppressed about the current situation in Syria. A big part of the “radical” left – mostly the Stalinists and their followers – openly and more or less uncritically backs the Assad dictatorship. This goes hand in hand with their pro-imperialist adaptation towards Putin’s Russia as an alleged counterweight against US imperialism (or, more generally, western imperialism). This position has created a situation whereby many Syrian revolutionaries are hostile towards revolutionary communism, because they (wrongly but understandably) associate it with Stalinism, oppression and pro-Assad counterrevolution. This confusion about the Syrian revolution also affects a number of more orthodox Marxist groups who do not support the Syrian masses in their struggle against Assad, but who instead take an abstentionist position on Syria (1).

 

Since the first days of the Syrian revolution, the Assad regime and its international friends have told lie after lie about the Syrian rebels. For example, all of them were trained and equipped by the CIA and are under direct control of the US. We don’t deny that the US tried to buy some influence among the rebels, but their support for the Syrian revolution was mostly rhetorical; the handful of rebels they were able to train and equip were not loyal agents but deserted to the ranks of various Islamist groups (who despise the US, and which the Americans have listed as “terrorist organizations.” (2) In addition, the US has and still bombs a number of Islamist rebels and has even killed the leadership of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (3).

 

For a week now, the pro-Assad camp has been hysterically screaming about Trump’s missile strike on one of the airbases of the Syrian Army, an act which should be opposed by all revolutionaries – just like any other imperialist intervention. (4)

 

However, it is important to bear in mind that this missile strike killed only a small number of ordinary soldiers and didn’t even destroy the runway of the airfield. A day after the missile strike, Assad’s terrorist air force could continue to use this air base for targeting civilians and carpet bombing districts of the workers and poor in Aleppo, Hama, or Idlib. The air strikes of the US, which were directed not only against IS/Daesh but also against a number of other rebel groups, mainly Jabhat Fateh al-Sham but also Ahrar al-Sham, killed far more soldiers, including a number of senior officers. (5)

 

 

 

The chemical attack: a “false flag” operation?

 

 

 

Following the US missile strike against the Syrian air base, the pro-Assad camp has been claiming that the chemical gas massacre at Khan Shaykhun which became the alleged pretext for Trump’s attack was in fact caused by one of two scenarios:

 

(1) The chemical gas which resulted in the civilian deaths in Khan Shaykhun was actually produced by the rebels and was released after being hit by bombing of the Syrian Air Force (which is also what Russia has claimed);

 

(2) Or, the chemical gas sent to the rebels by the US (or Turkey), with the intention that the rebels use it against their own people in a “false flag operation” thereby providing the US with justification for attacking Syria.

 

Sadly, the (justified) mistrust of the western capitalist media by a number of leftists is so developed that they are willing to believe any crazy conspiracy theory so long as it was presented to them by Moscow or Assad. But let’s be more serious and closely examine the two scenarios.

 

At the time of the deadly gas attack, the town of Khan Shaykhun was held by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) (6) which is a united front of various petty-bourgeois Islamist organizations (Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Harakat Nur al-Din al-Zanki, Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Din and Jaysh al-Sunnah). (7) Only in mid-February was Khan Shaykhun captured by these forces from Liwa al-Aqsa (a group closely aligned with IS/Daesh) following heavy fighting and the town remains quite close to the front (less than 15 km). This being so, why should HTS, which has never used chemical weapons against Assad’s army of terror, select this town, which is still relatively vulnerable to enemy attack and only just recently captured, as a site to start producing sarin gas, a process which is extremely complicated?!

 

IS/Daesh, which has in fact used mustard gas shells (8), a much less effective weapon but one easier to produce, certainly has no ethical problems about producing sarin gas. However, it does face a technical problem. Nevertheless, Daesh/IS is much better quipped, controls a much larger area, has many more experts (including former Baathist officers of the Iraqi army who have used chemical weapons to slaughter civilians), and therefore is much more capable of producing chemical weapons than HTS. In addition, HTS, which may have up to 40,000 fighters, is not a homogenous organization like IS/Daesh, but much more of a united front of several Islamist militias, one that was very complicated for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham to create. How exactly are these different militias, linked as they are to the poor masses, supposed to have agreed to use chemical gas against their own population? This is an extremely unlikely scenario!

 

Furthermore, sarin gas is stored as two separate components (9), one of which is highly flammable. So if an air strike against the HTS rebels was responsible for inadvertently releasing the deadly gas, as proponents (like Russia) of the first theory cited above propose, it is far more likely that the initial explosions would have destroyed a necessary component for producing the gas, and that any resulting byproduct would not have been particularly potent against the civilian population.

 

Beyond these technical problems, we have to ask the pro-Assad supporters exactly how they explain the following conundrum: If – as they claim – it is always the rebels who are responsible for all chemical weapon attacks, why don’t the latter ever use this powerful weapon against the Assad forces, instead of against their own people?! Which fighting force on earth doesn’t use a powerful weapon at its disposal against its enemy, but only against its own supporters?! Such logic demonstrates, once again, how absurd is the blame heaped by the Assad regime on the rebels for perpetrating chemical weapon attacks!

 

Let’s now deal with the second theory cited above. Is it plausible that Turkey delivered chemical weapons to Syrian rebels in an attempt to provide the US with a pretext for bombing Assad? Well, Turkey does consider Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which contributes more than 50% of the HTS, to be a “terrorist organization.” (10) If Turkey were to participate in staging a “false flag operation,” how and why would they do this with a group that they obviously don’t trust? Why didn’t they instead use the FSA or one of their “Turkmen brigades”? Furthermore, why would they decide to stage such an operation in the extreme south of the province of Idlib, less than 15 km from the Assadist troops, and not in the north, far closer to their own military lines? Why would they make the effort to transport sarin gas to the south of Idlib, where it would have to pass a number of rebel checkpoints of different brigades and militias? Recall, these various forces hate and distrust one another so much that on numerous occasions they have fought among themselves and they couldn’t even agree on how to collaborate when Aleppo, the capital of the revolution, was being besieged by Russia and the butcher Assad, only to fall into the hands of the latter? Such a notion is simply unfathomable!

 

 

 

Trump’s missile strike

 

 

 

Realizing the absurdity of the two above theories, the pro-Assad camp now decides to play their so-called “Trump card”! They scream at us: “Just look, who this attack helps? It certainly doesn’t help Assad, but it does help the US and their CIA-backed-rebels!” If the US did in fact launch a “false flag operation,” like they have done in the past (just take, for example, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which purportedly gave the Americans the pretext to start bombing North Vietnam and commence its large scale intervention of South Vietnam), we would assume that there is an actual plan that they want to implement following such a “false flag operation.” However, after launching 59 tomahawk cruise missiles (which together cost $70 million), of which only 23 hit the targeted Syrian airbase, and killing only 7 or 9 Syrian soldiers (11) while destroying 9 planes, only to be followed up with absolutely nothing; this is no plan which required a complicated false flag operation involving huge risks to being exposed! Rather, this is just a slap on Assad’s fingers warning him not to use chemical weapons again.

 

But why should the US even care if Assad uses chemical weapons? Of course, as revolutionaries we know that US imperialism never cares about the death of non-combatant civilians or chemical weapons, per se. They certainly didn’t care when Saddam Hussein used such weapons against Kurds at Helebce or against the Iranian masses in the 1980-1988 war!

 

The real issue in Syria is that the US and EU imperialism don’t want Assad because he is the servant of Russian imperialism, and that the use of such chemical weapons only strengthens the conviction of the Syrian masses not to end the war to topple the regime. However, the goal of the US (and European) imperialists is to liquidate the revolution and pacify the country by dividing it into different spheres of interest controlled by the different imperialist Great Powers and their local lackeys.

 

Assad, on the other hand, wants to go forward with his “military solution” of the conflict. That means he wants to seize as much territory as possible, while at the same time also driving out – in fact ethnically cleansing – as many of the rebellious Syrian masses as possible. To achieve this goal Assad is determined to terrorize the mostly Sunni population of Syria, which is loyal to the revolution, and cause them to flee from his army even before it captures particular a town or city. Assad and Russian imperialism want to displace as many people as possible and drive them into neighboring Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, because just as was the case with the Palestinian refugees, they plan not to let them return to their country after the war.

 

 

 

For an international solidarity campaign!

 

 

 

What the Syrian Revolution indeed needs is international support – but not by the Western imperialist Great Powers and their local allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar) who are amenable to making a deal with Assad, and who only want to subordinate the Syrian masses and carve up the country!

 

Rather, what is needed is an international solidarity campaign of the workers and oppressed masses of the region, but also of Russia, Iran and Europe as well as the US! We need to organize practical help for the revolutionary masses in Syria and sabotage the war machine of Assad, Russian imperialism, the Iranian dictatorship, as well as of the EU and the US.

 

Victory to the Syrian Revolution – Let’s make it the graveyard for Assad, Putin and Trump!

 

 

 

(1) See on this, e.g., Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/syrian-revolution-not-dead/

 

(2) https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/12/201759.htm

 

(3) https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/News/2017/1/3/Rare-US-strike-kills-Syrias-Fatah-al-Sham-leadership

 

(4) See on this, e.g., RCIT: Syria: No to Trump’s Missiles Strike! Drive all Great Powers out of Syria! Victory to the Syrian Revolution! 7 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-air-strike-in-syria/

 

(5) http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/06/world/meast/syria-crisis/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

 

(6) https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/jund-al-aqsa-completely-besieged-rival-rebel-factions-around-two-towns-idlib/

 

(7) http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/01/al-qaeda-and-allies-announce-new-entity-in-syria.php

 

(8) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-chemicalweapons-idUSKCN0VO1IC

 

(9) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/world/middleeast/sarin-nerve-agent.html?_r=0

 

(10) http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/01/26/Turkey-identifies-ISIS-Jabhat-Fateh-al-Sham-as-terrorist-organizations-.html

 

(11) http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=64621

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgDown with the Assad Tyranny! Victory to the Syrian Revolution! For a Workers and Peasants Republic!

Draft Platform of Syrian Revolutionaries in Political Solidarity with the RCIT, April 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

We call all revolutionaries to unite on the following platform and to fight for these goals together with our international comrades of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT):

 

* Smash the Assad tyranny! Victory to the Syrian Revolution! Continue the Support for the popular struggle against the dictatorship!

 

* No trust in and no collaboration with any imperialist Great Power (like Russia, US, EU, China) nor with the governments of any of the regional powers (like Iran, Turkey, Saudi-Arabia)! Fight against all imperialist interventions!

 

* Down with all dictatorships and reactionary regimes in the Middle East! Solidarity with the popular resistance fighting for freedom!

 

* No to sectarianism! We want a society which respects the opinion of everyone on religion as his or her personal issue!

 

* Down with the counter-revolutionary Daesh!

 

* For multi-religious and multi-national unity in the struggle against the Assad dictatorship! For full national self-determination for all national and ethnic minorities!

 

* No trust in the official rebel leaderships – neither the pro-Western FSA nor the various types of Islamists! However, despite our sharp criticism of these leaderships we unconditionally support the ongoing struggle against the Assad regime led by these forces!

 

* For the formation of popular councils and popular militias!

 

* For a Workers and Peasants Republic in Syria! Spread the revolution to the whole Arab world and the Middle East!

 

* The international workers movement must rally to support the Syrian Revolution! For a workers aid campaign for the Syrian people – as it was done in solidarity with the Bosnian people in 1992-95!

 

* The international workers movement must organize a campaign to boycott the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his capitalist business friends! For workers actions against the imperialist forces attacking the Syrian people!

 

* Open the Boarders for the Syrian Refugees! Down with racism and Islamophobia in Europe!

 

* Most of all: For the building of a revolutionary party in Syria as part of a new revolutionary International!

 

 

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0016.jpgSyria: No to Trump’s Missiles Strike!

Drive all Great Powers out of Syria! Victory to the Syrian Revolution!

 

Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 7 April 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. Last night, US President Trump ordered to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles against the Shayrat airfield in Homs province which is under control of the Assad forces. According to reports, up to 7 Syrian soldiers and civilians have been killed, 20 war planes were destroyed and the air field was damaged.

 

  1. This is an evident foreign policy maneuver by an administration which is desperately trying to distract attention from its highly instable, heterogeneous and discredited situation. This attack is an attempt to signal the world that “the US is doing something” in face of the barbarous chemical weapons attack of Assad on 4 April. The symbolic character of this attack is further demonstrated by the fact that the White House informed Russia (and hence Assad) of the attack in advance. According to an official statement of Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, “Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.

 

  1. Furthermore, leading figures in the Pentagon have already made clear that this attack is not the beginning of a military offensive by the US but rather a one-off event. The US is rapping Assad over the knuckles in order to get his agreement for a settlement of the Syrian civil war in the interest of the great powers.

 

  1. More importantly, leading representatives of the US Administration have made clear that it will not change its strategy in Syria. This strategy is characterized by a desire to liquidate the Syrian Revolution and to destroy all forces who oppose a settlement of the civil war in the interest of the Great Powers.

 

  1. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unconditionally opposes the US air strike as we oppose the hundreds of Russian air strikes which have already killed thousands of people. The Syrian Revolution has nothing to gain if a big mass murder is symbolically “punishing” the mass murder of a small country.

 

  1. Likewise, the RCIT reject the demand for a UN no-flight zone. This would only put the air control of Syria in the hands of the imperialist Great Powers. However, these powers have proven in the last years that they are hostile to the Syrian Revolution!

 

  1. Any great power interference in Syria – be it by Russia or the US – must be condemned as it can do only harm to the Syrian people. no one has forgotten that Russia itself claimed in December 2016 to have launched 71,000 airstrikes which were supposed to have eliminated 35,000 “terrorists” (in fact mostly civilians and rebels; https://southfront.org/russian-warplanes-eliminate-35000-terrorists-in-syria/). Likewise, US General Nagata announced on 5 April 2017 that the US-led coalition killed “probably close to 70,000” people in Iraq and Syria (https://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2017/5-april-number-of-isis-fighters-killed-by-coalition-in-iraq) Putting the fate of the Syrian people in the hands of these imperialist mass murderers can only have disastrous consequences for the Syrian people! We therefore condemn the support for the US attack by the Syrian National Coalition and FSA leadership.

 

  1. We can expect various hysterical statements by the pro-Assadist “left” condemning the US air strike. Socialists and honest democrats will have only contempt for these Stalinists and Castro-Chavistas who are in reality social-imperialist supporters of Russia and China! These people have not raised a single protest when Russia was killing tens of thousands of people in Syria. Neither do they express opposition when US imperialism kills 70.000 people in Syria and Iraq. However, they are outraged if the US bomb a single time an air field of Assad! These people are not anti-imperialists but supporters of the reactionary Assad dictatorship as well as of imperialist Russia under the disguise of “anti-imperialism”!

 

  1. The RCIT has stated in numerous documents that we are living in a period of historic crisis of capitalism in which the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers – US, EU, Japan, Russia and China – inevitable accelerates. Therefore one can not exclude the possibility that this inner-imperialist rivalry could push the Great Powers – against their current intentions – into a qualitatively more serious conflict over Syria. Theoretically this could lead to a situation where both sides in the Syrian civil war become proxies for one of the imperialist camps. However, such a theoretical possibility does not correspond to the reality of the Syrian Revolution today. Revolutionaries deduce their tactics from the concrete reality of the present class struggle and not from theoretical possibilities in the future.

 

  1. We repeat that the only way forward for the Syrian Revolution is to create popular councils and militias which are under the control of the workers and poor peasants and to fight for a workers and peasant republic. We call to build an international movement of the working class in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution. While the RCIT sharply opposes US attacks, we call for support for the Syrian liberation struggle by sending modern weapons to the Syrian rebels so that they can defend themselves against Assad’s murderous air force and modern tanks.

 

* Stop the US and Russia’s intervention in Syria! Drive all Great Powers out of Syria!

 

* Down with the Assad regime! Victory to the Syrian Revolution!

 

* The international workers movement must support the liberation struggle of the Syrian people!

 

 

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

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cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgPress Conference on Assad’s Chemical Weapons Attack and the US Air Strike

Report (with video) on a press conference of the Syrian Community and the Austrian Section of the RCIT on 7 April 2017 in Vienna, www.thecommunists.net, www.rkob.net, 07.04.2017

 

 

 

Today the group “Free Syrians in Austria” and the Austrian Section of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) held a press conference in Vienna. The “Free Syrians in Austria” were represented by Dr. Haysam Hamoui and Mag. Badran Farwati while Michael Pröbsting spoke as the International Secretary of the RCIT. The moderator of the conference was Marek Hangler, spokesperson of the Austrian section of the RCIT.

 

The press conference was well attended by several representatives of Austrian, Syrian, Egyptian and Chechen media outlets.

 

All speakers denounced Assad’s genocidal war against the Syrian people. They also stressed the necessity to continue the struggle for the overthrow of the Assad regime.

 

Michael Pröbsting emphasized the support by the RCIT for the Syrian Revolution since its beginning in 2011.

 

Faced with the endless terror by Assad’s and Russia’s air force the representatives of the “Free Syrians in Austria” stated their demand for a UN no-flight zone. While they are aware that Trump ordered the air strike not out of sympathy for the Syrian people but rather by geo-strategic calculations, they expressed satisfaction that Assad suffered a military strike.

 

In opposite to this view, Michael Pröbsting stated that the RCIT unconditionally opposes the US air strike – as we oppose the hundreds of Russian air strikes which have already killed thousands of people. Likewise, we reject any demand for a UN no-flight zone. Michael Pröbsting said that all Great Powers interference in Syria – be it by Russia or the US – must be condemned as it can do only harm to the Syrian people. The RCIT calls for an international movement of the working class in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution. If any state wants to support the liberation struggle of the Syrian people it should send modern weapons to the Syrian rebels so that they can defend themselves against Assad’s murderous air force and modern tanks.

 

 

 

A video of the complete conference has been published by the Syrian-Palestinian journalist Ahmed Morad on his Facebook page “Be With Me A Reporter”. It can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/BWMAR/videos/1305124079564387/

 

Another report has been published here: http://o-ton.at/component/mfoton/5968?view=content

 

 

 

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