Category Archives: Anti-Imperialism

“Australians First” Economic Nationalism Fuels Racist Hostility to Refugees and People of Colour

“Australians First” Economic Nationalism Fuels Racist Hostility to Refugees and People of Colour

It was a video so openly racist that even right-wing senator Derryn Hinch said it “could be an ad for the Ku Klux Klan.” This ALP video saying that it would “Employ Australians First” had visuals where nearly all the Australians shown were white Anglos. The ad which was released two months ago had an unmistakeable racist message: white people had to be supposedly protected from having their jobs taken away by non-white people. Like the Turnbull government’s moves to make citizenship harder to get based on the racist premise that a migrant’s allegiance to values such as respect for women is more doubtful than an existing citizen’s – even though the horrific level of violence against women here is actually much higher than that of many countries like China where migrants are coming from – Bill Shorten’s video can only engender antagonism to refugees and people of colour. Meanwhile, that the ALP chose not to even include Aboriginal people in its image of “Australians” highlights not only the despicable nature of the ad but also the deep oppression that this country’s first peoples suffer under.

No doubt aware that the Labor Party retains support from working class people from various “ethnic” backgrounds, ALP frontbencher Anthony Albanese called the ad a “shocker.” However, even if the ALP’s “Australians First” video had several people of colour in it, the ad would still be a shocker. For one, given that this country is still majority white in composition and that the majority of visa workers are people of colour, any counterposing of local peoples’ interests against those of foreign workers necessarily incites racist hostility to non-white people from Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, African and Latin American backgrounds – whether those people are foreigners or Australians. Moreover, setting up local citizens as job market rivals of foreigners inevitably creates resentment towards guest workers, refugees and international students. Such xenophobic hostility then flows on towards Australians from coloured “ethnic” backgrounds. Economic-based prejudice is, indeed, the main stem of the noxious weed of racism that is currently overrunning Australia. It is the completely unfounded fear that refugees, migrants and guest workers will take up scarce jobs and affordable housing and use up dwindling public services which is at the root of the racist problem. Such resentment is consciously promoted by the capitalist bigwigs, the media that they own and the mainstream political parties that do their bidding. This exploiting class seeks to divert the masses from identifying them, the filthy rich big business owners, as the real cause of the people’s economic difficulties.

After his video was attacked, it was easy for Shorten to shrug it off by saying “the lack of diversity” in it was “a bad oversight.” However, for many coloured people, such nationalist ravings translate into being vilified and physically attacked on the streets. A report released today by Charles Sturt University detailed 243 verified cases of racist attacks on Muslims in just a 14 month period. Those reported incidents form just a tiny fraction of actual cases. Showing the link between racism and misogyny, the study found that more than two-thirds of those attacked were women.

Although Australia is especially racist, hostility towards minorities and refugees is growing in all capitalist countries. The more their economies falter, the more the rulers promote racist and protectionist “solutions.” Meanwhile, increasing rivalries between the capitalist powers – seen, for example, in heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and the German-led European imperialists – further stoke reactionary nationalism. Yet, even in “Third World” capitalist countries like India racist incidents are on the rise – in the case of India involving Hindu-chauvinist attacks. Indeed, our planet’s one large country not plagued by rampant racist attacks is a socialistic one: China.

Down With Economic Nationalism!

Fight for Jobs For All By Standing Up to the Job-Slashing Capitalists!

The notions behind “Australians First” agendas simply don’t stack up. Refugees and guest workers all spend money here and pay taxes. They, hence, create as many jobs as they occupy. As long as the current social order prevails, no matter how few people there are in the country there will always be a significant rate of unemployment. This is because the rich business owners will – if they are allowed to – only hire as few people as maximises their profits. Whenever unemployment falls these bosses are less able to keep wages down and less able to threaten workers with the sack, making them reluctant to hire any more which in turn pushes unemployment back up. Moreover, the notion that guest workers are the cause of joblessness is ludicrous given that they make up much less than 1% of the workforce! It is true that bosses seek to use severe exploitation of foreign visa workers – as they do with vulnerable local workers like apprentices and casual workers – to undercut overall working conditions. However, that only underscores the need for the union movement to fight to ensure the highest wages, union coverage and, crucially, full rights of citizenship for all guest workers, refugees and overseas students.

As well as calling to “Employ Australians First,” the Donald Trump-like ALP ad also promised to “Build Australian First and Buy Australian First.” Such measures won’t save local jobs! For just as politicians can push such schemes here, their counterparts abroad can respond with similar measures which would then hurt Australia’s exports. Indeed, all agendas that counterpose the interests of Australian workers to guest workers or to goods produced by workers abroad actually harm the fight for workers’ jobs. For by dividing workers and by diverting them from struggle against the capitalist bosses they undercut the one fight that can immediately win more jobs – a trade union struggle to force bosses to increase hiring. Yet, such a struggle that impinges on the fundamental “rights” of the capitalists is alien to the ALP and most of our current, pro- ALP union leaders. The ALP seeks to satisfy its working class base by merely extracting modest concessions from the capitalists while seeking acceptance from the latter. That is why it is left with little to offer on jobs except divisive protectionism. When the Turnbull government, with much fanfare, announced a slashing of the guest worker program, sadly many of our union leaders demanded the measures go further rather than mobilising actions to win equal rights for these workers.

Nationalism from the Labor Party and pro-ALP union leaders is especially harmful since it is they who currently lead the working class – the one class which has a consistent interest in opposing both racism and nationalism since both undermine the unity so crucial to any successful struggle for workers rights. Yet, national chauvinism is far from the preserve of the social democracy. The right-wing Turnbull regime – pushed ever further by Tony Abbott’s hardliners – fiercely oppresses refugees. Then there is the extreme racism of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the anti-Muslim tirades of Jacqui Lambie and the fervent protectionism of the Nick Xenophon team.

Now the Greens have at least correctly called out some of Labor’s economic nationalist appeals as dog whistling to racism. However, the Greens push their own fervent protectionist schemes including calling for crackdowns on the guest worker program and restrictions on overseas-made steel. Even much of the Far Left acquiesces to economic nationalism. Both the Socialist Alliance group and Socialist Alternative– who have both been active in the refugee rights campaign – and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) backed Australia’s largest demonstration to keep out foreign workers: the July 2012 “Local Workers First” rally in Perth. The CPA also parrots the “local content” demands of pro-ALP union leaders. Of course, these socialist groups and the Greens advocate a “clean” protectionism which rejects conscious dog whistling to racism. However, there is no “clean” protectionism! Any policy that calls for putting the interests of (mainly white) Australian workers over (overwhelmingly coloured) lower paid workers from “Third World” countries will inevitably appeal to and reinforce White Australia xenophobic attitudes as well as “First World” arrogance. And all protectionist demands divert workers away from the struggle that is actually needed – the one against the job-slashing capitalist exploiters – while pitting local workers against their natural allies: the working class people of the world.

That is why Trotskyist Platform is on a campaign to oppose all forms of economic nationalism. We are seeking to win those involved in the refugee rights movement and the anti-fascist movement to also take up this struggle. Until economic nationalist ideas are purged from the union movement and the Left, anti-racist movements will face serious obstacles. And so will the struggle for workers rights.

We fight to replace the ALP’s nationalist, co-operate-with-the-capitalist program currently ascendant in our unions with a militant class struggle perspective that relies on and values workers’ unity. That means a union movement that would fight for freedom and asylum for imprisoned asylum seekers, full rights of citizenship for all refugees and guest workers and liberation for brutally oppressed Aboriginal people. Rejecting bogus protectionist “solutions,” the union movement that we fight for would mobilise its industrial muscle to stop job slashing by bosses and force profitable companies to increase hiring at the expense of their fat profits. When the greedy capitalist bosses scream that this will cause their economy to collapse, the revolutionary, internationalist party of the working class that we need will respond: if you big business owners cannot run the economy in a way that guarantees secure jobs for all workers then we working class people will rip the economy out of your hands and place it into our own able collective hands. Such a socialist economy based on working class rule is what we need! In such a system, the material basis for racism will wither away as there will be no more exploiting class trying to divide exploited masses and no more scarcity and unemployment fueling rivalries between workers of different colours and ethnic backgrounds. Workers of all countries unite!

Issue 19

Download PDF version (10MB)

  1. As Capitalist Rulers Beat on the Unions and Poor: Opposing Racism & “Aussie First” Economic Nationalism Key to Defending Working Class People’s Rights
  2. Tens of Thousands Protest in Australia on the Day of Land Theft & Genocide Rally Attacked by Ruthless Police
  3. A Hard Right, Racist Bigot Enters the White House Capitalist “Democracy” is a Sham Unleash Industrial Action to Demand Jobs for All Only Workers United with All of the Oppressed Can Bring about Real Change
  4. Expand the Union Action in Defence of Public Housing in Sirius: Fight for a Massive Increase in Public Housing throughout the Country! Still a Chance to Prevent the Destruction of Public Housing in Millers Point and The Rocks
  5. Trotskyist Platform May Day (International Workers Day Statement We Need Militant Class Struggle to Win Secure Jobs for All Workers
  6. Workplace Safety Now Better in China Than in Australia Australian Rulers Union Busting Drive against the CFMEU Union
    Threatens Construction Workers Lives
  7. Good News: China’s Arrest of Crown Executives Endangers Packer’s Barangaroo Project James Packer’s Crown Versus Millers Point Public Housing
  8. Free All the Victims of Australia’s Racist Torture! Jail the Cops and Prison Guards Who Killed David Dungay, Ms Dhu, Rebecca Maher, Wayne Morrison, TJ Hickey, Mulrunji & the Many Other Victims of the Racist, Rich People’s State!
  9. Long Live China’s 1949 Anticapitalist Revolution! Protect the Great Benefits for Workers & the Rural Masses Won through the Revolution: Stop Imperialist Funding for Those NGOs that Seek to Overthrow Socialistic Rule in China
  10. Defend the Dominance of Socialistic, State-Ownership in China’s Economy! China: Pro-Worker and Pro-Private Sector Forces Lock Horns
  11. Racist Atrocities in Kalgoorlie
  12. Force Profitable Companies to Increase Hiring – Make Them Wear the Resulting Lower Profits Stop Billionaire Bosses from Retrenching Workers! No to Slave Wage Internships and Work for the Dole! For Fully Paid, Permanent Jobs for All!

Russian Intervention and Syria

No to Imperialist-Imposed Regime Change in Syria

12 April 2017 – For the last several years, the U.S., Australian, French, British and other allied Western imperialists have sought to impose regime change on the people of Syria.  The former U.S. Obama regime intervened by providing arms, ammunition, training, special forces back-up and diplomatic support for the Syrian “Rebel” forces who had been subordinated to the imperialist agenda. In 2014, this former U.S. Democratic Party administration upped the ante of its intervention by using the pretext of fighting ISIS to directly conduct military operations in both Syria and Iraq. This enabled the U.S. and its allies, like Australia, to move forces into the region, grab control of territory and build-up proxies in order to – among other goals – further its regime change agenda. Five days ago, the extreme racist Trump regime qualitatively cranked up this U.S. intervention. It openly unleashed a missile barrage on Syrian government positions.

The struggle of the Syrian people against this intervention and against imperialism’s “Rebel” proxies is a struggle of the people of a former colony, which to this day remains economically subjugated by richer capitalist countries, to prevent itself being once again completely trodden over by colonial powers. Thus, as Leninists, we in Trotskyist Platform stand for the defence of “Third World” Syria against the predatory U.S., Australian and other Western imperialists and their “Rebel” proxies. We do so without giving any political support to Syria’s Assad government. Although we defend the just war that Assad is currently waging against a neo-colonial takeover of the country, he nevertheless leads an oppressor government that oversees the exploitation of the Syrian masses by Syria’s rich capitalists.

We have maintained a position of military defence of Syria despite intervention on the side of the Syrian government by a capitalist great power – Russia. Russian intervention began fairly early in the conflict. It began initially with arms and ammunition support to the Syrian military, then included intelligence and special forces support and finally from September 2015 it included airstrikes. While it was primarily the heroism of the anti-colonial and secular-minded sections of the Syrian masses that have enabled the Syrian people to achieve victory over the imperialist-backed “Rebels” in Aleppo late last year, Russia’s military might no doubt also played a major part in this victory. This years-long Russian intervention does not change the stance that Leninists should take on the Syria question because although Russia has intervened in order to promote its great power capitalist ambitions it has not, up to the present, threatened to become the – or one of the – direct neo-colonial overlords of Syria. Furthermore, unlike the U.S.A and its allies, Russia is not using its Syrian intervention as a means to secure overall domination of the oil-rich Middle East. Russia’s capitalist rulers primarily seek in Syria to maintain and deepen the benefits Russia had in the pre-war status quo. In this pre-war set up, Russia had political and military influence – including access to strategic military bases on the Mediterranean coast – but was not the biggest player in the Syrian economy. It was Western powers that were the main predators in the Syrian economy – indeed, in Syria’s oil sector, the biggest foreign players are not Russian corporations but the British/Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Britain’s Gulfsands. The Russian ruling class’ overall intentions are to assert itself on the global stage as a big-time world power that must be taken seriously, to protect and broaden its military bases in Syria, to form a forward obstruction to further grubby NATO meddling in ex-Soviet countries where Russia believes it has a Tsarist times-derived historical “right” to call the shots in, to incite nationalism at home and to advertise itself to more economically endowed capitalist powers that collaborating with Russia’s awesome military might in future ventures is a strategy that can guarantee their investments (out of which Russia would then be handed a share of the predatory spoils).

At the same time we should not be naive. If the Russian-backed Syrian forces triumph, the Russian establishment will naturally use their presence and increased influence in Syria to pressure Syria into accommodating Russian capitalist interests. For one, Russia would push to be granted a greater continued military presence than Syria would wish – even after the threat to Syria has been quashed. Already, this January, with Syria dependent on Russian backing, the Syrian government agreed to let Russia take 49-year leases over the strategically located Khmeimim Air Base and Tartus naval facility and even give Russia sovereignty over the latter’s territory. This loss of sovereignty of Syria over strategically located bases is for a far greater period than she would hope would be needed to secure and stabilise victory in the current war. One can bet that Syrian officials were quietly unenthusiastic about signing away sovereignty over their territory for so long in advance. Additionally, one can expect the Russian capitalists to, for example, consider preventing natural gas pipelines from rival gas suppliers to Russia passing through Syria into Europe even if that supplier were to offer to pay a level of royalties that the Syrians would be happy to accept.

In terms of the current conflict itself, the fact that capitalist Russia is, currently, inadvertently playing a positive role does not change the fact that its racist state forces who so brutally oppress non-European minorities and immigrants within Russia cannot in any way be trusted to take proper care to avoid hitting civilians in their air-strikes on enemy forces in Syria. Thus, we can expect the numbers of civilians killed by Russian air-strikes to be of the same order of magnitude as the thousands killed by the murderous U.S., Australian and other imperialists in their air strikes on Syria and Iraq. Furthermore, the fact that the Syrian anti-imperialist struggle is getting direct help from a major capitalist power makes it less inspiring to the anti-colonial sentiments of “Third World” peoples around the world when compared with, say, the Algerian independence struggle against France in the late 1950s and early 1960s and certainly in comparison with the Vietnamese revolutionary struggle against U.S. and Australian imperialism which was, after all, conducted by a workers state and a communist-led, toiling peoples’ armed movement. That is part of the reason why the level of solidarity with the Syrian anti-colonial resistance from the masses of other “Third World” countries has up to this point been so limited. Up to now, other than for protests in other Middle Eastern countries, most of the major rallies opposing the imperialist intervention in Syria have come from people living in Western countries or in capitalist countries whose governments are themselves backing the Russian intervention. Moreover, the success of the Russian intervention will further inflame reactionary nationalism within Russia which will dampen the class struggle there and incite even more racist terror against Russia’s racial and religious minority populations. This is at a time when Putin’s massive privatisation plans announced in February last year (see for example: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35473198) which five months ago saw a huge $A15.5 billion stake in oil giant Rosneft sold off to Qatari interests and Swiss multinational Glencore  have the potential to spark mass working class resistance. Already the Russian masses’ hatred of the anti-working class privatisation agenda was reflected in the intense campaign to stop the privatisation of a dairy plant in the town of Vologda. Yet the upsurge in patriotism that will accompany any Russian war victories will undermine the Russian working class organising to fight as a class against their main enemy – the Russian capitalist exploiters. Furthermore, when the working class of Russia does rise up against its capitalist rulers it will now have to face a state whose armed forces capability has been boosted by the testing and experience of its military activities in Syria.

Nevertheless, the Russian intervention in Syria, as long as it continues to obstruct the drive for Western imperialist-imposed regime change and as long as it does not morph into a Russian experiment at re-entry into the club of neo-colonial overlords, is on balance having a positive effect. That means even while leftists within Russia must oppose the racist, capitalist rulers of Russia with the same vigour that we oppose the capitalist rulers of this country, they – and we – must not do anything which directly obstructs Russia’s Syrian intervention. Opponents of imperialism must not call for Russia to get out of Syria at this time. More importantly, the years long Russian intervention must not in any way change the obligation that leftists have to stand for the defence of Syria against the Western imperialists and their “Rebels”.

What the Leaders of the October Socialist Revolution Said about Similar Scenarios

To understand the question of the Russian intervention in Syria more deeply we refer here to 1917 Russian Revolution co-leader, Leon Trotsky’s 1938 article, Learn To Think. This article addresses two particular scenarios: in one scenario one capitalist power for its own geo-political purposes – in particular to weaken a rival – renders material assistance to an anti-colonial struggle of a subjugated country against another capitalist power. This is in a case where the power rendering assistance is not in a position to immediately replace the existing capitalist power as a new overlord of the subjugated country. In the second scenario, a capitalist power similarly, for its own machinations against rivals, finds it useful to pass arms to a workers state in conflict with another capitalist power. The first of these above scenarios is, up to the time of writing, similar to the scenario with the Russian assistance to Syria in its conflict with Western imperialism’s “Rebel” proxies. Thus we should study what Trotsky outlined should be communist policy in such a scenario. Trotsky explained that in such a scenario, we should not in any way obstruct the capitalist power that is giving military assistance to the anti-colonial struggle against a rival capitalist power – provided, of course, that the power rendering assistance is not currently seeking to itself become or is currently capable of becoming the colonial/neo-colonial overlord of the country waging the anti-imperialist struggle. At the same time, Trotsky insisted that this does not in any way, at all, make the capitalist power giving the assistance any more progressive. Indeed, Trotsky postulated an example where the capitalist power rendering anti-colonial assistance is a fascist one and the power fighting against the anti-colonial forces is a “democratic”-ruled capitalist power. Trotsky insisted that communists in the capitalist country rendering assistance to an anti-colonial struggle – in our case this is Russia – should “not in the slightest” moderate “their own irreconcilable struggle” against this regime which is the “the main enemy in their own country.” And they should call upon the people standing against the imperialist forces “not to trust their treacherous ally” even while ensuring that the assistance from this “ally” gets through.

In summary, the lesson from Trotsky’s Learn To Think article (which itself is a re-statement of the line of Lenin’s Bolsheviks) in regards to the Syria conflict is that we should not in any way oppose the Russian intervention at this time while at the same time we should avoid any prettifying of the purposes of the Russian intervention and should explain that Russia’s capitalist rulers remain the main enemy of Russia’s working class people. On the latter, we should additionally note that a workers’ revolution in Russia that topples the racist, capitalist ruling class there would not only be immensely beneficial for working class people and ethnic minorities in Russia but would also boost the Syrian people’s struggle against neo-colonialism. A future Russian workers state, led by an internationalist party like Lenin’s Bolsheviks, would more consistently support the Syrian people’s struggle against imperialism and its proxies, would not – unlike the present Russian government – use its influence to seek unfair concessions from the Syrians and could not be tempted to betray the Syrian anti-colonial struggle by any U.S. promises to boost her great power status. Moreover, a Syrian struggle against imperialism backed by a state where the multi-racial working class rules is far more inspirational to the toiling masses of the “Third World” than the current situation where the Syrian government is backed by a Russian regime that, at home, oversees the exploitation of its working class while brutally oppressing non-white ethnic minorities and immigrants. Thus, a Syrian anti-imperialist struggle backed by a workers state would win far more solidarity from the masses living in the ex-colonial countries than in the present case.

We need to stress here that Trotsky’s Learn To Think article which outlines when it may be necessary to not oppose the intervention of one capitalist power in a conflict abroad was specific to two particular scenarios. We emphasise this because this article has been one of the Marxist works that has been most twisted and most used out of context by opportunist leftists (even by some grandstanding as anti-Trotskyist “Stalinists”!) looking to justify collaboration with capitalist powers. We need to stress that only in the two very narrow and specific cases outlined in the Learn To Think article – cases related to a capitalist power driven by its necessity for geo-political positioning supporting either an anti-colonial struggle or a workers state against rival powers – is it permissible to not oppose the intervention abroad by a capitalist power. In absolutely all other cases, without exception, we must oppose intervention of any kind by such capitalist powers – whether diplomatic, material support to allies/proxies or direct military intervention – regardless of the particular circumstances leading up to the intervention and regardless of their stated “justification” for the intervention.

All Capitalist Powers Have Zero “Commitment” to Opposing Imperialism

Our attitude to the Russian intervention in Syria is summarised in an article written five years ago, at a time after Russia had already, very publicly, started intervening in the Syrian conflict:

Russia, unlike the PRC, is administered by a capitalist state. The Russian rulers are military powerful but not currently economically strong enough to as yet be a full-blown, independent imperialist power like any of the main NATO states. But they would like to be one – Russia certainly ain’t the socialistic Soviet Union! Russia objects to Western intervention in Syria because Syria is its ally and Russia takes offence at its power being challenged. Furthermore, the Russian bourgeoise would like to draw a line in nearby Syria to try and reduce NATO encroachment into the affairs of its ex-Soviet neighbours which Russia would like to be within its own sphere of influence. Nevertheless, despite Russia’s intentions, opponents of imperialism can only welcome any Russian arms going to the Syrian government at a time when it is battling a takeover by imperialist proxies.’

July 27, 2012, No to Neo-Colonialism: Defend Syria against the Pro-Imperialist “Rebels”

At the same time it is our duty to warn the Syrian masses of the possibility that Russia could stab them in the back in the future. After all, Russia’s capitalist rulers have zero commitment to opposing imperialism. Like all other capitalist powers their main concern is to further their ambitious economic and political interests. It is worth noting that while the Russian intervention in Syria is happening to, at this time, have a positive effect, the Russian intervention in Libya is playing a reactionary role. Today in Libya we see rival gangs of the pro-imperialists “Rebels” brought to power by NATO in 2011 engaged in blood feuds with each other. Russia is backing one of these cut-throats, Khalifa Haftar, and has sent financial, diplomatic and weapons support to back the forces that he leads as well as private military contractors.  Haftar’s “Libyan National Army” (LNA) backs one of Libya’s rival governments, the Tobruk-based “House of Representatives”. Russia, like the NATO powers, is also meddling diplomatically and has sought to be the broker of talks between the LNA-backed government and the U.N.-recognised and strongly Italian-backed Presidential Council government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. The main goal of the LNA, like all the murderous rival, former “Rebel” militias, is to seize control of Libya’s oil ports and other oil facilities for themselves. This is hardly a case of Russia defending a country against imperialist takeover – not even inadvertently as is the case with its Syria intervention. Thus, also backing Haftar’s LNA are not only Egypt but the French imperialists who have conducted air strikes in support of Haftar’s Russian-backed forces. Indeed, the most open backers of Haftar’s army is the UAE which not only arms the LNA but has a joint airbase with France in Libya’s al-Sulaiyah region from where it conducts operations in support of Haftar’s forces. The strongly pro-Washington UAE regime is one of the regional players strongly backing the imperialist drive for regime change in Syria and is a key part of the reactionary U.S.-backed, Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. Meanwhile, the LNA, even while claiming to be secularist, receives some backing from that bulwark of religious extremism, the Saudi regime! Haftar himself was for over two decades a CIA asset who worked on plans for U.S.-imposed regime change in Libya. Indeed, he even lived close to the CIA’s Langley, Virginia base after going into exile in the U.S. in 1990! In 2011, Haftar was a key figure in the imperialist-backed “Rebels” that were brought to power on the backs of a NATO air and special forces operation against the former Gaddafi government. This NATO-“Rebel” imposed regime change has plainly destroyed Libya.

Russia’s backing of Haftar and its other diplomatic meddling in Libya is aimed – like all the other capitalist powers intervening in the squalid conflicts there – at securing prized access to Libya’s oil terminals, ports and airports. Additionally, Russia seeks to secure the renewal of the billions of dollars-worth of weapons and oil infrastructure contracts that it had signed with the pre-2011 Libyan government. All the capitalist powers involved in the mad scramble for privileged access to Libya’s oil resources and future infrastructure contracts are deepening the regional and tribal conflicts there.  Opponents of imperialism must demand that all the foreign capitalist states intervening in Libya – including the U.S., French, Italian, Russian, UAE, Egyptian and Saudi regimes – should get their grubby hands off this already devastated country.

Relations Between the Two Military Superpowers

A significant factor that will influence Russian – and U.S. – policy on Syria will be the state of future U.S.-Russia relations. After a deterioration in relations during the last term of the Obama regime, the billionaire Trump outlined a perspective of strengthened U.S. relations with the world’s only other military superpower. His outlook represented the views of a section of the U.S. capitalist class. The U.S. ruling class is highly divided about what attitude they should take to Russia to best further their own interests. A majority of the media and political representatives of the U.S. ruling class currently favour a harder line against Russia. However, among the actual capitalist business owners, opinion is more evenly divided. Those in the U.S. ruling class who favour an antagonistic line don’t believe the U.S. needs to share dominance of the globe with anyone – certainly not an upstart trying to enter the imperialist club. On the other hand, those U.S. capitalists who want to forge a partnership with Russia see its awesome military power as a useful tool to help suppress and isolate U.S. adversaries. Specifically, Trump and his co-thinkers had been hoping to build a U.S.-Russia capitalist super alliance that would, on the one hand, be used to isolate and pressure socialistic China and, on the other, weaken the U.S.A’s European NATO allies cum imperialist economic rivals.

The U.S. missile barrage against Syria and the angry diplomatic exchanges between the U.S. and Russia that followed have, for the short and medium term, scuttled any plans Trump had to forge a partnership with Russia. But what of the future? Relations between the military giants could continue to spiral downwards. Alternatively, there could be a strong rapprochement. Or something somewhere in between. Interestingly, the U.S. actually informed Russia of its missile strike on Syria before it took place indicating some effort to at least open the possibility for stronger ties with Russia in the future.

As we pointed out in our article written soon after Trump’s election, there were always going to major hurdles to stride over if Trump’s original strong proclivity for a U.S.-Russia capitalist superpower alliance was to be implemented. Trump’s administration is, in effect, an alliance of hard line right wingers who favour closer ties with Russia – like himself, chief strategist Steve Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions – and more mainstream figures from the right wing of the Republican Party who support a more antagonistic line. So, the pro-Russia hard right wingers will not always get their way. In the end, the direction that the U.S. ruling class chooses will depend in good part on what the decisive sections of their class think of Russia’s capability to become a significant imperialist rival to the U.S. If they assess that Russia can at best play second fiddle to the imperialist powers they will be far more open to an alliance with Russia in order to use its military might for their own purposes. In other words, they would be quite prepared to accept and nurture a Russia that would play a role similar to what the Turkish ruling class has played up to now – as an ambitious regional power largely enforcing Western imperialist interests while angling to get its own pieces of the stolen pie for itself. According to this analysis, the U.S. would still expect to have some occasional sharp disagreements with Russia but overall relations would be kept strong – as has been the case with Turkey up until now. On the other hand, if they decide that Russia could in the future emerge as an independent, rival predatory power, they will be far more inclined to push for aggressive containment of Russia.

However, there is additionally an ideological aspect to the debate within the U.S. ruling class. Putin, because of his government’s hard line anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies, its brutal attacks on the LGBTI community and the fact that it, like the Trump regime, has outright fascists in it, is a hero to far right groups throughout the West. Prominent far right politicians from Pauline Hanson to France’s Marine Le Pen have sung Putin’s praises as have most of the outright fascist, white supremacist groups in the U.S., Australia and Europe. All these groups also see in the possibility of a U.S. and European alliance with Russia the possibility of a grand, “white peoples of the world,” racial supremacist alliance. All this is why it is the extreme right wing of the Trump administration that is most in favour of strong ties with Russia whom they see as a force for spreading right-wing, white European-centric “values.”

Other than for dissension within his own regime, there are other hurdles that Trump would have to overcome to implement his original perspective for a partnership with Russia. One key hurdle is the probe that has been launched into alleged links between his presidential campaign and Russia and allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election. It is no secret that Russia wanted Trump to win the election. Russian state television was pretty open about backing Trump just as they and Putin are pretty open about backing France’s Le Pen. However, all capitalist powers interfere with each others elections and the U.S. is by far the biggest culprit. Not only will the U.S. mainstream media bombard a country with propaganda supporting their favoured outcome but the U.S. has used funding of favoured political parties and NGOs, training of activists and plenty of really dirty tricks to swing elections. We cannot know if Russia used even the lowest level, dirty tricks to help Trump. However, if they did, in the context of things, while it means something … it does not mean much at all! For all elections in capitalist countries are profoundly unfair! They are shaped by the fact that it is the wealthy capitalists who own the media and disproportionately have the resources to fund political advertising, lobbyists, meeting venue hire and full-time activists. Forget Russian hacking, neither Trump nor Clinton would have even been in the running for president if they did not each have hundreds of millions in political funding from wealthy capitalists (in Trump’s case also including from his own fortune gained from cruelly exploiting workers) and the backing of Murdoch’s Fox media in Trump’s case and CNN, NBC, New York Times etc in Clinton’s case. That is why for us Marxist-Leninists: all elected presidents in capitalist America are not “legitimate”! The idea that some may be “legitimate” and others “illegitimate” is a whitewash of the fundamentally anti-working class nature of even the “cleanest” elections in any capitalist country.

What’s important to understand here in terms of U.S.-Russia ties is that the probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged links with Russia is not only about Democrats and mainstream conservatives trying to undermine their hard-right rivals but also, partly, about that faction of the U.S. exploiting class that wants an antagonistic line towards Russia trying to pressure the new Administration into bending to that line. And this tactic does work. For the moment, the Trump regime feels pressure to be seen to be not too close to Russia. Probably, a minor subsidiary reason for his air strike on Russia’s Syria ally is to be seen to be tough on Russia. Indeed, any ongoing plans that the Trump’s far-right co-thinkers have to forge an alliance with Russia will depend on the probe not showing any too serious links between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia and even then they will have to wait for the political impact of any probe revelations to fade away.  If the probe does “conclude” that there was significant collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government – whether that “conclusion” is actually true or not (!) – then this would likely kill off for a lengthy period any attempt by pro-Russia elements in the Trump regime to forge an alliance with Russia … if not kill off the Trump presidency itself!

In the event that the pro-Russia types can both win the day within the Trump regime and ride their way through the “Russian collusion” probe, they will have to find a way to mesh the interests of U.S. imperialism and those of the wanna-be-imperialist Russian ruling class. In Syria, the interests of the two powers clearly clash so a broader partnership between the two could only be made by one or the other side making concessions in other areas. However, even on the bigger picture Washington will have a problem in enlisting Moscow for the role it would want it to play: a force that joins in – or at least accepts – counterrevolutionary pressure against socialistic China and acts as a counterweight against America’s West European NATO allies cum economic rivals (especially Germany, the “ally” whom the U.S. was revealed to be spying on). The reason Russia’s capitalist ruling class will be reluctant to do both these things simultaneously boils down to one factor: oil/gas profits! The Russian capitalist class makes an absolute fortune from sending gas exports to both Europe and China. So it would be reluctant to enter an alliance that risks it losing these two sources of fabulous wealth simultaneously. Therefore, Moscow would find it hard to accept the whole of Washington’s program for what it wants Russia to do and would demand major concessions on one of several issues – such as Crimea, the Donbass or, indeed, Syria – for even partially accepting Washington’s broader international agenda.

Even if the U.S. and Russian ruling classes did manage to negotiate the mutual concessions needed for them to forge a partnership, would such an alliance actually last for any length of time or would it fly apart at the first test? This question simply cannot be answered in advance. Certainly, the long-term trend of capitalist powers is to thrash themselves into a frenzied rivalry. The fact that there are only a finite amount of markets, raw materials and sources of labour in the “Third World” that the different imperialist powers (and indeed would-be imperialist powers) are each trying to grab increasing shares for themselves of means that these capitalist powers are inevitably drawn into conflict with each other. This truth stands notwithstanding the efforts of modern day pseudo-socialists to resuscitate the dead, counterfeit “socialist” Karl Kautsky’s theory that capitalist powers could unite as one to amicably exploit the world together – a “theory” which Lenin so fiercely denounced. These latter-day continuators of Kautsky’s line posit that there is just one seamless, homogenous imperialist bloc in the world led by the USA. The truth, however, is that there are actually several discrete, often competing, capitalist powers who, after assessing their own separate predatory interests, have in many cases chosen to be, for the moment, in uneasy alliances with the strongest power, the U.S.A as well as with each other. As Lenin understood, even competing capitalists powers do seek alliances in order to better challenge other capitalist powers … and most significantly right now to more strongly threaten workers states (like, today, the Peoples Republic of China, Cuba and North Korea). So, although a U.S.-Russia alliance is rather unlikely right now it is not completely impossible.

In the, presently unlikely, event that such a U.S.-Russia alliance were to be forged it would have to be negotiated with a deal cut on Syria. Such a deal is then going to end up favouring the interests of one or the other capitalist military superpower or to involve some sort of mid-way compromise. It would be harder for Russia to back down since its intervention has been more direct in Syria and this is its one major area of prominent intervention whereas the U.S. has about half a dozen very high profile theatres where it is directly meddling. For Russia’s capitalist rulers to back down over Syria would, thus, be a big blow to its prestige as a major world power, the pursuit for which is a major motive for its intervention in the first place. However, it is possible that the U.S. and Russia could strike a deal whereby U.S. wishes are satisfied for a new regime that would allow greater economic exploitation of the country by U.S. corporations and a foreign policy more “synchronised” with U.S. “goals” for the region while, at the same time, guaranteeing Russia’s bases in the country, Russian influence in the choice of the new political set up and – most importantly for Moscow – recognising Russia’s role as a major world player that has been dominant in shaping the whole arrangement. A sign that such a deal is not completely impossible was indeed seen in February last year when Russia publicly rebuked Assad for saying that he wanted to re-capture the whole country from the pro-imperialist “Rebels”. Russia’s then UN envoy, the late Vitaly Churkin stated:

“Russia has invested very seriously in this crisis, politically, diplomatically and now also militarily.

“Therefore we would like Assad also to respond to this.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/12164658/Russia-warns-Assad-against-trying-to-achieve-total-victory.html

Russia’s envoy even openly insisted that Assad now had to “follow Russia’s leadership” in resolving the crisis.

Following Trump’s unilateral missile strike, a U.S.-Russia rapprochement over Syria is now considerably less likely than it even was previously. Nevertheless, however improbable the scenario of Russia cutting a deal with the U.S. against Syria’s interests, it is our duty to warn other opponents of the imperialist takeover of Syria of this possibility. For armed with a scientific understanding of the nature of capitalist ruling classes and imbued with Lenin’s understanding that capitalists of more powerful countries are compelled to seek out new spheres of exploitation in the “Third World” in order to stave off economic crises at home, Marxist-Leninists – in contrast to Syrian nationalists or nominally anti-imperialist, Western liberals – are uniquely able to foresee both the full range of possibilities and to know what is, indeed, impossible (like a capitalist power acting out of benevolence when it makes a major intervention abroad). And if no one does anti-imperialist activists a favour and patiently explains to them – however uncomfortable they might be to hear it – the possibility that Russia in the future could cut a deal with the U.S. that stabs Syrian independence in the back, then these activists will be taken by surprise, demoralised and hence paralysed if such a scenario did indeed play out.

The Potential Anti-Imperialist Force is the Working Class

Guided by our Marxist-Leninist class analysis, Trotskyist Platform, even while stating that we should not be, at this time, opposing the Russian intervention in Syria and should indeed be, at the moment, happy it is taking place, opposes any illusions that capitalist Russia – or indeed any other capitalist power – can be the champion of anti-imperialism. The one world power that opponents of imperialism should be appealing to is the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). This is because, unlike the U.S.A, Australia and Russia, the PRC has a socialistic system. Although the PRC workers state is bureaucratically deformed and although China’s leadership has allowed too large a capitalist private sector into her economy, it is state-owned enterprises – based on collective ownership by all the PRC population – that still dominate the key sectors of the PRC economy. That means that although there will be the odd private sector capitalist intruding with greedy, selfish motives, any PRC intervention in Syria – or any other country – has, on the whole, no decisive material basis for a predatory, thieving agenda. This is why at actions against imperialist intervention in Syria, Trotskyist Platform has raised, among other slogans, appeals like the following: “Peoples Republic of China: Do Your Socialistic Duty and Stand Still More Strongly Against Western Imperialist Diplomatic and Military Intervention in Syria!”

China has provided some economic and minor military supplies to Syria in the face of the imperialist assault on her. It has also joined Russia in vetoing some Western-sponsored UN resolutions aimed at greasing the skids for imperialist-imposed regime change. Yet, China failed to condemn Trump’s recent missile strikes on Syria. Instead, China only made a neutral-sounding call to solve problems through negotiation. This reflects the Chinese government’s national-centred, ultimately suicidal strategy of trying to appease imperialism – a policy which it, in vain, hopes will entice the capitalist powers to pull back from attacking China’s building of socialism in her own country. Those within the Chinese leadership who most want to appease imperialism are, in general, those that want to allow greater openings for capitalism within China. On the other hand, there are many within China, including activists within the ruling Communist Party of China, who want a firm anti-imperialist policy as part of their commitment to fighting for socialism. The struggle for socialistic China to adopt an internationalist – and thus anti-imperialist – policy on Syria and other questions is, therefore, part of the fight to build a PRC government that will campaign for the revolutionary victory of the working class over capitalism abroad and will oversee a decisive weakening of the insurgent capitalist private sector at home.

While appealing to Red China, the main work here of opponents of imperialist attacks on Syria must be to mobilise the working class in opposition to the U.S./Australian intervention in the Middle East. It is possible to win politicised sections of the working class to this perspective because the imperialist intervention in Syria and Iraq is bad for working class people and bad for other oppressed groups in Australia including Aboriginal people and embattled Muslim and other targeted coloured communities. This predatory intervention abroad is pumping up the capitalist rulers to, at home, even more viciously attack workers’ rights, Aboriginal people and embattled minorities. Thus, the Middle East intervention is only good for Australia’s capitalist exploiting class. So let’s fight for workers action to demand: U.S., Australian, French, British, German and all imperialists: Get out of Syria and Iraq! No to military intervention! No to funding of “Rebel” Proxies! No to diplomatic meddling! Defend Syria against imperialist-imposed regime change!

 



Defend Syria against U.S./Australian Imperialism & Their “Rebel” Proxies!

On 7 April 2017, the world’s biggest killing machine went into overdrive. The U.S. unleashed a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase. The strike killed nine civilians – including four children. The right-wing Turnbull government could not wait to proclaim that it “strongly supports the swift and just response of the United States.” Meanwhile, the ALP Opposition was no better, calling the U.S. attack “appropriate and proportionate.”

The U.S. claims that its missile strike was retaliation for an alleged chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib Province which they have pinned on Syria’s Assad government. U.S. president Trump claims that he was motivated to attack Syria by concern for children killed in the alleged attack. What a load of rubbish! For the U.S., Australian and other imperialist rulers, the masses in the ex-colonies are completely expendable in their drive to secure control of natural resources, markets and spheres of exploitation.  Due to their barbaric willingness to disregard dangers to civilian lives in their war on ISIS, a March 17 airstrike by the U.S./French/British/Australian Coalition killed over 200 civilians in the residential Jadidah neighborhood of the western part of the Iraqi city of Mosul. Meanwhile, the racist Trump regime has shown how much concern they have for the people of the Arab and Muslim world by attempting to ban people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. and by stopping all refugees from the war in Syria. Trump’s offensive diatribes against Muslims, Mexicans and other non-white people has incited a terrifying increase in white supremacist attacks throughout North America – including the 29 January massacre of six people at a Quebec City mosque by a fascist Trump supporter. Here in Australia, the Turnbull regime, with the support of the ALP, shows its “concern” for the well-being of children from the Middle East by imprisoning dozens of them in hell-hole detention centres in Australia and Nauru and hundreds more in community detention centres. Meanwhile, Australian regimes of various stripes oversee a racist “child protection” system that has cruelly ripped hundreds of Aboriginal children from their families in an ongoing stolen generations outrage. Continue reading Defend Syria against U.S./Australian Imperialism & Their “Rebel” Proxies!

Long Live China’s 1949 Anticapitalist Revolution!

PROTECT THE GREAT BENEFITS FOR WORKERS & THE RURAL MASSES WON THROUGH THE REVOLUTION:
STOP IMPERIALIST FUNDING FOR THOSE NGOs THAT SEEK TO OVERTHROW SOCIALISTIC RULE IN CHINA

6th September 2016: Determined supporters of socialistic rule in China rallied this evening on the steps at the entrance to Sydney Town Hall. In this demonstration called at short notice, participants hailed the gains of China’s 1949 anticapitalist revolution and opposed the U.S. and Australian-backed anti-communist Chinese exile groups seeking to promote capitalist restoration in China.

The 1949 Chinese Revolution was one of the most momentous events in humanity’s entire history. The long-suffering Chinese masses overthrew their exploiters and took power. Tens of millions of downtrodden people participated in this heroic struggle. They achieved victory after a bitter three year civil war. On one side of the war stood the oppressed tenant farmers, workers, working-class women and idealistic students. They were organized by the Communist Party of China (CPC) which was led by Mao Ze Dong. On the other side were the brutal landlords and capitalists. These oppressor classes were served by the Kuomintang (KMT) government of Chiang Kai-Shek. The KMT was heavily armed, trained and advised by the U.S. regime. But still they lost to the Communist-led revolutionaries.

The 1949 anti-capitalist revolution freed the peasants from the tyranny of the landlords, made headway in liberating workers from capitalist exploitation and freed the Chinese people from humiliating subjugation by imperial powers. The revolution greatly uplifted women’s status from the horrific reality they faced under the previous Kuomintang regime – when many women were subjected to forced marriage and the barbaric practice of Continue reading Long Live China’s 1949 Anticapitalist Revolution!

10 January 2015: Defenders of the Socialistic DPRK Support the DPRK Soccer Team at the Asia Cup

DPRK Asia Cup photo outside stadium
From the moment the DPRK soccer team arrived in Sydney for the January 2015 Asia Cup Finals, the capitalist-owned media went all out to demonise the team as highly secretive, repressed and without support. This is part of their general propaganda war against socialistic North Korea. The aim of this campaign is to justify to the Australian masses the Australian ruling class’ participation in the relentless imperialist drive to crush the DPRK workers state through military, economic and political pressure.
However, the media narrative took a blow when soccer fans coming to watch North Korea’s match against Uzbekhistan as well as Sydney public transport users came across a contingent of supporters of the socialistic DPRK coming to support the DPRK team. The contingent – including supporters of Trotskyist Platform, the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society and the Communist Party of Australia – chanted:
“D-P-R-K! Workers State is Here to Stay!”

Oppose All U.S. & Australian Military & Political Intervention in Syria & Iraq!

Above:  Trotskyist Platform banner (Above) at the ‘No Australian War on Syria’ rally in Sydney on 13 September 2015 (Below). The conflict in Syria has involved both internal rivals and several different capitalist powers intervening in a murky way – sometimes involving shifting alliances. Yet one thing is absolutely clear: all intervention by the U.S. and allied British, French and Australian imperialist rulers will only mean yet more suffering for the Syrian people. This is the case whether that intervention is through direct military participation, arming and financing of “Rebel” proxies or diplomatic manoeuvring. As we go to press in the days after the 13 November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, all the barbaric capitalist powers have seized on those gruesome attacks to justify not only heightened state repression and racist scapegoating at home but increased intervention in Syria and Iraq. The intensified air strikes by these powers will cause further civilian casualties that will dwarf in number the 129 people killed in the Paris attacks.

Syria rally CMYK

Imperialist Hypocrisy, Nationalism & Repression after Paris Terror Attacks

Far-right forces have seized on terrorist attacks by ISIS/Al Qaeda, like the 13 November attacks in Paris (Above Left), to promote their extreme racist agenda. The Paris attacks carried out by ISIS were indeed cruel, cowardly attacks on innocent civilians. However, the condemnation of the attacks by the Western capitalist rulers and their media is the height of hypocrisy – given their own horrific crimes. Photo, Above Right, shows the hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz in flames after U.S. aircraft repeatedly bombed the hospital on 3 October 2015, killing at least 22 and up to as many as 50 civilians. The only reason that this barbaric war crime received any media coverage is that the hospital was run by the French NGO, Médecins Sans Frontières. MSF reported that they desperately contacted U.S. and Afghan authorities by agreed channels to tell them that the hospital was being bombed but the U.S. military continued their precise bombing of the hospital for at least a further half an hour. At the height of their occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S, French, German, British and Australian imperialist forces were every seven weeks murdering as many civilians as were killed in the Paris attacks! Meanwhile, during their intense bombing of Libya to impose regime change there, the U.S., French and British imperialists – backed by Australia’s capitalist rulers – killed thousands of Libyan people. Photo, Below Left, shows a man and a child found dead in residential buildings that were destroyed in a 19 June 2011 NATO air strike on the outskirts of the Libyan capital. Of course, there was never any blanket media coverage of these attacks the way the Paris attacks have been covered in the media nor any officially organised mourning for the victims. Was the Opera House ever lit up in the colours of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria to mourn the civilian victims of Western imperialist atrocities? Gruesome attacks by white supremacist terrorists like the murder of 77 people in Norway on 22 July 2011 by neo-Nazi, Anders Breivik (Below Right) also never got the same condemnation and overwhelming media coverage as the Paris attacks.
Far-right forces have seized on terrorist attacks by ISIS/Al Qaeda, like the 13 November attacks in Paris (Above Left), to promote their extreme racist agenda. The Paris attacks carried out by ISIS were indeed cruel, cowardly attacks on innocent civilians. However, the condemnation of the attacks by the Western capitalist rulers and their media is the height of hypocrisy – given their own horrific crimes. Photo, Above Right, shows the hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz in flames after U.S. aircraft repeatedly bombed the hospital on 3 October 2015, killing at least 22 and up to as many as 50 civilians. The only reason that this barbaric war crime received any media coverage is that the hospital was run by the French NGO, Médecins Sans Frontières. MSF reported that they desperately contacted U.S. and Afghan authorities by agreed channels to tell them that the hospital was being bombed but the U.S. military continued their precise bombing of the hospital for at least a further half an hour. At the height of their occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S, French, German, British and Australian imperialist forces were every seven weeks murdering as many civilians as were killed in the Paris attacks! Meanwhile, during their intense bombing of Libya to impose regime change there, the U.S., French and British imperialists – backed by Australia’s capitalist rulers – killed thousands of Libyan people. Photo, Below Left, shows a man and a child found dead in residential buildings that were destroyed in a 19 June 2011 NATO air strike on the outskirts of the Libyan capital. Of course, there was never any blanket media coverage of these attacks the way the Paris attacks have been covered in the media nor any officially organised mourning for the victims. Was the Opera House ever lit up in the colours of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria to mourn the civilian victims of Western imperialist atrocities? Gruesome attacks by white supremacist terrorists like the murder of 77 people in Norway on 22 July 2011 by neo-Nazi, Anders Breivik (Below Right) also never got the same condemnation and overwhelming media coverage as the Paris attacks.

Paris Terror Attacks3

Extreme reactionary forces like ISIS and Al Qaeda were, actually, initially built up by Washington and Co. to serve their neo-colonial agenda but then escaped their master’s leash. Above Left: Then U.S. president Ronald Reagan meets with extreme fundamentalist Mujahedin leaders at the White House in 1985. Reagan described them as the “moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” These reactionary cut-throats were massively financed and armed by the Western capitalist powers in their barbaric, anti-communist war against the then leftist – and pro-women’s rights – Afghan government and its Soviet Red Army protectors. Among the fundamentalists backed by Washington in Afghanistan was Al Qaeda founder, Osama Bin Laden. Above Right: In May 2013, prominent U.S. senator John McCain meets Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, leader of the Al Qaeda offshoot, ISIS and other Western-backed Syrian “Rebel” leaders. After this meeting, which was covered by CNN, McCain lavished praise on Baghdadi and Co. as “moderates.” The U.S., French, British and Australian rulers only turned on ISIS over a year later after it started to attack the West’s other Syrian “Rebel” allies and after it encroached on Western interests in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Extreme reactionary forces like ISIS and Al Qaeda were, actually, initially built up by Washington and Co. to serve their neo-colonial agenda but then escaped their master’s leash. Above Left: Then U.S. president Ronald Reagan meets with extreme fundamentalist Mujahedin leaders at the White House in 1985. Reagan described them as the “moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” These reactionary cut-throats were massively financed and armed by the Western capitalist powers in their barbaric, anti-communist war against the then leftist – and pro-women’s rights – Afghan government and its Soviet Red Army protectors. Among the fundamentalists backed by Washington in Afghanistan was Al Qaeda founder, Osama Bin Laden. Above Right: In May 2013, prominent U.S. senator John McCain meets Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, leader of the Al Qaeda offshoot, ISIS and other Western-backed Syrian “Rebel” leaders. After this meeting, which was covered by CNN, McCain lavished praise on Baghdadi and Co. as “moderates.” The U.S., French, British and Australian rulers only turned on ISIS over a year later after it started to attack the West’s other Syrian “Rebel” allies and after it encroached on Western interests in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Meanwhile, it is the ongoing neo-colonial exploitation and brutal repression of “Third World” Middle Eastern, African and Asian people by the imperial powers that – in the situation where a communist alternative force is still being built up – has led some originating from these lands to seek salvation in ultra-reactionary forces like ISIS and Al Qaeda. Above Right: Nazi-like savagery! Eleven civilians including five children murdered in a U.S. attack on an Iraqi house in the town of Isahaqi on 15 March 2006. The U.S. military claimed that the civilians were killed as “collateral damage” in an attack on supposed militants in the house but even the U.S.-puppet, Iraqi colonial authorities had to admit that the U.S. troops actually shot each of the victims – including the children – in the back of the head - execution style - as “revenge” for insurgent attacks on the U.S. military. Above Left: Algerian protesters massacred by French police in Paris on 17 October 1961. The unarmed Algerian migrants demonstrated against a discriminatory curfew and against French colonial rule in Algeria. French police, many of whom had been Nazi collaborators during World War II, responded by beating to death many protesters in police stations and woods while others whom they had beaten unconscious they then drowned by throwing them into Paris’ Seine river. It is estimated that the French police massacred 200 people that day. Amongst many other outrages commited by the French imperialist state it is worth noting France’s complicity in the dark history of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsis which, over the course of just 100 days, saw 800,000 unarmed civilians slaughtered, mainly by machetes. In 2008, a two year investigation conducted by the Rwandan government found that France helped the extremists who carried out the genocide and that a French force sent to establish a “humanitarian safe zone” took part in killing and raping Tutsis. “French soldiers themselves directly were involved in assassinations of Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis,” the special commission report stated. “French soldiers committed many rapes, forced sexual intercourse specifically with surviving Tutsi women. They clearly requested Interahamwe [Hutu militia] ... to kill Tutsis,” it said. “They also clearly requested to have Tutsi who had infiltrated in displaced population camps brought to them and have Interahamwe kill at least some of them. They let Interahamwe kill Tutsis under their eyes.” See “French leaders accused of complicity in Rwanda genocide”, The Telegraph, 5 August 2008 (located online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/2506150/France-accused-of-complicity-in-Rwanda-genocide.html - accessed 14 March 2016). The Telegraph article continues to say: French military advisers worked closely with the Rwandan government in the years leading up to 1994. Those advisors helped draw up battle plans and military strategy for the Rwandan armed forces, including elite units which are accused of being among the first to start the killings, the report said. The French suggested a program to arm civilians to protect against opposition rebels, and then went on to train volunteers. These militia formed the core of the later genocidal infrastructure. Training and funding was also given to a department of Rwanda’s national intelligence services on how to establish a computerised database of people’s tribes, which was later used to draw up a “kill list” of Tutsis. Once the genocide had started, on April 6, 1994, France sent arms to support the genocidal government, according to the report, which heard from 120 witnesses since it was set up by President Kagame in 2006.
Meanwhile, it is the ongoing neo-colonial exploitation and brutal repression of “Third World” Middle Eastern, African and Asian people by the imperial powers that – in the situation where a communist alternative force is still being built up – has led some originating from these lands to seek salvation in ultra-reactionary forces like ISIS and Al Qaeda. Above Right: Nazi-like savagery! Eleven civilians including five children murdered in a U.S. attack on an Iraqi house in the town of Isahaqi on 15 March 2006. The U.S. military claimed that the civilians were killed as “collateral damage” in an attack on supposed militants in the house but even the U.S.-puppet, Iraqi colonial authorities had to admit that the U.S. troops actually shot each of the victims – including the children – in the back of the head – execution style – as “revenge” for insurgent attacks on the U.S. military. Above Left: Algerian protesters massacred by French police in Paris on 17 October 1961. The unarmed Algerian migrants demonstrated against a discriminatory curfew and against French colonial rule in Algeria. French police, many of whom had been Nazi collaborators during World War II, responded by beating to death many protesters in police stations and woods while others whom they had beaten unconscious they then drowned by throwing them into Paris’ Seine river. It is estimated that the French police massacred 200 people that day.
Amongst many other outrages commited by the French imperialist state it is worth noting France’s complicity in the dark history of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsis which, over the course of just 100 days, saw 800,000 unarmed civilians slaughtered, mainly by machetes. In 2008, a two year investigation conducted by the Rwandan government found that France helped the extremists who carried out the genocide and that a French force sent to establish a “humanitarian safe zone” took part in killing and raping Tutsis. “French soldiers themselves directly were involved in assassinations of Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis,” the special commission report stated. “French soldiers committed many rapes, forced sexual intercourse specifically with surviving Tutsi women. They clearly requested Interahamwe [Hutu militia] … to kill Tutsis,” it said. “They also clearly requested to have Tutsi who had infiltrated in displaced population camps brought to them and have Interahamwe kill at least some of them. They let Interahamwe kill Tutsis under their eyes.” See “French leaders accused of complicity in Rwanda genocide”, The Telegraph, 5 August 2008 (located online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/2506150/France-accused-of-complicity-in-Rwanda-genocide.html – accessed 14 March 2016). The Telegraph article continues to say:
“French military advisers worked closely with the Rwandan government in the years leading up to 1994.
“Those advisors helped draw up battle plans and military strategy for the Rwandan armed forces, including elite units which are accused of being among the first to start the killings, the report said.
“The French suggested a program to arm civilians to protect against opposition rebels, and then went on to train volunteers. These militia formed the core of the later genocidal infrastructure.
Training and funding was also given to a department of Rwanda’s national intelligence services on how to establish a computerised database of people’s tribes, which was later used to draw up a “kill list” of Tutsis.
“Once the genocide had started, on April 6, 1994, France sent arms to support the genocidal government, according to the report, which heard from 120 witnesses since it was set up by President Kagame in 2006.”
Today, capitalist rulers from France to Australia are cynically seizing on the terrorist attacks to whip up patriotic fervour and a supposed “common identity” as people who embrace “liberal democratic values.” This serves to mask the fact that the capitalist ruling class exploit their “own” working class. Above Left, 5 October 2015: Air France workers storm through the gates of the company’s headquarters after the capitalist bosses announced the retrenchment of 2,900 workers. Angry workers ripped the shirts off a couple of high-ranking executives and were about to dispense a healthy dose of workers’ justice to these greedy corporate thugs when the terrified bosses were rescued by security guards and climbed over a fence to escape (Above Right). Today’s post-attacks patriotism is meant to not only dampen such class struggle but the yet more added powers that the capitalist authorities are giving themselves in the name of fighting terrorism will in the end be used against the workers’ movement, leftists and anti-imperialists.
Today, capitalist rulers from France to Australia are cynically seizing on the terrorist attacks to whip up patriotic fervour and a supposed “common identity” as people who embrace “liberal democratic values.” This serves to mask the fact that the capitalist ruling class exploit their “own” working class. Above Left, 5 October 2015: Air France workers storm through the gates of the company’s headquarters after the capitalist bosses announced the retrenchment of 2,900 workers. Angry workers ripped the shirts off a couple of high-ranking executives and were about to dispense a healthy dose of workers’ justice to these greedy corporate thugs when the terrified bosses were rescued by security guards and climbed over a fence to escape (Above Right). Today’s post-attacks patriotism is meant to not only dampen such class struggle but the yet more added powers that the capitalist authorities are giving themselves in the name of fighting terrorism will in the end be used against the workers’ movement, leftists and anti-imperialists.
Above: Melbourne, 2010: Police arrest 29 of the striking workers picketing the Visy manufacturing plant in Melbourne.
Above: Melbourne, 2010: Police arrest 29 of the striking workers picketing the Visy manufacturing plant in Melbourne.

Down with the Right-Wing Campaign OF Lies about North Korea!

Above: Democracy in capitalist South Korea? Leftist South Korean parliamentarian Lee Seok-ki shouts as he is escorted into prison by security agents in September 2013. The Unified Progressive Party (UPP) MP was jailed for nine years on bogus charges of inciting a socialist insurrection. Later, the South Korean regime banned the UPP and kicked all its MPs out of parliament. Until it was banned, the UPP was South Korea’s third largest parliamentary party with a vote share equivalent to The Greens in Australia.

“Human Rights” Attacks on Socialistic North Korea & the Trade Union Royal Commission Here:
Both are Campaigns of Lies to “Justify” Attacks on Anyone Standing in the Way of Capitalist Exploitation

22 August 2015: This month, people around the world marked the 70th anniversary of the two most horrific terror attacks on civilians ever perpetrated in the whole of human history. Seventy years ago the U.S. regime, fully backed by the Australian ruling class, was responsible for the nuclear incineration of the people first of Hiroshima and then of Nagasaki. Yet these very same ruling classes have the hide to wage a campaign against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) over “human rights.”

Indeed, the DPRK is probably the last country that the Western powers should be raising the issue of “human rights” about.  During the 1950-53 Korean War, the U.S. and allied militaries – including those of Australia and South Korea – killed between two to three million North Korean citizens. In the beginning of January 1951, American General Mathew Ridgway ordered the air force to hit the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, “with the goal of burning the city to the ground with incendiary bombs,” which they did in two strikes on January 3 and January 5 (“Consequences of the ‘Forgotten War,’” Bruce Cummings, printed in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2004). Pyongyang and just about every other city in North and Central Korea was again levelled by U.S. bombing in December 1952. Those North Koreans that survived were by then literally living in caves.

Yet the capitalist powers and the big business-owned media that serve them have never shied away from gross hypocrisy and never been bound by the truth. Recall, for one, their now infamous lie that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons. Such lies are spread for a purpose. In the case of the lie about Iraq it was used to justify the 2003 U.S.–led invasion and conquest of that oil-rich country. Here, the Liberal/National Party regime’s lies demonising our trade unions are used to grease the skids for further union-busting attacks and anti-strike laws.

So why are they lying about North Korea then? Because the workers and farmers of North Korea have dared to adopt a socio-political system that is not based on capitalist exploitation. The masses of North Korea have dared to insist that they will not subordinate themselves to Western imperialism. For this “crime,” the imperial powers have slated the DPRK for destruction. Their outrageous claims about “appalling human rights abuses” in North Korea are used to justify the ongoing stiff economic sanctions on that country as well as the extreme military pressure that the U.S. and its allies exert on the DPRK. Not only are tens of thousands of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to threaten the DPRK but U.S. aircraft and warships regularly move in and out of North Korean airspace and waters to amplify this threat. Ultimately, the imperialist powers see the “human rights” crusade against North Korea as a means of preparing the population in their own countries for a future, full-scale military assault on that country – something that has to date only been stymied by Red China’s alliance with its socialistic sister, the DPRK.

As part of the big lie campaign against the DPRK, the South Korean Consul General in Sydney – in other words the South Korean government – hosted a week of events in Australia from August 17 to August 21 titled “North Korea Human Rights Week.” These events were timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of North Korea from Japanese colonial occupation on 15 August. The Sydney Branch of the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society protested outside the Opening Ceremony of this “Human Rights Week” at Sydney City’s main cinema strip near Town Hall station. Participating in the snap protest were several Trotskyist Platform comrades as well as supporters of the Australia-DPRK Friendship Society including one member from the CPA and a representative from the Supporters of the Iranian Peoples Fadaee Gureillas. Among the placards we carried were signs that read, “Human Rights” Attacks on Socialistic North Korea Are Like the Trade Union Royal Commission Here: A Campaign of Lies Used to Justify Attacks on Organisation/s Standing In the Way of Capitalist Exploitation and “Human Rights” of imperialism = bombing Afghanistan, torture at Guantanamo, killings of Aboriginal people in custody, support for murderous regimes in Egypt, Israel, Philippines and Colombia. How dare they attack socialistic DPRK, China and Cuba over “human rights.” Some passers-by stopped to express sympathy with the protest. Among these were a woman who knew much about the South Korean regime’s jailing of trade unionists and a woman of South Korean origin whose husband was a political activist murdered by the capitalist South Korean regime.

For the brutal, anti-working class South Korean regime to be talking about “human rights” is truly the height of hypocrisy. Yet its attacks on the socialistic North are totally expected. Whilst the DPRK was founded by Korean leftists who heroically fought the Japanese imperialist occupiers and with the vital assistance of the Soviet Red Army freed the Northern part of the peninsula from colonial rule, South Korea was established by the U.S. using many local collaborators with Japanese colonial rule as their henchmen. Among these U.S. henchmen were rich industrialists and big landlords during Japanese rule who defected from the North after the new socialistic power there nationalised industry and divided big landholdings amongst the impoverished poor peasants. Thus for a long time many amongst the Korean masses viewed North Korea as the real Korea and South Korea for what it really was –  a U.S.-occupied puppet state. The South Korean regime and its U.S. patrons could only maintain their rule through the most bloody terror and the support of the occupying U.S. military forces.

14 November 2015, Seoul: Capitalist South Korea’s brutal police unleash water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a 70,000 strong anti-government demonstration of workers and civil rights activists.
14 November 2015, Seoul: Capitalist South Korea’s brutal police unleash water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a 70,000 strong anti-government demonstration of workers and civil rights activists.

Against the lies being spread by the South Korean regime and the U.S., British, Japanese and Australian ruling classes, we present here some important facts:

  • In the DPRK there is full employment. All workers have a right to work. This does not exist in capitalist South Korea and certainly not in capitalist Australia where greedy bosses feel that they can even get away with sacking workers in strongly unionised workplaces by text message!
  • The liberation in the latter part of World War II of the Northern part of Korea from Japanese colonial rule by the Soviet Red Army and communist-led Korean partisans led to the establishment of a workers state in North Korea. This workers state is, however, weakened by bureaucratic deformations. Thus, although the DPRK defends a pro-working class system based on collective ownership of industry, agriculture and services, the bulk of the working class is kept away from political administration which is in the hands of a relatively narrow bureaucratic layer. There is also a personality cult around leader Kim Jong Un and his late father, previous leader Kim Jong-Il and his deceased grandfather, founding head of the DPRK and former anti-colonial resistance leader, Kim Il Sung. Furthermore, those who form the administrative layer of the DPRK have special material privileges (although these pale in comparison to the extreme wealth of big business owners in capitalist countries). Yet despite these bureaucratic deformations, the existence of a workers state in the Northern part of Korea represents a significant conquest for the international working class. Furthermore, fixing the bureaucratic deformations that weaken the DPRK workers state demands relieving her of the tremendous pressure that is bearing down upon her from the imperialist powers and their South Korean ally.
  • Working in a society where workers have guaranteed jobs and are proclaimed as the ruling class means that North Korean workers enjoy a relaxed, friendly work environment. Indeed, if Aussie bosses saw how laid back North Korean workers were and how much they like to talk to each other whilst working on a production line then they would truly have a fit!
  • In contrast to the North, most South Korean workers toil in insecure casual or temporary jobs. Though the trade union movement there has waged many brave struggles for their rights in the face of fierce repression, still workers are forced to work very long hours. In fact, South Korean workers endure amongst the longest working hours in the world and the large number of workers forced to work part-time there means that the statistics, actually, hide the full extent of the reality.
  • Despite an industrialised economy, in capitalist South Korea, large numbers of homeless people sleep every day in railway subway tunnels. Many frail elderly people are forced to collect recyclables for petty cash since an aged pension barely exists in this country. In contrast, in North Korea, homelessness is non-existent and all citizens are guaranteed heavily subsidised public housing.
  • Despite being devastated in the 1950-53 Korean War, over the following two decades the DPRK built the second most advanced economy in Asia. Up until the late 1960s, the DPRK not only had much better health care, social welfare and education than South Korea but a higher average level of income. At that time, the U.S. decided to massively subsidise South Korean economic development as the U.S. rulers feared that hatred of the South Korean regime and sympathy for the North amongst the South Korean masses would lead to revolution. Thus, South Korea’s industrialisation was based on huge U.S. backing as well as cruel exploitation of its own workers.
  • Up until the collapse of the USSR in 1991-92, North Korean citizens continued to enjoy a high standard of living. However, the destruction of the USSR had a devastating effect on the DPRK. Faced with sanctions from the capitalist world, trade and technical exchanges with the former Soviet Union had been the DPRK’s economic lifeline. Furthermore, the USSR acted as a guarantor of the DPRK’s defence. Now, the DPRK had to provide for its own defence (China’s military was, especially at that time, not comparable to the USSR’s and incapable of providing the same deterrent to imperialist threats to the DPRK) at a time when the imperial powers felt more emboldened than ever. This forced the DPRK to divert a much larger proportion of its economy to defence which in turn squeezed her economy. A period of serious hardship in the country followed. However, by the start of the 21st century this started to turn around and especially over the last few years the DPRK economy has picked up. The military encirclement and the sanctions still hurt the DPRK – for example there is a shortage of fuel and spare parts for machinery and automobiles. Yet the North Korean masses are standing strong much like defiant workers who lose wages whilst on strike. Embarking on the struggle against their enemy brings hardships but they stand firm understanding that victory will open the road to a brighter future.

    The Australian capitalist regime that attacks the DPRK over “human rights” has overseen the death of over 500 Aboriginal people in state custody since 1980. Some of the more well-known cases of Aboriginal people being outright murdered by racist police or killed as a result of racist treatment while in custody include: Eddie Murray (Top Left) who was killed by police in June 1981 in Wee Waa, northern NSW, within an hour of being arrested (merely for being allegedly drunk); 17 year-old TJ Hickey (Top Right) who in February 2004 was chased by racist police in Redfern who then rammed his bicycle causing him to fly through the air and be impaled on a fence; Mulrunji Doomadgee (Bottom Left) who was barbarically beaten to death by racist police officer Chris Hurley in Palm Island in November 2004 and Julieka Dhu (Bottom Right) who while imprisoned in WA’s South Hedland watch house in August 2011 was repeatedly denied medical assistance by racist police as she cried out for help. When eventually taken to hospital on two occasions she never got to see a doctor as police lied to hospital staff that, “she was faking it.” She eventually died as a result of this torture-like denial of medical assistance 48 hours after being jailed for unpaid fines.
    The Australian capitalist regime that attacks the DPRK over “human rights” has overseen the death of over 500 Aboriginal people in state custody since 1980. Some of the more well-known cases of Aboriginal people being outright murdered by racist police or killed as a result of racist treatment while in custody include: Eddie Murray (Top Left) who was killed by police in June 1981 in Wee Waa, northern NSW, within an hour of being arrested (merely for being allegedly drunk); 17 year-old TJ Hickey (Top Right) who in February 2004 was chased by racist police in Redfern who then rammed his bicycle causing him to fly through the air and be impaled on a fence; Mulrunji Doomadgee (Bottom Left) who was barbarically beaten to death by racist police officer Chris Hurley in Palm Island in November 2004 and Julieka Dhu (Bottom Right) who while imprisoned in WA’s South Hedland watch house in August 2011 was repeatedly denied medical assistance by racist police as she cried out for help. When eventually taken to hospital on two occasions she never got to see a doctor as police lied to hospital staff that, “she was faking it.” She eventually died as a result of this torture-like denial of medical assistance 48 hours after being jailed for unpaid fines.
  • In the above sense, North Korean defectors can be compared to weak workers who sneak back to work during a strike because they are looking for short-term economic security at the expense of the long-term well-being of their fellow workers. Some of these defectors, either out of the quest for fame or because of cajoling from the South Korean and Western governments and anti-communist NGOs, have given harrowing tales of life in North Korea. Yet such tales have often been exposed as lies. These included the tales told by the most famous North Korean defector, Yeonmi Park. Her lies were so blatant that even anti-communist news agencies had to report on it. Meanwhile, hundreds of defectors disillusioned with the cut-throat life in the capitalist South with its unemployment and underemployment have, actually, defected back to the North.
  • Even despite the hardships that being squeezed by powerful capitalist powers brings, the North Korean masses manage to have their basic needs met. Contrary to the utter lies of the Western mainstream media there is no starvation in North Korea. Indeed, even statistics compiled by Western agencies hostile to the DPRK reveal this. Thus, the list of the percentage of a country’s population under the age of five who are underweight due to malnourishment estimated by the CIA – an institution thoroughly hostile to and biased against the DPRK – shows that North Korea is not only not among the top ten countries with the highest proportion of malnourished children but not even in the top 40! Indeed, not only do India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have much higher rates of malnourished children but so do other strong Western allies like Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
  • Similarly, the UN’s World Health Organization estimates life expectancy in the DPRK at 70 years. This is not only decisively higher than in India, Pakistan and PNG but also, actually, slightly higher than in Russia (suffering as Russia is, of course, from the capitalist counter-revolution that dismantled the world’s first workers state, the Soviet Union, in 1991) as well as the Philippines.
  • Despite the external pressure it faces, the DPRK has completely free health care and education. As a result, the DPRK has one of the highest literacy rates in the world for both women and men and a highly educated population.
  • North Koreans enjoy a rich social and cultural life. Peoples’ favourite hobbies include sports, dancing and playing music. As in much of Asia, people love karaoke. A recent craze there are amusement parks which have started springing up all over the country.
  • North Korea is a sports mad country and you can often see people jogging in the streets, playing in parks or training in the country’s many sports pavilions. At the last Olympic Games in London, the DPRK finished 20th in the medal tally – punching above its weight for a country of its size.
  • Many North Koreans play musical instruments and sing. Classical Korean and classical Western music, light semi-classical Korean tunes and pop music are all popular. The most popular band in North Korea at the moment, the extremely talented, all-female Moranbong Band plays all these styles alongside Western pop pieces.

    North Korean children having fun at a playground near a housing complex. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
    North Korean children having fun at a playground near a housing complex. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
  • In South Korea (the Republic of Korea), the very tough work environment for workers and the cut-throat nature of the capitalist society in general has led to it having the second highest suicide rate in the world. To put this in perspective, the suicide rate in South Korea is more than two and a half times that of Australia’s and nearly four times that of the Peoples Republic of China.
  • Despite having the hide to attack the DPRK over “human rights,” it is South Korea that has an appalling record of crushing the human rights of workers. The Seoul regime regularly arrests and imprisons trade union activists, including several trade union leaders who were arrested only two months ago .
  • Many people are persecuted under South Korea’s draconian National Security Law. In 2010 a woman was given a two year jail term for possessing MP3 files of instrumental music that was alleged to have pro-North Korea titles!
  • Last December, the South Korean regime banned the country’s third largest party in parliament, the left-leaning Unified Progressive Party (UPP), and stripped its MPs of its parliamentary seats. The UPP was accused of organising a pro-North Korea rebellion as the party’s actually quite critical attitude to the DPRK is, however, not hard line enough for the South Korean authorities. The UPP had won over two million votes (just over 10% of the total) in the proportional representation side of the last South Korean elections in 2012.
  • Capitalist rule in South Korea was consolidated by fanatical right-wing terror. From April 1948 to May 1949, the U.S. military government and their South Korean henchmen killed over 30,000 people on South Korea’s Jeju Island after the population rose up following repeated police shootings of pro-communist activists. Even the South Korean regime’s own commission – some 60 years after the fact – accepted that at least 20,000 people jailed for participation in the Jeju uprising were later massacred shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War.
  • More broadly, at the start of the Korean War, the South Korean rulers with the connivance of the U.S and Australia killed communists and those suspected of being communist sympathisers in what was known as the Bodo League massacres. Estimates of the number of people murdered ranged from 100,000 to 1.2 million. For decades in South Korea those who even spoke of these massacres were jailed. Although today South Korea flaunts an image of “democracy” and finally acknowledges, in part, the Bodo League massacres, it remains ruled by a brutal anti-working class regime.
    In May 1980, the South Korean military and police massacred over 2,000 people in the city of Kwangju after leftist students and workers there staged a rebellion demanding an end to martial law and an increase in minimum wages.
  • The South Korean regime for decades either pressured or coerced local women to work as “comfort women” prostitutes for stationed American troops. They then stigmatised the women and left them to live in poverty. Over 120 surviving comfort women are now suing the South Korean regime.
  • The South Korean regime is far from the only hypocrite amongst those falsely attacking the DPRK over “human rights.” So are the rulers of the U.S., Britain, Australia and other Washington allies. In Vietnam, these forces killed over two million Vietnamese people in their cruel but, ultimately, futile and losing war against the heroic Vietnamese revolutionaries. Over the course of the 1991 First Gulf War attack on Iraq, the subsequent starvation-causing UN sanctions on Iraq and the 2003 invasion and occupation, the U.S., British and Australian regimes caused the death of over one and a half million Iraqi people. In 2001, they invaded Afghanistan to replace the fundamentalist cutthroats that they, themselves, had helped bring to power with a new lot of misogynist tyrants that are, however, even more slavish to them. In the process they bombed Afghanistan back to the stone-age and massacred thousands of civilians in countless “accidental” air strikes on wedding parties and civilian travel convoys. In neighbouring Pakistan, U.S. drone strikes unleashed against the wishes of Pakistan’s government kill hundreds upon hundreds of civilians. Meanwhile, four years ago, the NATO imperialists, egged on by the Australian government, violently deposed the then Libyan government. In doing so they not only killed tens of thousands of Libyan people in savage air strikes but turned that once peaceful and affluent country into a nightmarish “failed state” ruled by rival gangs of religious extremists and warlords and caused tens of thousands of Libyans to flee in dangerous boat trips to Europe.

    Workers at North Korea’s Taedongang Tile Plant. North Korea has a relaxed and friendly work environment where at least two people are stationed at assembly line node points that would, in places like Australia or Indonesia, have only one worker doing all the work. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
    Workers at North Korea’s Taedongang Tile Plant. North Korea has a relaxed and friendly work environment where at least two people are stationed at assembly line node points that would, in places like Australia or Indonesia, have only one worker doing all the work. Photo: Trotskyist Platform
  • As part of all these neo-colonial wars of conquest, the U.S. and their allies have used torture to advance their goals. There was the notorious torture of Iraqi political prisoners by the U.S. at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, NATO’s torture in Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base and the ongoing U.S. hellhole prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
  • The Australian capitalist ruling class has perpetrated such atrocities not only as junior partners of the U.S. but sometimes from neo-colonial interventions it has itself led. In the late 1980s, when the people of the PNG-controlled island of Bougainville rose up to resist the terrible destruction of their livelihoods by Australian mining company CRA (this company which operated the huge Panguna mine in Bougainville with callous disregard to the local people later merged with British RTZ to form Rio Tinto), the Australian regime and its PNG government henchmen orchestrated a brutal war and naval blockade against the Bougainville people. As a result 15,000 to 20,000 Bougainville people perished – all for the sake of the profits of Australian capitalist bigwigs.
  • Here at home, the Australian rulers who attack the DPRK over “human rights” continue to preside over genocidal attacks on Aboriginal people, including forcibly closing down Aboriginal communities, stripping Aboriginal children from their families and police killings of Aboriginal people in custody. Meanwhile, refugees arriving in this country are thrown into hell-hole offshore detention camps where they face beatings, torture and in some cases murder at the hands of camp guards.
  • In the U.S., racist police and white supremacists murder blacks, Asians and Hispanics at an alarming and seemingly ever increasing rate. Meanwhile, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world – more than the entire population of Brisbane! The rate of imprisonment in the U.S. is close to four times that of Venezuela and nearly six times that of China.
People get set for a ride in one of North Korea’s many fun parks. Visiting amusement parks is one of the latest crazes in North Korea. You certainly would not know that from the mainstream Western media coverage about North Korea which seeks to do everything possible to demonise the society. Photo: Trotskyist Platform.
People get set for a ride in one of North Korea’s many fun parks. Visiting amusement parks is one of the latest crazes in North Korea. You certainly would not know that from the mainstream Western media coverage about North Korea which seeks to do everything possible to demonise the society.
Photo: Trotskyist Platform.

The truth is that the only “rights” that those waging the anti-DPRK “human rights” campaign are truly concerned about is the right of greedy corporate bigwigs to exploit the toil of working class people and the right of their mouthpieces to propagate the “virtues” of such a system. These rights do not, thankfully, exist in North Korea. And let’s keep it that way!

Defend the DPRK workers state! Down with the right-wing campaign of lies about North Korea! U.S. troops get out of South Korea and Japan! End all sanctions against North Korea! Remove the U.S. troops from Darwin and the U.S. spy facilities at Pine Gap and elsewhere in Australia which are used primarily for furthering U.S.-Australian ruling class threats against the DPRK and the Peoples Republic of China!

Apart from facilitating attacks on the socialistic DPRK, the lies about the “human rights” situation in the DPRK are used to distract the masses in South Korea, the U.S.A and Australia from the distinct lack of rights that working class people have in their own countries. So we demand: Repeal South Korea’s fascistic National Security Law! Revoke the ban on South Korea’s Unified Progressive Party! Free all imprisoned trade union activists in South Korea! Free all the refugees in Australia! Down with the police murder of Aboriginal people in state custody in Australia! End the Australian regime’s forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities! For the guaranteed right to a full-time job in Australia – just like people enjoy in North Korea!

Defend Socialistic China Against Military Intimidation By Capitalist Powers

Down with Capitalist Australia’s Military Build Up!
U.S., Australian Militaries: Stay Out of the South China Sea!

26 February 2016 – In October 2015, the U.S. warship, the USS Lassen destroyer (pictured above) sailed through waters, not far from mainland China, that are claimed by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) as its territorial waters. This provocative action in the South China Sea was fully backed by the right-wing Australian government and the ALP Opposition. Moreover, yesterday’s Defence White Paper released by the Turnbull government announced a massive military buildup for the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) which the White Paper could not hide was squarely targeted at China. The government “defence” plan announced that the ADF would have its troop numbers boosted to 62,400 in five years. That means that the Australian military as a percentage of the population will be over 60% larger than the PRC’s military which, in contrast, is in the process of reducing troop numbers by 15%.

The White Paper also announced the ADF’s massive expansion of military hardware including the acquisition of 12 new submarines, 9 warships, 12 patrol vessels, 75 joint strike fighters, two fleets of drones and additional helicopters for special forces troops. Excited by this announcement, racist former defence minister in the Abbott government, Kevin Andrews called for Australia to join the U.S. in sending warships into China’s claimed territorial waters in the South China Sea. Yet it is not only hardline right-wingers like Kevin Andrews who are demanding such aggressive actions. Months earlier, Labor shadow defence minister Stephen Conroy started demanding the same thing(5). Meanwhile, Liberal defence minister, Marise Payne yesterday refused to rule out the possibility that the Australian Navy may take such incendiary action in the future. Continue reading Defend Socialistic China Against Military Intimidation By Capitalist Powers