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Re : Iran: 1988 Mass Executions Evident Crimes Against Humanity: Senior Officials Implicated Should Be Investigated, Fairly Prosecuted

Michael Pugliese
 

[1] Deputy Supreme Leader Hossein Ali Montazeri wrote in his memoir
that the number of executed prisoners in 1988 was either 2,800 or
3,800. Ervand Abrahamian, a distinguished Iranian-American historian,
references in his book Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public
Recantations in Modern Iran several estimates of the number of
executed prisoners in the 1988 massacre. One eyewitness account in a
memoir (Plain Truths: Memoirs from Women’s Prisons in the Islamic
Republic), which Abrahamian cites, claims “thousands,” while another
eyewitness (Anonymous, “I Was Witness to the Slaughter of Political
Prisoners in Gohar Dasht,” Cheshmandaz, no. 14 [Winter 1995]: p. 68)
“puts it between 5,000 and 6,000—1,000 from the left and the rest from
the Mojahedin.” Another 1996 study Abrahamian cites, which utilizes
“scattered information from the [Iranian] provinces,” estimates the
figure at 12,000 (N. Mohajer, “The Mass Killings in Iran,” Aresh 57
(August 1996): 7); see also Amnesty International report,
“Blood-Soaked Secrets: Why Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacres Are Ongoing
Crimes Against Humanity,” (2018),
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/9421/2018/en/, p. 19.

Via https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/08/irans-1988-mass-executions

"Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran
, " by Ervand Abrahamian , can be downloaded , for free , in an e-book
format via LibGen,
http://library.lol/main/0A0A26E954C35C02DC145052C79EFBCE . The
"confessions," of the Tudeh Party cadre , were televised.

"Radical Islam: The Iranian Mojahedin," also by Ervand Abrahamian , on
the MEK/MKO/PMOI , is also downloadable via LibGen ,
http://library.lol/main/D72267F3C99907E95BC8A0DEEE45B921 .

Contextual details, (which do not , of coarse , excuse the slaughter
by the Iranian regime) , as to the timing , as to the onset of the
mass executions, of thousands of MEK members, the bulk of whom I
assume had been rounded up , years earlier , and , never had any sort
of command and control authority in an org. controlled by the Rajavi's
, and the tight circle around them, see,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Mojahedin_Organization_of_Iran#Operations_Shining_sun,_Forty_Stars,_and_Mersad
. Allegation made there that Sarin gas was deployed by the NLA of the
MEK , and the Iraqi forces themselves , in Operation Forty Stars ,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Forty_Stars , conducted
7/18/1988. MEK claims it was their own operation. Prior to the battle
to seize Mehran , Iraq had deployed chemical weapons , according to
Dilip Hiro and Anthony Cordesman. Iran counter-attacked in
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mersad , in what was among the
last major military operations in the Iran-Iraq War. Casualties in
these engagements , in a ghastly war , were substantial.

The mass executions , began on 7/19/1988 ,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_executions_of_Iranian_political_prisoners
.

"People's Mujahedin of Iran

The first prisoners to be interviewed or "tried" were the male members
of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, including those who had repented of
their association with the group. The commission prefaced the
proceedings with the false assurance that this was not a trial but a
process for initiating a general amnesty and separating the Muslims
from the non-Muslims.

It first asked their organisational affiliation; if they replied
"Mojahedin", the questioning ended there. If they replied monafeqin
(hypocrites), the commission continued with such questions as:

"Are you willing to denounce former colleagues?"
"Are you willing to denounce them in front of the cameras?"
"Are you willing to help us hunt them down?"
"Will you name secret sympathizers?"
"Will you identify phony repenters?"
"Will you go to the war front and walk through enemy minefields?"

Almost all the prisoners answered "no" to at least one of the
questions. These were then taken to another room and ordered to write
their last will and testament and to discard any personal belongings
such as rings, watches, and spectacles. They were then blindfolded and
taken to the gallows where they were hanged in batches of six. Since
"hanging" did not mean death by breaking of the neck by drop through a
trap door, but stringing up the victim by the neck to suffocate, some
took fifteen minutes to die.

After the first few days, the overworked executioners requested firing
squads. These requests were rejected on the claim that the Shari'a
mandated hanging for apostates and enemies of Allah, though it is
thought that the real reason may have been that hanging was quieter
than gunfire and would thus better preserve the secrecy of the
operations.[28]

At first this secrecy was effective. One survivor thought the purpose
of his interview was to be released in time for the forthcoming peace
celebrations.[29]

Dealing with leftists

After 27 August, the commission turned its attention to the leftist
prisoners, such as members of the Tudeh, Majority Fedayi, Minority
Fedayi, other Fedayi, Kumaleh, Rah-e Kargar, Peykar. These were also
assured they were in no danger and asked:[citation needed]

"Are you a Muslim?"
"Do you believe in Allah?"
"Is the Holy Qur'an the Word of Allah?"
"Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?"
"Do you accept the Holy Muhammad to be the Seal of the Prophets?"
"Will you publicly recant historical materialism?"
"Will you denounce your former beliefs before the cameras?"
"Do you fast during Ramadan?"
"Do you pray and read the Holy Qur'an?"
"Would you rather share a cell with a Muslim or a non-Muslim?"
"Will you sign an affidavit that you believe in Allah, the Prophet,
the Holy Qur'an, and the Resurrection?"
"When you were growing up, did your father pray, fast, and read the
Holy Qur'an?"

Prisoners were told that authorities were asking them these questions
because they planned to separate practicing Muslims from
non-practicing ones. However, the real reason was to determine whether
the prisoners qualified as apostates from Islam, in which case they
would join the moharebs in the gallows.

Some prisoners saved from execution by answering the questions
properly returned to their cells and passed along what the commission
was asking. A leftist prisoner who had once attended a seminary
realised the theological significance of the questions, and sent morse
code messages to other cells, warning of the dangers, by knocking on
the prison walls. The questioners wanted to know if prisoners' fathers
prayed, fasted, and read the Qur'an because the sons of devout men
could be called apostates. If they had not been raised in proper
Muslim homes first and "exposed to true Islam," they could not be
apostates. Another wrong answer was refusing to reply on the grounds
of 'privacy', a response which was often taken as an admission of
apostasy.[30]

All this was a surprise to the prisoners, with one commenting: "In
previous years, they wanted us to confess to spying. In 1988, they
wanted us to convert to Islam."[31] It also meant there was no
correlation between the length of sentence being served and the
likelihood of death. The first leftist to go before the commission
were those with short sentences, some even completed. These had no
warning of what was in store and many died."







Michael Pugliese


CFR: Russia's War in Ukraine: How Does it End?

Bradley Mayer
 

A Must See! Excellent insight on the different tendencies within the camp of the thought leaders of US/NATO imperialism, and where they might go with the Ukraine War.   Of course, these are no mere Chomsky thought leaders, but some are former Executive branch functionaries for the Democrats. The "hawks" are Polyakova and Hadley, the "doves" are Kupchan and Twitty, with Hass insisting upon "consensus" within both the US and Euro NATO camps before committing to a strategic reorientation.

Format is both video and transcript. First half are the presenters, second is Q&A, and note that CFR members will hardly comprise a YouTube sidebar peanut gallery commentariat, but will reflect informed opinions from this section of the US bourgeoisie.

Long and short of it is, they know that Ukraine must cut a deal with Russia sooner than later, when their military situation will have deteriorated further.  This is especially Twitty's point, and he is the military "expert" on this panel.  Continuation of the war at this level is a loser for Ukraine in the longer run.  NATO warmongers have no viable "proxy war" strategy to counter this prospect.  The panel is aware that the likely prospect of a Far Right ascendency in the USA puts the kibosh to the formulation of any coherent strategy, anyway.  The CFR panel was especially concerned with an end that left in place a (not so) "frozen conflict" simmering away, and were particularly concerned about the prospect of a Ukrainian resistance insurgency arising against the Russian occupation. 
  
That last is precisely the prospect that Ukraine Socialist Solidarity is well positioned to support unconditionally.  It is the result of principled vs. opportunistic approaches.  It is the only just position.

So the 100% "antiwar/peace" section of the Left that also refuses to support Ukraine because that is "warmongering", can rejoice at the prospect that Ukraine loses more, the more the war drags on, and will be forced to their "peace" table.  And of course it falsifies the notion that the "cause" of the Russo-Ukraine War is "NATO proxy warmongering", for again, as you will see, they know they have no such strategic path.  Hence also falsifies the scaremongering that "NATO proxy warmongering" tends toward escalations, pushing poor old Putin's back to the wall and raising the danger that "he might have to go nuclear". Besides ignoring that Ukrainians themselves have an interest in not escalating Russia's military effort, no such dynamic is in play: 

https://www.cfr.org/event/russias-war-ukraine-how-does-it-end 


Re: Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War

Michael Pugliese
 

Re :  "Has Putin's ideology been embraced down to youth organizations such as scouts and neighborhood associations that spy on their neighbors? ," a question folded into the post by Mark Baugher. Nashi (RussianМолодёжное демократическое aнтифашистское движение «Наши»Molodezhnoye demokraticheskoye antifashistskoye dvizhenye "Nashi" Youth Democratic Anti-Fascist Movement "Ours!") was a political youth movement in Russia,[1] , aligned with the Putin regime, , which reported to ," "Surkov's people" in the Kremlin," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashi_(youth_movement)#Allegations_of_spying_on_opposition_groups , on opposition groups. 

"And then there is Nashi, the thousands-strong Kremlin youth movement that professes to fight against fascism yet attacks liberal dissidents and puts on mass parades of youths marching in uniform Putin T-shirts and doing calisthenics, in scenes reminiscent of the 1930s. A few years ago, the muckraking newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an investigative report detailing links between skinheads, Moscow police and Nashi’s previous incarnation, a pro-Kremlin youth organization called Walking Together." 

(I will dig deeper to see if there is some successor org. to Nashi. What is more interesting to me , at the moment , is what is below about Borotba. M.P)

Surkov is former  Putin aide Vladislav Surkov , who was   ,"former Deputy PM, the ex-deputy head of the presidential administration," who according to EuromaidanPress and , what appears to be their allied site , Reft and Light, launched under their auspices , monitors "authoritarian left-right alliances and the Ukrainian far right," allegedly bankrolled Borotba . (In case , those embedded hyperlinks, I created do not transmit , just click , http://reftlight.euromaidanpress.com/2016/11/22/borotba-ukrainian-communists-working-surkov/ , which also has information of note on figures in Die Linke.) The ideological orientation(s) of Borotba , have always been a bit obscure to me. Some have asserted , on Leftist Trainspotters, that it has a mish mash of Trotskyists, Stalinists and Maoists , others assert it is totally Stalinized. 

"
Borotba was created in 2011 as a split-off of the Organisation of Marxists (OM). OM was an attempt to unite people from different political traditions of Bolshevism, the “Stalinist” and the “Trotskyist”. The ideology was jokingly called Shapinism, after the name of Viktor Shapinov, the author of the thesis: “There is no Stalinism and Trotskyism anymore, there is only revolutionary Marxism and reformism”. OM’s central idea was to overcome the “historical” contradictions between the Marxist schools and unite them around a common political practice today. Predictably, in a few years the organisation split into those same “Stalinists” and “Trotskyists” whom it wanted to reconcile. On the other hand, today both spare little attention on their ideological roots and, being faithful to Shapinov’s dictum, focus primarily on the current moment. Both Borotba and Left Opposition (now known as Social Movement) trod different paths towards the same aim: creation of a left party which would become a full-fledged subject of parliamentary politics.

The two projects counted on different audiences, though. Left Opposition and its successors appealed to left liberals, on the one hand, and independent union activists, on the other. Borotba chose a wider target audience, the disenchanted Communist party voters. It was actively poaching party activists: former communist MP Vasyl Tereschuk played important role in both OM and Borotba, former leader of Kyiv’s komsomol Yevgeniy Golyshkin was prominent in Borotba’s youth branch. Alexei Albu (who was honoured with the title of “high-profile” in Surkov’s emails) was especially valuable asset: he was not just any CPU activist but a regional council deputy, who helped to create Borotba’s second most influential regional cell.

While in Kyiv Borotba tried to maintain contacts with the “new left”, wasted resources to gain influence over anarchists and left liberals (with little success), in other regions the main bet was on conservative and pro-Russian cadres of CPU and even PSPU, who saw Borotba as the more consistent advocates of their own political views. While in Kyiv homophobia or sexism were frowned upon, elsewhere they were considered a norm. Already in 2012 Borotba activist Yevgenii Vallenberg (who later joined Mozgovoi’s “Prizrak” detachment) together with the red-brown “anti-imperialists” in Donetsk attacked the art gallery Isolation, which was, according to them, an agent of American imperialism. A couple years later, Isolation will be occupied by armed men and converted into the militants’ base, while the artwork will be destroyed." 

"The ideological foundation maintaining a pro-Russian position among the left was the legacy of the USSR and its victory in World War II. Since Russia clams that the government in Kyiv was seized by Nazis and the junta, the opponents of the Maidan described themselves as fighters against fascism and the Kyiv junta. This branding induced sympathy among the authoritarian left—for example, in Ukraine, including the “Borotba” organization. During the most significant events of 2014, they first took a loyalist position and then later a pro-Russian position. In Odessa, on May 2, 2014, several of their activists were killed during street riots. Some people from this group also participated in the fighting in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and some of them died there.

“Borotba” described their motivation as wishing to fight against fascism. They urged the European left to stand in solidarity with the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic.” After the e-mail of Vladislav Surkov (Putin’s political strategist) was hacked, it was revealed that members of Borotba had received funding and were supervised by Surkov’s people." Via Crimethinc , https://crimethinc.com/2022/02/15/war-and-anarchists-anti-authoritarian-perspectives-in-ukraine . The embedded hyperlinked , at the end of that quote, translated

Michael Pugliese 


Re: First day of House January 6 Committee hearings

Dennis Brasky
 

and here I have been attacking the late Milhous for decades when Johnson should be blamed for opening the door!

Thanks comrade

On Fri, Jun 10, 2022 at 1:43 PM Michael Pugliese <michael.098762001@...> wrote:
On Fri, Jun 10, 2022 at 10:25 AM Dennis Brasky <dmozart1756@...> wrote: "Nixon's 18 months of a secret bombing of a neutral nation in 1968 - 69 (Cambodia)

Actually that started in 1965 , under LBJ. 

"Bombs Over Cambodia New information reveals that Cambodia was bombed far more heavily  during the Vietnam War than previously believed — and that the bombing began not under Richard Nixon, but under Lyndon Johnson. Story by Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan mapping by Taylor Owen ." 

Sites bombed  by the USAF in Cambodia, 1965–1973 < 113,716 sites < 230,516 sorties < 2,756,941 tons of ordnance. 

https://gsp.yale.edu/sites/default/files/walrus_cambodiabombing_oct06.pdf

"Between 1965 and 1969, the U.S. bombed 83 sites in Cambodia. The pace of bombing increased in 1969..." https://sites.tufts.edu/atrocityendings/2015/08/07/cambodia-u-s-bombing-civil-war-khmer-rouge/

Michael Pugliese 


First day of House January 6 Committee hearings

Michael Pugliese
 

On Fri, Jun 10, 2022 at 10:25 AM Dennis Brasky <dmozart1756@...> wrote: "Nixon's 18 months of a secret bombing of a neutral nation in 1968 - 69 (Cambodia)

Actually that started in 1965 , under LBJ. 

"Bombs Over Cambodia New information reveals that Cambodia was bombed far more heavily  during the Vietnam War than previously believed — and that the bombing began not under Richard Nixon, but under Lyndon Johnson. Story by Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan mapping by Taylor Owen ." 

Sites bombed  by the USAF in Cambodia, 1965–1973 < 113,716 sites < 230,516 sorties < 2,756,941 tons of ordnance. 

https://gsp.yale.edu/sites/default/files/walrus_cambodiabombing_oct06.pdf

"Between 1965 and 1969, the U.S. bombed 83 sites in Cambodia. The pace of bombing increased in 1969..." https://sites.tufts.edu/atrocityendings/2015/08/07/cambodia-u-s-bombing-civil-war-khmer-rouge/

Michael Pugliese 


Re: First day of House January 6 Committee hearings

Dennis Brasky
 

... and given that the Democrats have never dared to seriously challenge the illegality of Republicans - 

The darling of US liberals, Hubert Humphrey, not only refused to stand up to McCarthy's witch hunt but actually joined with the far right Senator McCarran to co-sponsor a bill in 1950 that among other things, granted the President emergency powers to intern “potential subversives” in concentration camps;
Nixon's 18 months of a secret bombing of a neutral nation in 1968 - 69 (Cambodia);
Reagan/Bush Sr's Iran-Contra doubly impeachable scandal in 1986; and 
W Bush/Cheney's illegal war against Iraq based upon the lies of WMDs, alleged and never proven Iraqi sponsorship of al-Qaeda, and 200,000 dead civilians - 

what makes anyone even remotely serious about expecting a strong Democratic response to Trump's treason - especially after it has taken the not-too-courageous Biden administration including its wimpy Attorney General Garland 15 months to even start a case? Can any observer of US politics honestly doubt that if the protesters on January 6 were leftists or Black Lives Matter activists, at least half would have been shot on the spot and the other half would have been imprisoned where they would still be rotting today???

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/10/what-happens-when-you-dont-punish-insurrectionists


On Fri, Jun 10, 2022 at 12:59 PM John Reimann <1999wildcat@...> wrote:
The first day of public hearings of the House committee on January 6 released some new information, went over some old but still shocking other information, and seems intent to cover up still more information. All in all, its intent in part is to remind the general public of the extreme danger of what really happened and why. But will it accomplish its goals?



First day of House January 6 Committee hearings

John Reimann
 

The first day of public hearings of the House committee on January 6 released some new information, went over some old but still shocking other information, and seems intent to cover up still more information. All in all, its intent in part is to remind the general public of the extreme danger of what really happened and why. But will it accomplish its goals?


--
“Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.” Felicity Dowling
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

Anthony Boynton
 

It is already experiencing a wave of domestic terror in the form of mass shootings, many of which are carried out by ultraright wing terrorists. 

Anthony


Re: Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War

Mark Baugher
 


My question is, if the goal is international solidarity and dictatorship of the workers, how does military support of the existing Western supported government in Ukraine advance this goal? How does creating a sovereign nation state ruled by oligarchs, and “weakening” another, advance any socialist goals?
Why did the fledgling Soviet Union readily agree to spin off parts of the Russian empire into small, capitalist states? I think https://www.historicalmaterialism.org/blog/socialist-internationalism-and-ukraine-war explained that question well in the debate between Lenin and Luxemburg regarding Article 9 of the RSDLP program. And years later, why did Trotsky support a Nazi-armed Ethiopia against a fascist Italy? When I read about that a half-century ago, I assumed it was consistent with the long-established principle of the right of nations to self determination.

But it now seems that this topic is open to debate among the left. It's incumbent on us, particularly the US citizens among us, to oppose the 'forever wars' and Washington's military expansion east through Europe. We've failed at that task since Vietnam. But that does not abrogate the right of the Ukrainian people to be free of colonization from a foreign power.

Mark

On Jun 9, 2022, at 10:28 PM, Mark Baugher <mark@...> wrote:



On Jun 9, 2022, at 5:27 AM, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:

https://www.historicalmaterialism.org/blog/socialist-internationalism-and-ukraine-war

Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War
by Rohini Hensman, Historical Materialism, June 2

Very good. A few quotes:
" ... Paradoxical though it may seem, national independence is therefore a necessary step on the road to socialist internationalism."
It is a useful and important historical summary.


"What this means is that the situation in 2022 is not a throwback to the Cold War as so many commentators have assumed, but more resembles World War II. Perhaps we should recognise it as World War III, a war between ethnic supremacist authoritarianism and democracy, which has engulfed every country in the world, not least the US, the UK and countries of the EU. Ukrainians, who started out fighting for national independence as a democratic republic, have had the misfortune to be thrust to the front lines of a war against genocidal fascism for the second time in living memory. It is true there are Ukrainian fascists, but they are tiny minority compared to the population as a whole waging a people’s war, whereas fascists dominate the Russian side.
I got lost in the parts contrasting "fascism" with "democracy" from an historical materialist perspective: The author wrote "If we identify the core characteristics of fascism as ethnic supremacism, extreme authoritarianism (rejection of democracy), hostility to socialism and communism, social conservatism (hostility to feminism and LGBT+ rights), the cult of the leader and constant propagation of lies, Putin ticks all the boxes." Is it all about ideas?

Many of these ideas originated in the USA and apply to a variety of types of regimes including military dictatorships, Bonapartist, religious, ethnic and other authoritarian structures that don't have the underlying social organization of fascism, which is a mass movement based on particular strata of a society that inhabit a precarious position between prosperity and financial uncertainty. These are small proprietors, professionals, petty bourgeoisie in their millions who mobilize to punch down against workers and oppressed minorities. Is there such a mass movement in Russia today? Has Putin's ideology been embraced down to youth organizations such as scouts and neighborhood associations that spy on their neighbors?

Mark







If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


Re: Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War

Bobby MacVeety
 

My question is, if the goal is international solidarity and dictatorship of the workers, how does military support of the existing Western supported government in Ukraine advance this goal? How does creating a sovereign nation state ruled by oligarchs, and “weakening” another, advance any socialist goals?

On Jun 9, 2022, at 10:28 PM, Mark Baugher <mark@...> wrote:



On Jun 9, 2022, at 5:27 AM, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:

https://www.historicalmaterialism.org/blog/socialist-internationalism-and-ukraine-war

Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War
by Rohini Hensman, Historical Materialism, June 2

Very good. A few quotes:
" ... Paradoxical though it may seem, national independence is therefore a necessary step on the road to socialist internationalism."
It is a useful and important historical summary.


"What this means is that the situation in 2022 is not a throwback to the Cold War as so many commentators have assumed, but more resembles World War II. Perhaps we should recognise it as World War III, a war between ethnic supremacist authoritarianism and democracy, which has engulfed every country in the world, not least the US, the UK and countries of the EU. Ukrainians, who started out fighting for national independence as a democratic republic, have had the misfortune to be thrust to the front lines of a war against genocidal fascism for the second time in living memory. It is true there are Ukrainian fascists, but they are tiny minority compared to the population as a whole waging a people’s war, whereas fascists dominate the Russian side.
I got lost in the parts contrasting "fascism" with "democracy" from an historical materialist perspective: The author wrote "If we identify the core characteristics of fascism as ethnic supremacism, extreme authoritarianism (rejection of democracy), hostility to socialism and communism, social conservatism (hostility to feminism and LGBT+ rights), the cult of the leader and constant propagation of lies, Putin ticks all the boxes." Is it all about ideas?

Many of these ideas originated in the USA and apply to a variety of types of regimes including military dictatorships, Bonapartist, religious, ethnic and other authoritarian structures that don't have the underlying social organization of fascism, which is a mass movement based on particular strata of a society that inhabit a precarious position between prosperity and financial uncertainty. These are small proprietors, professionals, petty bourgeoisie in their millions who mobilize to punch down against workers and oppressed minorities. Is there such a mass movement in Russia today? Has Putin's ideology been embraced down to youth organizations such as scouts and neighborhood associations that spy on their neighbors?

Mark




The Main Enemy is at Home

Charles Rachlis
 


Ajamu Baraka: For the Peoples of our Region, the Failure of Biden’s Summit of the Americas Would be a Welcome Event

Charles Keener
 

For the Peoples of our Region, the Failure of Biden’s Summit of the Americas Would be a Welcome Event - PopularResistance.Org

The Summit of The Americas Is Not The Property of The Host Nation.

The U.S. has no right to exclude, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, but has done so in disregard of their sovereignty. The U.S. is not fit to judge others or to be responsible for bringing nations together. Every leader in the hemisphere should boycott what has become a farcical event.
I applaud the decision by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador not to attend this week’s so-called Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles and hope that by Wednesday a majority of the nations in our region would have joined him. However, I am hoping that unlike President Lopez Obrador who is still sending the Mexican foreign minister, other nations demonstrate that their dignity cannot be coerced and stay away completely. 


Re: Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War

Dayne Goodwin
 

Yes, fascist organizations of post-WWI to WWII organized mass - petit-bourgeois based - movements in order to take state power and establish dictatorships (and then liquidate their most populist, mass-oriented factions).  Have you seen the suggestions that because ideologically fascist Putin already controls the state, the Russian fascist regime has been built without the mass movement characteristic of the 1920s-1930s?

Consider Russian socialist Ilya Budraitskis' comment:

From Managed Democracy to Fascism
Putin’s Imposition of Obedience and Order on Russian Society
by Ilya Budraitskis, Tempest, April 23
https://www.tempestmag.org/2022/04/from-managed-democracy-to-fascism
  .  .  .
The regime now requires unequivocal public acceptance of the war from every citizen. Any sign of deviation from this civic duty is condemned as treason, and any dissemination of information about the war other than official Defence Ministry briefs is treated as a crime. Since the war began, dozens of Russians – young and old, residents of Moscow and provincial towns – have been charged with new criminal offences of “discrediting the Russian army.” Not only going into a square with an anti-war poster, but even a pacifist badge on a backpack or a careless comment in the workplace can be grounds for arrest or a huge financial fine. The persecution of dissidents is gradually becoming not only a matter for the police, but also for “vigilantes” who are prepared to write a denunciation about a neighbour or a colleague. All this does not mean, however, that mass nationalist fanaticism has taken the place of depoliticization – on the contrary, propaganda and repression remain the exclusive monopoly of the state.
  .  .  .
Modern fascism (or, as the historian Enzo Traverso defined it, post-fascism) no longer needs mass movements or a more or less coherent ideology. It seeks to affirm social inequality and the subordination of the lower classes to the higher classes as unconditional as the only possible reality and the only credible law of society.

Russian society, after thirty years of post-Soviet authoritarianism and neoliberal market reforms, has consistently been reduced to a state of silent victimhood, a malleable material from which a full-fledged fascist regime can be built. External aggression, based on the complete dehumanisation of the enemy (“Nazis” and “non-humans,” as Putin’s official propaganda puts it), was the decisive moment in the “move” made from above. Of course, the Russian regime has its own unique features and was produced by a complex combination of specific historical circumstances. However, it is very important to understand that Putin’s fascism is not an anomaly, a deviation from “normal” development – including in Western societies.

Putinism is a frightening sign of a possible future to which extreme right-wing parties striving for power in various European countries could lead. In order to fight for a different future, we all need to reconsider the very foundations of the capitalist logic, which is quietly but persistently preparing the ground for a “move” from the top, which could happen in a heartbeat. The old and somewhat forgotten dilemma of Rosa Luxemburg, “socialism or barbarism,” has become an urgent reality for Russia and for the world since the fateful morning of the 24th of February.
    #  #  #

Ilya Budraitskis is the author of Dissidents Among Dissidents: Ideology, Politics, and the Left in Post-Soviet Russia. He writes regularly on politics, art, film, and philosophy for e-flux journal, openDemocracy, Jacobin and other outlets. He teaches at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow.


On Thu, Jun 9, 2022 at 8:28 PM Mark Baugher <mark@...> wrote:

> On Jun 9, 2022, at 5:27 AM, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:
>
https://www.historicalmaterialism.org/blog/socialist-internationalism-and-ukraine-war
>
> Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War
> by Rohini Hensman, Historical Materialism, June 2
>
> Very good.  A few quotes:
> " ... Paradoxical though it may seem, national independence is therefore a necessary step on the road to socialist internationalism."

It is a useful and important historical summary.
>
> "What this means is that the situation in 2022 is not a throwback to the Cold War as so many commentators have assumed, but more resembles World War II. Perhaps we should recognise it as World War III, a war between ethnic supremacist authoritarianism and democracy, which has engulfed every country in the world, not least the US, the UK and countries of the EU. Ukrainians, who started out fighting for national independence as a democratic republic, have had the misfortune to be thrust to the front lines of a war against genocidal fascism for the second time in living memory. It is true there are Ukrainian fascists, but they are tiny minority compared to the population as a whole waging a people’s war, whereas fascists dominate the Russian side.

I got lost in the parts contrasting "fascism" with "democracy" from an historical materialist perspective:  The author wrote "If we identify the core characteristics of fascism as ethnic supremacism, extreme authoritarianism (rejection of democracy), hostility to socialism and communism, social conservatism (hostility to feminism and LGBT+ rights), the cult of the leader and constant  propagation of lies, Putin ticks all the boxes."  Is it all about ideas?

Many of these ideas originated in the USA and apply to a variety of types of regimes including military dictatorships, Bonapartist, religious, ethnic and other authoritarian structures that don't have the underlying social organization of fascism, which is a mass movement based on particular strata of a society that inhabit a precarious position between prosperity and financial uncertainty.  These are small proprietors, professionals, petty bourgeoisie in their millions who mobilize to punch down against workers and oppressed minorities.  Is there such a mass movement in Russia today?  Has Putin's ideology been embraced down to youth organizations such as scouts and neighborhood associations that spy on their neighbors?   

Mark


Re: American Affairs: The EU after Ukraine

Anthony Boynton
 

Thanks for the explanation. I wish I had time to read all of the stuff you (and others) send plus the pile I have been building all on my own, but I don't. So sometimes I ask why I should check something out. T

On Thu, Jun 9, 2022 at 3:43 PM Bradley Mayer <blmayer062@...> wrote:
And all sorts of things, but especially this: "Astonishingly, nowhere in western Europe is the question asked what will happen if, in 2024, either Trump is reelected—which seems not at all impossible—or some ersatz Trump is elected in his place.".

Now there is no guarantee that a Far Right US Admin will present a more favorable situation for Putin, see the Trump Admin's actual "Russia policy".  Likely these will be seen as "more useful" idiots.  But the fundamental point I see Streeck making is that the US/NATO bloc has lost its bearings on the world stage.  All their leadership, far right or liberal, are "idiots" to one extent or another. 

The point is to the extent that a Streeck perspective gains the ascendancy - and there are many signs pointing in that direction - the "rational policy" for them is to slowly back out of their Ukraine military support.  I project this will become ascendent as the economic blowback from the sanctions really begins to bite Europe.  

This is also the theme of the Chivvis Guardian post.  All contradict the notion that the "cause" of the Ukraine war is a US/NATO "proxy operation" in that country, running from 2014.

For me, the growth of internal discord in the NATO camp illustrates that they were taken by strategic surprise by the Russian invasion, even as they knew of the operational plans months in advance. They knew the tree, but not the forest.  This operational knowledge was the source of initial "media accuracy".  Now they are hardly more accurate than their Potemkin Village propaganda counterparts.  So it's back to reading between the lines.

It would also be better to post relevant material from a variety of sources, beyond those of Marxism.  Marx himself lacked such "Marxist" sources, after all.  Believe it or not, but laying eyes on the pages of the New York Times does not make one "pro-NATO". :-)

A reminder of "what the 'and'" is about:
--
If the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrence, how are they to fulfill that great mission with a foreign policy in pursuit of criminal designs, playing upon national prejudices, and squandering in piratical wars the people’s blood and treasure?... the shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference with which the upper classes of Europe have witnessed the mountain fortress of the Caucasus falling a prey to, and heroic Poland being assassinated by, Russia: the immense and unresisted encroachments of that barbarous power, whose head is in St. Petersburg, and whose hands are in every cabinet of Europe, have taught the working classes the duty to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective governments; to counteract them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent, to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the simple laws or morals and justice, which ought to govern the relations of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations.

The fight for such a foreign policy forms part of the general struggle for the emancipation of the working classes.

Proletarians of all countries, unite!


Re: Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War

Mark Baugher
 

On Jun 9, 2022, at 5:27 AM, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:

https://www.historicalmaterialism.org/blog/socialist-internationalism-and-ukraine-war

Socialist Internationalism and the Ukraine War
by Rohini Hensman, Historical Materialism, June 2

Very good. A few quotes:
" ... Paradoxical though it may seem, national independence is therefore a necessary step on the road to socialist internationalism."
It is a useful and important historical summary.


"What this means is that the situation in 2022 is not a throwback to the Cold War as so many commentators have assumed, but more resembles World War II. Perhaps we should recognise it as World War III, a war between ethnic supremacist authoritarianism and democracy, which has engulfed every country in the world, not least the US, the UK and countries of the EU. Ukrainians, who started out fighting for national independence as a democratic republic, have had the misfortune to be thrust to the front lines of a war against genocidal fascism for the second time in living memory. It is true there are Ukrainian fascists, but they are tiny minority compared to the population as a whole waging a people’s war, whereas fascists dominate the Russian side.
I got lost in the parts contrasting "fascism" with "democracy" from an historical materialist perspective: The author wrote "If we identify the core characteristics of fascism as ethnic supremacism, extreme authoritarianism (rejection of democracy), hostility to socialism and communism, social conservatism (hostility to feminism and LGBT+ rights), the cult of the leader and constant propagation of lies, Putin ticks all the boxes." Is it all about ideas?

Many of these ideas originated in the USA and apply to a variety of types of regimes including military dictatorships, Bonapartist, religious, ethnic and other authoritarian structures that don't have the underlying social organization of fascism, which is a mass movement based on particular strata of a society that inhabit a precarious position between prosperity and financial uncertainty. These are small proprietors, professionals, petty bourgeoisie in their millions who mobilize to punch down against workers and oppressed minorities. Is there such a mass movement in Russia today? Has Putin's ideology been embraced down to youth organizations such as scouts and neighborhood associations that spy on their neighbors?

Mark


Iran: 1988 Mass Executions Evident Crimes Against Humanity: Senior Officials Implicated Should Be Investigated, Fairly Prosecuted

Dennis Brasky
 

Overwhelming evidence shows that the Iranian authorities’ mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in an in-depth question-and-answer document released today.

In 1988, Iranian authorities, acting on the orders of then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, summarily and extrajudicially executed thousands of political prisoners across the country. The number of executions is not known, but according to estimates from former Iranian officials and lists compiled by human rights and opposition groups, Iranian authorities executed between 2,800 and 5,000 prisoners in at least 32 cities. Evidence links several past and current senior officials to the executions, including President Ebrahim Raeesi.

https://www.juancole.com/2022/06/executions-investigated-prosecuted.html



Report from Kyiv

John Reimann
 

Oaklandsocialist talked with Eugene in Kyiv. He talked about the situation there and the mood in general. A lot refers back to what actually happened in the Maidan revolt of 2014, which Eugene also discussed. Here is a transcript of that discussion. Some of the wording has been slightly changed for clarity.
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2022/06/09/report-from-kyiv/

--
“Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.” Felicity Dowling
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook


Sexual Violence by Russian Troops in Ukraine “Chronically Underreported,” U.N. & Amnesty Int’l Find

Charles Keener
 

Sexual Violence by Russian Troops in Ukraine “Chronically Underreported,” U.N. & Amnesty Int’l Find | Democracy Now!

The United Nations is demanding an independent investigation into charges of rape and sexual assault committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine since the start of the invasion. We speak with Pramila Patten, the U.N.’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, who is just back from Ukraine and told the Security Council Monday about multiple shocking reports of rape and assault — all of which Russia has since denied. “We are dealing with a crime which is chronically underreported,” says Patten, who emphasized the need to establish safe spaces for victims to come forward and ensure no perpetrators be granted amnesty through a potential ceasefire or peace agreement. We also speak with Oksana Pokalchuk, executive director of Amnesty International Ukraine, whose organization is investigating the alleged war crimes.


Interview with Ukrainian socialists (Links)

Chris Slee
 

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