Monday, August 31, 2015

If someone still doubts the Basque Country is occupied...

... that one only has to look at what happened yesterday in Altsasu (Navarre).

Every year the Sovereign People of Altsasu attempts to celebrate a fiesta-protest known as "Ospa Eguna" (Go Away Day), demanding the evacuation of the Spanish Military Police (Guardia Civil) from the town and valley, and more in general from the whole Basque Country, because they are disruptive, abusive and unwanted occupation forces.

And every year the occupation forces try to demonstrate they are the ones in command and not the People. That's what I call a dictatorship.

This year it was painfully obvious:

The "logic" for the military aggression was that "we don't like it". Not even using and abusing the law and the judicial system, just absolute arbitrariness from those who know that they won't be ever challenged in their own legal and political system. 

Yes, Franco won the war and his ghost is still very much alive.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Syriza's Left wing organizes new party: Popular Unity

Laiki Enotita (Popular Unity or People's Union) is the name of the new party that will fight for the most genuine Syriza vote. There are no opinion polls yet on how this new party may fare but it is clear that, judging on the June and July data, Syriza as a whole gathered more than 40% of popular support, twice or more what the conservative New Democracy has, and seven times what smaller parties can gather. 

Within the former Syriza's bench in Parliament, they have at least 25 seats, being formally now the third largest party of Greece (displacing the much smaller nazi party to fourth position). Their presence withing the crumbling Syriza middle and low ranks is or was no doubt much stronger but Tsipras manipulated the party's institutions to delay decisions and now has forced elections before a congress can be elected and meet. 

The enigma is how will the vote split in the snap elections of September: will most Syriza supporters back Tsipras for his alleged "charisma" and "doing the best he could" (so he claims) or will them demand a clear-cut anti-Troika program, much as they did in the July referendum? 

My impression is that former Syriza voters may well be roughly evenly split, between the fearful, who will back Tsipras as "lesser evil" and the outraged, who will not want anymore of him, his lies and his betrayals. If this hunch is correct, then Tsipras will only be able to form government with the conservative New Democracy (and some lesser partners), intiating a four-year term of surely catastrophic third pro-Troika coalition cabinet, with very reinforced left-wing opposition (but opposition nevertheless). 

A key issue will be which of the three contenders will get the first post, which, by grace of the Greek electoral law (otherwise very proportional), gets 50 extra seats (out of 350). However, unless Popular Unity manages to get most of former Syriza backers, it will be unable to form government and pro-Troika parties, now possibly led by Tsipras, will have to form a colorful coalition in order to lick their masters' boots properly. 

As for Yanis Varoufakis nobody knows yet, not even himself possibly. He has repeatedly stated that he meant to be in politics for long but it is unclear if he will join (and be accepted) within the ranks of the new party (whose members probably feel he is way too moderate, even if respectable). He won't be included for sure in the Tsipras list because he broke the party's discipline. Clearly Varoufakis would be an asset for the new party in terms of attracting votes but it is not so clear if the Popular Unity program, which seems now persuaded of the need to evacuate the Eurozone and even the EU itself maybe may fit with the Europeanist feelings of the former Finance Minister.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tsipras cheats Syriza again

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is calling snap elections without allowing its own party, Syriza, to debate on his controversial surrender to the global banksters, on his PASKOization. Earlier the schedule was a Syriza Congress on September and, afterwards, elections, but now, obviously fearing to lose the party's support, he has changed the order of things, forcing dissidents to rush to create a distinctive list and that way probably break the party's discipline, resulting in mass expulsions and the retaining by the traitor PM of the brand and the assets of the party. 

Double traitor he is: to Greece and to Syriza.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Black shirts in the streets of Ferguson (USA)

They call themselves "Oath Keepers" but are a heavily armed paramilitary group ("militia"), 100% white, issuing electoral support for the extremist and racist presidential candidate Donal Trump and made up of former soldiers, police agents and other paramilitary structures. Police is allowing them to walk heavily armed in the middle of the demonstrators. Let's not forget that Ferguson is a municipality with a black majority but effectively controlled by the white minority, particularly the bourgeoisie, thanks to the very anti-democratic US electoral system, which actively works against actual popular participation and strongly favors the twin major parties.

When I read this yesterday night, I could only think in Mussolini's black shirts and how similar armed far right squads brought Italy to 25 years of dictatorship after just crushing all working class organization and resistance, serving always the demands of the bourgeois oligarchs.

Of course that there are many other cases, today's Ukraine notably, backed by the same extremist oligarchs from the USA, but post-WWI Italy is archetypal.

And I don't care if their shirts are mottled or pink, nope.

What happened to Tyrone Harris?

Two days ago, when there was this huge march in commemoration of the murder at the hands of police of Michael Brown, just when the police chief was talking to the press and saying how tolerant and patient they were trying to be with popular protests, there was a mysterious shooting that left the chief open mouthed.

As result another African American young man was shot and severely injured, shot in the back by police officers who alleged that they were responding to fire. Strange to say the least.

Some footage has become available recently on this matter. Notably a surveillance camera caught a key fraction of the events:

We can see how people is walking around normally, relaxed, when they suddenly run all around and look for cover. Someone was shooting.

One of them, plausibly Tyrone Harris, pulls out a gun and heroically attempts to face out the attackers, moving out of camera towards them afterwards. 

According to the police version, Tyrone was shot (in the back!!!) when he was firing against plainclothes police officers. 

What is clear from the video is that, no matter how the racists want to put it, he was exerting the right to self-defense. He could not know that the attackers were police agents because they were in plainclothes (according to the police version). But in any case, why would police agents shoot to a peaceful crowd like the one we see at the beginning of the video?

That is the big question. The question is not if Harris' gun was legally owned (it was not) or if he had played the piano at the police station before (who hasn't?), the real question is why he felt the need to pull out the gun and attempt self-defense?

And the answer is very apparent in the video itself: someone was shooting from that direction. Were the shooters plainclothes' police officers? Probably but it is the Ferguson Police Department who has to explain, again. 

My impression is that some of those racist cops tried to cause an incident, shaming their own chief precisely when he was speaking to the press about how peaceful and tolerant everyone was. That it was a mini-coup consistent with the power dynamics in the beleaguered US town, which has become the epicenter of the much wider conflict between a police state in which the repressive system systematically attacks minorities, very particularly Blacks but even more so Native Americans and also Latinos, and these minorities, and in general the working class across racial and ethnic divides, who oppose it.

The intrusion of the black shirts is only another step in the restoration of the KKK order by racist terror. 

It may also be of interest this video on how Tyrone Harris was being denied an ambulance after the shooting and how the ones protesting that were eventually arrested. These are not the only peaceful protesters arrested these days in Ferguson, hundreds have been. Meanwhile racist white crackpots with guns are allowed to walk around fully armed.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Erdoğan = Islamic State terror

From Voltaire Network:

Sümeyye Erdoğan
President Erdoğan has set up a secret hospital on Turkish territory at Şanlıurfa, outside of the combat zones, to look after wounded Daesh jihadists.

The town also shelters a secret al-Qaïda training camp [1].

The wounded are transported in military vehicles by the MIT (Turkish secret services).

The supervision of the hospital is coordinated by Sümeyye Erdoğan, the daughter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (photo) [2], who is also responsible for the international relations of the AKP (Islamist party).

Apart from that, according to the spokesman for the CHP (Socialist party), Gürsel Tekin, the crude oil stolen by Daesh is now being exported by BMZ Ltd, the maritime company of Bilal Erdoğan, the son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in violation of resolution 2170 of the United Nations Security Council [3].

Western bloc infighting in Syria

More details and analysis are provided in other articles by the Thierry Meyssan, the persecuted and exiled French journalist who leads the site. The most relevant one is dedicated to analyze the convoluted relations between Erdoğan's Islamist Turkey, the USA and other regional powers such as France, Israel, Russia or Saudi Arabia. 

According to Meyssan, initially Erdogan was against the neo-colonialist intervention in Libya and Syria that was orchestrated as offshoots of the so-called Arab Spring. However in 2011, Alain Juppé (Foreign Minister under Sarkozy, involved in several corruption scandals and eventually turned into US-style Neoliberal Hawk), persuaded the Turkish government to change course with promises of favoring their entrance in the European Union. In a secret document signed by Juppé and the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, the outline of the partition of Syria and Iraq was defined. 

France intended to reconstitute a colonial empire in Syria. Moreover, it had connections within the Islamist terrorist movements and anticipated the creation of Daesh. In order to guarantee the Juppé plan, Qatar agreed to make massive investments in eastern Turkey, hoping that the Turkish Kurds would then abandon the PKK.

Apparently the Turkish role in agitating Misrata Libyans was crucial for the overthrown of Gadafi. 

However Washington and London seem to have for some time abandoned the intervention plan, which remained pretty much a French and Turkish project. That explains why the situation in Syria has remained relatively stagnant all these years. 

Turkey however insisted on it and organized the plundering of the Syrian economic assets, be these machinery from Aleppo's industrial belt or archaeological treasuries to be sold in a black market set ad-hoc in Antioch. They also set a false-flag chemical attack in the outskirts of Damascus in an attempt to trigger NATO's unilateral intervention. 

The progress in negotiations between Washington and Teheran also weakened Turkey's gamble, so Turkey looked to Russia and signed in the Southern Stream pipeline project. However last month Washington (with support of London) blackmailed Turkey with threats of excluding it from NATO. Turkey backed but began direct dealings with the US emissary for Syria, the strongly anti-Iranian General Allen, who is a close ally of Gral. Petraeus (former US "prefect" for the Middel East) and Senator Clinton (main candidate to be the next US President and a well known Zionist Hawk).

According to Meyssan, the Franco-Turkish plan also met another new obstacle as the Tel Aviv-Riyadh axis changed their stand and positioned themselves against the Islamic State and the partition of Syria and Iraq, even reaching to the extreme of supporting Kurdish militias, and not just those sanctioned by Ankara (basically the puppet autonomous regime in Iraqi Kurdistan). 

Meyssan thinks that Israel is particularly wary of Erdoğan's policies and that explains their recent reinforced alliance with Greece and Cyprus, traditional enemies of Turkey. Yes, after signing the third memorandum, the Tsipras government signed a preferential military treaty with Israel of the kind only the USA has. If anyone remains doubtful about how treacherous is Tsipras for the European and global Left, this speaks volumes. 

In any case the exiled French journalist concludes that Erdoğan has chosen to remain in power by means of forcing Turkey to a civil war, by which he hopes to attract the support of the secularist fascists (MHP) and contain the advance of the left, which has rallied around the multi-ethnic HDP, with a large Kurdish and crypto-Armenian support base but also significant backing in the big Turkish cities. 

Internal problems in Turkey

In another only slightly older article, Meyssan reviews the internal developments in the Turkish state: its economy is collapsing, its army has been weakened by political purges, the fabric of society itself is deeply divided by the Islamist policies of Erdoğan, etc. He also explains how the Islamic State is controlled by Turkish agents (West Asian Turkmens and Muslims from the former USSR).  

He also explains that Obama's threat of excluding Turkey from NATO would surely mean the formation of an independent Kurdistan in what is now official Turkish territory. The threat meant to force Turkey to drop its cooperation with Russia (Southern Stream) and with the Islamic State. 

Erdoğan has appeased Washington but uses this anti-IS rhetoric to actually attack the PKK and its allies south of the Baghdad Railroad (the artificial border between the Turkish and Syrian states). According to Meyssan if the AKP-MHP coalition fails to form in the next few days, new elections will have to take place but these will not help Erdoğan the least, so in Meyssan's opinion Turkey is bound to collapse into civil war. 

We'll see. Because while I strongly respect Meyssan's knowledge and research ability, I am not so sure about his forecasting powers nor I necessarily see the complexity of the conflicts on his light (i.e. the position of Tel Aviv and Riyadh is not as clear as he thinks). 

Importantly, the USA is holding presidential elections this Autumn and Hillary Clinton is expected to win them. Nearly all other options (Trump for example, or Jeb Bush too) are not even slightly better (all are very aggressive hawks). One can presume that Erdoğan will be able to hold up until then one way or another and then relaunch his project with full Washington's blessings.

Of course we can all dream with the victory of Bernie Sanders but that's not likely to happen and, if it'd happen, it'd be such a game-breaker that everything would have to be reconsidered, and not just in West Asia.

Counterpoint: Petras thinks Israel and Turkey are in fact allied

James Petras, another brilliant analyst, does not seem to believe that Israel and Turkey are actually at odds, in spite of the appearances. His analysis (published at Global Research) may be less nuanced than Meyssan's but it is clear to me that there are many things that unite Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in a common strategy.

First of all there is Iran: none of these three Western-aligned regional powers is happy with the signature of the Washington-Teheran treaty that effectively recognizes Iran as a regional power with some "rights". The emphasis may be different but all three are united against Iran and its allies (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon or parts of it and the Palestinian cause).

Petras agrees that Erdoğan mainly intends to ban the People's Democratic Party, an inter-ethnic leftist alliance that has managed to establish itself as the fourth political party of Turkey with good prospects. The other front of Erdoğan is to undermine Syria's sovereignty.

Meanwhile Netanyahu aims to consolidate the anti-Iran alliance, which also includes undermining the sovereignty of Syria and Iraq (Israel has been known to heal and support Syrian guerrillas of the same type that Turkey most openly backs, namely Al Qaeda).

According to Petras, all these anti-IS coalitions are actually meant against other players. That is quite obvious in the case of Turkey attacking the Kurdish militias but also in the case of intervention in Iraq, where the main goal seems to be the weakening of the Shia militias.

This explains why all anti-IS action is producing no fruit, nor will ever do: because the actual targets of such operations are never the IS but rather other actors who can undermine the interests of Israel, Turkey or Saudi Arabia (and therefore those of the USA and NATO).

Erodoğan (sic), like, Netanyahu, wants a ‘pure’ ethnic state – one Jewish, the other Turkish!   Both leaders have no regard for the sovereignty of neighboring states, let alone the security of their civilian populations.   Both depend on the military support of the US.   Both are in the process of igniting wider and more destructive wars in the Middle East.   Netanyahu and Erodoğan want to reconfigure the Middle East:   Turkey seizes Kurdistan and Syria; Netanyahu expands military dominance in the Persian Gulf through the destruction of Iran.

These two leaders appear to hate each other because they are so similar in arrogance and action…   But according to Professor Zelikow, the US will step in ‘god-like’ to ‘mediate’ the different power grabs among what he mindlessly refers to as the ‘partners of the coalition’.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tsipras moves to take full control of Syriza

From Left Voice:

Tsipras defeats the Left Platform at Syriza’s CC meeting

At a meeting that lasted for 14 hours, Tsipras defeated a motion presented by the Left Platform of Syriza. The Central Committee decided to hold an extraordinary party congress in September, after the third bailout has been completed.

This meeting has been awaited with great suspense. The Left Platform and other critics within the party had been demanding such a gathering for weeks.

The debate revolved around the demand to convoke a party congress before signing a new bailout package with the representatives of the Troika, or whether to wait for September, as Tsipras proposes.

The Left Platform and other internal opposition groups proposed an ordinary congress in the coming days, made up of the delegates elected for the founding congress in 2013, which would favor the opposition. Tsipras in contrast proposed an emergency congress in September, after the bailout has been approved, with new delegates based on more moderate party members.

Having not reached an agreement after hours of debate, Tsipras proposed to hold a referendum next Sunday to consult Syriza members, in order to circumvent the party’s leadership bodies.

During his speech at the Central Committee, Tsipras asked what Syriza’s strategy should be after losing it’s parliamentary majority, given the "blockade" by dissenting members of parliament who voted against the austerity measures. Tsipras noted it was "absurd" to have two opposing factions within the same parliamentary group.

On Wednesday, Tsipras underlined in a radio interview that even if he would prefer not to hold early elections, he would be forced to if he lacked a parliamentary majority. Referring to lawmakers who hadn’t supported the "third memorandum", Tsipras also stated, "You cannot vote against the government’s proposals and say you support the government; this is surreal." And he added that the victory of the "NO" in the July 5 referendum had been misinterpreted and was never a mandate for abandoning the Euro.

In an unending session with more than 90 interventions, memebers of the Left Platform responded to the prime minister.
"How many referenda are we going to hold? We’ve already done one, and we won with 62 per cent of the vote", said Panagiotis Lafazanis, the Platform’s leader. He added, "This country no long has democracy, but a peculiar type of totalitarianism — a dictatorship of the euro."

The President of the Greek Parliament, Zoe Konstantopoulou (who also voted against third memorandum), questioned the party leadership and said, "SYRIZA did not get the people’s mandate to shackle the country with a bailout memorandum." She added, "Protecting the Constitution is not surrealism," paraphrasing Tsipras’ words.

During the session, 17 members of the Central Committee resigned, claiming they had profound ideological differences with party’s current orientation. All of them belong to the Maoist current KOE within SYRIZA.

Finally, after hours of rhetorical confrontations, Tsipras won the vote and the meeting accepted his proposal of holding the congress in September. He played the "card" of threatening to let the government fall.

"Anyone who wants a different government or a different premier should say so," said Mr. Tsipras. "Those who believe this is the worst memorandum of all should say so now."

With this "squeeze" of the Central Committee, he was able to divide the "circumstantial majority" that had emerged in the previous weeks on the basis of rejection of the memorandum. The Left Platform had converged with a centrist faction of the party, known as the "group of 53", the majority of whom now voted with Tsipras.

The Left Platform left the meeting defeated. Their main goal in the previous weeks had been to convoke a Central Committee meeting, where they hoped to win the vote against Tsipras. They demanded a change in the government’s policy, breaking with the Troika and implementing a "Plan B" to exit from the Eurozone and "recuperate the spirit" of Syriza.

The Left Platform’s strategy to pressure Tsipras, based on parliamentarianism and opposed to the class struggle, has been revealed as completely impotent. Despite its criticism, this "left-wing" remains being part of the government and of Syriza, a government of class collaboration that openly betrayed the people’s will, in order to accept the agenda imposed by the Troika… and is ready to impose that agenda with repression, as shown by the penalties given to the demonstrators who were arrested on last July 15.

Next Sunday there will be no referendum, and Syriza won’t hold its next Congress until September, after the third memorandum has been completed. In the coming weeks, during the summer break, the conditions for a third bailout will be negotiated. The reorganization of the working class and the fighting sectors who are independent of the government in order to resist the new austerity measures of the Troika is an urgent task.

(Translation: Celeste Murillo and Wladek Flakin)