Editorial / FRFI 194 Dec 2006 / Jan 2007

Just when the imperialists thought they had triumphed and were without rivals, they are confronted by resistance they cannot subdue in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. The determination of oppressed peoples to fight back has exposed the barbarity of Zionism and imperialism. What chances has humanity of surviving if it is not driven to rage and action by the sight of the endless slaughter of Palestinians by the Israeli state – sealing them in, starving and shelling them to death? The attack on Iraq, intended to cow the Middle East into submission, has demonstrated the imperialists’ weakness; Bush and Blair’s reputations are hanging in tatters.

‘The civilisation and justice of bourgeois order comes out in its lurid light whenever the slaves and the drudges of that order rise against their masters. Then this civilisation and justice stand forth as undisguised savagery and lawless revenge. [What a civilisation] the great problem of which is how to get rid of the heaps of corpses it made after the battle was over.’ (Karl Marx) In October 2004 The Lancet calculated 100,000 violent deaths in Iraq attributable to the 2003 US and British invasion; by October 2006 The Lancet calculation stood at 654,965, excluding Fallujah: one in every 40 Iraqis slain. Former US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld predicted that ‘at some time the Iraqis will get tired of getting killed’. This is the depraved mentality of people who kill without compunction to defend their privileges and power: a US and a British ruling class whose privilege and power has grown through control over Middle Eastern oil supplies. Now that control is threatened and savagery is unleashed in its defence.

Time after time the US and British governments have defended Israel in the United Nations. There was no more reliable ally of apartheid South Africa when it came to the use of its UN veto than British Labour governments, now it is Israel they protect. Day after day this summer Israel blew Lebanon to bits and the world saw howling parents dragging their mutilated children from the wreckage. The British Labour government ran to the side of Israel and used its UN veto to stop the world from voting to halt the atrocity. What they support in defence of their own interests is racial hatred and fascism. These are the words of Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Threats, Avigdor Lieberman, spoken at an Israeli government cabinet meeting: ‘At 8am we will bomb all the commercial centres... at noon we’ll bomb their gas stations... at two we will bomb their banks.’ While Transport Minister in 2003 Lieberman was reported as saying that ‘the prisoners should be drowned in the Dead Sea and he would provide the buses to take them there’. In May he called Palestinian members of the Knesset parliament Nazi collaborators who should be killed for meeting with Hamas members of Palestine’s government. This fascist, intoxicated with a hatred of Palestinians to match the Nazis’ hatred of Jews, is the end product of imperialism in the Middle East. In October Lieberman was invited to join the government; he represents the Zionist state.

Harlan Ullman, the creator of Shock and Awe, stated that he wanted for Baghdad an ‘effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but minutes’. Fallujah resisted and had to be made an example of. In October 2004 a city of 300,000 people and 50,000 homes was flattened by US soldiers and bombers as British troops guarded the approaches. 75% of Fallujah’s homes were destroyed, 60 schools were destroyed and 65 mosques and shrines. US snipers picked off ambulances taking the wounded to hospital. The death toll of Fallujah’s citizens runs into thousands. This is how US and British imperialism act when challenged.

British imperialism is decaying and parasitic capitalism. Huge concentrations of wealth rule over us and reach into almost every corner of the world. The gyrations of party politics are a façade, disguising the real power that directs them. They serve a destructive system that does not just attack those abroad, but also people in the imperialist countries themselves. Today, as the system decays, the racist state and Labour government that wages war on oppressed nations turns its machinery against workers in the heartland. An iron grid of laws is clamped upon us. Rights wrung from ruling classes in the Magna Carta 800 years ago, in the English Civil War and by the London mobs of the 18th and 19th centuries are being taken away from us: habeas corpus, the right to silence, freedoms of assembly and speech. The dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is revealed. Baring the brunt of these attacks today in Britain are asylum seekers and Asian people. If these people are not defended, then tomorrow new targets will be punished for daring to show the least resistance to the will of a class intent on keeping its wealth and its power at any cost.

The Palestinian people survive and resist. Iraq and Afghanistan resist. North Korea resists. Millions of people in Latin America are mobilising to fight imperialism. Cuba and Venezuela are showing us that a new world is possible. We must support them. This rotten, parasitic, decaying capitalism will fight like mad to survive, but, like rulers before, it has seen the writing on the wall in Babylon. Organise! We can change the world!

FRFI 194 December 2006 / January 2007