Saturday, 9 August 2008

Imperialist Hypocrisy

George Bush has sided with the Georgian butchers of South Ossetia, and called for the removal of Russian troops. He has complained that Russia has attacked targets in Georgia outside the immediate conflict zone. This is rich coming from someone whose vast armies are occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and poised to attack Iran!!!! It is also rich coming from a regime which attacked Serbia supposedly in the name of defending Kosovan Albanians, in the same way that Russia says it is defending Ossetian Russians. Of course, socialists should place no faith in the assertions and justifications of the Russian Stalinists, anymore than the US imperialists, but the outpourings of Bush are particularly sickening given the history of the last 20 years of US imperialist aggression and expansionism.

When the US attacked Serbia it had no concern for the Kosovan Albanians. The nasty Stalinist Serbian State had removed further rights from the Kosovan Albanians, thereby increasing support for Kosovan bourgeois nationalism. The Kosovan Liberation Army stepped up its pogroms against the Serb minority in Kosova, burning villages, and kidnapping Kosovan Serbs, as well as perpetrating many other atrocities. Kosovan Serbs responded in like manner, but as a small minority they were not well placed in such a communal civil war. Serbia intervened on their behalf with murderous attacks by its armed forces on the Kosovan Albanians similar to that now launched by Georgia against Ossetia. Long before things got to this state a genuine Labour Movement and Workers Party would have been building the links which did exist between Serb and Albanian Kosovans around a programme of basic democratic rights for the Kosovan Albanians, and a programme of socialist demands to unite workers in Albania, Kosova and Serbia against the machinations and oppression of their respective bourgeoisies and the Serb Stalinist bureaucracy. That should have been the programme the international Labour Movement should have adopted. But that didn’t happen.

That in part is due to the tremendous weakness of the Labour movement and world working class. US imperialism saw its opportunity to undermine the Serb Stalinists and their strategic link to Russia, and used the situation as a pretext to launch another imperialist adventure into the Balkans under cover of a humanitarian mission. It was in fact just another aspect of its global strategic plan to secure positions in the Balkans and in Central Asia, and the Gulf which are vital to the huge natural resources of those areas, and for any future conflict with Russia and China. In launching those attacks the US did not confine itself to simply bombing Serb troops in Kosova. The Chinese Embassy in Belgrade certainly was no such target!!!! The US has been at the forefront in proposing the idea of the pre-emptive strike, for example in Iraq, and potentially against Iran, even if it uses its Israeli proxy to begin that exercise. In all of these cases it has shown not one jot of concern for territorial integrity or national sovereignty. It can hardly complain when Russia follows the example it has given. Only real Marxists can claim that right.

But the Left as on so many occasions in respect of the National Question was hopeless. On the one hand those who usually have a knee-jerk reaction of siding with whoever is on the opposing side to the US gave almost uncritical support to Milosevic’s Stalinist regime in Belgrade. On the other side those who have rapidly slid from a Third Camp position into being straightforward apologists for democratic imperialism openly welcomed the attack of US imperialism, whilst in the middle the AWL put forward a typical centrist position of Opportunist passive adaptation to imperialism covered over for the benefit of its couple of dozen supporters and any workers who might by chance read its publications, with radical pseudo Marxist rhetoric, which explained why again imperialist attacks on weak states were “good”, that imperialism had “good reason” for them, but why they would not of course call for such attacks whose benefits they had just outlined, and still less would they accept responsibility for any bad side effects that might result from them. Pontius Pilate come on down!

Socialists have no more reason to support Russia’s response to Georgia’s murderous aggression in South Ossetia than they did to support US imperialism’s response to murderous Serb aggression in Kosova. Marxists do not support the involvement of imperialism or the resort to war by bourgeois states to resolve such problems on the contrary real Marxists vehemently oppose it. Instead we call for workers unity, and do all in our power to bring it about around a program of democratic and socialist demands. It will be interesting to see if the AWL believes that the Russian intervention to stop the murderous attacks of Georgia is also “good”, or whether their passive adaptation only extends as far as democratic imperialism. After all the AWL claims to refuse to call for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq on the basis it does not want the Civil War that would inevitably follow. Yet, in Afghanistan where the USSR had actually been introducing real reforms that benefiited women - as opposed to the US's clerical-fascist allies in Iraq who kill women and gays on the streets - and which was actually fighting against the Afghan clerical-fascists - as opposed to the US which is arming and training them the better to ferment conflict between them - and where it was absolutely clear that a Soviet withdrawal would lead to a prolonged and bloody Civil War, whose only result could be the installation of some medieval clerical-fascist regime, the AWL's predecessor Socialist organiser had no problem demanding an immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops, a position it still supports. Go figure!

Of course, the AWL are right to fear the consequences of a Civil War on workers, but in Iraq US imperialism which fuels the potential for such a Civil War is not the solution to that problem. And if the AWL fears such Civil Wars, why does it support boregois nationalist demands in Tibet, in Kosova etc. rather than calling for a programme of democratic rights and workers unity across national borders as the means to achieve it, when the consequences of its posuition must logically entail the potential for a prolonged bloody Civil War between Tibetan, and Chinese workers, between Alabanians and Serbs, and potentially Serbs and Croats and so on, as the demands for national independence spread throughout the region. As Lenin pointed out bourgeois democratic rights including self-determination are not progressive in their own right. They only become so in so far as the working class can make them its demands, that it can mobilise and unify workers across national and other divisions to fight for them, and therefore, that they become integral to the struggle against class oppression. But, as in so many things the AWL has removed all of this class content from its slogans and programme, leaving it with nothing more than a programme of at best radical - and often not even so radical - Liberalism. And so we find one of its leading comrades in a recent article arguing that given the weakness of the working class the involvement of the State is a good thing to resolve matters. Not a Workers State you udnerstand once again even the State like democracy is denuded of any class characteristics, and therefore can only be the bouregois state. That is the same State that marx and Engels told us was the bodies of armed men whose sole purpose was to keep in power the bosses against the workers! This is the same state against whom Marx railed in the Critique of the Gotha programme for much less cringeing adaptationism than that shown by the AWL. Mark claims that the AWL are not Anarchists in relation to this State. True, but that shows how far they are from marxism because as lenin points out in "State and Revolution" Marx was an Anarchist in relation to the bouregois state, he stood as far as it was concerned on the same ground as proudhon and Bakunin. That indeed is the only attitude a real marxist CAN take towards the bourgeois State.

No comments: