Monthly Archive for April, 2022

Syria, 6yrs on.

I wrote this back when Putin and Lukashenko were sending refugees into Poland so I may as well post it now that millions are on the move from a fascist invasion of Ukraine.

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The handful of Australian communists who years ago commented at Strange Times fell out about what was happening in Syria in 2015 but now it’s happened.  The issues in dispute were resolved.  So why has there been no reconciliation?  What became of the former commentators?

The refugee stream into the USA is currently being crowded out of the international news reports.  Even within the US, the mostly Democrat biased MSM (still traumatized with the incurable version of the Trump Derangement Syndrome) is turning a blind eye to the smouldering wreckage of a human tragedy that this reality of modern global capitalism is.  Yet despite the variable interests of the liberal elements and the obviously non-solutions of their more ‘woke’ pseudo leftist brethren, that ongoing refugee problem remains the ongoing life-impacting issue for the more precariat masses on both sides of the US border.

The problem will undoubtedly explode again and especially so after the covid pandemic gets to be a rearview mirror issue over the next 1-2 years.  Trump or his chosen successor will thus be marked up by the ‘returning’ voters in the crucial swing states.  The widespread buyer remorse is well deserved so, despite the best efforts of Border Ctzar history maker Kamala Harris and the autocue Reader of the FreeWorld Jo -what’s my name oh yes- Biden, nothing is actually working on this front of what is transparently a world wide phenomena.

Currently, the refugees all over Europe are back in the news reports as the bodies are currently being gathered up in the cold forests of Poland and the English Channel rather than in the usual Mediterranean or now more rare -as a result of the massive efforts of the Turkish government- Agean seas.

What to do about this permanent feature of the 21st century is brutally thrown before us.

Putin policy is blatantly involved in feeding this steam of people into the west!  Lukashenko would not now act against the interests of Putin.  The dramatic events on the Belarus borders with its neighbors -principally Poland but this involves  ALL 3 neighbours.

So; 6 years after its posting, I want to remind people of this post; ‘Syria: the facts and figures – the Syria Campaign’.  Posted on September 25, 2015 by c21styork

‘As Europe struggles to deal with a surge in refugees, attention is now shifting to Syria where most people are coming from. But what is the violence they’re fleeing?   …

It’s crucial that we get the story right.    James Sadri – The Syria Campaign’

Barry posted this just after Putin had in a surprise move sent the first deployment of his air power and special forces into Syria.  At the time, Barry, myself, Arthur, and all the relevant western leaders understood who was doing the vast bulk of the killing in Syria.

Whatever were the delusions that were about to befall Arthur and Barry over the purpose of the Russian deployment, western leaders were like the comrades just not suffering a delusion on that more fundamental starting point either. They knew the Assad regime was a murderous regime standing in the way of the democratic revolution and that it was responsible for the vast bulk of the killing!

But there was clearly a dispute in western ruling elites and in leftist and pseudoleftist circles over what a ‘level one’ democracy would bring forth in Syria.  There was by late 2015 an open worry that now that the complex Syrian civil war had unfolded in the manner that it had the Islamofascists would win out and so a level one democracy would not be achieved!  So a large (even dominant) faction of the western ruling elites held that it was better to leave Assad in power!  With this view if not dominant at least very significant, Putin had more than just something to work with!  He opened his mouth and out came the lies, but all he wanted to do was credibly play for time; so he simply told people what they wanted to hear and then as time went on explained his various ‘problems’ that he would like their understanding over when ‘delays’ emerged.  Some people wanted to believe the lies but others knew it was a lie and cared not one bit that it was.  That is the way of the realists (right or ‘left’).

Our own half theorists were so full of their own genius in working out what the real purpose ‘MUST BE’ that they just left planet earth behind and ‘cancelled’ anyone like me who disputed the very notion they had any fucking clue what was going on!

Putin’s move was just one slice of what had to be understood about the complex war in Syria.  The war that had now dragged in the Russians directly and had already indirectly and directly involved the Turks was becoming clearer as the enclaves were solidified and the rubble spread.  Creating refugees was both an Assad and a Russian policy and -as is now clearly being demonstrated-  refugees remain a central part of the policy mix.

ISIS was the MSM focus at the time so the essence of events in Syria was very often not understood by all manner of people on the left and right.  Instead ‘surface issues’ like ISIS dominated the MSM and the western ruling elites thinking and in the tide that rose Islamic democracy was of course just scoffed at.

Attitudes to the Russian revisionists’ invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 point to the bigger issues of what is often referred to as the western left.  I won’t call it the Soviet invasion for obvious -Maoist- reasons despite the formal existence in a zombie form of the USSR and the inclusion of all manner of nationalities in the troop mix.

8 years later (in 1976) communists who were then known as ‘Maoists’ called the current Chinese regime fascist when this regime first emerged via a coup just when Mao died.  At that time our western ruling elites and their MSM ridiculously referred to those that made the coup as the ‘moderates’.  These days -no surprise- these viciously anti-communist Chinese bureaucrats and elite business owners are proclaimed not as the wonderful moderates but as the dreaded communists!  What do ya know!  Once again ‘totalitarianism’ will get its run in the propaganda of the anti-communists.  Mind you it didn’t get much of a run in the MSM when Sissi took power in Eygpt!

Actually, people like Tony Abbott were glad that the Muslim Brotherhood had been overthrown by Egyptian fascists.  So rather obviously he never got the memo of what the drain the swamp strategy was all about that had been proclaimed over Iraq when he was right in the thick of the Howard government.  So that memo was never ‘sent round’.  The theory was self evidently not understood or accepted.

Sisi is one thing but ‘dictator’ and ‘authoritarian autocrat’ are terms regularly hurled at Erdogan even months after people tried their best to kill him and run a coup of their own!  Go figure.

Putin probably won his elections but they are not free and fair so who cares!  At any rate, Alexander Lukashenko did not win his!

2001 is a long time ago.  By 2015 without the ‘drain the swamp’ theory as a foundation total confusion was the order of the day right across the western ruling elites.  An explanation for why the Arab Spring broke out and what (if there is to be any democracy now for the people of the MENA) is the role of the religiously minded masses is of little interest to these people when set against Islamic terrorism as the western problem that they place 1st on the worry tree.   So there was little hope in western mainstream politics and in their MSM of getting the ducks to line up. Evidently, these people who contest for dominance in two-party dictatorships don’t do theory very well!

So the people at Strange Times had a grasp of the basics and something to contribute and in the washup did fuck all.

Without a Maoist attitude to the democratic revolution and an understanding of the requirement for a people’s army (or the people will have nothing), people were bound to fall into profound errors and they did.

What is real and what is formal but not real is often an issue.

‘Totalitarianism’ as a start or finishing point is not going to cut it when there is -during armed revolutions- life or death at stake for the revolutionaries.  There is nothing more total than death to your enemies and the revolutionary left has always believed in the slogan ‘death to fascism’.

The issue that stands out starkly in 2021 as it did in 1921 is that ‘bourgeois democracy is a fraud’ not democracy is a bourgeois fraud as the fascists have it.

The revolution for the whole MENA would suffer what was to unfold because the Syrian people did not have a people’s army nor a liberating army to invade.  Iraq like Germany, Italy and Japan all those years ago had that liberating army.  The difference is both obvious and yet hardly understood right across the spectrum of humanity. Self evidently, more than just political players in the west don’t do theory very well.  No surprise that Australian Marxist theoreticians did do theory very well; it is exactly what we have been doing for more than 50 years!

Obviously, the people of the whole MENA are by my standards extremely conservative; but so many issues were not understood and causing further errors across the western world (Kurdish issues, Zionism, the national question, the great Shia V Sunnie schism, green issues V oil, globalization, refugeeing issues, on it goes…) but the interests of actual existing western democracies in being required to pitch in the real boots of armed revolutionary forces -if this revolution was not to suffer huge casualties and massive long-term setbacks- was the key strategic error.  That strategic interest was never firmly grasped.  So when the pressure was on it was not grasped at all.

Because of the usual claptrap from liberals, what was an obvious success in the liberation of the peoples of Iraq from the monstrously fascist ‘totalitarian’ Baathist regime of Saddam Hussain was seen instead as a disaster that ‘must not be repeated!

Yet within days of this post by Barry, (‘Syria: the facts and figures – the Syria Campaign’) we Australian communists fell out over the issue of what was Putin’s small deployment sent there to do!

Soon it will be 6 [7] years since Arthur would not be told he was not making any sense and that what he a few months later was waving about as the peace in our time document was a worthless Munich-style piece of paper from Putin.

But as we see, even the decency of total silence would not be forthcoming!

We know that Arthur said the Russian forces were sent to end the regime and thus end the war by bringing on elections and consequently the rebels to power and the sort for basic democracy and so on.

I said the Russian forces were there to kill the rebels then known as the Free Syrian Army that I was supporting.

History has unfolded and we can now say definitively that the Russian forces were sent there by Putin to kill the rebels and not to escort Assad out of the country etc!  We know Assad is still at least titularly heading up the regime that is in control of the big chunk of what used to be Syria but is now just the biggest of the various enclaves that have solidified from the fighting.  The Syrian enclaves – predicted and scoffed at 6 years ago- have become real and are currently -as Putin directs his attention closer to home- in a typical frozen ‘season’.

6×365=2190 the same length as what most people regard as the timespan of WW2!  But ‘civil wars are like that.  Consider for a moment the length of effort of the democratic revolutionaries in China and by that, I focus mainly on Mao and the revolutionary CCP but Sun Yat-Sen before that.

As all communists know the Syrian enclaves won’t stay frozen.  For example, the millions of Syrians living under a democratic regime in Turkey are continuing to build their revolutionary army.   As we saw without a revolutionary people’s army the people had nothing and were bombed into refugees; the fleeing soldiers who would not shoot down unarmed demonstrators that instead formed the FSA started from scratch and were, despite their very great sacrifices over those first five years slowly winning.  Then Putin’s thugs turned up with their mates from Iran and Hezbollah and reversed the direction of the war.

Erdogan has stood firm against the audacious informal Czar as the US is pretending to in the case of Ukraine while Mrs Biden as chief reminder prompts Joe to focus on the autocue.  (Good news for Biden as a new treatment for Alzheimer’s has been approved the other day!)

But at this time last year [2020], Arthur noted that the ‘EU response (presumably to the whole period of the Syrian revolution Arab spring and all the way back to the liberation of the Iraqi peoples from the Saddam Hussein Baathists) is as disgusting as the pseudoleft.  Erdogan is not “blackmailing” them but exposing their stupidity.’

‘I suspect media focus on Erdogan and Putin as bad guys mainly reflects Western desperation to not get involved.

It it is clear enough now that NATO actually wanted Putin doing what he is doing. It cannot save Assad regime or enable a long term Russian presence. Even Iran cannot stay long term.

I think the Turkish-Russian coordination and the Turkish-Kurdish conflict both reflect correct belief among all three parties that Assad regime is ending and they have to settle the outcome of that.

Western media pretends Assad has won but I don’t see it.

The Turks and Russians are on good enough terms for the Turks not to have closed the Dardanelles, but the difference is Turkey will always be there and Russia cannot and both know it.

EU response is as disgusting as the pseudoleft.  Erdogan is not “blackmailing” them but exposing their stupidity.’

Arthur is in effect saying that nobody, like say John Kerry or David Cameron got fooled by the Russian diplomatic efforts.  He says clearly, they wanted what unfolded!  Bullshit they did!

The reality is that Turkey has systematically in three tranches deployed massive numbers of well-equipped troops that will now shoot down anything that flys in any threatening manner to drop bombs near them or the civilians that they are protecting!

Turkey is caring for 3.6+ million refugees that are sheltering within its borders.

Turkey fronts Russian forces in the Azerbaijan / Armenia conflict as it does in Libya as well.

Turkey just for starters has not wanted what unfolded!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQvZ6ct6iLM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaBIDUYWKzA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb5dvXwDL3Y

 

 

 

Hagia Sophia

Around WW1 the industrialized empires of Britain and France with their very powerful navies smashed up much of the backward Ottoman empire.  But those naval forces were not very important in the final analysis. In the 4 decades leading to WW1 the Ottoman empire had often been the target of the equally vicious and murderous European imperialists.  An ongoing and massive dismemberment of its once vast empire was both historically important and was achieved during and after the world war by the land forces sweeping in from the deserts, from Greece and up from Egypt etc. Even Italy had jumped in with the support and encouragement of the British and the French, creating Libya from two of the Ottoman empire’s territories.

The pre-war activities and the success they had met with, was I think what lured the ‘believers’ like Churchill into the overreach disaster of the Gallipoli campaign .

It turned out that the big ships were a vast waste of effort when countered by the, mostly German-made, big guns on the land.  This was the period when the dreadnoughts were still thought to be the apex beasts and it was soon to be proved that they were no such thing.  Like the dinosaurs their time was coming to an end and yet even the upcoming military powers did not foresee this and expended huge effort on building and manning these massive money pits.  The new era required a new navy.

What all actually needed particularly the central powers, was U and E boats and lots of little aeroplanes.  The era when aircraft carriers were queen of the seas had arrived.

In the end, the Turks were pushed back by the army that did the work coming out from Egypt and then mostly with T E Lawrence mobilizing the locals and using them to do the bulk of the killing and dying or so the story goes.  The truth is a bit different as the conventional army pushed up the east coast of the Mediterranean.  But even the colonial cannon fodder Australians, New Zealand and Indian soldiers did much of this work for nothing but the ‘glory’ of allowing the wealthy English and French imperialist minded ruling elites to map make at the end of the war and carry on with their colonial claptrap for another few decades!  An era now so thankfully gone with the wind.

The Ottoman Empire was reduced to a country that was made ‘secular’ by a modern military man’s diktat.  The leader that began the transformation of what remained of the collapsed Ottoman empire and so modernized the Turkey that emerged, was a general, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  After a few years at the helm, he turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum.  This doing has now been undone by the Islamist Erdogan and it has been returned to the -second hand- religious function it once had.

Hagia Sophia was once the greatest cathedral in Christendom and that’s not been forgotten by some prominent Christians! But there we were in 2020 and a Turkish court (not to be confused with a puppet Egyptian court mind but not a fully western court either) and then a democratic Islamist leader (who continues to modernize Turkey and again not to be confused with an Egyptian military coup leader but who is both a democrat and a conservative) took quite predictable steps.

Whingers the world over like the inbred journalists of the ABC/BBC started carrying on as if this was some kind of outrage! It wasn’t. I say it’s a TINA issue for democrats!

Islamist’s have control of a country as a result of peaceful democratic contest and they wanted the building back.  The democrats that run Turkey have said that it will be treated by the Turkish state just like Europe’s great cathedrals.  How good is that compared to the KSA or IRAN?  Compare Turkey to Pakistan.

100 years on and after a huge struggle it’s not run by a military man’s diktat anymore! Democracy has taken root and naturally conservative Islamists win the vote and form the government.  But we all recall that the struggle against the military taking over in a bloody coup is still a real, life and death struggle.

If you were wanting to go to 21stcentury western style democracy you wouldn’t want to start from anywhere else in the MENA.

This building has been subjected to a legitimate bourgeois legal process and so the outcome is obviously good news for democrats!

Democracy continues to unfold in Turkey.    The Islamist peoples that vote for Erdogan continue to insist that they can believe what they want AND systematically undo the work of others!   Now that’s the way to ‘pull down’ a statue!   Put a whole museum under the microscope.  How did ‘their’ building get taken over for a museum?  If democracy now is to mean anything why are they not to have it back!  Court cases are decided that don’t please everyone.  After all, they stole it fair and square in the first place.

In the corporate liberal media off we go on a wild romp of but-what-a-bout and quite a bit of sympathy for the military and others caught up in the coup.  The struggle goes ever on.

There is -for just one glaring example- no gay marriage in Turkey!  Just like there wasn’t under the Australian government of Julia Dullard (don’t you love spell check)!  But then gays are not thrown off high buildings like they were and are by gangs in places like Libya and Syria!  That is how the Islamofascists in Iran have carried on for all my adult life.  In Syria and Libya they are not thrown by the government’s laws!  But they are ‘thrown’ and are as dead as those at the foot of the Sydney cliffs 3 and 4 decades ago!

The Islamists defeat their islamofascist foes in Syria and Libya and in their home base of Turkey not by becoming secularists but by declaring that -just like the great Western churches- their world-class church will be open to all even as it is used as the religious building that it is.

Naturally, the BBC/ABC has a vastly different spin on how decisions taken by ‘secularists’ can’t or at least ought not to be undone!  No surprise that some secular-minded people don’t like religious services resuming in this old religious building.  But TINA for democrats!

I wonder what the 1/2 theorists make of this demonstration of what a democratic country looks like in action.  Being a persona-non-grata among my old crowd what the almost silent Australian Marxists think is unknown to me.

From the mess that emerged from a defeated WW1 Ottoman Empire, a modern state was created.  Like the USSR that emerged from a VERY similar mess, it was born and carried on in grand style with more than just a few glaring blemishes.   The sight of these blemishes to any 21st C western liberal is of course disturbing, but though shocking to say yet it’s true that by Ottoman and Czarist standards even Putin’s Russia is progress! That is just not much to write to another continent about! So western liberal democracies are currently with no peers! That might be pathetic but that is where humanity is at.

So along comes yet more struggle for democracy!  2 forwards 1 back goes our little dance and here we are with Russia and Turkey in a ‘proxy’ war again.  The fascists make war every day and the democratic Islamists fight back every day but the Australian Marxists are silent.

What strange times we live in!

‘Why bother?… because I believe in a bright future and want to help make a difference. And I refuse to allow the likes of John Pilger, Tariq Ali and Tim Flannery to be seen as leftists.’  Good oh!