Colombia Worries as Troops Join Arab Mercenary Force
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 7 (UPI) —
Colombia Worries as Troops Join Arab Mercenary Force
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 7 (UPI) —
[The conflict in Syria has been the subject of much twisted coverage by the US and EU and its surrogates, by supporters of anti-US bourgeois nationalists, by partisans of Russian imperialism against US hegemonists, by advocates of the regional power of the Iranian Islamic Republic, and by “pragmatic opportunists” who wink at the role of Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/GCC. Many people, outraged at the mass suffering and mass killing of Syrian people, have been justifiably confused, especially as the issues have been distorted by imperialist and reactionary medias which serve these interests. And to confuse even more, many of the reactionary medias proclaim themselves as anti-imperialist, though careful reading reveals these to be promoting one reactionary power versus another.
We recently received the following statement and analysis of the situation in Syria from revolutionary Maoists in Brazil. Views of revolutionary internationalists have too rarely been heard on this issue, and so we present these views as a good counterpoint to the prevailing revisionist and reactionary accounts. We believe these comrades in Brazil have done significant groundwork toward the analysis needed.
There are some aspects of this analysis which require more work and debate, in our view. In particular, their argument that People’s War–if defined as China’s revolutionary military strategy–is universally applicable to all countries, is a view we do not share. Our understanding that the Maoist strategic conception of People’s War, (as summarized by the phrase, “surrounding the cities from the countryside”), only applies to feudal, semi-feudal, colonial and semi-colonial societies, where repressive power in the countryside is sufficiently weak that people’s revolutionary war, seizing and expanding significant liberated areas is an accurately applied historic strategem. In other countries, where reactionary state power is effectively deployed everywhere, a long period of amassing revolutionary political forces through primarily political , not military, struggle, must precede the armed struggle for state power. These general categories and strategies have often been taken literally, without detailed investigation and analysis, at great and disastrous cost to revolutionary forces. The need for detailed study of concrete conditions is especially indicated by the ongoing changes in capitalist-imperialist production, distribution, and state power–and the distribution and growth of people’s forces.
But some use the term People’s War, not in the sense of the “countryside-overtaking-city” strategem, but synonymous with people’s armed struggle for power in all variety of circumstance–as a statement of principle, in opposition to the revisionist and social-democratic notion of the “peaceful, electoral” road to power. In this sense, People’s War (where the masses take up the gun against reactionary power, and where the gun is led by revolutionary politics) is a universal revolutionary principle. — Frontlines ed.]
Proletarian and oppressed peoples of the whole world, united!
Statement of the Revolutionary Front in Defence of the People’s Rights, RFDPR, Brasil, on the present situation in Syria
DOWN THE IMPERIALIST ALLOTMENT IN SYRIA!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S WAR OF THE PEOPLES IN ALL COUNTRIES!
“The combat to imperialism and reaction without the inseparable combat to opportunism is nothing but empty phraseology”.
Lenin: “Imperialism and the splitting of socialism”.
The nation of Syria has been suffering a bloody imperialist plundering war in the shape of a civil war. Assad’s armed forces and the so-called free army of Syria are the contestants of this inter-imperialist dispute for the Syrian territory. Syria has been converted into a new treachery for the anti-imperialist world resistance and the newest enclave of the inter-imperialist struggles.
At the present conditions of this struggle development any result will not bring any advance for the Syrian people and nation; it will only deepen the imperialist dominance over the country and oppression on the people since until now an independent and organized intervention of the armed masses has lacked of a proletarian vanguard even very little constituted.
The March 2011 revolt was a spontaneous mass uprising against a fascist regime led by Bashar al Assad and it is part of an overwhelming wave of people’s rebellions that happened all over the North of Africa and Middle East. The mass rebellions awakened in those countries, despite being developed in an unconscious form and not having a proletarian leadership, have the same root: they are antifascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist ones.
The revolt is a just rebellion against a bureaucratic comprador regime at the service of imperialism mostly Russian that has been controlled for decades by the Assad dynasty.
The Yankee imperialism has taken advantage from the situation, as for instance in all Arabic countries rebellions, manipulating the mass struggle, deviating them from the revolutionary path, to guarantee their interests in the region. The intelligentsia services for the imperialist coalition forces have formed and armed a mercenary army self-named Syria’s Free Army –SFA, directed commanded by their agents with the aim of changing the Syrian regime. Thus the USA wants to change the Russian control over Syria, breaking with the relationship with Hezbollah, surround and isolate Iran and prepare the grounds to attack it.
All this complex plan in the Middle East and North of Africa is part of a new war of imperialist plundering and allotment against the peoples. The Yankee imperialism, still being an unique and hegemonic superpower in the world, has declared its objective to create a map of a “New Middle East”, that is, a Middle East totally controlled by the USA, without the influence and interference of other imperialist powers and mostly without the people’s armed resistance of the masses.
The Yankee imperialism, amidst a deep and protracted crises, hit by the people of the world, mostly in the main front of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the people’s wars in India, the Philippines, Turkey and Peru, with its hegemony questioned by the inter-imperialist struggle, is more and more at the verge of an unprecedented war.
In this context, the events in Syria are firstly and mostly part of the contradiction between oppressed peoples/countries and imperialist powers; secondly, the inter-imperialist contradiction that could convert into the principal contradiction. This one happens through the dispute for the control of colonies and semi-colonies accumulating and being able to develop into a direct confront in the form of a new world imperialist war. Continue reading
[Article 2 of the series “One Year After the Arab Uprisings.” Part One, “The Failure of the Arab ‘State’ and Its Opposition” originally appeared at http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/failure-arab-state-and-its-opposition and was posted on revolutionary frontlines at https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/the-failure-of-the-arab-state-and-its-opposition … Part 3 of the series is expected soon. — Frontlines ed.]
….a revolution is fueled by class interest or the ideology of a revolutionary party while an uprising is fueled by anger and frustration. A revolution presents a comprehensive social, economic, and political program for change that was pre-meditated and based on philosophical discourses. An uprising has no such program and has no philosophical discourse. A revolution has a leading class or a leading party, whereas an uprising has no clear leadership.
By: Hisham Bustani–Saturday, May 5, 2012
There is no real class formation in modern Arab societies. The post-colonial Arab “state” is a political and economic disaster area that has yet to advance into the industrialized era. Its social fabric was deformed by imposing and/or magnifying divisions and fragmentation. It transformed the collaborative self-sufficient gatherings – based economically on farming and grazing in rural areas; pillaging and grazing in desert areas; and commerce, crafts, and some manufacturing in cities, with each social group having its own traditions and rules that applied to all members – into malformed consumerist social formations. These formations come in the shape of family, clan, sect or ethnicity for identity, solidarity and protection.
These formations live on the periphery of a globalized service sector, and are governed by regimes that largely destroyed local economies in exchange for a model based on foreign aid. This is a corporate-dependant, commoditized, service-based model, where the ruling class is the representative of global corporations: a comprador formation with interests opposed to local industrialization and production. In countries where natural resources are abundant, the governments opted for exporting raw materials rather than investing in and manufacturing goods with them. Instead, the money was sucked away in a cycle of corruption and parts of it were redistributed down to the people as a form of a “grant” from the benefactor ruler..
[The “Arab (and North Africa) Spring” enters its second year, where in country after country the complex interplay of domestic people’s movements, regional alliances, and imperialists (of both the crisis-driven old variety, and newbies making new global assertions)–are hellbent on asserting very elusive controls. Such would-be controllers continue to be frustrated, and while this provides openings for revolutionary people to seize the time, their organizational, political, and military tools have been lacking–so far. Time will tell how this will play out. Deepankar Basu, writing in Sanhati, takes on the challenge of clarifying the different contradictions and forces at play. — Frontlines ed.]
by Deepankar Basu, Sanhati
The unprecedented wave of mass movements that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and quickly spread to Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, with smaller scale demonstrations in Lebanon, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia has the potential to completely change (a) the socio-economic dynamics within the Arab world, and (b) the relationship of the Arab world to imperialism. To understand the dynamics and implications of the unfolding movements, it seems useful to abstract from the details of the movements in particular countries and take a broad brush view of matters. Moreover, to construct a broad brush view it seems important to disentangle two aspects of (or basic contradictions driving) the situation, not only in Syria that is the current focus of world attention but the Arab world in general.
The first, and primary, aspect is that all these movements, often taking the form of mass uprisings, are movements for democratization of their respective societies, a movement against decades-old authoritarian and brutal regimes backed by imperialism. In most cases, over the last two decades, these regimes saw a convergence between authoritarianism and neoliberalism. One way of stating this is to say, using an old-fashioned terminology, that the primary contradiction that is driving these movements in the contradiction between authoritarian (often neoliberal) regimes and the broad masses of the people in these countries.
The second, and to my mind secondary, aspect is the reality/possibility of imperialist intervention. Using the old-fashioned terminology once again, one could say that the secondary contradiction that is maturing in these events, that is driving these movements, is the contradiction between imperialism and the broad masses of the people.
Note that both contradictions are basic, in the sense that they are both active in the current situation; the current conjuncture is shaped by an interplay between them. But between the two it is also important to distinguish the primary from the secondary. What is the rationale for characterizing the contradiction between the broad masses and authoritarianism as the primary contradiction? The rationale is the following observation: each of these movements, without any exception, started as movements for democratization and against neoliberal authoritarian regimes; each of these movements retain that thrust. Hence, it seems very likely that what is being expressed through these movements is the maturing of the contradiction of these neoliberal authoritarian regimes and the popular classes. If at any point there is direct military invasion of a country by imperialist powers with the intention of turning the country into a colony, then the second contradiction, i.e., the contradiction between imperialism and the broad masses, would become the primary contradiction. Continue reading
Bahrain, January 24, 2012
Feb. 1, 2012
BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press
REEM KHALIFA, Associated Press
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — It’s usually well after midnight before Bahrain takes a breather.
The thud of riot police stun grenades trails off, the stinging tear gas mist is carried away and the protest chants against the Gulf kingdom’s rulers go
quiet until the next day. Then the cycle of unrest resumes in one of the longest-running — and perhaps most diplomatically complex — chapters of
the Middle East uprisings.
“Egypt, Tunisia, Libya,” demonstrators now shout during running battles with security forces. “Bahrain’s leaders are next.”
A year ago this month, Bahrain’s majority Shiites took inspiration from the Arab Spring to sharpen long-standing grievances against the Sunni
monarchy, accused by Shiites of relegating them to second-class status in the Western-allied nation. Within days of the first protest march, Bahrain
was sliding into a crisis that would bring more than two months of martial law, more than 40 deaths, hundreds of arrests and ongoing clashes so
disruptive that the U.S. Embassy last month relocated workers into safe haven neighborhoods.
But the troubles also reach far beyond the tiny flame-shaped island off the Saudi coast. The past year has turned Bahrain into a crossroads for every
major showdown in the region.
Drawn into the mix is Saudi Arabia as protector of Bahrain’s Sunni dynasty. Archrival Iran is an angry bystander at the fierce crackdowns on fellow
Shiites. And the U.S. is Bahrain’s conflicted partner. Continue reading
| Documentary for Al Jazeera English by May Ying WelshBahrain: An island kingdom in the Arabian Gulf where the Shia Muslim majority are ruled by a family from the Sunni minority. Where people fighting for democratic rights broke the barriers of fear, only to find themselves alone and crushed.
This is their story and Al Jazeera is their witness – the only TV journalists who remained to follow their journey of hope to the carnage that followed.
This is the Arab revolution that was abandoned by the Arabs, forsaken by the West and forgotten by the world.
Security court deals with 47 doctors and nurses accused of participating in efforts to remove monarchy
Doctors and nurses who treated injured anti-government protesters during the unrest in Bahrain went on trial in a security court on Monday accused of participating in efforts to overthrow the monarchy.
The prosecution of 47 health professionals is a sign that Bahrain’s rulers will not end their relentless pursuit of the opposition despite officially lifting emergency rule last week.
The doctors and nurses were charged during a closed hearing in a security court authorised under emergency rule imposed in mid-March. Charges include participating in efforts to topple Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy, taking part in illegal rallies, harming the public by spreading false news, denying medical attention to several Sunni patients, assault, embezzlement and possession of weapons. Continue reading
Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2011
WASHINGTON—The White House will host Bahrain’s crown prince next week, according to senior U.S. officials, in a bid to push for political liberalization in the tiny Persian Gulf sheikdom.
The Obama administration views Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa as the senior Bahraini government official most in favor of liberalizing Manama’s political system, and hope the visit will lend support to his efforts to ease his government’s harsh response to the uprising. “We think the crown prince is a serious interlocutor, and we see value in engaging with him directly,” said a senior administration official.
Of the half-dozen uprisings that have swept the Middle East and North Africa this year, Bahrain’s has proved to be one of the hardest for U.S. diplomats to navigate. The Khalifa family has been a close U.S. ally in combating terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program. And Bahrain is home of the Pentagon’s 5th Fleet, which polices the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
The island-state has emerged as a key proxy battle between Washington and its allies and Iran, which has urged on Bahrain’s uprising through broadcasts and official comments.
U.S. officials have been alarmed by the scale of the Bahraini government’s repression of its opponents, who hail mostly from the country’s 70% Shiite-Muslim majority. Continue reading
By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahraini police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters marching toward the landmark Pearl Square in the country’s capital Friday, two days after authorities lifted emergency rule.
The downtown square was the focus of weeks of Shiite-led protests against the Gulf nation’s Sunni rulers earlier this year. Witnesses in the tiny island kingdom said there were no immediate reports of casualties among the hundreds of opposition supporters who took their grievances to the streets for the first time since martial law was imposed more than two months ago.
The country’s security force moved against the protesters shortly before Formula One’s governing body deemed the kingdom safe enough to host the Bahrain Grand Prix in October. Continue reading
Fueled by fear of rising oil prices, US deference is helping Saudi Arabia implement its agenda in the Gulf.
Jim Lobe, al Jazeera
24 Apr 2011 —
While some observers here have blamed Saudi Arabia and its neighbouring Sunni-led sheikhdoms as a major source of the icy winds that are blasting through the Gulf, the growing contradictions between the US and Western “values” and their interests are adding to the unseasonable weather.
Thus, while Washington has privately expressed strong doubts about the wisdom of the increasingly brutal and indiscriminate crackdown against the majority Shia population in Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, its failure to clearly and publicly denounce the Saudi-backed repression is only the most blatant example of this trend. Continue reading
by Omar Barghouti
I wish you empowerment to resist; to fight for social and economic justice; to win your real freedom and equal rights.
I wish you the will and skill to break out of your carefully concealed prison walls. See, in our part of the world, prison walls and thick inviolable doors are all too overt, obvious, over-bearing, choking; this is why we remain restive, rebellious, agitated, and always in preparation for our day of freedom, of light, when we gather a critical mass of people power enough to cross all the hitherto categorical red lines.
We can then smash the thick, cold ugly, rusty chains that have incarcerated our minds and bodies for all our lives like the overpowering stench of a rotting corpse in our claustrophobic prison cell.
Your prison cells, however, are quite different. The walls are well hidden lest they evoke your will to resist. There is no door to your prison cell–you may roam about “freely,” never recognizing the much larger prison you are still confined to. Continue reading
Troops from the GCC Peninsula Shield Forces, originating mostly from Saudi Arabia but also the United Arab Emirates, arrived in Bahrain today. When the Bahraini Crown Prince visited Saudi Arabia last week, he was given an ultimatum and a deadline: either the Bahraini government takes control of the situation and ends the month old anti-government protests, or Saudi Arabia would send its troops to do the job. While Bahrain’s ruler did issue an appeal for help to the GCC, critics have said that this was in response to pressure by Saudi Arabia, whose deadline given to the Bahraini ruler expired last night. According to the BBC, yesterday Saudi King Abdullah informed the US administration of the decision to send GCC troops into Bahrain to quell the pro-democracy protests. Today the White House announced that it does not consider the entry of over 1000 foreign troops–mostly Saudi Arabian–into Bahrain an “invasion” and called on the Bahraini government to “exercise restraint.”
Omanis and Kuwaitis have threatened their respective governments with major strikes if their national troops are sent with the GCC Shield Forces into Bahrain. Foreign journalists have reported being harassed by the Bahraini government in the lead up to the troops’ arrival, with many journalists “asked” to leave the country by the end of the day. Others have simply been refused entry into Bahrain at the airport. The UK has issued a travel advisory warning its citizens against travel to Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia has evacuated its students who attend universities in the neighboring island. Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered at the now famous Pearl Roundabout today in response to the news of foreign troops reaching Bahrain. Continue reading
Euronews on Mar 14, 2011
In one of the most violent confrontations since troops killed seven protesters last month, police used tear gas and water cannon to break up demonstrations against the kingdom’s royal family. Witnesses said rubber bullets were also fired by police.
Bahrain is gripped in its worst unrest since the 1990s For several weeks now the Shi’ite majority has held rallies complaining against what it says is discrimination by the ruling Sunni minority.
CAIRO — A security official in Saudi Arabia says a military force from Gulf states has entered Bahrain to help deal with a month of political unrest in the island kingdom. Continue reading
Bahrain’s impoverished villages see little benefit from billions of dollars being invested in the glimmering capital.
by Gregg Carlstrom
|Karzakan, Bahrain — Driving through this cheerless village, 20 kilometres southwest of Manama, it is easy to understand why thousands of protesters have camped out in Pearl Roundabout for nearly a month.
Karzakan feels a world apart from Bahrain’s glimmering capital. A clutch of grim concrete buildings – a fruit and vegetable stand, a shawarma shop, a few construction firms – sit along the poorly-maintained main road. A group of schoolchildren ride by on the back of a pickup truck, chanting yasqat Hamad (“down with Hamad”) and bouncing up and down as the driver navigates the potholed street.
Many of Bahrain’s villages lack basic services – connections to the municipal sewage grid, regular garbage collection – and the stench of trash and waste hovers over some of Karzakan’s back alleys and side streets. Residents say the poor sanitation leads to occasional outbreaks of disease, particularly among young children. Continue reading
Since February 14th 2011, Bahrain has been experiencing a massive popular uprising in which large numbers of women from different socio-economic, political and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand greater rights, freedom and democracy. They were met with a brutal crackdown from the Interior Ministry and Bahrain Defense Force, which left seven demonstrators dead and scores injured. In light of international media frenzy, diplomatic condemnations, and rising public anger, the government withdrew its armed personnel to allow the public a free space in which to express their discontent and demands. It is here that aspirations for the future of Bahrain are being formulated into a plan, and it is here that tens of thousands of Bahraini women with demands for a more democratic and more just future are staking their claim.
To mark International Women’s Day, we look at the reflections of one woman from ‘the Pearl’.
I meet our subject in Bahrain’s financial district in downtown Manama. A Bahraini twenty-something, suited and heeled with short brown hair and softly lined eyes, she walks to our meeting from her banking job in one of the high-rises a few minutes away. In her own experience, the recent wave for social and political change in the Middle East sparked her involvement in Bahrain’s February 14 uprising. Continue reading