Pro-Imperialist Left, RCIT, LFI, LCC, FLTI, IWL-FI Devastated by Liberation of Aleppo

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06/01/2017 by socialistfight

The national chauvinism of those leftists who support the CIA-sponsored jihadist ‘revolutions’

By Gerry Downing

Image result for the Liberation of Aleppo images

But this great war of aggression – called the creation of ‘New Middle East’ by former US President George W. Bush – has hit a rock in Syria. The massive proxy armies bought and equipped by Washington and its regional allies the Saudis, Turkey, Qatar and Israel, have been beaten back by a powerful regional alliance which supports the Syrian nation. http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4463/Liberation-of-Aleppo-represents-US-s-most-serious-setback-in

Reply to the Fifth Internationalists of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), https://www.thecommunists.net/ led Michael Pröbsting in Austria and the League for the Fifth International (LFI) led by Richard Gerard (Workers Power /Red Flag) in Britain, http://www.fifthinternational.org/ (the IDOT pamphlet on Fifth Internationalism is on the website here,  https://socialistfight.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/idot-7.pdf) the Liaison Committee of Communists (LCC) led by Dave Bedgood in New Zealand and Charles Rachlis in the USA, http://www.cwgusa.org/ and the Internationalist Leninist/Trotskyist Fraction (FLTI), led by Carlos Munzer in Argentina, http://www.flti-ci.org/index_eng_1.html. We will also deal with the IWL-FI (Morenoites), http://litci.org/en/

Introduction

These four international self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups hold outright pro-imperialist chauvinist positions of support for US-dominated global imperialism. All four supported the CIA/NATO Benghazi rebels and other jihadist in Libya and Syria in 2011. The first three agree that Russia and China constitute ‘Eastern Imperialism’ and stand to the right of all the self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups on this vital questions. In other words, characterising Russia and Chain as great imperialist powers allows them to take a dual defeatist position on any future imperialist attacks on these and hence on all semi-colonial capitalist countries they support.

The FLTI hold that China and Russia are not imperialist powers; the LCC split to the right from them on this very question in 2010 on which the FLTI was essentially correct. However, together with the FLTI, all four supported the CIA/NATO-sponsored destruction of Libya in 2011 and have characterised all attacks on semi-colonial countries like Syria led by alliances between jihadists reactionaries and USA-led NATO imperialism and its Turkish and Gulf allies as “revolutions” and/or a proxy conflict between Western and Eastern Imperialism. So, all have moved on in practice from dual defeatism to outright support for Western imperialism under the global hegemonic power, US imperialism and its allied subordinated imperialist powers in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand in all its wars of plunder against the semi-colonial world. Apart from the LFI the other three groups work closely together, reproducing each others’ articles on their websites etc.

Imperialism had great problems with the Arab Spring as it emerged in Tunisia in December 2010 and January 2011 in Egypt. Initially France supported the old Tunisian dictator Ben Ali and the US supported the Egyptian dictator Mubarak until it became clear they had to go and then they attempted to recover the situation by allying with the new rulers. In Libya and Syria US imperialism itself or its Saudi, Qatari, other Gulf and Turkish allies intervened, sponsoring these CIA jihadist ‘revolutions’ by mass bombings in Libya and funding and training them in Syria. This intervention quickly subverted the initial motives of opposition to brutal dictatorships which drove the masses to protest. But in Bahrain Saudi tanks crushed the uprising mercilessly and in Yemen they partially crushed and partially mollified it by accepting the exile of the wounded President Saleh in June 2011 and replacing him with his equally reactionary vice president al-Hadi. That conflict is why the conflict is still ongoing as a result of this compromise. So, we understand that the geopolitical imperative for imperialism is to install their own puppet ruler or else destroy an opponent, however weak and compromised he had been up to the point when the opportunity arose to install an even more plaint puppet. They have achieved this in Libya, Egypt and Bahrain, they have stabilised Tunisia but not installed their desired puppet and have failed so far in Syria and Yemen; these conflicts are ongoing.

In the degeneration of Trotskyism after WWII Michel Pablo ceded the task of leading the world revolution to left Stalinism in Yugoslavia and China (with no substantial opposition from their later 1953 opponents in the International Committee of the Fourth International, James Cannon, Pierre Lambert and Gerry Healy). Cannon and the US SWP joined them 1963 in ceding this to Fidel Castro but it was the genius of Gerry Healy and US SWP leader Jack Barnes to hail the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran as the new leader of the world revolution after the revolution of 1979.

We also note that after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Barnes, Healy, the current WRP/News Line leaders and the predecessor of the RCIT and LFI defended their disgraceful support for Boris Yeltsin then by defending the Russian now-capitalist state by asserting that it remained some form of workers’ state. It remained a degenerated workers’ state in the case of the first three and became a ‘moribund workers’ state’ in the case of the Fifth Internationalists. The LFI, in lockstep with imperialism’s preferences, changed its designation of Russia from ‘degenerate workers’ state’ to ‘great imperialist power’ in 1999/2000 as soon as the bad boy Putin replaced imperialism’s favourite Yeltsin. He was a far more aggressive defender of Russian nationalist oligarchic interests in contrast with the very corrupt pro-western gangster Yeltsin. But it really is a new low point in the history of self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups, in reality unprincipled centrists, to credit Sharia law head-chopping jihadists with the task of leading the world revolution. And, as we have pointed out elsewhere, the RCIT explicitly does so, embarrassing all other defenders of the Libyan and Syrian ‘revolutions’ by spelling out the logic of their own positions. Here it is:

“The petty-bourgeois Islamist forces like Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and Ahrar al-Sham certainly have many dedicated fighters in their ranks and are also far more competent militarily than various FSA units. Without a doubt, these petty-bourgeois forces are currently the most significant defenders of the areas liberated from Assad’s hordes.

… But today the Islamists are fighting against the imperialists and today Revolutionary Marxists are on the same side as the Islamists in the conflict against Assad’s tyranny without giving the petit bourgeois or bourgeois secular or religious forces any political support. (our emphasis)” [1]

In point 28 of the RCIT’s World Perspectives 2017 the ‘revolution’ has morphed into “legitimate resistance movements – usually under the leadership of various Islamist forces” because regurgitating the stuff above it just too nonsensical, a ‘revolution’ led by Sharia law jihadists fighting for an Islamic state, with no revolutionary programme and only head chopping fundamentalists as its base:

  1. While the Islamophobic petty-bourgeois left turns a blind eye to this imperialist aggression, revolutionaries insist that these wars waged by Washington and Moscow are wars intended to liquidate legitimate resistance movements – usually under the leadership of various Islamist forces – fighting against dictatorships and imperialist occupation. We have already seen this in the shameful support which numerous Stalinists and centrists (e.g., Alan Woods’ IMT) lends to Assad and his Russian backers in the Syrian civil war. [2]

In fact, the IMT and Alan Woods take a third campist position of ‘a plague on both your houses’ here but this lacks the outright chauvinism in defence of US imperialism demanded by Pröbsting. Poor old Michel Pablo never sunk to that level.

The LIT-FI (Morenoites) are not part of the foursome above but their line on Aleppo was equally bad. The leading group, the PSTU of Brazil, split over its refusal to oppose the coup against Dilma but the new MAIS (M.O.R.E.) split group has not yet reassessed its policy of supporting imperialist interventions in Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

We will deal with each of the five groups in turn.

Image result for Michael Pröbsting  RCIT images

Michael Pröbstin’s Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

The RCIT’s Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

We will first and most extensively deal with the RCIT because their leader Michael Pröbsting has put in the most effort and has spelled out in the most theoretical detail the proposition that Russia and China are both Eastern ‘Great Imperialist Powers’ if not now equal to US-dominated Western imperialism at least getting there very rapidly. The other three groups rely on this work to a large degree even if they do not fully acknowledge it. It is our proposition that this proposition is nonsense on stilts and the conclusion is reached on the basis of very carefully selected statistics extracted out of context from which are drawn spurious and often reach quite ridiculous conclusions. Moreover, the criteria used to ‘prove’ China is imperialist just do not work for Russia so Pröbsting uses totally different criteria there.

In 18 December 2016, the RCIT produced its World Perspectives 2017 [3]. Its section 3, The Great Power Rivalry and Its Consequences for World Politics reassert the proposition that Russia and China are great imperialist power on the basis of updated statistics from its previous works on the subject. There are four tables in this section and these we will analyse thesethe dollar in some detail.

The second table is extracted from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, (UNCTAD) world investment report 2016 (pp. 200-203). [4] However, before we come to the statistics UNCTAD issues a ‘health warning’ about these statistics, basically saying that it is impossible today to identify the real national origins of much of international finance capital. It is worth quoting some of this:

INVESTOR NATIONALITY: POLICY CHALLENGES

More than 40 per cent of foreign affiliates worldwide have multiple “passports”. These affiliates are part of complex ownership chains with multiple cross-border links involving on average three jurisdictions. The nationality of investors in and owners of foreign affiliates is becoming increasingly blurred. Multiple passport affiliates” are the result of indirect foreign ownership, transit investment through third countries, and round-tripping. About 30 per cent of foreign affiliates are indirectly foreign owned through a domestic entity; more than 10 per cent are owned through an intermediate entity in a third country; about 1 per cent are ultimately owned by a domestic entity. These types of affiliates are much more common in the largest MNEs (Multinational Enterprises): 60 per cent of their foreign affiliates have multiple cross-border ownership links to the parent company. The larger the MNEs, the greater is the complexity of their internal ownership structures. The top 100 MNEs in UNCTAD’s Transnationality Index have on average more than 500 affiliates each, across more than 50 countries. They have 7 hierarchical levels in their ownership structure (i.e. ownership links to affiliates could potentially cross 6 borders), they have about 20 holding companies owning affiliates across multiple jurisdictions, and they have almost 70 entities in offshore investment hubs (our emphasis). [5]

In other words, the real ownership of finance capital is very difficult to ascertain and for those who understand how the world works economically most of this hiding and ‘passporting’ is performed by the greatest transnational corporations allied to the USA’s Wall Street. And we must take that into account in analysing all statistics that the UNCTAD produce in their reports. Michael Pröbsting takes all the statistic at their face value and this allows him to paint a false picture of international relations. Let us now look at the statistic tables to illustrate this. This is the first table produced by Pröbsting to make his point about the rise of China and the decline of the USA:

Table 1. US and China: Their Share among the World’s 500 Largest Corporations, 2001 and 2016 (Fortune Global 500 List)

                                                USA                                                    China
                                Number                  Share                  Number               Share
2001                         197                     39.4%                  12                      2.4%
2016                        134                      26.8%                  103                      20.6%

In 2014 Socialist Fight made the same point as UNCTAD above, putting a bit of flesh on the bones of the abstract analysis of ‘passporting’:

In 2004 when the (Forbes 2000) list first appeared the US had almost 1,000 in the top 2,000. The decline is largely due to US transnationals locating their HQs abroad for tax avoidance purposes. Ireland’s 19 companies apparently place it in the same league as Saudi Arabia, a ridiculous comparison. In reality up to half of those ‘Irish’ companies are not really Irish at all except in name. Its top company in 2013 was Accenture plc; “engaged in providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services”. It was 318th with a market capitalisation of $53.34 Billion. It had 257,000 employees in 120 countries, only 1,300 in Ireland. It is a US transnational, of course. [6]

Pröbsting has swallowed the lying statistics whole. Even the recognition here that it was only the headquarters which were in the USA did not warn him of the problem:

The same dynamic appears in another list of the largest capitalist monopolies – the so-called Fortune Global 500. In 2001, 197 corporations among the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the US, while there were only 12 in China. However, by 2016 this had dramatically changed: While the US was still leading the list with 134 corporations, China was already closely behind, ranking second with 103 corporations. In other words, while the US share among the world’s largest monopolies had declined from 39.4% (2001) to 26.8% (2016), China’s share grew during the same period from 2.4% to 20.6%! (our emphasis). [7]

We note that by 2016 Ireland still has 19 multinationals in the Forbes Global 2000, the same number as Brazil, just behind Saudi Arabia (21), Netherlands (22), Sweden (23), Russia (25) and Spain (26). Accenture plc is still the top Irish company. And now we can see more clearly why the UNCDT felt obliged to issue that health warning about these figures. They are a very distorted indication of the position on the pecking order of global imperialist powers. The Apple Corporation’s 1% tax avoidance controversy tells us in some detail what the real situation is in Ireland. [8]

Let us now look at the second table in which the real ownership of capital is even more starkly raised. I have added Ireland to Pröbsting’s list to illustrate the previous points about passporting:
  Table 2.  Foreign Direct Investment Stock of Great Imperialist Powers, 1990, 2000, 2015 (Millions of $US)

  Country                 FDI inward stock                                            FDI outward stock
              1990                2000                2015                 1990                2000                  2015
USA          539,601          2,783,235       5,587,969       731,762       2,694,014      5,982,787
Japan      9,850            50,322             70,698              201,441        278,442         1,226,554
Britain  203,905         63,134               1,457,408         229,307       923,367         1,538,133
Germany 111,231         271,613         1,121,288           151,581          541,866       1,812,469
France      97,814         390,953         772,030           112,441           925,925          1,314,158
China       20,691          193,348           1,220,903          4,455              27,768         1,010,202
Russia        –               32,204               258,402             –                      20,141          251,979
Ireland 127,089 (’00)   285,575 (’10)   435,490      27,925 (’00)   340,114 (’10)   793,418 [9]

Looking at the original tables from which these statistics are extracted we note in the first place that Russia and China are correctly categorised as ‘developing’ economies as against the ‘developed’ economies of the imperialist countries. The statistics for Ireland again make it a great imperialist power absolutely eclipsing Russia and coming very close to China. “Lies, damn lies and statistics” as Mark Twain often said.

We note that the FDI inwards and FDI outwards in the USA and China are roughly equal over the years but you will note that for Ireland in 2015 the outward FDI is almost twice the inward FDI as the US global corporation repatriated profits. There is simply no way of knowing whose capital China is exporting but it is a fair bet that much of it is not Chinese. And we further note that on any possible criteria Russia does not quality as a ‘great imperialist power’.

This is the third table:

Table 3. The World’s 10 Top Exporters of Weapons, 2011–15

Exporter                            Global Share (%)
  1. USA 33%
  2. Russia 25%
  3. China 5.9%
  4. France 5.6%
  5. Germany 4.7%
  6. UK 4.5%
  7. Spain 3.5%
  8. Italy 2.7%
  9. Ukraine 2.6%
  10. Netherlands 2.0%

The SIPRI Yearbook 2016 comment on this:

“The USA and Russia have consistently been by far the largest suppliers since 1950. Together with Western European suppliers, they have historically dominated the top 10 list of suppliers, and there is no sign of any major change. This group increased its share of the global total between 2006–10 and 2011–15, but has been joined by China which has firmly established itself as one of the world’s largest exporters of major weapons.” [10]

It is easy to understand that the USSR exported to those countries and to national liberation movements fighting US imperialism. Since the collapse of the USSR arms exports fell off but Russia again began supplying those fighting the USA after Putin came to power in 2000. The majority of these exports are to countries like Syria today. It is absolutely no proof whatsoever of imperialist status, no more than it was under the USSR. Comparing military expenditure would be more fruitful, and the RCIT previously did in 2014. Here it is for 2016:

pro-imp1

pro-imp2

These two charts make it plain who the global hegemon is. China is only a third of the US arms expenditure, added to Russia it is only a small fraction of NATO’s and other US allies’ war spend. Since the end of WWII there is only one global hegemonic imperialist power, the USA, even though it is declining in influence and political and economic strength. All other imperialist powers are subordinate to that power, however unwillingly.

The dollar held 63.1% of the world’s reserve and only the Euro came near at 22%. The chart here shows the percental composition of currencies of official foreign exchange reserves since 1995: [11]

pro-imp3

The green line is the dollar, the dark blue line is the Euro (continuing from the German yellow Deutsche Mark) and the rest, including the Russian Ruble and the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi are nowhere; less than 5%. The diving light blue is the Japanese Yen entering recession from 1995-9 from which it has recovered only slightly.

October 22, 2016, Kimberly Amadeo wrote in Trade Online:

In the foreign exchange market, the dollar rules. More than 85% of forex (foreign exchange) trading involves the U.S. dollar. Furthermore, 39% of the world’s debt is issued in dollars. As a result, foreign banks require a lot of dollars to conduct business. For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, non-U.S. banks had $27 trillion in international liabilities denominated in foreign currencies. Of that, $18 trillion was in dollars. That’s why the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted its dollar swap line — to keep the world’s banks from running out of dollars. (Source: “Is the Role of the Dollar Changing?” The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, January 2010.) [12] [13]

The US stock markets dominate the globe in alliance with the City of London; the US military, army, navy and airforce is stronger than the next ten nations combined; with its NATO and other allies, closer to 15. Whilst Russia and China are rapidly advancing in weapons’ technology in almost every sphere the US is still far ahead; its10 aircraft supercarriers (60% bigger than its nearest rival) and 9 nine landing helicopter dock carriers have as much deck space as the other aircraft carriers in the rest of the world combined. Russia and China has just one aircraft carrier each, sister ships, only 60% the size of the supercarriers and far inferior technologically:

The U.S. has 19 aircraft carriers, compared to the rest of the world’s 12 aircraft carriers combined. The U.S. carriers are also larger and more technically advanced than any others. China’s sole carrier, for instance, is a retrofitted Ukrainian carrier from the Soviet Union that was originally supposed to be an off-shore casino. [14]

The following image shows the overwhelming superiority of the US not only in numbers but in size in this vital field:

pro-imp4
The US has upwards of 800 military bases throughout the globe. With its NATO and other allies this approaches 1,000 bases. There is a presence of US military personnel in 156 countries and it has bases in 63 countries. The USA has built new bases in seven countries since September 11, 2001. Russia has eight ‘foreign’ bases, except for Tartus in Syria they are all in former USSR countries. China has none at all.

But Pröbsting blithely ignores all this in outrageously portraying Russia as the Big Bad Bear:

“Russia’s status as a great power on a political level goes hand in hand with its status as a great military power. As we have shown above in Table 3, today Russia has the worlds’ third-largest military budget. In addition to this, Russia has the world’s second most powerful nuclear arsenal after the US. Its arms monopolies are also the second-ranked competitors in the global armaments market. Another manifestation of Russia’s status as a great power is the number of military bases which it possesses abroad. Russia runs military bases in eight CIS countries. In addition to them, Russia also has a naval base in Tartus (Syria).” [15]

Not to mention the comparison with the 1,000 odd military bases of the US and its allies is gross chicanery intended to paint the Russian Bear as a ferocious aggressive creature threatening ‘western civilization’ and not the truth; that Russia and China are taking legitimate steps to defend their borders from warmongering US imperialism. According to James A. Lucas in Global Research the US has killed more than 20 million people in 37 “victim nations” since World War II. [16] [17]

This is the fourth table and again we must insist that Russian and Chinese nuclear warheads are defensive and always the USA are the aggressive imperialist power, the only country to use them; on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Table 4. World Nuclear Forces, 2015
Country                              Deployed Warheads                        Other Warheads               Total Inventory
USA                                    1,930                                                 2,500                                                 7,000
Russia                                1,790                                                 2,800                                                 7,290
France                                280                                                    10                                                       300
China                                  –                                                         –                                                         260
UK                                      120                                                    –                                                         215

Of course, this no more proves that either China or Russia are imperialist states no more than it did when they were degenerated and deformed workers’ states before 1991-2 (the collapse of ‘communism’). But is does expose the pro-imperialist line of propaganda used in this document and the 2014 one. [18]  As proof that Russia is a great power in point 2, footnote 2, Pröbsting cites John Sawers: We are returning to a world of great-power rivalry, October 19, 2016, Judah Grunstein: Fragile States and Great Power Rivalry Are Back. Is the U.S. Ready? World Politics Review, Sept. 21, 2016, Kaitlin Lavinder: Great Power Rivalry Is Here to Stay, Say National Security Leaders, September 21, 2016, Sumantra Maitra: It’s not a Cold War – it’s a great power rivalry, Russia Direct, 09.03.2016 amongst others. [19]

For those of us who lived through the Cold War this is simply US imperialist propaganda. “the Russians are coming, they are an existential threat to us all, let’s finish the bastards off now!” The heading in table 2, Foreign Direct Investment Stock of Great Imperialist Powers, is Pröbsting’s own. ‘Great powers’ was the term used by western imperialism itself during the Cold War falsely to allege warmongering aggression by the USSR and to spread anti-communist propaganda. The big ideological advantage of communism, even in the distorted form propagated by the Soviets, in semi-colonial revolutions against imperialism was combatted in this way. This anti-communism was opportunistically employed by Mao Tse Tung to formulate his bogus ‘three worlds’ theory to enable him to capitulate to the US and support it against the USSR/Russia, backing Pinochet in Chile, Vorster and Botha in Apartheid South Africa against the ANC and MPLA in Angola and Mobutu in the Congo/Zaire just as Pröbsting is doing now in Syria. Consequently Maoism is a marginal ideology in Africa.

In point 7 Pröbsting acknowledges his difficulties in getting all this across in any coherent way so he tells us it is dialectical:

Those who refuse to characterize China and Russia as imperialistic due to their economic backwardness, ignore the concrete history of imperialism and the conclusions which Marxists drew from it. As we have elaborated in detail in other studies, it has been a constant feature in the epoch of imperialism, which started at the turn of the 20th century, that there are imperialist Great Powers of different types – from the strongest, most modern and dynamic ones (like Britain, the US or Germany) to weaker and more backward ones (like Russia, Japan, Italy or Austria-Hungary). [20]

Of course, we could argue against Lenin that Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary were not modern imperialist powers pre-1917 but semi-feudal regional powers which were allied with modern imperialist powers. This on the basis that they did not conform to Lenin’s own criteria for imperialism in his 1916 pamphlet Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.  Japan, Italy and Austria did develop as imperialist powers after WWI. Before 1914 Germany and the US challenged and overtook the British Empire in many ways for global hegemony. The US dithered somewhat about which side to support, waiting until December 1917 to enter the war on the western front. Similarly, in WWII no real global hegemon existed, had Moscow fallen in 1941, which it almost did, then the outcome of that war could have been entirely different. Today, as the LCFI continually insist, the USA is still the global hegemon, still intent on global domination. It is the warmongering aggressor under both Republicans and Democrats. Its defeat by Russia, China or anyone else will be a huge revolutionary inspirational benefit to the working class and the oppressed of the entire planet.

Be that as it may Russia today obviously does not conform to Lenin’s criteria at all. In point 10 Pröbsting characterises Russia as an imperialist power, and therefore logically should not have been supported against the US or its proxies.

  1. Similarly, since 2014, we have witnessed an escalation of the conflict between the US and the EU on the one hand and Russia on the other over the Ukraine. Russia’s increasing strength as an imperialist power has been clearly demonstrated in this conflict as the Western powers have failed to drive Russia out of the Crimea or out of the Donbass region, despite economic sanctions and massive diplomatic pressure by the West. Quite the opposite, a growing number of politicians both in the US as well as in the EU have called for an end to the sanctions.

We would suggest it was the legitimate resistance of the population in the Donbass in 2014 and earlier in the Georgian–Ossetian conflicts in 1991-2 and 2008 to US-sponsored aggression to isolate and break up Russia that were played out there. We should have no hesitation with unconditional but critical support to the Donbass and Russia here. But the real tour de force in this article comes when he attempts to prove that those who refuse to characterise Russia and China as imperialist are “inverted social-imperialists” in point 19:

  1. The result of such confusion is the failure of all these organizations to take a clear stand on the issue of Great Power rivalry or – if they have taken a clear stand – they have chosen to support one of the imperialist camps. If China and Russia are not imperialist powers – as most self-proclaimed “Trotskyist” organizations believe – they can only be semi-colonial countries or “deformed workers states.” The result of such a conclusion can only be their giving support to these powers in any confrontation with the US, the EU or Japan. Or, in other words, they are forced to become social-imperialists. Some may sincerely believe that they are acting as “anti-imperialists” if they lend support not to “their” imperialist bourgeoisie, but to that which is in conflict with their own ruling class. Nothing could possibly be a worse tragic-comic mockery of Marxism! From such a grotesque point of view, the German social democrats and Stalinists supporting the US, Britain and France against Hitler should be seen as having acted as “anti-imperialists.” Similarly, such praise should also be given the Stalinists in Britain and France who attacked their governments for not accepting Hitler’s “peace offers” in 1939-41 during the period of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. As a matter of fact, history knows many cases of reformist and even outright bourgeois forces (e.g., the Vichy collaborationists in France in 1940-45) aligning themselves with a foreign power which is in conflict with their “own” imperialist bourgeoisie. No, as we have explained in past documents, these Stalinists, social democrats and centrists are nothing but “inverted social-imperialists”!

The truth is it is Pröbsting who is the straightforward social chauvinist who defends his own and all western imperialism in their warmongering attacks on the advanced semi-colonial states of Russia and China. It is massively insulting to compare principled Trotskyists to German social democrats and Stalinists against Hitler, to Stalinists in Britain and France who attacked their governments for not accepting Hitler’s “peace offers” in 1939-41. To liken us to Vichy Nazi collaborators in France in 1940-45 is the most grievous of insults, on a par with Stalinist charges of a similar nature against Trotsky and Trotskyists in the 1930s and 40s. The desperation evident in this diatribe speaks of a very worried man fearful of opposition emerging his own ranks and in the semi-colonial sections of the RCIT with some anti-imperialist understanding following the liberation of Aleppo. Russia and China are only regional powers.

The League for the Fifth International/Red Flag

The RCIT split from the LFI in mid-2011 on marginal issues, centrally on who controlled the group. Since then the RCIT has expanded its forces greatly and the LFI has stagnated. We would say that politically the LFI stands to the left of the RCIT, although they have the same opportunist methods. It is true that the LFI in particular moved sharply to the left over the fascist-led Euro-Maidan uprising in Ukraine in 2014 and took a relative principled stance there but made no reassessment of its very bad positions on Russia and China and on Libya and Syria up to then. We dealt with Libya and Syria and this lack or reassessment in the Socialist Fight website article, Workers Powers Backsliding on Ukraine on 3 April 2015, in the following extract which echoes Hillary Clinton’s huge amusement on the assassination of Gaddafi. “We came, we saw, he died” [21] and Cameron and Sarkozy celebrations of the victory of their ‘revolution’ in Tripoli:

“After the fall of Gaddafi revolution must go deeper, Richard Brenner Wed, 31/08/2011.

Gaddafi has been defeated – now the fight is on to save Libya from NATO and the oil grabbing western powers, writes Richard Brenner

NOW THAT Gaddafi has fallen the Libyan Revolution must go deeper and break up the remains of the old regime – popular committees need to stop the new NTC government and the NATO powers from stealing the fruits of the people’s victory. The entry of the rebels into Tripoli spelled the beginning of end for Gaddafi. The dictator’s offer to arm the people of Tripoli against the rebels went completely unanswered – because the masses were already in the streets celebrating his downfall. Hardly surprising. In Tripoli in the early days of the uprising, Gaddafi’s forces had already murdered between 200 and 700 unarmed demonstrators. Like all victorious uprisings the Libyan Revolution will have to crush the remaining elements of the old regime including Gaddafi and his sons. They should not be tried but put to swift revolutionary justice.”

We commented on this:

This obscene grovelling to imperialism by Workers Power was followed by a similar one in Syria, where ’the revolution’ covered everything from the secular pro-imperialist Free Syrian Army to the Saudi/Qatar/US sponsored jihadist. Anyone could make this ‘democratic revolution!!!’ to get Assad it seemed. Unfortunately Assad was critically supported by all the minority groupings and the majority of Sunnis in the cities who did not want to accept the fate of Libya and succumb to Sharia law on the machinations of the USA/CIA. They have been successful in that up to now. [22]

But the left turn on Ukraine had its severe limitations because of the lack of reassessment of the line on Libya and Syria. Inevitably it led to a backsliding on Ukraine also. On 10 January 2015 K D Tait wrote an article for the LFI entitled, Ukraine’s new government… from Euromaidan to Euro catastrophe. [23]  It did attempt to make a balanced assessment of the situation in the Ukraine but was unable to do so because of the identification of Russia as a great imperialist power (he uses the term). Socialist Fight commented on it:

“Nowhere in this whole piece is there an identification of the USA as the aggressive Imperialist power or its geostrategic goal of world domination via wars, bombings and hired proxy armies. They failed that test too on Libya and on Syria and have reverted to third campism after a brief flirtation with revolutionary politics on the Ukraine. They make no defence of the Donbass in this article, despite its leadership.

The reference to “rival nationalist agendas” in the following passage highlights their approach:

“The task of socialists in Europe and Russia is to aid this struggle by opposing the attempts of their own ruling classes to subordinate Ukrainian workers to rival nationalist agendas, to impose their placemen and proxies as leaders and to force Ukraine to choose between exploitation at the hands of one or other of the imperialist camps.”

NO, No, No, that is NOT what the war against the Donbass is about. Has Workers Power now accepted that the Donbass militias are simply a proxy army for the Russia, as the RCIT has? Despite its leadership the base of the Donbass militias is working class increasing growing in class consciousness, especially since rejecting the purpose of Minsk 2 and defeating the proxy imperialist army at Debaltseve.

The following paragraph does attempt to take the other side to some extent:

“This means an intransigent struggle against the militarisation of eastern Europe by Nato, countering the imperialist propaganda offensive and mobilising working class opposition to government support for the austerity offensive of Kiev’s ultra-nationalist regime.”

But none of the above follows from this. And it does not take any military side with the Donbass. So it’s ok to undermine the war effort of Kiev but no need to call for the victory of Donbass. This is the ultimate logic of trying to equate Russia and the USA as rival imperialist powers. [24]

Whilst this might seem better than the outright national chauvinist positions taken by the likes of Socialist Resistance (USFI), the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the majority leadership of the Labour Representation Committee nonetheless it is profoundly in error. In particular we reject the proposition that the fighters of the Donbass have become simply a proxy army for Putin (just as we rejected this in Libya in 2011 and in Syria since then). The only proxy armies in these three conflicts are US/EU proxy armies; the Benghazi rebels, the Free Syrian Army and the jihadists of the Al-Nusra Front and the ISIS and the Kiev regime and its fascist infested army. Libya, Syria and the Donbass fought or are fighting genuine wars of national liberation against imperialist aggression despite the fact that they are led by reactionary bourgeois nationalist politicians. They have a right to get arms and assistance from anyone who will supply it, including Russia in the case of Syria and the Donbass.

And we assessed the influence of the RCIT on Workers Power then:

The RCIT says:

“Instead, they have to pursue a dual defeatist position, i.e., to wage a struggle on two fronts: against the imperialist bourgeoisie of the US and EU and their Kiev marionette, as well as against Russian imperialism and their stooges at the head of the Donbass republics.”

And then go on to take an openly Shachtmanite position in its list of demands at the end of their article, The Minsk Agreement and the Civil War in the Ukraine; [25] “Down with the reactionary, pro-Western imperialist regime in Kiev! Down with the Putin regime and its puppets in the Donbass republics!” and “Neither Brussels nor Moscow! For an independent workers’ republic!” they say and draw the same conclusions in almost the same words as Max Shachtman did against Trotsky and Trotskyism in 1939 and subsequently. [26]

Bad as the Workers Power position was we did note that the RCIT was worse and Pröbsting was aware of it. In The Liberation of Aleppo and the RCIT we wrote:

Pröbsting flags up his contempt for the failure of these fainthearted “pseudo-left doomsayers” to go all the way with the jihadists. He notes and slates their ‘cowardice’: “the League for the 5th International” which recently wrote: “Meanwhile, the Islamist forces, even those defending the besieged populations, are, at the same time, trying to smother the most progressive aspects of the Syrian revolution (indeed!). In short, the Syrian revolution is on the point of expiring.” The example of the actions of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham/Jabhat al-Nusra in supressing a demonstration for democratic rights show that they are correct about “the revolution” though very late in coming to that conclusion. [27]

That brings us to the present. In a recent Facebook debate one Joanne Telfer, from the Outer Hebrides, and yours truly debated Marcus Halaby of the Fifth International and we felt we were winning the debate about the liberation of Aleppo and what was a revolution and who revolutionaries are and whether Russia was a great imperialist aggressor in Syria when Richard Gerard intervened sharply, “why do you let that ****** comment on your post?” he demanded angrily of Marcus. After further debate the whole post, along with all its comments of course, suddenly disappeared. Not before an LFI member ticked a like to what would previously be regarded as unacceptable in the group, a dangerous development.

But Marcus has given us his thoughts in a piece called As siege of Aleppo ends, painful lessons must be learned on 16-12-16.  It is a painful, demoralised document as it really must be seeing as he acknowledges that all the hopes and aspirations he had in the ‘revolution’ are now dashed but there are some indications of a serious rethinking:

“Although, since 2011, they have pursued a policy aimed at ousting Assad and robbing Russia of its staunchest ally and only base in the region, when it became clear the price would be the destruction of the totalitarian Baathist apparatus of repression, either by revolution or war, they were not willing to pay it. They would rather tolerate Assad’s brutality, whilst using it to boost their own democratic credentials. They feared, above all else, a repetition of the disastrous situation that followed from the US interventions in Iraq and Libya – of which the rise of ISIS is the living proof.” [28]

And there it is, the open acknowledgement that the goal of the US all along was the ouster of Assad, denied by the RCIT who bitterly complain that they were nor supplying their sponsored rebel-revolutionaries with enough weapons to consummate the revolution because they were cunning counterrevolutionaries only pretending to be for the ouster of Assad and not real revolutionaries like themselves. And Russia, he acknowledges, was defending its only ally and its only base, this is not at all of the Russophobic standards called for in these circumstances. And the gross error in Libya, the root of all this confusion, openly acknowledged.

But the previous confusion remains. Having scored an open goal by accussing Samantha Power of gross hypocrisy in her, “Is there nothing that will shame you” he now alleges that Obama did not bomb Damascus after the Sarin gas episode, which he is absolutely certain was perpetrated by Assad despite zero evidence, because he feared for the future of the nuclear deal with Iran. Marcus also gave this as the reason the US did not veto the UN vote condemning Israel for its illegal settlements. Those of us with better memories will remember that David Cameron lost the vote in the House of Commons on this and that Obama was facing an even worse defeat in the House of Representatives. Both countries are still bourgeois democracies, the Executive cannot operate in total opposition to the mass of its electorate when it is represented by a vote in the Legislature. Votes of no confidence and impeachment would quickly follow if that were to happen. “I get it” David Cameron famously acknowledged after that defeat, Obama “got it”, Marcus doesn’t.

And now Marcus complains that the US was slacking in its revolutionary duty:

“What little US aid has reached opposition factions has generally gone to forces like the Kurdish YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces or the US-created New Syrian Army, whose mission was to fight the Islamic State, not the Assad regime. Elsewhere, the collapse of the resistance in the south of the country is partly a result of US attempts to divert the Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army away from an attempted relief of the rebel-held Damascus suburbs and towards fighting the Nusra Front.”

Really? Later he complains that “the promises given to the rebels from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar proved empty. The lessons for revolutionaries across the Middle East are never to rely on these broken reeds, whatever their promise of either democratic or Islamic solidarity”. What on earth are we to make of this? What type of a “revolutionary” would rely on such forces? That the USA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar betrayed the Sharia law, Jihadist, Wahhabi revolution? And if it is true what you say about the CIA tactics then they should not have fought al-Nursa and ISIS at all but concentrated on ousting Assad first of all and then sort out the jihadist child decapitators later. Again, the CIA are devious covert assassin and counter-revolutionaries but it really is impossible to openly support ISIS and al Qaeda after all that 9/11 War on Terror hoopla.  We all know what false flags operations are carried out but they must all be deniable, at least for ten years or so when the present administration can say, “that was then, we never do such stuff now”. Again, bourgeois democracy does impose certain constraints which politicians ignore to their cost.

The truth is the USA, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar did their level counterrevolutionary best to oust Assad and they were defeated. And that is a great victory for Syrian national sovereignty, for its working class and the working class and oppressed of the world. The “Great Satan” has been humiliated and that is excellent for the return of the Vietnam Syndrome.  That plain truth, staring you in the face Marcus, you seek to avoid by that highly convoluted, self-contradictory paragraph quoted, the implications of which you have not thought true I believe and sincerely hope.

Marcus finished with an aspiration for the socialist revolution. We too share that aim. But we still have big differences on how to get there.

Our support must go instead to Syrian socialist and democratic forces, many driven into exile in Europe or neighbouring countries, helping them to find safety and encouraging them to rebuild a working class political organisation that can prepare the resurrection of the Syrian revolution and revolutions across the entire Middle East. However harsh the present winter, a new spring will surely come.

The Liaison Committee of Communists

The Liaison Committee of Communists (LCC) is an international grouping consisting of the Communist Workers’ Group of Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Communist Workers’ Group (USA) and Revolutionary Workers’ Group (Zimbabwe). Until March 2010 it was a member of the Internationalist Leninist/Trotskyist Fraction (FLTI), the leading group of which was the LOI of Argentina, led by Carlos Munzer. Socialist Fight had a brief relationship with the FLTI following our revolutionary position on the Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes for British jobs for British workers in early 2009 (see No support for chauvinist, xenophobic strikes in SF No. 2). [29]

But Munzer only wanted a branch in Britain and allowed no differences or discussion. When we began discussions with the Groupe Bolchevik of France (Permanent Revolution Collective) led by Philippe Cothoun Munzer demanded we stop at once. We had stuff to learn from them, we felt and refused, hence the break. In fact the FLTI were correct about the pro-imperialism of the group it turned out over Libya and also correctly attacked the SF position on Israel AFTER they had decided to break relations with us and a more comradely intervention would have allowed us to correct our position sooner. In this regard the LCC are totally correct; the FLTI is an appallingly bureaucratic centralist international. [30]

We recorded the debate and our preference of the FLTI line against the (future) LCC in Socialist Fight reply to the Liaison Committee of Communists in 10 April 2014. The LCC began the exchange:

“We clearly say over and over again that China is as reactionary as US imperialism. US imperialism is still hegemonic and its defence of its global interests must bring it into collision with an ascendant China. This is why we changed our position of China’s dual character in which we could defend it from a direct US attack, to that of a rapidly emerging imperialist rival that could not be defended in any situation. That is why we are for the defeat of both China and US.”

The Carlos Munzer/FLTI argue against this, substantially correctly:

“This new imperialist offensive to re-colonize China together with its plan of privatization has split the Chinese bourgeoisie of the “red mandarins”. One faction is allied through the finances and the stock market to the US-UK financial capital and is for the immediate beginning of the privatizations. The other faction thinks that they could lose the source of their incomes as administrators of the broke state-owned companies. They also fear the Bonapartist Chinese regime’s sure loss of social base -and consequentially that of the CP of the “red businessmen”- in a layer of the working class that still maintains its gains in the state industry (nursery, health insurance, etc.).

Russia and China entered the world economy thoroughly ruined. Russia had a brutal devaluation of the Ruble, a restorationist bureaucracy who stole more than 200 billion dollars by making them flee out of the country to the safes of the Citibank and JP Morgan Chase, sharing out the state enterprises while leaning on the cannons of the counterrevolutionary coup of August 1991 launched by the mafia and the thugs of the old restorationist bureaucracy; all that led Russia to backwardness, to a lifespan of 50 years and to wars and genocides like that of Chechnya; meanwhile in Balkans the capitalist restoration was imposed by massacres like in Bosnia and bombs like those of NATO on Belgrade.

That Russia in ruins that lost Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, the ex-Muslim Republics where the 40% of oil lies, that is surrounded by US military bases established in those republics, with 49% of its oil and gas managed by the German BASF through that front firm called Gazprom, is called pompously “imperialist Russia”.

China that buys raw material and supplies of cereal, agro-industry, minerals and intermediate goods from the world market and in the semi-colonies from the own US, Australian, Canadian, French and England transnationals (that control Africa and Latin America), while financing the US monstrous deficits and foreign debt, and its labor force has been used by the international finance capital to sink the salary of the world proletariat like a comparative advantage is called pompously new “imperialist” power.

It is imperative to tell the truth to the world proletariat. If it buys, sells, covers deficits, bailout banks, lends for production, buys for the sake of third parties and administers slave labor, that is not monopolist capital that is not parasitism: it is to work under a master, it means being a privileged employee to the international finance capital.” [31]

On Libya, the LCC were amongst the worst. We commented on it in Socialist Fight No.6, The Soft Left’s Foolish Illusions in the Benghazi Rebels:

Statement of the Liaison Committee

In the Statement of the Liaison committee of the CWG (NZ) and HWRS (USA) IMPERIALISM: HANDS OFF LIBYA! The US and EU are planning a military intervention to protect their oil interests! We get the following:

“Libya is on a knife edge poised between victorious workers revolution that can defeat both the dictatorship and imperialism, and turn the Arab Revolution into socialist revolution in the whole region, and the counter-revolution that will halt, reverse and defeat the Arab Revolution and prevent the formation of a United Socialist States of North Africa and the Middle East. The outcome will depend on whether or not the international working class can stop the US and EU imperialists from invading Libya and imposing a new compliant national leadership. The aim of the Transitional National Council is to steer Libya during the interim period that will come after its complete liberation and the destruction of Gaddafi’s oppressive regime. It will guide the country to free elections and the establishment of a constitution for Libya.”

We commented:

This is a total capitulation to imperialist propaganda, particularly the ridiculous notion that not only was there something called “the Arab Revolution” which was above class, but that it moved forward of its own objective volition irrespective of the leadership that it had and that the counter-revolution was represented only by Gaddafi and not world imperialism. And why would they have to invade to “a new compliant national leadership” when they already had one? And the notion that the imperialist-sponsored and CIA directed and funded Interim Transitional National Council was going to “guide the country to free elections and the establishment of a constitution for Libya” is just too silly for words; an idealistic and unachievable aspiration for a bourgeois republic and a two-stage revolution. [32]

The LCC line on Russia and China is even more degenerated than all the rest to the extent of proposing that the US-led attacks on Venezuela under Chavez and Maduro are characterised as a conflict between Chinese imperialism and US imperialism on which they could take no side:

“Between two Imperialist Blocs

Today the same forces that call Obama socialist peg Venezuela as such, but by any scientific or Marxist measure we must conclude Venezuela remains a semi-colony of imperialism looking for the best deal between its two major trading partners, the competing imperialist powers US and China.

The imperialists stand by these thugs until it becomes clear they could no longer contain the masses, sending imperialism to look for a new strongman, or comprador layer, who while posing as democrats, step into the leadership vacuum over the top of unfolding revolutions and contain them and restore capitalist “stability” for imperialist exploitation. So it should have come as no surprise to the supporters of Gaddafi who place the responsibly for his downfall and death on imperialism rather than on the righteous uprising of the Libyan masses.” [33]

The clear implication of the ridiculous diatribe by Dave Bedgood of the Communist Workers Group (CWG New Zealand) is that if the Venezuela rightists managed to overthrow and/or assassinate Chavez’s successor Maduro on behalf of US imperialism that will be a victory for the oppressed masses, just as the assassination of Gaddafi was for Libya. The article makes no mention of the rightist capitalist pro-USA opposition sponsored by the CIA nor is there any acknowledgement of the necessity to defend Venezuela against the MUD counterrevolutionaries, (MUD, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, Democratic Unity Roundtable in Spanish), who have organised the mass mobilisations against Maduro on behalf of the USA. Clearly Bedgood and the LCC believe MUD will substitute for the revolutionary leadership here as the jihadists do in Libya and Syria. The notion that Venezuela is a semi-colony of China in any way is simply nonsense.

https://i2.wp.com/flti-ci.org/editrok/presentlibroagosto205/james.JPG

Comrade James with the reporters of the Editorial , Pamela Parson and Leandro Hofstadter at the presentation of the book “Syria Under Fire” in Argentina in 2014. Comrade James is a textile worker of Zimbabwe and member of the Workers International League (WIL). http://flti-ci.org/ingles/editrok/presentacion.html

The Internationalist Leninist/Trotskyist Fraction

We have just posted Infantile Disorders, the ABC of Marxism and a Baby’s Rattle on our website our from December 2009. It is a joint reply to a long letter from Carlos Munzer, Reply to the Leninist Trotskyist Faction (LTF) by the International Trotskyist Current (ITC) and the Groupe Bolchevik (member of the Permanent Revolution Collective). [34] It is a long document, some of which we would not now defend, particularly the section on Israel/Palestine. However, the “baby’s rattle” stuff is evidently still relevant. Munzer uses wild ultra-left rhetoric to cover from his gross opportunist politics. And Pröbsting takes his stuff at face value and posts it on his website. So, apparently back in 2011 we observed:

Michael takes his information on Libya from Carlos Munzer and the Democratica Obrera. His claims for the revolution in Libya are hot air; we would recommend double-checking it all. However we must confess a lack of knowledge of the working class forces on the ground in Libya. If they are reviving as suggested by Munzer then intervention is clearly called for to turn them against the pro-Imperialist influences they are under. Even if strikes are underway as he claims and “The workers have formed new trade unions and are organizing themselves in rank and file structures. They have more rights and power than under the Gaddafi regime” then these are pro-Imperialist organisations.

See for example his position on Syria where the main enemy is Assad, and Russian and Chinese Imperialism. There is absolutely no opposition to the US, the EU, Turkey, the Saudis or the Qataris. “In Greece and the whole Europe, it is necessary to paralyze all the ports and ships that transport weaponry and food to murderous al Assad, and instead ship food and weaponry for the heroic Syrian resistance! The Russian and Chinese working class has to revolt against the assassins Putin and Hu Jintao just now! It is urgent to stop the counterrevolutionary war machine of Putin and Hu Jintao’s that are arming to the teeth genocidal al Assad! It is urgent to send weapons, equipment and food to the masses that are fighting in Homs, Damascus, etc.!” Revolutionary Combatants of the Libyan Militia; Internationalist Volunteer Workers Committee; Adhering: Fracción Leninista Trotskista Internacional http://www.democraciaobrera.org/pag_ingles/mediooriente/2012/carta_tunez_ delibia042012.html

Maggie Michael of Associated Press tells us exactly what kind of ‘masses’ these are: “Some 30,000 people filled a broad boulevard as they marched along a lake in central Benghazi on Friday to the gates of the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah. They carried banners and signs demanding that militias disband and that the government build up police to take their place in keeping security. “Benghazi is in a trap,” signs read. “Where is the army, where is the police. Other signs mourned the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, reading, “The ambassador was Libya’s friend” and “Libya lost a friend.” Military helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead, and police mingled in the crowd, buoyed by the support of the protesters”. And so the last hope for the revolution is… Ansar al-Shariah! They will just have to substitute for the Bolsheviks! What a strange but delightfully dialectical face ‘liberation’ has in Libya today! Sound just like the days before the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917 Russia, does it not?

So, these were the forces of the ‘revolution’ that produced such an appalling debacle in Libya in 2011 according to Carlos Munzer. But onwards and upwards a similar phenomenon soon appeared in Syria, the Leon Sedov Brigade. Statements were issued in its name. We post here some of this stuff from the paper “the Truth of the Oppressed” of the “Syria fighters of Leon Sedov Brigade from revolutionary Aleppo Mustafa Abu Jumaa Brigade”.

Needless to say, there is or was no real Leon Sedov Brigade in Aleppo as there was no real Revolutionary Combatants of the Libyan Militia in Libya as claimed above. If there were some individuals there who were loyal to Carlos Munzer’s version of Trotskyism they certainly never raised its banner. It is very noticeable that no criticism is raised of Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar before the liberation of Aleppo. And no criticism is ever made of Sharia Law, the summary executions Syrian Arab Army soldiers and the head chopping of “apostates”, Shia Muslims and others and the throwing of gay men off tall buildings. The sawing off of the head of the 12-year-old Palestinian child by the Al-Zinki Brigade with such glee passed them by without comment, probably wisely. All part of the ‘revolution’ or else the brave fighters of the Leon Sedov Brigade would stoutly oppose all that stuff – it can have nothing to do with a desire to keep their own heads on their own shoulders.

The whole thing is a massive fraud perpetrated by Carlos Munzer of the FLTI in Argentina to justify his abject capitulation to US imperialism and all its wars and adventures. No one but the FLTI, the LCC and the RCIT propagated their stuff, apart from a few startled naive people who came across the bold claims on the internet the rest of the world wisely ignore Munzer’s wild claims, knowing his history. Those familiar with his style of writing will agree that this is absolutely typical of his wild braggadocio and bombast. There does seem to have been a few individuals who served as his local correspondents. In late October past, we learned that “Abu al Baraa, socialist leader of the rebel militias of Syria, had fallen in the siege of Aleppo”. Of course, we extend of sincere sympathies to his family and comrades but what a confused young man led by the absolute confusionists of the FLTI.

The first extract is from the obituary to Abu al Baraa on 24/10/2016:

Shot by the bullets of the fascist Al Assad and the murderer Putin, defending the southern front in Aleppo, the capital of the resistance, Abu al Baraa, socialist leader of the rebel militias of Syria, has fallen … He was co-author of the book Syria Under Fire, which was issued in 2014 together with Abu Muad and Carlos Munzer. He was an important leader for the International Socialist movement. He was the organizer of the forces of the 4th International in Maghreb and Middle East … he knew very well that Al Assad backed Zionism … He dreamt and fought with the Palestinian resistance, because he knew very well that Al Assad backed Zionism … With the generals of the FSA running away to the north of Syrian and Turkey in useless battles, with politicians and businessmen of Al Nusra hidden in Idlib, the revolutionary Aleppo was definitively surrounded by the forces of Al Assad, the constant bombardment of Putin and pro-US forces of YPG … Comrade Abu al Baraa fell in the right trench, fighting against the fascist Al Assad, backed by Putin and under the protective cover of UN and USA. He fought with a Kalashnikov rifle, taken by the masses from Assad’s army. There are no US M16 or US SAM (surface-to-air) missiles over there. There is a population of workers and peasants slaughtered, with the worst silence of the world left … or worse, with Stalinism and its counter-revolutionary forces openly supporting Putin and Assad. Today, the real scene –the tragedy of the Syrian masses- is seen. The same counterrevolutionary coalition that fences Syria under the orders of USA, today attacks Iraq, in Mosul. USA attacked Iraq again. He will go there to end the task that ISIS can no longer do: to finish the crushing of the revolutionary uprisings of the Iraqi masses that broke out in 2014. The true owners return for what is theirs … Today the FLTI says goodbye to one of its young leaders, to one of its most valuable revolutionaries. Trotskyists spread our blood through the battlefield. Millions of us will emerge from these battles and will take to victory the ideas that Abu al Baraa gave his life for. [35]

Well good luck to you if you can make anything out of that. The Zionist bomb the Syrian army because Assad backs Zionism and Obama has UN tanks besieging Aleppo with Putin and the fascist dog Assad. It’s simply jumping mad.

As the situation grew more desperate for the jihadists in east Aleppo Munzer resorted to his ultimate weapon – THE UPPER CASE:

SYRIA December 8th, 2016, FROM THE TRENCHES OF THE TORMENTED ALEPPO, For the paper “the Truth of the Oppressed” of Syria, In Aleppo, there is only the poor people and the oppressed. THEY FIGHT AND RESIST in the most humble neighbourhoods where the workers live.
They do not leave… WHERE WOULD THEY GO? WHERE? TO LEAVE THEIR HOUSES AND GO NOWHERE? TO FALL UNDER THE BOMBS AND GUNSHOTS OF THE FASCISTS OF AL ASSAD, WHO BESIEGES THEM TOGETHER WITH THE UN TANKS?
The people in Aleppo, which resist an unending torment, wonders and answers to themselves… for us, there is massacre… what about ISIS? If they say they fight against ISIS. ISIS IS 40 KM AWAY FROM THE AREA THEY CONTROL AND THEY HAVEN’T FIRED ANYTHING ON THEM BUT GREETINGS. Statement of the fighters of Leon Sedov Brigade, From revolutionary Aleppo, Mustafa Abu Jumaa Brigade. [36]

Enough, I hear you cry, and it surely is. But there is one final statement to view, not from Munzer apparently but from the Workers International League Zimbabwe-FLTI, 29/12/2016:

ALEPO WAS MASSACRED BECAUSE IT HAD BEEN SOLD OUT BEFORE
Turkey left with most of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to the north, to fight in Al Bab against ISIS. Al Nusra kept the weapons of the resistance in Idlib. They left the masses of Alepo alone. They sold them out. That’s the pact of Geneva of Putin, Obama, Al Assad, Turkey and their partners of Saudi Arabia. It is a pact to crush the revolution of the oppressed on the outside and, with the opposition bourgeois generals to sell it out from within. [37]

Of course, this is vintage Munzer. He has even forgotten to delete a Spanish language paragraph after he machine-translated his document. But now for the first time we get some politics. The ‘revolution’ in Aleppo was sold out by Turkey and Al Nusra. And in Geneva “Putin, Obama, Al Assad, Turkey and their partners of Saudi Arabia” made a pact to crush the revolution. The first criticism of the Saudis appears here after the ‘Leon Sedov Brigade’ have left Aleppo because with Obama and Turkey they have failed to assist the revolution and did not come to its aid as was their revolutionary duty. What kind of a revolutionary socialist, Trotskyist even, thinks that revolutions, democratic or socialist if we forget all our Trotskyism, could call on such forces for assistance and be disappointed by the failure to deliver?

And what are we to make of the final sentence: “DOWN WITH NATO, RUSSIA, TURKEY AND USA FROM SYRIA! THEY ARE THERE FOR THE PEOPLE NOT TO DEFEAT AL ASSAD”. Did anyone who understands English read this? It obviously contradicts the whole previous political message, garbled as it is?  NATO, Russia, Turkey and USA should leave Syria because they are for the people? It is obviously a machine translation error. One David Appolis posted a query of this nonsense but no one took any notice of him: “hi comrade check your last paragraph. They defend imperialism ,may be is a error on”

Well we have news for Carlos, Obama; Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan together with the CIA and the Pentagon, who didn’t always see eye to eye on how this revolution should be conducted, fought valiantly for their ‘revolution’ but were soundly defeated by the forces of Syrian national sovereignty assisted by Hezbollah (was Israel supporting them too, Carlos?) and the Iranian militias and the Russian air force. We would not dream for an instant of calling these forces revolutionary let alone socialist but they did defend some measure of the national sovereignty of Syria, some measure of secular values and preserved some space for the organised working class to operate as a class against the counterrevolutionary gang above Carlos mentions so bitterly who let his and his ridiculous jihadi, Sharia law revolution down. They thereby inflicted a mighty blow on the global imperialist hegemon, the USA. Go weep with Trump and Obama for your lost jihadist revolution, Carlos Munzer!

Assad and Russia turn Aleppo into a blood sea

The lurid photo used to head the  IWL-FI website story, “Assad and Russia turn Aleppo into a blood sea”. The following extract from that tells the tale of capitulation as it complains about the failure of the “international community”, the code word for imperialism used by the western media: “A true massacre is in course, whose responsible ones (Assad, Putin and other members of the coalition that gives bases to the regime) know they can continue to act with impunity, as the international community of States will not react”.

The International Workers League – Fourth International (LIT-CI) (Morenoites)

The LIT (IWL-FI) was also one of the organizations that was devastated by its own pro-imperialist policy.
The LIT supported the CIA “revolutions” in Libya, Egypt, Ukraine, Syria and Brazil.
In all these countries, the LIT embellished the CIA agents as “rebels” and itself called these counterrevolutions “revolutions”.
In Brazil, where the mother section of the LIT, the PSTU, operates the LIT was most devastated thanks to its counterrevolutionary policy. In its pro-imperialist sectarianism, the PSTU supported the overthrow of the populist government of the PT Ion Brazil, embellished the imperialist coup d’etat against its own country with the anarcho-liberal slogan “Fora Todos! (All Out!) “. As a result, the workers and the vanguard of the working class, victims of the coup that began with the overthrowal of PT president Dilma, put so much pressure on the PSTU that this party split in two.

740 militants broke with the PSTU criticizing the “Fora Todos!” and PSTU’s pro-coup policy. They also rejected Morenism’s support for the counterrevolution in the USSR in 1991. Those who broke called themselves “MAIS (M.O.R.E.)” But the PSTU was consistent in also defending the same interventionist policy of imperialism against Ukraine and Syria, also in Brazil. So far, those who broke with the PSTU, The “MAIS” have not been consistent in also breaking with the pro-imperialist policy of Morenism in Syria, Ukraine and Libya.”
See the 20 December 2016 LIT-FI statement which would do credit to any imperialist propaganda sheet in its absolute parroting of outright Jihadists lies:

Stop The Massacre In Aleppo! Full Support To The Syrian Revolution!
The scenes of a besieged city under intense air-striking by the Syrian and Russian Air Forces, with death children taken out of the rubble, women that prefer to commit suicide to be raped by the regime military forces, young people sending goodbye messages through the internet, humanitarian aid convoys and ambulances shot and bombed by the dictator, it all brings to mind the city of Guernica, mercilessly bombed by the Nazi Air Force during the Spanish Civil War. Fascism is characterized by the use of civil war methods against the population, and there is no doubt Assad’s dictatorship uses fascist methods against the Syrian people. [38]

Notes

[1] Socialist Fight, 7-12-16, The Liberation of Aleppo and the RCIT, https://socialistfight.com/2016/12/07/the-liberation-of-aleppo-and-the-rcit/

[2] RCIT, World Perspectives 2017: III. The Great Power Rivalry and Its Consequences for World Politics,

https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/part-3/

[3] Ibid.

[4] UNCTD, world investment report, Annex Tables, http://unctad.org/en/PublicationChapters/wir2016_AnnexTables_en.pdf

[5] UNCTAD, world investment report, Key Messages, http://unctad.org/en/PublicationChapters/wir2016_KeyMessage_en.pdf

[6] Socialist Fight, Eight Indices of US-dominated World Imperialismhttps://socialistfight.com/2014/07/22/imperialism-today-socialist-fight-13-3-14/

[7] Michael Pröbsting, (RCIT), World Perspectives 2017.

[8] See The State of Global Capitalism, post Brexit, https://socialistfight.com/2016/08/31/the-state-of-global-capitalism-post-brexit/

[9] UNCTAD: World Investment Report 2014, pp. 209-212 and UNCTAD: World Investment Report 2016, pp. 200-203, http://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=1555

[10] SIPRI Yearbook 2016, p. 22, https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/YB16-Summary-ENG.pdf

[11] Wikipedia, Reserve Currencies, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_currency

[12] Kimberly Amadeo, Trade Online, October 22, 2016 U.S. Economy, Why the Dollar Is the Global Currency, https://www.thebalance.com/world-currency-3305931

[13] Linda S. Goldberg, January 2010, Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Economics and Finance, Is the International Role of the Dollar Changing?, https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/current_issues/ci16-1.pdf

[14]  http://www.businessinsider.com/magnitude-of-us-naval-dominance-2013-11?IR=T

[15] Pröbsting, Russia and China as Great Imperialist Powers, A Summary of the RCIT’s Analysis.

[16] James A. Lucas, Global Research, March 07, 2016, US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II, http://tinyurl.com/h6exfju

[17] See Socialist Fight, Eight Indices of US-led World Imperialism, https://socialistfight.com/2014/07/22/imperialism-today-socialist-fight-13-3-14/

[18] Pröbsting, Russia and China as Great Imperialist Powers, A Summary of the RCIT’s Analysis.

[19] Footnote 2 in Point 2, Ibid.

[20] Point 7, Ibid.

[21] Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi, CBS news, 20 October 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

[22] Soci8alist Fight,  Workers Powers Backsliding on Ukraine, https://socialistfight.com/2015/03/04/workers-powers-backsliding-on-ukraine/

[23] K D Tait, LFI, 10 January 2015, Ukraine’s new government… from Euromaidan to Euro catastrophe. http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/ukraines-new-government-euromaidan-euro-catastrophe

[24] https://socialistfight.com/2015/03/04/workers-powers-backsliding-on-ukraine/

[25] Michael Pröbsting, RCIT, 20-2-15, The Minsk Agreement and the Civil War in the Ukraine, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/minsk-agreement/

[26] Workers Powers Backsliding on Ukraine, and Reply to Laurence Humphries resignation; .  https://socialistfight.com/2015/03/05/reply-by-the-lcfi-to-the-resignation-of-laurence-humphries-from-the-socialist-fight-grouplcfi/

[27] Socialist Fight, 7-12-16, The Liberation of Aleppo and the RCIThttps://socialistfight.com/2016/12/07/the-liberation-of-aleppo-and-the-rcit/

[28] Marcus Halaby, Red Flag No. 9, 16/12/2016, As siege of Aleppo ends, painful lessons must be learned, http://fifthinternational.org/content/siege-aleppo-ends-painful-lessons-must-be-learned

[29] Socialist Fight, March 09, 2009, No support for these chauvinist, xenophobic strikes, http://redrave.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/socialist-fight-no-support-for-these.html (Dave Bedgood posted this up when he was in the FLTI of Carlos Munzer and Socialist Fight we just about to open discussions with them)

[30] Russia, China, and the Unfinished Permanent Revolution, April 04, 2015, http://redrave.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/russia-china-and-unfinished-permanent.html

[31] Socialist Fight, 10-4-2015, Reply to the Liaison Committee of Communists, https://socialistfight.com/2015/04/10/socialist-fight-reply-to-the-liaison-committee-of-communists/

[32] Gerry Downing, Socialist Fight, Summer 2011, The foolish illusions of the soft left in Benghazi’s rebels, http://tinyurl.com/hc3y33x

[33] Liaison Committee of Communists, Chavez’s Death and The Way Forward for Venezuela, March 10, 2013, http://www.cwgusa.org/?p=485

[34] ITC, CoRep, December 2009, Infantile Disorders, the ABC of Marxism and a Baby’s Rattle, Reply to the Leninist Trotskyist Faction (LTF) by the International Trotskyist Current (ITC) and the Groupe Bolchevik (member of the Permanent Revolution Collective).

https://socialistfight.com/2017/01/05/infantile-disorders-the-abc-of-marxism-and-a-babys-rattle-december-2009/

[35] International Coordination Secretariat of the FLTI, http://flti-ci.org/ingles/Siria/octubre2016/hom_abu_baraa.html

[36] Statement of the fighters of Leon Sedov Brigade, From revolutionary Aleppo, Mustafa Abu Jumaa Brigade, http://www.flti-ci.org/ingles/Siria/diciembre2016/um_syria_8dic.html

[37] Facebook page of the WIL Zimbabwe,  https://www.facebook.com/Workers-International-League-Zimbabwe-FLTI-971829239574289/

[38]See IWL-FI, 13 December 2016, Assad and Russia turn Aleppo into a blood sea,  http://litci.org/en/assad-and-russia-turn-aleppo-into-a-blood-sea/ and 20 December 2016, Stop The Massacre In Aleppo! Full Support To The Syrian Revolution! http://litci.org/en/stop-the-massacre-in-aleppo-full-support-to-the-syrian-revolution/

One thought on “Pro-Imperialist Left, RCIT, LFI, LCC, FLTI, IWL-FI Devastated by Liberation of Aleppo

  1. mohammadbhaq says:

    Well put.
    My analysis was all the same regarding derailment of Arab Spring.
    I was disappointed seeing the pathetic role played by some pro imperialist Left groups regarding Libya and Syria.
    This article revived my dead heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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