T.O. Weekly Antiwar Supplement: Warmongers – Sanctions – Mauritius – Palestine
The Organizer Weekly Newsletter
Special Supplement – April 25, 2022
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IN THIS ANTIWAR SUPPLEMENT:
• No Support to Warmongering Governments!
• Do the U.S. and European Sanctions Against Russia Weaken Putin’s Regime? —by Dominique Ferré
• Interview with Rada Kistnasamy, for LALIT (Mauritius) : “Close All Foreign Bases, Including NATO Ones!”
• In Palestine, Too, There Is War and Occupation — by Jean Alain
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No Support to Warmongering Governments!
“Third World War.” These three words were uttered by William Burns, director of the CIA, on April 14. “I know that President Joe Biden is deeply concerned about the risk of a third world war,” he stated.
Are we really to believe that Biden is “deeply concerned” about preventing a world war?
The day before Burns’ statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gave China an ultimatum: “The world’s attitude toward China and its willingness to embrace deeper economic integration could well be affected by China’s response to our call for decisive action against Russia.”
A week earlier, Yellen had threatened to sanction China on suspicion of invading Taiwan. Then came the announcement of the imminent NATO membership of Sweden and Finland.
In the training camps of the U.S. army, there is increasing talk about preparing for a conflict on a completely different scale. According to Associated Press (April 16), “In the dusty California desert, U.S. Army trainers are already using lessons learned from Russia’s war with Ukraine to prepare soldiers for future combat against a major adversary like Russia or China.”
Clearly, the U.S. and its NATO allies are preparing to prolong and perhaps escalate the war. Following are some indicators:
• The Biden administration has pledged $800 million in additional military aid to Ukraine.
• State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated on April 14 that it is “possible” that the war will last through the end of this year.”
• Senator Chris Coons, Democrat from Delaware and close ally of Biden, stated that the U.S. needs to discuss sending U.S. troops to Ukraine, arguing that Vladimir Putin “will only stop when we stop him.” Appearing on Face the Nation on Sunday, April 10, Coons said, “We are in a very dangerous moment where it is important that on a bipartisan and measured way we in Congress and the administration come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine.”
• EU Foreign Minister Joseph Burrell, following in the footsteps of his U.S. mentors, stated on April 15 that, “The only solution is a military solution.”
In the meantime, the Biden administration is reaping more and more benefits from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. “Shale gas, agriculture, arms sales: Washington is winning on all counts,” writes the French conservative daily Le Figaro on April 15.
“On March 25, during Biden’s European trip,” Le Figaro continued, “the European Commission pledged to buy an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States in 2022. And this is just the beginning.”
The same is true for the arms industry, a sector largely dominated by U.S. multinational corporations that has been flourishing like never before, as all the governments of NATO member states are increasing their military spending astronomically.
“Whether it is Putin’s war in Ukraine, or the wars provoked by imperialism in Africa, the Middle East or Central Asia, these ongoing wars and the destruction and barbarism that they unleash against the workers and peoples are the fruit of the capitalist system based on the private ownership of the means of production and of its decay.” (from the Appeal of the International Emergency Meeting Against War, April 3, 2022)
It is precisely because they have no interest in maintaining this exploitative system that the workers of the world are the only social force capable of stopping the march to generalized war.
No support to warmongering governments!
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Do the U.S. and European Sanctions Against Russia Weaken Putin’s Regime?
The sanctions are hitting the Russian people hard. Dozens of foreign companies have left Russia, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers. The ruble is in free fall while the prices of everyday consumer goods are soaring, as about 75% of the goods consumed by households are imported products.
Russian journalist Farida Roustamova, who is critical of the war, explains on her blog: “The sanctions and other economic and political consequences of the war have had the opposite effect of what the Western countries could have expected” (March 31).
Roustamova quotes a senior official close to the Kremlin: “At the beginning [of the war – ed. Note], we were losing the information war. People had negative feelings against the war. There was a clear division of 50%-50% in society. … But when the Westerners started saying that all Russians are bad, boycotting artists and athletes, everything changed.”
“Instead of encouraging the Russian people to stand up against Putin’s ‘dirty war’ in Ukraine, the sanctions strengthen the regime and its ‘patriotic’ propaganda. And the oligarchs? Certainly, the sanctions affect them, too. But, notes Rustamova, “their financial losses and the huge political consequences have caused the various groups and clans of the Russian elite to ‘close ranks,’ says one of my sources.”
Biden and EU sanctions only strengthen the regime. The only real help to the working people of Russia is international solidarity among the exploited against all war-mongering governments. Reacting to the publication by Workers Tribune [the French weekly newspaper of the POID – ed. note] of information concerning the antiwar resistance in his country, a worker militant from Russia wrote the following:
“Thank you, comrades! The best help you can give us is to continue informing the workers of Europe and the world of what is really happening here, so that they know the fascist methods that our government is using, in order to dispel any illusion about the nature of this regime.” — Dominique Ferré
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Interview with Rada Kistnasamy, for LALIT (Mauritius): “Close All Foreign Bases, Including NATO Ones!”
Q: Can you explain briefly to our readers [of Workers Tribune, France] the position of LALIT, and why you feel that there is the need for an internationalist initiative against war?
A: In LALIT, we believe that capitalist-fueled wars can only be ended by an internationally unified working class. A brief version of our position on the war between Russia and a USA-armed Ukraine can be found in a translated version of a hand-out in Kreol for LALIT’s Candlelight Anti-War evening of Friday 15 April:
• No to War! Avoid nuclear war!
• Russia must withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine!
• NATO must at once stop expansion! NATO must be dismantled!
• USA must halt its ‘sacrificing’ of the Ukrainian people that it arms! The USA must avoid provoking a nuclear war!
• Ukraine must commit to remaining ‘neutral’ meaning vow not to join NATO, while Russia withdraws all its troops completely – these two factors thus enabling Russia and Ukraine to set up a timetable to negotiate their borders, and thus end eight years of civil war with its 14,000 deaths, and two months of outright war and untold suffering of the Ukrainian people.
At the same time, we call for:
• The closure of all foreign military bases world-wide! This means closing the USA base on Diego Garcia! That is our specific duty!
• Conversion of all the military bases world-wide into offices to monitor climate change and for research into renewable forms of energy.
• Closure of all harbors and airports to foreign warships and war-planes! In the Republic of Mauritius, this means closing the ports, for a start in all the following islands of the Republic of Mauritius: P. Louis, P. Mathurin, Diego Garcia (occupied by UK-USA), Agalega, St Brandon, Tromlin (occupied by France).
• A halt to all arms production! It fuels war! Conversion of arms factories into units that produce renewable energy.
• Re-negotiation anti-nuclear treaties the USA was responsible for breaking, and dismantling all existing nuclear arms.
On our anti-war posters – now all over Mauritius – the two main slogans are: “No to War!” And “Close the USA Military Base on Diego Garcia”. A band at the top reads: Russian must end the invasion. The middle band on the “wave” reads: “Nuclear arms are a threat of human extinction”. And the bottom band reads: “Close all foreign bases, including NATO ones.”
Q: The April 3 Emergency meeting made the proposal to distribute the appeal, and take initiatives around it, on May Day 2022 across the globe. How will the internationalist struggle against the war be expressed on May Day in Mauritius?
A: Our theme for our May Day 2022 was decided before the outbreak of the war and was “No to War! Yes to Food Security!” and we have kept it. Labor Day always links the theme to the working class. On May 1, a public holiday, we will hold an event for members delegated by branches on this theme. We still live under Covid restrictions – assemblies of less than 50 only.
The annual LALIT celebration will nevertheless still include music and poetry produced by members, and speeches by members, on the topic. We will be launching our Bi-monthly Magazine, REVI LALIT Number 147 on May Day, too. It will include some 25 articles on
different aspects of the war in Ukraine – ranging from articles on NATO, on the nature of the Russian State, on Russian oligarchs, on the fascist battalions in the Ukrainian army, to articles on how so many countries that are not part of the imperialist “West” did not support the three UN General Assembly votes, while not supporting Russia either, and on the role of the US’s military-industrial-complex needing contracts and tenders after the end just six months ago of the NATO war and occupation of Afghanistan, on the role of the Western media so thoroughly encrusted in the Ukrainian army.
(On our anti-war posters below now all over Mauritius – the two main slogans are: “No to War!” And “Close the USA Military Base on Diego Garcia. A band at the top reads: Russian must end the invasion. The middle band on the “wave” reads: “Nuclear arms are a threat of human extinction”. And the bottom band reads: “Close all foreign bases, included NATO ones.”)
—Best wishes from all in LALIT, Rada — for LALIT
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In Palestine, Too, There Is War and Occupation
By Jean Alain
On Friday, April 15, a day of prayer in the middle of Ramadan, Israeli police violently intervened against Palestinian worshippers gathered at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The Red Crescent reported that 153 people were injured. According to the British daily The Guardian, “most of the Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, sound grenades and baton charges from the Israeli police” (April 15). NGOs denounced more than 400 arrests. The day after, again, 20 Palestinians were injured on the esplanade.
This violence follows a wave of repression and daily assassinations against Palestinians. According to Ziad Medoukh, a Palestinian activist in Gaza:
“Since April 2, the beginning of Ramadan, more than 20 young Palestinians have been murdered by the Israeli occupation army. All the major cities and camps in the occupied territories have not been spared (Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jenin…). The army, supported by the police forces, acts with impunity and has even recently obtained the right to kill freely from the Israeli government – all with silent complicity of the so-called international community. The violence of the repression has forced the Islamist Raam party, a member of the Israeli government coalition, to threaten to leave it. Raam’s four seats in parliament are essential to ensure a parliamentary majority for the coalition government.”
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price called on “all parties to exercise restraint” – a hypocritical statement that provides political cover to the ongoing war and occupation against the Palestinian people.
As a Palestinian activist declared during the April 3 International Emergency Meeting Against War: “We, the Palestinians, are against the invasion of Ukraine. We are against all wars, against all occupations, against all colonialist actions anywhere in the world. … The criminal policy of the United States and the European Union entails allowing aggression in one country and denouncing it in another.”