Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Change of PNG leadership and US plans for the region

(Contributed)                                             31 July 2019


High-level diplomacy between Australia and Papua New Guinea in late July has shown the continued subservience of US political and military leaders to US imperialism’s visions for the region.


Aggressive US-led moves to heighten tensions with China may result in Australia being dragged into regional hostilities together with conflicts elsewhere.


Between 21 and 26 July incoming PNG Prime Minister James Marape, accompanied by several government ministers, was hosted by Canberra for high-level diplomatic meetings with Australia. Media coverage was rather limited, although meetings included 'defence and security' and the need to 'boost trade and investment'. (1)


Later media releases also specified Australian assistance for PNG to develop infrastructure projects including electrical generation projects. (2)
Business interests and neo-colonial relations between Australia and PNG also included   serious concerns about the future prospects of a huge $16 billion liquefied natural gas deal involving ASX-listed Oil Search, where Australian business-interests have been regarded as threatened by political instability in PNG. (3)
A factor in discussions between PNG and Australia has been the growing influence within Melanesia and the South Pacific of Chinese social-imperialism (“socialism in words, imperialism in deeds”).
PM Marape being a 'guest of government' by Australia, coincided with the release of information concerning a 473-page report about regional defence and security considerations. (4) The report revealed Australian military planners were forming a new expeditionary training force 'to work with key regional neighbours, including PNG, Fiji and Vanuatu'. (5) Responsibility for the new force has been given to the ADF First Division, based in Brisbane.
The new force would 'conduct a range of activities, such as exercises and operations with the Pacific security forces and key agencies to build inter-operability with our partners'. (6) “Interoperability” means everyone being able to work under the command and direction of the US imperialists. And, 'the Pacific Support Force will employ a mobile training team approach to strengthen capacity, resilience and inter-operability throughout the region in areas such as security operations'. (7)
Countries across the South Pacific have various levels of police and/or local military and maritime surveillance capacity, and as a result, defence provision for some is supplied by either or both of Australia and New Zealand.
It is also important to note that Pine Gap is linked in an arc that also includes sensitive US intelligence facilities on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and a major base on Guam in Micronesia. Both have been recently developed into military hubs, coinciding with Darwin Harbour as a support centre with large-scale US troop rotations for regional deployment. (8)
In recent times, however, the rise of China across the region has provided Pacific Island political leaders with options and choices. Official media releases from Canberra note the development has meant 'the Pacific Islands, with broader choice of aid partners, no longer need to depend on Australia'. (9) It has also led some observers to question whether Australia can continue to hold sway with the South Pacific countries into the longer-term future. The balance of forces across the wider region is turning at a rate where Canberra has fewer and fewer realistic diplomatic options. Military options, therefore, become an issue.
It is with these considerations in mind that Australia has established the Lombrum military facilities on Manus Island (pictured) together with the Black Rock Naval facility in Fiji. (10) While both facilities appear to be concerned with rapid deployment capability into the Pacific, they strengthen the role of Australian state agencies for domestic purposes in countries of widespread social division along ethnic lines.
While a great deal of emphasis has been placed upon the role of the Trump administration in recent times and their aggressive diplomatic position toward China, the policies rest upon longer-term military planning. During the late 1990s it was noted the US military planners were moving away from the traditional European focus toward the Asia-Pacific region. The region was the most dynamic within the newly globalised economy. Assessments at the time concluded with the statement 'the Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition'. (11)
While the publication in 2000 of the US Joint Vision 2020 military assessment did not specifically identify China, a core planning document of the Joint Chiefs of Staff listed 'China as a potential future adversary'. (12) 
It is, therefore, important to recognise the strategic significance of Australia for regional US-led military operations; the so-called alliance remains primarily concerned with 'US interests'.
Australia is a strategic hub for US-led regional operations with far-reaching implications: localised intelligence operations and their reliance upon Australian counterparts rest, in turn, on linkage into broader US-led facilities; military exercises can quickly turn into real-war scenarios.
The US Joint Vision 2020 publication fits neatly with Australian military planning and the Howard Government’s Defence White Paper (2000) which identified four key areas of concern with US-led considerations:
  • *security in the immediate neighbourhood;
  • *stability and co-operation in South-East Asia;
  • *strategic stability in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • *supporting global security. (13)
As the 20-year planning embedded in these documents is now reaching fruition it is possible to observe how successive Australian political leaders have complied with US-led military planning, across the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere in the Middle East and Afghanistan; the recent high-level diplomacy between Australia and PNG was but one part of a much bigger global plan by the Pentagon.
Australia has already been drawn into military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan to defend and secure 'US interests' with the same military planning.
Whether we will get drawn into similar future operations in the South Pacific remains to be seen. Present Australian political and military leaders continually stress how they are attempting to counter China, using aggressive diplomacy within US-led military planning.
We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     PNG leader to visit Australia, Reuters, 16 July 2019.
2.     ScoMo courts PNG with $250 m power pledge in China pushback, Australian, 23 July 2019.
3.     PNG to vote on new PM as O'Neill bows out, Australian, 30 May 2019.
4.     Australia sets up force for Pacific, Australian, 23 July 2019.
5.     Ibid.
6.     Ibid.
7.     Ibid.
8.     US intensifies military presence in Indo-Pacific, Global Times, 24 July 2018.
9.     Is this the end of a beautiful Pacific Islands relationship? The Weekend Australian, 13-14 July 2019.
10.   Morrison seeks to turn the tide of neighbourly opinion, Australian, 5 June 2019; and, Editorial, Strategic policy compass is set in the right direction, Australian, 3 June 2019.
11.   Asia moves to forefront of Pentagon planning, The Guardian Weekly (U.K.), 1-7 June 2000.
12.   Ibid.

Outrageous attempt to ban Ernst Thalmann memorial event

German ML Party calls for letters of protest                     30 July 2019

According to Comrade Monika Gartner-Engel, CC member of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD), authorities representing the board of the foundation managing the memorial site for murdered German Communist leader Ernst Thalmann (1866-1944), located within the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, have withdrawn permission for a commemorative event to marks the 75th anniversary of his execution by the Nazis.

Approval had been given for the event which had been organised by the Internationalist Alliance, a formation of 38 organizations in which the MLPD also works. 

“In the attempt of the foundation to give a reason for the ban,” said Gartner-Engel, “false allegations are being made, as for example the allegation that the Internationalist Alliance, in which also Palestinian groups cooperate, are supposedly antisemitic - because of their completely justifiable criticism of the policies of the Israeli government. This is all in line with the rightward development of the government in Germany and the anti-communist defamation campaign, which is steered by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and the paradigm change of bourgeois anti-fascism it initiated. More and more, the great number of victims and sacrifices of the Soviet Union, the Red Army and the communists are being completely ignored and only the Jewish victims and sacrifices being honoured.”

Buchenwald is a symbol of the most brutal terror of the Hitlerite fascists in the service of German monopoly capital. In the Buchenwald concentration camp were especially political prisoners, communists, social-democrats, trade-unionists and other antifascists of many nationalities. Thalmann was transferred there from the Bautzen concentration camp in August 1944 and executed days later.

Thalmann became a leader of the German Communist Party after participating in and helping to organise the Hamburg Uprising of 1923. From May 1924, he was a member of the German parliament, the Reichstag. In October 1925 he became chairman of the German Communist Party and was a candidate for the German Presidency. In 1932, he again contested the Presidency against the incumbent Paul von Hindenburg and the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. When the latter came to power, his Gestapo arrested Thalmann. From the time of his arrest (1933) until his execution, a period of eleven years, Thalmann was held in solitary confinement and tortured. He was a role model for the unbroken resistance of anti-fascists, even under the most brutal conditions.

During the Spanish Civil War the German brigade was called the Thalmann Brigade in his honour. Freiheit (freedom), a classic song of the anti-Franco struggle was written in 1936 to honour him.

It is outrageous that flimsy pretexts are being used to disrespect the memory of this great anti-fascist fighter and to prevent commemorative activities at Buchenwald.

Already, many letters of protest are being sent to the board of the foundation from a broad spectrum of people, among them descendants of former Buchenwald inmates, and also Jewish prisoners. They express their consternation and declare their solidarity!

Our Party will send a strongly-worded protest.

Any organisation or individual wanting to send a letter of protest can do so by emailing the foundation at sekretariat@Buchenwald.de or by emailing the MLPD (info@mlpd.de ).

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Communists hold International Forum Against ISIS

(Report from the International Bulletin of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Turkey/Kurdistan)

In Amûdê in the northern Syrian canton of Qamişlo, the Rojava Center for Strategic Studies (NRLS) has organized an international forum to investigate the crimes of the political-Islamic fascist “Islamic State" (ISIS).

The conference took place between 6 and 8 July 2019 under the title "ISIS: Dimensions, Challenges and Strategies of Confrontation".

The representative of the Institution for Unity and Solidarity of the People (SYPG), Beritan Asya, (pictured) wrote an assessment of the forum, which we have shortened and translated:

"The International Forum was a stage to discuss the necessity to convict all crimes committed by ISIS and their accomplices against the Rojava Revolution, the Kurdish people, various national and religious communities, and especially women.

Journalists, academics, doctors, democratic mass organizations, representatives of the revolutionary structures of northern and eastern Syria and Communists from America, France, Austria, Switzerland, Lybia, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Northern Kurdistan, as well as victims and witnesses of various ISIS massacres from all over the world participated in the Forum. The International Forum became a panel in which those involved claimed accountability for the massacres and genocides of the political-Islamic fascist Daesh and the colonial and fascist Turkish occupation state, and all their accomplices. The focus of the discussions was on the causes of the military, political, social and economic strengthening of ISIS and its conviction by an international court for all its crimes against women, various national and religious communities, historical values, nature and humanity.

One of the main demands of the nearly 200 forum participants was the conviction of the IS in the territories of the revolution in northern and eastern Syria, where the IS has been defeated militarily.

The military defeat of the IS was officially announced on March 23, and with it no doubt a new phase began. Even though IS has been defeated militarily and lost its occupation areas, the question of what social dynamics produced ISIS has to be clarified. The conviction of the ISIS by an international court and accountability for all its crimes against humanity is as important as its military annihilation.

An international court would overturn one of the pillars of the political-Islamic fascist Daesh and contribute to lifting the fundamental dynamics that created it.

At the International Forum, the crimes of the fascist ISIS and its hangmen were explained. Witnesses, and documents have outlined countless facts. Confessions of imprisoned fascists of ISIS have shown that ISIS and its accomplices must be convicted in an international court.

At the first day and in the first session of the 3-day forum, ISIS's patriarchal and misogynist grin was revealed through testimonies. The Yazidi women who suffered the most exposed and brutal form of massacre, witnesses and wounded of the Suruc massacre, video footage of Ankara massacre witnesses, witnesses to the Kobanê massacre of 25 June, witnesses to the massacres in France, witnesses of ISIS terror in Libya have all reported on the brutality of ISIS. Emotional contributions were united with political and ideological assessments.

The reports have documented that ISIS is not a dynamic that emerged spontaneously on its own, but was realized through the support of the imperialists, the fascist Turkish occupation state in particular, and the reactionary-colonial regional states.

A weak point of the forum was the women‘s question. The crimes of IS as an enemy of women and of humanity, carried the character of the extermination of the female gender and the identity of women and at the same time ISIS wanted to fight for power against the identity and existence of women, which is why ISIS has to be convicted also on behalf of all working, labouring and oppressed women, but this issue has not been discussed enough. Even today, the front of women must provide a strong mechanism and a strong basis for convicting ISIS.

Why should ISIS be convicted in Rojava?

This is important because the imperialist forces are trying to prevent the convictions from taking place here in Rojava, which would equate to official recognition of a status for the Rojava Revolution.

Today, thousands of ISIS members are in the hands of the SDF, YPG and YPJ. There are still around 85,000 family members following the ISIS ideology. This reality is a threat to both the revolution and the peoples of the region and the world.

The International Forum has shown us the following: the conviction of ISIS means at the same time the conviction of the Turkish state, which supported ISIS with all means, in order to smash the Rojava revolution. In the 3-day discussion platform, international reports about the organic connections of the IS with the Turkish state were proved.

The imperialist forces try to realize the conviction of IS in Iraq or elsewhere instead of Rojava to hide their own guilt. But the real convicting force and reality here is the justice mechanism of the revolution, which guarantees a democratic, women-liberating life and equality, freedom and a future of all religions, languages, faiths, and national communities, that is, the mind and conscience of all the people."


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Car industry workers mobilise internationally in solidarity

Second International Automotive Workers Conference planned for 2020.

There are still six months to go before the 2nd International Automotive Workers Conference will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 19 to 23 February 2020. It will be self-organized and prepared and non-party affiliated. Interest in participation is growing worldwide.

Among others, colleagues from Tunisia and Morocco, where there is a growing automotive industry, have already confirmed their participation. In South Africa, the big militant metal trade union NUMSA has expressed its support for the preparation and conducting of the conference. Its representatives explicitly stated that NUMSA stands for the common international struggle of the workers.

In February, the workforce of Audi in Györ, Hungary, went on strike for a week and pushed through their demands in full, including an 18% wage increase. Congratulations! The strike at Europe's largest engine plant stopped production at Audi's main plant in Ingolstadt for a week. The 10,000 colleagues affected there by the loss of production stood in solidarity on the side of the strikers. This solidarity across location sites, corporations or countries, right up to the joint struggle, is the right way to international workers unity.

The rapid changes in the automotive industry with the transition to electromobility, further digitalization and the signs of a worldwide economic and financial crisis are linked to the destruction of tens of thousands of jobs, the attack on wages and the deterioration of working conditions. The workers are challenged to unite in opposition, to fight together and coordinated for their jobs and class interests. 

A draft for an international program of struggle of the automotive workers was released by the group coordinating the Conference last June.  

Our Party supports this international mobilisation and comrades will prepare a report on the history and subsequent destruction of the car industry in Australia.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

“Great Replacement” conspiracy theory and the blind eye of the capitalist state

(Contributed)                          24 July 2019

Studies of the far-right in Australia have revealed their close relationship with European counterparts, philosophically and in practice.
Recent developments, therefore, rightly give cause for alarm. The European far-right have developed a recent history of indiscriminate use of terrorism to accompany their other political objectives.

The terrorist outrage in New Zealand by an Australian citizen last March, likewise, has shown decision-makers in Canberra have failed to properly monitor recent trends with far-right groups. It would appear they do not even consider recent developments a problem.

Recent research by the London-based Strategic Dialogue has shown how far-right political groups have accepted Great Replacement theory as part of the basis for their attempt to achieve power. The theory, which originated in France (specifically, with Renaud Camus’s 2012 book The Great Replacement), accuses Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa with seeking to replace the white Catholic French as the majority in France. (1) Muslims have tended to be targeted in recent years throughout Europe as a conspicuous ethnic minority.

Other ethnic minorities, however, have historically also been targeted.

Australian version of “replacement” theory

Two decades ago, Pauline Hanson and the then newly emerging One Nation party in Australia, openly targeted Asian ethnic groups, using the statement, 'I do not want my country Asianised'. A changing pattern of immigration away from Europe and toward Asia during the 1990s created a readily identifiable ethnic grouping for the far-right to target.

In the subsequent two decades the same far-right political groupings have changed their target to Muslims, in line with their European counterparts. One only has to consider the reasons behind the changing focus of the far-right: many of those seeking asylum in European countries and Australia are the unfortunate victims and outcome of the so-called Arab spring, a US-led military offensive to topple political systems regarded by the Pentagon as threats to its goal of “full spectrum domination”. The planners of the US-led military offensive regard the citizens and former citizens of the countries concerned to be suspect.  

The geographical developments have also coincided with economic factors which include user-pays philosophies superseding welfare capitalism. The development has heightened tensions within societies between haves and have-nots, those who have gained as opposed to those who have lost. The economic factors have their supporters and opponents.  

Racism a cover for attacks on labour movement gains

The far-right have taken their position as the most aggressive part of the offensive led by the business-classes to undermine and destroy many gains made by organised labour in the post Second World War period. Many European far-right groups, for example, continue to follow corporatist economic philosophies based on free market “welfare” models. They have tended to become more aggressive in recent times, following the lead of the Trump administration in the US which has openly attacked small-l liberal positions.

Supporters of multi-culturalism, immigration and the former order have, therefore, also tended to be targeted by the far-right who regard them as facilitators of those responsible for the Great Replacement and all that white supremacists hold dear.

It is within this context that the recent murder of Walter Lubcke, a pro-refugee Christian Democrat politician in Germany took place. It has been alleged he was targeted by a far-right political grouping. (2) The killing was not an isolated incident: a study of the German far-right conducted by the Federal office for the Protection of the Constitution showed the far-right had been responsible for at least six attempted killings last year and a further 48 attacks in 2017. (3)

The findings also follow a recent investigation in Germany of a far-right group in Chemnitz where eight extremists are alleged to have been planning attacks throughout 2018 on various immigrants, government ministers and journalists. (4)

It is important to study their chosen method of operation.  Great Replacement theory has become a convenient way of the far-right rallying their cohorts. Their cry, 'One land, one people', essentially starts with an ethnic view of peoples linked to national identity. Threats, either internally or externally, are regarded as coming from others who are different. It has included a differentiation between those regarded as pure-bred nationals and other, non-European immigrants. (5) In Australia, the problem has been exacerbated by some established nationals from European backgrounds feeling challenged by immigrants from much better educated backgrounds. 

A study of the attempt to co-ordinate the European far-right has shown how racism toward ethnic minorities has become the standard practice of dealing with the often most vulnerable sectors of society. A media release from Steve Bannon, former strategist for the Trump administration, acknowledged he regarded 'being called a racist is a badge of honour'. (6) The political position was not the outcome of a flippant remark: it was a carefully planned move to divide societies and weaken existing structures, together with directing attention toward a specific issue. Trump’s casual justification for his racist attacks on four minority Congresswomen known as “the Squad” (“many people agree with me”) follows this pattern.

Such people as Bannon also have grander designs which appear more in line with megalomania and demagogy: he has been responsible for establishing a Brussels-based foundation called The Movement to co-ordinate anti-immigrant politicians and their organisations.

Earlier this year a further media release announced European far-right groups had established an alliance for forthcoming European Union elections where they expected to become the biggest force. 'We're working for a new European dream', they stated, in which they wanted 'to build a fortress in Europe', a position in line with current thinking within the Trump administration. (7)

Cold Wars – old and new

The Movement can be seen to fit comfortably into the New Cold War. It rests, however, upon other organisations from the previous Cold War which include the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), a shadowy dual-use far-right body, linking seemingly respectable politicians with others connected to US-led covert operations.  A quick glance at the WACL List of national contacts at that time revealed the seemingly respectable Australian League of Rights and British Conservative M.P.s rubbing shoulders with Ferdinand Marcos and his supporters based in compliant oligarchies in the Philippines together with those associated with Operation Condor in Latin America and known supporters of Apartheid South Africa. (8)

 The WACL was a major player in the Iran-Contra scandal of the late 1980s and promoter of terrorism. (9)

Furthermore, the notorious Italian terrorist, Stefano delle Chiaie was based in Latin America during the 1980s, and, 'at times he co-ordinated his efforts with the WACL, a neo-fascist umbrella organisation that assisted US intelligence operations in Latin America during the Reagan years. A CIA report during this period described the fugitive Italian as the most prominent rightist terrorist still at large'. (10)

The developments did not go unnoticed in Australia, a country with huge strategic significance for the US alliance and the Asia-Pacific region.

The 22nd WACL conference in 1989 was hosted by Australian-based members in Brisbane and attracted 120 delegates from fifty countries. The fact John Howard, then a rising member of the Liberal Party and later Coalition Prime Minister also attended is evidence in itself of his compliance and acceptance of conspiratorial far-right political standpoints. (11) Any attempt to distance seemingly mainstream Australian Liberal politics and the role of John Howard from far-right, neo-nazi counterparts has been relatively easily dispelled from a variety of reliable sources. (12) The likes of John Howard, his office staff and security personnel can hardly deny knowledge of the problem. They have, however, attempted to hide the matter, using silence.

A blind eye upon the far-right: then and now

The fact 120 delegates from fifty countries entered Australia to attend such a function is evidence in itself of decision-makers in the Immigration Department in Canberra consciously turned a blind-eye to the problem of the far-right and their ability to network amongst supporters.

The problems of the past continue to hang around the necks of their later counterparts like a mill-stone.
In the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist outrage last March, where an Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 innocent Muslims, then Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton stated, 'no far-right groups in Australia currently meet the criteria of a listed terrorist organisation'. (13) When pressed for a suitable answer, Dutton used a member of his ministerial office to specify that 'to be listed as a terrorist organisation in Australia under the Criminal Code, the minister must be satisfied based on the advice of our security and intelligence agencies that the organisation is directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting or fostering the doing of a terrorist act, or advocates the doing of a terrorist act'. (14)

The then Australian government attempt to sidestep any liability with Tarrant was, nevertheless, made to look rather flimsy following an investigation by the Australian newspaper which revealed he had accessed a number of far-right websites. Under normal circumstances one might rightly expect such on-line facilities to have been monitored as a matter of course. (15) In contemporary Australia, it would appear not.

The fact Tarrant was also a known advocate of Great Replacement theory and actually used the phrase as the title of his manifesto which was issued on-line before his terrorist outrage, is further evidence of the indifference displayed by Australian government departments to the problem of the far-right. (16)

A recent media release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand about the forthcoming Royal Commission and a top-level inquiry into the Christchurch terrorist outrage was accompanied with the statement, 'in short, the inquiry will look at what could have or should have been done to prevent the attack'. (17) In addition, it was noted 'there will be a focus on whether our intelligence community was concentrating its resources appropriately and whether there were any reports that could, or should, have alerted them to the attack'. (18)

Using the existing evidence already within the public domain it will be interesting to note how the Australian state and government departments deal with the problem of further disclosures of highly incriminating information about the prevailing culture of political indifference towards the far-right which would appear rife in Canberra.

With the first stages of the commission and inquiry set to open in late July it will be interesting noting how long observers will have to wait before the truth emerges!

1.     Australia foments far-right 'great hate', Australian, 10 July 2019.
2.     German soldiers march to the right, Australian, 25 June 2019.

3.     Ibid.

4.     Off-grid extremist fears for Germany, Australian, 30 April 2019.

5.     Not your father's far right, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2014.

6.     Bannon plots hard right for Europe, Australian, 24 September 2018.

7.     Far-right pact to end Europe's nightmare, leaders say, Australian, 10 April 2019.

8.     Inside the League, Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, (New York, 1986), pp. 275-85.

9.     The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History, Edited, Peter Kornbluh and Malcolm Byrne, (New York, 1993), page xxx.

10.   The Beast Reawakens, The chilling story of the rise of the neo-nazi movement, Martin Lee, (London, 1997), page 189.

11.   WACL website: 9 January 1990.

12.   The WACL: Origins, Structure and Activities, Pierre Abramouici (2014), has provided numerous examples and reliable evidence.

13.   Far-right groups dodge terrorist list, Australian, 20 March 2019.

14.   Ibid.

15.   Mosque kill accused's link to neo-Nazi sympathiser, Australian, 20 March 2019.

16.   Australian, op.cit., 10 July 2019.

17.   Ardern calls NZ massacre inquiry, Australian, 26 March 2019.

18.   Ibid.