CPI(M): Transformation to Social Democracy and Ruling Class decay

August 2, 2007

I honestly believe that the CPI(Marxist) is suffering from case of multiple
personality disorder… A case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Its West Bengal unit murders farmers to acquire their lands for
industries while its Andhra Pradesh unit has its cadre murdered
by state terror forces in its land struggles.

CPI(Marxist): Transformation to Social Democracy and Ruling Class decay


when a prominent daily of Kerala, Mathrubhumi, published full details of a 2 crore deal between the management of Deshabhimani, CPI(M)’s daily, and Santiago Martin, one of the dons of lottery mafia in South India, now absconding from Tamilnadu police, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat had to air dash to Thiruvananthapuram and order a probe by leading members of state secretariat. It was only a week before that a prominent manager of Deshabimani had to be dismissed for receiving Rs. one crore from the chief of a financial company indulging in large-scale cheating of the public – a blade company as it is called in the state.

It was to save its face from such numerous Kozha (bribe) cases, on which High Court ordered a vigilance enquiry, the LDF home minister had ordered another vigilance enquiry about a two year old allegation that the state Congress chief had received Rs. 10 crores from Himalaya Company, another blade company, the owners of which are involved in a multiple murder case. But this initiative by the CPI(M) minister has boomeranged with the announcement of Himalaya owners, who are on bail, on 19th July that they have handed over a big amount to one of the resident editors of Deshabhimani too in one CPI(M) Member of Parliament’s flat in Delhi.

Along with these multi-crore allegations, already the image of CPI(M) leadership, especially that of the state secretary who is the main accused in the Rs. 374 crores Lavalin case, was much tarnished with the building of a luxurious house for him and owning amusement parks and hundreds of crores worth property by the party. The climax was that the CPI(M) office built in an illegally transferred plot at Munnar was constructed by a real estate firm which is allowed to run it as a fabulous resort for ten years on BOT basis, similar to the CPI office nearby. That is why both CPI(M) and CPI leaderships were enraged when their own chief minister ordered the re-capture of nearby 60,000 acres of government land illegally occupied by Tatas for last three decades, in which these resorts cum party offices also stand.

The CPI state secretary, the revenue and forest ministers belonging to it and its other top leaders were the first to come out opposing the appointment of a special team to take back the land and the deployment of JCBs to bring down the resorts including CPI and CPI(M) offices built on land illegally transferred by Tatas. They acted like naked dalals of Tatas true to their three decade long history of shameless servitude to them. Tatas helped them by recognising AITUC as the only recognised union for a long time and providing generous benefits of all kinds to AITUC and CPI leaders. CPI tried and is still trying to undermine the chief minister’s initiative to take back the government land from Tatas. So when CPI called for a fund to revive Janayugam, its daily which was closed down a decade back, it could collect Rs. 10 crores much beyond its own expectations as Tatas like corporate houses and land mafias generously contributed. In spite of all its protestations CPI is exposed more than ever as a reactionary agent of Tatas like forces. Its ministers have cut down their tours fearing protest demonstrations against them.

Munnar Kannan Devan Hills, about 1,37,000 acres in area, was given on 99 years lease to a British man for tea plantation by a local king which lapsed in 1971. In 1974 under a Land Board order 57,000 acres were given to Tatas on a new lease for tea plantation and accessories. 20,000 acres were kept for Eravikulam wild life sanctuary. Though the whole land had to be surveyed and rest of the land was to be taken over by the government, for 33 years neither the UDF nor the LDF governments did not do so as they were generously contributed by Tatas. Meanwhile violating conditions of lease, Tatas sold large plots to many private agencies, individuals, CPI, CPI(M) like parties and many relatives of UDF leaders. The chief minister, who was being increasingly side lined by the group led by CPI(M) state secretary within the organisation, took initiative to recapture the land under Tatas’ illegal occupation not because he was against the social democratic line of the party, but with the intention of increasing his influence among the cadres by the time of the party state conference in February 2008.

But once the Munnar operation began all UDF and LDF parties including CPI(M) state leadership, the bureaucracy and the monopoly media joined hands to sabotage it directly or indirectly. Tatas spent lavishly to please these dalals and is engaged in utilising the High Court to delay the operation. And the CPI(M) district secretary who had grown from rags to riches with Tatas’ help openly challenged the chief minister by announcing that he will cut the hands of those who dare to continue the operation. It shows the extent of degeneration of CPI(M) and the gravity of the feud between chief minister Achuthanandan and CPI(M)’s state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan factions which is intensifying even after suspension of both of them from politbureau.

Even if one forgets about Singur, Nandigram and other happenings in West Bengal and Tripura where CPI(M) led Left Front governments are in power for a long time, what is happening in Kerala during last 15 months after CPI(M)-led LDF government coming to power alone is sufficient to expose the degeneration of CPI(M) to the level of any other ruling class party in the country. It will be interesting to add here that even the article written by Prakash Karat in People’s Democracy criticising the 2 crores deal with the lottery don was diluted while it was published in Deshabhimani. In 1985, in The Marxist, the theoretical quarterly of CPI(M), Prakash Karat has written an article: Naxalbari Today: At an Ideological Dead end. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about what is happening to CPI(M), its politics, ideology and organisation today, when what the Naxalites had analysed about CPI(M) as a party fast degenerating from neo-revisionism to social democracy is proved correct and when the ‘Naxalites’ overcoming their sectarian past are regrouping and providing a serious challenge agianst imperialist globalisation, SEZs and other ruling class policies.

The West Bengal chief minister Budhadeb Bhattacharyee has justified this transformation in his latest interview to The Hindustan Times (19th July) as follows: “The world is changing. Communists are also changing. We can’t stick to our old dogmas. Deng Xiaoping used to say: Learn truth from the facts, not from dogmas.” This faithful disciple of Deng of ‘Black cat, White cat theory’ adds: “Without industry how do you progress? This is the general trend of all civilization – from village to city, from agriculture to industry. You cannot stop it, you should not stop it. And for that you need private industry, private capital, you need big business. We need multinationals.” The same words are echoed by EP Jayarajan, managing director of Deshabhimani in Kerala: “Once we worked taking black tea and dal vada, using simple dress. Can we work in same manner today. World has changed.”

These leaders forget that Deshabhimani survived by getting the contributions of ordinary people once, ordinary people like Palora Matha, a poor peasant woman, who gave the only property she had, a calf, for its fund, and thousands of others like her. By forgetting it and going for crores worth contributions from lottery dons like criminals, CPI(M) has abandoned its very class line itself. It has reached a dead end as far as Marxist approaches are concerned.



Karnataka: Land Struggle in More Areas

August 2, 2007

The CPI(M-L)Kanu Sanyal a parliamentary naxalite faction
seems to have dug in its heels and is preparing
to wage a protracted land struggle in Karnataka.

Karnataka: Land Struggle in More Areas

Koppal: In Koppal district for two SEZs to be operated by MSPL-SCMN ISPAT like MNCs and corporate houses ten thousands acres of land including 3700 acres of government land is earmarked for allocation. Already the small and middle peasants have formed peasant committees and have launched anti-SEZ campaign. Under the banner of CPI(ML) and KRS landless and poor peasants of Bansapur, Kidadal and Ginager villages were organised and 350 acres of government land is occupied, distributed to the families and tilling and cultivation work started from 20th June. Hundreds of peasants are mobilised in this struggle.

On 6th July marching 60 kms from their villages the landless and poor peasants went to Nelgipur where the chief minister was attending a programme. More than 350 landless people gheraoed the chief minister in spite of the presence of a large police force and demanded the distribution of the government land to landless families. The struggle against SEZ and with the slogan “land to the tillers” is gaining momentum in this district and spreading to more areas.

RAICHUR: Against the decision of the state government to transfer hundreds of acres of government land near about and in the city to a SEZ, on 9th July the slum dwellers, organised by CPI(ML), who are predominantly landless families, marched to these lands and put red flag occupying it. Hundreds of policemen led by district collector come and arrested many of the peasants and party leader including com. R. Manasayya. Prohibitive orders under Section 144 was imposed in the area.

On 24th June breaking the prohibitive orders a big rally was organised in which more than are thousand slum dwellers participated. In the public meeting in which thousands attended CPI(ML) leaders declared that all government land will be captured and distributed to landless families for cultivation.

MANVI: More than 300 families landless people of nearby area under the leadership of the party occupied 148 acres of agricultural land lying fallow in Muraharipur village on 24th July. The peasants have started tilling and cultivating the land.

NANDIGUDI SEZ: Nandigudi near Bangalore city is earmarked for a big SEZ occupying nearly 40,000 acres of agricultural land. Peasants have already started spontaneous struggles chasing away survey teams. While it is the Congress-led UPA government at centre which is spearheading the SEZs, in Karnataka, Congress which is in opposition is trying to hijack the movement claiming to oppose the SEZ. What TMC did in Nandigram is repeated by Congress in Nandigudi. Exposing this CPI(ML) teams undertook campaign in a number of villages. Peasants are mobilised in seven villages and one public meeting address by com. R. Manasayya and other comrades also was organised. Campaigning is continuing to build a people’s movement opposed to SEZs defeating the machinations of the BJP-JD(S) state government and the conspiracy of Congress.


High-level meet to review fast spreading revolutionary movement

August 2, 2007

I wonder if you get to eat free Samosas at these meets ?

High-level meet to review Naxal menace

New Delhi, Aug 2 : Amid raising concern that the Naxalites are penetrating into new states like Delhi and Punjab, a high-level meeting is being held here today to review the Naxal menace in different parts of the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who once described Naxalism as the single-biggest security threat to the country, is likely to chair the meeting.

Senior officials from the Union Home Ministry and intelligence agencies, and the National Security Council will attend the meeting.

In the last meeting, the Centre had sensitised the new states, including Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, about the existence of Naxalites in their areas.

The Centre developed a five-tier structure to deal with the problem. These include an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil; a standing committee of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states; a Coordination Centre headed by the Union Home Secretary (chief secretaries and DGPs of 13 affected states); a Task Force headed by the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry and an Inter-ministerial group headed by Additional Secretary (naxal management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil recently said that force alone cannot be a solution to end Naxalism, which has affected around 13 states. He stressed on the need for a ‘holistic approach’ to solve the menace.

Maoists are said to be operating in 13 of 29 States along the ‘red corridor’, referring to a stretch from the Indo-Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh.

According to a Home Ministry report, 76 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are ‘badly affected by Maoist violence’.

According to a report released by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) early this year, 749 people were killed in the Naxalite conflict in 2006. These include 285 civilians, 135 security personnel and 329 alleged Naxalites.

The highest number of killings was reported from Chhattisgarh (363), followed by Andhra Pradesh (135), Jharkhand (95), Maharashtra (60), Bihar (45), Orissa (25), West Bengal (22), Uttar Pradesh (2), Karnataka (1) and Madhya Pradesh (1).

However, the number of killings in 2006 declined as compared to 2005 during which 892 people were killed, the report said.


Naga Battalions Reign of Terror comes to an end

August 2, 2007

Adivasi’s who have sufffered under their reign of terror for two years
must be heaving a sigh of relief but until the state sponsored terror campaign
Salwa Judum is disbanded nothing can be said about the future
of bastar or Chhattisgarh.

The big question now is will these criminals ever be punished for their crimes ?

Naga police battalion reign of terror comes to an end

A battalion of the Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) has left Chhattisgarh’s Maoist infested Bastar region after a two-year deployment during in which it was accused of massacring
several dozens of adivasi’s in the name of fighting the Maoists.The philosophy of the
Naga Battalion was best exemplified by the disgraceful deed in which a soldier
from the battalion shot dead a petty shop keeper for a 30 Rs Underwear !

India Enews

Maoists hit common masses

August 2, 2007


Ranchi, Aug. 1: Are “Maoist bandhs” going to boomerang on them?

There were signs of exasperation today among people and political parties over the trend of rebels calling for a bandh every time some of their leaders are arrested.

And possibly for the first time, mainstream parties, mainly the Left, publicly criticised the Maoists for causing suffering to the people.

Attacks on railway stations and buses are an attack on the people, declared CPI central committee member Khagendra Thakur. He used even more strong words in voicing his doubt whether the rebels are “Maoists” or “anti-social elements”. CPI(ML) leader Vinod Singh chipped in by stating that such violence and paralysing bus and rail movement cannot win for the rebels any public sympathy.

“Can the Maoists name a single village under their control where there is no corruption or where people have job-guarantee,” fumed Singh, who declared that Maoists no longer enjoy public sympathy. “Had it been so, people would have taken to streets — they would not have used guns to enforce the bandh,” he added.

Singh seemed to have a point as the rebels shot dead a poor truck driver, Anuj Paswan, transporting bauxite from Chhattisgarh to Garhwa. They also opened fire on passenger buses and private vehicles in the small hours of today, injuring as many as 16 people.

Rebel activities, however, remained confined to the old Palamau district. The pattern indicated that nobody is in control of the rebels in the region after the arrest at Patna of three of their leaders, Madan Pal, Kiran and Naveen.

The rebels tried to low up, and damaged, one of the oldest forest bungalows at Maromar and ransacked two railway stations in Latehar. The cabin rooms were damaged and records, telephones, track and signal changing systems etc were destroyed by the rebels at Bendi and Demu stations before they melted into the forest. Said CPM state secretary J.S. Mazumdar: “The rebels do not care for public sympathy. They just want to unleash a reign of terror and want to grab power at gun-point.”

Three private buses, two from Bihar and one from Raipur in Chhattisgarh, were fired upon in Ranka. Three bullets hit one of the drivers, Arvind Pandey. He and one Mahmud Khan were shifted to Ranchi as their conditions were stated to be critical.

The bandh hit normal life in the rural areas and it was the common man who suffered in the absence of buses and trains. Over 1,500 buses remained off the roads, confirmed the Jharkhand Bus Owners’ Association. Even state transport buses chose to remain in the garage.

At both Jamshedpur and Ranchi, passengers could be seen grumbling. Kaushal Singh, travelling from Raipur to Hazaribagh, got stranded at Jamshedpur while Manoj Kumar fumed that he had to miss an important meeting at Dhanbad. The Mango bus stand wore a deserted look with no buses plying between Jamshedpur and Ranchi either.

At Ranchi, autorickshaws had a field day, fleecing passengers. Ujjwal Das was asked to shell out Rs 30 for a seat while Sanjay Dhanuka chose to hire an autorickshaw at Rs 400 to carry him to Ramgarh. “Trekkers normally charge Rs 40,” he rued.

Patients discharged from RIMS and those who had come to Ranchi to consult physicians were stranded at the Ranchi railway station because all local trains were cancelled.


Bob Avakian Quote

August 1, 2007

“In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about “democracy”— without talking about the class nature of that democracy and which class it serves—is meaningless, and worse. So long as society is divided into classes, there can be no “democracy for all”: one class or another will rule, and it will uphold and promote that kind of democracy which serves its interests and goals. The question is: which class will rule and whether its rule, and its system of democracy, will serve the continuation, or the eventual abolition, of class divisions and the corresponding relations of exploitation, oppression and inequality.”

– Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian – Chairman of RCP on Arundhati Roy

August 1, 2007

Bob Avakian is the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party of USA
A Maoist organisation based in the US.

I honestly have no opinion on them .. if you are interested to know more
about them do visit…


The Revolution We Are About Should Not Only Encompass But Welcome the Arundhati Roys of the World

Arundhati Roy is the author of the prize-winning novel The God of Small Things, as well as other fiction and non-fiction works. She is a social critic and social activist both in India and on the world stage, including in her opposition to the war in Iraq and other crimes of the imperialist system.

Question: My question deals with some of the material from the two series “Views On Socialism and Communism” and “The Basis, the Goals and the Methods of the Communist Revolution.” [These are two previous talks by Bob Avakian, in 2005.] I’ve been thinking about two things: one is a statement by Arundhati Roy in an interview where she basically said—this is a paraphrase—”I support the Maoists in India, even though I would probably be the first person they would kill.”

Second, I’ve been thinking about this in relation to the need to make a distinction, as you emphasized, between those who are actively plotting to overthrow the socialist state and those who are just dissenting, or even vehemently opposed to it, but not actively plotting to overthrow it. My question is, taking into account the socialist experience and the very secondary aspects where Arundhati Roy might have a point based on what happened in China, and also taking into account the particularity of India and the particularities of this country, what should communists say to the Arundhati Roys of the world in relation to this contradiction, and why should they believe us?

Bob Avakian: Well, let me start out by saying—I can’t speak for these Indian Maoists that she’s talking about, but let me start out by answering it this way: To the degree that there is truth, any truth, to what she’s saying, to the degree that there would be any truth to that, there should not be. The revolution that we are about should certainly be able to encompass the Arundhati Roys—in fact, not only encompass but welcome them in their role—as maddening as it might be at times! Because she’s going to be proceeding from a different world outlook, but we have to understand that that’s part of what we not only have to recognize is objectively going to be there for a whole period of transition, but also, especially the more that we relate to it correctly, it can contribute to where we’re seeking to go. That’s the whole point about not only allowing but welcoming and fostering dissent. That’s the whole point epistemologically about how all truths are good for the proletariat—everything that’s actually true can help us get to communism.

The role of people like that is one that should be embraced within the kind of socialist state, the kind of dictatorship of the proletariat, that we should be striving to establish and to carry forward. So it should not be true [that people like Arundhati Roy would be regarded and treated as enemies of the revolution].

One of the things we should say to them—we should struggle with people like her over her world outlook and her political outlook, and struggle with her that she ought to be a communist herself! But, given that we may not win that struggle, at least not for a while, we have to correctly understand what’s correct about what people like that raise in the particulars that they raise, and what’s incorrect about it. But more than that, what role this plays in contributing to the kind of process—intellectual ferment, political ferment, the whole elasticity that we want in socialist society. And we have to, first of all, ideologically, orient ourselves the right way toward this.

This has to do with fundamental questions of epistemology, has to do with “embraces but does not replace.” [This refers to a statement by Mao Tsetung that Marxism embraces but does not replace the various spheres of human endeavor and knowledge.*] This has to do with the fact that, at any given time, while in an overall and ultimate sense consistently and systematically applying the communist world outlook and method, in the best possible way, enables you, ultimately and in a fundamental and all-around sense, to get more deeply to the truth than any other world outlook and methodology—qualitatively so—this doesn’t mean that at any given time you necessarily have the truth about something. That’s a contradiction we have to learn to handle much more correctly than it has been handled in the past of our movement, and in the history of the socialist countries.

So, people like Arundhati Roy or others may be raising criticisms coming from a different perspective—a different ideological perspective, and a different political perspective—than the leading forces inside socialist society; but they may still bring forward important truths. And even if they don’t, in any particular instance, it’s important that there be the kind of atmosphere where they are encouraged to bring forward their ideas, and to be part of, and to create, and to help stimulate the intellectual and the political ferment that we need—which we, with our methodology, have to be continually sifting through, embracing, integrating, and more deeply synthesizing in the correct way.

I’ve said this before: If you really get this epistemology, you want people to challenge you. Do you want to know the truth, or do you just want to impose your will? Do you really want to act in the interests of the masses of people in abolishing the “four alls” and moving humanity to a whole new stage? [The “four alls” refers to a formulation by Marx in which he gives a basic summation of the aims of the communist revolution.**] Or do you just want to get into a position where you can do what you think is right [without having a solid, scientific basis for knowing whether it is really right or not]? There is a fundamental difference, ideologically and epistemologically, between those two worldviews. And if you really get this communist epistemology, as I understand it, you do understand why everything that is actually true will help you get to communism. This doesn’t mean everything that is actually true makes it easier in the short run. People point out your mistakes, and it may make difficulties, and their pointing them out may make difficulties. Not just because they’re voicing them but because it will resonate with other people who have grievances and even other forces in society who will misuse the legitimate grievances of others. But if you’re afraid of that, then you can’t get to where we need to go.

The reason that people should believe us is, first of all, because we should believe it ourselves. As I’ve said before, this is not a gimmick. This is not a way of tricking people who are afraid we’re going to impose our will on them into thinking, “Oh no, we’re a nice bunch of liberals. Don’t worry.”

No. We’re not liberals. But we’re not going to impose our will, or seek to, in that kind of way, for much more fundamental reasons. So we should believe this ourselves, first of all. It doesn’t mean we don’t struggle for what we think is correct at a given time. If you don’t do that you’re not worth anything to anyone worth anything. But even while you’re struggling vigorously for what you understand to be true, you have to maintain your critical faculties, your critical thinking, your openness to others [who are] contesting your ideas, no matter what viewpoint they’re coming from, to see if there’s truth in what they’re raising in opposition to you.

It gets very complicated. One of her big things, Arundhati Roy, is opposing a lot of these dams in India. Well, the way they do build these dams in these societies run by exploiting classes, and under the overall domination of imperialism, has horrendous effects on people. But, you know, when you get to socialism, you’ve got to develop the economy. And you don’t do this without a lot of contradictions, some of them becoming quite acute! Might it be necessary to dislocate some people in the course of developing the socialist economy and move them to another place? Yes. But you have to do that in a whole different way than it’s done under these exploiting systems. And you have to do it in a way that ultimately rests on the voluntary action of masses of people, based on their understanding and being won to the greater good.

There was a struggle like that—I talked about this in the Memoir, about when I was in China the first time and visiting the area where they built the Red Flag Canal. [This refers to From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey From Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, a Memoir by Bob Avakian (Insight Press, 2005).] They diverted a river through a mountain. And the effect of that on the villagers who lived alongside where the river had gone was negative [in a narrow, short term sense]! They didn’t flood their village out, but it did mean that they weren’t getting the same irrigation they’d gotten before. It didn’t mean they didn’t get any, but this was done for the larger good of being able to provide irrigation for agriculture to a much larger area and much greater numbers of people.

And they had to win people to that voluntarily. They had to struggle through the ideological and political questions and struggle against the “small owner mentality” that the peasants were still caught up in to a large degree, because in the old society that’s where they were—they were exploited largely under the feudal system but as small landowners, and if they didn’t have land they were trying to get it, because that’s the way they could live. And there’s a certain ideology that goes along with that, generally a sort of petty bourgeois ideology. They had to struggle through those questions ideologically.

Well [referring to socialist society], you get an Arundhati Roy coming in and raising things that may divide sharply into two. Some of them may be legitimate criticisms of the way you’re going about it, and some of them may be wrong, because she’s not seeing the larger picture. So, you’re going to have to struggle through and sift out those things. But to the degree that someone like that is wrong, what is your orientation toward that? That’s the fundamental question of outlook and philosophy and epistemology. Is that going to contribute—directly or indirectly, positively and negatively—to our getting to a deeper understanding of reality, and a deeper understanding of how to transform reality in the interests of achieving the “four alls” and emancipating humanity? Or is it not? If you understand that it is, then you have a certain orientation toward it, which is the one we should have. If you don’t understand that it is, then you just think “these goddamn people are always making trouble, every time we try to do something they come around and stand in the way of what we’re trying to do, literally or figuratively.” And there’ll be some truth to that. But these contradictions have to be handled non-antagonistically. Unless someone comes around, when you’re trying to carry out an economic project, and they actually start blowing up the machinery—then they’ve carried it over to another realm. Then they’re not merely arguing with you about it, or waging protests, then they’re going into another realm. And then you have to act accordingly. But even while doing that, there’s still a difference between having to act accordingly in those circumstances and what your attitude should be in an overall sense toward this phenomenon in general—of people raising disagreements, criticizing what you’re doing, pointing out shortcomings.

Look, you know Mao said we have to toughen our skin. You do have to toughen your skin if you’re going to do this the right way. People disagree with you, they criticize you—they’re not always so polite, sometimes they’re downright fucking nasty. But you still have to have an orientation of sifting through to see what’s true, and you have to have an orientation of creating an atmosphere in society which is favorable to this happening—or we’re not going to get where we need to go.

The reason Arundhati Roy should believe us is that a) we should believe it; and b) our practice, our methodology, the way we carry out things, should flow from and be consistent with that—and it should be borne out! Everybody, when they hear somebody say something that’s controversial, or something that they’re not inclined to believe, or is not sure is true, tests people out in various ways. That’s part of the process too. You engage in discussion and struggle, but you also observe and interact with people. This is what happens, not just with this or that prominent individual, but with people generally, the masses of people. The masses of people have the same questions: “Why should we believe you?” “That sounds good, but how do we know it isn’t going to go over here where we’ve been told this always goes?” Or “I heard your people over there in China did X, Y and Z.” The first time I talked with Mobile Shaw he told me, “Well, one of the brothers from the neighborhood told me ‘I heard your people in China did all this kind of stuff to people.’” [Willie “Mobile” Shaw was a member of the RCP who died last year. He grew up in and lived his whole life in the Nickerson Gardens Housing Projects in Watts, Los Angeles; after working with the revolutionaries there for a period of time, he joined the Party. The hardship of his life conditions led to his having a serious illness, and he died on November 24, 2005, due to complications following surgery. See the pamphlet Statement by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, on the Occasion of the Death of Willie “Mobile” Shaw.]

Masses out there are hearing this stuff. It’s not just a few people who read about it more extensively. So there’s a question of do you really deeply—not just believe in some quasi-religious sense, do you grasp deeply the truth—that by toughening our skin, and not only in sort of a “grit your teeth” way, but actually encouraging and fostering the atmosphere where there will be intellectual and political ferment, that we can sift through and get further along and actually get where we need to go ultimately? And if we don’t do that, we won’t get there. This is the fundamental question.

Now we do have to have a solid core—this goes to the other part of what you raised. If people want to get up and give speeches about how we ought to go back to capitalism, and they attack the leadership and so on of the new society, and we don’t allow that, then we’re going against the atmosphere we need to create. It’s very tricky because, for example, in Cuba—which is not a socialist country, it’s a revisionist country, sort of social-democratic social-welfare for some of the people, enforced with ultimately a bourgeois dictatorship—one of the ways they exercise coercion, which is effectively state coercion, is when they get dissidents and so on they mobilize these neighborhood committees and masses of people to surround these people raising criticism and basically try to effectively—or figuratively if not literally—shout them down. Well, I’m not saying that there’s never a role for mobilizing the people who are the firmest supporters of revolution under socialism: are you just going to let the reactionaries run wild, or the people who are dissenting get out there and you never mobilize people on your side of the dispute? But even that has to be approached very carefully and from the correct orientation, because even that can provide an atmosphere that becomes tantamount to, and effectively the same as, imposing the state to suppress dissent. If you create an atmosphere which chills dissent even in that form, you are effectively doing the same thing as if you brought the state down against it.

But that is different than people who actually [carry out physical sabotage and similar acts]. I’m sorry, but we’re living in class-divided society in socialism. We might wish that weren’t true, but there are a lot of things we wish weren’t true. That’s the story with Progressive Labor Party. They used to have—back in their not so terrible days, just bad days, they used to have a slogan “Fight for Socialism.” I knew some people from PL who were called to the HUAC hearings (or the equivalent hearings of congressional committees to “investigate subversives”) and I have to give them [PL] credit—they went back and raised a ruckus and challenged all these southern cracker congressmen and senators who were heading all these committees investigating communism, they [PL] pointed out what was going on in the states of these congressmen and senators in terms of the oppression of Black people and other things. And I remember one of them telling me a story: Because you’re being called by the committee, you get flown in at the expense of the government and put up in a hotel. So they were in a hotel and going up an elevator one night during the course of the hearings; they had on their “Fight for Socialism” buttons, and this drunken congressman got on the elevator with them, with each arm around a prostitute, and looked at their buttons and said “Oh,’fight for socialism!’ I used to be for socialism. Is that like Norman Thomas and the Socialist Party?” And they said, “No, this is like Mao Tsetung.” See, this was in their not so terrible days. So they used to have that slogan, “Fight for Socialism.” Then they decided that socialism’s a big mess, so now let’s just go directly to communism—let’s not bother about socialism. They might as well say: “Why don’t we all just go to heaven? Why bother with earth, it’s full of a lot of mess?” It’s just rampant idealism!***

So we’re going to have these class conflicts [in socialist society], and these reactionary forces who are going to meet, and not just grumble but plot. And they’re actually going to implement things. It’s like I said—the bourgeoisie and counter-revolutionaries are not going to just sit back and say: “Let’s see what happens. They say this is a better society in every sphere, not just economically but politically, culturally, socially, philosophically, morally. Let’s see if they can make that be true.” They’re going to actively plot, because they don’t want it to be true, and they don’t want it to be fulfilled. And when they actively plot and go from plotting to actually carrying it out—you see, this actually happened in the Soviet Union. People blew up plants. Blew up factories. Because that sabotage would undermine the economy and would drive the masses away from supporting and being enthusiastic about the new system—not only the new economic system but the new political system. Well, if you allow that to go on, then you might as well just hand power back to these people and save yourself the trouble and save the masses of people the trouble and just say, “Go ahead and do your worst to the masses of people.”

So there is a distinction there. These boundaries, once again, are conditional and relative, but they’re real. There is a difference between raising a lot of criticisms and arguing that this system is no good, and so on and so on—and actually actively plotting and then carrying out plots to sabotage it. And [in socialist society] in law, and in the Constitution and in the way it’s carried out, that distinction has to be made, and the masses and the vanguard have to understand the importance of that distinction. Those are two different types of contradictions. One of them should be handled non-antagonistically, and the other is antagonistic and has to be dealt with by the force of the state, or you might as well just give it up.

So if we can actually grasp this deeply, and lead growing sections of the masses to grasp this deeply, then there should definitely be a place and a welcoming atmosphere for all the Arundhati Roys, even with all their cantankerousness—which will get raised a lot against us instead of against the people it’s rightly raised against now. But even all that cantankerousness should be strategically and fundamentally welcomed and embraced as part of what we’re seeking to do, because it’s the world we want to get to and because it’s the way to get to that world. So there should be not only room, in some negative sense, but there should be an atmosphere where these people feel welcome even while they often express very sharp differences over particularities. And we should be striving to win them over at the same time, to raise their sights. To say to them: “Instead of simply standing outside being a critic, get inside and raise your criticism, but also contribute more fully to making this be what it should be, and can be.” And while they’re still on the outside, then we have to approach them in the ways I’m talking about, and not in the ways she fears she would be approached.

* Bob Avakian has emphasized the importance of this principle—”embraces but does not replace”—and has developed and applied it in a sweeping way as an important aspect of communist theory of knowledge (epistemology) and methodology generally. This is discussed, for example, in the book by Bob Avakian Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy (Insight Press, 2005).

** In The Class Struggles in France, 1848-1850, Marx wrote that the socialist state, or the dictatorship of the proletariat, is the necessary transit to the abolition of all class distinctions (or class distinctions generally); the abolition of all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest; the abolition of all the social relations that correspond to those production relations; and the revolutionizing of all the ideas that correspond to those relations.

*** As discussed by Bob Avakian in his Memoir, From Ike to Mao, and Beyond: My Journey From Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, there was a certain period, in the 1960s, when Progressive Labor Party was generally associated—and at times associated itself in a general way—with China, but PL never had a deep grasp of, nor consistently put forward, what was pathbreaking about China as a revolutionary socialist society and Mao Tsetung as its leader, nor did PL provide consistent and vigorous—and scientifically based—answers to the distortions and slanders with which China and Mao were attacked at that time. By the early 1970s, PL had completely turned against China as a socialist country and then, as spoken to here by Bob Avakian, PL gave up on the idea of socialism altogether.


Capitalist Madness

August 1, 2007

Long ago at the time of the Russian Revolution ,
Com Lenin gave inspiring speeches in the streets of
St Petersburg (then known as Petrograd ) , Russia.

1917 : Lenin delivering a speech at a street corner in St Petersburg

90 Years later in those same streets

2007 :Women compete in a high-heel sprint in St.Petersburg Some 100 women took part in the race wearing high-heeled shoes with a required minimum height of 9 centimetres (3.5 inches) to compete for a shopping voucher worth 50,000 roubles (about 2,000 U.S. dollars).


This is what the restoration of capitalism looks like !

via interbreeding

Maoists extremist (Naxalites) are now trying to bring ideological revolution through the internet.

August 1, 2007

New Maoist activities: Why West Bengal lags behind?

Maoists extremist (Naxalites) are now trying to bring ideological revolution through the internet. Their effort is to induce urban youths in armed revolution and to give a strong foundation to their organisation. After strengthening their presence in rural areas of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and in Orissa they are now aiming at urban areas of the nation. They are using the means of e-mail and internet and other networking facilities to spread their mission. Bull Shit Meter

In all prominent cities of India, they are sending e-mails to the youths to associate with them. The organisation has made many groups in the Yahoo portal. Naxal literature, information about armed activities and plans for future attacks are being reached to the targeted people. According to their plan, Universities and colleges of Delhi and other places are being included in the Naxal movement. Through the medium of the net, the organisation is also engaged in collecting funds. By taking the support of Nepal youth they may have got the strength to overthrow the Nepal King.

Through the medium of the net, information is being spread regarding the armed struggle and agitations against the governments. Hence the democratic institutions should mull over the issue and come out with solutions. The Communists have been ruling West Bengal for the last 30 years but not much has been achieved in the name of development. It seems the government machinery there runs under the threat of terror and pressure. Progress does never mean that we keep moving backwards. If the Communists had faith in development then West Bengal would have been on the top today. Hence all the political parties need to become aware of the new designs of the Naxals.

Central Chronicle

Chhattisgarh for sale!

August 1, 2007

Chhattisgarh for sale!
Column: Incredible India
Want to buy a river? Welcome to the state of Chhattisgarh in India! If you are not interested in a river, Chhattisgarh can offer you a forest or a hill. You can do anything you wish with these natural resources. Once bought, you can drain the river dry, bulldoze a hill or clear a forest. It is all yours! If you have any problem with the local people, the state government will take care of them. Those who protest will be charged with fabricated crimes and thrown into prison indefinitely.

There is something fundamentally wrong in Chhattisgarh. In addition to the indiscriminate sale of natural resources, the state government also sponsors armed conflicts between its people. Though the state is governed by an elected government, the Chhattisgarh state government has failed on several counts, including maintaining law and order within the state.

The state administration, which is in corporatization overdrive, is selling its natural resources to corporate entities. This zeal for selling the state’s natural resources to the highest bidder has alienated the government from the state’s population in remote villages. The direct consequence is an increased affinity of ordinary people to armed resistance promoted by the Naxalite forces operating within the state.

The state administration, in a failed attempt to curb the Naxalites, has armed the local population that it deems to be sympathetic to it to fight the Naxalites. This state-sponsored private armed militia in Chhattisgarh is called Salwa Judum, meaning Peace Mission.

Chhattisgarh, a state that was formed in 2000, has not witnessed a single day in its seven-year history without violence — either against the state by the rebelling factions or by the state and its private militia against the rebels. No state is justified in using violence to curb violence. The excuse the Chhattisgarh state administration offers for arming a faction of the local population is that the rebels within the state cannot be controlled without resorting to a strategy of counterviolence.

The Salwa Judum has been formed under the leadership of a local politician, Mahendra Karma. Even minors are armed with weapons and trained to kill. The “officers” of Salwa Judum are given a piece of cloth printed with the words “Special Police Officer,” and the cloth is pinned to their shirt. This badge of cloth guarantees impunity. Any crime committed by a “special police officer” is left unchallenged by the state’s law enforcement officers.

Violence within a state is usually the result of a government that fails to address the needs of its people. It is also often the whiplash effect of the uncontrolled use of force against a community. The fundamentals of governance include listening to and addressing the needs of the people. This normal process of governance, however, is not applicable to the Chhattisgarh state government.

Chhattisgarh is a state that has one of the worst records in India in terms of meeting basic human needs, like food security and the effective implementation of anti-discrimination policies. The state has the largest tribal concentration in India in terms of population ratio. The people of Chhattisgarh are neglected by their administration. Instances of abuse of authority by state officials, ranging from the Forest Department to the local police, are regularly reported in Chhattisgarh. Starvation deaths are common among the tribal communities. Health and sanitation conditions among tribals are the worst in the state.

Day after day the local population discovers that their natural resources are being sold by the state to corporate entities. The rivers, for example, are being sold to “water corporations.” Once sold, the corporation prevents the local community from using the river or its resources. Communities that were previously using the river find themselves isolated and subject to coercion overnight. Those who protest are arrested and detained under false charges.

Similarly, land-based natural mineral resources are sold to companies as well. To excavate minerals, the companies that obtain leasehold over the land want the people living on the land removed. Forced eviction is daily news in the state. The evictees are quarantined in camps throughout the state, camps guarded by special police officers from the Salwa Judum. Those who oppose their forced eviction are branded Naxalites, charged with fabricated crimes and imprisoned indefinitely.

These acts of encroachment into people’s personal liberties and fundamental freedoms have resulted in chaos and confusion within the state. Any place that is reeling in severe chaos due to malgovernance is fertile ground for the indoctrination of new ideas, even those that advocate violence. The people of Chhattisgarh, the descendents of heroes like Vir Narain Singh, are no different in their tolerance of neglect and abuse. It is natural for an ordinary person in such a context to think of the available options: to resist and fight or face impending death.

Instead of stopping this indiscriminate plundering of the natural resources of the local people, the state administration has resorted to violence to curb opposition to its policies that deprive the state’s citizens of the basic necessities they need to survive and live with dignity.

A government is not justified at any point in time in sanctioning the formation of private armed groups to silence the people who are crying out for help. Such a move reflects a government’s utter lack of concern for its people and their needs. By allowing, and in fact organizing, its citizens to fight among themselves, the state administration is implementing a policy of divide and rule. The result of this violent game is the state-sponsored anarchy that Chhattisgarh has become today.

A government that resorts to violence has no legal or moral standing to claim the privileges of an administrator of the people. The Chhattisgarh state government has made a mockery of the Constitution of the country. By resorting to violence, the state government has declared that it does not believe in constitutional mandates.

Chhattisgarh and its people require a democratically functioning administration. Such an administration would never plunder the natural resources of its people. Any state is justified in finding ways and means for the better use of its natural resources, but what one witnesses in Chhattisgarh today is a state administration gone mad with greed for short-term benefits.

The current administration in Chhattisgarh is not a government in any sense. It is nothing more than a bunch of brokers who would sell anything and everything to quench their greed.

(Bijo Francis is a human rights lawyer currently working with the Asian Legal Resource Center in Hong Kong. He is responsible for the South Asia desk at the center. Mr. Francis has practiced law for more than a decade and holds an advanced master’s degree in human rights law.)


Right In, Left out

August 1, 2007

Even while the Left in Latin America flies on the wings of new radicalism, the official Left, especially the CPM, devoid of any coherent ideology, is rapidly sinking in a statist quagmire of crony capitalism

Rajat Roy Kolkata

In mid-June this year, the remnants of erstwhile East Germany’s Communist Party (PDS) and the disillusioned section of the Social Democrat Party of former West Germany got together in Berlin to form a new party, ‘Die Linke’ (The Left). The declaration in the founding Congress stated that its new ideology will be based on the trinity of ‘socialism, democracy and freedom’. More importantly, to distance themselves from the age-old Stalinist model of ideology, they stressed the exclusion of ‘State Socialism’ from their party framework. Expectedly, the delegates mentioned Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Rosa Luxemburg, but, significantly, ignored Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Indeed, when entire Europe is moving towards the Right (witness the recent French presidential election), Germany’s Leftists managed to achieve what eluded them even in the time of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. The new party boasts a membership of about 72,000, with 55 MPs in Bundestag (Germany’s Parliament); obviously, it seems to be a sizeable leftist force in German politics and in Europe.

In recent times, while winds of change have started blowing in the ‘radical world’ in Europe, the Left in Latin America has turned it into a whirlwind. Fidel Castro’s Cuba was always there as a great symbol of resistance in the backyard of the US, but it was only after Hugo Chavez’s charismatic rise to power in Venezuela (and popularity across the world) that progressive currents started moving. Countries, one after another, are moving towards the Left. Often, it’s not the party but the trade unions that are at the forefront of the movement. They have been successful in attracting broader sections of the society, the peasantry, tribals, marginalised ethnic communities, to form a wide political platform in the fight against US-led globalisation. Riding on the wave of this popular movement, the Leftists in Latin America are repeatedly winning the battle of the ballot. The recent victory of the Left in Bolivia is a case in point—a coalition of several small parties and mass organisations defeated the oligarchy.

Two dimensions of the Left movement in contemporary Latin America make them distinctly different from the past traditions of communists world-over (Cuba included). One, there is no single-party hegemony over the movement; second, they are not following the classic concept of armed struggle, nor the Che Guevara style of guerrilla warfare, though, Che, undoubtedly, remains a legendary revolutionary icon for progressives in South America and rest of the world. Crucially, changes are coming through parliamentary means and democratic movements. Orthodox Marxists are now becoming a rare species in Latin America.

While the Left in Latin America are trying to mobilise larger alliances to gain electoral majority, in India, the mainstream Left is hamstrung by orthodoxy. Established under the direct influence of Moscow, the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) started toeing the ‘Moscow line’ from the beginning, resulting in a series of historical blunders. The 1960s saw a serious rift between Soviet Union and China, vertically dividing the international communist movement. As an immediate fall-out, the Indian Left got divided into pro-Moscow and pro-Peking (now Beijing) groups. This, later, led to the split in the CPI and the formation of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in 1964. In 1969, the CPI-M was divided after the Naxalbari movement into the CPI-ML (Marxist-Leninist), which further split into various new ‘ML’ and Maoist formations.

The long tradition of following either Moscow or Beijing left an indelible mark on the mindset of the mainline Left. The Left’s intellectual shortcomings reflected in their inability to grasp the essence of the Indian social/political reality—the caste, religious and ethnicity factors. Instead, they obsessively applied their dogmatic ‘class theory’, leading to marginalisation. After the Congress, the communists are the second oldest organised political force in India. Yet, today, in a Parliament of 544 members, the combined Left has 60 seats, and this is their highest tally since Independence. Indeed, compare this with the rise of the Hindutva Right!

Though both the CPI and CPM have been seriously pursuing the parliamentary path since 1952, they still look terribly lost. The contradiction became transparent after the 1996 general election when Jyoti Basu, a CPM veteran, was offered the prime ministerial post of the coalition government. But his party rejected the proposal. Why? Because, unless the party has overwhelming strength to influence policy, it will not join the government! Basu later called it a ‘historic blunder’. Ten years later, in 2004, yet another general election saw the CPM change its tactics. The CPM had no hesitation in backing the UPA regime led by its traditional political enemy, the Congress.

Not long ago, the CPM punished and eventually forced Saifuddin Choudhury (one of their popular parliamentarians) out of the party, for insisting on joining hands with the Congress to thwart the growing threat of communal forces led by the BJP. Now, despite the UPA stonewalling Left demands and brazenly following the neo-liberal, pro-India Shining line, the Left has unequivocally declared that to stave off the BJP threat they would continue to support the UPA. So how is it influencing policy in the current regime?

While their influence remains restricted to West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, their attempts to broaden their electoral and organisational base have so far met with little or no success. In the last 15 years in UP and Bihar, two major states of the Hindi heartland, the communists have been hitching on the bandwagon of caste-based parties like the Samajwadi Party and RJD with no visible impact in grassroots politics.

In recent decades, the mainstream Left has made no attempt to mobilise the dalits, tribals and other ethnic minorities for a broader movement. Thus, when thousands of tribal people fight for almost two decades against their displacement for the construction of a big dam like the Sardar Sarovar Project on Narmada river, the Left is nowhere in sight. The ‘official Left’s’ suspicion of any movement that has the potential of becoming popular, and yet outside their organisational control, kept them away from mass movements or mobilisation. Thus, most civil right and environmental issues have been deliberately ignored by this Stalinist, hegemonic attitude.

However, there is no doubt that the mainline Left has shed off much of its old ideological inhibitions. The CPI never had a big stake in power politics, though they made a conscious attempt to disentangle from Stalinist orthodoxy. It is their Big Brother, the CPM, which is now fast adapting to the capitalist path. In West Bengal, where they are in power for the last 30 years, the CPM is openly pursuing an overtly non-Left line, that of wooing ‘Big Capital’—even openly working against the interests of farmers and poor sections.

Indeed, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya never lets go of an opportunity to remind his party and the people that his government is pursuing the capitalist path. The CPM in Bengal is no more ashamed to be intimately associated with the ‘Big Bourgeoisie’—once their declared ‘class enemy’. In party documents, the CPM retains the old slogans, despite changing the party programme a few years back. But the new-found pragmatism is rapidly transforming the party. So much so, veterans are having difficulty in adjusting to the Rightist, neo-liberal currents. One senior member explained: “After the demise of the Soviet Union, a lot has been said about the need for more openness in our party. The stress was for adapting to reality. Now, at Singur, party cadres are seen guarding the Tata Motors land with red flags in their hands. We forgot that there is a difference between openness and nakedness.”

The European communists, after prolonged debate, debunked their ideological baggage and embraced social democracy. In Latin America, the Left has developed a healthy respect for broad mass movements, leaving aside the attraction of guerrilla warfare. But in India, the CPM has embraced the path of capitalism without any real debate in the party. Charges of corruption and drastic lifestyle changes within the party apparatchik are becoming glaringly conspicuous. Devoid of any coherent ideology, the mainstream Left, especially the CPM, is rapidly sinking in a statist quagmire of crony capitalism. No wonder critics are calling it a classic case of ideological and political bankruptcy, led by the West Bengal chief minister himself.


Andhra government extends ban on Maoists

August 1, 2007

Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday extended the ban on CPI-Maoist and seven of its frontal organisations for a further period of one year. The group known as Peoples War Group (PWG) was first banned in 1991.

The state cabinet, which met in Hyderabad on Wednesday, took the decision to extend the ban on Maoist outfits, under the Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act, in view of the continuing Maoist violence in the state.

Briefing newsmen after the cabinet meeting, Information and Public Relations Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy said the ban would be extended till August 16, 2008 on CPI-Maoist and its frontal organisations, namely, Radical Youth League (RYL), Rythu Coolie Sangham (RCS), Radical Students Union (RSU), Singareni Karmika Samakhya (Sikasa), Viplava Karmika Samakhya (Vikasa) and All India Revolutionary Students Federation (AIRSF).

The ban on CPI-Maoist and frontal organisations was relaxed in 2004 but was re-imposed on August 17, 2005, following the killing of then Congress MLA Chittem Narsi Reddy and nine others by a Maoist action team at Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar district on Independence Day.

The ban came nine months after the peace talks between the Maoists and the state government began in October 2004.


Bihar CPI leader`s house attacked by Maoists

August 1, 2007

Begusarai, Aug 01: Maoist rebels blew up the house of senior CPI leader Dinesh Singh at Nonpur village in Bihar’s Begusarai district, police said Wednesday.

Heavily armed rebels swooped on the village and used dynamite to blow up the house last night, they said.

Singh’s kin fled from the house when they came to know about the rebels raiding the village. No casualties were reported, police said.

Raids were being conducted at different places to apprehend the rebels.

Bureau Report

Iraq War Statistics

July 31, 2007

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In America’s War on Iraq – At Least 665,000 + +

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq 3,651

Cost of America’s War in Iraq

To see more details, click here.

Latest Iraqi resistance stats

July 31, 2007

The trends continue to be supported by the coalition’s data. The rate of attacks is at an all time high, weapons cache finds are at an all time high, attacks are still directed overwhelmingly at occupying forces, but as the Iraqi police and army are trained and put into combat situations, they are taking a bigger brunt of the violence. The attacks on civilians remains the smallest wedge of all attacks.

Resistance attacks are still concentrated in four provinces where the occupiers are most active, of course, and least present where the occupiers have given authority to regional parties. Once again, the areas under almost complete insurgent control are the areas most likely to have working electricity, which is telling. Support for a divided Iraq remains extremely low, predictably highest among the Kurds.

One welcome new trend is a dramatic decrease in sectarian incidents reported. Sadly it continues to be the case that those attacks on civilians, whether sectarian or insurgent in nature, are those with the highest death yield, and civilians continue to bear the brunt of attacks. The report attributes the high profile attacks (suicide attacks and car bombings) that take large civilian casualties to “AQI”, but this fits too easily into the occupation narrative: the truth is that there are a number of groups – still a minority of resistance fighters – who are using these tactics. Here are some charts:

Click on Images for larger view

One surprising claim is that huge areas of Iraq are either completely or partially read for transfer: that is, areas under complete or partial insurgent control are being designated as fit for a withdrawal of US troops. Diyala, Salah ud-Din, Baghdad, and Ninewah are all considered on the road to transfer. I doubt that this amounts to an admission that control has already effectively been handed over to the resistance in many cases, but clearly there is a rollback of operations being prepared, sure to be seen (correctly) as an ignominious defeat, even if the occupiers only withdraw as far as the Green Zone – which is itself under increasingly effective attack (and guess who the American government blames for that).

Incidentally, Channel Four news tonight reported from Afghanistan on the rolling wave of occupation massacres there: the scale of these, their ruthless brutality, their increasing frequency, is driving a growing rebellion against the occupiers. Local rulers are increasingly under obligation to criticise and attack the occupying forces and even the most pro-western elements in the elite are feeling under pressure to criticise their masters Nick Paton-Walsh summarised the situation by saying that the situation was gradually evolving from an insurgency into a revolt. So that’s two failing occupations, two revolts – one full-blown, one germinal – and a caucus of North American and European governments under the threat of being ousted by outraged electorates.

Lenin’s Tomb

Extraordinary interview with pro-resistance Iraqi Nationalist

July 31, 2007

Extraordinary interview with pro-resistance Iraqi Nationalist

See many more articles updated daily
from Arab language and Middle Eastern
press on this and other subjects at the
OURAIM Archive


[left: Latuff cartoon]

“Political process to the benefit of al Qaeda”

Abduljabbar al Kubaysi, influential political leader
of the
Iraqi resistance and secretary-general of the
Patriotic Alliance (IPA) elaborates on the
new situation
evolving in Iraq

Q: In the last period the European media when touching Iraq
have been speaking only on a sectarian civil war. What is
really happening?

Actually the US occupiers as well as the government imposed
by them are pushing for this sectarian civil war. Also the
Iranians have interest in this as they are looking for a
federation in the South as well. Their attempt is to make
the Sunni, the Christians, the Mandeans leave to have a
purely Shiite zone. Under the conditions of war this
sectarian drive has an immediate effect.

The US uses this as an argument to stay in Iraq as they
claim that they would be needed to settle this strife.

There is, however, so much evidence that the intelligence
services of the US, of the Iraqi as well as of the Iranian
government are the real source of the violence. They plant
bombs or pack them into cars which are then being exploded
by remote control or by helicopter in both Shiite and Sunni
areas deliberately killing civilians not involved in
politics. Thus, they try to spark the sectarian conflict.

In the beginning, the media used to check on the site of
the blast and often eye witnesses contradicted the official
version that a person exploded himself. Now they use to
cordon off the area and impede questions to the locals.
They want to have the news spread that militants did the
massacre while it was governing forces or the US who
planted explosive loads. In most of the cases there is no
person involved killing himself. In these cases you can be
sure that the ruling coalition is involved.

For example, they changed the name of an important road in
the Al Adhamiye district in Baghdad from a Sunni religious
figure to a Shiite one during the night. It was the Shiite
community of al Adhamiye itself to change it back to the
original name. Then they came again with their Hummers…

But actually they did not success succeed in creating the
rift between Sunnis and Shiites. Yes, in officials politics
there is. The Sunni Islamic Party, which is with the
Americans, and the Shiite block, which is with Iran and the
US, litigate along such lines, but they did not succeed in
pushing the ordinary people to go with them. Here and
there, there might be some minor conflicts but in substance
the broad masses on both sides insist that they are Iraqis
regardless of their confession.

Look to Najaf and see the positions of the Arab Shiite
Ayatollahs who continue to advocate national unity and
oppose the occupation. Or look to Diala province which is
composed of 50% Shiites and 50% Sunnis and at the same time
is a strong base of the resistance. Two big Shiites tribes,
al Buhishma and the followers of Ayatollah Abdul Karim al
Moudheris, are with the resistance and everybody knows it.
The Ayatollah’s son fell in combat. He was the leader of a
big tribal contingent of the resistance. In Baquba, the
provincial capital, they cannot do the same cleansing as in
Basra with the Sunnis or as in Amara with the Mandeans. In
Baquba both Shiite and Sunnis support the resistance.
Certainly there are attacks by the different resistance
groups on the Iraqi government agencies, the US army,
Iranian forces and the Shiite parties and militias like the
Madhi army which are inside the political process, but you
will not hear of sectarian killings.

There is another example: Tal Afar in the Northwest of Iraq
near Mosul. Between 50 and 70% of its population is Shiite.
Nevertheless it is one of the capitals of the resistance.

It lies in the interest of the West and Iran to make the
conflict look like a sectarian one. Not only the US wants
to justify their presence with the need to impede a
sectarian civil war, but also Iran does. They want not only
to grab the South but they also want to have Baghdad and
therefore purge it from Sunnis. With their alliance with
the Kurds in the North this would suffice to control the

We do, however, not believe that these plans will work out.
There are very big tribes in the Arab world and in Iraq
which span the entire country from the North to the South
like al Jibouri whose people live from Nasseria to Mosul,
al Shamari or al Azouwi. Most of them include both Shiites
and Sunnis. There are some smaller tribes which belong only
to one sect but most of the bigger ones are mixed and the
inter-confessional marriages continue unabated.

They did not succeed in implanting the sectarian strife
into the base of the society. It remains on the surface of
the parties which co-operate with the US occupation. In the
big towns they also find some ignorant lumpen elements who
they can instigate, but they will not be able to constitute
the main political entities according to sect affiliation
as it is the outspoken US intention.

Q: At the onset, the Americans set all their hope on the
Shiite political parties but later they discovered that the
situation ran out of their control. So they developed the
strategy which was called redirection trying to bring in
Sunni forces and also sections of the resistance. Did these
efforts yield any results?

As time went by, the US realised that their allies’ loyalty
goes only to Iran. Many of them are even Iranians. For
example right now 13 MPs are officers in the Iranian army.
Or, in the former Governing Council only six members out of
25 were Arabs both Sunnis and Shiites. Another eight were
Iraqis belonging to minorities. So the majority were real
foreigners. The al Hakim family are for example from
Isfahan. Only some years ago al Hakim was still called
Abulaziz al Isfahani.

It were the US neo-cons to introduce the model of religious
and ethnic divide. They deliberately wanted to create a
Shiite rule as they wanted to have a minority in power, a
minority with regard to the entire Arab world, which they
thought to be able to better stir and control.

They originally planned to continue their campaign to
Damascus and install the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood there. So
Damascus would have supported the Iraqi Sunnis while Tehran
would have done the same for the Iraqi Shiites and the war
would have carried on for decades – not on the base of
anti-imperialism but on sectarian grounds. But the Iraqi
resistance foiled these plans.

The Iraqi resistance sprang up rapidly and gained strength
so they recognised that they could not cope with them only
by military means. This is the main reason of their
strategic shift. They designed the political process and
brought in the Sunni Islamic Party. They intended to dry
the lake where the resistance fishes swim. But soon the
influence of the Islamic Party evaporated and their leaders
have been flying to the Green zone or abroad.

At the same time they realized that the Iranians had deeply
penetrated into the state apparatus beyond the confines of
the game. So they moved to also curb this process.

Q: What is the situation of the resistance both in a
political and a military sense?

The resistance is still gaining strength. Only judging by
numbers they rose from some thousand now exceeding by far
100.000 fighters. Their combat capabilities increased as
well. But they could also develop intelligence structures
penetrating the Iraqi army and police but also sometimes
the environment of the US army. So all together the system
of resistance includes some 400.000 people.

The US army and their allies are really demoralised. While
the resistance fights to liberate its country they only
fight for money. Thus they are becoming more and more
savage. They increase numbers not only of direct US troops,
but also of mercenary forces which are even more barbarian.
Taken all together they consist maybe of some one million

Look to the US losses released by the Pentagon itself which
are obviously sugar-coated. If you disregard the months of
special military operation like against Falluja or Tal Afar
you can see a clear tendency. At the beginning you had some
50 US soldiers killed by month, then later it was up to 80
and now some 100 get killed each month.

The resistance is now a real popular movement; it is a
culture among the people. Everybody contributes its share.
And the fact that no government helps us has also its good
side. If they would pay than you have always corruption.
The typical Arab façade would have been erected. Now,
instead, there is no excuse. Every section is responsible
for itself, to organise its people, to train it, to plan
the attacks, to raise money, etc.

Also politically there have been taken some steps ahead. At
the beginning there were hundreds of groups but people
understand the necessity of unity. Now we can say that
there are eight main groups. What has so far not been
achieved is a unified political command which remains one
of the main tasks ahead.

Q: There are reports of armed clashes between resistance
groups and forces related to al Qaeda. What is the relation
of the resistance to the Salafi and Takfiri groups?

Let us remember that the West started with insulting the
resistance calling it foreigners and followers of the old
regime. They wanted to allude that the resistance has no
connection to the Iraqi people. Actually the resistance
sprang up on a very grass root level to defend its identity
against the enormous provocations of US neo-colonialism.
They were former soldiers, tribesmen, nationally and
religiously inspired people who acted in their immediate
environment. It was neither foreigners nor Baathists who
were the driving force of the inception although Baathists
were participating as well.

The way the US deposed Saddam was perceived as an
aggression to all Iraqis including those who opposed him.
To be honest eventually Saddam personally played an
important role to push his people into resistance. He did
not try to save himself by hiding as was being reported.
No, he went from city to city, from Tikrit to Samarra,
Anbar and also Baghdad. He contacted Sheikhs, officers and
so on. He said that they should resist not for him as a
president, but for the nation and for Islam. He asked them
even to not use any more his picture as a rallying symbol.
Only in the following months Baath could reorganise as a
party and join as such the resistance. From the point of
view of the resistance it was a great luck that they could
not arrest him for a long time.

Regarding al Qaeda, in the first two years no such thing
existed under this name and even the Americans mainly spoke
of foreigners penetrating from outside and especially from
Syria. They tried to create a pretext to attack Syria
although Damascus did absolutely nothing to help the
resistance. On the contrary they did 200% what Washington
dictated to them to avert an aggression at least in the
first months.

In the first two years they were a very limited force with
maybe 1.000 to 1.500 fighters coming from inside and
outside. Also the level of military activity was not very
high. In a time frame of two years they themselves claim
some 800 attacks while the resistance were carrying out 800
attacks by week.

Later they steadily gained ground and they still keep
growing. They have a lot of money but they do not spend it
on a luxury life, but live a very decent life on minimum
needs dedicating everything to the struggle, which shows a
very serious and attracting behaviour. They spend the money
on the struggle. Most of the youths join them not for their
ideology but because they offer a place to resist.

In the East you do not need to write books to convince
people. If your personal life style is congruent with your
mission you will convince people.

When America started the political process it eventually
came to the benefit of al Qaeda. Those joining the
political process argued that otherwise the Iranians would
take over and in this way they would only co-operate a
short period and then could kick the Americans out as well.
Of course they failed. Al Qaeda argued in a very principled
way that only protracted armed struggle will advance their
cause and reality confirmed their way of thinking, their

They offered money also to some resisting tribes with
strong Muslim identity which needed these resources for
their struggle. Thus they created a coalition of six
groups, one al Qaeda and five local groups. That gave them
a big push. They were not big forces like the Islamic Army
but still with roots in Ramadi, Falluja, Haditha etc. They
gave their coalition the name Mujahideen Shura Council.
Under this label they continue until now and not as al

They have a lot of resources and a steady supply also from
outside while the other groups get nearly nothing from
outside. Today maybe we can say that al Qaeda is the first
organisation of the resistance. They go separately from the
others but nevertheless in each city there is a kind of
council to co-ordinate military action, to chalk out a plan
of defence.

Islam is a weapon to make the people rise up. The Islamic
history, the Islamic figures, the Islamic culture is used
to push the people to fight because they consider Islam as
their identity. National and religious symbols are being
mixed. The Koran says that if Islamic land is attacked by
foreigners, armed resistance is obligatory. This is until
today out of question in the common sense. Jihad becomes a
Muslim duty for the people being occupied by foreign
invaders like fasting and praying.

So all the resistance groups whether Islamic or not use
this spirit as a tool to mobilise and raise the people.
Take for example the statements of the Baath party and of
Izzat al Durri personally. Judging by his language you
would believe him to be an extreme Islamist. But this does
not mean that all of them are really Islamists.

The entire environment is Islamic. By Marxist or
nationalist calls you will not attract young people. Where
ever young people go you will find Islamic sentiment and
spirit dominating. This indirectly favours al Qaeda. People
who join them do not feel to do something not normal as the
general conditions are Islamic. On the contrary they will
believe to only act consistently.

Q: But what about the sectarian attacks? Doesn’t al Qaeda
bear at least partial responsibility for them?

The responsibility lies with the government both with its
Shiite and Sunni components, the US, Israel and Iran.
Regarding the attacks attributed to al Qaeda by the West,
one has to subtract 95%. And for the remaining 5% you hear
only a part of the truth. Sometimes al Qaeda retaliates to
governmental or militia attacks on Sunni areas by attacking
Shiite areas. They want to show the Sunni population that
they can defend and convince them to remain. They thus want
to foil the plan to drive the Sunnis out of Baghdad which
should become part of the Southern Shiite federal entity.
This is pursued by the Shiite parties, Iran and in the
beginning also by the US.

But this is not a strategy and happened only few times in
the last year reacting to big attacks. And for every attack
they take the full responsibility. They direct a call to
the wise people among the Shiites: stop the crimes which
are being committed in your name, otherwise you will have
to bear the responsibility as well. We are able to strike
back with ten times the force.

I do not want to defend this approach, but we need to
restore the facts from the distortions by the West.

There is another striking example. Al Qaeda started in
Falluja as the entire resistance started there. While it is
a 100% Sunni town right after the beginning of the
occupation about 12.000 Shiite families from the South took
refuge in Falluja and Ramadi because they were accused of
being Baathist. I was not only an eyewitness, but also
involved in organising the relief for them. They were
helped by the ordinary population because they regarded
them as being with the resistance. Until today about 20.000
Shiite refugees remain in Falluja and not a single hostile
act on sectarian base could be observed not even by al
Qaeda. There certainly are quarrels between the resistance
groups over domination, this is normal, but not on the
basis of religion.

Q: Two years ago you founded the Patriotic Islamic National
Front comprising the Baath Party, the Iraqi Communist Party
(Central Command) and the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance. There
are several religious figures both Sunni and Shiite who
support you, but until now the big military formations of
the resistance seem not to be represented by your front. Is
the time still not ripe for such a front?

It is an exclusively political front and not a military
one. That does not mean that there are no relations but we
confine ourselves strictly to the political level.
Regarding the Islamic military forces you must understand
that they were built as military resistance groups and did
not have any political representation. We are not
interested to recruit this group or that leader. No, we are
in a comprehensive dialogue with all of them with the
proposal to form a unified political command of the
resistance set against the so-called political process.
Maybe it will go the other way round that a co-ordination
is formed and we will join them. Our aim is not to show our
role, but to create this political unification.

Whenever we seem to be very close to accomplishment,
something happens which impedes its advancement. We also
know what is behind. It is the influence and the meddling
of the adjacent Arab regimes.

Regarding al Qaeda, they always want to remain separated
and are not included in this process.

Q: During all these years of the resistance, there has been
the problem of the ambiguous behaviour of the movement of
Muqtada as Sadr who on the one hand became the main pillar
of the government and a driving force of the sectarian
killing, but on the other hand speaks against the
occupation, against the American imposed federative
constitution and even against the sectarian strife. As he
leads the most important section of the poor people how do
you believe to bring at least sections of his followers to
join the resistance?

Contrary to most of our friends, at the beginning I always
stressed that his movement is very wide and that many
Baathists, Marxists and nationalists went inside to protect
themselves against the Iranian militias. Maybe half of his
movement comes from other political environments and were
not followers of his cleric family. So whatever mistake he
would commit I thought we could count on these people to
rectify it or retrieve at least some of them. Secondly,
most of his followers are very poor but at the same time
uneducated. Of cause this is a double-edged sword.
Different to the other Shiite parties the social background
of his base are not wealthy merchants who might speak one
day against the occupation and the next day sign profitable
contracts with the US. Their opposition to the occupation
is real.

I believe that finally he has been pushed and cheated by
his allies in Iran, mainly Ayatollah Kazem Haeri who is the
successor of his uncle, and in Lebanon. Hezbollah visited
him three times advocating that he should follow the line
applied in Lebanon participating in the political process,
running for parliament, seizing positions in the state
apparatus and especially in the army thus enabling the
construction of a strong party. Otherwise al Hakim would
take over and dominate by the use of those resources. This
is why he ran on the list of his arch enemy al Hakim.

Everybody knows that his father was assassinated on order
of Hakim although officially Saddam is being blamed.
Muqtada originally also heavily attacked them including
Ayatollah al Sistani for co-operating with the US declaring
them even unbelievers. This is why they conspired with the
proconsul Bremer to kill him. Actually the US really
attacked him heavily. Under this pressure he backed down
fearing to be extinguished.

It is simply not true that he claims to be against the
constitution. He is fully involved in the political
process. He has 32 MPs and 6 ministers in the government
which is all to the benefit of the occupation.

Then they pushed him to attack the Sunnis in the
prospective to create a Shiite Mahdi state. At this point
many of his followers left him while other people joined
him causing a deep transformation of his movement. By now
also the Iranians have been infiltrating the Mahdi army to
the point that half of its personnel is composed of members
of the Revolutionary Guards.

Up to 2004 Muqtada was on the right side. For example, he
came to Falluja. But after the blows he suffered, in 2005
he moved to the other side. Now it is highly improbable
that he will rectify his line. Sometimes he makes some
words against the sectarian killings admitting however that
his people are involved and even dismissed three of his
leaders. But they continue. Partially he has even lost
control over this militia. If you give weapons and money to
very poor and ignorant people, if you make them strong,
they often believe to be able to take the reigns in their
own hands. They become mafia leaders and work on their own

All this was also possible because of the fact that he is
young, inexperienced and immature so he can be easily
influenced by his advisers, his environment including Iran.

Q: There are more and more reports that Shiite tribes fight
against the government forces. Can you explain this

With the occupation the Iranian militia in the South and
East went to kill officers of the former Iraqi army
accusing all its enemies to be Baathists. So many people
were assassinated.

Although they all belong to some tribes they were afraid to
defend them. But with the evaporation of the state
structures the tribes, are becoming more and more important
and powerful. Now they cannot accept any more that their
tribesmen are being killed by foreigners whether Iranians
or Iraqis not belonging to the tribe. If they come now to
arrest or kill somebody the tribes mount growing
resistance. There are many examples creating a new
environment, a sentiment which is directed against the
pro-Iranian militias and governmental forces. Recently
there occurred a two day battle near Shuk ash Shuyuk in the
south where they tried to capture a former officer.
Hundreds took up arms to defend him. He fell but not
without changing the climate. He belongs to a very
combative tribe known for its bravery. They subsequently
formed a kind of mutual assistance pact with other tribes
against the pro-Iranian militias including the Mahdi army,
the army and police indicating a general tendency which,
however, remains local and did not yet reach the general
political level.

There is another important cultural factor. The militias
brought alien habits which cannot be accepted by the
tribes. Under the guise of the Mutha marriage they import
prostitution. And they spread the use of hashish.

Q: What about the foreign support to your cause?

We are being used by Arab politicians to reproduce
themselves without offering any real support. They speak of
the Iraqi resistance and about the American crimes in five
star hotels and on the satellite channels. That is all.
They could, however, do a lot, for example raise money or
take to the streets against their governments in order to
close the Iraqi embassies. But they understand that this
would mean to pass the red line of supporting terrorism as
the US puts it. We know from the past about the importance
of material support to the Algerian revolution or to the
Palestinian struggle. Huge sums were raised and still the
ordinary people are ready to pay. But nobody dares to
collect this money for the Iraqi resistance. These leaders
are actually cheating their followers as those suggest that
they would offer help in secret. But I assure you we do not
get any serious help from outside.

Paris, July 2007 Interview conducted by Willi Langthaler

English / Jul 23, 2007


Melbourne Maoists Go International

July 31, 2007

Melbourne Maoists Go International

Maoism is not confined to the jungles of India and the Philippines, or the mountains regions of Peru and Nepal.

Maoism has a long history in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, where the ultra secretive Communist Party of Australia-Marxist-Leninist, maintains its headquarters.

Long past its heyday, Australian Maoism and the CPA-ML may be about to experience something of a revival.

In June, an international Maoist umbrella organisation established an Australian branch, to be led by well known Melbourne unionist and one time Telstra Board contender, Len Cooper.

The International League of Peoples Struggles is based in Utrecht, Holland and is led by long time leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison.

The IPLS links well over 200 Maoist organisations from the US, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Philippines, New Zealand and now Australia.

Message to the Organizations
Forming the ILPS-Australia Chapter

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
June 9, 2007

We, in the International Coordinating Committee, express to all of you warmest greetings of solidarity. We acknowledge the original custodians of your land, the Australian Aboriginal People. We are elated to know that various organizations are forming the Australian national chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). We congratulate the Initiating Committee led by Len Cooper, member of the ILPS International Coordinating Committee, Migrante-Australia, Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia [CEPU] – Telecommunications Branch (Victoria), Migrante-Melbourne, Spirit of Eureka Committee, Bolivarian Circle and others for successfully preparing and convening this assembly.

The formation of the ILPS-Australia is highly important. You are committed to carry out an anti-imperialist and democratic struggle on as many as 18 concerns, as stipulated in the ILPS charter. You have your own national chapter constitution and you are building an alliance of organizations in order to be able to achieve far more than you could if you remained separate organizations.

We hope that the formation of ILPS-Australia will contribute to the advance of the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle in Australia, Oceania, Asia-Pacific region and in the entire world. So long as we fight for a just cause and rely on the people, we can hope and look forward to a bright future of national and social liberation, development, social justice and world peace.

Long live the ILPS-Australia national chapter!
Onward with the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle in Australia!
Long live the International League of Peoples” Struggle

Len Cooper has a long history of leftist activity. Some family members were active China supporters in the old Communist Party of Australia. Many of Cooper’s associates have been linked to the CPA-ML, a pro Chinese breakaway from the CPA.

Certainly, the CPA-ML’s newspaper Vanguard has given Cooper’s new organisation favourable coverage.

On the weekend of June 9-10 a national conference of various progressive organisations and individuals established the Australian section of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS)

The twenty or so participating organisations represented only a fraction of the active people’s organisations, community groups, trade unions and other issue groups currently engaged in multiple struggles to defend people’s rights, to secure decent jobs, wages and conditions, to protect and repair the natural environment, to oppose imperialist war and exploitation, and many other campaigns.

Nevertheless, there was great confidence that ILPS Australia would be able to play an important role in promoting, supporting and assisting on-going struggles, as well as providing expression for anti-imperialist ideas and analysis. In this way the organisation could extend its influence and win wider respect and support over time.

The first activity of ILPS Australia will be a public forum in Melbourne on 31 August and 1 September, to counter an APEC meeting planned for Sydney later that month.


Responsibility for casualties in Nepal’s civil war

July 31, 2007

An article from the journal of The Workers party of NewZealand

Responsibility for casualties in Nepal’s civil war

Jared Phillips

The Spark 28 July 2006

This article is concerned with disproving the assertion that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)-led insurgency has, itself, killed 13,000 or more people since 1996. The mainstream media consistently implies that the Maoist Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is responsible for 13,000 deaths in Nepal. However, such media are unable to state categorically that Maoists are responsible for the majority of the deaths. In fact, the PLA is not responsible for the majority, or even half, of these deaths.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international NGO, stresses that “Most – about two-thirds – of those killed were victims of targeted or indiscriminate attacks and summary executions by the Royal Nepal Army (RNA).” Similarly, according to Nepal-based Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), referring to the year 2005, “over 1,500 people have been killed this year with roughly two-thirds of those killed by government troops and the rest by rebels.”

Most of the deaths caused by the PLA are accounted for in the removal of RNA and Nepal police posts from the rural districts, and in the assassinations of government officials and district commanders. The CPN(M) publishes estimations of military, police, and government casualties in publicly available War Reports. It has made public apologies for civilian deaths it has caused. It has also invited human rights organisations to investigate those incidents.

The RNA, by contrast, has remained silent on the killing of non-combatants, and the mainstream media has reproduced that silence. This silence – what is not said about casualty responsibility and civilian casualty rates – is one indicator that the PLA is not primarily responsible for the civil war deaths in Nepal.

In the year from the January 2005 state of emergency declaration, journalists lost legal protections gained in 1991, and more than a thousand journalists lost their jobs. In that same period 273 journalists were arrested and 147 were physically assaulted. Since 1996 this type of repression has distorted news reports on which casualty estimations are based.

In 2002, the United States Congress approved $US12 million to train RNA officers and supply 5,000 M-16 rifles. Since 2003, it has become difficult to keep track of the precise amounts of Western financial and military support for the RNA, but the army of the state has been consistently provided with the capability for efficient killing.

Lastly, unlike the Nepalese state, killing is not a part of the CPN(M)’s political programme. In January 1995 the CPN(M), then in parliament, announced that if 40 basic reforms were not initiated for peasants, workers, and minorities in 1995, a revolution would be initiated. To bolster its human rights claims against the CPN(M) the mainstream press has invoked the words “Khmer Rouge” (the murderous regime in Cambodia in the late 1970s). Unlike the Khmer Rouge, however, the CPN(M), however, is pro-industrialisation, has improved literacy, and has actively protected intellectuals in Kathmandu. The CPN(M) also has been quick to point out that it was the US state that supported the Khmer Rouge and is still behind the killing and torturing of tens of thousands around the world, including in Iraq.

It is unfeasible to imply that the Nepalese Maoists have killed 13,000 people in the civil war. A proper deconstruction of casualty responsibility shows that the Maoists have inflicted much fewer fatalities than the RNA. The Maoists’ honesty about casualties they have inflicted makes them a more credible source than the RNA. Moreover, the implication that the Maoists have carried out the majority of killings is discredited by the fact that Nepalese journalism, from which the mainstream press draws its figures, has been repressed.

The existence of abundant weapon supplies to the RNA also suggests that the RNA has inflicted many casualties. These points of evidence substantiate the claim that the Maoist PLA should not be held responsible for the majority, or even half, of the casualties inflicted in Nepal’s civil war.

‘No Naxal activity in Kuvempu varsity’

July 31, 2007

Tuesday July 31 2007 11:12 IST

DAVANAGERE: Naxal activities are not allowed on the Kuvempu University campus, said Vice- Chancellor Prof B S Sherigara.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, he said: “Before assuming charge as Vice-Chancellor I did not know what was going on, but now I am not allowing any kind of naxal activities. However, there may be some sympathisers’ towards naxal ideologies, but no university staff or members are involved in this.”

“Since no one can deny the freedom of speech and writing, following any principle or ideology, I do not want to comment,” he quipped.

He said that he did not believe in violence and would not allow any one to follow this path either.

The State Government must look into such affairs as the university is more concerned about its development and students, he replied. He said that Davanagere has all the requisites to have a university.

To increase the percentage of higher education from present seven to 20 per cent each district needs a university.

The UBDT College of Engineering has 40 posts of teaching faculty lying vacant as Rs 1.60 crore was required to meet the salary expenditure every year.


Communist rebels killed in clashes in Isabela, Camarines

July 31, 2007

Communist rebels killed in clashes in Isabela, Camarines

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 01:02 PM

MANILA (AFP) – Government forces in the Philippines have killed five Maoist guerrillas in clashes that also wounded one soldier, the military said Tuesday.

Fighting between an infantry patrol and the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) near the northern town of San Mariano on Monday killed three rebels and wounded one soldier, said the army division commander, Major-General Rodrigo Maclang.

The troops recovered a rifle, hand grenades and high explosives from the scene, he said.

On the same day, two NPA rebels were slain in a firefight with another infantry unit near the town of Calabanga southeast of Manila, said regional military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Rhoderic Parayno.

No government casualties were reported.

The 7,000-strong NPA has been waging a Maoist rebellion since 1969 in one of Asia’s longest-running communist insurgencies.