Wednesday, 22 October 2014


By Carlos Martinez

It doesn't make sense to me that there are socialists and anti-imperialists that don't support North Korea.

1. For whatever problems and contradictions, DPR Korea has for the last 60+ years been engaged in a project of building socialism. Y'know, that thing we always talk about? Where society is run "for us, by us"? Korean socialism is far from perfect, but what experiment in building socialism is perfect? Is (much more fashionable) Venezuela perfect, for example? Where countries are making a historic transition in the direction of socialism - in a massively hostile and difficult international context - surely our default position should be one of support.

2. The DPRK continues to face an ever-present threat of military annihilation by the United States - the most heavily-armed political entity in the history of mankind.

3. It continues to face cruel economic sanctions, the sole purpose of which is to suffocate and destabilise a country that refuses to go along with imperialist domination. These sanctions (imposed on a global level by the US) are the principal contributor to the economic problems the DPRK has undergone over the last two decades.

4. It is treated with the most unbelievable levels of contempt, hatred and demonisation by the western press. Why? Are Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - far less democratic, far less equal, far more violent states - treated that way? No. Most of the anti-Korea propaganda is transparently nonsense, but very few have the guts to question it.

5. DPR Korea stands unambiguously and unashamedly with Cuba, Syria, China, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Belarus, Nicaragua and *all* the progressive and socialist countries worldwide. North Korea's international solidarity has included providing military training and assistance to historic liberation struggles, such as those of Zimbabwe, Vietnam and Nicaragua.

6. Most people brought up in a western political culture find it nearly impossible to relate to the open adoration of political figures (we save that for sportspeople, crap musicians and unelected feudal-relic royals), but nevertheless it should be recognised that Kim il Sung was one of the most remarkable revolutionaries of the twentieth century. On the awesomeness scale, he ranks a lot higher than Justin Bieber or Prince Harry.

7. DPRK has had to make a lot of sacrifices just to survive. Without a massive focus on military self-defence, there is no way that it would still exist. It would long ago have been forced into a semi-existence of servitude in the global economy - the result of which would be a society far poorer and more unjust than it is today. The lessons of Libya and Iraq should be clear enough by now.

Support for DPRK - along with support for Cuba, Venezuela, China, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Bolivia and elsewhere - is a basic principle of anti-imperialism. ALL socialist and progressive countries have good relations with DPRK and support it in its life-or-death struggle against the US. So why don't you?



Gough Whitlam , Prime Minister of Australia during the historic Prime Ministerial visit to the People's Republic of China, 31 October – 4 November 1973

First days of the Whitlam govt saw Australia offer diplomatic recognition of The Peoples Republic of China - Mao still alive then, 1972 - abolished university fees, pulled Australian troops out of the Vietnam war, abandoned Australia's imperialist ambitions in PNG, Asia etc. over the next year and a bit with Al Grassby introduced 'multiculturalism', not as some naff cultural thing but framed in terms of economic redistribution. Dumped the silly song God Save the Queen as 'national anthem', tried to 'buy back the farm' with Rex Conner, got caught up in sex scandals because of appointing the first female, and non-Anglo, parliamentary secretary - Junie Morosi - and .... Well, the Age or SMH stories tell it better, but I just add that it has been backwards thinking since then... And yes, right now there is some sort of twittersphere national(ist) mourning for Gough, but rather than denounce this I see it as a forlorn cry of disaffection that looks at what we presently have (global race war, chaos, criminal PMs and no-hopers) and senses that It's Time. - John Hutnyk

Gough Whitlam dies aged 98; former PM remembered as 'giant' of Australian politics


Former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam has been remembered as a visionary and a giant of federal politics by figures across the political spectrum.

Mr Whitlam led the country through a period of massive social change from 1972 to 1975 before his ousting by governor-general Sir John Kerr, in the infamous dismissal episode.

Despite being in power for only three turbulent years, Mr Whitlam launched sweeping reforms of the nation's economic and cultural affairs, cementing his place as one of Australia's most revered leaders.

He stopped conscription, introduced free university education, recognised communist China, pulled troops from Vietnam, abolished the death penalty for federal crimes and reduced the voting age to 18.

"Our father, Gough Whitlam, has died this morning at the age of 98," Mr Whitlam's family said in a statement on Tuesday.

"A loving and generous father, he was a source of inspiration to us and our families and for millions of Australians.

"There will be a private cremation and a public memorial service."

Condolences have flowed in for the former Labor leader, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying he inspired a legion of young people to become involved in public life.

"Gough Whitlam was a giant of his time. He united the Australian Labor Party, won two elections and seemed, in so many ways, larger than life," Mr Abbott said.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten said Mr Whitlam redefined Australia, and in doing so helped improve the lives of many people.

"Today, the party that I lead - the Labor Party - has lost a giant. And I think it is fair to say, regardless of one's politics, the nation has lost a legend.

"He was sacked, unprecedented in Australian history. But of all leaders, therefore, none had arguably more cause to carry an anvil of hatred. But he did not.

"In defending tolerance and defending democracy, Mr Whitlam defined his character and his values and our nation's."

Following the news of Mr Whitlam's death, Federal Parliament was suspended for the day as a mark of respect.

MPs instead devoted the sitting day to paying tribute to the former prime minister.

Mr Whitlams close friend and veteran Labor MP John Faulkner said his role was to change the country.

"To liberate the horizons and uplift the talents of the Australian people."

Former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke said today was a time to remember the "great life" of Mr Whitlam.

"This is not a time for sadness," he said at a press conference in Sydney.

"Gough was ready to go, and his family was ready for him to go. Rather, it's a remembrance of a great life.

"The simple truth is that Australia is a better country because of the life and work of Gough Whitlam."

Mr Hawke also remembered Mr Whitlam's "biting wit" and humour.

He said he learnt from Mr Whitlam the importance of building consensus within Labor and of thinking beyond Australia to the region, particularly to China, but that Mr Whitlam's "weakness" was a lack of interest in the economy.

Mr Hawke revealed that he warned Mr Whitlam that his government would "live or die on your economic performance".

He said he offered to arrange weekly "sessions" with a leading economist for Mr Whitlam but the offer was never taken up.

Gough Whitlam, Giant of Australian Politics, Dies at 98
Whitlam Was First Western Leader to Recognize Communist China; Led Country Through Rapid Transformation


Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, a fierce proponent of rights for indigenous Australians and the first Western leader to recognize communist China, died Tuesday aged 98.

Mr. Whitlam led the country for three turbulent years from 1972 to 1975—a period during which he brought Australian troops home from the Vietnam War, abolished university education fees, and triggered the nation’s biggest constitutional crisis.

While many of Mr. Whitlam’s social-welfare reforms endure, his period in office was overshadowed by the 1975 dismissal of his center-left Labor government by the representative in Australia of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Governor-General John Kerr —who appointed conservative leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker prime minister following a political impasse over budget spending.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott called Mr. Whitlam a “giant of his time,” and ordered flags to be lowered across the nation as a mark of respect. The leader of the Labor opposition, Bill Shorten, said the former prime minister had molded Australia’s identity more profoundly than any other political leader before or since.

“He changed the lives of a generation and generations to come,” Mr. Shorten said, adding: “He reimagined Australia, our home, as a prosperous, modern and multicultural nation where opportunity belonged to everyone.”

Noted for his masterful political oratory and acerbic wit, Mr. Whitlam delivered his most famous speech standing on the steps of Australia’s former Parliament building after his government was dismissed. Taking the microphone from an official who had concluded his announcement of the dissolution with the traditional salutation, “God save the Queen,” Mr. Whitlam declared: “Well, may we say God save the Queen, because nothing will save the governor-general.”

The politician could also be blunt to the point of rudeness, once telling an opponent during a right-to-life debate: “Let me make quite clear that I am for abortion, and in your case sir, we should make it retrospective.”

Mr. Whitlam swept aside more than two decades of conservative postwar rule with his 1972 victory—promising reforms designed to end a period of political lethargy in Australia and social unrest triggered by U.S. and Australian involvement in the unpopular Vietnam War, while introducing welfare policies closer to those in Europe than the U.S.

Mr. Whitlam’s success in that election ushered in a period of dramatic political change, including universal health care, reforms giving women higher pay, abolition of the death penalty, an end to compulsory military service, and a tilting of foreign policy to be more Asia-focused. His “crash through or crash” approach to his reformist agenda won him bitter opponents as well as the adoration of his supporters.

Mr. Whitlam started negotiations with various indigenous communities that led, in some cases, to the handing back of rights to traditional land. In 1975, he traveled to the Outback and poured sand through the hands of a local Gurindji leader in a symbol of ownership that marked a turning point for the indigenous-land-rights movement. Aboriginal flags were lowered in the central Australian city of Alice Springs on Tuesday as a sign of respect for Mr. Whitlam’s pivotal place in indigenous rights.

“He united the Australian Labor Party, won two elections and seemed, in so many ways, larger than life,” Mr. Abbott, who heads Australia’s center-right government, said in a statement on Tuesday. “He established diplomatic relations with China. China is our largest trading partner. That is an enduring legacy.”

In later years, the memories of political tumult surrounding Mr. Whitlam’s government—including conspiracy theories of Central Intelligence Agency involvement in his dismissal—faded and he emerged as an imperious but immensely popular public figure, viewed affectionately on both the left and right of politics.

He will be remembered, among other qualities, for his sharp intellect, dry humor and booming “comrade” greeting both to colleagues and former political opponents. In 2000, Mr. Whitlam was named a living “national treasure” by Australia’s National Trust. Asked on his 80th birthday how he’d greet his maker, Mr. Whitlam quipped: “I do admit I seem eternal. You can be sure of one thing, I shall treat him as an equal.”

Anthony Albanese, a senior Labor lawmaker, said on Tuesday that when Mr. Whitlam came to power as a champion of equal opportunity in Australia’s sprawling suburbs, much of the country’s largest city, Sydney, didn’t have working sewerage systems.

“These basic necessities, support for transport, jobs in our outer suburbs, is what Gough Whitlam drove through,” he said on Australian television. “There is a whole generation of Australians such as myself who are the first in our family to go to university.”

Mr. Whitlam’s four children released a statement praising their father’s legacy. “A loving and generous father, he was a source of inspiration to us and our families and for millions of Australians,” they said.


Turmoil in Hong Kong, Terrorism in Xinjiang: America’s Covert War on China

China is facing increasing pressure along two fronts. In its western province of Xinjiang, terrorists have been stepping up destabilization and separatist activities.

In China’s southeast Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, protests have disrupted normality in the dense urban streets, with protest leaders seeking to directly confront Beijing while dividing and destabilizing both Hong Kong society and attempting to “infect” the mainland.

What is more troubling is the greater geopolitical agenda driving both of these seemingly “internal” conflicts – and that they both lead back to a single source beyond China’s borders. With the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) now implicated in receiving, training, and employing terrorists from China’s Xinjiang province, and considering the fact that ISIS is the result of an intentional, engineered proxy war the US and its allies are waging in the Middle East, along with the fact that the unrest in Hong Kong is also traced back to Washington and London, presents a narrative of an ongoing confrontation between East and West being fought on the battlefield of fourth generation warfare.

ISIS: Washington’s Global Expeditionary Force
If one was asked to name a global-spanning military and intelligence operation opposed to Syria, Iran, Russia, and China, they might say the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US Government – and they would be right. But they could also easily answer by saying the “Islamic State” or ISIS/ISIL as it is also known. This is especially true after revelations surfaced that US-backed Uyghur separatists in China’s western-most province of Xinjiang have joined ISIS for training with intentions of leading an armed rebellion against Beijing upon their return.

Reuters in their article, “China militants getting IS ‘training’,” would claim:
Chinese militants from the western region of Xinjiang have fled from the country to get “terrorist training” from Islamic State group fighters for attacks at home, state media reported on Monday.
The report was the first time state-run media had linked militants from Xinjiang, home to ethnic minority Uighur Muslims, to militants of the Islamic State group of radical Sunni Muslims.

China’s government has blamed a surge of violence over the past year on Islamist militants from Xinjiang who China says are fighting for an independent state called East Turkestan.

However, it isn’t just China’s government that claims militants in Xinjiang seek to carve out an independent state in western China – the militants themselves have stated as much, and the United States government fully backs their agenda to do so. Indeed, first and foremost in backing the Xinjiang Uyghur separatists is the United States through the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). For China, the Western region referred to as “Xinjiang/East Turkistan” has its own webpage on NED’s site covering the various fronts funded by the US which include:
International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation $187,918To advance the human rights of ethnic Uyghur women and children. The Foundation will maintain an English- and Uyghur-language website and advocate on the human rights situation of Uyghur women and children.

International Uyghur PEN Club $45,000To promote freedom of expression for Uyghurs. The International Uyghur PEN Club will maintain a website providing information about banned writings and the work and status of persecuted poets, historians, journalists, and others. Uyghur PEN will also conduct international advocacy campaigns on behalf of imprisoned writers.

Uyghur American Association $280,000To raise awareness of Uyghur human rights issues. UAA’s Uyghur Human Rights Project will research, document, and bring to international attention, independent and accurate information about human rights violations affecting the Turkic populations of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

World Uyghur Congress $185,000To enhance the ability of Uyghur prodemocracy groups and leaders to implement effective human rights and democracy campaigns. The World Uyghur Congress will organize a conference for pro-democracy Uyghur groups and leaders on interethnic issues and conduct advocacy work on Uyghur human rights.

ISIS Conveniently Targets Washington’s Adversaries Worldwide
The next step Washington appears to be taking in China is an attempts to enhance the menace of terrorists in Xinjiang. In addition to assisting US attempts to destabilize territory in China, ISIS has also threatened to launch a campaign against another US enemy – Russia – this in addition to already directly fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon, the governments of Syria and Iraq, and with ISIS claiming to be behind attacks in Egypt against the military-led government that ousted the West’s Muslim Brotherhood proxies.

With both Russia and China now in ISIS’ sights, the global public must begin asking questions as to how and why ISIS just so happens to be arraying itself against all of Washington’s enemies, by-passing all of its allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and where exactly they are getting the weapons, cash, intelligence, logistical, and administrative capabilities to do so.

So suspicious is ISIS’ appearance, agenda, and actions, many across the world have long-ago concluded they are simply the latest creation of the US and other Western-aligned intelligence agencies, just as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood was before them, So loud has this narrative become, establishment newspapers like the New York Times have begun writing columns to tamp down what they are calling “conspiracy theories.”


The New York Times would report in a piece titled, “Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United,” that:
The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.
The New York Times dismisses these claims, despite reporting for the past 4 years on the CIA’s presence along the Turkish-Syrian border dumping weapons and cash into the very hotbeds of extremism and terrorism ISIS rose from. Upon closer examination, not only are these claims plausible, they are documented fact.
As far back as 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh would warn of the creation of just such a terror group in his 9-page report in the New Yorker titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” He stated that (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
That “by-product” is ISIS. It is through America’s own premeditated conspiracy to plunge not only Syria, but the entire region and now potentially Russia and even China into genocidal sectarian bloodshed that gave intentional rise to ISIS. The creation of ISIS and its use as a proxy mercenary force for Western designs is once again revealed in ISIS’ otherwise irrational declaration of war on Russia first, and now China.

America Opens Second Front in Hong Kong
It was in April of 2014 that two co-organizers of the so-called “Occupy Central” protests now ongoing in Hong Kong, would sit in Washington DC giving a talk hosted by the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). There, Martin Lee and Anson Chan set the stage for the impending “Occupy Central” demonstrations, introducing soon-to-be famous “characters” like US-cultivated “activist” Joshua Wong, as well as repeating, verbatim, the agenda, talking points, and slogans now flooding the airwaves and headlines regarding Hong Kong’s unrest.

While the US attempts to peel off Xinjiang province by brute force, it is using a more subtle and insidious method in Hong Kong. During Lee and Chan’s talk in DC earlier this year, a representative from the Council on Foreign Relations would literally proclaim it was hoped that ongoing movements in Hong Kong would “infect” mainland China. Indeed, while militancy and terrorism is being sown in China’s west, sedition, political instability, and social divisions are being cultivated in China’s east.

America’s Long War With China
The adversarial nature of Washington’s posture toward Beijing has become increasingly obvious as tensions are intentionally ratcheted up in the South China Sea between US proxies and mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong. This is simply the latest in a much longer proxy war waged against Beijing since as early as the Vietnam War, with the so-called “Pentagon Papers” released in 1969 revealing the conflict as simply one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China. While the US would ultimately lose the Vietnam War and any chance of using the Vietnamese as a proxy force against Beijing, the long war against Beijing would continue elsewhere.

This containment strategy would be updated and detailed in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral” where it outlines China’s efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in the “international system” as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation.

This includes funding, arming, and backing terrorists and proxy regimes from Africa, across the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and even within China’s territory itself. Documented support of these movements not only include Xinjiang separatists and the leaders of “Occupy Central” in Hong Kong, but also militants and separatists in Baluchistan, Pakistan where the West seeks to disrupt a newly christened Chinese port and pipeline, as well as the machete wielding supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – yet another site the Chinese hope to establish a logistical hub.

It is not a coincidence that ISIS is standing in for and fulfilling America’s deepest imperial aspirations from North Africa, across the Middle East, and now inching toward the borders of the West’s two largest competitors, Russia and China. Nor is it a coincidence that “Occupy Central” protesters are parroting verbatim talking points scripted in Washington earlier this year. It is no coincidence that the US State Department’s NED is found involved in every hotspot of instability and conflict both within China’s borders and beyond them. It is a documented conspiracy that is now increasingly seeing the light truth cast upon it. Whether or not that is enough to end the unnecessary barbarism and bloodshed that has resulted from the West’s hegemonic aspirations remains to be seen.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.


Marcel Cartier and I meeting Marika Sherwood (now 74 years young), an incredible, tireless researcher and scholar who has published books such as 'Malcolm X: Visits Abroad', 'Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile', 'After Abolition: Britain and the Slave Trade Since 1807' and 'Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787, (also with Hakim Adi) amongst other titles. 

She is featured here on the doc-film on Claudia Jones which you can watch here.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Friday, 17 October 2014


Socialist Vietnam and Korean leaders Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il Sung



In 2000, twenty-five years after the Vietnam War ended, both North Korea and Vietnam admitted for the first time that, as had long been rumored but never before officially confirmed, North Korean pilots had flown in combat against U.S. aircraft over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. No further details of North Korea’s involvement were provided, however, and subsequently very little information has been provided. An official Vietnamese military history published in 2001 contained only the following general statement: “Under the terms of an agreement between Korea and Vietnam, in 1967 a number of pilots from the Korean People’s Liberation Army were sent to Vietnam to provide us training and the benefit of their experience and to participate in combat operations alongside the pilots of the People’s Army of Vietnam. On a number of flights Korean pilots scored victories by shooting down American aircraft.”[1] Vietnamese military histories usually refer only to an unidentified regimental-sized flying unit called “Group Z” [Doan Z]. Except in a few isolated instances, these histories provide no information about the exact size, composition, or activities of the mysterious “Group Z,” except that it was based at Kep Airfield northeast of Hanoi from early 1967 through 1968. An article published in a Vietnamese newspaper in August 2007 reported that in 2002 the bodies of the 14 North Korean Air Force personnel killed during the Vietnam War had been buried in a cemetery in Vietnam’s Bac Giang Province and had been disinterred and repatriated to North Korea. In a letter to the newspaper to correct several mistakes made in the original article, a retired North Vietnamese major general who had worked with the North Koreans revealed that a total of 87 North Korean Air Force personnel had served in North Vietnam between 1967 and early 1969, during which time the North Koreans had lost 14 men and had claimed to have shot down 26 American aircraft.[2]

According to the documents below, taken from an official People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) historical publication, on 21 September 1966 an official North Korean request to be allowed to send a North Korean Air Force regiment to help defend North Vietnam against U.S air attacks was officially reviewed and approved by the Vietnamese Communist Party’s Central Military Party Committee, chaired by General Vo Nguyen Giap. During subsequent discussions held 24-30 September 1966 between a PAVN delegation headed by the Chief of the PAVN General Staff and a North Korean military delegation headed by the Chief of the North Korean General Staff, a detailed agreement was worked out for the dispatch of a North Korean Air Force contingent to fight in North Vietnam. The agreement stipulated that the North Koreans would provide pilots for one North Korean Air Force regiment consisting of two companies (ten aircraft each) of MiG-17s and one company of MiG-21s, while Vietnam would provide the aircraft and all necessary technical equipment, maintenance, and logistics support for the North Korean flyers. The agreement included a timetable for the phased arrival of the individual North Korean flight companies and specified that the North Korean units would operate under the command and control of the North Vietnamese Air Defense Command.

General Vo Nguyen Giap’s Decision On North Korea’s Request to Send a Number of Pilots to Fight in Vietnam

21 September 1966

During a meeting of the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee, Comrade Phung The Tai, the Commander of the Air Defense-Air Force Command, reported that our allies had requested permission to send a volunteer air force unit to fight in Vietnam. The request stated that their personnel would be organized into individual companies that would be integrated into our air force regiments, that they would wear our uniforms, and that they would operate from the same airfields as our air force. Our allies said that they could send a large number of technical [support] personnel but that we would be totally responsible for providing ground technical support and for providing supplies for their unit.

After a discussion by the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee, as the presiding officer Comrade Vo Nguyen Giap reached the following decision: The North Korean air force personnel would be called “specialists” but in reality they would be volunteer soldiers. For that reason, we had to agree to respect our allies but at the same time we had to maintain our own sovereignty. During the course of their training and combat operations, we had to clearly delineate their area of operations and assign them both a primary and an alternate airfield. With regard to command arrangements, we would be their superiors, but within the allied [North Korean] regiment they would directly command their own forces with the assistance of representatives from our side, who would give them their specific operational missions. General Giap demanded that coordination arrangements between the two sides must be very clear and precise to avoid any unfortunate complications in the future.


Document 2

Source: Vietnam Ministry of Defense Central Archives, Central Military Party Committee Collection, File No. 433. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Merle Pribbenow.

Signing of a Protocol Agreement for North Korea to Send a Number of Pilots to Fight the American Imperialists during the War of Destruction against North Vietnam
30 September 1966

Following the agreement in principle between the Labor Party of Vietnam and the Korean Workers’ Party, to implement the guidance issued by the Current Affairs Committee of the Central Military Party Committee on 21 September, from 24 to 30 September 1966 Vietnamese military representatives led by Chief of the General Staff Van Tien Dung and North Korean military representatives led by Chief of the General Staff Choi Kwang held talks in an atmosphere of honesty and sincerity and then signed a protocol agreement covering the following six concrete points:

1. - In late October or during November 1966 North Korea would send Vietnam enough specialists to man a Vietnamese MiG-17 company (a company consisted of ten aircraft). In late 1966 or early 1967, after Vietnam had prepared sufficient aircraft, North Korea would send enough specialists to Vietnam to man a second Vietnamese MiG-17 company. During 1967, after North Korea finished preparing specialists and after Vietnam was able to prepare sufficient aircraft, North Korea would send to Vietnam sufficient specialists to man one Vietnamese MiG-21 company.

2. - To facilitate internal administration and combat command, the North Korean specialists would be organized into individual companies, and eventually into a regiment. Prior to the formation of the regiment, the North Korean specialist companies would be assigned to a Vietnamese air force regiment and would be deployed to that regiment’s airfields.When the Korean side had its full complement of three flying companies, a North Korean regiment would be organized and the regiment would be assigned its own separate airfield.

3. - The specialist companies assigned to the Vietnamese air force regiment would be subordinate to the regiment headquarters and would be under the guidance and direction of Vietnam’s Air Defense-Air Force Command.

4. - Coordination between air force units and between the air force and anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile units would be carried out under the guidance and direction of Vietnam’s Air Defense-Air Force Command.

5. - All command and technical support, such as communications and technical support and maintenance of the aircraft would be provided by the Vietnamese side.

6. - North Korea would provide the basic technical and tactical training to the specialists in North Korea. After their arrival in Vietnam, Vietnam would only provide them with the on-the-job training necessary to adapt to the battlefield conditions, weather conditions, and their battle opponents.

In addition, the protocol also laid out the agreement on providing housing, living supplies, transportation equipment, medical support, policy regulations [death, injury, sickness, discipline], and commendations and awards.


US was prepared 'to use nuclear weapons against North Korea' if troops crossed border


"“It also doesn't really scare the North Koreans, who think they have been under a nuclear threat for decades – which is why they developed their own nuclear program," the expert added."

The US was prepared to use nuclear weapons if North Korean forces crossed the border into South Korea, the former CIA Director and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has claimed in his memoir.

In a passage published in Newsweek from his autobiographical book Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, Mr Panetta recalled a briefing in 2010 by the commander of US forces in South Korea.

During this briefing in Seoul, he said General Walter L. “Skip” Sharp suggested the US would use nuclear weapons if necessary in the event that North Korea moved across the demilitarised zone.

“If North Korea moved across the border, our war plans called for the senior American general on the peninsula to take command of all US and South Korea forces and defend South Korea— including by the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary,” Mr Panetta wrote.

“I left our meeting with the powerful sense that war in that region was neither hypothetical nor remote, but ever-present and imminent.”

Mr Panetta served as Defence Secretary under President Barack Obama between 2011 and 2013. He was the head of the CIA for four years before this.

His recollections from that particular meeting have proved divisive, with a former top CIA expert on Korea dismissing them as “typical wooden-headedness on the part of a US official”.

Responding to the excerpt, the former CIA expert said such a revelation could lead South Korea to believe “having the US bull in their china shop is maybe not such a good idea”.

“It also doesn't really scare the North Koreans, who think they have been under a nuclear threat for decades – which is why they developed their own nuclear program," the expert added.

However, Terence Roehrig, a Korea expert at the Naval War College, told Newsweek the briefing was not surprising.

“In many respects, the information is not new,” he said. “The United States has long had a position that South Korea was under the US nuclear umbrella.”


The myth of Assad, ISIL and extremism

Sharmine Narwani, RT

Who is to blame for the proliferation of extremist groups in Syria? The West often points a finger at Assad and his allies, but two secret US documents tell a different story.

It is difficult to find US officials directly claiming that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in league with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but you will find plenty who will allude to it using specious reasoning:

US Secretary of State John Kerry is one of many who have sought to encourage this narrative:

“There is evidence that Assad has played footsie with them (ISIL), and he has used them as a tool of weakening the opposition. He never took on their headquarters, which were there and obvious, and other assets that they have. So we have no confidence that Assad is either capable of or willing to take on ISIL.”
That logic forms the basis of several key arguments used by Syria’s opponents to suggest a covert and symbiotic relationship between the Syrian government and Islamist extremists. They go something like this:

• Assad encouraged the growth of militants to create an either-or dilemma for Syrians who want him deposed, but who fear “what comes next.”

• Assad released militants from prison in 2011 so that they would overwhelm secular moderates.

• Proof of this is that the Syrian Army does not attack ISIL targets.

• Assad has a close history with militants – he sent hundreds over the border into Iraq to join the insurgency against US forces and is now suffering blowback.

But as a global confrontation with ISIL mounts, an entirely different picture has begun to emerge. The US-led coalition's five Arab Sunni partners are providing little less than fig-leaf cover for airstrike operations. NATO has been unable to wrest - to date - a commitment from Turkey to enforce serious border security to stop militants from crossing over into Iraq and Syria. In recent weeks, Western media has unleashed a flurry of articles pointing to Qatar's role in funding extremists.

Clearly, America's Sunni Arab and Turkish allies are approaching the “ISIL Project”' with something less than enthusiasm.

On Thursday, US Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag. During a speech at Harvard University, Biden told his audience:

"Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks...the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world….we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them."

He, of course, failed to mention Washington's own arming, training and funding activities coordinated with these very same allies. Predictably, Biden was forced to “apologize” for his undiplomatic comments over the weekend.

But just last month, during a hearing in the US Senate for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, Senator Lindsey Graham asked: “Do you know of any major Arab ally that embraces ISIL?”

To the surprise of many, Dempsey countered: “I know of major Arab allies who fund them.”

The revelations keep flowing from once tight-lipped Western sources. According to US news reports, current and former officials now say wealthy Gulf donors are the source of early funding:

“These rich individuals have long served as ‘angel investors’ for the most violent militants in the region, providing the ‘seed money’ that helped launch ISIS and other jihadi groups…Former U.S. Navy Admiral and NATO Supreme Commander James Stavridis says the cash flow from private donors is significant now and was even more significant in the early fund-raising done by ISIS and al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front,” NBC’s Robert Windrem wrote in an article.

And on Saturday, the UK's former Assistant Chief of the Defense Staff General Jonathan Shaw, who specialized in counter-terrorism and security policy and retired in 2012, told The Telegraph:
"This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop."

The ‘Assad-has-encouraged-extremism’ argument

Has the Syrian government exploited extremism while at the same time fighting a three-year nationwide military campaign to thwart it? Perhaps. Politics are opportunistic by nature.

But the narrative about Assad encouraging Islamist militancy has always failed to note the historic role of armed Islamists in Syrian “rebellions.”

A US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document that was declassified in 2012 provides a starkly different reading of events leading up to the controversial “Hama massacre” of 1982. It tells a story remarkably similar to events in Syria beginning in early 2011. Here is a montage of quotes from the document:

“In early 1979, encouraged by the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood developed a plan to trigger a similar popular revolution in Syria to oust (Hafez) Assad. The massacre of 50 Alawite cadets, on 16 June 1979 at the Artillery School in Aleppo, signaled the start of the MB offensive.”

The Syrian MB regroups for a “new round of fighting” in late 1980, announces the formation of an “Islamic Front”’ and increases cooperation with the Sunni (Baathist) government of Iraq which had helped the MB covertly in 1979-80 to oust Assad.

“The plan, apparently developed by the leadership of the Syrian MB and probably coordinated with Iraq, centered on two complementary actions. The first was a full-scale revolt by the city of Hama, a traditional Brotherhood stronghold and the location of its covert headquarters in Syria. Once this rebellion was unleashed, similar uprisings were to take place in Aleppo, Damascus and other major cities, accompanied by a general strike designed to paralyze Syria...”

“Simultaneously, a sophisticated worldwide propaganda campaign was to be launched supporting the rebellion and emphasizing its victories and the wholesale desertion of Army units to the rebel side. Press releases were to be made in Europe and the US, while propaganda broadcasts against Syria were to be carried by the Phalange-controlled Voice of Lebanon and the Iraqi-controlled Voice of Arab Syria.”

“At least 100 militants were transported from Jordan, where they had taken refuge, into Iraq where they probably received training prior to their movement into Syria... Sometime after this, the infiltration of ‘Secret Apparatus’ militants began from staging areas in Iraq, and to a lesser degree from Turkey, where others had fled. During the interim period, a number of terrorist bombings and shootings took place in Syria to demonstrate the Brotherhood/dissident Alawites ability to strike at the government.”

“As a result of Syrian security actions, the MB was forced to prematurely unleash the Hama rebellion with the hope that it might spark widespread fighting in other cities…The rebellion would also force the Damascus government to become even more oppressive. The Brotherhood leadership believed this would, in turn, cause greater alienation of the Assad government from the Sunni Muslim majority and within the Alawite community.”

“On February 2, following a clash between the MB and Syrian security forces, the loudspeakers atop the mosque minarets in Hama called on the people to begin a Jihad (Holy Struggle) against the government. The appeal also told the people that arms were available at specified mosques. At about the same time, teams of the MB’s ‘Secret Apparatus,’ some in army uniforms, moved to attack preselected government targets in the city.”

“Despite the propaganda reporting, the uprising in Syria had never spread outside of Hama, although some limited bombings had taken place in Damascus and elsewhere… The total casualties for the Hama incident probably number about 2,000. This includes an estimated 300-400 of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite ‘Secret Apparatus’… The Syrian dissidents’ modus operandi will continue to be terrorism, particularly bombings and assassinations.”

WikiLeaks: Syria’s government and terrorism

On February 24, 2010, a Cable classified as ‘Secret’ was dispatched from the US Embassy in Damascus to the CIA, DIA, National Security Council, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of Homeland Security and a smattering of key US embassies in the Middle East and Europe.

It details the communications between Syria’s General Intelligence Director (GID) Ali Mamlouk who dropped in on a meeting between Syria’s Vice Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad and a US delegation, headed by State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin.

The participants discuss possible future security and intelligence cooperation on issues related to terrorism, particularly on the Syria-Iraq border.

What is notable about this US-framed communiqué is that the American delegation does not take any of the Syrian officials in the room to task for “encouraging and coordinating” the passage of extremist fighters from Syria into Iraq to participate in an insurgency against US forces. This accusation has become a key narrative advanced by Washington in recent years, so why not challenge the Syrians face-to-face when the opportunity is there?

According to the Cable, Benjamin says “the two countries should still work to cooperate on immediate threats facing both the U.S. and Syria, including the proliferation of takfiri groups in the region, such as al-Qaeda, and stopping the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq.”

The Syrian response? According to the US Cable:

“Mamlouk said the foreign fighters come from a large number of Arab and Muslim countries and that the Syrians detain ‘large numbers plus their local facilitators.’ As an example, Mamlouk said he handed over 23 Saudis detained in Syria to Saudi Prince Muqrin last year.”

The US delegation even acknowledges the fact that the Syrians have been helpful:

“Benjamin commended Mamlouk on reducing the flow of foreign fighters, while encouraging further progress.”

And the Syrians offer additional cooperation, provided that Damascus takes the lead in these efforts:

“Miqdad interjected that the issue of foreign fighters using Syrian soil is a matter of national security for Syria. ‘We have zero tolerance,’ he said. Miqdad said Syria needs the cooperation of other countries, namely those from which the terrorists are coming. ‘If we can close this circle - with us, you, and other countries - we will succeed,’ he concluded.”

The Cable does reveal some interesting information about Syrian strategies in dealing with terrorism, which Mamlouk says differs considerably from the American approach:

"The GID Director said Syria had been more successful than the U.S. and other countries in the region in fighting terrorist groups because ‘we are practical and not theoretical.’ He stated Syria's success is due to its penetration of terrorist groups. ‘In principle, we don't attack or kill them immediately. Instead, we embed ourselves in them and only at the opportune moment do we move.’ Describing the process of planting embeds in terrorist organizations as ‘complex,’ Mamlouk said the result had yielded been the detention of scores of terrorists, stamping out terror cells, and stopping hundreds of terrorists from entering Iraq.

Mamlouk acknowledged some terrorists were still slipping into Iraq from Syria. ‘By all means we will continue to do all this, but if we start cooperation with you it will lead to better results and we can better protect our interests,’ he concluded.”

War of words

The tactics described by Mamlouk explain, in part, why Syrian forces today do not typically launch assaults on terrorist groups unless there is an immediate and direct threat to its military strategy of maintaining control over key areas and disrupting rebel supply lines.

While groups like ISIL are viewed as a security threat, they have not always posed an imminent one.

For the better part of the Syrian conflict, ISIL has not controlled the “priority zones” of the Syrian Army.

Those areas have always been Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama and their surrounding countryside (Rif), with Quseir and Qalamoun, Daraa, Tal Kalakh and other border towns playing an important role. When ISIL fighters have been present in those areas, the Syrian Army has fought them - as in Qalamoun and the Damascus suburbs.

In early 2014, pro-opposition writer and researcher A.J. Tamimi questioned in detail accusations of collaboration between the Syrian government and ISIL/al Nusra. Among his many points, Tamimi notes:

“One must ask what the regime would gain strategically by constantly bombing ISIS strongholds in Raqqa province, or ISIS strongholds elsewhere, for that matter, located far beyond the frontlines. As in the wider east of Syria, the regime lacks ground forces to launch an offensive to retake any territory in Raqqa province, and must depend on airlifts from elsewhere to maintain its remaining airbases. Hence, the regime is focusing its airstrikes where it has some real expectations of advancing: most notably in Aleppo city.”

Nevertheless, the Syrian air force did take immediate action when ISIL escalated in Mosul in June, which changed the geopolitical dynamic well beyond the Syrian-Iraqi border. Kerry is misleading when he suggests that Assad will not strike ISIL headquarters: this is about timing and gains from both a military and political perspective – not necessarily a response that trigger-happy Americans can understand.

As for accusations that the Syrians have released militants from their prisons to “populate” ideologically extremist rebel groups that will make Assad look like an angel… You can’t have it both ways – political prisoner releases were initiated to defuse conflict and demonstrate leniency. Were some of these prisoners “extremists” of the variety that man Islamist rebel groups? Almost certainly. But that was the Sunni constituency that the Syrian government was also trying to placate in the early days.

Even today, after grueling “reconciliation” negotiations, the Syrian government is allowing these very rebels to “go free” after they lay down their arms – this, according to volunteers involved in negotiations from Homs to Rif Damascus. What is to stop these same “reformed rebels” from hopping over to al-Raqqa and taking up bigger arms? Should the Syrian government kill them instead? How does one win in a situation like this?

Critics of Syria's prisoner releases should be reminded of the “Big One” carried out by the Americans in 2009 when they allegedly freed future ISIL ‘Caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from an Iraqi prison.

Does anyone have the right to point fingers after that monumental gaff? The fact is – from Saudi Arabia to Qatar, from Turkey to the United States, from Iraq to France – there appears to be plenty of complicity in fueling ISIL and the jihadi phenomenon. Is Syria complicit too? It depends who is asking - and why.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


In watching this laudatory VICE documentary on Jabhat Thuwwar Souria (Syrian Revolutionaries' Front), the re-formulated FSA, and the openunabashed US/NATO contras in this conflict (as you see quite clearly in the documentary) from early this year, several things stand out:

1 - These are the guys that the pro-Syrian "revolution" leftists in the West never have any qualms about supporting.

2 - The fact that they're based out of so many depopulated "formerly Christian" and "formerly Alawite" towns and villages... how do you suppose those towns and villages got that way?

3 - Listen to the way they describe themselves and talk about themselves. Listen to what they have to say about the Shia.

4 - Remember, these are the 'good', non-takfiri "revolutionaries."

- Navid Nasr


Islamic State: Taking women as sex slaves ‘firmly established’ Islamic law


Islamic State terrorists explained in a new publication their justification for taking women and using them as sex slaves, saying simply that it’s a practice that’s as old as Sharia law — and allowed by Islamic beliefs.

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar — the infidels — and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law,” the group said in an online magazine cited by CNN.

Others in the Muslim world have called that practice a perversion of Islam.

Islamic State terrorists wrote about the practice in an article titled “The revival [of] slavery before the Hour,” in reference to Judgment Day, CNN reported. The article was published in the English-language online magazine, “Dabiq,” and specifically referred to the lawful right of jihadists to kidnap females from the Yazidi sect, a Kurdish minority living in Iraq, and use them for concubines or sex slaves.

Human Rights Watch has just reported that Islamic State has committed terrible crimes against the Yazidis in Iraq, citing interviews with 76 displaced people in Dohuk.

“The Islamic State’s litany of horrific crimes against the Yazidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch, CNN reported. “We heard shocking stories of forced religious conversions, force marriage, and even sexual assault and slavery — and some of the victims were children.”


More than jihadism or Iran, China's role in Africa is Obama's obsession
Where America brings drones, the Chinese build roads. Al-Shabaab and co march in lockstep with this new imperialism


Countries are "pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world", wrote Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, in 1898. Nothing has changed. The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody facade behind which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are the great game.

The al-Shabaab shopping mall killers came from Somalia. If any country is an imperial metaphor, it is Somalia. Sharing a language and religion, Somalis have been divided between the British, French, Italians and Ethiopians. Tens of thousands of people have been handed from one power to another. "When they are made to hate each other," wrote a British colonial official, "good governance is assured."

Today Somalia is a theme park of brutal, artificial divisions, long impoverished by World Bank and IMF "structural adjustment" programmes, and saturated with modern weapons – notably President Obama's personal favourite, the drone. The one stable Somali government, the Islamic Courts, was "well received by the people in the areas it controlled", reported the US Congressional Research Service, "[but] received negative press coverage, especially in the west". Obama crushed it; and last January Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, presented her man to the world. "Somalia will remain grateful to the unwavering support from the United States government," effused President Hassan Mohamud. "Thank you, America."

The shopping mall atrocity was a response to this – just as the Twin Towers attack and the London bombings were explicit reactions to invasion and injustice. Once of little consequence, jihadism now marches in lockstep with the return of unfettered imperialism.

Since Nato reduced modern Libya to a Hobbesian state in 2011, the last obstacles to Africa have fallen. "Scrambles for energy, minerals and fertile land are likely to occur with increasingly intensity," report Ministry of Defence planners. As "high numbers of civilian casualties" are predicted, "perceptions of moral legitimacy will be important for success". Sensitive to the PR problem of invading a continent, the arms mammoth BAE Systems, together with Barclays Capital and BP, warns that "the government should define its international mission as managing risks on behalf of British citizens". The cynicism is lethal. British governments are repeatedly warned, not least by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, that foreign adventures beckon retaliation at home.

With minimal media interest, the US African Command (Africom) has deployed troops to 35 African countries, establishing a familiar network of authoritarian supplicants eager for bribes and armaments. In war games a "soldier to soldier" doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. The British did this in India. It is as if Africa's proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master's black colonial elite – whose "historic mission", warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the subjugation of their own people in the cause of "a capitalism rampant though camouflaged". The reference also fits the son of Africa in the White House.

For Obama, there is a more pressing cause – China. Africa is China's success story. Where the Americans bring drones, the Chinese build roads, bridges and dams. What the Chinese want is resources, especially fossil fuels. Nato's bombing of Libya drove out 30,000 Chinese oil industry workers. More than jihadism or Iran, China is Washington's obsession in Africa and beyond. This is a "policy" known as the "pivot to Asia", whose threat of world war may be as great as any in the modern era.

This week's meeting in Tokyo between John Kerry, the US secretary of state, Chuck Hagel, the defence secretary, and their Japanese counterparts accelerated the prospect of war. Sixty per cent of US naval forces are to be based in Asia by 2020, aimed at China. Japan is re-arming rapidly under the rightwing government of Shinzo Abe, who came to power in December with a pledge to build a "new, strong military" and circumvent the "peace constitution".

A US-Japanese anti-ballistic-missile system near Kyoto is directed at China. Using long-range Global Hawk drones the US has sharply increased its provocations in the East China and South China seas, where Japan and China dispute the ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Both countries now deploy advanced vertical take-off aircraft in Japan in preparation for a blitzkrieg.

On the Pacific island of Guam, from where B-52s attacked Vietnam, the biggest military buildup since the Indochina wars includes 9,000 US marines. In Australia this week an arms fair and military jamboree that diverted much of Sydney is in keeping with a government propaganda campaign to justify an unprecedented US military build-up from Perth to Darwin, aimed at China. The vast US base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs is, as Edward Snowden disclosed, a hub of US spying in the region and beyond; it is also critical to Obama's worldwide assassinations by drone.

'We have to inform the British to keep them on side," McGeorge Bundy, an assistant US secretary of state, once said. "You in Australia are with us, come what may." Australian forces have long played a mercenary role for Washington. However, China is Australia's biggest trading partner and largely responsible for its evasion of the 2008 recession. Without China, there would be no minerals boom: no weekly mining return of up to a billion dollars.

The dangers this presents are rarely debated publicly in Australia, where Rupert Murdoch, the patron of the prime minister, Tony Abbott, controls 70% of the press. Occasionally, anxiety is expressed over the "choice" that the US wants Australia to make. A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute warns that any US plan to strike at China would involve "blinding" Chinese surveillance, intelligence and command systems. This would "consequently increase the chances of Chinese nuclear pre-emption … and a series of miscalculations on both sides if Beijing perceives conventional attacks on its homeland as an attempt to disarm its nuclear capability". In his address to the nation last month, Obama said: "What makes America different, what makes us exceptional, is that we are dedicated to act."


Good article by brother Nu'man here. I don't quite agree with the terminology of 'Islamist extremism', as I don't think these death squads have anything to do with or have any right to use and abuse Islam. At the same time, while it is right to problematise this language, one must also put more blame on the very death squad types and their supporters who are allowing this use and abuse to take place.  - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcom

Does Great Britain Really Oppose Islamist Extremism?

By Nu'man Abd Al Wahid

Much fanfare has been made out of the life-saving treatment Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Malala Yousafzai received at a Birmingham hospital after she was shot by the Taliban — and rightly so. Birmingham is England’s second city and last year it ceremonially opened a new public state-of-the- art library with a lecture from Yousafzai.

But as the Library of Birmingham recently celebrated its first anniversary by hosting another talk by Yousafzai, it must be asked does Great Britain really oppose Islamist extremism and other assorted jihadis?

The ostentatious good will shown by the British government towards Yousafzai should not deter us from asking salient and important questions about the actual nature of Great Britain’s indirect and direct relationship with extreme Islamism and/or jihadism. For example, it is a historical fact that during the Cold War the ‘West’ and Islamic extremists were on the same side in their opposition to the Russian led Soviet Union.

Indeed, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a leading advocate in using Islamists and jihadis against the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. For Thatcher, the Afghan jihadis (i.e. mujahideen as they were lovingly referred to back then) were engaged in “one of the most heroic struggles known in history” as they blew up schools, hospitals and medical centers.

In this video, Thatcher while on the Afghan-Pakistani border, proudly informs the mujahideen the “hearts of the free world are with you” to appreciative chants of “Allah-o-Akbar” (God is Great) or as the commentator interprets the chants, “ringing shouts of support.”

Historically, Britain has been one of the main supporters and purveyors of fanatical Islamism. The theology of Salafism and/or Wahabism which is the wellspring of Jihadism and violent Islamist extremism, has been vigorously promoted by the Saudi royal family for the last 40 years. But in 1902, the Saudi-Wahhabi clan was exiled and forlorn. It was British imperialism, for its own reasons, that enabled the clan to recapture their ancestral home in the central east of the Arabian peninsula.

Then in 1924-25, British imperialism gave the Saudi clan the green light to further expand into the Hijaz, the western part of the peninsula where Mecca and Madina are, because the then ruler (Sharif Hussein bin Ali) of that area refused to accept Great Britain’s Zionist project in Palestine, that is to populate Palestine with European Zionist settlers over the heads of the indigenous Arab population.

Recently, in 2011, Great Britain led a NATO campaign and joined up with desperate groups of armed militias and many assorted jihadis in Libya to overthrow the government of Colonel Ghadhaffi. This was not the first time that the British state colluded with Islamists in Libya.

According to the whistle blowers and former MI5 agents David Shayler and Annie Machon the British state used the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in an assassination attempt on Colonel Ghadhaffi in 1996. The individual MI5/6 approach to coordinate the deed was Abu Abdullah Sadiq (real name Abdel Hakim Belhadj). The latter now serves in the Libyan government or whatever is left of Libya and its supposed government. Actually, the Libyan government is currently moored on a ship in a Libyan harbour after the jihadis overran the capital.

This support for the Islamists comes on top of the clandestine associations that elements within the domestic intelligence community had developed with British based Islamist fanatics.

The pantomimic character that is Abu Hamza (aka ‘The Hook’) actually confessed during his American trial that he had contacts with MI5 in order to keep the “streets of London safe.” In a book published by two London Times journalists (O’Neill and McGrory) he is said to have been given the alias ‘damson berry’ in their correspondence with him. Another former London based comical jihadi, Omar Bakri Muhammad admitted to Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ron Suskind, he had back channels to his intelligence handlers with a view to “control the Muslim youth.” Khalid al-Fawwaz, another ex-London based Islamists, who the Americans have put on trial for his alleged role in the 1998 African embassy bombings, wants his MI5 handler to testify on his behalf.

It is quite easy to conclude, regardless of the goodwill shown to Yousafzai, that the actual relationship between Great Britain and extreme Islamist/jihadis is that the former wants them on tap. Great Britain utilises jihadis when it is compatible with its interests (Afghanistan in the 1980’s, Saudi Arabia and Libya) and then wants to switch off the tap when it isn’t. The problem is some of these liver eating, head chopping jihadis don’t read this script and have shown quite conclusively they have a macabre mind of their own.


PFLP calls for unified revolutionary front of solidarity with the struggle of people of Kobane against ISIS


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expresses its solidarity with the Kurdish resistance in Kobane struggling to defend themselves and their community from the reactionary armed group, ISIS, whose entry into our region has been facilitated and supported by imperialist powers and their lackeys.

Comrade Khaled Barakat said that “All Palestinian and Arab revolutionary forces should unify their efforts to support the struggle of the Kurdish resistance in Kobane against ISIS and their imperialist supporters.”

People in Syria, Iraq and everywhere in the region have been under attack by imperialism – an attack that comes not only through air strikes and occupation, but through the support of reactionary regional powers, through the promotion of sectarianism, and through reactionary armed groups carrying out a program of sectarian chaos. They have sought to replace the central conflict in the region: that of the people with Zionism and imperialism, with sectarianism and the imposition of massive, reactionary violence against minority groups who are an integral part of the region, while these same reactionary armed groups leave the Zionist state and imperialist forces untouched. These attacks have been taking place simultaneously with the latest Zionist genocidal assault against the Palestinian people in Gaza.  “We stand with the people of Syria who are defending their unity against all attempts to partition the country and plunder its resources for the benefit of imperialism. This is the goal of ISIS and its allies,” Barakat said.

“Today, Kurdish fighters, women and men, struggle for their freedom and their lives against these reactionary groups whose presence in the region has been furnished, armed and supported by imperialism and its allies and agents in the region. It is no accident and not mere symbolism that ISIS is attacking Kobane today with U.S. weaponry,” said Barakat. “In particular, the role of women fighters in the Kurdish resistance at all levels of struggle and leadership present a heroic example of sacrifice.”

“It must also be noted that the role of the Turkish state and government, one of Israel’s largest trading partners and a key military ally of the United States, has been to encourage the entry of these reactionary armed groups (ISIS and others) now attacking Kobane into Syria. At the same time, in the past several days, dozens of Kurdish protesters have been killed by the armed force of the Turkish state. The so-called ‘security zone’ being pushed by France and Turkey, and the airstrikes of the US and its allies, are nothing more than a cover for the entry of imperialism in the region. The only real security can be established by popular struggle and resistance, not imperialist armies and air forces,” Barakat said.

For many years, Palestinian fighters seeking freedom have struggled in the same trench as Kurdish strugglers. “There is a long history of support by Palestinian revolutionaries for Kurdish freedom fighters. We share a common enemy: imperialism. And we also share the common enemy of reactionary sectarian armed groups, like ISIS, who are, at their heart, a creation and a result of imperialism and its occupations and hegemony over the region. Reactionary Arab regimes, in particular Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have played a major role in encouraging, arming and spreading this threat to the people of the region,” said Barakat.

“No solution or assistance for our region will come from imperialist armies or imperialist airstrikes. These forces have only brought terror, sectarianism, reaction, and death wherever they go. It is the struggle of our united peoples that can confront and achieve victory over imperialism and Zionism, the primary sources of terror in the region, and over the vicious reactionary forces that seek to sustain their hegemony and plunder the resources of our people,” Barakat said.


I do not fetishise the involvement of women in armed struggle against neo-colonialism as an essentially liberating strategy of women from sexism, I also cannot with solidarity ethics intact argue that women should not take up arms against oppression when and if the necessity arises. The fact is that while these sisters are conducting an armed struggle against nato and its death squads, while they are putting their lives on the line and giving their lives, I can only support their sacrifices, as they are fighting not only for themselves, but all Syrians and all of humanity who is under the jackboot of nato and its proxies. All victories to them!  - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Kurdish Women Turning Kobani into a Living 'Hell' for Islamic State

Telesur TV

Fighters for the all-women YPJ militia in northern Syria say they are fighting “a revolution of woman.”

Hundreds of Kurds gathered in a Turkish border town on Tuesday for the funerals of four women killed fighting the Islamic State (I.S.) group, while across the border a Kurdish female militia is playing a leading role in defending Kobani.

Reuters has reported the four coffins that were lowered into the ground in the town of Suruc contained the bodies of fighters from the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ) – the female brigade of the leftist YPG militia.

“We will avenge … those women who were sold as slaves in the markets of the ISIS (I.S.),” the YPJ said in a statement last Wednesday.

The YPG itself is the armed wing of a Kurdish coalition that has taken defacto control over a sizable chunk of Syria's predominantly Kurdish north.

According to terror research group TRAC, as much as 35 percent of Kurdish troops in Syria's north are women.

Estimates from various other monitors of the number of Kurdish women fighting in Syria run as high as 10,000.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Kurdish defenders in the besieged town of Kobani are being co-led by a 40 year old Kurdish woman from the Afrin region of Aleppo province. “Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan,” SOHR's head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP on Sunday.

Abdo herself has stated, “a great resistance is taking place in Kobani.” “We can say that the Kobani resistance is in particular a women’s resistance,” she told Kurdish news outlet, The Rojava Report.

“In order to enter Kobani the ISIS (I.S.) gangs will have to pass over our corpses,” Abdo said.

She explained that I.S. is relying on “heavy weapons” like tanks and artillery fire, but in the slim streets of Kobani YPG/YPJ fighters have fought back “with ambushes and traps, creative defense tactics and a sacrificial determination.”

“We turned the first places they entered – the southern tip of the city and the 48th avenue – into a hell. And from now on Kobani will continue to be hell for them,” she stated.

According to reports circulating among Kurdish media, in Kobani, YPJ troops have become vital in the battle against I.S.

arlier this month SOHR reported one YPJ fighter killed more than 20 I.S. fighters when she charged their lines and blew herself up. The suicide bombing opened a gap for YPG fighters to momentarily push I.S. back, according to SOHR.

Another woman under Abdo's command only known as Rehana has been claimed to have killed over 100 I.S. fighters, according to the International Business Times.

While the claim cannot be verified, the boast appeared to hit a nerve for I.S. supporters on social media, who promptly circulated graphic images of a mutilated corpse they claimed was Rehana's body.

Other YPJ exploits are regularly posted online in anti-I.S. propaganda.

One YPJ fighter only referred to as “Jazera” that spoke to the New Republic magazine explained why she had joined a militia that boasted martyrdom before surrender.

“I see the Syrian revolution as not only a popular revolution of the people but also as a revolution of woman,” she told the New Republic's Sophie Cousins.

Jazera continued by explaining, “The woman has been suppressed for more than 50,000 years and now we have the possibility of having our own will, our own power and our own personality.”


In this opinion piece the writers correctly lay out how the current nato bombing campaign of Iraq and especially Syria pales into insignificance if compared to the wars of aggression on Serbia, Afghanistan and Libya (no mention of Libya, but anyway):

"during the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition fighters and bombers flew 48,224 strike sorties. This translates to roughly 1,100 sorties a day. Twelve years later, the 31-day air campaign that helped free Iraq from Saddam’s government averaged more than 800 offensive sorties a day.

"By contrast, over the past two months U.S. aircraft and a small number of partner forces have conducted 412 total strikes in Iraq and Syria—an average of seven strikes a day. With Islamic State in control of an area approaching 50,000 square miles, it is easy to see why this level of effort has not had much impact on its operations."

What the writers cannot understand or perhaps what they are not willing to admit is that this operation has nothing to do with degrading the misnamed 'Islamic State' or 'Isis', but is an operation to manage the same for the interests of nato, that it is a propaganda trick to bring aboard 'public opinion' in the 'west' in support of bombing Iraq and especially Syria in a heightening of tactics aimed at destroying the Syrian government in its totality.

Now that the Turkey government has bombed the PKK and Kurds in the eastern part of its state and is allowing 'Isis' to kill at will literally a few metres from its army, is another clear admission in practice that the Isis death squads are a razor blade in the hands of nato against our peoples.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


Turkish Warplanes Bomb Kurdish PKK in Turkey

Strikes on PKK Jeopardize Ongoing Peace Talks to End Insurgency in Turkey


Turkey’s warplanes and artillery repeatedly bombed camps of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in the country’s southeast late on Monday, marking the military’s first significant offensive against the PKK since peace talks began two years ago.

The move poses a new threat to negotiations between the government and the Kurdish militant group, which have become increasingly strained in recent weeks in the face of Turkey’s refusal to help rout jihadist militants across its border in Syria, where Kurds face the risk of a massacre by Islamic State.

Monday’s attacks in Hakkari province, on Turkey’s borders with Iran and Iraq, came after repeated PKK harassment of military outposts in recent days, according to Turkey’s privately owned Dogan news agency.

Around Daglica in Hakkari, very serious harassment fire took place,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday in Ankara. “It is impossible for us to show patience or make concessions against this. Our armed forces took the necessary precautions. The peace talks are not an alternative to public safety.”

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union, accused Turkey of breaching the cease-fire with repeated strikes on Monday afternoon, according to a statement published Tuesday on the Kurdish-run Firat news agency.

“With these assaults, the cease-fire has been breached. Our forces did not incur any losses,” the PKK said, adding that Turkey was still flying drones over their camps.

While the military didn’t immediately confirm the operation or provide comment, it said Tuesday on its website that outposts in four provinces have been drawing fire since Saturday. The garrisons “immediately returned fire and silenced the terrorists,” the military said.

Turkish forces and the PKK have sporadically exchanged fire in momentary breaches of a cease-fire that has largely held since March 2013, when jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan called on his militia to halt fighting, in a landmark moment for the peace process. This week’s airstrikes by F-16s mark Ankara’s most decisive operation against the group since then, but it wasn’t immediately clear if it marked a change in official strategy.

Mounting violence between the military and the PKK came just as the government presented its latest proposal to Kurdish lawmakers on Monday, seeking to press ahead with the negotiations to end a three-decade insurgency that has killed 40,000 people.

The bombings follow months of tensions between the military and the PKK, especially as the Kurdish militants increased their activity along Turkey’s porous southern borders to aid their kin in Iraq and Syria.

The strikes also come as Ankara refuses to aid Kurds in their fight against Islamic State in Syria’s Kobani region, straining relations with Kurds in Turkey. Comprising about 18% of the country’s 77 million people, Kurds staged massive protests—including burning schools and attacking businesses and official buildings—across Turkey last week, when more than three dozen people were killed in clashes with the police.

“Peace talks started before Kobani happened and are not tied to any foreign event,” Mr. Davutoglu said earlier Tuesday in the Ankara Parliament. “The peace process will be carried out with determination.”

Obama administration officials, who have been exhorting Turkish officials to get more actively involved in countering Islamic State, avoided expressing any disappointment at Ankara’s decision to strike the Kurdish sites. “It wouldn’t be accurate to loop the two incidents together.…This situation is obviously not without a great deal of complexity,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, noting that the Turks had agreed to host a U.S.-run training program for Syrian rebels on its territory.