Sunday, 24 September 2017


Fast on the heels of the anti-colonial film - Black Prince, about the last crown king of the Kingdom of Punjab  - Duleep Singh - being forcibly ousted by the brit colonialists and the princely state of Punjab falling, we have this hyper pro-colonial film 'Victoria & Abdul', a deeply patronising story about brit queen victoria's servant Abdul Karim from colonised and occupied north India. This film seems to be an obvious riposte to Black Prince, which has brought new generations of Punjabis and other South Asians into the story of this part of the anti-colonial mosaic of our heritage, once that is unfinished with issues over reparations of colonial genocide and crimes in India, of the grand colonial crime of the sectarian partition of India, of the stolen jewel in the crown the Kohinoor diamond (stolen from Duleep Singh and family), and other pertinent issues.

The depiction of Abdul Karim in the film shows him seemingly much lighter skinned and slighter frame than he actually was, which seems to point to them making a him a more acceptable and more 'tamed' figure than the actually much darker and bigger real Abdul Karim.

The film also cleverly uses the time-old brit approach of dividing the different religious communities of India, although Black Prince itself imho should have depicted better and more widely Muslims in Punjab. However, this film clearly puts out a framework towards Asian Muslims but all Black and Brown people that somehow we can become british and become loved by our own colonial overlords if we are slavish enough for them.

Although this might seem a difficult strategy, in actual fact we can see all around us how effective is the assimilationist strategy of the british state that has successfully recruited vast swtahes if not basically all of our migrant communities into silencing our own on-going anti-colonial feelings, traditions and struggles, and the 'Black British' and 'British Asian' and 'British Muslim/Sikh/Hindu' etc assimilation is proving devastatingly effective. And when these communities think their sectarian supremacist (per)versions of their faith is some kind of differentiation towards the brits in the form of Ikhwan/Jamiat/Qaeda/Nusra/Daesh (Muslim), Khalistan (Sikh), BJP/RSS (Hindu) identity poltiics; in actual fact this again reproduces exactly the colonial divide and rule strategies and also they are all asymmetric mirror opposites of the western/white supremacy racism.

We don't need re-invent the wheel of anti-(neo)colonial resistance, we can improve the 'wheels' we already have that proved to be very effective in the many forms of united and allied anti-colonial resistance that was not based on a naturalised colonial separatism. This film seeks to disturb these potentials and challenges totally, and will further embed a colonial reflex and assimilation deeper into our communities being. We are in trouble.

Taru Dalmia Satkarn Shergill Amber Kevin Carter Faarea Masud Abrar Hafiz Sohel Nadeem Rahman

[music video] CRAZY HAZE's 'FRIENDS' TRACK (feat MALCOLM X)


"Ever noticed that the bigoted anti-Islam groups and mouthpieces in Britain all hold up Winston Churchill, who backed the Al-Saud family & foisted Wahhabism on the region, as an icon?

The likes of Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins, Britain First, Breitbart etc. all worship Churchill, yet completely ignore his role in creating Saudi Arabia.

Britain as a whole has never come to terms with the extent of their creating and supporting of terrorist groups across North Africa and the 'Middle East'. It is now accepted that Theresa May was facilitating terrorists to go to Libya in 2011 during NATOs war on the nation. One of these very terrorists blew himself up in Manchester early this year at a kids pop concert. Need we look any further than Britain's collusion with loyalist terror gangs in occupied Ireland to see how Britain uses "extremism" for their own end when it suits them." - Gerard McNamara


Being a pro-active actual anti-imperialist anti-fascist is one of the loneliest political experiences in this era we're in. To actually strategically and ethically oppose fascism, racism *and* imperialism was for a long time the mainstream in global left / radical / global south networks. This started to really downgrade and collapse in 1991 with the world defeat of the 'third world' nationalist and socialist liberation struggles with the end of the socialist anti-imperialist 'Eastern Bloc'.

It's been downhill quickly since then with a brief exception defined by the Iraqi Resistance (post March 2003) and the Palestinian Intifada (1999-2003).

Today either the anti-imperialist movement is dead, with no support given to leading global anti-imperialist forces like Yemen and Libyan Resistance, or support for China, Cuba, Zim etc; or there is near total cowardice towards fascist forces with too many justifying and facilitating colloboration directly with fascist and Nazis.

From our peoples struggles since the 1920s across Africa, Asia and 'latin' America being clearly in the leadership of the struggle against fascism and imperialism, to today we have basically no leadership and the struggle is an increasingly messy hell.

Only China and DPRK in some indirect ways are giving very limited leadership, for the rest we are really all on our own.

There are literally small handfuls of anti-imperialist anti-fascists left. We must stand steadfast, persevere and do our best to raise our voices for the struggle of our peoples and martyrs.


Cuban Socialist Pres Raul Castro: "Appeal to Our Fighting People - Cuban government statement on Hurricane Irma

Monday, 11 September 2017

Let us face recovery with the example of the Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, who with his permanent faith in victory and strong will has taught us that there are no impossible tasks.

Hurricane Irma, with its destructive force, lashed out at our Island for more than 72 hours, from the morning of Friday 8 to Sunday 10 September. With winds that at times surpassed 250 kilometres per hour, it crossed the north of the country from Baracoa, also punished by another phenomenon of this type almost a year ago, to the vicinity of Cardenas. However, by the immensity of its size practically no territory was freed of its effects.

Called by experts as the largest hurricane formed in the Atlantic, this meteorological phenomenon caused severe damage to the country, which, precisely b because of its size, have not yet been quantified. A preliminary look evidences damages in housing, the national power grip and agriculture.

In addition it hit some of our main tourist destinations, however we will restore the damages before the start of the peak season. We have the necessary human and material resources, as one of the main sources of income for the national economy.

It has been hard days for our people, who in only a few hours have seen how everything we have built with great effort has been struck down by a devastating hurricane. The pictures of the last hours are eloquent, as is the spirit of resistance and victory of our people who are reborn with every adversity.

In these difficult circumstances, paramount have been the unity of the Cubans, the solidarity among the neighbours, the discipline to follow the instructions issued by the National Civil Defense General Staff and the Defense Councils at all levels, the professionalism of the specialists at the Institute of Meteorology, the immediacy of our media and journalists, the support of mass organizations, as well as the cohesion of the governing bodies of the National Defense Council. Special mention to all our women, including the leaders of the Party and the Government, who with steadiness and maturity directed and faced the difficult situation.

The days to come will be a lot of work, where the strength of the Cubans and the indestructible confidence in their Revolution will once again be demonstrated. It is not time to mourn, but to rebuild what the winds of Hurricane Irma tried to disappear.

With organization, discipline and the integration of all our structures, we will go ahead as we have done on previous occasions. Let us not fool ourselves, the task before us is immense, but with a people like ours we will win the most important battle: recovery.

At this crucial moment, the Central Trade Union Organization of Cuba (CTC) and the National Association of Small Farmers, together with other mass organizations, will have to redouble their efforts to erase as soon as possible the aftermath of this destructive event.

A principle remains unchanged: the Revolution will not leave anyone homeless and measures are already taken so that no Cuban family is left to their fate.

As has been customary every time a weather phenomenon hits us, there are many signs of solidarity received from all over the world. Heads of State and Government, political organizations and friends of solidarity movements have expressed their willingness to help us, which we thank on behalf of the more than eleven million Cubans and Cubans.

Let us face the recovery with the example of Commander-in-Chief of the Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, who with his permanent faith in victory and strong will has taught us that there are no impossible. In these difficult hours, his legacy makes us strong and unites us."


Perhaps the most beautiful, liberation-oriented and powerful political symbols ever, although I do love the sickle/farming hoe & AK of Frelimo's symbol. I think my Father got the hammer and sickle from a recent trip to Bulgaria and my younger Brother bound them together and it's displayed proudly in our front room. We have been raised by my Mother and Father and Grandfather to have great respect, support and love for the workers and peasants, especially of our Homelands. What does it symbolise?

Most directly it symbolises the liberation and political control of society by those humans who give wealth we all enjoy - workers and peasants.

It symbolises the liberation of the most oppressed and exploited, it means the fundamental reorganisation of society to benefit the workers and peasants and for them to increasingly take over the full running of society (that's socialism, what's supposed to be the transition to a society without any exploitation and oppression), it means that the most poor get increasingly well off in housing, food and education and culture;

it means the defeat of all sectarian and divisive forces of far-right ethnic and national oppression;

it means the liberation of women from a hitherto role of being chained to home work and raising children (although it supports family by offering the *option* of socialised housework, free childcare, free community kitchens), of being increasingly freed from oppressive patriarchy.

We have only had not even a drop in the ocean of time to experience and experiment with socialism and the rule of the workers and peasants, in their experience the most liberating achievements historically from exploitation and oppression has been achieved. Socialism and communism today is going through a big nose dive since the late 1980s, and many communists and socialists especially in the 'west' and those controlled by those in the west have shown great dogma, narrow mindedness, arrogance and many have sold out to fascist forces today, but the great world examples of China and Cuba shows what we can still achieve.


"Some thoughts on the attempts to paint Brit soldiers as victims, Veterans for Peace & the White Poppy:

British soldiers are not victims. They are the willing executioners of British foreign policy. There is no conscription in Britain and hasn’t been for a very long time. Britain’s endless conflict since the end of WW2 has seen millions pass through the ranks of this murderous organisation.

In Britain, the left propagate the myth that soldiers are victims. They will cite that the “working class” are targeted for recruitment, that said individuals have “no other choice”, that there “are no jobs”. None of this excuses nor makes them victims. Plenty of people in economic turmoil do not run off and join a psychopathic murder gang. On the day that the Chilcot report was released the British media and various lefty media outfits spoke of the plight of the families of the 179 British soldiers that died in Iraq. The millions of Iraqis killed and displaced were not even an afterthought.

Groups like “Veterans for Peace” are hailed and honoured for their so-called noble stand. I have long been suspicious of this outfit:

1. The profiteering and making careers out their murderous jolly up in the British Army is sickening. At least two senior figures in this outfit have made careers for themselves off the back of their time in the Brit Army. They have had book deals, become paid journalists, pundits and film makers.

2. Ben Griffin, a senior Veterans for Peace member, is a former SAS soldier who now complains he didn’t join the British Army to “carry out US foreign policy”.  Parroting the much loved British lefty line that Britain is a poodle of the Yanks and doesn’t really operate in the interest of Britain. Griffin was quite happy to remain in the British Army whilst he was posted to the six counties, Macedonia and Afghanistan. It wasn’t until he reached Iraq that he had an issue. And that issue was with “trigger happy” American soldiers. As if the Brits weren’t over there shooting and raping. He goes on to claim that the reputation of the British Army has been “damaged its association with the Americans”. You really can’t make this up.

3. In a recent interview with a Novara Media, Joe Glenton, a representative of "Veterans for Peace" spoke about a "good friend" of his who was a Brit solider in Malaya, he said; "a good friend of mine Walter was there... burning these peoples food, taking them off the land. He's in his eighties, amazing guy, he lives in London, he's fantastic, he's absolutely fantastic. He was there, he was involved in all this stuff". Now I'm guessing Walter (sadly not a Walter Mitty in this case) has miraculously renounced all of his evil doing and is now a fully pledged member of Veterans for Peace. This just doesn’t cut it, it takes a hell of a lot more than saying sorry and marching down Whitehall occasionally, throwing your medals about and then talking of how you were “coerced” in to joining.

4. Passing the buck and blaming the bosses. They will often say blame Tony Blair not “corporal scumbag”. Why can’t I blame both? Why can’t the soldiers, their seniors and government be held to account.

Oppose the White Poppy for Peace:

Firstly it is a symbol of pacifism. I am not a pacifist. I am proud and stand with all that resist against British and US imperialism. Supportive of whatever means they choose to use. Secondly, the White Poppy is used to remember all “victims” of war including every British soldier. It is an absolute insult of a symbol.

On the Red poppy:

The poppy is a nauseating symbol of British imperialism that promotes the genocidal actions of the British military as heroism. The funds raised from its sales are used to finance veterans of present day campaigns taking a burden off the MOD.

This year I will make sure I distribute thousands of bleeding poppies to whoever wants them."

 - Gerard McNamara


Corbyn has discriminated against Saudi and Sudanese diplomats by barring them at the Labour Party conference, in response the Arab League is saying it will boycott the Labour Party conference altogether (letter below). I support the Arab League in this regard, corbyn is not our colonial overlord, he is the leader of a neo-colonial party that has delivered genocide to many Arab and other peoples; it's the Arab League that should be boycotting western institutions as the latter at the world's number one problem. The Arab League may take many decisions that's not to the benefit of its people, but they do so in a world context of being very much junior and weaker than the much bigger problems such as the British state and its second neo-colonial administrator the Labour Party. Furthermore, Corbyn has cosied up to plenty of people who have helped deliver a Saudi / Wahhabi perversion of Islam into the people of the region. Finally, Corbyn's arrogant posture will only please the racists in the left and of course on the right and far-right.


Statement by Kim Jong Un in reply to Trump's genocidal threats at the UNGA

"The speech made by the US president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.

Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereotyped, prepared remarks a little from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world’s biggest official diplomatic stage.

But, far from making any remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful in diffusion tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense no one has ever heard from any of his predecessors.

A frightened dog barks louder.

I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.

The mentally deranged behaviour of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats and regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

His remarks which described the US option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.

Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.

Action is the best option in treating the dotard* who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the US pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.

I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.

Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire."

(*An old person, especially one who has become weak or senile)


"'African Renaissance' statue, standing 160 feet tall, built in Dakar, Senegal by architects from DPRK (socialist north Korea), celebrating Korean support for and friendship with African anti-colonial struggles.'

DPRK is a true friends of us they would go on to send both material and military support to Africa in which DPRK internationalists would fight alongside African revolutionaries to aid the armed liberation movements of ZANLA in Zimbabwe, SWAPO in Namibia, FRELIMO in Mozambique, ANC in South Africa, and the MPLA in Angola just to name a few! Even sending many African to study in highly specialized and technical fields in DPRK."

[Thanks comrade Kribsoo]


Statement by H.E. Mr. RI YONG HO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly New York, 23rd September 2017   

Mr. President,

First of all, allow me to congratulate Your Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajcak on your election as the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

I look forward to successful outcome of the present session under your able guidance.

Before going into the main points in my debate, I feel forced to make comments on the speech uttered 4 days ago by someone called the U.S. president that rendered this sacred UN arena tainted.

Since Trump uttered such reckless and violent words provoking the supreme dignity of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at this very platform, I think it is fair enough for me to make a response in the corresponding tone.

During his 8 months in power, he has turned the White House into a noisy marketing place full of crackling sounds of abacus beads and now he has tried to turn the UN arena into a gangsters' nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day.

The absurd reality that the person like Trump, a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency, the person who is chastised even by American people as "Commander in Grief, "Lyin King", "President Evil" is holding the seat of the U.S. President, and the dangerous reality that the gambler who grew old using threats, frauds and all other schemes to acquire a patch of land holds the nuclear button; these are what constitute the gravest threat to the international peace and security today.

Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket. By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more.

None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission.

In case innocent lives of the U.S. are lost because of this suicide attack. Trump will be held totally responsible.

The respected supreme leader Comrade Kim Jong Un stated : as a man representing the DPRX and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

Trump might not have been aware what is uttered from his mouth but we will make sure that he bears consequences far beyond his words, far beyond the scope of what he can handle even if he is ready to do so.

Mr. President,
Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet; this is the theme of the current session.

For all countries and people to enjoy peace and a decent life, it is imperative to realize genuine international justice before anything else.

Realizing international justice is one of the main missions of the United Nations.

Mr. President,
Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations stipulates "to bring about by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace".

Due to high-handedness and arbitrariness of one particular big power however, at present the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and other established basic principles of international relations are now wantonly ignored in the UN arena.

Abnormal acts of justifying and legitimizing high-handedness and arbitrariness and the acts of violating truth and justice are connived at or tolerated.

The most rampant violation of international justice can be seen on the Korean peninsula.

Unprecedented acts of injustice such as imposing harsh sanctions on a victim for the reason that the victim chose to stand up to the offender are openly committed in the name of the UN.

The essence of the situation of the Korean peninsula is a confrontation between the DPRK and the U.S. where the former tries to defend its national dignity and sovereignty against the latter's hostile policy and nuclear threats.

The United States is the country that first produced nuclear weapons and the only country that actually used it, massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

It is the U.S. that threatened to use nuclear weapon against the DPRK during the Korean War in 1950s and first introduced nuclear weapons into the Korean peninsula after the war.

The U.S. started large-scale joint military exercises against the DPRK during the Cold War period and further increased their scope and aggressive nature after the Cold War, staging the exercises several times a year by mobilizing more of nuclear strategic assets.

What else could be a bigger threat than the violent remarks such as pouring "fire and fury", "total destruction" coming from the top authority of the world's biggest nuclear power.

The very reason the DPRK had to possess nuclear weapons is because of the U.S. and it had to strengthen and develop its nuclear force onto the current level to cope with the U.S.

The U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threats have continued over 70 years and these have led the situation on the Korean peninsula to a touch-and-go point. But in the United Nations, unjustifiable resolutions which illegalize justice as injustice are randomly adopted due to the high-handedness of the U.S.

The respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK said: International justice is never achieved by itself; it can only be achieved when the anti-imperialist independent countries are strong enough.

Unless true international justice is realized, the only valid philosophical principle is that force must be dealt with force and nuclear weapons of tyranny must be dealt with nuclear hammer of justice.

The possession of nuclear deterrence by the DPRK is a righteous self-defensive measure taken as an ultimate option, pursuant to this principle.

Recently, the DPRK has successfully conducted ICBM-mountable H-bomb test as a part of the efforts to achieve the goal of completing the state nuclear force. 3

With this, the DPRK has entered a phase of completing the state nuclear force in accordance with its line of simultaneous development of the economy and the nuclear force.

Our national nuclear force is, to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the U.S. and for preventing its military invasion; and our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the U.S.

Distinguished delegates of all countries attending this session are aware of the fact that the DPRK, unlike other nuclear weapon states, made public every time to the world the test process and its result in all stages of the development and advancement of its nuclear force.

Since the war deterrent for safeguarding peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the region is strengthened enough, the United States and its followers must now think twice before launching military provocation against the DPRK.

Although they talk about "fire and fury", "total destruction" and whatever, every time they have to add various conditions such as "hopefully this will not be necessary", "that is not our first option" and so on.

Accordingly, we are convinced that peace and security of the northeast Asia and the region as a whole have been as much consolidated.

We do not need anyone's recognition of our status as a nuclear weapon state and our capability of nuclear strike.

The ICBM marked with sacred name of the DPRK flew over the universe above the endless blue sky, the warhead of our rocket left its trace on the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean and the tremendous explosion and vibration of the hydrogen bomb were recorded by this planet.

Although our decision to possess nuclear weapons was an inevitable option forced by the United States, it resulted in our country achieving the status of a nuclear weapon state and a rocket power, and this prestige has now become an immortal destiny of the DPRK.

Mr. President,
The failure of the United Nations in fulfilling its role in realizing genuine international justice is primarily related to the undemocratic old practices of the Security Council.

It is none other than the Security Council which disregards the UN Charter from the very first Article and only acts in pursuit of the will and interest of its permanent member states.

It is not incidental that the issue on reform of the Security Council had already been decided in 1992 by resolution 47/62 at the 47th Session of UNGA.

Since then, the UNSC reform issue has been discussed at UNGA every year during the past 25 years but without any progress at all. This fact itself clearly shows how deeply the current permanent members are obsessed in their anachronistic vested interests.

One permanent member alone can veto the general will of over 190 UN member states. Such an undemocratic UN organ is the Security Council.

At this forum, I would like to once again remind all the distinguished delegates of the unjust and unfair nature of the "resolutions" adopted by the Security Council against the DPRK.

First, the Security Council fabricated illegal and double-standard "resolutions" which only prohibit the satellite launch of the DPRK in violation of the international law prescribing peaceful use of outer space as a sovereign right of every state and without taking any issue with all other satellite launching countries.

Second, the Security Council cooked up illegal and double-standard "resolutions" which arbitrarily prohibit only the nuclear tests of the DPRK, although nuclear test strictly belongs to the sovereignty of every state since the international law on prohibition of nuclear test has not yet entered into force and there are countries that conducted many more nuclear tests.

Third, the Security Council condemned the development of nuclear weapons by the DPRK as a "threat to international peace and security" and, on that basis, fabricated illegal and double-standard "resolutions" in contravention of Article 51 of the UN Charter which recognizes the right to self-defense of every state and without calling into question the other countries that keep on developing latest nuclear weapons of various kinds.

The reason these unjust and unfair resolutions continue to be adopted is that the permanent members of the Security Council, all nuclear powers, have common interest in maintaining their monopolistic nuclear status.

The permanent members of UNSC are talking much about non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Viewed from the aspect of nuclear non-proliferation, the DPRK's possession of nuclear weapons is a righteous self-defensive measure.

Actually, the international agreement on nuclear non-proliferation was possible because the nuclear weapon states had made the promise not to threaten non-nuclear weapon states with the nuclear weapons.

Article 10 of NPT stipulates that each Party shall have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that its supreme interests have been jeopardized. This Article recognizes that supreme interests of states are above the nuclear non-proliferation.

After all, the U.S. itself impeded the international efforts for nuclear non-proliferation by not giving up the nuclear threat against the DPRK, but rather compelling the latter to possess nuclear weapons.

This eloquently shows that the anti-DPRK "resolutions" are not based on any established principles and that they are nothing less than the products of undemocratic old practice of the Security Council and the conspiracy and collusion of the forces obsessed only in their vested interests.

The U.S. claims that the DPRK's possession of H-bomb and ICBM constitutes a "global threat" even at the UN arena. But such claim is a big lie which is just tantamount to the notorious "big lie" faked up by the U.S. in 2003 about the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction in order to invade that country.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a responsible nuclear weapon state.

We will take preventive measures by merciless preemptive action in case the U.S. and its vassal forces show any sign of conducting a kind of "decapitating" operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country. However, we do not have any intention at all to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the countries that do not join in the U.S. military actions against the DPRK.

The U.S. is resorting to an intrigue of condemning the DPRK's nuclear possession as "a global threat" in order to find a pretext for coercing other UN member states into implementing the anti-DPRK "sanctions resolutions".

This is a sneaky and selfish attempt by the U.S. to avoid its responsibility for the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula and to pursue its own interests by using and sacrificing other countries that have nothing to do with the issue.

The government of the DPRK made a request to the UN Secretariat that a forum of international law experts be organized to assess legal grounds and lawfulness of the UNSC "resolutions", but we have not heard anything from the Secretariat for 9 months already.

Same is true of the fact that the DPRK made repeated requests to the UNSC to discuss the serious threat to international peace and security posed by the aggressive and provocative U.S.-south Korea large-scale joint military exercises, but these requests were never put on the UNSC agenda, rather turned down every time.

The UN Charter stipulates that the members of the United Nations accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.

If the "resolutions" on the DPRK adopted at the Security Council are truly lawful and fair, there will be no need that all U.S. ambassadors abroad and even the President and the State Secretary turn out to coerce other countries into implementing the "resolutions". Furthermore, there will be no need for the U.S. to bring its stooges like south Korea and Japan into this.

The UN member states should not yield in to pressure of an individual big power in dealing with the UNSC resolutions but make an independent judgment on lawfulness, impartiality and morality of the resolutions and contribute to promoting reform of the UNSC by further raising their voices against high-handedness and arbitrariness.

Mr. President,
The U.S. had put sanctions against our country from the very first day of its foundation and the over 70-year long history of the DPRK can be said in a sense a history of struggle, persevering along the road of self-development under the harshest sanctions in the world.

Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force. It is only a forlorn hope to consider any chance that the DPRK would be shaken an inch or change its stance due to the harsher sanctions by the hostile forces.

The day will certainly come in near future when we settle all damages inflicted to our peaceful economic development and improvement of the people's livelihood and all the sufferings imposed on our innocent women, children and elderly by the heinous and barbaric sanctions against our Republic.

The DPRK already organized a national damage investigation committee to make comprehensive study of total damages inflicted on our Republic by all kinds of sanctions.

This committee will thoroughly investigate and compile all physical and moral damages imposed upon the DPRK by the U.S., its followers and also those countries that submitted to the U.S. coercion.

When this racket of sanctions and pressure reaches a critical point, thus driving the Korean peninsula into an uncontrollable situation, investigation results of this committee will have a huge effect in holding those accountable.

Mr. President,
My delegation takes this opportunity to extend strong support to and solidarity with the Cuban government and people who are fighting to defend national sovereignty and realize international justice against the high-handedness, arbitrariness and unilateral embargo of the U.S.

We also express strong support to and solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela who are fighting to defend the national sovereignty and the cause of socialism.

The unjust and contemptible acts such as turning a blind eye to the heinous acts of Israel while condemning in every manner only the Syrian government fighting to protect its national sovereignty and security should not be tolerated any longer.

The DPRK government will certainly defend peace and security of the country with its powerful nuclear deterrence and also contribute to safeguarding world peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Saturday, 12 August 2017


Shadows of the Past 
Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration and the Asiatic Barred Zone
South Asian Digital Archive

On January 27, news broke that the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, had signed an executive order barring citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia from entering the United States for 90 days. The very next day, immigration officials started detaining and, in some cases, deporting, those arriving from these seven countries; crowds gathered outside US airports in protest, and the ACLU, along with several other groups, filed a legal challenge.

People on social media pointed out that Trump had issued the anti-refugee and anti-Muslim executive order on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Under the hashtag, #HolocaustMemorialDay, people shared images of Jewish families and children who had arrived to the United States on the St. Louis in 1939, only to be turned away and to later perish in European concentration camps. The parallel between refusing Jewish refugees escaping persecution then, and refusing Muslim refugees escaping war and persecution now, is remarkable.

Yet, one can go back even further in history to find prior connections with the events that have recently unfolded: February 5, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Immigration Act of 1917—an Act, which for over three decades after its passage, along with existing immigration laws and agreements, prohibited immigrants from almost the entire Asian continent from entering the United States.

Passed over a presidential veto, the Immigration Act of 1917 marked the epitome of anti-immigrant sentiment in a nation that was then gripped with the hysteria of “100% Americanism” in the midst of World War 1. Enabled by fears of economic competition, anti-Asian sentiment led to widespread support of the Act’s xenophobic exclusions. Various labor organizations, including the American Federation of Labor, supported the passage of the Immigration Act of 1917.

In addition to imposing a native language literacy test, an English language test, and head taxes on immigrants, the Act also barred immigrants with disabilities, diseases, or with any characteristics that the state determined to interfere with their ability “to earn a living.” Also excluded were “polygamists,” anarchists, prostitutes, and those opposed to “organized government.” The clearest connection of the Act to today, however, was its creation of what later became known as the “Asiatic Barred Zone”: a geographic tract in Asia enclosed by precise latitudinal and longitudinal parallels designated by Congress. All residents of this area, with some exceptions, were barred from entering the United States. [1]

In the first two months after the Immigration Act of 1917 went into effect, the commissioner general of immigration noted in his annual report to the secretary of labor that “391 aliens were rejected under the illiteracy test,” along with about a dozen others who failed to meet the various other restrictions laid out in the Act. In his 1918 report, the commissioner general noted that “During the past year, 19 natives of the barred zones were rejected at ports of this country.” The barred zone, according to the commissioner general, included “India, Siam, Indo-China, parts of Siberia, Afghanistan, and Arabia, the islands of Java, Sumatra, Ceylon, Borneo, New Guinea, Celebes, and various lesser groups with an estimated population of 500,000,000.” It excluded parts of China and Japan, but the existing Chinese Exclusion Act (passed in 1882) and the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907 already prevented immigrants from those countries from migrating to the United States. The Philippines, as an occupied US territory, was also excluded from the zone. Not satisfied with the limits of the law, the commissioner general suggested extending the “barred zone to such parts of Asia as are not now included therein nor affected by exclusion laws or agreements, and also to Africa and adjacent islands, so as to exclude inhabitants who are of unassimilable classes or whose admission in any considerable number would tend to produce an economic menace to our population.”

Oddly enough, even though the barred zone included huge swaths of central Asia, apart from a corner of the Arabian Peninsula covering the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, it did not include the area today referred to as the “Middle East.” (The map of the Asiatic Barred Zone on Wikipedia appears to be inaccurate. Instead, see the map above.) This means that the West Asian countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, that are included in the 2017 ban were not part of the 1917 ban. In Between Arab and White: Race and Ethnicity in the Early Syrian American Diaspora (2009), Sarah Gualtieri asks why Syria fell outside the Asiatic Barred Zone. She argues that this was because, “the 1917 Act constructed a different Asian space, one that lay beyond West Asia and that delineated not just a geographic location but the peoples that had triggered American anxieties about the ‘yellow peril.’”

The barred zone, thus, covered those geographical areas from which immigration was seen as particularly threatening, both racially and economically. The racism and xenophobia that triggered the exclusion of Chinese and Japanese immigrants from the United States is well documented. Starting in the early 20th century, exclusionists on the West Coast were also raising voices against the arrival of immigrants from the South Asian subcontinent. They argued that the new migrants, whom they labeled “Hindus” or “Hindoos” (despite the fact that a majority of the incoming migrants were Sikhs or Muslims), were the newest incarnation of the ongoing Asian “problem” that faced the United States.

At the time of the creation of the barred zone then, Congress was more concerned about “The Tide of Turbans,” and “yellow peril” with origins in China, Japan, and India, than it was in immigration from the Middle East. As Gualtieri writes, “The erection of the Asiatic barred zone marks an important moment of differentiation between Europe’s Asia—which included India and West Asia—and America’s Asia, in which India occupied a liminal space and West Asia (the ‘Middle East’) was absent.” (77) Today, the source of anti-immigrant angst has shifted: from “Orientals” and “Hindoos” to Muslims and “radical Islamic terrorists.” The Asiatic barred zone created in 1917 remained in effect, in one form or another, until the passage of several acts that acknowledged and overturned the racial exclusions it promoted: the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943, the Luce-Celler Act of 1946, which allowed the entry and naturalization of immigrants from India, and the 1952 McCarran Walter Act, which abolished all racial restrictions on immigration in favor of a quota and preference system. The 2017 ban returns us to an exclusion era these acts sought to put to an end; so far, the ban is for 90 days, but it is possible that it will be extended in duration and expanded to other countries.

In their introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies on Arab American Studies, Sunaina Maira and Magid Shihade argue that scholars of Asian American Studies should expand “our frame of analysis to consider the ways in which categories of subjects such as ‘Asian American’ and ‘Arab American’ are positioned in relation to US empire.” As we see reflections of 1917 in 2017, and understand how anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia in the United States have precursors in the anti-Asian immigrant movements of the late-19th and early-mid 20th centuries, the task of forging connections between Asian American and Arab American studies becomes more important than ever.

To help us look back at the significance of the Immigration Act of 1917 and its relevance in 2017, SAADA is putting together a special issue of Tides and will be publishing pieces about the Act throughout its yearlong centenary. As our call says, “The Immigration Act of 1917 and the surveillance, exclusionism, and nativism that were part of it are strikingly relevant to the present day.” Please consider submitting; your voice is needed more than ever.

1. The Immigration Act of 1917 exempted “government officers, ministers or religious teachers, missionaries, lawyers, physicians, chemists, civil engineers, teachers, students, authors, artists, merchants, and travelers for curiosities or pleasure,” and their “legal wives or their children under sixteen years of age” from the barred zone restrictions. Individuals allowed entry under these provisions, however, had to maintain their “status or occupation” while in the United States or be subject to deportation.


Ambdekar: the New found Messiah

Frontier Weekly

Anindya Sen

In a year or so now, Bhimrao Ambedkar has been hogging perhaps more national limelight than ever before. Administration-induced self-killing of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University in January 2016, where rabid upper-casteism was in full play, had exposed once more the power of feudal dead-weight in nullifying the promises of equality known to be embedded in Indian constitution.

Vemula's rather introvert suicide note was truly representative of the common psyche of the dalit masses, where he didn't accuse anybody for his death. A sense of void, a deep sense of defeat appears to have engulfed his being which starkly points to the odds faced by his existence in a life of 26 years. His silence however, is an indirect indictment of the whole Indian society, under the savage leadership of Hindutva brigade, where a dalit student didn't find it useful to mention anyone in the death note!!

If this is the level of alienation of a dalit PhD student from the mainstream Indian pshyche, it is not difficult to fathom the mental process of the dalit multitudes while they are the ones who virtually carry the nation on their shoulders.

Ambedkar's crusade against caste system was by default anti-feudal. In his individual struggle and in his ability in dominating the Indian meta-narrative of anti-caste movement, Bhimrao's anti-feudal credential can hardly be questioned, at least prima-facie.

But how far he was interested in advancing his agenda to further logical culmination? With conscious effort the religious reform which he unleashed truly had the potential to spill beyond religious fences. And there are reasons to anticipate that he was also aware of such possibility. Shortly after launching the temple entry movement, did Ambedkar start speaking about switching towards issues directly linked to material advancement of life such as food, education and all. He also started talking about political power and spreading the movement to rural areas. On his way to Europe in 1932, in a letter to the Anti-Untouchability League he exhorted them about the need of 'an army of workers in the rural parts'. The plethora of issues for campaign that he outlined however was, depressingly narrow and limited to civic rights alone such as rights to take water from common village wells, right to entry to schools etc. Curiously enough he wasn't able to figure out any other anti-feudal agenda, though peasant struggle even in those times was already quite strong in the countryside. Bhimaro's agenda was still 'a social revolution in Hindu society', which he conceived as a 'revolution in the mentality of caste Hindus'!

There were various models of peasant movement in the country in 1930s and 40s. Beginning in the land of Bihar under the leadership of Sahajanand Saraswati, which Subhas Bose reckoned with high esteem, waves of peasant struggle gradually assuming both anti-feudal-anti-colonial characters had been sweeping the country across her length and breadth. Ambedkar also tried his hand on the issue, albeit in his signature constitutional way by attempting to move a bill for abolition of Khoti land tenure system and effecting land to the tiller in Konkan, the place of his origin. The bill, celebrated as the first of its kind to propose abolition of serfdom, however ended up in a damp squib, as it was not tabled at all the fate being the same as many other reform efforts in the annals of Indian parliamentary system.

What may be mentioned in this context is that anti-feudal peasant movement was raging in Maharastra also, concentrated in Kalyan and Murbad tehsils under leftist leadership during his time. Ambedkar's involvement in peasant issues was conditioned by two factors—one, his close association with Shamrao Parulekar, who was instrumental in organizing and leading the struggles and two, Ambedkar found it worth-while particularly because the bill, if passed would have benefitted the Mahars, who formed the large chunk of the peasantry under the khoti system.

However, he was mostly confined to parliamentary activism and also maintained studied silence about other peasant struggles in the country. Seen in such context, his efforts in Konkan was more to consolidate his captive social base by making use of parliamentary 'opportunities' rather than a strategic engagement with peasant struggles developing at the grass-roots.

It was during his ascendency to position of power, two major peasant movements shook Indian feudalism to its root; one, Tebhaga movement in Bengal and the other, the Telengana peasant struggle which turned into a great armed struggle against semi-feudal-semi-colonial Indian state. Ambedkar was the law minister (1947-52) when in Telengana peasants were being butchered by Indian security forces with the help of local mercenaries (Rajakars). Accepted that he had issues with violence as a method, but can that explain his silence when his people were being butchered by the upper caste rulers, his avowed enemies? The fact that more than two-third of the population in the region belonged to depressed classes who were facing the brunt of attack, such silence amounts to betrayal to his much vaunted slogan of annihilation of caste. It could have been appropriate occasion for his resignation from the cabinet, which he did in 1952 on Hindu code bill. Such strategic silence definitely goes on to unearth elements of parochialism in the messiah of dalit liberation, perhaps originating from his obsession with parliamentary solutions to all problems.

Thus, his vision of social revolution within Hindu society as the purpose of his crusade, combined with parliamentarism successfully spoiled the show and turned out to be another case of belied opportunity as far as anti-feudal struggles are concerned in India.

Bhimrao grew up in a country ruled and perpetually looted by British. Being born to a subedar in British army, neither he nor his family had to suffer from any direct oppressive act of colonial rule at any stage of his life. His higher education overseas was supported by the princely state of Baroda which was among the most trusted royalties under the colonial power. Gaekwads who also sponsored his study in Columbia university, had the dubious distinction of switching to the British side at opportune moment while being part of Maratha resistance fighting the expanding British colonial power in the early part of 19th century.

However, for obvious reasons, an aspiring youth from among the socially downtrodden may not be expected to be too choosy in receiving support for higher studies. For Ambedkar it was more true because he wanted to attain certain status to enable himself in fighting the upper caste people on a level playing field. In this journey, education was his chosen, and possibly the only refuge. It was also on this pretext that he kept himself aloof, while studying in America, from the nationalist students activities there. He maintained studied distance and was calculative enough to weather away approaches by adherents of Lala Lajpat Rai to join forces with them.

However this aloofness was seen as bit disconcerting because his PhD thesis (Evolution of provincial finance in British India), in which he laid bare the essential exploitative nature of colonial revenue system, did raise great expectations among the overseas revolutionaries about him in fighting colonialism. Dhananjay Keer, Bhimrao's trusted biographer, described this work as reflecting his quintessential anti-colonial position.

One may or may not agree with the positions held in this thesis; in the hindsight it may also be questioned whether the positions held were his original or not. But this thesis earned him some repute as an anti-colonial crusader among the non-resident Indian students in America, whose association he consciously avoided. In his later life too, he never addressed issues related to colonial exploitation in any seriousness and as a result, his actions in socio-political reform didn't develop in that line. His actions which helped him dominate the dalit movement in India had, on the contrary, belied his own positions held in his PhD thesis.

A case in point is his choice for colonial icons for mass mobilization. In 1927 after deciding to actively, organize the dalits he chose the Koregaon monument as the rallying point of dalit Mahars. The monument in Koregaon Bhima village, built by the British government to 'honor' the bravado and martyrdom of its Mahar regiment which played decisive role in defeating the Maratha Peshwa Bajirao II in 1818, thereby decimating last line formidable resistance on Indian soil against expanding colonial power.

Mahars being 'untouchables' had accumulated hatred for the Peshwas, the high caste Maratha Brahmins and that hatred had been used by the British to great effect for colonial expansion. The monument, thus, while being a relic of Mahar pride against upper caste oppression, was at the same time a signpost of colonial victory as well as its legitimization. Ambedkar ignored this very important aspect while using it for indulging in and inspiring dalit pride.

For a man of Bhimrao's erudition, this can hardly be viewed as an act of innocence. It was certainly a chosen one on his part which earned him easy popularity though it was clearly not congruent with the spirit of anti-colonialism. In any case, this was a disjoint between his theoretical perception and political action. However, such disjoints are not unknown in history and have been described by Lenin and other Marxists as opportunism which is at the core of reformism in the realm of mass movement. In that sense Ambedkar was indeed a reformist. And in his case this reformism also led to an apologetic position vis-a-vis colonial power of his time.

It is all very well known that he drew attention to a deep-rooted social malady that caste system is among the Hindus which remained his primary domain of praxis, even as the dominant national political discourse of his time was freedom from 200-year-old plunder. This became his point of departure from the Congress brand of nationalism and he grew into an ardent critic of it. Apparently this critical position may have some appeal to leftist sensibilities and tend to bring him on the same page with the left because the left was also a critic of the freedom struggle under Congress tutelage, though from an entirely different perspective. It needs to understood in real earnest that the commonality was only in appearance and not in content. Despite being a staunch adversary of Hindu religious code of varnashram hardly did Bhimrao ever think deeper than burning Hindu scriptures or conversion to other religion and was not guided by any concept of radical socio-economic restructuring of Indian society.

For him, it was more simple and pragmatic and was free of any burden of ideological principle. His opposition to freedom movement sprang from the perception that colonial rulers were more protective for the depressed classes than the leaders of Congress who were at the same time leaders of Hindu society. And he never made a secret of his position. When Montagu-Chelmsford reform was being debated in the country, he came up with an article in Mook Nayak, which clearly asserted that "if the protection of the Britishers were withdrawn, those who did not condescend to look at the untouchables would trample them down"! (Dr Babiasaheb Ambedkar—Life and Mission by Dhananjoy Keer, pp 41-42)

His critique of the upper-caste bias of the Congress-led freedom movement had elements of truth per se but viewing Britishers as the saviour of the depressed classes certainly smacks of ideological corruption and amounts to falling prey to the time tested divide and rule policy of the colonizers everywhere in history. And this is where all his radicalism led him to eventually turning him into a darling of the colonial rulers. Thus, his subsequent ascendency to the advisor of military council of the British government in the later years can't be seen as anything but natural if not calculative.

So many decades after his death, it may not make much sense to declare him a colonial stooge. But apologist he certainly was and it perfectly makes sense to ask, if this is the legacy the revolutionaries of present time need to bear to carry forward their struggle against neo-colonialism? Even liberal commentators, who are all praise for his personal struggle, his quest for knowledge, his erudition, his eloquence and his articulation of dalit issues in India's constitutional frame are not comfortable with his bonhomie with British power. On what pretext and purpose the revolutionary left should turn blind eyes to this facet is beyond anybody's comprehension.

The times of emergence and the social base were common for the Left in India and Ambedkarite social movement in the formative years and they developed with a consistent love-hate relationship. While in US, Ambedkar was deeply impressed by Western democracy and also got some exposure to leftist ideas. However, his intercourse with Marxism was mostly at the level of pedagogy and he never seemed to be impressed by the praxis, notably in USSR.

Maybe he was aghast with the tendency within the leftist circles of taking Marx and Marxist orthodoxy as dogma. Apparently he found Marx's philosophy as satisfying philosophy to the lower order. But he never found it worthwhile to develop an alternative Marxist praxis in India which he considered a direction rather than a dogma. Moreover socialist praxis in Russia was considered as a 'fraud'.

His efforts at drawing a parallel between Marx and Buddha (Buddha Or Karl Marx) clearly reflects how shallow his reading of Marx was. It was rather a hurried way to find someone in Indian soil close in caliber and excellence to Marx. For him, however, Marxism had already lost its sheen and he wrote in this treatise: "much of the ideological structure raised by Karl Marx has broken to pieces. There is hardly any doubt that Marxist claim that his socialism was inevitable has been completely disproved. The dictatorship of the Proletariat was first established in 1917 in one country after a period of something like seventy years after the publication of his Das Capital, the gospel of socialism. Even when the Communism—which is another name for the dictatorship of the Proletariat—came to Russia, it did not come as something inevitable without any kind of human effort. There was a revolution and much deliberate planning had to be done with a lot of violence and bloodshed, before it could step into Russia. The rest of the world is still waiting for coming of the Proletarian Dictatorship. Apart from this general falsification of the Marxian thesis that Socialism is inevitable, many of the other propositions stated in the lists have also been demolished both by logic as well as by experience. Nobody now accepts the economic interpretation of history as the only explanation of history. Nobody accepts that the proletariat has been progressively pauperised".

Any student of Marxism will readily identify the shallow and ludicrous tone of this reading which is not only pedestrian but amounts to motivated maligning as well. In either case, one can hardly take him or his understanding as Marxist, not to speak of himself as Marxist!

His relationship with leftists, as said earlier, was one of love-hate. In the realm of trade union movement, his main criticism for the left was that the left didn't address the issue of un-touchability in the factory premises. May be such criticisms were valid to some extent. But breaking labor strike in 1928, which Ambedkar attempted in Mumbai textiles can't be justified on that pretext and that history will remain an act of betrayal in the annals of Indian trade union movement.

True, there had been occasions of joint efforts in the aftermath, as in the industrial strike in 1939 but they were in the nature of united front activity from both sides. There were occasions when Ambedkar came up with strong criticism for left which seems to be credible even to this day. A case in point is his criticism of M N Roy for CPI's refusal to have its own trade union assuming that it would weaken anti-British fight and instead work from within the Congress trade union. Such suicidal tendencies within Indian communist movement were major impediments in independent assertion of the left and fight against such tendencies is still on. But for Ambedkar, it can be conclusively said that, those criticisms came not from a left plank and were essentially destructive in nature.

There are reasons to believe that form of movement used by him and the platform he chose to operate from had much to do with such ideological underpinnings, which was basically religious and conformist. His continued engagement with religion seems to be more strategic than tactical. While some of his senior pros had treaded the path of atheism in advancing cause of dalit movement, a la Periyar, it is rather surprising to find him engaged in the labyrinth of religion in the same pursuit. A life-long protagonist of 'dalit liberation' Ambedkar was reformist and for all his bitterness towards Hindu religion, he never envisaged usurpation of caste hierarchy in totality. All his valiance thus remained ever-subjugated to the crucial lack of radical theoretical perspective and will hence be remembered by history as reformist and not revolutionary.

Revolutionary streams of freedom movement in the country too had myriad ideological confusions. Not only many of them used Hindu icons as inspiration, many of them were seriously mired in religious ideology. But they were and are revered as revolutionaries because of their readiness to do maximum sacrifice. The examples they set of bravery, optimism, sacrifice, steadfastness in the face of terror and torture had been exemplary and would inspire many generations of youth in their struggle against oppression and injustice. In Ambedkar's case, it was no-where near theirs. His was a journey of an aspirant upwardly mobile dalit, whose primary ladder of ascendency was constitutionalism, which alone was enough to captivate the firebrand in him and reduce him into a religious reformist. No wonder he was never jailed in his lifetime!

Re-assessment of Ambedkar's work and perception, however, may not be viewed in isolation. It definitely has a long term implication, which calls into question the very basics of the edifice of revolutionary epistemology and practice. The reference point of Ambedkarite movement, in Babasaheb's lifetime as well as later, had hovered around constitutional reforms. They were reformist to the core despite apparent radical forms in burning Hindu religious scriptures etc. They were reformist not because they hovered around constitutional reform, but because they lacked the perspective of a radical social reconstruction which Babasaheb never seriously addressed.

Thus revisiting Ambedkar by the radical left after more than five decades of its existence should also lead them to re-evaluate Indian parliamentary system as a whole. Leaving aside all important issues indicating his complicity with and dependence on colonial power, this aspect may be paid adequate attention.

The radical left in India has already been participating in parliamentary forms of struggle for quite some time and it is important for them to develop enough clarity on these issues. Walking on this slippery path without clarity is fraught with obvious dangers of deviation and degeneration. Though such need has been aired by many, any substantive document on issues relating to Indian constitution and parliamentary politics is yet to come forth.

An erudite activist, a prolific writer Ambedkar certainly has many facets and dimensions. On occasions he had come up with strongest possible criticism for Hinduism as well as capitalism. But unfortunately, neither he was able to design a program for 'annihilation of caste' nor was he ever part of any vision of a society built on socialist lines. As for the first, he took an escape route by switching to Buddhism himself and as for the second, he was precisely against socialism as a possibility. Contradictions between his analyses and positions have been rife all through and perhaps that is the hall-mark of his thoughts where glimpses of brilliance, reflection of ground realities can be found on and off, though the overall ideological overtone remained conservative ever.

Casteist oppression left deep impression in his growing tender sensitivities of Bhimrao, growing in him burning hatred for Hinduism which was his lifelong obsession and drive for all vigorous social activism. But unfortunately that burning hatred failed to lead him to any radical ideological perspective and program, precisely because of his rabid anti-left position and obsession with religion and parliamentarism. His radical edge in social activism had left some trail even to this day and definitely merits attention from the left camp as regards joint actions and solidarity. But what needs to be understood is that confusing United Front (UF) activity with ideology can only invite disaster for the left with long term implications and may be difficult to recover from.

Thursday, 10 August 2017


The Game Is Over and North Korea Has Won

Donald Trump can whine all he wants, but we're now living in a world where American power is less relevant than ever.


The Washington Post reported yesterday that North Korea has a large stockpile of compact nuclear weapons that can arm the country’s missiles, including its new intercontinental ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting the United States. That’s another way of saying: game over.

Also: I told you so.

There are really two assessments in the Post’s report. One, dated July 28, is that the intelligence community — not just the Defense Intelligence Agency, contrary to what you may have heard — “assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles.” The other assessment, published earlier in July, stated that North Korea had 60 nuclear weapons — higher than the estimates usually given in the press. Put them together, though, and its pretty clear that the window for denuclearizing North Korea, by diplomacy or by force, has closed.

These judgments are front-page news, but only because we’ve been living in collective denial. Both intelligence assessments are consistent with what the North Koreans have been saying for some time, for reasons I outlined in a column here at Foreign Policy immediately after the September 2016 nuclear test titled, “North Korea’s Nuke Program Is Way More Sophisticated Than You Think: This is now a serious nuclear arsenal that threatens the region and, soon, the continental United States.”

Authors rarely get to pick titles, and almost never like them, but I think the editors at FP got this one about right. It is about as subtle as a jackhammer, although even so the message didn’t seem to sink in.

Let’s walk through the evidence.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests. That is really quite a lot. Looking at other countries that have conducted five nuclear tests, our baseline expectation for North Korea should be that it has a nuclear weapon small enough to arm a ballistic missile and is well on its way toward testing a thermonuclear — yes, thermonuclear — weapon.

A lot of people got the wrong idea after North Korea’s first nuclear test failed, and subsequent nuclear tests seemed smaller than they should be. There was a common view that the North Koreans, well, kind of sucked at making nuclear weapons. That was certainly my first impression. But there was always another possibility, one that dawned on me gradually. According to a defector account, North Korea tried to skip right toward relatively advanced nuclear weapons that were compact enough to arm ballistic missiles and made use of relatively small amounts of plutonium. That should not have been surprising; both Iraq and Pakistan similarly skipped designing and testing a more cumbersome Fat Man-style implosion device. The disappointing yields of North Korea’s first few nuclear tests were not the result of incompetence, but ambition. So, while the world was laughing at North Korea’s first few nuclear tests, they were learning — a lot.

And then there is the issue of North Korea’s nuclear test site. North Korea tests its nuclear weapons in tunnels beneath very large mountains. When my research institute used topography data collected from space to build a 3-D model of the site, we realized that the mountains are so tall that they may be hiding how big the nuclear explosions are. Some of the “disappointments” may not have been disappointments at all, and the successes were bigger than we realized. I think the best interpretation of the available evidence is that North Korea accepted some technical risk early in its program to move more quickly toward missile-deliverable nuclear weapons.

The fact that North Korea’s nuclear weapons used less fissile material than we expected helps explain the second judgment that North Korea has more bombs than is usually reported. The defector claimed that North Korea’s first nuclear weapon contained only 4 kilograms of the limited supply of plutonium North Korea made, and continues to make, at its reactor at Yongbyon. (For a long while, experts claimed the reactor was not operating when thermal images plainly showed that it was.) The North Koreans themselves claimed the first test used only 2 kilograms of plutonium. Those claims struck many people, including me, as implausible at first. But they were only implausible in the sense that such a device would probably fail when tested — and the first North Korean test did fail. The problem is North Korea kept trying, and its later tests succeeded.

We also must take seriously that North Korea has perhaps stretched its supply of plutonium by integrating some high-enriched uranium into each bomb and developing all-uranium designs. North Korea has an unknown capacity to make highly enriched uranium. We’ve long noticed that the single facility that North Korea has shown off to outsiders seems smaller than North Korea’s newly renovated capacity to mine and mill uranium; we naturally wondered where all that extra uranium is going. (My research institute thinks it might be fun to estimate how much uranium North Korea enriches based on how much it mills, if you know anyone with grant money burning a hole in her pocket.)

Unless the intelligence community knows exactly where North Korea is enriching uranium and how big each facility is, we’re just guessing how many nuclear weapons the country may have. But 60 nuclear weapons doesn’t sound absurdly high.

The thing is, we knew all this already. Sure, sure it isn’t the same when I say it. I mean, I am just some rando living out in California. But now that someone with a tie and real job in Washington has said it, it is news.

The big question is where to go from here. Some of my colleagues still think the United States might persuade North Korea to abandon, or at least freeze, its nuclear and missile programs. I am not so sure. I suspect we might have to settle for trying to reduce tensions so that we live long enough to figure this problem out. But there is only one way to figure out who is right: Talk to the North Koreans.

The other options are basically terrible. There is no credible military option. North Korea has some unknown number of nuclear-armed missiles, maybe 60, including ones that can reach the United States; do you really think U.S. strikes could get all of them? That not a single one would survive to land on Seoul, Tokyo, or New York? Or that U.S. missile defenses would work better than designed, intercepting not most of the missiles aimed at the United States, but every last one of them? Are you willing to be your life on that?

On a good day, maybe we get most of the missiles. We save most of the cities, like Seoul and New York, but lose a few like Tokyo. Two out three ain’t bad, right?

I kid — but not really. Welcome to our new world. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thursday, 3 August 2017


CIA chief hints agency is working to change Venezuelan government


The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government of Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.

In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there”.

He added: “I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”

Mr Pompeo’s comments, delivered during a Q&A session at a security forum organised by the Aspen Institute think tank, have sparked outcry among supporters of Venezuela’s government. President Nicolas Maduro, who was elected in 2013, has denounced Mr Pompeo’s remarks and hit out at the governments of Mexico and Colombia.

“The director of the CIA has said ‘The CIA and the US government work in direct collaboration with the Mexican government and the Colombian government to overthrow the constitutional government in Venezuela and to intervene in our beloved Venezuela,’” Mr Maduro said in a televised interview, according to TeleSur.

“I demand the government of Mexico and the government of Colombia to properly clarify the declarations from the CIA and I will make political and diplomatic decisions accordingly before this audacity.”

The US, which is currently gripped by allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, has a long history of interfering with democratically elected governments in Latin America, from Chile to Nicaragua, and Argentina to Haiti.

In Venezuela, it has sought to weaken the elected governments of both Mr Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup. Some of the effort has been in distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.

In May 2016 unidentified US officials told reporters in a background briefing that Venezuela was descending into a deepening “crisis” that could end in violence. They said they doubted Mr Maduro was not likely to be able to complete his term, which is due to end after elections in late 2018.

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said that for the past 15 years of so it had been US policy to seek a change of government in Caracas.

“They have been trying to get rid of this government for a long time and they feel they are getting closer then ever,” he told The Independent.

The development comes as both Mr Maduro and his country face mounting problems. Against a backdrop of food shortages, soaring inflation and civil unrest, the president has been accused of resorting to mounting authoritarianism. The opposition has called for him to stand down and there have been widespread protests.

Opponents are furious about his plan to press ahead with a vote for a Constitutional Assembly on Sunday. Critics say the rules of the assembly appear to ensure a majority for Mr Maduro.

But Reuters said that Mr Maduro, 54, insists it is the only way to empower the people and bring peace after four months of anti-government unrest that has killed more than 100 people and further damaged the economy.

The question to Mr Pompeo was asked last week by businesswoman Vanessa Neumann, who said she had dual US and Venezuelan citizenship, and who said “regime change looks to be – we hope – imminent or spiralling down”.

She added: “I’m interested in your open assessment on American interests in or threats from Venezuela and which of course has Russian, Iranian, etcetera, interests, and for the region.”

He responded: “I am always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA, there’s a lot of stories.

“So I want to be careful with what I say but suffice to say, we are very hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there, so that we can communicate to our State Department and to others.”

The CIA did not immediately responded to queries. The governments of Mexico and Colombia have yet to comment on Mr Maduro’s remarks.

A State Department spokesperson declined to say if the US was seeking to change the government of Venezuela. In a statement, the spokesperson added: “The United States joins nations across the hemisphere and calls upon the government of Venezuela to live up to its commitments to hold free, fair, and credible elections immediately, provide for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, and tend to the humanitarian needs of the Venezuelan people.”

The statement added: “We call for the government of Venezuela to suspend the National Constituent Assembly. The Venezuelan people spoke in overwhelming numbers in the opposition-organised referendum on 16 July. Their voices must not be ignored.

“We are prepared to take strong and swift economic actions if the Government of Venezuela election moves forward on 30 July with a Constituent Assembly.”

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Very clear imperialism led by usa imperialism wants to go for the final kill move against the independence against imperialism and for socialism project that is Bolivarian Venezuela. They have and continue to conduct a slow motion Arab Sting on Venezuela by using a combination of covert operations and provocations, economic sabotage, killing off and attacking to destroy their closest global allies (Brazil, Libya, Syria, Zimbabwe/SADC etc) and to conduct a non stop propaganda campaign that has got even some sections of the western left selling out Venezuela when usually Latin America gets a massive pass and support whereas same people hate ever parallel country and people in Africa and Asia.

Our leadership and peoples in Venezuela has taken a bold and danger-littered move of basically developing dual power in Venezuela, the revolutionary power of the constituent assembly and the counter revolution supporting the old assembly. The usa has stepped in to put further sanctions on Comrade-President Maduro and have just ratcheted up there war rhetoric even more.

It looks like Venezuela is on the cusp of a major civil war between on the one hand the most radical socialist and anti imperialist forces which have brought gains of power to the poorest in he county and also supported similar in the region and across the world, and in the other hand we have global imperialism working with all talk allies and tools on the other hand. This could easily become a considerable open civil war, its no inevitable but imperialism will be looking to drown Venezuela in blood for it daring to stand up to imperialism for so long. Now is the time for our leadership in Venezuela and their regional and global allies to go all out, to really and frankly mobilise the masses to smash the counter revolution without any mercy whatsoever. Not doing so means it is likely the revolution and leadership of the country will be lost. The lessons of Iraq 2003, Libya and Syria 2011 are all very much relevant to all this.

We have already lost the Workers Party and Lula/Dilma in Brazil which was the start of the modern victories of the imperialist counter revolution. The danger of Venezuela coming to an end portends dangerously for the entire region and the global south, the end of our position in Venezuela will see imperialism hastening its control and revenge on our comrades and masses. We are in real danger right now.


tommy robinson / Celtic incident

A few days ago tommy robinson laid a trap into which some Celtic supporters walked into in sunderland, north east england. This is a clear set-back and embarassing incident for anti-fascist forces, and a considerable win for robinson and fascism.

robinson has released a new book against Islam and Muslims, he was having a book launch in sunderland at a far-right venue. Before the event he called the Celtic 'firm' (organised football hooligans) the Green Brigade a 'bunch of muppets' and wore a rangers t-shirt which is the team of far-right english colonialism and very anti Catholic and anti Irish. Some disorganised young Celtic fans turned up to for the provocation and trap, around a dozen of them, clearly had little to no experience in strategic street fighting, they through a flare into the venue where robinson had ensured women and children were in. robinson's fighters were waiting outside of the venue for the Celtic supporters, and the Celtic youth got battered, with one knocked out on the floor with a pillow with a union jack under his head (no joke).

This is a very undesirable thing to have happened, its hard to imagine a more humiliating incident for anti-racist and anti-fascist forces.

In recent months and years there is a massively growing fascist community led by people like robinson and katie hopkins, although hopkins goes for a slightly more middle class audience than the 'working class' robinson. robinson is putting out his second book, the first was a amazon best seller for a long while, and look: amazon openly assisting and promoting his publication. The global fascist community in which robinson is in is enormous, motivated and militant, and is a big industry in which robinson is making plenty of money. The sunderland incident is robinson promoting his second book, and the disaster at sunderland plated *right* into robinson's trap and as such robinson turned the incident as he always was planning onto into a big promotion for his book online.

stephen yaxley-lennon better known as 'tommy robinson' is very likely an agent of the british state and intel services, a leading british fascist and indeed is a leading global fascist celebrity who has recently teamed up with leading usa fascist alex jones. robinson's fame/infamy was facilitated by the british state as they allowed many protests organised by robinson's then outfit the 'english defence league'. Once the edl has served its functions for the intel services they wound that down and robinson was instructed to then work with another very likely state asset - Maajid Nawaz who runs a state-backed outfit called the Quilliam Foundation. robinson has been been nearly literally held by the hand of the state and its agents to make his discourse more sophisticated.

robinson and hopkins and others are becoming increasingly conceited and confident in their provocations. robinson often just door steps organisations and individuals in a very confrontational way, and gets away with it time and time again with impunity. The Green Brigade are not like the Celtic fans, they have experience in these matters and are allies of the general struggle against imperialism and racism and for socialism on this island, and one hopes they will act to redeem our anti-fascist community from this embarrassment.