(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter).
“November 25, 2012
“Merry Christmas anyone? It helps if you take happy pills and can block out the world in these barbarous times.
“As I write, a fraught ‘truce’ has been negotiated between Hamas and Israel, a hopelessly one-sided arrangement demanding Palestinians cease firing their rockets when Hamas has no control over those who launch them. But what did Israelis agree to? Did they agree to end their ruthless air, sea and land blockade that has turned Gaza into a living hell, the most environmentally devastated piece of land in the world? Did they agree to dismantle their illegal settlements and hand back Palestinian land and their right to water? To stop targeted assassinations?
“Of course they didn’t, because in our world the ‘righteous’ can kill with impunity. An extension of the infamous Plan D carried out in the 1940s just before Israel was created. A scheme to get rid of the people of Palestine when 369 villages were attacked and people were thrown out of their houses and fled in terror. The beginning of the genocide and longest military occupation in modern times, all of it on the historical record. And still happening. Before our eyes.
“When Netanyahu decided to incinerate Ahmad Jabari with a hi-tech weapon and butcher the Palestinian women, men and children of Gaza and destroy what’s left of their dilapidated infrastructure, the White House, US Senate and House of Reps all promptly supported Netanyahu’s war crimes as an ‘exercise in self-defence’. And Obama went out of his way to congratulate Netanyahu for his ‘restraint’ and offered more money for his killing machines while his White House adviser trumpeted that ‘the White House wants the same things as Israel wants’, spelling out that superpower US is a puppet of Israel and as we’re a puppet of the US that makes us a puppet of a puppet. Netanyahu is a fascist, Washington’s fascist. Remember that, every time you hear the weasel words of successive Australian governments and from the mouths of our weasel foreign ministers.
“The sickness of America was clearly evident in its recent election, a revolting spectacle where the two presidential contenders engaged in a frantic and demeaning scramble for money. Campaign finances in the US have become so corrupted it’s not the ‘elected’ members now holding office but billionaires and their cronies. A strong warning that when big money controls the political agenda, a nominal democracy can so easily mutate into a plutocracy that can so easily mutate into fascism.
“The spectre of fascism is now creeping into parts of Europe, more immediately into Greece, buffeted by the brutal imposition of neo-liberal austerity measures, punishing working class Greeks for the sins of the criminal class that fleeced them, entrenching the wealthy and relegating the poor to subservience.
“Fascism thrives on shadows and dark places and feeds on insecurity and isn’t a word to be thrown around lightly against any person or idea we find morally repugnant. Fascism is a real word with real meaning and has horrendous consequences as we know only too well. It elevates hyper-macho posturing and the military with their martial uniforms, symbols and language and expropriates the language of the working class while deliberately obscuring the real causes of their misery, and is often supported by religious hierarchies, the capitalist class and financiers of industry.
“Back in the 1930s, minus an Internet and hi-tech paraphernalia, men and women from around the world knew these dark forces had to be stopped and en-masse they joined International Brigades and travelled to Spain without their government’s support. About 35,000 of them from 52 countries who saw what was happening in Spain and was about to happen in Italy and Germany. No conscription or apparatus of the state to tell them that democracy was threatened. Sadly they failed. Germany and Italy, given military and material support from capitalists everywhere – including from Britain and the US - gave aid to the Spanish Falangists and throttled a noble resistance, plunging Spain into a long darkness and the world into the nightmare of WW2. No-one can say whether Greece will be the ‘tipping point’ for a revival of fascism in Europe, but something should be done because the situation is getting worse with each EU demand for more austerity.
“Not great times for honest people. In 2008, Lehmann Brothers was allowed to collapse, its assets swallowed up by other giant banks while dodgy hedge funds continued to make billions. Obama and Romney’s obscenely funded election with almost identical foreign policies were in thrall to lobby groups ensuring any changes to corporate regulations remained toothless. With unemployment rising and civil unrest simmering, central banks fight for interest payments and government assets await further privatisation. Wars and economic restructuring are useful tools for their deadly games. Unless we stop them, the elites and their New World Order will survive and flourish, but we won’t, nor will our wonderful natural world.
“After all these years, the 1962 Cuban missile crisis is still debated. The standard US account blames the Russians (naturally) for an act of aggression when they began installing missile bases in Cuba, with Kennedy presented as an heroic statesman who takes us to the brink but manages to avert WW3 by sheer determination. The US version conveniently omits to mention the installation of US missile bases in Turkey and Italy the previous year, an act of aggression that destabilised the fragile balance of power. Seen in that context, it was the US not the Soviets which caused the crisis. Reason prevailed and we survived and so, thankfully, did Cuba. Viva!