Friday, January 20, 2012

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's Summation of 2011

In a November 27, 2011 letter from Australia, long-time Australian anti-war activist and writer Joan Coxsedge (who’s also a former elected anti-war member of the Victoria State parliament in Australia and a long-time Latin American solidarity activist) summarized 2011, from an anti-war and anti-imperialist left perspective, in the following way

"Christmas is coming. It always does. And 2011 is nearly over. In some ways the quicker the better, especially when it comes to foreign affairs and fly in/fly out visits of foreign leaders like Barack Obama, treated like a hero when he’s anything but, gearing up to bomb Iran using bodgie UN and IAEA reports. Hypocrisy on steroids. The US has over 10,000 nuclear weapons – the only country to use them – and Israel has over 300, both with a long history of invading and occupying other countries. Iran has no such history. But we suck up to Obama, who treats us like mugs, using us to help contain China. A ‘special relationship’? Don’t make me laugh. More marines and more US snooping. Let’s not forget 1975 or Malcolm Fraser’s role in it.

"So eat your pud, put on a party hat and for a brief time forget the mess we’re in where big money is pulling our strings. The bigger the money, the bigger the crime, the bigger the corruption. Despite the clowns in parliament yelling abuse at each other, we’ve seen a convergence of the two party system where a new economic extremism has come into play regardless of party label. Today we’re all customers and clients in the ‘market’ and the lack of alternative policies and useless media have left us sleepwalking into economic mayhem. Few understand that Wall Street deliberately planned the housing bubble, spending billions on advertising campaigns to con people into taking second mortgages, forking out money they simply didn’t have. The bubble burst and the state galloped to the rescue. Socialism for the rich.

"The crisis spread to Europe and rules were flushed down the toilet. The EU stepped in to impose austerity measures and save the banking systems, but not the people. The Greek elite was blackmailed into total submission, bringing the country to the edge of chaos. Greece should have defaulted, quit the Euro zone, re-introduced the drachma and organised from the ground up, Tariq Ali writes. It didn’t default and Italy was next. In recent months, three other highly indebted countries - Ireland, Portugal and Spain – have either gone through or are on the verge of changing government. Germany is now in the queue. Each time, the push has come from big business. Papandreou and Berlusconi were forced from office – without any democratic legitimacy - and replaced with unelected technocrats and hedge fund shysters who get their orders from the European Central Bank and the IMF, with barely a yawn from our media. Apparently not interested that two elected governments were overthrown in what are virtual coup d’etats, ignoring that what ultimately toppled Berlusconi was not moral outrage but international finance capital.

"`To save the euro we had to destroy Europe’, said one leading US financier, which translates to ‘the reign of banks requires the end of democracy’, which is why there’s a growing feeling that major policy decisions are being made in secret by a cabal of immensely powerful people who are by-passing elected governments. Heavily involved is Goldman Sachs, referred to as Wall Street’s secret society. Former employees now head the New York Stock Exchange, the World Bank, the US Treasury and work in the White House. Mario Monti, the unelected replacement for Berlusconi is on Goldman’s board of international advisers, Lucas Papademos who replaces Papandreou is a member of the Trilateral Commission and much else and the European Central Bank’s new boss, Mario Draghi, is also former managing Director at Goldman Sachs and a lot more. At this year’s highly secretive Bilderberg meeting for global high-flyers - Hilary Clinton was there - topics included modifying the public mind to accept a world without borders, fast-tracking austerity measures and extending the influence of transnationals and banks over Western politicians. These are the creeps who will use their power to smash the lives of ordinary people. Out unions, out the welfare state and out public assets, all of which will intensify the slump, shrink government revenues, increase unemployment and foment social unrest. Peaceful protests will turn into pitched battles as working people fight to have their voices heard. A situation all too reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s that paved the way for a Nazi takeover. Opposition is growing but lacks a clear perspective. Strikes and protests are important but not enough. This life-and-death struggle requires a clear socialist perspective and programme.

"In the Middle East, Assad’s enemies are closing in for the kill and Syria’s fall will throw the entire region into turmoil, sowing the seeds of future conflicts, which seems to be the idea. No surprise that in NATO’s ‘New Libya’, terror is spreading via US, French and British SAS units, known locally as ‘disappearance squads’ where people associated with Qaddafi are being ‘disappeared’, just like the murderous years in El Salvador and Guatemala. Without a hint of irony, ‘New’ Libyan radio has reported that ‘one of the worst aspects of the Qaddafi era was his welfare state’, complaining that Libyan workers were ‘too coddled’ because they had job tenure, government subsidies of about $800 a month, petrol at about 60 cents a gallon and the highest standard of living in Africa. For NATO and its corporate mates, such prosperity for workers simply will not do. In our New World Order, workers must struggle and be dealt with by violence if they dare to fight back. And fight back we must. In big ways and small ways like helping us support Cuba. So come and join us on December 5 for our final fund-raiser for 2011! In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy time with friends and family. Viva!"

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