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Sunday, November 30, 2008

How The Mumbai Terrorists Did It


From the Times of India

NEW DELHI: The gang of terrorists who wreaked mayhem in Mumbai for three days were made to believe by their Lashkar bosses that they were not being
sent on a suicide mission and that they would be coming back alive.

In a sensational disclosure made by Ajmal, the jihadi nabbed alive by Mumbai cops, the group had planned to sail out on Thursday. Their recruiters had even charted out the return route for them and stored it on the GPS device which they had used to navigate their way to the Mumbai shoreline.

This suggests that the terrorists were willing to undertake a mission which they knew would be very risky, but not necessarily suicidal.

Sources said that the bait of safe return must have been used by the recruiters to convince the wavering among the group to join the audacious plot against Mumbai.

Ajmal made another important disclosure: that all terrorists were trained in marine warfare along with the special course Daura-e-Shifa conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in what at once transforms the nature of the planning from a routine terror strike and into a specialized raid by commandos.

Battle-hardened ATS officials are surprised by the details of the training the terrorists were put through before being despatched for the macabre mission. This was very different from a terrorist attack, and amounted to an offensive from the seam, said a source.

Ajmal has revealed the name of his fellow jihadis all Pakistani citizens as Abu Ali, Fahad, Omar, Shoaib, Umer, Abu Akasha, Ismail, Abdul Rahman (Bara) and Abdul Rahman (Chhota).

The account of Ajmal also strengthens the doubt of the complicity of powerful elements in the Pakistani establishment. According to him, the group set off on November 21 from an isolated creek near Karachi without the deadly cargo of arms and ammunition they were to use against the innocents in Mumbai. The group received arms and ammunition on board a large Pakistani vessel which picked them up the following day. The vessel, whose ownership is now the subject of an international probe, had four Pakistanis apart from the crew.

A day later, they came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which was promptly commandeered on the seas. Four of the fishermen who were on the trawler were killed, but its skipper, or tandel in fishermen lingo, Amarjit Singh, was forced to proceed towards India. Amarjit was killed the next day, and Ismail the terrorist who was killed at Girgaum Chowpaty took the wheel.

A trained sailor, Ismail used the GPS to reach Mumbai coast on November 26. The group, however, slowed down its advance as they had reached during the day time while the landing was planned after dusk. The group shifted to inflatable boats, before disembarking at Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade.

From there, they mandated to kill indiscriminately, particularly white foreign tourists, and spare Muslims split up into five batches. Two of them Ismail and Ajmal took a taxi to Victoria Terminus. Three other batches of two each headed for Oberoi Hotel, Cafe Leopold and Nariman House. The remaining four went to Taj Hotel.

He may have been motivated enough to kill innocents indiscriminately. In police custody, Ajmal Amir Kasab, the terrorist who was caught alive by
the Mumbai police at Girgaum Chowpatty, has been forthcoming with details about the attack on Mumbai and his accomplices, all suspected Lashkar operatives from Pakistan.

Kasab, who sustained minor injuries in the police firing that killed his partner Abu Ismail (25) on Wednesday night, was produced before the Esplanade Metropolitan Magistrate on Friday. The magistrate remanded him to police custody till December 8. Incidentally, Kasab and Ismail were the two who gunned down ATS chief Hemant Karkare, additional CP Ashok Kamthe and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

Kasab told the police that he and 9 others got off a vessel about 10 nautical miles from Mumbai and shifted to two boats hijacked from fishermen.

One source in ATS familiar with the details of the interrogation quoted him saying that in all 16 fidayeens came to Mumbai on Wednesday. A native of Faridkot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), 21-year-old Kasab told police they had done a reccee of Mumbai few months ago. He said he had come along with eight of the operatives to Mumbai as students and lived in a rented room at Colaba market, a stone's throw away from Nariman House.

Hat Tip Jihad Watch

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Russian Academic Predicts Break-Up of US

Russian wishful thinking or plausible prediction?

From Novosti

MOSCOW, November 24 - A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily Izvestia published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."

The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events.

When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."

When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."

Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."

He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.

He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all."

On the fate of the U.S. dollar, he said: "In 2006 a secret agreement was reached between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. on a common Amero currency as a new monetary unit. This could signal preparations to replace the dollar. The one-hundred dollar bills that have flooded the world could be simply frozen. Under the pretext, let's say, that terrorists are forging them and they need to be checked."

When asked how Russia should react to his vision of the future, Panarin said: "Develop the ruble as a regional currency. Create a fully functioning oil exchange, trading in rubles... We must break the strings tying us to the financial Titanic, which in my view will soon sink."

Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.

Obama-The Aftermath


Friday, November 28, 2008

Obama File 54 Communist Party Leader On Obama "We Are Speaking To A Friend"

Obama File 53 here

"The left can and should advance its own views and disagree with the Obama administration without being disagreeable. Its tone should be respectful. We are speaking to a friend."

Sam Webbb-National Chair Communist Party USA

Now that Barack Obama is safely elected, his Communist Party backers feel confident to come out of the shadows.

Communist Party leader Sam Webb has just posted a long speech on the CPUSA website-A Springtime of Possibility.

Here are some extracts, with commentary from me.

Sam Webb If the election of Barack Obama was a monumental victory, election night itself was a magical moment. In Chicago and across the nation, tears of joy and exhilaration mingled with memories of how far we have come. As the President-elect greeted the hundreds of thousands of well wishers in Grant Park, it was hard not to think of the many struggles for freedom mapping our nation’s history...

To say that a sea change occurred on Nov. 4 is no exaggeration. On one side, the arguably worst president in our history leaves Washington disgraced. His party’s policies, ideology and cultural symbols are discredited. The GOP is in disarray and the blame game has begun. The red/blue state paradigm and the southern strategy, a strategy conceived exactly forty years ago to divide the nation along racial lines, are in shambles. And the entire capitalist class, not only its most reactionary section, is weakened.

On the other side of the changing sea, a sense of joy, catharsis and renewal is in the air. Expectations are high. A new era of progressive change is waiting to be set in motion. If the past eight years of the Bush administration seemed like a winter of discontent, Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency feels like a springtime of possibility...

New Zeal Webb has every right to gloat. The left has routed the "right" as represented by George Bush's Republican Party. Webb sees this as no temporary blip, but as the beginnings of a great shift to the left.

Sam Webb No one, of course, expects that the securing of a better future will be easy. There is, after all, eight years of extreme right-wing misrule to clean up. The economic crisis is widening and deepening. Right-wing extremism, while badly weakened, still retains enough influence in Congress and elsewhere to block progressive measures. And class realities are still embedded in our society.

Nevertheless, in electing Barack Obama and larger Democratic Party majorities in Congress, the American people have taken the first and absolutely necessary step in the direction of building a more just society. We are not on the threshold of socialism for sure, but it is easy to see the further congealing of a growing majority that will realign politics, not incrementally and momentarily, but decisively and enduringly in the direction of economic justice, equality and peace.

New Zeal No, not socialism yet, but the beginnings of a permanent shift in that direction.

Sam Webb While we should look at the outcome of the elections objectively, I would argue that the biggest danger is to underestimate the political significance of what has happened. I am suspicious of advice that suggests that we temper our understandable joy and enthusiasm as if nothing of great importance has happened.

The country is in a period of transition. A new potentially transformative president is entering the White House, along with increased Democratic majorities in Congress. Class consciousness is deeper and reaches into every section of the working class. A spirit of broad unity is palpable. The ideological environment is infused with progressive and egalitarian ideas. Labor and its allies are retrofitting their priorities, message and initiatives to the new political landscape. And millions are ready to energetically back the legislative agenda of the Obama administration...

This favorable correlation of class and social forces couldn’t happen at a better time. The challenges facing the new administration are immense. Some are short term; others longer term; some are national in scope; others global. And all are begging for solution.

New Zeal Perfect-a leftist president and Congress, plus an international financial crisis and impending recession/depression. People will accept radical solutions during time of crises-even socialist solutions.

Sam Webb Given the current situation, it is apparent that the Obama administration enters the White House with huge challenges. At the same time, no president in recent memory brings to the job so much popular good will, a Congress dominated by Democrats, an election mandate for progressive change, and an energized movement that supports him.

As I said earlier, we are in a transitional period in which the broad contours and class relationships of U.S. politics have changed to the point that we have to adjust our strategic policy. Our policy of singling out the extreme right and its reactionary corporate backers and building the broadest unity against them, discussed in these meetings and contained in our Party program, captured the class realities of the past 30 years. In this year’s election we applied that policy consistently and creatively. Admittedly, we adjusted this policy at the tactical level in January of this year after concluding that Obama had the potential to bring together and give voice to an all-people’s coalition and win the election by a landslide.

New Zeal Communist policy was to demonise and divide the "extreme right" (normal conservative Americans). It worked. Communists decided early on that Obama was a potential winner-Hillary Clinton was never favored.

Looking back, it isn’t immodest to say that both our overall policy and our tactical adjustment were on the money. We shouldn’t claim bragging rights, but we can say that our strategic and tactical approach captured better than any other organization or movement on the left the political algebra of the election process, including the possibility of a landslide.

This isn’t to say that other left movements and organizations were of no consequence, because they were, but none of them had as much political coherence in their strategic and tactical policies as we did. Nor did they do the day-to-day grassroots work with the same consistency that we did.

New Zeal Some well justified boasting from the Communist Party leader.

Sam Webb That said, the new political landscape in the election’s wake compels us to make strategic as well as tactical changes. Our current strategic policy, I’m sure you will agree, no longer corresponds with the present situation...

Now and for the foreseeable future, the country is in a political transition that interweaves elements of the past and the future. This argues against attempts to fit the political dynamics of this moment into a rigid and schematic strategic framework. Our strategic policy is a conceptual device (or guide to action) whose purpose is to give us a first approximation of what is happening on the ground among the main class and social forces, which of them has the upper hand, and what it will take to move the political process in a progressive direction. It doesn’t claim to capture reality in all of its complexity and contradictoriness. And this is especially so in a transitional period such as this one. Therefore, the strategic notion of stages of struggle has to be employed judiciously and flexibly, or, as some like to say, dialectically.

New Zeal Webb warns that now is not the time to be doctrinaire. Now is the time dialectics, a flexible approach to a fast moving situation.

Sam Webb So briefly, how do the various forces line up? Let’s begin with Obama. During the election we correctly resisted fitting Obama into a tightly sealed political category. We should continue that practice. I don’t think categorizing him as a bourgeois or centrist politician at this moment is very helpful, even if he begins by governing from the center.

Obama is an unusual political figure. He has deep democratic sensibilities, a sense of history and modesty, and an almost intuitive feel for the national mood. His political and intellectual depth matches his eloquence. In the wake of the election, he is the leader of a far-flung multiclass “change” coalition that constitutes a new political universe to which everyone has to relate. He embraces a reform agenda in a reform era whose political character will be decided in the years ahead. Many, including ourselves, have used the words “transformational” or “transforming” to describe his candidacy — that is, a candidacy capable of assembling a broad people’s majority to reconfigure the terms and terrain of politics in this country in a fundamental way. The same can be said about the potential of his presidency.

Obama isn’t finished with Obama. Like other great leaders, he is a work in progress who has demonstrated the capacity to grow as things change and new problems arise. He will undoubtedly feel competing pressures, but he will also leave his own political imprint on presidential decisions, much like Lincoln and Roosevelt did. It’s good that Obama has these qualities because he is inheriting mammoth problems. In consultation with the Democrats in Congress and the main organizations of the people’s coalition, he will set the agenda and determine the timing of legislative initiatives next year

New Zeal Keep your eye on the big picture comrades. Don't sweat if Obama has to do some things you don't like. Its the broad changes we communists are after.

Sam Webb However, let’s not go bananas when he appoints somebody whose politics we don’t like. We should not expect that this administration will be free of representatives of Wall Street or old line Democrats or even some Republicans. Their presence doesn’t necessarily define the political inclinations of the Obama administration, nor does it tell us exactly what its political priorities will be. Nothing would be worse at this moment than to force politics into fixed and frozen categories on the one hand and to ignore the new political dynamics and movements that emerged from the elections on the other. Let’s give Obama some space; millions of others will, including, I suspect, the main leaders of the labor and people’s movement. Marxism is a guide to action, not a dogma.

New Zeal Don't be dogmatic comrades. Give the man a break. He'll have to do things we don't like to appease the mainstream. He's on the right track, give him a chance.

Sam Webb Then there are the Obama grassroots networks and committees. These web-generated forms of organization and action were formidable in the elections and will in all likelihood continue to be a forceful presence in the coming years. They contain an array of diverse people, including lots of young people, all of whom are very loyal to Obama and will throw their weight behind his program. In some places we are part of “Yes We Can” networks and should remain so; where we aren’t, we (along with others) should make connections with them.

New Zeal The Communist Party was active in Obama's campaign all over the US. Keep the networks going and expand communist presence into areas where currently weak.

Sam Webb The Democratic Party, for sure, isn’t an anti-capitalist people’s party. Yet it contains a variety of currents. In the recent elections the center and progressive currents gained in size and influence. While its character isn’t left in its outlook in the wake of Obama’s landslide victory, liberal and progressive congress people have the wind at their back. Right-wing Democrats, meanwhile, are running into headwinds. This is not 1992 all over again.

New Zeal The far left is now dominant in the Democratic Party. We won't let Obama slip out of our control like Clinton did.

Sam Webb Then there are the broad people’s forces, and Communists are a current among these forces. These forces continue to evolve in positive ways. Unity is on a higher level. Their politics move along anti-corporate, egalitarian and anti-militarist lines. They express themselves through a range of organizational forms. In this election these forces walked with seven league boots, kicked butt and took no prisoners. Nothing seemed to knock them off stride.

These loosely grouped forces will energetically participate in struggles in the period ahead. Labor will continue to play a special organizing and political role.

New Zeal The communist controlled peace movement, mass organisations, pressure groups and unions are on a roll. Expect them to put huge pressure on the Obama administration in the years ahead.

Sam Webb At the same time, labor and its allies, while vigorously advancing their own agenda, must adjust to the new scope of the post-election change coalition led by Obama that had emerged. Never before has a coalition with such breadth walked on the political stage of our country. It is far larger than the coalition that entered the election process a year ago; it is larger still than the coalition that came out of the Democratic Party convention in August.

Moreover, its growth potential is enormous. Significant numbers of white workers and small businesspeople, for example, who didn’t cast their vote for Obama, can be won to progressive and anti-racist positions of struggle going forward

New Zeal The communist/socialist trade unions and their affiliates will be used to broaden the "peoples movement" behind Obama. They will aim to bring the conservative white working class back to the Democrats.

Sam Webb As you can see, this change coalition contains various political forces with disparate class loyalties. There are no pure struggles at any stage of struggle. Indeed, in such a broad, multiclass coalition, relations will be contested as well as cooperative...

As for us, we can provide leadership only to the degree that we are in the trenches of the wider labor-led people’s movement, building this people’s upsurge in all directions. Only if we are making practical, on-the-ground contributions to the immediate struggles, and especially in the economic arena, can we help give political coherence to this broad coalition.

New Zeal Communists must get their hands dirty, increase dominance of the union movement and the mass organisations. This is not the time to sit on the sidelines.

Sam Webb Yes, we should bring issues and more advanced positions into the process that go beyond the initiatives of the Obama administration and the broad multiclass, many-layered coalition that supports it. But we should do this within the framework of the main task of supporting Obama’s program of action and building breadth, depth and participation of the core forces. We have to master the art of combining partial demands with more advanced ones. The former (partial demands) are the immediate grounds for building broad unity in action...

New Zeal Communists must keep pushing to tleft whenever possible, but should never do this at the expense of movement unity. Keeping the movement behind Obama united is the number one priority.

Sam Webb Nevertheless, we shouldn’t assume that the Obama administration will inevitably track right. It isn’t dialectical because it fails to take into account the election mandate, the new leverage of labor and its allies and, perhaps most important, the broader developments in the economy. We also shouldn’t have any truck with people on the left who argue that the main protagonists in the coming period are the Obama administration and Democrats on one side and the people on the other.

Finally, we should take a dim view of some on the left who will wait for the new administration to stumble and then immediately call for a break and attempt to turn broader forces into a hostile opposition. In fact, probably the biggest challenge for the core forces of this multiclass coalition is to resist attempts by reaction and some left forces to pit the Obama administration and Congress against the main sections of the people’s movement on one or another issue. Where there are (and will be) differences over appointments, legislation or other actions between the administration and the broad democratic forces, these differences have to handled in such a way as not to break the overall unity.

New Zeal Unity is all! Unity is all! Unity is all!

Sam Webb The left can and should advance its own views and disagree with the Obama administration without being disagreeable. Its tone should be respectful. We are speaking to a friend. When the administration and Congress take positive initiatives, they should be wholeheartedly welcomed. Nor should anyone think that everything will be done in 100 days. After all, main elements of the New Deal were codified into law in 1935, 1936 and 1937.

Although we are not in the socialist stage of the revolutionary process, we are, nevertheless on the road, and the only road, that will lead to socialism – to a society that is egalitarian in the rough sense, eliminates exploitation of working people, brings an end to all forms of oppression, and is notable for the many-layered participation of working people and their allies in the management of the economy and state.

The room for socialist ideas is in the public square has grown enormously. Such ideas can be easily discussed with many people and people’s leaders. Furthermore, the force of economic events will compel millions more to consider socialist ideas that in the past were dismissed out of hand. But our vision of socialism will resonate to the degree that it addresses contemporary sensibilities and challenges...

New Zeal Communists must keep their eyes on the big picture. We are on the road to socialism and we must not deviate.

Sam Webb Our role, as I have tried to say, is to be part of the struggles going forward – beginning with attending the inauguration and encouraging others to do the same. It’s going to be a grand event and a public expression of support for Obama and a mass expression for change.

Let’s reengage with others (labor, the nationally and racially oppressed, women, and youth) in this struggle. As to precisely what we do, we have to do some brainstorming as well as consult with people and organizations that we worked with in the election campaign.

A couple of ideas come to mind. We should consider initiating meetings to discuss the economic crisis and how to respond to it at the local, state and national level. Such meetings could be very broad in their participation and sponsorship. We should also mobilize support for Obama’s stimulus package, for aid to the auto corporations -- albeit with strings -- and for immediate relief for homeowners...

In these and the other struggles, we have to become better at building the Party, press and YCL. I don’t want to say the opportunities to build the Party and press are limitless, but they have grown immensely.

Let me finish by saying that it sure feels good to be on the winning side. I’m sure everyone feels the same way. At the same time, because of this historic victory, we –and the broader movement that we are a part of – have our work cut out for us in the coming years. It’s a big challenge, but we have met other challenges. So let’s go out there and do it with a sense of confidence that the best days for our country lay ahead of us. Yes we can! Si Se Puede! Thank you.

New Zeal Thank you, Sam.

Obama File 55 here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Obama File 53 Why Did Obama Appoint A Socialist To His "Transition Team"?

Obama file 52 here

According to the Washington Post, potential appointees to president elect Obama's new administration are being scrutinised like never before.

Now, as President-elect Barack Obama assembles his administration, an army of lawyers volunteering on his transition team are vetting his potential picks with unprecedented scrutiny of their personal, financial and professional backgrounds.

Obama is conducting the vetting process much the way he managed his campaign: methodically, thoroughly and on a prodigious scale. He did not wait until he won the election to vet his favored picks. Soon after he clinched the Democratic nomination, lawyers quietly prepared dossiers of about 150 contenders for senior positions -- often without the candidates themselves knowing...

Why then did president elect Obama, appoint a socialist to his proto cabinet- Transition Economic Advisory Board?

The man in question, former Michigan Congressman David Bonior is a supporter and almost certainly a "member in good standing" of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

Despite its name, DSA is not "democratic" in the traditional American sense. The organisation is a several thousand strong alliance of Marxists, anarchists, former communists, Trotskyists and student radicals-dedicated to the socialist transformation of American society.

DSA has close ties and some cross membership with both the Communist Party USA and the CPUSA offshoot Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism-both of wich also supported Obama.

Many DSA members have ties to Castro's Cuba, Chavez's Venezuela and Mexico's Zapatista rebels.

One DSA National Political Committee member, Kurt Stand, (code name "Junior") was jailed in 1997 after the FBI discovered he had spied for the former East Germany.

A Friends of Kurt Stand support group is still run by senior DSA member William (Bill) Moseley.

According to Wikipedia Bonior was...

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, Bonior served as Democratic whip in the House from 1991 to 2002, during which time Democrats were in both the majority (1991-1995) and minority (1995-2002), making Bonior the third and second highest-ranking Democrat in the House, respectively. During his tenure in office, Bonior was the public face of Democratic opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)...

David Bonior was a leading member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a grouping of around 50 leftist Democratic congressmen, which includes some DSA members.

From the DSA website.

No, we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus...Maybe sometime in the future, in coalition with our allies, an alternative national party will be viable. For now, we will continue to support progressives who have a real chance at winning elections, which usually means left-wing Democrats

After leaving Congress in 2002, Bonior ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Michigan, backed by Detroit DSA.

From DSA's Democratic Left Fall 2002

Detroit DSA remains active in the electoral arena. Over the spring and summer, its work focused on Rep.David Bonior's gubernatorial campaign. The local endorsed Rep. Bonior almost eighteen months ago. He was the keynote speaker at its last Douglass-Debs Dinner. DSA helped with the early fundraising for his campaign, col-lecting signatures for his nominating petitions, distributing literature at Detroit churches, and walking door to door in Macomb County on his behalf on the weekend before the primary. On the weekend of July 20-21, the local brought Rep. Danny Davis (an African-American congressman and DSA member from Chicago) to Detroit to campaign for Bonior...

Danny K Davis is also long time friend and political ally of Barack Obama.

In 2003 David Bonior was a keynote speaker at DSA's national convention in Detroit

Bonior's speech-"Towards a North American Parliamentary Union" called for a political forum, or Parliament to address US/Canada/Mexico relations. While Bonior was a leading opponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he is clearly not so opposed to North american political union..

Bonior told the DSA conference;

This organization has been just absolutely tremendous in the Detroit area in [the]living wage campaign’s great, great success—they have been one of the stalwarts in it—fighting for a singlepayer healthcare plan, and, of course, global justice. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here with you today and to be associated...

Four days after Obama won the presidency, on the 8th of November 2008, Greater Detroit DSA honoured David Bonior and his wife at their annual dinner.

At this year’s Fr ederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the merger of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) with the New American Movement to form Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The dinner will be held at UAW Local 600 at 6 PM on Saturday, November 8th. This year we are honoring David and Judy Bonior and Judge Claudia Morcum...

Bonior also chairs the board of pro-union organisation American Rights at Work. Other board members include AFL-CIO president and DSA member John Sweeney, NAACP leader Julian Bond (once a member of DSA ancestor organisation Democratic Socialist Organising Committee) and two DSA connected politicians-former Congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume and Congresswoman Hilda Solis.

Clearly David Bonior is close to DSA, but is there any proof that he is actually a member?

From DSA's Democratic Left Spring 2006

DSA has formed a Political Action Committee—Democratic Socialists of America PAC (DSA PAC), which will raise funds to enable activity that supports or opposes candidates for federal office. By law, DSA is not permitted to expend its resources in support of or against candidates in partisan elections; however, DSA is permitted to form a PAC for this purpose...

The PAC is a separate legal entity that will file reports of its activity with the Federal Election Commission...

Only DSA members in good standing may contribute to the PAC. Because the law is so specific, all contributions are carefully screened to make sure that they are from members...

"Only members in good standing may contribute..."

According to this page-David Bonior Political Campaign Contributions 2006 Election Cycle David E Bonior gave $1,000 to the DSA PAC.


Either DSA, Bonior or both broke US electoral law, or David E Bonior was, in 2006, an official member of Democratic Socialists of America.

Others contributors listed with Bonior included confirmed DSA members David Green, Ed Clark, Adam Hochschild, Duane Campbell, David Knuttenen, Richard Shoemaker, Milton Tambor, Eric Edel, Oskar Pascal and William Moseley.

So it looks pretty likely that David Bonior was, or is, a paid up socialist.

If this is so, why would Obama appoint David Bonior to one of the most important posts in the country?

It is not as if Bonior and Obama go way back. Bonior is only a fairly recent convert to the Obama cause. Originally he was a campaign manager for Obama's Democratic primary rival John Edwards.

Even though Bonior's conversion is pretty complete...

why should Obama choose him above all other contenders?

The answer may be obvious.

Obama has his own easily documented ties to Democratic Socialists of America.

Obama almost certainly began attending DSA sponsored conferences while at Columbia University in the early 1980s. He was endorsed by Chicago DSA during his successful 1996 run for Illinois State Senate. At the same time he joined the partially DSA initiated New Party.

Obama has close personal and political ties to several DSA supporters including Quentin Young, Rabbi Jacob Wolf, Jackie Grimshaw, William McNary, the late Saul Mendelson and US Congress members Danny K Davis and Jan Schakowsky.

Is it credible that Obama has no knowledge of Bonior's DSA connections? Is it possible that Obama's sleuths missed Bonior's easily found socialist links?

Is it more likely that Obama is well aware of Bonior's background, but appointed him in spite of, or even because of it?

In appointing David Bonior to his "Transition Team" was Obama knowingly promoting a a socialist "comrade"?

There are some important questions to be answered here.


This September 2007 report from Boston DSA states;

It should also be noted that Edward’s recent statements on this issue have shown real improvement, which might be due to his key advisor—former House Democratic Whip and recent DSA member David Bonior.

Obama file 54 here

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gramsci-A Coward At the End?

Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci was one of the most destructive individuals in world history. His work still inspires the gradual disintegration of western society that has been growing steadily worse in recent times.

But it appears, that Gramsci, the hero of millions of socialists and communists worldwide, lacked the courage of his own convictions.

From the Times Online

The Vatican has revealed that Antonio Gramsci, the founder of Italian Communism and an icon of the Left, reverted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed.

Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, former head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, which deals with confessions, indulgences and the forgiveness of sins, said Gramsci had "died taking the Sacraments". He had asked the nuns attending him in hospital to let him kiss an image of the infant Jesus, Monsignor De Magistris said.

He said rumours that Gramsci had reverted had never until now been confirmed, and the Italian Left had also remained silent on the issue. "But that is how it was" he told Vatican Radio. "Gramsci returned to the faith of his infancy".

Gramsci, who came from Sardinia, won a scholarship in 1911 to study at the University of Turin, a city dominated by the Fiat factories and where trade unions were emerging. He became a Marxist journalist, supporting workers' councils which sprang up in Turin during the strikes of 1919 and 1920.

He played a leading role in founding the Communist Party of Italy or PCI in 1921, became its leader, and after visiting Moscow sought to form a united front of leftist parties against Fascism. He was arrested by the Fascist police in 1926 and put in prison, where his already poor health deteriorated. He died in Rome at the age of 46, shortly after being released, and is buried in the Protestant Cemetery.

He is regarded as one of the most important Marxist thinkers of the 20th century. His thought is crystallised in The Prison Notebooks, in which, among other things, he argued that Capitalism was based on a combination of force and consensus, and that Marxism could only supercede religion if it met peoples spiritual as well as material needs.

Sluka Still Supporting Tame Iti's "Freedom Fighters"

Massey University's Jeff Sluka researched the Irish Repubican Army, on the ground, in the slums of Belfast.

Now he's supporting our own "freedom fighters"-those arrested by New Zealand's "terrorist" police force in the October 15th 2007 anti-terrorism raids.

From Indymedia

Political Anthropologist, Associate Professor Jeff Sluka, is coming to Wellington.

On Tuesday 2nd December Jeff Sluka will be the key speaker at public meeting discussing State terrorism during the 2007 ‘anti-terrorism’ raids in Rūātoki. This is the fifth in a series of meetings hosted by the October 15th Solidarity Group group.

Jeff,” says Anna Thorby from the October 15th Solidarity Group, “was a guest speaker at the recent commemoration of the police ‘anti-terrorism’ raids at Rūātoki.” During his talk there he described the raids as ‘politically misguided, morally wrong and fundamentally counterproductive.

Jeff Sluka is an anthropologist whose particular interest is armed national liberation movements – that is, ‘freedom fighters’ – and he’s one of the few social scientists who has actually done first-hand research with people defined as ‘terrorists’ in their natural settings.

“Jeff challenges people to think about the labels of terrorism and terrorist,” said Anna.

After living in both west and north Belfast, Jeff has first-hand knowledge of terrorism and the terrorising of communities. At Rūātoki Jeff said that ‘aggressive police operations, like those employed during the raids in the Ureweras, conducted by paramilitary police backed by ‘special’ anti-terrorism legislation and powers, are characteristic of state terrorism and military occupation.’ Something he was used to in Northern Ireland.”

“Jeff told the gathering,” said Anna, “that as a result of the police raids of October 15, the resultant awareness and need for security consciousness made him feel ‘a bit like ‘coming home’ to the culture of terror and resistance’ – a life he experienced whilst living in Northern Ireland.

“He makes people think about policing and counterinsurgency tactics used by the State. He highlights the inherent dangers of paramilitary policing.”

As a result of the raids last year there are now 18 people facing charges. Attempts by the police to lay charges under the TSA failed but people are still facing politically motivated charges under the Arms Act. And a new charge of participating in an organised criminal group has been laid against five of the 18.

New Zeal Interesting to see Anna Thorby popping back up. She's a "freedom fighter" too.

In the 1980's Anna Maree Thorby was involved with Sue Bradford's Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre-a Workers Communist League/anarchist run outfit.

In May 1986 Thorby and her accomplice Debbie Leyland were convicted of common assault and disorderly behaviour and jailed for 6 months for throwing eggs at the Queen, during HRH's visit to Auckland.

In 1990 Thorby was arrested for trespassing in the Auckland Treasury building with several other protestors including Sue Bradford.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yippee.. Another Chance to Talk About Myself

I got tagged for this by my expat mates Clint Heine and Rob Good.

The rulz are:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules
3. Share seven random or weird facts about yourself
4. Tag 7 random people at the end of the post with their links
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1 When I was 16 I went out on one date with the very nice and ultra-bright 15 year old niece of a Christchurch Labour MP. She has since become a writer and biographer and is reportedly now gay. I've often wondered...

2 I often write on the verge of tears.

3 My life is full of strange coincidences. When I was researching the Socialist Unity Party hard-out, I was bugged for years by the identity of a Christchuch party member named W Collins. I eventually found a letter in the National Archives that gave his full name as William or "Bill" Collins. He'd written the letter from his home at 28 Stapletons Road-the very same house I was living in at the time.

4 An even better one occurred on March 5th 2002 at 1.45pm on Kelburn Parade outside Victoria University. I was on a research trip to Wellington and had just been to Vic clubs day. Before flying to Wellington, I had a very strong intuition that I would meet up with two old friends-Sarah G and Meredith S, who I hadn't seen for years. I was talking to my wife on the cell phone when Sarah G walked down the road to me.

After she left, I turned around and the very next person to walk up the road was Meredith S.

5 In 1989 I organised a visit to NZ by Soviet dissident poetess Irina Ratushinskaya.
A former gulag inmate, Irina was sent to the West for medical treatment and then stripped of her Soviet citizenship by smilin' Mike Gorbachev.

Irina got to know both Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan well.

I also spent a lot of time with John Van de Ven, a former SIS contact who had trained in Moscow as a make believe communist. John had gotten to know a very senior Soviet official-Gennady Yannaev. In 1991 comrade Yannaev led a coup against Boris Yeltsin and became leader of the Soviet Union for one day.

So I was one degree of seperation from three of the most powerful political leaders on the planet.

They didn't return my calls.

6 I met my wife Tracey when I picked her up from the side of Lincoln Road, opposite Addington Raceway at 10pm 16th December 1988. I was driving a taxi.

7 I've never smoked dope.

Tagged Not PC, Andy Moore, Liberty Scott, Madeleine, Mickey, Lindsay Mitchell

Marxists Seek to Radicalise Australian Muslims

Australia’s largest Marxist-Leninist organisation is attempting to radicalise that nation's Muslim communities.

Democratic Socialist Perspectiv, the latest incarnation of the formerly Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party, is using its front group Socialist Alliance and its newspaper Green Left Weekly to propagandise among Arabic speaking Australians.

According to the DSP’s online journal “Links,” an Arabic language insert “The Flame” included in Green Left Weekly, will set out to “establish a progressive Arabic-language press which can frankly discuss the squalid condition of the Arab world due to submission and subservience to neo-colonialism”

Editor in chief Soubhi Iskander explains that “the Arabic-speaking communities in Australia need to read articles relating to the Australian government policy internally — articles which will unmask the pitfalls of these policies, and will expose the violation and the lies of the capitalist parties. The Flame, we hope, will be a powerful addition to Green Left Weekly.”

Ever eager to find an audience, the DSP is mindful that “according to the 2006 census, the most commonly spoken language in Sydney households, after English, is Arabic. In Australia as a whole, Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken language”

Links goes on to makes it clear, that revolution, not community service is the goal of the Flame project.

"Iskander and his team are working to involve progressive activists from other Arabic-speaking communities in the Flame project. They are promoting GLW subscriptions to interested members of the Arabic-speaking communities. GLW is proud to be taking this major step to broaden the audience for progressive ideas and news of the movements for radical political, economic and environmental change. We know we will not achieve radical change without bringing together all sections of the oppressed and exploited in a common struggle".

In September this year Soubhi Iskander and fellow Sudanese Hassan El Nour Abaid stood unsuccessfully for Blacktown City Council on the Socialist Alliance ticket with gay rights activist and DSP member Rachel Evans.

According to Iskander, the campaign “strengthened ongoing collaboration between the Sudanese community and the Socialist Alliance…“The results for the Socialist Alliance show that people are starting to understand that the major parties will not use their power to make a better world… People are starting to understand that the major parties are just an instrument in the hands of the corporations.”

Iskander has been co-editor of the Arabic newspaper Akbar Misr (Egypt News) since 1996 and serves on the management committee of the All-Sudanese Council.

Before coming to Australia, Iskander was a veteran of the Sudanese Communist Party, joining in1956, two years after the party’s founding.

Arrested and tortured several times for his communist activities, Iskander eventually secured a passport by bribing police and came to Australia in 1994 as a political refugee.

In 1996 Iskander helped establish the Sudanese Australia Human Rights Association “to advocate for people who are persecuted in Sudan and make the Australian people aware of what is happening there… We tried to defend Sudanese people in Australia against any form of racism…We came to the conclusion that there is racism in Australia, even though people say that that is only in the past".

Also active in the Sudanese Communist Party, Hassan El Nour Abaid has lived in Blacktown since 2004, He is chairperson of the Sudanese Australian
Human Rights Association and is involved in several other Sudanese organisations.

Abaid previously lived in Cairo and in Libya where he helped form the Democratic Alliance-an opposition group of several Sudanese political factions, including the Communist Party.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unite the Right

It happens everywhere. In a world where socialism is expanding on almost every front, some on the right would rather attack their allies than their opponents.

I see it in New Zealand quite often-libertarians attack conservatives and both attack the "religious right."

It's a bit like Aussie and Kiwi soldiers slagging off at each other and the "Poms" in a WW1 trench while 10,000 bayonet drawn Huns are advancing on them all through "no man's land".

I expect this kind of self indulgence to intensify now that the various factions of the New Zealand right are no longer united by the Clark/Cullen bogey. However I sincerely hope it doesn't-which is why i'm writing this post.

With National and ACT in power, the right needs to unite more than ever to pressure the government for meaningful reform. We have a short window of opportunity to turn New Zealand around. The rest of the world is going socialist at breakneck pace. New Zealand is the one bright light in a very dark void at the moment.

Let's not squander our great opportunities with silly scrapping.

The American Thinker website carries an excellent article by libertarian activist Randall Hoven.

A Libertarian Defense of Social Conservatism

In it, Hoven points out the obvious fact that religious and social conservatives are libertarians real friends.

Social conservatism is taking a beating lately. Not only did it lose in the recent elections, it is being blamed for the Republican losses. If only the religious right would get off the Republican Party's back, the GOP could win like it is supposed to again. I beg to differ...

I have no problem with "social conservatives" or the "religious right" and their supposed influence on the Republican party. I base this not on the Bible or historical authority, but on the love of liberty and the evidence of my own eyes.

The most obvious point to me is that it is the do-gooding liberals who are telling us all what we can and can't do. The religious right usually just wants to be left alone, either to home school, pray in public or not get their children vaccinated with who-knows-what. Inasmuch as the "religious right" wants some things outlawed, they have failed miserably for at least the last 50 years. Abortion, sodomy, and pornography are now all Constitutional rights. However, praying in public school is outlawed, based on that same Constitution.

Just think for a moment about the things you are actually forced to do or are prevented from doing. Seat belts. Motorcycle helmets. Bicycle helmets. Smoking. Gun purchase and ownership restrictions. Mandatory vaccines for your children. Car emissions inspections. Campaign ad and contribution restrictions. Saying a prayer at a public school graduation or football game. Trash separation and recycling. Keeping the money you earned. Gas tax. Telephone tax. Income tax. FICA withholding. Fill in this form. Provide ID.

For the most part, the list just cited is post-1960. Neither Pat Robertson nor James Dobson ever forced any of that on us...

Randall Hoven points out that both libertarians and conservatives have a common interest in preserving what made America great. Just as we do in New Zealand.

We should be especially careful in tinkering with the most successful society ever to exist on this planet. I would hope I wouldn't have to defend that claim. By 1969 we put man on the moon and brought him back safely. We were the richest and most free country on earth. Immigrants flocked to our shores. We had defeated some of the most despicable regimes in history. Our schools were the envy of the world and our people produced more patents than any other country.

Shouldn't we have some humility about changing the most fundamental institutions that got us to that point? Things like traditional marriage, the nuclear family, schools, private property, the free market and the Bill of Rights? That is not to say we don't change them at all. But let's be careful, incremental and be prepared to change the change. Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater

Hoven gets his priorities right.

When the day comes that the only thing between me and liberty are some Bible-quoting know-it-alls, I'll reconsider. But right now, there are a lot of things between me and liberty, and the "religious right" is not one of them. In fact, I see them voting for more liberty, not less. If the Republican Party ever decides it really wants to be the party of liberty, rather than the slower-road-to-socialism party, I'll gladly join the religious right there.

Read the whole article. Then think about it next time you want to slag off at a potential friend.

Don't we need all we can get?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Something For My Leftie Readers

"The Economic and Cultural Ideas of Capitalism Have Reached an End"

From Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency

First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi in a meeting with a visiting Chinese senior official here on Saturday, by referring to the world current financial crisis, said the situation has provided an appropriate opportunity to design a new economic and cultural system.

According to the Presidential Office Website, Davoudi said, "The economic and cultural ideas of capitalism have reached to an end." Concerning bilateral ties, the VP said that the two countries have old historical relations in the field of culture and art with each other which can promote ties between Tehran and Beijing in other fields...

Referring to the current economic and financial crisis in the west, the VP said, "Tehran and Beijing are in a good direction economically and the necessity for developing bilateral ties is felt more and more."

The China Communist Party Head of Central Committee Publicity Department Liu Yunshan, for his part, said Chinese government and people welcome friendship with Iran and wish to extend relations with Tehran...

Advisor to the China president said, "Iran's prediction on the west financial system was correct and the international financial network should be corrected and the role of regional mechanisms should be strengthened."

McCain Shot Down By a Soviet?

Some interesting background on the first time McCain was shot down by a socialist.

From Russian news agency Novosti

MOSCOW, November 17 - An ex-Soviet officer who claims to have shot down U.S. Senator John McCain's plane over Vietnam in 1967 has said he is happy the ex-navy pilot lost his bid for the White House, a Russian paper said on Monday.

McCain was shot down over Hanoi while on a bombing mission on October 26, 1967, and taken captive by the North Vietnamese. He spent five and a half years in a POW camp, and claims that he was tortured. His time in captivity left him unable to raise his hands above his head.

Although McCain's former Vietnamese prison guards have said that they have forgiven him for his bombing raids, and that they even rooted for him in the U.S. presidential elections, 70-year-old Yury Trushyekin has no such warm feelings.

"It's good that he didn't become president. Even in the camp they said how he really hated Russians, as he knew it was our missile that shot him down," Trushyekin told the MK v Pitere paper. "Russian-American relations would have suffered, that's for sure."

There has never been any official acknowledgement that Soviet soldiers served in Vietnam on the side of the communist North Vietnamese in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Trushyekin, currently in a hospital in Russia's second city of St. Petersburg, had no qualms about speaking about his time in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

"I got to Vietnam at the time when there were mixed units with Vietnamese," he said, adding that he had served as an officer in a missile unit.

On the fateful day that McCain was shot down, Trushyekin recalled that his squad was getting ready to leave their post defending a local bridge when two U.S. planes came into view.

"We were preparing to leave when the sirens sounded again," he said. "Two American F-4 Phantoms flew in. We had two missiles out of six left. The Vietnamese fired first. Their rocket missed, it fell into the jungle. One plane went round the hill, the other came over the bridge. We fired at this one."

After McCain's plane was downed, the North Vietnamese quickly discovered him in a nearby lake.

"His hands were covered in blood and he was in a state of shock," said the former Soviet officer. "It's lucky that he was able to put his pistol into the air, or they would have shot him straight away."

McCain, as the son of a top U.S. admiral, was a major catch for the North Vietnamese. Trushyekin recovered McCain's identity card, and even brought it back with him to the Soviet Union. However, he has since mislaid it.

The ex-Soviet officer says he did not hear or think about McCain again until he became the senator of Arizona in 1986.

"They were showing archive pictures, of how he was sitting in his plane, looking so young. And I thought, 'he looks awfully familiar,'" said Trushyekin.

Sweet, Sweet Victory

Congratulations to the Kiwis. Now Rugby League world champions after beating the Kangaroos 34-20 in a huge upset in Brisbane last night.

A great performance and a well deserved victory.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama File Posts on Side Bar

In response to several requests I have listed all my Obama File posts (so far) on the side bar to the right.

This will give easier access to anyone interested in researching Obama's socialist background.

I hope readers find this useful.

How Obama Got Elected

This is tragic, hilarious and enlightening.

Hat Tip The Real Barack Obama

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama File 52 Communists Celebrate Obama Victory, Plan Steps to Socialism

Obama file 51 here

Now that Barack Obama is elected, the Communist Party USA can safely come out of the shadows-for at least a while.

They are free to gloat over Obama's victory, to boast about the part they played in it and to lay down the agenda they expect Obama to pursue.

The party wants Obama to implement huge social changes.

The party wants to preserve the left wing coalition that brought Obama to power and to use that unity to keep the pressure on Obama's government.

The party wants to put socialism back on the agenda.

This is the culmination of decades of hard work. The Communist Party USA does not intend to blow this opportunity.

From the Peoples Weekly World

NEW YORK — Communist Party USA leaders meeting here Nov. 15-16 celebrated the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, and of stronger Democratic majorities in Congress, saying it opened the way to progressive advances for America’s working families.

They adopted a call to action to carry out the election mandate, including immediate government steps to help Americans hit by the economic crisis and bringing peace to Iraq and Afghanistan. And they said maintaining the unity of the movement that elected Obama will be vital to making gains. Anything that disrupts that unity is “the worst thing that could happen,” an Ohio steelworker retiree declared.

The election outcome represented “the biggest political realignment since the 1930s,” said CPUSA Political Action Chair Joelle Fishman. “We can think back with pride to decades of hard work toward the goal of a big enough, broad enough and united enough labor and all-people’s movement that could overcome the ultra-right blockage to all progress,” she said. “That all-people’s movement has come to life. It is dynamic and it has the potential to grow.”

This election showed magnificently what our people are made of,” the party’s executive vice chair, Jarvis Tyner, said with tears in his eyes. “This is not just a campaign, it is a movement,” one that has updated and made a reality of the slogan, “black, brown, white, unite and fight,” he said.

CPUSA National Chair Sam Webb said, “The people have taken a necessary first step toward a new society.” Obama is bringing a “reform agenda in a reform era whose character will be decided in the years ahead,” he said.

The “biggest challenge” now, he told the meeting, is to “resist efforts by reaction and some on the left” to advocate a break in the coalition that elected Obama and is now led by him. “We will have our differences but they have to be handled so as not to break the overall unity,” he said. The elections showed the possibilities for building a bigger and broader coalition to effect progressive change, based in the labor movement and among women, racial and ethnic minorities and young people, and including small businesses and people who did not vote for Obama, Webb said.

Speakers hailed the role of labor, the African American people, Latinos, women and youth in the stunning Nov. 4 victory.

Activists from battleground states emphasized the key role that trade union leaders and rank-and-file union members played there. CPUSA Labor Commission chair Scott Marshall noted the “near-total unity of labor” in backing Obama, saying it bodes well for further labor unity...

Fishman stressed that the election took place in the shadow of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression and the endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, “people are angry, hopeful and ready to go,” she said. “Our program should be strong and decisive. It should call for taking the profits out of basic needs like health care and energy and explore public ownership. At the same time, we should be part of the movement that puts the wind at Obama’s back.

Webb said the seeds of today’s economic meltdown were planted in the 1970s with a combination of bad government policies, corporate greed and the destabilizing dynamics inherent in capitalism. The result was a ballooning unregulated financial sector and an economy fueled by government and consumer debt. Along with that came the collapse of manufacturing, mass unemployment, union-busting, wage and benefit cuts, and attempts to privatize public education, Social Security and Medicare. These policies, Webb charged, produced the biggest shift in wealth from working people to the rich in our history.

What is needed to reverse this crisis, he said, “is massive fiscal expansion, large injections of federal money into the economy” to fund public works job programs, extend jobless benefits and food stamps and help Americans hold onto their homes. As immediate priorities, Webb said, “We need to single out jobs and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, joining with others in the struggle.” The EFCA, labor’s top priority, will make it easier for workers to join unions.

The party leaders emphasized combining support for immediate and partial measures and for more advanced and longer-term reforms, along with projecting socialism as a fundamental solution, one that Americans are now open to hearing more about. The economic crisis shows that socialism is a necessity for our country, Webb said. “We need to put out our vision of socialism and how it will come about.”

Fishman cautioned against getting bogged down in disputes over Cabinet appointments. “Our energy and focus should be on building the labor and people’s broad movement at the grass roots,” she said. “That is how we can give a constructive push in a united way.

Obama File 53 here

Cuba/Russia Ties Increase

From the Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World

Cuba: New cooperation with Russia

Bilateral visits hint at tightened Cuban-Russian relations. On his third trip to Cuba in three months, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin signed automobile, nickel, energy and grain deals Nov. 8 after meeting with President Raul Castro.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev visits Cuba later this month. Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque conducted an official visit to Russia on Nov. 11-12, meeting with Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and legislative leaders. Trade and military cooperation were discussed, along with anticipated Russian investments in oil exploration, tourism and mining.

Russia was the first country to send Cuba humanitarian aid following hurricanes Ike and Gustav. President Raul Castro will visit Russia next year, according to the Cuban News Agency.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama File 51 Top Communists Used Influence for Obama Victory

Obama File 50 here

I posted here on the huge role that unions played in the election of Barack Obama.

After John Sweeney of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) became AFL-CIO president in 1996, he oversaw the repeal of the ban on known communists holding office in AFL-CIO unions.

The once strongly anti-communist US union movement is now dominated by supporters of DSA and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

Illinois unionist Scott Marshall is one the most influential socialists in the US. He is Vice Chair of the Communist Party USA and Chair of the CPUSA Labor Commission.

Scott Marshall directs the hundreds of CPUSA members and sympathisers who have re-colonised the US labour movement in recent years.

This gives Marshall control of millions of dollars of union money and thousands of paid and volunteer union political campaigners.

Scott Marshall used his considerable influence to help get Barack Obama elected president and he's pretty damn happy about it.

From the CPUSA's Labor UpFront Blog

Obama Wins!
Labor Wins!
Working Families Win!

The American people reject policies of greed
and union-busting!

President-elect Barack Obama.

Those words ring with meaning. For organized labor they ring with pride, hope, and energy for the struggles ahead. No one feels like “labor’s candidate won, so now we can go home and rest.” Rather, as congratulation messages pour in from all parts of the labor movement, the critical subtext is, we are ready and eager to march with you for change. At the top of labor’s change agenda is boots-on-the-ground support for the Obama agenda of a new “New Deal” for economic recovery and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Organized labor played an amazing role in the election Barack Obama.

Unions played an extraordinary leadership role in winning the working class for Obama.

It’s been many years since labor was so totally united behind a presidential candidate.

Labor raised the struggle against racism and for class unity to a whole new level.

Unions gave vital leadership in building support for Obama on issues like the economy, workers rights to organize, protecting retiree’s pensions and social security, healthcare, and building green manufacturing that protects the environment and puts people back to work.

The labor movement took independent political action to spectacular new levels. Unions broke all previous records in mobilizing it’s rank and file for labor walks, phone banks, plant gate distributions, and member to member contact in the workplace. Labor continued to build and develop it’s own political apparatus and voice. Hundreds, if not thousands, of union halls became campaign central for the Obama campaign as well as for targeted Congressional contests.

As phenomenal as labor’s efforts were, the impact of the Obama upsurge and campaign on labor was also incredible. New coalitions were built or strengthened. A new depth was added to ties between labor and all the components of the Obama movement.

Labor’s role was hardly mentioned in the mainstream press. All the more reason for labor to have a big showing of celebration and support for our new President. Some in labor have begun to talk about a big mobilization for President Barack Obama’s “People’s Inaugural.”

What a great idea!

Joelle Fishman is Chair of the CPUSA Political Action Commission and Chair of the Connecticut Communist Party. She is also the daughter-in-law of the late senior Soviet spy and former head of the CPUSA Economics Commission, Victor Perlo.

Fishman's role in the CPUSA's Political Action Commission gives her responsibility for organising party support for "progressive" Democratic Party candidates at the state, congressional, senate and of course presidential level.

She has links to Obama friend and USAction leader, William McNary.

Like virtually all of the CPUSA's "red army", Joelle Fishman personally campaigned for Barack Obama.

Joelle Fishman writing in the Connecticut Communist Party'sCT People Before Profits Blog

It was enjoyable to knock on doors and find voters who were enthusiastic and inspired by Obama’s historic candidacy, like the teacher who said her whole family was spreading the word. There were several families of divided opinion and others who declined to say. The most challenging conversations were with voters who did not want to support Obama because they were caught up in the lies and rumors undermining his integrity and patriotism. Those who were ready to discuss appreciated the comparison of McCain’s anti-worker record with Obama’s near perfect score.

It was exciting to be part of the quarter million union volunteers across the country, the biggest election mobilization in labor’s history, which has influenced the political climate in working class swing states and districts, laying the basis for a much larger labor movement.

The example set by labor’s top leaders talking directly with white sisters and brothers about how Obama represents their best chance for a secure future will have a lasting impact...

This year the chance to uproot ultra-right corporate political dominance is much greater. Voters want to be part of history. They see that the policies of the Bush administration, which McCain-Palin would continue, are bankrupting the country and endangering the world.

Labor’s giant effort along with massive organizing by African American, Latino, women’s and youth groups has turned historically Republican states’ House and Senate seats into battlegrounds, including the Senate seat in New Hampshire.

A landslide victory for Obama and Congress will open the door for big new struggles to organize workers into unions and place the needs of working families front and center in this economic crisis.

The CPUSA has backed Obama electorally since at least 2004. This year the communists put every resource they had behind the Obama's campaign.


Obama file 52 here

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Shining Path" Resurgent?

Peru's Maoist Shining Path guerilla movement appears to be making a comeback.

From the Washington Post

PUKATORO, Peru -- After years in relative obscurity, the Shining Path, one of Latin America's most notorious guerrilla groups, is fighting the Peruvian military with renewed vigor, feeding on the profits of the cocaine trade and trying to win support from the Andean villagers it once terrorized, according to residents and Peruvian officials.

The Shining Path's reemergence has stirred chilling memories of its blood-soaked forays of decades past. In October, Shining Path guerrillas killed more people -- 17 soldiers and five civilians -- than they have in any month since the 1990s. This rising death toll is largely attributed to a fresh offensive by the Peruvian military, launched under the same president who battled them in the 1980s, to try to destroy the remnants of the once almost forgotten communist rebel group.

But those who live among them, as well as those who study the secretive group, also describe other reasons for their resurgence. The Shining Path, which has its bases in two coca-producing regions of central Peru, is now heavily involved in drug trafficking and is paying for new recruits.

Experts said the guerrillas have renounced the brutal tactics espoused by their original leader, Abimael Guzmán, who was captured in 1992. Unlike Guzmán, who said 10 percent of the Peruvian population had to be assassinated for the Shining Path to take power, the new leaders tell their followers they must protect the villagers and instead target the military and anti-drug authorities.

In numbers, the guerrillas' ranks remain a fraction of their former size: 400 to 700 full-time fighters in the branch that insists on armed struggle, according to various estimates; in the low thousands if offshoots that call for more-peaceful political revolution are included.

Hat tip Once Upon A Time in the West

Meanwhile Shining Path supporters held a conference in Hamburg FRG in October.

Greetings came from Sweden, FRG, Turkey, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Italy and the USA. They included messages from groups from both inside and outside the Shining path support organisation, the Revolutionary International Movement, but excluded the US Revolutionary Communistparty, Shining Path's long time American ally.

Here is a message from the US based New Peru Friendship Association.

Message to the Hamburg Conference

October 25, 2008

The New Peru Friendship Association, USA, sends its warmest revolutionary greetings to the 2008 Hamburg Conference, to its organizers and participants. We send special greetings to Chairman Gonzalo, in the highest Shining Trench of Combat, to the PCP and its Leadership, to the invincible People’s War in Peru which they lead, and to the New Power; and our warmest greetings to the new Congress of the PCP...

It is the PCP, through its generated organization for the work abroad, the MPP, who has been imposing, and will continue to impose Maoism as the only command and guide of the World Proletarian Revolution within the International Communist Movement and the RIM. What corresponds to today is the necessity for militarized Marxist-Leninist-Maoist communist parties to wage and continue to wage people’s wars until communism. And what is fundamental to people’s war is Power. The conquest of power in Peru is materialized in the People’s Committees, Support Bases and the People’s Republic of New Democracy in formation for establishing the People’s Republic of Peru. This is the line of the PCP. It is the Maoist line. The line of the new revisionism, headquartered in the USA, but having terrible consequences around the world, like in Nepal, for example, is “peace accord”. These capitulationist creatures of the new revisionism are united with the genocidal wars that Yankee imperialism and the reactionaries wage against the peoples of the world. They foment and spread capitulation with the so-called “peace accords” for afterwards wanting the revolution to be drowned in blood. They want communist parties without Maoism, without Great Leadership, without people’s war.

We are sure that all of this revisionist dead weight will be removed like the cancer that it is and we are honored to be able to help, because it has been poisoning the ICM for far too long. It is not conditions in the world that have held us back—which the RCP claims—but it is them, the new revisionism, that has held us back—their “peace accords”, their capitulation, their treason against the class. Let the RCP participate in the Yankee imperialist elections—that’s exactly where they belong.


God help Peru, if these people ever take power.

Aussie Communists Congratulate America on Obama Victory

Communist parties the world over are jubilant at Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential election.

Here's a statement from across the Tasman.

Communist Party of Australia

A message of unity and hope for change

The election of Barack Obama as US President symbolises the hope and expectation sweeping the American public for a real political change. The Communist Party of Australia welcomes this movement for change...

The Obama campaign was able to generate the most excitement, attract the most votes, most volunteers and the most money because it had the clearest message of unity and offered hope of progressive change at a time when economic rationalist policies and aggressive foreign policies had become a disaster for the US people and the rest of the world.

After the longest and most expensive campaign in US history, Obama was elected by voters suffering from the effects of eight years of Bush’s presidency and appalled by rising unemployment and homelessness and the financial crisis.

The Obama victory was the result of an impressive campaign at the grass roots level, led by an orator who offered hope for the future. Never before in the US have so many people taken to the streets, doorknocked their neighbours or signed up to campaign for a presidential candidate...

US voters shook off their cynicism and hopelessness to actually vote. In a country where voting is not compulsory, millions of voters, including millions of new voters, used the election to defeat the right wing Bush policies and to bring about change.

Democrats will now control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994. The election saw a huge turnout of an estimated 64.1 percent of the electorate. This is the highest voter turnout since 1908.

The election of Barack Obama means there is now an opportunity in the US to end the war in Iraq, to create jobs, to cut the destructive military budget, to house those who have lost their homes, bring universal health care, save the environment and start the restoration of democratic rights.

However, President Obama will inherit a country in deep economic crisis and involved in several astronomically expensive wars. Realistically he will face huge obstacles in trying to unite a deeply divided and often racist society at a time of extreme social and political crisis...

The US ruling class remains wedded to the private enterprise system and will not give up its power and privileges without a people’s struggle far more powerful and persistent than yet seen in the US.

The activism growing out of this election is the only guarantee that the devastation of the Bush years will be rolled back and that real changes can be implemented. The challenge now is to keep up the activism and pressure on the new president to bring about those changes.

The American people have taken a significant first step. We wish them great success in the struggles to come.

New Zeal Milestones

New Zeal was three years old on the 16th and is just about to tick over 333,333 hits.

That's 77,000 since this post on October 23rd.

Readers will know that is blog often bucks mainstream opinion.

But like Virgil Kain, I decided early on to take a "rebel stand".

Thanks for your support.

PS don't forget that donation button, top right. I promise you you'll get your money's worth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Top NATO Official Spied For Moscow?

Another example of why expanding NATO into the "former" communist bloc is not a good idea.

From the Times Online November 16

A spy at the heart of Nato may have passed secrets on the US missile shield and cyber-defence to Russian Intelligence, it has emerged.

Herman Simm, 61, an Estonian defence ministry official who was arrested in September, was responsible for handling all of his country's classified information at Nato, giving him access to every top-secret graded document from other alliance countries.

He was recruited by the Russians in the late 1980s and has been charged in Estonia with supplying information to a foreign power.

Several investigation teams from both the EU and Nato, under the supervision of a US officer, have flown to the Estonian capital Tallinn to assess the scope of what is being seen as the most serious case of espionage against Nato since the end of the Cold War.

“The longer they work on the case, the more obvious it becomes how big the impact of the suspected treachery really is,” according to Der Spiegel magazine. A German official described the Russian penetration of Nato as a "catastrophe"...

"Simm became a proper agent for the Russian government in the mid-1990s," says the Estonian deputy Jaanus Rahumaegi who heads the country's parliamentary control commission for the security services.

But Mr Simm was not some relic from the days of Kim Philby or other notorious deep-cover agents. He was at the cutting edge of one of Nato’s most important new strategic missions: to defend the alliance against cyber-attack.

Mr Simm headed government delegations in bilateral talks on protecting secret data flow. And he was an important player in devising EU and Nato information protection systems...

The other important question in the Simm case is whether he was operating alone. A senior Estonian police officer claimed asylum in Britain in the 1990s reportedly telling the authorities that he was trying to escape pressure from the Russian secret service to sell secrets.

The Russians, it seems, were keen to buy as many place-men as they could: the prospect of Nato forces hard up against the northern Russian border was too alarming for the Kremlin. Moreover, Mr Simm was for many years in charge of issuing security clearance: he could have nodded through other Russian agents.