January 25, 2014 - No. 4

Canada's Role in Service of U.S. Imperialism

Stephen Harper's Mideast Adventurism





Canada's Role in Service of U.S. Imperialism

Stephen Harper's Mideast Adventurism


This article examines Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recently-completed Mideast tour January 20-25, 2014. Harper led an unprecedented entourage of more than 200 Canadian business and religious leaders, media representatives, failed Conservative Party candidates, current MPs and senators, with a phalanx of a half-dozen members of Harper's current cabinet bringing up the rear. The latter included Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird; Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney; Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie Christian Paradis; Minister of Industry James Moore; Minister of International Trade Ed Fast; and Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver.[1]

Within this spectacle, Harper made two additional visits beyond the accepted borders of the State of Israel, accompanied only by key aides and/or ministers. The first was to the Ramallah headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in Occupied Palestine, where he gave acting Palestine Authority (PA) president Abbas a $66 million cheque. This will continue Canada's "contribution" to the annual budget of the PA, especially to the costs of the U.S.-commanded so-called "Presidential security force" of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)-trained Palestinian police. This is the force that a) does most of the day-to-day dirty work against the Palestinian population on behalf of the Israeli Occupation; and b) allegedly "protects" the PA president from possible coup or assassination attempts. The second trip outside Israel during this tour was Harper's visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. There Canada promised a further $100 million financial aid allegedly for the "refugee camps" on Jordan's border with Syria. These camps are theoretically for unarmed civilians -- almost entirely women and children -- fleeing the armed conflict in Syria. In practice, however, these camps have "also" been providing specialized medical care and a "rest stop" for Al-Qaeda-led, Saudi- or Qatari-financed and Turkish-equipped armed gangs, comprising religious fanatics from 53 countries (other than Syria) who follow what are known as Takfiri doctrines, i.e., interpretations of Islam that permit taking the lives of Muslims who are deemed "unclean."

Neither the Canadian government itself nor the Canadian people have any direct stake in any of this: the guiding masterminds of this mission are the same masterminds that guide the fate of the U.S. Empire.[2]

This article considers this entire constellation of events -- first as a whole, then broken out into its separate parts.

Part One
Why This Trip, and Why This Entourage?


Calgary demonstration against Harper government's support of Israeli war crimes, July 21, 2006. (T. Ford)

The first question Canadians have been asking is: Why this trip, and why this entourage?

Answering this question entails first investigating answers to another question, namely: what is the real context of these events?

Led by the publicly-owned CBC on the one hand and by the privately-owned, Thomson family-dominated media empire on the other (comprising the CTV Network, Bell Media, The Globe and Mail and Reuters News Agency), there was massive coverage of the Harper tour over the last week.

At the same time, this seemingly blanket coverage has been accompanied by a total, undisguised failure -- nay: refusal -- to situate the Harper tour (including the decision to undertake it) in any context that could possibly ring true with any thinking reader-observer-person. Such failure and/or refusal to keep the public properly informed as to the context of these events initiated in their name is an act of conscious disinformation inflicted on the Canadian polity by the Harper government.

Unfortunately, most of the criticism of this coverage on editorial pages and over the Internet has confined itself to picking out and attacking the Harper gang's spin on events. The issue for activists and other progressive forces paying attention to these developments, however, is not to develop counter-spin against the biases of such coverage, but to acknowledge the existence of such a disinformation wall and tear it down and break through it.

There are a couple of key events that have shaped and defined much of that undiscussed context.

- First and foremost, the Harper gang have been brazenly attacking the conscience of those Canadians who dare ask them directly: who did they think they were, attacking Palestine's seeking statehood recognition in the UN General Assembly as a non-member and continuing to side uncritically with the Israeli gangster-like terrorizing of the Palestinian Arab civilian population in the Occupied Territories?!? In this connection, an article published January 23 by The Canadian Press provides a quantitative measure of this phenomenon with its remarkable disclosure of the fact that "more than 1,000 letters arrived over several weeks in late 2012 and early 2013 at the offices of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and several other Conservative MPs, the vast majority of them complaining that the government was not representing the balanced and fair-minded views of Canadian citizens on the divisive Middle East issue."[3]

- The second important piece of context emerges within the mafia-like squabble that has broken publicly over the filing of falsified expense claims by partisan Conservative Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin -- each with more than 20-year-long careers as top Canadian news media "stars" -- with the at-least tacit consent and, in certain key details, the active connivance of the Prime Minister's Office. The subsequent extremely public knock-down-drag-out has continued to date between Harper, Nigel Wright and Senator Duffy.

This battle has also become sufficiently frenzied to inflict collateral damage on the reputation of the Conservative Party's chief fundraiser, Senator Irving Gerstein, founder and longtime CEO of People's Jewellers, publicly prominent advocate of all things State-of-Israel, and -- crucially -- a key link to the Zionist section of the Canadian financial oligarchy for the Conservatives' fundraising efforts across Greater Toronto.

The Harper Conservative brand has hit the skids in the middle of Justin Trudeau's rise, and the Liberal Party fundraising machine has been quick to take advantage. According to data publicized at the Liberal Party of Canada's annual summer barbecue event last August in Prince Edward Island, "...[t]he Liberals' supporter class, created to increase flagging membership, has grown to 250,000, from 127,000 last April. As well, there are now 56,000 members, compared with fewer than 20,000 when Mr. Trudeau took over, according to one official.

"More importantly, for the first time in years, there were more Liberal donors than the Tories had contributing to their war chest.

"Elections Canada's second-quarter results for 2013 show that the Tories had 30,437 individual donors and the Grits 38,014.

"The Conservatives collected $4.8-million in that second quarter compared with $2.9-million for the Liberals. However, the Grits are still pleased and are working to replicate the Tories' consistent ability to raise funds through small amounts donated by many people."

The architect of much of this turnaround, who was named the Liberal Party's chief national fundraiser by Trudeau during the same summer barbecue event, is Stephen Bronfman.[4] Notwithstanding the popular appeal of the relatively new and untested Liberal leader, it is in the ever-more-unsettled condition of the Palestinians and increasing desperation over the global slippage in official government support for the State of Israel that the ultimate key to the sudden mysterious rise of the Liberal vote-gathering machinery at the Conservatives' expense, is to be found. It is also the truest measure of the Conservatives' desperation to stanch the bleeding of their own support as the result of self-inflicted wounds such as the Senate expenses scandal.

Part Two
What Is Canada Doing, Propping Up the Israeli Occupation from the Palestinian Side?

Last week, Stephen Harper spent less than an afternoon at the PA's capital Ramallah in the West Bank. The actual substance of the visit itself lasted literally only moments. It was long enough for a photo op with President Mahmoud Abbas marking the official announcement that Canada would continue contributions to the PA budget. Harper announced an immediate $66 million from the current year's budget for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.

This assistance began in 2004 during the Prime Ministership of Paul Martin Jr. The funds were earmarked to equip and pay for training of a Presidential Guard of up to 2,000 Palestinian men. They would also cover specialized training gigs by members of the RCMP in "advanced riot control." There were also provisions for special training of Palestinian court personnel including judges. What went unremarked at the time was the fact that these Palestinian personnel would be trained to implement the administrative orders issued by the Israeli Occupation. In theory, the PA was fully operational in those Area A zones which the Israeli government agreed under the Oslo Accords were under exclusively PA authority. In fact, the so-called Presidential Guard, an entity provided for nowhere in the Oslo Accords was being trained by Canada, a third country not defined as a party to the Oslo Accords, to implement Israeli Occupation orders that should not be applied in Area A!

The first Harper minority government came to formal office at the end of January 2006. Its arrival in office followed only a few days the unprecedented outcome of the Palestinian elections. According to the elections result, a Hamas-led coalition should have come to power, with the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization forced out of office and compelled to accept a secondary role as official Opposition. In line and in tune, however, with the hysterical Israel-led campaign of that time to starve and destroy the PA, Tel Aviv leaned hard on all governments that had recognized the PA to withdraw recognition unless and until Hamas quit. The Harper government's immediate response was to cut off all aid to the PA -- including every penny of what was at that time about $30 million a year earmarked as financial supports for the PA budget.

By June of the following year, Israel closed the Palestinian Parliament down and compelled Hamas to abandon any government offices it had in Ramallah. Hamas responded by installing itself in Gaza City, on the Gaza Strip, as government-in-exile of all Palestine. Crucially, they put to flight the Fatah officials claiming to be governing the Gaza Strip on behalf of the PA. Hamas uncovered documents disclosing CIA connections of some of these individuals, and declared them persona non grata. Israel retaliated by fastening a crippling siege on the Gaza Strip, allowing nothing in or out. This was supported by the Mubarak government in Cairo, which shared the only non-Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. The Harper government restored some funding to the PA in Ramallah, but pro-rated it to exclude that portion of the budget that would have covered the Palestinian population residing in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli refusal to accept the January 2006 election result and Canadian complicity and that of others in the subsequent siege imposed as revenge by Tel Aviv -- backed by the U.S. -- were all completely illegal under existing customary international humanitarian law spelled out in a number of provisions of the Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949. A large number of people chose to believe this was entirely or at least mainly due to the Harper government's generally right-wing pro-U.S. tilt. But was that really the whole story, or even the most significant part of the story?

Part Three
Some Unspoken Home Truths About Who Canada Is Actually Helping in Ramallah and About Canada's "Non-Lethal" Aid to "Syrian Refugees"

Had the Martin Liberals survived the 2006 election, there is little or no credible evidence that Ottawa would have acted much differently than the Harper gang has done -- either less openly pro-Israel or less violently anti-Palestinian. The main differences between the Conservative and Liberal Parties' approaches to Palestine and the Israeli occupation have been matters of form. Thus, the Liberals tended up to now to act after making a show of some consultation with the United States in advance on these matters. The Conservatives on the other hand tended to dive in full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, without any apparent advance consultation.

The craftiness in the Liberals' approach was that, when something in this policy area blew up or otherwise failed, Ottawa could and would blame Washington for showing bad faith. The craftiness in the Harper Conservatives' approach, on the other hand, lay and still lies in its capacity to manipulate the vast reservoir among the Canadian population of anti-U.S. imperialist sentiment and open distrust of anything "promised" by Washington.

This has been used to create the space for Stephen Harper's government to pose as more pro-Israel than the Israelis, outflanking from the right any possible objections to Ottawa's course in Washington. At the same time, such a pose also takes a lot of pressure off Washington for policies that the U.S. actually supports but that appear instead to be advocated or implemented only from Ottawa "unilaterally" as it were.

At the centre of Canadian foreign policy stand the interests of the U.S. Empire, not only in our own hemisphere but in certain distant locales where the U.S. writ has lost all respect. Canada's defence and foreign policies are entirely 100 per cent annexed to the interests of the U.S. empire. The dust thrown in the Canadian people's eyes by the monopoly media coverage afforded the Israel-visit/junket portion of what is looking more and more like Harper's first and last Grand Tour has obscured this essential home truth.

People have been unconsciously brought to think about the purposes of Harper's visits to Ramallah and Jordan principally in connection with Israel. It was however the hard and fast stance of the Bush Administration that propped up Israel through the 2006 elections and the determination to besiege the Gaza Strip. Israel's own government was almost in paralysis at the time of the Palestinian elections, its Prime Minister Sharon felled by a stroke that left him comatose. The Bush Administration's unconditional backing was the real insurance policy for Tel Aviv's subsequent dealings with Hamas and the Gaza Strip. Canada's roles in that same constellation of problems were similarly conditioned by the Harper government's need for U.S. support of its minority posture.

It is the same story for the Harper governments' involvements in Jordan, down to the latest visit last week. Canada is the third greatest financier -- after the U.S. and the U.K -- of so-called "aid" for Syrian civilians turned into refugees by the war ravaging their country. Since last year, Foreign Minister John Baird and Prime Minister Harper have together announced more than $200 million in aid to be distributed over the next four to five years to underwrite "refugee rescue and support" operations in the camps set up on the Jordanian border. What the monopoly media have suppressed reporting is the fact that large numbers of the personnel comprising the fascist murder-for-hire gangs from 53 countries attempting to infest and overwhelm the Syrian government and people regularly slip across the Syrian borders into camps like those in Jordan as well as Turkey and take over regular camp life at the expense of the real needs of the civilian refugees. The civilians can only start to fulfill their own needs after these gangsters have eaten and drunk their fill and made off with all the available pain-killing medicines etc. In this connection it is especially revolting to hear British, U.S. and Canadian officialdom go on and on about how they are denying lethal aid to the non-Syrian forces prowling uncontrolled throughout the Syrian countryside and its border regions.

Conclusion

As the Prime Minister and his entourage return home, the question that springs to mind is: was it an adventure, or was it an adventurist act?

An incoherent "debate" has raged for some years now around the question as to why Canada has become more Israeli than the Israelis. While this debate continues to wax and wane, what is undeniable is that Canada's defence and foreign policies have sunk the country and its future ever deeper into the mire of increasingly desperate schemes of the U.S. imperialists to somehow prevail over all other actual or potential rivals.

The presentation of the most relevant facts from this latest trip and its context point to one clear conclusion. The Harper tour has furnished adventure on the outside, so to speak, as cover. In territories like Occupied Palestine or the Jordanian border with Syria, people of all stations in life are known to be less than enthusiastic to encounter any official U.S. presence. Enter Stephen Harper & Co., prepped for a fanatically adventurist mission in the service of U.S. imperialism. Especially adventurist is Ottawa's continued "support" for the PA, which is much as a rope is said to support a hanged man. Canadian government financial support and running of political interference that maintains cover for the Occupation-imposed "justice" of the PA sustains nothing. It serves only to mask rank injustice with an appearance of incoherence. Similarly, in the Syrian war theatre, providing "non-lethal aid" to those maintaining an all-consuming inferno in a part of the world where all normal and necessary social relations have become unhinged serves only one clear end. That end is to buy a diminishing margin of time before the inevitable regrouping and exfiltration of the present spectrum of "guerrilla" forces.

Notes

1. Harper's retinue to Israel included "21 Jewish rabbis and more than 56 representatives from various Zionist lobbying groups and private Jewish schools." In addition, there were 10 representatives from evangelical Christian groups "which unconditionally support the most extreme Israeli positions." The delegation included members of the Christian Missionary Alliance of Canada, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Trinity Bible Church, Crossroads Christian Communications, and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

In addition to the six cabinet ministers and eight Tory MPs, the Prime Minister also took "more than 27 chief executives of Canadian corporations, lawyers and two Canadian university presidents." It is reported that former Tory cabinet minister Stockwell Day and his wife Valorie had free seats. "Stockwell Day sits on the board of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the most prominent pro-Israel lobbying group in Canada."

"The rear of the plane was reserved for members of the media. The cost -- $8,000 for the flight, hotel and ground transportation for each reporter or photographer covering Harper's trip..." (From article by Judy Haiven and Sid Schniad, Independent Jewish Voices - Canada.)

2. There was much hue and cry in Canadian media before and during this tour about the heavy presence of Jewish rabbis and Evangelical Christian preachers, including representatives of the Mission Church in Canada, the denomination to which Stephen Harper's family belongs.

As every Canadian learns at some point, phrases such as "in Canada," "of Canada" or "(Canada) Ltd" signal a parent or earlier founding organization in the United States.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the original Mission Church sent Presbyterian missionaries to China and Japan to "civilize" the natives. One of the notable missionary families associated with the Mission Church was the Dulles family, specifically the parents of John Foster Dulles -- President Eisenhower's future Secretary of State during the mid-1950s -- and his brother Allen Dulles -- the first individual named by President Truman in 1948 to head up the Central Intelligence Agency -- who took the Christian gospel into imperial China near the end of the 19th century under the pretext of the so-called Open Door policy.

A little over a decade ago, the Mission Church was the first U.S. denomination to open a Christian church in Baghdad following its "liberation" from the Saddam Hussein regime.

3. Mike Blanchfield, "Canada's Palestinian Statehood Stance Cost Tories Votes, Disclosed Letters Suggest," moved at 4:28 pm Thursday afternoon, January 23, 2014, on the Huffington Post Canada website at www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/23/canada-palestinian-statehood-let ters_n_4654437.html)

4. Jane Taber, "Trudeau taps millionaire Stephen Bronfman to help fill Liberals' war chest," The Globe and Mail, August 28, 2013.

5. Stephen Bronfman is currently the most prominent member of that family in the Canadian financial world.

The Bronfman clan was launched by the Prohibition-era bootlegger and Capone Gang crony Samuel Bronfman. In exchange for well-funded Jewish community support in Montreal, the Liberals under Mackenzie King and with party machinery supervised by Paul Martin Sr., expunged any black marks against Samuel Bronfman and effectively parked Jewish community political contributions in the coffers of the Liberal Party for the next more than 50 years.

By the 1970s, the Bronfman legacy and leadership of the family in Canada was assumed by Samuel Bronfman's eldest son Charles Bronfman, a key fundraiser for parts of the Canadian media coverage regarding Pierre Trudeau and major supporter of the so-called "two-state solution" to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Following Charles Bronfman's death in 2006, his place has been taken by his eldest son Stephen.

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Turmoil in Ukraine

Contending Oligarchs and Their Imperialist Masters Feed the Rise of Neo-Nazism


Anti-government protests in Kiev, Ukraine, January 23, 2014. (Xinhua)

Recent events in Ukraine have evoked misleading comments from the Harper dictatorship, their U.S. masters, and the European Union (EU) along the lines that the main problem is that the Ukraine is turning further away from "democratic Europe" and more toward "autocratic Russia." The catalyzing event for the current turmoil is that at the end of November, Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych rejected a pending trade agreement with the EU, calling for closer ties with Russia. The EU treaty would have allowed European monopolies to grab Ukraine's crucial energy markets. German monopolies already supply Ukraine with natural gas via pipelines through Poland and Hungary and will open up Slovakian pipelines by next year, which would break Ukraine's dependence on Russian gas. Instead of signing with the EU, Yanukovych went to Moscow on December 17 and signed several agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin that will reduce by a third the cost of Russian gas sold to Ukraine. Russia has also agreed to lend $15 billion to Ukraine on easy terms.

While Yanukovych is the elected president, real power in Ukraine is held by about a dozen businessmen or "oligarchs" with a combined wealth amounting to a fifth of the country's gross domestic product. The oligarchs, who got rich by grabbing and privatizing former government assets after the so-called "fall of communism," have until recently mainly supported President Yanukovych. Rinat Akhmetov, who became the country's wealthiest man by acquiring state assets in the steel, coal and power sectors, helped finance Yanukovych's 2010 presidential campaign but his Ukraine television channel is now giving airtime to opposition leaders.[1] A newspaper owned by Ukraine's second richest man, steel pipe billionaire Viktor Pinchuk, has set up an office for foreign journalists who are anti-Yanukovych.

While Akhmetov, Pinchuk, and some other oligarchs see any turning away from trade deals with the EU as a potential huge financial loss to themselves and their empires, other capitalists see themselves as being further enriched by tightening Ukraine's connections with Russia. Titanium king Dmytry Firtash has close ties with Russia. Exports of Ukrainian titanium dioxide to Russia in January-June 2013 totalled about 13,000 tonnes, 19.5 per cent of the total shipments to foreign markets). Another rising group challenging the ruling oligarchs, which has connections with Russia, is closely connected to President Yanukovych's son, Oleksandr. It includes 27-year old "gas king" Sergey Kurchenko, who also owns a large media group.

The oligarchs and their backers in Europe and Russia are playing out their economic battle by trying to mobilize popular support for their own interests. This has resulted in large street demonstrations, the passing of new laws by the government, and attacks by foreign politicians and monopoly media. These are framed in pro-democracy slogans but are really being put forward in the interests of the pro-EU or pro-Russia monopolies on both sides. The foreign clamour equating the pro-EU forces with democracy has become so ridiculous that phony human rights organizations such as the U.S. State Department-funded Human Rights Watch are attacking the Ukraine government for passing laws that criminalize dissent. This despite the fact that the same laws have been in place in the U.S., Canada, and other so-called western democracies for years, for example, laws against "illegal" rallies, occupation of buildings, wearing masks and erecting tents!

The EU, led by Germany, and with the tacit approval of the U.S., are gathering anti-Yanukovych protestors around heavyweight boxer Vladimir Klitschko and his Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) party, painting him as a leader of "pro-democracy" forces. Klitschko lives in Germany and the German Christian Democrat Union party openly admits that it "assigned" Klitschko the task of establishing a right-wing party in the Ukraine in order to create a permanent pro-EU majority in Kiev. During an event in Brussels, German member of parliament Elmar Brok revealed his country's interest in Ukraine, stating that Ukraine has "great economic possibilities," with "a well-educated population" and with "good agricultural prerequisites." The interconnected history of Ukraine and Germany appears to be repeating itself.

But it is not just Klitschko and the UDAR who make up the leadership of the pro-EU forces in Ukraine. More accurately it is an unholy alliance of conservative, fascist and revanchist groups who are coalescing around former Nazi collaborators, specifically, the long-dead Stephan Bandera. Bandera led the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which joined forces with the Nazis during the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Numerous Bandera monuments have been erected in the last twenty years, particularly in west Ukraine, including in Lviv, site of one of the largest anti-Jewish pogroms. Following the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, another supposed democratic victory orchestrated and much applauded by the imperialists, incoming President Viktor Yushchenko officially declared Bandera and fellow Nazi Roman Shukhevych to be "heroes of the Ukraine." It is no surprise that prominent in promoting the pro-EU movement as well as general chaos is the neo-Nazi party Svoboda, which has now captured fifty seats in the Ukrainian Parliament and been the main instigator of street violence in the recent street rallies.

None of this bodes well for the people of Ukraine. The collapse of the Ukraine and other regimes in eastern Europe with all their capitalist reforms showed that capitalism has no other stage of development. Ukraine and all the other countries undertaking the construction of capitalism under the pretext of a "free market economy," are mired in anarchy and economic chaos, which is reflected in their politics. Tying Ukraine to one imperialist power or the other is a "solution" that may benefit a handful of monopoly capitalists but it will take the future of the people further toward a dead end.

The rise of neo-Nazism also has very sinister implications for the people's future. During the Second World War, it is estimated that the Nazis and their collaborators slaughtered over four million people in Ukraine; Svoboda and the Bandera cultists are direct descendants of these mass murderers.

The only path forward for the people of Ukraine is to fight to build an independent sovereign Ukraine which is run by the people in the interests of the people, which exercises control over its own economy and builds relations with other countries on the basis of mutual benefit.

Note

1. Akhmetov's London home is estimated to be worth $225 million.

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Remembering the Holocaust

 Commemoration of Those Murdered by the Nazis


Left: Memorial plaque to those killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz, put in place in 1948 and removed in 1989.
Right: Soviet Red Army liberates Auschwitz prisoners January 27, 1945.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, the day in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated prisoners from the Nazis' Auschwitz prison camp, the peace- and justice-loving people of the world join all those whose families suffered so greatly under the Holocaust, a program of systematic state-sponsored murder by the Hitlerite Nazis and their allies, the Italian fascists and Japanese militarists. The word "Holocaust" must be understood in its broadest sense as referring to the mass murder of all those who were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by the Nazis in Germany and the countries it occupied, especially the Jews and others targeted for extinction including the Roma and many Slavs as well as political opponents, particularly communists and resistance fighters. So too the Japanese militarists carried out the Nanjing Massacre and many other atrocities in China and throughout Southeast Asia, while to this day they owe reparations to the Koreans for the crimes committed against them.

The Western powers initially colluded with Nazi Germany with the hopes that it would wipe out the Soviet Union. U.S. monopolies such as General Motors, Ford, and ITT built military equipment for the Nazis. Standard Oil, Dupont, Alcoa, and General Electric made huge profits collaborating with the Nazis throughout the war. IBM helped the Nazis organize the systematic looting and subjugation of Poland. After the war, the U.S. brought thousands of known Nazis to the U.S. For example, SS Sturmbannführer Dr. Werner von Braun, who was put in charge of the U.S. missile program, oversaw the Nazis' Mittelwerk rocket factory, which used slave labour from Nazi concentration camps. At the same time, the Western powers also wanted to crush Germany, because it threatened their economic and political interests. The German Nazis wanted to crush everyone, especially the Soviet Union and, as the war progressed, they hoped for Western assistance to do so. Thus revanchism, war and aggression were the order of the day, instead of all countries sorting out matters on the basis of opening society's path to progress.

In opposing the murderous Hitlerites, a great and heroic role was played by the anti-fascist resistance, especially in the Soviet Union, and by the brave fighters for all the resistance movements in Germany and the occupied countries, as well as the liberating armies from all countries which fought the Hitlerites, the Italian fascists and Japanese militarists, including the British, Canadians and Americans. The living memory of many Jews from Eastern Europe of their direct experience with the Soviets in particular is very positive. Besides the undying gratitude of the world's people for the sacrifices the Soviet Union made, such as at the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk, many Jews and others were provided asylum or were liberated by the Red Army, which they recall with utmost fondness and gratitude. At the same time, because of the influence of Cold War anti-communism and Zionism, some have the tendency to spout anti-communist cold war ideology against the former Soviet Union, or what to this day is called Stalinism to connote oppression and dictatorship. It is all done in a manner which is irrational and completely at odds with their actual experience.


Left: Memorial to the victims of Nazi atrocities at the site of the former Dachau concentration camp representing
the demand of the world's people to never again permit the rise of fascism. Right:
Auschwitz prisoners
with their liberators of the Soviet Red Army.

After the war the mantle of the Hitlerite atrocities was inherited by the Anglo-Americans who betrayed the cause for which the people of their own countries sacrificed their lives to liberate humankind from the scourge of fascism. First they created a civil war in Greece killing communist fighters and demanding that all resistance fighters disavow communism and the resistance struggle and espouse the regime of the fascist military junta imposed on them. Then they adopted the Cold War anti-communist ideology to criminalize communism and disorient the generations which suffered so much so that they blame some abstract human nature for the atrocities, instead of the system of economic and political power concentrated into the few hands of a financial elite which sought domination in order to solve its problems.

In the post-war period the crimes committed during the Second World War were systematically used by the Anglo-American powers to stop the peoples from moving forward in a manner which favours them and ensures such things are never repeated. Disinformation was spread on a massive scale so as to justify creating the state of Israel as a bastion of Anglo-American imperialism in the Middle East. This was done in a manner which was to create a permanent state of no-war-no-peace so as to deprive the Palestinian people of their homeland and right to self-determination and also suppress the striving of the peoples of the entire Middle East to empower themselves. This has led to prolonged suffering of a kind which itself represents the attempted genocide of a people. Today, attempts by those such as the Harper dictatorship to criminalize support for the Palestinian Resistance by declaring it is "anti-semitic," is a contemptible attempt to manipulate the sympathy expressed worldwide for the suffering of the Jews, amongst others, during the Second World War.

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Imbue with New Life the Clarion Call of Never Again!


Prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp are liberated by the Red Army, January 27, 1945.

On January 27, 1945, the advancing Soviet Red Army entered the Nazis' Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp, liberating more than 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill or dying. The prisoners were liberated as the Red Army was inflicting one defeat after another on the German troops, driving the Hitlerites steadily backward until the final demise of the Third Reich in Berlin on May 9, 1945. Recognizing the great significance of the liberation of Auschwitz, in 2005 the United Nations General Assembly officially designated January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the many millions of people murdered by the Nazis in their bloodthirsty quest for world domination.

Auschwitz, Nazi Germany's largest concentration camp complex, was built by the Nazis from 1940-42 in annexed Polish areas about 50 km west of Krakow. By 1942, the Nazis had built over 300 concentration camps in Germany and the occupied territories.[1] The Auschwitz complex consisted of the main camp Auschwitz I, the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp where 90 per cent of prisoners died, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz which supplied slave labour for German chemical monopoly I.G. Farben (IGF). Over forty smaller sub-camps exploited prisoners as slave labour in various industrial plants, armaments factories, coal mines, construction sites and farms. At first only Poles were imprisoned but later Soviet prisoners of war, Romanies ("gypsies") and people of other nationalities were also incarcerated.


Red Army doctor assists freed inmates.

Financed by a loan from the Deutsche Bank, IGF built the Buna Chemical Plant that made synthetic oil and rubber from coal at Auschwitz III-Monowitz. IGF paid 100,000 Reichmarks each year to the Schutzstaffel (SS), the paramilitary organization mainly responsible for Nazi war crimes, to assure a continuous supply of fresh slave labour for the Buna plant while also being "relieved" of unfit inmates. At its peak, the Auschwitz IGF factory used 83,000 slave labourers and prisoners, of which an estimated 25,000-35,000 died. The "unfit" were shipped to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the extermination camp, where 90 per cent of the prisoners were gassed to death using the pesticide Zyklon B, manufactured by an IGF subsidiary.[2] Zyklon B was also used to exterminate about 80,000 prisoners at the Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin, Poland, liberated by the Soviet Red Army in July 1944, and thousands of prisoners at Sachsenhausen camp, north of Berlin, liberated by the Soviet Red Army and the Polish 2nd Infantry Division in April 1945.

A Soviet document of May 6, 1945, officially acknowledged by the Nuremberg War Crimes trials (1945-49), established that the Nazis exterminated four million people at Auschwitz alone, through execution, torture, starvation, illness, exhaustion and murderous medical experiments, and from 1948-89 a commemorative monument erected at the camp site honored the four million victims. Trying to diminish the enormity of Nazi crimes, the imperialists later reduced the Auschwitz deaths to 1.5 million, the "official" number that was inscribed on the new Auschwitz memorial in January 1995. The arbitrary reduction in numbers created a propaganda windfall for the neo-Nazis whose big lie is that the Nazis and their collaborators did not murder anybody.


Funeral for inmates who were killed just prior to liberation, or who were too ill to be moved and could not be saved despite Soviet doctors' best care.

The Anglo-American forces, well aware of what was taking place at Auschwitz, made no effort to assist the prisoners by, for example, strategically bombing the camp, dropping weapons to the prisoners, providing air cover for an escape, organizing an assault to free the prisoners or even bombing the railway lines that took prisoners to the camp. The main person who blocked U.S. assistance was banker John J. McCloy, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of War. McCloy, who shared a box at the 1936 Berlin Olympics with Adolf Hitler, was legal counsel for I.G. Farben from 1936-40. In the 1950s, McCloy pardoned and released all the Nazi war criminals convicted at the Nuremberg Trials, including the I.G. Farben directors. McCloy was also chairman of the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, which, as the Chase National Bank, had helped the Nazi regime exchange marks for dollars. McCloy was also a lobbyist for the Rockefellers' Standard Oil (now Exxon), which had secret wartime agreements with I.G. Farben.

Today, as we commemorate the victims of the Nazis, we are duty-bound to note the prominence of the same Nazi banking and industrial interests today, as well as the prominence of their Anglo-American collaborators who also profited handsomely from the widespread depredations of the Nazis, even while claiming to oppose them. It is not enough just to be concerned with the fact that these industry and banking magnates established Auschwitz and other concentration camps and benefitted from their slave labour and extermination programs. It is critically important to be aware of what they and their political representatives are up to today, not only in Germany but in the U.S., Canada and other countries, in order to to make sure that Auschwitz and other such brutal events never happen again.

A fitting way for Canadian workers and youth to mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army is by taking stock of attempts by current governments, including the Harper dictatorship, to resurrect Nazi war criminals by claiming that they were just ordinary people who fell victim to the "crimes" of so-called totalitarian communism. Today Harper, Kenney and others of their ilk are arrogantly campaigning to have a national monument built to actually commemorate such war criminals, paid for by the Canadian people. They are also attacking workers, gutting social programs, supporting aggressive war abroad and glorifying it at home, criminalizing dissent, and building more prisons. Why are they doing these things? What aims do they serve today and why should it concern not only the Canadian working class and youth but Canadians from all backgrounds, including all those who sacrificed in the Second World War to rid the world of the Nazi menace? The sinister direction of the Harper dictatorship calls for increased vigilance and for a need to imbue with new life the clarion call of Never Again!

Notes

1. Concentration camps were first used by the U.S. colonialists against Native Americans and by the British imperialists in the Second Boer War, 1899-1902.

2. Zyklon B produced deadly hydrocyanic acid, imitating the process used in U.S. prison executions from 1924 to 1999.

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January 1900

The Second Boer War Was an
Imperialist War for Private Profit

The Harper dictatorship has embarked on a major program to glorify aggressive war, a program that accompanies its stepped-up participation in imperialist foreign interventions such as Afghanistan and Libya and its unquestioning support of serial aggressor states such as the U.S. and Israel.

In his speech at the 2011 Remembrance Day ceremony, Harper government mouthpiece then-Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney reeled off a list of wars that he claimed Canadians should be proud of having participated in, all of which, with the exception of the Second World War, were wars of aggression. In his list of wars to "commemorate," Kenney included the crushing of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion by the colonialist government, the Boer Wars which attempted to consolidate the British Empire in southern Africa, the First World War which was mainly a war among the imperialist states to redivide the world, the U.S.-led aggression against the people of Korea from 1950-53, and the ongoing criminal aggression by the U.S., Canada and other countries against the people of Afghanistan.


British dead on the battlefield at Spion Kop. This was a particularly brutal battle which took place January 23-24, 1900.

The Second Boer War, the first foreign war to which Canadian troops were sent, is just one example that exposes that the real aim of the Harper dictatorship's disinformation about "glorious wars" is to advance its own sinister warmongering agenda. Both the First Boer War (1880-81) and the Second Boer War (1899-1902) were imperialist wars fought between the occupying armies of the British colonialists and the settlers of Transvaal and the Orange Free State, two Boer Republics in southern Africa. The Boer farmers, mainly of Dutch origin, first settled in the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 during the expansion of the Dutch East India Company. As Dutch power weakened, the British seized the Cape in 1795, conquering it in 1805 to keep it out of the hands of their rival, France. The Congress of Vienna, dominated by Britain, Prussia (Germany), Russia and Austria, recognized British colonial control in 1815 and the first major wave of British settlers arrived in 1820. Britain officially annexed the Transvaal in 1877, provoking a Boer declaration of independence and the First Boer War. The British suffered heavy losses due to Boer guerilla tactics and had to sign a peace treaty in 1881 under unfavourable terms.[1]

While wars are not generally attributed to individuals, it would not be inaccurate to state that the main person responsible for the Second Boer War was English capitalist, Cecil Rhodes, whose name has become synonymous with the depredations of British colonialism in Africa. The discovery of diamonds at Kimberley in 1866 and of gold in the Transvaal in 1885 brought a rush of settlers to southern Africa. Backed by the London-based Rothschilds and South African diamond magnate Alfred Beit, Cecil Rhodes and other British aristocrat-capitalists formed the British South Africa Company (BSAC) in 1889 to exploit the newly-discovered riches of South Africa[2] and present-day Zimbabwe, then known to the colonialists as Rhodesia. With its many connections among British ruling circles, the BSAC acted in essence as the main instrument of British exploitation of southern Africa's valuable resources.

In 1895, Rhodes and his fellow conspirators secretly engineered the Jameson Raid on the Boer's Transvaal Republic, a failed attempt to overthrow the Paul Kruger government and to consolidate their own control over the Cape's resources. A few days after the raid, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany congratulated Kruger and the Transvaal government on their success, alluding to potential support by Germany against its colonial rival Britain. The Jameson Raid also weakened military power in the Transvaal, triggering a major uprising against foreign control by the indigenous Ndebele in 1896, with the Shona joining in soon after. This resulted in what is now celebrated in Zimbabwe as the First War of Independence or the First Chimurenga.

In October 1899, Kruger gave the British 48 hours to withdraw all the troops they had provocatively installed on the borders of Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The British rejected the ultimatum, leading to a declaration of war against Britain by the two states. Although Pretoria, the last of the Boer strongholds, surrendered by 1900, the resistance continued with the Boers again launching a protracted guerilla war. The British, under Lord Kitchener, responded with a scorched earth policy of collective punishment that included burning crops, shooting livestock, and forcing civilians into concentration camps, tactics later used by the Nazis in the occupied territories and by the U.S. in Viet Nam. By 1902, 26,000 Boer women and children had died of disease and neglect in British concentration camps. The Boer forces finally surrendered on May 31, 1902.

At the time of the Second Boer War, Canada was a British colony and its military forces were ultimately under British command. Under pressure from his British masters, Liberal Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier agreed to send 1,000 Canadian troops to Africa in mid-October 1899 to aid the British forces, a decision especially opposed by the people of Quebec and by recent immigrants to Canada. Later, other contingents were sent, including Lord Strathcona's Horse, a private cavalry financed by the wealthy and powerful Donald Smith/Lord Strathcona, a staunch supporter of British imperialism.[3] The initial contingents were brought back to Canada in late 1900, however, the British recruited another 900 Canadian troops that November. In the end, 7,368 Canadians served in the Boer War, incurring 476 casualties, including 276 killed.

The facts of history show that the Second Boer War was no glorious display of Canadian military prowess, as the Harper dictatorship tries to paint it, but a shameful part of the scramble for Africa by the colonialist powers, which involved the subjugation of the indigenous peoples and the forceful occupation of their lands in order to exploit them for private profit. In fact, the war was widely opposed as an imperialist war and protest movements sprang up almost immediately in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, the U.S. and numerous other countries. Lord Selbourne, British Under-Secretary for the Colonies, admitted in a June 1899 letter to Sir Alfred Milner, Governor of the Cape Colonies: "The idea of war with the South African Republic is very distasteful to most people." Although the British government tried to build pro-war sentiment by selling the war as a fight for Anglo-Saxon "freedom" and "civilization" against Boer "backwardness," it was still widely perceived as manufactured by the British ruling circles to gain control of African gold and diamond mines and to push back Britain's colonial rivals in the Cape and the rest of Africa. Following the war, the British people once again expressed their opposition in no uncertain terms by sending the ruling Conservative Party to a crashing defeat in the 1906 election.

Notes

1. As Lenin pointed out in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, during the period from 1876 to 1914, six "great powers", i.e., England, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and the United States, seized 25 million square kilometres of the globe, including in Africa, enslaving the over half billion inhabitants of their colonies. The colonies were conquered by fire and sword and the populations exploited in a thousand different ways to enrich their conquerors.

2. The BSAC was dissolved in 1964, its interests becoming part of the J. P. Morgan-Oppenheimer conglomerate, Anglo-American PLC, which included control of the De Beers diamond monopoly.

3. Donald Smith, the richest person in Canada at the time, was principle owner of the Hudson's Bay Company, president of the Bank of Montreal, and co-owner of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

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