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May 12, 2014 - No. 54

Harper Dictatorship Pays Tribute to Destruction of Afghanistan

Reject All Attempts to Memorialize Canada's Criminal Role in Afghanistan

Anti-war picket in Edmonton, March 15, 2014.

Harper Dictatorship Pays Tribute to Destruction of Afghanistan
Reject All Attempts to Memorialize Canada's Criminal Role in Afghanistan

69th Anniversary of the Liberation of Europe
Imperialist Crimes Against the Peace and Support for Fascist Elements Mark Anniversary

Amid Wrecking Efforts of the U.S. and the EU in Ukraine
Putin-Medvedev Plan to Replace Post-Soviet State with a Federal Arrangement
- Nathan J. Freeman

Harper Dictatorship Pays Tribute to Destruction of Afghanistan

Reject All Attempts to Memorialize Canada's
Criminal Role in Afghanistan

On May 9, the Harper dictatorship said it is "commemorating the end of our country's military mission in Afghanistan and paying tribute to the fallen, to the sacrifices of the wounded and to military families." According to a government press release, "Canada's mission in Afghanistan is the most significant military engagement with respect to the number of Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed since the Korean War." It goes on to enumerate the number it says were killed in the mission, including civilians. Pointedly, this figure does not include those who have committed suicide since returning from their deployment. It certainly does not mention the thousands of Afghan civilians killed by Canadian or other NATO forces in the 13 years of illegal war and occupation.

Windsor action against closing of Veterans Affairs offices Jan 31, 2014

The government also announced it "will construct a national memorial to Canada's mission in Afghanistan and add the dates of the Afghanistan mission on the National War Memorial." The monument, which will "reflect values Canadians hold dear and echo the nation's pride in our country's efforts and accomplishments in Afghanistan," will be unveiled in 2017.

This is shameless self-serving PR activity by the Harper government. It is desperate  to resurrect its tattered reputation of being “pro-soldier” and “pro-veteran” while  the very soldiers and veterans it professes to support do not perceive it as such. Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino,  who is seen by veterans as an arrogant bully, was featured prominently on the day flanking Harper, wearing medals.

Harper is straightforwardly accused by soldiers and veterans as being pro-war and aggression. The Harper government uses occasions such as the so-called Afghanistan Memorial Day  to glorify war. By parading tanks and helicopters, it also promotes the militarization of civilian public institutions such as Parliament.  Meanwhile, it treats the human beings lost to war, whether Canadians or those from other countries, as mere statistics.

These activities by the Harper dictatorship are anathema to the anti-war spirit of the majority of Canadians who oppose the war in Afghanistan and Canada's role in it. They are an insidious attempt to disinform Canadians about the sheer illegality of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in the name of the highest ideals.

Windsor action, one of many across Canada which opposed participation in the war in Afghanistan

Afghanistan was a NATO mission, neither authorized by Parliament nor endorsed by the Canadian people. Canada’s military was at most times under U.S. command and integrated within the U.S. military. Paying tribute to this on the National War Memorial, or by building a new monument to this NATO mission, is to try to assert that being part of the U.S. military apparatus will be the norm for the future. It is no coincidence that this rushed ceremony takes place right as Canada sends F-18s as part of NATO sabre-rattling against Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

The values espoused by the Harper government, which it claims represent some unassailable ideals that "Canadians hold dear" could not be further from what Canadians fight for everyday -- peace, justice, the rights of all and the power to exercise control over their affairs. The Harper government's values are neo-liberal in both content and presentation, whereby anti-human, anti-social and pro-war imperialist aims are couched in terms of their opposite -- high ideals of humanitarianism, responsibility to protect, etc.

Furthermore, the memorial activities over which the Harper government presided on May 9 are a snivelling message to the U.S. imperialists that this is a government that does not serve the public interest or uphold international law and is offering up its youth as cannon-fodder for the commission of future war crimes. It must not pass!

These memorial activities, which co-opt the memory of those killed and wounded in Afghanistan to sanitize the commission of war crimes, are meant to destroy Canadians' prevailing anti-war sentiment so that they do not take up the pressing need to empower themselves and establish an anti-war government which would remove itself from the clutches of NATO so as to affirm Canadians' right to decide their domestic and foreign relations. Such a government would ensure that Canada is a force for peace in the world by upholding the principles of sovereignty of all countries, and the resolution of conflicts through peaceful, diplomatic means.

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69th Anniversary of the Liberation of Europe

Imperialist Crimes Against the Peace and Support for Fascist Elements Mark Anniversary

The Soviet Victory Banner is raised over the German Reichstag in Berlin by Red Army soldiers, April 30, 1945, shortly
before the surrender of German forces in the city and the decisive victory over the fascists on May 9, 1945.
(RIA Novosti)

Sixty-nine years ago, on May 8 and 9, 1945, with the unconditional surrender of Hitler Germany, Italy having already surrendered, the Second World War in Europe was declared officially over.[1] The anti-fascist forces of the world with the Soviet Union and communists of all lands at the head of the Resistance Movement had won victory over the Hitlerites. Celebrations broke out all over the world when it became known that fascist Germany, forced to its knees by the Red Army and the troops and resistance fighters of allied countries, acknowledged defeat.

"Now we can declare with legitimate right that the historic day of the final destruction of Germany, the day of the great victory of our people over German imperialism, has come," Stalin declared. "The great sacrifices we have made in the name of the freedom and independence of our Homeland, the indescribable privations and sufferings that our people have gone through during the war, the great work done in the rear and on the front in the name of the Homeland, were not in vain, they were crowned with complete victory over the enemy," he said.

Commemoration of VE day in Moscow, May 9, 2014

VE Day celebrations in Sevastopol (left) and  Vladivostok, Russia

Today, the U.S. imperialists like to give the impression that they were the decisive force in the liberation of Europe and together with warmongers in Canada, they spread disinformation about the causes of the war, the conditions created after the war and their own refusal to permit humankind to consolidate its victory by making sure that such suffering never takes place again. Their self-serving propaganda to distort the history of the anti-fascist alliance and its leadership as well as the significance of the events since the end of the Second World War is done to justify the crimes they are committing against the peace today in the name of high ideals.

The representatives of imperialism, including the monopoly-controlled media, distort the experience of the Second World War through Cold War definitions. They do this for purposes of presenting U.S. imperialist democracy and the U.S. imperialists themselves as the saviours of humankind and to hide the crimes they have committed since the Second World War. They carry on their disinformation about the role played by the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin, and the need for an alternative to the economic system based on the exploitation of persons by persons, by making Soviet power and communism synonymous with crimes against humanity. Some even say that the United States made a mistake in allying with the Soviet Union in the Second World War. This is to promote their claim that communism is a hate crime which poses the biggest threat to humankind. According to them, their own imperialist system, which has plunged the world into a state of anarchy and violence where the crimes committed outstrip even those of the Nazis, represents freedom and the hope of humankind. All of this is for purposes of covering up that modern communism is the source of enlightenment which opens society's path to progress and that governments which oppose imperialist war are necessary. Take for example the Harper government and its support of the reactionary group Tribute to Liberty and its proposal for an anti-communist monument in Ottawa. By promoting a caricature of communism and equating it with totalitarianism and fascism, the Harper government is aiming to get the peoples to conciliate with the imperialist demand of the United States and big powers that everyone submit to their dictate and imperialist democracy.

2014 commemorations of VE Day (top to bottom): Donetsk, Ukraine; outside Karlshorst Museum in Berlin, Germany;
at the War Cemetary in Tallinn, Estonia; Skopje, Macedonia.

In spite of the victory over Nazism, fascism and Japanese militarism in 1945, the world has remained turbulent because of conciliation by the imperialists. The U.S. imperialists and those under their dictate refused to carry out denazification in Germany and demilitarization in Japan. They made sure that in their spheres of influence, all the economic and political structures that favoured the rule of the financial oligarchy and bourgeois democracy, and gave rise to fascism in the first place, were kept in place. The struggles for socialism, national liberation, peace and freedom have been viciously opposed by U.S. imperialist wars of aggression and coups d'etat. Crimes against humanity in the name of "containment of communism" and "democracy" have killed more people in the last sixty-nine years than died in two world wars. Today in Ukraine, the U.S. imperialists and others shamelessly collaborate with fascist parties to serve their own narrow interests.

The period of flow of revolution which was ushered in by the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917 ended in 1989-90 when the Soviet Union fell, the bi-polar division of the world ended and a period of retreat of revolution set in. The imperialists and all reaction are facing a profound legitimacy crisis. The "democracy" for which they committed so many crimes in order to impose it on the world has proven to be hollow indeed, not only economically but politically. It is the brutal dictate of the financial oligarchy, which has led to the increased misery of the peoples of the world, including the peoples of their own countries and to more wars and conflict. This underscores the necessity to build a present-day united front of the peoples of the world to defeat the criminal justifications that Might Makes Right and that aggression is permitted under the guise of humanitarianism, peace and democracy. This is what the Second World War was all about.

Today, the world is at a turning point. The same problems exist in a new form. The 69 years since the Second World War have continued to be characterized as years of struggle to liberate the entire humanity. Which way should the world go today? Should it go the way of the past 20 years in which revolution has been checked and the world is plunged into a black abyss of nihilism and the absence of future prospects? Or should it chart a course of democratic renewal where the people set their own agendas and can exercise control over governments which would seek to embroil them in aggression and war?

The most important thing is to recognize that solutions can be found to the problems people face through the work to make sure it is the people who govern themselves and exercise control over their lives. The crimes committed by the imperialist forces against the peoples of the world must be ended. An anti-war government is needed that upholds the principle that all nations big or small are equal and have the right to self-determination. It must oppose all crimes against the peace and protect the sacred cause of peace. The dangers of fascism and imperialist world war can be eliminated and the struggle to unite the people in action for political renewal, an anti-war government and a society fit for human beings is possible. It Can Be Done! It Must Be Done!


1. On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. The surrender of Germany was authorized by his successor, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The preliminary act of military surrender was signed on May 7, 1945 in Reims, France and the official documents on May 8 in Berlin, by Wilhelm Keitel, supreme German military commander and Marshal Georgy Zhukov on behalf of the Soviet Union and Allied representatives. In the Soviet Union it was May 9 Moscow time when the German military surrender went into effect, which is why Russia and most of the former Soviet republics commemorate Victory Day on May 9 instead of May 8.

(Photos: RIA Novosti, Xinhua, Russian Embassy in Estonia, Macedonian Information Agency, A. Epp)

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Amid Wrecking Efforts of the U.S. and the EU in Ukraine

Putin-Medvedev Plan to Replace Post-Soviet State
with a Federal Arrangement

On April 15 came the long-awaited military response by the Kyiv putschist government to mass disaffection expressed across eastern Ukraine over the previous week, focusing on the province of Donetsk. There were many casualties -- half of them killed -- reported among Donetsk civilians/local militia and Kyiv armed forces. Other outrages have followed, most notably the mass murder of scores of pro-Russian citizens of Odessa by a fascist Right Sector mob on Tuesday, May 6.

Is this the test at last of that curious faith -- apparently widespread throughout Donetsk province, especially since the Crimean "success" in March -- in the idea that Moscow ultimately not only would in words, but could in deeds, and with minimal harm to the Russian-speaking population, guarantee the autonomy if not the full-blown independence of Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine?

There are a number of issues to sort out here, but let us start with the notion of Soviet power as the guarantor of Ukrainian autonomy as well as independence.

 Students in Khrakov, Ukraine, lay flowers at monument to Second World War partisan fighters and the Soviet Red Army, September 23, 2013.
(Jaroslav the Wise National Law University)

Soviet power was laid in history's grave 23 years ago. Has post-Soviet Russian state power shown itself capable of accomplishing anything like what Soviet power could accomplish for Ukraine?

In the Soviet era, the right of the Ukrainian nation to self-determination operated and existed with a guarantee. This guarantee took the form of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as one of 15 constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It possessed all the appropriate collective national rights up to and including the right to secede.

In the federal system that is gradually emerging under the leadership of the Putin-Medvedev team as the new post-Soviet constitution of Soviet-era Russian territories, however, not a word is uttered about the right to secede, much less about the full list of genuine rights of any and all national collectives inhabiting these territories. At the same time, there is no suggestion of any limits being placed on the freedom of action enjoyed by oligarchs that accept the overarching authority of the central power of the government in Moscow.

What the Putin-Medvedev team has discovered is something else that the leading monopoly capitalist groups and cartels of North America and Europe have long understood. Federal systems historically have provided the most stable and secure state arrangements for protecting the economic role and powers of super-sized agglomerations of private capital.

Looking at this matter with Canadian eyes: when it comes to U.S. federalism, it must be acknowledged that the U.S. system has been able to annex large portions of Canadian political and economic space relatively painlessly and with little effective public muss or fuss.

Looking at western and post-Soviet eastern Europe with North American eyes, similarly domineering success on the part of the largest agglomerations of private capital is also evident in relation to the "federal" institutions of the European Union.

None of this apparent security and stability remained immune, however, to the spread of the chronic crisis of the capitalist system into the key central banking institutions - those that underwrite all the various forms of credit generated and sustained within such systems in the post-Soviet period.

Furthermore, the apparent "division of powers" in all those same federal systems so beloved of today's commercial-financial oligarchs, East and West, have provided no protection from the effects of the wider crisis. By 2007, the ordinary intermonopoly contradictions of these systems became increasingly unmanageable as the principal commercial and industrial antagonists took each other on in the banking-financial sector. Various knockout blows were delivered: Lehman Bros. was liquidated, the U.S.-based global insurance giant AIG declared bankruptcy, and the U.S. federal government itself became mired in massive bailout funding for the largest banks that were still vulnerable on their balance sheets.

Until recently, however, the oligarchs of the former Soviet-bloc regions, who are no less capitalistic and predatory than their western counterparts, were spared the worst consequences of these multiple financial crises. This consequence follows from the fact that the U.S. dollar operated in their economic relations mainly as the reserve currency in which to settle international trade balances. That is to say: the U.S. dollar was for them not a significant store of value. Indeed as long as the rate at which U.S. dollars would exchange for their own currencies remained relatively stable over the long term, there appeared to be no immediate or other urgent need to convert these dollar balances into local currencies.

Since 2008, meanwhile, the indebtedness of Western governments and multinationals -- for whom the dollar is primarily a store of value -- has grown tremendously. In turn, the printing of more currency to cover this growing indebtedness has cheapened the U.S. dollar's value as the world's sole reserve currency for resolving international trade balances. This entire turn of events now threatens the liquidity of those international players in global oil, gas and other mineral development -- especially from the Russian bloc -- for whom the U.S. dollar has been a store of value as well as the currency in which international trade and investment balances are maintained and settled.

As has been extensively documented in the international financial press[1], part of Russia's response to the debasement of the dollar's value has been to physically stockpile unprecedentedly large quantities of actual, physical gold bullion.

Another much less-commented on part of the reaction to these developments, meanwhile, has been Moscow's drive to expand its home market. This is where Putin, Medvedev and company caught the U.S. and its partners completely by surprise. They are increasing the physical territory of the Russian home market by expanding the application of the federal principle to pro-Russian areas contiguous or near-contiguous to existing Russian territory, such as the eastern provinces of Ukraine.

Moscow's widely-observed apparent preparedness -- several moves ahead of the western bloc -- to apply mostly stabilizing and non-antagonizing responses to any predictable attempt by local tools of the U.S. and EU to inflame matters would seem to represent the outward expression of this inner "federalizing" logic.


The above-described Russian federalizing game has many possible moves left to play out. At the moment a full-scale U.S.-Russia war is one possible outcome but not necessarily the only outcome or necessarily the most likely. The peoples especially in the Americas and Europe need to heighten their vigilance mainly against efforts led by the U.S. camp to embroil them in any kind of anti-Russian crusade. Meanwhile in Russia, in the short term, the Putin-Medvedev federalization solution has attracted the support of some peoples, e.g. the Russian speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, as a more sustainable alternative than the status quo.

At the same time, however, the chaotic "freedom" exploited by various oligarchic clans contending for supremacy in their particular Russian base areas seems bound to destabilize further as the chronic capitalist crisis broadens and deepens. Following the giant May 9 annual commemorations of the Soviet victory over Nazi fascism, political evidence of this deepening crisis appeared unexpectedly in Moscow, when President Putin promised neither to reject nor interfere in the Kyiv-sponsored "Ukrainian" elections scheduled for May 25. For weeks preceding this point, the Russian government had presented itself as the greatest supporter of rejectionist elements throughout eastern Ukraine.

The working class and people in Canada and other countries can make a contribution to advancing the position of the working class and people of Ukraine by renewing and broadening a firm stand against the war-embroiling schemes of the U.S. imperialists and their foreign enablers like the Harper dictatorship. The ranks of the progressive forces in Canada include the best representatives from almost 200 immigrant national minorities plus a large number of indigenous First Nations. CPC(M-L) has advanced the program of the Canadian working class declaring itself the nation and vesting sovereignty in the people. To the U.S. imperialists and their tools in the Harper government, we declare:

Hands Off Ukraine!


1. Probably "leading the band" on this issue is The Max Keiser Report, a three-times-a week online half hour review of current problems in global finance produced from the financial centre of the City of London for broadcast on Russian Television (rt.com)

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