Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘NATO’ Category

The Strange Rebirth of Stalinism – Colm Breathnach (Independent Left)

leave a comment »

THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

The editors of this blog offer recommended reading – an article By of the Irish Left-Wing organization Independent Left.

Source : https://independentleft.ie/rebirth-of-stalinism/

A more colourful literary description of this phenomenon was offered by Yuliya Yurchenko at a November 2022 Dublin public meeting organised by Irish Left With Ukraine. The Ukrainian Marxist and Feminist offered us the idea that the USSR is dead – it is not coming back. The worst features of the dead ☠️ USSR have been imported into a new capitalist-imperialist-genocidal monster headed by Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. The good bits have been discarded and killed off permanently. Think of Stephen King’s horror story Pet Sematary :

A well-tended path leads to a pet cemetery(misspelled “sematary” on the sign) where the children of the town bury their deceased animals.

A cat called Church dies, then :

after Church is run over outside his home around Thanksgiving. Rachel and the kids are visiting Rachel’s parents in Chicago, but Louis frets over breaking the bad news to Ellie. Sympathizing with Louis, Jud takes him to the “sematary”, supposedly to bury Church. But instead of stopping there, Jud leads Louis farther on to “the real cemetery”: an ancient burial ground that was once used by the Miꞌkmaq Tribe. There, Louis buries the cat on Jud’s instruction. The next afternoon, Church returns home; the usually vibrant and lively cat now acts ornery and, in Louis’s words, “a little dead”. Church hunts for mice and birds, ripping them apart without eating them. He also smells so bad that Ellie no longer wants him in her room at night. Jud confirms that Church has been resurrected and that Jud himself once buried his dog there when he was younger. Louis, deeply disturbed, begins to wish that he had not buried Church there.

WHAT IS STALINISM?

Read the rest of this entry »

Chaos in the United States of America Congress – We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

with one comment

2023 international news coverage began with banana republic scenes from Washington DC, capital city of the United States of America. Establishment Irish media outlets usually look for an excuse to tug the forelock in the direction of prominent North American politicians. Irish broadcaster RTÉ and newspapers such as the Irish Times were presented with a perfect opportunity to roll out the sleeveen carpet – the new Republican Congress Boss is called Kevin McCarthy. For now, the paddywhackery shamrock wavers in Dublin have decided that the Kevin Mccarthy card may not be an attractive PR option.

The “Irish News” of Belfast failed to restrain the natural instincts of Ireland’s forelock-tuggers :

Mr McCarthy has highlighted his Irish roots previously on St Patrick’s Days. In 2015, during the Obama administration, he shared an Irish blessing his father used to recite. In a 2021 St Patrick’s Day message, McCarthy reflected: “My great-grandfather came to America from Ireland back in the 1800s.”

Irish News January 7 2023
Marjorie Taylor Greene is a far-right member of the USA Congress

A North American correspondent, John Reimann, reviews the dark side of Washington DC politics.

Republicans step back from abyss…. for now

Source oaklandsocialist on

Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala) is restrained from assaulting Matt Gaetz. Chaos ruled the day. That chaos will return in even greater form.

The Republicans stared into the abyss and stepped back…. for now. They watched Matt Gaetz apparently renege on a deal. They watched fellow Representative Mike Rogers (R, Alabama) have to be restrained from assaulting Gaetz. They watched vote after vote with no end in sight. They watched the Democrats thoroughly enjoying themselves. And they convinced Gaetz “not now. Not this time.” Unspoken (amongst themselves) was, “we’ll save the rest for later.”

Republican Party fragmentation
And just as night follows day, “later” will certainly come. Consider what former Republican bomb-thrower Newt Gingrich (of all people) said about Gaetz: “He’s essentially bringing ‘Lord of the Flies’ to the House of Representatives” As far as the Freedom Caucus rebels in general, Gingrich said they’re not interested in “anything that takes longer than waiting for their cappuccino.” The same could be said about those people’s supporters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland – Federico Fuentes interviews Zofia Malisz

leave a comment »

Polish left-wing party Razem (Together) International Office member Zofia Malisz speaks to Green Left’s Federico Fuentes about the party’s history, Polish politics and Razem’s views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The source is an Australian website, Greemn Left Weekly https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/razem-building-left-alternative-poland

Razem supports the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

January 10, 2023

razem zofia malisz

Members of Razem at May Day in Warsaw in 2022. The banner reads: ‘Housing! Jobs! Decent Pay!’. Inset: Zofia Malesz. Photo: @RazemWM/Twitter

Could you tell us about Razem’s history and politics?

Razem was formed in 2015 by a group of leftist activists with years of experience in the Polish green and feminist movements, along with members of the Young Socialists.

The impetus for creating a new party was two-fold.

One was the frustration that emerged under the liberal Donald Tusk government (2007‒14). Whenever voices started to demand the government focus on social spending instead of cuts and privatisations, Tusk’s response was to say Poland was still in its transformation stage [towards a market economy] and that now was not the time to build up a welfare state.

See also

Poland sets up ‘terrifying’ pregnancy register after banning abortion

Poland: Caught between Western and Russian imperialism

Frustration grew as neoliberal policies were implemented at breakneck speed to indulge business elites, while people were denied even modest social benefits and public services were being dismantled.

All this occurred as anti-austerity protests were taking place in Greece, something we supported and that inspired Razem.

The other major factor was the protests against the Iraq war and against Poland’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. Several activists who went on to build Razem came from these protest movements.

The revelations of alleged illegal US prisons in Poland used to torture al-Qaeda members created huge outrage. Seeing the Polish government bow down to US imperialism unchallenged — and in fact encouraged by the mainstream, including former Solidarność activists — fuelled frustration on the left.

Razem was formed as an expression of this anger and frustration that had built up during the transformation process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can Ukraine Achieve National Liberation, and Defeat the Russian Imperialist Invasion in 2023?

leave a comment »

Can Ukraine Achieve National Liberation, and Defeat the Russian Imperialist Invasion in 2023?

1. The short answer is : Let’s Hope So!

What is the role of the the left, the labour movement, and social movements outside Ukraine and Russia?

The short answer is : Back the Ukrainian Left approach on these issues and try to build the best international conditions for them, whatever they decide.

In this context a growing international solidarity movement, including the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) promotes effective action. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

There are no meaningful negotiations I am aware of.

How can meaningful negotiations occur without realistic pre-conditions – the obvious ones being an end to the Russian war-crime bombardments and immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine?

In short, activists should differentiate between 1) Talks 2) Negotiations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your Man Over There Thinks the Anti-Franco Republican Forces Should Not Have Sought Weapons from the Brits, Yanks and French Imperialist Hypocrites during the 1930’s Spanish Civil War – A Proxy War if Ever I saw One!

with one comment

In this respect the British writer Paul Mason is correct :

Imagine an alt-history of the Spanish Civil War where, after some initial reversals, the anti-fascist side starts winning. They drive back Franco’s armies largely because France, Britain and the USA reject “non-intervention” and send in heavy weapons, offsetting the support coming from Hitler and Mussolini. In this scenario, does anyone seriously think the global left would have pulled its support for the Republican side because of “imperialist aggression”? Would they have denounced the Spanish conflict as a “proxy war”. Would they have convened an international conference calling for the end of all arms supplies to the anti-fascists in the name of “Peace”? Would they have called for negotiations with Franco, advocating a settlement “acceptable to all”?

https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/2022/12/20/ukraine-which-side-are-you-on/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

The same point is made here, drawing on an example from the actions of Irish revolutionaries during World War 1 – the Easter 1916 Rebels launched an uprising against British Imperialism using weapons supplied by the German Kaiser.

Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Album – Paris Demonstration December 10 2022 – Russian Troops Out of All Ukraine – “Union banner calls for the withdrawal of troops and the welcoming of any and all refugees”

with one comment

We present a photo album of the demonstration in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and for the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine that took place in Paris – Saturday December 10 2022.
The protest was supported by several French trade unions (CGT, FSU, SUD/Solidaires) the Ukrainian organizations in France, several movements of Russian and Belarusian anti-war activists, a whole host of left-wing organizations and parties, and quite a lot of individual left-wing politicians and intellectuals.

The initiative for the demonstration was taken by our French friends from the comité français du réseau européen de solidarité avec l’ Ukraine. (European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine).

Read the rest of this entry »

“Wallace’s sympathy for Iranian regime strips bare his faux radicalism” Critique of speech delivered by an Irish Member of the European Parliament, Mick Wallace (Ireland South) – Justine McCarthy, Irish Times, December 9 2022

with 2 comments

Two Irish MEP’s Mick Wallace (Ireland South) and Clare Daly (Dublin) have created a serious problem for themselves, the left in Ireland, and the left abroad. They analyse international conflicts using a politically poisonous method.

This politically poisonous method stalks the mainstream radical left and established anti-war organisations. That poison has a name : Campism. Justine McCarthy accurately observes that the Ireland South MEP is using “victim blaming… the lowest form of defence”. Many readers have not heard the term campism, and do not know what it means. Other readers do know what it means, but do not want us to learn anything more – because they know they use a less obvious version of the same poison and see nothing wrong with this chosen political method. Mick Wallace has given us a chemically pure example of this political poison by denouncing the feminist inspired uprising in Iran. Other practicioners on the left prey on ignorance and prejudice by – for example – refusing to engage in active solidarity with Ukraine – the victim of a violent imperialist, ethnic cleansing, and genocidal Russian invasion.

Pierre Rousset wrote an extensive article on this subject in October 2014. It is recommended reading today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Socialist Democracy (Ireland) Leaves the Fourth International

leave a comment »

This reader of the Fourth International site noticed today (December 8 2022) there is no entry for Ireland. Up to a few days ago Socialist Democracy(SD) was on the list, but that entry has now been removed. https://fourth.international/en/organisations

SD left the Fourth International on November 8 2022.

SD has expressed strong public disagreements with the policies adopted by the Fourth International since the mid 1990’s.

Today the organization’s site is a nest of transphobic articles. It promotes a campist policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Socialist Democracy & Evangelical Christianity – bet you never thought you would see that coalition !!”

A comrade recently asked me “Socialist Democracy & Evangelical Christianity – bet you never thought you would see that coalition !!” The organization defended the far-right teacher Enoch Burke, who is currently in an Irish jail.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Renewal of our solidarity with the people of Ukraine at Dublin’s Russian Embassy, Orwell Road : Nine months of Putin’s war hasn’t broken the spirit & resistance of the people”

with 2 comments

VIGIL OF REFLECTION AND REMEMBRANCE IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE

The vigil occurred from 2-4pm outside the Russian Embassy, Orwell Road, Rathgar. Despite awful weather – it rained cats and dogs – over 200 attended, and listened to readings of poetry & prose, as well as music including Christmas carols and traditional Ukrainian songs.

Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) activists attended, and were joined by Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD (Dublin Central)

ILWU member John Lyons (Independent Left member of Dublin City Council, Dublin Bay North) reports

Source : https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=councillor%20john%20lyons

A renewal of our solidarity with the people of #Ukraine 2day at the #Russian embassy: 9 months of Putin’s war hasn’t broken the spirit & resistance of the people.

Great to see Sinn Féin Ireland president @maryloumcdonaldsf showing leadership, expressing her solidarity & support for the heroic people of Ukraine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solidarity With Palestine, Solidarity With Ukraine – Sotsialniy Rukh (Ukraine) Compared With People Before Profit (Ireland)

leave a comment »

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anti-Apartheid Activist

Sotsialniy Rukh Statement on Palestine and Ukraine (in English and Ukrainian)

📣 November 29 since 1978 has been celebrated as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. For 44 years, the world officially talks about the Palestinian tragedy that has no end.

This day reminds us of Palestine’s ongoing struggle for life and freedom. Despite condemnation of Israel’s policy, which leading human rights organizations say fits the crime of apartheid under the Roman Statute, the de facto Palestinians and Palestinians still have neither protection nor independence. Their homes are being taken, cities bombed, and their lives are totally in vain.

Read the rest of this entry »