Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back: Wave of Terror Attacks around world, Terrorist Counter-Offensive Smashed in Syria

First a brief announcement I will be taking a break from writing this blog for a while. I will be back sometime in January.
     The pattern has become blatantly obvious. Whenever the empire suffers a setback, it lashes out with an attack meant to shift things back their way. In 2013 it was chemical weapons attacks in Syria by Al Nusra, falsely blamed on the Assad Government which nearly lead to an all out bombing campaign against Syria. Syria had been too successful in battling the armies of terrorists being funneled into the country. Last year when the fascist Ukrainians not only failed to crush the Novorossian forces who had risen up in rebellion but suffered a disastrous series of defeats there was the MH17 shoot-down which was falsely claimed to have been carried out by Russia and the NAF. (See my July 2014 article "MH17 FalseFlag in Ukraine ?") Now with Russia and Syria on the offensive in Syria a whole string of attacks have been carried out. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, were targets. A Russian civilian airliner was blown out of the sky in revenge for Russia's aid to Syria. 224 people died. Next a string of attacks struck Paris killing 129 people. Thankfully with Russia already actively defending Syria NATO will be prevented from attempting to destroy Syria in an all out air campaign as they planned back in 2013. However they will no doubt expand their treacherous efforts to divide Syria. The whole diplomatic situation has become murky with Russia attempting to draw France into their anti-terror alliance what Pepe Escobar calls the 4+1 (Russia Syria Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah) while at the same time knowing full well that France is one of the major terror backers. While this international terror wave was going on the Conspirators, (Syria's Term for the US, Israel, NATO, GCC and other terror backers) were busy funneling more weapons and fighters in Syria in a desperate counter-Offensive. Thankfully this counter-Offensive was smashed and with the lifting of the siege of Kuweires airbase, the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) and it's allies have been winning a string of victories in Alleppo. In addition the cowardly attack on Metrojet A321 has lead Russia to redouble it's efforts in Syria while sending a clear warning to the west that Russia is ready for war. Thus while we must be wary of whatever schemes "the conspirators" are currently hatching there is reason to hope that Syria will continue to recapture territory with the help of it's allies. Syria will triumph in the end. Of course World War 4 is far from over Colombia, Venezuela, Yemen, Afghanistan, DRCongo, Somalia, and Ukraine and many more countries remain under attack from the empire.

   I could of course write a whole article on the completely different coverage the string of terror attacks received. However since I began the year with an angry rant after the Charlie Hebdo incident on the topic of the unequal value placed on Syrian versus french life(See my January  2015 Cuba Chechnya Ukraine) I'll merely refer you to Sukant Chandan's great article on the topic. I'll briefly deal with this wave of terror which actually was a repeat of an earlier string of attacks last year that have already been all but forgotten. Iraq and Syria were almost completely ignored of course. Thanks to the empire of Chaos terror attacks are a frequent occurrence in both Iraq and Syria. So many horrifying attacks have taken place in Syria thanks to the proxy war that only the most grisly atrocities ever make the news the car bombs, mortar attacks, and hell cannons that kill dozens of civilians everyday are of course intentionally ignored lest the world be inspired to sympathize with the people of Syria. However shortly before the Beirut attack there was an attack in the province of Lattakia that claimed a similar amount of lives but was completely ignored. The  attack in Beirut on a civilian neighborhood Burj el Barajneh was presented as an attack on a "Hezbollah Stronghold." clearly the Empire of Chaos could barely keep from gloating in fact some western journalistic scum even openly cheered the attacks. Of course it was not Hezbollah which was targeted but innocent civilians. Hezbollah behaves with the restraint of a revolutionary guerrilla army it only targets soldiers not civilians. Thus even if the brave fighters of Hezbollah had been the targets we would mourn them. With their courage in defeating Israel twice and in courageously fighting to defend Syria, Hezbollah has earned the gratitude of the world. The next day the terrorists launched a terror attack at the funeral of a martyred member of an Iraqi Militia that was completely ignored by the press.

    Then the Russian plane Metrojet A321 was blown up with a bomb. By announcing ISIS did it before the investigation the US and UK were basically bragging as in the words of Sibel Edmonds "ISIS Is US."  Christoph Germann wrote a great article on it linking to an old Article by Sibel Edmonds on the scandalous career of  Mathew Bryza the diplomat who issued the statement's blaming ISIS. Not only is he Gladio operative who has he been involved in covert wars on Russia in Georgia and Chechnya, he also killed a Russian woman in car accident while rumored to be drunk and high on drugs. A fascinating story. Madman secretary of defense Ash Carter had bragged a month before the crash that Russia would pay a terrible price for aiding Syria. Thus while obviously the Saudi's and the GCC were involved they had received a green light from Washington to carry out this disgusting revenge attack. Of course the location and timing of the crash also implicated Israel. Zionism has only two commandments "Thou shalt  steal  land" and "Thou shalt never give it back" Menachem Begin broke this second commandment back in 1979 when he signed his deal with Egypt in exchange for Anwar Sadat's complete betrayal of the cause of arab nationalism. This freed Begin up to launch his later disastrous war on Lebanon. However Israel has never stopped scheming to get back the Sinai and consider it as belonging to them. Hence the funding of Al Qaeda separatist terrorists in Egypt's sinai peninsula. Russia was also bombing close to the area of the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan heights. Bringing the plane down in the Sinai may have been meant to send a message to Russia that this was also Israel's revenge for Russia interfering in the Syrian war. Of course the Saudi's and the GCC had already openly declared holy war on Russia. Thus the plane was brought down with the support of all of the conspirators. Our sympathies lie with the now dead adventurous Russian tourists who were the victims of this attack. Charlie Hebdo decided to mock their deaths.

    Despite France's role in funding the endless terror campaign against Syria the victims of the Paris attacks also deserve our sympathy. It's just unfortunate that we live in a world where their  deaths will be capitalized on to attempt to further  expand the war in Syria. Clearly Russia intervened just in time or NATO might have exploited this tragedy to launch a full scale war on Syria. We'll have to wait and see what treacherous plots the french are planning. Of course outwardly they have pretended that they are now serious about targeting ISIS but only a fool would trust them. France which regards Syria as it's rightful colony was instrumental in destroying Libya, in trying to destroy Syria, and has been ruthlessly exploiting Africa for centuries. Like their Frenemies the British they have a centuries long history of imperialist crimes but act the part of moralistic hypocrites pretending to be paragons of virtue and guardians of "Western Values". Thus I'm extremely wary of their attempts to expand their role in Syria. In fact while I'm no expert it is doubtful if these attacks could have been launched without french intelligence being involved. Fortunately Putin is no fool and Russia has it's own schemes to use the french. We'll just have to wait and see who manages to trick who in the end. For now matters will be decided in the murky world of diplomacy where nothing is ever as it seems. Unfortunately the incident is being used to fuel a racist campaign against muslims and will only accelerate Europe's slide towards fascism. No doubt there will be a great deal of research exposing what actually happened in the Paris Attacks which were clearly a classic GLADIO style false flag attack.

   Unfortunately for the Empire of Chaos the attack on the Russian jet was poorly timed for Russia used the event along with the recapture of Syrian airbases to double their air forces in Syria. They recently deployed their heavy bombers to Syria flying  circling around Western Europe and heading into the Mediterranean to bomb their targets. It was just a friendly warning that Russia will defend itself and Syria by any means even if it means leaving western Europe a pile of radioactive rubble. It also leaked photos of it's secret nuclear torpedoes capable of destroying both the coasts of the US even if the US ever got it's missile defense system working. Russia has also demonstrated it's Electronic Warfare capability as I discussed in my October 2015 Article "Russia and Syria on the Offensive" Russia has the ability to leave NATO forces blind and defenseless as it recently demonstrated. In other words Russia has clearly signaled that it is willing to go to war with NATO in order to protect Syria. We can only hope that the Empire of Chaos will see sense and resist the temptation to start a nuclear war for the sake of destroying Syria. For now I doubt that even the Empire of Chaos is that crazy and hopefully until the next war monger madman or madwoman is elected president the world can hopefully  avoid being blown to bits. Actually Obama has already backed down from his threat to openly send 50 american special forces. Of course US and many other countries special forces are already in Syria but this way their casualties will hopefully remain secret thus avoiding triggering an apocalyptic war with Russia. In addition to sending a message to the west Russia struck some devastating blows at the terrorists. ISIS has been looting Syria's oil allowing it and it's allies to get rich while funding the war on the Syrian people. Russia decided to eliminate their fleet of oil trucks. The pentagon was so envious that PBS showed the footage of the Russian attacks and pretended it was footage of an american attack that may or may not have even occurred. The Russians have been testing their lethal Fuel air bombs on the terrorists and also launched some more cruise missile strikes from both the air and the sea for good measure. Plus they used their heavy bombers to launch a devastating raid on ISIS headquarters in Raqqa. In revenge for the downing of A321 they have doubled the amount of their airstrikes. We can only hope that Russia has some more wicked surprises in store in Syria.

     Although the Empire of Chaos is not foolish enough yet for nuclear war they are foolish enough to expand their proxy war on Syria. They have been flooding the country with weapons like TOW anti-tank missiles and terrorist reinforcements. Their terrorist death squads have been busy. They made a huge attack on Damascus. They even launched a counteroffensive seizing a valuable supply route to Aleppo forcing the SAA to halt their advance towards Kuweires until they could regain control of the road. Fortunately the  SAA was eventually able to seize back control of the road inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists. They then restarted their offensive with the help of the Russian airstrikes, and their allies in Hezbollah and the Iranian trained Iraqi militias. They managed to liberate Kuweires airbase a truly glorious moment in the war. For two and a half years the brave soldiers of Kuweires have been surrounded and under siege by ISIS terrorists. Most were cadets in training when the base came under siege now they are veterans. They fought off waves of attacks for years. They were cut off from supplies which had to be airlifted in and often went hungry having to rely on what they could grow themselves. Yet somehow despite all the odds they survived. They were rescued when after many months of slow fighting by the SAA and it's allies managed to cut a swath thru ISIS territory and reopen the supply route to the base. Syria and it's friends around the world rejoiced at the victory a good omen that one day the Siege on Syria itself will be lifted. Kuweires was only the beginning with this vital strategic area now under their control the SAA began to make much quicker progress in their battle for Aleppo as town  after town fell and the terrorists fled. The SAA have also been making steady progress in Latakia province another vital strategic area. They have recently gained control of the Al Ziwayqat Mountain range They have been recapturing airfields which the Russians will use to expand their air campaign. I have understated their victories a bit as they have been winning back control of so many territories that I've lost track. The terrorists hold over the Aleppo province is crumbling and everywhere the terrorists are in retreat. We can expect more slow but steady progress in the coming months, and it is my hope that when I return I will have more victories by Syria and her allies to report. Victory to Syria!

Now sadly I must bid you goodbye. Thank you to all my readers and for all the people who have helped spread the word. I wish everyone happy holidays. I'll continue my research during my vacation and will keep a close eye on events in Syria. I plan to spend much of next year studying the Russian Revolution and Soviet history and actively ignoring the presidential campaign circus. Keep an eye on Venezuela which is under threat. And remember the terrible war on Yemen. Things may also be heating up in Ukraine soon as I predicted check out for news on Ukraine and Novorossia. Follow events in Syria at Syria 360


While I'm gone be sure and follow world news at Libya 360

I stole the phrase Empire of Chaos from Pepe Escobar I recommend you follow him on Facebook if you want to keep up with his work.

For more recommended alt media sites check out my 2 alternative media spotlight articles

Pepe Escobar on the Paris Attacks

Sukant Chandan on the Racist Hierarchy of the worth of victims

Christoph Germann on the Metrojet A321 bombing

Sibel Edmonds on the Scandalous career of Mathew Bryza

William Engdahl on Russia's Secret Weapons

Christoph Germann on the Paris Attacks

Friday, November 6, 2015

Black Bolshevik: Harry Haywood

      Black Bolshevik: The Life of Harry Haywood
    The Forgotten History of the Role of Communism in the Struggle for Black Liberation

  With Special Thanks to Siusaidh Chaimbeul (aka @Zaganashikwe on Twitter) who generously sent me her copy of "Black Bolshevik".

   As I have often remarked the world's revolutionary history is constantly being suppressed. Our rulers would rather we forgot the struggles of the past lest we be tempted into new struggles. For exactly the same reason one of my goals is to revive this history of struggle. Thus I am glad to reintroduce a revolutionary classic to you "Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist" By Harry Haywood.. The Life of Harry Haywood reveals an entire forgotten era in world history and allows one to see America from a new and revolutionary perspective. It is horrifying how relevant this book which takes place nearly a hundred years ago still is today. 100 years later and blacks are still demanding an end to the endless string of murders by police. To anyone who truly want to change the world so that in another 100 years things may finally be different I urge them to read Haywood's book.

   From the moment I picked up the Haywood book I was hooked. It begins with Haywood newly returned from World War I only months before and now working on the dining car of a train heading for Chicago . Unfortunately for him he had merely moved from one war zone to another.             Chicago itself was on fire the cities blacks were under attack by mobs of whites. As Haywood neared the station he was warned he would have to sneak into the black part of town along the railroad tracks as a couple of black veterans had already been murdered along his usual route. As Haywood explained from the moment he stepped off the train he became involved in a new war that would last his whole life. This was the struggle to free his people from the racist oppression that had suffered since being kidnapped into slavery centuries before. As Haywood explains the summer of 1919 saw race riots sweep the country in 26 cities. People often wonder if America might someday become a fascist country however reading Haywood's book it is clear that America has always been a fascist country. A country that violently suppresses the masses in the service of capitalism. A country which had an openly racist white supremacist ideology it used to divide and rule the people. A country like todays fascist Ukraine where terrorist paramilitary groups like the KKK and the Black Legion worked hand in glove with the police to terrorize both blacks and radicals into submission. This is the country Haywood's book opens upon. Throughout the war despite false promises blacks would be granted equality afterwards in exchange for loyal service in this crusade for "freedom and democracy" the number of lynchings had been escalating. Now with the wars end a tide of race riots were sweeping the country the KKK had been reborn and was now expanding throughout the north. Just like today Hollywood did it's part to spread the hate Releasing "The Birth of a Nation" a film glorifying the Ku Klux Klan and personally endorsed by President Woodrow Wilson who lying american historians portray as a sweet idealist. However 1919 was not only a year of racial tensions but also of class struggle. This was also the famous summer of the Red Scare when American Capitalists terrified of the Russian October Revolution that brought Communists to power launched a major crackdown on all the radicals they could find and formed America's Secret Police the FBI to hunt down communists. Murders, beatings, arrests, frame ups, and deportations followed. Haywood had not yet realized the significance of the Russian Revolution. However his older brother was already becoming a communist and would help guide Haywood's political education. The two struggles for black liberation and for Communism would become inextricably linked in the coming years and Communists would play a major if now forgotten role in the struggle for civil rights in fact they would lay all the groundwork that would be later used in the 50's to wage the struggle to end America's form of apartheid then called "Jim Crow." However inspired by the radical genius of Lenin the Communists would go far beyond mere demands for civil rights. They believed that the only way blacks would be able to obtain equal rights was if they had the right of "Self Determination" they saw the struggle of blacks as a war of national liberation. Thus they also laid the ground work for the later more radical generation of Black Revolutionaries like the Black Panthers of the 60's and 70's. Black Power was actually a communist slogan from the 1920's as Hakim Adi explained. Communists would also be deeply involved in the Liberation of Africa from Colonial Domination and Communists organized a united international movement for black liberation that included north America, the Caribbean and Africa. In other words communists changed the world and their contribution has been completely erased from mainstream history. The advice of the Comintern, the Communist International would prove vital in ending both Jim Crow in America, and Apartheid in South Africa, as well as helping people across the world win independence from colonialism.

   To Return to Haywood marching towards his neighborhood in south side Chicago which was under siege he met up with other recently returned black veterans who mounted machine guns in order defend themselves from an impending white attack they had heard rumors of. The  whites in turn must have heard rumors of what awaited them because they never arrived. For Haywood however the struggle was only beginning. However he next goes back to the beginning of his life painting a vivid picture of life in turn of the century america which he doubtless could have expanded into a book in it's own right. He describes his colorful Grandparents and parents. He describes the rebellious folk songs  blacks sang. And he describes the vibrant culture the jazz, the blues the comedians. His mother was tough a fighter while his father was a mild mannered follower of Booker T. Washington. His Grandfather a former slave who achieved local political prominence during the Reconstruction had been forced to flee his home after he had killed a member of a local lynch mob out to hang him. Haywood would also be forced to flee his childhood home of Omaha, Nebraska  where racial tensions had formerly been comparatively mild when his father had been attacked by a gang of white street toughs who beat him and then demanded he leave town. Although America likes to pretend it makes slow but steady progress towards equality as Haywood's book reveals actually there were periods like post reconstruction and the early teens where whatever gains that had been made by blacks towards equality were violently rolled back. After seeing his meek father beaten and forced to flee his home and all he had worked for a Rebellious spark was lit in Haywood. Upon arriving at his new school he immediately dropped out when his class which was mockingly singing "a negro spiritual" directed their racist singing at him. Haywood had been a brilliant student and was a voracious reader but in those times there was little chance for him to do anything with his education as his brother had already discovered.

  Instead Haywood did a series of jobs often being fired or quitting because he demanded to be treated with respect. Eventually he would join the army and there is a brilliant chapter on his experiences in the army. Once armed and in uniform Haywood and his fellow soldiers decided to get a bit of revenge they went on a mini rampage in every southern town they passed through stealing provisions from the local shop owners and openly defying the racist local sheriffs.  They were headed to a base in Huston where there had been an all out insurrection after the cops murdered a black soldier the black soldiers took up arms launched a full scale attack on the police station killing a dozen cops. Their leader killed himself once they were surrounded and the rest surrendered but the locals learned their lesson and did their best to avoid provoking the black troops stationed there. This incident in Huston is just one of the great forgotten stories of resistance that Haywood includes in his book. Haywood and his fellow black troops were determined to use their new status to enforce equality. There were other exciting incidents during this period but as Haywood lived an extremely eventful life I'll skip ahead to his time in France which in comparison with the racist US seemed a paradise to Haywood. However Haywood's arrival was marred by an official lynching (military hanging) of a black soldier they falsely accused of rape then hung in order to attempt to divide the french locals from the black troops. They left the man's corpse hanging on public display for 24 hours which backfired as the french locals were not used to seeing such barbarism which was all too common in the US. Haywood produces a secret letter the american military sent to the french warning that segregation was vital to preserving america's white racial purity from inferior races and warned them not to treat the black soldiers as equals as it would give them ideas. As you can see I wasn't exaggerating when I called America a Fascist country a conclusion Haywood would also come to in the future. However despite the best efforts of the Americans Haywood would befriend the French and get his first taste of what it would be like to live in comparative equality. He would train with the french, then be stationed on the front line before falling ill.

  As mentioned he would return to the war to find another war back home. After the Chicago riot he would begin to search for answers and was determined to join the fight for black liberation. He began an intense period of study joining a study group of other likeminded black men also looking for answers. He studied african civilizations to disprove the then current lie that there had never been any black civilizations. He studied the history of the struggle at home. Increasingly thanks to his brother he began to study Marx, Engels, and Lenin. He began to see that racism was a tool of the capitalists used to create a class of super-exploited blacks, and use them  to keep down white wages. His brother Otto Hall (Harry Haywood was a revolutionary name adopted to confuse the authorities) was already a member of the communist party. Haywood asked to join but was told he should wait and join the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB) instead a revolutionary organization lead by black communists founded and lead by Cyril Briggs. Next Haywood would join the Young Communist League where he would so impress his comrades that they decided to smuggle him into the Soviet Union for a revolutionary education.

   Thus Haywood was smuggled into Canada passed along a network of Communist party members before being sent to Europe and eventually crossing into the Soviet Union. This is one of the most fascinating parts of the book as Haywood arrived in the late twenties a pivotal period in Soviet History. Since I recently spent several months studying the Russian Revolution and the construction of socialism under Stalin it was fascinating to read a first hand account by an american witness to these events. He witnessed Trotsky's attempt to stage counter revolutionary protests on the anniversary of the October revolution. He was also there for the fall of the rightist Bukharin. He was enrolled first at University of the Toilers of the East named for Stalin known by it's Russian acronym KUTVA. There he studied revolutionary theory with students from over 70 countries. I should mention that the famous Ho Chi Minh would later teach at this school training the Cadres that one day liberate Vietnam winning glorious victories over Japan, France, and the US. All students at KUTVA joined the soviet communist party the CPSU while at the school and so Haywood would attend the historic party congresses that would set the Soviet Union on the path to becoming a socialist super power. He would also be amazed at the progress the Soviet Union had gone towards fighting racism. It was illegal and the only time he suffered racist insults the crowd jumped to his defense. One of the more memorable examples of the Soviet commitment to abolish racism came years later when two white American  technical advisers beat up a black technical adviser for eating in the same hall as the whites. The incident took place at the famous tractor factory in Stalingrad the men were arrested for white chauvinism (racism in communist terminology) which was an even more serious crime then the beating itself. They became the subject of a massive protest campaign with thousands of soviets demanding that americans leave their racist ways behind them upon arriving in the USSR. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment but they were deported instead.  Many soviets had never seen a black man before but they were proud of their roles as allies in the liberation of the peoples of the world from imperialism. When he described what life was like for blacks in America they would compare it to life under the czars who used anti-jewish pogroms to misdirect the energies of the masses away from their real enemies and into senseless acts of racist violence. While in the Soviet Union Haywood learned to speak fluid Russian and also deepened his understanding of marxist-leninist theory. As Haywood explained at KUTVA theory was not a dogma but a guide to action. They studied and debated the issues facing the soviet union and the world. Since Haywood excelled at his studies they sent him to the Lenin school which was more advanced.

  It was in the Soviet Union that Haywood became an early convert the Lenin's theory that american blacks represented an oppressed nation and that in the south-east where they were the majority but were denied their rights they had the right if they choose to seize control. Lenin believed that american blacks were potentially the most revolutionary segment of the populace and so could be mobilized as a national liberation struggle in addition to a revolutionary struggle. Only by fighting at their side for their right to self determination could white workers overcome the mistrust of the blacks while at the same time it would help to eliminate their own racist tendencies. The soviets had also been impressed by the popularity of the Garvey movement. However the CPUSA (Communist party of America) did not yet share this view. Many saw it merely as a struggle for racial equality and denied the power of the black nationalist impulse. Lenin and later Stalin saw it differently. Given the enduring popularity of black nationalism they were no doubt correct as I mentioned earlier. Black revolutionaries in the 60's and 70's  would see their own struggle in parallel with the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese, Cubans and of course in Africa itself.  Lenin the ultimate realist knew it would be impossible for blacks to achieve full equality so long as they lacked the power to enforce it. As Huey P. Newton would say "All Power to the People." Ferguson itself is quite similar to a mini colony although Baltimore with it's black mayor showed the same problems persist in a neo-colonial city and can only be solved by altering the system of capitalism and imperialism. Of course the soviets realized that there were differences between the position of blacks in the US and an overseas colony but they focused on the essential similarity. While in Moscow Haywood was assigned to study the question and help the soviets formulate their new policy. He came to see that the issue of self determination could be key in drawing blacks into the communist revolutionary movement. He would be chosen to help spread this view after he had helped developed it writing influential articles that converted many people to this view.

   He also became involved in the factional fighting of the CPUSA. This is a third major topic the book discusses providing his view of the factional fight within the CPUSA and later their massive expansion. I can't go into this aspect in depth but it was a bit surreal for me to read as one of the faction leaders Jay Lovestone is much more familiar to me in his later role as the CIA's link to Unions and organized crime on a world scale. He was in fact one of the most notorious drug smugglers of all time who had full diplomatic immunity thanks to his CIA connections as discussed in the works of Peter Dale Scott and Doug Valentine. He was an adept of Bukharin (who would later inspire Gorbachev's disastrous reforms.) However that lay in the future but obviously I was glad to see his fall from power as part of Stalin's campaign against the right deviation. Haywood would meet Stalin twice and would be a loyal supporter of Stalin all his life. Stalin had played a pivotal role in founding KUTVA and was very popular with the students. He was an expert on the national question and was committed to liberating the peoples of the world from imperialism. This included the blacks of the United States as we shall see the communist party would play a vital role in laying the groundwork for the later abolishment of Jim Crow. While in the Soviet Union Haywood would also travel widely throughout the country and provides many interesting tales of his experiences there.  While in the Soviet Union. Haywood married a Russian woman. He was especially interested in the treatment of minorities and was impressed at the efforts to grant them full equality for the first time they had schools in their own native languages, many minorities had their own socialist republics. Sometimes he would tell them about the situation of blacks in the US which would outrage them and remind them of life under the czars, they invariably advised revolution as the only solution. While studying in Russia he met revolutionaries from around the world and befriended revolutionaries from Ireland, England, Africa, India and Japan. Sen Katayama a Japanese communist who had lived in america became a mentor to the black students studying in Russia, and explained Lenin's views on the right of self determination for blacks to them. Nasanov a Russian would be another important mentor and together they helped shape the Comintern's new line on self determination for American blacks. There was a marvelous spirit of internationalism in the 20's and 30's to be a communist meant to have friends and comrades in every corner of the globe. Moscow especially was a 2nd home to revolutionaries from around the world. At KUTVA when Haywood had arrived there were students from 70 countries. He was being groomed to take a leading role in the attempt to organized for a revolution back in the US.

   Eventually Haywood would return to the US to begin actively working towards the dual goals of socialism and black liberation. Immediately upon returning to America he was shocked again by the level of racism as he had grown used to life in the soviet union where racism was illegal. First he and a white comrade were about to begin eating in a restaurant when he discovered that his food had been intentionally ruined with salt, while his comrades was fine. Next he was nearly murdered by the police for being in a white area. Both of these incidents happened in the supposedly non jim crow north in New York City.  In addition Haywood was unable to get a visa for his Russian wife to join him in the US they used the excuse that she was not allowed because she was a communist although she wasn't a party member. Eventually they were forced to give up and they both later married other people. However instead of being intimidated by these racist incidents  Haywood only became more determined and soon he began his work as an organizer for the party. Actually even before arriving Haywood had played an important role by arguing for the right of self determination for blacks in an influential article published in the parties paper. Once in the US he began the dangerous work of a communist organizer. He faced the constant, threat of arbitrary arrests, beatings, and possibly death at the hands of lynch mobs, fascists, and cops.  He helped organize a coal miners strike.

   Haywood became involved in one of the most famous cases of the era the Scottsboro boys case. Nine black youths had been arbitrarily arrested and put on trial for rape in the midst of a racist hysteria then sweeping the country. 7 of them were under 18 they had no chance of a fair trial and were quickly sentenced to death. It was to be a sort of Legal lynching meant to distract from the string of foreclosures sweeping the area as result of the great depression. Only the communist's dared to defend them (The NAACP claimed it was not their role to defend "criminals") and the Communists turned their case into an international cause. Not just in America but all over the world people rose up in protest to demand justice for the Scottsboro boys. To give only one touching example thousands marched in Soviet Russia in a spirit of solidarity demanding justice for the Scottsboro boys. Back in America the communist party used the case to expose the racist nature of american society. They had a wonderful slogan back then "Death to Lynchers!" Thousands of blacks were impressed by their fearless stance on the Scottsboro case and joined the party while it also gained them millions of sympathizers. Haywood would find the case useful in his other work. He would use the issue of Scottsboro to draw blacks into the communist labor unions. He was also deeply involved in the case himself risking death. Perhaps here is a good time to mention another little remembered black communist of the time William Patterson a lawyer who would work on many of the famous cases of this period and who would in the 50's charge the united states with genocide against blacks before the United Nations. Patterson was a leading member of the International Labour Defense or ILD which also defended labor leaders held trumped up charges. Haywood's book is full of accounts of these forgotten revolutionaries like Claudia Jones, Otto Huiswoud and Claude Mckay. It also reveals more well known figures like Langston Hughes (who spent a year in the USSR) in a far more radical light then many today think of them. I'll include Hughes' Poem since it's short
Put one More "s" in the USA
To Make it Soviet;
Put one more "s" in the USA
Oh! We'll live to see it yet!

When the Land Belongs to the farmers
And the Factories to the working men,
The USA when we get control
Will be the USSA then!

   During the early thirties the Communist Party was so connected to the struggle for black liberation that people called it the Negro party. When the Communist party ran for the presidency the vice presidential candidate three times in a row was the black man James Ford. Although the CPUSA had a somewhat dubious history during this period with a tendency to a belief in American exceptionalism (communists invented this term as an insult back in the 20's and 30's but the phrase  was later stolen by republican speechwriters who openly advocated it) In communist terminology American exceptionalism was the belief that american capitalism was somehow more stable, and further that american imperialism was somehow more benign then other countries. There was also the tendency to believe that a peaceful transition to socialism was possible through purely democratic means. Haywood was to constantly battle these tendencies he was committed to the vision of a marxist-leninist party. The further major problem was the ruthless factional fights that constantly went on. These intrigues are a major part of Haywoods book that I don't have time to discuss. I mention it partly to contrast these failings with the important role the party would play in the struggle for civil right and black liberation. The communist role in the civil rights struggle during this period was definitely one of the main high points in it's history. I also mention it because Haywood would later fall prey to these factional forces and he would become increasingly marginalized as the Party would later take an increasingly "right opportunist" direction however this would come later. Right Opportunist basically means a "sellout" Right Opportunists were those Lenin saw as abandoning essential marxist principles in order to make short term political gains. Later it was applied to those like Bukharin who wanted to slow or even reverse the transition to socialism during Stalin's time.

    For now lets return to the early thirties and discuss some of Haywood and the parties other important work. First there is the story of the communist Angelo Herndon at only 19 years  he managed to unite thousands of poor blacks and whites in Jim Crow Atlanta Georgia in a demand for immediate hunger relief. The terrified local government immediately found $6000 for hunger relief. However the next week Herndon was arrested charged under an obsolete law from the time slavery for "inciting insurrection." They thought they could end the threat of Angelo Herndon by locking him up and that he would be forgotten. Instead the communists turned his case into another major campaign and Herndon became famous nationwide. Communists played a major role in organizing the unemployed and it was thanks to communist organized pressure that the government was forced to provide some relief during the great depression. This is an idea that should be brought back as our society has condemned millions to permanent unemployment in fact this is a global problem. Communist's were also instrumental in the founding of the CIO a major union that unlike the AFL was integrated allowing black workers to join. They also began an international organization of black workers that was to play a vital role in the birth of the pan-african movement called The International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers. I should mention in passing the international  League Against Imperialism the LAI. One of it's major causes was support for Sandino the Nicaraguan freedom fighter against American imperialism battling the US marines. Sandino would later serve as an inspiration for the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua decades later.

  One of the most fascinating chapters in this forgotten history is the sharecroppers union. The attempt to organize the black sharecroppers in the face of the most brutal repression was undoubtedly one of the most dangerous tasks the party undertook. The local oligarchs regarded any attempt to organize the sharecroppers as an act of war and they responded with shocking brutality massacring dozens. The now forgotten "Camp Hill" Massacre was only the beginning in a series of massacres. Yet despite the dangers the black sharecroppers refused to give in and the sharecroppers union continued to grow. It was a sort of guerrilla war or low intensity conflict with the sharecroppers union organizing sporadic armed resistance in self defense. A forgotten little war was waged on american soil for years as the sharecroppers mounted armed resistance to the attempts to crush their movement. I was strongly reminded of the dirty wars in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 70's and 80's while reading Haywood's account. He was involved in organizing them and even to enter the area meant risking his life as he would have been killed upon being discovered. For Haywood the success of the sharecroppers union was further evidence that the struggle for self determination was a vital part of the struggle for black liberation. It was here in America's south east what was known as the "Black Belt" that blacks both made up a majority of the population and were most oppressed. By uniting them in a struggle for self determination, land re-distribution, and political control they could be mobilized for revolution. The sharecroppers union proved that they were willing to fight and die for a better world.

   Haywood was also involved in organizing in Chicago a fascist stronghold. Immediately upon entering the city Haywood was arrested beaten and paraded in front of the whole department who were told to arrest him on sight for being a black communist. However despite the danger Haywood continued his work in Chicago where in addition to police brutality local communists also had to deal with a bunch of fascist goon squads funded by the Chicago industrial magnates. Organizing against the rise of fascism was another major activity the communists were involved with and they were alone in battling the danger while the "democratic" west did all they could to aid in it's growth. One major anti-fascist campaign was in protest of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia a country of enormous symbolic value to blacks worldwide because of it's biblical associations, place in Garvey's thought, and because it was the last "independent" african country(Actually it was secretly  dominated by France and England) However in Chicago the Mayor had recently received an award from Mussolini himself and to avoid offending his dictator friend he banned all protests against the Italian invasion in Chicago. The communists mounted a series of clever illegal protests culminating in a dramatic day when the police. would be forced to cordon a whole section of the town. Haywood and his comrades had cleverly planted themselves around the area and each would give speeches from the windows and rooftops every time one was arrested another would begin to speak. Haywood and the other were arrested and badly beaten but they had brought the city to a standstill and had Succeeded in exposing the fascist war on Ethiopia.

  Haywood ended up going to Spain to join the international brigades. The Spanish republic was trying to resist an armed takeover by the fascists under Franco. The west refused to send aid to the tiny republic as they hated it's progressive character and saw Fascism as the best defense  against Communism. The USSR alone was willing to send aid. In addition to military aid and advisers they organized an international campaign calling for volunteers to fight on the side of the republic. Communists from all over the world went to fight there along with some who were simply opposed to fascism. One was Oliver Law one of Haywood's black comrades from Chicago who had been mercilessly beaten by police. He was the first black american officer to command white american troops. Paul Robeson wanted to make a movie about him but discovered the same powerful forces behind Jim Crow were also backing the fascists in Spain and was unable to raise the money. I mention him to rescue the name of yet another black revolutionary from obscurity. Oliver Law would die heroically in Spain. For Haywood his time in Spain seemed to mark the beginning of a downturn in his life. He made a powerful enemy in a local commander by demanding better treatment for his men. This was a mistake since the commander started spreading rumors and turning people against Haywood. Eventually Haywood a political commissar would be forced to resign after getting in an argument with a fellow officer. Then upon returning to America he was the victim of a rumor campaign that accused him of being a deserter. Haywood's importance would begin to wane within the party as it moved increasingly to the right.

   During the Second World War Haywood would serve in the merchant marines and work in the legendary NMU union. It had been among the first unions to be integrated and communists were extremely influential in it. By a stroke of luck I happened to listen to an interview with Historian Gerald Horne on His book on Ferdinand Smith and the NMU called "Red Seas" a couple weeks before reading this chapter So I was familiar with the NMU. For one thing it was used to smuggle the communist press all across the world. During the war Haywood traveled around the world and he always stopped by to visit the local communist party branches in each country often meeting old friends and comrades from his days in Moscow. He visited India where he met many of his fellow students from KUTVA now leading India's communist party. He visited Apartheid South Africa which he found to be even worse then the Jim Crow South, but here he also met with the South African Communists working for an end to Apartheid and the creation of a Black Republic. Nelson Mandela himself later joined the South African Communist Party a fact only revealed after his death.He visited Cuba then under a popular front government where he also met with the cuban communists. Towards the end of the War he decided to take the dangerous supply run to Murmansk in the Soviet Union. There he was happy to be back briefly in a Socialist Country where racism had been abolished but was sad to discover so many of his Russian friends had been killed during the war.

  After the World War 2 came the "Cold War" a wave of McCarthyite hysteria was spread throughout the country and it became illegal to be a communist. The entire Leadership of the CPUSA would be arrested. Haywood would be constantly hounded by the FBI and found it hard to get work anywhere as he was on an anti-communist blacklist. However he briefly rose to prominence again in the party writing the book "Negro Liberation" with help from the courageous Paul Robeson who agreed to pay his expenses for a few months so he could write the book. However as the party began again to swing to the right he became marginalized again. The Party foolishly decided to abandon it's advocacy of the idea of national liberation for blacks instead choosing to work with the reformist NAACP. However Haywood ends his book written in the late 70's with a description of the massive upsurge in activity towards black liberation. First there was the civil rights movement, then the rise of the black power movement with people like Malcolm X, and later the Black Panther Party. The groundwork of the civil rights movement had been laid in the campaigns of the thirties. Martin Luther King was actually selected as a leader because he was young enough not to have ever been a communist during this period unlike the other older civil rights leaders. After the war the Communists had given the civil rights movement another boost in their failed progressive party campaign when Henry Wallace and Paul Robeson used the campaign as a way to resist segregation in the south. The black power movement with it's demands for self determination had also been partly inspired by the parties demands for self determination For Huey P. Newton Blacks were a colonized people fighting a revolutionary war of national liberation that could only be won with the destruction of capitalism. Angela Davis was a communist party member. Unfortunately this new wave of revolutionary action would be stamped out through murder, frame ups, psychological operations.

Today we may see a new wave of revolutionary spirit spread across the world. There have been two black uprisings in the past year first in Ferguson then in Baltimore. However this movement will go nowhere if it has purely reformist goals. If it makes the mistake of believing that the bloodthirsty american empire will ever change because of a few mild reforms, or a few promises from politicians it will fail to produce lasting change. Only by radically changing the nature of this system will these problems ever be solved. Until then capitalism will always stir up racist tensions to turn the people against each other. Until then a brutal militarized police will be used to keep the masses in line. Austerity economics and the police state go hand in hand. We need a truly revolutionary movement if we want to change the world. Thus it is important that we revive the memories of people like Harry Haywood. It is important that we remember the struggles of the past. Almost a Hundred years ago the Russian Revolution inspired people around the world with the vision of a new society. It was the first of many revolutions that would change the world. Korea, China, Vietnam, Ghana, Cuba. It would also play a crucial role in ending both Jim Crow and Apartheid. This proud history must be revived. I'll end with a qoute from Siusaidh Chaimbeul about the significance of the communist efforts for the later civil rights movement

Without the efforts of thousands of people who fought evictions, protested lynching, defended the Scottsboro boys, and spoke up against racism whenever and wherever they encountered it, it is difficult to imagine what - Decades Later - our "dream" could have been.

My main source was of Course Harry Haywood's book "Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist" Luckily someone scanned the book into PDF format and you can find it free online here.
I first heard of the book "Black Bolshevik" during a lecture by Ranjeet Brar on Paul Robeson, Stalin and the USSR during which the cover of the book was briefly shown on screen piquing my interest. But it was while watching a fascinating lecture hosted by Sukant Chandan with Hakim Adi on his book "Pan Africanism and Communism" that on a whim I sent it to @Zaganashikwe who I knew specialized in the Caribbean we fell into conversation I mentioned Haywoods book in passing and to my surprise she offered to mail me a copy of the book along with some of her work on Communism and Black Liberation as well as the haunting story of the forgotten Irish revolutionary Kay Donnellan imprisoned for organizing black workers in Trinidad and possibly murdered by the British the day after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. It opened up a whole little known area of history for me.

The two articles by @Zaganashikwe which will be available online soon thanks to @grphlegmblip who is going to scan them. I'll post info on where to find them in the comments section when they become available. check out @grphlegmblip's aka Kariflack's great podcast and blog here She's done great shows on the US Military involvement Sex Trafficking and on Low Intensity warfare.

I also relied on some great lectures on youtube first Sukant Chandan interviewing Hakim Adi on Pan Africanism and Communism

And Caleb Maupin released a lecture on the history of the communist party USA that provides useful background

Check out the 10,000 League channel on You Tube for Some great short episodes on other important black communists like Paul Robeson, Robert F. Williams, Huey P. Newton, and Claudia Jones. Sukant Chandan's You Tube channel SonsofMalcom TV did a series on female revolutionaries called hidden herstories that you should also check out. He also has with a ton of other  great anti-imperialist content. Also search for more great Hakim Adi Lectures on You Tube. Professor Gerald Horne has done great work on reviving some of the history of this period.



Saturday, October 24, 2015

Russia and Syria on the Offensive

    Russia and Syria are on the Offensive

    The last time I wrote about Syria (In My September 2015 Article Russia Defends Syria, Yemen Resists) Russia had only just begun to make it's presence clear to the world in Syria. This in itself was cause for celebration as it foiled US and Turkish plans to expand their bombing campaign creating a No-Fly Zone in northern Syria to protect their terrorist bridgehead there. Since then however Russia has launched an all out air offensive destroying the massive terrorist infrastructure that has been built up weapons depots and command centers exploded across Syria. However this offensive proved only the opening move and as predicted once the terrorists had been softened up the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) went on the offensive with the aid of their allies from Hezbollah, Iran and Iraq and the brave civilian militias of the NDF (National Defense Forces.) The balance has already completely shifted in Syria and this only the beginning. Russia has not only helped to turn around the situation in Syria. With this bold move they have destroyed Washington and Israel's decades long schemes to create a "new middle east". Indeed Russia has completely shattered the US plans for global hegemony which sought to prevent the emergence of any rivals to it's power. This was known first as the Wolfowitz doctrine publicly disavowed when leaked in the New York Times in the early 90's it was secretly followed being officially adopted after 9/11 as the Bush Doctrine. With the enormous economic growth of China and now Russia's demonstration of it's military capabilities which clearly rival NATO's and have sent the pentagon into an absolute panic it is clear that the age of American hyper power is at an end. There will be no "New American Century" and the wonderful thing is that Russia could never have accomplished this without america's imperialist rampage. It was the US which forced long time enemies Russia and China into an alliance. The 35 year attempt to destroy Iraq may well lead to an Iraq allied not only with Iran but now with Russia. A new power bloc is forming in the middle east what Pepe Escobar has dubbed the "p4 + 1" composed of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia.

    The Russian Offensive exceeded all expectations instead of a repeat of subtlety of the war in Ukraine it resembled Russia's war in Georgia which managed to smash a country that NATO had armed to the teeth in a manner of days after it launched an unprovoked attack on Russian peacekeepers in the Breakaway region of South Ossetia. In other words Russia launched an all out air offensive targeted ISIS, Al Nusra, and the hundreds of other terror groups who adopt a hundred different names to create confusion but are all Al Qaeda death squads. Russia wisely choose to ignore the myth of the "moderate" rebels which is nothing more then a propaganda term meant to confuse the western public. The FSA for example are the ones who filmed themselves eating a human liver. Al Nusra carried out the chemical weapons attacks. Actually the west had a whole propaganda campaign lined up to brand Al Nusra ( Which is Al Qaeda's Syria Branch) as moderate rebels. Oh the Irony they claimed they were destroying Iraq to prevent terrorists from getting "weapons of mass destruction" now they are openly allied with terrorists who carry out chemical weapons attacks. They have even gone so far as to start praising the original Al Qaeda putting out the myth that they were horrified by the excesses of Al Qaeda in Iraq. This is nonsense all the horrors we see today in Syria were present in Afghanistan back in the 80's the torture and beheadings began then but since it was the soviets and their progressive afghan allies who were the victims no one in the corporate media bothered to report it. Wherever the CIA and special forces train their death squads you will see the same horrors from the Philippines, to Indonesia, To Vietnam to El Salvador, to Syria today. It's all part of "Psychological Operations" Thankfully this campaign to brand Al Nusra as "moderate rebels" is now rather useless. Russia intends to bomb any group that is waging war against Syria. I could only laugh as the corporate media howled in outrage about Russia bombing the wrong terrorists. Russia used the opportunity for a little diplomatic comedy  first it asked for a list of who the moderates are. If the US had complied doubtless within the hour Syrian intelligence would doubtless have provided a long an embarrassing account of each "Moderates" terrorist career and war crimes. Next Russia asked the US for a list of ISIS targets in Syria. Another joke meant to expose the US phony war on terror. If they had actually provided accurate information Russia could bomb america's terrorists proxies while wondering aloud why the US had failed to do so. If they provided fake info Russia could have made a laughingstock of US intel as Syria is now under constant Russian Drone and Satellite surveillance. Next Russia requested a list of places the US didn't want it to bomb. Russia's long suffering diplomatic corps exemplified by the long suffering Lavrov is clearly enjoying their revenge for all the lies, insults, and threats they have been subjected to since the US backed coup in Ukraine. They managed to completely fool the US state department who thought all the Russian talk about diplomatic solution in Syria meant Russia was ready to sacrifice Assad when in reality Russia was building a coalition that will both save Syria and reshape the region and the world.

   Thus despite the Media war and the childish tantrums of the imperialists in Washington Russia continued it's methodical air campaign. Terrorists bases and arms depots were targeted. The whole country was under their surveillance their goal was to destroy the terrorists weapon supplies while cutting off any attempts to resupply them. But this was only the first part of their plan. Once they had the terrorists softened up Russia the SAA, Iran, and Hezbollah began to plan a major ground offensive aimed at finally securing Homs, Aleppo, and Damascus. The terrorists are about to get a taste of what the Ukrainian Fascists suffered last summer and the Germany Nazi's experienced long ago. They are about to learn the meaning of the word Cauldron. They are about to be surrounded cut off from supplies and merciless shelled until they die or surrender. In fact there are rumors floating around that the Novorossians may show up. Of course it's best to wait until things actually happen before believing anything these days.  Russia and it's enemies are having fun spreading all sorts of rumors. First supposedly the Chinese were coming, then the Belorussians, then the Chechens, now the Novorossians. I think Russia will send land forces as Douglas Valentine once explained from a military perspective it is highly advantageous to have ones troops always engaged so they gain combat experience becoming "battle hardened" as they say. Thus I suspect that Russia and the other CSTO (CSTO Collective Security Treaty Organization the Russian NATO) countries will send troops to Syria on a permanent basis. They are already expanding their bases to accommodate Naval, Air, and Ground Forces and both Russia and Syria have been dropping hints. First Russia said it would send troops if asked. Then Syria said it would ask if it needed to.  Thus I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon the pentagon wakes up to a nasty surprise a CSTO army in Syria.

   However in the Meantime it is the Heroes of the Syrian Arab Army and their allies who are fighting a slow but steady offensive on many fronts. It is the SAA who are the true heroes of the war on Syria for four years they have fought to defend their country always managing to fight on  against the endless stream of foreign death squads poring into the country from Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. 75,000 of them have already given their lives. These numbers show that the myth of the Ruthless Syrian army is nonsense as Eva Bartlett explains their casualties are so high because in order to spare civilian lives they choose  a more dangerous form of house to house fighting to slowly liberate towns instead of merely obliterating towns that had become terrorist strongholds.Nearly every family in Syria has lost a brother, a father, or a son in this war fighting on the front line. Of course Syria's women are equally brave many are fighting on the front lines to defend their country. If it had not been for so many people ready to bravely sacrifice their lives to save Syria the country would have been destroyed long before Russia decided to decisively intervene. Now with Russian assistance they are again on the offensive. Damascus the long suffering capital was finally free of the sound of being shelled by the terrorists. Homs is nearly pacified. Aleppo is being encircled. They are on the offensive in Latakia. Kuweires Airbase which has been surrounded and under siege for over 2 Years is about to be rescued as the SAA and NDF slowly force their way into ISIS territory opening a route towards the base which has been solely supplied by helicopter up to now. To me this base symbolizes the whole war in Syria surrounded on all sides by enemies but bravely resisting no matter what. Fighting with the SAA of course are Hezbollah who earned undying Glory for their two victories over Israel. First they forced Israel to Withdraw from most of southern Lebanon which it had been Occupying since the 1982 Israeli  invasion. That took years but when Israel tried to invade again in 2006 Hezbollah forced them to withdraw in weeks. That was when the plan to destroy Syria was set into motion when it refused to cut ties with Iran or Hezbollah. However as Mahdi Nazemroaya reminds us the US actually considered invading Syria in 2003 using their chemical weapons as an excuse. Hezbollah's heroic assistance to Syria will never be forgotten. Iran is also fighting alongside Syria the bravery of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp generals is amazing. While western generals usually operate far from the front lines in almost complete safety the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp sends it's generals to the front lines to act as advisers and quite a few have died on the dangerous front lines of Syria's war. Most recent to die was Brigadier General Reza Khavaru.  He died only days after General Hossen Hamedani was killed. Thus amidst all the excitement of the Russian air offensive we shouldn't forget all the brave Syrians, Iranians, and Hezbollah fighters who have given their lives and who are still giving their lives in defense of Syria.

    Thanks to the coordinated Offensive by Russia, Syria and Hezbollah the tide of the war is already shifting. The terrorists and their sponsors are in a panic. One Hilarious headline claimed hundreds of jihadi's were shaving their beards and disguising themselves as women to flee. Qatar threatened to attack Russia but unless it wants to be renamed Gazprom Peninsula I'd advise them against launching an attack on Russia. As Pepe Escobar quoting Bandar Bin Sultan aka Bandar Bush explained "Qatar is 300 people and a television station." (Al Jazeera) Although Russia is usually pragmatic while it is in the middle east it may as well make the GCC monarchs worst fears come true. I say it is time for a string of revolutions in the gulf monarchies. They should start by aiding Yemen it would be the perfect opportunity to give the saudis their own little Afghanistan as revenge. Plus Yemen is of vital geostrategic importance and South Yemen was once allied to the Soviet Bloc. Then a tiny bit of help and encouragement is all the people in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the rest of the GCC need to rebel. The perfect revenge for Ukraine. It is time these corrupt monarchs got a taste of their own medicine. "Off with their heads!" Of course that would probably push the US over the edge as it would mean all the world's biggest oil producers united in one bloc under Russian protection. Still I'm glad to help give imperialist war planners sleepless nights worrying about it.

   Russia's offensive is meant not only to crush the NATO death squads occupying the country. It is also meant to send a clear signal to the west not to mess with Russia. America spends more on weapons then the rest of the world combined but that is in part because the whole thing is a swindle. For example it spent a fortune developing the disastrous F-35 fighter plane. It builds huge expensive aircraft carriers that would last about 5 minutes in the event of war with Iran, Russia or China. Hence Russia's other main goal is to demonstrate to the world it's military might. Thus it hopes that whatever madman or madwoman America selects will be restrained by a now humbled pentagon. It has used the war in Syria to unveil some nasty surprises first unleashing 26 Cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea which flew over Iran and Iraq hitting targets in Syria. In response the US media made up claims that a missile had crashed in Iran but failed to produce any evidence. The important thing was that the US had no idea Russia had such long range Cruise missiles. The next nasty surprise the Russians had in store was to set up anti-air defenses effectively sealing the country off from NATO planes. Finally according to Pepe Escobar they unleashed their EM weaponry capability completely blinding NATO not just in Syria but even in Ukraine. Again the US had no idea Russia had this capability. And again their was utter panic in the Pentagon. No doubt Russia has even more nasty surprises in store for the pentagon.

    History will probably see this as the Stalingrad moment of World War 4. Stalingrad was the moment the tide turned forever against the Nazis during World War 2. World War 4 is the war that immediately began with the end of the "Cold War" which I prefer to call World War 3 the war on the "Third World." While the US justified fighting this war based on their embarrassing propaganda of an "international communist conspiracy" and presented it as resisting "Soviet Aggression." However as soon as  the USSR collapsed the US literally re-doubled it's war on the planet killing millions in places like Iraq and the DRCongo. This is actually statistically provable the number of wars doubled after the end of the cold war. This proved that the soviets had been right all along it was always about American Imperialism and the USSR had been a restraining influence on the american empire. This is why I see most of the various wars of the past 25 years as one single war a World War 4 for total US dominance in reality the dictatorship of a few hundred billionaires over the billions of people living on this planet. While much of the world lives on less then a dollar a day, with no access to health care or even drinkable water millions have been slaughtered to keep it that way. No doubt America's soft power has killed far more people then even it's bloody wars through the forced imposition of America's forced austerity policies that have forced hundreds of millions into poverty, and spread hunger, disease, and ignorance. Few in the "1st world" realize the sheer scale of horror that has been created around the planet. Only the wise economic planning of China and the move towards socialism of Latin America inspired by the late great Hugo Chavez have seen these trends move in the opposite direction. China has lifted 500 Million people out of poverty it should be said in their honor since few seem willing to sing their praises. To return to my point since the fall of the soviet union we have all been living though World War 4. In Most countries this war is primarily economic as the global oligarchs attempt to destroy all the gains made during the cold war by the people. A subtle war on hospitals, schools, pensions, all in the name of producing pure capitalism. However in many places it has been a much bloodier war an attempt to destroy any state that opposes them to destabilize the planet as excuse to further expand the scope of America's overstretched military power. To give a partial list Panama was the first victim of World War 4, then Iraq, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, DRCongo, Colombia, Sudan, Somalia. This was all before 9/11 when America was attacked by it's allies from Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia the infamous Al Qaeda. I don't have time to go into it here but obviously 9/11 was carried out by US allies with funding from other US allies and the co-operation of elements of the american government. This is when World War 4 quickly became all too Obvious. Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Mali, Nigeria along with  dozens of unknown little dirty wars across the planet in fact many of the 90's war are still going on like DRCongo and Somalia. World War 4 is the largest ugliest war in history. The goal is not to create stable little right wing dictatorships like during the cold war(See My October 2015 Article "Operation Condor") Instead the goal is to create "Balkanization" and failed states. Yugoslavia was shattered into a bunch of tiny NATO EU colonies it's once vibrant socialist economy dismantled. Fascists(Croatia), Gangsters(Kosovo), Wahhabi terrorists(Bosnia & Kosovo) and neoliberal puppets (Serbia) were installed in newly destroyed Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was the lucky one the true goal is best revealed in places like Libya and DRCongo where Death Squads wage endless war on the populace. This is what the Empire of Chaos hoped for in Syria and still hopes for.

   Sorry to repeat all this history but to truly see the importance of Putin's move into Syria we must view world war 4 in all it's scope. No one knows how many millions have died so far in this war which reaches all the way from Western Africa across Eurasia. It is being fought in the middle east and in central Asia, In Ukraine, In caucuses, southern Russia and Eastern China. The Central Front on this war is currently Syria an important Geopolitical Pivot point. Those familiar with geopolitics will know that Central Asia is the Key area for controlling eurasia which is why the US is so pleased to have an endless war to fight in Afghanistan once a vital link in the silk road which China is attempting to recreate with it's new silk road strategy. However there are other very important Geopolitical points according to Mackinder, Central Africa is another heartland for example. The Balkans are another area of vital strategic importance the original heartland. Notice the pattern all these spots were chosen for US wars (DRCongo in Central Africa and Yugoslavia in the Balkans )Finally there is what was then called Greater Syria which then included territories the french and British split off to form Lebanon and Israel/Palestine. This Area is vital for controlling the Mediterranean. Russia has a naval base there at Tartous. This is doubtless one of the reasons Syria has been targeted for destruction by the Empire Of Chaos. But it is also one of the reasons Russia has refused to abandon it's ally Syria. By intervening in Syria however Russia has not only acted to save Syria it has also disrupted the entire balance of power in the region. Iraq is already being sucked into the Russian orbit since they are no fools they know full well that ISIS is controlled by the US and it's allies. Any goodwill the nuclear deal bought the US in Iran has been completely overshadowed by this timely reminder of who their true friends are. Even the Puppet government in Afghanistan is now dreaming of Russian support and the Vice president of Afghanistan actually met with Ramzy Kadyrov the colorful leader of Chechnya. Kadyrov is someone else who doesn't get enough appreciation he is doubtless the first truly 21st Century Politician and was recently in the news with his offer to lead 20,000 Chechen troops into the war on ISIS in Syria. Next he released a video of himself catching a snake in mid air strongly resembling a movie Ninja. It's only a matter of time before he becomes a Pop culture Icon.

   Last year I made a wild prediction that Iraq might one day be allied to Russia ( in my July 2014 article "Fall of Slavyansk, End of Iraq") . This was because Russia had provided vital military aid to Maliki in the aftermath of ISIS's big offensive in Iraq last Summer. Of course Maliki was quickly ousted in his place the cypher Haidar al-Abadi became the new prime minister. Yet now it is time for Maliki's revenge his old allies are calling for a vote to ask Russia to replace the US. Iraq is disgusted by America's phony war on terror and US, NATO, GCC, and Israeli support for ISIS are well known facts in the region even if the west still lives in a fantasy world. Iraq's US trained army remains a joke. the ruthless Iraqi Shia Militias veterans of the CIA terror campaign aimed at ethnicly cleansing Iraq's once diverse populace along strictly sectarian lines are the main force willing to fight ISIS but the US refuses to cooperate with them. It's a murky topic but clearly these militias originally which were created by Iran like the Badr Brigade, then controlled by the CIA and used as death squads and torturers in the so Called "Salvador" Option which was really a continuation of the phoenix program developed in Vietnam (See my April 2015 article "The Phoenix Program") These forces are now once again allied to Iran and Iraq's central government so the US has refused to work with them. Also of course the US wants to carve a Sunni state out of western Iraq and Eastern Syria and so was never serious about stopping ISIS at all. As predicted their territory in Iraq proved a base for further attacks on Syria like the one that captured the Ancient City of Palmyra. Thus Maliki's party still the largest in Iraq is now calling for a vote in Iraq's parliament on requesting Russia's aid. Even if this vote is unsuccessful as the US is threatening Iraq not to allow Russia to expand it's air campaign into Iraq it's to late to prevent a de-facto alliance. Russia Iran Iraq and Hezbollah have already set up an intelligence sharing center their first big success was to hit ISIS's figurehead leader Omar al-Baghdadi who rumor has it is now in a hospital in Turkey. Iran is already deeply involved in Iraq and with it's strengthened cooperation with Russia due to the war in Syria Russian influence is bound to grow in Iraq (a former soviet ally.) What an irony 35 years of Imperialist scheming to destroy Iraq beginning with the Iran-Iraq War, then the Gulf War, the sanctions, then the Iraq War which together killed millions of Iraqis and yet despite it all Iraq is now not only allied with Iran but now with Russia as well.

   Russia's intervention in Syria is the greatest example of Internationalist solidarity since Cuba intervened in Angola, foiled a South African invasion and helped bring down apartheid in both Namibia and South Africa ending the last vestige of old style colonialism in Africa. I believe it may be the most decisive historical moment since Stalingrad. From this moment on the American empire is on the decline. World War 4 is far from over but a decisive shift has already occurred in the world balance of power. The return of a Multi Polar world long hoped for has finally and decisively arrived. This grim age of horror and Austerity that began between 1989-1991 is over. A new era has dawned in the world. The resistance of tiny Syria, against so many enemies may end in finally freeing the world from the empire of chaos.
Death to Imperialism!
Long Live the Resistance!


You Can read about  war in Angola in my 4 part series of Articles First From September 2014 there is "Che Guevara in the Congo" and "Castro vs Kissinger in Angola" and from February 2015 "The CIA in Africa" and "Cuba fought to free South Africa"

Pepe Escobar Wrote some Great articles on the War in Syria Below are his in 3 depth accounts of the pentagon's 3 Nasty surprises

Eva Bartlett posted the definitive article debunking the anti-syrian propaganda spewed out nonstop book mark it so you can give it to people who still believe the transparent myths about the war on Syria

To follow the war in Syria day to day Syria 360 is the place to go

At Syria 360 there is a daily compilation of reports on the war here is the most recent example

Putin Gave a Historic speech at the Valdai meeting which I didn't have time to discuss but is well worth reading

Follow the further adventures of Ramzan Kadyrov and other events in the Caucuses and Central Asia at Christoph Germann's New Great Game Round Up

Friday, October 9, 2015

Operation Condor

   Operation Condor: The CIA, Fascism, and Murder in Latin America

   The US has spent the past 100 Years (and longer) installing murderous dictatorships throughout Latin America. Operation Condor was thus the logical outgrowth of American Foreign Policy dating back to the Monroe Doctrine. Operation Condor was a CIA backed plan to kidnap and torture and kill exiles who had escaped the (CIA installed) fascist military dictatorships in their South American home countries. It was also a secret multinational network operating throughout South America involved in coups, drug dealing, False Flag Terror, and above all massive state terror against their own people. This article is closely related both to my previous articles on the CIA like My February 2014  "Inside the CIA" and My April 2015 "The Phoenix Program" as well as my series on the CIA and Fascism from March 2014 "America, The CIA, and Fascism" and From June 2014 both "Operation Gladio" and "Nazis and the CIA" This is because Operation Condor was closely related to and grew out of both GLADIO in Europe and The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. I am basing this article on the brilliant book by J. Patrice McSherry "Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America" It is a must read both for understanding the Cold War and the War on Terror. McSherry discusses not just Operation Condor but the US covert war on the planet what I today and Condor's operatives back then called World War 3 ("the Cold War"). I Re-Read this book for a third time for this article yet this book manages to blow my mind every time read it. Thanks to all the research I've done for this blog I now know far more then I did at the time about the CIA and covert wars and this made re-reading the book an explosive experience because of all the connections of Operation Condor to other "Dirty Wars" and CIA programs.

   McSherry herself does a masterful job of explaining the parallels pointing out the connections to the Phoenix Program and Operation Gladio. She points out that Operation Condor was part of a global pattern of the creation of "Parallel State" structures to serve what she calls the "National Security State." By "parallel state" she means the network of intelligence, police, military, and paramilitary death squads who's actions are kept secret and unaccountable. "GLADIO" (technically GLADIO was only the name of Italian branch but it has since been applied to describe the whole network of secret armies in Europe founded in every NATO and even most neutral countries) GLADIO was one such network, so was the Phoenix Program which terrorized not just Vietnam but Cambodia and Laos as well. Operation Condor was not only modeled on these programs it was directly connected to them. Phoenix program veterans in a renamed program called "Project X" taught torture at the "School of the Americas" where many Condor operatives were trained and indoctrinated in Fascist US national security doctrine which taught them to see anyone whether, revolutionary or reformist as a threat, to view the people of their countries as the enemy. Their goal was not to stamp out acts they didn't like but dangerous thoughts. As General Jorge Videla of Argentina put it "A terrorist is not just someone with a gun or a bomb but also someone who spreads ideas that are contrary to Western and Christian Civilization" All this was carefully taught to them for decades by US advisers from USAID, the CIA, Military, and Special Forces. American Special Forces were largely made up of european fascist veterans of world war 2 in their early days I should mention. Operation Condor was also directly connected to GLADIO it subcontracted the attempted murder of Latin American exiles like Bernardo Leighton and his wife in Rome out to infamous fascist GLADIO operatives like Stefano Delle Chiaie. Also like GLADIO Condor carried out false flag assassination pretending it's victims had been killed by the left. In one case the Pinochet regime in Chile attempted to portray 119 of it's murdered Condor victims as having killed each other during an attempted invasion. Also like GLADIO (which was behind 1 coup in Greece and 2 in Turkey) the operation Condor Network would carry out coups in their countries installing dictatorships in Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Like the Phoenix Program Gladio was primarily an attempt to conduct a campaign of Kidnapping, torture, and finally murder. If you read McSherry's book you'll also learn about Condors connections to the Wars in Algeria and Angola, P-2 in Italy, the Iran- Contra affair, the World anti-Communist League, and to the CIA's secret army of Cuban exile terrorists (who were equally connected to a lot of covert wars and deep events they too were outgrowths of GLADIO). More importantly you will begin to see a terrifying pattern as in the name of freedom and democracy all over the world the US actually installed dictators and trained death squads to make war on the planet. From Africa to Asia to Latin America the Same pattern takes place  often with the same network of US officials famous names like Henry Kissinger, as well as lesser known figures like Vernon Walters and Duane Clarridge, all three were involved in running both Gladio and Condor as Mcsherry points out. It was the same story all over the world because the American Empire used the same methods all over the world. Operation Condor was both the "Cold War" and the "War on Terror" in Miniature. It typified the cold war with it's paranoid anti-communist crusade against any resistance to poverty and injustice. And with it's black sites for torture and Assassination programs it like the Phoenix Program formed the template for the war on Terror. Actually Condor Operatives falsely claimed to be battling "terrorists" as a means to justify their atrocities and manipulated the media to create panic over phony stories concocted as part of their PsyWar. Also with it's creation  of parallel state of death Squads who's actions were both visible and deniable and which conducted a terror campaign against the populace it prefigured the wars on Iraq, Libya and Syria. (The book was written before this strategy of using terrorist death squads as US proxies  became obvious  these are my views not necessarily McSherry's) This was no accident as Condor operatives helped train the contras in the war on Nicaragua as well as the Death Squads of El Salvador that both formed the model for US backed death squads in Iraq who have since expanded across Africa and Eurasia. Of course the war covert war on Afghanistan that gave birth to Al Qaeda was also connected to Condor through the Iran Contra Scandal.

   Latin America was in desperate need of revolution or at least reform. The majority lived in poverty while a tiny and brutal oligarchy owned everything. All over Latin America people were trying to organize change. The Cuban revolution of 1959 had provided an example of heroic defiance. Even elements of the catholic church were beginning to demand social change and liberation theology was spreading across the continent. Workers and peasants were demanding change. Communists and Socialists were working for a better future. This is what had the Pentagon and the CIA concerned. They were determined that there would be "no more Cubas". In order to prevent any form of social change a whole generation of revolutionaries, reformers, even moderates who wanted to merely to maintain democracy would be wiped out. Latin America was set back 40 years and aside from the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua in 1979 the world would have to wait until 1999 and the Election of Chavez before Latin America could finally become the beacon of hope it would have been long ago if not for the US and it's murderous operation Condor. As McSherry explains The main targets would be elected leaders, priests, nuns, supporters of governments they had overthrown, as well as Union members, students, peasants, and other activists. They then moved to "obliterate all traces of leftist thought in their societies." It was terror on a mass scale meant to terrorize whole societies into submission.

   McSherry points out that the roots of Condor began well before the official program began in the 70's. It had it's roots in the long practice of installing dictators like Somoza in Nicaragua and training ruthless armies like the Nicaraguan National Guard to keep them in power all in service of corporate capitalism of course. The forces that would grow into Condor were further strengthened during the Cold War with the creation of the CIA and with programs to train and indoctrinate the military and police of the country in their new counter-insurgency role. The French played a large role in formulating counter-insurgency theory during their Dirty wars to maintain control of Indochina and Algeria. They would be involved in training both the American Military and their Latin American Counterparts. Former Nazis would also train the americans and Latin Americans. However the US would play the primary role. Guatemala was their early laboratory for Counter-Terror after Overthrowing Arbenz they began training death squads there and it was there where the disappearances began. To disappear meant to be kidnapped  tortured then killed with the body buried in secret or left out to send a message. Tens of thousands of people in Latin America would be disappeared in coming decades. Colombia would also become an important area to test out theories of counter-insurgency and death squads. Sadly both Colombia and Guatemala both still live under death squad terror today. Colombia is still being used as a model for covert war (Plan Colombia) resulting in a a terrifying "Drug War" in Mexico that is seldom mentioned despite more then 50,000 people being killed in recent years.

   However it was the 1964 Coup in Brazil that really set the Condor network in motion. Goulart the reformist president was ousted, a military dictatorship was installed and the secret police went on a rampage of torture and murder forming death squads and coordinating police, military, intelligence in a war on the people of Brazil. Goulart may have later been killed using Sarin to induce a heart attack McSherry points out. I was definitely reminded of the death of Hugo Chavez and the many left wing Latin American leaders who have come down with cancer in recent years. Sometimes condor attempted to stage accidents to eliminate their victims and it's most secret aspect were it's "Phase III" operations it's international assassination campaign which targeted prominent political and military figures who were in exile most infamously killing former chilean diplomat and Pinochet critic Orlando Letelier in Washington DC with a car bomb. (Fun film trivia fact this incident was fictionalized in Scarface where Tony Montana's refusal to go along leads to his downfall) Unfortunately I'm skipping ahead again so to return following the coup in Brazil the system of state terror there which developed with the advice of the CIA, AID, and the pentagon was to influence the military and the police of the whole region. The CIA would send Brazilian death squads and their state terror apparatus to train the military, police, and intelligence of the other countries. Thanks to the CIA, the Defense department, and the school of the Americas, and the Conference of American Armies, there was already an integrated approach to the Police, military and intelligence forces of the whole region. The Police were intentionally militarized their role changed from fighting crime to hunting down subversives and they along with the police of much of the world were trained by the americans in brutal methods including torture at their International Police Academy. A multinational network of military and intelligence were formed they heads met regularly in Panama at the school of the America's. Brazil would play a role in the coups in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The terrible results of this influence were best exemplified in Uruguay which would undergo a slow motion coup. From being known as the Switzerland of Latin America Uruguay became the torture capital. The Uruguayan security forces were trained in torture by Dan Mitrione who had earlier trained the Brazilian forces in torture. Mitrione a small town policeman recruited by the CIA was an expert in torture his motto, the precise amount of pain, in the precise place, for a precise amount of time and he viewed himself as a "technician" not a sadist. He would later meet a well deserved fate at the hands of Uruguay's Tupamaro Guerrillas who kidnapped and later executed him. (Costa Gravas made a movie about it "State of Siege") Back in America Mitrione was portrayed as a Hero murdered by senseless terrorists.

 It was after the coup in Chile on September 11, 1973 which overthrew the socialist Allende and Installed the Neo-Liberal Fascist Pinochet regime that Condor would truly begin. A Proto Condor would begin immediately after the coup. Exiles who had fled from brutal regimes were kidnapped tortured and sent back to their home countries for more torture and usually death. With American permission and on their advice they even kidnapped and killed two US citizens radical journalists. Charles Horman and Frank Terrucci who had discovered too much about the CIA role in the coup. Condor was closely connected to surveillance of Americans as McSherry points out. At Fort Holabird in Maryland where Latin American military and intelligence were trained the army also kept files on 10 million American Subversives. Horman and Terrucci had long been under surveillance for Anti-War, Left wing activities and their is strong evidence the US gave their files to Chile's CIA created DINA spy agency and gave the green light for their deaths. (Costa-Gavras made a movie about it called "Missing") Chile became the new center for spreading state terror through Latin America. In 1974 a meeting was held to further increase cooperation in hunting down and killing exiles. Throughout 1974 the number of kidnappings and murders conducted by Condor Steadily increased. At an Abandoned garage called Orletti Motors what we would call today a black site had been set up. It was a veritable torture factory staffed by a multinational force of torturers. Many were veterans of the Argentine fascist death Squad triple A. It was a hell on earth an McSherry gives many horrifying tales of the rape and torture that went on there. Children were tortured in front of their parents. People were starved for weeks. Some went insane from their torture. Most would then be sent back home for further torture and execution although Uruguay preferred to let it's victims live.

   Finally it was in Nov 28, 1975 that Operation Condor was officially established it was named in honor of the Chilean Hosts of the meeting the Condor is their national bird. Colonel Contreras head of Chile's DINA (and on CIA payroll since 73) Was known as Condor one and Signed the Secret Charter on behalf of Chile. Colonel Benito Guanes Serrano signed for Paraguay. Captain Joses Casas of Argentina, Major Carlos Mena of Bolivia and Colonel Jose a Fons of Uruguay all signed. Ecuador and Peru would later join as well. They agreed they needed a secret communications network and a computer database which the US military provided as a front for the CIA. Thus they could all share their massive lists of subversives. Within each country Condor formed a parallel state a secret network of operatives. In Argentina for example Within each military regiment for example their would be a couple of members who answered only to the high level Condor Operatives that headed the military or intelligence. GT (Grupo De Tarea) "task forces" (death squads) were assigned to hunt down subversives.

    McSherry explains that Condor had three levels of activity. First Mutual cooperation among military intelligence agencies to coordinate surveillance and share intel. Exiles were constantly tracked and spied upon. Second covert action to detain and disappear exiles then transfer them to their home countries for torture and likely death. The third level was the top secret "phase III" their international assassination program in which teams of assassins traveled worldwide eliminating their opponents mainly politicians they feared could mobilize opposition to them. Many phase III operations were GLADIO style operations meant to blame the left for their crimes. For example One victim  General Joaquin Zenteno who was also deeply involved in waging the dirty war but who was considered a threat by Bolivian dictator Hugo Banzer was killed by the fictitious "Che Guevarra International Brigade." Phase III was also closely connected to the CIA's and secret army of cuban exiles and the fascist Gladio network both of whom were subcontracted to carry out phase III assassinations. Famous Phase III victims included Zelmar Michelini and Hector Guiterez Ruiz two politicians from Uruguay. Chilean General Carlos Pratts and his wife Sofia Cuthbert killed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1974. the attempted assassination Chilean politician Bernardo Leighton and His wife Ana Fresno in Rome (1975) which was subcontracted to Italian fascists linked to GLADIO. Orlando Letelier former former minister of Chile under Allende, and a fierce critic of the Pinochet regime was killed in Washington DC in 1976 along with Ronni Moffit a US citizen in a car bombing carried by DINA (chilean intelligence) and cuban exiles with the probable involvement of then CIA Director George H.W. Bush. Finally Bolivia's former president Jose Torres killed in Buenos Aires in 1976. They may have killed even more famous victims as they had the ability to induce heart attacks (using Sarin) and stage accidents. As I pointed out earlier this aspect of condor seems to have lived on doubtless now under direct CIA control with a wave of cancer striking Latin America's progressive new leaders which has already killed that revolutionary giant Hugo Chavez. Just my own and many others speculation of course but it should be remembered that the CIA had it's own evil scientific genius head of "technical services" Sidney Gotlieb more well known for his role in MK-Ultra but who also made a deep study of toxins poisons and diseases as tools of assassination both Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba nearly became victims. Thus way back in the 50's and 60's the CIA could already cause heart attacks and cancer and far more exotic diseases no one knows what they are capable of today.

    McSherry Describes what she sees as the six defining characteristics of Operation Condor. First it specialized in cross border and foreign operations against exiles. It was thus only a part of the much broader repression carried out by the militaries of their own countries. Operations were conducted by specialized units  within the intelligence agencies of the region. In Chile for example DINA's Foreign department. In Argentina the extraterritorial task force of Battalion 601. Condor operatives were posted as military attaches in neighboring countries. Condor allowed exiles to be targeted with impunity. To give one example there is the tale of a talented Brazilian Pianist Francisco Tenorio Junior known as "Tenorinho". He was picked up on a random search in downtown Buenos Aires because his beard made him a suspected guerrilla. When they found out he was a musician he became  even more suspect in their eyes. Worse still they considered his Conductor Vincius de Moraes to be a communist. He was beaten, then tortured with electric shocks on what his torturers jokingly called the barbecue. Then he was waterboarded already a CIA favorite. Meanwhile his friends were desperately searching for him and trying to get him released. Unfortunately for him he learned that the highest levels of his government  were involved when they came by to question him and he was shot for knowing to much. He was only one of thousands of victims. I selected his story merely to show the tragic absurdity and horror of Operation Condor.

The Second defining feature of Operation Condor was it's multinational character. It united militaries that had formerly seen themselves as adversaries with long histories of suspicion and conflict. On the operational level Condor Units were made up of men from two or more countries organized on the model of US special forces specializing in unconventional warfare, psychological operations and "counter terror" i.e. terrorism. Captives were interrogated by a multinational force of torturers. Thus a prisoner would often be interrogated on their activities in every country they had ever visited by paranoid fascists who saw dangerous subversion in the most harmless activities. As mentioned earlier condor attacks were often carried out as false flags and falsely blamed on the left. Condor units reported to top army and intelligence commanders outside of ordinary military command channels.

    The third characteristic according to McSherry is the the "precise and selective targeting of dissidents." It differed from the broader more arbitrary disappearances conducted by these US installed national security states. Condor was meant to decapitate the leadership both of Revolutionary, popular and leftist organizations but also any leaders who opposed military dictatorship. Thus it was very similar to operation phoenix meant to be the surgical arm of the counter insurgency. It targeted not just revolutionary forces (who are entitled under international law to due process, and freedom from torture and arbitrary execution) As McSherry explains "It Also targeted union leaders, social democrats, Christian democrats, nationalists, dissident generals, former presidents and congressional representatives, and others who were opposed to military dictatorship and repression in their countries."

The Fourth Characteristic was it's "parastatal structure." I'll let her explain "I define Parastatal structures as the forces and infrastructure of "Black World" special operations. This Hidden part what I term the parallel state includes parapolice and paramilitary forces harbored and directed by the state, with access to a vast shadow infrastructure including secret prisons, fleets of unmarked cars and unregistered aircraft, unofficial cemeteries, secure communication systems, and other parallel structures funded by "black budgets." In Latin America the parallel state augmented the lethal capabilities of the military dictatorships while allowing them the appearance of legality and a certain legitimacy" In other words the parallel state allowed them to get away with murder and a host of other crimes. Thanks to the parallel state the crimes of the military dictatorship were both visible and deniable. Once kidnapped by the parallel state a victim was held in complete secrecy, tortured, killed their body burned or thrown out to sea. The victims family had no way of knowing what had happened and most still don't know the exact details all these decades later.

  The fifth characteristic of Operation Condor was it's "Advanced Technology" and access to huge resources. Condor employed a computer database of thousands of individuals suspected of subversion. The CIA helped them set one up it was similar to the ones the CIA set up during the phoenix program in Vietnam or for the Fascist colonels in Greece after their coup. Condor  also used a top secret advanced communications system part of the US militaries communication system doubtless supplied on CIA advice. It was called Condortel. They used it to track their victims and order their death squads into action. Thus throughout all Condors murderous operations which the US officially generally tried to deny or downplay the US government knew everything they were doing since they were obviously able to listen in on their own system.

   The sixth Characteristic of Condor was it's "use of criminal syndicates and extremist organizations and networks to carry out operations, especially Phase III assassinations. while Condor was an alliance among military states, it employed civilians and paramilitaries, another aspect of it's parallel nature." Highly sensitive phase III Style assassins were usually carried out by people not in the military but by "special agents." Of course I've already discussed their use of cuban exiles and Italian fascists to carry out high profile assassinations. McSherry introduces  the shadowy figure of Michael Townley an American who worked for DINA and probably the CIA although they deny it because of his role in the infamous Orlando Letelier assassination. In addition to his jobs for DINA and the CIA Townley was also connected to Latin American fascist groups. Townley worked within the Chilean fascist paramilitary organization Patria y Libertad during the Allende years(DINA was only founded after the coup). He also worked closely with Argentinian death squads Milicia, Libertadores de America and Triple A. Triple A was the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance composed of police right wing military and gangsters and it appears again and again throughout McSherry's book committing the most horrifying tortures and murder. For example at the infamous Black site Orletti Motors many of the torturers were recruited from Triple A. Between 1973-76 Triple A conducted a GLADIO style campaign of terror and psychological operations to help facilitate the 76 coup. After the coup Triple A was integrated into the state terror apparatus and spun off into new death squads.  Townley is  worthy of an article or a book in his own right he along with James Blystone were two probable CIA advisers to condor. In addition to working with fascists Condor also worked with Gangsters and drug dealers. No doubt you could also write a whole book on the role of Condor in drug trafficking. McSherry concentrates instead on it's role as a torture and assassination program but as with GLADIO and phoenix these parallel structures were also perfect for smuggling drugs. Thus Condor operatives along with notorious Nazi exile Klaus Barbie would carry out the infamous 1980 "Cocaine Coup" in Bolivia which McSherry discusses.

    One fascinating chapter of the book called "condor commanders and operatives" gives fascinating details of the careers of some of the top Condor members.  Claudia Vallejos for example was trained by both the Nazi exiles in Argentina, the Brazilians and the US special forces. Infamous sadist Osvaldo Romo Mena worked closely with the nazis in Colonia Dignidad (another infamous black site where many were tortured and killed) . Another Juan Battista was trained by the Navy Seals served in Vietnam and was Condors man in New York city spying on the exiles there before being transferred to central America to train death squads he was a close associate of Oliver North. America was the secret extra member as this story, the Orlando Letelier assassination and CIA deputy director Vernon Walters mysterious trip to Asuncion(you'll have to read the book) make clear. I don't have time to go into it here but clearly Condor was also related to infamous programs like Cointelpro and the CIA's operation Chaos, as well as military intelligence programs that surveilled american subversives. At least three americans were killed by condor.

  Condors final expansion was into Central America. As I pointed out in many ways it was a return home since south america's dirty wars owed much to the template of Guatemala. Central America even had it's own proto-condor dating back to 1963 called Condeca. However with the 1979  Sandanista revolution in Nicaragua Condor was brought into central America. In 1976 With the Letelier assassination Chile was under the spotlight and so the center of Condor moved to Argentina which had just had a recent coup. Argentina waged the most brutal dirty war on it's people in South America  30,000 people were disappeared in a few years. Argentina became a CIA proxy used to train the already brutal central American death squads to be more efficient. After Somaza's fall they also began training the nicaraguan contras and they had already been training Somoza's brutal forces. Rene Aubisson infamous God Father of Death Squads asked for Argentinian help training his death squads at an infamous 1980 meeting of the World Anti-Communist league. At first they trained the death squads in Argentina but later switched to sending advisers out to central America. After the falklands war Argentina cut their level of assistance in revenge for the US siding with Britain and the CIA was forced to take a more direct hand leading eventually to the Iran Contra scandal. The brutal wars waged with the help of condor would be incredibly bloody. In Honduras 2,000 would die, In Guatemala 150,000 were disappeared, in El Salvador 100,000 while in Nicaragua despite their valiant resistance to the invading death squads or "Contras" 50,000 would be killed. During this Period the governments of the region formed their own Central American Condor called CREM which united the governments and the contras in the same centralized cooperation adopted in the southern cone.

   During the "Cold War" aka World War 3 as the Condor network referred to it America claimed to be fighting to spread freedom an democracy. However when it was a choice between democracy that might lead to reform and a loss of corporate profits for the multinational corprations or Dictatorships that would ruthlessly maintain inequality they choose the latter. Thus just like today they were lying outrageously claiming to be fighting "tyranny" while in reality they imposed it everywhere. In Africa, in Latin America, in Asia, even in parts of Europe they imposed brutal military dictatorships that waged an ugly war on their people. Condor was merely one example one network of dangerous fascists, one program of mass murder of torture among many. The best members of a whole generation were systematically wiped out either for daring to dream of a better world or for daring to oppose the nightmare that the Military dictatorships sought to impose. Unfortunately Condor like GLADIO and Phoenix became the blueprint for the future. As McSherry points out every element of Condor was openly adopted as part of the war on terror. Kidnappings now called extraordinary rendition. Torture at black sites. and Hunter killer teams of assassins currently US special forces and CIA drones. Plus a massive system of tracking and surveillance that with advances in technology now spies on every single person on the planet. Somewhere lists are still being stored of subversives. America's war on the planet continues.  This is why it is important to study Operation Condor, the Phoenix Program, GLADIO, and the many other ugly programs in the history of counterinsurgency. All these programs are still being replicated today and as McSherry reveals they were also closely connected although taking place across the world from each other. They reveal the truth behind the propaganda the ugly face of the American Empire of Chaos which rules through terror torture and murder while portraying itself as benevolent.

But there is another much happier lesson to be learned from Operation Condor. Despite their attempt to murder all progressive thought to terrify the people in submission people continued to resist. Operation Condor failed. Today Latin America is a beacon of hope for the world because it is there that people are determined to create a better world and they have already made great strides despite CIA subversion and the resistance of local elites who still control the media. Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador Nicaragua and the still defiant Cuba represent a hope for the world. They are determined to raise their people out of poverty to finally address the inequalities, to improve health care and education. to use their resources to benefit their people and not just multinational corporations. Never again must the US gain control of the continent never again should it be allowed to impose it's operation condor there to terrorize a continent. So remember Operation Condor next time some state department liar is criticizing Venezuela on Human Rights. What insane hypocrisy to criticize them for locking up fascist murderers and coup plotters when the whole continent remembers the bloody reign of terror the US so recently conducted there. Long live a Latin America free of America's brutal rule.

I relied mostly on J. Patrice McSherry's "Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America" which I highly recommend you read for yourself. I also recommend a Great Documentary about the CIA called "On Company Business" It does a great job of explaining the various coups in Latin America and includes extensive interviews with CIA whistleblowers John Stockwell and Phillip Agee. The section on Mitrione is excellent. The Same director also did a great documentary on GLADIO on 1992  for the BBC just search for BBC and Gladio on youtube. For more on the dirty wars in Central America and the Iran Contra Scandal check out my April 2014 Article "Israel Supported El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua." UNITA in Africa were very similar to the Contras I discuss them in my February 2015 "CIA in Africa" I couldn't resist mentioning these articles as McSherry's work is connected to so many other topics I have studied and written about but with her own razor sharp brand of analysis. She also Wrote a book called "Military Power and Democracy in Argentina" that I look forward to reading. For more on the Condor and Drugs read "Cocaine Politics" By Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall.

You can read one of her Academic papers on Operation Condor here