Revolution #584, February 25, 2019 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed,
It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

 


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Letter from a comrade:
Hastening While Awaiting With The New Call To Get Organized

To you who are fed up with this society and “solutions” that are no solution...

To you who are angry and defiant and want to see an end to the white supremacy, the patriarchy and its many forms of gender oppression, the persecution of immigrants, the imperialist wars and occupations and threats, and the capitalist plunder and destruction of the environment—an end to all, or any, of the horrible forms of oppression and exploitation that define and intertwine with this capitalist-imperialist society...

To you who seek not justice for yourself or even just your own people, but the Emancipation of ALL Humanity...

To you who hate the fascism of Trump and Pence, but see through “vote for me and I’ll set you free” and any road that just makes the present horrors a little more tolerable for some within the U.S., while people around the world suffer even more...

To you who choke on “I’m woke,” “I’m good,” “No worries” when the world is being torn asunder and who have no patience for the putrid morals and relations of this culture...

To each and every person who senses that none of these horrors will be solved by this dog eat dog capitalist/imperialist system and that something radical—a real revolution—is needed... even as you have a thousand questions as to what that revolution would look like and whether it is even possible:

There Is a Way Out of This Madness!

“Let’s get down to basics:
We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.
—Bob Avakian

We are constantly told, openly and by implication, that there is no alternative to the present order. But that is wrong!

There is a scientific approach that makes clear this madness is unnecessary and indicates the potential pathways for change. There is an actual plan for a radically different—and radically better—society, on the road to wiping out all exploitation and oppression, and emancipating humanity. There is a strategy to draw forward the millions and millions needed to make that happen. There is the leadership, in Bob Avakian (BA), the architect of the new communism and the leader of the revolution. These are great strengths on the people’s side. But, what is now missing and urgently needed is YOU—to get with, support, and become an organized part of the revolution.

There is a project to put this revolution before millions and organize thousands into it. That project is the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tourstarting out in Los Angeles in March and going around the country for the rest of the year. We’re going to boldly bring forward that science, strategy, and leadership for revolution and go right up against all the bullshit—the outmoded, petty, self-deceiving, and self-seeking bullshit that just ends up perpetuating the outrages of today.

But that’s not all. There’s no revolution without organization. We’re going to work: organizing for a revolution—enough now of everyone in “their lane,” with eyeballs glued to their screens. We’re gonna go everywhere, from the hard streets to the suburbs, from the hardscrabble rural areas to the campuses, and to wherever people are creating the new or debating the future. We’ll be giving people the concrete ways and means to support, contribute to, and join this revolution, in many different ways, big and small—with ideas and with practical involvement, with support and with questions and criticisms.

The tour will go far and wide, spreading and showing the film of the historic 2018 speech by Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, that deeply answers the two questions in its title. And, the tour will get out the pamphlet, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, which concisely lays out the principles for how we get from the situation we are in today to actually winning an actual revolution.

Busting the People Out of Mental Shackles

We’ll call out the dead-end paths and mental shackles:

And we will definitely take on complicity with the Democratic Party, which poses as “the only alternative.” When in fact:

The Republican Party Is Fascist
The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!
We Need an Actual Revolution

The tour will IMPACT everywhere it goes—opening up debate, stirring up controversy, shaking up society so that people no longer feel they have to accept the unacceptable and adjust to injustice, and instead are inspired to get organized for a revolution to change everything.

The tour will work with the Revolution Clubs where they exist and help form new ones where they don’t. The tour will connect with people protesting and resisting this system’s crimes, especially those that concentrate the deep conflicts of this system. Stepping to people with revolution straight up, and coming from that place, we’ll unite in fighting injustice and oppression, and we’ll struggle with them to see the need and possibility for revolution. This is what it means to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. The tour and the Revolution Clubs are where you learn about the revolution while leading—contributing to building vanguard organization necessary to lead a revolution.

The tour kicks off in March in Los Angeles and Southern California. Your participation and your support are needed to start, sustain, popularize, and defend the tour.

What You Can Do NOW

A Radically Different and Better World IS Possible!

Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

 
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The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour:

 

 

 

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

#BEB

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

#BEB Revealed! March 15, 2019

Revolution Club, on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, 10:30 AM PDT, March 15, 2019

 

Available below

 

 

 

Read the #BEB - Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit broadsheet online

#BEB is featured in a new four-page print edition of Revolution. Get it out all over—and donate and raise funds for the costs. To order bundles to distribute, contact RCP Publications at rcppubs@hotmail.com.

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

Venezuela: Escalated War Threats and U.S. “Aid” as Weapon

U.S. Media and Democrats Obediently Line Up with Fascist Trump/Pence Regime on Regime Change in Venezuela

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This weekend there’s been a drumbeat of coverage of the clashes on Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil. According to the U.S. media’s storyline and talking points from the fascist Trump/Pence regime, all trumpeted by major Democrat leaders: Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has been starving his people, and now, outrageously, he’s refusing to allow humanitarian aid—generously provided by the U.S. and its allies—into Venezuela. So everyone should get behind the righteous U.S.-backed effort to remove Maduro and install U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó,1 who represents “democracy” and the interests of the Venezuelan people.

The REALITY: The U.S. imperialists have been starving the Venezuelan people for the last two years with crippling economic sanctions. They’ve seized billions of Venezuela’s own funds, preventing its government from buying needed food and medicine. Outside the public view, the U.S. rulers talk to each other bluntly of accelerating Venezuela’s “collapse” even if innocent people die of hunger and disease. Trump is threatening Venezuelan military leaders with death if they don’t bow down to his demands.

“We Had to Starve the Venezuelan People to Save Them”

During the Vietnam War, a U.S. military commander infamously uttered some truth about America’s mass slaughters there when he remarked after the battle of Bến Tre, “We had to destroy the village to save it.”

Now, as the rulers discuss strategy among themselves, one top official admits the U.S. is applying this same criminal logic to Venezuela.

Former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield is pushing for even harsher U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, saying “perhaps the best solution would be to accelerate the collapse” of Venezuela. He acknowledges that this will kill innocent people, increase malnutrition, and bring “fairly severe punishment” for “millions and millions” of Venezuelans “who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go to off to school.” But according to Brownfield, “the desired outcome [of installing a pro-U.S. regime] justifies this fairly severe punishment.”

Bloomberg News sums up the cynical U.S. strategy: “U.S. sanctions on the oil industry, Venezuela’s only real source of hard currency, threaten further suffering in a nation wracked by hyperinflation and hunger. The sanctions are part of a two-pronged approach by Guaidó and his U.S. supporters—strip Maduro of cash to buy even the scraps of food he’s been distributing to citizens, then ride to the rescue with critical supplies of their own.”

This amounts to holding a whole nation hostage and driving millions into hunger, starvation, misery or death caused by the lack of life-saving medication to further U.S. imperialist objectives. This is nothing less than mass murder and a crime against humanity!

None of this is about humanitarian aid or bringing “democracy” or liberation to the Venezuelan people! It’s about the U.S. provoking and acting on a crisis to seize greater control over the people and wealth of Venezuela, an oppressed country of 30 million people, while blocking rival powers Russia and China from doing so. This is brutal U.S. imperialism, and if successful it will greatly intensify the oppression and suffering of the Venezuelan people!

What Lies at the Root of Venezuela’s Crisis and Suffering? U.S. Imperialism

Who and what are really responsible for this crisis and the terrible suffering of the Venezuelan people? It starts with the hemisphere’s dominant power, the United States.

As Bob Avakian incisively points out in BAsics 1:3:

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

This has meant that for over 200 years, the U.S. capitalists, now capitalist-imperialists, have considered Latin America their “backyard” to dominate and exploit. They have intervened literally scores of times over these centuries, carried out dozens of coups, and plundered Mexico and Central and South America for its oil, its gold, its rich agriculture and its human labor (see the revcom.us American Crime series). This has been driven by capitalism-imperialism’s expand or die compulsion to extract profit and dominate whole swaths of the globe in ruthless competition with other powers.

The U.S. does not consider the Maduro regime and its predecessor, the regime of Hugo Chávez, as sufficiently compliant with U.S. interests as expected of “backyard” neighbors.2

Despite the denunciations of Trump and the claims of Maduro, Venezuela is not and has never been a genuine socialist state. In fact, in a number of Latin American countries, sections of the national ruling classes have adopted the label of “socialist” to pursue programs of resistance to some elements of U.S. imperialism, in order to cut a better deal within the imperialist system as a whole. They combine this with social welfare programs popular among the masses and call it “socialism,” but it has nothing in common with genuine revolutionary socialism which aims to break out of imperialist relations as part of fighting for a communist world WITHOUT such oppression.

In Venezuela, former President Hugo Chávez and now Maduro have funded their social welfare programs through profits from selling the country’s oil through the world capitalist market. Together with this, Chávez initiated, and Maduro continued, a process of fostering the allegiance of the military to their regime. While not under direct U.S. domination, this arrangement has left Venezuela firmly locked within the framework of the global capitalist system—and subject to its anarchic workings and economic blackmail and warfare by imperialist powers like the U.S.3

Since Venezuela is dependent on oil sales to buy food, medicines, and other needed goods, when global oil prices dropped in 2014, Venezuela and its people were hit hard, with prices rising and shortages of basic items, like medicine and food, growing more common. The U.S. seized on this crisis to move against the Maduro regime with punishing sanctions which greatly increased the suffering of the Venezuelan people while aiming to cleave significant sections of the military away from the regime. Trump’s threats to the Venezuelan military should be seen in this light.4

As part of this, the U.S. is refusing to give Venezuela access to over $2 billion in assets it holds in the U.S. and Britain, and the U.S. has deprived it of tens of billions in oil sales. In contrast, the much-vaunted “aid” at the center of this controversy is in the scale of $20 million, over 500 times less than what the U.S. is withholding in sanctions.

Pelosi and Democrats Join Coup Chorus

As the Trump/Pence regime starves and openly threatens Venezuela, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats joined right along in the imperialist coup chorus.

On January 24, Pelosi tweeted: “America stands by the people of Venezuela as they rise up against authoritarian rule and demand respect for human rights and democracy.” Pelosi echoed Trump, denouncing “Nicolás Maduro’s regime of repression and impoverishment” while demanding his “decision to block bridges and cut off channels of food and supplies ... must be immediately reversed.”

This is another illustration of the fact that the Democrats and the Republicans both represent U.S. capitalism-imperialism, and both have been responsible for and carried out mass murder, coups, military interventions, and plunder in Latin America and the rest of the world as this chart makes clear. Their differences aren’t over whether or not to exploit and dominate—they’re over the most effective ways to exploit and control!

As we go to press, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris join this chorus.

STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

After the pro-U.S. opposition failed to break the Venezuelan government’s border blockade on Saturday, February 23, Guaidó called for the U.S. and its allies to keep “all options open” in their campaign to remove Maduro. On Monday, Vice President Pence will fly to Bogota, Colombia, for an emergency meeting with Guaidó and some Latin American officials. All this raises the specter of further escalation of U.S. aggression against Venezuela, perhaps direct military intervention.

Everyone with an ounce of principled concern for humanity and the truth should be screaming with outrage!

Wars of empire are inherent and built into the functioning of this system of capitalism-imperialism as long as it exists, and what is needed is an ACTUAL revolution. (See video clip from Bob Avakian, “The Five Stops—Why this System Can’t Be Reformed.”) The interests of the people lie in vigorously opposing the imperialist wars of empire and standing with the great mass of humanity, as part of bringing forward a movement FOR revolution, to overthrow this system and embark on the road of overcoming all relations of exploitation and oppression, and all the destructive antagonisms among people, all over the world.5

 


1. Juan Guaidó was elected to Venezuela’s National Assembly, which has been its main legislative body, in 2015, and then chosen to lead the National Assembly in December 2018. On January 23, 2019, after directly consulting with the Trump/Pence regime, Guaidó declared that President Nicolás Maduro—who had been re-elected in May 2018—was illegitimate and that he (Guaidó) was Venezuela’s legitimate interim president. (Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2019) Guaidó’s declaration was immediately recognized by the U.S. and a number of its global and Latin American allies.  [back]

2. Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a late January interview on Fox Business: “It’ll make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela”  [back]

3. See “Hugo Chávez Has an Oil Strategy... But Can This Lead to Liberation?” by Raymond Lotta, revcom.us, July 1, 2007  [back]

4. For instance, the U.S. blocked Venezuela from financing its debt (as most countries do) or selling its oil in the U.S.  [back]

5. See the strategy for this revolution in HOW WE CAN WIN—HOW We Can Really Make Revolution.  [back]

 


Venezuela has long been dominated as a gas station for U.S. imperialism. This led to a lopsided society with a highly technical oil sector and a backwards economy with huge numbers of people unemployed and living in slums. Here starving people scavenge for food. (Photo: AP)

See Also:

The "Free Press" on Venezuela: "the propaganda machinery of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class"

Over these past weeks, the mainstream media has kept up the ceaseless, uniform drumbeat that Maduro is a ruthless dictator who’s starving his own people, while the U.S. is doing all it can to help the Venezuelan people and restore democracy—all in the service of creating public opinion for U.S.-sponsored "regime change," up to and including a U.S. invasion.

Read more

Clip Free yourself from the GTF!

Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris Join the Chorus

As the U.S. Carries Out Starvation as a Weapon in Venezuela, Leading Democratic Presidential Candidates Stick Their Heads Right Up Trump’s Ass

Two of the top Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, “weighed in” on Venezuela by lending their voices to the chorus supporting U.S. aggression.

Sanders tweeted, “The people of Venezuela are enduring a serious humanitarian crisis. The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.”

Harris tweeted, “The U.S. must immediately condemn Maduro’s violence against his own people. There is no excuse for this,” and “The Venezuelan military and security forces must demonstrate restraint. Venezuelans deserve a free and fair election and a peaceful transition of power.”

Let this sink in!

These “warnings” to Maduro come at a time when the U.S. is literally starving the masses of people through sanctions as part of carrying out “regime change” in Venezuela. These “warnings” are completely aligned with and strengthen the aggression the U.S. imperialists are carrying out, and the possible escalation of that aggression by the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

The Democrats are playing their role—reining in and rallying people to what serves U.S. ruling class interests around the world!

Bernie Sanders says he’s a “democratic socialist.” Reality: what he calls “socialism” is what Lenin termed “imperialist economism,” that is, more equitably distributing the spoils of empire, while maintaining and strengthening U.S. global domination. The fact that he is already going back on his promises and his poses of a “different foreign policy” when the stakes are up, as in the situation around Venezuela, shows just how true that is.

The reality is that the “American way of life” and relative economic security in this country that the Democrats say they are fighting for are based on the enormous profits wrung out of the sweat and blood of billions of people around the world by the operations of U.S. capital-imperialism. And this setup is enforced with U.S. military power—through outright wars and invasions as well as drone attacks, starvation-causing sanctions, nuclear blackmail, backing of reactionary puppets, “humanitarian” intervention, and other means.

The Republican Party Is Fascist

The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!

We Need an Actual Revolution

by Raymond Lotta

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

The "Free Press" on Venezuela: "the propaganda machinery of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class"

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over these past weeks, the mainstream media has kept up the ceaseless, uniform drumbeat that Maduro is a ruthless dictator who’s starving his own people, while the U.S. is doing all it can to help the Venezuelan people and restore democracy—all in the service of creating public opinion for U.S.-sponsored "regime change," up to and including a U.S. invasion.

Ask yourself why the U.S. media hasn’t been covering these stories or asking these questions, and how its silence speaks volumes:

Let’s look at the terms of the “debates” and “disagreements” that are aired. Take the February 19 editorial in the New York Times. It agreed with what Trump was trying to do and didn’t question his intentions:

“Yes, the military should abandon Mr. Maduro, who has guided one of Latin America’s richest countries to total ruin, and join the opposition leader Juan Guaidó in trying to put Venezuela back on track,” and “Obviously it would be best for all if the military let Mr. Maduro know that his time was up and assisted Mr. Guaidó in organizing new elections. And the more international pressure on Mr. Maduro to step aside, the better.”

While the Times recommends Trump stop “issuing ultimatums, threatening the soldiers or telling them what to do,” because “the administration’s saber-rattling and use of aid as a weapon are a dangerous and potentially counterproductive strategy,” it fully agrees with what needs to be accomplished.1

 

 

 

1. In short, the New York Times wants Trump to accomplish regime change in a less brazen, nakedly imperialist manner. [back]

 

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Have you ever noticed that the one privilege these “identity politics” hustlers don’t talk about is American privilege?—the privilege that comes from living in the USA, a country that plunders the world and whose wealth and power rests on brutal exploitation and oppression throughout the world, backed up by the massive violence of the American military. These hustlers want all they can get of that privilege. In opposition to that, what the masses of humanity need is to do away with and move beyond this whole vampire system, putting an end to all exploitation and oppression.

 

 

 

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on revcom.us. It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

 

Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on www.revcom.us on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

ENGLISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

SPANISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/583/prison-abolition-how-to-feel-woke-without-fundamentally-changing-a-thing-en.html

Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

Prison Abolition: How to Feel “Woke” Without Fundamentally Changing a Thing

A REVOLUTIONARY Intervention from Tala Deloria
Revolution Club member and UCLA student

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

If you’re serious about ending mass incarceration and police terror, you need to be talking about the OVERTHROW of this system. Anything short of this, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

This system of capitalism-imperialism is what’s driving the genocidal police terror and mass incarceration of over 2 million people, over half Black, Latino and Native American men and women. This same system terrorizes the globe with wars for empire, economic sanctions, coups, bombing and torture. It drives people from their homelands in desperation for a life and livelihood and then warehouses them in detention centers and concentration camps at the border. This same system enforces vicious misogyny, oppressive gender relations and has now brought to power a fascist regime reigning through undisguised dictatorship and intensified repression, concentrating the naked vileness that makes up the heart of America. This system CANNOT be reformed!

“...we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!” – Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution, from the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can REALLY Make Revolution.

In opposition to revolution, what is the meaning of Angela Davis’ call for “abolition democracy”?

“...as our overarching strategy, we would try to envision a continuum of alternatives to imprisonment—demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance.” – From Are Prisons Obsolete?

This an argument for a paltry set of reforms. Illusions and delusions that will never be achieved under capitalism. In the same speech mentioned above, BA shows:

“White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly ‘stitched together’ through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apart.”

To the degree any of Davis’ proposed reforms could be won under this system, the resources for this would come from America’s blood-sucking exploitation of the people of the world.

In the face of the desperately urgent need for real fundamental change, all “abolition” is doing is training you to nibble around the edges, begging and bargaining for a piece of the bloody imperialist pie. Those who do care about the nightmare of mass incarceration are funneled into endlessly working within – and even strengthening – the same system that causes this. This gets you to contribute to the tried and true hustle that this system can “do well by doing good,” while it keeps grinding up billions here and around the world.

Reality check: We live in a brutal capitalist dictatorship. This oppressive economic and social system is enforced by an illegitimate state power, a violent apparatus of repression and suppression. They keep oppressed people – Black, Latino and Native American people – in line through arbitrary and blood-thirsty police and vigilante terror. In every corner of the globe, it’s the US army with their bombs and torture, CIA backed-coups, and proxy wars that enforce the US’ dictates, global domination and plunder of resources.

This system’s violent hold on power does need to be broken. But that will take nothing short of an ACTUAL revolution: “Revolution where millions go up against, defeat and dismantle the system’s armed forces of violent suppression. Revolution that sets up a totally new power, with a different economy and different ways people relate to each other.” – From Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution, Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party

The leadership exists for this revolution in Bob Avakian: the most radical revolutionary on the planet who has developed a new synthesis of communism which includes a constitution with a re-envisioned legal framework and concept of justice for a future socialist society aiming to uproot all the oppressive and antagonistic divisions plaguing humanity. (At revcom.us/socialistconstitution)

Revolution IS possible and we are getting organized for this revolution NOW. There are answers for HOW to make revolution in this imperialist beast and HOW to bring forward the needed millions to do that. There is a strategy for this, concentrated in How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution, a battle plan for revolution from the Revolutionary Communist Party and further developed in the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can REALLY Make Revolution (at revcom.us).

 

IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE, from revcom.us

Have you ever noticed that the one privilege these “identity politics” hustlers don’t talk about is American privilege?—the privilege that comes from living in the USA, a country that plunders the world and whose wealth and power rests on brutal exploitation and oppression throughout the world, backed up by the massive violence of the American military. These hustlers want all they can get of that privilege. In opposition to that, what the masses of humanity need is to do away with and move beyond this whole vampire system, putting an end to all exploitation and oppression.

 

Come to an organizing meeting SATURDAY, Feb 23, 3pm:

“You Think You’re Woke... But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare
This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Revolution Club Organizing Center • 2716 S. Vermont Ave Unit 8

323.424.6687 • revclub_la@yahoo.com

Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

Check out clips and audio of the film and Q&As

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it »

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/583/revolution-club-on-cold-blooded-police-murder-of-willie-mccoy-en.html

Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

On the cold-blooded police murder of Willie McCoy in Vallejo

This System Has No Future For Youth,
But The Revolution DOES

From the Revolution Club, SF Bay Area

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“We are being targeted ... Police have a campaign of executing young black men who fit a certain profile. Willie dressed the part. He represents hip-hop music. They are profiled.”

—David Harrison, Willie McCoy’s cousin

This system has enslaved, brutalized, tortured, and betrayed Black people for 400 years! They have NEVER valued Black lives, except as labor to mercilessly exploit in building up the wealth of this country. And now, because this capitalist system has moved so much industrial work to places where they can pay people even less and make even more profit—and because Black people in racist America have always been last-hired and first-fired—this system has no jobs and no future for millions of people besides a jail cell or a police bullet. And they patrol whole neighborhoods like an occupying army, treating people like Willie McCoy as nothing but a “problem,” to be caged or killed off.


Willie McCoy
These pigs didn’t even think twice about walking up to Willie McCoy’s car while he was SLEEPING and pumping his body with 25 bullets! Same thing police did to Demouria Hogg when he was passed out in his car in Oakland in 2015. This was nothing but an execution, just like what they did to Oscar Grant, shooting him in the back while face down on the BART platform. Or when a Vallejo pig jumped up on the hood of Mario Romero’s car and blasted him through the windshield with 40 bullets (and even reloaded!), and then had the nerve to claim he “feared for his life.” And we could go on and on. If you “fit the profile,” as far as these pigs are concerned, you’re just a “thug” that deserves to die.

Here’s the basic truth about the police:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all their brutality and murder, is the law and order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:24

Listen to what he says—The police enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. Why are young people like Willie in the situation they’re in? Why was Willie struggling to get out of Vallejo, as his friends told us, and the poverty he grew up in? During World War 2, thousands of Black people fleeing lynch mob terror in the South and looking for a better life came to the Bay Area to work in the shipyards and other industries in places like Hunters Point, Oakland, Richmond, and Vallejo. Black people were exploited and discriminated against, paid less and working in more dangerous conditions than white workers, but at least they had jobs and could buy houses. At that time, the Mare Island naval shipyard in Vallejo employed almost 50,000 people. By 1996 the shipyard was completely closed down. Willie McCoy wasn’t even born yet.

After that, the Black unemployment rate shot up, and so did police terror, to the point where the small city of Vallejo now leads the whole Bay Area in per capita police shootings. Willie McCoy didn’t create this fucked up world, where you have to hustle just to survive, only to end up dead or in prison. He was born into it, and into the culture that this system created. As Tupac expressed it:

I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black
My stomach hurts so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
Pull the trigger kill a nigga he’s a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares
One less hungry mouth on the welfare
First ship ‘em dope and let ‘em deal to brothers
Give ‘em guns step back watch ‘em kill each other

And Vallejo is known for that culture, from Mac Dre and E-40 to the youth coming up today like Willie, who went by the rap name Willie Bo, and his group FBG. The good side of that culture is the rebelliousness, the fuck-the-police attitude. We saw that the other day when the Revolution Club joined Willie’s many friends and community in a righteous and defiant march from the Taco Bell where he was killed, walking right into the Target store chanting, “Say his name: Willie McCoy! Willie didn’t have to die, we all know the reason why: The whole damn system is GUILTY!” We need a lot more of that fighting spirit! And we have to struggle to transform it into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization.

The bad side of the culture is the celebration of killing and dying over turf you don’t even own—which is what the system wants you to do—and the glorification of pimping, which is just a way of acting like a little slave master toward women. The revolution we need is not about “getting yours” on the backs of other people, or trying to “make it” in this fucked up system. Even if a few can make it that way, the system is set up so the masses of people can’t. And the nightmare of this system will go on and on, one stolen life, one hashtag, one Willie McCoy after another. The only way the masses of people can get free, is by OVERTHROWING the system that is the source of all this oppression.

As the leader of this revolution, Bob Avakian put it:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/584/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-19-en.html

Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

You Can’t Change the World If You Don’t Know the BAsics

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Every week, Revolution features one quote from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. We encourage Revolution Clubs and other readers, everywhere, to take the time to discuss the quote—the whole quote—and to write us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com with accounts of these discussions, or thoughts provoked in yourself by reading the quote.

 

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/581/women-in-white-surrender-to-trumps-fascist-sotu-en.html

Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org

Women in White Surrender to Trump's Thoroughly Fascist State of the Union

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following article, written by Coco Das of Refuse Fascism and originally posted on Refusefascism.org, sharply analyzes important elements of Trump's important – and fascist – State of the Union speech.

By Coco Das, contributing editor to RefuseFascism.org

Trump’s State of the Union address on February 5th was a disgusting display of white supremacist demonization of immigrants straight out of Hitler’s playbook, Christian fascist lies about abortion that went almost completely unchallenged in the news commentary, vicious “America First” chauvinism putting Iran, Venezuela, and the people of the world in its crosshairs, and a grim glimpse of our nightmare future if fascists are allowed to consolidate their power. This was a speech in which new groups of people were being recruited and won over to fascism, with great success. People who should be fiercely resisting the Trump regime instead played by the rules and got played:

If you have a heart for humanity, as sickened and disgusted as you should have been by Trump making crude conciliatory gestures and then going in for his vicious attacks on immigrants, women, and the people of the world—you should be more disgusted by the response from the women in white who were supposed to represent the people most under attack by this regime. The color white was chosen as a tribute to the Suffragette movement, but it is also the color of surrender, and surrender they did. Despite a few eye rolls and grim expressions at the most hateful parts of Trump’s speech, quickly forgotten once he moved on, despite their crisp white outfits contrasting with the stiff suits of the GOP, despite “raising the roof” when Trump boasted about women entering Congress, and despite Nancy Pelosi’s supposed sarcastic applause, they did nothing to oppose Trump. Nothing to draw a line in the sand for the people who are under the boot of ICE, Homeland Security, the police, the prison system, the military, and all of the departments and institutions now guided and controlled by Trump’s fascist regime. They stood when they were supposed to stand and clapped when they were supposed to clap.

But, believe it or not, it got even worse than that. The lowest point of the night was this: when the women in white chanted “USA USA USA,” louder and more exuberantly than any of the Republican fascists in the room, that was the moment when Trump won. That ugly MAGA chant coming out of the mouths of those women as they celebrated America’s gangster power around the world, showed us what this #resistance is really about. It’s about maintaining American empire without all the ugly words. Let’s dress prettier and use prettier words and go bomb the shit out of some people. Let’s plunder the world’s resources and distribute the spoils among us. Fuck the rest of the world.

At Trump’s State of the Union, the women in white showed us that they are ready to do their job—to COLLABORATE with a fascist regime and lead their followers to do the same. This is what it is ... not the “politics of resistance,” as Trump called it, but the politics of conciliation, the politics of complicity, the politics of collaboration.

If you found yourself fooled by this spectacle, if you were comforting yourself with some hope that this regime will be stopped by sarcastic clapping and eye rolls, snap out of it. It’s long past the time to dispense with the “leadership” of those who are leading you down a road to disaster. It is up to us to stop this catastrophe for humanity at the soonest possible time, thousands leading to millions in the streets, day after day, acting with courage and determination and refusing to go home until this cruel, illegitimate, fascist regime is removed from power.

 

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to RefuseFascism.org to learn more and find out how to participate.

During the SOTU
IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

Chicago

New York City

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/568/refuse-fascism-leaflet-nov10-en.html

Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

From RefuseFascism.org:

Our mission: Millions in the streets demanding In the Name of Humanity, Trump/Pence Must Go

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Our singular demand:

In the Name of Humanity, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

How does that happen?

Every fascist move by the Trump/Pence regime should be met by more struggle and involve more and more people and diverse political forces opposed to the moves of this regime. And this struggle needs to be aiming at and preparing for nothing less than driving out the whole regime through the non-violent massive struggle of people staying in the streets day after day, creating the kind of political crisis that could drive out the whole fascist regime.

[1] The most defining thing about the recent elections is that the fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime became more consolidated and its fascist social base was more fully unleashed. Pipe bombs sent to leading Democrats and CNN. A hideous antisemitic massacre. Racist murders of African-Americans. Vicious anti-immigrant lies of an “invading caravan” to be met by US Troops who Trump said should shoot if the refugees throw rocks. Trump whipping up his rallies – Nuremberg style. On top of two years of the regime eviscerating what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, banning Muslims, locking in a majority fascist Supreme Court, stoking violent white supremacy and xenophobia, hateful misogyny, and ripping up international alliances and ramping up the threats of war. The Trump/Pence regime and the forces within it have said they view this presidency as the “last chance” to secure their vision for this country. This will continue and grow worse – with Trump now firing Sessions, attacking reporters, doubling down on his racist nationalism – unless and until it is stopped by the masses of people acting in fierce and sustained opposition outside the confines of politics as usual.

[2] The Democrats winning a majority in the House did not change this. The Democratic opposition throughout the elections and Nancy Pelosi’s post-election speech, refused to confront Trump’s fascism, but instead normalized, accommodated, and then promised to collaborate with the regime that is bringing an American fascism. About the Democrats, it could be said: First they came for the Muslims, and I protested once and then let it happen… Then they came for the immigrants, and I voted for healthcare and stayed mum.” They are determined to maintain order – even if that is the order of fascism – rather than risk the instability that it would take to confront and drive out the fascist regime and the nightmare they are hammering into place.

[3] The people who hate and fear this whole fascist nightmare and direction must now ACT with great determination in the streets – while organizing to move tens of thousands and soon millions to join them in the streets – with sustained determination until we drive this fascist regime from power in the name of humanity.  This is why we are organizing a movement – aiming to bring hundreds of thousands and millions into the streets – to say: In the Name of Humanity, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Refuse Fascism and others in San Ysidro, California, November 25, 2018, in support of immigrants as the U.S. shuts down the border crossing.

RefuseFascism.org issued a call for nationwide protests on the heels of the midterm elections, November 7 and 10. Protests were held in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Orange County (California), Philadelphia, San Bernardino (California), San Francisco, and Seattle. Here are initial photos we have received and gathered from some of those cities. Revcom.us will have more coverage in the days to come.



New York City, November 10, 2018


Chicago, November 7, 2018


Philadelphia, November 10, 2018


San Francisco, November 10, 2018


Santa Ana, California, November 7, 2018


Houston, November 7, 2018


Los Angeles, November 10, 2018


Los Angeles, November 10, 2018


Seattle, November 7, 2018

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/584/american-crime-case-24-us-proxy-war-in-afghanistan-1979-1988-en.html

Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

American Crime

Case #24: U.S. Proxy War Against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1988

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian has written that one of three things that has “to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.” (See “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.”)

In that light, and in that spirit, “American Crime” is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment focuses on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

THE CRIME

In July 1979, the U.S. began a covert campaign to destabilize Afghanistan’s new pro-Soviet government and lure the Soviet Union, at the time their main imperialist rival, into invading Afghanistan. In December 1979, after the Soviets invaded with 100,000 troops, the U.S. organized and led a bloody, decade-long proxy war against them and their Afghan client regime with one focus: bleeding the Soviet Union white and “killing Russians.”1

The U.S. and its allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan organized, trained, and funded reactionary Islamic fundamentalist mujahideen (Islamist fighters) to carry out the war. After Ronald Reagan took power in 1981, the U.S. launched a global campaign to recruit the most radically anti-communist Islamists—“ideologically charged with the spark of holy war” as author Mahmood Mamdani reports—not only from within Afghanistan, but from all over the world. Jihadist clerics, such as the very prominent Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, under the CIA’s patronage were sent around the globe preaching that it was a religious duty for Muslims to fight in Afghanistan and actively recruiting fighters. The U.S. and its allies also spread fundamentalist ideology through a growing worldwide network of Islamic schools—madrassas.

Fighters were sent to Pakistan, where its intelligence service, the ISI, set up camps and conducted training in “guerrilla tactics, sabotage and bombings—i.e., terrorism—and coordinated military operations in Afghanistan.”2 The U.S. supervised the operation overall and provided intelligence, weapons and, along with Saudi Arabia, funding. In 1985, Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166, stepping up covert military aid to the mujahideen and escalating the U.S. goal from weakening the Soviet forces to defeating them and driving them out.3

The U.S. and its allies funneled more than $3 billion in arms and aid to the mujahideen—by 1987, some 65,000 tons of U.S.-made weapons and ammunition were flowing to the battlefront.

The chief of the Afghan branch of the ISI estimated that in his four years, some 80,000 mujahideen were trained in camps along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Author Ahmad Rashid writes that some 35,000 Muslim fundamentalist jihadists from 43 different countries fought with the Afghan mujahideen between 1982 and 1992.4

Among the recipients of U.S. aid in Afghanistan was the then little-known Saudi jihadist Osama bin Laden, who initially funneled money from Saudi Arabia to fighters in Afghanistan. He also set up his own military camp near the border for some 9,000 followers of Wahhabism, the harsh, fundamentalist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi monarchy. It was in these camps and through the U.S.-backed proxy war that Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other reactionary jihadist forces were forged.

At the time, the overwhelming majority of Afghanistan’s 18 million people lived as impoverished farmers in the extremely backward countryside, which was divided between different nationalities and ethnic groups including the Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, and Baloch peoples—and overall dominated by large landowners, warlords, and the heads of feudal clans.

These mujahideen stood for this brutally oppressive traditional society, including the protection of big estates and the patriarchal oppression of women, and they were bitterly opposed to the limited secular reforms the Soviet-backed government was making, such as some land reforms, outlawing child marriage, teaching women to read, and other improvements in women’s status.5 Some of these mujahideen were notorious for burning down schools and slitting the throats of schoolteachers for teaching boys and girls together in mixed classes, or punishing or killing Afghan refugees who questioned their fundamentalist dogmas and reactionary social norms.

By 1989, after a decade of bloody guerrilla war, the Soviets were forced to pull out in defeat, but not before its invasion and the U.S. armed proxy war had torn Afghanistan apart.

Between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) were killed in this reactionary bloodbath, and nearly half the population was uprooted by the war—five million Afghans were forced from the country as refugees,6 and another two million were displaced within Afghanistan.7 And decades of horrors have ensued from the U.S. role in helping unleash and spread the scourge of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism across the region and the world.

THE CRIMINALS

President Jimmy Carter and his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski backed anti-regime forces in Afghanistan in order, as Brzezinski put it, “to induce a Soviet military intervention.” Carter and his team then turned the invasion into a global focal point of America’s stepped-up imperialist rivalry with the Soviet Union, including by cutting off grain sales to the Soviet Union and boycotting the 1980 Olympics, which were held in Moscow.

President Ronald Reagan, the Reagan administration launched the bloody U.S. proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan and played a major role in congealing and spreading reactionary Islamic jihadism. This was part of the U.S. global “full-court press” aimed at rolling back Soviet imperialism around the world, a clash which at times brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

The CIA led the overall global campaign to organize, fund, and wage a reactionary Islamic fundamentalist “holy war” against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.8

Saudi Arabia. “The Saudi, their intelligence service primarily provided cash,” according to author Steve Coll. “Each year the congress would secretly allocate a certain amount of money to support the CIA’s program. After that allocation was complete, the US Intelligence liaison would fly to Riyadh and the Saudis would write a matching check.”9

Pakistan: Its army set up camps on the Afghan border, trained fighters, and, in collaboration with the U.S., helped direct the war on the front lines.10

The Islamic Mujahideen. During the war these Islamic fundamentalist fighters were notorious for barbaric torture and mutilation of their opponents. After waging a reactionary war against the Soviet occupiers, different Islamic fundamentalist factions fought for power after the Soviet forces left Afghanistan. In 1996, with Pakistan’s backing, the Taliban emerged and took control. Far from representing the “highest aspirations of freedom,” the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban enforced feudal economic relations that kept Afghan peasants shackled and destitute and made life hell for the people, especially for women. Reactionary religious strictures and suffocating social relations were imposed on pain of amputation or death—a savagery scorched into the world’s memory by the stadium stonings of women for “crimes” like adultery.

“The rise of the Taliban was accompanied by savage attacks on women. Women are forced to wear dark veils covering them from head to toe; they are forbidden to work or go to school; they cannot walk in the streets, shop or seek care in hospitals unless accompanied by a mahram male (husband, brother or father), and even public baths are barred to them. Women are bought and sold, taken as war spoils, raped and killed,” M.N. Cham wrote.11

THE ALIBI—IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“It is a deliberate effort by a powerful atheistic government to subjugate an independent Islamic people.”

—Jimmy Carter denouncing the 1979 Soviet invasion

“This resolution testifies to America’s deep and continuing admiration for the Afghan people in the face of brutal and unprovoked aggression by the Soviet Union.... Nowhere are basic human rights more brutally violated than in Afghanistan today.... We cannot and will not turn our backs on this struggle.... [T]he struggle of the Afghan people represent man’s highest aspirations for freedom.”

—Ronald Reagan on signing a proclamation for “Afghanistan Day,” 198212

THE REAL MOTIVE

America’s proxy war in Afghanistan took place against the backdrop of the U.S.’s sharply escalating global contention with the Soviet Union, which was by then its main rival imperialist power.

The day the Soviets marched into Afghanistan—to project their power, counter U.S. moves, and stabilize their client regime—Brzezinski wrote Carter: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.”13

In other words, the U.S.’s main goal was to inflict a Vietnam-style military and strategic defeat on the Soviet Union, and that called for bogging them down in a protracted bloody war. The Soviet Union’s defeat in Afghanistan turned out to be one of the triggers of its 1989-91 collapse and the victory of the U.S. imperialists in the Cold War. (A secondary objective of the Afghan proxy war was undercutting the newly founded Islamic Republic of Iran by organizing pro-U.S. Sunni Islamist forces.)

After the Taliban took power, the U.S. considered it a potential partner. While the Taliban’s agenda conflicted sharply with the U.S.’s at times, the Taliban weren’t fundamentally opposed to imperialism’s overall domination of Afghanistan. In fact, they were quite willing to deal with the U.S. over oil pipelines and on other fronts. And both the U.S. and the Islamic fundamentalists shared a hatred of and fundamental opposition to Maoist forces in Afghanistan.

While the U.S. didn’t have formal diplomatic relations with the Taliban and clashed with them over Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan, it welcomed their seizure of power in 1996 in hopes they could bring stability to the region.14 As late as May 17, 2001, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a $43 million aid package which “in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban.”15


1. “The single objective was to bleed the Soviet Union white. The CIA was determined that nothing come in the way of the ‘real task’ in Afghanistan: ‘killing Russians.’” Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim–America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror (Pantheon 2004), Chapter 3–“Afghanistan: The High Point in the Cold War,” pp. 119-142, p. 124. [back]

2. Mamdani, p. 126. [back]

3. The U.S. also considered unleashing the mujahideen in the Soviet Republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but that was abandoned after the Soviet Union threatened to attack Pakistan if that step was taken. Mamdani, p. 129. [back]

4. Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia; Some estimate that in total, there were some 250,000 battle-hardened Islamic fundamentalist fighters by the time the Afghan war ended. [back]

5. William Blum, Killing Hope–U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Common Courage 1995), pp. 340-41. [back]

6. Larry Everest, Oil, Power & Empire, (Common Courage, 2004) p. 90; The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979-1989, ThoughtCo.com. [back]

7. “1985 ... Half of Afghan population now estimated to be displaced by war, with many fleeing to neighbouring Iran or Pakistan”. BBC, “Afghanistan profile - Timeline,” January 31, 2018. [back]

8. Mamdani. [back]

9. Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 and Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, interviewed on Democracy Now!, June 10, 2004 and February 8, 2018. [back]

10. Steve Coll. [back]

11. M.N. Cham, “Cutting Through the Darkness in Afghanistan,” A World To Win, #24, 1998. [back]

12. President Ronald Reagan “Proclamation 5309—Afghanistan Day, 1985,” March 21, 1985. [back]

13. David Gibbs, “Brzezinski Interview,” 1998. [back]

14. Kathmandu Post (September 20) said, “When the Taliban ... entered Kabul on 27 September 1996, the US state welcomed the development with the hope that the new rulers might bring stability to the region despite the fact that they are notoriously illiberal in social terms.” In 1998, Bill Clinton launched cruise missile strikes against Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but the U.S. strikes did not target the Taliban regime. [back]

15. “The U.S., the CIA, and Osama bin Laden," revcom.us, April 4, 2004. [back]

U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson with reactionary Islamic mujahideen fighters. During the Reagan years, Wilson played a key role arranging U.S. arming and funding of the Afghan mujahideen, including with Stinger anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.  (Photo: Public Domain)

Mujahideen fighters, 1981. (Photo: Public Domain)

In U.S.-backed and funded camps in Pakistan, mujahideen fighters were trained in guerilla tactics, sabotage, and bombings. A young girl killed in a bombing by U.S.-backed anti-Soviet forces. (Photo: AP)

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Forward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

Letter from a comrade

Hastening While Awaiting With The New Call To Get Organized

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the editors:

I was inspired to read the Call for “The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour.” Yesterday, I went back to Bob Avakian’s speech from last summer—WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION—and this provoked more ideas on this Tour and how we can immediately begin making this what it needs to be.

Bob Avakian (BA) says in this speech that a crucial next step in making this revolution real is that, Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” He goes on to call for organizing these thousands right now into “networks of people, working together to spread the word about and organize people into the revolution,” as part of a national movement. He talks about the importance of a “critical mass”—meaning a force which, “although it may be small at first, has sufficient numbers and determination to fight through obstacles to have a real impact on the ‘political terrain.’” I think all this bears very directly on the Tour. 

BA then goes on to quote The New Communism, saying:

You are affecting the terrain by having organized forces united around a revolutionary line... it goes out to the world, especially in this age of the internet. It goes all over the place. And then people do want to know: Who are those forces that did that?.... It’s not that they all join up with you right away, or that you should bring them fully into the ranks of the revolution right away, before they even have a chance to get a basic understanding of what this revolution is all about. There’s work and struggle that has to go on. But you’re able to get this dynamic going where you’re growing, you’re wielding your organized forces for revolution in a way to significantly impact society and drawing people to you, and through struggle accumulating more organized forces... and then you are able to do more to affect the situation, once again through a lot of struggle. This is the dynamic we have to advance while, once again, not narrowing our sights to just that dynamic, but looking at the whole world and how we affect the whole world toward the goal of revolution....

This is the correct basis for ... understanding the point ... about the “thousands” and their relation to the “millions.” It’s not just some vague notion of “thousands of people” who sort of go “thumbs up” on the idea of revolution (or even are very enthusiastic about it). If you’re talking about leading millions, you need an organized force of thousands of people, a growing number of people, in the thousands, who are oriented, organized, trained and led to be an actual revolutionary force and pole of attraction...

I think these sections of the speech are crucial orientation for taking out this Call. Bringing forward these thousands, now, is an immediate objective in actually making revolution at the earliest possible time. 

On that basis, there are tasks that cry out to be done, including right now. I know that some cities are organizing meetings soon to let people know about and enlist their support in this effort. Some ideas I had in this regard:

All this should be done proceeding not from “building a tour,” or “building a program,” but from what BA in the speech calls the “strategic approach of hastening while awaiting the emergence of the conditions to go all-out to actually overthrow this system.”

I hope the above sparks both effort and creativity.

A comrade

 
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The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour:

Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

Shout Out to Boots Riley for Calling Out the CIA on Venezuela

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

While accepting an award for his film Sorry to Bother You for Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards on February 23, Boots Riley called out the CIA for “trying to have a coup in Venezeula....” While far too few artists with a platform are speaking out against the crimes of this government being carried out in our name, Boots used his platform to speak the truth and call on others to do the same: “We should all be putting our voices out there to stop the U.S.  from having regime change for oil in Venezuela.”

According to Indiewire, Boots continued speaking out backstage about the lies being told about this invasion and the history behind this kind of bullshit: “Obviously, the CIA, every time they targeted a country for regime change, they tell you the same things. They tell you the same things in Iraq, they tell you the same things that they did in Chile in 1973. They all say, ‘They’ve lost support, they’re dictators. We’re just helping people.’ We know. C’mon. Everybody knows that’s not true. Right now, under the guise of humanitarian aid, they’re doing the same thing the US did in Guatemala in the ’80s, which was sneak guns to right-wing forces in Central America through what they call ‘humanitarian aid.’ Now, when the Russians were trying to get ‘humanitarian aid’ into Ukraine a few years ago, the MSM out here correctly said, ‘Oh, we know they’re sneaking guns in that way.’ All of a sudden, nobody’s saying the same thing in the mainstream media. The people of Venezuela are the ones that should be deciding who rules them. The US has been working with opposition forces there for years.”

 

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Revolution #584 February 25, 2019

American Crime

Case #57: The 1973 CIA Coup In Chile

October 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

In that light, and in that spirit, American Crime is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

1973 U.S. sponsored military coup in Chila

September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a military coup, dropping bombs on La Moneda, the Chilean presidential palace, murdering President Salvador Allende.

The Crime: Beginning in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a military coup against the government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. With U.S. Navy ships offshore and U.S. spy planes overhead as backup, the Chilean Air Force and tanks and soldiers from the Chilean Army dropped bombs and launched artillery and small-arms fire in a furious, coordinated assault on La Moneda palace, the central government building in Chile’s capital, Santiago. Allende, a social democrat elected on a platform of social reform three years previously, was killed along with a small group of defenders.

Meanwhile, the Chilean military seized control of the radio and TV stations and key institutions of the country, bringing to power a ruthless military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. The new regime enjoyed the widespread support of Chile’s top military leadership. But more crucially, it had the full support of the U.S. government at its highest levels. It was the culmination of years of U.S. covert intervention against the Allende government. It was, in every sense, a U.S.-manufactured coup.

The CIA had collected “arrest lists” and “key government installations which need to be taken over,” according to a 1975 U.S. Senate investigation. In the hours, days and weeks that followed the coup, tens of thousands of officials of Allende’s government and the Unidad Popular governing coalition, along with workers, union leaders, activists, students, progressive intellectuals, artists and people who just happened to be on the streets on the morning of September 11, were rounded up, then held in Santiago’s National and Chile stadiums and in military installations and facilities converted to concentration camps in locations around the country. They were subjected to brutal physical and psychological torture, or just outright murdered.

Among the thousands brutalized and murdered in Santiago stadiums was Victor Jara, a well-known and much-loved singer, song writer and supporter of the popular movement. Jara was beaten and tortured, his hands broken, before he was murdered. His body was sent to a morgue to be buried in an unmarked grave. Only the intervention of a mortuary worker who risked his life to tip off Jara’s wife kept him from being among the many who “disappeared” this way.

Over 140,000 people were rounded up during the coup and in the few years that followed. A 1991 Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation reported that many of those detainees were held in military prisons and special camps, and that sadistic forms of torture were the norm. Rape and other forms of sexual violence against women arrestees were nearly universal. A special Chilean death squad that came to be known as the “Caravan of Death” was transported by military helicopter to various military garrisons where they carried out horrific executions. Descriptions by survivors of their imprisonment by the U.S. armed and trained Chilean military rival in sadistic brutality the stories from Nazi concentration camps.

As many as one million people out of Chile’s population of 11 million were forced into exile. Some of those who fled were hunted down in other countries by death squads organized by the Chilean military.

Upon taking power, the military government of Augusto Pinochet dissolved Chile’s Congress, dismantled democratic institutions, abolished elections, made strikes illegal and broke up Chile’s largest union, the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores. The government imposed strict censorship of books, the press and school curriculum. Entire university departments were shut down.

Covert CIA operations against Allende and his movement had been going on since 1958. In September 1970, Allende was elected president. He promised to break the stranglehold of U.S. corporations on Chile’s economy by nationalizing foreign copper and other companies and using the proceeds to improve the conditions of Chile’s impoverished masses, half of whom were malnourished. Land taken from a handful of wealthy landowners would go to landless farmers.

Planning for the 1973 coup began in mid-October, 1970. The CIA was unable to prevent Allende’s election but was determined to block Allende from becoming president even though he had won the vote. A CIA deputy director sent a secret cable to the CIA station chief in Santiago conveying orders from President Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger: “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende (Chile’s president elect) be overthrown by a coup... It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [U.S. government] and American hand be well hidden.”

The CIA set in motion a coup effort by a group of right-wing Chilean military officers. They assassinated Chile’s army commander in chief General René Schneider, who stood against the coup, with machine guns secretly supplied by the CIA. But their plan failed, and Allende assumed the presidency on November 3 after the Chilean parliament overwhelmingly ratified his election.

In the three years that Allende served as Chile’s president and leader of the governing coalition, Unidad Popular, the U.S. maneuvered to undermine the Chilean economy and create political divisions to, in Kissinger’s words, “help prevent the consolidation of his [Allende’s] regime.” U.S. bank credit and government economic aid to Chile were frozen. The World Bank and other U.S.-controlled international financial institutions shut off loans. A committee of U.S. corporations worked out an anti-Allende strategy in consultation with the Nixon administration. CIA operatives were sent to organize sabotage of the Chilean economy. In one operation, the CIA organized and bankrolled a strike by truck owners that paralyzed the country’s transportation system. They also carried out acts of sabotage in factories and against railroads, highways, bridges, pipelines, schools and hospitals.

Meanwhile, the U.S. orchestrated a massive anti-Allende propaganda campaign through many forms of media, including subsidizing wire services, magazines and right-wing newspapers.

The U.S. increased its arming and training of the Chilean military, while developing a network of CIA “assets” in all its branches, and pushed forward preparations for a military coup. Yet, even as these moves were being made, there were political groups in Chile, including the pro-Soviet Communist Party (a revisionist, non-revolutionary party that was “communist” in name only), which widely promoted the idea that Allende’s government represented a “peaceful road to socialism” through elections, and that the Chilean military, or at least key parts of it, could be won over to the side of the people or, at least, somehow “neutralized.” When a general who proved to be unfavorable to U.S. coup plans was forced out as the commander in chief of the armed forces, Allende appointed General Pinochet in his place. Illusions about the nature of the Chilean military and its loyalty to the Chilean Constitution left people tragically unprepared for the U.S.-instigated blood bath that followed.

The Criminals: U.S. president Richard Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger were the main U.S. authorities behind the September 11, 1973 coup. Both made clear they would welcome Allende’s assassination. In 1970 Kissinger told other officials, “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.”

CIA Director Richard Helms, Attorney General John Mitchell and Secretary of State William Rogers were members of the so-called “40 Committee” chaired by Kissinger and made up of various U.S. military and intelligence operatives in charge of reviewing covert operations.

The CIA was the main organization that prepared for and carried out the coup.

The U.S. military helped arm and train the Chilean military, and stationed ships and planes nearby.

Anaconda Copper, Ford Motor Company, First National City Bank, Bank of America, Ralston Purina and ITT were among the U.S. corporations that directly conspired with the Nixon regime to economically strangle the Chilean economy in the lead-up to the coup.

The military leader of the coup was Augusto Pinochet.1 The military leaders of Chile’s army, navy and air force were active participants in the coup.

The Alibi: Opponents of Allende claimed that the Popular Unity government, in an attempt to impose “socialism,” mismanaged Chile’s economy and caused such disruption and chaos that the military had no choice but to step in and impose order.

The U.S. immediately denied it had any hand in the coup. A year later, President Gerald Ford claimed the U.S. had acted to help preserve opposition newspapers and political parties.

The Real Motive: The 1973 coup was the culmination of U.S. efforts to undermine, then crush, the nationalist, reform movement that coalesced around Salvador Allende. That reform movement, the Unidad Popular, arose in opposition to U.S. economic and political domination of Chile and was part of a worldwide struggle against colonialism and imperialism in the 1960s and 1970s.

The coup was also motivated by the growing rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In the mid-1950s, those leading the Soviet Union had abandoned revolution, socialism and communism; and by the 1970s, they had become the main rival to the U.S. imperialists. Posing as a friend to the nations and peoples exploited and dominated by the U.S. and other colonial powers, the Soviet Union was making inroads in areas the U.S. had long dominated, including Cuba and other countries in Latin America. The growing influence of Chilean parties friendly to the Soviet Union fed U.S. imperialist fear of further Soviet inroads into what they considered their “back yard.” A secret 1970 CIA memo warned that Allende’s victory could lead to “tangible economic losses” for U.S. capital, and, more importantly, big “political costs” to U.S.-dominated “Hemispheric cohesion” and a “psychological set-back” and “advantage for the Marxist idea.” All this made the brutal and bloody destruction of the Allende government an urgent matter for the U.S. rulers.

Upon seizing power, the Pinochet government dismantled the nationalization of foreign-owned enterprises; reversed the land redistribution to landless farmers and other social welfare measures; privatized Chile’s economy; and restored direct U.S. domination.


1. In 1998 Pinochet was indicted for human rights violations by a Spanish magistrate. He was later arrested in London and held for a year and a half before being released in March 2000. Upon return to Chile, Pinochet was indicted by a judge there and charged with a number of crimes. He was never tried because of “health” reasons. Pinochet died in 2006, without being convicted in any case. [back]


Sources:

Lubna Z. Qureshi, Nixon, Kissinger and Allende, Lexington Books, 2008

Pilar Aguilera and Ricardo Fredes, Chile, the Other September 11, Ocean Press, 2006

Bradford Burns, “The True Verdict on Allende: Nixon and Kissinger fiddle and Chile burns,” The Nation, April 3, 2009

1991 Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, Part 3, Chapter 1

William Blum, Killing Hope, U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Common Courage Press, 1995

“The September 11 Massacre They Don’t Tell You About,” Revolution, September 17, 2006

“Augusto Pinochet: Fascist General in Service of the U.S. Godfathers,” Revolution, December 24, 2006