Thursday, July 30, 2020

Corporate and Government-controlled Media in U.S. Have Lost Credibility: African American Author
July 29, 2020 - 21:48
Interview conducted by Amir Muhammad Esmaeili
Reprinted from the Tehran Times

TEHRAN - Abayomi Azikiwe, an African American author, and journalist in Detroit, tells the Tehran Times that the owners of mainstream media in the U.S. have a vested interest in crushing the anti-racist movement and as a result, they “have lost credibility”.

Azikiwe says the fact that most people are suspicious of cable networks and news publications “can potentially place the ruling class in serious danger of a national uprising since its appeal to the masses could easily be rejected by key elements in the population.”

Azikiwe, who is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire, also expresses his dismay over the illegal presence of U.S. forces in Syria, saying, “The American government resents the independent character of the Syria state and therefore all peace and freedom-loving people throughout the world should defend the inherent right of the Syrian people to determine their leadership and the social system that best suits them in this historical period.”

The African-American writer also says U.S. forces have been deployed in the West Asia region to just “serve an imperialist agenda”.

The text of the interview with Azikiwe is as follows:

Q: Firstly, please let me ask your opinion on the recent U.S. illegal move in Syria. On Thursday night, U.S. warplanes operating illegally in Syria conducted some dangerous maneuvering close to the Mahan Air flight. The Civil Aviation Organization of Iran called it “a clear violation of international law and aviation standards and regulations.”  What is your comment?

A: This incident which gained major coverage in the U.S. corporate media was not an accident. The Trump administration has never concealed its hostility towards Iran. Fortunately, the pilots were able to avoid a crash landing. Although reports indicate that many people suffered injuries. Such occurrences should not go without an official response from international human rights agencies particularly within the United Nations framework.

Q: Without permission from Damascus, the U.S. has been operating in Syria since 2014 under the pretext of fighting the ISIS terrorist group. The U.S., however, continues its occupation even as Syria defeated the Takfiri terrorists in late 2017. Is the U.S. presence in Syria legitimate?

A: U.S. troops are in Syria in order to make attempts at destabilizing the government in Damascus. Washington and its allies have said repeatedly that President Assad should leave the office and go into exile. This is an outrageous and illegal position aimed at turning Syria into a neo-colony of the U.S. The American government resents the independent character of the Syria state and therefore all peace and freedom-loving people throughout the world should defend the inherent right of the Syrian people to determine their leadership and the social system that best suits them in this historical period. The armed opposition groups such as ISIS were created by U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon. They have no legitimacy within the region and are there only to serve an imperialist agenda.

Q: Please let’s back to our main topic. Protests over the death of George Floyd continue to rage across the U.S. What do you think about the protests? Do you see any hope for a change of behavior towards African Americans? 

A: These demonstrations since May 25, when George Floyd was brutally executed by a racist white police officer on the streets of Minneapolis during broad daylight, millions were rightly enraged and took the streets. Thousands were arrested and dozens were killed by the police and National Guard. President Donald Trump in early June evoked the slave-era Insurrection Act of 1807 threatening to deploy federal troops if the municipalities could not stop the protests, some of which turned violent in a rebellious manner. We see today that more federal agents and troops are being deployed to cities such as Portland, Chicago, and Detroit. In Atlanta, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp dispatched the National Guard to Atlanta supposedly to help fight crime. Yet Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms did not ask for the Guardsmen and has objected to their presence. In Portland, a number of elected officials filed suit in U.S. District Court demanding that the Federal forces be withdrawn.
A federal court judge ruled that the elected officials did not have to stand in the case to file suit against the Trump administration on behalf of the demonstrators. What is needed is the building of a genuinely independent and revolutionary party that can organize the workers, oppressed and youth to build a new and socially transformed political dispensation. The first response is protest and rebellion. The next phase must lead to building the apparatus to effectively challenge the system fundamentally. The lives of the people depend upon this inevitability due to the horrendous social conditions now prevailing in the U.S. has the largest COVID-19 outbreak and is rapidly descending economically.

Q: It seems that the United States is a contradiction. Its founding principles embrace the ideals of freedom and equality, but it is a nation built on the systematic exclusion and suppression of communities of color. From the start, so many of this country’s laws and public policies, which should serve as scaffolding that guides progress, were instead designed explicitly to prevent people of color from fully participating. What are the reasons behind this?

A: The notion of the United States is founded as a democratic country is a national myth utilized to control the narrative around the actual character of the state. The U.S. has its origins in the forced removal and genocide of the indigenous Native peoples of North America along with the kidnapping and enslavement of millions of Africans forced to work for 250 years without any monetary compensation. Even after the victory in the separatist war by the British colonies in North America leading to the USA being established in the late 18th century, the Native people were being encroached upon by the settler-colonial regime while the demand for African enslaved labor grew exponentially. Eventually, there were 4.5 million Africans residing in the U.S. by the beginning of the Civil War (1861-1865). Only one-half million were considered "free" while nearly 4 million were enslaved. With the conclusion of the Civil War, the African people were designated as having equal rights through a series of Amendments to the Constitution as well as the Civil Rights Acts. Nonetheless, 150 years hence and African Americans are still struggling to gain recognition and self-determination.

“The owners of the media have a vested interest in crushing the anti-racist struggle.”

Q: What is important to learn from the history of slavery in the U.S. is the social construction of race, with the main objective of controlling the dominated groups and enforcing distance from them through multiple institutionalized laws and social norms. What is your take on it?

A: In order to justify the continuation of slavery under British rule and later during the first 90 years of independent existence for the white ruling class in the U.S., the leadership provided a rationale claiming that African people were inferior and were best suited as servants of white landowners in the Northeast and the South. After slavery was phased out in many northern and pre-industrial states after the separatist war of 1776-1783, those Africans living in these areas were forced to fight slavery particularly in the years leading up to the Civil War where the Fugitive Slave Act was implemented. This meant that even if a man or woman had purchased or was awarded freedom from bondage, they were still subject to the slave catchers in non-slave-owning states who would capture people and return them to bondage in the southern region of the U.S. After the collapse of the attempt to Reconstruct U.S. democracy during the post-Civil War period, the white former slaveowners crafted laws known as the Black Codes, designed to segregate and exploit the formally enslaved population. Therefore, the criminal justice system, including the police and detention facilities were essential structures aimed at the social containment and further economic exploitation of the African people.

Q:  The U.S. Constitution proclaims people are free and equal, but everyone is aware this designation was not intended for enslaved Africans. It was rather for the European settlers and their descendants. Many Blacks support the idea that individuals are not equal if there is a discrepancy in employment, food securitization, good schooling, housing, and healthcare. What do you think?

A: After the end of slavery there were mass interventions by Africans into electoral politics, community organizing, and the quest for educational achievement. The passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 ostensibly ended slavery. Later in 1868, the 14th Amendment was passed by the then Radical dominated Congress which purportedly enshrined Africans as citizens with rights to due process and equal protection under the law, the right to serve on juries and testify against whites in a court of law. Nonetheless, through the outright terror of organization such as the Ku Klux Klan, formed in the aftermath of the Civil War by former plantation owners, slave traders and failed Confederate war generals, along with the retreat by the federal government from the Reconstruction project after the contentious elections of 1876, Africans were gradually disenfranchised again and segregated for the purpose of exploitation.

Q: What is the Black Lives Matter protesting for?

A: Black Lives Matter (BLM) began as a hashtag after the racist vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida in 2012. Since then every large and small demonstration taking place in the U.S. is characterized by the corporate media as BLM. The actual BLM has the same first letters as the Black Liberation Movement, a term routinely used from the 1960s onward. There are many organizations fighting racism and capitalism in the U.S. The task at this stage in 2020 is to develop a program to unite all of these organizations, committees, movements, and campaigns. The base of the movement for fundamental transformation must be based in the African American, Latin American, and Indigenous communities in the U.S. These are the most oppressed and they are in a social position to carry out the most damage to the unjust system.

Q: How do you assess the role of mainstream media in the protests? What about Facebook, Twitter, and other social media?

A: The corporate media is forced to cover the demonstrations and rebellions as a result of its mass character. However, the television and radio stations, along with the newspapers and websites, convey the news with their own biases. Very rarely does the reporter interview the leadership of the movements operating in this important period. This illustrates the disconnectedness of these multi-billion dollar operations from the working-class people, the impoverished, radical intellectuals, and cultural workers. The owners of this media have a vested interest in crushing the anti-racist struggle. With the rapid spread of the internet spawning social media, these platforms have become far less democratic and open in recent years. Political ideas and debates are being censored. People involved in the struggle are developing new platforms to avoid this phenomenon. At the same time, the corporate and government-controlled public media have lost credibility on the Left and Right. Most people are suspicious of cable networks and news publications. This can potentially place the ruling class in serious danger of a national uprising since its appeal to the masses could easily be rejected by key elements in the population. These issues will only be resolved as the situation develops in the coming months.

Q: Do you think this movement is different? What are the unique characteristics of this movement?

A: There is a lot of political diversity in the anti-racist movement at the present stage. However, there are currents emerging which are categorically anti-capitalist and realize that the system cannot be reformed. The only solution is to build a new system that is in the interests of the most oppressed. Since the 1960s, there have been profound changes in the labor market and the world economy overall. Communications technology has been important in building and sustaining the current demonstrations. Many of the youth and workers playing key roles in the 2020 demonstrations are sophisticated in mobilization and political education techniques. In this sense, the Trump administration and its backers on Wall Street, feel threatened by the convergence of the public health crisis, the declining economy and the resurgence in the anti-racist movement.

Q: As you pointed it, the movement appears to have attracted protesters who are younger. What is the role of the youth in the movement?

A: Youth have always been in the vanguard of the world revolutionary movements even within the U.S. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started his movement journey in Montgomery, Alabama with the Bus Boycott in 1955-56, he was only 26 years old. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed in 1960 by the youth who became the shock troops of the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Panther Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Nation of Islam were largely staffed by younger people. These youth who are taking to the streets in 2020 are following this same tradition.

Q:  In general, what is the relationship between the movement and family structure?

A: Since the time of enslavement, the African family has been under attack. Many were sold away from their families, even infants, and children. The struggle has been to maintain families under a racist-capitalist system. In the 21st century, many African Americans are imprisoned and therefore damaging the capacity of the people to enjoy any semblance of a normal life. The national liberation movement is designed to guard African American families and communities against attempts to destroy them by the state.

Q: Some experts argue that Black Lives Matter is the largest movement in U.S. history. What do you think?

A: Well if we study African American history there have been periodic upsurges in mass discontent manifesting itself in many forms. During the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of Africans fled the plantations to join the Union Army in order to assist in the movement to end slavery. The Antebellum period was marked by slave revolts, flight from bondage and attacks against plantation owners such as the New Orleans Rebellion of 1811, the Nat Turner Revolt in 1831 in Virginia, John Brown had Africans in his military units that attacked Harper's Ferry in 1859. There were thousands of African Americans that joined the Communist Party in the 1930s during the Great Depression. In the 1960s, there were over 200 rebellions between 1963-1970.
History of the Reichstag Fire and Trump’s Wall Shutdown
January 18, 2019
By Fighting Words Staff

On February 27, 1933, a fire that broke out in the German parliament building (Reichstag)  burned the structure to the ground. The next day, the Nazi Party and its right-wing coalition partners, who falsely claimed that the fire was set by the German Communist Party in a coup attempt, persuaded President Hindenburg to sign the infamous Decree for the Protection of the People and the State, otherwise known as the Reichstag Fire Decree.

Many historians argue that a Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA) team actually set the fire to create a “false flag” emergency. In any case, they used the event to suppress their opposition.

This “national emergency act” suspended the right to free speech and a free press as well as the freedom of assembly. Thousands of members of the German Communist Party, which held 17 percent of the seats in the parliament, were arrested, including all its parliamentary members. The German Communist Party was outlawed and not allowed to participate in the March elections. This allowed the Nazi Party and its right-wing partners for the first time to win a majority of seats.

On March 23, 1933, the Nazi-controlled parliament passed the even more draconian Enabling Act, the Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich. This swept away all power from the German Parliament and gave it to the German Chancellor, the racist demagogue Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who proclaimed himself “Fuhrer”, head of the regime behind the genocidal Holocaust and world war that killed 70 million people, including 45 million civilians.

Trump proclaims that he owns the shutdown

After facing a right-wing media scolding for being too soft on migrants and failure to build “the wall,” the current white supremacist demagogue-in-chief, Trump, announced December 11 at a meeting with Congresswoman Pelosi and Senator Schumer that he would not sign any budget continuing resolution that would keep open a large portion of the federal government unless it contained $5.7 billion for his border wall. When Congress failed to do Trump’s bidding, nine agencies were shut down on December 22, with 380,000 federal workers laid off and 420,000 more forced to work without pay.

Those who are forced to work without pay are not eligible to apply for unemployment. There is no guarantee that the furloughed workers will ever receive back pay. Tens of thousands of contractors who have lost their jobs will not be compensated for their lost pay.

Just to pour salt into the wound, billionaire Trump announced on December 29 a pay freeze on all federal civilian workers for 2019, negating the across the board 2.1 percent pay hike they were supposed to get in January. He also cancelled the locality pay increase that federal workers who live in regions with a higher cost of living are supposed to receive.

The federal government is one of the last remaining bastions of union labor and also one of the only remaining sources of jobs with decent pay and benefits for Black and other oppressed workers due to discrimination in the private sector, which means that these groups in particular are significantly affected by Trump’s actions.

The federal shutdown has not only robbed the livelihoods of these workers, who average around $50,000 a year, it has halted vital programs won through decades of hard won worker and community struggles.

The Food and Drug Agency has stopped inspections of meats, cheese, fish, fruit and vegetables, with experts expressing concern about food safety. The Environmental Protection Agency shutdown is preventing federal monitoring of water and air.

Transportation Security Administration workers, who are not being paid, have called in sick and have caused the shutdown in portions of airports in Miami, Houston and other locations. Monuments, museums and parks have been closed.

Native Tribe food and health programs have been defunded and shut down. The Women, Infant and Children program (WIC), which provides food for nine million people, is expected to run out of money at the end of January. Payments from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to cover the rent for thousands of poor people have been frozen.

The shutdown is having a terrible “ripple effect” on millions of workers who depend on the spending by federal workers. In response, federal workers have been joined by unions and progressives across the country demanding an end to the shutdown.

Trump threatens to declare national emergency

In the midst of all the havoc he has caused to the livelihood of thousands of workers, poor people and their families, on January 4, Trump threatened to call migrants (who he labels as “murderers,” “rapists” and “child traffickers”) seeking refuge from U.S.-supported brutal regimes in Central America a “national emergency,” which would enable him to transfer money from disaster relief programs to pay for his wall. For example, he could use money designated for Puerto Rico hurricane relief, circumventing opposition in Congress and the majority of U.S. workers.

When the recent migrant caravan arrived at the U.S. border in late November, the Trump regime began the process they called “metering,” where only a tiny handful of asylum seekers were interviewed each day. Forced to live in unsheltered stadiums on the Mexican side of the border, and knowing that they are entitled by international and U.S. law to apply for refugee status at any point on the border, thousands of families have chosen to cross at dangerous desert locations.

Racist to the core and egged on by anti-immigrant white supremacist Steve Miller, Trump has waged a vicious war against migrants and refugees. He has torn children from their parents’ arms, placing them in freezing cages. His border control goons have destroyed water bottles left for migrants and tear gassed families. In December, two small children died while in the custody of the border patrol, without a word of regret from Boss Trump, who instead blamed their parents for trying to provide safety for their children.

Trump’s wall is specifically designed to force refugees to use border checkpoints, where they can be “metered” and prevented from applying for asylum.

Trump’s shutdown pits workers against against migrants

Since 1976, presidents have declared 58 “national emergencies,” nearly all designed to implement sanctions against countries targeted by imperialism, such as Sudan, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and, of course, North Korea. Many are still in effect.

Trump’s declaration would be new and dangerous. It would circumvent one of the three branches of U.S. bourgeois democratic rule, the U.S. Congress, and in so doing, also usurp Congress’s “power of the purse,” a democratic control of executive power. As more and more workers are harmed by his shutdown, and with his arch-racist base at his beck and call, there are already calls by right-wing politicians like Lindsey Graham for Trump to make this declaration. With the Democratic Party leadership constantly chiming in their support for “national security” instead of condemning his anti-migrants attacks, Trump is hoping over time that he will get what he wants.

By pitting federal workers and their supporters against refugees and migrants, the Trump regime hopes to stem the rising tide of outrage and opposition that his policies have sparked among the workers and oppressed, as well as the growing concern among Wall Street that he may be unable to protect their profits during the upcoming crisis.

Declaring the migrants’ righteous struggle for refuge to be a “national emergency” would provide Trump a terrible and far-reaching precedent, enhancing his power to wage more and more attacks on the oppressed and working people. This calls for a two-front struggle: stop the shutdown and stop Trump’s war against migrants and refugees!

We have to take action. This crisis is an attempt to take away gains won in decades of struggle. The working class and oppressed cannot rely on Democrats to defeat this problem electorally, and we can’t wait until 2020.
The History of Interferon in Cuba, in Use Today to Treat Covid-19
March 29, 2020

The interferon project began in 1981, after Fidel met U.S. doctor Randolph Lee Clark. Photo-Granma Archives

Note: Interferon Alpha 2B is used to treat various cancers (e.g., leukemia, melanoma, AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma). It is also used to treat virus infections (e.g., chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, condylomata acuminata). This medication is the same as a protein that your body naturally produces (interferon). – WebMD

Interferon Alpha 2B is Used in China Against Covid-19.

Reprinted from Granma by Fighting Words, Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)
By Yaditza del Sol González

Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2b continues to make headlines around the world and captures the interest of readers given its effectiveness in treating patients with the new SARS Cov-2 coronavirus, which causes the illness known as Covid-19.

Nonetheless, it is not a vaccine that “miraculously” prevents infection, nor a 100% made-in-Cuba drug, although the Cuban technology used to obtain the Interferon molecule has made the process more efficient and improved the product’s quality.

This is not national chauvinism, but rather an accurate fact, as evidenced by the international prestige enjoyed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB).

According to Santiago Dueñas Carrera, deputy general manager of the Changchun Heber Biological Technology joint venture – which produces Alpha Interferon 2b with Cuban technology – the decision to create this entity in 2003 was based on the common interest of Cuba and China to develop the production and commercialization of biotechnological products, based on the experience accumulated by Cuban scientists in this field.

Toward this end, he said, the transfer of technology, and also knowledge, from the CIGB to the new Cuba-China company for the manufacture of this therapeutic drug, with antiviral action, a process that ended in 2007 with the obtaining of sanitary registration.

“At that time, Interferon began to be used to treat conditions like Hepatitis B and C, until it was granted coverage by Chinese medical insurance, which has extended availability to 20 regions of the country.”

When Changchun Heber was founded, Interferon had already been used extensively in other countries, but the Chinese government recognized the capacity of Cuba’s biotechnology industry to develop safe and effective products, and chose to work with us, he said,

“Currently, the drug is produced at the joint venture plant in four principal formats, with different doses, all injectable: 3, 5, 6 and 10 million international units per vial, while since it began marketing, in 2007, through the end of 2019, more than four million doses had been administered, involving more than 100,000 patients in the country.

“This is the background to how ‘Cuban’ interferon got to China and the previous uses it was given, before in the current epidemiological situation,” he said.

Since the spread of the new coronavirus,” Dueñas explained, “China’s Health Commission asked companies producing interferon, including Changchun Heber, to supply this drug to the health system.” It is not the only drug used to confront the pandemic, but it is one of the most used for the treatment of Covid-19, especially in aerosol form.


To understand how the development of Interferon Alfa 2b came about in Cuba, we must go back to house number 149, in the in Havana neighborhood of Atabey, with only 180 square meters of floor space, where professionalism and commitment took root.

Completely faithful to history, we can say, “It was Comandante en jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, with his visionary thinking, who understood the need for Cuba to immerse itself in the field of modern biotechnology.”

This is how Gustavo Furrazola Gómez, a biologist by profession and founder of the CIGB, recalls the early days:

Work on the project began in 1981, after Fidel met with the U.S. doctor Randolph Lee Clark. “On that occasion, the leader of the Cuban Revolution had asked him about the newest treatments that were being used internationally for the treatment of cancer, and Lee Clark told him about the interferon that was being developed at the hospital he directed in Texas. Following that meeting, two Cuban scientists traveled to Texas to receive a certain level of training.”

Later, four other specialists joined this team, which traveled to Helsinki, Finland to the laboratory of Professor Kari Cantell, who had first isolated the interferon molecule in 1972.

The scientists returned to Cuba and, with the support of other professionals, that “little house” remodeled as a laboratory became the epicenter of an intense effort, making possible the first production in our country of interferon, from white blood cells, on May 28, 1981, Furrazola recalled.


“When the Cuban biotechnology industry began production of interferon, a technology very similar to that used by the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough was employed.

“But we began to develop our own elements and particularities in the technology used, seeking to improve the production process,” recalls Yaí Cruz Ruiseco, current director of CIGB imports, who worked for 16 years on the interferon production line.

Research studies conducted allowed us to develop methods based on established practice and scaling for production of the medicine in question, and thanks to this technology, we have been able to reach 99% purity in extracting the interferon molecule, which is very difficult, in addition to the fact that batches are produced with a high level of efficiency and security, she added.

The CIGB works jointly with the National Center for Biopreparations (BioCen), in the production of Interferon Alpha 2b, especially in the second stage which consists of filling containers and freeze-drying the product, to prepare the drug for distribution in its finished form.

We have always worked with those involved on the clinical and research side, depending on new applications of the drug with different patients, since, although it is mainly used to treat cancer, interferon also has antiviral properties, Cruz explained.

It is worth noting, she added, that this drug has been used in other epidemiological situations in Cuba, such as the dengue hemorrhagic fever epidemic in 1981, and in the 1990s, to treat conjunctivitis of viral origin, this time in the form of eye drops.

It is not surprising, that, given the Covid-19 situation, the CICB is working uninterruptedly to increase production and that workers like Gustavo Furrazola are proud to have participated in obtaining a drug that has helped so many, regardless of the hours of work he invested. As he says, in his own words, “in moments like this, we remember Fidel’s visionary perspective, and this becomes another reason for our commitment.”
Cuba Helps World Fight Covid-19
April 7, 2020
By David Sole
Reprinted from Fighting Words
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

Countries around the world, hard hit by the Covid-19 virus, are turning to socialist Cuba for medical assistance. These include Italy, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Suriname and Jamaica among others. Cuba has a long history of sending doctors and other medical professionals on these international missions in times of crisis. A group of 53 Cuban health care workers has set up a field hospital in the hard hit Lombardy region of Italy following their arrival on March 22.

A British cruise ship with an outbreak of Covid-19 was denied assistance by a number of Caribbean nations last month. Only Cuba allowed the MS Braemar, with 1,063 passengers and crew, to disembark on March 18 to receive medical treatment and a flight home..

When Haiti was struck with a devastating cholera epidemic in 2010 Cuba sent 1200 health workers to provide medical assistance. During the ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014 hundreds of Cuban health care professionals were in the thick of things fighting to save lives in Sierra Leone.

Even during the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 1,100 Cuban doctors and other emergency workers were on the tarmac in Cuba ready to fly into New Orleans with all their medical supplies, food and water. President George W. Bush refused to accept this generous offer while he let the people of New Orleans go without any health care, food or water for long days on end.

The United States State Department has been putting pressure on countries seeking or accepting Cuban medical aid to refuse it. In response the director general for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said: “at a time of crisis, when the northern nation is falling apart due to the negligence and greed of its government in dealing with Covid-19, the U.S. State Department criticizes nations that appeal to Cuba for medical assistance.  ‘Terrible moral decadence,’ he stressed through his official Twitter account and reaffirmed Cuba’s willingness to provide medical assistance to the most needy.”

Meanwhile Cuba’s medical workers are fully mobilized to address the Covid-19 pandemic as it reaches the island nation. One effort involves workers going door to door to identify those who have fallen ill and having them transferred to hospital. Among those neighborhood teams are students from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). These are students from around the world who are studying medicine outside of Havana under full scholarship, including a number from the United States. One of these is Ivan J. Smiley who sent the following report to the International Foundation of Community Organizations (IFCO). Smiley reported:

The past couple of days, medical students both foreign and Cuban have been going door to door looking for possible cases of coronavirus. This small group of students has hit over 1000 homes and we still have many more homes to go. There have been more confirmed cases of coronavirus in Cuba, but we’ve found those cases and have been admitting them to specialized hospitals…. I’m studying medicine in Cuba on a full-tuition scholarship and if the President [of Cuba] calls on us to serve in a matter of national security, I have no issue doing what needs to be done, nor do the other future doctors in this photo. When the community, healthcare system, and government all work together, pandemics stay under control. We’re going out so in the near future, people can choose if they want to stay home or not. The army of white coats is already in China, Jamaica, Italy, Grenada, Venezuela, Nicaragua just to name a few countries. My front today is Cuba but tomorrow U.S.A
Detroiters Demand: Allow Emergency Medical Aid from Cuba
June 2, 2020
By Jason Tschantre
Reprinted from Fighting Words
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

As quarantine-weary crowds flocked to beaches over Memorial Day weekend, scientists and health-conscious people in the United States had to face, once again, the well-founded fear that COVID-19 is far from over. Some media sources have predicted that COVID-19 could be plaguing the U.S. for years, with 60-70% of the population infected. So far, over 1.7 million across the states have already been infected, which is more than 6 times higher than the second worst-hit country, Brazil. Over 100,000 here are dead from the virus, which is more than twice as bad as the second highest death toll, in the UK. And while the well-respected Dr. Anthony Fauci recently voiced concern about reopening the economy, his boss Donald Trump ignored the danger, declined to wear a face-mask and continued to promote the usage of Hydroxychloroquine. That drug has been rejected for COVID-19 treatment due to its deadly results. The aggregate picture here is a country in catastrophe, utterly inept at handling the epidemic in spite of its status as the wealthiest country in the world.

Not every country has had such a hard time handling COVID-19. Unlike the USA and European “democratic” countries like Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland, socialist countries have handled the epidemic astonishingly well. Vietnam still has no deaths, and only a few hundred infections. China, which had the disadvantage of facing the virus first, halted the outbreak beyond its hardest-hit city, Wuhan, and flatlined its infections at just above 80,000 back in late February. Its deaths never exceeded 5000 (out of about 1.4 billion people). Both Vietnam and China succeeded by implementing serious quarantine policies effectively and early.

Even countries under severe sanctions by the U.S., namely Venezuela and Cuba, have handled the epidemic well. In Venezuela – a country the U.S. loves to malign as backwards and corrupt – only 10 people have died, and around 1200 have been infected out of 30 million inhabitants. Compare those numbers with neighboring Colombia, which has 18 times as many infections and 75 times as many deaths, in spite of having fewer than twice as many people. Another of Venezuela’s neighbors, Brazil, has one of the world’s worst outbreaks. In spite of crippling sanctions, the Venezuelan government has taken good care of its people, earning the praise of even its own right wing.

Cuba, which has been under US embargo for over 60 years, and is famously poor, still has under 2000 infections and under 100 deaths. However, Cuba’s internal numbers aren’t its most impressive stats. Cuba has sent over 2000 doctors to over 20 countries, in order to help them fight the epidemic. This has earned them a proposal for a Nobel Peace prize, backed by organizations in 40 countries, including France, Spain, Ireland, and Italy. Their drug, Interferon Alfa-2b, which is on a short list of drugs that has shown effectiveness against COVID-19, is currently being mass-produced in a joint-venture with China, and is sought by over 45 countries. Both internally and externally, Cuba’s doctors succeed because of their approach to healthcare, which stresses community ties. Cuban doctors go door-to-door, checking on every citizen, and gathering data.

Socialist countries like Cuba and China, as well as those on the path towards socialism like Venezuela, succeed because they have healthcare systems, instead of healthcare industries, like the US. They guarantee free healthcare to their people, and the government foots the bill. Cuba has the highest number of doctors per capita in the world (627 per 100,000 people), which is why they are able to send so many of their doctors to other countries, and still administer first-rate care to their own citizens. Cuba’s Biotech program (unlike the USA’s Biotech industry), was set up by Fidel Castro in the 1980’s. In addition to Interferon Alfa-2B, Cuba has developed drugs to treat cancer and diabetes, which are sought every year by people in the United States who might, without them, face amputations or death.

When viewing the success of Cuba’s healthcare system, side by side with the USA’s catastrophic failure at handling COVID-19, it isn’t hard to understand why citizens, organizations, and politicians in the U.S. are beginning to look to Cuba for help. Last week, the Minnesota state legislature took up a proposal to ask the Cuban government for medical assistance. The People’s COVID-19 Response, a national grassroots organization based in Chicago, has hosted many informative webinars about the history and effectiveness of Cuba’s healthcare system. People’s COVID-19 Response has called for Cuba’s methods to be taught and implemented in the US. Another national group, IFCO/Pastors For Peace, has launched, with the goal of lifting the embargo, and allowing Cuban medical aid into the US and Canada. In Michigan, the Moratorium NOW Coalition has launched AEMAC (Allow Emergency Medical Aid from Cuba), to pressure Governor Gretchen Whitmer to use existing Michigan laws which would allow Cuban medical workers and Cuban medicine directly into the state, in light of the health emergency facing all Michigan residents.  Black and brown residents of Detroit, Native Americans, and the prison population are all especially in need of help, and have been ignored by the US healthcare industry.

AEMAC’s Organizational Statement has openly called for Whitmer to utilize the emergency legislation to reach out to Cuba, and has been gathering endorsements from prominent individuals, doctors and community organizations. Endorsers can add their name to the list which includes the National Lawyers Guild, the National Association of Black Social Workers, the Latin America Solidarity Committee, and others. Members of the Governor Whitmers’ newly-formed Special Task Force to Investigate COVID-19 Racial Disparities have also lent their support to the movement and AEMAC is seeking to link the fledgling task force with Cuban medical expertise, in order to implement community-focused health initiatives such as contact-tracing, which are sorely missing from all US state health programs.

It’s no surprise that many US medical and political institutions have dismissed the idea of asking Cuba for help. Both major political parties in Washington are vocal enemies of the Cuban government. Worse, most people in the U.S. are woefully under-educated about the Cuban health system and its many achievements. It’s hard for people to understand how Cuba could help the US. However, as the COVID-19 catastrophe continues to smolder and infect more and more people, the need for Cuban help will only increase. The US healthcare industry shows no indication that it will improve. Groups like AEMAC only expect their organizational power to grow in the coming weeks and months.
Editorial: “If You Believe That, I Have a Bridge in Brooklyn to Sell You”
July 12, 2020
By Fighting Words Staff
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

George C. Parker (1860-1936) became famous in New York City as the great con-man who repeatedly sold the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Madison Square Garden to gullible victims.

So when the New York Times (June 26, 2020) printed the “story” about the Russian government paying bounties to the Afghan Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers still in Afghanistan one had to wonder if the Times was also going to try to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to its readers.

The Times cited “unnamed sources” and the following media barrage has continued to be vague about documentation. Even top U.S. generals expressed skepticism about the story.

The first question that should be asked, before you “buy the bridge,” is what are U.S. troops doing in that distant land 19 years after the invasion of 2001? It was just following the destruction of the World Trade Center by Saudi operatives (not Afghani). And, as invaders, they ought to expect to be shot at and have been shot at since day one. The United States isn’t the first imperialist power to try to take control of Afghanistan. The First Anglo-Afghan War dates back to 1841.

The Pentagon reports that only 6 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of 2020. If the report on millions of dollars in Russian bounties were true, they certainly aren’t getting much for their money. And what, for heaven’s sake, would Russia get out of such a program?

It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves about how the U.S. paid many billions of dollars in weapons, supplies and cash to create and build up the Taliban in Afghanistan when socialists took over the Afghan government in April 1978. This prompted the largest CIA covert operation to overturn that revolution. In 1979 the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan asked for their neighbor, the Soviet Union, to help them against the CIA-Taliban alliance. Soviet troops and supplies streamed in and the U.S. increased their  financing of subversion.and the killing of Soviet troops. Ten years later the Soviet Union withdrew and three years after that the socialist government was overturned.

We should never forget how public opinion was manipulated by the Pentagon/media collusion using the “Gulf of Tonkin attack” which served to push the U.S. deeper into the Vietnam War. Of course there never was a Gulf of Tonkin attack.

The capitalist media also played a willing role in selling the “Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” story to justify the invasion of Iraq. So what if weapons of mass destruction were never found after the war and occupation of that oil rich country.

And here we are again. The Russian bounty story is tailor made to do a job that a large section of the U.S. ruling class desires – to deepen hostility to Russia and weaken the Trump administration. But, just like the impeachment over Ukraine issues, this section of the ruling class doesn’t want to further rouse up the broad masses of the population. Trump can be, and should be, blasted for his attacks on African Americans, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, workers and the poor. But that might get out of hand and result in protests even bigger than “Black Lives Matter” protests that could challenge the entire rule of the capitalist class.

There is no reason to believe the Russian bounty story. History and experience should be causing alarm bells to go off as a warning. But if you still do believe it, we’d like to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge at a discount.
Coronavirus: Trump Attacks Dr. Fauci and Public Health
July 25, 2020

Anthony “Dr. Truth” Fauci’ | Cartoon: J.D. Crowe,

By Chris Fry
Reprinted from Fighting Words
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

On April 22, 1857, the New York Daily Tribune, the newspaper at the time with the largest circulation in the world, published an article titled “Condition of Factory Laborers.” It was written by the paper’s foreign correspondent in London, Karl Marx.

Marx opened his article how wealthy textile mill owners forced changes to the original 1856 “Factory Act”:

During the Session of 1856, a Factory Act was smuggled through Parliament by which the “radical” mill-lords first altered the law in regard to the fencing of mill-gearing and machinery, and secondly introduced the principle of arbitration in the disputes between masters and men. The one law purported to provide for the better protection of the limbs and lives of the factory laborers; the other to place that protection under cheap courts of equity. In fact, the latter law intended to cheat the factory laborer out of law, and the former to cheat him out of his limbs.

The Factory Act enabled a group of “factory inspectors” to try to enforce the provisions of the Factory Act that were designed to stop the mill owners from “overworking” workers, particularly child workers. Many of these inspectors described their experiences to Marx:

“overworking, in violation of the factory act, is on the increase”

Overworking in the terms of that act means employing young persons for a longer time per day than is legally allowed. This is done in various ways: By beginning work before six in the morning, by not stopping it at six in the evening, and by abridging the terms the law has fixed for the meals of the workpeople. There are three periods of the day when the steam-engine starts, viz., when the work begins in the morning, and when it is resumed after the two meals of breakfast and dinner; and there are three periods when it stops, viz., at the beginning of each meal-time and when the work ceases in the evening. Thus there are six opportunities when five minutes may be stolen, or half an hour each day. Five minutes a day’s increased work, multiplied by weeks, is equal to two and one-half days of produce in the year; but the fraudulent overworking goes far beyond that amount. I quote Mr. Leonard Horner, the Factory Inspector for Lancashire:

“The profit to be gained by such illegal overworking appears to be a greater temptation than the manufacturers can resist. They calculate upon the chance of not being found out; and when they see the small amount of penalty and costs which those who have been convicted have had to pay, they find that if they should be detected there will still be a considerable balance of gain.”[e]

Beside the trifling fines imposed by the factory act, the mill-owners took good care to have it so framed, that the greatest facilities are afforded for passing by its enactments, and as the inspectors unanimously declare, “almost insuperable difficulties prevent them from putting an effective stop to the illegal working.” They also concur in stigmatizing the willful commission of fraud by persons of large property; the mean contrivances to which they have recourse in order to elude detection; and the base intrigues they set on foot against the inspectors and sub-inspectors entrusted with the protection of the factory slave. In bringing forward a charge of overworking, the inspectors, sub-inspectors, or their constables, must be prepared to swear that the men have been employed at illegal hours. Now, suppose they appear after 6 o’clock in the evening. The manufacturing machinery is immediately stopped, and although the people could be there for no other purpose than attending upon it, the charge cannot be sustained, by reason of the wording of the act. The workmen are then sent out of the mill in great haste, often more doors than one facilitating their rapid dispersion. In some instances, the gas was extinguished, when the sub-inspectors entered the room, leaving them suddenly in darkness among complicated machinery. In those places which have acquired a notoriety for overworking, there is an organized plan for giving notice at the mills of the approach of an inspector, servants at railway stations and at inns being employed for this purpose.

These vampyres (sic), fattening on the life-blood of the young working generation of their own country; are they not the fit companions of the British opium smugglers? (a reference to the two British Opium Wars against China – Chris Fry)

War against Public Health by Boss Trump and Wall Street

The time gap of 163 years and the distance of thousands of ocean miles has not changed one whit the disdain of the billionaire ruling class and their public face, Boss Trump, of the lives and health of the millions of working and oppressed people in the U.S. and around the globe in the face of this terrible COVID-19 pandemic. And their view of the public health workers and officials matches that of the English textile mill owners long ago – a troublesome obstruction to their profits.

This virus has already killed more than 144,000 in the U.S., 1,100 in just one day on July 21, more than 616,000 globally. It threatens millions with starvation and death, while the corporate bigwigs and wizards of high finance, led by the gangster Donald Trump, have done everything they can to muzzle and delegitimize the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the other public health agency’s workers and officials, led by Doctor Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

On July 14, USA Today published an article from Trump’s chief trade advisor Peter Navarro, opening with:

Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.

Later the paper was forced to admit that Navarro’s piece was so filled with lies and distortions that the paper was forced to state:

However, several of Navarro’s criticisms of Fauci — on the China travel restrictions, the risk from the coronavirus and falling mortality rates — were misleading or lacked context. As such, Navarro’s op-ed did not meet USA TODAY’s fact-checking standards.

Back on May 20, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported that:

The White House blocked the release of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that provided detailed science-based recommendations on how to reopen up communities safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump’s minions told the CDC that the report “would never see the light of day.” Later they partially reversed that decision, “permitting” the agency to publish a watered-down” report.

On July 13, Trump himself reposted a tweet from right-wing former game show host Chuck Woolery, which certainly makes clear Trump’s and his Wall Street backers’ attitude toward the public health agencies:

Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.

That same day, ABC News reported that:

The White House has taken the unusual step of attacking a member of its coronavirus task force, by providing a document to several media outlets that contains a list of comments made by Dr. Anthony Fauci in an effort to damage his reputation.

The comments were first reported by the Washington Post.

The news of the document comes as two senior level White House sources tell ABC News that Fauci has at times been referred to among aides to President Donald Trump as “Dr. Gloom and Doom.”

The document, obtained by ABC News from sources who confirmed the effort to discredit Fauci, says in part that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.”

On July 14, Trump’s minions ordered hospitals nationwide to cease sending their data on COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU cases, ventilator usage and so on, to the CDC. Instead, they were to go to the White House controlled Department of Health and Human Services (HHC). This move was designed to allow Trump and his servile advisors to hide the terrible numbers from the virus.

Why these attacks on Fauci and the CDC?

The simple answer to this is quite clear – to Trump and Wall Street, science, particularly public health science, must give way to their insatiable hunger for profits.

It is true that since the pandemic began, the Federal Reserve has turned on the spigots of huge low-interest loans for corporations, even those in or near bankruptcy. A July 20th New York Times article reported that:

Through late June, giant U.S. companies had borrowed roughly $850 billion in the bond markets this year, double the pace from last year. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase anticipate that investment-grade companies will borrow roughly $1.6 trillion from investors by the time 2020 is over.

It has turned conventional wisdom on its head.

“During a standard recession, and that would include the global financial crisis as well, you would expect to see corporate debt as a percentage of G.D.P. begin to come down,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, a consulting firm.

The increased borrowing can be traced, in part, to the actions of the Federal Reserve. The central bank slashed interest rates back to rock-bottom levels, making it attractive for businesses to refinance and borrow more to build a cushion of cash. But an even bigger factor was the Fed’s announcement — in the heat of March’s market upheaval — that it would buy corporate bonds.

Investors have been so emboldened by the Fed’s actions that even companies viewed as especially risky are having no problem borrowing heavily despite a deeply uncertain economic recovery marked by spiking infections and rolled-back reopenings.

“Now they have, like, a second life,” said Steven Chylinski, head of fixed-income trading at Eagle Asset Management in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The borrowing has been a boon for Wall Street, providing a rare bright spot for banks that are setting aside billions of dollars in case consumers and corporations become unable to cover their debts. Banks collect hefty fees for squiring these bonds to market, and quarterly earnings reports last week showed remarkable increases in investment banking revenue over a year earlier, including 91 percent at JPMorgan Chase. Citigroup said its underwriting business for investment-grade bonds was up 131 percent from the same time last year. Goldman Sachs reported record numbers for debt underwriting, “reflecting a significant increase in industry wide volumes.”

Hedge fund manager Dinakar Singh, whose billion dollar holdings grew by more than 25 per cent since the beginning of the year, is more than willing to give credit for his huge profits where credit is due:

“We simply never believed ‘what happens in China stays in China,'” Singh wrote in a letter to investors last week that was seen by Reuters. “Trump talking down COVID-19 risk gave investors an incredible gift — it kept markets resilient much longer than they should have, and enabled us to ensure our portfolio was sensibly positioned.”

Of course, all of this corporate debt is a huge “bubble” ready to burst at any time that investors realize that banks and companies will be unable to pay off this huge debt, particularly since their workers are forced to stay home and cannot be exploited to generate corporate profits. Trump’s drive to “reopen the economy” has exploded massive new COVID-19 outbreaks around the country.

What is to be done?

In his excellent book on the Russian Revolution, Walter Rodney provides in a nutshell a seemingly contradictory yet nevertheless illuminating description of the goal of the revolutionary socialists:

They (the Bolsheviks) set up a proletarian dictatorship or a regime of workers’ democracy.

How can a government be both a dictatorship and a democracy? In the U.S. and other capitalist “democracies”, it is the capitalist class of bankers and corporation owners who manage their competing interests through their minions in the government. It is their “democracy” based on their dictatorship rooted in their vast holdings of private property.

Rather than the government making decisions to further the needs of the people, it is instead devoted to  pave the way for the smooth flow of profits into the coffers of the billionaire class, while at the same time, through the armed might of their police and military, ensure with threats and actual brutal force that the workers and oppressed communities and countries toil endlessly to amass huge profits for these “vampires”.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a natural force that has placed the capitalist system and its Trump regime in a crisis. Trump and his Wall Street backers are desperate to force the workers back to work and the children back to school, no matter the human cost.

But with a revolutionary socialist country like Cuba or China or North Korea or Vietnam, the structure and role of the government is different. With the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, the governments must answer to the needs of the workers and oppressed nations within, not the banks and corporations, which are owned by the people, not the billionaires. Thus, the economy can be operated by an overall plan to meet the needs of the people, with input from the people as to its content.

That is why these countries have been able to manage this COVID-19 pandemic with far more success than the Trump regime. They have been able to modify their planning to quickly amass resources and mobilize the people to detect sick individuals, isolate and care for them, and track their social contacts. Even many advanced capitalist countries have been forced to try to emulate their example.

Trump and the ruling class view these countries with hostility, and their own public health agencies with suspicion. Fauci and the CDC’s proposals for protecting the public are viewed as too much “planning”, interfering with the drive to force the workers back to work and the children back to school despite the risk.

The pandemic has thrown more than 50 million people out of work. Most have lost their health benefits. The $600 supplementary unemployment payments are set to expire at the end of July. Mass evictions and foreclosures are on the horizons. Food relief lines are growing larger every day. All of this portends a massive social upheaval, which will be on top of the extremely powerful Black Lives Matter movement.

It is the task of revolutionary socialist to provide a path for those engaged in the struggle to not only deal with this crisis, but to utilize that struggle to create a society and a government where the real power is placed in the hands of the working class and the oppressed communities, so that meeting human needs rather than amassing profits is the goal of every decision.
Invader or Invaded

October 16, 2019
Reprinted from Fighting Words
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña (1782 – 1831), Mexican revolutionary leader and President

By Cassandra Devereaux

Vicente Guerrero was the first descendant of African slaves to serve as a North American head of state. He was a general in the war for Mexico’s independence from the Spanish Empire, and was Mexico’s second President. Under his administration, he issued a decree abolishing slavery throught Mexico’s territories. The idea of ending their use of chattel slavery did not sit well with everybody. In late 1835, one of the northern territories declared independence and through force of arms, successfully seceded from Mexico several months later, and continued to use slave labor. In 1845, this former Mexican territory was annexed into the United States as the State of Texas. It was in El Paso, a city on the border of Texas and its former national home of Mexico that a white 21 year old killer named Patrick Crusius came with assault rifles and body armor. He carefully targeted Latinx shoppers and murdered 22 individuals, wounding dozens more. The shooter, a white man, left behind a manifesto which repeatedly referred to the Latinx population as “invaders”.

“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

He acknowledges the irony of a white man in a nation founded on indiginous genocide murdering Latinx people as invaders, but frames this as a justification rather than a contradiction:

 “The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what was.”

There is an aphorism in the U.S. Latinx population: “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” Nevertheless, the highest halls of power in this brutal empire echo with  language referring to Latinx people as invaders. The President himself said,

“We’re on track for a million people rushing our borders…People hate the word invasion but that’s what it is.”

Fox News has played a large role in furthering this deceitful reasoning. The cable network that both follows and feeds Trump’s rhetoric has helped create a vicious circle of anti-migrant fear. A Media Matters for America report dated 8/6/19 notes that Fox had referred to migrants as invaders over 70 times since the year began. Per this report, it had aired clips of Trump referring to a migrant invasion over 55 times, and Tucker Carlson, Brian Kilmeade and Laura Ingraham alone has pushed the rhetoric 21 times. The same day this report came out, Ingraham and her guests doubled down on the use of the word ‘invasion’ as the chyron argued that to decry the use of racist invasion rhetoric was “stirring up hate”. On Fox & Friends, a program to which Trump sometimes spontaneously calls in, co-host Brian Kilmeade, said:

“If you use the term an “invasion,” that’s not anti-Hispanic. It’s a fact.”

It’s worth noting that Fox personality Geraldo Rivera called for a police presence wherever people gather. Sean Hannety, in a mind boggling display of conservative reasoning, called for retired police and military to volunteer so they wouldn’t have to be paid. The right wing’s solutions to such problems usually involve more men with guns protecting property.

This wave of Fox News personalities doubling down as their words bore bitter fruit came a mere three days after the terrorist issued his manifesto using the exact logic and in the very language that Trump has been using and Fox broadcasting. Their words were his justification for mass slaughter. Also on August 6, Trump invoked Fox as a defense and counterattack when he (and Fox’s Kilmeade) took personally a call from Barack Obama to reject racist rhetoric. The hand-in-glove union of billionaire president and corporate cable juggernaut could not be clearer.

It would be a mistake, however, to consider similar complicity  by corporate entities and moneyed organizations to begin and end with Fox. Despite years of promises to curtail extremism on its platform, Facebook published over 2000  Trump campaign ads using the incendiary comparison of migrants to invaders.Other right wing organizations and media outlets have been actively cashing in on stoking xenophobic fear of an invasion. If, as seems likely, these shameless opportunists follow Fox’s lead to double down on their rhetoric, they will be drenched in blood already spilled and a rising tide to come. Because the El Paso white supremacist mass murderer was not unique.

It was exactly a week earlier that 19-year-old Santino William Legan opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. While his motives were unclear, immediately prior to his act of terror, he posted on his social media a slur expressing disdain for biracial individuals whose heritage includes but is not limited to Latinx peoples. He also advised people to read Might Is Right. Written under the nom de plume “Ragnar Redbeard,” this 19th century text is an extraordinarily popular work among white hate advocates that argues that the weak are to be hated, women are the property of men, and that Anglo-Saxons are the superior “race”. It is also deeply antisemitic.

It would be irresponsible not to talk about Connor Betts. On the very day of the El Paso shooting, Connor Betts killed 9 and wounded dozens more in Dayton Ohio. Betts’ social media reveals activity expressing sympathy for left of center politics from the Social Democrat to the antifascist.. He shared a video denouncing Trump’s border policy and talked about socialism.  At the same time, he left no manifesto nor made a political statement before killing. He chose mostly Black victims, and killed his sibling who had a Black boyfriend and whose friends identify as a transman. He had once been suspended from school for composing a list on the boys’ room wall of girls he wanted to rape and kill. Ex girlfriends describe an obsession with massacres and murder.

It would be incorrect to suggest that the far right’s talk of invaders are the singular ingredient that causes every shooting to happen as it does not seem to be the case here. The issue of mass murder is deeper, and its systemic. However, we know that the vast majority of political mass murder in the U.S. today is committed by white men expressing far right motives. We know that every politically motivated mass shooting in the United States in 2018 was done in the service of far right ideology.

In Crusius’ manifesto which he published on the unsavory message board 8chan before entering the El Paso Walmart, he expressed support for the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto, also published on 8chan. The Christchurch massacre in March of this year saw Brenton Tarrant enter a mosque in the New Zealand town and shoot the Muslims gathered for prayer. 51 died and 49 were injured. He wore a camera and streamed the mass slaughter, joking and invoking memes such as “subscribe to PewDiePie,” a reference to an immensely popular YouTuber from Scandinavia who spits racial slurs, flirts with ‘ironic’ fascism, and once paid for two men in India to make and hold up a sign that read, “DEATH TO ALL JEWS”. The manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” also was laden with 8chan memes, and those that gather on those boards under the cloak of anonymity were gleeful at the shooting, gushing about the “high score” set by Tarrant’s body count. But for all the memes in his manifesto, there was an ideological core. He was worried about a low birth rate among white people, leading to a “white genocide”. His explanation? Higher birth rates among oppressed nationalities, and their migration into the colonizer nations, which he expressed in this line:

“We are experiencing an invasion on a level never seen before in history.”

Identical invasion rhetoric from another settler colonial state born of the British Empire on the genocide of indigenous peoples. With great deliberation Crusius denied that he was inspired by Trump in his manifesto out of fear it would harm the president politically:

“My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news.”[1]

It’s interesting that he used Trump’s “fake news” mantra in the same paragraph he assiduously sought to provide cover for the man. On his twitter profile, he ‘liked’ multiple Presidential posts calling the media “fake news”. He also parroted Trump’s famous ‘nasty woman’ appellatio used originally in the 2016 campaign. Also, he ‘liked’ a photo of multiple firearms arranged to spell out “Trump”, and frequently retweeted stories favoring Trump. He seems to have been deeply influenced by the President, whatever political views might have been prior to 2016. This he held in common with his predecessor in terror in New Zealand. In his manifesto, Tarrant wrote that while he didn’t support him as a policy maker, he admired Trump as ‘a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.’

Both white supremacist terrorists admired Trump. both men’s manifestos talked about migrants as invaders, expressed the fear that they would lead to the destruction of “the white race”, and expressed their hope of sparking civil wars. Tarrant even hoped that his actions in New Zealand would lead to a civil war not only there but also in the United States. We can understand both of these massacres as examples of “propaganda of the deed”. This term originates in 19th century anarchism. Willem van Spronsen’s action attacking ICE vehicles used to transport migrants is an example of this concept in action. But while he utilized the method in attacking vehicular infrastructure used to detain and deport innocents by a ruthless state mechanism Tarrant and Crusius utilized it in spilling the blood of innocents. Spronsen’s goal was to protect while Tarrant and Crusuis’ goal was to terrorize and oppress.

Another term, one has been used frequently of late is, “stochastic terrrorism”. In 2011, an anonymous blogger defined it this way:

“Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.  In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.”

The stochastic terrorist doesn’t need to pick up a gun or build a bomb. Their weapon is their ability to influence and inspire. They throw incendiary rhetoric into a volatile environment inhabited by extremists, fully understanding that it will inspire an act of terror. Trump, and his gang at Fox fit this description. During the 2016 campaign, Trump talked about “second amendment people” being the only ones who could “do something about” a problem, he understood what he was saying, who would hear it, and what it might inspire. And indeed, “second amendment people” have been extremely active in the years since. When Trump, or Ingraham, or Carlson, or any number of far right voices invoke “invasion” they’re doing something very specific. Likening the presence of Latinx people to an invasion is an invocation of the language of military aggression. There are few appropriate responses to military aggression; all are militant, most are violently so. This notion frames those with privilege as being in a position of self-defense, and self defense justifies violence.

It is inevitable that some who bear hatred for the targeted nationalities and do not think critically about this notion of migrant as invader will choose the response that would be appropriate for people defending their homes from actual invading armies. The irony that those vilified in this way are fleeing conditions brought about by generations of the United States’ imperialist aggressions. They are not the invader but the invaded. Our responsibility is not to turn them back, put them in camps, or kill them. Our responsibility begins with giving whole-hearted support to the victims of U.S. imperialism’s pillaging of Latin America’s resources.

As Capitalism approaches catastrophic failure and climate change bears down on us without pity, the bourgeoisie fears the destruction of the status quo. They fear the consequences for their lives and legacies of exploitation and violence. They fear chickens coming home to roost. In the people coming for sanctuary bearing generational scars of their crimes, they see exactly that, and they’re terrified. They use elements of the U.S. working class which are right leaning as a line of defense.

We have been taught from youth to revere our country and rulers. We are taught on the very first day of our schooling to stand, face the flag, put our hand over our hearts, and intone our fealty in unison. This runs so deep that some will fracture a child’s skull for the sin of not removing his hat while standing for the National Anthem, and justify it afterward. This chauvinistic nationalism of the U.S. empire breeds unthinking violence, and this is nowhere more visible than in military recruitment. Our military sponsors movies and TV that portrays them in a positive light. They pay sports organizations to lionize them in the form of tributes to their soldiers. They have been publishing free video games since 2002 that allows one to play as a soldier in acts of American adventurism, spinning a view of the U.S. military as heroic and righteous.

By extension this portrays our victims as villainous, which helps the invasion narrative to go down more easily when those brutalized by U.S. imperialism in the global south show up asking for mercy. We are taught a distorted history, inspiring fury at attempts to correct the story. The organizer of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville understood this fury. The choice to center the event on the park that had been renamed from Robert E. Lee to Emancipation Park, about the Lee statue that many were trying to remove, is illustrative of this fury. They invoked the fear of an insidious element undermining ‘their’ country from within.

The U.S. working class has been gaslighted nearly from the cradle to do the bidding of the bourgeoisie and uphold its armed agents via an almost religious reverence for this inhuman, criminal state. Many white workers are primed to place their bodies between the bourgeoisie and revolutionary justice, seeing it as a matter of honor. And when they are told those seeking sanctuary are invaders, it is seen through that lens. This is not a mental illness, as many suggest. It’s a matter of bad information, bad ideology, a culture of violent jingoism, and a lack of willingness to examine their ideas critically.

As the empire deteriorates, people are beginning to understand that things are very wrong. Some of these people embrace conspiracy theories…some merely harmless like flat earthers. Other conspiracies are dangerous, such as the anti-vaxxer movement that directs parents into refusing to get their children vaccinated, leading to  measles outbreaks. More of these conspiracy theories are virulently disturbed, bigoted, and violent, such as the vile Qanon, which arose on that breeding ground of reaction 8chan. Aside from these conspiracies, people’s politics are shifting from the feckless center as the need for change becomes ever apparent. It is vital that we reach people first, before the far right does. If we succeed, we can raise their class consciousness and inspire them to join us in building a just world. If we fail and the forces of reaction have the first word, they may have a new recruit to uphold the rule of the merciless dictatorship of capital to ravage the global south and create new generations of refugees.

In the wake of the First World War, William Butler Yeats wrote a poem called The Second Coming, a response to the explosion in the world of incomprehensible violence:

“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere 

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst 

Are full of passionate intensity.”

We can see this passionate intensity everywhere we look. It’s an intensity that assaults innocents, cages those who plead for mercy, leaves children weeping, or seizing on the ground with a fractured skull, bleeding from the ears for not taking off his hat for a song. It chants its vile slogans in rooms full of flags to a braggadocios president who is exporting misery in the form of economic sanctions, military action, and arms sales. Cruelty is surging, and flaring across the culture.

Those who are fighting the bourgeois oppressors to birth a compassionate world… we are the “best” and therefore, we dare not lack conviction. Things are getting worse, more violent, more cruel at a staggering rate. A week’s worth of news can be enough to make us feel beat down and defeated. But we have each other, we have theory and example from revolutions of the past, solidarity from around the globe,and ingenuity and determination to win. We must organize our class, and join in common purpose in the name of mercy and justice. We will open the cages, uplift the downtrodden, clear away the poison choking us. We will save the invaded and will invade no more. Brick by brick, we will build a new world, working shoulder to shoulder in common purpose with the workers and oppressed peoples of the world.This is our moment to start.

U.S. Imperialism and the Working Class
February 15, 2020
By Randi Nord
Reprinted from Fighting Words
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

The following talk was presented to over 500 people gathered in Detroit at an annual celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Randi Nord, editor of Geopolitics Alert delivered this message on January 20, 2020 at the Historic St. Matthew’s and St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church.

Many people don’t realize this, but the United States is a massive empire.

In the decades following World War II, Washington strategically replaced the British Empire as the world’s violent right-wing imperial force. This comes at the expense of innocent people just like you and me in countries like Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Jordan, and Libya. In Latin America stretching from Chile to Cuba and Mexico. In Asian countries like Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. And even in Europe.

Throughout every corner of the globe, people are denied their God-given rights to political self-determination, economic freedom, and basic human dignity so US capital can expand its empire. Trade deals like NAFTA, the TPP, and whatever Trump’s coming up with seek only to benefit the ruling class while leaving us workers fighting each other for scraps.

We hear a lot about immigration, borders, and walls, but make no mistake, there are no borders in the chronic expansion of US capital interests.

This global pursuit of capital also comes at the expense of the working class here at home.

For starters, the US empire is heavily subsidized by our tax dollars against our will. Every week, at least a quarter of your paycheck is seized by the US government to fund this war machine. We know all too well that money doesn’t go to food programs, healthcare, schools, infrastructure, jobs, or anything to benefit the needs of the people. It goes to maintaining the empire and subsidizing US weapons manufacturers so they can kill and infringe on the rights of people like you and me around the world to the tune of over one trillion dollars each year.

In turn, these weapons we fund to expand the US capital empire abroad are then turned on us here at home. Sometimes when we dare step out of line in cases like Standing Rock or Ferguson. Other times, for no reason at all other than existing.

The empire is extremely united against the working class. Not only do police departments receive surplus military and surveillance equipment, but they also routinely travel to occupied Palestine to train with the Israeli Occupation Forces and learn their genocidal tactics to use against us here at home.

It’s also worth mentioning that the United States military is the world’s number one polluter. Drone strikes on civilian homes in Yemen and aircraft carriers floating around the South China Sea 24/7 are absolutely not eco-friendly.

We see this destruction literally in our own backyards with the pollution of our fresh water sources with PFAS and other military runoff chemicals. And I have no doubt that the water problem is much worse than we’re led to believe.

The people of Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Venezuela, Mexico, and each of the countless countries hosting US military bases are not our enemies. This is why we must oppose the empire at every turn, whether in Iran, Cuba, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, or China.

Not only for the sake of people around the world, but for us here at home and the future of the world.
Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese Revolution
October 3, 2019
By Chris Fry
Editor of Fighting Words
Journal of the Communist Workers League (CWL)

October 1 marks the 70th anniversary of the announcement by Mao Zedong, the leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), of the victory of the Chinese Revolution in 1949. This culminated the decades-long struggle by the CPC and the Red Army against a terribly oppressive landlord-dominated social and economic system backed by Western Imperialism.

The revolution marked the end of a “century of humiliation” that the people of China endured, beginning with the two infamous “Opium Wars” of 1839 and 1856 waged by the “free market” British, aided by the French and the U.S., which not only addicted millions of people, but also destroyed the craft industry in China and burdened the poor peasants with crushing taxes for the Chinese Qing monarchy to  pay “reparations” for losing these outrageous wars.

In the aftermath of the heroic but failed Boxer rebellion directed against Western domination of China, European and U.S. forces exacted a wave of terrible retribution:

One newspaper called the aftermath of the siege a “carnival of ancient loot”, and others called it “an orgy of looting” by soldiers, civilians and missionaries. These characterizations called to mind the sacking of the Summer Palace in 1860. Each nationality accused the others of being the worst looters. An American diplomat, Herbert G. Squiers, filled several railroad cars with loot and artifacts. The British Legation held loot auctions every afternoon and proclaimed, “Looting on the part of British troops was carried out in the most orderly manner.” However, one British officer noted, “It is one of the unwritten laws of war that a city which does not surrender at the last and is taken by storm is looted.” For the rest of 1900–1901, the British held loot auctions every day except Sunday in front of the main-gate to the British Legation. Many foreigners, including Sir Claude Maxwell MacDonald and Lady Ethel MacDonald and George Ernest Morrison of The Times, were active bidders among the crowd. Many of these looted items ended up in Europe. The Catholic Beitang or North Cathedral was a “salesroom for stolen property.” The American commander General Adna Chaffee banned looting by American soldiers, but the ban was ineffectual.

The Republic of China and the Civil War

After massive peasant rebellions as well as worker and student struggles, the Qing monarchy, the last of more than 2000 years of dynastic rule, was overturned in 1911 by a bourgeois democratic revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. On January 1, 1912, Sun declared the formation of the Chinese Republic, and formed the Kuomintang Nationalist Party (KMT). Sun sought help from the Second International in 1915 to help establish socialism in China to develop the country, but as nearly all the European social democratic parties betrayed all principles by supporting their countries’ ruling classes in World War I, no help was forthcoming.

China joined the Allies in World War I, but at the end of the war, the Western imperialists “gave” the German-controlled Chinese province of Shandong to Japan rather than back to China. This sparked huge demonstrations in many cities on May 4, 1919 and created the “May 4th” youth movement, many of whom were attracted to Communism after the success of the Russian Revolution. Sun invited the newly formed Communist Party of China (CPC) to join the KMT.

Sun died in early in 1925, and the KMT split into two factions. One was supported by the rich landlord class and Western imperialists and was led by Chiang Kai-shek. The other was the working-class CPC. In April 1927, Chiang launched an all-out attack and massacre of the CPC starting in Shanghai. Within 20 days, more than 10,000 CPC members were arrested and executed. Within three years, 300,000 were killed, all to the applause of the Western powers. This was the beginning of the decades-long civil war in China.

With the CPC decimated in China’s cities, emerging leaders of the party including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai formed and led the Chinese Red Army, which would become the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). Encircled by Chiang’s KMT army in the southeast region, in 1934 the Red Army broke out of these sieges and set forth on the famous year-long Long March, some 8,000 miles to the northeast enclave of Shaanxi. Under relentless attack, only a tiny fraction of the Red Army survived the journey. Mao himself stressed its importance when he wrote:

The Long March is a manifesto. It has proclaimed to the world that the Red Army is an army of heroes, while the imperialists and their running dogs, Chiang Kai-shek and his like, are impotent. It has proclaimed their utter failure to encircle, pursue, obstruct and intercept us. The Long March is also a propaganda force. It has announced to some 200 million people in eleven provinces that the road of the Red Army is their only road to liberation.

In Shaanxi the Red Army was able to rebuild their forces. Retaining the working-class character of the CPC, Mao stressed the importance of developing disciplined relations with the surrounding peasantry:

In addition, policies ordered by Mao for all soldiers to follow, the Eight Points of Attention, instructed the army to avoid harm to or disrespect for the peasants, in spite of the desperate need for food and supplies. This policy won support for the Communists among the rural peasants.

After invading Manchuria in 1931, in 1937, the Japanese Empire invaded China, slaughtering millions of people. The CPC and the KMT formed an alliance to fight Japan, but Chiang’s forces still attacked the Red Army during the war.

At the end of the war, the KMT military forces, equipped by U.S. imperialism, had four times the number of soldiers as the Red Army. But just as the Paris Commune drew the support of French soldiers, just as the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution attracted the support of thousands of the Tsar’s peasant soldiers, because of their strong relations with the peasants, tens of thousands of Kuomintang soldiers switched sides and joined the Red Army. The KMT was swept off the mainland, where, after slaughtering more than 10,000 of the native inhabitants, Chiang settled on Taiwan, protected by the U.S. Navy.

Victory of the Chinese Revolution and the Peoples Republic of China

The last 70 years has seen the most populous country on earth transformed from a semi-feudal, impoverished, overwhelmingly peasant country wracked by an endless series of famines, floods, wars and imperialist overlords to a modern industrial and economic powerhouse, with the world’s second largest economy, while maintaining its workers state foundation.

Of course, with decades of imperialist isolation, this only happened after tremendous earth-shaking internal struggles, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. In 1978, China’s leadership decided to open the country to “controlled” penetration by imperialist corporations and allowed an internal capitalist class to develop. Sweatshops abounded throughout the country, planning was sharply reduced, and millions of workers suffered terrible exploitation. But as the workers endured all of this, a vast and powerful industrial and technical infrastructure was created.

More recently, workers wages have sharply risen. The poverty rate has declined more quickly than any other country. China leads the world in many technical and industrial areas. It has ten times the computer network 5G sites as the U.S. Central planning has been stepped up and state-owned industries have taken center stage. It has landed a space vessel on the far side of the moon.

During the Mao era, the PRC provided strong support to the national liberation struggles in both Korea and Vietnam. Today China, unlike the U.S., is offering “no-string” economic assistance to developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

For decades U.S. imperialism counted on capitalist penetration to destroy socialism in China. Those pipedreams have gone up in smoke. Now the Trump regime hopes to destroy China with sanctions and a trade war, along with a constant parade of warships off China’s coast. This too will fail.

Congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution!

Long live the Peoples Republic of China!