KING OF THE SCABS - Former UDM leader jailed for four years for stealing from miners' charity
Once a scab, always a scab - Immoral, corrupt, dishonest, cowardly, money-grabbing and selfish, all the traits necessary to fill the role - so what does it take to be King of the Scabs? Now we know. Dont actually have words for the disgust felt for this excuse for a man. Just a dirty, filthy scabbing bastard. - NOT A DINNER PARTY
Former UDM leader jailed for four years for stealing from miners' charity
A FORMER leader of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers has been jailed for four years for stealing almost £150,000 from a Notts charity which cared for elderly miners.
Neil Greatrex, 61, showed no obvious emotion as Judge John Wait described the thefts from the Nottinghamshire Miners Home charity as breaches of the highest degree of trust.
Neil Greatrex - THIEVING SCAB BASTARD
Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Wait told Greatrex – the UDM’s president between 1987 and 2009 – that he was guilty of “calculated and sophisticated” greed.
Greatrex, of Shepherd’s Lane, Stanley, near Teversal, was convicted of 14 counts of theft by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this month.
Jurors heard that the former £110,000-a-year head of the UDM had created false invoices before stealing £148,628 from charity funds to pay for improvement work on his own property and that of UDM general secretary Mick Stevens.
Judge Wait, who heard that Greatrex was earning a salary of £67,000 as long ago as 1987, told the disgraced union official: “You saw an opportunity to make personal profit at the expense of those less fortunate than yourself whose interest you had agreed as trustee to protect.
“Over the years you wanted works done at your own home and the home of your co-director – outside paving, a new kitchen, new windows and doors, many supplies of building materials. Works and materials that with the salary you were paid you could have afforded. This was calculated and dishonest greed.”
It also emerged during the sentencing hearing that Greatrex received a contribution towards the cost of his mortgage from the Mansfield-based UDM, which he helped to found in 1985.
Although Judge Wait accepted that Greatrex did not directly benefit from all of the monies stolen, he ruled that there was no mitigation for the offences.
Mr Stevens, 60, was cleared of all 14 counts of theft at the earlier trial, which heard that the union officials were both trustees of the Nottinghamshire Miners Home charity.
At the time it was reported as a moment of triumph, an early success in a campaign to suppress a communist-backed insurgency rising up against British colonial rule.
But the killing of 24 Chinese villagers by a patrol of the Scots Guards 64 years ago is one of the most controversial episodes in British imperial history - and it could soon be investigated in an official inquiry.
Next month, lawyers for the victims' families will present new evidence in a London court, claiming the villagers were murdered in cold blood and that the truth about the killings has been covered up ever since.
They say a full investigation has never been carried out into the incident, which has been described as 'Britain's My Lai', a reference to the killing of Vietnamese villagers by US forces during the Vietnam War.
Emergency: At the time of the killings, British forces were trying to quell a growing communist rebellion which mainly involved Chinese insurgents
The case centres on an incident in December 1948 at the height of the Malayan Emergency, the insurgency against British colonial rule in what is now Malaysia.
The dead were Chinese labourers working in Batang Kali, a rubber plantation north of Kuala Lumpur, but colonial authorities at the time claimed they were suspected terrorists killed while trying to escape.
That claim is likely to be challenged on May 8 when law firm Bindmans brings the lawsuit in the divisional court.
New evidence to be presented at the hearing is expected to include information gathered during a Malaysian police inquiry carried out in the 1990s.
Details from the police investigation were obtained by Ian Ward and Norma Miraflor, authors of a book about the killings, entitled Slaughter and Deception at Batang Kali.
Although a number of the Scots Guardsmen involved in the incident are still alive, the victims' families are not expected to seek criminal prosecutions.
But the solicitor leading the case, John Halford, told The Times: 'There is an overwhelming case for a proper investigation, along with an immediate apology and reparation.'
British Royal Marine holding severed heads of villagers.
At the time of the killings, British forces were trying to quell a growing communist rebellion which mainly involved Chinese insurgents.
Three British soldiers had been burnt alive by insurgents a few days before, and there were reports of 'bandit' activity in the Batang Kali area.
A 16-strong unit of Scots Guards responded on December 11, surrounding the rubber estate at Sunga Rimoh, close to the Batang Kali river.
The Chinese men were separated from women and children. One man was shot that night, the remaining 23 the next day.
A few of the bodies were mutilated, according to some reports.
The village was burnt after the women and children were taken away.
No weapons were found and the leader of the Malayan National Liberation Army, Chin Peng, has said that none of the villagers was linked to the insurgency.
The case follows legal action taken against the Foreign Office last year by a group of Kenyans who claim they were tortured during the Mau Mau uprising, which ran from 1952 to 1960.
THE 500 UNARMED VICTIMS OF MY LAI
The My Lai massacre, to which the Batang Kali killings have been compared, was one of the most notorious incidents of the Vietnam War. Up to 500 unarmed civilians were killed by U.S. soldiers during the episode in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. Most of the women were woman, children or elderly, and some of the bodies were later found to be mutilated. Details only came to light publicly in 1969, prompting widespread outrage and fuelling opposition to the war. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offences over My Lai, but only one was convicted - platoon leader Second Lieutenant William Calley. Calley was found guilty of killing 22 villagers and was initially handed a life service, but he served only three and a half years under house arrest.
The Mau Mau lawsuit, which is expected to come to court in July, led to the discovery of colonial-era documents in secret Foreign Office archives in Buckinghamshire.
The Government has begun releasing sensitive documents removed from the colonies before independence and the first batch, provided last week, included papers relating to the Malayan Emergency.
However, the files on Batang Kali are missing.
The Guardsmen were cleared by a brief investigation into Batang Kali carried out in 1949, which found the killings were 'a bona fide mistake'.
But some of those involved in the inquiry later claimed they gave false evidence to ensure the soldiers were not blamed.
A second inquiry began in 1970, only to be shelved by the incoming Tory Government.
In the same year, the People newspaper quoted one of the soldiers as saying: 'Once we started firing we seemed to go mad... I remember the water turning red with their blood.'
The incident again came under scrutiny in 1992 with a BBC documentary, but the Foreign Office insisted no fresh evidence had been uncovered to justify another inquiry.
Last September, the High Court ordered a full hearing into the case.
An image that's splashed all over the UK media. A CO19 cop taking part in a major operation that did nothing at all to end some farty little tantrum by some mid-life crisis candidate who failed his driving test.
The media helpfully points out this bobby is wearing a balaclava to hide his identity to protect him on undercover work. Clever lad obviously, I mean, its not like he is doing it just to look hard and pose for the telly or anything is it? But wait a minute... so why's he just wearing a t-shirt under his Batman utility kit? A t-shirt that shows off his very distinctively recognisable tattoos on his left arm... oops.
Incidentally, some saying these guys were SAS badged as cops. Maybe. But really, does it matter? A tooled-up prick with a gun, no legal accountability and a mandate to kill is still a tooled-up prick with a gun, no legal accountability and a mandate to kill whether he is SAS or CO19.
Armed police on our streets, deliberately obscuring their identity and with no numbers or rank and with no other means to hold them accountable. The shape of things to come? The shape of things now.
Collection of comments about Chinese people from English people (and a few yanks) on the MailOnline website....
"Every time I think I could not dislike the Chinese more - I am proved wrong. Millions of people, infesting the country, killing and torturing every animal it comes across. China is surely what hell must be like for any animal lover.
- Jane, Ipswich, 25/4/2012 13:36"
"Only in China... this nation are the cause of the African rhinos, elephants and gorillas being poached to extinction on a daily basis. Besides the crazy stuff they eat, now even lambs are being genetically modified for their greedy bellies... We should seriously boycott all Chinese products!!!!!!!!!
- Jenna, Cornwall, UK, 25/4/2012 13:37"
"Everyone must boycott buying goods from China, it's he only way to stop these horrible people who think nothing of inflicting agony on any defenceless, living creature.
- if you don't like do something about it, get caMORON out of government now, 25/4/2012 14:03"
"My God they are one sick nation as far as animals are concerned.././
- wind, In the Willows, 25/4/2012 10:34"
"In all seriousness has anyone here ever been to a chinese restaurant/take away, and not been able to recognise the texture or taste of a meat? i.e ribs... I have!
- Samara, London, 25/4/2012 17:19"
"A reason to stay away from Chinese takeaways you never know what the meat really is!
- Joe Angle, Essex Maryland USA, 25/4/2012 17:14"
"Cruelty knows no bounds where the Chinese are involved! Despicable race!
- Pete, Los Angeles, 25/4/2012 17:08"
"just hate the chinese.
- Here, There, 25/4/2012 16:54"
"These disgusting people have no concept of life other than their own. The only way to make them appreciate it is to deprive them of it. Not even animals bread for the table are treated like this and these are domesticated creatures intelligent. Just not right.
- Pass the Dynamite, London, 25/4/2012 16:51"
"My God with the exception of these few kind people I absolutely hate the Chinese. They are a disgusting nation with no concern for animal welfare whatsoever. They postulate as a world power yet their attitudes are like something from the dark ages. Please God the next earthquake will take this hell hole off into the sea.
- Jane, Ipswich, 25/4/2012 16:49"
Thats as many as I can be bothered pasting. Would that sort of openly expressedl racism be tolerated in print about any other people? I dont think the illegality of some of those genocidally inclined comments would be questioned if they were about any other group of humans.
The stories that provoked these comments are a report on a sheep that has been genetically modified to make its meat healthier to eat (a technique pioneered in Scotland of course) and ordinary Chinese people alerting Chinese animal rights activists who helped rescue dogs who were ILLEGALLY being transported for food.
Born to be grilled: Chinese scientists create genetically modified lamb with a 'good' type of fat in its meat
To paraphrase one of the quotes, "Every time I think I could not dislike the English more - I am proved wrong. Millions of people, infesting the country, believing tabloid trash and talking bigoted rubbish about everyone it comes across. England is surely what hell must be like?". - NOT A DINNER PARTY
A savaging of Scottish Labour by Galloway. And praise for the SNP - who he has always expressed the most utter contempt for. Is George about to ditch a lifetimes loyalty to Labour and the Union? Ever the opportunist, he does have a keen sense for which way the wind is blowing and as a successful populist politician it helps to know what and when to embrace that which is popular and dump that which isnt... - NOT A DINNER PARTY
George Galloway predicts Scottish Labour's 'tubes and empty jaikets' will help SNP to independence victory
Controversial politician George Galloway has predicted victory for Alex Salmond and the SNP in the independence referendum planned for autumn 2014.
Describing the current crop of Labour MSPs as ''tubes and empty jaikets'', the Respect MP said stopping the SNP's ''inch-by-inch'' campaign to break up the United Kingdom would be ''beyond them''.
Mr Galloway, who was elected Bradford West MP in a stunning by-election victory last month, hailed the ''amazing transformation'' of the SNP under Mr Salmond, the First Minister.
He said the Nationalists have ''shamed'' Scottish Labour in recent years by taking ''principled positions'' similar to Labour's before Tony Blair took over as leader.
Mr Galloway repeated his personal opposition to independence, highlighting the similarities between a ''young person in Bradford and one in Barrhead''.
But he said the SNP are now in such a dominant position, securing a 'No' vote in the independence referendum looks like ''mission impossible''.
The assessment will worry the pro-Union camp, with many political commentators believing Labour will be key to convincing Scots to vote to remain in the UK.
Writing in Holyrood magazine, Mr Galloway noted that he had unsuccessfully stood for the Scottish Parliament in last year's election.
''If I'd gone to the Scottish Parliament I would have campaigned, of course, against this inch-by-inch to independence, which I've opposed all my political life,'' he said.
''Scottish people hate the Tories but they've largely given up on the hijacked Labour Party and I'm not sure they can ever be won back.''
After praising the changes made to the SNP by Mr Salmond, he added: ''I oppose the split because I don't believe there's a difference between a young person in Bradford and one in Barrhead, but the former will be poorer if it happens.''
Meanwhile, former First Minister Henry McLeish has backed Alex Salmond's plans for a second question on the independence referendum.
The ex-Fife Labour MSP handed a huge boost to the SNP leader by insisting there is an ''overwhelming case'' for the option of more devolution short of independence being put on the ballot paper.
Mr Salmond has said he is ''open'' to the possibility, but all the main unionist parties are against it.
Writing in a magazine this week, Mr McLeish said: ''There is an overwhelming case for a second question to give real choice to the Scottish people and if, as everyone says, the 'Yes' vote should be unambigious, then so too should be the meaning of the 'No' vote.''
Kim Il Sung was the founder of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (in perpetuity), and the father of socialist Korea.
Having embarked on the road of revolution in his teens, Kim Il Sung led the Korean revolution from victory to victory until he was in his eighties. In his lifetime, he achieved the liberation of the country, built a people-centred socialist system in the DPRK, and at the same time rendered distinguished service to the development of revolution on a world scale.
That the DPRK is not only still in existence, but is advancing and flourishing based on Kim Il Sung’s legacy, under the leadership of Kim Jong Il and now the respected Kim Jong Un, is testament to the quality of Kim Il Sung’s human qualities and ability to meet the requirements of the times.
Leadership up to National Liberation
Kim Il Sung was born into a revolutionary peasant family in 1912, in the midst of the military occupation of Korea by the Japanese imperialists (1905-1945). In his early years, his family moved between Korea and China. In June 1926, he was admitted to Hwasong Uisuk School, in Huadian, China, where he organised the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU) and was acclaimed its leader on October 17 the same year. Later, while studying at the Jilin Yuwen Middle School, he reorganised the DIU into a more mass-based organisation the Anti-Imperialist Youth League on August 27, 1927, and founded the Young Communist League of Korea on August 28. By the time he was 18 year of age, he had already formed various mass organisations of the Korean people and was leading the anti-Japanese struggle.
In the autumn of 1929 he was arrested and was imprisoned until the following May. In prison, in Kim Il Sung’s words: “I analysed the situations of the nationalist and communist movements in our country and decided that the revolution should not be conducted in that way. I believed that the revolution in my country would emerge victorious only when it was undertaken on our own responsibility and by the efforts of our own people, and that all the problems arising in the revolution must be solved independently and creatively. This was the starting-point of the Juche idea, as it is known nowadays.”
Thus Kim Il Sung summed up that the revolution should be carried out on the strength of one’s own people and on one’s own responsibility instead of conducting it after obtaining someone else’s recognition or under someone else’s instructions, and that all problems arising in the revolution should be solved independently and creatively to meet one’s own situation.
On July 3, 1930, Kim Il Sung formed the first Party organisation, the Society for Rallying Comrades, which was like an embryo of the Party, or the preparation for founding a Party. Unlike many in the communist movement at that time, Kim Il Sung chose not to go to Moscow to study at the Communist University. Rather, the Comintern expressed full support in his Juche-orientated line for the Korean revolution, and pinned great hopes on his leadership.
In the key struggle which Kim Il Sung led against the occupation by Japanese imperialism, he succeeded in uniting all anti-Japanese patriotic forces, with the active involvement of the people through guerrilla warfare that put the Japanese on the run and ultimately defeated them. This armed struggle was carried through with the vanguard role of Party organisations.
Kim Il Sung said of the founding of the Anti-Japanese People's Guerrilla Army (later reorganised into the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, the KPRA) on April 25, 1932, “The aim and mission of the people’s guerrilla army is to overthrow the colonial rule of Japanese imperialism in Korea, and bring national independence and social emancipation to the Korean people.”
The people’s revolutionary government envisioned by Kim Il Sung and put into practice was a popular and democratic government that embraced not only the workers, peasants and the masses of the soldiers but also the youth and students, intellectuals, conscientious capitalists, religious people and other broad anti-Japanese forces, and represented their interests. Kim Il Sung resolved to do everything by means of self-reliance, including the production of weapons, rather than simply relying on fraternal forces such as the Soviet Union. His saying was that once a person was determined, nothing was impossible.
The anti-Japanese struggle was at this time taking place within China, to be expanded into Korea. The work of Kim Il Sung side by side with the Chinese communists was a shining example of the formation of the international anti-imperialist united front working under the banner of proletarian internationalism.
Kim Il Sung in this context formed the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland in 1936, as well as the Homeland Party Working Committee. And the following year, he put forward the slogan Let Us Inspire the People with Hopes of National Liberation by Advancing with Large Forces into the Homeland. With this guideline, the Battle of Pochonbo was organised and commanded by Kim Il Sung against the Japanese on June 4, 1937. Its significance was not in the fact that some Japanese had been killed; it was significant in that it demonstrated that the Korean nation was not dead but alive, and that it convinced the Korean people that if they fought against the Japanese imperialists they could win.
After the Sino-Japanese war broke out in July 1937, Kim Il Sung published The Tasks of Korean Communists in November of that year. He said, “Only when they [Korean communists] maintain a firm independent position in the revolutionary struggle can they formulate revolutionary lines and policies corresponding to the actual conditions in their country, safeguard and implement them thoroughly and fight to the last for their country’s revolution no matter what the difficulties and hardships.” In the face of the difficulties caused by the offensive of the Japanese occupiers, Kim Il Sung took the initiative and maintained revolutionary optimism. Under his leadership, the KPRA undertook in 1938 its “arduous march” to break the enemy’s encirclement and attack, which opened up a new phase for the defeat of Japanese imperialist aggression.
In the context of the gathering storm of the late 1930s, the growth of fascism to destroy the growing communist and workers’ movement and the aspiration that people should control their own destiny, the Japanese imperialists, prompted by their ambition to carve out a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”, extended the flames of war to Southeast Asia, even though they were still attempting to conquer China. They thus found themselves all the more isolated from within and without, driving deeper into the abyss politically, economically and militarily.
So in 1940, the two tasks presented themselves, “the final do-or-die battle and the building of new country”, an independent stand in the struggle for national liberation. Around mid-July1942, Kim Il Sung discussed with Soviet and Chinese military cadres an alliance of the armed forces of Korea, China and the Soviet Union, to be known as International Allied Forces: it was based on the principle of the independence and identity of each country and that of international solidarity and co-operation.
As Nazi Germany was defeated and Japanese imperialism was suffering defeat after defeat, Kim Il Sung, assessing how rapidly the situation was developing, in May 1945 put forward the operational policy for liberating the country by the efforts of the Korean people themselves.
Kim Il Sung said, “Korea’s liberation was the great result of the struggle of the forces of our people and the KPRA themselves in the favourable circumstances created by the Soviet forces’ destruction of the Japanese Kwantung Army.” In August, the liberation of Korea from Japanese imperialism (from 1905), was achieved. Under Kim Il Sung’s leadership, the people won back the sovereignty of the Korean nation, opening up a path for the building of a new society, with a revolutionary spirit.
Leadership from the time of National Liberation
Kim Il Sung and his fellow revolutionaries formed the Central Organising Committee of the Communist Party of North Korea and proclaimed the founding of the Party on October 10, 1945. The Workers' Party of North Korea would later emerge from the union of the Communist Party and the New Democratic Party in August 1946.
After he returned to Korea, Kim Il Sung was elected Chairman of the Provisional People's Committee of North Korea on February 8, 1946. At that time, People's Committees were present all over Korea with the aim of reuniting the country. Korea had been divided at the 38th parallel as a decision of the Moscow Conference of 1945 when the Soviet Union and the US agreed to receive the Japanese surrender and hold Korea in "trusteeship" for five years and pave the way for Korea to be handed back to the Koreans. The majority of Koreans who felt that they were quite capable of running their own affairs resented this. From 1945 to 1948, Kim Il Sung was active in leading the fight for Korean independence in the face of the brutal campaign of terror the US was waging to suppress the Korean independence movement and establish a permanent military presence in south Korea to launch its wars of aggression. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans perished or were imprisoned during this period. Fraudulent "elections" were organised to install the Syngman Rhee puppet regime in the south – all against the wishes of the Korean people.
On September 9, 1948, the DPRK with its unified central government of the Korean people was founded. This was done to guarantee the base for Korean independence, reunification and self-determination. Kim Il Sung was elected Premier. He organised the first democratic election and established the People's Assembly of North Korea where he was elected Chairman of the People's Committee of North Korea, the new central organ of state power, and set out the tasks for the period of transition to socialism. Under his leadership, the KPRA was transformed into the Korean People's Army (KPA), a regular revolutionary armed force, in February 1948. He called the Joint Plenary Meeting of the Central Committees of the Workers' Parties of North and South Korea on June 30, 1949, where he was elected Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea.
On June 25 1950, President Kim Il Sung and the Korean people were forced by the US imperialists into the Korean War. The US was overconfident about a quick victory over the nascent DPRK. Despite the US military attack across the 38th parallel at dawn June 25, 1950 which began the war, Kim Il Sung and the KPA were prepared and able to go on the counter-offensive moving steadily south. In a little over a month, the KPA liberated 90 per cent of the territory of south Korea and 92 per cent of its population.
The United States, attempting to "encircle and annihilate" the KPA units, called the troops of 15 other countries including Britain to the Korean front, as part of an infamous and illegitimate UN "police action." In response, President Kim Il Sung ordered the KPA to make a strategic and temporary retreat, thus keeping the initiative.
The KPA, taking advantage of the mountainous terrain of the country, developed tunnel warfare and employed a wide range of tactics to frustrate and weaken the enemy forces. As Supreme Commander, Kim Il Sung adapted to the ever-changing situation, ultimately leading to the defeat of the US aggressors in July 1953, after three years of bloody warfare in which an estimated four million Koreans were killed – the vast majority civilians – by military massacres, napalm attacks, carpet-bombing, germ warfare and other crimes. General Mark Clark, commander of the US/UN forces admitted in a surrender document that the KPA had emerged victorious thanks to General Kim Il Sung's command.
The US imperialists' spirit of revanchism and striving for global domination has meant that ever since the end of the Korean War, the US has refused to sign a peace treaty while it has continuously violated the Armistice Agreement. This means that technically there is still a state of war on the Korean Peninsula which requires the DPRK to expend great efforts to maintain the peace and make sure that never again will the US be able to rain death and destruction by occupying all of Korea as it attempted to do in the 1950s' war. Meanwhile, the US has maintained a brutal economic blockade, continued to garrison troops in south Korea as well as various weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons. It has committed innumerable acts of espionage, military provocations and war games which continue to the present.
In the early 1960s, when the situation worsened owing to US schemes to ignite a new war, President Kim Il Sung made sure that the US did not achieve its aim of keeping Korea vulnerable. He led the people to simultaneously push ahead with economic construction and ensure that defence-building projects were put in place while looking after the people's well-being. The military was further strengthened and modernised and defence training provided to all citizens, thus turning the whole country into a veritable fortress against foreign aggression.
On the front of international relations, far from permitting the DPRK to be isolated by the US imperialists, President Kim Il Sung did his utmost to build links with the peoples of the world on behalf of the Korean people. He met more than 70,000 foreign guests including heads of state and government and party leaders, and paid official or unofficial visits to 87 countries. In June 1994, he met former US President Jimmy Carter in Pyongyang and created favourable conditions for the opening of DPRK-US negotiations about the nuclear issue and for a north-south summit. His life-long efforts lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations with most countries of the world with the exception of the countries which committed aggression against the DPRK during the Korean War. To date, the aggressor states refuse to right historical wrongs or normalise relations on the basis of upholding the principle of the right to self-determination.
In recognition of his achievements, Kim Il Sung received more than 180 top decorations from more than 70 countries and international organisations, titles of honorary citizenship from more than 30 cities and honorary academic degrees from 20 foreign universities.
Kim Il Sung worked tirelessly for the Party and the revolution, for the country and the people, for global peace until the last moment of his life. President Kim Il Sung died on July 8, 1994.
Libyan women protest against armed militias and rebel forces in their country
The imperialist-backed Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) ‘must act immediately to investigate and prosecute abuses against the Tawargha community of black Libyans’, said Amnesty International on Thursday.
This came after another Tawargha man was tortured to death in a Misratah detention centre.
The body of 44-year-old father-of-two, Barnous Bous’a, was delivered to his family on 16 April.
It was covered with bruises and cuts, including an open wound to the back of his head.
Barnous Bous’a was a civilian who had fled his home in Kararim in western Libya during last year’s armed conflict, settling in Sirte.
After his arrest by Misratah militias while fleeing further fighting in Sirte last October, he was reportedly held at a detention facility under the control of Misratah’s Security Committee, a committee created under the Misratah local council.
Amnesty has documented more than a dozen deaths in custody at the hands of armed militias since last September, amid widespread torture of suspected Gadaffi loyalists and soldiers.
A high proportion of the victims were Tawarghas.
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said: ‘This brutal death highlights the continuing dangers to detainees in the new Libya.
‘How many more victims will die from torture until the authorities realise the gravity of the situation and deliver on their promises of investigating, prosecuting and putting an end to such crimes?
‘The leadership in Misratah is turning a blind eye to the mounting evidence of abuses committed at the hands of Misratah militias, arguing that only “individual mistakes” take place.
‘It is imperative that the NTC now reins in these militias, investigates all abuses and prosecutes those responsible, on all sides, in accordance with international law. Only then will Libya begin to turn the page on decades of systematic human rights violations.’
Amnesty added: ‘The entire population of the city of Tawargha, some 30,000 people, has suffered abuses at the hands of armed militias in revenge for their town’s perceived loyalty to the former government, and for crimes some Tawargha are accused of having committed during the siege and shelling of the neighbouring city of Misratah by Gadaffi forces.
‘Last August militias from Misratah drove out the entire population of Tawargha, looting and burning down their homes.
‘Since then, Misratah militias have been hunting down Tawarghas across Libya, snatching Tawargha men from camps for displaced people, homes, checkpoints and even hospitals.
‘Those abducted have been brought back to detention centres in Misratah where they are routinely tortured, in some cases to death.
‘Hundreds of Tawarghas are believed to be detained in Misratah with fresh arrests reported to Amnesty this week.
‘Meanwhile, at least two Tawargha men have been taken from Tripoli since 12 April: one was arrested shortly after he left a displaced person’s camp and the other was captured near his workplace.
‘Their relatives have not been able to locate their exact whereabouts but heard that both had been transferred to Misratah.
‘There they are at serious risk of torture and even death.’
One relative pleaded to Amnesty: ‘We are so afraid for the safety of all Tawarghas once they are taken to Misratah.
‘We cannot bear to hear more bad news . . . We are not safe anywhere, we can’t leave home, we are trapped.
‘If we go out, we risk arrest too. We can’t even leave and search for our relatives.’
Last Monday Misratah’s local leadership denied widespread reports of torture and other abuses committed by the city’s militias, while saying that ‘reconciliation between the two towns (Misratah and Tawargha) is probably impossible at the moment’ and that ‘some alternative solution for the Tawargha people’ is needed.
• Some 100 Tunisian workers kidnapped by armed men in western Libya have been released, Tunisia said last Wednesday after a diplomatic row in which the counter-revolutionary regime in Tripoli denied any abductions had occurred.
‘The Tunisians kidnapped in Libya have been freed,’ Tunisia’s interior ministry said in a statement which alleged that the workers’ seizure had been in retaliation for the arrest of Libyan nationals in Tunisia, and that Tunis had released three Libyans arrested on April 14 near the two North African countries’ border.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said the freed Libyans had already returned home, and that Tunis was working with authorities in Libya to assure the Tunisians’ safe return.
Tunisian media questioned officials’ handling of the incident.
News website Kapitalis asked: ‘If the hostage seizure took place, why do the Libyans deny it so categorically? And if it did not take place, why do the Tunisians say it did?’
The Tunisian League for Human Rights had said last Tuesday that around 100 people working near the town of Zaouia, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Tripoli, had been taken hostage by armed men demanding the release of a group of Libyans held in Tunisia.
According to the rights group, the kidnappers’ leader was the brother of one of the arrested Libyans, who were suspected of drugs and arms trafficking.
But Libya’s interior ministry denied the incident, and the vice chairman of the Libyan NTC’s high security committee downplayed the event as a misunderstanding, claiming the Tunisians had merely had their journey interrupted by a group of former rebels angered by the detention of three Libyans in Tunis.
The Libyans ‘held up a group of Tunisians in a bid to have them join their cause,’ Tarek Zambo said. ‘This does not constitute a kidnapping,’ he claimed.
Zambo accused former members of murdered leader Muammar Gadaffi’s regime of provoking the unrest in hopes of ‘damaging relations’ between the two countries after finding refuge in southern Tunisia.
The border zone is plagued by violence and black-market trade and has seen a surge in arms trafficking since the NATO-backed Libyan ‘uprising’ that overthrew and brutally murdered Gadaffi in August last year.
Five Tunisian men were kidnapped in the same area on April 7th and let go two days later.
The campaign of vilification to destroy Bo Xilai is an all-out attempt by the top leadership of the Communist Party of China to put up a smokescreen concealing a right-left political struggle over the deepening economic and political penetration of capitalism at the summits of Chinese society.
Bo has been charged with violations of discipline. Corruption charges against him are being contemplated. His spouse, Gu Kailai, is being investigated in connection with the death of British businessman Neil Heywood.
A front-page editorial appeared in the People’s Daily of April 12 and was carried in every Chinese media outlet. It called on the people “to maintain a high level of ideological unity with the CPC Central Committee with Hu as the general secretary, and hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
The editorial adds, “We should strive to safeguard the favorable situation concerning China’s reform, development and stability, make new achievements in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and speed up the socialist modernization drive, thus to welcome the 18th CPC national congress.”
This was followed by an avalanche of charges, innuendo and so-called exposures of corruption by Gu Kailai.
What is clear from this unprecedented attack is that the top leadership of the CPC is terrified of having a political and ideological debate about the future course of China either in the Central Committee or in front of the masses of people. Bo Xilai’s Chongqing model — raising the living standards and social benefits of the workers and peasants and reviving Maoist culture — are the real issues.
The capitalist reform-minded factions in the leadership were faced with the spreading popularity of Bo’s model and his emphasis on “socialist values,” along with his crackdown on corrupt party and government officials and business people in league with criminal elements. This earned him a host of enemies.
One China expert has put the case succinctly: “It’s about whether to reform or not reform,” said Zheng Yongnian, who directs the East Asia Institute at the National University of Singapore. (New York Times, March 21)~
Monumental issue facing China
This is the issue underlying the present campaign of political annihilation. The leadership has chosen the course of evading the monumental issue facing China: whether to take longer strides toward a full-scale restoration of capitalism, or to hold the line and try to repair some of the damage done to the masses and the socialist system by the unleashing of capitalism for more than 30 years. These are issues of supreme importance to the Chinese workers and peasants and to the entire working class of the world.
Yet the CPC leadership has reduced the struggle — which is between, on the one hand, Bo Xilai and all those in his political current, and on the other, the faction led by outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao that urges the party to “further open up and reform” — to a narrow and diversionary question of corruption. By doing so they have swept under the rug the agenda of the right-wing, the Gorbachevs of China.
The agenda of the right
That agenda includes undermining the state banks and the state-owned enterprises, integrating China’s banks more completely into the world capitalist financial system, further unleashing the financial power of private capital, pushing for a form of bourgeois democracy, and allowing bourgeois elements greater authority within the state.
The world imperialist establishment knows what is at stake in China.
The world capitalist system is gasping for breath, trying to keep its head above water as it struggles fruitlessly to extricate itself from the great crisis that began in 2007. It was the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe in 1989-1991 that gave the faltering capitalist system a lease on life. Just as the first jobless recovery of U.S. capitalism in 1991-1992 was dragging the workers and the system down, the collapse of the USSR allowed them 17 more years of economic expansion.
Today the world bourgeoisie is looking anxiously at China with similar hopes. But it is not just looking. It is working overtime to deepen the transformation of China into a capitalist state. The world capitalist system has been teetering on the edge of a renewed crisis since the so-called “recovery” in 2009. The system is plagued by an excess of capital, insufficient markets and perennial overproduction. As finance capital sees it, a surge into China would serve to bring vast profits to the global capitalist system and alleviate its crisis.
The capitalist ruling class is making a full-court press at the critical juncture of a change in the leadership of the CPC. Bo Xilai, who was scheduled to become a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, stood in their way.
In a previous article, we referred to a report issued by the World Bank called “China 2030.” It was co-authored by the Development Research Center, an organ of China’s State Council.
A commentary on the report carried in The Economist of Feb. 28 noted: “The DRC is an influential organization which supplies the government with policy advice. The finance ministry was also involved. A deputy prime minister, Li Keqiang, who is expected to take over as prime minister from Wen Jiabao next year, is thought to have played an active role in arranging this co-operation between officialdom and the bank.”
As the World Bank itself noted in a Feb. 27 release: “The report makes the case for the government to redefine its role — to focus more on systems, rules and laws — to boost efficient production, promote competition, and reduce risks. It recommends redefining the roles of state-owned enterprises and breaking up monopolies in certain industries, diversifying ownership, lowering entry barriers to private firms, and easing access to finance for small and medium enterprises.
“Reforms should include commercializing the banking system, gradually removing interest rate controls, deepening the capital market and further developing independent and strong regulatory bodies to support the eventual integration of China’s financial sector within the global financial system. Financial reforms in the next two decades should be decisive, comprehensive and well coordinated, following a properly sequenced roadmap. A priority is to liberalize interest rates according to market principles.”
Road map to counterrevolution
This is the so-called “reform” roadmap to full-scale capitalist counterrevolution.
It is no wonder that the world capitalist press has become an enthusiastic participant in the struggle against Bo. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are carrying breathless accounts of every charge against Bo, Gu and their son. Bear in mind that the legal proceedings, the flow of information and control over the means of communication in China are entirely in the hands of a grouping of authorities politically hostile to Bo. They are bent on his destruction because of his opposition to deepening the role of the capitalist market at the commanding heights of the Chinese economy. Yet every accusation, every bit of gossip, every innuendo and unproven charge is repeated verbatim by the mouthpieces of world capitalism.
Whatever the facts of Bo’s case, if they will ever be known, nothing can override the fact that corruption and privilege are widespread in China at the highest level. The children of high party officials have been schooled in prestigious Western institutions ever since the beginning of the Deng Xiaoping era. Other party officials have personally benefited from economic development.
To unleash a highly publicized national campaign against “corruption,” as is being done in the case of Bo and Gu, is totally arbitrary and politically motivated at a crucial moment of a change in the leadership and the upcoming 18th Party Congress.
The New York Times of April 12 admitted as much: “The disclosure of the charges against the Bos was carefully scripted, and apparently timed, to dispense with Mr. Bo well ahead of a planned turnover of Communist leaders and the 18th Party Congress this autumn.”
Conspicuously absent in the capitalist media is any criticism of “authoritarian methods” that the scribes of the ruling class are quick to use when they perceive an attack on one of their allies in China. Not a word about “freedom of the press” in the wake of the orchestrated attacks on Bo and Gu that have blanketed the media. Not a word of indignation about “censorship” when the CPC authorities admitted that they had shut down 42 Web sites and censored 210,000 online comments on this case since mid-March. (New York Times, April 14) The authorities have disallowed the word Bo or anything related to it on the Internet.
The great Washington and Wall Street promoters of “democracy” in Syria, Iran, Libya, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and everywhere else where they want to overthrow the government, have not a word to say about the “democratic rights” of the Bo grouping to have their voices heard by the Chinese people.
Where are the pious voices of the “human rights” organizations, the ones that will let out a hue and cry on signal if some bourgeois dissident who wants to destroy communism root-and-branch is attacked or punished by the Chinese authorities?
Where are the workers’ rights organizations that, whether or not they are well meaning, should be in a bloc with the Bo faction against the right? After all, as party secretary for Chongqing, Bo fought to alleviate the harsh conditions that had been imposed on the workers and peasants by economic growth linked to the development of the capitalist market.
To be sure, Bo was not opposed to capitalist relations in principle; he has been a follower of the so-called “market socialism” model. But his promotion of expanding the economic and social benefits of the workers and peasants and his promotion of “socialist values” was favorable to them, compared to the reactionary program of letting the capitalist market prevail, a position upheld by Wen Jiabao and Bo’s accusers.
Wen Jiabao appears to be the architect of the anti-Bo campaign. We will deal with the question of his political origins and alignment in the political struggle in China at a later point. Suffice it to say for now that his political history includes showing sympathy for the counterrevolutionary uprising at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Wen opened up the public attack on Bo at what was billed as his last public press conference on March 14, a day before the announcement of the removal of Bo and after the conclusion of the National People’s Congress. Wen warned that “now reforms in China have come to a critical stage. … Without successful political reform, it’s impossible for China to fully institute economic reform and the gains we have made in these areas may be lost, and new problems that popped up in Chinese society will not be fundamentally resolved, and such historical tragedies as the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976] may happen again in China.” (UPI.com, March 15)
Wen said he had addressed the topic of political structural reform in China on many occasions in recent years, giving his views on the topic in full and in detail. He said his long-standing interest in political reforms came from “a strong sense of responsibility.”
Over the last month, the question of a return to the Cultural Revolution and the revival of Mao has disappeared from the discourse. The subject has been changed to corruption. In fact, a month later, on April 14, Wen wrote a lead article for the Central Committee journal Qiushi calling for a campaign against corruption and exposing the names of the corrupt.
The struggle opened up against the Cultural Revolution, but it has switched to one against corruption. While everyone should want to root out corruption, this smacks of fear of raising the Cultural Revolution in particular and Maoism in general as issues to be debated, particularly in front of the masses. They might very well take sides with the revival of socialist values and get a glimpse of the role the workers can and should play in shaping and reviving socialism and Chinese society.
Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” and “Capitalism at a Dead End.” More information about Goldstein and the books is available at lowwagecapitalism.com.