The comment below was recently received in response to the Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism that was published on this site in September. The issues raised are on a qualitatively higher political level than most previous responses received to these theses, and therefore require as full a political reply as possible. So I am turning the response to them into a separate item, in order to address the issues posed properly. Comrade Eric’s comment reads in full as follows:
The problem with this materialist analysis is that there isn’t a material connection between the American-Jewish bourgeoisie and the state of Israel. Or rather there is a connection but it is of no particular significance compared with the connections between the American bourgeoisie and other states in general. Israel is not the state of the Jewish bourgeoisie. It does not defend Jewish property throughout the world.
That many of today’s top capitalists in America are Jewish is surely of some significance in determining American orientation towards Israel and foreign policy in the Middle East in general. But if, for example, we look at Sheldon Adelson, the most notorious Zionist fundraiser and lobbyist, we find that he was not a Zionist until 1988. (See http://theweek.com/article/index/229275/sheldon-adelson-7-surprising-facts-about-2012s-biggest-donor). Such individuals play the role of philanthropists, party funders and lobbyists but their attachment to Israel is ideological rather than material and is thus plastic. Indeed until 1967 Jewish elites in America had very little interest in Israel at all. It was the ten day war that transformed Israel into a strategic asset and allowed Jews to express support for Israel without fear of being accused of dual loyalty. Norman Finkelstein locates 1967 as the year when the Holocaust Industry kicked off. Continue reading
The torture report on the CIA is an exercise in damage limitation. Realising how much the supposed ‘excesses’ of the Bush administration and the stratagems for US/Israeli world domination of the neocon Project for the New American Century have damaged the self-proclaimed moral authority of US imperialism, the Democratic Party are using this report, of the CIA’s Inspector-General, to try to distance themselves from some of the crimes of their predecessors.
It is cynical hogwash on the part of the Obama administration. This report was commissioned apparently in 2004, under Bush. Its findings were suppressed earlier but ultimately, in the aftermath of US imperialism’s obvious failures and defeats in Iraq and the wider Middle East, it became untenable for an American bourgeois establishment that is not (as yet) prepared to openly break with the formal pretence of democracy, to suppress these facts indefinitely. Not if it wanted to continue the hubris and chutzpah that makes US Presidents believe they have the authority to lecture the world on ‘human rights’.
The balloon of illusion in Barack Obama is bursting. It was inevitable that the election of America’s first Black President would lead to a temporary dampening down of struggle by Blacks and working class people more generally against capitalism and its effects. That was the reason Obama was handed the Democratic nomination in the first place. After the extreme repression, warmongering, rampant venality, and finally near-economic collapse of the Bush years, US capitalism desperately needed a more attractive face to head off the likelihood of a social explosion.
Obama more than fitted the bill: as not only a liberal, but a Black liberal to boot, he was the ideal man to do this job for the bourgeoisie. His progress through a two-party political system that is both thoroughly stitched up and fundamentally still intact – no real challenge has been made to the twin parties of US capital for many decades – was a reflection of the fact that he was the rulers’ man for the job. And he temporarily succeeded in co-opting many previously very angry Black and other working class people to accept that his administration was the only thing realistically on offer. A historically very weak US left that had begun to sense that things were beginning to swing to the left in the late Bush years, with rising anti-war activism and accelerating Black and working class anger over atrocities like the attacks on the victims of Hurricane Katrina, was abruptly becalmed by Obama.
This video is called Justice for Michael Brown; protest at the US Embassy, London 27/08/14.
By Joana Ramiro in Britain:
Michael Brown solidarity camp to be set up
Wednesday 26th November 2014
PROTESTERS vowed to camp outside the US embassy in London this evening in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, shot dead by a police officer in the US.
They will assemble in Grosvenor Square from 5.30pm to call for justice after a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, deemed Darren Wilson innocent of illegally killing Mr Brown.
“People are relating to it because there are similar cases going on here.”
Barac will host a vigil in the square along with the National Union of…
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This demonstration has been called by the Stop the War Coalition this Saturday. The political basis for this is fundamentally inadequate and somewhat evasive, as it is not simply ‘Iraq’ or ‘Syria’ that is under attack here, but rather the new radical Islamist polity that calls itself the ‘Islamic State’. Hardly surprising given the influence of social-pacifism on the left today. Still, it is a start and all anti-war activists and socialists should be encouraged to participate, not to accept these politics, but to find ways to go beyond them toward the genuine communist politics that we need.
Obama, Cameron and Hollande’s latest war, with the support of the elite oil-exploiting Arab monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, is yet another act of barbarism against the mainly Arab and Muslim peoples of the Middle East. Indeed, the recent neocon-inspired wars have led to barbarism on top of barbarism, with the demolition of Iraq in 2003 leading straight to the effective collapse of the country.
The political weakness of the Arab Spring – a spontaneous upsurge beginning in 2011 against the degenerate nationalist dictatorships that dominate the region, with its lack of a coherent ideology or revolutionary centre, enabled its enemies to exploit its spontaneity and the illusions of the masses in forms of Islamic and pan-Islamic nationalism. They either cemented in place new dictatorships out of the failure of such movements, as in Egypt, or used their armed power to give a degree of self-serving support to the upsurges, manipulating them with the use of selective military intervention or the supply of arms to settle old scores with the more ‘radical’ dictators: Qadaafi and Assad. Not coincidentally, these were the only two Arab regimes left that, for all their own capitulations to imperialism, had not run up the white flag of open collaboration with Israel.
Such campaigns, which led to the collapse of Libya into chaos, and the funding of the same Al Qaeda-related forces in Syria via Saudi Arabia, in effect attempted to manipulate radicalised, angry young Muslims into doing the West’s bidding in Syria as they did in Libya. This has backfired spectacularly as the Syrian insurgency ultra-radicalised through the agency of the former Al Qaeda in Iraq – now Islamic State. This established sufficient synergy between the insurgencies in the two countries to overwhelm the crucial imperialist-created Sykes-Picot line. This was something the imperialist puppet-masters did not expect to happen. Oops – they fucked it up in a big way!