Category Archives: Vietnam

The Costs of Counterrevolution: Must We Ignore Imperialism?

excerpted from the book

The Sword and the Dollar

Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race

by Michael Parenti

St. Martin’s Press, 1989

The Costs of Counterrevolution

p 117

Throughout the 1980s, the counterrevolutionary mercenaries who have waged war against such countries as Nicaragua, Angola, and Mozambique, were described as “guerrillas.” In fact, they won little support from the people of those countries, which explains why they remained so utterly dependent upon aid from the United States and South Africa. In an attempt to destroy the revolutionary economy and thus increase popular distress and discontent, these counterrevolutionaries attacked farms, health workers, technicians, schools, and civilians. Unlike a guerrilla army that works with and draws support from the people, the counterrevolutionary mercenaries kidnap, rape, kill and in other ways terrorize the civilian population. These tactics have been termed “self-defeating,” but they have a logic symptomatic of the underlying class politics. Since the intent of the counterrevolutionaries is to destroy the revolution, and since the bulk of the people support the revolution, then the mercenaries target the people.

In Mozambique, for example, over a period of eight years the South African-financed rebels laid waste to croplands, reducing the nation’s cereal production enough to put almost 4 million people in danger of starvation. The rebels destroyed factories, rail and road links, and marketing posts, causing a sharp drop in Mozambique’s production and exports. They destroyed 40 percent of the rural schools and over 500 of the 1,222 rural health clinics built by the Marxist government. And they killed hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children. But they set up no “liberated” areas and introduced no program for the country; nor did they purport to have any ideology or social goals.

Likewise, the mercenary rebel force in Angola, financially supported throughout the 1980s by the apartheid regime in South Africa and looked favorably upon by the Reagan administration, devastated much of the Angolan economy, kidnapping and killing innocent civilians, displacing about 600,000 persons and causing widespread hunger and malnutrition. Assisted by White South African troops, the rebels destroyed at least half of Angola’s hospitals and clinics. White South African military forces, aided by jet fighters, engaged in direct combat on the side of the counterrevolutionaries. The rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi, offered no social program for Angola but was lavish in his praise of the apartheid rulers in Pretoria and critical of Black South African leaders.

So with the contra forces that repeatedly attacked Nicaragua from Honduras for some seven years. In all that time they were unable to secure a “liberated” zone nor any substantial support from the people. They represented a mercenary army that amounted to nothing much without US money-and nothing much with it, having failed to launch a significant military offensive for years at a time. Like other counterrevolutionary “guerrillas” they were quite good at trying to destabilize the existing system by hitting soft targets like schools and farm cooperatives and killing large numbers of civilians, including children. (While the US news media unfailingly reported that the Nicaraguans or Cubans had “Soviet-made weapons,” they said nothing about the American, British, and Israeli arms used by counterrevolutionaries to kill Angolans, Namibians, Black South Africans, Western Saharans, Nicaraguans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorans.)

Like counterrevolutionaries in other countries, the Nicaraguan contras put forth no economic innovations or social programs other than some vague slogans. As the New York Times reported, when asked about “the importance of political action in the insurgency” the contra leaders “did not seem to assign this element of revolutionary warfare a high priority.” They did not because they were not waging a “revolution” but a counterrevolution. What kind of a program can counterrevolutionaries present? If they publicize their real agenda, which is to open the country once more to the domination of foreign investors and rich owners, they would reveal their imperialist hand.

p 120

Like most of the Third World, Nicaragua during the Somoza dictatorship was one of imperialism’s ecological disasters, with its unrestricted industrial and agribusiness pollution and deforestation. Upon coming to power, the Sandinistas initiated rain forest and wildlife conservation measures and alternative energy programs. The new government also adopted methods of cutting pesticides to a minimum, prohibiting the use of the deadlier organochlorides commonly applied in other countries. Nicaragua’s environmental efforts stand in marked contrast to its neighboring states. But throughout the 1980s, the program was severely hampered by contra attacks that killed more than thirty employees of Nicaragua’s environmental and state forestry agencies, and destroyed agricultural centers and reclamation projects.

p 121

The US government is ready to accept just about anyone who emigrates from a Communist country. In contrast, the hundreds of millions of Third World refugees from capitalism, who would like to come to this country because the conditions of their lives are so hopeless, are not allowed to come in …


Must We Ignore Imperialism?

p 128

Woodrow Wilson, 1907

Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.

p 129

Ronald Reagan
What I want to see above all else is that this country remains a country where someone can always be rich. That’s the thing we have that must be preserved.

p 129

Jeff McMahan

U.S. reasons for wanting to control the third world are to some extent circular. Thus third world resources are required in part to guarantee military production, and increased military production is required in part to maintain and expand U.S. control over third world resources …. Instrumental goals eventually come to be seen as ends in themselves. Initially the pursuit of overseas bases is justified by the need to maintain stability, defend friendly countries from communist aggression, and so on-in other words, to subjugate and control the third world; but eventually the need to establish and maintain overseas bases becomes one of the reasons for wanting to subjugate and control the third world.

p 131

Henry Kissinger, June 27, 1970 about Chile

I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.

*  *  *  *

p 196

The people who make US foreign policy are known to us-and they are well known to each other. Top policymakers and advisors are drawn predominantly from the major corporations and from policy groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee for Economic Development, the Trilateral Commission, the Business Roundtable, and the Business Council. Membership in these groups consists of financiers, business executives, and corporate lawyers. Some also have a sprinkling of foundation directors, news editors, university presidents, and academicians.

Most prominent is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Incorporated in 1921, the CFR numbered among its founders big financiers such as John D. Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, and J. P. Morgan. Since World War II, CFR members have included David Rockefeller, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank (and erstwhile CFR president); Allen Dulles, Wall Street lawyer and longtime director of the CIA; and, in the 1970s, all the directors of Morgan Guaranty Trust; nine directors of Banker’s Trust; five directors of Tri-Continental holding company; eight directors of Chase Manhattan; and directors from each of the following: Mellon National Bank, Bank of America, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Standard Oil of New Jersey, General Electric, General Dynamics, Union Carbide, IBM, AT&T, ITT, and the New York Times (a partial listing).

One member of the Kennedy administration, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., described the decision-making establishment as “an arsenal of talent which had so long furnished a steady supply of always orthodox and often able people to Democratic as well as Republican administrations. 115 President Kennedy’s secretary of state was Dean Rusk, president of the Rockefeller Foundation and member of the CFR; his secretary of defense was Robert McNamara, president of Ford Motor Company; his secretary of the treasury was C. Douglas Dillon, head of a prominent Wall Street banking firm and member of the CFR. Nixon’s secretary of state was Henry Kissinger, a Nelson Rockefeller protégé who also served as President Ford’s secretary of state. Ford appointed fourteen CFR members to his administration. Seventeen top members of Carter’s administration were participants of the Rockefeller-created Trilateral Commission, including Carter himself and Vice President Walter Mondale. Carter’s secretary of state was Cyrus Vance, Wall Street lawyer, director of several corporations, trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, and member of the CFR.

Reagan’s first secretary of state was Alexander Haig, former general and aide to President Nixon, president of United Technologies, director of several corporations including Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, and member of the CFR. Reagan’s next secretary of state was George Shultz, president of Bechtel Corporation, director of Morgan Guaranty Trust, director of the CFR, and advisor of the Committee for Economic Development (CED). Reagan’s secretary of defense was Caspar Weinberger, vice president of Bechtel, director of other large corporations, and member of the Trilateral Commission. The secretary of treasury and later chief of staff was Donald Regan, chief executive officer of Merrill, Lynch, trustee of the CED, member of the CFR and of the Business Roundtable. Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey, was director of the ExportImport Bank, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission under Nixon, and partner in a prominent Wall Street law firm. At least a dozen of Reagan’s top administrators and some thirty advisors were CFR members.

Members of groups like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission have served in just about every top executive position, including most cabinet and subcabinet slots, and have at times virtually monopolized the membership of the National Security Council, the nation’s highest official policymaking body.’ The reader can decide whether they compose (1) a conspiratorial elite, (2) the politically active members of a ruling class, or (3) a selection of policy experts and specialists in the service of pluralistic democracy.

These policymakers are drawn from overlapping corporate circles and policy groups that have a capacity unmatched by any other interest groups in the United States to fill top government posts with persons from their ranks. While supposedly selected to serve in government because they are experts and specialists, they really are usually amateurs and “generalists.” Being president of a giant construction firm and director of a bank did not qualify George Shultz to be Nixon’s secretary of labor nor his secretary of the treasury. Nor did Shultz bring years of expert experience in foreign affairs to his subsequent position as Reagan’s secretary of state. But he did bring a proven capacity to serve well the common interests of corporate America.

Rather than acting as special-interest lobbies for particular firms, policy groups look after the class-wide concerns of the capitalist system. This is in keeping with the function of the capitalist state itself. While not indifferent to the fate of the overseas operations of particular US firms, the state’s primary task is to protect capitalism as a system, bolstering client states and opposing revolutionary or radically reformist ones.

p 200

Far from being powerless, the pressure of democratic opinion in this country and abroad has been about the only thing that has restrained US leaders from using nuclear weapons in Vietnam, and intervening with US forces in Angola, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. How best to pursue policies that lack popular support is a constant preoccupation of White House policymakers. President Reagan’s refusal to negotiate with the Soviets in the early 1980s provoked the largest peace demonstrations in the history of the United States. Eventually he had to offer an appearance of peace by agreeing to negotiate. To give this appearance credibility, he actually had to negotiate and even reluctantly arrive at unavoidable agreement on some issues, including the 1987 INF treaty.

Evidence of the importance of mass democratic opinion is found in the remarkable fact that the United States has not invaded Nicaragua. Even though the US had a firepower and striking force many times more powerful than the ones used in the previous eleven invasions of Nicaragua, and a president (Reagan) more eager than any previous president to invade, the invasion did not happen. Not because it would have been too costly in lives but because it would have been politically too costly. President Reagan would not have balked at killing tens of thousands of Nicaraguans and losing say 5,000 Americans to smash the Red Menace in Central America. When 241 Marines were blown away in one afternoon in Lebanon, Reagan was ready to escalate his involvement in that country. Only the pressure of democratic forces in the USA and elsewhere caused him to leave Lebanon and refrain from invading Nicaragua. He did not have the political support to do otherwise. Invasion was politically too costly because it was militarily too costly even though logistically possible. It would have caused too much of an uproar at home and throughout Latin America and would have lost him, his party, and his policies too much support.

p 203

The policies pursued by US leaders have delivered misfortune upon countless innocents, generating wrongs more horrendous than any they allegedly combat. The people of this country and other nations are becoming increasingly aware of this. The people know that nuclear weapons bring no security to anyone and that interventions on the side of privileged autocracies and reactionary governments bring no justice. They also seem to know that they pay most of the costs of the arms race and many of the costs of imperialism. From South Korea to South Africa, from Central America to the Western Sahara, from Europe to North America, people are fighting back, some because they have no choice, others because they would choose no other course but the one that leads to peace and justice.


Happy 101st Birthday Comrade Võ Nguyên Giáp!

August 25, 2012: Happy 101st Birthday Comrade Võ Nguyên Giáp, architect of the Vietnamese people’s revolutionary military victory over U.S. imperialism!

Happy 101st Birthday, General Võ Nguyên Giáp

“Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards

This is an anti-war song written by Jonathan Edwards. Sunshine was written in 1971 during the last years of the Vietnam War as a protest song. The conflict in Vietnam lasted from 1959 to 1975 (with the U.S joining in late 1964) and most of the soldiers who served were between the ages of 18 and 21 (just kids fresh out of high school or college drop outs). Then almost 30 years later another war much like the one fought in Vietnam surged, this time they call it the Iraq War.

Từ Làng Sen – Phạm Phương Thảo

Ho Chi Minh shown as sympathetic to the Albanian-Chinese line in Khrushchev’s Memoirs

“I remember when the conference of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Moscow was being held in [November] 1960 […] The Chinese spoke out against us. Enver Hoxha conducted himself especially rabidly as an agent of Mao.


Ho came over to me then and said: “Comrade Khrushchev, you ought to concede the point to them.”
I said: “How can we concede? Why, it’s a matter of principle!”
Ho said: “Comrade Khrushchev, China is a huge country, they have a huge Communist Party. The concession should be made to them. A split cannot be permitted. It’s necessary that the Chinese sign the document together with everyone else. This document will have great international significance.”


I felt very bitter later when the Chinese decided to make an open break with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the other fraternal parties. China has powerful influence in Vietnam. A large stratum of the population there is Chinese. Pro-Chinese people even hold key positions in the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party. They have carried on their work against the Soviet Union and against our policies […] The pro-Chinese elements in Vietnam had done everything they could to start a quarrel, to turn Vietnam away from the Soviet Union, and set our two parties fighting against each other.

After Beijing broke off all political and business relations with us, de facto, and did everything in its power against us, it began trying to impose its views on Vietnam. Unfortunately the Vietnamese Workers Party took the Chinese bait. This is very bitter for us […] Later on, Vietnam did everything to favor China against us, against its own interests.


Our relations [with the Vietnamese] were good, and if they grew worse later, the blame for that lies not with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In my opinion, it was the result of Mao’s influence.


If ho’s alleged testament [read at his funeral] is analyzed […] I think the document was drawn up in a pro-Chinese spirit.”

Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Statesman, 1953-1964, p. 501-506

Free Libya is Green Libya: Supporting the Real Libyan Revolution

by W. Yusef Doucet

“Will they now stand up and assume the real leadership necessary to make themselves relevant, or is overcoming their class allegiance to the Western bourgeoisie just too much to fathom? That’s probably too much to expect from a class trained to protect the interests of its benefactors in order to protect its own narrow interests. I guess this great task is up to the world’s African workers and peasants.”

For eight months now, NATO has executed an open crime against a sovereign African state and called it a democratic revolution. Libya was a stable, prosperous, debt-free country in Africa until it came under attack in February. The United States and the European Union cynically seized the opportunity provided by the genuine people’s movements in Tunisia and Egypt where the Western backed administrations were forced to remove their heads of state in attempts to manage the popular democratic movements in the streets. The U.S. and E.U. rapidly exploited the monarchist and “Islamist” resentment long present in Benghazi. The democratic aspirations of this opposition in Libya was dubious from the beginning, and within days of the actual opposition demonstrations that were not unusual in Benghazi, the “peaceful demonstrators” attacked a police station and suddenly emerged as a full-fledged armed faction. That U.S. and E.U. country Special Forces and intelligence forces had been on the ground from the very beginning arming and guiding what has become the National Transitional Council has become clear, and who denies the fact?

Even now, as this coalition claims to be the true and legal representatives of the wishes of the Libyan people, they represent maybe 5 percent of Libyans. They are an illegitimate entity thrust upon Libya by the force of NATO military power, and still they have not defeated the Jamahiriyah, the People’s Government of Libya. Through their actions, NATO has declared once again that no country can impart upon an independent path of development and an indigenous, culturally specific experiment with democracy. The West claims a monopoly on the meaning, form and practice of democracy, and the intellectuals, journalists and pundits in the West have shown themselves unable to remove the prejudices that convince them that democracy must look like and smell like the elite bourgeois democracy of the imperial countries. These are the same liberal bourgeois republics and constitutional monarchies that have perpetrated more than two hundred years of slavery, colonialism, and genocide attendant to capitalist production over the centuries. That doesn’t smell very good!

Through mainstream media, these professional talkers and writers made and continue to make the ground and air war palatable. Mainstream capitalist media rarely break with the official story offered by government. However on Libya, they have aggressively disseminated misinformation about Libyan society and the character of the uprising. Not every rebellion is a revolution. The media’s uncritical representation of the factions that would become the NTC cast them as democratic freedom fighters rather than investigate their reactionary monarchism and fundamentalism. Moreover, the media all but ignore the aggressive genocide taking place against the native Black population and migrant worker population. Early in the conflict, media spread the lie of “African mercenaries,” thus facilitating attacks against dark skinned Libyans and other Africans. Again, mainstream media reproduce the official story as a matter of course.

Unfortunately, the mainstream, corporate, pentagon friendly media were joined in the demonization of Gaddafi and the misrepresentation of the Jamahiriyah by the standard of progressive and liberal media in the United States, Democracy Now! and the Pacifica Network. Progressive/liberal media characterized the rebellion that began in Benghazi as a revolution rather than the counter revolution that it is. They provided airtime for opposition spokespersons and their supportive progressive and liberal analysts and pundits, which betrayed an antipathy to African and Arab revolutionary nationalism. They offered little to no air to voices in support of the Jamahiriyah; neither did they report on its democratic processes, again reproducing the government narrative. Those voices that make it onto Pacifica stations are brought on by independent producers like Dedon Kimathi at KPFK in Los Angeles and J.R. Valrey of Block Reportin’ at KPFK in Berkeley. Progressive/liberal media has been consistent in its unity with the mainstream on the question of Libya, revolutionary nationalist governments like Zimbabwe, and war in Africa, assuming their place in the continuum of the hegemonic narrative of empire. Much of the establishment Black press was only slightly better, refusing to criticize Obama directly, or doing so only obtusely, even when covering the anti-black violence of the NTC brigades. Tied to the two-party system, and especially the Democratic Party, the imperative to re-elect the undeserving Obama supersedes the duty to defend what was the most advanced country in Africa in regard to the human development of the population and a government that reached out to African Americans as members of the Pan-African nation. The Nation of Islam’s The Final Call’s coverage has been, on the other hand, exemplary.

Libya is the northern front in the re-assault on Africa. NATO countries engage in proxy war in Somalia while French troops continue muscularly to prop up the imposed government of Alassane Ouattara in Cote Ivoire, and now with troops on the ground in Central Africa, the U.S and Europe through AFRICOM has increasingly militarized their activities on the continent. These powers cannot abide African independence, nor will they allow China to continue to pursue its agenda in Africa unchallenged. As during the Cold War of the Twentieth Century, the US and EU again show their willingness to use African and Asian bodies in hot war to frustrate the interests of their competitors, this time capitalist-communist China. Where ever the U.S. and Europe are present in Africa, the countries are destabilized and in debt, and the people suffer. Despite their democratic rhetoric, their humanitarian rationalizations, and promises of economic growth, the Western presence in Africa, whether through diplomacy, covert and overt military intervention, economic investment, or settler channels, remains toxic. Now the poison flows through Libya, literally, as NATO has bombed both land and water with depleted uranium.

During the 1960s and 1970s, socialist and progressive sectors around the world recognized the heroism and thecorrectness of the Vietnamese people in their struggle against the U.S. inheritors of the French colonial project in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese fought the most powerful military in the world and won the victory. Their struggle inspired revolutionaries across the Global South and among internal colonies in the Global North. Today Vietnam is a sovereign country.

Despite a number of independent journalists’ (e.g. Lizzie Phelan, Webster Tarpley, Stephen Lendmen, Gerald Perreira, and Thierry Meyssan) challenges to the dominant narrative on Libya, easily accessible on the internet and sometimes on cable news outlets like RT News, Libya still suffers from gross misrepresentations of the experiment in direct democracy and socialism embodied in the People’s Committees of the Jamahiriyah. Western professional progressives rarely take the vision expressed in the Green Book seriously, routinely falling into the “eccentric, flamboyant” Gaddafi” lazy reporting trap. The failure of what passes for leftist analysis in much of the U.S. and Europe to recognize the progressive and genuinely popular character of the Jamahiriyah makes them complicit in the disaster called the NTC that has befallen Libya. Nonetheless, the Libyan people continue to fight against the most powerful military alliance in the world, NATO. The NTC is nothing without NATO. The Green Resistance continues to fight. Libya is Vietnam. Can the Green Resistance rely on international support?

Libya is also Spain in the 1930s. During that struggle, the capitalist governments of the West stood by and watched the fascists bleed Republican Spain, despite material support from the Soviet Union, because in fact, they cared more about capitalist social relations and profits than they cared about democracy and the will of the Spanish people who elected the popular government. Today, they have destroyed the infrastructure of the most stable African country outside of Southern Africa, bombing them incessantly in support of racist, fascist and monarchist forces in the NTC who would have been defeated months ago if not for NATO air war. This time Russia failed to veto the key vote in the UN Security Council and can’t offer the same kind of material support, despite their distrust and defensive position vis-à-vis NATO. Their criticism of NATO since then, even as it helps challenge NATO’s narrative, still rings somewhat hollow. During the Spanish Civil War, progressive forces around the world organized themselves into international brigades to support the Spanish Republican and Loyalists forces materially and as brothers and sisters in arms. Can the international brigades today fly to Libya’s aid? Can African revolutionaries fight in Libya, knowing that the fight for Libya is the fight for Africa, and not care if they’re called mercenaries? What national African military will join the Green Resistance in its battle against a virulently anti-black, racist force in the NATO/NTC and the mercenaries they are now flying into Libya, like Xe (formerly Blackwater)?

Of course, now it is not so easy to offer material support or even ideological support to revolutionary movements. In the world of the Patriot Act, heightened security measures and full spectrum surveillance, one can quite quickly be arrested and disappeared for aiding and abetting “terrorism” if the group or movement one supports has been classified as a terrorist organization. Power has been very careful to police the degree to which groups and movements engaged in anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggle can be helped by exile and solidarity formations. The kind of fund raising and support that the ANC, the PAC, the PAIGC, the PLO, the IRA, the FMLN and similar movements enjoyed in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s into the ‘90s is mostly illegal now. The governments of the NATO countries will not likely look easily on activists among their own citizens and residents dedicated to restoring the people’s government they have spent so much money and time bombing. The formation of a group like C.I.S.P.E.S. (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) or Witnesses for Peace who worked to support citizens and revolutionary parties in El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980s grows increasingly difficult in the current surveillance climate. Even so, those of us committed to African sovereignty, African continental and diasporic integration, to socialism and people’s democracy, and to a brighter future for humanity need to find ways to support the Green Resistance in Libya. We need to find ways to be international brigades for Libya. Free Libya is Green Libya.

More than two hundred years of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is long enough. Liberation struggles and revolutionary governments must be supported despite differences on some ideological points. The fate of an individual is not what is at stake. Despite his defamation in the mainstream Western press, Gaddafi is being mourned by millions in Africa and around the world. This attack has short-circuited the move toward African continental integration that Gaddafi championed. He acted independently in the interests of Libya and Africa, and offered real material support for the integration of Africa under one, gold standard currency, one army, and continental governing institutions. He supported revolutionary and national liberation struggles around the world. He was a genuine anti-imperialist. For many of us, the opinions of Minister Louis Farrakhan, Ms. Cynthia KcKinney and Warrior Woman of the Dine Nation matter more than the opinions expressed by the U.S. State Department and 10 Downing Street and disseminated by the New York Times, Le Figaro, CNN, AL Jazeera, et al. The Jamahiriyah is a genuinely popular government that has come under attack by the most powerful and advanced militaries in the world, yet they continue to hold out despite the loss of the revolutionary leader. Who speaks out? Who can help restore Libya and a united Africa? NATO, the UN and the NTC trivialized the African Union during this debacle, rendering the body all but ceremonial. Will they now stand up and assume the real leadership necessary to make themselves relevant, or is overcoming their class allegiance to the Western bourgeoisie just too much to fathom? That’s probably too much to expect from a class trained to protect the interests of its benefactors in order to protect its own narrow interests. I guess this great task is up to the world’s African workers and peasants.

W. Yusef Doucet is a faculty member of the Santa Monica College English Department. He co-founded and facilitated the Dyamsay Writers’ Workshop in Santa Monica, CA, the Third Root Writers’ Workshop in Pomona, CA, and a poetry reading series at the Velocity Café in Santa Monica, CA. Yusef is currently working on a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include Fanonian analysis, the policing effect of integrationist/post-racialist ideology and anti-blackness in the modern symbolic order. Yusef keeps a blog at


Liberal Holocaust: Imperialism and the Democratic Party

This is a good article from a website that is now down. I disagree with several parts, particularly the labeling of North Korea as a “Stalinist dictatorship,” referring to the Soviet Union as an “empire,” saying that Titoite Yugoslavia was a “Leninist revolution” and denying the genocidal actions of the Milošević government. Regardless, this article makes a very important point about the Democratic Party, and exposes their true imperialist warmongering nature.

 — Espresso Stalinist 

Many people involved in US anti-war movement(s) have this naive belief that Democrats are not imperialists, that US imperialist policies, such as those pursued by the Bush administration, are just a recent deviation or limited to Republican administrations. In fact, the Democratic Party has a long and bloody history of imperialism. Democrats are imperialists and mass murderers. Nor is this limited to the more conservative democrats; left-liberals have done the same. Liberal governments have slaughtered millions.

Starting shortly before the end of World War Two, Democrats began recruiting many Nazi war criminals and using them to help expand the American Empire. Hitler’s intelligence chief in East Europe Reinhard Gehlen was used by the US, after the war, to build an intelligence network against the Soviets in East Europe. They also dropped supplies to remnants of Hitler’s armies operating in Eastern Europe, to harass the Soviet bloc. Other Nazi war criminals employed by the US included Klaus Barbie, Otto von Bolschwing and Otto Skorzeny. Some of these Nazis later made their way to Latin America, where they advised and assisted US-backed dictatorships in the area.

Harry Truman kicked up anti-communist hysteria, which lead to McCarthyism (which occurred during his administration) and helped start the Cold War. He supported numerous dictatorships, including Saudi Arabia. US involvement in Vietnam started under Truman with the US providing support for the French invaders and the CIA carrying out covert actions. In 1950 his administration issued the ultra-hawkish NSC 68. The subversion of Italian democracy was done by his administration – fearing electoral victory in 1948 by the Italian Communist party, the CIA funded various leftover Mussolinite Brownshirt thugs and other former Nazi collaborators, successfully manipulating the results to ensure pro-US candidates won. A secret paramilitary army was formed to overthrow the government just in case the Communists managed to win anyway.

In the years after World War Two a rebellion against the British puppet government in Greece broke out. This client state was largely staffed by former Nazi collaborators who the British had put back in power. The UK was unable to defeat the left-wing insurgency (which had previously fought an insurgency against the Nazi occupation during World War Two) and asked the US for help. In 1947 Truman invaded Greece and proceeded to crush the revolutionaries, keeping the former Nazi collaborators in power. Truman attempted to justify this by portraying the guerillas as mere pawns of Moscow and therefore a form of covert aggression, but he had no real proof of this. The claim is also based on a double standard: when the USSR (allegedly) covertly supports revolutionaries in another country it constitutes “aggression” and is wrong, but when the US (or UK) send actual military forces to another country in order to prop up unpopular dictatorships this is somehow perfectly just.

At the end of World War Two Japan withdrew its forces from Korea, resulting in a brief period of self-rule. A provisional government was set up in Seoul, but it had little power. Across Korea, workers took over their factories and peasants took over their land. Self-managed collectives were organized. This did not last long, as the US and USSR quickly partitioned the country into a North and a South, under the occupation of each power. In the south Truman installed a brutal military dictatorship, run mainly by former Japanese collaborators, complete with death squads, torture chambers and suppression of all opposition. The United States and its client state suppressed an insurgency, leveled whole villages and massacred thousands of innocent Koreans. The Soviets followed a similar policy in the north, where a Stalinist dictatorship was imposed. Forces from each empire repeatedly clashed until war broke out in 1950. Truman & his propagandists tried to portray the war as an attempt to defend South Korea from Soviet/Northern aggression, but the very existence of South & North Korea was the result of aggression by the US & USSR. The Korean War was an inter-imperialist war between rival empires fighting for territory, rather like a turf war between rival mafia dons, in which lots of ordinary people (who had no real stake in the war) were sent to die for their elite.

These policies of mass murder continued in both the subsequent Eisenhower administration and the next democratic administration, Kennedy. Like every other president since World War Two (and many prior to that) he supported numerous puppet dictatorships that slaughtered thousands – Mobutu, the Shah, etc. Kennedy backed a coup against the democratically elected government in the Dominican Republic because it was too independent. And lets not forget the Bay of Pigs and the many terrorist campaigns against Cuba.

Kennedy also escalated US involvement in Vietnam. During Eisenhower’s term the Vietnamese defeated US-backed French invaders and the war with France was brought to an end. The country was partitioned in two, with the Vietnamese nationalists/Communists taking over the north and the French puppet government temporarily ruling the south. Elections were to be held to reunite the two, but the US intervened to prevent this (because the Communists would have won free elections) and put in power a right-wing dictatorship headed by Ngo Dinh Diem which relied on a reign of terror in order to stay in power. In the late ’50s popular rebellions erupted against this dictatorship. By the time Kennedy came to power the survival of Diem’s dictatorship was increasingly precarious and so Kennedy escalated the situation from state terror to outright aggression. The US military, mainly the air force, was sent to crush the resistance. This failed to defeat the resistance, so Johnson fabricated a bogus attack on US destroyers by North Vietnamese forces and used this as an excuse to escalate the war, launching a full-fledged ground invasion of the south and began bombing the north. US forces set up concentration camps (called “strategic hamlets”) and committed numerous atrocities during the war. Even John Kerry testified:

“Several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command. … They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. … We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. … We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals. … We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater.”

Kerry has since claimed that Vietnam was an exception to the norm, but the evidence presented in this article shows otherwise. This testimony is corroborated by numerous other primary sources, including many Vietnam veterans. Colin Powell admitted these atrocities occurred and defended them, writing in his memoirs (My American Journey):

“If a helo [helicopter] spotted a peasant in black pajamas who looked remotely suspicious, a possible MAM [military-aged male], the pilot would circle and fire in front of him. If he moved, his movement was judged evidence of hostile intent, and the next burst was not in front, but at him. Brutal? Maybe so. But an able battalion commander with whom I had served at Gelnhausen, Lt. Col. Walter Pritchard, was killed by enemy sniper fire while observing MAMs from a helicopter. And Pritchard was only one of many. The kill-or-be-killed nature of combat tends to dull fine perceptions of right and wrong.”

In addition, Powell defends the torching of civilians’ huts in his memoirs. There are also many Vietnam veterans who strongly deny that the United States committed any kind of atrocities or wrongdoing in Vietnam at all, but they are not the first murderers to strongly deny murdering anyone. These are the kinds of atrocities the Democrat’s foreign policy leads to.

Democrats (and Republicans) tried to portray the war as a result of Chinese (or even Soviet) aggression that had to be stopped or else it would cause a “domino effect” leading to “Communist” conquest of the globe. This is shear fantasy.

Vietnam became independent in 1945 and for a brief period of time the whole country was united under the rule of Ho Chi Min and his fellow nationalists and Marxists. Then France invaded, with US support, leading to the creation of “South Vietnam,” which was a foreign puppet from day one. Attacks on it by Vietnamese were no more “aggression” than attacks on the Vichy government by the French resistance. Communists in China didn’t come to power until 1948, whereas Vietnam declared independence in 1945, so portraying the war as “Chinese aggression” is particularly absurd. Eventually, China did provide weapons, money and advisors to Vietnam (as did the USSR), but merely giving supplies to people fighting for independence hardly constitutes “aggression.” If China giving some weapons and supplies to a Vietnamese movement with substantial popular support constitutes “aggression” then what are we to make of the US, which went well beyond sending weapons and sent over 100,000 troops to keep in power a deeply unpopular puppet government? By this kind of logic, the American war for independence constituted French aggression because France gave the rebels support, just as China & Russia gave the Vietnamese support, except France went even further and sent warships to fight the British and help the US win the war. The Vietnam War was a brutal colonial war, started mainly by democrats, against a people struggling for national liberation.

Even if we ignore Vietnam, Johnson was still a murderous warmonger. In 1965 Johnson launched a secret war on Laos, which would eventually drop more bombs on it then were dropped during World War Two, in order to defeat the leftist Pathet Lao. When a popular rebellion erupted against the US-backed dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, LBJ invaded and defeated it, keeping a US puppet government in power. In Brazil LBJ supported and encouraged a fascist coup against the mildly reformist Goulart administration. Johnson also backed a right-wing coup in Indonesia. The previous ruler, Sukarno, committed the crime of trying to stay neutral in the cold war and desiring to build a strong Indonesia independent of foreign powers. So he was removed and general Suharto seized power. The US helped Suharto liquidate dissent and gave him lists of “subversives” to kill. Between 500,000 and a million people were massacred by Suharto in the period following the coup, with the covert help of the Johnson administration. When the Greek ambassador objected to the President’s plan for a resolving a dispute over Cyprus LBJ told him:

“Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked by the elephant’s trunk, whacked good. … We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about Democracy, Parliament and Constitutions, he, his Parliament and his Constitution may not last very long.”

In 1965 the Greek king, aided by the CIA, removed Prime Minister George Papandreou (who’s foreign policy was too independent for Washington) from power. In 1967 the Greek government was forced to finally hold elections again, but when it looked like George Papandreou was going to win again a military coup prevented him from coming to power. George Papadopoulos, leader of the coup and head of the new military dictatorship, had been on the CIA payroll for 15 years and was a Nazi collaborator during World War Two.

Carter, the so-called “human rights” president, was also an imperialist warmonger. He continued US support for brutal tyrants in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. Carter supported Pol Pot’s forces after they were thrown out of power due to a war with Vietnam. Under Ford Indonesia invaded East Timor and proceeded to slaughter 200,000 people. Although this invasion occurred under Ford, the worst atrocities happened under Carter’s reign. As atrocities increased, he increased the flow of weapons to the Indonesian government, insuring they wouldn’t run out and could continue massacring Timorese. Carter also backed the massacre in Kwangju by the South Korean military dictatorship. Many of the things which liberals like to blame Reagan for were actually started under Carter. Deregulation began under Carter, as did US support for the Contras in Nicaragua. Six months before the Soviets invaded he also initiated US support for the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists/”freedom fighters” in Afghanistan which would later include Bin Laden.

Bill Clinton was a mass murderer and war criminal, too. He backed numerous dictatorships, continued the proxy war against Marxist guerillas in Columbia and bombed more countries than any other peacetime president, including Iraq, Yugoslavia, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Clinton laid siege to Iraq with sanctions, “no fly zones” and bombings, killing 1.5 to 3 million people. UN-approved sanctions on Iraq were originally imposed at the start of the Gulf War in response to the invasion of Kuwait, but continued after the end of the war at US (and UK) insistence. The United States used sanctions as a weapon against Iraq. One military intelligence document titled Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities noted:

“Iraq depends on importing-specialized equipment-and some chemicals to purify its water supply … With no domestic sources of both water treatment replacement parts and some essential chemicals, Iraq will continue attempts to circumvent United Nations sanctions to import these vital commodities. … Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease and to certain pure-water-dependent industries becoming incapacitated, including petrochemicals, fertilizers, petroleum refining, electronics, pharmaceuticals, food processing, textiles, concrete construction, and thermal power plants. Iraq’s overall water treatment capability will suffer a slow decline, rather than a precipitous halt … Unless water treatment supplies are exempted from the UN sanctions for humanitarian reasons, no adequate solution exists for Iraq’s water purification dilemma, since no suitable alternatives … sufficiently meet Iraqi needs. … Unless the water is purified with chlorine epidemics of such diseases as Cholera, Hepatitis, and Typhoid could occur … Iraq could try convincing the United Nations or individual countries to exempt water treatment supplies from sanctions for humanitarian reasons. It probably also is attempting to purchase supplies by using some sympathetic countries as fronts. If such attempts fail, Iraqi alternatives are not adequate for their national requirements. … Some affluent Iraqis could obtain their own minimally adequate supply of good quality water from northern Iraqi sources. If boiled, the water could be safely consumed. Poorer Iraqis and industries requiring large quantities of pure water would not be able to meet their needs. … Alternatives are not adequate for their national requirements.”

This and other documents show that the United States intentionally used sanctions to destroy Iraq’s water supply with full knowledge of the consequences. In addition to water problems, the sanctions also interfered with the importation of basic necessities like food and medicine. The UN itself, the organization that implemented the sanctions (due to US/UK insistence), reported that they resulted in mass death. UNICEF found that on average 5,000 children died every month as a result of sanctions. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported in 1995 that 567,000 children in Iraq had died as a result of the sanctions. Those sanctions continued until the invasion in 2003, killing even more. This began under the first Bush administration, but most of it occurred under Clinton’s administration.

In 1996, faced with mounting humanitarian concerns that threatened to end the sanctions, an “oil for food” program was implemented. Officially, this was supposed to allow Iraq to import a limited amount of food and supplies in exchange for limited amounts of oil but in practice it did little to alleviate the suffering of Iraqis caused by the sanctions. Everything imported by Iraq had to be approved by a UN sanctions committee that, due to US/UK influence, frequently stopped or delayed importation of needed supplies. All money Iraq made from the sale of oil was kept by the UN in an escrow account with the bank of Paris and was not at the discretion of the Iraqi government. Some of this was used to pay for administrative costs related to the sanctions and about a third were used to pay reparations to Kuwait, the remainder was inadequate for Iraq’s needs. In 1998 Dennis Halliday, the first head of the UN’s “oil for food” program resigned because the sanctions continued to result in a humanitarian catastrophe. In 2000 Hans Von Sponeck, the new head of the “oil for food” program, resigned for the same reason. On the May 12, 1996 edition of “60 minutes” journalist Lesly Stahl asked Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s secretary of state,

“We have heard that a half million children have died [from sanctions on Iraq]. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright’s response was, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

Clinton attacked and dismembered Yugoslavia, using a “divide and conquer” strategy to install US/NATO puppet governments ruling over its corpse. During and after World War Two Yugoslavia underwent its own Leninist revolution, independent of Soviet tanks, and eventually evolved a market socialist economy based on a limited form of worker self-management. Most of the economy was run by enterprises that were officially worker owned, with elected managers, and sold their products on the market. Yugoslavia was a federation of different nationalities in southeastern Europe, with six different republics united under a federal government.

As the Soviet empire declined and fell western financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank began pressuring Yugoslavia to implement neoliberal capitalist reforms such as privatization, austerity measures and so on.

Yugoslavia implemented these on a limited basis. These programs lead to a declining economy that opened the door for opportunistic politicians to whip up nationalism for their own benefit, scapegoating other nationalities for economic problems. They also stressed relations between the federal government and the republics because money that would have gone to the republics instead went to servicing Yugoslavia’s debt. The United States and Western Europe took advantage of this to encourage the breakup of Yugoslavia into NATO protectorates.

In 1990 separatists won elections in Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia. The new Croatian government began to persecute the Serb minority living in Croatia, even bringing back the flag and other symbols from when it had been a World War Two Axis puppet government (run by a fascist organization called the Ustase) that attempted to exterminate the Serbs (who were regarded as “subhuman”). Croatian President Franjo Trudjman refused to condemn the Ustase and claimed, “the establishment of Hitler’s new European order can be justified by the need to be rid of the Jews.” Croatia and Slovenia declared independence in 1991. West Europe and then the US recognized Slovenia and Croatia as independent states despite warnings from the UN that this would encourage Bosnia to declare independence and bring about a civil war, which it did.

The Yugoslav federal government fought a small ten-day war with Slovenia, after which Slovenia was allowed to leave Yugoslavia. Croatia and Bosnia fought bloody civil wars with the Yugoslav government. In Bosnia the main forces fighting against the federal government were Croat fascists, supported by Croatia, and Islamic fundamentalists, led by Alija Izetbegovic, who aimed to turn Bosnia into a theocracy similar to Iran or the Taliban. Most of Bosnia’s Serb minority sided with the Yugoslav federal government. The US covertly backed the Islamists and fascists by secretly supplying them with weapons and even flying in Muslim ‘holy warriors’ from Afghanistan so they could join the Jihad. Initially the Islamists and fascists in Bosnia worked together against the Serbs and Yugoslav government. Later they started fighting each other, but US & West European pressure eventually put a stop to that. When the Yugoslav government started winning the war NATO sent in the air force to bomb them and support the separatists. Many atrocities were committed on both sides of the war, but Western governments and media emphasized and exaggerated Yugoslav and Serb atrocities while downplaying or ignoring atrocities committed by the separatists.

In 1995 the war came to an end, in a defeat for Yugoslavia. Under a UN fig leaf, NATO “peacekeeper” troops occupied much of the former Yugoslavia while Bosnia was made into a de-facto NATO colony, occupied by NATO troops and with a “high representative” responsible to foreign powers in charge of the country. Yugoslavia was dramatically shrunk, with only two out of six Republics, Serbia and Montenegro, remaining in the union (Macedonia had been allowed to peacefully leave the union in the early ’90s but at this time was still largely outside the Western sphere of influence).

The next phase of Clinton’s conquest of Yugoslavia began in the late ’90s when the CIA began covertly supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a terrorist organization that has been linked to Osama Bin Laden. The KLA launched a guerilla war in the Kosovo province of Serbia, advocating independence for Kosovo. In 1999, under the guise of “peace negotiations,” the US/NATO issued an ultimatum demanding Yugoslavia allow NATO troops to occupy the entire country. Yugoslavia obviously refused this unreasonable demand and Clinton used this refusal as an excuse to begin a major bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. After several months of bombing pulverized the country a peace deal was reached allowing NATO “peacekeeper” troops to occupy Kosovo (but not the rest of Yugoslavia), effectively turning the province into a NATO protectorate. A year later a revolt led by US-funded groups and politicians overthrew the Yugoslav government, putting pro-US/NATO leaders in charge. The new government abolished Yugoslavia and became a Western puppet. This conquest was completed shortly after Clinton left office, when KLA forces attacked Macedonia. Macedonia saw the writing on the wall and allowed NATO troops to occupy it. Clinton succeeded in not only ripping Yugoslavia apart, but in achieving US/NATO domination over the Balkans and in forcing an economic system favorable to Western investors on the region. A wave of privatization has swept over the former Yugoslavia, transforming it into a corporate capitalist economy colonized by Western capital.

The standard excuse Clinton used to justify the military interventions in Yugoslavia was that it was supposed to stop “ethnic cleansing”/”genocide” allegedly being perpetrated by the Serbs/Yugoslav government. This is obviously bogus because the US helped instigate the conflicts that lead to the various massacres in the war and also because Clinton largely turned a blind eye towards atrocities committed by separatist forces (like the massacres in Gospic and Krajina). It is also not credible because Clinton ignored other genocides (such as Rwanda) and even funded Turkey’s genocide against the Kurds, which occurred at roughly the same time and resulted in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds.

The death toll of the democrats is quite large:

Greek Civil War: 160,000 (Truman)
Korean War: 3 million (Truman)
Assault on Indochina: 5 million (started under Truman, accelerated under Kennedy & LBJ)
Coup in Indonesia: 1 million (LBJ)
East Timor: 100,000 (Carter)
Kwangju Massacre: 2000 (Carter)
Argentine Dirty War: 30,000 (mostly Carter)
Iraq sanctions: 1.5 million (mostly Clinton)
Turkish Kurdistan: 40,000 (mostly Clinton)

That’s at least 10,8022,000 killed by democrats, 9,292,000 if one only counts the liberal governments (Clinton wasn’t really a liberal). For comparison, the Nazi holocaust killed roughly 6,000,000 Jews. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; these are only the most famous incidents over the last couple of decades. If you add up the total from periods preceding this and the less famous incidents the number get much, much higher. If you add in starvation (a direct result of capitalism) it gets even higher.

Democrats could have stopped the congressional authorization for the Iraq war (via filibustering) but instead lots of them defected to the warmongers’ side. They could have stopped many of the nasty things the Republicans are doing by filibuster but choose not to. Many democrats actively supported the war. Most of those who did oppose it offered little opposition, chickening out when the shooting started and either abstained or voted in favor of the pro-war “support our troops” resolution in March. Even Dennis Kucinich, leader of the “anti-war” opposition in the house, abstained from the vote instead of voting against it. It was only after Bush’s war started going sour that vocal criticism began to come from democrats, which is completely opportunistic. Bush’s lies and fabrications about the Niger Uranium had already been exposed prior to the war, but it wasn’t until after the invasion was completed and the democrats needed an issue to attack Bush with that they started whining about it.

The Democratic Party, the party of slavery, has a long history of mass murder and empire building. They are not an alternative to the American Empire. Especially on foreign policy, there is remarkable consistency between republican and democratic administrations. If the Nuremberg standards were applied every President since World War Two, both democrat and republican, would have to be hung. Both parties have the same basic goals; they just disagree on minor details. It would have been much harder for Bush to conquer Iraq (perhaps politically impossible) if Clinton hadn’t been waging war against it for his entire term. The policies implemented by the US government have more to do with the specific circumstances of the time period then with which particular individual happens to occupy the white house. If a democrat is elected he will inherit this Pax Americana and it is unlikely that he would dismantle it (or even be capable of dismantling it). A vote for the democrats is a vote for imperialism and war (as is a vote for the Republicans).

PCMLE: Vietnam: A Popular and Anti-Imperialist Revolution

En Marcha, October 14, 2009

Commercial and monetary relations, linkages with international institutions and transnational corporations that are practiced in Vietnam attest to the validity of a capitalist economy. As a result, have increased levels of corruption and waste and links to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have made commitments to be met like any other small country who harass the capitalist international chulqueros.

The Vietnamese revolution is one of the events in which the worker-peasant alliance, along with other social and patriotic armed insurrection constituted under warranty and fundamental to their success. The direction of this process is carried on the Communist Party led by the legendary firm and consistent revolutionary Ho Chi Minh and under the direction and guidance of Marxism-Leninism, the month of August 1945.

This revolution ended the dominance of the French colonialists and Japanese fascists, inaugurating the national independence and giving birth to the Democratic Republic, named after Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The courageous resistance of the Vietnamese people was also against the U.S. imperialists, between 1954 and 1975, whose years have seen the Democratic People’s National Revolution in the South, the socialist revolution in the North and the war ended with the expulsion of the invaders after the historic U.S. military offensive that liberated Ho Chi Minh Saigon entirely on April 30, 1975 and achieved national reunification.

Then the various congresses of the Communist Party of Vietnam have incorporated a number of ideas that claim revisionist positions and Vietnam show that the heroic days of struggle for social change and against foreign intervention, have been only as memories.

The so-called “market socialism” is one of those smuggling which aims to establish a coexistence between tenets of socialism and the capitalist market activity. This revisionist monstrosity was raised for the first time officially in the Intermediate National Conference called Communist Party of Vietnam, in February 1994 as part of the theory of renewal process that began to be handled at the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 1986 , which arises, among other directives, strengthen socialist production relations and the private sector, which as noted above is totally incompatible. This is compounded by the elimination of centralized management, the basis of the so-called renewal. The set of revisionist ideas and practices were endorsed by the seventh and eighth congress of 1991 and 1997.

Commercial and monetary relations linkages with international institutions and transnational corporations that are practiced in Vietnam attest to the validity of a capitalist economy. As a result, have increased levels of corruption and waste and links to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have made commitments to be met like any other small country who harass the capitalist international chulqueros. Another element so as to reveal capitalist practices in Vietnam is the penetration of international capital through large investments for the development of light industry assembly of computers and international trade in the sale of raw materials and agricultural products.

In light of this process is convenient lived in Vietnam to rescue the role played by its people in resistance to foreign intervention that undermined its sovereignty and dignity defiled.


Retrospect: A Nervous China Invades Vietnam

Monday, Sept. 27, 1999

Early in the morning of Feb. 17, 1979, Chinese artillery batteries and multiple rocket launchers opened fire all along the Vietnamese border with protracted barrages that shook the earth for miles around. Then 85,000 troops surged across the frontier in human-wave attacks like those China had used in Korea nearly three decades before. They were decimated: the well-dug-in Vietnamese cut down the Chinese troops with machine guns, while mines and booby traps did the rest.

Horrified by their losses, the Chinese quickly replaced the general in charge of the invasion that was meant, in Beijing’s words, to teach Vietnam a lesson, and concentrated their attack on neighboring provincial capitals. Using tanks and artillery, they quickly overran most of the desired towns: by March 5, after fierce house-to-house fighting, they captured the last one, Lang Son, across the border from Pingxiang. Then they began their withdrawal, proclaiming victory over the Cubans of the Orient, as Chinese propaganda had dubbed them.

By China’s own estimate, some 20,000 soldiers and civilians from both sides died in the 17-day war. Who learned the bigger lesson?

The invasion demonstrated a contradiction that has forever bedeviled China’s military and political leaders: good strategy, bad tactics. The decision to send what amounted to nearly 250,000 troops into Vietnam had been taken seven months before and was well-telegraphed to those who cared to listen.

When Deng Xiaoping went to Washington in January 1979 to cement the normalization of China’s relations with the United States, he told President Jimmy Carter in a private meeting what China was about to do–and why. Not only did Beijing feel Vietnam was acting ungratefully after all the assistance it had received during its war against the U.S., but in 1978 Hanoi had begun expelling Vietnamese of Chinese descent. Worst of all–it was cozying up to Moscow. In November 1978 Vietnam signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union. A month later the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, a Chinese ally. Although Hanoi said it was forced to do so to stop Pol Pot’s genocide and to put an end to his cross-border attacks against Vietnam, Deng saw it as a calculated move by Moscow to use its allies to encircle China from the south.

Soviet adventurism in Southeast Asia had to be stopped, Deng said, and he was calculating (correctly, it turned out) that Moscow would not intervene in a limited border war between China and Vietnam. Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said Deng’s explanation to Carter of his invasion plans, with its calculated defiance of the Soviets, was the single most impressive demonstration of raw power politics that he had ever seen.

At the time Deng was consolidating his position as unchallenged leader of China. Having successfully negotiated normalization of relations with Washington, he wanted to send a strong signal to Moscow against further advances in Asia. He also thought the Carter Administration was being too soft on the Soviets, although he did not say as much to his American hosts. Hanoi, for its part, was unfazed by Deng’s demonstration of raw power. The Vietnamese fought the Chinese with local militia, not bothering to send in any of the regular army divisions that were then taken up with the occupation of Cambodia. Indeed, Hanoi showed no sign of withdrawing those troops, despite Chinese demands that they do so: the subsequent guerrilla war in Cambodia would bog down Vietnam’s soldiers and bedevil its foreign relations for more than a decade.

The towns captured by the Chinese were all just across the border; it is not clear whether China could have pushed much farther south. Having lost so many soldiers in taking the towns, the Chinese methodically blew up every building they could before withdrawing. Journalist Nayan Chanda, who visited the area shortly after the war, saw schools, hospitals, government buildings and houses all reduced to rubble. The war also showed China just how outdated its battlefield tactics and weaponry were, prompting a major internal review of the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army. The thrust for military modernization continues to this day, even as the focus of China’s generals has shifted from Vietnam back to Taiwan–a pesky little irritant that could cause Beijing even bigger problems if it decides to administer another lesson.


“New Albania: A Small Nation, A Great Contribution!” Part IV: International Relations and the Foreign Policy of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania

Albania is the only socialist country in the world today, and as such its foreign policy is different from the foreign policy of any other country. It follows an open, independent policy, guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. This means that Albania constantly guards and maintains its independence and defends the interests of the socialist homeland. This also means that Albania supports the revolutionary struggles of the working class and people throughout the world, for national liberation and socialism working always to assist these struggles and to increase the fighting unity of the people against their common enemies.

In taking this stand, Albania opposes the threats and interference of the two imperialist blocs, headed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In contrast to the two superpowers, who dictate and dominate over the world’s people and whose rivalry for power is threatening all humanity with a new world war, Albania maintains a policy of peaceful coexistence with countries of different social systems. It develops foreign trade, cultural and scientific exchanges based on equality and mutual interest, and respect for freedom and national independence. It has always worked to strengthen sincere relations of friendship and collaboration with all the freedom-loving and peace-loving peoples, with all those who fight against the aggressive and hegemonic policy of imperialism.

Self-Reliance Paves the Way For Foreign Trade

On the basis of forty years of socialist construction, Albania has been able to build a strong and diversified economy. As a result it has increased its foreign trade, adding new products to its exports and achieving a balance of imports and exports. At present Albania has trade relations with over 50 countries and hundreds of firms. Its exports include fuels, electric power, chromium, ferrochrome, basic nickel carbonate, tobacco, fresh and canned vegetables, agricultural and artisans’ goods and other products. Machinery and some kinds of raw and primary materials for the expansion of production make up the overwhelming portion of imports. During this Five-Year Plan (the seventh), Albania is working to keep the growth of exports higher than imports. It gives priority to exports so as to ensure that the export-import balance results in the increase of their reserves for foreign currency.

In addition to foreign trade, Albania has cultural and scientific exchanges with many countries. It has always highly valued the friendship of peoples throughout the world, and their contributions to culture, science and the progress of humanity. lt has worked to extend its friendly relations on every continent. The reports of trips to and from Albania in the magazine, “New Albania”, give a vivid picture of the growing ties and friendship of Albania with the people of the world. Diplomatic relations have grown from year to year and in 1981 numbered 95 stetes and commercial and cultural relations exist with many more. These include countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as in Europe.

How Does Albania Conduct Trade Relations While Remaining Free From The Domination and Dictate of the Superpowers?

One of the problems which confront the developing countries of the world is interference and control over their economies by one or the other superpower. The newspapers have been filled with the serious difficulties faced by the Latin American countries as they suffer under tremendous debt to the U.S. and particularly the U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund. Using these debts as a club, the U.S. is demanding even greater sacrifice by the peoples of these countries and further increasing its control over these countries.

How is it that a small country like Albania is free from such domination? The answer lies in the socialist policies of Albania, beginning with the victory of the people’s revolution and continuing today. Albania has never accepted any inequality, discrimination, exploitation and political or economic submission it rejects all imperialist attempts to gain a foothold in Albania under the guise of trade.

Speaking at the Paris Peace Conference, 1946

Albania has been able to do this by implementing from the beginning the Marxist-Leninist principle of establishing state monopoly on foreign trade. This means that the state, which is controlled by the working class, concentrates in its hands all foreign trade activity. Albania’s economy is protected from indiscriminate flow of foreign goods and from the economic crisis of the capitalist countries. Thus, imports and exports are included in the economic plan. Albania trades its surplus of mineral products and energy in order to obtain products and technology it needs to sustain its industrial growth and meet the material needs of the people.

Visiting China

Since liberation, Albania has never allowed the resources of the country to be given away to foreign companies. As its Constitution states, “…In the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the granting of concessions to, and the creation of foreign economic and financial companies and other institutions or ones formed jointly with bourgeois and revisionist capitalist monopolies and states, as well as obtaining credits from them, are prohibited.” Albania is completely free of foreign debt and the entanglement and domination by the superpowers and other capitalist states which these debts create.

Thus Albania is living proof that even a small country and one which started out very backward economically can achieve socialist construction and maintain complete independence from the big imperialist powers, by relying on its own resources and uniting all its people in a valiant struggle.

Albania and the Struggle Against Revisionism

During World War II and after, Albania allied with the Soviet Union, then a socialist country. Under the leadership of Stalin, the Soviet Union provided assistance and fraternal aid to Albania. Based on a united struggle for building socialism and supporting the revolutionary struggles around the world, Albania and the Soviet Union had Lies of mutual benefit and cooperation.

But with the death of Stalin and rise of revisionism in the Soviet Union, a struggle broke out — not only between these two countries but between all the true fighters for socialism in the world and the traitors of the Soviet Union, who destroyed socialism and re-established capitalism. This was a just and vital struggle in the interests of the people, and the Albanians, led by their Marxist-Leninist Party, the Party of Labor of Albania, played a leading role in exposing the Soviet revisionists. They put forward for all to see that the path the Soviets had taken was against the interests of the people and would cause the Soviet Union to become an aggressive, imperialist power. Reality today proves the Albanians right.

E. Hoxha being welcomed at Moscow airport by Soviet Minister V. Molotov, 1947

After World War II, the Albanians also had relations with Yugoslavia and China. In both of these cases, a similar struggle unfolded. The Yugoslav government and party tried to make Albania an appendage of the Yugoslav economy and to hamper the socialist industrialization of Albania. They tried to isolate Albania and exploit the country through unequal exchanges and hostile interference. And here too, an ideological struggle developed, with the Albanians once again exposing that the policies and stands of the Yugoslavs reflected not socialist ideals, not Marxism-Leninism, but capitalism and service to the rich.

Albania and Yugoslavia were allies in the anti-fascist war before the Titoite deviation into the capitalist camp.

The situation with China developed at a later date. Again there was a fierce ideological struggle, with the Albanian people fighting to defend the interests of the working class and people, and the Chinese taking a stand in support of U.S. imperialism. The Chinese, like the Yugoslavs and Soviets, promoted revisionist lines and policies which harmed the struggles of the people and caused great confusion.

Stamp made to celebrate the warm relations between E. Hoxha's Albania and Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam

In each case, the revisionists attempted to sabotage the economy of Albania, unilaterally canceling contracts and agreements. They tried to fool the Albanians into accepting their dictate and when this didn’t work they resorted to other means of attack leaving projects unfinished, providing false reports on mineral deposits and so on. In the face of this, the great strength and determination Albania has shown to oppose all forms of revisionist and imperialist attack and to continue on the socialist road is a great inspiration to all people interested in freedom and progress.

With General Secretary of the CP-Peru (M-L) Saturino Paredes Macedo

The struggle waged by the Albanians under the leadership of the PLA, has been discussed and analysed in recent works by Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the PLA. In these books — The Khrushchevites, The Titoites, Reflections on China (on the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and China respectively), and Imperialism and the Revolution, Hoxha provides great detail and insight, while making important contributions to the understanding and analyses of imperialism and revisionism on a world scale. These books, as well as  the consistent and open policy which Albania pursues today readily show why the imperialists slander Albania. They attack Albania because it refuses to accept revisionism and the path of betrayal of the people, and because it remains independent of the dictate and domination of the imperialists. In fact, it is a great danger to the imperialists and social-imperialists and thus they do everything to silence its voice and confuse people about Albania. But day after day, Albania shows the world that it is the imperialist powers who are becoming more and more isolated, as the peoples increase their struggle against the superpowers and all their local tools of reaction.

The Foreign Policy of Albania: Based on a Marxist-Leninist Analysis of the World

In order to have a consistent internationalist stand which both safeguards the revolution in Albania and supports the struggles of the world’s peoples, the Albanians make a careful objective analysis of the international situation. They explain that imperialism is the source of all aggression and predatory wars, the source of the suffering of the world’s people. U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism are competing and maneuvering to carry out various aggressions and occupy other countries. These two superpowers, along with other imperialist and capitalist powers (European countries, Japan, China, etc.), are trying to outdo each other in gaining economic, political and military superiority and in capturing new strategic positions. This is what leads to dangerous tensions and threatens the peoples with a new world war. The superpowers make secret deals and interfere in and attack various countries and nations in order to gain markets, raw materials and other advantages.

With Gensek of CP France, W.M. Thorez, 1959

The Albanians show that imperialist war, oppression and exploitation have run into great resistance from the working class and peoples of the world. They bring out that the struggles of workers and other oppressed peoples is a cause for great optimism.

While analysing that the imperialist superpowers and their NATO and Warsaw Pact allies are powerful and ferocious, the Albanians also expose that they are in decay, suffering from all round crisis. They explain that for the world’s people to escape once and for all from the suffering they experience under capitalism, under the neo-colonialist yoke of foreign imperialists and domination by local reactionary rulers, there is only one path. This is the path of socialist revolution, to overthrow imperialism and all reactionaries. This struggle is an objective historical process that no force can stop.

Albania Supports The International Working Class and Oppressed Peoples

Albania strengthens its support for the working class world-wide while safeguarding and defending socialism at home. In every available international forum, Albania presents a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world, which recognizes that the working class in every country is the leading force of the revolution. And as their own experience confirms, the victory of the revolution depends on the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class on the ability of this party to unite the people in struggle against their enemies and to organize the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. For this reason, the PLA pays great attention to strengthening and increasing its unity with Marxist- Leninist parties worldwide, and on developing the unity and strength of the international communist movement. Its consistent struggle against revisionism has been a very valuable contribution to the growth and development of the revolutionary movement world-wide. The great accomplishments of Albania in socialist construction and its firm stand against imperialism and revisionism has made it the leading ideological and political force in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

Speaking at a rally of the people, 1967.

Consistent with assisting the unity and struggle of the working class world-wide is Albania’s support for the struggle of all people for democracy, independence and socialism. The Albanians support each step in the struggles for freedom, independence and social progress won by other peoples, such as those of the Iranians in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Shah and the Nicaraguans in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Somoza. These triumphs help them and the other peoples of the world by weakening the common enemy.

With Gensec of Romanian Worker's Party, G.Georgiu Dej, 1956.

In the international arena, the Albanians work to expose the superpowers and their allies and to put forward an internationalist stand in support of the just struggles of the people for national and social liberation. For example, the consistent exposure of the phony character of the disarmament talks by the superpowers is one effort the Albanians have made to prevent the world’s people from being fooled.

E. Hoxha meeting with Kim Il-sung

The fact that Albania vigorously opposes, ideologically and politically, the stands of other countries does not prevent them from having friendly relations. Yugoslavia, for example, has taken hostile actions toward Albania and has attempted to destroy its socialist homeland. Despite the ideological differences with the Yugoslav revisionists, and their continuing plots against Albania, the Albanians aim to carry on normal diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia . At the same time, they have repeatedly warned the Yugoslav government against continuing its brutal, chauvinist policy toward the almost two million Albanians in Kosova and other parts of Yugoslavia. These people were separated from Albania during the imperialist dismemberment of the country before World War II. The Kosovars have demanded their own republic within the Yugoslav Federation, the right to develop their own national art and culture, to become acquainted with their own history and so on. The Kosovars have refused to reconcile themselves to an inferior status among the peoples of Yugoslavia, where their political, economic and national rights have been denied. Albania has never interfered in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia, but it has defended and will continue to defend the rights of the Kosovars in Yugoslavia.

With Stalin, 1947

Albania works not only for good relations with Yugoslavia, but with all the Balkan countries (Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania) and with European states in general. It aims to create a friendly atmosphere and to relax tensions. It seeks to resolve disputes by protracted negotiations rather than by threats and violence. It has called on these countries (as well as those in the rest of the world) not to ally themselves with the superpowers, saying that there is no safety under their aggressive “nuclear umbrellas”. It has also called on its neighbors to refuse to allow superpower military bases on their soil or to permit the superpowers to use their ports for refueling or rest stops.

Albania has formal diplomatic relations with China, but since 1978 when the Chinese social-imperialists lined up against the PLA and the Albanian people, there have been no other contacts. In 1978 the Chinese violated official agreements between the two countries, revealed information harmful to Albania’s security and sabotaged projects underway.

At a meeting of working in a Leningrad factory.

As for the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, the Albanians consider them the most savage enemies of the freedom and independence of the peoples and of peace and security in the world. They do not and will not have relations with these enemies of the people and will resolutely continue their exposure of these powers’ aggressive and hegemony-seeking policy and activity. Albania also refuses to have diplomatic relations with South Africa and Israel.

The foreign policy of Albania is an open, correct and principled policy, which defends the victories of socialism and supports the progressive struggles of people in the world. Providing a clear example of what is possible when a people rely on their own efforts, and unite under the leadership of a true Marxist-Leninist party, the Albanian people and state have won the respect and sympathy of millions of people all over the world.


In spite of the conspiracy of silence in all the U.S. bourgeois media the achievements of socialist Albania cannot and should not be hidden from democratic and progressive Americans. This pamphlet has been produced to help break this silence and to tell the inspiring story of this small country and its forty years of brilliant achievements since liberation and the triumph of the people’s revolution.

Alternating with the capitalist media’s usual silence have been lies and falsifications about Albania. But progressive organizations world-wide and many eyewitnesses to Albania’s socialist construction insist an spreading the true facts about the new socialist life being developed.

Facts show the Albanians are blazing a historic trail. Socialist Albania, the first country in the world to abolish taxes, the only country without such capitalist evils as inflation and unemployment, is a country that anyone eager to learn how these “miracles” have been accomplished should investigate. Starting as the country which was the most backward in Europe before World War II, Albania has become completely self-sufficient in feeding its people and constantly provides a better material and cultural life for its people.

Albania has accomplished all of this despite constant attacks and pressures by the imperialist powers. In particular, the United States government has been responsible for ongoing attacks against Albania, in collaboration with Britain, Yugoslavia and other European countries. These provocations continue today.

Albania deserves the support of all democratic and progressive people. It provides a shining example of how the working class and people can completely change their lives for the better. Using the experience of centuries of struggle against foreign occupation, the Albanian people rose and developed their Communist Party, the strong leadership capable of meeting the historic challenge before them. This Party, now the Party of Labor of Albania, led the people in defending their rights and waging a war of national and social liberation. Today after forty years of triumphant socialist construction the people, firmly united around the Party, are actively participating in the running and organizing of the state and economy, defending their homeland and joining with the people of the world to fight for peace, democracy and social progress.

Socialist Albania shows the reality that can be achieved when the working class and people take history into their hands and determine their own destiny.

Suspicions linger 30 years after Sino-Vietnam war

Chinese soldiers arrested are kept by Vietnamese fighters on the battlefield of Cao Bang, in February 1979. China invaded Vietnam 30 years ago this week, but the event will not be officially marked by Beijing, which refuses to acknowledge the war -- making life even harder for veterans who are haunted by it. (AFP/File)

Thirty years after they went to war with each other, Beijing and Hanoi have opted for cooperation, even if Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia view China’s growing presence with suspicion.

In China, the war that began on February 17, 1979 is not even mentioned, and few young people here know the history of how their nation launched a brief but bloody invasion into their small southern neighbour and later withdrew without a clear victory.

“The toning down of public statements about the Sino-Vietnam conflict reflects growing interdependence and pragmatism in today’s bilateral relations,” said Chin-Hao Huang, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

“Both sides are willing to cast aside historical grievances and work together on building trade, business and economic relations, monitoring and combating disease outbreaks like the avian flu and cracking down on narcotics trade, among many other issues of mutual interest.”

Although relations have improved, disputes remain in the oil-rich South China Sea, where Beijing and Hanoi vie for sovereignty over the Spratley and Paracel islands.

The Chinese parliament has voted to declare Chinese sovereignty over 80% of the South China Sea, but has proposed joint exploitation of resources, said Jean-Claude Pomonti, a Bangkok-based journalist.

“The Vietnamese suspicion of the Chinese remains intact, but they have no choice (but to agree to Chinese proposals),” said Pomonti, who is also the author of a book on Southeast Asia.

At the same time, three decades after deadly hostilities between the communist neighbours, a military option is out of the question.

“The fact that China has agreed and signed on to the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea with Vietnam and other Asean member states is an important step in the right direction to resolving the conflict through non-military means,” said SIPRI’s Huang.

The Cold War is over, and Indochina is no longer an arena of ideologically charged rivalry among the United States, the Soviet Union and China.

The Americans may still play an important role in the region, but China is leaving heavy footprints too.

Investment, resource exploitation and trade are the reasons why the Asian giant is so interested in the region.

Vietnam imported 15.6 billion dollars of Chinese goods last year with bilateral trade totalling 20.1 billion dollars.

Other parts of Southeast Asia are becoming engaged with China too: In the northwest of Laos, vast rubber plantations produce for the Chinese markets.

A brand new highway, one of the best in all of Laos, cuts through the country facilitating transportation between China and Southeast Asia.

As a sign of the growing engagement between the two areas, Beijing named a special ambassador to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in December.

“The strengthened presence of China especially in the economic field is an opportunity for Asean to reach a new market,” said Rodolfo C. Severino, a former Asean secretary general and now a researcher at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

“It’s not so much a question of traditional balance of power, but more an opportunity for Asean as a group to deal with the great powers to gain influence.”

But the majority of Southeast Asian countries remain worried about China’s long-term interests and regional ambitions, according to SIPRI’s Huang.

“As such, most Southeast Asian countries prefer to see a strong, continued presence of the United States and Japan to help maintain the balance in regional stability,” he said.


PCC-ML: The Crisis and Obama

The following is a translated article from the Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)/EPL; a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist Party that has been fighting an armed struggle in Colombia against the forces of reaction since the 1960s. The article “The Crisis and Obama” reflects the Marxist-Leninist sentiment of the Obama victory. Revolutionaries across the world and especially in America must realize that this victory is one in which we should hold no illusions.


November 18, 2008

The election of Barack Obama as president of the only superpower imperialist hits the world, primarily because it expresses the electoral defeat of a policy hated by the people and loving forces of progress and democracy that have seen state terrorism razing villages with their bombings and stifling the economies with rampant speculation, worker exploitation and plundering of the environment to squandered natural resources. They are all symbols of the Bush decade, which the defeated Republican candidate McCain sought to prolong.

The idea of “change” was strengthened with some approaches of the president-elect on issues like the Iraq war, human rights in the prison in Guantanamo and in Colombia associated with the discussion of the Free Trade Agreement, as well as the social needs of broad masses of Americans forgotten and beaten by two governments of the Republican Bush.

In similar measure, the victory of the Democrat Obama is associated with the struggles against racial discrimination which applies to global capitalism, while Barack has not been a bearer of actions of the kind that brought fame to Luther King, much less ideas of Malcolm X, both immolated, and use his victory to try to rejuvenate the people between the unworkable “American dream”. From there arise some expectations in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Obama has said he does have an option to dismantle imperialism, the changes will be announced in the way of saying and doing things. The changes in attitude will have no major impact on the worldwide panorama and in Latin America he will seek a change of ways to halt the progressive, democratic and leftist tendencies which inspire our people.

Obama also has achieved a Democratic majority in Congress, the majority which approved of the imperialist aggression against Cuba and Vietnam in the government of John Kennedy, who fought socialism to death, developed the nuclear arms race and permanently navigated the seven seas of the planet with a fleet of military aggression, among other actions against the sovereignty of peoples and nations such as the “Plan Colombia” by Clinton that leaves us death and misery.

This is another political reality to affirm strongly that the election of Obama does not change the essence of Yankee imperialism in politics, much less in the economy which is already committed to the “bailout” of the Bush administration to encourage the bankers to expense the savings of the American people and keep silent about the findings of the G-20 which in essence are more of the same.

The people and their real leaders will know their advantage in aspects of the government of Obama that benefit their tactics in the struggle for social liberation and national independence, a quite different illusion with the president of an imperialist power based on reason or aspects of his speech or ethnic origin, which in the cases of the hawks Condoleezza Rice and Gen. Colin Powell led to disappointment.

We cannot forget for a moment that the various monopolies have enough experience to not make the mistake of sponsoring and promoting the president who will fight them, unless he is prepared to defend them above all else.

The determined are those class interests which move the party that chose Barack Obama relying on a special time of economic and political crisis that demanded from its people and the world the idea of “if you can change” the surface, hiding the substance remains the same.

Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)

Cold War: a Marxist view

The Revolutionary Highway Has No Exits – The History of the Cold War

By Arlen Tracey

The Cold War, a global conflict between the United States and its allies in Western Europe, against the Soviet Union and its allies around the world, was a conflict that evolved and twisted itself over its decades of existence.

It is important to acknowledge that throughout the war, the emphasis and goals of both sides changed numerous times. A historical record must be made of the evolving positions of the Soviet, Chinese, Albanian, Yugoslavian, and United States governments.

Stalin Wanted Peace

The “Cold War” began, according to historians, at the end of World War Two, when the Soviet Union and the United States ended their war-time alliance.

The most ignored aspect of the opening of the cold war was the fact that the Soviet Union had calculated the opposite occurrence. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union predicted, expected, and hoped for period of “peace” among the “Democratic Powers.”

The actions of the Soviet Union even as the war was still in the process of ending, but especially in the few years immediately following it, were devoted to doing its best to prevent any conflict between the US and the USSR.

The Tehran Accords, signed by Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt, made clear that these “democratic powers” were to be united after the war. Soviet-American-British cooperation was to be the order of the day following the war, according to the accords.

In order to appease the British and Americans, the Soviets demanded that the French Communist Party agree to withdraw from the French Government, even though it had won a clear majority in the post-war elections. The Italian Partisan Brigades, which had fought the Nazis and were led by Communists, laid down their arms without a shot, and allowed a “democratic government” which excluded to them to take hold.

In the U.S., the Communist Party dissolved itself and became the “Communist Political Association.”

But this was not enough for the imperialists. They never intended to have unity with the “democratic powers” of the Soviet Union. Stalin’s attempts to appease the capitalists in the post war period were of no avail.

Hitler’s staunch allies who led the fascist regimes Spain and Portugal were embraced by the United States and Britain. The forces fighting for democracy against the Pro-Fascist Greek Monarchy found the U.S. and Britain sending guns to their oppressors.

In China, though the Chinese Communist Party had done the bulk of the fighting against the Japanese Imperialists, it was blocked from the government, and again suffering persecution by U.S. backed despot named Chiang Kia-shek.

U.S. military bases were set up in West Germany. U.S. Communists endured the horrific “McCarthy Period” in which they were forced into semi-underground status, and the entire leadership of their organizations were jailed.

In response to this, Stalin’s mild policies of peace and cooperation with the west reversed. The Soviet Union led the World Communist Movement into a “left turn.”

In Response to Aggression, Stalin Turns Left

It was in response to this that the USSR turned away from it post-war “world democratic peace” policies and became a cold warrior. The Chinese Communist Party took up arms and defeated the U.S. backed “nationalist” government and established a socialist regime. The Warsaw Pact created unity among the “People’s Democracies” of Eastern Europe, who rapidly moved to place the Communist Parties in command of the “Democratic Fronts” created during WWII.

In 1949, Chinese Communist Party, due to its popular support was victorious, and removed the U.S. backed dictatorship of the Nationalists.

The Koreans attempted to re-unify their country, and overthrow the U.S. backed dictator, Syngman Rhee, who held power in the South. The U.S. imperialists could not tolerate Korean Re-Unification and the “Korean War” erupted.

In 1948, the U.S. Communist Party, directed by the Soviet Union, abandoned the Democratic Party, which it had supported since 1936. Since 1936, the Communist had always run independent candidates for symbolic purposes, but voted for the Democratic Party in the name of creating a “people’s coalition”, but in 1948, the Communist devoted all their forces to the Progressive Party of Henry Wallace.

Aid to people in Africa and Asia from the Soviet Union increased. The feeling of the Soviet Union was that “peaceful co-existence”, once offered at the end of the war, had been met with betrayal, and that the only hope for survival of the USSR was a stronger, world revolution.

No summing up or self-criticism of the earlier policies with Italy, France, and elsewhere was made publicly, however, it should be noted. However, this can be justified by an understanding that doing so might undermine the credibility of the leaders who made the errors, who still held power.

In 1945, the U.S. Communist Party did expelled Earl Browder, who was the symbol of the classless, pro-imperialist, “democracy” brand of Socialism that marked the war years.

The only internally known vocal opponent of Stalin’s turn toward world revolution within the socialist camp was Tito. Tito headed Yugoslavia, and in 1948, at the same time Stalin was embracing revolution as a response to aggression, announced the opposite position.

Tito proclaimed his opposition to “Stalinist Expansionism” and “Soviet Domination.” He aligned himself with the United States during the Korean Conflict, and in response was given millions of dollars in “aid.” Tito also began to implement “workplace democracy”, which in reality, meant the break up of the state industries created after the war, into small, capitalist corporations.

Tito denounced world revolution as “aggression” and socialist economics as “dogmatism”, throwing Stalin’s name in with both. The words of Stalin for Tito were fiery and critical. Albania’s criticism was equally fiery.

Mao briefly flirted with Tito, before shortly afterward condemning him.

The 20th Party Congress and Revisionism

When Stalin died in 1954 this opened the floodgates for an internal Communist Party fight that had been under the surface for decades, heating up most intensely at that moment.

The “right opposition” of Bukharin, who had opposed a socialist economy for a “market socialism”, and had opposed world revolution but wanted “peaceful co-existence” still existed. They had been suppressed while Stalin was alive, and had no following as Stalin opposed them, and Stalin was so beloved by all who fought against U.S. imperialism and Nazism.

The fight went on for 2 years after Stalin’s death as no longer did the forces defending world revolution and socialist economics have Stalin’s leadership to rally behind.

In 1956 Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Neo-Bukharinists, gave the “secret speech” at the 20th Party Congress. His speech went into detail attacking Stalin on personal grounds, repeating the very content of Hearst Newspaper and Anti-Communist slander.

The speech was “secret” from the people of the Soviet Union, but was circulated throughout the world in order to make clear that the new Soviet leaders were not “revolutionaries” like Stalin, but believers in “peaceful co-existence” and “cooperation.”

Pro-Stalin leaders were jailed and executed. Pro-Stalin literature was burned. China and Albania were silent about the policies at first, hoping they could be corrected without a huge conflict.

The first acts of Khrushchev was to attempt to restore the relationship with Tito in Yugoslavia. Khrushchev had numerous meetings with Tito, and did all he could, unsuccessfully to win Yugoslavia to being friendly toward the Soviet Union.

In 1956, rightists and fascist rose up in Hungary to overthrow socialism and install a pro-western dictatorship. Khrushchev attempted to have dialogue with openly Pro-Nazi Priests and other Neo-Fascists within the regime. Khrushchev also refused to receive the input from the Hungarian leaders about how to deal with the counter-revolutionary uprising.

Finally, he sent in the Red Army to crush them, and symbolically, the Chinese Communist Party sent some of its own troops as well.

China & Albania Speak Out and are Punished

In response to Khrushchev’s open lack of support revolution around the world, Mao Zedong and Enver Hoxha loudly denounced the ideology of Khrushchev. They praised Stalin for the left turn prior to his death, and preached that it was the duty of Communists to support people in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere who wanted revolution against colonialism.

They denounced the manner in which Khrushchev sought to negotiate and make peace with capitalism, and his various scheming attempts to de-socialize the Soviet economy and move toward “market socialism” as Tito had done.

China and Albania’s calls were not hostile denunciation, but rather soft spoken critiques. But this was too much for Khrushchev.

While Khrushchev always wanted dialogue and negotiation with the U.S. imperialists and with rightists like Tito and the elements in Hungary, he offered no such understanding to China and Albania.

The USSR cut off diplomatic relations with Albania and China, something never even done to the Nazis. In both China and Albania, soviet engineers and technicians burned their blueprints, and left buildings half built.

In China, the economy had depended on foreign aid from the USSR, and the punishing vengeance of Khrushchev forced an economic disaster as the country was forced to re-organize its economy at the drop of hat.

USSR and USA align for “Peace” Against World Revolution

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union announced that Kennedy was their friend. The battle cry of the Soviet leadership became “world peace.” All who opposed world peace, whether they be the Africans who fought against colonial domination, or the people of Indonesia who sought to elect a socialist government, were the enemy.

Mao, Hoxha, and Che Guevara thunderously preached that it was the duty of third world people to fight against imperialism. Khrushchev and the leaders of the USSR were convinced that “world peace” depended on them keeping these “ultra-lefts” in line.

Khrushchev called for Mao and Hoxha’s overthrow as they were “brutal dictators.” Khrushchev denounced China for seeking atomic weapons.

The USSR urged the people of Vietnam to drop their weapons and “negotiate” the continued existence of the U.S. backed dictatorship in South Vietnam.

It seemed that in their desire to suppress world revolution there was a temporary alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union’s leaders.

The Soviet leaders, acting as social democratic sellouts always do, lectured the figures within their own movement to “slow down” and “stop being so extreme.” It is likely that Khrushchev wanted to go even further with this betrayal, which is why he was removed in coup, and replaced by Kosygin and Brezhnev in 1964. But for the moment, the policies continued.

China and Albania were the fire of the left screaming for world revolution. Cuba, Korea, and the German Democratic Republic walked the “middle of the road”, trying to negotiate with both sides.

The USSR continued to say that revolution was immoral, as it would “provoke” the U.S. imperialists to use atomic weapons.

The Shift of 1972

In 1972, there was a rapid shift in the cold war. No longer were the Soviet and U.S. leaders united in their opposition to world revolution. Now, China was actively fighting the cold war on the side of the U.S., Albania was confused and silent, and the Soviet Union became the main target of U.S. hatred.

In 1972, Nixon was welcomed into China and greeted as a hero. The Chinese government proclaimed that the “main danger” was the Soviet Union. China proclaimed that supporting Marxist-Leninist parties in third world countries was “Social Imperialism.”

China instead embraced leaders like the Shah of Iran who represented the “indigenous identity of the people.” It was better to have a pro-U.S. capitalist leader than to have a revolutionary one who was loyal to the USSR.

China was aligned with the U.S., not against world revolution, but against the Soviet Union.

Chinese allied rebel groups in the third world, which had been constructed in order to defy the Soviet policy of “peace”, suddenly were embracing U.S. dictators as “defense” from the “Soviet Social Imperialists.”

The only “revolution” that China would support would be a revolution to overthrow a pro-Soviet government. China’s internal policy no longer spoke of revolution or Communism, but of “third world unity” against “Soviet Social Imperialism.”

This policy began in 1972, but continued after Mao’s death. In 1979 China invaded Vietnam to “liberate” it from “Soviet Social Imperialism.” China funded the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan along with the U.S. China sent weapons and aid to the Shah of Iran, and denounced the Iranian revolution as a “Social Imperialist Plot.”

Albania denounced this, an as resulted in a period of isolation with horrific economic consequences. China, Albania’s only ally, was gone. Albania was a lone, small, isolated nation, which claimed to be the only socialist country in the world amidst “Soviet and Chinese Social Imperialism.”

The USSR’s Response

In response to China openly siding with the United States, the USSR began to no longer distance itself from revolutionary causes around the world. The Soviet Union, which had previously discouraged people in Latin America, Africa, and Asia from fighting back, instead, openly championed such things.

The African National Congress, which the USSR had discouraged from taking up arms against apartheid, now received Soviet money and weapons. The Cubans became the icon of the Soviet Union’s world revolutionary camp, as did the Koreans.

The USSR embraced U.S. revolutionary Angela Davis and highlighted her as a symbol of Black Liberation in the U.S.

The USSR began to “talk left”, while at the same accusing all who criticized them of being “Maoists”, a world that would that became synonymous with “Trotskyite.”

The response of the U.S. was to intensify its brutality toward the USSR. Contra death squads were sent throughout Latin America to commit fascistic crimes against the people.

Reagan waved his arms preaching about a “world crusade against Bolshevism” in ways that would make Adolph Hitler jealous.

The Crack of 1989

The cold war ended officially in 1991 with the collapse of the USSR, but by 1989 the battle was lost. Gorbachev led a section of the Communist Party that was politically to the right of Khrushchev. They denounced the “working class” in favor “universal humanism” and other nonsensical, non-Marxist ideas.

Margaret Thatcher and Reagan found in Gorbachev’s and his followers to be “Communist leaders we can do business with” because they weren’t “war mongering” like their predecessors, i.e. they were open to surrender.

Gorbachev opened the economy, and let the west pour in. His “market socialism” made Yugoslavia’s look dogmatic.

The cold war ended because China and the USSR had both become dominated by leaders who abandoned any will to fight. With Pro-U.S. forces in power in Russia and China, there was no arms race to be had.


The cold war was ended, not by a flaw in Communism, not by a lack of ability to “negotiate” on the part of the Soviet leaders, but the opposite.

Neither the leaders of the USSR nor of China were purely committed to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. They had both become infected with careerism and revisionism. They both found comfort and peace, and abandoned their will to fight.

It was treason and lack of endurance that caused the horrific events of 1991.

The majority of the Communist Parties were filled elements without principles. The parties were also disconnected from the masses, so even the non-revisionist elements within them could not mobilize a defense of the revolution properly.

The only way the imperialists were able to instill the massive set backs of 1991 was because of the very “revisionism” we see in modern times.

It is always easier to be wrong than to be right. It is always a more comfortable life to accommodate and befriend the oppressors.

The most successful period of the cold war was Stalin’s left turn before his death. Sure, he got caught up in illusions during the war. But Stalin’s response to U.S. imperialist backstabbing was different than Khrushchev or Mao.

Stalin saw that being attacked by the imperialists called not for being more moderate, but for being more radical and hostile.

Did this make his life easier? Did this make them like him more?

No. But it strengthened world revolution like nothing else.

Life in 1930s Germany was much easier for “Good Germans” than for underground resistance fighters. Now “good Germans” live in shame.

Life in the Southern U.S. in the early 1960s was much easier for members of the KKK, than for Civil Rights Movement. But now there is Martin Luther King holiday, while the KKK is the subject of jokes, denial, and ridicule.

Progress comes through struggle and confrontation.

The essence of revisionism is refusal to accept the reality of being a revolutionary.

Revolution is a difficult life. It is an uphill battle. It is a road without short-cuts.

Its final victory is the most glorious of all.

But the journey does not end. As long as oppression exists, revolutionaries must fight oppression.

The revolutionary highway has no exits.

The journey must continue until Communism is reached. Reaction will inevitably begin, when the thrust for progress halts.


Pol Pot Was Not and Is Not A Communist

Who Is and Was Really Responsible for Genocide in Cambodia?

Pol Pot Was Not and Is Not A Communist 

(originally published in Challenge-Desafio, PL Magazine Supplement, February 19, 1986)

Apologists for capitalism are always inventing lies to “prove” how terrible communism is. In recent years one of their favorite tales concerns the mass killings in Cambodia by the supposedly “communist” Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot. Lots of articles, a couple of books and at least one major movie, “The Killing Fields,” have focused on the Khmer Rouge atrocities. Pol Pot has almost replaced Joseph Stalin as number one on the capitalists’ all-time hate list.

But there’s a big difference. Comrade Stalin was a great communist. Pol Pot, however, never was one. Some recent books, written by Western experts on Cambodia and using evidence obtained after the fall of Pol Pot, show this clearly. These books must be used with care; the authors are either pro-Vietnamese revisionists (Vickery, Chandler, Thion) or liberal imperialists (Shawcross). It’s the facts they have uncovered that are valuable, not their own opinions and analyses of these facts, which are ruined by their anti-Communist values.

“Khmer Rouge” (KR), or “Red Khmers” (Khmer is the major ethnic group of Cambodia) was the name given to the peasant rebels under the leadership of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (native name of Cambodia), or CPK. In order to see how the CPK turned into a bunch of anti-Communist murderers, a little history is essential.

History of the Cambodian Left

In 1951 the old Indochina Communist Party (ICP), dominated by Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese, split into Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian groups. Like the world-wide communist movement as a whole by that time, these groups were rotten with nationalism and eager to compromise with “progressive” (anti-colonialist) capitalists.

In the mid-50s, the old ICPers were joined by a number of militant nationalist students returning from France, including the future KR rulers Pol Pot (real name: Saloth Sar), Ieng Sary, and Khieu Samphan. A party, the CPK, was formed by these two groups in 1960, but its existence was kept secret until 1977, long after it seized power. Apparently this was an unprincipled concession to the anti-communism of the nationalist ex-students. When anti-communism is not fought it grows, as we shall see.

Repression by the monarchist government under Prince Sihanouk soon forced the party underground. Most of the communists of the former ICP abandoned the struggle, returning to North Vietnam. Only the nationalist Pol Pot group remained.

When a peasant revolt began in 1967 in the Samlaut region near the border with Thailand, the Pol Pot group joined it. Never communists in anything but name, they assumed a line they thought they could easily win some peasants to – that the cities (home of the absentee landlords and exploitative state which taxed the peasants) and everyone in them were the enemy, including professionals, teachers and workers.

Romantic attachments to the peasantry as a class have long been characteristic of bourgeois radicals. In Russia, Lenin’s earliest polemic (1895) was directed against the Narodniki, or “Friends of the People.” The petty-bourgeois Narodniki too preached a peasant communalism in words, but practiced bloody terrorism. Vickery finds another close similarity between the KR and the ‘Antonov’ and Tambov peasant rebels in Western Russia during the Civil War, who fought communists and monarchists with equal vigor and with hair-raising atrocities.

To this peasant dislike of the cities Pol Pot’s faction added a fierce hatred, amounting to racism, for anything Vietnamese. Hatred of Vietnam is a nationalist view developed by the Cambodian elite, who remembered the conflicts in past centuries between Vietnamese and Cambodian kings, and how the Vietnamese rulers had driven the Cambodians out of what is now the Mekong delta region of Vietnam.

In 1970 the military under Lon Nol, backed by the United States, overthrew Sihanouk. U.S. rulers began huge bomb strikes against North Vietnamese troops and supply lines in Northeast Cambodia. The bombing killed many thousands of peasants and virtually destroyed village life.

As hatred of the U.S. and the Lon Nol government grew, peasants flooded to join the KR army. But on returning from North Vietnam to join the movement, the old ICPers found themselves under suspicion, sometimes even killed by the Pol Pot group. Thus the CPK, which took power in April, 1975, was a tense alliance of two distinct groups. The pro-Vietnamese ICPers and the Pol Pot faction had distinct areas of influence, the former being more influential in the East (near Vietnam). Their soldiers even wore different uniforms.

Nicolae Ceauşescu with Pol Pot

The Mass Killings Begin

Although anti-Communist hacks portray the evacuation of the cities in April 1975 as an atrocity, even capitalist scholars tacitly admit it was necessary (e.g. Zasloff and Brown, in Problems of Communism, Jan.-Feb. 1979, p. 34 — a journal published by the U.S. State Department and devoted to anti-Communist propaganda with a “scholarly” slant). For example, the capital, Phnom Penh, had grown to 2 million from about 600,000 from peasants fleeing the U.S. bombings. As in South Vietnam, the U.S. had completely destroyed the peasant economy in order to wipe out the village society in which the KR flourished. Phnom Penh was provisioned only by massive imports of U.S. food, which stopped abruptly when Lon Nol fell. If the city population hadn’t been evacuated, they’d have simply starved to death!

Between 1975 and early 1977 neither group within the CPK really dominated. Anti-Communist “experts” like John Barron and Anthony Paul (authors of Murder of a Gentle Land – this pair are full-time anti-Communist propagandists for the Reader’s Digest) and François Ponchaud (Cambodia Year Zero) give the impression that massacres took place throughout the whole 1975-79 period. From surviving records and from hundreds of interviews of refugees and of those who remained in the country, Michael Vickery reveals a different pattern. Though there were occasional instances of brutality against former city-dwellers in areas held by Pol Pot supporters, mass executions didn’t begin until 1977, when the Pol Pot group consolidated its power.

A blood purge of all those suspected of being pro-Vietnamese or insufficiently “pro-peasant” began. In 1978 the remaining pro-Vietnamese forces in the CPK led a revolt, which was brutally crushed. The Pol Pot government then slaughtered anyone who had supported this group, plus the many ethnic Vietnamese in Eastern Cambodia. This led to the Vietnamese invasion of 1979. The KR had no support except its army, and the Vietnamese easily set up a puppet régime of the defeated ICP faction, which rules Kampuchea today.

U.S. Rulers Murdered More Cambodians than did Khmer Rouge

How many people were killed during these mass murders? The U.S. media, following Dith Pran of The New York Times (on whom the movie “The Killing Fields” was based), claim about three million. When talking about “communists,” no figure under the million mark will satisfy capitalist writers. Vickery shows that 300,000 — still an appalling figure — is about the upper possible limit. In contrast, Zasloff and Brown write of the “heavy toll in lives” which “the enormous U.S. bombing and the intensity of the fighting” caused before 1975, and imply that the KR claims of 600,000 to “more than 1 million” dead from US bombing are credible [Problems of Communism Jan-Feb 1979, p. 40 col. 2 & note 35]. When it comes to genocide, Pol Pot & Co. were amateurs compared to the U.S. imperialists.

The Anti-Communism of the Pol Pot Régime

Whatever the number, though, these killings were not the work of “communists” of any kind, even of Soviet or Chinese-style revisionists but of anti-Communists.

Not every group which calls itself “communist” is so. For example, the Vietnamese, Soviet, Chinese and other relics of the old communist movement are capitalists in a thin disguise. They give only lip service to Marxism-Leninism, the working class, proletarian internationalism, and the need to build a classless society.

In contrast, Pol Pot, the KR, and the CPK openly rejected the idea of communism itself! A few quotations from Vickery and Chandler illustrate this:

  • On communism: “We are not communists … we are revolutionaries” who do not ‘belong to the commonly accepted grouping of communist Indochina.” (Ieng Sary, 1977, quoted by Vickery, p. 288).
  • On Marxism-Leninism: “The first public admission that the ‘revolutionary organization’ was Marxist-Leninist in its orientation came in the memorial services for Mao Zedong held in Phnom Penh on 18 Sept., 1976” (Chandler, in Chandler, ed., p. 55, note 28).:
  • “They [Kampuchean spokesmen] claim that the CPK is a Marxist-Leninist Party, but say nothing about the writings of these two men.” (Chandler, p. 45)
  • On the need for a revolutionary party: “The most striking feature of the idea of revolution entertained by the Khmer Communists… was that it was unexpressed. In the 1960s, opposition to government policies and calls for an anti-imperialist stand, made up the platform of the left wing … In fact, revolution and the existence of a revolutionary party were not only played down in propaganda, they were completely hidden truths, revealed only to the enlightened few who could achieve senior positions in the apparatus [i.e. mainly the ex-student radicals]. (Thion, in Chandler ed., p. 16, emphasis added).

It was not until September 27, 1977 that the existence of a “communist party” was even publicly revealed, in a Pol Pot speech (Chandler, p. 37).

  • On the working class: “Though tiny, it [the Cambodian working class] existed, scattered in the towns. But instead of cultivating it, the Khmer Communists proceeded to liquidate it as if it were a decadent legacy of the past…(Thion, p. 27-8).

From all this we can conclude the following:

  • Pol Pot & Co. were not communists. In this sense they are no different from the Soviets, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Ronald Reagan, or any capitalist.
  • Unlike the Soviets, Vietnamese, Chinese and other revisionist, phony communists, Pol Pot & Co. boasted that they were not communists.
  • The influence of a pro-Vietnamese faction meant that some Marxist terminology was used, at least up to 1977. After that time the KR abandoned any talk of communism.

The Pol Pot group also sometimes described themselves as communists between 1975 and 1977 in an attempt to get help from China. For example:

…Pol Pot’s tribute to the crucial role played by Mao Zedong’s thought in the Cambodian revolution, contained in a speech in Beijing on 29 September 1977, was not re-broadcast over Phnom Penh radio” (Chandler, in Chandler, ed., p. 45).

Mao and the Chinese Communist party had won millions of peasants to a communist, pro-working class line, whereas the Pol Pot group had tried to win the peasantry to an anti-working class, anarchist line. What China — and, equally important, the U.S. — like about Pol Pot & Co. is their genuine hostility to Vietnam, not their phony praises to Mao.

Khmer Rouge Anti-Communists Propped Up By U.S. Today

In order to weaken pro-Soviet Vietnam, the U.S. ruling class now supports a coalition of Cambodian rebel forces, of which Pol Pot’s KR are by far the strongest element. It is only a mild embarrassment to the U.S. bosses that the group they are now keeping afloat is the very one they point to as guilty of “communist” genocide! In turn, the KR call for “democratic elections” and a reformed capitalism.

For the world’s workers, the lessons of the Pol Pot experience are clear:

  • There is no substitute for communism in the fight against imperialism and capitalism. The KR tried to build a “new kind” of revolution based upon petit-bourgeois radicalism. Instead, they plunged Kampuchea into a nightmare.
  • You can’t believe anything the U.S. media or ruling class say about communism! The capitalists care nothing for the hundreds of thousands who were murdered. If they did, why do they continue to support Pol Pot?

In December 1981, The New York Times Magazine published a story in which the author said he’d visited KR “freedom fighters” leading the war of independence against the Vietnamese occupiers. Jones, the author of the story, claimed to have seen Pol Pot directing the struggle, an heroic figure silhouetted against the sky.

The Times’ editors thought it was so good they printed it without the checking-up they usually give an article from an unknown writer. It turned out that Jones had made it all up while sitting on a beach in Spain! The Times was so eager to believe a story that made the KR and Pol Pot — whom they were already calling a genocidal mass murderer — into an anti-Communist hero that they rushed it into print! Nothing could demonstrate more clearly the willingness of the liberal ruling class to clasp to its bosom any fascist murderer who can help out in the fight against communism.


David P. Chandler and Ben Kiernan, editors, Revolution and Its Aftermath in Kampuchea: Eight Essays, New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies Monograph No. 25, 1983.

Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982. Boston: South End Press, 1984.