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Military Resistance 10J7
From: Dennis Serdel To: Military Resistance Newsletter Sent: October 11, 2012 Subject: TIME Written by Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour) Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade; United Auto Workers GM Retiree ****************************************************************
TIME THERE IS NO HAPPY ENDING JUST LIKE A TREE WITH IT’S LOWER LIMB CUT OFF & IT NEVER GROWS BACK SO THE TREE
SPENDS IT’S LIFE LOOKING ODD & SHAMEFUL JUST LIKE ANOTHER TREE THAT HAS AN UPPER LIMB CUT OFF & IT NEVER GROWS BACK TO BE NORMAL & THE TREE CAN’T DANCE IN THE SUNLIGHT LIKE IT DID BEFORE & THE YOUNG ENCHANTING WOMEN MAKE EXCUSES & SHY AWAY WITH THEIR FACES HALF SMILING LOOKING DOWN IN AN AWKWARD SITUATION AS THE TREE SHEDS IT’S CLOTHES & THE BARE TREES LOOK SO UGLY IN THE WINTER & THE SOLDIER DID NOT UNDERSTAND BECAUSE IN THE MOVIES AT THE END, THE GOOD GUY ALWAYS GET’S THE GIRL BUT AFTER MORE DEFEATS IN THE FRUSTRATING WAR THE SOLDIER WITHDRAWS HE THINKS IF ONLY HE HAD BEEN MARRIED BEFORE HE WENT TO WAR BUT HE HADN’T HEARD OF THE DIVORCES OVER DRUGS & ALCOHOL NOW I’M 31 YEARS OLD & I CAN ONLY USE ONE ARM TO WASH MYSELF IN THE SHOWER THERE IS NO HAPPY ENDING & THE X-SOLDIER STILL WONDERS WHY HE CAN’T FIND ONE WOMEN TO LOVE NOW I’M 43 YEARS OLD & ALL I CAN DO IS HOP TO THE CHAIR FROM MY BED TO ATTACH MY PROSTHETIC LEG SO I CAN WALK BUT WITHOUT A WOMAN TO LOVE WHO
WANTS A WHOLE MAN & THERE IS NO HAPPY ENDING & NOW THE X-SOLDIER IS 53 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAKES UP IN THE MORNING & LIFTS HIMSELF UP FROM BED WITH HIS ONCE STRONG ARMS & PLACES HIS BODY WITH NO LEGS IN THE WHEELCHAIR IN HIS URINE SMELLING CHEAP APARTMENT AS WOMEN TURN THEIR HEADS OR HOLD A DOOR OPEN FOR HIM & SMILE POLITELY BUT THAT’S ALL AS HE GAINS WEIGHT & THERE IS NO HAPPY ENDING TO THIS NONENTITY MOVIE LIFE AS ALL THE WELCOMING PEOPLE PATTED HIM ON THE BACK WHEN THE SOLDIER FIRST CAME HOME & SAID YOUR GOING TO MAKE IT ALRIGHT BUT NOW I’M 63 YEARS OLD THE PATS ON THE BACK FROM LONG AGO ARE JUST PUFFS OF DUST NOW & HE HAS NO WIFE OR CHILDREN & NOW I’M 71 YEARS OLD & THE X-SOLDIER IS A QUADRIPLEGIC & THE SILVER STAR & PURPLE HEART ARE JUST LIES NOW BECAUSE HIS LIFE HAS BEEN LIKE A MONSTER LIVING IN A GODLESS HELL. SHOCK POETRY BY DENNIS SERDEL FOR MILITARY RESISTANCE
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Insurgent Attack On Maruf Intelligence Office Kills Foreign Servicemember, Occupation Worker And Four Afghan Intelligence Officers:
Nationality Of Foreign Servicemember Not Announced
October 13 By Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan — At least eight people were killed Saturday in attacks in southern Afghanistan, including one incident where a bomber on a motorbike blew himself up at a local intelligence office, officials said. Six people — four Afghan intelligence officers, a coalition service member and a civilian employee working for the coalition — died in the attack in the Maruf district of Kandahar province. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, with spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi saying in a text message to reporters that the group was targeting international forces operating in Afghanistan. Kandahar provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal said the blast occurred in the morning at an entry point to the intelligence office. He said three other Afghan intelligence officers were wounded, including two who were in critical condition. The wounded were evacuated to coalition medical facilities.
Maine Soldier Dies From Afghanistan Blast: Army Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Henderson, Of Houlton, Was Wounded On Sept. 30 And Died
Monday At The Hospital At Bagram Air Field
Army Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Henderson: U.S. Department of Defense photo October 3 The Associated Press HOULTON — A Special Forces soldier from Maine has died from injuries he sustained in a blast in Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday. Army Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Henderson was wounded Sunday and died Monday at the hospital at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, according to members of Maine’s congressional delegation. Henderson was born in Houlton and has family members there. Henderson, who served in the 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, Ky., had both of his legs amputated after he was injured by an improvised explosive device, according to a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. Michaud said this “heartbreaking news” serves as a reminder “of the dangerous conditions so many deployed Americans continue to operate under overseas.” Henderson graduated from Hodgdon High School in Aroostook County in 1997, said Marty Bouchard, who was a teacher and coach at the school at the time and is now principal of Houlton High School.
Henderson was a lover of sports and the outdoors and played soccer, basketball and baseball in high school, Bouchard said. He was a four-year starter on the baseball team and played a key role on the basketball team when it won a state championship in 1996. “Aaron was the captain of his baseball and basketball teams,” Bouchard said. “He had an infectious smile and warm personality that was cherished by his teachers and friends.”
Maysville Native Killed In Afghanistan
Jeremy Hardison of Maysville was among three N.C. National Guard soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Monday. Facebook October 2, 2012 By DAILY NEWS STAFF A White Oak High School graduate was one of three N.C. National Guard soldiers killed in Afghanistan Monday. The bodies of Sgt. Jeremy F. Hardison, 23, of Maysville, along with Sgt. Thomas Jefferson Butler IV, of Wilmington, and Sgt. Donna R. Johnson, of Raeford, were scheduled be returned to the U.S. via Dover Air Force Base on Tuesday night, according to a press release from Dover Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operation. Officials with the N.C. National Guard public affairs said details of how the soldiers died could not be released until later Tuesday evening. But Hardison is believed to have been killed when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol on Monday, killing 14 people including the three Americans. Reports indicate three other soldiers were injured and an Afghan interpreter was killed.
The bomber struck the mixed police and military patrol shortly after they got out of their vehicles to walk through a market area in the eastern city of Khost. Hardison attended White Oak High School and North Carolina State University, according to a Facebook page in his name. Friends took to his Facebook page to pay their respects Tuesday.
10 Missiles Hit Nangahar Airbase In E. Afghanistan:
Damages And Casualties As A Result Of The Incident Not Announced
Oct 13 By Sadaf Shinwari, Khaama Press According to local authorities in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, several missiles were fired on Nangarahr airbase on Friday night. Provincial security chief spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqi confirming the report said at least 16 missiles were fired from Lalmai area in Behsud district. Mr. Mashqiri further added at least 10 missiles landed inside the airport while 6 others landed on the closer proximities of the airport. He did not disclose further information regarding the damages and casualties as a result of the incident.
POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR
Two Foreign Occupation Workers Captured In Wardak
13 October 2012 TOLOnews
Two foreigners, a Canadian and a US citizen, were reported missing on Friday by a provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan’s Wardak province, west of Kabul. “The missing foreigners were in contact until they reached the Kampany area on Kabul’s outskirts. After that they lost contact,” the provincial police spokesman Abdul Wali told TOLOnews Saturday. “We have information they may have been kidnapped,” he added. Reuters reported late Friday that a US embassy spokesman in Kabul said there was no information on a missing American. But the report noted that diplomatic officials are often reluctant to talk about kidnappings. Wardak is one of the less secure provinces with insurgents having kidnapped Afghans along the highways in the past.
October 13 By Associated Press An attack killed two Afghan policemen and left three others wounded in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, provincial spokesman Shariullah Nasari said. After a police vehicle ran over a roadside mine, he said, a second blast struck police who had rushed to aid their colleagues.
“Protestors Marched Through Parts Of Sharan, The Provincial Capital, Chanting Slogans Against ISAF And US Troops”
Oct 10, 2012 by Ali Mohammad Nazarion, PAN SHARAN (PAN): Hundreds of residents of southeastern Paktika province on Wednesday staged a protest against nighttime raids by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The protestors marched through parts of Sharan, the provincial capital, chanting slogans against ISAF and US troops and asking them not to bother ordinary people in the raids. One of the organisers, Mullah Masoom, said ISAF troops raided his house a few days ago and detained two of his two family members. The foreign soldiers also arrested a moneychanger along with two sons in a similar operation, he claimed.
A tribal elder, Momin Khan Mukhlis, condemned the operation and asked the NATO-led forces to stop conducting operations in their areas, because the security of the city had already transitioned to Afghan personnel. Provincial police chief, Dawlat Khan Zadran, confirmed the protest and said they had not been informed in advance.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE END THE OCCUPATION
Rebel Fighters Capture 250 Syrian Soldiers At Al-Zainiyeh:
In Aleppo, “A Large Explosion Struck Near The Air Force Intelligence Branch In The Neighbourhood Of Jamiah AlZahra’a”
13 Oct 2012 Al Jazeera Syrian opposition fighters have said they have captured more than 250 members of the government’s armed forces in the province of Idlib. The announcement on Saturday was accompanied by amateur video showing what the rebels said are 256 captured Syrian soldiers who were displayed before the cameras. “All we know is that these prisoners are from al-Zainiyeh,” Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught reported from Antakya in neighbouring Turkey. “Al-Zainiyeh was where the Syrian army forces had withdrawn after opposition fighters had driven them out of the villages in that part of Idlib.” The rebels took al-Zainiyeh three days ago and the prisoners may have been captured during that fighting. Also on Saturday, strong explosions were reported in the Syrian capital and the city of Aleppo, according to a Syrian opposition group.
The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) in Syria told Al Jazeera a large explosion struck near the Air Force Intelligence branch in the neighbourhood of Jamiah al-Zahra’a in Aleppo on Saturday morning. Heavy gunfire and armed clashes were also reported in the area. The LCC also reported a large explosion in Damascus.
Syria Rebels Capture Assad Regime Air Base In Al-Tana
13 Oct 2012 Al Jazeera Syrian rebels have captured an air defence base east of Aleppo as government forces battled fighters on several fronts across the country, activists say. The air defence base seized by the rebels was located in al-Tana village by the Koris military airport on the road east from Aleppo to al-Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday. Clashes were also taking place at a military barracks close to Maarat al-Nuaman, a town on the main highway to the northwestern city of Aleppo, which was seized by rebel forces earlier this week, the Observatory said. The pro-opposition Observatory said rebels had gone on the offensive killing more than 100 soldiers in two days. Fourteen soldiers died in an attack on an army post in the southern province of Daraa on Friday, it said, a day after the army suffered 92 losses, the highest daily total for the military of the 19-month conflict.
Syrian Rebels Have Shot Down A Fighter Jet In The Northern Province Of Aleppo:
“People Celebrate When Planes Are Shot Down Because They Are Used To Bombard Civilian Areas”
13 Oct 2012 Al Jazeera
Syrian rebels have shot down a fighter jet in the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group and a military defector said. “The rebels shot down the fighter jet in the west of Aleppo province, where fierce battles are taking place,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP news agency. “The jet was bombarding the village of Khan al-Asal.” A defected military officer in the province confirmed the reports, adding that the MiG jet was shot down some 10km west of Aleppo, scene of fierce battles since July 20. Amateur video shot by activists and distributed by the Observatory showed groups of people gathering around a pile of embers, and smoke rising from the scene, as men fired their weapons into the air in celebration. It also showed the tail of a fixed-wing aircraft, blackened by fire and broken off from the body of the plane. “People celebrate when planes are shot down because they are used to bombard civilian areas,” said Abdel Rahman.
Syrian Rebels Have Blocked Army Reinforcements Advancing Towards The Town Of Maaret Al-Numan
13 Oct 2012 Al Jazeera Syrian rebels have blocked army reinforcements advancing towards the town of Maaret al-Numan which has been under rebel control for nearly a week, according to AFP news agency. In its bid to retake the town, strategically located in the northwest on the road from Turkey to the embattled city of Aleppo, the army used warplanes to bombard Maaret alNuman, killing two civilians and destroying three homes. Some 40 military vehicles, including 10 tanks, four-wheel-drive vehicles with mounted machineguns and buses full of troops were waiting some 10km south of the town, rebel fighters told AFP. The rebel Free Syrian Army seized control of Maaret al-Numan on Tuesday, pushing the army out into two military bases on its outskirts, and blocking the arrival of new reinforcements to Aleppo.
“The rebels tried again to storm the Wadi Deif army base (on Saturday)... when they were bombarded by a MiG fighter jet,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman. Rebels have also seized part of the road running through the town, which has slowed the army’s attempt to advance. The rebels took al-Zainiyeh three days ago.
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
U.S. soldier in Beijia village Iraq, Feb. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the email address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly with your best wishes. Whether in Afghanistan or at a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.
“The single largest failure of the anti-war movement at this point is the lack of outreach to the troops.” Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder and it is the working class who fights all the battles, the working class who makes the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely sheds their blood and furnishes their corpses, and it is they who have never yet had a voice - in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war. They are continually talking about patriotic duty. It is not their patriotic duty but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches. -- Eugene V. Debs
Army Replaces Defective Radios With Carrier Pigeons, Smoke Signals
October 9, 2012 by SGT B, The Duffle Blog. About The Author: SGT B is an Army MP who’s never written a ticket but still enjoys doughnuts and coffee. FORT BLISS, TXFollowing the failure of a planned communications system that would help all military members communicate more effectively, the Army is now conducting research and development on a new system which leaders say “will take military communications into the future.” The Joint Tactical Radio System, or JTRS, a program designed to allow all four branches to communicate seamlessly, was cancelled late last year by the House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. Costing $15 billion over 15 years, the JTRS was seen by many in Congress as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Despite the setback, the Department of the Army has used the opportunity to explore better options for efficient communications on the battlefield. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno recently spoke with the Duffel Blog concerning the Army’s new direction. “We basically blew the entire communications budget for the next twenty years on the JTRS. Now we have troops with no effective means of communication. I tasked the best
and brightest in the Army to come up with a solution to this commo quagmire and the results are nothing less than stellar.” The new system, dubbed KITDFOHS (Kinetic Internal Directly Functional Operational Homing Science), involves the use of revolutionary “direct message deliverers”, also known as hand and arm signals, carrier pigeons, yelling, and smoke signals. Chief Information Officer of the Army Lieutenant General Susan Lawrence informed the Duffel Blog that each of these systems have their pros and cons. “Smoke signals are great for the troops to contact each other in the field. It’s much better than some stupid old radio and only limited by how far the troops can see.” “Carrier pigeons have replaced all forms of e-mail for the Army as well as becoming the go to solution for long distance communication,” she added. “This is due in part to GEN Odierno tasking me with cutting any unnecessary spending on communications to avoid further problems like those caused by the JTRS.” Sergeant Major Kevin McCrary, the enlisted adviser to LTG Lawrence, praised Lawrence’s innovation in the field of communication. “She’s truly a visionary. Without radios it seemed hopeless for the boots on the ground. With her quick thinking she was able to invent several new forms of communication.” McCrary added, “I would have never thought that yelling and hand and arm signals would be so useful. Now, instead of having a radio in an MRAP, the troops just have the lowest ranking stand on top and relay messages to other trucks using hand and arm signals.” Soldiers in Afghanistan have found implementing these new methods somewhat troublesome. Staff Sergeant Chad Moreno, an infantry squad leader, explained the troubles faced by the soldiers on the basic level. “Hand and arm signals, OK. Yelling, OK. But fuck, carrier pigeons and smoke signals? Now on patrol one of my guys has to carry a cage on his back with pigeons in it. Another troop is stuck carrying kindling and flint everywhere we go. Have you ever tried to build a fire while taking fire? It ain’t easy.” He continued, “These pigeons are the nastiest creatures I’ve ever seen. Not to mention anytime we go through a market all the Afghans ask ‘how much, how much?’ Sheesh, I have a hard enough time doing anything with this bullshit ROE, now I have to deal with this shit?” Despite reservations, SSG Moreno did stress some of the benefits of the new system. “While it’s pretty tough to have to carry this stuff, it makes for a good punishment technique. Whoever pisses me off is getting pigeon shit all over their gear by the end of the patrol.”
14 Oct 1917: The Army Joins The Revolution;
“All Other Major Political Groups Lost Credibility Because Of Their Association With The Government And Their Insistence On Patient Sacrifice In The Interests Of The War Effort”
Revolutionary Army: (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) September 28, 2007 By PAUL D’AMATO, Socialist Worker [Excerpts] RUSSIA WAS the first and only country to achieve a socialist revolution--that is, a society in which ordinary people had their hands on the levers of power.
For that reason alone, the capitalist rulers of the world cannot allow it to stand on its own merits. The later degeneration of the revolution into bureaucratic, one-party totalitarian rule must be read back into the past to “prove” that the revolution was doomed to fail. This is the purpose of the hundreds of studies published by Russia “experts” that portray Lenin and the Bolshevik Party as ruthless, nasty and authoritarian. The revolution, in most accounts, did not involve the masses in determining their own destiny, but was the work of individuals bent on exploiting mass discontent for their own purposes. This framework serves two purposes: to elevate the role of individuals in the making of history, and simultaneously to denigrate the role of ordinary workers, who are seen as naïve dupes. Lenin is portrayed as a superhuman madman, bent on one-man dictatorship--and possessing an irresistible will to power. Historian Robert Payne, for example, writes absurdly of Lenin, “His fanatical will was like a lever which attempted to throw the whole globe into an orbit more to his liking; and because he pressed so hard on the lever, the earth still shudders.” The reality is that the Bolshevik Party became a mass party in the course of the revolution, winning the allegiance of the most militant workers. Far from being Lenin’s cat’s paw, the Bolsheviks were a party alive with debate and disagreement, with different factions fighting over the revolution’s course. Lenin was certainly the most respected leader in the party, but it was a respect earned by his role as a theoretician and practical leader, not by hypnosis or fiat. Indeed, Lenin often found himself in the minority and had to fight hard for his positions. Moreover, in a number of cases, Lenin’s views, particularly on tactical questions, were wrong, and were rejected or adjusted by the party. When Lenin returned to Russia in April, his views--transfer all power to the Soviets--were considered by other Bolsheviks to be completely out of touch and even anarchist. It took him some weeks of hard argument to win over the party. Lenin also had to fight tooth and nail to convince the party of the necessity of preparing for an insurrection once the Bolsheviks had won over a majority in the Moscow and Petrograd soviets. On the other hand, Lenin proved to be wrong after the July Days when he argued that the soviets were now bankrupt institutions. The party, though it officially voted to abandon the slogan “All power to the soviets,” never really abandoned it at the local level and soon restored it. Lenin was also wrong in his views that the insurrection might begin in Moscow-Petrograd was clearly the leading revolutionary citadel in Russia--and in his insistence that the insurrection should be organized through the Bolshevik Party, independently of the soviets. Other leaders, such as Leon Trotsky, were able to set a better course on these questions. *********************************************
THE ARGUMENT that the Bolsheviks “hijacked” the revolution fails to take into account that the Bolsheviks were only one political party among many competing for the support of the Russian people. The fact that the Bolsheviks were able to win mass support away from the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks flowed not from their superior persuasive powers or ability to command blind obedience, but because of their program. They were the only party that demanded land to the peasants, factories to the workers, all power to the soviets [elected workers’ councils] and an end to the war. “All other major political groups,” writes historian Alexander Rabinowitch, “lost credibility because of their association with the government and their insistence on patient sacrifice in the interests of the war effort.” In short, whereas the other parties acted as a brake on the revolution, the Bolsheviks wanted to see it through to the end. At the same time, the party was not for some kind of minority putsch against the Provisional Government led by Kerensky. Lenin and other party leaders worked to restrain the movement when they felt that a premature revolt threatened the movement as a whole with defeat. It must be remembered that Lenin’s position was that the party must “patiently explain” their demands and win over the majority of the working class before it could move toward decisive action against the Provisional Government. Lenin’s bold and determined leadership, as well as the Bolsheviks’ relative unity and discipline compared to other political parties, were key factors in the revolution’s success. But this unity and discipline was not bureaucratic--it was organic and political. The party debated and voted on all key questions, and local organizations of the party possessed a great deal of leeway to carry on their own independent initiatives. Rabinowitch attributes much of the Bolsheviks’ success in transforming themselves from a party of 25,000 on the eve of the February Revolution into a mass party capable of leading a successful struggle for power with a membership of a quarter million to “the party’s internally relatively democratic, tolerant and decentralized structure and method of operation, as well as its essentially open and mass character.” The conspiratorial, clandestine forms of organization of the Bolsheviks that preceded the revolutionary period were imposed by necessity on all illegal parties as a result of the repressive conditions of Tsarism. The Bolsheviks were always prepared, when conditions changed, to move toward open, democratic methods of organization. This little fact is practically ignored by most historians. The dreaded “democratic centralism” of the Bolshevik Party was exactly what the term implies: the fullest and freest debate, combined with strict adherence to decisions once
made. This is what gave the party its ability to “read” what was happening in the disparate sectors of struggle, generalize from that experience and offer guidance to it. Democracy without centralism is a talk shop. Centralism without democracy creates bureaucratism and isolates the leaders from the ranks. As Trotsky later wrote: “How could a genuinely revolutionary organization, setting itself the task of overthrowing the world and uniting under its banner the most audacious iconoclasts, fighters and insurgents, live and develop without intellectual conflicts, without groups and temporary faction formations?... “The Central Committee relied upon this seething democratic support. From this, it derived the audacity to make decision and give orders. The obvious correctness of the leadership at all critical stages gave it that high authority which is the priceless capital of centralism.” Rabinowitch, in his book The Bolsheviks Come to Power, is able to demonstrate in rich detail that “within the Bolshevik Petrograd organization at all levels in 1917, there was continuing free and lively discussion and debate over the most basic theoretical and tactical issues,” and that the party had shifting left, center and moderate tendencies within it, right through the revolutionary period. “Leaders who differed with the majority were at liberty to fight for their views, and not infrequently, Lenin was the loser in those struggles.” ******************************************* SURPRISING THOUGH these insights are to most bourgeois or anarchist commentators, the Bolsheviks’ open and democratic character flowed from its commitment to workers’ self-emancipation. Lenin’s insistence on the need to build a disciplined party of revolutionaries is usually presented as a product of his “distrust” of the working class’s revolutionary potential-when, in fact, Lenin’s entire political career was based on the proposition, established in the early years of the Russian Marxist movement, that, “(t)he revolutionary movement in Russia can triumph only as the revolutionary movement of the workers.” Nikolai Sukhanov, by no means a Bolshevik supporter in 1917, but who witnessed the party at close quarters in the days leading up to the October Revolution, observed the interconnectedness between the party and the working class: The Bolsheviks were working stubbornly and without letup. They were among the masses, at the factory benches, every day without a pause. Tens of speakers, big and little, were speaking in Petersburg, at the factories and in the barracks, every blessed day. For the masses, they had become their own people, because they were always there, taking the lead in details as well as in the most important affairs of the factory or
barracks. They had become the sole hope...The mass lived and breathed together with the Bolsheviks. What Sukhanov seemed not to understand is that the Bolsheviks themselves were workers--leaders on the ground in the day-to-day struggle. They did not parachute in from somewhere else; they were already there. As early as June, for example, Bolshevik delegates dominated the conferences of the factory committees. The Bolshevik vanguard was not an isolated elite, but organized working-class militants tempered by shared experience and shared politics, developed through interaction with their fellow workers. One lesson of the Russian Revolution is that workers can take over the running of society; revolutions can win. Of course, the lesson of many failed workers’ revolutions (1905 in Russia or 1919-23 in Germany, for example) is that such victories are by no means guaranteed. Another, equally important lesson is that such a revolution can only win, as it did in Russia, if the working class organizes its own revolutionary party to guide its path to power.
October 14, 1943:
Heroic Uprising Against Nazis At The Sobibor Death Camp
A group portrait of some of the participants in the uprising at the Sobibor extermination camp. Poland, August 1944. Carl Bunin Peace history October 8-14 US Holocaust Memorial Museum: Sobered by both the sense that killing operations in the facility were winding down and information that Belzec had been dismantled and all surviving prisoners
liquidated, prisoners at Sobibor organized a resistance group in the late spring of 1943. After considering several options for escape and augmented in numbers and military training skills by the arrival of a number of former Soviet-Jewish prisoners of war from the Minsk ghetto in late September, the prisoners opted for an uprising, following the liquidation of key German camp officials. On October 14, 1943, with approximately 600 prisoners left in the camp, those who knew the plan for the uprising initiated the operation. The prisoners succeeded in killing nearly a dozen German personnel and Trawnikitrained guards. Around 300 prisoners succeeded in breaking out of the killing center that day; around 100 were caught in the dragnet that following and more than half of the remaining survivors did not live to see the end of the war. After the revolt, the Germans and the Trawniki-trained guards dismantled the killing center and shot the Jewish prisoners who had not escaped during the uprising. Pursuant to discussions in the SS hierarchy in the summer of 1943, the Germans had intended to transform the facility first into a holding pen for women and children deported west from occupied Belarus after their fathers and husbands had been murdered in socalled anti-partisan operations, and later, into an ammunition supply depot. Although there is no information that new prisoners ever arrived in Sobibor after the murder of remaining Jewish prisoners in November 1943, a small Trawniki-trained guard detachment remained at the former killing center through at least the end of March 1944. Though Sobibor’s six gas chambers could exterminate 1200 people at a time, it was the smallest of the death camps.
“To Palestinians, Olive Trees Are A Lifeline, A Symbol Of Their Love For The Land And A Source Of Pride”
“They Are Their Achilles Heel Too, And Israel’s Settlers Know It”
“These Settlers Are Determined To Break The Palestinian Spirit By Striking At The Heart Of What They Hold Dear”
Olive tree in “Ma’ale Adumim,” Occupied Palestine. Photo; K. Jeanne Person October 8, 2012 BY Joharah Baker, Uruknet Joharah Baker is a Writer for the Media and Information Department at the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She can be contacted at [email protected]
*********************************************************************************** When my grandfather was alive, he had two things he cherished most in this world: his family and his olive trees. He tended to those trees as if they were babies, tenderly pruning them, caring for the saplings like newborn infants and offering a respect and reverence to the aged trees for their endless giving, for the years of rich, oily wealth they bestowed upon him and his loved ones. When he passed, his beloved olive trees remained strong and proud, just like my grandfather had been in life. His sons were sure to protect his legacy, caring for the trees which continued to offer their bounty for all the years since.
To Palestinians, olive trees are a lifeline, a symbol of their love for the land and a source of pride; they are their Achilles heel too, and Israel’s settlers know it. The olive harvest is upon us. Some Palestinians with olive groves close to Israeli settlements have already begun picking the fruit in the hopes that they may, at least this year, escape the settlers. But of course, this is too much to hope for. The havoc has already begun; settlers from Nahla’el attacked residents of Beit Illu, a village northwest of Ramallah, attacking the olive pickers and burning down dozens of trees. Palestinian sources say around 300 olive trees have been cut down in Beit Illu alone in the past month. This is by far not the only incident. Around the year, settlers cut down, steal and burn Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank. According to the International Solidarity Movement, over half a million olive and fruit trees have been destroyed by Israeli settlers and the army since 2000. Thousands of olive trees are cut down, burned or stolen each year by Jewish settlers who steal the fruit and the trees or burn them down with the long-term goal of usurping the land. What is so disturbing is that the Israeli army almost always arrives on the scene but it does not deter the settlers. Palestinians, who both depend on olive trees for their livelihood and are bound to them spiritually, are crushed when they are destroyed. Not only are the olive trees cut down, burned, bulldozed and sometimes sold or stolen to be replanted in illegal Israeli settlements, but the land on which they were planted is suddenly inaccessible to its owners. The land is either taken over by settlers or it is gradually fenced off and annexed to nearby settlements by way of a military order. Without delving into the legal (or illegal) ramifications of this olive tree theft, or even the larger unjust premise of the Israeli occupation which allows and even urges on such vigilante behavior, it is the sheer cruelty of the act that must not go unnoticed. Palestinians are inherently connected to their land and to their olive trees in particular. We all understand that settlers attack the trees and the owners while they pick the fruit to intimidate the Palestinians in the hopes of driving them off of their own land. And the best way to do that is to hit them where it hurts the most.
For a farmer who has tended these precious trees for years and whose fathers and forefathers have done the same, this is the heart of the struggle. This is also why Palestinians fight back so hard when their trees are attacked. It is a main source of income, true, but olive trees are also part of their identity and their legacy. Apart from their children, these trees and the land are what they love. International solidarity groups and Palestinians from all over Palestine have for years, joined farmers during the olive harvest to pick their fruit and protect them from settler attacks. It does not always work, but the sign of solidarity is heartwarming. We do not expect the Israeli government to halt it vigilante settlers because if it were not for this government’s acquiescence with these criminals, the problem would not exist. Besides, the Israeli government has no qualms over maintaining the military occupation of someone else’s land, planting illegal Israeli settlers and extremist settlers to boot to keep the colonialist project alive and well. In addition, these settlers are determined to break the Palestinian spirit by striking at the heart of what they hold dear. In Palestine, the death of their children and the destruction of their olive trees make grown men cry. While I am grateful that my grandfather did not have to experience either before he passed, it pains me to watch others endure this rape of their land. The question is not whether Palestinians can endure more of this same abuse – they have proven that they can – but how long the world will continue to allow it to happen. [To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]
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DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
At Least Two Killed And Forty Others Arrested After Striking South African Mine Workers Fight With Police
[Thanks to Alan Stolzer, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] 11 Oct 2012 Al Jazeera At least two people have been killed in South Africa after a protest by mineworkers striking for better pay turned violent, police said. Police said on Thursday a man was burned to death and a second man died from gun shot wounds at the informal settlement in Photsaneng near Rustenburg and a minibus taxi was torched.
Meanwhile, police fired rubber bullets at striking Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) miners near Rustenburg. Gaddafi Mdoda, a strike leader, said that a brief confrontation occurred between police and some of the 12,000 striking miners who were fired by Amplats last week. Police apparently were responding to the miners’ attempt to stop operations at Amplats’ Bathopele mine, according to the SAPA, which reported that two taxis transporting people to work and other places were set on fire. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased. We appeal for calm in Rustenburg and urge all our employees to refrain from engaging in acts of violence,” Chris Griffith, Anglo American Platinum’s CEO, said in a statement. In a violent confrontation not seen since the end of apartheid in 1994, police shot and killed 34 striking miners and wounded scores more. Analysts say the Marikana strike, which ended with a hefty pay raise for the striking workers, inspired a wave of copy-cat strikes that have since spread to gold and iron ore mines as well as the trucking industry. Most of the strikes remain unresolved.
Angry South African Workers’ Strike Wave Confronts Local Capitalists And Their Government:
Anglo American Fires 12,000 Employees At A Mine Northwest Of Johannesburg “For Failing To Appear At A Disciplinary Hearing”
October 9, 2012 By PATRICK MCGROARTY And DEVON MAYLIE, Wall Street Journal [Excerpts] JOHANNESBURG—The South African government, amid continuing labor turmoil, has preferred to let companies and unions hash out their differences. But as the strife drags on, the government’s image and the country’s currency are taking a beating.
The rand plummeted to three-year lows this week, capping a slide that has sapped more than 6% of its value against the dollar in the past two weeks. The currency, which was trading at around 8.75 to the dollar on Tuesday, remains vulnerable to signs of intensifying labor turmoil. Tensions could escalate after another global mining company dismissed renegade strikers on Tuesday. More than 2,000 workers were fired Tuesday from a platinum mine run jointly by Atlatsa Resources Corp. and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. That followed Anglo American’s firing on Friday of 12,000 employees at a mine northwest of Johannesburg for failing to appear at a disciplinary hearing stemming from a strike they had launched. Also Tuesday, South Africa’s three top gold-mining companies met with unions to try to resolve strikes that have crippled their operations. Negotiating for Gold Fields Ltd., AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., and Harmony Gold Mining Co., South Africa’s Chamber of Mines offered a package of raises to miners represented by COSATU, the country’s largest union group and a political ally of President Jacob Zuma’s ruling African National Congress. The union said it would take until Thursday to consider the offer. Labor Minister Mildred Oliphant said last week that there is only so much the government can do to quell the unrest. The government’s stance has frustrated parties on both sides of the divide. Unions accuse officials of taking the side of employers over employees, while industry executives worry the government is allowing the investment climate to deteriorate. “The government isn’t doing enough to stop these strikes,” Solly Phetoe, a provincial leader for COSATU, said this week. Grant Stuart, head of investor relations at Gold One International Ltd., which fired more than 1,400 workers on Tuesday a week after they went on strike, called for a more active role from the government. “We’ve got to get government to the table to help resolve these issues,” he said. Last week, Moody’s Investors Service said official foot-dragging as labor turmoil spread was an important factor in its decision to cut South Africa’s debt rating to Baa1 from A3. Some top officials have been accused of being missing in action as the continent’s largest economy hits the skids. On the night that police shot and killed 34 protesters at the Marikana platinum mine owned by Lonmin PLC, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu was at a dinner celebrating women in the industry, including a runway fashion showcase of jewelry made from South African metals.
Low Income Elementary Schoolers Drugged Up On Speed Against Their Will:
“‘We’ve Decided As A Society That It’s Too Expensive To Modify The Kid’s Environment. So We Have To Modify The Kid”
October 9, 2012 By Katie J.M. Baker, AlterNet [Excerpts] Doctors are prescribing prescription pills like Adderall to low-income kids even if they don’t “need” drugs to function because it’s often the only realistic way to help them do well in school. “I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” one doctor who treats poor families outside of Atlanta, Georgia, told the New York Times. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.” It’s easy for those of us without kids struggling to succeed in inadequate schools to act horrified about the way A.D.H.D. diagnosis rates are rising as school funding drops — because it is horrifying to imagine a bunch of elementary schoolers hopped up on speed that’s doing god knows what to their little brains (well, we know that some reported side effects include growth suppression, increased blood pressure and psychotic episodes; we’ll get to that in a second) — but it all depends on how you measure success. Is the end goal a perfectly clear blood stream or good grades against the odds? Some parents (and doctors) would choose the latter. “We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,” Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a child mental-health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in prescription drug use among low-income children, told the Times. “We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.” The negative effects on the kids in this story, both emotionally and physically, are heartbreaking.
“My kids don’t want to take it, but I told them, ‘These are your grades when you’re taking it, this is when you don’t,’ and they understood,” said one parent who added that Medicaid covers almost all of her prescription costs. (Too bad they don’t cover tutors or therapy instead...) And then there’s this terrible anecdote about 11-year-old Quintin, one of five children who take more types of pills (Adderall, Risperdal, Clonidine) than the women in Valley of the Dolls: “When puberty’s chemical maelstrom began at about 10, though, Quintin got into fights at school because, he said, other children were insulting his mother. The problem was, they were not; Quintin was seeing people and hearing voices that were not there, a rare but recognized side effect of Adderall. After Quintin admitted to being suicidal, Dr. Anderson prescribed a week in a local psychiatric hospital, and a switch to Risperdal.” After that, Quinn’s parents flushed all of their pharmaceuticals down the toilet and vowed never to give their kids prescription speed ever again. Just kidding! They actually kept giving their 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son Adderall, to help their grades and because their daughter was “a little blah.” Her dad acknowledged that this was a “cosmetic” fix (I’ll say; I’ve heard better justifications from cokeheads), but said, “If they’re feeling positive, happy, socializing more, and it’s helping them, why wouldn’t you? Why not?” That’s exactly how I felt about taking Adderall in college. I’d pop one every few months or so, usually during finals if I had a long paper to write because Adderall made the process so much easier and so much more enjoyable. But at least I was a 20-year-old adult at the time able to make my own decisions, not a little kid with a developing brain.
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