Tuesday, December 01, 2015


For years, scientists have warned us that we need to act on climate change. The warning signs have been obvious. Capitalist politics of business-as-usual cannot solve this environmental crisis. We need to look at radical measures adequate to the challenge. The technology for a zero-carbon emission economy already exists. But the fundamental block to action is not the lack of technology. The real problem is that government and industry are stopping serious climate action. A safe climate is not possible unless an informed population fights for it.  It is clear that capitalism cannot accomplish these objectives. If we do not want to undermine the ecological conditions that support civilisation, what else can accomplish these goals other than socialism with common ownership of the means of production and democratic planning? Capitalism has always failed to provide food, education, and health-care to at least hundreds of millions of people so what hope is there for those who place the hope of humanity into the hands of the capitalist class when it has never delivered on its promises of raising living standards and bringing about freedom from daily drudgery. If you’re concerned about the future of humanity and the natural world and you believe we need to take immediate corrective steps, then you must establish a socialist society first and foremost. In a nutshell, what we mean by ‘socialism’ is a world economy controlled by workers and devoted to the needs of humanity rather than the narrow interests of investors. Humanity is at a crossroad and capitalism is in the way. Socialism has its material roots in the inability of capitalism to solve humanity's problems. Working people gravitate toward a radical critique of society out of necessity, out of a sense that the existing arrangements of society fail to fulfill their material needs.

Socialism aims for an economic system based on human need. Socialism is a rebalancing of the world — transforming society to a more ecocentric worldview. With a systemic analysis, we understand the crises of economic exploitation and environmental catastrophe as inextricably linked where profit is the highest goal attained by growth at all costs and a devastated climate is the symptom of a systemic malady. The earth’s climate is changing quickly, much faster than experts thought. There is no doubt what is causing this: the warming of the atmosphere as a result of emissions by greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of oil, coal and natural gas. The urgency is intense because the measures we need to take have been put off for decades. Governments and businesses have ignored the warnings. Solutions exist so why do governments not take the necessary steps? The answer is simple: because the governments are at the service of the multinationals who are waging a war of competition for maximum profit. Governments prefer to destroy the planet , and threaten humanity with barbaric chaos endangering the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Mankind has struggled to harness nature through years of technological revolution and today finds itself up before the last obstacle: capitalism. It is possible to stop the climate catastrophe while guaranteeing a dignified life for all. On one condition: establishing a socialist society.


Stop Climate Change or Face Social Collapse


Complete change is needed to combat climate change and it will never happen under capitalism. What may take place if we are lucky is piecemeal reforms too little and too off-set the chain of environmental tipping points that will quickly cascade out of our control and result in calamitous catastrophe. Piecemeal measures within the framework of capitalism will run up against the logic of the system, where accumulation of capital always comes first. The changes that are necessary to save the planet from ecological destruction are not compatible with a society that is based on profit. Capitalism is the culprit behind global warming because it is based on the endless production of goods and services running on or made up of fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases when used.  Such changes can be fully compatible, however, with a society based on cooperation.  To make such a society will mean organising to make a revolution and overthrow capitalism. The only possible solution is socialism focused upon the vision of establishing harmony between humanity and nature.

It is clear that capitalism, as an economic system, cannot stop ecological collapse and it is equally clear that the environmental lobbies, such as Friends of the Earth, think that capitalism can solve these problems. For them it is simply a question making the world wake up to the need for urgent action. Reversing climate change could, they think, be achieved without any fundamental change to capitalism if only our leaders would listen and begin to move capitalism towards sustainability and zero growth. The threat to life on Earth stems from the way the capitalist system operates, the result of which is a continual and relentless demand for growth and reduction of production costs. The capitalist system is a juggernaut heading for a cliff band it has its own internal system of steering which cannot be altered. It must be clear to anyone with eyes to see that we face an urgent crisis yet the ruling representatives of capitalism are indifferent. Scientists and economists start from the assumption that the ecological crisis can be solved within the capitalist system, but the truth of the matter is that the required policies are cannot be implemented namely because this environmental crisis cannot be solved within capitalist relations of production. The capitalist system requires continuous accumulation of capital. If capitals do not accumulate they will collapse, and there is therefore a general struggle for accumulation of capital, which means growth and expansion of markets, throughout the entire system. This drive for accumulation is derived from the internal functioning of the system and cannot be avoided. As Marx wrote, for capitalism, the watchword is: “Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets!” Capitalism is a productive system which produces for profit not for human needs. It is based on the separation of the working class from the means of production; a separation which enables the capitalist class to extract unpaid labour from the working class. This unpaid labour is converted into surplus value and forms the basis of capitalist profit. Capitalism has to “expand or die”, which is why all national economies measure their success in terms of growth, measured by GDP. Only when the ecological problems start to affect profits will capitalists start to treat them seriously and by then it will be too late to do anything about it. Capitalism’s continual drive for growth shows that the forces propelling this drive come from the workings of the capitalist system itself, not from the immorality of the capitalist class. They are material forces, they are not ideological ones. Consequently the attempts of environmentalists to persuade the capitalist class to “wake up” and to adopt a zero growth/steady state economy, reflect a failure to understand the dynamics of capitalism, and are therefore futile.

Environmentalists are hopelessly utopian in believing global warming and ecological degradation will be reversed and human society will develop a harmonious relationship with nature because the corporations will commit to environmental targets and the good of society, an ideal world where customer stock ownership schemes, cooperatives, community interest companies and social enterprises dominate the economy and advance policies which recycle, where local food and local energy production will be the norm, all this brought about by popular campaign pressure which will show the capitalists the errors of their ways, and persuade the CEOs to stop producing for profit and if need be, enforced by government regulation and legislation. The idea that capitalism can be reformed to become a benevolent system is very typical of many environmentalists. In their utopia the basic structures of capitalism remain intact but the distribution of the social product is changed to end inequality. Institutions of capitalism, such as the multi-nationals become enlightened charitable enterprises. The market becomes harnessed and controllable and the main international bodies of global capitalism, the UN, World Bank and IMF police the system.

Such a perspective through rose-tinted glasses totally disregards that the present world order is driven by the struggle for profit which leads to competition and national rivalry. These are the fundamental and inherent characteristics of capitalism. An exploitative economy constantly striving for profits, built upon the necessity of expansion and operating under relentless competition conditions cannot possibly lead to their green utopia. The whole scenario of reformism is full of contradictions and is quite unachievable.

The entire system of production based on wage labour and capital needs to be replaced with a system which produces for human needs. A higher form of society requires to be built. The means of production and distribution need to be converted from capitalist class property to social property. Instead of the present system in which workers are alienated from the means of production and from the products of their labour, a free association of producers producing for the needs of humanity, must be developed. We call a society of property owned in common and freely associated producers, producing for human needs, society where the free development of each will be the condition for the free development of all, socialism.

Humanity will have a common interest and will be able to work towards achieving it. Working time will be reduced and the mass of the population will be drawn into the running of that new society. All will have a common interest in solving the ecological problems inherited from capitalism. With the abolition of capitalist society, all its waste, its cruelty, its wars, together with the misery, agony of toil, ignorance, brutality and mental degradation it inflicts on people, will be ended. Socialism will draw on the abilities of all and produce for the needs of all. It will be able to balance these needs with sustainability. It will then be possible to roll back and repair the damage capitalism has inflicted on the planet. It will be a society which will inscribe on its banners:
“From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”

Socialist Standard No. 1336 December 2015

Socialist Standard December 2015

IT WOZ THE S.P. WOT DUN IT! (weekly poem)


Less than two weeks after the SOYMB blog published poem about Lord Seb Coe, he quit his $100,000 p.a. Nike Shoes job.

Lord Coe has quit his Nike job,
And now he feels the pain;
A hundred grand ‘distraction’ that, (1)
Has now gone down the drain!

He’s works an eighteen-hour day--
Hard graft to fight the graft;
As suddenly he’s closed the door,
To stop a nasty draught.

Next stop will be in Parliament,
Where no doubt he’ll be keen;
To say why one games will be staged,
In Nike’s town, Eugene. (2)

It’s marvellous how public types,
Are driven to do good;
Although such goodwill’s often fed,
By spoonfuls of rich pud! (3)

(1) ‘Distraction’: an increasingly embarrassing
situation which forces a person to eventually
resign a cushy job after clinging to it desperately.

(2) He is due to appear before a Parliamentary Committee
to explain why the 2021 World Athletics Games are being
held in Eugene, Oregon, the home of Nike Shoes.

(3) He’s been a Nike ‘athlete’ on $100,000 p.a. for
38 years - even though he gave up running in 1990.

© Richard Layton  

Socialism - an idea worth warming up to.

The Paris COP21 talks have now gotten underway but can they succeed? The World Socialist Movement answers No.

Capitalism is both the cause of climate change crisis and the obstacle to its solution. Socialists stand for the survival of humanity and we oppose an economic system based upon the relentless drive for profits because it threatens all life on the planet. Decisions about production, distribution and consumption must be made by those who have no interest in enriching a tiny minority of the world’s population at everyone else’s expense. The scale of the threat posed by global warming, and the short time in which we have to take action to prevent the catastrophic consequences, makes the issue of climate change the most urgent question facing humanity. Very radical measures need to be taken immediately. What is required - the rapid, far-reaching reorganisation of industry, transport, consumption, and the massive shift to clean renewable energy - is simply not possible under capitalism. And every day brings more evidence that strengthens that conclusion. The planet-wide crisis has gathered pace and the scientific warnings have multiplied. While it is clearly obvious something has to be done, the politicians and their corporate masters opt for inadequate, voluntary, gradual measures that will cost big business as little as possible to implement. Internationally and nationally a sense of urgency is lacking. Political will is lacking to halt further environmental degradation even though technology and knowledge are available to do so. We can see this being played out again and again. Political leaders “fiddle while Rome burns”.

For capitalists, profit is an end in itself. It does not matter to them whether the commodities they produce satisfy fundamental human needs — such as food, clothing, shelter — or are devoted to pointless or ostentatious consumption, or are even destructive to human beings and the planet. A dollar is a dollar is a dollar. A multi-billion-dollar capitalist industry called advertising constantly plays with our brains to convince us that happiness comes only through buying more and more “stuff”, to keep up with endless wasteful fads, fashions, upgrades, new models all with built-in obsolescence. Capitalism as a system thrives on the promotion of the worst aspects of human behaviour; self-obsession and self-interest; greed and hoarding; the dog-eat-dog mentality. Just imagine the vast amounts of wasteful production of pointless commodities produced solely for sale that could be eliminated without the cynical manipulation of people’s behavior by the marketing industries. Needless and wasteful consumption would plummet.

Capitalism, an economic and political system based on the never-ending expansion of production of commodities for sale, is incompatible with the basic ecological cycles of the planet. Earth cannot sustain this system’s plundering and poisoning without humanity sooner or later experiencing a complete ecological catastrophe.

A great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided. Genuine democratic socialist planning will allow priorities to be set on the production of certain items and limit or eliminate others. The over-packaging of products could end, saving entire forests and plastic will no longer fill the rubbish dumps. Planned obsolescence would end and products would be built to last for a long time and be repairable, and when they were due for replacement they would be recyclable. Such basic measures would save massive amounts of materials and energy, all along the production chain.

Socialism is a society that is organised first and foremost to work together to produce enough to comfortably ensure people’s physical and mental wellbeing and social security — abundant food, clothing, housing, furniture and appliances, cultural pursuits, and lifelong education and training, and healthcare — and in which technological advances benefit everybody without costing the environment.  

People face a stark choice - capitalism or survival.

“Mechanics of a Free Society”

Aspects of the socialist idea is expressed by many and for various reasons these members have not joined the Socialist Party. Freeworlder has come to the attention of the blog and it expresses many views that we ourselves share. In a blog message Colin Turner posts
 “Most people who have given any consideration to a moneyless, 'free world' society are already aware that we have the technology today to create a world of abundance without the constraints and inequality of the traditional market system, owing to how much human labour can now be efficiently automated.
Without scarcity, and a massive reduction in the need for labour, money effectively becomes obsolete. That's the theory. But it's not the full story, nor does it convince everybody who comes into contact with the theory. In fact, it convinces surprisingly few indeed.
In my opinion, this kind of super-advanced “Star Trek” moneyless society is still quite a distance away – not because we lack the technology – but because we humans lack the openness and understanding required to make it work.
A truly free society should be just that – unlimited, self-determining and self-organising for the optimum benefit of all. Today it appears that, left to our own devices, humanity just can't wait to blow itself to pieces. How can you de-regulate society and hope to achieve equilibrium against that backdrop?
Let us remind ourselves that today we share our world with people separated by walls to stop them killing each other, giant corporate agencies detached from the social and ecological effects of their business, people who kill animals for pleasure, and, worst of all, a population that has somehow programmed itself to consume recklessly to compensate for its own imagined insecurity.
To my mind, celebrity/brand worship, religious fervour, and xenophobic flag-waving are all here to remind us that – irrespective of our technological advances – we still have a long way to go before humanity can unite in the common purpose of sharing our world and its bounty equitably and sustainably for all.”

Colin’s article “Mechanics of a Free Society” then suggests various practical strategies that he considers should feature in a free society. Many in the Socialist Party may question whether such proposals will be implemented since we have always deferred to the future generations who will have the task of determining the manner today's socialist principles are applied. After all, what is more dictatorial than demanding that a blueprint be followed by those who have had no participation in drawing it up. Nevertheless, Colin’s speculations are well worth discussing since it contributes to the debate that socialism/free society possesses feasible alternatives to the capitalist organisation of daily life.

 “Mechanics of a Free Society” can be read at this link

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sacrificing tomorrow for today’s profits

Mankind has been able to probe the furthest depths of space, reaching back in time almost to the Big Bang. Mankind has shone a light into the very structure of life itself, mapping the DNA of the human genome. Science has made possible vast advances in computer and information technology, creating the conditions for the exchange of information on a global scale virtually instantaneously. Mankind is able to do all this and much more, but it cannot subject its own economic and social organisation to conscious control and regulation in order to meet human need. The rational democratic control and planning of the economy, ending the domination of the blind workings of the market, is beyond our scope. Mankind is now threatened by the outcome of its own economic activity, over which it has no control. This capitalist system has become the greatest danger to the continuation of human civilisation. Mankind’s productive activity must be carried out, not independent of, but in accordance with, the laws of nature.

Empty words of politicians and the impotence of the capitalist system will be the predictable outcome of the Paris COP21 climate change talks. The leaders of the wasteful profit-driven capitalist system will discuss and debate global warming and carbon emissions but in the end, despite the media gloss put on it, they will fail to agree upon any meaningful measures. Humanity faces a huge problem and a real dilemma. Meaningful action would require fundamental changes in the way the economy and society works involving the need for root-and-branch re-organisation which goes to the heart of the capitalist system.  Unfortunately, most environment activists cannot see beyond the capitalist system and so are bound by its rules. Campaigns aimed at pressuring the various capitalist governments into action are doomed to disappointment. The struggle to halt global warming is the fight to replace capitalism with world socialism, human solidarity and respect for the planet on which we live.

By its very name, global warming is a worldwide problem and no national solution is possible. The nation-state system gives rise to conflicts between the major capitalist powers for markets, profits and resources. The response of every sovereign government is to protect its own economy and financial system above all else and they will displace the costs of climate change onto its rivals, minimise its own costs while attempting to secure the maximum benefits from any carbon emissions trading system that may be established. Humanity shares a common fate which necessitates new forms of global co-operation – world socialism. Overcoming the threat to civilisation posed by global warming is inseparably bound up with the struggle for a socialist world. The dictates of profit must be overthrown.

Socialists are confronted by the argument of those who say they agree with our analysis of the necessity for socialism, but insist that this will take too long and something has to be done “right now”. Socialism may be all well and good, as a general aim, but the fight for a socialist perspective cannot deal with problems, such as climate change, that have to tackled immediately, is the logic. Such arguments are generally advanced under the banner of “realism” and, in fact, they constitute the most unrealistic perspective of all. It is most unrealistic to believe that somehow, some way, if only enough pressure is applied, the capitalist system can be reformed in such a way as to provide a future for the next generation and all the generations to come. The Paris summit will no doubt declare that climate change represents a great threat and that it is the most important issue to address so something must be done, something so serious that the time-table of action will have to be put off for some other later date. Capitalism will procrastinate and postpone until we have no planet to protect.

Cancer Victims

Thousands of people with cancer will feel “cold and lonely” this Christmas because they do not have enough money to celebrate or heat their homes, a charity has said. Almost 170,000 people in the UK with cancer are unable to join in special family events such as Christmas due to a lack of cash, according to Macmillan Cancer Support. 

Macmillan said the government must rethink its plan on welfare, which it said would take £30 a week away from people with cancer who are too ill to work.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of the charity, said: “It’s heartbreaking that people who are going through cancer, which is likely to be one of the most difficult times of their life, are also having to wake up on Christmas Day in the cold, alone, without being able to have Christmas dinner or buy presents for their loved ones. Having cancer is an isolating time and being cut off financially because of a diagnosis makes life even harder. People with cancer can lose hundreds of pounds each month because of their diagnosis. It is incomprehensible that the government is pressing ahead with proposals to cut the benefits of people with cancer who have been medically assessed as unable to work by around £30 a week. This will make life even more difficult for this vulnerable group of people with cancer.”

Macmillan Cancer Support, which carried out the analysis jointly with Public Health England’s Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), says that with four in five patients facing an average cost of £570 a month as a result of their disease, the findings are extremely worrying. Lynda Thomas, said: “We know that a cancer diagnosis can often be financially crippling, even more so for those who are already dealing with the highest levels of deprivation. Just as people are often left with the long-term consequences of treatment, so cancer can have a serious lasting impact on finances. More needs to be done to mitigate this as far as possible.”

About 200,000 people with cancer are living in the most deprived areas of England, leaving them vulnerable to the financial burden of the disease, a study has found. People with either lung, liver or cervical cancer are almost three times more likely to live in the most deprived areas than those with skin cancer, the researcher found. Residents of such areas are more likely to be unemployed or on income support. Increased costs faced by cancer patients can include higher heating bills, as they feel colder and spend more time at home, new clothes because of weight fluctuations, abdominal swelling or a colostomy bag or special bras if they have had a mastectomy and travel costs to and from hospitals. Macmillan said the figures highlight the folly of the government’s plans to reduce the amount received by people entering the employment support allowance (ESA) work-related activity group – for people assessed as too ill to work but capable of taking steps towards employment – by about £30 a week. More than 30,000 people with cancer rely on charity to heat their homes or buy essential items such as bedding or clothing, and some risk losing out further under the government’s benefit changes

The Hypocrisy of War

Claims during war are understandably difficult to confirm when all involved are actively spreading disinformation and propaganda. Therefore, we should take a skeptic’s approach to what politicians claim. Certainly, according to war correspondent Robert Fisk, we should give no credence to Cameron’s assertion that there are 70,000 moderate rebels in Syria, explaining as Fisk does “If this ghost army existed, it would already have captured Damascus and hurled Bashar al-Assad from power.” 

The war words between Russia and Turkey about Turkey’s tacit support for ISIS is also shrouded in hard-to-verify allegations but in 2014, long before the shooting down of the Russian jet, an American university presented a paper about Turkey’s relationship with ISIS. Let us not overlook that this is one of the nations Cameron wishes us to co-operate with, along with the extremist Wahaabi extremists of head-chopping Saudi Arabia who too are accused of financing and supplying ISIS.


Turkey Provides Military Equipment to ISIS

•           An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014: "Most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies."

•           Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), produced a statement from the Adana Office of the Prosecutor on October 14, 2014 maintaining that Turkey supplied weapons to terror groups. He also produced interview transcripts from truck drivers who delivered weapons to the groups. According to Kiliçdaroglu, the Turkish government claims the trucks were for humanitarian aid to the Turkmen, but the Turkmen said no humanitarian aid was delivered.

•           According to CHP Vice President Bulent Tezcan, three trucks were stopped in Adana for inspection on January 19, 2014. The trucks were loaded with weapons in Esenboga Airport in Ankara. The drivers drove the trucks to the border, where a MIT agent was supposed to take over and drive the trucks to Syria to deliver materials to ISIS and groups in Syria. This happened many times. When the trucks were stopped, MIT agents tried to keep the inspectors from looking inside the crates. The inspectors found rockets, arms, and ammunitions.

•           Cumhuriyet reports that Fuat Avni, a preeminent Twitter user who reported on the December 17th corruption probe, that audio tapes confirm that Turkey provided financial and military aid to terrorist groups associated with Al Qaeda on October 12, 2014. On the tapes, Erdogan pressured the Turkish Armed Forces to go to war with Syria. Erdogan demanded that Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MIT), come up with a justification for attacking Syria.

•           Hakan Fidan told Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Yasar Guler, a senior defense official, and Feridun Sinirlioglu, a senior foreign affairs official: "If need be, I'll send 4 men into Syria. I'll formulate a reason to go to war by shooting 8 rockets into Turkey; I'll have them attack the Tomb of Suleiman Shah."

•           Documents surfaced on September 19th, 2014 showing that the Saudi Emir Bender Bin Sultan financed the transportation of arms to ISIS through Turkey. A flight leaving Germany dropped off arms in the Etimesgut airport in Turkey, which was then split into three containers, two of which were given to ISIS and one to Gaza.

Turkey Provided Transport and Logistical Assistance to ISIS Fighters

•           According to Radikal on June 13, 2014, Interior Minister Muammar Guler signed a directive: "According to our regional gains, we will help al-Nusra militants against the branch of PKK terrorist organization, the PYD, within our borders...Hatay is a strategic location for the mujahideen crossing from within our borders to Syria. Logistical support for Islamist groups will be increased, and their training, hospital care, and safe passage will mostly take place in Hatay...MIT and the Religious Affairs Directorate will coordinate the placement of fighters in public accommodations."
•           The Daily Mail reported on August 25, 2014 that many foreign militants joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq after traveling through Turkey, but Turkey did not try to stop them. This article describes how foreign militants, especially from the UK, go to Syria and Iraq through the Turkish border. They call the border the "Gateway to Jihad." Turkish army soldiers either turn a blind eye and let them pass, or the jihadists pay the border guards as little as $10 to facilitate their crossing.

•           Britain's Sky News obtained documents showing that the Turkish government has stamped passports of foreign militants seeking to cross the Turkey border into Syria to join ISIS.

•           The BBC interviewed villagers, who claim that buses travel at night, carrying jihadists to fight Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq, not the Syrian Armed Forces.

•           A senior Egyptian official indicated on October 9, 2014 that Turkish intelligence is passing satellite imagery and other data to ISIS.

Turkey Provided Training to ISIS Fighters

•           CNN Turk reported on July 29, 2014 that in the heart of Istanbul, places like Duzce and Adapazari, have become gathering spots for terrorists. There are religious orders where ISIS militants are trained. Some of these training videos are posted on the Turkish ISIS propaganda website takvahaber.net. According to CNN Turk, Turkish security forces could have stopped these developments if they had wanted to.

•           Turks who joined an affiliate of ISIS were recorded at a public gathering in Istanbul, which took place on July 28, 2014.

•           A video shows an ISIS affiliate holding a prayer/gathering in Omerli, a district of Istanbul. In response to the video, CHP Vice President, MP Tanrikulu submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of the Interior, Efkan Ala, asking questions such as, "Is it true that a camp or camps have been allocated to an affiliate of ISIS in Istanbul? What is this affiliate? Who is it made up of? Is the rumor true that the same area allocated for the camp is also used for military exercises?"

•           Kemal Kiliçdaroglu warned the AKP government not to provide money and training to terror groups on October 14, 2014. He said, "It isn't right for armed groups to be trained on Turkish soil. You bring foreign fighters to Turkey, put money in their pockets, guns in their hands, and you ask them to kill Muslims in Syria. We told them to stop helping ISIS. Ahmet Davutoglu asked us to show proof. Everyone knows that they're helping ISIS." (See HERE and HERE.)

•           According to Jordanian intelligence, Turkey trained ISIS militants for special operations.

Turkey Offers Medical Care to ISIS Fighters

•           An ISIS commander told the Washington Post on August 12, 2014, "We used to have some fighters -- even high-level members of the Islamic State -- getting treated in Turkish hospitals."

•           Taraf reported on October 12, 2014 that Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, a founder of the AKP, said that Turkey supported terrorist groups and still supports them and treats them in hospitals. "In order to weaken the developments in Rojova (Syrian Kurdistan), the government gave concessions and arms to extreme religious groups...the government was helping the wounded. The Minister of Health said something such as, it's a human obligation to care for the ISIS wounded."

•           According to Taraf, Ahmet El H, one of the top commanders at ISIS and Al Baghdadi's right hand man, was treated at a hospital in Sanliurfa, Turkey, along with other ISIS militants. The Turkish state paid for their treatment. According to Taraf's sources, ISIS militants are being treated in hospitals all across southeastern Turkey. More and more militants have been coming in to be treated since the start of airstrikes in August. To be more specific, eight ISIS militants were transported through the Sanliurfa border crossing; these are their names: "Mustafa A., Yusuf El R., Mustafa H., Halil El M., Muhammet El H., Ahmet El S., Hasan H., [and] Salim El D."

Turkey Supports ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil

•           On September 13, 2014, The New York Times reported on the Obama administration's efforts to pressure Turkey to crack down on ISIS extensive sales network for oil. James Phillips, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argues that Turkey has not fully cracked down on ISIS's sales network because it benefits from a lower price for oil, and that there might even be Turks and government officials who benefit from the trade.

•           Fehim Taştekin wrote in Radikal on September 13, 2014 about illegal pipelines transporting oil from Syria to nearby border towns in Turkey. The oil is sold for as little as 1.25 liras per liter. Taştekin indicated that many of these illegal pipelines were dismantled after operating for 3 years, once his article was published.

•           According to Diken and OdaTV, David Cohen, a Justice Department official, says that there are Turkish individuals acting as middlemen to help sell ISIS's oil through Turkey.

•           On October 14, 2014, a German Parliamentarian from the Green Party accused Turkey of allowing the transportation of arms to ISIS over its territory, as well as the sale of oil.

Turkey Assists ISIS Recruitment

•           Kemal Kiliçdaroğlu claimed on October 14, 2014 that ISIS offices in Istanbul and Gaziantep are used to recruit fighters. On October 10, 2014, the mufti of Konya said that 100 people from Konya joined ISIS 4 days ago. (See HERE and HERE.)

•           OdaTV reports that Takva Haber serves as a propaganda outlet for ISIS to recruit Turkish-speaking individuals in Turkey and Germany. The address where this propaganda website is registered corresponds to the address of a school called Irfan Koleji, which was established by Ilim Yayma Vakfi, a foundation that was created by Erdogan and Davutoglu, among others. It is thus claimed that the propaganda site is operated from the school of the foundation started by AKP members.

•           Minister of Sports, Suat Kilic, an AKP member, visited Salafi jihadists who are ISIS supporters in Germany. The group is known for reaching out to supporters via free Quran distributions and raising funds to sponsor suicide attacks in Syria and Iraq by raising money.

•           OdaTV released a video allegedly showing ISIS militants riding a bus in Istanbul.

Turkish Forces Are Fighting Alongside ISIS

•           On October 7, 2014, IBDA-C, a militant Islamic organization in Turkey, pledged support to ISIS. A Turkish friend who is a commander in ISIS suggests that Turkey is "involved in all of this" and that "10,000 ISIS members will come to Turkey." A Huda-Par member at the meeting claims that officials criticize ISIS but in fact sympathize with the group (Huda-Par, the "Free Cause Party", is a Kurdish Sunni fundamentalist political party). BBP member claims that National Action Party (MHP) officials are close to embracing ISIS. In the meeting, it is asserted that ISIS militants come to Turkey frequently to rest, as though they are taking a break from military service. They claim that Turkey will experience an Islamic revolution, and Turks should be ready for jihad. (See HERE and HERE.)

•           Seymour Hersh maintains in the London Review of Books that ISIS conducted sarin attacks in Syria, and that Turkey was informed. "For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria's neighbors, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. 'We knew there were some in the Turkish government,' a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, 'who believed they could get Assad's nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria - and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat."

•           On September 20, 2014, Demir Celik, a Member of Parliament with the people's democratic party (HDP) claimed that Turkish Special Forces fight with ISIS.

Turkey Helped ISIS in Battle for Kobani

•           Anwar Moslem, Mayor of Kobani, said on September 19, 2014: "Based on the intelligence we got two days before the breakout of the current war, trains full of forces and ammunition, which were passing by north of Kobane, had an-hour-and-ten-to-twenty-minute-long stops in these villages: Salib Qaran, Gire Sor, Moshrefat Ezzo. There are evidences, witnesses, and videos about this. Why is ISIS strong only in Kobane's east? Why is it not strong either in its south or west? Since these trains stopped in villages located in the east of Kobane, we guess they had brought ammunition and additional force for the ISIS." In the second article on September 30, 2014, a CHP delegation visited Kobani, where locals claimed that everything from the clothes ISIS militants wear to their guns comes from Turkey. (See HERE and HERE.)

•           Released by Nuhaber, a video shows Turkish military convoys carrying tanks and ammunition moving freely under ISIS flags in the Cerablus region and Karkamis border crossing (September 25, 2014). There are writings in Turkish on the trucks.

•           Salih Muslim, PYD head, claims that 120 militants crossed into Syria from Turkey between October 20th and 24th, 2014.

•           According to an op-ed written by a YPG commander in The New York Times on October 29, 2014, Turkey allows ISIS militants and their equipment to pass freely over the border.

•           Diken reported, "ISIS fighters crossed the border from Turkey into Syria, over the Turkish train tracks that delineate the border, in full view of Turkish soldiers. They were met there by PYD fighters and stopped."

•           A Kurdish commander in Kobani claims that ISIS militants have Turkish entry stamps on their passports.

•           Kurds trying to join the battle in Kobani are turned away by Turkish police at the Turkey-Syrian border.

•           OdaTV released a photograph of a Turkish soldier befriending ISIS militants.

Turkey and ISIS Share a Worldview

•           RT reports on Vice President Joe Biden's remarks detailing Turkish support to ISIS.

•           According to the Hurriyet Daily News on September 26, 2014, "The feelings of the AKP's heavyweights are not limited to Ankara. I was shocked to hear words of admiration for ISIL from some high-level civil servants even in Şanliurfa. 'They are like us, fighting against seven great powers in the War of Independence,' one said." "Rather than the [Kurdistan Workers' Party] PKK on the other side, I would rather have ISIL as a neighbor," said another."

•           Cengiz Candar, a well-respected Turkish journalist, maintained that MIT helped "midwife" the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, as well as other Jihadi groups.

•           An AKP council member posted on his Facebook page: "Thankfully ISIS exists... May you never run out of ammunition..."

•           A Turkish Social Security Institution supervisor uses the ISIS logo in internal correspondences.

•           Bilal Erdogan and Turkish officials meet alleged ISIS fighters.

Again, Robert Fisk offers us some sanity:
“We are not “at war”. Isis can massacre our innocents, but it is not invading us. Isis is not about to capture Paris or London – as we and the Americans captured Baghdad and Mosul in 2003. No. What Isis intends to do is to persuade us to destroy ourselves. Isis wants us to hate our Muslim minorities. It wants civil war in France between the elite and its disenfranchised Muslims, most of them of Algerian origin. It wants the Belgians to hate their Muslims. It wants us Brits to hate our Muslims. Isis must have been outraged by the thousands of fine Europeans who welcomed with love the million Muslim refugees who reached Germany. The Muslims should have been heading towards the new Caliphate – not running away from it. So now it wishes to turn us against the refugees.
Isis was quick to understand a truth the West must now confront
To achieve this, it must implicate hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim refugees in its atrocities. It must force our EU nations to introduce States of Emergency, suspend civil liberties, raid the homes of Muslims. It wishes to destroy the European Union itself. It wishes to strike at the heart of the European ideal by liquidating the very foundation of the union: by persuading us to tear up the Schengen agreement and to close our frontiers. And we are doing exactly that. Are we, in some auto-panic, actually working for Isis? If that gruesome institution did not ban alcohol, their members would be toasting with champagne our political leaders for their vacuity, their sophistry, the abject fear with which they now regularly try to inject us under the dangerous old cry of “Unify the nation”.”

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Slamming the doors shut

The BBC reports that clashes between riot police and migrants angry at being prevented from entering Macedonia from Greece have left up to 40 people injured. Macedonian soldiers raised a new fence on the southern border with Greece on Saturday to manage the migrants. Dozens of migrants, stuck in Greece after Balkan countries imposed tougher entry conditions, threw stones. Macedonian police briefly entered Greece and fired stun grenades on the rioters. Many of those refused entry to Macedonia from Greece are from Iran, Pakistan and Morocco. 

Refugee children are drowning between Turkey and the Greek islands, yet still no progress has been made on the introduction of safe and legal routes to Europe, such as humanitarian evacuation and visa programmes. As the winter weather intensifies, it seems likely that growing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers will be trapped behind the borders of states that are determined to obstruct their arrival. Unable to move on and unwilling to return, what solutions can be found for these stranded populations?

Whatever hope was sparked for a formula to deal with the refugee crisis in a humane manner ended with the Paris terrorist attacks that engendered a hysteria against refugees. A consequence has been to reinforce the perception that there are ‘good refugees’ and ‘bad migrants’, and that a simple distinction can be made between these two groups on the basis of a simple and single criterion, namely country of origin. Germany, Sweden and Austria, have reinstituted border controls Denmark has reneged on its pledge to accept 1,000 Syrians. French Premier Valls has stated unequivocally that France has reached its limit in agreeing to accept 30,000 Syrian refugees. France has established checkpoints along major routes to Belgium and on some cross-border trains. France has also pushed for other member states to ramp up border controls and called for more security screening at the EU’s frontiers. In the political capitals of Budapest, Warsaw, Bratislava and Prague assigned quotas are rejected outright with planned challenges in European Court of Justice.  Meanwhile, border fences are going up along the main refugee transit routes: in Austria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The EU are failing to provide alternative solutions to the region’s refugee emergency. While Germany and Sweden have admitted a highly disproportionate number of the new arrivals, other countries have expressed very little interest in region-wide refugee resettlement and relocation programmes.

The fearful atmosphere created by the terrorist attacks of November 13 have all European governments “running scared.” Unrestricted movement within the EU for whomever has managed to gain entry is increasingly seen by national authorities as too risky in the current terror threat environment. Racist and xenophobic politicians and media feed those anxieties. Most European governments face what can be called “populist movements”, i.e. nationalist movements that demand more sovereignty for their own countries. The arrival of refugees could not come at a worst moment.

Passport checks. Visa controls. Border fences. Electronic and drone surveillance. Sanctions on airlines and shipping companies. And the interdiction and redirection of boats at sea. During the past three decades, the world’s more prosperous states have introduced a panoply of measures intended to prevent and deter the arrival of asylum seekers and migrants from other parts of the globe. Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia have adopted a new tactic in an effort to limit the number of people who are making their way through Turkey, Greece and the Balkans towards Austria and Germany. The policy allows entry to arrivals from the war-torn countries of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, while barring the admission of people from states such as Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Sudan, where levels of violence and human rights abuses appear to be lower. Any suggestion that none of these people has a valid claim to refugee status clearly cannot be sustained. In the second quarter of 2015, for example, the average EU recognition rate for Iranian asylum seekers was 67 percent, 58 percent for Sudanese and 28 percent for Pakistanis and Sri Lankans. The result has been to add a new degree of chaos to an already fraught situation. There is also a very significant risk that people whose lives and liberty are at risk in their country of origin will be denied the protection they need, and to which they are entitled under international refugee law. According to the latest statistics, just under a quarter of all the recent arrivals in Europe come from countries other than Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Unable to continue with their intended journey, asylum seekers not from the three designated countries have found themselves trapped in border areas, forced to sleep in the open in freezing temperatures or in makeshift camps. 

Tensions have inevitably erupted between the different refugee groups, with some of those whose onward passage has been barred resorting to demonstrations, hunger strikes and other forms of self-harm. At the same time, the closure of borders to certain nationalities has created more demand for the services of human smugglers, who have been able to increase the charges they impose on asylum seekers who are desperate to continue their journey. At the same time, growing numbers of asylum seekers are said to be making false representations about their nationality in an effort to ensure they are not trapped at the border of the Balkan states. As a result, the integrity of the international refugee protection system is unwittingly being undermined.

Saving the Planet

Climate change means more droughts, floods, heatwaves and other severe weather conditions. These events can cause death and devastation, and can also contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea. This can create a vicious circle: A child deprived of adequate water and sanitation before a crisis will be more affected by a flood, drought, or severe storm, less likely to recover quickly, and at even greater risk when faced with a subsequent crisis.

More than half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence and 160 million in high drought severity zones, leaving them highly exposed to the impacts of climate change, UNICEF said in a report.
Of the 530 million children in the flood-prone zones, some 300 million live in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty – on less than $3.10 a day. Of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty.
The vast majority of the children living in areas at extremely high risk of floods are in Asia, and the majority of those in areas at risk of drought are in Africa.

"The sheer numbers underline the urgency of acting now," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "Today's children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences. And, as is so often the case, disadvantaged communities face the gravest threat." He then added “We owe it to our children – and to the planet – to make the right decisions at COP21."

The World Socialist Movement with a heavy heart predicts that he and many others will be disappointed by the outcome of the Paris climate change talks. The tens of thousands who turned out for climate change marches as part of a weekend of action across the globe to demand results from next week's historic Paris summit, we fear, will also find their hopes dashed. Whatever happens next is somewhat speculative, because it depends on incalculable factors in the Earth’s system – and in the human character. Our ultimate survival will be predicated entirely on our behaviour – not only on how well we adapt to unavoidable change, but also how quickly we apply the brakes to the environmental destruction taking place. Despite fears that a rise in global temperatures of over two degrees Celsius could lead to catastrophic climate change, governments around the world continue to follow a ‘business as usual’ approach, pouring millions into dirty industries and unsustainable ventures that are heating the planet. Temperatures, which are rising as a result of climate change, are expected to cause savage reductions in productivity in vast areas of the world’s most fertile lands. During the 2003 European heatwave crop yields fell by 20 to 25 per cent in France and this is a pattern likely to be repeated on a much wider scale in the future. Climate change could decrease maize yields by as much as 18 per cent by 2050-making it even more difficult to feed the world if farmers cannot adopt agricultural technologies that could help boost food production in their regions. The socialists task is to feed the world and protect the planet. Karl Marx was scathing of the capitalist economic notion that the air, rivers, seas and soil can be treated as a "free gift of nature" to business.  "In London," Marx wrote "they can find no better use for the excretion of four and a half million human beings than to contaminate the Thames with it at heavy expense"

Saving the planet is inextricably linked to transforming our society. Exploitation, war, hunger and poverty are not problems that can be solved by the market system. Rather, they are inescapable outcomes of the system itself. This is because capitalism is dominated by corporations devoted to profit above all else. Capitalism is an economic system profoundly at odds with a sustainable planet. The exploitation of nature is as fundamental to the profit system as the exploitation of working people. The market system is incapable of preserving the environment for future generations because it cannot take into account the long-term requirements of people and planet. The competition between individual enterprises and industries to make a profitable return on their investment tends to exclude rational and sustainable planning. Because capitalism promotes the accumulation of capital on a never-ending and always expanding scale it cannot be sustainable. Capitalist farming is unsustainable because it inevitably starves the soil of nutrients. It is nothing less than "an art, not only of robbing the labourer, but of robbing the soil" as Marx also pointed out. Engels put it: “The present poisoning of the air, water and land can only be put an end to by the fusion of town and country” under “one single vast plan.” Despite its potential cost to society in terms of increased labour time, he viewed this fusion as “no more and no less utopian than the abolition of the antithesis between capitalist and wage-workers.”

Engels warned, "Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel out the first." Engels added: "At every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside of nature." On the other hand, he went on to say "we have the advantage of all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly."

 That is, we can organise society in harmony with nature. This is impossible unless the profit motive is removed from determining production in human society and a system of participatory democracy and rational planning is built in its stead. Engels argued that only the working people organised as "associated producers" can "govern the human metabolism with nature in a rational way". This "requires something more than mere knowledge. It requires a complete revolution in our hitherto existing mode of production, and simultaneously a revolution in our whole contemporary social order."

Solidarity with Migrants (music video)


Too Little Too Late

The text of the leaflet for distribution at the climate change demonstration in London on Sunday 29 November:

That’s the most that will ever be done under capitalism about the problems that global warming will bring.

The way the capitalist system works rules out the effective action at world level that is needed to begin tackling the problem. It even encourages economic activities that contribute to it.

Capitalism is based on production being controlled by profit-seeking enterprises which, supported by governments, compete on the market to buy resources and sell products. This competitive pursuit of profits is the essence of capitalism. It’s what capitalism is all about and what prevents any effective action to deal with climate change.

Nobody can deny that global warming is taking place. Nor that, if it continues unchecked, it would have disastrous consequences – such as rising sea-levels and increased desertification – through its effects on the climates of the different parts of the world. There can only be argument over what is causing it. Most scientists in the field take the view that it has mainly been caused by the increase in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere largely as a result of the burning of the fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas.

If this is the case, then one part of any solution has to be cut back on burning these fuels. But this is not happening. In fact, on a world scale, their use is increasing. This is because this is currently the cheapest way of generating the energy to drive industry – and the logic of capitalism compels the profit-seeking enterprises that control production to use the cheapest methods. If they don’t, their competitors will.

What is the solution? First, the competitive struggle for profits as the basis for production must be ended. This requires that the Earth’s natural and industrial resources become the common heritage of all humanity. On this basis, and on this basis alone, can an effective programme to deal with the problem be drawn up and implemented, because production would then be geared to serving human interests and no longer to make a profit for competing enterprises.

There will be those who say that we haven’t the time to wait for the coming into being of this, in their view, unlikely or long-distant solution, and that we must therefore do something now. In this age of apathy and cynicism when any large-scale change is dismissed, this may seem a plausible argument but it begs the question. It assumes that a solution can be implemented within capitalism. But if it can’t (as Socialists maintain), then concentrating on something now rather than on changing the basis of society and production will be a waste of valuable time while the situation gets worse.

There will be two assembly points where comrades can meet up to distribute this leaflet. At 12 noon by the statue of Achilles sited in Hyde Park at the south-western end of Park Lane and at 3pm at the north (Millbank) end of Lambeth Bridge. Please do your utmost to assist other comrades who have already volunteered to be in evidence at this protest.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

COP-21 approaches


Two days from now, world leaders will converge in Paris, France for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Much of the world is hopeful that some solution will come out of the talks. Members of the World Socialist Movement are unable to share in those hopes. Capitalism continues and for fossil fuel companies it is very much business as usual. Corporations only seek to maximise profits at the expense of the planet. We cannot solve this crisis through the capitalist system.

We can only globally resolve the issue of climate change with a complete change our economic system from one of competition to one of cooperation.  The scientists and engineers of the world have the solutions but there is not the political will to implement the necessary changes. We need a system of planned economy and no longer subject ourselves to the whims of the market.

Our hopes cannot lie in political leaders to save us or that the capitalist class will mend their ways and end the environmental destruction of the planet. Our hope lies in ourselves. We have the power and the skills to organise society in a sustainable way. We need a socialist system that utilises the world’s resources to sustain and improve the lives for everyone on the planet. We need to demand “System Change, Not Climate Change!” To transform the capitalist system is a massive challenge yet it is one we must face if humanity is to survive. 

India sucked dry

Panchayats, or village councils, are elected bodies at the most local level in India. Eighteen in the immediate vicinity of the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Mehdiganj in Varanasi district have come together to demand that the groundwater used by Coca-Cola be stopped immediately due to the growing water crisis in the area. They are located within a 5-km radius of the Coca-Cola plant and villagers have experienced water shortages soon after Coca-Cola began operations in 1999. The area surrounding the bottling plant is largely agrarian, and relies on groundwater to meet most of its needs, including drinking, irrigation, cleaning and for livestock. Coca-Cola also uses the same common groundwater source to meet its production needs, placing its groundwater use in direct competition with the community in an area running short of water.

Government data has confirmed sharp drops in groundwater level in the area. The area’s groundwater was declared as “over-exploited” by the government just last year. Over-exploited is the worst category possible and implies that more water is being extracted than being recharged, and many restrictions on the use of groundwater by the community and farmers are put into place. The village councils note that it is not acceptable that Coca-Cola continues to extract groundwater for profit while everyone faces a water crisis in the area. The letter also notes that children, women, farmers, the poor and livestock are affected the most from the growing water crisis.

“Elected village council heads represent the voice of the people, and they are clear that Coca-Cola is not welcome in Mehdiganj. It is time for Coca-Cola to pack up and leave,” said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an international campaigning organization. “Coca-Cola paints a pretty picture of itself internationally as a responsible user of water but the reality in India is that it exploits groundwater at the expense of the poor, the women, children, farmers and livestock who have to live with less water because Coca-Cola mines groundwater in a water scarce area for profit,” Srivastava said. 

World Socialism Party (India)
Email: wspindia@hotmail.com

Friday, November 27, 2015

'Charity: capitalism's little helper' - Public Meeting, London

'Charity: capitalism's little helper'

3pm, Sunday, 29 November

 Head Office
52 Clapham High Street,
London SW4 7UN

A talk by Glenn Morris that takes a look at the true facts behind charities, the need for them and their success within capitalism.

Stop Wars

France, the UK and also Germany intend to ratchet up military activity in Syria, purportedly to attack ISIS, although the previous time Cameron went to Parliament for its approval to bomb, the purpose was regime change to remove Assad, ISIS was not the target. 

Although Corbyn may oppose this military venture, it seems many of his Labour Party colleagues sitting in the House of Commons and in his Shadow Cabinet will not follow his example and will most likely vote with the Tories. 

Dennis Skinner, however, in support of Corbyn’s position ,explained:

“Is it not essential in any prelude to a war to be sure of our allies and to be sure of the objectives? Is it not a fact that Turkey has been buying oil from ISIL? They used Turkey’s trucks to store it. Turkey has been bombing the Kurds, and the Kurds are fighting ISIL. Turkey shot down a Russian jet, even though Russia wants to fight ISIL. The Prime Minister has the objective of getting rid of Assad. A Russian ally has the opposite objective. What a crazy war—enemies to the right of us, enemies to the left of us. Keep out.”

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Oil barrels and gun barrels

From November 30 to December 11, delegates from more than 190 nations will convene in Paris to address the threat of climate change. The 21st Conference of the Parties (aka COP21) is expected to draw 25,000 official delegates intent on crafting a legally binding pact to keep global warming below 2°C.

The American military occupies 6,000 bases in the US and more than 1,000 bases (the exact number is disputed) in 60-plus foreign countries. According to its FY 2010 Base Structure Report, the Pentagon's global empire includes more than 539,000 facilities at 5,000 sites covering more than 28 million acres.

The Pentagon admits to burning 350,000 barrels of oil a day (only 35 countries in the world consume more) but that doesn't include oil burned by contractors and weapons suppliers. The military fuel is required for more than 28,000 armored vehicles, thousands of helicopters, hundreds of jet fighters and bombers and vast fleets of Navy vessels. The Air Force accounts for about half of the Pentagon’s operational energy consumption, followed by the Navy (33%) and Army (15%). In 2012, oil accounted for nearly 80% of the Pentagon's energy consumption, followed by electricity, natural gas and coal. Today, the Pentagon consumes one percent of all the country's oil and around 80 percent of all the oil burned by federal government.

Ironically, most of the military's oil is consumed in operations directed at protecting America's access to foreign oil and maritime shipping lanes. In short, the consumption of oil relies on consuming more oil. Oil Change International estimates the Pentagon's 2003-2007 $2 trillion Iraq War generated more than three million metric tons of CO2 pollution per month.

Despite being the planet's single greatest institutional consumer of fossil fuels, the Department of Defense was granted exemption from reducing—or even reporting—its pollution. The US won this prize during the 1998 Kyoto Protocol negotiations (COP4) after the Pentagon insisted on a "national security provision" that would place its operations beyond global scrutiny or control.  Also exempted from pollution regulation: all American weapons testing, military exercises, NATO operations and "peacekeeping" missions.

With socialism we hope to stabilise our climate and by ending war and all those preparations for war socialism will  offer the start of a rational resolution of our environmental problems.

War is Good Business

Europe’s defense industry is set to reap a $50 billion windfall as the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on Paris prompt governments to ramp up spending on military capabilities spanning cyber security to fighter jets, armored vehicles and drones in an effort to defeat Islamic State.
France, where Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter jet is made, has halted plans to cut almost 10,000 military personnel, while Germany will spend an extra 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) on defense and Britain has earmarked a further 12 billion pounds ($18 billion), benefiting companies including BAE Systems Plc. Italy said Tuesday it would devote 1 billion euros more to security, after the draft budget called for 2 billion euros of reductions.
European governments are rethinking their defense policies after years of cuts tied to the draw down in Afghanistan and Iraq and austerity programs imposed after the global slump. The spending commitments will swell budgets that had already begun to revive amid heightened tensions with Russia following last year’s annexation of Crimea, with Britain committing in August to spending 2 percent of GDP on defense.

“Over the 2015-2019 period, an extra $50 billion will be added to Western European defense spending as a result of changes implemented this year,” said Fenella McGerty, senior analyst for defense budgets at IHS Jane’s. There’ll be an $11 billion annual uplift by the end of the period, she said, driven by adjustments in France, Germany and the U.K. that began with the Jan. 7 assault on the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Cameron confirmed in Monday’s defense statement that Royal Air Force Eurofighters, built by BAE, will get enhanced ground-attack capability, allowing them to play a more active role, and a 10-year life extension that will effectively create two extra squadrons.
F-35 Acceleration
Britain will also take all 138 Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighters initially ordered and triple the pace of deliveries to 2023, allowing deployment of two new aircraft carriers with a full roster of planes. BAE is an F-35 partner and Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc helps make the engines, as it does on Eurofighter.
Cameron also reiterated a commitment to an Anglo-French venture for the development of military drones. Under an agreement signed last year, BAE and Rolls-Royce are working with France’s Dassault, Selex ES Ltd., Thales SA and Safran SA on a model along the lines of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.’s Predator. Thales also has a 25 percent stake in the Rafale.
Airbus Group SE will offer surveillance and reconnaissance upgrades to its A400M military transport and A330 airborne tanker models, providing operators with a “cheap and simple” option for boosting intelligence gathering, according to Fernando Alonso, head of its military aircraft arm.
Germany’s Defense Ministry said in June it would purchase the proposed European-led air-defense system known as MEADS and opened bids for a new multi-purpose combat ships as part of a force modernization. Asymmetric military campaigns would require smaller caliber ammunition, with shares of German armaments specialist Rheinmetall AG up more than 8 percent since the Paris attacks. Sweden’s Saab AB won an order Tuesday to supply hand-held rocket-launchers to the Austrian armed forces starting next year.

Britain will devote 1.9 billion pounds over five years to countering Islamic State’s use of the Internet for planning, propaganda and online attacks, creating a specialist task force to track its communications. Shares of Qinetiq Group Plc rose 10 percent Nov. 19 after the former U.K. defense-research laboratory said it was experiencing higher demand for cyber, surveillance and security sensors. U.S. companies also stand to benefit from Europe’s rearmament, with two of three major new spending commitments announced by Cameron involving trans-Atlantic deals. Boeing Co. won a contract for nine P8 torpedo-fitted maritime patrol aircraft, and 600 Scout armored vehicles built by General Dynamics Corp. will form the core of new “Strike Brigades” due by 2025.

Somehow that 'peace dividend' never quite gets round to arriving, does it?...