This article is the fourth of a series that looks at how LALIT, in its fortnightly central committee meeting, looks at the events of the past fortnight, before moving on to LALIT Party matters. Members take turns preparing a 45-minute “tour d’horizon”, which is followed by some 30 minutes open discussion. This particular fortnight divided the overview under four headings, thus the four articles: political situation, social issues that were in the news, economic events, and lastly we looked at international news.
Cold as Ice Between Mauritius and the USA-UK Imperialists
Since Mauritius got a Resolution on the UN General Assembly agenda to take Britain to the International Court of Justice at the Hague about their dismembering of Mauritius before Independence, and in particular since the UK-USA joint communique threatening Mauritius with fate worse than death, there has been an icy relationship between Mauritius and the US-UK State apparatus. So cold are things that there seems to be a D-Notice in operation in the UK: a total blackout in the UK press on the UN resolution and the impending ICJ case. Similarly, when Olivier Bancoult has joined forces with the Mauritius Government in the UN delegation, this has also been kept quiet. Even when he accused the British of bribing him, and when they denied it, it did not reach the media. This is a sign of the times.
Before going on to world news, let’s look at one item for light relief.
Before looking seriously at the international news which, as is often the case, is full of war and exploitation, tragedy and suffering, we looked at a bit of farce or “palab” hiding just behind US Presidential election news, just for light relief. Ivanka Trump, the Republican Presidential candidate’s daughter and a top employee of his, posted on social media photos of herself on holiday in Croatia with Russian Premier Vladimir Putin’s girlfriend, Wendi Deng. This is politically important because Trump is notoriously part of a mutual flattery society with Putin and it is part of the electoral campaign that the Russian State is hacking Hilary Clinton’s emails in order to give an advantage to Trump. Who is Wendi Deng? She is, as well as being the girlfriend of Putin, the former wife of Fox News owner, Rupert Murdoch. This is important, too, because Rupert Murdoch is, though now discredited, a king maker in both the UK and USA through his control of the media. Although Trump and Fox News fell out recently. Anyway, he, Murdoch, divorced his wife, Wendi Deng, when he found out his dear friend, who he helped come to power and whose Faith Foundation he financed, Tony Blair, ex-Prime Minister of Britain, was having an affair with his wife, and he gave the reason in an interview. Tony Blair subsequently resigned as Middle East Peace Envoy of the so-called Quartet! This is clearly an alternative, non-Marxist reading of history – based on “palab” not class forces!
US Presidential Elections
More seriously, the US election has put predatory males, represented by Donald Trump, on trial in public for the first time. This is a very interesting and important undercurrent of the US elections, and Trump’s outrageous misogyny and his bragging about predatory behaviour, has at least permitted people in the US to start make the distinction between “palab” and something very serious, i.e. predatory male behaviour, including sexual assault.
But the spectre of Donald Trump, who is a right-wing caudillo millionaire escaped from Reality TV, winning the Republican has made bourgeois democracy go over the edge into ridicule in very serious ways.
First, Trump shows that he does not need to be informed at all; he can keep a quite big part of the American electorate loyal just by being anti-establishment. Second, he can tell lies and be exposed for it – like saying Barack Obama is not a US citizen, and do this for months on end, and still keep this quite high level of support. Third, he can keep support while openly baiting immigrants, Muslims, women, people with handicaps. Fourth, he can threaten not to accept the results of the election if he loses and even threaten extreme violence, and apparently get away with it. He is extremely dangerous. He does not seem to be on course to become President, but he is already creating the kind of hideous synergy between discontented masses and anti-socialist bosses that Hitler took off from: in Hitler’s case it was the stab-in-the-back of the Munich putch, which he blamed on communists and “Jews” as being the cause of the Germans losing the first world war. Trump will have the election that was stolen from him by he-will-decide-who later. Trump will be even more just the leader (like Hitler) and the atomized population (now with Twitter, there are not even other intermediaries).
Iraq still being bombed since the 2003 Bush-Cheyney war
It is now 13 years on since the Iraq War, and the USA is still bombing Iraq, now Mosul. The disaster of the Iraq war continues to wreak havoc for a people that have been punished by the USA and its allies for 26 years, from the First Gulf War, throughout the criminal sanctions, the supposed no-fly zones and then the hideous war that started with the “terrorism” of Shock-and-Awe. Having created a social and political vacuum after all the war, the ISIS jihadists got control over parts of Iraq and Syria, and this is now the “cause” in turn of further bombing by the USA.
More and more refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria continue to haunt Europe, like the living blow-back of the bombing campaigns by the USA and its allies.
Syria Continues being Turned into Rubble
Having supported an indiscriminate uprising of jihadists, socialists, democrats, and all manner of Islamic fundamentalists, against Bashar Al Assad’s cruel regime, the USA, France and Britain, finally got cold feet when ISIS began to take over, not just in parts of Syria but also in parts of Iraq. So now it is Russia that has gone in to attempt to finish the ISIS off in Syria, with the USA doing the same thing in Mosul. The fact that there are thousands or even millions of civilians involved makes this kind of Western “adventurism” all the more tragic for the victims of it.
South African Students rise up
South African students after a successful campaign against the colonialism represented by Cecil Rhodes and his statue at University of Cape Town, the rebellion this year has come to a head over university fees. An increase in fees led to the demand for free higher education, and put into question education being for the benefit of the private sector, and run on capitalist rules, i.e. for profit.
LALIT has supported the student uprising.
The revolution started under Chavez, though it gained momentum through mass mobilization and organization, has hit serious problems, partly as a result of the counter-revolutionary forces organizing, and partly as a result of an over-dependence on oil revenues in times when these have fallen so heavily. We are lucky in LALIT to have had two members who were present in international brigades and gave details report-backs on how the revolution was working. At least we saw it first hand.
The new French Ambassador to Mauritius, Gilles Hubertson, has announced that his main task will be to bring the French colony, Reunion, closer to Mauritius, or vice-versa. This is of course of great concern. It is, as it always has been, a threat of re-colonization, because Reunion is not a country, so when Mauritius “gets closer” to it, it is getting closer to a French colony. It is ironical, or there is some underlying geo-political shift, that when the Diego Garcia issue is on the table, that just as at the time of Independence, France is lurking around either trying to get Mauritius closer to Reunion or, failing that, Rodrigues closer. Is it the old Duval-French imperialist strategy all over again?
China continues strengthening its position, as we have seen in past meetings – the New Silk Route and the immense new Bank that will overshadow the IMF and World Bank, are the clearest symptoms of this. And this rise of China explains both Trump’s repeated attacks on China, and also the more mainstream Hilary Clinton’s war-mongering all around China. It also explains the right-wing Philippino Caudillo, Rodrigo Duterte’s wild anti-US rhetoric, using the same kind of baiting methods that Donald Trump uses against the Establishment.
All this to say that times are not good for humanity.
But they are certainly not uninteresting.