Thursday, September 29, 2016

War and chaos in the Spanish "Socialist" Party

English leftie intellectual and columnist Owen Jones asked in Twitter about the chaotic situation in the so-called Spanish Socialist Worker Party (PSOE), he was answered mostly with images, sometimes in crude Spanglish, by a crowd of enthusiasts, as reported by the online political humor section of the also online newspaper Publico, Tremending Topic.

One of the best ones was by musician Nega (Los Chicos del Maíz):

In case you miss the political clues, that guy is Felipe González, former leader of the PSOE and also President of the Government (i.e. Prime Minister) for more than a decade back in the Pleistocene, I mean... in the 20th century.

Like most weeds and bloodsuckers he is still alive and messing around, also getting paid millions for doing nothing at some mega-company (revolving doors and all that).

He has been photoshopped in the place of Chile's tyrant, Augusto Pinochet, clearly recognizable by the perennial black glasses (and also because it is a well known historical photo), in the day of the bloody coup against sincere socialist and democratically elect President Salvador Allende.

While I don't expect Owen Jones to read this I thought that I may give a clue or two to my readers because the issue is no doubt important.

We have to go back indeed to Felipe González and what he did to the PSOE and to Spain back in the 1980s. First he blackmailed his party, back then self-proclaimed Marxist (as all socialdemocrats used to be once upon a time) into giving up that label, then he conspired with others from the right in the (not really failed after all but failed in appearance) 23-F military putsch of 1981, then he said "no" to NATO only to say "yes" a couple of years later. He got Spain in the European Union and proceeded with the dismantling of the historical but public and arguably not competitive heavy industry, as well as many other business that had to adapt to the stringent demands of the EU, which are kind of colonialist. He also led by all accounts the infamous death squad GAL, which murdered many Basques.

He's like the godfather of the modern PSOE and the only truly competitive leader it ever had in modern times. Some people say he works for the CIA, others that the CIA works for him. He is no doubt very influential in any case and he has been actively supporting some sort of arrangement with the conservatives, which are not just conservatives but also incredibly corrupt and fascistoid, in the hung parliament that Spain's got after December and again after June elections. 

Many of the so-called "barons" (regional presidents) of the PSOE back this idea, which is akin to political suicide, to PASOK-ization. But all for the good of the Troika and the banksters, I guess. Every other "Chinese jar" (i.e. former relevant politician of the party) has been coming back from the dead to support that political suicide, from Corcuera to Zapatero and Rubalcaba. It's like The Living Dead. 

However the current direction of the party, even if not significantly progressive, is aware of the outrageousness of the demand, both for the party and for their own positions of power. This is particularly true for the current Secretary General Pedro Sánchez, initially looking like a pretty face sockpuppet of the party's apparatchkik but gradually more and more determined to become a real boss. 

The other bosses are not happy at all in most cases. Particularly vocal have been those of Southern Spain, where the PSOE is traditionally stronger and holds regional power with no or very limited support by third parties. These regional leaders are usually called "barons" in Spanish political slang although they are rather like dukes, to be historically reasonable. 

They are generally opposed to Podemos, maybe not in their regions, where they do borrow their votes in many cases, but certainly in the Spanish central government, and they are fiercely opposed to any dialogue with the Catalan separatists in nearly all cases. This again is particularly true in the rather underdeveloped South, where the PSOE is stronger. Regional leaders in the North are generally more sympathetic to Sánchez but as they do not in most cases hold their corresponding regional government, they are not considered "barons" but rather like sidekicks. The only "baroness" supporting Sánchez is Balearic President Francine Armengol. 

However it is not the "barons" who rule the party but its "national" (state-wide) institutions, which are mostly made up of directly elected representatives of the party members. They may or not be akin to the barons but they are definitely much less influential individually and wield less vested interests in the aparatchkik. Sánchez himself was directly elected in so-called "primaries". 

So the critics were pressing Sánchez for a concession to the conservatives, maybe just abstention in the election of the President (Prime Minister equivalent) when he had poor results in two "regional" (national of stateless nations) elections. This is not arguably only or even mostly his fault but of the previous leaders, who pushed the party so far to the right in the past, that have caused total loss of credibility, provoked the 15-M civic uprising in 2012 that kicked out of government his predecessor Rodríguez Zapatero and ultimately triggered the formation of Podemos, which has eroded their vote base very importantly. They have also tied his hands so tightly that he can't really attempt to negotiate seriously any alternative government to the conservative one. 

Finally, under growing not-so-friendly fire, he decided to call for an express congress, so long postponed, because he believes (rightly it seems) that he has anyhow the backing of the grassroots militants. His enemies seem to know they don't have it and therefore they decided to trigger a putsch, sort of, with the always valuable backing of the bourgeois media. The mechanism chosen was to resign in large numbers from the Federal Executive Committee (executive organ of the party) before the Federal Council could be gathered on October 2nd. 

They claim that this should automatically cause the whole remaining executive to be null and that a provisional committee should be appointed instead. By whom if there is no remaining authority? Today it has been clarified, the president of the Federal Council (internal parliament of sorts) has declared that she is the only authority remaining (really?) She had to do so in the street anyhow, as the premises of the party were not at her disposal.

An interesting key point is that the dissidents claim things about how the party's statute is supposed to work but do not provide quotations at all. Instead the Secretary of Organization César Luena provided yesterday a clear and concise quote of the relevant article, which says that in the event of semi-desertion of the executive, then the Federal Council must meet and call for an extraordinary congress to elect a new one immediately. 

This almost exactly what Pedro Sánchez had planned to do anyhow, just that the congress was to be ordinary instead of extraordinary. 

There is of course an ultimate "judiciary" power to sort out the discrepancies, but it can only be called by its own president and this one, Isabel Celaa, is a backer of Sánchez, so she said today that it won't happen today. Tomorrow? A formal complaint has been filled anyhow. The question is that this organ has a precarious balance between both factions: according to analysts, two are pro-Sánchez, two are anti-Sánchez and the fifth one is unclear and the other three are apparently against him and have even claimed to be able to summon themselves. This explains why the putchists were calling all the time for the Committee of Guarantees to take over, they knew they had a majority of backers inside.

So in practical terms the party is split in two and both sides deny legitimacy to the other, however this split is probably not real at all at grassroots level, where support for Sánchez seems in spite of all rather strong. 

The most direct implications are mostly relative to government formation and institutional impasse, which looks now that is going to be extending for a year, barring a split of the "Socialist" parliamentary group, with some of the deputies backing conservative Mariano Rajoy outside of party discipline, as demanded by Brussels, the banksters and such. 

It may indeed produce a split in the party, of course, but there is little doubt that the dissidents have limited grassroots and voter backing, so if there are elections in Christmas Day (yeah, love the idea, who doesn't?), as scheduled if no government is elected (again), they will lose most of their seats in benefit of Sánchez' faction. 

But the long term implications (unless somehow Sánchez manages to survive, not yet ruled out) are that the historical PSOE, essential part of the twin-party system will be dead for good. With the main right wing party, PP, also in a very delicate situation after so many corruption scandals and gathering most of its votes among pensioners (a very large sector of voters but set to die soon in any case, more so with pensions and healthcare being slashed in the so-called "austericide"), the regime of 1978 is deadly wounded.

So somehow it is good news, although it is not immediate good news. It is probably very bad news in the short term with a faction of PSOE's deputies probably voting for conservative Mariano Rajoy for their own personal survival in politics for the next four years. A parliamentary coup. We'll see.

I'm going to watch the soap opera now, I mean: the news. It is hilarious at times, although also terrifying.

Update (Sep 30, 2:30 am): It seems it will be all resolved (???), one way or another in the Federal Commission of Saturday. It's going to be a mess in any case, with Sánchez partisans calling it an extraordinary meeting with a single possible point: the calling of an extraordinary congress and his opponents calling it an ordinary meeting with an open agenda (the previous call).

The main alternative candidate, pro-Felipe, pro-Rajoy and pro-banksters Susana Díaz, leader of the very large Andalusian federation, has spoken in very soft "constructive" and clearly hypocrite language. She's clearly planning to be elected secretary general herself, but it is unclear by whom of how.

On the other hand the Catalan federation is fleeting buses of militants to demonstrate in support of Sánchez in Madrid this Saturday, all while the Catalan Parliament has set a definite date for the referendum of independence on September 2017.

The situation clearly spills a lot outside the PSOE and is actually a fight between democratic institutional change and godfather style corrupt politics at the service of the banksters, represented by Mariano Rajoy and the putschists in the PSOE.

If the putschists win, as seems likely, this may lead to another 15-M style popular insurrection of some sort, although with a fascist law that fines you several salaries worth for any minor offense, even if imaginary, it is unclear how the protests will take place. It is in the end a whole state-level putsch against democracy, be it internally at party-level or externally. No more elections are scheduled until 2018 (European Parliament) anyhow and with the current circumstances (Catalan secession, EU's moral and physical collapse, people starving, a deeply rotten party system in both PP and PSOE) it seems likely that the powers that be will want to impede them forever. Another thing is how, because I doubt there's many youth willing to fight for their own imminent death at the hands of starvation and homelessness.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Finland: nazis murder Jim Joonas Karttunen

Nazis of the SVL organization attacked and severely injured Antifascist activist Jim Joonas Karttunen on September 10th. Today 20th, he died of his injuries at hospital.

Joonas was protesting the presence of a SVL propaganda stand near the train station of Helsinki when he was brutally attacked by the Nazis, who beat him brutally on the ground, causing him a major concussion which eventually killed him.

Days later the Nazi organization uploaded a video to YouTube claiming responsibility and stating that "counter-protesters must be disciplined". 

It is not the first time that the SVL is involved in criminal attacks: in 2013 they already stabbed a protester in Jyväskylä. In that occasion one of the attackers was found a pen-drive with detailed information about more than 300 "political enemies", including antifascists, greens, socialdemocrats, conservatives and Jewish personalities. 

In 2011, Anonymous revealed the details of many SVL militants and sympathizers, including a prominent member of the True Finns party (xenophobic fascistoids, currently partner in the Finnish government), Juho Eerola, who eventually resigned. This implies that the SVL, part of a wider Nordic and Nordicist network, led by the Swedish SVR, are not a mere marginal and minor group but actually a violent shock squad satellite of the other fascists, who pretend to be a "normal" party, just like Le Pen in France. 

Beware because all those fascists, not at all different from Islamic Fundamentalists, are gaining positions in most of Europe very dangerously and we can too easily slide into a new version of 1933 in no time. 

Thanks Jim for fighting against Fascism to the very last of your forces. If we are to overcome this horrible threat, it won't be for those who sit in the sidelines watching but for true heroes like you. Let Mother Earth be gentle on you as you were to Her.

Source: Kaos en la red[es]

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Russia accuses USA of actively backing DAESH, UN Security Council called

We already knew, we knew that all the blah-blah about fighting DAESH (Islamic State) was just propaganda and that neither the DAESH nor Al Nusra/Al Qaeda would be there without the very active backing of the USA and its allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, France, Britain). 

But recently we had become a bit less certain: some US actions backed the Kurdish-centered Syrian Democratic Forces, Turkey and Washington seemed to have fallen apart on the issues of the military coup and the Kurds and even there were some poses about the USA backing a possible attack against Raqqa, the main Islamist capital. 

We can forget about that now: US air forces attacked the Syrian Army at Deir ez-Zor, an enclave at the Euphrates that Damascus has managed to hold free and safe for all these years of war in spite of being surrounded by DAESH forces. The attack killed 62 Syrian soldiers and injured at least one hundred. Russia says that it was meant to pave the way for the Islamist takeover of the town and that only their own counter-strikes allowed for the loyalist enclave to resist. 

The attack, along with the disdain by other US-backed "rebels" (Islamists affiliated to Al Qaeda) for the recently agreed ceasefire, puts in jeopardy any attempt to bring peace to the beleaguered Arab country, something we already knew would not happen: what we did not know was that the truce would be definitely destroyed by US open support of the terrorist forces of DAESH that so many people have murdered, tortured, raped and enslaved, in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. 

If you are reading this and are a US citizen, please vote Jill Stein (Green Party) this autumn, because she is the only one who holds a reasonable stand in internal and external affairs. All the rest are just crazy war-mongers of the worst kind, who should considered for what they are: class A war criminals. She may not win but it is important to set some good bases for the future in any case if this World has to have some hope. 

Source and more details: RT.