Review of ‘The Russian and Syrian Alliance’

July 2, 2016

Nasir Khan, July 2, 2016

In his paper Luis Lazaro Tijerina fills in much-needed information to understand Russian and Syrian relationship. While discussing the salient aspects of the relationship, first, between the Soviet Union and Syria and, then, after the fall of the Soviet Union, between Russia and Syria, the author has provided a sound historical overview of the developments. To understand the present civil war in Syria in a broader historical context, his paper is of utmost importance.

 In his presentation, the author has referred to some impressive and  interesting material and pointed to many factors in analysing a complex political situation. Syria is an Arab country and its political and social culture is shaped by many factors. It has its ancient historical roots including the Roman rule but after the Arab conquest of Syria from the Byzantine emperor the country became a part of the expanding Arab Empire under the Caliphs. After the First World War the Ottoman Empire came to an end; its rule over the Arab provinces also ended. Western powers which  emerged victorious established their colonial domination over the Middle East under the fiction of the ‘Mandatory system’. France took its share: Syria and the Lebanon.

In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia brought into existence a new political system. Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin the right to self-determination of the colonized people and support to the struggling masses to liberate themselves from the Western colonial rule became important pillars of the Soviet state policy. It was in this context, that the Soviet relations with Syria grew during and after the Second World war. The author has quite fairly outlined the Soviet policies towards the Middle East under Stalin. He also shows the role of the present Russian leader Putin towards Syria and his objectives in supporting the Syrian government.

The present civil war has played havoc with this once-prosperous and an old-civilised country. There are numerous factors both national, regional and international involved in the imbroglio. The Assad family, first the father and now his son, are more like the hereditary kings of Syria. But again, here we are discussing an Arab country where democracy as understood in modern political thought and practice has no roots. For kings and despots in the Middle East, political power and luxurious life-styles are the most important  things; the rest is empty talk.

———–


http://katehon.com/article/russian-and-syrian-alliance

The Russian and Syrian Alliance

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02.07.2016

Russia and Syria have a deep and long, political marriage that is one of necessity, one of connivance at times, but also a historical relationship based on a respect that is bonded by both adversity and creative, political struggle. Before, I attempt to describe or make what I hope is a serious commentary on the relationship between Russia and Syria in the present time that we live in, and which involves the civil war in Syria, itself, I would like to quote the Roman historian Polybius who noted about history and empires and their causes both in peace and war that “For it is history alone which without causing us harm enables us to judge what is the best course in any situation or circumstance.” We should remember these wise words on history and the best course to follow for empire or nation-states in the modern world. Also, let us take a calm look of factual clarity at the history of these two countries whose political and social fates are wedded now for better or for worse in a time of war against terrorism and the interest of certain nation-states who seek out world hegemon, regardless of the cost of humanity in terms of lives lost. The historical relationship between the nation-state of Russia, formally the Soviet Union, and the nation-state of Syria is one of genuine collaboration through periods of internal, Syrian political crises and regional conflicts within the Middle East. Three coup d’ etat occurred during the period 1949-1953, until the Ba’ath came to power in Syria in 1954, which was keenly observed by the political and military leadership in the Soviet Union, and was only enhanced by the Suez Crises in 1956 with the Tripartite Aggression by Israel, France and Britain. Although there have been cordial culture interests between the Russian and Syrian peoples, it is has always been a friendship forged by pragmatic needs, both being economic and military in terms of mutual interests.

Within the current civil war in Syria it should be historically understood that Russia, by its very history with the Syrian Government and the Syrian people, have a political and moral obligation to help defend the legitimate interests of Syria in its struggle against modern terrorists such as ISIS or nation-states that seek to overthrow the current president of Syria and create a hegemony that would only enhance more dangerous instability in the Middle East. War being what it is among modern nation-states creates a dangerous mass of miscalculations and contradictions among the Western powers which seek to impose their will upon the Syrian state in terms of commerce, the selling of arms and regional control over a population whose aspirations are not considered. On the other side, there are those nation-states like Russian, Syria, Iran and Iraq, for instance, who are more interested in promoting the independent economic, social and cultural interests of their nation-states which is part of the process towards a more pragmatic form of international order throughout the world. Therefore, the profound historical civil war that is taking place in Syria it is in fact a dialectical part of that process towards self-determination and independent national liberation movements among all nations in the Middle East.

As ancient Roman had deep political and military interests in Greater Syria so in fact does modern Russia would have a historical political, economic and cultural ties with modern Syria. In the modernist since, it has been the Soviet and Russian experience to seek out international norms regarding the balance of power in terms of global politics and the need that causes for military intervention. With this historical perception in mind, especially since the time of Lenin when internationalism and the thrust for revolutionary social change was part of Soviet-Russian foreign policy, there was a fundamental socialist and pragmatic view to the expansionism of International law and that ran counter to the Western perception of assessing and then forcing a hegemonic military paradigm as would be advocated by Western nation-states, with the United States being Its nominal leader for such political behavior. That these two different views on the accepted means of considering world political crises as they arose, would create not only a so-called “Cold War”, but would also be the demarcation line of rancor, distrust and proxy wars between the two views regarding the approach the use of military force. This international rivalry became a bien établi behavior regarding diplomacy and war. With these un-varnished perceptions of the inevitable harsh approach to both political and military friction between these two opposing camps, it was only natural that the Soviet Union and then post-Soviet Russia would readjust her strategic, not to mention her tactical approaches, towards confronting the Western powers. As the historian, Roy Allison would admit in his work Russia, the West, and Military Intervention “After the collapse of Soviet superpower did Russian positions on these issues continue to reverberate in the international community? Russia above all has continued to impact on global rule-making through its ‘top table’ presence as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Russia has maintained a presence also in key groupings for regional crises management, such as the contact Group for the Middle East, the Four-Party talks on the Korean Peninsula and the Six Power talks on the Iranian nuclear programme”. It is interesting to note here in the long pageantry of human history that during the time of Soviet rule in Russia, there was never an invasion by a Soviet army into the Western regions of Europe. There was an occupation of Soviet troops in Hungry and Czechoslovakia due to the uprising of dissatisfied elements of the inteligencia, workers and communist party officials who naively thought that certain Western powers would support their idealism for democratic liberalism, but such dreams or fantasies where to be short live, for the armies of Western Europe or the United States did not come to their aid. Therefore during the middle period of the twentieth century, the Western European bourgeois powers with its ally the United States, although interested and preparing for world hegemony as their imperial quest, were still using rhetoric and subtle propaganda techniques in their own going ‘cold war’ with Russia and her allies. As with the Peace of Nicias, when Athens along with her allies of Greek city-states and Sparta, with her Lachmannian confederacy of allies, signed a peace treaty in 421 BC which terminated the first half of the Peloponnesian War, so to was there an undeclared truce between the Western capitalist powers and the Soviet Union and her satellite socialist allies of Eastern Europe after the end of World War II, known to the Soviet people as the Great Patriotic War. It was during this time of a cold peace in which proxy wars and wars of economic subversion were in acted by both parties, that the Soviet Union took a deep interest in its recognition of Syria as rising political power in the Middle East.

There were many stages in which Russia took a political interest in the Middle East, including Syria or the Levant area (territory know in the modern world as Syria and Lebanon). These interest were both territorial and political in their conceptions by the Russian monocracy, then the Soviet Union and the present Russian Federation. This process of political engagement and cultural recognition between both Russia and Syria were then of a dialectical political process that has lasted through the twenty-first century, and therefore such engagment diplomatique et polticalical are complex and even subtle in nature. What is seemingly viewed through a historical timeline of events between two countries does not account for the covert, even justifiable Machiavellian and warm interactions that two countries with various and even different political interests, will have in an international relationship. The historian, Rami Ginat, gives in the beginning of his work “Syria and Doctrine of Arab Neutralism” a very seemingly view of how the Russian State has viewed the Middle East through the last three centuries by stating thus:

The Middle East has always attracted the attention of Russia in its various historical phrases—Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union, or the present Russian Federation, because the region is the southern gateway to Russia. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the expansion of Tsarist Russia southward asresult of colonial conflict with the Ottoman Empire and Persia.… Following the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Russia opted out of the war [World War I] … In 1919 Lenin declared “pre-War frontiers will be respected, no Turkish territory will be given to Armenia, the Dardanelles will remain Turkish and Constantinople will remain the capital of the Muslim world”.

As we see the long standing interests with Russia and the Middle East are one of a long history, only the British and French have such a long memory of history regarding their own relationship with the Middle East, while the United States has a short history with the Middle East at best, however one that has long history of spreading its war machine in Tanium in the that region of the world in modern times.

To understand the interest that the Soviet Union had with the emerging nation state of Syria after World War II, it is important to know how Stalin viewed such a regional interest outside the natural territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Although this essay does include primary Russian diplomatic resources on the eventual political alignment between Russia and Syria in the modern world, I will attempt to draw some conjectures on the rapprochement of economic and culture détente between the two countries. During these early years, it was understood through diplomatic signals and diplomatic embassy exchanges among the various parties who took an interest in Syria’s future, that Stalin, the leader of the USSR sought out a revolutionary approach to the Middle East, and therefore was more interested in the engagment of communist revolutions being nurtured, so it was only natural that he would be concern about the build-up and sponsorship of Middle Eastern communist parties that wanted socialist governments in that region of the world. It has been argued or mention by such Middle Eastern scholars like Ginat that there was no major diplomatic changes to the way the Soviet Union viewed its policy to the Middle East until the death of Stalin. It can be argued that with the onset of the Second World War, Stalin certainly had his intelligence agents in the field in the Middle East, especially in Egypt and Syria, not to mention Iraq. Already as early as 1944, the Syrian government had imitated a serious interest in having direct diplomatic contacts with USSR, during a time, when such a move could have had dire consequences had the course of the war for the Allies and the Soviet Union had turned into defeat on the battlefield. Fortunately such was not the case, and Syrian diplomats were able to meet the first Soviet minster to Egypt, Nikolai Novikov, and although the meeting did not turn out well for the Syrian delegation, it was the first crucial step towards the official rapprochement between the Soviet Union and the nation-state of Syria. After a series of through the summer of 1944, Novikov was informed from the Soviet Government that as of 19 July, that diplomatic relations with Syria had been attain, and that a Soviet diplomatic mission would open in Damascus of that year. It was on July 31, that the Soviet Union and Syria created formal diplomatic relations, but it was not until February 10, 1946 that official diplomatic missions between the two countries was cemented with diplomatic protocols. Thus we see that the road to diplomatic recognition between the two counties was not hurried nor seamless, as a world war had brought them together in the struggle for independence on the side of Syria, and the fight to the death against Nazi fascism by the Soviet Union. What should also be noted and not overlooked is how Stalin would play a major role in such a creation of healthier relationships between those countries of the Middle East and the Soviet Union. As Ginat commented his book on the subject, and it should be understood that he was not a communist was the measure of Soviet foreign change, when he wrote:

Soviet policymakers appealed to Middle East nationalist groups to concentrate on the task of putting an end to Western influence in the region. To achieve that end, the Soviets nurtured relations with governments that were already pursuing anti-Western policies. … Stalin begin to follow the line of realpolitik in his international Affairs program. Foreign policy was, first and foremost, based on Utilitarian considerations derived from the USSSR’s growing interests in certain parts of the world… what mattered more to him [Stalin] was that they pursued anti-Western policies.

In other words, Stalin was keenly intelligent to purse a more pragmatic course of diplomatic relationships with Middle Eastern countries, including the Middle East to protect not only the frontiers of the Soviet Union, but also to consolidate the victories already achieve on the battlefield. When a leader combines military achievements with diplomatic accords that bring about regional and global stability, then that leader is remembered for such a rare talent in history. In the twenty-first century, such talent by a world statesman is not be seen as yet. However, Vladimir Putin took a page from Stalin regarding knowing when to pursue war, when it came to directing the Russian Air Forces in their engagment with targeting Daesh, also known as ISIS, and the al Nursa Front in Syria, and when to reach out to the diplomatic table among all the parties involved in a regional conflict, as when Russia and the United States brokered a truce which took place in February of 2016 during the Syrian Civil War which had begun on March 15, 2011.

We see, therefore, that from the middle of World War II to the early years of the twenty-first century, the political historical era which this author writes about could remind one much like what took place with imperial Rome and Syria in ancient times. Except both regional forces, meaning Russia and Syria are neither hegemonic in outlook nor force a direct submissive behavior from their allies like those Roman leaders who used their Roman legions unsparingly against foe and friend alike, and those Syrian governors of Greater Syria who submitted to Roman rule without question. Modern Russia who is wedded to the revolutionary Soviet Union, is a nation that ultimately forges peace or is forced to play a role on the world’s stage in fighting modern fascism and American imperialism whether they are reluctant or not about their role. Syria is still going through its birth pangs of being a regional world power through the process of the classical civil wars that Thucydides and Tacitus wrote about so boldly.

Within the modern history of the Russian and Syrian alliance, there have been tensions that have worked themselves out through a pragmatic understanding, so as to continue the historical process of independence of not only Syria’s domestic and foreign policy agendas from outside interference, especially from Western hegemony, but to insure the security of other Arab countries as well. With this in mind, when it comes to the reactionary deeds of Daesh, we must understand where the seed of such a viscous terrorist organization emerged from, that is its’ root of growth. As Yevgeny Primakov, who was not only once the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, but also was the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Russia, the terrorism that expanded in the Middle East and spread outside that regions should be understood as such:

But the terror inflicted by both sides in the Middle East conflict was not the breeding ground for the international terrorism seen at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. For starters, Middle Eastern terrorism was by its nature political, not religious.

Primakov’s succinct observation of the core of terrorism not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world, is a rational and understood historical understanding of how modern aggression and wars is not one of a spiritual nature, but conflicting ideologies that emerge from economic and class contradictions.

But Primakov goes further in his analysis of the “war against terrorism” in the twenty-first century by stating emphatically that “The network known as Al-Qaeda did not arise from the Palestinian movement. Al-Qaeda was religious extremist catalyst used the United States during the cold war—with, as it turns out, no thought to the consequences. It came into being with the aid of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the purposes of fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan”. Now, in the times that I am writing this essay, we are reaping the terrible violence of the whirl wind we created, which in turn is creating the implosion of the Western world, including that of the United States as well.

It is known through various sources that the former USSR did not pander or always take sides with Syria regarding issues like the Lebanon civil war or the struggle of various political parties and military forces that desired to control the Palestinian struggle of statehood. In fact, it Yuri Andropov, then the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, who in 1983, attempted to bring about a more conciliatory relationship between Syria and the Palestinian ranks that were at odds with Syrian leadership regarding the tempestuous leadership of Arafat within the Palestinian enclave. Therefore, if one attempts to see the foreign policy of the Soviet and Russia alliance with Syria, throughout the decades of the modern era, one will notice that there was always an ebb and flow between the two nation-states. The underlying destructive force therefore can be seen elsewhere regarding the war in the Middle East and regional terrorism, in that like the Trotskyites during and after the Russian revolution, American foreign policy is mitigated by the various United States presidential regimes, who have a fanaticism to “export” its American view of democracy into the borders of nation-states throughout the world. Such a modern American manifest destiny includes Syria with its historic civil war in our time which could further enflame other regions of the Middle East or provoke World War III. It is in Syria that the people will manifest themselves in the battle against Islamic terrorism, and it is in Syria that the world’s fate will be decided regarding such a war.

It is with this short paper that I have attempted to show in a subtle way how history is not created by simply the whims of individuals or capriciousness of nation-states without consequences. If we do not understand the nature of alliances which are like a find and subtle thread from the beginning to the end, then we cannot create a political course of action that brings about a period of peace, but will only bring on the holocaust of war.

The Forces of Darkness and Ignorance in Pakistan

June 23, 2016

Nasir Khan, June 23, 2016

The tragedy that started in 1947 in the shape of Pakistan and in the name of Islam has continued uninterrupted since then. In this country, Islam was transformed into a cult of ignorance and darkness and then into a cult of death and violence.

Muslim leaders and politicians initiated their political agendas by using the Islam card when the British Raj in India was on its hind legs. They galvanised the conservative Muslim clergy to support their call for a separate homeland for Muslims that was to be modelled on the Islamic principles of laws and polity.

But none of these shrewd leaders explained what those principles of religious laws were or how a political system based on those seventh-century Arabian laws and mindset would operate in modern times. They gave the poor and ignorant masses cheap slogans to repeat, which they did. But the masses had no clue what these laws and system of government would be like.

What the misguided and morbid extremists are doing in Pakistan in the name of Islam and their brigands kill innocent people when they choose to do so is a natural unfolding of the dark force that was unleashed by manipulating religion. The tree of ignorance and darkness is bearing its bitter fruit.

 


https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/06/22/famous-pakistani-sufi-singer-killed-by-gunmen-in-karachi.html

Famous Pakistani Sufi singer killed by gunmen in Karachi

Amjad Sabri was shot several times Wednesday while driving his car.
Pakistani investigators and journalists gather around the car of famous Sufi singer Amjad Sabri after an attack in Karachi on Wednesday.
Police officer Arif Mahar says Amjad Sabri was shot several times Wednesday while driving in his car. Sabri’s brother, who was also in the car, was wounded.

Sabri and his late father, Ghulam Farid Sabri, were well-known qawwali singers, a style of music rooted in Sufism, or Islamic mysticism. Islamic extremists reject Sufi traditions and have targeted Sufis in past attacks.

Karachi has long been gripped by violence, with attacks carried out by Islamic militants as well as ethnic separatists, criminal gangs and rival political parties. On Tuesday, gunmen killed a member of the Ahmadi religious minority, and the son of a provincial judge was abducted. No one has claimed the attacks.

The Massacre in Orlando

June 13, 2016

Nasir Khan, June 13, 2016


The massacre of so many innocent people at the hands of Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old US citizen was a deplorable and savage act. What made him commit such a horrendous crime is not clear. The pieces of information we saw on the telescreens show him to have been a mentally unstable and violent person. Only the psychologists or criminologists may come up with some further clarification of his behaviour, but one thing is clear. He acted alone. Will we escape the usual practice where a crime committed by a person belonging to Islamic religion is attributed to his religion and by implication, all Muslims are stigmatised?

We should also keep in mind that such random killings are common in the United States. People kill people for fun or shoot innocent people if they want to. In the United States, violence is glorified and getting weapons is so easy; therefore, such crimes as the massacre in Orlando are not exceptional. The only distinctive nature of the present crime is the large number of people who fell victims.

However, America is not the only country where violence and killings are common. For instance, in Pakistan sectarian killings are common. Religious fanatics, mostly belonging to the majority Sunni sect, target Shias, Ahmadis and other religious minorities. The burning of some young girls alive recently shows the force of inhuman traditions and customs of patriarchal society and its coercive methods. Then, come the Taliban and other Islamist militant groups on the scene who target people to advance their version of Islamic state under a pristine Islam that existed in the Arabia of the seventh century AD.

The massacre in Orlando also shows that police or security agencies cannot prevent the actions of individuals who want to commit such crimes as Omar Mateen did. This is an inescapable sad reality.

Much has to change socially and politically both at local, regional and global levels to combat violent crimes. However, there is no sign of any such movement towards that direction.

 

 

Ramadan Mubarak to All!

June 1, 2016

Nasir Khan, June 1, 2016

Soon the holy month of Ramadan will start, a month in which Muslim believers fast from dawn to dusk, without touching any food or water. It is all done to fulfil the command of the Almighty Allah.

We had learnt that in this holy month Satan is chained and imprisoned. This means, he is not free to perform his evil deeds, which he otherwise does for the eleven months of the year. In those months of iniquity, he spreads much wickedness and misleads people. In these months, he manages to create so many ardent followers that they carry on his mission in his absence during the holy month of Ramadan.

As a result, we still see people killing each other, warmongers still destroying people, weapons producers still selling arms to provoke more conflicts and in this way earn more profits. Other crimes in society continue as usual.

The rulers of Muslim countries continue to enjoy lives of plenty and luxury, depositing billions of dollars in foreign banks in secret accounts while the masses suffer.

Ramadan Mubarak to all!

Inherited beliefs and freethinking

May 28, 2016

Nasir Khan, May 28, 2016

All human children are born in the same way, according to the physiological and biological reproductive system of human beings. Right from their infancy, they learn about the customs and rituals of their societies through their parents and other close relatives. Of course, they follow the religion of their parents as part of their upbringing and schooling. They had no choice but to follow the religions of their parents.

As grownups, they become convinced of the truth of their own religion. They believe their religion to be the ‘only true one’ while discounting any such truth to other religions! This is more so in conservative and traditional societies world-over.

Only a limited number of people manage to break loose from this mode of thinking and rigid religious indoctrination. Luckily, in western societies that have become multicultural, multi-ethnic and multireligious, there is a marked trend, at least amongst the  people of European descent, to move away from the traditional religious beliefs, while extending  respect to the followers of  all different religions.

This change has come about because of the humanist values and freedom to think and choose in secularised societies.  The people who are most devoted to their religions and deities happen to be the migrants and their descendants of Asian and African origin.

———

Translation of the Urdu text in the photo:

‘”What a coincidence that people born in a certain religion regard their religion as being the only righteous one!”

Sam Khan's photo.

On Humans and Gods

May 20, 2016

Nasir Khan, May 20, 2016

Humans created god by attributing many of their own qualities unto an imaginary ‘being’. But they also gave him a bit more than what they themselves were: they made him all-powerful and all-knowing! So are the fictional places that human beings created in their grand fantasies called Paradise, Hell and the Kingdom of God! But they did not create one god; they created hundreds and thousands of gods and goddesses in many old cultures and societies.

But in the early history of humankind, the forces of nature, like thunder, storms, rain, etc., overawed humans. They were not able to explain these powerful and frightening forces of nature that affected them. As a result, they started to do whatever they could to placate them by making occasional sacrifices to them and entreating them for mercy and kindness.

The idea of deities came much later when they developed anthropomorphic ideas relating to deities they came to believe in that were distinct from the earlier worship of the forces of nature.


Since then, the story of gods in various forms and shapes had become a dominant factor in their lives. The movement from the plurality of deities to smaller numbers was gradual. In some cultures, there was further reduction in such numbers, coming down to three, two or only one. They are all part of the history of the evolution of the notions of powerful supernatural or divine beings.

Zionists and the Palestinians

May 12, 2016

Nasir Khan, May 12, 2016

It is commendable that the newly-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stands for the rights of the Jews in case of any violations of their rights. Like many social and political activists, I also stand firmly for the rights of Jews and non-Jews, everywhere. But Mr Khan has not said anything about the rights of the Palestinians that have been violated by Israel since 1948!

Zionists had taken historic Palestine by using violence and terror and driven the Palestinians out of their land and forced many of them to take refuge in the neighbouring countries.

They are the long-suffering Palestinians still under Israeli occupation who need the political support of politicians and common people for an end to the brutal Israeli occupation and the restitution of their human rights as enshrined in the U.N. Charter. To do so is to stand for truth and justice; it won’t be against any community or group.

 

Modernity shows the way forward

May 6, 2016

Nasir Khan, May 6, 2016

“The point of modernity is to live a life without illusions while not becoming disillusioned.”

― Italian thinker and politician Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)

Modernity means many things to different people. But in learned discourse, it refers to the collective body of particular socio-cultural norms and attitudes that emerged when the medieval period in European history gave way to new thinking. Prior to modernity, scholasticism of the middle ages covered all aspects of socio-political life. Religion was the pivotal force that controlled the social and political thinking of the people as well as moulded political structures and power relations.

The Church hierarchy interpreted and enforced socio-cultural norms. Even monarchs, barons and landed aristocrats had to accept the directives of the Church in matters that seemed to have little or nothing to do with religion. In simple words, the Church was at the apex of the societal pyramid.

Then the scene started to change. At grave risks, some thinkers and public-spirited people started to question matters relating to the principles of absolutism, divine rights of kings, power of the Church, even the old sacrosanct doctrines and dogmas that were once only under the domain of the clerics. Now people began to question the rationale of age-old norms and customs. This was something strictly forbidden in the middle ages.

We should keep in mind that the process of change was gradual but it had pointed to a new direction in social and political thinking and practice. The powers of an omnipotent deity  were questioned;  some thinkers rejected all notions of any supernatural beings altogether. Such ideas have made meaningful inroads in Europe. More people are rejecting old traditional modes of thought and dogmas. The roles of many philosophers from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries onwards have been instrumental in exploring new ideas to meet the needs of the times.

Coming back to Gramsci’s quotation, Gramsci was using the notion of ‘illusions’ in people’s lives that gives them some encouragement and hope, here in this world and in the Hereafter. Those who may not reap the rewards here and now can always wait for the Hereafter when they will be have everything in plenty in the Kingdom of Heaven! However, if the common people come to realise that there is nothing like that ‘up there’ then that can be disappointing to them.

The point is to dispel the falsity of such illusions and face reality. By facing and accepting reality, we save ourselves all false hopes and disillusionments. However, to gain such consciousness is not easy because as long people have ready-made formulas and dogmas, they feel ‘safe’ and they accept all other-worldliness without questioning.

A lecture by Ilan pappe on Israel’s Past, Present and Future

April 11, 2016

Nasir Khan, April 11, 2016

I highly recommend this video to our readers who understand English and are willing to listen to the ideas of this brave Israeli academic who exposes the deception of Zionism in Palestine.

This is a video of the lecuture by historian Prof. Ilan Pappe, the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, in NYU last month




http://zochrot.org/he/video/56420

 

The Historical Role of Lenin

April 9, 2016

Nasir Khan, April 9, 2016

Millions of rightists, social reactionaries, the ruling elite of the imperialist system and their petty-bourgeois supporters do not want Lenin or other major figures in world socialist movement. That does not surprise me or other Marxist-Leninists. What they stand for is not hidden either. They openly oppose Socialism under different guises and spread disinformation. When the petty-bourgeois phrasemongers attack Lenin and his ideas, they are doing so with a purpose, which is to strengthen the capitalist system and strengthen the grip of the capitalists on the majority of the population, everywhere.

Nevertheless, we who believe in Socialism and understand the historical role of Lenin for his clarifying what capitalism is, how it functions and how it can be combated also know how the enemies of Socialism operate and which methods they use.

Lenin in his books and pamphlets laid the theoretical groundwork for combating capitalism and imperialism. He devised the strategy to combat the forces of capitalism. His analysis of capitalism and his pragmatic approach to end the rule of capitalists is of unique historical importance in the revolutionary thought of the last two centuries.

Lenin’s ideas are not some holy mantra but a clear guide as how to take action while taking into account all the objective conditions and subjective factors in the political struggles.

Marx and Lenin were ahead of their time. Marx wrote before offshoring of jobs and the financialization of the economy. Lenin presided over a communist revolution that…
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