It is very common for Western governments and media outlets to tell the rest of the world to be very afraid of North Korea and its nuclear weapons, or to fear the possibility that Iran could one day soon have nukes. But the reality is that there is only one country in human history that has used nuclear weapons against a civilian population – and not once, but twice: the United States. On the 6th and 9th of August, 1945, the US military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Around 200,000 civilians were killed. Today, nearly 80 years later, it is still very common to hear US government officials, journalists, and educators claim that Washington had no choice but to nuke Japan.
On the first week of spring in 1931, at the nadir of the Great Depression, nine Black teenagers stowed away on a Memphis-bound train scuffled with a gaggle of white youths who took exception to their presence. The Black youths made quick work of their counterparts, heaving all but one, Orville Gilley, from the slow-moving railcars to the grassy knoll below. Gilley would have met the same fate as his friends but by the time the Black youths got to him, the train had picked up considerable speed, and he was hanging perilously from the gondola. Fearing Gilley might fall underneath one of the railcars, two Black teenagers pulled him back to safety and stood down.
It has now been over a month since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian military forces to invade Ukraine. In this short amount of time, a tidal wave of sentimental gush has emerged from Western countries that has glossed over even the most modest criticism of the Ukrainian government while vilifying Putin and his country to an extent that is increasingly trespassing into the realm of the absurd. This narrative, disseminated by Washington, its allies, and its minions in the corporate-owned media, has been so predictable as to be bordering on self-parody, with some going so far as to draw parallels between Putin and Adolf Hitler. In the wake of this flagrantly one-sided presentation of the conflict, Russia has been subjected to sanctions from the US and its allies, the withdrawal of multiple major corporations from Russian soil, and a series of boycotts by a cornucopia of universities, NGOS and social media companies.
Since the horrific events of Sept. 11, much has been said about the desperate situation of the Afghani people now crushed under the heel of the theocratic, dictatorial Taliban, and about the role of the Northern Alliance and other Taliban opponents who now figure in Washington’s plans for the region. There has been talk, most of it distorted, about the role of the Soviet Union in the years from 1978 to 1989. There has been talk, most of it understated, about the role of the U.S. in building up the Mujahideen forces, including the Taliban.
One reason it’s so easy to get an American administration, the mainstream media, and the American people to jump on an anti-Russian bandwagon is of course the legacy of the Soviet Union. To all the real crimes and shortcomings of that period the US regularly added many fictitious claims to agitate the American public against Moscow. That has not come to a halt. During a debate in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, candidate Ben Carson (now the head of the US Housing and Urban Development agency) allowed the following to pass his lips: “Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down, you have to undermine three things: Our spiritual life, our patriotism, and our morality.”
By Liz Payne for Morning Star - TODAY marks a very special centenary within our celebrations marking the events of the great October socialist revolution in Russia in 1917, one which is of crucial significance in respect of our struggles against the devastation brought about by imperialism and its catastrophic interventions and wars in our own time. On November 8 1917, the day following the establishment of the workers’ and peasants’ government, the second All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies in Petrograd, which now had state power, issued its “Decree on Peace.” So fundamental was the ending of the inter-imperialist first world war to the future of the peoples of Russia and the peoples of all belligerent countries that it was articulated as a first priority of the first workers’ state in the first 24 hours of its existence. The issuing of the decree was supremely revolutionary and the initial act of internationalism of the workers’ government. For the first time in the history of the world, the will of workers, soldiers and peasants with state power in their hands was being expressed in respect of the resolution of conflict and the rights of peoples. By means of the decree, the true character of imperialist war and the nature of peace as defined by the working class were plainly set out, thus demonstrating the inherent link between the struggle for peace and that for socialism.
By Brinda Karat for Left World - On this most historic occasion of the centenary of the epoch-making Russian revolution, I extend my warm greetings to you and on behalf of my party the Communist Party of India (Marxist). For the last one year the one million plus members of the CPI(M) and through them the masses of working people, have observed in different ways the centenary of the Russian revolution, at factory gates, in village meetings, in university campuses, in seminars and public meetings. Much of what I speak today is what we collectively believe is the legacy of the Russian revolution under the revolutionary leadership of its most brilliant strategist and theorist V. I. Lenin. At a time when the world is facing the challenge of an offensive of imperialism, of right-wing forces, of xenophobia, of racism, of bigotry, of increased violence against women and marginalized social groups, the need for an alternative vision of human development cannot be overemphasised, In India we have the rule of an extreme right-wing Government wedded to neo-liberal policies and a framework of politics which is based on sectarian majoritarian ideologies termed Hindutva. They work to destroy the unity of the people on religious lines. They aim to replace the secular framework of India by a theocratic Hindu State.
By Yuriy Rubtsov for Strategic Culture Foundation - At the end of 2015 the US National Security Archive published a declassified document from 1950s listing nuclear strike targets on the territory of the USSR and its allied countries. It listed 1,200 cities from Eastern Germany in the west to China in the east. Moscow topped the list with Leningrad (St. Petersburg) to follow: there were 179 «designated ground zeros» for atomic bombs in Moscow and 145 in St. Petersburg. The nuclear weapons would have ranged from 1.7 to 9 megatons (for comparison, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, codenamed Little Boy, was roughly 0.013-0.018 megatons). The declassified document is the SAC (the Strategic Air Command) Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959, produced in June 1956. Those days the SAC was headed by General Curtis Emerson LeMay known for planning and executing a massive bombing campaign against cities in Japan in the final days of the WWII. For instance, on the night of 9–10 March ("Operation Meetinghouse") cluster bombs released roughly 1500 incendiaries in a few hours. Over 100,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of fire and blasts. It was LeMay who ordered his subordinates to deliver those strikes. He said once, «I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal».
By Yanis Varoufakis for New Stateman - The left has been in disarray since 1991 – it never fully recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite widespread opposition to Stalinism and authoritarianism. In the past two decades, we have witnessed a major spasm of global capitalism that has triggered a long deflationary period across the United States and Europe. Just as the Great Depression did in the 1930s, this has created a breeding ground for xenophobia, racism and scapegoating.