MEE: Holocaust survivor quits Labour after being told not to speak at memorial day event
On 24 January, Kapos received an email - which Middle East Eye has seen - from the London Labour party, warning him that if he spoke at the meeting, he would most likely be expelled from the party.
“Socialist Labour Network is a group which the NEC [National Executive Committe] of the party has determined is incompatible with Labour Party values,” the email read. “Any support for the organisation would likely be deemed in breach of party rules and may lead to expulsion.”
A left-wing group, SLN was formed in January 2022 and then banned by the party in March that year.
He stressed the importance of speaking about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor and accused Labour’s current leadership of “McCarthyism”, a reference to the campagin to smear left-wing people in the United States in the 1940s and 50s.
Climate Change News: EU plans restrictions on climate-wrecking fishing method
The “EU Action Plan to protect and restore marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries” is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2023 by the European Commission.
TeleSUR: Macron Mobilizes 11,000 French Officers to Suppress Protests
TeleSUR: German Economy Shrinks 0.2 Pct in Q4 2022
WSWS: German share prices soar, while incomes and jobs plummet
Since the beginning of the year, stock prices have been climbing while thousands of jobs are cut and real wages fall. The workload for staff in the public sector is being doubled and tripled because money is going into rearmament.
The more the German political establishment shifts to a war economy, the more pressure is put on the working class.
Reuters: German industry to pay 40% more for energy than pre-crisis - study says
German industry is set to pay about 40% more for energy in 2023 than in 2021, before the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a study by Allianz Trade said on Monday, citing contract expiries and delayed wholesale pricing effects.
“The large energy-price shock still lies ahead for European corporates,” said Allianz Trade, the credit insurer that changed its name from Euler Hermes last year.
Reuters: Three bears die of cold in plane grounded at Belgium airport
Three sloth bears have died of cold after being left in a plane stranded by snow and ice in Liege airport, Belgian newspaper SudInfo reported on Monday.
TeleSUR: Croatia Criticizes NATO Chief’s Visit to South Korea & Japan
MEE: Turkey may accept Finland into Nato without Sweden: Erdogan
East Asia and Oceania
Monthly Review: U.S. Marines open new base on Guam to prepare for future war with China
The base is still under construction but will eventually house 5,000 U.S. Marines, likely by the end of 2024. According to The Wall Street Journal, the purpose of the base is to prepare for a potential war with China in the islands of the western Pacific Ocean.
Central Asia and the Middle East
MEE: Turkey signs $200m deal with South Korean firm for Altay tank parts
MEE: Tunisians elect weakened parliament on 11 percent turnout
Tunisia announced that a mere 11 percent of the electorate had voted on Sunday in parliamentary runoffs, with critics of President Kais Saied saying the empty polling stations were evidence of public disdain for his agenda and seizure of powers.
MEE: Russia and Iran launch payment system as an alternative to Swift
Iran and Russia have linked their banking systems, a senior Iranian official said on Monday, a move that will allow the two heavily sanctioned countries with deepening economic ties to trade and conduct business outside the US financial system.
RT: Russia becomes Iran’s biggest investor
A senior Iranian official says Moscow has poured nearly $3 billion into oil projects in a little more than a year
RT: Putin talks cooperation with US ally
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have discussed bilateral cooperation and measures to stabilize the global oil market in a phone call, the Kremlin stated on Monday.
Reuters: Saudi Arabia to invest about $266 bln for clean energy - minister
Saudi Arabia will invest up to one trillion riyals ($266.40 billion) to generate “cleaner energy”, Saudi state TV reported on Monday, citing the kingdom’s energy minister.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman added that the investments aim also to “add transport lines and distribution networks in order to eventually export the energy to the world and produce clean hydrogen.”
Is this for before or after you build Neom?
MEMO: Raisi: Iran-Azerbaijan ties unaffected by embassy attack
MEE: Syria: Ten reported killed after air strike on convoy of Iran-backed groups
Ten people have been killed by air strikes that hit a convoy of trucks carrying weapons into eastern Syria from Iraq, according to an activist group.
The strikes, which no country has claimed, killed 10 “truck drivers and their assistants, all of them non-Syrians” on Sunday evening, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
MEE: Israeli forces shoot Palestinian man dead in central Hebron
MEMO: Israel steals artefacts from Palestinian site in Nablus
MEE: Israel’s shekel and stock market tumble in response to political turmoil
Africa News: Morocco reopens embassy in Iraq after an 18-year absence
TeleSUR: Blast Leaves 47 Pakistanis Killed, 157 Injured in Peshawar
The target of the suicide bomber was the police personnel. The bomber managed to sneak into the highly sensitive area before blowing himself up in the mosque.
Africa News: Horn of Africa drought drives over 22 million people to hunger
From southern Ethiopia to northern Kenya and Somalia, around 22 million people are at risk of hunger as the worst drought in four decades grips the Horn of Africa.
Africa News: Tropical storm in Madagascar: At least 25 dead, roads flooded and crops destroyed
Two dozen Madagascans have died and tens of thousands been left homeless since a severe tropical storm made landfall last week and swirled for days off the island’s western coast, official records showed Sunday.
Africa News: Egypt: US secretary of state Anthony Blinken speaks to young people in Cairo
The strategic partnership between the U.S. and Egypt is of “great consequence”, according to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.Blinken made the comment on Sunday in Cairo where he addressed a meeting of Egypt’s youth.
Africa News: Ramaphosa: South Africa will not ditch coal ‘just like that’
Coal-rich but energy-starved South Africa will not immediately abandon its fossil-fuelled electricity generating plants as it transitions to cleaner forms of power, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday (Jan. 29).
People’s Daily: Deadly beating of Tyre Nichols yet another grave testament to entrenched racial discrimination in U.S.
RT: Government is Americans’ top problem – poll
Americans believe the top problem facing the US is its government, a Gallup poll published on Monday revealed. Over a fifth (21%) of poll respondents named poor leadership as the most serious issue, outstripping even inflation, which fell to second place with just 15% of votes.
In a rare show of bipartisan unity, 24% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, along with 18% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents agreed that government incompetence topped the list.
Inside Climate News: New Wind and Solar Are Cheaper Than the Costs to Operate All But One Coal-Fired Power Plant in the United States
New analysis shows that renewables beat existing coal plants 99 percent of the time, thanks to long-term trends and an assist from the Inflation Reduction Act.
TeleSUR: Cuba Welcomes International Mobilizations Against US Blockade
Common Dreams: Bolsonaro Requests Six-Month US Tourist Visa to Prolong Florida Trip as Brazilian Probes Mount
Brazil’s far-right ex-president has applied for a visa to remain in the U.S. amid worsening legal troubles in his home country, where he is facing multiple investigations.
TeleSUR: Brazil Halts Illegal Mining Transportation in Yanomani Lands
The Ukraine Proxy Conflict
Naked Capitalism: Why, Despite RAND’s Recommendation, the Ukraine War Is Unlikely to End in a Negotiated Settlement
WSWS: Top NATO spokesman calls for “wartime economy”
NATO’s top military spokesman called Saturday for members of the US-led military alliance to transition to a “wartime economy” in order to “increase the production in the defense industry.”
In the interview, aired Friday on Portugal’s public broadcaster RTP News, Rob Bauer, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, said the US-led NATO alliance is prepared for a “direct clash with Russia.”
These statements follow the announcement last week by the Biden administration that it would deploy M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, and statements by the White House that it is “discussing” sending nuclear-capable F16 jet fighters.
Bauer’s statements make clear that the US-led NATO alliance is actively preparing for the Ukraine war to escalate into a direct clash between the NATO alliance and Russia, both of which are armed with nuclear weapons.
At the start of the interview, Bauer stressed that NATO views the conflict with Russia as much broader than the war in Ukraine.
Asked by RTP News, “You don’t believe that it’s only about Ukraine,” Bauer replied “no, it’s about turning back to the old Soviet Union.”
The interviewer continued, “so the entire Eastern Flank is at risk somehow?” Bauer replied, “Yeah.”
The interviewer asked, “We are ready to [sic] a direct confrontation with Russia?” To this Bauer replied, “we are.”
In order to prepare for war with Russia, Bauer declared, “we need to increase the production in the defense industry,” citing the wartime measures taken by the United States during World War II. Bauer continued,
“In the first four years in the United States in the Second World War, in the Ford factories, there was no civilian cars made, but only military production…. And that is, in a way, talking about a wartime economy,”
Yeah, what I would recommend doing is going to the Industrial tab in the game, and then placing down a few dozen factories using the Zoning Tool, and copy-pasting their manufacturing lines to all produce tanks so that in 10 turns, you’ll have like 20 tanks ready to put on the front line. What the fuck are you talking about? It’ll take you years if not decades to claw back the industrial capacity necessary to fight a war like World War 2 again, and that’s if the financial bourgeoisie let you, which they won’t. Just admit that if Russia crosses the border then your army will fall apart within a year and then you’ll press the nuclear button and kill billions rather than be embarrassed that your Arsenal of Democracy was a giant waste of money sent straight to military-industrial complex CEOs for them to buy their 18th superyacht.
Reuters: Biden says no F-16s for Ukraine as Russia claims gains
RT: France won’t rule out jets for Ukraine
RT: Poland sets condition for potential F-16 deliveries to Ukraine
Poland will transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, but only as part of a coordinated effort with other NATO partners, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced at a press conference on Monday.
RT: Russian governor puts bounty on Western tanks
The governor of Zabaikalsky Region in eastern Russia has offered soldiers from the province a chance to earn bounties on NATO tanks that are captured or destroyed in Ukraine. The governor’s announcement came as a private company offered a similar reward for captured Western-made armor.
RT: Moscow provides more evidence of US biolabs in Ukraine
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday laid out more evidence that US-funded laboratories were working in Ukraine. Documents and materials recovered by Russian troops showed that Western pharmaceutical companies operating in territory under Kiev’s control conducted HIV/AIDS research on Ukrainian military personnel.
Mint Press News: Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong
Empires in terminal decline leap from one military fiasco to the next. The war in Ukraine, another bungled attempt to reassert U.S. global hegemony, fits this pattern. The danger is that the more dire things look, the more the U.S. will escalate the conflict, potentially provoking open confrontation with Russia. If Russia carries out retaliatory attacks on supply and training bases in neighboring NATO countries, or uses tactical nuclear weapons, NATO will almost certainly respond by attacking Russian forces. We will have ignited World War III, which could result in a nuclear holocaust.
Retrospectives, History, Theory, and Technology
Jacobin: Karl Marx’s Literary Style Was an Essential Part of His Genius
Karl Marx was one of the greatest intellectuals of the nineteenth century. He was also one of its greatest writers. Like Charles Dickens, Honoré de Balzac, and the Brontë sisters, Marx looms large among the peaks of nineteenth-century prose.
Ludovico Silva’s newly translated Marx’s Literary Style, originally published as El estilo literario de Marx in 1971, shows indisputably that the two aspects are related. Marx was one of the greatest intellectuals because he was one of the greatest writers.
Michael Roberts: The demographic future and labour
Open Democracy: Are we seeing the collapse of the dollar-dominated global economy?
Two small but critically important pieces of news in the past few weeks are early indicators that the global economic order, centred on the primacy of the dollar, is slowly coming apart – bringing the threat of radically worsened instability.
First, Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said the Gulf kingdom had “no objection” to selling its oil in a currency other than dollars. Saudi has made similar noises before, but this latest suggestion comes after Chinese president Xi Jinping urged Gulf countries to take up the yuan for the settlement of oil and gas trades with China at the first China-Arab States Summit, hosted with great pomp and ceremony by Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Riyadh last month.
On the other side of the world, there was the announcement by Brazil and Argentina that they, too, would be looking to use a new currency for bilateral trade – this time establishing an entirely new money, potentially to be called the ‘sur’. There have been moves to create joint Brazil-Argentine currencies before, but they have tended to flounder on political grounds, with strong opposition from both countries’ central banks.
Inside the Imperial Core
Valdai Club: Motives of the Anti-Russian Coalition: Are There Cracks in the Monolith?
Over time, both South Korea and the countries of Western Europe may be inclined towards opportunistic behaviour. They feel cramped in the new cold war, which narrows their room for manoeuvre and forces them to take more radical positions. Everyone is aware that the current crisis will not have an immediate end, so they assume that the crisis will continue as they plan their activity for the coming years. At the same time, they are aware that this crisis indirectly hurts their own interests, reducing both their political importance and their economic opportunities, affecting the stability of production chains, logistics, economic security and the strategic situation on the continent. Under such conditions, over time, these countries will become more attentive to Russia’s interests, which will make it possible to conduct a more energetic and productive dialogue with them.
However, for the time being, the search for cracks in the anti-Russian coalition of Western states is futile. Washington securely holds the initiative and literally twists the arms of states that risk raising their voice in favour of peace rather than war. In this matter, the United States has a group of influential allies among the radical countries of Eastern Europe, who present themselves as a security frontier, which, by all means, must be strengthened to fight Russia.
Open Democracy: British higher education is being destroyed. Uni workers are fighting back
Sometimes, the government’s aim seems to be to transform universities into corporations – competitive drivers of growth, rather than collaborative ecosystems of scholarship. A bit like trying to hew a hand into a foot. But sometimes, the attacks seem more wanton than that. On average, the better educated people are, the less they vote to the right. The expansion of student numbers in recent decades is an existential threat to the Tories. Listen for the tone of conservative commentators towards the academy in recent years, and you can hear their loathing.
Hilarious that the author of this piece thinks that universities are a way of cultivating left-wing talent, rather than a machine that strips the class consciousness from you and turns you into an insufferable meritocrat. The Conservatives aren’t defunding universities because they’re afraid of what some degree-earning student could do with their newfound knowledge, they’re doing it because reducing labor costs is one way - and in fact the main way - to earn more profits.
Outside the Imperial Core
Responsible Statecraft: Hell in the shadows: Congo and the ultimate endless war of all time
Twenty years after the end of the Second Congo War (1998-2003), an endless conflict persists in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern provinces. The country has been at war in one way or another for so long that the conflict has become entrenched and self-perpetuating, and there is an entire generation that has never known real peace.
Eastern Congo is a warning of what can happen when wars are allowed to drag on with no end in sight.
Jason Stearns has sought to identify the causes of the persistence of armed conflict in Congo in his new book The War That Doesn’t Say Its Name: The Unending Conflict in the Congo, and he makes a strong case that the conflict has become self-perpetuating because of the fragmentation of armed groups, the symbiosis between opposing armed groups, and the emergence of what he calls a “military bourgeoisie” that benefits from the continuation of conflict.
This military bourgeoisie is a relatively small group of thousands of men in various armed groups sharing an interest in perpetuating conflict for the sake of their own enrichment and status. Stearns writes, “They use violence in order to extract value, both from the state as well as from the population.” These men are not interested in seizing control of the state, but instead want “to carve out fiefdoms on the margins of the state.”
These actors are motivated both by material interests and worldviews that encourage them to keep reproducing the conflict. As Stearns suggests, this explanation for persistent conflict can be used to make sense of intractable wars elsewhere.
And now a little dipshittery and cope, as a treat:
Responsible Statecraft: China is sending interesting signals to the US. Is anyone listening?
Much of geopolitics is about signaling in the expectation that the other party for whom the signal is sent understands the message.
This is one of the major lessons from Henry Kissinger’s voluminous memoirs and, indeed, in the broader history of diplomacy. It requires two to tango, as the saying goes, which in this context means that the other party should be ready to listen and capable of deciphering the underlying message.
The signal lamp on the bridge of Beijing’s diplomatic flagship has been flashing that its captain has changed course and wants the West, particularly the United States, to reconsider its depiction of China as a disruptive force bent on undermining the global economy’s steering system — that it is neither a rule-maker, nor a rule-taker, but a rule-breaker. This is not how China sees itself. Indeed, it has a strong interest in upholding a stable global economy while it struggles with its own economic challenges.
China wants to re-enter the global community and, in particular, the global economy after flirting with developing a more self-reliant economy and a closer association with Putin’s Russia. The lessons learned and the conclusions drawn are that this was a blind alley and failed to offer China’s leadership what it wants more than anything else: economic growth.
lmfao. How are these people this fucking awful at interpreting events? Xi and Putin meet and make statements together all the time about how they need to get closer, how alternate trade routes need to be developed that don’t rely on blockadeable marine routes, while the United States is putting missile launchers on every strip of sand in the ocean to dare China to attack.
Yes, I’m sure the lesson that the Party is learning when the United States joins together with its imperial subjects to sanction their chip industry after completely inventing an entire genocide taking place in their country that neither the UN nor any Muslim-majority state can corroborate, is the lesson: “Man, we need to ditch our partners like Russia with such high food production and oil/gas/mineral production and instead bow down to America! We’re so sorry that we tried to make a self-sufficient economy!” Morons.