Speech of the Executive Secretary WPC Iraklis Tsavdaridis at the public meeting organized in Dublin by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) of Ireland on 24th March 2011
“The Peace Movement vs. EU and NATO”
Dear friends and comrades
First of all we want to thank the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) of Ireland for the invitation to come to Dublin and attend this important public meeting. We are very glad to
be amongst friends and fellow fighters for
peace, especially in these moments where another imperialist war has started against
the people of Libya.
Coming from a country like Greece which is passing through a similar phase and situation in our economy like you here in Ireland, allow me to start with some words on this topic.
In both our countries the international economic crisis of capitalism has been used by the governments to put new and heavy burdens on the working class and popular masses, by cutting salaries, allowances and pensions, by de-regulating working relations and rights and by privatizing further state enterprises and social services to the detriment of huge masses in each country and by that guaranteeing the profits and privileges of capital and its class. Unemployment is increasing (in Greece officially 14,6%) and more than 20% of population is going below the official poverty line. Our both peoples are facing a common front of EU, IMF and local oligarchy, which are elaborating plans and programs of social cuts, while the foreign debts are still increasing along with the budget deficits. The big beneficiaries of the crisis are in both cases the Foreign Banks from Germany, France and UK, which are increasing their profits and revenues. The local banks in our countries are getting cash subventions and low rate loans in order to run their business. In both our countries we had very massive protests and manifestations, in Greece we had within one year more than 12 general workers strikes.
But there is not only poverty and unemployment in Greece and Ireland. There is also wealth and richness for the few. Recently for example a German magazine published information that the savings of Greek citizens only in Swiss Banks exceed the € 650 billions Euros. This is where the money flows to!
It is very interesting to observe how Democracy is being applied in Ireland (not only in Ireland of course). If a people, a nation does not agree to be part of the EU, or does not want to ratify an international treaty like the Lisbon treaty (or “European Constitution”) it has to go again and again to referendum till its outcome will comply with the needs and interests of the capital and of the monopolies.
While this economic crisis of the system is going on, the military expenses worldwide are reaching new record highs. In the year 2009 more than $1,5 Trillion USD was spent world wide, the half of it by the USA alone. The war industry is making huge profits and Imperialism is increasing its aggressiveness in all corners of the world, new wars and aggressions are on, while the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is still continuing.
Dear comrades and friends
The recent period several peoples of the Middle East and North Africa have shown with their massive uprisings that it is possible to achieve democratic changes and to get rid of totalitarian regimes. The massive popular participation especially in Tunisia and Egypt is an encouraging signal for all the peoples of the region and the world. The teachings of these uprisings are valuable for all of us. They show that it is not true that such revolts and upsurges belong to the past; that people can impose their will, despite the complex situation and the contradictions from case to case. We consider Libya to be a different case. We have no illusions about the character of the regime in Libya, particularly in the last years. The genuine and popular protests of Libyan people can not be expressed by some ex-ministers of Ghadafi and by a tribal competition within the Libyan society. The imperialists did everything to reach the decision of the UN Security Council for the imposition of a Non-Fly Zone in order to unleash a criminal attack on the country which has rich oil and gas reserves.
This aggression like the previous ones against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq has many sides and aspects, but it has one thing in common with all the others. Imperialism, its leading forces and structures, is neglecting and violating every sense of International law as it was established for decades long and is carrying out a bloody war against a sovereign country, once again with the pretext of humanitarian intervention.
Imperialism is used to impose violent “regime changes”, even in cases which were serving long time their interests and collaborating with them. The cases of Mubarak in Egypt or Ben Ali in Tunisia, both outstanding members of the club of the Socialist International till their recent expulsion, shows how the imperialists are dealing with their collaborators after they have no use for them anymore.
Their goals and intentions are becoming meanwhile so obvious. We can even observe the different competitive interests which are clashing between the imperialists in the case of Libya, while altogether are bombing and attacking a country which was selling big part of its oil to the European Oil multinationals, namely British Petroleum and TOTAL. Is it a diabolic coincidence that the Libyan contracts with the French TOTAL expired just the day France started first its military attacks? Was it by chance that French President N. Sarcozy not only received the “opposition” forces in Paris but also recognized them as “legitimate representative of the Libyan people”?
The imperialist aggression against Libya has of course main and secondary “players”. France, the UK and USA have launched a full scale war, from air and sea. More NATO partners have announced their readiness to be part of the aggression like Norway, Denmark, Canada, and Belgium. From the Arab world two first class allies of imperialism have joined, the UAE and Qatar, while Saudi Arabia, first invaded Bahrain in order to “export Democracy” there. Greece and its government led by the President of the Socialist International G.Papandreou already gave all ports and airports, facilitating the military operations from the very first moment. But even the governments of other NATO states which are not openly participating in the aggression like Germany are not objecting the operations; neither will they veto a decision in NATO to assume the coordination of the operation “Odyssey Dawn” after the first week of bombings.
Developments prove that the inter-imperialist rivalries are more than ever existing, only that they do not mean anything positive for the peoples and their rights. We call upon all the peace loving peoples of the world not to accept and to fight back the decisions of the UN, of the willing alliance under the French President and of NATO tomorrow.
Just a few months ago when NATO held its summit in Lisbon adopting its “new strategic concept” we were stating that it constitutes a further expansion of NATO’s actions under new pretexts and “threats”, with the abolition of even the last respect to the International law and the founding charter of the UN, serving clearly and offensively the interests of the Multinational corporations and big International capital. NATO is the “world sheriff” which is becoming a force of execution of the arbitrary decisions of the UN and the case of Libya is one more example for the manipulation of the UN and its abuse.
The imperialists of the EU and NATO are speaking about International Law and the protection of the lives of civilians. Apart from hypocritical and dubious it is also of double moral. Where is the International law in the case of the Palestinian people who are suffering from a slowly genocide and are deprived of their right for an independent State, not to mention the dozens of resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the UN? Why the International Law is not applied in the case of the occupation of Western Sahara or the partial occupation of Cyprus till today?
In the course of preparations for the military aggression and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the main argument was that the regime in Baghdad was in possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Later, when this flagrant lie was revealed nobody amongst the governments of the EU or NATO raised the question of withdrawal of the foreign troops from Iraq, the killings of civilians and destruction went on and is still going on. Meanwhile the oil of the country is flowing under the US control and a puppet regime has been installed.
In the case of Afghanistan the US and its allies called for a “war against terror”, against the Taliban, which were trained, financed and guided for decades long by the CIA. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan resulted again in a puppet regime in Kabul and in new records of the opium production and its export for use of the International drugs trafficking.
But also in the murderous 78 days long bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 by NATO, many lies have been revealed especially afterwards. The goal of USA, the EU and NATO to divide the former Yugoslavia in parts and create EU and NATO protectorates like the ones of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo was serving the goals of Imperialism in the broader region, their plans for the “Missile Defense Shield”, their interests in Central Asia and the “New Middle East Plan”.
The strategy of imperialism is very clear all these years, despite the contradictions or rivalries which appear from time to time. It is at least naive and dangerous if somebody believes that the various imperialist forces are different from each other or the one better than the other.
The WPC is proud for its firm and principle positions for more than 60 years towards NATO for example. Our peoples know that NATO was behind dictatorships and reactionary regimes and dozens of coups in all corners of the world.
The WPC did not discover NATO just recently, or only after the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq, neither did we ever believe that the new US President Obama would bring the slightest change in the US foreign policy, even before he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Price, which constitutes a farce for the award itself. The WPC never believed in the EU as a “democratic counter pole” to the USA. The imperialist character of the EU is clearly stated and reaffirmed in its Lisbon Treaty and on daily basis in various parts of the world. The EU’s complicity is visible in relation to the crimes against the Palestinian and Saharawi people who are under Israeli and Moroccan occupation respectively. The double standard policy towards the Israeli aggressions against Syria, Lebanon or the threats against Iran is speaking for themselves. The reactionary role of the EU is visible with the so-called “common position” towards Cuba.
All governments of the EU and NATO states share the responsibility for the imperialist crimes and plans of the two organisms. The whatsoever contradictions between the forces inside the NATO or/and EU or between them, are underlining only the fierce competition of their ruling classes for bigger shares in profits and markets. Thus we denounce not only NATO, but also each and every government which signs and steers its policies.
We are very concerned with the situation regarding peace and security worldwide. The preemptive doctrine of the USA, the new strategic concept of NATO, the militarization of the EU along with the abuse of the UN and the prevailing of the “law of the jungle”, creates an explosive framework for humanity worldwide.
The WPC will keep on its firm positions and actions on the side of the poor and the oppressed, till the workers and the peoples will defeat imperialism in each country and worldwide. The future of humankind can not be seen in imperialist wars, occupation and social injustice.
The struggle continues the victory will be ours!