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zondag 19 september 2021

#WORLD #WORLDWIDE #FRANCE #ANARCHISM #News #Journal #Update - (en) France, Ist Congress of the UCL - Anti-imperialist action on the new geopolitical chessboard (Fougeres, 28-30 August 2021) (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

During the decade of 2010, the balance of power evolved between the main

capitalist powers: United States, China, Russia, European Union... What guides
their policy ? What are the risks and consequences for the people ? What are the
specificities of French imperialism ? Revolutionaries need to update their
analysis grid. ---- US hegemony called into question ---- The United States:
Declining, Still Aggressive Global Imperialism ---- In the 1990s, the United
States took advantage of the disappearance of the USSR to impose its hegemony
over international politics. Thirty years later, the empire is in crisis, faced
with threats it has underestimated. If at first neoliberal globalization
strengthened its power, it also allowed the emergence of competitors who today
question its preeminence.

The Afghan quagmire, the Iraqi fiasco and other military dead ends ("drone wars"
in Yemen and Pakistan) have made the United States cautious. They now favor
"economic sanctions" - a form of blockade - to bend recalcitrant countries: North
Korea, Venezuela, Iran. In Syria, they sought to instrumentalize
politico-military forces - both the Islamist far right and the Kurdish left - in
their own interests.

With China and Russia a direct military confrontation is highly unlikely due to
the risk of all-out nuclear war. With regard to them, American imperialism is
developing a strategy of containment resulting in the installation of hundreds of
military bases and support points in neighboring countries. They add targeted
economic sanctions, the objective of which is to maintain their technological lead.

China: a strengthening imperialism

Second world economic power, China should overtake the United States during the
decade of 2020. For the moment it does not claim hegemony, but a multipolar order
where its interests are taken into account, without interference in its "internal
affairs": Han colonization of Tibet and Xinjiang, bringing Hong Kong to heel,
claiming Taiwan. China is developing expansionist military pressure throughout
its Asia / Pacific region which could lead to armed conflicts: India, the
Indochinese Peninsula, Malaysia, the Philippines ... as far as Australia. For a
long time the CCP has made business prevail over international politics. But in
recent years the tone has changed. To secure its "new silk roads»In Africa, South
America and as far as Central Europe, Beijing is working to equip itself with a
military projection capacity far from its borders which could, tomorrow, make it
a major imperialist player.

China today has an important place in the African continent, which it has
acquired to the detriment of Western imperialisms. There is a growing number of
economic sectors in which China is positioned across the continent: telephony,
construction, raw materials (oil, uranium) and the agricultural land market.
However, the military and political domination of the French state, to take just
this example, does not allow Chinese imperialism to supplant Western imperialism
in the medium term.

Russia: neighborhood imperialism

Emerging from the catastrophic situation of the 1990s, Russia has once again
established itself as a world-class player, but with objectives different from
those of the USSR. No more question of a planetary ideological struggle. The
priority is to control its neighborhood - Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus... - and
to break the American policy of encirclement by playing with divisions within NATO.

At the global level, the Kremlin is proposing multilateralism against American
hegemony. The revival of the army and the military-industrial complex allows it a
more aggressive foreign policy: direct military intervention in Syria, indirect
in Libya. But its average economic power limits its possibilities and pushes it
to get closer to China.

The EU, economic giant, political dwarf

The difficulties in getting the national Parliaments to ratify the recovery plan
decided by the Commission, the national egoisms that erupt over migrants or the
Covid show that the old national bourgeoisies have still not given birth to a
unified European bourgeoisie.

Torn between its voluntary submission to the United States and the desire for
strategic autonomy carried by the Franco-German tandem, the European Union is
incapable of a common position and intervention on the geopolitical chessboard.
The arms industry has experienced a concentration on a European scale, but there
is strong opposition to the building of a European army, an idea mainly defended
by France.

NATO therefore remains the essential framework of "Europe of defense", but is
undermined by its divisions, in particular on the attitude to have vis-à-vis
Russia. While Poland and the Baltic States are on a hard line, Germany, France
and Italy aim at reconciliation and growth of economic exchanges. Recently,
Turkish expansionism has caused great tension with Greece, Cyprus and France.

Ultimately, the EU's foreign policy hardly exists beyond the imperialist
enterprises of its most militarily active member states.

A more multipolar world

In this context, no imperialism is able to impose its law on the whole planet.
Regional imperialisms take advantage of this to carry out independent strategies
on their own objectives. This leads to often deadly competition, as in the Middle
East where the Turkey-Qatar, Saudi Arabia-Israel and Iran-Syria poles compete for
regional hegemony.

French imperialism in this context
Ally of the United States within the framework of NATO, the French state is today
a middle power, but with disproportionate influence due to positions acquired
during the colonial empire and then the Cold War.:

the atomic bomb and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council ;
sovereignty over the 2 e global maritime domain through the island remnants of
its colonial empire, including the Caribbean and in the Pacific Ocean ;
allegiance and business networks inherited from the colonial era, vassalized
states or even "friendly" dictators who found their area of influence in
French-speaking Africa ;
an external operations army ("Opex"): in January 2021, 41% of the French army's
deployed personnel were in Africa, the Middle East or on the oceans, which in
itself reveals its imperialist nature.
Five structuring patterns
French imperialism is inseparable from its apparatus and its neocolonial
policies. French interventionism, of which Africa is the ordinary theater, has
five main motivations:

defense of economic interests. In 2014, according to the Quai d'Orsay, 40,000
French companies, including 14 multinationals (Bolloré, Total, Vinci, Lafarge,
Orano, Orange, Accor, Veolia, Carrefour, etc.) were operating in Africa, in
sectors as lucrative as construction. , mass distribution, logistics, rail and
port infrastructure, tourism, armaments. The interweaving of the Franco-African
private business and state cooperation networks that make a living from it form
the social base of "Françafrique", a powerful lobby to counter Chinese or Turkish
competition ;
control of strategic resources. Even if it has diversified its uranium supplies,
the mines in Niger remain the flagship of Orano (ex-Areva). To this must be added
the high potential of Africa in hydrocarbons, coltan, copper, manganese, lithium
and rare earths, of which the contemporary economy is greedy ;
an "imperial" dimension connected to the two preceding ones, but which also
applies to itself. Paris exerts a form of suzerainty over several African
capitals, which obliges it to prove its effectiveness in dissuading changes of
allegiance, in the direction of Washington, Beijing or even Moscow. Hence certain
military interventions which appear to be financial pitfalls, but are vital to
demonstrate its power. And which induce secondary benefits: attribution of
concessions and public contracts, sales of weapons tested "life-size ". ". The
intervention of the French state in the sub-Saharan part of the African continent
remains marked by competition with Anglo-Saxon imperialism. Recent history
including the genocide in Rwanda are a tragic reminder of its devastation in the
Great Lakes region ;
the search for partners. When a revolution or civil war "opens the game" in a
country, competing political forces may seek the support of foreign states. They
then try to build up a "clientele" who will later return the lift, or even
subordinate themselves to this external interference. The French state does not
hesitate to play this card in the face of hostile or simply rebellious governments.
the arms industry. Under the control of the State, it is an important base of its
imperialism which allows it to establish its domination over the whole of the
globe and to fuel a part of armed conflicts, repression of civilians, and war crimes.
French military interventionism of the decade 2010
It is with this reading grid that we must understand the imperialist
interventions of the French State in the 2010s:

Côte d'Ivoire 2011: in this "jewel of Françafrique", the French army chases
Laurent Gbagbo (a discredited ex-ally and considered unmanageable) and installs a
new liege in power, Alassane Ouattara ;
Libya 2011: the French state seeks to profit from the revolution in Libya. Its
air force, along with its NATO partners, is helping to eliminate Gaddafi
(Operation Harmattan) in the vain hope of installing a pro-Western regime in
Tripoli ;
Syria-Iraq 2012-2017: the French state does the same during the revolution in
Syria. Thinking that Bashar al-Assad will fall, he delivers weapons to the Free
Syrian Army (FSA) in the hope of a future pro-Western government in Damascus ;
then he backtracked when it turned out that part of the FSA was phagocytosed by
jihadists. It then supports the Arab-Kurdish SDF, the Iraqi army and the Shiite
militias to destroy Daesh (operation Chammal) ;
Central African Republic 2013-2016: the French army intervenes to stabilize a
vassal state in the grip of a civil war (Operation Sangaris) ;
Sahel since 2013: the French army (operations Serval, then Barkhane) engages in a
"never-ending war" to maintain the cohesion the cohesion of its vassal states in
the face of insurgencies under the jihadist flag which everyone agrees with say -
including the French general staff - that they will not find a military solution.
The results

It would be obtuse to deny that these military interventions could have played,
in the short term, a positive role from the point of view of certain populations
threatened with massacres and destruction. Operation Serval was very popular in
Mali, as well as French aid to Kurdish, Syrian and Iraqi combatants who killed
Daesh. Massacres of civilians have been avoided in the Central African Republic
or in Côte d'Ivoire. This is essentially what the French state communicates on.

However, this is never the primary motivation for its interventionism: it is
explained in the first place by the four structuring reasons mentioned above.

Above all, in the medium and long term, this interventionism is globally
counterproductive. Sometimes because it prolongs and aggravates wars ;
fundamentally because it maintains bonds of vassalage and interference which are
an obstacle to the autonomy of peoples, to their ability to take the destiny of
their country in hand.

Domestic resistance to imperialism

Indignation and protest against the "opex" are traditionally weak in imperialist
metropolises, as well in the United States, as in the United Kingdom, in Russia
or in France. The stakes seem remote, and the propaganda is often effective.

But the more blood flows - especially that of the expeditionary corps - the more
indignation can gain the populations and provoke embarrassing protests for
imperialism. In France, this was the case against the wars in Indochina, Algeria,
Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

UCL's action in France
Based on this analysis grid, the role of UCL is to:

to win the ideological battle. Many of the oppressed ignore the crimes of French
imperialism. The cause is a problematic lack of interest and the bludgeoning of
companies to justify imperialism: the myth of humanitarian war, revisionism
(genocide in Rwanda), negationism. The revelation and dissemination of the horror
of French imperialism, in Africa in particular, is an important axis of our
struggles to win on the ideological front.
denounce all global or regional imperialisms. We must lift the veil and explain
what Françafrique is and what are the real motivations of French military
interventionism ;
organize the response in the streets and workplaces, when popular indignation
permits, to impede the imperialist operations, as has been overwhelmingly against
the Afghanistan war in 2001, against the 2 e Gulf War in 2003, and with much less
success against the NATO intervention in Libya in 2011 or against the French
intervention in the Sahel in 2013. Among the registers of direct action: the
boycott is one of the initiatives that we can use against French imperialism, in
particular. Particularly in Françafrique where the French colonial bourgeoisie is
hegemonic: LVMH, Bouygues, Bolloré, Lafarge, Total, Veolia, BNP, ACCOR ;
support the peoples in the struggle for their freedom, whatever the imperialist
camp that hinders. This supposes relaying the action and the word of the
anti-imperialist forces of the left, in particular when they carry a
revolutionary emancipatory project, against French imperialism in the first
place. It is on him that we have the most hold, he acts mainly on our behalf and
we involuntarily contribute in spite of ourselves to his material bases (taxes
and appropriation of our work by the imperialist bourgeoisie). This also involves
the fight for the abolition of the debt which strangles the inhabitants living in
the neo-colonial spheres ;
link the anti-imperialist struggle to solidarity with migrants. To fight against
imperialism and French neocolonial domination, in particular, is to fight against
one of the sources of the misery which leads migrants to leave despite the
countless risks. Our class solidarity with the migrants, here on the territory,
is inseparable from the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggle ;
demand a drastic reduction in the "projection capacities" of the French army,
within the framework of an ample disarmament, and the dismantling of the nuclear
force, and also in the fight for the withdrawal of the French troops, with the
axis: "French troops outside Africa" ;
act within the Anarkismo network for a common anti-imperialist expression
whenever necessary.

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?L-action-anti-imperialiste-sur-le-nouvel-echiquier-geopolitique
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