In December 2001 our fraction highlighted that a rupture had taken place in the situation. A new period had opened in the heels of the attacks of September 11 in New York and Washington, a period whose fundamental characteristic was constituted by the more and more determined intention, on behalf of the capitalist class, to drag along the whole planet in a forced march towards a new generalised war ; this intention being the only answer that this barbarian class can bring to the crisis and the bankruptcy of its system (1). Thereafter, we clarified and developed this framework by highlighting the first major signs of this march to war, in particular the existence of a tendency to the polarisation of the various imperialist powers around two main axis : the USA on one side, the German-French couple on the other.
Since then, this capitalist dynamic did nothing but to become clearer, to develop, to take all its signification in particular through the series and the multiplication of warlike events, as well as through the progressive preparation of the whole society at the political, ideological level and at the level of militarization, in particular on behalf of the main imperialist powers.
The setting of political apparatus more adapted to the new situation, by the bourgeois fractions acting without scruple in the direction of a sinewy defence of the imperialist interests, was confirmed in most of the electoral consultations of this new period. It was already true, and we analysed it as such, at the moment of the electoral consultations in France and Germany in 2002 (see bulletins n°12 and 13).
The bourgeois forces such as they are settled do not leave any doubt about the deliberated willingness amongst the international bourgeoisie to force the march towards imperialist war with, at the head of the governments of the main countries, determined teams preaching and implementing a marked defence of the interests of national capital within a general situation which imposes a more decided involvement at the imperialist level (diplomatic and military), of economic measures - which result, in particular, in ceaseless and increasingly massive and frontal attacks against the living conditions of the working class - in full adequacy with this policy. More and more openly, Left and Right, government and opposition find themselves fully in agreement to develop, in each country, the ideological framework adapted to the policy and the sinister intentions of the bourgeois class : nationalism and the defence of the State.
To impose political apparatus corresponding to its closer imperialist interests, the ruling class of these countries, because it has the control of the "bourgeois democratic" game (History did not cease proving it), uses and manipulates for its profit, and according to its needs, the electoral processes.
This reality has just been reaffirmed, with all the more force, within the country which display most overtly, most firmly, the orientation towards war : the USA.
Obviously, the American bourgeoisie controls the electoral tool. Sufficiently, in any case, to be able to impose at the end of the "democratic polls", the man and the team which correspond the best to the warlike political line which is essential today, therefore ready to defend, today, the fundamental interests of national capital.
Since 4 years, and particularly since September 11th 2001, the political line followed by the Bush team has been without ambiguity : it is the willingness to affirm, more strongly than ever, the imperialist hegemony of the United States - particularly through their military capacity -, to exert it on the whole planet and especially against its main rivals which are its previous "allies".
Was it a matter, for the American bourgeoisie, with the elections of November 2004, to readjust this political orientation, to get its aim right ? Was it a question, in particular, of restricting, or correcting their out-and-out military interventionism ? Was it a question "of moderating" this so-called "adventurist" and "ineffective" political option, while placing a more "flexible" and more "intelligent" team, Kerry's one, in the government of the country ? Certainly not! Let us leave this type of eccentric reasoning to the imbeciles who are recruited sometimes even in the communist Left and who do nothing but repeat the propaganda which prevailed in the bourgeois medias until the results of the elections.
Bush's re-election, last November 2nd, does not result from an error of the American bourgeoisie ; it is, on the contrary, the deliberated choice to re-elect a perfectly capable team to carry out and to reinforce the same policy orientation.
The Administration reshuffle, shortly after Bush's election, is also characteristic of a reinforcement of a vigorous imperialist option of the United States.
Collin Powell's withdrawal (head of the American diplomacy), considered as a "moderate", and its replacement by an undeniable "falcon", anti-European declared, C. Rice, answer to this pressing need. Contrary to the reshuffle occurred at the time of the preceding elections [when Ashcroft's nomination, for example, had been made to give pledges to the conservative right wing and that of C. Powell to give satisfaction to the moderate wing of the Republican Party], here, the only thing of importance is to give, to the holders of a harder line, all the means of acting, without any obstacle, to accelerate the process underway.
The American electoral results just known, the battle opened up at once in order to reconstitute a more consequent opposition to the new team in place.
Why does the Democratic Party devote so much eagerness to make emerge a candidate, preferably "able to give the counterpart to Bush" ? The problem is actually the one of all the American bourgeoisie, of all sides, since all of them showed, at the elections next day, a true and sudden passion to see the Democratic Party to refloat quickly and vigorously. Why, if it is not because it does not escape any of them that the opposition has a paramount responsibility to assume on the bourgeois political chess-board ? And mainly concerning the framing and recruitment of the working class behind the national State. The adviser team of Kerry poses this last as a future head of the democratic opposition: "if Bush wished really to act to fill the political fracture dividing America into two, John Kerry would be then in measurement to help him ". (Agence France Presse : November 6th 2004).
This "political fracture" that the bourgeois medias did not cease to underline, "to highligth", is articulated around the question of the warlike policy of Bush's government, in an immediate way around the war in Iraq. On one side, a part of the population, the "deep America" one, is presented to us as supporting the ideological topics overtly the more "reactionaries", religious in particular, who fit directly in the warlike manoeuvres of the American bourgeoisie ; on the other, an "America", which is presented to us as more "modern", more "enlightened", refuses Bush's militarist and warlike policy… in the name of pacifism and of "anybody but Bush". The arrangement of the political apparatus of the bourgeoisie "out of the ballot boxes" corresponds completely to the traditional political disposal which the bourgeoisie sets up when it moves towards war : a false alternative, war or peace, militarism or pacifism, which stays on the terrain of capitalism and which aims at recruiting the whole population, and thus the working class, behind the State and the Nation.
Shortly after the US election, the Franco-German imperialist couple, in particular, showed its clear comprehension of the meaning of its outcome ; thus its positioning at the imperialist level posted a determination to oppose with still more force the American pole. November 5th, the German Defence Minister, P. Struck, reaffirmed "the continuity of the position of Germany on the Iraqi file : there is no participation of German soldiers in Iraq, and it will not have either in the future” (quoted by AFP). The French Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Barnier, warned against hegemonic inclinations of the new government on the imperialist arena, in a scarcely hint manner: "Americans [ must ] recognize that they cannot imagine to build, to direct and animate the world all alone (…) our world needs several powers : they are the first . We are acquiring the elements and the willingness to be another great power " (AFP, Nov. 3rd 2004). Thus, there will not be revision of the German-French position on the Iraq question but, above all, they will put all their forces in the battle to oppose the hegemonic policy of the USA.
And, to illustrate the "will" of the European pole to take part in the emergence of an "other great power ", able to face the American power, French imperialism did not delay to give it an outline through its military intervention in Ivory Coast.
It is also at the level of the imperialist affirmation of these two poles, at the level of a military out-and-out interventionism that the situation accelerated in the march towards war.
The turn that the war in Iraq takes on the one hand, the muscular intervention of France in Ivory Coast on the other hand, confirm this tendency, contained in the situation.
It is hard to imagine more edifying lesson, clearer than the redoubling of the American bloody strikes in Iraq, the day after Bush's re-election, to show the determination of the American bourgeoisie to continue and to accelerate its military interventionism. This acceleration is all the more justified that it is the necessary response to internal "rebellions" always as present and effective given the fact that they continue to be sustained, organized and armed by "external" powers opposed to the USA.
November 8th, one week after the elections, the American army launches an offensive against Falloujah, 50 km in the West of Baghdad. This offensive, carried out in the name of the repression of the sunnites rebels, provoked 2085 Iraqi deaths without possibility to determine the proportion of civil victims of the massacre ; it is the most murderous of these last months. However, last April, Rumsfeld claimed that this same sunnite rebellion concentrated in Falloujah had been mastered after an attack of more than 12 days when 600 Iraqi had been killed (for half, civilians).
November 14th, 1200 GI's flanked by 1600 members of the Iraqi security forces spread in the town of Mossul in the North of Baghdad, and on November 23rd Mossul old city is surrounded again while the helicopters patrol above the city, all that justified by hunting for the insurgents : houses, schools are excavated, the number of dead is not clearly revealed.
In Samara, the same kind of operations are led a few days before.
The message resulting from this cruelty is clear: not only the recently named American government will continue the war and will impose American military presence in Iraq (and elsewhere if its imperialist hegemony requires it), but moreover, it will carry out this one as it wants it and whatever the oppositions that it meets, as well at the internal level than on behalf of the countries opposed to his policy.
In West Africa, French imperialism is regarded as "at home".
Ivory Coast, specifically, was a long time an example of quiet and social peace, carefully supervised by French troops.
Since 2002, the competitions which tear up the various sectors of the bourgeoisie in Ivory Coast (and which is, traditionally, used and sometimes created, by France to ensure its control) led this time to competitions (stired up in particular by Washington) which divided the country into two parts and which resulted in bloody conflicts that French imperialism - under the false pretext of “humanitarian intervention" - "arbitrates" by force. The question is posed of its "credibility" and of its capacity to maintain under its thumb a whole series of countries which, since the alleged "independence ", constitute its African back garden.
Thus, from November 4th, in the main cities of the country, the periodic skirmishes between the French forces and the demonstrations of the population controlled in particular by the statutory authority, went over to an open war : two days after attacks by the Ivory Coast army against the rebellious zone of the North, hostile to the Gbagbo government, a new bombardment took for target the zone of Bouaké (center) where French soldiers of so-called interposition force, are stationed. These first hostilities make a hundred deads among the civilian populations of the Ivory Coast. It is too on this occasion that nine French soldiers were killed.
Immediately, French military reinforcements were sent : several Mirages (French military planes) stationed in Chad came to assist the "Unicorn" force which counted up to 5300 men at the height of the conflict. A mobilisation of such extent by the speed of intervention as by the quantity of the mobilised forces on behalf of the French government shows the determination of the French imperialism to impose by force.
The French Army exerted bloody reprisals against the army of the Ivory Coast and against the violent riots in which participated the partisans of Gbagbo but also all the population exasperated by the turn taken by the situation and by misery, taking increasingly painful proportions as the political tensions increased.
The French Army did not hesitate at any time to fire in the heap, against demonstrators without weapons : "a score of 20 deaths" according to France initially, nearly 60 of Ivory Coast people killed and 1300 wounded by the French shootings according to several other sources (taken from the AFP).
From then, the French government cynically argued that if the French helicopters and soldiers, panoply of sophisticated weapons in their hand, had shot at disarmed crowd it was because they were in a state of "self-defence" and that it was a question of “saving" "French people" and other foreigners in danger.
It should be quite naive or quite interested not to see that such a speech has not any other objective but only to create, to develop an atmosphere of chauvinism within the French population, chauvinism in which didn’t avoid to wallow in all the forces of Left and extreme Left, hand in hand behind the Chirac government. (2)
On the contrary, concerning abroad, it must be clear that any threat to French imperialist interests will set in motion the French State and this one will not hesitate to employ strong measures.
Today, it shows that it does not hesitate and will not hesitate to put its forces in the battle to make respect its imperialist interests and ambitions (as those of the "pole" to which it belongs) in this area and elsewhere, from the diplomatic pressures to the military means.
These facts supplemented and supported by a speech of the French authorities do not leave any ambiguity on the true intentions of the French State : Chirac rised up to justify the violence of the French military intervention in the name of the "right of interference". Referring to political instability reigning in Ivory Coast (conflict between the "rebellious" forces of the North of the country and the Gbagbo government hitherto supported by the French State), the same French President affirmed: "France will not let develop a system which can lead to anarchy or to a system of fascistic nature". These words have been taken up by Ouattara, the main opponent to Gbagbo and former Prime Minister of the former president F. Houphouët-Boigny : "It is thus necessary to stop this fascistic drift… this (present )system is an obstacle to democracy".
Beyond a perceptible rise of the tensions for two years, beyond the events which started on November 4th, all that has illustrated the way and the determination with which France clearly intends to defend its imperialist interests and to impose its presence in this area of the world.
The real Indian wrestling engaged by France to show to the rest of the world its claim to remain sovereign in Ivory Coast, to affirm itself as the force with which one must count in the future on the military, imperialist level, testifies to the will of the French bourgeoisie to answer the United States, to show them that it is also able to intervene by the sending of armed forces. This brutal and murderous intervention of the French bourgeoisie is a new moment in the dynamic toward increasingly violent military interventions, of rising of the stakes and of the exacerbation of the imperialist rivalries, and in the increasing imperialist polarization.
That the USA, or another power of first importance "advised" Gbagbo to re-examine its privileged alliance with France, that they played the blasters by supporting secretly the latter, it is a strong probability. That this "advice" found an echo by the bourgeois fraction represented by Gbagbo in the most adapted manner to defend the immediate interests of the Ivory Coast, it is also a strong probability : "Even if France continued to have political and military privileged relation the political and economic breaking point has been reached (...). Gbagbo wants to address as well to China as to the United States, it intends to be the one who will have broken the [French] back garden" in Africa (A. Glaser, director La Lettre du continent, publication having authority on the African businesses, quoted by the AFP).
But it is especially a basic tendency contained in the situation on a more general level which is underway in these events.
Within the framework of the tendency to the formation of a new set of imperialist blocks around the United States on a side and Germany-France of the other - tendency affirming itself more and more openly -, secular alliances break, re-deploy to the profit (or the detriment) of one of these two poles; that the crossed interests of the various "peripheral" imperialisms lead them to modify their option of origin, it is an element contained in the acceleration of the situation such as we identified shortly after September 11, 2001.
"The diplomatic offensive" of the United States (which, in addition to England, was directed towards Italy, Spain and others) on Europe does not mean the impotence or the impossibility for Germany as a possible pole of regrouping, but on the contrary it expresses the recognition, the concern of the United States in front of the danger which Europe would represent in cohesion around Germany and France.... The imperialist conflicts between the great powers are not expressed any longer in the conflicts and the wars of the "peripheral" countries but now they are expressed in an open way as a declared fight between themselves, even if for the moment they have only one "diplomatic " character. But it is not only Europe, but all the countries of the world which will enter this dynamic of polarization which will be expressed, and is already expressed, in blackmails, temporary alliances, and constant agreements ruptures. With the case of Iraq now, each national bourgeoisie must take part for one or the other side and that will occur henceforth with each event of the international situation, in a tendency to the conformation of these blocks. "(Bulletin 18 - March 2003- Imperialist alignments, pacifist campaigns… the bourgeoisie persists in its march to war)
If the French bourgeoisie knew how to carry out the business in an enough skilful way to make its muscular imperialist intervention passing for a work of peace and of return to the order, if it managed to impose ITS solution in Ivory Coast in the name of the African Union and to be made grant a full power by the UN, it does not remain less true that this "crisis" in the country a long time "the most calm and flexible" toward its imperialist interests, clearly shows a widening of the warlike tensions. But especially, it is a response of the French bourgeoisie, with the support of Germany, to the increasingly provocative assertion, by the American bourgeoisie, of its imperialist willingness whose last demonstration was the triumphal re-election of Bush and in the following, the renewal of the most hardliners of his ministers to the detriment of the "softers".
What we underlined previously also verified with the Ukraine: "But it is not only (Western) Europe but all the countries of the world which will enter this dynamics of polarisation which will be expressed, and is already expressed, in blackmails, temporary alliances, constant agreements and ruptures. "
The extended election campaign and the rigged "elections" which develop in this country for several weeks, show without ambiguity a local bourgeoisie, torn and tossed between a pro-West imperialist option (primarily turned towards the "European" pole) embodied by the so-called "democratic" candidate, Iouchtchenko, and the pro-Russian option which prevailed until now, embodied by Ianoukovitch.
And when one sees the eagerness of all the imperialist raptors - Russia, France and Germany but also the USA, Poland and others – which are “interested in the fate" of the Ukrainians, which "advise them " on the good way of voting, which call them " for reason and quietness" or "for the revolt against those who seek to subject them", it is obvious that the stake exceeds by far that of a simple electoral consultation of internal use.
Much more than the economic interest that this country represents, it is above all the extent of its territory, its geographical situation, true buffer zone at the crossing between Russia and Western Europe which makes it a strategic stake of first importance. And it is primarily with the objective of deploying their expansionist aims and to prepare for the moment when antagonisms will assert through a general conflagration, that all these imperialist bandits offers today their services to the Ukrainian capitalist class.
Russia did not spare its overdone support to "its" candidate, because that answers the priority to preserve Ukraine in its own zone of influence, to even reinstate it in its bosom. If Russia has not been able, until now, to react firmly and effectively to the hegemonic projections of Europe and the USA in direction of the countries of the ex-Soviet block, it appears that the prospect to see Ukraine escaping it, today is not actually acceptable for it, reason of its ardour to be so much politically and diplomatically implied in the Ukrainian businesses. The stake for Russia is, at least, to maintain the status quo in the balance of the forces as it took shape shortly after the collapse of the Eastern bloc at the end of the years 1980, as far as possible to try to reconstitute Russian power by reinforcing its bonds with the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Byelorussia. And obviously, it is a question for Russia to try and defend its rank as an imperialist power by making all its possible to prevent, in any case to limit, the projection of Europe (the Franco-German pole) - or other powers - in the area.
They all are ready, if necessary, to dissect this territory as testifies the prospect, coldly under consideration, for a partition of Ukraine.
Such a scenario would mean, obviously, a major step ahead in the rivalries between all these gangsters in the heart of Europe.
But whatever the outcome that this situation will find on the political level, beyond the strict local electoral ground, this event is a new explicit demonstration of an acceleration of the situation in the direction of an exacerbation of the imperialist rivalries.
December 23rd, 2004
1. Bulletin 4 : The new world situation and the present tasks of the revolutionaries
2. Must we, precisely, put on the account of the "naivety" the remarks made at this occasion by Révolution Internationale, the French publication of the ICC ? Or must we believe that, on this point also, this press media is "interested" and apparently ended up giving up denouncing the French imperialism to range itself at the tail of the propaganda of the French bourgeoisie ? Would not they ended up yielding, there too, with the sirens of the French chauvinistic campaign when they analyse thus the movement of the Ivory Coast population : "Gbagbo then unchained a vast a “hunting for the White " [note respectable W], of true anti-French pogroms (the liquidationnists which lead the ICC today seem to suffer in their flesh of "French"!) by pushing forwards an over-excited lumpenized mass of paupers (??), the "patriots", to besiege the houses, the schools, the buildings sheltering of the French nationals and to devote themselves to rapes, plunderings, confusions and fires, while witnesses report [to be noted the reserve induced by these last words ] that the French Army did not hesitate, on its side, to shoot at hostile crowd. "
Did these militants fall so low that they are, today, unable to denounce the responsibility of the bourgeoisie, specifically the French one, for the miserable conditions made to the Ivory Coast population that they blame with contempt of "lumpenized paupers "?
Communist Bulletin Nš 29 - Internal Fraction of ICC