Donald Trump’s and European militarism


This April 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Media’s Praise of Trump’s Militarism Has Dangerously Emboldened Him

Donald Trump cultivated legitimacy among the press when he recently decided to become exponentially more belligerent with respect to his foreign policy. In this segment we discuss how the media has been fawning over his newfangled militaristic behavior, and how it’s dangerously emboldening him to be even more aggressive internationally.

How the Media is Praising Trump’s War in Syria: here.

Madman Trump Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb: here.

Washington Post Writer Doesn’t Initially Disclose He’s a Tomahawk Lobbyist: here.

By Alex Lantier in France:

EU responds to US midterm elections with calls for military build-up

8 November 2018

Europe’s political and media establishment is responding to the 2018 US midterm elections with calls for a military build-up to confront Washington and for legitimizing far-right politics.

It is ever clearer that the breakdown in trans-Atlantic relations following Donald Trump’s election and his trade war measures against Germany and China was not a coincidence or a passing blip. European ruling circles are widely interpreting Trump’s ability to extend Republican control of the Senate, though he lost control of the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party, as a sign that growing US-European conflicts reflect a deeper crisis than they originally believed. They are calling for their own aggressive military policy in response.

Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung daily wrote, “The 2018 congressional elections had a simple role: to determine whether President Donald Trump would be a temporary aberration in US history, or whether there is a more serious problem. … The answer is before us, and it is unambiguous: Trump cannot be written off as a historical stupidity.” Trump, it added, “has awoken a force that is powerful, antidemocratic, and full of hate. Now it is clear that this force is here to stay.”

In France, Le Parisien wrote that “the anti-Trump referendum did not happen”, while the right-wing Le Figaro concluded, “Tuesday’s elections has normalized a presidency that Democrats hoped to disqualify as a historical anomaly.”

In Britain, even the liberal Guardian, which published a column by Richard Wolffe hailing the elections as a “story of suburban white female flight away from Trump” and a Democratic triumph meaning that “Trump’s unchecked hold on power has come to an end”, sounded a warning note. In a column titled “Don’t be fooled. The midterms were not a bad night for Trump”, Cas Mudde mourned that in just two years in office, “Trump has shaped the Republican party in his image.”

The Reuters news service spoke of disappointment in European capitals: “Although few European politicians said so openly, the hope in Berlin, Paris and Brussels was that US voters would deliver a clear rebuke to Trump’s Republicans in the midterms, forcing a change of tack and bolstering hopes of regime change in 2020. … But the outcome fell short of the ‘blue wave’ some had hoped for.”

Even Democratic victories in the House, Reuters added, might only make US foreign policy more unpredictable and dangerous, given the Democrats’ aggressive agenda. Against Trump, “while House Democrats could push for a tougher approach towards Saudi Arabia and Russia, they are unlikely to move the dial on his biggest agenda items: the trade conflict with China and hardline course with Iran.”

Such policies are set to intensify geo-strategic and economic conflicts between US and European capitalism. European Union (EU) sanctions imposed on Russia at Washington’s demand are costing Europe tens of billions of euros, and EU and US officials have clashed bitterly over the US scrapping of the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord, forcing European firms to abandon Iran. Trump’s 2016 election campaign played a major role in bringing these conflicts into public view, notably when he denounced German auto exports to the United States as “bad”.

Top European officials sounded calls for a military build-up, barely hiding that the target of their political and military collaboration would be their US “allies.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared, “We must find an answer on this side of the Atlantic to the ‘America First’ slogan. For me and for us, it is clear that it can only be ‘Europe United.’” On Twitter, Maas warned it would be a “mistake to count on a course correction by Donald Trump. … We must reassess and realign our relations with the United States.”

US threats of trade war tariffs targeting European and especially German auto exports are expected to continue unabated after the elections. “It will be uncomfortable for Trump but not better for Europe. In trade policy, little will change; many Democrats are rather protectionist,” Clemens Fuest, the head of the economic Ifo-Institute in Munich, told Germany’s Handelsblatt.

Perhaps the most bellicose statement came from French President Emmanuel Macron, who called for building a European army to defend against external powers, including the United States. “We Europeans will not be able to protect ourselves if we do not decide to have a real European army”, Macron declared in a Europe1 radio interview. Warning of “authoritarian powers re-emerging and rearming on Europe’s borders”, he called on Europeans to “protect themselves from China, Russia and even the United States.”

Warnings in official European circles on the militaristic and protectionist policies of both US big business parties show that US-EU conflicts go well beyond Trump’s boorish persona. These are conflicts not between individuals, but between US and European capitalism. Bitter inter-imperialist conflicts over markets, profits and strategic advantage—rooted in the final analysis in the contradiction between the world economy and the nation-state system—are exploding, after they twice plunged humanity into world war in the 20th century.

The criticisms in European ruling circles of Trump’s far-right policies, including his threats to have troops massacre immigrants along the US-Mexico border, are deeply hypocritical. The decades-long incitement of anti-immigrant hatreds by the European bourgeoisie is at a fever pitch, as it seeks to re-legitimize European fascism in order to create political conditions to divert hundreds of billions of euros from social spending into the army and the banks.

The period when the Berlin-Paris axis could posture as a democratic antipode to Trump is well and truly over. Already, German officials, including Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, have endorsed anti-immigrant neo-Nazi riots in Chemnitz and Dortmund, as factions of the state and media, including a cabal around right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski, try to whitewash Adolf Hitler’s record.

Yesterday, Macron took a major step in rehabilitating European fascism, by announcing that he would officially extend national honors to French fascist dictator Marshal Philippe Pétain during the November 11 centenary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Macron hailed Pétain, the head of the Nazi-collaborationist Vichy régime that assisted the Nazis in carrying out the Holocaust of European Jewry and the bloody repression of the Resistance, as “a great soldier during World War I”, even though he “made fatal choices” during World War II. He added, “It is legitimate for us to honor the marshals that led the army to victory, as we do each year. My chief of staff will be present at this ceremony.”

To make clear his personal sympathy for the historic figurehead of French fascism, Macron added that Pétain “was a great soldier, that was a reality. Political life like human nature are sometimes more complex than one would like to believe.”

The force that offers a progressive alternative to this accelerating international disintegration of capitalism is the working class, mobilized on a socialist program. On both sides of the Atlantic, the period since Trump’s election has seen not only a hysterical shift towards the far right in official circles, but an upsurge of the class struggle and growing socialist sentiment and revolutionary moods among masses of workers and youth.

While polls have found that more American youth want to live under socialism or communism than capitalism, and that over half of European youth want to participate in a mass uprising against the social order, an initial wave of strikes this year has spread across both sides of the Atlantic. Teachers in America and Britain, US hotel workers, rail workers in France and Britain, airline workers at Air France and Ryanair across the European continent, and autoworkers and metalworkers in Germany and across Eastern Europe and Turkey have all mounted major strikes.

The critical question emerging from the US midterm elections is the fight to unify these struggles into an international movement for socialism against capitalism’s drive to war and police-state rule.

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European Union anti-refugee Big Brother software


This 1 November 2018 video says about itself:

Orwellian! Trials for AI Lie-Detector Border Guards Are Underway!

Trials are underway of an EU-funded scheme where AI lie-detector systems will be used to scan potentially dodgy travelers coming from outside the bloc. Too Orwellian?

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The European Commission is investing 4.5 million euros in a lie detector that is supposed to detect illegal immigrants at the border with artificial intelligence. The computer system, iBorderCtrl, would consist of an animated border guard that asks questions to travelers. The system would then analyze their “micro-facial expressions” to determine if they are lying about their travel plans.

As for reliability (not) of lie detectors: here. And here.

This reminds me of the Palantir Big Brother artificial intelligence software (ab)used by authorities in New Orleans and elsewhere in the USA.

And of the police facial recognition software, which identified over 2,000 innocent people as ‘criminals’.

Maybe that European Union border software might ‘recognize’ me, or you, as the late Osama bin Laden, or at least his ghost.

The intention is to experiment with the system at border crossings in Hungary,

The country with the most racist government in the European Union. Where Prime Minister Orban calls refugees ‘poison’. Where you can get a medal for anti-Semitism.

Greece and Latvia.

Latvia: where Adolf Hitler’s SS veterans march on the street, protected by police; and sit in parliament.

Technology website Gizmodo reports that the test will take six months and will be done at four border posts, but that has not been confirmed by the European Commission.

The European Commission speaks of a “smart lie detection system”. The AI lie detector should make it easier for border guards to recognize illegal migrants “and thus contribute to the prevention of crime and terrorism“.

Oh yeah, the myth that people crossing borders without documents are supposedly more criminal and more terrorist than ‘autochthonous’ people. The European Commission parroting Donald Trump’s xenophobia on refugees from Honduras and other Central American countries.

Criticism

The company behind the lie detector believes that the system achieves a success rate of 85 percent in the laboratory. But critics have strong doubts and are worried about the plan.

According to the science magazine New Scientist, iBorderCtrl has been tested on just 30 people. In the Dutch Volkskrant daily, a scientist says that there is no evidence for the popular assumption that liars are stressed and that this stress translates into fidgeting or a trembling corner of the mouth. Nor would any reputable lie expert cooperate with the project.

European Union Internet censorship


This January 2018 video says about itself:

It’s time to fight back against Internet censorship!

The year 2018 has opened with an international campaign to censor the Internet. It’s time to fight back! Register now for “Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship”, an online discussion. Register at endcensorship.org.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

European Union steps up Internet censorship in the name of opposing “disinformation

26 October 2018

The European Union (EU) summit on October 18 resolved to further tighten the censorship of the Internet. It also threatened with sanctions and penalties any party that diverges from the prescribed political line in the 2019 European election campaign. This is the response of European governments to growing opposition to militarism, social cuts and right-wing extremism.

In the summit’s official conclusions, the European Council calls for “measures to combat cyber and cyber-enabled illegal and malicious activities and build strong cybersecurity.” The EU should be empowered to “respond to and deter cyber-attacks through EU restrictive measures.”

These measures are justified not only by the supposed need to ward off hacking attacks, but also to “combat disinformation, including in the context of the upcoming European elections.” For this purpose, the EU Commission has proposed measures that, according to the Council’s conclusions, deserve “rapid examination.” These include “fighting disinformation campaigns,” “tightening the rules on European political party funding” and “operational follow-up by the competent authorities.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel already announced this in her policy statement to the Bundestag on October 17. Among other things, she threatened parties “whose campaigns actively engage in disinformation” with financial sanctions. “Anyone who does not abide by the democratic rules-of-the-game in Europe cannot expect to receive party financing funds from the European Union.”

Neither Merkel nor the European Council elaborated on what they mean by “disinformation campaigns.” However, it is clear what it is all about. The established media, parties, and Internet corporations label all who deviate from the standard line with terms such as “fake news”, “disinformation,” or “cyber-attack.” This is targeted first and foremost against left and progressive websites and organisations.

For example, earlier this month, Facebook deleted numerous popular left-wing accounts—including organisations fighting against war and police violence—in the name of the fight against “fake news”. In Germany, since the entry into force of the so-called Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), tens of thousands of contributions have been deleted using the same justification. For a year and a half, Google has been cooperating closely with German government circles in the censorship of left-wing and progressive websites, most notably the World Socialist Web Site.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than six years after Wikileaks exposed the war crimes of the US government. He faces extradition to the US and a potential death sentence if he leaves the embassy.

In Germany, the latest report by the domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), uses the term “disinformation” to denounce any left-wing opposition to official government policies. “Internationally broadcasted TV, radio and internet channels operate targeted propaganda and disinformation campaigns”, the report claims. The BfV goes on to boasts that “preventative measures” have “contributed to a high level of attention towards possible disinformation and has led to increased protective measures.”

The stated goal of the BfV, which works closely with the neo-fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD), is the persecution of socialist parties. Thus, its report lists the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) as a “left-wing extremist party.” Justification for the surveillance is not based on violations of law or violent acts, but rather the public advocacy of a socialist programme “directed against the existing state and social order, as a generalised disparagement of ‘capitalism’, against the EU, against alleged nationalism, imperialism and militarism.”

The SGP will officially announce its participation in the European elections in the coming days. The party recognises the plans of the European Council as a direct threat. Merkel and the other European leaders must disclose the details of their clandestine preparations. What exactly do they mean by “operational follow-up” to be initiated by the “competent authorities”? Will this be similar to those “operations” carried out last week against political opposition parties in France?

On October 16, heavily armed policemen raided the private residence of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the Unsubmissive France (LFI) movement. The police were dressed in bulletproof vests and armed with assault rifles. Fifteen more assault teams broke into the homes of other LFI leaders and occupied the party headquarters. They confiscated material, downloaded data from computers, and unlawfully prevented Mélenchon and other party members from entering their own party headquarters.

Despite its political differences with Mélenchon, the World Socialist Web Site has sharply condemned this attack, calling it an “unmistakable threat to masses of people in France, across Europe and beyond. A decade after the Wall Street crash of 2008, the ruling elites are aware that their grotesque wealth and policies of austerity and war are overwhelmingly unpopular. Weak governments take desperate measures, and they aim to use ruthlessly the police-state powers built up during the ‘war on terror’ against political opposition.”

It is in this context that one has to understand the conclusions of the EU summit. The ruling class is reacting with authoritarian methods to the increase in mass demonstrations and strikes across Europe. Despite fierce conflicts, European governments are joining ranks in suppressing growing popular opposition. The whole document of the European Council reads like a blueprint for the speedy development of a European police state.

The summit agreed to “provide Member States’ law enforcement authorities, Europol and Eurojust with adequate resources.” This will be further strengthened by “partnerships with the private sector” as well as improved cooperation and access to data. Security and law enforcement agencies should thus be able to respond to “new challenges posed by technological developments and the evolving security threat landscape.”

Among other things, a pan-European data system giving police and the law access to the data of millions of people is planned. To this end, the “interoperability of information systems and databases” should be improved, “in particular through a common identity repository.” All “measures needed,” according to the summit, should be given “the highest priority.”

Refugees drowning, anti-refugee European razor wire


This 6 August 2015 BBC video says about itself:

Fortress Europe? Hungary’s anti-migrant fence – Newsnight

Hungary has erected a fence to keep out migrants. It’s 110 miles long, nine feet high and covered in razor wire, and its message to migrants is clear: keep out. Will it work? And is this the future for Europe’s borders? Nick Thorpe reports.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Austria, Italy and Germany discussing new ‘axis’ against refugees

ANOTHER boat carrying refugees has sunk attempting the journey across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Europe, 63 asylum seekers are missing.

A Libyan coastguard boat returned to Tripoli on Monday with another 235 migrants – including 54 infants and 29 women – rescued in two other operations in the same area. Meanwhile, a humanitarian boat carrying 59 asylum seekers was heading to Spain yesterday after Italy and Malta – both much closer to the place of rescue – refused to let it dock in their ports.

According to UN figures, more than 1,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year while making the perilous journey from Libya to Europe. Italy’s government also announced on Monday it will provide ten motor launches and two ships to the Libyan coastguard, in order to increase its capacity to intercept and bring back ‘illegal migrants’ [to Libya] from the Mediterranean Sea.

The new government in Rome wants the ‘illegal immigrants’ who seek to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe, to be taken back to North Africa rather than let them enter, and to be put into camps in Niger and Chad.

Late on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally sealed a deal on migration policy with her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, a desperate attempt to try to stop her government being brought down, by driving the EU further to the right and kicking refugees out. Austria, which is currently holding the rotating presidency of the EU, warned that it is prepared to take measures for the protection of its southern border with Slovenia and Italy if the agreement in Germany becomes government policy. So much for freedom of movement!

According to the Austrian government, if the deal reached between Chancellor Merkel and German Interior Minister Seehofer is endorsed by the government, ‘we will be obliged to take measures to avoid disadvantages for Austria and its people’ since ‘Germany wants to take national measures to tackle migration flows.’

The government’s statement referred to the deal concluded after tense negotiations between the the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headed by Merkel and the Christian Social Union (CSU) headed by Seehofer. According to the Interior Minister, Germany must have an opportunity to reject migrants directly at the border, and the two conservative parties have agreed to tighten border controls.

In June, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz suggested that Austrian, German and Italian interior ministers form an ‘axis’ against illegal immigration, which provoked criticism from France, with President Macron even warning that such ‘catchphrases’ . . . ‘did not bring luck’ to Europe in the course of history, referring to the German-Italian axis of the 1940s.

The facts are that the imperialist assaults that destroyed Iraq and then Libya and led on to the Western assault on Syria have led to hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees to seek a better life for themselves and their children. The ‘Free Movement’ of the EU is now turning into ‘Fortress Europe’ with frontiers being restored and barbed wired fences everywhere.

The crisis-ridden EU is moving to the right. Freedom of Movement has given way to an anti-refugee axis. The French ruling class has organised an offensive against the trade unions, while the Italian and German governments are seeking to drive refugees deep into North Africa.

The truth of the matter is that the attacks on refugees are a foretaste of the actions to come against the workers of Europe by the bosses and bankers as the trade wars sharpen.

Refugees are not the enemies of the working class. The EU and capitalism are. This is why UK workers must force through a break with the EU now, welcome all refugees and fight alongside the workers of the EU to bring it down and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.

This will give fraternal assistance in the development of Africa and the Middle East so that people are not forced to leave their homes and risk their lives and the lives of their children to try and escape starvation.

On Tuesday, leading Social Democratic Party (SPD) politicians welcomed the reactionary agreement reached between the conservative parties in Germany’s grand coalition, which provides for the erection on German soil of concentration camps for refugees. The SPD is part of the coalition government along with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU): here. And here.

In the wake of the recent reactionary deal struck by the German grand coalition—Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU), Social Democratic Party (SPD)—the government is expanding its terror against refugees. In the early hours of July 4, 69 refugees were deported to Afghanistan. The Lufthansa flight from Munich to Kabul was the largest ever mass deportation of refugees to Afghanistan: here.

Refugees ensnared in European dragnet: here.

European Union, Australian anti-refugee policies


This video says about itself:

Varoufakis Says There’s an EU Crisis, Not a Refugee Crisis

June 29 — Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis discusses the European Union agreement on migration which he calls “a fudge” and “complete failure”. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance”.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

European Union intensifies campaign of terror against refugees

2 July 2018

The European Union summit at the end of last week marked a dangerous turning point in post-World War II European history. The measures targeting refugees adopted in Brussels have exposed the EU for what it is: a reactionary instrument of the ruling classes. The EU is being used by the European governments, their mounting differences notwithstanding, to intensify their policies of militarism, repression and social attacks on the working class. With the Brussels summit, the EU has shifted far to the right, with rabidly nationalist and far-right forces setting the agenda.

The monstrous persecution of immigrants is an international phenomenon. In the United States, the Trump administration is ripping children from their parents and detaining them in cages, while planning a network of military camps to hold 120,000 people. The global character of this war on the most vulnerable and impoverished sections of the international working class demonstrates that it is a product of the mortal crisis of the world capitalist system.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz,

An article on him in Belgian Christian Democrat conservative daily De Standaard, 30 June 2018, claims that Kurz is becoming more and more the biggest influence on the policies of the [Christian Democrat conservative] European People’s Party; the transnational political party most influential in the European Union. They quote his nickname ‘Prinz Gutgelaunt’, which they translate in Dutch as ‘Prins Goedgezind’; in English ‘Prince Benevolent’. The translation should really be ‘Prins Goedgehumeurd’, ‘Prince in high spirits’.

who governs in Vienna in a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), took over the EU presidency yesterday. Kurz and the FPÖ are being applauded for their anti-refugee agenda by extreme right and fascist forces across Europe. At the party congress of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) over the weekend, federal party spokesman Jörg Meuthen described Kurz as a fellow combatant on the issue of “Fortress Europe”. The AfD leader said, “Those with whom we want to and must cooperate are [FPÖ fuehrer] Hans-Christian Strache, Sebastian Kurz, Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orbán.”

In Vienna, Kurz underscored that the EU’s refugee policy is essentially that of the far right. He stated through a spokesman that he leads “a clearly pro-European federal government” and is striving for a European-wide solution to the refugee issue. He added that his “allies in Germany” in this are “the German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.” Kurz noted in an interview on Austrian television, “It’s important that what was decided be promptly implemented. We will continue to apply pressure to ensure that happens.”

The proposed measures recall the darkest chapters in European history. They include, among other things, the complete sealing off of “Fortress Europe” and mass deportations to war zones in the Middle East and Africa. The official summit statement agreed to by all of the member states on Friday declared: “The European Council affirms that the member states must ensure effective control of the EU’s external borders with financial and material support to the EU. It notes that the repatriation of irregular migrants must be significantly increased.”

To terrorise refugees, the EU border agency Frontex will add at least 10,000 new personnel by 2020 and be expanded into a de facto military police force. The summit agreed to the establishment of concentration camps in North Africa and within the borders of the EU to hold refugees. In the summit statement, these detention centres were euphemistically referred to as “debarkation platforms” and “control centres” for the “resettlement and new settlement” of refugees. The euphemisms recall those employed by the Nazis to describe their genocidal policies toward Jews, gypsies and other “aliens”.

The EU knows full well that the planned camps in North Africa will be centresof terror and torture, resembling the Nazis’ concentration camps. As the German ambassador to Niger remarked in a 2017 internal diplomatic wire report to the chancellor and various ministries, “[T]he most serious and systematic human rights abuses [are taking place] in Libya.” According to an article in the Welt am Sonntag, the document stated that “authentic mobile phone photos and videos prove the concentration camp-like conditions in the so-called private prisons.”

In the Libyan camps, “executions of refugees who cannot pay, torture, rape, blackmail and abandonment in the desert are on the order of the day”, according to the correspondence. “Eyewitnesses spoke of exactly five executions per week in the prison, announced and carried out every Friday to make room for new arrivals, i.e., to increase the human throughput and thereby the operator’s profits.”

The centres already in existence in Greece, which will set the pattern for detention camps throughout the EU, likewise resemble concentration camps. An article in Sunday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung about the Moria “hotspot” established on the island of Lesbos … reported on a “visit to hell.” The one-hectare fortified area, a former army barracks, houses 7,500 people, who live under catastrophic conditions.

Barbed wire is stretched out over the fences”, the article observes. “All entries to the camp have watchtowers and guards with guns… Anyone who wants in must show ID. The media in particular is not allowed easy access behind the gates.”

The establishment of such institutions in the major capitalist countries is a serious warning to workers and young people. As under fascist regimes, the concentration camps will be used against political opponents, and ultimately against the working class as a whole.

The EU is preparing for a confrontation with the working class, which is increasingly in rebellion against its militarist and anti-working class policies. Some 100,000 workers and young people protested in Vienna on Saturday against the government’s proposal to introduce a 12-hour workday, increasing the maximum number of working hours allowed per week to 60.

Under the slogan “A Europe that Protects”, the EU presidency currently held by Austria intends to accelerate the erection of a European police state. To this end, it will hold an initial EU summit in Salzburg on 20 September.

The World Socialist Web Site and the sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International urge workers to establish independent action committees in their workplaces, schools, universities and neighbourhoods to organise protests and strikes against police raids and attacks on immigrants and refugees. The following demands should be raised and discussed as widely as possible:

The dismantling of detention camps in the Middle East and North Africa, the withdrawal of European and US troops from these regions, and the free and safe passage of refugees to EU countries of their choice.

The abolition of the EU’s Frontex border police.

Non-cooperation with the EU deportation machine and all state policies preparing ethnic cleansing.

The provision of trillions of euros in public services, training and jobs to all workers, immigrant and native-born alike. The wealth squandered on a decade of EU bank bailouts must be expropriated and used to meet the urgent social needs of the working population.

The development of such committees must be connected to the movement of the international working class to abolish the capitalist, nation-state system. The fact that all governing parties in Europe— … the social democratic PSOE in Spain, Germany’s grand coalition, and the far-right parties in Italy, Austria and Eastern Europe—are cooperating so closely to intensify the terror against refugees underscores the fact that workers confront revolutionary tasks. European capitalism cannot be tamed. It must be overthrown and replaced by the United Socialist States of Europe.

Leon Trotsky noted in the manifesto of the Fourth International, written in the early stages of World War II, that the “task posed by history is not to support one part of the imperialist system against another, but to make an end of the system as a whole.”

This task is posed today with renewed urgency. To prevent a relapse into barbarism and war, the working class must oppose all factions of the capitalist class and consciously take up the fight for a socialist and internationalist programme.

‘WE ARE WELL INTO THE FINAL CHAPTER OF THE MERKEL ERA’ In a desperate bid to save her government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel — and the politicians who bet her legacy on welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany — have agreed to a change in immigration policy that includes building camps for asylum seekers on the border. [The New York Times]

Australia: The people of the rural Queensland town of Biloela, with a population of less than 6,000, have conducted months of protests demanding the Liberal-National Coalition government halt the deportation of a Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker family. Residents have picketed courts in Melbourne numbers of times, travelling nearly 2,000 kilometres to demand the family’s release. They have made direct appeals to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to use his ministerial powers to grant asylum to this family, but the government has continued to try to deport them as quickly as possible, despite their legal appeal rights: here.

European Union crackdown on refugees


This video says about itself:

Fortress Europe? Hungary’s anti-migrant fence – [BBC] Newsnight

6 August 2015

Hungary has erected a fence to keep out migrants. It’s 110 miles long, nine feet high and covered in razor wire, and its message to migrants is clear: keep out. Will it work? And is this the future for Europe’s borders? Nick Thorpe reports.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

European Union adopts far-right refugee policy

30 June 2018

Shortly after the conclusion of the European Union (EU) summit in Brussels on Friday, another tragedy took place in the Mediterranean. According to media reports, a boat with 120 refugees on board sunk off the Libyan coast. Only a few people were rescued and estimates suggest over 100 lost their lives. According to witnesses, large numbers of Moroccan and Yemeni families were on the boat, including babies, women, and children.

As a result of the blockading and criminalization of rescue workers, several accidents in the days leading up to the summit saw the drowning of around 220 people. This is a conservative estimate, according to the head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR. According to UN figures, more than 16,346 people have lost their lives since 1 January 2014 (up to 18 June 2018), and since 2000, the death toll is around 35,000.

Responsibility for this mass murder lies with the EU and its national governments, which agreed on a dramatic intensification of their anti-refugee policy at the Brussels summit.

Plans include hermetically sealing off fortress Europe and deporting refugees en masse to war zones in the Middle East and Africa. “The European Council recalls that the member states must ensure effective control of the EU’s external borders with financial and material support of the EU. Furthermore, it notes that the repatriation of irregular migrants must be significantly increased”, stated the official conclusions from the summit.

To enforce the crackdown on refugees, the European border agency Frontex will be “expanded through an increase in its budget and an expansion of its mandate”. In addition, the establishment of de facto concentration camps in North Africa and inside the EU was agreed. In the summit statement, these camps were euphemistically referred to as “debarkation platforms” and “control centres” for “resettlement and new settlement”.

National measures, including border controls within the EU, are explicitly permitted. “Concerning the situation within the EU, the secondary migration of asylum seekers between member states is threatening the integrity of the common European asylum system and the Schengen legal system. The member states should adopt all necessary internal legal and administrative measures against these migration movements and cooperate closely in so doing”, states point 11 in the agreement.

The measures targeting refugees expose the EU as a reactionary monstrosity, which the national governments, their differences notwithstanding, are using to shift European political life sharply to the right. Other sections of the summit agreement include the “strengthening of European defence capacity”, the censorship of the Internet, the expansion of a European police state, and the continuation of austerity policies.

The EU has shifted so far to the right that it was applauded by nationalist and right-wing extremist forces throughout Europe following the Brussels summit. In a press statement, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who governs in Vienna in coalition with the far-right Freedom Party and whose government will take over the EU presidency on July 1, declared that he would “apply pressure” to ensure the results of the summit would be implemented. He expressed satisfaction that “more partners who support our line and that many who campaigned for a Europe of open borders have reconsidered their position.”

In Rome, Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini stated that he was “satisfied and proud”. Europe had been forced by Rome’s firm hand to discuss Italy’s proposals–and ultimately to accept them, he claimed. He would now wait on “concrete promises.”

Among Salvini’s fascistic proposals were the deportation of “all 600,000” immigrants in Italy and the counting of all the Sinti and Roma living in the country, in preparation for their deportation.

In Germany, Armin-Paul Hampel, foreign policy spokesman for the far-right AfD, backed the summit agreement. “It’s moving in the right direction. This is something we’ve been saying for a long time, that the problem must be dealt with at the European borders and not only after immigrants have travelled for thousands of kilometres with the help of criminal gangs and smugglers”, he said on Deutschlandfunk. The “decisive thing” now will be the implementation of the measures, “if these reception centres are going to work, yes or no.”

The Christian Social Union also declared its satisfaction with the outcome. It was “the outcome of a debate in Germany, which is finally engaging with the refugee problem at the European level”, stated CSU parliamentary group leader Alexander Dobrindt in Berlin. A series of points, including better protection of external borders, are demands “that we in the CSU have been calling for strongly for some time.” In addition, he pointed out that in the summit document “the adoption of national measures is explicitly provided for”. They would be “prepared to make use of this”, and believe “still that national measures are required.”

The agreement in Brussels has also prepared at least a temporary truce in the dispute within the grand coalition between the CDU and CSU. CSU deputy leader Manfred Weber appealed in the Münchner Merkur for a positive assessment of the summit’s results. Referring to Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said, “She has delivered.”

For her part, Merkel praised the summit outcome at a press conference and pointed to the necessity for national measures like those demanded by the CSU. They had “developed a comprehensive immigration strategy, which comprises the external borders and the control of these borders, incorporates external actions, meaning actions outside of the EU, and focuses on the internal issues, what we currently call secondary migration”, she said.

Already in her government statement on Thursday, Merkel declared in typical CSU style, “It’s about order, management, effective, sustainable. It’s about our internal security and the EU’s internal security. Both national and European measures are required for this.”

On Friday, Merkel announced the completion of “European” repatriation agreements with Spain and Greece. Both countries are ready “to start accepting asylum seekers once again if they have been stopped on the German-Austrian border by German authorities and have a EURODAC entry from the relevant state”, a government press release declared. In exchange, the member states would “receive more common support on the external borders…financially as well as the provision of more police officers.”

The fact that all governing parties in Europe—from … the social democratic PSOE Spanish government, Germany’s grand coalition, and the openly far-right governments in Italy, Austria, and Eastern Europe—are cooperating so closely to intensify the terror against refugees underscores the correctness of the International Committee of the Fourth International’s perspective. To beat back these dangerous political developments, which recall the darkest periods in European history, workers and young people must take up a struggle against all factions of the capitalist class and consciously fight for a socialist programme.

EU backs anti-immigrant deal after Italy threatens to torpedo Brussels summit: here.

More European Union anti-refugee xenophobia


This video says about itself:

1 August 2017

Aid groups helping refugees in Greece are packing up and leaving after the European Union withdrew its funding.

The EU says there is no further need for emergency funding since refugee flows from Turkey have slowed.

The bloc is paying Greek authorities to take over services instead.

But many aid groups say Greece is unprepared and refugees may lose access to vital services.

Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reports from the Greek island of Chios.

By Alex Lantier in France:

Ahead of Brussels summit, EU steps up attacks on refugees

28 June 2018

As today’s European Union (EU) summit begins in Brussels, the EU powers are rivaling one another to demand draconian measures against refugees.

On Tuesday, Austria

where the coalition government includes the FPÖ party, founded by ex-members of Hitler‘s nazi party, and members of which sing songs advocating the gassing of Jews

mobilized a vast force of heavily-armed riot police, armored vehicles and helicopters to shut its border with Slovenia. As Vienna prepares to take over the EU’s rotating presidency, it was signaling that the EU is set to escalate the attacks on refugees now taking place.

After Italy’s new far-right government stranded 629 starving men, women and children on the rescue ship Aquarius, reports emerged that 220 refugees had drowned in the Mediterranean off Libya. Italy’s neo-fascist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini responded by refusing to let the rescue ship Lifeline disembark in Italy. The EU-funded Libyan coast guard also intercepted ships carrying 460 migrants and sent them to Libyan detention camps.

In the camps set up with EU support since the 2011 NATO war in Libya, tens of thousands of innocent people endure hell on earth. Reports by the United Nations and human rights groups have documented how refugees in the EU’s Libyan camps are assaulted, raped, sold into slavery, or murdered. Echoing the French government, Salvini is now calling for more such camps to be built in Libya—while the EU works with Turkey and other Middle East countries to detain millions fleeing war in Iraq and Syria.

The EU is now pressing these countries to commit atrocities to keep refugees from reaching Europe. In the last year, Algeria has forced over 13,000 African refugees into death marches back southward across the Sahara Desert. Many, including pregnant women and children, have died. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini responded to this report only by pledging more funds for “migrant screening” in North Africa.

Now, these policies are to come home to Europe. As this weekend’s EU mini-summit on migration collapsed, rival proposals emerged to expand the network of EU “hot spot” camps—little more than concentration camps—for migrants in Italy and Greece. EU Council President Donald Tusk called for camps in Albania and Tunisia, while Paris and Madrid proposed “closed detention centers” in the main EU countries.

After pledging to deport 600,000 people, Salvini is moving to register the Roma population, which was targeted for genocide by the Nazis, and calling for deporting all of them, though he added that “unfortunately, we have to keep the Italians among them.”

Millions of people across Europe and around the world are horrified at the EU’s barbaric treatment of the refugees, as the European bourgeoisie moves towards policies of mass state terror and ethnic cleansing on a scale not seen since the Nazi era. To fight this offensive, however, requires a revolutionary perspective and strategy. Moral appeals to one or another faction of the ruling elite, all of which support the persecution of the refugees, will do nothing to resolve a crisis rooted in the breakdown of world capitalism.

This fascistic offensive can only be opposed via the independent, international mobilization of the working class in struggle on a socialist and anti-war program.

The present refugee crisis is the greatest since World War II. It stems from a quarter century of neo-colonial wars and interventions across the Middle East and Africa, carried out in defiance of broad popular opposition, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Over 60 million people have fled wars in Iraq, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Mali and across the Sahel.

A new stage of this international crisis has been reached with the emergence of direct inter-imperialist conflicts between Washington and its EU “allies”. After the G7 summit collapsed over the mutual imposition of trade-war tariffs by US and EU authorities, the EU is aiming to develop as a military rival of the United States, Russia and China. The move toward unbridled militarism and the formation of competing trade blocs internationally goes hand in hand with attacks on democratic rights at home.

The alarm must be sounded: as in the 1930s, fascistic policies target not just refugees but the entire working class. Last year, the EU’s Generation What survey, which found that a majority of Europeans under 35 oppose joining the army but would support participating [in] a “mass uprising.” If the workers let the EU consolidate its concentration camps and police agencies, this apparatus of police-state terror will be turned on political opposition in the working class.

Workers across Europe are increasingly mobilizing against austerity policies designed to funnel hundreds of billions of euros into the war machine. Rail, airline and energy workers in France, metalworkers in Germany and Turkey, and airline and retail workers in Spain have taken strike action. The EU’s turn to the extreme right is a sign that, as in the 1930s, the question to be settled is which class will rule. It is urgent to unify workers’ struggles across Europe in a common fight for state power.

Opposing the EU’s offensive requires the independent organization of workers in workplace and neighborhood committees to coordinate resistance and strikes against police raids and attacks on immigrants and refugees. The defense of fundamental democratic rights requires:

* The dismantling of detention camps in the Middle East and North Africa, the withdrawal of European and US troops from these regions, and the free and safe passage of refugees to EU countries of their choice.

* The dismantling of EU “hot spot” concentration camps, and the granting of legal status to all refugees and undocumented immigrants in Europe.

* The abolition of the EU’s Frontex border police.

* Noncooperation with the EU deportation machine and all state policies preparing ethnic cleansing.

* The provision of trillions of euros in public services, training, and jobs to all workers, immigrant and native-born alike. The wealth squandered on a decade of EU bank bailouts must be expropriated and used to meet the urgent social needs of the working population.

In its emerging conflict with a European bourgeoisie moving rapidly towards far-right forms of rule, the working class will have no other choice than to take the revolutionary road. Events are blowing apart the claim that the dissolution of the USSR and the formation of the EU a year later signaled an end to the 20th century era of wars and social revolutions. A return to the traditions of irreconcilable struggle embodied in the October 1917 Revolution and the struggle against fascism is essential to averting new catastrophes in the 21st century.

Above all, the critical task is the international unification of the working class in a revolutionary struggle for socialism. In Europe, this means the overthrow of the capitalist EU and its replacement by the United Socialist States of Europe.