Seeing Red: stories of American Communists is a 1983 Academy Award-nominated documentary film directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein detailing the greatly overlooked history of the Communist Party of the United States and its supporters, which at its peak in the early 1940s boasted nearly 100,000 members. Founded in 1919, the Communist Party USA split from the Socialist Party of America following the Russian Revolution and went on to play a defining role in the American Labor Movement and the early part of the American Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s…
Seeing Red tells the stories of the dedicated women and men who fought for unionization, equal rights and the 8-hour workday, who dreamed of an America where workers had rights to collective bargaining and to be free of discrimination by their employers. Watch the feature film…
There is another protest group in France, as well as the Yellow Vests. They are high school and college students. They are against the government’s reform plans on new exam system, and they want Macron administration to listen them. In short, it is in this way, but the content is very wide.
To see the existence of freedom of expression is a lower probability than to see a dinosaur on the planet.
On December 6th, during French high school students’ protests, the images of the French police who humiliated the high school students tyrannically, were imprinted on everyone’s memory. Even in the most fascist administrations in history, it has been seen rare that young people were treated in this way. It is said that France is now governed with democracy. The guns with plactic bullets and tear gas that are bought by the public’s paid taxes, are also part of this democracy. This is actually present in almost all democracies around the world. In the definitions of democracy, it is defended that people should have freedom of expression. But somehow to see this kind of freedom which cannot find an existence, is even less than the possibility of seeing dinosaurs on the planet. Of course, the group that wants to express themselves most often is young people inside the human kind. This is a situation that arises from the need more communication rather than because of the difficulty of expression of themselves. The youth in France abided by this rule. Even, at a point where the adults had to stand out in the name of them, they entered a big job such as to get the ropes into their hands.
History of French students protests is older than Marvel cosmic universe
Student movements in the history of the world, far back to the very old dates. In the revolution of 1848, as in many European countries, students in France took part in the revolution movement. And of course 1968.
The “Red May” of 1968 made forever Paris a symbol of youth unrest. Thousands of students from the best universities in France announced an indefinite strike under the slogans “It is forbidden to forbid!”-“Il est interdit d’interdire!” and “Be realistic, demand the impossible.”-“Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible”…Their protest inspired millions of people and became the subject of many books, films and songs. Many teachers sympathized with the students, including the famous contemporary philosophers Michel Foucault and Jean-Paul Sartre. Student revolt against bourgeois society and bourgeois morality spread to the neighboring European countries.
The quotes from the article with the title “7 Student Protests Changing the World” by Alexey Alikin
As it turns out, these protests of French students are not the first and have a very old history. It can even be said that these protests are much older than the beginning of Marvel Cosmic Universe (1939). Well, are there any a hero or “villain” and “supervillain” in these youth movements? What do they oppose and what do they want?
I’ve learned after reading dozens of articles, hundreds of documents, and watching thousands of videos for this… (I am kidding.:)) It’s enough to watch one or two videos made with them to understand what they want. In other words, everyone who is not retarded can understand that they want to achieve quality education with the lowest possible price on the equal basis; and of course the subject of the university which will effect their future. Macron government has brought a system that badly affect the majority of young people in the transition to university. France’s new Parcoursup system for university entry is the first thing they don’t want.(*)
“Critics suspect the system increases inequality by introducing greater selectivity and competition. Students not offered a university spot can enter into government training programs for various careers…
“There are a lot of students who are quite anxious and upset,” said Muriel Paletou, president of the Toulouse region’s parents association. “This violence is an expression of that fear, but this reform is also being imposed in a way that’s also violent and very fast.”
Even before the new bac is rolled out, many high school students are upset by the introduction last year of a new college application platform called “Parcoursup,” short for “parcour superieur” or “path to higher education.” The lack of transparency around how Parcoursup works led many to suspect it was introducing even greater selectivity and competition among students who were once guaranteed admission to university if they passed the bac.”
The quotes from the article with the title “Angry students, confused parents protesting Macron’s efforts to reinvent France’s treasured high schools” by Chris O’Brien
They don’t want Jedi education; but of course, if they had it would have been cool
I’ve read an article about the French education minister’s concern in the education system. Quoted from the article dated December 2017 as follows.
“It follows an announcement by Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister, that mobile phones will be banned from next year in primary, junior and middle schools, a pledge that formed part of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.
Mr Blanque believes that the time children spend staring at screens is a matter of “public health”. “These days, the children don’t play at break time any more. They are just all in front of their smartphones and, from an educational point of view, that’s a problem,” Mr Blanque said to the Local, an English-language publication, this week.”
As you can see, this concern is about the use smartphone/mobile phone of young people. And he describes it as “an educational point of view, that’s a problem,”. Not only young people, but almost every person has these phones in their hands and they can’t keep their eyes off them. This is already a ridiculous situation for all humans. However, while students obviously have a lot of problems, like not being able to get education at first, Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister’s doing is to play to the audience.
These young people do not want Jedi education, they want only the right, accessible and equal education for all. Of course it would be cool if they had Jedi training. Give these young people what they want; I’m sure when you give, the use of the smartphone which is a big problem, will be reduced at least half!
Also, if Macron government had been sincere that smartphones were the problem for human health, they would not have announced that their goal is rollout of 5G in 2020. 5G brings the smart meters next to itself. Smart meters will not harm children, young people, adults, even the nature, ie the health of the whole society? But it is okay for you. A few billionaires would put more satellites into space, space would return to the more dumpster, government allowance would give to these billionaires, money would allocate from the budget for them, more tax burden will be on the people’s back for the profit of rich people, the phone manufacturer billionaires would sell new 5G compatible phones. It doesn’t matter the people’s health is jeopardized, next to so many rich get more profit. Let’s you admit, you are hypocrite!
Z generation. (Why did we come to the last letter of the alphabet, will there be no other generation after that?)
However, they think that this generation called Z Generation, because of their navel cords were cut through the internet when they were born, they will swallow and digest whatever they are given about internet technology and on internet. “Already these teens share stories in instagram, they tweet and swear, laughs at videos that goats shout at each other, even they watch the game players instead of playing game, shortly waste their time without thinking.” These are not my thoughts. This is how most managements see Z Generation in general. Well, they all are really like that?
In fact, these researches show differences on the country basis according to social media researches. For example, Z Gen of US and Z Gen in France have not the same internet addiction. But generalizations on this planet, sharp-edges are very common. In more detail, while more than 90% of American Z Generation spend time on the internet, in France this figure is in the 63-65% range. The trend in internet sharing is not the same either between them. I didn’t do these researches. The companies that make these researches are the marketing companies that focus on young people. Their aim is, of course, to identify and direct the tendencies of young people, and in this direction, to make profits that they can manage within the capitalist system.
Are these young people, Z generation, really a marketing tool, so are they handy fools? In the meantime, why Z generation, why did we come to the last letter of the alphabet, will there be no other generation after that, why…? Hundreds of questions in my head.
Anyway. These teens show in a way that they’re not handy fools. If they are, some organizations in the world would not do research on the tendencies of socialism for both Millennials and Z Generation. I’ve thought about that too, of course.:) That’s what I realized: Generation Z was born in the period when the environment was polluted the most and this was done by capitalist companies plainly visible. On the other hand, perhaps they are lovers of animals and nature more than any other generation. In the surveys, a business that is intertwined with nature in the field of expertise/work for which they think in the future, is at a high rate with the work of information technologies. This, of course, is not only because of they are bored very quickly and want a job outside. They want to live in a clean environment, want to breathe.
By the way, the condition of your planet is really bad; I should specify that the alarm level is even black. The planet earth with this polluted environment is as important as the Internet for Z Generation. In other words, we can say that, in fact, capitalism could not get the full result as it expected on them.
The continuing process from Homo sapiens to Homo robotus
However, the capitalism tries every way to achieve the goal. Capitalism is a system that makes ordinary people even worse poor, making the rich even richer. Perhaps the protests of these young people and the yellow vests can be compared to the Rebellion of Poor France. However, the definition of poverty is a different color for each country. The price increases especially in 2018 put the laboring French a difficult situation. This difficult situation determines the living conditions of French people. It would not be right to make the same definition in other countries. In other words, the definition of poverty varies according to each country. Capitalism offers you a different type of poverty according to the conditions in each country. It is up to you to choose and like or not.
If you do not accept one of the definitions of poverty, in this time you faced with police forces that the government has grown up with its hand, and their costs paid with your taxes again. These advanced camouflaged and armed police forces seem to have evolved as a new species. This new species, which will be called Homo robotus, has evolved until it reaches this level.
Find 10 differences between two pictures. There is no need 10 differences! At the first a young could talk to the police while laughing and at the second, a teenager is on his knees on the ground with his hands behind his head; in front of him there are 35 police officers I can count. Like a horror empire! In 50 years France has really made a lot of progress on human rights! In the last fifty years, of course, these new police forces, evolving as Homo robotus did not jump over the time by disrupting the rules of evolution. According to wikipedia, in the last 50 years in France 17 riots have been.
The 2006 youth protests in France and 2007–09 university protests in France, signed by the youth. French governments that faced with a revolt about in every 2-3 years in last fifty years developed police forces under their hands. New defense techniques and equipments were prepared for the new century. Their evolution, of course, returned back to protesters as plastic bullets, tear gas, pressure water, and the injuries, even deaths subsequently. Amnesty’s news with the title “Police must end use of excessive force against protesters and high school children in France” dated 14 December 2018 contains the following lines:
“As the clouds of tear gas lift, a clearer picture has emerged which shows police have used excessive force against largely peaceful protesters, journalists and even children,” said Rym Khadhraoui, Amnesty International’s West Europe Researcher.
“Whilst policing demonstrations is a difficult task and some protesters have committed unlawful and violent acts, it is essential that both French law and international human rights law is respected. Police have a duty to maintain public order, and in doing so they may use force only when strictly necessary. If the use of force is unavoidable, it must be done with restraint.”
Official figures show that 1,407 protesters have been injured – 46 of them seriously – since protests began on 17 November. In total, 717 police officers, gendarmes and firefighters also suffered violence. Whilst the authorities, have repeatedly and legitimately condemned acts of violence by protesters, they have failed to express concern over the excessive use of force by the police which must be the subject of an independent, impartial and effective investigation…
Mathieu Barraquier, a teacher in Garges-lès-Gonesse, a Paris suburb, described escalating tensions on 5 December outside the Simone de Beauvoir high school, after a tree was set alight and police started putting on riot gear. Some children started throwing stones and in once instance, a small burning projectile in the direction of the police who were about 30 meters away. “Then, without any reason, I heard a rubber bullet and I saw a student collapse. I ran to him and as he turned his head I saw that his cheek was burst open like a split pomegranate. He had not been throwing stones. He had just been talking with his friends.” The boy was hospitalised for two days.
On 6 December, there were clashes between police and students of Saint-Exupery high school in Mantes-la-Jolie, another suburb of Paris. In all, 163 children, some as young as 13, were arrested, and footage of dozens of high school students forced to kneel with their hands either behind their heads or handcuffed behind their backs went viral.
If you ask whether the police violence still continued or not after this news, yes, of course, is this question a joke? For more details of the violence of the Homo robotus of France government, it is enough to take a look at these two articles.
Would Sartre, Hegel or Khayyam play World of Warcraft?
It is now overwhelmingly on the planet, there are limited, even non-freedoms, the hegemony of capitalism, police violence, wars and interventions, a polluted environment. Under these conditions, young people want to step forward and shape their future. It is already the ideal one. The adults should not make judgments without hesitation, while sitting on the chair. Okay, this generation has a lot of shortcomings, but which generation hadn’t? Wouldn’t every new generation always tagged by the previous one? I think the most important problem of this generation is their importance to the visual perceptions. Communication is usually provided on social networks on the internet through photographs or similar visuals between them. So time is short for them; they spend this time for watching, not to read. Visual perception is open to manipulation. Without knowing what is really in the background, a watched video can cause war cries against a person or group who does not deserve at all in the room.
Of course, these young people will look for answers of the same questions over time as same as the adults did before. “Why am I here?” is the first one. Who didn’t ask this question? Many philosophers have tried to find the causes of human and all existences on this planet. But if they had lived today, or if they themselves were Z generation, for example, Hegel, Khayyam or Sartre, would they give the answer to this question via twitter? Or maybe they would become youtubers. Or maybe they would play World of Warcraft. I don’t think Sartre or Khayyam would play WoW, but I think Hegel would have played. He had got that light.;) Even when playing, Hegel could have raised a new idea and said “Virtual reality is rational, and rational is virtual reality,” haha!
As a result, present youth in France will also criticize the next generation. Due to we came to the last letter in the alphabet, probably the next generation will be called something like Version Z2. Of course, nowadays they have a stance against the system and they will have the right to criticize the next generation. While they are taking part in all these struggles, adults have to give up on promises to them with empty words and feel the same fear for the future of human and the planet. Both are already connected with each other. For now, there is no other planet where the human species can live. For that reason, if there is a will in a anywhere, they may be in young people even children, adults need to take their side. In the end, it should be remembered that the future of humans is belong to the youth with free mind and free conscience.
(*)I’ve tried to get in touch with their union to learn exactly what their demands are about 2 months ago. I had thought to make an article about them. Because in the English-speaking world, it is very difficult to find articles about the struggle of French high school students. But, I had to postpone a lot of things, including this article, because of ear infection I had last month. Also yes, the high school students in France have got the union, UNL-SD (Union Nationale Lycéenne – Syndicale et Démocratique), you did not hear wrong, my earthling friends. (By the way, we don’t even have an union, I envy you!) However I do not know French. When I tried to contact with them(union members), probably they didn’t understand what I asked. I only know three of the world’s languages, and all three are half-way I guess; but I can handle in a way as you knew my earthling friends.;) I think they were naturally suspicious of “why an extraterrestrial ask these questions to us” in justified. On this planet I’m an observer for the Galactic Council that these young people have no idea. I hope that after this article, they will realize that I am not here to invade the planet earth and my goal is peaceful. Of course, they can always comment on this blog, they’d like to add something if they want to add or connect with me. Of course not only members of the union, it’s open to everyone who participates in the protests and says “there’s something I want to say.” You all welcome.
The above interview is an interview was broadcasted on the “Our Studio” program on February 28, on “Direction Radio”. Of course, the Turkish speakers can listen. But today I have translated this interview into English, with my great language skill:), by serving to humanity without neglecting my duty to them, for you.
Radio interviewer, Ulas Can
Guest participant, Kemal Okuyan, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey
Interviewer: Now we will talk about Stalin on this part. Why we will talk about Stalin? Because a movie came to the theaters. Actually this issue started a little over it: “The death of Stalin.” We will talk about this with the author of the book “To understand Stalin” and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey, Kemal Okuyan. Mr. Okuyan, “hello”.
Kemal Okuyan: Hello, how are you?
Interviewer: We’re fine, thank you. Are you all right?
Kemal Okuyan: We’re trying to be good. Yes.
Interviewer: I did not watch “The death of Stalin” movie. I do not think to watch. But a bit of controversy has been going on in the past few weeks. One of our theater players went to this movie, who is also liked by the left circles. And he tweeted such as “You see, the dictators will end up like this,”. Anyway, I will not dwell on that subject. Still people continues strive against Stalin. It’s been 64 years since his death. But as we used yesterday in introduction, their enemies still do not to leave him in peace. I’d like to start first from here: Why there is so many enemy of Stalin?
Kemal Okuyan: When we look at the 20th century now, we see that mankind is in a great struggle. In other centuries, tough quarrels were made, but in the twentieth century, there were two great wars of humanity. Fascism were experienced. It experienced in many countries of Europe, not only in Germany. And 20th century was a cross-section of very sharp conflicts, wars, coups, civil wars. That has been a result of this cross section. When the twentieth century was over, a system which was a hope in the name of humanity was destroyed in those fights; the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It was collapsed, but humanity was not pleased and not satisfied with the closing of the 20th century. There is a seeking. Naturally, in its seeking, it is trying to hold on to icon events, symbolic countries, symbolic leaders of the 20th century.
They have to destroy them. So, they are the forces which demand the continuation of today’s order, today’s status quo; which they are imperialism, monopolies in the world, are the circles of capital. They have to destroy some positive elements of human history, from the memory of mankind. In fact we see another example when we look at Turkey. For example, Turkey has a war of national independence. I do not want to go into some discussion here. But, why it is struggled against the Independence War of Turkey? Why they strive against its figures, like Mustafa Kemal? Because, today they want to destroy it; they want to erase that historical era from the memory of the society.
Now, when looking from here, Stalin has such an importance like that. For a very long time, Stalin led the Soviet Union. The founding leader of the Soviet Union is undoubtedly Lenin. But Lenin’s leadership in the Soviet Union actually lasted 5 years; after he was sick, then he died in 1924. From 1924 to 1953, Stalin was the leader of the party, has put his signature almost all the major turning points in the Soviet Union. Now, whatever they want to do in here, there is a fact; into his period the Soviet Union made great breakthroughs. Look, industrialization, that is, they passed from a ruined farming country to a developed industrial country. A significant part of the inequalities, I am not saying all, but they have removed a significant part of inequalities. There was no one, hungry, homeless, unemployed. There was a tremendous mobilization in terms of health and education. An educated society emerged. And while doing this, they were in war in almost 2/3 of these dates.
Kemal Okuyan: And they were exposed to the most brutal attack of the world. This society has come out of this attack on its feet. In 1945, Stalin was idolized not only in the Soviet Union but also in Europe and even in the United States. Also for non-communists he was a hero. And that was not because only he did overcome Hitler, also due to he ensured to stand on a country’s own feet. Now they have to destroy it. So, they are spinning around… Look, are we constantly bringing Stalin or other values to our schedule or in our explanations? Are we crazy? We will always look back? But they can not give up. Because they have to go back and carry on this fight all the time. Why? They have to remove the memory of mankind. It’s the issue.
Interviewer: Of course, the memory is not removed in a day. Maybe that should be said those. Because of you talked about the Second World War, this came to my mind. Over 20 million Soviet citizens in World War II…
Kemal Okuyan: 27 million
Interviewer: Yes, 27 million Soviet citizens are losing their lives. Of course, it is not right to compare losses, but how many US or British citizens have lost their lives in the war? If we look at these numbers, we see how much big sacrifice the Soviet Union made, and they prevented the transformation of the world. We can see that they prevented Hitler’s capture of the world. Is it correct?
Kemal Okuyan: Yes
Interviewer: But I do not remember a movie about it. I mean, at least I do not remember a movie that everyone can remember. But there are a lot of movies about how the Americans or the English defeated Hitler in World War II. Young people think that the second world war is this way. So America and England came, they fought together, they beated Nazi Germany. They think the Soviets possibly was ally with them.
Kemal Okuyan: Some also think that the United States fought against Germany and the Soviets. So, there is a foolish society. Look, it is being continuously said the lie. The best proof of this is, in fact, a saying from Churchill, who was one of the world’s well known anti-communists. Churchil says that:
“Facts in the war are very valuable. But near to those facts, you need to add an army of bodyguards that consists of lies.”
Thereby you are right. The role of the Soviet Union in the Second World War is being tried to hide by the west. They have to. Why? Because humanity is unhappy. Now in Russia, the Soviet Union has been demolished for many years, it was demolished in 1991. When you go to Russia, you see there, and at there they could not stare down. It is said many lies about Stalin, it is said Stalin was murderer-dictator, but today half of Russian society sees Stalin as the most important idol of Russian history. Those who want to explain this with nationalism, have a problem like that: Stalin is not Russian. Georgian. Therefore, there is a leader that people have trust. To be liked or not. Now they are trying to destroy it. Because this leader was representing another social order.
If there was any leader, it would have been suited their book. They would have said, “such a great person has lived in history, was an important leader, need to respect.” But it is not like that. He symbolized the opposite of the capitalism and anti-thesis of today’s established order and he has always fought for it. Like I said, his mistakes, deficiencis are the other issues. In fact, they are not fighting against the Stalin’s mistakes, but they are fighting against the historical mission that Stalin carries. So nobody deceives himself. I’ve watched some parts of the movie, as much as I could find on the internet. It’s a very poor movie. Because I have seen that they gathered many things after Stalin’s death, with some truths and some gossip, they tried to create a parody from them in movie. Sloshy. It is bad in artistic meaning. Humor is bad in it. There is no need that people who were respected in here to say that the dictators would end up like this. The end of the dictators is being like Musollini. Anyone remember Musollini? Half of mankind today is not convinced of the lies about Stalin. This is a very important thing. There is so much propaganda, and this propaganda adverses effect.
Interviewer: In fact, I do not want to go into very detailed internal discussions, but Stalin’s debate begins immediately after his death; is it correct? If it needs to say a few words about it. At the 20th party congress, Khrushchev coming. And the first thing he did was to criticize the list. So although the downfall of the Soviets is actually thought to be with Gorbachev, there was a beginning at there, right?
Kemal Okuyan: Of course, it is very difficult to explain this in a limited time, but in the year of 1956, three years after Stalin’s death, Khrushchev took the leadship of the party in the Soviet Union, to get along well with the west… There’s something very interesting here.
Interviewer: I tried to ask you, to uncover it.
Kemal Okuyan: Yes. Sometimes, some burdens can not be carried. What makes Stalin important is that he is a leader in a country where comes up from behind and known the superiority of western imperialism, but nevertheless tries to be independent and goes to on own way. When we look at Khrushchev, his battery ran down. It is not only Khrushchev’s, but the accompanying team of him that it was hardly possible to struggle against western imperialism of them as an eye for an eye. So, the first thing they done is that this is exactly the crafty, something that will not work, to sell themselves to the west. They were supposed that western imperialists will not come over the Soviet Union. So the first thing he done, Khrushchev said in sort of, “I’m not like Stalin; I discredit the leader you’re most afraid of,”.
And he does this so badly that there is no criticism there. There are a lot of gossip. Later, it turned out that 90% of these rumors were lies. But Khrushchev gave this in the gold platter: “We sold a very important leader.” That’s the way it is. After that, it is very difficult for the Soviet Union to survive. I do not say destruction was its fate. But this mistake, try to look cute to western imperialists, to think that they will be in peace with them side by side, to think they can go for many years with them, and to think westerners’ plans will give up to destroy the Soviet Union, is foolish. They made the biggest mistake that could be. Even if Putin, for example, is a capitalist and an anti-communist politician, but he is very careful about Stalin. He’s trying to not criticize Stalin openly. Why? Because when he makes that, it will lead to another. In this time, they will say that Putin is the dictator, you are dictator too. Today there is competition between the United States and Russia for other reasons.
Interviewer: You are possibly visiting Russia. Stalin is still in Russia, so as you have mentioned, a beloved character, leader.
Kemal Okuyan: Beyond love. Something like that. There is both love and tremendous longing and seeking trust. Now on the wall of the Kremlin are the graves near by Lenin’s mausoleum. When you go there, if go to 1:00 am or go at 6:00 in the morning, it does not matter. One of these graves does not appear due to the flowers. This is Stalin’s grave. The Soviet Union has already collapsed. This is not something that will make with order or government decision. And I will tell you about a second grave. In the same way, the top of grave is full of red carnations. It is the tomb of Nazim Hikmet. It’s in somewhere else. However, flowers are always on the grave of Nazim Hikmet. There’s a real love here. They are the people who are dead anymore. It can not be explained with fear, fanaticism. So these lies are upside down. Someone who’s been said many lies about himself, are more protected by people. I will also tell this to you from our aspect. This is not the problem of todays. But we have such a problem. If we allow some events in history to be distorted, it is not just the Stalin issue. Today, for example, fifty thousand lies have been said about Syria. They are said in the United States, Turkey, in England end etc. If we overlook them, we allow the distortion of facts, with this or that reason, if we surrender to this campaigns, neither in Turkey nor in the world we can stand up. We have to beat the lie. Stalin has positives and negatives, but 90% of the writings about him are lies. Openly lies. Moreover, they are proven lies. They are trying to create a world through it. Humanity will not allow this.
Interviewer: We thank you very much for your participation in our broadcast…
Kemal Okuyan:Thank you too. Also, greetings to the listeners of Direction Radio, from here.
After listening this interview with WD, I have asked to WD.
-What do you think about this?
WD: Members of the Soviet Communist Party in the 1950s were gossipmongers.
-You understood only this?
WD: Yes. If they had been in this era, they would have made the best gossip tv-shows on tv!
-You too would have participated in that programs.
-You’ve gossiped a lot of time about me till today. You are kind of expert about gossip. You just did not speak, also you wrote them in here on our blog.
WD: That is a different issue. You are an ailen, and my writings are real, not gossip. Don’t overcome me Migo! Shall we go out?
WD: Can you buy me ice cream, Migo?
-No. Because it’s harmful to a dog’s health.
WD: It is a gossip, Migo. Well… just one lick from your ice cream?
WD: Damn you, Migo!
soL News talked to Mohammad Omidvar, the spokesperson of Iran’s communist TUDEH party, about the recent tide of protests in Iran.
soL News interviewed with Comrade Mohammad Omidvar, member of the Politburo and Spokesperson of the CC of the Tudeh Party of Iran, which has operated as an underground communist organization following the Islamic revolution of 1979, regarding the recent protests in Iran. The demonstrations started in response to a surge in fuel and food prices in the country, as well as unemployment and inflation. At least 20 people have reportedly been killed during the protests.
Omidvar says that the progressive and democratic forces of Iran must increase their presence in the protest movement of the masses against the reactionary forces, supported by the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia, which attempt to hijack the people’s struggle for freedom, democracy and social justice.
soL: What is the context and what are the main drivers behind the current wave of protests in Iran? Can you also comment on the impact of neoliberal economic policies on the current crises?
Mohammad Omidvar: As per our Central Committee’s statements over recent days, the Iranian people’s protest against the regime has its roots in the deep socio-economic crisis in Iran. The neoliberal policies of the Iranian regime over the past two decades – fully supported and indeed praised by the World Bank and IMF – have pushed millions of Iranians below the poverty line and into a life of hardship un-paralleled in our recent history. Rampant inflation, especially the rise in the price of basic commodities beyond ordinary peoples’ means, combined with massive unemployment, especially amongst the youth – which, according to officials in some provinces, is as high as 50% – as well as the continued suppression of peoples’ democratic rights and freedom, have pushed our country to the point of this social explosion in anger against the rule of political Islam.
It is also worth mentioning that, prior to these massive protests, we had increasing workers’ protests in various industries and in different cities across the country against unpaid wages (some of whom had gone over a year without their due pay), widespread privatisation, lack of job security, poor treatment by employers, lack of workers’ rights and a total ban on independent class-oriented trade unions.
Based on the reports, there are different protests with different demands, carried out by different groups, under different slogans. Why do these demonstrations vary from city to city or even between different protests in the same city? While some protests are reacting against the Rouhani government, some others are more vocal about ‘regime change’. In your opinion, what is the necessary path to be followed?
The escalation in peoples’ discontent and anger towards the regimes’ leaders for the deteriorating socio-economic situation and – more importantly – the readiness and willingness of the frustrated masses to take on the suppressive apparatus of the regime, is an important indication of the significant developments in the preparedness of the people in opposing – and waging an open struggle against – the rule of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is understandable that under a brutal dictatorship, organisation and coordination of the huge number of demonstrations – sometimes in more than 50 towns and cities across the vast country – has its own constraints. But the slogans, in the main, voice important economic and political demands by the people, target corruption in all branches of power and declare that all key factions in the thus far prevailing power structure are fully responsible for the deep socio-political crisis in the country.
Contrary to the claims of some leaders of the pro-regime reformists that such protests are “conspiracies” against the Rouhani presidency by the hardliners, we deeply believe that the majority of the people of our country are disappointed and frustrated with the slogans of those whose only objectives are to make some cosmetic and minor adjustments to the current regime. Our people are now demanding fundamental changes in the governance of the country. Today, only those who would like to somehow preserve the current disastrous situation fear the escalation and growth of the people’s struggle.
The experience of the last two decades and several presidential, parliamentary, provincial and local elections that have been held and manipulated under the control and direction of the Supreme Leader, has proved that the people are rapidly moving away from the strategy of making a choice between “bad and worse” and are no longer willing to submit to the manipulation of their demands by the regime and the pro-regime reformists whose roles, these days, are to serve the strategic interests of the regime. It is also worth mentioning that, from our point of view, the current power structure in Iran centres around the “Supreme Religious Leader” (Vali Faghieh), his close allies in the religious hierarchy, the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah Pasdaran) and other security forces.
The class base of the Iranian ruling clique is the big merchant and bureaucratic bourgeoisie. This corrupt and anti-peoples’ power structure has moved towards controlling not only all of the political apparatus but also most of the economic levers – plundering the country’s wealth on a scale not seen in Iran over the past four decades.
Attempts over the past two decades to introduce some superficial reforms and the fashioning of a more moderate face for what, at the end of the day, remains a medieval dictatorship, have failed and therefore it is not surprising that the overwhelming majority of the people in Iran today want to put an end to the despotic theocratic regime; to end the oppression and injustice; and bring about the establishment of human and democratic freedoms and social justice. We believe that these demands can only be achieved through a joint struggle of all the national, democratic and freedom-loving forces in Iran without any foreign intervention.
Of course, Israel-USA-Saudi Arabia trio sees the protest as an opportunity to get rid of the obstacle against their policies in the Middle East, but do protests have a potential to be manipulated and meet the expectations of this alliance or Iranians already put a distance with their demands with the expectations of imperialism? Do you think, Iranian protests are immune to imperialist manipulations which had driven the rightful protest in the early days of Syria into a full-scale proxy war against Syrian people?
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran, in its first reaction to the people’s protest against the regime, clearly indicated that under the critical conditions of the current dangerous regional tensions and Imperialism’s desire to control the Persian Gulf and its oil flow, the regional reactionary forces – supported by the Trump administration and the right-wing government of Netanyahu in Israel and the Saudi criminal regime – are seeking to distinctly impact the developments in our country and to replace the current reactionary regime with another reactionary regime.
The support of these forces – i.e. US imperialism, the regional reaction, and the right-wing government of Netanyahu – for the Iranian monarchists and those political groups whose agenda is to cooperate with the most reactionary regimes of the region and to persuade the European states to impose sanctions on Iran’s economy – (thereby exacerbating the misery for the destitute and disadvantaged people of our country) and to encourage foreign states to intervene militarily in Iran, leaves no room whatsoever for any optimism regarding the future designs of such “opposition”.
We have emphasised that the progressive and democratic forces of Iran must increase their presence in the protest movement of the masses – more than ever before – providing proper people-oriented slogans, offering sensible guidance and relying on the legitimate demands of the masses for abolishing the existing suppressive regime and ending the economic deprivation, oppression, injustice and plundering of the natural and human resources of the nation, while sidelining and opposing reactionary and divisive slogans. We believe we must learn from our past experiences and what happened following the 1979 revolution and not allow the heroic struggle of our people for freedom, democracy and social justice to be hijacked by a bunch of reactionary opportunists who do not believe in the people’s rights or democratic freedoms.
During his election campaign, Rouhani presented the nuclear deal as a success story and expected to overcome the problems with imperialist countries as long as Iran integrated to the global capitalist system. While international sanctions were eased, the US didn’t put an end to its unilateral sanctions against Iran. Do you think the nuclear deal was a success story for Iran or not?
Following the agreement in January 2016, our party stated that after years of destructive sanctions imposed on our country by the USA and EU countries, as a result of the ill-advised and adventurist policies of Iran’s Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] and his appointees, the negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group were concluded with an agreement that did not equate to a victory for Iran whatever the claims of the regime to the contrary. At the time, in his radio-TV interview, Hassan Rouhani [Iranian President] said: “…today we have reached a turning point…
As of today, Iran’s nuclear programme is no longer, under any fictitious pretext, a threat to global and regional peace. Rather, Iran’s nuclear programme will serve modern technology in line with the development of the country, and the stability and security of the region…” There is no doubt that the implementation of the agreement was a significant event that had a substantial impact on political developments in our country. There were certain improvements in diplomatic relations between the Iranian regime and the US administration. However, despite all the propaganda claims of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the assessments of a number of opponents as well as supporters of the theocratic regime, the government of Hassan Rouhani effectively agreed to all conditions limiting Iran’s nuclear industry in return for the lifting of the sanctions and the release of Iran’s assets by the West.
At the time, our Party welcomed the move away from tension and conflict and the lifting of the horrendously damaging economic sanctions, which were badly hurting ordinary people and the economy in Iran. Two years on it must be said that people have seen very little benefits in terms of an improvement in their economic situation as most of the financial benefits have gone straight to the regime’s leaders and their cronies. Under the continuing pressure of the US international banking system, the banking and monetary sanctions were never lifted and, this in effect, maintained the difficulties for Iran’s international trade with the rest of the world and the lot of the vast majority of ordinary Iranians.
What is your Party’s view on external interference in Iran and its danger to the people’s movement? Can you elaborate with reference to the positions taken by Trump, the Israeli government, Saudi Arabia and the forces they support?
After Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia – and subsequently to Israel – in late May 2017, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East are once again witnessing an escalation in tensions that could further destabilise the safety and security of the region and, in our view, have dangerous and destructive consequences for our country. During this visit, Trump clearly indicated his support for the dangerous adventurist policies of the Saudi Arabian leadership and offered Israel a carte blanche in pursuit of its dangerous policies towards the Palestinian people and the region as a whole, singling out Iran as a target. The threatening and belligerent statement of the reactionary Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia that “we will work so that we take the battle inside Iran” was promptly followed by the first bloody terrorist attack to be carried out by Daesh (IS) in Tehran.
Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, also declared US support for “regime change” in Iran in an intervening speech. Among other indications of the escalation of tensions in the region were attacks by US forces, on the paramilitary forces backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran operating in the eastern regions of Syria. This combined with recent Saudi claims that long-range missiles fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen towards Riyadh are provided by Iran, indicate the high levels of tension and the serious threats facing Iran. It is worth mentioning that the foreign policy of the United States during the Obama administration, with regards to Iran, had considered a special role and position for the Islamic Republic of Iran in the “New Middle East Plan” in which the coexistence and conciliation of Iran’s theocratic regime with US hegemony in the region were articulated.
However, the evidence now suggests that the Trump administration is pushing to impose new conditions and to make specific changes to this framework. This involves a lessening of the role and weight of Iran’s regime in regional developments, in favour of Saudi Arabia. In this context, Tillerson’s recent references to “peaceful regime change” in Iran should be looked at from two angles as regards the new tactics of the US. Firstly, there is the reviving of the failed project of “making alternatives” to act as the “regime’s opposition” by utilising some of the vehemently pro-US forces opposed to Iran’s theocratic regime, such as the monarchists and the People’s Mojahedin of Iran Organisation (MKO).
And, secondly, there is the re-implementing of an aggressive diplomacy to enable US political-security leverage in the region through the fanning of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia under the well-worn mantra of “fighting terrorism”, and the sewing of divisions between the countries in the region under the false pretext of the confrontation between “Shia” and “Sunni”. And here, it is particularly important to note the contracts for sale of modern military hardware and technology by the US to Saudi Arabia worth $300bn over the next three years.
There have also been credible suggestions made of a secret deal, reached in December 2017, between the US and Israel to confront and take down Iran.
We evaluated the election and coming to power of Donald Trump, and his slogans and policies, to be very worrying. Our concern is not one predicated on the inexperience, narcissism or unpredictability of Trump, but rather the belief that the bringing of Trump to the presidency was a purposeful move by the warmongers and extreme right-wingers in the USA to mobilise and gather together the most reactionary and dangerous forces of the ultra-right around the world. The power structure in the Trump administration – just like the power pyramid structure of the Islamic theocratic regime of Iran – consists of dangerous elements who believe in the waging of war as a means to solving wider issues.
The crises of the regime in Iran are the results of the fundamental contradiction between the economic interests and the freedom-seeking demands of our nation on the one hand and those of the theocratic regime on the other. This is a contradiction which is ever growing and thus naturally the theocratic regime veers from one crisis to another, graver each time. Both Ali Khamenei and Donald Trump are deceitful leaders who would without hesitation lie to their people to stay in power. They would resort to any option to overcome the various crises they face.
The progressive and patriotic forces of our country should not let the interventionist policies and practices of the United States, and its reactionary allies such as the criminal regime in Saudi Arabia and the ultra-right-wing anti-people government of Netanyahu in Israel, determine the future of our country.
We have clearly and repeatedly stated that the Tudeh Party of Iran is strongly opposed to any external interference in our country’s domestic affairs and believe that the future of Iran should only be determined by its peoples and the struggle of its progressive forces to put an end to the despotic regime.
Interview was quoted from SoL international, from this link.
For reading, the related articles of the subject from SoL:
Also, from “In Defense of Communism blog”: Iran Protests- Tudeh Party appealing for the release of more than 1500 arrested in Iran
The mythological King Midas’ touch turned everything to gold, whereas King Corporate-Capitalism’ touch turns everything to SHIT!
52 YEARS AFTER FASCIST GENOCIDE, INDONESIANS SCARED OF “COMMUNIST GHOSTS”
From Jakarta and Yogyakarta:Andre Vltchek
It was once again a hot, muggy day in Jakarta. The air was full of pollutants, epic traffic jams blocking entire center of the city. Biasa, as locals would say, or in a lax translation, ‘business as usual’.
It is September 29th, 2017, Friday, just one day before the most sinister anniversary in the entire Southeast Asia.
On September 30th, 1965, the Indonesian military obeying orders from foreign powers (mainly the US and the UK), overthrew the progressive and anti-imperialist government of President Sukarno, murdering between 1 and 3 million men, women and children (including almost all members of the Communist Party of Indonesia – PKI). This was done with the direct help of almost all the major religious organizations (Muslim, Protestant, Catholic and Hindu). The bloodshed continued well into 1966, and the “Rivers were choked with corpses and ran red from blood,” as I was told by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the greatest Indonesian novelist. All the hopes for a socialist, just and egalitarian motherland were wasted.
Before the coup, Indonesia used to be a true internationalist nation, and was one of the proud founders of the Non-Aligned Movement (the West Javanese city of Bandung hosted its establishing conference in 1955). President Sukarno and his progressive and patriotic government used to hold in their hands almost all the natural resources, trying to build a proud, artistic and productive nation. Sukarno once even humiliated the US Ambassador, in front of a huge crowd, at a packed stadium: “To hell with your aid!” He did not need any Western aid. He was presiding over potentially one of the richest nations on Earth.
The Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), the third largest in the world after those of the Soviet Union and China, was going to win the elections, comfortably and democratically, in 1966, while being fully supported by President Sukarno. Their manifesto was clear: anti-imperialism, social justice and land reforms. But who were some of the largest landowners in Indonesia during that period? Religious leaders! And they, together with the military and corrupt elites, decided: “No!” This has to be stopped! No justice. No internationalism. No socialism.” They betrayed the nation and its people; they committed treason and on September 30, 1965, overthrew socialist democracy.
The results were horrifying. Perhaps the worst massacres of the 20th Century took place. Mass slaughter, mass rape, and cutting off of female breasts, torture, and shortly after the initial horrors, overflowing prisons and concentration camps. Around 40% of all the teachers of Java were slaughtered and the military was substituted into the school classrooms. Film studios and traditional theatres were shut down, and writers were sent to Buru concentration camp. Intellectualism was fully discouraged, while Communism, the Chinese language and culture, but also all progressive arts and creativity were either ridiculed, or out rightly banned. Promoted instead, were Western-style turbo-capitalism (that which was invented for the colonies, not that for the local consumption in Europe and North America), ‘religions’ (based on repetitive rituals, not on intellectual or spiritual search for God), ‘family values’ (read: patriarchal oppression), an empty pop culture, and selfishness, boosted by consumerism. All this combined gave birth to some of the worst corruption levels in the world.
Indonesia as it used to be before September 30, 1965, died. Unable to produce anything of substantial value, it began perpetrating the unbridled plunder of its own natural resources, predominantly on behalf of foreign conglomerates. The entire beautiful and naturally rich, enormous islands, like Borneo (the largest island in Asia and the second largest in the world), Sumatra and Papua, were converted into devastated, poisoned and fully privatized ecological and social nightmares.
It seems that killing everything decent and hopeful has not been enough for this regime. Even memories have to be killed, even dreams. The great progressive past of Indonesia is being smeared and twisted, until there is nothing more left, only confusion and mechanical religious, family and commercial rituals.
Now, one of the mainstream Indonesian magazines Tempo put on its 25 September – 1 October 2017 cover: “SEKALI LAGI HANTU PKI” (“Once Again, Ghost of PKI”).
Whenever it suits the corrupt elites, the military and the religious cadres (three main pillars of the Indonesia oppressive regime), the Communist ghost is evoked. It is depicted as a monstrous, nasty, and murderous creature. Indonesian children were taught that the Communist hammer was there to smash the heads of the people, while the sickle was – to cut their throats…
please continue to read from,
Today is May 19th, 98 years ago today, after the World War 1, it was burned the fire of independence in Anatolia. Because Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his 23 military fellows landed Samsun’s (the city of Black Sea coast)harbor in a small ferry.
Mustafa Kemal had resigned from Ottoman Army, already after than Istanbul Ottoman government issued an arrest warrant for Mustafa Kemal.
What was the situation at those days:
“When Mustafa Kemal landed in Samsun city of Anatolia on 19th May 1919, the situation of Anatolia was quite bad. People who came out wars which have been continued for long time, were tired, exhausted, and depressed. The Ottoman state was taken prisoner and Istanbul was occupied by emperialist forces. Sultan Vahideddin had no choice and was miserable.
The people who were tired from wars that have continued for long time could not taken one more war into consideration. But, when districts of Anatolia were started to occupy by westerners, and each district began to defend its property, life and honor.
Thus national forces called “Kuva-yi Milliye” was formed by Mustafa Kemal could establish an orderly army by organizing the Kuva-yi Milliye unities. Thereby, Anatolia people started straggling for their own motherland and national values one more time.”
Think about it, the world war has finished yet. Ottoman army has lost about 1,5 million soldiers, next to this figure about 200,000 troops have been captured in from Egypt to Tripoli on many fronts. There was no gun, even no food in Anatolia. While Mustafa Kemal and Kuva-i Milliye army started to Independence war with Anatolia people, they had only 3 war planes, even one of them was broken German war plane.
Under this circumstances, whole Anatolia people resisted against invader imperialist forces. According to Sevres Treaty, Anatolia has been occupied as the following map:
So, Anatolia people who had suffered great losses were struggling with the atrocities of the invader countries.
And they started a new war, their Independence War against imperialism with the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Independence War of Turkey was not easy. There are many photographs that you can see on internet about war loses of the countries, like after WW2. But there are not so many pictures about how Anatolia has been after Independence war. People can forget or don’t remember if there is no photograph. Without photograph as if the war seems not to happen. I have found these about how Anatolia was after the Independence War of Turkey. These tell how much horrible that war. Because while the occupied countries was retreating, they burned the cities and left behind them. These are the photograps which were taken in some Anatolia cities during and after Independence War of Turkey.(1919-1922)
I hope these photographs have given some clues how much struggled Anatolia people fought in their Independence War.
A country in this shape was left into the hands of the people of Anatolia by imperialists. But Anatolia people built the new republic over it with the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Today, 19th May, is celebrated as “Commemoration Ataturk and Youth and Sports Day” every year. Ataturk had said for this day, “19 May is my birthday.” Intrestingly, Ataturk’s real birth date is not known. And with the republic, 19 May had been recorded as his birthday to his identity card.
He always believed in youth. Almost every words of him address to the youth. Like his words of Nutuk, he trusted youth for county.
You can hear the words like that: “Ataturk is not popular for the Turkey people anymore.”
Don’t give the credits to these words. If there is something, this is the truth of the longing to Ataturk of Turkey people is rising in every year.
People, young or adult, go to Anıtkabir every national day. Huge crowds are gathering to memorialize and express gratitude for Ataturk in every city. They sing songs or marchs for him, the pictures or photographs are collecting and making posters, and many things are done. Like the video that I have shared at first line of this post. The lyric of that song: “I have never known anyone more special than you. I have never seen anyone more beautiful than you.” Like this song and video, if you write on youtube,”Ataturk cocukları” or “Izmir Marsı” (there are more but these two enough I guess) you can see that especially the young people’s longing and love to Ataturk.
This attitude of Turkey people, could seem weird for the rest of the world. They can ask: “Why the people are still keeping Ataturk in their hearts and minds almost 100 years later?”
Nobody forces Turkey Republic people to keep Ataturk in their hearts or mind. This is made without any pressure and made sincerely. Even more and more with everyday, the commitment to Ataturk is rising. (like Newton’s Third Law of Motion)
And the anwser of the question of “Why the people still keep Ataturk in their hearts and minds almost 100 years later?”: “Are you able to forget the person who gave you freedom and your honor back?”
I know this was a question-answer but it is still answer you know.;)
And happy May 19th, to the youth and to the ones who always feel and think like young!
While celebrating May 9 Victory Day, lets we look at the some pictures that shows how Soviets achieved this victory:
These photos and informations were taken from Russian 9 May web page.
This war against fascism was not easy, and success of Soviets at war has been trying to be ignored by European governments for last decades.
The following quotes from Kemal Okuyan, Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey, today’s article from SoL.org:
“The US and the UK were no more innocent than Hitler Germany in imperialist competition. Nevertheless, these two imperialist countries were making unmatched maneuvers to save themselves from the responsibility of war resulting in the bloodshed of the Soviet peoples, in which they were using a “libertarian” intelligence which had neither a backbone nor a memory. We made a mistake, it was necessary to keep the sins of the United States and Britain on the agenda constantly, but when this wasn’t made, the Soviets and Nazi Germany, plus Stalin and Hitler have been became identified in same impertinence area.
During the war, the alliance between the Soviets and the United States&Britain was so temporary as imperative as for all three. It was completely rotten, because the alliance was class-based mixed. The ideology of the Alliance was absent because of the existence of opposing ideologies. The Alliance could not agree on the definition of the enemy. It was not true that between 1941 and 1945 a “front of democracy” was established against fascism. A wing of western imperialism defended its own interests, the Soviet Union itself and humanity. It was the Soviet Union that held the promises of the war for four years as well as the war, and conformed to the rules of morality and diplomacy in relation to its allies. Before the end of the war, before Germany surrendered, that were the United States and the United Kingdom, which started a new war (it doesn’t matter cold or hot). We allowed this fact to be forgotten. With this, the lie that the Soviet Union represented authoritarian and the US represents a libertarian world, grew day by day.”
In 1915 Marmaduke Pickthall was the most informed man in England on the region governed by the Ottoman Empire. Pickthall was an English Tory and a famous novelist, as well as a journalist. Pickthall published nine novels set in Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen and Turkey. E.M. Forster wrote in 1921 that Pickthall was “the only contemporary […]
Pickthall wrote a series of informative articles under the title The Black Crusade, which The New Age later published as a pamphlet. In these pieces, Pickthall condemned Christians for comparing Turks to Satan and for the approval of Bulgaria’s Christian slaughter of Muslims in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13. At the end of 1912, Pickthall went to Turkey to see for himself the events he had been covering in his writings. Out of the visit came the book, With the Turks in Wartime.
What he saw happening – the slaughter of over 1 million Moslems and the ethnic cleansing of 400,000 more by Christians, with nothing being said or done in the West – led Pickthall to understand that a deep hypocrisy existed in most of Europe. There were exaggerated tales of atrocities against Christians while much greater suffering among the Moslem section of humanity was ignored.
When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, Pickthall declared his willingness to be a combatant as long as he did not have to fight Turks and he argued strongly for respect for Turkish neutrality and independence.
Pickthall’s background was Church of England. His father and his father’s father were clergymen and his two step-sisters were Anglican nuns. He had an Irish mother, Mary O’Brien, one of the famous Inchiquins. It was through church contacts that Pickthall first went to the east. Gradually, however, the actions of the Christian community, especially its missionaries, undermined Pickthall’s religious devotion. He had a crisis of faith which is evident in his writings for The New Age. Finally, in November 1917, at the last of a series of talks to the Muslim Literary Society on “Islam and Progress,” Pickthall openly declared his acceptance of Islam. He took the name Mohammed and became a pillar of the British Islamic Community.
Below is reproduced an article Pickthall wrote for The New Age on 4 November 1915, around the anniversary of Britain’s declaration of War on the Ottomans. It deals with the Armenian massacres then reported in England. The Title relates to the British Defence of the Realm Act which gave the government extraordinary powers to do what was necessary for the safety of the state in wartime and which England used most thoroughly in Ireland, even after the Armistice of 1918. Pickthall was obviously making the point to his English readers that what the Ottomans were doing in defending their state was just what Britain would do if faced by a similar existential crisis.
During the article Pickthall refers to “concentration camps”. What he has in mind are not the German death camps of the 1940s but the British concentration camps used in South Africa to suppress Boer resistance in the 1900s. Tens of thousands of civilians perished in these, despite the strong control of both land and sea Britain exerted, in comparison to the dire security problems faced by the Ottomans, challenged by multiple invaders, starvation blockade and internal insurrection in relocating the Armenians from the war zones.
When reading the following article the reader should bear in mind that Pickthall has many of the British Imperial views of the time which we would consider offensive today. But it is, for all that, a very informative and balanced piece of journalism. Hopefully more of Pickthall’s writings will be reproduced in further posts.
“Defence of the Realm in Turkey by Marmaduke Pickthall
“In the year 1913 the British Government was requested by the Porte to provide a number of inspectors to super-intend the reforms which the Turks had undertaken in the Kurd-Armenian vilayets; where, as an outcome of the Balkan War, and the consequent weakening of the local garrisons on the one hand, and of Russian intrigues on the other, the situation had become extremely critical. Mr. Walter Guinness, M.P., describing a tour which he made that year in Armenia and Kurdistan, mentions ‘‘numerous indications of an active Russian propaganda” not only among Armenians but among the Kurds as well. “Many of them (the Kurds) are armed with Russian rifles, and in the mountains I found in an out-of-the-way village a Russian dressed as a Kurd, and living the life of the Kurds.”Rifles supplied to the Kurds were sure, sooner or later, to be used against the Armenians. At the same time, Russia was arming the pro-Russian – that is, Orthodox – section of the Armenians in Turkish provinces adjacent to the Russian frontier. The Armenians thus, who are by no means lambs, would be emboldened to revolt against the Turkish Government ; the Kurds would slay them in the name of law and order-a mere name in Kurdistan in these days, respected only when it suits the Kurds – and Russia, posing as protector of the slaughtered Christians, wouId cry to Europe: “See what you have done by thwarting my desire to take those provinces.”
“It was simply the old game which has been played by our Ally so many times before in Turkey, and always with some measure of success. Western Europe is so far removed from Asia Minor. So very few of us can realise, even in imagination, the condition of men’s daily lite in that far region.
“The situation was, indeed, most critical from the standpoint of the lurks, and the Turks desired to mend it by introducing real reforms into the Armenian yets. But they knew well that they were not strong enough to carry out so great a work in the face of Russia Russian-and, one may add, German-political ambitions, without the help of some great Power of Europe which was not interested in preserving the existing anarchy. England was their only hope; and England, for some time, seemed willing to befriend them to the extent of lending them some competent inspectors. But the presence of British inspectors in Armenia would have interfered with Russia’s game, might even have caused the nature of the game to be disclosed to Western Europe. So Russia, very naturally, objected, and England- prizing Russian friendship above honour-for the Turkish demand was based upon the Cyprus Convention – eventually refused to provide the inspectors. Not only the Turks and the Armenians, but we English are the sufferers by the decision; since but for that unfortunate refusal, last of a long series of rebuffs, Turkey might have been on our side now.
“And now we hear about Armenian massacres, and Englishmen are filled with pious horror, laying all the blame upon the Turks. Let us try to understand what has actually happened. Some Armenians, in Armenia proper, Turkish subjects, rose in arms and betrayed the town of Van to the Russians. When the news of this occurrence spread throughout the Empire, the common people in some places rioted against Armenians, just as the people in the East End of London rioted against the Germans upon the news of the sinking of the “Lusitania” but with this difference, that the Arab and the Kurdish mobs, being three hundred years, at least, be- hind the London mob in civilisation, did what the London rabble of three centuries ago would have done, and killed their victims. Following on these disorders he Turkish Government ordered the removal of the whole Armenian population from the war zones to concentration camps of some sort-as much with a view to their protection, it seems but fair to suggest, as with a view to prevent further treachery. When the Turkish forces retook Van, there was a slaughter of Armenians in that district by the Kurds, their ancient enemies, who, as we have seen, were armed with Russian rifles before the war, at a moment when the Turks were wishing to disarm them. In one American report that I have seen, the Kurds, not Turks, are specified as the offenders. But it is all one to the enemies of Islam and they are powerful just now in England – since Kurds are Muslims of a sort. Unruly as the Scottish Highlanders three centuries ago, the Kurds have always raided the Armenians ofi the least excuse whenever the Turkish Government had its hands too full to deal with them. They are enemies to Turkish government in time of peace, and very uncongenial and mistrusted friends in time of war. And it must be remembered that the Armenians, in their native land, are far from being the sheep-like, inoffensive crowd that they are sometimes painted. They also, when at war, commit atrocities. That the recent massacres of Armenians – whatever their extent, and that we cannot ascertain at present – took place at the command, or in any sense with the connivance, of the Turkish Government, seems most improbable. We are not now in Abdul Hamid’s reign.
“The chief desire of the present rulers in Turkey has always been to prove their country worthy to take rank among the civilised, enlightened empires or the world, and their ideas of civilisation and enlightenment are derived from English and French sources, not from German frightfulness. The most that can be fairly laid to the charge of the Turkish Government, I should say, is the military execution of proved traitors and the removal of reputedly disaffected populations from the danger zones-this last a forcible proceeding involving hardship and discomfort to the deported; but, consider- ing the state of war, and the straits in which the Turks were placed, a necessary military precaution, no “atrocity”.
“Therefore, it seems unfair to count the many thus removed among the victims, especially as it is possible that in some cases they were removed to save their lives. We have the evidence of British prisoners of war at Urfah on the Euphrates, as to the kind of treatment the Armenians received from infuriated patriots in small provincial towns, inadequately garrisoned and unpoliced, on the news of the betrayal of Van. And the general order for removal seems to have followed pretty closely upon those disorders. Yet, I came the other day upon the headline : “Armenian Horrors: 8o0,ooo Victims,” to a newspaper paragraph, which stated that the number of the victims could not be much less than eight hundred thousand killed and deported. The statement loses all its force when one reflects that the total number of the deported from a hunderd districts might easily be eight hundred thousand.
“One cannot help contrasting the publicity accorded by our Press to this Armenian tragedy with the silence of the same Press on the subject of the Balkan tragedy in 1912-13. As one of the handful of Englishmen who tried to get a hearing for the Turkish case on that occasion, I can personally testify to the firmness of the censorship which we encountered. Yet, the tale we had to tell was much more horrible than anything which we have yet heard from Armenia; and the perpetrators were our “fellow Christians.” A few men who knew the East thought the facts deserved to be published, in the interests of religious toleration, as showing that bad Christians in those lands could be as bestial as bad Mohammedans in time of war. But our rulers, in their wisdom, thought it inadvisable that such enlightenment should reach the general public, who were told that the atrocities Committed by the Balkan Christians were “no more than is customary in all Eastern warfare.” Quite so. And on behalf of the whole Muslim world to-day, I claim that these atrocities committed by the Kurds and Arabs are no more than is customary in Eastern warfare.” We are talking of Asia Minor, not of England; of a nearly savage country, where men are sheep when under discipline, but devils if enlarged.
“The fact is, that we should have furnished those inspectors.”
“I’ve landed on Samsun on the May 19th day of 1919. General situation and outlook: The allies of the Ottoman Empire defeated in Great War, each side of the Ottoman army was damaged, with the heavy conditions “Armistice Agreement” was signed. Over many years of Great War, nation has been tired and poor condition. Who dragged the nation into Great War, they fallen into the concerns of their benefit and they have fled from the country. Vahdettin who is sultan and caliph had been corrupt, he has been seeking for himself and nefarious ways that for only throne could be maintained. Istanbul government of Damat Ferid Pasha headed was weak, dishonorable, cowardly, only they complied with the sultan’s request and buckled under any condition that would protect themselves with him.
The weapons and ammunition were taken from the hands of army and still are being taken.
Entente states, they don’t consider it neccessary to abide by the decisions of Armistice Agreement. With the falsification reasons, the navies and troops of Entente States are in Istanbul. French had entered the city of Adana, British had entered the cities of Urfa, Maras, Antep. Italian troops in Konya and Antalya, British soldiers in Merzifon and Samsun. Officers and special agents of foreign states are working on each side. Then, for days before we recieved our initial promise, 15 May, 1919, with the approval of Entente States Greeks Army is landed on Izmir.
Furthermore, the Christian minorities in the entire country are trying to crash of the state to obtain the hidden, open, specific needs and objectives a moment ago.
The nation which wasn’t aware that they remained without leader, is waiting to the things to come into the darkness and uncertainty. Those who begun to understand the disaster and weight of the horror, they make every effort that they accepted as the remedy of liberation within the framework of their strenght which is effected by the events and environment.
The nation and the army as well as they are unaware of the treason of the sultan and the caliphate, they connect internally to the authorities who has got these titles with the ties of religion and tradition which have been ingrained for centruies and they are docile… They are not able to grasp the meaning of liberation without sultan and caliph. Those who will reveal their thoughts and views which are incompatible with the nation beliefs, unfortunatelly they would be irreligious, stateless, unwelcome…
In fact, at those days we were in, the foundations of Ottoman Empire had collapsed and its existence had ended. The Ottoman Empire was disintegrated completely. In the middle, there was only an ancestor homeland where a handful Turks lived. At last, the colonialists were trying to ensure for sharing of these lands. Ottoman Empire and it’s independence, sultan, caliph, Istanbul government; all of these were the meaningless words and out of concept. What kind of help is thought to ask from whom for who’s immunity and what? In that case, what could be solid and real decision? Gentlemen, there was only one decision in front of this situation. This is to establish a new independent Turkish State which is based on national sovereignty as unconditional.
Here, it has been decision which we thought before leaving Istanbul and we started to implement no sooner than we did set foot in Samsun, Anatolia.
The logic and steady thought which were based on this decision: The basic principle is that the Turkish nation needs to live as dignified and honorable nation. This can only be achieved with completely independence. No matter how rich and prosperous, a nation which is devoid of independence, can not save itself from being servant in front of civilized humanity. To ask the protection of foreign state is nothing else to reveal the deprivation of human nature, weakness and incompetence. It can be never considered that those who didn’t fall into this inferiority situation will bring the foreign management willingly. However, Turk’s honor and capabilities is very high. Such a nation, rather than live as prisoners, its destroying is much better. If so, Independence or Death! That will be the watchword for those who want the real salvation. For a moment, let’s assume that has experienced the failure about the implementation of this decision. What would happen? Captivity. Well, will not the same result emerge with abiding by the other decisions?
With this difference; a nation which has risked own life for independence is divert itself with thinking that it has made the every sacrifice which should be for human dignity and honor. And of course, if they are compared with disgrace nation which wears the captivity chain to own neck by own hand, they will be in an another place at the eyes of friends and enemies. Then, trying to maintain of Ottoman State and it’s descendants is to make biggest evilness against the Turkish nation. How a lot of insane people(*) who hadn’t conscience and thought connect anymore with public and country can be seen appropriate for the protection of honor and independence of the public and country?
I want to say my last words particulary to the youth of our country.
The young ones!
You are the ones who increase our courage and continue. You will be the most valuable example of the idea of freedom, human virtue, loving of country and people with the decency and wisdom that you took in.
The rising new generation! The future is yours. We have established Republic. You are the ones who will keep it alive and make it valuable.”
(*)Ataturk mentions about Sultans and Istanbul government, while he is saying a lot of insane people
These are Ataturk’s words from Nutuk (about 620 pages). Today the anniversary of May 19, 1919. This day is the day a public awakening. This day is anniversary day in Turkey every year, as Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.
Mustafa Kemal presenting the Nutuk at the Assembly, 1927.
Background (Calligraphy): Hakimiyet Milletindir means “Sovereignty Belongs to the Nation”
The Nutuk (Modern Turkish: Söylev; Speech) was a speech delivered by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from 15 to 20 October 1927, at the second congress of Republican People’s Party. The speech covered the events between the start of the Turkish War of Independence on May 19, 1919, and the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, in 1923. It is an important source for the study of Kemalism. It took thirty-six hours (on a 6 day span) to be read by Atatürk. Scholars have since identified the Speech as the foundation and model followed by Turkish historians for the official historiography of the Turkish Republic.
this is quoted from wikipedia
I’ve tried best I can as always for the translation. I never find the translations about Turkish historians researches or the translation such as Nutuk or Independence War of Turkey. Turks are very lazy about this subject. Turks do not make enough effort about telling themselves to the world public. Turks are closed society. And they expect to be understood by world public without telling them truths. That’s why, many wrong informations in the middle. And of course, I wished I could make copy and paste, it would be very easy for me 🙂 If there is more better translation of this text of Ataturk you can make comment and thus, I can correct my wrongs.
The year of 1930, the day December 23. The second fundamentalist uprising experienced at the west of the province of Menemen in Anatolia, while Turkey was young republic. (The first one had been experienced in 1925, and it was fundamentalist Sheikh Said uprising.)
The pictured Kubilay, a young lieutenant, was killed into the hands of a group that wants sharia. Mustafa Fehmi Kubilay was 23 years old. He had graduated from teacher’s training school. After completing his compulsory military service he was going to serve as teacher. He had dreams…
But after the abholisment of caliphate by Ataturk, the ones who wants sharia and the caliphate did not stop. After a long period of preparation, a bigot which called as Dervish Mehmet and 28 men who supported to him have provoked public in Menemen where Kubilay made military duty. Kubilay was injured by them. After then they captured Kubilay while he was alive, and they cut Kubilay’s head with a knife. Kubilay’s cutting head has been impaled and showed around at the end of the stick at square.
After, these bigot people were arrested by troops that come in here.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk has asked immediately the establishment of a court when he heard event. The court was established and the 29 people were executed in the same place where they cut off the head of Kubilay in Menemen.
According to a rumor, Ataturk was so angry and upset for young Kubilay’s death that even he had wanted the deletion of Menemen over the map.
Kubilay is first martyr of the revolution of secular Republic of Turkey. I’m sure if he had lived, he would have added many beauty to the children. And he would have been an immortal in the children minds, but he has been immortal for all country.
Each year, mainly including Izmir in Turkey, the commemorative ceremonies are held in many cities on Kubilay’s behalf like today. And, the brutality of his death, the bloodlust of bigots and what have been sacrificed for a secular republic, are remembering.
Look carefully into his eyes at the picture. There is a beauty that the bigots wanted to destroy in his eyes at Middle East, Turkey and elsewhere in the world today; the beauty of light. Today, as same as nearly 90 years ago, the darkness wants to drown light. Indeed there is nothing change.