[Re: Islamic Resistance]

Paul Flewers hatchet.job at SPAMvirgin.net
Mon Jun 12 16:21:15 MDT 2000

Abu Nasr wrote: < Lenin signed accords with Ataturk's Turkey because whatever
his faults, Ataturk kept the imperialists out of direct control of Turkey, a
strategically located country that had been used as an invasion route into
Soviet Russian territory.  The west had planned to partition Turkey among
themselves just as they did do the Arab countries, but Ataturk's armies
forestalled this calamity. Lenin understood the struggle for Communism
strategically as well as tactically. >   I side with Sam Pawlett on this one.
This case was an early example of the Soviet government entering into short-term
diplomatic agreements at the expense of the Comintern. In other words,
realpolitik was taking the upper hand.   Another example of the dangers of
realpolitik was with Germany. From 1920, the Soviet government was helping to
rebuild the Reichswehr, the German army, which was still commanded by
pointy-hatted Prussian reactionaries, at the same time as the Comintern was
trying to spark a revolution in that country. Germany was no backwater for the
Comintern like Turkey, it was the No 1 place for a revolution -- 'Without it we
shall perish', said Lenin on a number of occasions. The Reichswehr had been
reduced to 100 000 men under the armistice agreements, little good for fighting
neighbouring states, but good enough for crushing internal challenges to the
state. Had the German communists gone for power in 1923, they would have been up
against the Reichswehr. It would have been horribly ironic if the assistance
given to the Reichswehr by the Soviet government had been sufficient to tip the
balance of forces in favour of the German state against the working class.  
There is a very good article by Mick Cox of Critique on the Comintern and
national liberation forces from Searchlight South Africa, but I'm not sure if
it's on the web yet.   Paul F

----- Original Message ----- From: Abu Nasr To: marxism at lists.panix.com Sent:
Monday, June 12, 2000 4:50 PM Subject: Re: [Re: Islamic Resistance]
The contemporary phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism is entirely different
from any movements like "pan-Islamism" around in Lenin's time.  Those
movements, if one can call them that, were inspired by and large by the ulama,
or, the religious scholars, more or less like clergy who worked for feudal
state leaders for the most part.  The Muslim brotherhood which was founded in
the late 1920s, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Hizb Allah and others represent a
new development that often finds itself at odds with the "official" religious
establishment.  These have much support among lower middle classes and urban
poor and often among workers and peasants.  True many such movements idealise
the Islamic middle ages, true they are not Marxist and often have backward
ideas and advocate backward practices.  But they do not idealise the current
power elites, the way the pan-Islamist groups of Lenin's time did.
Finally, there is no proof for the claim by some imperialist media that the
PFLP-General Command under Ahmad Jibril blew up the Lockerbie plane and he has
specifically denied it.  By the way, sinking refugee ships with thousands of
civilians aboard is not a revolutionary act either, yet the Soviet military
did that repeatedly toward the end of World War II.  Such questionable acts
did not transform the struggle against fascism into a reactionary effort.  For
what it's worth PFLP-GC is Arab Nationalist anyway, not fundamentalist, and
its ideology does not come close to being medieval particularism in any
If the role of the writer is to bring the truth to those for whom it matters,
then more care needs to be exercised in posting such allegations here.
With revolutionary greetings!
Abu Nasr
Sam Pawlett <rsp at uniserve.com> wrote:
Jay Moore wrote:
> Exactly so.  Didn't Lenin say something in his day about communists even
> supporting the Emir of Afghanistan when he was against [British]
> imperialism?
It's the "Letter to Emir Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan" May 27,
1919 in the collection *The National Liberation Movement in the East* by
Lenin. Progress Pubs.1952. Lenin called for the right to
self-determination because he thought it would help the domestic workers
and peasants win socialism. There are exceptions where a regime is
acting in important anti-imperialist ways yet repressing domestic
Marxists e.g.
Nasser, Khomeini.
   Lenin also signed a treaty and gave aid to Mustafa Kemal of Turkey
_after_ he had executed leading Marxists there. If you accept, as I do,
that Marxism is a worldwide pan-cultural movement then this is
unprincipled behaviour.
  Lenin also said "The use of medieval particularism? Too dangerous; not
Marxist. Modern national movements should be distinguished from
'movements' of a medieval nature." ibid 289. I submit that medieval
particularism is
exactly what Islamic fundamentalism is about.
 And *that* was in reference to a feudal despot and not even to
> a social movement, which is what we see in Lebanon (and a far more complex,
> nuanced social movement than Sam would give it credit for being).
Not true. I've posted on the mists and bogs of Lebanese politics to the
Lbo list.
> broad ad hominem attacks on the liberation forces are not helpful.
What ad hominem attacks? Shouldn't one tell the truth about these
liberation forces? Is blowing civilian airliners out of the air right or
wrong? Is that the way to fight imperialism? Unless you are saying that
telling the truth about
them might give an excuse for further repression by Israel, USA or other
regional powers. That is
understandable. I like Chomsky's dictum namely, "The responsibility of
the writer as a moral agent is to try and bring the truth about matters
of human significance to an audience that matters."
Gary M:
> We should support Hezbollah when it takes on the Israeli state and oppose
> it when it attacks the rights of leftists, women, gays etc.
I accept your points but you(we) are going to be doing a lot of
Here is a nugget I dug up. One of thousands.
"...the regime that had emerged out of the revolution was anti-labor and
could not tolerate the upsurge in the working class movement of Iran. In
the midst of the uprising, even while the Shah's army still patrolled
the streets, groups roamed the streets with the slogan 'HIzbollah is
victorious. East and West have been destroyed.' Me and some friends,
having just bought a few Marxist books that had been published were
moving in a mass of people  in one of Tehran's main thouroughfares.
Suddenly the Hizbollah descended on us, tried to beat us and take our
books to burn. One person from among them called to the rest to stop!
"Khomeini has ordered that this is not the time. First we must deal with
the Shah. The time for the left will come."  That indeed was the plan in
the heads of the leaders of the Islamic movement. From the morrow of the
victory of the revolution the unceasing repression of the labour
movement began and continues to this day." interview with Albert
Sohrabian [exiled Iranian union leader]. Iran Bulletin 15 1997.
Sam Pawlett
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