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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/20/21

The imperialists intensify colonial genocide in reaction to the rise of liberation movements

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Israel's siege on Gaza, where new airstrikes are being launched following last month's unprecedentedly destructive bombing campaign and just two days into Israel's new government, is the latest stage in a global intensification of colonial warfare. As much as CIA propagandists try to deflect from the pro-Washington bloc's crimes within this war by fabricating accounts of a Chinese "Uyghur genocide," this war's perpetrators are to be found within the Anglo-American imperialist sphere, and within the genocidal right-wing regimes that U.S. imperialism props up.

This effort to exterminate and suppress colonialism's disfavored ethnic groups stems from desperation. From the fear that as the contradictions of capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism pile up amid climatic collapse, the foundations supporting these systems will fall away and a new wave of revolutions will sweep the globe. This was anticipated by Che Guevara in Colonialism is Doomed, his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations from 1964:

The imperialists are preparing to repress the peoples of America and are setting up an "international" [network] of crime. The United States interfered in America while invoking the "defense of free institutions". The time will come when this assembly will acquire greater maturity and demand guarantees from the United States Government for the lives of the Negro and Latin American population who reside in that country, most of whom are native-born or naturalized United States citizens... Cuba, a free and sovereign state, with no chains binding it to anyone, with no foreign investments on its territory, with no proconsuls orienting its policy, can speak proudly in this assembly, proving the justice of the phrase by which we will always be known, "Free Territory of America". Our example will bear fruit in our continent, as it is already doing to a certain extent in Guatemala, Colombia, and Venezuela. The imperialists no longer have to deal with a small enemy, a contemptible force, since the people are no longer isolated.

Over half a century later, the class struggle may be set back by the Soviet Union's fall, but Vietnam and Laos have become socialist, and the revolutionary energy that Che mentioned within Latin America has newly liberated several countries and looks to soon liberate many more. Nicaragua has been freed from imperialism by its Sandinista revolution, Venezuela has lived free under the anti-imperialist Chavista government for the last generation, and Bolivia has elected the Movement for Socialism Party back into power following 2019's CIA coup. Peru looks like it will next join this team of anti-imperialist Latin American governments when it inaugurates the victorious leftist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo, despite the ultimately ineffectual protests from the country's anti-communists. And Colombia, Haiti, and Honduras have been undergoing uprisings in response to the iron-fisted neo-colonial tyranny that Washington has imposed upon their people.

As for the oppressor countries, the subjugation of the peoples they're built upon is reaching a boiling point, especially when it comes to the most blatant oppressor country Israel. As the Indian Marxist publication The International has observed: "Support for Palestinian liberation has grown so significantly in the wake of Israel's brutal May, 2021 assault on Gaza, at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and elsewhere in the occupied territories that a tipping point may have been crossed. Many factors are at work, first and foremost Palestinians' and worldwide supporters' steadfast resistance to Israeli occupation, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and other blatant ongoing violations of international law." This is shown in the recent growth of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, which has been succeeding at blocking some Israeli shipments to the U.S., and in the new high of 25% of Americans who sympathize with the Palestinians more than the Israelis.

The same dynamic of international condemnation over human-rights abuses, and brutal reactions from the settler state that accelerate colonialism's demise, has been at play within the U.S. and Colombia. The murder of George Floyd and numerous other unarmed Africans within the U.S., along with the disproportionate uses of force against those protesting these murders, have caused the United Nations Human Rights Council to reference the U.S. in a denunciation of systemic racism. As even more horrific acts of police brutality have been perpetrated by Colombia's government in response to anti-austerity protests, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed "profound shock" at the instances where police have opened fire on demonstrators. Israel has been receiving similar types of international condemnation.

This is the type of moment Che was talking about where the United Nations would be forced to call for the United States, along with its partnered settler-colonial countries, to call for the rights of the colonized to be upheld. The UN can do little to intervene in these situations, but the discomfort that the UN's human-rights watchers have been expressing over these recent colonial atrocities stem from an intensifying humanitarian crisis that is driving the oppressed nationalities to intensify their rebellion.

Part of this stepping up of the class and anti-colonial struggle has simply been the mass refusal among these subjugated communities to have the repression break their solidarity; Israel's desperate attempts to turn Palestinians against armed struggle by bombing prominent Gaza buildings and blaming them on Hamas have failed. The police and paramilitary massacres in Colombia are failing to dissuade the struggles for indigenous resource control and workers' rights among the country's masses. The intensification of the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle is creating a sense of internationalism within the U.S. Black Lives Matter movement, with a spokesperson for BDS having assessed this week that "Protests against racist state violence in the US, under the Black Lives Matter slogan, have pushed organizers to draw parallels in the anti-racist, anti-colonial struggles that connect us all, from the US to Palestine."

The growth of the liberation struggle in Colombia, which is a parallel settler-colonial state to Israel where a white elite wields gargantuan terroristic violence to steal and exploit indigenous territories, may add to this growing consciousness of global solidarity among the oppressed.

The goal of the imperialists and the settler-colonists is to stop these liberation movements from overthrowing the occupier states they're struggling against. The fact that these efforts are gaining such traction within the core of global imperialism the United States, the indispensable southwest Asian imperialist military outpost Israel, and the crucial Latin American U.S. strategic ally Colombia is clearly alarming for the forces of global capital. So the propagandists of capital have been seeking to vilify these struggles, painting the recent Hamas attacks as offensive when really they're defensive, portraying Colombia's protests as the work of criminal organizations, and in the case of a recent article from the right-wing "Libertarian" magazine Reason, portraying Colombia's indigenous resource struggle as immoral:

The systematic use of roadblocks is not new; saboteurs have perfected this hostile tactic against civil society after several decades of constant practice. In Popaya'n, a city of 318,000 inhabitants in Cauca some 85 miles south of Cali, tradesmen are used to storing additional supplies of food and water to last about 20 days each year. As journalist Ferna'n Martà nez reports, this is due to annual blockades from indigenous groups, which have besieged the city since the 1980s and left its inhabitants regularly without supplies. The goal is always to extract public spending pledges or grants of additional land from national authorities; indigenous reservations or resguardos, where the law dictates that all property be held collectively, are among the largest land holdings in the country, comprising 31 million hectares out of a total of 114 million according to a 2011 study by the Colombian Institute of Rural Development. As Martà nez notes, the government usually sends its inexperienced, city-dwelling technocrats to capitulate in negotiations with wily indigenous leaders, who are "true Ph.D.s in the art of the blockade."

Reason also charges that "Colombia's anti-imperialists import cancel culture," which if true probably isn't as bad as when Colombia's pro-imperialists have imported death squads, disappearances of political dissidents, and the practice of using helicopters to shoot unarmed civilians in broad daylight.

How ironic it is that these reactionaries are accusing the indigenous movement of unjustly wielding blockades and grabbing up land, when Colombia's close partner in colonial genocide Israel is weaponizing a blockade to sabotage Gaza's rebuilding efforts so that Palestinian land can continue to be illegally held by settlers. It's not enough for the empire's propagandists to smear the liberation movements as being part of a sinister conspiracy; their very cause of national self-determination and freedom from brutal neoliberal exploitation has to be painted as somehow selfish.

Colombia's settler-colonial project and brutalization campaigns have their global defenders, just as Zionism has its defenders. And in the tradition of colonialism's desire for totalizing domination, these imperial lackeys won't be satisfied until all the subjugated nations have been pummeled into either extinction or submission.

Israel's efforts to assist Colombia with repressing its people, where Israeli drones and facial-recognition technologies have been used to surveil protestors, Israeli-trained death squads have been massacring citizens, and private Israeli contractors have been helping the military with state terrorism tactics and aggressions against Venezuela, show just how much the colonial wars of these two regimes are one and the same. If Colombia experiences a Cuba-esque socialist revolution--which increasingly seems like the only viable route to liberation for Colombia and many other Latin American countries with rigged electoral systems--the losses the imperialists are about to experience with Castillo's inauguration will be greatly multiplied. So the imperialists are using their Zionist proxies to replicate the extreme repressive model from Palestine's occupation within Washington's remaining neo-colonies.

This model has already been thoroughly imported to the core of the empire. U.S. domestic security and police departments having received Israeli training throughout this last decade that's increased U.S. law enforcement's violence against colonized communities. An Israeli tech firm has provided the U.S. border patrol with highly intrusive surveillance towers, which have let the U.S. monitor indigenous communities along the border and create a "virtual wall" for indigenous southern refugees, which mirrors Israel's means for restricting Palestinian movements.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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